Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Russian Lion. Translated/Interpreted by Ghassan Kadi & Intibah Wakeup

The Russian Lion
By Sami Koleib, Al Manar
12, December 2013

 

The use of the term “Russian Bear” has become commonplace. This is a term that came from the West, perhaps from Britain.  That term was meant to distort the image of Russia as a state that is associated with harshness and viciousness.  Reciprocally, a rosy picture is used to describe the United States as the “American Dream”.  The extent of this comparison, especially during the Cold War, did not seem to bemuse the Russians much.  The Russians themselves adopted the idea to the extent that they used the bear as their international mascot in sporting and celebratory arenas. This included the image of a Russian bear playing the balalaika, an image the Russians and the rest of the world loved.

 

Ever since the former polished-faced ex KGB Vladimir Putin took over the reins in his country, a new image emerged. Today he is referred to as the Master of the Kremlin, transformed into a “lion within the jungle of the international community”, one who grabs opportunities and gets them. The image of the President who is an athlete, a musician, a businessman, an ever-youthful and energetic person, a judo and taekwondo wrestler, despite him being 62 years old, he has become one who was capable of upsetting the easy slumber of the White House and NATO.

 

There is hardly any exaggeration in this description. Putin has been able to dictate his terms upon the "international jungle", as the term “international community” would be too kind a description. He has forced NATO to review its defence shield policy.  He threatened a return to the arms race.  He averted most UNSC resolutions that he did not agree with. Together with China and other BRICS nations, he decided to change the path of the mono-polarity of the world.  He alluded to establishing a new international monetary fund which would exchange the USD for a new currency. He used a speech he gave in 2008 in which he vehemently said that America needs to treat Russia as an international partner and that the time of mono-polarity has ended and that the rest of the world does not follow Washington’s agendas.

 

In this "international jungle", Putin made his way to the Middle East resolutely via two avenues; Syria and Iran.  He is also capable of getting in via the Israeli gate as Russia has more than a million Israelis of Russian origin.  During the peak of the Syrian crisis, he visited Tel Aviv and offered his services as the only party that is able to play the role of mediator between Israel and the countries with which Israel finds it the most difficult to deal with.

 

Putin realised that the resilience of the Syrian government in face of those who wish to topple President Bashar Al Assad would give Russia more credibility. He never said he was defending Assad, but rather defending international law.  This is an important stand for him and the image of his country.  He can say that he defended a State and enabled it to remain standing.  This gives more credibility to the Russian role. Others defended the other side and found themselves having to" go back to the Russian argument that iterates that military intervention and toppling a government by force would fail and that the departure of Assad, prior to Geneva II, is not acceptable and that priority needs to be given to fighting terrorism.  Together with China, he formed an international diplomatic shield to protect the Syrian government and followed that with military hardware, experts and perhaps more.

 

Certain Western and Arabic States tried to distort the image of Putin. Some of them claimed that he is supporting a dictatorial regime and contributing to Syrian bloodshed.  Saudi Arabia said, at some stage, that Russia will lose its interests in the region. Putin did not move by one inch. It became imperative for the Saudi chief of intelligence, Bandar, at the end, to go and visit Moscow (to try to negotiate).

 

Putin takes another step in expanding his sphere of influence. He sends his foreign minister Sergei Lavrov to Tehran to establish a broad based partnership.  The stern Lavrov, just like his President, says that Russia is determined to broaden and improve its relationships with Iraq in an attempt to contribute towards stability of that country. Putin affirmed that Iran is a main player in Geneva II.

 

A few kilometres away the GCC Summit is held.  There is a huge concern.  For the first time cracks appear that threaten its unity.  The Sultanate of Oman, which is close to Iran and Syria, takes a stand that is tantamount to mutiny against the bigger states. The Emirates exile some opponents under the justification of preventing them from political activities.  Kuwait sends to Damascus indications of openness despite the concerns of its conservative hawks.  All States, except Qatar, declare an open or covert war to curb the Muslim Brotherhood.

 

What is new in the GCC Summit is condoning the Iranian-Western resolution. This is quite pertinent given that it comes only a few weeks after Saudi Arabia declines to comment on the matter.  What is also new here is the unanimous condoning of the participation of the Syrian National Coalition in Geneva II. This is more important as this new deal stipulates that Assad remains in power and also comes after the Syrian Army and its allies are just about to finish taking control of Damascus province after the battle of Qalamoun. Everything else is well known.  To expect more out of this resolution would be like waiting to hear of another Israeli settler killing a Palestinian in Jerusalem before the GCC decides that Jerusalem should be the capital of Palestine.

 

Putin agrees with America that Iran should not have nuclear weapons and that Israel should remain strong.  They both concur on the priority of fighting terrorism which makes it imperative that Arab armies remain strong including the Syrian Army. This can diminish the westward Islamic expansion.  These are the points of agreement between America and Russia, but their competition is stronger.

 

Westerners feel the danger of Russian expansion, this is why the West considers it ok to use Ukraine as a gateway (to hit at Russia).  Europe feels driven to support the opposition.  The American Assistant Secretary of State meets with the Ukrainian opposition.  France tries to sabotage the Western-Iranian nuclear deal, and it continues to keep good links with Saudi Arabia after it abandoned Qatar in the hope of upgrading the status of the armed opposition against the Syrian government.  None of this seems to faze Russia.  Putin continues to go from strength to strength, imposing his own terms.

 

The time of American military gambles is no longer viable.  Putin realises this.  Here enters into the scene the chief of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, General Muhammad Ali Jaafari.  He ridicules the recent American-Israeli rhetoric about a military strike about Iran, saying “…any talk about military action against Iran is ridiculous”

 

The world changes.  Instead of adopting the traditional American way of invading countries, invasions that are very expensive and without clear, foreseeable outcomes, at a time when America has serious domestic issues, Barack Obama is more in favour of negotiating peaceful agreements.  Vladimir Putin seems more credible as he has been able to achieve a new and serious era that is based on the end of global unilateralism.  The global lion does not seem to be prepared to back off at any cost.  Russians are once again feeling elated by his enhancement of their national pride. But what will he do with Syria’s lion (Assad)? Will he continue to support him to the end? This is the determinator.  There is a conviction in Damascus that Russia would not have won its political battle if the Syrian government fell. The most recent communication between Putin and Assad has partly bolstered this understanding to say the least.

 

Translated/Interpreted by Ghassan Kadi and Intibah Wakeup.

Original Article:
http://www.almanar.com.lb/adetails.php?eid=675475&cid=31&fromval=1&frid=31&seccatid=171&s1=1

Monday, November 25, 2013

THE DEFINING MOMENTS; IRAN’S DAY: Ghassan Kadi 24 November 2013

THE DEFINING MOMENTS; IRAN’S DAY:
Ghassan Kadi
24 November 2013

When the war in Syria is over, history will record it in a different manner from the manner in which we experienced it. To begin with, the reader of this epic story will most probably know the end result before reading it, and will not experience the day-by-day waking up every morning to listen and to read about the latest developments.

However, what is pertinent right here and now, today, is this moment in time that will be recorded as another turning point. The epic story will be written in terms of such major turning points, and today will be remembered and this cannot be said and repeated emphatically enough.

Thus far, and as the epic story is still unfolding, let us stop for one moment to see those turning points, the defining moments:

1. The “Arab Spring” starts in Tunisia in mid December 2010. In a few days, it topples its president and starts gaining momentum in Egypt.

2. Mubarak falls on the 11th of February 2011, only 18 days after the “revolution” against him started. Shortly after, Muhammad Morsi the Muslim Brotherhood leader is elected as president.

3. The “Spring” moves west into Libya.

4. The UNSC reaches a mandate to implement a no-fly zone in Libya and NATO starts striking Libya.

5. In March 2011, demonstrators in Daraa Syria take to the streets demanding reform and terrorist elements shoot at them and at Syrian army units.

