Palestine: “There’s No Conflict, There’s An Illegal Occupation”

Interview With Dr. Asem Khalil

palestine-onu

Professor Doctor Asem Khalil, Ph.D. in Constitutional and International Law, Associate Professor of Law of Birzeit University, West Bank, speaks of ways to consolidate the Palestine State, and definitely end Israeli crimes against humanity in the Palestinian territories.

Edu Montesanti: Dear Professor Doctor Asem Khalil, thank you so very much for granting this interview. How do you evaluate the meeting between President Donald Trump and Prime-Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on February 15? “I’m looking at two-State and one-state” formulations, President Trump said during a White House news conference with Mr. Netanyahu. “I like the one that both parties like. I’m very happy with the one that both parties like. I can live with either one”. Your view, please.

Dr. Asem Khalil: The Palestinians always called for a One State; as a compromise they accepted to enter a peace process where two state solution is envisaged as a way to get peace. If by one state, we mean equal rights for all citizens,

I don’t see why Palestinians would reject that – if they were first to ask for it and accepted only as a compromise the call for two state solution where most of historic Palestine will be part of the now state of Israel.

I think the answer given by Trump wasn’t thought through enough, and I don’t think Israel would go for a one State where one person one vote anyway.

Edu Montesanti: Why cannot Israel and the Palestinians decide alone the question? Why do Palestinians need a third party to get an agreement?

Dr. Asem Khalil: Palestinians are under occupation. It is not their own responsibility to negotiate with the occupier; for sure, it is not part of any negotiation whether to maintain or end occupation – negotiation may be on the modalities on how to do that only.

So far, Palestinians are in a weak position. They are requested to chose pacific means to reach liberation and end occupation, while at the same time, they are asked to negotiate directly with an occupier who continues to confiscate land day on day out.

It is the responsibility of the international community to put an end to one of the last occupations in the world. It is the responsibility of all community of states to make sure that rights of Palestinians – which are erga omnes – are respected.

Edu Montesanti: The United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 voted on December 23 last year, condemning the Israeli settlements as a flagrant violation of international law and a major impediment to the achievement of a two-state solution, changes nothing on the ground between Israel and the Palestinians. UN member States “agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council”, according to the UN Charter. Human rights and the international community also condemns the Israeli settlements and military attacks against Palestinians. Journalist Daoud Kuttab observed in Al-Jazeera in February, in the article US and Israel join forces to bury Palestinian statehood: “Ever since the 1967 occupation, the United Nations Security Council has repeatedly expressed the illegality of the occupation, as in the preamble of Resolution 242 ‘emphasizing inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war’.” Why does nothing change year by year, massacre after massacre?

Dr. Asem Khalil: Change doesn’t come by UN resolutions. There are few cases like the one of Israel where the UN and the Security Council in particular showed how incompetent they are in dealing with Israel’s violations of Palestinians’ rights on their land and their right to self-determination.

Palestinian leadership, nonetheless, still think that such resolutions are important. They help maintain clear what is just and what is not.

What is acceptable and what is not. Changes in international relations and power relations between states may help in the future bring the change that is needed. Although it may be too late by then.

Edu Montesanti: What are the crimes committed by Israel against Palestinians?

Dr. Asem Khalil: There are various massacres that were committed by Israel against Palestinians surrounding the creation of the state of Israel in 1948 – causing and contributing to forced displacement and refugeehood of thousands of people.

Many other massacres were committed afterwards, either directly or indirectly. Bombings directed towards civilian areas and facilities continued in recent years when attacking Gaza.

Edu Montesanti: How is life in Gaza and in the West Bank?

Dr. Asem Khalil: Gaza is being qualified as a big prison – unqualified for human living because of lack of necessary civilian infrastructures and lack of jobs.

Most West Bank populated cities are living under Palestinian Authority rule – which coordinates with Israel in security and civil matters too.

Edu Montesanti: Professor Avi Shlaim observed days ago, in Al-Jazeera: “Sadly, the Palestinians are handicapped by weak leadership and by the internal rivalry between Fatah and Hamas.” Your view on the internal politics in Palestine, please, Professor Doctor Khalil.

Dr. Asem Khalil: He is right. This is part of the problem and why stagnation is in place. It is part of the story though.

The full picture is an Israeli occupation which separated Gaza from West Bank and maintained legal and political fragmentation since then; it is also in the way Oslo separated de facto the two areas and maintained a status quo where Palestinians are not dealt with by Israeli occupation – and contrary to the wordings of Oslo – as one political community and West Bank and Gaza Strip were not in reality considered or dealt with as one political entity.

Edu Montesanti: What could we expect from Arab leaders from now on?

Dr. Asem Khalil: We don’t have much expectations. We think the Arab region is now busy with their own problems.

They are now seeing the Palestinian issue as marginal and secondary. This is very problematic now.

Edu Montesanti: How do you see the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement?

Dr. Asem Khalil: The BDS movement can be the way ahead for peaceful resistance to occupation and apartheid in Palestine. Israel is aware of the historical precedence of South Africa and the boycott movement that ended up at the end in delegitimizing the apartheid regime in South Africa, and contributed to the entry of a new era there.

We hope similar thing happens now – not delegitimizing the state of Israel, but the apartheid regime in place.

Edu Montesanti: What is the solution to the conflict, Professor Doctor Asem Khalil?

Dr. Asem Khalil: There is no conflict. There is an occupation that needs to come to an end; a colonization project that needs to be aborted; an apartheid regime that needs to be dismantled; justice and equality to be restored.

If and when this is done, no need to think of mechanisms to end a conflict because it wouldn’t exist.

To Trump:How many innocent people should be killed before you #StopArmingSaudi ?

#ForgottenWarInYemen, shame on world’s so called “humanitarian activists” #Yemen is bleeding #StopArmingSaudis

 

Democracy Now! Criminal Cheerleaders for Bloodshed in Syria

Democracy Now! Criminal Cheerleaders for US-NATO-GCC’s Perpetual Conflict and Bloodshed in Syria

21st-century

Vanessa Beeley

 

“A closer look at what Goodman’s “Democracy Now” is reporting on Syria shows that the purported critical broadcaster has become a purveyor of Western government propaganda. While the mainstream media’s propaganda function is obvious to the informed public, Goodman’s “Democracy Now” plays a more subtle role. Camouflaged with the trappings of critical, independent journalism, “Democracy Now” serves to sow powerful seeds of misinformation in a way that the “compromised” mainstream media cannot.” ~ Finian Cunningham 2012

“As the United Nations says nearly 1 million Syrians are living under siege and the last remaining hospitals in eastern Aleppo have been destroyed.” ~ Democracy Now! November 2016

Last night, Democracy Now! released a report that was breathtaking in the saturation of NATO aligned propaganda in this one segment out of their almost six year criminal, media campaign against Syria and the sovereign will of its people. In the first line alone, we have the ubiquitous and now hugely discredited description of the “last remaining hospitals in eastern Aleppo”.

The East Aleppo “last hospital” litany has become synonymous with corporate media lies. It’s duplicitous and misleading use is clearly demonstrated by this short video collection of the many mainstream media reports on the “last hospital” rendering these corporate media accounts questionable and far from credible.

Video Player

00:00
01:29

A search on Twitter under the hashtag “last hospital” reveals the extent of the mockery of the mainstream media narrative that has risen to an unprecedented level of outright lies in line with the US coalition frustration at the Syrian Arab Army allied advances towards the full liberation of East Aleppo from the clutches of over 22 brigades of assorted US, UK, EU, Turkish, Gulf State-funded & armed militants and mercenary gangs under the leadership of Nusra Front, the Al Qaeda terrorist affiliate in Syria.last-hospital-collage
Collection of corporate media tweets amplifying the “last hospital” narrative in East Aleppo. (Collage created by @Navsteva)

“Nothing Short of a Slaughter“: 1 Million Syrians in Aleppo Under Siege with No Hospital, Food”

This is the already misleading headline of the Democracy Now! report.  Interviewer, Nermeen Shaikh interviews guests, Bassam Haddad, director of the Middle East and Islamic Studies program at George Mason University, and Dr. Zaher Sahloul, founder of the American Relief Coalition for Syria and senior adviser and former president of the Syrian American Medical Society.

