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Syria’s Secular and Islamist Rebels: Who Are the Saudis and the Qataris Arming

23 Sep

Source: TIME Magazine.

September 18, 2012 5:45 am

Vast swaths of northern Syria, especially in the province of Idlib, have slipped out of the hands of President Bashar Assad, if not quite out of his reach. The area is now a de facto liberated zone, though the daily attacks by Damascus’ air force and the shelling from the handful of checkpoints and bases regime forces have fallen back to are reminders that the rebel hold on the territory remains fluid and fragile.

What is remarkable is that this substantial strip of “free” Syria has been patched together in the past 18 months by military defectors, students, tradesmen, farmers and pharmacists who have not only withstood the Syrian army’s withering fire but in some instances repelled it using a hodgepodge of limited, light weaponry. The feat is even more amazing when one considers the disarray among the outside powers supplying arms to the loosely allied band of rebels.

As TIME reports here, disorder and distrust plague two of the rebels’ international patrons: Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The two Gulf powerhouses are no longer on the same page when it comes to determining who among the plethora of mushrooming Syrian rebel groups should be armed. The rift surfaced in August, with the alleged Saudi and Qatari representatives in charge of funnelling free weaponry to the rebels clearly backing different factions among the groups — including various shades of secular and Islamist militias — under the broad umbrella that is the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

 

The middlemen of the two countries operate out of Turkey, the regional military power. Ankara has been quite public with its denunciation of Assad even as it denies any involvement in shuffling weapons across the border to Syrian rebels. It claims its territory is not being used to do so. And yet, as TIME reported in June, a secretive group operates something like a command center in Istanbul, directing the distribution of vital military supplies believed to be provided by Saudi Arabia and Qatar and transported with the help of Turkish intelligence to the Syrian border and then to the rebels. Further reporting has revealed more details of the operation, the politics and favoritism that undermine the task of creating a unified rebel force out of the wide array of groups trying to topple the Assad regime.

(The FSA is nominally headed by Riad al-As’aad, who is based in Turkey. Neither As’aad nor his chief FSA rival General Mustafa Sheikh are party to the Istanbul control room that supplies and arms rebels who operate under the FSA banner. The two men each have their own sources of funding and are independently distributing money and weapons to selected FSA units.)

According to sources who have dealt with him, Saudi Arabia’s man in the Istanbul control center is a Lebanese politician named Okab Sakr (Lebanese MP). He belongs to the Future Movement, the organization of former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, which has a history of enmity with Damascus. The party has not made Sakr available to TIME, denies his involvement in any weapons deals and insists that Sakr is in Belgium “on leave” from his political duties.

However, he apparently was in the southern Turkish city of Antakya in late August. A TIME inquiry with an Antakya hotel confirms Sakr was in the area at the time. According to rebel sources who dealt with him, the Lebanese politician was there overseeing the distribution of batches of supplies — small consignments of 50,000 Kalashnikov bullets and several dozen rocket-propelled grenades — to at least four different FSA groups in Idlib province as well as larger consignments to other areas including Homs. The FSA sources also say he met with some commanders but not others — a selectivity that led to much chagrin.

That kind of favoritism has caused problems on the ground in many ways. According to FSA sources, prominent activists and members of the Istanbul control room, Sakr was mainly responsible for designating the representatives in Syria’s 14 provinces to whom the Istanbul center would funnel small batches of light weapons — Kalashnikov rifles, BKC machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and ammunition — to reach FSA groups operating in each area. But the 20 or so Syrians selected to distribute armaments (some areas, like Damascus, have more than one representative) were not all effective. These representatives were “supposed to deliver the support inside, but they did not have a presence on the ground. They weren’t known,” says an influential U.S.-based Syrian activist with wide contacts inside Syria who played a role in setting up the Istanbul operations room. “I saw this weak point, so I connected Okab to people I knew were working on the ground. And I wasn’t the only one to do this. Others did too, because we wanted the room to succeed.”

But the selectivity has bred further favoritism in the distribution of arms. “Those who received goods would distribute them as they wanted. They started sending to people and saying, ‘This is a gift from me to you,’ ” a member of the control room representing eastern Syria told TIME. Other representatives were blunter, seeking pledges of loyalty from FSA groups inside the country before delivering the goods. To try to alleviate the problem, the provincial representatives were cycled in and out of the room’s operations, but the problems remained. “The weapons are all being distributed in secret,” says one fighter inside Syria, angrily, “and what is secret will stay unclear.”

The situation is compounded by Qatar’s man — a major who defected from Assad’s army, who has not yet responded to TIME’s request for comment. The Qataris want to focus on aiding the regional military councils, FSA groupings within Syria set up earlier this year partly in order to get around the favoritism of the representatives. (There are at least 10 military councils scattered throughout the country.) Goods would be delivered to a council and then distributed to the brigades under its umbrella. In practice, it wasn’t quite as easy or smooth. “We were given lists by brigade leaders of their men, but we stopped believing the numbers,” says a member of the Istanbul room from Syria’s Idlib province. However, the Saudis, via Okab Sakr, appear to want to support only certain groups within the councils and not others.

In the town of Bdeeta in Idlib province — which happens to be the hometown of Riad al-As’aad — rebel fighters complain bitterly about the lack of assistance. “We are licking our plates. We beg for salt,” says Abu Mar’iye, who heads the Martyrs of Ibditha group in the tiny town, home to some 2,000 people. “It’s not enough. Even the weapons that arrive, it’s like a drop, just enough so the fighting continues, so we can kill each other but not win.”

The men claim that groups with higher media profiles — those that produce the most sensational snippets of amateur video, the ones with the most YouTube hits — receive the largest share of the spoils, regardless of the strategic importance of their operations. The videos serve as advertisements to solicit funding and weapons not only from the Istanbul command center but also from private donors including clerics in the Gulf with massive fundraising abilities. “They taught us, Hit, film it, I’ll support you,” says a fighter named Nasr.

 

Colonel Afif Suleiman, the head of the Idlib Military Council, a grouping of 16 military units from across the vast province, is unhappy with the support he gets from the control room. He is angry with Sakr, who, he says, “got involved in the issue of weapons to split our ranks, to divide the revolutionaries.” Sakr, he says, recently “chose three people on our council and supported them. I won’t name them. They are not the largest units. There is one big group, but the others are just regular ones,” Suleiman tells TIME. “He formed a rift within the council, and we are working to heal this rift. We clarified the issue to our Saudi brothers about Okab. They promised that there will be no support, either military or financial, except via the councils. This is what they recently promised us.”

To complicate things further, the Qataris reportedly have strong ties to the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, while the Saudis “don’t want any ties to anything called Muslim Brothers,” says Ahmad Zeidan, the nom de guerre of a member of the Idlib military council. According to several sources, the large group in the Idlib military council that Sakr supported — to the aggravation of Suleiman — is Jamal Maarouf’s Martyrs of Syria Battalion, because it “has a more neutral view of the Brothers,” a U.S.-based activist says.

The other big group in the Idlib military council is Ahmad Abu Issa’s Suqoor al-Sham, an Islamist group based in Jabal al-Zawya. Abu Issa is also no great friend of the Brotherhood. On Aug. 19, he announced his withdrawal from an Islamist coalition because he said the Brotherhood politicized it by naming it after their party rather than calling it something that reflected the diverse nature of the grouping.

It’s debatable how much support the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) has within Syria, both politically and militarily, given that since the 1980s it has been a capital offense to be a member of the party. There has been much talk that the MB has little influence on the ground and that it will provide military and logistical support only in exchange for pledges of loyalty, part of its attempt to beef up its numbers. It’s a claim vigorously denied by Molham Aldrobi, an executive member of the MB and a founding member of the Syrian National Council (SNC), the exiled political group that tried to represent the opposition early on. “This is absolutely not true. We do not discriminate based on loyalty to the MB,” he told TIME from his home in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. “The MB does exist in the ground. We work under the FSA umbrella,” he said, although he would not disclose the number of units, nor where within Syria the MB’s military groups were strongest. He did say, however, that there was at least one member of the MB in the Istanbul operations room.

Still, the Brotherhood is only one of the many Islamist groups operating in Syria. Some, like the Salafi group Ahrar al-Sham, are not strictly part of the FSA, although in Idlib the group is part of the military council and therefore gets a smattering of support from the Istanbul control center as well. It’s a reflection of the fact that in most cases, in Idlib at least, rebel offensives are joint operations between groups of FSA fighters, Islamists, Salafists and even the extremist Jabhat al-Nusra group that some claim has ties to al-Qaeda. The bulk of Ahrar al-Sham’s substantial funding reportedly comes from Kuwait.

 

Similarly, some FSA groups, like Suqoor al-Sham, are also part of wider Islamist networks, largely to maximize the amount of support they can get. In a major development, Abu Issa has joined a powerful new pan-Syrian Islamist coalition called the Jabhat Tahrir Syria, or the Syrian Liberation Front, which groups several formidable, battle-hardened rebel outfits, including the famed Farouk Brigades of Homs.

Abu Issa insists he will remain part of the Idlib Military Council and that the Liberation Front will not overshadow anyone, even though it will likely be the most powerful armed body in Syria. “We acknowledge the others, just as they acknowledge us. The military councils can be a part of it,” he said. But the rebel leader bristled when asked about the influence of foreign players like Sakr. “We will not accept becoming tools for anyone, nor do we accept any living being, whether foreign or from within the revolution, acting in a manner to divide revolutionaries,” he told TIME.

Abu Issa, Suleiman and Maarouf, along with other high-profile rebel leaders from other provinces, spent much of August shuttling between Syria and Turkey to attend high-level meetings with diplomats and senior Syrian opposition. But U.S. diplomacy has yet to grasp the full complexity of the Syrian crisis. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s decision to snub the SNC during an August trip to Istanbul was widely viewed as belated recognition by many activists inside Syria that the exiles comprising the body have little sway or credibility. The fact is, the guys with the guns do, although the State Department denies having any direct contact with members of the FSA. (The SNC does not have a role in the arming of the rebels inside Syria, though some individual SNC members are in the Istanbul control room representing their regions.)

The Obama Administration does not deal directly with the armed opposition, BUT it has authorized a nonprofit organization, the Syrian Support Group (SSG), to fundraise for the FSA. The SSG is composed of Syrian exiles in the U.S. and Canada as well as a former NATO political officer.

Source: TIME Magazine.  http://ti.me/S51JRk

 

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Syria, the West and the lessons drawn from the experience

20 Sep

 

by Pierre Khalaf
PARTNERS | 15 SEPTEMBER 2012

Syria, the West and the lessons drawn from the experience.

