Aletho News


Russia again offers US to seal pact on mutual non-interference in each other’s affairs

RT | December 28, 2017

US Ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, has been handed a proposal for Washington and Moscow to exchange guarantees of non-interference in each others internal affairs, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman has said.

The memorandum, in which Russia’s “readiness to exchange letters or other forms of guarantees of mutual non-interference into electoral and other internal political processes, was again confirmed,” and forwarded to Huntsman on December 21, Zakharova said. “The matter now lies with the American side,” she stated, adding that the media should engage US officials for further comment.

Russia underlined “the long-standing and systematic aspirations of Washington to influence what is happening in our country in its own interests,” Zakharova said of the proposal.

It is not the first attempt by Moscow to formalize non-interference between the US and Russia. Similar suggestions were voiced repeatedly after “absolutely groundless accusations of a certain Russian influence in the presidential election in the US in 2016 began to unravel,” the spokeswoman told journalists at a briefing in Moscow.

The non-interference provision was also contained “in the draft of the joint statement by Russian and the US presidents, prepared for the G20 summit in Hamburg in July 2017. However – and I think you won’t need a second try to guess this right – the Americans refrained from adopting such a document,” Zakharova said.

“Washington showed that they don’t want to make any commitments. Of course, it looks like a desire to reserve the right to interfere in the affairs of others,” she added. The foreign ministry spokesman slammed the US over recent claims that Russian authorities were “pressuring potential presidential candidates” in the election, scheduled for March 18.

Earlier this week, US State Department spokesman, Noel Clay, told TASS that Washington was “concerned” by the decision of the Russian Central Elections Commission to reject the application of anti-corruption activist, Aleksey Navalny. Russian law, explicitly bars people with unserved lengthy prison sentences from participating in presidential polls. Navalny was handed a five-year suspended sentence for embezzlement in 2014, and another five-year suspended sentence in 2013 for fraud.

“Such statements by the State Department are a direct interference into the electoral process, the internal affairs of a sovereign state,” she said. “It remains unclear on what grounds US officials believe that they are entitled to assess the internal political processes of other countries,” said Zakharova.

December 28, 2017 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 1 Comment

Activist: Peru’s Ex-Leader Pardoning Won’t Lead to National Reconciliation

Sputnik – December 28, 2017

Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, sentenced to 25 years in prison for corruption and crimes against humanity, including ordering massacres by death squads, was pardoned by incumbent President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski on December 24, prompting a heated debate and a wave of dissatisfaction among Peruvians.

“This measure does not solve the [country’s] main problems and does not lead to the national reconciliation the [Peruvian] government is talking about,” Miguel Angel Canales, president of the Association of Relatives of Political Prisoners, of the Missing People and Victims of Genocide of Peru, told Sputnik Mundo. “The amnesty should cover civilians, military and police, not Fujimori supporters alone. Both groups [Fujimori and Kuczynski] are responsible for the implementation of neo-liberal policies in Peru. They have never sought to solve the problems of [common] people.”

Fujimori was granted amnesty after his supporters put forward and then declined the proposal for an impeachment of the incumbent president.

On September 23 Sputnik suggested, citing Alvaro Campana, the general secretary of the Nuevo Peru (“New Peru”) movement, that the impeachment initiative could result in Fujimori’s pardoning.

The bid for impeachment of Kuczynski was put forward over the allegations of corruption and receiving money from the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht when the present Peruvian leader was the minister of former president Alejandro Toledo between 2001 and 2006.

On December 21 the president survived the impeachment vote with 78 representatives supporting the measure and 19 against. The numbers fell short of the necessary 87 votes to impeach Kuczynski.

That became possible after 10 members of the hard-right Popular Force party, led by Fujimori’s daughter Keiko, abstained at the last minute instead of voting in favor of the measure, Simeon Tegel of The Washington Post reported last Friday.

It appeared symbolic that Alberto Fujimori’s son, Kenji, who also abstained from voting, was moved to tears when it became known that Kuchinsky would not be removed from power.

