Mar 29

Gaza-Fisherman
Palestinians say increasing restrictions on the water they use have led to economic collapse – and deadly assaults

- The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef – and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat (Independent, March 29, 2015):

The underwater rock formations provide the best fishing grounds off Gaza, but they are just beyond the limit set by the Israelis for local boats. Tawfiq Abu Riyala dreamt up an ingenious plan to solve this problem; but it may have ended up costing him his life.

The 32-year-old fisherman had built up his own artificial rock with planks of wood, tyres, and bits of metal, seemingly well within the area in which he and his colleagues are allowed to operate. It was while he was adding to this pile that an Israeli gunboat opened fire, wounding him fatally. Continue reading »

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Mar 28

Geopolitical Relationships In The Middle East

(Click on image to enlarge.)

 Source: @KarlRemarks

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Mar 28

FYI.


As a Saudi-led coalition wades into the fight for Yemen – currently under siege from Houthi rebels who are backed by Iran
As a Saudi-led coalition wades into the fight for Yemen – currently under siege from Houthi rebels who are backed by Iran – Robert Fisk examines the much wider-reaching repercussions of this escalating conflict

- The battle for the Middle East’s future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss (Independent, March 27, 2015):

Saudi Arabia has jumped into the abyss.

Its air attacks on Yemen are a historic and potentially fatal blow to the Kingdom and to the Middle East.

Who decided that this extraordinary battle should take shape in the poorest of Arab nations? The Saudis, whose King is widely rumoured in the Arab world to be incapable of taking decisions of state? Or the princes within the Saudi army who fear that their own security forces may not be loyal to the monarchy? Continue reading »

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Mar 27

Putin chess

- Syria “Welcomes” Larger Russia Presence (ZeroHedge, March 27, 2015):

Following Vladimir Putin’s demands for an “immediate cessation of military activities” in Yemen, AFP reports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s comment during a recent interview that “with complete confidence that we welcome any widening of the Russian presence in the eastern Mediterranean and on Syrian coasts and ports,” including the port of Tartus. Amid the Western-backed opposition National Coalition’s planned boycott of talks, Assad pointedly remarked, “the negotiating parties must be independent and must reflect what the Syrian people want… people would not accept that their future, their fate, or their rules are decided from outside.”

Syria would welcome an increased Russian military presence at its sea ports, President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview with Russian news channels published Friday. As AFP reports,

“I can say with complete confidence that we welcome any widening of the Russian presence in the eastern Mediterranean and on Syrian coasts and ports,” including the port of Tartus, Assad said. Continue reading »

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Mar 25

FYI.


saudi jet

- Another Middle East War Breaks Out: Saudis Begin Bombing Yemen, US Military Taking Action (ZeroHedge, March 25, 2015):

Update 2: *OBAMA AUTHORIZED LOGISTICAL AND INTELLIGENCE SUPPORT TO GULF, U.S. MILITARY TAKING MILITARY ACTION TO DEFEND SAUDI BORDER, TO DEFEND AGAINST HOUTHI VIOLENCE

20150325_yemen5

John McCain & Lindsay Graham explain Obama’s move…

U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) today released the following statement on Saudi Arabia leading an international coalition conducting air strikes against Iranian-backed separatists in Yemen:

Saudi Arabia and our Arab partners deserve our support as they seek to restore order in Yemen, which has collapsed into civil war.

We understand why our Saudi and other Arab partners felt compelled to take action. The prospect of radical groups like Al-Qaeda, as well as Iranian-backed militants, finding safe haven on the border of Saudi Arabia was more than our Arab partners could withstand. Their action also stems from their perception of America’s disengagement from the region and absence of U.S. leadership.

A country that President Obama recently praised as a model for U.S. counterterrorism has now become a sectarian conflict and a regional proxy war that threatens to engulf the Middle East. What’s worse, while our Arab partners conduct air strikes to halt the offensive of Iranian proxies in Yemen, the United States is conducting air strikes to support the offensive of Iranian proxies in Tikrit. This is as bizarre as it is misguided – another tragic case of leading from behind.

* * *

UPDATE: US providing support to Saudi Arabia – US Official (so US weapons are being used on both sides)

* * *

Earlier today we reported that, on very short notice, Saudi Arabia had moved heavy military equipment including artillery to areas near its border with Yemen, “raising the risk that the Middle East’s top oil power will be drawn into the worsening Yemeni conflict.” In other words, Saudi Arabia was preparing for war.

Shortly thereafter, but before Yemen’s president bravely fled the country over fears of the Houthi rebel advance, Yemen’s foreign minister called for Arab military intervention against advancing Shiite rebels.

