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Tag: middle east crisis

Breaking: Western-backed Terrorists in Syria Slaughter Christians in Bombing

Tony Cartalucci
Prisonplanet.com
Nov 28, 2012

Twin car bombs carried out by the Western-backed so-called “rebels” have killed dozens of civilians in a Christian-Druze neighborhood in Damascus, highlighting the sectarian extremism, not “democratic” aspirations, as well as the level of depravity, driving opponents of the Syrian government. Immediately after the explosions, and as casualty figures began trickling in, Associated Press (AP) attempted to spin and downplay the act of terrorism, claiming in its report, “Twin car bombs kill 20 in Syria, hospitals say,” that:

“Syrian hospital officials say twin car bombs have killed at least 20 people in a Damascus suburb that is mostly loyal to President Bashar Assad.”

Excusing egregious acts of terrorism aimed at Syria’s civilian population by claiming those targeted were “mostly loyal to President Bashar Assad” has been a favorite tactic of AP, BBC, CNN, Fox News, and others. In reality, the vast majority of Syrians, from Christians to Druze, from Shia’a Muslims to moderate Sunnis, are targets of the sectarian extremist, Saudi-Wahhabi indoctrinated terrorists the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia have been funding, arming, importing from across the region, and arraying against the people of Syria since at least 2007.

The terrorists in Syria have recently received a boost by the West, arranging for them a political front in Doha, Qatar to act as the reasonable “face” for their armed terrorism, portraying the premeditated destabilization by foreign terrorists as an indigenous struggle for “freedom and democracy.” Already, even that front has suffered setbacks, as its newly US-Qatari appointed leader, Moaz al-Khatib, has been revealed as not only involved with Western oil corporations, but also has declared on Al Jazeera his intentions of establishing an “Islamic state.”

Clearly, blowing up a neighborhood full of Christians and Druze would fall in line with just such a plan, driving yet more of Syria’s diverse population beyond its borders to live as permanent refugees – not with alleged plans of “freeing” the country, or gracing a multicultural society that has lived together for centuries with “democracy.”

To reiterate, the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia had planned as far back as 2007 to specifically use sectarian extremists to overrun and overthrow Syria. This was revealed in a report published by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Seymour Hersh, titled “The Redirection.” Citing US, Saudi, and Lebanese officials, as well as former US intelligence agents, Hersh reported:

“To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.” -The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)

Hersh’s report would also include:

“the Saudi government, with Washington’s approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad, of Syria. The Israelis believe that putting such pressure on the Assad government will make it more conciliatory and open to negotiations.” -The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)

Clearly, that is exactly what is playing out now in Syria, despite the Western media’s best efforts to portray otherwise. The US Army’s own reports indicate that very hotbeds of violence in Syria today, match precisely with 2007 identified Al Qaeda-Muslim Brotherhood epicenters that were supplying terrorists to Iraq to fuel similarly deadly sectarian violence there.

Image: (Left) West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center’s 2007 report, “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq” indicated which areas in Syria Al Qaeda fighters filtering into Iraq came from. The overwhelming majority of them came from Dayr Al-Zawr in Syria’s southeast, Idlib in the north near the Turkish-Syrian border, and Dar’a in the south near the Jordanian-Syrian border. (Right) A map indicating the epicenters of violence in Syria indicate that the exact same hotbeds for Al Qaeda in 2007, now serve as the epicenters of so-called “pro-democracy fighters.”

Additionally, the sectarian nature of these Western-backed terrorists was also warned against in Hersh’s 2007 report, specifically noting that if the plan went ahead, a sectarian bloodbath would ensue – and those hit hardest would include the Levant’s Christian populations. Hersh would report:

“Robert Baer, a former longtime C.I.A. agent in Lebanon, has been a severe critic of Hezbollah and has warned of its links to Iranian-sponsored terrorism. But now, he told me, “we’ve got Sunni Arabs preparing for cataclysmic conflict, and we will need somebody to protect the Christians in Lebanon. It used to be the French and the United States who would do it, and now it’s going to be Nasrallah and the Shiites” -The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)

Clearly this threat has now expanded over to neighboring Syria’s Christian populations. Western-backed terrorism has already targeted Christians across Syria, as reported in the LA Times’ “Church fears ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Christians in Homs, Syria,” as well as in USA Today’s distorted, but still telling, “Christians in Syria live in uneasy alliance with Assad, Alawites.” With the recent bombing of a Christian-Druze neighborhood in Damascus to add to the list, it is clear a concerted campaign of genocide is aimed at Syria’s many minorities by Western-backed sectarian extremists – on record, purposefully arrayed against Syria for this very purpose.

