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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Made in Israel: Romney’s Iran Campaign

As Mitt Romney completes his electoral swing through Jerusalem, it is tempting to view this as just a cynical campaign maneuver. No doubt the candidate – in an effort coordinated the Republican Jewish Coalition and Bill Kristol’s Emergency Committee for Israel — aims to peel off some Jewish support from Obama, especially in states like Florida, and to seek votes from the large right-wing Israeli-American expat community. Also, a fundraising affair in Jerusalem ($50,000 minimum ticket) promises to add quite a few shekels to his campaign coffers. But that’s only part of the story.
Romney is no Willard-come-lately when it comes to serving the interests of Israel. His ties to the Israeli Right and especially Likud Party President Benjamin Netanyahu go back many years. Mitt met Ben in when the two were business school graduates in Boston. Romney, with a Harvard MBA, and Netanyahu (then calling himself “Benjamin Nitai”) from MIT’s Sloan School, worked together at The Boston Consulting Group in 1976. Their close relationship continued over the years, through the various political ups and downs experienced by the ambitious duo.
When Romney left office after one term as Governor his presidential ambitions were already obvious. Only a few days after his successor, Deval Patrick, was inaugurated on January 4, 2007, Romney effectively launched his campaign for the White House — not in Massachusetts or Utah, but in Israel. On January 20, the brand-new ex-Governor flew off to Herzliya for the annual Interdisciplinary Security Conference, whose theme that year was “Still Time to Stop Iran”. (he was not alone; aspiring candidates Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani and John McCain also spoke, though via satellite, to the assembled delegates.)
The next day, Romney was in the audience to hear Netanyahu – Likud Party leader but then out of elected office — address the Conference:
…on the economic level, we are taking action to advance voluntary sanctions on Iran… A historic example of this is the action taken against the Apartheid regime in South Africa… An operation is needed here that isn’t partial, that is coordinated, and that Israel needs to lead. First and foremost, the action needs to focus on the United States, and must kickstart Jewish public opinion, the Congress and the Senate, American media, economic forces, and the average citizens.
Whether Netanyahu thought up this idea on his own– he had been in the US during the 1980’s when the grassroots campaign for divestment from South African Apartheid took off – or if it was whispered in his ear by any of the numerous US right-wing Zionists in his circle, is impossible to know for certain. The idea for a US Iran divestment campaign had already been floated in a 2006 paper by Christopher Holton, who later became head of the “Divest Terror Initiative” at Gaffney’s extremist right-wing and anti-Islam Center for Security Policy.
Romney had dinner with Netanyahu in Jerusalem the next evening, where the two planned how to organize the proposed anti-Iran divestment campaign. A couple days later, on January 23, Romney addressed the Herzliya Conference, with his own call “for economic sanctions against Iran ‘at least as severe’ as those imposed on South Africa during its apartheid era, in an effort to isolate the Central Asian nation and convince it to give up its pursuit of a nuclear weapon.”
He continued:
In my meetings in Israel this week, I have become aware of a potential US pension system to further isolate the Iranian economy. We should explore a selective disinvestment policy. After a series of briefings here, I actually contacted the Treasurer of my own state of Massachusetts and the Governors of some of the neighboring states to begin this process.
Netanyahu, however, was not on hand for Romney’s speech. He was already in Boston that day to meet with Massachusetts State Treasurer Tim Cahill, influential legislators and leaders of the local Jewish community. The response to the proposal from Massachusetts state officials was apparently lukewarm at first. Cahill said he would examine the idea, but that any action would have to be approved by the legislature.
Meanwhile, members of the Boston Jewish Community Relations Council pressed the issue more widely, arguing at the February national meeting of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs “to form a ’Stop Iran’ coalition that would launch political, economic and educational initiatives against the Iranian nuclear threat, including a mass demonstration in Washington and a divestment campaign.” But the rest of the delegates were skittish. Jewish-American opinion had turned decisively against the Iraq war and there was little stomach for another campaign that could climax in a military confrontation against Iran. Not only that, but Walt and Mearsheimer’s essay on The Israel Lobby had already appeared in the London Review of Books and there was intense nervousness about what might be perceived as another Jewish-establishment and Israel-supported military confrontation.
It took AIPAC to whip the troops into line. On March 13, 2007 Haaretz reported that “various Israeli sources and the pro-Israel lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), are also contributing to the efforts, particularly through specific legislation in various American states where pension funds hold stock in firms invested in Iran.” At its annual Washington DC Policy Conference later in the same month there were at least two panels on Iran divestment and the tactic was formally adopted after a closed-door meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu. Vice-President Dick Cheney got a warm reception from the AIPAC delegates, but all the 2008 presidential candidates were also there. Obama’s speech – apparently written by WINEP’s Dennis Ross, among others — was full of threats to punish Iran and referred to Jerusalem as “Israel’s eternal and undivided capital.”
