readings, interviews on Syria, Iraq, Palestine (Gaza)

NEWS/ANALYSIS ON SYRIA AND IRAQ:

Patrick Cockburn, How to Ensure a Thriving Caliphate 

Syria vs. British French and US Colonial Legacy [VIDEO, Bashar al-Jaafari]

‘Another wave of Western intervention threatens to pull Iraq apart’

US Begins Selling “Syria Intervention” Using ISIS Pretext

Attack on Ghouta, 1 year on: ‘War is always main course for US’

Fighting Al Qaeda by Supporting Al Qaeda in Syria: The Obama Administration is a “State Sponsor of Terrorism”

– ISIL terrorists kill and crucify three citizens in Deir Ezzor

–Iraqis and Kurds Team Up Against IS [VIDEO, interview]   part one     part two

ISIS Kills 900 Syrian Tribesmen in Crackdown on Revolt

Pentagon Pushes Iraq, Syria Escalations

 

NEWS/ANALYSIS ON GAZA, PALESTINE:

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“the blockade is ongoing, no matter how you sanitize it linguistically.” -Haidar Eid

Palestinian Resistance are stronger than media allows us to think [photo: from Pal QA]

Haidar Eid (in Gaza):

“Our message to the Palestinian negotiators in Cairo (trans. by Nada Elian): The fact that the six crossings [with Israel] and the Rafah crossing [with Egypt] are not permanently open, and the inability of a single person to leave whenever they want, and the shortage of medicine in pharmacies, and the lack of alternatives to Israeli merchandise, and the absence of a safe maritime channel, all this means the blockade is ongoing, no matter how you sanitize it linguistically.”

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Israel’s Real Target is Not Hamas:

**excerpts, the whole article is an important read**

“All colonial settler states are based on the violent dispossession of the native peoples – and as a result, their fundamental and overriding aim has always been to keep those native peoples as weak as possible. Israel’s aim for the Palestinians is no different.

Palestinian statehood is clearly an obstacle to this goal; a Palestinian state would strengthen the Palestinians. Genuine sovereignty would end Israel’s current presumed right to steal their land, control their borders, place them under siege, and bomb them at will. That is why Netanyahu’s Likud party platform “flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.”; that is why Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated for even suggesting some limited self-governance for the Palestinians; and that is why every proposal for Palestinian statehood, however limited and conditional, has been wilfully sabotaged by successive Israeli governments of all hues.
CONTINUE READING

“Why do you not shoulder your responsibilities and why do you not defend?”

Against Any Further US Intervention in Iraq:

“More US intervention is the last thing that is needed in Iraq. The current phase of conflict (the rapid advance of the Islamic State forces, also referred to as either ISIS or ISIL) is in many ways the direct outcome of US and other international intervention in Iraq over the past quarter century at least (and the failed campaign to back the armed overthrow of the government of Syria). The effective partitioning of Iraq to separate the Kurdish zone is one consequence of the illegal no-fly zone instituted and enforced by the US and UK throughout the 1990s. The gradual and then drastic destruction of the Iraqi state, via international sanctions and then with the invasion and occupation that started in March, 2003, deliberately and intentionally created disorder. This was a grand act of vandalism, designed to terminate a unified, secular state that had been forced to oppose US interests. Arming and training sectarian militias as part of the “surge” and General Petraeus’ counterinsurgency strategy, opened the door to atrocious ethnic cleansing that has not ceased since it began under US tutelage. An unstable government in Baghdad, and inter-ethnic violence, is precisely what American victory looks like.

…As we see, the US is only bombing ISIS when it gets too near to US business interests in Kurdistan—which is not to say that the US should do something otherwise. Otherwise ISIS can do as they like, as they have in Syria with the support of Turkey, a member of NATO, and US allies such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, along with US funding and equipment itself. Further US intervention can only further delegitimize the Iraqi state and army.”

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Bashar al-Jaafari on Syria, ISIS [VIDEO]

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Mleiha liberated, one less den of terrorists targeting civilian areas….

Army establishes control over al-Mleiha town in Damascus Countryside:

“Following months of operations against terrorists who had entrenched themselves in the town, the Syrian Arab Army established control of al-Mleiha in Damascus Countryside on Thursday, August 14.