6. The orchestrated events in Daraa are used as a pretext to launch a propaganda campaign against Syria and flooding it with tens of thousands of militants most of whom were Islamic Jihadists.

7. A coalition comprised of Saudi Arabic, Qatar, and Turkey backed by all Western powers combined was aimed at Syria and specifically against the presidency of Bashar Al-Assad. The coalition included the newly-elected Egyptian president Morsi and even included both sides of the Palestinian political divide.

8. A similar but opposed pro-Syrian coalition was formed comprised of Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, and to some extent China.

9. In the meantime, the battle in Libya rages and NATO breaks its UN-given mandate and plays a huge part in bringing down Gaddafi who eventually was killed on the 20th of October 2011.

10. The anti-Syrian coalition sought a UNSC resolution to implement a no-fly zone in Syria. China and Russia vetoed the resolution. The coalition tried several times later, but it is the first veto that will be remembered the most.

11. The fall of Gaddafi gave the anti-Syrian coalition momentum and it banked on a repeat of the story in Syria.

12. The seemingly reluctant Syrian government to turn the clashes into an all-out war encouraged more and more militants to infiltrate into Syria via Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. The militants controlled a huge chunk of Syria, including parts of Aleppo and Damascus and were gaining the upper hand.

13. On the 18th of July 2012 a big explosion in Damascus kills 4 top ranking military personnel including the minister of defence and Assad’s brother-in-law. The militants reach the peak of their might at this point.

14. The battles rages and Syria unleashes its army.

15. For a few months afterwards, both parties (ie the Syrian Army and the militants) make claims that victory is near without any major changes on the battle ground.

16. On the 5th of June, an ominous date for Arabs, but this time it was 2013 not 1967, the Syrian army aided by Hezbollah score a major victory in Qusayr, a strategic position between Damascus and Homs.

17. With more minor Syria army victories, the militants realized that they were losing the ground battle. They needed a shift in their favour.

18. On the 23rd of June 2013, the prince of Qatar abdicates and cedes his throne to his son. His number 2 man Hamad leaves with him. This is seen as a sign of defeat of Qatari policies in Syria.

19. On the 3rd of July, a military coup in Egypt topples the Muslim Brotherhood president Morsi giving Turkey, Qatar and Islamists in general a huge blow.

20. On the 31st of July 2013, Saudi prince Bandar Bin Sultan, the top Saudi anti-Syrian conspirator visits Putin in a desperate attempt to persuade him to change his position. He returns home disappointed and empty-handed.

21. With events turning towards the benefit of Syria in an escalating manner, in August 2013, Saudi intelligence orchestrates a chemical attack in East Ghouta accusing the army of killing children in a desperate attempt to either push for a UNSC resolution against Syria or to at least give the USA enough excuse to attack Syria without a UNSC resolution.

22. Russia stands firm with Syria in the UNSC and within the Moscow-Washington corridors and draws a red line.

23. Washington believes that Moscow is bluffing. Obama orders an attack on Syria. Two missiles were shot from a NATO base in Spain aiming for Syria. The Russians shot one down and diverted the second into the sea.

24. The Russians contact the Americans and tell them they will keep the story hush-hush to avoid diplomatic problems and further escalation and force the Americans into the negotiating position and offer them an olive branch based on Syria surrendering its chemical weapons as a face-saving exercise for the Americans.

25. American foothold in the Middle East is shaken, and America is cornered into accepting to start negotiations with Iran to the shear anger and disappointment of Israel and Saudi Arabia.

26. Yesterday, on the 24th of November 2013, the West concedes that Iran has legitimate rights to seek nuclear power heralding the end of sanctions against Iran.

This is where we are now and today. We shall read the rest of the story in history books, but today is Iran’s day.

Congratulations Iran. Thank you for your support to Hezbollah. Thank you for your support to Syria. Thank you thank you thank you. You deserved today’s great victory.

Bandar and Netanyahu, eat your hearts out.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

RUSHING TOWARDS RUSSIA. By Ghassan Kadi

RUSHING TOWARDS RUSSIA
Ghassan Kadi
23 November 2013
As they say, we can only choose our friends, not our family; and this is what human relationships are based on; the choice of who we want to be our friend, business partner or even a spouse.
This is a choice that is considered to be tantamount to freedom and independence, a choice that the right of attaining is something that people fight and are happily ready to die for.

This same fact is also true for groups, tribes, communities and nations.
 

With their diversities in skills and resources, different nations need alliances with other nations to “complete each other’.  Very few nations have the resources and expertise to allow them to stand on their own in this highly developed and competitive world that we live in.  It is this realisation that has pushed the bandwagon of the concept of globalisation and it has probably pushed it a little bit too far. Nonetheless, that push came from a vital need.

 
When political and military conflicts are added to this cocktail, the issue of a nation choosing its own friends becomes very much contingent upon who its enemies are. If we relate this argument to Syria and look at the draconian alliance of its enemies which included all of the Western powers plus Turkey, the Gulf States and Israel just to name the major ones, Syria had no choice but to seek friends and partners with whom it could not only share issues of mutual interest in peace time but also in war time.


Fortuitously, when Syria was looking for friends Russia was in a very similar situation and even though Syria and Russia have had a long standing alliance that goes back all the way to the days of the USSR, this alliance had to be redefined and the boundaries had to be restructured.  After all, this is now Putin’s post USSR and post Boris Yeltsin Russia.

 
A lot has been said about the needs and the interests of Russia in Syria to the extent that we now see vicious and rabid attacks accusing Russia of being a colonialist holding Syria to ransom. The recent oil/gas contract that the Syrian government has granted to the Russians has been like fodder to those Russia hating cynics. What they do not see is that Syria is not rushing towards Russia. This is a natural and normal progression of a long standing alliance that has now fully matured in a time of war.

President Assad has been saying time and time again that once this war is over Syria is going to reciprocate loyalty because now it knows who its friends and enemies are.

If this means nothing to some people and if they see it as a sell-out then perhaps they should consider this other argument. Some argue why not give the contract to Venezuela because they also have the necessary technology and perhaps they might have offered Syria a better financial deal.  People who subscribe to this option seem to forget that this is the Middle East that we are talking about and if we all of a sudden have oil rigs in the sea that are owned and operated by post Chavez Venezuela, a State that is considered by the West as a rogue state, Syria would be giving Israel carte blanche to attack those installation any time, without any notice and neither Syria nor Venezuela would be able to respond to these attacks except by military retaliation.  Having Russia running these operations is an insurance policy that guarantees no scheming zealot will ever dare come near them.

Back to the issue of national alliances; the vocal cynics and critics of Syria’s foreign policies are not offering any viable alternatives. If Syria were to stand alone as some critics seem to suggest, they seem to ignore that Syria would not only have to drill its own natural resources when they don’t have the finances let alone technologies for it, but, Syria would also have to manufacture its own military hardware all the way to tanks and fighter jets and, again, Syria at this stage neither has the finances or the technology to do this.

We forgot something here didn’t we? Syria would have had to use its Syrian made military hardware to fend off a UNSC mandated resolution to attack her because it would have had no Russian Veto to avert this.

Some may rightfully be cynical about the long term viability of the Syrian – Russian alliance and whether or not this alliance will be based on a partnership of equality and mutual respect. No one can give any solid guarantees how this will all pan out in 5, 10 or 20 years from now. What we do know however, is that this alliance, at least potentially, has the hallmark of a long and mutually beneficial collaboration in which Syria will be the new regional oil and gas power and replace Saudi Arabia as a supplier and a kowtower to the West and instead be a true partner to Russia and a sovereign and independent regional power.  

 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

BANDAR; THE MAN WHO WOULD NOT BE KING: By Ghassan Kadi

By Ghassan Kadi
23 October 2013

BANDAR; THE MAN WHO WOULD NOT BE KING:

King Abdul Aziz Al Saud, the founder of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who gave the Kingdom the very name of his father, had 45 sons out of whom 36 survived into adulthood.