The following are the ten main points put forward by these two guests, points that are questionable, and yet go unchallenged by Shaikh:

dn-sahloul

1: East Aleppo contains 300,000 people, of which 100,000 are children

2: These people are under siege, starving & without medicine for the last four and half months, due to the Syrian “regime” and allies.

3: Every 17 hours right now in Aleppo, “health care facilities” are being targeted. In the last 144 days, there were 143 attacks on health care facilities across Syria.  One third of these attacks were in the “city of Aleppo”, so 48 attacks in last four and a half months.

bassam-haddad

4: The daily massacre and maiming of Syrian civilians in West Aleppo by the militant factions in East Aleppo pales into “insignificance” when compared to  the “brutal bombardment of eastern Aleppo and the almost total destruction of life

5: The Syrian “regime” is “focused” upon re-conquering the whole of Syria in its entirety.

6: Al Nusra are not in East Aleppo except maybe a “few fighters

7:  The population of East Aleppo was 1.5 million before the crisis.  Now it is 300,000 so majority have fled to Turkey, Europe or elsewhere inside Syria. Any other place in Syria is dangerous. If they go to government controlled areas they risk being “tortured or detained”. So, the civilians in East Aleppo cannot leave because there is nowhere safe for them.

8: The Syrian “regime” is conducting an ethnic cleansing operation by evacuating “rebels” from liberated areas such as East Aleppo, Homs, Daraya.

9: There is a rift between the US think tanks who support the Syrian “revolution” in order to ensure Israel’s security in the region and the true “revolution” supporters who are interested primarily in the well being of all Syrians. “A rift that should have existed from the very beginning for the sake of building a healthier, independent and democratic uprising in Syria against a dictatorial regime.” ~ Bassam Haddad

10: President Elect, Donald Trump’s stated support for Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, is the “final nail in the coffin “of the aspiration of the Syrian people, the young people of Syria, who rose up in the beginning of this five years ago for freedoms and liberties that we enjoy and we all support.” ~ Dr Zaher Sahloul

dn-haddad

Democracy Now!’s Fake Objectivity

Yet again, Democracy Now! give their guests a protected platform to present a very partisan and biased view of events in Syria.  Not once does Shaikh proffer an alternative view to that which is being presented by the show’s guests. On the contrary, she positively reinforces their narrative with the use of her own rhetoric and terms such as “annihilation and war crimes” directed against the Syrian government and allies, in the opening statement of the interview.

“The second implication is that this neutral voice, without a discipline of verification, creates a veneer covering something hollow. Journalists who select sources to express what is really their own point of view, and then use the neutral voice to make it seem objective, are engaged in a form of deception. This damages the credibility of the craft by making it seem unprincipled, dishonest, and biased.” ~ The American Press Institute. (Emphasis added)

Shaikh even fails to question the contradiction of her own introduction by Sahloul. Sahloul states that Al Nusra barely exist in East Aleppo. In her introduction, Shaikh alludes to the UN suggestion that the Syrian government should permit autonomy for East Aleppo provided the “jihadist fighters linked to al-Qaeda (Al Nusra) withdrew and the fighting stopped.”

Shaikh fails in her assumed role as an independent and objective reporter.  She fails to ask the most basic questions that would deconstruct the narrative being projected by her guests. She fails to debate. She succeeds only in giving credibility to an incredible account of the situation in East Aleppo, an account that is flatly denied by recent visitors to Aleppo such as independent journalists & researchers, Eva Bartlett, Tom Duggan and the author of this article,  Vanessa Beeley.

How a Genuinely Objective Journalist should have Responded

1: 300,000 civilians in East Aleppo. 100,000 children.

Where do the figures of 300,000 come from? A very simple Google search reveals that this is another one of those magical figures that runs and runs, the earliest reference to it was July 2016. Given the fluidity of the situation in Aleppo and East Aleppo in particular, continuing to cite this figure, after five months of intense activity, is at best, laziness, at worst, dishonest.

The Aleppo Medical Association, which comprises 4,160 registered doctors in West Aleppo, stated in August 2016 that there were less than 250,000 people remaining in East Aleppo.  Of these the AMA told Vanessa Beeley that over 50,000 were “armed militants and terrorists” and their families. Since August 2016, a steady trickle of civilians have succeeded in escaping to West Aleppo via the humanitarian corridors established by the Syrian Government & Russia.

How does Sahloul arrive at the 100,000 children figure? What is the basis for this claim of these huge numbers, out of alignment with reality according to the Aleppo Medical Association doctors, many of whom, still have family in East Aleppo being held hostage by the Nusra Front-led mercenary brigades.

Of course this narrative aligns perfectly with the majority of corporate media who have consistently acted as nothing more than congressional stenographers in their skewed reporting of the US, UK-led proxy war on Syria.

2: The Syrian “regime” is starving the people of Aleppo:

 What evidence is there of the Syrian Government and Russia “starving civilians” in East Aleppo? Who is responsible for withholding medicines from civilians? Why is there no mention of the NATO and Gulf state funded mercenary siege of West Aleppo.

A four year long, brutal & violent siege of 1.5 million civilians in West Aleppo, which includes depriving them of clean water, food, electricity and medical supplies.

September 2016: “The following is a video made by suspected US alliance media implant in Syria, and extremist sympathizer called Bilal Abdul Kareem of OGN, On the Ground News.  Bilal has been featured multiple times as a ‘Syria-based’ news source for CNN. In this video the US Coalition-backed gangs of mercenaries, otherwise known as the “moderate rebels” are demonstrating against allowing the UN aid into East Aleppo, marching under the flag of Al Nusra Front aka Al Qaeda in Syria.” ~ Channel 4 Joins CNN in Normalizing Terrorism, then Removes Video

Why no mention of Syrian Government and Russian attempts to enter East Aleppo with humanitarian aid, evacuation buses and ambulances in last few weeks? The same humanitarian convoys that were fired upon and refused entry by the so called “moderate rebels” that are being discussed by Democracy Now!

Buses ready to ‘evacuate’ civilians from east – so far no one has crossed. A rebel mortar just landed 50 ft from us. No injuries thank God.

Tom Duggan, an english journalist, who has lived in Syria for the last four years,  reports LIVE from the artificial, US coalition-funded-militant imposed, borders between East and West Aleppo. He reports, at great risk to himself and his crew, on the attempts being made by civilians to flee from East Aleppo into the safety of Syrian government held West Aleppo.  Aleppo: Live Footage from Tom Duggan

27th October 2016: 

“We regret to note that the United Nations has not properly worked out an operation to evacuate the sick and the wounded.” Vitaly Churkin to the UN

“The ambassador added that the UN work with various opposition groups in Aleppo and the local council was “left to take care of itself.” He stressed that the UN personnel did not “exert the necessary pressure” on “sponsors” of illegal armed groups to convince them to cooperate with the aid workers on the ground.

Besides criticizing the UN team, the Russian envoy also accused entities that have influence over fighters in besieged neighborhoods of Aleppo of not applying enough pressure on the militants to make the most of the Russian-Syrian humanitarian pause.” ~ UN failed to organize evacuation of civilians from rebel-held Aleppo – Russian envoy

Why does Shaikh not bring up the fact that the civilians of East Aleppo have been rising up against the “moderate rebel” occupation and protesting the stockpiling of food and humanitarian supplies by the militant factions, or that dozens of civilians were killed and injured by these same factions opening fire on their protests and escape attempts across East Aleppo.

