Sunday, August 30, 2015
How come the Jewish Americans who seem to be the go-to experts that the neocons are depending on for advise on foreign policy, are so very war-loving? Have you noticed how most of the advisors to these Republican candidates are from the Jewish-American community? Is the Jewish community prone to getting their kicks from blood and gore? How does a people whose family members suffered so much in Germany and thereabouts, be eager and willing to doom others to death and destruction? IMO, something is very wrong with these followers of maniac Nethanyahu.
Daniel McAdams writing at RonPaulInstitute:
The Neocon Foreign Policy Walmart
One of the most depressing things about watching -- even from a distance -- the quadrennial race for the White House is seeing what passes for debate on the one area where the president does have some Constitutional authority: foreign policy.
Candidates who have spent little or no time studying or traveling to the rest of the world, and, in the fashion of many Americans in the age of Empire, see the rest of the world as just a series of US colonial outposts, apparently consider foreign policy unworthy of serious consideration.
So little do Republican candidates care about foreign policy that most of them have "outsourced" their foreign policy to a single neocon-dominated foreign policy shop called the "John Hay Initiative." If you wonder why most Republican candidates sound exactly the same on foreign policy, it's because they are nearly all getting their advice from the same people.
When nearly all candidates look to someone like Eliot Cohen, a founding member of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), to provide an off-the-shelf foreign policy, it should be no surprise that the "debate" in the Republican party is only over which country to attack first.
Any candidate who thinks so little about something so important as America's place in the world should be automatically disqualified.
But the neocons love it! The "experts" who brought us the 2003 Iraq war and the Libya "liberation" are still in the driver's seat when it comes to foreign policy.
"Jeb!" has John Hay Initiative members Michael Chertoff and Michael Hayden (remember those crooks?) on board as his advisors.
Marco Rubio reportedly draws from Hay Project member Roger Zakheim, the son of GW Bush administration "vulcan," Dov Zakheim. Zakheim père, we remember, joined with his fellow neocons to lie the US into war with Iraq, enriching the military-industrial complex, before absconding ..........
Friday, August 28, 2015
unlike other news outlets who like taking it on the chin while on their knees catering to the Orwellian govt.
AP sues over access to FBI records involving fake news story
The Associated Press sued the U.S. Department of Justice Thursday over the FBI's failure to provide public records related to the creation of a fake news story used to plant surveillance software on a suspect's computer.
AP joined with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press to file the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
At issue is a 2014 Freedom of Information request seeking documents related to the FBI's decision to send a web link to the fake article to a 15-year-old boy suspected of making bomb threats to a high school near Olympia, Washington. The link enabled the FBI to infect the suspect's computer with software that revealed its location and Internet address.
AP strongly objected to the ruse, which was uncovered last year in documents obtained through a separate FOIA request made by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
"The FBI both misappropriated the trusted name of The Associated Press and created a situation where our credibility could have been undermined on a large scale," AP General Counsel Karen Kaiser said in a 2014 letter to then-Attorney General Eric Holder.
"It is improper and inconsistent with a free press for government personnel to masquerade as The Associated Press or any other news organization," Kaiser wrote. "The FBI may have intended this false story as a trap for only one person. However, the individual could easily have reposted this story to social networks, distributing to thousands of people, under our name, what was essentially a piece of government disinformation."
In a November opinion piece in The New York Times, FBI Director James Comey revealed that ..............
Paul Craig Roberts at his blog writes:
Where is Neo When We Need Him
In The Matrix in which Americans live, nothing is ever their fault. For example, the current decline in the US stock market is not because years of excessive liquidity supplied by the Federal Reserve have created a bubble so overblown that a mere six stocks, some of which have no earnings commensurate with their price, accounted for more than all of the gain in market capitalization in the S&P 500 prior to the current disruption.
In our Matrix existence, the stock market decline is not due to corporations using their profits, and even taking out loans, to repurchase their shares, thus creating an artificial demand for their equity shares.
The decline is not due to the latest monthly reporting of durable goods orders falling on a year-to-year basis for the sixth consecutive month.
The stock market decline is not due to a weak economy in which after a decade of alleged economic recovery, new and existing home sales are still down by 63% and 23% from the peak in July 2005.
The stock market decline is not due to the collapse in real median family income and, thereby, consumer demand, resulting from two decades of offshoring middle class jobs and partially replacing them with minimum wage part-time Walmart jobs without benefits that do not provide sufficient income to form a household.
No, none of these facts can be blamed. The decline in the US stock market is the fault of China.
What did China do? China is accused of devaluing by a small amount its currency.
Why would a slight adjustment in the yuan’s exchange value to the dollar cause the US and European stock markets to decline?
It wouldn’t. But facts don’t matter to the presstitute media. They lie for a living.
Moreover, it was not a devaluation.
When China began the transition from communism to capitalism, China pegged its currency to the US dollar in order to demonstrate that its currency was as good as the world’s reserve currency. Over time China has allowed its currency to appreciate relative to the dollar. For example, in 2006 one US dollar was worth 8.1 Chinese yuan. Recently, prior to the alleged “devaluation” one US dollar was worth 6.1 or 6.2 yuan. After China’s adjustment to its floating peg, one US dollar is worth 6.4 yuan. Clearly, a change in the value of the yuan from 6.1 or 6.2 to the dollar to 6.4 to the dollar did not collapse the US and European stock markets.
Furthermore, the change in the range of the floating peg to the US dollar did not devalue China’s currency with regard to its non-US trading partners. What had happened, and what China corrected, is that as a result of the QE money printing policies currently underway by the Japanese and European central banks, the dollar appreciated against other currencies. As China’s yuan is pegged to the dollar, China’s currency appreciated with regard to its Asian and European trading partners. The appreciation of China’s currency (due to its peg to the US dollar) is not a good thing for Chinese exports during a time of struggling economies. China merely altered its peg to the dollar in order to eliminate the appreciation of its currency against its other trading partners.
Why did not the financial press tell us this? Is the Western financial press so incompetent that they do not know this? Yes.
Or is it simply that America itself cannot possibly be responsible for anything that goes wrong. That’s it. Who, us?! We are innocent! It was those damn Chinese!
Look, for example, at the hordes of refugees from America’s invasions and bombings of seven countries who are currently overrunning Europe. The huge inflows of peoples from America’s massive slaughter of populations in seven countries, enabled by the Europeans themselves, is causing .......
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Neat list to have at hand when warmongers try to engage you in a conversation insisting that the merits of having the USA as the policeman of the world far outweighs the "few" deaths which are "collateral damage" compared to the vast overall good done by the Empire.
Go check out the list at the link.
Nicolas JS Davies writing at Alternet
35 Countries Where the U.S. Has Supported Fascists, Drug Lords and Terrorists
Here's a handy A to Z guide to U.S.-backed international crime.
The U.S. is backing Ukraine's extreme right-wing Svoboda party and violent neo-Nazis whose armed uprising paved the way for a Western-backed coup. Events in the Ukraine are giving us another glimpse through the looking-glass of U.S. propaganda wars against fascism, drugs and terrorism. The ugly reality behind the mirror is that the U.S. government has a long and unbroken record of working with fascists, dictators, druglords and state sponsors of terrorism in every region of the world in its elusive but relentless quest for unchallenged global power.
Behind a firewall of impunity and protection from the State Department and the CIA, U.S. clients and puppets have engaged in the worst crimes known to man, from murder and torture to coups and genocide. The trail of blood from this carnage and chaos leads directly back to the steps of the U.S. Capitol and the White House. As historian Gabriel Kolko observed in 1988, "The notion of an honest puppet is a contradiction Washington has failed to resolve anywhere in the world since 1945." What follows is a brief A to Z guide to the history of that failure...........
Thursday, August 20, 2015
Does the rest of the world really care two hoots what America or Americans think of the Nuclear deal now that the deal is over and done with ? Let the Americans keep talking or try to undo and even manage to undo the whole thing. The rest of the world has moved on and most of the EU and Asia have already started signing huge contracts with Iran which are not going to be rescinded just because crazy bully USA says it has changed its mind. How much longer does the world have to tolerate the audacity of America!!
Rabbis For Iran Deal - Is Schumer Wrong?
Recently 340 US rabbis -- from the full spectrum of US Judaism -- signed a letter to Congress urging approval of the Iran deal. As AIPAC spends millions lobbying against the deal, perhaps the US Jewish community is not as unified as the neocons would like us to believe. Today's Ron Paul Liberty Report discusses support for the deal:
If you had watched him yesterday in the interview with CNN's Cuomo, you would have noticed that the man is turning lightening quick into another typical politician. He's become deft at avoiding highly charged politically incorrect issues head on like he had a few days ago and his sucking up to the host was vomit-inducing.
I very much think Hillary will come out the winner no matter which way the wind blows from now till election day.
Explaining the Trump Phenomenon
August 17, 2015
Since the days of Richard Nixon’s “Southern Strategy,” the Republican Party has played to the grievances of angry white men (and some women), in effect creating a ready audience for a hot-headed and quick-witted showman like Donald Trump, a classic case of reaping what is sown, as Lawrence Davidson explains.
By Lawrence Davidson
It is really not too hard to figure out Donald Trump. The man is having fun.
What we have witnessed so far is a demonstration of how a billionaire megalomaniac and narcissist has fun: having secured a national stage, he runs around and says whatever he pleases, even if it is blatantly obnoxious. If he gets positive feedback, he does it all the louder. If he gets negative feedback, he turns into a bully, which he also sees as fun.
