Rouhani shifts strategy in presidential race
"Believing in dialogue paves the way for hope"
Emmanuel Macron, former French banker, won the second round of presidential election in France giving hope to his country, Europe, and the entire world in the present chaotic situation.
The 39-year-old Macron was elected the president gaining 66.1% of the votes and beating his far-right rival Marine Le Pen.
“This was a choice between patriots and globalists…,” Le Pen tweeted on May 7 following the final result of the election was announced. She stressed that she would be the voice of opposition in France.
“Macron offers five more years of failure, more power to the EU and a continuation of open borders. If Marine sticks in there, she can win in 2022,” tweeted the US president Donald Trump after Macron’s victory in the elections.
Trump’s statements prove the world that radicalism is a growing problem, which has to be taken into account seriously to stop further chaos, devastation and bloodshed in the world.
In the present situation where we see some warmongers are trying to beat the drum of war wherever and whenever they can as well as the growing support of terrorism by those warmongers allies which leads the world to chaos, taking the power in France by far-rights could even worsen the situation and bring devastating consequences not only to France but also to Europe and the world.
“Ensemble la France” (All together France) was the motto of Macron’s presidential campaign, expressing his concern to unify all people in France regardless of their nationalities, religions, ethnicities, or even ideologies and indicating that France should be an opportunity for all.
As a country known to be the cradle of love, the French decided to choose love instead of hatred and extremism.
Love is an element strongly needed in the contemporary world as a major solution to overcome radicalism and violence.
It can gather the most, if not all, together in tricky situations and the French perceived it right at time.
“My responsibility will be to gather all men and women together to confront the enormous challenges awaiting us and to act,” Macron said in the dawn of his victory. “I will fight with all my power against the divisions which undermine us and knocks us back,” he further added reassuring that radicalism has no place in his government.
Therefore, there is still hope for the people of the world to get rid of extremism and violence by making wise choices as has happened in France.
People of this wounded planet have seen enough violence, ignorance and prejudice...
On Friday (may 12) UNESCO member states endorsed a resolution which referred to Israel as an “occupying power” in Jerusalem and reaffirmed the importance of the Old City and its Walls to the three monotheistic religions Christianity, Islam and Judaism.
The resolution stipulates “all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying power, which have altered or purport to alter the character and status of the Old City of Jerusalem, and in particular the ‘basic law’ are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith.”
the Jewish Temple (at the top of the lower city, the Jewish city or the city of David)
The resolution was introduced by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan. Twenty-two countries, including Russia, China, Brazil and Sweden, backed the motion. Germany, Italy, the United States and the UK were among the 10 countries that voted no while France, Spain and Japan were among the 23 abstentions.
The resolution sparked anger in Israel with some Israeli politicians demanding the UN be expelled from Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the resolution as “absurd and diminishing of Jewish ties to the city”. “This systematic harassment has a price,” said Netanyahu. He told the Israeli cabinet he had ordered the Foreign Ministry to “cut an additional $1 million from the money Israel transfers to the UN”.
Mounir Anastas, deputy Palestinian ambassador to UNESCO, welcomed the resolution. He described it as “a reminder to Israel of its legal status in East of Jerusalem, which is that of an occupying power”.
In 2011 Palestine was recognised as a full member of UNESCO despite intense opposition from Israel and the US
old city of the jews, upper-city & antonia citadel, destruction of the herodus-temple
Jerusalem in the 19th century: We see a crowded, densely populated Old City ['Upper City' & Roman Fort Antonia] with closely built houses and dark narrow alleys crammed within its walls, and almost nothing outside the walls ['Lower City' & Temple Region] but seemingly empty, arid rolling hills.
The overall picture these images create for us is of a city that was a largely ignored, uncared for and neglected backwater for hundreds of years. Confined within walls and gates that were shut and locked every evening at dusk, Jerusalem was inhabited by a population that lived amidst ruins and rubbish, packed within roughly 20% of the area within the walls.
At the start of the 19th century, the city was a remote and not terribly important outpost of the Ottoman Empire, with a total population of no more than 9,000. (source: Who owns the Holy City? By Carl Hoffman, May 13, 2017)
Israeli Messianists: Human Rights Activists Are Criminals
President Donald Trump has told graduates of Liberty University, the nation's largest Christian college, to "embrace" the label of an outsider.
"Relish the opportunity to be an outsider," Trump told a crowd of about 50,000 at the school's stadium in Lynchburg, Virginia. "Being an outsider is fine. Embrace the label, because it's the outsiders who change the world."
Continuing his populist, anti-establishment narrative, the president said he has seen "firsthand how the system is broken" in Washington. He urged Liberty's graduates to resist "a small group of failed voices who think they know everything." "We don't need a lecture from Washington on how to lead our lives," said Trump.
The president received some of the loudest applause when he assured the crowd that he would continue to protect their religious freedom.
“As long as I am your president, no one is ever going to stop you from practicing your faith or from preaching what’s in your heart,” he said.
When you read his most famous sermon, The Sermon on the Mount, he goes through a pattern of 'blessed are the outsiders'
The very people folks assumed would be guaranteed to be “in” are conspicuously missing from the equation.