“Meanwhile, Russia said that terrorists have opened fire on civilians protesting against them in al-Haidariyeh neighborhood in Aleppo city, killing 17 civilians, including children, and wounding over three dozen more.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov, said that the terrorists arrested 10 people and took them to an unknown location.They were all executed on the same day,”  he further went onto say.

Some 300 people participated in demonstrations against terrorists in al-Kallaseh neighborhood trying to escape across Bustan al-Qaser corridor but the terrorists sought to disperse the demonstrators by shooting them from a heavy machine gun and then mined all the approaches to a checkpoint and placed snipers on the roofs of nearby houses, Konashenkov said.” ~ Syrian Arab News Agency

Would Democracy Now! please explain how doctors such as Sahloul and his Chicago colleagues are entering East Aleppo from outside Syria. How are citizen journalistsactivists and the NATO & Gulf state funded terrorist support group, the White Helmets able to leave and re-enter East Aleppo to and from Turkey?

netflix-final

If there is no movement to and from East Aleppo, how did Netflix manage to make an entire documentary, without leaving Turkey, based upon the exploits of this  multi-million NATO & Gulf state-funded, fraudulent, first responder group, embedded inside Nusra Front and ISIS held territory, if they were not able to leave East Aleppo to provide them with the “award winning” film footage?

Not forgetting that Democracy Now! supported the White Helmets without question, despite the daily mounting evidence of their role as a terrorist support group inside Syria, producing the fabricated evidence needed to faciliate greater US coalition intervention and enabling calls for a No Fly Zone, widely recognised as a declaration of war with Russia to be fought on Syrian soil.

double-doctors
The alleged increase in number of Doctors in East Aleppo in a 24 hour time frame. (Photo @Navsteva)

These are only a few of the counter arguments with which any self-respecting journalists should have been challenging their guests.  A journalist’s job is to provide the public with the facts and to then leave it up to them to decipher the picture based upon the evidence, not to support one-sided narratives that are presented as truth without evidence.

3: Every 17 hours the Syrian “regime” and Russia are targeting hospitals in East Aleppo. 

According to the Aleppo Medical Association ( I spoke with them two days ago) the officially recognised hospitals in East Aleppo are the following – two Syrian Government hospitals, the Childrens Hospital & Eye Hospital and the National Hospital. The Childrens & Eye Hospital have been completely taken over by Nusra Front who have converted them into their headquarters and a Sharia Law courtroom. The National was under construction before the conflict and is therefore non operational.

Then you  have the private hospitals.  Yassin Jaban, Islamic Medical Hospital and Al Daqaq.  Combined, these have less than 50 beds. There is also the Omar Abud Al Aziz hospital which was the cherished project of the Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun before it was taken over by Nusra Front in 2013 and converted into a Nusra-led militant base.  According to the Grand Mufti Hassoun, the top floor was turned into a sniping tower and civilians are rarely treated, terrorists & militants are given priority.  The hospital was taken by force, the incoming Nusra-led militants murdered doctors, nurses and patients in the process.

Of these private hospitals, only the Omar Abud Al Aziz and Yassin Jaban are still “operational” and run entirely by various militant factions, once again, headed up by the Nusra Front.

So if only two of the officially recognised hospitals are still operational, and wholly occupied by Nusra Front and associates, how does Sahloul explain his claim of “hospitals” being mercilessly targeted 48 times in the last four and a half months or, now, every 17 hours, despite the various prolonged ceasefires adhered to by both Russia and Syria but routinely broken by the US coalition-funded mercenaries and terrorists across Syria.

What hospitals is he talking about and why does Shaikh not ask that question? Why is MSF  (Medecins Sans Frontieres) and its associated outreach workers in the many militant field shelters in Nusra Front and ISIS held territory across Syria not supplying coordinates to the Syrian government in order to avoid the targeting of these armed militant-held temporary structures or buildings, requisitioned as triage centres.

4: The daily maiming and massacre of civilians in West Aleppo, being sniped and targeted by “moderate rebel” hell cannon missiles, grad missiles, shells and explosive bullets, pales into insignificance compared to the bombardment by the Syrian and Russian airforces. 

Perhaps Shaikh should have watched this video of a young man in Aleppo who had just lost his two year old son to the “insignificant missiles” Please note also the fact that Russia and Syria had respected the agreed ceasefire for 21 days while the “moderate rebel” targeting of civilians had never ceased during that time. Warning this video is very distressing. 

There has not been a single Syrian or Russian airstrike on East in 21 days.

Rebel shelling has not stopped for a day.

Why had Shaikh not read this report from Syrian journalist, Jamila Assi, on the massacre of 8 school children, all under the age of 13, on the 20th November, all targeted by the US coalition-funded”moderate rebel” hell cannon mortars and missiles at Al Fourkan school in West Aleppo.

aleppo-schoolchildren
Images of the 8 school children murdered by US alliance-funded “moderate rebels” while at school in West Aleppo. (Photo: Chretiens de la Syrie pour la Paix Facebook page)

How does Shaikh respond to Haddad’s summary dismissal of the suffering of the people of West Aleppo, under siege for over four years and a constant target for the “moderate rebel” snipers, missiles and explosive bullets? She moves on. She does not even register this familiar dehumanization of 1.5 million civilians in the Syrian government controlled West Aleppo.  She tacitly approves Haddad’s reducing of their armed militant imprisonment and the daily Nusra Front-led slaughter of children and civilians to “pale insignificance”.

5: The Syrian “regime” is focused upon re-conquering Syria in its entirety. 

So the elected government and national army are defending their country & people against an illegal proxy intervention by hostile nations including the US, UK, EU, Gulf States, Turkey, Israel to name a few, and stand “accused” of  focusing upon reclaiming their country from the hordes of hostile nation-funded terrorist factions such as Nusra Front and ISIS and the gangs of so called lesser or “moderate” militants such as Ahrar Al Sham, brutal ethnic cleansing agents, working alongside Nusra Front, or Nour Al Din Zinki, the beheaders of 12 year old Palestinian child, Abdullah Issa.

A “re-conquering” that has the support of the majority of the Syrian people.

6: Al Nusra are no more.

Really?

aleppo-nusra
October 20th Murad Gazdiev reports in-fighting between hardline militant gangs. 

Pierre Le Corf, French national and humanitarian volunteer working on the East/West Aleppo borders, told Syria TV, on the 12th November, that all he sees on the frontlines are “black flags, nothing but black flags” (the emblem of Nusra Front). First part of the video is in Arabic, but Eva Bartlett and Pierre Le Corf speak in English. Watch 

Finally there is the now famous admission by US Defence Department’s Colonel Steve Warren in April 2016, stating clearly that it is Nusra Front that are the primary occupiers of East Aleppo.

7: The population of East Aleppo was 1.5 million before the “conflict”. Fleeing civilians fear torture and detainment in Government held areas.

It is well documented that West Aleppo covers 75% of the overall surface area of unified Aleppo. There are 1.5 million people living in West Aleppo, including an estimated 600,000 who managed to flee East Aleppo to take refuge in West Aleppo when the various terrorist and militant factions first invaded East Aleppo in 2012.

Sahloul fails to mention the 600,000 who fled to Syrian Government held West Aleppo and Shaikh fails to question his analysis, once again her pseudo neutrality gives credibility to questionable fact.

Sahloul makes the outlandish claim that the Syrian people fear going into Syrian Government held areas. Shaikh allows him to airbrush the 90% of IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) who have fled to precisely, the Syrian Government held areas.

Shaikh’s abject failure to question this narrative is made doubly reprehensible when we consider that even the Carnegie Middle East Centre, with Muslim Brotherhood, hardline Syrian opposition members on its committee, such as Bassma Kodmani, grudgingly admits that:

However, it seems clear that most of the population movement inside the country is headed away from insecure and impoverished rebel-held territory toward more stable and economically functioning government-controlled areas.”