“Finally, Fujimori supporters and the government shake hands,” Campana said, commenting on the matter.

On December 24 Kuczynski announced that he granted amnesty to Fujimori. According to the presidential administration, the former Peruvian leader was released for health reasons. A day earlier, Fujimori was admitted to the intensive care unit at the Centenario Clinic in Lima. After the news, on December 26, the former leader of the Latin American country was transferred to an ordinary chamber.

In a video posted on his Facebook page the former Peruvian leader asked for forgiveness.

“I am aware that the results during my government on one side were well received, but I recognize that I have also disappointed others, and I ask them to forgive me with all my heart,” he said, as quoted by CNN.

Fujimori served as a president of Peru from 1990 to 2000. Between 1980 and 2000 more than 15,000 people had gone missing during an internal armed conflict in Peru. More than 4,000 common graves still remain undiscovered. Apparently therefore, the pardoning of the former leader of the country caused an ambiguous reaction within the Peruvian society and provoked mass protests in Lima and other cities.

On Monday, police fired tear gas to disperse crowds protesting Kuczynski’s decision in downtown Lima, while several members of the president’s party resigned.

In response, Kuczynski addressed the protestors, urging them to “turn the page” and accept Fujimori’s amnesty.

December 28, 2017 Posted by | Corruption | , , | Leave a comment

Israeli settlers, soldiers raid Nablus-area school, injure Palestinian students

Palestine Information Center – December 28, 2017

NABLUS – A Palestinian school student suffered a rubber bullet injury on Thursday morning after Israeli soldiers stormed Burin town in Nablus to provide protection for extremist Jewish settlers, who infiltrated into the town and clashed with local residents.

Eyewitnesses explained the Palestinian Information Center that at first, a horde of violent settlers entered the town and encircled the school of Burin before attempting to storm it to attack students and teachers, who were busy doing semester exams.

The settlers also caused damage to three parked cars outside the school, and brutalized and detained several teachers on the main road of the town.

Soon later, local residents rushed to the school to fend off the settlers and clashed with them before soldiers showed up and started to fire volleys of tear gas as well as rubber and live bullets randomly to protect the settlers.

Consequently, one student was injured and several others inside and outside the school suffered from their exposure to teargas fumes.

The administration of the school also had to postpone the exams and dismiss the students following the events.

In a separate incident, a large number of Israeli soldiers stormed Rujeib town, southeast of Nablus, amid intensive shooting of tear gas and stun grenades near homes.

Eyewitnesses reported that the soldiers detained some students on the streets of the town for a while and searched them before letting them go.

The soldiers also clashed with local young men during their campaign in the town and withdrew without making arrests.

December 28, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Doctors urge mental health group not to meet in Israel

Israeli security forces take a Palestinian minor into custody in the West Bank on 20 December 2017 [Wisam Hashlamoun/Apaimages]
MEMO | December 28, 2017

Mental health experts have called on the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy’s to reconsider its decision to hold its 2019 international meeting in Israel because of the latter’s aggression towards Palestinians.

A letter addressed to the IARPP, signed by renown Palestinian psychiatrist Samah Jabr and a number of American therapists, calls on the body to consider

the grave crisis posed by the Israeli occupation and its currently escalating attacks on the Palestinian people – attacks reflective of an overarching policy of ethnic cleansing and consequent seizure of land, restriction of freedom of movement, and control over natural resources.

They said they have “an added responsibility to make our voices heard … as mental health workers familiar with the impact of violence on both individual health and collective well-being.”

The doctors went on to highlight Israel’s reliance “upon intimidation, extrajudicial assassination, and torture of Palestinians – including the torture of children, often involving sexual assault.”

“To locate international conferences related to any professional domain in Israel, in our view, represents a tacit acceptance of the behaviour of the state of Israel,” they wrote, adding: “To hold such conferences cannot help but advance the interests of the state of Israel through the implication that Israel welcomes a free exchange of ideas.”

