Saddam's Death, 80 (november 2016)
attempt to destroy political holism in the middle east

See also: Page 79: oct-2016 and Page 81, nov 2016 - part 2
Israel & The Temple Revolution & Unesco & the Temple
Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was born April 28, 1937 and died December 30, 2006. He was the fifth President of Iraq, holding that position from July 16, 1979 until 9 April 2003. He was one of the leading members of the revolutionary Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, and afterward, the Baghdad-based Ba’ath Party and its regional organization Ba’ath Party, Iraq Region, which advocated ba’athism, an ideological marriage of Arab nationalism with Arab socialism. (Patricia Ramos, july 2013)

"The national security of America and the security of the world could be attained if the American leaders [..] become rational, if America disengages itself from its evil alliance with Zionism, which has been scheming to exploit the world and plunge it in blood and darkness, by using America and some Western countries.
What the American peoples need mostly is someone who tells them the truth, courageously and honestly as it is.
They don’t need fanfares and cheerleaders, if they want to take a lesson from the (sept. 11) event so as to reach a real awakening, in spite of the enormity of the event that hit America.
But the world, including the rulers of America, should say all this to the American peoples, so as to have the courage to tell the truth and act according to what is right and not what to is wrong and unjust, to undertake their responsibilities in fairness and justice, and by recourse to reason..."

Saddam Hussein, INA 15-9-2002

"The despot thinks he is just as God... What a nadir and mean fate!
The despot, as represented in this age, in our day, imagines he can enslave the people..
But they were born free. They were freed by God’s will through prophets and messengers, to be slaves only to Him and not to anyone of the people." Saddam Hussein, Iraq Daily 4-3-2003

A person with a God Complex may refuse to admit the possibility of their error or failure, even in the face of irrefutable evidence, intractable problems or difficult or impossible tasks.
The person is also highly dogmatic in their views, meaning the person speaks of their personal opinions as though they are unquestionably correct.
Someone with a god complex may exhibit no regard for the conventions and demands of society, and may request special consideration or privileges.

A Great YES To Life

I look into a mirror to remain afloat,
and talk an endless soliloquy
This entire torrent of words is a great yes to life,
A yes indifferent to good and evil,
A self-regarding, prudent, avid,
generous, stupid, cosmos yes,
A yes of acceptance
That in its monotonous flow fuses and confuses
past, present and future
What I was, remain and will become,
everything and everyone together
In a great exclamation
Like a sea surge that rises, falls and jumbles
All things together in a whole, that has no beginning or end.

Niran Abbas, (Ba'ath controlled) Iraq Daily, 18-10-2002

Read also: The Curse Of The Law






"...To be a human being among human beings, and remain one forever, no matter what misfortunes befall, not to become depressed, and not to falter - this is what life is, herein lies its task." Fyodor Dostoevsky (to his brother Mikhail, Dec. 22, 1849)

“All mankind is from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action.
Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly.
“Do not therefore do injustice to yourselves. Remember one day you will meet Allah and answer your deeds. So beware, do not astray from the path of righteousness after I am gone." Prophet Muhammad, Last Sermon

"The West creates enemies; in the past it was the communism then it became Islam, and then it became Saddam Hussein for a different reason. Now, they want to create a new enemy represented by Bashar. That's why they say that the problem is the president so he has to leave. That is why we have to focus of the real problem, not to waste our time listening to what they say." (Bashar al-Assad, 9-11-2012)

The policy should be to help peace in the region, to fight terrorism, to promote secularism, to support this area economically, to help upgrade the mind and society like you did in your country. That is the supposed mission of the United States, not to launch wars. Launching war doesn’t make you a great power." (Bashar Al-Assad, 26-1-2015)

“Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.
If you have no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you can not retain.”

Saadi Shirazi
(Persian poet & humanist, born in Shiraz, Iran, c. 1210)


Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini: "I do not say anything for certain"

Those who do not possess enough knowledge of Islam and the young men who are not fully conversant with the Islamic problems, have no right to meddle in the exposition of the Qur'an. But if they still try to misinterpret it for some ulterior motive of theirs, our youth should ignore their interpretation and pay no attention to it.
Islam does not allow anybody to interpret the Qur'an according to his personal opinion or private judgment.
Anybody who tries to impose his own opinion on the Qur'an is either a materialist misinterpreting the Qur'an or is one of those who give some spiritual meaning to the Qur'anic verses.
Both these groups interpret the Qur'an according to their own wishes. Therefore it is necessary to keep away from both of them. As far as the Qur'an is concerned our hands are tied. Nobody is allowed to attribute his opinion to the Qur'an and claim that the Qur'an says so....
The interpretation which I am going to give is only a possible interpretation. When I explain any verse of the Qur'an, I do not claim that the verse means only what I say. I do not say anything for certain. I am hinting a possibility only. (www.al-islam.org)

About political holism

Political holism is based on the recognition that "we" are all members of a single whole. There's no "they," even though "we" are not all alike. Because "we" are all part of the whole, and therefore interdependent, we benefit from cooperating with each other. Political holism is a way of thinking about human cultures and nations as interdependent.
Political holists search for solutions other than war to settle international disagreements. Their model of the world is one in which cooperation and negotiation, even with the enemy, even with the weak, promotes political stability more than warfare.
In an overpopulated world with planet-wide environmental problems, the development of weapons of mass destruction has rendered war obsolete as an effective means to resolve disputes.

Political dualists consider political holists unpatriotic for questioning the necessity to defeat "them." In times of impending war, political dualists tend to measure patriotism by the intensity of one's hostility to the country's immediate enemy.
Naturally, they would view as disloyalty any suggestion that the enemy is not evil, any call for cooperation with the enemy, any criticism of one's own country.
To political dualists, cooperation with the enemy means capitulation, relinquishment of the nation's position of dominance.

At its extreme, political dualism is essentially tribalism. (Betty Craige, 16-8-1997)

Shimon Peres in Hiroshima, 1997:
You must understand that you have to learn all the time.
If you are too strong, you will lose your eager to negotiate.

We need to compromise. It is like a relation between a wife and a husband. We have to face to our enemies and to negotiate with them.
If you are too strong, you will lose your eager to negotiate. This is the point.
We have to pay the price for understanding the enemies. We understand that.
History tells us that. If you kill more, you have to kill more to protect yourself. So, it pays off. It is reasonable to pay the price.
Educate people, build a science and technology based industry, develop an innovative society. These things are becoming more and more important in modern societies.
The continuation is the key thing. To defend your culture, arms are useless, though arms are useful to defend your border.
Universities become more important to educate young people. The world is changing so much.

We need to learn "how to learn." We have to teach our children how to learn to work together, to communicate, etc.
The new age has arrived already. We have to create a better world for our children.

Hiroshima Peace Forum 1997


Baghdad should focus on real problems
Kurds reject Iraqi alcohol ban
ARA News, October 23, 2016

Prophet Jesus, enemy of pharisaism, turned water into wine

A wedding took place at Cana in Galilee.When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” She said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Nearby stood six stone water jars. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”.. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. (John, 2)
Kurdish officials rejected on Sunday the decision by the Iraqi parliament to ban the sale, import, and production of alcohol..
The surprise move by Baghdad is expected to cause outrage among minority groups, but also to please influential religious parties.

“The [Kurdish] Region has its own parliament and will not implement this..” Falah Mustafa Bakir, Kurdistan Regional Goverment’s (KRG’s) Minister of Foreign Relations told ARA News. “They [Iraqi central government and parliament] should focus on more important matters than this issue...”
“It’s a matter of personal freedoms, whether people want to drink or not drink. If you ban it, people will want it more, but if it’s allowed, it will be normal,” said Xelil Hassan (50), a Kurd from Erbil.
“Banning alcohol [in Iraq] will put a lot of people out of work, aside from everyone going and spending their money in Lebanon instead. It’s not like it’s going to stop them from drinking. They’re just going to start making homemade alcohol which can’t be taxed and regulated and probably kill a bunch of people,” he said.

“A ban of alcohol in Iraq will be like the prohibition days in the US: they will just create a black market...”

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin,
and you have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness."
Matthew 23: Pharisaism Exposed

Human Rights & Islamic Identiy
Ahram Weekly, 20-10-2016

Reilgion is about defending divine values,
like freedom, equality and brotherhood...

"Then Jesus, defender of secularism, said to them, "Give back to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." And they were amazed at him. (Mark 12:17)
"You are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth your father, for you have one Father, who is in heaven." (Matthew 23:9)
Egypt’s oldest and largest university has decided to remove the religion identity field on all university certificates and documents related to students and staff. The decision will be applied in all faculties and institutions.
“Cairo University does not take random decisions. Rather, we act to amend illegal or unconstitutional situations. We received many complaints about the possibility of discrimination on the basis of religion,” head of Cairo University Gaber Nassar said.
Mohamed Fayek, head of the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR), praised Nassar’s decision.
“This decision, taken by Cairo University, underlines there should be no discrimination on the basis of religion, as is guaranteed by the constitution,” he said.
Article 53 of the constitution states: “Citizens are equal before the law, possess equal rights and public duties, and may not be discriminated against on the basis of religion, belief, sex, origin, race, colour, language, disability, social class, political or geographical affiliation or for any other reason.”

Salafi leaders were far less happy. “We ask God to guide Nassar on to the right path. Nassar is implementing a malicious agenda which seeks to undermine Egypt’s Islamic identity,” complained Yasser Borhami, vice president of Salafist Calling. (Info: Salafism = Pharisaism)


Spiritual Materialism Is Idolatry
Hatem Bazian, Daily Sabah, Turkey 26-10-2016

The Fox and the Lion

"In the supposed conflict between the secular West and the Muslim world, Sufism is presented as the ‘modern’, ‘light’ or ‘open’ version of Islam. Yet Sufism is pure Islam just like any other form of Islam.
There is no Sufism without Islam and there is no Islam without Sufism.
Today, however, people want to create a new sort of Sufism, which relates more to commercialized spirituality. But real Sufism is a sort of ‘self-education’. The human being is in between being an animal and a human being and in Sufism it is believed that the real reason of our creation is ‘to become human’. "Kudsi Erguner
The word "spiritual" is a term that postulates a new relationship between the human and God that is no longer regulated by existing "tradition" or normative religious discourses.
One has to assert that Islam emerges and is centered in the metaphysical first and foremost...
In classical and foundational Islamic thought, the metaphysical shapes and regulates the material world, and not the other way around.
This statement might appear controversial to some who are rooted in modernism and materialism, but it is set at the root of every Muslim scholar of repute spanning centuries. The confusion is the result of a modern crop overtaken by the outer glitter of the material modern world.
When the material becomes the measure of all things then mankind itself becomes but material, emptied of inner and metaphysical meanings... What makes the human a human if the only measure is the material!

In the pre-colonial period, the spiritual and temporal constituted a coherent whole, with each informing and reflecting the other inwardly and outwardly.... One's actions, work, family relations, political sphere, pastime and moments of rest were all a spiritual undertaking, governed by the metaphysical understanding of the universe.
Colonialism left the inward and the spiritual in a state of dislocation and disorientation, which consequently produced a vacuum and total loss of outward meaning.
To compensate for and in some cases to resist colonial intrusion, a particular mode of spiritual production arose that was vested in the material and temporal representation of an emptied inward state...
Countless Islamic groups, sects and modes of discourse are located in this spiritual materiality and reducing or totally eliminating the metaphysical imprint of the society.
The quest for many a Muslim group is to capture and hold on to power... They are pre-occupied with power and the material world to the extent that the metaphysical ultimate realities are reduced to and measured by the material rather than being subverted by it.
The attempt to develop spirituality based on constructing a relationship with the material and physical is nothing but a refined form of idolatry. Renewing Islam is meaningless if it is not founded upon a re-centering of the metaphysical and de-centering the material.

Hamas leaders present 'complete vision' for reconciliation
Ma'an News Agency, Oct. 30, 2016

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Leaders of the Hamas movement announced on Thursday that they had offered Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas a “complete vision” to achieving reconciliation between Hamas and the ruling Fatah movement.
Head of the movement’s politburo Khalid Mashaal, his deputy Ismail Haniyeh and President Abbas met in Qatar on Thursday, at the home of Qatar’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Muhammad Bin Abed al-Rahman al-Thani.
The Hamas movement released a statement following the meeting, saying the movement’s leadership “offered a complete vision for achieving reconciliation via certain techniques and steps to uphold previously signed agreements.”
The Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency reported that during the meeting in Qatar, President Abbas stressed national reconciliation “and removing all causes of division by forming a national unity government and holding elections.”
According to Wafa, the two parties agreed that achieving reconciliation was the key to “saving the Palestinian national project and facing the Israeli government’s plans of destroying the two-state solution.”

The relationship between Hamas and Fatah has been in a dire state after a government of national consensus was dissolved in June 2015, one year after it was first announced.
Officials from the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority have criticized Hamas for creating a shadow government in the Gaza Strip and blocking efforts to reach political unity. Hamas has in turn accused the PA of executing a plan to "eradicate" the movement from the West Bank...


