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The Plan: Why Israel Is Bent on Supporting Arab Division

By Elias SAMO | Strategic Culture Foundation | 13.11.2018

During many meetings with senior members of the Syrian opposition in various European cities in 2013-2014, I would remind them that Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the United States, amongst others, host and finance the opposition due to their own self-interest and agendas; and not out of love for Syria. I would note that there is no disagreement among us Syrians about the brutality, corruption and exploitation of the Ottoman Empire during its four-century rule of Syria; we don’t want history to repeat itself. As for Saudi Arabia, I would remind the opposition of the contributions Syrian professionals made in the development of the Kingdom in past decades. We say to the Saudis “Blessed be your Wahhabism for you, but not for Syria”; Syria is a cultural and societal mosaic of ethnic, religious and sectarian components. As for the United States, we all agree that Washington supports Israel and views Syria as an adversarial state. However, Israel is a totally different matter. Since its creation, Israel has pursued aggressive and expansionist policy towards its neighbors in pursuit of two primary objectives: I – Great Israel and II – No Arab Unity And Support Arab Division.

I – Great Israel:

Great Israel from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Since the June 1967 War and the occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank, Israel has been in control of the land between the River and the Sea. Thus, Great Israel exists in reality, though not legally or officially until it annexes the West Bank and declares the Jewish Great Israel with Jerusalem its capital.

II –Supporting Arab division:

There are numerous documents and publications to that effect for the Arabs to read. Unfortunately, and according to international surveys, Arabs are amongst the least reading people in the world. This reminds me of the late Moshe Dayan, the Israeli Defense Minister during the June 1967 War. After the war, Dayan published some Israeli military strategies and tactics during the war. His colleagues criticized him for divulging military secrets to the Arabs. His response was not to worry; the Arabs don’t read. This problem is further compounded by the Arabs lack of interest in research or translation. Jointly, these three components form critical foundations for the development of societies and civilizations.

In the 1990’s, I participated in numerous Track II Diplomacy meetings with Israelis regarding the Syrian-Israeli Peace Process. During one of those meetings, attended by some Egyptians and Palestinians in addition to the Israelis, I gave a presentation in which I noted that the Arab region is divided into four sub-regions: The Fertile Crescent, The Arabian Peninsula, The Nile Valley and North Africa. Unlike the other three sub-regions, the Fertile Crescent faces national security threats being surrounded by three powerful and hostile neighbors: Turkey to the North, Israel to the South and Iran to the East. To deal with these multiple and omnipresent security threats, Syria and Iraq must agree to some form of unity; a joint population of 40+ million people, educated and productive endowed with natural resources including substantial oil reserves, and a large army. I emphasized the point that the purpose of such a unity is not aggressive; but defensive. I had hardly finished my presentation when the late Ze’ev Schiff, the military editor of the liberal Israeli newspaper Haaretz in a loud voice said “Do you think we will let you do that?”; meaning that any Arab initiative for unity must receive a prior Israeli approval which of course is not forthcoming. Mr. Schiff had previously published an article in Haaretz in 6/2/1982 proposing a plan for a future Iraq, in which he wrote that the best thing to serve Israel’s interest would be “the dissolution of Iraq into a Shiite State, a Sunni State and the separation of the Kurdish part.”

There were more comprehensive plans to break up a number of Arab states. In 1982, the Israeli journalist Oded Yinon proposed a more elaborate plan entitled “A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties”, published in the Hebrew Journal Kivunim. The plan called for the dissolution of several Arab states into smaller states. The author starts with “Lebanon’s total dissolution into five provinces…” He continues “Breaking Egypt down territorially into distinct geographical regions…” Furthermore, “ The dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unique areas such as Lebanon…” His solution for the Palestinians is through “The termination of the lengthy rule of King Hussein and the transfer of power to the Palestinians…”

After Yinon, the neoconservatives in 1996 submitted a plan for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s consideration entitled “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm”. Israel’s Western frontier is secured through the peace treaty with Egypt. The frontier with Syria could be secured “by weakening, containing and even rolling back Syria.” As for Iraq, it starts with “removing Saddam Hussein from power…”

In 2007, General Wesley Clark, in an interview and a lecture, said that while visiting the Pentagon just a few days after 9/11, a General explained to him that a decision has been made “to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and finishing off with Iran.”

Iraq, the first on the Pentagon war list was invaded in 2003. The Israeli journalist Ari Shavit, in a Haaretz article on April 3, 2003, notes that “the belief in war against Iraq was disseminated by a small group of 25 or 30 neoconservatives almost all of them Jewish, almost all of them intellectuals…” Syria, next on the Pentagon war list, was “a ripe fruit ready for picking” However, the picking of Syria had to wait until the start of the so-called “Arab Spring”.

Had Syrians known what was planned for them by Washington and Tel Aviv, they might have avoided the death and destruction in Syria, for patriotism and wisdom call upon the various factions in the State to put aside their differences and confront the external threats.

November 13, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

John Bolton Wins “Defender of Israel” Award From Zionist Lobby Group That Helped Appoint Him

Pictured left to right: Joseph Frager, Alan Dershowitz, and John Bolton at the 2018 Zionist Organization of America awards. Photo | ZOA
By Whitney Webb | MintPress News | November 12, 2018

The ZOA, Bolton’s enthusiastic sponsor, led the campaign to remove former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster from his post after railing against McMaster’s “anti-Israel” positions, most notably his support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as the Iran nuclear deal.

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) recently awarded U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton the “Defender of Israel Award” during its annual awards dinner, which took place in New York on Sunday night.

Other awardees included U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell as well as Fox News television host Mark Levin. Both Grenell and Levin are close to Bolton, with the former having served as Bolton’s spokesman and the latter having worked closely with Bolton at the Department of Justice in the Reagan administration.

