Founder of Israeli settler movement dies at 80

Buildings in Ramat Shlomo, a Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (AFP) — Rabbi Moshe Levinger, who founded the militant Gush Emunim movement which pushed illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, died aged 80 on Saturday, relatives said.Born in 1935 in Jerusalem to a family of German origin, Levinger studied in his youth under Rabbi Tzvi Yehudah Kook, the spiritual father of religious nationalism.Shortly after the 1967 Six-Day War in which Israel armies seized the Palestinian territories of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, Levinger and a group of like-minded people decided to settle in the occupied territory.Their goal was to create a Jewish presence in Palestinian cities which they perceived as important sites from Jewish history.In September 1967, the Labor government authorized the creation of the first illegal settlement at Kfar Etzion.Levinger founded Gush Emunim, an ideological movement which has championed the establishment of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank since 1974, in contravention of international law.He was implicated in but never convicted after the arrest of an extremist Jewish network in the 1980s that carried out several anti-Palestinian attacks.But in 1990, he was convicted of manslaughter for shooting into a crowd in Hebron, killing a Palestinian.Levinger, who had 11 children, was sentenced to five months in prison but released after three months for “good behavior.”Since 1967, Israel has constructed tens of thousands of homes for Jewish settlers as part of a broad policy of “Judaization,” and around 550,000 Jewish Israelis now live in settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

(Source / 16.05.2015)

Message to the friends of Palestine

Dear friends of Palestine,

I have been receiving many responses to the skeptical statements I made yesterday about the symbolic efforts of ‘recognition’ of Palestine undertaken by some governments across the globe. Good, since this is exactly why I made them. It means I challenged people’s thoughts, and this was my objective.

Someone needs to point out the hypocrisy in the dealings in the diplomatic and political world with regard to Palestine. 
Someone needs to keep the pressure up with regard to recognition of the Nakba, and the Right of Return. 
Someone needs to keep pointing out what the true Palestinian cause is, and it is a cause of liberation from an illegal invasion, before it is anything else. 
If I have to be that someone, simply because it is not being said and done enough, then I will be that someone.

Of course I understand the ‘Realpolitik’ comments I received in response to my statements, and I expected them. I’m sure many think I would disagree with most of what was said, but that is much less the case than they think. I am a realist, but don’t forget that it is also unrealistic to cheer from the bottom of your heart for developments that are laden with such a high dose of hypocrisy.

Therefore, I will give you some more things to think about.

We have seen governments that have recognized ‘Israel’ decades ago, and have friendly and warm dealings with their ambassadors, while at the same time witnessing the horrendous war crimes that are continuously unleashed upon the Palestinians in an illegal occupation. While they now say friendly things to the Palestinians, we did not see them expel the Israeli ambassador; we did not see them cancel trade agreements with ‘Israel’; we did not see them cause any significant trouble for the Israelis while things continue to get worse, day after day, year after year.

We see these same countries pondering the recognition of Palestine, or even going so far as granting recognition and opening an embassy. Do I applaud that? Sure I do, don’t get me wrong. But do I consider this to be enough? Hell no. Do you consider it to be enough?

Do you think mine or your ‘gratitude’ matters at all, if 570 innocent dead children in Gaza did not matter enough for these countries to call for an embargo on weapons, or a comprehensive boycott of the illegitimate Zionist state? Do you seriously think that these governments are influenced by my gratitude, or the lack of it? Please.

Therefore, my messages are not aimed at those governments who still have a long way to go before they can even begin to earn my trust. My messages were meant for YOU. I am irrelevant to these governments, and so are you, until perhaps our numbers become so huge that there is simply no way to ignore us, and we are still far away from that.

I have to remind you of the true heart of the Palestinian struggle, just as a signal to your mind not to forget what this is about.

Surely, we all believe that the crimes of the Zionists will someday meet with due punishment and retribution.

My duty is to protect the Palestinian cause until that day comes, and I will fulfill this duty with diligence and dedication. The Palestinian cause is the fight against the ongoing Nakba, and against the denial of its gruesome past. It is the struggle against the Jewish supremacy that was violently forced upon our land in a Holocaust that still hasn’t ended today.

