Posts tagged ‘Saudi Arabia’

must read : “Visas for Al Qaeda” …….

Is the Whole “War on Terror” a Fraud?

http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com

by       April 15, 2015

“Visas for Al Qaeda” author J. Michael Springmann talks to Lars Schall on the CIA’s role at the State Department’s visa bureau in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

In this exclusive Foreign Policy Journal interview, German journalist Lars Schall talks with J. Michael Springmann, the former head of the U.S. visa bureau in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and author of the book Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked the World. Michael Springmann served in the United States government at the Commerce Department and as a diplomat with the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Service, with postings in Germany, India, and Saudi Arabia. He left federal service and currently practices law in the Washington, DC, area. He holds a JD from American University, in Washington, DC, as well as undergraduate and graduate degrees in international relations from Georgetown University and the Catholic University of America. In 2004, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee recognized Springmann as one of its Pro Bono Attorneys of the Year. In February 2015 he published Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked the World at Daena Publications.

Lars Schall: Mike, you’ve published a book recently, and its title is, “Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked the World.” The book deals with your personal experiences as the chief of the visa section at the US Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. First of all, how did you end up there?

Michael Springmann: Well, that’s what I sort of wondered myself: when I joined the State Department after assignments with the Foreign Commercial Service and the State-Commerce Exchange Program which provided Washington assignments for State Department officials and foreign assignments for civil servants at the Commerce Department, we were bidding on various positions around the world based on our knowledge, our experience, our language skills, and so forth, and I picked a number of places, East Berlin was one of them, some places in Africa and in India, and I don’t know where else, but Saudi Arabia was never on my list of places I wanted to be sent. And yet, the day they were passing out the assignments I was given the green flag of Saudi Arabia and traveled there as the chief of the visa section at the American General Consulate in Jeddah in the Hejaz in Western Saudi Arabia. And when I asked the guy who was running the educational program called A-100, which introduced new Foreign Service officers to the State Department and the rest of the American government, I said, John Tacik, what exactly was going on, because I’ve been told by my career development officer the woman who supposedly would guide my career at the State Department that I was going to be sent to East Berlin, because the European bureau wanted me there. And the way the State Department works, the European bureau is primus inter pares: what the European bureau wants the European bureau gets. So I was flabbergasted. And he didn’t know either. I went to one of the people who conducted some of these educational sessions, whose name regrettably I don’t remember, and asked him. Well, he said, they wanted someone a little bit older, they wanted someone with commercial experience, Jeddah is a major mercantile hub in the kingdom, and they thought you would be perfect for the job. That didn’t answer my question and probably raised a few more so that I would later wonder about that answer.

LS: Actually you ended up there in Jeddah. What happened when you worked there as the chief of the visa section at the US Consulate between 1987 and 1989?

JMS: Let me tell you, giving you some background on this, I was in language training in Arabic and area studies, learning about what Saudi Arabia and the Middle East is like, giving you background on culture and things like this and I get a call from one of the State Department’s desk officers for Saudi Arabia, these are people that follow the political, economic, commercial, and social interest in a country to kind of, they kind of like ambassadors from the host country to Washington, they interpret the given country to the rest of the State Department, and the guy said, the American ambassador Walter Cutler was in town and did I want to want to meet him and I said, yes, sure. And I figured, it just was a hello and good bye session that would last about five minutes, Hi, I get to go to Jeddah, join your official family and so forth. Well, he kept me there for 45 minutes, talking about all the problems my predecessor Greta Holtz had created for the embassy in Riyadh. She was not issuing visas to servants of all these rich Saudi women who couldn’t travel without hair dressers and seamstresses and other factotums. And I figured, when he was doing this for 45 minutes, he was telling me something, but I had no idea, what the message was and when I asked the guy, the desk officer who sat in the meeting with me what this was about and he said, well I don’t know, Cutler was just a queer duck. Well, I got the job and I was welcomed with open arms. I had previously written my predecessor Greta Holtz, and she never responded to any of the three letters I had sent her asking about the job, what it was like in the consulate, what is was like living in Saudi Arabia and I am welcomed with open arms by Consul General Jay Freres, the Political Officer Henry Ensher and I was told, Oh you are such an improvement on Greta and she was a real bitch, she was nothing but a trouble maker, we are glad you are here. And I said, oh, Greta,you sure made my day, you sure made my career. And after a while I was refusing visas because the idea underlying law and regulation in the United States is that, someone applying for a visa has to be considered an intending immigrant, unless and until he can prove otherwise and the burden of proof is on him, you’ve got to show ties, like a job or property or family or you are going to class at a university or something. So, these were people that had no real job, no real existence in Saudi Arabia, and in fact one of them, a Sudanese guy was a refugee from Sudan and unemployed in Saudi Arabia and I refused these characters and Freres and other people would round on me and demand to know why I said that they can’t have a visa and I said, they have no ties, as law and regulations says they must. And it got to where they were telling me to do this and it’s your decision, if you want to keep your job in the State Department, you will issue the visa to this particular person. In the case of the Sudanese guy for example, Henry Ensher’s successor, Karen Sasahara, wanted the visa but wouldn’t tell me why. So she went to the head of the consular section, Justice (given name) Stevens, and got the visa issued. I asked Justice afterwards, well, what was it that she needed the visa for and he then says, national security, which has no real meaning and he wouldn’t go any further. There were two other people, they were, I think Pakistanis, then going to an American trade show but couldn’t name the trade show and didn’t know what city it was going to be held in and I refused them. I quickly got a call from Paul Arvid Tveit, demanding I issue the visas.   Tveit is listed on namebase.org as a CIA official and is now living as a retired person in Virginia; he went to Justice Stevens after arguing with me about it and again got these guys visas and this is, you know, the kind of microcosm that went on for the 18 months I was there. It was a daily battle. And when it talked to Jean Bradford, she was the head of the Citizen Services branch of the consulae section dealing with Americans needing passports or being jailed or something like this, oh, she says, Jay Freres, he just likes giving candy to babies, which again was no real answer.

LS: Okay, so you opposed this and how did that play out?

JMS: So, I went to Justice about this and he said, well, you know, keep quiet and issue the visas. I went to Stephanie Smith, whom namebase.org also says worked for the CIA, she was the Counselor for Consular Affairs in Riyadh and I told her about this and she says, well, it really is bad, you should talk to the Bureau of Consular Affairs the next time you go to Washington. And she didn’t come down but sent one of her people Bob Mustain down to talk about this and they actually wouldn’t do anything about it. And when they had an inspection team come out, these are people that are sent by the inspector general’s office to make sure, that the various Foreign Service posts are well managed, well organized, operating according to law and regulation, this guy – what’s his name now, I can’t remember, it’s in the book… (Joseph P. O’Neill).  He came to me and said, look, you know that this is going on. Can you tell me about the problem with the visas and I said, well, I was told by a good contact, Nestor Martin, not to talk to the inspection team, of course if I did, I would be fired and the guy, O’Neill, the inspector said, well, I know all about this and told me things I hadn’t known myself and said, come on, tell me, tell me, I’ll protect you, I mean this is confidential, it’s just like talking to a priest, like talking to an attorney, you know, I am silent on this, so eventually after an hour he wore me down and I told him, and then Freres wrote me this vicious efficiency report right afterwards, that would almost guarantee that I would be thrown out of the Foreign Service. And O’Neill had a very peculiar background, he had his own problems with the inspection corps, according to an interview with Georgetown University’s Oral Diplomatic History Project, he said that he had gotten his job in Khartoum, in the Sudan as Deputy Chief of Mission, Deputy Ambassador, though Frank Wisner of the famous CIA family and I thought this was peculiar. And I learned later on, that O’Neill had been Deputy Chief of Mission when the blind Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman got his visa to come to the United States through one of the CIA officials working undercover in the consular section. He also mentioned in the report to Georgetown that another CIA agent also got a free pass/visa to come to the States, but he didn’t say anymore about it. He had also been assigned to Teheran, when the Iranian students took over the embassy the first time, and while he was there, according to the interview with Georgetown, he worked to help the Israeli embassy evacuate their staff, but he opposed evacuating the American embassy and in fact fought with the Political Section, who wanted to contact Washington and say, we really need to evacuate the embassy, or we are going to have some real political problems with Iran. And I wrote him later on, when he was Consul General at Bermuda but he never explained what went on in Jeddah and he went on to various assignments, after he retired from the Foreign Service, in Central Asia. Apparently he was working with the Arab Afghans then and he seemed to be defending them in Jeddah, I guess. So I have written to people in Jeddah, I have written to Jay Freres, to Henry Ensher, to Andy Weber who was a supposed part time consul officer in the visa section, he is now Assistant Secretary of Defense for a Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapons. I have written to Greta Holtz, my predecessor, who is now the American ambassador to Oman; and Ensher is also  American ambassador to Algeria. All these people never responded. I have written to Justice Stevens and all he ever said was there was no real problem with visas in Jeddah, which was basically not true.