Meanwhile Jesus declares that the outcast, the set aside, the not included, the “without a tribe” and those who do things backwards, are actually the very people who will find this “Kingdom” he talked so much about.
The outsiders were always the ones who embraced Jesus.
Jesus came not for the people with their feet planted firmly on the shore, but for people who are often set adrift in the vast oceans of life– and who have no island of their own to drift towards.
If you’re feeling like a “Christian outsider”, feeling like you’re left without a tribe and aren’t sure where to go… let me just encourage you that this may in fact be the perfect place to discover the true heart of Jesus of Nazareth – because he was an outsider who came for other outsiders.
Flashback: Muammar Gaddafi & The Outsider
In a rare interview with Western journalists in January 1986 Muammar Gaddafi spoke frankly about his life and how he had been misunderstood by the West.
Muammar Gaddafi killed, 20-10-2011
People across the world are commemorating the Nakba Day which marks the anniversary of the forcible eviction of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland by Israelis in 1948.
palestinian refugees 1948
The Day of Catastrophe is officially marked every year on May 15, but the occasion this year coincides with a hunger strike being observed by more than 1,600 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
Some 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes during the 1948 war. Today, more than 7 million Palestinian refugees are living in exile, while 1.8 million Palestinians are living in the world’s largest open-air prison in the Gaza Strip.
Ahead of the anniversary, the besieged Gaza Strip and several parts of the world witnessed protests against the Israeli oppression and occupation which has continued for decades.
Hani Islayim, a senior Hamas leader, said the march aimed at telling “hypocrites” that “we are staying in Palestine” to end the Israeli occupation.
Jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti urged Palestinians to carry out acts of “civil disobedience” to commemorate the Nakba Day. He also appealed to Fatah and Hamas to enter into a national reconciliation agreement.
In mainstream Israeli politics, history books, literature and collective imagination, the Palestinian Nakba never happened.
If the pain and suffering of a nation is acknowledged, then the people themselves would, naturally, have to be acknowledged as well. This, Israel could not do.
In fact, the infamous declaration made by former Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir — that Palestinians “didn’t exist” and that “there is no such a thing as a Palestinian people” — was far more dangerous than the racist comment that many understood it to be, justifiably so...
In the absence of a problem, there is no obligation to fix it or even relevance in doing so.
Thus, the denial of the Palestinian people and homeland was the only intellectual formulation that would allow Israel to sustain and promote its national myths.
Not surprisingly, the Israeli logic was convincing enough for those, driven by political necessity, religious zeal or simply self-delusion, who felt the need also to celebrate the Israeli “miracle”. Their new mantra, as repeated by one of America’s most opportunistic and, indeed, ignorant politicians, Newt Gingrich, a few years ago, was simple: “Palestinians are an invented people.”
While the pseudo-intellectual equivalent of Gingrich and the political clones of Golda Meir still dominate most platforms concerned with Palestine, and continue to vent hatred and historical distortions, they are making little headway.
The Palestinians’ fight for their rights throughout the years has resurrected them constantly as a nation, despite every Israeli attempt to deface their national narrative...
Once justice and freedom are achieved, the Nakba must be reassigned a different meaning, a suitable role in the collective memory of the Palestinian Arab nation...
For now, however, the Nakba must live, not only as recognition of the brutality of colonialism, but also of the pride, dignity and resistance of the colonized.
Speaking at a conference outside Jerusalem, Housing and Construction Minister Yoav Galant said that in light of recent allegations that Assad’s regime carried out mass executions and burned the bodies of the victims, he had to be killed.
“The reality of the situation in Syria is that they are executing people, using directed chemical attacks against them, and the latest extreme — burning their corpses, something we haven’t seen in 70 years,” Galant said, in a reference to the Holocaust.
“In my view, we are crossing a red line. And in my view, the time has come to assassinate Assad. It’s as simple as that,” said Galant, who previously served as the head of the IDF’s Southern Command.
Galant likened the assassination of Assad to cutting off the “tail of the snake.” After that, he said, “we can focus on the head, which is in Tehran.”
In a conversation with The Times of Israel after his speech, Galant stood by his comments.
He acknowledged that targeted political assassinations are considered illegal under international law, but clarified that he “wasn’t speaking about practicalities.”
During his speech, Galant also said that in a wider view, Assad and his ally Hezbollah, the Lebanese terror group, are larger threats to the world order than the Islamic State and other Sunni terrorist groups.
Galant said his assessment came from the fact that those terrorist groups do not enjoy the same level of support as Syria and Hezbollah, which are backed by Iran.
flashback - libya 2011/12: 'liberated' by salafists, muslim brotherhood, al-qaeda and zionists
During the 2016 presidential election cycle, there was a largely partisan effort to portray Donald Trump and his advisors as being under undue Russian influence.
Now that campaign has turned into something much broader, uglier, and more dangerous. It has become a crusade to make Russia a pariah and impugn the loyalty and ethics of anyone who advocates even a modestly less confrontational relationship with that country.