“It is particularly ironic and painful to see Israel chosen as the site of an international conference when the central theme of the particular organisation is the in-depth understanding of human relationships.”

Though there have previously been calls to allow Palestinian doctors to attend the meeting if it is held in Israel, the mental health experts said this is not a valid solution, not least because they “may find merely showing up at the conference to be impossible due to checkpoints, movement restrictions, blacklisting of activists, and other everyday experiences familiar to Palestinians”.

December 28, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

Israel Ready for ‘A Very Violent War’

By Jeremy Salt | Palestine Chronicle | December 28, 2017

‘Violence is not the way.’ How often did we hear Tony Blair say it? We know that violence should not be the way but we know that it is often is. The ‘we’ definitely does not include Blair, an architect of extreme violence in the Middle East. We know from history that violent states can often leave the peaceful with nothing left but violence to stop them going any further. This is the paradoxical trap in human behavior: the violent can ultimately impose violence on the peaceful.

We would be deluding ourselves if we think that such a point has not been reached with Israel or has not been almost reached; we have to leave open the slim possibility that somehow it will come to its senses and do what it could have done decades ago, make peace with the Palestinians and through them with the Arab and Muslim worlds and, in fact, with the world in general, but this does not seem likely.

The Zionist leaders knew from the beginning that the only way they could take Palestine would be through war. Jabotinsky was blunt about it, Ben-Gurion honest only in his private correspondence: only by fire and sword could Israel be created out of Palestine and having stepped on this path Israel has never stepped off it.

Over seven decades it has waged war after war:  against the Palestinians, against Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia, against any state, organisation or individual that gets in its way. It has massacred, assassinated and bombed ambulances, hospitals, schools, UN compounds and apartment blocks. It has never shown concern for the human lives it takes: on the contrary, one of its pilots even joked when asked how he felt when firing a missile at an apartment building in Gaza.   His reply was that he felt a ‘slight tremor’ in the wings of his plane.

Over the years Israel’s rabbis and generals have declared all Palestinians as the enemy or as cancers, snakes and cockroaches to be crushed or cut out. The Palestinian enemy even includes the children not yet born, giving Golda Meir nightmares when she went to bed, not knowing how many Palestinians might have been born by the time she woke up.

These frightful sentiments are reflected on the street and in the mainstream culture, in polls showing hatred of Palestinians, even amongst schoolchildren, and in the unending violence of West Bank settlers. The soldiers and border police who protect these settlers do what they like, knowing they will not be punished, or punished so lightly that the punishment only adds insult to injury to the victim and his/her family. The murder of Abd al Fatah al Sharif as he lay wounded in the streets of Hebron last year and the recent murder by a sniper of the wheelchair-bound Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, whose legs were severed by an Israeli missile strike on Gaza in 2008,  are not brutal anomalies but entirely consistent with Israel’s violent history.

Destroying the enemy before he becomes too strong has been Israel’s guiding maxim since 1948. Egypt was kept off balance by repeated attacks across the armistice line before the tripartite aggression of 1956. That failed because of the intervention of the US once British treachery was revealed. Israel then reverted to more attacks across the armistice line before the attack of 1967 on Egypt and Syria.  The myth of invincibility lasted only until the first week of the 1973 war, during which Israel’s forces were routed in Sinai. Had Sadat not betrayed Hafez al Assad they would have been driven off the Golan Heights as well, but that still would have left the probability of direct intervention by the US to save Israel from the consequences of its own folly.

This was the last war Israel fought against a regular army. Its ‘wars’ on Lebanon and Gaza were no more than military onslaughts on a mostly defenseless population and even then it could not win them. Gaza has managed to stand upright despite the carnage of Israel’s attacks and in Lebanon the uprooting of the PLO in 1982 only cleared the way for a Shia resistance taking political and military shape in the form of Hezbollah.  By 2000 this guerrilla army had driven the Zionists out of southern Lebanon and in 2006 it heaped further humiliation on them when they returned, which brings us to considerations of the present situation.