When he died in 1953, succession was aged-based. Saud, his eldest son was his Crown Prince and until he was deposed by his half-brother Faisal in 1964.

Since then, all Saudi Monarchs have been the direct sons of Abdul Aziz, the founder of the monarchy and the family line.

It is not surprising that all of his sons are now getting on with age, but such is the Saudi succession system. The first in line has to be from the first generation irrespective of his age, until they all die. What happens after all of Abdul Aziz’s sons die? No one really knows.

When Faisal became king in 1964 and until has was assassinated in 1975, the first in line, his Crown Prince was his half-brother Prince Khaled who was already old. Faisal therefore groomed Prince Fahed, another half-brother, the second in line, to be the acting king after he dies.

Khaled became a tokenistic king and Prince Fahed was the power man. Under Khaled, Fahed was the first in line, followed by half-brothers Abdullah (the current king) and Sultan (father of Bandar). This offered the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia a stable succession and a sense for stability.

By the time Fahed became king, he too was too old and Abdullah became the power man and Sultan became his successor.

However, the succession became a bit murky, and Abdullah did not have a power man who would be a good candidate to take the role of the acting king. By then, Sultan was getting too old himself and the generational change was bound to happen sooner or later.

Bandar Bin Sultan (ie son of Sultan) was hoping that his father, the Crown Prince would become king albeit for one day for him (Bandar) to become the power man and the first second generation king. But to Bandar’s utter disappointment, his father (Sultan) died in 2011 whilst Abdullah was still king.
Bandar’s dreams of his father (Sultan) becoming king and appointing him as his successor were shattered. Bandar’s ultimate dream would have been to see his father outliving all of Abdul Aziz’s sons. If that happened, Sultan would have started his own legacy and passed on his throne to Bandar without Bandar having to make any special effort to prove his worth.

With the premature death of prince Sultan and the appointment of prince Nayef (son of Abdul Aziz) as Crown Prince, who died a year after (in 2012) and was replace by another son of Abdul Aziz, prince Salman (born 1935), the generational change was still on the agenda.

The sons of the late Crown Prince Nayef did not have any clout, and if they did, they lost it when their father died before he became king. The sons of the current Crown Prince Salman are not known in the international arena and do not carry any clout of their own either.

This bolstered the dreams of Bandar to become the first king of the second generation, and hopefully to be officially named as Crown Prince, but this time, he had a succession mountain to climb and he had to prove his worth.

With his African slave mother, his fight to the top had to be a huge climb. Saudi Arabia is not only a radical fundamentalist state, but also one that is very racist and Africans are still seen as “niggers” (pardon the expression).

With his complex as being half African combined with his fundamentalist outlooks and unrelenting desire to be king, Bandar has put his utmost effort to present to the Saudi Royalty that he is the man who can protect the Kingdom from the Iranian/Shiite peril (as Sunni fundamentalists see Iran).

Dubbed Bandar Bush being closely allied to the Bush administration(s), being very close to Israel albeit covertly, Bandar found in Syria what he thought was his winning card to curb what he sees as the Shiite invasion of the Sunni world and his passport to become the unrivalled Saudi king.

Syria looked like free-game to him. He thought that by bolstering an alliance against Syria, he would appease his American and Israeli friends, round up enough international propaganda , call for Jihad and lure Islamist recruits with the ultimate objective to topple Bashar. That would also make him the all-Saudi hero who defeated Iran and the Shiite expansion.

Believing that the Americans regarded him as an ally and a spokesperson, he dared to venture to Russia trying to incite Putin to play the US game. When his negotiations with Putin failed, he took another dare when he left the meeting with Putin with a threat. He even threatened Putin that now that the negotiations have failed, the failure meant war and Chechen terrorists wreaking havoc in Russia and the upcoming Winter Olympics.

Little did he know that he was threatening an aspiring world leader of a major power and that he is/was not a true ally of the United States; only a puppet chasing his own dreams of grandeur, fanaticism and crown.

His next effort was based on creating a convincing argument for American intervention in Syria, and hence the alleged chemical attack in Ghuta that he orchestrated.

More and more dreams of Bandar were shattered again and again, the last of which was when Putin put a red line to the USA and said to them (in more ways than one) to keep off Syria.

Bandar now stands alone. He is now frothing and threatening to walk away from his
American allies.

Bashar Assad stood alone for quite a long time, and before him his father Hafez Assad stood alone when Yeltsin’s Russia was not even able to provide him with spare parts for military hardware.

Hafez and Bashar had their people behind them. Their legacy will be recorded in history as men who stood and won against all odds.

Bandar stands alone because he wants to be king. He will be recorded in history as the man who was destined to never be king.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Ogarite Dandache's August 2013 Documentary on Lattakia Massacre.

In mid August 2013, this documentary was finally aired.  Ghassan and I decided after nothing being said of the events in any media and merely news coming in frantic letters from Lattakian friends, that we would describe it in English. Translating it word for word was not an option so whilst some parts are word for word translations other parts are mere descriptions/interpretations of the one hour long documentary.

Ogarite Dandache's documentary is about the massacres, kidnappings and destruction in the Lattakia countryside in the first week of August this year. I have pasted here the description and the link for the documentary as well as the list of names of victims and kidnapped that was collected in the very early days. No doubt this list is more detailed now.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WR9JkE-cTCo&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DWR9JkE-cTCo

Ogarite Dandache of Mayadeen TV produced a special report on the massacres, kidnappings and attacks in the Lattakia area in the first week of August 2013.

The documentary is in Arabic. The following is an interpretation of what the documentary was about.
                                                        ____________________________

The first part of the documentary interviews survivors. One child describes how she hid for three days without food or water. Fifteen people from her village, including relatives were killed. One of the children was recognised in a hospital in Turkey and was brought back to Syria. A doctor speaks about the child’s case. He says the girl has had surgery but as shrapnel is still inside her body he is unable to ascertain what her operation was for. There have been reports of kidnappings with the victims being taken to Turkey for organ harvesting. The little girl says all she remembers was being taken to Turkey with her mother.

Another little girl was hiding in the forest for eleven days without food or water until rescued by the army. Her Aunty is with her in the hospital and said the child has hardly spoken but described that the terrorists came from all directions and took many hostages who till today are still missing. The Aunty described her niece as so traumatized that she barely speaks at all and appears scared of everyone including her family. The child recollected walking with her father and brothers when suddenly they came under attack. She was unsure whether her father was hit by gunfire but she hid in the forest. The Aunty ponders how this child will react when she comes out of shock and realises that 50 members of her family have been killed. The final toll of victims is still unknown.


A boy speaks of being outside when he and his family were shot at by machine gunfire. His father was hit and his male cousin was taken hostage. The boy hid in his cousin’s house with his grandmother and other relatives and things got worse as the house was shelled and his brother was hit in the back and died.


An elderly woman shares her harrowing experience. She came from a small hamlet comprised of three houses. Realising that the terrorists were closing in from all directions she said to her husband that they were coming to kill them. Her husband said they would have to kill him first before anything happened to the family. He was killed. The elderly woman felt great fear for the girls in the family. They managed to hide but the shelling was so bad and the terrorists kidnapped members of the family.


Ogarite showed a map of the areas where the attacks happened. She stated that the terrorists had been in the area for some time and that it wasn’t the first time there had been attacks. She revealed that these attacks were made possible due to some traitors inside the Syrian Arab Army who had defected and given inside information. She explained that the terrain and conditions were not easy for the terrorists to hold and they either retreated or were killed after a short period.


The terrorists aim was to strike a psychological blow to the President and the nation by hitting the village of the birthplace of the Assads. The terrorists had become desperate for some gains due to their failures throughout the country and their failed goal of declaring on Eid an Islamic Emirate in Aleppo. Another objective was to inflame sectarian tensions in Lattakia but that aslo failed. They wanted to lure other militants into the area to support them and to ease pressure off their colleagues in Aleppo by creating a side battle.