The latest salvo in that campaign is a May 15 Washington Post story charging that President Trump revealed highly classified information to two Russian officials, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and Moscow’s ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, during a meeting at the White House. The clear implication was that this alleged sharing of intelligence data was highly improper, if not treasonous.
The underlying message in the Washington Post story is that close cooperation with Moscow, even on anti-terrorism measures, is illegitimate.
That is merely the latest stage in an intensifying anti-Russia hysteria. Russophobes have portrayed not only Trump and his associates, but scholars and journalists who have no affiliation with the administration, as “Putin puppets” if they dare favor anything less than an ultra-hardline policy toward that country.
Victims of such smears include Princeton Professor Stephen Cohen, a longtime distinguished scholar on the Soviet Union and Russia, the Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald, syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan, former Republican congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul, and TAC columnist Daniel Larison.
Such tactics echo the worst excesses of the McCarthy era in the 1950s and threaten to poison the public discourse.
An attempt to make Russia a pariah would be the essence of folly. The current anti-Russia hysteria is not only extremely damaging to America’s internal political health; it also could produce catastrophic international consequences.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Russia would always be a "reliable ally" to the Islamic world.
"I would like to stress that the Islamic world can fully count on Russia's help and support," Putin said in an address to participants of the "Russia-Islamic world" strategic vision group.
"We are ready to boost cooperation with our partners in confronting terrorist forces as well as in search for ways to peacefully resolve regional crises," the Russian president stated.
Putin went on to express confidence that by combining efforts, global security and stability could be strengthened:
"We support the position of Muslim countries to strengthen values such as justice and the rule of law in international relations," Putin told vision group participants.
"Together we can build a fair and democratic world order, free of any kind of intolerance, discrimination and military dictate," he added.
The Russia-Islamic World strategic vision group was established in 2006, in the response to Russia joining the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as an observer. The group currently consists of over 30 officials and prominent public figures from 27 Muslim countries.
The Russian region of Chechnya is hosting the group's meeting from May 16-17 and the meetings will continue May 18-20 in the Republic of Tatarstan.
Tehran Grand Bazaar
Bernard-Henri Lévy: Trump has no real love for Israel
Jordan's King Abdullah on Wednesday held talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi in Cairo, which focused on ways to boost bilateral relations and regional developments..
During their talks, the two leaders highlighted the importance of reaching political solutions to the crises in the region to achieve security and stability for the people.
In this regard, the King highlighted the pivotal role Egypt is playing to serve Arab causes and he agreed with Sisi on the need to proceed with efforts aimed at unifying Arab stances, especially in light of Jordan's role as the president of the Arab summit in boosting joint Arab action to overcome challenges and crises facing the broader Arab nation.
The two leaders also highlighted the importance of reviving the Palestinian-Israeli peace process and negotiations to reach a two-state based solution in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative and relevant international conventions.
The King and Sisi underlined the need to preserve the status quo in Jerusalem and preserve the city’s Arab character.
The King and the Egyptian president discussed regional developments in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen.
The two leaders said it is important to intensify regional and international efforts to combat terrorism within a holistic strategy.
President al-Assad stresses need of boosting pan-Arab sentiment
to face projects plotted against the region. SANA, 17-5-2017
In his comments on the Arab situation, the President said the challenges facing the Arab World now necessitate work to develop awareness of the state of Arabism as an identity and an all-inclusive cultural frame and not just as an ideology, affirming the need to commit to the pan-Arab dimension and thinking and boost the pan-Arab sentiment in facing the projects of fragmentation plotted against the region.
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 dualists consider political holists unpatriotic.
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.
On the third anniversary of the launching of Operation Dignity Galal Nassar speaks with Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, general commander of the Libyan National Army. The Weekly’s interview with Haftar took place in the headquarters of the LNA’s general command.
Haftar began by asserting that within five days Benghazi would be completely liberated from the Qatari, Turkish and Sudanese supported Islamist forces. They were now surrounded in two locations in the centre of the old city.
The third anniversary of the launching of Operation Dignity comes, said Haftar, after a period of struggle in which the LNA had succeeded in liberating eastern Libya, its oil fields and oil exporting ports. The LNA has also gained control of cities towards the west and south of Libya.
The campaign began three years ago with just 300 troops: it soon attracted soldiers and volunteers from across Libya, making it possible to rebuild the army and air force and re-establish military training institutes and colleges from which the first class of officers graduated on 15 May.
On his meeting in Abu Dhabi with Fayez Al-Sarraj, chairman of the interim Presidency Council and prime minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA), and his subsequent meeting with President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi in Cairo this week, Haftar told the Weekly he had presented Al-Sarraj with a set of principles that must constitute the framework for any political process.
The principles are: Libya is a single, indivisible state and the LNA its sole armed force; every individual with a legally issued military identity number is a member of the LNA and subject to military regulations; the government has no authority over the army;
international intervention in the structuring of the Libyan army or supervision of security arrangements is unacceptable; the LNA is solely responsible for the protection of Libya’s land, resources, people and borders;
Al-Qaeda, IS, Ansar Al-Sharia, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Benghazi Defence Brigades must be designated terrorist organisations; and the executive authority must be free of all ideological, partisan, regional, tribal or militia influences.