By May 9, AIPAC published its memo “Divestment: An Important Tool in Preventing Nuclear Iran” advocating “state-level campaigns to divest public pension plans from companies investing in Iran’s oil and natural gas sector provide another means to pressure the regime.” Preparations got under way for a strategic – and bi-partisan — state-by-state campaign for Iran divestment.
However, there were some concerns about the legality of such state-based initiatives. Earlier court decisions had struck down similar efforts as usurping federal powers and unlawful restraints on trade; there were also fears of corporate or investor damage suits if plaintiffs could show financial harm. So lawyers at AIPAC duly arranged for the filing of Congressional legislation on May 16: H.R. 2347, Iran Sanctions Enabling Act of 2007; a parallel and identical bill was launched in the Senate on the next day
HR 2347 was fast-tracked in the House and passed 408-6 on July 31, 2007. However, in the Senate, where procedural rules allow a bill to be put on hold, the legislation was blocked by Republican Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, reportedly at the request of the Bush administration. To the discomfort of AIPAC and advocates of confrontation with Iran, Bush apparently felt that two disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were more than enough for the time being; and in any case, sitting presidents usually oppose having their hands tied by Congress on foreign affairs.
Nevertheless, the state-by-state divestment campaign took off. The legalities mattered little in the end because the effort really aimed to stir up public hostility against the Iranian regime and prepare the way for possible armed confrontation later. The practical effect of this first round of Iran sanctions was mainly symbolic, but served to open another front in the strategic propaganda war against Iran.
The divestment campaign marched relentlessly from state to state with depressing uniformity. Everywhere the legislative initiatives was launched and trumpeted by the local Jewish communal organizations and in the Jewish press, by AIPAC supporters, in the Neocon blogosphere and sometimes among local pro-Israel Christian fundamentalists. Sometimes token allies would be rounded up– in the labor movement or in communities of color– but this did little to disguise the true source of the effort. The so-called grassroots campaign was strictly Zionist astro-turf.
Florida was the first state to enact an Iran divestment law on June 8, 2007, followed by Louisiana (July 9), Illinois (September 11), California (October 14) – with little publicity and usually no organized opposition. Eventually the list included New Jersey, Ohio, Georgia, Mississippi, Iowa, Texas, Colorado, and Washington State, reaching 17 states plus the District of Columbia and many city councils too. I gave up counting when the wave reached Alaska. Occasionally a divestment bill was delayed or even defeated, as in Maine, when pension boards or public sector unions took notice of possible damage to state retirement fund bottom lines. More often the law was passed with little fanfare.
What about Massachusetts — where, thanks to Romney, the Iran divestment effort all began? It wasn’t in the first, or even the second wave of states to pass a divestment bill. The local legislative calendar did not allow the introducing a new bill until 2008 and by then it was possible to muster some opposition in coordination with a few determined state legislators, the head of the Massachusetts pension investment board and the State Treasurer (at least before he changed his opinion after deciding to run for governor). Embarrassingly, the Massachusetts divestment bill, camouflaged as “An Act Protecting Pension Fund Investments from the Global Securities Risk of Investment in Iran,” was defeated first time out and only passed two years later after some serious arm twisting by pro-Israel lobbyists and legislative leaders. Democratic candidate for State Treasure Steve Grossman, a former national AIPAC president, boasted proudly of his role, not in his campaign literature but in the pages of The Jerusalem Post.
It’s worth emphasizing that the campaign against Iran was and remains “bi-partisan” in character. The Iran Divestment Enabling Act of 2007 was not the product of some Southern Republican or Neocon mouthpiece in Congress, but was introduced by that well-known Massachusetts “Progressive” Barney Frank. The matching Senate bill was sponsored by an ambitious young freshman from Illinois named Barack Obama, — who later signed it into law during his first year as President.
By now Obama is learning the perils of electoral pandering to the Israel Lobby. Ever more extreme AIPAC-written Iran sanction bills –some over the tepid opposition of his administration — have poured out of Congress. The political pressure mounts to compel armed confrontation rather than diplomacy with Iran and for the President to prove his fealty to Israel by one concession after another. The bar is constantly raised, so that no increase in military aid or security cooperation with Israel, no amount of bellicose rhetoric or overt preparation for military attack on Iran will ever suffice to prove that Obama is a “true friend” of the Jewish State. The President is learning – perhaps too late – that feeding the Israeli crocodile never works.
Meanwhile in Jerusalem on Sunday, Netanyahu — with Romney at his side — was smiling his crocodile smile in preparation to making Obama his next meal. And Sheldon Adelson was close by, writing another big check.
JEFF KLEIN is a retired union president, political observer and long-time international solidarity activist.

