Quotes

COMMENT – RE: BIAFRAN WAR; BY IFY ADENUGA

I think it is safe to say not many of us today can truly recount the thinking behind Odimegwu Ojukwu’s declaration of Biafran Republic back in the sixties. To have one of my Peers pushing for such wheelbarrow divide of the nation based on that is not only baffling but most scary for my gentle mind!

This interview is an alarming one to say the least if the interviewee claims to be speaking and representing 98% of Igbos whom he claims are desiring own nation to be top on the National Conference Agenda! Whatever happened to the % of the remaining Biafra’s national memberships?

I find this so very much an ‘ego’ trip but potent in its intent to rouse a people with such automaton that, ……..all hell breaks lose if Biafran nation is not part of the NC consideration! I think it’s not only harmful but very much counter-productive to what the NC is meant to achieve.

As a law abiding citizen that I know Kenneth Kanu to be, I am very much unhappy and disappointed in fact that he chose to let the cat out of the bag this way regardless of the horrific impact such imminent danger rumour could spell for ‘the’ people he is professing to have their interest at heart!………..

If for the same people – the Igbos that currently bear most brunt of the national insecurity to date across the nation, he didn’t think twice to rope them into such claim of ‘own nation’ desire WITHOUT consulting them…. I really hate to think of their lifestyle afterwards when Kenneth perhaps must have become the leader of such new nation, if that’s what this movement is geared to achieve!

But perhaps, we should address the circumstances or conditions in our land that enabled him to undoubtedly poise to tip not just the fragile NC agenda but also the people’s REASONING of first securing peace in the land. Because I for one, fail to see our togetherness as a nation as the reason for our national failings that have got everyone so wound up with state of things!

If our national executives would delegate 400+ citizens to tackle the NC but with no terms of reference – that has nothing to do with this desired DIVIDE of the nation! It has nothing to do with the banned Gay marriage and the corruption that’s got strangling hold on our national growth and productivity – and of course, nothing to do with our health and wellbeing.

Thanks to our unruliness in, and, of our nation – we shouldn’t have an individual bandying their opinion/viewpoints around in the name of representing States of people they have neither consulted nor polled to be speaking on their behalf.

Everything that is wrong with our nation is down to the PEOPLE….NIGERIA IS A BEAUTIFUL AND BLESSED NATION but the people in it – caught up in all the DIVIDES you could ever think of…… IRONICALLY, these are the same divides AND MORE that are what make the greatest NATIONS on this planet GREAT, BUOYANT & ATTRACTIVE to the rest of us that we all want/desire to leave our respective nations for!

That’s not saying Biafran movement has no membership but quite a drop in the ocean if you consider the would-be Biafrian National population! Remember that, Biafra of the sixties- Ojukwu’s brainchild, all most – includes the south/south and river states. Just how you would sustain Biafra for Ndi-Igbo without these Stately memberships, remains to be seen!

Kenneth Kanu, should show some self discipline by not inappropriately declaring such bombshell of a threat to a Sovereign nation – NIGERIA. And we must watch our words especially in the public domain.

I neither think he’s right nor wrong for wanting own nation but quite disagree with the subversive strategy that is very assuming and could tip the balance between peace and war in the nation!

I have had one war to last me a life time and very sure just like him, I also feel a section of Nigerians would back me on this. We don’t want any more wars on our soil! Whatever else we want to fight for in life we need and deserve PEACE FIRST in order to achieve whatever goal we are in pursuit of!

PICTURE

Bruce Springsteen song skewers Chris Christie. Will ‘Jersey Traffic Jam’ sting …

Picture this: You’re Bruce Springsteen’s biggest fan. You’ve seen him in concert at least 130 times; you know the words to every song he’s ever written; one time, he gave you a hug, and you responded by bursting into tears.

Comedian Jimmy Fallon took on the bridge scandal around New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on his show Tuesday night with a little help from one of the most famous New Jerseyans ever: Bruce Springsteen. Springsteen joined Fallon onstage during NBC’s

Next week Bruce Springsteen will release his 18th studio album, High Hopes. In the parlance of Springsteen’s discography, it’s comparable to Working on a Dream, though it doesn’t quite sink down to the Human Touch–Lucky

Chris Christie’s “bridgegate” affair has already generated lots of jokes. But none may sting the governor of New Jersey as much as a skit on the most recent “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” that lampooned the subject with a parody of a Bruce Springsteen

At the SL link they have some additional songs that Bruce and Jimmy did. So fun! I don’t stay up late enough to watch Fallonso I missed the songs the first time around. And can I be just a little non PC and say, my oh my.

IRAN NUCLEAR TALKS

International sanctions and a promise by Western powers not to impose new measures against the Iranian economy, which has been battered by the embargois on the table again.

In early December, experts also held four days of talks in Vienna — home of the International Atomic Energy Agency — but the Iranians walked out after Washington expanded its sanctions blacklist against Tehran.

Deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi is Iran’s nuclear pointman, and is scheduled to meet in Geneva with his EU counterpart Helga Schmid, the official IRNA news agency reported.