This analysis does not bear out Sahloul’s claims that the displaced civilians avoid Government held areas because they will be detained or tortured.

Neither does this Democracy Now! report or Sahloul’s testimony mention the extensive reconciliation negotiations that are being carried out across Syria, by reconciliation minister, Dr Ali Haider (a Syrian opposition leader of the Syria Social Nationalist Party), in an attempt to broker peace with the various militant or terrorist factions and to restore peace to the region.

img_2786
July 2016:A visit to the Syria Trust Development where families of “rebels”and displaced Syrian civilians are being re-educated, rehabilitated and are given help and advice on re-integration or re-settlement into areas liberated by the SAA. (Photo: Vanessa Beeley)

When in Syria very recently, I personally witnessed the efforts being made by various Syrian state institutions and NGOs to rehabilitate the families of “rebels” back into society and to give them housing, financial support, free education, health care and new skills training to enable them to be self sufficient.

None of this is discussed, Shaikh barely registers the incendiary accusations that are being made by Sahloul and her lack of response ensures that these claims are imprinted on the minds of Democracy Now!‘s audience.  An audience that Democracy Now! has criminally misled for the duration of the almost six year, dirty NATO & Gulf State and Israeli war on Syria.

8: The Syrian Government is conducting an ethnic cleansing operation by removing armed “rebels” from liberated areas.

In response to this point Shaikh could have cited a huge number of cases where the Syrian inhabitants of cities, towns and villages invaded or occupied by US coalition-armed and funded extremist militant factions, have demanded the removal of what are now primarily foreign mercenary forces that have besieged, massacred, tortured, abused and kidnapped many of their family members, particularly children.

There are too many to list so it is mind-blowing that Shaikh could not find one example to counter another nefarious statement from Sahloul.

I would recommend a read of Eva Bartlett’s account of the ancient Christian village, Maaloula. This is a factual account of invasion, occupation and eventual liberation from both local Muslim Brotherhood factions initially known as the FSA (Free Syrian Army) who turned on their own neighbours, before being reinforced by the Nusra Front/Al Qaeda in Syria. This is a story of the subjugation of a Christian community seeped in history and heritage by extremist fanatics who thought nothing of shooting their erstwhile neighbours in the head for refusing to convert to Islam.

Eva Bartlett: Overcoming Savagery, Treachery, Maaloula’s Heroic Defenders Fight for the Future.

9: There is a rift between the US think tanks who support the Syrian “revolution” in order to ensure Israel’s security in the region and the true “revolution” supporters who are interested primarily in the well being of all Syrians.

“The true ‘revolution’ supporters who are interested primarily in the well being of ALL Syrians”.  Really?

Again, here, Shaikh allows the eradication and dehumanization of the majority of the Syrian people who have time and time again rejected the concept of a ‘revolution’ and who support the Syrian State, the Syrian Army and its allies in their resistance against the NATO & Gulf state driven, external, extremist factions that are invading and occupying their country in supreme violation of all International Laws and UN Charters relating to state sovereignty.

Shaikh fails again and again in her role as a journalist.  This is a woeful dereliction of “duty” on the part of Democracy Now!

Why does she not question how the interests of seven year old Haider are served by the true “revolutionaries”? Who among them cared about Haider’s well-being? Haider lives in the village of Al Foua & neighbouring Kafarya, two marooned Shia Muslim villages in Idlib, a region largely occupied by Turkish controlled, Saudi funded, extremist factions such as Nusra Front & Ahrar al Sham. Kafarya and Foua have been under partial siege since 2011 and full siege since March 2015. They are being starved, shelled and sniped by the “revolutionaries” for their “well being”.

In reality, it is clear, their well-being is of no interest to the “revolution”.  The NATO & Gulf state-funded, extremist-led “revolution” is conducting a vicious programme of ethnic cleansing against these villages.

haider-kafarya-and-foua
7 year old Haider, shot by a US-backed “moderate rebel” sniper (Photo: supplied to 21st Century Wire by residents of Al Foua)

“On the 15th September, 7 year old Haider Ammar Al Hamoud, was shot through the stomach by an Ahrar Al Sham sniper, the US backed terrorist group besieging the Idlib villages of Kafarya and Foua. Haider was ignored by western media. 

His life-threatening injury did not merit any outcry from human rights organisations or the NATO-aligned media who ignore the deaths and injuries of tens of thousands of children in Syria because it does not serve their agenda to demonize the Syrian President, Bashar al Assad or the national armed forces.” ~ Syria: No “Dusty Boy” Outrage for 7 yr old Haider, Sniped by NATO Terrorists in Idlib Village of Foua

10: Trumps election and his stated support for President Assad is the final nail in the coffin of Syrian aspirations.

In reality, the majority of Syrian people inside Syria who have withstood almost six years of a proxy, filthy war, waged by NATO & Gulf states and Israel against their country, their resources, their families, their security, their history, their culture, their self-determination and their existence are overjoyed that finally the intervention train has been derailed and Clinton, the ultimate war harpy, did not make it into office.

There are those who believe that WWIII has been averted and perhaps now there is a chance that the US will not go to war with Russia on Syrian soil.

Shaikh does not even broach the alternatives to Sahloul’s statement. Another demonstration of ‘Democracy Now!s collusion with interventionism and the subtle, subliminal beating of war drums, by ommission and obscurantism.

Democracy Now! has been absorbed into corporate media.

Democracy Now! may have started life as an “independent” news source but its absorption into the foundation funded corporate media league happened long ago.

Democracy Now! is funded entirely through contributions from listeners, viewers, and foundations.” ~ Democracy Now!

“Serious questions have arisen about how Democracy Now!, begun and developed with the resources of Pacifica Radio and grants from the Carnegie Corporation, the Ford Foundation, the J.M. Kaplan Fund and others, suddenly became independent and the effective property of Amy Goodman without recompense to Pacifica. This transfer apparently included valuable assets such as trademarks, ownership of years of archived programs, affiliate station access, and more.” ~ Discover the Networks

There are further claims from Discover the Networks of indirect funding from criminal hedge fund manager, George Soros, who has a multitude of NGOs working inside and outside Syria to spin the web of deceit and propaganda against the Syrian government, President Bashar Al Assad and the Syrian Army.

Read 21st Century Wire’s article: George Soros, Anti-Syria Campaign Impresario

A lengthy analysis of the Soros funding of US media by America’s Media Watchdog, the Media Research Center  includes this statement:

“And that’s really just the beginning. That tally takes into account only a few of the bigger Soros-funded media operations. Many numbers simply aren’t available. ”Democracy Now!” – ”a daily TV/radio news program, hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez” – is known for its left-wing take on global news. Its vitriol ranges from attacks on Blackwater founder Erik Prince and supporters of Andrew Breitbart (whom it calls ”Electronic Brownshirts”), to claims the U.S. is opposed to Arab democracy. Just that one Soros-funded operation is heard ”on over 900 stations, pioneering the largest community media collaboration in the United States.” But it posts no formal audience numbers. Phone calls to ”Democracy Now!” were not returned.”

Why did Democracy Now! not return phone calls? 

There are those who argue that Democracy Now! are our allies and our “friends”, that we should collaborate with them and help to awaken them to the reality of the dirty war on Syria. So we did.

When Eva Bartlett and I were in Syria we were contacted by a DN “insider” in the US who was horrified by the Democracy Now! biased coverage of Syria’s externally imposed conflict. They contacted Democracy Now! on our behalf and asked that they interview Eva Bartlett and myself, particularly as we had both just left Syria after a lengthy stay, including time spent in Aleppo.

After some time, we received a reply from a DN producer.

