DOMINO THEORY ALIVE AND WELL IN SYRIA; AMERICAN FRAUD; ATTACK ON SYRIA A MILITARY DISASTER – By Ziad Fadel

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Wonderful news abounding.  The town of Al-Dhumayr is now rodent free as the last vestiges of the Saudi-financed Jaysh Al-Islam boarded a green bus and left for Jaraablus on the Syrian-Turk border.  Al-Dhumayr is the site of one of Syria’s most important airbases which had come under attack by the Saudi terrorists there.  We can look forward today to our runways acting properly as the platforms for defending Syria from the Zionist Apartheid State, inter alia.

More great news.  The Syrian government has accepted an offer of surrender by terrorists in the West Ghouta, specifically in the towns of Yalda, Babeela and Bayt Sahm.  However, combat will not cease until Damascus is convinced that the terrorists have, indeed stopped all violent acts.  The negotiations are still underway with the terrorists agreeing to leave for the Eastern Syrian Desert and some to Idlib Governorate.  Most of the criminals are trying to arrange an amnesty and remain in their home towns.

Yesterday, in the East Qalamoon, 1,694 rats and their families left on buses to Jaraablus.  They turned over all heavy armaments to the SAA which included 1 tank, 1 BMB armored vehicle and 3 pickups with 23mm cannons.  They left in 31 buses and were all members of Jaysh Al-Islam, a group doomed to oblivion.

As part of the spoils of war, Syria turned over 2 unexploded Tomahawn cruise missiles to their Russian allies.

The SAA has embarked on a new campaign to the south of Damascus at Al-Hajar Al-Aswad.  This area is under the temporary control of ISIS and Al-Qaeda.  These two groups have indicated no desire to leave or submit to Syrian governance.  Accordingly, the Tiger Force will now begin the process of killing them all in the Yarmook Camp and Hajar Al-Aswad.

Dr. Assad has, reportedly, returned the Legion D’Honneur medal to France after it was revoked by the present French government.  Yawn.  The medal was returned via the Romanian Embassy which handles French affairs for Paris in the absence of a diplomatic staff.  The Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the French that the president, “is not honored to have this medal bestowed upon him by a nation of slaves who attack other countries that are member states of the United Nations and by a nation which supports terrorism.”  It was first awarded to the president by former French president, Jacques Chirac in 2001 when Dr. Assad paid a visit to Paris. Good show, Dr. Assad.

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NEWS AND COMMENT:

Absolutely fantastic article with precise analysis depicting the American-British-French attack as an outright fraud.  Sent by one of our anonymous readers:

https://www.sott.net/article/382908-About-Those-Nice-New-Smart-Missiles-And-The-Chemical-Weapons-Sites-in-Syria

John Esq. sends us this article by Elijah Magnier on the failure of the West’s strategy in Syria and how Russia pulled it off:

https://syria360.wordpress.com/2018/04/15/the-us-secret-plan-against-damascus-foiled-russian-role-before-and-after-the-us-uk-france-attack-revealed/

The indefatigable Tim Anderson sends this article about a doctor who doubts the CW claims in the West:

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-chemical-attack-gas-douma-robert-fisk-ghouta-damascus-a8307726.html

Brandon takes on the fraud of the CW in Syria quoting Vanessa very liberally.  Great article:

https://www.activistpost.com/2018/04/us-bombs-syria-to-cover-up-lack-of-evidence-on-chem-attacks-discredits-own-claims-by-doing-so.html

BBC interview with Lord West casts serious doubt about the CW attack in Douma (sent by Tim Anderson):

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2018/04/17/bbc-reporter-discourages-syria-questions-due-to-information-war-with-russia/

The criminal case against Trump, Macron and May is building. Watch this great interview by Tucker with former British ambassador to Syria.  This is not Robert Ford.  It’s Peter Ford: (From Sarah Abdullah)

Stench of hypocrisy: British ‘war on terror’ & strategic ties with radical Islam – By John Wight (RT)

John Wight
John Wight has written for newspapers and websites across the world, including the Independent, Morning Star, Huffington Post, Counterpunch, London Progressive Journal, and Foreign Policy Journal. He is also a regular commentator on RT and BBC Radio. John is currently working on a book exploring the role of the West in the Arab Spring. You can follow him on Twitter @JohnWight1
 
Stench of hypocrisy: British 'war on terror' & strategic ties with radical Islam
Britain’s strategic relationship with radical Islam goes back decades and continues to this day.