Throughout the last three decades, Syria’s relationship with the West constituted an arena for a great number of headlines and economic, political and strategic issues embodying the cause of national liberation and independence in the Third World and especially in the Arab East where the West’s higher priority is to guarantee Israel’s security and strategic supremacy, as well as the continuation of the pillaging of the oil wealth and the protection of its transportation lines to the industrial world.

Firstly, in the eighties, and following the Camp David Accords which constituted the archetype of the American-Israeli peace against which Syria rebelled and resisted strongly and courageously, the wide scale clash occurred between the Syrian national state and the Western colonial states which recruited at the time and with the help of the Egyptian, Saudi, Jordanian and Iraqi regimes the Muslim Brotherhood organization and its military wing to launch rebellion inside the country and to destroy and deplete the Syrian state. At the time, and while Syria was preoccupied with its domestic situation, Israel invaded Lebanon and a major clash occurred between the Syrian troops and the enemy troops in the Bekaa. Syria was able to fight along the two fronts, thus vanquishing the MB strife and dismantling its tools after several years of confrontations with the networks of terrorism and the gangs of sabotage between 1977 and 1984. Moreover, the Syrian state deterred at the time a secession attempt which was supported by the United States, France and Saudi Arabia and was led by Refaat al-Assad in favor of the May 17 accord which was signed by Amin Gemayel with Israel under the occupation, and constituted the second version of Camp David.

Hence, the Syrian response was through the embracing of the newborn Lebanese resistance, as well as the strategic partnership with Iran, thus constituting the founding nucleus of the resistance and independence axis which ensured a resounding victory twenty years later on May 25, 2000.

Secondly, and at the beginning of the nineties, the West was recanting its war on Syria and using partnership with it within limits that do not obstruct its priorities and meet some of the Syrian strategic interests. One could say that the years which followed the so-called American–Syrian settlements and which tackled the Lebanon and the Taef agreement files among others which were activated between the West and the Syrian command following the Madrid conference, presented a model rich in events and testifying for the Syrian command’s strong national and patriotic choice. This decade witnessed numerous conspiracies against Syria and the resistance via soft –i.e. hypocritical- means, in parallel to political communication, economic coordination and aid programs. Throughout that stage, the West tried but to no avail to subjugate the Syrian rebellion along three fronts of the conflict:

the unlimited Syrian support to the Lebanese resistance, the Syrian insistence on the Palestinian cause and the right of return, and the Syrian-Iranian alliance which evolved in a qualitative way.

Thirdly, the victory of the Lebanese resistance in 2000 marked the historical and strategic outcome of the Syrian resistance against Israeli-American hegemony over the region, and the West’s strategy moved towards hostile escalation against Syria and its command. Since the 90s and until 2008, the relations between the West and Syria went through stages that were dubbed stages of settlements and understandings. However, President Bashar al-Assad revealed they were stages of pressures, threats and blackmail to achieve the same goal. Moreover, Syria’s relationship with the West went through stages of clashes and confrontations, the fiercest of which were between 2003 and 2008. But Syria crowned its steadfastness with a decisive role in the making of the victories of the Iraqi, Lebanese and Palestinian resistance movements in 2006 and 2008 against cosmic wars led by the US.

This was expressed by general Petraeus who occupied the post of American international commander of these wars, and is now CIA chief and higher commander of the war on Syria.

Fourthly, the lesson is revealed by Western documents and reports, as well as by books issued in the West, talking about the reality of what the American, French, German and British experts did during the last twenty years in terms of attempts to infiltrate Syrian society and analyze all the economic, political and cultural weak points that could be exploited at the level of the state’s structure and social fabric. According to the available information, the American and European intelligence apparatuses have tried since 2000 and through what was dubbed the initiatives of communication and civil society to recruit thousands of educated and cultivated Syrian youth who were trained under the banner of European-Syrian cooperation projects or under the banner of UNDP, with the participation of Western cultural centers in Damascus and Aleppo. The same was done at the level of some satellite channels and media institutions controlled by Western intelligence apparatuses, at a time when takfiri groups and the MB organization were pushed – with Saudi arrangement and Qatari-Saudi-Kuwaiti funding – to establish religious associations acting as a cover for secret organizations. In addition, special hideouts were set up to store arms, amid organized attempts to deplete the Baath party and the state’s structure in a well-planned and studied way.

Clearly, the West that chose Israel’s strategic integration and clashed with the resistance fort represented by Syria under Bashar al-Assad, has drawn up a methodic plan to destroy the Syrian national state and dismantle Syrian society, without sparing an effort to set up its massive ambush whose outcome is emerging today. Only the Syrian Arab army which remained immunized by its combat doctrine could not be infiltrated by the West and the Gulf. Hence, it is now the force fiercely struggling to settle the conflict, while embraced by the people who are mobilized by their nationalistic awareness and national belonging. However, this difficult experience currently endured by Syria requires the drawing of lessons and the final elimination of any illusion related to possible partnerships with the colonial West, as President Al-Assad said that this West only understood the language of force. We are certain that the Syrian strength will achieve imminent victory and teach the colonial West lessons it will not forget.

News analysis.

The meaning of the yelling.

The parties implicated in the war on Syria are suffering facial spasms due to their yelling. Indeed, Erdogan is threatening to pray in the Omayyad Mosque, Hollande is threatening to look into the provision of the armed groups with heavy artillery, Morsi believes that the time for change has come and Hamad the Qatari is celebrating the decision to stop the broadcasting of the Syrian satellite channels.

In a preliminary analysis, we say:

The problem with the Turkish victory was the lack of prayers which should be compensated for by Erdogan with promises to perform prayers at a later stage.

The problem of the MB in Syria was for the group’s Aristotle to speak. Now, all its work will proceed smoothly in Aleppo, Damascus, Hama and Homs while benefiting from his blessings.

The problem of the armed men was that France had not yet looked into the provision of heavy artillery. Now that it has decided to study this issue, military change will definitely take place.

Syria was achieving victory over its opponents with the strength of its media outlets that covered three quarters of the globe in the face of unknown channels such as Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya among others. Now that the media equation became balanced, everything will change.

Gentlemen, will yelling stop the toothache?

While you are yelling, the Syrian Arab army is removing the tooth and as a medical advice we ask you to relax your facial muscles during the removal process so that you do not feel the pain.

Arab File.

Syria.

Doctor Bashar al-Jaafari, Syria’s permanent envoy to the United Nations, called during a UN General Assembly session on all the Arab, regional and international sides enjoying influence over the armed terrorist groups and especially the states which refused to receive former UN envoy to Syria Kofi Annan, to cooperate with new UN envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi and allow the success of his mission. Al-Jaafari said: “Syria cooperated with the international observers’ mission and with General Robert Mood, and provided them with all the necessary facilitations in order to make sure that they carry out their tasks within the limits of the agreements reached with the UN. It also cooperated with Annan within the limits of Syrian national sovereignty and independence. It has become clear to all that the Syrian claims about the presence of terrorist groups and armed activities fueled by international, regional and Arab sides are right on the mark.” On the field, the armed groups continued to pursue the terrorist gangs in a number of regions witnessing tensions, including the city of Aleppo, thus killing and arresting a number of their elements.

for its part, Al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper quoted director of the Islamic Media Watch center in London Yasser al-Serri as saying that more than fifteen elements from the Free Army and particularly from the Farouk al-Shamal Brigade, assassinated Doctor Abu Mohammad al-Shami al-Absi, the head of the Shura Council of the Islamic State Organization which is affiliated with Al-Qaeda near the Syrian-Turkish border. Knowledgeable sources added to Al-Quds al-Arabi that violent clashes erupted between the two sides following the exposure of the assassination, which constituted the most dangerous clash seen so far between the Syrian revolutionaries and the jihadist elements who have been entering Syria since the beginning of the revolution while coming from Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, the Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Europe.

Nilesat and Arabsat stopped the broadcasting of the official and private Syrian satellite channels based on a decision previously issued by the Arab foreign ministers council. In a statement, the Syrian Information Ministry said that while it condemned this behavior that went against the simplest rules of the Arab Radio Stations Union’s laws and regulations that should be protected, it deemed this act to be a blatant violation of the media honor pacts and principles of journalistic work.

For its part, the national media council considered that the hostile act carried out by Nilesat and Arabsat was illegal and condemnable, as it fell in the context of the hostile war led by the enemies of the Syrian people against the Syrian state.

Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi considered that the Syrian regime “will not last long”, adding during the Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo: “There is still an opportunity to stop the bloodbath and there is no room for overbidding. The regime in Syria will not last long.”

For their part, the ministers ratified a draft decision presented to them by the Arab ministerial committee for Syria, asking the Syrian government to immediately stop all forms of killings and violence against the Syrian people and considering that “the crimes and massacres being committed are crimes against humanity.”

Libya.

The Mauritian authorities surrendered former Libyan intelligence chief under Muammar Kaddafi’s rule Abdullah as-Sannoussi to the Libyan judiciary, knowing he is pursed by the international criminal court. It was said at this level that the deal between the Libyan and Mauritanian authorities was sealed after the latter paid a sum of one billion dollars. Nonetheless, this information was denied by Libya via Prime Minister Abdul Rahim al-Keib.

Jordan.

On Saturday night/Sunday morning, the Jordanian capital Amman and other cities witnessed wide waves of protests which were joined by members in the Jordanian parliament following the raising of the gas prices. The protesters called for the departure of the government by giving it a no confidence vote, while some of them blocked the streets, fired bullets in the air and set trash bins and tires on fire to reject the decision. Jordanian Monarch King Abdullah the Second instructed the government of Fayez al-Tarawneh to freeze the cabinet decision to raise the gas prices.

In the meantime, the Islamic movement officially announced the formation of the higher council for reform, cautioning that the official sides should implement the promised reforms “before it is too late.”

On Friday, demonstrations were staged in the Jordanian provinces calling for the ousting of Prime Minister Fayez al-Tarawneh and his government and for the disbanding of parliament. The demonstrators also announced their boycotting of the parliamentary elections that should be held at the end of the year due to the electoral law recently ratified by the government and considered to be enhancing tribalism and parliament’s affiliation with the government, also adding that it featured the exclusion of the parties from political life.

Israeli File.

The maneuvers which will be held between Egypt and the United States were the main topic tackled by the Israeli papers issued this week. The papers thus mentioned that Tel Aviv was following with great concern the air exercise that should start within the few coming days and last ten days, indicating that the goal behind them was to emulate the staging by the combat jets from both sides of joint defense and attack operations, but also at providing administrative and technical support to the joint forces. The papers also addressed Sayyed Nasrallah’s interview with Al-Mayadeen channel, mentioning that Nasrallah threatened the US and held it responsible for any Israeli attack on Iran. He thus assured that the Iranian response will not be limited to the Israeli territories and will affect the American bases in the region, even if the American troops do not participate in the attack.