LS:  To make a long story short, you ultimately lost your job.

JMS: That’s right.

LS: What was the reason, you tried to find out?

JMS: Well, they never told me. I tried under the Freedom of Information Act to find out why and asked for all the documents, connected to my service with the State Department in particular why I was fired and all I ever got was travel orders, copies of pay stubs, copies of efficiency reports that I already had, and I kept going back to them saying, this is what I want, I don’t need pay stubs, I need the deliberations of the tenuring board, I need the explanation of why I supposedly didn’t measure up to the rest of the people in the State Department, including, you know, the trouble-maker Greta Holtz, who was thoroughly despised, I was told by State Department officials, and I never got a response. So I sued them, in 1992/1993 thereabouts and never got anything, all I got was more useless paper, nothing substantial and eventually this judge, Harold H. Green, who supposedly was a refugee from Nazi Germany, he sealed my law suit as a threat to national security and I have never been able to figure out why finding out why you were fired is a threat to national security. After some time I asked for what I probably should have asked at the beginning – for any copies of all these visa applications that I had denied and that Freres and others had approved, this is something I made copies of when I was in Jeddah and neglected to take with me and I found out later, that these copies has somehow mysteriously been destroyed, they were shredded. So I said, I want these, there are copies, the State Department keeps copies, they are supposed to get rid of them yearly, but while I was in Jeddah, we had filing cases bulging with old visa application, 5, 10, maybe 15 years old and nobody had shredded them, even though they were required to and my staff said, Mike, we have two choices, we can work for you and deal with the hundred or two hundred people who apply for a visa every day, process the paper work, do the name checks on them with Washington, or we can shred visa applications, what do you want us to do? We can’t do both. So I told this to the court, I put this in an affidavit, once they kept insisting that the visas were gone and it was ignored, in fact, the judge asked me to give him the names of the 45.000 applicants a year for the visas, which was absolute nonsense. So I then asked the State Department, alright, you shredded the visas, when were they shredded, who did that, what were their names, what was their rank and so forth. I never got anything back other than, we shredded them, it was done according to regulations, that’s all we can tell you. And as Nick Pope, this British Ministry of Defense official remarked one time, in a big organization you can always lose something, something is misfiled, whatever, but when you are dealing with national security issues, when you are dealing with government agencies, dealing with foreign affairs, this doesn’t happen and if it does, then there is something really strange going on.

LS: In you book you suggested, the US Consulate in Jeddah was in fact a CIA base…

JMS: Oh, it was, it was…

LS: Yes, tell us please, what points in that direction?

JMS: Sure. The consulate had 20 Americans assigned there and of the 20 Americans thereabouts, there were only three people, including myself, that I knew for a certainty to have no ties with any government intelligence service, either as a staff member or a family member. Lonnie Washington was the only State Department communicator and Jim Page, an administrative officer were the only guys in the administrative section, I thought worked for State.

LS: Yes, and how was there the suspicion that the other guys were working on a different payroll?

JMS: I mean Jay Freres for example, the East German Journalist Julius Mader had written that he (Freres) worked for the CIA. one retired European diplomat wasn’t quite sure but he says, if Freres didn’t work for the Agency (CIA), he was what you call I guess a fellow traveler, somebody who did the CIA’s bidding.

LS: And the State Department is used to give the CIA or NSA agents cover?

JMS: Yes, I mean you had, you know, Eric Qualkenbush, the CIA base chief there in Jeddah, he was, his cover was head of the Political/Economic section. Henry Ensher and Karen Sasahara I am pretty sure, worked for the CIA, and Qualkenbush one time took me aside on the compound and said, Mike, we’ve got this Iranian agent we want in Washington, we really need him there for consultations, make it look good, wink wink, he is coming in for his interview tomorrow. Well, I was surprised at this and when the Iranian guy came to the visa window, he had been to the United States various times before, he had always come back, he had stamps in the passport to prove it, he had a letter showing that he was an official with this oriental rug company in Jeddah, it was a family owned business, he had a list of people he was going to visit in the United States as potential customers or as old customers, he wanted to consult with. It was basically a clean interview and he answered all my questions to my satisfaction and I thought, Geez, give me more people like him and to this day, I have no idea why Qualkenbush didn’t tell me about the other people that were being sent to me. It would have been a lot simpler, a lot easier and at the time I was dumb enough to probably have said, alright, you want to recruit these guys for the Afghan war against the Soviets, I work for the American government, you work for the American government, I trust my government, I issue the visas, well they never did. I don’t know if this was stupidity, bureaucracy or they thought I have been told what was going on by Walter Cutler in Washington and I just simply refused to get along with the program, I have no idea.

LS: What did you learn about the whole operation in Jeddah later on and how?

JMS: Sure. Well, later on, I was floundering, trying to find a job, I was unemployed for three years and eventually found out I had been blackballed by the State Department, but I was researching an article I was trying to get published on the Middle East and ran across this journalist Joe Trento, who is in Washington, follows national security issues and has written a couple of books on it, and Joe found out that I had been in Jeddah and when I was in Jeddah what I had been doing, and wanted to talk to me and I went and saw him in his office. And he said, well you know, what you were doing, you were a patsy, one of the ones they sent out from Washington hoping that nobody would ask questions and give a free pass to all these recruits for the Mujahedeen to fight the Soviets. And I was like, really, and he said, look at it this way, you refused all these people that didn’t have any ties with their own country or Jeddah and yet you were ordered to issue the visas, then your refusals were overturned illegally because the consular officer generally has the last word on who gets a visa. He said, what would happen, if somebody came to you with a clean passport? And I thought oh, yes, like the Iranian agent, Eric Qualkenbush had sent me, and I said, I would have given them a visa, if they came to me with a clean passport, with no questionable answers to my questions, with enough documentation to show me what they are doing and why they are going to the United States, I’d give them a visa.

LS: Now, for what kind of purposes were those visas used?

JMS: Well, according to Joe, these guys came to the United States for training or orientation or debriefings or whatever and then they were sent back to Afghanistan. In the course of researching the book, I found out that there were some ten thousand of these people that came here and they were given training at the CIA’s facility called “The Farm” in Williamsburg, Virginia and also in North Carolina at Navy training facilities. Additionally in the course of researching the book, I found out through this book by Peter Bergen, “The Osama Bin Laden I Knew,” that there were 52 recruiting offices in the United States, including Washington DC, that got Arabs and Arab Americans either to contribute money for the war in Afghanistan or to be recruited and trained and then sent to fight as a Mujahideen.

LS: Yes. And now related to the time frame, when you were working at the US Consulate in Jeddah, I think we need to say that the Afghan Arabs were used after the war in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union, inside of the USSR…

JMS: Right.

LS: …and then after it collapsed in 1991 they were used in the Central Asian Republics and in the war in former Yugoslavia. JMS: Yes. A lot of this is covered, besides my own research, by that of Peter Dale Scott, who wrote the book, “The Road to 9/11”, he talked a lot about this and also this guy John Schindler, who wrote “Unholy Terror,” and Schindler is kind of a neo-con and kind of a right-winger and kind of a government supporter but in his book he goes into great detail about bringing these guys to fight in Yugoslavia.