If his alliance with Fox “News” doesn’t work out, maybe he will buy his own network. If the Republican Party spurns him, he will no doubt start his own political party. He can afford it and, again, it’s a lot of fun. By the way, while Trump is having fun many of the rest of us don’t find him funny at all. Indeed, it’s a serious question whether Mr. Trump’s good time will, in the end, encourage him to become a dangerous demagogue.......
Yet another "wannabe Black" fake activist?: But the question should be: why does it matter whether an activist is black or white?
I guess the answer is because they lied about being Black. Looks like he's the male counterpart of that other wannabe, Rachel something. This guy pretended to be bi-racial because then he would be entitled to an Oprah Winfrey scholarship.
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
I would understand it if Christians became averse to the blood shedding they see on a daily basis, all of it coming from their fellow citizens of the Muslim faith ... but to actually join up in Salafist-linked political groups, that definitely goes beyond the pale. I guess this is a case of "if you can't beat them, join them."
Personally, although this is a deplorable situation, I just cannot bring myself to blame them. What would you do if you had no means of escape from the kind of islamic hell they have been born into and either don't have the means or the willpower to get out of?
Another reason for the Copts dissatisfaction with their own church is the stupidity of the Christian faith whereby divorce and remarriage is taboo. The idiots running Christianity into the ground should shake themselves awake and see the world for what it is and not advocate the norms and practices of over 500 years ago.
From Al Monitor
Coptic Church unhappy Egyptian Christians are joining Salafist-linked party.
Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church Tawadros II (the 118th and current pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark) issued a Aug. 1 decision barring Egyptian Christian Copts from joining the Salafist Nour Party. While the church is not legally allowed to issue official decisions in Egypt, Coptic activists told Al-Monitor that the parishes received oral instructions from the pope's secretariat to keep track of the names of the Copts who join the Nour Party, in preparation for barring them from the church.
Many young Copts were upset. Most of them belong to Coptic 38, a group that objects to the Egyptian Coptic Church’s refusal to grant young people permission to remarry.
These young people expressed their discontent over the pope’s position, protesting that he has always declared that the church is a religious institution dissociated from politics and that its places of worship are for only that. These young people consider their participation in any political party a question of personal freedom. Nader el-Sarafy, one of the co-founders of Coptic 38, said in press statements that joining a party is a political matter and not related to religious belief.
Gamal Assaad, a Coptic former member of parliament, told Al-Monitor, “Joining these parties is basically unconstitutional because Article 74 of the Egyptian Constitution prohibits the establishment of parties on a religious basis, and the Nour Party has a religious basis. Even if the party claims to be a civil party, it is a religious party with anti-Coptic sectarian practices, which is unconstitutional and should be deemed null and void.”.............
Monday, August 17, 2015
Saturday, August 15, 2015
The countries in it, either in major or minor roles:
USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Jordan, UAE, Qatar,Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, Israel, Syria, Turkey, Kurdistan, Yemen, Nigeria,France with (Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad ) Germany, Italy, Czech Republic,Albania, Estonia, Hungary, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Japan,Republic of Korea, Ireland, Spain, Slovakia, Norway, The Netherlands, Luxembourg,Bulgaria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Novorussia, Ukraine, Russia, Chechnya, Somalia, Iran,India, South Korea, North Korea, Central African Republic, Kenya, Tunisia, ThePhilippines, Egypt, Albania, Serbia, China, Sudan, South Sudan, Bukina Faso, Palestine,Georgia, Chad, Spain, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Nepal, Congo, Uganda, Romania,Mexico, Gambia, Haiti, Cameroon, Chad, Algeria, Venezuela, Thailand, Argentina, Vietnam,Myanmar, Georgia, Burundi, Senegal, Macedonia, Armenia, Dominican Republic
Osama Bin Laden’s son Hamza calls for lone wolf attacks in U.S. in Al Qaeda video
Al Qaeda in Afghanistan warned there's a new Bin Laden seeking destruction in the U.S. — Osama's son Hamza.
The terrorist's prodigal son, in his mid 20s, told Al Qaeda supporters to carry out lone wolf attacks in Washington, D.C., Paris and Tel-Aviv in a video released Friday.
"This is your duty," Hamza Bin Laden said as he called to move the jihadist war from the Middle East to allies of the U.S. and Jewish Americans...........
Peshmerga ‘Ready’ to Advance on IS
Anwya believes this is because the United States and its allies are worried about hitting the peshmerga in its airstrikes. “They don’t want to get confused and hit us,” he claimed. The former US Marine agreed, saying, “If we pass the line we may get hit by airstrikes.”
The peshmerga forces’ belief that it is better prepared to fight IS than the Iraqi military, coupled with the Iraqi government preventing them from going on the offensive at present, demonstrates that the two are not exactly on the same page.
However, their differences have not hindered either’s success as of late. According to Ali, the peshmerga, the Iraqi armed forces and their allies have had more success in 2015 fighting IS than in the previous year. Media reports noted that IS lost several villages around Mosul in January of this year, for example. Despite this progress, until a decision is reached on when to move forward, the current situation of relatively light combat and a static front line is likely to continue...........
Is Turkey In Over Its Head? Turkey’s war against Islamic State began with bombs being dropped on Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) forces – a central actor in the ongoing insurgency across parts of Syria (a country that ostensibly no longer exists) and Iraq. The PKK has sought autonomy from Turkey since the mid-1980s, with tens of thousands of Turkish and Kurdish soldiers and civilians being counted as part of the casualties of the roughly 30-year conflict. Attempts to carve out a sovereign Kurdish homeland from Turkey during the 1980s led to the deaths of over 30,000 people, many of whom were ethnic Kurds. As part of Turkey’s new role in its conflict with ISIS, the United States has been granted permission to launch aircraft from the Incirlik airbase located near Adana. The United States already has approximately six fighter aircraft and several hundred military personnel stationed at the base.
The battle of Kobane, which lasted from mid-September 2014 until mid-March 2015, brought the fighting to the borders of Turkey. At the end of July 2015, when Turkey entered into the conflict, its attacks against the PKK were the first strikes against the Kurds situated in northern Iraq since the brokering of a peace deal between Turkey and the PKK in 2013. The Kurdish group’s accusations that the Turkish government is plotting terrorist attacks (in collusion with ISIS forces) against ethnic Kurdish communities greatly adds to tensions due to Ankara’s already inimical disposition toward the Kurds............
Cameroon Pledges More Troops Against Boko Haram - Cameroon has pledged to provide 2,450 troops to join the multina... http://t.co/AXeZBydzZg— Vincent Makori (@VOAVinceMakori) August 15, 2015
Spate of bombings kill 24 across Baghdad
A spate of bombings across Baghdad killed at least 24 people on Saturday, two days after the deadliest attack in the Iraqi capital since Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi took office one year ago.
The deadliest attack took place in the Shi'ite district of Habibiya, where 15 people were killed when a car bomb exploded near an open area where cars are displayed for sale.
"The investigation, based on footage from a surveillance camera, showed a man parking a white car and sneaking into a nearby tea kiosk. Five minutes later the car exploded," said police officer Murtatha Abid Ali at the scene of Saturday's explosion, which wounded a further 35 people...........
The War in Donbass. Kiev Deploys Tanks and Rocket Launchers, Recent Developments in Iraq and Palestine
Yesterday Donetsk was hit by a record 800 artillery shells. The Telmanovo suburb was hit particularly hard, but the shelling was also very violent in the airport region. At least one local was killed and 2 wounded by the shelling. Meanwhile, Kiev has been continuing to pull its forces to the contact line. These forces include tanks and artillery systems, even multiple rocket launchers. The vice-speaker of the People’s Council Denis Pushilin informed that if Kiev escapes from the Minsk agreement the war will blaze up at any moment and it can touch not only Donbass. However, the vice-commander of Defense Ministry Corps Eduard Basurin didn’t confrim the information about full alert of the DPR’s Army.......
from South Front, Global Research:
The crew of Russia’s REN TV channel came under fire near Donetsk airport on Wednesday, the channel said on its website. “The Ukrainian military opened fire at the REN TV crew today when our correspondents were working near the Donetsk airport, which is one of the biggest flash points (in Donbass). Shooting has been under way in the village of Oktyabrsky, one kilometer away from Donetsk airport, for days,” REN TV said on its website. It is still unknown .........
Multiple Blasts Rock Kabul, Firing on Near Airport
A series of blasts rattled Kabul in Afghanistan late on Friday. The first of the evening was a suicide attack near the entrance of the Kabul Police Academy, killing 20 cadets, officials said.
Two other blasts were reported from the near Kabul airport. Gunfire continued after the attack and NATO jets were heard flying overhead.
"The attacker was wearing police uniform. When he detonated his explosives, 20 cadets were killed and 20 more were wounded," said a senior Afghan intelligence official.
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid claimed that his outfit was behind the attack on the police academy.
The suicide bombing comes less than 24 hours after a truck bomb tore through central Kabul, killing 15 civilians and wounding 240 others, in the first major attack in the Afghan capital since the announcement of Taliban leader Mullah Omar's death........
Afghan president, after seeking to befriend Pakistan, says recent Kabul attacks show Pakistan still exporting terror: http://t.co/lbPPum0ZBG— Brahma Chellaney (@Chellaney) August 15, 2015
9 dead, 4 rescued in Mali hotel attack
3 of the Islamic militants who stormed hotel also killed in attack that occurred far from militant strongholds
Mali's special forces early Saturday rescued four people who hid in a hotel for nearly 24 hours after Islamic extremists stormed the building and launched a rare attack far from their northern strongholds that killed nine people, officials said.