Though Bolton has received several awards from the Israel lobby in the past, due to his fervent promotion of Zionism and Israeli government policy, this more recent award is notable, as the ZOA is largely responsible for Bolton’s appointment as National Security Adviser within the Trump administration.

Indeed, beginning in August 2017, the ZOA – under the leadership of its president, Morton Klein – led the campaign to remove former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster from his post after railing against McMaster’s “anti-Israel” positions, most notably his support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as the Iran nuclear deal.

However, McMaster had also earned the ire of American Zionists for allegedly referring to Israel as an “occupying power” and acknowledging the existence of Palestine — as Zionists at ZOA and like-minded organizations support a revisionist history of the creation of the Israeli state that asserts that Palestine as a state never existed prior to Israel’s establishment in 1948.

Leaked emails reported on by MintPress earlier this year revealed that ZOA’s campaign to remove McMaster soon won the support of Trump’s top political donor, Zionist billionaire Sheldon Adelson. It was later revealed that Adelson had been instrumental in placing Bolton in the position McMaster vacated, as Bolton had long been a confidant of the politically influential casino magnate and Adelson had previously lobbied Trump – then president-elect – to include Bolton in his cabinet.

Bolton has not disappointed his sponsors

Since his appointment in April, Bolton has promoted and helped bring to fruition policies long supported by Adelson and the ZOA – which Adelson helps fund – as well as related groups. Under Bolton’s influence, President Trump unilaterally withdrew the U.S. from the JCPOA and imposed harsh sanctions against Iran, which disproportionately affect Iranian civilians. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently stated that Iranian leaders would need to fall in line if “they want their people to eat,” underscoring the fact that the Iranian people are by and large the target of the U.S. sanctions targeting Iran.

In addition, Bolton has also used his role as National Security Adviser to advocate for other troubling policies in the Middle East to the benefit of Israel, such as the continuation and expansion of the U.S.’ occupation of around 30 percent of Syrian territory.

Bolton announced in July that the U.S. would maintain its military presence in Syria until the “Iranian menace was wiped off the map.” Bolton’s announcement became administration policy just two months later in September. However, just days before Bolton took over for McMaster, Trump had announced that he wanted to remove U.S. troops from Syria “very quickly.”

Ultimately, Bolton’s recent award from the Adelson-backed ZOA for “defending Israel” is the result of events that ZOA itself helped made possible. Now that Bolton – who they helped install into power – has helped bring about the very policies they had hoped he would manifest, ZOA has granted him a “prestigious” award. Perhaps it is only fitting that he receive such thanks for the service to Zionism he was installed to provide. Indeed, it is a cause and ideology that Bolton has repeatedly supported – often at the expense of U.S. government interests and even U.S. national security.

Whitney Webb is a staff writer for MintPress News and a contributor to Ben Swann’s Truth in Media. Her work has appeared on Global Research, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has also made radio and TV appearances on RT and Sputnik. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile.

See also:

Bolton’s Past Advocacy for Israel at US Expense Heralds Dangerous New Era in Geopolitics

Copyright © Whitney Webb, MintPress News, 2018

November 13, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

European Parliament ‘Shocked’ at Amount of EU-Made Arms in Hands of Terrorists

Sputnik – 12.11.2018

This week, members of the European Parliament will gather in Strasbourg for the plenary session with a wide array of issues on the agenda, including arms exports.

A draft report on arms exports, which will be tabled at the European Parliament’s plenary session in Strasbourg later this week, suggests launching an investigation into how EU-made weapons end up in the possession of terrorists in the Middle East.

One provision of the document, presented by German MEP Sabine Lösing, says that the European Parliament is “shocked at the amount of EU-made weapons and ammunition found in the hands of Daesh in Syria and Iraq.”

The same draft highlights that some EU member-states, including Bulgaria and Romania, have failed to apply the Common Position in relation to weapons’ retransfers, which contravenes end-user certificates.

The document further proposes making it obligatory for EU member-states to “deny an export licence if there is a clear risk that the military technology or equipment to be exported might be diverted.”

The European Parliament “calls on all Member States to refuse similar transfers in the future, notably to the US and Saudi Arabia,” the draft reads.

Syrian media have on multiple occasions reported that the country’s army had discovered large stocks of arms, ammunition, vehicles and other military equipment, made in the US, Europe and Israel, while conducting mop-up operations in regions liberated from terrorists.

November 12, 2018 Posted by | Deception, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Nasrallah speech given on the first anniversary of the Liberation of Lebanon against terrorist groups

Translation: unz.com/sayedhasan

Transcript:

[…] I want to tell you, on this first anniversary of the (Second) Liberation (of Lebanon against terrorist groups in August 2017), that in these battles against the Al-Nusra Front on the one hand, and ISIS in the Jurd (Ersal) on the other hand, the number of our fighters was higher than what was required in numbers on both fronts. And I asked the military officials, “Why do you bring so many forces?” I was concerned above all by the preservation of the blood (life and health) of our brothers, and I also cared about the fact that each of them would open fire, and it would have a price in terms of ammunition and money, but my main concern was to preserve the blood of our brothers. They said that they could not prevent the youth (Hezbollah fighters) from coming (voluntarily and massively in Syria). Especially because it was summer and there was no school or university courses, which is why the majority of fighters were (Hezbollah) students in universities and high school, because our practice is not to allow young people under 18 to fight, and there was therefore a significant number of young people among our martyrs.

And today also, these same young people, the same generation (is fighting in Syria and elsewhere). Some may think that the generation of 1982 or 1985 was different (more heroic than today), as well as that which fought in 2000 or 2006, but not in any case! Today’s generation has all the momentum, enthusiasm, presence, consciousness and alertness (found in the earlier ones). And it proved it during all the past years.

