MIDDLE EAST | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


MIDDLE EAST

Feb 21 08:15

Gulf leaders praise Israel ties in closed-door meeting

Gulf officials showcased their hostility towards Iran and their affection for Israel at the Warsaw conference hosted by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office leaked and then deleted a video of a closed-door meeting at the conference showing officials from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates spewing invective against Iran and defending Israel.

Bahrain’s foreign minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa downplayed Israel’s oppression of Palestinians.

“We grew up talking about the Palestine-Israel dispute as the most important issue,” he said in the video. “But then at a later stage, we saw a bigger challenge. We saw a more toxic one, in fact the most toxic in our modern history, which came from the Islamic Republic, from Iran.”

Feb 21 08:07

What If They Started a War and No One Showed Up?

The humiliation of United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Warsaw last week was a good thing. The ancient Greeks, exercising their demonstrated ability to synthesize defining characteristics, had a word for it: hubris. Hubris is when one develops an extreme and unreasonable feeling of confidence in a certain course of action that inevitably leads to one’s downfall when that conceit proves to be based on false principles.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

From "MASH":

Flagg: I've got to nip this rotten apple in the bud! This sort of action's contagious. One man decides he's not gonna fight, it catches on, the next thing, you know what you've got on your hands?

B.J.: Peace?

Feb 21 07:48

Labour: Anti-Semitic or just resisting occupation? The war on Corbyn hots up

Stuart Littlewood highlights that the latest defections from the Labour Party – most recently by Joan Ryan, the MP who fabricated anti-Semitism at the party’s 2016 annual conference, is a desperate attempt by Israel’s stooges to shield it from growing criticism. >>

Feb 20 12:35

Walter Jones and the Vote to End US War on Yemen

In a fitting legacy for my friend Walter Jones, Jr. who passed away last week, the US House made history by voting in favor of H.J.Res. 37, a resolution “Directing the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress.” As George O’Neill wrote in the American Conservative magazine this week, the historic 248-177 victory for a bill demanding the end of the US participation in the nearly five year Saudi war of aggression “reflects how many hearts and minds were influenced by the late Congressman’s tireless efforts.”

Feb 20 12:22

Jordan ambassador calls for dismissing Israel envoy

Jordanian members of parliament yesterday called on the government to dismiss the Israeli ambassador to Amman and to recall the Jordanian ambassador from Israel in response to Israel’s violations of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Safa news agency reported.

The Chairman of the Palestine Committee in Parliament MP Yahya Al-Saud read the statement of his committee for the parliament, calling on the government to urgently take all the needed measures to stop Israel’s unilateral measures.

According to Safa, the committee hailed the Jordanian official stance regarding Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Islamic sites in Jerusalem, referring to the role of the Jordanian endowment ministry in the holy city.

Feb 19 13:12

Businesses in the Middle East have begun to think ‘Make trade not war’ and being part of China’s Belt and Road scheme

Singapore, aiming high for the status of Asia’s unofficial capital, seems like the ideal venue for a conference to discuss how the Middle East could learn a few lessons from ASEAN’s multi-layered relations with China, especially involving partnership in the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

But first, let’s get things straight. The “Middle East” is, of course, a Eurocentric, Orientalist denomination. From Asia’s – and China’s – cultural and geographical point of view, the “Middle East” is correctly seen as Southwest Asia.

It’s enlightening to evaluate two Chinese informed perspectives on how China is deploying its geopolitical soft power across Southwest Asia in contrast to the Trump administration’s immensely muddled strategy.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is a great place for the world to start; and I wholeheartedly agree with the concept of trade trumps war ANY day, in my book

Feb 19 12:39

U.S. pressing Gulf states to keep Syria isolated - sources

The United States is lobbying Gulf states to hold off restoring ties with Syria, including the UAE which has moved closer to Damascus to counter the influence of its rival Iran, five sources told Reuters.

The opposing approaches are an early test of whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad can gain political and diplomatic credibility after a nearly eight-year civil war turned him into an international pariah.

Many countries cut links with Syria at the start of the war.

Several Gulf states shut or downgraded their embassies, Syria was suspended from the Arab League, flights stopped and border crossings were closed. The United States and other countries imposed economic sanctions.

Washington, backed by Gulf countries Saudi Arabia and Qatar, does not want Syria welcomed back into the international community until a political process to end the war is agreed.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is apparent that these alleged reporters for Reuters UK are spewing the codswallop just as hard, and as quickly, as their US/UK masters are ordering them to do.

It is painfully obvious that the US/Israel still want regime change, and are couching it in the language of they do "not want Syria welcomed back into the international community until a political process to end the war is agreed."
Regime change to a western centric government is what they want, and for what they will move heaven and earth to get, with Al-Assad given no place on the ballot.

Al Assad did not have a civil war on his hands at the outset here; various US, Israeli, and other resources, trained, funded, and armed jihadis who were spirited into the country to destabilize Damascus; the US is just expressing sour grapes that its destabilization plot could not be made to work.

Feb 19 11:56

Rats begin leaving the UK Labour ship — but how much of a health risk do they pose?

Stuart Littlewood says the seven Labour Party deserters – small fry compared to the Gang of Four of 1981 – are nothing without the party’s help and the party’s brand, but may “serve as a magnet for other malcontents with little regard for British interests, only their own warped ambition”. >>

Feb 19 10:50

Congress closer to forcing Trump’s hand on Saudi support?!?

Supporters of a measure to cut off U.S. support to Saudi Arabia in Yemen are projecting victory in the coming weeks when the Senate takes up a House-passed resolution.

The Trump administration is expected to ramp up its lobbying against the Yemen war powers resolution as the vote nears in hopes of flipping some of the Republicans who back the measure.

But opponents have few tools at their disposal to stop the resolution, which only needs a simple majority for a procedural vote and subsequent final passage.

Backers say they now have added momentum as the administration’s missteps in handling the Jamal Khashoggi killing have only increased ire at Saudi Arabia.

“I think we’re going to win,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said.

He declined to say whether he expects any Republicans who supported the measure in December to switch their vote.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would almost be willing to bet that Al Qaeda, or alleged "associated forces" will be accused of starting some dustup in Yemen, in order to give President Trump the ability to say that he "has a legitimate reason for US forces staying in Yemen", neutralizing this legislation.

Feb 19 10:04

A Palestine-Jordan Confederation is becoming a very real possibility

There has been more talk recently from the Palestinians, Israelis and Jordanians about the option of a confederation as an alternative to the two-state solution in light of the political impasse reached between Ramallah and Tel Aviv. So what are the true positions of the three governments on this option, the chances of this being achieved on the ground, the official reactions of these countries, and public opinion on the matter?

Palestinian-Israeli relations have reached an unprecedented political stalemate because of the stalled negotiations between them since 2014. This may have prompted Palestinians to think outside the box or refer back to old talk of a confederation with the Hashemite Kingdom.

Feb 19 09:38

DESPITE 'WAR CRIMES' CONCERNS IN YEMEN, RAYTHEON NABS $1.6 BILLION ARMS DEAL WITH UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) just inked billions in deals to secure new weapons from top Pentagon contractor Raytheon a week after an Amnesty International investigation further implicated the Gulf nation in war crimes for transferring Western weapons to unaccountable militia groups, thereby deepening the humanitarian crisis and fueling carnage in war-ravaged Yemen.

"Emirati forces receive billions of dollars' worth of arms from Western states and others, only to siphon them off to militias in Yemen that answer to no-one and are known to be committing war crimes."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It would be great to live in a country which has never, and will never, stoop to creating war crimes, the way the US and Saudi Arabia have colluded to do in Yemen, where an active, ongoing genocide continues, about which we Americans get to hear very little.

Feb 18 10:55

Will Yemen Be Trump’s First Veto?

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives issued a stinging rebuke of the White House’s holding pattern in support of the Saudi coalition in Yemen. The vote was the culmination of multiple years of efforts by realists on Capitol Hill and their allies. House Joint Resolution 37 demands the removal U.S. Armed Forces from hostilities in or affecting Yemen within a month unless: Congress authorizes a later date, or issues a declaration of war, or specifically authorizes military force. The vote was not close: 248-177.

“The vote today is a step toward more sensible U.S. policy in Yemen and the Middle East, a welcome admonishment of Saudi Arabia, and an overdue assertion of nearly-dormant war powers. In each of those senses, though, more is needed,” says Benjamin H. Friedman of Defense Priorities.

Feb 18 10:15

Nasrallah: Warsaw meet unmasked Israel-Gulf ties, Arab leaders Israel’s ‘tools’

Referencing dispute over IDF readiness for war, Hezbollah chief says Israelis ‘don’t trust’ army; ‘They know we can enter Galilee, they’re not sure they can enter our land’

Feb 18 07:50

Israel training mercenaries for Yemen war in UAE camps in Negev: Haaretz

Israel's leading daily Haaretz says Tel Aviv is a partner to the Saudi war on Yemen and is "reaping the profits" from its partnership in the brutal aggression.

Haaretz revealed that Israeli officers are training foreign mercenaries, led by the Colombians and Nepalese, in UAE-funded camps situated in Negev Desert.