Laura Gottesdiener had just written the following headline for Democracy Now! when our contact had written to her, mentioning my work on the White Helmets and suggesting Democracy Now! should interview me:

Syria: Rescue Workers Say Government Dropped Chlorine Bombs

“In Syria, volunteer rescue workers known as the “White Helmets” have accused the Syrian government of dropping chlorine bombs from helicopters onto a neighborhood of Aleppo. No one died, but a video posted by the White Helmets shows civilians struggling to breathe. The allegations have not been independently verified.”

Gottesdiener’s reply was:

“However, a few questions: I am seeing Vanessa as one of the main people who is accusing the White Helmets of being a US propaganda front, but I’m really not seeing a lot of other coverage of this.

Also, I’m really not seeing, except for Vanessa, anyone linking the White Helmets to Al Qaeda. And when you say Al Qaeda-linked, I’m assuming you’re referring to Al-Nusra, which was AQ linked but has since broken from AQ. Just clarifying here.

If there are more reports/links, can you pls send along? Ditto for Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. I understand it’s based in UK, not on the ground in Syria, but the Observatory almost always has news faster than anyone else. I have heard some murmurs about its anti-Assad slant, but not that it’s information is inaccurate. Pls let me know if you have any reliable sources that say otherwise.” (Emphasis added)

So Democracy Now! acted as an echo chamber for NATO-aligned propaganda.  They supported the rebranding of Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, Nusra Front, without a murmur of dissent. They dismissed the White Helmet research as the implied work of a lone wolf, conspiracy theorist journalist. They made the very clear statement that SOHR was a good source because of the speed of information received from them, no emphasis on accuracy. They heard “murmurs” regarding the partisan, anti-Assad nature of SOHR reports but were not dissuaded from using them or persuaded to find alternatives in the interest of objecivity.

Murmurs that were very clearly made, even by mainstream media, such as the Guardian, in 2012, ignored by Democracy Now! because speed is more important than accuracy or objectivity.

Needless to say, despite my replying and providing other sources of research on the White Helmets, no interview was forthcoming, for either myself or Eva Bartlett. We can only conclude that an alternative view that does not align with US regime-change-enabling propaganda is not going to be entertained by Democracy Now!

Conclusions

The interview discussed in this article, demonstrates perfectly that Democracy Now! are happy to speak to a Doctor, Sahloul, who has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, (an organisation known & exploited for its compliance with US neo-colonialist objectives), and was a former president of the Mosque Foundation, accused of financing terrorism & promoting extremism.

The following is taken from an article by Tony Cartalucci at New Eastern Outlook, after a previous interview of Dr Sahloul by Democracy Now! in April 2016:

According to its own website SAMS is provided with full support by the US State Department, millions of dollars’ worth of it. The website even includes a video by US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Powers, hailing SAMS as one of her “personal heroes.” Furthermore, Dr. Sahloul is said by those who know him in Chicago to be a member of the Muslim Brotherhood himself.

His alleged medical work would be the perfect cover for providing support to terrorist organisations which seek to divide and destroy Syria. All he has done with his Democracy Now interview is confirm that repeating the State Department’s unfounded narratives regarding “barrel bombs” and the use of “chlorine gas” by the Syrian government is a tactic used by the US to further this end.

dr-antaki

Why do Democracy Now! never interview Dr Nabil Antaki, an eminent gastroenterologist, based in West Aleppo who has fiercely opposed the propaganda being amplified by Dr Sahloul, a US resident and others like him receiving funding from foundations & think tanks focused on regime change in Syria.

Syria: Aleppo Doctor Demolishes Imperialist Propaganda and Media Warmongering

amy-and-juan
Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. (Photo: Democracy Now)

Democracy Now! makes the bold claim in its About section that it provides its audience with “access to people and perspectives rarely heard in the U.S.corporate-sponsored media, including independent and international journalists”.  Why then, did Democracy Now! fail to speak to independent journalists who had just returned from Syria?

“In addition, Democracy Now! hosts real debates–debates between people who substantially disagree”. Really? In this particular interview Democracy Now! fails to question, to verify or to provide an alternative view. It acts as a platform and a megaphone for propaganda.

Democracy Now! may still be considered a “friend” by those who grew up in the early, heady days of Amy Goodman’s much vaunted, independent idealism, but Democracy Now! is no friend to Syria.

Democracy Now! has proven itself the best friend of US neo-colonialism & global, overt or covert intervention and prime time supporters of the US murderous foreign policy in Syria. In the four years since Finian Cunningham first exposed the Democracy Now! alliance with corporate elite globalism and betrayal of its own principles of impartiality and objectivity, nothing has changed.

Democracy Now! continues on its foundation-gold-paved path towards promoting regime change in Syria and the ultimate destruction of Syria’s culture, society and secular state. It will not succeed, but when the the consensus changes as it is in the process of doing right now, Democracy Now! will be remembered for the voice they gave, not to the majority of the Syrian people, but to the extremist minority, funded, armed & expanded by the US, UK, EU, Israel, Turkey and despotic Gulf States that has ensured perpetual conflict, bloodshed and misery for the Syrian people for nigh on six years.

Democracy Now! is not speaking truth to power. Democracy Now! has given power to the lies that have decimated a sovereign nation and its courageous people.

Please watch, instead, a short video from Syrian Students of Aleppo University, supporting their Syrian national army in cleansing East Aleppo of their US coalition-funded & armed foreign mercenary, prison wardens, attackers and murderers of their families. For, anyone who spends time inside Syria, or speaks to the majority of the Syrian people inside Syria, even the unarmed opposition, will tell you that this is not an isolated sentiment or propaganda. It is reality, the Syrian Arab Army is the Syrian people: Watch 

Video Player

00:00
01:20

***

SEE ALSO: WHO ARE SYRIA’S WHITE HELMETS?

READ MORE SYRIA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Syria Files

SUPPORT 21WIRE and its work by Subscribing and becoming a Member @ 21WIRE.TV

Is the US controlling Israel or is Israel controlling the US? Tell us what you think.

Who is Pulling Trump’s Strings in the US???

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1-Israel-ISIS

Who is pulling whose strings?  Obama or Netanyahu? Is the US controlling Israel or is Israel controlling the US? Tell us what you think.

How can we forget when Obama just started his first term in office in 2011, when he told the world he was going to take the Palestine borders back to 1967.

Israel has said endorsing the 1967 borders would prejudge negotiations. Obama also took pains to show respect for Israel’s views ahead of his meetings Friday with Netanyahu soon after.

Still, Mr. Obama’s tough stand could set the stage for a tense meeting Friday when Netanyahu goes to the White House.

In a statement following Mr. Obama’s remarks, Israeli Prime Minister rejected the president’s endorsement, and said a return to his country’s 1967 borders would spell disaster for the Jewish State.

Calling the 1967 lines “indefensible,” Netanyahu said such a withdrawal would jeopardize Israel’s security and leave major West Bank settlements outside Israeli borders.

Round one to Netanyahu, when Obama bows down to the wishes of Israel and one election promise out of the window.

Whatever Israel asks for Israel gets and we saw this in April 2014 when Obama signed away an additional $225 million in U.S. taxpayer dollars for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.

The U.S. has provided hundreds of millions of dollars for Iron Dome in the past. The new package is intended to replenish Israel’s capabilities.

beto_orourke

 

Congress approved the money last week before lawmakers left for their annual summer break. Obama signed the bill in the late afternoon in the Oval Office with a handful of photographers present.

Congressman O’Rourke was one of the few who voted against an aid package to Israel. Overwhelmed by the swift avalanche of Jewish criticism, the young man won’t ever make the same ‘mistake’ again.

It took only one wrong vote to teach a freshman Democrat from Texas how sensitive, and even wrathful, the Jewish community can be when it comes to Israel.

