Saturday, 3 March 2012

What do the Israel lobby, human rights, and democracy promotion have in common?

Maidhc Ó Cathail

Who benefits from provocative presidential speechwriting? / Who was behind the Delhi bombing? / etc.
For the answers to those questions, please take a look at the following:
Also on The Passionate Attachment:


What do the Israel lobby, human rights, and democracy promotion have in common?

Good question. Perhaps we need to ask the well-connected Committee to Protect Journalists. Here’s the very revealing bio (emphasis added) of one of their staff members:

Mohamed Abdel Dayem

Before joining CPJ in December 2008, Mohamed Abdel Dayem was a research analyst at the Save Darfur Coalition, where he was responsible for researching and producing all of the coalition’s written materials. Abdel Dayem was also involved in increasing the coalition’s outreach and coordination with activists, governments, and the media in the Middle East and Muslim world at large. In late 2006 and early 2007, Abdel Dayem worked at the National Endowment for Democracy, where he managed the Endowment’s Iraq portfolio. Prior to that, he spent nearly five years at Human Rights Watch, conducting research and media outreach on countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Abdel Dayem has also worked at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He has also been a consultant to a variety of NGOs, including the International Center for Transitional Justice, the Open Society Institute’s Iraq Revenue Watch, the Fund for Global Human Rights, and the InternationalCenter for Journalists, among others. A graduate of the University of Central Florida, where he majored in political science and anthropology, Abdel Dayem also has an M.A. from the School of Advanced International Studies at the JohnsHopkins University, where he specialized in international law, conflict management and international economics. Aside from English, Abdel Dayem is fluent in Arabic and German. He has lived and traveled extensively in the Middle East.
>> Read Mohamed Abdel Dayem’s blog.
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Breaking, Breaking News: Arab "Spring" League calls for an "immediate" end to the siege on Gaza,

In case you missed it:

Khalid Amayereh: "Arab spring" is a great asset for Palestinian cause - commented
Arab "Spring" League calls for an "immediate" end to the siege on Gaza,
Arab League calls for an "immediate" end to the siege on Gaza, in fact, not immediate. "The 2005 border crossing agreement should be reviewed" Arabi said. As the agreement was between Abbas and the Zionist entity, their approval is a must. 

"implementing the Palestinian reconciliation should bring positive results for the Palestinian people including the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip" Nabi Al-arabi added.

In other words, Abbas's approval depends implementing reconciliation, and it would be implemented only if Hamas hand over at least the crossing, may be all Gaza to his security forces controlled by the zionist entity, otherwise the Israel Veto is on the table.  

Meanwhile, the Arab Affairs Committee at the Islamists Egyptian Parliament "recommended making a legal study into the border crossings between Egypt and the Gaza Strip and how to run them in a way that allows entry of humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people including supplying them with fuel and electricity if the Israeli occupation continues to refuse to allow humanitarian supplies into the Gaza Strip."

For his part, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, sorry I mean
Baha’ al-Dasouki, deputy Foreign Minister, said that the Gaza Strip is [STILL] "an important dimension of the Egyptian National Security and that Egypt deals with the Strip as a territory under occupation"

Thanks to "our" Egypt's "Brother", Baha’ al-Dasouki, unlike Aboul Gheit would  not “break the legs of those who would cross the borders again.”

"Egypt continues to put pressure on the international community to shoulder its responsibility and lift the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip." Baha’ al-Dasouki added.

So, a third approval is required from the so-called "international community"
PLS. stop the attacks against the Palestinians
and the "systematic murder against Syrians"
Moreover, "Dr. Mohammed Mursi, the leader of the Egyptian Freedom and Justice party, has expressed hopes that an office for Hamas would open in Cairo" because it would boost Egypt’s role in Palestinian reconciliation and in supporting Gaza."

In order not to rock the islamists boat
Smart Mursi "underlined that opening an office for Hamas does not mean threatening any country or beating the drums for war."

Mursi is not beating the drums for war, all he wants is to ensure the Egyptian National Security and humam occupation of the Strip.

In short, by breaking with Syria, the historical cave of the Palestinian resistance, Hamas, as a resistance movement, has no other choice other than returning to Mama's obedience house,
move to Gaza, the "important dimension of the Egyptian National Security" to the "territory under occupation"

As far as I know, Mubarak's steel Wall is not dismantled.

