Saturday, September 22, 2012

Al-Jazeera Video: Justice for Palestine's children

"Hundreds of Palestinian children are arrested by the Israeli military every year for throwing rocks at occupying forces.

They are tried in Israeli Military Courts and human Rights organisations say the trials lack due process and are against international law.

Al Jazeera's Charles Stratford reports from Abu Dis in the occupied West Bank."

Al-Jazeera Video: US hosts largest ever naval exercise in the Gulf

"The United States is hosting more than 20 nations in the largest naval exercise ever held in the Gulf.

The 12-day event is focussed on a contingency plan, if Iran ever attempted to block the strait of Hormuz. 

Al Jazeera's Cal Perry is on board the USS Dwight D Eisenhower."

Al-Jazeera Video: Rebel group 'moves command centre to Syria'

"Syria's main rebel group says it is moving its command centre from the Turkish border into Syria itself in preparation of an offensive against President Bashar al-Assad's troops in Damascus.
Riyad al-Asaad, commander of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), announced the move on Saturday in a video message from Syria, the first since the group founded its command centre in Turkey at the beginning of the 19-month conflict.

"To the Syrian people, its freedom fighters and all the armed factions, we are glad to let you know that the leadership of the FSA has moved into Syria following arrangements made with other brigades that included securing liberated areas with the hope of launching the offensive on Damascus," Asaad said.
He said the FSA has felt pressure by the international community to take a leading role in post-war Syria. Asaad said the FSA rejected those offers, reiterating that the people of Syria should decide the future of the country......"

PLO: 18 Palestinians killed in Damascus

"BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- At least 18 Palestinians were killed Thursday and their bodies displayed publicly in Damascus, PLO officials in the capital's largest refugee camp said.

The PLO office in Yarmouk said the Syrian regime "committed a massacre" against Palestinians in the camp. Bodies were found mutilated and charred, it said.

PLO secretary-general Yasser Abed Rabbo denounced the killings.

"We reject any justification or allegations invoked by the Syrian regime army about this massacre which includes torture, killing, and assassination,"Abed Rabbo said.

"Moreover, such types of crimes need to be condemned internationally. Syria faces unprecedented massacres against Syrian people as well as Palestinians," he said.

Thursday's killings were the latest in a string of attacks targeting Palestinians. At least 10 refugees were killed in the Yarmouk a day earlier, activists in the camp reported.

An activist in Yarmouk, where rebels have been hiding out in recent days, said tanks and soldiers had sealed all the entrances. Hundreds of soldiers were searching the area on foot and on trucks mounted with heavy machine guns.

"We are trapped here. Only children and older men or women can leave. Young men, who could be rebels or activists, and even young women, who could also be activists, are stuck inside," an activist called Abu Salam told Reuters on Skype......"

Al-Jazeera Video: Inside Story - What now for Muslim-Western relations?

"Muslim-Western relations are under the spotlight again after widespread protests over an anti-Islam video made in the US and cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad published in a French magazine. Are apologies and condemnation enough? Guests: Anas al-Tikriti, David Mack, Mehmet Kalyoncu."

Al-Jazeera Video: Talk to Al Jazeera - Rachid Ghannouchi: Re-imagining Tunisia

Al-Jazeera Video: Libyans storm militia bases in Benghazi

Iran's Revolutionary Guard says expects Israel to launch war


 Interestingly, only 51% of those responding to the current online poll by Al-Jazeera think that a military strike against Iran would be damaging to the region. 

This shows how isolated Iran has become in Arab public opinion. Support for the butcher of Damascus and the collaboration (with the "Great Satan") in the destruction and occupation of Iraq, are no doubt factors.

"(Reuters) - Israel will eventually go beyond threats and will attack Iran, the commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards was quoted as saying on Saturday.

As speculation mounts that Israel could launch air strikes on Iran before U.S. elections in November, Mohammad Ali Jafari told a news conference that the Jewish state would be destroyed if it took such a step.
"Their threats only prove that their enmity with Islam and the revolution is serious, and eventually this enmity will lead to physical conflict," Jafari said when asked about Israeli threats to strike Iran's nuclear facilities, the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) reported.
"We are making all efforts to increase our defensive capabilities so that if there is an attack ... we could defend ourselves and other countries that need our help with high defensive capabilities."
Jafari's comments, made at an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) military exhibition, come as Israeli leaders have increased their rhetoric against Iran.
"A war will occur, but it's not clear where or when it will be," Jafari was quoted as saying on Saturday. "Israel seeks war with us, but it's not clear when the war will occur."...."

Rebels down fighter jet in northern Syria: witness

"(Reuters) - Rebel fighters trying to oust President Bashar al-Assad shot down a fighter jet as it flew over the northern Syrian town of Atarib in Idlib province, a witness said.

The witness, an independent journalist who asked to remain anonymous, said rebel fighters were attacking a military base near the town when the jet flew over and rebels shot it down with anti-aircraft guns.
Vastly outgunned, rebels say they need surface-to-air missiles to take down planes and helicopters used by the Syrian military to bombard opposition strongholds.

Fighters use outdated anti-aircraft machine guns that are welded to pickup trucks but they are inaccurate and useless if the military aircraft fly above a certain altitude.

On August 27 fighters shot down a helicopter on the outskirts of Damascus and three days later rebels said they had brought down a jet in Idlib, near the Turkish border....."

Libyan protesters force Islamist militia out of Benghazi

At least four killed as fighters blamed for killing US ambassador flee compound in face of demonstration against extremism,

Militias blamed for the killing of US ambassador Chris Stevens have been forced out of Libya's second city, Benghazi, by popular protests.

At least four people were killed and 34 wounded as militiamen tried to defend their compounds against thousands of demonstrators protesting against extremism.

Saturday morning's rout followed a day of demonstrations on Friday against the militias, in particular Ansar al-Sharia, which has been blamed for the murder of the US ambassador and three of his colleagues.
The action against Ansar al-Sharia appeared to be part of a co-ordinated sweep of militia headquarters buildings by police, government troops and activists after a mass public demonstration against militia units on Friday.