At this level, the reports related to the secret letter addressed by the United States to Iran and saying that Washington will not support any Israeli military strike against Iran and will not be part of this strike, increased the tensions at the level of the relations between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and American President Barack Obama. In the meantime, the papers tackled the announcement made by Barak – the one mostly encouraging statements in favor of an Israeli war on Iran – of the fact that the American preparations to face the Iranian file were impressive, hinting that there might be no need for Israel to resort to military operations to strike Iranian targets.

Lebanese affairs.

News analysis.

The aircraft, the boat and the networks are not enough?

The minutes of the judicial investigations published by Lebanese media outlets in the cases of the boat Luftallah II, the Qatari aircraft and the officer who was arrested in the Southern Suburb on charges of dealing with arms and smuggling them to Syria, constituted a sample of the Lebanese involvement in the war on Syria, and it is no longer useful for many among the officials to uphold their stubborn denial of the firm facts.

Firstly, as revealed by the published minutes, the boat Lutfallah II was carrying massive quantities of explosives, heavy artillery and ammunition shipped from Libya to Lebanon to provide the Syrian terrorist gangs with qualitative tools that would help escalate the war on the Syrian state. One can easily conclude that the source and the navigation line adopted by the boat which crossed the Egyptian and Turkish shores, reveal that the operation was carried out under the sponsorship of the American intelligence apparatuses that are leading the aggression on Syria and using multinational groups among their agents who are organizing the dispatch of weapons, explosives and terrorists. As to the boat’s docking in the Tripoli port – and it has become known based on the journalistic reports taken from judicial and security sources that this was not the first operation of its kind and that at least two boats preceded Lutfallah II – it exposed the reality of the task which Saad al-Hariri chose for the capital of the North and its neglected port in the context of the war on Syria. It has also become known that the Future Movement’s leaders in the North are implicated in the setting of platforms, the building of networks and the establishment of positions used to unload the arms shipments and to store them, considering that one of them exploded at the beginning of the year and that the judicial investigations were covered up to distance the accusations from influential Hariri-affiliated figures.

Secondly, between Luftallah II and the Qatari plane, there were months of Lebanese involvement. As to the plane’s load which included sophisticated and jamming devices, it went in line with the proclaimed American and French priority to equip the terrorist gangs with high-tech tools to spy on the communication networks of the Syrian Arab Army and the Lebanese resistance, plant these tools in Lebanon and connect them to American and European espionage systems present on the war vessels off the Lebanese and Syrian coasts, but also to the American and Western satellites. The freight of the Qatari plane might also not be the first of its kind, considering that more than a year ago, journalistic reports said that leader of the Future Movement Saad al-Hariri instructed his aides in Oger Telecom to set up coded telecommunication networks and that technicians from the Syrian gangs linked to NATO, with the participation of the French intelligence apparatuses, came to Beirut to carry out technical and field planning for the establishment of this network. The pace was hastened following the courageous step adopted by Minister Charbel Nahhas who revealed the third mobile network whose case was also the object of a blackout and which many believe was used to serve the Syrian armed gangs.

Thirdly, it is certain according to many knowledgeable officials that Lieutenant Abdul Khaliq who was arrested by the military court for carrying fifty thousand dollars to purchase arms and ammunition in order to smuggle them to Syria, is not the only Lebanese officer involved in such activities. Indeed, officials on the highest levels know that many officers in the Internal Security Forces and the army were implicated in such actions, that the minutes of the investigations were either concealed or amended and that none among the ordinary Lebanese know any of the facts related to the file of the arms warehouse which was robbed, the involvement of senior security officials in harboring the Syrian terrorist groups and the allocation of funds to these gangs and to the symbols of the Syrian opposition movements that are present in Lebanon upon an assignment from and with full coordination with the Saudi and American intelligence bodies. At this level, some newspapers revealed that a Lebanese security official was in constant contact with the intelligence apparatuses of the states involved in the war on Syria, at a time when numerous suspicions surround the relationship of senior security officials with the arms smuggling networks and their management of the media campaigns falling in the context of the war on Syria. It is also said that some among the latter are providing protection to over ten unlicensed radio stations broadcasting from the Lebanese territories and instigating strife in Syria, at a time when the responsibility of the Lebanese official sides should be the confiscation of the broadcasting devices and the arrest of those involved in these crimes. Instead, they are providing them with protection and care and ensuring the continuation of their activities.

Whenever the issue of the involvement of the Future Movement and its allies in the war on Syria used to be raised, the March 14 supporters and leaders used to condemn these accusations and senior officials in the Lebanese states used to rush to deny any Lebanese involvement in the conspiracy to destroy Syria. Nonetheless, some facts affecting the three files among others are mere samples of the reality of Lebanese political hypocrisy, conspiracy and schizophrenia aiming at earning American-Saudi satisfaction, and this is mastered by the politicians in Lebanon.

Lebanese File.

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah assured in an interview with Ghassan Bin Jiddo on Al-Mayadeen channel: “We are facing a stage of major transformations at the level of the world and the region. Palestine must always remain the main cause and this is where the compass should stay, especially since the goal of what is happening around us is to make us forget Palestine.” He added: “We will face threats with threats,” indicating that the resistance had a bank of target inside Israel and that “there are major weak points within the Israeli entity.”

Source: http://bit.ly/Qdy44S

 

Salafism+CIA: The winning formula to destabilize Russia, the Middle East

19 Sep

 

by F. William Engdahl, 13 Sept 2012

The assassination of the most respected Sufi religious leader in Dagestan, Russia’s volatile Caucasus, comes as Salafist jihadists in Libya murder a US Ambassador who was actually a key player in ousting Gaddafi and bringing the Salafist Muslim Brotherhood and Jihadists into power. Throughout the entire Islamic world today, a wave of hate is being unleashed in the name of Islamic fundamentalism that could bring a new world war. This is the consequence of the Greater Middle East Project put in play in 2010 and earlier by the Washington-London-Tel Aviv axis. Manipulating religious fervor is an explosive cocktail as F. William Engdahl shows here.

Part I: Syria comes to the Russian Caucasus

On August 28 Sheikh Said Afandi, acknowledged spiritual leader of the Autonomous Russian Republic of Dagestan, was assassinated. A jihadist female suicide bomber managed to enter his house and detonate an explosive device.

The murder target had been carefully selected. Sheikh Afandi, a seventy-five-year old Sufi Muslim leader, had played the critical role in attempting to bring about reconciliation in Dagestan between jihadist Salafi Sunni Muslims and other factions, many of whom in Dagestan see themselves as followers of Sufi. With no replacement of his moral stature and respect visible, authorities fear possible outbreak of religious war in the tiny Russian autonomous republic.

The police reported that the assassin was an ethnic Russian woman who had converted to Islam and was linked to an Islamic fundamentalist or Salafist insurgency against Russia and regional governments loyal to Moscow in the autonomous republics and across the volatile Muslim-populated North Caucasus region.

Ethnic Muslim populations in this region of Russia and of the former Soviet Union, including Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan and into China’s Xinjiang Province, have been the target of various US and NATO intelligence operations since the Cold War era ended in 1990. Washington sees manipulation of Muslim groups as the vehicle to bring uncontrollable chaos to Russia and Central Asia. It’s being carried out by some of the same organizations engaged in creating chaos and destruction inside Syria against the government of Bashar Al-Assad. In a real sense, as Russian security services clearly understand, if they don’t succeed in stopping the Jihadists insurgency in Syria, it will come home to them via the Caucasus.

The latest Salafist murders of Sufi and other moderate Muslim leaders in the Caucasus are apparently part of what is becoming ever clearer as perhaps the most dangerous US intelligence operation ever—playing globally with Muslim fundamentalism.

Previously US and allied intelligence services had played fast and loose with religious organizations or beliefs in one or another country. What makes the present situation particularly dangerous—notably since the decision in Washington to unleash the misnamed Arab Spring upheavals that began in Tunisia late 2010, spreading like a brushfire across the entire Islamic world from Afghanistan across Central Asia to Morocco—is the incalculable wave upon wave of killing, hatreds, destruction of entire cultures that Washington has unleashed in the name of that elusive dream named “democracy.” They do this using alleged Al-Qaeda groups, Saudi Salafists or Wahhabites, or using disciples of Turkey’s Fethullah Gülen Movement to ignite fires of religious hatred within Islam and against other faiths that could take decades to extinguish. It could easily spill over into a new World War.

Fundamentalism comes to Caucasus

Following the dissolution of the USSR, radical Afghanistani Mujahadeen, Islamists from Saudi Arabia, from Turkey, Pakistan and other Islamic countries flooded into the Muslim regions of the former USSR. One of the best-organized of these was the Gülen Movement of Fethullah Gülen, leader of a global network of Islamic schools and reported to be the major policy influence on Turkey’s Erdogan AKP party.

Gülen was quick to establish The International Dahgestani-Turkish College in Dagestan. During the chaotic days after the Soviet collapse, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation officially registered and permitted unfettered activity for a variety of Islamic foundations and organizations. These included the League of the Islamic World, the World Muslim Youth Assembly, the reportedly Al-Qaeda friendly Saudi foundation ‘Ibrahim ben Abd al-Aziz al-Ibrahim.’ The blacklist also included Al-Haramein a Saudi foundation reported tied to Al-Qaeda, and IHH, a Turkish organization banned in Germany, that allegedly raised funds for jihadi fighters in Bosnia, Chechnya, and Afghanistan, and was charged by French intelligence of ties to Al Qaeda. Many of these charities were covers for fundamentalist Salafists with their own special agenda.

As many of the foreign Islamists in Chechnya and Dagestan were found involved in fomenting the regional unrest and civil war, Russian authorities withdrew permission of most to run schools and institutions. Throughout the North Caucasus at the time of the Chechyn war in the late 1990’s, there were more than two dozen Islamic institutes, some 200 madrassas and numerous maktabas (Koranic study schools) present at almost all mosques.

The International Dagestani-Turkish College was one that was forced to close its doors in Dagestan. The College was run by the Fethullah Gülen organization.

At the point of the Russian crackdown on the spread of Salafist teaching inside Russia at the end of the 1990’s, there was an exodus of hundreds of young Dagestani and Chechyn Muslim students to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and other places in the Middle East, reportedly to receive training with the Gülen movement and various Saudi-financed organizations, including Salafists. It is believed in Russia that the students trained by Gülen supporters or Saudi and other Salafist fundamentalist centers then were sent back to Dagestan and the North Caucasus to spread their radical strain of Islam.

By 2005 the situation in the Caucasus was so influenced by this Salafist intervention that the Chechen Salafist, Doku Umarov, cited by the UN Security Council for links to Al-Qaeda, unilaterally declared creation of what he called the Caucasus Emirate, announcing he planned to establish an Islamic state under Sharia law encompassing the entire North Caucasus region including Dagestan. He modestly proclaimed himself Emir of the Caucasus Emirate.

