“Since initial soundings via diplomatic channels are not sent formally, technically no invitation has been issued. This deprives foreign leaders from being able to publicly declare, 'Fie on your invitation to me!' for it is impossible to reject an event you havenβt been invited to. ... Stalingrad station in the Paris Metro will remain in Paris; and our greatest festival will remain with us through the centuries. Hollande, Cameron and Obama - not to mention leaders of 'New Europe' - are no more than ripples in the water. Their presence will not add to the honor of May 9th, and their absence will not diminish its joy.”
"We discussed his journey and he gave us a nuanced
accounting of how mass
surveillance operated and
what doesn't . ... He also gave us his point of view
on what comprise effective
anti-terrorism measures and what doesn't. ... I am impressed by his courage.”
“The Saudi decision to unveil the international coalition in Washington suggests that the Obama Administration, rather
than the Riyadh regime, may be the driving force behind
the intervention in Yemen.”
"The European Commission has warned E.U. citizens that they should close their Facebook accounts if they want to keep information private from U.S. security services, finding that
current Safe Harbour law does not protect citizen's data.”
"We're witnessing divisions so deep
that it's hard to find anything relevant passing between Israel and the United States. ... Countries like Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt look with
great suspicion at a U.S. orientation in
favor of Iran and easing of sanctions in exchange for transparency on uranium enrichment or 'unofficial' coordination
in the battle against the Islamic State.”
"The European Commission has warned E.U. citizens that they should close their Facebook accounts if they want to keep information private from U.S. security services, finding that
current Safe Harbour law does not protect citizen's data.”
"The democratic experience of the Arab world remains a fragile one. ... Nevertheless,
the Arab world and Islamic
worlds are not synonymous. .
It's not hard to find examples
of democracy in Islamic states.”
"The co-pilot of the Germanwings jet that crashed in the French Alps deliberately forced the plane into the descent that led to the disaster, the prosecutor said. He pressed a button that accelerated the Airbus A320's descent when alone in the cockpit. 'It was a voluntary action.'”
"The longest-held U.S. prisoner
of war of the post-9/11 era will be
charged with misbehavior before the enemy and desertion and faces a potential penalty of life in prison.
A court martial proceeding for Sgt.
Bowe Bergdahl will be a dramatic fall from grace for a soldier whose release after five years in Taliban
captivity was a priority for Obama.”
"NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden warned of how U.S.
intelligence works with E.U.
nations that filter out traffic
belonging to their citizens.
However, because of states
that collaborate with it, the
U.S. is able to obtain data on
all E.U. citizens. Llawmakers are in broad agreement that it is unacceptable for foreign
spies to illegally intercept,
store and monitor data of
Austrian, European citizens.”
"Israel hasn't won, because
little or nothing
In fact, the
country may now
be pushed into a dangerous
self isolation as the region is boiling over with ancient
tensions and bloody recent
conflicts. ... Arabs living in the country may now be capable of silencing all their
divisions and united as a third political party in the Knesset.
It may be a sign of the future when in the absence of two states the majority in Israel is no longer Jewish.”
"Ricky Jackson and two brothers were convicted on the basis of the testimony of a 13-year-old boy who said that he witnessed the killing of Harold Franks.
The boy, Eddie Vernon, was on a bus a block away with other children at the time. He later recanted his account.”
"Next month the Palestinian Authority will join the International Criminal
Court, where it will seek to indict
of Israel for war crimes, both over the conduct of last summer's war in Gaza
and Jewish settlements in the occupied territories. ... Netanyahu will need
American help to fend off the pressure,
but Israeli diplomats fear that Obama may be less willing to fight on Israel's behalf, or will seek to extract a price.”
"Producer Jill Blackstone had initially been
charged with murder of her sister Wendy, but the LA District Attorney dropped the
charges and released her Wednesday. Yet many questions remain over her partially blind and deaf sister's death. Wendy was found on Saturday in the home's garage, apparently asphyxiated by carbon monoxide
gas. ... Also found at the scene was a hand-
written suicide note police determined
had been written by Jill, and the bodies of their three dogs.”
"The White House has made clear its
dismay at Prime Minister Netanyahu's
sweeping victory in the Israeli polls
with a stinging rebuke of 'divisive rhetoric' used by the Israeli leader in the closing stages of the election. ...
Furthermore, Obama has
to congratulate him on his victory.”
"In addition to the Austrian Web
provider, the document discloses
other targets, such as members of the Philippine government, the
largest Saudi ISP, a Pakistani cyber security firm as well as a resort
hotel in Honduras in which the United Fruit Company receives
South American official delegations. With this variety of examples from the spy programs under Upstream,
the NSA-author of the presentation will have wanted to demonstrate
the best possible range of targets.”
"It mustn't be forgotten that in 16th century Protestantism, there was an iconoclastic rage that went on to wreak havoc on our cultural heritage. ... This is not to suggest a hazardous equivalence between Calvinism and radical Islam, but the Islamists are
falling back on an a religious tradition
that was defeated by Christianity.”
“The alliance is unlikely to amount
to much immediate collaboration on joint operations. It may, in fact, be more of a cry for help, given the recent string of defeats Boko
Haram has sustained in recent days.”
"Britains laws governing the espionage agencies and mass
surveillance require a total
overhaul to make them more transparent, comprehensible and up to date, parliament's
Intelligence and Security
Committee said in a landmark
report that was prompted by
the Snowden revelations.”
"Secretary of State Kerry told Congress
that an Iran nuclear deal wouldn't be
legally binding, meaning the next U.S.
president may choose not to implement it - a point emphasized in an open letter by Republican senators to Iran's leaders. ... But a Security Council resolution on a nuclear deal with Iran could be legally
binding. That could undercut attempts by Republicans to unravel an agreement. ”
"It's like mopping the floor next
to a fire hose: national security is in constant danger. This is a
group who are not concerned with laws of secular Western
societies. ... This will not be resolved through dialogue while
immigration from Muslim nations
merrily goes on. Halting it is the
first necessary step. This is an
inconvenient truth we must heed.”
"How can we understand why people, who in their gardens protect their vegetable beds
from view with well-tended
hedges, aren't upset by the fact that there's an entity for
which no screening exists - an
entity that sees all and hears
all? To be able to understand and criticize this is the most
urgent task of people today. ”
"'The harm to Wikimedia and the hundreds of millions of people
who visit our Web sites is clear:
Pervasive mass surveillance has a chilling effect,' Mr Wales wrote. 'It stifles freedom of expression
and the free exchange of ideas
that Wikimedia exicts to enable.'”
"This suggests that the United States is
not trustworthy. This kind of letter is unprecedented and undiplomatic. ...
It letter suggests that U.S. lawmakers
not only don't understand international law but are not fully cognizant of the
nuances of their own Constitution in
terms of presidential powers in the
conduct of American foreign policy.”
— Fyodor Lukyanov, Chief Editor at Russia in Global Affairs
"They have shared their cruel deeds on the Web in order to attract the world's
attention. Now the jihadists are pushing
their use of social networking further.
... Islamic State seeks to improve on its
online success: three days ago it launched
its own social network called 'Kilafahbook'!”
"The Bundestag Committee investigating the NSA spying scandal may itself have been
spied on. There are suspicions that the so-called encrypted
phone of Committee Chair Patrick Sensburg may have been hacked. ... An ominous course of events forms the backdrop of these suspicions. ... A detailed analysis will
take several weeks. So any
involvement by intelligence
services is only conjecture. ”
"The European Union needs its own army to help address
the issue that it is not 'taken
entirely seriously' as a global force, the president of the European commission has said. ... Jean-Claude Juncker said such a move would help the
E.U. persuade Russia that it's serious about defending its values in the face of the threat posed by Moscow. ”
"If artificial intelligence allows us to envisage less expensive production, will that be financially beneficial to
the entire population, or just the priests of the Internet and the major corporations? ... It's hard to see what
use civil servants, insurance agents, translators, brokers, salespersons,
teachers and (why not?) attorneys, doctors and pharmacists will be in two or three decades: all these jobs are being progressively replaced by artificial intelligence. All that will remain are modest manual or low-
paid trades of artists and craftsman.”
"Portugal benefits from being allied with the United States and not Russia. How come? ... Here in Portugal, only those
older than 50 recall not being
allowed to vote or freely express political opinions.
They're privileged storytellers since they can tell the young what it's like to live in today's Russia. What we take for granted here can be a death s entence elsewhere. We're not interested in allies like that, and fortunately we
don't need them either. ”
"A belief in the demonic intentions
of his enemies explains Netanyahu's
actions - and not just about Tehran, but all enemies; from Hezbullah via
Hamas to Fatah and the Palestinian president. By only seeing them as apocalyptic forces spurred on by
religious hatred of the Jews, he excludes the possibility that his
adversaries might act rationally and be willing to compromise. That makes negotiations pointless.”
"Open conflict over a deal with Iran between Washington and Jerusalem is the greatest gift both parties can give their enemies. What makes Obama's stubbornness even more worrisome is that his track record in the Middle East is not a good one. ... Netanyahu is rightly worried. Owing to his accuracy in predicting events in the Middle East he has a right to speak like no one else. That is precisely why the Jewish state stands alone like never before; and all because of a speech, the one
area Obama has truly excelled.”
"The first state intervention by Washington in the history of the Internet, it reflects the fact that government cannot leave the ubiquitous digital revolution to regulate itself, and without a basic set of common rules that are fair and democratic. ”
How credible are charges in Western
media that Putin is behind the killing of Russia opposition leader Boris Nemtsov?
Not very, according to the panel on this
edition of CrossTalk, the flagship debate
program of Russia Today. The panelists
also look at Western media coverage of
Russia - and how wrong it is.Hosted by
American Peter Levelle, guests include NSA whistleblower Ray McGovern, a 27 year veteran of the agency who once prepared the President's Daily Brief and chaired National Intelligence Estimates;
writer Gilbert Doctorow of The Nation
magazine; and U.K. journalist Neil Clark.
"Is the theft of SIM card codes
a surprise to anyone? If even
the American and British spy agencies are so unscrupulous, others will be even more so.
Given this desire on the part of states and an equally strong
desire in the private sector
for international surveillance, it seems almost hopeless to
think that they could one day
be curbed by the force of law. ”
"Following the court's verdict, the case
will move back to the German judges. If
they grant Shepherd asylum, it would certainly set a precedent for follow-on cases from other conscientious objectors - as well as lay the ground for diplomatic friction between Berlin and Washington.”
"According to IS, the prophesied period of the second Caliphate has now begun.
Importantly, this also marks the start of the 'End of Days,' which is accompanied
by a massive, apocalyptic clash between
forces of the Caliphate and non-believers.”
"There are consequences to the excess zeal with which our policy decisions were made years ago. ... Poland is the
only state in which the matter is being
investigated. ... It is a reminder for us that secret things should remain secret.
Polish authorities acted out of higher necessity, but were overzealous.”
SEJM MARSHAL and former Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski
"The most unpleasant statistic is not even its duration. The graphs
show that the portion of those disgruntled with America grew from crisis to crisis (53 percent, 66 percent, 67 percent, 78
percent). More disheartening, each time the slice of Russian
society feeling unquestioned goodwill toward the U.S. shrank.”
"The stolen encryption keys would
enable the spy agencies to monitor mobile communications without the approval or knowledge of telecom
firms and foreign governments. ...
the hack would allow spies to put an aerial up on the embassy in Berlin
and hear anyone's calls in the area.”
"Your method of simplifying history and turning your character into a legend in a binary world is disturbing. Unlike Paul Greengrass' Green Zone, American Sniper does nothing to address the issue of the lie that led to this war, preferring to celebrate its hero. You cannot therefore avoid the suspicion that this is a propaganda film. But perhaps you take that as a compliment. Good for you.”
"In comments to reporters traveling with him to Sierra Leone, Mr. Fallon compared
the threat from President Putin to the Islamic State and warned that NATO had to be ready to respond to further
aggression in 'whatever form.'”
"If ceasefire holds, the
Minsk agreement offers Russia a dignified way of
accepting Ukraine as an
independent state. The Kremlin needs this small measure of diplomatic ambiguity, not petulant accusations that it is acting in bad faith.”
"Westerners never made good on the foolhardy interventions of recent decades. Whether it is the Americans in Iraq or more recently the Europeans in Libya, it's clear that military action is pointless unless accompanied by a political solution. The case of
Libya is a glaring example. For lack of a political roadmap it
ended in disaster. The result:
less than 350km from the Italy
coast, jihadists of the Islamic State now threaten to create a caliphate, letting it be known loud and clear by staging the macabre beheadings of 21 Coptic Christians.”
"Russian saber-rattling is aimed at intimidating the global public. The idea is to make the world believe in the determination of Russia, which, to achieve its political ends, will not shrink from the use of nuclear arms. ... Chancellor Merkel's declaration
in advance that she is opposed
to arming Ukraine is political suicide for the European Union as a political entity. ... Whether the West will respond in kind to Putin's threat to use nuclear arms is an open question. What's certain is that if after WWII, Western politicians behaved like Mrs. Merkel and Mr. Hollande,
the world today would consist
of one big Soviet Union.”
"It was the will of the program gods that 50 Shades of Grey would be released in thousands of movie theaters around the world just as Dominique Strauss-
Khan is performing in another theater - a courtroom - in Lille,
France. This shows that reality
always exceeds the imagination.”
"The Ukraine war buried the myth
of a Slavic community of nations, a political dream concocted by Tsarist Russia in order to consolidate its influence abroad. The Russians can't imagine Ukrainians going their own way - behaving like free people guided by their own dreams and interests rather than the Russian conceptions of Ukraine.”
"I'd learned of lots of things the
CIA had done that havent followed the rules and that wasnt how I wanted my tax money spent. ... I think this
research has to be open and global,
so there isn't any question of using
it for hostile purposes.”
"The logic of aggression demands that the attacker persevere as long as potential gains exceed the costs. That Russia feels harassed may well be, but it isn't as if NATO invaded Poland, the Baltic States and the former Czechoslovakia.
If Europe doesn't know what it
stands for, it will inevitably be
crushed between power blocs rather than being one itself. The 'dictator syndrome' will likely
be Europe's ultimate test.”
"America should set as a strategic priority the defense of Christians
across the world. From Pakistan
to Iraq, Nigeria to Egypt and from Algeria to Indonesia, there are
over 150 million Christians under
persecution. By favoring the cult
of democracy over the freedom
of religion, the West committed a strategic error. Like it or not, all nations of the world associate
Christians with the West. That it has not made defending them a strategic priority has only earned
it contempt from rivals, enemies.”
"As the years have passed, Russia has come less to represent civilized
states than the rogue ones, and to defend rogue states and their interests before the civilized states. ... The West has forgotten how it co-existed with the Soviet Union through the use of deterrence. Now it will have to remember.”
"Trust has been eroded to the point
of almost being destroyed. You
got a war going on right in the middle of Europe. You got a breakdown of the conventional forces treaty, you got the INF (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) Treaty under great strain, you got tactical nuclear
weapons all over Europe. It is a
very dangerous situation.”
Despite his failure to reform the NSA after years of leaks demonstrating the damage mass surveillance has done to American society, its standing in the world, and the reputation of one
of our most successful industries, the president pushed for information- sharing 'like never before' between
the U.S. intelligence bureacracy and industry. The absurdity of the scene wasn't lost on Apple CEO Tim Cook.