But on the other side, when you look at Israel, for example, we see in studies of which the Israeli media are currently speaking that the real crisis of the enemy, of the Israeli army, is in the human element (the soldiers themselves). The leaders and staff of the Israeli army have great difficulty to attract young (Israeli soldiers) to the combat units and troops and to the special brigades (elite forces), because the young Israelis prefer to serve in other units than combat. They do not have any motivation, the spirit of sacrifice disappears and there is no cause in which they believe and for which they are ready to be killed. This is a real problem, which many studies are devoted to, but I do not have time to discuss them in detail.

And there is also another problem that was revealed a few days ago with precise figures, namely the increase of mental disorders among soldiers of the enemy, who are monitored by psychologists in the army. “During the year 2017 –I quote the Israeli media–, nearly 44,000 soldiers asked support from psychologists officers.” It is a figure quite significant for the Israeli army. Against 39 000 soldiers for 2003. Last year, 44,000 soldiers went to see who? Psychologists doctors. Psychologists doctors. And that’s why…

When they speak of the reasons (of their depression), they say they do not want to die, to sacrifice, to get tired, to get up at dawn, their morale is low or nonexistent, they want a more comfortable and better paid position, etc. That’s what they say themselves. And that is why the strategists of the enemy entity always say that this army is not ready to enter into a new war. Despite the fact that since 2006 to this day, they got new aircraft (F-35), new missiles and developed many of their assets and capabilities. We know this and monitor it (closely). But since 2006 and to date, they have not managed to change the spirit of defeat that swept over their officers, their soldiers, and their people. They have failed to remedy the state of doubt and suspicion (prevalent) between soldiers and officers, and they were unable to find historical leaders able to mobilize again.

As for us, today, our strength lies in our young generations of these true and sincere fighters, willing to sacrifice, loyal, ready to shed their blood, who believe in dignity, in glory and in honor, and for whom the dignity of their people, the glory of their country, the honor and life of their loved ones deserve from them all the sacrifices and all these gifts. And this is what has allowed the Second Liberation (of Lebanon in August 2017), as well as the First Liberation (in 2000). […]

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on September 20, 2018, on the tenth day of the Islamic month of Muharram, commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Hussein.

Transcript:

[…] Sixth, regarding Israel, we must always stay on alert, my brothers and sisters. The Israelis are angry, the Israelis are worried. They are angry because their project in the region collapsed. The Israelis had high hopes on what was happening in Syria and Iraq. In the past, they had high hopes on what was happening in Lebanon. But all their illusions were scattered to the four winds. The Israelis know that the Resistance Axis will come back (to face them) stronger than ever. The Israelis know that new countries (Iraq, Yemen) are now part of the Resistance Axis, and that (whole) peoples who were outside the sphere of the struggle against the Israeli enemy are now within this sphere, in a strong, active and integrated manner. Israel is angry, Israel is worried, and that is why we must all stay on alert. I am not speaking of assumptions (of aggression) here and there, but I know that no one should allow himself to be reassured concerning this enemy, or even with the analyzes (about it), even if, as I have always confirmed to you, he fears any confrontation in the region, especially against Lebanon. And he knows well that any battle, any war he would launch could have a huge impact on the region. He knows he now has weaknesses that have become exposed (to everyone), and he knows very well our strengths.

Some days ago, (the Israeli Minister of War) Lieberman said on the occasion (of the commemoration) of the 1973 war: “We must understand that in the Middle East, two truly strategic changes have occurred: the first is that our enemies –meaning us (Hezbollah) and our allies– now have high-precision missiles and the second thing –of course, he still has no solution to these missiles, and logically, this will delay and repel the prospect of an Israeli war– and the second thing is that the home front (of the Zionist entity) has become the central front in any future war. If, during the 1973 war, the (Israeli) soldiers could fight on the front, while in Tel Aviv, people were (peacefully) sitting in coffee shops, reading newspapers, –during the 1973 war, the fighting took place on the front, at the borders, but the people who lived in Tel Aviv were quietly sitting in coffe shops, reading newspapers– but now everything has changed.” What he said about the current situation is a treat (to our ears). “Now everything has changed.” Yes, today everything has changed. We must also be conscious of this reality, just like the enemy is aware of it. The enemy knows (well) that major changes have occurred in this region, which he did not expect and that he had not anticipated.

As for the high-precision missiles and his attempts in Syria to cut the way for this power and this ability, today, I want to say something he already knows, but I want to say it publicly, for his people to be informed and take heed, and for our people to be informed and gain confidence. I say to Israel: Whatever you do to prevent the (weapons transfers), it’s already too late. Everything has already been done and completed, and the Resistance (in Lebanon) already has all the high precision missiles and such, all the capabilities and armaments it needs, so much that if Israel imposes a war in Lebanon, they will face a destiny and a reality they never anticipated.

This is the reality of the situation. And likewise, many things that have changed within their army. When I spoke at Hermel (on August 26), in commemoration of the Second Liberation (of Lebanon from terrorists), I talked about the situation with regard to the morale, spirit and psychological state of the Israeli army (disastrous according to recent studies in Israel). There is almost no one inside the entity that has not answered me. The President of the entity, the Head of government, the War minister, other ministers, MPs, journalists, etc., all have answered me, some by naming me and others without naming me, but it was clear that they were referring to me. Because I put light on a painful truth for them, for their people and for their future. And they know that now, technology alone is not enough to win in a battle, and that the decisive factor in a battle is the human element (soldiers). This is what experience has shown, whether in 2000, in 2006 or in recent years (Syria, Iraq, Yemen).Look how ridiculous these Israelis are: how did they answer me? With what facts did they answer me? They responded, and here you can see their weakness, by threatening Lebanon, but what did they say? Long ago, before 1982, they threatened to invade Beirut. But today, does anyone hear them speak about an invasion of Beirut? Did you hear such a thing? From 2000 to today, my brothers, (say) from 2006 to the present, did Israel ever claim that they were going to invade Lebanon and reach Beirut? It’s over! Why? Because an invasion of Lebanon up to Beirut requires ground forces (worthy of the name). This is not aviation, missiles and warships that can achieve such a thing. This army (able) to invade Lebanon and reach Beirut no longer exists! There is nothing like that in Israel, but in Lebanon, the situation is very different. Today, in Lebanon, something very different is found (real fighters, battle-hardened and in high spirits). And that’s why all the (Israeli) response consisted of threats to destroy and raze Lebanon to the ground. That is to say, they drew their strength (only) from their firepower, and dare not boast of the human element. […]

