Thursday, June 30, 2011

STL indictments most likely to turn into political boomerangs

Since the threat of at STL indictment did not prevent Hezbollah from toppling the Hariri government, the US-Israeli run "Special Tribunal" as finally issued four indictments. According to the Lebanese newspaper Daily Star the names on the list include Salim Ayyash, Asad Sabra, Hasan Ainessi and Mustafa Badreddine. The latter is the the brother in-law of assassinated Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh whom he replaced as Hezbollah’s chief operations officer. The 50-year old is a member of the Hezbollah Shura Council.

Needless to say, the Hariri and Gemayel clans are ecstatic and have already expressed their support for the decision.  This is not surprising considering that the Israeli-lead murder of Rafik Hariri made it possible to expel Syria from Lebanon and now the Lebanese Fascists are hoping that the STL operation will result in a major political embarrassment for Hezbollah: this decision to target a top Hezbollah official is a transparent US/Israeli/Saudi/Phalangist attempt at de-legitimizing the Hezbollah-lead Lebanese government, and a retaliation for Hezbollah's rise to power.

I really don't think that this strategy will work.

First, Hezbollah's legitimacy does not come from the approval of any US/Israeli-sponsored entity or organization, but from the ballot box and from the self-evident fact that Hezbollah is the only force capable of defending Lebanon from US/Israeli/Saudi interests.

Second, there is no force in Lebanon which could arrest the four indicted individuals againt Hezbollah's will.  Not in the Hezbollah backed government, and most definitely not in the various phalangist militias.

Third, there is no political force which can censor Hezbollah in parliament (or anywhere else) for refusing to obey the STL's demands.

So the only possible way to sanction Hezbollah would be at the ballot box, but since a majority of Lebanese clearly understand that the STL is just a puppet of US/Israeli/Saudi interests, this is not going to happen anytime soon.  If anything, this indictment is most likely going increase Hezbollah's popularity.

Still, political tensions are most likely going to rise in Lebanon as we can expect Hariri & Co to "milk" these indictments as much as possible to obtain as much politican leverage as possible..  Basically, these folks have nothing to loose and everything to (re-)gain and from now on it's simple "the worse the better" strategy for them.
I am confident that Hezbollah can handle whatever Hariri, Siniora, Gemayel and their Israeli, US and Saudi sponsors can throw at it.  Most probably, these indictments will turn into boomerangs will will come back to smack in the face of those who threw them.

The Saker

Freedom Flotilla 2.0 - so far so good, but I am worried

It appears that the organizers of the Freedom Flotilla 2 have decided to ignore the various intimidations made by Israeli and US politicians and that the Freedom Flotilla 2 (FF2) is about to sail to Gaza.  Predictably, Netanyahu's threat to deport all journalists on the FF2 for 10 years and Hillary Clinton's threat to arrest any US citizens involved in "aiding Hamas" had no effect at all the the FF2 organizers.  It also appears that, just as with the first Flotilla, some Israeli spooks have sabotaged one of the ships in Greece while the Greek government attempted to keep a ship in port under spurious pretexts.

As always, the Zionists showed their total inability to understand public opinion (some even accused the FF2 of carrying chemical weapons!) and the US ZPC, having just given Netanuahu its most abject display of subservience (29 standing ovations), reacted with its usual Zio-piety.  Hardly a surprise.

As for the FF2 organizers, they succeeded in gathering a beautifully diverse flotilla, including US citizens, EU politicians, Holocaust survivors and enough reporters to cover it all.  They also came up with an absolutely brilliant slogan "Stay Human!".  Their website is decent, though too gimmick heavy and not up to date.  Their is another website, Freegaza, which also is well designed.

All in all, I would say "so far, so good".  And yet I am still worried.

First, there is absolutely no information anywhere on what exactly the FF2 will do when the Israelis intercept it.  True, the Israelis have also remained very vague about their exact plans, hinting only that they will "avoid physical contact" as much as possible.  But while I can see how the Israelis could keep their plans secret, I cannot imagine how the FF2 organizers could also do so.

Second, I see no mention at all of Ken O'Keefe in connection with the FF2.  I know that he was recently the object of political attacks, and that the last update on his blog is of June 5th.  Now, I am not saying that without O'Keefe the FF2 is doomed, but I will notice that a person whose thinking about what to do when the FF2 is boarded next time is now conspicuously absent and that worries me a great deal.  Here is why:

The Israelis are stupid, of course, but they are clever idiots and I do trust them to come up with some way to prevent the FF2 from reaching Gaza.  How? Well, that would depend on the size and type of each boat, but the basic choices are a) disabling the boat or b) literally pushing it off its course (both options have been successfully used past maritime confrontations when it the use of conventional firepower was deemed undesirable by political authorities).  My question is this: has the FF2 prepared for such a response?  Even more relevantly: how could the FF2 be ready for such a contingency without numerous rehearsals, drills or clear chain of command, etc?  Do we even know who is in charge of the FF2 or will this be a "democratic" exercise?

There are many sound tactical options available to the FF2 including fake movements towards Gaza followed by withdrawals, coordinating boat movements (which seems not to have been done last time), "hardening" the boats against landing commandos (pretty easy to do, in particular if the attacking side cannot use regular firepower), launching small speedboats, using Egyptian coastal waters, or even waiting far off the Gaza coast in the high seas without moving much at all, or while constantly changing course (that kind of behavior will rapidly wear down the Israeli defense perimeter).  But all such options require careful planning and endless training.

Or take this simple question: what will the FF2 do when the Israelis begin to jam the entire electromagnetic spectrum? Have provisions been made to communicate by light, sonar or laser

While civilians tend to believe that good intentions and idealism prevail, military men know that only endless practice, drills and training make it possible to "train hard, fight easy".  Has the FF2 trained hard enough to meet the Israelis on the high seas?   Unfortunately,  I very much doubt it.  The absence of O'Keefe - or other men with a similar mindset - could well turn into a great weakness of the entire FF2 "engagement doctrine" (I assume - and hope! - that there is one).

As for the Israelis - they had a full year to prepare for FF2 and I am quite sure that they have done so carefully and systematically and that they will not simply engage in another wanton massacre as was the case with the Mavi Marmara.  Of course, if things do not go their way, they will sooner or later fall-back on their usual policy of indiscriminate atrocities to teach the guilty goyim not to mess with the Chosen People, but that will probably not be their first choice this time.

Yes, I am worried.  The Establishment's corporate media is already in total lockstep with the Israeli propaganda machine.  Worse, not a single high-visibility personality has joined the FF2: no Nelson Mandela, no famous Rock singer, no Nobel Peace Prize winner, not a single major religious leader (not even the Dalai Lama - but that was predictable), no Danielle Mitterrand, no Jimmy Carter, not even a popular rap singer or sport hero (Ann Wright or Ray McGovern are great people, but they cannot be considered "high visibility").  Let's face it - the list of participants in the FF2 is completely lacking any kind of recognizable public figure and that, in itself, is a major victory for the Israelis: just as with the 9-11 Truth movement, the Zionists will easily dismiss all the FF2 participants as deluded or manipulated folks as easily as anybody daring to doubt the official propaganda about 9-11 found himself dismissed as a part of the "lunatic fringe".  Ken O'Keefe understood that, and that is why he said that having such well-known public figures on board was essential.  Alas, the organizers of the FF2 either disagreed, or did not have the resources to attract any public figure.

