Tuesday, September 30, 2014

SPEECH OF PRESIDENT CRISTINA FERNÁNDEZ DURING THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY, 69th session

    Tuesday, September 30, 2014   No comments

Summary CRISTINA FERNÁNDEZ, President of Argentina, said
most of the problems facing the world today resulted from a lack of democratic multilateralism. In that context, she welcomed the vote by the Assembly on resolution 68/304, to restructure the foreign debts of all countries. That had long been before the Assembly, which had called for reform of the international financial system and the Security Council. Argentina had previously experienced the kind of economic and financial crisis that had spread throughout the world in 2008, when, in 2001, it had been forced to default on its sovereign debt. Contributing to that collapse were the creditors’ terms that had been forced upon the country. As a result, there had not only been economic collapse, but a social and political implosion as well. Argentina owed 162 per cent of its GDP. Its creditors, having contributed to that, were obligated to shoulder some of the burden.

U.S. senior official: The Syria policy people are so focused on taking down Assad, they were blind to this [ISIL] problem

    Tuesday, September 30, 2014   No comments
U.S. senior official. “The Syria policy people are so focused on taking down Assad, they were blind to this problem.”

By late last year, classified American intelligence reports painted an increasingly ominous picture of a growing threat from Sunni extremists in Syria, according to senior intelligence and military officials. Just as worrisome, they said, were reports of deteriorating readiness and morale among troops next door in Iraq.
But the reports, they said, generated little attention in a White House consumed with multiple brush fires and reluctant to be drawn back into Iraq. “Some of us were pushing the reporting, but the White House just didn’t pay attention to it,” said a senior American intelligence official. “They were preoccupied with other crises,” the official added. “This just wasn’t a big priority.”

The United States use of drones strikes under President Obama

    Tuesday, September 30, 2014   No comments



The United States has launched a huge number of drone strikes under President Obama. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Obama says US 'underestimated' rise of ISIS, admits 'contradictory' Syria policy

    Monday, September 29, 2014   No comments
The following is a script of "President Obama" which aired on Sept. 28, 2014. Steve Kroft is the correspondent. L. Franklin Devine, Maria Gavrilovic and Michael Radutzky, producers.

Last week was a long and momentous one in the presidency of Barack Obama. On Monday, he began a bombing campaign with members of an international coalition against ISIS and other terrorist targets in Syria, while continuing airstrikes in northern Iraq. On Wednesday, he addressed the United Nations and laid out his case in the strongest terms for international action against Muslim extremists. By Thursday, his anti-ISIS coalition had grown to more than 60 members, ranging from the Saudis, Jordanians, Emiratis and Europeans who flew missions, to the Irish and Swedes who wrote checks, to the Bulgarians and Egyptians who wished us well.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

69th regular session of the General Assembly

    Saturday, September 27, 2014   No comments
GENERAL DEBATE (24-30 September 2014)






Thursday, September 25, 2014

"funding different groups... frankly, a [was] sloppy process" of ousting Assad and led to ISIL’s rise, Kerry says

    Thursday, September 25, 2014   No comments
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/images/news/201409/n_72151_1.jpgU.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has placed the blame for the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on those who resorted to any means to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, creating what he called a “sloppy process.”

“In the very beginning … when the efforts to oust al-Assad took place, there were people who made calculations that the important thing is to remove al-Assad. Yes, there are some bad apples there, but we want to get him out. And that, unfortunately, resulted in funding different groups, and it was, frankly, a sloppy process,” Kerry told CNN International’s Christiane Amanpour during an interview aired on Sept. 24.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

US ties itself in legal knots to cover shifting rationale for Syria strikes

    Wednesday, September 24, 2014   No comments
US government lawyers have invoked Iraq’s right to self-defence and the weakness of the Assad regime as twin justifications for US bombing in Syria, in a feat of legal acrobatics that may reopen questions over its right to intervene in the bitter civil war.

