All posts tagged: Middle East

America’s Genocide in Yemen Starts Tuesday

by Eric Zuesse The Houthis in Yemen are expected to start being slaughtered en-masse on June 12th. The U.S.-Saudi-UAE plan is to destroy the Yemenese port city of Al Hudaydah, which is the only entry-way by which food reaches approximately seven million Shiites, members of the Houthi tribe, who occupy the western third of Yemen, and who had recently ruled all of Yemen. The U.S. provides the weapons and the training, and the United Arab Emirates supplies the pilots for this operation, which is financed mainly by the Saudis. The objective is to establish a joint UAE-Saudi-run government of Yemen. On Monday, June 11th, the New York Times bannered “U.N. Pulls Out of City in Yemen, Fearing Bloody Assault by Arab Coalition”. That report didn’t mention that this is America’s fundamentalist-Sunni coalition of Arab monarchies, using American weapons, in order to bomb and blockade, and now starve to death, approximately seven million Houthis, and that it’s part of a broader war in which the U.S. and Israel are allied with fundamentalist-Sunni monarchies, which are trying …

AUMF 2018 and the “forever war” in the Middle East

by Renee Parsons The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on May 16th regarding the authorization of a new Authority for the Use of Military Force 2018 (AUMF). Despite a current lack of unanimity on the committee, the draft authorization (SJ Res 59) has been brought forward as a working document despite the lack of successful back-room negotiations in recent weeks. The hearing was conducted with no quorum present, the lack of which denied the sponsors an easy vote of approval. The AUMF 2018 would replace AUMF’s 2001 and 2002 which proponents suggest would remove the onerous Constitutional responsibility from a self-proclaimed over-burdened Congress from voting to approve every single separate act of war. While final approval of the AUMF 2018 represents a “Forever Vote,” product of a low vibration consciousness, the ACLU, which should be leading a vigorous national campaign against the proposal, appears absent from the debate. Approval of a one-size-fits-all AUMF will greatly facilitate the Pentagon’s long held desire to ‘take out’ seven countries in five years – although somewhat behind …

Do you want to travel around the Middle East? Think twice!

Text and Photos by Andre Vltchek Do you think it is that simple to travel around the Middle East? Think twice! Ask Palestinians, about trying to get from a point A to a point B in their own nation. Some time ago, sitting in an old Ottoman hotel in Bethlehem, I asked a waiter what it takes to travel from there to Gaza, where he said, several of his relatives were living. He looked at me as if I had fallen from the Moon: “There is no way I could travel there. If my relatives get very sick or die, then, in theory, I could apply for an Israeli travel permit to go there, but there is absolutely no guarantee that they would approve, or that I could get to Gaza on time…” I tried to appear naïve: “And what if someone from an Arab country which does not recognize Israel, wants to come here, to Bethlehem? Like, a Lebanese pilgrim or just a tourist? Could he or she enter from Jordan?” The waiter weighed …

Let’s talk about the Golan Heights

Yesterday an Al-Monitor piece by Akiva Eldar contrasted Netanyahu’s success in getting Trump out of the Iran deal, and ‘recognising’ Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, with his failure to pull off the same with Europe.

Israel’s Legislature Votes War Against Syria

Eric Zuesse The key decision now will be made by Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. On May 1st, Al Masdar News headlined “Netanyahu is granted the ability to wage war without the Knesset”, and reported that Israel’s Knesset or legislature had voted late on Monday night April 30th, to hand entirely to the far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to his extremely far-right Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman the decision as to whether or when to invade any country — the main actual target is Syria, but Iran and Lebanon are also in Israel’s gunsights. Israel’s newspaper Haaretz reported about this on April 30th, while explaining that this legislation was “transferring responsibility for declaring war from the full cabinet to the smaller security cabinet. The joint committee of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee rejected his request but it was later voted for by the Knesset plenum.” The real change that the new law introduces is to transfer Israel’s war-making decisions away from both the Knesset and the …

