What Are US Tech Firms Doing in Damas? NeoCon Dreams of Regime Change

The Wall Street Journal was perplexed that the US. Deploys Tech Firms to Win Syrian Allies. They write that “the State Department has dispatched a high-level diplomatic and trade mission to Syria, according to senior U.S. officials, marking the latest bid by the Obama administration to woo President Bashar al-Assad away from his strategic alliance with Iran…”

The anti-Syrian and pro-Israeli hawks at Commentary magazine were appaplectic on reading this news. Here is Jennifer Rubin: It’s Not the State Department Duo, It’s the President, – 06.17.2010, Commentary

The State Department staffers whooping it up in Syria, a reader e-mails me, “have done something unpardonable: taken the actual policy (kissing up to the Syrian regime) and dramatized its true meaning instead of camouflaging it.” Another e-mail: “This is beyond disgraceful. These two ought to be fired, along with their bosses, and their bosses’ bosses.” … Really, how different is this from what John Kerry does? As Lee Smith noted, it is ”an open secret around town that the Massachusetts senator and his wife, Teresa, are enamored of Bashar al-Assad and his stylish first lady, Asma.” ….

Here is Rubin again only two days earlier: Commentary: Engagement of Syria Knows No Limits – 2010-06-15

Although Obama’s efforts to engage the Syrian thugocracy have only succeeded in pushing Bashar al-Assad closer to Iran and placing Scuds in Hezbollah’s hands, the president is not deterred. Not even the Republicans’ effort to block the …

Syrians have a very different view of this than Israelis or pro-Israelis. They do not think it is about Iran or misguided love.  They think it is about al-Qaida and intelligence sharing.

A friend who is an Internet Security Specialist writes: “What Cisco, Dell, and Microsoft are going to sell to Syria are firewalls, high-capacity routers and switches, VoIP blockers, network sniffers, and ISP proxy servers to keep Internet traffic under strict control and surveillance. This gesture is all about intelligence sharing and government control, wallahi ya3ni.”

Another friend writes: “I know for a fact that the companies named in this article are doing a great business in libya now … Syria will be next…”

Jillian York of the Guardian writes: US gives Iran more net freedom – but what about Syria? 16 June 2010
Relaxing export controls on US technology is good news for some netizens, but many restrictions remain

……Iranian web users recently received some good news: following the media frenzy over last year’s elections, the US has chosen to relax export controls related to technology, giving users access to previously unavailable communications tools. The changes will affect not only Iran, but Sudan and Cuba as well, countries where free internet use has long been stifled by US restrictions…. Secretary of state Hillary Clinton, in her celebrated January speech on internet freedom, stated that American companies need to take a principled stand against censorship, and that it should be part of the country’s “national brand”….

Although there are no OFAC restrictions placed on Syria, the US department of commerce’s 2004 Syrian Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act prohibits the export of most goods containing more than 10% US-manufactured component parts to the country. The act also includes a provision on items deemed imports, including technology or source code controlled on the Commerce Control List, though licences are available for software providers through the bureau of industry and security.

Syrian netizens have long been aware of the effects of export controls on their lives. They are prevented from downloading popular software such as Java and Adobe Acrobat, and browsers such as Google’s Chrome. Microsoft products are available, but in pirated form, or smuggled in illegally. What is surprising to many, however, is when a new ban suddenly emerges; each year, a number of software providers seemingly crack down on Syrian users, often blocking access to entire websites for fear of non-compliance with the act.

For example, in early 2009, Syrian visitors to the professional networking site LinkedIn were surprised to be met with a blockpage. Though the full-on block was quickly removed, to this day users are barred from accessing the site’s proprietary software. Similarly, in January 2010, open-source code repository SourceForge began blocking the IP addresses of users in Iran, Sudan, Cuba, North Korea and Syria, much to the dismay of open-source enthusiasts. Though in the end, SourceForge removed the blanket block – placing responsibility on project managers to choose their level of restriction – the fact remains that a large swath of open-source projects are still off limits to users from restricted countries.

But in Syria, just as in Iran, the internet serves as an important communications and organising tool for dissidents and average users alike. And when you consider the fact that the Syrian government filters the internet internally as well (blocking sites such as Facebook and Blogspot, among many others), you realise that users are left with very little wiggle room.