The first is that Israel’s geopolitical situation is not what it was. The days when Israel could call on the sympathy of the world, as an allegedly beleaguered little state threatened with extinction, have long since gone. With the exception of the US and its hangers-on, the world knows what Israel is, a bully.

In the Middle East Israel’s geopolitical situation is not what it was either. The treaties it has signed with Egypt and Jordan are moribund. The popular antagonism to Israel in both countries is as strong now as the day these treaties were signed, and probably even stronger following Trump’s inflammatory statement, the killing of Ibrahim Abu Thuraya and the powerful stand taken by a Palestinian teenager, Ahad Tamimi, in slapping the face of a Zionist soldier.

Militarily, Israel’s decline could be charted on a graph. The slide since 1967 has been slow but continuous. Yes, Israel has nuclear weapons and intermittently sends out signals that it is prepared to use them, as it did in 1973. Yes, it has supreme air power but even this has not been sufficient to give it the victories it wants and as Israel’s intelligence and military chiefs know, Israel’s enemies are working all the time on the means of countering Israel’s technological superiority. The Zionist media might jeer at Hasan Nasrallah but Israel’s military commanders do not.

Israel has tried to destroy Hezbollah but has failed. It has tried to intimidate Iran through the assassination of its scientists and repeated threats of military attack but it has failed, even with the additional weapon of US sanctions. The law of unintended consequences has prevailed: the attempt to destroy Syria has also failed, ultimately, despite the massive destruction and loss of life, and so has the attempt to destroy Iraq, which is regaining its shattered unity under a Shia-dominant government close to Iran and sympathetic to Hezbollah. The collapse of Kurdish secessionism is another blow to Israel. The obverse of these failures is the growing military strength of Hezbollah and Iran, far greater now than a decade ago.

It is for these reasons that the Middle East is facing perhaps the most dangerous moment in its modern history. Psychologically, strategically, Israel cannot allow the present situation to continue unchecked, cannot allow Hezbollah and Iran to grow even stronger in the coming years. It must reassert its military dominance and all the signals pouring out of the political and military establishment indicate that after a year of intensive preparations it is ready to go. The target will be Lebanon, which Israel’s propagandists are portraying as no more than a Hezbollah enclave manipulated by Iran, which Israel will want to draw into the conflict. The war will be one of massive destruction, with Israel’s ministers differing only on whether Lebanon is to be bombed back to the Stone Age (Yisrael Katz) or the Middle Ages (Naftali Bennett).

Israel’s war preparations in the past year include the biggest land maneuvers for two decades. Held in northern occupied Palestine right on the armistice line with Lebanon the ‘Light on the Grain’ maneuvers in September, 2017, began with the evacuation of civilians in the region. An estimated 30,000-40,000 soldiers and reservists were involved, in 20 brigades, with jet fighters, helicopters, drones, submarines, gunboats and patrol boats providing backup and reconnaissance for troops on the ground. Electronic warfare, the use of robot fighters in tunnels and mock battles with soldiers wearing ‘enemy’ uniforms and carrying fake explosive belts were all on the agenda. The exercises were based on the assumption of a ten-day war with Hezbollah. According to Walid Sukkariya, a retired Lebanese general and member of parliament, the number of soldiers deployed indicated the deployment of 150,000 troops in a real war.

In November, 2017, the largest aerial exercise in Israel’s history was held in southern occupied Palestine. This multilateral two-week ‘Blue Flag’ exercise involved about 1000 pilots from nine countries, including, for the first time in the history of such maneuvers, Germany. Hundreds of jet fighters flew an estimated 1000 missions from the Uvda base as the ‘blue’ forces ‘attacked’ the ‘red alliance’, an unspecified enemy whose pilots, however, were all given an Arabic name.  Helicopters, drones and UAVs were used: electronic warfare was central to the maneuvers, as was the assumption that the ‘enemy’ would be armed with SAMs and MANPAD missile launchers.