The silence of the UN, as well as the continued covering up by Western media agencies regarding this premeditated genocide is an egregious crime against humanity, one becoming increasingly difficult to cover up. The fraud of NATO’s Libya intervention is now fully revealed, with Libya’s “freedom fighters” exposed as Al Qaeda thrust into power by Western arms, cash, and diplomatic recognition. In Syria, before the legitimate ruling government has been destroyed, the West’s “freedom fighters” are now revealed for what they truly are.

Tony Cartalucci is the writer and editor at Land Destroyer

 

SOURCE: Prison Planet
http://www.prisonplanet.com/breaking-western-backed-terrorists-in-syria-slaughter-christians-in-bombing.html

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Who is doing the killing in Gaza? Noam Chomsky and others challenge world’s media

“Bias and dishonesty with respect to the oppression of Palestinians is nothing new in Western media and has been widely documented. Nevertheless, Israel continues its crimes against humanity with full acquiescence and financial, military and moral support from our governments, the U.S., Canada and the EU.”

 

The degree of terror felt by ordinary Palestinian civilians in Gaza is barely noticed in the media, in stark contrast to the world’s awareness of terrorised and shock-treated Israeli citizens.

 

 

By Noam Chomsky and others
rabble.ca
14 November 2012

WHILE COUNTRIES across Europe and North America commemorated military casualties of past and present wars on November 11, Israel was targeting civilians.

On November 12, waking up to a new week, readers at breakfast were flooded with heart rending accounts of past and current military casualties.

There was, however, no or little mention of the fact that the majority of casualties of modern day wars are civilians.

There was also hardly any mention on the morning of November 12 of military attacks on Gaza that continued throughout the weekend.

A cursory scan confirms this for Canada’s CBC, Globe and Mail, Montreal’s Gazette, and the Toronto Star. Equally, for the New York Times and for the BBC.

According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) report on Sunday November 11, five Palestinian civilians including three children had been killed in the Gaza strip in the previous 72 hours, in addition to two Palestinian security personnel.

Four of the deaths occurred as a result of Israeli military firing artillery shells on youngsters playing soccer. Moreover, 52 civilians had been wounded, of which six were women and 12 were children. (Since we began composing this text, the Palestinian death toll has risen, and continues to rise.)

Articles that do report on the killings overwhelmingly focus on the killing of Palestinian security personnel. For example, an Associated Press article published in the CBC world news on November 13, entitled ‘Israel mulls resuming targeted killings of Gaza militants,’ mentions absolutely nothing of civilian deaths and injuries. It portrays the killings as ‘targeted assassinations.’ The fact that casualties have overwhelmingly been civilians indicates that Israel is not so much engaged in “targeted” killings, as in “collective” killings, thus once again committing the crime of collective punishment.

Another AP item on CBC news from November 12 reads ‘Gaza rocket fire raises pressure on Israel government.’ It features a photo of an Israeli woman gazing on a hole in her living room ceiling. Again, no images, nor mention of the numerous bleeding casualties or corpses in Gaza. Along the same lines, a BBC headline on November 12 reads ‘Israel hit by fresh volley of rockets from Gaza.’ Similar trends can be illustrated for European mainstream papers.

News items overwhelmingly focus on the rockets that have been fired from Gaza, none of which have caused human casualties. What is not in focus are the shellings and bombardments on Gaza, which have resulted in numerous severe and fatal casualties. It doesn’t take an expert in media science to understand that what we are facing is at best shoddy and skewed reporting, and at worst willfully dishonest manipulation of the readership.

Furthermore, articles that do mention the Palestinian casualties in Gaza consistently report that Israeli operations are in response to rockets from Gaza and to the injuring of Israeli soldiers. However, the chronology of events of the recent flare-up began on November 5, when an innocent, apparently mentally unfit, 20-year old man, Ahmad al-Nabaheen, was shot when he wandered close to the border. Medics had to wait for six hours to be permitted to pick him up and they suspect that he may have died because of that delay.