Survivor's Story: Fleeing Rebel-Held Eastern Aleppo Through 'Death Corridor'
Sputniks News, 30-10-2016

Khaled Kadura, a small business owner, and his family were forced to flee eastern Aleppo, leaving everything they had behind, because Ahrar al-Sham rebels turned their life into a "tragedy," terrorizing those who could not fight back and spreading lies about Damascus, he told Sputnik.
This is his story.
For Khaled, who hired out furniture for weddings, and other Aleppo residents the war came as a surprise. No one could have said that their lives would change so dramatically in an instant, but this is exactly what happened on July 26, 2012.
"Everything was peaceful when we fell asleep on the fifth day of Ramadan in 2012. When we woke up, the rebels were there.
Initially they took control of the police station, killing law enforcement officers and imposed a curfew," he recalled. "Then they started terrorizing those who could not fight back."
The rebels showered locals with promises of a better life and threats of what Damascus and its forces would do to them, but those were empty words.
The militants turned schools and hospitals into command centers. As a result, Khaled's eight-year-old son and others children could no longer go to schools.
An Ahrar al-Sham mufti took over a local mosque. "He told us that those affiliated with the regime are infidels, that they will kill us and force us to shave our beards off," Khaled recalled.
Khaled described living in rebel-held areas of Aleppo, a city that was once the financial capital of the country, as "a true tragedy" comprised of shelling, destruction and permanent shortage of food, fuel and medical supplies.
Finally, Khaled decided to flee. "I was afraid to leave everything I owned behind and flee penniless, but I have diabetes and I could no longer find medicine. I decided to take my family with me..." he said.

Ahead was a perilous journey. On its way out of Bustan al-Qasr sometimes referred to as the "death corridor," the family had to avoid mines set up by the rebels and militant sniper fire.
As soon as the family reached safety, tragic news came from home. Having learned of Khaled's escape, Ahrar al-Sham fighters detained his friends and four brothers.
"They sentenced one of them, Hamza, to death. He was 27 years old. He had a wife and three children. The militants announced this through their media, but I don't know whether they've killed him or not," he said.
In addition, the militants seized Khaled's house and forced his daughter and her baby out. This fear mongering is clearly a message to others who contemplate leaving rebel-held areas of eastern Aleppo.
It turned out that what Ahrar al-Sham fighters told them about the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) was not true...


aleppo: sharia council 2013 - jihadists 2015 - 2016: Abdullah al-Muhaysini, leader of the al-Qaeda Syrian branch

Rebel assault kills dozens of civilians in Aleppo
Middle East Online, 30-10-2016

Rebels and allied jihadists launched a major offensive on Friday to break through government lines and reach the 250,000 people living in the city's east. Since then, they have unleashed a salvo of rockets, artillery shells, and car bombs around the western government-controlled districts.
"Rebel fighters have launched hundreds of rockets and shells onto the western districts from positions inside the city and on its western edges," said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Two days of such heavy rebel bombardment have killed 38 civilians, including 14 children, and wounded another 250. Fighting has also killed 30 regime and allied fighters, as well as 50 Syrian rebels, according to the Observatory.
About 1,500 rebels have massed on a 15-kilometre front along the western edges of Aleppo since Friday, scoring quick gains in the Dahiyet al-Assad district but struggling to push east since then. Fighting lasted all night and into Sunday, with air strikes and artillery fire along the western battlefronts heard even in the eastern districts, a correspondent there said.
A pro-government military source said that the rebel assault was "massive and coordinated" but insisted it was unable to break into any neighbourhoods besides Dahiyet al-Assad. "They're using Grad missiles and car bombs and are supported by foreign fighters in their ranks," he said.
Those waging the assault include Aleppo rebels and reinforcements from Idlib province to the west, among them the jihadist Fateh al-Sham Front, which changed its name from Al-Nusra Front after breaking ties with Al-Qaeda.

Last week, Russia implemented a three-day "humanitarian pause" intended to allow civilians and surrendering rebels to leave Aleppo's east, but few did so. Moscow says it will continue a halt on air strikes over Aleppo, in place since October 18.
The Russian military said Friday it had asked President Vladimir Putin for authorisation to resume the raids. But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin "considers it inappropriate at the current moment", adding that the president thought it necessary to "continue the humanitarian pause" in Aleppo.

UN Syria envoy: "People need and deserve a stable ceasefire"
Russia Today, 30 Oct, 2016

United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said he is “appalled and shocked by the high number of rockets indiscriminately launched by armed opposition groups” that killed scores of civilians in Aleppo over the last 48 hours, a statement released by de Mistura’s office says.
Scores of civilians, including several children, were killed while hundreds of others were wounded in “relentless and indiscriminate” attacks carried out by opposition groups in the western districts of Aleppo, according to the UN statement.
“Those who argue that this is meant to relieve the siege of eastern Aleppo should be reminded that nothing justifies the use of disproportionate, indiscriminate [attacks,] including heavy weapons on civilian areas and it could amount to war crimes,” de Mistura said.
“The civilians of both sides of Aleppo have suffered enough due to futile but lethal attempts of subduing the city of Aleppo,” he said. “They now need and deserve a stable ceasefire covering this ancient city of Syria.”

According to Dr. Said Sadek, professor of Political Sociology at the American University of Cairo, it’s not likely that Western powers and the Gulf states will end their backing for rebel groups, even if they are found responsible for using chemical weapons in Aleppo.
We have to understand that for six years, the Western countries and the Gulf states invested in those ‘moderate’ or radical groups, and so they cannot abandon them,” Sadek explained. “They cannot pull out now and say, ‘OK we discovered that we are wrong, let’s get out and leave them.’ They have invested in them and they will still use them for bargaining in the future of Syria.”


The 'good guy/bad guy' problem
By Robert Parry, 31-10-2016 "Information Clearing House"

A curious aspect of the Syrian conflict is the disappearance in much of the American mainstream news media of references to the prominent role played by Al Qaeda in seeking to overthrow the secular Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad.
There’s much said in the U.S. press about ISIS, the former “Al Qaeda in Iraq” which splintered off several years ago, but Al Qaeda’s central role in commanding Syria’s “moderate” rebels in Aleppo and elsewhere is the almost unspoken reality of the Syrian war. Even in the U.S. presidential debates, the arguing between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton has been almost exclusively about ISIS, not Al Qaeda.
Though Al Qaeda got the ball rolling on America’s revenge wars in the Middle East 15 years ago by killing several thousand Americans and others in the 9/11 attacks, the terrorist group has faded into the background of U.S. attention, most likely because it messes up the preferred “good guy/bad guy” narrative regarding the Syrian war...


On 24 September 2013, the Tawhid Brigade co-signed a statement with 11 other rebel groups which called for Sharia law
and, allying with al-Qaeda, rejected the authority of the Syrian National Coalition.

For instance, the conflict in Aleppo between Syrian government forces and rebels operating primarily under Al Qaeda’s command is treated in the Western media as simply a case of the barbaric Assad and his evil Russian ally Vladimir Putin mercilessly bombing what is portrayed as the east Aleppo equivalent of Disney World, a place where innocent children and their families peacefully congregate until they are targeted for death by the Assad-Putin war-crime family.
The photos sent out to the world by skillful rebel propagandists are almost always of wounded children being cared for by the “White Helmet” rebel civil defense corps, which has come under growing criticism for serving as a public-relations arm of Al Qaeda and other insurgents...
Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front and its jihadist ally, Ahrar al-Sham, faded into the background under the fiction that the anti-Assad forces were primarily noble “moderates” trying to save the children from the bloodthirsty fiends, Assad and Putin.

Flashback 2011: US media in praise of lynching
Russia Today, October 26, 2011

The mainstream US media has reacted to Muammar Gaddafi's brutal lynching with a tidal wave of cheers and approval...
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton led the triumphant celebrations of Gaddafi’s death with her immortal line, “We came, we saw, he died!” - words which are sure to be remembered far beyond America’s shores....
Although many Libyans would argue whether he was really so bad, considering what Gaddafi did for the country’s social welfare and women’s rights, in the eyes of the US media, he was the ultimate evil.
“It is a demonization, every step of the way, against Gaddafi. In the media today always one man, one leader of a country, becomes a justification for destroying an entire country,” acknowledged Sara Flounders, member of the Workers World Party.
For a few days, the media savored the bloody images of Gaddafi’s killing and laughed at similarities between his capture in a ditch and that of Saddam Hussein.

Just two days before the murder of Gaddafi, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton staged an unannounced visit to Tripoli on a heavily armed military aircraft. While there, she issued a demand that Gaddafi be brought in “dead or alive”.
“‘We hope he can be captured or killed soon so that you don’t have to fear him any longer’, Clinton told students and others at a town hall-style gathering in the capital city.” (Bill van Auken, 21-10-2011)

After breaking it, West belatedly trying to put back Libya together
Daily Sabbah, 31-10-2016


gaddafi-libya 2011 and nato-libya 2016

NATO intervention in 2011 has turned Libya into a failed state as the U.S. and Britain now try to find ways in London to solve the ongoing civil war and economic ruin.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson hosted yesterday a meeting in London in an attempt to break Libya's political stalemate and reform the security and order in the country. The session comes after a World Bank report disclosing that the Libyan economy is "near collapse."
The report suggested that a "substantial loss in real purchasing power of the population", with basic food prices leaping 31 percent in the first quarter of the year.
Libya may have Africa's largest oil reserves, estimated at 48 billion barrels, but production and exports have slumped dramatically through years of crisis as the NATO intervention has only brought political turmoil and armed conflict that have splintered the country for the last five years..
Libya pumped around 1.6 million barrels of crude a day during Gaddafi's rule, but the ensuing chaos hit production which fell as low as 290,000 in recent months, according to the National Oil Company (NOC).


gaddafi, left wing, social-liberal feminist, killed by ultra-right-wing anti-feminists (salafists-al-qaeda)


France and Britain led an international coalition in a series of airstrikes against Gadhafi in March 2011.
The oil-rich North African country descended into chaos after the Western intervention and parts of it have become a bastion for Daesh, giving the militants a new base even as its territory in Syria and Iraq shrinks under constant assault.
Libya has suffered from a chronic absence of security as various actors have emerged. There are three centers of power in the crisis- hit country; the internationally recognized (anti-Islamist) government in Tobruk, the Government of National Accord (GNA) and Tripoli-based (Islamist) General National Congress (GNC).
The GNA is the centerpiece of U.N. (NATO) efforts to end five years of chaos in Libya and it now faces an even tougher battle to assert its authority over the rival administration in the east.

Muammar Gaddafi: Earth is your mother

Truly, the earth is your mother; she gave birth to you from her insides. She is the one who nursed you and fed you.
Do not be disobedient to your mother -- and do not shear her hair, cut off her limbs, rip her flesh, or wound her body. You must only trim her nails, make her body clean of dirt or filth. Give her medicine to cure any disease. Do not place great weights above her breast, weights of mud or stone above her ribs.
Respect her, and remember that if you are too harsh with her, you will not find another. Sweep the accumulated iron, mud, and stone from her back. Relieve her of the burdens that others have placed on her unfairly. Revere the cradle in which you grew up, the lap in which you lay. Do not destroy your final resting-place, your place of refuge, or you are the losers and you shall truly regret it.. (The Green Book)

"The meaning of being a mother is virtually endless. A mother is a protector, disciplinarian and friend. A mother is a selfless, loving human who must sacrifice many of their wants and needs for the wants and needs of their children. A mother works hard to make sure their child is equipped with the knowledge, skills and abilities to make it as a competent human being.." (Susan Diranian)


Iranian President, FM Felicitate Election of Aoun
FARS News Agency, 1-11-2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif congratulated the Lebanese nation on the election of President Michel Aoun after a two-year stalemate, stressing the need for Tehran and Beirut to further strengthen relations.
President Rouhani in a telephone conversation with his Lebanese counterpart Michel Aoun on Monday evening congratulated him on his election as the new president, and hoped for the expansion of Tehran-Beirut relations during his tenure.
In the telephone talk, Rouhani described the election as manifestation of peace and triumph of democracy and all political streams in Lebanon.
The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that the election was held in the wake of a healthy and free competition and should not be regarded as victory of a special political wing, said the President, adding that it was a manifestation of peaceful coexistence of all tribes in Lebanon.
"You are now shouldering a very heavy responsibility at a very sensitive juncture, when the region is exposed to two threats, namely growth of Takfiri and terrorist groups and the expansionism of the occupier Zionist regime and we are confident that your election will make the Lebanese resistance more strengthened to confront those threats," Rouhani said.
Aoun, for his part, thanked the Iranian president, and said, "We are always looking forward to the expansion of relations with Iran."

Michel Aoun, the head of Lebanon's Free Patriotic Movement, was elected after four rounds of voting during the session.He secured the presidency by winning the support of 83 out of 127 MPs, well above the absolute majority of 65 needed to win.
The 81-year-old Christian leader has won the support of two of his greatest rivals: Samir Geagea, leader of the Christian Lebanese Forces, and ex-prime minister, Saad Hariri.
Observers view Aoun’s rise to power as a political victory for Hezbollah, which will greatly diminish the Saudi influence in Lebanon’s political arena.


Russia’s General Staff urges armed groups to halt Aleppo fighting
TASS News Agency, 2-11-2016

Russia’s General Staff is calling on armed groups to stop fighting in Syria’s Aleppo and withdraw from the city with their arms via two corridors, Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov said on Wednesday.
"Taking into account that our American colleagues are incapable of separating the opposition from terrorists, we appeal to all the leaders of armed groups directly to stop combat actions and leave Aleppo with their arms," Gerasimov said.
To this aim, two corridors will be opened and all government forces and equipment will be withdrawn from there. One corridor is opened for heading towards the Syrian-Turkish border, and the second one to Idlib, he said.
"The other six corridors will be aimed for the exit of civilians, evacuation of sick and wounded people," the general added. Russia’s center for reconciliation of opposing sides and the Syrian government forces will ensure the safe exit of armed units and civilians from Aleppo...
"According to Gerasimov, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered enacting a humanitarian pause in Syria’s Aleppo on November 4. "This decision has been coordinated with the Syrian leadership," he added.


