Saturday, 11 October 2014

It’s Not Too Late to Save Syria’s Cultural Heritage

Franklin Lamb


…if we can muster the will

Inside the restored Omayyad Mosque, Old City of Damascus

Syria's cultural heritageAs Marcus Aurelius instructs us: “Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future too.”

By definition, our shared global heritage, which has been in the custody of the Syrian people for ten millennia, belongs to all of us and for this reason each of us must work to preserve it for our progeny.

The people of Syria are petitioning the United Nations, regional powers, archeologists and our wider global community to, reject, as they themselves do, the rationale of  ‘ unavoidable war-time collateral damage’ in their conflict which today is severely assaulting archeological treasures in their beloved country.  Over the past century, scientific excavations and study of our global heritage in Syria have barely scratched the surface so rich as concentrated are archeological artifacts from a score of empires that have inhabited this land.

Syrians, like the international public are horrified and sickened by the continuing and in some areas, accelerating desecration, illegal excavations, looting and hateful destruction of irreplaceable antiquities.

This observer does not wish to gloss over the alarming media reports on this subject.  Nor my own on-site field investigations over the past nearly three years chronicling and photographing damaged archeological sites across much of Syria. The research project has been part of a volume to be published next month in Arabic and English entitled, Syria’s Endangered Heritage, an International Responsibility to Preserve and Protect, parts of which reveal bleak picture.
But all is not lost.

Indeed much is being done inside Syria, among citizens including students, officials, among them the Ministries of Culture and Tourism, the General Directorate of Antiquities and Museums (DGAM) and even to some degree ‘repentant’ former rebels having physical access to archeological sites and valuing their heritage. Many projects are underway today at archeological sites not under the control of fighters on either side of this horrific internecine conflict out of a felt urgent duty to preserve, protect, and even in some instances to reconstruct our endangered global heritage.

Three examples of Syrian archeological sites that were badly damaged since the start of the continuing crisis which began in March of 2011, with details of the damage at these sites reported in the main stream media as well as in some scholarly publications, are the Omayyad Mosque in the Old City of Damascus, the medieval fortress of Crac des Chevaliers near Homs, and the Church of the Holy Belt in the Old City of Homs.  This observer first visited and chronicled damages at these three sites months ago as soon as local fighting ceased and security conditions allowed and having revisited them just recently bears witness to the fact that each is now in the final stages of being repaired/rebuilt and are safe and ready to receive visitors.

The remarkable achievements of wartime Syrian antiquities reconstruction are continuing  because of leadership from committed officials such as Dr. Maamoun Abdulkarim of DGAM, noted above, and Syria’s indefatigable Bachir Yazigi, Minister of Tourism and member of Parliament, among many others supported by their dedicated staffs. Partners also in restoration of culture sites are students from Damascus and other Universities and institutes such as Directorate of Archaeological Scientific and Reconstructive Laboratories and citizen volunteers as well as some patriotic business people across the social and political spectrum here.  This observer visited the Damascus Citadel and witnessed the student’s painstaking restoration of a large irreplaceable Mosaic, tesserae (half inch chip) by tesserae. In the course of visiting damaged archeological sites in Syria, this observer has spent time with skilled teams of artifact restoration students repairing antiquities from artwork in Homs to stone arches at Palmyra. Syrian volunteers share a common deep love of their ancient country and they appear to accept a personal obligation to preserve, protect and restore their and our common global cultural heritage. Repair and reconstruction is expanding today at several other archeological sites.

Local Community seeking protection of Syria’s cultural heritage

In Syria today, within government controlled areas scores of community groups are working to preserve our global heritage. One example is a citizen’s national campaign to inform the general public about the value of protecting archeological sites by placing large posters showing endangered treasures.

