Syria: Mounting Military pressure of Western War makers

aerial napalm attack 1972.jpg

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has begun a five-day, four-nation tour of North Africa and the Middle East to consolidate military ties with traditional allies against the backdrop of mounting Western pressure aimed at the governments of Syria and Iran...

July 30, 2012

Pentagon Chief Rallies Arab, Israeli Allies Against Syria, Iran
Rick Rozoff

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has begun a five-day, four-nation tour of North Africa and the Middle East to consolidate military ties with traditional allies against the backdrop of mounting Western pressure aimed at the governments of Syria and Iran.
His first two stops are to Tunisia and Egypt, long-standing American military client states and members of NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue partnership program. The next two are to Israel and Jordan, also Mediterranean Dialogue members, the first the main and the second one of the largest recipients of American military aid.
The two North African countries were the bellwethers of the so-called Arab Spring, a topic Panetta dwelled on at some length during his visit to Tunisia, though in relation to following Pentagon diktat Tunisia's Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Egypt's Hosni Mubarak might well still be in power for all the difference that now exists. Last year's biennial joint U.S.-Egyptian Bright Star military exercise was cancelled during the early months of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, but there is no reason to believe next year's won't go ahead as usual.
Four months ago Washington released $1.3 billion in military assistance to the Egyptian junta, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton waiving congressional conditions introduced last year and State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland stating, "These decisions reflect America's over-arching goal: to maintain our strategic partnership with an Egypt made stronger and more stable by a successful transition to democracy." 
The strategic partnership is one that began with the Carter-Brzezinski administration buying off President Anwar Sadat in 1978 and in so doing switching the largest and militarily most powerful Arab nation from non-alignment (Egypt under President Gamal Abdel Nasser was a founder of the Non-Aligned Movement) and close state-to-state relations with the Soviet Union to the U.S.'s major military client state in Africa and the Arab world. It was also initiated to break the back of Arab unity in relation to Israel and Palestine.
Because of its unique value to the Pentagon, Egypt is the only African nation not to be assigned to the Pentagon's Africa Command (AFRICOM), instead remaining in Central Command. The latter, launched in 1983, grew out of the Carter administration's Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force, which had been established to counter Soviet bloc influence in Northeast Africa: Egypt, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Sudan.
Similarly and for complementary geopolitical purposes, Israel is the only Middle Eastern nation not in Central Command's area of responsibility, instead being assigned to that of European Command.
Since the Camp David Accords of 1978, Egypt has been one of the two largest recipients of annual American aid (almost all of it military) and a dependable Pentagon ally bordering Israel and the Gaza Strip to the east, Libya to the west and Sudan to the south as well as controlling the Suez Canal connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. The Mediterranean is the route through which U.S. warships, including nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and their assigned strike groups, pass after leaving the eastern coast of the U.S. en route to the Suez, whence they pass through the Red Sea to the Arabian Sea, the Persian Gulf and the broader Indian Ocean for air strikes in Afghanistan.
Panetta, no matter what he says formally, is visiting Egypt to ensure it remains in the American political and, especially, military column.
According to the Pentagon website, "The United States has had a strong military-to-military relationship with Egypt since the 1970s, and Panetta said he wants that relationship to continue and grow."
En route to Tunisia, Panetta stated to reporters: "Our goal is to advance security by supporting peaceful change throughout the region. This means establishing strong partnerships with new democratic governments in the region.”
He also said that the recent Syrian government offensive against armed insurgents in Aleppo will be - will be made to be - “a nail in Assad’s coffin.” He, like his civilian opposite number Hillary Clinton ("Wow!...We came, we saw, he died"), is not noted for excelling in the powers of abstract thinking, so his comment is not to be interpreted as merely a metaphor.
As though alleged humanitarian intervention was not casus belli enough, Panetta also invoked the Iraq war-style menace of "chemical and biological warfare sites in Syria that U.S. planners say need to be secured."
About those exaggerated threats, he said, “We’ve been in close coordination with countries in the region to ensure that this is happening.”
He also pledged to strengthen the "very close partnership" with Israel, particularly in respect to Iran. According to the Pentagon, "Iran and its pursuit of nuclear weapons technology will be a discussion point at all stops."
The defense chief added:
"My view is that when I sit down with my counterpart in Israel, we are unified in our view with regards to Iran. We’re unified in the position that they should not obtain a nuclear weapon, (and) we’re unified in our position that we have to bring every bit of pressure on them to change their ways.”
“The more we are working together, the more unified we are in the effort against Iran, the better off we will be in convincing Iran that there is no room here for them to do anything other than to back away from the nuclear program they are engaged in.”
Panetta will inspect the U.S.-funded Iron Dome anti-missile system while in Israel.
Again according to the Defense Department's account of his position while on the way to Tunisia, "Peaceful, democratic change has taken place since the Arab Spring, but Syria, Iran and extremism in general have continued to pose challenges."
That is, Panetta's mission is to recruit America's Tunisian, Egyptian, Israeli and Jordanian military allies to confront Syria and Iran.
The Pentagon's website cited an unnamed senior Defense Department official affirming that "Panetta plans to lay out the roadmap for the future military-to-military relationship between the United States and Tunisia." He was quoted asserting that "The military has played a positive role in Tunisia and we want that to continue.” 
During the press conference aboard the aircraft taking him to Tunisia, Panetta explained what Washington understands to be both the means and the ends of so-called democracy promotion in stating, “The United States continues to support efforts to strengthen Tunisia’s democracy, and DOD [the Department of Defense] will play an important role in that effort.”
In Egypt Panetta will meet with newly installed President Muhammad Mursi and Defense Minister Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi - "Panetta has been in constant touch with Tantawi since former President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown" - who led the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces from February 11, 2011 to June 30, 2012.
In Israel he will consult with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
Then he will hold talks on bilateral military cooperation with King Abdullah in Jordan. According to the above-cited Pentagon official, “Syria will obviously be a topic of conversation, as the Jordanians are on the front line of that.”
As with his visits earlier this year to South America and Asia, Panetta's trip to North Africa and the Middle East has a concrete objective: To solidify military ties with states bordering or near the remaining handful of nations in the world not enmeshed in the Pentagon's global network.

richardrozoff | July 31, 2012 at 2:46 am | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/pCpOz-3N4


Photo: The U.S. as the champion of 'human rights'.  South Vietnamese forces follow after terrified children, including 9-year-old Kim Phuc (center left), as they run down Route 1 near Trang Bang after an aerial napalm attack on suspected Viet Cong hiding places, June 8, 1972. A South Vietnamese plane accidentally dropped its flaming napalm on South Vietnamese troops and civilians. The terrified girl had ripped off her burning clothes while fleeing. The children from left to right are: Phan Thanh Tam, younger brother of Kim Phuc, who lost an eye, Phan Thanh Phouc, youngest brother of Kim Phuc, Kim Phuc, and Kim's cousins Ho Van Bon, and Ho Thi Ting. Behind them are soldiers of the Vietnam Army 25th Division.