Three attackers were also killed in the fighting.
The four rescued UN employees are two South Africans, a Russian and a Ukrainian, said Radhia Achouri, the spokeswoman for the UN mission in Mali.
"Our contractors survived because at no time was their presence discovered by the terrorists in the hotel," she said adding there was not much resistance Saturday morning during the rescue. The four will soon go to Bamako, the capital, she said.
Additional UN personnel may still be missing, said a UN official not authorized to speak to the press on the matter. Some personnel could not be reached, and some of the attackers left Sevare after the initial attacks Friday morning, the official said............
Deadly attacks surge as Iran's foreign minister visits Syria
Iran's foreign minister, who negotiated his country's nuclear deal with world powers, discussed ways of ending Syria's civil war with President Bashar Assad in Damascus on Wednesday, as attacks surged around the Syrian capital, killing at least 36 people and wounding dozens.
Stepped-up rebel shelling and government airstrikes came just a few hours before Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in Damascus, where he discussed a four-point proposal Iran wants to offer to the United Nations as a way out of Syria's grinding conflict.
That plan, according to a Lebanese politician familiar with the proposal, includes a cease-fire and a power-sharing government that would keep Assad in the picture, at least for now, pending internationally supervised elections. The politician, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to divulge details of the plan, said it shows the Iranians were "not ready" to withdraw their support for Assad........
Houthis withdrew from Shabwa. Some public and private properties were looted by southern Hirak activists. #Yemen pic.twitter.com/x7elxdtttX— Yemen Updates (@yemen_updates) August 15, 2015
Rwanda peacekeeper kills four colleagues in CAR
A Rwandan soldier serving as a peacekeeper in the Central African Republic (CAR) has shot dead four colleagues before killing himself, the Rwandan Defence Ministry has said.
Eight others were wounded in the attack, a statement said.
A Rwandan military spokesman called the incident "deplorable".
Those dead served under the UN's mission in CAR, deployed to support the country's fragile transitional government.
The country descended into sectarian violence in 2013 when the predominantly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power, prompting reprisals from Christian militia. ........
Boko Haram has been 'decapitated': Chadian leader: N'Djamena (AFP) - Chad's President Idriss Deby declared Tue... http://t.co/TWoCqXGJ4L— ModernGhana.com (@modernghanaweb) August 12, 2015
Libyan officials: IS affiliate in Sirte battles local revolt, shells residential areas
Libya's Islamic State affiliate is battling a rival Islamist group in the central city of Sirte, killing one of its senior clerics and besieging and shelling a residential area housing its supporters, officials and witnesses said Thursday.
The clashes have killed between 13 and 49 people, with officials giving different casualty counts. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.
The IS affiliate last week called on residents of a northern Sirte neighborhood working in the police, the judiciary and the financial sector to pledge allegiance to the group or face death, local journalist Ezzeldin Ahmed said.
In response, a group of ultraconservative Muslim clerics in the area refused to pledge allegiance to IS and urged residents to rise up against it. One of the clerics was found dead Monday, setting off the clashes, he said.
Libya has slid into chaos since the 2011 overthrow and killing of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi. It is now divided between an elected parliament and government in the east, and an Islamist militia-backed government based in Tripoli.
The Islamic State affiliate gained a foothold in Sirte in March, and has fought with rival militant groups and forces loyal to both governments.........
Insurgency'' Military, Boko Haram currently in gun battle in Maiduguri
Nigerian troops and Boko Haram members are currently engaged in a gun battle in Kayamula village, Jere LGA, which is a few meters from Maiduguri, Borno state. Residents were thrown into panic but the military assured them of their safety and appealed to them to remain indoors.
This gun battle comes hours after a suspected Boko Haram member attacked a market in Sabon Gari in Damboa local government area, killing 50 people. ........
IS affiliate claims responsibility for Saudi police bombing
An allegedly new Islamic State affiliate in Saudi Arabia claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing at a mosque inside a police compound in the country's southwest on Thursday that killed at least 15 people, most of them members and recruits of the kingdom's special forces.
It was the deadliest attack against Saudi security personnel in years and one that is likely to pull the kingdom deeper into the regional war with IS extremists.
The blast took place in an Interior Ministry compound in the city of Abha, the provincial capital of Asir, which lies along the border with war-torn Yemen. The troops killed were members of an elite counter-terrorism force.
The attack was stunning in its timing and target, coming just weeks after the Saudi Interior Ministry announced the arrest of more than 400 suspects in an anti-terrorism sweep. In April, they announced the arrest of more than 90 suspects........
The kingdom had for years quietly allowed thousands of Saudis to leave the country to join militant groups fighting in Iraq and Syria, until the late King Abdullah last year decreed that fighting abroad was illegal. At the same time, Saudi Arabia joined a U.S.-led coalition carrying out airstrikes in Syria and Iraq against the Islamic State group.
The kingdom is also leading a coalition targeting Yemen's Iran-allied Shiite rebels who have carried out a number of cross-border attacks against Saudi military targets. It has also sheltered Yemen's exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi whose loyalists at home are battling Iran-backed Shiite rebels known as Houthis.
Hours after Thursday's bombing in Abha, a previously unheard of IS affiliate, which calls itself Hijaz Province of the Islamic State, claimed responsibility for the attack.
The group issued a statement saying..........
Go to the 26-min mark of the vid below to hear Max Blumenthal talk about the 51 day war and the atrocious war crimes committed in Gaza on the Palestinians by the Israeli govt.
More than 200 feared dead in sinking of migrant boat
Hopes faded of finding more survivors on Thursday from a shipwreck in which 200 migrants are feared drowned, as rescue ships were called to the aid of more migrant boats in the same area of the Mediterranean.
"We are witnessing a genocide caused by European selfishness," said Palermo mayor Leoluca Orlando as the Irish navy ship LE Niamh docked in the port carrying some 370 survivors of Wednesday's disaster and 25 corpses, including three children.
Orlando, speaking on Italian television as hearses arrived to take the bodies away, called on European leaders to do more to prevent such disasters and to allow more refugees to re-settle in their countries.
After the survivors disembarked, some were escorted back on board to see if they could identify the dead children......
Afghan War’s Convenient Myth: A Living Mullah Omar
The Taliban, it turns out, had been sending the world messages from a dead man. And the world kept answering him.
It continued until last month, when the Taliban issued a statement in the name of their supreme leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, intended to “elucidate some issues about the previous and present ongoing jihadi struggle.” In it, Mullah Omar seemed open to the idea of peace negotiations, raising hopes in Kabul.
The reclusive Mullah Omar, of course, had not been seen in public in nearly 14 years, and some of his commanders, having last heard from him around 2008 or 2009, had been demanding proof of life.
Mullah Omar, according to the Afghan spy service and some Taliban officials, had already been dead for more than two years — as many Afghan officials strongly suspected.
Still, President Ashraf Ghani, who had gone all out for months to open talks with the Taliban, said before news cameras that he was encouraged by Mullah Omar’s latest words, characterizing him as having said that “negotiation is the solution.”..........
US-led airstrikes targeting the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria have killed more than 450 civilians over the past year, a new report said, even though the coalition has acknowledged only two non-combatant deaths.
More than 5,700 air strikes have been launched in the campaign, which will mark its first anniversary on Saturday.
According to a new report by Airwars, a nonprofit team of independent journalists aimed at tracking airstrikes, 52 attacks caused at least 459 non-combatant deaths, including those of more than 100 children.
The UAE Just Effectively Invaded Yemen
Around 3000 troops just landed in Aden largely under the world media’s radar
Over the last week, the entire momentum of the war in Yemen has shifted. While previously pro-government forces and the so-called Popular Resistance were trapped within the port city of Aden, now they are pushing the Houthis back in all directions. First they managed to secure the port facilities, then the entire residential region of the city, and then finally the Aden International Airport.........
....Given the huge numbers of vehicles involved, and it would seem that these must almost certainly be regular Emirati troops. Indeed this has been effectively confirmed by comments from coalition officials who have said that 3000 troops, made up of UAE regulars and foreign-trained Yemenis had made landfall in Aden. Effectively, an entire foreign armoured division has invaded Yemen, however it is politically convenient for the Saudi-led coalition (of which the UAE is a large partner) not to talk much about it......
Bandar is another name for "monkey" in some of the Asian dialects. This particular monkey was/is a lapdog of US elites
Source: Crown Prince Mohammad bin Nayaf stated to Ali Mamlouk that Bandar bin Sultan was responsible for the turmoil between Saudis & Assad— Leith Abou Fadel (@leithfadel) August 4, 2015
US military official: 'We were outraged' when Turkey pulled a fast one right after the anti-ISIS deal
An American military source told Fox News that US military leaders were "outraged" when Turkey began launching airstrikes against the Kurdish PKK in northern Iraq just hours after striking a deal with the US opposing the Islamic State, the militant group also known as ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh.
A Turkish officer entered the allied headquarters in the air war against ISIS and "announced that the strike would begin in 10 minutes and he needed all allied jets flying above Iraq to move south of Mosul immediately," the source said.
"We were outraged."
The US special forces stationed in northern Iraq advising and training Kurdish peshmerga fighters had virtually no warning before Turkish jets started striking the mountains, where the PKK is headquartered.