We must protect our cause from ‘diplomatic contamination’. Our rights have been squandered enough as it is. We will protect every last one of our inalienable rights, first and foremost the Right of Return. And you, activists and supporters for the Palestinian cause from around the world, can help us make a relentless fist against Nakba-denial, since it is Nakba-denial that is the root cause of misconceptions about the Palestinian struggle, and the devaluation of our rights as a people.

Stay with us as we continue our struggle. Expand our ranks, without contaminating the core of our cause. Educate the people around you, familiarize them with the symbols of our struggle: our flag, our kuffiyeh, our front door key, and our olive tree. Keep up the great work. I love it that you are here on this page with me, and I appreciate your support for our people.

Until liberation and return,


Doc Jazz

aka Tariq Shadid

Palestinian artist

(Source / 16.05.2015)

Sondos Asem: Only woman to be sentenced to death in Egypt mass trial

The former international media coordinator for ousted president Morsi was charged with espionage and sentenced to death in absentia

A screenshot of Sondos Asem talking on the Al Jazeera Show Inside Story on Egypt’s new constitution back in December 2012

Sondos Asem, a member of the Freedom and Justice Party, was one of the defendants sentenced to death in absentia by an Egyptian court on Saturday, and the only woman to receive the death penalty.

She is one of the 16 members of the Muslim Brotherhood, including leaders Mohamed al-Baltegy and Khairat al-Shater, to be sentenced to death after being charged for acts of espionage by conspiring with Palestinian movement Hamas.

The preliminary verdict was sent to the grand mufti for approval as is required with all death penalty sentences under Egyptian law. The final decision is expected to be announced on 2 June.

Rechtszaak Egypte

She was the former international media coordinator for Morsi’s office, and at a time where the Muslim Brotherhood’s dominance in the political arena was regarded with apprehension at an international level, she represented the group’s youthful voice of moderate political Islam.

The 28-year-old was also the senior editor for the English-language Muslim Brotherhood online website Ikhwan Web, and part of the group’s foreign relations committee.

In a 2011 interview with the New York Times, Asem spoke candidly of the problems that the Muslim Brotherhood would tackle, focusing on the economy instead of banning alcohol across the country.

“[Egyptians] want to reform their economic system and to have jobs. They want to eliminate corruption,” she said.

She also dismissed opinions that viewed the Muslim Brotherhood as being oppressive to women.

“It’s a big misconception that the Muslim Brotherhood marginalises women,” she said, adding that “50 percent of the Brotherhood are women”.

“We believe that a solution to women’s problems in Egyptian society is to solve the real causes, which are illiteracy, poverty and lack of education,” Asem continued.

In 2012, her mother Manal Abdul Hassan was among the female Muslim Brotherhood candidates who ran for parliament, although she was not successful. Her father is also a leading Muslim Brotherhood supporter who was in charge of publishing the group’s educational materials like How to be a good Muslim father. 

The 28-year-old is currently studying at Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government. Asem, who studied English Literature as an undergraduate, received her Master’s degree in journalism and mass communication at the American University of Cairo, where she wrote on the impact that social media has as a reliable source of information for youth.

(Source / 16.05.2015)

Syrian Coalition Welcomes Political Initiatives That Ensure Syria’s Unity

The Syrian Coalition welcomes any initiative aimed at reaching a comprehensive political solution to the Syrian conflict, saving the blood of the Syrians, preserving state institutions and opening the way toward transition to a unified Syria where all components of Syrian society peacefully co-exist and where their rights are ensured.

Vice-president of the Syrian Coalition Hisham Marwa stresses that a political initiative must ensure the departure of Assad’s ruling and his clique, recognize the rights of all citizens regardless of differences in background, and develop the concept of citizenship as the basis for the new Syria.

Marwa points out that all components of the Syrian social fabric have made sacrifices during the revolution, adding that they affected by the barbaric oppression of the Assad regime which have always falsely claimed that it is protecting them.

“New Syria can be achieved only through the cooperation of all its sons and daughters to topple the murderous Assad regime and build a civil pluralist democratic state that enjoys constitutional life and the rule of law. A state that redresses the grievances of its people, provides justice to victims, and holds to account perpetrators of crimes and corruption before fair courts and on the basis of personal responsibility. A state that provides equal opportunities for all its citizens based on the standards of efficiency and competence. It seeks to separate powers, establish an independent judiciary, and respects the will of the people in representative institutions that are established through free and fair periodic elections.