Offshore, Cyprus has been used by Israel as it prepares for its next war. In March, 2017, Israel and the government of southern Cyprus staged the three-day ‘Onsilos-Gedeon’ military maneuvers in and over a large area around Nicosia. In June an estimated 500 Israeli soldiers, many from the ‘elite’ Egoz unit, along with 100 soldiers from the Cypriot National Guard took part in a two- week war exercise in the Troodos mountains, where the terrain is similar to southern Lebanon. The combat involved ‘fighting’ above and below ground, fighting in dense bush in mountainous terrain and airborne maneuvers night and day. The aerial component included five Israeli squadrons, C130 transport planes, Blackhawk helicopters and Unit 669, whose core mission is to rescue pilots and soldiers trapped behind enemy lines.

In late October, 2017, Cypriot-Israeli military ‘cooperation’ moved to southern occupied Palestine, where soldiers from the Cypriot National Guard and the Egoz unit staged exercises held over two weeks at the Tzeelim military base. The focus was on urban warfare in the setting of a mock ‘Arab’ town.

These ongoing military maneuvers are part of a new strategic (military and commercial) axis developing in the eastern Mediterranean between Israel, Cyprus and Greece and drawing in other countries because of the lucrative profits that will eventually come from the deep sea natural gas deposits drilled by southern Cyprus in its Aphrodite field and Israel in its Leviathan and Tamar fields 140 kms from the coast of occupied Palestine. Haifa.

The military engagement with Israel and the holding of maneuvers on Cypriot soil which, for Israel, are clearly directed at an ‘Arab’ enemy, have caused consternation in the ranks of the Cypriot opposition. In June the Akel party noted that the Troodos mountains had been chosen for their similarity to the topography of southern Lebanon. It said the exercises had involved Cyprus in dangerous war games ‘with an army that has been an occupying power for 50 years in the Palestinian territories.’ The militarization of cooperation with Israel was dangerous to Cyprus and regional peace.

The scale of these exercises leaves no room for doubt that Israel is not merely upgrading and monitoring its military preparedness but actively preparing for war. The alarm bells have been sounding continuously for the past year: according to Channel Two, given access to Israeli positions along the armistice line with Lebanon, Israel is preparing for ‘a very violent war.’ Already in 2008 the then head of the Zionist military’s northern command, now the chief of staff, Gadi Eisenkot, presented the ‘Dahiya doctrine’, focusing on the massive damage that would be done in areas associated with Hezbollah. According to Eisenkot: ‘In every village from which Israel is fired upon we will apply disproportionate force against it and cause great damage and destruction there. From our standpoint these are not civilian villages, they are military bases. This is not a recommendation. It is a plan and it has been approved.’

Dahiya, of course, was the largely Shia suburb of Beirut pulverized from the air by Israel in 2006. Others think the ‘doctrine’ should be applied even more widely. In the words of education minister Naftali Bennett, uttered in March, 2017, ‘The Lebanese institutions, its infrastructure, airports, power stations, traffic junctions, Lebanese army bases, they should all be legitimate targets if a war breaks out. That’s what we should already be saying to them and they would know that if Hezbollah fires missiles at the Israeli home front this will mean sending Lebanon back to the Middle Ages.’ From Bennett this is not empty rhetoric. After all, in 1996 it was he who called in the artillery barrage that killed more than 100 people, half of them children, in the UN compound at Qana, southern Lebanon; ‘I am proud of how I functioned during operation Grapes of Wrath’, he remarked later. ‘Leave the warriors alone.’ After all, again, it was Bennett who once said ‘I have killed lots of Arabs in my life and there is no problem with that.