World powers have spent a decade holding on-off talks with the Islamic republic over its controversial nuclear ambitions.

The talks, which hit a wall amid tensions between the West and hardline Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, gathered pace after the election of relative moderate Hassan Rouhani, who succeeded him in August.

Amid signs of a thaw with the international community, Rouhani pledged transparency on the nuclear programme and engagement with major powers to try to remove the sanctions and thereby improve life for Iranians.

The sides are considering January 20 to begin implementing the deal, which is meant to buy time for diplomacy to clinch a lasting agreement that would allay suspicions that Iran is covertly pursing a nuclear weapons capability.

Iran denies wanting nuclear weapons but many in the international community suspect otherwise, and neither Israel — widely considered to be the Middle East’s sole if undeclared nuclear-armed state — nor Washington have ruled out military action.

ARIEL SHARON: EX ISRAEL PRIME MINISTER; SAINT OR SINNER?

ARIEL SHARON: A TIMELINE OF CONTROVERSIAL LIFE.

1928: Ariel Sharon is born to Russian immigrants in the farming community of Kfar Malal, north of Tel Aviv, in what was then British-controlled Mandatory Palestine. 1942-1948: After joining Hagana – an underground militia charged with defending Jewish settlements that later became a military outfit – at age 14, Sharon attends high school in Tel Aviv and returns to Hagana as a fighter and subsequently an instructor. 1948: Israel declares independence on May 14, precipitating the Arab-Israeli War. 1953: Palestinian attacks against the newly created state of Israel spur the formation of Unit 101, an elite commando group founded and headed by Sharon to undertake retaliatory cross-border strikes.

A look at the key milestones in the life of Ariel Sharon, from staunch support for Israeli settlements to the watershed Gaza pullout.
By Anna Kordunsky
11 hours ago

A towering figure in Israeli politics admired by some and reviled by others, Ariel Sharon has forged a formidable legacy. Below is a look back at his journey from teenage fighter to prime minister.

Former Israeli leader Sharon’s condition deteriorating: sayshospital Reuters
Ex-Israel leader Ariel Sharon takes turn for worse: MarketWatch
Former Israeli PM Sharon in critical condition Associated Press
Israel’s Controversial Former Leader Ariel Sharon in Critical Condition The Atlantic Wire
Hospital: Ariel Sharon’s health worsens Associated Press
1928: Ariel Sharon is born to Russian immigrants in the farming community of Kfar Malal, north of Tel Aviv, in what was then British-controlled Mandatory Palestine.

1942-1948: After joining Hagana – an underground militia charged with defending Jewish settlements that later became a military outfit – at age 14, Sharon attends high school in Tel Aviv and returns to Hagana as a fighter and subsequently an instructor.

1948: Israel declares independence on May 14, precipitating the Arab-Israeli War.

1948-1949: Sharon distinguishes himself in the fighting as a platoon commander. He is severely wounded in the battle for Latrun, a fortress on the road to Jerusalem.
1942-1948: After joining Hagana – an underground militia charged with defending Jewish settlements that later became a military outfit – at age 14, Sharon attends high school in Tel Aviv and returns to Hagana as a fighter and subsequently an instructor.

1948: Israel declares independence on May 14, precipitating the Arab-Israeli War.

1948-1949: Sharon distinguishes himself in the fighting as a platoon commander. He is severely wounded in the battle for Latrun, a fortress on the road to Jerusalem.

RECOMMENDED: Why Ariel Sharon looms so large in Israel
1953: Palestinian attacks against the newly created state of Israel spur the formation of Unit 101, an elite commando group founded and headed by Sharon to undertake retaliatory cross-border strikes. Sharon and his unit come under heavy criticism for numerous civilian casualties in the attack on Qibya, a village in the West Bank. The unit is subsequently disbanded and merged with a paratrooper brigade.

1958-1967: Sharon rises through the ranks of the Israeli army, winning promotions to major, colonel, infantry brigade commander, and major general by the start of the Six-Day War in 1967, when he commands Israeli forces on the Egyptian front. The war ends with Israel’s capture of the Sinai, the Golan Heights, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.

1971: In response for strikes emanating from the now Israel-controlled Gaza strip, Sharon leads a campaign to crush incipient Palestinian resistance.

1973: Sharon retires from the army at the rank of the chief of staff of the southern command, but is soon called back to service to command a reserve armored division in the Yom Kippur War. He led the crossing of the Suez Canal, disrupting the Egyptian Army’s supply routes, in a move that many believe turned the tide of war in Israel’s favor.

1974: Sharon serves for one year in the Israeli parliament (Knesset) on the ticket of Likud, a right-wing political coalition he helped found, but resigns before his term is over.

1975-1976: He serves as Security advisor to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

1977-1981: He serves as Minister of agriculture under Prime Minister Menachem Begin.

1981-1983: Sharon serves as defense minister under Menachem Begin, masterminding Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982. Following intermittent shelling of northern Israel by Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) from Lebanon, Sharon sends the Israeli army to drive out PLO fighters. As the army advanced to Beirut, Israeli-allied Christian militiamen killed hundreds of Palestinians in the city’s Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. A subsequent Israeli investigation finds Sharon indirectly responsible for the massacre, and he is removed from office in 1983. The invasion gives rise to long-term presence of Israeli forces in Beirut that would persist until 2000.