Is ISIS’s Baghdadi Trapped in Mosul?
by Patrick Cockburn, 3-11-2016

The Iraqi Army has entered Mosul for the first time in over two years at the start of a battle which is likely to end in a decisive defeat for Isis.
The significance of the fight for Mosul will be all the greater for Isis because its self-declared caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is believed to be still inside the city, a senior Kurdish official told The Independent.
Fuad Hussein, chief of staff to Kurdish President Massoud Barzani, said in an exclusive interview that his government had information from multiple sources that “Baghdadi is there and, if he is killed, it will mean the collapse of the whole [Isis] system.”
Isis would have to choose a new caliph in the middle of a battle, but no successor would have the authority and prestige of Baghdadi, the leader who surprised the world by establishing the caliphate after capturing Mosul in June 2014...
The presence of Baghdadi in Mosul may complicate and prolong the battle for Mosul as his surviving adherents fight to the death to defend him. Mr Hussein said that “it is obvious that they will lose, but not how long this will take to happen.”
Iraqi Special Forces advanced into Mosul, which once had a population of two million, on Tuesday seizing the state television on the east bank of the Tigris River that divides the city in half.
Under an agreement reached before the offensive began on 17 October, Kurdish Peshmerga and Shia-militia paramilitaries known as the Hashd al-Shaabi, will not join the attack into Mosul, which is a largely Sunni Arab city.

The anti-Isis offensive is dependent on US-led air strikes and the presence of US special forces. “I assure you that the Iraqi Army and the Peshmerga do not move one millimetre forward without American permission and coordination,” said one Kurdish observer.
He did not think that the battle for Mosul would necessarily go on a long time. But it is increasingly difficult for the 3,000 to 5,000 Isis fighters in Mosul and the 1,500 to 2,500 on the outskirts to escape, even if they wanted to. The Iraqi Army and the Peshmerga encircle the city to the north, east and west and the Hashd are moving in from the west, cutting the last routes to Syria.
Eyewitnesses inside Mosul, where Isis is reported to have killed 40 Iraqi prisoners at the weekend and thrown their bodies into the Tigris, say there are few fighters to be seen in the streets. “There are mostly just teenagers with guns,” said one Mosul resident reached by telephone.
Part of the city is shrouded in smoke because of air strikes and artillery fire, but also because Isis fighters are lighting fires to produce a smokescreen which will make observation from the air more difficult.

Isis has never been popular in Mosul according to local residents who detest its extreme violence, religious bigotry and subjugation of women. But it found more support in Sunni Arab villages around the city and among the Sunni Turkman of the nearby city of Tal Afar, who have always been notorious for their religious extremism and hatred for Shia and Kurds.
The fighting is so far on the eastern side of Mosul.. If Isis has local support, it will be in the overwhelmingly Sunni Arab west of the city.


"Ready to join hands with Nusra, Daesh, or even the devil to get rid of Assad"
By Taylor Luck, CHRISTIAN SCIENCE Monitor, 2-11-2016

Jesus: "It's all about reconciliation"

"But I say to you that beveryone who is angry with his brother will be liable ato judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5: The Sermon on the Mount)
AMMAN, JORDAN — The lone bright spot for United States-backed rebels in Syria could soon come under threat if the Russian-backed Assad regime continues to gain momentum.
For three years, some 30,000 vetted rebels have been operating in large swaths of the south. Supplied and directed by a coalition that includes the US, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, 57 militias known as the Southern Front have at times been the most effective fighting force in Syria.
Yet since mid-2015, Saudi Arabia has cut funding and Washington has shifted its focus to the Islamic State, according to rebel sources and officials close to the coalition’s Military Operations Command in Amman, Jordan.

The result has been a southern stalemate, with the rebels unable to advance, and the Assad regime tied down in the north in Aleppo. But surgical regime raids in January, backed by Russian airpower, gave a sense of what could happen if Assad forces turned their attention southward: The strategic town of Sheikh Maskin fell and rebel supply lines were cut.
In that way, the battle for Aleppo is about more than the enormously significant northern city itself. It is about whether President Bashar al-Assad will be able pivot to the south.
“If Aleppo falls and we are left on our own, the regime will reoccupy the south and everything will be lost,” says Abdul Hadi Sari, a former Syrian Air Force general and a member of the Southern Front’s Daraa military council.
The Southern Front’s lack of progress during the past year has already left many Syrian civilians disillusioned with the mainstream rebels.
“We want to fight the regime, defend ourselves from the regime, and defeat the regime,” says Mohammed, a 25-year-old from Daraa, who is considering throwing his support behind Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as the Nusra Front. “We are ready to join hands with Nusra, or Daesh, or even the devil itself to get rid of Assad.”

The southern front in the five-year Syrian conflict has recently been the quietest. But officials and experts warn it could become the most intractable, in large part because of the dynamics along Syria’s southern borders.
Jordan is determined not only to prevent a spill-over of fighting, but also the potential flight of thousands of militants – many of whom are from Jordan – into its territory under the guise of refugees. Jordanian officials stress that it is impossible to overstate the sensitivity of its borders.
For Israel, an even greater threat may reach its borders: Hezbollah. The Lebanese Shiite militant movement has deployed more than 2,000 fighters to the south multiple times to aid Assad regime counteroffensives against the powerful militant group Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, as well as the Southern Front.

The Jordanians have reportedly established a deconfliction center with the Russians to prevent miscommunications or mishaps between Russian fighter jets and Jordanian border forces. A similar arrangement between Israel and Russia includes a “direct line” between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to reports.
So far, dialogue has kept tensions down. But the concern is that things could change once Aleppo is resolved.


Tim Kaine congratulates Gülenists in a letter
Ragıp Soylu, Daily Sabah, 3-11-2016

Rumi Forum was founded in 1999 with the mission to foster intercultural dialogue, stimulate thinking and exchange of opinions on supporting and fostering democracy and peace and to provide a common platform for education and information exchange. (Rumi Forum Website)

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine sent a congratulatory letter to a top Gülen-linked organization in Washington. Kaine, also a Democratic senator from Virginia, has had extensive relations with Gülen's disciples through multiple organizations and spoke in support of Gülen-run networking events.
His latest letter, dated Oct. 20, was addressed to the Washington-based Rumi Forum, whose honorary chairman is Fetullah Gülen.
A senior Turkish diplomat said he was not surprised by the fact that Kaine signed such a letter. "Many of the Gülenists are residents of Virginia. They have institutions, associations and a mosque in northern Virginia," he said.

The Hillary Clinton campaign has been at the center of allegations over Gülen ties over the last couple for months. The campaign didn't respond to Daily Sabah inquiries about substantial donations and a Gülenist presence on the national finance committee...
But there is a great possibility that the Clinton campaign will become more vocal about the Gülen issue once the elections are done.
"You get wiser once you wear the crown," as Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said last week in Washington.

Info: Tim Kaine is a defender of regime change in Syria.
"April 2015, Kaine joined U.S. Senators Dick Durbin, Lindsey Graham and John McCain to call on President Obama to immediately establish and enforce humanitarian safe zones in Syria, Following meetings in Gaziantep (Turkey), Kaine stated, “In the face of the horrific brutality of the Assad regime, the will and hope of the Syrian people remain strong.." (kaine-website)

Fethullah Gülen: Government institutions should reflect
the colors and patterns of its society
By Nahal Toosi, Politico, 9-9-2016

Fethullah Gülen, the Muslim cleric that the Turkish government blames for the recent attempted coup, has long been reclusive, rarely granting interviews. But in the wake of the accusations against him, he’s sought to clear his name.

-- You insist your movement is peaceful, not political.
-- I have served as a preacher for nearly 30 years... There are over 70 books based on my articles and talks. It is natural that in Turkish government there are people who share some of my views just as there are those who don’t share them. If anybody who follows my works acts illegally or unethically, or if they disobey the lawful orders of their superiors, that is a betrayal of my teachings...
If there is no discrimination, government institutions reflect the colors and patterns of its society. We know that in Turkish government institutions there are people of various political and religious orientations, such as nationalists, neonationalists, Maoists, Kemalists, Alevis, leftists, sympathizers of Sufi orders and others.
For decades, none of these groups could be transparent about their identities except the Kemalists because of political profiling and discrimination. And now, loyalty to Erdoğan is replacing loyalty to Ataturk as the criteria for acceptable identity.
It is the constitutional right of every Turkish citizen to serve in their government institutions if they are qualified to do so. To accuse anybody of having a nefarious goal without evidence is slander.

As far as my discourse is concerned, I have never advocated for regime change in Turkey. To the contrary, 22 years ago, in 1994, I told publicly that there will be no return from democracy in Turkey or elsewhere in the world. This was both a prediction and a commitment to democracy. Publications who are allied with President Erdoğan now, criticized me severely then, nearly calling me an infidel.

-- What do you think the future holds for your movement in the wake of the demonization of your organization?
-- President Erdoğan appears determined to wipe all the institutions set up by Hizmet participants and prevent any future attempts to establish any new institutions. This is contrary to [the] Turkish constitution and all the international agreements Turkey is a party to.

-- Is it true that you and President Erdoğan were once friends and allies? If so, what caused the tensions between you that have led to this situation today?
-- We were never very close. I met him two or three times, all before he ran for elections...
Mr Erdoğan put pressure on me and Hizmet sympathizers to publicly support his idea of a presidential system. He increased the pressure by supporting government-funded alternatives to Hizmet institutions and then began threatening to close them down. If we complied with his demand and became loyalists, we would be enjoying the Turkish government’s favors... But we declined and we have been facing their wrath for the last three years.


Towards an Integrated World: "Peace & Equality"
The National, Abu Dhabi, November 3, 2016

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, has held a meeting with Dr Ahmed El Tayyeb, Grand Imam of Al Azhar, and Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, to discuss coexistence among religions.
The two religious figures were visiting the UAE to attend the 'Towards an Integrated World conference', organised by the Muslim Council of Elders and with leaders from the Anglican Communion.
Sheikh Mohammed said he hoped their efforts would be crowned with success in furthering tolerance and understanding among religions and sects to live in peace, security and tranquillity...
He called on all parties to unite against the destructive extremist ideas and criminal acts undertaken by terrorist organisations to defame the religions.

At the conference, it was agreed Muslim and Christian youth must work together towards common goals of peace and equality.
"There is a new sectarian mentality going on. It has led to the politicisation of certain issues which are in nature not like that," said Dr Hasan Al Shafi’i of the Muslim Council of Elders.


aleppo 2014: anti-assad rebels, indirectly supported by the united kingdom

"There is a distancing between youth on both sides, from coexistence, as each one of them goes into his own world, his own mosque and church, instead of working together and co-living."
He said that ISIL was a result of that isolation.

"Islam and Christianity have their own views," said Ahmed El Tayyeb. "It is a matter of dialogue because it is one of the main components of the course of faith."
Justin Welby said the aim of such a dialogue was to enable people to discern where they agree and disagree. "What we have to do is find areas of dialogue to see first where we can contribute to the common good together..."

Yitzhak Laor: The return of colonial theology
Haaretz, Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Our political map, with its constant shift to the right, reflects precisely this colonial logic, which has become the logic of our lives: The West is allowed what the natives are not.
Two other Arab uprisings are going on aside from the civil war in Libya. But no one in Washington has called on Bahrain's government to step down, and Saudi Arabia, which cuts off the hands of thieves, has been allowed to invade the emirate to take part in the suppression there. Protesters are being slaughtered daily in Yemen, and the West is helping. As always, Arab blood, high octane, is on sale.
To claim that this is a double standard is like complaining that a missile has a warhead and a tail.
For two decades now, states have been taken apart in the name of "human rights": Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and now Libya, using human-rights missiles deployed against humans. Western media outlets are already producing a global discourse about "a war with values" and "contradictions between values and strategy," as if strategy didn't include "values."

Once again the West is quoting Homer and dropping business and partnership with Muammar Gadhafi in favor of ratings, oil and especially the use of the machinery of war. The public likes this, until it has to pay in blood and money. After the graves are covered, the mood can change. In general, indifference - the progeny of the malls, reality TV and beach vacations - takes control.
Something is rotten there. Not only the corruption of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi or French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Not only the dismantling of the welfare state, the disappearance of the left, but - in place of all this - the return of colonial theology.
It begins at home with the great hostility toward Arabs and Muslims, and now, with the help of Gadhafi's drugged image, another "no-fly zone," which has turned, with a great global wink, into a tremendous, high-tech shooting gallery.

The destruction of Iraq - a crime with the scope of genocide - began with aerial attacks and a siege that went on for more than a decade. No one planned the moves at the time. So there's no point asking what the goal of the attack on Libya is. Saving human lives? As in Iraq? Maybe democracy? As in Saudi Arabia?
Those who possess giant war machines with funding for research and development prefer trial and error. There are no goals. Will Al-Qaida also get there quickly?
Well, there's a huge arsenal that needs refreshing, once in the name of "human rights," once in the name of "the war on terror." Something will come out of this. Ratings, oil, a peace conference, photo-ops, Sarkozy next to Angela Merkel, Berlusconi next to David Cameron and Barack Obama. A smile. Speeches....