Syria: Washington’s Latest War Crime

July 26, 2012|

Paul Craig Roberts

One wonders what Syrians are thinking as “rebels” vowing to “free Syria” take the country down the same road to destruction as “rebels” in Libya.

Libya, under Gaddafi a well run country whose oil revenues were shared with the Libyan people instead of monopolized by a princely class as in Saudi Arabia, now has no government and is in disarray with contending factions vying for power.
Libyan rebels
Just as no one knew who the Libyan “rebels” were, with elements of al Qaeda reportedly among them, no one knows who the Syrian “rebels” are, or indeed if they are even rebels (
Some “rebels” appear to be bandit groups who seize the opportunity to loot and to rape and set themselves up as the governments of villages and towns. Others appear to be al Qaeda. (

The fact that the “rebels” are armed is an indication of interference from outside. There have been reports that Washington has ordered its Saudi and Bahrain puppet governments to supply the “rebels” with military weaponry. Some suspect that the explosion that killed the Syrian Defense Minister and the head of the government’s crisis operations was not the work of a suicide bomber but the work of a US drone or missile reminiscent of Washington’s failed attempts to murder Saddam Hussein.

Regardless, Washington regarded the terror attack as a success, declaring that it showed the rebels were gaining “real momentum” and called on the Syrian government to respond to the attack by resigning. (

The following is from a leaked intelligence document describing a previous Western terrorist intervention in Syria just in case any reader is so naive as to think that “our government would never do that.”
“In order to facilitate the action of liberative (sic) forces, …a special effort should be made to eliminate certain key individuals. …[to] be accomplished early in the course of the uprising and intervention, …
Once a political decision has been reached to proceed with internal disturbances in Syria, CIA is prepared, and SIS (MI6) will attempt to mount minor sabotage and coup de main (sic) incidents within Syria, working through contacts with individuals. …Incidents should not be concentrated in Damascus …
Further: a “necessary degree of fear .. frontier incidents and (staged) border clashes”, would “provide a pretext for intervention… the CIA and SIS [MI6] should use … capabilities in both psychological and action fields to augment tension.” (Joint US-UK leaked Intelligence Document, London and Washington, 1957) (
Obama has not said why his government is so desperate to overthrow the Syrian government. The current president was an eye doctor in London who was brought back to Syria to replace his father, who had passed away, as president of the country. Washington is reticent about its real motives, which it masks with high-sounding humanitarian rhetoric, but Washington’s motives are transparent.
One motive is to get rid of the Russian naval base in Syria, thus depriving Russia of its only Mediterranean base.

A second motive is to eliminate Syria as a source of arms and support to Hizbullah in order that Israel can succeed in its attempts to occupy southern Lebanon and acquire its water resources. Hizbullah’s fighters have twice defeated the Israeli military’s attempts to invade and to occupy southern Lebanon.

A third motive is to destroy the unity of Syria with sectarian conflict, as Washington destroyed Libya and Iraq, and leave Syria to waring factions to dismember the country, thus removing another obstacle to Washington’s hegemony.

Syria, a secular Arab state, like Iraq was, is ruled by a political party composed of Alawis, more or less Shia Muslims.
[In fact the majority of the party are Sunnis, Assad has two deputies, Faroul al-shara' and Najah Al-attar, both are Sunnis, the second is the sister of a MB historic leader. Moreover, the so-called uprising failed because the Majority of Syrian sunnis are Pro-assadepecially in Syria's two capitals, damascus and Aleppo].
The Alawis comprise about 12% of the Syrian population and are regarded as heretics by the Sunni Muslims [Brothers of America] who comprise about 74% of the Syrian population. Thus the orchestrated “uprising” appeals to many Sunnis who see the opportunity to take over. (In Iraq it was a Sunni minority that ruled a Shia majority, and in Syria it is the opposite.)
The divisions among Arabs make Arabs vulnerable to Western interference and rule. The Sunni-Shia split makes it impossible for an Arab country to unite against an invader or for one Arab country to come to the aid of another.
[Paul Craig Roberts ignored that divisions were created by the west. I wonder if he heard about Syks and Beco who drawn the border and installed western puppets to defend Sykes-Beco borders, I claim that both we not aware of the so-called Sunni Shiite split, otherwise, they would have drawn the maps along secterian line. Sunnis and Shea lived togeher in Saudia, Bahrain, Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. In Iraq both Sunnis and Shiites Joined the 1920 revolution against British.]

In 1990 the Shia [Nationalist-Secular] Syrian government lined up with the US against the Sunni [Nationalist-Secular] Iraq government in the First Iraq War. Neither Lawrence of Arabia, Nasser, nor Gaddafi succeeded in creating an Arab consciousness.

[So the mission of Lawrence of Arabia was creating an Arab consciousness. I wonder if paul is kidding!!. Nasser created an Arab consciousness, and that consciousness is still alive 42 years after poisoning him]
Washington’s cover for its violent overthrow of other governments is always moralistic verbiage. First the target is demonized, and then Washington’s naked aggression is described as “bringing freedom and democracy,” “overthrowing a brutal dictator,” “protecting women’s rights.” Any assortment of cant words and phrases seems to work.

A protester holds up a poster with an image of former Egypt president Gamal Abdel Nasser during the anniversary of the 1952 Egyptian revolution at Tahrir Square in Cairo July 23, 2012.[Here, I should draw Paul's attention, that military coups, assasination, and war was the way to change regimes. With Nasser they tried all, assasination in 1954 using American brothers, war in 1956, miltary coup to destroy the unity with Syria, war in 1967, and finally poisoning in 1970]

Hillary Clinton has been especially strident in advocating the overthrow of the Syrian government. The silly woman even issued threats to Russia and China for daring to block Washington’s attempt to use a UN resolution as cover for invading Syria. Washington misrepresents the Syrian government’s resistance to being overthrown as a government conducting terror against its own people. But Washington had no condemnation for the terror attack, whether its own or that of a suicide bomber, that killed high-level Syrian government officials. Washington’s double standard prompted the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, to accuse Washington of having “a sinister position.”

Indeed, Washington does. But what is surprising about Washington’s sinister position after Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, and Pakistan?

Undoubtedly, after Syria is overthrown, Washington will move on to Iran. Russia itself is already being surrounded by US missile bases, and the Russian government has a disloyal and traitorous political opposition financed by American money. China is confronting a rapid buildup of US air, naval, and troop bases in the Pacific. How long before China’s government has a disloyal opposition financed by Washington?
The hegemon is on the march, but what Syrian Sunnis [Brothers of America] see is a chance to overthrow the Alawite Shia [National-Secular Syria] . The Syrian Sunnis [Brothers of America]will ally with Washington despite the fact that Washington overthrew the Iraqi Sunnis [National-Secular Iraq] . Few Arabs, it seems, mind being puppets of a foreign regime that hands out billions of dollars.

Washington loosely refers to Syrian President Assad as a “dictator” or “brutal dictator,” but obviously if Assad is a dictator he is not very effective in that role. Normally, dictators don’t permit an opposition to rise, much less arm itself. It would be more accurate to say that the ruling party is authoritarian, but the ruling party has introduced elements of democracy with the new constitution.