Part II: Salafism at war with Sufi tradition

Salafism, known in Saudi Arabia as Wahhabism, is a fundamentalist strain of Islam which drew world attention and became notorious in March 2001 just weeks before the attacks of September 11. That was when the Salafist Taliban government in Afghanistan willfully dynamited and destroyed the historic gigantic Buddhas of Bamiyan on the ancient Silk Road, religious statues dating from the 6th Century. The Taliban Salafist leaders also banned as “un-islamic” all forms of imagery, music and sports, including television, in accordance with what they considered a strict interpretation of Sharia.

Afghani sources reported that the order to destroy the Buddhas was made by Saudi-born jihadist Wahhabite, Osama bin Laden, who ultimately convinced Mullah Omar, Taliban supreme leader at the time to execute the act.

While Sufis incorporate the worship of saints and theatrical ceremonial prayers into their practice, Salafis condemn as idolatry any non-traditional forms of worship. They also call for the establishment of Islamic political rule and strict Sharia law. Sufism is home to the great spiritual and musical heritage of Islam, said by Islamic scholars to be the inner, mystical, or psycho-spiritual dimension of Islam, going back centuries.

As one Sufi scholar described the core of Sufism, “While all Muslims believe that they are on the pathway to God and will become close to God in Paradise—after death and the ‘Final Judgment’— Sufis believe as well that it is possible to become close to God and to experience this closeness—while one is alive. Furthermore, the attainment of the knowledge that comes with such intimacy with God, Sufis assert, is the very purpose of the creation. Here they mention the hadith qudsi in which God states, ‘I was a hidden treasure and I loved that I be known, so I created the creation in order to be known.’ Hence for the Sufis there is already a momentum, a continuous attraction on their hearts exerted by God, pulling them, in love, towards God.”

The mystical Islamic current of Sufism and its striving to become close to or one with God is in stark contrast to the Jihadist Salafi or Wahhabi current that is armed with deadly weapons, preaches a false doctrine of jihad, and a perverse sense of martyrdom, committing countless acts of violence. Little wonder that the victims of Salafist Jihads are mostly other pacific forms of Islam including most especially Sufis.

The respected seventy-five year old Afandi had publicly denounced Salafist Islamic fundamentalism. His murder followed a July 19 coordinated attack on two high-ranking muftis in the Russian Volga Republic of Tatarstan. Both victims were state-approved religious leaders who had attacked radical Islam. This latest round of murders opens a new front in the Salafist war against Russia, namely attacks on moderate Sufi Muslim leaders.

Whether or not Dagestan now descends into internal religious civil war that then spreads across the geopolitically sensitive Russian Caucasus is not yet certain. What is almost certain is that the same circles who have been feeding violence and terror inside Syria against the regime of Alawite President Bashar al-Assad are behind the killing of Sheikh Afandi as well as sparking related acts of terror or unrest across Russia’s Muslim-populated Caucasus. In a very real sense it represents Russia’s nightmare scenario of “Syria coming to Russia.” It demonstrates dramatically why Putin has made such a determined effort to stop a descent into a murderous hell in Syria.

Salafism and the CIA

The existence of the so-called jihadist Salafi brand of Islam in Dagestan is quite recent. It has also been deliberately imported. Salafism is sometimes also called the name of the older Saudi-centered Wahhabism. Wahhabism is a minority originally-Bedouin form of the faith originating within Islam, dominant in Saudi Arabia since the 1700’s.

Irfan Al-Alawi and Stephen Schwartz of the Centre for Islamic Pluralism give the following description of Saudi conditions under the rigid Wahhabi brand of Islam: “Women living under Saudi rule must wear the abaya, or total body cloak, and niqab, the face veil; they have limited opportunities for schooling and careers; they are prohibited from driving vehicles; are banned from social contact with men not relatives, and all personal activity must be supervised including opening bank accounts, by a male family member or “guardian.” These Wahhabi rules are enforced by a mutawiyin, or morals militia, also known as “the religious police,” officially designated the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (CPVPV) who patrol Saudi cities, armed with leather-covered sticks which they freely used against those they considered wayward. They raid homes looking for alcohol and drugs, and harassed non-Wahhabi Muslims as well as believers in other faiths.”

It’s widely reported that the obscenely opulent and morally-perhaps-not-entirely-of- the-highest-standards Saudi Royal Family made a Faustian deal with Wahhabite leaders. The deal supposedly, was that the Wahhabists are free to export their fanatical brand of Islam around to the Islamic populations of the world in return for agreeing to leave the Saudi Royals alone. There are, however, other dark and dirty spoons stirring the Wahhabite-Salafist Saudi stew.

Little known is the fact that the present form of aggressive Saudi Wahhabism, in reality a kind of fusion between imported jihadi Salafists from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and the fundamentalist Saudi Wahhabites. Leading Salafist members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood were introduced into the Saudi Kingdom in the 1950’s by the CIA in a complex series of events, when Nasser cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood following an assassination attempt. By the 1960’s an influx of Egyptian members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Saudi Arabia fleeing Nasserite repression, had filled many of the leading teaching posts in Saudi religious schools. One student there was a young well-to-do Saudi, Osama bin Laden.

During the Third Reich, Hitler Germany had supported the Muslim Brotherhood as a weapon against the British in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East. Marc Erikson describes the Nazi roots of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood thus:

…as Italian and German fascism sought greater stakes in the Middle East in the 1930s and ’40s to counter British and French controlling power, close collaboration between fascist agents and Islamist leaders ensued. During the 1936-39 Arab Revolt, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, head of German military intelligence, sent agents and money to support the Palestine uprising against the British, as did Muslim Brotherhood founder and “supreme guide” Hassan al-Banna. A key individual in the fascist-Islamist nexus and go-between for the Nazis and al-Banna became the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el-Husseini.

After the defeat of Germany, British Intelligence moved in to take over control of the Muslim Brotherhood. Ultimately, for financial and other reasons, the British decided to hand their assets within the Muslim Brotherhood over to their CIA colleagues in the 1950s.

According to former US Justice Department Nazi researcher John Loftus, “during the 1950s, the CIA evacuated the Nazis of the Muslim Brotherhood to Saudi Arabia. Now, when they arrived in Saudi Arabia, some of the leading lights of the Muslim Brotherhood, like Dr Abdullah Azzam, became the teachers in the madrassas, the religious schools. And there they combined the doctrines of Nazism with this weird Islamic cult, Wahhabism.”

“Everyone thinks that Islam is this fanatical religion, but it is not,” Loftus continues. “They think that Islam—the Saudi version of Islam—is typical, but it’s not. The Wahhabi cult has been condemned as a heresy more than 60 times by the Muslim nations. But when the Saudis got wealthy, they bought a lot of silence. This is a very harsh cult. Wahhabism was only practised by the Taliban and in Saudi Arabia—that’s how extreme it is. It really has nothing to do with Islam. Islam is a very peaceful and tolerant religion. It always had good relationships with the Jews for the first thousand years of its existence.”

Loftus identified the significance of what today is emerging from the shadows to take over Egypt under Muslim Brotherhood President Morsi, and the so-called Syrian National Council, dominated in reality by the Muslim Brotherhood and publicly led by the more “politically correct” or presentable likes of Bassma Kodmani. Kodmani, foreign affairs spokesman for the SNC was twice an invited guest at the Bilderberg elite gathering, latest in Chantilly, Virginia earlier this year.

The most bizarre and alarming feature of the US-financed regime changes set into motion in 2010, which have led to the destruction of the secular Arab regime of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Muhammar Qaddafi in Libya, and the secular regime of President Ben Ali in Tunisia, and which have wreaked savage destruction across the Middle East, especially in the past eighteen months in Syria, is the pattern of emerging power grabs by representatives of the murky Salafist Muslim Brotherhood.

By informed accounts, a Saudi-financed Sunni Islamic Muslim Brotherhood dominates the members of the exile Syrian National Council that is backed by the US State Department’s Secretary Clinton and by Hollande’s France. The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood is tied, not surprisingly to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood of President Mohammed Morsi who recently in a meeting of the Non-Aligned in Iran called openly for the removal of Syria’s Assad, a logical step if his Muslim Brothers in the present Syrian National Council are to take the reins of power. The Saudis are also rumored to have financed the ascent to power in Tunisia of the governing Islamist Ennahda Party, and are documented to be financing the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Syrian National Council against President Bashar al-Assad.

Part III: Morsi’s Reign of Salafi Terror

Indicative of the true agenda of this Muslim Brotherhood and related jihadists today is the fact that once they have power, they drop the veil of moderation and reconciliation and reveal their violently intolerant roots. This is visible in Egypt today under Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi.

Unreported in mainstream Western media to date are alarming direct reports from Christian missionary organizations in Egypt that Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood has already begun to drop the veil of “moderation and conciliation” and show its brutal totalitarian Salafist colors, much as Khomeini’s radical Sharia forces did in Iran after taking control in 1979-81.

In a letter distributed by the Christian Aid Mission (CAM), a Christian Egyptian missionary wrote that Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood “announced they would destroy the country if Morsi didn’t win, but they also said they will take revenge from all those who voted for [his opponent Ahmed] Shafiq, especially the Christians as they are sure we did vote for Shafiq. Yesterday they began by killing two believers in el Sharqiya because of this,” the missionary added, speaking on condition of anonymity.

This report came only weeks after Egyptian State TV (under Morsi’s control) showed ghastly video footage of a convert from Islam to Christianity being murdered by Muslims. The footage showed a young man being held down by masked men with a knife to his throat. As one man was heard chanting Muslim prayers in Arabic, mostly condemning Christianity, another man holding the knife to the Christian convert’s throat began to cut, slowly severing the head amid cries of “Allahu Akbar” (“Allah is great”), according to transcripts. In the letter, the Egyptian missionary leader added that, “soon after Morsi won, Christians in upper Egypt were forcibly prevented from going to churches.” Many Muslims, the letter claimed, “also began to speak to women in the streets that they had to wear Islamic clothing including the head covering. They act as if they got the country for their own, it’s theirs now.”

Already in 2011 Morsi’s Salafist followers began attacking and destroying Sufi mosques across Egypt. According to the authoritative newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm (Today’s Egyptian), 16 historic mosques in Alexandria belonging to Sufi orders have been marked for destruction by so-called ’Salafis’. Alexandria has 40 mosques associated with Sufis, and is the headquarters for 36 Sufi groups. Half a million Sufis live in the city, out of a municipal total of four million people. Aggression against the Sufis in Egypt has included a raid on Alexandria’s most distinguished mosque, named for, and housing, the tomb of the 13th century Sufi Al-Mursi Abu’l Abbas.