For the blink of an eye, we thought Obama would change our lives, but the U.S. presidential election - the author Gore Vidal once said - is like vying to become manager at a big bank. The customers don't care who's in charge. (Haaretz 2011)

*Yitzhak Laor is an Israeli, poet and Journalist. He is an opponent of Israeli militarism, anti-zionist and author of Myths of Liberal Zionism


The Silent War: Media Silence Over Deadly Sanctions
Media Lens, 04 November 2016

Awkward facts that erode the 'benign humanitarian' self-image of the West are routinely side-lined or buried by the corporate media.
Consider, for example, the severe impact of sanctions imposed on Syria by the United States and the European Union.
An internal United Nations assessment, revealed on September 28 by Rania Khalek in The Intercept, makes clear that the sanctions are punishing ordinary Syrians and preventing vital aid, including medical supplies, from reaching those in dire need. Access has been denied for blood safety equipment, medicines, medical devices, food, fuel, water pumps and spare parts for power plants, amongst other items. US sanctions on Syrian banks have made the transfer of funds into Syria 'nearly impossible'.

The US first imposed sanctions on Syria in 1979, after designating its government 'a State Sponsor of Terrorism'. Over time, further sanctions were added with more extreme restrictions imposed in 2011 after it was claimed the Syrian government had initiated violence against peaceful protesters...
The same specious propaganda arguments were used by the West, notably the United States and Britain, to 'justify' barbaric sanctions against Iraq from 1990 to 2003...

Blasphemy & Saudi ultra-conservatism
James Dorsey, Daily News Egypt, October 16, 2016

The decision by Pakistan’s supreme court to delay ruling on an appeal in the country’s most notorious blasphemy case lay bare the degree to which Saudi Arabia supported ultra-conservative worldviews have changed the very nature of Pakistani society.
At stake in the court case is more than only the life of Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian mother who is convicted of insulting the prophet Muhammad in a bad-tempered argument with Muslim women.
The court has yet to set a new date for the appeal, but ultimately its decision on Bibi’s fate will serve as an indication of Pakistan’s willingness and ability to reverse more than four decades of Saudi-backed policies, including support for militant Islamist and jihadist groups that have woven ultra-conservative worldviews into the fabric of Pakistani society and key institutions of the state.

The Saud Family: Fighting for their own survival...?

In an ironic twist, Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif with his close ties to Saudi Arabia is grappling with a dilemma similar to that of the kingdom: how to roll back associations with puritan, intolerant, non-pluralistic interpretations of Islam that hinder domestic economic and social progress and threaten to isolate his country internationally.
It’s a tall order for both countries.
Saudi Arabia’s ruling Al-Saud family founded the modern day kingdom by forging a power sharing agreement with ultra-conservative followers of 18th century preacher Muhammad ibn Abd Al-Wahhab.
The Al-Sauds constitute the only Gulf rulers who cloak their rule in religious legitimacy granted by the country’s ultra-conservative religious establishment. Losing that legitimacy could endanger their survival.

Successive Pakistani governments benefitted and abetted almost half a century of massive Saudi funding of ultra-conservative thinking in a bid to enhance Saudi soft power and counter more nationalist, revolutionary, and liberal worldviews.
Pakistani and Saudi interests long jelled in the support of militant Islamist and jihadist groups that targeted Muslim minorities viewed as heretics by ultra-conservatives, confronted with the US backing Soviet occupation forces in Afghanistan, nurtured the rise of the Taliban, and served Pakistan in confronting India in its dispute over Kashmir. In doing so, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan unleashed a genie that no longer can be put back in a bottle.

Pakistan’s blasphemy law fits decades-long Saudi use of its political clout and financial muscle to promote anti-blasphemy laws and curtailing of freedom of expression and the media beyond its borders.
The Saudi effort benefitted in the post 9/11 era from a global trend in democracies and autocracies alike to curb free speech.
“The issue of blasphemy is destroying whatever strands of pluralism remain,” warned Pakistani researcher Nazish Brohi.
A proposal in recent years by Saudi Arabia and other Muslim nations to criminalise blasphemy in international law legitimises curbs on free speech and growing Muslim intolerance towards any open discussion of their faith. The proposal was the culmination of years in which the kingdom pressured countries to criminalise blasphemy and any criticism of the Prophet Muhammad...

Concepts of justice, as well as of freedom of expression are at the core of Asia Bibi’s case. So is the question of the kind of state and society Pakistan should be...

Dr. James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, co-director of the University of Würzburg’s Institute for Fan Culture, and the author of The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer blog,

US-backed SDF launch offensive to capture Daesh's Syrian capital Raqqa
Daily Sabah, Turkey, 5-11-2016

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is dominated by the Syrian PKK affiliate Democratic Union Party's (PYD) and People's Protection Units (YPG) militia, said Sunday it had began a long-awaited operation to capture the Daesh terror group's so-called capital Raqqa in Syria.
"The major battle to liberate Raqqa and its surroundings has begun," Jihan Sheikh Ahmed, a spokeswoman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), said at a press conference in Ain Issa, some 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of the terrorist bastion.
The operation, dubbed "The Wrath of the Euphrates," comes as Iraqi forces backed by the US-led coalition press an assault to take the terrorist group's Iraqi stronghold of Mosul.
Ahmed said the fight would involve some 30,000 fighters and had begun on Saturday night. He said the operation planned to free Raqqa from "the forces of global, obscurantist terrorism represented by Daesh that took (the town) for their presumed capital."
SDF spokesman Talal Sello told AFP the operation would proceed in two phases, "first liberating the countryside around Raqqa and isolating the city, and secondly taking control of the city." He said the SDF had received new weapons from the US-led coalition for the battle, including anti-tank missiles.
"The fight will not be easy, and will require accurate and careful operations because Daesh will defend its bastion knowing that the loss of Raqqa will mean it is finished in Syria," he said.

The U.S. regards the YPG as an ally in its fight against Daesh, while Turkey considers it a terrorist organization due to its links to the PKK, which has killed over 40,000 citizens in a three-decade insurgency in Turkey.


In March 2013, Al-Nusra Front terrorists (Al-Qaeda in Syria) overran the government loyalists in the city in the Battle of Raqqa and declared it under their control after seizing the central square and pulling down the statue of the former president of Syria Hafez al-Assad.
ISIL (Islamic state in Iraq & the Levant) took full control of Raqqa by 13 January 2014, and proceeded to execute Alawites and suspected supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the city and destroyed the city's Shia mosques and Christian churches. (Fars News Agency)
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Islamic State (IS), and by its Arabic language acronym Daesh is a Salafi jihadist militant group that follows a fundamentalist, Wahhabi doctrine of Sunni Islam. They don't recognize the authority of the National State.


Advance into heart of Mosul slows as ISIL fights back
Al-Jazeera, 6-11-2016

Iraq's special forces worked to fully push a fiercely resisting ISIL from neighborhoods on Mosul's eastern edge. The current phase and slower pace highlight the challenges ahead for Iraqi forces as they press into more populated areas deeper inside Mosul, where the civilian presence means they may not be able to rely as much on air raids.
"There are a lot of civilians and we are trying to protect them," said Lt Col Muhanad al-Timimi. "This is one of the hardest battles that we've faced till now."
Some civilians are fleeing the combat zone, while ISIL, also known as ISIS, fighters are holding others back for use as human shields, making it harder for Iraqi commanders on the ground to get approval for requests for US-led coalition bombing raids.
On Friday, forces began pushing into Mosul proper, but so far have only advanced just over a kilometre into the city. On the city's southern front Iraqi forces are still some 20km from the city centre.
"Daesh dug trenches that they filled with water and they have a lot of suicide attackers and car bombs," said al-Timimi, using the Arabic acronym for the ISIL group.

Al Jazeera's Jamal Elshayyal, reporting from a military camp near Bashiqa, northeast of Mosul, said while the momentum was with the anti-ISIL forces, it would become more difficult for the Iraqi army the longer this battle goes on.
"ISIL doesn't have a conventional army that can go into combat with the Iraqi forces," he said. "So it works for them when they carry out suicide attacks, striking fear in the hearts of the people. The attacks also slow down the Iraqi army's advances. And it will add to the cost of the army.
"The longer the battle to retake Mosul goes on, the more difficult it will become for the Iraqi forces."


Winning peace equal importance to winning war
By Rudaw, Erbil, Kurdistan Region, 6-11-2016

"Do not hate the individuals who do evil, hate only the evil deed itself"
Saddam Hussein, Last Will, 26-12-2006

Winning peace will be just as challenging as winning the war against ISIS the Chancellor of Kurdistan Region’s Security Council Masrour Barzani said, adding that there should be a political agreement between all the peoples of Mosul in order to prevent the rise of another such terrorist organization in the region:
"The fight against ISIS is going to be a long fight, not only militarily but also economically, ideologically. Winning the peace after winning the war is equally important."
He said he believes that, in order to prevent the emergence of another radical group like ISIS in the future, there should be political reconciliation, as the rise of extremist groups in Iraq is the result of a failed political system.

"The number one point to prevent the rise of terrorist and radical organizations is to make sure there is political reconciliation, and a political agreement among all the components so that no one will feel like an outcast."
"We do believe that ISIS is the byproduct, is the result of a political failure, the political system that failed in this country
," he added.

Barzani explained that ISIS continues to recruit new members and Kurdish security forces have caught many of them among the internally displaced persons (IDPs), trying to infiltrate the Kurdistan Region.
"Every day, every week, every month they are trying to recruit new people. New fighters are joining," he said, though he added the numbers have recently decreased.
"We have captured a number of sleeper cells, or people that were disguised as IDPs. Hundreds of them actually," Barzani said.


Opposition-complaint: We've all been used
They only want to destroy countries
Middle East Monitor, November 7, 2016

Were the revolutions actually popular revolutions or did the hyenas of the world exploit the grievances of the people and push them to revolt to achieve the superpowers’ projects of destruction, displacement and re-mapping in our countries?
Are we facing the same situation we did 100 years ago when the Western colonisers incited us to stage the so-called “Great Arab Revolution” against the Ottomans and promised us freedom and independence, but we later found out that they used the Arabs like tools to get rid of the Ottomans so they can take their place in colonising the region, re-dividing it and exploiting it?

There is no doubt that most of the Arab countries need a thousand revolutions.. There is also no doubt that the people have the right to demand their rights, improve their situation...
There is no argument over this, but the question we must ask now is: Did this Arab Spring actually aim to help the people eliminate oppression and tyranny and build a modern, democratic, civil state.., or were the people tricked and lured into this?
There is a huge difference between the people’s agendas, leaderships and revolutionary motivations and the external forces who intervened in revolutions or instigated them.

The Arab Spring

the friends of 'the revolution': france, united kingdom, israel, usa, qatar, turkey, saudi arabia,
al-qaeda, muslim brotherhood, jihadists, separatists and lots of power-hungry opportonists

The external forces, that seemed to be supportive of the revolutions in the beginning and who wanted the revolutions to succeed, were actually pushing the people towards demise to serve their own interests, and not at all in order to rescue the people...
Is there a better way to shepherd the people back into subordination than by appearing to be a friend of the people’s revolutions? Of course not.
This is how those who called themselves friends of the Syrian people, for example, appeared...
However, we found out that monsters can never be merciful; they have and continue to live on meat and blood and therefore all they can bring about is disaster and destruction.

The goal was never to help the people and rid them of their tyrants. Instead, we would not be exaggerating if we said that the so-called Arab Spring that the departing American President Obama tricked us with was nothing more than an attempt to overthrow the countries..
This is evidenced by the fact that what was actually overthrown in Syria was the country itself and what was displaced were the people while the government remains intact...
The supporters of revolutions are not always do-gooders. In many instances, they use the people’s grievances to achieve their ambitions and goals before the goals of the revolting nations.
Unfortunately, this seems to be the case so far. (Translated from Arabi21, 6 November 2016)


Local councils in eastern Aleppo play up to terrorists
TASS News Agency, November 08, 2016

The so-called local councils operating in eastern Aleppo are playing up to terrorists and are contributing to further bloodshed, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday.
"The ‘councils’ obstructive stance led to the cancellation of the United Nations humanitarian operation designed to deliver relief aid to eastern Aleppo by using the Castello Road late in August 2016. The recent disruption of medical evacuation from eastern Aleppo is on the ‘councils’ conscience," the diplomat stressed.
"It is clear that all these self-proclaimed ‘authorities’ are far from representing the people of eastern Aleppo whom the militants have practically taken hostage," Zakharova went on to say.

"What is worse is that in a bid to fulfill the orders of their sponsors, these leaders, who are hypocritically speaking on behalf of peaceful civilians, are playing up to terrorists and the most radically-minded part of illegal armed units and are leading things to further bloodshed and ongoing human suffering," Zakharova said.
"The illegal armed units have given complete control over life-sustaining issues in eastern Aleppo such as electricity supplies, school education and bakeries’ work to the ‘councils’. The ‘councils’ are using this sensitive humanitarian instrument as a tool to make the local population loyal."

