Posted tagged ‘U.S.’

Jerusalem: Trump and Congress Challenge the Palestinians to Grow Up

December 6, 2017

Jerusalem: Trump and Congress Challenge the Palestinians to Grow Up, PJ MediaRoger L Simon, December 5, 2017

(There have been numerous conflicting guesses about what President Trump will say this afternoon. We will have to wait to find out. — DM)

Mahmoud Abbas visit to Brussels, Belgium – 27 Mar 2017Mahmoud Abbas visit to Brussels, Belgium – 27 Mar 2017

The irony is that anyone who actually cares about the Palestinians as people should welcome what America is doing now.  It is perhaps the last best chance for the Palestinians to grow up, break free of their endless pattern of self destruction, and give up looking for excuses for another pointless intifada.  Unfortunately, too many of those players enjoy the status quo, profit from it, or resist change in general, like the self-righteous European leadership.

**********************************

The president’s decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to be announced Wednesday is already sending the usual suspects into a tizzy.  The famous Arab Street, we are told, will be erupting.  The despicable fascist that runs Turkey has warned of imminent disaster.  And the president of France is doing what the French usually do vis-a-vis the Jews — well, not quite that bad.

But the real question is how the Palestinians themselves will react once the dust has settled. Will they continue decades of self-destructive violent protests that have led many of us to believe they never had an interest in a two-state solution in the first place, that it was all posturing for handouts? Or will they grow up and realize the time has come to negotiate to a conclusion and accept the responsibility of their own state and the adult compromises that would naturally entail?

By finally moving U.S. policy at least two degrees off years of unimaginative stagnation, Trump has forced the Palestinians to face some measure of reality.  But he is not alone. They are also being challenged forcefully by Congress.  From the Algemeiner:

The Taylor Force Act passed the US House of Representatives by unanimous consent on Tuesday, confronting the Palestinian Authority with the prospect of a massive cut in US aid for as long as it maintains its policy of paying monthly salaries and other benefits to the families of slain or convicted Palestinian terrorists.

Named in memory of Taylor Force – the former American army officer stabbed to death during a knifing spree by a Palestinian assailant in Tel Aviv in March 2016 – the legislation prevents the transfer of funds “that directly benefit the Palestinian Authority” for a six-year period beginning in 2018 unless the PA verifiably ends its so-called “martyr payments” policy. The Taylor Force Act also requires the PA to repeal any laws enabling or favoring the payments policy, as well investigate terrorist acts for the purpose of “bringing the perpetrators to justice.”

Though the embassy move may be more superficially dramatic in a part of the world rarely governed by logic, the congressional action might just be more persuasive to a Palestinian leadership that has been living off global largesse since the Oslo Accords of 1993.  There’s nothing like taking the money out of the hands of kleptocrats. (The U.S. is the PA’s biggest donor to the tune of approximately $700 million per annum, directly or via the UN. The PA, in its turn, paid out $355 million to terrorist — or, as they say, “martyr” — families in 2017.)  At the very least, two branches of the American government seem to be working together for once.

Of course, their attempt  may produce nothing.  Those Hamas and PA billionaires may have enough stashed away to continue their sadistic games, seducing their own impoverished people with dreams of martyrdom over nothing, but for once the dial has been moved.

It will be interesting to see what happens.  The global chess game has changed.  Saudi Arabia, as we all know, is terrified of the Iranians and has found itself a covert ally of Israel against the mullahs.  The Palestinians are aware of that and not happy about it.  They are in a box.  Trump and Congress have chosen an auspicious time to make a move.  Various players will undoubtedly yell and scream in public and say something totally different in private.  That is the way of the Middle East (and America, unfortunately, these days).

The irony is that anyone who actually cares about the Palestinians as people should welcome what America is doing now.  It is perhaps the last best chance for the Palestinians to grow up, break free of their endless pattern of self destruction, and give up looking for excuses for another pointless intifada.  Unfortunately, too many of those players enjoy the status quo, profit from it, or resist change in general, like the self-righteous European leadership.

Security Expert: N. Korea Has Capability To Incapacitate US

April 26, 2016

Security Expert: N. Korea Has Capability To Incapacitate US, Western Journalism, Randy DeSoto, April 25, 2016

A defense expert warns that North Korea now has two satellites orbiting the United States, capable of engaging in an electromagnet pulse attack that would bring the nation to a standstill.