Haftar added that all militias must be dissolved in accordance with the law and that there can be no peace without reversing the proliferation of weapons outside the authority of the state..
He stressed that the LNA cannot be subordinate to any authority that is not freely and directly elected by the Libyan people.
Sources say Presidency Council Chairman Al-Sarraj will be unable to act independently of the militias and armed groups, and they are almost certain to reject Haftar’s principles for the completion of the interim political process.
Al-Sarraj is effectively a hostage of the militias and the groups to which they are affiliated, the Muslim Brotherhood foremost among them.
He is, in addition, beholden to the foreign powers, led by the UK, which support the current political and military dispensation in western Libya.
Tellingly, London dispatched its Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to Tripoli immediately after the meeting between Haftar and Al-Sarraj to forestall any possibility of Haftar’s proposals being accepted and to secure the inclusion of the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliated militias in any solution to Libya’s political and security crisis.
According to sources, London wants a leading role in Libya and plans to secure it through the Muslim Brotherhood and/or other Islamist groups.
“From day one the Muslim Brotherhood has served as a Trojan horse, bringing foreign combatants into Libya after they had received training in regional and Western capitals and cities,” Haftar told the Weekly. “The Muslim Brotherhood provided them with entry visas or Libyan identity papers, furnished them with weapons and offered logistical support.”
Haftar said the 30 June 2013 Revolution in Egypt provided “inspiration to us to rid ourselves of the group [the Muslim Brotherhood]".
“The battle against terrorism in Egypt and Libya is one and the same. We are confronting the same enemy and the same sponsors,” he said.
At an expanded meeting of the Central Committee of Al-Baath Arab Socialist Party president Bashar al-Assad said that the war that is being imposed on the Syrian people for more than six years must be an incentive for Al-Baath Party to keep enhancing its presence among citizens by creating new mechanisms for communication that suit the current conditions and keep up with changes in the society.
He stressed the need for Party leaderships to find new ideas and work methods to revitalize the Party’s work. It’s important for the Party’s leaderships, he said, to encourage the spirit of initiative in Party members in all fields.
President al-Assad said that one of the goals of the war on Syria was undermining pan-Arab ideals and forcing Syria to abandon pan-Arabism, and he asserted that Syria belongs to the Arab nations therefore these attempts failed, affirming that Al-Baath Party has an important role in consecrating Syria’s Arabism due to its belief that Syria is the basis of Arabism...
President al-Assad affirmed that Syria will continue to confront Western scenarios seeking to undermine its unity and sovereignty, and this will be done in conjunction with pursuing political work, both in terms of the reconciliation policy that proved effective, and in participating in the political process in Astana or Geneva in the hope that this would help stop the shedding of Syrian blood.
A new Central Committee was formed during the meeting and changes were made to the formation of the Regional Leadership and the Party Supervision Committee.
An essential aspect of Arab nationalism is its humanism. Well-being and the development of human capacities are central.
An essential aspect of Arab nationalism is its humanism. Well-being and the development of human capacities are central.
The nascent Sanhedrin sent a letter on Monday to US President Donald Trump, calling on him to ascend to the Temple Mount and pray for world peace when he arrives in Jerusalem next week for his first state visit.
“Trump is standing at a historic cusp, when the world can fall into an abyss of conflict,” Rabbi Hillel Weiss told Breaking Israel News. “Whether it begins in North Korea or Syria or Europe, the seeds of war are already sown.”
The prospect of war is truly chilling, but the rabbi explained that the possibility for great global good is equally as strong.
“Alternatively, President Trump can choose to be a part of a process to bring the [Jewish] Messiah and unprecedented blessing to the world, in the same manner that King Cyrus played his part in building the Second Temple.”
The Sanhedrin’s letter to the US President: “We, the judges of the Sanhedrin, the high court according to the Torah of Israel, are pleased that you are visiting Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Nation of Israel in which the creator of the world chose as the site of the Holy Temple. We hope that you will decide to go up to the Temple Mount, Mount Moriah, to the proper areas, and by doing so, you will merit the blessings of King Solomon, who founded the Temple..."
Read also: Why Jews Don't Believe In Jesus
Jesus did not fulfill the messianic prophecies. Jesus contradicts the Torah. Jesus did not embody the personal qualifications of the Messiah. .Biblical verses "referring" to Jesus are mistranslations. Jewish belief is based on national revelation.
Mark 14:61 states that the high priest then asked Jesus: "Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" And Jesus said "I am", at which point the high priest tore his own robe in anger and accused Jesus of blasphemy... (Wikipedia)
The Sanhedrin is the name given in the mishna to the council of seventy-one Jewish sages who constituted the supreme court and legislative body in Judea during the Roman period. |
It continued to function for more than four hundred years after the destruction of the Temple and there have been several orthodox attempts to re-establish it since that time. The current attempt to re-establish the Sanhedrin is generally referred to as the "nascent Sanhedrin", or the "developing Sanhedrin".
