Saturday, 19 November 2011

Seif al-Islam Arrested, ICC Seeks Confirmation

Son of ousted Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi and one-time successor Seif al-Islam has been arrested in southern Libya, a senior National Transitional Council official said on Saturday.

Seif al-Islam, who is believed to be the modern face of Libya, was "arrested in southern Libya" by former rebel forces, NTC justice minister Mohammed al-Allagui told AFP, declining to give any details.

News of his arrest was greeted in Tripoli by gunmen firing into the air in celebration and the honking of car horns. The operations chief of former rebels in Zintan, Bashir Taib, told a news conference that his fighters had arrested Seif along with three aides in the Ubari region of southern Libya.

The ICC issued warrants on June 27 against Seif al-Islam, 39, as well as his father and Abdullah al-Senussi, the late dictator's intelligence chief, on charges of crimes against humanity in crushing anti-regime protests.

ICC said Saturday it was seeking confirmation of reports from Tripoli of his arrest. "What we are going to do is wait for official confirmation from the authorities that a suspect wanted by the ICC has been arrested," court spokesman Fadi El-Abdallah told AFP.

Moammar Gadhafi's son Seif al-Islam is arrested     

Bad moon rising over Great Sirte Bay

Fraklin Lamb
Sirte, Libya

Graphics by Alex

This observer, with his sandaled feet comfortably dug into the sand of a chilly Mediterranean beach and huddled next to a camp fire with a congenial and bright group of still heavily armed “NATO rebels,” learned that the past eight months experiences for many Libyans who fought with or for NATO were rather different from what the western mainstream media portrayed. And what many of us who spent last summer in the Western Libya Gadhafi stronghold were inclined to believe about them.
Sirte before the Slaughter & Destruction by NATO

Two of my new acquaintances are from the Law Faculty of re-named Benghazi University (following the 1969 Fatah Revolution its name was changed to Garyounis), and six others who fought in most of the battles in Libya between February and October 2011. The meeting was arranged by a rebel commander named “Samal.” I first met Samal quite by chance at the central bus station in Alexandria, Egypt, where as in Cairo, many “NATO rebels” are currently being feted with R & R. His visit to Egypt was Samal’s first break from eight months of rough military duty, he explained. In his other life he is a part time university librarian who plans to return to his studies once the new academic year begins in January. Like most students in Libya, he lost a full academic year as schools were closed due to the Libyan uprising and he wants to catch up with his degree program in computer science.

Samal readily admits that he, like many Libyans, was not as opposed to Muammar Gadhafi personally as they were to many of those around “the leader” who took advantage of their positions, connections and immunity and committed serial crimes against the public. Understanding this observer’s interest in this subject, and once back in Misrata, Samal arranged a meeting a few days later with some of his friends at a café on the Mediterranean shores of the Gulf of Sirte. “Abu Nasser’s” is located on the outskirts of the village of Qasr Abu Hadi where Muammar Gaddafi was born in a tent and where the youngster was raised until his parents sent him to secondary school for five years down south in Sabha. It was in Sabha where the budding Nasserite revolutionary reportedly relished his history studies, joined a local scout troop and later the Libyan armed forces.
After a terrific meal of spicy Libyan couscous with big junks of lamb on the bone at“Abu Nasser’s” and as it began to get dark, I noticed Samal gazing toward the northeast horizon deep out into the Gulf of Sirte. As the full moon rose he suggested we make a campfire on the beach and continue our discussion under the stars. Truth be told, Samal could not have proposed anything more perfect for this Oregonian, who as a kid passed many an evening beside beach campfires on the often cold and stormy Oregon coast or on the banks of Kellogg Lake near the Lamb family home on Lake Road, in Milwaukie.
The Libyan leader’s straight line
ran across the mouth of
“Great Sirte Bay” between a
point near Benghazi and the
western headland
of the Gulf at Misrata.
Schematic Plan for Gulf of Sirte Operation
One of the lecturers at the Benghazi College of Law told us that “our leader”, and then he quickly and self-consciously corrected himself and said “the tyrant”used to enjoy camping exactly where Samal had brought us on this beach. He told us that Gadhafi would explain to visitors about “Great Sirte Bay” as he called it, where he liked to swim. Gadhafi would explain to visitors about the Gulf of Sirte’s historic role in defeating the American military during the mid-1980’s when the Libyan air force chased away US aircraft sent by President Reagan to contest Gadhafi’s famous drawing of his red line (Gadhafi called it the “Line of Death”). The Libyan leader’s straight line ran across the mouth of “Great Sirte Bay” at 32 degrees, 30 minutes north between a point near Benghazi and the western headland of the Gulf at Misrata. The red line signaled Libya’s claim to an exclusive 62 nautical miles (115 km) fishing zone (Sirte bay has the world’s largest population of Tuna which explains why during Ramadan this year when there was no fresh food at our hotel due to the fighting EVERY Iftar meal to break the fast consisted of a mountain of canned Tuna which this observer can no longer even stand the sight of). At the UN, Libya declared that given its natural configuration, the Gulf of Sirte was in fact Libyan territorial waters as Gadhafi first claimed in 1973. According to Gadhafi, Libya’s historic victory in “Great Sirte Bay” resulted “from the 1984 expulsion of the US military from the area.” The US government rejected what it considered Libya’s illegal appropriation of the high seas, yet decided it was not worth a war and let the matter slide.