Notably, the so-called “democratically elected” regime in Libya following the toppling of Mohamar Qaddafi by NATO bombs in 2011, has also been zealous in destroying Sufi mosques and places of worhip. In August this year, UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova expressed “grave concern” at the destruction by Islamic Jihadists of Sufi sites in Zliten, Misrata and Tripoli and urged perpetrators to “cease the destruction immediately.” Under behind-the-scenes machinations the Libyan government is dominated by Jihadists and by followers of the Muslim Brotherhood, as in Tunisia and Egypt.

The explosive cocktail of violence inherent in allowing the rise to power of Salafist Islamists across the Middle East was clear to see, symbolically enough on the night of September 11th when a mob of angry supporters of the fanatical Salafist group, Ansar Al-Sharia, murdered the US Ambassador to Libya and three US diplomats, burning the US Consulate in Bengazi to the ground in protest over a YouTube release of a film by an American filmmaker showing the Prophet Mohammed indulging in multiple sex affairs and casting doubt on his role as God’s messenger. Ironically that US Ambassador had played a key role in toppling Qaddafi and opening the door to the Salafist takeover in Libya. At the same time angry mobs of thousands of Salafists surrounded the US Embassy in Cairo in protest to the US film.

Ansar Al-Sharia (“Partisans of Islamic law” in Arabic) reportedly is a spinoff of Al-Qaeda and claims organizations across the Middle East from Yemen to Tunisia to Iraq, Egypt and Libya. Ansar al-Sharia says it is reproducing the model of Sharia or strict Islamic law espoused by the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Islamic State of Iraq, a militant umbrella group that includes al-Qaeda in Iraq. The core of the group are jihadists who came out of an “Islamic state”, either in Afghanistan in the mid-1990s, or among jihadists in Iraq after the US-led invasion in 2003.

The deliberate detonation now of a new round of Salafist fundamentalist Jihad terror inside Muslim regions of the Russian Caucasus is exquisitely timed politically to put maximum pressure at home on the government of Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Putin and the Russian Government are the strongest and most essential backers of the current Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad, and for Russia as well the maintenance of Russia’s only Mediterranean naval base at Syria’s Tartus port is vital strategically. At the same time, Obama’s sly message to Medvedev to wait until Obama’s re-election to evaluate US intent towards Russia and Putin’s cryptic recent comment that a compromise with a re-elected President Obama might be possible, but not with a President Romney, indicate that the Washington “stick-and-carrot” or hard cop-soft cop tactics with Moscow might tempt Russia to sacrifice major geopolitical alliances, perhaps even that special close and recent geopolitical alliance with China. Were that to happen, the World might witness a “reset” in US-Russian relations with catastrophic consequences for world peace.

Source: http://bit.ly/Q99Usk

 

Hit Syria – Target Russia

18 Sep

“Worse than a feud with the Anglo-Saxons can only be a friendship with them.” (Alexej Jedrichin–Wandram)

Interview with Professor Andrei Ilyich Fursov

Source: http://bit.ly/S2X9i8

By: Current Concerns – CH-8044 Zurich, Switzerland

The international journal for independent thought, ethical standards, moral responsibility, and for the promotion and respect of public international law, human rights and humanitarian law

10 Sept 2012

The following conversation with Professor Andrei Ilyich Fursov, Director of the Centre of Russian Studies at the Institute of Fundamental and Applied Research of

Moscow University for the Humanities (MosGU), a member of the International Academy of Sciences, and a member of the Writers’ Union of Russia was published

on 9 August 2012 at KP.ru. Given the initial question it reaches unexpectedly far into the sphere it covers. Starting from the current situation in Syria and the “Arab Spring”, the Russian historian tries to provide considerations on and prognosticate the further development there, ranging from the concrete to the global. Last remark: the term “regime” does not necessarily have a negative connotation in the Russian language.

Why is the West in such a hurry to hammer the nails in the coffin of the Assad regime?

Professor Andrej Fursov: This small Middle Eastern country has suddenly become a major sore spot of the planet. The UN has meetings on it, continually. China and Russia take a hardliner stance. A squad of our warships with marines headed for the Mediterranean also stopping in Syria on the way. The US provides the “rebels” with another $ 15 million. Is there a sense of a greater war here? Gas war How did little Syria spoil things for the powerful West? Actually by everything. Let’s look at it one

by one – from small to large, from regional to global. In all the constellations in the Middle East in general and in the Americans’ and the Sunni monarchies’ (Saudi

Arabia, Qatar) fight against Shiite Iran, the country is not just an ally of Tehran, but also the link connecting it to the Shiite factions in the Arab world. Without such a link Iran’s influence in the Arab world would be greatly reduced. I am not talking even about the oil pipeline running from Iran through Syria. Without a solution to the Syrian issue, the Anglo-Saxons, i.e. the British and the Americans will not dare to tackle Iran. The Syrian regime is in fact the only strong secular regime in the Arab world. The fact that it is strong irritates the Atlanticists with their plans of restructuring the Middle East and the world. The fact that it is a secular and economically successful regime annoys the rulers of Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Some say that this is the first war for gas?

Gas fields were indeed discovered in the Southern Mediterranean – in the sea and on Syrian territory (Kara). It is hard to say how big the reserves are, but they are there. Qatar exports liquefied gas with the help of a tanker fleet. If the Assad  regime collapses, Qatar will be able to transport the “blue fuel” directly from the Mediterranean coast to Syria. This would at least double the volume of its exports and at the same time complicate Iranian exports. The strengthening of Qatar on the gas market will worsen Russia’s position. Well, if the Americans succeed in controlling the Algerian gas, it looks like a blockade of the Russian oil and gas exports. So the economic interests of Qatar coincide with the US’ geopolitical interests in their efforts to maximally weaken Russia, which is not to not be reinvigorated.

The Anglo-Saxons are global billiard players: They make use of the controlled chaos

Does that mean that the Yankees in Syria indirectly attack Russias beloved Gazprom?

The Anglo-Saxons are global billiard players; they work by the principle of more than one ball into the hole (which we have to learn from them). The greater Middle East with its ongoing controlled chaos separates China from the necessary sources of oil and gas, while at the same time it is cutting the Chinese off from the Western European part of Eurasia.The control over gas and oil from the Middle East means first of all control of the US over Europe, especially Western Europe, which to a great extent contributes to the weakening of the Russian Federation and its position. But if Europe does not like it some day, one can trigger off some Arab-African uprisings – so that the well-fed citizens whished it would soon be over.  This logic (though not the only one) determines the North Atlantic elite’s drive toward the East across the Arab world: Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Now they have arrived in Syria. But on the Syrian spot the Atlanticists faced another global power, comparable to them economically and even militarily, but representing a completely different civilization. This is China, with its drive towards the West. China’s drive is a kind of crusade for resources. Pakistan is already under the influence of China. The Chinese have a long-standing relationship with the Afghan Taliban. Iran is also an ally, though specific. The south of Iraq is basically controlled by Shiite allies of Iran. Geostrategically and even geo-economically China does not only push ahead to the coast of the Indian Ocean, but from this perspective also to the Atlantic (the Mediterranean coast of Syria). Objectively, the Western crusaders ran into a Chinese wall in Syria. For the first time, the Anglo-American-Jewish elite, that has developed in the course of the last century and became one of the organizational and historical achievements of the West, is faced with a global, non-Western type of enemy (the Soviet leadership, too, was the implementation of a leftist project of the West, the Jacobin Modernity). Apart from that, the European segment of the Western elite from which it takes its historical experience, is opposed, however, to the no less or perhaps even more ancient Chinese segment. It is also focused on the tangibles, on trade and money. At the same time it is very adventurous, as the Chinese have their own global criminal system.

 The objective of the West: See China collapse, cut it off from the resources of raw materials   and suffocate it technologically

The Chinese mafia is probably worse than the Italian … Yes, and not to mention the gold reserves of China as a formidable financial weapon. Beijing knows quite well that Syria is just another trail mark in the direction of the North-Atlanticists’ main attack – and their objective is to see China collapse, to cut it down to size within the country’s borders, cut it off from the sources of raw materials and suffocate it technologically. Hence China’s tough stance on Syria at the UN. What about the position of Moscow? Why is it so different from that in Libya? First, we have a different president today. Second, the story of Gaddafi has taught our leadership well. Third, we have a naval base in Syria. Fourth, our militaryindustrial complex has serious interest in Syria, and economic interests are sacred to the Russian leadership. Fifth, Syria is much closer to the Russian borders and the post-Soviet area than Libya. All this determines Moscow’s position whose nuclear and diplomatic potential reinforces China’s position. Neither Russia nor China could stand alone.

Of course, the Anglo-Saxons do not care about our veto in the UN, the UN itself and about international law, which they plan to abolish anyway. But so far, these have only been intentions. As Stalin once said the logic of the circumstances is stronger than the logic of intentions . These circumstances are Russia and China, causing the North-Atlanticists to be furious – just listen to Ms Clinton  and look at her facial expressions.

USA today overstraining its forces

 Despite the hardline stance of Moscow and Beijing, the West does not retreat. Why not?

First, it is not in the historical tradition

of the Anglo-Saxons to release the prey which they have sunk their teeth in like a pit bull terrier. They will exert pressure as far as possible until they have achieved their objective, or until the opponent has broken their jaw. Second, in the last 25 to 30 years, the Anglo-Saxons, defeating the Soviet elite (it is exactly about the Soviet elite – they surrendered), have simply become arrogant. They got used to Russia giving up everything and they hope to be able to exert pressure on the Russian elite that keeps its money in Western banks. Third – and this is the main reason which outweighs all the others: the stakes are too high; the fate of the North Atlantic elites themselves is at stake, and not just the hydrocarbon resources or the Middle East. The West has no alternative than pressing ahead. The bottom line is the following: Today, the US experiences an excessive overstrain of its forces, despite all the material and information potential of this vast machine, operated by experienced supranational geo-constructors and geo-engineers. “Nihil dat fortuna mancipio” – fate does not guarantee anything forever! America’s time is over. To delay or prevent the final decline, it needs a break. It is no coincidence that the new military doctrine, which was announced by Obama on 5 January 2012, is about the US’ unwillingness to be prepared for two wars at the same time – as has been the case so far – but only for one plus some indirect actions in several regions. Also bear in mind that the Americans regroup up to 60% of its military power in the Pacific Ocean, the eastern Pacific, in preparation for a fight with China. It is not accidental that Foreign Affairs, a journal of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), one of the most influential American institutions concerning international relations, recently published several articles that directly say: The US need a break, “to focus on rebuilding the foundations of national prosperity”. America today resembles the Roman Empire of the Trajan time (early 2nd century AD). Then, Rome shifted from the strategic offensive to strategic defense; Rome began to build the Limes (defensive wall) and abandoned some of the conquered territories – especially in the Middle East.

