MIDDLE EAST

Jul 14 08:26

Arab League demands protection for Gaza

The Arab League has called for the United Nations Security Council to provide “protection” for Gazans ahead of an emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers to discuss ways to de-escalate the latest conflict between Hamas and Israel.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has coordinated with his Kuwaiti counterpart ahead the emergency meeting at the Arab scheduled for Monday night to discuss the crisis in Gaza. Kuwait is the current President of the Arab Summit.

Jul 13 07:41

Iran warns it is ready to walk away from nuclear talks

Iran's chief negotiator in nuclear talks in Vienna warned Saturday that Tehran is ready to walk away if "excessive" Western demands cause a failure, a day before foreign ministers try to inject momentum. Eight days before a deadline for a deal, Abbas Araqchi said however that he hoped that the attendance from Sunday of foreign ministers including US Secretary of State John Kerry would help overcome "deep differences" that remain.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is, of course, what the US and Israel have wanted all along, and they have been playing this cute game called "Just one more thing." It goes like this. As soon as an agreement is about to be reached, the US says, "Just one more thing." Then a new agreement is put together and just as it is ready, the US again says, "Just one more thing." Then "Just one more thing." Then "Just one more thing." Then "Just one more thing."

Finally the other party, in this case Iran, realizes that the US is not bargaining in good faith and quits, allowing the US to claim the other side is being unreasonable and walked away from negotiations! Because the US and Israel do not want peace with Iran (any more than Israel wants peace with the Palestinians). They want war and to make it look like the other side is to blame for it.

Jul 12 08:28

Yemeni tribesmen blow up main oil export pipeline

Tribesmen blew up Yemen’s main oil pipeline Saturday, halting deliveries from oilfields in the interior to the Ras Isa export terminal on the Red Sea, provincial and tribal sources said.

The pipeline, which carries some 100,000 barrels of oil per day from fields in the restive eastern province of Marib, has been repeatedly attacked by saboteurs, most recently in May.

The latest attack took place very early Saturday in the Habab district of Marib, which has been prey to violence by armed tribesmen seeking a greater share of oil jobs and revenues, as well as loyalists of Al-Qaeda.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The late President Kennedy said it best: "When peaceful revolution is impossible, violent revolution is inevitable."

The US government's "diplomacy" has exploded in its face like a bad trick cigar in Yemen.

Jul 06 08:56

Arab Spring, Jihad Summer

Al-Baghdadi, born Ibrahim al-Badri in Samarra, is an average Sunni Iraqi cleric with a degree in pedagogy from the University of Baghdad. His alter ago was born after Shock and Awe in 2003, and soon metamorphosed into a de facto serial killer - blowing up Shi'ite kids at ice-cream shops or scores of women at Shi'ite weddings.

ISIL's track record in Syria includes banning every flag apart from its own; the destruction of any "polytheist" temple or sanctuary (except if it is Sunni); and strict imposition of Islamically correct women wear. Most of all, it is a track record of terror. This is not an army, rather a well-trained militia of professional mujahid, European passport holders included, with battlefield experience in Iraq, Afghanistan and, to a lesser degree, Chechnya. Heavy weaponizing is petrodollar-financed - the usual, wealthy "Gulf donors", which does not exclude official connections.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What frustrates me so intensely here is that it is US governmental policies which have created this mess in the first place, by waging an immoral and illegal war against Iraq for no damned good reason whatsoever, with the Bush administration lying through their teeth about their allegation that Hussein had "weapons of mass destruction."

And because of that, Americans now fully expect every member of the US government to lie to the American people, and the world, with impunity; the difference now, is that no Americans believe anything that the government tells them whatsoever.

Credibility on the part of the US government, 2014: epic fail.

Jul 06 07:40

The Superpower and the Caliphate

The jihadist die is cast, a point of no return for the U.S. strategy of projecting imperial power in the region through armed Islamic fundamentalist surrogates. The international jihadist network, which did not exist before the CIA, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan created it to undermine the leftist secular government of Afghanistan in mid-1979, has become a movement that can no longer be controlled. The physical contours of the ISIS caliphate, the movement’s dynamic new focal point, may prove indefensible, especially if the Americans decide they cannot avoid an all-out assault on their former asset. But, whatever the U.S. military response, the game plan that was hatched in 2011 for Libya, Syria, Iraq – for the whole region – is kaput, based as it is on the reliable deployment of jihadists as surrogates for NATO and Arab royals. Worse, the Arab oil potentates understand full well that their own regimes are now in grave danger from the indigenous monstrosity they have created.