Syria is on fire. NATO lives in luxury...


While U.S. and it allies set Syria on fire, NATO lives in luxury. The First Lady in her beautiful blue dress, talking with Prime Minister David Cameron...

"To use weapons against government institutions is a violation of international law and it is and by sending weapons and money into Syria, this is interference with the internal affairs of a founding member state of the United Nations and this is counter to international law."

The Syrian crisis has had an impact not only on Syria itself but also on the neighboring countries such as Lebanon and Iraq.

The crossing of extremist elements into Syria from surrounding states has also put an impact on these countries. 

Syria has been the scene of deadly unrest since mid-March, 2011 and many people, including large numbers of army and security personnel, have been killed in the violence. 

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and most western countries have supported and funded the violence in Syria by providing logistics, arms, and intelligence to anti-government elements. 

Press TV has conducted an interview with Omar Nashabe, editor at al-Akhbar daily, to further talk over the issue. 

The video also offers the opinions of two additional guests: Bassam Abu Abdallah, from the Damascus University and political analyst Jihad Mouraccadeh. 

What follows is an approximate transcript of the interview. 

Press TV: What do you think is the relationship between what is happening, what was already happening in Iraq, the various explosions and what we are seeing also now in Syria? Do you think that this has extended from Iraq into Syria? 

Nashabe: Well there are signs that show that there is a wave of violence and terror that is more or less similar to what happened in Iraq and this is very worrying for us in Lebanon because we do not want this to spread the other way to Lebanon. 

The situation in Syria perhaps it would be beneficial for the viewers to give a very brief overview that yes, there are people calling for some democratic reforms and their right and their right to call for some freedoms that were not available in Syria and they are not available to a large extent in all other Arab countries. 

Now what actually happened is that these calls turned violent and turned aggressive and now we are witnessing a destruction of institutions in Syria, a destruction of the civilian infrastructure, a serious clash between different segments within the Syrian society and that is really worrying especially for us in Lebanon where we experienced the terrible war for 17 years.

So we do not want, we do not wish any country to actually experience what we did experience because this is a suffering that will have repercussions and that will make it difficult for reconstruction. We can see in Iraq today, yes, Saddam Hussein is gone but what about reconstruction in Iraq? 

I mean this is really proving to be a very difficult task and it is very sad. 

Press TV: Do you think that it is al-Qaeda elements or former Iraqi Ba’ath elements that are to blame? Do you think that they have taken advantage of the situation in Syria? 

Nashabe: Well if you want me to start by putting blame I would not put it on either. I would start by putting blame on the international community for failing to stop the infiltration of weapons and money and guns into Syria. 

And these unfortunately are some important powerful Western countries and some Arab regimes who are non-democratic themselves but who are putting up a slogan for democracy in Syria and smuggling weapons and money into Syria and that is leading to a massive destruction and loads of deaths.

And I think it would be appropriate to start this program by actually, I think all of us would actually turn a real feeling towards the Syrians or the families of the dead people in Syria and these horrible massacres that took place, this is a matter that comes first, that should always come first. 

Press TV: Mr. Nashabe, do you agree with this stance that perhaps the people have their protest and they have the right to be given arms? 

Nashabe: Well the people have the right to demonstrate peacefully and that is in all constitutions, even if as your guest claims they are being assaulted, they can resort to judicial system or if the local judicial system is not capable they can go for an international call for a judicial system. 

But to use weapons against government institutions is a violation of international law and it is and by sending weapons and money into Syria, this is interference with the internal affairs of a founding member state of the United Nations and this is counter to international law. 

Press TV: Who is smuggling these arms? 

Nashabe: There are some as I said at the beginning there are some Arab regimes that are not exactly known for their democratic beliefs or their holding on to freedom, I mean like Saudi Arabia known very well by thousands of reports by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch and Qatar that does not exactly have a democracy or does not have a system of accountability or an election system. 

So these countries and of course in addition to other regimes in the region are sending in also there are some combatants going into Syria, there are some terrorists going into Syria benefiting from the situation to go in and there have been some bombings that are really representative of what we have learned of what are the consequences of terrorism and the destruction of terrorism.

And I think that the international community has pledged to fight terrorism and to fight terrorism means to deprive these groups from acting the way they do and the way they are acting today in Syria. 

Press TV: I think this is another issue... 

Nashabe: I just want to say that apparently our guest is not really aware of the position of the United Nations. The United Nations and Mr. Annan and Mr. Ban Ki-moon have never ever supported smuggling weapons into Syria. 

That is counter to United Nations UN Charter and on the fact that the international community does not recognize Syria if they really did not recognize the regime in Syria today, Mr. Bashar Ja’afari would not be sitting in the Security Council and maybe United Nations. 

Press TV: The issue of chemical weapons, how this, I mean why there has been a lot of statements from the United States, from Israel especially on the fact that the Syrian government does have chemical weapons and it will use them? Of course the Syrian government has said that it will not use them, but why this focus on the issue of chemical weapons? 

Nashabe: Well I think it is to put more pressure on the Syrian regime and I think that this reminds me of what happened in Iraq when there was the whole issue of weapons of mass destruction and so the international media unfortunately and the American media specifically, tried to jump over the WMDs by saying yes, not questioning if they exist or not just moving on and saying that they are afraid that they will be passed on to Hezbollah. 

Well the Syrian regime was very sharp and did not hesitate in answering and I saw Mr. Maqdisi the other day responding in a very fierce way and saying yes, well these weapons are to be used if Syria is being aggressed from the outside and that was a big surprise for the Americans, for the Europeans and for the Israelis also and well what is the objective of such weapons if these weapons do exist? It is to defend Syria against outside invaders and I believe that is a matter that has to do with Chapter 7 of the UN Charter that gives the right for every nation to defend itself against any outside intervention. 