LS: And we also need to say, that those guys were trained in the US during the 1990s?

JMS: Yes.

LS: And this is no conspiracy theory?

JMS: No, I don’t think so. I mean, Michael Parenti the historian and professor says if you define conspiracy as secret activities perpetrated by a government and then covered up and what they are covering up is essentially illegal, then there are conspiracies aplenty, like Richard Nixon and Watergate, like Iran Contra, like the issues of the Bay of Pigs, where supposedly it was just dissatisfied Cuban immigrants who wanted to fight Castro, yes, there are a lot of conspiracies. There was this one guy, John Judge, who died recently, he was quoted the other night as saying that he was called the conspiracy theorist and he said, his critics were simply coincident theorists, so…

LS: Did the US consulate in Jeddah play a role regarding the hijackers of the 9/11 attacks?

JMS: Well, according to the Los Angeles Times and I threw the clipping away that I was sent and I can’t find it on the website, but 15 of the 19 hijackers got their visas in Jeddah [Editor’s note: Fifteen of the nineteen hijackers obtained visas in Saudi Arabia, eleven from Jeddah and four from Riyadh (Mary Beth Sheridan, “15 Hijackers Obtained Visas in Saudi Arabia”, Washington Post, October 31, 2001; Page A10.)], and in researching the book, I found out that the woman who did this was Shayna Steinger, S-T-E-I-N-G-E-R, and she was hired directly out of Columbia University with a master’s degree as an FSO4, which is a very high rank for somebody right out of school with no background, experience, or training. And she was supposed to have given very questionable answers to the 9/11 commission investigating what went on in Jeddah, yet she still has a job and she’s gotten promotions from what I have been told.

LS: And after 9/11 you tried to talk with the FBI about it. To what success?

JMS: When I came back to Washington, I had been fired before 2001, I tried talking to the Justice Department about this and got nowhere and then after 9/11 Joe Trento said, why don’t you call the FBI and tell them what you know. So I did. I called the main office and was passed from bureau to bureau to bureau and finally said, well, you need to call our Washington Field Office, which I did. I called and was told that somebody would get back to me. And now, I guess it’s 14 years later, I am still waiting to be called.

LS: Was 9/11 a blowback or something very different?

JMS: I don’t think it was blowback. Initially I thought, okay, these were people the CIA had recruited and hadn’t bothered to share their travel plans with their masters but the more I’ve read, the more I’ve seen and especially this great silence I had encountered from everybody involved with the affair in Jeddah, I have concluded that it was more of a real operation, designed to get the Americans more deeply involved in the Middle East than they had before. I mentioned on a Canadian Broadcasting System program, which interviewed me in late 2001, early 2002, on their show called “Dispatches” and I said, you know, it was cheap for the United States, there were 3000 killed in it, you know, that’s what was killed at Pearl Harbor and that got the Americans involved in the war against Germany and Japan. This has gotten the United States bases in the Middle East, they didn’t have before, more money and more intelligence assets in the Middle East, greater and deeper involvement in the governments and cultures and societies in those countries. So I would like to think that it was a calculated deal, worked with the CIA and the State Department to get these guys into the US and the US into this and get the Americans back into the Middle East fighting an evil enemy. The Soviet Union, the Axis of Evil, the original Axis of Evil I guess, had collapsed years before, in December 1991 and the Americans didn’t have any enemies anymore, who are they going to fight, the Vatican? So you’ve got a huge military industrial complex, that eats up a lot of money, a huge intelligence system, the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and a bunch of other organizations, you know, how can they justify their annual budget, so they needed enemies. And in John Schindler’s book “Unholy Terror”, he draws links between the guys the Americans trained to fight in Afghanistan and in Bosnia, in the former Yugoslavia, to the September 11 hijackers, he names the guys who were planners, who were pilots, who were somehow involved in the operation.

LS: As you know, there is, as the New York Times reported  “(a) still-classified section of the investigation by congressional intelligence committees into the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks (that) has taken on an almost mythic quality over the past 13 years — 28 pages that examine crucial support given the hijackers and that by all accounts implicate prominent Saudis in financing terrorism.” (1) – Now, what are your thoughts on this whole question?

JMS: Well, the United States likes to classify things, so when I was in Jeddah, the price of liquor at the consulate was classified confidential, which is defined as the disclosure of which would seriously harm the foreign relations of the United States.

LS: Okay.

JMS: So they classify all kinds of crazy things. They also classified part of the inspector’s report on Jeddah when I was there, which is very peculiar, the communicator Lonnie Washington stated he had never seen that before. So with the 28 pages that are classified, it’s either for a frivolous reason and they can simply stop the controversy by declassifying them or they classified it for a serious reason because it shows connections with the Saudis and maybe some Israeli operatives working in collusion with parts of the American government to bring about the September 11 attacks. We don’t know and we won’t know until these people give up all the information. And, as far as I am concerned, as regards classified information, most of it is classified that doesn’t need to be classified and in many instances should never been classified. You know, I say, that the intelligence has a half-life of maybe six months and after that, you know, you can learn about it and nobody is going to die from it. I’ll give you an example, my last assignment at State was at the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, and there we read the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, we had access to restricted CIA reporting, restricted State Department reporting, National Security Agency intercepts and at the time they had the peculiar coup in the Soviet Union in, I guess about 1991, I was comparing what was published in the daily newspapers, in the wire service reports with what was highly classified, you know, secret and above, that was being reported by the State Department, the CIA and the NSA, and the only difference I could see between the two was in the government reporting, they name names and organizations. So that shows you how classification really works against your own interest many times.

LS: And isn’t it interesting, that in a democracy the citizen is not allowed to see certain things that he pays for?

JMS: Oh, that’s exactly right. I mean the Freedom of Information Act was opposed from the beginning by the executive branch. Lyndon Johnson, the president at the time threatened to veto it, the Justice Department always opposed it, and the law was very clear, you are allowed to see any document produced by the United States government as long as somehow it doesn’t involve an ongoing police investigation, is involved in agency decision making, because they want the freedom to be able to make decision without somebody looking over their shoulder, or something dealing with foreign affairs that can generally be classified as national security. And you are allowed to find out what records the government holds on you as well, through the Privacy Act. And in practice it is not the law of the land. If you want to find out about the nesting sites of spotted owls as the Audubon Society once did, they sued the United States government and won but in the case of me or other people who tried to find out what was really going on, they are not going to tell you and they will stonewall you because they have more time, more lawyers and more money than you do.

LS: Is al Qaeda some kind of useful idiot in a greater geopolitical scheme? I mean, you write in your book quite explicitly, and I quote now: “The international terrorists the United States recruited for wars in Afghanistan and Bosnia thirty-odd years ago are still involved in the fighting elsewhere today. Bosnia wasn’t the only place those saddle tramps and gunslingers were employed. The visas the State Department issued to them then are now tied to the current administration’s continuing wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. The fanatics I saw get travel papers during my time at Jeddah are either directly involved in or trained those directly involved in fighting US forces today.” (2) Therefore, is the whole “War on Terror” a fraud?