As Iraq has proved, Arab governments have to be authoritarian if their Sunni and Shia populations are not to be constantly engaged in civil war. Both Bush and Obama claim that Washington brought “freedom and democracy” to Iraq. However, the ongoing violence in Iraq is as intense or more intense than under the American occupation. [The ongoining violance in Iraq intensified after Malki dare to say no to Obama. The goal is to prevent Iraq from joining the Axis of resistance]

Here are the reports for the last three days:
July 23: “A wave of bomb attacks and shootings in Baghdad and north of the capital has killed at least 107 people. At least 216 were wounded.”
July 24: “A second day of intensified attacks left at least 145 Iraqis killed and 379 more wounded.”
July 25: “Attacks continue across Iraq: 17 killed, 60 wounded.”

This is what Washington did for Iraq. Far from bringing “freedom and democracy,” Washington brought endless mayhem and death. And this is precisely what Washington is in the process of bringing to Syria.
[It is not about Freedom and democracy, it is about Shalom for "Israel", Oil to contain China and about breaking the Russian Union, and redrawing the borders on sectarian ethnic basis]

Rmeileh Network Planned to Drop UNIFIL Chopper

Local Editor

Lebanese Army Intelligence successfully managed to arrest Rmeileh network, consisting of four members, following the arrest in Sidon of a Palestinian from Gaza, Al-Akhbar newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Lebanese Army troopsThere is information that a fifth member was also arrested. Estimates do not rule out that this cell may constitute other members. As Safir daily reported that the number of suspects with links to the network has reached five and the army intelligence is seeking to seize a sixth.

It is noteworthy that this network included Lebanese Christians, Muslims and Palestinians.

Initial investigation showed that the cell was plotting to bring down a United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) chopper with a rocket at the Shouf town of Rmeileh’s landing field which is used by the Interim forces operating in the South for logistics, the newspaper said.

In a communique issued on Saturday, the army command said that the military intelligence arrested three men in Rmeileh after Israeli-made equipment was found in their possession.

The army raided the residences of the suspects and seized 1,211 detonators, several electric-detonators, Israeli-made devices used to ignite mines, Russian and American-made anti-personnel mines, Israeli-made mortar shells, 21 hand grenades, weapons and other equipment, reports said.

Saudis Prepare to Fight Islamists And Move to Shore Up US Ties

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal. (photo by REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed)
posted on Friday, Jul 27, 2012
Translator: Naria Tanoukhi
I share the United States’ concern that Saudi Arabia’s turn is coming, whether it be before or after that of other tiny Gulf states.
The US knows, and has confirmed, that organized Islamist groups are first and foremost fighting for power. These are groups which have previously fought in Libya, Syria and Yemen, and waged political battles in Egypt. Their ambitions will not stop at the borders of Saudi Arabia, or anywhere else.
The US also knows that the Saudi regime — whose system is similar to that which the Islamist organizations may establish in any Arab country — is not exactly the system they prefer. As these groups extend their sphere of control in the region, their desire to seize power in Saudi Arabia only grows.

The US knows that the generous aid provided by Saudi Arabia to these organizations, mostly in the form of money and weapons, largely aims to eliminate the threat these organizations pose, both towards Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region as a whole. This also applies to Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. However, the United States believes that the generosity of Saudi Arabia, among others, will not stop the advance of these organizations beyond Syria, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Tunisia.

At the same time, the US is well aware that the ongoing war in Syria may persist, and might even end with the defeat of Islamist groups and their failure to seize power in Damascus.

Over this particular point lies the hidden disagreement between the US and Saudi Arabia. The latter is a staunch believer in the Libyan scenario. Saudi Arabia sees no reason why the US cannot use NATO troops to end the ongoing conflict in Syria, rather than allowing it to persist or falter. On the other hand, the US believes that the Libyan combat landscape was very different and less rugged than that of the Syrian conflict. They cannot risk a US military or NATO intervention in Syria which might drag on for a long time and not achieve its goals.