USA: No Restitution to Syria

by Eric Zuesse On April 22nd, an anonymous U.S. “Senior Administration Official” told a press conference in Toronto, that the only possible circumstance under which the U.S. Government will agree to pay anything for the harms (bombings of infrastructure etc.) it’s doing to Syria, would be if Syria will agree to cede, to U.S. control, a portion of its land: QUESTION: When you say no reconstruction money for areas that are under Assad’s control, there is some reconstruction money that’s currently frozen or under question for areas that are not under Assad’s control? MODERATOR: That’s stabilization, which is different from reconstruction, just to clarify. “Stabilization” is the solidification of control by the U.S. Government, via its proxies (‘rebels’ trained by U.S. and financed by the Sauds) who are fighting to overthrow Syria’s Government; and the U.S. won’t pay any reconstruction unless it’s “stabilizing” that particular part of Syria. If America’s 7-year-long effort at regime-change in Syria turns out to be a total failure (grabbing no part of its territory), then the U.S. won’t pay even …

Douma Chemical Attack: Timeline of facts so far

A brief post, collating all the known events surrounding the build up to the alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria on the 7/8th of April 2018.

WATCH: Tony Benn Speaks to Parliament

Tony Benn would be 93 years old today, and in tribute to greatest Prime Minister Britain never had, we publish this video, showing at once how right he was in his predictions, and how little the political scene has really changed. He cites America fabricating a pretext for war in the Middle-East, the dangers of acting outside the UNSC, the hypocrisy of supporting Saudi Arabia whilst condemning alleged human rights abuses in other countries and the vile hate propaganda creating a fever for war in the press. He talks about America’s history of brutality and the consequent lack of moral authority, the profit of the military industrial complex and their real motivation being oil and energy supplies. He was speaking in 1990.

Syrian Refugees are Going Home, the West is Ready to Attack

Text and Photos by Andre Vltchek. Originally published by New Eastern Outlook. “How many years have you been living in Beirut?” I asked my barber, Eyad, after he told me, beaming, that in three months from now, he will be returning home, to Damascus. Even one year ago, such conversations would not be easy to commence. But now, everything has been changing, rapidly and, one wants to believe, irreversibly. Although nothing is truly irreversible, the better things are on the ground in Syria, the more threatening the West is becoming, particularly the United States. Now it is, once again, intimidating Damascus, ready to attack the Syrian army, something that could easily drag Russia and others into a lethal confrontation. The war! The West is clearly obsessed with perpetual war in Syria, while most of the Syrian people are passionate about bringing back an everlasting peace. “6 years,” replied my barber, preparing his razor. I detected sadness and indignation in his voice, “6 years too many!” “After you go back, then what? Are you going to …

Guardian trashes White Helmet sceptics

Today’s Guardian (December 18th) plumbs new depths in its narrative on Syria. A Spotlight Piece by Olivia Solon – her profile refers to her as “a senior technology reporter for Guardian US in San Francisco” – carries the header, How Syria’s White Helmets became victims of an online propaganda machine.

First Opinion Poll held in War-torn Syria

Sophie Mangal, Inside Syria Media Center There had been general public opinion poll conducted by independent sociologists and political scientists from all around the world in war-torn Syria. The citizens of the state shared their views on the main events and situation now taking place in the country, their attitude towards other countries acting actively on the fate of the country and also called the main problems of the state. This analysis led to the identification of the population of Syria’s relationship to the conflict with the participation of various parties, as well as to find out at last where the truth that the media usually publish lies and how big is the falsehood. It is noticed that the survey was conducted in all the Syrian provinces including those under pressure of war. According to preliminary data, 97% of respondents believe that the country is currently suffering from the crisis caused by corruption, internal weakness of the state and the collusion of other countries against Syria, consequences of which fuel and enhance a humanitarian catastrophe …