JMS: I agree with every word on that. I would say, they were useful, I won’t say, they were idiots, they are probably not as well organized as the United States Marine Corps but they have been carefully groomed and trained and aimed, maybe they are they are not like rifle shots where they can hit a bulls eye at a thousand yards, they are more like a shot gun, that you fire, scatter things around and blow things up and hit things you are not aiming at, but ya, they were fed and trained and armed and financed and if they are not working 20 years later, they probably trained people who are. I talked to a retired Colonel Shaffer, who had spent a lot of time with Defense Intelligence in Central Asia including Afghanistan, and I asked him specifically, are these guys that the Americans are now fighting, were these tied to the same people that were fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan, he said, yes, it’s either them or the people they themselves trained. I brought the same question to former US Senator Mike Gravel from Alaska and he said, yes, essentially the same thing, it’s these guys are there and they are America’s creatures, they may not be under direct control but they are controlled and they are useful to American purposes, which is essentially to keep the Middle East totally out of control to eliminate any kind of threat in Israel by splitting Iraq into pieces, they haven’t quite succeeded yet, but it’s only a matter of time I think, until they get the north away and then I think the whole country will come to unravel but Iraq no longer is a functional viable country, it’s a failed state. They have done the same thing to Afghanistan and they have done it to Syria. Syria still has a functioning government of sorts, but the country is so ravaged, I am always sorry when I was in Syria, that I didn’t see more of the country than I did because other than, maybe, downtown Damascus, the rest of the country has been destroyed by the Americans and these people they recruited, like the al-Nusra Front, which the State Department lists as a terrorist organization, yet the American government supports and trains and arms them. So, yes, I mean they are useful, they are not idiots, these are the same guys that fought in the Muslim republics on the other side of the Amu Darya River and they fought in Yugoslavia, they fought in Libya, they fought in Iraq and they are fighting in Syria.

LS: Has the main stream press shown some interest in your story?

JMS: Oh no. When I came back, I called around, I called the Washington Post, I had an interview one time with the Los Angeles Times, after September 11th, and basically nobody is interested, nobody writes about it, except George Gedda from the Associated Press, and he spun the article, saying that I had written an article that appeared Covert Action Quarterly which was a questionable publication and he added a sentence in there, that, well, the State Department said that Mike Springmann doesn’t have the last word, the consular officer has the last word, well I was the consular officer and only people with more information than I had and who had a consular commission could overrule me and then they had to write an official report about the visa that was denied and then approved. So nobody wants to hear about this. I get interviews with CBC for example, RAI in Italy interviewed me one time but the interest is mostly outside of the United States, Giulietto Chiesa had me interviewed for his movie “Zero”. I have gotten interviews for RT, I have just given one, last Friday, at their Washington studio, translated into Arabic and put it up on their Arabic service just a couple days ago. But the Washington Post, NBC, CBS, CNN, they won’t touch you with a ten foot pole or a 12 foot Hungarian.

LS: And why?

JMS: Because they are in bed with the government. The former CIA official, Ray McGovern calls them the fawning corporate media, there are only three or four, at the most five owners of news media in the United States, they want to keep their good relations with the government, they want to keep the good relations with their advertisers, they don’t want to offend their corporate sponsors or their corporate owners and they ignore anything that smacks of criticism of the government. I in fact, a week or so ago, in fact, it was last Friday, I was in the dentist’s office waiting for a tenant to come out, he was having his teeth worked on.  I spent about two hours watching CNN in the lobby and they were talking about the Iraqi government and its army fighting ISIS or IS or whatever they are calling it these days and they went on and on and on about the Iraqi army and how good they were and they were talking about everything except the general geopolitical situation in the area, why is Iraq supposedly fighting these people, what happened to Iraq, what happened to the government, why was the government destroyed in 1991, in 2003 and they just simply ignore the basics and give you basically cotton candy.

Sources

(1) See Carl Hulse: “Claims Against Saudis Cast New Light on Secret Pages of 9/11 Report”, published at The New York Times, February 4, 2015 under: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/05/us/claims-against-saudis-cast-new-light-on-secret-pages-of-9-11-report.html?_r=0 A few sentences from the article by Carl Huse: “Demands for the release of the 28 pages began soon after the intelligence committees finished their work. In 2003, more than 40 senators called on Mr. Bush to order the material’s disclosure. He refused, saying ’we won’t reveal sources and methods that will compromise our efforts to succeed’ in fighting terrorism. The Saudi government has also said it favored making the 28 pages public because that would make it easier to refute what it said were unfounded allegations. The embassy said Wednesday that it stood by that position.” (2) J. Michael Springmann: “Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked the World”, Daena Publications, 2015, pp. 212 – 213.

Pic of the Day:Syria rebels/terrorists :”Don’t point that (Saudi) Grenade Launcher at me bro'”!

just look at this pic closely !

A Shipment of allready used weapons from Saudi Arabia arrives in Syria !

A Syrian rebel in the city of Kfar Nbouda holds a grenade launcher in February, part of a recent weapons shipment to the rebels by the Saudi government. Arms are not the only thing flowing from Saudi Arabia to Syria. Young Saudis are joining Islamist rebels in a "holy war" against President Bashar Assad.

(Picture Hint) The Hand on the right says it all !

so this is part of the Syrian opposition the EU wants to arm ?

Greetings from the Ghosts of Hussein and +/- 1.5 Million death Iraqui + Gaddafi and 200.000 death Libians .

Where will it end ……………………..?

With Official Wink And Nod, Young Saudis Join Syria’s Rebels …………………

http://www.npr.org

by Reese Erlich

March 13, 2013 4:26 AM
A Syrian rebel in the city of Kfar Nbouda holds a grenade launcher in February, part of a recent weapons shipment to the rebels by the Saudi government. Arms are not the only thing flowing from Saudi Arabia to Syria. Young Saudis are joining Islamist rebels in a "holy war" against President Bashar Assad.

A Syrian rebel in the city of Kfar Nbouda holds a grenade launcher in February, part of a recent weapons shipment to the rebels by the Saudi government. Arms are not the only thing flowing from Saudi Arabia to Syria. Young Saudis are joining Islamist rebels in a “holy war” against President Bashar Assad.

David Enders/MCT/Landov

Following a circuitous route from Saudi Arabia up through Turkey or Jordan and then crossing a lawless border, hundreds of young Saudis are secretly making their way into Syria to join groups fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, GlobalPost has learned.

With the tacit approval from the House of Saud and financial support from wealthy Saudi elites, the young men take up arms in what Saudi clerics have called a “jihad,” or “holy war,” against the Assad regime.

Based on a month of reporting in the region and in Washington, more than a dozen sources have confirmed that wealthy Saudis, as well as the government, are arming some Syrian rebel groups. Saudi and Syrian sources confirm that hundreds of Saudis are joining the rebels, but the government denies any sponsoring role.

Foreign Fighters

The Saudis are part of an inflow of Sunni fighters from Libya, Tunisia and Jordan, according to Aaron Zelin, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

“Most of the foreigners are fighting with al-Nusra or Ahrar al-Sham,” both extremist groups, Zelin said.

Sunni extremist fighters are now part of a vicious civil war that has killed an estimated 70,000 people and created more than a million refugees.

The Saudis hope to weaken their regional competitor Iran, a Shiite theocracy that is backing Assad. Saudi officials also hope to divert simmering political unrest at home by encouraging young protesters to instead fight in Syria, according to Saudi government critics.

The government seeks to “diffuse domestic pressure by recruiting young kids to join in another proxy war in the region,” said Mohammad Fahad al-Qahtani, a human rights activist and economics professor at the Institute of Diplomatic Studies in Riyadh. They are joining ultraconservative groups who “definitely are against democracy and human rights. The ramifications could be quite serious in the whole region.”

Road To Syria

In one documented case, a Saudi judge encouraged young anti-government protesters to fight in Syria rather than face punishment at home. Mohammed al-Talq, 22, was arrested and found guilty of participating in a demonstration in the north-central Saudi city of Buraidah.

After giving 19 young men suspended sentences, the judge called the defendants into his private chambers and gave them a long lecture about the need to fight Shiite Muslims in Syria, according to Mohammed’s father, Abdurrahman al-Talq.

“You should save all your energy and fight against the real enemy, the Shia, and not fight inside Saudi Arabia,” said the father, quoting the judge. “The judge gave them a reason to go to Syria.”

Within weeks, 11 of the 19 protesters left to join the rebels. In December 2012, Mohammed al-Talq was killed in Syria. His father filed a formal complaint against the judge late last year, but said he has received no response.