As we explicitly warned, “the conflict risked spiraling into a proxy war with Shi’ite Iran backing the Houthis, whose leaders adhere Shi’ite Islam, and Saudi Arabia and the other regional Sunni Muslim monarchies backing Hadi.”

Moments ago all these warnings were borne out when Al-Arabiya reported that the latest middle-east war is now official after Saudi Arabia and Arab Gulf States had launched a bombing campaign against Yemen.

More details: Continue reading »

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Mar 19

isis-artifacts

- Another Media Psyop? The Ancient Statues ISIS Supposedly Destroyed Were All FAKE  (The Daily Sheeple, March 17, 2015):

Anyone who doesn’t know who funded, trained, armed and essentially created ISIS at this point needs to please do some research and wake up.

They are essentially like little toys being scooted around on the giant world Risk game board for the purpose of spreading fear and reshaping the Middle East in the way the empire-building nations of the West (including Israel) sees fit.

The story on RT begins:

The ancient statues that Islamic State militants smashed in Mosul on camera last month have been proved to be exact replicas of precious artifacts of Iraqi heritage. The real masterpieces of antiquity are said to be in Baghdad.

“They were copies. The originals are all here,” Baghdad’s museum director told Germany’s Deutsche Welle. Continue reading »

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Mar 18

- Syria Shoots Down US Drone (ZeroHedge, March 17, 2015):

Perhaps it is purely a coincidence that on the day in which the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (which as profiled earlier is anything but) released several new YouTube clips “confirming” a poison gas chemcial attack by the Assad army had killed 6 people in the country, that several hours later a US drone was shot down by the Syrian military according to CNN, which cites Syria’s SANA news agency reported Tuesday.

CNN did not report why the shooting of a US drone flying over someone else’s sovereign territory – especially someone who was nearly invaded by the same US two years ago – is news: the outrage here is that the US once continues to assume it is still a unilateral world in which D.C. can invade and treat any country, especially those half way around the world, with impunity and expect zero reprisals (although Jack Lew is finally figuring out that world is changing). We await to find out. In the meantime, this is what CNN did report: Continue reading »

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Mar 18

- Here We Go Again: YouTube Clips Of Syrian “Chemical Attacks” Are Back – Meet The Man Behind The Propaganda (ZeroHedge, March 17, 2015):

US foreign policy is becoming so easy and predictable, even Derek Zoolander can do it.

Two weeks ago, when discussing the relentless attempts to provoke, or at least greenlight another quasi war with Syria’s president Assad, we wrote “one can be confident that the ISIS “campaign” will continue and get ever closer to Damascus until yet another appropriately-framed YouTube clip appears and leads to another war with Assad.

Fast forward to today, when precisely this script which by now everyone could predict, is being rerun. Continue reading »

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Mar 14

H/t reader squodgy:

“A plan for de-stabilisation of all mid-eastern and African nations is now becoming obvious.
Common denominators are oil and drugs.

It’s not classic Orwell, but getting there.

Once the markets collapse and Martial Law is introduced ‘for Our Safety’, it will all fit in snugly.”


Syria-Zionism

Full article here:

The Destabilization Doctrine: ISIS, Proxies and Patsies (Non-Aligned Media, Feb 22, 2015):

By Brandon Martinez

“Islam and the West at War,” reads a recent New York Times headline.

It would certainly seem that way if one were to take at face value the putrid assertions of Western governments that are not particularly known for their honesty or integrity. But astute observers of history and geopolitics can spot a deception when they see one, and the latest theatrical performances being marketed to the masses as real, organic occurrences remind one of a Monty Python sketch.

In the past week we have witnessed a number of expedient events that were designed to legitimize the West’s imperialist foreign policies in the minds of the masses. On Feb. 15 the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) released another highly choreographed and visually striking video depicting the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians. Shortly following the video’s release, the Egyptian dictator Abdel Fattah el-Sissi launched air strikes against ISIS targets in Libya where the execution video was allegedly filmed, although experts are now saying that the production was faked. Continue reading »

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Mar 09

- ISIS Unveils Video To Recruit Deaf & Mute Jihadists (ZeroHedge, March 9, 2015):

While some may ISIS is ‘deaf’ to the new world as it spreads its message of Shariah Law across The Middle East, the terrorist organization appears to be trying to broaden the appeal of the militant group. As Newsweek reports, ISIS has released a video in which a pair of disabled sibling militants use sign language in an apparent bid to recruit fighters from the (apparently under-served) deaf and mute community. The video shows the brothers directing traffic in a busy road saying: “We will strike you soon, by Allah’s permission,” and ends with a scene of the brothers setting up rockets.

Deaf? Mute? ISIS Wants You!!