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

Syria: A Conspiracy Revealed

We have met the enemy and he is us.
— Walt Kelly, 1913-1973
It was political analyst Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, in November 2006, who wrote in detail of US plans for the Middle East.

“The term ‘New Middle East’, was introduced to the world in June 2006, in Tel Aviv,†by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (who was credited by the Western media for coining the term) in replacement of the older and more imposing term, the “Greater Middle East’”, he wrote.
Sanity dictated that this would be a U.S. fantasy rampage too far and vast – until realization hit that the author of the map of this New World, planned in the New World’s “New World Order”, was Lt. Colonel Ralph Peters, who, in one of the most terrifying articles ever published, wrote in 1997:
There will be no peace. At any given moment for the rest of our lifetimes, there will be multiple conflicts in mutating forms around the globe. Violent conflict will dominate the headlines …The de facto role of the US armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault. To those ends, we will do a fair amount of killing. (My emphasis.)
At the time, Peters was assigned to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, where he was responsible: “for future warfare.” His plans for Iraq worked out just fine – unless you are an Iraqi.
A month after Nazemroaya’s article was published, William Roebuck, Director for the Office of the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, was composing an end of year strategy for Syria from his study in the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, where he was been based between 2004-2007, rising to Deputy Chief of Mission.

The subject title was: “Influencing the SARG (Syrian Arab Regime Government) in the end of 2006.”
“The SARG ends 2006 in a much stronger position domestically and internationally (than in) 2005.” Talking of President Assad’s “growing self-confidence”, he felt that this might lead to “mistakes and ill-judged … decisions … providing us with new opportunities.” Whilst “additional bilateral or multilateral pressure can impact on Syria”, clearly he had even more ambitious plans:
This cable summarizes our assessment of … vulnerabilities, and suggests that there may be actions, statements and signals, that the USG (US Government) can send that will improve the liklihood of such opportunities arising.
The proposals would need to be “fleshed out and converted in to real actions and we need to be ready to move quickly to take advantage of such opportunities.” (no, not le Carre, Forsyth, or Fleming, “diplomat” in Damascus.)

“As the end of 2006 approaches” wrote Roebuck, “Bashar appears … stronger than he has done in two years. The country is economically stable …regional issues seem to be going Syria’s way.”

However, “vulnerabilities and looming issues may provide opportunities to up the pressure on Bashar … some of these vulnerabilities “(including the complexities with Lebanon) “can be exploited to put pressure on the regime. Actions that cause Bashar to lose balance, and increase his insecurity, are in our interest.”

The President’s “mistakes are hard to predict and benefits may vary, if we are prepared to move quickly and take advantage of opportunities …”

A “vulnerability”, wrote Roebuck, was Bashir al Assad’s protection of: “Syria’s dignity and international reputation.” Pride and “protection”, clearly a shocking concept.

In the light of the proposed Tribunal into the assassination of Lebanon’s former Prime Minister, Rafic Hariri (14 February 2005) killed with his friend, former Minister of Economy Bassel Fleihan and twenty colleagues and bodyguards in a huge bomb detonated under his motorcade, this “vulnerability” could be exploited.

Unproven allegations have pointed the finger at Israel, Syria, Hezbollah and myriad others as behind another Middle East tragedy, but Roebuck regarded it as an “opportunity to exploit this raw nerve, without waiting for the formation of the Tribunal.”

Another idea outlined under a further “vulnerability” heading, was the growing alliance between Syria and Iran. “Possible action”, was to “play on Sunni fears of Iranian influence.” Although these were “often exaggerated”, they were there to be exploited:
Both the local Egyptian and Saudi missions here … are giving increasing attention to the matter and we should co-ordinate more closely with their governments on ways to better publicize and focus regional attention to the issue.
Concerned Sunni religious leaders should also be worked on. Iraq-style divide and rule model, writ large.

The “divide” strategy, of course, should also focus on the first family and legislating circle, with “ targeted sanctions (which) must exploit fissures and render the inner circle weaker, rather the drive its members closer together.”

The public should also be subject to “continual reminders of corruption … we should look for ways to remind …”

Another aspect to be exploited was “The Khaddam factor”.

Abdul Halim Khaddam was Vice President from 1984-2005, and acting President in 2000, during the months beween Bashir al Assad’s accession and his father’s death.