1984-2001: Sharon mounts a gradual political comeback as the head of several ministries (trade and industry, construction and housing, and national infrastructure) and finally as foreign minister in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. He maintains staunch support for Israeli settlement policy, overseeing in the early 1990s the biggest wave of development in the West Bank and Gaza since Israel took control of the territories in 1967.

1999: Sharon becomes head of the Likud party after Benjamin Netanyahu loses the general election to Ehud Barak.

2000: While serving as foreign minister, Sharon makes a provocative visit to the disputed Temple Mount in Jerusalem, igniting outrage among Muslims that quickly escalates into what became the second intifada. The continued bloodshed precipitates a political crisis in Israel, forcing Ehud Barak to resign and a new election to be called.

2001: Sharon takes the helm as prime minister after achieving a landslide victory over Barak in a special election.

2002: Israel begins the construction of a separation barrier in the West Bank. Political tumult erupts after all six cabinet ministers belonging to the opposition Labor Party resign from Sharon’s cabinet and the Knesset rejects his 2003 budget. Sharon is forced to call another early election.

2003: After winning reelection as prime minister, Sharon participates in multilateral discussions for the Middle East “road map” in Aqaba, Jordan, with the newly elected Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, President George Bush, and Jordanian King Abdullah II.

February 2005: Sharon and Mr. Abbas announce a cease-fire at a summit in Sharm-el-Sheik, Egypt, pledging to take mutual steps towards peace.

August to September 2005: Sharon oversees Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank in the face of vehement opposition at home. The Israeli military oversees the evacuation of settlers, forcibly removing those unwilling to leave.

Nov. 2005: After unrelenting dissent within Likud over Gaza pullout, Sharon resigns as Likud chairman and forms a new political party, Kadima. New elections are called for the following March.

Dec. 2005: Sharon suffers a mild stroke but is able to return to work a few days later.

February 2005: Sharon and Mr. Abbas announce a cease-fire at a summit in Sharm-el-Sheik, Egypt, pledging to take mutual steps towards peace.

August to September 2005: Sharon oversees Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank in the face of vehement opposition at home. The Israeli military oversees the evacuation of settlers, forcibly removing those unwilling to leave.

Nov. 2005: After unrelenting dissent within Likud over Gaza pullout, Sharon resigns as Likud chairman and forms a new political party, Kadima. New elections are called for the following March.

Dec. 2005: Sharon suffers a mild stroke but is able to return to work a few days later.

Jan. 2006: Sharon suffers a massive stroke that leaves him in a coma.

Sources:

CNN

BBC

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

The New Yorker

Biography.com

Political expression

Political expression

POPE FRANCIS CAPITALISM & SAUDI ARABIA.

Pope Francis slams capitalism as ‘new tyranny’
Posted: 26 Nov 2013 02:51 PM PST

Pope Francis has taken aim at capitalism as “a new tyranny” and is urging world leaders to step up their efforts against poverty and inequality, saying “thou shall not kill” the economy. Francis calls on rich people to share their wealth.
The existing financial system that fuels the unequal distribution of wealth and violence must be changed, the Pope warned.
“How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?” Pope Francis asked an audience at the Vatican.
The global economic crisis, which has gripped much of Europe and America, has the Pope asking how countries can function, or realize their full economic potential, if they are weighed down by the debts of capitalism.
“A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules,” the 84-page document, known as an apostolic exhortation, said.
“To all this we can add widespread corruption and self-serving tax evasion, which has taken on worldwide dimensions. The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits”, the pope’s document says.
He goes on to explain that in this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which has become the only rule we live by.
Shameful wealth
Inequality between the rich and the poor has reached a new threshold, and in his apostolic exhortation to mark the end of the “Year of Faith”, Pope Francis asks for better politicians to heal the scars capitalism made on society.
“Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills,” Francis wrote in the document issued Tuesday.
His calls to service go beyond general good Samaritan deeds, as he asks his followers for action “beyond a simple welfare mentality”.
“I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor,” Francis wrote.
A recent IRS report shows that the wealth of the US’s richest 1 percent has grown by 31 percent, while the rest of the population experienced an income rise of only 1 percent.
The most recent Oxfam data shows that up to 146 million Europeans are at risk of falling into poverty by 2025 and 50 million Americans are currently suffering from severe financial hardship.
“As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation, and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems,” he wrote.
Named after the medieval saint who chose a life of poverty, Pope Francis has gone beyond general calls for fair work, education, and healthcare.
Newly-elected Pope Francis has stepped up the fight against corrupt capitalism that has hit close to home – he was the first Pope to go after the Vatican bank and openly accused it of fraud and shady offshore tax haven deals.
In October, Pope Francis removed Vatican bank head Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, after revelations of alleged mafia money laundering and financial impropriety.
Source