 Diplomat: USA let private military companies do the dirty work in the war zones
The USA deploy private security companies in war areas to avoid the responsibility for the violation of international humanitarian law. This is what Konstantin Dolgov, commissioner for human rights and democracy in the Russian Foreign Ministry, says. In a commentary that was published on the website of the Foreign Office, Dolgov expressed his amazement that the US Justice Department had ceased the investigations against the security company Blackwater (now Academi). The company is said to have tried to bribe the leadership of the Iraqi Interior Ministry with a million dollars in order to get a licence for further work in Iraq and to avoid responsibility for the shooting of 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad. “Despite the scandalous experiences with Blackwater, the US Defense Department and the State Department further engage mercenaries to do dirty work in conflict zones among others”, Dolgov said. “By such outsourcing of government functions to private companies the US government avoids the responsibility for the violation of international humanitarian law.”Source: Ria Novosti, 28.8.2012 (Translation Current Concerns)

Controlled chaos: So that in case of retreat the competitors may not occupy the territory

This is a direct analogy. The USA promised to leave Afghanistan and they withdrew from Iraq …The results of the NATO summit in Chicago on 20 – 21 May 2012 showed: Neither have the US nor NATO actually left the Middle East nor Afghanistan, in the literal sense. It was not for that reason they went there. However, they will have to “get out” in this former sense, as the leadership model will change there. And the only reason is that in case of retreat the competitors may not occupy the territory: the European Union, above all China. Hence the idea behind the new leadership model in the region is controlled chaos. We cannot imagine any better candidates for its creation and maintenance than the Islamists, the “chain dogs of globalization American style”. And here we see how in the Middle East– particularly in the key country Egypt – the Islamists take over as a result of the so-called “Arab Spring”. More precisely, it is them for whom the others were paving the way. However, the Anglo-Saxons hit two stumbling blocks on their way, two countries where Islamists are either not strong or not active. These countries were Libya and Syria. Libya has already been destroyed by the barbaric aggression of NATO, and Syria is under siege today. Syria’s army is indeed fighting international terrorism, which, as it suits it, is directed by the puppeteers – the Anglo- American leadership.

 The true face of the Friends of Syria

Excuse me, Andrei Ilyich! Western media report that the people rebelled against the Assad regime. The insurgents were Syrians, deserted from the army. That is what the Western media are doing, or to be precise: the instruments for mass propaganda, agitation and misinformation. They fulfill the purely military function of an disinformation and psycho-historic war. The “Syrian rebels” have modern precision weapons, anti-tank weapons, thermal imaging devices, the best sniper rifles and many more, mostly from Turkish production. Is n’t that a bit too sumptuous for deserters and fugitives? But the most important thing is the organization of the armed conflicts. Since the end of June the situation in Syria has changed drastically. Assad is confronted with a staff culture of highly professional planners behind the military diversions, which deserters, ranging from captain to major, would never be capable of. The “rebels” have changed their tactics from wearing down and fatiguing; they have moved to the tactics of massive attack, behind which there is apparently a contingent of 25-30000 men. The armed fighters are descendants coming from Libya, Tunisia, Afghanistan and other Muslim countries. By the way, transferring them to Syria has solved an important problem for the West and the Sunni monarchies. After all, this combustible material must somehow and somewhere be occupied. These guys will not work, and a rabid dog may once bite its owner.

 The international terrorism that the US allegedly fight is in fact their self-created weapon

Along with professional mercenaries and international terrorists, parts of Syrian criminal bandit clans fight against government forces; they murder their own neighbors and then blame it on the Assad regime. The Syrian situation has clearly exposed the fact that international terrorism that the US allegedly fight is in fact their self-created weapon. In Libya, it was al-Qaeda which solved the problem posed by the Atlanticists. In Syria the Islamist Abd al-Hakim Belhadj who once commanded the Libyan “insurgents” infiltrates the militant fighters. He is the most powerful military member in Tripoli, since long associated with Al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda is a very handy tool for the American and British intelligence services. If necessary, you can blow up your own twin towers, and put the blame on the organization of bin Laden. And if necessary you can merge in ecstasy with this organization and take action against Gaddafi or Assad. Now al-Qaeda is good again; as our Protopope Avvakum once said “yesterday the son of a bitch, today a priest”. They should stop telling us lies: the Syrians are not fighting Syrians, but the Anglo-American elite, waging war through the hands of international terrorists. Their operations in Syria resemble, for example, John Negroponte’s death squads in Guatemala. In their perspective the “friends of Syria” (formerly the “friends of Yugoslavia, Iraq, or Libya”) are also the “friends of Russia”, they are the major international terrorist power themselves. I really hope that in the end they and their associates (including the ones from The Hague) will finally see “their Nuremberg”. Many in the West just describe the similarity of Bush Junior’s attack on Iraq and Afghanistan with Hitler’s attack on Poland, the Netherlands and France. The only question is if Syria becomes the last line of a new – now no longer world war – but a global war. Sooner or later, the criminalization of politics by the Western leadership will lead exactly there.

The US has actually justified the recent terrorist attacks in Damascus that killed senior representatives of Syria.

Yes, among the dead are Defense Minister Daoud Rajhi, the head of military intelligence Assef Shawkat and the head of the crisis committee Hassan Turkmani – all very close to Assad, his support. Such action was to be expected; I do not believe that it was possible without collaboration of Western intelligence agencies. Bashar al-Assad resists, they were not able to break him in the course of 15 months, so the course is now directed at the physical destruction of the Syrian leader and his inner circle. They expect that in case of his retreat, Assad’s regime will collapse. Whether these plans will work out is a  separate issue. Something else is important:After having killed Gaddafi, Western elites now openly and blatantly run the path of physical destruction of those leaders that interfere with their plans, i.e. the path of terror. And while farce trials were arranged against Miloševic  and Saddam Hussein , Gaddafi was just killed in banditry- like, “specific” manner, not even hiding a joyous “wow” about it. And what about the invaluable scene at the White House in May last year, when the US government publicly gathered in front of the screen to watch the killing of “bin Laden”. To what level must beastly brutality and moral degradation have risen, if we watch a slaughtering and savor it like a medieval wild mob? Western leadership act as genuine global organized crime, not even hiding the fact. They act on the principle of “you’re guilty anyway, because I want to eat”. Recently, the pro-American former French president Sarkozy  directly threatened Syrian Christians (about 10% of the Syrian population) that in case they continued to support Assad they would be victim to attacks after the overthrow. And these attacks are already taking place.  Moreover, not only Christians, but also

Druze, Alawites, members of the Baath Party ruling since 1963 are being killed. The real carnage will begin, after the West has succeeded to topple the Assad regime which can become possible only in case of foreign military intervention.

Combined tactics of desintegration and massive attacks

Do you think the West will actually go that far?

This question should be asked to the global organized crime groups who hold their “shares” in Washington, New York, London and Brussels. We can only weigh options. The only military power that NATO counts on is Turkey, which dreams of splitting Syria up into 4 to 6 units and then seizing control over half of them; a structure starting to resemble the former Ottoman Empire. However, such a war is an uncertain affair for Turkey, given the position of Russia, China, Iran, plus the Kurdish issue – even with NATO’s military- technical support. And Syria itself is not a weakling. Rather, it can be assumed that this war will continue, that the West will try to squeeze Syria with the hands of the mercenaries, combining tactics of destruction and massive attacks and trying  to physically destroy Assad. US and UK have invested too much in the destruction of the Syrian regime and will only withdraw in case they will have to pay an unacceptably high price for the victory.

And they really put in a lot?

Yes. Both financially and in terms of organization. Back in 2006, the program

“democracy in Syria” was launched which provided grants for projects worth $ 5 million. In 2009, the “Council for Democracy” that distributed the grants among the “democratizers” in those countries, which the United States intended to weaken, received $ 6.3 million from the State Department for the implementation of the program “initiative to strengthen civil society” related to Syria (apparently, the Anglo- Saxons believe that by killing Syrian women and children through mercenary hands they are building a civil society). The “Syrian Business Forum” for example disposes of a fund of at least $ 300 million. Half of this amount is meant for the so-called “Free Syrian Army”’s funding. Saudi Arabia and Qatar that have both signed a secret agreement play an active role in financing the anti-Assad forces. The behavior of the Saudis and of the Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh  Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani give clear evidence of the Western/Salafites alliance. Staged movies about fighting in Tripoli and Damascus were filmed in Qatar, when there has been no fighting yet. The Emir paid the storm of Tripoli and sent a contingent of 6,000 Arab rabble dressed in Qatari military uniform. By the way,  bin Jassim ordered the assaults on the Russian Ambassador  Vladimir Titorenko in Qatar.

The battle for Eurasia

Some leaders in the West offered the Russian leadership to shelter Assad and his family. Following the motto that the Syrian people will then say thanks to Moscow! What will the consequences for Russia be after the collapse of the Assad regime?

Syria is our only ally in the Arab world. With its collapse, we will finally lose all our positions in the region. But it is not only about the Arab world. Russia may easily disappear from the historic scene completely. After Syria and Iran (and that the Atlanticists will attack Iran after Syria is very likely– analysts have even told the name for the operation beginning with an US-Israeli attack on Hezbollah: “Big Storm”) it is likely to be our turn. So we can say, hit Syria (and Iran), and target Russia. Preparation is going on in all directions: the situation in Middle East, the deployment of missile defense, NATO expansion to the East and so on.

Well, the case of missile defense and NATO expansion to the East is clear. How specifically are Syria and Iran linked to our security?

They are close to our borders and our sphere of influence – the Caucasus and Central Asia. If the current regimes in Damascus and Tehran collapse, there will be a continuous zone of chaos controlled by the Atlanticists, spreading from Mauritania and the Maghreb to Kyrgyzstan and Kashmir. The arc of instability will push like a wedge against Central Eurasia, from where Atlanticists are already directly threatening Russia and China. However, first of all Russia.