But the real story of what happened to Rep. Beto O’Rourke did not stop with the angry reaction he got when he cast one of only eight votes in Congress against special funding for Israel’s Iron Dome rocket defense system during the recent Gaza war.

It was almost a textbook case of how the establishment pro-Israel lobby works its magic — and a story not yet completed in early September, when The New Yorker magazine took note of what had happened to O’Rourke.

In an in-depth report on the work of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the large Washington-based lobby, during the Gaza war, New Yorker writer Connie Bruck recounted the blasts that rained down on the El Paso congressman following his vote.

The reactions, as Bruck reported, included a mass email blast labeling O’Rourke as “an anti-Israel congressman” and denouncing his vote as “shameful.” Critical local press coverage included a public comment by one of his own Jewish donors to the El Paso Times that in voting as he did, O’Rourke “chooses to side with the rocket launchers and terror tunnel builders” of Hamas.

But since then, behind the scenes, what has followed is a long process of mutual outreach and hours of hashing out differences, until the final act, which is now in the works: an El Al flight to Tel Aviv on the pro-Israel lobby’s dime.

“He’s a good guy, but he didn’t know how the Jewish community would react,” said Daniel Cheifec, executive director of the Jewish Federation of El Paso. “Now he knows that this community is not going to be very happy if he screws up again.”

O’Rourke, in fact, had no prior record of criticizing or voting against Israel. He did not even oppose more funding for the Iron Dome system. He only opposed rushing through the large appropriation with no debate as members of Congress were hurrying home for the summer recess when a more considered vote to boost the program was coming in October.

Israel, which receives more than $3.6 billion per year in various forms of aid from Washington, is already the single largest recipient of American largesse. But the August 1 House vote appropriating $225 million to Israel above and beyond its usual aid was meant to allow the Jewish state to restock on Iron Dome interceptors that had proved effective in countering Hamas rocket attacks into the country.

Congressional leaders squeezed the vote into the legislative schedule just as members were packing up to leave for their summer recess. The overwhelming support of 395 representatives with only eight voting against was not unusual for a pro-Israel piece of legislation, especially one that deals with military assistance at a time of war.

“I really don’t understand how he makes his decision,” Rabbi Stephen Leon of Congregation B’Nai Zion, a local synagogue, told the El Paso Times even before The New Yorker piece picked up on the pushback. “It’s a great, great disappointment to the Jewish community here. We had meetings with him prior, to talk to him about the importance of Israel, and the way he voted makes very little sense.”

El Paso, a city with a 70% Hispanic majority, has a relatively small Jewish community, estimated at 4,000, amid a population of some 862,000. But Jews are well represented on O’Rourke’s donor list, with local businessman Stephen L. Feinberg among the top contributors to his campaign.

O’Rourke, in a Facebook posting, tried to explain his vote. “I could not in good conscience vote for borrowing $225 million more to send to Israel, without debate and without discussion, in the midst of a war that has cost more than a thousand civilian lives already, too many of them children,” he wrote. He also stressed that with an aid package for Israel up for a vote in two months, he felt no need to rush more spending without adequate debate when Congress was all but empty.

To members of the Jewish community who later spoke with him, O’Rourke also explained that he was one of the last to vote in the roll call, at a point at which it was clear the bill was cruising toward passage. He consequently felt free to cast a vote on principle, knowing it would not impact the final outcome. O’Rourke believes that every appropriation should be properly debated.

Veteran Democrat Jim Moran of Virginia, who is known for refusing to vote along the lines of the pro-Israel lobby, tried to warn O’Rourke. “I tried to find him on the floor, but I couldn’t,” he told The New Yorker. “I’m afraid he may have a tough race in November.”

At O’Rourke’s office, emails flooded his inbox. The El Paso Jewish federation sent out an alert to members, urging them to take action. It contained O’Rourke’s contact information and a suggested sample letter. Another email, for which no one will now take responsibility, circulated among Jewish activists urging supporters not to re-elect him.

This threat is all but empty, since O’Rourke faces no real challenge in his strongly Democratic district.

Beto (short for Robert) O’Rourke, 41, is a fourth-generation El Paso native who started off his career in a teenage rock band. He studied at Columbia University and returned to his hometown, where he ran for city council before moving on to the national scene. His political focus has been on immigration and veteran affairs, two key issues for a border town that hosts a large army base. But he won more recognition for his call to legalize marijuana, an uncommon voice in the state of Texas. Foreign policy has never been a top priority.

Hours after the controversial vote, O’Rourke launched a damage-control campaign that proved to be effective. He reached out to Jewish donors and friends who were more than happy to start the healing process.

Politicians are meant to be representing the people who have elected them, but in the US it seems that this is not the case. Unless you vote on what Israel wants you to vote for, you get the wrath of the Jews and Israel on you.

HOPELESS HAWKS: U.S. Congress Cheers Netanyahu’s Hatred of Iran

Now we have just witnessed Benjamin Netanyahu addressing Congress in the style of a State of the Union speech, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won 41 rounds of applause as U.S. lawmakers eagerly enlisted in the Israeli-Saudi conflict against Iran and its allies – an enthusiasm that may well entangle the U.S. military in more wars in the Middle East.

Netanyahu declared:

“In the Middle East, Iran now dominates four Arab capitals, Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa. And if Iran’s aggression is left unchecked, more will surely follow. So, at a time when many hope that Iran will join the community of nations, Iran is busy gobbling up the nations. We must all stand together to stop Iran’s march of conquest, subjugation and terror.”

Netanyahu’s reference to “Iran’s aggression” was curious since Iran has not invaded another country for centuries. In 1980, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq – at the urging of Saudi Arabia – invaded Iran. During that bloody eight-year war, Israel – far from being an enemy of Iran – became Iran’s principal arms supplier. Israel drew in the Reagan administration, which approved some of the Israeli-brokered arms deals, leading to the Iran-Contra scandal in 1986.

In other words, Israel was aiding Iran after the Islamic Revolution overthrew the Shah in 1979 and during the time when Netanyahu blamed Iran for the attack on the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983 and various acts of terrorism allegedly committed by Hezbollah, a Shiite militia in Lebanon. Israel only shifted toward hostility against Shiite-ruled Iran in the 1990s as Israel gradually developed a de facto alliance with Sunni-ruled and oil-rich Saudi Arabia, which views Iran as its chief regional rival.

Netanyahu’s choice of Arab cities supposedly conquered by Iran was strange, too. Baghdad is the capital of Iraq where the U.S. military invaded in 2003 to overthrow Saddam Hussein and his Sunni-dominated government — on Netanyahu’s recommendation. After the invasion, President George W. Bush installed a Shiite-dominated government. So, whatever influence Iran has in Baghdad is the result of a U.S. invasion that Netanyahu personally encouraged.

More recently, Iran has supported the embattled Iraqi government in its struggle against the murderous Islamic State militants who seized large swaths of Iraqi territory last summer. Indeed, Iraqi officials have credited Iran with playing a crucial role in blunting the Islamic State, the terrorists whom President Obama has identified as one of the top security threats facing the United States.

Netanyahu cited Damascus, too, where Iran has helped the Syrian government in its struggle against the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front. In other words, Iran is assisting the internationally recognized government of Syria hold off two major terrorist organizations. But Netanyahu portrays that as Iran “gobbling up” a nation.

The Israeli prime minister also mentioned Beirut, Lebanon, and Sanaa, Yemen, but those were rather bizarre references, too, since Lebanon is governed by a multi-ethnic arrangement that includes a number of religious and political factions. Hezbollah is one and it has close ties to Iran, but it is stretching the truth to say that Iran “dominates” Beirut or Lebanon.

Similarly, in Sanaa, the Houthis, a Shiite-related sect, have taken control of Yemen’s capital and have reportedly received some help from Iran, but the Houthis deny those reports and are clearly far from under Iranian control. The Houthis also have vowed to work with the Americans to carry on the fight against Yemen’s Al-Qaeda affiliate [AQAP].