Zakharova explained referring to the incoming reports there were two so-called self-government bodies. "One of them is the Aleppo Provincial Council, which is located in Gazientap, Turkey, and is headed by Muhammed Fadila; the second one is the Aleppo City Council headed by Brita Haji Hasan. The entire leadership of the Aleppo City Council is sitting in the Atarib populated locality approximately 20 kilometers to the southwest of Aleppo," Zakharova stressed.
Initially, according to reports, they used to receive financial aid from Qatar. "Now, their main sponsors include the United States, Britain, France, the United Arab Emirates and the Scandinavian countries," the Russian diplomat said.

Flashback: Governing the Most Dangerous City in Syria
Syria Deeply, 4-8-2016

Initially, the Aleppo provincial council received the majority of its funding from the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic political organization.
“Support came mainly from the Muslim Brotherhood and countries that support it, such as Turkey and Qatar, but none of the elected representatives [on the 25-member board] ended up being members of the Muslim Brotherhood, so the funding dried up.”

Initially, the council also faced pushback from the various Islamist militias in Aleppo, such as the former al-Qaida affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, and other hardline groups like Ahrar al-Sham, Al Tawhid Brigade and Liwa al Fajr.
In order to appease these various groups and still ensure there was a governing body in Aleppo, members of Jabhat al-Nusra (Al-Qaeda) were allowed to provided “general management and oversight” on the provincial council, Fakhri Haj Bakri (council member) said.

Later in the council’s first term, the general management members belonging to Nusra also seized control of all of the electricity stations in Aleppo, except for one in Hanano. According to sources in Aleppo, many of the local council members were kidnapped.
The second term, which ran from December 2013 to July 2014, presented even more challenges – the most dangerous of them being the entrance of the so-called Islamic State group.
ISIS militants seized control of a military airport in Aleppo’s suburbs in August 2013, and then began to advance into the city itself, attempting to take over opposition areas and forcing the population to submit to their rule.
“At that time, the Islamic State group was fighting anyone who was trying to serve the public, and resisting them was not easy,” Abu al-Jud said. “Their tactics ranged from the threat of armed force, to the theft of supplies from the city council. They also stole public service vehicles.”


Corpses of fallen soldiers from Minnigh Airbase retrieved after 3 year
By Izat Charkatli, Al-Masdar News, 08/11/2016

Damascus, Syria - The bodies of 94 fallen soldiers were retrieved from the infamous Minnigh Airbase in the northern countryside of Aleppo and were transported to Tishreen Military Hospital in Damascus thanks to the local efforts of the populace of Nubbol and Zahraa and the coordination between the YPG and the Syrian government.
Mohammad Abu Moteem, one of those who worked on the affair, informed Syrian newspaper Khat Tammas:
"After coordinating with the Kurds, we headed to the area of Minnigh Airbase with Alaa, a surviving veteran of the airport and began our searching and digging operations..."
"After hours of painstaking work that lasted several days, we were able to retrieve the bodies of 94 martyrs from the Syrian Army who were killed protecting the airport and buried inside it due to the militant siege of Minnigh."
The men came from all Syrian provinces as their papers and ID cards suggest. Some corpses were unidentified die to the lack of any personal documentation.
The airport is located 35 km north of Aleppo city adjacent to the town of Minnigh. It was subjected to a brutal siege that lasted over 250 days in which militants launched dozens of attacks against the airbase.



syrian arab army


The leader of the mentioned attack was the infamous Islamic State commander and Minister of War Abu Omar Al-Shishani. Alongside ISIS fought the western-backed rebels of Liwa' Al-Fateh, Liwa' Al-Tawhid, Liwa' Asifat Al-Shamal, Liwa' Suyouf Al-Sham, Barraq Brigades and dozens of other FSA-affiliated brigades.

ISIS Leader Omar al-Shishani Fought Under U.S. Umbrella as Late as 2013
September 18, 2015 by Brad Hoff

Benjamin Hall, journalist and author of 'Inside ISIS: The Brutal Rise of a Terrorist Army', was embedded in Northern Syria during part of the 2012-2013 siege of Menagh, even staying in FSA camps outside the base as attacks were underway.
At that time the Revolutionary Military Council of Aleppo was the US/UK officially sanctioned command structure in the region headed by FSA Colonel Abdul Jabbar al-Okaidi, described in international press at the time as “a main recipient” of Western aid.

Hall describes the pathetic state of a rebel movement in disarray and lacking morale. He identifies a singular turning point which renewed both the tide of rebel military momentum and morale in Northern Syria:
"That day in Minnah [or alternately Menagh], I was reminded that nothing happens on time in the Middle East. It took ten months for the rebels to finally capture that base, but the base only fell when the FSA were joined by the ISIS leader Abu Omar Shishani and his brutal gang of Chechens. When we had been there, it had been under the sole control of badly funded, badly armed rebels with little knowledge of tactical warfare–but when Shishani arrived, he took control of the operation, and the base fell soon after."
Hall further relates that Omar Shishani’s (or Omar “the Chechen”) presence evoked a certain level of mystique and awe among his FSA associates as he “systematically obliterated Menagh defenses by sacrificing as many men as it took” and rightly concludes that, “it is no exaggeration to say that Shishani and other battle hardened members of ISIS are the ones who brought the early military success.”


syria 2013: Abdul Jabbar al-Okaidi (FSA) & 'brother Jandal' (ISIL/S)

NO to Hillary Clinton. YES to Donald Trump

9-11-2016: Donald Trump won the US presidential election
triumphing over his Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton.


Addressing his supporters on Wednesday, US President-Elect Donald Trump pledged that "every single American will have an opportunity to realize his or her potential."
He promised to rebuild US infrastructure, put millions of people to work and "renew the American dream."

He promised to always put US interest first and to "get along well" with all nations willing to get along with the US.
He added that Washington would seek "common ground, not hostility” and “partnership, not conflict."
(Sputnik News, 9-11-2016)


No need for an 'Americam dream'
Yehuda Glick (Likud) asks Trump to visit the 'Templemount'
Read info in Unesco & The Temple


SDF operation aimed to isolate Raqqa,
Turkey (FSA) to play role in long-term plan
ARA News, Erbil, November 10, 2016

Erdogan & Qaradawi, the enemy of
Secular Arab Nationalism
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) launched the Euphrates Wrath Operation to isolate Raqqa, not to liberate the city yet, the US-led coalition said on Wednesday. In the meantime, the US army said it will work with Turkey on a long-term plan to liberate Raqqa.
“‎The Syrian Democratic Forces have begun their operation to isolate the city of Raqqa and other ISIS-held territory in Syria... The operation will also cut off militants from ISIS in Mosul, Iraq,” Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend said.
“Throughout each phase of the campaign to liberate Raqqa, the Coalition will continually consult with allies and partners as we plan for the city’s ultimate seizure and governance once ISIS is defeated..."
On 6 November, US Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, met with his counterpart Turkish Army Gen. Hulusi Akar and said that the coalition will work with Turkey for a plan to seize Raqqa city itself.
“The coalition and Turkey will work together on the long-term plan for seizing, holding and governing Raqqa,” Dunford said.

As this operation in Syria continues, the United States will continue to work with the Turks and others to determine the make-up of the forces that actually seize Raqqa and hold it and govern it, the chairman said.
“We always knew the SDF wasn’t the solution for holding and governing Raqqa,” Dunford said.
“What we are working on right now is to find the right mix of forces for the operation.” “[The operation needs] a predominantly Arab and Sunni Arab force,” he said.


Singapore's ambassador: Egypt can inspire the world
Sawsan Morad Ezz Alarab, Ahram online, 10 Nov 2016

"They have taken their scholars and monks as lords besides Allah...
And they were not commanded except to worship one God; there is no deity except Him.
Exalted is He above whatever they associate with Him." Quran 9:31 - Repentance

Ambassador Premjith Sadasivan highlighted cultural and social bonds between Egypt and Singapore.
"Egypt's gift to Asia is moderate Islam. It is important to know that the largest Muslim country in the world is located in Southeast Asia, where Al-Azhar is widely respected, representing Shafi'i and Hanafi Madhabs, which are embraced by Asians."
On a question of religious harmony, Sadasivan disclosed that, "When President El-Sisi visited Singapore, he chose the Harmony Centre as his first stop where he was received by 10 religious leaders.
And during the recent visit of our president, he was keen to take a tour of Al-Azhar. This mutual interest indicates a deep understanding and great respect for religious diversity."
Sadasivan noted that, "Practicing religion in Egypt is up to the individual, which explains why Egyptians avoid extremes.
This is the same type tolerance that we see much of Asia. If Egypt remains in the middle ground in the practice of religion, then Asian countries with Muslim communities would benefit."

Dhafer Youssef: Sura
Abu Nawas Rhapsody

"Abu Nuwas' poems are generally full of rebellious and often shocking content, which has shaped the poet’s biographical representation. In works ranging from highbrow Arabic literary anthologies to Swahili folktales, Abu Nuwas is typically portrayed as the most compelling drunk, fornicator, and blasphemer who ever lived.
He would become most known for his wine poems, which embody and proclaim the bohemian mores of the elite citizens of Baghdad, then the cosmopolitan center of the medieval Islamic world." Mark Wagner

Asked whether Singapore is involved in fighting extremists, he replied in the affirmative but pointed out that Egypt's role is more important.
"We believe Egypt, through Al-Azhar, is uniquely placed to keep the world away from extremism and extremist ideology...

According to Mr Sadasivan, "Singapore is a nation of immigrants coming from different backgrounds. We have no choice but to take the middle ground, to join all of our diverse roots, cultures and religions together...
We learnt an important lesson from the histories of other countries. One lesson was if you belong to a majority ethnic or religious group, then you should be far more generous to the minority. This was the recipe for peace, stability and harmony. Everyone in the country, regardless of race or religion, should be treated fairly and equally."

Mr Sadasivan's interest in culture and the arts is evident. He stated: "Egypt is an arts and cultural hub for the region. Though this has been a very busy posting for me, I have found time to visit local galleries, and I did collect some artworks by Sobhi Gergis and Farid Fadel. But I would like to devote more time to the vibrant art scene.
I enjoyed the recent Cairo jazz festival, and I am frequent visitor at the Cairo Jazz Club.
And I love listening to Um Koulthom … She remains a magical sensation in the Arab world..."


Republic’s founder Atatürk commemorated on 78th anniversary of death
Daily Sabah, 10-11-2016

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Republic of Turkey, was commemorated Thursday on the 78th anniversary of his death in ceremonies and events. Thousands of people flocked to the mausoleum of Atatürk in Ankara to commemorate the founding father of the Republic of Turkey.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chair Devlet Bahçeli and Chief of General Staff General Hulusi Akar also attended the commemoration ceremony at the mausoleum, known as Anıtkabir.
Erdoğan signed the official Anitkabir memorial book and wrote: "We will not let terror organizations, gangs of betrayal and dark circles using these as a tool to disrupt our peace, stability and brotherhood..."
"The honored veteran Mustafa Kemal is one of the shared values of this country and our nation... Owning the memory of Atatürk requires owning our independence, our homeland, our flag, our republic, and our country's millennial heritage of civilization with the spirit of the War of Independence," Erdoğan said in a statement released on Nov. 10 by his office.
Prime Minister Yıldırım said that today the Republic of Turkey, which Atatürk called his "greatest work," is a country whose friendship is sought and which plays an active role in resolving international problems.

Atatürk was born in 1881 in Thessaloniki in what was then the Ottoman Empire. Following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after the First World War, Atatürk led the Turkish War of Independence, which defeated European powers.
When he became president, Atatürk transformed the former empire into a modern and secular country. Atatürk passed away on November 10, 1938, at the age of 57.

Atatürk was profoundly influenced by the triumph of laïcité in France. Atatürk perceived the French model as the authentic form of secularism.
Kemalism strove to control religion and transform it into a private affair rather than an institution interfering with politics, scientific and social progress. "Sane reason," and "the liberty of [one's] fellow man," as Atatürk once put it.
Kemalist secularism does not imply nor advocate agnosticism or nihilism; it means freedom of thought and independence of the institutions of the state from the dominance of religious thought and religious institutions.
The Kemalist principle of laicism is not against moderate and apolitical religion, but against religious forces opposed to and fighting modernization and democracy. (Wikipedia)


Ray McGovern: Let’s take the time for a DENKPAUSE
Consortium News, November 10, 2016

Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern presented the following statement to members of Germany’s Bundestag, advising them against the proposed deepening of Germany’s military involvement in the Syrian conflict.
In view of the surprising election victory of Donald Trump, today’s vote in the Bundestag has assumed even greater importance.
I believe it is quite possible that both – Obama and Trump – would prefer that the German government avoid taking steps that would encourage the “hawks” in Washington. The widening of the Syrian war into a NATO war would be such a step.

Let’s take the time for a DENKPAUSE – time to think this through... I believe we should consider the Russians as partners and NOT as enemies. Most important, we should take seriously the opportunity for genuine detente.
We must now take a DENKPAUSE. The Bundestag should also do some serious rethinking. Let us think of something new – beyond images of the enemy and military solutions. For, as we all know so well, DIE GEDANKEN SIND FREI.


Yasser Arafat Museum opens in Ramallah, 10-11-2016


Deri: Reform Jews suffered a bitter blow with Trump's election
Orli Harari, Arutz Sheva, 10/11/2016

Shas leader and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri welcomed the results of the American elections Thursday and said that the Reform Jews in America had suffered a "bitter blow".
"It is too early to discuss the possible repercussions of Trumps' election as president," said Interior Minister Deri, "but there is no doubt that we should thank God that all the desecrators of the covenant and impersonators of Judaism who wished to take control of the Land of Israel and introduce their destructive reforms received a significant blow."
"Their influence and threats came from their connection to the administration in America, they realize that they have lost this power and we can, God willing, continue to strengthen the traditional religion which we received from previous generations.