In a village called Nabi Younis, the terrorists were faced by strong resistance and were unable to take over. The village is on a hill top in a strategic area. The reporter interviewed the Army commander in charge of defending this town. He explained that it is a key point between the coast and Hama as well as between Idlib and Aleppo and control of this area blocks the terrorists from advancing on other fronts. The commander said their fight was one to defend the country, one of principles and this ground had to be held as imperative.


At the time of this documentary being filmed there were areas where the battles were still going on. Another strategic hill top was under heavy fire and sniper fire. From this point onwards soldiers had to clear the area with artillery and then proceed with hand to hand combat. The journalist had to stop for some time shielding herself from gunfire.


All these areas at the time of the documentary being filmed were close to being secured by the Army.


Ogarite Dandache continued throughout various locations with the Army coming across many abandoned weapons and devices. In one place there were packages of charges and explosives left behind, most likely to be used to block the road leaving it impassable. Packages of foodstuffs and water were found, water and food packages made in Turkey, dates from Qatar amongst other items.



The soldiers came across and ancient cave church called Tallet Al Khodr . It is a shrine to an Islamic saint with pictures of Mother Mary adorning it.


The Army and journalist entered the area near Balouta, a village in the hands of the terrorists. They prepare to take the village back under control. Entering the village they see deceased villagers and a donkey runs around hysterically. Missiles being launched are seen close by. Soldiers take positions throughout the olive groves.


In the village plastic chairs strategically placed in sunny spots sit empty and forlorne. The once idyllic and picturesque village is all smashed up. More foodstuffs are found. The packaging is written in Turkish. Throughout the village homes are completely smashed, photographs of the inhabitants lie everywhere on the ground, photos of children, weddings and happy moments.


Various banners and scrawled messages are around indicating which gangs of terrorists were in this village. Battles went on for two weeks in this village. Some of the names of the gangs were displayed; “Jabhat al Nusra”, “Dawat al Islam”, “Katibet Soukour al-Iz”, “The Islamic State of Iraq and Sham” and “Haraqat Ahrar al-Sham al-Islamiyyah”.


The land is back in the hands of the people but the people are not there. Many have been killed, many taken hostage and many will return to see their homes in ruins.

                                            _____________________________

Names of the victims of the massacres which wiped out entire families, committed by #Al_Nusra_Front backed by hundreds of terrorists from (#Baghdad_and_Al_Sham_Islamic_State_Army ) terrorist group against the civillians in 8 villages in the countryside north-eastern city of#Latakia and #Slenfeh.This happened at the dawn of Sunday 4/8/2013 :

Victims names in village "#Nabata":1 - Hafez Mehrez Shehadeh, 80 years old.2 - Kamal Mohammed Shehadeh and his wife and their three children:- Rend a 11-year-old girl.- Nasr 9 years.- Mohammed 7 years.7 - Jafar alSheikh .... a child of 4 years,he was scared so he asked for water to drink ..., a bearded man stabbed him to death.8 - Yassin Najdat Shehadeh.9 - Jaudat Shehadeh.10 - Emad El Sheikh.11 - Tamadur Salim Shehadeh,17 years old.12 -Khitam Adeeb Shehadeh.13 - Ibrahim AlSheikh.

Names of kidnapped people from village "#Nabata":1 - Hajja Sheikh Ibrahim (Hafiz Shehadeh's wife).2- Fahima Mohamed Osman.3- Ramza al Sheikh and (4)her daughter Tayma.5- Child: Amer Ghassan Yahya6- Ahmed Shehadeh and (7) his wife Shaza Hattab and (8) their little baby :9 months old.9- Ali Hattab10- Kazem Mehrez Shehadeh and (11) his wife Dyaa Sweid and their three children:(12)Ola - (13)Haider - (14) Zain: one year old.15- Mona Fatima (Kidnapped After they slaughtered her husband)17- Samara alSheikh.18- Lotus alSheikh.19- Marah alSheikh.20- Anaam alSheikh, 13 years old.21- Bashar al-Sheikh,11 years old.22- Ahmed Alhiekh.23- Aktham AlSheikh.

Victims names in village "#Alhmbushiah" mostly children:1- Hani Shakouhi.2- Hamza Maryam.3-Tahir Maryam.4- Munther Darwish .5- Hala: Munther Darwish' wife, she was pregnant, the terrorists cut her stomach after killing her and grabbed the baby out and threw him away.6- Ayman Maryam (a little boy).7- Lina Qadera (a little girl).8- Ahmad Maryam (a little boy).9- Refaat Maryam.10-Dalaa Maryam (a little girl).11-Marah Maryam (a little girl).12-Farah Maryam (a little girl).13- Mohammad Maryam (a little boy).14- Jaafar Ismail (a little boy).15- Wesal Tamer.16- Taim Shakouhi (one year old boy).17- Tamer Shakouhi (3 years old boy).18- Lamia Shehadeh and all of her children.19- Intesar Maryam.20- Asrar Maryam.21- Narjes Maryam.22- Wahieb Maryam.23- Nazier Arifu.24- Adel Maryam.25- Wael Maryam.

Names of kidnapped people from village "#Alhmbushiah" by Al-Nusra Front:1- Fadel Shakouhi.2- Wazifa Shakouhi.3- Kenanah Shakouhi.4- Afief Shakouhi.5- Moustafa Shakouhi.6- Faten Maryam.7- Wedad Maryam.8- Elien Maryam.9- Doaa Maryam.

Victims names in village "#AlBalouta" ,Where entire families were wiped out :1- Azab Salim.2-Taim Salim (1 year old).3- Sameir Salim.4- Haider Salim.5- Wafik Ibrahim and his 3 children:6- Shadi Ibrahim.7- Meqdad Ibrahim.8- Ghaidaq Ibrahim.9- Nihad Deip.10- Fawzia Deip.11- Ghadir Deip.12- Amjad Deip.13- Ziena Deip14- Ziad Deip (1 year old).15- Hussein Ibrahim.16- Mariam Ibrahim.17- Zahra Ibrahim.18- Ismail Ibrahim.

Names of the kidnapped people from this village are not known yet.

Victims names in village "#Bermseh"1- Solaiman Fatima and (2) his wife Samira Ghanem.3- Mohamed Fatima and (4)his wife Fekriah Yassin.5- Nadi Fatima, and (6) his wife and (7) (8) their two sons.9- Basem Fatima and (10) his wife and (11)(12)(13) their 3 children.

Names of the kidnapped people from this village are not known yet.

Victims names in village of "#Abu_Mecki":1- Asaad Solaiman Qadra.2- Mohamed Kamel Qadra.3- Faeqa Haidar, a school teacher.

I could not document more information about the fate of this village.

Village "#Aubin" was burned by the terrorists and we don't know anything about the civilians fate there, yet.

Village "#Esterbeh" close to #Salma. the civilians escaped but the terrorists occupied the village.

These information are documented but it's not the final and complete report

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

FROM TEA TO TEA: Ghassan Kadi 16 October 2013

FROM TEA TO TEA:

Ghassan Kadi
16 October 2013

It seems that the “ Tea Revolution” that heralded the American uprising against the British colonialists and eventually led to American Independence, is now likely to be repeated, albeit by name only, in the form of a TEA, a TEA Party Revolution that has within in the unmaking of the United States.

The Tea Revolution Take One and the events that followed it were based on nation-building and forward vision. They brought forward to humanity one of the greatest success stories and a nation that had the potential to reign in greatness and needlessness of colonies, as the wealth of this nation was truly beyond description.