"We had no idea who the Turkish fighters were, their call signs, what frequencies they were using, their altitude or what they were squawking [to identify the jets on radar]," the source said.
Turkish military leaders.......
Islamic State claims responsibility for twin attacks killing at least 58 in Iraq
Two explosions in Diyala province come in same region of an attack, also claimed by the terror group, which killed 115 last month
At least 58 people have been killed and more than 100 wounded in two blasts in eastern Iraq in a province once considered mostly free of such dangers. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack.
In January, Iraqi officials declared victory over the insurgents in Diyala province, which borders Iran, after security forces and Shi’ite paramilitaries drove them out of towns and villages. But the militants have remained active.
The explosion took place on Monday at a market in Huwaidar, about 2.5 miles north of the provincial capital of Baquba, police and medical sources said.
“The attacker managed to pass a checkpoint by lining up with a wedding motorcade and then split off with his explosives packed vehicle to blow it up in a crowded marketplace,” said the Diyala police captain, Mohammed al-Tamimi. ........
Suicide attack kills 29 in northern Afghanistan
* Attack took place in Khanabad district of northern Kunduz province when a group of militias were holding a security meeting * Taliban spokesman claims responsibility
A suicide bomber blew himself up at a gathering of Afghan local militia forces loyal to the government late on Saturday, killing at least 25 militia members and four civilians, a local government official said.
The attack took place in the Khanabad district of northern Kunduz province when a group of militias were holding a security meeting. Several Afghan civilians and militias were also wounded in the attack. “At least 29 people, including 25 members of a militia group supporting local government and four civilians, were killed in a suicide attack that took place in Khanabad district of Kunduz. Several civilians and militias were wounded,” said Khanabad District Governor Hayatullah Amiri. A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the suicide attack, saying they killed 31 militias and wounded 26.........
OSCE Shamed for Not Reporting Kiev’s Atrocities in Donbass
Hundreds of people gathered outside the OSCE office in Donetsk, demanding unbiased monitoring of the humanitarian situation in the region.
“Your silence is killing children”, read one of the many posters held by the protesters.
Several OSCE representatives came out to meet the protesters but refrained from making any comments.
“If only the OSCE had monitored the situation more objectively, we would have had peace here a long time ago… The OSCE monitors are telling us nothing, saying only that they will make protocols, nothing else,” Donetsk News Agency quoted one of the protesters as saying.
Yemen president’s loyalists retake provincial capital
Forces loyal to exiled Yemeni president recaptured a southern provincial capital from Houthi rebels and their allies on Sunday as well as a coastal town, as they pressed an advance from second city Aden.
Zinjibar, capital of Abyan province, had been held by troops of the renegade 15th Brigade which remains loyal to ousted strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh who is allied with the Houthi rebels.
Troops entered Zinjibar, some 50 kilometres east of Aden, after overrunning the brigade’s barracks with support from Saudi-led coalition air strikes, military sources said.
They deployed tanks to secure the city and then also retook the coastal town of Shaqra with “little resistance” from rebel forces, a military source said. .........
Dozens Killed In Truck Blast At Baghdad Market
A refrigerated lorry packed with explosives blows up inside one of the largest wholesale food markets in Iraq's capital.
Islamic State says it was responsible for carrying out a massive truck bombing in a crowded Baghdad market has killed dozens of people.
Reports say at least 76 people died and at least 200 people were wounded in the early morning explosion at Jameela market in the predominantly Shia Sadr City neighbourhood............
US ex-intelligence chief on ISIS rise: It was 'a willful Washington decision'
The US didn’t interfere with the rise of anti-government jihadist groups in Syria that finally degenerated into Islamic State, claims the former head of America’s Defense Intelligence Agency, backing a secret 2012 memo predicting their rise.
An interview with retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), given to Al Jazeera’s Mehdi Hasan, confirms earlier suspicions that Washington was monitoring jihadist groups emerging as opposition in Syria.........
Army names 3 units for Iraq, Afghanistan deployments
About 2,550 soldiers with 10th Mountain Division will deploy in the next few months as part of Iraq and Afghanistan troop rotations, the Army announced Wednesday.
The largest contingent will come from the division's Fort Drum, New York-based 1st Brigade Combat Team, which will send about 1,250 soldiers to Iraq to support Operation Inherent Resolve — a deployment first announced in March that's expected to last nine months. The brigade last deployed to Afghanistan for nine months in 2013.
Another 300 troops from 10th Mountain's headquarters at Fort Drum will deploy to Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel, the Army announced, along with about 1,000 troops from the division's 3rd BCT, based at Fort Polk, Louisiana...........
U.N.: More women, children casualties of Afghan violence
The United Nations said on Wednesday that an increasing number of women and children were getting hurt or killed in Afghanistan's war against the Taliban and other insurgents.
The total number of casualties in the almost 14-year conflict was up one percent in the first half of this year, compared to the same period last year, a new U.N. report said. However, the number of women casualties rose by 23 percent and children 13 percent........
Thursday, August 13, 2015
The Bibi-bots of course, don't like this truth-teller, they would rather stand with a warmongering maniac in his thirst for never-ending wars on the pretext of coming gloom and doom from Iran, the country that the madcap thinks has plans to take over the world.
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Yup, we have known that now for over a decade. We also know that the entire EU and the USA are pretty confused too? Right up there on the insanity pile are the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, France and Germany and then an inch below these nuts is the rest of the EU.
The Colonel of course, being a military man, thinks in terms of administration within the military environment and I am willing to bet he has not once thought to ask himself why his country has gone to that far away land and why it insists on remaining there. That's the military culture. Serve, don't ask. Conscience be damned. That's just one of the reasons soldiers coming back from combat have a high incidence of either going loony, committing suicide or becoming murderers.
Notice how the British have not given up on using the word "servants" ... just like they are so fond of using "Sir" here, there and everywhere and it's not a matter of respect but a matter of submission. The slave mentality is not easily erased by the elite of the "once was an Empire" now a Caliphate.
Britain is trying to close the gates when the Trojan Horse is well inside and thriving superbly. The Colonel's "Shaffy" has become akin to a case of throwing the baby out with the bath water. Cameron is probably trying to control the influx of Muslims migrants, refugees, etc. by blanketing everybody with the same brush.... so poor "Shaffy" and other translators like him are thrown to the mercy of Afghans who rightly think of them as collaborators.
Extremists in; brave servants out: Britain makes me despair
The fate of Army translators abandoned to their fate in Afghanistan is a disgrace - more so when you see the people we do allow to live here
There are times when I feel that Britain is the most confused place on earth, intent on its own degradation and destruction. This is one of those times. The disgraceful and shaming revelation that an Afghan man known as “Shaffy”, who gave vital service to the country as a linguist (translating for, among others, Prime Minister David Cameron), has not been granted asylum in the UK despite credible death threats, sits in grim contrast to news that a Jihadist preacher with links to Osama bin Laden will be allowed to remain in the UK to continue his decade long fight for British citizenship. The preacher, known in the courts only as “FM’” has so far cost the taxpayer tens of thousands of pounds in court fees.
It is a subject I feel strongly about. My company, New Century, which mentors and trains the Afghan Police Special Branch, relies heavily on what we call our “Cultural Advisors”. We use this term because they are so much more than translators. They must speak Dari (the official language of Afghanistan), Pathan (the language most commonly spoken amongst the Taliban and their support base), and of course English to a very high standard (which it has to be if they are going to understand what their former Royal Ulster Constabulary mentors are saying!) A senior Nato general describes these men and women as “more valuable than ammunition” in the complex fight against subversion and terror.
It was the same with the locally recruited translators that the UK military relied on in recent conflicts. The understanding was that in exchange for paid work, the linguists would put on British Army uniforms and accompany British soldiers to the most dangerous corners of Afghanistan interpreting, liaising, aiding understanding and often spotting danger long before it was apparent to one not from the region. Part of that understanding was that as they looked out for our soldiers, we would look out for them after their service.
Indeed there was a package put together by The Foreign Office and Home Office, albeit with bureaucratic – some would say Byzantine complexity. However this package drew the line at those who served on or after January 1 2013. That left many, including “Shaffy”, who served before that, abandoned and at the tender mercy of the jihadists. It was for this reason a group of veterans including Winston Churchill’s great grandson and I handed in a petition of 53,000 signatures demanding justice for the “left behinds” to Number 10 Downing Street on August 14 2013. It was duly ignored. ..........
Saturday, August 8, 2015
Someone please pick me up from the floor where I have collapsed in a fit of uncontrolled hilarity.
Never an end to Obama's blunders while dangling on a string obeying the neo-cons to sure and certain doom in the Middle East.
How many of the neo-con gangsters have made untold $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$s in the last few years? I am betting each and every last one of them.
Follow the money to understand why the USA's 1% is "excited" about wars in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Ukraine and parts of Africa. Blood and gore makes their day.... the more there is, the more money they make.
Many US-Trained Rebels Fighting ISIS in Syria Unaccounted For
Many of the Syrian rebels trained by the United States to fight ISIS are unaccounted for in the northern part of the country and some have been found in Turkey, a U.S. official said Thursday.
News about the uncertainty of their whereabouts came a week after the rebels were attacked by 50 fighters from the rival al-Nusra Front, a rebel group affiliated with al Qaeda. At least one of the U.S.-trained rebels was killed and others were wounded before the attack was repelled by U.S. airstrikes. .......