“Peter Vincent Pry told G2 Bulletin that the satellites can be commanded either to de-orbit and hit a target on the ground or explode at a high altitude to create an EMP effect that would knock out the unprotected U.S. national electrical grid system and all life-sustaining critical infrastructures that depend on it,” World Net Daily reported.

“The threat,” Pry said, “continues to race, hare-like, at an alarming rate, compared to the tortoise pace of our preparations.”

The U.S. intelligence community does not know what, if any, payload North Korean satellites KMS-3-2 and KMS 4 contain, according to Pry, but they orbit the country at approximately 300 miles above the earth and from that altitude a detonated low yield hydrogen bomb could incapacitate America.

Additionally, the Washington Examiner reported that the communist nation launched its first submarine based missile over the weekend. “This is something that started as a joke, but has turned into something very serious,” a Pentagon official told the news outlet.

While the launch from the submarine “Gorae” was successful, the flight of the KN-11 missile was failure, with it only traveling a distance of 20 miles. According to the Pentagon official, the rogue regime’s diesel-powered submarines, like the Gorae, pose little threat to the United State because they lack the range to reach the North American coast without being detected.

Nonetheless, the Pentagon is taking the launch seriously. “North Korea’s pursuit of ballistic missile nuclear weapons capabilities continues to pose a significant threat to the United States, to our allies in the region and remains obviously a significant concern, said Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook. “It is just the latest in a series of steps they’ve taken that we think have been counterproductive.”

Turkey’s Circus in Washington

April 12, 2016

Turkey’s Circus in Washington, Gatestone InstituteBurak Bekdil, April 12, 2016

(Please see also, Germany Moves To Remove Anti-Erdogan Poem And Merkel Calls Turkey To Apologize. — DM)

♦ During his visit to Washington, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s security guards harassed and physically assaulted journalists trying to cover the event; they also forcibly attempted to remove several journalists, although they were on the guest list.

♦ An American reporter attempting to film the harassment received a kick in the chest.

♦ Against this backdrop, Erdogan kept on adding to his own ridicule. “I am not at war with the press,” he said in an interview with CNN International. Then he went on: “We have never done anything to stop freedom of expression or freedom of press.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s increasing Third-Worldish authoritarianism is taking new turns: it is now visible outside Turkey.

At the same time as Erdogan was heading for Washington for a nuclear security summit, the two journalists who he asserted last year “will pay a heavy price” had to stand trial at a second hearing on charges of espionage and terrorism, and with life sentences hanging over their heads. Their “espionage and terrorism” activity concerned a story they ran in May 2015 detailing how Turkish intelligence was transporting weapons to Islamist fighters in Syria.

“This is a tug of war between Turkish democrats and autocrats,” Can Dundar, one of the “spy/terrorists” told The Wall Street Journal. “The Western world has been supporting Erdogan for years and we were telling them that this was the wrong decision, not only for Turkey, but also for the Western world.”

The case had already turned into a diplomatic row between Turkey and a number of European Union nations, after Erdogan lashed out at the foreign consuls-general who attended the first court hearing in a show of solidarity with the journalists.

Meanwhile, Turkish paranoia around insane claims that the entire world has joined hands to conspire against Turkey’s supreme leader appeared once again. Senior government officials have been slamming Twitter, and claiming it “censored” a hashtag created for Erdogan by removing #WeLoveErdogan from its top trending tweets.

“I’m asking Twitter officials: Who instructed you to remove the #WeLoveErdogan hashtag? Was it a country, a person, a terrorist organization, or someone else?” Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag told reporters just a day before Erdogan arrived in Washington. “I am of the opinion that this is one part of a global operation conducted against our president.”

Apparently, Twitter is not the only conspirator against the Turkish leader. Turkey’s foreign ministry summoned the German ambassador and asked him to remove from the internet a German satire program poking fun at Erdogan, thus causing a diplomatic dust-up with Germany.

The Germans, as every free country would, refused to censor the satire. Ironically, of course, Erdogan’s attempt at censorship spurred a huge surge of online interest in the video, which by March 31 had attracted more than four million views — ten times the program’s usual audience. Once again, Erdogan’s repressive manners turned into self-ridicule.

Then came the Turkish circus in Washington. On March 31, Erdogan was scheduled to speak at the Brookings Institution. His security guards harassed and physically assaulted journalists trying to cover the event; they also forcibly attempted to remove several journalists, although they were on the guest list. According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the Brookings staff prevented them from ejecting the reporters.