One more thing: what will Hamas or the folks in Egypt do to make maximum use of the FF2 operation?  Surely they understand that now is the time to overwhelm the Israeli security forces, not later.  Soon the Israelis will have their full attention on the FF2 and if something "big" happens in Rafah or even along the other crossing points into Israel the Israelis will be overwhelmed.  The Israelis typically expect the Arabs to act passively and I am confident that if Hamas decided to engage into a surprise operation (say large civilian protest in North Gaza combined with a simultaneous commando sortie on Israeli positions along the Khan Yunis or Rafah districts) they would rapidly panic.  Sure, they will eventually re-group and regain control of the situation, but that will be too late to prevent a deepening of the sense of doubt,  fear, and insecurity in the Israeli general public.

Unlike the FF2 organizers, Hamas has the means to secretly plan and prepare a coordinated operation.  But does it have the strategic vision to do so?  So far, Hamas has shown some excellent tactical skills combined with an appalling strategic blindness and my hopes are not very high that Hamas will do anything at all to help the FF2 or even use this opportunity to weaken the Israeli grip on Gaza.

As I said above - so far so good.  And I hope that all my fears are unjustified, that they are an expression of my natural paranoia and not of how things are shaping up.  When I feel really discouraged, I remind myself that I can always count on the boundless arrogance of the Israelis who are clever, of course, but who are only clever fools whose racist delusions only serve to hasten the inevitable demise of their ugly experiment in a racially pure "Jewish state".  They are their own worst enemies.

In the meantime, my thoughts and prayers are now with all the decent and courageous people on the FF2.  May God keep them safe!

The Saker

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


For the first time in Greece a documentary produced by the audience. "Debtocracy" seeks the causes of the debt crisis and proposes solutions, hidden by the government and the dominant media.

Note: the EU commercial at the beginning about "fighting torture together" is really surreal, considering that the EU bosses are doing their utmost to subject the Greek people to the EU's torture.

The Saker

Monday, June 27, 2011

Human Rights Organizations Cast Doubt on Libya War Atrocity Allegations & NATO Confirms Efforts to Assassinate Muammar Gaddafi

The Independent of London reports human rights organizations are beginning to cast doubt on some of the claims of atrocities committed by forces loyal to Col. Muammar Gaddafi that were used to justify NATO’s war in Libya. Gaddafi’s regime was accused of ordering mass rapes, using foreign mercenaries and employing helicopters against civilian protesters. An investigation by Amnesty International has failed to find evidence for any of these human rights violations. The Independent of London also found indications that on several occasions the rebels in Benghazi appeared to have knowingly made false claims or manufactured evidence.

Republican Congressman Mike Turner of Ohio has revealed that NATO commander U.S. Admiral Samuel Locklear has confirmed to him that the United States and NATO forces are actively trying to assassinate Libyan leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi in defiance of the U.N. authorization. Locklear also reportedly told Turner that NATO is considering sending in ground troops to Libya

Looks like - just as in Bosnia or Kosovo - facts do not matter at all in this war.  And its not like it is so hard to find out the truth - it's just that nobody gives a damn about it.

Libya is now "Bosnia version 2"

According to the BBC, the International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi, accusing him of crimes against humanity.

Clearly, in the minds of leaders of the US Empire, Libya as now become "Bosnia v2". Disgusting.

Two totally grotesque news stories about the USA

Two truly ridiculous news items today from The Raw Story:
Abroad: The United States spends $20.2 billion annually on air conditioning for troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan — more than NASA's entire budget, NPR reported. In fact, the same amount of money that keeps soldiers cool is the amount the G-8 has committed to helping the fledgling democracies in Tunisia and Egypt.
Comment: no wonder the Afghans consider US soldiers as sissies who are much easier to fight than the Soviets.
At home: A woman has filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security over how her elderly mother was detained and searched by Transportation Security Administration officers at the Northwest Florida Regional Airport last weekend. News Herald reported that Jean Weber filed the complaint after her wheelchair-bound 95-year-old mother, who is in the final stages of her battle with leukemia, was asked to remove an adult diaper during a pat down search.

Lavish expenses for the elites and their stormtroopers, farcical rules and regulations for the plebes - these are all clear signs of the late stages of imperial degeneracy.  Truly pathetic.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Speech of Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Friday 24, 6, 2011

I take refuge in Allah from the stoned devil. Praise be to Allah the Lord of the world. Peace be on our Master and Prophet Abi Al Qassem Mohammad and on his chaste Household, chosen companions and on all prophets and messengers.

Peace be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings.

Tonight, I have several topics which I think it's important to tackle as they influence our status quo whether on the local or regional levels.

As usual, I will set a table of content for those who are following us:

The first topic I will talk about is the governmental issue especially with respect to those who evoke that it is the government of Hezbollah.

The second issue is that of the spying nets which was evoked lately and talking about this within Hezbollah and precisely within the organizational structure within Hezbollah.

Third, I will talk about the enemy's drill - Turning Point Five.

Fourth, I will talk about the Arab situation especially the situation in Syria.

We start with the government: In fact, I want to present a description of the current government, what took place, our viewpoint towards it and consequently, how we will deal with it during the upcoming stage and how the others are dealing with it.

Under the title of the government, there are several points:

The first point: As those who talked before us asserted and pursuant to our responsibility, I also want to assert that the government of PM Mikati which was formed is 100 percent made in Lebanon. There wasn't any foreign assisting intervention in the formation of the government.

Yes, there was foreign obstruction and foreign pressures to prevent the formation of the government; however, the government was formed with an internal will. Perhaps it's the first time or one of the rare times – to be precautious – in which the government is 100 percent a Lebanese fabrication as I said.

The delay which took place for several months was caused by internal complications. When these complications were addressed, the government was formed. Among the other reasons were the foreign pressures which might be transcended by anyone who has a will and when internal wills integrate and unite.

As for Syria, some Lebanese sides in Lebanon when the government is not formed say Syria prevents the formation of the government or Iran prevents that. They accuse Syria and Iran of the delay, the postponement and the crippling. Indeed we have our share in this accusation. When it is formed, they say a decision for formation was issued. These act with grudge. They do not act pursuant to an actual political reading. In all case, this is oppression and false accusation. Since the very beginning, I know that the interest of the brethrens in Syria is for sure in the formation of the government since the first day. This is first a national Lebanese interest before it being a Syrian or Arab interest. They did not push towards any crippling or delay. They did not interfere. They did not have any demands. They were very happy when the government was formed. The same applies to the brethrens in Iran.

The government was formed – praise be to Allah. Here another bargain of March 14 Bloc failed as I said in one of the speeches and counted that they were wrong here and there and are still doing wrong and betting on wrong bargains. One of their wrong bargains is that the new majority will not be able to form the government and consequently they promised people that the formation will not take place before months, that this majority is unable to form the government, that PM Mikati will not be able to form the government and finally he will apologize and consequently their pal whom they are waiting for will return.

The second point that is related to the government is the incessant rhetoric of March 14 Bloc and what is issued abroad and then almost adopted by foreign countries because they are one axis. They once say that this is the government of Hezbollah, the government of the Syrian regime or the government of President Bashar Assad or the like.

