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by CTuttle

Al-Nusra Runs Rampant In Syria

9:16 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

C’mon, folks…! Was there ever any doubt as to the Saudi/Qatari, Petrobuck-fueled, Wahabbist influence…?

Islamist Factions Imposing Saudi-Style Religious Codes on Residents…

…The police are charged with enforcing an extremely harsh interpretation of Sunni Islam, and while the rebels insist they are aimed at “fighting crime,” the locals say that mostly they are forcing people to pray and stopping women from driving cars.

Women are expressing serious concern about the trend, saying that they were on board for a “revolution for freedom” but the rebels are determined to take away social and individual freedoms they enjoyed under the Assad regime.

Secular rebel factions insisted that the entire story was “made up” by the regime to discredit the rebellion, but Islamist factions seemed to endorse the move, saying that a virtue-and-vice squad is “part-and-parcel of the freedom revolution” and that since Sunnis are a majority in Syria they have a right to impose such rules on society.

So, now get a load of this Hof Guff…

Syria’s Time Is Running Out

…”…the United States and others should immediately establish security assistance relationships with this new government, providing arms and training…Although the administration has so far resisted arming the opposition, arms are now the coin of the realm for anyone wishing to influence the course of Syria’s future. The United States and its allies — most notably Turkey — must dominate the logistics of external arms transfers, ensuring that weapons go to those advocating a non-sectarian, decent political system for Syria and are denied to those seeking a sectarian outcome…The negative reaction of the mainstream Syrian opposition to the U.S. designation of Jabhat al-Nusra as a terrorist organization is understandable. ….. the timing of the designation was amateurishly lamentable — unnecessarily neutralizing the impact of U.S. recognition of the Syrian Opposition Council…”


Anyways, some real insight…

Civil war at stalemate, says Russia

…Syria’s civil war has reached stalemate and international efforts to persuade President Bashar Al Assad to quit will fail, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said yesterday.

Mainly Sunni Muslim rebels seeking to overthrow Assad are fighting on the edge of the capital Damascus and expanding southwards from their northern strongholds in Aleppo and Idlib into the central province of Hama. {…}

… But Lavrov said the Syrian president was not about to bow to pressure from opponents or more sympathetic leaders in Moscow and Beijing.

“Listen, no one is going to win this war,” he told reporters aboard a government plane en route to Moscow from the Russia-EU summit in Brussels. “Assad is not going anywhere, no matter what anyone says, be it China or Russia.”

Lavrov said Russia had rejected requests from countries in the region to pressure Assad to go or offer him safe haven, and warned that his exit might lead to an upsurge in fighting.

He also said Syrian authorities were gathering the country’s chemical weapons in one or two areas and that they were “under control” for the time being. “Currently the (Syrian) government is doing all it can to secure (chemical weapons), according to intelligence data we have and the West has,” he said. {…}

In Aleppo, rebel leader Colonel Abdel-Jabbar Al Oqaidi said his fighters considered the skies above Aleppo to be a no-fly zone and repeated a warning that they would attack planes using the city’s airport.

Snipers fired at an airliner preparing to take off from Aleppo on Thursday, forcing it to abandon its departure.

“The airport was being used as a military airport to transport troops and (Iranian) Revolutionary Guards,” Oqaidi told Reuters. “We forbid planes from flying in Syrian air space. We will set up a no-fly zone.”

What a D*ckhead, no…?

And, if there’s any doubters left amongst ya… An insight into Syria’s frontline…


…According to Lavrov, American partners recognise that the major threat will be posed if chemical weapons fall into the hands of terrorists.

“We tell them – you do back the opposition, including its armed struggle. Thus, it may happen what you fear. We determine the priorities. No clear answer is available yet,” Lavrov said.

The minister stressed that Russia re-checked all rumours related to chemical weapons. “Till now, according to our data, which is correlated with the West, chemical weapons are under control. The Syrian authorities concentrated their arsenals in one or two centres. Earlier, all was strewn across the country.” “This is the important problem. Everyone should realise that ‘the hands’ should not provided aid that continues to be rendered,” the minister added.

According to Russian and American special services, the Syrian government does everything possible to safeguard chemical weapons, Lavrov pointed out.