In a letter to the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, released near 24 hours after attacks began, US ambassador Samantha Power argued that the threat to Iraq from Islamic State, known as Isis or Isil, gave the US and its allies in the region an automatic right to attack on its behalf.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Domestic and international legal authority for attacks on ISIL in Syria

    Tuesday, September 23, 2014   No comments
Senior Obama administration officials said on Tuesday that the airstrikes against the Islamic State — carried out in Syria without seeking the permission of the Syrian government or the United Nations Security Council — were legal because they were done in defense of Iraq.

International law generally prohibits using force on the sovereign territory of another country without its permission or authorization from the United Nations, except as a matter of self-defense. American intelligence agencies have concluded that the Islamic State poses no immediate threat to the United States, though they believe that another militant group targeted in the strikes, Khorasan, does pose a threat.

But the senior administration officials said on Tuesday that Iraq had a valid right of self-defense against the Islamic State — also known as ISIS or ISIL — because the militant group was attacking Iraq from its havens in Syria, and the Syrian government had proved unable or unwilling to suppress that threat. Iraq asked the United States for assistance in defending itself, making the strikes legal, the officials said.

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Monday, September 22, 2014

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group called on "Muslims" to kill citizens of countries taking part in the US-led anti-ISIL coalition by any means

    Monday, September 22, 2014   No comments
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group called on "Muslims" to kill citizens of countries taking part in the US-led anti-ISIL coalition by any means, in a statement posted online on Monday.
"If you can kill a disbelieving American or European -- especially the spiteful and filthy French -- or an Australian, or a Canadian... including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State (ISIS), then rely upon Allah, and kill him," said Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, the group's spokesman, in a message released in multiple languages.
"Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military," he said.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Hezbollah Drones Target Al-Nusra Front's Positions at Syrian Border

    Sunday, September 21, 2014   No comments

During the operations Hezbollah pounded positions of the radical Syrian rebels on the outskirts of the Northeastern town of Arsal using drones, heavy fire and cannons.
At least 23 terrorists were killed and tens of others were injured, while ground troops arrested several terrorists in another part of the operations.
Also the Hezbollah forces repelled an attack by the terrorists in Ra's al-Ma'rah region and Nahlah heights.
This was the first time ever that the Hezbollah resistance group used drone to bomb the terrorists. The resistance group formerly used drones for reconnaissance missions.
The attacks also killed Abu Laith al-Shami, a Lebanese national and ringleader of one of the terrorist groups.

How Qatar is funding the rise of Islamist extremists

    Sunday, September 21, 2014   No comments
Qaradawi, Qatar asset
The fabulously wealthy Gulf state, which owns an array of London landmarks and claims to be one of our best friends in the Middle East, is a prime sponsor of violent Islamists

Few outsiders have noticed, but radical Islamists now control Libya's capital. These militias stormed Tripoli last month, forcing the official government to flee and hastening the country's collapse into a failed state.

Moreover, the new overlords of Tripoli are allies of Ansar al-Sharia, a brutal jihadist movement suspected of killing America's then ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and of trying to murder his British counterpart, Sir Dominic Asquith.

Barely three years after Britain helped to free Libya from Col Gaddafi's tyranny, anti-Western radicals hold sway. How could Britain's goal of a stable and friendly Libya have been thwarted so completely?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Turkish President and Prime Minister offer different explanations for the release of the 49 Turkish hostages held by ISIL near Modul

    Saturday, September 20, 2014   No comments
Turkish President and Prime Minister offer different explanations for the release of the 49 Turkish hostages held by ISIL near Mosul. While Erdoğan claimed that the hostages were "freed", his prime minister released a statement earlier suggesting that they were handed over.
When ISIL is killing hostages from U.S., U.K., and Lebanon, it stands to reason why only Turkey and Qatar are managing to have hostages "handed over". 
The role of Turkey in at least shielding ISIL and Nusra in Syria and Iraq, if not providing them with support, become more credible. Minimally, Turkey's intelligence must have infiltrated the two groups for them to be able to "free" or "secure the "release" of hostages without paying any price.