Quoting sources in a US House Intelligence Committee, the report said the mercenaries have been recruited by Mohammed Dahlan, security adviser to Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Dahlan had “visited these camps on more than one occasion to check the progress of preparations and training received by mercenaries, under the personal supervision of the Israeli occupation army officers," the report said.

Feb 18 04:59

President Starts a War? Congress Yawns. Threatens to End One? Condemnation!

Last week's bipartisan Senate vote to rebuke President Trump for his decision to remove troops from Syria and Afghanistan unfortunately tells us a lot about what is wrong with Washington, DC. While the two parties loudly bicker about minor issues, when it comes to matters like endless wars overseas they enthusiastically join together. With few exceptions, Republicans and Democrats lined up to admonish the president for even suggesting that it's time for US troops to come home from Afghanistan and Syria ... The president bombs far-off lands and even sends troops to fight in and occupy foreign territory and Congress doesn't say a word. But if a president dares seek to end a war suddenly the sleeping Congressional giant awakens!

Feb 18 04:44

With Procedural Maneuver, House G.O.P. Elevates Anti-Semitism as Political Issue

The House voted unanimously on Wednesday to condemn anti-Semitism and "all attempts to delegitimize and deny Israel's right to exist," adopting language put forth by Republicans who have spent weeks trying to paint two freshman Democrats as anti-Semites and dozens of other Democrats as their enablers ... The anti-Semitism resolution comes two days after Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the entire Democratic leadership condemned Representative Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota, and forced her to apologize for a Twitter post in which she insinuated that American support for Israel is fueled by money from donors and pressure from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the pro-Israel lobbying group known as Aipac ... The latest war of words over anti-Semitism on Capitol Hill is making some Jewish leaders increasingly uneasy.

Feb 17 10:13

Iran warns Saudi Arabia, UAE of retaliatory measures, scolds Pakistan

The chief commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has warned Saudi Arabia and the UAE that they could face retaliatory measures for supporting terrorists on behalf of the US and Israel.

General Mohammad Ali Jafari on Saturday stressed that Iran would give a "decisive" response to a Wednesday terrorist attack which killed 27 IRGC border guards in the southeastern Sistan and Baluchestan province.

"The patience that the establishment once exercised against conspiracies and reactionary regimes in the region, especially Saudi Arabia and the UAE which carry out these acts on orders from the US and the Zionist regime, will be different and we will definitely take reparative measures," he said.

On Wednesday, an explosives-laden car rammed into a bus carrying the IRGC personnel on a road between the cities of Zahedan and Khash, leaving 27 of them dead and 13 others wounded.

Feb 17 10:11

Arab world outraged by humiliation at Warsaw conference

The Arab public believes their leaders attended the US-backed conference in Poland in a pre-planned scenario to normalize ties with Israel. A leaked video of the closed meeting shows Arab leaders play down the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and defend Israel's right to defend itself.

Feb 16 10:26

Senator Warren Calls for End of US Support of War Crimes in Yemen

A starker reality is that the US has aided and abetted a criminal, genocidal war against Yemen, mostly carried out by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and several allies. From the beginning, this war has been a nexus of war crimes that included using cluster bombs on civilian targets, such as weddings, funerals, hospitals, and schools. The US was involved from the start in selecting those and other targets. The US provided intelligence, maintenance, mid-air refueling, and support for a naval blockade (an act of war) that helped starve a country that has always needed to import food to survive.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Yes, I know, I frequently link to images of dead, maimed children; their horrible death by malnutrition, and death by (possibly weaponized) cholera.

President Obama was always the clever, shifty one, who managed to state his case so poetically in prose, if coverage of the Yemen war got any press at all in the US, that you never, ever, would have considered him as a war criminal, when in fact, he was.

I will say the same thing about President Trump, who has massively allowed the Saudi Army to buy all kinds of arms and munitions to continue this genocide in Yemen, and is, because of this continuation in Obama's footprints, also a war criminal.

I am encouraged that Senator Warren has called for an end to this nightmare; but we need other voices in Congress to do that same, and initiate a bullet-proof, veto-proof-piece of legislation, which spells out the US pulling out of this mission, militarily, forever.

Feb 15 12:36

Prince Muhammad’s Khashoggi bullet: An insight into Saudi strategic thinking

James Dorsey views Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s murderous strategy towards critics and highlights his efforts to use ties with Russia as leverage to ward off potential US pressure following the murder of writer Jamal Khashoggi.>>

Feb 15 09:36

POMPEO WANTS TO CONFRONT IRAN, BUT HOW?

In Warsaw on Thursday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that peace and stability could not be achieved in the Middle East without confronting Iran.

The comments came during meetings at a US-backed conference in Warsaw designed to further Middle East security. Israel, the US and foreign ministers from some 60 countries gathered in the Polish capital, but much of the focus has been on Iran. The ministerial meeting gathered together leading opponents of Tehran’s role in the Middle East, including Israel, Arab countries and the US administration.

Feb 15 09:34

BEX ALERT - IRAN'S ‘TOXIC MONEY’ PREVENTING ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PEACE- BAHRAINI FM

Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said in a closed-door meeting at the Warsaw summit that Iran funding violence in the Middle East was the key challenge to overcome for peace.

Feb 15 08:34

Gulf states’ warm, secret embrace of Israel exposed

According to a report by Barak Ravid for Israel’s Channel 10, the two leaders spoke by phone several times between 2015 and 2016, following years of covert relations between the two countries.

This includes intelligence collaboration against Iran, arms sales and technology exchanges.

Ravid traces the history of the collaboration back a decade, when the failure of a secret arms deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates led to a two-year rift in covert relations.

In February 2009, Israel lobby stalwart and former US “peace process” diplomat Dennis Ross, UAE ambassador to Washington Yousef Al Otaiba and Israeli ambassador Sallai Meridor met in secret at a Washington hotel, Ravid reported.

Feb 14 15:00

Reduced to skin and bones by civil war: Twelve-year-old girl weighs just 22 pounds - the same as a typical toddler - as Yemen fighting drives people to the brink of famine

These heartwrenching images of a 12-year-old starving girl, so weak she has to be carried by her sister, shows just one of millions of victims of Yemen's civil war.

Fatima Qoba weighs just 22lbs - no more than an average toddler - and years of starvation has left her with paper-thin skin stretched over her bones.

She is receiving treatment at a malnutrition clinic in Hajjah, northwest Yemen, after her desperate sibling brought her there, fearing she would die.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

WARNING: VERY GRUESOME GRAPHICS HERE: One has to wonder; is this the "good behaviour" of the US military in the Middle East with which Vice-President tried to pummel his captive audience in Warsaw to try to turn them turn against Iran?!?

Please remember; this is not a civil war; it is a Saudi Arabian war against Yemenite insurgents, aided and abetted by the US military. Famine; death, and disease are what the people of Yemen are left with, after three years int his conflict.

Children die regularly from being shot at by Saudi Arabian fighters in schools, hospitals, and public markets; the US is actively working with the Saudis blockading the Yemeni ports, insuring that no food can get in, so kids like this child starve to death, if they do not get treated. Children are also dying of cholera, because, thanks to the US/Saudi destruction of clean water resources, (and the fact that this cholera may well have been weaponised), any water they get is not clean.

When you look at this child, don't think of her as "collateral damage"; she is a human being, and witness to US enabled Saudi war crimes Yemen.

Talk to your Congressional Representative, and send the image to them; ask them when this madness will stop. Because, Constitutionally, it is only Congress which can approve war.

But with Yemen they didn't

Feb 14 11:23

Russia, Iran & Turkey talk long-term Syrian peace in Sochi as US and allies beat war drums in Warsaw

Leaders from Russia, Turkey and Iran have descended on the Black Sea city of Sochi to discuss ways of ending Syria’s near-eight-year civil war. Meanwhile, hostile talk is emerging from a meeting of the US and its allies in Warsaw.

Ahead of the talks, the Kremlin said the purpose of the convention would be to discuss potential “joint steps” that can be taken to bring about a “long-term settlement” in the war-torn country.

In addition to the joint forum, President Vladimir Putin is also holding separate talks with Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iran’s Hassan Rouhani.

The Sochi summit comes as countries allied to the US are in the Polish capital for two days of meetings. Organized under a similar theme of bringing “peace and stability to the Middle East,” the talks have been seen as a way for US President Donald Trump to drum up support among European and Arab allies for further action on Iran.

Feb 14 10:49

EU Ignoring Mideast Summit Shows Brussels Anger Over US Stance on Iran – Report

The two-day gathering, which kicked off in Warsaw on Wednesday, was announced last month by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who described it as a platform for focusing on the "important element of making sure that Iran is not a destabilising influence".

Key European powers' limited participation in a high-profile US summit on the Middle East in Warsaw reflects their "growing anger over unilateral US policymaking on Iran and Syria", according to Patrick Wintour, The Guardian's diplomatic editor. The gathering began earlier on Wednesday and is due to wrap up on Thursday.

In an article titled "European powers to present cool front at Warsaw summit", Wintour recalled that British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt will leave the event early, while France is sending a civil servant and Germany only bothered its junior foreign minister with the summit.

Feb 13 14:34

Israel and Arab nations discuss 'common interests of war with Iran' - Netanyahu

Israel and Arab countries are in talks “in order to advance the common interest of war with Iran”, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said, although the translation from Hebrew was later downgrade to mere “struggle.”
The promise of a major conflict in the Middle East was floated by the Israeli leader during his trip to Warsaw.