Saudi Arabia shares no border with Syria, so young fighters such as Mohammed must travel through Turkey or Jordan.

Those without criminal records can fly as tourists to Istanbul. Those convicted of crimes or on government watch lists cannot travel without official Ministry of Interior permission. Critics say the government allows such militants to depart with a wink and a nod. Then they sneak across the Jordanian border into southern Syria.

Saudi Money

The young militants are sometimes funded by rich Saudis. They acquire black market AK-47s and cross at night along the now porous Syrian borders, according to a local journalist.

Sami Hamwi, the pseudonym of an exiled Syrian journalist who regularly reports from inside the country, has carefully observed the flow of the Saudi fighters to Syria. He told GlobalPost that groups of three to five Saudis often join Jabhat al-Nusra, a prominent rebel faction the United States says has links to al-Qaida.

Many Syrians “like the fact that Saudis come with a lot of money,” Hamwi said. “Civil society activists do not like foreign fighters. They think they will cause more trouble.”

The term “civil society activists” refers to the largely secular, progressive Syrians who led the initial stage of the Syrian uprising but who have since been eclipsed by the armed militias.

Saudi officials deny that the government encourages youth to fight in Syria. But they also admit they have no control over people who legally leave the country and later join the rebels.

Mohammad al-Qahtani, a human rights and democracy activist, speaks at his home in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in 2011.

Hassan Ammar/AP

Fighting with the rebels in Syria is illegal, declared Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior. “Anybody who wants to travel outside Saudi Arabia in order to get involved in such conflict will be arrested and prosecuted,” he said. “But only if we have the evidence before he leaves the country.”

Human rights activist al-Qahtani called the Saudi stand a “don’t ask, don’t tell policy.” Saudi authorities have a strategic goal in Syria, he said.

“Their ultimate policy is to have a regime change similar to what happened in Yemen, where they lose the head of state and substitute it with one more friendly to the Saudis,” al-Qahtani said. “But Syria is quite different. It will never happen that way.”

Last week, a Saudi court sentenced al-Qahtani to 10 years in prison for sedition and providing false information to foreign media. Human rights groups immediately defended al-Qahtani, saying he is being persecuted for his political views and human rights work.

Meanwhile, evidence mounts that Saudis are pouring into Syria.

Last year, a close friend of Abdulaziz Alghufili bought a Kalashnikov rifle and slipped into Syria to join an extremist militia fighting the Assad regime. “My friend is putting his life at risk,” said Alghufili, an electrical engineer not involved in his friend’s activities.

So far his friend remains alive. But dozens of Facebook pages and Twitter feeds document the deaths of other Saudis not so fortunate. Almost all joined the al-Nusra Front.

“Most people going there don’t think they will come back,” Alghufili said. “They will fight to die or win freedom.”

Parallels To Afghanistan

Al-Qahtani argues that Saudi support for al-Nusra resembles their aid to the mujahedeen fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s.

But he notes that the support for Syrian rebels falls well below the massive effort in Afghanistan, in part because the Obama administration has tamped down Saudi efforts, worried about the growth of extremist groups.

Some U.S. officials and analysts argue that the Saudi government doesn’t arm extremist groups at all, having been chastened by the Afghan experience. A State Department official described Saudi Arabia as an opponent of Syrian extremist groups.

“The Saudi government and Arab League share the same concerns about Nusra,” he said. “Nobody wants instability.”

Randa Slim, a scholar with the Middle East Institute in Washington, says the Saudi royal family doesn’t want a repeat of terrorist fighting on its own soil, nor does it want to anger its chief ally, the United States.

“To avoid U.S. ire, they can have individuals fund al-Nusra while the government funds groups vetted by the U.S.,” she said. “The Saudis are outsourcing the fight.”

The activities of Saudi Arabia — along with Turkey, Qatar, Iran and the United States — have significantly complicated the Syrian civil war, according to Saudi human rights activists.

“The people of Syria want their revolution to be as clean as possible,” al-Qahtani said. “Once foreigners are involved, it could lead to the situation of Afghanistan. It could give an excuse for the Syrian regime that it is foreigners who are fighting, which is a wrong policy.”

Freelance journalist Reese Erlich’s reports from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are part of a GlobalPost Special Report on the role of the Sunni/Shiite rift in Middle Eastern geopolitics, in partnership with NPR.

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Bahrain’s Courageous Doctors ……

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by , November 11, 2011 ,
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The United States continues to ignore the thwarted Arab Spring in Bahrain. Recently, a quasi-military court in the small Gulf state sentenced 20 doctors and nurses to up to 15 years in jail. The charge against them? Treating injured demonstrators opposing the regime.

Doctors and nurses in the Middle East have a long and proud tradition of treating the ill, regardless of the situation. In ninth-century Baghdad, for example, Hunayn ibn Ishaq was the Caliph’s physician. The Caliph asked this physician to prepare a poison to kill his enemies. The physician refused, risking his life, and was eventually jailed for one year. After serving his sentence, the Caliph inquired as to why he refused. The physician replied, “My profession is instituted for the benefit of humanity and limited to their relief and cure.”

So the doctors and other healthcare providers in Bahrain who treated the injured demonstrators were acting not only in the noblest tradition of the Hippocratic Oath but also in keeping with centuries-old Arab tradition. Medical ethics requires all physicians to be medically neutral toward those they treat.

Last February, Bahrain’s citizens joined the Arab Spring by holding massive demonstrations against the country’s corrupt, minority royal government. Bahrain’s security forces, assisted by Saudi-led troops sent by the Gulf Cooperation Council, brutally suppressed the peaceful demonstrations by force, resulting in the deaths of around 30 people, as well as hundreds of others wounded and arrested. At least 1,200 people were dismissed from their jobs. Opposition leaders were arrested, quickly tried, and sent to jail. Many detainees were tortured, and some women were sexually abused.

The government of Bahrain soon turned its attention to doctors and other healthcare providers, arresting, jailing, and torturing those accused of treating protesters. One female doctor told NPR that she was tortured and threatened with rape. In the same story, a man claimed that he was beaten unconscious. The authorities threatened the arrested individuals, saying that the security forces would arrest and torture members of their families if they didn’t sign a confession.

The doctors and nurses in Bahrain have called for support from the international community, especially from the United States. But the U.S. State Department has been muted in its comments about Bahrain’s abuse of hospital staff. This has led some medical professionals and other observers to lament that if such abuses had occurred in Syria or Iran, the United States would have condemned them vocally and emphatically.

U.S. policy toward the Arab Spring has been two-faced and unprincipled since its outbreak. When a hostile regime – in Syria or Iran, for example – has abused human rights, the administration has taken the moral high ground. However, in the case of friendly regimes – like those in Bahrain, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia – the administration has toned down its criticism or remained silent altogether. In the case of Bahrain, the United States still maintains a naval base there with 15,000 personnel.

The British Medical Association (BMA) issued a statement strongly condemning Bahrain’s behavior, stating, “BMA is shocked that these doctors are being persecuted for acting in accordance with their code of ethics.” The World Medical Association issued a similar statement. However, the American Medical Association merely invited physicians, if they wish, to write directly to Bahrain’s rulers to voice their opinion. The U.S. bioethics associations are silent.

Over the course of history, humanity has carved out zones of ethical conduct, whether in the conduct of war or the treatment of the sick and wounded. Medical ethics has a long and honorable history that U.S. officials and medical professionals must uphold for the doctors and nurses in Bahrain. Otherwise, the Arab Spring won’t bloom for long.

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The kings and princes: The agents of the West to preach democracy!

Media fabrications collapse before Syrian facts / Tensions between Israel and Washington / The Wikileaks documents and many facts confirming Al-Hariri’s predicament.