“The current phase of the Syrian revolution requires political and national awareness from all political currents and military forces. It also requires a departure from the concept of narrow interests to the concept of the state, which includes all components of the Syrian society, including the Alawite sect and ensure their rights.”

“Furthermore, the current phase also requires courageous re-evaluation of the current situation by the honorable and wise people in the various social components that the Assad regime is taking as hostages and claims to protect them. All components must recognize the inevitability of the downfall of the Assad regime and avoid the disastrous consequences of continuing to support it or keeping silent about its daily crimes,” Marwa added.

“The Syrian Coalition has adopted and ratified The Document of Basic Principles for a Political Settlement in Syria” which is made up of 13 items representing a roadmap of a political solution in Syria based on the of Geneva communiqué and the UN Security Council resolutions. The document was also approved by other opposition blocs, a number of rebel factions and political currents including The National Coordination Commission and Building the Syrian State Movement.”

Marwa pointed out that freedom, justice and dignity are the main objectives of the Syrian revolution for which rebels have paid dearly to consolidate it among all the Syrian people regardless of race, religion or sect.

(Source: Syrian Coalition / 16.05.2015)

Shireen Issawi subjected to violent beatings in prison and held in isolation

Shireen Issawi, the sister of legendary hunger striker Samer Issawi, has told Hanan Al Khateeb, attorney of the Council of Prisoner Affairs, that she suffered a brutal beating in Hasharon prison on May 3, 2015.

Shireen stated that on that day, prison guards invaded the female prisoners section under the false pretext of one prison guard having been attacked. When Shireen and five other female prisoners protested against being taken into isolation, she was assaulted and savagely beaten on all parts of her body, leading to injuries and severe pain. She added that the prison guards were shouting at the prisoners wildly, and threatened to post pictures of the beatings on social media.

She was taken into isolation in Ramleh prison, under the false accusation of incitement. She was subjected to an internal trial and then sentenced to 7 days of isolation, and one month without family visits.

She described her conditions in isolation as being extremely harsh, being kept in a tiny cell that has no bed, forcing her to sleep on the floor, and without the presence of a washing basin or any other commodities whatsoever. She was completely isolated from the world, and her cantina account was closed, adding to the harshness of her conditions by not being able to buy any food.

Shireen Issawi is a lawyer, and this is the second time she is being imprisoned, without any charges or fair trial. She has been in detention for well over a year, and was granted the Al Karama Human Rights Award in December 2014, while imprisoned, for her efforts in defending the rights of Palestinian political prisoners.

Both of her brothers, Samer and Medhat, are also still being detained. Samer Issawi, who waged the longest hunger strike in history against his former detention, recently had his old sentence of 30 years reinstated, causing outrage among human rights advocates everywhere.

(Source / 16.05.2015)

Hamas condemns Egyptian death sentences for its members

Hamas members among those sentenced to death, along ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, by a Cairo court on charges of murder and attempted murder during a 2011 jailbreak

Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas spokesperson

Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas spokesperson

Palestinian movement Hamas has condemned the death sentences meted out by an Egyptian court on Saturday to a number of its members in two criminal cases on Saturday as “unfortunate and shocking.”

Cairo Criminal Court handed ousted president Mohamed Morsi and 105 others, including a number of Hamas members, provisional death sentences for charges of committing murder, attempted murder, looting prison weapons, releasing prisoners, and damaging buildings during their escape from an Egyptian prison during the early days of the 2011 revolution.

Prosecutors had argued that over 800 fighters from Gaza had infiltrated Egypt, using RPGs and heavy weapons to storm three prisons, abducting four policemen and killing several others, along with inmates.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu-Zuhri said in a statement on Saturday that the verdict was based on “false information”, saying that some of those Hamas members who were convicted in absentia, including “martyrs Tayseer Abu-Senema and Hossam El-Sanea,” were dead at the time the offences were carried out.

Abu-Zuhri said that others convicted have been in the “prisons of the occupation (Israel) for years, such as Hassan Salama, who has been imprisoned for 19 years.”

The death sentences have been sent to the country’s grand mufti, as per Egyptian law, for review. The mufti’s advice regarding the penalty is non-binding. The court will issue its final verdict on 2 June, although the verdict can be appealed.

Also on Saturday, the same court handed out 16 death sentences to Egyptians in a separate case dubbed the “Hamas Espionage Case.”

In the case, prosecutors had charged Morsi and 35 others with conspiring with foreign powers — including Hamas, Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard — to destabilise Egypt.