Then, on November 8, a 13-year-old boy playing football in front of his house was killed by fire from the IOF that had moved into Gazan territory with tanks as well as helicopters. The wounding of four Israeli soldiers at the border on November 10 was therefore already part of a chain of events where Gazan civilians had been killed, and not the triggering event.

We, the signatories, have recently returned from a visit to the Gaza strip. Some among us are now connected to Palestinians living in Gaza through social media. For two nights in a row Palestinians in Gaza were prevented from sleeping through continued engagement of drones, F16s, and indiscriminate bombings of various targets inside the densely populated Gaza strip.

The intent of this is clearly to terrorise the population, successfully so, as we can ascertain from our friends’ reports. If it was not for Facebook postings, we would not be aware of the degree of terror felt by ordinary Palestinian civilians in Gaza. This stands in stark contrast to the world’s awareness of terrorised and shock-treated Israeli citizens.

An extract of a report sent by a Canadian medic who happened to be in Gaza and helped out in Shifa hospital ER over the weekend says: “the wounded were all civilians with multiple puncture wounds from shrapnel: brain injuries, neck injuries, hemo-pneumo thorax, pericardial tamponade, splenic rupture, intestinal perforations, slatted limbs, traumatic amputations. All of this with no monitors, few stethoscopes, one ultrasound machine. …. Many people with serious but non life threatening injuries were sent home to be re-assessed in the morning due to the sheer volume of casualties. The penetrating shrapnel injuries were spooky. Tiny wounds with massive internal injuries. … There was very little morphine for analgesia.”

Apparently such scenes are not newsworthy for the New York Times, the CBC, or the BBC.

Bias and dishonesty with respect to the oppression of Palestinians is nothing new in Western media and has been widely documented. Nevertheless, Israel continues its crimes against humanity with full acquiescence and financial, military and moral support from our governments, the U.S., Canada and the EU.

Netanyahu is currently garnering Western diplomatic support for additional operations in Gaza, which makes us worry that another Cast Lead may be on the horizon. In fact, the very recent events are confirming such an escalation has already begun, as today’s death-count climbs. The lack of widespread public outrage at these crimes is a direct consequence of the systematic way in which the facts are withheld and/or of the skewed way these crimes are portrayed.

We wish to express our outrage at the reprehensible media coverage of these acts in the mainstream (corporate) media.

We call on journalists around the world working for corporate media outlets to refuse to be instruments of this systematic policy of disguise. We call on citizens to inform themselves through independent media, and to voice their conscience by whichever means is accessible to them.

Hagit Borer, U.K.
Antoine Bustros, Canada
Noam Chomsky, U.S.
David Heap, Canada
Stephanie Kelly, Canada
Máire Noonan, Canada
Philippe Prévost, France
Verena Stresing, France
Laurie Tuller, France

 

Thousands of angry Jordanians call for king to go

16 November 2012 – 16H16

NBCNews: Jordan protesters call for king’s ‘downfall’ as demonstrations escalate [click for more]

AFP – Thousands of protesters made unprecedented calls on Friday for Jordan’s King Abdullah II to go, as police blocked them from heading to the royal palace to vent their anger over sharp hikes in fuel prices.

“The people want to reform the regime. Freedom, freedom, down with Abdullah. God is greater than injustice… Abdullah your era is gone,” chanted crowds AFP estimated at more than 10,000 people, including Islamists and leftists.

“The people want the fall of the regime. Abdullah, reform or leave, you have lost legitimacy,” they shouted angrily outside the Husseini Mosque in downtown Amman.

Publicly insulting the king or calling for his ouster is rare in Jordan because it is illegal and can result in jail.

TheWashingtonPost: Calls for ouster of king grow at rallies in Jordan, thousands protest price hikes in capital [click for more]

Demonstrators held banners reading, “Playing with prices means playing with fire,” “This is a real revolt against corruption” and “No reform without political and economic change. Long live the revolt of Jordanians.”

Police prevented them from heading for the palace around eight kilometres (five miles) from the mosque, but no clashes were reported, an AFP reporter said.

RT: US not impressed with Arab spring reaching Jordan? [click for more]

Zaki Bani Rsheid, deputy leader of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood, told AFP: “Those who are calling for the fall of the regime are increasing because of wrong polices that reject people’s demands.”

“This cannot and should not be ignored. The regime must reform before it is too late.”