The organization heading this attempt regards itself as a provisional body awaiting integration into the Israeli government as both a supreme court and an upper house of the Knesset, while the Israeli secular press regards it as an illegitimate fundamentalist organization of rabbis.
The organization, which is composed of over 70 rabbis (similar to the composition of the original Sanhedrin), claims to enjoy recognition and support from the entire religious Jewish community in Israel, and has stirred debate in both religious and secularist circles.
On Thursday the 18.05. Russian, Iranian und Turkish officials held further talks about concrete steps and details of their planned establishment of de-escalation zones in Syria.
The three states serve as guarantors for the various factions of the Syrian conflict involved in this agreement. A first memorandum was signed on May 4 in Astana to establish four de-escalation zones in Syria.
While many details have yet to be agreed upon, flights above the zones are already banned. The Russian Ministry of Defense, who’s units will enforce this rule, made clear, that violations will not be tolerated, even if announced beforehand.
The deal, if fully implemented, would bring relief for both the population in the zones and the forces fighting for control over those areas, as neutral peace keeping forces will control the zones. Still the exact boundaries of the zones has to be determined until May 27.
The borders of the zones will have security lanes with checkpoints, to allow the movement of civilians and goods, while keeping the opposing parties of the Syrian conflict at distance.
Turkey is rooting for a UN supervision of the agreement. The memorandum demands the guarantors themselves to provide supervisioning troops, but leaves the option to include third parties open...
All three guarantor states of the agreement on the implementation of de-escalation zones have, in their respective tone, urged the U.S. to seek participation in a political solution and to abstain of destabilizing actions in the Syrian conflict.
If the agreement were to come into full effect, this would free up, larger contingents of the Syrian forces, to focus their efforts on ISIS.
With this perspective, the Syrian Arab Army and allied groups have already started parts of a large scale operation, which ultimately aims to seal Syria’s south-eastern borders and to liberate the city of Deir Ezzor in Syrias east, which has been besieged by ISIS for 2 years now.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met with Iraq's National Security Advisor Falah al-Fayadh in Damascus, 19-5-2017
A 'Political' ProcesThe United States will never work with President Bashar Assad’s government to stabilize Syria after the Daesh (IS) terror group is defeated, Brett McGurk, the US special envoy to the coalition against Daesh said on Friday.
"[In Syria] we don’t have a government to work with, and we will never work with the Assad regime," McGurk told reporters.
"Unlike in Iraq", McGurk said, "the international community will not be prepared to fund reconstruction or stabilization projects in Syria until Assad’s government is replaced.... through a political process."
On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives passed a bill imposing sanctions against foreign backers providing support, including military assistance, to Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The United States has carried out a direct military intervention in Syria to prevent the establishment of the Syrian army’s control over the border with Iraq, Lebanese Army General Charles Abi Nader, an expert in military strategy in the Middle East, told TASS.
"There is no other explanation of the strike delivered by the US Air Force on the Syrian forces and units supporting them," the general said. The border area in eastern Syria, where the army and militia units are carrying out offensive now, has major strategic importance.
"There is the only border crossing there, through which one can get to Baghdad now, taking into consideration that the Ar-Rutbah-Ramadi road has been cleared of terrorists of the Islamic State," the expert said.
"The goal of the US is evident - to prevent the restoration of transport links between Syria and Iraq and also Iran, which is the ally of Damascus," he stressed.
Washington still using terrorists
|Michael Flyn, interview 7-8-2015
Flynn: I think the administration, the administration turned a blind eye...
Hasan: So the administration turned a blind eye to your analysis?
Flynn: I don’t know that they turned a blind eye, I think it was a decision. I think it was a willful decision.
Hasan: A willful decision to support an insurgency that had Salafists, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood?
Flynn: It was a willful decision to do what they’re doing.
Two days after firing Michael Flynn as his national security adviser in February, President Donald Trump told several aides and friends he should have kept him instead.
Trump has grown obsessed with defending the tough-talking 58-year old general, repeatedly telling aides and associates in private that Flynn was a “good man.”
Officials say Trump has remained resolute in defending Flynn even though aides, including White House Counsel Don McGahn, have reminded Trump of the Russia investigation and other problems.
News reports about Flynn, including his lobbying for foreign governments, haven’t bothered Trump nearly as much as they’ve bothered his aides, senior officials said. News of subpoenas haven’t caused him to lose faith, even privately, associates said
Hassan Rouhani re-elected as president scoring 57% of votes
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Saturday that those who ostracized others based on their ideologies in the past in Turkey, are accusing the current Turkish government of being against the freedom of speech.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of Ibn Haldun University in Istanbul's Haliç Congress Center, President Erdoğan said that the government's struggle is against those who openly support and speak for terrorism: "Our struggle is not against different ideologies, our struggle is against terror and terror groups," he said.
Erdoğan said that no civilized country in the world would allow terror groups to nest in universities nor transform universities into training camps for the groups.
"Weapons, molotov cocktails and violence can never be a means to seek rights," Erdoğan said.
Turkey will ensure that any opinion can be freely discussed at universities, as long as it does not serve terrorism, he said.