Some of my beach party interlocutors had been fighting since late February 2011. Samal and two others fought in 6 of the key battles including, Brega, Misrata, Zawieh, Tripoli, Bani Walid and Sirte. I asked the group when the rebels first began to believe that they might defeat their adversaries. Immediately Ahmed replied, “After the third battle of Brega we could tell that the Gadhafi forces did not have their hearts in this fight. By July 20thI would guess.”
Ahmed’s colleagues agreed and one added,
“It was like a repeat of when the Israeli forces gave up and lost against Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006. Israeli forces clearly did not believe in their mission. Many of these Gadhafi guys did not either. When you are on the battlefield you can sense your enemy’s psychology even when you can’t see him. During the third battle for Brega we were fighting at close range in residential areas and most of Gaddafi's forces retreated to Ras Lanuf. Some were still in a few buildings but they were no threat to us.”

Rashid interjected,
“After Brega we knew that sooner or later we would win because we kept asking ourselves, in battle after battle, where is the regular Libyan army? We knew some of them personally but we never saw them. What happened to them, we wondered. Finally we realized that Gadhafi’s authority and his troops had melted. That was made clear on August 23 when we found little resistance as we arrived to Tripoli. Actually we were shocked. His army had abandoned him.”

Samal, added,  
“Yes but remember, and for sure we admit this, without NATO we would not have lasted one month. Please don’t think we are in love with NATO although many Libyans seem to want our country to join NATO and some in NATO and our interim government want this also. NATO knows that our country could be a perfect AFCOM base to re-colonize Africa and end progressive projects for African countries. Please do not think we are not aware of what NATO countries want from Libya and our neighbors. They want from Libya and this whole region oil and natural resources, they want military bases on our soil, and they want us to accept Israel. How they plan to achieve all this is by getting Arabs to fight and kill Arabs and Muslims to fight and kill Muslims.”  

One of the law professors added:
“As we saw these past months the US and their allies will try to limit the Western countries role to providing support from the sky with bombs and drones and special units and without sending their regular troops. This is the NATO plan and we saw it clearly in our country and perhaps we will see it again in Syria in a different form.”
Kamal, a medical lab technician added,
“Many Gadhafi loyalists in Tripoli and Western Libya who saw civilians killed by NATO bombs do not realize that NATO also killed plenty of us rebels, and civilians in our areas of Eastern Libya. We are not allowed to mention it but NATO made many mistakes. We called them ‘the gang that can’t bomb straight’ and many of our forces, a few hundred I would say, were bombed by NATO. An even higher number of civilians were killed in our areas by NATO. Often we feared NATO more than we feared the Gadhafi fighters. Human rights groups should investigate what happened to us because the NTC will not.”

Under the big full moon hanging above “Great Sirte Bay” and deep into the night, this observer's’ hosts shared some candid views on a variety of subjects, some of which were the following:

They predicted that Algeria will be the next regime to face an ‘Arab Spring’uprising. The rebel fighters reported that some Libyan and foreign Islamists, mainly Saudi paid Salafists, are leaving Libya for Algeria where since 1992 the Algerian government has been repressing Islamists. Between 1988 and the late 1990’s more than 200,000 civilians were killed, 20,000 were disappeared and never heard from again, and scores of thousands were wounded. These figures dwarf the casualty rates in Libya and the Arab Spring countries to date. The coming uprising combined with the expected Algeria government reaction may be horrendous.
One of the reasons is that there is great anger at the Bouteflika government over the massive arms Algeria sent to the Gadhafi regime and Algeria’s granting of protection to members of the Gadhafi family and his regime. Algeria continues to have chilly relations with the new Libyan government and there are suspicions regarding its intentions about aiding the growing resistance to the new regime. The NTC may support an uprising in Algeria according to Samal and his friends.
Samal and his friends discussed their frustration with the fact that the UK, France, US and other NATO countries are swarming like locusts around Libya and seeking very lucrative contracts to rebuild Misrata, Brega, Sirte, after they and their NATO allies destroyed them. “That’s Haram!”, Ahmad insisted. “They destroyed our country and now they want us to pay them to rebuild it. I wish we could rebuild without one NATO country profiting. It’s like that crazy American woman running for President of your country who wants Iraq to pay for the death of US occupation soldiers who were killed. The US must pay the Iraqi families for every one of the more than one million Iraqi’s the US killed and for all the damage its bombs did to Iraq.”