In addition, there is another Saudi-US disagreement concerning the Syrian opposition and its varied positions regarding foreign military intervention. Some Syrian opposition organizations or groups welcome and call for foreign intervention, believing that it could conclusively end the war. Yet others are opposed to foreign intervention, and believe it would eliminate any chance of winning the support of the Syrian people against the regime.
Israel has added another dimension to the situation. By this we mean Israel’s announcement, through its Defense Minister Ehud Barak, that it is planning to intervene in Syria for fear of chemical weapons falling into the hands of Syrian opposition groups. While this stance was met with enthusiasm from the US, it further worried the Saudis. This US enthusiasm at the idea of Israeli intervention is due to a US conviction that an Israeli role could help conclusively end the war in Syria.
Saudi Arabia’s hesitation, however, comes from a realization that Israeli intervention in Syria would inflame the feelings of the Syrian people against the opposition and all forces that support them.
There are a number of contentious issues related to current developments in Syria over which the US and Saudi Arabia disagree. Moreover, there is no doubt that the ruling regime in Saudi Arabia has left it up to the US to decide upon these issues and do as they please. However, Saudi Arabia is working hard to distance itself from issues upon which the US takes unilateral decisions. This is particularly evident in the bombing that took place in the Syrian national security headquarters in Damascus.
This bombing resulted in the killing and wounding of a number of senior Syrian security chiefs. US officials were close to admitting that such a precise and accurate operation could not have been executed without direct assistance from the American side. This assistance is not limited to training and intelligence but included giving directions and specifying the time [for executing the operation]. Saudi Arabia has completely distanced itself and maintained silence over the operation in Syria, even with regard to the humanitarian aspect. This has led some US officials to distance themselves from "the killing," while maintaining that the operation is a huge blow to the Assad regime, and therefore should be welcomed.
Joseph Holliday, a former intelligence officer in the US Army who currently teaches at the Institute for the Study of War, said that the experience of Syrian dissidents in the use of explosive devices "comes in part from the expertise of Syrian insurgents who learned bomb-making while fighting US troops in eastern Iraq."
In this regard, according to Der Spiegel, the reason the Syrian opposition has not yet been able to carry out a major military operation is due to growing divisions within opposition groups, in addition to insurmountable disagreements between Islamist Jihadi militants and the majority of the Syrian population. The Islamist groups, which are being generously funded and equipped with advanced weaponry and equipment by the Gulf States, are holding firmly to the decision-making power.
Der Spiegel adds that "the Americans have spent money on the Muslim Brotherhood, particularly in countries [that have witnessed] the Arab spring. They believe that the Muslim Brotherhood will be the dominant force in the future."
The Saudis are certainly concerned about the thoughts of their US allies.
The question that haunts Saudi leaders is: What would the United States do if the Islamists (the Muslim Brotherhood in particular) unite against the Saudi regime, as part of their ongoing and diligent quest to seize power?
The Saudis have no doubt that the Islamists will try hard to convince the Americans that they will maintain their mutual alliance if they gain power in Saudi Arabia.
This means that the Muslim Brotherhood and their Salafist allies will pledge to the Americans to continue supplying them with oil from the whole Gulf region.

Such a pledge by Islamist organizations will not be harder than that made by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood to the Americans and Israelis to preserve the peace treaty signed by the regime of Anwar Sadat with Israel. This treaty was carefully protected by the regime of Hosni Mubarak for more than thirty years.

Here, one might say the Saudi regime is very similar to a regime that the Islamists, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, may establish. Therefore, why replace the Saudi regime with a similar one?

The answer to this question is again the following: for Muslim groups, especially the Muslim Brotherhood, seizing power is a primary goal that precedes all others. For this reason, Saudi rulers fear that the Islamist opposition at home might revolt against them should they succeed, or even fail, in Syria.

The greatest concern for the Saudi rulers is what the United States would do if the Islamists, whom it supports, coalesce and become opposed to Saudi rule. Similarly, it can be said that the Islamist groups are haunted by the following question: How much longer will Islamist groups remain safe from being targeted by the Saudi regime?

The answer to these questions is closely linked with a recent Saudi event. This event gained widespread attention in the US and the entire West, yet was of little interest to Arab regimes or media. I am referring to the recent announcement by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia appointing Prince Bandar Bin Sultan as head of Saudi intelligence.
The importance of the Saudi decision is that Prince Bandar had previously been [put aside] and given an honorary position.
He had served as the President of the Saudi National Security Council, a position that is only symbolically important. However, he was suddenly chosen to be the head of Saudi intelligence. This decision indicates that the kingdom hopes to benefit from Bandar’s experience in the US, including his knowledge of US policies and decisions. The decision could actually mean that Saudi Arabia wants to predict the political intentions of the US regarding Saudi Arabia in the coming years. Prince Bandar occupied the post of Saudi ambassador to Washington from 1983 to 2005, the longest mandate of any ambassador, Arab or otherwise, to Washington. During the same period, the US ambassador to Riyadh was changed six times.

Prince Bandar is one of the kingdom's most knowledgeable and experienced figures in terms of US policies and objectives, especially in regard to the Arab region. He had the chance to make friends from the US ruling elite of both the Democratic and Republican parties. During his years in Washington, he became closely acquainted with all of those who occupied the post of director of the CIA.
The importance of the timing of the decision to appoint Bandar is perhaps exemplified best by what the Saudi political analyst Abdullah al-Shammari said:
"In these very hectic moments in Saudi foreign policy, we need Bandar bin Sultan. He is a volcano, and this is what we currently need."
According to Shammari, the current period is similar to the period in which Bandar served as Saudi ambassador to Washington, when the US and Saudi Arabia were allied in the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan.

Michael Stephen, a political analyst at the United Royal Services Institute, said,
"If they (Saudis) are looking to increase multilateral engagement on the Syrian issue, he’s their man.”
Ever since the start of what has been called the Arab Spring, developments reveal that the US has supported holistic change as part of its plans for the Arab region. In other words, the accuracy of US planning for a new policy in the region will be put to a tough test in the coming period. Also, Saudi Arabia’s ability to deal with surprising US shifts will be put to the test. This includes their ability to deal with the US moving from a position as an ally to an enemy...from their position as a supporter of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to a position of support for anti-Saudi Islamist groups. This is a possibility we cannot completely rule out.


Western press portrayed these photos as Syrian tanks moving into Aleppo, when in actual reality, it's Russian made tanks on the way to South Ossetia, how many lies do the West have to portray in order to demonize Bashar Al Assad and Syria?.