I will first talk about Hezbollah: As for us, I would like to tell you: We are not harmed by that. If you believe that we are disturbed by that, we are not. On the contrary, this is a source of pride that we have such a government with the men it comprises, with the true representation of the influential political forces including the major political parties and currents in the country what really expresses the popular majority. If they wanted to call it the government of Hezbollah, we will not be disturbed. That is rather a cause of pride and esteem to us. However, in fact it is not as such. At times we say the truth you know very much and at others if you say that is the government of Hezbollah to disturb Hezbollah we say not at all. We are not bothered. You would be by that giving us a bonus. You always talk about an access in military power. You give us an access in political power when you depict to the whole world that Hezbollah is ruling Lebanon, the government of Lebanon and taking grip of the state. This is political inflation for the party in which we do not believe. However we are grateful. A reputation of wealth is better than a reputation of poverty as the saying goes. However, in fact, we are before a government where there are two ministers for Hezbollah: a minister with a portfolio and a state minister. All of the other ministers are friends. We respect them and cooperate with them. This is not a one-color-government. It is a broad national coalition government which is formed from a group of influential and diversified political forces. I do not wish to talk about numbers; it is inappropriate to talk about numbers. We care that we work together as one team despite our diversity. I would also like to highlight that it is not true that the current government is internally divided into a definite majority and a definite minority. In the current government we are not a majority and a minority. We are one team. We meet on the broad political, economical, social, administrative and security lines which will be expressed by the governmental statement. However, as to details, every side has its viewpoints which might meet with other sides here and differ from other sides there while on other issue it might meet here and differ there. This is the truth. Thus insisting on calling it the government of Hezbollah is untrue and it has other targets:

One of its targets is attempting to use this slogan for internal provocation especially sectarian and factional provocation as saying – let's be frank – Shiite Hezbollah is controlling the government and the state. O people of the other sects: Where are you?

The aim of this slogan is only provoking the other sects and it comes in the framework of factional and sectarian provocation which the other group is accustomed to, lives on and bargains on and this is an unsuccessful bargain Inshallah.

There is also provoking what is called international community or the foreign countries: the countries abroad, America, the west and some Arab countries. Through internal provocation they are not reaching anywhere because the people know the construction of the government, what is the formation, who the ministers of every side are, who favors who, who listens to who… So things are not like what this group depicts. This is not the government of one party or one color. This is not a comprehensive government or anything of this sort. If it was as such it would have been formed during the first days and within hours printed its governmental policy statement and thus given the vote of confidence. All of that would have taken place within one week at most.

As for international provocation, I also tell this group. You are mistaken. You are acting in a wrong way when you provoke the world against Lebanon under the title of this government as being the government of Hezbollah. As such, you are afflicting harm on Lebanon, the people of Lebanon, the economy of Lebanon and not Hezbollah as a definite side. It's summer now and it's the season of tourism. You have always argued us over the season of tourism. Postpone the political tension which is taking place for two or three months to give the government a chance and to relieve the country.

I frankly tell you: Provoking the foreign sides against Lebanon harms Lebanon and the people of Lebanon. It does not harm Hezbollah particularly because you know that we do not have economic interests abroad at all. We do not have money abroad. We do not have any possessions abroad at all. Even in Lebanon, we do not have banks. None of the banks are ours, and we aren't partners in any bank not only for financial reasons but also for religious reasons which you know. We do not have money in banks. Even in Lebanon we do not have investing projects. By the way and between parentheses, this is an opportunity to tell all the people: Hezbollah does not have investing projects in Lebanon or abroad. In Lebanon there are wealthy people from among our brethrens and friends. They are dealers who make projects like other dealers who make projects. So should anyone tell you that this project is for Hezbollah that is absolutely not true. We are outside this issue.

Anyway, when you provoke the other sides against us to take measures against Lebanon that will pressure on the banks in Lebanon, on the economy in Lebanon, on the aids in Lebanon… Who will be harmed then? The state as a state; the people as a people; and the country as a country. As for this party in particular, this Resistance in particular it might be the side to be the least harmed. Consequently, you are not undertaking a democratic political operation and being a constructive Opposition as you claim because the means which you want to use are dishonorable means and illegitimate means. In any place around the world, when a government is formed, it is given a chance. We gave the government of PM Saad Hariri one-year-grace-period. You are not ready to give one week for PM Najeeb Mikati. Give him six months or a year or three months. However, before the government was formed, you started attacking it. There is no problem in that. It is your right to object on the parliament or in the street.

There is no problem in that. It is your natural right to object in the Parliament and wherever you want. I always advise – as we used to advise ourselves and our alleys – by the necessity of avoiding sectarian and factional provocation because it is a double-edged sword. Also keep in mind that bargaining on foreign sides will flop as it flopped several times in the past. You have always bargained on foreign sides. You bargained on the US attack on the region. You used to call on it to spread all over the region and to reach Damascus. You also bargained on the Israeli War on the Resistance in 2006 as you bargained and still bargain on international developments. Now what do you talk about in your councils, speeches and internal political circulations as a result of your internal failure? You talk about bargaining on the collapse of the regime in Syria. You live on foreign bargains whether they are positive or negative. Here I am telling you all your bargains will fail as they failed in the past.

The third point under the topic of the government is the ministerial statement. There was not a special problem. Discussing the ministerial statement will not naturally take more than a week or ten days. Usually governmental statements take time; but due to mutual trust between the components of the government and also with PM Najeeb Mikati and due to positive dialogue, I believe there won't be any problem. Inshallah the governmental statement will be made and the government will win the required confidence and all imposed impediments before it will be removed.

There are two more points under the title of the government because among their bargains is waiting for the STL. Also among the points of the government I would like to assert that the priority is working hard as the slogan of the government goes. Thus I call on everyone and on all the components of the government to cooperate, join hands and exert effort to make use of time to serve our country and our people and address the existing causes. There are many things which we can do. We must not be dragged into arguments in which they want to exhaust us day and night. They are very good in arguments. Anyway, that is the first topic. I wrap up the first topic saying praise be to Allah after waiting, we came to have a government in which all sides cooperated so that it be formed. Indeed the qualitative final step which was taken by Speaker Nabih Berri was a much appreciated step on the national level and also on the Shiite level. I believe it gave the absolute chance for forming the government. Consequently, we came to have a government in the country. We will work and cooperate seriously and wholeheartedly with His Excellence the President, the Premier and all the components of the government to have a successful, beneficiary government which serves the people and the nation Inshallah.

I move to the second topic. It goes without saying that the second topic is a bit sensitive. It might also be unfamiliar. Naturally in organizations, parties and even states, such issues are not addressed in the way I will address them. But since we care very much about our authenticity, transparency and starting from our respect to our minds, feelings and emotions and worries of the masses, audience and supporters of the Resistance and all of those who link their aspirations to it in Lebanon, the Arab world, the Islamic world and in any place around the world, we find ourselves obliged to respect these minds, feelings and emotions. As usual we will provide them with the facts and we will not leave them an object of endless rumors that want to harm their will and morals especially before the great amount of rumors, falsehood and detective stories which are woven from time to time pertaining to this story in particular. Thus I will tackle this topic indeed with the appropriate and right extent within which I might talk. However, I will be clear and I believe that I will provide the people with the extent they look forward to know and be acquainted with Inshallah. I would like to remind you that in the past year and in more than one occasion, I said that we are fortified against Israeli penetration and there are no Israeli collaborators among our lines. Before what was written and what was mentioned, there are many who showed up and said in the media if that was not true, why Hezbollah did not deny that, and if that is true what the Sayyed will say, and if that is true, they are not sad, they want to know what the Sayyed will say. You might understand that one way or another. Now you will hear what I will say. I said that we have a very effective and strong anti spying body. When three of our brethrens were accused last year of collaboration, we carried out a very strong and accurate investigation and were sure of the invalidity of this accusation. Thus the cases that I will talk about in a while are not about these three brethrens who were addressed last year. Those are absolutely innocent. They are still in their posts, and we are sure of their innocence. If we had the least doubt, we would have acted in another way. The new case we are before now can be expressed as follows. I will talk about facts first, and then I will comment on these facts. When the Israelis failed to infiltrate the body of Hezbollah - and I still insist on that – they sought for help from the CIA. We are now before cases of collaboration not for Israel as it was spread by media outlets and in councils. Based on the investigations and given, we have three cases which I will talk about now.