Press TV: Let me take this question to Mr. Nashabe, now it seems in Lebanon , the sectarian issue in Lebanon seems to have extended into Lebanon, into Syria I mean, not the other way around although Syria was never sectarian? 

Nashabe: I won’t start in order, I will start with what your guest just said about Hezbollah. Hezbollah is a national liberation movement. It has liberated the South of Lebanon from Israeli presence when the Lebanese army and the other parties were incapable of doing that and it was recognized by all parties including by the late Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri himself in very numerous meetings between Mr. Hariri and Mr. Nasrallah several times. 

So therefore it is not really a sectarian group. It is a party that represents a national resistance. Hezbollah and Sayyed Nasrallah said that he supports the Syrian people and the will of the Syrian people. He has never in any speeches and I challenge you if you can bring one sentence that Sayyed Nasrallah said where he incites people to use violence in Syria. 

He supports the Syrian regime much less than the international law requires Lebanon to support the Syrian regime and you know yourself if you review the legal documents that there is an international convention between the Republic of Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic that has been signed by Prime Minister Hariri himself that calls for close ties and mutual defense against any external intervention with internal Syrian affairs. 

So I am talking about international law and a legal document and it is required by the Lebanese government to stand firm next to the Syrian regime and to stop anyone who smuggles weapons into the Syrian territory. This is by law. 

If you wish to violate the law by bringing in slogans such as these people have the right to defend themselves and other slogans that only lead to destruction inside Syria, that is a choice that one can make. 

However the Syrian Army and the officials in Syria will stand firm against any groups that are outside the law. There should be dialogue. That is the UN Charter. That is the Kofi Annan plan. Dialogue requires a ceasefire by all parties.

Hence, to have a ceasefire one must stop smuggling weapons into Syria, one must stop the hostilities on both sides and one must sit on the table. 

This attack by NATO and NATO supporters and traditional supporters of Israel and Qatar that has always had an office for Israeli commercial relations and other nations and this excitement, enthusiasm by Israel to overthrow the regime in Syria calls for reaction that is only natural among Muslims and Arabs to stand firm against these interventions with internal Arab affairs.

Press TV: Do you agree with what he is saying that they are not a threat to Israel or that Israel would really want Assad to go? 

Nashabe: Sayyed Nasrallah said clearly that the weapons of the resistance that threatened the security of Israel in 2006 were with the support of the Syrian people, with the support of Syria. One cannot separate the regime from its people. 

This is Syria we are talking about and Syria with all its population regardless of the various opinions in Syria, all the Syrians I think deep inside support the resistance against Israel and that will not change. 



NATO-aggression: Syria needs sophisticated weapons



Photo 1:  Flying-wing, Shenyang University, one of China's biggest makers of fighter jets

Photo 2: Afghanistan, victim of NATO-bombings

21:58 Posted by Universal in Latest News, NATO-aggression, Syria | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

Syria: NATO will use chemical weapons


NATO will use chemical weapons against Syria, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told the BBC on Monday.

Clinton warned that "If Assad does not retire, NATO will eradicate the entire Syrian people".

NATO has a large stock of chemical weapons and  a lot of independant countries are concerned about what will happen to them if they will resist NATO.

NATO uses also Depleted uranium (DU). It is one of the gifts that NATO left to the population of Kosovo following its war there in 1999. DU is radioactive and, when inhaled, remains in the lungs for years.



NATO uses white phosphorous in the war against Taliban

International forces in Afghanistan are using the napalm-like substance white phosphorus in everything from grenades to flybomber in a war, usually fought in populated areas. Human Rights Organizations inculcates ISAF's duty to protect civilians

White phosphorus is a napalm like substance that ignite on contact with skin that sticks and stays on to burn as long as there is oxygen. The result is severe chemical burns, which very easily leads to death.

'Like napalm, white phosphorus, by nature, a weapon that is likely to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering, "concludes the Red Cross in IHL and Denmark , used as a textbook in the Danish military. Still using Danish and foreign coalition forces in Afghanistan white phosphorus in large quantities and often in residential areas. It is clear from the leaked documents from Afghanistan that information in its possession.

A review of documents showing more than 1,100 cases where ISAF has used white phosphorus grenades, rockets and flybomber. Of these 59 documents that have never before been published.

Among the documents there are many reports which suggest that white phosphorus is not only used for legitimate purposes.

According to the conventions, including Denmark has signed, white phosphorus may only be used outside of densely populated areas. But the leaked documents war from Afghanistan indicate that phosphorus munitions are often used precisely in populated areas including Helmand's Green Zone, where Danish forces are deployed.

Worrisome weapons

The widespread use of white phosphorus cares more human rights organizations fear that Afghan civilians are paying the price for the coalition forces' use of napalm-like substance.

White phosphorus is not a banned weapon, but according Weapons Convention Protocol 3, by Denmark and most other NATO countries have signed, it is forbidden to use it against military targets located in heavily populated areas, "unless the military objective is clearly separated from civilians and civilian objects. "

"White phosphorus is not used against civilians or in areas where there are civilians," notes senior scientist Peter Vedel Kessing, Department of Human Rights.

Amnesty International considers the use of white phosphorus problem and believes that NATO forces use of the nasty substance should be examined.

"If you can talk about an inhuman weapon, white phosphorus belong to the category, because it leaves the victim in unimaginable pain," said Amnesty's press chief Ole Hoff Lund.

"Therefore it is important that the defense considers how and why ISAF using munitions with white phosphorus. "

A legitimate weapon

The leaked Afghanistan reports indicate that white phosphorus is used primarily in eastern Afghanistan along the border with Pakistan, where the war against the Taliban and other insurgent groups have been particularly intensive. But reports indicate that the substance also used in the Danish responsibility in Helmand. But it is not clear from logs on Danish troops are involved in the illegal use of the substance.

At the Army Operational Command, HOK , confirms military lawyer Rolf Verge that the Danish forces used white phosphorus, but he assures that only the case of legitimate purposes.