Looters carried weapons out of the vacated Ansar al-Sharia military base as men clapped and chanted: "Say to Ansar al-Sharia, Benghazi will be your inferno."

Chanting "Libya, Libya", "No more al-Qaida" and "The blood we shed for freedom shall not go in vain" hundreds of men waving swords and even a meat cleaver stormed Ansar al-Sharia's headquarters.

"After what happened at the American consulate, the people of Benghazi had enough of the extremists," one demonstrator, Hassan Ahmed, said. "They did not give allegiance to the army. So the people broke in and they fled."....."

Friday, September 21, 2012

Syrian blogger burned to death

The Guardian

"A citizen journalist who used the nom de plume Abu Hassan to report from the Syrian city of Hama was burned to death after regime forces targeted his home.
According to a fellow media activist, Syrian army soldiers set Hassan's house alight after an assault on the area that left 16 people dead.

The activist said that the army were aware that the house belonged to Hassan, a 27-year-old whose real name was Abdel Karim al-Oqda.

He said: "They knew very well who he was. The whole of Hama knew how much of the revolution he had filmed. Abu Hassan was one of the bravest people I have ever met. He sacrificed his life to show the world what is happening in Syria."

In one of his videos, Hassan is seen explaining why he left his job as a construction worker to take up filming. "I want to expose the crimes that the regime is carrying out... I will film until my last breath."
Hassan's death was the latest in a string of killings and kidnappings of citizen and professional journalists in Syria since the outbreak of the revolt in March 2011.
The Paris-based press watchdog, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), said: "Syria's cities have become a 'Bermuda Triangle' for journalists.""

الزنداني يحصل على براءة اختراع لعلاج الإيدز


"أعلن الداعية اليمني الشيخ عبد المجيد الزنداني أنه حصل على براءة اختراع دواء لعلاج مرض الإيدز، من منظمة ويبو العالمية التابعة للأمم المتحدة، وقال إن علاجه قابل للتصنيع، لكنه يسعى حاليا لحماية اختراعه في 185 دولة في العالم.
وقال الزنداني في حديث خاص بثته قناة الجزيرة مباشر مساء الخميس، إنه الوحيد في العالم الذي يدعي اختراع دواء يقضي على الفيروس المسبب لمرض "الإيدز"، وأرجع ذلك إلى فضل الله أولا، وتخصصه في أبحاث الإعجاز العلمي وتوجهه إلى الطب النبوي، ففتح الله عليه باختراع دواء للإيدز.
وكشف أنه بدأ البحث لإيجاد علاج للإيدز منذ 25 عاما، بالاشتراك مع هيئة الإعجاز العلمي بالسعودية التي كان يعمل لديها، كما واصل أبحاثه في مركز أبحاث الطب النبوي، التابع لجامعة الإيمان في صنعاء التي يرأسها، حتى توصل للعلاج.
وقال "لقد استطعنا أن نثبت بالأدلة المخبرية أن لدينا الدواء الذي يقضي على فيروس الإيدز، وقد اختبرنا العلاج وفقا للبروتوكول العلمي للتأكد من أن الدواء صالح أم غير صالح، بعدما جربنا العلاج على الحيوانات وثبت لنا أن سميته كانت صفرا".

النظام السوري وطبول 'حرب أهلية' تأتي.. ولا تأتي!