Fancy that…! So we have purported Scud-Style missiles being lobbed, but, no real proof, and, we’re all supposed to Arm Cheer the USA FSA on…!


by CTuttle

‘Have You No Shame?’

7:34 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

This week at the UN headquarters in Geneva, an Israeli delegation spent nine long hours arguing that a major human rights treaty, which it ratified in 1991, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights(ICCPR), did not apply to its treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza…

From the JPost…

…According to a press release put out on Wednesday by the UN Human Rights Committee, which held its periodic review of Israel’s compliance with that convention this week, Israel’s deputy attorney-general Malkiel Blass stated that his country believed the “convention, which was a territorially bound convention, did not apply, nor was it intended to apply, to areas outside its national territory.” [...]

The delegation said that “Israel did not control these territories and thus could not enforce the rights under the Convention in these areas.”

It said, however, that “the rules governing armed conflict provided some measure of rights guarantees in these areas.”

A UN Human Rights Committee expert rejected the argument and said that Israel could “not just sweep aside the application of the Covenant in the occupied territories.”

The expert added that Israel responded the same way each time the issue came up for review. Israel’s last review was in 2003…

Rather poignant since an old rant of Bibi’s is hitting the proverbial fan…

Gosh, kids can say the darnedest things…

Child: They say they’re for us, but, it’s like…

Netanyahu: They won’t get in our way. They won’t get in our way.

Child: On the other hand, if we do some something, then they…

Netanyahu: So let’s say they say something. So they said it! They said it! 80% of the Americans support us. It’s absurd. We have that kind of support and we say "what will we do with the…" Look. That administration [Clinton] was extremely pro-Palestinian. I wasn’t afraid to maneuver there. I was not afraid to clash with Clinton. I was not afraid to clash with the United Nations. I was paying the price anyway, I preferred to receive the value. Value for the price.

Talk about value…

U.S. official: More U.S. aid will help Israel make ‘tough’ decisions

An expanded security aid package would allow Israel to reach tough decisions in its peace talks with the Palestinians, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Andrew J. Shapiro said Friday, adding that Washington planned to provide Israel with its most extensive security aid package in history.

Speaking at the Brookings Saban Center for Middle East Policy in Washington D.C., the assistant secretary spoke of the administration’s intention to enhance the annual security aid it provides Israel, saying that in "2010, the administration requested [from Congress] $2.775 billion in security assistance funding specifically for Israel, the largest such request in U.S. history."


And Rahmbo wants to cut foodstamps…? *gah*

by CTuttle

Israel Objects To The NPT’s Final Resolution, Bibi Calls It ‘Hypocritical’ And ‘Flawed’

10:42 pm in Foreign Policy by CTuttle

On Friday, 189 nations at the UN in NYC, agreed upon and signed, a 28-page final document, reaffirming the long neglected Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. The US reluctantly signed it, with Obama immediately issuing a stern message…

"We strongly oppose efforts to single out Israel, and will oppose actions that jeopardize Israel’s national security"

All over one reference to Israel…

…Tensions over the content of the final document after a month of negotiations went down to the wire, with diplomats portraying the last few days as a poker game with the United States and Iran each trying to call the other’s bluff so that one might be blamed for the failure of the conference to reach consensus.

In the end, the United States accepted one reference to Israel in the final document, in the section on the Middle East, which basically repeats a previously stated position that Israel should join the 40-year-old nonproliferation treaty. The Israeli Mission to the United Nations would not comment on the outcome. The Israeli government has never confirmed the widespread consensus that it holds at least 100 nuclear missiles.

The document also emphasizes the need for countries to respect treaty guidelines for keeping their nuclear programs open to international inspection and suffering the consequences if they do not. Such measures are likely to strengthen the Security Council’s stand in its current confrontation with Iran over possible new sanctions because of suspicions that it is trying to develop nuclear weapons, which Tehran vehemently denies.

“My guess is that language caused the Iranians pretty significant heartburn even though they decided to go along with it,” said Gary Samore, the White House coordinator for unconventional weapons.

That one reference launched Bibi into a fit of rage…

…This resolution is deeply flawed and hypocritical. It ignores the realities of the Middle East and the real threats facing the region and the entire world, government spokesmen stated in Toronto, where Prime Minister Netanyahu is visiting. "It singles out Israel, the Middle East’s only true democracy and the only country threatened with annihilation. Given the distorted nature of this resolution, Israel will not be able to take part in its implementation.