November 11, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

S-300 in Syria – a Preliminary Assessment

The Saker • Unz Review • November 9, 2018

We now know a little more about which version of the S-300 family the Russians have delivered to the Syrians: the Russians have converted a number of S-300PM and S-300P2 systems to the export version S-300PMU-2 “Favorit” which, by the way, is also the version Russia delivered to the Iranians and to the Chinese. This system uses the 48N6E2 missile and has an official range of 195km. I will skip the rest of the technical details and just say that this is a recent modification with excellent capabilities, so all the rumors about Russia delivering some antiquated version of the S-300 are now proven false (as usual). In fact, this is not the first time that the Russians have delivered an “Israeli-restraining” air defense system: in 1983 the USSR delivered a number of S-200VE “Vega-E” (SA-5b) air defense systems to Syria which significantly limited Israeli operations over and even around (AWACS) Syria.

Combined with the EW systems also delivered by Russia, these air defense systems clearly are having an impact on US and Israeli operations. And while the Americans are admitting that this is a problem for them, the Israelis, as usual, have both complained about this delivery and boasted that they did not care at all. adding that they would continue to bomb Syria whenever they feel the need. The Israelis have even declared that they would be willing to kill Russian crews if their aircraft are shot at. Except, of course, that so far the Israelis have stayed out of the Syrian skies (keep in mind that according to Israeli sources in 2017 the IDF attacked Syria over 200 times, roughly one attack every 2nd day!).

This time around, not only are the Israelis facing a much more competent air defense system, this system is also highly mobile and therefore much harder to locate, which will greatly complicate future attacks. Furthermore, since one S-300PMU2 battalion can track 300 targets (and engage 36 with 72 missiles simultaneously) at a very long range, the Syrians will now improve their early warning capabilities tremendously, which will make it much harder for the Israelis to successfully conduct surprise attacks against Syria.

Sooner or later, however, we can be pretty confident that both the Israelis and the US will have to try to strike Syria again, if only for PR purposes. In fact, this should not be too difficult for them, here is why:

First, and contrary to what is often claimed, there are not enough S-300/S-400′s in Syria to indeed “lock” all of the Syrian airspace. Yes, the Russians did create a de-facto no-fly zone over Syria, but not one which could withstand a large and determined attack. What the combined Russian and Syrian forces have done so far is to deny some specific segments of the airspace above and around Syria to the AngloZionist aggressors. This means that they can protect some specific, high-value targets. However, as soon as the US/Israelis get a feel for what has been deployed and where, and how this entire integrated air defense network works, they will be able to plan strikes which, while not terribly effective, will be presented by the propaganda machine as a major success for the AngloZionists.

Second, air defense operations are always a game of numbers. Even if you assume that each of the air defense missile has a probability of a kill of 1 (meaning that every air defense missile fired will destroy one incoming missile), you still cannot shoot down more missiles than what your own stores allow you to fire. The US/NATO/CENTCOM can, if needed, engage many more missiles in a saturation attack than the Russians have available for defense. This is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

Third, the US/NATO/CENTCOM/IDF all have advanced EW capabilities which will allow them to try to disrupt the Russian fire and reconnaissance capabilities, especially if low RCS aircraft (such as the F-22, F-35, B-1B, etc.) are used in the attacks. Low-RCS aircraft (and missiles) don’t have to operate alone and, in reality, they are often engaged with the support of a determined EW effort.

Finally, the Empire also has long-range weapons which could be used to strike Syria (such as the AGM-158 JASSM low-RCS standoff air-launched cruise missile), especially during a combined electronic warfare and standoff antiradiation missile attack.

So, all the AngloZionists really need to do is to be very careful in their choice of paths of approach and choice of targets, use low-RCS aircraft and missiles under the cover of a robust EW engagement and then use a large enough number of missiles to give the appearance that the Empire has defeated the Russian and Syrian air defenses.

Judging by their past attacks against Syria, the US and the Israelis are far more concerned with the need to appear very powerful, effective and quasi-invulnerable than by actually achieving some meaningful military objective. Of course, this need to appear invulnerable also means that the AngloZionists really cannot afford to have one of their aircraft shot down, hence their current reluctance to test out the Syrian air defense capabilities.

Sooner or later, however, the Israelis will have to try to “defeat the S-300″ as they would put it.

The problem for the Israelis is that they don’t really have any good options. The problem is not so much a technological one as it is a political one.

Let’s assume that the Israelis conduct a successful strike against a meaningful target (if their attack is symbolic, the Russians and Syrians can just limit their reply to the usual protests and denunciations, but take no real action). What would Russia do? Well, the Russians (Shoigu specifically) have already indicated that, if needed, they would increase the number of S-300 batteries (and required support systems) delivered to Syria. Thus, the main effect of a successful attack on Syria will be to make subsequent attacks even harder to plan and execute. Would that really be a desirable outcome for the Israelis? I don’t think so.