“From here I am going to a meeting with 60 foreign ministers and envoys of countries from around the world against Iran,” Netanyahu said as quoted by Jerusalem Post.

Feb 13 14:33

In Hebron, Israel removes the last restraint on its settlers’ reign of terror

Jonathan Cook shows how Israel, through a combination of settler terrorism, land theft and oppressive occupation policies, and with full US support, is driving the indigenous Palestinian inhabitants of Hebron out of their homes.>>

Feb 13 10:12

US ‘UNCONSTITUTIONAL’ ANTI-BDS LAW CHALLENGED IN MARYLAND COURT

A legal battle is underway in the US state of Maryland to reverse an anti-Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) legislation denounced as “unconstitutional”. Syed Saqib Ali – a former Maryland state representative – today filed a civil rights lawsuit against an executive order denying government contracts to businesses that boycott Israel.

The suit – filed in federal court – alleges that the Maryland leaders Gov. Larry Hogan and Attorney General Brian Frosh violated Ali’s First and 14th Amendment rights when Hogan signed an executive order in October 2017 requiring all state contractors to promise they will not boycott Israel.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It will be interesting to see how this case goes down, and to what legal appeals may apply, if any.

I frankly hope that this gets argued all the way up to the Supreme Court.

Feb 13 10:08

Netanyahu says Iran focus of Warsaw Mideast summit

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the focus of Wednesday's Mideast conference in Warsaw will be Iran, an issue he says "unites Israel, the United States, many countries in the world."

Speaking to reporters before departing for Poland on Tuesday, Netanyahu said Israel enjoys "very good relations" with every country in the region "except Syria." He confirmed Israel carried out a strike against Iran in Syria a day before.

Wednesday's conference co-hosted by the U.S. and Poland will focus on Mideast peace and security. Around 80 countries are participating, including Israel, but Iran was not invited.

Feb 12 07:53

Drawn by Saudi cash, Yemeni mercenaries are left high and dry

The thought of fighting in one of the various factions battling in Yemen’s brutal civil war never crossed Adel’s mind.

Until he lost his job in the public water service of Taiz city, that is.

Suddenly the father of two daughters found himself struggling to feed his family, and from 2015 he found providing for his wife and children a daily difficulty.

Last year, feeling at his lowest as unemployment and skyrocketing prices bit hard, the 37-year-old decided to become a mercenary, and fight for Saudi Arabia against Yemen’s Houthis along the two countries’ border.

“Dozens of my neighbours of different ages participated in battles before me and they returned with a lot of money, so I started to think about fighting,” Adel told Middle East Eye.

“My neighbours told me that they do not face any danger in the battles, and the air strikes usually target the Houthis while they shot at the Houthis from safe areas.”

Feb 11 12:28

Scott Adams: Bill Pulte Talks About Progress on Inner City Blight and More

Bill Pulte discusses the Blight Authority’s impressive progress
Cleaning up areas where politicians and authorities failed
Getting rid of the crime and the drugs infesting cities
Donations fund the Blight Authority, locals love it
Bill has connections with HUD and key local authorities
https://www.theblightauthority.com/id...
Uses for the cleared, available land
Why is peace in the Middle East now possible?
Questions are about to be answered
Why has President Trump been so nice to Saudi Arabia?
Why has President Trump been so nice to Putin?
Iran has been pushed to the brink of bankruptcy
President Trump’s funny tweet about Amy Klobuchar in the snow
Amy and her staff appeared amateurish
Khamenei “death to America” clarification
He means death to President Trump, Pompeo and Bolton
Interesting because…
Americans like the Iranian people

Feb 11 09:19

‘ENEMY CAN’T ASK US TO LEAVE, THEY MUST LEAVE’: IRAN CALLS FOR US TO WITHDRAW FROM THE REGION

Tehran has brushed off US calls to pull its forces out of Middle East countries, saying that it is the ‘enemy’ Washington who should go back home. It comes as Iran marks 40 years since the Islamic Revolution.
As the US’ own forces start to withdraw from Syria, Washington is increasingly worried that Tehran is getting too entrenched in the war-torn country. The US has repeatedly lambasted Iran for its presence in Syria, where Tehran maintains ‘military advisers.’

On Monday, the deputy head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards fired back at Washington: “The enemy cannot ask us to leave the region. They must leave the region.”

“We will help any Muslim anywhere in the world,” Brigadier General Hossein Salami added.

It’s not the first time that Iran has rejected US demands to curb its ‘influence.’ Last week, a senior aide to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Ali Akbar Velayati, warned: “Whether they want to or not, the Americans must leave Syria.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mr. President, a word please; last time I checked Russia and Iran had been invited by the government of Syria to assist it in getting rid of the western funded, trained, and supported jihadists: the US government was not invited to this particular party, in case the memo never reached you.

In fact, this US occupation of Syria falls under the heading of " a major crime against sovereign state."

And sir, this stated objective that the US has to stay in Syria to watch Iran?!? I don't know if any one has mentioned this to you, but even though you have pulled the US out of the P5+1, Iran, as declared through the IAEA's certifications, Iran is still keeping its part of the deal.

Has Iran started a war in the last two hundred years?!? The short answer is no, Mr. President; they have not. So why in the world is the US "watching them" from Syria?!?

Surely, there has to be another reason. Perhaps creating a false flag in Syria, blame it on the Iranians, and off we would be going, into an Israel-favored war?!? I would like to hope - and pray - that this is not the design objective of the US staying in Syria.

And Mr. President, there is another issue which the American people would like to have explained; why is it, sir, that Iran has signed the NNPT, but Israel has not, meaning, of course, that they are not entitled to any money or weaponry, according to the Mann Act and the Symington Amendment?!?

Isn't the US violating its own law, every time Israel gets more money, or weaponry from the US?!? Can you explain this to us, please?!?

And your excuse for staying in Syria being that we must "protect Israel" with our Syrian occupation?!? President Trump, can you enlighten us on the latest and greatest package passed by Congress for Israeli aid?!?

U.S., Israel Sign Historic 10-year, $38-billion Military Aid Deal

Sir, forgive me, but at this massive cost to the US government (while homeless Vets still sleep rough in our streets, and our infrastructure is crumbling around us), one might imagine that possibly, just possibly, with all that illegal cash, that Israel is receiving from the US, Israel would be fully capable of protecting itself.

So the answers you have provided ring utterly hollow, as the "reasons why" the US military is still in Syria. What you and Israel may have in mind for Syria and Iran, I shudder to contemplate.

Feb 11 08:52

Ex-Saudi intelligence chief reveals secret Israel-Saudi relations

The ex-Saudi Intelligence Chief Turki Al-Faisal this weekend revealed that secret relations between Israel and a number of Gulf states date back as far as 25 years.

According to Qatari newspaper Al-Arab, Al-Faisal was interviewed by Israeli journalist Barak Ravid, who claims to have conducted interviews with 20 prominent Gulf officials with knowledge of secret relations with Israel. However, many of these people refused to speak to the camera, Israel’s Channel 13 reported.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, for the last 25 years, Israel has been claiming to be threatened by its neighbors in order to get money and weapons from the US ... and now we find out they were all getting along together!

Feb 10 08:44

Morocco quits Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, withdraws ambassador from Riyadh

Government officials say Morocco has stopped taking part in military action with the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen's war, and has recalled its ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

Tensions have been mounting between Morocco and Saudi Arabia, amid international concerns about Saudi actions in the Yemen war and other issues.

A Moroccan government official said on Thursday that Morocco no longer takes part in military interventions or ministerial meetings in the Saudi-led coalition.

Feb 09 11:57

Pussy John Bolton and His Codpiece Mustache: Examining the Freak Show

American government has become a collection of sordid and dangerous clowns. It was not always thus. Until Bush II, those governing were never lunatics. Eisenhower, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Obama, Clinton had their defects, were sometimes corrupt, and could be disagreed with on many grounds. They weren’t crazy. Today’s administration would seem unwholesome in a New York bus station at three in the morning. They are not normal American politicians.

In particular they seem to be pushing for war with Iran, China, Russia, and Venezuela. And–this is important–their behavior is not a matter of liberals catfighting with conservatives. All former presidents carefully avoided war with the Soviet Union, which carefully avoided war with America.

Feb 09 11:47

Saudi-led coalition in Yemen launches a targeting operation in Sanaa

CAIRO (Reuters) - The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen launched a targeting operation in the Houthi-held capital, Sanaa, Saudi state TV reported on Saturday.

The operation targeted a location for storing and preparing drones and launch vehicles in Sanaa.

The coalition added that the operation conformed to international law and that measures were taken to protect civilians.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Notice the cold, almost clinically detached, tone of the reporting.

And notice also, no images of the attack,with carnage raining down from the skies; and no mention of the number of civilians maimed for life or killed, many of them just infants and toddlers.

And that last statement "The coalition added that the operation conformed to international law and that measures were taken to protect civilians.", was simply cosmetic, to "save face" for when local first responders get to the site, and try, desperately, to untangle the living from the dead.