"The separation between Russia and Europe is a tragedy. That the Americans may welcome it
is their right and their problem.
We don't want a revival of the Cold War between Europe and
Russia. ... Crimea chose
Russia ... we can't reproach them for it.”
In a story that goes a long way to
substantiate the Kremlin narrative on the night that triggered the current crisis in Ukraine, the BBC aired this story yesterday which refutes claims by Maiden protest organizers that government riot police shot first, triggering a massacre that killed 75 people
and sealed the fate of President Viktor Yanukovych. To sum up - Yanukovych did not order riot police to shoot protesters, but
protesters began shooting them.
"The complaint is 100 pages long and contains the names of 247 sick sailors
and details about reactor construction, water samples taken, Navy tactics and Japanese politics. It assails company greed just as it does the negligence of those who built the Fukushima
reactors - and goes on to censure the
politics and cynicism of humankind.”
While reports on details remain
sketchy, reports sayt President Putin did indeed pressure pro-
Russia rebels to sign on to the
deal. In this post is analysis from the Guardian, video from Russia Today with President Putins's comments, Euronews coverage
of a briefing by Ukraine President Poroshenko, German Chancellor Merkel and French President Hollande, and a news report on the deal from Euronews.
Britain is not proving to be fertile ground for Republican aspirants for the White House. A week after New Jersey Governor Chris
Christie stumbled and fell over 'Measles-gate' and just over three years since Mitt Romney's epic gaffes on the Olympics and other issues, now Wisconsin Governor
Scott Walker, during a talk at U.K.
think tank Chatham House, would
not say whether he believes in
evolution, and refused to answer questions about foreign policy which, for an aspirant to the
U.S. presidency on foreign soil - is exceedingly odd. Here are three write-thrus from the British press.
In 2011, the one-time chairman of the IMF and candidate for the French presidency was arrested
in New York on
seven counts of rape, false imprisonment and other charges. In the end his accuser was paid off and he left the United States. Now though, a man who once hobnobbed with the global elite is on trial in Paris for 'pimping.' He is one
of 14 defendants accused of holding profitable sex parties
in Lille, Paris and Washington,
where DSK was head of the IMF.
"For all the diplomatic pleasantries and the cozy Bavarian hospitality, there is a
topic this night that angers and divides
the camps. German rejection of sending
weapons to Ukraine. Defense Minister
Von der Leyen and Secretary John Kerry greet each one another only in passing.
While over the past year, despite even
the NSA affair, there were photos of a charmingly smiling Kerry and a beaming
von der Leyen, frosty silence now reigns.”
"Born out of a group of local
Pegida supporters, the group
began with a large protest
of about 1,000 people and in days it had already collected over 20,000 Facebook likes. At the center of the protests is the 'Americanization' of Germany, not only culturally and linguistically, but socially
and economically, and with slogans directed against a Merkel government judged guilty for going ahead with negotiations to sign TTIP, legislation that provides for mass privatization and great legal advantages for the Stars and Stripes multinationals settled on the old continent.”
"A deep unease has taken hold
at NBC News since Brian Williams,
its nightly news anchor, came under attack for making up a
story about his life-and-death
escape in Iraq. Caught in the
maelstrom is Deborah Turness, a Briton who left ITV to become
the president of NBC News just eighteen months ago.”
"The Ukrainian affair will move toward a shaky equilibrium with the merit of stopping the cycle of violence, or in one of those patterns Europe knows only too
well, into a wider confrontation -
war at the heart of the continent between Russia and the West with Ukrainians in the middle. ...
Really, though, it all depends on
a singl man: Vladimir Putin.”
The now legendary criminality of the world's big banks, in this case Swiss Bank HSBC, has been exposed in mind-
boggling fashion by whistleblower Herve Falciani, who is now being
referred to as ' Snowden of banking.'
Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board Alan Greenspan, a
smart man who was spectacularly
wrong on the greatest economic crisis in our lifetimes and in terms of the amount of private equity
wiped out perhaps in history, is now predicting the Greece will exit the eurozone, which will likely be the death knell of the euro unless there is full U.S.-style political unification. Greenspan spoke to the BBCs North American bureau chief Mark Mardell.
"To understand the Russia policy of
THE Obama Administration when it comes to the conflict in Ukraine,
ask yourself what the policy would have been with Republican hawk John McCain in the White House. ...
If Obama is hesitating, it's
because he doesn't like war, and prefers to fight them at a distance (as with drones and air strikes in Iraq). He has other priorities.”
"The currently proposed mechanism is extremely dangerous. American
companies could attack our country because it has banned genetically modified organisms, or declared a moratorium on shale gas fracking, or banned BPA (Biphenyl A, a carbon- based synthetic compound used in a variety of common consumer goods).”
People on which the world's leading
powers rely to develop policies in the military/security sphere discuss the crisis in Ukraine, the battle against Islamic State, and a variety of other challenges dominating the world. These are the most significant videos
from the Munich Security Conference.
"This conflict will go on -
Russia hasn't realized its goal:
the subjugation of Ukraine. The Kremlin is the aggressor. Russian troops are on the territory of a neighbor and are shooting its soldiers. No Western country denies this - even those that would lift sanctions against Moscow
tomorrow. So why is there this reluctance to support the other side - the victim of increasing aggression from over the border?”
"In Moscow and Europe,
the ideological battle to discredit the West is in full
swing. Suddenly, concern
and distress has gripped
Washington over a Russian question it thought had
disappeared from the radar.”
"Not a single British spy has been held accountable for mass surveillance, unlawful spying or snooping on private emails and phone calls. ... Until today. ... In years to come we will look
back on today as an essential win
against the surveillance state.”
"Many of the new 'restrictions'
are so broad as to be practically
meaningless, such as the 6 new
criteria under which bulk phone collection remains permissible: ranging from fighting spies,
terrorists and nuclear weapons
proliferation to 'criminals', hackers and loosely defined
threats to the military. American
spies, emboldened by declining pressure from Congress and a clutch of new terrorist threats
to worry about, they are in no rush to fundamentally alter the elaborate surveillance apparatus
the scale of which was first
revealed by Edward Snowden.”
RT looks at the policies of the U.S.
national security state with Colonel
Lawrence Wilkerson, Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief of staff; Alan Dershowitz on terrorism and why Europe is now being targeted;
the seeming admission by President Obama last weekend that yes - the
United States was deeply involved
with toppling the democratically- elected government in Ukraine; whether the political elite in Israel
and the United States will ever
accept peaceful co-existence
with Iran; whether the global economic system is 'rigged' in favor of the planet's wealthy; what the major
media refuses to acknowledge of
Greece - that the banks and states
judging the country as bankrupt as the government of Greece is.
"For a little over 18 months, the U.S. Internet giants have been in
open conflict with governments of the Western democracies. ...
Shaken by the Snowden Affair, certain CEOs of these companies privately explain that 'back doors'
would be a gateway to unlimited
intrusion by the the authorities and a threat to individual freedom.”
"With a political career based entirely within New Jersey, Christie must seek
to show himself as a leader of broader experience, especially if the Democrat candidate ends up being Hillary Clinton,
the former American secretary of state.”
"In Iraq Chris Kyle doesn't find deer - he finds men. The substance is the same
though. Only the reasons for his actions differ ('I do
it to protect my friends).
In any event, the thin, impalpable smile that the sniper keeps on his face in a context so dramatic -
and his 'addiction' to battle
that manifests during his time off at home suggest a relationship that is far from ambiguous about the 'eroticism of war.' And it
is this, perhaps, which so disturbs some, scandalizes many, and satisfies the rest.”
"What's required is a common
consensus on the community's most important value, which is at the heart of [Germany's] Basic Law: human dignity.
Anyone who has the desire to understand why that is the
very highest legal value of our Constitution, what this term
truly means and the obligations that come with it, must study the past. That includes not only
studying the Auschwitz death camp, but enlightening others
about it as well. Neither can be overlooked in courses on
integrating our new citizens.”
"A storm is brewing in Yemen. Shiite militias, Sunni tribes, al-Qaeda, Iran and Saudi Arabia are all in the mix in the Middle East's poorest country. ... The geopolitically- and religiously- charged nature of this local conflict only makes finding a solution more complicated. ... As the recent attack on Charlie Hebdo made clear, the West
should not ignore what seems
like a distant crisis in Yemen.”
"The assassination by ISIL
commanders of a Saudi general sent to the northern border to assess the loyalty of units judged unreliable reveals the scale of
the problem. The attack across
the border against General
Oudah al-Belawi was very well planned and based on specific
data from within the military.”
"They had no plan for what would happen after the
invasion. ... The approach
was, The Americans are heading this up. They will have a detailed plan. We need to follow them. ... The civil war and violent chaos that followed the war
created the conditions for
the Islamic State to grow."
"There are clear shared
interests between the fanatical Islamists and
European forces. Each will tend to radicalize the other in a scenario
of 'civil war' that aligns
this organiztion of global
intolerance and barbarity.”
Can confidence in the cloud be restored?
which addresses the collapse
in trust after the largest tech
companies allowed users to be secretly spied upon have damaged not only their reputations, but confidence in the cloud, which is what
the future of the high tech
revilution now depends upon.
This panel includes Internet founder Tim Berners-Lee, BBC World News presenter Nik Gowing, CEO of Liberty Global Michael T. Fries, CEO of salesforce.com Marc R. Benioff, German lawmaker
Gunther H. Oettinger and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.
This is in essence a new version of
An Inconvenient Truth. Mr. Gore presents the latest research into climate change and the danger of not responding to it, including to critical infrastructure. This time Gore comes armed not just with slides but some very interesting video to back up the evidence.
"All indications are that the attack on
satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo will
provide a pretext for introducing further limits on our civil liberties - a new order the victims of which are
unlikely to be terrorists. These tools have evidently failed. ... We have a right to a thorough justification for measures that will limit our rights
and freedoms. In our democratic debate, we must demand evidence of their effectiveness."
PANOPTYKON FOUNDATION DIRECTOR Katarzyna Szymielewicz
"Some measures under consideration
are so sweeping they would allow the
monitoring of private communications of every citizen. They should instead
focus on targeting those reasonably suspected of intending to carry out
attacks or spurring others to do so."
" If we can get through the next year, we will not break, we will not give in, we will not beg for a 'fun' pain-free
death. We will be masters of the
circumstances, including even Europe. However, if we break we'll be thrown onto the dustbin of failed civilizations. We'll be left to rot, with smoke coming
off the pile and rats crawling all over us."
Why do we keep hammering away at
the issue of mass surveillance? ... A document released from the Snowden
documents today shows the routine
interception of e-mails and data from leading journalists and investigative reporters and their storage in an
archive easy to access by GHCQ agents.
"No one is forced to read Charlie Hebdo,
no one is forced to look at its cartoons. Because we and every damned Salafist in Switzerland have the right to look
away. That we have as a senior state
representative who is a member of
the appeasement block, for which free
expression is labeled with a 'but,' is itself
enough to make one want to vomit."
You might recall a few days ago we posted a commentator on Fox News claiming that there are areas of France and Britain. ... Now French TV has broadcast a mashup of Fox
News figures repeating again and again similar erroneous
claims, and spoke to people living in these non-Muslim 'no go' areas, and asked its viewers to bury Fox News in e-mail complaints.
"The message is that rising
inequality is dangerous. It
is bad for growth and it is bad for governance. We see a concentration of wealth capturing power and leaving average people voiceless and their interests
uncared for [by leadership]."
What is blasphemy in Islam and how does that compare to other religions? Owen Bennett Jones is joined by the Bishop of Bradford,
Paul Marshall of the Hudson Institute, Professor Yvonne
Sherwood of Kent University,
Australia columnist Waleed Aly and journalists Audrey Carville in Dublin, and Omar Waraich and Nick
Cohen to debate
meaning of blasphemy today.
Beyond collecting every shred of data from every user on the Internet in order 'to keep us safe' - what else is the NSA up to? For Germany's Der Spiegel,
a team that includes the maker
of the documentary on Edward Snowden 'Citizien Four' Laura
Poitras and a leading critic of NSA activity Jacob Appelbaum put together this report on how the NSA is buinding the
sytems and capability for
unprecedented cyber warfare.
REPORTERS Laura Poitras, Jacob Appelbaum, Aaron Gibson, Claudio Guarnieri,
Marcel Rosenbach, Andy Muller-Maguhn, Leif Ryge, Hilmar Schmundt and Michael Sontheimer
Talk about shameless, Secretary of State John Kerry's visit to
France today takes the cake.
An effort to place a raw steak
on the black eye of U.S. foreign
policy after the White House decided not to send a senior official to the demonstration of unity in Paris that drew leaders from around the world and almost two million people to the streets of the city, Kerry pulled out all the stops make up
for America's absence - and
some he should not have pulled
out. Much of the time he speaks
flawless French - which the locals do like quite a bit.
"The E.U. needs to start preparing for the next such event, because it will certainly come. Europe needs to find
new impetus in the fight against terror.
Ten years have passed since the horrid attack on the London underground,
and our vigilance has diminished."
"Google has tried to present this announcement as just another step in the evolution of an amazing innovation. But
make no mistake - Google
Glass is dead, at least in its
present form. ... Google will
now have to deal with a disgruntled community of Explorers who paid a large sum for a device which they must have believed would eventually evolve into something more useful."
"'If my friend Dr. Gasparri says a curse word against my mother,
he can expect a punch. It's normal. Its normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of
the faith of others.' ... 'I don't know if [human activity] is the only cause, but mostly, in great part, it is man who has slapped nature in the face.'"
"The failure that has put all the world in danger is at
the level of politics - not
security. It was political leaders who got rid of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Muammar Gaddafi in Libya and have tried to displace Bashar al-Assad in Syria without thinking through
the likely consequences."
"The list contains the identities
of agents working at Germen embassies across the globe, in addition to those accompanying army missions in Afghanistan, Mali, Lebanon and Sudan. ... It
remains unclear if Markus R. has
sold this particular document to
any intelligence or spy agency."
“It may be that in states where
entire neighborhoods and soon entire towns are Muslim, it is already too late. In those places, politicians and activists may be unable to prevent a genuine
conflict between civilizations."
"The 18 century was not just about
the idealized Enlightenment, but a revolution of underground, sensual and satirical ideas - which is still
with us today. It would be better
if there were no fanatics and no
martyrs for freedom. But as there
are, it is important to remember that love is stronger than hate."
One of America's most error-prone and Pavlovian 'terrorism experts,' Steven Emerson, a regular guest on FOX News, put his foot more deeply into his mouth than usual, referring to Birmingham, Britain's second-largest city, as a 'Muslim- only city' where non-Muslims 'don't go'. There has been a veritable eruption of
derision in Britain to his comments, and a twitter hashtag dedicated to skewering him and the network that employs him.
The European Parliament is about to vote on a measure
written by Monsanto, DuPont,
and their bought and paid for
legislators) to look like a way of further restricting the use of GM crops, but in fact will result in their wider use throughout the E.U. Even if the motives of the people behind the measure couldn't be more obvious, passage of the measure seems assured. Then some good news: Due to massive public pressure, U.K. lawmakers have been
forced to launch an probe into whether and how the secretly-negotiated TTIP will 'weaken rules to protect food and the environment.'
"The feeling of unforeseeable, pervasive and sudden violence arouses a desire for security that will be impossible to fulfill. Experience teaches us that terrorist attacks encourage the renunciation of democratic values and amid concerns for our own security the sacrifice of the liberties of others at home or abroad. The spiral of
suspicion created in the U.S. by the Patriot Act and the
legitimization of torture or illegal detention has today plunged that country into the loss of its moral compass."