A statement issued by the General Command of the Army and Armed Forces said that Syrian Arab Army units, assisted by civil defense groups, managed to carry out the task of restoring security and stability to al-Mleiha and the surrounding farms in the Eastern Ghouta area.

…this was achieved following a series of decisive special operations in which the army eliminated large numbers of terrorists who were holed up in the town and had been using it as a base from which to carry out terrorist operations and attacks on civilians.
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Gaza & Joint Struggles: “When a human being is given two choices, either surrender or fight, there is no choice between fighting and humiliation”

Al Akhbar: Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah: The Resistance in Gaza is on quest for tangible victory:

“When a human being is given two choices, either surrender or fight, there is no choice between fighting and humiliation. The culture of the Resistance and the choice of the Resistance grew among the Palestinian people because they have no other option. They tried [with] the negotiations and they waited long enough for the regional and international situations to change. In relation to Egypt, a golden opportunity presented itself for Gaza and the whole Palestinian cause but it was soon lost. For the people living in Gaza, what choices do they have? Either resist or surrender to Israeli conditions or throw themselves in the sea or immigrate and join the refugee camps. I think after all these experiences, the Palestinians have no choice but the one they have chosen today. There is no choice here, in the sense that if a human being cares about his dignity, survival and existence, he resorts to this choice.

…Gaza’s problem is that it is caught between a problem of confidence with Israel on one hand – a fundamental and substantial problem – and between two axes on the other, the Qatari-Turkish axis and the Egyptian-Saudi-Emirati axis.

… First of all, Israel is an illegitimate entity and it is a threat to the region. It is a constant threat to the whole region. … All the strife, sensitivities, disputes and struggles should not eradicate the culture that says Israel is a cancer, an absolute evil and a danger to the peoples and governments of this region and to their dignity and holy sites. Therefore, the ultimate goal should be to remove it.”

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The victims of Gaza: A list of Palestinians killed in Israel’s ongoing assault:

“The Gaza health ministry has confirmed the deaths of at least 1,951 Palestinians in the besieged strip since Israel began its relentless assault on July 8. Among those killed, at least 467 were aged 18 or younger.
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a 5 day “cease-fire”?…”Israel’s history of breaking ceasefires”

reports that the “cease-fire” has been extended by 5 days.  not to play the cynic, but:

from the IMEU, May 15, 2012

2012 – On November 14, two days after Palestinian factions in Gaza agree to a truce following several days of violence, Israel assassinates the leader of Hamas’ military wing, Ahmed Jabari, threatening to escalate the violence once again after a week in which at least six Palestinian civilians are killed and dozens more wounded in Israeli attacks.

2012 – On March 9, Israel violates an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire and assassinates the head of the Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees, sparking another round of violence in which at least two dozen Palestinians are killed, including at least four civilians, and scores more wounded. As usual, Israel claims it is acting in self-defense, against an imminent attack being planned by the PRC, while providing no evidence to substantiate the allegation. Following the assassination, Israeli journalist Zvi Bar’el writes in the Haaretz newspaper:

“It is hard to understand what basis there is for the assertion that Israel is not striving to escalate the situation. One could assume that an armed response by the Popular Resistance Committees or Islamic Jihad to Israel’s targeted assassination was taken into account. But did anyone weigh the possibility that the violent reaction could lead to a greater number of Israeli casualties than any terrorist attack that Zuhair al-Qaisi, the secretary-general of the Popular Resistance Committees, could have carried out? “In the absence of a clear answer to that question, one may assume that those who decided to assassinate al-Qaisi once again relied on the ‘measured response’ strategy, in which an Israeli strike draws a reaction, which draws an Israeli counter-reaction.”

Just over two months prior, on the third anniversary of Operation Cast Lead, Israeli army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz tells Israel’s Army Radio that Israel will need to attack Gaza again soon to restore its power of “deterrence,” and that the assault must be “swift and painful,” concluding, “We will act when the conditions are right.”

2011 – On October 29, Israel breaks a truce that has maintained calm for two months, killing five Islamic Jihad members in Gaza, including a senior commander. The following day, Egypt brokers another truce that Israel proceeds to immediately violate, killing another four IJ members. In the violence, a total of nine Palestinians and one Israeli are killed.

2008 – In November, Israel violates a ceasefire with Hamas and other Gaza-based militant groups that has been in place since June, CONTINUE READING