Leading the Battle

Indeed, Iran and these various Shiite-linked movements have been among the most effective in battling Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, while Israel’s Saudi friends have been repeatedly linked to funding and supporting these Sunni terrorist organizations. In effect, what Netanyahu asked the Congress to do – and apparently successfully – was to join Saudi Arabia and Israel in identifying Iran, not Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, as America’s chief enemy in the Middle East.

That would put the U.S.-Iranian cooperation in combating Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in jeopardy. It could lead to victories by these Sunni terrorists in Syria and possibly even Iraq, a situation that almost surely would force the U.S. military to return in force to the region. No U.S. president could politically accept Damascus or Baghdad in the hands of openly terrorist organizations vowing to carry the fight to Europe and the United States.

Yet, that was the logic — or lack thereof — in Netanyahu’s appeal to Congress. As he put it, “when it comes to Iran and ISIS, the enemy of your enemy is your enemy.” He also argued that Iran was a greater threat than the Islamic State, a position that Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren has expressed, too.

“The greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime [in Syria] as the keystone in that arc,” Oren told the Jerusalem Post in a 2013 interview. “We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran” – even if the “bad guys” were affiliated with al-Qaeda.

In June 2014, then speaking as a former ambassador at an Aspen Institute conference, Oren expanded on his position, saying Israel would even prefer a victory by the brutal Islamic State over continuation of the Iranian-backed Assad in Syria. “From Israel’s perspective, if there’s got to be an evil that’s got to prevail, let the Sunni evil prevail,” Oren said.

Netanyahu made a similar point: “The difference is that ISIS is armed with butcher knives, captured weapons and YouTube, whereas Iran could soon be armed with intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear bombs.”

Of course, Iran has disavowed any interest in developing a nuclear bomb — and both the U.S. and Israeli intelligence communities agree that Iran has not been working on a bomb. Further, the negotiated agreement between Iran and leading world powers would impose strict oversight on Iran’s civilian nuclear program, leaving little opportunity to cheat.

Instead, Netanyahu wants the United States to lead an aggressive campaign to further strangle Iran’s economy with the goal of forcing some future “regime change.” The principal beneficiary of that strategy would likely be Saudi Arabia, which has served as the proselytizing center for the reactionary Wahabbi version of Sunni Islam, which inspired Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda.

Elements of the Saudi royal family also have long been known to support Islamist militants, including forces associated with bin Laden. Earlier this year, the New York Times reported that convicted al-Qaeda operative Zacarias Moussaoui identified leading members of the Saudi government as financiers of the terrorist network.

According to the story, Moussaoui said in a prison deposition that he was directed in 1998 or 1999 by Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan to create a digital database of the group’s donors and that the list included Prince Turki al-Faisal, then Saudi intelligence chief; Prince Bandar bin Sultan, longtime Saudi ambassador to the United States; Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, a prominent billionaire investor; and many leading clerics.

Moussaoui also said he discussed a plan to shoot down President George W. Bush’s Air Force One with a Stinger missile with a staff member at the Saudi Embassy in Washington, at a time when Bandar was the ambassador to the United States and considered so close to the Bush family that his nickname was “Bandar Bush.”

Moussaoui claimed, too, that he passed letters between Osama bin Laden and then Crown Prince Salman, who recently became king upon the death of his brother King Abdullah.

While the Saudi government denied Moussaoui’s accusations, Saudi and other Persian Gulf oil sheikdoms have been identified in recent years as financial backers of Sunni militants fighting in Syria to overthrow Assad’s largely secular regime, with al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front the major rebel force benefiting from this support.

Shared Israeli Interests

The Israelis also have found themselves on the side of these Sunni militants in Syria because the Israelis share the Saudi view that Iran and the so-called “Shiite crescent” – reaching from Tehran to Beirut – is the greatest threat to their interests.

That attitude of favoring Sunni militants over Assad has taken a tactical form with Israeli forces launching attacks inside Syria that benefit Nusra Front. For instance, on Jan. 18, 2015, Israel attacked Lebanese-Iranian advisers assisting Assad’s government in Syria, killing several members of Hezbollah and an Iranian general. These military advisers were engaged in operations against Nusra Front.

Meanwhile, Israel has refrained from attacking Nusra militants who have seized Syrian territory near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. One source familiar with U.S. intelligence information on Syria told me that Israel has a “non-aggression pact” with Nusra forces, who have even received medical treatment at Israeli hospitals.

Israel and Saudi Arabia have found themselves on the same side in other regional struggles, including support for the military’s ouster of the elected Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, but most importantly they have joined forces in their hostility toward Shiite-ruled Iran.

Now that all calls for the US to invade Syria fade away and the longer the war goes on, the more lies are surfacing and the call for war is getting more desperate. With Netanyahu calling for war in Iran and Syria and Obama reviving the Cold War with Russia.

Unless Europe wakes up to what Obama and Netanyahu are up to there are going to be more wars in Europe. When are the US taxpayers going revolt against their hard earned dollars going to Israel and wars. What is the point of having elected leaders, when they can only do what Israel tells them to.

Who is running the US and who is controlling your police? The biggest enemy of Obama isn’t Iran, it should be his own people, that he is continually lying to.

Netanyahu has just spoken to Congress, let’s see how long it takes for him to get exactly what he wants. WAR.

FoS

#US, #Palestine #News: #Trump and his #US represntitive at the #UN urges withdrawal of an anti-#Israel #UNReport…

cia-contro-mossad1

#US, #Palestine #News: #Trump and his #US represntitive at the #UN urges withdrawal of an anti-#Israel #UNReport…

16938938_402410353452661_963774886403576377_n

http://adam1baum.blogspot.com/2017/03/trump-and-his-us-represntitive-at-un.html?spref=tw

9/11 Widow: ‘Why Is Trump Meeting with My Husband’s Murderer?’

9/11 Widow: ‘Why Is Trump Meeting with My Husband’s Murderer?’

“The remains I received included his two arms, a few fingers, and his wedding band.”

Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the White House today

Saudi Arabia is testing President Trump’s “America First” promise by demanding U.S. alignment with Saudi interests in the Mideast, a betrayal that Trump should reject, says 9/11 widow Kristen Breitweiser in a letter to the President.

Dear President Trump,

This week you are scheduled to meet with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. As a 9/11 widow who has fought for more than 15 years for truth, justice, accountability and transparency with regard to the murder of my husband, Ron, I have a considerable interest in your upcoming meeting with the Deputy Crown Prince.

King Salman of Saudi Arabia and his entourage arrive to greet President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

First, foremost and for good reason, I fear that the Deputy Crown Prince will not be forthright with you about his Kingdom’s role in the 9/11 attacks and global terrorism.Indeed, many in the Kingdom refuse to tell the truth about their continued, long-standing, and well-documented clandestine, logistical and financial support of radical Islamist terrorist groups that target and kill innocent Americans.

For example, last summer when the infamous 2002 Joint Inquiry of Congress’ “28 pages” were finally released, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir claimed that the Saudis were exonerated and that the matter surrounding the Saudi role in the 9/11 attacks was “now finished.”

In reality, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its role in facilitating the 9/11 attacks is far from over. And, in truth, the “28 pages” – actually 29 pages of the 832-page report – prove to be quite illuminating, devastating and damning towards that end:

On page 415: “While in the United States, some of the September 11 hijackers were in contact with, and received support and assistance from, individuals who may be connected to the Saudi Government.… [A]t least two of those individuals were alleged by some to be Saudi intelligence officers.”

On page 417: One of the individuals identified in the pages as a financial supporter of two of the 9/11 hijackers, Osama Bassnan, later received a “significant amount of cash” from “a member of the Saudi Royal Family” during a 2002 trip to Houston.On page 418: “Another Saudi national with close ties to the Saudi Royal Family, [deleted], is the subject of FBI counterterrorism investigations.”