One Turkish journalist, Adem Yavuz Arslan, was kicked out of the building while checking in. A senior Brookings official eventually escorted Arslan back in, but, as Erdogan’s security guards continued to “verbally harass, insult and threaten” him, Brookings had to assign its own security guard to the seat next to him. “Erdogan’s guards are not committing these barbaric acts against independent media on their own,” Arslan told Reporters Without Borders. “I’m pretty confident they have their orders.” But that was not the entire show.

1548When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) gave a speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington last month, his security guards harassed, threatened and assaulted numerous journalists trying to cover the event. Pictured at right, a police officer steps in to protect a Turkish journalist from Erdogan’s guards

According to press reports, several other journalists were involved in the tussle with Erdogan’s security guards. Another Turkish journalist, Emre Uslu, said that outside the event he was kicked in the leg by Erdogan’s bodyguards and was prevented from attending the speech.

An American reporter attempting to film the harassment received a kick in the chest. The National Press Club was outraged. “We have increasingly seen disrespect for basic human rights and press freedom in Turkey,” the president of the Club, Thomas Burr, said. “Erdogan doesn’t get to export such abuse.”

Against this backdrop, Erdogan kept on adding to his own ridicule. “I am not at war with the press,” he said in an interview with CNN International. Then he went on: “We have never done anything to stop freedom of expression or freedom of press. On the contrary, the press in Turkey had been very critical of me and my government, attacking me very seriously. And regardless of those attacks, we have been very patient in the way we have responded to those attacks.”

As Aykan Erdemir, a former opposition member of the Turkish parliament [now a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington], said, Erdogan can be a “toxic asset”: “Heads of state don’t want to be in the same photo with him …”

Fatah Spokesman Osama Qawasmeh: The West Sponsors Islamic Extremism; 9/11 Was No Coincidence

April 12, 2016

Fatah Spokesman Osama Qawasmeh: The West Sponsors Islamic Extremism; 9/11 Was No Coincidence, MEMRI-TV via You Tube, April 11, 2016

The blurb following the video states,

In an interview, broadcast by the Palestinian Authority’s official TV channel, Fatah spokesman Osama Qawasmeh talked about the situation in Syria, and said that “it was the [Americans] who worked to create Islamic extremism,” adding that “they are indoctrinated with certain notions, and leaders created in the West and in Israel are planted in their midst.” Qawasmeh further said that the timing of 9/11 was “no coincidence”: it pushed the Palestinian cause to the sidelines in the international media. The interview aired on April 5, 2016.

 

After Paris, a Global Wave of Terror Arrests

December 31, 2015

After Paris, a Global Wave of Terror Arrests, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Abigail R. Esman, December 30, 2015

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On Nov. 27, exactly two weeks after the terrorist attacks that killed 130 people in Paris, FBI agents swarmed into a private home in Harrisburg, Pa. Their target: 19-year-old Jalil Ibn Ameer Aziz, an American citizen and Muslim whom they’d been watching for several months, largely through his postings on Twitter. Using as many as 57 separate accounts, Aziz had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, called for the killing of non-Muslims, aided others to make hijrah to Syria to join the jihad there, and expressed his own wishes to do the same.

And if that weren’t enough, he promised further to continue the attacks against America, posting, for instance, “Know, O Obama, that we are coming to America, and know that we will sever your head in the White House.”

But as the FBI soon discovered, Aziz’s jihadist lust did not end with just words. At the home he shared with his parents in the Pennsylvania capital, according to the affidavit filed in the case, they found a “go-bag,” or knapsack, containing “five M-4 style high capacity magazines loaded with 5.56 ammunition, a modified kitchen knife with the handle removed and wrapped in cloth and string, a thumb drive, a tin filled with various over-the-counter medications, and a head wrap commonly referred to as a balaclava.”

This was only the beginning. Ten days later, the FBI arrested 20-year-old Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame, a Somali-American in Eagan, Minn., on charges of “providing and conspiring to provide material support, specifically personnel, to a designated foreign terrorist organization.”

In fact, since the Paris attacks of Nov. 13 and the Dec. 2 terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, law enforcement agents worldwide have apprehended dozens of suspects on suspicion of plotting terrorist attacks or helping to support the Islamic State. Activity has been especially strong in Europe, where one German jihadist, who escaped ISIS in Syria and is now doing time in a German prison, warned that he and other European fighters were asked to commit jihad “in their homeland,” theIndependent reported. He claimed he was part of a propaganda video encouraging other Muslims: “All you need is to take a big knife, and go down to the streets and slaughter every infidel you encounter.”