Thought to have Presidential ambitions himself, there was a bitter split between Khaddam and al Assad after Hariri’s death. Allegations of treasonous betrayal by Khaddam have validity.
The ruling party, writes Roebuck:
…follow every news item involving Khaddam, with tremendous emotional interest. We should continue to encourage the Saudis and others to allow Khaddam access to their media … providing him with venues for airing the SARG’s dirty laundry.
As a result, anticipated was “an over reaction by the regime that will add to its isolation and alienation from its Arab neighbours.”

On January 14th, 2006, Khaddam had formed a government in exile, and had predicted the end of the al-Assad government by the year’s end.

He is currently regarded as an opposition leader, and has claimed, on Israel’s Channel 2 TV, receiving monies to help overthrow the Syrian government from the U.S. and E.U.

The ever creative Mr Roebuck’s further plans included, “Encouraging rumours and signals of external plotting.” To this end “Regional allies like Egypt and Saudi Arabia should be encouraged to meet with figures like Kaddam and Rifat (sic) al Assad, with appropriate leaking of the meetings afterwards. This … increases the possibility of a self-defeating over-reaction.”

Rifaat al Assad, Bashir’s uncle, was in charge of the Defence Brigade, who killed up to thirty thousand people in, and flattened much of, the city of Hama, in February 1982. So much for endlessly trumpeted concerns for “human rights violations.” Rifaat al Assad lives in exile and safety in London. Khaddam lives in Paris.(v)

Here is a serious cause for concern for the overthrow-bent. “Bashar keeps unveiling a steady stream of initiatives on reform and it is certainly possible he believes this is his legacy to Syria …. These steps have brought back Syrian expats to invest … (and) increasing openness.”

Solution? “Finding ways to publicly call in to question Bashar’s reform efforts.” Indeed, moving heaven and earth to undercut them, is made clear.

Further, “Syria has enjoyed a considerable up-tick in foreign direct investment”, thus, foreign investment is to be “discouraged.”

In May of 2006, complains Roebuck, Syrian Military Intelligence protested: “what they believed were U.S. efforts to provide military training and equipment to Syria’s Kurds.” The Iraq model yet again.
The answer was to “Highlight Kurdish complaints.” This, however, “would need to be handled carefully, since giving the wrong kind of prominence to Kurdish issues in Syria, could be a liability for our efforts … given Syrian … civil society’s skepticism of Kurdish objectives.”

In “Conclusion”, this shaming, shoddy document states, “The bottom line is that Bashar is entering the New Year in a stronger position than he has been in several years”, meaning “vulnerabilities” must be sought out. “If we are ready to capitalize, they will offer us opportunities to disrupt his decision-making, keep him off balance – and make him pay a premium for his mistakes.”

The cable is copied to The White House, U.S. Secretary of State, U.S. Treasury, U.S. Mission at the UN, U.S. National Security Council, CENTCOM, all Arab League and EU countries.

The only other U.S. Embassy copied in is that in Tel Aviv. When William Roebuck worked at the Embassy in Tel Aviv (2000-2003) embracing the invasion of Iraq year, he “narrowly missed assassination.” Perhaps someone there too thought he was hard to warm to.

In 2009, he was Deputy Political Consul In Baghdad “leading efforts to support the critical 2009 Iraqi elections.” The “free and fair, democratic” ones, where people were threatened with the deaths of their children even, if they did not vote the “right” way.

The result was Nuri al Maliki’s premiership, complete with his murderous militias, the man under whose Ministry of the Interior, U.S. soldiers discovered tortured, starving prisoners.

The Damascus cable comes courtesy Wikileaks. Lt. Colonel Peters called, on Fox News, for founder, Julian Assange, to be assassinated. The forty second clip is worth the listen.

The Colonel also writes fiction and thrillers under the name Owen Patterson. Perhaps he is living the dream.

Felicity Arbuthnot is a journalist with special knowledge of Iraq. Author, with Nikki van der Gaag, of Baghdad in the Great City series for World Almanac books, she has also been Senior Researcher for two Award winning documentaries on Iraq, John Pilger's Paying the Price: Killing the Children of Iraq and Denis Halliday Returns for RTE (Ireland.) Read other articles by Felicity.
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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Israel secures Azerbaijan Airbases for Iran War

The Israelis have bought an airfield,” an official said, “and the airfield is called Azerbaijan.” said senior ‘un-named’ US officials


The past two days has seen conflicting reports emerging regarding Israel allegedly securing 4 airbases in Baku, in Azerbaijan. If true this would significantly enhance Israel’s ability to wage war on Iran. Baku is less than 1000 km from Tehran the capital of Iran compared to nearly 3000km from Israel to Iran. So what is the truth of the matter?