As Newsweek reports, Continue reading »

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Mar 06

Here we go again!

bush_kerry_skull and bonesjohn-kerry_george-bush-skull-and-bones


- John Kerry: “Military Pressure May Be Needed To Oust Syria’s President “ (ZeroHedge, March 5, 2015):

Last week, after reading a Time article titled “Why Bashar Assad Won’t Fight ISIS” written by a journalist whose recent work includes “The YouTube War“, and who sourced two unnamed, anonymous sources to reach the conclusion that Syria’s president Assad is in cahoots with ISIS, we made a simple conclusion: “The Stage Is Set For The Syrian Invasion.” Barely a week has gone by and the wheels for the Syrian invasion are indeed turning: earlier today, US Secretary of State John Kerry (who one hopes doesn’t use kerryemails.com as a work email server) who is on a trip to Saudi Arabia unveiled the next steps when he said that “military pressure may be needed to oust Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.

John-Kerry
US Secretary of State John Kerry attends a meeting of Gulf foreign ministers at

Riyadh Air Base, on March 5, 2015 in the Saudi capital (AFP Photo/Evan Vucci)

But wait, wasn’t Obama’s war in Iraq, authorized by Congress, solely a means to fight the stateless Islamic State of Syria and Iraq “scourge”? Or was all of that merely a pretext to do what the US tried once already in 2013 and failed?

Continue reading »

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Feb 27

- The Stage Is Set For The Syrian Invasion (ZeroHedge, Feb 26, 2015):

One week ago, when reporting on the latest bizarre plan presented by the Pentagon, namely providing Syrian rebels (but only the moderate ones, not the jihadists like al Nusra, or, well, ISIS) with B-1B Bomber air support in their attacks on ISIS, when we wrote that this “means in the coming weeks and months look forward to a surge in false flag “attacks” blamed on the Assad regime, aiming to give Obama validation to expand the “War against ISIS” to include Syria’s regime as well.”

We didn’t have long to wait: in an entirely unsourced Time article written today by Aryn Baker, the Middle East Bureau Chief, the stage for the second attempt at invading Assad regime is finally set. Continue reading »

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Feb 23

- ‘Flagrant aggression:’ Damascus livid after Turkey’s incursion onto Syrian soil (RT, Feb 22, 2015):

The Syrian government has said a Turkish incursion into the north of the country was an act of “flagrant aggression.” Damascus said it would hold Ankara responsible after they went into Syria to evacuate personnel and relics from a holy tomb.

Syria said the Turkish government had informed the Syrian consulate in Istanbul about its plans regarding the tomb of Suleyman Shah in northern Syria. Shah was the grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire.

However, Turkey didn’t wait for permission from Damascus and mounted a rescue operation to the tomb, to salvage its relics and evacuate 40 Turkish soldiers who had been guarding it. Continue reading »

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Feb 21

- Since 9/11, The U.S. Has Been Involved In More Than 5 Wars … And They’ve All Been Disasters (Washington’s Blog, Feb 20, 2015):

Why Does America Keep “Losing” Its Wars?

Below, we demonstrate that the U.S. keeps “losing” war after war.

There are 3 potential reasons this might be happening: Continue reading »

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Feb 19

Flashback:

- Interview With US General Wesley Clark (Ret.): US Government Planned To ‘Take Out 7 Countries In 5 Years': ‘Starting With Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan And Finishing Off Iran’ (Video)

- U.S. 4 Star General Wesley Clark, Oct 3, 2007: ‘We’re Gonna Attack And Destroy The Governments In 7 Countries In 5 Years’ … ‘Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan And Iran’ (Video):

Wesley Clark , Oct 3 2007 at the commonwealth club of California.


Netanyahu-Israel-ISIS isis-flag

- General Wesley Clark: “ISIS Got Started Through Funding From Our Friends & Allies” (ZeroHedge, Feb 18, 2015):

Not that it was really a conspiracy ‘theory’ but with General Wesley Clark (ret.) now openly admitting “ISIS got started through funding from our friends and allies… to fight to the death against Hezbollah” it appears the ‘angel investors’ cat is out of the bag. Adding that “they recruited the zealots and religious fundamentalists” Clark says ‘we’ create “Frankenstein.” He is careful not to name names, but we ask (rhetorically of course), which of our (oil-bearing) allies has the biggest bone to pick with Hezbollah (apart from Israel of course)?

