Mar 31 2015

Al Nusra in Idlib

The latest hot news item frrom Syria is that Jabhat al Nusra, the remaining Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria now that ISIS has branched out on their own as the Islamic State, has taken the city of Idlib.   The Syrian province of Idlib is on the Turkish border east of Aleppo.   It was one of the early locuses of the resistence, who traveled through Turkey to received training in Qatar, and  whose families were settled in Turkish refugee camps in early 2011 so the men would be free to fight.

Last fall, for the second time, a US weapons cache supplied for the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in Idlib was carried off by Al Nusra fighters.  The circumstances are unclear but it appears that members of the local militias were heavily outgunned so they either disappeared or changed allegiance to al Jabhat al Nusra.   The weapons involved were not only small arms.  They included hight tech tanks, missile launchers and howitzers.      Read the rest of this entry »

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Mar 30 2015

What Happened to Aafia Siddiqui and Where is She Now?

A Pakistani Woman named Aafia Siddiqui was abducted from a taxi in Karachi, Pakistan along with her 3 children 12 years ago on March 30, 2003.     At the time she was vulnerable, recently divorced from an abusive husband; living with her mother;  her father had just died of a heart attack.    The youngest child was an infant.  Following her abduction, Aafia Siddiqui and her children disappeared from view for 5 years.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Mar 10 2015

Decriminalising Bashar

Decriminalising Bashar* Towards a more effective anti-war movement

Cross-posted from: Invent the Future:

On 10 April 1993, one of the greatest heroes of the anti-apartheid struggle, Chris Hani, was gunned down by a neo-fascist in an attempt to disrupt the seemingly inexorable process of bringing majority rule to South Africa. Although direct legal culpability for this tragic assassination belonged to only two men – a Polish immigrant by the name of Janusz Waluś and a senior Conservative Party MP named Clive Derby-Lewis – the crime formed part of a much wider onslaught against the ANC and its allies. This onslaught – paramilitary, political, legal, psychological, journalistic – was not primarily conducted by fringe lunatics such as Waluś and Derby-Lewis, but by the mainstream white political forces and their puppets within the black community (such as the Inkatha Freedom Party). The leaders of the ANC, and particularly the MK (Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed liberation movement with which Chris Hani’s name will forever be associated) were subjected to a wide-ranging campaign of demonisation. This campaign created conditions such that political assassinations of anti-apartheid leaders became expected, almost inevitable. Of course, the more ‘dovish’ leaders of the main white party, the National Party, were quick to denounce Hani’s assassination; but the truth is that they were at least partly responsible for it.

Speaking at Hani’s funeral, Nelson Mandela spoke of this phenomenon: “To criminalise is to outlaw, and the hunting down of an outlaw is regarded as legitimate. That is why, although millions of people have been outraged at the murder of Chris Hani, few were really surprised. Those who have deliberately created this climate that legitimates political assassinations are as much responsible for the death of Chris Hani as the man who pulled the trigger.”

Turning to the current situation in Syria, we see a parallel between the “climate that legitimates political assassinations” in early-90s South Africa and a media climate that legitimates the “limited military strikes” being planned in Washington.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Feb 20 2015

Export of Armed Drones Approved

predator-firing-missile1The United States government has just eased regulations on selling drones to other countries.  According to the New York Times, “The Obama administration is amending its regulations for weapons sales to allow the export of armed military drones to friendly nations and allies.”    In a later article they say that State Department Officials say “sales must be made through government programs and that recipient nations must agree to certain ‘end-use assurances.'”   However, one of the issues that triggered this is loss of contracts from Israel by armed drone manufactures.  Israel uses armed drones to police the border and prosecute wars against the people of Gaza.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Feb 14 2015

Valentines Day and Never Ending Wars

Syria ** Iraq ** Pakistan ** Afghanistan ** Venezuela ** Ukraine ** Russia

broken-heartObama has requested an authorization for war on ISIS  in Iraq and Syria.     While Congress is gearing up to talk about it, the U.S. is already bombing there daily.  We have several hundred ‘advisors’ on the ground, who admit to engaging in battle at times.  The U.S. is building a new airbase (read, ‘drone’ base) outside of Erbil in Kurdish northern Iraq, and making plans to retake Mosul following our grand success supporting the Kurds in Kobane.   Seems like I’ve said this before, but there is no comparison between a rural city of 35,000 with surrounding villages and a city of nearly 3 million.

Foreign Affairs addresses the subject in an article titled “ISIS on the Run“.    Read the rest of this entry »

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Feb 14 2015

In Yemen on Friday the 13th

Yesterday,  the New York Times ran an article headlined In Yemen, Militants Are Increasingly Isolated.   Reading down, we read

It was not clear why the Western countries closed their embassies now, because they have been left open during much more violent times in the capital

Hmmm.    Why indeed?

Back to the headline, the wording gives a clue.    It refers to ‘militants’, not ‘Houthis’ or ‘rebels’.     Last summer, the government made a deal with Houthis who had flooded the capital city in peaceful protests.   Long disenfranchised under previous president Saleh, the Houthis of Yemen had brought forward valid complaints.    Shia Muslims, they  have also suffered cross border attacks from Saudi Arabia, and under attack by local Al Qaeda franchises for years.     Read the rest of this entry »

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Feb 09 2015

Islam and the Laws of War

Guest Post by Ali Mallah:

The Prophet, however urged his followers to treat their captives with clemency. He said to them “You are recommended to treat your captives kindly.” He also urged his Companions on the day of Badr to be kind to their captives. Accordingly the Companions of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, gave their captive preference over themselves in matters of food.

In the following post, Ali Mallah states the laws of war according to the Quran to remind us that the brutal  treatment of prisoners by  ISIS, the so called ‘Islamic State’ of Iraq and al Shams (Syria) is anything but Islamic.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Jan 29 2015

50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War

This year will be celebrated as the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War.   Already, the MSM and their corporate and government sponsors are ramping a celebration of heroism of those who won the war.  No, not Ho Chi Minh, who was indeed the last man standing.   No.  They want to celebrate the horrific US invasion of Vietnam, including massive airstrikes against Laos and Cambodia as well.   They want to celebrate an invasion that cost several hundred thousand  US lives and millions of Vietnamese, Laotian and Cambodian lives, only to end with US personnel being shamefully airlifted from the roof of the consulate in Saigon as a victory!

Many Vietnam Veterans would like to share the truth about this devastating war.    Who will control the narrative?

Read on for information I recieved today from Veterans for Peace:   Read the rest of this entry »

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Jan 29 2015

Bombs Dropped on Vietnam

From Mother Jones: Bombs Dropped on Vietnam Between 1965 and 1973

Notice the red dots. 107 Countries signed the United Nations Cluster Munitions Convention in May of 2008. The United States was not one of them.

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Jan 29 2015

Eye Catching Headlines

From Foreign Policy:   With Islamic State Routed from Kobani, Kurds Eye Mosul.

So, what’s wrong with this picture.   Apparently, ISIS has abandoned Kobani.   Certainly the Kurds would like to see Mosul liberated.   It is just over the border of Iraqi Kurdistan and is home to many Kurds, though they are not the majority population.

OK.  Let’s start again.

Translation: With ISIS routed by Syrian Kurds  from a small, mostly evacuated Kurdish city the size of Binghamton, NY  in Syria, the Iraqi Kurds are thinking of liberating a city of 1.7 million in Iraq that has been taken over by ISIS with most ofthe population in situ.    Read the rest of this entry »

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