Apparently the Americans are reported not to be happy at all with the move. It is unclear whether the Israelis will launch an attack from Baku, but at the very least they could launch drones to conduct surveillance. It was only in February that Israel signed a deal with Azerbaijan to supply $1.6 billion in arms, specifically anti-aircraft missiles and drones.
However the latest reports seem to cast some doubt on this whole issue, according to Haaretz, Azerbaijan has since denied giving access to Airbases for Israel.
This information is absurd and groundless,” said Teymur Abdullayev going on to add that this reports were “aimed at damaging relations between Azerbaijan and Iran.”
But it seem likely that this is just lies from Azerbaijan, as previous Wikileaks cables compared the Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev to Mafia dons Sonny Corleone & Michael from the Godfather. The Wikileaks cable goes on to say that the President’s policies were characterized by…
pragmatism, restraint and a helpful bias toward integration with the West,”
This is from the same President who was imprisoning bloggers who were critical of the regime. So in a nutshell it does indeed look like Israel has found the perfect partner for the war crimes it will unleash against Iran. A crime partner who can lie with confidence and conviction and provide it with 4 bases to launch its operations from. As we already know, Madonna’s gig in Israel is on May 29th (BDS has not been very effective here then), so presumably the IRAN war will follow shortly afterwards. I sincerely hope not! If we are to avert this unfolding tragedy we must all pull together, to do everything we can, to stop Israel and its apocalyptic plan before it is way too late.

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

Jonathon Blakeleyby Jonathon Blakeley
Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Imperialists and their Islamists in Syria: Interview with Aijaz Ahmad

A must see
Recommended by Maidhc Ó Cathail,

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

Hana Shalabi: Hunger Striking for Justice

by Stephen Lendman
My PhotoIsrael administratively detains hundreds of Palestinians indefinitely without charge lawlessly.
Like thousands of others incarcerated, their “crime” is wanting to live free on their own land in their own country. Israel calls it terrorism.
Act now for Hana al-Shalabi – sign the letter and/or send a fax!

Hana Yahya Shalabi is one of many abused. A young Palestinian woman, 50 Israeli soldiers, an intelligence officer, and attack dogs arrested her on February 16. Violently they stormed her home pre-dawn. In the process, her family, including young children, was terrorized.

After searching and ransacking it, she was arrested with no warrant or charge. Soldiers prohibited her from dressing. Her brother heard the intelligence officer say: “Hana must die.”

During arrest, soldiers beat her. Her brother Omar was also viciously attacked. Hana was painfully handcuffed, blindfolded, put in a military jeep, and ordered to remain uncomfortably on its floor on her knees. Each time she moved, she was threatened.

At Salem Detention Center, she was beaten and humiliated, then transferred to HaSharon Prison. Immediately, she began hunger striking in protest.

For several days, she was held in solitary confinement, then moved to another isolated room. She was constantly threatened and intimidated. On February 21, she was transferred back to Salem for interrogation.
Ash-Shalabi: A Family from Palestine
On February 23, she appeared in military court. Her lawyer warned about administrative detention without charge. When issued, six months were ordered until August 16. At the same time, she received seven days in solitary confinement for hunger striking. Four days later, she returned to the general prison population.

On February 29, she was moved to HaSharon Prison’s security wing for refusing to ingest food. She’s determined to continue until freed.

On March 1, she began day 15. Only drinking water, she excludes food and supplements. After an initial medical exam, she refuses others.

On February 29, a military court hearing was held. The presiding judge postponed ruling until meeting with an intelligence official on March 4. Hana and her lawyer are prohibited from attending.

Hana’s Background

In October 2011, she was the first female detainee released in exchange for Gilad Shalit after being imprisoned without charge for two and half years. Hamas Detainees Minister Atalla Abu As-Sabah said her health’s deteriorating. In solidarity, her elderly parents refuse food in protest.

Hana’s one of nine children in a Burqin village farming family near Jenin. On September 29, 2005, Israeli soldiers killed her brother Samer and a close friend. He’d been imprisoned and released 90 days earlier after spending nine months in prison.

Earlier, Hana was arrested on September 14, 2009. At 1:30AM, soldiers stormed her home, ordered everyone outside, and demanded she surrender her ID card. They then searched and ransacked her home. It’s standard abusive Israeli practice.