There is a possibility that Libya may experience what the Congo did after the fall of the dictator Mobutu. Samal noted some parallels and the possibility that Libyans may actually regret Gadhafi's departure as many in the Congo have misgivings regarding the absence of the 33 year rule of strong man Mobutu, since Gadhafi also gave his fractionalized country a sort of unity, a sense of being Libyan, free education, free medical aid, subsidized housing and woman’s rights all of which could now be in jeopardy. Ahmed explained: “OK, we are “free” now what? Everyone says we are rich. Then why do we feel so poor? What kind of government will we have? I favor a strong unitary government like Patrice Lumumba did in the Congo. Many want a Federal system. We have to build. Now our biggest challenge is our leadership vacuum. Are we going to regret that Gadhafi is gone? For sure many will. Not all of us rebels hated Gadhafi but they hated his henchmen who were out of control and had created their own small empires. That is why many are now saying that the new government must not include any Gadhafi former henchmen. They were the main problem, not Gadhafi himself.”
This observer's host shared many amazing photos they had taken on their camera phones over the past months. Showing a photo of bearded fighters Ahmad commented that western media saw these beards and immediately concluded “Al Qaeda!” “This is not true at all and we laughed when we saw these false reports”, he continued, “The reason the media saw so many beards is for the simple reason that we did not have time to shave. If I have some free time I will clean my weapon or rest, not shave. Now as you see I have no beard. Same thing with many of my friends. Yes there are plenty of Al Qeada among us. And I want to add that each Al Qaeda fighter is worth 100 of us during battles. They are very well trained and very expert with explosives. I don’t know how they can do what they do with simple devices, plus they are not afraid to die. But they are not in control here in Libya. Whether they will be eventually, time will tell.”

They all expressed concerns about the growing influence of the Persian Gulf country of Qatar which they acknowledge sent the rebels millions of dollars, weapons, and fighters and used their aircraft against Gadhafi loyalists while they favored the Salafist groups.

My hosts expressed their exasperated concern over what they see as the deep political vacuum in Libya that is considered harmful and dangerous for national unity. Their strongly presented opinions were that a new legislative assembly needed to be launched within the next several months and much sooner than the NTC is suggesting with multi-party elections put off until 2013.
The fighters thought there was no possibility that any rebel militia would give up its arms anytime soon. One of the group insisted, “I will not turn in any of my weapons, and I, like my friends, have hidden a lot of them including shoulder fired missiles. I will keep them until I am convinced that the new government truly serves the people.” They discussed who will command the new national army and that it will be a difficult decision and may lead to internal armed conflict.

They reflected on the fact that Gadhafi still has lots of supporters both in Libya and throughout Africa and my hosts all thought that the newly formed loyalist “Libya Liberation Front” could become a major force in the coming months. They recommended dialogue with the LLF, something the Obama administration and NATO consistently vetoed with the Gadhafi regime over the past eight months. They acknowledged that dialogue between the Libyan government and the rebels during March could have avoided the tragedy that unfolded during the subsequent seven months.

The following week, additional confirmation was received by this observer from multiple credible sources confirming that between 11/10/11 and 11/16/11 the 28 NATO member countries had been instructed by NATO HQ that if their Embassies received a VISA application from any Libyan citizen seeking to visit their country, that the NATO country's Embassy is instructed to freeze the application. Within 24 hours the Embassy is to send a copy of the VISA application and one of the two required photos submitted with the application to INTERPOL for the possible issuing of a “red notice” meaning arrest and detention of the applicant, preliminary to a decision from the NTC with respect to an extradition request for the person to be sent back to Libya. Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, deputy chairman of Libya's National Transitional Council is the force behind this decision according to Tripoli sources. This NATO project clearly demonstrates that NATO has not ended its aggression against Liya, and it is fundamentally illegal and constitutes refoulement, which under international law is the forced return of a person to a country where he or she faces persecution. To date, international human rights organizations have been mute on this project.
The Al-Hamedi family house bombed by NATO.
This aggressive attack has killed the whole family of IOPCR chairman; his wife Ms. Safaa Ahmed Mahmoud, his innocent daughter Khaleda Khaled Khuwaildi (6 years) , his innocent son Khuwaildi Khaled Khuwaildi (4 years), and 9 others from women, children, relatives and neighbors.
Khaled Al-Hamedi on the grave of his wife and children.
One such affected person, with whom this observer recently visited outside of Libya, is subpoenaed to attend a 11/27/11 Court hearing in Brussels as a witness against NATO for that organization's June 20, 2011 slaughter of the Khaled Hamidi family from Sorman, Libya. The family home was obliterated by three American MK-83 1000 lb. bombs and two missiles. The reason according to NATO, without offering a scintilla of evidence to support its spurious allegation, was that this family’s home was a Command and Control center for Gadhafi loyalists (One of 49 unproven C & C Centers claimed by NATO Brussels-Naples media briefings over a seven month period). Those murdered on June 20, 2011 by NATO included:

Khaled Hamedi’s pregnant wife Safa, their three years and one day old son Khweldi and their four and one half year old daughter Khaleda, as well as their six year old nephew Salam and 13 family members and friends who were all staying overnight at their home following the celebration of their son's third birthday.
Meanwhile, in the US Congress on 11/15/11, Senators John Kerry, Joe Lieberman, John McCain and Marco Rubio, co-sponsored Senate Bill 317, the purpose of which is to praise US and NATO forces for their "extraordinary bravery and professionalism."
As the horizon cracked with red rays from the rising sun, our group dispersed. I walked alone through some of the streets of Sirte among the totally obliterated buildings where not even a feral cat was to be seen. Still stunned from what I had heard from the “rebels” overnight and the similarity of their views with what I learned this summer in the pro-Gadhafi western parts of Libya, I felt numb.
And I wondered, “What for the love of God were these months of gratuitous and immoral NATO carnage all about?”
 A bad moon is rising over Great Sirte Bay.
Franklin Lamb is doing research in Libya. He is reachable c\o fplamb@gmail.comHe is the author of The Price We Pay: A Quarter-Century of Israel’s Use of American Weapons Against Civilians in Lebanon.
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America’s Media War on Syria

by Stephen Lendman

Replicating Libya’s model, Western generated uprisings began in March. Since then, Syria’s been ravaged by violence. Hundreds have been killed, many more injured.

Civilians and state security forces have been affected. Conflict rages daily. Casualties mount. Regime change is planned to establish another US client state.

At issue Washington’s New Middle East agenda. One country at a time is ravaged toward achieving America’s goal of unchallenged regional dominance to Russia’s borders.

Constructive chaos aims to redraw regional lines according to US/Israeli/NATO geopolitical goals. All of it’s been carefully planned, shifting from one target to the next.

Post-9/11, first Afghanistan in 2001, then Iraq, Libya, and now Syria.

Previous articles mentioned General Wesley Clark’s book titled, “Winning Modern Wars.” In it he said Pentagon sources told him shortly after 9/11 that war plans were being prepared against Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Somalia, Sudan and Libya. Months earlier, they were finalized against Afghanistan.
Clark added:

“And what about the real sources of terrorists – US allies in the region like Egypt, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia? Wasn’t it repressive policies of the first, and the corruption and poverty of the second, that were generating many of the angry young men who became terrorists? And what of the radical ideology and direct funding spewing from Saudi Arabia?”

“It seemed that we were being taken into a strategy more likely to make us the enemy – encouraging what could look like a ‘clash of civilizations’ – not a good strategy for winning the war on terror.”
Broadcast on FORA TV on October 3, 2007, Clark said America underwent a “policy coup” post-9/11. Hard-liners co-opted power with no public debate or acknowledgement.

Ten days after 9/11, he visited Defense Secretary Rumsfeld at the Pentagon. “No one will tell us where or when to bomb”, he said. Military commanders explained Iraq would be attacked.

“I walked out of there pretty upset,” said Clark. On a second visit, he was told plans were to “destroy the governments in” the above named countries.

In addition, Pakistan and others are targeted. US Special Forces death squads operate covertly in over 120 countries. So do CIA, Mossad and MI6 operatives. No one anywhere is safe, including US citizens at home or abroad. Everyone is fair game extrajudicially. So are independent nonbelligerent nations.
America’s media cheerlead supportively. Imperial goals alone matter, not truth, full disclosure, democratic values or rule of law issues.

Repeatedly Iran’s been pilloried. Now it’s Syria’s turn. Whatever Washington says is red meat to jump on. Recent New York Times and Washington Post editorials are typical.

On November 16, a New York Times editorial headlined, “The Killing in Syria Goes On,” saying:
“The brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protesters by President Bashar al-Assad of Syria has left more than 3,500 people dead. International pressure for his removal is finally building – but not fast enough.”

Fact check

As explained above, Libya’s model is being replicated. Assad didn’t instigate violence. He responded to externally generated insurgents, largely made up of Al Qaeda elements.

Like Libya’s rebel rats, they were recruited, armed and trained. Covert Special Forces and intelligence operatives perhaps lead them. At issue is making Syria another US client state, and eliminating another Israeli rival for regional dominance.

Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon’s Hariri March 8 alliance, and Israel are involved. Heavy weapons were brought in, including shoulder-borne rockets, anti-tank weapons, machine guns, and others.

Nothing about what’s ongoing is homegrown. Despite legitimate social, economic and political grievances, most Syrians back Assad. Mass rallies show it.

Usually when disruptive forces target sitting governments, people rally supportively behind it. Libyans did it for Gaddafi and still do. Syrians have done it repeatedly despite the regime’s authoritarian nature.
“The Arab League….finally (acted). On Saturday, it gave Damascus until Wednesday to end the violence or have its membership suspended. The killing has worsened.” Giving Assad a three-day reprieve, League members “offer(ed) to send monitors to determine if the government was abiding by a league-brokered peace plan to end the crackdown.”

“He isn’t. Another three days of enabling will only ensure that more Syrians will die. The League needs (to) suspend Syria (and) impose muscular penalties for Assad’s brutality.”

Fact check

League members include mostly pro-Western despots. Supporting imperial lawlessness, they condoned (and for some participated in) Libya’s ravaging, including massacres too great to ignore.

They’re silent on NATO’s plan to colonize, occupy and plunder another Arab State, as well as ongoing atrocities in Bahrain, Yemen, Somalia, Palestine, elsewhere in the region, and internally against their own people.

Since March, they supported Western-backed anti-Syrian insurgents. Regional instability followed. Regime change is planned, including perhaps war and occupation.