With terrorist arrests in the U.S. reaching record numbers this year (60), and 315 in the UK, it seems that many Muslim followers around the world are happy to oblige.

And so you can’t help but wonder: as we head into the 15th anniversary year of the 9/11 attacks, is this what our “new normal” will become?

Below, a summary of Islamic terrorism-related arrests since Nov. 13 worldwide:

France

Under the supervision of six counterterrorism judges, in the wake of the Nov. 13 killings, police perform 2,700 raids and arrest more than 370 suspected jihadists. In mid-December, a plan to attack civil servants is foiled by police in Orléans. Two men are arrested in connection with that plot; both had been in touch with a possible “ringleader” in Syria, according to France’s interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

Germany

A Nov. 17 soccer match between Germany and the Netherlands in Hannover is cancelled amid threats of explosives, and the stadium evacuated. No bombs are found, but the intelligence, coming from France, was considered reliable.

After warnings that the country will be attacked, two men ages 28 and 46 are arrested during Nov. 26 anti-terror raids in Berlin and charged with plotting a terrorist attack in the northwest city of Dortmund.

Weapons handler Sascha W is arrested Nov. 27 near Stuttgart, accused of supplying some of the weapons used in the Paris terrorist massacres.

35-year-old Muslim convert Sven Lau is arrested Dec. 15 on four counts of supporting terrorism through his connections with ISIS and another organization, JAMWA. “Mr. Lau caused an uproar last year when he arranged for a group of young men to dress in orange security vests emblazoned with ‘Shariah Police’ and sent them into the streets of an ethnically diverse neighborhood in the western German city of Wupperthal, in an effort to encourage people to lead what Mr. Lau said was a more devout life,” the New York Times reported.

Leeth Abdalhmeed, a Syrian in a Dortmund refugee camp, is arrested Dec. 17 on suspicion of links to ISIS and of smuggling medications and handling financial matters for the group. Syrian opposition members tell the Wall Street Journal that Abdalhmeed was “among the first Syrians who pledged loyalty to the Islamic State.”

Austria

Two men are arrested Dec. 13 at a Salzburg refugee center on suspicion of connections to the Paris attacks and of entering the country on fake Syrian passports with plans to carry out attacks there. Investigators also examine whether the two are French citizens.

Two other refugees also were arrested earlier this month on suspicion of having terrorist connections, according to the Press Chronicle.

Great Britain

Britain’s Home Office announced this month that a record 315 terrorists have been arrested in 2015. Of these, 16 percent were female – double the number in the previous year – and 79 percent were British nationals (compared to 56 percent in 2001). Among those arrests are four Luton men apprehended on Dec. 2, suspected of support for ISIS, and another arrested Dec. 22 “on suspicion of being involved in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.”

Spain

Spain has been a quiet hotbed of jihadism in the past few years, according to recent reports – so much so that an anti-jihadist hotline generated tips for 29 credible suspects within its first 24 hours. Ninety suspected jihadists have been arrested in 2015, though the numbers since 2013 paint an even grimmer picture. An inventory by editors of the Local showed 133 total arrests, of which:

40 percent were Spanish-born

45 percent were Spanish citizens

10 percent were “lone wolves”

60 percent were married

13 percent were converts

the average age was 20-34

16 percent were women

That so many women have been involved is likely no accident: Abdelhamid Abaaoud, suspected of leading the Paris massacres, has specifically targeted Spanish women via social media, said Spanish interior minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz. Notes the Local, “Spanish people have arrested several women this year on suspicion of recruiting women and teenage girls for Islamic State jihadists.”

Two prisoners already serving time for “common crimes” are arrested Dec. 5 on suspicion of distributing Islamic State propaganda and declaring their support for ISIS’s atrocities.

Two Moroccan nationals – a 32-year-old man and 19-year-old woman – both legal Spanish residents, are arrested on charges of pledging allegiance to the Islamic State, promoting jihad on social media, and helping to recruit others.

Finland

Finnish police arrest 23-year-old twin brothers from Iraq Dec. 23, charging them with shooting 11 people during ISIS’s 2014 massacre of 1,700 Iraqi soldiers in Tikrit. The twins were among 300 refugees being housed in the small town of Forssa.

Sweden

Sweden’s Security Service raises the terror alert level to its highest point ever Nov. 18, signaling an imminent threat. Even so, the country’s police force warns that it is inadequately armed to protect the public in the event of a terrorist attack.