While there, Samer’s picture was removed from a frame and destroyed. Soldiers stomped on it while cursing family members. When Hana’s father Yahya intervened and tried protecting her, soldiers stuck him violently. Hana’s mother fainted. Family members were terrorized.

Hana was painfully shackled, blindfolded, taken to Salem Detention Center, then transferred to Kishon Detention Center for interrogation.

Held in solitary confinement for eight days, her tiny cell had no windows or natural light. It contained a dirty mattress and toilet. Daily she endured exhausting interrogations, physical violence, and sexual harassment from 10AM until late evening.

In confinement, she lost all track of time as do others there. At times, she was tied to her bed frame for added pain and humiliation. Guards, in fact, photographed her in that position.

In protest, she hunger struck during the eight-day period. She confessed to nothing because then and now she’s innocent.

Israel obtains many torture extracted confessions. Innocent Palestinians yield to stop pain. They’re judged guilty by accusation or by virtue of being arrested. Fraudulent evidence is used to convict. Thousands are wrongly abused. Israeli justice assures none.

After Hana’s interrogation concluded, she remained at Kishon another nine days. On September 29, 2009, Military Commander Ilan Malka ordered her administratively detained for six months. He spuriously claimed she posed a “security” threat.

Secret evidence alleged she planned a “terrorist attack” and began preparing. Proof was lacking because none existed. Other Palestinians face similar ordeals with no way to defend themselves against alleged secret evidence unavailable to their lawyers.

Administrative detentions without charge prove innocence because if guilty, evidence would be presented, not vague, unsubstantiated allegations without proof.

Hana’s lawyer appealed in vain. Rarely ever do higher courts overturn lower rulings, no matter how baseless. Ordered detained until March 13, 2010, she was extended multiple times for two and a half years until released in October 2011 in exchange for Shalit.

At the time, 1,027 Palestinian political prisoners were released on two separate dates. Had Hana not been included, she’d likely have been detained months or years longer. Her current ordeal proves it.
Throughout her earlier detention, she endured deplorable conditions. During 17 days of grueling interrogations, she spent days in isolation and was denied clean clothes.

On October 1, 2009, she was transferred to HaSharon Prison’s Section 2 together with alleged female prisoners charged with criminal offenses, whether or not they committed them.

Given appalling Israeli brutality and persecution, most likely were innocent, perhaps all.
Like other prisoners, Hana was subjected to harassment, discrimination, humiliation, threatened physical attacks, and other forms of abuse. As a result, she and others incarcerated live in fear. They also experience insomnia and emotional stress throughout their ordeal. It takes a toll. No one’s released unscarred.

After 25 days in HaSharon’s Section 2, Hana was moved to Section 12 with other detainees. She remained there until released. One of Israel’s largest prisons, overcrowding, poor food and medical care, humidity, lack of natural sunlight, poor ventilation, and deplorable hygiene conditions put detainees through horrific ordeals.

A Final Comment

Israel uses administrative detentions lawlessly. Those held may be imprisoned indefinitely without charge. Denied due process, they’re not told why they’re detained, can’t dispute it, cross-examine witnesses, or present contradictory evidence to prove innocence.

Since 1967, various military orders authorized the practice. On May 1, 2010, Military Order 1651 codified them into what’s called Israel’s Criminal Code. It consolidated past versions relating to arrests, prosecutions, and detentions.

It applies to children like adults. Israel makes little distinction, often none. Children young as 10, and at times younger, are abusively affected.

Under article 285 of Military Order 1651, military commanders may detain Palestinians up to six months. Indefinite renewals may be issued for alleged security reasons.

Nearly always, they’re bogus. If real evidence existed, it’d be presented. Kept secret shows it’s baseless. As a result, innocent detainees like Hana and Khader Adnan could be held forever uncharged if Israeli authorities wished.

Many spend years before release and face constant re-arrest threats. Adnan was arrested and detained nine times. Others are similarly persecuted.