So Yahoo and Reuters, here is what life looks like in Yemen, courtesy of this Saudi-generated, US-enabled war against this country: (warning: very graphic images)

Images:
Dead, dying, and maimed for life kids, courtesy of US-enabled Saudi Bombing Runs

Images: Yemeni children dead, or dying of cholera, possibly weaponised, and with water resources deliberately destroyed by US-enabled Saudi military

Images of Yemeni children dying from malnutrition, because a US and Saudi blockade of Yemeni ports.

President Trump, I would have never thought for a moment, when you were campaigning, that you would continue to sign off on US aided and abetted Saudi war crimes in Yemen; and yet, you absolutely appear to have utterly no moral qualms whatsoever, about the assassinations of the innocent here, not to mention that your good friends in the weapons industry, are making such a killing, both literally, and financially, through this grinding war.

To the American Congress, which is the only body in the US government which can legally declare war, you must, lawfully, and peacefully, reclaim your power in this regard.

It is high time for both a very public, peaceful conversation about this Saudi-led, US-abetted war to happen, followed through upon, with veto-proof legislation Congress passes to get our contribution to this horrific genocide ended.

Feb 09 11:43

Trump's mixed messages on the Middle East

President Trump's State of the Union address revealed no clear foreign policy vision or coherent Middle East strategy

Although President Donald Trump did not spend a lot of time on the Middle East issues in his largely self-congratulatory State of the Union address before Congress on February 6, what he did say on these matters was a mix of positions reflecting isolationist strands of his "America first" approach on the one hand, and some neo-conservative positions on the other.

>>>

Feb 08 08:45

Iran Is Cornered

While the Pentagon is withdrawing from the « Greater Middle East » to invest in the « Caribbean Basin », the White House is getting ready to reorganise its allies in the region. To this aim, a « Ministerial to Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East » will be held in Warsaw on the 14 and 15 February. All the allies of the USA will be participating, but not their partners : neither Russia, nor China.

Feb 07 11:11

THE US SYRIA WITHDRAWAL AND THE MYTH OF THE ISLAMIC STATE'S "RETURN"

At face value - the notion that the US occupation of Syria is key to preventing the return of the so-called "Islamic State" (ISIS) to Syrian territory is unconvincing.

Regions west of the Euphrates River where ISIS had previously thrived have since been permanently taken back by the Syrian Arab Army and its Russian and Iranian allies - quite obviously without any support from the United States - and in fact - despite Washington's best efforts to hamper Damascus' security operations.

Damascus and its Russian and Iranian allies have demonstrated that ISIS can be permanently defeated. With ISIS supply lines running out of NATO-territory in Turkey and from across the Jordanian and Iraqi border cut off - Syrian forces have managed to sustainably suppress the terrorist organization's efforts to reestablish itself west of the Euphrates.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There is no real justification for the US military to be in Syria, no matter how much the talking heads at the DOD and Whitehouse embrace that view; it is simply another "jumping off point" for more US military mischief and destabilization, in the Middle East.

Feb 07 08:03

Iran pushes back after Trump’s charges of anti-Semitism

Iran's foreign minister is pushing back after President Donald Trump said the country does "bad, bad things," and appeared to link it to the deadly attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue last year by an American anti-Semite. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted Wednesday that "Iranians - including our Jewish compatriots - are commemorating 40 yrs of progress despite US pressure, just as @realDonaldTrump again makes accusations against us." In his State of the Union address, Trump said Iran "chants death to America and threatens genocide against the Jewish people. We must never ignore the vile poison of anti-Semitism or those who spread its venomous creed."
Note: anti-Semitism, anti-Semitism, anti-Semitism, anti-Semitism, HAD ENOUGH YET!!!

Feb 07 07:59

Spanish priest says ‘powerful Jews’ canceled his anti-Israel film event

A Spanish priest whose church canceled a planned projection of an anti-Israel film blamed the cancellation on threats and how "dying Negroes are less important than the powerful Jews." Pastor Javier Baeza's comments about blacks in a newspaper interview on Friday were decried by the pro-Israel ACOM group as part of a "fundamentally anti-Semitic narrative," ... On Saturday, the controversial film, "Gaza, a look into the eyes of barbarism," which critics say is one-sided and inaccurate, won the "Best Documentary" category of the Goyas, the Spanish equivalent of the Oscars ... But "there were pressures from the Jewish community" to cancel the projection Friday of the film, he told El Pais, before proposing his conclusion about powerful Jews.

Feb 06 12:11

Israel’s military bombed his family to death. Now he’s taking the bastards to court

“So far Ziada has used his own funds and contributions from friends and supporters to pursue the case on behalf of all the victims of Israeli war crimes. But to achieve justice he’ll need wider moral and financial support. The target is 50,000 euros.” >>

Feb 06 08:38

Several Countries to Announce Plans to Be Part of Alliance Against Iran - Pompeo

The US announced plans to withdraw its troops from Syria in December 2018, with President Donald Trump saying that American troops had succeeded in eliminating Daesh* in the region.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on 6 February that several Middle East countries would soon announce plans to take part in a NATO-type alliance to counter Iran. He said that negotiations regarding the matter are "continuing to advance" and added that participants will "develop an outline that is not reactive".

"We'll develop a strategic framework which will keep the Middle East more stable in the years to come", Pompeo added.

Feb 06 08:26

Senate Warmongers Oppose Trump's Recall of Troops From Afghanistan & Syria

The warmongers in the US Senate will never have enough of Afghanistan and Syria and other wars in the Middle East. After President Donald Trump called for an end to "endless wars," the US Senate voted to keep troops in Syria and Afghanistan.

The US Senate voted 70-26 in favor of keeping US forces in both countries.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that he still believes ISIS and al Qaeda are still significant threats and that “a precipitous withdrawal” may only bolster their efforts.

Feb 05 13:32

Lavrov insists terrorists must be prevented from re-grouping as war against IS continues

The fight against the Islamic State terror group (IS, outlawed in Russia) is not over yet, there is a need to prevent terrorist units from coming together, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University on Monday.

"All who are dealing with the issue admit that it is former officers of Saddam Hussein’s army, dismissed from their positions, that are behind all IS operations that prove to be successful. It does not mean that the fight against the IS is over. As they say, the backbone is broken but some units still remain active and there is a need to prevent them from coming together and eliminate them," Lavrov noted.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Lavrov is both a gentleman, and truly an "adult in the room" regarding geopolitics.

I hope that he gets absolutely universal support from countries from around the world on this issue.

Feb 05 11:22

TRUMP: ‘WE HAVE TO PROTECT ISRAEL,’ SHIFTING AGAIN ON SYRIA WITHDRAWAL

ASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump indicated this weekend that some US troops in Syria would remain there “to protect Israel,” in an apparent shift from his earlier insistence on an absolute withdrawal.

In an interview with Margaret Brennan of CBS News, Trump was pressed to identify precisely how much of America’s force presence there would be coming home – and how quickly.

WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump indicated this weekend that some US troops in Syria would remain there “to protect Israel,” in an apparent shift from his earlier insistence on an absolute withdrawal.

In an interview with Margaret Brennan of CBS News, Trump was pressed to identify precisely how much of America’s force presence there would be coming home – and how quickly.

“We’re going to be there and we’re going to be staying. We have to protect Israel,” he replied. “We have to protect other things that we have. But we’re – yeah, they’ll be coming back in a matter of time.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The logical question which should have been asked by this alleged CBS reporter, and of course was not is, with all the money and equipment with which the US has gifted Israel, why in the name of heaven does Israel need protecting at all, more than what the US has already given, and committed to give to Israel?!?

Apparently,"amazingly intellectually lazy and woefully uninformed " is the new "standard" for reporting at CBS. Because had she actually bothered to do her homework, she would have understood the following:

US Defense Budget Prioritizes Securing Israel over Deterring IranThis article goes on to state the following:

"Securing Israel. The FY 2019 budget codifies the 10-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) that the Obama Administration signed with the Israeli government in September 2016. This MOU offered “the single largest pledge of military assistance in US history”—$38 billion over a decade. The language included in FY 2019 is unprecedented in its scope and content, lavishing US support on one single ally. The decision to help Israel with unmanned aerial systems came after Iran, Hezbollah, and IS flew drones in Syria during the past few years. This US support comes as the Israeli government seems increasingly concerned about the backlash of US-Iranian tensions and the potential for a growing number of heavy rockets and long-range missiles launched toward Israel. The FY 2019 budget urges the Trump Administration to begin talks with the Israeli government to determine “the quantity and type of precision guided munitions in the event of a sustained armed confrontation” with Hezbollah and Hamas."

Please let that number sink in : $38 billion dollars over ten years. means that Israel will be receiving $3,800,000,000 per year over 10 years.

So if, in fact, Israel is being provided getting nearly 4 billion dollars per year for the next decade, courtesy of the highly generous US taxpayers, (who, of course, had utterly no say in this matter), then why is this nuclear-armed, self-proclaimed theocracy, pathologically incapable of defending itself against Syria, or, in fact, Iran?!?

And forgive me, President Trump, but is it not totally illegal for the US government to give any aid or military assistance to Israel because it refuses to have its nuclear sites inspected, and to join the NNPT, as Iran has done, because such aid is in flagrant violation of both the Mann Act, and the Symington Amendment?!?

just doing a little "reality check" here, sir.

Sorry, Mr. President, with these statements regarding the the reasons for the US military staying in Syria, you just threw logic right smack on its head, and it is suffering from a severe concussion.