Two cases are related to the CIA – recruited by the CIA - and we are still studying the third case whether it is related to CIA or a European intelligence body or the Mosad. When the Israelis failed, they sought the most powerful intelligence body in the world for help to infiltrate the structure of Hezbollah. That's how we must view the issue – regarding those who want to make a security evaluation of the issue or read the event from a security perspective. Months ago and within the responsible follow up of the anti-spying apparatus in Hezbollah; it was revealed that there are two separate cases that are in contact with officers in the US intelligence who work as diplomats in the US Embassy in Awkar. As an outcome of this event, there is a proof in our hand that this embassy is a spying den and that some American diplomats are in fact officers who recruit and infiltrate the Lebanese community and Lebanese political forces. I say that they are two separate cases. So there is not any net and they do not work together. So one case has to do with one officer and another case has to do with another officer. I did not mention yet that these two cases were indeed followed up and we reached a conclusion which I will tackle in a while. I will not mention the names as a show of respect to their honorable and dignified families which I personally know. I will go back to this point in a while. I will only mention the initials to refute rumors concerning other persons because they are talking and writing about many names and this is great oppression to those persons. I will say the initials only to refute doubt of the oppressed against names in this perspective….

A.B. - had been recruited recently. We will return to that while making the security evaluation. Only five months a CIA officer recruited this person. Through the follow up from the anti-spying body, he was detected and he confessed of having links with the CIA through the investigation.

The second case: M.H. was also recruited by the CIA before the first case. He also confessed of his ties with the CIA.

We have a third case - M.A. we were sure of his security ties with a foreign side. He confessed to his security links with a foreign body, but we are still investigating the side he is related to whether the CIA, the intelligence service of a European country or the Mosad.

Based on what was mentioned afore, there are three cases. Indeed these three cases and during investigation they admitted and the evidences against them are decisive. Unfortunately, they failed in the exam.

Based on what was mentioned afore, there are things which must be denied or mentioned. I will mention it as a result of the fuzz which was created:

First: The number is three. Should the number have been more than more, we would have the full courage to admit it. Indeed I tell you there is no party in the world which acts as we do. In fact, many people when they discover spies, they say let's spare ourselves this scandal. They address the issue in the way you know. They might kill the spies and make funerals for them as martyrs and hang posters for them as well.

Now because we have our religious, moral, fraternal and jihadi controls, we are responsible towards our members and our families. Thus we act in a different way. So with respect to this issue as in other issues, be confident we have the courage to tell the truth and to confront it even if it was bitter.

So the number is three. It is not more. It is not as some media outlets said: more the fingers of both hands i.e. more than ten. No. Some Arab media outlets unfortunately talk about 100 cases and 100 spies. We are very thankful.

Second: None of the three cases is of the first-rank leadership, contrary to the circulated rumors.

Third: None among them is a cleric contrary to the circulated rumors. Some were confused because there is a cleric arrested in the Intelligence Directorate in the Lebanese Army. Everybody knows he has nothing to do with Hezbollah. He also expresses his enmity to Hezbollah. He used to issue daily statements in which he targets Hezbollah, Iran and Syria.

Fourth: None of the cases belongs to the persons close to the Secretary General whether on the security or on the practical level. Here some people started weaving detective stories on the issue.

Fifth: None of these case has to do with the front or the sensitive military units – such as the rocket unit - about which the US and Israel are seeking to collect information as Hezbollah takes pain to remain silent on them.

Sixth: To reassure the Resistance supporters and our dear brethrens, none of the cases has sensitive data which could harm the structure of the Resistance as a result of the way we deal in with the internal issue or as a result of the responsible posts they occupy. They do not occupy responsible posts which might harm the security and military structure of the Resistance, as well as its confrontation ability in any upcoming war.

Seventh: None of the three accused have anything to do with the assassination of the martyr leader Hajj Imad Moghniyeh. That's because some wrote that in papers. So they have no relation in that.

Eighth: None of the accused has anything to do with the STL. Some people made use of their detective mind and started talking about these three persons saying that now the party announced about them so that in the future the party find a way out in the STL issue.

We are through with the STL issue since a long time. The three cases hadn't been mentioned whether in Dir Spiegel or the scandalous means linked to the STL or the Canadian TV or the names circulated by some Lebanese Security bodies or the International Investigation Committee when they summoned some persons for investigation. These names have nothing to do with this case. None of these names were mentioned in this file so that this event has nothing to do with the STL. We are through with the issue of the STL since a long time. We are not concerned with any scenario concerning the STL.

We come to a security evaluation which I will make in a couple of words:

First: It is clear that Israeli impotence still exists what led Israel to seek help from the most powerful intelligence body in the world. That indeed has its reasons. That's because the Israeli security body was subject to tough hits during the past three years on the Lebanese level. They were perplexed and then they had lack in spies and shortage in information. Thus they resorted to the CIA. There is a great difference in that. The CIA officer is fortified and protected as a US diplomat in Lebanon. Who is able to beat him?

Second: The United States is a friendly country. Third, a US diplomat is protected and he is present in the embassy and travels around in diplomatic cars. He goes to restaurants and houses and knocks on doors. So the CIA is a case that differs from the Israeli officer or an Israeli operator. Consequently, they resorted to the CIA which has very great human, technical and security capabilities and sought help from it. The information which the CIA officers demanded from these men are information that do not interest the US administration in as much as they are security military details that concern Israel in any war, confrontation, or military or security conspiracy against the Resistance or the leaderships or cadres of the Resistance in Lebanon.

The second point is that the CIA is in Lebanon to serve the Israeli security bodies and it gathers information for Israel and not for the American administration.

Third: True these CIA officers could recruit persons but what is more important is that the concerned security body in Hezbollah discovered these persons despite all measures and procedures. Since the CIA considers itself a first rank body in recruiting and guarding its spies and in its conduct and performance, it is of great importance that these cases were discovered. Some of these cases were discovered in no time. The date of recruiting is no more and no less than five months. Perhaps it is one of the first times in which the CIA confronts such blow by a party, organization or popular side as we are not talking about a state or governmental or official institutions. Thus in fact, we are before a true security achievement made by the Resistance. This achievement makes us more confident of our ability to confront security violations even if by the most powerful security body in the world.

The security evaluation also sheds light on the spying den in Awkar as it was decisively verified that the US Embassy in Awkar is a spying center and a recruiting center for Israel. Consequently on the national level, the official level and the popular level how must the spying den which carries these mission be dealt with?

There is a last part under this topic which concerns our masses:

First: I call on them to deal with mercy and fraternity with the families of the accused because – as I said – they are honorable families. The father, the mother, the wife, the children, the relatives and the family are guiltless. They are afflicted more than we are. This is a kind of moral loss. I know these families. If one of their children was martyred, they would have been proud of his martyrdom. Indeed according to them this is a true affliction as regarding their mentality, culture and affiliation. Thus they might be dealt with fraternity, mercy and solace.

The second point: I call for avoiding tackling names randomly. People must fear Allah. After all in this world, no one holds anyone accountable; but on Doom's Day, all of us will stand before Allah Al Mighty and He will ask us: You evoked a rumor against so and so; you evoked a rumor against so and so; you accused so and so. We will be held accountable on Doom's Day. Thus precision must be adopted as far as names are concerned especially when the names of sacrificing resistance fighters are tackled.

The third point: I call for not falling in the trap of psychological war through which our enemies aim to harm the morals of the Resistance, the Resistance fighters and the Resistance masses. We must be very careful and precise. We must know that we entered into a new stage. We supposed that we are in a security confrontation with Israel and that the US intelligence searches for another kind of information no more. However to become a direct target for the US intelligence in such a way puts us no doubt before a new stage of security struggle and the struggle of brains. Consequently, this makes it necessary that our cadres, members and masses be cautious, alert, mobilized and not to under estimate making transient relations or relations which might appear innocent for the first glance. That means that this degree of caution which our society and milieu have towards the Israelis might not be available towards screens through which the US intelligence bodies move. We must be aware that the Resistance in Lebanon is targeted by the US intelligence, western intelligence as well as the Arab intelligence as it is targeted by the Israeli intelligence. Guarding this Resistance, maintaining it and fortifying it are our responsibility because the Resistance is our point of strength.