There is no more foul a stench than the stench of hypocrisy, and there is no more foul a hypocrisy than the British government painting Bashar al-Assad as a monster when in truth he and the Syrian people have been grappling with a twin-headed monster in the shape of Salafi-jihadi terror and Western imperialism. Both are committed to destroying Syria as an independent, non-sectarian state, and both are inextricably linked.

Author and journalist Mark Curtis charts in detail the contours of this history in his book ‘Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam’:

British governments, both Labour and Conservative, have, in pursuing the so-called ‘national interest’ abroad, colluded for decades with radical Islamic forces, including terrorist organizations. They have connived with them, worked alongside them and sometimes trained and financed them, in order to promote specific foreign policy objectives. Governments have done so in often desperate attempts to maintain Britain’s global power in the face of increasing weakness in key regions of the world, being unable to unilaterally impose their will and lacking other local allies. Thus the story is intimately related to that of Britain’s imperial decline and the attempt to maintain influence in the world.

As far back as the First World War, when the Middle East began to assume strategic importance in the capitals of Western imperial and colonial powers, the British ruling class went out of its way to identify and recruit loyal local proxies in pursuit of its regional objectives. Britain’s relationship with the Arab tribal chief, Ibn Saud, who would go on to establish Saudi Arabia in the early 1930s, began in 1915 with the Darin Pact, demarcating the territory then controlled by Saud as a British protectorate.

The following year, the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans erupted. Begun and inspired by Saud’s fierce rival, Sharif Hussein, head of the Hashemite Arab tribe, the revolt was heavily bankrolled and supported by the British – a period immortalized in the exploits of British military agent T E Lawrence, known to the world as Lawrence of Arabia.

But whereas Sharif Hussein was a follower of orthodox Sunni Islam, Ibn Saud adhered to the radical doctrine of Wahhabism, which Winston Churchill was moved to describe as “bloodthirsty” and “intolerant.” Regardless, when it came to its imperial interests there was no tiger upon whose back the British ruling class was not willing to ride during this period, and which, as events have proved, it has not been willing to ride since.

The most egregious example of this policy, one that continues to have ramifications today, was the support provided by the UK to the Afghan mujahideen in the late 1970s and 1980s. The insurgency’s objective was the overthrow of Kabul’s secular and left-leaning government, whose crime in the eyes of the Islamist insurgency’s US and UK sponsors was that it had embraced the social and economic model of Moscow rather than Washington during the first Cold War. 

British support for the mujahideen, married to the huge support provided by Washington, was indispensable in the eventual success of these self-styled ‘holy warriors’ in taking control of a country that had embraced modernity and turning it into a failed state mired in religious oppression, brutality, backwardness and poverty.

Mark Curtis again:

Britain, along with the US, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, covertly supported the resistance to defeat the Soviet occupation of the country. Military, financial and diplomatic backing was given to Islamist forces which, while forcing a Soviet withdrawal, soon organized themselves into terrorist networks ready to strike Western targets.

While Washington’s primary role in channeling military and financial support to the Afghan mujahideen, known as Operation Cyclone, may until have succeeded in overshadowing London’s role in this dirty war, declassified British government cabinet papers which were made public in 2010 and reported in the UK media make grim reading.

They reveal that three weeks after Soviet forces arrived in Afghanistan at the request of the Afghan government in Kabul, struggling to deal with an insurgency that had broken out in the countryside, the Thatcher government was planning to supply military aid to the “Islamic resistance.” A confidential government memo provides a chilling insight into the insanity that passed for official policy: “We trust the Western leaders are prepared for the enormous beneficial possibilities that could just possibly open up if the Afghan rebellion were to succeed.

It will be recalled that out of the ensuing collapse of Afghanistan emerged the Taliban, under whose rule the country was turned into a vast militant jihadist school and training camp. Many of the most notorious Islamist terrorists began their careers there, fighting the Soviets and then later broadening out their activities to other parts of the region and wider world. In this regard, Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda loom large.

Other notorious names from the world of Salafi-jihadism for whom Afghanistan proved indispensable include the Jordanian Abu al-Zarqawi, who founded Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) during the US-UK occupation, an organization that would over time morph into ISIS.