"Many Jews said over the last few days that if such a miracle occurs, it must mean we have reached the days prior to the advent of the Messiah.
We must truly be in Messianic times when everything turns out favorably for the people of Israel."

Jesus was not a traditionalist but a Lefty
By Mehdi Hasan, NewStatesman, 15-12-2010

Conservatives claim Christ as one of their own. But he was the unemployed son of two asylum-seekers with all the personal traits of a modern revolutionary.
The former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev once declared: "Jesus was the first socialist, the first to seek a better life for mankind." The Venezuelan president, Hugo Chávez, went further, describing Christ as "the greatest socialist in history".
But it's not just Russian ex-communists and Bolivarian socialists who consider Jesus to be a fellow-traveller. Even the Daily Mail sketch-writer Quentin Letts once confessed: "Jesus preached fairness - you could almost call him a lefty."

That conservatives have succeeded in claiming Christ as one of their own in recent years - especially in the US, where the Christian right is in the ascendancy - is a tragedy for the modern left.
Throughout history, Jesus's teachings have inspired radical social and political movements: Christian pacifism (think the Quakers, Martin Luther King or Bruce Kent in CND), Christian socialism (Keir Hardie or Tony Benn), liberation theology (in South America) and even "Christian communism". In the words of the 19th-century French utopian philosopher Étienne Cabet, "Communism is Christianity . . . it is pure Christianity, before it was corrupted by Catholicism."

These days, however, the so-called God-botherers tend to be on the right. In his book God's Politics, the US Evangelical pastor Jim Wallis, spiritual adviser to President Obama and Gordon Brown before him, laments the manner in which Jesus's message has been misinterpreted by the warring political tribes, writing of how the right gets Christ wrong, while the left doesn't get him at all.
He reminds his readers that being a Christian is not necessarily the same as being a "right-wing Christian fundamentalist", and that the Bible's focus on social justice and the poor shows that economic life should be organised around the needs of society's weakest and most vulnerable members.

Right-Wing Pharisaism (Ezra) shaped the character of Judaism

Traditional Orthodoxy is the only movement that is formally and legally recognized in Israel. Orthodoxy or Rabbinic Judaism is the normative form of Judaism that developed after the Roman colonization of Palestine (AD 130).
Originating in the work of the Pharisaic rabbis, it was based on the legal and commentative literature in the Talmud, and it set up a mode of worship and a life discipline that were to be practiced by Jews worldwide down to modern times. Pharisaism shaped the character of Judaism and the life and thought of the Jew for all the future. It gave the Jewish religion a legalistic tendency and made "separatism" its chief characteristic... (Jewish Encyclopedia)

Traditional Pharisees in old times were led by the School of Shammai: ultra-conservative religious fundamentalists with a pathological devotion to obeying hosts of man-made traditions and commandments.
Most believed, among other things, that the Hebrew descendants of Abraham were the only people beloved of God, and that no other people were of value in His sight. This attitude caused Pharisees from the school of Shammai to hate all Gentiles, and left them with little regard even for Jews who didn’t follow them.
The school of Shammai had close ties to the infamous zealots, a group of fanatics who favored armed revolt against Rome.
It’s critical to note that virtually every time you see Jesus or the apostles in strife against what the Bible labels as “Pharisees,” it is almost certainly referring to Pharisees or ex-Pharisees from the School of Shammai.

Read also: Iranian Messianism: Jesus, friend of the Mahdi
Christian anarchism: The Kingdom is within you - The Sermon on the Mount

Among traditional Jews, the belief in a personal messiah seems to have grown more central in recent years.
Today one large movement within Orthodoxy, Lubavitch, has placed increasing emphasis on the imminence of the Messiah's arrival. At gatherings of their youth organizations, children chant, "We want Ma-shi­akh now."
At the same time, the subject of the Messiah has become increasingly central to many religious Zionists in Israel, particularly to many disciples of the late Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook.
The event that helped set the stage for a revived interest in the Messiah was the Six­Day War of 1967, in which Israel captured the Old City of Jerusalem and, for the first time in over two thousand years, achieved Jewish rule over the biblically ordained borders of Israel.

However.., a sober reading of Jewish history indicates that whenever Jews have thought the Messiah's arrival to be imminent, the results have been catastrophic. (jewish virtual library)

Chabad Messianism & The Battles of God:
During the Messianic Era, the Moshiach will serve a dual role. He will be a monarch, ruling over all of humanity and upholding the law of the Torah — 613 commandments for the Jews, and seven for the non-Jews. He will also be the ultimate teacher, the conduit for the deepest and most profound dimensions of the Torah which will then be revealed by G‑d.
The following are the criteria for identifying the Moshiach, as written by Maimonides:
If we see a Jewish leader who (a) toils in the study of Torah and is meticulous about the observance of the mitzvot, (b) influences the Jews to follow the ways of the Torah and (c) wages the "battles of G‑d" — such a person is the "presumptive Moshiach."
If he rebuilds the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and facilitates the ingathering of the Jews to the Land of Israel — then we are certain that he is the Moshiach. (chabad.org)


Donald Trump Shuffles Transition Team, Making Mike Pence Chairman
Michael Bender, Wall Street Journal, 11-11-2016

President-elect Donald Trump shuffled his transition team three days after his surprising victory, diluting the role of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie while increasing the influence of Vice President-elect Mike Pence...
Mr. Christie was removed on Friday as transition chairman, a position now filled by Mr. Pence, the transition team said.
Mr. Christie will remain on the transition team’s executive committee as one of six vice chairmen, along with Mr. Sessions, former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

With Mike Pence the "evangelical Catholic" thing is making a comeback
Terry Mattingly, GetReligion, 19-7-2016

In many ways, Pence is an unlikely politician. He was raised in a Catholic family in Columbus, Ind. His parents didn't talk politics over the dinner table. His father was an oil distributor who ran a number of gas stations. Church took a central role. Edward and Nancy Pence had their six children don their Sunday best for Mass, including suits for Mike and his three brothers, who also served as altar boys.
But as a young man growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, Pence began to appreciate the transformative efforts of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. He volunteered for the Bartholomew County Democratic Party in 1976 and voted for Jimmy Carter in 1980.
Like many young adults, Pence's views began to change during and just after college. He met his future wife, Karen, at a church in Indianapolis after he graduated from Hanover College.
He later became a born-again 'evangelic Catholic'.

Mike Pence, Craig Fehrman, an Indiana freelance journalist, says, was “pulled between two worlds.”
When he called himself an “evangelical Catholic,” Fehrman says, “I think he wasn’t making a fine theological point, but was torn between his family’s faith and background and a new and more exciting faith.”
That makes sense to me. But I still think it's fair to ask factual questions: Where does Pence go to church? What faith is he practicing now?
If people are going to argue about what Pence means when he calls himself an "evangelical Catholic," and I think that is a topic worth investigation, isn't it important to explore some of the basic facts about his faith?

"True Catholicism is about boldly proclaiming
the gospel of Jesus Christ" (George Weigel)

The term Evangelical Catholic is used by Christians who consider themselves both "catholic" and "evangelical" (meaning "gospel-centered").

Evangelical catholic can refer variously to:
-- 1. Evangelical Protestant Christians who consider themselves catholic Christians that identify with the historic Christian Church, who believe that the early general councils and the Protestant Reformation were both part of the progressive illumination of the Holy Spirit; and
-- 2. members of the Catholic Church who, in continuity with the long tradition of the Church and empowered by Pope Benedict XVI's proclaimed New Evangelization, stress the centrality and salvific universality of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the necessity of proclaiming it.

Serious Catholics Are Evangelical
Brantly Millegan, Cristanity Today, 6-3-2013

There is a great reform afoot in the Catholic Church! Or so says George Weigel, a prolific Catholic scholar and commentator.
In 'Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the 21st-Century Church, Weigel argues the Catholic Church, since the 19th century, has been reorienting herself ever so slowly from "Counter-Reformation Catholicism" toward a confident, outward-looking, gospel-proclaiming, mission-driven faith...
Weige insists the Counter-Reformation on the whole wasn't bad. It was appropriate for its time and was actually highly successful at not only preserving the Catholic faith during times of great crisis, but also in fulfilling the church's primary mission of proclaiming the gospel, with the successful evangelization of the Americas as an example.

Go back to your Christian Roots

In 2004 Weigel wrote an article in Commentary magazine, entitled "The Cathedral and the Cube", in which he used the contrast between the modernist Grande Arche, and the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral, both located in Paris, France, to illustrate what he called a loss of "civilizational morale" in Western Europe, which he tied to the secular tyrannies of the 20th century, along with, more recently, plummeting birthrates and Europe's refusal to recognize the Christian roots of its culture.

'Born to Be Mild’ Mike Pence:
I Stand ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’ With Trump
Valerie Bauerlein, WSJ, Aug 4, 2016

Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence said he may have a “born to be mild” style but he is in lockstep philosophically with GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Mr. Pence laughed when an 11 year-old boy at a Thursday town hall here asked whether his role was “softening up Mr. Trump’s policies and words.”
“Differences in style… should never be confused with differences in conviction.”
“I was told that the strong truth-telling of Donald Trump at our national convention wasn’t what the people wanted to hear,” he said. “But I was raised to believe that leaders speak the truth.”
Mr. Pence spoke to about 300 supporters at the Fletcher Opera Theater where Mr. Trump held a July 5 rally.
Instead of the Rolling Stones and “Jock Jams” music common at Mr. Trump’s rallies, the songs played Thursday were mellow folk songs by Chapel Hill duo Mandolin Orange.


Netanyahu Calls for Ministers' Restraint after Trump Win
by Naharnet Newsdesk, 13-11-2016

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Sunday for ministers to refrain from comment on Donald Trump's presidency after right-wing politicians said his election win put an end to a two-state solution with the Palestinians.
Netanyahu has been cautious in his comments since Trump's stunning U.S. presidential victory on November 8, sending congratulations and pledging to work with him.
But other right-wing politicians have used Trump's win to promote their cause, with some calling for the end of the idea of a two-state solution with the Palestinians, the basis of years of negotiations.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who heads the religious nationalist Jewish Home party, said last week "the era of a Palestinian state is over."
Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting: "President-elect Trump and I decided to meet soon in order to discuss all of the important issues on the agenda between the U.S. and Israel.
"I request that all ministers, deputy ministers and (lawmakers) allow the incoming administration to formulate –- together with us –- its policy vis-a-vis Israel and the region, through accepted and quiet channels, and not via interviews and statements."

Iraq Has Never Seen This Kind of Fighting in Its Battles With ISIS
By Loveday Morris, Washington Post|AINA, nov 12, 2016

MOSUL, Iraq -- Since pushing into Mosul a week ago, Iraqi commanders say their forces have been shaken by some of the most complex fighting they have ever encountered in battles against the Islamic State.
It is a bitter fight: street to street, house to house, with the presence of civilians slowing the advancing forces. Car bombs -- the militants' main weapon -- scream out of garages and straight into advancing military convoys.
"If there were no civilians, we'd just burn it all," said Maj. Gen. Sami al-Aridhi, a counterterrorism commander. He was forced to temporarily pause operations in his sector Monday because too many families were clogging the street. "I couldn't bomb with artillery or tanks, or heavy weapons. I said, 'We can't do anything.' "
Mosul is the most populous city held by the militants, with an estimated 1 million people still living there. Iraqi forces have been closing in from the north and south but have broken into the city only on the eastern front, beginning a slow grind through densely populated neighborhoods.
It's a long, hard slog to the Tigris River that carves through the center of Mosul -- and then a whole new battle awaits on the other side...

Militants wait to move between fighting positions until people fill the streets, using their presence as protection from airstrikes. "They always keep them with them," Aridhi said. Other officers said the militants occasionally let a flood of people flee as a method of forcing a pause in the fight.
At their base on the outskirts of the city, Iraqi counterterrorism troops call in airstrikes where they can, radioing to report militant positions and suicide bombers. Two French advisers sit nearby watching surveillance feeds of the city's streets.
The voice of a field commander crackled through the radio. "These civilians are making me tired," he said. "They are coming from everywhere. We don't know if they are fighters or civilians. They are carrying bags -- we don't know what's inside."

The Iraqi military does not release casualty numbers, but the losses in the Nov. 4 battle appear to have been particularly heavy.
As the battle drags on, thousands of civilians trapped inside Mosul are risking their lives to escape, making their way across the battlefield in small groups carrying white flags. They describe the defenses that the Islamic State has built in its neighborhoods -- tunnels, concrete barriers, car bombs.
"They are in the apartments," said one 64-year-old woman as she reached the security forces. "They aren't allowing anyone to leave..."

Trump and the Neoconservatives
Jon Basill Utley, American Conservative, 13-11-2016

Nearly all of Donald Trump’s appointments to his transition team are very encouraging. But he could undermine his whole agenda by allowing neocons back into their former staffing and leadership role over Republican foreign policy.
The New York Times reported how many are now scrambling to get back into their old dominant positions. And now National Review, which supported all the disasters in Iraq, has come out to promote John Bolton for secretary of state.
Even before the Iraq War, John Bolton was a leading brain behind the neoconservatives’ war-and-conquest agenda.
Most famous Bolton quote: “It is a big mistake to for us to grant any validity to international law … because over the long term, the goal of those who think that it really means anything are those who want to constrict the United States.”