Hamas is a sister organisation of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood, from which Mohamed Morsi hails.

Following the ouster of Morsi in July 2013, the relationship between Egypt and Hamas soured.

Two Cairo court verdicts in January and February declared the group’s military wing Al-Qassam Brigades as well as Hamas itself to be terrorist organisations.

Shortly after, Egypt’s government challenged the verdict against Hamas, and the lawyer who filed the case withdrew it.

However, the verdict against Al-Qassam remains in place.

The court reasoning in both verdicts stated that Hamas and Al-Qassam Brigades “support and finance terrorist attacks in Egypt.”

Cairo has also accused Hamas of meddling in its internal affairs and supporting Islamist insurgents in Sinai, accusations that Hamas strongly denies.

(Source / 16.05.2015)

Killing Abu Sayyaf: what it means in the fight against ISIS

Dr. Theodore Karasik

The firefight that killed ISIS official Abu Sayyaf by U.S. Special Operations is a major achievement and long overdue against the ISIS leadership. Sayyaf’s wife, Umm Sayyaf, was captured during the firefight and is currently in Iraqi military detention. There are implications of the killing that go beyond the role of the couple in ISIS’s economic operations.

Interestingly, the operation is highly reminiscent of the killing of Abu Mussab Al-Zarqawi in June 2006. It is not so much the method of the killing as it is for the significance. Al-Zarqawi of course is known as the head of Al-Qaeda Iraq, the precursor to today’s ISIS. Al-Zarqawi played a major role in a number of key operations back in the 2000s in Iraq. Just as targeting Al Zarqawi to “cut off the head of the snake” the SOF operation killing Abu Sayyaf meant to not only illuminate a battlefield commander but also kill part of ISIS’s economic model of illicit criminal activity including oil sales and slavery.

now that Delta Forces have been used in Syria, Operation Inherent Resolve actually has real teeth

It is important to note the role of Jordan and American special operations forces in the Hashemite Kingdom. In Zarqa is the Joint Special Operations Command and a presence of American special operators and their equipment for raids into Syria. American special operations along with other Arab operators, have been set for such a raid for a while now because Zarqa is at the confluence of the Syrian and Iraqi borders. Jordanian special operation forces are especially well connected with the topography and network within ISIS to gather valuable intelligence.

Was Iraq in the equation?

The Iraqi part of the equation that led to the Delta force killing of Abu Sayyaf also is vital. Baghdad needs a tactical victory badly given that ISIS is now trying to control Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province in Iraq. Despite the tactical defeat of ISIS in Tikrit last month, ISIS is continuing its path of destruction. ISIS has taken over the main government compound that houses the Anbar governor’s office, police headquarters, and intelligence headquarters. Hikmat Suleiman, the spokesman for Anbar’s governor stated that ISIS managed to seize the heavily fortified complex on mainly due to a lack of backing from the central Baghdad government: “For months we were complaining and telling the Security Ministries that there was no coordination,” he said, adding that the military ignored requests for much needed weapons.” In other words, the Iraqi security forces may not be on top of their game.

The fact that Ramadi fell—for the time being—goes into the timing of the Abu Sayyaf raid and claims of Iraqi permission. The Abadi government, along with its Iranian-backed Shiite militias, are fighting a gruesome battle in Anbar. In addition, with Ramadi going to ISIS for the time being, ISIS is close again to Baghdad. One Gulf official told me that he questions Iraq was involved in the operation all together. “The government was certainly aware but that was the end of the story: they are too busy with their own failures.” Now there are Iraqi security forces moving on Ramadi; there perhaps may be no time for Syrian operations or coordination.

Finally, the Abu Sayyaf raid is a major statement to the participants in the Camp David meetings regarding GCC security requirements. In the wake of the discussions—which at the end of the day resulted in nothing truly new—the Obama administration is illustrating perhaps a new face on targeting ISIS leaders in Iraq and Syria. Perhaps the day of enforcing red lines is actually here instead of Washington backing off. In addition, now that Delta Forces have been used in Syria, Operation Inherent Resolve actually has real teeth. That fact is highly significant in order to actually destroy the ISIS economic model.

The prognosis is that more raids may become fashionable.

(Source / 16.05.2015)

17 Palestinians hurt in use of force by Israeli army on Nakba day

Ramallah (IINA) – Israeli soldiers have fired tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets at stone-throwing Palestinians in the West Bank, wounding at least 17 people, medics and security sources said.