I assert for you with all determination and resolution that we benefited from this confrontation which we stepped out from. I tell you that we stepped out victorious. We were afflicted with wounds but we could overcome these wounds and transcend the risk. We will strengthen our fortification more than anytime in the past. We will frustrate all the US security efforts and any other effort. Our Resistance and yours will remain firm, invulnerable and able to make the looked forward victory in all fields and in face of all challenges and threats.

The third topic: For the fifth consecutive year following July war in 2006, the Israeli enemy carries a drill in the internal front every year. They called it "Turning Point". In fact, it is a turning point in the security dogma, a turning point in the fighting dogma and a turning point in strategies. It's a great turning point and not an ordinary turning point. It's a strategic, historic and structural turning point according to the Zionist entity and the Israeli enemy. These days they were staging a drill called "Turning Point 5" which comprised all the Israeli entity – all of Occupied Palestine. Turning Point 5 comprised residents, cities, towns, settlements, public utilities, ports, airports and sensitive strategic facilities in addition to the army barracks within the entity, leadership bases, logistic bases and fighting bases as well as the leading political institutions such as the cabinet, the Knesset.... This was the broadest among all the previous drills in quality, quantity, space and comprehension. Indeed there is not enough time to give an evaluation for "Turning Point 5" Drill and say where it worked and where it flopped. I will rather tackle briefly some important indications in a very swift manner:

First: I will remind that Turning Point 1,2,3,4 and 5 and all the drills carried by the enemy on the military and security levels and in the internal front are an outcome of Israel's flagrant defeat and the victory of the Resistance in July War in 2006. That's because prior to 2006 and all through the history of the Israeli entity we did not witness at all drills on the internal front with such magnitude. We did not witness this number and quality of Israeli military maneuvers. Thus they are the result of Israel's defeat and Israel's acknowledgment in its defeat in July War.

Second: Among the indications, "Turning Point 5" – if added to all the "Turning Points" in the previous years - is also a decisive Israeli admission that the Home Front has become a part of any future war and here something strategic and primary in the security dogma has changed. Before July War and Gaza War that followed that was not the case. The Israelis always had the theory of making wars on the lands of others. They used to dispatch their troops, air force and army to fight on the lands of others so that their internal front remains guarded and preserved by various and diversified means.

However, today, there is an Israeli admission that in any future war whether against Lebanon or Gaza or Syria or Iran or with all of them or with some of them, the Home Front will be the core of such a battle. This is also a structural and strategic turning point in the Israeli security and fighting dogma. Furthermore, there is an important point. We always say guard this Resistance. This makes the Israelis think a thousand times before taking any war decision. Prior to 2006, the Israelis used always to make war and the outcome of this war used to be that they invade and occupy while their Home Front would be safeguarded. They do not care where millions might go, how they will provide them with shelters, where they will hide them, what to do with the military bases, the army barracks, the airports, the ports, the cabinet, the Knesset, the strategic facilities… That was never among the concern of the enemy when they used to take a decision for a new war. Today the case is different. The Home Front has become an essential part and a primary component for taking such a decision and this forms a state of deterrence.

Third: Israel admitted that its depth with all its human, military, economic and geographic components has become threatened now. That is first, and second it cannot be protected. Rockets will fall. Operations will take place. Confrontations on the land of the enemy might take place. Consequently, they have therefore perceived very well that they lost the ability to militarily protect the Home Font. Thus they are obliged to set a Home Front Ministry. So it's the first time in history of Israel in which it becomes concerned with the internal front and it becomes occupied in setting plans and scenarios to evacuate residences, guard communication in case they were cut, provide alternatives for public utilities, the airport and the port, and how to provide alternative for the seats of the cabinet, Knesset and the Israeli military leadership and how to provide alternatives for the air bases and ports for the air force. So they are taking it for granted that they are not able to guard their Home Front. Thus he is obliged to set plans and scenarios to confront what is called threat of Home Front.

Fourth: Turning Point 5" is another Israeli admission that Israelis have no capability for swift decisiveness, which signals an important strategic modification in the security and fighting dogma of the Israeli Army. A part of the Israeli dogma has always been swift decisiveness. Thus they head to swift and decisive battles. They are battles of days and at most of weeks. Now the Israeli enemy acknowledges that it is not able anymore to settle the battle. Thus when they drill on the Home Front, they talk about measures and scenarios to guard the Home Front in a war that would last for several months. Imagine the state of the Israeli entity and the people of this entity who came to the land of Occupied Palestine promised with milk and honey how would they tolerate a war for several months in which rockets would fall and how would they bear that these rockets fall on every square of Occupied Palestine?

Fifth: These maneuvers and noticeably "Turning Point 5" definitely determined – and this will form a prelude to the Arab situation – which sides Israel consider as a threat for it in the region, the Arab world, the Islamic world and the whole world. Who is Israel's true enemy? There are enemies in newspapers, on the internet and in speeches in which they say they are enemies for Israel. However, Israel does not take them into consideration. It does not even take their existence, armies, rockets, warplanes and enormous and huge military and human capabilities into consideration. They are not taken into consideration at all. There are Arab and Islamic countries and other countries in the world that are not taken into consideration by Israel. When Israel stages a comprehensive drill such as Turning Point 5 on all fronts it is frankly saying – and I am not drawing conclusions; they have said so – that it has four sides which it views as threat: Iran, Syria, and the Resistance in Lebanon and the Resistance in Gaza. They say in Gaza. Unfortunately they are greatly reassured with respect to the West Bank.

When the Israelis who are the enemies of this nation – the enemy of a billion and 400 million Muslims and the enemy of the peoples of all this region whether Muslims or Christians, the usurper of the sanctities of Muslims and Christians act as if this area is not a hostile area and it does not pose a threat – indeed I am talking on the level of the government, armies and regimes and not on the level of peoples – and rather consider that there are four sides which pose a threat and thus they must maneuver and get ready internally and militarily to face this threat, we must pose lengthily on this point. Hereof I will usher into the Arab situation.

The last point is that these maneuvers show that the aim of the enemy is to defend and protect and that depict themselves as if they are threatened and the like. This is only part of the truth. That's because today there are serious forces that are present in the region and there is a serious struggle. There is a serious resistance. There are not mere episodes, scenarios and speeches. There are rather the field, deterrence equations and confrontations in which historic achievements were made. However the point that we must never neglect even for one moment is that Israel always plots to wage wars in the region. Historically, it was Israel who used to start wars. It started most of the wars in fact. Consequently, when the Israelis reach a point in which they want to change equations in the region or to impose conditions on the region, it might wage a war and it must be ready in its Home Front. Thus we must not succumb and look at each other cheerfully saying that the aim of this drill is defensive and Israel is worried and afraid. Well that is true, but also Israel has a project which is having control over the region as it has an aggressive nature. When it gets ready on its Home Front to this extent, we must keep our eyes, ears and minds open, and we must be cautious, mobilized and alert because this is the nature of Israel since this entity was established.