“One must not be afraid of new ideas, no matter the source.
Flashback: Syria 2013
It only took two suicide bombers to destroy the oldest public hospital in Syria. Aleppo’s Kindi Hospital is now reduced to rubble as militants took control of it December 20.
Al-Kindi was one of the first Arab scholars involved in translating and commenting on Greek philosophical manuscripts. |
He defined philosophy as “the establishment of what is true and right”.
Although al-Kindi was influenced by the work of Aristotle (384-322 BC), he put the Greek’s ideas in a new context and laid the foundations of a new philosophy.
He first elaborated a system of thought based on the logic of Greek philosophy, hence developed logic and systematic explanations for some of the debated theological issues of his time, such as creation, immortality, God's knowledge, and prophecy.
His thoughts very much influenced medieval Europe.
A negotiated ceasefire between the UN-backed Libyan “unity” government and the Tobruk-based UN-backed Libyan parliament’s forces is in a shambles today, since groups loyal to the former attacked a base belonging to the later near Brak al-Shati, in southern Libya, sparking a massive battle that left 141 killed.
The base was held by the Libyan National Army (LNA), loyal to the Tobruk faction, and a spokesman for the LNA reported at least 103 of their fighters were among the slain. Local doctors were quoted by Human Rights Watch as saying many of the slain were shot in a style that suggested summary executions.
The attackers were mostly from the Misrata militia, which is aligned with the unity government. The LNA also reported Islamist fighters from Benghazi were present in the attack, fighting alongside the militia against them.
The unity government has announced that they are suspending their Defense Minister as well as the commander of the Misrata miilitia, until it is determined who was responsible for violating the ceasefire. Early signs point to both of them.
Libya’s Islamists were forced underground or fled into exile during Moammar Qaddafi’s 42-year rule, but they re-emerged quickly after his capture in October 2011.
They now span the ideological spectrum, from moderates who embrace democracy to militants linked to al Qaeda and the Islamic State. The factions include both political parties – defined largely by the Muslim Brotherhood and smaller Salafi groups – and militias.
In May 2013, the Brotherhood, with the support of Salafis, pushed through the controversial Political Isolation Law, which banned Qaddafi-era officials from participating in politics for ten years.
After Qaddafi’s ouster, Libya’s disparate array of Islamists transformed the political landscape. In 2014, Islamist militias forced the (democratic elected) secular government to flee the capital.
As a result of growing clashes between Islamist and secular militias, Libya’s already fragile and factionalized political system imploded into two rival governments, each backed by loose coalitions of militias and tribes.
By September 2016, a U.N.-backed unity government was in place, but some members of both rival governments refused to recognize its authority.
Libya’s rapid deterioration is striking because it is the only one of the 22 Arab nations with the right assets – a small population and vast oil resources -- to afford both reconstruction and a political transition.
Libya had the potential to become a key economic player in North Africa and Southern Europe. But since early 2014, Libya has experienced its worst wave of violence since the 2011 uprisings, driving the country to civil war.
By 2016, the rivalries had played out among Islamist factions as well as between secular and Islamist parties.
the 'friends of libya': bernard-h levy, david cameron, nicolas sarkozy, hillary clinton
Libya's Islamist Militias
-- Misratan Militias: The western city of Misrata became a stronghold for Islamist militias during the 2011 uprising, eventually producing more than 200 militias with a total of 40,000 fighters. Misratan militias have received funding from the General National Congress. Some brigades have links to Muslim Brotherhood politicians. (Misrata rebels lynched Muamar Gaddafi in 2011)
Supporters of the Syrian opposition have relentlessly demanded that Western observers listen to “Syrian voices.” The idea is that by absorbing the testimonies of Syrians who have experienced the violence of the conflict first hand, Westerners will know how to best help them.
Yet Western media consumers have scarcely heard from ordinary people who reside within the areas controlled by the government -- the areas where the vast majority of Syrians live...
[Their voices] present a testimony that is simply too inconvenient for Western media to consider... They simply do not fit within the accepted narrative that justifies the West’s geopolitical aims. And it is wholly out of line with the content that dominates the Qatari state outlet Al Jazeera, which has functioned as a 24/7 vehicle for the Syrian armed opposition.
Like 18 million Syrians, Areej - a university student from Aleppo - lives under the control of the Syrian government. Seven million of them are internally displaced refugees who have fled from the areas conquered by the insurgents and ISIS.
Only about 2.5 million people live under the opposition’s control, while some 1.8 million live in areas dominated by ISIS.
The coverage of Syria by Western media contains little resemblance at all to the lived experiences described to me by the people I met when I visited the areas where most Syrians live in 2016.
Having watched for years as Syrian expatriates promoting regime change from abroad occupy the limelight, Syrians inside the country have developed a strong sense of resentment.
The US media tends to avoid any factual analysis of the rebels, their goals or their extremist ideology...
To avoid acknowledging inconvenient truths, American media tends to shift all the blame for the conflict onto the Syrian government, spinning out a convenient narrative of a one-sided war pitting a cartoonishly evil regime that enjoys killing children against a ragtag team of freedom fighters who were forced to take up arms to protect Syria’s civilian population.