A nation rich in fresh water, millions upon millions of acres of fertile soils, great climate, mineral deposits, oil and gas and plenty of them….there wasn’t almost a single inch of land in the newly-formed 13 United States of America that was waste land. As the nation expanded more towards the Western frontier and then added Alaska to its territory, it truly became the richest nation ever known in human history.

To say that this has all been squandered would be a gross understatement. Reality tells a story of great wealth has been used by corrupt ultra-right wing American politicians to create havoc in the world leaving America heavily in debt and virtually with no resources left. Even ground water has been almost depleted.

This is TEA Revolution Take Two. What is ironic this time is that many of those lunatics who are currently behind the standoff, who orchestrated the American shutdown, who are refusing to lift the debt ceiling, who are putting more pressure of the already weak and squeezed US Dollar, they are themselves the ones who have created the situation that they are protesting about.

What is concerning and rather dangerous is that they do believe that they have a mandate from God to fight the anti-Christ (ie Obama) and that God will provide a way out of the economic disaster they are creating once the anti-Christ has been deposed.

What is really dangerous is the way that those fanatics will deal with the demise. Will the Union withstand the re-emerging and ever-growing schism between South and North? Will America see another Civil War that will break it up?

Having grown up in the Middle East and listening to songs such as “I want to live in America”, living in America seemed the universal global dream back then, and when the Beach Boys sang “everybody’s surfing, surfing USA”, it seems that this slogan has now changed into “everybody’s dodging, dodging USA”.

The demise of America will ultimately bring down the nasty culprits as they become powerless, but it will sadly close a great chapter in human history. Despite its many misgivings all the way from its wars against native Americans, slavery, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq to name a few, America will always be remembered by its true great men and women and many great achievements.

This may sound like a eulogy for the United States, and it is.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

HISTORY'S SHORTEST EPIC September 2013


History’s Shortest Epic

We did not author this but played an active role in promoting it to the West.
It was received with great scepticism and misunderstanding of the role and prestige of Al Manar as a presenter of accurate reports and also an important disseminator of information through “leaks” from Russia, Iran and Syria – the allies of Hezbollah. For those who doubted this report, confirmation in their minds may have resulted when it transpired that Obama made a last minute call to Hollande to call off an attack on Syria.

Daoud Rammal from Assafir Newspaper, Beirut. 13 September 2013


(from a link on Al Manar) * Please note Al Manar is very careful to only publish valid, verified information

 
Translated/Interpreted by Ghassan Kadi and Intibah Wakeup.

 

The Offensive Came to an End When the Two Ballistic Missiles Fell in the Mediterranean.

A well informed diplomatic source has revealed to Assafir very serious information that is relevant to the development of the Syrian crisis which clearly shows, first and foremost, Russia’s military capability and secondly, its diplomatic one in playing this game. It has placed the American aspirations and options subject to the ethical standing of the Russian administration which is exhibiting an icy Siberian temper, rationality and clear knowledge of what it wants and where it’s heading to.

 

The source reveals that the American war on Syria has already started and ended the moment two ballistic missiles were launched, the full story of which remained subject to conflicting reports, Israeli denial and Russian confirmation. This culminated in an official Israeli report claiming that they were a part of a joint American-Israeli exercise and that they fell in the sea and had nothing to do with the Syrian conflict.

 

But what’s the true story that is pertinent in this event? Are there any other relevant matters that were not brought out to the surface because of serious considerations, the most pertinent of which perhaps is the struggle on world domination after the monopoly of the United States ruled supreme in the New World Order?

 

The same source reveals, assuredly, that those two missiles were launched by American forces from a NATO base in Spain.  They were detected by Russia’s early warning systems and Russian defences were immediately launched to intercept them. One was shot down in mid-air whilst the other was deviated from its course and fell into the sea.

 

The source added: the Russian Ministry of Defence Report, which refers to two ballistic missiles having been launched towards the eastern Mediterranean, has deliberately ignored two issues: the first, the source of the launch and the second one, shooting them down.  Why? Because, as soon as this happened, the chief of Russian Intelligence contacted the American Intelligence and told them that targeting Damascus is tantamount to targeting Moscow. He added that they have deliberately omitted from the Report any reference to shooting down the missiles because they did not want to damage the (Russian- American) bilateral relationship and to prevent further escalation. He added that America needed to quickly reconsider its policies, directions and intentions about the Syrian conflict and they could rest assured that Russia cannot be kept out of the Mediterranean.

 

The source added: this direct and undeclared confrontation between Moscow and Washington has further compounded Obama’s administration and its certainty that Russia will go all the way until the end in the Syrian crisis, and that there is no way out of this trap for America except through a Russian initiative that will save America’s face. It further means that there is no peace or war in Syria that excludes Russia, he said.

 

The source also added that: to avoid further American embarrassment, and after Israel denied any knowledge about those two missiles in its first statement, which was the truth, Washington asked Tel Aviv to adopt the story in a way that saves America’s face before the international community. This was particularly because those two missiles were meant to be the first of a series of attacks last week and a signal for launching the American operation.  Obama was then supposed to go to the G20 afterwards to negotiate with Russia (from a position of power) and make negotiations concerning the head of the President of Syria, Bashar al Assad and, instead, found himself going there looking for a way out of this trap.

 

The source indicated that after the American-Russian missile confrontation, Moscow increased the number of its military experts inside Syria and bolstered its presence in the Mediterranean by sending more vessels.  It further chose the timing of its initiative concerning the prevention of attack on Syria after the G20.  Many meetings occurred during the period of the Summit which were followed by two consecutive visits (to Moscow) one by the deputy Iranian Foreign Minister and the other by the Syrian Foreign Minister. During these meetings the Russian initiative was cooked up with Syrian pre-approval suggesting the handing over supervision of Syrian chemicals to  International Observers and assuring Syria’s willingness to sign up to the UN Chemical Weapons Convention.

 

The source argues that one of the first results of the American-Russian ballistic confrontation was the UK House of Common’s “No” vote against partaking of war against Syria which was followed by several similar Europeans stands, the most prominent being that expressed by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

 


 

Friday, September 20, 2013

BRICK BY BRICK

BRICK BY BRICK:
By Ghassan Kadi
20 September 2013

The rise of BRICS is not a secret. The mono-polar New World Order is no more, and the age of di-poles, or perhaps tri-poles is on the rise.

In every experience humanity has, it gets offered lessons to learn from and heed if  it chooses to do so. When the USSR collapsed and the United States found itself as the world’s single super power, it had a golden opportunity to live by the principles and constitution on which is was formed. It had every chance to be a beacon of light to shine on humanity and turn a very vicious era into one of peace and enlightenment.

The rest is history.

The future of BRICS and how decisively it becomes a serious global bloc will depend on its preparedness to undergo a major overhaul as soon as possible and before it gets bogged down by irrelevant matters and in stifling quagmires.

In brief, for the BRICS nations to rival the West, they will need to be prepared to take all challenges at different levels.

Had it not been for the Russian inheritance of the USSR’s military know-how, Russia would not now be in a position to impose a stand like the one it recently did about Syria. That said, it would be very short-sighted for the BRICS nations to rely merely on the military strength of Russia all the while the enormous strengths of China and India are kept close to the chests of the home nations.

The BRICS nations must form a military alliance that can rival NATO. India and China must think further than their border disputes and the trivial matters that affected their bilateral relationship and focus on the bigger picture.

The BRICS nations must also expand their membership base. In view of the current geopolitical situation of the world, the alliance should include countries like Iran, Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Malaysia, Indonesia, Iraq, Syria, North Korea, Egypt and try to lure Japan in.

Japan is at a fork. It has recently decided to bolster its defense capabilities in fear of China. It does so because it knows that the USA will not come to its aid should Japan go into conflict with China. Japan and China must put the mishaps of history behind and move forward. If France and Germany were able to do it, then so should Japan and China.

Most importantly perhaps, the BRICS alliance must find a new super currency to replace the American Greenback.