صبحي حديدي

في صياغة أخرى: هل ستنخرط الأديان أو الطوائف في احتراب داخلي، ضمن صفّين لا ثالث لهما: واحد يناهض النظام، وثانٍ يدافع عنه؟ ألا يقوم معمار النظام القاعدي على تحالف مصالح وفئات وشرائح، عابرة للأديان والطوائف، شاملة لكلّ الأديان والطوائف، غير ممثِّلة في الآن ذاته لأي دين أو طائفة؟ أم أنّ الأديان والطوائف سوف تتقاتل على هذَين الخطّين السالفين، أوّلاً؛ ثم تنخرط، بعدئذ، في صراع على الافتراقات الأخرى ما فوق الدنيوية، الفقهية واللاهوتية والمذهبية، بين دين ودين، وطائفة وطائفة؟ وإذا جاز هذا التوسيع لمضامين الاحتراب، فهل يجوز زجّ الناس هكذا في صفّين، أو بالأحرى قالبَيْن، لم يعد فيهما مكان لمطالب الشعب الواحد، في الحرية والديمقراطية والتعددية والعدالة والكرامة ودولة القانون؟ وحتى إذا تمتع النظام بدرجات ولاء أعلى لدى طائفة دون أخرى، فإنّ الحافز وراء هذه الحال هو الخوف على مصير الطائفة، وليس الحرص على بقاء النظام؛ وثمة فارق جوهري هائل، من الغبن أن يُطمس في عماء تصنيف الولاءات على أساس الجموع (الطوائف أو الأديان)، وليس المصالح الفعلية.
هذا هو السبب الأوّل في أنّ احتراباً كهذا، أياً كانت تسمياته الأخرى، ليست له أرضية اجتماعية في سورية الراهنة، وفي شرط الانتفاضة واحتضار النظام بصفة خاصة، ولهذا فهو لا يقع إلا في ثنايا خطاب الترهيب الذي اعتمده ويعتمده النظام بهدف كسر روح المقاومة، وردع المواطنين، ودفع 'الأغلبية الصامتة' إلى الإمعان أكثر في انعزالها. سبب آخر، هنا، هو أنّ التطلع إلى الحرّية والمستقبل الأفضل ليس محلّ اختلاف بين أديان السوريين وطوائفهم، بل هو غاية تستقطب الاتفاق التامّ، وكانت هذه حالهم في الماضي، منذ فجر الاستقلال، كما هي حالهم اليوم أيضاً. وفي المقابل، ليس للنظام طائفة واحدة منفردة، حتى إذا كانت رؤوسه قد انخرطت في تجييش محموم لطائفة بعينها، وتقصدت الإيحاء بتمثيل تلك الطائفة، وتعهّد مصيرها؛ وليس له دين أيضاً، مهما أتقن ألعاب التمسّح بالأديان أو التزلف للمتدينين. ولهذا لن يدافع كبار أنصار النظام عن بقائه لأسباب دينية أو طائفية، بصرف النظر عن توفّر هذا المقدار أو ذاك من الولاء العصبوي، بل ستحرّكهم أسباب أخرى أدنى إلى الأرض منها إلى السماء، على رأسها مصالح النهب والفساد، واتقاء الحساب العسير ساعة تنقلب سورية من مزرعة إلى دولة حقّ وقانون.
ثمة، إلى هذا، ذلك السبب الرابع الجوهري، الذي يهبط باحتمالات 'الحرب الأهلية' أو 'الحرب الطائفية' إلى درجات دنيا أقرب إلى الصفر، أي سؤال الفرقاء الذين سينخرطون في حروب عمادها الانتماء إلى دين، أو إلى طائفة؛ وهذا سبب يتمّ غالباً تفادي مناقشته على نحو ملموس، أو ضمّه إلى ميدان المعطيات المسكوت عنها. فإذا صحّ أنّ أديان المجتمع السوري وطوائفه لن تقتتل في ما بينها، دفاعاً عن نظام الاستبداد والفساد والنهب والحكم العائلي، خاصة بعد سلسلة جرائمه بحقّ الشعب والوطن؛ فما الذي سيجعلها تقتتل اليوم، إذاً، ما دامت لم تنجرف إلى حافة مماثلة طيلة تاريخ سورية، القديم والوسيط والحديث والمعاصر؟ وإذا ساجل البعض بأنّ نوازع الثأر سوف تعصف بالنفوس، خاصة أنّ الجرائم التي ارتُكبت رهيبة مروعة، تبدأ من التصفية والموت تحت التعذيب والتمثيل بالجثث، ولا تنتهي عند الاغتصاب والمجازر الجماعية؛ فإنّ سورية ليست أوّل دولة شهد مجتمعها هذه الأهوال، ثمّ تصالح وطنياً، ولن تكون الأخيرة.
كذلك لا نملّ، نحن السوريين، من ضرب هذه السابقة الوطنية، التي ترتقي عندنا إلى سوية الأمثولة: إذا كان الانتداب الفرنسي قد فشل في إقامة دويلات سورية، مناطقية أو طائفية، وتمكّن السوريون من خوض حرب الاستقلال بقائد درزي، ونائب له علوي، ونائب ثاٍن كردي... فكيف لا يكون مصير مشروع التفتيت الذي قد ينخرط فيه نظام العصابات والميليشيات والشبيحة، على شاكلة المشروع الذي دبّرته إدارة استعمارية، بل أسوأ؟ ثمّ، في العودة من التاريخ الماضي إلى التاريخ الحاضر، إذا كان السوريون المسلمون لم ينخرطوا، البتة، في أي شكل من أشكال المواجهة المسلحة مع السوريين المسيحيين؛ وكذلك لم يفعل السوريون السنّة مع السوريين العلويين، فلماذا يتوجب أن يهرعوا الآن إلى الاحتراب الداخلي... الآن بالذات، حينما يصبح قطاف تضحيات بناتهم وأبنائهم، نسائهم وشيوخهم وأطفالهم، دانياً وشيكاً؟


Al-Jazeera Video: Egyptians speak out against graffiti removal

"There has been an outcry in Egypt over the government's move to clean up graffiti. Authorities have painted over a wall at iconic Tahrir Square that was covered in revolutionary slogans, and was seen as a symbol of the uprising. But activists and artists believe the graffiti is a symbol of resistance, and pledge voices on the walls won't be silenced. Al Jazeera's Stephanie Dekker reports from Cairo."

Obama officials' spin on Benghazi attack mirrors Bin Laden raid untruths

In a familiar pattern, White House claims about what motivated the killing of the US ambassador in Libya are now contradicted

"......Then, there are the garden-variety political harms to the White House from the truth about these attacks. If the killing of the ambassador were premeditated and unrelated to the film, then it vests credibility in the criticism that the consulate should have been much better-protected, particularly on 9/11. And in general, the last thing a president running for re-election wants is an appearance that he is unable to protect America's diplomats from a terrorist group his supporters love to claim that he has heroically vanquished.
The falsehood told by the White House – this was just a spontaneous attack prompted by this video that we could not have anticipated and had nothing to do with – fixed all of those problems. Critical attention was thus directed to Muslims (what kind of people kill an ambassador over a film?) and away from the White House and its policies.

The independent journalist IF Stone famously noted that the number one rule of good journalism, even of good citizenship, is to remember that "all governments lie." Yet, no matter how many times we see this axiom proven true, over and over, there is still a tendency, a desire, to believe that the US government's claims are truthful and reliable.

The Obama administration's claims about the Benghazi attack are but the latest in a long line of falsehoods it has spouted on crucial issues, all in order to serve its interests and advance its agenda. Perhaps it is time to subject those claims to intense skepticism and to demand evidence before believing they are true....."

Palestinians need a one-state solution

Palestinian autonomy is an illusion. A plan B involving a struggle for equal rights would expose the reality of occupation by Israel
"....Abbas has recently threatened to relaunch the UN application if Israeli settlement expansion continues. This time he would seek UN non-member observer state status, but has yet to decide to consult with Arab and other states, and it may come to nothing again. Only a bankruptcy of ideas could be driving him towards this move, given the present situation of US acquiescence to regional Israeli hegemony, and Israel's stunning success in diverting world attention from the conflict on its doorstep to Iran's nonexistent nuclear weapons.....

Given this situation, should there not be a reassessment of Palestinian political strategy? To date there is no sign that the Palestinian leadership, or indeed any official body, can think beyond the two-state solution. Yet the facts on the ground point to a very different conclusion. Israel now controls 62% of West Bank land – encompassing most of its richest farmland, including the fertile Jordan Valley. The colonisation process continues unabated, and to date Israel has resisted every call for a settlement based on a two-state solution. Despite this, the west has been extremely reluctant to press Israel......

This situation demands a new Palestinian strategy, a Plan B that converts the Palestinian struggle for two states into one for equal rights within what is now a unitary state ruled by Israel. The first step in this plan requires a dismantlement of the PA as currently constituted, or at least a change of direction for the Palestinian leadership. The PA's role as a buffer between the occupier and the occupied should end, along with the illusion of a spurious Palestinian autonomy it has fostered. This has not only shielded Israel from facing its legal obligations as an occupying power, but it has created a false equivalence between occupier and occupied.....