Abdelhakim Belhaj and other Libyan Islamists cut their jihadist teeth in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Returning to Libya, they formed the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) in the eastern city of Benghazi. Though the group may have been disbanded in 2010, having failed to topple Gaddafi despite repeated attempts to assassinate the Libyan leader with, it’s been claimed, the support of Britain’s MI6, former members of the LIFG, including Belhaj, were important actors in the 2011 Libyan uprising.

By way of a reminder, the uprising in Libya started in Benghazi and would not have succeeded without the air support it received from NATO. Britain’s then prime minister, David Cameron, was key in pushing for that air support and the sanction of the UN under the auspices of Security Council Resolution 1973. Though protecting civilians was central in wording of this UNSC resolution, it was shamefully distorted to justify regime change, culminating in Gaddafi’s murder by the ‘rebels.’

Staying with the LIFG, in the wake of the Manchester suicide-bomb attack in May 2017, which left 23 people dead and 500 injured, the fact that the bomber, a young Libyan by the name of Salman Abedi, was the son of a former member of the LIFG, did not receive anything like the media attention it should have at the time.

Manchester, England is home to the largest Libyan community in Britain, and there is strong evidence to suggest that when the Libyan uprising broke out MI6 facilitated the ability of Libyan Islamists in Britain to travel to Libya to participate in the fighting. Among them was Salman Abedi, who it is thought received military training in the country before being allowed to return to the UK thereafter.

This brings us on to Syria and, as with Libya, the question of how so many British Muslims have been able to travel from the UK to Syria via Turkey to take part in the anti-Assad insurgency since 2011? It also brings into sharp focus a policy that has veered between the ludicrous and the reckless.

Emblematic of the former was ex-prime minister David Cameron’s claim, which he made during a 2015 Commons debate over whether the Royal Air Force should engage in air strikes against ISIS in Syria, that fighting as part of the Syrian were 70,000 moderates.

As for the recklessness of Britain’s actions in Syria, look no further than the country’s recent participation in the illegal missile strikes that were carried out in conjunction with the US and France, justified on the basis of as yet unproven allegations that Syrian government forces had carried out a chemical weapons attack on Douma, just outside Damascus. The only beneficiaries of such actions by the Western powers are Salafi-jihadist groups such as ISIS (whom it was later reported took advantage of the missile strike to mount a short-lived offensive), Al-Nusra and Jaysh al-Islam.

The latter of those groups, Jaysh al-Islam, is a Saudi proxy. It was the dominant group in Douma and throughout Eastern Ghouta until the district’s liberation by the Syrian Army and its allies with Russian support.

Given the deep and longstanding ties between London and Riyadh; given the fact, reported towards the end of 2017, that British military personnel were embedded in a training role with Saudi forces in Yemen; given the news that a British special forces sergeant was killed in northern Syria at the end of March this year while embedded with the Kurds, revealing for the first time that British troops were operating in the country on the ground – given all that, the question of who else British special forces and military personnel may be embedded with in Syria is legitimate.

In the context of the British state’s long and sordid history when it comes to riding the back of radical Islam in pursuit of its strategic objectives, readers will doubtless draw their own conclusions.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

As Israel becomes a political liability it is time to challenge its enablers – By Nada Elia (MONDOWEISS)

US Politics

on 28 Comments

 
 
 

The Great Return March has already made a difference.  As thirty thousand non-violent marchers are all indiscriminately viewed as “legitimate targets” for asserting their inalienable human rights, the image of Israel as a liberal democracy, an image already severely tarnished by its brazen embrace of apartheid over the past few years, is now receiving additional blows that will be hard to recover from.  US politicians are finally noticing, and expressing criticism of the country that was once untouchable. As Philip Weiss notes:  “As protests at the Gaza border get underway this morning, several liberal Democratic politicians have finally objected to Israel’s shooting of unarmed Palestinians at the Gaza fence.” Weiss goes on to point out that the criticism of Israel is nevertheless tempered by the call on Palestinians  “to exercise their rights nonviolently,” and describes Senator Elizabeth Warren’s criticism as “tepid.”

My own take about US politicians’ response to these attacks is quite different.  Up to the latest attacks, on the weekly Great Return Marches by Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, American politicians have come out in droves to assert that offensive formula, “Israel has the right to defend itself.”  It is offensive because Israel is not defending itself, it is defending an illegal occupation, which violates the human rights of a civilian people it is obligated, according to international law, to be protecting. It is also offensive because we have never, not once, heard an equivalent “Palestinians have the right to defend themselves,” even when they are the ones coming under attack.  