Gaddafi was trying to bring in Gold based currency just before he was plotted against and murdered. Perhaps this grand plan of his has hastened his demise. One small single nation such as Libya could not challenge the supreme rule of the USD, but BRICS can.

Without a strong BRICS alliance reshaping the world, a desperate USA may take even more drastic and panic-driven actions than the ones it has already taken in the last few years and decades in order for it to be able to continue to master the world and have full hegemony over its resources whilst backed by its ability to buy commodities by printing more money.

In the absence of another superpower, America may resort to much more draconian actions than the ones it has already done. It may use its military might to pirate oil resources and even force smaller nations into economic deals under the threat of nuclear attacks. Is this too far-fetched? Not if the USA gets squeezed in a corner and it has absolutely no other way out, knowing that whatever it does, it will remain unchallenged.

Only a strong and cohesive BRICS alliance can save the world from the fallout of the inevitable fall of the USA.

The BRICS nations have already started to build their own Internet cable network. Is this one of the steps that the alliance is making in order to be more independent from the West? Only time will tell.

KNOW THINE HEZBOLLAH:

KNOW THINE HEZBOLLAH:
By Ghassan Kadi
September 15, 2013

Westerners in general, and Americans in particular, know very little about Hezbollah apart from the little they hear on Western media and very occasionally what is said by some Western politicians.

The objective of this article is to shed some light on Hezbollah to Westerners, and to provide them with information about Hezbollah that they would not hear on Western media.

The loudest recent Western political statement about Hezbollah perhaps was the EU’s declaration of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

A branding such as “terrorism” is a very strong one, and it constructs an even stronger psychological barrier that can invariably be insurmountable.

Unless one has special interests in a particular group or individuals, the average person will not launch his/her own investigative research seeking personal assessments of organizations such as Nazism, AlQaeda, or cult leaders such as Hitler, Bin Laden, Pol Pot or Milosevic. The lack of interest favours the convenience of using the terms and mindsets of the tabloids.

Having said that, history clearly shows that many such definitions have been revisited as the result of unfolding of relevant situations. To elaborate by referring to just one example, Ho Che Minh and his Vietcong were demonized by the USA and its allies. The two names were synonymous with the “Communist Peril” a definition that remains alive only in the minds of ultra-conservatives few. By-and-large, Che is now regarded globally as a great hero and the Vietcong are seen as freedom fighters.

In reality, there are great parallelisms between the Vietcong and Hezbollah and many similarities, despite the many differences.

The Vietcong were fighting an American aggression on Vietnamese soil, and they used the USSR and China to support them militarily and strategically.

In a very similar manner, Hezbollah is fighting an Israeli/American backed aggression in Lebanon, and it is using Syria and Iran to support it militarily and strategically.

Both of the Vietcong/American and the Hezbollah/Israeli wars are asymmetrical, in which stealthy organizations are fighting regular armies with heavy hardware. Both organizations have been branded as enemies of the United States.

The nature of the battles on the ground however are different. Vietnam is densely vegetated and the intense canopy gave the Vietcong cover, and the USA used Agent Orange to defoliate the jungle and make the “enemy” visible, but this didn’t win the Americans the war. The Vietnam War saw the use of heavy B52 bombers carpet bombing wide areas on the ground; something that hasn’t with Hezbollah, or at least not yet. At the end of the day however, the Vietcong won against all odds.

South Lebanon is a hilly area but not densely vegetated. Hezbollah had to learn the trick of building intricate network of adjoining heavily sheltered tunnels. What is more pertinent here is that in between the 1960’s (ie the time of the Vietnam War) and now, there has been huge advances in war technology, and stealth and determination alone are no longer enough to win wars.

What the average Westerner does not know, because his/her governments and Western media do not want him/her to know is that, in 1978, south of Lebanon went under Israeli control and occupation. The Lebanese population suffered from the same Israeli atrocities committed against Palestinians. The Lebanese could not breathe sighs of relief and sense freedom until they finally defeated Israel and forced it out, at the hands of Hezbollah.

This was hardly ever mentioned in Western media.

Just prior to the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, Israel established a Lebanese army (The Lebanese Free Army) from defectors of the regular army and who were pro-Israelis. They established for them strategic positions on hilltops and roadsides to work as proxies and protectors of Israel. At a time when there was absolutely no resistance from Lebanon towards Israel, none whatsoever, Israel was shelling southern Lebanese villages and towns on a regular and daily basis. Such news never reached the Western media. Despite the many complaints that the Lebanese government submitted to the UN, all it got back was condemnations but no forceful action to stop Israel from attacking.

Whilst it is true that the PLO established a base for itself in South Lebanon after it was kicked out of Jordan in 1970, and whilst it is true that the PLO has launched a few rockets attacks on Northern Israel between 1970 and 1982, the Israeli response was not only disproportionate to the extent of perhaps 1000 to 1, but it also targeted Lebanese villages and villagers who had nothing to do with the PLO and didn’t even offer them any protection.

When in 1982 Israel came in and invaded Lebanon to drive out the PLO once and for all, it was met with the cheers of many Southern Lebanese because they thought that this meant an end for any need of Israeli hostility. This is needless to say that rogue elements within the PLO were acting like a state within a state, intimidating the Lebanese population that coerced to host them and even imposing demands for protection money from businesses.

The honeymoon between Israel and the people of South Lebanon and the wishful thinking of a better future didn’t last long as Israel soon started to act like an aggressor of a new kind, bringing in daily 100’s of trucks of Israeli goods across the border to be sold in local markets before any local products could be sold and, by randomly rounding up and imprisoning tens of thousands of Lebanese youth without any charges for days, weeks, months, and in some cases up to 3 or 4 years. It became so obvious that Israelis didn’t even keep records of the people they imprisoned because some people were imprisoned twice or even three times without any charges. This is not to mention the long traffic queues, the permits needed to go from one area to another…..

Orchards were leveled, factories were looted, even water was diverted. The whole exercise was based on spreading fear of the conqueror and to bring humiliation and intimidation to the people of South Lebanon. But before too long, this terrorizing technique backfired and there was a very strong resentment for the Israelis festering in the Lebanese of the south.

The odds of doing anything effective against Israel were extremely low. Israel had the upper hand, troops with their hardware on the ground in their tens of thousands, their proxies (The Lebanese Free Army), air superiority, technology, US logistic support - you name it, and all the Lebanese resistance had was a few machine guns, grenades but they had a will of steel.

From what started off as the “Lebanese Resistance” in late 1982 became the backbone of Hezbollah. They quickly had to learn as mentioned earlier, that they needed to have a technological cutting edge, and they were very quick learners.

Before too long, and after a series of planned and videoed operations against the Israeli occupiers, which resulted in more than 500 Israeli casualties, in May 2000, without any prior announcement, overnight, Israel packed up its gear and retreated, leaving behind its Lebanese ally, the Lebanese Free Army, without any cover.

Israel referred to this retreat as a “tactical withdrawal”. In reality, it was the most humiliating defeat it had suffered since its inception in 1948. Israel had never before or after withdrawn from occupied Arab land without any negotiations and without getting some tradeoff. If anything, the tradeoff meant that Hezbollah now can launch its rockets from the border itself giving Hezbollah the greatest advantage. This was no tradeoff for Israel, this was not a “tactical withdrawal”, this was a ground-breaking and utterly humiliating defeat for Israel. This also was a source of inspiration for Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza and a reason for believing that the myth of the “undefeatable army” is no more.

Later on in July 2006, Israel miscalculated again and decided to take a gamble against Hezbollah who had just kidnapped two Israeli soldiers at the border site. Shortly after the event, Israel unleashed hell on the whole of Lebanon with the intention of crippling Hezbollah, its defense capability and teaching them a lesson.