On War and whether the Israeli flotilla killings are bringing us closer to war – there are a number of views:

Rami Khouri in the Daily Star believes that the two sides are stumbling towards war

“….. I can confidently announce that we are all in much greater trouble than appears to be the case on the surface. A catastrophe awaits us all, if immoderation prevails in these three lands, where American, Arab and Iranian politicians seem to be driven by a potentially devastating combination of righteousness, resentment, resistance and revenge. The political certitude, national self-confidence and self-proclaimed moral rectitude evident in the United States, Iran and Syria alike are stunning. The increasingly wasteful confrontation they provoke could result in immeasurably destructive and probably futile warfare, waged either by the principals themselves or their proxies and strategic allies, such as Hizbullah, Hamas and Israel.

Iran and Syria are important players in the Middle East because they anchor that large and powerful array of forces known to its adherents as the “resistance front.” They see themselves as repelling the military occupation, cultural penetration and predatory political domination of the United States and Israel, primarily.

The people, governments and organizations in this grouping probably enjoy the support of around half the 500 million or so people who make up the Arab-Iranian-Turkish Middle East. The “resistance front” is to be taken seriously because it represents a combination of phenomena that have never converged before in the Middle East: political and military forces that transcend the Arab-Iranian divide, unite Arab nationalists with secular Baathists and organized Islamists, join sovereign governments with grassroots organizations, and enjoy technical military and resistance capabilities that continue to develop. They feel increasingly vindicated by the events of the past decade, are prepared to stand their ground, and feel able – indeed, sometimes even seem eager – to withstand the threats, sanctions and attacks that they have either already experienced, or anticipate in the near future.

The United States, for its part, sees Iran, Syria and their allies as hopeless extremists and ideological miscreants who support terrorism, mistreat their own citizens, and abuse or threaten their neighbors (for example Lebanon and Iraq, among others). The US sees its battle against Iran and Syria as aiming to promote democracy and human rights, protect righteous and victimized Israel, defeat tyranny, and whittle down the havens and helpers of terror.

The rule of law, American politicians believe, is the core of their mission that also reflects the future of human civilization, while Iran, Syria and friends represent lawlessness and darkness from the past. There is little desire in the American ruling political elite to see beyond the surface evils that are virtually the only things that appear to Americans, who connect so seldom, and superficially, with Syrians or Iranians, let alone the men and women of Hizbullah and Hamas. The passions that drive both sides in this confrontational dynamic are impressive, if wastefully so. …

“Al-Assad and the increasing chances of war” (thanks to mideastwire.com)
Al-Quds al-Arabi, June 18, lead editorial:…

The region is currently witnessing the birth of a new tripartite alliance including the strongest states in it: Turkey, Iran and Syria. Moreover, this alliance has a military extension through the arms of resistance represented by the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas and Islamic Jihad, thus securing a state of strategic deterrence and practically ending Israeli military superiority which has terrorized Arab surroundings for at least the last thirty years.

In this context, the unprecedented confidence seen in the Syrian rhetoric embodies the new regional balance of power which is no longer in favor of Israel. True, the latter does have a sophisticated arsenal and an air-force which is still the most dangerous in comparison with its counterparts in Syria, Iran and Turkey. However, we must take into consideration the new military facts, the most important of which is the inability of the air-force to settle the battle in its favor as happened in previous Israeli wars and especially in the June 1967 and October 1973 wars. Syria is no longer isolated the way it was three years ago, and has managed to substitute its Arab depth which conspired against it, directly collaborated with American plans and indirectly collaborated with the Israeli ones, with the Iranian and Turkish depths which are more supportive of the critical Arab causes.

“Indeed, the region is changing but not in favor of Israel and the United States, and we must recognize that the most important elements which prompted this change are the Turkish factor firstly, the Iranian factor secondly and the Syrian intelligence which allowed the country to act in a pragmatic and practical way by securing rapprochement between the two latter factors… and providing national Arab legitimacy for this new strategic trio.” – Al-Quds al-Arabi, United Kingdom

Fareed Zakaria in Newsweek reminds us how “fancyfull” conservative thinking is about the power shifts going on in the Middle East. In the cover essay of the New Republic, McCain urges America to topple the Tehran regime by “unleashing its full moral power” on the illigitimate Iranian regime. He believes that if Obama had supported the Greens more vigorously, america would have won the day and democracy would break out all over. This is the same neocon fantasy that led us into Iraq and still has us “nation building” in Afghanistan.  Interestingly, neocons are taking a similar line to Turkey now that it has turned against Israel.