The clashes on Friday took place near Ramallah and in Nablus to the north, as Palestinians marked 67 years since the “Nakba”, or “catastrophe”, that befell them when Israel was established in 1948. At a demonstration outside Ofer military prison near Ramallah, dozens of protesters threw stones at soldiers who fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the crowds, the AFP news agency reported. Medics said seven Palestinians were wounded in those clashes.

In a separate flare-up earlier in the West Bank city of Nablus, rubber bullets and live fire by soldiers wounded at least 10 Palestinians, security sources and witnesses said. The Israeli army confirmed the clashes, but denied that live rounds were fired. More than 1,000 settlers from nearby Jewish settlements were bused into the city to visit Joseph’s Tomb earlier in the day, and soldiers blocked off roads leading to the pilgrimage site, according to Palestinian witnesses and security sources.

Palestinians protested, some throwing stones, before clashes with the army erupted. A spokeswoman for the Israeli army said soldiers had “escorted” up to 3,000 Jewish visitors to the tomb since Wednesday evening, and that a crowd of some 200 Palestinians had approached the area throwing stones and burning tires. Soldiers used “riot dispersal” means, she said.

The clashes took place after Israel formed a new right-leaning government headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Palestinian officials have said the new lineup pushes the prospects of peace further away than ever. More than 760,000 Palestinians, estimated today to number around 5.5 million with their descendants, fled or were driven from their homes in 1948, with the Nakba marked every May 15. For the Palestinians, the right to return to homes they fled or were forced out of is a prerequisite for any peace agreement with the Israelis, but it is a demand Israel has rejected.

(Source / 16.05.2015)

Taking Netanyahu orders treason to US: Kevin Barrett

Press TV has conducted an interview with Kevin Barrett, an editor with Veterans Today, in Madison, about Republican members of the US Congress slamming the head of the Roman Catholic Church for recognizing Palestine as an independent state.

The following is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: Dr. Barrett, first of all, what is wrong with the Pope making a political initiative and recognizing Palestine as a state?

Barrett: Well, there is nothing wrong with it. This was a treaty between the Vatican and the state of Palestine. So, it is just a normal treaty between two states and the people who are so upset about this in the US Congress, which is basically a wholly owned subsidiary of Israel and in particular its extremist Likud faction, apparently are part of this kind of genocidal Zionist mentality that says there is no such thing as Palestine.

It is amazing how we have a whole school of thought of these people who, with complete ignorance and in defiance of the facts of history, insist that Israel was a land without people for a people without land as if there have never been any people living in Palestine when of course the truth is that they have always been there.

So the Congress is just stuck in a state of denial and they are funded… they get half of their campaign contributions – which are basically bribes – from pro-Israel people. The Israel lobby is the richest and most heavily funded lobby in America; so, it is not surprising that they are taking their marching orders from Netanyahu and his Likudniks. Of course, this is treason against the United States of America, it has been representing a foreign government like this but nobody in Congress seems to care.

Press TV: And of course, what does the Pope’s decision mean to the Palestinians themselves?

Barrett: Well, I think there is a plus and minus here. The plus is that the Pope decided to recognize the state of Palestine rather than the Palestinian Authority or the Palestinian Liberation Organization, which was the original draft of the three. And by doing that, the Pope is recognizing that there is a state of Palestine that goes beyond simply that organization, which in fact is interminably corrupted; it has repeatedly betrayed the Palestinian people. Hamas is a much better representation of the people of Palestine than the authority ever has been but of course we also have to recognize that this act by the Pope is not going to magically make the genocide stop.

It is one very small step towards overcoming the complicity of the Western powers in this genocide against the Palestinians and it does demonstrate that this Pope is not a complete captive of the hard-line Israel lobby but I think that we are going to have to see a lot more movement from other power centers in the West before the people of Palestine can celebrate and feel safe that they are not going to be butchered in another round of slaughter … as Israelis call it in Gaza and that they are eventually going to get citizenship rights in their native land.

Press TV: And of course, day by day, Palestine is rising to become recognized, it is now an official member of the ICC. Just how stronger is Palestine becoming in the international political scene to take action against Israel and the fact that it is an ICC member now make Israel be held accountable?