The 2.5 million potential new Arab citizens of Israel would be able to challenge its much-vaunted democracy, and upend the old order in the Palestinians' favour. Will they have the courage to grasp the challenge?"

Washington Post interviews Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan


Not long after the Arab Spring began, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, then an ally, that he had to reform. After months, as the Syrian revolution continued and there was no sign of reform, Erdogan called for Assad to step down. Erdogan has allowed the Syrian opposition to make its base in Turkey and has remained in the forefront of the fight for regime change. The Washington Post’s Lally Weymouth spoke with Erdogan in Ankara on Tuesday. Excerpts:

How do you see the future of the regime of President Assad in Syria? You know Assad well; you had a close relationship with him. Do you think he will go down with the ship, or will he leave his country? What do you think will happen?

If we look at history, we will see that regimes which persecute [their people] do not remain standing. In the process of the Arab Spring, we have unfortunately seen a development in Syria where the regime has been oppressing its people. Tens of thousands of young and old people and children have been killed or displaced as a result of these actions. This cruel regime continues to pursue the same policies.

We have 83,000 refugees in Turkey, and the Lebanese have about the same amount, and there are about 200,000 in Jordan. These people have not fled their country because they wanted to. Also, there are currently 2.5 million people within Syria who have been displaced; close to 30,000people have been killed in this conflict.

As a result, we see the opposition gaining strength every day. So this regime will go. Bashar is politically dead. Of course, it is difficult to tell whether this will take place in a week, a month or when. This also has to do with how Russia and China approach the situation......."

Tunisia: Women's rights and the new constitution

Women in Tunisian are concerned that the new Constitution may slow down their progress towards gender equality

By Larbi Sadiki

"There are concerns amongst vociferous civil society activists about the status of women in the country's new constitution, the drafting of which may require longer time than initially anticipated. Whereas these voices are legitimate and should provide the questioning and citizenry input demanded by genuine democratic transition, there is a degree of misrepresentation, by some forces and discourses of the issues involved.

This question is one of many that have over the last a few months added to political dynamism by a polity and society learning to find voice and found presence, but inevitably also produced polarisation, which excludes no single political party or group of actors.

There are a few issues that are at the core of rising polarisation within Tunisia's polity. This article looks at the rights of women within the process of constitution-framing......"

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dozens reported dead in Syria air attack

At least 54 killed in air raid on fuel station in country's north, while army shells Yarmouk camp housing Palestinians.

"At least 54 people have been killed when a jet fighter blew up a fuel station amid heavy fighting between government and rebel forces in northern Syria, a British-based monitoring group has said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has a network of activists across Syria reporting on government violence during the 18-month-old revolt, cited an activist in al-Riqqa province as saying on Thursday.

"The petrol station is the only one that is still open to customers in the area, and it was packed," a media activist who identified himself as Abu Muawiya told the AFP news agency via Skype.
"It was hit by a fighter jet. The only reason why it would strike the petrol station with a jet is to kill the highest number of people possible," he said.

A video published by activists, said to be from al-Riqqa, showed black clouds of smoke rising from the wreckage of the petrol station as residents examined the scene after the attack by an air force jet......"

Al-Jazeera Video: Syrian troops 'raid' Palestinian refugee camp

"he Syrian army stormed the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp, as well as the neighbouring district of al Hajar al Aswad, trying to push back anti-Assad forces. The southern part of Damascus remains a stronghold for the rebels. They launched an all-out offensive on the capital in July, before retreating to the suburbs. Al Jazeera's Hashem Al Helbarra reports."

Real News Video: Netanyahu Inserts Himself in US Elections as Adelson Stands to Reap Millions if Romney Wins

Danny Schechter: Israel's PM Goes on US TV and GOP Financier will reap massive tax savings if Romney wins election

More at The Real News

Egyptian Christians in Uneasy Safety

"Many of Egypt's Coptic Christians met the recent assumption of the presidency by the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi with trepidation, even panic – some even made plans to leave the country. Almost three month's into Morsi's term, these fears, say some experts, appear largely unfounded......"

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

Do you see that a military strike against Iran would harm the region?

With over 200 responding, 55% said yes.

Beyond Insulting the Prophet: Defying Hypocrisies East and West

Rulers of Iran and Syria "exaggerate the significance" of the film to divert attention from their own problems.

By Hamid Dabashi

"In a rare public appearance, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has delivered a fiery speech protesting the film that has mocked Islam and Prophet Muhammad. He has called for a weeklong protest against the film. This is a diversionary tactic, directly from the apothecary box of the Islamic republic, intended to divert attention from the criminal atrocities of the ruling regime in Syria, and by extension Iran, the principal sponsors of Hassan Nasrallah.  

The world has been distracted by such diversionary tactics once in 1979. It will not be fooled again in 2012.  
Hassan Nasrallah is as much invested in diverting attention from the unfolding Arab Spring - particularly in Syria - as Netanyahu is, for on the urgency of this diversion they are identical, Nasrallah to keep himself relevant in a vastly changed political climate, Netanyahu to steal more of Palestine. 

The Arab Spring has put them both on the spot as opposing open-ended democratic uprisings that is changing the political contour of the region away from clichés-ridden "resistance" to Israel that in effect sustains its colonial designs to gobble up the entirety of Palestine by making even the two-state solution obsolete, as we now hear the American Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney - bought and paid for by the Israeli benefactor - Sheldon Adelson - articulate it.   

The fact that the Free Syrian Army has been discredited for its own violent records, and the fact that Saudi Arabia and its Persian Gulf client states and by extension the United States are trying to abuse the situation in Syria to their own advantage do not mean that Bashar al-Assad and his tyrannical rule are God's gift to the Syrian people. Bashar al-Assad is in trouble, even more than Ali Khamenei was in trouble two years ago......