Washington wants conflict, not peace. Syria was peaceful until America and regional allies intervened. Arab League figures broker nothing. They do what they’re told and obey.

Rogue League regimes govern oppressively. Despite being authoritarian, Syria’s the only remaining independent, anti-imperial, secular Arab state. Washington wants it replaced by pro-Western extremist elements, similar to Libya’s model.

“….Russia and China have blocked the United Nations Security Council from imposing sanctions or even issuing a full-throated condemnation of Mr. Assad’s bloody reign….The Council should refer Mr. Assad and his henchmen to the International Criminal Court for prosecution for crimes against humanity.”

Fact check

Russia and China want no repeat of UN Resolution 1973. Imposing a no-fly zone, in fact, declared war. Wisely, they’ll block resolutions threatening it.

Established by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court on July 1, 2002, it’s mandated to prosecute individuals for genocide and aggression, as well as crimes of war and against humanity.

Instead, it functions solely as an imperial tool, targeting Western-designated states. At the same time, it ignores US, NATO and Israeli crimes of war and humanity. As a result, they act with impunity because no international body, court, or world leader alliance holds them accountable.

Chief prosecutor Jose Luis Moreno-Ocampo follows Washington’s orders. At its behest, Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam, and brother-in-law/intelligence chief, Abdullah Al-Sanousi unfairly faced “charges of orchestrating systematic attacks against civilians (amounting to) crimes against humanity.”
Expect Abbas and close associates to be charged, not Western leaders behind Syria’s insurgency. Like Libya, violence didn’t erupt until Washington and imperial partners showed up lawlessly. Planned months ahead, it now rages out of control.

In his newest book, Michael Parenti defined “The Face of Imperialism” as:
“the process whereby the dominant investor interests in one country bring to bear military and financial power upon another in order to expropriate the land, labor, capital, natural resources, commerce, and markets of that other country.”

“There are real material interests at stake, fortunes to be made many times over. (Intervening) enrich(es) investors and keep(s) the world safe for them.”

Moreover, whether democrats or despots, blaming victims facilitates the process. Humanitarian intervention claimed for intervening is cover for imperial designs. Ravaging the world one country at a time, step one is making them charnel houses.

Ravaged Libya will take years to rebuild. Its human toll alone is one of history’s great crimes. Is Syria next, then other countries on NATO’s target list?

“Mr Assad has left no doubt that he is willing to destroy his country to maintain his hold on power. His neighbors and all civilized countries need to stand with the Syrian people, before it’s too late.”

Fact check

Full and accurate information and analysis isn’t what media scoundrels do. A previous article said they make pimps, prostitutes and dope peddlers look good by comparison.

The Washington Post: Matching New York Times Duplicity Blow-for-Blow
An October 15 editorial headlined, “Syria’s Assad regime is a threat to the US,” saying:
“The CARNAGE in Syria grinds on.” Killings occur daily. Assad’s “crimes….are not confined to its own soil.” In mid-October, “the FBI arrested a Leesburgh man who has been charged with conspiring to collect information on people protesting against the Syrian government in Washington and elsewhere in the United States for delivery to the regime’s intelligence services.”

Fact check

Mohamad Anas Haitham Soueid, a naturalized US citizen, was charged. Accusing him of criminal activity is very suspect. Even if he gathered information, doing so isn’t criminal.

His case perhaps is similar to the Cuban Five, victims of US state terrorism. In September 1998, they were arrested on spurious charges, including conspiracy to commit espionage, conspiracy to commit murder, and other charges.

They, in fact, were legally monitoring Miami-based, US funded, extremist right-wing terror groups, planning violence against Cuba. For decades, thousands of incidents occurred, including use of chemical and biological weapons.

Back home, the Five are national heros. In America, they’re imprisoned unjustly. Whether Soueid, in fact, engaged in similar activities isn’t known. Nonetheless, with full WP support, he’ll be hung out to dry lawlessly.

Charges against him “show that the Assad regime poses a threat not only to people in Syria but to those in the United States and other countries who support freedom.”

Fact check

Assad, of course, threatens no one. Neither did Gaddafi. Freedom is anathema to America. Democracy isn’t tolerated at home or abroad.

On November 2, a WP editorial headlined, “Can the Arab League and Turkey stop the slaughter in Syria?” saying:
“(T)he besieged people of Syria must look for relief from their neighbors. (Perhaps) Ankara and the Arabs will turn up the pressure on Mr. Assad.”

“The next question….is what the Arab League will do when the killing continues. Suspending Syria’s membership is one obvious step.”

No matter that doing so violates its constitutional provisions, requiring a unanimous vote. Lebanon, Yemen and Syria voted “no.” Iraq abstained.

“The Arabs could also endorse international efforts to protect the Syrian population, as they did in the case of Libya.”

Fact check

Protection Washington-style means mass killing and destruction. Apparently WP supports it. Why not? It backed NATO’s ravaging of Libya wholeheartedly, as well as Iraq, Afghanistan and other US imperial wars.