Jul 04 08:59

The Arab Spring Just Got Serious Again – Kuwait Is Burning

Same stuff… different country. Once again someone (former opposition leader Musallam al-Barrak) exposed the corruption among the elites (revealed documents that allegedly prove billions of illicit financial transfers were made to senior officials, including judges) and the leaders (Kuwait officials) decided he should be arrested and charged with slander. This has caused uproar among the people as hundreds of protesters rallied overnight in support of al-Barrack, marching from his house to the jail chanting: “The people want to cleanse the judiciary!” The police in the oil-rich nation of Kuwait used tear gas and stun grenades early Thursday to disperse the protesters.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is not going to end well; as the late President Kennedy stated, "when peaceful revolution is impossible, violent revolution is inevitable."

The Kuwaiti government can no longer act like a 19th century autocratic machine, because the truth will, ultimately, get out to the people, and anger them.

Charging "slander", if and when these documents prove true, is a lousy move on the part of this government.

Jul 02 10:41

How to Understand the ISIS Threat

I suspect that a paucity of reliable intelligence is being shoehorned into an acceptable narrative for policymakers to regurgitate. The promotion of the alleged threat includes a conflation of several quite separate issues. It is based on the indisputable fact that a number of young Muslims ostensibly citizens of European countries and the United States, some of whom are indigenous converts to Islam, have gone to perform jihad in the Middle East and South Asia. As the punditry would have it, they must be planning to return home some day and raise hell, a line of reasoning that has spawned several Congressional hearings hosted by the Rep. Peter King of New York on the so-called home-grown terrorism threat.

Jun 30 09:52

Report: Israel tells U.S. it would act to save Jordan from Islamists

Israeli diplomats have told their American counterparts that Israel would be prepared to take military action to save the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan if it came under attack by jihadist militants, the Daily Beast reported on Saturday.

The threat posed to Jordan by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) which has already taken over wide swathes of Iraq and Syria, is of deep concern to the Obama administration and was the subject of a confidential briefing by administration officials to senators last week, according to the online news site.

The chief concern is that an attack on Jordan would inevitably drag Israel and possibly the United States into the fighting.

“Jordan could not repel a full assault from ISIS on its own at this point,” one senator was quoted as saying. Jordan “will ask Israel and the United States for as much help as they can get.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am getting more than a slight chill along my spine, upon reading this.

My question has to be, what is the quid pro quo the Israeli government is expecting from such an agreement?!?

The ability to to militarily occupy Jordan indefinitely, "for its own good"?!?

Were I King Abdullah II of Jordan, I would be more than a little bit wary of this Israeli offer.

Jun 30 07:03

Israel's prime minister backs Kurdish independence

Binyamin Netanyahu claims creation of Kurdish state would aid in formation of alliance of moderate powers in Middle East

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Moderate" meaning subservient to Israel.

Jun 30 06:47

USS Bataan with 1,000 marines to Join Six Other Warships in the Persian Gulf

CNN is reporting that the USS Bataan is being sent to the Persian Gulf with 1,000 marines on board. There is no word of a planned invasion. That will make seven warships there — the USS Arleigh Burke, the USS Truxton, the USS Gunston Hall, the USS George HW Bush, the USS O’Kane, the USS Philippine Sea, and the USS Mesa Verde – along with helicopters and warplanes that can be used for an invasion or for an evacuation of US citizens.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Yeah, I can seem them using warplanes to evacuate Americans ... one at a time in that back seat ... except for the Harrier, the F-18, the F-22, the still-not-operation F-35, all of which have just one seat for the pilot. Are they planning to mount those American evacuees on the wing rails? :)

Jun 24 07:06

Tony Blair should be sacked as Middle East envoy, say former ambassadors

Former UK prime minister is tainted by Iraq war and his achievements for quartet are negligible, signatories of letter say

Jun 23 08:30

BACK TO BAGHDAD!

One would think the neoconservatives who engineered the Iraq War – the worst disaster for the United States since Vietnam – would never emerge from hiding.

Not so. With dazzling chutzpah, former Vice President Dick Cheney, the real power in the Bush administration, just claimed President Barack Obama was responsible for the growing mess in Iraq.

Obama is a wimp allowing America’s foes to run rampant across the Mideast and Eastern Europe, growled Cheney. He wants US troops to reoccupy Iraq, and maybe Syria. Cheney’s blustering was applauded by another over-the-hill dotard, Republican party leader Sen. John McCain.

Out from the Washington woodwork crept a swarm of neoconservatives. They joined Cheney in blasting Obama over Iraq and calling for more wars against the Muslim world.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If they think war on the Middle East is so great, give them all rifles and parachutes, load them on a plane, and drop them in. BUT LEAVE OUR KIDS AT HOME!

Jun 23 06:46

Obama rejects ‘whack-a-mole’ strategy to counter extremists in Middle East

With Iraq threatened by Islamist militants and lawmakers warning that the entire country is in danger, President Obama on Sunday defended his administration’s handling of the crisis and again rejected the notion that the U.S. should send ground troops everywhere terrorists pop up.