Elliott Abrams in the WeeklyStandard argues that Turks may tire of Erdoghan and his Islamist regime, rid themselves of him, and return to supporting Israel and America! (Thanks to FLC)

First, it’s obvious that our formerly reliable NATO ally Turkey has become a staunch supporter of the radical camp. … sought to strengthen the terrorist group Hamas—a group that is anathema not just to the United States and Israel, but to the governments of Jordan and Egypt. The recent photo of Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Bashar Assad in Damascus is an emblem of this change, and Turkey’s work to undermine U.N. sanctions against Iran shows its substance….

….Second, the Arabs are once again becoming objects, not actors, in history. The anchors of the Arab consensus have long been Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and both are now weakened forces in Arab politics and diplomacy. In part this is a story of old age: While for decades Mubarak was the key Arab leader, and the Saudis for 35 years counted on their foreign minister, Saud al-Faisal, both men are now in a steady decline. Few observers expect Mubarak to live more than another year or two, and he may not make it to Egypt’s 2011 presidential elections. Saud suffers from Parkinson’s and has repeatedly asked to leave his post. States act in politics through the medium of men: at best, men who have prestige, persuasive powers, and whom it is thought dangerous to cross. Twenty years ago Saud and Mubarak were both such men,….

…… anyone who has worked with Arab diplomats knows that they almost instinctively ask “Where are the Saudis on this?” and “Where are the Egyptians?” whenever asked to support an American position. But today Qatar, with 225,000 citizens, has at least as much influence in Arab councils as Egypt with 80 million or Saudi Arabia with 30 million, and Qatar’s 51-year-old foreign minister has clout that would simply have been impossible 10 or 20 years ago. Erdogan and the Turkish foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, further demonstrate how much damage clever, unprincipled, energetic actors can wreak when unopposed by more responsible officials of equal force.

So the Arab core grows hollow and less and less able to defend its interests against supporters of Islamism. Worse yet for the Arabs, peripheral powers are coming once again to dominate their region….

Third, while it is no secret that the United States is increasingly viewed as a spent force and an unreliable ally in this region, it is not so much the events of the past 17 months that impress Middle Easterners as it is that the Obama administration remains oblivious to the impact of its policies. Everyone there sees clearly that Obama desires to be out of Iraq more than he desires to stabilize that country. ….

The Gaza flotilla incident might have been a great setback to the radical camp had the United States reacted sharply, defending Israel, condemning the jihadists on board and their sponsors in Turkey, blocking U.N. Security Council action, and refusing to sponsor another international inquiry that will condemn Israel. And Israel’s interests were not the only ones at stake: The blockade of Gaza is a joint Israeli-Egyptian action to weaken Hamas. …

Still, whatever the trends and whatever the American errors, nothing is inevitable except the passing of certain key actors. Turks may tire of Erdogan’s speeches and return a government that seeks a true balance between East and West rather than a headlong dive into alliances with Iran and Syria. Iran’s nuclear program may be stopped by an Israeli action, or some day by the collapse of that increasingly despised regime. Israelis and Palestinians may find a way……..”

US Lawmakers Threaten Turkey with Reprisals Over Israel

Tortured Canadian that US deported to Syria will not get justice
Cory Doctorow, Jun 14, 2010

A Canadian who was deported to Syria by the US government for a hellish, 10.5 month torture ordeal will not get justice in the USA.

Maher Arar is a Syrian-born Canadian and father who was arrested while passing through the US on his way home to Canada. The Canadian government provided US authorities with bad intelligence suggesting Arar had ties to Al Qaeda. Arar was deported to Syria where he was held in a 3’x6’x7′ cell for 10 and a half months, during which time he was brutally tortured.

The Canadian government investigated Arar’s case, concluded that he was not a terrorist, had no ties to terrorists, and had been unjustly detained and tortured, and paid him $10.5 million.

Arar has tried to clear his name in the US — he is still considered a terrorist there, as is his family — but no court has heard his case, because the US government (including the Obama administration) claims that allowing the case to be heard would compromise national security. The Supreme Court has now refused to hear Arar’s case. …

Architectural Record on the Aga Khan’s restoration work in the Old City, with a nice slideshow care of their photographer:
by Freddy Deknatel

Syrian wheat harvest weak, needs imports-govt media
By Khaled Yacoub Oweis, Tue Jun 15, 2010

* Persistent drought to blame for falling output
* Expects less wheat from small farmers this year
* Imports forecast at 1.2 mln tonnes for 2010 (Adds reaction, figures)

 DAMASCUS, June 15 (Reuters) – The Syrian government will be forced to import wheat for the third year running after another weaker-than-expected harvest due to persistent drought, state media said on Tuesday.