The US presence at al-Tanf in Eastern Syria, has utterly nothing to do with "defending Israel", but everything to do with having a military "beach head" for a potential invasion of Iran.

The maps tell the story:

Map of the Middle East

Al Tanf: why it matters

This is also the reason why US troops will not be leaving Iraq any time soon, either, even though the Iraqi government has asked it to leave, and so far, nicely.

And Mr. President, you would do well to remember the most powerful politically man in Iraq right now, but who holds no office: Muqtada Al Sadr.

If you do not remember his influence on the timing of the first US military withdrawal from Iraq, you might want to have one of your researchers take a look.

And you might want to look at a companion piece. also from blacklistednews.com, and based on the above referenced interview:

Trump kneels - again - before AIPAC

Feb 05 10:27

CNN ADMITS: SAUDI ARABIA SUPPLIES WEAPONS TO AL-QAEDA IN YEMEN

The Saudi-led coalition provided US-made weapons to al-Qaeda-linked fighters, Salafi militias and other factions taking part in the intervention in Yemen, in violation with their agreements with the US, according to a CNN investigation.

The weapons have also made their way into the hands of Iranian-backed rebels battling the coalition for control of the country, exposing some of America’s sensitive military technology to Tehran and potentially endangering the lives of US troops in other conflict zones,” CNN reported.

According to the investigation, Saudi Arabia and the UAE used the US-made weapons to buy the loyalties of militias or tribes, bolster chosen armed actors, and influence the complex political landscape.

However, by handing off the military equipment to third parties, the Saudi-led coalition is in breach of its agreements with the US, according to the US Department of Defense.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That old statement "the enemy of my enemy is my friend", only goes so far, and apparently, no one from the Pentagon was looking at these deals when they went down.

But what amazes me, was that it was a CNN team doing the reporting; one has to wonder if this lone story was a bid for sympathy, in light of the reality that they lost their "credibility battle" years ago.

Feb 04 12:36

Israel’s plan for post-Brexit Britain

“If you have been puzzled by the insane campaign against British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, spearheaded by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Jewish Chronicle, the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, and others, the Ynet article raises the possibility that the campaign has not actually been about ‘anti-Semitism’. It is more likely about shekels, in that Corbyn in Number 10 Downing Street could easily interfere with ‘Israel’s plans for Britain’.” >>

Feb 04 08:40

UAE buys its way toward supremacy in Gulf cyberwar, using US and Israeli experts

On January 30, Reuters released two investigative reports on hacking activities of the United Arab Emirates' National Electronic Security Authority (NESA) targeting political leaders and activists, suspected terrorists, and the governments of Qatar, Turkey, and Iran. The report is the latest evidence of an ongoing cyberwar by the UAE and its ally Saudi Arabia against Qatar, and the UAE has been enlisting US and Israeli experts to help. Reuters' sources also said that the project targeted American citizens for surveillance.

Feb 04 06:28

US needs military base in Iraq to 'watch Iran', Trump says

US president accuses Iran of stirring regional conflicts and being 'the number one terrorist nation in the world'.

US forces must remain in Iraq so the United States can keep a close eye on neighbouring Iran, according to President Donald Trump.

In an interview with CBS' Face the Nation programme, Trump highlighted the importance of a key military base in Iraq that he said was crucial to the surveillance of the Islamic Republic's activities.

"We spent a fortune on building this incredible base, we might as well keep it">>>

Trump did not ask Iraq's permission to 'watch Iran'

Feb 02 09:55

US Sanctions as a Tool To Perpetuate Neocolonialism

It’s an evident fact that neocolonial powers are ruled by behemoth corporations whose wealth is measured in hundreds of billions of dollars, far more than the total GDP of many developing nations. The status of these multinational corporations as dominant players in international politics gets official imprimatur when the Western governments endorse the congressional lobbying practice of so-called "special interest" groups, which is a euphemism for corporate interests.

Since the Western governments are nothing but the mouthpiece of business interests on international political and economic forums, therefore any national or international entity which hinders or opposes the agenda of corporate interests is either coerced into accepting their demands or gets sidelined.

Feb 02 09:31

Detainees Describe an American Presence in Their Torture Chambers

Inside Yemen’s prisons can be found torture, rape, disappearances, a snarling dog nicknamed Shakira—and, according to survivors, the American sponsors of a dirty war.

Feb 01 13:18

Ex-NSA Spies Ran UAE Intelligence Unit Which Hacked Dissidents

The United Arab Emirates has been recruiting American former spies in order to monitor its own citizens, and according to an explosive new lengthy Reuters investigation, the Americans which include former NSA cybersecurity specialists were increasingly asked to "cross a red line" by spying on US citizens as part of an operation called 'Project Raven'.

The story has been revealed by multiple Americans who were part of the operation, who admitted to spying on "enemies" of the UAE monarchy including journalists, activists, and foreign governments, but who only had qualms about what they were doing when asked to monitor fellow Americans.

Feb 01 10:12

INSIDE THE UAE’S SECRET HACKING TEAM OF U.S. MERCENARIES

Two weeks after leaving her position as an intelligence analyst for the U.S. National Security Agency in 2014, Lori Stroud was in the Middle East working as a hacker for an Arab monarchy.

She had joined Project Raven, a clandestine team that included more than a dozen former U.S. intelligence operatives recruited to help the United Arab Emirates engage in surveillance of other governments, militants and human rights activists critical of the monarchy.

Stroud and her team, working from a converted mansion in Abu Dhabi known internally as “the Villa,” would use methods learnt from a decade in the U.S intelligence community to help the UAE hack into the phones and computers of its enemies.

Feb 01 10:04

REPORT: US INTERROGATORS WORKING AT UAE PRISONS

US interrogators are present in UAE prisons in Yemen, the Daily Beast has revealed today, providing shocking evidence that the American military is a witness to the torture of Yemenis.

In a series of interviews, two former detainees have testified to being interrogated by men with American accents, who looked on as they were beaten and electrocuted.

“They would strip me naked, they would beat me very harshly and slowly you start to understand the dynamics in the room. These are the two people, one of them is overseeing the whole interrogation and the other is doing the questioning and ordering the torture,” a Yemeni man identified only as Salvatore said, suggesting that the US was more that an unwilling observer.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Under Gina Haspel's tutelage and leadership of the USA's CIA, it appears that US-sanctioned torture, and US participation in torture, is still alive and kicking (sometimes, literally), and well, at prisons around the world.

And forgive me, but wasn't this the same woman who pledged to the American Congress, and to the American people, that torture would not be used, under her watch as head of the CIA?!?

UNDER INTERROGATION, TORTURE QUEEN GINA HASPEL PROMISES TO STOP TORTURING
While Trump’s C.I.A. nominee pledged not to re-start the agency’s torture program, no amount of brutal questioning could get her to say the practice was immoral.

Of course, in retrospect, looking at the lady's dubious, and vilely dripping track record, before landing the "top dog" job at the CIA, it didn't take much intelligence to realize that this was simply another pack of lies she told, just to get that job.

Having chosen this woman as the head of the CIA, it is painfully clear that President Trump doesn't care at all about how things are done in this government; just that the US maintains its economic and weapons hegemony over all the other countries on earth, no matter what that might entail, including the use torture.

What he is pathologically unable to see, is that this vision is rapidly being disrupted by countries choosing not to use the dollar at all in their transactions with other countries, such as Iran and China, and working with local currencies only.

It is deeply disconcerting to me, that President Trump's two BFFs in the Middle East, are the Monster of Yemen, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince bin Salman, and Israel's Butcher of Gaza, Prime Minister Netanyahu.

However, I think I know why this has happened.

Both men have the supreme power over life and death in their respective countries, and can order hits on alleged enemies just as easily as you or I might order breakfast at a restaurant, and neither country actually has a legitimate Constitution which could, potentially, restrain them from putting other people in harm's way; in some ways, President Trump is a little jealous because of that.

And our weaponry?!? China and Russia are way ahead of the US in terms of working war weaponry that is both cost-effective, and elegantly designed, with which the US military cannot not even begin to compete at the moment.

Feb 01 09:58

YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE NY TIMES’ SUPPORT OF US-BACKED COUPS IN LATIN AMERICA

On Friday, The New York Times continued its long, predictable tradition of backing U.S. coups in Latin America by publishing an editorial praising Donald Trump’s attempt to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. This will be the 10th such coup the paper has backed since the creation of the CIA over 70 years ago.

Feb 01 09:09

U.S. COURT FINDS SYRIA RESPONSIBLE FOR KILLING AMERICAN JOURNALIST MARIE COLVIN

A FEDERAL JUDGE in Washington, D.C. has ordered the Syrian government to pay $302 million in damages for the murders of journalists Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik in a 2012 artillery strike. The decision, issued on Wednesday, marks the first time in the seven-year conflict that a court has declared Syrian forces loyal to the government of President Bashar al-Assad responsible for deliberately attacking civilians.

“A targeted murder of an American citizen, whose courageous work was not only important, but vital to our understanding of warzones and of wars generally, is outrageous, and therefore a punitive damages award that [multiplies] the impact on the responsible state is warranted,” wrote Judge Amy Berman Jackson.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That same bit in that last sentence, should hold just as true for US journalists and bloggers here at home, as it is for reporters abroad.