Much more revealing than the few comments by congresspeople who criticized Israel,  Mark Pocan (WI), Pramila Jayapal (WA), Keith Ellison (MN), Barbara Lee (CA), and Henry C. “Hank” Johnson Jr. (GA), is that, this time around, not a single Democrat has actually come out to shield Israel.  Not one has stated that “Israel is our friend and strongest ally,” not one has spoken of “joint values.”  As Jonathan Ofir noted, Israel’s genocidal comments are isolating it.  

From the Balfour Declaration to today’s Great Return March, the past hundred years of Palestinian history have been one painful trajectory of racist settler-colonial injustice imposed upon the indigenous people, followed by uprisings, which in turn are violently suppressed, until the people can take no more, and rise up again, demanding justice.  The revolts, the 1936-39 uprising against Mandate Britain, (sometimes known as “the first intifada”) and more recently, the 1987 and 2000 intifadas, have taken on many forms, from armed insurrection to completely peaceful protests. They have invariably been met with extreme violence on the part of the oppressor, whether England, which first imposed martial law and crafted many of the measures Israel still employs in its discrimination against the Palestinians, to the full blown massacres Israel now routinely engages in, as it finally strips off the mask of “democracy:” to declare that every Palestinian refugee is a legitimate target.  

This is the turning point we have been looking for, when Israel is finally viewed by its hitherto enablers as a liability, not an asset.  At a time when the US is deeply divided between white supremacy and the impulse to resist fascism, the toxic collision between Trump and Netanyahu, and on the popular level between white nationalism and Zionism, is forcing US politicians to distance themselves from an Israel that is ever more open about its true nature as a racist, genocidal state.  Now, then, is the time to break the Zionist hold on our “representatives,” and make it very clear to them that they do not have our support while they profess “joint values” with Israel.

And this is already happening, as outraged citizens are indeed confronting our politicians. It started a couple of years ago,  at town halls across the nation.  We must increase the pressure.  We could ask Bernie Sanders, for example, who rehashed the cliché of “disproportionate response,” as he explained that Israel “over reacted” to the marches, what, exactly, he would view as  an appropriate “response” to unarmed civilians asserting their inalienable human rights. Should Israel have killed five, instead of seventeen protesters? Maybe only three? Would killing three unarmed protesters be “proportionate?”

If we don’t seize the moment of outrage, now, as Israel shows its bare face of criminality, we might as well abandon the struggle.  But if we want change, rather than a scream of pain, we must direct our activism towards those who enable the oppressor. It is past time we stopped discussing such irrelevant matters as whether Palestinian resistance is fully non-violent.  It is resistance, by a dispossessed, disenfranchised, oppressed people, against a nuclear power that does not recognize the humanity of the Palestinians whose most basic rights it has been violating for seventy years.

And it was certainly never appropriate to worry about how Israel will be impacted by the Right of Return. Worrying about the impact of the Right of Return on Israel is like university administrators who prioritize the impact of a rape conviction on the rapist. “Oh but it would destroy his career as an athlete!” The Right of Return is non-negotiable. A country that violates it is the criminal party. Palestinians returning to the town and villages they fled during Al Nakba will change the demographics in Israel, but it would be justice at long last.  Those demographics, allowing Israel to claim it is a “Jewish democracy,” are themselves the result of violence, and can only be maintained through violence.  Besides, qualifying “democracy” voids that very term. Would we ever accept, rather than ridicule and criticize, a country that claims to be a “male democracy,” or a “Muslim democracy?”  And Ahed Tamimi’s slapping of the Israeli occupation soldier is no more “violent” than a woman scratching her rapist. We have prioritized the oppressor for way too long.

In a little under a month, Palestinians will be commemorating the 70th anniversary of Al Nakba.  We can be part of the solution, by confronting Israel’s enablers here in the US.  Or we can let our outrage join history’s heap pile of missed opportunities. And forget about the ideals of freedom, self-determination, justice.  They can be buried in the rubble in Gaza.

Let us do our part.  

About Nada Elia

Nada Elia is a Palestinian scholar-activist, writer, and grassroots organizer, currently completing a book on Palestinian Diaspora activism.

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F.UK.US Airstrikes in Syria an ‘Own Goal’ for US – Joe Quinn on PressTV – By SOTT

damascus missile defence airstrikes

Sott.net senior editor Joe Quinn spoke with PressTV in the immediate aftermath of the F.UK.US. airstrikes against Syria late last week.