US-trained Syrian rebels refuse to fight al-Qaida group after kidnappings
Division 30, which has endured a campaign of kidnappings by the Nusra Front, also opposes American air strikes carried out against al-Qaida-linked fighters
A group of Syrian rebels that includes fighters trained by the United States have declared their refusal to fight al-Qaida’s affiliate in the country, the Nusra Front, following a series of kidnappings by the militant group.
A source in Division 30, which has endured a campaign of kidnappings by the Nusra Front, said they also oppose the American air strikes carried out in the last few days against the al-Qaida-linked fighters.
The statements complicate the American strategy in Syria, which has suffered a string of setbacks and delays, deploying just over 50 fighters dedicated to fighting the terror group Islamic State in the year since its programme to train and equip rebels began. ........
The US Spends $4M To Train One Syrian Rebel:
What Else Could That Buy?
The U.S. government continues to spend billions funding foreign wars and destabilizing the Middle East while America struggles to make ends meet domestically.
A U.S. government official recently revealed the shocking ineffectiveness of millions spent on U.S. plans to train Syrian rebels, while in the United States inequality worsens, national infrastructure crumbles, major cities like Detroit suffer from economic collapse, and student debt and inequality continue to careen out of control.
Last year, the U.S. budgeted $500 million to train Syrian rebels opposed to the rise of so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Officials hoped the money would train thousands of new fighters in an ongoing civil war that’s already devastated the civilian population. Austin Wright, writing in a report published by Politico last weekend, quoted an anonymous congressional aide on the progress of the program: “About half of the $500 million has been obligated thus far, mostly on equipment required to train the Syrian fighters.” According to the same aid, approximately 60 fighters have been trained to date — a figure that falls far short of the program’s goals.
“How much has the United States spent to train that whopping force of 60 Syrian rebels to take on the Islamic State?” asked Wright. “Well, according to basic math, about $4 million for each of them.”
The millions in aid to Syrian rebels are just a small portion of the billions the U.S. government spends on military aid to foreign governments every year while making deeper cuts to social safety nets back home.
For example, the U.S. expanded its aid to Saudi Arabia in March, and those funds are being used to support human rights abuses both inside the country and in a months-long bombing campaign that’s caused a humanitarian crisis in Yemen. And the U.S. will spend about $3.1 billion on Israel this year to support the country’s illegal occupation of Palestine and war crimes like deliberately targeting civilians............
Friday, August 7, 2015
How many "special unit" individuals from UK, USA and Canada are operating in Syria masquerading as ISIS with one goal in mind ... "get rid of Assad" ????
I strongly suspect there are at least a few hundred of them.
First watch the video below which is from early 2011 at the time of the Libyan fiasco and several months before Gadhafi was sodomized and murdered in October 2011. Listen carefully to what analyst Stephen Lendman has to say about what he thinks is happening in Libya/will happen in Libya and who and what is responsible for the mayhem likely to ensue. Was he proven right or not? After that you proceed to read his latest analysis below the video which was published a couple of days ago. You might think that this is all bullshit and the guy must be into conspiracy theories, but a few months from now you will think otherwise.
British SAS Special Forces “Dressed Up as ISIS Rebels” Fighting Assad in Syria
On August 2, Britain’s Sunday Express newspaper headlined “SAS dress as ISIS fighters in undercover war on jihadis,” saying:
“More than 120 members belonging to the elite regiment are currently in the war-torn country” covertly “dressed in black and flying ISIS flags,” engaged in what’s called Operation Shader – attacking Syrian targets on the pretext of combatting ISIS.
Maybe covert US special forces and CIA elements are involved the same way. During Obama’s war on Libya, Britain deployed hundreds of Special Forces Support Group (SFSG) paratroopers – drawn from SAS (Special Air Service) and SBS (Special Boat Service) personnel.
Around 800 Royal Marines and 4,000 US counterparts were on standby to intervene on short notice if ordered.
The latest revelation comes two weeks after learning Prime Minister David Cameron last year approved British warplanes joining US ones in bombing Syria despite parliamentary rejection in August 2013.
At least part of its current covert ground operation is under US command – so-called “smash” units traveling in pickup trucks able to launch mini-UAVs to scan terrain for targets to attack.
Over 250 UK (and perhaps US) specialists are involved to provide communications support, the Sunday Express explained.
British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said “(o)ur actions and surveillance capabilities are freeing up other countries to strike in Syria.”
UK SAS forces are in Saudi Arabia training anti-Assad terrorists along with US operatives doing the same thing – including in Turkey, Jordan, Qatar and perhaps Israel.
US and UK claims about training so-called “moderate” rebels reflect smoke-screen cover for working directly with ISIS terrorists – trained, armed and funded abroad, funneled cross-border into Syria to fight Assad, now with US/UK and Canadian air support along with covert commandos on the ground.
The Express cited former British Army General David Richards saying “tanks will roll” as part of UK operations in Syria.
A separate article discussed US airstrikes defending ISIS terrorists ........
So, what exactly is going on between Wahhabi Saudi Arabia and the poorest Arab country in the Middle East?
Good informative read if you care to learn a teeny-weeny bit of the jigsaw puzzle that is the disaster created by Saudi Arabia and its pals.
Miriam Goldman writing at NationalInterest
What's Going on along the Saudi-Yemeni Border?
Divergent Saudi and Houthi reports on fighting along the Yemen-Saudi Arabia border give rise to an opaque understanding of what is actually going on.
July 24 marked the fifth consecutive day that Saudi sources confirmed cross-border incidents in the country’s southern border provinces. On that day, not only were clashes reported at the al-Tuwal border crossing, but the landing of projectiles occurred in both the Jazan and Najran Provinces. Similar incidents were reported from July 20-23, including another attack at the al-Tuwal crossing that was reportedly thwarted on July 22.
Five days in a row of such cross-border attacks certainly represents an uptick of violence, particularly given the more severe nature of some of the incidents. This may be attributed to an interest by Houthi and pro-Saleh forces in presenting a show of strength amid substantial losses in Aden and reports of continued advances by anti-Houthi forces in the Lahij Governorate.
That being said, cross-border incidents appear to be relatively routine in the border area, even if one takes into account the drastically different pictures presented by opposing sides.
The majority of the incidents reported about in Saudi media, including social media sources that claim to be based in these southern areas, occur quite near the border area. Dhahran al-Janub, for example, which saw material damage result from shelling on July 21 is less than 15 kilometers from the border with Yemen. There are some projectiles that cause casualties and/or material damage, usually when they hit population centers, while others (many) land in underpopulated areas or open spaces. Reports indicate that “dozens” of civilians and military personnel have been killed in such incidents, but in the context of the apparent frequency of cross-border fire and length of the conflict, this is a relatively low number.
On the other hand, Houthi-affiliated media like Al-Masirah TV issues multiple claims each day regarding the successful targeting of southern Saudi Arabia. While largely involving the firing of mortars and rockets, this has also included videos allegedly depicting the entrance of fighters into Saudi territory near the border. Some clearly corresponds to those reported by Saudi sources, while others remain uncorroborated.
Iran, for its part, reiterates many of or similar claims. ........
is sinking him along with the waltzing walruses, the PMs of Canada and UK, deeper into the tangled mess of total failure. And, why is that? The answer is simple. The Anglo powers just don't have the will to kill their prized creation (Al Qaeda/ISIS/IS/etc).
Jihad John has been lifted to a safe haven, somewhere in the UK or maybe even somewhere in the USA or Canada ... I for one, have never believed and never will, the story about that killer being approached by UK intelligence and declining to join the agency. I suspect he is/was an agent working for either the UK or the USA or both. If things get too complicated, "jihad john" will meet a sticky end which will be blamed on "jealous" jihadis vying for the kind of infamy he achieved for himself.
Don't ever believe anything that our MSM puts out for our consumption. We should read the MSM's reporting as made up fairy tales and draw our own conclusions which oft times should be the exact opposite of what the media wants us to believe.
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
The part I have highlighted from his article, is what spoke to me the most. Republicans, just like the Cons here in Canada, are hypocrites of the first order. From one side of their mouth they scream against abortion and from the other side they sing glories about those dropping bombs on children in the Middle East and the Ukraine and anywhere and everywhere else.
From RonPaulInstituteFor Peace:
Politics Is Not the Path to Pro-Life Victory
During my time in Congress, I regularly introduced legislation forbidding organizations that perform abortions from receiving federal funding. The US Government should not force taxpayers to subsidize an activity they believe is murder. Thus, while I was horrified by the recently released videos showing Planned Parenthood officials casually discussing selling the organs of aborted babies, I am glad that the reaction to these videos has renewed efforts to end federal funding of abortion.
My experience in Congress does not leave me optimistic that federal funding of Planned Parenthood will be ended this year, however. This is not just because the current US president is pro-abortion. When I started my efforts to end taxpayer support of abortion, I was shocked to find out how many Republicans, including some self-described “pro-life” leaders, were unsupportive of, and sometimes hostile to, my efforts.
Most pro-life politicians preferred to add language to funding bills prohibiting federal funds from being used for abortions, rather than denying federal funds to abortion providers. This approach does not stop US taxpayers from subsidizing abortions. The reason is that money is fungible. Giving Planned Parenthood $100 to use for non-abortion activities allows it to spend an additional $100 of its non-government funds on abortion.
Foreign interventionists in both parties were particularly hostile to my efforts to eliminate federal funding for international organizations that performed or promoted abortions. This is a foolish policy that gives people around the globe another reason to resent the US government........