If each successful Israeli strike makes each subsequent strike even harder while increasing the danger for Israeli aircraft, what would be the point of such attacks? Are there any truly high-value targets in Syria whose destruction by the IDF would justify triggering a further degradation of the situation in Syria? Conversely, if you were Syrian (or Iranian), would you not want the Israelis to strike Syria (or even S-300 batteries) hard enough to force the Russians to deliver even more air defense systems (not necessarily S-300s by the way!)?

Just as with the case of Hezbollah in Lebanon (which the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 helped create), and the coming to power of Hassan Nasrallah at the head of Hezbollah (which the murder of Abbas al Moussawi by the Israelis in 1992 propelled to the position of Secretary General of the organization), the Israelis are re-discovering again and again the truism: while simple, brute force violence does appear to be effective in the short term, in the mid to long-term it always fails unless backed by meaningful political measures. The big axiomatic truth which the Israelis still are stubbornly refusing to recognize is that all true security is always collective (something the Russians have been repeating for years now). In the case of Syria, Israel would be much, much better off negotiating some kind of deal with the Russians, the Iranians and the Syrians (even an unofficial one!) than trying to prevail by blowing up targets in Syria.

I would even argue that with the Trump presidency now dramatically increasing the rate of collapse of the AngloZionist Empire the Israelis need to start making plans to involve other actors in their regional policy. The truth is that the US is not in a position anymore to remain a key player in Middle-Eastern politics and that decades of abject submission to the Likudnik agenda have irreparably damaged the US credibility and influence in the Middle-East (and the rest of the world).

I would compare the delivery of S-300PMU-2 “Favorit” batteries to Syria to a chess opening or an irreversible move like castling: it does not, by itself, decide the outcome of the game, but it does create a baseline environment in which both players will need to operate. For the Russians, the next step is quite obvious: to continue to deliver all types of air defense systems to the Syrians (especially more Pantsirs) with the goal of eventually being able to protect the entire Syrian airspace from any attacks by the US or Israel. The main elements of a multi-layered air defense network are already deployed, Syria now only needs larger numbers. I very much hope that Russia will provide them.

November 9, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Netanyahu Must Know His Probable Visit Would Be Confronted by All Bahrainis’

Al-Manar | November 8, 2018

Al-Wefaq Islamic Association in Bahrain on Thursday maintained that normalizing ties with the Zionist entity is a treason, stressing that Netanyahu and all the Israelis can never visit the Gulf country.

In a statement, Al-Wefaq considered that the media reports which mentioned that the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu received an invitation from the Bahraini regime to visit Bahrain represents a new challenge which must be addressed by all the Bahrainis.

This challenge indicates that there is major shift in the regime’s policy, which would confiscate all the values, covenants and humanitarian as well as the Islamic commitments of Bahrainis to the Umma causes, especially that of the occupied Palestine, according to the statement.

Al-Wfaq also considered that the silence of the regime figures about the circulated reports indicates that Netanyahu’s visit is probable, stressing that Netanyahu must know that his visit to Bahrain is categorically rejected and will be confronted by all the Bahrainis.

Calling on all the Arabs and Muslims to denounce this provocative move, Al-Wefaq emphasized that all the forms of normalization with the Zionist entity are rejected.

November 8, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , | 2 Comments

UAE, Saudi sense convergence with Syria

The reported plan by the United Arab Emirates to reopen its embassy in Damascus shortly leads to a startlingly new alignment on the map of the Middle East.

At the most obvious level, it signals the realization among the Gulf States that the brutal war to overthrow the Syrian government has ended. But the pragmatism is stunning. There isn’t even going to be any ‘cooling-off’ period!

What explains the urgency? Analysts may say it is to counter Iran’s influence. After all, the Saudis with UAE backing tried a similar approach in Iraq through the past year – to counter Iran’s multi-vectored influence in Iraq.

But the UAE cannot but be unaware of the exceptionally strong bonding between Damascus and Tehran. Syria may have uses for ‘green money’ to advance its reconstruction agenda but Iran’s backing has existential dimensions.

The western analysts tend to view the Iran factor as the leitmotif of Middle Eastern developments. However, in this cacophony over Iran, we are largely overlooking that simmering differences among the major Sunni states have also surged to the centre stage lately.

Through the past 2-3 year period, a Turkish-Qatari alignment has crystallized. For Qatar, Turkey’s support is invaluable for resisting the pressures on its strategic autonomy from the regimes in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The establishment of a Turkish military base in Qatar underscores this new axis. Lately, Qatar has become a pillar of financial support for the Turkish economy.

Neither Qatar nor Turkey is flustered by Iran’s rise. Neither is seeking Iran’s isolation, either. Washington recently ‘granted’ a waiver to Turkey to continue to buy oil from Iran, but Ankara shot back saying it opposed US sanctions anyway, calling them ‘imperialistic’.

For Turkey too, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the principal regional adversaries today. Turkey viewed with disquiet the UAE’s support of terrorist groups in Libya, Yemen and Syria. In next-door Syria, the Saudi and Emirati openly supported ISIS groups and al-Qaeda affiliates. Circles close to Turkey’s ruling elite have alleged that UAE is targeting Erdogan in a concerted way.

However, the ‘red line’ was crossed when the two Gulf oligarchies lent support to the failed coup in 2016 in Turkey to assassinate President Recep Erdogan. (After the coup failed, it took 16 hours for Riyadh to even issue a statement!) Turkey estimated that the UAE provided a staging post for the coup plotters.

As Turkey sees it, the UAE is implementing a western project to weaken it. Meanwhile, reports also appeared that the two Gulf oligarchies have been funding the Kurdish militant groups (who are the US’ allies in Syria.)