It is sad to see an ageing warrior like Hassan Nasrallah being left behind by the force of history and resorting to a predicable cliché like asking for no less than one whole week of protest by his supporters ostensibly to vent anger against a pathetic racists video but in effect to distract attention from the criminal atrocities of his allies in Syria and Iran, or perhaps to regain the popularity he once had before endorsing Assad and before him Khamenei. But such is the force of destiny and the unfolding drama of the Arab Spring....." 

Al-Jazeera Video: 19/9/2012 ما وراء الخبر - شهادة العفو الدولية

"ناقش الحلقة شهادة كبيرة مستشاري منظمة العفو الدولية لشؤون الأزمات حول "تعمد النظام السوري قصف المدنيين"
الحبيب الغريبي / مقدم البرنامج - 
الضيوف : 
الدكتور/ سعد جبار ـ الخبير في القانون الدولي ... لندن
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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

al-Jazeera Video: سيطر الجيش السوري الحر على معبر تل أبيض مع تركيا

Al-Jazeera Video: Syrian strike narrowly misses Aleppo hospital

"Syrian government forces are carrying out a campaign of bombing across the north of the country, while fighting in the capital Damascus is described as intense.

Diplomatic efforts are also continuing. But in Syria's biggest city of Aleppo now, civilians there have been caught up in the shelling.

An exclusive Al Jazeera video shows injured civilians and rebels unable to seek medical help following the closure of the Aleppo hospital due to the shelling.

Al Jazeera's Caroline Malone reports."

Western report: Iran ships arms, personnel to Syria via Iraq

(Reuters) - Iran has been using civilian aircraft to fly military personnel and large quantities of weapons across Iraqi airspace to Syria to aid President Bashar al-Assad in his attempt to crush an 18-month uprising against his government, according to a Western intelligence report seen by Reuters.
Earlier this month, U.S. officials said they were questioning Iraq about Iranian flights in Iraqi airspace suspected of ferrying arms to Assad, a staunch Iranian ally. On Wednesday, U.S. Senator John Kerry threatened to review U.S. aid to Baghdad if it does not halt such overflights.
Iraq says it does not allow the passage of any weapons through its airspace. But the intelligence report obtained by Reuters says Iranian weapons have been flowing into Syria via Iraq in large quantities. Such transfers, the report says, are organized by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
"This is part of a revised Iranian modus operandi that U.S. officials have only recently addressed publicly, following previous statements to the contrary," said the report, a copy of which was provided by a U.N. diplomatic source.
"It also flies in the face of declarations by Iraqi officials," it said. "Planes are flying from Iran to Syria via Iraq on an almost daily basis, carrying IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) personnel and tens of tons of weapons to arm the Syrian security forces and militias fighting against the rebels."

Real News Video: Anti-US and Labor Protests Challenge Egyptian President

Lina Attalah: President Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood trying to navigate US alliance and growing economic crisis 

More at The Real News

Charity Economics, Subservient Politics: Why Oslo Must Go

By Ramzy Baroud
Palestine Chronicle

"Recent demonstrations in protest of the rising cost of living have swept across the West Bank. While they are not indicative of a Palestinian version of the 'Arab Spring', they are still an important first step.
A reasonable demand, however, cannot possibly be for Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to sack the government of Salam Fayyad. Neither has much sway over Palestinian economy, let alone political will.

Abbas enjoys Israeli and Western backing because of his ability to manage - if not sustain - a factional split between his party, Fatah, and Hamas, which controls Gaza. He remains faithful to security coordination between his authority and Israel, and continues to crack down on his opponents with an iron fist. He is also desperately clinging to a loyalty to Washington policy - despite the fact that the latter’s prestige and influence is quickly diminishing in the region.....

How long the PA can continue to operate as a functionary of Israel and Western interests will now largely depend on Palestinians. Even if more money is pumped into PA coffers, the fundamental problem will not go away. Bribing a nation with meager handouts to deny them political rights is superfluous at best, and it will most certainly not last.

There are new calls for the dismantling of the Palestinian Authority. For these calls to be meaningful, they need to be accompanied by a unifying transitional political program which will guide Palestinians out of the temporary chaos that is likely to follow. The program must be a part of a larger vision, one that looks past charity-economics and frivolous talks of two-state solutions, and which actually bridges the gap between divided Palestinian communities."

The ‘Pro-Israel’ Network Behind the Innocence Video

By Justin Raimondo

"If someone had planned to upend US foreign policy — to utterly destroy the very basis [.pdf] of all our diplomats (and military personnel) have been working to achieve in the Middle East and throughout the Muslim world — they couldn’t have done a better job of it than whoever put together Innocence of Muslims.

As violent protests spread, the consequences continue to roll in: the suspension of joint US-Afghan military operations, the suspension of US aid talks with Egypt, the rapid decline of US prestige in the region, and the growing influence of the radical Islamist movement US support for the “Arab Spring” was designed to counter. The Obama administration’s effort to split the Islamist upsurge and lend its support to “moderates” has been stopped cold.

Was the release of the video a random event, one of those unpredictables that can arise at any moment to foil the best-laid plans? Perhaps. Yet one is hard-pressed to explain what the makers of Innocence sought to accomplish, if not precisely what has occurred......

It isn’t hard to imagine where the money to create this deadly provocation came from. Of the many millions in neocon money sloshing around this country, it’s hardly inconceivable a hundred thousand or so would find its way into the hands of a twice-convicted felon and all around dubious character like Nakoula, who is, I suspect, just a con man rather than an ultra-Zionist ideologue like the promoters of his “work.”
Although, to be sure, the difference is altogether negligible."

Syrian rebels seize crossing on Turkish border: official

"(Reuters) - Syrian rebels have taken full control of the Tel Abyad border gate on the Turkish frontier after battling Syrian government forces overnight, a Turkish official said on Wednesday.

"I can confirm that the gate has fallen. It is under the complete control of the rebels," the Turkish official said on condition of anonymity."

Syria crisis: Iran's foreign minster in Damascus talks - live updates


Syria's chemical weapons plan

Syria plans to use chemical weapons, the former head of the country’s chemical arsenal, told the Times. Major-General Adnan Sillu, who defected three months ago, told the paper [paywall]:
We were in a serious discussion about the use of chemical weapons, including how we would use them and in what areas. We discussed this as a last resort – such as if the regime lost control of an important area such as Aleppo ...
They wanted to place warheads with the chemical weapons on missiles – to transfer them this way to Hezbollah. It was for use against Israel, of course.
The claims comes after the German magazine Spiegel reported witnesses claiming that Syrian army tested firing systems for chemical weapons at the end of August.