On Dec. 14: Swedish courts convict 32-year-old Hassan Mostafa al-Mandlawi and Sultan al-Ami, 30, of participation in terrorist activities in Syria and sentence them to life in prison. “Chief Prosecutor Agnetha Hilding Qvarnstrom said the pair, who were arrested in July in Sweden, had both ‘expressed joy over the deeds,'” the New York Times reported.

Switzerland

Geneva raises its terror alert level Dec. 10 as the department of security announces they are seeking terrorist suspects. Reporters surmise that the search relates to a Belgian-registered car that may have belonged to a friend of Salah Abdeslam, the suspected leader of the Paris attacks. The US Embassy in Bern also warns Americans to be vigilant and alerts them to the raised threat level in Geneva. A day later, Swiss President Simonetta Sommaruga speaks of a “potential IS cell in the Geneva area,” according to Swissinfo, a local news site. That same day, two Syrian men are arrested, also in Geneva, with traces of explosives found in their car.

A Swiss national also is arrested for possessing an “unimaginable arsenal,” according to Geneva police, that included a Kalashnikov, muskets, hatchets, and other weaponry, as well as a Third Reich flag.

Swissinfo further reports that 70 cases of jihadi radicalization are under investigation in the country, with more than 50 citizens confirmed to have traveled to join ISIS.

Netherlands

In the country’s largest terror trial since the slaughter of filmmaker and author Theo van Gogh in 2004, Dutch authorities convict nine jihadist suspects on Dec. 10, six of whom they say form a terrorist organization in their own right, and all of whom are determined to have connections to ISIS. Sentences for the group range from seven days to six years.

Belgium

Only days after the Paris attacks, Belgium raises its terror level to its highest score in Brussels, placing the city in lockdown from Nov. 21-25 as the surviving perpetrator and possible leader of the attacks, Saleh Abdeslam, remains at large. A Belgian native, Abdeslam is thought to be in hiding in the Brussels region of Molenbeek, a largely-Muslim community that has bred a disproportionately high number of Islamic terrorists. Twenty-one raids in the first night of the lockdown lead to 16 arrests; others follow.

Though the government relaxes the alert Nov. 25 and reopens schools and offices, Brussels regional president Rudi Vervoort notes in a statement that the threat continues. “It is not the end,” he says, “just the beginning.”

Time shows that he was probably right: on Tuesday, police arrested two men believed to be planning an attack on New Year’s Eve, probably at the city’s main square, the Grote Markt, where thousands are expected to converge at midnight. Officials raise the terror level again, this time from level two to three – or second-highest.

The threat continues.

U.S., Russia sign Syria air safety deal but keep quarreling over war aims

October 21, 2015

U.S., Russia sign Syria air safety deal but keep quarreling over war aims

James Rosen

October 20, 2015

Source: U.S., Russia sign Syria air safety deal but keep quarreling over war aims | McClatchy DC

High Lights

Pilots will communicate on protected radio frequencies

Russian, American jets have flown as close as 500 feet in last three weeks

Pentagon rejects Kremlin proposals for closer cooperation against Islamic State

A Syrian army tank fired during fighting in Jobar near Damascus last week after the Syrian army, backed by Russian airstrikes, launched an offensive. Alexander Kots AP

Our military forces in Syria are operating at the request of the legitimate authorities of that country.

Russian Defense Ministry

While cooperating in the name of air safety, Washington and Moscow continued to criticize the legitimacy of each other’s air campaigns in Syria.

Stressing that the aviation protocols “do not constitute U.S. cooperation or support for Russia’s policy or actions in Syria,” Cook added: “In fact, far from it, we continue to believe that Russia’s strategy in Syria is counterproductive and their support for the Assad regime will only make Syria’s civil war worse.”

The rhetoric from Moscow was just as dismissive.

“The signing of the document in no way changes the Russian principled position,” the Defense Ministry said. “Our military forces in Syria are operating at the request of the legitimate authorities of that country, while the projection of force by the United States and the counter-ISIL (a common acronym for the Islamic State) coalition led by Washington on the territory of Syria is without the consent of Damascus and, in the absence of any relevant U.N. Security Council resolution, represents negligence of international law.”

The Kremlin provided the full Russian-language title of the agreement: “A Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and the Department of Defense of the United States of American on the Prevention of Flight Safety Incidents in the Course of Operations in the Syrian Arab Republic.”

The possibility of air conflict escalating over Syria is far from just theoretical.