Describing Israel as the “quiet elephant in the room,” Quinn noted that despite US influence over events in Syria being largely trumped by Russia in recent years, the tripartite alliance of France, the UK and US are continuing military operations at the behest of Israel, which is hysterical about encroaching Iranian influence across the Middle East, and what that entails for Israeli regional hegemony.

But it’s a losing game, he stressed. All four countries – along with their regional allies – are losing their historical positions in the Middle East, and are desperately trying to do something to stop that from happening. At the same time, however, they are apparently not so desperate that they will risk a ‘hot war’ with Russia.

In the process of ‘projecting their strength’, they have exposed how weak they have become militarily, but their avalanche of lies in the media about how ‘successful’ the event was for them indicates that they remain dominant in the information war.

Partial transcript

“I really don’t understand what they’re trying to achieve. It seems that the Americans are clear in their minds that they don’t want to go to war with Russia. They were careful in their attack not to target any Russian installations or personnel. So they’re not going to push it to the edge of all-out nuclear war between Russia and the US.

What they think they can achieve with such attacks is beyond me really, beyond expending some effort to bolster their reputation, to show that they’re still a force to be reckoned with. And yet we can all see that this wasn’t a show of force – it was really a show of weakness. I don’t really see it going anywhere.

They’re just putting off the inevitable; they’re going to be pushed out of the Middle East, they’re not going to be able to dominate the region as they have throughout the course of the 20th century. And the rest of us will just have to suffer through it while America and its allies kick and scream. Eventually, though, the new reality will assert itself.

We have learned that American military prowess isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, assuming the Russian version of events is closer to reality – that some 70% of the US ‘shiny, new, smart’ missiles were successfully intercepted by Syria’s ‘Cold war era’ missile defense systems.

This was an own goal for the US. But of course we have to wade through the Western media’s spin about how great the US military is. It’s a media battle, an information war, and everybody who has the ability should be engaged in that and trying to find the most accurate interpretation of events.

A persistent campaign to counter with the truth – via alternative media, PressTV, Russian channels – we really need to keep on this to try and inform the Western population what the truth of the situation is because that’s the best chance we have of pushing back against this Western belligerence and desire to intimidate and bomb the rest of the world when they don’t get their way.”

See Also:

A Look Inside The White Helmets Headquarters in Aleppo – By D. Rodriguez (Sott.net)

White helmets al-qaeda

Join Bolivian actress Carla Ortiz takes a tour of the headquarters of the propaganda group White Helmets, the group that has been behind the staging of chemical attacks in Syria. Despite claiming to be a humanitarian group, as you can see in this walk through, they clearly have close ties with terrorist groups such as ISIS, Al Nusra and other so-called ‘rebel’ groups and were essentially supporting them in Syria. Although most of the evidence was burned, on site are items such as gas masks, ambulances and medical supplies furnished by NATO member countries.


The details of the most recent attack in Syria came from White helmets videos and reports, all of which were unverified by any official body and which the mainstream news and leaders of France, UK, US nevertheless used as the basis for their missile attack on Syria on April 13, 2018.

For more on the White Helmets:

Avatar

D. Rodriguez (Profile)

Curious by nature, Rodriguez is an avid reader of alt-news and began contributing to SOTT in 2014. An automation and controls engineer, Rodriguez can usually be found in his workshop fixing or building something. His interests span from astrology to zoology, but mostly he has a thing for graphic design and woodworking.

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After 70 Years of Repression, Gazans’ Great Return March is Modern Exodus – By Miko Peled (Mint Press)

Palestinians attend a demonstration near the Gaza Strip border with Israel in eastern Gaza City, Friday, March 30, 2018. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

As Israel celebrates seven decades and prides itself on being the only democracy in the Middle East, the reality in Gaza undercuts that self-image and instead testifies that Israel is a state that is both racist and violent.

GAZA — (Analysis) As the U.S., U.K. and France bomb Syria, claiming to support its people but in reality adding misery to a country that has had more than its fair share of violence, the humanitarian disaster in Gaza is almost completely ignored by the international community. This is because the perpetrator of this seven-decade-long disaster is Apartheid Israel.  

For three consecutive weeks, Palestinians have been gathering along the fence that separates  the Gaza Strip from the rest of Palestine, as part of the ongoing “Great March of Return” protests. Israeli snipers and soldiers have killed at least 34 and injured at least 1500 Palestinians since March 30, when the wave of protests against Israel’s occupation began.