“Immigrants of the Muslim faith need to know that they have to accept our achievements if they wish to stay here. These include equality and equal treatment of men and women as well as the separation of church and state. As a Christian, one might find cartoons of the pope or Jesus
repellent, but censorship
is the beginning of the end of freedom."
“If Islam is this, then we
want the opportunity to criticize it as we like, as we've learned to criticize Christianity, Buddhism
and many other
things. We want the opportunity not risk our lives for that."
However much their murderers may
identify themselves as the victims of
mockery, they have also identified themselves as on the side of power, electing to act as agents avenging
the injured feelings of the most Powerful Being in the Universe."
“This is precisely the demand that must be imposed on Islam if it really wants to be part of Europe. Things needn't go as far as laughing at caricatures of Mohammed, but it will certainly have to go almost
that far. What exactly would imposing the Enlightenment mean for Islam? In addition to realizing religious tolerance (this will never exist in Islam as long as apostasy is thought
worthy of punishment), full equality for women, a clear precedence of secular over religious law, and above all: goodbye to Islam as a notion
as a basis the world order."
We are all watching events in Paris with a combination of
heartbreak, concern for the
future and outrage. Sadly, there are those among our own leaders who are more than willing to use the fear
these attacks have conjured to persuade us to give up even more of our precious and diminishing civil liberties, they claim - 'to keep us safe.'
"If the armed attack on
Charlie Hebdo leads to increased self-censorship on the part of satirists and critics of Islam, then terror will have won. But it will also have won if every faithful Muslim
now falls under suspicion."
“Since yesterday, euphemisms are no longer appropriate: This is war, a real war that has been declared
on us: the war of Muslim fanaticism against the West, Europe and the
values of democracy. Ultimately, it
isn't this nation or that being targeted, but a way of life, values, civilization - ours - in which women
are equal, rights of conscience are
a non-negotiable, and
freedom of expression an absolute imperative.
There can be no
doubt that Charlie Hebdo was testing the boundaries of taste and religious tolerance. But that is the burden free
speech has to bear in a democracy. The U.S. bore it recently with its satire on North Korea's leader;
and it was the risk
Charlie Hebdo took -
knew it was taking.
This is the Guardian's LIVE BLOG of Tweets, text, photos and video and France 24's LIVE VIDEO FEED of this morning's attack on the offices of French satirical magazine
Charlie Hebdo, in which at least
12 people are dead, 10 seriously
injured; the attackers on the run.
"U.S. and NATO continue
to antagonize Moscow and Obama has approved new sanctions. ... In August
1941, the Americans cut oil sales to Japan, which is how Tokyo obtained about 75 percent of its supply. Then they then froze its financial assets. Pearl Harbor came just four months later."
"Pakistan hosts the headquarters of the insurrection - and although it officially denies it, with the goal
of promoting its anti-India interests in Afghanistan. And China, Pakistan's nuclear godfather, has influence that Mr. Ghani would like to see
used to bring Islamabad to a better disposition toward Kabul. There is some coherence in this triangle and it is natural for Mr. Ghani to try and play it. The new Afghan president holds a trump card: the departure of the bulk of the NATO troops reinforces his room to maneuver.
"Confronted with the past, we tend to rationalize everything that happened as if it perforce had to have. The great religions - with a
provident and all-providing
God, and the great historical determinism of, for example, Marxism, pushed people onto
these paths ... codified in seductive prose with the
subtle threat that thoes who
ignore history are doomed to repeat it. ... From this tendency to rationalize also comes the temptation to seek the roots of the present in the past, not admitting to the possibility of alternatives and
neglecting the potential
future of paths marginalized
by the march of history."
Rumors of perverse sexual practices among the world's elite forever circulate but are rarely documented. Just when the British Royal family and former President Bill Clinton appeared
to have restored their public images
so well, an unseemly scandal
Jeffrey Epstein, an American jet setter and sex offender, has reemerged and threatens to ensnare Prince Andrew, perhaps President Clinton and other
high profile figures in the U.S. and U.K.
"The wish of Americans to respond
to those trained precisely to deny fundamental rights to anyone who falls into their hands and, moreover, who have no purpose other than to kill Americans and terrorize their country, is downright heroic."
"Love for one's Motherland is one of the most powerful and enlightening feelings. It has found its reflection in our fraternal aid to the residents of Crimea and Sevastopol, after they made the firm decision to return to their native home. This event will remain a landmark in national history."
"Although many people find the topic of cybercrime exciting and
consider it of little relevance, imagine instead that Sony was an airline. Instead of using bombs to bring down planes the same can be achieved by breaking into an aircraft's computer system. ... We need to change our thinking.
"Sony may have been a practice run for attacks on telecoms and
electrical grids in other nations. ... As long as water runs from the tap and electricity is available from the wall, very few will understand the risks and dangers
a digital attack on infrastructure by a hostile power represents.
Der Spiegel posted fascinating
documents from Snowden
classified 'Highest Classification Top Secret' on drugs and the Taliban war, the CIA kill list and the Drone program, and an 'unprecedented' operation
conducted by Afghan, German forces targeting a 'narcotics trafficker, IED facilitator and
a leading Taliban commander'
"A gang of internet hackers claiming an affiliation with shadowy anarchist group Anonymous is claiming it has
leaked the details of over 13,000 users of Playstation, Xbox and online
shopping sites that include Amazon.
"After 13 years of war, NATO ended its combat operations in Afghanistan on Sunday, leaving the Afghan army and police in charge of security in a
nation plagued by continued fighting, a ferocious insurgency and a rising
tide of military and civilian casualties."
"New sections of the doctrine outline the threat Russia sees in
NATO's expansion and military buildup and the fact that the
alliance is taking upon itself
'global functions realized in
violation of international law.
“No doubt: as they go, these people take an entire culture with them, and by around 2030 our understanding of rocks essence will be synonymous with recorded music, old footage, and the overwhelming sense of art
that no generation could top.”
"Certain parts of the
that really vindicate some of the things Snowden said when he first described the NSA surveillance in terms of the ability of analysts to
conduct queries of raw internet traffic - without authorization.
"The uproar over America's use of the torture is an echo of revelations just a year ago
of the Snowden case. In both
cases, the world discovered the extent of the ravages caused by the 'global war against terrorism' declared by George W. Bush after the September 11 attacks."
"Appeasement has never worked and it won't work with Putin. ... If 85 percent of Russians support the annexation of Crimea and the aggression against Ukraine, that is a very bad sign. The post-Soviet legacy is a heavy burden: Most Russians want to have the empire back. The only way it is possible to make that happen is to seize
[additional] foreign territories.
"The basic canon of Kremlin propagandists is to give voice only to their own people, meaning Russias rulers and their entourage as well as select foreigners suffering
under the yoke of the E.U.
The Kremlin propagandists - and their daily toil gives us an abundance of examples - take their public for complete
idiots who don't even recall what they heard a moment
before, let alone any longer.
"It has been 25 years since the Ayatollah Khomeini issued a religious 'fatwa' enjoining Muslims around the world to kill august British writer Salman Rushdie.
The reason?His novel, The Satanic Verses, was insulting to Islam. The case of The
Interview involves a similar threat. As suggested by our British colleagues at The Financial Times, Sony must in turn respond by utilizing the Web and making the The Interview accessible to anyone
who wishes to see it and putting it online."
"We can liaise with
an authoritarian Russia, but not at the expense of the independence and territorial integrity
of the states of Europe. Tightening the screws on Putin is less risky to us than consenting to a
watering down of our principles. Moscow has
already shown us how painful it is when she takes advantage of our weaknesses."
"Having watched the trailer for The Interview, I'm going to say it's not a film I would normally rush to see. ... But after Sony's decision to can it (for now), I am now determined to watch -
and buy tickets for my friends,
too. But like any good drama,
it has developed over three acts growing progressively more sinister as it goes along. There is a potential Act Four - more of which later. So readers, here's my synopsis so far.
"The Holy Father wants to express
his warm congratulations for the historic decision taken by the Governments of the United States of America and Cuba to establish diplomatic relations, with the aim of overcoming, in the interest of the citizens of both countries, the difficulties which have marked their recent history.
"Months of talks in Canada
and the Vatican involving one of Obama's closest aides, culminated when Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro spoke by phone for nearly an hour and gave final assent to steps that could end a half-century
of enmity and suspicion.
""The justifiable invasion of
Afghanistan was followed by an invasion of Iraq under
false pretenses; a massive program of secret prisons was set up; Guantanamo
became a symbol of U.S. injustice, and finally there was the damaging NSA affair. ... Time after time
it became clear that the United States broke the law.
... and global terrorism went into high gear."
"I consider a lesser evil ethically SUPERIOR to a greater one; and that I have a natural right to defend myself and my loved ones, as well as my countrymen, from death BY ALL MEANS. If a war prisoner has information that can
save lives - especially many lives - I, Stanislaw Remuszko, will not
hesitate to use 'unconventional
methods' to get that information.
"In the film A Most Wanted Man, recently-deceased Phillip Seymour Hoffman plays a German agent who, although he doesn't trust the Americans, is obliged to cooperate
with them. ... Were our decision-
makers supposed to assume that the American secret services were there to commit torture?
Coverage of the arrival of six
Guantanamo inmates in Uruguay.
Then Cori Crider, attorney for a man who spent 12 years in
Guantanamo without ever being charged with a crime, tries to
convey the insanity of the system she has had to work in - and how little Americans are permitted to know about it.
Angelina Jolie weighs in on America's responsibility on the issue of torture. Abu Zubaydah's defense lawyer writes that after being subjected to every form of torture 'legalized' by the U.S. government without ever being charged with a crime, it is time to charge him or let him go. Then coverage of a hearing cancellation you probably haven't heard about: on how the FBI infiltrated the legal defense teams of Guantanamo inmates. Finally, the Pope wants the United States to 'find a humanitarian solution' to deal with the remaining
I condemn the vile
semantics of the CIA and Pentagon. Not just that old, wolfish, obscene phrase 'collateral damage', but the language of torture. ... Or, as the
lads who torture for
us call it, 'enhanced interrogation techniques.'
"On the screen, a clock counts down. Whether in French Algeria or Bush's America, the purpose of this fiction is always the same: to establish not only
that torture is 'acceptable,' but that it is morally 'required.' ... Anti-terrorism and information professionals, FBI and CIA interrogators and even the scriptwriters of the TV show 24 recognized in the 2000s that
it's something that never occurs.'
Dr. Jean-Baptiste Jeangene Vilmer, Science Po, Paris
"The Russian Foreign Ministry's commissioner for human rights, Konstantin Dolgov, called for the publication of the entire 6,700 page report and for all the perpetrators to be brought to justice. Well said! Should Washington hesitate, Moscow could lead the way as a shining example in this area.
"The effect of the ambulance- chasing lawyers and the play- it-safe judges is that we have got to the point where we have lost our operational
capacity for tactical questioning. That in itself brings risks to the lives of the people we deploy."
"While the CIA report's
damning conclusions have impelled quite a coterie of potentially implicated individuals to cry foul, including
ex-Vice President Dick
Cheney and other ex-
CIA chiefs, it is Tenet who stands most visibly in the dock.
"A state report exposing torture as useless and counterproductive is an
odd aberration, as it puts certain
circles in that state in a bad light, making it clear that such practices are not what they pretend them to be. Yet it also shows that in our societies the capacity remains to practice self-criticism and depart
from the wrong path. That's in stark
contrast to totalitarian regimes that
get ever-more bogged down in their own insanity, only to sink in their own ashes or drag the world down with them. ... Therefore, such a report is to be welcomed, because the alternative is far worse - and to hell with George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
"It was a matter of 'higher necessity' We
didn't do it on a whim. We didn't intend to
accommodate sadists! ... This is a genuine catastrophe for the United States, the CIA
and George W. Bush. We agreed to closer
cooperation believing that America, which
is a democratic country, would honor the law. We had no basis to believe that the
U.S. authorities would accept, support
and then cover up its illegal activities.
"America cannot present itself as a pioneer of freedom as long as its most important globally- active organization is constantly
committing atrocities. President Obama will never have a better
excuse to close Guantanamo. This was one of his first campaign promises, and six years later is has yet to be fulfilled.
"American political life functions on two separate planes. We see the surface world of gridlock and hyper-
partisanship and noisy cable TV. But less often glimpsed is a national
security state whose influence goes on administration after administration,
Republican or Democrat, that seems to evade the constraints of political scrutiny. ... That is the context for the release of the long-awaited and excruciatingly detailed Senate report on CIA torture of detainees after 9/11.
"Said to be more disturbing than
the infamous Abu Ghraib photos that sparked a global furor in 2004, the imagery is the subject of a lawsuit that both the Bush and Obama Administrations, backed by the U.S. Congress, have strenuously resisted."
"It is now time to take action. Individuals
responsible for the criminal conspiracy
revealed in the report must be brought
to justice, and must face criminal penalties
commensurate with the gravity of their
crimes. International law prohibits granting immunities to public officials who have engaged in acts of torture. This applies not
only to the actual perpetrators but also to
officials within the U.S. government who
devised, planned, authorized such crimes.
Ben Emmerson, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights
"Poland, Romania agreed
to equip the installations on these sites with the most advanced forms of security and secrecy, and they gave absolute guarantees of non- interference. ... NATO is, the platform through which the United States obtained the necessary permission
and protection needed for the CIA's secret actions."
Dick Marty, Author of Council of Europe Report on CIA Activities in Europe
"The CIA's activities would not have been possible without the help of Britain and 20 other European nations. ... Under President Bush the CIA used a web of European airports and bases for its extraordinary rendition flights, secretly transferring terror suspects
over borders for interrogation.
"In the 70s, the CIA reacted
to criticism by pulling down the shutters and building up the secret state further. Today, Americans face the
task of stopping a repeat. The moral and practical authority of the democratic system around the world depends in no small part on them succeeding."
Now, after months of debate, inter- agency wrangling and CIA spying on
the Senate, the 6,000 page version of the CIA torture report has been released. This is global coverage of
reaction and analysis of the report.
Hersh asserts: The Bush Administration
'Surge', which included funding jihadis, was a major contributing factor in the formation of the Islamic State -- That the Syrian Army will be the force that defeats IS -- U.S. is obviously working in coordination with the Iranian and
Syrian Air Forces -- Moderate Syrian rebels that U.S. wants to support have already cut deals with Bashar al-Assad.
It's time again for the adventures
of Duke William and Duchess Kate in New York. In 24 hours, they managed to take in a basketball game and meet Jay Z, Beyonce, LeBron James, Hillary and Chelsea
Clinton, President Obama; William gave a speech at the World Bank, Kate visited a Children's center in Harlem and according to videos below, managed to change her clothes about a jillion times.
For those inerested in the topic
- and we know you're out there,
this is coverage from Britain on the visit of the The Duke and five -months pregnant Duchess of Cambridge to New York, this is British coverage of the event, with text from the Guardian and
video coverge from the BBC
on the three-day royal visit.
"I don't recall ever having gotten
a letter from so many people at
once, and you likely can't either.
Step by step, talks between the
E.U. and U.S. on the
Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership
are mearing an end. Sadly, we do not know the details because the
talks are being held in extreme secrecy. ... The Americans have already lost their battle against biotech corporations. Now they are warning us about the effects of adopting American rules
under the guise of TTIP treaty.”