According to intelligence minister Yisrael Katz, speaking this December with a Saudi newspaper, ‘What happened in 2006 will be a picnic compared to what we can do now. I remember a Saudi minister saying they will send Hezbollah back to their caves in southern Lebanon. I am telling you that we will return Lebanon to the Stone Age … and bury Nasrallah under the rocks.’  These are genocidal threats, plain and simple, and both Iran and Hezbollah are preparing for the onslaught. Hezbollah has already said it has missiles that can reach any part of occupied Palestine and has hinted that ports and refineries would be among the targets in any coming war.

Nasrallah’s response to these threats, made in his address marking the 10th of Ashura in October this year, warrants attention because he is not a man to indulge in idle talk. This was a long speech in which he distinguished Judaism from Zionism, in which he said the Jews brought to Palestine from all over the world were cannon fodder in a British-western colonialist war against the Arabic and Muslim people of the region and were still serving as fuel for US policies.

Addressing ‘Jewish scholars, their eminent personalities, their thinkers’ he warned that Netanyahu is leading ‘your people’ in Palestine to annihilation and destruction. He was working with Trump to tear up the agreement with Iran and push the region into a new war but neither he nor his government and military officials had an accurate picture of what awaited them if they started another war. ‘That is why I call first of all on Jews except the Zionists to detach their considerations from Zionist calculations which will only lead them to their final destruction. I call on all those who came into occupied Palestine believing the promises that they would find the land of milk and honey, I call on them to leave Palestine and go back to the countries from which they came so they do not become mere fuel in any war to which the stupid Netanyahu will lead them. For if Netanyahu launches a war in this region there may be no more time for them to leave Palestine and there may be no safe place for them in occupied Palestine.’ Such a war could bring about ‘the end of all things for you and for the Zionist entity.’

This was possibly the strongest and most direct speech Nasrallah has ever made. The confidence in what he had to say suggests that Hezbollah has attained or developed weaponry that Israel may find it hard to counter. The speech indicates that after more than seven decades, Nasrallah fully understands that the conflict with Israel is rapidly moving towards the existential level of either/or: either Hezbollah will be destroyed and Iran crippled or Israel will suffer blows of such magnitude as to threaten its survival. Right now this may seem improbable but history is nothing if not a trickster, especially for those who make their calculations on the basis of power they will never lose. For either side defeat is not an option: Israel is preparing to fight a war of unprecedented savagery to finish off its enemies and they are ready to defend themselves and (as Nasrallah has warned) take the war into enemy territory. This seems close to the point at which we now stand, without anyone in the ‘international community’ putting on the brakes to stop the momentum towards war.

– Jeremy Salt taught at the University of Melbourne, at Bosporus University in Istanbul and Bilkent University in Ankara for many years, specializing in the modern history of the Middle East. Among his recent publications is his 2008 book, The Unmaking of the Middle East. A History of Western Disorder in Arab Lands (University of California Press).

December 28, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 6 Comments

Who Are the Leading State Sponsors of Terrorism?

By Philip M. GIRALDI | Strategic Culture Foundation | 28.12.2017

As 2017 draws to a close, it is difficult to be optimistic about what will be coming in the new year. The American President, whose margin of victory was certainly based on his pledge to avoid unnecessary wars, has doubled down on Afghanistan, refuses to leave Syria even though ISIS has been defeated, and is playing serious brinksmanship with a psychopathic and unpredictable regime in Pyongyang. The White House has also bought into the prevailing largely fabricated narrative about a Russia and has decided to arm Ukraine with offensive weapons, which has already resulted in a sharp response from Moscow and will make détente of any kind between the two leading powers all but impossible in the upcoming year.

But, as I have observed before, the red hazard light that continues to be blinking most brightly relates to Washington’s relationship with Iran, which has unnecessarily deteriorated dramatically over the past year and which brings with it collateral problems with Russia and Turkey that could trigger a much wider conflict. I say unnecessarily because all the steps taken to poison the relationship have come out of Washington, not Tehran. The Trump administration refused to certify that the Iranians had been in compliance with the nuclear agreement negotiated in 2015 and has since escalated its verbal attacks, mostly at the United Nations, claiming that the regime in Tehran is the major source of terrorism in the world and that it is seeking hegemony over a broad arc of countries running westward from its borders to the Mediterranean Sea.