......One factor hindering the anti-abortion movement's ability to change people’s minds is that too many abortion opponents also support a militaristic foreign policy. These pro-lifers undercut their moral credibility as advocates for unborn American lives when they display a callous indifference to the lives of Iraqi, Iranian, and Afghan children........
Monday, August 3, 2015
The countries in it, either in major or minor roles:
USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Jordan, UAE, Qatar,Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, Israel, Syria, Turkey, Kurdistan, Yemen, Nigeria,France with (Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad ) Germany, Italy, Czech Republic,Albania, Estonia, Hungary, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Japan,Republic of Korea, Ireland, Spain, Slovakia, Norway, The Netherlands, Luxembourg,Bulgaria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Novorussia, Ukraine, Russia, Chechnya, Somalia, Iran, India, South Korea, North Korea, Central African Republic, Kenya, Tunisia, ThePhilippines, Egypt, Albania, Serbia, China, Sudan, South Sudan, Bukina Faso, Palestine,Georgia, Chad, Spain, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Nepal, Congo, Uganda, Romania,Mexico, Gambia, Haiti, Cameroon, Chad, Algeria, Venezuela, Thailand, Argentina, Vietnam,Myanmar, Georgia, Burundi, Senegal, Macedonia, Armenia, Dominican Republic
Turkey joined the fight against Islamic State, but not for the reasons you think
After months of wavering, Turkey agreed on July 23 to partner with the United States in launching joint air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq. However, soon after pounding Islamic State positions in Syria, Ankara quickly turned its attention to strike at the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Iraq, whose Syrian wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG) is a key U.S. ally against Islamic State.
The decision to strike against the PKK was made with the aim of advancing Turkey’s governing AK Party’s political position ahead of early parliamentary elections. But it will be a pyrrhic victory: Syria’s problems will continue to spill over Turkey’s borders, making a solution to the conflict ever more elusive.......
These 5 Stats Explain Turkey’s War on ISIS—and the Kurds
Turkey enters the battle against ISIS, but it's real target seems to be the Kurds
On the heels of a major suicide bombing in the border town of Suruç a couple weeks ago, Turkey has officially joined the war against ISIS—though it’s not clear what it actually aims to achieve. Turkey and its leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan were riding high just a few years ago, with a strong economy and a growing international profile. Now the country’s economy is tumbling, and its politics are fragmenting. These 5 facts explain Turkey’s various motivations for going to war. Be warned—they’re complicated.
1. A Faltering Economy
Until recently, Turkey was an emerging market darling. In 2010, its economy was growing at a robust 9.2 percent. But by 2013, GDP growth had fallen to 4.1 percent. The slowdown has continued, and growth for 2015 is now forecast at 3.1 percent, which may actually be a generous estimate. Unemployment in the country has reached 11 percent, the highest rate in 5 years.
It’s not clear that joining the fight ...........
From AlJazeera (interactive map at link)
A close look at the most Major Kurdish factions
influential Kurdish groups in the Middle East spread over Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran.
Instead Of Fighting ISIS, Erdogan Pushes Turkey Toward Chaos And Despotism
In Turkey, an ISIS suicide bomb kills 30 and wounds many more in the Kurdish area town of Suruc. The Kurdish insurgent terrorists, the PKK, then start killing Turkish policemen and soldiers while ISIS attacks a Turkish military border post. Peace demonstrations ensue in some cities which police put down with the, by now, familiar methods of severity against civilians. Ankara and Washington reach an agreement allowing the US to use its bases inside Turkey against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Erdogan’s spokesmen announce that Turkey’s air force has conducted raids against both PKK and ISIS targets across the border. Turkish authorities arrest some 900 people nationwide, mostly Kurds, for allegedly belonging to terror networks. Turkish tanks shell Kurdish villages in Syrian borderlands near Kobani. Meanwhile, news leaks that the US has solid evidence of Turkish collusion with ISIS in months past. Let us pause here and dispel some of the fog.
First, let us remember that Turkey conducted a national election on June 7 and still hasn’t formed a government. All these decisions in a time of crisis are being taken by somebody. Someone’s running the country. We’ll get to the full implications later but initiatives are being taken, ......
1. Turkey used 3 planes to strike IS targets in Syria on night of 23-24 July. The next night it used 75 planes to hit PKK targets in Iraq.— Alev Scott (@AlevScott) August 1, 2015
Obama Authorizes "Defensive" Airstrikes Against Assad Regime In Syria
On Friday, we checked in on the Pentagon’s ongoing effort to recruit, vet, and train ambitious "freedom fighters" to join the battle against ISIS in Syria.
It goes without saying that covert US efforts to aid the multifarious groups vying for control of the country have met with disastrous consequences so far, but if there’s anything Washington is particularly adept at, it’s making bad foreign policy outcomes worse, which is why we weren’t at all surprised to learn that the commander of the Pentagon's new Syrian "force" was captured, along with his deputy, by al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra last week near the border with Turkey.
The NY Times called the kidnapping "perhaps [the] most embarrassing setback yet," for Washington’s ragtag contingent of volunteer militiamen and indeed, the fact that the Pentagon had hoped to field a "force" of 3,000 men by the end of the year but has so far only managed to train 54 speaks to the futility of the entire effort.
Or perhaps not. It all depends on what the real aim behind the program was in the first place. If the goal was to field a fierce band of well-trained warriors to rout Islamic State, then things aren’t going so well. If, however, the idea was simply to give the US an excuse to get directly involved in facilitating the swift demise of Bashar al-Assad now that his forces have been largely decimated by a three-front war, well it’s mission accomplished, because as WSJ reports, President Obama has now authorized US airstrikes against Assad’s army in the event they interfere with America’s very serious 50 solider effort to combat ISIS. Here’s more:...........
Taking sides in Syrian civil war? Obama authorizes airstrikes ‘to defend’ US-trained rebels
The US president has reportedly authorized the Air Force to protect Syrian rebels trained by Washington to fight against Islamic State by bombing any force attacking them, including Syrian regular troops.
Thus the US may become involved in the Syrian civil war on the rebel side.
The change was first reported by US officials speaking on condition of anonymity with the Wall Street Journal Sunday. The first airstrikes to protect American trainees in Syria have already taken place on Friday, July 31, when the US Air Force bombed unidentified militants who attacked the compound of the US-trained rebels..............
....Capt Davis said the US would provide defensive fire support to the NSF "no matter whom they came up against".
Many will see this as "mission creep" as the administration of President Barack Obama has always insisted that the battle inside Syria is against IS alone, the BBC's Gary O'Donoghue at the Pentagon reports.......
Attacks on Chinese escalate in Turkey
On July 1, news broke that a group of five men attacked a Chinese restaurant named Happy China with sticks and stones in the center of Istanbul. The attackers were heard to say, “We do not want a Chinese restaurant here, get out of our town!” The owner, Cihan Yavuz, said in a TV interview, “We are all Turks here; our chef is a Uighur Turk. We serve Muslim East Asian tourists and rarely ever have Chinese customers. We do not serve alcohol. We never received any warnings of an attack. But I see it may not be possible for us to earn a living here.”
On July 4, in the western city of Balikesir, a group protested against China for persecuting Uighur Turks and hung an effigy of late Chinese leader Mao Zedong.
On the same day, a group of ultranationalists attacked a Korean tourist they assumed was Chinese in the popular Istanbul tourist district of Sultanahmet.
To add insult to injury, Devlet Bahceli, chairman of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), gave an interview to popular journalist Ahmet Hakan on July 8 about the attacks. Bahceli said, “Our nationalist youth is sensitive to injustices in China. They should have the freedom to exercise their democratic rights. These are young kids. They may have been provoked. Plus, how are you going to differentiate between Korean and Chinese? They both have slanted eyes. Does it really matter?” His racist and ignorant statement caused an uproar in the Turkish and international media.
Nusra Front attacks Western-backed rebels in northern Syria
The al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front attacked Western-backed rebels in northern Syria on Friday, rebel groups and an organization monitoring the war said, escalating tension between rival insurgents near the Turkish border....
.....Opposition sources say that one of the rebel groups targeted in Nusra's overnight attack, Division 30, has been a participant in the newly launched U.S.-led program to train and equip insurgents to fight Islamic State.
Division 30 says Nusra fighters abducted its leader and several other members earlier this week. The Pentagon has said however that no members of the "New Syrian Force" had been captured or detained..........
@APDiploWriter Results of #Ukranian shelling of #Gorlovka last night https://t.co/EwlimJIJkn #Donbass #Donetsk #Novorossiya #Ukranian #nazi— J(@SPB_citizen) August 1, 2015
Ukraine court backs self-rule plan for conflict zone
Ukraine's highest court has approved constitutional changes that would allow limited self-rule to the rebel-held eastern areas of Donetsk and Luhansk.
The changes are part of a peace deal aimed at ending fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia rebels.
But many MPs oppose autonomy for the east and the decision must be voted through parliament.
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has released $1.7bn (£1.08bn) in aid to Ukraine.
The payment is part of a bailout aimed at stabilising Ukraine's struggling economy. The country is also trying to reach a deal with its main creditors on restructuring its debts.........
Here's a prediction which is super easy to make. As the Nordic countries are fast becoming fiercely anti-immigrant, especially immigrants and refugees from the Middle East and Africa, give them a few years and some of them will break away from the EU and will put in place new immigration laws instead of taking orders from Brussels or they will force Brussels to respect their own new laws on immigration.
Why are anti-immigration parties so strong in the Nordic states?
The Danish People’s party’s success in the election continues a trend of rising support for rightwing parties across Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.....