No doubt, it is a combustible mix. But what makes it really explosive is the perception in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh that Turkey and Qatar are patronizing the Muslim Brotherhood as a potent vehicle for the democratic transformation of the Muslim Middle East.

Both regimes (Saudi Arabia and the UAE) regard the Brotherhood as existential threat. Their visceral hatred of Brothers is such that they bankrolled the coup d’état against elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in 2013 in a multi-billion dollar project.

Enter Syria. Given the above backdrop, the UAE and Saudi Arabia are inclined to sense a convergence with the Syrian regime on pushing back at Erdogan’s perceived aspirations of ‘neo-Ottomanism’ in general and his support of the Brotherhood as a vehicle of change in particular.

A tantalizing question will be: Where does the US stand apropos the Brotherhood? The Barack Obama administration with a sense of history saw in the Brotherhood much potential to finesse the Arab Spring toward establishment of ‘Islamic democracy’ in the Middle East. The US had dealings with the Brotherhood in Egypt based on estimation that it could do business with them and even influence them to democratize the Muslim Middle East. Of course, the premature end to the transition in Egypt in 2013 changed everything.

The Muslim Brotherhood lobbying US Congress, May 2017

Erdogan always hoped that the US (and the West as a whole) would appreciate that Turkey is uniquely placed to play the leadership role in the transition to a New Middle East. The Khashoggi affair has noticeably rekindled those hopes. (Interestingly, the spokesmen of the US intelligence establishment who have been very vocal about the Kahshoggi affair have also suddenly mellowed toward Erdogan.)

Now, this subtle shift on the part of the ‘Deep State’ in America toward Erdogan couldn’t have gone unnoticed in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi. It has probably prompted them to open a line to Damascus as early as possible.

How this delicate tango will play out remains to be seen, since there are far too many variables. With the US midterm elections over, President Trump may come under pressure to ‘do something’ on the Khashoggi affair.

Meanwhile, the Saudi and Emirati presence in Syria will be a matter of concern for Turkey in the ‘post-truth’ politics after Khashoggi’s murder.

November 8, 2018 Posted by | Economics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Pentagon Report Questions US’ Own Legal Justification for Staying in Syria

Sputnik – November 7, 2018

The latest quarterly report by the Lead Inspector General on the status of Operation Inherent Resolve, the codename for the US military’s intervention against Daesh in Syria and Iraq, has paid extensive focus to Iran, mentioning it 105 times in 130 pages. However, while accusing Tehran of posing a growing threat to US forces, the report admits that the Department of Defense has “no evidence” that Iranian troops or Iranian-allied militia have actually attacked the US in Syria.

The report also hints at a confused US policy in Syria, pointing to Trump National Security Adviser John Bolton’s recent statement about keeping US troops in Syria so long as “Iranian troops” and “Iranian proxy militias” remain outside of Iran.

This sentiment, the report admits, has led to “questions about the legal justification of maintaining US troops in Syria, which currently relies on the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force against those who ‘planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001,’ which has been interpreted as including [Daesh].”

Unlike the presence of the Russian military and Iranian military advisors, the US has no internationally recognized legal justification for its presence in Syria, with Damascus repeatedly condemning US operations in the Arab Republic and demanding a US exit from the country.

The DoD points out that in the wake of Bolton’s remarks, military officials have changed tack, paying lip service to the “enduring defeat” of Daesh while telling congressional committees about the “ancillary benefits” and “leverage” provided by the continued presence of US forces in Syria.

Pointing to shifting political goals, which now seem to include “removing Iran and Iranian proxies from the country, influencing the outcome of the Syrian civil war… and stabilizing areas of northeast Syria liberated from [Daesh],” the report warns that “these non-military goals could keep the US military involved in Syria after the defeat of [Daesh]” over an unspecified period.

Iranian ‘Security Threats’ to US in Syria

Mentioning the intensive US drilling at the Al-Tanf Garrison in southern Syria following calls by Iran to end the illegal US presence in the area, the report warns of “several Iranian-backed militias” operating in the same area, with “their presence creat[ing] the potential for violence with US troops and US-backed forces.”

At the same time, the DoD report admits that “neither Iran nor Iranian-backed militias had hindered counter-[Daesh] operations,” and says that the Pentagon has “no evidence” that ‘Iranian troops’ or Iranian-allied militia have actually attacked the US in Syria.

‘Iran-Backed Militias’ in Iraq

In neighboring Iraq, the report mentions elements of the Popular Mobilization Forces, Shiite militia groups which played a crucial role in defeating Daesh in Iraq, saying that they pose a similar threat to US interests, given what are said to be their “close ties to Iran.”

“The influence of these Shia militias in both the security sector and the political process –and their continued willingness to act independently of the [Iraqi Security Forces] – increases Iran’s influence in Iraq,” the report states.

Alleging that Iran has deployed some 100-150 Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps personnel among the militia, the report accuses these “Iranian proxies” of being “likely responsible for two attacks targeting US facilities in Iraq,” including a mortar attack in the Baghdad Green Zone in early September and rocket attacks in Basra near the US consulate, which led to the diplomatic mission’s temporary evacuation later that month.

The DoD report makes no mention of the fact that Iran firmly condemned the September attacks on US diplomatic areas out of principle. In a statement, the Iranian foreign ministry accused the US of “propaganda and false allegations against Iran and the Iraqi forces,” and called the consulate closure a “suspicious move aimed at evading responsibility and pinning the blame on others.”

Ultimately, the report warns that so far as Iraq is concerned, “if left unchecked, Iranian-sponsored harassment of US forces could increase, and Iranian influence operations could increase as they vie for influence in the new government.”