'The Danish forces in Af-Afghanistan use white phosphorus to throw smoke to obscure soldiers' movements on the battlefield but also in lysgranater and målmarkering, for example. where Danish forces attract flybomber, "says Rolf Verge and stresses that" white phosphorus would be used against objects, but not at people. "

"It will not be in accordance with the rules if Danish forces are using white phosphorous against people. And I doubt also that it would be consistent with the other coalition countries' regulations, "says Rolf Verge. "Do not generally use weapons that cause unnecessary suffering, and that makes white phosphorous."

Also ISAF confirms the use of white phosphorus. In a reply to Information underlines ISAF 's press spokesman Nicole R. Schwegman that there are "a legitimate weapon, used mainly for information, investigation missions and selecting bombemål.' It is also apparent from responds that white phosphorus into medium used as attack weapons.

"When white phosphorus is used as incendiary weapons, observe ISAF Weapons Convention Protocol Three, which places more emphasis on minimizing civilian damage. ISAF makes himself at all to great lengths to protect civilians in operations, "said Nicole R. Schwegman.

Information would have got a comment from Defense Gitte Lillelund Bech (V) to the ISAF 's use of phosphorus in Afghanistan. The minister believes that it is purely a military disciplinary matters, and she would not comment.

Fact: It goes Weapons Convention

The use of incendiary weapons as napalm and white phosphorus is regulated by the Convention on particularly inhumane weapons or simply Weapons Convention, Protocol Three.

The Convention was adopted by the UN in 1980 and acceded to by Denmark in 1997 - a total of 144 countries have acceded to it but not yet the United States .

Protocol 3:
Article 2, concerning the protection of civilians and civilian objects:

1. It is forbidden under all circumstances to make the civilian population as such, individual civilians or civilian objects the object of attack by incendiary weapons.

2. Prohibited under all circumstances to do something military objective located in a concentration of civilians the object of attack by air delivered incendiary weapons.

3. It is also forbidden to make any military objective located in a concentration of civilians the object of attack by other fire arms than air-delivered incendiary weapons, unless such military objective is clearly separated from the concentration of civilians and all feasible precautions are taken to reduce fire effects to military targets and avoid and in any case restrict it to a minimum or in any case minimize incidental loss of civilian life, maiming of civilians and damage to civilian objects.

4. It is prohibited to make forests or other driving force behind the object of attack by incendiary weapons except when such natural resources used to cover, conceal or camouflage combatants or other military objectives or are themselves military objectives.





Hillary Clinton, preacher of 'human rights'


From 1964 through 1973, the United States flew 580,000 bombing runs over Laos — one every 9 minutes for 10 years. More than 2 million tons of ordnance was unloaded on the countryside, double the amount dropped on Nazi Germany in World War II.

Nearly half of Laos is now contaminated with unexploded ordinance, explosive weapons such as bombs, grenades and land mines.

'Promoting freedom and democracy and protecting human rights around the world are central to U.S. foreign policy' (U.S. Department of State http://www.state.gov/j/drl/ )


Hillary Clinton, Amnesty International, American State Department, Human Rights Watch and the wars against Libanon, Serbia, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Iran.

Suzanne Nossel Richard Holbrooke when he was UN ambassador and current assistant to Hillary Clinton for international organizations, is Executive Director of Amnesty International United States. She applied in office at the State Department to instrument the human rights to serve the imperial ambitions.

Ms. Nossel had previously worked for Human Rights Watch, as well as Bertelsmann Media Worldwide and the administration of the Wall Street Journal.

The Board of Directors of Amnesty International considered that the United States commitment to Suzanne Nossel in the Clinton and Obama administrations was a guarantee of competence and has not held against the crimes committed in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon etc. .

Ms. Nossel has led various campaigns against Iran, Libya and Syria. In recent months she has shown in intoxicating the Council of Human Rights in Geneva in order to be adopted by the Security Council resolution authorizing a war against Libya. The imputations of Ms. Nossel has been denied since.



Syria and the US intervention in Chile...


U.S. Central Intelligence Agency in Chile

40 years ago, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) secretly spent millions of dollars funding Chilean opposition groups.  The Chilean economy was destroyed. After a military coup, General Pinochet came to power.  Thousands of Chileans were torturted and murdered.

It is clear that the CIA plays also a central role in the events in the Middle East. 


In 1970, a Socialist, Salvador Allende, was elected President of Chile.
The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) secretly spent millions of dollars funding Chilean opposition groups, to "create pressures, exploit weaknesses [and] magnify obstacles" for Allende.
Within a few years the Chilean economy was in chaos, and the CIA spent at least $11 million more to plan and fund a coup that would put General Pinochet in power.
Almost comically unaware, Allende gave Pinochet complete command of the Army.
On 11 September 1973, the coup toppled Chile's government, and Allende was either killed or committed suicide.

Pinochet promptly appointed himself President, suspended the Constitution, closed Parliament, banned opposition political activists, illegalized trade unions, and initiated media censorship. Soccer stadiums and military bases were converted into prisons, while new prisons were rapidly constructed. "Liberal" judges were fired, and suspected leftists were rounded up, imprisoned, tortured, and killed. Thousands of people who spoke out against Pinochet, were arrested, and never heard from again. They were called "the disappeared".
During this time, the head of Chile's secret police was on the CIA payroll.

The U.S. was one of the first nations to recognize Pinochet's presidency as "legitimate", and restored foreign aid that had been stopped while Allende was President.
In short, Pinochet was America's man in Chile.

In 2004,  a year-long investigation into state-sponsored torture in Chile has documented that an estimated 35,000 people were abused during the 1973-90 military regime.

The National Commission on Political Prisoners and Torture presented its study to President Ricardo Lagos. The three volumes include hundreds of new claims about torture tactics, ranging from sexual abuse using dogs, to forcing suspects to watch as family members were sodomised or slowly electrocuted.


U.S. Central Intelligence Agency in Egypt


Omar Suleiman, Egypt’s top spy chief (photo), has long been favored by the US government for his ardent anti-Islamism and willingness to talk and act tough about Iran, and he has been the CIA’s main man in Cairo.  Suleiman is a favorite of Israel too; he held the “Israel Dossier” and directed Egypt’s efforts to crush Hamas by demolishing the tunnels that have functioned as a smuggling conduit for weapons and foodstuffs to Gaza.

In the mid-1990s, Suleiman worked closely with the Clinton administration in devising and implementing its rendition program. Each rendition was authorized at the very top levels of both governments [the US and Egypt].... He negotiated directly with top CIA-officials.