Below are some example of current posters being posted in public gathering areas:

Workshops on subject such as combating the illicit trafficking in cultural property have been organized, particularly in Damascus and are being attended by interested non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) and the local community including researchers, artists and writers as well as by representatives of ministries and department concerned with the protection of Syrian cultural property.  In addition, students and civic volunteers  update daily the Arabic and English website of the Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums (DGAM) (  with  the latest available information about the archaeological heritage of Syria during the crisis.
“Artisan programs” and art classes, including Mosaic restoration and preserving damaged antiquities have been organized and they seek to connect the public, particularly children and adolescents with nearby archeological heritage sites and local antiquities and artifacts. Classes highlight a range of traditional crafts including mosaics, calligraphy, storytelling, pottery fezzes and sabots (leather sandal and shoe) making.  Rather than simply report the bad news about of this country’s archeological treasures events are frequently organized, as on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of great historic discovery of Ebla, called   "Ebla- History and Archaeology" at the Damascus National Museum, open to the public with youth attendance encouraged.  The event also featured a photo exhibition about the damage to archaeological sites, especially Ebla, one of the themes communicated being the obligation of each citizens to preserve and protect past whether pagan, Jewish, Christian, Muslim or secular.

Social Media

Like everywhere these days Syrian youngsters are increasingly active with social-media and one site frequently contributed to is by the Eyes on Heritage group. This is just one example of people interested in global cultural heritage interacting to protect our shared cultural heritage.

Another Facebook page, growing in popularity in Syria which is now also a YouTube was created by Protect Syrian Archaeology: The Association for the protection of Syrian Archaeology (APSA). It is intended news about the threats and damages currently suffered by the Syrian archaeological and historical heritage. It is also designed to alert the scientific community and international authorities, either cultural or political. Additional Facebook pages that promote these themes include, and Tell me about my Syrian land: collects stories of Syrian heritage which talk about the traditional themes and customs.

Again not wishing to understate the scope or seriousness of this cultural heritage crisis, there is another reason we should not despair completely or give up hope when witnessing the horrible damage being reported at world heritage sites and to antiquities across Syria because there are some hopeful signs. One concerns Syria’s 28 museums since the outbreak of hostilities, nearly four years ago. During the early summer of 2011, private citizens, museum staffs, government ministries, some members of Parliament and some international and local NGO’s sounded an alarm. They warned that the tragic case of what was reported back in 2003 in Iraq, including ransacking the National Museum of Iraq in Bagdad on April 10, 2003 could be repeated in Syria and they were determined to prevent it. They have substantially succeeded.

The worst damage to Syrian museums has been reported by DGAM staff to be in Deir Atieh and Raqqa in eastern Syria, still under IS (Da’ish) control and therefore a precise assessment is not yet available.   A few artifacts have been stolen from Maarat al-Numan Museum and the Folk Museum at Aleppo, and the museums in Hama. Moreover, despite widespread illegal excavations in Apamia, the Museum has lost only one object due to theft.

Beyond these and other unknown losses, the contents of all of Syria’s other 26 museums are safe for now because their contents were moved before thefts or damage could occur and today their contents are buried deep in temperature and humidity controlled secret vaults in government controlled areas. In addition, citizens in many communities are discretely safeguarding archaeological sites and reporting to local or national authorities attempted thefts or trafficking in stolen artifacts.

Syrians sometimes ask this observer to advise others that they deeply share their horror over much now happening in Syria and the continuing endangerment to our shared cultural heritage. They are very aware that international friends want to help preserve and rebuild damaged sites, retrieve stolen articles now being sold in North America, Europe, Asia and elsewhere.

Syrians and doing their part and need international help with stopping the international trade in looted Syrian antiquities now being move into Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. The millions of annual visitors to cultural heritage sites in Syria can resume just soon as a cease-fire can be achieved.