Al-Baath government daily said the state, which has a wheat marketing monopoly and subsidises the crop heavily, expects to receive 2.4 million tonnes of wheat from small farmers this year, down from 2.8 million in 2009.

While the figures do not represent the whole of Syria’s output – a proportion is smuggled or kept by producers – the drop is the strongest indication yet that this year’s harvest was weak.

The agriculture minister had expected output to reach 4 million tonnes in 2010, enough to meet annual domestic consumption of 3.6 million to 4 million. But other experts doubted that production would reach that level due to a combination of drought and plant disease….. The water table had already been depleted by thousands of illegal wells sunk to irrigate subsidised wheat… The drought conditions resulted in the displacement of up to one million people from Eastern Syria

Syria Nears Signing of Partnership Agreement With European Union
2010-06-16

Damascus (dpa) — Syrian government officials said on Wednesday that Syria could be signing a partnership agreement with the European Union by the end of this year. The agreement, allowing Syria access to EU financial assistance in exchange for continued reform, was initially meant to be signed in October 2009. Syria postponed the final step over objections to certain clauses. Some amendments have been made to the agreement, official sources told the German Press Agency dpa. The agreement “will be particularly welcomed by the private sector but also by Syrians in general, as they look forward to more open markets,” the sources added.

Fidaa Horani was released from jail after “completing her full prison sentence,” the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said. Four opposition activists, including Horani, have been freed since Sunday. 12 activists who signed the Damascus Declaration calling for democratic change were sentenced to 30 months in prison in October 2008 for “damaging the state.” “The other leaders of the Damascus Declaration are expected to be released in the coming days,” SOHR said.

Italian boycott of Israel
Coteret by Didi Remez

Meanwhile, the boycott against Israel has expanded further and has begun to affect countries that are considered to be its friends. Italian government officials capitulated to Arab pressure and decided not to invite Israel to the conference of Mediterranean countries that is to be held in Milan in July, despite the fact that Israel is a member country of the forum. This decision has deeply angered the Israelis, who are pressuring the Italians to reverse the decision.

Israel’s banishment from the conference, which is to be attended by representatives of 26 countries, including Arab countries, was sponsored by Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Stefania Gabriella Anastasia Craxi. The Arabs said that they would make their participation contingent upon a refusal to invite Israel, and Craxi succumbed to the pressure. When Israeli officials tried to ask her to explain, she became evasive. Political officials said that this was a particularly odd decision, given the fact that Italy was one of the prime fighters against boycotting Israel.

Syrian political prisoner re-arrested on release
By Khaled Yacoub Oweis

DAMASCUS, June 17 (Reuters) – A Syrian military court has charged a prominent political prisoner with weakening national morale after he was due to be freed after serving a 2-1/2 year sentence for the same offence, his lawyer said.  
Ali al-Abdallah, a writer, was released from Adra prison on the northern edge of the Syrian capital on Wednesday. He was returned to Adra on Thursday after a court charged him with writing an article three months ago criticising Syria’s ties with Iran, Khalil Maatouk told Reuters. “I was waiting for him, but he was taken back to prison,” Maatouk said.
“Everything is possible,” Maatouk said when asked if Abdallah could be sentenced to another lengthy term.  The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an independent organisation, said Abdallah’s arrest was “arbitrary”.  Abdallah was among 12 people arrested during 2007 and jailed after they tried to revive the Damascus Declaration, a rights movement named after a document signed in 2005 by opposition figures.  They were charged with weakening national morale, an accusation used regularly by the government against its opponents.
  
Syrian lawyer Mohannad al-Hassani was arrested last year and charged with weakening national morale after campaigning all his professional life against the charge, which he called “medieval”. Hassani is due to be sentenced on June 23. The Damascus Declaration demanded that bans on freedom of speech and assembly be lifted, and emergency law abolished. This has governed Syria since 1963 when the ruling Baath Party took power, banning any opposition. Five of Abdullah’s fellow prisoners were released this month after completing their 2-1/2 year sentences, including Fida al-Horani, a physician and daughter of the late Akram al-Horani, a crucial figure behind the rise of the Baath. 
The government has intensified a campaign of arrests of political opponents over the last two years. Despite this, it has enjoyed international rehabilitation after years in isolation due to disputes with the West over Syria’s role in Lebanon and Iraq, and its support for militant groups.  The best-known opposition figure remaining in jail is former parliamentarian Riad Seif, who has cancer. Western leaders have appealed to the Syrian government to release him, but it has become clear that Seif will not be released before his 2-1/2 year sentence ends in July.  Seif was also in jail from 2001 to 2006. 