And she, and the photo journalist with her, had to know that they were operating in a war zone; made the choice to be there; and unfortunately, suffered the consequences.

But what I am seeing here is more demonization of Syria, whether or not this event actually happened, and regardless of whether it can be proven true. It may well be, but that is not the point.

I think that those in foggy bottom are waiting to see what the overnights looked like on this issue, in their quest to martial support for yet another Syrian engagement, even though that may mean fighting Russians on the ground, or in the air, neither choice being a wise one, right now.

We understand by now, that demonization, plus sanctions, are the tell-tale preludes to.... the US military's attempting to kick another country's military right in the proverbial shins.

This would be one of the most vulnerable of all moments to attempt to even be contemplating a US war with Russia on the ground in Syria, and I say this as someone who cares deeply about the current trajectory of the US's foreign and domestic policies.

And the reasons I am saying this are pretty self-evident; our military does not have the weaponry; the troop strength; the money, or the manufacturing to ensure a positive outcome for a US war against Russia in Syria, or anywhere else, for that matter.

Jan 31 15:11

A Lawless Government (Paul Craig Roberts)

Washington is blocking Trump’s order to withdraw US troops, because Israel wants the US to renew the attack on Syria and to carry it into Iran. Israel and its American vassals must think that Russia is going to stand down and permit the destabilization of the Islamic world to proceed into the Russian Federation. Once upon a time the media and the foreign policy community would have publicly examined these issues. Now the media reads out the script handed to them.

Jan 31 11:26

Report: Former U.S. Government Operatives Helped UAE Hack iPhones

Former U.S. government intelligence operatives reportedly helped the United Arab Emirates hack into the iPhones of “rival foreign leaders,” diplomats, and others — even gaining access to “compromising” sexual photos of targets according to a report by Reuters.

According to Reuters, the team of “former U.S. government intelligence operatives working for the United Arab Emirates hacked into the iPhones of activists, diplomats and rival foreign leaders with the help of a sophisticated spying tool called Karma, in a campaign that shows how potent cyber-weapons are proliferating beyond the world’s superpowers and into the hands of smaller nations.”

Reuters reported that the tool allowed the UAE “to monitor hundreds of targets beginning in 2016, from the Emir of Qatar and a senior Turkish official to a Nobel Peace laureate human-rights activist in Yemen, according to five former operatives and program documents reviewed by Reuters.”

Jan 31 10:26

US Intel Chief: Israel Strikes in Syria May Lead to Regional War

US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday that he believes Iran wants to “avoid a major armed conflict with Israel,” but that continued Israeli attacks on targets in Syria may ultimately spark an Iranian retaliation.

“Israeli strikes that result in Iranian casualties increase the likelihood of Iranian conventional retaliation against Israel.” Coats added that Israeli strikes are raising growing concerns that the “conflict will escalate.”

Coats’ comments actually reflect an assessment from Israeli President Reuven Rivlin made just a day before, that he believes Iran will “retaliate with greater force” against northern Israel, and that Israel can no longer trust in “understandings” with Russia to avoid Iran retaliating against attacks.

Jan 30 14:53

Spotlight on UK Zionist bullyboy Steve Silverman

Devon Nola examines the key traits of the UK’s “Campaign Against Anti-Semitism’s” so-called “Director of Investigations and Enforcement”, Steve Silverman, as manifested in his public pronouncements which denounce, belittle, demean and smear musicians and artists.>>

Jan 29 07:02

AMERICA’S SHAMEFUL WAR

The United States, champion of freedom and self-determination, is now in its 18th year of colonial war in Afghanistan. This miserable, stalemated conflict is America's longest and most shameful war. So far it has cost over $1 trillion and killed no one knows how many Afghans. This conflict began in 2001 on a lie: namely that Afghanistan was somehow responsible for the 9/11 attacks on the US ... Washington, which has done as much as the former Soviet invaders to ravage Afghanistan, has no clear idea what to do next. President Trump announced withdrawal of some of the 14,000 US troops (and large numbers of mercenaries) from Afghanistan. But then the pro-war neocons at State and the Pentagon sought to veto the president's statement.

Jan 28 13:53

Israeli general mounts challenge to Netanyahu by flaunting Gaza carnage.

Jonathan Cooks says if Benny Gantz becomes Israel’s next prime minister, he is likely to reinforce in Israelis’ minds the need not for peace but for an ultra-nationalist right that bathes itself in an ethnic supremacist philosophy and dismisses any recognition of Palestinian rights.>>

Jan 27 19:01

UNDERCOVER AGENTS TARGET CYBERSECURITY WATCHDOG CITIZEN LAB FOR EXPOSING DETAILS IN JAMAL KHASHOGGI’S CASE

The researchers who reported that Israeli software was used to spy on Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s inner circle before his gruesome death are being targeted in turn by international undercover operatives, The Associated Press has found.

Jan 27 09:09

Muslim Nations Hate ISIS, Too

THE ISLAMIC STATE GROUP has wrought so much carnage on the Muslim world that a survey of nations with large Muslim populations shows it is almost completely despised by members of the faith it claims to represent.

The Paris attacks last week by the Islamic State group that killed at least 129 people have sparked a backlash in the U.S., with Republicans in particular seeking to block the immigration of refugees from the extremists' home base of Syria.

But the jihadist group also is battling Muslims that don't share its ideology, and recently staged terror attacks in Beirut added to the death toll of Muslims killed by its campaigns in recent years.

Jan 26 12:05

HOUTHIS CAPTURE 15 POSITIONS IN NORTHWESTERN YEMEN

The Houthis conducted a surprise attack in the northwestern province of Hajjah on January 26 and managed to capture 15 positions south of the al-Nar mount from the Saudi-led coalition and its Yemeni proxies, according to the al-Masirah TV.

“A state of confusion is prevailing among the mercenaries … Their fighters fled from the battlefield in masses,” the Yemeni TV channel quoted Brig. Gen. Yahya Sari, a spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces, as saying.

Jan 26 09:09

UN BEGINS INQUIRY INTO KHASHOGGI MURDER

The United Nations Human Rights Office announced yesterday it is beginning an investigation into the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

In a statement, the UN said that an independent panel would seek to establish “the nature and extent of states’ and individuals’ responsibilities for the killing”.

The UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, said she would travel to Turkey next week to head an “independent international inquiry” into Khashoggi’s murder in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

British barrister Helena Kennedy and Duarte Nuno Vieira, a pathology expert and professor at the department of legal and forensic medicine at Coimbra University, Portugal, are among the team. Along with Callamard, they are to visit Turkey between 28 January and 3 February and plan to report to the UN Human Rights Council in June.

Callamard said that the findings will be raised at the UN rights office on 19 June.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

More sound and fury from the UN, signifying nothing; the responsibilities for the death of Khasshogi will be squarely placed on the "usual suspects" (underlings, with absolutely no power of decision making whatsoever), and the real blame against who most probably ordered the hit (most likely, the Butcher of Yemen, Crown Prince Bin Salmin and his cohorts in the White House), will be left , uncharged, in order to let Saudi Arabia and US continue their genocidal war in Yemen.

Jan 25 11:40

Barclays was 'basically dead' without Qatari cash, London court told

The Serious Fraud Office prosecutor told the trial of Barclays’ ex-chief executive John Varley and three former senior executives that Qatar had played hardball as the British bank struggled to shore up its balance sheet during the financial crisis.

“Without 1 bln (pounds), at the very least, from Q (Qatar) we are basically dead,” Boath told his Barclays line manager on May 28, 2008, in a communication read out in Southwark Crown Court by prosecutor Edward Brown on the second day of the case.

Former CEO Varley, Roger Jenkins, Tom Kalaris and Boath deny conspiring to commit fraud by false representations when Barclays raised more than 11 billion pounds from investors in 2008, allowing it to avert a British state bailout.

Jan 25 11:39

Germany approves export of weapons systems to Qatar

The German government has approved the export to Qatar of four RAM naval missile systems developed by Germany and the United States, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told lawmakers in a letter seen by Reuters.

Jan 25 11:30

OIL WARS: SAUDI ARABIA’S DANGEROUS GEOPOLITICAL GAME...

Saudi Arabia is putting itself in a potentially dangerous geopolitical position as it seeks to continue its decades' long relationship with Washington while at the same time forging new ties, mostly based on oil markets cooperation, with Moscow.

Jan 25 09:45

Swine Flu Now Spreading in Yemen as Health System Crumbles under Saudi Attack

Flu cases that could otherwise be treated are leaving patients in critical condition and facing death. Yemen’s health officials estimate that 80 percent of those with H1N1 risk death owing to the lack of medication available and Yemen’s devastated health infrastructure.

Jan 24 11:45

MAINSTREAM MEDIA IS LITERALLY MAKING PEOPLE SICK

I do not for one second doubt that Americans are feeling more stressed and suffering more health-degrading symptoms as a result than they were prior to Trump’s election. But Pacific Standard and its “growing body of research” ignore the most obvious and significant culprit behind this phenomenon which is tearing people’s health to shreds: the mass media which has been deliberately fanning the flames of Trump panic.