Source: Al-Manar Website
11-10-2014 - 12:03 Last updated 11-10-2014 - 12:03

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Jawbar: The Nusra freaks-of-nature, along with their Jaysh Al-Islam allies, are breaking in Jawbar.  Panicked communications indicate clearly that they are preparing for the worst.  No reinforcements are coming and no resupplies are possible after the SAA recently uncovered several tunnels used for that purpose.  Their hopes are for some help from a “friendly” country (read: The Zionist Settler State), but, that seems a bit far off now.
Last night, the SAA continued to advance in this area near the Al-Tayyiba Mosque by taking control of 4 city blocks.  In the fighting these skunks were killed:
Bilaal Shaykh Al-Qasseer
Haseeb Al-Ahmad
Qaassem Shattoor
‘Abdul-Sattaar Al-Rifaa’iy
Muhyi-Al-Deen Al-Farraan
Another 11 were not identified.

‘Assaal Al-Ward andA Al-Jibba:  We can confirm the deaths of 62 Nusra rats attempting to break out of the Lebanon into Syria using unorthodox smuggling routes which are now so well guarded the efforts seem suicidal.  On the Lebanese side, the SAA has extensive networks of informants such that any substantial effort to mount an infiltration from ‘Arsaal is known within minutes.  I have heard that the SAA uses drones to confirm such operations in order to give troops and militiamen liaised with border security a good half-hour heads-up.  SAAF was called in to blunt the operation dead in its tracks as ground forces pounded the microbes into so many atoms.  No names are available as the area remains too dangerous to assess.  Rat carcasses are becoming a hygienic problem just like northern Latakia.

Irbeen:  At the Transportation Building, 6 rats killed:
Qutayba Katkoot (No! He wasn’t cute. Unless you find sewer rats adorable.)

Harastaa:  Within sight of the Police Infirmary:
Muzhaffar ‘Abdul-Salaam
‘Issaam Kafaadar
Bilaal Al-Teenaawi

Al-Zabadaani:  NDF and former rival FSA turncoats killed these Nusra rats together:
Adnaan Baaseel Al-Daalaati
‘Ali ‘Abdullah

Tal-Kurdi:  A nest of Nusra rodents went back to their progenitor, Satan:
“Abu Fidaa`” (Id pending)
Khaldoon Al-Taaher
Muhammad Mastu 
Wissaam Kuraydi
‘Aamer Istablaji
‘Umar Al-Hijja
Kareem ‘Ali Dawdah
Another 4 could not be identified.  Another 4 were taken prisoner and are warbling.

تضييق الخناق على الإرهابيين في جوبر وتدمير أوكار وسيارات لهم في جرود القلمون
Doumaa:  ’Alloosh can feel the insistent fingertips of our SAA stalwarts as they rummage around all the little cellars and spider holes where dirty stinking sewer rats hide. Near the Avicenna (Ibn Sina) Hospitat toward the northeast rural area, these carcasses were identified:
‘Aamer Al-Kahloos
‘Ammaar ‘Uyoon
Raateb Badraan

Fighting reported intense in these areas of the East Ghoutaa: Al-Jarbaa Farms, Al-Qaasimiyya Farms, Al-Bihaariyya Farms, Al-Bilaaliyya Farms.
تفكيك عدد من العبوات الناسفة على طريقي تدمر حمص وبغداد حمص
Palmyra – Homs Highway near the Shareefa Crossing:  Security Services acting on tips from locals identified and dismantled 5 IEDs with 30kg payloads and rigged for wireless remote control detonation.

Baghdaad – Homs Highway:  Security Services dismantled 8 IEDs with 20kg payloads near Qasr Al-Hayr West.

Talas Al-Rastan Road:  A truck loaded with weapons and ammunition under sacks of dried oats was detained by SAA at a checkpoint.  A search revealed the contraband.  The driver attempted to escape over farm land but was stopped rudely by an RPG rocket that killed him and his passenger.  No names.

Ruhoom Village:  An infiltration toward Jubb Al-Jarraah went wrong when the rats were spotted by local informants.  Very messy:
Shaakir Mustafaa
Muhammad Musallam
Ziyaad Abul-Haaj
Rafeeq Yilmaaz
Another 2 could not be identified.