Barrett: That is right. Palestine is making big strides in this area and it is important. I think that what has happened is that the extremist element in Israel has taken charge. Netanyahu’s election is a good example of that as are the polls that show that the majority of Jewish Israelis supported these massacres in Gaza.

But I think the world, that is the power centers in the world that are relatively friendly to Israel have realized that Israel has fallen into the hands of extremists and indeed [it] has drifted towards a certain kind of extremism that is heading towards a complete genocide and of course Netanyahu wants to start another big Middle Eastern war so he can finish the ethnic cleansing of 1948 and have another Nakba and basically kill or expel all the rest of the Palestinians.

Now the world does not want that, most people do not anyway; and so this move to recognize Palestine and make it official that there is a Palestine… I think it is a kind of preemptive strike against Netanyahu and his friends’ plan to try to complete this genocide and it is a welcome development and I hope that the rest of the world continues to move towards officially recognizing Palestine and creating a situation in which it would be impossible to really contemplate eliminating Palestine and the Palestinians.

Press TV: And on a similar note, as much as Palestine is becoming more recognized, how much Israel is becoming isolated?

Barrett: That is the other side of the same coin, that is, by choosing this path of extremism and accelerated genocide, the Israeli leadership has completely isolated themselves. They are really very, very few people around the world who agree with that program and even the people in Congress who are mouthing Israeli slogans and screaming insults at the Pope and swearing on their Scofield Bible that God wants to commit genocide in Palestine and give the land to the master race and all this ridiculous stuff from the Zionist-manufactured Scofield Bible that has brainwashed so many Americans. Those people in Congress… I do not think they really believe it. They are basically just greedy, power-hungry people who would say whatever it takes to keep those campaign contributions flowing so they are mouthing the slogans but they do not really believe it and anybody who really does believe that is basically a complete fool and such people are of no consequence anyway.

So, there is really almost no support around the world for this extremist right-wing Israeli Likudnik program to accelerate the genocide in Palestine; and more and more rational voices from around the world, including the Pope, are standing up and saying it is time to put a stop to this. Palestine exists, the Palestinians exist, let’s get them their rights.

(Source / 16.05.2015)

Syrian War Set To Re-Explode

The Syrian war stalemate appears to be over. The regional powers surrounding Syria – especially Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, and Jordan – have re-ignited their war against the Syrian government. After over 200,000 dead and millions of refugees, the U.S. allies in the region recently recommitted to deepening the war, with incalculable consequences.

The new war pact was made between Obama’s regional darlings, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, who agreed to step up deeper military cooperation and establish a joint command in the occupied Syrian region of Idlib.

Turkey and Saudi Arabia are now openly backing Islamic extremists under the newly rebranded “Conquest Army.” The on-the-ground leadership of this “new” coalition consists of Jabhat al-Nusra – the “official” al-Qaeda affiliate – and Ahrar al-Sham, whose leader previously stated that his group was the “real al-Qaeda.”

The Huffington Post reports:

“The Turkish-Saudi agreement has led to a new joint command center in the northeastern Syrian province of Idlib. There, a coalition of groups – including Nusra and other Islamist brigades such as Ahrar al-Sham that Washington views as extremist – are progressively eroding Assad’s front. The rebel coalition also includes more moderate elements of the Free Syrian Army that have received U.S. support in the past.”

The article admits that the Free Syrian Army – that Obama previously labeled as “moderates” and gave cash and guns to – has been swallowed up by the extremist groups.

This dynamic has the potential to re-engulf the region in violence; deep Saudi pocketbooks combined with reports of looming Turkish ground forces are a catastrophe in the making.

Interestingly, the Saudi-Turkish alliance barely raised eyebrows in the U.S. media. President Obama didn’t think to comment on the subject, let alone condemn it.

The media was focused on an odd narrative of Obama reportedly being “concerned” about the alliance, but “disengaged” from what two of his close allies were doing in a region that the U.S. has micromanaged for decades.

It seems especially odd for the media to accept that Obama has a “hands off” approach in Syria when at the same time the media is reporting about a new U.S. program training Syrian rebels in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.

It’s inconceivable that Obama would coordinate deeply with Turkey to set up a Syrian rebel training camp on Turkish soil, while at the same time be “disengaged” from the Turkish-Saudi war coalition in Syria.

One possible motive behind the fake narrative of “noncooperation” between Obama and his Turkish-Saudi allies is that the U.S. is supposed to be fighting a “war on terrorism.”