Among the Alawites

By Nir Rosen

".....When I asked Abu Rateb, leader of the Homs military council, what would happen to the security forces and shabiha, the hundreds of thousands of armed Alawites, if the government fell, he told me I was exaggerating the numbers. He foresaw what he described as ‘slaughter’ but felt that an alternative to Bashar would emerge from within the regime and preside over a settlement. ‘Bashar is the central figure for them. They will be broken by the fall of Bashar and lose motivation.’ After a difficult transition a new Syria would be born, ‘a free Syria, just and democratic’. A leading insurgent in Duma, the largest suburb of Damascus, told me he worried about fighting between Sunni and Alawite villages like Aziziya and Tamana. ‘We can’t say that we have the right to live here and they do not,’ he said, but ‘after the revolution Alawites will return to their natural place. They won’t have the authority.’

It is not clear what that ‘natural place’ would be. Are they meant to leave the cities and resume their traditional links with the rural areas? A new generation of Syria pundits in the West is already discussing the possibility of a separate Alawite state, but one hears of no such thing from the Alawites themselves. Syria has long been their central project, and their mode of involvement has been to leave their villages and move towards a version of modernity. It is conceivable that they will end up in some form of autonomous enclave as a result of a civil war in which the opposition gains the upper hand, but it is not their wish. They believe they are fighting for the old Ba’athist ideals of Syrian and Arab nationalism. An Alawite state would not be viable in any case: the old Alawite heartlands have never had much in the way of utilities or employment opportunities and the community would be dependent on outside backers such as Russia or Iran. A Lebanese solution for Syria, in which different areas have different outside backers, may be the end result, but it is nobody’s goal."

Partners in Crime: Israel/Palestinian Authority: Charge or Free Palestinian Detainees

"(Jerusalem, September 19, 2012) – Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) should immediately charge or release men they are detaining arbitrarily and investigate alleged abuses against them in custody, Human Rights Watch said today.

At least three men on hunger strike to protest their detention by Israel are at risk of death, while another man detained by the PA refused all food and water for almost three days last week and stated at a court hearing yesterday that he would immediately resume his total strike until death, after a judge ordered his detention to be renewed.

Israel and the Palestinian Authority are violating international law when they throw Palestinians in jail for months or years without charge or trial,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Foreign donors supporting Israeli and Palestinian security services should press for an end to longstanding practices that detainees are risking their lives to protest.”....."

Syria: New evidence – High civilian death toll from campaign of indiscriminate attacks

Amnesty International

19 September 2012

"Civilians, many of them children, are the main victims of a campaign of relentless and indiscriminate attacks by the Syrian army, Amnesty International said in a new briefing.

The briefing paper (and accompanying video footage) is based on first-hand field investigations carried out in the first half of September by Amnesty International into attacks which killed 166 civilians, including 48 children and 20 women, and injured hundreds in 26 towns and villages in the Idlib, Jabal al-Zawiya and north Hama regions.

The briefing paper provides fresh evidence of a pattern which has emerged in recent weeks in areas where government forces, pushed into retreat by opposition forces, are now indiscriminately bombing and shelling lost territory – with disastrous consequences for the civilian population.

Government forces now routinely bomb and shell towns and villages using battlefield weapons which cannot be aimed at specific targets, knowing that the victims of such indiscriminate attacks are almost always civilians.  Such weapons should never be used in residential areas,” said Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International Senior Crisis Response Adviser, who recently returned from northern Syria.

“The plight of the civilian population in this region of Syria has been under-reported as world attention has largely focused on the fighting in Aleppo and Damascus. But the horrors of what the residents of Idlib, Jabal al-Zawiya and north Hama endure every day is just as harrowing. Such indiscriminate attacks constitute war crimes.”......."

Newsweek’s “Muslim Rage” cover seeks to inflame, insult

By Joseph Mayton
Bikya Masr

"CAIRO: Think about this for a second. Rush Limbaugh writing the cover story for TIME Magazine on the issue of gay rights in the United States. Think that he is being promoted as being a knowledgeable authority on the topic. Sounds ridiculous? Well it is. But when Newsweek used Ayaan Hirsi Ali as the writer for their cover story in this week’s “Muslim Rage” issue, they might as well have asked Rush Limbaugh to do the same. Both are virulent anti-Islamic critics. The only caveat for Hirsi Ali is that she is Somali and had been Muslim.

Hirsi Ali is no better a commentator on Islam than Nakoula Besseley Nakoula, the reported producer of the anti-Islam film that insulted Prophet Mohamed and sparked protests across the Islamic world. Her anti-Islam stance is well-known and itself has created anger among the Muslim community in Europe.

While she is a well-known Somali-born activist and former Dutch lawmaker whose criticism of Islam has earned her death threats, she fails to detail why Muslims hate her......

Instead of looking closely at the root causes of anger in the Islamic world, of which Hirsi Ali has been a leading cause of in recent years, the magazine chose instead to inflame and insult once more a faith that has been demonized across the Western media for years.

There is no mention of the radical and extremist Christian elements that sparked the furor among the Muslims. The issue appears to deliver an accusation against Muslims that their anger and frustration over their faith’s representation in the west is their own doing and that they are to blame for all that has happened.
Newsweek should know better. They should be more equipped to make decisions based on reality and facts rather than their obvious attempt to sell magazines by attacking what is a more convoluted reality facing Islam and the protests of the past week."