The Great Return March is a courageous declaration by the people of Gaza that they intend to return to their homes and their land. Equally important, they remind a world that has tried to forget them that they are here — and that they demand what is rightfully theirs from a colonial power that is funded and armed by Western democracies hypocritically decrying humanitarianism in countries they seek to overthrow. Though Palestinians do this at a great cost, they will not be intimidated or held back by the racism, the violence and the lies that are perpetrated by Israel and the mainstream media.

While the murder of unarmed protesters by occupying forces is disturbing, recent events in Gaza are just the latest attack against the nearly 2 million Palestinians living in the Strip. The decades-long blockade imposed by Israel has turned Gaza into the world’s largest ghetto and open-air prison, creating one of the most dire humanitarian crises in the world.


Read more by Miko Peled


The Gaza Strip is a stretch of land that extends along the southern 25 miles of the coast of Palestine, starting in the north, south of Askelan, and ending in the south by the city of Rafah, bordering the Sinai Peninsula. All told, the Gaza Strip encompases about 140 square miles.

To further understand the plight of the Palestinians of Gaza, it’s important to recognize the horrific history of its creation by the state of Israel. Although it has no obvious natural boundaries, the Gaza Strip was set aside and designated to imprison refugees who were forced to leave their homes and their land in the southern part of Palestine.

 

Establishment and history of Gaza

The boundaries of the Gaza Strip were finalized in the Rhodes agreement of 1949, a cease-fire pact between the newly established state of Israel, which had taken over Palestine, and its Arab neighbors. Although the Gaza Strip is part of Palestine according to the agreement, it was decided that it would be administered by Egypt. There is yet to be any research as to why the Egyptians agreed to this arrangement, as they had never sought control over any part of Palestine, and they did not occupy or annex the Gaza Strip.

Between November 1956 and April of 1957 Israel had occupied the Gaza Strip. This was a result of the Sinai Campaign, a war in which Israel, the U.K. and France advanced against Egypt and which ended with Israel occupying the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip for about six months. The whole thing ended rather quickly and the land occupied by Israel, including the Gaza Strip was returned to Egyptian control. In 1967, during the war that Israel initiated in June of that year, the Israeli military decided to take the Gaza Strip again, and Israel has kept it and controlled it since. And yet, even though Israel has occupied and controlled the Gaza Strip since 1967, even though its military enters the area at will and all life there is controlled by the Israeli government, it still claims that the boundary that separates the people of Gaza from the rest of occupied Palestine is an international border. Furthermore Israel claims that any crossing of that border that is not authorized by the State of Israel is considered a violation of Israeli sovereignty.

Displaced refugees in 12 camps in the Gaza area. June 2, 1949. (AP Photo)

The first Israeli incursions into the Gaza Strip took place shortly after it was created and handed over to Egypt. These incursions were declared by Israel to be punitive measures designed to end what Israel called “infiltration” by Palestinians from the Gaza Strip. Attempts by Palestinian refugees to re-enter their lands, and the occasional acts of armed resistance by Fedayeen from Gaza, were exploited by then-Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and his Army Chief of Staff Moshe Dayan as an excuse to initiate attacks against Palestinian refugees and eventually to mount the Sinai Campaign that resulted in the occupation of the Gaza Strip.

It was during the first half of the 1950’s that Ariel Sharon, who 50 years later became Israel’s prime minister — gained his reputation as a butcher of Palestinians. The so-called commando unit he commanded, Unit 101, was charged with the responsibility to exact severe punishment through violent raids that left civilians dead. According to an article by Palestinian scholar Nur Masalha, thousands of Palestinians were killed between 1949 and 1956, mostly as a result of their attempted “infiltration” back to their own land.

 

Exodus: The Gaza prison and the Great Return March

The Gaza Strip and the fences and walls that enclose it were created to ensure that the refugees within it cannot leave and will not be able return to their homes and their land. Now, however, with the Great Return March, the people of Gaza declared their intent to march back to their homes and their land. And, perhaps equally important, they remind a world that has tried to forget them that they are here and demand what is rightfully theirs.  

It was because of massacres and mass expulsions like the ones that took place in Yafa, Ramle and Lydd, and in towns and villages all over Palestine, that the Zionist forces were able to empty Palestine of so many of its indigenous people. Those who somehow survived what could only be described as ethnic cleansing and genocide were driven to camps within the Gaza Strip and elsewhere, locked up, forgotten by the world, and left to die or to live on United Nations rations.