19 April 2011From
Beirut (Lebanon)

All the versions of this article:

 français

Countries
 Lebanon

International affairs

Editorial: The kings and princes: The agents of the West to preach democracy!
Following the recent protests, the American and European preaching of democracy in the Arab countries has turned into a blunt moral and political scandal, after the developments revealed the extent of Western interference in Arab affairs and reflected the nature of the colonial calculations governed by the control of the oil resources and the permanent protection of Israel and its hegemony over the Arab East.
The United States and the European countries interfered to crush the democratic popular revolution in Bahrain, as soon as the royal autocratic regime in it reached a lethal dead end and almost succumbed to a wide popular action which proposed the move toward a constitutional monarchy. This action was characterized by its peacefulness and the fact that it included a multifaceted national fabric on the social, sectarian and doctrinal levels. Indeed, the Bahraini opposition includes Sunnis and Shiites, as well as Marxists, Islamists and nationalists who were able to gather a wide crowd which exceeded 80% of the population on Pearl Square and in the streets of Bahrain. This constituted a rare phenomenon around the world and in the history of popular actions.
The interests of Israel, the United States and the European West reside in the revival of the so-called moderation group that is willing to liquidate the Palestinian cause and establish a partnership with Israel under Washington’s sponsorship.
This situation was crowned with the caricature scene witnessed at the White House when President Barack Obama received the Prince of Qatar, a state in which there is not even an elected municipal council and which constitutes the archetype of autocratic regimes where families control the wealth. The Prince of Qatar struck a deal with the American administration in the context of a counterattack plan which started by crushing the Bahraini uprising, but also in the context of giving him a financial and political role at the level of the Libyan file. For that purpose, the prince of Qatar offered his two efficient tools: Al-Jazeera channel and Sheikh Youssef al-Qardawi – one of the leaders of the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood – to undermine Syrian stability and protect the Saudi regime. This was done through the exploitation of the good reputation which Al-Jazeera channel, Sheikh Qardawi and the Prince of Qatar from behind them acquired in the ranks of the Syrian people during the last few years.

Arab affairs

Editorial: Media fabrications collapse before Syrian facts
Last Friday witnessed peaceful and calm protests in Syria, following a series of meetings held by President Bashar al-Assad, the announcement of the new Syrian government, and Al-Assad’s decision to release all the arrestees who were not involved in criminal acts during the recent events.
Some correspondents of foreign agencies in Beirut quoted some whom they referred to as being “activists” and who usually convey information about the developments in Syria to the media outlets, as saying they were frustrated because they were seeking any report regarding shootings in whichever Syrian town or village. Some of them even expressed their discontent toward the nature of this calm day, instead of welcoming the breakthrough achieved by the measures of the Syrian command and the instructions of President Al-Assad who ordered the security forces since day one not to shoot at the demonstrators. In the meantime, President Al-Assad’s meetings with the popular leaderships and the dignitaries in the province and cities, were enough to isolate the gangs of sabotage, as the citizens gathered on Friday in the squares and the streets made sure not to allow the infiltration of any armed elements who had turned their rifles towards the population and the security men alike.
Syria is heading toward a new stage which was detected during the peaceful day of demonstrations and the condemnation by many oppositionists of the actions undertaken by the armed gangs of sabotage during the protests. In this context, it turned out there was an alliance between Abdul Halim Khaddam, the Muslim Brotherhood and Bandar Ben Sultan’s group which came from Iraq and Jordan via the Syrian border. On Saturday, the Syrian security forces had announced the confiscation of important stocks of arms being smuggled from Iraq, thus proving the latter claims.

The Arab file

Syria
• Many dead and wounded fell his week in the ranks of the Syrian Arab armed forces, after an army unit was led into an ambush set up by armed groups as it was moving on the highway between Latakia and Tartous. This resulted in the death of two officers and in the wounding of thirty soldiers.
• The Syrian television aired confessions by a terrorist cell which was provided with money and arms from foreign sides to carry out plans and acts of sabotage in the country.
• Syrian President Bashar al-Assad issued a decree to form the new government headed by Doctor Adel Safar. It is worth mentioning in this context that half the members of this Cabinet were new, especially in the economic and services sectors. Thus, confirming President Al-Assad’s interest in tending to the economic and livelihood affairs of the citizens. It is clear at this level that priority was given to the economic conditions and especially the fighting of corruption.
• President Al-Assad held a series of meetings with religious and popular dignitaries from several provinces, during which he listened to the opinions of the citizens and to their suggestions to develop national action. These meetings were tackled by President Al-Assad during his first address before the new government, as he put forward many proposals which had been presented to him by these dignitaries and the citizens.
• Al-Assad also issued a decision to release all the detainees arrested against the backdrop of the recent incidents among those who did not commit any criminal acts targeting the citizens and the country.
• At this point, it would be worth pointing to the speech delivered by President Al-Assad before the new government, as it reflected real intentions and a truthful wish to introduce drastic reforms. He said: “All those who fell from the police, the army and he civilians are martyrs,” indicating: “Our internal immunity is linked to the reforms we will introduce to meet the needs of the citizens. The success of reforms will protect Syria and allow it to confront the international and regional powerful winds.” He also stressed the necessity for the new government to ratify all the laws that would pave the way before the lifting of the state of emergency next week, assuring: “Lifting the state of emergency will lead to the enhancement of security in Syria, while upholding the dignity of the citizens.” He insisted in this context that the new parties’ law should be subjected to “national dialogue” because it affects Syria’s future.

Yemen
• The confrontations escalated in a number of Yemeni cities between thousands of demonstrators demanding the toppling of the regime and the departure of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, and the security forces supported by military forces from the Peninsula Shield, leading to the fall of many dead and wounded.
• Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh reiterated his insistence on ending the crisis witnessed in his country due to the protests staged against him “through dialogue between the political parties and within the context of the constitution.”
• The foreign ministers of the GCC member states decided – following the extraordinary meeting held in Riyadh to look into the Yemeni crisis – to call on the Yemeni government and the opposition to meet in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the umbrella of the GCC.
• The opposition parties in the Joint Meeting invited the Yemeni people to deploy “additional steadfastness in the face of the violence and the stalling shown towards all the peaceful initiatives to ensure power transition and end the current crisis in the country, at the head of which is the Gulf initiative.” They thus stressed their insistence on the “articles of the Gulf initiative and the rejection of any attempt to elude them by the ruling regime.”

Libya
• The presidential African delegation met with Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi in Tripoli. The African mediation had suggested the inauguration of a transitory phase through the ratification of political reforms, in parallel to its calls for the implementation of the roadmap it had reached last month. The mediation also called for a “political solution” based on “comprehensive dialogue between the sides involved in the conflict, in order to reach a ceasefire between the two sides.”
• On the field, the battles continued between Gaddafi’s brigades and the rebels, reaching their peak in the strategic cities of Missratah and Ajdabia, in order to control them. Dozens of victims fell from both sides in various clashes, in parallel to the strikes launched by the NATO alliance.
• The head of the Libyan Provisional Council, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, announced the revolutionaries’ rejection of the initiative of the African Union to resolve the crisis in the country, as well as that of any mediation which does not include the departure of Muammar al-Gaddafi and his sons. Abdul Jalil explained: “The people’s demand is to see the departure of Gaddafi and his sons. Therefore, any initiative that does not feature this demand is not worthy of consideration.”

Egypt
• Egyptian General Prosecutor Abdul Majid Mahmud decided to imprison former President Hosni Mubarak and his sons Gamal and Alaa for fifteen days in the context of the investigations into the attacks on the demonstrators during the January 24 Revolution. It was reported that the trial of Mubarak and his sons will be held on Tuesday April 19 in Cairo, while the prosecution is investigating Suzanne Mubarak against the backdrop of corruption cases. Moreover, many symbols from Mubarak’s regime were arrested on several charges.
• In light of the decision to imprison Mubarak, the representatives of the Egyptian political forces and protest movements decided to suspend the activities which they were planning on organizing on Friday, whether in terms of the demonstrations or the sit-ins.