EU to partially lift Iran sanctions in December
Posted: 26 Nov 2013 02:43 PM PST

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius says the European Union will likely lift some of the sanctions imposed against Iran in December following a deal between Tehran and the west.
Fabius said on Monday that EU foreign ministers would meet in a few weeks to present a proposal to partially lift some sanctions imposed by the bloc against Iran as agreed in the deal sealed between Tehran and the Sextet in Geneva.
“This lifting of sanctions is limited, targeted and reversible,” he added.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – Britain, China, France, Russia and the US – plus Germany sealed an interim deal on November 24 to pave the way for the full resolution of the West’s decade-old dispute with Iran over the country’s nuclear energy program.
In exchange for Iran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities, the United States and its allies have undertaken to lift some of the existing sanctions against Iran.
At the beginning of 2012, the European Union placed an embargo on Iranian oil and petrochemicals exports, banned the trade of precious metals as well as transactions with the Central Bank of Iran and froze its assets across the bloc. The measures came into effect as of July 1, 2012.
The sanctions also barred EU insurance firms from providing insurance and reinsurance to Iran and Iranian-owned companies. In 2011 the union had targeted over 30 holding companies of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL).
According to the Iranian Foreign Ministry, the Geneva Deal allows Iran to continue its activities at Arak, Fordow and Natanz nuclear facilities. The agreement also stipulates that no additional sanctions will be imposed on Tehran over its nuclear energy program.
Source

France Planned False Flag Terror Attack in Britain
Posted: 26 Nov 2013 02:30 PM PST

Intelligence services considered assassinating Muslim leader, blaming neo-nazis.
French intelligence services planned to stage a terror attack in Britain and then blame it on neo-nazis in a bid to assassinate Muslim hate preacher Abu Hamza, according to an investigation by pressure group Hope Not Hate.
Following the 1999 nail-bombing campaign in London, carried out by far-right terrorist David Copeland, France’s Direction Generale de la Securite Exterieure hatched a plan to kill the hook-handed cleric and then implicate British Nazi group Combat 18.
“The plan to kill the infamous hook-handed hate-preacher Abu Hamza al Masri, was the result of growing frustration by French security services over the inaction of British authorities in the face of the growing threat of Islamist terrorism. Specifically, the French suspected Abu Hamza of having links to the terrorists responsible for the 1995 Paris Metro bombings,” reports Israeli National News.
According to the report, entitled, Gateway To Terror, French authorities referred to the British capital as “Londonistan” because of the ease with which Al-Qaeda networks were able to operate there and vowed to “take matters into their own hands” by sending death threats and subsequently killing Hamza using the same weaponry Combat 18 was thought to possess.
“The plan was to impersonate the British Nazi group Combat 18 and then allow them to take the blame,” said the report’s author Nick Lowles.
The French’s frustration over British authorities’ unwillingness to take any action against Hamza may stem from the fact that the cleric was either working on behalf of or at least being protected by British intelligence.
In 2006, Hamza revealed his ties to the British Army’s Sandhurst training college and said that his Finsbury Park hate preaching “had been tacitly approved by MI5.”
Haroon Rashid Aswat, one of the “masterminds” of the London bombings, was on the payroll of MI5 when the attacks took place, according to noted terror experts. Aswat was also a “highly public aide” to Abu Hamza from the late 1990′s onwards.
Hamza was finally extradited from the USA in October 2012 having escaped terrorism charges for years despite his clear links to Al-Qaeda.
The fact that the French secret service planned to assassinate a public figure and then lay the blame on someone else is also likely to spark further questions surrounding the fate of Princess Diana, who died under mysterious circumstances in Paris in 1997.
It also emphasizes the fact that, far from being a “conspiracy theory,” governments routinely plan to stage false flag assassinations and terror attacks in order to further their political agenda.
Source

Saudi Arabia seeking to obtain atomic bomb
Posted: 26 Nov 2013 02:20 PM PST

A meeting of Saudi Arabia’s Shoura Council
Saudi Arabia is reportedly trying to obtain atomic bombs as Iran and the west reach a deal over Tehran’s nuclear energy program.
Abdullah al-Askar, the chairman of the foreign affairs committee in Saudi Arabia’s appointed Shoura Council, said he was worried after Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council — the United States, China, Russia, France and Britain — plus Germany sealed the deal, Reuters reported on Sunday.
“I am afraid Iran will give up something on to get something else from the big powers in terms of regional politics. And I’m worrying about giving Iran more space or a freer hand in the region,” he said.
Askar said that if the deal did not succeed in preventing Iran from what he claimed as building a bomb, Saudi Arabia and other countries would seek one, too.
Earlier in November, citing NATO sources, British media reports said that Saudi Arabia has invested in Pakistan’s nuclear weapons projects and believes it could obtain atomic bombs at will.
The reports said nuclear weapons made in Pakistan on behalf of Saudi Arabia are now sitting ready for delivery.
According to the reports, Riyadh has had the missile technology to deliver warheads since the late 1980s.
The British media reports also quoted former Israeli military intelligence chief, Amos Yadlin, as saying that the Saudis have already paid for the bomb.
“They will go to Pakistan and bring what they need to bring,” he said at a conference in Sweden in October.
On November 24, Iran and six major world powers sealed an interim six-month deal in Geneva after intense negotiations to pave the way for a full resolution of the dispute on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program.