Light skirmishing with some Nusra and ISIS hyenas here:  Kafr Laahaa, ‘Izzeddeen, ‘Ayn Hussayn, Umm Sahreej, Abu Hawaadeed, Rajm Al-Qassr Hills, ‘Ibb Al-Ghajar, Talbeesa.


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Davutoglu lies: "We Oppose ISIL, No One Can Prove We Support It"

Turkey’s Davutoglu: We Oppose ISIL, No One Can Prove We Support It

Local Editor

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu insisted his country doesn’t support the Takfiri group operating in Syria and Iraq, ISIL, saying Ankara opposes the terrorist group the same way it opposed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"Turkey is against ISIl just the same way that it is against Assad."

"Assad and ISIL are both responsible for all these events and tragedies," he told reporters in Ankara.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
He added: "No one can prove that Turkey is supporting ISIL."

Turkey has been widely known for its support to the Takfiri militants fighting the Syrian government and then operating in Syria and Iraq.

Following Washington’s formation of the international coalition against ISIL, US and another states have been slamming Ankara for not showing greater involvement in the fight against the terrorists.

Davutoglu also ridiculed Turkey's main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who suggested that parliament should issue a separate mandate for Turkish military action in Kobani.

"Are we going to issue a separate mandate for each province or district? It's such a ridiculous proposal," Davutoglu scoffed.

Source: AFP
10-10-2014 - 14:30 Last updated 10-10-2014 - 14:30

Related posts:
  1. Kerry asks Turkey to help confront ISIL
  2. Turkey seeks extended mandate to attack(!) ISIL with America
  3. 70k Syrian Kurds fearrin ISIL atroticies flee homes for Turkey in 24 hours: UN
  4. Protests continue over Turkey’s hidden support for ISIL terrorists
  5. Turkey prevents Kurds from fighting ISIL
  6. EXC.:Turkey prevents Kurds from fighting ISIL
  7. An apparent interference in the internal affairs of Syria- “Turkey decides future of Syria”: FM Davutoglu
  8. ISIL recruiting many from Turkey: Report
  9. ISIL releases 49 Turkish hostages
  10. Turkey Embraces ISIL, Its FM Says War Must Be against Assad Regime
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How Much is Obama's War on ISIS Going to Cost? You Don't Want to Know!

One Billion Dollars

How much is Obama's new war on Iraq and Syria going to cost? If you believe the woman who was right about the costs of the last US war on Iraq, Harvard Professor Linda J. Bilmes, it's going to cost a fortune.

In a critically important article Professor Bilmes wrote for the Boston Globe this week, the author of The Three Trillion Dollar War (with Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz) points out that although the US has already spent approximately one billion dollars thus far on President Obama's plan to "degrade and destroy" ISIS, the price tag is going to climb steeply —and quickly— from there.

Direct costs of the president's plan will likely be on the order of $22 billion per year, but that is only the start.

Writes Bilmes:
In addition to the bill for military operations, there are costs associated with veterans’ benefits, depreciation of equipment, humanitarian aid, covert action, and paying (as the US frequently does) for the military efforts of our coalition “partners.”
She also points out that just when there was talk about the need to step back from the limitless Pentagon appropriations of the past 13 years, this new "crisis" has put all talks of military spending cut-backs off the table. On the contrary, in addition to the considerable direct costs associated with US actions in the Middle East, general spending on the US military will likely increase rather than decrease. Though talks of the sequester decreasing the growth of US military spending was always a lot of hot air, with this new crisis the sequester has a final stake drive through its heart.

What will be the total price tag per year, then, for the president's new war in Iraq and Syria? Concludes Professor Bilmes:
The combined cost of abandoning planned cutbacks at the Defense Department, new spending to combat the Islamic State, and extra foreign military assistance means that America will wind up spending up to $100 billion more on military activities than we had expected this year alone.
And all this spending says nothing about the president's chance of success in his approach to ISIS. The early notices are in, and they are not very good. Ever eager to please interventionists in the US government, the media is overflowing with tales of how the US bombing strategy is not working and boots on the ground are absolutely essential.