In Syria, U.S. should arm rebels, shape future political agenda, says Wolfowitz

In Syria, U.S. should arm rebels, shape future political agenda, says Wolfowitz

In Syria, U.S. should arm rebels, shape future political agenda, says Wolfowitz

Appearing on CNN’s GPS with Fareed Zakaria, American Enterprise Institute (AEI) scholar Paul Wolfowitz, who has been a proponent of taking military action against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s regime, reiterated his stance that Syria is not Iraq.“I think Iraq and Syria are almost completely different situations,” said Wolfowitz in response to a question about the mistakes from Iraq’s post-war period.Wolfowitz, who was one of the chief architects of the Iraq invasion and post-war planning as Deputy Secretary of Defense under Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said, for one, there would be no American ground troops necessary in Syria.
Syria is going to be governed by Syrians, and I don’t see why people are so comfortable saying we shouldn’t be arming them, but it’s okay for Islamic, Islamist governments in the Persian Gulf that don’t share our objectives — it’s okay for them to be arming them,” said Wolfowitz, alluding to reports that Iran continues to send arms to Syria.“I think trying to shape the political agenda of that future Syrian government is very important,” he said.


'Syria's 'rebels' have miscalculated: "They will pay heavily for this error!"


'Syrian troops after regaining Damascus'
"... IMO, the rebels have miscalculated. Their force has not "evolved" enough to confront significant conventional forces in an urban environment or anywhere else that the conventional forces can "pin" them in place against terrain or some other obstacle.
They will pay heavily for this error. They will lose a lot of men, and be driven from the city. Following that defeat IMO the Syrian millitary will move further north and northwest to regain control og the "sanctuaries" on the Syrian side of the border with Turkey. They will succeed in doing this unless Turkey intervenes directly in the fighting.

This would not mean the end of the war. Following such a defeat the rebels are likely to spend an extended period re-building their force in Turkey...."


In these difficult times where the western establishment is beating the drums of war, where the greedy west is sharpening its knives to kill more and usurp more, where Syria has become an open wound and a meeting ground for all the thugs of the world, where Gaza is still under siege and Israel building and expanding more and more , we witness a world wide campaign- carried on by activists and NGOs- to promote alternative means -or non violent means -distinct and different from the means adopted by the actual victorious Resistance ... It is not by accident nor it is a coincidence that these NGOs -who promote non violence as the sole approach to solve the Palestinian problem or the Arab/Israeli conflict- are found in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine that have opted for armed Resistance .

By this promotion of alternative means, these organizations- actually- are declaring a different kind of war, a soft war –as Sayyed Hassan said - that is nothing but the continuation of the actual war but with different weapons. And while the armed hired thugs have been dispatched to carry on the real war because US and Israel can no more afford human losses and military defeats , an army of local and foreign activists and NGOs have been dispatched for the soft war . The soft war has the same goal as the regular war and supplements it but it does not seek to disarm the enemy- physically and directly- but to disarm him mentally and indirectly. It is an invasion of a person’s mental framework by the dark destabilizing enemy forces which can turn him into a mere tool in the hands of his enemy, whereby he gets swayed from his original goal to carry on the enemy’s scheme. This is how the enemy succeeded in sowing sectarian hatred and sectarian alignment .

Preaching fake and unstable peace to people under attack, and labeling their self defense or their taking arms for self defense as violent and unwarranted, and accusing them of being violence ridden and haters of life, is another weapon used by the enemy in this soft war . Still another weapon is finding a way of calling their presidents dictators and butchers and accusing them of deaths of children etc. as is being promoted these days by the media .

From the BDS of the academic boycott, to the support of Palestinian prisoners and catering to their fasting by al Dameer , passing by the protests against the wall of segregation or campaigning against the settlements in east Jerusalem or against the siege on Gaza , or denouncing the confiscation of Palestinian land , all these separate small causes endorsed by different NGOs have turned the one Palestinian cause into a multitude of small causes each cut to the size of the organization that is promoting it . This dissection of the cause into small bits is liable to kill the cause itself . What all these NGOs have in common is their call for non violence promoted against the armed Resistance of the people that has proved to be the only means for liberation thanks to which south Lebanon was liberated .

This is not the first time that our inner mental space has been invaded . The western establishment and colonialism have always sought to invade and occupy our mental space and the moral structures of our societies in order to expose – as Sayyed Hassan says – the set of values inspired by our culture and religion which constitute our real strength. This is what enabled the west to withdraw its armies from most colonies, after it had succeeded in maintaining its mental and cultural hegemony over their societies without the need for the actual presence of the armies. The battle that the western establishment had lost- by the victory of the armed Resistance- is not military. The west had lost –in fact- the mental battle and the mental and cultural control it had over all the articulations of society because what made the victory of the Resistance possible was the incapacity of the west to penetrate the mental inner framework of this Resistance. This is the same reason that was behind the success of the Islamic revolution in Iran over the west .

For this reason , and in order to retrieve these mental positions that the west had lost, and to make up for the mental loss whereby a barefooted child has started throwing stones at an Israeli moving tank , the western monster decided to wake up and launch the series of springs that will enable him to take hold of these positions again by interfering once more within the inner settings of the individual and the society and subdue it manipulate it in a way to serve the western master once again in a proper way. .

This liberation by armed struggle caused the western establishment and its local allies to rally against the Resistance seeking its disarmament at any cost and for this reason it has sent -along with the armed thugs smuggled to Syria- its army of white doves to preach peace and non violence as inspired by Gandhi

Not that the Lebanese armed Resistance practices violence , not at all , the armed Resistance practices calculated and measured self defense. It checks the enemy and watches him closely and will not allow him to trespass the borders or transgress limits . It has created a balance of forces whereby the enemy knows that any assault on his behalf would be counteracted by a similar one and that, for each location targeted and shelled, there will be an equal targeting and shelling within the occupied territories . This very well calculated balance measured carefully by the wise Resistance - regardless of what NGOs and activists think- has brought peace to the Lebanese people of the south for the simple reason that it has blocked the source of violence originating from the Israeli foe by threatening him with an equal treatment . So the armed Resistance that has liberated the land has also brought peace to the southern region , therefore the desired peace has been achieved by the armed Resistance and not by the endless fruitless speeches and actions of ill intentioned NGOs who -while criminal thugs hired by the west are committing crimes- are preaching a fake non violence to the oppressed .

