background preloader

Middle East

Facebook Twitter

Syria

Why is the media ignoring Israel's alliance with al-Qaeda? Since January, I have been ploughing a lonely furrow in this column by covering what is certainly one of the most under-reported stories in the world right now: Israeli involvement in the war in Syria. Almost unnoticed by the mainstream media, Israel's occupation forces in the Golan Heights have been in alliance with the Nusra Front, al-Qaeda's official franchise in Syria.

This alliance certainly includes logistical support and may even extend as far as arming al-Qaeda rebels in south-western Syria. In January, I showed how the reports of UN peacekeepers in the Golan had talked of regular contacts between rebel forces in that Israeli-occupied sector of Syria. They also observed, according to a June report, Israeli soldiers "handing over two boxes to armed members of the opposition" from the Israeli-occupied side to the Syrian-controlled side. In March, I wrote on how an Israeli army spokesperson had now confirmed these reports. In the video, Lieutenant Colonel Dr. 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency document: West will facilitate rise of Islamic State “in order to isolate the Syrian regime” – Levant Report. On Monday, May 18, the conservative government watchdog group Judicial Watch published a selection of formerly classified documents obtained from the U.S.

Department of Defense and State Department through a federal lawsuit. While initial mainstream media reporting is focused on the White House’s handling of the Benghazi consulate attack, a much “bigger picture” admission and confirmation is contained in one of the Defense Intelligence Agency documents circulated in 2012: that an ‘Islamic State’ is desired in Eastern Syria to effect the West’s policies in the region. Astoundingly, the newly declassified report states that for “THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY [WHO] SUPPORT THE [SYRIAN] OPPOSITION… THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME…”. B. 3. (C) Al QAEDA – IRAQ (AQI):… B. 4.D. Like this: Pentagon report predicted West’s support for Islamist rebels would create ISIS — INSURGE intelligence.

Hypocrisy The revelations contradict the official line of Western governments on their policies in Syria, and raise disturbing questions about secret Western support for violent extremists abroad, while using the burgeoning threat of terror to justify excessive mass surveillance and crackdowns on civil liberties at home. Among the batch of documents obtained by Judicial Watch through a federal lawsuit, released earlier this week, is a US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) document then classified as “secret,” dated 12th August 2012. The DIA provides military intelligence in support of planners, policymakers and operations for the US Department of Defense and intelligence community.

So far, media reporting has focused on the evidence that the Obama administration knew of arms supplies from a Libyan terrorist stronghold to rebels in Syria. Some outlets have reported the US intelligence community’s internal prediction of the rise of ISIS. The West’s Islamists ‘Supporting powers want’ ISIS entity. Planned Chaos in the Middle East—and Beyond. An Unholy Alliance Between the Military-Security-Industrial Complex and the Israel Lobby Geopolitical observers of the Middle East turbulence tend to blame the raging chaos in the area on the presumed failure of the “incoherent,” “illogical” or “contradictory” policies of the United States. Irrefutable evidence (some of which presented in this study) suggests, however, that in fact the chaos represents the success, not failure, of those policies—policies that are designed by the beneficiaries of war and military adventures in the region, and beyond.

While U.S. policies in the region are certainly irrational and conflicting from the standpoint of international peace, or even from the standpoint of the U.S. national interests as a whole, they are quite logical from the viewpoint of economic and geopolitical beneficiaries of war and international hostilities, that is, from the viewpoint of (a) the military-industrial complex, and (b) the militant Zionist proponents of “greater Israel.” In the Same Week, the U.S. and U.K. Hide Their War Crimes by Invoking "National Security" Colonel Ian Henderson was a British official dubbed “the Butcher of Bahrain” because of atrocities he repeatedly committed during the 30 years he served as chief security official of that Middle Eastern country. His reign of terror began in 1966 when Bahrain was a British “protectorate” and continued when the post-“independence” Bahraini King retained him in the same position.

In 1996, The Independent described him as “the most feared of all secret policemen” in Bahrain, and cited “consistent and compelling evidence that severe beatings and even sexual assaults have been carried out against prisoners under Henderson’s responsibility for well over a decade.” Prior to the massacres and rapes over which he presided in Bahrain, Henderson played a leading role in brutally suppressing the Mau Mau insurgency in another British colony, Kenya.