The neocons provided the intellectual firepower for hawks and imperialists who wanted an aggressive American foreign policy. No wonder they urged Bush on to his disastrous war and occupation policies. Even before Iraq they were first urging dominance over Russia and then military confrontation with China, when a U.S. spy plane was collided by a Chinese fighter plane. It wasn’t just the Arab world which was in their sights.
The risk is that Trump’s foreign-affairs transition team becomes infiltrated. Much of the transition is being run out of the Heritage Foundation, which was a big promoter of the Iraq War...

The Heritage Foundation, Iran & 'the evil empire'

The Heritage Foundation is a neoconservative "think tank", founded by Joseph Coors (of Coors Brewery), Paul Weyrich, Edwin Feulner, and Richard Mellon Scaife. As such, it advocates economic deregulation and an overtly interventionist foreign policy. It publishes the quarterly Policy Review, for many years considered the preeminent conservative publication in Washington, D.C..
The Heritage Foundation is an "associate" member of the State Policy Network, a web of right-wing “think tanks” in every state across the country.
In the 1980 it lobbied Reagan to take a hard-line stance against the Soviet Union (they were responsible for getting Reagan to famously call the Soviet Union an "evil empire"), jeopardizing international relations in the process. It also contributed heavily to the ideals embodied in the Republicans' 1994 Contract With America.
Later, the foundation became a major proponent of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. (rationalwiki.org)

Once a respected conservative think tank that was very influential in shaping policy on Capitol Hill with solid research has morphed into an activist organization losing its original veneer of respectability...
Formerly a research organization that did not aggressively advocate its position beyond the use of persuasion a young, aggressive, authoritarian ideologist, Mike Needham, has turned the foundation into a political arm of the Tea Party that uses strong-arm tactics.
He is wrecking its reputation among Republicans by campaigning against Republicans who do not toe his ideological hard line and aggressively advocating positions based on ideology rather than good research.
After Senator Jim DeMint, a warrior for conservative purity, was brought onboard the old Heritage was doomed. There is no longer any attempt at objectivity. Kelly La Rue, Veteran, Quora website, 8 Aug 2016)

The Heritage Foundation and AEI are politically conservative advocacy groups with no interest in unbiased analysis. Their sole mission in life is to obtain financial backing from deep pocket corporations or billionaires to advocate for legislation or laws which favors their donors. In short, they are lobbyists. (David Pan, Former USAF officer, Quora 11 Feb 2016)


Heritage on Iran: Greatest threat to 'the Homeland'
Index of Military Strength 2016

The Middle East region is one of the most complex and volatile threat environments faced by the United States and its allies. Iran, various al-Qaeda offshoots, Hezbollah, Arab–Israeli clashes, and a growing number of radical Islamist militias and revolutionary groups in Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen pose actual or potential threats to the U.S. and its allies.

*** Iran is an anti-Western revolutionary state that seeks to tilt the regional balance of power in its favor by driving out the Western presence, undermining and overthrowing opposing governments, and establishing its hegemony over the oil-rich Persian Gulf region. It also seeks to radicalize Shiite communities and advance their interests against Sunni rivals.
*** Iran has a long record of sponsoring terrorist attacks against American allies and other interests in the region. Iran has adopted a political warfare strategy that emphasizes irregular warfare, asymmetric tactics, and the extensive use of proxy forces.
*** Iran is the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism and has made extensive efforts to export its radical Shia brand of Islamist revolution. It has found success in establishing a network of powerful Shia revolutionary groups in Lebanon and Iraq; has cultivated links with Afghan Shia and Taliban militants; and has stirred Shia unrest in Bahrain, Iraq, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.
*** Iran’s ballistic missiles pose a major threat to U.S. bases and allies from Turkey, Israel, and Egypt in the west, to Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States to the south, to Afghanistan and Pakistan to the east.
However, it is Israel that is most at risk from an Iranian attack. Iran poses a greater immediate threat to Israel than to the United States, since Israel is a smaller country with fewer military capabilities and located much closer to Iran. Today, Iran’s surrogates, Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, along with Hamas, a more distant ally, pose the chief immediate threats to Israel.
Iran-supported Hezbollah threatens the security and stability of the Middle East and Western interests in the Middle East on a number of fronts. In addition to its murderous campaign against Israel, Hezbollah seeks to use violence to impose its radical Islamist agenda and subvert democracy in Lebanon.
Hezbollah also poses a potential threat in Europe to NATO allies... France and Britain have been the principal European targets of Hezbollah terrorism, in part because both countries opposed Hezbollah’s agenda in Lebanon and were perceived as enemies of Iran, Hezbollah’s chief patron.

Conclusion: Iran represents by far the most significant security challenge to the United States, its allies, and its interests in the greater Middle East.
Its open hostility to the United States and Israel, sponsorship of terrorist groups like Hezbollah, and history of threatening the commons underscore the problem it could pose. Today, Iran’s provocations are mostly a concern for the region and America’s allies, friends, and assets there.


Putin-Trump: "Back to pragmatic, mutually beneficial cooperation"
TASS News Agency, November 14, 2016

Russian President Vladimir Putin held a telephone conversation with US President-elect Donald Trump..", the Kremlin press service said.
"The Russian leader noted readiness to build partner dialogue with the new administration on the principles of equality, mutual respect and non-interference into each other’s domestic affairs..."
"During the conversation, Putin and Trump not only fell in on the assessment of the extremely unsatisfactory state of the Russian-US relations but also spoke in favor of active joint efforts toward their normalization and bringing them into the track of constructive cooperation on a wide range of issues..."
"Putin and Trump shared the opinion on the necessity to pool efforts against major common enemy — international terrorism and extremism. In this context, they discussed issues of the settlement of the Syrian crisis," the Kremlin said.
"The sides agreed to continue telephone contacts with a possible personal meeting to be organized by representatives of both sides."
"It was noted that next year will see the 210th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and the United States, which is to prompt the sides to get back to pragmatic, mutually beneficial cooperation in the interests of both countries, as well as of stability and security in the world..."


Netanyahu demands Herzog to apologize
Hezki Baruch, Israel Sharutz, 14/11/2016

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called on opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) to apologize to Jews living in Judea and Samaria for calling them a "virus" in an interview with Army Radio on Monday.
"I can't believe Herzog would use the word 'virus' to describe Jews in Judea and Samaria. They're part of us, part of our country. They serve in the IDF, they contribute to the country's future and economy... Bougie, apologize immediately!" Netanyahu said.

"See what this virus has done to the State of Israel," Herzog said.
"See how dangerous it is to Israeli democracy and to the fact that we have to sacrifice lives just because of this stupid nonsense."

On Sunday night, the Ministerial Committee approved the Regulation Law, which is meant to prevent the expulsion of Amona's residents and those of the other towns in Judea and Samaria. The ministers unanimously voted for the Regulation Law.

The Regulation law retroactively legalizes the status of Jewish communities in the occupied West Bank, and would prevent the demolition of the town of Amona. It would also stop the destruction of nine homes in the town of Ofra.
The proposed bill was sponsored by Likud Knesset member Yoav Kish, along with two Bayit Yehudi Knesset members, Shuli Muaelem Refaeli and Bezalel Smotrich. Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked praised the decision.


ADL scorns choice of Breitbart-chief Stephen Bannon as top adviser
Jewish Telegraphic Agency, November 14, 2016

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Anti-Defamation League decried Donald Trump’s appointment of Stephen Bannon as a top White House adviser, saying Bannon’s association with “unabashed anti-Semites and racists” is disqualifying.
Bannon, longtime CEO of the right-wing Breitbart news website, a clearinghouse of alt-right views, joined Trump’s presidential bid late in the campaign and helped lead it to victory.

The ADL in its statement first praised the president-elect for his other hire announced Sunday: Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, as chief of staff.
“At the same time, the ADL strongly opposes the appointment of Steve Bannon as senior adviser and chief strategist in the White House,” said the statement posted on Twitter by ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.
“It is a sad day when a man who presided over the premier website of the ‘alt-right’ – a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists – is slated to be a senior staff member in the ‘people’s house.’”

Stephen Bannon’s rise marks the triumph of the alt-right
Edward Luce, Financial Times, 13-11-2016

The appointment of Stephen Bannon as Donald Trump’s White House chief strategist marks a stunning watershed in US politics.
As the chief enabler of the rise of the alt-right — via the hardline conservative Breitbart News, which Mr Bannon ran until he was tapped to head Mr Trump’s campaign — his elevation tells us a lot about how Mr Trump plans to govern.
The implications of Mr Bannon’s role are enormous. Members of the alt-right, which is a shadowy group of internet-driven outfits that disdain even the most Jacobin strains of Republican conservatism, celebrated the news on social media.
“I don’t think Bannon is alt-right in the way I would define it — but he is the closest we have,” said Richard Spencer, a leading alt-righter (who also coined the term), in an interview.
There was always the fear that Trump could be normalised — or that he would lose his ‘Trumpiness’. With Bannon as his chief strategist that is now much less likely.”

Mr Bannon will be in immediate conflict with Reince Priebus, the mainstream Republican who will be Mr Trump’s White House chief of staff. Crucially, Mr Bannon will be reporting directly to Mr Trump rather than to Mr Priebus, which will give him the chance to change the president’s mind on decisions already taken.

An Establishment Conservative’s Guide To The Alt-Right
by Allum Bokhari & Milo Yiannopoulos, Breitbart, 29 Mar 2016

keywords: provocative, anti-authoritarian, subversive, taboo-defying, "don't be a cuck", lust for life, intelligent-smart, anti-utopian, nationalists, anti-capitalists, isolationists, protection of 'tribal' (liberal) values - against domination by other (anti-freedom) 'tribes' ("fuck sharia law")

The alternative right, more commonly known as the alt-right, is an amorphous movement. Some — mostly Establishment types — insist it’s little more than a vehicle for the worst dregs of human society: anti-Semites, white supremacists, and other members of the Stormfront set. They’re wrong.

Previously an obscure subculture, the alt-right burst onto the national political scene in 2015. Although initially small in number, the alt-right has a youthful energy and jarring, taboo-defying rhetoric that have boosted its membership and made it impossible to ignore.
It has already triggered a string of fearful op-eds and hit pieces from both Left and Right: Lefties dismiss it as racist, while the conservative press, always desperate to avoid charges of bigotry from the Left, has thrown these young readers and voters to the wolves as well.

The amount of column inches generated by the alt-right is a testament to their cultural punch. But so far, no one has really been able to explain the movement’s appeal and reach without desperate caveats and virtue-signalling to readers.
Part of this is down to the alt-right’s addiction to provocation. The alt-right is a movement born out of the youthful, subversive, underground edges of the internet.
There are many things that separate the alternative right from old-school racist skinheads (to whom they are often idiotically compared), but one thing stands out above all else: intelligence.
Skinheads, by and large, are low-information, low-IQ thugs driven by the thrill of violence and tribal hatred. The alternative right are a much smarter group of people — which perhaps suggests why the Left hates them so much. They’re dangerously bright.
The origins of the alternative right can be found in thinkers as diverse as Oswald Spengler, H.L Mencken, Julius Evola, Sam Francis, and the paleoconservative movement that rallied around the presidential campaigns of Pat Buchanan. The French New Right also serve as a source of inspiration for many leaders of the alt-right.

The alt-right do not hold a utopian view of the human condition: just as they are inclined to prioritise the interests of their tribe, they recognise that other groups – Mexicans, African-Americans or Muslims – are likely to do the same.
The alt-right’s intellectuals would also argue that culture is inseparable from race. The alt-right believe that some degree of separation between peoples is necessary for a culture to be preserved. Some alt-righters make a more subtle argument. They say that when different groups are brought together, the common culture starts to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

For decades, the concerns of those who cherish western culture have been openly ridiculed and dismissed as racist. The alt-right is the inevitable result.
The Establishment bears much of the blame. Had they been serious about defending humanism, liberalism and universalism, the rise of the alternative right might have been arrested. All they had to do was argue for common humanity in the face of black and feminist identity politics, for free speech in the face of the regressive Left’s censorship sprees, and for universal values in the face of left-wing moral relativism.
Instead, they turned a blind eye to the rise of tribal, identitarian movements on the Left while mercilessly suppressing any hint of them on the Right. It was this double standard, more than anything else, that gave rise to the alternative right. It’s also responsible, at least in part, for the rise of Donald Trump.
While the alt-right is too sophisticated to be mistaken for a mindless knee-jerk reaction, opposition to this prevailing consensus is the glue that holds it together.
Some enjoy violating social norms for shock value, while others take a more intellectual approach, but all oppose the pieties and hypocrisies of the current consensus — from both Left and Right — in some form or another.
The alt-right openly crack jokes about the Holocaust, loudly — albeit almost entirely satirically — expresses its horror at “race-mixing,” and denounces the “degeneracy” of homosexuals… while inviting Jewish gays and mixed-race Breitbart reporters to their secret dinner parties. What gives?
For the meme brigade, it’s just about having fun. They have no real problem with race-mixing, homosexuality, or even diverse societies: it’s just fun to watch the mayhem and outrage that erupts when those secular shibboleths are openly mocked.
These younger mischief-makers instinctively understand who the authoritarians are and why and how to poke fun at them.