Monday, July 30, 2012

Iran Warns Turkey of “Changing Game Rules” in Syria

A pro-Syrian Arab diplomatic source confirmed that Turkey has received, during the past couple of hours, a strict Iranian letter warning it of "changing the game rules" in Syria.
In an interview with Syrian daily al-Watan, the Arab source said that this warning comes as a clear response to the latest threats posed by Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyeb Erdogan, claiming that his country will target Kurdish combatants inside the Syrian territories.
Also, the Ankara-based Arab diplomat, whose country's government supports the Syrian al-Assad regime, said that Ankara had been preparing, in agreement with Washington, for a military interference in the Syrian crisis; under the pretext of Kurdish population.

However, Iran drew a line for the Turkish dreams, and informed it that any attack on the Syrian territories will witness a harsh attack; as Iran might put into force the mutual defense agreement signed with Syria, the source iterated.

Furthermore, the Arab diplomat went on to say that Turkey agreed with the US that a limited military interference in North Syria, especially in Aleppo, might introduce a buffer zone to be protected by the gangs funded and armed by Turkey, in cooperation with Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
The said scenario however would be implemented only if the Syrian refugees in that area were evacuated, especially as they have become a burden on Erdogan's government; although they were supposed to be exploited to lead a UN resolution, imposing international sanctions on Syria.
  • From Iran, Moallem: Syria Facing Global Conspiracy, Rebels Will Be Defeated

Putin Foils The Jews In Syria

by Jonathon Blakeley
Monday, July 30th, 2012


Israel Stands to Gain From Assad's Ouster

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (C) stands with leaders of the army, including Fahad Jassim al-Freij (front L) and Daoud Rajha (front R) at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in a ceremony to mark the 38th anniversary of the 1973 October War with Israel, in Damascus. 2011. (photo by REUTERS/Sana/Handout/Files)  
By:Eli Avidar posted on Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012
Ever since the demonstrations began in Syria in January 2011, the world has waited for a tie-breaking development in the struggle between the regime and the rebels. This took place last week [July 18] in the form of an explosion in the national security building [in Damascus] that took the lives of Defense Minister General Daoud Rajiha and his deputy, Assad’s brother-in-law General Assef Shawkat. This attack on the regime’s "holy of holies" proves that Assad no longer has the ability to consolidate the coalition of minorities that has retained his family in power.....

The events taking place in Syria are likely to affect the entire Middle East. While Turkey supports the rebels, it has reason for worry: the Kurds took control of four regions in Syria, and it is possible that they might try to unite with their brothers in Turkey and establish an independent Kurdistan, at last. There are also forces pushing for the union of Sunni Northern Lebanon with Syria (or whatever will remain of it). And the Druze, dispersed over three countries, may jockey to improve their position too, especially in light of fading hopes for liberating the Beirut government from Hezbollah’s grasp.

Jerusalem is justifiably concerned regarding the fate of Assad’s chemical weapons repository.

However, it would be sheer stupidity for Hezbollah to try to get its hand on these stockpiles because such an attempt would give the world grounds for dismantling the Shiite organization by military means, something that many hope will happen. Assad’s government has an interest in holding onto its chemical stockpile until the fall of the regime that now appears inevitable. Chemicals weapons are perhaps the last card remaining in the hands of Assad and heads of the Alawite regime, in order to negotiate to save their lives and obtain safe exit from the borders of Syria. ....

In the short term, the fall of the Syrian regime will cause considerable security-related headaches for [Israelis]. The border with Syria, which has been quiet for many years, may heat up: terrorist gangs may try to harm soldiers and citizens, similar to the scenario on the southern border. But in the long term, the fall of the regime will be net profit for Israel.
Without Assad, the evil axis loses its territorial continuity between Iran and Southern Lebanon. Members of the Iranian revolutionary guards and Hezbollah representatives will not be able to remain in the country (high-ranking members of the Islamic Jihad have already fled back to Tehran). Syria’s automatic support for terror will cease, at least temporarily. Syria had never been a Middle Eastern power like Saudi Arabia or Egypt, but from Israel’s perspective, Syria may turn out to be the most important domino of all in the Arab Spring.

Hezbollah Leader Says Don't Buy Into Sectarian Hatred

This is a very timely and important message from Heabollah Leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah that people of all faiths would do well to heed. There are, he says, those in the Middle East now who are deliberately trying to sow religious hatred. This is the age-old divide-and-conquer strategy, and Nasrallah is telling his listeners not to fall for it. Those who allow themselves to be manipulated into hating other people for their religion, he says, are weak-minded. And he is correct. They are. "This reveals to the Israeli and the American how (easily) we, as Muslims, can be deceived."

And of course everything he says about Muslims who have fallen into this trap, could equally apply to Christians, for as we know, there are Christian Zionist leaders today who deliberately engender fear and hatred of Islam among their followers. I could go to the trouble of naming them, but I think most people already know who they are. The media of course give them lots of attention. But I say again, this is nothing more than the age-old divide-and-conquer strategy, long used by the powerful few to control the masses. It has come in a variety of forms through the ages, but this is the form it is taking today. Recognize it. Don't be weak-minded.