SOURCE: THE EUROPEAN TIMES.

SARAH PALIN -BASHIR CONTROVERSY:

CONTROVERSY OVER BASHIR PUNISHMENT OR LACK OF IT:

AUTHOR: DAVID BAUDER

Bashir’s apology for graphic comments about Sarah Palin on MSNBC hasn’t ended questions about whether the remarks deserve punishment from his bosses, giving unwanted attention to a cable network dealing with sinking ratings along with loose-lipped hosts. Palin, in a Fox interview on Sunday, said MSNBC for was guilty of “executive hypocrisy” by not publicly disciplining Bashir for his “vile, evil comments.” Four days after Bashir apologized, MSNBC said it was “handling this matter internally” and wouldn’t comment further. (Photo by Nick Wass/Invision/AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Martin Bashir’s apology for graphic comments about Sarah Palin on MSNBC hasn’t ended questions about whether the remarks deserve punishment from his bosses, giving unwanted attention to a cable network dealing with sinking ratings along with loose-lipped hosts.

Palin, in a Fox interview on Sunday, said MSNBC was guilty of “executive hypocrisy” by not publicly disciplining Bashir for his “vile, evil comments.” Four days after Bashir apologized, MSNBC said it was “handling this matter internally” and wouldn’t comment further.

“It’s a systemic problem,” said Jeff Cohen, an Ithaca College journalism professor and liberal commentator who was a producer for Phil Donahue’s prime-time MSNBC show a decade ago. “It’s a problem at MSNBC. It’s a problem in cable news. It’s a certain coarseness where everything goes. I guess they can keep sanctioning and suspending people, but there’s something wrong when name-calling is considered OK.”

Bashir’s comments about Palin came on the same day MSNBC suspended actor Alec Baldwin from his weekly show for two episodes for his part in an off-the-air episode. Baldwin used an anti-gay slur in a confrontation with a photographer on a New York City street.

http://tv.yahoo.com/news/controversy-over-bashir-punishment-doesnt-away-211755735.html?soc_src=copy
“That’s hypocrisy,” she said. When a conservative woman is a target on MSNBC “they usually just kind of pooh-pooh it, laugh it off. It’s no big deal.”

MSNBC did, however, take Ed Schultz off the air for a week in 2011 after he referred to conservative talk-show host Laura Ingraham as a “slut” during a commentary on his radio show. Schultz apologized publicly to Ingraham before serving his suspension.

The network did not explain what made the Bashir incident different.

“Martin Bashir has taken responsibility publicly for his offensive commentary and also personally apologized to the Palin family,” the network statement said. “Bashir offered a heartfelt apology on MSNBC earlier this week where he admitted it was a personal failing to become part of the politics of vitriol and destruction. He has committed to elevating the discourse going forward.”

Since the comment, Palin has also cancelled a planned interview with Matt Lauer for NBC’s “Today” show. NBC News, particularly under new President Deborah Turness, has sought to distance itself from MSNBC. But they share corporate owners and, in the case of Chuck Todd and Andrea Mitchell, personalities that work for both.

Heated, often offensive, commentary is hardly limited to the liberal MSNBC, with conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh triggering an advertiser boycott for calling a woman who advocated for contraception as a part of health insurance plans a “slut” and a “prostitute.”

Commentaries like Bashir’s are not something he wants to hear, particularly around mealtime, said Marty Kaplan, director of the Norman Lear Center at the USC Annenberg School of Communication. But he didn’t expect the commentary to be damaging to MSNBC.

“There’s plenty of objectionable talk that I’ve heard from Sarah Palin,” he said. “I’m not arguing moral equivalency, but the baseline is more erratic and dense on coarse talk that I would like it to be.”

WEBSITE EDITOR COMMENT:

ISRAEL

AUTHOR: (CONTRIBUTOR)

PROFESSOR JAMES PETRAS
November 09, 2013
Region: Middle East & North Africa
Theme: 9/11 & ‘War on Terrorism’, US, NATO War Agenda
In-depth Report: SYRIA: NATO’S NEXT WAR?

INTRODUCTION:

Israel has committed repeated acts of war against countries that opposed its Zionist policies of colonization and annexation of Palestinian territory in East Jerusalem and the West Bank . Israeli leaders have secured arms and diplomatic support for their attacks through their Zionist proxies in the United States Congress and the Executive Branch.

The current series of Israeli bombing raids and missile strikes against Syria are designed to strengthen the armed Syrian opposition and Islamist mercenaries seeking to destroy the government in Damascus. Israel intends to sabotage the upcoming round of peace negotiations. The Zionist state does not want a peaceful resolution to the current regional conflict. Its foreign policy depends on perpetual regional wars and political instability. Toward this end, Tel Aviv has the unconditional support of the 52 Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organization and all other Zionist organizations in the US .