On November 11, a WP editorial headlined, “Syria’s continuing slaughter pushes the US to act,” saying:
“What can be done to stop the slaughter?”
“The United States and its allies, no less than the Arab League, have yet to formulate a convincing answer. But we are encouraged by….Assistant Secretary of State Jeffrey D. Feltman….correctly describing ‘the mafia-like Assad clique that has hijacked the Syrian state.’ ”
He also referred to Assad’s “deliberate and bloody strategy.”
Feltman “laid out a US policy aimed at protecting Syrian civilians, removing Mr. Assad from power and promoting a transition to democracy.”

Fact check

WP editors are “encouraged” that America plans regime change, no matter the body count to achieve it. Instead of demanding Washington call off its dogs, they support ravaging another independent nonbelligerent state. It was peaceful until US-backed insurgents showed up.

Now plagued by imported violence, WP editors urge Obama officials “to undertake stronger measures” if current ones fall short.

Sadly, this is what passes for journalism and opinion in America. The Times and Post are America’s most prominent broadsheets. Their views influence others.

Very possibly, more war and carnage is planned. Both papers and other US media sources back it.
No wonder America gets away with mass murder globally. Expect more perhaps anytime.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at Also visit his blog and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. He is also the author of “How Wall Street Fleeces America

The Progressive News Hour

Petras is Binghamton University, New York Professor Emeritus, a noted figure on the left, a distinguished Latin American expert, and longtime chronicler of the region’s popular struggles.
He’s also a consummate scholar and prolific writer of hundreds of articles and dozens of books, including his latest titled, “The Arab Revolt and the Imperialist Counterattack.”
Major world and national issues will be discussed
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West Preparing For A Decisive Operation To Oust Bashar’s Regime

Intelligence inputs from the Middle East suggest that a final and decisive ‘mini war’ to take out Bashar al-Assad’s regime is going to be initiated soon
by Zaki Khalid

Brief Commentary

I have recently blogged about why I feel the US and NATO are yet again vying to expand their territorial influence in the Middle East for reshaping the geography.

Without writing too much into the backdrop to all this since all that has been well elaborated by esteemed VT columnists such as Stephen Lendman, I would like to share some important bits of intelligence briefs shared by a source.

There are discussions of a grand attack by rebels and NATO mercenaries that will be waged by anti-Bashar militants; this will be the third and conclusive phase of the operation to replace Bashar’s regime by one more suitable to Western/Israeli interests.

My informant forwarded direct on-ground intelligence sent by an undercover spy hailing from an Arab country within the ranks of the ‘Free Syrian Army‘ that preparations are underway for this mini-war, as commanded by Riyad al-Asad (the rebellion’s leader currently in asylum at Turkey). This threat was noticed when more officers in the Syrian military who wanted to defect were told to pause their defection and keep it pending until further notification. The intelligence estimates provided say that the total figure of these defectors-on-hold is approximately 20,000 (twenty-thousand). Of these, roughly 2500 (twenty-five hundred) undercover defectors have been noticed moving around Syria’s borders with Turkey and Lebanon.

I have also been told that Israel’s notorious intelligence agency Mossad has recruited Muslim Brotherhood activists with the support of the US. In a related development, Turkey is also mysteriously assisting these forces (directly or indirectly) in the name of aid. Personally, I am baffled as to why Turkey is becoming a part of the dirty game again which is raising a lot of eyebrows within the Muslim world at large.

My source adds that the plan was finalized after a meeting between rebels of the Free Syrian Army unknown to the informant and UK-based security firm Trango Ltd., the same company which is working with SNE Pvt. Ltd. in Libya. Trango Ltd. specializes in assisting companies in high-risk locations. They are contracted with security for European firms and small-medium level enterprises who are taking part in reconstructing Libya’s war-torn infrastructure. Readers are requested to read Armed Business in Libya by Manlio Dinucci for Voltaire to get well-acquainted with what SNE actually does.

While analyzing the received information, I came across a news on Press TV today that senior British officials, including Foreign Secretary William Hague, are set to formally meet with Syrian rebels in London next week. The report does not mention who facilitated this top-level meeting. This is where intelligence briefs I received were confirmed. As the British and French heads-of-state had paid a visit to Tripoli after bombing the country in excuse to kill Gaddafi, the same regional players are hell-bent on Syria.

The volcano will erupt soon. More blood will be shed. Thousands of children will be orphaned, wives widowed. Yet all this will be cheered as the price for apparent change. I hope things turn out well for the Syrian people and nothing else should be of more concern to any of us. The Zionist regime of Israel is smiling behind the scenes as the gameplan is to their advantage as always.

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Pro-Israel student leader: ‘Obama assassination tempting’

A man accused of firing two shots at the White House last week has been charged with attempting to assassinate President Barack Obama or his staff, Haaretz reported.

Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez made his first court appearance before a federal magistrate in Pittsburgh on Thursday, one day after he was arrested at a western Pennsylvania hotel. He will be taken back from a federal court in Pittsburgh to face the charges in Washington, D.C.

Ortega will remain in federal custody at least until a magistrate in Washington can determine if he should remain jailed until his trial on the charge, which carries up to life in prison.
The 21-year-old said only, "Yes, ma'am" when he was asked if he understood that he would be going back to Washington to face the charge.