Critics say Mr. Obama’s tack is further proof that his foreign policy over the past five years has created conditions that now threaten the stability of the whole Middle East.

Jun 18 08:55

THIS IS NOT GOING AS PLANNED: IRAQ PRIME MINISTER DEFIES US, ACCUSES SAUDI ARABIA OF “GENOCIDE

Shortly after the US revealed that, in addition to aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships it was also sending a few hundred “special forces” on the ground in Iraq, contrary to what Obama had stated previously, Washington made quite clear it wants Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to embrace Sunni politicians as a condition of U.S. support to fight a lightning advance by forces from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Then something unexpected happened: Iraq’s Shi’ite rulers defied Western calls on Tuesday to reach out to Sunnis to defuse the uprising in the north of the country, declaring a boycott of Iraq’s main Sunni political bloc and accusing Sunni power Saudi Arabia of promoting “genocide.”

In fact, as Reuters reported moments ago, the Shi’ite prime minister has moved in the opposite direction of Obama’s demands, announcing a crackdown on politicians and officers he considers “traitors” and lashing out at neighbouring Sunni countries for stoking militancy.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

No matter how many personnel and weapons we are going to throw at Iraq (and that number of 275 troops to guard the US embassy is only the proverbial camel's nose under the tent), there is no amount of external force which can resolve the internal Shiite/Sunni conflict, save the Iraqi people themselves.

There has to be an internal dialogue and reconciliation between both groups to get the violence to stop.

However, the hugely autocratic and tone-deaf national Shiite leadership of the Al-Maliki government (the US-sponsored puppet), will do everything in their power to stop that from happening, including calls for the US government to bomb their own citizens.

Before the invasion, occupation, and de-Baathification in Iraq, there was no problem between the Sunni and Shiite Muslims in this country, nor were their problems for the Christian members of that society.

The explosive popular revolution in Iraq can be laid squarely at the feet of the preceding, and current, administrations. In both administrations, US foreign policy regarding Iraq can only be characterized as an epic failure.

Jun 18 07:36

We Are So Not Prepared For Another Oil Shock

With the Middle East now lurching towards yet another major war, it’s easy to envision a supply disruption that sends oil back to its previous high or beyond. So the question becomes, what would that do to today’s hyper-leveraged global economy? Bad things, obviously. But before looking at them, let’s all get onto the same page with a quick explanation of why everyone seems so mad at everyone else over there:

The story begins in 570 A.D. in what is now Saudi Arabia, with the birth of a boy named Muhammad into a family of successful merchants. After having some adventures and marrying a rich widow, around the age of 40 he begins having visions and hearing voices which lead him to write a holy book called the Qur’an. More adventures follow, eventually producing a religious/political system called Islam that comes to dominate a large part of the local world.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Not unlike the Roman Catholic Church, which hunted down and exterminated the living descendants of the historical Jesus who claimed control of Christianity, to protect their "Apostolic descent", i.e. Popes chosen by consensus of the Cardinals.

Jun 16 07:30

Restive Yemen hit by coup fears, clashes

Yemeni troops were surrounding a mosque controlled by ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh Sunday amid fears he is plotting a coup, days after the ex-strongman’s media outlets were silenced.

Also today, an Al-Qaeda suspect killed eight people in the south and fresh clashes erupted between security forces and Shiite Huthi rebels in the north, ending an UN-mediated 11-day truce.

Yemen’s presidential guard, backed by armoured vehicles, has since late today blocked access to the large Al-Saleh mosque in southern Sanaa.

Saleh ruled Yemen for 33 years before he was forced out in February 2012 and replaced by his long-time deputy Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi under a UN- and Gulf-sponsored deal.

A source close to the presidency told that weapons had been stored in the mosque and were being guarded by gunmen loyal to Saleh.

A tunnel connecting the site to the presidential palace had also been discovered.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

For all those murdered by US drone strikes in Yemen, what has actually been accomplished there, which can be pointed to with pride by American foreign policy craftspeople?!?

The one, very dismal answer here, is absoflippinglutely nothing.

The late President Kennedy said it best: "When peaceful revolution is impossible, violent revolution is inevitable."

And if Yemen is lost to the US and the West, the US and the West have only themselves to blame. The grinding poverty and corruption in this country are endemic, and its people have had no true betterment of their lives after Al-Hadi took over leadership of the country.

IF it did not border oil producing giant Saudi Arabia (dealing with its own, very-little talked about unrest), the US government would most probably be ignoring it completely.

Jun 05 05:56

Yemen Army: 500 Al Qaeda Militants Killed In Military Campaign

Yemen's army said on Thursday 500 al Qaeda militants had been killed since the military launched an offensive against the group in April.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

(Sigh). I am having an industrial strength palm to forehead moment at velocity, upon reading this.