Armed Conflict and Intervention in Syria

For almost three years, Syria has increasingly transformed into a battleground and humanitarian disaster. At first, there were domestic Syrian political and social organizations staging protests against the Baathist government. The early protestors included secular liberals, Muslims, democrats and socialists. They had engaged in mostly peaceful protest against the authoritarian, but multi-cultural, secular regime of Bashar Assad. The government clamped down heavily and arrested many protestors.

This heavy-handed response help to split the Syrian opposition: Peaceful, civil-society protestors remained in the country, although diminished in numbers, while many others went underground or fled to bordering countries and formed the early core of the armed opposition. They received military and financial support from NATO countries and Turkey , as well as from the corrupt Gulf Monarchies, especially Saudi Arabia . A cross-border war was launched in which US and European special military forces played a leading role in organizing, training and directing a makeshift collection of armed Syrian groups. Turkey provided arms, training camps and logistical support. The funding came from the rich kingdoms of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Monarchies, which have spent hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Saudis recruited radical Islamist and Al Qaeda mercenaries and Wahhabi terrorists to fight the Damascus regime – targeting secular Syrians, Shiites, Alawites, Syrian Christians and Kurds. In just a few years, the conflict underwent a radical change in character and in intensity from internal broad-based civil strife to an armed foreign-backed invasion with vicious sectarian overtones. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians fled from their home when thousands of mostly foreign, Islamist fighters attacked and occupied their cities, towns and villages – conducting campaigns of ethnic cleansing against non-Sunni and non-Arab Syrians.

The government in Damascus responded by mobilizing ground troops and its air force to recover its vital highways and cities and drive out this increasingly foreign occupation. This became especially critical toward the end of 2012, when Al Qaeda-linked extremists, funded by the Saudi and Gulf monarchies, gained ascendancy at a number of key fronts. These violent extremists overran and displaced the Western-backed ‘internal’ armed opposition who made up the so-called ‘moderates’. The Saudi proxies attacked Kurdish militia in the semi-autonomous Syrian northeast in order to secure cross border supply routes to Iraq thus regionalizing the war. This heralded the tremendous increase in terrorism and bombing against the Shiite government in Baghdad and majority Shia population.

As the Western-backed opposition retreated, the mercenaries, linked to Al Qaeda, fully expected their sponsors among the despotic Saudi oil billionaires to call on NATO and the US to launch missile strikes against the Syrian government. Without US and NATO air support, the jihadis would never take Damascus .

Meanwhile, the Islamist Turkish government had been playing a duplicitous role by allowing its border area to be used for terrorist camps, supply routes and a launch site for cross-border attacks against its neighbor. This has been very unpopular with the Turkish public. When it became evident that the Saudi-backed Al Qaeda terrorists were gaining the upper hand over Ankara ’s more ‘moderate’ Islamist Syrian clients, the Turks may have developed concerns that their border would become a regional center for Al Qaeda with thousands of well-armed, battle-tested Islamist mercenaries. This may explain Ankara ’s recent approach to Teheran hoping to undercut the jihadi clients of the Gulf Monarchies.

With the Syrian opposition badly split and the US domestic opposition to a new war increasing, the US-NATO regimes withdrew their commitment to the Saudis to act as ‘Al Qaeda’s Air Force’. In this context, US President Obama eagerly accepted the Russian President Putin’s offer to jointly oversee the dismantlement of Syria ’s chemical weapons stockpile and to set up a peace conference between Syrian opposition factions, not-linked to Al Qaeda, and the Syrian government.

Chemical Weapons, Disarmament and Peace: Who’s in and Who’s Out?

The Putin-Obama agreement was a significant advance for the US and Russia . President Obama did not have to face massive domestic and Congressional opposition to a new war with Syria and he was ‘credited’ with accepting a diplomatic solution. Russian President Vladimir Putin assumed the role of a world statesman in initiating the process, ensuring Syrian compliance and moving the parties toward a peace conference in Geneva to be held in late November. The European Union and the NATO powers were able to temporarily disentangle from their military commitments to the Syrian ‘rebels’ and their Saudi backers and express their own indignation over US cyber-spying of their citizens and leaders. Furthermore, this gave the Obama Administration the opportunity to open nuclear negotiations with Iran . Turkey , which had been flooded by desperate Syrian refugees, was facing rising nationalist pressures against its own military role in the Syrian ‘civil war’. The Russian initiative allowed the Turks to further explore re-opening relations with Syria ’s ally, Iran .

This advance toward peace and disarmament weakened the military ambitions of the despotic Saudi regime and threatened the hegemonic position of the Israeli junta. The Saudi-Gulf States strategy had been to destroy the secular Syrian state via a mercenary Al Qaeda ground war supported by massive NATO-US air strikes against Damascus . The Saudis envisioned a replay of the Libyan invasion that saw the overthrow of the secular Gadhafi. A bloody jihadist victory in Damascus would strike a blow at Iran , the Saudi’s (and the Israeli’s) ultimate target.