.....Most crucially, attitudes to immigration have become significantly more negative in Sweden and Denmark. According to the Eurobarometer, a record number of people now see immigration as one of the two most important issues facing these countries. In Finland, the share has declined after spiking between 2007 and 2010 (support for the Finns follows a similar pattern), and immigration is now seen as less pressing than the economic situation and unemployment (the country was in recession for most of last year, and growth is still flat).......
Abductions Hurt U.S. Bid to Train Anti-ISIS Rebels in Syria
A Pentagon program to train moderate Syrian insurgents to fight the Islamic State has been vexed by problems of recruitment, screening, dismissals and desertions that have left only a tiny band of fighters ready to do battle.
Those fighters — 54 in all — suffered perhaps their most embarrassing setback yet on Thursday. One of their leaders, a Syrian Army defector who recruited them, was abducted in Syria near the Turkish border, along with his deputy who commands the trainees. They were seized not by the Islamic State but by its rival the Nusra Front, an affiliate of Al Qaeda that is another Islamist extremist byproduct of the four-year-old Syrian civil war........
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2015/Aug-01/309278-syrian-rebel-group-leaves-their-hq-after-clash-with-al-qaeda.ashx US-backed rebel group flees north Syria HQ after clash with Nusra
Clashes between members of al-Qaida's branch in Syria and a rebel faction in the country's north believed to have been trained by the U.S. government have stopped after the rebels left their headquarters, activists said Saturday.
The fighting came a few days after the U.S. and Turkey announced the outlines of a deal to help rebels push ISIS back from a strip of territory it controls along the Syrian-Turkish border, replacing it with more moderate rebels backed by Washington and Ankara.
Rami Abdurrahman, who heads the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said members of the Division 30 faction fled to a nearby area controlled by a Syrian Kurdish militia. Abu al-Hassan Marea, a Syrian activist who is currently in Turkey near the Syrian border, confirmed Saturday that Division 30 fighters have withdrawn from their headquarters.
Abdurrahman and Marea said Division 30 had less than 60 fighters and that on Friday alone the group lost five fighters and 18 others were wounded.......
...Perhaps the strongest criticism came from Reformist Ghanoun newspaper in an article by Saman Saberian, “Hamas: Bank account in Tehran, stronghold in Riyadh.” Saberian wrote that Hamas’ turn to Saudi Arabia cannot be viewed as merely seeking Saudi funding and help because in the latest war, “The Saudis helped Tel Aviv the most and the only support they gave to Gaza was coffins for the martyrs.”
The article touched on a rumor circulating in the Iranian media that Meshaal would send fighters for Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen. Saudi Arabia is three months into a bombing campaign of Ansar Allah forces, which it claims are backed by Iran. The multi-sided war has been a humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen. Saberian acknowledged that no one has confirmed the rumor of an agreement between the Saudis and Hamas, but Iranian reports citing anonymous Saudi sources have said that Saudi Arabia has requested special Hamas forces trained in the same military tactics as the Lebanese group Hezbollah to combat Yemen’s Ansar Allah. Whether the rumor is psychological warfare or not, it reveals how tense the region and how heated the rivalries have become.
Russia willing for joint Iran in fight against ISIL
Russia has voiced interest to team up with Iran to fight the Takfiri ISIL terrorists operating in the Middle East region.
“We can develop anti-terror cooperation with Iran, first of all, in the Middle East region,” Ilya Rogachev, the director of Department of New Challenges and Threats Issues of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said on Monday.
“The notorious international terrorist organization as Islamic State (ISIL) can be and has to be the object of our cooperation with Iran,” the Russian official said.
Turkey sends in jets as Syria’s agony spills over every border
Turkish air strikes in Syria last week signalled a new phase in a conflict that has left its bloody mark on every country in the region. But will the Turks now agree to US demands to cease all clandestine dealings with Islamic State?
When US special forces raided the compound of an Islamic State leader in eastern Syria in May, they made sure not to tell the neighbours.
The target of that raid, the first of its kind since US jets returned to the skies over Iraq last August, was an Isis official responsible for oil smuggling, named Abu Sayyaf. He was almost unheard of outside the upper echelons of the terror group, but he was well known to Turkey. From mid-2013, the Tunisian fighter had been responsible for smuggling oil from Syria’s eastern fields, which the group had by then commandeered. Black market oil quickly became the main driver of Isis revenues – and Turkish buyers were its main clients.
As a result, the oil trade between the jihadis and the Turks was held up as evidence of an alliance between the two. It led to protests from Washington and Europe – both already wary of Turkey’s 900-mile border with Syria being used as a gateway by would-be jihadis from around the world..........
How migrant smuggling is funding extremist groups like ISIS in Libya: http://t.co/KbA6Vc3YbD— Erin Banco (@ErinBanco) July 16, 2015
Turkish warplanes have bombed military positions of Turkey's Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in neighbouring Iraq, a spokesman for the PKK has said.
The air raids came just hours after Turkish warplanes pounded Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) positions in Syria on Friday morning, marking a significant shift in Ankara's position on how to deal with armed groups in Syria and Iraq.
"At around 11:00pm (20:00 GMT) tonight, Turkish warplanes started bombing our positions near the border, accompanied by heavy artillery shelling," PKK spokesman Bakhtiar Dogan told the AFP news agency.....
Turkish warplanes pounded Islamic State targets in Syria for the first time on Friday, with President Tayyip Erdogan promising more decisive action against both the jihadists and Kurdish militants.
Hours after the initial attacks, fighter jets were launched in a second round against Islamic State, while others targeted militants camps of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, according to local media.
Reuters was unable to confirm the second round of strikes. An attack against PKK camps in Iraq would likely mark a major blow to Turkey's already stalled peace process with the Kurds.
Friday's operations followed a telephone conversation between Erdogan and U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday, and were accompanied by police raids across Turkey to detain hundreds of suspected militants, including from Kurdish groups.
Ankara said it had approved the use of its air bases by U.S. and coalition aircraft to mount strikes against Islamic State, marking a major change in policy that has long been a sore point for Washington.........
Punjab: Why it took 11 hours to kill 3 terrorists http://t.co/vCXcKy2hiK— Times of India (@timesofindia) July 27, 2015
Mideast Alliances Shift Again
July 31, 2015
Like shifting desert sands, the volatile Middle East is going through a new, though subtle, realignment of adversaries and allies, with Turkey’s political tensions shaking up one area while Saudi Arabia makes moves of its own, as recounted by ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
By Paul R. Pillar
Some recent policy decisions by Middle Eastern governments have the potential to shake up regional alignments, or what are widely perceived to be alignments. In the near term this will have little to do with the Iran nuclear agreement, despite the attention the agreement is getting at the moment. That accord will not lead to realignments as great as its opponents fear, and its larger impact on regional diplomacy will be gradual and only slightly apparent in the near term.
The agreement by the Turkish government to cooperate more actively than previously with the United States in combating the so-called Islamic State or ISIS in northern Syria represents a more immediate shaking up..........
Egypt Is Struggling to Cope With Its ISIS Insurgency
A rocket attack on a warship was just the latest in a series of escalating attacks on Egyptian forces in Sinai
They have attacked on land and at sea, killing dozens of soldiers. They have assassinated a senior official in daylight and attempted to seize a small Sinai town.
The insurgents control no significant area of land, but they are far from being defeated. A season of deadly attacks by insurgents in Egypt — including those backed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria group (ISIS) — underscores an escalating insurgency that the Egyptian state is struggling to suppress.
The surge in violence began in late June when Egypt’s chief prosecutor was killed in a car bombing in daylight in an upscale Cairo neighborhood. Two days later, the ISIS-affiliated militants launched a massive assault on military positions in north Sinai, attempting to seize control of a small chunk of territory in Egypt. At least 17 Egyptian soldiers died, although some reports placed the death toll much higher........
Suspected Boko Haram chief recruiter arrested in Chad
Suspected Boko Haram recruiter Bana Fanaye, also known as Mahamat Moustapha, has been arrested by the authorities in Chad.
Fanaye, who is said to be the mastermind of Boko Haram operations in Chad and northern Cameroon, was arrested on Friday afternoon, with assorted weapons, as well as cell phone SIM cards for various countries, including Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
The suspect is said to be the brain behind most Boko Haram operations including arms purchases in Chad and northern Cameroon.
Multiple media reports quoted Chadian officials as saying that Fanaye is in charge of recruiting Boko Haram terrorists, arms purchases and planning of terrorism targets and operations in Chad and northern Cameroon.
It was his arrest that helped security forces locate and kill other Boko Haram members housed in an area called Diguel Diguessou in the 8th district, tchadinfos.com reported.......
Chad says killed 117 Boko Haram fighters in two-week campaign
N'DJAMENA Chad said on Thursday its forces had killed 117 Boko Haram insurgents during a two-week military campaign aimed at clearing islands on Lake Chad used by the militants as hideouts and bases to launch attacks.
Chad has deployed thousands of soldiers alongside troops from neighbors Nigeria, Cameroon and Niger to tackle the militant group whose six-year insurgency has killed thousands.
"We killed 117 Boko Haram fighters during the two-week operation. We lost two men and several wounded," Colonel Azem Bermandoa, spokesman for the Chadian army, said.
"We destroyed their boats and seized various weapons during the operation," he said........
News Analysis: Yemeni crisis mirrors regional unrest in Middle East
CAIRO, July 25 (Xinhua) -- The ongoing crisis in conflict-stricken Yemen is reflection of a regional unrest in the Middle East, especially after the forces of fleeing President Abd-Rabbo Mansour Hadi seized strategic southern city of Aden against Shiite Houthi fighters, said Egyptian experts.