Pro-Israel student leader: ‘Obama assassination tempting’

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Hours after the arrest of a 21-year-old Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, the White House shooter with ‘Israel’ tattoo, the top student official for the College Republican at University of Texas, Lauren Pierce tweeted that assassinating President Obama was ‘tempting’.

Lauren Pierce has fellowship with the LA-based pro-Israel Zionist-brainwashing and advocacy group ‘StandWithUs‘. She attended StandWithUs confrence in Santa Monica on November 12, 2011. The conference was addressed by popular Islamophobes like Steven Emerson, Jon Woigt, Judea Pearl (father of Mossad agent Daniel Pearl killed in Pakistan) and illegal Jewish settlers’ advocate Itamar Marcus. The StandWithUs pays educational (brainwashing) trips to students to the Zionist entity.

White House shooter has “Israel” tattoo
The pro-Israel media has played-down both incidents as ”act of a mentally retarded individual” and “a joke” by a naive young female student. We all remember how the Islamophobe Lobby reacted in case of the Norwigian pro-Israel terrorist Anders Behring Breivik earlier this year. Anders who murdered 92 innocent youth and bystanders, had claimed several American anti-Muslim preachers as his heroes.

The Inter Press Service (IPS) had reported on October 29, 2009 that StandWithUs is funded by extremist Jew and Christian individuals and groups who hate Muslims and Arabs and are against a peaceful solution to Israel-Palestinian conflict. The major donor to the Israel advocacy group is Susan Wexner, whose family founded The Limited, which currently operates such well-known brands as Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, Henri Bendel, C. O. Bigelow, The White Barn Candle Company, and La Senza.

Wexner also made contributions to other Israel propaganda outfits like Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD).

MJ Rosenberg, a senior fellow at Media Matter for America, a research centre that monitors “conservative misinformation” in the media, says: “These are essentially opponents of the peace process who believe the only way to support Israel is to oppose a diplomatic solution to the conflict.”
In January 2010 – Jeff Gates wrote an interesting article, entitled Will Israel Assassinate Barack Obama? in which he predicted that Israeli Mossad will pull another false flag operation for which the US government and mainstream media will blame some Muslim country (Pakistan, Iran, Syria, etc.).
“Would Israel assassinate a U.S. president? What kind of world would we now inhabit if Senator William Fulbright and Attorney General Robert Kennedy had succeeded in 1962 in forcing the Israel Lobby to register as a foreign agent? How would the world be different if John F. Kennedy had succeeded in 1963 in forcing international inspections of Israel’s nuclear facility?

So long as Barack Obama continues to serve Israeli interests, he will continue to live a charmed life. Should he hint that justice—say for the Palestinians – is a worthy goal, the pre-staging is in place to eliminate that threat. Likewise should he seek to shut down the ongoing oligarch-ization of America and the steady piling on of disabling debt,” wrote Jeff Gates.
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An "Occupy" Moment - Rumsfeld Confronted at Nashville Stop on His Blood Money Tour

kenny's sideshow

I call upon you to surrender yourself as a war criminal.”

Well, that didn't work but it was a good thought.

Thanks to an anonymous donor, four folks from Occupy Nashville paid for the $125 a pop tickets and got to dress up and dine with Donald Rumsfeld on a stop on his blood tour to promote his revisionist history book and to raise money for 'conservative' groups

All four got to say a few words of wisdom towards Rumsfeld but were quickly removed. No arrests were made.

Despite some of our concerns on how the "Occupy" movement is being co-opted, this was a step in the right direction. Getting out their tents and moving away from the 'designated' protest areas to confront individuals who are at the root of our problems and who dare to show their faces in public should be done at every opportunity. The press will eat it up and as the old saying goes "There's no such thing as bad publicity."

It would have been even better had there been a mention or two of Rumsfeld's role in 9/11 but maybe next time.

My comment left here ....
Bravo to the "Occupiers." Striking back at the war machine and the trillions spent on the lies of the 'War on Terror' has to be a major point in the discussion of taking our country back from the criminals on both sides of the political aisle.

Anyone remember the news conference Rumsfeld held on Sept. 10, 2001 where he announced that $2.3 trillion was missing from the Pentagon? What happened to the investigation of the 'lost' money he mandated? Oh yeah, the accounting side of the Pentagon was 'hit' the next day, destroying evidence and killing more than a few of the accountants who came in to work that day to start the investigation. How convenient.

Rumsfeld was eyeball deep in the false flag of 9/11 and the cover up. Traitor is too nice a word for him.

The blood money tour and those who pay good money to dine with psychopaths speaks volumes on how deceived certain segments of the population truly are.

Occupy Nashville Discusses Barging in on Dinner and Calling Donald Rumsfeld a 'War Criminal'- with video

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United Against Cultural Fascism – a letter to every cultured person in Britain

 By Gilad Atzmon

There was a time when Jewish politics and culture were associated with liberalism, human rights, pluralism and freedom of expression. Those days are clearly over. Nowadays, it is pretty much the opposite.Here in Britain, Jewish nationalist lobbies are engaged in several kinds of repressive behaviour. Their practices include: bullying and harassment, disinformation, smear campaigns.