"Demonstrations touched off
in cities including New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Boston, Cleveland, Oakland Miami and
Phoenix. ... In New York City,
demonstrators staged 'die-ins'
at Macy's and Grand Central."
Amid the onrush of events and
the blizzard of misinformation and infotainment, it is easy to
forget that we continue to be relentlessly spied upon morning
noon and night, so here's the
latest Worldmeets.US spy post.
"Without denying the vigor of the Russian reaction in Ukraine, we
must put things into context, as
this crisis stems from elements of a
different nature: the profound corruption of the Ukrainian elite, pro- and anti-Russian combined; the over twenty-year uninterrupted expansion of NATO toward Russia when a helping hand is what was needed; the atavistic suspicion of the Baltic states and the Poles vis-ΰ-vis Moscow, the American
propensity to play on E.U. divisions."
Olivier Zajec, French Institute of Strategy and Conflict
"Short of the price, which is no
small matter, the key problem
with Glass is the reaction of people around the wearer. It feels socially inappropriate much
of the time if not for you, then
for your audience. The biggest disadvantage was that my family and friends refused to be seen with me while wearing them.
They aren't technology-obsessed in the same way I am, but there
was no way to convince them. It was either them or Glass."
"I remember the 1990 Paris Summit. Europe was an example of how to
build a new world order and a new relationship. The Americans - and Bush senior, talked about it. And I spoke about it. My good friend Pope John Paul II said at the time that we needed a more equitable world order that was more humane and safer. ... And one wonders how people could object to their own decisions. It all began with the fact that the U.S. suddenly started talking about the creation of a 'new empire.' An over empire, a super empire. Alas, God and fate had put the task before them. Yes,
they thought their time had come."
"To use Jews as an example for Muslims may upset some people, but I do it because it is instructive. In the sacred books of the Jews, gross, uncivilized passages are also to be found. Jews who fail to observe the Sabbath, for example (and perhaps work
on that day) must, according to the Torah, be stoned. ...
But not a one Jew anywhere
in the world would seek to apply this Toranic precept. Even the most religious Jews realize that that such a thing would be utter nonsense."
"This year's birds from a farm in Virginia, both plump and white, were transported under police escort to the W, where for two days they were treated with kid gloves. And that's no figure of speech. The turkeys are housed in a suite with views of the White House, are force-fed
organic soy and cranberries as they gobble in the rooftop panoramic bar waiting to
be presented to President Barack Obama."
"This verdict may well have been rendered by a jury made up of Blacks and Whites who, according to all the experts, did their job, but African-American communities don't believe in their country's justice system. Ferguson is very far-removed from the post-racial
America dreamed of by Obama. In Missouri suburbs like this, the population is 70 percent Black,
but the police, like the mayor, are
hegemonically White, tarnishing the image of an entire nation."
"I am deeply concerned at the disproportionate number of young African Americans who die in encounters with police officers, as well as the disproportionate number
of African-Americans in U.S. prisons and the disproportionate number of African Americans on Death Row."
U.N. COMMISSIONER for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein
"Family of Michael Brown to hold news
conference ... Ferguson is struck by
violence and arson after decision ... Grand jury declines to indict Ferguson officer Darren Wilson ... Wilson killed
unarmed teenager last August."
"Today, the range of apocalyptic
fiction is expanding to include a new sub-genre of science fiction that is all the rage: Cli-Fi, also known as 'climatic fiction.' Americans, however, are among the most ardent climate-change
skeptics on the planet. However,
this doubt is losing momentum."
"The authorities are using their
nearly cpmplete media control to
build a parallel universe in which Russia is under attack by the West. ... The goal is to disseminate the supposedly-suppressed 'Russian point of view.' This has nothing to do with journalism, i.e.: a
genuine attempt to seek truth."
“We have worked long and hard not just
over these past days but for months. This takes time. The stakes are high and the issues are complicated and technical. Each
decision affects other decisions, and each decision deeply affects national security and international interests."
Here are two live blogs from Britain,
which include tweets, photos, videos,
many from the scene, on the decision, to be announced within the next few hours, over whether to charge police officer Darren Wilson over the death
of teenager Michael Brown. Missouri Governor came close to saying the
authorities are expecting the worst.
“Snapshots of pages torn from Miller's
notebook were shown by state media,
after his trial, revealing statements he now describes as strategic lies to
help him remain in North Korea. In it, entries appeared to show support for removing 'the American military from South Korea' and included claims that Miller was a 'hacker' with some involvement with Wikileaks."
"Pope Francis wanted to stop in
Kurdistan, an area bordered by
Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran. He intended to issue an appeal from there on behalf of Middle East Christians being massacred by
Islamic jihadis. The secret service stopped him. ... He's not a very 'manageable' pope. ... It seems that even his entourage jokes with him about death threats. 'Holy Father, haven't they killed you yet today?' they ask him, overcoming their reverence to express really acute fears."
"Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov has made a series of comments relating to Western plans for regime change in Russia, and in relation to the battle against ISIL - against Syria. ... Then,
the Russian media is giving blanket coverage to the rejection by the U.S.,
Canada and Ukraine of a Russia-tabled
U.N. resolution 'condemning attempts
to glorify Nazism and deny Nazi crimes."
"The Federal Reserve board is conducting a major review of how the regulator and its reserve banks supervise large financial institutions, amid mounting criticism that it is to close to and too lenient with
the Wall St. groups it oversees."
"NATO and America have military bases scattered all over the globe, including in areas close to our borders, and their number is growing ... Moreover, just
recently it was decided to send special
forces, again in close proximity to our borders. You have mentioned various
[Russian] exercises, ship movements, flights and so on. Is all of this going on? Yes, it is indeed."
"Saudi military intelligence has reportedly arrested two senior F-16 pilots who
refused to fly missions, after they
expressed their utmost resentment at Saudi Arabia's
alliance with America. ... White House officials and the CIA informed the Saudis that
some of their U.S.-trained pilots were jettisoning their bombs and ammunition over inconsequential or totally unpopulated areas and then
returning to their Saudi bases."
If fear mongering were a sport, American politicians would win championships year after year.
Not too surprisingly, the Senate
yesterday rejected a NSA reform bill that was so watered down,
even National Intelligence chief
James Clapper, who lied to the Congress and the American people
about the scale of the surveillance
being carried out - supported it.
Russia Today posted a number segments worth watching today, including an interview with the Editor in chief of the journal Defense & Foreign Affairs who calls out the manistream media for failing to put the Ukraine crisis into context; coverage of yesterday's speech by Vladimir Putin on the debasement of
'democratic values' by the U.S.;
and a look at G20 body language.
"There are new fears of a possible Ebola
outbreak in New York City after a woman who was being monitored for the deadly
virus dropped dead Tuesday afternoon. ... according to a source on the scene, the woman, who had traveled to Guinea
three weeks ago, died at a hair braiding
shop in the Brownsville area of Brooklyn.'"
"In the annexation of Crimea and the
manifest destabilization of Ukraine, there is a very clear message that Western leaders pretend not to hear: the international order on which
European ties are built no longer
works. Russia, struck with sanctions by a West that is unlikely to be seen fighting for Sebastopol, has turned to China and Iran. Europe is clinging
to its grand principles and not realizing that it would do better to bring them into line with reality - before it's too late."
"You might ask: Where did U.S. Marshals the fugitive-chasing agents of Tommy Lee Jones lore obtain the authority to
launch this mass surveillance operation at all? Thats unclear, but thanks to some
digging by the Twitter surveillance crowd shortly after the Journal published its story,
we know the marshals are far from the
only U.S. agency using these 'dirtboxes.'"
"Six years after the financial crash that brought the world
to its knees, warning lights are once again flashing on the
global economic dashboard. ... As the global economy faces greater uncertainty, it is more important than ever that we send a clear message to the
world that Britain will not
waver on paying its debts."
"The Saudi government has flatly denied any involvement in 9/11. ... officials in Oklahoma federal
court have said that Moussaoui's requests to be allowed to speak in open court and to be assigned
government lawyers will likely
be denied, since his claims have
nothing to do with existing cases."
"If Gorbachev really thinks that after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Russia should have been granted a veto over NATO membership for its former satellite states then that is an example of the very Cold War mentality he was supposed to reject."
"If large-scale military hostilities were to break out with Russia fighting a considerable portion of the world, it would likely face
a coalition, the combined military, economic and demographic strength of which would surpass Russian forces by at least 16-18 times. The outcome of such a confrontation is easy to forecast. Russia would be defeated and its economic and infrastructure capacity utterly destroyed."
"General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, indicated
to the U.S. House Armed Services committee that
ISIL's strength relative to
the Iraqi Army may be such
that he would recommend abandoning Obamas oft- repeated pledge against
returning U.S. ground troops to combat in Iraq.'"
"The Republican Congress will no
doubt try and motivate Mr. Obama to more assertive action in areas where the 'great procrastinator'
has only reluctantly committed to.
If over the next two years both political camps find their way back to a tradition of bipartisanship in
foreign policy, Obama's recent course correction toward more global engagement could become the distinguishing feature of
Barack Obama's last two years."
"According to a survey by Touch Today, after the annexation of
Crimea, Putin's poll ratings in
China reached 92 percent. ...
Perhaps Chinese are reassured to see that 'Xi Dada' or the 'Xi the Great,' isn't the only great
power leader of concern to the
world. Like Putin, he's skilled in the cult of personality and
cultivates authoritarianism in order to rule with an iron rod."
Citing that the U.S. 'apologised and
made appropriate restitution' for shooting down Iran Air Flight 655 in 1988, Australia Prime Minister
Tony Abbott has confronted Putin at the APEC Summit, saying that he had information that the missile that shot down MH17 last summer 'had come out of Russia, was fired from inside eastern Ukraine and was then returned to Russia.'
"'The cable industry strongly supports an open Internet, is building an open Internet, and strongly believes that over-regulating the fastest growing technology in our history will not advance the cause of Internet freedom.'
industry believes in something we are actively working to undermine.'"
National Cable and Telecommunications Association President Michael Powell
Financial Times columnist Edward Luce is of the opinion that unlike with past U.S. presidents who got whipped in midterm elections, taking refuge abroad - in this case
in China - is unlikely to bring relief.
Up until now, it has been widely believed that after the debacle
of the Watergate tapes which brought down Richard Nixon,
such recordings were stopped.
It now appears that many of Reagan's conversations were
recorded, this one with Margaret
Thatcher being just one of them.
It has been an intense 48 hours
in the city of Berlin, with people from around the world and key
players from recent history all
converging there to celebrate
25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. This post consists of coverage from Deutsche Welle, RT, Euronews and France 24. The fall of the Wall effectively marked the end of the old Cold War. I say old, because as Mikhail Gorbachev notes in speeches he gave over
the past few days, the world has
likely embarked on a new one.
"This is bad news for the world. America's enemies
from Russia to Pyongyang need no longer worry
about U.S. threats. Putin knows that Obama's hands
are tied. Over the next two years the major U.S. political parties will set the stage for the 2016
presidential campaign. Regardless of who runs,
bith Republicans and
Democrats will do things
designed only to help their candidate and diminish
the chances of their rival. For the next 24 months
America will be, sadly, focused mostly on itself."
"Convinced that America is a manifestation of 'the good,' Republicans need a force that embodies absolute evil. They have found it in the person of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
On this issue, as on the issue of Israel-Palestine negotiation, Republicans are aligned with
the positions of Netanyahu."
"I met him [Snowden]. We are working on the script. We hope to shoot early next year, we've been working on it for almost a year now
and we're very pleased it's coming along. ... We had no plans to make a film [a scripted feature] on Putin. I would love to do an interview with
him because he has a different point of view that Americans don't hear.'"
"The police are doing the bidding of the very wealthy, and trying to sweep the poorest of the poor under the rug. ... it's outrageous, but I have been fighting for 23 years to feed the homeless and spent 50 years fighting for civil rights in this country."
"I am absolutely convinced that Putin protects Russia's interests
better than anyone else. Russia agreed to new relations, [and]
created new structures for cooperation. Everything would be great but not everyone in the United States liked it.'"
"We are seeing a dramatic loss of confidence. The revelations of Edward Snowden, surveillance by the NSA and other incidents have changed our thinking - on security policy as well. On a government level, this leads many countries to expand the offensive potential of cyber technology. We return to the old motto: Attack is the best defense. But I fear that this is not correct in this case. Cyber protection is a matter of national
security, which is why: The best
defense is a better defense."
"If their leaks had achieved anything, it would have been worth the price. Assange has mainly ensured that coded diplomatic messages have more limited distribution and content, so his whole idea of more openness has been shattered. ... Snowden's NSA leaks have ensured that, here too, security has been tightened and fewer people have access to secrets. ... Given the reaction to their revelations, I expected to see violent protests against breaches of privacy and this type of government power. It looks like Assange and Snowden have surrendered their freedom for nothing."
"In the United States, where they prey on Polanski as if he were a war criminal or drug
gang boss, prosecutors and judges are elected officials. Just imagine a judge from,
let's say, California, not having the opportunity to get on newspaper first pages without a case like that of Roman Polanski. Let's catch him, let's hang his head on
our the walls of our offices!?"
"You're not just a lame duck this now, you're a limbless canard whose head
has been so badly garroted that it now dangles perilously from your neck like
a buckled crane. If you want to avoid a seemingly inevitable legacy as The Great Disappointment, you need to man up and start being a proper leader."
The scale of the Democrats' defeat in the U.S. midterm elections became apparent on Wednesday. ... their Republican opponents on the verge of securing their largest majority in the House of Representatives
since the World War II era.
"If their leaks had achieved anything, it would have been worth the price. Assange has mainly ensured that coded diplomatic messages have more limited distribution and content, so his whole idea of more openness has been shattered. ... Snowden's NSA leaks have ensured that, here too, security has been tightened and fewer people have access to secrets. ... Given the reaction to their revelations, I expected to see violent protests against breaches of privacy and this type of government power. It looks like Assange and Snowden have surrendered their freedom for nothing."
"If the bill is approved, Russian citizens will have to close their dollar accounts in Russian banks within a year and exchange their dollars in cash to Russian rubles or other currencies. Failure to do so will result in their accounts
being frozen and fined."
"One thing is certain: on our mangled planet, a weakening of the president of the United States is not good news. What other world power could send in the cavalry when things go awry? China? Putin's Russia - which loathes Western values? The United Nations,
whose chronic impotence is famous?"
Journalist Dominique Simonnet, Historian Nicole Bacharan
"Obama - who had promised to lessen
inequality - has indeed disappointed.
He also has bad luck, as this year has been a bad one around the world. ... For all these misfortunes Obama is
blamed, even if it remains extremely questionable whether he could have done anything to prevent or more effectively counteract them."
"Tim Cook is the pope of the digital church, the vicar of Steve Jobs on earth. He sells his products on all continents and with his outspoken statement he now includes a small message of tolerance with every
iPad and iPhone the company sells."
"Privacy has never been an absolute right and the debate about this should not become a reason for postponing urgent and difficult decisions. ... To those of us who have to tackle the depressing end of human behaviour on the internet, it can seem that some technology
firms are in denial on misuse."
"Like most of the world, I was entranced by this dynamic young senator. He seemed so fresh, vibrant, eloquent and smart. ... He's gone from being a shining, youthful beacon of audacious hope to a greying,
defeatist purveyor of disappointment."