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The only surprise is there aren't more violent protests in the Middle East

The Muslim eruption reflects a deep popular anger and blowback from US intervention in both Libya and Afghanistan

".......About two-thirds of people in the Middle East and North Africa say they distrust the US, polling shows, rising to more than three-quarters in Pakistan. After 11 years of the war on terror, following decades of baleful intervention, the only surprise is that there aren't more violent anti-US and anti-western protests in the region.
Western war in the Muslim world has also fed a toxic tide of Islamophobia in Europe and the US. What is it about Muslims that makes them so easily offended, Europeans and Americans commonly demand to know – while Muslims point to cases such as the British 19-year-old who was convicted in Yorkshire last week of posting a "grossly offensive" Facebook message that British soldiers in Afghanistan "should die and go to hell", and ask why they're not afforded that protection.
The events of the last week are a reminder that an Arab world which has thrown off dictatorship will be more difficult for the western powers to hold in thrall. The Economist called the deadly assault on the US consulate in Libya an example of "Arab dysfunction" and urged the US not to retreat from the Middle East but go in deeper, including in Syria. As Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Libya have already shown, that would only bring disaster."


By Eric Margolis

"The British used to call it the “cost of Empire:” occasional attacks on Her majesty’s troops and legations by enraged, sword and spear-wielding natives.
Imperial troops would be rushed in and quickly put down the uprisings. In the 1920’s, Winston Churchill authorized the use of poison gas against “unruly” tribesmen in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Fast forward to the British Raj’s heir. This week’s attacks on US embassies in the Arab world were a deeply disturbing sign of the violent, anti-American fury boiling across the Muslim world....

Add all this up and we have evil memories of the hysteria and military posturing of August, 1914, the lead-up to World War I, a totally unnecessary conflict that ran out of control and wrecked Europe.

Opinion in the Muslim world, America and Canada is being manipulated by those seeking war. A few more killings, a clash in the congested Gulf, a bombing in the west, and a wider Mideast war could erupt.
One in which PM Netanyahu thinks he will be the winner. Unfortunately, he may well be right."

Iraqi Jews reject ‘cynical manipulation’ of their history by Israel, Zionists, writer Almog Behar tells EI

By Ali Abunimah

"It is far from the first instance of tampering with, exploiting, and deleting our history, but it is the straw that broke the camel’s back, and so … we formed the Committee of Baghdadi Jews in Ramat-Gan.”
This is how writer, poet and activist Almog Behar described a decision by a group of Jews from Arab and Kurdish backgrounds to speak out forcefully against renewed Israeli government propaganda efforts to counter Palestinian refugee rights by using the claims of Jews who left Arab countries for Israel in the 1950s.
Israeli diplomats, Haaretz reported last week, “have been instructed to raise the issue of Jewish refugees from Arab countries at every relevant forum. This is part of a new international campaign to create parity between the plight of Jewish and Palestinian refugees, Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon announced on Monday.”.....

The Israeli government does “not represent us”

But in an extraordinary statement posted on Facebook last week, the newly-formed Committee of Baghdadi Jews in Ramat-Gan, of which Behar is a founding member, hit back:
We are seeking to demand compensation for our lost property and assets from the Iraqi government - NOT from the Palestinian Authority - and we will not agree with the option that compensation for our property be offset by compensation for the lost property of others (meaning, Palestinian refugees) or that said compensation be transferred to bodies that do not represent us (meaning, the Israeli government).
The statement went on to demand an investigation of Israel’s complicity in the departure of Iraqi Jews from their homeland including in terrorist acts against Jews....."

Al-Jazeera Video: Neighbouring countries help Syrian kids go back to school

"Neighbouring countries are doing what they can to help Syrian children get an education.

The main refugee camp in Jordan is growing so fast that they are still in the process of building schools there.

However, Syrian refugees in Jordan have been allowed to register in Jordanian public schools.

Al Jazeera's Jane Arraf reports from Ramtha, Jordan."

الفتنة مستمرة.. بثوب آخر

عبد الباري عطوان

Link الظاهرة اللافتة للنظر انه في كل دولة تتدخل فيها امريكا وحلفاؤها الغربيون والعرب تتحول الى دولة فاشلة دون جيش او قوات أمن، تحط فيها التنظيمات المتشددة رحالها، وتبني قواعدها، وتتخذ الطائرات بدون طيار من سمائها مطارات دائمة لها. هذا ما حدث في العراق، وافغانستان، واليمن، والصومال والآن في ليبيا وربما غدا في سورية.
لا نطالب بموقف حازم لوقف مسلسل الاساءات للاسلام والرسول محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم، وبشكل نهائي فقط، وانما بوقف تحويل بلداننا العربية والاسلامية الى دول فاشلة دون جيوش قوية، حتى تظل اسرائيل هي القوة الوحيدة المهيمنة التي تملك جيشا قويا واسلحة نووية في المنطقة.

A Persian letter to Arab revolutionaries

By Hamid Dabashi

"......The Islamic Republic is one of the worst countries on planet earth in human rights abuses. But Stephen Harper is the last person on the very same planet to point finger at Iran while a diehard Zionist when it comes to turning a blind eye to the criminal atrocities of his favourite settler colony. 

The letter of Ghadyani to Morsi is the exchange between one current political prisoner and another former political prisoner - and what binds them together is a common thread of struggle against tyranny. Neither Harper nor Obama or any Western European leader shares that common ground, or, a fortiori, the moral voice that it entails.
There is thus a fundamental difference between Morsi speaking against the Syrian tyranny (and thus its Iranian backers) right in Khamenei's face in Tehran and Harper closing his embassy in Tehran in support of Israel. Ghadyani's letter to Morsi pulls down the phantasmagoric delusions of tyranny and hypocrisy to the ground zero of moral politics. 

Ghadyani then turns his attention to Khamenei and tells Morsi that the man who sat there as the leader of Iranians and lectured the world about justice and democracy and fighting against tyranny does not do what he preaches.  

"Alas, all the faults he finds with the international regime - from the veto right to injustice, the presentation of falsehood as truth and truth as falsehood, the imposition of the will of the powerful on people … has for years been the case and the norm under his own leadership. Mr Khamenei ordered people to be crushed precisely for having objected to these things."

As an example, Ghadyani refers Morsi to the dishonest way in which his own speech was intentionally mistranslated in the official Iranian media. It is the same fraudulent behaviour that stole the presidential election of the 2009, which has resulted in an illegitimate state and that prisons are full of freedom fighter, "just like under Mubarak".  