Under the Bush administration, in the context of the global “war on terror,” US renditions got “extraordinary,” meaning that the objective of kidnapping and extra-legal transfer was no longer for trial but rather interrogation for actionable intelligence.
The rendition program landed some people in CIA black sites and others were turned over for torture-by-proxy to other regimes. 
Egypt figured large as a torture destination of choice, as did Suleiman as Egypt’s torturer-in-chief.

At least one person extraordinarily rendered by the CIA to Egypt—Egyptian-born Australian citizen Mamdouh Habib—was tortured by Suleiman himself.
In October 2001, Habib was seized off a bus by Pakistani security forces. While detained in Pakistan, at the behest of America agents he was suspended from a hook and electrocuted repeatedly. He was then turned over to the CIA, and in the process of transporting him to Egypt he endured the usual treatment: his clothes were cut off, a suppository was stuffed in his anus, and he was diapered and “wrapped up like a spring roll.”
In Egypt, as Habib recounts in his memoir, My Story: The Tale of a Terrorist Who Wasn’t, he was repeatedly subjected to electric shocks, immersed in water up to his nostrils, beaten, his fingers were broken and he was hung from metal hooks. At one point, his interrogator slapped him so hard that his blindfold was dislodged, revealing the identity of his tormentor: Suleiman. Frustrated that Habib was not providing useful information or confessing to involvement in terrorism, Suleiman ordered a guard to murder a shackled Turkistani prisoner in front of Habib, which he did with a viscious karate kick.
In April 2002, after five months in Egypt, Habib was rendered to American custody at Bagram prison in Afghanistan, and then transported to Guantanamo. 
Chilean Women’s Resistance in the Arpillera Movement:

'Egypt was a common destination for torture of detainees sent by U.S.'


Embassy of Syria in Santiago: 


WikiLeaks' mails about Syria: ambiguous

Guantanam.Camp.detainees.jpgIt is remarkable that at the same time that the U.S. war-propaganda-machine works at full speed, WikiLeaks announced to publish more than 2 million emails "from Syrian political figures, ministries and associated companies, dating from August 2006 to March 2012."

WikiLeaks works herefore together with the Beirut-based Al-Akhbar and revealed that Al-Akhbar was one of its co-publishing partners, along with Egypt's Al Masry Al Youm, Germany's ARD, Italy's L'Espresso, France's Owni, Spain's Publico.es, and Associated Press. 

It is not the first time that WikiLeaks acts ambiguous... 


The Irrelevance of Wikileaks' Guantánamo Revelations

by Andy Worthington, November 30, 2010

Following Wikileaks’ release of 251,287 U.S. diplomatic cables, which has, if nothing else, revealed that secrecy and the Internet appear to be mutually incompatible, a handful of media outlets have picked up on references to Guantánamo — and the Obama administration’s negotiations with other countries — in the cables.

Britain’s Daily Mail led the way, claiming that the cables revealed that the Obama administration “played a high stakes game of ‘a Deal’ with foreign governments,” as it tried to secure new homes for prisoners who could not be repatriated because of fears that they would be tortured or otherwise ill-treated in their home countries.

The Mail stated that Slovenia was “told that if it wanted a meeting with the president, it would have to accept a prisoner,” that “the island nation of Kiribati [in the central Pacific] was offered incentives worth millions of dollars to take in Chinese Muslim detainees” (the Uighurs, the most high-profile cleared detainees in the prison), and that Belgium was told that “accepting more prisoners would be a ‘low-cost way’ to ‘attain prominence in Europe.’”

In addition, the Guardian posted a cable detailing discussions in March 2009 between John Brennan, President Obama’s principal counterterrorism adviser, and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Most notable for the King’s fiery, warmongering rhetoric about Iran, the meeting also involved Brennan giving the King “a letter from President Obama expressing a personal message of friendship, appreciation for our close and collaborative relationship and concern over the disposition of Yemeni detainees at Guantánamo” — 99 in total, at the time of Brennan’s visit.

Following discussions about the Yemenis, the cable noted:

“I’ve just thought of something,” the King added, and proposed implanting detainees with an electronic chip containing information about them and allowing their movements to be tracked with Bluetooth. This was done with horses and falcons, the King said. Brennan replied, “horses don’t have good lawyers,” and that such a proposal would face legal hurdles in the U.S., but agreed that keeping track of detainees was an extremely important issue that he would review with appropriate officials when he returned to the United States.

Elsewhere, the Washington Post noted, “During a meeting between U.S. and Chinese ambassadors in Kyrgyzstan in early 2009, the Chinese diplomat said it was a “slap in the face” that the United States was not returning Chinese Uighur detainees to their homeland but was instead planning to resettle them in Germany,” which never happened.

The problem with all these stories is that they reveal nothing that was not already known, and, moreover, skip over the uncomfortable truth that, when it comes to closing Guantánamo and dealing with the prisoners still held there, every problem that America encounters is of its own making.

No one should be surprised that a certain amount of horse-trading, arm-twisting, and envelopes stuffed full of cash were involved in relocating former Guantánamo prisoners to the majority of the 16 countries in which those who could not safely be repatriated were given new homes. With a few exceptions, the countries that took prisoners very obviously sought money and/or influence.

Belgium was not particularly prominent in this list — although the country did indeed take a prisoner in October 2009 — any more than were Ireland, Portugal, and Spain (and Portugal’s former colony Cape Verde), which have all taken former prisoners, but from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union countries were almost queuing up for favors: in Albania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, and Slovakia. Noticeably, however, Slovenia, despite the mention in the Wikileaks documents, obviously thought twice about the importance it attached to securing a personal audience with President Obama, as it has not taken in a single former Guantánamo prisoner, and nor has Kiribati, despite the offer of millions of dollars.

Outside of the middle and lower rungs of the pecking order, France, which took two Algerians in 2009, and Germany, which made up for turning down the Uighurs, taking a stateless Palestinian and a Syrian in September this year, had less to gain, except, perhaps, for making their neighbors look less generous, and Switzerland picked up where Germany left off by taking two Uighurs in March this year, risking the wrath of China that its northern neighbor was so anxious to avoid. Others who punched above their weight to help the Uighurs — Bermuda, which took four in June 2009, and Palau, which took six in October 2009 — did so not only for influence and/or financial reward, but also because they were not afraid of China: wealthy Bermuda because it is immune to the need for Chinese support, and Palau because the tiny nation in the north Pacific deals with Taiwan rather than Beijing.