The always excellent Moon of Alabama blog has just published a sarcasm-laden piece documenting the many, many aggressive maneuvers that this administration has made against the interests of Russia, from pushing for more NATO funding to undermining Russia’s natural gas interests to bombing Syria to sanctioning Russian oligarchs to dangerous military posturing.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What is infinitely more grating, from where I sit, is not the "Trump Panic Syndrome", but the "Trump Reality Syndrome", which includes things he had promised on the campaign trail which he has not done... and things President Trump has done, in these first two years of his Presidency.

1. The massive disparity between the monied and the desperate keeps growing exponentially. There are little victories, of smaller companies moving back to the US (probably with some rich state/town perks and benefits for having done so.) But the consistent off-shoring, out-sourcing of American jobs continues apace. There is an epidemic of homelessness in this country which is unprecedented.

Remember the stunning scenario which inspired Victor Hugo to create his "Les Miserables"?!? In 1845, on the streets of Paris, he observed the same incident that triggers the novel's action. On a sunny but cold day, he saw an impoverished man being arrested for stealing a loaf of bread. As the man stood on the street, an ornate carriage pulled up beside him. Inside there was a dazzlingly beautiful woman dressed in velvet, playing with a child hidden under ribbons, embroidery and furs. The impoverished man stared at the woman in the carriage, but she was totally unaware of him. Hugo wrote that he saw this man as, "The spectre of misery, the ghostly forewarning in full light of day, in the sunshine, of the revolution still plunged in the shadows of darkness, but emerging from them. The moment he became aware of her existence, while she remained unaware of his, a catastrophe was inevitable."

Folks, we're there, right now; history may not necessarily repeat, but occasionally it rhymes. And let me say, for the record; as a Christian pacifist activist, I abhor violence,and would never advocate its use.

And those great pronouncements about the employment in this country, are running so low; this is a marvelous subterfuge, and a neat "hat trick", courtesy of the Department of Labor Statistics.

You see, people who are unemployed for more than 4 weeks, are deliberately purged from the figures as not interested in working, almost as though they had never existed at all.

If the US unemployment rate included everyone who says they want a job, it would be nearly double

2. President Trump withdrew the US from the P5+1 deal, even though the IAEA continues to state that the Iranians are currently keeping their end of the deal. I cannot begin to articulate just how completely insane, and counter productive this was. There are many things about which I rightly criticized the Obama Administration, but this was not of them. And the consequences?!?

Remember: demonization, plus Sanctions, create the American Preludes to War.

We are on the doorstep of such a war against Iran, because Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu, keeps advocating it, calling Iran "the existential enemy" of Israel. We are plunged into our "2 minutes of hate against Iran", ad nauseum, by the corporate presstitutes. So, let's see, what could possibly go wrong here?!?

Emboldened by one of his BFFs in the Middle East, President Trump, Israel has been making bombing runs into Syria to destroy alleged Iranian placements of personnel, and equipment in that country. Netanyahu: we will not stop fighting Iran as long as I lead Needless to say, Iran is not amused with these actions, and Russia, who has been assisting the Syrian government in getting rid of US backed, equipped, and funded jihadis in Syria, has told Israel in no uncertain terms, to back off. As of yesterday, Russia blasted Netanyahu with the following demand: Israel's airstrikes against Syria must stop. We also see the following headline: World War III: Iran, Syria, Russia and Israel

I do hope our President understands the following: Tel Aviv thoroughly expects the costs of such a war to be borne in American blood and money; not Israeli. Should such a war begin, expect Russia (and perhaps China) to come into the fray on Iran's side.

3. And speaking of war, let's remember the Saudi war against Yemen, where the American government and military are complicit in Saudi war crimes. Why Are U.S. Bombs Killing Civilians in Yemen?

The reason is simple: The Saudis love to buy American bombs to continue to create a genocide in Yemen.Saudi Arabia is the top buyer of US weapons" President Trump has, by default, and his sign-off on all these deals, has given him yet another title: The American Merchant of Death in Chief.

Please think about that for a minute. Did you ever think, when you were a kid, about how you would feel, understanding you would be a citizen of a US government which would be complicit in war crimes?!?

3. The illegal immigration solutions President Trump promised the American people, have gone down in flames.

4. Us sanctions around the globe in places like Russia, China, and Venezuela, are pushing other countries further away from the US, both in relationships, and finding creative ways to ditch the dollar, and come to other understandings about how finance can be conducted.

5. I notice the corporate presstitutes are continually spewing out their vile codswallop against countries which have done nothing to the US, to further the governments'agendas which, at this time, seem to be all-out war-centric. The two countries which come to mind, are Iran, and Russia.

The US government accuses Russia of having "annexed Crimea", which never, in reality, did happen; After the 2014 Putsch in Ukraine, Crimea did two things; in a fair and peaceful referendum, the Crimean government asked the people of Crimea, if they wanted to stay in Ukraine, or petition the Russian Federation for membership. The Crimean people voted overwhelmingly to petition the Russian Federation for a membership, and the Russian Federation accepted this. And please remember: in an interview with CNN, President Obama confessed to have brokered a deal for "regime change" in Ukraine. In a CNN interview, President Obama Confesses that the US brokered a deal for" Regime change" in Ukraine, January, 2015

6. The US has left a ton of military footprints around the world. the list is breathlessly long, and may contain country names you haven't thought about since High School Geography, or may have been recently created

These are the true issues of "The Trump Reality Syndrome".

Please understand that I am just as angry about these issues as many of you are, but realize that I need to channel my anger into logic, research, and coming up with alternate ways in which this country could get what it wants, geopolitically, without resorting to war.

Because right now, war - and the monied who become enriched through war and military conflicts around the world - are winning, and I am singularly depressed about this.

Jan 23 15:35

Charity of bullies: The Campaign Against anti-Semitism

harity of bullies: The Campaign Against anti-Semitism. Eve Mykytyn examines the behaviour of Britain’s “Campaign Against anti-Semitism”, a secretive organisation bizarrely registered by the British authorities as a “charity”, which uses bully tactics to silence organisations and individuals with whom it disagrees.>>

Jan 23 09:08

Damascus Threatens to Respond to Israeli Attack With Strike on Tel Aviv Airport

Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari said that it was time that the United Nations Security Council took action to stop constant Israeli attacks on Syrian territory, adding that Damascus might exercise its right to self-defence and respond to the Israeli attack on Damascus Airport with a symmetric strike on Tel Aviv Airport.

"Isn't it is the right time for this council to take the necessary measures to stop the repeated Israeli aggression against the territories of my country or should we attract the attention of the war makers in this council be exercising our legitimate right for self-defence and respond to the Israeli aggression against the Damascus International Airport by launching an aggression against Tel Aviv Airport?" Jaafari said speaking at a UN Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is all for show; Jaafari knows that the UN is impotent against Israel; one world leader, however, who is capable of bloodying Israel's nose militarily, is President Putin of Russia.

There have been reports of conversations between Putin and Netanyahu; I have to wonder how true they are, because it doesn't look as though Putin has been able to neutralize Netanyahu's behaviour.

Time will sort that mystery, however.

Jan 23 08:50

US CONFIRMS ITS ENVOY HELD TALKS WITH TALIBAN IN QATAR

The United States has confirmed that its envoy met the Taliban in Qatar as Washington seeks to negotiate an end to the 17-year-old war in Afghanistan.

Zalmay Khalilzad, US special representative on Afghan reconciliation, on Tuesday met Taliban representatives in the Qatari capital Doha, the US State Department said.

"We can confirm that Special Representative Khalilzad and an inter-agency team are in Doha today talking with representatives of the Taliban," a State Department spokeswoman said, adding that the talks were taking place over two days.

The Taliban and the US envoys have officially met four times since July, in an attempt to find a negotiated settlement to the war in the embattled country.

However, Wednesdays comments mark the first time the US State Department has confirmed his meetings directly.

The meeting came even though the Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack on Tuesday against an Afghan intelligence base in central Wardak province.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am not entirely certain as to where this process will lead, but I certainly hope that it ultimately leads to a complete withdrawal of US and NATO troops.

17 years on , there is still utterly no metric by which this horriific occupation can be judged "a victory".

Jan 22 10:08

What Should We Learn from 40 Years of U.S. Intervention in the Middle East?

With the surprise announcement of the withdrawal of U.S. forces in Syria, and to a lesser extent, the announcement of a drawdown of 7,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan, many interventionist critics who had tolerated Donald Trump’s ineffectual strikes against Assad and peace talks with the Taliban seem to have reached a boiling point. But even after Trump defended his position and said Iran “can do what they want there” in Syria, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton have undercut the clarity of what seemed like a presidential decree mandating a withdrawal.

Jan 22 05:33

Make No Mistake: ISIS Needs the U.S. to Survive

“We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency,” the president wrote. He later expanded on that sentiment in a video message, posted on Twitter. “Our boys, our young men and women, are coming home now,” Trump noted. “We won.”

But a recent attack on U.S. forces in Syria, carried out by a suicide bomber which ISIS claimed was operating on its behalf, has led to an outpouring of criticism of Trump’s precipitous decision. “ISIS has claimed credit for killing American troops in Syria today,” Senator Marco Rubio tweeted in the aftermath of the attack. “If true, it is a tragic reminder that ISIS not been defeated and is transforming into a dangerous insurgency. This is no time to retreat from the fight against ISIS. Will only embolden & strengthen them.”