Comments (23)


1. Akbar Palace said:

NeoCon Dreams of Regime Change

Professor Josh,

No need to worry, GWB has been out of office for 18 months now. I think we all can agree that the esteemed Syria President has nothing to worry about.

It’s a great time for the Syrian People.

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June 20th, 2010, 8:43 am

 

2. George Ajjan said:

no warning page! Congrats Josh, you’re back in business.

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June 21st, 2010, 10:15 am

 

3. Averroes said:

Professor Joshua,

Congratulations on coming back online with no more dire security warnings. Could you please comment on the nature and source of the attacks your site has suffered?

Anyway, welcome back. Great to see the site online again.

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June 21st, 2010, 2:19 pm

 

4. Hassan said:

Averroes,

I love the conspiracy theory about the warning related to Landis’ site. Who do you suspect might be involved in this sinister plot? Perhaps the Zionists and the Iranians working together?

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June 21st, 2010, 3:23 pm

 

5. Averroes said:

Hassan,

It’s obvious that you love conspiracy theories, because you obviously see one in my question, while all I did was to inquire.

Having said that, SC is not a retail or dating site, nor is it any type of site that your typical phishing hacker could expect to make a quick buck off of visitors’ credit cards. To become infected with malicious malware a few times this year already does suggest that something is out of the innocent ordinary.

Whether it is or not, and whether Dr. Landis would like to say something about it or not, I don’t know. I inquired, in my previous post; I did not make any statement.

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June 21st, 2010, 3:45 pm

 

6. Joshua Landis said:

Many thanks, Averroes – Finally. Fire Fox has lifted their warning for SC!! It has taken weeks of email writing and nudging server people and Google. The original malware attack was dealt with immediately, within a day of Google’s alert.

We don’t know who attacked. The server network that I house SC on admitted that thousands of their small businesses got attacked early in the month, which sent them scrambling for upgrades and fixes.

This has happened to SC several times now and it takes a lot of work to get it sorted out and unblocked by Google and the various web browsers. I will try to upgrade my hardware and software to avoid this in the future.

Thanks for all of your patience. Joshua

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June 21st, 2010, 4:56 pm

 

7. almasri said:

Don’t mind this guy using the name Hassan as a moniker, Averroes.

He or she is kind of odd zionist who likes using Muslim names. It gives him or her the kick. Zionism does not boast such high profile names. It has to steal everything beginning with lands of other people and then the culture.

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June 21st, 2010, 5:37 pm

 

8. Averroes said:

Dr. Landis,

Thanks for the explanation. It’s just too bad that sites get attacked like that. Thanks for all the effort to put the site back up. Best regards.

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June 21st, 2010, 5:39 pm

 
 

10. almasri said:

It just occured to me, Norman, after reading Helena Cobban’s article in FP that the only thing standing in the way of advancing US interests in the ME is actually Israel. If Israel disappears from the region (and even better from the world altogether) the US will have no problems dealing with all the countries that Assad made friends with as friends of the US at the same time.

Is it possible that the US administration is so short sighted that it keeps insisting on carrying the Israeli burden with all the liabilities that come with it?

Can Assad not use his medical skills to treat the shortsightedness of the government officials of the US?

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June 22nd, 2010, 1:26 am

 

11. norman said:

Israel Drumming For War Against Hezbollah
Tuesday June 22, 2010 13:02 by Saed Bannoura – IMEMC & Agencies

The Lebanese paper, al-Mustaqbal, stated that France has information from different sources, mainly from Washington, revealing that Israel intends to wage a war against Lebanon in order to strike the Hezbollah party.

Hezbollah

The sources added that Israel knows this war will not bring an end to Hezbollah, but will be strategically motivated to “protect Israel and its role in the region”.

The paper said that Israeli delegates, retired and active military officials and experts, met in Washington with a number of American war experts and presented Israel’s stance on the issue, and the way Israel observes the situation.

The main points presented in the talks were Iran and its so-called nuclear threat, Hezbollah as the “ticking time bomb of Iran” with its rising political clout and military capabilities, and the possibility of a comprehensive war in the region.

The experts told their American counterparts that preparations are nearly complete, and that the decision to go to war has already been approved, but will not be implemented at the current stage due to the Congressional elections in the United States this coming November.