“They are all paid by Hamas, they are all connected to Hamas,” Israel’s Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman stated in an interview, referring to the countless thousands of Palestinians participating in the Great Return March. One might think that, if it weren’t for Hamas, Palestinians would not know that they are refugees and that their homes are just beyond the walls that imprison them. During the same infamous radio interview, Lieberman also claimed that there are no innocent people in Gaza, which means that he views the over one million children living in the Gaza Strip as guilty of crimes and deserving punishment.

A woman washes clothes as she sits in front of the rubble of her family house in Khuzaa, southern of Gaza Strip.

Even before the minister of defense made this statement, Israel had come up with a public-relations formula that expressed that very same idea and allowed it to justify its regular, methodical killing of Palestinians. This formula is simple, so simple in fact that it is hard to believe it works: the Israeli military drops tons of bombs from the air, tanks and artillery fire mortars into homes, or infantry soldiers shoot civilians, and then the state of Israel claims that the targets were “terrorists.”

Even though Palestinians have never had as much as a tank, not to say a war plane or a regular military force, they are blamed for their own deaths at the hands of Israel. Neither Hamas nor any other Palestinian organization has been the problem. Palestinian resistance organizations are the response to the problem. Palestinian resistance organizations were established to resist Israeli occupation, oppression, genocide, ethnic cleansing and racist laws, of which Palestinians are victims. Defense Minister Lieberman, relatively a newcomer to the country who still has a heavy Moldovan/Russian accent, tells Palestinians they may not return or even protest.

As Israel celebrates seven decades and prides itself on being the only democracy in the Middle East, the reality in Gaza undercuts that self-image and instead testifies that Israel is a state that is both racist and violent. One claim that Lieberman made in his interview was true: with few exceptions, among Israelis there is wall-to-wall support of the army’s actions. One wonders how long it will take before the rest of the world wakes up and takes action to end the racism and violence to which Israelis subjects Palestinians and before the world acts so that the people of Gaza may be free to go home.

Top Photo | Palestinians attend a demonstration near the Gaza Strip border with Israel in eastern Gaza City, Friday, March 30, 2018. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

Miko Peled is an author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. He is the author of “The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”

After visiting Douma, western media begin to question ‘gas attack’ narrative – By RT

After visiting Douma, western media begin to question ‘gas attack’ narrative
After speaking with eyewitnesses on the ground in Syria, even mainstream media are beginning to cast doubt on the West’s narrative of an alleged gas attack in Douma, as medics tell French, German and UK media it never happened.

Agence France-Presse (AFP), the world’s third largest news agency, and the Independent, a British online newspaper, have each published stories that question whether chlorine or any other chemical was used against Syrians in Eastern Ghouta on April 7.

In a French language video report, AFP spoke with Marwan Jaber, a medical student who witnessed the aftermath of the alleged attack.

“Some of [the victims] suffered from asthma and pulmonary inflammation. They received routine treatment and some were even sent home,” Jaber told AFP. “They showed no symptoms of a chemical attack. But some foreigners entered while we were in a state of chaos and sprinkled people with water, and some of them were even filming it.”

Jaber’s testimony is consistent with claims made by a Douma doctor who spoke with veteran UK journalist Robert Fisk. Although Dr. Assim Rahaibani did not personally witness what happened in the medical clinic, he said that “all the doctors” he works with “know what happened.”

According to Rahaibani, intense shelling had created dust clouds that seeped into the basements and cellars where people lived. “People began to arrive here suffering from hypoxia, oxygen loss. Then someone at the door, a ‘White Helmet’, shouted ‘Gas!’, and a panic began. People started throwing water over each other. Yes, the video was filmed here, it is genuine, but what you see are people suffering from hypoxia – not gas poisoning.”

Writing in the Independent, Fisk noted that locals he spoke with “never believed in” the gas attack stories – and that tales of President Bashar Assad’s chemical atrocities had been spread by armed Islamist groups who had imprisoned and enslaved thousands of people in Ghouta before the town was liberated by Syrian forces in April.

Meanwhile, a report aired by the German RTL Group-owned channel n-tv says it’s unclear whether the attack took place at all, given that most of the locals told them on camera they didn’t smell any chemicals at all, one local told them he remembers a “weird smell” and was fine after a glass of water, and one man, who didn’t want to show his face, insisted there was a “smell of chlorine.”