As for the Arab issue, Israel has staged five great drills one every year under the title of "Turning Point". They are enormous military drills that include new military equipment, weapons, new planes, new capabilities… What is our Arab and Islamic world in general doling? Indeed many of the peoples are sympathetic and consolidated. At times they feel that they don't own except this degree of sympathy. However what is taking place at times in our Arab and Islamic world is bad and passive. In our Arab world, there are those who conspire on the Resistance in Gaza. There are governments, regimes and sides which conspire against the Resistance, besiege it financially and politically, distort its image in their Arab media satellite outlets and follow any gap, shame or default to exaggerate it to harm the morals of the Resistance and our people in Gaza instead of viewing Gaza as one of the fortified cities, one of the points of strength in the nation and one of posts of dignity of this nation and thus provide it with help and offer it aid. The same applies to the Resistance movement in Lebanon. What is taking place and what took place on this Resistance is something well known and does not need any details. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent to distort the image of the Resistance. They know that they fall short from harming this Resistance militarily in the internal front and on the regional front. However they try to harm it, distort its image, and touch on its capabilities and its authenticity. Thus we face this great degree of fabrications and rumors which harm its authenticity and for which hundreds of millions of dollars are spent and this is acknowledged by those who spent them personally.

Iran poses to the Israeli enemy a real threat and a source of fear for existence in the Arab and Islamic world. Still some are working day and night to change Iran to a devil and an enemy for the Arabs and Muslims to serve Israel and guard the very existence of Israel and to guard the interests of Israel.

As for Syria, I say what I say and what we say in Hezbollah based on a viewpoint and on a clear conviction. The others have the right to criticize our viewpoint and stance, and it's our right to differ with them or advise them. It's our duty to advise them especially some Islamite friends in the region and in the neighboring countries. There is only one Arab resistant and opposing regime which is the Syrian regime. It's the only regime. Perhaps it is the only resistant and opposing regime in the Arab world. There are Arab regimes which have a good political position however first they are far and second they are afflicted with the conspiracies of division and international pressure and the like. However, in the region there is only one resistant and opposing regime since the very beginning and until this very first day. This regime and through its alliance with the Islamic Republic and the resistance movements in the region (Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq) and through its harmony with the nature of the peoples of this nation could within this axis flop the latest US-Israeli project which was aiming at and is still aiming at liquidating the Palestinian cause and absolutely dominating our countries, capabilities and the wealth of our peoples and nation.

This is the truth. Then the head of this regime – President Assad – comes to say I am ready to make reform, to introduce reform steps, to set a mechanism for these reform steps such as a law for parties, a law for the media and the like and to issue two amnesties even on people who held arms and committed crimes except one kind of crimes.

For example, in Bahrain people stepped out in a peaceful demonstration. They were killed and wounded. Hundreds of martyrs fell as martyrs and wounded. Hundreds were arrested though they did not hold a rifle or a gun or a hand grenade. They did not make a front or occupied cities or villages. They did not even use a knife. Still they are being dragged to prisons. The leaders of the peaceful political Opposition are being tried. The government makes a call for dialogue and on the following day it issues life-jail sentences. This is great oppression. In Syria, the president is issuing a general amnesty and is calling for dialogue. He has started serious steps for reform. Still that is not accepted from him. Here I am telling you: No matter what would President Assad do and no matter what would the brethrens in Syria do, that will not be accepted from them internationally or even on the level of some Arab stances or so called Syrian Opposition. Some sides in the Syrian Opposition might accept; but other sides might not accept no matter what those steps which will be taken in Syria might be. Thus before these new steps, the latest speech by President Assad, the latest popular movements in Syria and as a comment on the latest criticism which has afflicted us from some sides concerning Hezbollah's stance from the Syrian issue, we say that this is our stance. Yes we start from a very clear strategic, national viewpoint. We see that this connivance or seeking to topple this resisting opposing regime in Syria which is ready for reform constitutes a great service to Israel, a great service to America and a great service for the US-Israel project to dominate over the region. That is to be very clear. When we believe in a point we announce it and declare it with utmost boldness and bravery. Thus I renew my call to the noble, faithful, truthful, resisting, opposing, national patriotic Syrian people to read what is taking place in the region and take into consideration the magnitude of the target against Syria as a homeland, as a national post, as a people, as a regime, as an army and as a leadership and to act accordingly.

As for Bahrain and the oppression afflicting Bahrain, I say that we unfortunately see an impasse because the authority in Bahrain is responding to calls for dialogue with exclusion, life sentences and incessant daily killing of those who are peacefully demonstrating and those who haven't resorted to violence under international silence. However and anyway, things can't carry on as such forever. Any people, any leadership, any side or any regime when being faithful and believe in what they are doing and industriously carry on in their peaceful or reform movement, the consequences will not be but good Inshallah.

I liked to tackle these points to say where we are today in Lebanon, where we are now in the region especially regarding Turning Point 5. I call on the political, security, military and strategic experts to read and evaluate these drills and to discuss and interpret their indications in various occasions.

As for the government, Inshallah we will work seriously so that it be a beneficiary, productive and harmonious government.

As for security fortification, I tell you do not to be worried. Things are not as serious as rumors say. This is the party of the sacrificing, fighting and pious Resistance which has offered you victories so far, and Inshallah it will not offer but more victories to you, to its nation and to its people.

Peace be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings.

Having fun with politics

Dear friends,

We would like to share with you a pretty decent test of political orientation which I recently took. Of course, the categories used are necessarily an over-simplification, yet this test is interesting, at least as a basis for discussion with friend. Anyway, you can check out the test for yourself and take it here:

FYI - here is my score:

Economic Left/Right: -7.75
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.56

Of course, the test is culturally biased, leaning as it does towards US political definitions.  I consider myself more of a "religious traditionalist and political progressive" than a "left libertarian", but that's fine - I can live with the latter too (the big advantage of using vague terms is that they do easily overlap).

A definitve weakness of this test is that it is still very US-centric, and that necessarily pushes the rest of the planet out towards the extremes: most "liberal" or "progressive" US politicians are far, far to the right of most European right-wingers.  Let's take the example of Jean-Marie Le Pen, the (now ex-) leader of the French National Front.  I happen to know his politics quite well and it always amazed me that by US political standards Le Pen would be far closer to, say, Ralph Nader than to any "conservative" politicians.  You doubt that?  Then try this though experiment:

Le Pen takes the podium at a meeting of the Front National, he begins his speech by suggesting that unions should be almost totally disbanded, that the 35 week hours should be abandoned, that the French social security should be abolished, that healthcare should be privatized, that the death penalty should be re-introduced, that the French President should be allowed to order the kidnapping or murder of any person on the planet, that Supermax prisons should be built all over France and that the amount of incarcerated people per capita should dramatically increase.  He would then proceed to reduce the minimal legal holidays from 4 weeks down to zero (to be negotiated with your boss), he would allow torture of "enemy combatants", he would declare the right to fight preventive wars without UNSC approval, he would declare that climate change is a myth, that France should pull out of the Kyoto protocol, that abortions should be made illegal, that France should build 700+ military bases on the planet, etc. etc. etc. (can can continue that list ad nauseam)

Anybody who knows anything about France will tell you that Le Pen would be dragged off the podium, sedated and shipped of to a mental clinic long before getting to the end of his speech.  And that is true for any other West European politician who would try to openly defend such crazy stuff.

Thus, this test shows a typically US political grid, in particular in its "right libertarian" quadrant which arguably has no equivalent in European political culture ("Austrian School" notwithstanding, being against the state per se and being pro capitalist is, I submit, a uniquely US psychiatric disorder).

Anyway, the point of this post it not to peach "Science Po 101" but to share with you an entertaining test.

I would be grateful if you shared your scores with me and the rest of us.  Let us compare notes and have a good laugh, ok?


The Saker

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Death of American Democracy

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The US Empire throws in the towel

This is a great American tradition: declare victory and leave.  And that is what Obama did yesterday when he announced that 10'000+23'000 troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan.  The French immediately announced that they are withdrawing another 4'000 of their own.  Yes, I know, 68'000+ troops will remain.  Make no mistake, that is a fig leaf, also a security and a way to pretend that this is not what is really is: a total retreat following a strategic defeat.  Obama clearly indicated that:
Our mission will change from combat to support.  By 2014, this process of transition will be complete, and the Afghan people will be responsible for their own security
This is a howling joke, of course.  Translated into English it means "all future defeats will henceforth blamed on the Afghans, not on us - we have won".  Sure looks like the White House has finally read the writing on the wall.