Middle East, post-Daesh: Some Possible Scenarios

by Denis Churilov ISIS/Daesh is likely to be defeated in Syria and Iraq very soon. But will it bring peace to the region?  No. There are many potential local conflicts that can break out in the nearest future. Some of them are already going on, some of them are in the dormant state, waiting to be triggered.  Other conflicts might be created spontaneously out of thin air. Let’s try to predict the upcoming conflicts in the Middle East.  The following list contains the worst case scenarios that are not mutually exclusive and can, in fact, facilitate one another in a domino effect style: A civil war in Iraq between Kurdish Erbil and Iranian-backed Baghdad government. We have already seen reports on the clashes between Peshmerga forces and the Shia militias in 2016. The recent developments with the referendum may soon exacerbate the situation, especially considering that ISIS has been seriously weakened and now can’t serve as a unifying common threat factor. Kurds in Turkey. The clashes between various Kurdish militants and Erdogan’s government have been …

Hezbollah and Syrian Army Finishing Off Terrorists of Al-Nusra

From Lebanon, text and photos: Andre Vltchek It came unexpectedly, rapidly and with great force: on 21 July 2016, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Syrian army from their side, in unison, attacked positions of the malevolent terrorist group, Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly known as Al-Nusra Front), in the mountainous province of Jroud Arsal in Bekaa Valley, on the border of two countries. Simultaneously, the Lebanese Army surrounded and hermetically sealed the area around Arsal town, preventing new terrorist forces from entering the battle zone. More than 150 militants were killed. Two dozen Hezbollah fighters lost their lives. Despite the difficult mountainous terrain, the battle was swift, heroic and well coordinated. The group was forced into accepting a ceasefire agreement, which went into effect on 27 July, and which stipulates that all of its fighters will be transferred by the army to a designated area inside Syria (Idlib). Vanessa Beeley, Associate Editor of the 21st Century Wire, wrote this comment for my essay, literally from “the rubble of East Aleppo”: This is a momentous victory for …

Amnesty International Admits Syrian “Saydnaya” Report Fabricated Entirely in UK

Amnesty International’s 48 page report titled, “Syria: Human Slaughterhouse: Mass Hangings and Extermination at Saydnaya Prison, Syria,” boasts bold claims. However, even at a cursory glance, before even reading the full body of the report, under a section titled, “Methodology,” Amnesty International admits it has no physical evidence whatsoever to substantiate what are admittedly only the testimony of alleged inmates and former workers at the prison, as well as figures within Syria’s opposition.

Hillary Clinton’s Project For A New American Century

by Dan Wright Here we go again. Earlier this year, some were surprised to see Project For The New American Century (PNAC) co-founder and longtime DC fixture Robert Kagan endorse former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for president. They shouldn’t have been. As is now clear from a policy paper [PDF] published last month, the neoconservatives are going all-in on Hillary Clinton being the best vessel for American power in the years ahead. The paper, titled “Expanding American Power,” was published by the Center for a New American Security, a Democratic Party-friendly think tank co-founded and led by former Undersecretary of Defense Michèle Flournoy. Flournoy served in the Obama Administration under Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and is widely considered to be the frontrunner for the next secretary of defense, should Hillary Clinton become president. The introduction to Expanding American Power is written by the aforementioned Robert Kagan and former Clinton Administration State Department official James Rubin. The paper itself was prepared in consultation with various defense and national security intellectuals over the course of six dinners. …

Guardian accidentally shows even more proof Syrian “rebels” are western stooges

by BlackCatte In a narrative of increasing farce, we are now being told by the Guardian that “41” of the various Syrian rebel groups have joined in a rare “show of unity” to condemn the Russian bombing and promise revenge. As expected the Guardian is sketchy about the background of these groups, or about whether we should be sympathising with them or not. This is suggested in tone, rather than overtly stated, because sympathy for Ashrar al Sham or al Nusra would be a hard thing for even the Guardian to justify. Apparently what the Graun expects us to take away from this is that people like being bombed by the west, but hate being bombed by Russia. Because Russia is evil. They don’t, apparently, think we’ll notice this is stupid, and that the mere spreading of such a ridiculous tale only makes it more obvious the “rebels” are and always were western-backed mercenaries, there to further US geopolitical interests at any cost. Like the psychopath claiming he didn’t murder his wife even after the …