The only problem with the allegations being made is that none of them is true and, furthermore, Iran, with limited military resources, poses no serious threat to gain control over its neighbors, nor to attack the United States or Europe. The invective about Iran largely derives from Israel and Saudi Arabia, which themselves have hegemonic ambitions relating to their region. Israel’s friends in the US Congress, media and White House have not surprisingly picked up on the refrain and are pushing for military action. Israel has even threatened to bomb any Iranian permanent presence inside neighboring Syria.

A recent detailed analysis by former US intelligence officers has demonstrated just how the claim that Iran is the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism is almost completely fabricated. The analysis explains how these false narratives are contrived and how they become part of the Washington background noise. The White House’s recent National Security Strategy Report for 2018 stated that “Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, has taken advantage of instability to expand its influence through partners and proxies, weapon proliferation, and funding.” But another US government report, the annual Country Reports on Terrorism 2016 cites no actual terrorist incidents initiated by Iran in that year. In fact, the most recent terrorist incident attributed to Tehran was in 2012, and that was retaliatory against Israel, which was at the time assassinating Iran’s scientists and technicians and attacking its computer systems.

America’s UN Ambassador Nikki Haley’s has recently claimed that it is hard to find a “terrorist group in the Middle East that does not have Iran’s fingerprints all over it.” But in reality, the overwhelming majority of terrorist groups in the region, to include ISIS, Al-Qaeda and al-Nusra, are Sunni Muslims, who believe Iran’s Shi’ism is heretical, and are both tied to and funded by Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United States. The Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) is indeed an ethnic Iranian terrorist group, but it has been funded and supported by Washington and Tel Aviv to carry out attacks inside Iran.

The reality is that terrorism, defined by the United Nations as “criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public,” is most employed at the state level by the United States and its allies Israel and Saudi Arabia, not by Iran. All have used violence directed against civilians in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon, and all three have supported organizations that fit the definition of terrorists. Iran may indeed be guilty of actions that much of the world disapproves of, but it is not the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism as has been alleged.

December 28, 2017 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Erdogan’s Claims That Assad is a ‘Terrorist’ Have No Legal Basis – Moscow

Sputnik | December 28, 2017

The Russian Foreign Ministry has commented on the recent statement of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, calling his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad a “terrorist”.

“Such evaluations do not have any legal basis… Such statements are groundless,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said during a briefing on Thursday, adding that the representatives of the Syrian government are members of the UN and represent the country’s government in the UN Security Council.

The statement was made after on December 27, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called his Syrian counterpart “definitely a terrorist who has carried out state terrorism” during a meeting with Tunisian president Beji Caid Essebsi, adding that “it is impossible to continue with him”, claiming that Assad had allegedly killed about a million of Syrian citizens.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry responded to these claims by saying that Erdogan was deceiving the public opinion in Turkey by claiming that Assad should not remain in power, adding that Ankara’s policy “causes catastrophic consequences” for both countries. The Syrian president has repeatedly denied all allegations of targeting civilians.

While both Russia and Turkey are the guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire and brokers of the Astana peace talks, their positions on the role of Assad in the future of the Arab Republic have differed since the civil war’s beginning in 2011.

While Moscow has repeatedly stressed that Assad was a legitimate president, underlining that it was up to the the Syrians to decide their own future, Ankara has been insisting that the Syrian president should leave his post.

A similar stance has been recently voiced by German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, who said that the future of the Arab Republic’s president and his government could only be resolved through talks.

In his turn, Assad has previously refused to consider Ankara as its partner or a guarantor state in the peace talks, accusing the country of supporting terrorism.

READ MORE: ‘Assad Mustn’t Go’: How Qatar, France, Germany ‘Wised Up in Regard to Syria’

December 28, 2017 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 1 Comment