The experts also admitted that Hezbollah has not obtained Skud missiles yet, and that Israel will not hesitate in striking weapon storage facilities in Lebanon or in Syria should these missiles, and other weapons, reach Damascus.

They also stated that Israel is convinced that Syria and Iran will not directly intervene in any future war against Hezbollah in Lebanon regardless of the intensity of this war.

israel | lebanon war | news report saed at imemc dot org
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June 22nd, 2010, 8:17 am

 

12. majedkhaldoun said:

Watching Kurds in Turkey causing major trouble there,and at the same time Israel turkish relationship is deteriorating, I suspect Israel is behind the kurds action,for which the Kurds will pay heavy price.

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June 22nd, 2010, 11:08 am

 

13. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

It’s a shame that Israeli-manufactured weapons, now being used against the noble Kurdish people. The Kurds are the real victims in the Middle East.

If there’s a truth about the rumor that Israel planted Trojan-horse software in the Israeli-made weapons, that Israel sold to Turkey, then this is the right and the just time to activate those Trojans, to stop this Turkish carnage.

Ahh.. and while the media is still preoccupied with the jihadi love-boats, 2000 Muslims were slaughtered by Muslims, and some 400,000 Muslim were ethnically cleansed by fellow Muslims in Kyrgyzstan.
.

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June 22nd, 2010, 3:17 pm

 

14. almasri said:

Syriacomment seems to be missing on the real action. It is happening in Afghanistan.

66 NATO soldiers killed only this month, 9 of them yesterday.

Stanley McChrystal (US General in command) is called to Washington to explain why he doesn’t like Biden, Obama and few of his colleagues.

British special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan is called home on an extended vacation because he cannot get along with NATO commanders.

In the meantime, Taliban fighters are stepping up their attacks and becoming more daring and effective.

As for the Kurds, it is about time that Syria, Iran and Turkey take over northern Iraq and rid the area of Zionist -Kurdish collusion. America cannot control Iraq even by American admission through Ambassador Hale. Iraq is going to be broken down and so be it. Let it happen by its neighbours agreements. Iraq was artificial to begin with.

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June 22nd, 2010, 3:37 pm

 

15. SimoHurtta said:

Amir form Bydgoszcz (in Kujawsko-Pomorskie) how many civil wars have Jews had during their rather short time of independence during the last four thousands of years?

In Rwanda Christians were slaughtering each others. Not to mention WW1 and WW2 were Christian nations were destroying each others. Do “we” in our analyses always turn those episodes totally depending of religion. Why do you not complain about that? By the way when the “love boats” are floating towards that area Israel “left totally and voluntarily” (= Gaza) do those on the boats in their propaganda mention constantly Judaism and turn the problem to your religion? No they do not, but your Israeli Jewish propaganda turns everything to Palestinians main religion, naturally avoiding carefully the fact that many Palestinians are Christians.

When you and your buddies speak about German or Polish politics do you mention behind every action of the parties and government the religion? Let’s remember that biggest party in Germany is Christian Democratic Union and in the Polish parties religion is not absent. When speaking about Israel it would be hypocritical to claim that religion – Judaism has no influence in politics especially when Israel is openly in every aspect a religious apartheid society. But amusingly you see religion only in Muslim countries politics.

100.000 Jewish religious extremists were just demonstrating when they were demanded by the juridical system to tolerate brothers and sisters of the same faith. In a way it is understandable that “you” do not like gentiles but it is a bit difficult to understand that you like so little each others especially there are so few of you sharing your religion. You people of Haredistan have no reason to lecture others how to tolerate minorities and especially not about religious extremism.

PS.
Amir “you” sell Uzis to everybody with cash or diamonds. For example to the generals in Burma well knowing for what they use the weapons. Have you before bothered to “analyse” how the child soldiers in Africa or soldiers in Asia use weapons sold by the Israeli “entrepreneurs”? No you haven’t so the whining of the Kurds situation is a bit hypocritical especially when you support treating Palestinians worse than Kurds are treated in Turkey, Syria, Iran or Iraq.