News reports:

Friday, September 19, 2014

Airstrike Uncertainties: Obama's Dangerously Vague New War

    Friday, September 19, 2014   No comments
The City of Rabbits. That is the bucolic alias once attached to the Syrian town of Marea. But it is no longer in use. Now, one of the most important frontlines in the war in northern Syria runs through the town. Some 5,000 rebels have established themselves in the potato fields surrounding Marea in an effort to stop Islamic State jihadists from continuing their advance on Aleppo.

Thus far, they have been successful -- thanks largely to assistance from the US. In Marea, an American-supported rebel command center coordinates the rebels' defense. The entire front is divided into sectors, which are each under the control of a single group. They have names like "Defenders of the Faith," "Islamic Front" and "Nureddin Senki Brigade" and are fairly obscure. Even so, they now have satellite images, ammunition for Kalashnikovs and larger caliber weapons, night-vision devices and provisions. A few anti-tank rockets also arrived a few months ago.

Transcript: Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif's Full NPR Interview: the net income of the United States from these sanctions

    Friday, September 19, 2014   No comments
NPR's Steve Inskeep interviewed Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday about negotiations over Iran's nuclear weapons program, the U.S. approach to combating extremist groups in Iraq and Syria, and Jason Rezaian, a Washington Post reporter currently in custody in Iran. A full transcript of the interview follows:

STEVE INSKEEP: Let me begin with the nuclear negotiations. Obviously there are many tactical details to work out, but I'd like to get your sense of the attitude. Do you believe, after all the years that you've worked on this issue, that you've arrived in a moment when both countries — the United States and Iran — are ready to make a deal?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Another "Islamic bank" is declared bankrupt; Erdoğan declares Bank Asya 'bankrupt' amid stock exchange chaos

    Thursday, September 18, 2014   No comments
“They say there are efforts being made to sink a bank. There is no work being done to sink a bank. This bank is already bankrupt. But they are trying to keep it afloat with a few buckets of water,” Erdoğan told a meeting of Turkey's largest business group, the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen's Association (TÜSİAD), in İstanbul.

Bank Asya's shares were suspended twice on Thursday afternoon after shares rose as much as 11 percent in the morning. Trading on Bank Asya shares resumed on Monday -- following a five-week suspension -- and has decreased by more than 40 percent since then. The shares rose for the first time since the trading resumed this week, increasing by 7.8 percent to TL 0.69.

Monday, September 15, 2014

'No good terrorists': Lavrov urges anti-ISIS coalition not to put political interests first

    Monday, September 15, 2014   No comments
There is no such thing as a ‘good’ terrorist, and we call on other nations not to show their political ambitions while fighting with terrorism, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said during a Paris conference on Iraq.

The participants have agreed to offer Iraq “appropriate military aid,” according to the final conference statement.

Participants have agreed to offer Iraq “appropriate military aid,” according to the final conference statement. It wasn’t immediately clear what kind of military aid was meant.

The statement added that dealing with the IS is “a matter of urgency."

Around 30 countries took part in the event.

Lavrov has criticized the move not to invite Syria and Iran to the meeting.

Iran rejected US request for cooperation against ISIL

    Monday, September 15, 2014   No comments
Iran rejected a U.S. request for cooperation against the jihadist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group early in its advance in Iraq and Syria, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sept. 15.
  
"Right from the start, the United States asked through its ambassador in Iraq whether we could cooperate against Daesh (Arabic acronym for ISIL)," Khamenei said in a statement on his official website.

"I said no, because they have dirty hands," said Khamenei, who has the final say on all matters of state in Iran.

Crisis meeting in Paris comes as France begins reconnaissance flights over Iraq and UK edges closer to military action

    Monday, September 15, 2014   No comments
...
A senior western source told the Guardian that Saudi Arabia felt so threatened by Isis that it was prepared to act in a frontline role. "There is a very real possibility that we could have the Saudi air force bombing targets inside Syria. That is a remarkable development, and something the US would be very pleased to see."