Although "happy days" never ended for the military-industrial complex, it can be said that with this new "threat," which will require massive resources (i.e. the stuff that the military-industrial complex produces), it will be "happy days are here again" for the rich elites who keep selling bombs as the only way for the US to relate to the rest of the world.

This isn't going to end well.

Copyright © 2014 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.

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Kerry to call for new Israel-Palestine talks as Gaza aid expected to fall short

A Palestinian boy stands on a wall waiting for the arrival of Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah (unseen) who will visit some of the areas worst hit by the 50-day Israeli war on Gaza in July and August, on October 9, 2014 in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip. (Photo: AFP - Said Khatib)
Published Saturday, October 11, 2014

US Secretary of State John Kerry will call for a revival of the collapsed Israeli-Palestinian peace process on Sunday when he attends an international conference in Cairo on rebuilding Gaza, American officials said.

The top US diplomat and 30 of his counterparts convene in the Egyptian capital alongside UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who is seeking a record $1.6 billion in aid to rebuild the battered Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian government last week unveiled a 76-page reconstruction plan for Gaza, calling for $4 billion to rebuild the war-battered territory, with the largest amount going to build housing for some 100,000 left homeless.

The Israeli military operation on Gaza killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians, at least 70 percent of them civilians, while attacks by Gaza militants killed 73 on the Israeli side, including 68 soldiers.
An estimated 18,000 homes were destroyed in Gaza and infrastructure was badly battered during the seven-week war.

Senior US officials voiced doubts on Friday that an international donors conference to be held in Cairo this weekend will meet the Palestinians' full request for $4 billion in aid pledges to rebuild the Gaza Strip.
it remains unclear how generous donor governments will be, given the lack of progress toward resolving the broader Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the risk that hostilities could erupt again, destroying whatever has been rebuilt.

"It's fair to say there are serious questions being raised by the donors," a State Department official told reporters, citing concerns that unless the cycle is broken they will be "back here doing the same thing again in a year or two."

The official did not mention whether the cycle of violence would mean fewer US money sent to Israel.
He predicted the conference would yield "significant contributions" for reconstruction, with the Gulf states providing the bulk of it and Washington and the Europeans offering "meaningful and appropriate" amounts as well.

But the official said, "I don't know whether anybody thinks we're going to get to four billion (dollars), or whether we need those kind of pledges right now." Another State Department official added: "We're not there at this point."

Kerry will meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on the sidelines of the conference, having last met at the UN General Assembly in September, State Department officials said.

"You will hear the secretary reaffirm the commitment of the United States to helping the parties achieve a negotiated two-state solution and our willingness to re-engage in the negotiations and help facilitate successful negotiations," a State Department official said.

"More broadly we are interested in sort of breaking the cycle we have been in in the last six years of war and reconstruction there," the official added.

Kerry was the architect of a high-profile bid to re-start negotiations, which collapsed in April and were followed by the devastating 50-day war in Gaza, the third conflict in the enclave in six years.

(AFP, Reuters, Al-Akhbar)

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A must see: USA/Daash/Nusra Mother of Battle for Takfiri-Land in Lebanon


قضية في الاقليم _ داعش والتحالف الدولي ، حرب أم رسم خرائط ؟

من دمشق _ د نضال قبلان ، جوزيف ابو فاضل

كوباني تفضح الاهداف الحقيقية للتحالف الاميركي _ خورشيد دللي

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Is Obama Being Threatened by US Hawks with ‘Security Risks’?