Palestine
• Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that if the criminal attacks against the Israeli military men or civilians were to continue, Israel’s response will be even harsher.
• The Hamas movement said it was willing to ensure calm if “Israel stops its aggression.”
• According to Palestinian medical sources, eighteen Palestinians were martyred and around seventy wounded –mostly civilians- in addition to two prominent militants in the Palestinian factions.
• In the meantime, Salafi groups operating in the Gaza Strip kidnapped and killed in a brutal way Italian peace activist Vittorio Arrigoni, thus raising wide scale discontent around the Strip which has been under Hamas’s control since 2007. Hamas pledged to hold those responsible for this act accountable, considering that they harmed the Palestinian cause and undermined the work of foreign peace activists in Palestine. It consequently succeeded in arresting two elements involved in the crime. It is worth mentioning that these Salafi groups are known for their ties with Gulf sides, which clearly reveals the existence of attempts to ruin the resistance’s reputation.

The Israeli file

Tensions between Israel and Washington
The editorial of Yediot Aharanot tackled the widening gap between American President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu despite the efforts deployed by the latter. Indeed, Obama is pushing toward the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 border, while Israeli political forces were quoted as saying they were concerned about the expansion of the dispute due to Obama’s insistence on his position. They indicated that the turmoil sweeping the Arab world enhanced President Obama’s support of the idea to establish a Palestinian state, as well as his dissatisfaction with the Israeli policy.
The paper assured that the international Quartet will issue a statement next Friday featuring the recognition by the member states, including the United States, of the ability of the Palestinian authority to achieve economic independence.

The Lebanese file
• Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah indicated that a quasi final outcome was reached in regard to the number of ministers, the representation of the political forces and the nature of the government. He said: “We are now discussing the portfolios, and if this issue is settled, the selection of the names will be very easy.” He then assured: “It is in our interests to see the formation of the government as soon as possible under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Najib Mikati, so that this government can assume its responsibilities during this difficult stage.” In his speech, Nasrallah noted that some attempted to exploit the published Wikileaks documents during the last few days, in order to undermine the relations between Hezbollah and Amal. He then tackled the content of the meetings between the American ambassador and leaders in the March 14 forces, saying that since 2005, the main and probably only goal of the March 14 team has been to strike the resistance, to disarm it, to isolate it and eliminate it, indicating that a deal was struck between the March 14 forces and the US based on the following: We give you power in Lebanon in exchange for the head of the resistance.
• The operations to evacuate the Lebanese nationals from the Ivory Coast are proceeding in accordance with the adopted mechanism. Indeed, a Middle Airlines airplane is heading to Abidjan on a daily basis and transporting around 230 Lebanese nationals, while two charter planes –the first leased by the Foreign Ministry and can carry 75 passengers and the second leased by the premiership and can carry fifty passengers- are also heading from Accra to Abidjan and vice versa on a daily basis. Moreover, an Iranian airplane is participating in the evacuation efforts and transporting the Lebanese nationals from Abidjan to Beirut, which confirms Iran’s sustained support of Lebanon.
• In the meantime, the Bahraini authorities issued a decision to gradually oust groups of Lebanese citizens, as some of the returnees from Bahrain told As-Safir newspaper that they were summoned by the immigration and passports authority at the Bahraini Interior Ministry where they were informed they had to leave the country. They were also asked to sign pledges saying that they will leave Bahrain within 48 hours, without being given any explanation or justification for this measure. For their part, the Bahraini officials settled for saying: “We are implementing a decision form a higher authority.”
• In his weekly position to Al-Anbaa newspaper, Deputy Walid Jumblatt wondered about “the point behind entering in a daily dispute with the Islamic Republic in light of the current regional situation, instead of distancing the controversial issues from the domestic arena to alleviate the tensions and limit the division that has reached advanced levels.”
• Head of the Lebanese Forces Samir Geagea considered that “the formation or non-formation of the government will not change anything at the level of the political reality, in light of the continuation of a key problem in the country that is obstructing the progress of political life and is represented by the illegitimate arms.”
• Head of the Change and Reform bloc in parliament, Deputy Michel Aoun, said there was nothing new at the level of the government formation and denied he was informed about any veto over his bloc’s assumption of the security ministries.
• On the other hand, the Syrian television aired confessions by arrestees in the Daraa incidents, saying that they received funds and weapons from Deputy Jamal al-Jarrah who is part of the Future bloc.
• The Future parliamentary bloc denied the accusations made by the Syrian television against Deputy Jamal al-Jarrah, saying these were false accusations which aimed at undermining the brotherly Lebanese-Syrian relations and at implicating the Future Movement in fabricated accusations.
• Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul Karim Ali assured that the confessions of the terrorist groups which were aired by the Syrian television required the Lebanese authorities to act and place their hands over this file, in order to uphold the exceptional relations between the two countries.
• At the level of the Wikileaks documents, it is worth mentioning that they carried statements by President of the Republic Michel Suleiman back when he was the army commander, saying to American officials that he was against Syria and the resistance. One of Feltman’s cables also indicated that Suleiman spoke about his predecessor Emile Lahoud in a highly insulting way. Suleiman also pointed out it was necessary for Elias al-Murr to be appointed as minister of defense due to his hostile position toward Hezbollah, at a time when no official comments or denials were issued by the presidential palace in regard to these leaks.

News analysis: The Wikileaks documents and many facts confirming Al-Hariri’s predicament
The denial on which Deputy Jamal al-Jarrah from the Future bloc insisted in regard to the confessions made by three Syrian saboteurs who were arrested while carrying arms and funds, along with equipment and communication devices which they said were provided by Jarrah in person, luckily coincided with the Wikileaks documents that featured dangerous facts about Saad al-Hariri’s involvement in the American plot to undermine Syria under the headline of toppling the regime and replacing it with an alliance including the group of Abdul Halim Khaddam and the Muslim Brotherhood organization.
The Wikileaks information contradicted Al-Jarrah’s denial because it pointed to Al-Hariri’s ties with the action inside Syria, one which was previously confirmed through the presence of an official office for the MB-Khaddam alliance in Beirut, and the visit of Al-Bayanouni to Lebanon back when he was the MB guide and his presence for several days in the Lebanese North to establish dens and coordinate acts of sabotage inside Syria. This was also proven by the protection provided by the Future command to Ribal al-Assad and his gangs, in addition to the mobilization of Al-Hariri’s massive media empire – at the time and in the present – to promote the rhetoric of the Khaddam-MB alliance. For its part, Wikileaks showed that Saad al-Hariri deployed special and extensive efforts to convince the Americans to adopt and support this alliance, in order to allow it to govern Syria.
This is the tip of the iceberg in terms of Al-Hariri’s involvement in a plan to sabotage Syria, knowing that all the pieces of information reveal that the Future movement is now in a state of mobilization to partake in that pan. This gives credibility to the accusations related to arms smuggling and funding to allow some groups affiliated with Khaddam and the Muslim Brotherhood to fuel the turmoil in Syria. Al-Hariri’s scandal is massive and his predicament is even greater, while the required judicial investigations in Syria and Lebanon ought to lead to facts and documents that are as important and dangerous as the ones linked to the false witnesses’ file, which was led and funded by Al-Hariri to attack Syria.

 Source New Orient News (Lebanon)
This author’s articles

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Video: Highlighting The Importance Of Agility When Avoiding Bahrain SUVs Trying To Kill You

http://dailybail.com

Video – Bahrain police trying to run over protesters

From the >http://dailybail.com< archives…

The Satellite Photos That Caused Revolution In Bahrain

Raw Video Bahrain: State police pushed back by protesters

GRAPHIC VIDEO: Bahrain Police Killing Protesters In Drive By Shootings

RAW VIDEO: The Massacred Entering Bahrain Hospital

Protester Shot At Point Blank Range By Bahrain Police

Bahrain Army Uses Automatic Weapons To Gun Down Peaceful Protesters

Exposed: The US-Saudi Libya deal

http://www.commondreams.org

Published on Friday, April 1, 2011 by Asia Times

by Pepe Escobar

You invade Bahrain. We take out Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. This, in short, is the essence of a deal struck between the Barack Obama administration and the House of Saud. Two diplomatic sources at the United Nations independently confirmed that Washington, via Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, gave the go-ahead for Saudi Arabia to invade Bahrain and crush the pro-democracy movement in their neighbor in exchange for a “yes” vote by the Arab League for a no-fly zone over Libya – the main rationale that led to United Nations Security Council resolution 1973.