Sunday, September 14, 2014

ISIL, not Assad regime, is beheading people--Muslims and non-Muslims--Turkey's misleading moral equivalencies justify ISIL crimes

    Sunday, September 14, 2014   No comments
ISR: Turkey tells U.S. to attack both ISIL and Assad at the same time because "there is no benefit in fighting ISIL if Assad remains." Turkey has asked the West to attack Syria in the past. But linking the two now is troubling because it shows that Turkey is willing to choose ISIL over Assad government. But it is ISIL, not Assad regime, that is beheading people--Muslims and non-Muslims--Turkey needs to stop making misleading moral equivalencies and accept responsibility for its failed and short-sighted policy towards Syria and Iraq.
...


Turkey seeks behind-scene role in NATO coalition
Turkey's position is complicated by its eagerness to uproot the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, which led to its tolerance of anti-Assad Islamist fighters taking refuge on its side of the Syrian border. The same action may have given ISIL some breathing room in Turkey. More recently, it has been forced to confront the threat the group is posing.

Western concerns that Turkey was tacitly tolerating ISIL have been allayed by Turkey's strong statements of condemnation of the group and steps to rein it in, including kicking out suspected ISIL sympathizers.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

David Cameron needs a new approach in Syria if he wants to destroy ISIL

    Saturday, September 13, 2014   No comments
 RC: A year ago, Mr.
David Cameron was prepared to bomb Syria to enable the armed oppositions to overthrow Assad. Lawmakers refused to give him that authority. They were right and he was wrong. Had he bombed the Syrian army and weakened it further, the self-proclaimed caliph, al-Baghdadi would be seating in Damascus, the seat of the Umayyad caliphate, and ordering the beheading of more people. Today, the so-called "Friends of Syria" are paying the price of supporting murderers and genocidal groups who committed war crimes for three years. Yet, these governments are yet to acknowledge their shortsighted policies of siding with the devil to overthrow one authoritarian leader, in a region full of them. It is time that they do this right this time around.
____________
David Cameron to seek UN approval for air strikes against Isil as another aid volunteer is threatened with death
 ...  
The Prime Minister described Isil as an “evil” and “callous” organisation and added: “They are not Muslims, they are monsters. They are killing and slaughtering thousands of people – Muslims, Christians, minorities – across Iraq and Syria,” he said. “They boast of their brutality; they claim to do this in the name of Islam. That is nonsense. Islam is a religion of peace.”

Thursday, September 11, 2014

President Obama Addresses the Nation on the ISIL Threat

    Thursday, September 11, 2014   No comments


 Transcript: President Obama's Speech on Combating ISIL and news and analysis follow.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Professor fired for Israel criticism urges University of Illinois to reinstate him

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014   No comments
Steven Salaita, a university professor whose appointment at the University of Illinois was withdrawn last month after he was critical of Israel on Twitter, spoke publicly for the first time on Tuesday, saying he should be reinstated on the grounds of academic freedom.
“I am a passionate advocate for equality, a fair and open-minded instructor, and highly collegial. No legitimate evidence exists for any claims or insinuations to the contrary, which have severely damaged any reputation and my prospects for future employment,” he said.
Salaita, a former tenured professor of English at Virginia Tech, accepted a faculty appointment at the University of Illinois in October 2013 to teach in the American Indian Studies program starting January 2014. But his appointment was revoked in early August, after Salaita posted to Twitter several messages criticising Israel.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Qatar and political power is leveraged by media and Islamism

    Monday, September 08, 2014   No comments
Qatar and political power is leveraged by media and Islamism
CAIRO — Standing at the front of a conference hall in Doha, the visiting sheikh told his audience of wealthy Qataris that to help the battered residents of Syria, they should not bother with donations to humanitarian programs or the Western-backed Free Syrian Army.

“Give your money to the ones who will spend it on jihad, not aid,” implored the sheikh, Hajaj al-Ajmi, recently identified by the United States government as a fund-raiser for Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate.