Moscow demands international investigation of terrorist attacks in SyriaSimilarities to the approach in Yugoslavia: actions that shall produce ethnic-denominational differences
Moscow insists on an investigation of the terrorist attacks in Syria and proposes to call in representatives of the UN and the Arab League to this task, says a comment of the PR-office of the Russian Foreign Ministry issued on Wednesday. “In recent days cases of bloody reckoning with Syrian civilians in the Town of Daraya near Damascus have come to light, where after a freeing operation of the government troops more than 200 dead including women and children were found”, writes the Foreign Ministry.“That was a new provocative crime analogous to the crimes that were committed earlier and had caused a big uproar in the world”, they underlined. The Foreign Ministry points out, that on Tuesday twelve persons died and dozens were wounded in the explosion of a car bomb at a cemetery in the town district Djaraman of Damascus. “Moscow determinedly condemns such barbarian acts of violence”, writes the Foreign Ministry. It expresses its deepest condolence to the families of those who died. Moscow does not doubt, that “certain interested forces will not give up their attempts to heat up the tensions in Syria even more and thwart any steps for a political solution”. In this context the actions that intensify the interdenominational differences are conceived with particular concern. In this context The Foreign Ministry mentions the murder of the prominent Islamic clergy Hassan Barnaui and the blockade of the town Rabla on the border to Lebanon which is inhabited by Christians. These acts “look like blasphemy against the background of the numerous calls by opposition politicians to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in Syria”, they underline. The international community “cannot calmly watch the attempts that extremists and terrorists undertake for a further destabilization in Syria, especially the repressions against ethnical-denominational minorities like Christians”. “We stand for an immediate stop of actions by all sides without exception and for a guiding of the conflict into a political track on the basis of the existing consensusfor the Syrian solution – the plan of Kofi Annan and the Geneva agreement. There is no alternative to that”, underlines the Foreign Ministry.Source: Ria Novosti, 29.8.2012

(Translation Current Concerns)

This is all megalomania instead of just purchasing the natural resources

Why is Russia first?

The coming global systemic crisis will dramatically increase the importance of control over natural resources. This importance will increase under the conditions of the predicted geo-climatic and geophysical disasters. I am not referring to the mythical “global warming”. I refer to the quite prosaic attenuation of the Gulf Stream, the restructuring of the food chains in the world’s oceans (which happens once in 11. to 12. millennia) –these are features of a planetary restructuring that began in the early twentieth century and will only be over in the first thirty years of the 22nd century. Under such conditions and after such a crisis the only stable area in the world containing resources for the next century will be Northern Eurasia, mainly geospatial Russia. This makes our area the main geohistorical prey of the 21st century and the next few centuries. The well-known Russophobes Zbigniew Brzezinski, Madeleine Albright and many others in the West have often said that it was unfair that Russia has such a space, and such resources. All of which should belong to the world community – that is the Atlantic elites, organized in lodges, clubs, committees, orders and extraordinary structures. However, this requires gaining control of Northern Eurasia, a concentration area – Central Asia. Americans are already present there, but Syria and Iran separate them from their control of the Middle East and hence Central Asia. The fuse, which was lit in North Africa, is wearing thin here and goes out. Without the destruction of these two countries Atlanticists cannot start the battle for Northern Eurasia. Russia is seen as a source of natural resources, China as a source of workforce, i.e. something secondary. And if this “secondary” dares to hinder the plans of the globalists it will drive them insane. The West currently tackles the resolution of the Russian and Chinese issues with the help of Islam and the Arabs, either in form of controlled chaos of a new Arab invasion or a war between the caliphates against unbelievers. The Anglo-Saxons, true to their tradition of agitating larger states and nations in order to weaken or destroy each other (twice in the twentieth century Germany and Russia were set against each other), will also try to destroy Islam. This objective will be achieved by the Islam’s maximum radicalization with Wahhabism, deprivation of domestic economic and demographic forces in the course of the Eurasian wars and then by converting the Muslim world into neotraditional ghettos, deprived of resources and technology. Those who played “Dungeons and Dragons” as a child will probably remember the version of “The World of the Black Sun”. The globalists will try to break up the Islamic world into many small pieces, which can be controlled with the help of private military companies and mercenaries of multinationals who can squeeze out the rest of the resources and then throw them onto the rubble of history. The West will only control the points of resource concentration (for example the nearly 1,800 kilometers of Mediterranean coast of Libya, which has already become reality). The rest will be handed over to be at the mercy of tribes, clans, and criminal syndicates that control the remaining bits and pieces. These “pieces” can be a part of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan (with a separate Baluchistan), and Iran – a Muslim mosaic. At the same time, the West will need wardens in the region, and this role may well be conceded to a Greater Kurdistan. The only state that can afford to be big.

Why so?

The source of all the major rivers in the region will be in the region of Greater Kurdistan, if once established. This means that in an era of water scarcity and, consequently, an era of “water wars”, the major levers of influence on the region will be in the hands of the Kurds, this ancient people – just as in the days of Assyria.  Kurdistan could become a major watchdog in the area, succeeding Israel in this role.

 Could you be more precise about Israel, please!

Israel’s prospects in a changing Middle East are very vague. In all likelihood, the West will dismantle Israel as it has become unnecessary, which was predicted by  Arnold J. Toynbee in 1957. Certainly, only after evacuating the “upper third” of the population. The option to create a Greater Kurdistan and dismantle Israel is probable – not at one hundred percent but highly probable. This is of course not an affair of the next few years.

What should Russia do in this dramatic situation developing around Syria?

The same as it already does – support Syria at best, not to let it be crushed. We have already sent a naval unit, not in a great number, but it is better than nothing. Besides, if we wage war, it is necessary to fight rather by skills than by number. Next. On 7 June two intercontinental ballistic test missiles were launched; “Topol” (which we confirmed) and “Bulava” (not confirmed, but the Americans claim that it was launched). This is a certain sign. After all Russia is still a nuclear power, despite all military reforms; and it is us, not the Chinese, that the Americans have always considered their main enemy and they will continue to do so. Our diplomats are doing their job. I liked the way  Vitali Churkin talked to the Ambassador of Qatar, and I notice wit satisfaction the impotent rage that Madame Clinton and some minor officials of the State Department demonstrated against our leadership. I welcome the Syrian air defense having obtained 18 units of our “Buk- M2” missile systems and 36 units of our missile defense systems “Shell C1”; and deliveries of the S-300 systems and Mi-25 helicopters are pending. I very much reckon on the survival instinct of the Russian leadership and the fact that they drew the right conclusion from the tragic fates of Milosevic, Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi. They all once trusted the West – and paid with their lives for it.  Shakespeare’s Hamlet speaks of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern “… whom I will trust as I will adders fang’d”. You cannot trust adders – they bite, and they fatally do so in the banal physical sense of the word. Or they try to bite, using internal problems which Russia really has in abundance. Is it by accident that the gathering of the “white ribbons” in late 2011 and early 2012 strangely coincided with the statements of the Russian leadership on a tough stance on the Syrian issue? I think not. And in all strictness we are facing a “fifth column” here which emerged over the last quarter of the century.We live in an era of war, which began with the NATO aggression against Yugoslavia and which is now knocking boots at the Syrian gate. In such an era we have to act along the lines of war. No one has been able to defeat the external enemy, or at least successfully confront him without the suppression of the “fifth column”; of course, by law, only by law. And finally, we need an effective international military-political alliance capable of curbing the aggressor and bring about security, or at least a break of some 8 or 10 years’ time. During this time, Russia may be able to recover and prepare for the great war of the 21st century  the last hunt for the era of capitalism, which, unfortunately, can most likely not be avoided. Prepare and succeed. Well, and for the moment we will have to keep potential enemies at bay and support the weak in beating the aggressor far away – not only strategically, but also morally.

 Lessons and prognoses

 What did Russia learn from Libya and Syria?

First of all, do not trust the Western elite in any case. It will always consider us its main enemy, and will strike adamantly at the time of our maximum weakness at which it is incessantly working to finally solve the Russian issue. As noted by  Leonid Shebarshin: “The West wants only one thing from Russia: that Russia will no longer exist”. The example of Libya showed us how to erase the weak. With the example of Syria we observe how the stronger ones may give somebody a rough time. Second, the Libyan-Syrian version of the NATO aggression shows how things will develop in case of military action: mercenaries, mostly Arabs, and private military companies will do the fighting. According to the Syrian scheme they will try to destabilize the Caucasus and the Volga region: Capturing of a city or part of it, massacres, appeal to “the global public”, which would require the imposition of sanctions, monitoring, base creation (although we already have one in Ulyanovsk, the rear base of NATO). Third: With the decisive role of the external factor, the state of the “object” plays an important role with the situation in Syria: an inefficient system of governance, corruption etc, which all creates a point of vulnerability. In this respect, Russia is also very vulnerable: the same lack of good governance, corruption, criminalization of the economy, the tight integration of the economic elite in the world economy and, therefore, a class of pro-Western compradores, with a low professional and moral level of the upper classes, the rule of clan interests over the public interest. Not to mention the collapse of the army, the spiritual and moral crisis, as well as the “wearing off” of human potential of an important part of the population. It is true, the external threat can mobilize and unite people, as has always been the case with the Russians, whether in 1612, in 1812, in 1941. And the enemy is well aware of that. In this regard a recent article by  Henry Kissinger about the Syrian situation is rather interesting. Unlike his usual habit of writing clearly, there is a lot of vague reasoning in this article, including the mentioning of the Holy Roman Empire and how its final downfall was brought about. But following the pure logic of the text and articulating exactly what one of the major “wirepullers” of the world hinted at, we read the following: “Old Henry” warns the West about the undesirability of such pressure on Syria, which will cause a tough stance of Russia and drive it towards a confrontation with the West. As a result, there is a risk of losing everything one has achieved over the last 20 years, to weaken Russia. And these achievements were more important than Syria.

Kissinger, the sharp dog, really gets to the bottom of things!

Indeed, the confrontation with the West can fundamentally change the situation in Russia, in all social strata and above all in the upper class, which will not only understand but feel first-hand that the Western elite will never accept them in their circles, and sooner or later they will be devoured up. And if so, the course must change essentially, at least for the sake of wealth, status and life. Examples of pro-Western Arab leaders such as Ben Ali and Mubarak, demonstrate the validity of the remarkable Russian geo-politician Alexej Yedrichin- Wandram’s thesis: “Worse than a feud with Anglo-Saxons can only be a friendship with them.” The West, especially the Anglo-Saxons, do not guarantee anything, especially to those who betrayed their country and its people. As the ancients said, “Roma traditoribus non premia” (Rome does not pay traitors). More precisely, they pay, but only to a certain point. And then they go separate ways. And this is also a lesson that Moscow learnt from the Middle East.

When, in your opinion, can we expect distinct changes of the situation?

Well, am I a prophet? Forecasting is difficult in the modern world, which is at the crossroads. But if you start from the state of the US economy, whose remission (in the medical understanding) is projected to be completed in early spring of 2013, and if you consider that serious action will not be taken until the US presidential election, it might happen in the period between December 2012 and February 2013.