Another Secret Service Breach Put Armed Man With Criminal Record In Elevator With Obama
Finian CUNNINGHAM | 10.10.2014 | 00:00
Are a rash of media disclosures showing how President Barack Obama’s personal security has been endangered aimed at intimidating him into toeing the Pentagon’s warpath on Syria and in Ukraine?
On the face of it, the disclosures mainly published in the Washington Post have portrayed the presidential Secret Service as bungling and incompetent.
Last week the director of Obama’s security detail Julia Pierson was forced to resign (that is, sacked) amid a hue and cry on Capitol and the White House over several blunders. House of Representatives speaker John Boehner said then: «The secret service is beset with a culture of complacency and incompetence».
This week the Washington Post revealed more damaging information: that White House aides were also compromised in covering up the «hooker scandal» dating back to April 2012, when more than 20 of the presidential security team were sacked or punished for partying in a hotel ahead of a major political summit in Cartagena, Colombia.
The latest twist on that scandal plus the recent disclosures of other breaches in President Obama’s personal security appear to be aimed at not merely exposing incompetence, but, more significantly, at undermining Obama’s confidence in the people who are assigned to protect his life, including his own White House aides.
The previous security scandal to rock the White House emerged within hours of Pierson being sacked on October 1 when it was reported that a convicted armed man was allowed to enter an elevator alongside the president while he was on official business in Atlanta, Georgia, last month.
That incident, on September 16, occurred when a private security contractor working at the building where Obama was visiting was able to mingle among the president’s Secret Service bodyguards. It was only after the agents noticed the man acting strangely, by persistently taking a cell phone video of Obama while riding the elevator, that they reportedly realised the security breach in their midst.
It turned out that the man, who has not been named, was armed with a gun and had three previous convictions for assault.
Obama reportedly found out about this security breach only «within minutes» of the story being published last week. That he was not informed about it by his own security people, but rather only learned of it in the newspapers must be very unsettling for the man who is supposed to be most heavily protected in the world.
As the Washington Post reported: «Extensive screening is supposed to keep people with weapons or criminal histories out of arm’s reach of the president. But it appears that this man, possessing a gun, came within inches of the president after undergoing no such screening.»
Representative Jason Chaffetz, who heads a House subcommittee overseeing the Secret Service, expressed outrage over the incident and the grave risk that it posed to Obama’s safety.
«You have a convicted felon within arm’s reach of the president, and they never did a background check,» Chaffetz said. «Words aren’t strong enough for the outrage I feel for the safety of the president and his family.»
Three days after that embarrassing debacle, on September 19, another major security lapse occurred, this time at the White House in Washington DC, when a man armed with a knife was able to scale the perimeter fence and enter the North Portico door before finally being apprehended in the East Wing. The intruder was named as Omar Gonzalez, a 42-year-old Iraq war veteran said to be suffering from psychological trouble.
These are just two high-profile instances of President Obama’s personal safety being compromised that have emerged over the space of a few weeks. According to the Washington Post, there have been three times as many threats on Obama’s life compared with his predecessors.
Of course, the fact that he is the first black occupant of the White House could make him a target for all sorts of crank enemies. The first lady, Michelle Obama, has previously publicly expressed fears of a racially motivated attack on her husband.
Also revealed for the first time last week by the Washington Post was a shooting incident at the White House back in November 2011. On that occasion, a man armed with a semiautomatic rifle sprayed the upper floor residence with at least seven bullets, smashing a window only «steps away» from the first family’s living room. In an extraordinary security lapse, the shooter was able to drive away from the White House and was only picked up several days later.
Obama’s youngest daughter Sasha was in the residence at the time of the shooting along with Michelle’s mother. When the president found out about that breach, he was reportedly furious and demanded a radical shake-up in procedure.
The Washington Post quoted William Daley, White House chief of staff at the time, as remarking on that attack: «It was obviously very frightening that someone who didn’t really plan it that well was able to shoot and hit the White House and people here did not know about it until several days later.»