Turkey has scrambled fighter jets at least twice this month in response to Russian planes that it said had crossed or come close to its border with Syria. And Turkey on Monday said it had shot down an unidentified drone after it flew along the border.

Analysts said the drone was Russian, but the Russian Defense Ministry denied that claim.

“If it was a (piloted) plane, we’d do the same,” Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Tuesday. “Our rules of engagement are known. Whoever violates our borders, we will give them the necessary answer.”

60 The number of Islamist targets the Russian Defense Ministry said its planes struck in 24 hours from Monday to Tuesday.

For all the differences between Washington and Moscow, their air accord includes some sweeping provisions that will see the American and Russian militaries cooperating more closely than at any time since they were allied against Nazi Germany in World War II.

Among the accord’s provisions, specific radio frequencies will be maintained by both sides so that American and Russian pilots can communicate directly with one another.

Should those communications fail to prevent a possible conflict or other potentially dangerous situation, a special phone line will be set up on the ground for military leaders from the two countries to have urgent conversations.

Cook stopped short of likening the new phone line to the two countries’ existing “nuclear hotline,” which was established Aug. 30, 1963, at the urging of President John F. Kennedy after Moscow and Washington narrowly averted nuclear warfare during the Cuban Missile Crisis 10 months earlier.

“We have a line of communication on the ground that serves as a backup and provides the opportunity to have real-time conversations if necessary,” Cook said.

Asked whether American pilots would have the right to fire at Russian aircraft that violate the new air protocols, Cook declined to respond directly.

“Our air crews always have the right to defend themselves,” he said.

He quickly added: “Our hope, with the memorandum of understanding, is that the risk of any sort of incident in the air over Syria is reduced, at a minimum, and hopefully eliminated.”

U.S. Official Bemoans Russian Destruction Of “Our” Terrorists

October 16, 2015

U.S. Official Bemoans Russian Destruction Of “Our” Terrorists

October 15, 2015

Source: M of A – U.S. Official Bemoans Russian Destruction Of “Our” Terrorists

U.S. Official Bemoans Russian Destruction Of “Our” Terrorists

Some U.S. official is whining because his flock of bastards gets hurt:

“Putin is deliberately targeting our forces,” a U.S. official, who is disappointed in the U.S. response to Russia, told Fox News.”Our guys are fighting for their lives,” said the official, estimating up to 150 CIA-trained moderate rebels have been killed by the Russians.

“Our forces”, “our guys” – hmm. The official is referring to the CIA-mercenaries who are fighting under al-Qaeda’s command:

Advancing alongside the Islamist groups, and sometimes aiding them, have been several of the relatively secular groups, like the Free Syrian Army, which have gained new prominence and status because of their access to the TOWs.Even in smaller quantities, the missiles played a major role in the insurgent advances that eventually endangered Mr. Assad’s rule. While that would seem like a welcome development for United States policy makers, in practice it presented another quandary, given that the Nusra Front was among the groups benefiting from the enhanced firepower.

It is a tactical alliance that Free Syrian Army commanders describe as an uncomfortable marriage of necessity, because they cannot operate without the consent of the larger and stronger Nusra Front.

The “official” should go to jail for, at least, indirectly arming and supporting the terrorists of Jabhat al-Nusra aka al-Qaeda in Syria.

Under U.S. domestic law Obama justifies his attacks on the Islamic State in Syria (which is illegal under international law) with reference to the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists as passed by the United States Congress on September 14, 2001. According to that AUMF:

That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist

If that is the relevant legal code to fight the Islamic State then this even more so applies to Jabhat al-Nusra as it is loyal to the original al-Qaeda organization.

What Russia does, fighting on behalf of the legal government of Syria after having been asked to do so, is not only legal under international law but it is also easily justifiable by the same U.S. domestic law which the U.S. president applies to fight the Islamic State.

That whining official should recognize that a. what “his forces” do is illegal under U.S. law b. what Russia does with “his guys” is legal even under U.S. law and c. that there is always a moral hazard when using such proxy forces.

When the CIA send some idiots to invade Cuba where they were killed or capture it could do nothing and did nothing to protect them because that would have started a much bigger war. This is the same case here. These forces will be destroyed and there is nothing the U.S. can or will do about that. If you are sentimental about the fate of mercenaries and if you do not want this to happen do not use proxy forces but be man enough to go yourself.