In the wake of his Kenya atrocities, he twice won the George Medal, “the 2nd highest, to the George Cross, gallantry medal that a civilian can win.” Secret Intel Reports on Syria & Iraq Revealed. Why Did U.S. Ignore the Analysis and Predictions? Almost three years ago the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) of the U.S. Dept of Defense accurately characterized the conflict in Syria and predicted the emergence of the Islamic State. This stunning revelation has emerged as a result of a Freedom of Information Act law suit filed by Judicial Watch in connection with the House Select Committee on Benghazi. The heavily redacted August 2012 seven page intelligence report reveals the following: 1. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) confirmed the sectarian core of the Syrian insurgency. “EVENTS ARE TAKING A CLEAR SECTARIAN DIRECTION. This analysis is in sharp contrast with western media and political elite which has characterized the “Syrian revolution” as being driven by protestors in a quest for “democracy and freedom”. 2. 3. 4. 5.

The last prediction (in summer 2012) is especially remarkable since it predates the actual declaration of the “Islamic State” by two years. * Why did the U.S. John Pilger On Why The Rise Of Fascism Is The Issue. The recent 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz was a reminder of the great crime of fascism, whose Nazis iconography is embedded in our consciousness. Fascism is preserved as history, as flickering footage of goose-stepping blackshirts, their criminality terrible and clear. Yet in the same liberal societies, whose war-making elites urge us never to forget, the accelerating danger of a modern kind of fascism is suppressed; for it is their fascism.

“To initiate a war of aggression…," said the Nuremberg Tribunal judges in 1946, "is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” Had the Nazis not invaded Europe, Auschwitz and the Holocaust would not have happened. Like the fascism of the 1930s and 1940s, big lies are delivered with the precision of a metronome: thanks to an omnipresent, repetitive media and its virulent censorship by omission.

Why the Pentagon Papers matter now | Daniel Ellsberg. The declassification and online release Monday of the full original version of the Pentagon Papers – the 7,000-page top secret Pentagon study of US decision-making in Vietnam 1945-67 – comes 40 years after I gave it to 19 newspapers and to Senator Mike Gravel (minus volumes on negotiations, which I had given only to the Senate foreign relations committee). Gravel entered what I had given him in the congressional record and later published nearly all of it with Beacon Press. Together with the newspaper coverage and a government printing office (GPO) edition that was heavily redacted but overlapped the Senator Gravel edition, most of the material has been available to the public and scholars since 1971. (The negotiation volumes were declassified some years ago; the Senate, if not the Pentagon, should have released them no later than the end of the war in 1975.)

In other words, today's declassification of the whole study comes 36 to 40 years overdue. Don't make my mistake.

Libya

Dogs, water and coffins: an untold story of British torture in Iraq. An aerial view of Baghdad, Iraq after car bombings in 2003. Robert R. Hargreaves/Wikimedia. Some rights reserved,Of all the abuses committed by the United States in the ‘War on Terror’, the use of waterboarding as an ‘enhanced interrogation technique’ has generated by far the most controversy. This practice, whereby terror suspects are strapped to a plank, tilted so that their heads are lower than their feet, and subjected to mock drowning, has rightly been condemned – even by President Obama – as torture. As water is sloshed onto a wet cloth placed over the mouth and nose, the body convulses, moving into an achingly-painful panic reaction exactly as if it were drowning.

The fact that the UK was involved in running a torture centre in the heart of Baghdad is shocking enough. Once at Camp Nama, Rahmatullah was subjected to a horrific regime of abuse, with British personnel apparently playing a lead role. Interrogation sessions were led by men who identified themselves as British. Polls & Surveys : ISLAMiCommentary.