The Trump administration has shifted its position on Syria several times, with the president saying the US would “be coming out of Syria like very soon” in March before launching airstrikes against Damascus two weeks later. In September, National Security Adviser John Bolton linked the withdrawal of US troops from Syria to the alleged Iranian presence in the country, prompting the Pentagon to change its tone on the purpose of the Syria mission being the defeat of Daesh.

See also:

Israeli Defense Chief: US Sanctions Deal a ‘Critical Blow’ to Iran in Syria

November 7, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism | , , , , | 4 Comments

Israel expert calls for assassination of Islamic Jihad leader

MEMO | November 1, 2018

Israel should resume its policy of targeted assassinations, aiming first at Secretary General of Islamic Jihad, Ziyad Al-Nakhaleh, Israeli journalist Yoni Ben Menachem said in an article this week

Al-Nakahleh, who is based in Beirut, was elected as a secretary-general of the movement last September. Ben Menachem sees Al-Nakhaleh’s ties with Iran and Hezbollah as a threat to Israel. His assassination, Al-Nakhaleh said, is a step towards “stopping Iranian influence in the region and stopping the Iranian plan to turn the Gaza Strip into an effective front against Israel”.

Mossad can reach Al-Nakhaleh in Beirut, the journalist added, in a similar way to how it targeted Imad Mughniyeh, a Hezbollah leader, in Syria ten years ago.

Linking Al-Nakhaleh to the Commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Qasem Soleimani, Ben Menachem said this allows Iran to spread its influence in the besieged Gaza Strip.

The failure of Mossad to return to the policy of targeted assassination will allow Gaza’s political leaders to believe they have “immunity”.

November 1, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , | 2 Comments

Istanbul Summit on Syria Was a Success but Caveats Remain

By Melkulangara BHADRAKUMAR | Strategic Culture Foundation | 29.10.2018

The four-nation Turkey-Russia-Germany-France summit on Syria on October 27 in Istanbul had an impressive outcome. All participants – each with own interests – has some ‘takeaway’ from the summit, which itself is a measure of the success of the event. This is also important because the participants now have a reason to work together.

Such an outcome can be interpreted in the following ways. First and foremost, a major regional conflict impacting international security was addressed without US participation. A sign of our times?

Second, participants didn’t quarrel over President Bashar Al-Assad’s “fate”. The debate becomes pedantic today in terms of ground realities. The Syrian nation should decide on its future. That’s also been Assad’s demand.

Third, some serious thought has been given to the journey towards a Syrian settlement – ceasefire, drafting of new constitution followed by elections under UN supervision.

Four, the participants snubbed the US-Israeli plan to balkanize Syria into “spheres of influence” and have also squashed the Israeli dreams of getting international legitimacy for its illegal occupation of Golan Heights as part of any settlement.

Five, Germany and France have become amenable to the Russian demand pressing the urgency for rendering humanitarian aid to Syria and help in reconstruction. (The US made this conditional on Assad’s removal.) We’ll have to see how it pans out, but the summit also stressed the importance of the return of Syrian refugees (which is a key issue for European countries.)

Six, the participants recognized that the remaining terrorists in Syria must be destroyed – although, significantly, they also supported the Idlib ceasefire deal brokered by Turkey and Russia.

The bottom line is that it is the post-war Syrian order that is under discussion now. However, it must be understood as well that the proxy war is not ending but is rather morphing into the diplomatic war that lies ahead, which of course will be keenly fought, given the divergent interests of the foreign protagonists.

Generally speaking, Russia and Turkey are in command as of now. Their own equations are good but there are grey areas, too. The importance of close coordination between Russia and Turkey cannot but be stressed.

Iran cannot be happy that it has been excluded from the Istanbul summit. But it may prove an underestimation that Iran is in no position to assert its legitimate interests. The close consultations between Russia and Iran – not only regarding Syria – are of course the mitigating factor here.

Similarly, a “post-Khashoggi” Saudi attitude to Syria remains the “known unknown”. The US is in a position to blackmail Saudi Arabia to continue to bankroll its military presence in Syria, but the Saudis cannot have their heart in the overreach to project power abroad. Something has fundamentally changed – Saudis are not used to their prestige being dragged in the mud as in this past month and the traumatic experience cannot but have a sobering effect.

Besides, Saudis dare not cross swords with Turkey on the latter’s Syrian playpen. Above all, Saudis would not want to undermine Russian efforts to stabilize Syria, since Moscow’s goodwill and cooperation is extremely vital for Riyadh in the coming period, now that the raison d’etre of Riyadh’s “Look East” is beyond doubt.

Basically, France and Germany are lightweights in Syria. They had a limited agenda at the Istanbul summit. Russia must know fully well that in the final analysis, US involvement is crucial. It is entirely conceivable that at the forthcoming Russian-American summit in Paris on November 11, Syria will be a major topic of discussion.

The US policy in Syria is at a crossroad and will hinge greatly on the standing of President Trump in the aftermath of the November 6 mid-term elections in the US.

Clearly, this was far from a situation of three major allies of the US staging a mutiny on the NATO ship. Germany and France would have consulted Washington most certainly ahead of the Istanbul summit (which has been in the making for months.)

The big question is how the Turkish-American relations evolve. The Khashoggi affair has brought about certain US-Turkey “proximity”. Ironically, the Deep State in America and Trump are on the same page here – rediscovering the vital importance of Turkey for US regional strategies.

The spokesmen of the Deep State used to defame Turkish President Recep Erdogan for being “Islamist” and “authoritarian” and so on and probably even tried to overthrow him in the failed coup of 2016, but today, they laud him for espousing Islamic democracy as the panacea for the region.

Erdogan, in turn – or at least a part of him – had always hankered for recognition by the West when he sought Turkey’s historic leadership role in the Middle East and uniqueness to act as a bridge between the West and the region. Equally, Trump is eternally grateful to Erdogan to refrain from spilling the beans on the Khashoggi affair and for helping him finesse a major crisis for his presidency on the foreign-policy front.