As for the the alleged execution of Bin Laden, it provided Obama with the "patriotic" and "presidential" credentials needed to conceal the true magnitude of this strategic US defeat in Afghanistan.

While I do blame the USA for its infinite arrogance and imperial hubris in invading Afghanistan in the first place, and while Obama's idiotic "surge" was nothing but a useless PR effort, I cannot blame the US armed forces for having been defeated.

From the deserts of Dasht-i-Margo (Land of Death), Registan (Land of Sands) and Karakum (Black Sand), to the mountains of the Hindu Kush, Waziristan, or the Safīd range, to the "panhandle" of the Wakhan Corridor - most of Afghanistan is a hell-hole which always ended up defeating its occupiers, including the British and the Russians - far more capable (and ruthless) opponents than the US military, nevermind the NATO alliance's hodgepodge force.

All this was pre-ordained from Day 1 of the "invasion".  I put that word in quotation marks because the USA did never really invade Afghanistan.  The Northern Alliance attacked the Taliban with the support of the USAF and some special ops on the ground and rapidly seized Kabul.  As for the Taliban, they had no intention of openly fighting the USA; they waited for a better time (which soon came).

In reality, the US military simply entered the country with only minimal resistance.  In fact, and unlike the Soviets, the US never won a single battle during this entire war.  Bloody and ugly as this war was, it was primarily a gigantic multi-billion exercise in PR.  It is no wonder then that it ended in yet another, last, PR exercise.  When the Soviets left Afghanistan, they had least had the courage to do that openly and proudly; the US even lacks the courage to do that.

Now all this really begs the question of what will happen in Pakistan.  The relationship between the USA and Pakistan are now at an all-time low and the CIA's fancy drone-war combined with the infinite arrogance of its personnel on the ground, is creating a powerful blowback against the USA, and I would venture to say that the US Empire was also defeated in Pakistan.

The important thing to keep in mind though is that being militarily defeated does not entail loosing all influence, quite to the contrary, in fact.  If the USA cannot control "AfPak" it still can make darn sure that nobody else does, including the Taliban and their Pashtun brethren across the border.  Preventing the creation of a united "Pashtunistan" is an objective which the US shares with all other actors in the region, including India, Iran, Russia and the so-called "legitimate government of Afghanistan" aka The Northern Alliance.  Even the local drug lords and their foreign patrons will support this.  To be totally honest, I cannot disagree with this either: nuclear armed Wahabis is just about the worst of all imaginable options for all of mankind.

The fact is that no matter how much the US Empire is hated, nobody wants to replace the current regimes in Kabul and Islamabad with an alliance Wahabi crazies armed with nuclear weapons.  The easiest option to prevent this is to trigger and sustain a process of "Somalization" of the region.  And that is a skill which the US Empire and, in particular, the CIA, truly excels at.  That will also be the real mission of the US forces remaining in the region: maintain chaos and preventing the creation of a "Pashtunistan".

Next to the 68'000+ "chaos" forces we will also probably see "for profit" occupation forces (think Blackwater & Co. here) which will provide "security" for the various multi-national companies trying to exploit the country's natural resources (including opium).  Bottom line: the US "withdrawal" from Afghanistan does not mean that the US Empire is "letting go", only that it is redefining its strategy in a manner more commensurate to its actual capabilities.

The Saker

Another interesting discussion of the crisis in Greece

This time its Bonnie Faulkner on Guns and Butter who interviews Max Keiser.  Another excellent discussion you can listen to here:


The Saker

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Excellent discussion of the crisis in Greece

George Kenny has recorded yet another most interesting interview, this time with Dr. Richard Wolff. They discuss the economic crisis in Greece, of course, but also the larger implications of the latest manifestation of the crisis of capitalism.

Excellent stuff, I highly recommend it! Check it out here:

More generally, George churns out one interesting interview after another, week after week.  Keep an eye on his "Electric Politics"!

The Saker

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Miko Peled - The General's Son

(thanks to F. for drawing my attention to this video. VS)

Rebel Atrocity Videos

The following post will discuss several videos from the Libyan civil war once hosted on Youtube. These were originally put up and allowed, despite Youtube's general ban on violent and gory images,perhaps for the posters' stated aims of supporting the rebel cause and freedom. For weeks they sat there, each in several posting watched thousands of times.

But more and more people started noticing that these showed grossly inhumane atrocities, and most of them (possibly all of them soon) have now been pulled back offline. (inset: a screen capture of one showing dead government soldiers being driven around Misrata) A cynic might say they were taken down for having served their purpose and now becoming an embarrassment to the rebellion. Below a list of videos taken down, but first some excerpts from an excellent article at "Pajamas Media."
While the International Criminal Court has announced that it is investigating charges of war crimes against Muammar al-Gaddafi and other members of the Libyan regime, harrowing video evidence has emerged that appears to show atrocities committed by anti-Gaddafi rebels. Among other things, the footage depicts summary executions, a prisoner being lynched, the desecration of corpses, and even a beheading. The targets of the most serious abuse are frequently black African prisoners. The ultimate source of the footage appears to be rebel forces or sympathizers themselves.

What is probably the most harrowing of the clips depicts a public beheading. A man with a long knife can be seen alternately sawing and hacking at the neck of a man who has been suspended upside-down. The victim’s inert body is soaked in blood. The beheading takes place in front of a burnt-out building in what appears to be a public square. The Dutch public broadcaster NOS has identified the location as the main square of the rebel capital of Benghazi.

A crowd numbering at least in the hundreds cheers on the assailants. At one point, a man begins chanting “Libya Hurra!”: “Free Libya!” According to the NOS translation, someone can be heard saying, “He looks like an African.” As the principal assailant begins to saw at the victim’s neck, members of the crowd yell “Allahu Akbar!” Dozens of members of the crowd can be seen filming the proceedings with digital cameras or cell phones.
Video #3, as given there, is one I have covered in some detail. It shows nine government soldiers and/or suspected mercenaries, held captive by armed rebels. This article links to a (poorly) English-subtitled version I've now saved a copy of to bolster my previous analysis. That suggests the nine prisoners were accused of shooting at someone's car, but only, they swear, after being shot at. They're told the rebels have a right to shoot them, to defend themselves, and the soldiers have no right to shoot back. They're asked who their "emir" (king) is, and they suspect the elder officer is that - so they likely mean commanding officer, as I've seen suggested. They are all clearly threatened with death, and with (cutting of the neck?). And as noted in the video, compiled for Al-Libya TV, at least a few (probably all but 2) of these nine were among the 22 found the next morning executed. And those 22 were among 130 Gaddafi soldiers killed by the regime itself, according to the rebels and the West at large, despite this available video proof otherwise.