Assad is invariably portrayed as a uniquely evil figure with no rational capacity -- an “animal,” as Donald Trump called him -- while the atrocities committed by his Western-backed adversaries are ignored or whitewashed.
Even the progressive American left, which has traditionally been skeptical of pro-war propaganda, has bought into the mainstream version of the Syrian conflict.
American media outlets from right to left seem to imagine that there is a democratic mass movement living in Al Qaeda’s Idlib. Or they insist that the uprising was always moderate and democratic until Assad’s bombs transformed protesters into armed and radical insurgents, a common talking point that permeates any discussion of Syria.
According to Syrian protesters I spoke to, both of these claims are at best simplifications, and at worst, complete myths.
“There were always 2 parallel streams in the Syrian uprising at the beginning. The civil activists who wanted democratic reform and change in the form of a secular state, and the conservative stream, which was markedly more Islamist and sectarian in its tone and demands,” Edward Dark, an activist from Aleppo who participated in the city’s pro-democracy protests, told me.
“The former was mostly urban, the latter rural,” he explained. “As the uprising went on and the violence intensified, the civil movement became increasingly silenced and weak, while the Islamist movement became quickly more militant and radicalized.” ..
“Everything collapsed when ISIS took Mosul,” Anas Joudeh, an attorney and political activist in Damascus, told me. “
The armed groups in Aleppo and in Idlib said we can’t have any kind of negotiation with the regime now because our guys will go to ISIS and we will lose everything. We have to keep some kind of balance with ISIS... They are Muslims like us...
DOHA: Qatar said Saturday it was the victim of an orchestrated smear campaign in sections of the media over its alleged "support" for terrorism, a claim Doha denounced as a "lie."
In a strongly-worded government statement, Qatar said it had been deliberately targeted ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump's visit to the region, which began Saturday.
"In the run-up to Donald Trump's trip to the Middle East, an orchestrated barrage of opinion pieces by anti-Qatar organisations in a variety of mainstream and online publications has alleged that Qatar is sympathetic to, or turns a blind eye toward the actions of terrorist groups in the Middle East," read the statement. "This is absolutely and unequivocally false."
The statement added that any "allegation that Qatar supports terrorism is a lie".
It gave no examples of any articles it was referring to, nor any of the "anti-Qatar organisations". But the government statement said, however, that one day those responsible for the "anti-Qatar" campaign might be unmasked.
"When that happens we will, perhaps, learn the true motive behind their efforts to damage Qatar's good name."
Doha has long faced accusations that it is a state sponsor of terror. It has faced criticism in some quarters for its support of rebel groups fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad, and Qatari individuals have also been sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury for terror-funding activities.
In recent weeks, Qatar has been accused outright of terror funding in articles which have appeared in the American media.
qatar 2011-2014: supporter of armed opposition in libya and syria
The following are excerpts from a long interview, conducted in February 2014 with former Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril, which was published in sequences in “Al-Hayat” newspaper.
Jibril said that Qatar, which provided the Libyan revolution with cash and weapons, has been betting from the beginning on political Islam and has exerted exceptional efforts to appoint Abdul Hakim Belhaj as the commander of Libyan revolutionists.
Belhaj is the former “emir” of the Libyan Islamic militant group. He has fought in Afghanistan and was arrested by the Americans, who handed him over to Gadhafi. He remained in jail until 2010.
Jibril stressed that Qatar has intentionally delayed the eruption of the revolution in Tripoli to wait for Belhaj’s arrival to the Libyan capital in order to be crowned as the coup leader.
Jibril also recounted a very significant story. He said that a friends of Libya conference was held in Paris in September 2011. The meeting ended with a joint press conference, with the participation of Nicolas Sarkozy, David Cameron, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa, Jibril and Mustafa Abdel Jalil.
Jibril said: “One of the journalists asked me: Now that the regime has collapsed, what will you do with the existing weapons? I replied that we had a plan for Tripoli’s stability and for collecting and buying the weapons. The Qatari emir interrupted me in front of everyone and said: ‘Revolutionaries never lay down their arms. Revolutionaries are the ones who enjoy legitimacy’. That was of course embarrassing and strange.”
Flashback - President Bashar al-Assad:
Syria and Iran: the great game, by Alastair Crooke
"The plan is to destroy the modern Arab state of Syria"
The yawning gap between Tehran and Washington has grown even wider with U.S. President Trump's latest efforts to isolate Iran in the region, while bolstering cooperation with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries
Sending a tough message to Tehran shortly after pragmatist Hassan Rouhani was re-elected president, U.S. President Donald Trump urged Arab leaders to unite to defeat militants, and said Iran had for decades "fueled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror."
Trump's choice of Saudi Arabia, Iran's bitter regional rival, for his first official foreign visit reflects the deep antagonism of his administration towards Iran.
Iran's ruling powers represent the "tip of the spear" of global terrorism, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud said in a speech on Sunday during Trump's visit to the kingdom. "Our responsibility before God and our people and the whole world is to stand united to fight the forces of evil and extremism wherever they are ... The Iranian regime represents the tip of the spear of global terrorism," he said.