The US-Russian rapprochement and Obama’s withdrawal of his threat to bomb Damascus had deprived the Saudi’s Al Qaeda mercenaries of their long-awaited Western missile support. Across the Atlantic , in a fit of pique and high-pitched hysteria at NATO’s refusal to serve as ‘Al Qaeda’s air force’ for their pet mercenaries, the Saudis refused to sit take their appointed seat ‘with the infidels’ on the UN Security Council!

However, Israel was quick to step in with its own bombs and missiles to bolster the Islamist terrorists in Syria !

Israel viewed itself as a casualty of the Obama-Putin agreement; it had been clamoring for more overt Western involvement in the war against Syria . Israel ’s strategy was to encourage the armed conflict, decimate the Syrian government, society and economy, and create a new client configuration composed of ‘Egypt-Jordan-Syria’ under joint Saudi- Israeli- US auspices (and financing).

The Israelis had expected US President Obama to unleash a massive NATO air strike against Syrian military installations, arms depots and vital civilian infrastructure. This would tip the military balance in favor of the armed Syrian opposition and foreign jihadist mercenaries and precipitate the collapse of Damascus . Indeed the entire US Jewish-Zionist power structure, including the pro-Israel media troika (the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal), called for the US to bomb Syria despite the fact that the majority of America citizens were increasingly vocal in their opposition to US involvement!

When Obama finally took note of US public opinion and embraced Vladimir Putin’s proposal for Syrian peace and the dismantling of its chemical weapons arsenal, the media troika and the ZPC unleashed hysterical attacks, accusing President Obama of vacillation (for disobeying Netanyahu?), sacrificing Syrian lives (what about the Syrian victims of Israel’s occupation of the Golan Heights?) and of betraying the ‘rebels’ (also known as Al Qaeda terrorists).

Israel and Saudi Arabia make logical ‘allies’: Both are sworn enemies of secular Arab nationalism and anti-colonialism; both have sponsored overseas terrorist groups against their opponents; both seek to destroy Iran and both are completely dependent on Western arms relying on imperialist wars to achieve their own regional aims. At the moment their plans for ‘re-drawing the map’ of the Middle East has met a speed-bump in the form of Obama’s reluctance to launch US missiles and bombs against Damascus.

The Israeli Air Force at the Service of Al Qaeda

In recent years Israel has committed numerous acts of war throughout the Middle East, including crimes against humanity in Gaza , the West Bank and Lebanon . It is no surprise that Israel , a colonial state and would-be regional hegemon, would bomb Syrian military bases and weapon depots on six occasions this year, despite the fact that Damascus was struggling for its survival against thousands of Saudi-financed Al Qaeda-linked mercenaries.

Israel ’s deliberate and unprovoked attacks against the beleaguered Syrian state are motivated by dangerous, sinister and cynical considerations on the part of Tel Aviv.

First, the Israel wants a strong Wahhabi-Al Qaeda presence in the region to counter the secular Baathists as well as their Shiite allies in Lebanon and Iran . Their attacks against the Syrian military show their desire for the terrorists to continue ravaging Syrian cities and towns. This is essentially a tactical alliance between extremist Zionist-Jews and Radical Sunni Muslims.

Second, Israel is calculating that its missile attacks against Syrian bases will provoke an armed response from Damascus which Tel Aviv could use as a pretext to declare war and unite the ‘hawk and dove’ Zionists in Israel, and especially in the US, and mobilize against another ‘existential threat’ to the ‘Jewish State’. In other words, Israel intends to prod the US Congress and White House to launch an ‘allied’ bombing campaign against Damascus .

Thirdly, Tel Aviv views its missile strikes and bombing raids against Syria as a ‘dress rehearsal’ for its planned attack on Iran . In the context of Iranian President Rouhani’s recent peace overtures toward the US , bombing Syria and provoking Damascus would scuttle any peaceful accord between the Washington and Teheran. Israeli pilots are using Syria as a laboratory to test radar and communications, flight patterns, its bombing accuracy, interception technology and assets to further their readiness for a pre-emptive attack on Iran . The purpose for attacking the Syrian government and destroying defensive weapons destined for its Lebanese Shiite ally, Hezbollah, is to destroy any Lebanese capacity to resist Israeli aggression in a regional conflagration.

However, Israel ’s military-driven ‘diplomacy’ has failed. And yet the Jewish state cannot reverse its brutal, colonial policies in the West Bank, re-think its working alliance with Al Qaeda in the Levant or formulate a realistic political settlement with Syria and Iran . Instead, the characteristic failure and mediocrity of Israeli policymakers have condemned them to rely exclusively on their first, last and only resort – greater brutality and aggression.

Netanyahu showed his disappointment with Obama by announcing the construction of 1500 new ‘Jews-only’ apartments in Occupied Palestinian East Jerusalem . Meanwhile, the Israeli Foreign Office denounced the Obama Administration for having revealed that Israeli planes and missiles had struck the major Syrian port of Latakia – implying that Washington’s revelation of Israel’s attempted sabotage of the peace talks amounted to a ‘betrayal’ or ‘crime’ against the Jewish state!