Jan 20 16:22

Who runs the world?

"Our world is run by oligarchs, the holders of vast wealth from monopolies in banking, resource extraction, manufacturing, and technology. Oligarchs have such power that most of the world doesn’t even know of their influence over our lives. Their overall agenda is global power – a world government, run by them – to be achieved through planned steps of social engineering. The oligarchs remain in the background and have heads of state and entire governments acting in their service. Presidents and prime ministers are their puppets. Bureaucrats and politicians are their factotums..." >>

Jan 19 17:36

'Jewish state' will soon cease to exist: Israeli historian

Influential Zionist historian Benny Morris, professor of the Middle East studies department of the Israeli Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, has foreseen a bleak future for the Zionist establishment.

"Already today there are more Arabs than Jews between the [Mediterranean] sea and the Jordan. The whole territory is unavoidably becoming one state with an Arab majority," said Morris in an interview published by the Israeli Haaretz newspaper on Thursday.

"Israel still calls itself a Jewish state, but a situation in which we rule an occupied people that has no rights, can not persist in the 21st century, in the modern world. And as soon as they do have rights, the state will no longer be Jewish," added Morris.

"I do not see how we get out of it."

Jan 19 08:48

Lebanon urges Arab League to readmit Syria

Lebanon's foreign minister has called on the Arab League to restore Syria's membership to the 22-member bloc, the latest indicator that Arab countries are preparing to welcome Damascus back into the fold after years of diplomatic isolation.

Speaking at the opening session of an Arab foreign ministers meeting in Beirut, Gebran Bassil said it was an "historic shame" to keep Syria out of a regional economic summit planned for Sunday, adding that Damascus should be back "in our arms".

Jan 18 14:59

The beauty and the beast: Gilad Atzmon on Rachel Riley

In recent weeks Rachel Riley, a British TV celebrity, has tossed the anti-Semitism slur in the direction of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, Noam Chomsky, Ken Loach, Aaron Bastani, yours truly and others.

In her first extended Channel 4 interview it became clear that Riley isn’t exactly an astute political philosopher.

But first watch and listen to my analysis of Riley’s long and tedious interview...>>

Jan 18 14:39

Amos Oz and the real Israel

Lawrence Davidson examines the contradictions of the late liberal Zionist Israeli writer Amos Oz which placed him at odds with democrats who shun the idea of an ethnic/religious states as Israel is, and Zionists whose beliefs are underpinned by imperialism combined with racism.>>

Jan 18 11:38

Israel Must Accept that the U.S. Will No Longer Police the Middle East

It is possible to understand the almost hysterical reactions among members of the Israeli political establishment and its media outlets to President Donald Trump’s decision to evacuate 2,000 American soldiers from Syria.

The Americans have betrayed the Kurds! This was a win for Iran and a victory for Russia! It would lead to the disintegration of Syria and to chaos in the Middle East! Israel would now be left alone without American protection! And, hey, we told you long ago that deep in his heart the Donald is an anti-Semite!

After all, the political decisions in the capital of the American Empire could affect the status of Israel and the other Middle Eastern provinces. Even the French are concerned, not to mention the strategic geniuses at the Pentagon, the State Department, and the other centers of power of American foreign and defense policy — including retired Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

Jan 18 10:48

REPORT: PENTAGON SECRETLY TRAINED UAE FIGHTERS FOR COMBAT IN YEMEN — THEN LIED ABOUT IT

On Wednesday, Yahoo News revealed new documents from late 2017 that show, contrary to the Defense Department’s insistence that it is neutral in the bloody conflict in Yemen perpetrated by a coalition of Saudi Arabia and its allies, the U.S. appears to have provided training to forces from the United Arab Emirates, which is part of the coalition:

The United States is “not a participant in the civil war in Yemen nor are we supporting one side or the other,” Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said last month, echoing a long-held position in the Pentagon.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Even the US's military lies, and with impunity.

The alleged "leadership" in this country crafts never-ending wars with which to keep Americans distracted, while foreign countries find the US government, or its minions are creating regime change, to insure that a more US-centric model; expropriates their resources; and making sure that those resources are all sold to "appropriate" countries, and only for the US dollar.

Wash; rinse; repeat.

The pattern, now, is perfectly predictable.

Jan 16 11:17

Middle East Pretense

The oil-rich Middle East is the world’s top flashpoint, the most likely hot spot for WW III to start if Republicans or undemocratic Dem hardliners dare launch it.

Iraq has been devastated by US-orchestrated and/or waged wars since the 1980s, Syria since 2011, historic Palestine for over 70 years, possible because of Washington’s one-sided support for Israel since its 1948 creation.

The region remains in turmoil over US-led NATO wars – Israel, the Saudis, other Arab states, and Turkey junior partners in what’s going on.

Everything related to US hegemonic aims involves Big Lies and deception. Pentagon forces are in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere regionally to stay, along with everywhere else where they’re deployed.

US special forces are in around 80% of world countries, their mission far removed from being good will ambassadors.

Jan 16 10:09

A Major Regional Reset: The Syria Outcome Will Haunt Those Who Started This War

The Middle East is metamorphosing. New fault lines are emerging, yet Trump’s foreign policy ‘hawks’ are still trying to stage ‘old movies’ in a new ‘theatre’.
The ‘old movie’ is for the US to ‘stand up’ Sunni, Arab states, and lead them towards confronting ‘bad actor’ Iran. ‘Team Bolton’ is reverting back to the old 1996 Clean Break script – as if nothing has changed. State Department officials have been briefing that Secretary Pompeo’s address in Cairo on Thursday was “ slated to tell his audience (although he may not name the former president), that Obama misled the people of the Middle East about the true source of terrorism, including what contributed to the rise of the Islamic State. Pompeo will insist that Iran, a country Obama tried to engage, is the real terrorist culprit. The speech’s drafts also have Pompeo suggesting that Iran could learn from the Saudis about human rights, and the rule of law.”

Jan 15 13:52

Visualizing America’s Wars

The program is about two works of the prominent filmmaker John Gianvito. The discussion is how media coverage could determine the fate of wars that the US waged. The absence of media coverage of recent American wars was the cause that those wars broke out and dragged on...

Jan 14 17:22

Canada Welcomes Al-Qaeda from Syria

Justin Trudeau invited 16 families of Al-Qaeda terrorists into Canada via Israel shortly after the U.S pulled funding for ISIS terrorist proxies on the Golan Border; The relocation was an overt response by Netanyahu over loss of this support from its main ally in the region. 10 more families are awaiting relocation. This occurred mere weeks after the White Helmates had kidnapped 44 Syrian children in preparation for another botched chemical false flag attack, according to the Syrian Foreign Ministry. Absolute treason.

Jan 14 12:07

US secretary of state in Qatar urges end to Gulf diplomatic rift

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that an ongoing boycott of Qatar by four US allies in the Middle East has "dragged on too long."

Speaking in Doha during a nine-nation regional tour, Pompeo said that "great things" were happening between Qatar and the United States.

"Disputes between countries that have a shared objective are never helpful," he said in an apparent reference to containing Iran during a joint news conference with the Qatari foreign minister.

Pompeo said Gulf unity was essential for a planned Middle East Strategic Alliance that would include Jordan.

Secretary Pompeo said he signed a memorandum of understanding with Qatar regarding the expansion and renovation of al-Udeid Air Base, the regional headquarters of the US Central Command.

Jan 14 11:20

Why Israel’s Airstrikes in Syria Are a Sign of Weakness, Not Strength

I will proceed from what seems to be an established fact (SANA confirmed) that on the night of January 11th Israel hit one depot at Damascus international airport. I.e., material damage. 12 projectiles were fired in total. Syrian air defences worked, and by all accounts they were as effective as they were in the previous Israeli bombing run (80% accuracy approx.).

Even if Israel had hit two warehouses or a local farm in addition, then it changes absolutely nothing. What the Syrian Army lost can be replaced with little risk; Iran has seemingly supplied the Syrian Army very well and continues to do so at will.

Jan 14 08:47

Inside the Yemeni school where childhood doesn't exist

Nine-year-old Ahmad spends most of his time on his own, kicking away at bits of dirt and trying to get a deflated football to rebound off an old brick wall just metres away from a classroom where he sleeps.

For the last six months, this has been Ahmad's daily routine. It helps the long days go faster, he says.

It also reminds him of some of the happier moments of his life.

Six months ago, Ahmad would spend most of his lunch breaks running around with his best friend Hesham, playing football in his school playground in the port city of Hodeidah.

But since fighting erupted in his neighbourhood last June, Ahmad's found himself enduring a rather different school experience.

Jan 13 12:51

Renewed clashes erupt in Hudaydah despite ceasefire between warring parties

Fresh clashes have erupted between Yemeni Houthi Ansarullah fighters and militants loyal to the country’s Saudi-backed former regime in Hudaydah despite a UN-brokered truce in the vital Red Sea port city.

An AFP correspondent reported artillery and machine-gun exchanges in Hudaydah's south early on Saturday, adding that they abated later in the day.

The renewed fighting came amid a Hudaydah ceasefire, which was reached between Yemen’s warring parties in Sweden in December.

They agreed to the withdrawal of their forces and deployment of UN monitors to the port, the entry point for most of Yemen’s vital aid and commercial goods.

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