The protesters said they plan another demonstration at around 7:00 pm (1600 GMT) near the interior ministry.

Near Amman in Baqaa, the country’s largest Palestinian refugee camp, around 2,000 people protested against price rises.

“Police had to fire tear gas after some 200 demonstrators hurled stones at police and tried to block a main road in the camp,” a security official told AFP.

Similar but smaller demonstrations took place elsewhere, including in the southern cities of Tafileh, Karak and Maan, as well as Irbid and Jerash in the north.

The unrest erupted late on Tuesday after the announcement of a 53 percent increase in the price of household gas and a 12 percent rise in petrol.

Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur said the increases are necessary to help reduce a projected budget deficit of 3.5 billion dinars (around $5 billion dollars/3.9 billion euros) this year.

Riots left one person dead and 71 injured, mainly policemen, according to police who arrested 158 people and recorded around 100 incidents of rioting, vandalism and theft nationwide.

A police statement said that 30 people were released from detention on Friday.

VoiceOfAmerica: Jordanian Protesters Call for Revolution [click for link]

The Muslim Brotherhood has demanded that the king cancel the price hikes and postpone January 23 general elections, which the group said it will boycott.

Despite the unrest, US State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner said on Thursday Jordan remained an “important strategic partner.”

However, the US embassy has warned Americans to avoid areas where demonstrations are being held, while saying it was “carefully monitoring the security situation.”

Saudi Arabia also urged its citizens to stay away from public gatherings and universities in Jordan, state news agency SPA reported.

 

SOURCE: http://www.france24.com/en/20121116-thousands-angry-jordanians-call-king-go

MORE SOURCES:

http://www.euronews.com/newswires/1728424-protesters-call-for-downfall-of-regime-in-jordan-capital/

http://whtc.com/news/articles/2012/nov/16/jordan-protesters-call-for-downfall-of-the-regime/

http://www.timeslive.co.za/world/2012/11/16/protesters-in-jordan-capital-call-for-king-to-quit

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/58208/World/Region/One-dead-in-Jordan-fuel-price-riots.aspx

Update: Egypt closes Rafah crossing

Egyptian authorities closed the Rafah border crossing after the Israeli occupation forces targeted the Palestinian side of the crossing with two missiles that exploded next to it. Israeli forces have escalated attacks on the border and targeted the tunnels on the Egyptian border with the Gaza Strip.

Reuters

The city of Rafah witnessed a state of panic due to the explosions, with many shops and businesses closing early.

Earlier on Thursday evening Presidential Spokesperson Yasser Ali announced that President Mohamed Morsy has instructed Prime Minister Hesham Qandil to head a high-level delegation to the Gaza Strip on Friday.

Qandil’s visit to Gaza will emphasize Egypt’s solidarity with the people of Gaza in the face of brutal Israeli aggression, Ali said, as well as meet the urgent needs of the Palestinian people.

“The Egyptian leadership informed us that Prime Minister Hesham Qandil will visit Gaza tomorrow, accompanied by a number of ministers. We welcome this visit and appreciate this courageous stand,” Hamas spokesperson Taher al-Nunu told AFP.

The visit “confirms the support of the Egyptian leadership, government, and people for the Palestinian people in the shadow of the Israeli war against them in Gaza,” he added, saying Qandil would meet Hamas premier Ismail Haniyeh.

The Health Ministry announced on Thursday the formation of a joint central operations room in collaboration with the Pharmacists and Doctors Syndicates, to treat injured Palestinians in Gaza.

Amgad Amin of the Pharmacists Syndicate in Cairo told Al-Masry Al-Youm that head of the syndicate Mohamed Abdel Gawad is now in the Gaza Strip leading a delegation of pharmacists.

Israeli media outlets reported that Egypt’s ambassador to Israel Atef Salem al-Ahl left Tel Aviv on Thursday. Cairo recalled the ambassador on Wednesday after a series of Israeli air strikes on Gaza killed Jabari and others, President Mohamed Morsy’s spokesperson said in a terse statement. Ahmed al-Helali, a member of the International Union for Muslim Scholars, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that it was essential that the Egyptian ambassador not return to Israel as long as the attacks continue. He called on all revolutionary forces to unite to support Palestinian resistance.