Yemen has become more like a battlefield for regional and even international powers that seek more influence in the Middle East region through the ongoing conflict hitting the country, including the United States, Saudi Arabia and Iran.
"Yemen has always been a place of interest for the United States, and former U.S. President Clinton said openly that Yemen is a matter of a national security for the United States," said Gehad Auda, professor of international relations at Helwan University.
The professor told Xinhua that Yemen is highly located due to its control of Bab al-Mandeb Strait that connects between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden as well as between the continents of Asia and Africa, "therefore it is a very critical area geopolitically and geostrategically."
Being responsible for guaranteeing the security of its Gulf allies, the United States must have helped with the seizure of Yemen at the hands of pro-Hadi forces to reassure Saudi Arabia and other Gulf partners about their national security, according to the expert.
SAUDI ARABIA VS IRAN
Unhappy with the recently-reached nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers led by the United States, Sunni Saudi Arabia is obviously concerned about greater influence of Shiite Iran in the region and about Iranian attempts to turn Yemen into a Shiite state, given that the Iran-backed Houthi fighters are Shiites.
Although the deal is expected to strengthen Iran's influence in the region, experts believe that it will take a few years until Iranian regional expansion can be strongly felt after the deal. ......
Saudi-led coalition airstrikes kill over 120 in Yemen, humanitarian truce announced
Saudi-led coalition airstrikes killed over 120 civilians and left 150 injured after a fierce attack on Friday in the southwestern Yemeni province of Taiz. The coalition has announced a five-day humanitarian truce starting on Sunday night.
Local sources told AP that most of the houses in the area were in ruins and a fire later broke out in the port city of Mokha, on the Red Sea coast of Yemen. They said that most of the corpses found there, including children, women and elderly people, had been completely immolated in the flames. One resident, Ahmed Mohammed al-Mouzay, who took part in rescue operations, reportedly said that most of his neighbors had died. A security official told AP that it was impossible to take the injured to the provincial capital due to the roads being blocked by the ongoing violence.......
Vid below is not for the faint of heart. See for yourselves how many civilians are dying at the hands of Saudi + coalition + USA/UK/Russia weapons
From English IRIB
Bombing kills 14, injures 47 in northeast Nigeria
At least 14 people have been killed and 47 others wounded in a bomb attack at a busy market in northeastern Nigeria, the latest in a string of deadly attacks in the violence-hit country.
According to witnesses and hospital sources, the blast occurred on Sunday at 0850 GMT in the Nigerian town of Damaturu, the capital of Yobe State.
Market trader Garba Abdullahi said the attack took place when a female assailant blew her explosives “at the... entrance of the market where commuters were arriving.”.......
Saudi Defense Minister Threatens to Occupy Kuwait
Saudi Defense Minister Mohammad bin Salman threatened to launch war on Kuwait after differences between the two Persian Gulf Arab states escalated over Khafji oilfield.
"Mohammad bin Salman threatened that his country would attack and occupy Kuwait, claiming that not only Khafji oilfield but also entire Kuwait is part of the Saudi territories based on historical documents," Middle-East Panorama quoted on Sunday intelligence sources of the Persian Gulf Arab littoral states as saying.
Kuwait has complained that the continued shut down of Khafji oilfield it shares with Saudi Arabia will incur huge losses Riyadh must compensate for in the future.
Kuwaiti Oil Minister Ali Al Omair in a letter to his Saudi counterpart Ali Al Naimi urged him "to take adequate measures to resume production at Khafji...........
Kuwait imposes limited control on entry of Saudis
The security agencies of Kuwait have imposed a limited control over entry of Saudis into their country, said an online newspaper.
This is being done to tighten security measures at various entry points of the country following the terror attack on June 26 at Imam Sadiq Mosque, which left 25 people dead and over 200 injured.
Brig. Gen. Adil Al-Hashshash, director general of public relations and security media, told the newspaper that the number of those who were barred from entering Kuwait was very small and they had some security issues.
He said the ban had come as a result of “precautionary actions and required measures due to the situation in the region... and that the situation should not be open as in the past.” ...........
Sunni Arab nations are "Israel's allies," says Israeli Foreign Ministry director general in NY http://t.co/w5yA52VYMV pic.twitter.com/oaQAwebyJR— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) July 29, 2015
Suicide bomber, clashes kill 12 Libyan soldiers in Benghazi
Nine Libyan soldiers were killed in the eastern city of Benghazi on Tuesday by a suicide bomber and in ensuing clashes between troops and Islamist fighters, medics and military sources said.
Forces loyal to Libya's internationally recognized government have been fighting Islamist groups in the country's second-largest city since last year, part of a wider struggle since Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and killed in 2011.
A suicide bomber rammed a car laden with explosives into a group of soldiers during a street battle in the city center near Benghazi's Mediterranean port, killing three soldiers and wounding eleven, medics said.
Shortly afterwards, Islamist fighters blamed by the army for the suicide bombing attacked troops loyal to the official government in the same area. Six more soldiers were killed and 10 wounded in the fighting, medics said.........
BBC subtle and stealth report trying to make way for UK and additional warmongers from EU to return to Libya. Read between the lines.
"The roads are targeted. Cars are often hit," says British Dr. Natalie Roberts. "Every few hundred meters you see another burned out vehicle; every bridge on the road has been bombed out".
Roberts, who is in Yemen with Doctors Without Borders, has worked in conflict zones before. But she says Yemen's war zone is unlike anything she has seen elsewhere. "What's really surprising to me here is that I've never seen so few [aid workers and journalists] on the ground. Syria, when i was there, was counted as the most dangerous conflict in the world — but Yemen? I just haven't met anyone."
Yemen is the poorest country in the Arab world, and has been politically unstable since the Arab Spring. But civilian casualties really began to increase in March this year, when a Saudi Arabian-led coalition began bombing towns and villages to try to defeat a rebel force known as the Houthis.
More than 80 percent of Yemen's 25 million people are now in need some form of aid, and the United Nations has warned the coalition that indiscriminate bombing of populated areas is against international law......
In late March 2015, a coalition of states led by Saudi Arabia initiated a military campaign against Yemen consisting of intensive air raids, the arming of local allies and a de facto naval and air blockade of the country. Initially termed Operation Decisive Storm but since renamed Operation Restore Hope, it continues to this day. Riyadh identified the recent territorial gains of Yemen’s Houthi movement, and the ouster of President Abd-Rabbu Mansur Hadi and his government, as the reasons for its campaign and pledged that both would be swiftly rolled back. Four months later neither objective appears to be in reach, nor is a negotiated end to this conflict in sight. As part of a series of Quick Thoughts with International Crisis Group Middle East analysts, Jadaliyya asked April Longley Alley, Crisis Group Senior Analyst for the Arabian Peninsula, to shed light on the causes and course of this war.]
Jadaliyya (J): Who exactly are the Houthis, why have they apparently aligned with their former nemesis Ali Abdullah Saleh, and is their domination of Yemen in your view sustainable?
April Longley Alley (ALA): The Houthis are an armed group that has its roots in a movement for Zaydi cultural and religious revivalism in north Yemen. (Zaydism is a branch of Shia Islam distinct from the Twelver Shiism prevalent in Iran, Iraq, Bahrain and Lebanon). They have a strong militia component, but view themselves as a political and social movement against corruption and Western imperialism. Their primarily base of support is in the northern Zaydi highlands and especially in the Saada governorate bordering Saudi Arabia.
During and after the 2011 uprising against former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, the movement expanded rapidly, forming alliances with disgruntled tribesmen in the north, left-leaning activists and even some southern separatists. As the Yemeni transition collapsed, they took advantage of.........
Bitter feud between Turkey, Egypt undercuts U.S. hopes for Middle East
Two of America’s linchpin allies in the Middle East are bitterly feuding, complicating the Obama administration’s hopes of confronting Sunni Salafists and containing the ambitions of Shiite Iran.
Egypt is accusing Turkey of working with the Islamic State on the Sinai Peninsula, a new low in the already poor relations between the two regional powers.......
Regional manoeuvres: A Hamas visit to Riyadh leaves Egypt, Iran wondering
A visit to Riyadh by the head of Hamas left consternation among some parties and questions among some observers. What did Saudi Arabia aim to achieve, asks Ahmed Eleiba
The visit by Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Meshaal to Saudi Arabia and his meeting with King Salman Bin Abdel-Aziz raised the issue of how the kingdom has opened up to the group under King Salman’s reign. The visit is part of a series of meetings with other Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including Yemeni Muslim Brotherhood leaders and key figures in the Yemeni Reform Party (Al-Islah), Abdel-Meguid Al-Zindani and Salman Al-Ouda.
Senior sources close to Hamas, however, stated there were problems between the kingdom and Hamas that delayed the visit by two months, but that the Muslim Brotherhood general guide in Jordan, Hamam Said, visited Saudi Arabia two weeks ahead of Meshaal’s trip.
Said was invited by Saudi Minister of Religious Endowments Saleh Bin Abdel-Aziz Al-Sheikh and talks resolved most outstanding issues between the two sides. Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir at a joint press conference with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shukri on Thursday, said "there was no political visit by Hamas to the kingdom", trivialising the significance of Hamas visit, saying it was only a religious pilgrimage and Riyadh's position on the Palestinian Islamist movement remains unchanged..........