U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates (front L) is greeted by Saudi field marshal Saleh al-Muhaya (C), the Chief of Generals staff of the Saudi Arabian Army, upon his arrival at King Khalid International Airport on March 10, 2010 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Days later, the Saudi military entered Bahrain. (PHOTO BY Jim Watson-Pool/Getty Images) The revelation came from two different diplomats, a European and a member of the BRIC group, and was made separately to a US scholar and Asia Times Online. According to diplomatic protocol, their names cannot be disclosed. One of the diplomats said, “This is the reason why we could not support resolution 1973. We were arguing that Libya, Bahrain and Yemen were similar cases, and calling for a fact-finding mission. We maintain our official position that the resolution is not clear, and may be interpreted in a belligerent manner.”

As Asia Times Online has reported, a full Arab League endorsement of a no-fly zone is a myth. Of the 22 full members, only 11 were present at the voting. Six of them were Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members, the US-supported club of Gulf kingdoms/sheikhdoms, of which Saudi Arabia is the top dog. Syria and Algeria were against it. Saudi Arabia only had to “seduce” three other members to get the vote.

Translation: only nine out of 22 members of the Arab League voted for the no-fly zone. The vote was essentially a House of Saud-led operation, with Arab League secretary general Amr Moussa keen to polish his CV with Washington with an eye to become the next Egyptian President.

Thus, in the beginning, there was the great 2011 Arab revolt. Then, inexorably, came the US-Saudi counter-revolution.

Profiteers rejoice
Humanitarian imperialists will spin en masse this is a “conspiracy”, as they have been spinning the bombing of Libya prevented a hypothetical massacre in Benghazi. They will be defending the House of Saud – saying it acted to squash Iranian subversion in the Gulf; obviously R2P – “responsibility to protect” does not apply to people in Bahrain. They will be heavily promoting post-Gaddafi Libya as a new – oily – human rights Mecca, complete with US intelligence assets, black ops, special forces and dodgy contractors.

Whatever they say won’t alter the facts on the ground – the graphic results of the US-Saudi dirty dancing. Asia Times Online has already reported on who profits from the foreign intervention in Libya (see There’s no business like war business, March 30). Players include the Pentagon (via Africom), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Saudi Arabia, the Arab League’s Moussa, and Qatar. Add to the list the al-Khalifa dynasty in Bahrain, assorted weapons contractors, and the usual neo-liberal suspects eager to privatize everything in sight in the new Libya – even the water. And we’re not even talking about the Western vultures hovering over the Libyan oil and gas industry.

Exposed, above all, is the astonishing hypocrisy of the Obama administration, selling a crass geopolitical coup involving northern Africa and the Persian Gulf as a humanitarian operation. As for the fact of another US war on a Muslim nation, that’s just a “kinetic military action”.

There’s been wide speculation in both the US and across the Middle East that considering the military stalemate – and short of the “coalition of the willing” bombing the Gaddafi family to oblivion – Washington, London and Paris might settle for the control of eastern Libya; a northern African version of an oil-rich Gulf Emirate. Gaddafi would be left with a starving North Korea-style Tripolitania.

But considering the latest high-value defections from the regime, plus the desired endgame (“Gaddafi must go”, in President Obama’s own words), Washington, London, Paris and Riyadh won’t settle for nothing but the whole kebab. Including a strategic base for both Africom and NATO.

Round up the unusual suspects
One of the side effects of the dirty US-Saudi deal is that the White House is doing all it can to make sure the Bahrain drama is buried by US media. BBC America news anchor Katty Kay at least had the decency to stress, “they would like that one [Bahrain] to go away because there’s no real upside for them in supporting the rebellion by the Shi’ites.”

For his part the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, showed up on al-Jazeera and said that action was needed because the Libyan people were attacked by Gaddafi. The otherwise excellent al-Jazeera journalists could have politely asked the emir whether he would send his Mirages to protect the people of Palestine from Israel, or his neighbors in Bahrain from Saudi Arabia.

The al-Khalifa dynasty in Bahrain is essentially a bunch of Sunni settlers who took over 230 years ago. For a great deal of the 20th century they were obliging slaves of the British empire. Modern Bahrain does not live under the specter of a push from Iran; that’s an al-Khalifa (and House of Saud) myth.

Bahrainis, historically, have always rejected being part of a sort of Shi’ite nation led by Iran. The protests come a long way, and are part of a true national movement – way beyond sectarianism. No wonder the slogan in the iconic Pearl roundabout – smashed by the fearful al-Khalifa police state – was “neither Sunni nor Shi’ite; Bahraini”.

What the protesters wanted was essentially a constitutional monarchy; a legitimate parliament; free and fair elections; and no more corruption. What they got instead was “bullet-friendly Bahrain” replacing “business-friendly Bahrain”, and an invasion sponsored by the House of Saud.

And the repression goes on – invisible to US corporate media. Tweeters scream that everybody and his neighbor are being arrested. According to Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, over 400 people are either missing or in custody, some of them “arrested at checkpoints controlled by thugs brought in from other Arab and Asian countries – they wear black masks in the streets.” Even blogger Mahmood Al Yousif was arrested at 3 am, leading to fears that the same will happen to any Bahraini who has blogged, tweeted, or posted Facebook messages in favor of reform.

Globocop is on a roll
Odyssey Dawn is now over. Enter Unified Protector – led by Canadian Charles Bouchard. Translation: the Pentagon (as in Africom) transfers the “kinetic military action ” to itself (as in NATO, which is nothing but the Pentagon ruling over Europe). Africom and NATO are now one.

The NATO show will include air and cruise missile strikes; a naval blockade of Libyia; and shady, unspecified ground operations to help the “rebels”. Hardcore helicopter gunship raids a la AfPak – with attached “collateral damage” – should be expected.

A curious development is already visible. NATO is deliberately allowing Gaddafi forces to advance along the Mediterranean coast and repel the “rebels”. There have been no surgical air strikes for quite a while.

The objective is possibly to extract political and economic concessions from the defector and Libyan exile-infested Interim National Council (INC) – a dodgy cast of characters including former Justice minister Mustafa Abdel Jalil, US-educated former secretary of planning Mahmoud Jibril, and former Virginia resident, new “military commander” and CIA asset Khalifa Hifter. The laudable, indigenous February 17 Youth movement – which was in the forefront of the Benghazi uprising – has been completely sidelined.

This is NATO’s first African war, as Afghanistan is NATO’s first Central/South Asian war. Now firmly configured as the UN’s weaponized arm, Globocop NATO is on a roll implementing its “strategic concept” approved at the Lisbon summit last November (see Welcome to NATOstan, Asia Times Online, November 20, 2010).

Gaddafi’s Libya must be taken out so the Mediterranean – the mare nostrum of ancient Rome – becomes a NATO lake. Libya is the only nation in northern Africa not subordinated to Africom or Centcom or any one of the myriad NATO “partnerships”. The other non-NATO-related African nations are Eritrea, Sawahiri Arab Democratic Republic, Sudan and Zimbabwe.

Moreover, two members of NATO’s “Istanbul Cooperation Initiative” – Qatar and the United Arab Emirates – are now fighting alongside Africom/NATO for the fist time. Translation: NATO and Persian Gulf partners are fighting a war in Africa. Europe? That’s too provincial. Globocop is the way to go.

According to the Obama administration’s own official doublespeak, dictators who are eligible for “US outreach” – such as in Bahrain and Yemen – may relax, and get away with virtually anything. As for those eligible for “regime alteration”, from Africa to the Middle East and Asia, watch out. Globocop NATO is coming to get you. With or without dirty deals.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His new book, just out, is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

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