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June 22nd, 2010, 5:10 pm

 

16. majedkhaldoun said:

Amir
I agree that most of the Kurds are noble , but you have to agree with me that some of their leaders are traitors ,conspiring with the evil zionist entity,Israel in pushing them to stir trouble to the turkish goverment is the lowest and meanest evil entity ,Israel doesnot care about the life of innocent people who died because of evil people action, ,if you have good conscious you would agree that what Israel and those bad leaders are devils on earth

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June 22nd, 2010, 8:59 pm

 

17. Norman said:

Al Masri,

Israel will be always protected by the West as it is the place they can send their Jewish population if they feel threatened by them as did the Germans during WWII , in the future they will send them to Israel instead of the Concentration camps ,

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June 22nd, 2010, 10:07 pm

 

18. Norman said:

Simo
It is good to see here again , you always put as it is , clear and honest ,

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June 22nd, 2010, 10:13 pm

 

19. almasri said:

Norman,

After 10 years the west will find it cheaper to put the Jewish population back in concentration camps than to continue to support them in Israel.

Europe and America will never come out of their current economic troubles. They will only get poorer. The allowance for the Queen of England has been frozen already. Soon there will be no allowance for Israel.

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June 22nd, 2010, 11:06 pm

 

20. Norman said:

Al masri,

i hope that you are right, I doubt it ,

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June 22nd, 2010, 11:27 pm

 

21. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Majed,

Apparently, the only thing we could agree about, is the nobleness of the Kurdish nation.

I wouldn’t necessarily call them Zionists, though I suspect some of them are.
Not because they like Jews so much, but because they hate Arabs. And Iranians and Turks. And they have a good reason not to trust any of the countries that surround them. The Turks and the Iranians oppress them, the Syrians deny them any nationality / citizenship and/or identity, and the Iraqi Arabs gassed them. So their natural allies in the ME are the Jews.

Jews and Kurds are similar in a way, that when free of oppression, we’re at our best ( Jews in HolyLand; Kurds in northern Iraqi Kurdistan ).
.

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June 23rd, 2010, 6:06 pm

 

22. majedkhaldoun said:

Amir
we have many Kurds in Syria treated equal exactly like any syrian, those who are denied citizenship are migrants ,they move from one country to another ,they could not prove their citizenship.
Not like the Evil zionist entity who denied the palastinian.who they have every proof that they were born and lived in palastine yet Israel denied them their rights and force them to move out. you have double standard, shame on you.the refugees must return.

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June 23rd, 2010, 10:56 pm

 

23. almasri said:

إسرائيل تتبنى خطة لمهاجمة إيران من أراضي جورجيا
23 حزيران, 2010

قالت تقارير أمريكية إن إسرائيل تبنت خطة لمهاجمة إيران من أراضي جورجيا وإن الادعاءات التي سربتها عمدا في الآونة الأخيرة عن استعداد دول أخرى للتعاون مع جهودها لضرب إيران كانت تهدف لإبعاد النظر عن الخطة التي وضعت بالتنسيق مع المسؤولين الجورجيين.

وأشارت دورية ‘فورين آفيرز جورنال’ في تقرير كتبه المعلق العسكري جوردون هاف إلى أن إسرائيل وتركيا كانتا ترتبطان باتفاق يجيز للطائرات الإسرائيلية عبور المجال الجوي التركي في ‘الحالات الطارئة’.

وقال جوردون إن رئيس الوزراء التركي رجب طيب إردوغان ألغى الأسبوع الماضي سلسلة من الاتفاقيات الثنائية التي لم تكن معلنة بين إسرائيل وتركيا في ضوء المجزرة التي ارتكبتها إسرائيل بحق أسطول الحرية.

وأوضح جوردون أن التسريب الإسرائيلي لصحيفة بريطانية حول تعاون دول أخرى لقصف إيران كان يهدف لثني اردوغان عن عزمه إلغاء اتفاق عبور المجال الجوي التركي في الحالات الأمنية الاستثنائية.

وقال جوردون إن إسرائيل ترسل بصورة دورية طيارين للتدرب في المجال الجوي التركي بناء على اتفاق آخر (ألغاه اردوغان أيضا) بسبب اتساع ذلك المجال وتنوع جغرافية الأراضي التركية. وأوضح المعلق العسكري أن الخطة الإسرائيلية ربما كانت تعتمد أيضا على مرور الطائرات الإسرائيلية إلى جورجيا تحت دعوى تدريب الطيارين طبقا لذلك الاتفاق.