Practically all Palestinian families are affected or know relatives and/or friends similarly treated.
Prolonged arbitrary detention constitutes a serious international law breach. Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states:

1. “Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedures as are established by law.
2. Anyone who is arrested shall be informed, at the time of arrest, of the reasons for his arrest and shall be promptly informed of any charges against him.
4. Anyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings before a court, in order that that court may decide without delay on the lawfulness of his detention and order his release if the detention is not lawful.”
Although exceptions are permitted “in time of public emergency which threatens the life of the nation,” Israel does it abusively. Doing so also violates Fourth Geneva’s Article 78 stating:
If the Occupying Power considers it necessary, for imperative reasons of security, to take measures concerning protected persons, it may, at the most, subject them to assigned residence or to internment.”
“Decisions regarding such assigned residence or internment shall be made according to a regular procedure to be prescribed by the Occupying Power in accordance with the provisions of the present Convention. This procedure shall include the right of appeal (decided on) with the least possible delay. (If it’s upheld), it shall be subject to periodical review….”
Administrative detention should never substitute for customary criminal proceedings. It’s only permitted to prevent future lawless acts, never without evidence, or to transfer protected persons to the occupying power’s territory.
Israel’s a rogue terror state. It spurns international law abusively. It violates fundamental civil and human rights disdainfully.
It treats Palestinians like Untermenschen (sub-humans), doesn’t care if they suffer or perish, and acts toward them to assure it.
With no accountability, Israel gets away with murder. Palestinians bare the cross. Their liberating struggle continues.

A Final Comment

For decades, many Palestinians hunger struck for justice. Khader Adnan drew world attention and support. As a result, others like Hana are helped.

Support’s growing to release her. Like Khader, dignity’s more important than food. So is justice. Both show extraordinary courage. Few match them.

The whole world’s watching. Light’s being shined on Israeli crimes. We’re all Khader Adnan and Hana Shalabi. Their struggle is ours.

Visit the site for more information and updates, and lend support to free her.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

 Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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Homs in the Hell of Armed Groups

A direct testimony from the Syrian city of Homs collected by the Swiss journalist Silvia Cattori, who paints a very different picture than that spread by a majority of western media. Since 6 February Cattori has lost contact with her local informants, terrorized by armed groups "wildly shelling, killing to kill”, as reported in an interview with an inhabitant of Homs [*].A direct testimony from the Syrian city of Homs collected by the Swiss journalist Silvia Cattori, who paints a very different picture than that spread by a majority of western media. Since 6 February Cattori has lost contact with her local informants, terrorized by armed groups "wildly shelling, killing to kill”, as reported in an interview with an inhabitant of Homs [*].

By Silvia Cattori

Homs, now, is nothing but a sinister battlefield where government soldiers face armed groups which, according to independent witnesses about the true nature of the rebellion, are blindly firing cannon shots to sow terror and death, then pretending that only government forces are bombarding the city.