This article reminds me, in the most vile way possible, of the presstitutes covering Vietnam, when the killings of Vietnamese people were characterized as the "body count", and Americans were supposed to rejoice over the larger body counts.

But I do have a memo to the Yemenite and American military; if the Yemenite government is pathologically incapable of doing anything on the ground to better the lives of the Yemenite people, radicalism will still look attractive to many of them.

The hard reality is, corruption and poverty are the breeding ground for rebellion.

And President Kennedy said this best; "when peaceful revolution is impossible, violent revolution is inevitable."

IF Yemen were not right on the doorstep of the sclerotic House of Saud, and oil producing giant, Saudi Arabia, the US military wouldn't be here at all.

Apr 05 06:25

Guenter Grass, German Nobel Winner, Criticizes Israel Over Iran Tensions

"The nuclear power Israel is endangering the already fragile world peace," Grass wrote in his poem titled:

"What must be said"

The 84-year-old Grass said he had been prompted to put pen to paper by Berlin's recent decision to sell Israel a submarine able to "send all-destroying warheads where the existence of a single nuclear bomb is unproven."

"The nuclear power Israel is endangering the already fragile world peace," he wrote. His poem specifically criticized Israel's "claim to the right of a first strike" against Iran.

Apr 04 23:23

Surprise Video Changes Syria “Timeline”

Al Jazeera’s Shaping of the Syrian Story

Of all the myths obstructing the honest portrayal of events in Syria this past year, none has been more fiercely guarded by regime-change advocates than this one stark falsehood:

Myth – the Syrian regime has only been shooting unarmed, peaceful protestors until very recently when opposition groups finally decided to arm themselves in self-defense.

Apr 04 19:36

Britain’s Mad-House Foreign Policy

The best and cheapest way of protecting our national security is simply to eject the madmen from the Foreign Office and stop pimping for the US and its mad-dog protegé.

Let’s see how quickly the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), with Mr Bellingham’s help, can get their skates on and straighten out the simple matter of Palestine’s status so that Israel’s strutting psychopaths can finally be brought to book.

Apr 04 19:11

In Defense of Helen Thomas: What’s Wrong With History?

Helen Thomas’s recent request to purchase a table at the upcoming White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) annual dinner has been rejected.

In a comment on that story I said, “It’s hard to imagine anything more wrong than this.”

I base my opinion on the fact that the 91-year-old Thomas, a former WHCA president, is unique among American journalists, having covered 10 different presidential administrations in a career stretching back to Dwight Eisenhower.

It is because of Thomas as much as anyone else that women were first included at the WHCA dinner since, as the WHCA’s website mentions:

Apr 04 14:49

Israel set to uproot 30,000 of its own Bedouin citizens

Neve Gordon explains why Israel's plans to move entire communities of its own Bedouin citizens from their ancestral lands in the Negev and put them in townships will deprive them of their livelihood and land rights.

”I asked Abu Afash what he thinks will happen if they do not reach an agreement with the government. He paused for a moment and then replied that … ‘they will not put us on buses and move us, they will simply shut down the schools and wait. When we see we cannot send our children to school we will “willingly" move’.

“This is how forced relocation becomes voluntary and how Israel will likely represent it to the world.” (Neve Gordon)

Apr 04 13:56

Al Jazeera Smuggled Satellite Communication Tools To Syria Rebel

A former Al Jazeera correspondent reveals the news outlet smuggled Satellite internet and phone communication tools to the Syria rebels through Lebanon.

Apr 04 12:03

US Mercenaries Intervening In Syria - Leaked Emails

Leaked emails show that US Mercenaries are working with armed terrorists in Syria to overthrow Assad at the request of and under air cover of US officials.

Apr 04 10:44

Guidebook To False Confessions: US Torture Manual Released

The timeline of how we went from a nation of liberty to one of forced false confessions revealed in release of the key document the US used to justify torture.

Apr 04 07:33

A World Map Without Lebanon

"The statement from the [Lebanese] presidential palace mentioned that during a news conference in Switzerland, Netanyahu said it is not a secret that Israel will attack Lebanon, adding that it will do so with the support of the United States, the West and Arab states from the Gulf. He was also reported to have said that 'in the new world map there is no state called Lebanon'."

Apr 04 07:25

Man Whose WMD Lies Led to 100,000 Deaths Neoconfesses All

Defector tells how US officials 'sexed up' his fictions to make the case for 2003 invasion

Mar 16 12:26

Aiding Terrorism Redefined To Include Bradley Manning, Wikileaks

Point of no return: The US government broadens the NDAA definition of people and organizations that support terrorism to include Bradley Manning and Wikileaks

Mar 16 12:25

What Closing The Straits Of Hormuz Will Mean In 3 Simple Charts

These 3 simple charts fully explain the shock waves that will be sent through the global economy if Iran decides to shut down in response to western military threats.

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