وأوضحت الدورية الأمريكية أن تركيا لم تكن على علم بالخطة الإسرائيلية وأن تلك الخطة كانت تقضي باستخدام وحدات تدريب جوي إسرائيلي سبق وأرسلتها إسرائيل إلى أذربيجان للمساعدة في العمليات. وأضاف أن إنهاء تركيا للاتفاقيات الثنائية مع إسرائيل لا يعني بالضرورة أن إسرائيل قد ألغت تماما خطة مهاجمة إيران من الأراضي الجورجية. وأشار إلى أن لإسرائيل تواجدا عسكريا بالغ القوة في جورجيا لاسيما بعد الحرب الأخيرة بينها وبين القوات الروسية. وأشار إلى أن إصرار روسيا على الإبقاء على صفقتها التي لم تنفذ مع إيران بشأن صورايخ ‘إس. إس. 300′ المضادة للطائرات كان يرمي إلى إبقاء موسكو على ورقة للضغط على مسار الخطة الإسرائيلية. ويذكر أن روسيا تمسكت بإخراج صفقتها المشار إليها من قرار العقوبات التي فرضها مجلس الأمن مؤخرا ضد إيران. وأوضح المعلق الأمريكي أن أي هجوم مقبل ضد إيران لا بد سيأتي من وسط آسيا بسبب توفر المطارات الحربية التي خلفها السوفيات هناك والتواجد القوي لإسرائيل في عدد من بلدان تلك المنطقة.

وكانت مصادر ملاحية في مدينة السويس كشفت لـ ‘القدس العربي’ الجمعة الماضي ان 12 بارجة حربية أمريكية من بينها بارجة إسرائيلية عملاقة عبرت قناة السويس، في طريقها للبحر الأحمر. وأعلنت إيران استعدادها لأي مواجهة أمريكية إسرائيلية في الخليج.

واكد مسؤول كبير في مجلس الاعمال الايراني في الامارات الثلاثاء ان السلطات الاماراتية تنفذ بصرامة العقوبات الدولية على ايران وتبدي تشددا متزايدا مع الشركات الايرانية التي تتهم احيانا بمساعدة طهران على تجاوز العقوبات.

وقال نائب رئيس مجلس الاعمال الايراني مرتضى معصوم زاده لوكالة فرانس برس ‘نلحظ عموما ان السلطات الاماراتية تطبق بشكل صارم العقوبات المفروضة على ايران’ والتي تشمل حظر بيع عدد من المنتجات والمواد لايران التي تخوض مواجهة محتدمة مع المجتمع الدولي بسبب برنامجها النووي المثير للجدل.
والامارات من اهم الشركاء التجاريين لايران وتتهم شركات ايرانية عاملة على ارضها احيانا بتجاوز العقوبات على ايران مستفيده من الحركة التجارية القوية مع الجمهورية الاسلامية. ونقلت صحيفة غلف نيوز الاماراتية الاثنين عن مصدر رسمي ايراني ان السلطات اغلقت اكثر من 40 شركة انتهكت العقوبات الدولية عبر القيام ببيع ايران مواد يمكن استخدامها في صناعة اسلحة نووية.

وقال معصوم زاده ان هناك ثمانية الاف شركة ايرانية في الامارات بينها الف شركة فقط تحت لواء مجلس الاعمال وليس هناك اي شركة من شركات المجلس اغلقت.
كما اكد ان لا معلومات لديه على الاطلاق حول اي من الشركات التي قد تكون اغلقت. وبحسب معصوم زاده الذي يملك شركة شحن بحري، فان الايرانيين الذين يأتون للامارات لتأسيس اعمالهم منذ حوالى سبعين سنة ويقدر عددهم في هذا البلد بـ400 الف نسمة، شهدوا ‘خلال السنتين الماضيتين مزيدا من القيود على الشركات’ التي يملكونها او يريدون تأسيسها.

واوضح ان بعض الايرانيين الذين يحاولون تأسيس شركات في الامارات ‘يواجهون الكثير من القيود فالبعض منهم يتم رفضهم (لا يمنحون رخصة لانشاء شركات) وبعضهم الآخر يتعرضون لاجراءات صعبة جدا’. وبحسب معصوم زاده، فان هذا التشدد ‘سيؤثر في النهاية على التبادل التجاري بين الامارات وايران بشكل عام’.
وقال رجل الاعمال الايراني ان سلطات الموانئ الاماراتية تفرض على التجار لا سيما الايرانيين منهم، تدابير جديدة فيما يتعلق بالبضائع التي تصل الى البلاد من اجل اعادة تصديرها الى ايران.

ويتكبد التجار الايرانيون تكاليف اضافية بسبب هذه العملية تصل الى الف دولار لكل حاوية.

المصدر: القدس العربي

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June 23rd, 2010, 11:31 pm

 

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