As for the Saudi story, the Washington Post correctly noted that Brennan’s meeting involved hopes that King Abdullah would accept some of the Yemenis into its rehabilitation program, but noted that this was “an ambition that faltered along with the plan to close Guantánamo Bay” — as indeed it did, quietly fading away despite extensive and hopeful reporting about the plan, which lasted throughout most of 2009.

This kind of vague reference to the failure to close Guantánamo is as far as the mainstream media has gone in its analysis of why negotiations with other countries were so important. For those seeking powerful headlines that never appear, the blunt truth is that almost everything of importance relating to Guantánamo, and an unacceptable situation in which, it now appears, the prison may never close, involves four parties in the United States, and has nothing whatsoever to do with Wikileaks or with other countries, as it relates primarily to the miserable manner in which the resettlement of the Uighurs was handled.

The first of these four culpable parties is President Obama’s Justice Department, which, in February 2009, fought to prevent the Uighurs from being re-housed in the U.S., as ordered by Judge Ricardo Urbina when he granted their habeas corpus petition in October 2008.

The second is the D.C. Circuit Court, which agreed with the Justice Department, and made some contentious arguments about immigration and executive power to prevent their release.

The third is Congress, which came close to passing a law preventing any Guantánamo prisoner from being brought to the U.S. mainland for any reason in the fall of 2009, but then relented, agreeing — in theory, at least — that prisoners could be brought to the mainland for trial, but not for any other reason (although no one has been transferred to the United States since the law was passed).

The fourth is President Obama, who, in May 2009, killed a plan by White House Counsel Greg Craig to bring two of the Uighurs to live in the United States, as a precursor to bringing more, and on the clear understanding that it would encourage other countries to take cleared prisoners who couldn’t be returned home.

Although these decisions paved the way for the negotiations highlighted in the Wikileaks documents, the main problem now is that it looks as though even the horse-trading has stopped. There are apparently 33 prisoners — most of whom face the risk of torture if repatriated — who are awaiting release, or who are “approved for transfer,” to use the phrase that Obama’s interagency Guantánamo Review Task Force learned from President Bush when it reviewed the cases of all the prisoners last year, although the well of countries prepared to take them appears to have dried up.

And the rest? There are 58 Yemenis, also “approved for transfer,” but held on what seems to be a permanent basis because of a moratorium on releasing anyone to Yemen, which President Obama announced last January, after it was revealed that the failed Christmas Day plane bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, had trained in Yemen; 34 other men, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men accused of involvement in the 9/11 attacks, who were recommended for trials that Obama doesn’t want to risk pursuing; and 48 others whom the Task Force recommended should be held indefinitely without charge or trial.

Compared to this, some horse-trading and financial incentives are nothing, and compared to making deals with other countries, the real story is that Guantánamo may never close, and no one seems to care.

Andy Worthington is the author of  The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press) and serves as policy advisor to the Future of Freedom Foundation. Visit his website at: www.andyworthington.co.uk.





WikiLeaks Guantánamo Prisoners: America needs a regime change...


WikiLeaks Reveals Secret Files on All Guantánamo Prisoners

In its latest release of classified US documents, WikiLeaks is shining the light of truth on a notorious icon of the Bush administration’s "War on Terror" — the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, which opened on January 11, 2002, and remains open under President Obama, despite his promise to close the much-criticized facility within a year of taking office.

In thousands of pages of documents dating from 2002 to 2008 and never seen before by members of the public or the media, the cases of the majority of the prisoners held at Guantánamo — 765 out of 779 in total — are described in detail in memoranda from JTF-GTMO, the Joint Task Force at Guantánamo Bay, to US Southern Command in Miami, Florida.

These memoranda, known as Detainee Assessment Briefs (DABs), contain JTF-GTMO’s recommendations about whether the prisoners in question should continue to be held, or should be released (transferred to their home governments, or to other governments). They consist of a wealth of important and previously undisclosed information, including health assessments, for example, and, in the cases of the majority of the 172 prisoners who are still held, photos (mostly for the first time ever).

They also include information on the first 201 prisoners released from the prison, between 2002 and 2004, which, unlike information on the rest of the prisoners (summaries of evidence and tribunal transcripts, released as the result of a lawsuit filed by media groups in 2006), has never been made public before. Most of these documents reveal accounts of incompetence familiar to those who have studied Guantánamo closely, with innocent men detained by mistake (or because the US was offering substantial bounties to its allies for al-Qaeda or Taliban suspects), and numerous insignificant Taliban conscripts from Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Beyond these previously unknown cases, the documents also reveal stories of the 399 other prisoners released from September 2004 to the present day, and of the seven men who have died at the prison.

The memos are signed by the commander of Guantánamo at the time, and describe whether the prisoners in question are regarded as low, medium or high risk. Although they were obviously not conclusive in and of themselves, as final decisions about the disposition of prisoners were taken at a higher level, they represent not only the opinions of JTF-GTMO, but also the Criminal Investigation Task Force, created by the Department of Defense to conduct interrogations in the "War on Terror," and the BSCTs, the behavioral science teams consisting of psychologists who had a major say in the "exploitation" of prisoners in interrogation.

Crucially, the files also contain detailed explanations of the supposed intelligence used to justify the prisoners’ detention. For many readers, these will be the most fascinating sections of the documents, as they seem to offer an extraordinary insight into the workings of US intelligence, but although many of the documents appear to promise proof of prisoners’ association with al-Qaeda or other terrorist organizations, extreme caution is required.

The documents draw on the testimony of witnesses — in most cases, the prisoners’ fellow prisoners — whose words are unreliable, either because they were subjected to torture or other forms of coercion (sometimes not in Guantánamo, but in secret prisons run by the CIA), or because they provided false statements to secure better treatment in Guantánamo.

Regular appearances throughout these documents by witnesses whose words should be regarded as untrustworthy include the following "high-value detainees" or "ghost prisoners". Please note that "ISN" and the numbers in brackets following the prisoners’ names refer to the short "Internment Serial Numbers" by which the prisoners are or were identified in US custody:

Abu Zubaydah (ISN 10016), the supposed "high-value detainee" seized in Pakistan in March 2002, who spent four and a half years in secret CIA prisons, including facilities in Thailand and Poland. Subjected to waterboarding, a form of controlled drowning, on 83 occasions in CIA custody August 2002, Abu Zubaydah was moved to Guantánamo with 13 other "high-value detainees" in September 2006.

Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi (ISN 212), the emir of a military training camp for which Abu Zubaydah was the gatekeeper, who, despite having his camp closed by the Taliban in 2000, because he refused to allow it to be taken over by al-Qaeda, is described in these documents as Osama bin Laden’s military commander in Tora Bora. Soon after his capture in December 2001, al-Libi was rendered by the CIA to Egypt, where, under torture, he falsely confessed that al-Qaeda operatives had been meeting with Saddam Hussein to discuss obtaining chemical and biological weapons. Al-Libi recanted this particular lie, but it was nevertheless used by the Bush administration to justify the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Al-Libi was never sent to Guantánamo, although at some point, probably in 2006, the CIA sent him back to Libya, where he was imprisoned, and where he died, allegedly by committing suicide, in May 2009.

Sharqawi Abdu Ali al-Hajj (ISN 1457), a Yemeni, also known as Riyadh the Facilitator, who was seized in a house raid in Pakistan in February 2002, and is described as "an al-Qaeda facilitator." After his capture, he was transferred to a torture prison in Jordan run on behalf of the CIA, where he was held for nearly two years, and was then held for six months in US facilities in Afghanistan. He was flown to Guantánamo in September 2004.

Sanad Yislam al-Kazimi (ISN 1453), a Yemeni, who was seized in the UAE in January 2003, and then held in three secret prisons, including the "Dark Prison" near Kabul and a secret facility within the US prison at Bagram airbase. In February 2010, in the District Court in Washington D.C., Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr. granted the habeas corpus petition of a Yemeni prisoner, Uthman Abdul Rahim Mohammed Uthman, largely because he refused to accept testimony produced by either Sharqawi al-Hajj or Sanad al-Kazimi. As he stated, "The Court will not rely on the statements of Hajj or Kazimi because there is unrebutted evidence in the record that, at the time of the interrogations at which they made the statements, both men had recently been tortured."

Others include Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani (ISN 10012) and Walid bin Attash (ISN 10014), two more of the "high-value detainees" transferred into Guantánamo in September 2006, after being held in secret CIA prisons.

Other unreliable witnesses, held at Guantánamo throughout their detention, include:

Yasim Basardah (ISN 252), a Yemeni known as a notorious liar. As the Washington Post reported in February 2009, he was given preferential treatment in Guantánamo after becoming what some officials regarded as a significant informant, although there were many reasons to be doubtful. As the Post noted, "military officials ... expressed reservations about the credibility of their star witness since 2004," and in 2006, in an article for the National Journal, Corine Hegland described how, after a Combatant Status Review Tribunal at which a prisoner had taken exception to information provided by Basardah, placing him at a training camp before he had even arrived in Afghanistan, his personal representative (a military official assigned instead of a lawyer) investigated Basardah’s file, and found that he had made similar claims against 60 other prisoners in total. In January 2009, in the District Court in Washington D.C., Judge Richard Leon (an appointee of George W. Bush) excluded Basardah’s statements while granting the habeas corpus petition of Mohammed El-Gharani, a Chadian national who was just 14 years old when he was seized in a raid on a mosque in Pakistan. Judge Leon noted that the government had "specifically cautioned against relying on his statements without independent corroboration," and in other habeas cases that followed, other judges relied on this precedent, discrediting the "star witness" still further.

Mohammed al-Qahtani (ISN 063), a Saudi regarded as the planned 20th hijacker for the 9/11 attacks, wassubjected to a specific torture program at Guantánamo, approved by defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld. This consisted of 20-hour interrogations every day, over a period of several months, and various other "enhanced interrogation techniques," which severely endangered his health. Variations of these techniques then migrated to other prisoners in Guantánamo (and to Abu Ghraib), and in January 2009, just before George W. Bush left office, Susan Crawford, a retired judge and a close friend of Dick Cheney and David Addington, who was appointed to oversee the military commissions at Guantánamo as the convening authority, told Bob Woodward that she had refused to press charges against al-Qahtani, because, as she said, "We tortured Qahtani. His treatment met the legal definition of torture." As a result, his numerous statements about other prisoners must be regarded as worthless.

Abd al-Hakim Bukhari (ISN 493), a Saudi imprisoned by al-Qaeda as a spy, who was liberated by US forces from a Taliban jail before being sent, inexplicably, to Guantánamo (along with four other men liberated from the jail) is regarded in the files as a member of al-Qaeda, and a trustworthy witness.

Abd al-Rahim Janko (ISN 489), a Syrian Kurd, tortured by al-Qaeda as a spy and then imprisoned by the Taliban along with Abd al-Hakim Bukhari, above, is also used as a witness, even though he was mentally unstable. As his assessment in June 2008 stated, "Detainee is on a list of high-risk detainees from a health perspective ... He has several chronic medical problems. He has a psychiatric history of substance abuse, depression, borderline personality disorder, and prior suicide attempt for which he is followed by behavioral health for treatment."

These are just some of the most obvious cases, but alert readers will notice that they are cited repeatedly in what purports to be the government’s evidence, and it should, as a result, be difficult not to conclude that the entire edifice constructed by the government is fundamentally unsound, and that what the Guantánamo Files reveal, primarily, is that only a few dozen prisoners are genuinely accused of involvement in terrorism.

The rest, these documents reveal on close inspection, were either innocent men and boys, seized by mistake, or Taliban foot soldiers, unconnected to terrorism. Moreover, many of these prisoners were actually sold to US forces, who were offering bounty payments for al-Qaeda and Taliban suspects, by their Afghan and Pakistani allies — a policy that led ex-President Musharraf to state, in his 2006 memoir, In the Line of Fire, that, in return for handing over 369 terror suspects to the US, the Pakistani government “earned bounty payments totalling millions of dollars.”

Uncomfortable facts like these are not revealed in the deliberations of the Joint Task Force, but they are crucial to understanding why what can appear to be a collection of documents confirming the government’s scaremongering rhetoric about Guantánamo — the same rhetoric that has paralyzed President Obama, and revived the politics of fear in Congress — is actually the opposite: the anatomy of a colossal crime perpetrated by the US government on 779 prisoners who, for the most part, are not and never have been the terrorists the government would like us to believe they are.