The result was another crushing defeat for Israel. It was unable to advance its ground troops into Lebanon even after very heavy aerial bombardments. When ground forces were able to move in they did so to soon realize that they had fallen into traps. The Merkava Tanks, the pride and joy of the Israeli army and technology, the tank that was meant to repel any anti-armoured vehicle grenade, was crippled and hit on tens of occasions. The Israeli Navy lost a warship, and before too long, the IDF found itself bogged in a big quagmire and yet wasn’t able to stop the barrage of Hezbollah rockets on Israel and, if anything, the rockets were going deeper and deeper into Israel as the war progressed, reaching Dimona at one stage.

All the while, Israel was neither able to stop Al Manar TV from telecasting nor Al Manar radio from broadcasting, even though the headquarters had been bombed several times, but, they managed to stay on air by transmitting from secret locations that Israel was unable to locate despite its advanced technologies. Furthermore, Hezbollah fighters continued to be able to communicate with each other and their HQ’s even though all telecommunications infrastructure inside Lebanon was totally destroyed by Israel including cellular phones.

At the end of this, Israel was unable to stop Hezbollah rockets, unable to gain any ground and unable to retrieve the two kidnapped soldiers. Hezbollah came out of this more powerful, more invigorated and more determined to upgrade its arsenal and preparedness for the next wave of attack.

In more recent times, Israel has spotted and down a drone in Southern Israel. Hezbollah claimed ownership of the drone and reported that it wasn’t the first to be sent and won’t be the last.

In reality therefore, Hezbollah has been diligently fighting Israel and its aspirations to control Lebanon, with a high level of technical skill and prowess. So, where does the tag “terrorist” come from one may ask?

Hezbollah operatives have never done any military action outside Lebanon until very recently, and that recent exception was in Syria fighting alongside the Syrian Army against Al Qaida and affiliated legions ie what the West wants the whole world to be believe them to be “Syrian Freedom Fighters”. After all, the objective of the entire offensive against Syria is to stifle any resistance to Israel, including of course Hezbollah.

Hezbollah has been accused of a bus bomb in Bulgaria in recent times but, there was no solid proof of this. Hezbollah has never ever engaged in any military action, overt or covert, in a manner that terrorizes innocent civilians by the definition of terrorism. When its rockets fell on Israeli towns in 2006 and before, this was during combat, at a time during which Israeli jets were littering Lebanese towns and villages, that had high population densities, with countless number of cluster bombs, depleted uranium and other internationally prohibited weapons. Again, the Hezbollah response was a tiny fraction of the number and magnitude of the thousands upon thousands of air sorties and ground and naval bombardments from the Israeli side.

Hezbollah was never ever engaged in acts such as hijacking jetliners, putting bombs on buses, suicide attacks or any other act that “traditional” terrorist organizations are infamously famous for. Neither does it get engaged in domestic or overseas political assassinations or any of the actions government organizations such as the Mossad or the CIA, though it has been accused of some without any proof.

It is not by accident that Israel and the USA want to lower the stature of an organization like Hezbollah to that of a terrorist organization and thereby trying to absolve themselves from having to concede publicly that they have been losing a war against a very highly trained, highly disciplined, a technologically advanced, a very highly organized and a very powerful, capable and determined foe.

Branding Hezbollah as a terrorist organization is a political ploy, a false flag alarm, to be used as a pretext for any future attack on Lebanon that Israel or its allies may want to undertake in the future.

Hezbollah’s affiliation with Syria and Iran and its Islamic nature are used by the West to bolster the terrorist claim. But in the Middle East, it is Israel that has been using prohibited weapons, occupying land against UNSC mandates. It is the state that possesses chemical weapons and nuclear weapons including Hydrogen Bombs. It is Israel that is threatening to attack Iran. It is the USA that is threatening to attack Syria and Iran.

Who are the true terrorists of the Middle East and the world? Let’s hope that history will be able to tell the story fairly and honestly. If there is any justice at the end of the day, Hezbollah will have regarded like the Vietcong; a local community of freedom fighters.
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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

AMERICA'S BOOGIE MAN AND LYNCH MOB: by Ghassan Kadi 4 Sept 2013

AMERICA'S BOOGIE MAN AND LYNCH MOB:
By Ghassan Kadi

4 September 2013

 A dear FB friend of mine, who is also a personal friend and like a young brother to me, is a Lebanese American.

He recently made a moving posting (in Arabic) on his wall commemorating his 28th anniversary of settling in the USA, saying among other things how grateful he is for the USA that provided him with wonderful education, the chance to succeed in business, great schooling for his young children, and best doctors in the world.

He added on saying that he has met a countless number of wonderful , humane, welcoming and caring Americans.

He ended his posting by wondering how could a great country like the United States have such a level of hypocrisy when it comes to foreign politics.

No one can deny America's wonderful achievements, all the way from the tungsten light bulb to the Internet to name a few. No one can deny the great men and women that America has treasured humanity with, all the way from Lincoln to Helen Keller, again to name a few. No one can deny the achievements of the American Revolution that actually inspired the French Revolution and European reform.

America does not have a colonialist past and heritage like some European nations. As a matter of fact, Woodrow Wilson utterly refused to take on any colonial role and trophies after the victory of the Allies in WWI. He was also instrumental in establishing the League Of Nations, which was a precursor of today's UN.

As to how America's role in the world changed after WWII is not to be discussed herein. What is more relevant is its inherited psyche of what it perceives as "National Security" and the pretext it has in its culture to achieve it.

Sadly, it seems that America continues to live under an obsession of the fear of 1) the Boogie Man, and 2) Lynch-Mob mentality.

America's Boogie Man has changed over the ages; from the Indians (ie native Americans), to witches, to Communists, to terrorists and all what comes in between.

Up until as late as late 19th Century, Indians and witches were invariably dealt with by lynch mobs. Even though the constitution and its many amendments guaranteed freedom and equality, facts on the ground remained different and African Americans did not become "free" until Martin Luther King paid for this freedom with his blood.

The argument for and against America's ability to reach domestic equity remains highly debatable. But let's go back to my friend's question in relation to its international policies.

It seems that America has taken its fear and obsession of the Boogie Man and the Lynch Mob mentality as a pretext for its international policies.

Some may rightfully argue that America is a proxy for the Israel Lobby. They argue that both of the Democrats and the Republicans are no more than Israeli tokens. Whilst there is more than meets the eye to support those arguments, facts remain that politicians on both sides of the divide have been able to rally public support under the notion and danger of the Boogie Man; aka National Security.

What complicates matters further for the alleged Boogie Man of today is that he is neither an American citizen nor protected by the constitution. He can be a very remote "enemy" half the way across the world.

For the right or wrong reasons, and history tells us that in most instances America intervened internationally after the end of WWII for the wrong reasons, different American administrations did not find it very difficult to generate enough domestic outrage, fear, and need to deal with the new Boogie Man overseas by way of Lynch Mob mentality.

With this mentality, and with ever- increasing financial problems, America has been lifting the bar on defining the Boogie Man and the Lynch Mob mentality culminating in the current status quo, in which America regards the whole world as a theatre of its operations for the ultimate objective of securing what it perceives as its National Security, and thus assigning itself as a world police in the eyes and minds of American voters who live in this fear and are keen on achieving resolutions that serve the alleged National Security.

American administrations of both Democrats and Republicans have toyed with this American fear and lynch factor to buy and bolster voters' support. They both know the weakness of their voters and their underlying and inherent mental construct, and even though they have faced a lot of opposition from free-minded Americans, they have thus far been literally able to get away with murder and even genocide by taking international stands that are in total contradiction of the lofty principles upon which the American Constitution and the Bill Of Rights have been based.

If America did not take that international course of action, if it did not render itself the world bully, if it did not waste its resources waging needless wars all over the globe, and if walked the talk, it would have had all it took to be the true world leader and police it assumes for itself.