The U.S. president signed a giant list of deals, worth a total of $380 billion, including $110 billion for weapons that will invariably find their way into the numerous conflicts of the region...
Iran accused the U.S. yesterday of spreading "Iranophobia" to encourage Arab states to purchase arms, state TV reported.
"Once again, by his repetitive and baseless claims about Iran, the American president ... tried to encourage the countries of the region to purchase more arms by spreading Iranophobia," Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said.
Iran has been in neocon crosshairs for a very long time. U.S. Presidential Administrations come and go, Democrat and Republican, but the neocon script has remained the same.
President Trump, voted in as an "outsider," has adopted the insider script. rump's speech in Saudi Arabia was crafted by Trump's neocon Senior Policy Advisor Stephen Miller.
Here's the relevant part of today's speech about Iran that Stephen Miller wrote for Trump:
".. No discussion of stamping out the terror-threat would be complete without mentioning the government that gives terrorists safe harbor, financial backing, and the social standing needed for recruitment. It is a regime that is responsible for so much instability in the region. I am speaking of course of Iran.
From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms, and trains terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region. For decades, Iran has fueled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror.
It is a government that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing the destruction of Israel, death to America, and ruin for many leaders and nations in this room.
Among Iran's most tragic and destabilizing interventions have been in Syria. Bolstered by Iran, Assad has committed unspeakable crimes...
The Iranian regime's longest-suffering victims are its own people. The people of Iran have endured hardship and despair under their leaders' reckless pursuit of conflict and terror..."
Trump, looking at the wall of the Roman fort Antonia, the place where Jesus is supposed to be sentenced to death by Pontius Pilate.
"Then the governor’s soldiers took jurisdiction over Jesus and brought him to the Praetorium ('Dome of the Rock') where the whole Cohort (500 soldiers) was gathered.” (Matthew 27:27)
Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) responded Wednesday night to a report that the US is demanding that Israel transfer parts of northern Samaria from Area C to Area B.
According to the report by Channel 10, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also opposes the move, which would effectively cede control over the affected areas from Israel to the PA.
Bennett said that: "the era in which we treat the Land of Israel as a mere piece of real estate - that era is over. We will not take a saw and slice off parts of our land to give o our enemies. That era is over."
He said that when speaking about 'united Jerusalem,' "the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, the entire Old City, the City of David, Ma'aleh Hazeitim, The Mount of Olives, and Nof Zion" should also be remembered. "All of Jerusalem that will remain united under Israeli sovereignty and only under the sovereignty of Israel forever."
jerusalem: dome of the rock
(according to early christans 'the preatorium')
Fort Antonia: Symbol of Roman Power,
Syria: Civilians Celebrate Victory as Last Batch of Militants Evacuate Homs City
Syrian people flash the victory sign in the al-Waer neighborhood in Homs city,
as the last batch of militants left their last stronghold in the al-Waer neighborhood,
letting the entire city under government control. (FARS News Agency, 22-5-2017)
More than 15,000 businesses out of 60,000 that existed in Syria’s Aleppo Governorate, have resumed their activities, Chairman of the regional Chamber of Industry Fares al-Shehabi told reporters.
"The authorities are trying to provide subsidies and interest-free credits to entrepreneurs. As a result, more than 15,000 small businesses have opened in the Governorate," al-Shehabi said adding that tax holiday was given to entrepreneurs for the period of time that their businesses remained closed during militant occupation.
The chairman of the regional Chamber of Industry pointed out that military activities in Aleppo had begun in 2012 and had lasted until November 2016. Militants destroyed almost all small business facilities, turning those remaining into factories to produce weapons, explosive substances, mines and improvised missiles.
Reviving private businesses, whose share in Syria traditionally exceeds 90%, is the main economic goal of the local authorities so they have been creating conditions for that to happen.
Power lines are being built while authorities are providing generator fuel in areas where there are no power lines yet, al-Shehabi said. He added that Russian deminers had cleared business facilities from mines in a short period of time, ensuring their security and thus facilitating the revival of small businesses
Prime Minister Imad Khamis, accompanied by a ministerial delegation, met on Monday the new Hama city council, along with heads of city and town councils and municipalities and People’s Assembly members from the province.
During the meeting, Premier Khamis called for relying on available resources to achieve economic and social development and devising programs and plans to improve the state of economy and services, stressing the need for officials working in the public service field to undertake initiatives and take active steps to address issues that benefit citizens.
During a meeting with the representatives of economic and commercial activities at Hama’s governorate building, as part of the work tour in Hama province conducted by a governmental delegation headed by the Premier which began on Saturday, Khamis affirmed the government’s readiness to meet the all the needs of the industrial and commercial sector in the province and to support it and to secure ways to improve it and increase its contribution in supporting the national economy.
He said that a plan for providing loans from public banks will be implemented by next week, and he also directed the ministers, the Governor of Hama, and the Customs Secretariat to address all problems and challenges facing the industrial and commercial movement immediately.