Will Sweden and Finland abandon their historic
neutrality to join NATO?
In Stockholm, the case of
of the 'ghost submarine' dominated the week. ...
What worries Swedes is their military impotence.
In December 2012, the commander of the armed forces shocked the nation by declaring that in the event of an attack, the army would only be able to defend the country
for a single week?"
To prevent such a breakup, one-
time presidential economic adviser
Andrey Illarionov says Crimea must be returned to Ukraine - as it is
the 'rightful owner.' Mr. Illarionov
recognizes self-determination, but only for the 'indigenous population,' which in the case of Crimea he believes to be the Crimean Tatars.'
The Native Americans in the USA
, too, don't possess their homeland. Nor do the Australian aboriginals. And then, of course, the state
of Israel should ten not exist."
“In Germany, students in
elementary school recieve
mandatory lessons on the Holocaust. In South Africa,
a Truth and Reconciliation Commission bore witness
to Apartheid. ... It is time for America to shine a light on its relationship
with the native Indians."
"The elite uses fear mongering to consolidate existing structures. This has worked wonderfully well in the past - see the surveillance
state.' ... Somehow it alll seems incongruous: In their national anthem, Americans sing the praises of the 'land of the free and the home of the brave.' At the moment, though, they are afraid of each other and the world. ...
Is this the 'home of the brave?"
Over recent days, Western
media have been sounding the latest alarm - this one about Russian aircraft over Europe. Is there something to these concerns? Should the media and public officials be alarming the public over them? Or is
there some other agenda? Here is the Daily Mail's latest 'five alarm fire' report on the issue,
and reposts from Russia Today.
"IS, the extremist group now controlling large swathes of Iraq and Syria, is also making story-telling in the region
even more logistically hard,
as well as giving filmmakers
tales they don't want to tell."
"However strange, it seems that the Russian president
himself believes what the Kremlin's propagandists say on TV. Moreover, it's as if he also believed that his
guests - famous Western experts and policy makers - were ready to accept the point of view of Rossiya 1
A good number of them would likely agree that Washington, as they say in Russia, 'broke some trees,' and is responsible for a good deal of nonsense. But the view of Russia as an empire of the good - few are ready to accept.
Vladimir Putin lives in a
reality he himself created -
that is very dangerous.'"
Jon Stewart on his directorial debut - Rosewater. With him is Maziar Bahari, whose life the film is based on. Stewart and Bahari discuss repression in the Muslim world and the absurdity of U.S. Middle East
policy and U.S. news coverage.
"Contrary to the view of Turkish President Erdogan, Obama refuses to turn the military campaign against
IS into one to speed the fall of the Assad regime. For Erdogan and his prime minister - Ahmet Davutoglu, Islamic State is a 'lesser devil' when compared with Assad. Analyst Soli Ozel
writes: 'Davutoglu is saying
that IS is the product of rage - and if the source of that rage goes, namely the Syrian regime, then such groups will also go.'"
"Mistakes were made militarily, mistakes were made by the politicians at the time and this goes back 10, 13 years. ... Clearly the numbers weren't there at the beginning, the equipment wasn't quite good enough and we've learned an awful lot from the campaign. ... But don't let's ignore what has been achieved.'"
ITAR-TASS reports that the French Defense Ministry has told French Daily Liberation that it would decide on the already-delayed deivery of
the first of two Mistral copter carrier/amphibious assault ships France sold to Russia in Novevember. Paris, after
feverish lobbying by the U.S., delayed the $1.5 billion sale in September, but has never
said it would cancel the sale.
"A plane of the F-15s type was hit
by a technical fault last night over
the Red Sea and the pilots were forced to use their rescue seats. ... Praise be to God, the pilots were rescued in coordination with the American side, and the two pilots are in good health and high spirits. ”
"The timing of the revelation is highly suspect, given that it came as tensions have spiraled out of control between Prime
Netanyahu and Obama ahead of
Netanyahu's speech to Congress
during which he warned of the
danger of Iran's nuke program.”
"'If he [President Hadi] was a real president, he wouldn't seek the support of foreign forces to crush
his own people. His request for foreign military intervention is a conspiracy against Yemen and proves Hadi is a traitor.' ... 'The
Yemeni people can confront the challenges and defend themselves without the support of any other
country [referring to Iran].'”
—Mohammad Al-Bukhaiti of the Houthi Political Office
"Saudi Arabia launched an air campaign overnight which has
already eliminated several Houthi leaders. ... Yemen air space is currently under the complete control of the Saudi Royal Air Force. a coalition of all GCC countries except Oman is taking part, including Sudan, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Pakistan [and the United States].”
"Debka File's sources say that the WSJ 'allegation' was to cooincide
with a trip to Paris by Intelligence
Minister Steinitz and National Security Adviser Yossie Cohen to warn France and other European leaders that the nuclear deal will
enable Tehran to preserve its capabilities and remain a threshold nuclear state.”
"The main sticking point is France's insistence that U.N. sanctions stay in
place until the Iranians fully explain evidence of past development work on a nuclear warhead. Iran counters that it could never satisfy the French condition, because they would never
be able to disprove forged evidence
of a weapons program . Gulf sources
disclose that tough French bargaining stems partly from intense ties with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. ”
"If we recall correctly, these are
the same people who up until yesterday were talking about the imminent collapse of political
institutions in Damascus and the
inevitabity of military pressure, an air war and a no-fly zone to help their 'moderate' terrorists
oust the Syrian government. So
what happened to their plans?'”
"After six years of testy relations, President Barack Obama may have to resign himself to the likelihood that he has not seen the last of
Benjamin Netanyahu. The result that many of Obama's supporters had hoped for - a repudiation by Israeli voters of Netanyahu's hard- line approach - was not to be”
"How can an official like the U.S. Secretary of State says that Bashar al-Assad can be accepted because he needs him in the fight agains the
Islamic State. John Kerry's statement is enough to push millions of people here to support the ISIS. If Kerry's
excuse is that it is necessary
to work with Bashar Assad
because he also despises ISIS, then millions of Syrians will cooperate with ISIS because
they despise Assad as much.'”
"The letter suggests that U.S. lawmakers not only do not understand international law but are not fully cognizant of the nuances of their own Constitution when it comes to presidential powers in the conduct of foreign policy. ... In our view, this letter has no legal value and is for the most part a propaganda ploy.”
"I am afraid of our leadership. I'm afraid of a loss of determination, of a loss of
personal example. I'm afraid of hesitancy and stalemate, and I am afraid above all of the crisis of leadership, a leadership crisis that is the most severe ever here.”
"It is clear that Mr. Obama's posture is aimed at winning public support and countering the propaganda of the Prime Minister (Netanyahu) and other extremist opponents of the
negotiations, using unacceptable,
threatening terms and formulations.”
"Given Israel's small size, it would take no more than a single nuclear bomb to
destroy its heartland and inflict a million
casualties. In one scenerio, after the
bomb is dropped, it would be detonated by a timer, setting off a tsunami. Giant
waves would swamp densely populated
Tel Aviv, an area with 3.7 million people. ”
"The Egyptian air strikes on ISIS hasten the next anticipated war in the region, particularly since they are inextricably linked to
the purchase French Rafale jets.
The deal strengthens relations between Cairo and Paris and restores to France a role it last
played during Mubarak's reign: as a balancing element in the strategic alliance between
Egypt and the United States.
"Our experts suspect US agencies 'protest too much' to cover up their real occupation, which is to steer the underworld into their waiting arms. ... Much of the
software originated in American government agencies. It was they who created the algorithms for transferring data and designed
the TOR protocol and Topology.”
"U.S. and Iranian officials have plunged into a last-ditch effort to rescue nuclear talks from falling deep into crisis. Some
Western observers tell DEBKA File's
sources that the talks are beyond saving.”
"How could any responsible Israeli prime minister refuse to speak to Congress on a matter so important to Israel's survival? How could anyone refuse an invite to speak on a matter that could affect our
very existence when it is offered?”
"A look at the writings of the ISIS victim shows her
support and assistance to
Palestinian Arab terrorist groups, her acting as a human shield for them,
and active participation in anti-Israel protests. Rachel Corrie did the same.”
"We cannot be [in] alliance with the country [Saudi Arabia] who
support the terrorism , because we are fighting terrorism. ... the source of this Islamic State ideology, and other al-Qaeda
groups are Wahhabis that have been supported by the royal
family that sits in Saudi Arabia.”
"The UAE dropped out over a
month ago, when it emerged after
Jordanian pilot's capture that no
facilities had been put in place to rescue air crews crashed behind enemy lines. ... Riyadh fears that the joint U.S.-Iran war effort
against ISIS is providing a screen
behind which the White House is opening doors for Iran to advance
Tehran's region-wide aspirations.”
"It's time for Bibi to announce the
cancellation of his speech to the U.S. Congress. This speech, which was born as part of his electoral campaign, endangers the security of Israeli citizens and the special relationship between Israel and America. With all due respect to your campaign Bibi, now is the time for you to act like an Israeli patriot and not throw Israel's security under your elections bus.”
"For decades, the West has
seen itself as a victim of terrorism that originates in the Muslim world; now
the Muslim world has begun
to see itself as a victim of terrorism that originates in the West, in addition to its home-grown terrorism. The obvious point to stress
is that both are now targets
and sources of terrorism. Therefore, all must now work together, in honesty
and in earnest, to finish it.”
"The last moments in the life of Moaz al-Kasasbeh are as compelling as they
are telling. A video released shows him standing tall before an army of
masked men. Then, the film shows
him put in a cage, bravely facing his
captors, head held high. Alongside
its allies, Jordan will continue the
war that will ensure that this group
is totally destroyed, its damaging
ideology wiped out and replaced
with he true teachings of Islam.”
First, reports from Germany's Der
Spiegel on NSA malware more
powerful than what it says other
actors use; expressions of regret
from The New York Times' chief that Snowden didn't trust it; and
the slow realization on the part
of supporters of TTIP that public
opposition could defeat it.
Then from Poland's Gazeta Wyborcza, demands for proof that more mass surveillance will prevent terrorist attacks; controversy in Canada about new powers being handed to that nations's NSA equivalent after it was revealed
that it monitors the downlaoads of
people around the world; China's demands that U.S. manufacturers provide that nation's despots with backdoors into their devices and encryption - gee, I wonder where they got that idea?; Verizon's begrudging commitment to allow users to opt out of its 'Supercookie'; Henry Kissinger's exciting day at
the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee; and a lot more.
"The decision to concoct U.S.
trip behind administration's
back pits Prime Minister
Netanyahu against Democrats in both
houses of Congress
and a few Republicans as well, reducing chances of stepping
up sanctions with legislation.”
One is hard pressed to find good footage of Obama's first meeting
with new Saudi ruler King Salmon
- but these clips from Saudi Arabia
broadcaster ShamsPro qualify. Also
included are clips of King Salman
dancing at a feast; Muslim rulers
arriving; and a long clip from last
weeks' funeral of KIng Abdullah.
"A number of Middle East leaders will be following the outcome of this Riyadh summit with bated breath. Many are worried that Obama may persuade the new
monarch to play ball on his Middle East policies, so effecting a radical
reversal of King Abdullah's stance of flat opposition to Obama's tactics.”
“In France and the rest of Europe, latent racism
has been unleashed on Arabs and Muslims - only this time out in the open.
As for us, we now have to bow our heads and accept insults and slaps,
then apologize for crimes
committed by others."
"Israeli officials say the leak is the U.S. administration's revenge over the Republican-controlled Congress' invitation to Netanyahu to speak to a joint session without consulting
the White House beforehand.”
Sharp U.S. intervention was almost certainly behind Israel's embarrassing
'clarification.' The U.S. Administration
feared the Golan strike might bring
a full-scale confrontation. Ongoing nuclear talks would then be abruptly interrupted and possibly break down.
The fiends of the so-called Islamic State
have issued this latest video,
free of any
blood but no less blood curdling. With the petrified hostages on their knees, a British-sounding militant explains that since Japan is contributing $200 million to the coalition against ISIL, Tokyo has to come up with $100 million for each of the men. The militants identify the
hostages as renowned journalist and
documentarian Kenji Goto Jogo, and
Haruna Yukawa, A private contractor.
Knowing that most will read
mainstream media coverage
designed to alarm more than
enlighten, this is a quick look
at this attempt by al-Qaeda
to convince more Muslims to
blow themselves up to help
create a worldwide Wahhabi caliphate [Thanks a lot you
Saudi monarchy nimrods].
"At the moment in France and Europe, 'it is not good to be a Muslim.' It is not good to be Algerian or of Algerian origin.
It is not through stigmatizing
entire populations, emerging political forces and by silencing those who struggle to expose political contradictions that
these issues will be resolved.”
"As a result of political, social and economic oppression and a loss of human identity in Muslim countries, we grabbed
our bags, crossed the border, and as is our custom when we want something, we begged, submitted, and lied to obtain
residency permits. Too bad in
Diaspora countries, some of us
are breaking laws governing every aspect of communal life.”
"Alongside news of the impending changeover, three Saudi officers
including chief of the north border guard General Odah al-Balawi were
killed Monday by IS terrorists. Two
wore bomb belts and were seeking
to infiltrate the kingdom. Armed with intelligence on the general's movements, caught him in ambush. Four attackers were killed in the
ataack, two of them by suicide."
Much of the planet is reacting to news that the United States and
Cuba are moving to restore ties. Cuba, which has been a darling of the left around the world since the Cold War began, and in some ways even more so since it ended, has tremendous emotional support on almost every continent. This
is a sampling of what
in other countries have to say.
"Based on unconfirmed reports, expectations swirl around Arab
capitals that President Obama,
in league with Russia and Iran, had turned his longstanding anti-
Assad policy on its head. He is
said to be willing to accept Bashar Assad's rule and deem the Syrian army the backbone of
the coalition force battling ISIL."
"At neither the state nor street level in the Middle East has the report into
the CIA's detention and
interrogation techniques - 'torture' by any other
name - created a horrified reaction. And this jaded indifference points to an
awareness that the people
who did wrong will never
be punished for their acts."
"All that the CIA has managed to achieve, talking only of the Middle East, is the return of an al-Qaeda hardened by years of trial, the hatching of a Daesh [Islamic State] which we haven't heard the last of, the re-destabilization of Afghanistan - pending the same or even worse for Pakistan - and almost everywhere an anti- Americanism at its zenith now
shining bright with every ray.”
"these were policies clearly orchestrated at the highest
levels and the culprits must be made to face the music.
The culture of Camp X-Ray,
invasion of foreign lands and the deployment of soldiers to fight ill-fated wars is
unworthy of human values and at the same time belies the great values embodied by the American Revolution."
"By assuming command of the local Ansar Beit al-Maqdas terrorist group, which last month pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has moved to add Sinai as a new province
to the caliphate established in parts of Iraq and Syria."
"A decision by the Turkey's government to open its soils to the transport at of Russian
gas will draw strong reactions
both from the E.U. and U.S. Giving Russia the kiss of life
would not be regarded as a well-intentioned move."
"History shows that the Jew and the Persian differ little in their animosity toward Sunnis. The situation for Arabs will inevitably
be more disturbing and very
dangerous. With every day that passes, dependence on weapons
from the West or East will get
increasingly dangerous. It's not
new to say the world respects
only the strong - and the strong
are strong only if they make
their own weapons and generate their own food. The Arabs lack neither their own food nor what it takes make weapons - even those that are nuclear."