Qatar is a tiny, petroleum-rich Persian Gulf monarchy where the United States has its largest military base in the Middle East. But for years it has tacitly consented to open fund-raising by Sheikh Ajmi and others like him. After his pitch, which he recorded in 2012 and which still circulates on the Internet, a sportscaster from the government-owned network, Al Jazeera, lauded him. “Sheikh Ajmi knows best” about helping Syrians, the sportscaster, Mohamed Sadoun El-Kawary, declared from the same stage.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

You Can't Understand ISIS If You Don't Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia

    Sunday, September 07, 2014   No comments
The dramatic arrival of Da'ish (ISIS) on the stage of Iraq has shocked many in the West. Many have been perplexed -- and horrified -- by its violence and its evident magnetism for Sunni youth. But more than this, they find Saudi Arabia's ambivalence in the face of this manifestation both troubling and inexplicable, wondering, "Don't the Saudis understand that ISIS threatens them, too?"

It appears -- even now -- that Saudi Arabia's ruling elite is divided. Some applaud that ISIS is fighting Iranian Shiite "fire" with Sunni "fire"; that a new Sunni state is taking shape at the very heart of what they regard as a historical Sunni patrimony; and they are drawn by Da'ish's strict Salafist ideology.

Other Saudis are more fearful, and recall the history of the revolt against Abd-al Aziz by the Wahhabist Ikhwan (Disclaimer: this Ikhwan has nothing to do with the Muslim Brotherhood Ikhwan -- please note, all further references hereafter are to the Wahhabist Ikhwan, and not to the Muslim Brotherhood Ikhwan), but which nearly imploded Wahhabism and the al-Saud in the late 1920s.

Many Saudis are deeply disturbed by the radical doctrines of Da'ish (ISIS) -- and are beginning to question some aspects of Saudi Arabia's direction and discourse.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Eleven Planes Missing From Tripoli Airport After It Was Taken by Islamic Rebels

    Thursday, September 04, 2014   No comments
ISR; Libya: Here is what happened when NATO and Qatar used their resources to overthrow the Libyan dictator without a plan for the day after.

Not that Syria is much better, but this could be Syria too if Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the so-called "Friends of Syria" had their way and bombed the Syrian regime last September; the caliph of ISIL would have reclaimed the seat of the caliphate of the Umayyads and he would have an air force that extends his reach to first seat of the caliphate: Madinah, Saudi Arabia.

 Libyan Islamist rebels pose with planes seized from Tripoli airport as U.S. officials warn they could be used to carry out terrorist attack on 9/11 anniversary

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Libya in Chaos: Vijay Prashad on Rise of Islamist Militias & Bloody Legacy of 2011 U.S. Intervention

    Wednesday, September 03, 2014   No comments


Islamist militants in Libya say they have solidified control of the capital Tripoli after taking over the main airport and ousting rival militias. Libya is facing its worst violence since the U.S.-backed ouster of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. To talk more about Libya, we are joined by Vijay Prashad, professor of international studies at Trinity College. He is the author of several books, including Arab Spring, Libyan Winter.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. Islamist militants in Libya say they’ve solidified control of the capital Tripoli after taking over the main airport and ousting rival militias. Libya is facing its worst violence since the U.S.-backed ouster of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

To talk more about Libya, we’re joined by Vijay Prashad in part two of our interview. Professor of international studies at Trinity College, he’s the author of a number of books, including Arab Spring, Libyan Winter and his most recent, The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South.

Welcome to Democracy Now!, Vijay. Talk about what’s happening in Libya today.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

To impose their wahhabi interpretation of Islam, Saudi rulers, following the footsteps of ISIL, could destroy the tomb of the Prophet Muhammad and remove his body to an anonymous grave

    Tuesday, September 02, 2014   No comments
Abd al-Wahhab
One of Islam’s most revered holy sites – the tomb of the Prophet Mohamed – could be destroyed and his body removed to an anonymous grave under plans which threaten to spark discord across the Muslim world.

The controversial proposals are part of a consultation document by a leading Saudi academic which has been circulated among the supervisors of al-Masjid al-Nabawi mosque in Medina, where the remains of the Prophet are housed under the Green Dome, visited by millions of pilgrims and venerated as Islam’s second-holiest site. The formal custodian of the mosque is Saudi Arabia’s ageing monarch King Abdullah.

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