Franklin Lamb

Graphics by Alex
From this observers experience in Lebanon there is only one cosmic like event that is nearly as predicable from Ramlet al Baida beach in Beirut, near Shatila Palestinian refugee camp, than the sun coming up like thunder out of Syria across the eastern Bekaa Valley every morning. And that might be the regularity of the on cue from Washington, Riyadh, Doha, and Tel Aviv cacophonous chorus that very frequently these days wafts throughout this country and region: Hezbollah must give up their weapons!”
As this country begins focused preparation for next year’s parliamentary elections which is predicted by some analyst’s to quickly develop into the most expensive in Lebanese history in terms of dollars per vote contracted for by some well financed parties, the Future Movement-led March 14 coalition and their international backers are out of the gates early and currently stressing “the urgent need to disarm Hezbollah in order to deprive Israel of a pretext to attack Lebanon.” With convincingly sincerity, their leaders intone:
“The Israelis are planning to justify aggression against Lebanon, and given Israeli attempts to hold Hezbollah and Iran responsible for the Bulgaria attack at the Black Sea airport of Burgas in which five Israelis and their Bulgarian driver were killed Hezbollah disarmament is essential,” the press releases from the Mustaqtbal headquarters warn.
These are followed by warnings about Israeli accusations that Hezbollah will likely receive chemical weapons from the Syrian regime that is trying to smuggle them into Lebanon as stated in a just issued statement issued at the end of the March 14th coalition’s weekly meeting.
LiebermanWith respect to the Bulgaria attack, the European Union turned down a request on 7/24/12 by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to blacklist Hezbollah as a terror group following the bombing in Bulgaria. Israel blames Iran and Hezbollah for Wednesday's suicide attack at the Black Sea airport of Burgas in which five Israelis and their Bulgarian driver died.
"There is no consensus or justification for putting Hezbollah on the list of terrorist organizations," said Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency. Sitting alongside the Cypriot minister at a news conference held after annual EU-Israel talks, Lieberman said: "The time has come to put Hezbollah on the terrorist list of Europe."
" But it would give the right signal to the Israeli people”, Lieberman counter-argued during his continuing 10 European country anti-Iran and Hezbollah tour funded unknowingly by American taxpayers.
But to Lieberman’s consternation, Kozakou-Marcoullis patiently explained the EU decision that Hezbollah was an organization comprising a party and was "active in Lebanese politics...Taking into account this and other aspects there is no justification for putting Hezbollah on the list of terrorist organizations," she said.
Oddly, as though in sync with Lieberman’s timing, the March 14th coalition statement called on the international community to “protect Lebanon from any Israeli attack,” it stressed the need for Hezbollah's disarmament, arguably the only deterrent that has and will continue to give Israel pause before its likely 6th major aggression against Lebanon, “in order to deprive Israel of the pretext it is using to justify its aggression.”
In its weekly communiqué , the Future Movement continued its silence of how to address Lebanon’s urgent problems which include some of the subjects recently enumerated by Human Rights Watch investigator in Lebanon, Nadim Khoury when he pointed out this month that:
“Lebanon has to realize that it is actually falling behind on so many important measures that need urgent attention and they include women’s rights, protection of vulnerable groups, lack of protection for the elderly, the right to education, increasing inequality, lack of urban planning – you name it.” And the elementary civil right to work and to own a home for Palestinian refugees.
There may well be several states on Earth in worse shape than Lebanon, to paraphrase British journalist Patrick Galey, but the lack of security, crumbling infrastructure, stagnating legislation, wobbling economy, spreading protests and regressing human rights, Lebanese citizens could be forgiven for understanding the need for Hezbollah’s weapons of effective deterrence against Israel given the latter’s history of aggressions against Lebanon.
Some in Lebanon has discussed the similarities between the Hezbollah led Resistance movement based in Lebanon and the New England based American Resistance to British occupation two and one half centuries ago. Included have been forums that examine the similarities between the events at Karbala and in this region and the martyrdom operations of American patriots in 18th century colonial America.
The Second Amendment’s Fight
For It’s Rights To Exist
With respect to politically motivated calls for Hezbollah to disarm, one hears some of the very same responses to the suggestions coming from the American Founding Fathers as they crafted a new resistance “open letter” or Constitution which in point of fact are reported to have influenced Hezbollah’s 1985 and 2009 manifestos as did the American Declaration of Independence to some degree.
As though they understood very well the problems facing the Hezbollah led Resistance and would be foreign occupiers, the American framers argued, not as many National Rifle Association lobbyists do that a gun is the right of every citizen for his personal use, but rather that the Resistance needs deterrent weapons to prevent another occupation:
"I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them." George Mason Co-author of the Second Amendment during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
"A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves …"
Richard Henry Lee writing in Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republic, Letter XVIII, May, 1788.

As passed by the new American Resistance Congress the members framed the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution as follows:

A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The concept that the state should have a monopoly on all arms within a country has long been foreign to Lebanon. Since the end of the Civil War, non-state militias have maintained and even bolstered weapons stocks, stashed in caches around the country.

Once Lebanon becomes a real nation state and can defend its people against the serial aggressor to its South, no doubt a mechanism for centralizing the deterrent capacity of Lebanon will likely soon follow.
Franklin LambFranklin Lamb is doing research in Lebanon. He is reachable c\o
He is the author of The Price We Pay: A Quarter-Century of Israel’s Use of American Weapons Against Civilians in Lebanon.

He contribute to Uprooted Palestinians Blog
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