"Whether Saja Hamid al-Dulaimi is (or was) married to Baghdadi or not, analysts agreed that her
capture will improve Lebanon's
hand in its effort to secure the release of around 26 hostages
kidnapped by ISIS and al-Nusra.
"The source identified the wife as Saja Hamid al-Dulaimi, who was one
of the prisoners freed from Syrian jails in exchange for the 13 Maaloula nuns abducted by the al-Nusra Front last December. ... She was taken to
Defense Ministry for interrogation.”
"How distant it seems now, the elation surrounding the election six years ago
of the first Afro-American president of
the United States! It was then reasonable to believe that America had once and
for all exorcised the oldest of its demons
- a racial problem the roots of which date
back to the days of slavery. While many Americans are disappointed, they are
hardly alone. To Arabs, the dream of peace in Palestine announced by a newly- elected Obama on a visit to Cairo was even more marvelous than that of Martin
Luther King. We know the poor results.”
"Israel issued a stark public warning to its allies with a clear argument:
The current proposals guarantee the
perpetuation of a crisis that backs
Israel into a corner; military force
against provides the only logical exit."
"In that country, where entire generations have been brought up on the ideology maintained by Daesh, the ground is fertile.
The discourse Daesh preaches has been constantly taught and hammered in by the official religious establishment. The
'caliphate' is a the fulfillment 'ad absurdio' of this 'education,' which has had extraordinary means at its disposal to extend
and reshape religious life
throughout the Islamic world.”
"CIA puts ISIL's strength at no more than 31,500, but a top Kurdish official reveals that's 'impossible' given realities on ground. ... 'I am talking about
hundreds of thousands because they are able to mobilize Arab young men in the territory
they have taken possession of.'"
"What do three highly symbolic
events in the history of the
Muslim world this century - the attacks of September 11, 2001, the revolts of 2011 (the Arab
Spring) and the offensive by the
Islamic State in Iraq and Syria -
have in common? ... All three were catalysts allowing the genesis and the spread of new conspiracy theories. ... In the Middle East, which is coveted
because of its geographical position, its energy resources
and its hard coexistence with the state of Israel, how do we
separate conspiracy theory and
the simple games of powers?”
"Muslim sailors arrived in America from 1178. Columbus mentioned the existence of a mosque on a hill on the Cuban coast. I would like to talk about it to my Cuban brothers. A mosque would go perfectly on the hill today.'"
"O soldiers of the Islamic State... erupt volcanoes of jihad everywhere. Light the earth with fire against all dictators.
God has ordered us to fight. For that reason the soldiers of the Islamic State are fighting. ... they will never leave
fighting, even if only one soldier is left. They will never leave fighting, because they reject humiliation.”
"Speaking on behalf of the mob,
Union of Turkey leader Ugur Aytac said the men were 'proud to be detained for this. They [the U.S. soldiers] were afraid. They should be because
we will not give them a rest.'"
"The U.S. gave thousands
of its men and women for freedom, liberty, and the building of a democratic
Iraq. Yet now the Iraqis themselves are obsessed with sectarian, religious and ethno-racist wars. ... The Middle East considers deception to be bravery, losing as victory and the greatest value to humanity their graphic images of beheadings, imprisonment and bloody killing.”
"On 9-11, the United States
absorbed a devastating blow
from the al-Qaeda group,
and American blood was shed
at the hands of terrorists
who had been trained, funded,
armed and mentored by the
United States. ... It seems that
the Americans failed to fully
grasp the lesson of the terror
industry in Afghanistan, and
went right back into the
business in Iraq and Syria."
"There are those who oppose peace, and people need to not allow those who oppose peace to control what is happening
in the region. ... It is the
peacemakers that need to control it, and they need to take steps to begin to
move in a new direction.”
"Both U.S. parties need Iran for the 2016 presidential election, especially the Republicans, who are trying to create a change
in foreign policy. Therefore, both parties will want s nuclear deal and strategic cooperation
with Iran, notably to fight ISIL.'"
"The chiefs and elders said it is absolutely wrong and under Liberian culture,
abominable, for a body to
be burned. The traditional leaders have therefore called on the government
to quickly halt the practice.'"
"Why haven't we heard that
popular formations - Salam, Ashura, Akidah, Kataeb and Asaeb [Shiite militias] have surrounded the jihadis of
ISIL the way we heard that Daesh had surrounded army
units committing massacres
at Camp Speicher, Mosul, Jarf Al Sakhr, Diala, Anbar, etc.? ... Perhaps the sense of conviction of leaders of these popular militias - the ones Maliki put in charge of the lives of our troops -
lack the commitment shown
by Saddam's Baathist leaders?”
Once again, the propaganda people of the Islamic State have put war reporter and hostage John Cantlie to use, in order to tell the world
that the town of Kobani in
Syria, the scene of fighting between Kurdish fighters
and the terrorists, not to mention US-led coalition air
strikes, is now almost totally
in the hands of the terrorists.
"There is a crisis with the Americans and it needs to be addressed as a crisis. We mustn't pretend there isn't a
crisis. Our ties with
the U.S. are vital and
everything that can
be done must be
done to end this crisis.”
"Now we are in the fourth
day and Kobane hasn't fallen. Now it is understood that
what's been done is wrong. Some of those weapons are now in ISIL hands. To whom
are you offering support?
There may be more rational, results-oriented ways, not
for the sake of appearances."
"There is a reason why the detail- oriented Pentagon accountants
are so careful about calculating the astronomical costs of the illegal air wars in Iraq and Syria: Saudi Arabia is footing the bill.
So not surprisingly, the political class in Washington is in no hurry to wrap up its 'ineffective air
campaign' against proxy forces
designed by the White House."
"One speaker described the war against Daesh as being between the camp of Ali [Shiites] and the camp of Muawiyah [Sunnis] - may Allah bless them both. ... In giving the atmosphere a sectarian dimension and seeking to stoke the passions of followers, this speaker
forgot or pretended to forget that a broad international coalition led by the 'Great Satan' is
also fighting Daesh. What camp would he place the coalition - with whose
descendants does it belong?!”
"Today, sadly, we hear voices
from Anbar who abandoned all their values, honor and manliness. They have openly declared their desire to have
U.S. troops help rid them of Daesh. They forget that Daesh is a puppet of the U.S. and Israel - which know Daesh and
manipulate it. Taking shelter
behind foreigner is shameful and will not be expunged for years or decades. Taking cover behind a foreigner will offer Daesh the chance to stay
and grow even stronger.”
"Each country in the coalition is fighting its own war. As is the case with France and its penny-
pinching air strikes, it is clear
that the militaries involved in
the operation are constrained: they are economizing on bombs
and their stockpile of missiles is
limited. As for the Arab states, which for the most part were involved in establishing and
equipping the Islamic State, the
nature of their contribution
remains almost a total mystery."
A 'We Love Lebanon with Amal and George' campaign
was begun by civil society
groups ties to the March 14th Alliance. Supporters of the March 8th Movement responded with their own campaign: 'Be Beautiful and Get Married.' Rapidly, the social networks were on fire. Disputes blew up.
Accusations were traded.
'Friends' were 'unfriended.'
The government met again, and after heated debate,
decreed it would continue
in session. ... By the end of
the afternoon, two lawyers and three actors had been kidnapped. β¦ Then the electricity was cut.”
" It is of great importance for Turkey to take steps to correct the misperceptions that have spread from its own region to Europe and from NATO to the U.N. This can only be done by recalibrating its position vis-a- vis Syria and the fight against
the brutality of Islamic State.”
"As for al-Assad, it's true that his regime is evil and deserves all sorts of condemnation, but Ankara has to realize that ISIL is now an independent threat, with its own mania and blood lust. Therefore, the we-will- not-fight-ISIL-unless-al-Assad- is-also-fought mantra should be set aside, and ISIL must be confronted as a threat of its
own, not as a mere 'symptom'
of the Bashar al-Assad disease.”
"According to this strategy, U.S.-led
coalition would hit the bases in Syria, while the newly emerged force will
structure the country. This newer power should consist of only Syrians from all fractions of the country, as
is with the Syrian National Coalition.”
"Can the death in a U.S. hospital of Ebola-infected Eric Duncan teach us
anything? ... We think it surely can. The first lesson to learn is that none of us should take Ebola for granted. It can be, and it often indeed is, a
death sentence, although as we've seen in the case of many survivors, it doesn't have to be. Then there is
a lesson we Liberians have a hard
time learning: The Americans, like
most other peoples, know how to look after one another. Do we in Liberia? NO! We prefer looking
after others rather than our own. See how two Lebanese rapists who viciously assaulted Liberian women were freed by Liberian courts. ... What is the lesson there?"
"We continue to commit moral sin and ethical transgression against the poor and weak. ... We ignore their needs and demands, we reward their abusers, turn a blind eye to the theft and abuse that
deprive them of essential social services
including health care, yet we are anxious to punish them, even before we gather all the facts. This must stop!"
Former Public Works Minister and Human Rights Attorney Samuel Kofi Woods
"Transparency is all well and good, except precisely in time of war - and we have never seen a power parade its own shortcomings so stupidly. ... The virtuous Obama, with the concern he has for the lives of his Marines, would be well- inspired to follow the advice of the exceptionally devious Richard Nixon: never tell the enemy what you will do, or what you won't ...”
"The powerful explosion blew out the windows of
buildings up to seven mile
away, and eyewitnesses could observe the blast
from a distance. Parchin is
a base where Israel and the IAEA suspect the Islamic Republic is attempting to
develop a nuclear device.
"These operations and many
others undertaken by IDF
units and the State of Israel's security forces, contribute greatly to the security of the citizens of Israel. ... This is the place to acknowledge and thank the handful of people who do so much to safeguard our security."
ADMIRAL Eli Marom,
Commander of the Israeli Navy 2007-2011
"Duncan's failure to level with the screening team at Roberts International Airport is the most unfortunate thing about this episode. ... He must have suspected or known
that he had come into
contact with a possible Ebola victim. While
pregnant women do
often omit, it doesn't
tend to takes their lives.”
"Obama has an opportunity in disaster to address the root causes of unrest across the world inspired by religion,
geography and ethnic prejudice. All
he has to do is deal with historic discords ranging from the issue of Palestinian statehood to injustices against badly-treated communities in the Middle East, Asia and Africa."
"A source at his former employer at FedEx in Monrovia said Duncan apparently knew he was suffering
from the virus, and that his best chance of survival was to reach
America, which is a position that
a source from his family denied.”
"This has nothing to do with 'Juju medicine men' and other superstitious mechanisms that have failed. This is about the application of appropriate scientific approaches
and logistics designed to find constructive, transparent and proven results that everyone can see and understand. ... Claims by tribal
chiefs that exaggerate declines of the disease in their chiefdoms
obscure the reality of its spread.”
"Where is the world? Our doctors are dying. Our nurses are dying. Our lab technicians are dying and yet help does not come. The only medical professionals getting life-
saving treatment are foreigners - people from the U.S.and E.U.”
Miata Jambawai, Country
Program Manager, The Aids Healthcare Foundation
It is Islam itself in its essence
and values that threatens us
all with this barbaric sham of
Islam - that is of allegedly divine inspiration. In this case,
to confront ISIL by all possible means is above all the business
and the responsibility of Sunnis.”
"The tribes of east Tikrit formed two cells to track down and assassinate the armed Daesh militants involved in the crime, after receiving news that there were Iraqi Army troops who were kidnapped and still alive at Speicher. ... It was also reported that nephew of Saddam - Ibrahim Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hassan - is suspected of being the chief culprit in the Speicher crime.
"Over the next few programs,
I'm going to show you the truth as the Western media tries to drag the world back into the abyss of a war with the Islamic State. After two
disastrous and unpopular wars,
why are our governments so keen to get involved in yet another unwinnable conflict?"
"The anti-terrorism coalition, comprised of countries that have trained, equipped and
financially backed terrorist groups is like a joke
However, any country that sincerely announces that it intends to fight terrorism
from now on, we accept it.
This video is not 'slick', it is not 'well produced' and it is not 'scary.' Ask yourself why CNN, FOX News and MSNBC had to spent all day telling us how savvy and talented it
shows us the terrorists are.
"Russia, Iran are indignant over plans by the U.S.-led coalition to intervene in Syria to battle ISIL,
and are using the terms 'national sovereignty' and 'international
law' without any regard for the intelligence of people who have
been carefully watching the news.
"You entered voluntarily into a coalition with the United States against the Islamic State just as your predecessor Tony Blair did following a trend
amongst our Prime Minsters
who can't find the courage
to say no to the Americans."
"The truth will come out and the world will know that the United States and
the more proactive states
of Europe are no strangers
to cross-border terrorism
and to the disorder now
threatening world security.
Panelists include former Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi - who was charged with running a murder hit-squad and chased out of Iraq by now-ousted Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Ahmed Rushdi - director
House of Iraqi Expertise Foundation, and Ghassan Al Attiyah - founder and director of the Iraq Foundation for Development and Democracy.
"According to sources linked to Edward
Snowden and uncovered by the Iranian
intelligence services, al-Baghdadi is in
fact Simon Elliot, a Jewish agent for the Zionist intelligence agency Mossad. The plan was to invade countries which constitute a threat to the Israeli entity
to establish the biblical 'Greater Israel.'”
"Al Jazeera ridiculed the horrific beheading of James Foley and
Steven Sotloff as 'Hollywood'
casting, saying the executions
were 'unconvincing' and could
be used as a pretext for a
Western intervention in Syria."
"In its videos, ISIL calls on U.S.
President Obama to leave Iraq and what it refers to as Muslim
lands. Fact is, its brutality against Iraqis is what reengaged a risk- averse president in a war he
was always opposed to waging."
"Hoping against hope to jerk them
into action, Saudi King Abdullah on
Saturday issued a wake-up call, and
asked Western ambassadors to pass
on an urgent message to leaders: Terrorism at this time is an evil force that must be fought with
wisdom and speed. ... If neglected I'm sure after a month it will arrive
in Europe and then in America."
“It was thought that racism against the Black population of the United States had disappeared with the Klu Klux Klan. ... Any doubts were thought to have been dispelled when, for the first time in its history, America elected Barack
Obama. ... We forgot that there are those who are 'experts' at reopening old sociological wounds, and choosing the most conducive time and place
to inject their poison.”
"Ben Gurion University's computer-
based personality profiling method
can decipher the actual feelings of
politicians. The subjects include Presidents Obama and Putin, and
whistleblower Edward Snowden."
“The Islamic State moves us to the heart of the road map: Iraq divided into three - or four or even five parts, and Syria partitioned on the
same basis. This horid, short-lived
Islamic State, which has been allowed to set itself up and which
has been financed from the start
by the Gulf states - close friends of the Americans - is decidedly
quite useful to their Mideat plans.”
"This summer, editors and journalists were in search of
news, and had to be satisfied
with issues that don't usually merit a footnote. It was 'silly
season.' From one moment to the next, however, with our novel international order,
everything changes. Now,
the hardest thing is choosing
among the various crises.
“Who wants the Kurds? Hardly anyone. Who picks on them? Almost everyone: Assad's Syria,
Erdogan's Turkey, Khamenei's
Islamic Republic, Maliki's Iraq,
all for quite obvious reasons. In contrast, one can search in
vain for Obama's justification.”