A longer list of videos accompanied a (poorly written) e-mail sent to Business Insider and oddly re-published by them on April 18. This was re-posted on other sites as well in the following days, and I watched most of them. But now that I'm checking the links a week later, it's sudden attrition. Documented below are the links in that e-mail (minus the "&" extensions), their current status, and the original given notes for each (no guarantee of correct characterizations). - pulled, terms of service violation - pulled, terms of service violation - pulled, account terminated - pulled, removed by user - the boy that the rebels beat up because he supported the gov... - pulled, account terminated - pulled, account terminated - pulled, account terminated - here is an old man beaten by the rebels - still there (saved a copy) - here some girls from Benghazi who are not with the rebels where raped by the Rebels the peaceful with risk to bring the videos to the public... she is calling for the Libyan army to come to save them!!! - pulled, account terminated - they are doing it just like the americans.. humiliating sexually - that is a direct evidence of the rebel-CIA connection - still there (saved a copy) - Libyan rebels behead,mutilate a soldier that surrenderd... where is the cnn? - pulled, account terminated

Update June 20: The above list was apparently just too reliant on one or two sources. Other postings of most or all of these videos, plus many more, still abound. Here are a few I should have mentioned before but either didn't know of or think of them in time. I'll refrain from embedding them here, only giving optional links. Most people don't really need to see these things, just to know about them in general.

hesham shoshan.wmv
One famous video of a suspected mercenary being beaten to death by a crowd in broad daylinght, pants pulled down, and left that way on the blood-stained street. instead from the PoV of the family and fiance of the Libyan soldier killed (Hesham Shosham?).

21-2-2011 Abuse soldiers Bawhita - ‏التنكيل بالجنود بالبيضاء
A very frightened black man assaulted by a crowd of Arab men in some place with cargo containers (I suspect he was working there when they found him). They point a gun at his head the whole time, his face looks swollen, they shout and swear at him, hitting with sticks(?) as they march him across the place. They ignore his protests, pull off his shirt, and lay him down. He gets back up, his shirt half on, one man holds a military rifle. They again threaten to shoot him, he says something, and they suddenly sound friendly. The video cuts without a single death. Wish I knew what they were saying.

I just found the "Libya's Western-backed revolution" series, posted by user Sonbakkah. With 25 parts so far, each covering a certain atrocity, it might be close to comprehensive. Some of them ... I've become jaded, but parts 2 and 13 in particular made the bottom drop from my stomach in horror and gave me serious pause. Some are not clear in their relevance - gory dead people with little clue who they are and how they died. Each is just the raw footage, or someone else's edit (Saif Gaddafi's al Libya TV, etc.), with the same intro, no original audio, and the same very sad music that I quite like.

Part 1 - Misrata I believe, a scene others have written of - quite a crowd stands atop a burnt-out tank in a main square while they take turns displaying high for all to see charred pieces of something, in different sizes. I can't make any of them out, but one's said to be a man's heart, another part of his whole torso. I don't see what else it would be that everyone wants to see. Sick people, if you ask me.
Part 2 - A lone man on a side-street trying to back away from and fake-fight a nasty gang of about eight pumped-up, possibly stoned young men, some in no shirts, dancing around, swinging clubs and small furniture at him. He might be black, seems skinny and possibly mentally deficient. They tear his white civilian shirt off,  revealing a green undershirt, and it cuts before we see the end. Later, someone else I hope (lighter-skinned?) is shown, dead by then I hope, with slices from a heavy blade leaving guts, muscle, and bone visible, seeming to flex and breathe at one point as if alive. But then seeing the face I hoped not - sliced clean open, teeth, tongue, and nasal cavity are all right there. I can't go back and look again, sorry if I remembered wrong.  I almost cried there... The story isn't clear.
Part 3 - the famous Benghazi beheading scene - didn't watch it, so it might be a variation
Part 4 - Same thing by the still image, so unless two of the same were posted, we have at least two recordings from the sea of cameras filming that night.

Part 5 - Fascinating scene. It's nighttime, again in a main square somewhere, and a very large crowd surrounds a struggling black man attacked by some med who finally get a rope around his neck. A crane then yanks him up and leaves him dangling above the throng, kicking wildly (his hands seem bound). Mercifully, they shoot him a few times until dead after letting this drag on only a few seconds.
Part 6 - Another suspected mercenary, dead, hanging upside down from a fence of what seems a government facility. Stripped from the waist up, his shoulder is slashed open. It's daylight, and a pleased crowd is again taking pictures and video.
Part 7 - Two black men laying dead on debris-strewn ground, stripped from the waist up.
Part 8 - Again the "Al-Baida" massacre, 'dying soldier gets some water' version. I've counted 21 or 22 corpses in that courtyard at different times, making this atrocity highly weighted relative to the rest.

Part 9 - A headless body, neck looking like stretched skin tucked behind - no visible blood. He's also suffered massive trauma to the legs, twisted, broken, swollen, almost unrecognizable, like a mutant with too many knees. One arm is also badly tweaked, with something hanging out of it. Looks like he was pulled through some kind of machine, or partially drawn and quartered. Possibly left in water and mud for a day or two? Again, the story's just not clear to me, no audio even for Arab speakers, but a document or letter is shown, perhaps barely readable.
Part 10 - Balding black man seated, tied up tight, surrounded, scared, a pistol pressed tight against his head. One man in the back of the crown is very eager to bring his large, shiny, sword into it, pointing it in, straining, but finally giving up. The gun is never moved for over 2 minutes but no direct violence is shown.
Part 11 - Very gory - a soldier in some junk-strewn warehouse, perhaps, with a lot of brain matter blown clear out of a vary large hole in his forehead, collapsing his otherwise intact face. He'd been shot from behind, while his head was over his right forearm, possibly while crawling. Spent casings lay in his blood. Something like seven or eight more dead soldiers in fatigues are panned across closely, piled against a far wall, partly covered in rubble. One has a head wrapped in bandages or cloth strips, none particularly gory. A few more are shown amid wreckage in the next room. Not really sure how much of an atrocity this was - soldiers die all the time in wars.
Part 12 - The same soldier (Hesham Shoshan?) covered above, and another shown being hanged, plus other Libyan soldiers killed in the massacres (no video available, sorry) have their paperwork and portrait photos in uniform shown. Apparently from al-Libya TV.

Part 13 - Seems to be a rooftop area. I don't know why, but there are body parts strewn about. They don't look like blown-up bodies, but torn up ones. In a recessed area with a rope net stretched across it, hang one dead body and two partial legs from different people (victims, 3). Then, a head, with a huge stretch of back skin attached. There's also an apparent bullet hole taking out his right eye and all surrounding tissue. It's pretty terrible stuff.
Part 14 - Several killed loyalists piled into the back of a jeep, some hanging over the sides. The bed is full of death and running with blood, an extra body stuffed in the passenger's seat, his slumped head pulled back for the camera.
Part 15 - The same soldier (Hesham Shoshan?) covered above, dead and bare-assed on the street, still being abused.
Part 16 - apparently missing.

Part 17 - dead soldiers or loyalists in pickup trucks. The same video is shown elsewhere as being from Misrata.
Part 18 - A man brings a torn-off leg into the hospital.
Part 19 - It looks like a man hanged in the green-painted gate of some official building, so one can't enter without bumping into it. His head is bent back, and someone standing up on the gate kicks it. A man in a jacket with "_?_ESI"  on the sleeve is pointing and directing others to do something. It's short, chaotic, and badly filmed.
Part 20 - Dead soldier, Arab in appearance, eyes frozen open, blood had come out his nose and mouth. The cameraman runs across a courtyard to where about six others are piled, hungrily zooming in on their bloodied faces and wounds. One has shirt and pants just soaked in blood, another, a nasty head shot.
Part 21 - the al-Baida massacre, behind the scenes as shown on al Libya, with longer interrogation footage than some versions.

Part 22 - A dead black man, naked, curled on the ground, partly covered with a blanket. He's got a bandage on his arm as if he'd had an IV installed earlier (snatched from a hospital?). Another black man lays on his back a few feet away, also dead, at least half naked, nose bloodied.
Part 23 - Dead and burned soldiers beneath blankets. One looks like he was just badly sunburnt, others remain covered. Somewhere between nine and 12 bodies at least  are present.
Part 24 - two dead soldiers in the bad of a pickup truck.
Part 25 - dead soldiers across the hood of a truck.

That last was just posted June 16, and I suspect there are more coming. That'll do for me, however.