Posted by b on October 15, 2015 at 01:51 PM | Permalink

Top China paper says U.S., Russia playing Cold War game in Syria

October 16, 2015

Top China paper says U.S., Russia playing Cold War game in Syria

Tue Oct 13, 2015 12:39am EDT

Source: Top China paper says U.S., Russia playing Cold War game in Syria | Reuters

China’s top newspaper on Tuesday accused both the United States and Russia of replaying their Cold War rivalry by engaging in military action in Syria, saying they needed to realize that era is over and should instead push for peace talks.

The People’s Daily, the official paper of China’s ruling Communist Party, said in a commentary that the United States and Russia seemed to be using Syria as a proxy for diplomatic and military competition, as during the Cold War.

“The United States and the Soviet Union used all sorts of diplomatic, economic and military actions on the soil of third countries, playing tit-for-tat games to increase their influence – it’s an old scene from the Cold War,” the newspaper wrote in a commentary.

“But we’re in the 21st century now, and people need to get their heads around this!,” it added.

While China generally votes with fellow permanent United Nations Security Council member Russia on the Syria issue, it has expressed concern about interference in Syria’s internal affairs and repeatedly called for a political solution.

Russia last month began striking targets in Syria in a dramatic escalation of foreign involvement in the civil war. This has been criticized by the West as an attempt to prop up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, rather than its purported aim of attacking Islamic State.

The United States and its allies have also been carrying out air strikes in Syria against Islamic State, and have supported opposition groups fighting Assad.

The People’s Daily said nobody should stand by while Syria becomes a proxy war, and efforts to reach a peaceful settlement to the crisis should not slacken.

“The international community, especially large countries with much influence, must fully recognize the critical, urgent necessity to reach a political solution to the Syria issue,” it said.

The commentary was published under the pen name “Zhong Sheng”, meaning “Voice of China”, often used to give views on foreign policy.

China, a low-key diplomatic player in the Middle East despite its dependence on the region for its oil, has repeatedly warned that military action cannot end the crisis.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

 

Iran Threatens Suicide Bombings of U.S. Warships

October 13, 2015

Iran Threatens Suicide Bombings of U.S. Warships Iran: Will chase U.S. forces to Gulf of Mexico

BY:
October 12, 2015 1:26 pm

Source: Iran Threatens Suicide Bombings of U.S. Warships

A commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has threatened terror attacks against U.S. warships and vowed that the Islamic Republic would chase U.S. forces into “the Gulf of Mexico” in order to exact revenge for any attacks, according to regional reports.

Alireza Tangsiri, an IRGC lieutenant commander, said that suicide bombers are on stand by and ready to “blow up themselves” to “destroy the U.S. warships,” according to remarks made Monday in Iran’s state-controlled Fars News Agency.

“They [the U.S.] have tested us once and if necessary, there are people who will blow up themselves with ammunitions to destroy the U.S. warships,” Tangsiri was quoted as saying.

He added that if the United States takes any hostile action against Iran, the country’s military forces would pursue the Americans into the Gulf of Mexico.

“I declare now that if the enemy wants to spark a war against Iran, we will chase them even to the Gulf of Mexico and we will (certainly) do it,” he said.

The threats come a day after Iran test fired ballistic missiles in the region, in a potential violation of international agreements barring such activity.

 

War Drums Beat Louder & Faster Between U.S. &amp

December 14, 2014

War Drums Beat Louder & Faster Between U.S. & Russia

Posted on December 14, 2014

by Eric Zuesse. Eric Zuesse

via War Drums Beat Louder & Faster Between U.S. & Russia Washington’s Blog.

 

Eric Zuesse

On Saturday, December 13th, Russian media reported that U.S. President Obama evidently can’t wait to sign the congressional authorization for war against Russia (which has already been passed in draft form by 98% of U.S. House members and 100% of U.S. Senate members), and that he is already shipping military supplies into Ukraine for use against Ukraine’s ethnic Russians that the Ukrainian Government is trying to eliminate.

Mikhail Emelyanov, a leading Russian parliamentarian, was quoted as saying on Saturday, Russia “cannot calmly watch as the US arms Ukraine with the most modern lethal weapons. In this regard, we should not appear weak. The situation is very alarming. Judging by US intentions, they want to turn Ukraine into a fighting platform against Russia.”

The popular Russian website “Colonel Cassad” reports that the reason why Ukraine’s airports in Zaporozyhe, Kharkov and Dnepropetrovsk mysteriously shut down for other traffic on Saturday was to unload weapons-shipments from the U.S. Specifically, it said that, at Zaporozyhe, “one of the airport workers replied that the airport has to be prepared to accept military aircraft with equipment, including Kharkov and Dnepropetrovsk. The equipment is expected from the United States.” For the time being, civilian traffic at all three of those airports is being reduced during the next few days, in order to unload that U.S. freight.