Afghanistan

Mexican drug cartels are worse than ISIL. The horrific rampage of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has captured the world’s attention. Many Western commentators have characterized ISIL’s crimes as unique, no longer practiced anywhere else in the civilized world. They argue that the group’s barbarism is intrinsically Islamic, a product of the aggressive and archaic worldview that dominates the Muslim world. The ignorance of these claims is stunning. While there other organized groups whose depravity and threat to the United States far surpasses that of ISIL, none have engendered the same kind of collective indignation and hysteria. This raises a question: Are Americans primarily concerned with ISIL’s atrocities or with the fact that Muslims are committing these crimes? Cartels versus ISIL A recent United Nations report estimated nearly 9,000 civilians have been killed and 17,386 wounded in Iraq in 2014, more than half since ISIL fighters seized large parts on northern Iraq in June.

AFP / Getty Images.

Iran

Seymour M. Hersh · The Red Line and the Rat Line: Erdoğan and the Syrian rebels · LRB 17 April 2014. In 2011 Barack Obama led an allied military intervention in Libya without consulting the US Congress. Last August, after the sarin attack on the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, he was ready to launch an allied air strike, this time to punish the Syrian government for allegedly crossing the ‘red line’ he had set in 2012 on the use of chemical weapons.[*]​* Then with less than two days to go before the planned strike, he announced that he would seek congressional approval for the intervention. The strike was postponed as Congress prepared for hearings, and subsequently cancelled when Obama accepted Assad’s offer to relinquish his chemical arsenal in a deal brokered by Russia.

Why did Obama delay and then relent on Syria when he was not shy about rushing into Libya? The answer lies in a clash between those in the administration who were committed to enforcing the red line, and military leaders who thought that going to war was both unjustified and potentially disastrous. 4 April. Syrian Jihad Spawned the Islamic State. Let me admit at the outset that Assad is an illegitimate tyrant who must abdicate his hereditary throne to the will of the people when the opportune moment arrives. But at the moment our primary concern shouldn’t be bringing democracy to Syria; at the moment our first and foremost priority should be reducing the level of violence in Syria.

There are two parties to this conflict: the regime and the rebels (the majority of whom are takfiri jihadis). It is not possible for the regime to deescalate the conflict because it is holding a tiger by the tail. The regime is fighting a war of defense; and what is at stake in this war is its survival; not only its survival but the survival of its clan: the Alawite minority of 2.6 million people who comprise 12% population of Syria’s 22 million people. The second party to the conflict is the rebels who are generously supported by the Gulf monarchies, Turkey (Sunni Muslims), Western powers and Israel. Sources and links:

Sending our forces into another mission impossible - The Drum. Posted Team Australia is being geed up for war in the manner of a desperate coach approaching the final quarter, writes a lively Mungo MacCallum. Having finally begun to recover from yet another Intensive Care Unit and, of course, from Anne Summers, I feel my recuperation has been set back by yet another tergiversation from our beloved Prime Minister. It appears that Tony Abbott has morphed from the Saviour of the Economy and the Protector of Borders to the Great War Leader. Well, at least the Great War Urger, eagerly waiting the final go-ahead from Washington. But he had taken the position with a fervour that belies his subordinate role. Abbott is talking in apocalyptic terms about the enemy, and he has the videos to prove it: Islamic State is indeed a horrible bunch, and should be eliminated. "In conscience Australia cannot leave the Iraqi people to face this horror, this pure evil, alone, or ask others to do in the name of human decency what we won't do ourselves," he thundered.

Saudi Arabia Will Grant U.S. Request for Anti-ISIS Training Program - NYTimes.com. AMMAN, Jordan — Saudi Arabia has agreed to an American request to provide a base to train moderate Syrian opposition fighters, American officials said on Wednesday. “We now have the commitment from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to be a full partner in this effort — the train-and-equip program — to host that program,” said a senior Obama administration official, who added that discussions were underway to determine the specific site and other details. The Saudi willingness to host a training program comes as Secretary of State John Kerry is preparing to fly to Jidda, Saudi Arabia, on Thursday morning for a high-level strategy session on how to counter the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The meeting that is being hosted by the Saudis will also include senior officials from Arab states in the Persian Gulf region, as well as Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq. Continue reading the main story Video Yet the more forcible approach Mr. To the dismay of the Saudis, Mr. But now Mr. Photo Mr.

Iraq

Salaita. Egypt. Israel.