Israel has never been a signatory to the NPT and will not be for the foreseeable future…

NPT members agreed to a draft resolution on Friday after the United States withdrew its objections to the draft that points out "the importance of Israel’s accession to the treaty and the placement of all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) safeguards."

The resolution calls for a conference in 2012 (In the Middle East, btw) but did not mention Iran, which Israel and the United States are sure is trying to use its nuclear program to develop and manufacture a nuclear warhead to be aimed at Israel.

The draft also does not mention India and Pakistan, which have nuclear weapons but, like Israel, have not signed the NPT. Israel continues its policy of “ambiguity,” which neither confirms nor denies that it possesses nuclear weapons. Most analysts assume that the Jewish State has at least 200 atomic bombs or warheads.

As Pat Lang noted…

OK. So, let’s stop all the nonsense over whether or not Israel has a nuclear strike force. And, oh by the way a proliferator in "three sizes." One for the baby bear, one for the … Shimon Peres, man of peace… Well, the money was going to be good. pl

It was actually a remarkable achievement…

Given that all 189 states that have signed the nonproliferation treaty had to agree to the wording, including 64 separate ways to move forward, all the major players found flaws in the outcome. It meant many steps had to be watered down.

Although the document singles out North Korea by name, for example, saying its nuclear program constitutes a threat to “peace and security,” it was not as strong as the condemnation initially proposed.

Aside from Israel, the document also calls on India and Pakistan, both holding nuclear weapons but not nonproliferation treaty members, to join it.

While rejecting a deadline, for the first time the main five nuclear weapons states accepted vague language referring to a new, stronger international convention on eliminating nuclear weapons, and the idea of a “timeline” was introduced.

Despite differences over the pace of disarmament and proliferation concerns, the document breathes new life into a treaty seen as under threat, analysts said. “That is the positive, there is much more attention on future action and new benchmarks,” said Prof. William C. Potter…

One could assume that Israel objected to the omission of Iran, Pakistan, and India… However, except for Iran, They’ve never been signatories and don’t plan on doing so anytime soon…

Ironically, Iran signed the NPT, while undergoing the most intrusive IAEA inspection regime in history, and, under economic UN-imposed Sanctions to boot…!

I’m positive that that action, and, the earlier proposed Nuke Fuel swap with Turkey and Brazil, has Iran poised to beat back the US and Israeli attempts to impose harsher economic sanctions on Iran…

Gareth Porter talks about the sudden schism in the UN Security Council’s resolve on Iran…

…Although the Barack Obama administration continued to dismiss the May 17 Iranian fuel swap agreement Friday, there are indications that Iran’s move has shaken the agreement among U.N. Security Council members on sanctions, and is bringing Russian diplomatic pressure on the United States to participate in new talks with Iran on the swap arrangement – something the administration clearly wished to avoid. [...]

…the deputy secretary-general of China’s Arms Control and Disarmament Association, appears to signal that China is backing out of the previous agreement on sanctions against Iran.

Citing Iran’s agreement to the specifics of the swap deal, the article concluded, "Since the situation has changed, pre-planned punitive actions, too, should be altered accordingly, meaning there is no longer any rationality in imposing further sanctions on Iran."

The views expressed by the association have often reflected the policies of the Chinese foreign ministry, which had already issued a statement welcoming Iran’s agreement on the swap proposal.

In remarks to reporters Thursday reported by RTT News, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow "welcomes" the fuel swap deal. "The arrangement serves the interests of settling the Iranian nuclear problem," Lavrov said, "and, therefore, we believe everything should be done to implement it."

Lavrov said Russia was talking with Brazil and Turkey, as well as with the U.S. and France, on how to implement the swap deal.

The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement Friday, also reported by RTT News, confirming that Lavrov had a phone conversation with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on Thursday. Summarising the conversation, it said, "Russia expressed its readiness to actively support the advancement of the process of negotiation aimed at resolving the situation surrounding the Iranian nuclear programme."

Please silence the War Drums…! There’s no way we could afford an Iranian incursion, or, even an unilateral Pakistani strike, which has nukes…! Wake Up…!