The Western media continue, for its part, to adduce as evidence the statements of local committees which spread propaganda of the armed "opponents", in coordination with the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, a London-based body created and funded by the rebellion-allied forces[The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights - which collects the statements of various local committees in Syria - has been repeatedly denounced as nothing but a vulgar instrument of disinformation in the service of the revolt. Despite ample evidence of that, it remains the principal source of information from Syria - together with the famous "great reporters" – and the entire Western media are referring to it, spreading day after day the reports by this rip-of observatory. [1]
To understand what happens in Syria, it is therefore not possible to rely on the Syrian Observatory or on bloggers who are part of this rebellion. We also cannot rely on foreign correspondents who are, as we can see, systematically and from the heart and soul on the side of the armed "opponents", qualifying them as "heroes" and presenting the battle that divides the Syrian people in an entirely Manichaean way: On one side the opposition which "struggles for democracy", and on the other the terrible dictator.
Things are not like that. As demonstrated by a recent poll, as well as by the massive demonstrations in support of the Russian and Chinese veto at the UN, the vast majority of the Syrian people do not want this armed revolt, which seeks solely to legitimize NATO powers and several Arab states - notoriously known as champions of democracy, such as Qatar.
If you want to speak of "heroes" in Syria, then you should refer to all parties who are suffering, not only to the "heroes" recognized by the West ...
How many Milan missiles were handed over to the rebels?
The number of Syrian citizens appealing to to their president for intervention of government forces is very high. This is especially true in Homs, where the situation is alarming because large sections of the population are held hostage by these groups occupying entire areas of the city - the neighborhoods of Baba Amr, Khaldiyeh, Karm el-Zeytoun - where the people have been calling for months for Damascus to rescue them [2].
Their fate has become even more a source of anxiety since the same Milan anti-tank missile launchers delivered to the Libyan rebels during the Libyan campaign, less than a year ago, by France and Qatar, began to be used. We can remember how at the time Sarkozy and Bernard Henry Levy misled public opinion by putting the blame on forces loyal to Gaddafi for the use of these Milan missiles, which were taking a heavy toll on the people of Syria.
This is the same disturbing scenario repeating itself in Syria. Politicians, journalists and NGOs are once again taking a firm stand concerning the war, provoked by groups exploited by foreign powers. They attribute to the government forces, as was done in Libya and without proper inspection, the acts of barbarism perpetrated by the armed ’opponents’ who are terrorizing the majority of the population.
For three weeks correspondents have been repeating that Homs has been unilaterally shelled by the Syrian army. On the contrary, the loyalist contingents attacked by the Milan missiles have suffered heavy losses since the beginning of their intervention. It is not clear whether the authorities in Damascus will be able to dislodge these groups with heavy weaponry from all quarters of the city.
Could the Syrian government not respond?
From the beginning of these battles it has been repeatedly demonstrated that the armed ‘rebels’ are trained, drilled and formed by foreign special forces; and that among their ranks the opponents have elements acting on behalf of foreign powers whose presence in Syria is self-evident. Syrian television has recently disseminated pictures of Homs taken by a foreign "war photographer" who followed and filmed these armed "opponents" - the same ones glorified by the "great reporters" – who wildly launch rockets and missiles. An image has attracted attention: In a building, whose stairs are dirty with blood and destroyed furniture, a surprising graffiti with heavy meaning stood out on a wall: "From Misurata, after we have freed Lybia, we came to free Syria!"
Who is responsible for the massacres of Homs, and which objectives does he pursue?
These armed groups, whose most violent actions are attributed to Al Assad soldiers facing them, are systematically presented by the Western press as "foes" fighting for "democracy."
Why do "great reporters" not bring evidence of Syrian victims of abductions, tortures and murders by these armed "opponents"?
Why has the President of "Doctors without Borders" recently contributed to this process of intoxication, showing as credible the testimonies of anonymous Syrians with covered faces - standing side by side with the rebels, and attributing to Al-Assad forces and to the hospitals’ doctors unspeakable acts of torture and injury of children? [3]
Who would believe in Bashar Al Assad’s interest in torturing his people, in raping children and girls? Who would believe that the majority of the Syrian people would continue supporting Bashar Al Assad if he was really such a bloody torturer as painted in the West for the purpose of war propaganda?
These incessant campaigns which defend the violent opposition, and not the people terrorized and oppressed by these rebels, are dangerous. They aim to bring grist to foreign power’s mill - France, Great Britain, the United States, backed by Qatar and Saudi Arabia – which have been preparing for months the ground for a military intervention in Syria, and are just waiting for the green light by Obama.

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Condemn Treatment of Baroness Jenny Tonge by Clegg

Friends of Al-Aqsa
March 1, 2012

Baroness Jenny Tonge was given an ultimatum by Lib Dem Party leader Nick Clegg when she made a fair and accurate statement about the state of Israel – ‘retract the statement or leave the party’

Baroness Tonge, a long time champion of the Palestinian struggle for freedom chose to leave the party rather than be forced to toe the party line where Israel is concerned.

The exact statement she made at Middlesex University last week was:
“Israel is not going to be there forever in its present form. One day, the United States of America will get sick of giving £70bn a year to Israel to support what I call America’s aircraft carrier in the Middle East – that is Israel. One day, the American people are going to say to the Israel lobby in the USA: enough is enough. Israel will lose support and then they will reap what they have sown.”

Ismail Patel, Chair of Friends of Al-Aqsa stated: “There was nothing in her statement which was unfair or inappropriate. The fact is that Israel in its present form is a racist state which has been occupying Palestinian land for over 44 years. This cannot and will not last forever. Millions of people around the world who form the ‘Free Palestine’ solidarity movement will work hard to ensure that Israel ends its occupation and that Arab Israeli’s are given equal rights within Israel. These aims merely represent international legal standards.”

Party leader Nick Clegg’s ultimatum was unnecessary and reflects the unacceptable sway the pro-Israel lobby appears to have on the party’s policies towards Israel.


1. Write to Nick Clegg condemning his ultimatum to Jenny Tonge.
2. Write to Baroness Jenny Tonge expressing support for her brave stand and continued solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Read FOA’s letter expressing our disappointment to Nick Clegg and our letter of support to Jenny Tonge.
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Al-Jaafari: UN Secretary General Statement on Applying General Assembly Decision Pushes Towards Aggravating Situation in Syria

Mar 03, 2012
NEW YORK, (SANA) – Syria's Permanent Representative at the UN Bashar al-Jaafari affirmed on Friday that the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's statement on applying the General Assembly decision which was adopted two weeks ago pushes towards aggravating the situation in Syria rather than finding solutions to it.