Also reported Saturday at fortruss.blogspot was that, “Right now at Zaporozhye airport they are unloading two transport planes from USA. Cargo is in boxes. According to additional information two more planes are expected to arrive.”

Just one day prior, Foreign Policy had bannered on Friday, “Who Will Foot the Bill in Ukraine?” and their reporter naively claimed that, “little aid is forthcoming for Ukraine as its government faces a shortfall.”

The “aid” is actually already coming, in the form of U.S. military cargo shipments, gratis from U.S. taxpayers (though hardly gratis from the U.S. armaments-makers, whose business is booming from this). And the Ukraine “government faces a shortfall” thing is actually far worse than that: as Forbes’s Mark Adomanis headlined on April 15th, “Ukraine’s Economy Is Nearing Collapse.” He reported, “The central bank was forced to take such desperate measures because the currency has been in free fall, losing more than 35% of its value against the dollar this year. The Hryvnia has been the world’s worst performing currency in 2014.” And: “The only reason that things haven’t totally imploded is because of the $18 billion package of assistance from the IMF and the $9 billion in additional assistance pledged by the United States and the European Union. This financial assistance is desperately needed and will obviously help the Ukrainian government keep the lights on. The problem is that Ukraine’s funding needs aren’t a static target but are directly influenced by changes in its economic outlook. Since that economic outlook is darkening, Ukraine’s already large funding needs have grown commensurately.”

Forbes’s Kenneth Rapoza then noted on November 12th, “The nation’s currency, the hryvnia, has lost 91.5% of its value so far this year.”

On December 11th, Ukraine’s new Minister of Economic Development admitted, “By and large, the state is bankrupt.”

So: U.S. and European taxpayers will be funding all of those ‘loans,’ which will never be paid back, they’re actually donations instead of loans, because Ukraine was already tens of billions of dollars in debt even before the West took over; and none of these additional ‘debts’ will be able to be paid back one cent unless and until those earlier debts are, which will never be possible in that spiraling-downward country, which is now designing a military graveyard with a capacity for 250,000 fresh corpses of Ukrainian soldiers, and that’s not a very productive “investment” for any country to be making. America’s ‘investment’ in Ukraine is an ‘investment’ in corpses; and far more of those will be of the millions of residents in the targeted region than of the soldiers on either side of the conflict.

One of Russia’s loans to Ukraine has a provision saying that if Ukraine’s ratio of debt to GDP exceeds 60%, then Russia can demand and Ukraine must pay in cash the full due amount. The ratio has already exceeded that, but the official figure won’t be announced until March 2015, and, as Britain’s Economist noted, “That could trigger a default on all Ukraine’s other international bonds (which are worth about $16 billion up to 2023).” So: all of the money that is being ‘loaned’ to Ukraine now is purely a donation, since Russia will certainly pull the plug and flush Ukraine down the toilet this coming Spring. Then, all of a sudden, that $16 billion in cash will need to be put up by the Ukrainian Government, and whatever there is to put up, practically all of it will have to be paid to Ukraine’s old chief lender: Russia. The West will get little or nothing of it.

Washington isn’t out to help the Ukrainian people; it’s solely using Ukraine as a launching-pad for WW III against Russia. That’s all it’s “good for” now. And that’s what Obama is using it for: to slaughter, first, the residents in the parts of Ukraine that refuse to be ruled by the regime that Obama put in place; and, then, everybody else.

If this sounds crazy (and of course it does), then please ask your two Senators and your one Representative in the House: “Why did you vote to approve sending weapons to the Ukrainian Government?” (Mine refuses to answer.)

Please then report back here, in the reader-comments below, what the answer to that question is. Everyone who reads this article here will be interested to know what the answer to that question is.

Here is the list of the only 10 members of Congress who voted no on that bill, and all of them are in the House:

California’s George Miller (D)

California’s Dana Rohrabacher (R)

Florida’s Alan Grayson (D)

Florida’s Alcee Hastings (D)

Kentucky’s Thomas Massie (R)

Michigan’s Justin Amash (R)

North Carolina’s Walter Jones (R)

Tennessee’s John Duncan (R)

Texas’s Beto O’Rourke (D)

Washington’s Jim McDermott (D)

If any of those Representatives happens to be yours, then don’t ask him why he voted for the bill; he voted against it.