Clark on creating Frankenstein…

Which explains, as MiddleEastEye notes, the questions about ISIS’ rapid geopolitical expansion despite lack of enthusiasm for its cause among ordinary people…

…a puzzling matter exists. While al-Qaeda during its most violent phases won the support of many people in the region, IS is hardly popular. Even the support of Salafist jihadists here and there is diminishing. Continue reading »

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Feb 18

B1-B lancer

- Obama To Allow “Moderate” Syrian Rebels Call In B-1B Bombers For Air Support (ZeroHedge, Feb 17, 2015):

While Obama desperately tries to stick to his now crushed “Nobel peace prize winner” image, by not succumbing to an all-out land war in the one nation where his progressive “pacifism” brought him fame (and according to some, the presidency), namely Iraq, the rest of militant, “interventionist” US foreign policy is rapidly starting to resemble that waged by the most brutally rabid, neo-con Republican leader. Case in point an absolute stunner reported minutes ago by the WSJ, according to which the White House has decided to provide pickup trucks equipped with mounted machine guns and radios for calling in U.S. airstrikes to some moderate Syrian rebels aided by American B-1B bombers!

Continue reading »

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Feb 11

obama-handsign-satanic-salute

Obama May Attack ISIS In Any Country He Chooses, Deploy Ground Troops On A Whim, Delay Afghanistan Pull Out (ZeroHedge, Feb 11, 2015):

 

The Nobel peace prize-winning president has been busy today: not only did he already petition Congress earlier to declare war on the Islamic State, a non-country which technically doesn’t exist, but now he plans to expands his “war powers” to any other place in the world. From Reuters:

  • MILITARY AUTHORIZATION BILL WOULD PRESERVE PRESIDENT’S ABILITY TO ORDER OPERATIONS AGAINST ISLAMIC STATE IN COUNTRIES OTHER THAN IRAQ, SYRIA – WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN
  • WHITE HOUSE SAYS COMBAT BOOTS ON THE GROUND MAY BE USED FOR HOSTAGE RESCUE OPERATIONS
  • OBAMA NOT RULING OUT DEPLOYING COMBAT TROOPS ON GROUND TO ASSIST AIR STRIKES AGAINST ISLAMIC STATE, IF PENTAGON RECOMMENDS IT -WHITE HOUSE

And not only that: also according to Reuters, Obama is considering a request from Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to slow the pace of the withdrawal of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, a senior administration official said on Wednesday. Continue reading »

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Feb 11

- Full Circle: Obama Asks Congress For Troop Deployment In Iraq, War Authorization On Islamic State (ZeroHedge, Feb 11, 2015):

Update:

  • OBAMA ASKS CONGRESS TO AUTHORIZE WAR AGAINST ISLAMIC STATE: AP
  • OBAMA SAYS REQUEST WON’T AUTHORIZE LONG WAR LIKE IRAQ: AP

And so it begins, and this time it will be different, because Obama’s wars are… shorter.

* * *

Several years ago, Obama impressed a handful of crusty, old people in Norway who believed the recent Illinois senator’s vision of a world without war, validated by his eagerness to end the war in Iraq and withdraw US troops to their native country. He got an award for it.

Obama_Nobel_Peace_Prize Continue reading »

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Feb 07

Syria-lies


- US-led coalition launches 26 air strikes against Isis in Syria and Iraq (The Guardian, Feb 7, 2015):

As US and allies continue attacks and Jordan launches its own air strikes against militants, family of American aid worker holds out hope that she is still alive

US-led forces have launched 15 air strikes against Islamic State (Isis) militants in Iraq and 11 in Syria since Friday, the US military said on Saturday, adding that nine targets in Syria centered around the border city of Kobani that was recaptured from the militants last month.

On Friday, supporters of Isis claimed that an American aid worker held hostage by the militant group had been killed in a Jordanian air strike intended to avenge the burning to death of a captured Jordanian pilot. Continue reading »

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Feb 06

Related info:

- Israel And Turkey Are Directly Supporting ISIS And Al-Qaeda Terrorists In Syria

- Israel Acts As ISIS’ Air Force … Repeatedly Bombs Syria

- US-Led Jets Bomb Grain Silos In Syria, ‘Civilians Killed’


A Royal Jordanian Air Force plane takes off from an air base to strike the Islamic state in the Syrian city of Raqqa February 5, 2015

- ‘Just the beginning’: Jordan sends dozens of fighter jets to strike ISIS in Syria (RT, Feb 6, 2015):

Jordan has promised to strike the Islamic State with “everything we have,” sending dozens of fighter jets to target the militant group’s positions in retaliation to the brutal murder of a captured Jordanian pilot.

“This is just a beginning…tens of…fighter jets have struck their hideouts,” the country’s army said in a statement.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh on Thursday told CNN that his country was “upping the ante” and going after the Islamic State (formerly ISIS / ISIL) militants “with everything that we have.”

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