"Ties between Western states
and Africa were
domination & slavery,
and continue to be marked by Eurocentrism. At the height of their superiority, Europe even gave itself the luxury of drawing up our continent's political map, dividing and exterminating entire peoples. ... An African political leader only exists to pay homage to the old colonial powers or kneel before the established order which is the cause of
almost all global disorder.
"If I were an African head of
state in Washington to discuss
security issues with President
Obama, I would tell him that I
wouldn't accept help from him because he has made himself an accessory to terrorism, as inflicted upon the people of Gaza by Israel. ... In fact, the
'enemy' that Israelis are now 'fighting' in Gaza, Hamas, was initially created by Israel to act as a foil against genuine Palestinian freedom fighters.
“The White House flouted the outcome of the Iraqi legislative elections (a lesson
in democracy!) and reached a deal with
Iran to impose Teheran's henchman, Nouri al-Maliki. This, even though he had come in second in the poll. ... The impunity granted the Damascus tyrant by the American president, combined
with the arrogance of Hezbullah and its
participation in the massacre of Syria's Sunni population, has led to a classic and
inevitable consequence: the spread of fundamentalist currents in Syria and Lebanon, ending with the growing risk of jihadism, even within American and European societies.”
"What is it about Ebola that makes the White man resistant to it, and
the African vulnerable? The real
question is: Why were the African Ebola victims not given the drug,
even if it's at the precautionary
or the experimental stage?
"Deputy Assistant Secretary for
Democracy, Human Rights and
Labor Steven Feldstein said that
because of cultural sensibilities,
'it can be a difficult and delicate
conversation. We are sensitive
to that and at the same time
espousing our viewpoints.'"
“I think there are a few possible
answers, one of them being a U.N. mandate. We saw a U.N. mandate work in Kosovo, and therefore I think we need to work to bring back a United Nations mandate to the region.'”
“The Palestinian elections took place according to America's expressed wishes,
its open encouragement, and its strictest oversight, but as soon as the less than mysterious results became clear, we
found that the world's shepherd of
had turned against our brand, and punishing all of our people for their democratic decision. ... Tell us, what are the democratic elements that the United States wants, so people can understand them ahead of time, and not pay the high
price that the United States demands!”
"He's empowered Turkey and Qatar by giving them inordinate influence over
the cease-fire talks. In the
process, Kerry has aligned himself on the wrong side of the battle against Islamic extremism. ... It's not too late for the secretary to change course and resume
the United States' role as a fair and honest broker."
“Either Intentionally or
unknowingly, the global media has been cast in a leading role in Hamas'
horror show. While the journalists assume that they are helping the
Palestinians by showing
suffering and distress,
when they are really making them worse.”
“As was the desire of the West, the Arab Spring has been for Arabs what the White man was to the American Indian: a cancer that has metastasized, infecting almost the entire Arab nation and compelling people to make war in their own backyard. To put it another way, walk over
one's corpse with one's feet.”
“Ghani and Abdullah are handing the Taliban on a platter both a political and a propaganda victory. It is a disaster. ... If there's no settlement soon, there will be no one to sign the agreement to extend the presence of American military forces by another year. Logistically, U.S. forces need to
plan to stay put or quit by 2015, and now, as they say, there is a shrinking window of opportunity to stop the scheduled drawdown.”
"On Capitol Hill there's the pro-
Israel cheering section, looking to ensure the flow of Jewish campaign dollars for the next
election and in the case of many
Republicans, seeking creative
ways to use the Hamas crisis
as another partisan wedge."
“Blinded by their hatred of Iran, the Saudis funded and armed ISIL, and put pressure on Sunni rebels in Iraq to align with the terror
group. By supporting ISIL against al-Qaeda and helping it take over groups affiliated with al-Qaeda in Syria and in Iraq, Saudi 'strategists'
thought they had diverted a 'jihad' involving their country. Now they find that they've hatched a force with the ambition of rallying all Muslim lands under its banner,
including Saudi Arabia itself.”
"To even imply that there is moral equivalence and
that Israelis bear some
blame for the escalation of the current crisis by calling
'restraint' from both
sides is both disappointing
and a breach of allied trust."
“Political forces in Lebanon and elsewhere continue to question the reality of the
threat that ISIL poses to the region. These forces are convinced that ISIL is a 'giant with feet of clay' that for the moment has a role to play, but which will leave the scene once its 'mission' is accomplished. To advocates of this thesis, the situation remains well under control, at least as far as the Americans are concerned.
"As America celebrates another
July 4 with its usual aplomb and gaiety, it would also be timely for that nation to do some soul- searching on the role it plays
internationally. Whatever the
domestic politics taking center stage in the U.S. today, what its politicians must remember is that their decisions have far-
reaching global consequences."
“Since 2003, it has been quite
understood that U.S. arguments
legitimizing the war on terror were a deception. These were falsehoods that enabled the
Americans to tell the world of a jihadist 'plague,' and say that
they were the only ones who were in possession of a cure.”
"Which state in the Levant is
not now facing a threat to its very existence as a result of the
large number of adventurous gambles followed by setbacks amassed in recent years by the
U.S. in this part of the world?"
“Strangely enough, America today is fighting ISIS, and has sent experts to Iraq for that very purpose. For whom? For the love of Iraqis? And for whose benefit does America support ISIS and provide it with weapons in Syria? ... Today it is essential for us to stand against, pay careful attention to, and analyze
carefully, all U.S. and Israeli plans.”
"The targets were defined by
Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, as striking at ISIS leaders and
defending strategic facilities. He didn't elaborate. ... Debka
File reports he was referring
to the Haditha Dam across the
Euphrates. ISIS has
battered Haditha for days now. ... The
dam is key to water supplies
in most of country, including Baghdad. With its capture,
al-Qaeda's affiliates will gain
control of northern Iraq's oil
refineries and pipeline system."
"Egypt is sending a commando
force to Saudi Arabia and boost
its border defenses. This flurry of Saudi-Egyptian action comes
in the wake of intelligence that
ISIS fighters headed toward the
Saudi border with the intention
of seizing the Iraq-Saudi crossing."
“ISIS isn't the only player ... for the first time since 2003, numerous other factions and organizations are taking part and coordinating their actions
to halt the political process
brought on by the occupier.”
"Baghdad's announcement it
has unearthed an al-Qaeda plot
to acquire Iraq's chemical arms
is nothing short of a bombshell.
Indeed, it ] opened a Pandor's box, and at a time when the
nation is sliding toward anarchy."
This is our June 18 roundup of video content from non- U.S. sources to catch you up on the Iraq crisis, today from Al-Arabiya of the UAE, the BBC, Iraq's Anwar TV, Iran's
Press TV, RT, Deutsche Welle, France 24, Euronews, and
Web video allegedly from ISIS.'
"We must work on creating profiles for all of those who have
been co-opted by the embassy to differentiate them from everyone else in Iraqi
society, so we can ostracize them and socially exclude them. ... It's as if the
U.S. Embassy is there not only to protect American interests, but to manage the
entire world from the
heart of the Iraq's capital of Baghdad."
For years, columnists in the Middle East have been writing about how
the West has detailed plans about 'redrawing the Middle East.' For many in the Muslim world, recent events, including the turmoil in Iraq and Syria, rather than showing that
the West is losing control, show
that things are going according to plan. Here are a few columns on the
issue Worldmeets.US has translated and posted over recent years. It all began with a 2006 column written in the U.S. Armed Forced Journal
by ex U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel
Ralph Peters entitled 'Blood
Borders: How a Better Middle East Would Look.'
"Debka File's sources say that
al Qaedas march of conquest
at incredible speed, causing havoc and misery across Iraq,
is mutating from a terrorist assault into an insurgency. It is attracting a following of
disaffected Sunnis ready to
fight Shiite-led Baghdad."
Fighters of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria have now taken the city of Tikrit. Iraq Prime Minister Nouri
al-Maliki claims that there has been a conspiracy in Mosul under which the Iraqi army fled their posts;
and updates from Mosul and Tikrit.
"Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki
offered guns and equipment to citizens who volunteer to fight Islamist militants, hours after the government forces lost the northern city of Mosul to the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS). ... In a statement broadcast on state
TV, Maliki said the cabinet has 'created a special crisis cell to
oush the process of volunteering
equipping, and arming civilians."
"Debka File's sources report
that Iraq's armyβs command facilities and bases in Mosul are ablaze and the bodies of Iraqi soldiers are lying in the townβs streets.
Meanwhile, convoys of fleeing troops
were ambushed by the terrorists and
destroyed. The fall of Mosul with heavy casualties is the worst disaster suffered by the Iraqi army's feeble attempts to fend off the deep inroads al-Qaeda."
"The message this controversy sends to families of those serving in conflict zones is extremely ominous: if one day their loved ones are captured while on duty, the government's chances of securing their release are slim, as no government, in the
effort to rescue its own troops,
wants to be seen as aiding the enemy."
"A year ago, the video of American
Eric Harroun driving a jeep with a
red Chechen-style hat, accompanied by bearded militants chanting threats
to Bashar Al-Assad, was received with something approaching amusement. A year later, the video and similar material is now being used to turn
the West against the Syrian revolution."
"This success is an indication
of the good news that the
independence of our entire
country is near, and gives us hope that Inshallah - the
bring the Afghan people's
ship of high hopes nearer
to the shore."
"The makers of American foreign policy, past and future, are still present in the center of decision
making. They've decided to invest more in their failed experiments, modifying their tactics by setting out a new U.S. approach to the region, which has already been set in motion. In practical terms this
will lead to greater U.S. dominance
by plunging is into decade-long wars"
“It is idiotic and incomprehensible for anyone to say that the military had prior information before the abduction of the girls and failed to do anything. But I can assure you that the federal government will definitely get to the bottom of this, [and] it will be properly
investigated. That's all I can say.”
"A reconciliation agreement signed earlier in the week between rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas aimed to form a unity government within a five week time-frame. It
was a move unexpected by U.S. and Israeli peace negotiators who both condemned the agreement, as
Hamas is considered a terror group."
“Putin's annual salary is just over $100,000, whereas our slothful
Council speaker earns four times that amount. ... For reasons that remain a mystery, our lawmakers consider themselves better than
Russian President Vladimir Putin.”
“It is inexplicable that a conflict of such magnitude as that in Syria be politicized to the point of ignoring the pent up hopes of an entire people. ... To the leaders of the free world, please don't mistake the people of our region for pawns on a chess board.”
“The trio of French Rambos - Hollande, Fabius and Le Drian,
are showing again that they're
ready to talk with gunpowder.
We imagine that upon hearing
the news, Putin has
lost sleep, the Russian army is
in a panic,
are crying for
The U.S. and Russia must have
doubled over with laughter.”
“This was the most acrimonious speech from any Russian leader since the end of WWII. ... Putin delivered an unprecedented
diatribe against the United States, accusing Washington of flouting the U.N. in pursuit of its own interests, breaking international
law by bombing Afghanistan and Iraq, and fostering an 'Arab spring' that turned into an 'Arab winter.'”
“The U.S. president is obliged to clarify what his position is on a partnership with Assad in the war against terrorism. ... It would be
illogical for Obama to demand the ouster of Assad if it would agree
to a strategy dependent on him.”
“The game is over - the arrogant
American has to understand it is over. Starting now, he will have
to deal with the catastrophic errors he has committed and the reckless
policies he has followed. Let him
observe well and become aware
of the undeniable facts around him.”
“It is the way it is - I have been in this country 17 times during which I have done a lot of work for the people,
including fighting against sanctions. I misplaced my passport - but I found it,
which should suggest that I'm uncertain
if I broke Zimbabwe mmigration law.”
“The medical authorities - the Department of Genetics at the Makerere Medical School - say there remains no proof that
people are genetically gay, I
told the scientists to put it into writing, which they are now doing. I will then sign the bill. ... In the 1930s, Hitler made mistakes because he wanted to make Germany strong. So some of these issues are crucial and should be handled objectively rather than emotionally.”
“Isn't the eradication of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria a win-win situation for all Syrians - regardless of who made the decision to act? ... The fear is that this will turn into a long filthy war, which creates the environment for extending the life of the illegitimate Assad regime. ... Given U.S. support for Iraq Prime Minister Maliki in his fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - backed with badly-needed arms, it's too early to feel good about eradicating the ISIS, especially
if replaced by its evil sisters.”
“The trio were arrested three weeks ago, shortly before one or more were to travel to Syria
for final planning of the attacks, which were reportedly initiated on the direct orders of al-Qaeda
leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.”
“The agreement in Geneva did away with the 20% stop, but left the train
on the track and enables Tehran to
upgrade the locomotive with newer centrifuges, so that when the day comes it can leap in a very short time to the final stop on an express track.”
“According to the arrangements, Iranian officials first hammer out an accord with local rulers, such
as Assad, Nasrallah and
Maliki in Baghdad. They then present it to
the Putin for endorsement, after which Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov refers the document to
President Obama Secretary Kerry.”
“Our relationship with the world
is based on Iran's national interests.
In Geneva, the powers agreed to surrender to the Iranian nation's will. ... The Geneva agreement means acceptance of the Iranian nation's nuclear rights and the defeat of its cruel sanctions.”
“Sharon owed his rise to power
to the abject failure of the policy
agreed to at Camp David to seek
a negotiated settlement ... As
U.S. Secretary of State Kerry's
flailing attempt to resuscitate
the process shows, 14 years later, the PLO hasn't changed.”
“With the decline in values of human rights and justice, to denounce as a scandal the denial into which Europe and America have sunk is like issuing the blow of a sword to tainted water: the die is cast and a game of chicken has ensued amid a macabre scene strewn with corpses. ... the Syrian people find themselves completely
abandoned by all, hands and feet
tied, delivered to their tormentors.”
“Conspiracy theories have served as the rack on which to hang all of
our failures and loss, for example, they way we attribute every deficiency to colonialism and Israel,
including the lack of proper sewage!”
“After revelations of NSA spying on Israeli prime
ministers, why aren't Prime
Olmert and Ehud Barak calling for heads to roll and a complete
overhaul in U.S.-Israel ties?”
“This Chinese company is under
American sanctions. And these sanctions really hurt. Any deal with the Chinese company will be toxic. Touching it would be
like touching poison fish. That
would make it very difficult to
Turkish firms to do the
business they've been doing in the U.S.”
“This issue (the cultural invasion) must be dealt with creatively, and in this effort, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting and the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance shoulder very heavy responsibility.”
“In the cool detachment of
the presidentβs pragmatism
toward Iran, you may think
he was talking of a trade deal with Switzerland. You would not know that he was speaking about a regime that machine-gunned its own citizens in the streets when
they opposed the stolen 2009 election; stones women to death; and hangs homosexuals
in public from atops cranes. ”
“He stands out as having been the last to bury the corpse of European colonial domination in Africa; the
first to tower the world during
tha geopolitical realignments that characterised the end of the Cold War; the symbol of an emergent democratic and inclusive statehood in an era of rising social movements;
a global icon in an era of globalization.”
“Israel's massive arsenal has failed to stall a nuclear deal between
Washington and Iran. In practical
terms, Mr. Netanyahu has failed to pursue a policy of opposition to Washington without provoking it,
unlike his predecessor Shamir.”
“Iran's officials should strongly consider declaring the deal null and void if they see any violation, lack of commitment, trampling on the inalienable nuclear rights of our country, or abuse of the agreement due to personal interpretations by [people in]
the West and the United States.”
Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps,
Major General Ali Jafari
“General Sharif would like to clear Taliban out of the
northern and west border
districts, where al-Qaeda leader Zawahiri has set up his central command and complete the transfer to Saudi Arabia of the nuclear
arms plus ballistic missiles.”
“These acts have infected the
U.S. with schizophrenia, since as it spies on the entire world including its closest allies, it also distributes certificates of freedom and pays lip service to principles of democracy and
human rights to poor nations.”
“Lavrov summed up the four- day conference by saying: 'Considering the whole body of circumstance, there are no losers [in the Geneva deal], all sides are winners' - a view seriously challenged by Israel, Saudi Arabia and most other Middle East governments.”
“At a certain point, the French nation, because of its president standing up to Britain and the United States [before the Iraq War], found political credibility, but now French politicians not only bow before America, but before the unclean, ominous Zionist regime. They belittle themselves, and are a disgrace
to the Republic of France.”
“Israel has sent the White House in Washington a confidential document outlining blow by blow how and when Iran will attain a nuclear weapon if the Obama-Kerry strategy
for dealing with the issue is followed.”
“We all witnessed this 'great power' at the brink of bankruptcy, as the federal government shut down. ... to the great frustration of many who once saw in this 'paper tiger' an ethical ideal that transcends religion and morality, the utopian model collapsed. And now with
Snowden's help, America's
spying ethic is exposed.”
“Prime minister tells John Kerry Israel is not obliged to Western deal with Tehran; according to proposed short-term deal, Iran would freeze its nuclear activities for six months, allowing more
time to reach a permanent deal.”
“These acts have infected the
U.S. with schizophrenia, since as it spies on the entire world including its closest allies, it also distributes certificates of freedom and pays lip service to principles of democracy and
human rights to poor nations.”
“What would make the president of France praise fugitive Edward
Snowden, who is wanted by the
US.? The U.S. surveillance scandal
has arisen in such a way as to show the extent of the administration's deception, or, at best, the extent to which America has departed from the principles set down by
Mr. Obama for his government. ”
“The Saudis are testing Obama, as they have seen how he tends to
waver under pressure as he tries to keep both sides happy. ... And quietly, America's traditional allies in the region - like Egypt, Israel, Jordan and the Gulf states - are
rooting for the Saudi Arabians.”
“The handover was just a red
herring to conceal a more secret
handover not long before. A far more valuable gift was quietly handed to the Russian general. It
was of a replica complete with secret technology of a prize long coveted by Moscow: America's
most secret drone, the RQ-170.”
“Israel would be able to live in peace with any deal reached by Iran and world powers, and the agreement would 'open new horizons'
with all nations, the Iranian
Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi Israel Radio reporter Gideon Kutz. ”
“Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps commander, Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, said the
RQ-170 engines are fifth generation, whereas the engines of Iran's previous unmanned aircraft are third generation,
producing those took Iran 35 years.”
“Debka File reports exclusively
from Washington and Jerusalem
sources that the reduction will apply to 'non-significant' yet 'substantial' sanctions. ... Israel is the only ally to receive prior warning of this decision - and the only one to be briefed in detail of the understandings reached with Tehran, including Iran's concessions on its nuclear plans.”
“It is no understatement to say
that Iranian and Syrian schools of
politics are giving free political science lessons on the significance of patience and forbearance. ... Showing remarkable wisdom, shrewdness, and a capacity to steer clear of enemy traps, they gave Russian diplomacy sufficient
gumption to stand its ground.”
“President Obama's attitude is a seismic shock to the world, the effects of which will continue to be felt for decades to come.
The new American isolationism, which has its rationale, exposes
the utter nakedness of Europe.”
“Iran, which is collapsing under the burden of the sanctions, has an interest in reaching an agreement with the West. ... No one in Washington plans to ease sanctions before Iran
delivers the goods. The U.S.
may now be conciliatory, but it is not a sucker.”
“Now that CNN knows of the error
of the translation, it must inform the public of the error and air the interview again, but this time with a deserving translation.' ... This, plus a professional apology, is the
least the American network can do to make up for its gross mistake.”
“Thursday, Sept. 26, will go down in Israel's history as the day it lost
its freedom to use force against
Iran's nuclear threat or the Syrian chemical threat β at least, so long
as Barack Obama is U.S. president.”
“Even if there is some chance that Tehran is giving up on its
nuclear adventure, we have
to assume that it is not. A
carnivorous tiger has to keep a vegetarian lifestyle for at least five years before it achieves the status of a sheep.”
"The current critical period of transition in international relations is replete with dangers, albeit with unique opportunities. Any miscalculation of one's position, and of course, of others, will bear historic damages; a mistake by one actor will have
harmful impact on all others. Vulnerability
is a global and indivisible phenomenon.”
“President Rouhani and members of his regime have suddenly been given free
license to fill op-ed pages in important Western media with smooth propaganda for Western audiences. ... Under their slick new faΓ§ade, the ayatollahs have not changed their spots. Washington has.”
“The two exchange prophecies and counter-prophecies: of a West about which we in the East know little - other than the picture of its political claws ripping into the flesh of our occupied lands; and an Islam about which the West knows little - other than its simplistic image of so-called 'political Islam,' which is a phrase invented by the U.S. administration itself as a pretext for its new war against the entire Muslim world.”
“Perhaps the Russian initiative has
contained the momentum of the planned aggression against Syria and defused a war in the region. On the other hand, it has thrown a lifeline to U.S. President Barack Obama, who got himself entangled in threats and intimidation, then wandered
in search of a face-saving way out.”
“For President Obama, the two issues - the disposal of Syriaβs chemical weapons and resolution of the nuclear controversy with Iran - were closely interwoven
in his quiet exchanges with Putin,
which emphasized diplomacy.”
As a way of recalling the mind- boggling changes that have occurred since September 11, 2001, we have compiled this archive of stories about the attacks from around the world
that the Worldmeets.US team
has posted since the fateful day.
“Syria Foreign Minister Moallem
was informed that the Kremlin expected a positive and speedy answer from President Assad. Within the hour, he came back with a welcome for the Russian 'proposal' to place Syria's chemical
weapons under global control. But he said nothing about letting the arsenal be moved out of the country and destroyed, as both
Lavrov and Kerry have specified.”
“If the Americans hadn't made
so many mistakes before, we
wouldn't be making such strong remarks. However, because their behavior and actions in the region have been so replete with error, we are warning them not to make yet another.”
Brigadier General Hossein Salami of the Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force
“But even if Putin manages to isolate Obama diplomatically by carrying a majority motion
against U.S. a military strike, he will still have to face up to the failure of his policy to
prevent the United States from carrying out its second military offensive against an Arab nation
in two years - following Libya.”
“It is no longer acceptable to say
that any global intervention is an interference in Syrian domestic affairs, because it is the regime in Damascus that has thrown its doors wide open to the forces of Iran's Republican Guard and Hezbullah to such an extent, that Syria can only be described
as country under occupation.”
"Tehran is opening the champagne and switching into higher gear en
route to nuclear weapons. Anyone
who thinks Mr. Obama will attack
Iran, based on evidence that Tehran
crossed the red line toward nuclear
weapons, is probably hallucinating."
βThe 'dodgy dossier' of intelligence that Tony
Blair presented to the Parliament in 2003, which proved wholly
misinformed, led the U.K. to take part in the Iraq invasion. ... Many of those who voted in favor of that 2003 motionβ which preceded the bombing
of Baghdad by hoursβ
voted no on action
in Syria on Thursday.β
“Instead of resigning, it would have been better for ElBaradei to have informed his
friends in America and the West on the idiotic actions carried out by the Muslim
Brotherhood. Now calls to hold ElBaradei accountable for his stance are pouring in.
He attacks the Brotherhood and accuses
it of bloodshed, yet rejects the way in
which the armed sit-ins were resolved
... isn't that profoundly paradoxical?”
βWestern and Middle East powers led by Washington began moving Saturday into Sunday toward a first
strike against Syria. Moscow has
placed its Mediterranean and Black
Sea fleets amd rapid deployment
forces in south and central Russia.β
“Most Brotherhood leaders are now in custody or have fled the
country, some of them to Gaza.
The detention of Badie marks the collapse of his movement's
resistance to Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi's takeover.”
“Debka File's counterterror sources add that plastic explosives in the body of a would-be suicide bomber without metal components are undetectable by
standard screening devices like those
used at most international airports.”
“We have always believed, and continue to believe, in interacting with the world. The most important point, however, is to understand
the other side and grasp its goals and tactics, because if we don't it will trip us up.”
“Thomas was a fearless speaker of truth to power, taking on the Washington establishment on issues
such as the invasion of Iraq, official
secrecy and Israel. She may have on occasion been on the wrong side of
her peers, but Helen Thomas was
certainly on the right side of history.”
“We salute the brave position of
President Sall against the powerful Obama. ... We encourage all the Senegalese to rally around Sall so he doesn't feel alone facing the recurring multifaceted maneuvers
of the gay amd lesbian lobbies.”
Statement By Jamra, Senegalese NGO that opposes homosexual rights
“People of America accepted
my son thanks to his generosity. He loves people and will not involved himself with those whose integrity he questions. In that, he is so much like his
father, a typical Luo man
who was tall and stood upright.”
“A controversy has erupted at the University of Johannesburg over the decision to award Obama an honorary doctorate. ... It is important, under these
circumstances, to offer a solid case for the prosecution, acting as a Counsel for Damnation in 'trying' the first Black president of the U.S. for six 'crimes' of omission and commission.”
Adekeye Adebajo, Director, Centre for Conflict Resolution
Over the past few days a debate has broken out over whether Andreas Lubitz, the Germanwings pilot who
crashed his own aircraft killing all
aboard, A) is a terrorist, and B) was
a Muslim convert who committed
murder over his religious convictions.
Is the mainstream media avoiding the
word 'terrorist' for this German man
and trying to prevent the fact of his religious conversion from emerging?
"Obama has Caracas in his sites
for supporting jihadist networks, which include giving Venezuelan
passports to terrorists and bank
accounts for use of this network
of corruption. To be an enabler
of Maduro is to be complicit in political repression, corruption,
and indirectly, assisting in jihadi
terrorism; nothing more orless.”
"For Berlin, a government depicted as a global benchmark of legality, it is imperative to as quickly as possible lay
out the facts of this presumed blackmail by a regime that has attacked not only
the necessity of private communications by the ruling class, but the privacy of millions of people and the security of
"The draft anti-terror law would require Western firms - technology companies, financial institutions and manufacturers, to give Beijing access to sensitive data.
For tech firms, that means encryption keys and the installation of 'backdoors'. ... The Foreign Ministry said that the third
round of discussion on the law 'is yet
to come', which seems to contradict the statement that it has been 'suspended.”
"The group, represented by historian Ikuhiko Hata, said the number of women cited in the book - 200,000 - is too large. ... Hata, a professor emeritus at Nihon University
and a noted expert on Japan's military history, estimates the number at about 20,000.”
"Adopting sanctions, as President
Obama has done, fails to resolve
the problem. The problem (which sanctioning doesn't address) is all- too-easy to articulate but very difficult to resolve: ensuring that legislative elections scheduled for this year are in fact fair and free. ... It is reasonable to assume that the Venezuelan government go to the devil to avoid a defeat that looks absolutely inevitable.'”
"Demonstrably terrorists, conspirators
and interventionists, barring them was long overdue. Obligatory. Had to be
done. The measure is reciprocal and proportional. Well thought out and justified. This will prevent them - those imperialistic cowboys and torturers - from repeatedly hanging around those fabulous regions where, apart from fishing for peacock bass, they used to buy - at a fair price and in abundance, for personal consumption and a bit to spare - all kinds of products
made with socialist love which, as we stated earlier, is scarce in 'Gringoland.'”
"President Maduro took the chance
to thank the Union of South American
Nations for its support, and criticized the opposition's reaction by saying: 'They began shouting, shrieking and
protesting to [UNASUR Chief] Ernesto Samper as if he had held a crucifix up
to a vampire.' ... Foreign Minister
Rodriguez reiterated that 'the foreign policy of the United States is militarist
and imperialistic' and she rejected the
'constant U.S. meddling in Venezuela.'”
"In seeking to distance himself from the controversy over
Hillary Clinton's e-mails, Obama
made a startling admission. In an appearance with TV Host Jimmy Kimmel, The president said that he isn't permitted the
use of mobile phones 'with recorders in them. So a lot of the new fangled stuff, for
security reasons, I don't get.'”
"Scientific reports funded by the CIA like
those on Climate Intervention by the U.S.
National Academy of Sciences are a
sneaky attempt to legitimize technologies that if presented as weapons of war
would be wholly rejected by the world.”
"The shunning of U.S. customers is part of the spreading fallout from
the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, which came into force this year.
The law is part of a concerted U.S. effort to crack down on overseas tax evasion by identifying all
offshore U.S. account holders.”
"The most disgruntled of these potential adventure tourists are six unfortunates who have been strictly banned. Bush wanted to go to the Military Museum to pay tribute to his most formidable adversary. He wanted to go to the mausoleum where, rather than sulfur and formaldehyde he would smell scented lilies left by faithful believers. Cheney, the infirm, had prepared a list of the medicines he would buy in our well-stocked pharmacies. Tenet, the former CIA director, was dying of curiosity to meet all the local agents he never paid a dime. ... What cruelty not to permit them to come, President Maduro! Think again!”
"Foreign Secretary Meade, who heads a chancellery that was once a bastion for
defending Mexico against interventionism, knows that ICE, the DEA, the CIA, the Pentagon, the FBI, ATF
and other agencies have for years been operating covertly and armed in our
country. The language
of the Security and Prosperity Partnership has permeated the vocabulary of those who should be defending our national sovereignty.”
"The GCSB directs its spying against a surprising array of New Zealand's friends, trading partners and close Pacific neighbors. These countries'
communications are given directly to the NSA and other Five Eyes agencies with little New Zealand oversight or decision-making as a
part of U.S. global surveillance.”
"People all enjoy freedom, but freedom and order are
inextricably linked and can't be separated. Order is the guarantee of freedom. If
we part with order, than
freedom does not exist.
The more we move in the direction of freedom, the more we need order. Find a place without order, and
it will surely lack freedom. ”
"There is media revelation that certain country embedded spying software in the computer system of other country's SIM card maker for surveillance activities. This is
only one of the recently disclosed
cases. All nations are paying close
attention and taking measures to safeguard their own information
security. This is beyond reproach.”
China Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying
"As plausible as Netanyahu's
address was, it was hollow at the core. ... Netanyahu is effectively pushing for 'regime change' in Tehran, not a nuclear deal. ... His theatrics notwithstanding,
Obama is right. negotiations
are a far better bet.”
"TransCanada may soon decide that it has no choice but to serve notice of its intent to launch a multibillion-
dollar NAFTA claim against the U.S. for seeing its project frustrated
without a fair hearing. The firm has already invested more than $2.3 billion in the project.”
"An important element of the
coup actions are the shortages created by big businesses that
hoard or smuggle subsidized basic basket of staple goods to Colombia, which they buy with
dollars sold at low prices by the Venezuelan government. ... With its embassies in Caracas and Bogota, the U.S. is actively
involved planning these actions.”
"The program to protect state
servers from hackers, criminals
and enemy states raises questions
about the breadth of collection, the length of retention and how the information could be shared
with police and intelligence partners in other countries.”
REPORTERS Dave Seglins,
Amber Hildebrandt, Mike Pereira