Suffice to say, this “transition” in the US-Turkey tough love can profoundly affect the geopolitics of the Middle East – provided of course Washington plays its cards carefully in regard of Erdogan’s wish list on a host of pending issues, including some of great sensitivity.

Syria is somewhere at the top of Erdogan’s priorities. Howsoever unpalatable it may appear, Erdogan will expect the Americans to throw their Syrian Kurdish allies under the bus. Yesterday, the Turkish army bombarded Kurdish positions east of Euphrates.

Now, how Turkish policies play out in Syria is difficult to predict, since the variables are too many. A US-Turkey rapprochement is hard to reach. But then, Turks and Americans are also old allies and they have a way of knocking their heads together and start working together again.

October 29, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

US sanctions on Hezbollah aim to punish Lebanon: Observers

Press TV – October 28, 2018

The US has imposed new sanctions on Hezbollah, but observers say Lebanon as a whole will be affected by the punitive measures.

Earlier this week, the administration of US President Donald Trump imposed a new round of sanctions on Hezbollah targeting individuals and international organizations that do business with the resistance group.

Economist Louis Hobeika said he thought “it is difficult to punish Hezbollah without punishing all of Lebanon.”

“No area fully belongs to Hezbollah. The southern suburb of Beirut is not confined to Hezbollah, so how will the sanctions apply here?” Hobeika told Arab News in remarks published Saturday.

Political activist Ali Al-Amin, the director of Janoubia news website, said the outcome of the US decision could be “disastrous” for Lebanon.

“Is the purpose of the sanctions to embarrass the Lebanese government and state?” he wondered.

In the May parliamentary elections, Hezbollah and its political allies won more than half of the seats at the legislature in a major victory for the party.

Former Lebanese lawmaker Fares Souaid told Arab News that the new sanctions are part of a series of US bans meant to “turn the party (Hezbollah) into a burden on the Lebanese after Hezbollah has come forward as a security guarantee for Lebanon.”

The US has its Arab allies in the Persian Gulf on board in cranking up pressure on the Lebanese leaders over their association with Hezbollah, and they all take their cue from Israel.

Israeli leaders have threatened that they would view the Lebanese state as part of Hezbollah in a future war with the resistance movement.

In May, the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on the Hezbollah leadership jointly with members of the so-called Terrorist Financing and Targeting Center (TFTC), which includes Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the UAE.

Hezbollah was formed following the Israeli regime’s invasion of Lebanon and the ensuing occupation of its southern parts in 1980s, and currently constitutes Lebanon’s de facto military power.

Since then, the movement has helped the national army retake the occupied regions from Tel Aviv and thwart two Israeli acts of aggression in 2000 and 2006.

The movement has also been playing a significant role in the Syrian army’s fight against Takfiri terror groups, including Daesh and Nusra Front, thus preventing the spillover of the war into Lebanon.

October 28, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 3 Comments

Oman rejects mediating between Israelis, Palestinians

Press TV – October 27, 2018

Oman says it will not act as a “mediator” between Israelis and Palestinians, playing down an earlier visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The sultanate was only offering ideas to help Israel and Palestinians to come together, Omani Foreign Minister Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah told a security summit in Bahrain’s capital Manama on Saturday.

The remarks came a day after Netanyahu visited Oman in a rare visit, while accompanied by other senior Israeli officials, including the head of the Israeli spy agency Mossad.

“We are not saying road is now easy and paved with flowers, but our priority is to put an end to the conflict and move to a new world,” Reuters cited Abdullah as saying.

Despite apparently trying to sound impartial, Abdullah said Oman relied on the United States and efforts by US President Donald Trump in working towards the “deal of the century.”

The Trump administration has targeted the plan at the situation in the Palestinian territories.

Details are yet to emerge, but reports say it envisages a Palestinian state with limited sovereignty across about half of Israel-occupied West Bank and all the Gaza Strip. The deal also reportedly foresees potential disarming of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, and does not find Palestinians entitled to the eastern part of Jerusalem al-Quds as their capital.

This is while Abbas, who visited Oman before Netanyahu for three days, has renounced the plan, saying it has been devised without consulting the Palestinians. He also spurned any intermediary role by the US late last year after Washington recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital.”

In June, however, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Jordan assured the US of their support for the plan during visits to those countries by Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, and Jason Greenblatt, the US envoy to the region.

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told the Manama gathering on Saturday that the kingdom believed the key to “normalizing” relations with Israel was the “peace process.”

The Omani minister also claimed Israel was “present in the region, and we all understand this, the world is also aware of this fact and maybe it is time for Israel to be treated the same and also bear the same obligations.”

Observers say Muscat has come to accommodate the US plan under pressure from Washington and Riyadh, the strongest US ally in the Persian Gulf region, which has been inching towards Tel Aviv over the past years.

Palestinian groups, however, condemned the Israeli prime minister’s visit to Oman, urging Arab countries to support the oppressed people of Palestine, instead.

Hamas warned about the dangerous consequences of Netanyahu’s visit for the people of Palestine. The Islamic Jihad movement also censured the visit, saying Oman acquitted Netanyahu of the crimes committed against innocent Palestinians by welcoming him to the country.

Commenting on Netanyahu’s visit, Paul Larudee, with the Free Palestine Movement, told PressTV, “What in the world would Netanyahu know about peace and stability, when his objectives and objectives of Israel have always been war and instability?”

“The importance is what their objectives are not. They are not about Arab unity, not about solidarity with Arabs who are suffering namely the Palestinians,” he said.

“These other countries realize that sooner or later they are potential targets of Israel… that they can be in the same place that the Palestinians are now,” Larudee said.

October 27, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments