Killing Syrians – A Game Anyone Can Play

by craig on May 6, 2013 10:24 am in Uncategorized

Israel’s massive air strikes against Syria are, beyond argument, illegal. There is no provision in international law that enables you to bomb another country because that country is in internal chaos. Yet the reporting on the BBC, and indeed throughout the mainstream media, makes no mention of their illegality, and makes no mention of the people killed. Contrast this to the condemnatory tone of BBC reporting of North Korean ballistic missile tests, or of Iran’s civil uranium enrichment programme, both of which I view as neither wise nor desirable, but both of which are undoubtedly quite legal.

I have previously noted that Israel does not want the Syrian regime to fall. Tel Aviv has looked long and hard at the likely result, and decided that the risks are too great; an Israel-friendly Sunni strongman could yet be engineered, but a jihadist influenced government is a very real danger for them. This Israeli coolness is the major reason that the Obama government have stepped back from stoking directly the flames of war, although they continue to do so through their Saudi, Qatar and other allies.

But a Syria tearing itself to pieces is, so long as it lasts, pretty acceptable to Netanyahu. He can step in when he wants and destroy Syria’s military infrastructure, such as the defensive installations just wiped out in massive strikes around Damascus. This is very helpful to Israel’s long term military domination. Normally the scale of this devastating Israeli attack on Syria’s ability to defend itself against Israel air strikes would have brought the most profound world condemnation, but suddenly it is “humanitarian intervention” – and nobody in the western media has even felt the need to justify the narrative that Damascus’ air defences were a humanitarian threat to rebel populations.

In the meantime, a clear statement from the United Nations that the evidence points to rebels, not the government, using the chemical weapon Sarin in Syria, does appear on the BBC website but I have not heard it broadcast, and it does not figure in western media with a hundredth of the prominence given to the unsubstantiated claims of Assad forces using Sarin.

I am in no sense a supporter of Assad. I should dearly love to see his regime overthrown and a democratic government representing the Syrian people installed instead. But the attempt to subvert Syria and influence the country towards the installation of a US and House of Saud backed puppet regime, backed by an extraordinary barrage of distorted propaganda to fool western populations over the course and meaning of events, is sickening.

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179 Comments

  1. Assad’s Syria: Perhaps better the devil we know to the ones we don’t who will fill his shoes.

  2. Carla Del Ponte – ex-ICC, now of UN – reports her high suspicion of sarin gas being used by the rebels in Syria.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/06/world/middleeast/syrian-rebels-may-have-used-sarin.html?_r=0

  3. @Syhayl

    She didn’t work at the ICC – she worked at the ICTY (and ICTR). I should know I used to work for her!

  4. Israel and Syria are still officially at war, so Israelis probably legally entitled to attack any Syrian military establishment it chooses.

  5. Israel has no automatic right to attack.

    http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/chapter7.shtml

  6. April Showers

    6 May, 2013 - 12:07 pm

    Escobar: Israel gets US’s blessing to bomb Syria http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s64Z1X_6ito&feature=player_embedded#!

    ~~~

    I have stopped listening to Radio 4 Today. Cannot take any more of the state broadcaster. The new director of news Harding is supposed to have left his baggage (pro Israel) at the door according to Patten.

    Thank goodness I missed this exchange this morning recorded on Medialens.

    TODAY : �First, Jeremy Bowen, then to an Israeli for the last word”

    Posted by George Brennan on May 6, 2013, 10:30 am

    Today Programme today the sixth at ABOUT 8.36 am. Above is not a exact verbatim quote but it captures the spirit. I think the Editors have somewhere shown that Today has form in this regard.

    The legality of the action was not discussed. A spokesman from the violated nation was not heard from. A Hezbollah spokesman was not heard from. An international lawyer was not heard from. The legitimacy of any �pre-emptive� strategic assault by Israel was taken as given; all that was questioned was the true target of the strategy. The interviewer suspected that the real target was not Hezbollah but the Syrian regime. Probing stuff! That would of course be an added reason for hearing the Syrian side of things.

    To be fair. I did not hear the full three hours. Perhaps there was redemption elsewhere. The Today programme will not go i-player until tomorrow the seventh of May.

    Posted by Richard on May 6, 2013, 10:51 am, in reply to “TODAY : �First, Jeremy Bowen, then to an Israeli for the last word”"

    I listened to it and it was disgraceful, totally one-sided and benevolent towards Israel No questioning of the legality of Israels raids, it seems such actions are deemed acceptable by the BBC but any reprisals by Hezbollah, Syria or Iran are not. Iran is tainted as a pariah state and the cause of the troubles in the Middle East whereas Israel, which acts illegally and in contravention to all norms of international law is portrayed as the victims and saviours of “western democracy”.
    The reporter said Israel attacked an arms site in order to stop “sophisticated Iranian weapons reaching Hezbolla”, thus justifying the attack using propaganda from the Israeli side.
    Although Jeremy Bowen did say that it was hard to fathom why Iran would send weapons to Hezbollah via Syria when they could just fly them straight into Lebanon’s airport.

    The BBC also insinuated that Iran is sending surface to surface missile into Lebanon. Another unsubstantiated statement.

    The BBC is not only the progandist for the Tory government and the USA but also Israel. They really do need pulling up.

  7. “The BBC is not only the progandist for the Tory government and the USA but also Israel. They really do need pulling up.”

    Not pulling up – abolishing!

  8. April Showers

    6 May, 2013 - 12:21 pm

    Yes agree there Craig.

    A journalist friend who knows the region wrote this morning:

    Remember in the run up to the attack on Iraq (2003) the constant drip was that “Saddam was a threat to his neighbours” and thus must be invaded. All the “neighbours” without exception, even Iran kept saying he was not a threat, but out came the same line from US-UK Inc. Now that Israel has proved yet again that it is a paramount threat to its “neighbours” and the entire region, there is not a word.

    And by the way, how long is it that Syria has kept the peace over the Golan which is not recognised as Israel’s and most definitely IS Syria’s?

    If Israel triggers all-out war in the region, there will be nothing left – including Israel. Truly terrifying times.

  9. Craig: “….I am in no sense a supporter of Assad. I should dearly love to see his regime overthrown and a democratic government representing the Syrian people installed instead… ”

    Syria has a new constitution since 2012 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_Syria

    Assad was re-elected with a clear majority http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_parliamentary_election,_2012

  10. I think it fairly obvious that the main purpose in attacking Syria is to start a war with Iran. The US/NATO/Israel axis are presumably hoping that Iran will get sucked in to the conflict as they have a defence pact with Syria. If there is any retaliation against Israel then the US will have the pretext it needs for military action against Syria and eventually against Iran.

    Even if ethical considerations are left aside this is very dangerous stuff. The BRICS countries and the Chinese in particular simply cannot allow the western plutocracies to seize control of Iran and its oil. We may well be headed for Thermonuclear war.

  11. The BBC really is beyond parody when it comes to Israel; Israel is beyond parody when it comes to its perennial whining victimhood – and both continue to get away with it! Like the man who, having murdered his parents, demands sympathy for his status as an orphan, ‘Chutzpah’ no longer does justice to the phemomena. I despair at the purblind stupidity of western populations, I really do.

    Any other country doing what Israel has done would have sparked an immediate UNSC debate. Not only did they attack a sovereign state that has kept the peace with them for over 40 years (in spite of having part of its sovereign territory occupied throughout that time), but they violated the airspace of another sovereign state to do so.

    Israel simply does not give a shit about international law, or any of the norms of civilised behaviour when it sees advantage to itself. It is a racist apartheid state that was spawned by terrorists and has been ruled by terrorists ever since – and, with its routine Ingsoc-like doublethink, our sanctimonious foreign policy establishment affects not to notice any of it.

  12. Sorry OT(ish)

    They’re at it again with the memory of Walter Scott too, who rapidly turned against the union, and wrote of its consequences scathingly and with bitter regret till the end of his days, romanticising the rebels and rebellion, lamenting greatly the great damage done to highland and lowland culture, the course events had taken and the political betrayal of the nation. A slew of programs from Great Lives to Frostrup’s Open Book were all turned into one-sided screeds against independence, vain and crude re-writes of history and his works.

  13. Your blog-post says it so well. When I saw footage of the alarming explosions on the outskirts of Damascus I thought in terms of violation of international law, but then when you think of the state of Israel you know they have no regard for international law and wonder if they have ever observed it, except by accident. Violations include the development of nuclear weapons, abduction by MOSSAD of Mordechai Vanunu, theft of land and other resources from Palestinians. International Organisations, even if they had the will to enforce the law, are powerless against a nation state like Israel (Banker to the world).

  14. doug scorgie

    6 May, 2013 - 2:00 pm

    Roger
    6 May, 2013 – 11:42 am

    “Israel and Syria are still officially at war, so Israelis probably legally entitled to attack any Syrian military establishment it chooses.”

    And vice versa would you not agree?

  15. Thanks, exexpat. You’re quite right, I stand corrected. Carla Del Ponte worked for the ICTR (International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda) and ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia), not for the ICC (International Criminal Court).

    And good on you, if you worked with her!

  16. A close protection officer working out of Dubai has explained how Israel moved to a Plan B after the December 2012 and March 19 2013 sarin gas false-flag attempts in which British and French governments had written to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations confirming the transfer and then use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government, failed to gain US and international leverage.

    Israel’s Brigadier General Itai Brun, speaking at a security conference in Israel, unfolded a modification of the S-plan with the announcement:

    “To the best of our professional understanding, the regime used lethal chemical weapons against the militants in a series of incidents over the past months,” Brun said, according to an Associated Press report from Tel Aviv. “Shrunken pupils, foaming at the mouth and other signs indicate, in our view, that lethal chemical weapons were used.”

    The CP officer has confirmed the original S-Plan was required to prove chemical weapons were being moved to Lebanon and Hezbollah from Syrian storage sites. The S-Plan made use of small aluminium vials containing binary precursors to sarin that required mixing.

    Fragmenting expectations of Syria falling after Assad agreeing to safe passage by the West and these recent stalemates has lead to the current in your face aerial attacks by a frustrated Israel, intended to destroy Assad’s military capability, again with a pretense, a masquerade that high tech weaponry was being transferred to Lebanon.

  17. From an ex-US Army Officer. Interesting site:

    “UK special forces are being pulled out of Afghanistan ahead of a planned mission to help Syrian rebels. SAS and SBS commanders are drawing up top secret plans to give the fighters much-needed weapons. A Whitehall source revealed SAS and SBS veterans are being “quietly” withdrawn from Afghanistan to prepare for their new mission. They will be working with guidance from MI6 and their French counterparts, the Directorate-General for External Security, to get a £20million Brit-funded arsenal stockpiled in neighbouring countries into rebel hands.”

    http://www.phantomreport.com/british-sas-on-syria-alert

  18. doug scorgie

    6 May, 2013 - 2:58 pm

    “At least 42 soldiers killed, 100 missing after Israeli raid on Syria – NGO”

    “Israeli air raids on three military sites near Damascus killed at least 42 soldiers at the weekend, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in an updated toll on Monday. “At least 42 soldiers were killed in the strikes, and another 100 who would usually be at the targeted sites remain unaccounted for,”

    Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP. The Britain-based watchdog group earlier said at least 15 soldiers had been killed.”

  19. doug scorgie

    6 May, 2013 - 3:00 pm

  20. OT, there again, maybe not ?.

    “Why Donald Ogden Stewart was Blacklisted.”

    http://spartacus-educational.blogspot.de/2013/04/why-donald-ogden-stewart-was-blacklisted.html

  21. Another interesting conjunction. The uncle of the alleged Boston bombers married a CIA Officer and it is alleged that he worked for the CIA, funding Chechen Jihadist paramilitaries. So, this man, who was interviewed so often in the immediate aftermath of the bombings, was meant to be simply, ‘an uncle’ but in fact may have been more like ‘The Man’ From Uncle’.

    http://beforeitsnews.com/scandals/2013/05/boston-bombers-uncle-aided-chechanterrorists-for-cia-2431240.html

  22. April Showers

    6 May, 2013 - 3:25 pm

    Back to the BBC. John Hilley writes.

    Israel bombs Syria – an act of war and another ‘red line’ crossed
    Monday, 6 May 2013

    Israel has just committed at least two significant acts of war in bombing Syria. Many people are, most likely, dead and injured as a result. Yet, the BBC has nothing to report about the true status of the aggression and little about the human cost.

    Consider if this had been a violation of Israeli airspace, an actual bombing of Israel or any such attack on a Western country. Imagine the ‘international crisis’. The context would have been immediate and specific: ‘an act of war’, the coverage of victims massive and detailed.

    Nor are Israeli ‘strikes’, rather than bombings, reported by the BBC as specifically inhuman or illegal. They’re described, rather, with a basic insouciance, as though ‘terror states’ and their people should routinely expect such treatment.

    /..
    http://johnhilley.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/israel-bombs-syria-act-of-war-and.html

    ~~~

    The Australian state broadcaster’s output is very similar to the BBC’s – Israel is described as ‘a regional stabilizer’ by the presenter.

    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1367845043.html

  23. doug scorgie

    6 May, 2013 - 3:31 pm

    Syria

    “If the EU and US say nothing about these [Israeli] attacks, approval is granted”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/robert-fisk-the-truth-is-that-after-israels-air-strikes-we-are-involved-8604593.html

  24. resident dissident

    6 May, 2013 - 3:55 pm

    Perhaps while we are on the question of what is and what isn’t legal under international law perhaps Craig and others might wish to express their views on the legality of the long running interference of both Syria and Iran in the sovereign affairs of Lebanon and their support for Hezbollah’s attacks on Israel. Not that one illegality can be used as the basis for another – but perhaps it is not just the BBC that is unable to see both sides of the story.

    BTW where has anyone described the Israeli attacks as an “humanitarian intervention”?

  25. resident dissident

    6 May, 2013 - 4:03 pm

    @Doug Scourgie

    Syria

    “If the EU and US say nothing about these [Israeli] attacks, approval is granted”

    Good to see that the old witch dunking test lives on. Now what do you say nothing about Mr Scourgie? Do you believe that the human rights record of the Assad regime amounts to a breach of human rights law? Do you believe that any of the attacks on Israel amount to a breach of international law?

  26. Re: ‘Hezbollahs attacks on Israel’

    A typical start the clock whenever its convenient for your case sort of comment.

    Naturally the fact that Hezbollah didn’t even exist until Israel invaded Lebanon can be completely ignored right? Israel has twice invaded Lebanon and are the creators of the enmity between the shias of Lebanon and the state of Israel. Also Israel is still occupying the Shebaa farms area which is claimed by Lebanon, a claim accepted incidentally by Syria.

  27. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    6 May, 2013 - 4:08 pm

    Two weeks ago SecDef Hagel announced the Syrian govt may have used chems; two days later the cautious Obama said the same but said we need some corroboration. The noveau Neo-cons (McCain et al) immediately began hammering on the ‘red line’ and it’s crossing. They sure want to ‘help’ the Rebels, maybe because they are so concerned with establishing FEMAcracy in the ME.

    As to who used chems, I think this has not been related. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/05/us-syria-crisis-un-idUSBRE94409Z20130505

  28. The long list of lies produced by enemies of the Syrian government in the last few years have been quite staggering. The bloke in Coventry has employed every ounce of his imagination in trying to shape opinion against Assad. Anyone can Google Rami Abdulrahman to uncover the truth about this obnoxious little man who is causing havoc in Syria whilst remaining safe in his semi-detached Coventry home. What kind of serious news organisation would use the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claims to headline its news stories?

  29. Sorry, I forgot to make it clear that my last comment was a response to ‘resident dissident’

  30. resident dissident

    6 May, 2013 - 4:14 pm

    @April Showers/Mary

    And given that the BBC/Amnesty/HRW is out of bounds – could you please let us know where we should go for up to date information about the human rights situation in Iran, Syria, Russia, North Korea etc. etc and the interference of countries other than the UK, US and Israel in the affairs of others. The sources you suggest appear to be a little short of information in those areas.

  31. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    6 May, 2013 - 4:18 pm

    The defector Col. may just be the new Chalabi or ‘Curveball’. Good sourcing, guys. Your MO doesn’t change.

    “On a recent day, Col. Abduljabbar Aqidi, an army defector who heads the newly formed Aleppo Military Council, drove into the city with a small convoy. It felt a bit like a political campaign as he grabbed a Kalashnikov rifle, thanked rebels for their duty and posed with them for photos. At one point, in the Bab al-Hadid neighborhood, Aqidi stood on top of a fallen poster of Assad as he shook hands with children.”

    http://articles.latimes.com/2012/aug/09/world/la-fg-aleppo-battle-20120810

  32. resident dissident

    6 May, 2013 - 4:22 pm

    MarkU

    I think you will find it very hard to justify the legality (or morality) of all of Hezbollah’s attacks on Israel – I have no problem whatsoever in accepting the illegality of much of what Israel has done in Lebanon. But I’m afraid the same logic applies to Syria, Iran and Hezbollah – do you agree?

  33. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    6 May, 2013 - 4:25 pm

    “Of course anyone whose brain fired on more than one cylinder should have questioned why in the hell the Syrian government would use in such a limited and militarily insignificant way the one weapon it knew would likely bring on a US and NATO Libya-style intervention. It made no sense at all for the Syrian government to use “just a little” sarin — not enough to do more than kill a few people, nothing to alter the course of the war — knowing about “red lines” and a US/Saudi/Qatari/Israeli/Turk bloodlust to invade.

    On the other hand, it made all the sense in the world for the insurgents to release some sarin here and there, make some videos of the victims, and email the links to some very willing Israeli generals and McCainian rabid warhawks in the US and their absurd poodles in the UK and France.”

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/137223.html

  34. resident dissident

    6 May, 2013 - 4:28 pm

    @Andy

    “The long list of lies produced by enemies of the Syrian government in the last few years have been quite staggering.”

    Yes – daresay there has been quite a few lies – so lets just stick to the one basis underlying truth i.e. that the human rights record of the Assad family is disgusting and is in clear breach of international law and any moral code accepted by decent human beings.

  35. RD 4:28:
    so lets just stick to the one basis underlying truth i.e. that the human rights record of the Assad family is disgusting and is in clear breach of international law and any moral code accepted by decent human beings

    The ‘decent human beings’ that comprise the ruling elites of say, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, and the UK’s other feudal allies do you mean? – oh, and lets not forget that other bastion of ‘decent human governance’ – Israel – with over 7,000 political prisoners and a litany of gross abuses of its Arab populations and neighbours that would shame the Devil himself.

    By their Standards, Syria is a model of moderation. Christians used to feel safe there but not any longer.

    You should consider changing your handle to ‘Resident Official Narrative Apologist’

  36. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    6 May, 2013 - 5:06 pm

    Already OT; Does anyone have some personal experience with this?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22417334

    Average household earnings in 2011 were about £37,000, according to the most recently available data from the Office for National Statistics.

    Among the group who used savings or credit to pay for food:

    Eight out of 10 (82%) worried about food prices
    More than half (55%) said they were likely to cut back on food spending in the next few months
    Nearly six out of 10 (57%) said they found it difficult to cope on their current income
    A third (32%) borrowed money from friends and family in April

  37. BBC now reporting the Carla Del Ponte claims of use of sarin by rebels on News Channel. She is the “controversial Carla Del Ponte” though according to BBC. Al Jazeera also reporting her claims while trying to debunk her at the same time. Neither BBC nor AJ running it as a lead story.

    RT Moscow running with it as lead story. They are not attacking Del Ponte though.

  38. Resident Dissident: The crimes I suspect Assad has committed are extremely serious , although it’s generally agreed that his father was much worse. I’d happily see him answer those charges in a court of law. The same should apply to anyone responsible for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the brutalisation and degradation inflicted on those people. When it comes to human rights and international law, Israel will face more questions than any nation.

  39. The news in Oz of the Israeli attack on Syrian targets, coincides with reports of anti-semitic protests in Hungary and the awarding of the first honorary citizenship to Raul Wallenberg who rescued J*ws in Nazi-occupied Hungary. So don’t expect any cries of outrage from Oz against the state of Israel.

    I am, however, curious about the timing of the attack with reports of “new” anti-semitism (what happened to the old one?) and awarding a long-presumed dead hero an honorary citizenship. Call me a cynic, but I don’t believe these kinds of things happen coincidentally.

    A dead man becomes a citizen of a country he never visited – hooray!
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/raoul-wallenberg-our-first-honourary-citizen/story-e6frg6nf-1226635985973

    Will New Anti-Semitism go the way of New Coke?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_antisemitism#Criticism_of_Israel_is_not_always_antisemitism

  40. April Showers

    6 May, 2013 - 5:36 pm

    R2D2 attempts to defend the indefensible by throwing up chaff. As teacher says, ‘must try harder’.

    Try this for size:

    I see that we abstained, as usual, in 1982 on the Sabra Shatila atrocity. Carrington was the Foreign Sec until April 1982 then followed by Francis Pym for a year, then Howe. Thatcher moved her chess pieces around didn’t she.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1982_Lebanon_War

    Investigation into violation of International Law

    See also: Sabra and Shatila massacre, section MacBride commission report

    On 16 December 1982, the United Nations General Assembly condemned the Sabra and Shatila massacre and declared it to be an act of genocide.[90] The voting record[91][92][93] on section D of Resolution 37/123, which “resolves that the massacre was an act of genocide”, was: yes: 123; no: 0; abstentions: 22; non-voting: 12. The abstentions were: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany (Federal Republic), Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, United Kingdom, U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Côte d’Ivoire, Papua New Guinea, Barbados and Dominican Republic. Some delegates disputed the claim that the massacre constituted genocide.

    In 1982, an international commission investigated into reported violations of International Law by Israel during its invasion of the Lebanon. Chairman was Seán MacBride, the other members were Richard Falk, Kader Asmal, Brian Bercusson, Géraud de la Pradelle, and Stefan Wild. The commission’s report[94] concluded that “the government of Israel has committed acts of aggression contrary to international law”, that the government of Israel had no valid reasons under international law for its invasion of Lebanon, and that the Israeli authorities or forces were directly or indirectly responsible for the massacres and killings, which have been reported to have been carried out by Lebanese militiamen in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila in the Beirut area between 16 and 18 September.[94]

    ~~~~

  41. April Showers

    6 May, 2013 - 6:10 pm

    A diversion

    I believe that this is the brother of the man who sadly died in the speedboat accident yesterday. He is a photographer and produced a book about Lebanon and previous ones on Ghana and Peru. His name is Max Milligan and he was speaking at a press conference earlier today about his deceased brother and niece and the four other members of the family in hospital, struggling all the while to contain his emotions.

    He speaks (in English) on this video. He loves Lebanon and describes it as a beautiful country with which he fell in love.

    Max Milligan Lebanon
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR9_YwimS9M

    The book on Ghana http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ghana-A-Portrait-Max-Milligan/dp/0954587626 Reviews all good.

    and his photos of Scotland http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturepicturegalleries/9497667/The-Soul-of-Scotland-photographs-by-Max-Milligan.html

  42. Resident dissident

    It is a pleasant surprise to get a reasonable response to my comment, I feel that you deserve a similarly reasonable response to your enquiry.

    I dislike arguing morality in this sort of context so I will focus on legality. My starting position is that all parties should obey international law, if that had been done from the outset then the world, and the middle east in particular, would be a happier and more peaceful place. The fact that Israel is in breach of international law on many counts is not in dispute, but many of the accusations leveled at Iran, Syria and Hezbollah appear to be simply that (ie accusations)

    If you could give me some examples of the aforementioned countries/organisations breaches of international law then I would be prepared to comment on them. However I will not accept allegations as evidence, particularly allegations made by their enemies.

    There is another question worth asking, which is whether entities which are in breach of the law are entitled to its protection. And what of those people who are palpably not getting justice under the law. The illegal Israeli occupation and settlement of occupied lands have been ongoing for decades, yet nothing has been done about it. If international law is to mean anything, then it must be applied impartially to all.

    A few decades ago there was a series of UN resolutions, tabled by the USSR if I recall correctly, calling upon all states to obey international law. All were vetoed by the US. That said it all really.

  43. April Showers

    6 May, 2013 - 6:47 pm

    Israel …. again.

    White Slaughter in Black Africa: Genocide and Denialism
    Dr. Gerald Caplan and the Rwanda Genocide Cranks

    by Keith Harmon Snow / May 3rd, 2013

    War and plunder continue to rip apart great swathes of Africa. The perpetrators are known, and many have been named and exposed. The Pentagon, NATO countries and Israel continue to foment covert international guerrilla wars, while their proxy regimes continue to persecute and defraud their own people, even (at this
    writing) engaged in genocide. Meanwhile, leading white (and some black) apologists whitewashing war crimes and genocide in Africa continue to squeal about anyone who does not tout the racist white power establishment line they worship and profit from.

    /..

    http://www.consciousbeingalliance.com/2013/05/white-slaughter-in-black-africa-the-politics-of-genocide-denialism/

    Scroll down and you can see the variety of articles Keith Harmon Snow. He is particularly well informed on Central Africa and knows the names of all the players.

  44. I think what the West,Israel and Qatar are looking for is a Muslim Brotherhood government, who I believe have made a secret agreement with Israel.

  45. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    6 May, 2013 - 8:05 pm

  46. doug scorgie

    6 May, 2013 - 8:13 pm

    resident dissident
    6 May, 2013 – 4:03 pm
    @Doug Scourgie

    “Good to see that the old witch dunking test lives on. Now what do you say nothing about Mr Scourgie?”

    “Do you believe that the human rights record of the Assad regime amounts to a breach of human rights law?”

    Yes I do.

    “Do you believe that any of the attacks on Israel amount to a breach of international law?”

    Yes I do.

  47. doug scorgie

    6 May, 2013 - 8:29 pm

    Resident dissident
    6 May, 2013 – 4:28 pm
    @Andy

    “…the human rights record of the Assad family is disgusting and is in clear breach of international law and any moral code accepted by decent human beings.”

    Ditto Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE…

  48. doug scorgie

    6 May, 2013 - 8:50 pm

    Ruth
    6 May, 2013 – 6:52 pm

    “I think what the West, Israel and Qatar are looking for is a Muslim Brotherhood government, who I believe have made a secret agreement with Israel.”

    What makes you believe that, Ruth?

  49. April Showers

    6 May, 2013 - 9:18 pm

    Ms Del Ponte is being hung out to dry.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22428496#

    On WATO they had a Lord Williams on. At the beginning after the ‘news’.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01s7yw1

    This is the Lord Williams now a ‘Distinguished Visiting Fellow’ of Chatham House. He wants diplomatic action. As if that will happen. He is persuaded by Israel that they only took action to prevent weapons going into the wrong hands. He disparaged Ms Del Ponte’s report on the use of sarin by the rebels.

    http://www.chathamhouse.org/media/news/view/179153

    Note Caroline Wyatt, Defence Correspondent BBC in this list.
    http://www.chathamhouse.org/about-us/patron-presidents-council-and-directors

  50. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)

    6 May, 2013 - 9:27 pm

    John Goss writes :

    “powerless against a nation state like Israel (Banker to the world).”

    —————

    I suppose that Mr Goss is also a firm believer in the authenticity of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

  51. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)

    6 May, 2013 - 9:42 pm

    Resident Dissident – splendid to see you back and in good form!

    I notice, by the way, that you managed to get an admission or two out of Doug Scorgie.

    As I did, on a related subject, I believe, some time ago.

    You will however have noticed that Dougie always has to be pushed into admitting propositions like “Assad is a tyrant who violates human rights “; he will never volonteer such a thought.

    And even when he does make the admission he does so with bad grace (clue : “what about Saudi Arabia, UEA, Bahrain…etc”).

    ————-

  52. Now it looks as if Carla del Ponte is being marginalised. Having “our” guys use nerve gas clearly doesn’t fit the correct narrative. As Assad’s forces gain the upper hand, the campaign to get “us” involved has gone into overdrive.
    The Syrian army are fighting to keep Syria as a functioning, unitary state, and from what I’ve read I think the majority of Syrians know this. They know that NATO and Saudi/Qatar are behind al Nusra, and they don’t want that kind of murderous liberation. They see what happened in Libya. Speaking of which, where’s big Johnny Simpson on the road to Ras Lanuf, telling us how the country has been shattered into rival fiefdoms? Again, that’s off-script, so don’t tune in for that. Still, Libya is our kind of chaos, rather than another chapter in the Arab Spring. Job done. In the same way as Iraq is now a beacon of democracy, and Maliki is of course nothing like Saddam and has no fondness for torturing and imprisoning opponents. And don’t dare imply that he has! Thanks John. The knighthood’s in the post.
    Thank Christ for Robert Fisk, the corporate media’s single saving fucking grace.

  53. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)

    6 May, 2013 - 9:51 pm

    HEY, April Showers/mary – wake up, please !!!!!

    There’s a very interesting question, very politely expressed, waiting for an answer from you (see below).

    Please do not disappoint us.

    “And given that the BBC/Amnesty/HRW is out of bounds – could you please let us know where we should go for up to date information about the human rights situation in Iran, Syria, Russia, North Korea etc. etc and the interference of countries other than the UK, US and Israel in the affairs of others. The sources you suggest appear to be a little short of information in those areas.”

  54. English Knight

    6 May, 2013 - 9:57 pm

    Does the continued comatose state of Sharon mean he is not wanted in Hell either?!! What happens to his 72 ladyboys, promised to all chosen evil doers upon entry into Hell, in the Talmud?

  55. “In the meantime, a clear statement from the United Nations that the evidence points to rebels, not the government, using the chemical weapon Sarin in Syria, does appear on the BBC website but I have not heard it broadcast”

    It was repeatedly broadcast on BBC Radio Wales news as the headline item for most of Monday morning.

    *this is not a defence of the BBC, just an observation.*

  56. As Chomsky always points out, we are responsible for what our country does, because that’s the only vote we have. I’m ashamed of the UK’s Foreign Policy, and my (hopefully) adopted country Australia’s is little, if any better. There seems to be an acceptance in certain circles that dictators, who are bad people, can be removed by the west – who are presumably Good People – because that’s the right thing to do. Bluntly, a 6th Former would fail his History exam with those arguments. The desire to rid Syria of Assad is fair enough, but the consequences have to be considered. But they never are.

    I should note, the ‘Israeli’ foreign policy is probably no more supported by actual Israeli’s than ours is supported by UK citizens. I’m told the debate is quite vigorous within Israel, and consiencious objectors have support. I wonder if we should begin to use other terms than specifically nation state terms. Words are important. So, it’s not the ‘UK’ or ‘Israel’ but ‘Nu Lab’ or ‘Likud’. Or perhaps just ‘elite decision makers in [insert country].’ There’s never been a referendum on war, after all.

  57. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    6 May, 2013 - 11:36 pm

    Brendan; That’s an important point. Is there really that much difference between a republic and a dictatorship?

    @ the market;

    Sir/Madam, would you like a paper bag or plastic?

    Choices and voter influence !!!

  58. “White House “highly skeptical” Syrian rebels used chemical weapons”

    http://uk.reuters.com/video/2013/05/06/white-house-highly-skeptical-syrian-rebe?videoId=242649400&videoChannel=1

    What’s interesting here is not the ever mendacious nature of the American junta, but their difficulty in holding their narrative together.

    There’s much chatter too about Obama’s dithering and failure to lead. Let’s hope that’s an observation about structure rather something more personal in nature.

  59. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    6 May, 2013 - 11:43 pm

    Herbie @ 11:37

    Not defending Obama in the Big Pic, but in this instance, he and Hagel have been skeptical about the Syrian adventure. (see my links above) Both were skeptical about Iraq, and don’t want any deja vu messing up their legacies. They don’t want to be associated with the Bush Regime, other than Guantanamo and Dronz, that is.

  60. Invoking ‘the Assad family’ is media newspeak – my blood father was a ‘bar-steward’ – I am not.

    American propaganda in Iraq has taught the FSA terrorists well.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/bbc/9293620/BBC-News-uses-Iraq-photo-to-illustrate-Syrian-massacre.html

    The so-called “Massacre of Homs” or “Blood Night in Syria” is unverified and still unconfirmed, just like most Western main stream reports on the situation and events in Syria. As Doug Scorgie tells us the Western media still relies on the questionable “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights”, based in London.

    Pure hysteria. The western media were falling over themselves with lurid reports of a massacre by the Syrian army in the city of Homs just before the UNSC vote. CNN showed a tank firing in Homs (all the other tanks, according to AL had withdrawn – how? and that tank flew the green/white/black rebel flag – Doh!

    Abandoned/obsolete base taken over by rebels [propaganda]:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQUcas0kIUQ

    I appreciate differences in opinion here with relish however we have now witnessed the slaughter of Syrian soldiers and civilians by an illegal preemptive strike, by a foreign government too boot, who is/was under no real threat whatsoever.

    And the UN buries it’s head in sand.

    I have trustworthy and dependable information, a known good intelligence source in/out of Syria. Be assured, guaranteed foreign fighters in Syria will murder, will rape, will cut babies throats and will blow kids heads off for dollars. This is ‘human being’ remote killing; with this blood money flowing who needs drones for extrajudicial murder to enact regime change in Syria and install a corrupt western puppet; a monarchical thug who will further smash the infrastructure, encourage slaughter by divide, accept bribes and communicate cipher with western intelligence.

  61. Interesting insight here into how the American state terrorist mind is currently thinking about Syria.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnpS4shHVFk

    This is precisely the game they played during the Iraq/Iran war too. In that case direct intervention wasn’t possible, and that is obviously the conclusion they’ve come to on Syria for the moment.

  62. Ben

    Sure. They’re not going so far as to remove material support from the rebels though.

    It seems that the policy is to support rebels materially and every so often Israel will attack should the Syrian govt show any sign of prevailing.

    Meanwhile more and more people are slaughtered, butchered and die.

    Western policy is exposed as pure evil.

    We can only hope these terrorists lose control.

  63. Del Ponte is pretty much persona non grata with the US State Dept, earning their obloquy for accusing (in 2008)the KLA of organ harvesting during the 1999 conflict when they, like the anti Assad forces today, were the officially designated ‘good guys’.The Foggy Bottom in house magazine has just published a hit piece on her at this link (registration required)-

    http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/05/06/the_clarifying_of_the_uns_carla_del_ponte

  64. Interesting article, casting further doubt on the veracity of the noises emerging from Washington, as if that were needed given their history of proven, routine and familiar lying.

    “As we consider the conflicting reports of the use of chemical weapons that have emerged from Syria over the past weeks, it is worth recalling that the al Qaeda affiliate in Syria has in the past used crude chemical weapons on multiple occasions in neighboring Iraq.”

    http://edition.cnn.com/2013/05/06/opinion/bergen-chemical-weapons-syria/index.html

  65. It’s worth pointing out that there is little material difference between Del Ponte’s statement and her office’s supposed retraction.

    And additionally her office’s statement does not support the position of Washington.

    It inclines much more to her statement than the position of Washington, who have simply been caught misinterpreting the findings again.

  66. ‘Thank Christ for Robert Fisk, the corporate media’s single saving fucking grace.’

    I second that!

  67. April Showers

    7 May, 2013 - 7:01 am

    O/T and by the by

    The Queen is not attending the Heads of Government Commonwealth conference for the first time since 1973. It is being held in Sri Lanka in November. It has obviously been decided that it is politically unadvisable for her to visit or maybe it is her own decision. P. Charles will deputise.

    I watched an excellent and balanced Our World report by Charles Haviland the other day. ‘Not currently available on iPlayer.’ Why not when they have repeats of trivia and dross like soaps?
    Our World :
    Sri Lanka’s Open Wounds
    Duration: 30 minutes

    It is four years since Sri Lankan government troops crushed the Tamil Tiger separatist militants, ending the civil war. But 30 years of violence has left a bleak legacy.

    Politically motivated ‘disappearances’ continue along with suppression of critical voices. The BBC’s correspondent in Sri Lanka, Charles Haviland, reports for Our World on the lasting trauma for victims of the war who feel their voices are not being heard.

    Charles asks whether Sri Lanka can have the bright future its leaders promise if it does not address the darker aspects of the country’s recent past, and its present.
    (Not available)

    I think of Liam Fox and Adam Werritty’s involvement there.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/oct/13/adam-werritty-liam-fox-sri-lanka

    and from Ron Ridenour
    http://dissidentvoice.org/2013/03/human-rights-council-resolution-on-war-crimes-in-sri-lanka/

    ‘Critics assert that the US and Europe are not seriously advancing the rights of Tamils nor actually sanctioning GoSL for its brutal war crimes, and certainly not its 65 year-long genocide against the minority Tamils. They point out that the US, its side-kick Israel and NATO countries, always aided the Sri Lankan government.

    The Western powers provided Sri Lanka’s military with weaponry, money, counter-intelligence, and training to win the long war against Tamil nationhood. Then, since their mutual victory, the Western axis criticizes the Asian government for having committed excesses. This “human rights” approach is the best of all possible worlds for Western dictates: world domination for the cause of humanity is what they say if you read between the lips of communicators for globalization.’

    He is also critical of other countries’ involvement. What is it about Sri Lanka that draws all these players in? Is there some strategic importance?

    ‘China, Russia, Iran, India and Pakistan also militarily and economically assisted Sri Lankan governments in avoiding federalism for the two peoples—majority Sinhalese and minority Tamils—yet they did so without the hyperbole of “protecting human rights.” Unfortunately, Cuba and its seven associates in the Latin American-nation Bolivarian Alliance of the peoples of the Americas (ALBA) got caught up in the geo-political game and supported Sri Lanka.’

  68. Habba… 9:27pm:

    I suppose that Mr Goss is also a firm believer in the authenticity of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

    Straight from the Hasbara manual of substance-avoiding put downs. Wearing a bit thin now though, as anyone who has taken the trouble to read that benighted but startlingly prohetic document can attest.

    Whoever were its authors – and the Tzar’s Okhrana are favourites for the version that causes all the fuss – they certainly knew their Pharisaic Judaism. Its repellant insults against us Goyim are in fact mild compared to the uncensored Babylonian Talmud (pretty much unobtainable in English – I wonder why?) which, under pain of death (I kid you not), non-Jews are forbidden from study, and which remains at the heart of Orthodox belief. As for the substance of its overall narrative, it is uncannilly akin to what has and continues to unfold, as anyone who has actually read it can attest.

    For those who have not yet committed that unforgivable sin of judging for themselves – and forgive me for suspecting H to number among them – Here it is in all its forbidden allure

  69. From now on, anything by anybody mentioning any supposedly prophetic documents, from whatever viewpoint, will simply be deleted.

  70. From now on, anything by anybody mentioning any supposedly prophetic documents, from whatever viewpoint, will simply be deleted.

    Thanks for that reassurance, Craig, what if it is Habbakuk?

  71. Quite right Craig…it was getting boring !

  72. From now on, anything by anybody mentioning any supposedly prophetic documents, from whatever viewpoint, will simply be deleted.

    At the next election, I will vote for any candidate of whatever (secular) persuasion, who undertakes to make this sensible policy law.

    Yes, it must be remembered that Assad is an ally of Iran. And as no-one quite dares to start an unprovoked war with Iran, even to save poor little Israel from its perpetual feeling of existential dread, neocon policy continues to prefer destabilising its allies. And neocon policy can rely on Israel’s ability to spot a bad situation and make it even worse. So I guess the recent strikes, which were transparently not on Hizb’ullah-bound weaponry, but on Assad’s arms dumps, one close to a nerve gas repository, had the full blessing of Obama, and whichever dual-citizenship lowlifes are advising him these days.

    R4 last night and this morning was reporting the UN’s findings re. nerve gas.

  73. As well as the plain common sense of Robert Fisk’s article linked by Doug Scorgie and now me two things caught my attention. The date is wrong, being given as Sunday 5 May, and comments are closed for legal reasons. The first is most likely a simple mistake. Comments being closed for legal reasons means that those who control the media do not want people to express opinions which contradict authority.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/robert-fisk-the-truth-is-that-after-israels-air-strikes-we-are-involved-8604593.html

    Fisk’s argument that if the US and UK do not condemn Israel for these attacks they condone them. There has been no condemnation. When Israel made an alarming overkill attack on Lebanon William Hague, not noted for his criticism of Israel, called it disproportionate.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/9740044/The-cowardice-at-the-heart-of-our-relationship-with-Israel.html

    Peter Oborne in his Despatches coverage of William Hague’s condemnation pointed out how Jewish donations to Tory funds stopped in retaliation for the aforementioned honest appraisal by Hague, and this brought the Tories quickly back into line. In my comment yesterday I called Israel the Banker to the world and the above shows how governments are bought for Israel’s many violations of international law. Only a collapse in the corrupt financial systems of the world can make human rights an important issue again. Nathan Rockefeller, when questioned by Aaron Russo about proposed killing of other people to achieve world domination, asked Russo why should he be worried about them. As one of them I am concerned.

  74. Neocons: Hear also what Mother Jones saith -

    http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/04/obama-syria-chemical-weapon-neocon

    But real neocons, it seems, do not get squishy when the question is US troops on Syrian soil. After Obama’s press conference, a publicist for the American Center for Democracy shot out a press release touting the group’s director, Rachel Ehrenfeld, and her proposals for action in Syria. She has three simple steps for the United States: bypass the United Nations and impose a no-fly zone in Syria; stop giving arms to rebels associated with Al Qaeda; and deploy US troops within Syria to secure chemical-weapons facilities. Given that Syria probably has scores, if not hundreds, of chemical-weapons sites, such a force would entail tens of thousands of US troops, perhaps hundreds of thousands. And these soldiers would likely have to fight their way to these sites. (No cake-walking here.)

    Her proposal would entail invading Syria with a massive force of US troops. But Ehrenfeld’s position is not that surprising, considering the board members and advisers for her American Center for Democracy. They include Richard Perle, one of the most hawkish neocons, who led the cheerleading for the invasion of Iraq, and former CIA chief R. James Woolsey, who after 9/11 promoted the neoconnish conspiracy theory that Saddam Hussein was the secret puppet master controlling Al Qaeda. On the ACD’s list of advisers are retired Lt. General Thomas McInerney and retired Maj. General Paul Vallely, who were each over-the-top supporters of the Iraq War on Fox News.

    One sign that Syria is indeed a hard case is that the neocons and the usual hawks are not entirely united. They are torn over whether to arm the anti-Assad forces, substantial portions of which are aligned with jihadists and extremists hostile to the United States, Israel, and the West. Some are squeamish about sending in US troops. Yet Bill Kristol, the son-of-the-godfather of the neocons, a few days ago denounced Obama’s reluctance to take military action in Syria and proclaimed, “No one wants to start wars, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.” Ehrenfeld and the American Center for Democracy are demonstrating that the most hawkish neocons are ready to heed Kristol and go all-out in Syria. They want American boots on the ground, and they’re not likely to stop squawking until there is an invasion.

    Ehrenfeld (and many old favourites – Woolsey, Perle, and Nina Rosenwald (of JINSA and MEMRI)are gathered conveniently together here:

    http://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/Ehrenfeld_Rachel

  75. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)

    7 May, 2013 - 10:24 am

    @ Craig (and Wikispooks) :

    Come on, I was merely pointing out that repeating the tired old saw that “Israel is “the banker to the world” (that was John Goss) is as silly as believing in the authenticity of the ‘document’ the name of which we are not allowed to mention. Repeat : both are tired and pernicious untruths.

    What on earth is wrong with saying that?

  76. Well, next time find another analogy.

  77. Excellent analysis of Israel’s aggression here:

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MID-01-060513.html

    (Untainted by jingoist neocons or apologists for Assad)

  78. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)

    7 May, 2013 - 10:30 am

    @ Mark Golding :

    “Invoking ‘the Assad family’ is media newspeak – my blood father was a ‘bar-steward’ – I am not.”

    ———

    But that’s exactly the point, isn’t it? You didn’t ‘inherit’ your father’s job (and you were presumably not groomed to), whereas Assad the Son inherited his father’s, without anyone else – and certainly not the Syrian people – having any say in it.

  79. There are many indications that the attack was carefully planned a long time in advance, and some that the US actively participated in the planning. According to a Reuters report published last month, the American-brokered Israeli apology to Turkey in March was geared precisely toward such a strike, since Israelis and Turks had played aerial brinkmanship over Syria and Lebanon on recent occasions in the past. [4]

    Also the timing of a “surprise” Israeli drill in the north, which started days before the attacks, suggests that the raids had been carefully scripted, as does recent open talk by Hezbollah about a war in the next six weeks. Given the long rostrum of American and Israeli officials which visited each other’s capitals lately, and the support voiced by the White House for Israel’s right “to take the actions they feel are necessary to protect their people”, it is hard to believe that Obama was surprised by the operation.

    Ibid. Above.

  80. Here’s William Jefferson Hague on the attack: … insists Israel’s right to defend itself must be respected…

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/10038635/Syria-air-strike-Israel-has-the-right-to-defend-itself-says-William-Hague.html

    Is that to your satisfaction, Bibi? If there is any deficiency in my computer-generated response to your efforts to promote regional peace, please do not hesitate to inform one of the servants, and it will be rectified immediately. And thanks for the donation to Tory funds, which arrived as usual via one of our regular cutouts.

    Oh, and Obama please copy:

    The Foreign Secretary also said the recent escalation in the conflict and Israel’s airstrikes showed that the conflict risked spreading beyond Syria’s borders to the wider Middle East and reiterated it was time to consider lifting the arms embargo on Syria’s opposition.

    “The longer this goes on, the stronger the case becomes for lifting the arms embargoes on the National Coalition, on the Syrian opposition, if we’re left with no other alternative to that,” William Hague said.

    Yes, you got that right. The wording is perfect. Israel isn’t singlehandedly encouraging the conflict to become regional. It’s showing us the threat to which we can best respond by making the conflict regional. And that’s terrific.

    Honestly. The lad should have been a politician…

  81. Concur, Komodo, this unilateral action by a rogue element NATO cannot control, makes it a volatile mix operating there.
    So called arch enemies, Salafist’s from various western countries, working with Israel, who can see vast swathes of land it can hold under ‘occupation’, just as the Golan, all working to oust Assad.

    Turkey is the key to his future and I can’t say that Erdogan is enthralled by Netanyahu’s Syrian attacks, but he also accuses Bashar of covering up a massacre supposedly happening at the same time.
    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/israeli-air-strikes-on-syria-unacceptable-turkish-pm.aspx?pageID=238&nID=46377&NewsCatID=338

  82. April Showers

    7 May, 2013 - 11:52 am

    The Syrian ‘inheritance of power’ sounds just like that of our ruling monarchy.

  83. Correction to my post at 12.11am above

    It seems that US policy is to support rebels materially up to a certain level of weaponry, and Israel will provide strategic support by attacking with heavier weaponry as necessary.

    Both the US and Israel don’t want to provide heavier weapons to the rebels directly for fear they may be used against Israel at a later stage.

    Israel isn’t defending itself at all. It’s attacking Syria on the rebels behalf.

  84. “a jihadist influenced government is a very real danger for them.” – I strongly disagree.

    The so called “Jihadists” are NOT fighting their ‘natural’ enemy, not now nor before the implosion of Syria. No, they are fighting Assad.

    Actually the amorphous nature of the so called “Jihadists” makes it all but impossible to ‘read’ them (and their goals), but it’s clear they are NOT attacking the Zionist entity an it’s not too hard to come up with simple and plausible reasons as to why that is.

  85. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)

    7 May, 2013 - 12:11 pm

    @ April Showers/Mary :

    “The Syrian ‘inheritance of power’ sounds just like that of our ruling monarchy.”

    ———-

    Come on now, you’re not being serious.

    Hint : key word : “power”.

  86. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)

    7 May, 2013 - 12:14 pm

    @ Craig :

    Will try! Suggestions welcome, but how about the Zinoviev letter?

  87. Influential Republican lawmaker John McCain said Israel’s air strikes on Syria could add pressure on the Obama administration to intervene, but the U.S. government faces tough questions on how it can help without adding to the conflict.

    “We need to have a game-changing action, and that is no American boots on the ground, establish a safe zone and to protect it and to supply weapons to the right people in Syria who are fighting, obviously, for the things we believe,” McCain said on “Fox News Sunday.”

    “Every day that goes by, Hezbollah increases their influence and the radical jihadists flow into Syria and the situation becomes more and more tenuous,” he said.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/06/us-syria-crisis-usa-strikes-idUSBRE94502320130506

    Love that equation between Shi’a Hizb’ullah (hate AQ’s guts) and “radical jihadists” (codespeak for Sunni-aligned Salafists – hate everyone’s guts).

    Philologists will also appreciate the word ‘tenuous’, there. And will wish for the situation to become more and more tenuous until it disappears… I don’t think McCain is a philologist, somehow.

    Some of his eggs at any rate are in a familiar basket -

    http://www.jpost.com/On-the-Web/LIVE-McCain-Biden-and-Netanyahu-address-AIPAC

  88. Nevermind – thanks for the link. Erdoğan is someone for whom I have some respect, and he’s between a rock and a hard place. Turkey’s borders have been alight for decades and he must be wishing for stability on these. A further complication is the Kurdish presence in N. Syria. I’m glad he can still see the Israeli action for what it is, and I don’t think he’ll find too much sympathy in S. Turkey for arming Kurds.

  89. April Showers

    7 May, 2013 - 12:56 pm

    If this is true, the Israelis are even more evil than I thought.

    Israel used depleted uranium in airstrike on Syria: Report

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/05/06/302129/israel-hit-syria-using-depleted-uranium/

    A senior Syrian official says Israel has used depleted uranium in its recent airstrike against the Jamraya Research Center in the outskirts of Damascus.

    The official, who was present near the attack site on Sunday morning, told Russia Today that Israel used “a new type of weapon” during the airstrike.

    “When the explosion happened, it felt like an earthquake,” the official, who asked not to be named, added.

    “Then a giant golden mushroom of fire appeared. This tells us that Israel used depleted uranium shells,” the Syrian official said.

    “Several civilian factories and buildings were destroyed. The target was just an ordinary weapons warehouse. The bombing is an ultimatum to us,” he added.

    The Syrian official also refuted the claims by Western intelligence sources that the airstrike targeted transfers of weapons from the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah to Syria.

    Jamraya Research Center had been targeted by another Israeli airstrike back in January.

    The Sunday attack came shortly after Tel Aviv confirmed that its warplanes had hit another target in Syria on Friday.

    On Saturday, US President Barack Obama said the Israeli regime has the right to launch airstrikes on Syria.

    Syria’s Foreign Ministry has sent letters to the United Nations and its Security Council stating that Israel’s aggression shows the link between Tel Aviv and terrorist groups operating in Syria including the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front.

    Meanwhile, the anti-Syria countries including Turkey and several Arab states in the region have been mum on Tel Aviv’s acts of aggression against Syria.

  90. I’d rather see a chemical analysis of the dust….other accounts suggest that the bombs used were fuel-air. These cause heavy blast damage over a wide area, which is what we are looking at here -

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vDDLQg5c5Y

    There would be no particular reason to use DU except as a penetration weapon, or as powder in an enhanced explosive…in which case the blast range is reduced, though intensified locally. An unmodified fuel-air weapon gives the biggest bang available short of a nuke.

  91. @ April Showers
    Not only are they using radioactive uranium, but Chris Bubsy found that the Zionist entity used enriched uranium (Against the people of Lebanon in the Summer of 2006)

  92. surplus illegal uranium feedstock perhaps and doubtless they believed it will harm and kill more people.

  93. Never trust a scientist who wears a beret, LWTC. And please support your assertion re. enriched uranium with a link, eh?

    There’s actually no need to exaggerate Israel’s crimes. If any other country committed them, it would be under sanctions.

  94. technicolour

    7 May, 2013 - 1:48 pm

    “the Israelis are even more evil than I thought”…

    how can the Israeli (government) be even more evil than you thought?

    Amnesty International said a fact-finding team found “indisputable evidence of the widespread use of white phosphorus” in crowded civilian residential areas of Gaza City and elsewhere in the territory.[44] Donatella Rovera, the head of an Amnesty fact-finding mission to southern Israel and Gaza, said: “Israeli forces used white phosphorus and other weapons supplied by the USA to carry out serious violations of international humanitarian law, including war crimes.”[45]

    On 5 January the Times reported that telltale smoke associated with white phosphorus had been seen in areas of a shelling. On 12 January it was reported that more than 50 phosphorus burns victims were in Nasser Hospital. On 16 January the UNRWA headquarters was hit with phosphorus munitions.[46] As a result of the hit, the compound was set ablaze.[47]

    Many other observers, including Human Rights Watch military experts, reported seeing white phosphorus air bursts over Gaza City and the Jabalya refugee camp.[48] The BBC published a photograph of two shells exploding over a densely populated area on 11 January.[49]

  95. Some not-very pretty pictures of white phosphorus use by our friends, if your browser permits-

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=white+phosphorus+israel&client=firefox-a&hs=lc3&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=FvuIUZWlNMeiO-f2gLgP&ved=0CAoQ_AUoAQ&biw=1662&bih=934

    You can see the care they take to ensure no, er, collateral damage such as might happen if a 110 mm WP shell were to airburst above a residential neighbourhood. Obviously it’s being legally used as illumination – it’s as bright as day in many of those shots, and let no naysayer allege that this is because it is day…

  96. Anyway, they’re going to give it up because it doesn’t photograph well. Just when you thought its career in Hollywood was assured -

    http://972mag.com/israel-gives-up-white-phosphorus-because-it-doesnt-photograph-well/70063/

    Lighten up, Komodo. And get back on topic -

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/06/syria-israel-bombing-moral-relativism

    Glenn Greenwald, asking a question which needs answering.

    …if Syria this week attacks a US military base on US soil and incidentally kills some American civilians (as Nidal Hasan did), and then cites as justification the fact that the US has been aiding Syrian rebels, would any establishment US journalist or political official argue that this was remotely justified? Or what if Syria bombed Qatar or Saudi Arabia on the same ground: would any US national figure defend the bombing as well within Syria’s rights given those nations’ arming of its rebels?

  97. @ Komodo
    “Never trust a scientist who wears a beret” LOL
    But I’m afraid it’s become never trust a scientist NOT wearing a beret”
    (other than military ones of course! – but that’s a no-brainer)

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-mystery-of-israels-secret-uranium-bomb-421960.html

  98. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    7 May, 2013 - 3:17 pm

    Craig; I hope you don’t find this amongst your ‘prophecy’ derogations…

    (I have to run, no time to read completely, but it is supposed to be a translation of the Zion Master Plan.)

    http://members.tripod.com/alabasters_archive/zionist_plan.html

  99. In which, yer man opines, “Dr Busby’s initial report states that there are two possible reasons for the contamination. “The first is that the weapon was some novel small experimental nuclear fission device or other experimental weapon (eg, a thermobaric weapon) based on the high temperature of a uranium oxidation flash … The second is that the weapon was a bunker-busting conventional uranium penetrator weapon employing enriched uranium rather than depleted uranium.”

    As to the first, using any kind of uranium would be pointless, as magnesium or zirconium would do the job much better, and are in addition relatively light. The second is a well established piece of weaponry, several of which have been sold by the US to Israel. As to why they would be used in Lebanon, we can probably assume that Israel was well aware of Hizb’ullah’s sneaky tendency to use underground shelters when being attacked.

    Busby’s results have been challenged, and in any case do not point to a high level of enrichment. Worrying, especially if the weapons were American made, but not out of the (Israeli) ‘ordinary’ and not proven.

    http://www.newweapons.org/filestore/Depleted-and-Enr-Kobeissi-jan06Uranium-in-Lebanon.pdf

    If I understand him correctly, his U-238/U-235 analyses are on the high side of what is usually called depleted uranium (and well above US military specifications), but still well below the U-238 content of naturally occurring uranium ores.

  100. resident dissident

    7 May, 2013 - 3:39 pm

    @Mark U

    “The fact that Israel is in breach of international law on many counts is not in dispute, but many of the accusations leveled at Iran, Syria and Hezbollah appear to be simply that (ie accusations)

    If you could give me some examples of the aforementioned countries/organisations breaches of international law then I would be prepared to comment on them. However I will not accept allegations as evidence, particularly allegations made by their enemies.”

    Perhaps you might wish to look at the UN report on Syria’s involvement in various assassinations of Lebananese politicians who opposed Syria’s occupation of their country. And then you could look up Nasrallah’s own comments on suicide bombers in Israel. And you might wish to look up the Hama massacre.

    Might I suggest that trying to argue that either side has a monopoly of evil or playing some kind of evil regime “Top trumps” game really isn’t going to achieve anything whatsoever – and really is the type of game that the zealots on both sides are all too happy to indulge in.

  101. Brain fart above, sorry. Should read “below the U-235 content”.

  102. April Showers

    7 May, 2013 - 4:23 pm

    Gilad Atzmon does not hold back.

    In Bed With Bibi
    http://dissidentvoice.org/2013/05/in-bed-with-bibi/

  103. On the subject of secret plans for war (‘xcuse me, in this case barely disguised plans for war…), I came across this today – Julian Assange’s 2011 speech from a debate hosted by the New Statesman “This house believes whistleblowers make the world a safer place”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfXSoHkF7hU

    10 minutes. Very topical right now in the run-up to Bradley Manning’s show trial. (Saw a great comment on Twitter about that: “What kind of trial requires a dress rehearsal?”)

  104. Resident dissident

    What a strange response you have given me.

    My actual words (as included by you):-

    “The fact that Israel is in breach of international law on many counts is not in dispute, but many of the accusations leveled at Iran, Syria and Hezbollah appear to be simply that (ie accusations)”

    Note the words MANY (not ALL, or even MOST) and “appear to be” (obviously allowing room for doubt)

    “If you could give me some examples of the aforementioned countries/organisations breaches of international law then I would be prepared to comment on them.”

    You have only just supplied me with your examples, I have had no chance to comment on them. I would appreciate some appropriate links by the way. (not because I am doubting you but because we should be viewing the same material if possible)

    In what way have I suggested that any side has a monopoly of evil? I fail to see why I am accused of being a zealot?

    I am going out soon, I will try to get back to you tomorrow.

  105. @Komodo. Well, I’ll leave the high level expertise on the fine details of possible modern nuclear weaponry to you.

    Of course his results were challenged. They don’t fit nicely in the picture of life we are expected to gaze at.

    Regarding the analysis, Chris said: “The data are up on the website of the Low Level Radiation Campaign. The measurements were made at Harwell. Isotope ratio in the soil sample was 108. Toatal U was 13mg/kg. LOD was 0.0002mg/kgU238 and 0.0001mg/kgU235. Instrument was Agilent ICPMS. Diffetnt method alpha spectrometry gave same result in different lab. We have now found EU in a car filter. Check out llrc.org. Thank you.”

    (I presume EU is a typo and it should read DU)

  106. April Showers

    7 May, 2013 - 6:02 pm

    Four Filipino UN Peacekeepers have been kidnapped from the Golan Heights, apparently by the ‘Martyrs of Yarmouk’. The latter are said to have been responsible for a previous kidnapping of 21 peacekeepers.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22435393

  107. I wonder if a ” a jihadist influenced government is a very real danger for them” (for Israel),. I think it is a good thing for Israel,, jihadists allow ‘the war on terror’ to go on indefinitely, and the ‘war on terror’ is a good thing for Israel. The ‘jihadists’ we are told, are funded by Saudia and Qatar, these two countries do not breath without permission from the United States. How is it they are funding perceived ‘threats’ to Israel, America’s ally in the neighbourhood. Doesn’t make sense at all, and nothing is haphazard in this region, everything always makes sense. They all work together, America, Israel, Saudi and Qatar.

  108. What we are seeing is a jostling for regional hegemony by various players, among them, Turkey and of course, Saudi/UAE, Iran, Israel… and behind these, the ‘Great Powers’ (let us revert to that C19th term, since we seem bent on reverting to some C19th models) are intensely active. Turkey – or more specifically, the AKP – wants an (Islamist) neo-Ottomania across the Mediterranean. And so we see the AKP in alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood et al. The USA/UK clearly is (I use the singular deliberately) supporting Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood et al and have a long history of doing so. Saudi Arabia/UAE and Israel have an understanding that is mutually supportive.

    At times, all of these players will contend, compete, fight, and at times, they will coalesce into tactical alliances. It’s not simple, though, Hsabri, it’s complex and shifting. I agree, though, that for obvious military-industrial and strategic reasons, Israel prefers Islamists to secular nationalist oppositional forces, which might strike one as odd since the former are overtly committed to genocide; the ideology of Islamism is genocidal.

    One then has to ask oneself why the ruling cadres of a country which, if the Islmaist had their way, would be obliterated, seem eager to support these same paramilitaries? The answer (or one of the possible answers) might be that the Islamist paramilitaries are perennially useful prostitutes who are destroying the (despotic, long self-delegitimated, since the defeat of 1967 for definite) remnants of secular Arab nationalism which Israel always perceived as its biggest (well, relatively-speaking; they could destroy all the formal, though mnot guerilla, armies of all other Middle Eastern countries in seven literal days). But as a political philosophy, Islamism is strategically, as well as tactically, suitable also because it tends to accelerate societies backwards – ‘The Lawnmower Man’ after the potion wore off. They don’t like Iran, not because it is Islamist, far from it, but because it remains nationalist as well. Under the Shah, of course, Iran was a covert ally of Israel, again, against Arab nationalism.

  109. Meanwhile in various different ways, Turkey and Iran are cooperating, though of course not in Syria. But in general, under the AKP, Turkey has moved closer to Iran. So Turkey – or rather, the AKP – is playing a very clever game. Really good relations with Israel, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Central Asian (Turkic) states, all the new (Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Egypt, soon-to-be-Syria) and old (Saudi Arabia/UAE) Islamist regimes across the Middle East all those Mediterranean/Red Sea countries where it used to be the colonial and cultural superpower, and it’s a key member of NATO, it’s in much of the structures of Europe (except officially, the EU)…

    Turkey – or rather, tha AKP – is the one of the clear beneficiaries of the so-called ‘Arab Spring’.

    Meanwhile, domestically, the AKP gradually undermines the secular Turkish state with its own placemen in key positions.

    Now, see under, FBI whisteblower, ‘Sibel Edmonds’ and learn even more about the AKP/Turkish hard state.

  110. Now the whole sarin story has vanished from both the BBC and Al Jazeera. This is what the corporate media does with awkward stories: drops them. They did it with the Boston bombings and now they’re doing it with sarin in Syria. If the facts don’t fit the official view of a particular conflict or event, then the story goes cold. And people forget, they hope. Move along now. Nothing to see here.

    Eisenhower was right. The military/industrial complex are running the show and Governments are there to talk to the cameras.

  111. Quite revolting to hear Cameron on the airwaves earlier today proclaiming that we cannot allow a jihadist takeover in Somalia – exactly what he wants in Syria!

  112. April Showers

    8 May, 2013 - 6:26 am

    Shock horror! The internet in Syria is down today. The BBC’s Jim Muir (always speaking from Beirut) says that he will not be getting his usual reports from within Syria. Massacres might be taking place and covered up. What wicked propaganda.

  113. April Showers

    8 May, 2013 - 6:53 am

    Hagel, Livni and Free Syrian Army commanders reported to gather in D.C. at behest of Israel lobby
    Philip Weiss May 5th 2013

    The U.S. is evidently closely coordinating its policy toward the Syrian civil war with Israel.

    On May 9, for instance, the Israel lobby group WINEP will hold an annual symposium in Washington. Reports have it here and here that speakers include Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, two commanders of the Free Syrian Army, and Tzipi Livni, an architect of the 2008-09 assault on Gaza. (The WINEP description of its conference appears to have been scrubbed of the information.)

    The 2013′ SOREF Symposium will feature many Senior US, Israeli civilian & defense officials, along with representatives of the FSA, namely (in the statement) ‘Colonel Abdul Hamid Zakaria, the commander & spokesman for the Free Syrian Army, and Colonel Abdul-Jabbar Aqidi commander and head of the Military Revolutionary Council in Aleppo. They will attend a special session on “The situation in Syria and the war against the regime of (President Bashar) Assad,”. This session will be off-the record & not for publication.Speaking at the symposium will be U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel & … Israeli Minister Tzipi Livni

    /..
    http://mondoweiss.net/2013/05/commanders-reported-gather.html

  114. resident dissident

    8 May, 2013 - 11:20 am

    MarkU

    If you had said “The fact is that Israel, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah are in breach of international law on many counts is not in dispute” Then I would have had no problem with such a statement whatsover – might I suggest that it is you and others who are trying to draw some kind of specious distinction between the various countries/entities which really doesn’t lead us anywhere but into various closed loops where no dialectic is possible.

    If you want links to the abuses of all the parties concerned might I suggest that you do your own research – I really don’t see where a point by point analysis of each link that I might provide would lead anyone.

  115. resident dissident

    8 May, 2013 - 11:24 am

    Mary

    Don’t worry – Jim Muir will just have to go and talk to some of the 2m+ refugees that have left Syria to get some information on what is happening there – or he could just read the reports on RT/PressTV/Medialens.

  116. doug scorgie

    8 May, 2013 - 12:41 pm

    The Jordanian Parliament has voted to expel the Israeli ambassador to Amman and recall the country’s ambassador to Tel Aviv.

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/05/08/302457/jordan-mps-vote-to-expel-israeli-envoy/

    No more details yet.

  117. The Jordanian legislators also demanded that the kingdom’s envoy be recalled from Tel Aviv and started drafting a recommendation that the government annul the 1994 Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty.

    The session came after Israeli police earlier in the day detained Mohammed Hussein, the mufti of Jerusalem, for questioning over disturbances at a disputed holy site.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/israeli-police-detain-top-palestinian-muslim-cleric-for-disturbances-at-jerusalem-holy-site/2013/05/08/fc9510de-b7b0-11e2-b568-6917f6ac6d9d_story.html

    (AP)

    What are our busy little friends up to? That’s like arresting the Archbishop of Canterbury because a member of his congregation got stroppy.

  118. …got stroppy at a Catholic taking a leak in St. Pauls, as it might be …

    http://www.ansamed.info/ansamed/en/news/sections/politics/2013/05/08/Mideast-Jordan-parliament-wants-Israeli-ambassador-expelled_8671746.html

    (Petra – probably the original report)

  119. Full version – probably won’t make it into the Guardian -

    http://en.ammonnews.net/article.aspx?articleno=20911#.UYpPRcrhdhY

    Parliament votes to expel Israeli Ambassador from Jordan

    [5/8/2013 1:38:38 PM]

    AMMONNEWS – The Lower House of Parliament voted unanimously on Wednesday to ask the government to expel the Israeli Ambassador in Amman, and recall Jordan’s ambassador in Tel Aviv in objection of Israeli attacks in occupied Jerusalem.

    The vote comes after deliberations Wednesday morning over the latest wave of Israeli violations in in Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories. Members of Parliament denounced the continued storming of Jewish settlers into Al-Aqsa Mosque.

    The occupation forces prevented citizens from both genders who are under the age of 50 years from entering the Mosque, yet allowed Jewish settlers to break into Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem on Tuesday, in the occasion of the 46th anniversary of the so called “the reunification of Jerusalem” under the protection of Israeli soldiers and policemen and toured the place.

    Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour described the ongoing and escalating attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli forces and settlers as “premeditated and foretells of evil intentions.”

    Ensour said that the cabinet addressed the Israeli actions in a meeting Wednesday morning, and agreed to direct Jordan’s Ambassador in Tel Aviv Walid Obeidat to file an official objection to the Israeli government “as a first measure,” followed by resorting to the UN Security Council if matters escalate.

    MPs however went further to demand recalling Jordan’s ambassador back to Amman and expelling the Israeli ambassador here, voting unanimously on the matter to be formally proposed to the government by the Arab and International Affairs House committee.

    Over 25 MPs signed a petition to reconsider the 1994 Wadi Araba Peace Treaty between Jordan and Israel, citing the cause to be the continued Israeli violations in Palestine and voicing Jordan’s denunciation.

    In their speeches, MPs demanded a “strong response” from the Jordanian government, and called for limiting Israeli air force’s use of Jordanian airspace, particularly in light of the recent Israeli airstrike attacks on Damascus.

    Not that this means anyone will actually do it. Note that Jordan’s *government* is not the same as its *parliament*.

  120. Note the last sentence there.

    Compare:

    Jordan’s King Abdullah has given up on negotiations with Syria and has allowed Israel to use its air space to mount drone attacks on Syria, the French newspaper Le Figaro reported.

    “Known only to a handful of Western intelligence services, the decision was taken by the Hashemite King during the visit by President Barack Obama” last month, according to the newspaper.

    http://www.jewishpress.com/news/report-jordan-opens-skies-to-israeli-drones-to-attack-syria/2013/04/22/

    Original Figaro article is locked but exists: summary version here:

    http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/2013/04/21/97001-20130421FILWWW00208-info-le-figaro-syrie-la-jordanie-ouvre-son-ciel-aux-drones-israeliens.php

  121. Good piece by Medialens on the chemical weapons claim

    http://www.medialens.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=730:this-madman&catid=51:alerts-2013&Itemid=202

    and at the bottom they quote Craig

  122. Lube for you

    8 May, 2013 - 3:47 pm

    @LWTC247

    “a jihadist influenced government is a very real danger for them.” – I strongly disagree.

    The so called “Jihadists” are NOT fighting their ‘natural’ enemy, not now nor before the implosion of Syria. No, they are fighting Assad.

    Actually the amorphous nature of the so called “Jihadists” makes it all but impossible to ‘read’ them (and their goals), but it’s clear they are NOT attacking the Zionist entity an it’s not too hard to come up with simple and plausible reasons as to why that is.”

    How can you say that? The Spring is Winter. All of these dictatorial regimes are falling and Islamist’s are replacing them with their version of communism meets fascism, sharia (hey brother, who is first among equals?). The Jihadists are obviously not focusing on their ‘greater jihad’ struggle for peace, humility, dignity, etc.

    My opinion is that nations can appear to do nothing, but they should be doing something in the background to ensure that another middle eastern theocracy doesn’t appear touting it’s own brand of expansionism.

  123. Resident dissident

    Your phrase “The fact is that Israel, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah are in breach of international law on many counts is not in dispute” is not equivalent to what I said at all.

    As for your examples (I note that you have included nothing on Iran by the way)

    While I concede that it is possible to do my own research on the other examples, I am sure that Nasrallah has made many statements on suicide bombings in Israel, I feel entitled to know which statement you are alluding to. Whatever he is accused of saying, it is difficult to imagine that the criminality contained therein can be compared to the undisputed highly illegal smashing of Lebanese civilian infrastructure along with massive civilian casualties perpetrated by the Israelis.

    After a quick search I have just found two Hama massacres, one in 1982 and the more recent one.

    In the case of the more recent one (assuming that this is the one you meant) both sides are claiming that the other side perpetrated the atrocity. In light of the fact that many of the victims seem to have been alawites or government supporters, I am inclined to doubt the rebel claims. Given that these are the same rebels that set off car bombs in busy streets and execute prisoners, I certainly wouldn’t put it past them.

    For your other example, after a brief search I found this regarding the most high profile of the assassinations (from Wiki as it happens):-

    ‘Hariri was assassinated on 14 February 2005 when explosives equivalent to around 1000 kg of TNT were detonated as his motorcade drove past the St. George Hotel in the Lebanese capital, Beirut. The investigation, by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, into his assassination is still ongoing and currently led by the independent investigator Daniel Bellemare. In its first two reports, UNIIIC indicated that the Syrian government may be linked to the assassination.[1] Hariri’s killing led to massive political change in Lebanon, including the Cedar Revolution and the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon.’

    Hardly conclusive is it? and who benfited anyway, not the Syrians thats for sure.

    So to sum up:-

    NOTHING on Iran

    Some WORDS from a man who has just seen his country illegally smashed.

    An ACCUSATION made by ‘rebels’ who are perfectly capable of comitting atrocities themselves and who may well be the real culprits.

    And another tentative ACCUSATION based on an enquiry which is apparently ongoing.

    Why don’t you get back to me when you have actually got something?

  124. resident dissident

    8 May, 2013 - 4:35 pm

    OK Mark – carry on believing that Iran, Syria and Hizbollah have not committed any serious breaches of international law – since I very much doubt anything will convince you otherwise.

    And what about the first Hama massacre, which is the one I meant and where the facts are now pretty indiputable – lets just ignore that. And as for the Hariri killing your logic is comical – it was the pretty universal disgust with Syria’s involvement that forced them to leave Lebanon, I don’t think any serious commentator has denied Syria (and the Assad monarchy’s role) in assassinating those who objected to their involvement in Lebanon. As for Iran’s breaches of international law – might I suggest you look a little closer. Invading foreign emabssies, taking civilian hostages, supplying missiles to Hizbollah might be worthwhile Google search terms.

    Unlike you I can see little difference between being blow up by suicide bomber on a bus in Israel – or by an Israeli shell fired into Lebanon. Don’t you realise that these things will only stop when decent people recognise that evil is being committed by both sides rather than trying to work out which sides evil bastards have the greater justification.

  125. Lube for you

    8 May, 2013 - 5:30 pm

    @Resident Dissident:

    “Unlike you I can see little difference between being blow up by suicide bomber on a bus in Israel – or by an Israeli shell fired into Lebanon. Don’t you realise that these things will only stop when decent people recognise that evil is being committed by both sides rather than trying to work out which sides evil bastards have the greater justification.”

    I totally agree, but what do you do when these regimes have taught in common day Islamic texts that Jews are pigs and monkeys? The people voted for Hamas, and they not only don’t recognize Israel, but want it wiped off the map. The last 40+ years these teachings have gone on in Islamized states, the worse it gets. Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq all tried to defeat Israel militarily, and failed a couple of times. Terrorism really doesn’t work, and the chance of any of the actors coming to reach peaceful agreements will never happen as long as concessions can not be made on both sides. Whether you or for or against Israel, they’re not going anywhere.

    Nobody’s innocent, and every nation state is above international law as it’s a joke. There’s no way to enforce it (sanctions, condemnation, etc). It’s like a security guard with nothing but a whistle saying ‘stop or I’ll say stop again’… Everyone will act according to their own interests, and nation states always want weaker states on their border.

  126. April Showers

    8 May, 2013 - 6:03 pm

    Muir has been reporting from Beirut on Syria for a long time. All his reports have ‘cannot be verified’ or have similar riders tacked on the end. The BBC was banned presumably for producing anti-Assad propaganda.

    The number of refugees is over estimated in a post above. The number is 1.3m not 2m. Would there be refugees if the West had not been ‘assisting’ the rabble rebels?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refugees_of_the_Syrian_civil_war

  127. April Showers

    8 May, 2013 - 6:05 pm

    UK Media Helps Pave Road to War on Syria
    The Editors, 8 May 2013

    http://www.newsunspun.org/article/uk-media-helps-pave-road-to-war-on-syria

  128. ‘From now on, anything by anybody mentioning any supposedly prophetic documents, from whatever viewpoint, will simply be deleted.’

  129. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    ( the head in sand approach )

  130. Indeed, well done Stephen Hawking for making this important deliberation about a free flourishing science, wherever it may thrive and whoever it may inflict with its yearning for learning.

    Israel, just as Apartheid South America had to face up to, must realise that a world community is just that, a world community and to be the rogue within, pretend you’re better, will not work. If that means extending the boycott to Budweiser beer and Hagen Daaz, as well as Marks and Spencer’s money exchange and much more on their shelves, that can also be done. We can choose what we consume and equally some independent scientists can speak up for fair and equal speech.

    Scientists do not have to involve Israeli universities in their peer studies, nor do they need to work with anybody who can not differentiate between science and politics, who become willing tools to ideologies that foster exclusion.

  131. Resident dissident

    I did try to get you to be more specific about your examples, remember, but you had to be bloody awkward didn’t you. From what little I have read about the first Hama massacre it seems almost certain that government forces were responsible. So what is your point? that Bashir Assad should be held responsible for the crimes of his father?

    On the Iran issue, once again you start the clock whenever it is convenient for you. I think that it is more appropriate to start the clock with the overthrow of the secular, democratically elected government of Iran in 1953 and the installation of a tyrannical butcher and torturer ie the Shah of Iran. Let me tell you that if any nation were to launch a coup in this country and install a murderous dictatorship, I would have no respect whatsoever for their diplomatic privileges, would you honestly? especially since their diplomatic status was clearly being abused. On the second point, perhaps you would be good enough to quote that part of international law under which it is illegal to supply missiles to Hezbollah.

    On your last point (Suicide bombers and shells):-

    Firstly, I resent having words put into my mouth and then being criticised as if I had said, or written them.
    Secondly, I would go further even than you have. Not only would I condemn unequivocally any deliberate targeting of civilians, but any and all extra-judicial killings of any type whatsoever. Are we able to agree on this?

  132. Resident dissident.

    One other thing.

    If you really wanted to pin something on the Syrians, why not go back just a few years and recall that the UK, under the Blair administration I believe, was sending prisoners to Syria (and Libya if I recall correctly) to be illegally tortured. No prizes for guessing why that one somehow eluded your selective memory.

  133. resident dissident

    8 May, 2013 - 7:36 pm

    Mary/April Showers

    And why don’t the vast majority of the Syrian refugees share your view as to the cause of their plight???

  134. resident dissident

    8 May, 2013 - 8:13 pm

    MarkU

    Glad that youy agree that Syria clearly broke International Law during the Hama massacre – I’m afraid I’m not able to see much discontinuity between Bashar and the slobbering Dauphin, who certainly hasn’t had the good grace to denounce the sins of his father or do much in the way of clearing state structure which he inherited.

    On Iran – you still seem to be falling into the trap that one breach of international law can be a genuine justification for another (and that is not putting words into your mouth but my interpretation of what you are saying).

    “While I concede that it is possible to do my own research on the other examples, I am sure that Nasrallah has made many statements on suicide bombings in Israel, I feel entitled to know which statement you are alluding to. Whatever he is accused of saying, it is difficult to imagine that the criminality contained therein can be compared to the undisputed highly illegal smashing of Lebanese civilian infrastructure along with massive civilian casualties perpetrated by the Israelis.”

    These are your words – i’m afraid that i see little point in drawing a distinction between the morality or legality of Nasrallah’s and his organisations support for suicide bombers and the actions of the Israeli security forces against civilians. You might also wish to look at the number of shells Hizbollah have fired against civilian targets – I’ll let you work out whether supplying missiles for such a purpose to an organisation such as Hizbollah with aims that would clearly breach International Law represents a brach of international law.

  135. Lube for you

    8 May, 2013 - 8:22 pm

    @Hasbri:

    “I wonder if a ” a jihadist influenced government is a very real danger for them” (for Israel),. I think it is a good thing for Israel,, jihadists allow ‘the war on terror’ to go on indefinitely, and the ‘war on terror’ is a good thing for Israel. The ‘jihadists’ we are told, are funded by Saudia and Qatar, these two countries do not breath without permission from the United States. How is it they are funding perceived ‘threats’ to Israel, America’s ally in the neighbourhood. Doesn’t make sense at all, and nothing is haphazard in this region, everything always makes sense. They all work together, America, Israel, Saudi and Qatar”
    ___________________________

    Really now? America controls Saudi Arabia? America makes her rich, has a business relationship, but how do you explain issue’s such as An American women who married a Saudi man in the US, moves to Saudi with her children, finds out he has another wife living at his home, divorces him, Saudi courts allow him to keep her American children from a previous marriage. She hasn’t seen them in 10 years…. the US State Dept. won’t say a thing due to the Oil relationship the US has with the Saud’s… How about their grotesque human rights record? Exportation of Wahhabism? You’d think the US would tell them to stop and they’d do it because the US controls them. No, the US really wants this to go on, in the name of Imperialism. The US wants to keep spending billions on low level intensity conflicts right? It’s great for the military industrial complex……

    How about Israel? Yeah every country, especially in a region where all of your neighbors want you wiped off the map, loves a destabilized nation on it’s boarder. Especially when it will probably end up with an Islamist theocracy ruling it. I’m sure the new rulers will be better than Hamas, right?? It’ll be business as usual once the current regime is toppled. They’ll get along just great.

  136. resident dissident

    8 May, 2013 - 8:30 pm

    Lube for you

    I agree that there has to be recognition that Israel (or Palestine for that matter) is not going anywhere. Perhaps, those who recognise the resolution of the Palestinians to reclaim what was theirs before 1948 – might even if they want to deny Holocaust just bear in mind the numbers of Jews that have also been driven out of their homes elsewhere in the Middle East (remember that there are now just 7 jews in Baghdad, which use to have one of the largest Jewish populations of any city in the World)

    I don’t think that there are any quick or obvious solutions to the prejudice that has been allowed to build up on both sides(and I am pretty sure that there are plenty of Israelis who use unpleasant names for Arabs) – but I am sure that a universal respect for human rights and seeking to engage and encourage the more rational elements on each side is more likley to be of use than the sterile continuation of the blame game. And to be honest I am beginning to think that forums like this are more part of the problem than the solution.

  137. resident dissident

    8 May, 2013 - 8:41 pm

    Perhaps the new Zio Wahabi movement identified by PressTV shows that reconciling the irreconcilable is really not that difficult http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/05/06/302121/usled-ziowahhabis-wage-war-on-syria/

    Or perhaps Guano has got a new job with PressTV

  138. Resident dissident

    You still haven’t told me what Nasrallah is supposed to have said. In any case is verbal support for a breach of international law actually a breach of international law in itself? If so a lot of Israel supporters are in deep shit.

    “You might also wish to look at the number of shells Hizbollah have fired against civilian targets – I’ll let you work out whether supplying missiles for such a purpose to an organisation such as Hizbollah with aims that would clearly breach International Law represents a brach of international law.”

    Link please unless we are talking about the last outbreak of war. I remember clearly that Hezbollah gave very clear repeated warnings to Israel that they would start firing back if the bombing didn’t stop. Then and only then did they start firing missiles. Obviously if we are talking about a de-facto state of war then different rules apply. I think that you would struggle to find evidence that Hezbollah were deliberately targeting civilians.

    You didn’t answer my question by the way. I am finished for the day, I will check back tomorrow if I have time.

  139. Lube for you

    8 May, 2013 - 9:59 pm

    “And to be honest I am beginning to think that forums like this are more part of the problem than the solution.”

    In total agreement on that one as well. Since I have come to this blog, I seem to notice these incredible blanket statements that pretty much say (to me): The West and imperialism is to blame, always, especially if it’s the US or Israel…

    I have challenged people here that consistently seem to complain along the above to provide any solutions that could work, as well as any academically accepted empirical evidence which supports their claims (I seem to get only links to really slanted web sites). Article links which support idealistic notions, without taking into account reality that all sides are not innocent, and no solutions are ever proposed. Too much slanting to either direction is a bad thing, as I feel that most people here have bought into the theories and commentaries presented here, and use these sites to support misguided, hypocritical delusions. Many here (in my opinion) cut out subjects dealing with international relations, political science, conflict (theory and resolutions)… There’s plenty of Western imperialism bashing, but nobody seems to look at other nations interests or their own brand of imperialism. I would propose that many, if not all, who post here are modern day imperialists, or support it by purchasing products and goods made by corporations which utilize cheap labor around the world…. You can refute this by posting your comments via your iPhone…..

  140. karel (a conspiracy a day keeps idiocy away)

    8 May, 2013 - 10:52 pm

    lube
    not for me but perhaps for you. Just lube your arsehole or prick, whatever you use more often and you will stop worrying whether “forums like this are more part of the problem than the solution”. What is your problem mate, not enough lube??

  141. Lube For You,

    “I would propose that many, if not all, who post here are modern day imperialists, or support it by purchasing products and goods made by corporations which utilize cheap labor around the world…. You can refute this by posting your comments via your iPhone…”

    What was that you were saying about blanket statements in your post at 9.59pm?

    Dearie me.

  142. Resident Dissident,

    “And to be honest I am beginning to think that forums like this are more part of the problem than the solution.”

    So,would you prefer heavily censored,controlled and illiberal fora which represent only one viewpoint then?

  143. Des Res

    ‘Or perhaps Guano has got a new job with PressTV’

    1/ Prophetic statements are to be banned on this blog without consideration of the source of the prophecy. This comment of Craig’s is as about as ultra-daft-liberal as you can get.
    Why? Because actions stem from the heart, you have to check out the message in the heart to see what’s causing the problem. No child will do competitive sport because they will learn failure. Human beings need to become more engaged with religion, not less.

    2/ I appreciated Cameron’s joke against Miliband. ‘The weak are a long time in politics.’ When the right shoe, Cameron, goes to meet the left shoe, Putin, will they be walking in the same direction about Syria, or will they just keep going round in circles like now?

    3/ Press TV is Shi’a . Garbage in, garbage out. You’d get more sense out talking with your wheelie bin.

  144. Press TV is Shi’a . Garbage in, garbage out. You’d get more rather less sense out talking with your wheelie bin of the exclusivist writings of almost any faction of Middle Eastern nomads and their mediaeval European successors.

    FIFY
    LOL

  145. Iraq, Syria and the death of the modern Middle East

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/05/2013567200437919.html

    Some quotes;

    “They made us cry for the days of Saddam Hussein.”

    “Such states, divided upon sectarian lines, would be politically pliable, isolated and enfeebled, and thus utterly incapable of offering a meaningful defence against foreign interventionism in the region. Given the implications for the Middle East, where overt foreign aggression has been a consistent theme for decades, there is reason to believe that this state of affairs has been consciously engineered.”

    ” Iraq this past April recorded its deadliest month in five years, with over 700 killed in sectarian violence throughout the country.”

    “Al-Maliki has brought the country to the abyss… this leaves us with two options: Either civil war or the formation of our own autonomous region.”

    “As risible as Solomon’s suggestions seemed at the time, the unfathomable reality is that today just such a situation is occurring – as analysts dispassionately discuss the possibility of an independent Alawite state in Lattakia and the fragmenting of the rest of the country into separate portions for Kurds, Sunnis, Shias, and the many other ethnic and religious groups which once made up the diverse tapestry of modern Syria”

  146. Lebanon does not endorse Israeli overflights (and neither does the UN):

    http://www.yalibnan.com/2013/05/05/lebanon-to-file-a-complaint-against-israeli-violations-report/

    But Israelis consider they have a g_d – given right, and Michael Herzog explains:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/07/israels-real-target-hezbollah-not-syria

    Usual stuff, but check this -

    The weapons of concern include many originating in Russia, such as ground-to-air SA17 missiles which could threaten Israel’s freedom of flight in northern Israel and Lebanon

    Like to show us the verse in Exodus which applies, Michael?

  147. Lube for you

    9 May, 2013 - 3:40 pm

    Jives,

    Do you deny that you buy products and services from any corporation that is global? Sure, it’s a blanket statement, but it’s pretty provable.

    Time to get that Leveno, Dell, HP, Mac, IBM, Toshiba, Sony, iPad, iPhone, Google phone a moving! However you might want to go buy a hemp belt from the local farmers market. I think they’re now selling open ocean, farmed fish, which are digitally tagged so you know you’re getting the real deal…..

  148. Lube for you

    9 May, 2013 - 3:50 pm

    Karel (a conspiracy a day keeps idiocy away):

    My problem is that there’s a lot of the typical, one sided BS that goes on here, and nobody seems to take all sides into account. It’s so easy to sit back and place blame to a side and blame all the world’s major problems on it/them. What’s even more annoying is that when I read these complaints, and I challenge individuals here for a solution they never mention anything at all, or worse, they tout the same old ‘party line’ BS….

    Other than that, it could just be my genital warts are flaring up!

  149. Lube for you

    9 May, 2013 - 4:10 pm

    Komodo,

    If it’s Israel’s ‘given right’ to fly over a country and use force as that country fought against them in 2 major conventional conflicts, then what about the other side which for sure feels it’s their ‘given right’ to fire missles, use terrorism attacks, and state their intention is to wipe Israel off the map?

    To take a side on this one, well I feel it’s a no win situation. Everyone will use religion to legal scholars to justify their actions. It doesn’t bring any of the actors in the entire area to a peace agreement, or even talks.

  150. B’Tselem* report, just out, on the November 2012 invasion by the IDF of Gaza – ‘Operation Misleading Name’, I think it was:

    http://www.btselem.org/download/201305_pillar_of_defense_operation_eng.pdf

    Denied in its totality by the IDF, obviously.

    *very good guys

  151. Don’t be irrelevant, Lube. Israel has no rights in Lebanese airspace, and Herzog is trying to assert that the IDF’s illegal actions are legal.

  152. Lube for you

    9 May, 2013 - 5:41 pm

    Like I said before, all parties will justify. International law can never be enforced other then sanctions and condemnation (which has worked so great with places like North Korea)…. All parties will act according their interests, and powerful counties want weak ones on their boarders. If you’re holding out that the UN and International Law will solve this matter well several resolutions into the matter won’t mean a thing unless someone is willing to back it up with more war.

    I feel that peace will never be realized in the region unless parties are willing to talk and make concessions. Israel gave the Sinai back to Egypt (they took it, if you recall, after Egypt invaded them) in return for a peace agreement. Syria also invaded Israel, and they lost the Golan Heights. I’m sure with a stable government in Syria (whenever that may be) something could be worked out (or at least negotiations could occur). Don’t get me wrong, neither side is totally innocent, but there needs to be people willing to talk to solve the violence. That’s hard to do when you consider that Hamas will not acknowledge Israel, and like all the other neighboring states there, they want Israel wiped off the map. No one seems willing to move out do they?

  153. Lube for you

    9 May, 2013 - 5:49 pm

    “Don’t be irrelevant, Lube. Israel has no rights in Lebanese airspace, and Herzog is trying to assert that the IDF’s illegal actions are legal.”

    Neither was Syria and Israel invading Lebanon years back. They both found reasons to justify it didn’t they (in the realm of national security). How long did international pressure take to get them out? How many people died as a result? In the end, if human life is lost, what’s the point of ‘stop or I’ll say stop again, you’re in violation of international laws, so stop it’? What’s the ultimate plan which strives to set a base level of peace and keep it? I’m asking?

  154. karel (a conspiracy a day keeps idiocy away)

    9 May, 2013 - 9:55 pm

    Lube

    will not help with your genital warts. The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) papiloma virus seems the likely culprit and your apparent confusion about lubricants is probably nothing other than early manifestation of one of the rarer symptoms of the HPV. Hence, I feel obliged to act magnanimously as to excuse your sentences like “Israel gave the Sinai back to Egypt (they took it, if you recall, after Egypt invaded them) in return for a peace agreement.” Have you not been taught at school that one should not steal or that stolen objects or land should be returned unconditionally to their rightful owners? Is this concept of justice rather strange to your depraved mind or have you attended Yeshiva?

  155. Lube for you

    9 May, 2013 - 10:53 pm

    Karel (idiocracy was a funny film):

    READ SOME OF MY POSTS. INTERNATIONAL LAW DOESN’T MEAN SHIT. THERE’S NO WAY TO ENFORCE IT WITHOUT THE VERY LEAST A REAL MILITARY THREAT. YOU WANT JUSTICE, and THE HAGUE and UN is GOING TO GIVE IT TO THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD? Didn’t Monty Python do a bit on this?

    “Have you not been taught at school that one should not steal or that stolen objects or land should be returned unconditionally to their rightful owners?”

    YOU REALLY THINK THAT WILL HAPPEN? DO YOU THINK ISRAEL WILL JUST LEAVE? ‘Sorry, we sort of took some land from you guys which historically we’ve always lived on with one another, and fought one another about’…. ‘were just going to give it all to you now because Karel and Trinidad told us it’s unfair and they’re threatening us with a UN BINDING resolution’……’We scared of being prosecuted in the Hague for war crimes’…. Remember, you only get prosecuted if YOUR CONQUERED!

    COME BACK TO REALITY, it sucks here most of the time, but it’s those special moments that make it ALL worth while. I got some LUBE for YA, or at least some pudding to fill your diaper!

  156. resident dissident

    9 May, 2013 - 11:10 pm

    Lube

    Many thanks for talking some sense. Perhaps those who believe that there may be some other way forward in the Middle East might suggest what it might be rather than indulging in name calling and worse. Answers suggesting that Israel should accept Hizbollah’s missiles with open arms or similar will just be ignored.

  157. April Showers

    10 May, 2013 - 5:49 am

    The west and its allies cynically bleed Syria to weaken Iran
    If western politicians were really interested in saving lives, they would use their leverage to negotiate a settlement

    Seumas Milne
    The Guardian, Tuesday 7 May 2013 20.38 BST

    If anyone had doubts that Syria’s gruesome civil war is already spinning into a wider Middle East conflict, the events of the past few days should have laid them to rest. Most ominous was Israel’s string of aerial attacks on Syrian military installations near Damascus, reportedly killing more than 100.

    The bombing raids, unprovoked and illegal, were of course immediately supported by the US and British governments. Since Israel has illegally occupied Syria’s Golan Heights for 46 years, perhaps the legitimacy of a few more air raids hardly merited serious consideration.

    But it’s only necessary to consider what the western reaction would have been if Syria, let alone Iran, had launched such an attack on Israel – or one of the Arab regimes currently arming the Syrian rebels – to realise how little these positions have to do with international legality, equity or rights of self-defence.

    /..
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/07/west-cynically-bleed-syria-weaken-iran

  158. Lube: In the end, if human life is lost, what’s the point of ‘stop or I’ll say stop again, you’re in violation of international laws, so stop it’?

    (I’ll assume that that wasn’t a rabbinical, rhetorical question. Just for lulz.)

    None whatever. Obviously. International law is inefficiently enforced, obviously. Its efficient enforcement is dependent, among other things, on the signatories to international conventions refraining from giving their special buddies a free pass to do exactly as they like while said signatories are bombing the shit out of other regimes who are getting in the way of “their” oil. Hello, US, UK?

    What’s the ultimate plan which strives to set a base level of peace and keep it? I’m asking?

    Yeah, I am tempted to say, like you’re serious. I’m interested in the MidEast, it’s a bit smaller than the world. There is (obviously) no quick fix. But wouldn’t it be a good idea for Israel to acknowledge the right of the Palestinians to remain in (and return to) the area where they have lived, and either create a single state which accommodates both Jews and Arabs or set up a separate contiguous, functioning state for the latter? Just for a start. Instead of shooting farmers, bombing Gaza, cutting down olive groves and building fortified settlements full of expatriate Russians on Palestinian-owned farmland while pretending that you support any other solution than a shrinking Bantustan? Might be a start, no?

    You say no. Which gives me a clear idea of where you’re coming from, if I didn’t have one already.

    And btw, what’s G-d’s plan for the universe? I’m asking.

  159. Oh, and -
    Hamas will not acknowledge Israel…

    Couldn’t have anything to do with the FACT that when Hamas was democratically elected by the Gazans – and even Israel was forced to admit the elections were fair – Israel then refused to have anything to do with Hamas, and then leaned on the US, Europe and us to do the same? And has made impossible conditions for resuming peace talks ever since?

    Result: Hamas – which had some reasonable diplomats at the time – is now hardline and autocratic. Stick. Own back.

  160. April Showers

    10 May, 2013 - 10:08 am

    BBC Website today

    No contradiction then in these two headlines????

    Israel ‘curbs settlement building’

    Israel approves new settler homes
    Israel has approved the construction of nearly 300 new Jewish settler homes.

    The Phillipines want to withdraw their troops as UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights due to kidnapping. Wyre Davies of the BBC was reporting from there this morning speaking to the kibbutzim on their fears of being attacked!

  161. April Showers

    10 May, 2013 - 10:11 am

    Ali Abunimah

    A standard objection to the Palestinian campaign for the boycott of Israel is that it would cut off “dialogue” and hurt the chances of peace. We’ve heard this again in the wake of Professor Stephen Hawking’s laudable decision to withdraw from Israel’s Presidential Conference in response to requests from Palestinian academics – but it would be hard to think of a more unconvincing position as far as Palestinians are concerned.

    One of the most deceptive aspects of the so-called peace process is the pretence that Palestinians and Israelis are two equal sides, equally at fault, equally responsible – thus erasing from view the brutal reality that Palestinians are an occupied, colonised people, dispossessed at the hands of one of the most powerful militaries on earth.

    For more than two decades, under the cover of this fiction, Palestinians have engaged in internationally-sponsored “peace talks” and other forms of dialogue, only to watch as Israel has continued to occupy, steal and settle their land, and to kill and maim thousands of people with impunity.

    While there are a handful of courageous dissenting Israeli voices, major Israeli institutions, especially the universities, have been complicit in this oppression by, for example, engaging in research and training partnerships with the Israeli army. Israel’s government has actively engaged academics, artists and other cultural figures in international “Brand Israel” campaigns to prettify the country’s image and distract attention from the oppression of Palestinians.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/09/stephen-hawking-palestinian-boycott-israel-history

  162. “prettifying the image”…continued

    WORDS THAT WORK
    We know that the Palestinians deserve leaders who will care about the well being of
    their people, and who do not simply take hundreds of millions of dollars in assistance
    from America and Europe, put them in Swiss bank accounts, and use them to support
    terror instead of peace. The Palestinians need books, not bombs. They want roads, not
    rockets.”

    MORE WORDS THAT WORK
    “The obstacles on the road to a peaceful and prosperous Middle East are many.
    Israel recognizes that peace is made with one’s adversaries, not with one’s friends.
    But peace can only be made with adversaries who want to make peace with you.
    Terrorist organizations like Iran-backed Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad are,
    by definition, opposed to peaceful co-existence, and determined to prevent
    reconciliation. I ask you, how do you negotiate with those who want you dead?”

    Put the book (1) down, Lube (The Israel Project’s 2009 GLOBAL LANGUAGE DICTIONARY) by Frank Luntz (2)). And walk away slowly.

    (1) http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.newsweek.com%2Fmedia%2F70%2Ftip_report.pdf&date=2009-08-06%3Cbr%3E

    (2) Far-right neocon professional liar -

    Among Luntz’s notable clients, for his memo on killing financial reform legislation:

    – Luntz client Ameriquest Mortgages: The proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) would eliminate predatory mortgages. Ameriquest, America’s “sub-prime leader,” has been prosecuted by Attorney General Richard Blumenthal for inflating property values so borrowers could get bigger loans, imposing upfront fees without reducing interest rates as promised, and intentionally deceiving lenders with hidden penalties and interest rates on final loan documents.

    – Luntz clients Merrill Lynch and Bear Stearns: Under proposed financial reform, big banks, like Luntz clients Merrill Lynch and Bear Stearns, would face a new structure designed to police financial products, prohibit predatory ones, and require clear forms and disclosures. The CFPA would also help regulate hidden bank fees and other bank abuses.

    – Luntz client American Express: The CFPA would regulate the credit card industry, preventing predatory interest rates and fees.

    (Wikipedia: Frank Luntz)

  163. I don’t believe that in the cases ‘Lube For You’ cites, that the facts bear out the version of events given. Neither Egypt nor Syria invaded Israel, Israel launched pre-meditated attacks in both cases, claiming they were about to be attacked. In Syria one object was to take prime agricultural land, still held. The Sinai was returned to Egypt only after had Israel had fully exhausted (stole), pumped dry, what was Egypt’s only onshore oil field, leaving Egypt thereafter far more dependent on outside aid than before.

  164. Lube for you

    10 May, 2013 - 8:05 pm

    WHAT Cryptonym??? Have a general read:

    1973 Arab–Israeli War and the Fourth Arab–Israeli War, was a war of aggression[39] fought by the coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria against Israel from October 6 to 25, 1973.

    The war began when the coalition launched a joint surprise attack on Israel on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in Judaism, which occurred that year during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Egyptian and Syrian forces crossed ceasefire lines to enter the Israeli-held Sinai Peninsula and Golan Heights respectively, which had been captured and occupied since the 1967 Six-Day War. Both the United States and the Soviet Union initiated massive resupply efforts to their respective allies during the war, and this led to a near-confrontation between the two nuclear superpowers.[40]

  165. Lube for you

    10 May, 2013 - 8:23 pm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yom_Kippur_War

    Just so I’m not accused of being Jewish, or a NeoCon… I’M NOT EVEN A REPUBLICAN Komodo! Nor have I read the book you’re implying. If I was such a person with those beliefs I wouldn’t be here debating. I’m debating at this point because people here constantly go way out with things like International Law, the UN etc. Then people look for who’s to blame. What I keep trying to state is that NONE OF THAT MATTERS, AND IT DOESN’T EVEN APPROACH HOW TO BRING PEACE TO THE MIDDLE EAST and ELSEWHERE…

    Really, which ever ‘side’ is right, just, and honorable (which NEITHER IS), does that bring ALL PARTIES to the negotiation table, or even start talks?? It makes one side defensive and angry, does it not?

    If you must know, the person I’m reading much from is Dr. Tawfik Hamid, a former Jihadist who studied under Ayman al-Zawahiri. He’s now a reformer, and has really interesting theories about how to end fighting, especially on religious grounds. Here’s a description from his Wikipedia page:

    “Tawfik Hamid (born in 1961) is an author from Egypt who opposes Islamic fundamentalism.

    A self-described former member of the militant al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya Tawfik Hamid advocates a peaceful understanding of Islam that is compatible with universal human rights and intellectual freedom.”

  166. Lube for you

    10 May, 2013 - 8:39 pm

    Resident Dissident, thank you for summing up what I’ve been trying to say:

    “Many thanks for talking some sense. Perhaps those who believe that there may be some other way forward in the Middle East might suggest what it might be rather than indulging in name calling and worse. Answers suggesting that Israel should accept Hizbollah’s missiles with open arms or similar will just be ignored.”

    Komodo,

    “And btw, what’s G-d’s plan for the universe? I’m asking.”

    You assume I believe in G_d or that i’m monotheistic…. WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH HUMAN KIND LIVING TOGETHER? Does it matter what I believe outside this known world?

  167. karel (a conspiracy a day keeps idiocy away)

    10 May, 2013 - 11:48 pm

    Lube
    you brain somewhat to be able to understand simple concepts. You seem to be in a state of slight confusion as your sentences like ‘Sorry, we sort of took some land from you guys which historically we’ve always lived on with one another, and fought one another about’…
    It sounds like a like a testimony of a demented criminal who says Sorry, I just blew his brains out, because historically speaking it was my right as my mother lost her virginity in that wood.

    First of all lube, even though I am a simple goy, you have not yet taken anything from me yet and I would cut your balls off if you ever tried any such tricks with me.

    Second, what does “we” mean in that weasel sentence of yours?? Do you consider yourself to be a descendant of the king David, who never existed, or more realistically a boisterous misfit of the primitive Khazar tribesmen who never set a foot to the “Holy” land? Please explain.

  168. karel (a conspiracy a day keeps idiocy away)

    11 May, 2013 - 12:15 am

    Res Dissident,

    what a pathetic figure you are. A dissindent?? Ha hah ha and once more haha . Are you expecting a knock at the door every night at four to be taken to the Gulag of Guantanamo? I would piss into my trousers with laughter if my jordan was not so invitingly near. Dissident where and what is your dissent?? You are a pathetic sycophant to the demented but slightly lubricated hahababa. Is this a form of dissent?? It is pretty obvious that you are one of those whom Israel Shamir calls the “swarm” but sadly not such an amusing insect as our beloved halibabacus. Get lost you tedious clown.

  169. karel (a conspiracy a day keeps idiocy away)

    11 May, 2013 - 12:36 am

    Komodo,

    why to waste time seriuosly arguing with those who feel that they are “chosen”? Such convictions are nothing but an early manifestation of a mental disorder. You deserve a better fate than that.

  170. karel (a conspiracy a day keeps idiocy away)

    11 May, 2013 - 12:59 am

    Komodo,

    having just experienced an unsatiable desire to argue with you about something we have been forbiden to do by Craig. But the inability to relieve myself burns so much in my desirous brain that i feel that it is grotesqually inhumane to let me suffer any longer. Being a relative newcommer and a great coward, i.e. someone who likes to hide behind the bush, if you know what I mean,to this blog with no leverage whatsoever can you please plead with craig to let us contemplate the prophecies of the ….,. I apologize for not having the courage to write this dreadful word down.

  171. A good, and very readable, book, which I’d thoroughly recommend is ‘Islam and Islamism, by Bassam Tibi (2012). I agree with Tibi’s analysis in the book.

    http://yalepress.yale.edu/book.asp?isbn=9780300159981

  172. April Showers

    12 May, 2013 - 4:56 pm

    Gove would like the UK to leave the EU. The UK would like Gove just to leave.

    Michael Gove would vote for Britain to leave the EU
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-22500121

  173. April Showers

    12 May, 2013 - 6:29 pm

    Add Hammond to the list.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-22500121

    Things are going swimmingly in Libya.

    BP withdraws some Libya staff over security concerns
    The UK has withdrawn some staff from its embassy in Libya
    The BP move follows UK advice about uncertainty in Libya

    Libya after Gaddafi
    Armed and angry
    Forgetting Gaddafi

    Oil giant BP has withdrawn some non-essential staff from operations in Libya following UK government advice about uncertainty in the country.

    /..
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22501901

  174. Two things I’ve been intending to post here for quite some time. If they’ve already been posted, my apologies.

    Apologists for Israel take top posts at BBC

    http://electronicintifada.net/content/apologists-israel-take-top-posts-bbc/12395

    BBC pulls documentary claiming story of Jewish exodus from Jerusalem is a ‘myth’

    http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/bbc-pulls-documentary-claiming-story-of-jewish-exodus-from-jerusalem-is-a-myth-1.518768

  175. Col. Morris Davis is on Twitter

    “Gitmo chief prosecutor ’05-’07. Retired w/25 yrs Air Force service. Asst Prof Howard Law. Battling the faux-patriots one comment at a time … ”

    He’s promoting the Close Guantanamo petition at Change.org
    http://www.change.org/CloseGTMO

    Please sign!

  176. April Showers

    13 May, 2013 - 8:48 am

    FSA Founder Robert Ford Shows Support for Al Qaeda/Al Nusra Terrorists on Syrian Border

    Posted on May 13, 2013

    U.S. ambassador to Syria Robert Ford met with a Syrian rebel chief at a border crossing with Turkey this week, a rebel commander told AFP on Friday.

    http://friendsofsyria.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/fsa-founder-robert-ford-shows-support-for-al-qaedaal-nusra-terrorists-on-syrian-border/

    Ford’s previous. Ford was Negroponte’s No 2 in the US Embassy in Baghdad.

    John Negroponte- Robert S. Ford. The Iraq “Salvador Option”

    In January 2005, following Negroponte’s appointment as US ambassador to Iraq, the Pentagon confirmed in a story leaked to Newsweek that it was “considering forming hit squads of Kurdish and Shia fighters to target leaders of the Iraqi insurgency in a strategic shift borrowed from the American struggle against left-wing guerrillas in Central America 20 years ago”. (El Salvador-style ‘death squads’ to be deployed by US against Iraq militants – Times Online, January 10, 2005)

    John Negroponte and Robert S. Ford at the US Embassy worked closely together on the Pentagon’s project.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-pentagon-s-salvador-option-the-deployment-of-death-squads-in-iraq-and-syria/26043

  177. Komodo,

    “And btw, what’s G-d’s plan for the universe? I’m asking.”

    You assume I believe in G_d or that i’m monotheistic…. WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH HUMAN KIND LIVING TOGETHER? Does it matter what I believe outside this known world?

    Not assuming anything. Just asking….you seem to like asking very large and unanswerable questions, and I thought you’d appreciate it.

  178. karel (a conspiracy a day keeps idiocy away

    13 May, 2013 - 10:50 pm

    Komodo,
    you slipping from my grasp like an oversize eel who is still tempted to breed in the great ocean. I know nothing of god’s plans, neither you do I guess, but I want to discuss conspiracies (those we are not allowed to talk about) with you. Not god’s plans.

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