A Trump Doctrine — ‘America First’
By Patrick J. Buchanan, November 14, 2016

Trump promised an “America First” foreign policy rooted in the national interest, not in nostalgia. The neocons insist that every Cold War and post-Cold War commitment be maintained, in perpetuity.
On Sunday’s “60 Minutes,” Trump said: “You know, we’ve been fighting this war for 15 years. … We’ve spent $6 trillion in the Middle East, $6 trillion — we could have rebuilt our country twice. And you look at our roads and our bridges and our tunnels … and our airports are … obsolete.”

Yet the War Party has not had enough of war, not nearly.
They want to confront Vladimir Putin, somewhere, anywhere... They want to establish a no-fly zone and shoot down Syrian and Russian planes... They want to trash the Iran nuclear deal.. Other hardliners want to face down Beijing over its claims to the reefs and rocks of the South China Sea...
In none of these places is there a U.S. vital interest so imperiled as to justify the kind of war the War Party would risk.

The opportunity is at hand for Trump to reconfigure U.S. foreign policy to the world we now inhabit, and to the vital interests of the United States.
Trump should move expeditiously to lay out and fix the broad outlines of his foreign policy, which entails rebuilding our military while beginning the cancellation of war guarantees that have no connection to U.S. vital interests. We cannot continue to bankrupt ourselves to fight other countries’ wars or pay other countries’ bills.
The ideal time for such a declaration, a Trump Doctrine, is when the president-elect presents his secretaries of state and defense.


Neocon Messianism, Regime Change & The Battles of God
US House approves bills to renew Iran sanctions, crack down on Syria

"In one of the scariest and stupidest statements any Israeli official has ever made, an adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said of strategy regarding Iran, Think Amalek." (Steven Weiss, 2010)

Obligatory war: Fighting Amalek

"In Judaism there are three different types of obligatory wars, in which all are required to go out and do battle:
1) fighting against the arch-enemy Amalek; 2) fighting the seven nations that lived in the Land of Israel; and 3) troubles which befall the Jewish people, as he explains, when the nations come to wage war against us.
Certainly all agree that the wars that Israel fights today are obligatory wars, in which we are commanded to go out to war." Levi Chazen
The House on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved bipartisan bills to crack down on supporters of Syria's Assad regime and renew a decades-old Iran sanctions law.
"Now is not the time to ease up on the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism," said Rep. Leonard Lance, R-N.J. "Sanctions work."
Swift passage underscored broad support on Capitol Hill for punishing financial backers of the Syrian regime and maintaining economic pressure on Tehran.
Both bills had the firm backing of Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, the panel's top Democrat. The Senate must now act on the legislation before the bills can be sent to the president.

Lawmakers have accused the Assad regime of war crimes..:. "What we have now is a grim lesson in human suffering," Royce said. "We can see the ethnic cleansing going on. Even the United Nations calls this 'crimes of historic proportions.' Enough's enough."
The Syria legislation targets key backers of Assad such as Russia and Iran, according to Royce, by requiring the president to sanction countries or companies that do business with or provide financing to the Syrian regime or the Central Bank of Syria.
Anyone that provides aircraft to Syria's commercial airlines, does business with the transportation and telecom sectors controlled by the Syrian regime, or supports the country's energy industry also would be subject to sanctions, according to the legislation.
"If you're acting as a lifeline to the Assad regime, you risk getting caught up in the net of our sanctions," Engel said.

"What is Satan’s purpose? Wickedly he is trying to prevent God’s people from ever getting to Canaan, the land of promise.
He knows that that’s God’s purpose. He understands too that God, by bringing Israel to Canaan, is bringing them typically to heaven and to fellowship with Jehovah their God.
And Satan says, “I’m going to stop that!” So he uses Amalek for that purpose. He stirs up that nation against the people of God and seeks to prevent God’s people from ever reaching the promised land.
Satan does that because he realizes that if can succeed in that, he can succeed in destroying God’s purpose in all of history. For if he can destroy Israel here through Amalek, he can prevent the birth of Christ...
And so under Satan, this is a very wicked attack against Israel..." Rev. Daniel Kleyn, in '“ISRAEL’S WAR WITH AMALEK', 7-12-2003



george w. bush wanted to be a 'conservative with compassion', but 'God' made a warrior out of him


"Can he deliver?" Assad willing to work with Trump
By Leith Fadel, Al-Masdar News, 16/11/2016

DAMASCUS, SYRIA (1:10 A.M.) - Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad was interviewed by RTP TV on Monday to discuss the latest developments in Syria and the region.
During the interview, President Assad was asked about the the newly elected U.S. president, Donald Trump, and his policies in regards to Syria and fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS).

"We don’t have a lot of expectations because the American administration is not only about the President; it’s about different powers within this administration, the different lobbies that they are going to influence any President.
So, we have to wait and see when he embarks his new mission, let’s say, or position within this administration as President in two months’ time.
But we always say we have wishful thinking that the Unites States would be unbiased, respect the international law, doesn’t interfere in other countries around the world, and of course to stop supporting terrorists in Syria," President Assad stated on Tuesday.

When asked if he would work with President-elect Trump to combat the Islamic State, President Assad stated he is willing to work with the Americans; however, there are different factors and players that might hinder such a relationship.

"Of course, I would say this is promising, but can he deliver? Can he go in that regard? What about the countervailing forces within the administration, the mainstream media that were against him? How can he deal with it? That’s why for us it’s still dubious whether he can do or live up to his promises or not. That’s why we are very cautious in judging him, especially as he wasn’t in a political position before.
So, we cannot tell anything about what he’s going to do, but if, let’s say if he is going to fight the terrorists, of course we are going to be ally, natural ally in that regard with the Russian, with the Iranian, with many other countries who wanted to defeat the terrorists," Assad added.

Using terrorism or jihadists or extremists for any political agenda is immoral.

- Question: Mr. President, aren’t you using the jihadists to discredit all the oppositions at the eyes of the national and international public opinion, and in the end to try to wipe them all out?

- President Assad: No, we cannot do that for a very simple reason: because we’ve been dealing with this kind of terrorism since the fifties, since the Muslim Brotherhood came to Syria at that time, and we learned that lesson very well, especially in the eighties, that terrorists cannot be used as a political card..
You cannot put it in your pocket, because it’s like a scorpion; it will bite you someday. So, we cannot use jihadists because it’s like shooting yourself in the foot. They’re going to be against you sooner or later... Using terrorism or jihadists or extremists for any political agenda is immoral.


Former Bush official to GOP: 'Stay away' from Trump team
By Christiano Lima, Politico, 15-11-2016

A former George W. Bush official warned Republicans hopeful of earning a federal appointment from President-elect Donald Trump Tuesday to "stay away" from his "angry, arrogant" team.
Eliot Cohen, a senior counselor for the Bush State Department, had counseled conservatives offered positions in the Trump administration following the election to "say yes," despite recognizing potential pitfalls, in an open-letter published in The American Interest.
But on Tuesday, Cohen changed his tune, posting on social media that an interaction between him and Trump's staff had made him change his mind.
"After exchange w Trump transition team, changed my recommendation: stay away," he tweeted Monday morning. "They're angry, arrogant, screaming...: "you LOST!"

Flashback: GOP hawks declare war on Trump
By Michael Crowley, Politico, 03/03/2016

Hillary is the lesser evil, by a large margin,” said Eliot Cohen, a former top State Department official under George W. Bush and a strategic theorist who argues for a muscular U.S. role abroad.
Trump's election would be “an unmitigated disaster for American foreign policy," Cohen said, adding that "he has already damaged it considerably.”
Cohen helped to organize an open letter signed by several dozen GOP foreign policy insiders that was published by War on the Rocks, a defense and foreign policy website:
“[W]e are unable to support a Party ticket with Mr. Trump at its head,” the letter declared. It cited everything from Trump’s "admiration for foreign dictators” to his “inexcusable” support for “the expansive use of torture."

The letter was signed by dozens of Republican foreign policy experts, including Boot; Peter Feaver, a former senior national security aide in George W. Bush's White House; Robert Zoellick, a former deputy to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; and DOV ZAKHEIM, a former Bush Pentagon official; and Kori Schake, a fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and a former Bush State Department official.


John McCain: We have to support Jihadism
Statement by John McCain on US-Russia relations, 15-11-2016

Washington, D.C. ­– U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement today on U.S.-Russia relations:

Vladimir Putin has rejoined Bashar Assad in his barbaric war against the Syrian people with the resumption of large-scale Russian air and missile strikes in Idlib and Homs. Another brutal assault on the city of Aleppo could soon follow.

Ibn Taymiyya's fatwa on Alawites as "more infidel than Christians and Jews" has been recited by Muslim Brotherhood affiliated scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi and the Syrian rebel Islamist leader of Jaysh al-Islam Zahran Alloush (read more here)


“With the U.S. presidential transition underway, Vladimir Putin has said in recent days that he wants to improve relations with the United States. We should place as much faith in such statements as any other made by a former KGB agent who has plunged his country into tyranny, murdered his political opponents, invaded his neighbors, threatened America’s allies, and attempted to undermine America’s elections.
“The Obama Administration’s last attempt at resetting relations with Russia culminated in Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and military intervention in the Middle East.


May 2013: U.S. Senator John McCain was photographed with a known affiliate of the “Northern Storm” brigade, the rebel group responsible for the kidnapping of 11 Lebanese Shiite pilgrims one year ago, during a visit inside Syria this week. … Members of the kidnapped family said they recognized Nour, and another man affiliated with the group, also identified as “Abu Ibrahim”. (Daily Kos 2013)


At the very least, the price of another ‘reset’ would be complicity in Putin and Assad’s butchery of the Syrian people.
That is an unacceptable price for a great nation. When America has been at its greatest, it is when we have stood on the side those fighting tyranny. That is where we must stand again.”

GOP senator Lindsey Graham: Trump is a fool
Pamela Engel, Business Insider, 13 Nov 2016

Top Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a vocal critic of Donald Trump throughout the election cycle, slammed the president-elect’s views on foreign policy in a wide-ranging interview with Business Insider last week.
“I think [Trump’s views on Russia] are the biggest misreading since the ’30s and Donald Trump is a fool when it comes to Russia,” he said. Trump has “zero idea” about how to defeat the terrorist group ISIS (also known as the Islamic State or ISIL), called his views on the NATO alliance “dangerous,” and he “doesn’t know anything” about foreign policy writ large. “To put ‘Donald Trump’ and ‘foreign policy’ in the same sentence is a stretch,” Graham said. “This is not his area. He doesn’t know anything about it. He doesn’t seem to be curious.”

Trump has suggested that Syrian President Bashar Assad should be able to remain in power and help the US fight ISIS in the Middle East...
“To suggest that it’s OK to leave Assad in power, you have no idea what that means for the Mideast,” Graham said. “That means every Arab government is going to rebel against that decision because to keep Assad in power is giving Damascus to the Iranians, and you’re not going to do that. That means empowering the Russians in a way that we haven’t seen since the ’70s.”
Graham predicted that some Republicans in Congress would resist Trump’s policies on Russia: “There will be people in the Congress on the Republican side who push back,” Graham said. “I will gladly work with him where I can.”

Bolton calls regime change the 'only long-term solution' in Iran
Madeline Conway, Politico, 17-11-2016

John Bolton, the former ambassador to the United Nations, argued Thursday that the United States should support a push for regime change in Iran, calling it the “only long-term solution” to threats the country poses in the Middle East.
The ayatollahs are the principal threat to international peace and security in the Middle East,” Bolton told Breitbart News Daily, a radio program run by the hard-right website with close ties to Donald Trump. “Now, their ouster won’t bring sweetness and light to the region, that’s for sure, but it will eliminate the principal threat.”
“I think the people of Iran would long for a new regime,” Bolton continued, later suggesting that the U.S. should support opposition groups looking to overthrow it.


Allawi: "The concept of citizenship has begun to retreat"
Daily Sabah, 17-11-2016

Iraq must not allow the PKK terrorist group to carry out attacks on Turkey from its territory, Iraqi Vice-President Iyad Allawi said Wednesday. Allawi made the assertion while addressing the Amman Security Colloquium, a high-level security conference that kicked off Wednesday at the University of Jordan.
"We in Iraq must not allow the PKK to carry out attacks against Turkey," he said. "We must protect Turkey and Iran." "And these two states should do the same for us," he asserted.

"In our region we face grave challenges.." Allawi added. "We therefore must develop peacefully with a view to confronting these challenges."
"The concept of citizenship has begun to retreat in the region, with sectarianism and political Islam dominating our thinking," he said.
He went on to call for a "regional Arab conference" - in which Turkish and Iranian representatives would also participate - to discuss means of resolving conflict, fighting terrorism and addressing the rise of sectarianism in the region.

Flashback 2011: "Right now, socially, we are disintegrating." So says Mohamed ElBaradei, former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency and potential candidate for president of Egypt.
Can the Arab revolts cope with "the cacophony of diversity ... the Arab world's variety of clans, sects, ethnicities and religions?" Or will we witness the disintegration of nations like Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, as we did Ethiopia and the Sudan—and of African, Latin American, Asian and European nations, as well?

In the 21st century, the call of one's God and the claims of blood and soil seem more magnetic than the ideologies of the 19th and 20th century: Marxism, socialism or democracy.
People do not seem to seek equality with other cultures, faiths and tribes, but a separate existence in nations that are of, by and for themselves alone. ( Patrick J. Buchanan 26 mei 2011)