The entire Zionist power configuration in Washington has lined up to support the Jewish state. When Israel commits an act of war against its neighbor, no matter how unjust and brutal the act, Zionists from the most religious to the most secular, the ‘peaceniks’ and neo-cons, all form a united chorus in praise of the righteous and moral ‘Jewish Bombs’ even as they fall on the besieged people of Syria today and Iran tomorrow. While the pro-Israel media troika in the US doesn’t hesitate to denounce civilian suffering from Pentagon and CIA drones strikes in Pakistan, when Israeli missiles rain on Syria … acts of pre-emptive war by the heirs of the Holocaust … they are described as necessary for the defense of a peace-loving nation…because Bibi Netanyahu said so!!! That garrulous Harvard Law Professor will argue on the US television ‘talk shows’ that Israel had to pulverize the concrete bunkers of the Syrian military otherwise some anti-Semite might someday find some pebble to toss at some member of the moral Israeli ‘peace force’. ‘Existential threat’ indeed!

Rank cant and mendacious special pleadings aside, the Saudis and their Israeli allies intend to finance, arm and serve as Al Qaeda’s air force against the Assad regime in Syria . They mean to undermine any Syrian or Iranian peace process, that is, unless the US and Russia prevent them from provoking a major regional conflagration – threatening the welfare of hundreds of millions of people.

Conclusion

The Middle East has always been a mosaic of complex and changing alliances, marking shifts in the balance of imperial power. During the past decade, the US , Israel , Saudi Arabia and their satraps in Jordan , Egypt and Lebanon have ruled the roosts. Iraq , as an independent modern secular nation and multicultural society, was shattered and under the US military boot; the Taliban were in retreat … Iran was isolated … Syria was surrounded by invading foreign armed and trained terrorists and mercenaries.

Time passed and circumstances changed. The US was forced to retreat from the horrific sectarian conflict it created in Iraq , while Iran gained political influence and stature in the region. Turkey captured lucrative regional markets. In Afghanistan , the Taliban have recovered, advanced and are preparing to take power as soon as the US withdraws support from its lackey in Kabul . The White House temporarily lost a dictator in Egypt , only to gain a new dictatorial client, but the junta in Cairo faces an uncertain future with massive popular unrest. The King of Jordan may still be on the CIA/Mossad payroll but that country is a backward satrapy forced to rely on police state tactics.

The corrupt Gulf Monarchies repress their dissident majorities at home while using their countries’ incredible oil wealth to subsidize jihadi terrorists abroad. Their legitimacy and support is fragile: Petro-billions, bombs and US military bases do not constitute a state!

Tactical relations are in flux. The Saudi monarch rejects the UN, repudiates the US for its rapprochement with Iran and embraces —its own hot air. Surely the Saudis understand that siding with Israel ’s air force against an Arab nation is a dangerous and desperate ploy that could backfire.

The Syrian and Iranian governments will continue with their peace agendas, democratic openings and calls for social co-existence, such as Hezbollah has successfully secured in Lebanon . The Russians support their overtures. If they are successful, even the US and Europe would reap immense economic benefits from a demilitarized and sanctions-free Middle East and Persian Gulf . The world economy would see lower energy prices and greater security, while the flow of rentier capital to the speculators in the City of London and Wall Street flood would reverse and benefit their own countries. We stand at the crossroads between turning toward peace or reverting to regional war, crisis and chaos.

OBAMA SEEK’S PEACEFUL RESOLUTION WITH IRAN:

They didn’t shake hands, but President Barack Obama and Iranian president Hassan Rouhani gave speeches, hours apart, aimed at seeking a peaceful resolution to Tehran’s alleged nuclear weapons program (AP). Rouhani said Iran must retain the right to enrich uranium, while denying plans to build a nuclear weapon. In a separate interview during his New York visit, Rouhani also distanced himself from his predecessor by calling the Holocaust a crime against Jews, adding that historians could only comment on the scale (Reuters). Obama also used his speech to pressure Russia to move ahead with a strong UN Security Council resolution to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal (Bloomberg).
Analysis

“This fight against testing Iran’s intentions is dumb and dangerous. It’s dumb because no one can possibly know just how much the new Tehran government is willing to compromise if we don’t test them. Second, it’s dangerous because without trying serious give-and-take diplomacy, the United States and Israel will be back on the track to war with Iran, and soon,” CFR President Emeritus Leslie H. Gelb writes in the Daily Beast.

“Khamenei seems to be calculating that the U.S. is so weak now (see recent events in Syria) that it will drop sanctions and accept Iran’s ambitions to dominate the Middle East in return for a cosmetic slowdown in its nuclear development. It is critical that President Obama stick to a high standard for any possible deal,” CFR Senior Fellow Max Boot writes for Commentary.

“To be sure, the president’s ultimate vision for world order remains liberal and internationalist … But by his fifth year on the job, Obama is no starry-eyed idealist. Indeed, his comments betrayed the weariness of a statesman acutely aware that although forces and events may be nudged incrementally in a positive direction, there is no making the world anew,” writes CFR Senior Fellow Stewart M. Patrick.