In a speech at the UN General Assembly, al-Jaafari said that the purport of statement isn't comforting at all, saying that he and many more were surprised by the fiery language used in dealing with the situation in Syria, a language that approaches the limits of defaming the government of a founding member state of the UN.

He noted that all of this is based on mere reports and opinions issued by the Syrian opposition located abroad in capitals of countries that are hostile to Syria, and also based on intelligence reports of other countries that are not only working to "change the regime" in Syria as they say, but rather working to change the state itself.
He wondered "how we can listen to the content of the UN-Secretary General's statement and at the same time understand that there is a high-ranking figure whom the UN and its Secretary-General want to task with a very important mission in the region including Syria to exert efforts in cooperation with the Syrian Government to halt the tragic events."
He added "How they say that Syria didn't agree on Amos' visit and from where they brought this inaccurate conclusion according to which the members of the UN Security Council adopted a press statement which completely adopts this mistaken view."
"Each government must protect its people from chaos, terrorism, criminality and from destabilizing the security and this is what the Syrian Government has done…The UN Secretary-General said in his statement that Syria didn't protect its people as it is required, but this is unfair as it ignores a lot of the data in an unforgivable way even if they are related to countries other than Syria ," al-Jaafari said.
He added that the presidents and foreign ministers of some countries which are member states at the UN clearly talk about supplying the opposition with weapons while a UN member state talks frankly about donating USD 100 million to arm the opposition and while other countries are imposing stifling economic sanctions on the Syrian economy in a way that mainly affects the Syrian people.
He affirmed that members of al-Qaeda were killed in Homs and foreign gunmen were also found in Syria, and some journalists infiltrated into Syria and they were killed in the events and some of them infiltrated again from Syria illegally and despite of this no one talks about this issue.
Al-Jaafari wondered about the reason for some sides to ignore infiltration of al-Qaeda members, illegal fighters and journalists, hundreds of millions of US dollars, Israeli weapons into Syria and if anyone can give a convincing reason for that.
He added that Syria considers that the UN General Assembly's adoption of decision 253/66 entitled "the state in the Syrian Arab Republic" is a wrong move because it hadn't any minimum factors of the diplomatic act in the UN where they didn't consult the Syrian government and they even rejected the Russian amendments to it.

"Based upon those points, the decision was distinctively biased that reflected a non-objective unilateral viewpoint away from what is really taking place in Syria whether in regards to its ignorance to the serious reforms in Syria and the criminal acts of the armed terrorist groups or to its support to unbalanced Arab League decisions," al-Jaafari said.

He added that it is obvious there is an unfamiliar, non-objective stumble and overlapping in the movements of the UN bodies regarding Syria including some sides' determination to hold successive, hasty meetings on Syria under different titles, thus moving from the state in the Middle East to "avoiding the outbreak of armed conflicts" and into the Human rights items refers to the presence of a legal problem in the UN's dealing with the state in Syria.
Al-Jaafari said that it was not understood why they presented an oral report about implementing the said decision before issuing the written report or awaiting the Syrian notes on the UN Secretary General letter sent to the Syrian government in this regard.
He underlined that the goal of all pressures on Syria is distinctively political to serve agendas of some countries that declare themselves enemy of Syria as government and people.
Al-Jaafari said that the comprehensive reform program in Syria was crowned by adopting a new constitution which guarantees the establishment of the Syrian democratic state, based on political pluralism and protecting the general freedoms.

He made clear that the Syrian government also called for conducting a national comprehensive dialogue with participation of all the Syrians including the national internal dialogue as the only way to overcome the painful events in Syria, but some Arab and international states instigated the opposition not to be engaged in the national dialogue and even provoked the armed groups not to give up their weapons.

Al-Jaafari said that Syria was not astonished at the clear statements of Saudi and Qatari foreign Ministers to arm the opposition as well as Libya's declaration to offer $ 100 million for the armed opposition.

He regretted over the fall of any victim in Syria, saying "help us halt bloodshed through stopping the media instigation, preventing weapon smuggling into Syria through encouraging the extremist members at the foreign opposition to engage in a real dialogue with the government." 

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