However, a local doctor told the channel: “Saturday, a week ago, we treated people with breathing problems, but chlorine or gas poisoning – no, those are different symptoms.”

All of these stories published by different outlets corroborate testimony from two men who appeared in the “gas attack” footage spread far and wide by western media and governments. Interviewed by the Russian military, the two men said they were unknowing accomplices in the gas attack ruse. “We were working and did not pay attention to who was filming us,” the first eyewitness said. “They were filming us, and then a man came in and started screaming that this was a chemical attack…People got scared and started spraying each other with water and using inhalers. Doctors told us that there was no chemical poisoning.”

Doctors and medical workers questioned by the Russian Center for Reconciliation confirmed that there had been no reports of patients suffering from chemical poisoning in Douma during the timeframe of the alleged gas attack.

The French and British media reports seem to contradict statements made by Paris and London, which have both stated unequivocally that the chemical attack did take place – and that Assad was responsible.

READ MORE: UK airstrikes in Syria based on ‘hearsay’ – Labour MP Chris Williamson (VIDEO)

French President Emmanuel Macron said before Saturday’s missile strike against Syria that he had proof that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had used chlorine to attack civilians in a militant-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta.

For her part, British Prime Minister Theresa May insisted that a “significant body of information including intelligence indicates the Syrian Regime is responsible for this latest attack.”

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Russian Military Finds Chemical Weapons Warehouse in Syrian Douma – Reports – By Sputnik

Russian Army in pictures

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russian troops found a warehouse of substances necessary for the production of chemical weapons in Syrian Douma, media reported Tuesday, citing chemical defense specialist Alexander Rodionov.

“The discovered substances, such as thiodiglycol and diethanolamine, are necessary for the production of sulfur and nitrogen mustard gas. In addition, a cylinder with chlorine, similar to that used by militants for setting up the wide-spread fake story, was found in the warehouse. It can be concluded that this laboratory was used by illegal armed groups for the production of poisonous substances,” Rodionov said, as quoted by the Zvezda TV channel.

The tensions in Syria have increased sharply in the recent weeks after several media outlets, citing Syrian militants, blamed Damascus for using chemical weapons in the city of Duma in the Damascus suburb on April 7. The Syrian Foreign Ministry denied the claims, saying that the use of chemical weapons in Eastern Ghouta may have been planned by terrorist groups.

On Saturday, the United States, the United Kingdom and France launched 103 missiles on multiple targets in Syria before the results of the investigation of the case by the experts of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The attack has already been slammed by a number of countries, including Russia and Iran.READ MORE: Syrian Army Set to Enter City in Damascus Province as Militants Agree to Leave

Meanwhile, the OPCW fact-finding mission was deployed to Syria to probe the allegations of a chemical attack last week. However, on Monday, OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu said that the mission had not reached Douma yet as Syrian and Russian officials informed it that there were still pending security issues.

Interview of the Foreign Minister of Russia with BBC – By The Saker

Interview of the Foreign Minister of Russia with BBC

http://www.mid.ru/ru/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/3172318

 

 

S-400 and Terminator: WATCH Russian Air Defense Forces in All Their Glory – By Sputnik

The S-400 Triumf anti-air missile system

© Sputnik / Alexey Malgavko
Military & Intelligence

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The foundation day of the Russian Air Defense Forces takes place on the second Sunday of April each year. The establishment of the air defense troops in Russia dates back to 1914, when its first units defended the then-capital Saint Petersburg.

The Russian Ministry of Defense published a video on its official YouTube channel depicting all the might of its air defense forces, marking the 104th anniversary since its establishment. The video shows modern Russian air defense systems such as the S-300 (NATO designation SA-10 Grumble), S-400 “Triumf” (SA-21 Growler) and Pantsir-S1 (SA-22 Greyhound), as well as its service members in action, performing launch drills.

READ MORE: Russian Military to Get Several New S-400 Air Defense System Regiments

Radio-technical troops shown in the video are equipped with hardware such as the “Nebo-M,” “Podlet-K1,” which can detect aircraft 600 km away and at an altitude of 100 km. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, every day some 2,000 personnel monitor the country’s airspace, detecting and following the movement of up to 1,000 aircraft per day. They undergo regular training with simulated targets, imitating the use of the foremost techniques and armaments in need of being detected and intercepted.

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