However, the question arises: is there something more sinister to this spate of recent revelations concerning the president’s safety which appear to place him as singularly vulnerable?
Is there something more significant to the rash of disclosures than mere incompetence among the president’s security detail? Are powerful people within the US government perhaps trying to send Obama a grim warning?
We should bear in mind that the US-led military intervention in Iraq and Syria and the growing confrontation with Russia over Ukraine seem to have entered a critical phase. The US military-industrial complex is pushing for a full-scale and relentless intervention in the Middle East, as well as ever-increasing tensions over Ukraine by goading the reactionary Kiev regime into antagonising Russia.
With billions of dollars at stake from arms sales, business reports have noted that America’s top weapons companies, such as Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon, are soaring in their stock market values. Every fighter jet sortie in Iraq and Syria, every missile launched, every warship despatched to the Black Sea is rallying stupendous profits for these companies.
As a recent headline on Bloomberg News noted: ‘Syria-to-Ukraine Wars Send US Defence Stocks to Records’.
The Bloomberg reported found that the average share price increase for top American weapons firms has increased by 19 per cent over the past year compared with the 2.2 per cent on Standard and Poor’s Industrial 500 Index.
Future sales of Pentagon hardware to America’s Arab allies, in particular Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, are another huge multiplier of lucrative business.
And the US military-industrial complex is once again rolling out its paid pundits and politicians clamouring for war, as well as pushing the strategic regime-change objective against the Assad government in Syria.
Recall that last year, there was a similar paroxysm for all-out military intervention in Syria among the Washington neocons. But much to their intense annoyance then, Obama «wimped out» on that war drive, largely due to massive public protest around the world and also to Russian president Vladimir Putin’s diplomatic intervention over Syria’s chemical weapons disposal.
This time around, however, the American military-industrial complex and its neocon cheerleaders seem to be hellbent on making sure the opportunity for war on Syria and elsewhere is not squandered. They see Obama’s wimpish tendency as a «weak link».
Hence it is noticeable that America’s military brass, including General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and former CIA director Leon Panetta have of late embarked on media briefings that appear to be laying down markers to Obama, warning him not to cave in on escalating the US-led air strikes and eventual ground war in Syria.
Ever since the CIA-backed assassination of John F Kennedy in November 1963, all US presidents must surely be aware that they are at the mercy of their own «deep government» – the dark forces operating in Washington that are beholden to the military-industrial complex and its closely aligned foreign policy hawks.
According to former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, Obama has previously confided to his inner circle of associates a fear that his personal security could be one day placed in jeopardy by political enemies within his own government. This could be what Michelle Obama is really referring to about her husband’s possible assassination; not so much that the person pulling the trigger is a racist nutcase or rightwing chauvinist, but rather that the people supposed to be protecting the president could deliberately leave him vulnerable.
According to James W Douglass and other biographers of President Kennedy, JFK in the weeks leading up to his assassination in Dallas on November 22 1963 felt that his own Secret Service was plotting against him. Kennedy knew well that the Pentagon had a number on him because of his opposition to their hawkish ambitions towards Cuba, Vietnam and the Soviet Union.
American presidents thereafter must know that they owe their survival to dark forces within their own ruling class. If these forces can blow a president’s head off in broad daylight, as they did in Dallas with Kennedy, then any «executive action» deemed by them is possible.
Over the past month since Obama gave the go-ahead for air strikes against the IS terror group in Iraq, which have now been ramped up into Syrian territory, it is remarkable that his rhetoric has shifted to a much more militaristic pitch. In August, Obama was saying there is no «American military solution» in Iraq against the Islamic State terrorists. Now, he is calling for a long campaign of aerial bombing «lasting years» to destroy «the network of death».
An insidious media campaign orchestrated by American secret government forces using their favoured mouthpiece, the Washington Post, in which presidential security is suddenly highlighted for being at grave risk, could be the efficacious way to ensure that Obama does not confound their cardinal military plans in the Middle East and toward Russia, with a possible last-minute diplomatic cop-out.
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