Meanwhile, Israeli Ambassador to Egypt Yaakov Amitai left Cairo on Wednesday after being summoned by the Egyptian foreign ministry, state-run Al-Ahram newspaper reported. However, Reuters quoted an Israeli diplomat in Jerusalem on Wednesday as saying that Amitai had returned to Israel before Tel Aviv launched its assault on the Gaza Strip.

Egypt’s official news agency MENA quoted an informed diplomatic source as saying that contrary to several reports, Egypt did not ask the Israeli ambassador to leave. Over the last year, the ambassador usually spends the weekend in Israel, leaving on Thursday and returning on Sunday. He said it is not certain whether he will return on Sunday or not.

He went on to say that there are several steps Egypt can take in response to the brutal aggression on Gaza.

“It may be sufficient to summon the ambassador from Tel Aviv for consultation, a step less severe than withdrawing him,” he said. “The difference is when you summon the ambassador for consultation, it will be for a limited period and it is known that he will return within days. But when you start with withdrawing the ambassador, it means that Egypt has chosen the strongest option from the beginning.”

If the attack continues and there are more casualties, according to the diplomat, it will be possible that the Israeli ambassador to Egypt becomes persona non grata, or is expelled. Both have the same result in legal terms, he explained, but expulsion would constitute a stronger statement diplomatically.

The next step, he says, would be to freeze relations. Countries usually start with freezing economic relations, and this is usually associated with an escalation before a declaration of war. In this case, the potential impact on economic relations with the United States must be closely studied.

This is merely theoretical talk about the options available, the diplomatic source said, stressing that he does not have specific information about what steps will be taken.

Hundreds of protesters rallied in front of the Arab League in Cairo against the Israeli assault on Gaza Thursday, chanting slogans and carrying Palestinian flags, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported.

In televised remarks earlier Thursday, President Mohamed Morsy rejected what he called Israel’s aggression in Gaza, saying it threatened to destabilize the region, while Cairo called on the US to stop Israel’s strikes.

“The Israelis must understand that we do not accept this aggression, which could lead to instability in the region,” Morsy said, as Israeli air forces pummeled Gaza and militants fired rockets back in a deadly tit for tat.

In an earlier telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr “called on the United States to immediately intervene to bring to an end the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people in Gaza,” the ministry said in a statement.

“As long as the Israeli aggression continues, the situation will worsen in a way that will make it uncontrollable,” Amr told Clinton late Wednesday.

He called on Washington to “use its contacts with Israel to bring to an end this aggression.”

The Suez Canal Authority has denied reports that it prevented the passage of Israeli ships according to several news sources.

Egypt, which in 1979 became the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel, previously withdrew its ambassador after a Palestinian uprising that began in 2000, when President Hosni Mubarak was still in power.

Morsy, an Islamist elected in June after Mubarak’s overthrow in 2011, has promised to take a harder line on Israel than his predecessor, who was accused of doing little to stop the Jewish state’s devastating assault on Gaza in December 2008-January 2009.

Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip on Thursday, German news agency DPA reported.

“Work would resume on both sides of the border in order to be ready for the arrival of any injured Palestinians so they could be transferred to Arish Public Hospital, which is ready to receive them,” a security source told DPA.

Also on Thursday morning, Major General Mohamed Refaat Shehata, head of the Egyptian intelligence services, returned to Cairo from Turkey to follow up on recent developments in Gaza.

Sources told DPA that Shehata arrived from Istanbul on Thursday, cutting his trip to discuss bilateral cooperation between Egypt and Turkey short. An Egyptian-mediated ceasefire between Hamas and Israel failed Wednesday following the Israeli assassination of Ahmed al-Jabary, the commander of Hamas’s Ezzedeen al-Qassam Brigades.

Shehata is expected to attempt to negotiate a new truce between Israel and Hamas, as he had played an important role in securing the original ceasefire. Cairo often plays a mediator role between Israel and Hamas whenever violence erupts between the two sides.

Tight security measures have been taken in South Sinai Governorate, particularly focusing on the main roads entering the area and on the border regions of Taba and Negev, in anticipation of any jihadist elements attempts to attack Israeli tourists.

An official source in Taba land port said that Israeli tourists have increasingly chosen not to holiday in Taba anyway, despite tourist resort offers. Sami Salman, head of the Association of Taba and Nuweiba Investors, said the current events will affect tourism in all of Sinai.

SOURCE: http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/update-egypt-closes-rafah-crossing