For heavens sake! You just mentioned mystical dates: the end of the world according to the Mayan calendar, the approaching of the celestial murderer Nibiru …

This is not a mystery but a manipulation of public opinion, to divert mankind from the real problems and intimidate them to the extent that a man shouts: “I want a world government, as only that will protect me from disaster, from a giant asteroid, or aliens!” The “boys” are much more dangerous than aliens, because they are beyond good and evil and devour humanity like ruthless reptiles. They are the ones charging Syria and it is precisely them that we must now stop on the Syrian border. As Voltaire said “Ecrasez l’infame!” (Crush the infamous vermin). •

Source:     Yevgenij Chernych, KP.ru, 15 August 2012 http://bit.ly/S2X9i8

 

Al-Qa’ida cashes in as the scorpion gets in among the good guys. The US media claims America has been stabbed in the back, but the reality is different, says Robert Fisk

17 Sep

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By Robert Fisk. 17 Sept 2012

Washington propped up… Arab dictatorships for decades, Saddam being one of our favourites

A Damascus friend of mine called this weekend and was pretty chipper. “You know, we’re all sorry about Christopher Stevens. This kind of thing is terrible and he was a good friend to Syria – he understood the Arabs.”

I let him get away with this, though I knew what was coming.

“But we have an expression in Syria: ‘If you feed a scorpion, it will bite you’.” His message couldn’t have been clearer.

The United States supported the opposition against Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi, helped Saudi Arabia and Qatar pour cash and weapons to the militias and had now reaped the whirlwind. America’s Libyan “friends” had turned against them, murdered US ambassador Stevens and his colleagues in Benghazi and started an al-Qa’ida-led, anti-American protest movement that had consumed the Muslim world.

The US had fed the al-Qa’ida scorpion and now it had bitten America. And so Washington now supports the opposition against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, was helping Saudi Arabia and Qatar pour cash and weapons to the militias (including Salafists and al-Qa’ida) and would, inevitably, be bitten by the same “scorpion” if Assad was overthrown.

My friend’s sermon was not quite in line with Syrian government policy. Assad’s argument is that Syria is not Libya, and that Syrians, with their history, culture, love of Arabism, etc, did not want a revolution. But the Arab fury at Hollywood’s anti-prophet video has occasioned almost as much rewriting of history in the West.

The US media has invented a new story in which America supported the Arab Spring, saved the city of Benghazi when its people were about to be destroyed by Gaddafi’s monstrous thugs – and has now been stabbed in the back by those treacherous Arabs in the very city rescued by the US.

The real narrative, however, is different. Washington propped up and armed Arab dictatorships for decades, Saddam being one of our favourites. We loved Mubarak of Egypt, we adored Ben Ali of Tunisia, we are still passionately in love with the autocratic Gulf states, the gas stations now bankrolling the revolutions we choose to support – and we did, for at least two decades, smile upon Hafez al-Assad; even, briefly, his son Bashar.

So we saved Benghazi with our air power and expected the Arab world to love us. We ignored the composition of the Libyan militias we supported – just as Clinton and Hague don’t dwell on the make-up of the Free Syrian Army today. We pay no attention to Assad’s warnings of “foreign fighters”, just as we largely ignored the Salafists who were moving among the brave men who fought Gaddafi.

Go back further, and we did pretty much the same in Afghanistan after 1980. We backed the mujahedin against the Soviets without paying attention to their theology and we used Pakistan to funnel weapons to these men. And when some of them transmogrified into the Taliban and nurtured Osama bin Laden and the scorpion bit on 9/11, we cried “terrorism” and wondered why the Afghans “betrayed” us. Same story yesterday, when four US Special Forces were murdered by their ungrateful Afghan police “trainees”.

The tragedy of this cycle of events is that the Assad regime and its secret police have tortured and murdered thousands of innocents, its personnel have committed war crimes and Syria’s civil war is consuming a generation who should be building a nation rather than destroying it. And Turkey has now taken on Pakistan’s role as an arms funnel and rest-and-recreation centre for Syria’s mujahedin. Will Turkey be the Pakistan of the Middle East?

Syria’s war is now taking on the carapace of Lebanon’s 1975-90 conflict: sympathise with Palestinians and you were anti-Christian – express Christian fears and you were pro-Israeli. In Syria, the government’s brutal snipers are killers of children. On the other side of the front line, the Free Syrian Army sniper is romantic; he gets married to a frontline nurse, only too sorry the family can’t attend their nuptials. The mere suggestion that the opposition might be committing the occasional atrocity, and a reporter is asked – as I was – how much he is being paid by the Syrian intelligence service.

So over to the Department of Home Truths. When he was murdered, Osama bin Laden was a has-been. No Arab revolutionary carried his picture. But this wretched organisation has now decided to cash in. Hence this weekend’s al-Qa’ida call to Egyptians to continue their protests against the anti-Muslim video. Hence Benghazi. The scorpion has got in among the good guys. All you need then is a bit of hypocrisy. For Washington reluctantly says it can’t ban the video since this would endanger free speech – the same free speech which America’s dictators forbad their people for so many decades.

Source: http://ind.pn/S0hC7a

 

Al-Qaeda flags fly over rebel-held Syria

17 Sep

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By John Rosenthal
Aug 14, 2012

There has recently been a small stir in the American media, as media organizations from the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal to the Associated Press have finally gotten around to acknowledging a “presence” of al-Qaeda and like-minded jihadist groups among the Syrian rebel forces seeking to topple the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

It is difficult to see what the cause of the excitement is. After all, such a presence has been blindingly obvious for many months: whether as a result of the dozens of suicide attacks that have plagued Syria [1] or the numerous videos that have emerged showing rebel forces or supporters proudly displaying the distinctive black flag of al-Qaeda. [2]

But observations made by German journalist Daniel Etter during a recent visit to rebel-controlled towns near the embattled city of Aleppo suggest that there is no mere “presence” of jihadists among the rebels: religiously-inspired mujahideen is what the rebels are. The real question is whether there is a presence of anything else. Etter’s report, which appeared in the leading German daily Die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung [3], also provides evidence that rebel authorities are subjecting civilians to arbitrary detention and torture and summarily executing captured members of the regular Syrian armed forces.

In the town of Maraa, north of Aleppo, Etter saw some 120 prisoners, apparently civilians, “herded into a large classroom” in what had previously been a school. Many of the prisoners showed signs of abuse. The prison director, whom Etter identifies only as “Jumbo,” refused to allow Etter to speak with them alone. Etter notes that Jumbo “looks like his name.” “Jumbo is not someone with whom you would like to pick a fight,” Etter writes:
[N]ot someone whom as a prisoner you would like to have as your jail keeper. Thus the detainees say that their wounds and bruises are the product of falls or shrapnel. They say how well they are treated here, and they swear loyalty to the Free Syrian Army. Much of what they say is not credible.

The most gruesome wounds that Etter describes involve a certain “Tamer” from Aleppo: until recently an enthusiastic supporter of Assad – so enthusiastic that he had a portrait of the Syrian president tattooed on his chest. In the meanwhile, the tattoo has been excised from Tamer’s body with a razor blade. Tamer insists that he did the deed himself after rebel forces entered Aleppo. He says that he ran to the rebels’ headquarters and sliced at the tattoo while yelling, “I give my blood for the Free Syrian Army!”

In a remarkable journalistic leap of faith, Etter writes, “Tamer’s story cannot be independently verified either, but it is unlikely that Jumbo would have let a journalist speak with him if his scars were the result of abuse.” As made clear by Etter’s own description of the circumstances under which he was able to speak with the detainees, it is surely far more unlikely that Tamer would have accused his captors with “Jumbo” present.

Moreover, even supposing that Tamer did indeed inflict his own wounds, why would he commit such an act of self-mutilation if he did not expect worse from the “new authorities,” as Etter puts it, if the tattoo was discovered? Rebel groups have repeatedly made clear that they feel entitled to target any and all supporters of the ancien regime.

Jumbo says that Tamer was a member of a pro-Assad militia: a so-called “shabiha”. But there is no evidence presented for this in the article. “I have no proof that he killed anyone,” Jumbo concedes.

It is equally unclear what “crimes” the other detainees are supposed to have committed. But their daily routine makes clear, at any rate, the ideological orientation of their captors. “They pray five times a day,” Etter writes:
[A]nd study the Quran. Perhaps out of a sense of remorse, perhaps to please their jailers, perhaps because they are forced to do so. Jumbo seems to be convinced that their turn to God is doing good. “They are happier and they are changing their attitude,” he says.

In the neighboring town of Azaz, Etter encountered a less didactic form of Islamism: namely, in the person of rebel commander Abu Anas. Etter describes meeting Abu Anas in his office: a Koran and a “silver sword” were lying on his desk and a black flag hung over it. An Arabic inscription on the flag proclaimed, ‘There is no God but God. Mohammed is his Prophet” “It is the flag that al-Qaeda also used,” Etter remarks.

Seemingly taking his cue from Western supporters – or perhaps indeed advisors – Abu Anas emphasized that the black flag was also used before al-Qaeda. But if it is the distinctive black flag with the circular white “seal of Mohammed” in the middle, there appears to be no evidence that this is the case.

This is the flag made famous by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s al-Qaeda in Iraq: notably, as a result of the group’s notoriously harrowing videos documenting the executions of captured Iraqi security personnel and American and other hostages. Indeed, even Zarqawi’s group went through various versions of its flag before settling on the version that has since become the standard banner of al-Qaeda affiliates around the world.

In any case, it is not only the choice of flag that appears to have been inspired by al-Qaeda in Iraq. The rebel leader tells Etter that his forces captured Syrian government troops in the battle for Azaz. Asked what became of the government soldiers, Abu Anas responds, “We could not take care of them. Most of them are dead.”

“Earlier,” Etter explains, “when Abu Anas was not yet in the room, a smiling subordinate of his showed with gestures how they bound prisoners and shot them.”

While there is not much he can do to put a positive spin on the actions of Abu Anas and his men, Etter labors mightily to try at least to cast “Jumbo” and his prison in Maara in a more positive light. In one somewhat surreal paragraph, he even praises the rebels for their supposed efforts to build a “fairer” system of justice in Maara – after he has raised the specter of prisoner abuse in Jumbo’s prison.

Jumbo tells him about one case involving a group of Alawites who were detained by the rebels, but then later released since “we had no evidence against them”. Etter does not ask: evidence of what? But even supposing that Jumbo’s claim is true, it amounts to an admission that Alawites are being detained in rebel-controlled territories simply because they are Alawites.

In the language of international humanitarian law, what Etter has described in his article are clearly war crimes and probably too crimes against humanity. But when it is a matter of the crimes of the Syrian rebels, the West’s otherwise supposedly so acute moral sensibilities appear to have become dull.

Source: http://bit.ly/NaZKqg

 

The Plan: According to US General Wesley Clark – Video

16 Sep

July 13,2012

General Clark commanded Operation Allied Force in Kosovo War during his term as the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) of NATO from 1997 to 2000. During a 2007 interview with Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman, General Wesley Clark (Retired) explains a story that began shortly after the 9/11 attacks. Clark reveals 2001 USA war plan to invade Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran. By now (2011) this plan is almost done. Only Syria and Iran are not bombed yet but those 2 are targets for US and Israel strikes.

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