Fallujah: the Hidden Massacre

WARNING: This video contains images that depict the reality and horror of what weapons such as white phosphorous can do to living people. It should only be viewed by a mature audience Fallujah: the Hidden Massacre is a documentary by Sigfrido Ranucci and Maurizio Torrealta which first aired on Italy’s RAI state television network on November 8, 2005. This November will mark the 11th anniversary of what is now called the Fallujah Massacre, when US troops allegedly attacked a civilian population with white phosphorous. Given the ongoing western war crimes in the Middle East, we think it’s apposite to re-publish this disturbing film at this time. NOTE – If anyone would like to remind Nick Cohen about the events depicted in this film, he can be reached via Twitter at @NickCohen4 From the Independent, Tuesday 08 November 2005: Powerful new evidence emerged yesterday that the United States dropped massive quantities of white phosphorus on the Iraqi city of Fallujah during the attack on the city in November 2004, killing insurgents and civilians with the appalling …

Obama’s “Safe Zone” in Syria intended to turn it into new Libya

by Shamus Cooke The road to war is paved with a thousand lies. A fresh fib was tossed on the lie-cluttered warpath to Syria, when it was announced that the U.S. and Turkey would create a “safe zone” inside of Syria — supposedly to be aimed against ISIS. This “safe zone” is a major escalation of war, but it was described in soft tones by the media, sounding almost cuddly. In reality, however, a “safe zone” is a “no-fly zone,” meaning that a nation is planning to implement military air superiority inside the boundaries of another nation. It’s long recognized by the international community and U.S. military personnel as a major act of war. In a war zone an area is made “safe” by destroying anything in it or around that appears threatening. Turkey has been demanding this no-fly zone from Obama since the Syrian war started. It’s been discussed throughout the conflict and even in recent months, though the intended goal was always the Syrian government. And suddenly the no-fly zone is happening — …

America’s Safari to Nowhere

By Michael Brenner Senior Fellow, the Center for Transatlantic Relations; Professor of International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh The United States is heading over a cliff in the Middle East. The impending crack-up, though, evokes no serious debate about the thinking and methods that have led us there. Instead, the only criticism solicited or heard is from the John McCains and Lindsey Grahams who have perfect records of being wrong on everything since 2001 Every Soul is captive Of its own Deeds ~ Qur’an 74:38 From late 2007 through 2010, the United States and its Israeli partner ruled the roost in the Middle East. It was the best of all worlds – for them. With that construct now shattered, they are trying desperately to put Humpty-Dumpty back together again. Sadly for them, their only tools are gorilla glue and prayer beads. Moreover, they are laboring without architectural design or engineering blueprints. Let’s look back at that earlier structure so as to identify its sustaining features. That will serve as a point of reference for understanding why …

Iran Holds Out, Yemen and Donbass Burn

By El-Murid, Russia Iran has something to be proud of and something to celebrate: it preserved the right to develop its peaceful nuclear program, albeit under 10 years of control, including the production of their own fuel. In exchange, the West rolls back its sanctions imposed in the last few years, leaving those sanctions, which operated from the beginning of the revolution in 1979 – for human rights violations and other trifles. No one is surprised that the US police killed 100 people last month, but human rights are violated by Iran, that’s today’s logic. Iran didn’t back down, did not give up its positions, managed to defend its right to nuclear energy – a rare example of unity between government and people in the modern world, who were able to undertake a task and complete it. Many of the self-described superpowers manage much less. On the other hand, we should not delude ourselves much: the United States is not showing its “soft side” for nothing. They have their own plans and their own interests, …