Sadly, this seems to be the predicament of all super powers throughout history. All the while, humanity sinks in more and more in darkness as it continues to operate on the model of might is right, instead of right is might.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

WHO ARE THE SUPPORTERS OF ASSAD By Ghassan Kadi 10 Dec 2011

WHO ARE THE SUPPORTERS OF ASSAD
By Ghassan Kadi
10 Dec 2011

 In the old City of Damascus, just outside the famous Hamidiyye Souk, is the Grand Omayyad Mosque that dates back to the 7th Century AD. This mosque houses the tomb of John the Baptist, known in Islam as Yah...ya, peace be upon him.

That same Grand Mosque, that is meant to be one of the biggest Sunni shrines, has eight names written inside its great dome; Allah (God), Mohammad, Abou Bakr, Omar, Othman, Ali, Hasan and Husein (photo attached)

The five names that follow the name of the almighty are those of the prophet and his Kaliphs, the pillars of Sunni Islam. The last two names, Hasan and Husein, are the sons of Imam Ali, and together with their father are the pillars of Shiite Islam.

The Grand Omayyad Mosque is a living ancient historic testimonial that proves without any shadow of doubt that Christianity and Islam in both of its major sects have lived side by side in Syria for centuries.

A little stroll from the Mosque to the other side of the Hamidiyye souk is the tomb of a different icon; Saladin. Saladin though is simplistically perceived as a Moslem hero, he was in fact a national hero defending the Levant from the foreign invaders; the Crusaders.

A good look at the post-Crusader history reveals that Christianity and Islam lived side by side before and after the infamous campaigns that reined death and horror. When Saladin liberated Jerusalem, he did not make any retributions against its Christian inhabitants as some expected. Instead of creating a blood-bath, he ordered his troops to spray its streets with rose water.

A few kilometers from Damascus in Maaloula and Sidnaya are perhaps the most ancient churches on earth. They continue to conduct sermons in Aramaic, the language of the Christ who spoke Aramaic not Hebrew.

With the rich and eventful history of Syria, it is not surprising that the demographics of the Syrian society are rather kaleidoscopic. What unites them and what divides them however is grossly misunderstood by the West.

With what is happening in Syria, it becomes imperative to have a good look at the Syrian society in an attempt to be able to define what it takes for a Syrian citizen to either support or oppose Bashar Assad; the incumbent Syrian President.

The West is only able to look at the Syrian community on ethnic, religious and sectarian divides. In the wake of the unrest in Syria, the Western media have been busy running statistics about percentages of different sects with an obvious attempt to portray the President as a leader of a minority group with a monopoly over the whole country.

The Syrian society is however divided on political rather than religious, sectarian, and ethnic lines.

By-and-large, religious and sectarian divides have not existed in Syria and there is a clear history to prove it. The history is in the records. The Grand Mosque says it all.

Religious and sectarian divides in Syria are only alive in the hearts and minds of few fundamentalist fanatics; the same mental breed of people that the US and its allies are sending troops to fight in Afghanistan. They have different names and different umbrellas, but whether one calls them Al-Qaeda, Talibans, Salafists… the essence is almost identical.

Being Sunni, those fanatics hate Bashar for no reason other than him being an Alawi. This sector of the Syrian society are the prime opposers to Bashar. They may be the biggest group in terms of number, but even if they are not, they are militarised, very well organised, bolstered by outside sources namely Saudi Arabia, and ironically under the blessing of the same USA that is fighting fundamentalism in Afghanistan.

Those Islamists have tried in the early eighties to slump Syria into a sectarian civil war akin to the one that was engulfing neighbouring Lebanon at the time. For a fairly long period of time, they targeted and killed prominent Alawi army officers and personalities. When Hafez Assad (the then President) had no option but to stop them militarily, they finally sought refuge in a mosque in Hama. The only way to deal with them was to attack the mosque.

This incident is still used to by Assad haters as a huge tarnish on the Assad legacy. The Western media keep repeating this story so it stays fresh in the minds of people. It is often used as a catch-cry by the Islamists for recruitment.

Ironically, the Wako Texas incident of the early 90’s seems to be totally forgotten. In essence, there is no difference at all between what the Syrian army did in Hama in 1982 and what the FBI did in Wako a decade later.

The other major group of anti-Assad Syrians are those who are basically sick and tired of the state of emergency rules and civil restrictions. They are predominantly reform seekers. In essence, these are a rather unorganized group.

There are good reasons for demanding reform in Syria. The stronghold on authority has created corruption that needed to be dealt with.

In reality, Bashar embarked on a reform program ever since he assumed office. He did not want to do this in a bang in order not to create chaos. Some people, especially the youth, seem to have run out of patience.

A deeper analysis of the reformists reveals that their underlying dissent is directly or indirectly related to Syria’s state of war with Israel. Whilst Syria has not been actively engaged in direct combat for some time, it needs to keep up with military technology and this does not come cheaply. The infamous Camp David peace treaty between Israel and Egypt has put Syria into a much more precarious situation. The war effort budget in Syria has been and continues to have the lion’s share.

Most of Syria’s restrictive regulations and restrictions are imposed by the state of war. Trade sanctions have been part-and-parcel of Syria’s recent economic history. In fact, in some instances, they were self imposed.

Hafez Assad is infamously remembered for depriving the Syrian population from bananas. The banana example elaborates his economic policies in the simplest manner possible. In the mid 70’s, one could not find and buy bananas anywhere in Syria. Hafez Assad’s message was loud and clear. If you want bananas, we are not going to waste our hard earned foreign cash to import bananas, so go and grow bananas locally. And they eventually did.

For nearly thirty years, Hafez Assad kept the belt very tight, but in the meantime, major advancements were made in commerce, manufacturing, agriculture, public services, infra-structure etc….all the while the military was getting a huge chunk of the national budget. Those who know Syria and go there on a regular basis and are able and prepared to make honest statements about it, can clearly see how the country emerged from the ashes.

The very skilful Syrian artisans were even able to manufacture such items as spare parts for cars without having to import a thing. For many years, one would see very old cars and busses running in Syria powered by such skills. Imports were restricted to absolute necessities. This self-imposed trade embargo by the way, will make it very difficult for any trade sanctions to work against Syria. Syrian people are well used to be self sufficient. If anything, Syria in the past has opted to implement its own bans on US imports.

Nation-building programs of the calibre that the Assad legacy launched in Syria require stability and continuity. This cannot be achieved through Western style democracy. Under such regimes, party politics dictate making election promises in order to gain power even when the promises conflict with long-term national interests. The West is full of such examples and should not brag about its democracy as the be-all-and-end-all system that mankind has developed.

The restrictions are therefore merely austerity measures meant to serve the war effort on one hand and nation-building on the other hand. To demand lifting them prematurely ultimately reflects an unwillingness to participate in either one or both. This is a major indictment against the calls for fast-tracking the change. Such fast changes are clearly not in the long-term interest of the country. Reform is always difficult to implement in any given country, and with all the challenges that face Syria, reform in Syria needs to be done properly and in accordance with a time table that does not compromise the national interest.

In the Arab World, the only state that is a thorn in the side of Israel is Syria because it would not sign a peace treaty with Israel and because it supports Hezbollah and had a major role in the Israeli defeat in South Lebanon.

A change in Syrian politics will have serious repercussions on the balance of power in the Middle East, and Israel will be the biggest beneficiary.

The US/Israel coalition has been trying to unsettle Syria for some time. The USA was planning to use the invasion of Iraq as a stepping stone towards invading Syria and Iran. The Iraqi quagmire meant that they needed another plan. The so-called Arab Spring gave them that opportunity.

The majority of Syrians are not in neither the fundamentalist nor the surrenderist ranks. The majority of Syrians are secular patriots, people who stand up with their President because they are aware of the importance of the historic stand they need to take in order to defend their national dignity and not be subjugated by Western plots. They are prepared to take sacrifices as they have done in the past. They are willing to weather sanctions. They are not on a hurry to implement reform, and they definitely are not seeking Western style democracy.