So when Turkey and Saudi Arabia announce that they’re closely coordinating with terrorists in Syria – like al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham – Obama needs an alibi to avoid being caught at the crime scene. He’s not an accomplice, simply “disengaged.”

This is likely the reason why Obama has insisted that his new “moderate” rebels being trained in Turkey will fight ISIS, not the Syrian government. But this claim too is ridiculous.

Is Obama really going to throw a couple hundred newly-trained “moderate” Syrian rebels at ISIS while his Turkish-Saudi allies focus all their fire on the Syrian Government? The question answers itself.

The media has made mention of this obvious conundrum, but never bothers to follow up, leaving Obama’s lame narrative unchallenged. For example, the LA Times reports:

“The White House wants the [U.S. trained rebel] proxy force to target Islamic State militants, while many of the Syrian rebels – and the four host nations [where Syrian rebels are being trained] – want to focus on ousting Syrian President Bashar Assad.”

The article simply shrugs its shoulders at the irreconcilable. The article also fails to mention that Obama’s “new” training camps aren’t new at all; he’s been arming and training Syrian rebels since at least 2012, the only difference being that the “new” training camps are supposedly meant to target ISIS, compared to the training camps that were openly used to target the Syrian government.

Here’s the LA Times in 2013:

“The covert U.S. training [of Syrian rebels] at bases in Jordan and Turkey began months before President Obama approved plans to begin directly arming the opposition to Syrian President Bashar Assad, according to U.S. officials and rebel commanders.”

This is media amnesia at its worse. Recent events can’t be understood if the media doesn’t place events in context. In practice this “forgetfulness” provides political cover to the Obama administration, shielding his longstanding direct role in the Syrian war, allowing him to pretend to a “passive,” “hands off” approach.

When it was reported in 2012 that the Obama administration was funneling weapons to the Syrian rebels, the few media outlets that mentioned the story didn’t bother to do any follow up. It simply fell into the media memory hole. After the weapons funneling report came out, Obama incredulously stated that he was only supplying “non lethal” support to the rebels, and the media printed his words unchallenged.

Consequently, there was no public discussion about the consequences of the U.S. partaking in a multi-nation proxy war against Syria, a country that borders war ravaged Iraq.

In 2013 when Obama announced that he would be bombing the Syrian government in response to a supposed gas attack, the U.S. media asked for no evidence of the allegation, and strove to buttress Obama’s argument for aggression.

And when Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh wrote an article exposing Obama’s liesover the aborted bombing mission, the article didn’t see the light of day in the U.S. media. Critically thoughtful voices were not welcome. They remain unwelcome.

In 2015 direct U.S. military intervention in Syria remains a real possibility. All the conditions that led to Obama’s decision to bomb Syria in 2013 remain in place.

In fact, a U.S. intervention is even more likely now that Turkey and Saudi Arabia are fighting openly against the Syrian government, since the Saudi-Turkish alliance might find itself in a key battle that demands the special assistance that only the U.S. Air Force can offer.

Unsurprisingly, there has been renewed discussion of a U.S. enforced “no fly zone” in Syria. ISIS doesn’t have an air force, so a no fly zone would be undeniably aimed at the Syrian government to destroy its air force. The new debate over a “no fly zone” is happening at the same time as a barrage of new allegations of “chemical weapons” use are being made against the Syrian government.

If a no fly zone is eventually declared by the Obama Administration it will be promoted as a “humanitarian intervention, that strives to create a “humanitarian corridor” to “protect civilians” – the same rhetoric that was used for a massive U.S.-led NATO bombing campaign in Libya that destroyed the country and continues to create a massive refugee crisis.

As the Syrian war creates fresh atrocities the Obama administration will be pressured to openly support his Saudi-Turkish allies, just as he came out into the open in 2013 when he nearly bombed the Syrian government.

History is repeating itself. But this time the stakes are higher: the region has already been destabilized with the wars in Iraq, Libya, and Syria, and the regional conflicts have sharpened between U.S. allies on one hand, and Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Russia on the other.

Such a volatile dynamic demands a media willing to explain the significance of these events. The truth is that Obama has been a proxy war president that has torn apart the Middle East as badly as his predecessor did, and if the U.S. public remains uninformed about developing events, an even larger regional war is inevitable.

(Source / 16.05.2015)