On pages 418 and 419: Detained al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaida had in his phone book the unlisted number for the security company that managed the Colorado residence of the then-Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan.

On page 421: “a [deleted], dated July 2, 2002, [indicates] ‘incontrovertible evidence that there is support for these terrorists inside the Saudi Government.’”

On page 426: Bassnan’s wife was receiving money “from Princess Haifa Bint Sultan,” the wife of the Saudi ambassador. (Her correct name is actually Princess Haifa bin Faisal.)

On page 436: The general counsel of the U.S. Treasury Department, David Aufhauser, testified that “offices [of the Saudi charity al-Haramain] have significant contacts with extremists, Islamic extremists.” CIA officials also testified “that they were making progress on their investigations of al-Haramain.… [T]he head of the central office is complicit in supporting terrorism, and it also raised questions about [then-Saudi Interior Minister] Prince Nayef.”Holding the Saudis Accountable

Fortunately, as you know President Trump, JASTA (Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act) was enacted into law — overriding President Obama’s veto — on Sept. 28, 2016 and the 9/11 Families were given the right to hold the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia accountable in a court of law for its alleged role in the 9/11 attacks.

Prince Bandar bin Sultan, then Saudi ambassador to the United States, meeting with President George W. Bush in Crawford, Texas, on Aug. 27, 2002. (White House photo)

Thanks to discovery and subpoena power, the 9/11 families hope to unearth and reveal a panoply of compelling information surrounding the Saudi role in the 9/11 attacks. Suffice it to say, we do not believe the Saudis should be considered an ally of America.

Unsurprisingly, the Saudis continue to wage war against the 9/11 Families and JASTA by paying millions to their 14 powerful, insider Washington DC lobbying firms, like the Podesta Group, to repeal JASTA and rob us of our day in court.In addition, some of the Saudis’ key legislative supporters who threaten to repeal JASTA are Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain. Sadly, McCain and Graham choose to protect the Saudis rather than American victims of terrorism.

Quite horrifically, one of the Saudi lobbyists — Qorvis — was recently caught trying to dupe, manipulate, and pit U.S. veterans against the 9/11 families. According to media reports, Qorvis offered vets an all-expense-paid trip to Washington (staying at the Trump Hotel) to lobby against JASTA without telling the vets that it was Saudi money funding their trip. Given that many of these vets had joined the military in the wake of 9/11, the discovery that they were now being duped into “working” for the enemy they enlisted and risked their lives to fight against, was extremely upsetting. Pitting American veterans against American victims is the lowest of the low — yet, there seems to be no lengths that the Saudis will not go.

Which brings me to my last point — the Saudi Aramco IPO on Wall Street. Mr. President, my husband was burnt to death on September 11th. The remains I received included his two arms, a few fingers, and his wedding band.

Thousands of innocent people were brutally slaughtered and turned to ash in broad daylight on that horrific day, now more than 15 years ago. The notion that the Saudis — whom the 9/11 Families are currently trying to hold accountable in a court of law for their role in the murder of our loved ones — want to return to the scene of their own alleged crime to make billions of dollars is immoral and simply untenable.

As my fellow 9/11 widows and I have repeatedly said—not over our husbands’ dead bodies.President Trump, you have structured your campaign and current policies around being for America First. The 9/11 Families certainly hope that you remain steadfast in your belief that Americans must be protected, supported, and heard, first and foremost above all others—particularly those like the Saudis who fund radical Islamic terrorists that target and kill Americans.


Source: A blog post at Huffington Post

Kristen Breitweiser is a 9/11 widow and activist who – working with other 9/11 widows known collectively as the “Jersey Girls” – pressured the U.S. government to conduct a formal investigation into the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Follow Kristen Breitweiser on Twitter: www.twitter.com/kdbreitweiser

WikiLeaks, the CIA and the sad reality of our world

The release by WikiLeaks of Vault 7, a file with more than eight thousand documents detailing some of the techniques that the CIA uses to access information on iOS or Android devices, on our computers, as well as the use of smart TVs to listen to conversations and other equally chilling practices is undoubtedly worrying and revives tensions between technology companies and government spy agencies… but it is hardly surprising.

In reality, it is simply further evidence that spy agencies adapt to the surrounding ecosystem which now consists of devices permanently connected through networks. Today’s “spy kit” no longer consists of a magnifying glass, a flashlight, a pistol or a fake beard, but a computer and an internet connection.

The role of a government espionage agency is to spy. That this espionage is carried out to guarantee the security of a nation or to preserve a certain tyrannical regime is another question that depends on the concept of politics, liberties or ethics of the government of each country. In other words, being scandalized because there are spies or because the spies are engaged in spying is at best naive and at worst a sign of idiocy, and wondering why these spies adapt their methods to the times we live is absurd: Given that we are supposed to accept — although no one asked us — that governments have to have spies and that we have to pay for them with our taxpayers’ money, would we prefer them to continue using outdated tools and methods? Do you want to fight modern spies with sophisticated online tools from a foreign country with agents equipped with magnifying glasses and fake beards?

Obviously, the answer to that question is a very big “it depends”. In the first place, because we would obviously prefer a world without spies. But since since that isn’t going to happen, we will have to consider the different scenarios. If in a country we understand that spies are used to catch terrorists, drug traffickers, criminals or other threats, we will surely want these spies to have the best tools available, and to possess the expertise to invent any they need. If, on the contrary, we think that spies are used to control us, to detect protests or insurgency, to persecute those who think differently and to ignore our most basic human rights, the idea that these spies have the best tools is deeply worrying. It is not the same to live in a democracy where we expect spies to be able to detect a terrorist cell preparing an attack in the center of the city, as to be a homosexual in an Islamic country, or a pro-human rights activist living in a dictatorship, or a non-believer living in a theocracy.

The only thing that the latest WikiLeaks revelations show is that the world is as complex as it was twenty years ago, or probably even more. Twenty years ago government agencies were eavesdropping on our phones and our conversations with microphones, by reading our lips, our letters or tracking our trips: now they tap into our connected electronic devices, which will soon be all devices. As much as we may be concerned or outraged, this is the reality of our world. Things have moved on since the Cold War, and as technology companies strive to use ever more advanced technologies to protect their users, spies will, in turn, find more and better techniques to keep spying on them. Like it or not, spies gonna spy.

Are these leaks good or evil? On the one hand, they lead us to a more transparent society, to understand much better what happens to our privacy and to our data, to put pressure on both the spies and the tech companies (thus leading to further innovation), and to help clarify if there were any wrongdoings (such as spying on innocent citizens without a warrant, as it clearly seems to be the case). On the other hand, they contribute to generate a collective state of psychosis that could collide with our freedom to do ordinary things, and could serve as an example, even a guide, to spies in less developed countries, with all the consequences to citizens in those countries that this possibility may entail. The leaks are not good or evil: they just happen. But if you ask me, I rather live in a world where WikiLeaks exists and plays a significant role in controlling certain behaviors.

Furthermore, we must appreciate the efforts of technology companies to fix the security holes that have allowed spies to spy, and try to be pragmatic and, above all, see things in perspective: most of us, average Joes or Janes who live in democracies, are probably not spied on. What’s more, despite of what was being implied or said yesterday, the CIA has not been able to crack Signal’s encryption, nor WhatsApp’s, or Telegram’s, nor many others. Instead, what they have found are methods to access the devices that originate or receive messages, which can allow them to read those messages at the point of origin or destination. So we don’t yet have to delete apps we thought were safe, and besides, most of us are using them for things that are of no interest whatsoever for the spies of our governments. If you are being spied on and haven’t done anything wrong, then be worried. But not about the spies… about your government! As ever, the problem lies not in technology, but in who uses it and why.


(En español, aquí)