This kind of activity does not serve the Jewish community or its interests. In fact, it gives the Jewish community, as a whole, a thoroughly bad name.

Last week, American academic Norman Finkelstein and I were on the front of the Jewish Chronicle (JC). We were presented as Public Jewish Enemies Number One. We were branded together with BNP leader and a racist Nick Griffin. This was obviously a clear outburst of Zionist hysteria.

This week, in an embarrassingly crude attempt to stop my new book The Wandering Who, the JC now appear to be launching an attack on music. Together with the Board of Deputies of British Jews and other Jewish groups they attempted to pressure the British Arts Council to withdraw its funding from a music festival I am playing at.

To read the JC, click here.

What we see here is scarily similar to the experience of Jazz musicians in Germany during the Nazi era. Astonishingly enough, it is Jewish representative bodies such as the Board of Deputies that are actively engaging in trying to restrict artistic expression. Apparently, some people out there, really drew the wrong lesson from that disturbing era.

Needless to say, they didn’t get far. The Arts Council, stood by its principles of freedom of expression and in a statement responding to the JC’s demands, they suggested that The Arts Council shouldn’t “restrict an artist from expressing their views.” They stated that the council believes in funding events and artists that show “a diverse view of world society”. Once again, their campaign had backfired.

Of course, the JC wasn’t at all happy. It appears to want to transform the British music scene, cultural gatherings and festivals into Stalinist enterprises and demands the right to dictate its own political agenda to the British public. The JC even went as far as to openly call for its subservient lobby-funded politicians to impose an “immediate sanction”. Reading the JC today, I wonder how long it will take before Ava Nagila becomes a compulsory part of our national musical curriculum.

This is the reality: The most radical exponents of the most vile form of Jewish racist and supremacist ideology are accusing me, an anti-racist campaigner, of being an anti-Semite. Considering that I lead one of the most ethnically varied musical ensembles on this planet – this accusation is absurd, amusing or sad and probably all three. But here’s the good news. On every possible front they are failing. No matter how much these Zionist supremacists convince themselves that I am the ultimate Jew-hater, they have failed to convince anyone else.
By bullying British cultural institutions and harassing artists in the name of the Jewish community, Jewish organizations are achieving nothing but the defamation of the whole of British Jewry.
So, to the Jewish Chronicle and the Board of Deputies of British Jews: You are acting against openness, pluralism, freedom of expression and artistic freedom – probably the most precious values this country has. Perhaps it is worth bearing this in mind.

All the best
Gilad Atzmon

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The Wandering Who-A Study of Zionist Hysteria , available on or

Russian Warships Enter Syrian Waters To Prevent NATO Attack

Moscow in aggressive move to stop another “humanitarian intervention”

Paul Joseph Watson

Friday, November 18, 2011

Russian warships have entered Syrian territorial waters in an aggressive move designed to prevent any NATO-led attack on the country under the guise of a “humanitarian intervention”.
“Russian warships are due to arrive at Syrian territorial waters, a Syrian news agency said on Thursday, indicating that the move represented a clear message to the West that Moscow would resist any foreign intervention in the country’s civil unrest,” reports Haaretz.

Russia has stepped up efforts to defend Syria in recent days, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov keen to frame the violence in the country as a civil war in defiance of claims by western powers that President Bashar al-Assad has overseen a bloody crackdown on innocent protesters.

As we saw prior to the attack on Libya, which was also framed as a “humanitarian intervention,” NATO powers are keen to demonize Assad’s government by characterizing attacks by his forces as atrocities while largely ignoring similar attacks by opposition forces, such as this week’s raid on a Syrian air force intelligence complex that killed or wounded 20 security police.

U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner rejects Russia’s claim that Syria is in a civil war, stating, “We believe it’s very much the Assad regime carrying out a campaign of violence, intimidation, and repression against innocent protesters.”

Of course, we heard similar rhetoric even as NATO-backed Al-Qaeda rebels were commandeering fighter jets and firing rocket-propelled grenades in Libya, actions also undertaken by “innocent protesters,” we were told at the time.

As we have previously reported, despite overwhelming speculation that Iran will be the next target of a military assault, Syria is the likeliest target for the next salvo of NATO-backed regime change.
US President Barack Obama got the ball rolling back in August when he called on President al-Assad to step down. The UN has already withdrawn all non-essential staff from the country.

Without Russia’s help, Syria would be largely defenseless against a NATO attack. “I don’t see any purely military problems. Syria has no defence against Western systems … [But] it would be more risky than Libya. It would be a heavy military operation,” former French air force chief Jean Rannou commented.

Given that the western press has proven adept at manufacturing lies to justify military interventions, whether the actions of Assad’s regime represent genuine atrocities or legitimate conduct in the midst of a civil war remains unclear. Some have claimed the abuses are being embellished, while both former CIA agent Robert Baer and ex-MI6 officer Alastair Crooke point out that the Syrian people definitely want change, but not in the form of a NATO “humanitarian” assault.
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