Ghadyani's advice to the Egyptian revolutionaries: "I wish that you and other Egyptian revolutionaries and the Egyptian people learn your lesson from the Islamic Revolution in Iran and what happened to the noble Iranian people and do not allow the tyrants steal the Egyptian revolution just like they did the Iranian revolution, thereby betraying the freedom fighters' hopes and aspirations."......"

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

Do you expect a firm official response from Arab countries to the film offending Islam?

With over 4,500 responding, 87% said no.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Al-Jazeera Video: Hezbollah is in a 'particularly difficult spot'

"Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has called for a week of protests in Lebanon against the anti-Islam YouTube video produced by a small group of Coptic Christians in the US.

The video, which spawned violent protests across the Muslim world, allows Nasrallah to distract from the brutal crackdown being pushed by his ally to the east, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, says Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Hezbollah's stock spikes when popular outrage is greatest against the US and Israel, Sadjadpour told Al Jazeera. "

Ali Ferzat: Dialog with regime

The Syrian town caught between Assad and al-Qaeda

Exclusive: French photo-journalist Mani meets Syrians from the town of Latamneh who are preparing suicide belts and bombs after two "massacres" which they say were carried out by government forces.

He is perhaps 11 years old. He is one of the few survivors of a terrible massacre in the Syrian town of Latamneh, writes Jon Snow.
He reels off the identities of some of the 26 members of his extended family who were wiped out systematically, at play, at work, and at home.
The massacre was forensic. The reason was clear. A member of the boy's family was a defector from Assad's army.
The French photo-journalist Mani went to Latamneh to piece together what happened. His film, which I report tonight, is bookended by children.
The closing sequence depicts a desperate father, frustrated by the failures of the opposition, yet burning with anger against the Assad regime.
He points to his young son and swears: "If things continue like this, I will send him myself to fight for al-Qaeda."
The same man also complains of the numerous "foreign fighters" now engaging in Syria. They fear an influx of foreigners and they fear they will change the nature of this war.
"We'll have big problems when Assad falls - the growing numbers are frightening."

4 U.S. Soldiers Killed in Attack by NATO Forces

The NATO occupation continues to face a relentless wave of attacks from within the Afghan ranks. On Sunday, four U.S. soldiers were killed and two others were wounded in a shooting by members of the Afghan police. NATO spokesperson Gunter Katz said the killings followed a separate attack on foreign troops.
Gunter Katz: "Very sadly, we had two more insider attacks within the last 24 hours, yesterday in the late afternoon we had an insider attack where a member of the Afghan local police was killing two British soldiers, wounding another British soldier, the shooter has been killed during that incident. In the early morning hours of today, four ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) service members have been killed by a members of the Afghan police, this incident is still under investigation."
The so-called "green-on-blue" attacks by Afghan forces against foreign troops have claimed 51 lives so far this year, well surpassing the 35 deaths for all of 2011. On Sunday, General Martin Dempsey, the chair of the U.S. joint chiefs of staff, called the violence "a very serious threat" to the occupation, adding: "You can’t whitewash it ... Something has to change."

Slow, costly road to unity in Syria's revolt

(Reuters) - Until Syrian forces stormed the Damascus suburb of Daraya last month, rebels ran the affairs of the working class town in a display of grassroots unity which has eluded President Bashar al-Assad's opponents on a national level.
The nascent self-rule in Daraya mirrored arrangements in towns acrossSyria, particularly northern rural districts, which have fallen out of Assad's control during the 18-month uprising.
"Independent judges presided over the court and rebels took over police duties," said Saleh Nasser, an underground activist who helped set up a civilian administration alongside the rebels to oversee security and municipal services. "Daraya threatened to become a model of a civilized alternative to Assad."
That local coordination, built around a rebel move away from tight, small fighting cells into bigger units in towns and cities, has failed to translate into an organizational structure offering a national alternative to Assad's rule, according to opposition leaders and diplomats following the revolt.
But with the divided opposition in exile failing to secure international recognition and some rebel-held towns gaining a degree of autonomy, Western powers are paying increasing attention to the rebel leaders on the ground.
Local groups with names such as ‘Revolution Command Council' are mostly composed of armed rebels and civilian figures such as professors, doctors and lawyers who were at the forefront of the street protest movement before it turned into an armed revolt.
These grassroots organizations, diplomats who follow the rebellion say, are more cohesive than military groupings set up by army officers who defected and fled to Turkey or Jordan, such as a recently announced 'National Army' headed by General Mohammad Haj Ali, the most senior military officer to defect.
The revolt against Assad began in March last year as mainly peaceful demonstrations for reform. Protests rapidly hardened into calls for Assad's overthrow and, faced with a violent military crackdown, the uprising became an armed insurgency. Syrian authorities say they are fighting Islamist "terrorists" backed by western and Sunni Arab nations for geopolitical gain.
A Western diplomat who has monitored the growing militarization of the revolt said military officers outside Syria such as Ali and Manaf Tlas - a former Assad confidante and a brigadier general in the Republican Guards who defected in July - have no substantial influence over the rebels.
"Tlas' defection came too little too late. Fighters tend not to have much respect for officers sitting in exile who seem to be more interested in self-promotion," the diplomat said.
"People also do not want another dictator from the army."
Instead, the disparate rebels groups inside the country have gradually improved their own coordination, as shown by recent simultaneous attacks on military airports.
"It is going slowly. The likely scenario is that the organization of the opposition on the inside will keep improving and just before the regime collapses it may manage to sit together in a sort of a national conference to prevent the country falling into fiefdoms," the diplomat said.
Fawaz Tello, a veteran opposition campaigner, said it was too late to establish a unified command for the revolt and the nearest that could be hoped for was tighter coordination between the different forces.
Tello, who is well connected with rebels in Damascus, said a loose structure was emerging across the country under which rebels form councils with civilian liaison officers and coordinate within larger groups.
"Let's stop kidding ourselves. Ask any politician to give you a political and military map of the forces on the ground. Impossible. These groups are changing and militant and are affected by changing sources of financing," he said.
Speaking from Berlin, Tello said that countries playing a role in financing the revolt, or acting as a conduit for weapons, such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, could play a larger role in bringing the opposition on the inside together.
"We cannot continue to have anyone going to the Saudis or Qataris and getting a few million dollars and forming his own group and buy allegiances," he said.