Having decided to write a piece on the most recent chemical weapons attack by the rebel forces within Syria, which would have warranted approximately 4 or 5 hours research, due to the fact that very few networks /newspapers in the west bothered to cover the incident.
However, on researching said incident I happened upon other lesser known incidents and claims regarding the situation in Syria that has now resulted in countless hours.
If you are reliant on the BBC or Fox News etc, for International news reports especially with regard to news from/about Syria, you may have absolutely no idea that yet another chemical weapons attack has taken place.
This latest attack happened on the Turkish – Syrian border, where a shell exploded near a Kurdish defense forces’ checkpoint close to the border with Turkey in the city of Ras al-Ayn al-Hasakah and for the most part news of the attack failed to make it to the major news outlets.
Thus far the Kurdish defense forces have successfully managed to defend strategic areas and secure both their homes and families against heavily armed and well trained extremists groups, killing 28 of the militants.
RT News reports:
Rebels conduct new chemical weapons attack in Syria near Turkish border.
The rebels used chemical weapons in north-eastern Syria near the border with Turkey on Tuesday, a Lebanese TV channel Al-Mayadeen reported.
The toxic shell exploded near a Kurdish defense forces’ checkpoint close to the border with Turkey in the city of Ras al-Ayn al-Hasakah.
The attack was reported by Kurdish defense forces who are conducting military operations against the rebels in the region. They are quoted as saying they saw toxic yellow smoke that followed the shell explosion, while some of them had symptoms of severe chemical intoxication accompanied by nausea.
The reported chemical attack comes amid the second day of fierce fighting in the town.
The Kurdish forces have successfully repelled several attacks by armed groups of extremists of the Nusra Front ( Jabhat al-Nusra), and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, killing 28 militants. This comes as the joint mission of UN international experts and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is in Syria inspecting the sites of the toxic attacks and destroying chemical weaponry.
Syrian authorities have declared 23 chemical weapons sites. The joint mission have verified 21 sites, the organization said in a report acquired by AP on Monday.
“The two remaining sites have not been visited due to security reasons,” the report added, suggesting that they are in rebel-held areas.
“In addition, the Syrian authorities have reported finding two cylinders not belonging to them, which are believed to contain chemical weapons,” said Ahmet Uzumcu, chief of the global chemical weapons watchdog, in the OPCW report.
As part of his regional trip, UN –Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has traveled to Damascus in an attempt to gain support for the Geneva-2 peace conference.
The Jerusalem Post (J-Post) reports:
UNITED NATIONS – Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar al-Ja’afari announced on Tuesday that a new chemical attack had occurred in a small town near its border with Turkey.
“The victims were transported to Turkey to be treated in Turkish hospitals and then, of course, today or tomorrow you will hear again that the Turkish government has new tools indicating that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its own people,” Ja’afari charged.
At an international press conference, the Syrian envoy slammed Britain and France for citing evidence that they refuse to reveal publicly, and criticized UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for taking their findings seriously.
“This hostile campaign is led by some parties that have made no secret of their hostility,” he said, blaming the UK for introducing chemical weapons to the Middle East.
Moscow is deeply alarmed by fresh reports that extremists used chemical weapons on Syrian soil. This information must be thoroughly verified and investigated says a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Recent reports from the region suggest that Jihadist groups, primarily Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, have stepped up their activities against the Kurdish communities in north eastern Syria. The insurgents besieged a number of Kurdish populated areas, which dramatically complicated the already difficult humanitarian situation in the region, whose residents are short of food, medicines, and other necessities.
Rebuffed by Kurdish self-defense forces defending their homes, the Jihadists reportedly used chemical weapons against them in the city of Ras al-Ayn near the Turkish border on October 29.
Russia has expressed its indignation over the lack of coverage that western media has given to the report on Syrian rebels using chemical weapons against the local Kurdish community.
Alexei Pushkov, a Russian lawmaker and chief of the Parliamentary foreign affairs committee, has drawn attention to the media blackout on the gassing in the Kurdish city of al-Hasakah in Syria’s northeast.
The radicals allegedly fired a missile, at Kurdish positions on the Turkish border, that emitted a suspicious yellow smoke. Locals said they felt dizzy after a while and had other symptoms of chemical poisoning.
ALSO: some 300 mass graves have been discovered in eastern Turkey. Kurds, who died in an armed struggle between the Turkish army and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, are supposedly buried there. They may have been victims of chemical attacks, Raci Bilici, head of the Diyarbakir branch of the Human Rights Association, said in an interview with the Voice of Russia.
According to Raci Bilici, human rights activists will insist on sending international experts to the site for a thorough investigation. (Complete AINA article Here) Also (Voice of Russia associated article Here)
Information Clearing House reports:
The toxic shell exploded near a Kurdish defense forces’ checkpoint close to the border with Turkey in the city of Ras al-Ayn al-Hasakah. The attack was reported by Kurdish defense forces who are conducting military operations against the rebels in the region.
The chemical attack took place amid ongoing fierce fighting between Kurds defending their homes & Al-Qaeda affiliated groups alongside efforts by the OPCW and the Syrian government to destroy chemical weapons manufacturing equipment.
Syrian authorities have declared 23 chemical weapons sites. The joint mission have verified 21 sites, the organization said in a report acquired by AP on Monday.
Syria has also declared 41 facilities – 18 chemical weapons production facilities, 12 chemical weapons storage facilities, eight mobile units to fill chemical weapons, and three chemical weapons-related facilities – at the chemical sites where it stored approximately 1,300 tons of precursors and agents, and over 1,200 unfilled munitions to deliver them.
“In addition, the Syrian authorities have reported finding two cylinders not belonging to them, which are believed to contain chemical weapons,” said Ahmet Uzumcu, chief of the global chemical weapons watchdog, in the OPCW report.
On digging further I came across a Reuters article (dated August 28th), which oddly enough may have a connection to the latest incident.
In a very interesting coincidence Turkish authorities sent extra aid workers trained to identify and decontaminate chemical weapons victims to its border with Syria.
Reuters report on Turkish aid workers: (August 28th 2013)
Turkey sends aid workers trained for chemical attacks to Syria border!
Humeyra Pamuk of Reuters reported this on August 28th after the attack in Damascus a week earlier which could have, and was expected to lead to Western military action / intervention.
“We have increased our measures significantly since last week, to be prepared particularly in case of a chemical attack,” Mustafa Aydogdu, spokesman for the Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD), said.
“We have experts who could deal with chemical attacks and we have deployed almost all of them in Kilis, Hatay and Sanliurfa,” he said, naming Turkish border cities that house dozens of refugee camps.
Turkey, which has a 900-km (560-mile) border with Syria, hosts half a million refugees from the two-and-a-half year conflict and is braced for a new influx should Western powers strike.
U.S. President Barack Obama and his European and Middle East allies have blamed Assad for last week’s killing of hundreds of civilians and are drawing up plans for punitive military action.
Turkey has emerged as one of Assad’s most vocal critics and has been a staunch supporter of the rebels. It has spent around $2 billion sheltering refugees, according to Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. (Complete Reuters article by Humeyra Pamuk on August 28th Here)
What we knew at the time:
Now, keep in mind that at this point the US and her allies (The West) were on the verge of ordering an attack on Syria. In fact, officially or unofficially the West or rather her leaders were in discussion as to what lengths such an attack or humanitarian Intervention (HI) should go to. In simple terms, they were trying to decide whether such intervention should take the form of air attacks on weapons bases etc or a more full-on attack.
The West was about to become Judge, jury & executioner in deciding the future of Syria and her elected leader, whom they had declared unfit for purpose, against or at the very least without consultation with the Syrian people. Which begs the question Are the US and her allies honest brokers of Humanitarian Intervention ?
What we did not know:
What we in the west did not know, was that on December 24th Qatar asked Britain’s arms contractor, BRITAM to ‘transport’ chemical weapons to the Syrian town of Homs.
This information was originated from the Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar, which states that the intelligence is part of security information from “a certain regional state”.
NSNBC International reports the following: Qatari Military Officers Supplied Chemical Weapons to Syria Insurgents & Turkey was Informed.
nsnbc international received independent confirmation of the information´s validity from a Palestinian citizen, resident in Turkey, who entertains close ties to Palestinian intelligence services and Syria.
The two Qatari officers Major Fahd Saeed al-Hajiri and Captain Faleh Bin Khalid al-Tamimi, have reportedly transported the chemical substances from Qatar through Turkey, with the foreknowledge, approval and direct help of Turkish authorities who have covered over the transfer of the substances to the terrorists.
Turkish security services were, according to the information, also involved in covering up evidence that transpired after the arrest of 12 members of Jabhat al-Nusrah, who were in possession of two metal cylinders with 2 kg of the internationally banned nerve agent Sarin. Only days after the confiscation of the 2 kg Sarin in Turkey, Syrian authorities secured 2 kg Sarin from insurgents in Syria.
The chemical weapons attack in the Khan al-Asal district of Aleppo in March 2013, killed at least 25 and injured more than 100 civilians. Although both France, Britain and the U.K. continue accusing the Syrian government and the Syrian armed forces for having used chemical weapons, and despite their repeated claims of “evidence”, all available physical and circumstantial evidence exonerates the Syrian authorities and points toward, what members of the anti-Syrian alliance euphemistically generalize as “The Opposition”.
(Complete article from nsnbc here)
ALSO on the Qatari plan to smuggle chemical weapons to Syria.
reports: Hacked email reveals Qatar’s devious plans to smuggle chemical weapons in Syria.
Damascus/ New Delhi: Earlier this year, a news report published in Daily Bhaskar revealed an email in which Qatar asked Britain’s arms contractor, BRITAM to ‘transport’ chemical weapons to the Syrian town of Homs.
The email was revealed after BRITAM servers were hacked and megabyted of classified internal files were released to the public. From the hacked documents, an e-mail revealed startling facts.
The mail is written by Britam Defence’s Business Development Director David Goulding to Dynamic Director of the firm Phillip Doughty, who is a former SAS officer.
In the mail, Goulding is seeking advice about a proposed shipment of Chemical Weapons requested by Qatari meant for Syrian city of Homs.
The transcript of the hacked E-mail:
We’ve got a new offer. It’s about Syria again. Qataris propose an attractive deal and swear that the idea is approved by Washington.
We’ll have to deliver a CW to Homs, a Soviet origin g-shell from Libya similar to those that Assad should have.
They want us to deploy our Ukrainian personnel that should speak Russian and make a video record.
Frankly, I don’t think it’s a good idea but the sums proposed are enormous. Your opinion?
Kind regards David.
Several conclusions can be drawn from the above mail.
The demand of a Russian speaking personal could mean that ‘unknown elements’ wants to put the blame on Russia for the use of Chemical weapons.
Recently, Barack Obama warned that any attempt made by Syrian President Basher al-Assad would mean a ‘red-line’, authorising US to intervene in the troubled Syrian conflict.
The plotted operation, if successful would provide an ideal platform for attack on Syria. The hacked file contained the list of Ukrainian people working in Iraq, supposedly for forging videos.
Several employees might not be enlisted as the folder /Iraq/People/ contained the photocopies of passports of several other Ukrainians. There are also some Serbs/Croatians and Georgians in the list who also might be filmed as ‘Russians’, quoted Voltairenet.org.
A story made headline in January, where in Syrian rebels were given gas masks to stage a chemical weapons attack. The attack could be used as an excuse to intervene by NATO forces, quoted in our February report.
( Complete Daily Bhaskar article Here)
February report adds the following:
Qatar trying to trap Russians? E-mail reveals plot to stage chemical attack on Syria.
In the mail above, Goulding is seeking advice about a proposed shipment of Chemical Weapons requested by Qatari meant for Syrian city of Homs.
Russian media reported in mid-January that rebel fighters are recruiting militants with Salvic features to play a role of Russian ‘mercenaries’ allegedly captured by Syrian opposition fighters.
The game in Syria is far more complex and conspiring than it appears. The more than 22-month-long conflict has claimed over 60,000 lives so far.
( The Daily Bhaskar February article Here )
It is worth noting that the two Qatari officers Major Fahd Saeed al-Hajiri and Captain Faleh Bin Khalid al-Tamimi, were subsequently killed in a suspicious explosion in Mogadishu, Somalia on 5 May.
The May arrests of Al-Nusra Front members in Turkey:
Now, remember the incident in May, when in Turkey Al-Qaeda affiliate (Al-Nusra Front) members were arrested by Turkish security forces and were found to have a 2kg cylinder with sarin gas, after security forces searched the homes of Syrian militants who were previously detained. The gas was reportedly going to be used in a bomb.
RT report on May 30th incident:
Turkey finds sarin gas in homes of suspected Syrian Islamists
Turkish security forces found a 2kg cylinder with sarin gas after searching the homes of Syrian militants from the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Nusra Front who were previously detained, Turkish media reports. The gas was reportedly going to be used in a bomb.
The sarin gas was found in the homes of suspected Syrian Islamists detained in the southern provinces of Adana and Mersia following a search by Turkish police on Wednesday, reports say. The gas was allegedly going to be used to carry out an attack in the southern Turkish city of Adana.
On Monday, Turkish special anti-terror forces arrested 12 suspected members of the Al-Nusra Front, the Al-Qaeda affiliated group which has been dubbed “the most aggressive and successful arm” of the Syrian rebels. The group was designated a terrorist organization by the United States in December.
Police also reportedly found a cache of weapons, documents and digital data which will be reviewed by police.
Following the searches, five of those detained were released following medical examinations at the Forensic Medicine Institution Adana. Seven suspects remain in custody. Turkish authorities are yet to comment on the arrests.
In a separate incident in Adana, police reportedly received intelligence that an explosive-laden vehicle had entered the town of Adana on Thursday, the Taraf daily reports.
Ankara has attempted to bolster the Syrian opposition without becoming embroiled in the Syrian civil war, a policy which Damascus claims lead to the deadliest act of terrorism on Turkish soil.
On May 11, 51 people were killed and 140 injured after two car bombs exploded in the Turkish town of Reyhanlı, located near the country’s border with Syria. A dozen Turkish nationals have been charged in the twin bombings, and Ankara has accused Damascus of helping the suspects carry out the attack.
“This incident was carried out by an organization which is in close contact to pro-regime groups in Syria and I say this very clearly, with the Syrian Mukhabarat [intelligence agency],” Interior Minister Muammer Guler said.
Syria’s Information Minister Omran Zoubi denied any link the attack, saying his country “did not commit and would never commit such an act because our values would not allow that”.Zoubi further charged the Turkish government had facilitated the flow of arms, explosives, funds and fighters across the country’s border into Syria, claiming that that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his party bear direct responsibility [for the attack].”
In March, the Syrian government invited the United Nations to investigate possible chemical weapons use in the Khan al-Assal area of rural Aleppo. Military experts and officials said a chemical agent, most likely sarin, was used in the attack which killed 26 people, including government forces.
Damascus claimed Al-Qaeda linked fighters were behind the attack, further alleging Turkey had a hand in the incident.
“The rocket came from a placed controlled by the terrorist and which is located close to the Turkish territory. One can assume that the weapon came from Turkey,” Zoabi said in an interview with Interfax news agency.
US President Barack Obama has warned any confirmed use of chemical weapons by Damascus would cross a “red line” which would prompt further action. Both Washington and London claimed there was growing evidence that such chemical agents had been used.
Less clear perhaps is whether a similar red line would apply to Syrian opposition groups such as Al-Nusra by the US and NATO allies. Author and historian Gerald Horne, for one, told RT that there are greater political dynamics at work.
“Well, one would think so, but of course we know that the United States along with its NATO partners Britain and France are quite close to the main backers of the rebels — I’m speaking of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. We know, for example, according to the Financial Times that Mr Sarkozy, the former president of France, is in very close financial relationship with the Qataris,” says Horne.
Journalist and RT contributor, Afshin Rattansi believes that the same fate will befall this story, as far as media coverage goes. All possible doubts will either be hushed or directed elsewhere, as they were toward Del Ponte’s findings.
“Carla Del Ponte – one of the greatest experts on this from the United Nations – did do an in-depth investigation only a few weeks ago, and of course, the mainstream media tried their best to ignore it and to character-assassinate Del Ponte… she did masses of work on this, and [found] It was the rebels and not the government.”
Rattansi goes on to say that “the news management of the Syria story has been incredibly sophisticated, and I don’t think it will be on the front pages of any newspapers in Britain or the United States – it will quietly disappear like Del Ponte’s case. The big story, of course, will be Russia and the delivery of the S-300.”
The initial report by Turkish security forces stated that several members of Al-Nusra Front were arrested and searches of their homes produced a 2kg cylinder with sarin gas, which is confirmed in the (Israeli) Debka report below (stated as 4 & a half pounds) of sarin nerve gas.
The Turkish government however, denied that a quantity of sarin gas had been found, alleging instead that Syrian rebel groups were seeking to buy materials that could be used to produce highly toxic sarin gas??
The suggestion therefore is that this is the beginning of one big cover up.
What we know is that as far back as July / August 2012, there were reports of Al-Qaeda trying to smuggle chemical weapons from Libya. In fact Reuter’s Khaled Oweis stated : The Free Syrian Army (FSA) has now acquired chemical weapons from Libya.
Add to this the (arms contractor) BRITAM hacked email/s which confirm that Qatar was seeking transport for chemical weapons to Homs, Syria in December 2012, in which the email clearly states the following: “Qataris propose an attractive deal and swear that the idea is approved by Washington.”
“We’ll have to deliver a CW to Homs, a Soviet origin g-shell from Libya similar to those that Assad should have.”
Also as nsnbc reported: The two Qatari officers, Major Fahd Saeed al-Hajiri and Captain Faleh Bin Khalid al-Tamimi, had reportedly transported the chemical substances from Qatar through Turkey, with the foreknowledge, approval and direct help of Turkish authorities who have covered over the transfer of the substances to the terrorists.
nsnbc report on June 23rd 2013
Israeli Intelligence News: Syria Rebels Possess Chemical Weapons, US-NATO Delivering Heavy Weapons to the Terrorists
The following report by the Israeli Intelligence news outlet Debka (quoting Turkish police sources) acknowledges that Al Nusrah rather than Syrian government forces have chemical weapons in their possession: Turkish police round up Al Qaeda-linked Syrian Al Nusra terrorists in raids in Istanbul and southern cities near the Syrian border, Turkey police Friday arrested 12 members of al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, Al Nusra Front.
Found in their possession were four and a half pounds of sarin nerve gas, hand guns, grenades, bullets and documents for what the Turkish daily Zaman reported was a bomb attack on the Turkish town of Adana. (Debka, June 15, 2013, emphasis)
The Israeli intelligence news report quoted above contradicts the authoritative memo of the US intelligence community. It refutes the assessment of US intelligence which allegedly provides evidence of Syrian government forces using chemical weapons against the rebels.
It was on the basis of this US intelligence memo that Obama threatened President Bashar Al Assad for having crossed the red line:
“Following a deliberative review, our intelligence community assesses that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons, including the nerve agent sarin, on a small scale against the opposition multiple times in the last year,”
White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said in a statement. “Our intelligence community has high confidence in that assessment given multiple, independent streams of information.”
“Obama has give notice to President Bashar Al Assad of ‘enormous consequences’ for having crossed the ‘red line’” by allegedly using chemical weapons.
In an unusual twist, the Israeli Debka report largely upholds the position taken by Russia’s president Vladimir Putin at the G-8 Summit in Northern Ireland.
Of significance, Debka also acknowledges that Al Nusrah –which is also supported covertly by Israel– is a terrorist organization. Moreover, Debka also confirms (without explicitly referring to Al Nusrah) that the US and NATO have delivered heavy weapons to the same Al Qaeda affiliated rebels in the Aleppo region bordering onto Turkey:
NATO and a number of European governments, most significantly the UK, have started airlifting heavy weapons to the Syrian rebels poised in Aleppo to fend off a major Syrian army offensive, according to debkafile’s exclusive military sources. They disclose that the first shipments were landed Monday night, June 17, and early Tuesday in Turkey and Jordan. They contained anti-air and tank missiles as well as recoilless 120 mm cannons mounted on jeeps. From there, they were transferred to rebel forces in southern Syria and Aleppo in the northwest. (Debka, June 18, 2013)
The original Turkish security forces statement of finding a 2kg cylinder with sarin gas at the home/s of the Al-Nusra members who were already detained by police. Was also described & confirmed by Debka as 4 & a half pounds ( 1kg = 2.2 lbs) of sarin nerve gas.
Yet despite this the actual trial as described by the L.A. Times below refutes the claim that any sarin gas was found by Turkish security services.
In fact shortly after the arrests came to light, Turkish officials denied as erroneous some initial reports that sarin had been seized as part of the investigation, claiming instead that the accused were indicted for seeking to buy materials that could be used to produce highly toxic sarin gas ??
L.A. Times report September 13th 2013:
Syrian rebel groups sought sarin gas material, Turkish prosecutors say!
Article by Patrick J. McDonnell of the Los Angeles Times: September 13, 2013,
BEIRUT — Prosecutors in southern Turkey have alleged that Syrian rebel groups were seeking to buy materials that could be used to produce highly toxic sarin gas, Turkish media reported Friday.
PHOTO HERE xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
An indictment issued in the southern city of Adana alleged that a Syrian national identified as Hytham Qassap, 35, was in Turkey trying to procure chemical materials for a pair of well-known Islamist rebel blocs, Al Nusra Front and the Ahrar al-Sham Brigades, the reports said. Washington has designated Al Nusra Front as a terrorist group linked to Al Qaeda.
Five other suspects, all Turkish citizens, were indicted in the case, Turkish media reported. All six suspects have pleaded not guilty, according to the English-language Hurriyet Daily News, which quoted from the indictment.
The alleged ring never manufactured sarin, a potent nerve agent, according to Turkish media. The investigation began with a tip to police that some Syrian rebel groups might be seeking to obtain materials in Turkey to produce chemical weapons, the reports said.
In May, Turkish police arrested 11 suspects in connection with the case. Turkish officials denied as erroneous some initial reports that sarin had been seized as part of the investigation.
Syrian authorities have repeatedly cited the Adana arrests to bolster their allegation that it is the armed opposition, not their own military, that has mounted poison gas attacks, including the Aug. 21 incident outside Damascus that left hundreds dead.
Russia, Syria’s close ally, has alleged that the opposition has created a chemical weapons “cottage industry,” designed to frame the Syrian government and prompt Western intervention in the civil war.
On Friday, Louay Mekdad, spokesman for the U.S.-backed Syrian National Coalition, said via telephone from Turkey that his group had “no connection” to the Adana case, and he repeated denials of charges that the opposition possesses chemical weapons.
In view of all of the above, the Turkish decision to send extra aid workers trained to identify and decontaminate chemical weapons victims to its border with Syria, appears far less coincidental than first thought. In fact there is at least the suggestion that there were already chemical trained personnel at the border areas prior to the August announcement.
Furthermore, despite claims by Turkish officials that the arrested members of Al-Nusra had not been arrested with (as reported) a 2kg cylinder and the later statement which read: “Turkish officials denied as erroneous some initial reports that sarin had been seized as part of the investigation.”.
F. Michael Maloof of WND Information Clearing House produced the following:
US Military Confirms Rebels Had Sarin.
September 12, 2013 “Information Clearing House – “WND” – As part of the Obama administration’s repeated insistence – though without offering proof – that the recent sarin gas attack near Damascus was the work of the Assad regime, the administration has downplayed or denied the possibility that al-Qaida-linked Syrian rebels could produce deadly chemical weapons.
However, in a classified document just obtained by WND, the U.S. military confirms that sarin was confiscated earlier this year from members of the Jabhat al-Nusra Front, the most influential of the rebel Islamists fighting in Syria.
The document says sarin from al-Qaida in Iraq made its way into Turkey and that while some was seized, more could have been used in an attack last March on civilians and Syrian military soldiers in Aleppo.
The document, classified Secret/Noforn – “Not for foreign distribution” – came from the U.S. intelligence community’s National Ground Intelligence Center, or NGIC, and was made available to WND Tuesday.
It revealed that AQI had produced a “bench-scale” form of sarin in Iraq and then transferred it to Turkey.
A U.S. military source said there were a number of interrogations as well as some clan reports as part of what the document said were “50 general indicators to monitor progress and characterize the state of the ANF/AQI-associated Sarin chemical warfare agent developing effort.”
“This (document) depicts our assessment of the status of effort at its peak – primarily research and procurement activities – when disrupted in late May 2013 with the arrest of several key individuals in Iraq and Turkey,” the document said.
“Future reporting of indicators not previously observed would suggest that the effort continues to advance despite the arrests,”the NGIC document said.
The report of the U.S. intelligence community’s NGIC reinforces a preliminary U.N. investigation of the attack in Aleppo which said the evidence pointed to Syrian rebels.
It also appears to bolster allegations in a 100-page report on an investigation turned over to the U.N. by Russia. The report concluded the Syrian rebels – not the Syrian government – had used the nerve agent sarin in the March chemical weapons attack in Aleppo.
While the contents of the report have yet to be released, sources tell WND the documentation indicates that deadly sarin poison gas was manufactured in a Sunni-controlled region of Iraq and then transported to Turkey for use by the Syrian opposition, whose ranks have swelled with members of al-Qaida and affiliated groups.
The documentation that the U.N. received from the Russians indicated specifically that the sarin gas was supplied to Sunni foreign fighters by a Saddam-era general working under the outlawed Iraqi Baath party leader, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri.
Al-Douri was a top aide to Saddam Hussein before he was deposed as Iraqi president.
( Complete article from WND Information Clearing House Here )
The initial conclusion that can be drawn with certainty is that that latest chemical attack a toxic shell which exploded near the Kurdish defense forces checkpoint, close to the border with Turkey in the city of Ras al-Ayn al-Hasakah, was indeed launched by the (so called) rebel forces.
The lack of international media attention, recognition or reporting on the latest use of chemical weapons in Ras al-Ayn al-Hasakah, is a direct reflection of their (international media) unwillingness to break with the party line (so to speak). In simple terms, some International media outlets have served only as parrots for US & European governments and their Gulf Nation agents and in doing so, have become de facto agents of propaganda on behalf of Al-Qaeda and their affiliate in Syria, the Al-Nusra Front.
Chemicals seized at Turkey’s Syria border raise questions (5th Nov 2013)
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has raised questions over the seizure of chemical material, along with barrels of unidentified cargo, in vehicles which attempted to illegally cross the border from the Turkish side to the Syrian side over the weekend.
“One person has been arrested. Barrels which are suspected to contain chemical material were inside the vehicles. Traffic was from Turkey to Syria. Do not be surprised if a statement suggesting that the arrested person is a Syrian spy comes from the government,” CHP Deputy Chair Faruk Loğoğlu said Nov. 4.
Turkish patrol border units seized around one ton of sulfur in addition to eight sealed barrels, the contents of which were unknown, from a convoy trying to illegally enter the country from Syria on Nov. 2, the General Staff announced in a statement posted on its official website.
The convoy of three vehicles refused to stop as it attempted to illegally cross the border near the southeastern Turkish town of Reyhanlı, according to the statement.
Para-military police were forced to shoot out the tires of the vehicles to stop them, and three drivers jumped out and fled in the direction of Syria. One of them was arrested, the General Staff said, without specifying the nationality of the suspect. The haul of sulfur and the other unidentified substance will be examined by a team of army specialists, the statement said.
Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense (CBRN) units from the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency have been examining the seized material, noted the statement.
Loğoğlu, meanwhile, also voiced doubt that a case looking into allegations that radical Syrian rebel groups were seeking to procure materials that could be used to produce highly toxic sarin gas was being covered up.
Separately, CHP deputy Hurşit Güneş criticized the release of the primary suspect in the same case after a hearing by a local court in Adana on Oct. 30.
“We want this case not to be closed. If the case in Adana is closed and these terrorist elements are acquitted, then it will be a shame for Turkey. Turkey cannot be a place where al-Qaeda elements can be nurtured and can get rest,” Güneş said.
( Complete Hurriyet Daily News article here )
It looks very much as though “Father Recep Tayyip Erdoğan” as he is referred to by members of the Farouk Brigade, because he allows them unrestricted travel across the Turkish border to Syria, will soon be facing serious questions from both his own government and opposition party leaders, regarding the cover up of the recent 2kg cylinder incident along with the latest breaking news above.
T.J. Total World View.
November 5th 2013.
In recent days Amnesty International has taken the US government to task over its use of drones and also called into question claims by the government that civilian deaths are few and far between. The Amnesty International (AI) report which is a commendable and very well researched / investigated report titled “Will I be next?” US drone strikes in Pakistan, goes on to suggest that the US officials responsible for the secret CIA drone campaign against suspected terrorists in Pakistan may have committed war crimes and should stand trial!
AI highlights in its report the case of a grandmother killed while picking vegetables along with other incidents which may have broken international law. The report was published as Pakistan’s PM. Nawaz Sharif, arrived in Washington for talks with US President Obama.
Pakistani PM demands end to drone strikes as he meets Obama. Pakistan’s PM Nawaz Sharif, in a meeting at the White House, urged US President Obama to end American drone strikes in Pakistan. The strikes, which target terror suspects but have also killed innocent civilians, has angered the Pakistani population.
Pakistani officials have long complained that US drone strikes violate the nation’s sovereignty, with civilians living in constant fear of the unmanned aerial devices buzzing in the sky overheard. Sharif has been one of the foremost anti-drone leaders in Pakistan since he took office earlier this year. He recently told the United Nations General Assembly that the interference undercuts Pakistan’s “resolve and efforts to eliminate extremism and terrorism from Pakistan.”
Tuesday, on the eve of his visit to Washington, Sharif said the strikes have “deeply disturbed and agitated” the Pakistani people.
“The use of drones is not only a violation of our territorial integrity but they are also detrimental to our efforts to eliminate terrorism from our country,” he went on, adding that the issue has become a “major irritant” in Pakistani/US relations.
How seriously Washington will take Sharif’s request remains to be seen. Along with Yemen, Pakistan has become a hotbed of US drone activity in recent years. The number of innocent civilians killed is estimated to be in the thousands, but official figures are not released publicly.
“I feel this is a temporary feel-good moment,” Farahnaz Ispahani, former adviser to former Pakistani president Asif Zardari, told USA Today of Wednesday’s meeting. “This moment, like a lot of moments of past years, will unfortunately not bear long-term fruit.”
The AI report was issued in conjunction with an investigation by Human Rights Watch (HRW) which detailed missile attacks in Yemen which the group claims may also contravene international human rights law.
Getting to the bottom of individual strikes is exceptionally difficult in the restive areas bordering Afghanistan, where thousands of militants have settled. People are often terrified of speaking out, fearing retribution from both militants and the state, which is widely suspected of colluding with the CIA-led campaign.
There is also a risk of militants attempting to skew outside research by forcing interviewees into “providing false or inaccurate information”, the report said.
But Amnesty mounted a major effort to investigate nine of the many attacks to have struck the region over the last 18 months, including one that killed 18 labourers in North Waziristan as they waited to eat dinner in an area of heavy Taliban influence in July 2012. All those interviewed by Amnesty strongly denied any of the men had been involved in militancy. Even if they were members of a banned group, that would not be enough to justify killing them, the report said.
“Amnesty International has serious concerns that this attack violated the prohibition of the arbitrary deprivation of life and may constitute war crimes or extrajudicial executions,” the report said. It called for those responsible to stand trial.
The US has repeatedly claimed very few civilians have been killed by drones. It argues its campaign is conducted “consistent with all applicable domestic and international law”.
The Amnesty report supports media accounts from October last year that a 68-year-old woman called Mamana Bibi was killed by a missile fired from a drone while she was picking okra outside her home in North Waziristan with her grandchildren nearby. A second strike minutes later injured family members tending her.
If true, the case is striking failure of a technology much vaunted for its accuracy. It is claimed the remote-controlled planes are able to observe their targets for hours or even days to verify them, and that the explosive force of the missiles is designed to limit collateral damage. As with other controversial drone strikes, the US has refused to acknowledge or explain what happened. (Complete article from The Guardian Here)
While the reports provide devastating details and draw attention to the debate, stories of innocent people hurt in drone strikes “don’t add substantively to knowledge of the drone program nor do they alter the standard line about needing more transparency and access to medical help,” Joshua Foust, a commentator on U.S. counter-terrorism policy and former fellow at the American Security Project, told TIME in an email.
Transparency in the drone program faces two main obstacles, Foust says: First, the drone politics of a country like Pakistan are messy, with the government quietly supporting the strikes (including feeding the U.S. intelligence), then publicly condemning them and whipping public opinion into a frenzy.
Second, there is little political incentive in the U.S. government to further declassify drone policy, and there are virtually no political consequences for the Obama Administration continuing as they have for years. Polls show Americans have few qualms with the U.S. deploying drones overseas. Until that changes Foust says, “none of the other calls for redress or openness will come to pass.”
On investigating this subject one could easily conclude that these US drone strikes are carried out against the will of the Pakistani & Yemeni governments / Leadership. However, over the past year it has become clear that the leadership of the aforementioned states appear at least to be only paying lip service to their own peoples with regard to condemnation of the drone strikes, whilst at the same time turning a blind eye.
That said, this cannot justify the actions of the US government nor does it in any way alleviate US responsibility for the ever increasing number of civilian deaths.
Having spent a very considerable amount of time researching the subject of drone strikes, the one thing that surprised me, was the willingness of some to accept such a practice as an inevitable progression of warfare, whilst citing the US government claims of accuracy of the drones, coupled with the need to continue the war on terrorism as overall justification.
However, Nabeel Khoury, a former US State Department official, speaking about Yemen, stated that the drone accuracy rate was an embarrassment and went on to claim that “Given Yemen’s tribal structure, the US generates roughly 40 to 60 new enemies for every Al- Qaeda operative killed by drones”
(source RT’s – Breaking The Set – video link here ).
One could therefore conclude that similar radicalization is also occurring in Pakistan as a direct result of the continued US drone strikes.
T.J. Total World View
26th October 2013
Terminology such as Humanitarian Intervention has been liberally bandied about by leaders of western governments and in particular US governments, (current and previous) in relation to Syria now and Libya, Iraq and countless other states in the past.
But what exactly do the words mean? The Oxford Dictionary definition of Humanitarian is: Adjective : concerned with or seeking to promote human welfare or denoting an event or situation which causes or involves widespread human suffering, especially one which requires the large-scale provision of aid:
The oxford dictionary has no definition for “Humanitarian Intervention” possibly because the two words used in conjunction effectively contradict the individual meanings. There are some online dictionaries which provide a definition for the two words combined, defining them collectively as intervention militarily by a state against another with a view to preventing human suffering. Although obediently parroting the terminology of the west this definition is somewhat untruthful.
How human rights groups view humanitarian Intervention
ICRC seeks to promote the term “armed intervention in response to grave violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law”.
Defining the problem: The United Nations operations in northern Iraq and Somalia and NATO’s intervention in Kosovo have all been termed “humanitarian intervention”. The doctrine of “humanitarian intervention” has long been a controversial subject, both in law and in international relations, and remains so today. Given that by no means all States accept the principle involved, there is no generally accepted definition of “humanitarian intervention”.
Amnesty International (AI)
Amnesty on the other hand follows the line of: it’s not our business to get involved in politics and political decision making. “Amnesty International neither condemns nor condones armed intervention,” “It also takes no position on the legality or moral basis for any such action. In situations of armed conflict, Amnesty International focuses on ensuring that warring parties respect international humanitarian law and human rights.”
Human Rights Watch
On the question of Syria: “Human Rights Watch does not take a position advocating or opposing such intervention,” “But any armed intervention should be judged by how well it protects all Syrian civilians from further atrocities.”
Human Rights First
“The worsening situation in Syria demands a much greater level of engagement from the Obama Administration,” a representative for Human Rights First said a press release Wednesday. “That engagement should take many forms, possibly including military options within the boundaries of international law, but should also include diplomatic, economic and humanitarian elements.”
Doctors Without Borders
On the question of Syria: “No, Doctors Without Borders does not endorse or call for a military strike on Syria,” said Tim Shenck, press officer for Doctors Without Borders, “We have been calling for an independent investigation of the incident described in our August 24 press release, which could constitute a serious violation of international humanitarian law.”
“Refugees International (RI) is deeply concerned about the impact that any military escalation could have on displaced Syrians across the region,” “RI therefore urges Syria’s neighbors to commit to an open-border policy for Syrian refugees regardless of any future hostilities. RI also calls upon the United States, European Union, and other major donors to provide all necessary humanitarian support to these front-line states.”
More on the division of opinion between human rights groups on the subject of Humanitarian Intervention here: ( from Time Swampland )
Mr Bush and Mr Blair accidently showed the ugly face behind the humanitarian intervention mask in 2003, when the world first realised that Humanitarian Intervention as a term had a very different meaning to Bush/Blair and co, than it did to the general public. Prior to this the term was generally considered as an act for good.
To the majority humanitarian Intervention conjured up images of soldiers helping those struck down by massive earth quake, flooding, famine or indeed the intervention of a state or states on behalf of another where for example terrorism is involved, as was the case recently when France intervened in Mali at the request of the Malian government.
However, in 2003 the world woke up to the realization that this term was now being used as an excuse for invasion, occupation, and in real terms, the continuous accusation of theft of resources.
On the subject of Humanitarian Intervention Noam Chomsky wrote the following between December 1993 and January 1994.
“The first question that comes to mind about “humanitarian intervention” is whether the category exists. Are states moral agents? Or were Machiavelli, Adam Smith, and a host of others correct in concluding that they commonly act in the interests of domestic power – in Smith’s day, the “merchants and manufacturers” who were “by far the principal architects” of policy and whose interests were “most peculiarly attended to,” whatever the effects on others; in ours, corporate and financial power centers, increasingly transnational in scale? A second obvious question has to do with those who are to be in charge: what do their institutions and record lead us to expect?” (Full article Here)
Chomsky is asking the following questions: (1). Are States moral agents?
In other words are those claiming to enact Humanitarian Intervention on behalf of others (people of Syria /Libya) doing so (to use a legal term,) with clean hands. This question is far broader than it first appears, for it calls into question the validity of the use of humanitarian intervention and the legal & moral issues surrounding said intervention.
In fairness to the US and her European allies (West-ern) as a collective they have indeed been called upon to assist other nations, and recent events in Mali as mentioned above prove this point. However, even during and after French involvement many questioned French motives for getting involved.
US arguments and justifications used for humanitarian Intervention in modern times vary greatly, but in general stems from the noble claim of responsibility to others as a world power (or the world’s police argument) to the more egotistical claim of American Exceptionalism. Their European allies often use similar arguments when trying to justify such actions as witnessed in Libya and to a larger extent in Syria today.
In the beginning of the so called Syrian civil war the Western nations were quick to call for intervention on behalf of the Syrian people, a noble act when viewed from only one side and whilst using statistics and information that could be considered as less than noble and possibly even less than honest.
Couple this with the formation of the Friends of Syria group (FOSG) headed by and more or less driven by the US Secretary of state (at that time) Hillary Clinton. From the get go, Clinton in her positions of both US secretary of state and chair of the FOSG (President Obama claimed the US formed the group) declared that Syrian President Assad must be removed from power, a demand that quite quickly became a pre-condition which was used time and again by the US and her allies when it came to any discussion or possibility of a resolution to the Syrian issue.
The second of Chomsky’ questions asks the following : (2). What is the history / Motive of the players (those claiming to intervene on humanitarian grounds ?
“A second obvious question has to do with those who are to be in charge: what do their institutions and record lead us to expect?”
Along with the aforementioned, other players began to show their hand and in so doing, their intentions with regard to Syria. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, (Egypt and Israel to a lesser extent) became the latest players to join the West in calling for the down fall of Assad as a pre-condition and then shortly after came the request for humanitarian intervention in the guise of an air assault, which later (more recently) became a demand for military action by the US and her European allies against the Syrian regime.
Effectively the questions being asked are: do states have a moral right to interfere in the workings of another sovereign state? And if so, and in doing so, are these states intervening for moral reasons or are they acting out of self interest? And finally does the past history of these agents of humanitarian intervention suggest that they are, or would be doing so with clean hands or as honest agents?
There is absolutely no way to answer these questions with absolute certainty, unless one or all of the players were willing to provide information as to their individual or collective goals with regard to the situation in Syria. One of course would hope that all parties would share the same goal, that of securing the safety of the civilian population and halting the destruction of the country. However, this is sadly not the case, and as a result even the opposition states and their respective leaders mentioned above are clearly divided on what the resolution should be.
The West (US & Europe) find themselves in one camp, whilst the Gulf states and (recently) Israel (GI) are in another, as Turkey plays butler to both camps and Egypt (in a state of total disarray) has begun siding more recently with the GI camp, having just survived what was almost its own civil war with the ongoing financial support of Saudi Arabia.
What has become clear is that the West wishes to be known for supporting the more moderate (allegedly) Free Syrian Army (FSA), whilst the Gulf nations and especially Saudi Arabia, more or less, openly support the more radical groups such as the Al-Qaeda affiliate group Al-Nusra as evidenced by statements from Saudi Prince Bandar in conversation with Russian President Putin. (Here)
The Saudi / Gulf sponsored groups have openly carried out public executions, beheadings of Syrian Soldiers (SAA), Syrian government officials including low ranking civil servants, disobedient civilians, members of other religions and members of clergy, religious leaders/representatives such as Monks, Priests etc, along with many terrorist acts (terrorist as defined by the west) which is both immoral and unlawful, and in total contravention of all State agreements, not to mention the universally recognized human rights laws/agreements, which is effectively leading to ethnic cleansing.
Taking this in to consideration, the part played by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey as an agent or servant of the aforementioned, precludes these states from claiming the title of Honest Brokers or to quote Chomsky “Moral agent” , furthermore, their individual history (past & recent) along with recent statements and activity clearly shows that not only are they NOT honest brokers but they are also active participants in a conflict against a sovereign state which is a member of both the United Nations (UN) and the Arab League.
The part being played by Israel is far less understood, as Israel has a clear and evident history of deception in such matters. For her part Israel claims to be neutral and unwilling to become involved in the Syrian issue. Yet there is at the very least the suspicion that Israel is assisting opposition forces in both the retrieval of and the rehabilitation of wounded rebels. It must be stressed however, that whilst Israel has in part confirmed this, they claim only to be assisting Syrian civilians wounded in the conflict. Since the beginning of the conflict Israel has on at least five occasions sent jets to bomb targets which they claim (via US statement) were shipments destined for the Hezbollah group in Lebanon. However, as usual Israel was unwilling to claim or deny responsibility for such bombings, although the US did in fact later confirm Israeli involvement.
More recently meetings between Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia and other gulf nation delegates and Israeli diplomats in Israel, (more here) would suggest a diversion from the claimed Israeli neutral stance on the Syrian issue, as both Israel and Saudi Arabia appear to have found common ground on the issue of Iran.
Taking into consideration the obvious part that Israel has played thus far as confirmed by the US, and also considering the ongoing issue of the contested Golan Heights plus recent agreements between Israel and a local subsidiary of the New York-listed company Genie Energy which is advised by former US vice president Dick Cheney and whose shareholders include Jacob Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch, which Israel granted a license to explore for oil and gas in the occupied Golan Heights, John Reed of the Financial Times reports.
“This action is mostly political – it’s an attempt to deepen Israeli commitment to the occupied Golan Heights,” Israeli political analyst Yaron Ezrahi told FT. “The timing is directly related to the fact that the Syrian government is dealing with violence and chaos and is not free to deal with this problem.”
Add to this both Israel’ and Saudi Arabia’ desire for war with the Islamic Republic of Iran which has at least been temporarily halted due to ongoing talks between Iran and the United States, which is very much frowned upon by Saudi Arabia and Israel. In fact Israel has openly suggested that they would be willing to go to war with, or rather against Iran with or without US assistance. Considering their recent new found (or maybe not so new) kinship with Saudi Arabia, who recently snubbed the US, It is becoming a great concern to the West, Russia, China and perhaps more interestingly the US itself.
So have we answered Chomsky’ questions regarding the morality or suitability (so to speak) of nation states to claim to be acting out of humanitarian concern / humanitarian intervention? One must understand that this whole debate is merely an academic one, for suitability of use or to measure morality there has to be a form of adjudication, of stewardship, of overseeing of International law.
To solve this issue and the question of suitability, it would have to be placed before a court or a similar system of adjudication, but the question is what court or what system? Breaches of International law are overseen by the International Criminal Court (ICC), but how suitable would the ICC be in helping to resolve such an issue, especially considering its position on Libya for example, and recent statements on Syria.
Many see the ICC as a weapon of the West either unwilling or politically unable to take action against leaders past and present of the west, which is seen as the courts financier and controller and many point to the fact that most if not all of its sittings were concerned with alleged (or otherwise) crimes committed by mainly African leaders with only very few exceptions.
If nothing else this piece highlights the controversy surrounding the use of “Humanitarian Intervention” and shows clearly the division of opinion between even the human rights groups on the issue of intervention.
As for the questions concerning humanitarian intervention by professor Chomsky, I have purposely left the West out, in my consideration and summation above, with regard to their suitability to be considered “Moral Agents” , Honest Brokers or of clean hands.
This was done by design rather than in error. Despite stating that there are no suitable courts, judges or systems of arbitration for supplying the answers to Chomsky’ questions.
I am happy to conclude this piece in the full knowledge that there is one system always overlooked by our leaders and so called public representatives that can answer professor Chomsky’ questions, one court of sorts that has the power to decide on such vital issues.
It is the Court of Public Opinion, which will in the end provide the answer to Chomsky’ questions on the subject of Humanitarian Intervention.
T.J. Total World View
24th October 2013.
Israeli Prime Minister (PM) Benjamin Netanyahu (Bibi) has been doing the rounds and forming new (or perhaps not so new) alliances in the hope of destroying the credibility of the new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
Israel’s Channel 2 TV has revealed that a senior Gulf figure has visited Israel in secret. High-ranking Israeli figures have held a series of secret meetings over the past few weeks with representatives of Arab Gulf states to discuss the Iranian issue. The meetings included representatives of Gulf States with which Israel does not have diplomatic relations, claimed the channel.
The Gulf State- Zionist coalition appears to have discussed their mutual fear of any American – Iranian relationship alongside the ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.
The propaganda machine
The Israeli propaganda machine has been in overdrive in the past couple of weeks, or certainly since the Iranian President made gestures of friendship to the United States. In fact PM. Netanyahu has taken the lead, starting with the Israeli decision to remove its delegation from the UNGA during the speech by the Iranian president.
In his speech to the UNGA which was totally devoted to Iran’s nuclear programme. Netanyahu described Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani as “a wolf in sheep’s clothing”. The Israeli PM. demanded that the international community should not ease the economic sanctions imposed on Iran while talks about its nuclear programme are in progress.
Re: The sanctions on Iran
Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, the lead U.S. negotiator with Iran, urged U.S. lawmakers to hold off on imposing additional sanctions against Iran ahead of the talks.
In testimony for Congress, Sherman held out the possibility of sanctions relief for Iran, but she made it clear the United States expected concrete actions from Tehran before this could happen and said all U.S. concerns about Iran’s nuclear program must be addressed before the core sanctions could be removed.
“We will be looking for specific steps by Iran that address core issues, including but not limited to, the pace and scope of its enrichment program, the transparency of its overall nuclear program and (stockpiles) of enriched uranium,” Sherman told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“The Iranians in return will doubtless be seeking some relief from comprehensive international sanctions that are now in place,” she added. “We have been clear that only concrete viable steps, and verifiable steps, can offer a path to sanctions relief.”
The Israeli conclusion
Netanyahu then concluded, stating that Israel would not allow Iran to possess a nuclear weapon, “even if Israel is forced to act alone” against the Tehran government.
In an interview with the BBC Persian service, reported on by Haaretz, Netanyahu stated that if Tehran develops nukes it will spell slavery for the Iranian people. The interview was one of several given in the wake of his United Nations General Assembly address.
“If the Iranian regime gets nukes, the Iranian people will never be freed from tyranny and will live in slavery forever,”he said in his first interview to a Persian-language television channel, which broadcasts to around 12 million people every week, according to network figures.
The Israeli PM. also addressed his audience briefly in Farsi. “We are not patsies,” Netanyahu said in Farsi. Netanyahu also held up a book authored by Iranian President Rohani which, he said, includes passages in which Rohani explains his policy of using deception against the West in order to further Iran’s nuclear program. (Complete article here )
Netanyahu in the US.
Netanyahu took the opportunity to include the United States in his propaganda tour, whilst being interviewed by CBS he claimed that Iran was working on intercontinental ballistic missiles that could one day hit the United States. “They’re not developing those ICBMs for us. They can reach us with what they have. It’s for you,” he told CBS News.
The ICBM issue first emerged after a 2011 blast at an Iranian military base that Israeli officials claimed was linked to efforts to build a missile that could travel 10,000 km – far enough to reach the United States.
Netanyahu told CBS that he was not worried that his warnings may sound too strident given the ongoing efforts by the United States and others to negotiate with Iran. “The policy should be … not to let Iran wiggle away with a partial deal in which they make cosmetic concessions,” he said.
In another interview, Netanyahu also warned Iran’s work on ICBMs was clearly aimed at delivering nuclear weapons. “Those … long-range ballistic missiles have only one purpose in the world. Their sole purpose is to arm them with a nuclear payload,” he told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell in an interview. (Complete article /Video Here and Here )
The Truth about sanctions on Iran
From a personal point of view I have always detested the sanctions placed upon Iran, which many (myself included) believe to be in direct violation of International human rights.
Let us not forget that sanctions on Iran have a history stretching across almost four decades. The first sanctions imposed were back in 1979 starting as a ban on the import of Iranian crude oil into the United States (US), the initial sanctions then developed into the banning of all imports of Iranian refined and non-oil products, followed by an embargo of US exports in the 1980s.
Since the 1980’s the United States (US) and her partners have over the decades imposed even harsher sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran, citing reasons ranging from dissatisfaction with the Iranian choice of leadership (in the early days) to concerns about the Iranian construction and later development of its nuclear power facility. The US, her allies and especially Israel have repeatedly for almost a decade made the allegation that Iran was in fact constructing a nuclear facility with a view to obtaining nuclear arms (nuclear bomb, nuclear warheads), despite reassurance from the President of Iran and indeed the Russian government who assisted in the construction of the nuclear facility.
Regardless of the reasoning behind the sanctions the fact remains that these sanctions directly affect the people of the country. There are countless examples of how sanctions add to the sufferance of the people and here are some that won’t be easily found in western media.
Sanctions have restricted Iran from purchasing new airplanes, or even in some cases, from buying essential parts to ensure the safe operation of aircraft. President Clinton first put these sanctions, in place in 1995.
Ever since then, grave damage has been done to Iran’s fleet of aircraft. Captain Shahbazi of Iran Air was operating a flight last October when his landing gear failed to dislodge, causing him to crash-land his plane. After Shahbazi landed the airplane safely, he began a campaign to reverse these sanctions which he says have resulted in many plane crashes and more than 1,700 deaths. (Complete Article Here )
Medicines and medical supplies
Another area that the economic sanctions threaten the lives of Iranians is through a scarcity of medicine. Although the sanctions enacted by the US and the European Union claim to not impose a shortage on humanitarian trade, in reality, they have immensely affected the delivery and availability of medical supplies.
The sanctions against Iran’s banking infrastructure and the exclusion of Iran from the global financial system and SWIFT have forced Iranian medical companies to use the old system of hawala (money transfer) for its transactions, causing the process to become significantly longer and more expensive. The depreciation of Iran’s currency has also contributed to shortages and skyrocketing prices of medicine, and advanced medical technologies such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines and other nuclear medical devices are banned from entering Iran.
The overall outcome of these conditions has been the, “inability of pharmaceutical companies to purchase and import basic life saving medicines, ranging from Tylenol to cancer medicine and even prenatal vitamins.”
The import of medicines containing antibiotics (of types that are not produced inside Iran) have been decreased by 20.7 percent and the price have been increased by 308 percent. The estimated twenty thousand patients of Thalassemia throughout the country receive only a few days of their monthly medicinal needs, and several patients with Thalassemia have died.
Chemical weapon survivors, a side-effect of the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, in need of medicine and equipment, including cornea transplants and inhalers, similarly suffer from a shortage or lack of medicine. In essence, the medicines used to treat Hemophilia, cancer, Thalassemia, Multiple Sclerosis and transplant and kidney dialysis are either not produced domestically, or are produced, but are not as effective as those imported from Europe and North America.
The shortage of medicine for such chronic diseases often leads to death. Hence, a wave of deterioration of living conditions and destruction has been imposed on Iran by the economic sanctions, and when this wave reaches the country, it is unequally distributed among citizens, i.e. those living in poverty and the marginalized areas, and outside of the popular base of the government suffer the effects of sanctions more. (Link to complete article Here )
Food, clothing and other basics
Basic food stuffs, clothing and other necessities have now become so expensive due to the sanctions in the first place, but also due to the dreadful decline in the Iranian currency value which is a result of the latest round of sanctions against Iran’s banking system. The cost of electricity has doubled in the past three years and the inflation rate is estimated at or around 52% as the economy continues to decline. Meanwhile Iran’s foreign currency holdings are estimated to be declining by about $15 billion USD annually.
Seyed Hossein Mousavian wrote on the subject in Al-Monitor in an article titled: Twelve Major Consequences of Sanctions on Iran. Below is part of the article with a link to the complete work.
Mahmoud Bahmani, governor of the Central Bank of Iran, described the seriousness of the effects of sanctions as “no less than a military war.” Even former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who once asserted that the sanctions were viewed as “the most ridiculous behavior,” now admits that sanctions have taken their toll on Iran’s economy.
Simply put, if the real objective of the sanctions was to hurt ordinary Iranians, they have been successful. If they were intended to compel Iran to cease its current nuclear program, they have not only failed, but have actually resulted in acceleration of the program. This is the outcome I predicted and have reiterated from the onset of imposing harsh sanctions. Due to their mentality, culture and religious beliefs, the Iranians have resisted coercion and have further expanded their nuclear program. (Complete article Here )
In other words what Seyed Hossein Mousavian is pointing out is the total and complete failure of the sanctions as a means to halting the nuclear program. Whilst at the same time the sanctions have been an outstanding success in depriving the common every day folk of Iran.
The Iranian people blame the U.S. for sanctions
Gallup World did an article back in January 2013 which shows that the Iranian people blame the US and not the Iranian leadership for their dire financial situation and living conditions. It also pointed to the fact that a huge majority of Iranians are totally in favour of the nuclear program despite the sanctions.
The article stated:
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A majority of Iranians (56%) say sanctions the United Nations, the U.S., and Western Europe imposed have hurt Iranians’ livelihoods a great deal, and an additional 29% say sanctions have hurt somewhat, according to a Gallup survey conducted in Iran in December 2012. Separately, 48% say sanctions have affected their own personal livelihoods a great deal and another 35% say somewhat.
Since the U.S. first acted to freeze Iranian assets in 1979 under President Jimmy Carter, then again under President Ronald Reagan in 1987, the U.S. has been leading efforts to use military and economic sanctions in an attempt to influence the country’s policies.
The effect of sanctions on Iran appears to go beyond macroeconomic factors: Iranians’ wellbeing is low. Thirty-one percent of Iranians rated their lives poorly enough to be considered “suffering” in 2012 — one of the highest rates in the greater Middle East North Africa region. In fact, countries with comparable suffering rates either are at war such as Afghanistan or are experiencing a period of severe instability such as Egypt and Tunisia.
The Gallup poll further pointed to the fact that 73% of Iranians surveyed place the blame for their current situation regarding sanctions on the US. @ 47%, Israel @ 9%, Western European countries @ 7%, The UN @ 7% and others @ 3%. In the same poll 17% either refused to answer or stated that they didn’t know.
The most interesting fact to come out of the Gallup polls was the fact that only 10% of those polled actually blamed the Iranian leadership for their ongoing suffering.
(Link to the complete article Here )
On Israeli propaganda, one thing is certain Netanyahu is indeed making the rounds and doing his level best to hit the headlines especially in the United States, where let’s face it his most observant and in a matter of speaking, most obedient audience reside.
However, one has to wonder how the US-Zionist faithful will view the new alliance between Israel and their Gulf State neighbours. Let’s not pretend for one moment that Bibi and Saudi’ Bandar have not been having ongoing secret meetings and conversations for years. Common enemies and all that!. But that was all done under the table (so to speak) and in secret.
The latest information from Israel’ Channel 2 TV goes to confirm the long held opinion of many that Israel and Saudi Arabia are and have been working together with a view to the destruction of Syria and eventual war against Iran.
It is totally unimaginable that man should/would impose such dreadful and equally unlawful sanctions on his fellow man. Despite the claims from the US government and members of its two main political parties that sanctions have the purpose of restricting the ability of the Iranian leadership, the facts are that for over a decade now human rights groups have been pointing to the fact that these sanctions are directly and almost in all cases ONLY affecting the everyday average folk in Iran, who are as irreproachable as their equivalent anywhere in the U.S. or Europe.
Then again, many would argue that this is indeed the purpose of the sanctions, to target the ill, the working class and the poor with a view to (or the hope of) revolt against the Iranian leadership. Any violence resulting from such economic sanctions against targeted people is often fallaciously framed as a force that revolutionizes said people against their own state or leadership. This being the case (the intention), the act of sanctions are in direct contravention of the International Human Rights convention.
Arguably the fact that these immoral sanctions affect mainly, or only the ordinary people of Iran, as opposed to the leadership or mechanism of government, such sanctions are illegitimate and therefore should be removed immediately.
However, there is ongoing evidence that there is satisfaction with the route that the sanctions have taken. For example: In an interview with US Senator Mark Kirk on a local Chicago radio station, the Senator was asked about the affects of economic sanctions on the citizens of Iran. His response was as follows: “It’s okay to take the food out of the mouths of the citizens (Iranian citizens) from a government that’s plotting an attack directly on American soil.” (Link to YouTube video Here )
Alongside such an appalling statement Senator Kirk has also claimed time and again that Iran was almost at full nuclear capability. See below:
More comments from Sen Kirk back in June 2011, note his claim that Iran is only 2 months away from full nuclear capability.. (YouTube video Here )
Kirk Calls for Collapse of Iran’s Central Bank and further more severe sanctions on Iran in October 2011 (YouTube Video Here )
Despite the fact that the US & Israeli governments know that the sanctions are directly affecting the civilian population of Iran and are in total contravention of the International Human Rights charter, both continue to justify and call for the continuance of the sanctions
Israel’ Netanyahu Warns world must keep sanctions on Iran at the UNGA in the past days (YouTube video Here )
The justification for the sanctions which is constantly echoed by the US, Israel, the UN and the EU is in itself nonsensical. They claim the sanctions are justified because of the nuclear issue coupled with the (alleged) human rights abuses committed by the Iranian government.
Yep, you read it right! In other words the claim is that the violation of Iranians’ human rights via western imposed sanctions and threats of war, are justified with the view to the eventual improvement of citizen rights in Iran.
T.J. Total World View
6th of October 2013.
from a true wordsmith
Nearly 3,000 Federal Aviation Administration safety inspectors were furloughed along with most of the National Transportation Safety Board’s employees, including accident investigators who respond to air crashes, train collisions, pipeline explosions and other accidents.””http://news.msn.com/us/impact-of-government-shutdown-felt-across-the-us
Does that give you a clue as to how concerned the government is about you being blown up by a terrorist when the government has no problem laying off those who inspect the airplanes that you are about to board? Oh, that’s okay, if your plane is blown up, they will just plant a fake passport from someone who is from Syria and claim it as an act of war. Syria get ready, Iran you too!
Where was I? Oh, yes, terrorism. Is not the U.S. government terrorizing women and children by ceasing their access to needed food? Where is the U.N. when we need them? Human rights abuses, anyone? A hungry child is…
View original post 331 more words
An exceptional post that should be studied again and again
The latest in the situation on Syria is that the Assad government has fulfilled its obligations under the Russian / US agreement by submitting the full lists of chemical weapons sites within the required timescale of one week.
Meanwhile US partners appear to be trying to undermine the Russian – US agreement. France for example has and continues to push for a chapter 7 clause which would in effect give authority to the UNSC to act against Syria (militarily or with sanctions).
Russia and the United States brokered the deal in Geneva in mid-September to avoid possible U.S. military strikes. Under the deal, Assad would account for his chemical weapons and see them destroyed by the middle of next year. According to the Geneva agreement, the Security Council would have to adopt a second resolution in order to punish Syria for any non-compliance with the Russian-US agreement to eradicate Syria’s chemical arsenal.
France has also begun throwing its weight about (so to speak) when it comes to the inclusion of Iran in the Syria peace talks, the French FM. Insisting conditions must be put on Iran IF they are to be included.
The New York Times reports the French FM. Laurent Fabius, said Iran would need to accept the goal of the conference: the establishment by consensus of a transitional government that would not include President Bashar al-Assad.
Iran would also need to understand, Mr. Fabius said, that it would not be rewarded for any cooperation on Syria by being granted flexibility to pursue its nuclear program, another major issue between Iran and the West.
“There is an argument, which is a strong one, for the presence of Iran,” Mr. Fabius said, referring to any Syria peace negotiations. “When you have to make peace, it is between fighters, and Iran is involved in the conflict.”
“But two ‘buts,’ ” he added. “They have to accept expressly the aim of Geneva II,” Mr. Fabius said, using the diplomatic shorthand for the proposed conference.
“Second point, it should be made clear to the Iranians that there is a Chinese wall between the Syrian case and the nuclear program.” he said. “They cannot say, ‘We agree to offer a solution on the Syrian problem if you are loose on the nuclear weapon.’ No, these are two different things.”
William Hague, the British foreign secretary, told reporters Monday that he had held “a constructive first meeting” with Mr. Zarif and that he thought Iran might play “a constructive role” in talks over the Syria conflict. But he stressed that Britain expected Iran to take “concrete steps to address the international community’s concerns.”
“If they really mean what they’re saying, then certainly it will be possible,” Mr. Hague said.
Now, cynics looking at the comments from French FM. Fabius might conclude that said statements were made under direction of the US government, with the intent being to grab headlines on the eve of speeches by world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly.
Is the US trying to force Russia into approving a UN resolution that would allow for military intervention in Syria under chapter 7, (despite the agreement reached between the two countries), in exchange for American support of Syria’s accession to OPCW ?
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.
“Our American partners are starting to blackmail us: ‘If Russia does not support a resolution under Chapter 7, then we will withdraw our support for Syria’s entry into the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). This is a complete departure from what I agreed with Secretary of State John Kerry’,”Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Channel 1’s Sunday Time program.
“Our partners are blinded by an ideological mission for regime change,” said Lavrov. “They cannot admit they have made another mistake.”
Moreover, he stressed that if the West really was interested in a peaceful solution to the conflict that has raged for over two years, they would now be pushing for Syria’s entry into the OPCW in the first place, not for the ouster of President Bashar Assad.
“I am convinced that the West is doing this to demonstrate that they call the shots in the Middle East. This is a totally politicized approach,”said Lavrov.
The Russian foreign minister pointed out that in the case of a military scenario, militants would come to power and Syria would no longer be a secular state. Up to three quarters “of these guys are Jihadists,” including the most radical groups such as Al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, who want to create an Islamic Caliphate in Syria and in neighbouring territories, Lavrov said. (Full Article Here)
The Propaganda War
In the piece titled: “Syria and the News/ media lust for conflict” we attempted to point to the part being played by some European, US & International media outlets in the call for conflict in Syria. Here is yet another example of propaganda used to justify both US support of Al-Qaeda directly or indirectly via the now failing Free Syrian Amy (FSA) and in support of a US strike on Syria.
Below are examples from an Op-Ed written by Nicholas Kristof in the NY Times, Sunday review. Title: Pulling the Curtain Back on Syria
(Our comments in Italic text)
“As one woman tweeted to me: “We simply cannot stop every injustice in the world by using military weapons.”
“Fair enough. But let’s be clear that this is not “every injustice”: On top of the 100,000-plus already killed in Syria, another 5,000 are being slaughtered monthly, according to the United Nations. Remember the Boston Massacre of 1770 from our history books, in which five people were killed? Syria loses that many people every 45 minutes on average, around the clock.”
Kristof is suggesting here (as the US government have) that the TOTAL stated number of deaths are the direct responsibility of the Assad government only.
Here again he is giving the impression to those with limited knowledge of the situation in Syria that the Assad government has killed up to 100,000.
“In other words, while there are many injustices around the world, from Darfur to eastern Congo, take it from one who has covered most of them: Syria is today the world capital of human suffering”.
Ironically, no mention of Palestine, nor is there any mention of Iraq and the terrible loss of life due to lies, or the ongoing suffering due to the use of depleted Uranium (DU).
“Skeptics are right about the drawbacks of getting involved, including the risk of retaliation. Yet let’s acknowledge that the alternative is, in effect, to acquiesce as the slaughter in Syria reaches perhaps the hundreds of thousands or more.”
Again as stated above his statement suggests that only Assad is responsible for the ongoing killing. There is no mention of US involvement (even via proxies). No mention of Gulf states sending mercenaries to fight in Syria.
“So while neither intervention nor paralysis is appealing, that’s pretty much the menu. That’s why I favor a limited cruise missile strike against Syrian military targets (as well as the arming of moderate rebels). As I see it, there are several benefits: Such a strike may well deter Syria’s army from using chemical weapons again, probably can degrade the ability of the army to use chemical munitions and bomb civilian areas, can reinforce the global norm against chemical weapons, and — a more remote prospect — may slightly increase the pressure on the Assad regime to work out a peace deal.”
The first mention of the so called Rebels (“as well as the arming of moderate rebels”), yet no mention of Al-Qaeda or the horrendous war crimes committed mainly against defenceless civilians.
“If we were fighting against an incomparably harsher dictator using chemical weapons on our own neighborhoods, and dropping napalm-like substances on our children’s schools, would we regard other countries as “pro-peace” if they sat on the fence as our dead piled up?”
Now anybody with even a limited knowledge of Psychology would know that what is being deployed in his statement above, is a form of reverse psychology placed in a mixing bowl alongside some empathy, add a little We know for sure, mix it up and you have the recipe called WHAT IF IT WAS US.. You see when making such a concoction one doesn’t actually have to be responsible for ones comments after all claims like (“dictator using chemical weapons on our own neighbourhoods”) and (“and dropping napalm-like substances on our children’s schools”) is US government propaganda.
Here is a link to the full article Sunday Review
Regarding the subject of French insistence on a chapter seven inclusion in the Russian / US agreement, beyond doubt this is been driven by the US. During the joint US – Russia news conference, FM. Lavrov made it quite clear to the obvious displeasure of Secretary Kerry that any chapter seven inclusion would have to be submitted under a separate resolution.
As for claims that the US is trying to blackmail Russia into agreeing to a chapter seven inclusion to the original Russia – US agreement, most would absolutely agree that that is indeed the case.
On the Propaganda war, one might also point out that Mr Kristof in urging for the bombing of Syria, is denying the possibility of alternatives for ending the bloodshed, he also neglects to mention the fact that the Assad government is willing to attend peace talks, which the so called rebels have openly rejected.
What this proves however, is the effectiveness of propaganda as a tool, being employed by some media outlets and pundits such as Mr Kristof.
As mentioned above properly used the propaganda concoction can be mixed and re-mixed with different ingredients to suit different needs.
T.J. Total World View
25th September 2013.