(Andy Worthington)

How to Read WikiLeaks’ Guantánamo Files

The nearly 800 documents in WikiLeaks’ latest release of classified US documents are memoranda from Joint Task Force Guantánamo (JTF-GTMO), the combined force in charge of the US "War on Terror" prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to US Southern Command, in Miami, Florida, regarding the disposition of the prisoners.

Written between 2002 and 2008, the memoranda were all marked as "secret," and their subject was whether to continue holding a prisoner, or whether to recommend his release (described as his "transfer" — to the custody of his own government, or that of some other government). They were obviously not conclusive in and of themselves, as final decisions about the disposition of prisoners were taken at a higher level, but they are very significant, as they represent not only the opinions of JTF-GTMO, but also the Criminal Investigation Task Force, created by the Department of Defense to conduct interrogations in the "War on Terror," and the BSCTs, the behavioral science teams consisting of psychologists who had a major say in the "exploitation" of prisoners in interrogation.

Under the heading, "JTF-GTMO Detainee Assessment," the memos generally contain nine sections, describing the prisoners as follows, although the earlier examples, especially those dealing with prisoners released — or recommended for release — between 2002 and 2004, may have less detailed analyses than the following:

1. Personal information

Each prisoner is identified by name, by aliases, which the US claims to have identified, by place and date of birth, by citizenship, and by Internment Serial Number (ISN). These long lists of numbers and letters — e.g. US9YM-000027DP — are used to identify the prisoners in Guantánamo, helping to dehumanize them, as intended, by doing away with their names. The most significant section is the number towards the end, which is generally shortened, so that the example above would be known as ISN 027. In the files, the prisoners are identified by nationality, with 47 countries in total listed alphabetically, from "az" for Afghanistan to "ym" for Yemen.

2. Health

This section describes whether or not the prisoner in question has mental health issues and/or physical health issues. Many are judged to be in good health, but there are some shocking examples of prisoners with severe mental and/or physical problems.

3. JTF-GTMO Assessment

a. Under "Recommendation," the Task Force explains whether a prisoner should continue to be held, or should be released. b. Under "Executive Summary," the Task Force briefly explains its reasoning, and, in more recent cases, also explains whether the prisoner is a low, medium or high risk as a threat to the US and its allies and as a threat in detention (i.e. based on their behavior in Guantánamo), and also whether they are regarded as of low, medium or high intelligence value. c. Under "Summary of Changes," the Task Force explains whether there has been any change in the information provided since the last appraisal (generally, the prisoners are appraised on an annual basis).

4. Detainee’s Account of Events

Based on the prisoners’ own testimony, this section puts together an account of their history, and how they came to be seized, in Afghanistan, Pakistan or elsewhere, based on their own words.

5. Capture Information

This section explains how and where the prisoners were seized, and is followed by a description of their possessions at the time of capture, the date of their transfer to Guantánamo, and, spuriously, "Reasons for Transfer to JTF-GTMO," which lists alleged reasons for the prisoners’ transfer, such as knowledge of certain topics for exploitation through interrogation. The reason that this is unconvincing is because, as former interrogator Chris Mackey (a pseudonym) explained in his book The Interrogators, the US high command, based in Camp Doha, Kuwait, stipulated that every prisoner who ended up in US custody had to be transferred to Guantánamo — and that there were no exceptions; in other words, the "Reasons for transfer" were grafted on afterwards, as an attempt to justify the largely random rounding-up of prisoners.

6. Evaluation of Detainee’s Account

In this section, the Task Force analyzes whether or not they find the prisoners’ accounts convincing.

7. Detainee Threat

This section is the most significant from the point of view of the supposed intelligence used to justify the detention of prisoners. After "Assessment," which reiterates the conclusion at 3b, the main section, "Reasons for Continued Detention," may, at first glance, look convincing, but it must be stressed that, for the most part, it consists of little more than unreliable statements made by the prisoners’ fellow prisoners — either in Guantánamo, or in secret prisons run by the CIA, where torture and other forms of coercion were widespread, or through more subtle means in Guantánamo, where compliant prisoners who were prepared to make statements about their fellow prisoners were rewarded with better treatment. Some examples are available on the homepage for the release of these documents: http://wikileaks.ch/gitmo/

With this in mind, it should be noted that there are good reasons why Obama administration officials, in the interagency Guantánamo Review Task Force established by the President to review the cases of the 241 prisoners still held in Guantánamo when he took office, concluded that only 36 could be prosecuted.

The final part of this section, "Detainee’s Conduct," analyzes in detail how the prisoners have behaved during their imprisonment, with exact figures cited for examples of "Disciplinary Infraction."

8. Detainee Intelligence Value Assessment

After reiterating the intelligence assessment at 3b and recapping on the prisoners’ alleged status, this section primarily assesses which areas of intelligence remain to be "exploited," according to the Task Force.

9. EC Status

The final section notes whether or not the prisoner in question is still regarded as an "enemy combatant," based on the findings of the Combatant Status Review Tribunals, held in 2004-05 to ascertain whether, on capture, the prisoners had been correctly labeled as "enemy combatants." Out of 558 cases, just 38 prisoners were assessed as being "no longer enemy combatants," and in some cases, when the result went in the prisoners’ favor, the military convened new panels until it got the desired result.



Latest breaking news on Syria

Art.Peacock and a Flower.jpgThe U.S. and its allies which planned a 'regime change' in Syria, are providing their so called 'rebels' not only with weapons.  

They bombard us also with horror facts and war propaganda, to justify a war against Syria. 

Below we publish some information about Syria’s five-year plan that included measures to reduce poverty.


'Syria in search of paradigm': Social policy objectives 

Syria’s active five-year plan, lasting until 2010, commits the government to further expansion of the open market. The goal of a social market economy is spelled out. The plan includes measures to reduce poverty, introduce safety nets and create productive jobs. It is noteworthy that the market system will be introduced in a five-year plan, an instrument typical of central planning. It is interesting, moreover, that the term “social market economy” is currently acknowledged only in Germany as the name of an existing economic system, although similar political models do exist in other European countries. Syria is the first country outside Europe to adapt Germany’s system to its ends. The principles of traditional Arab social security systems align surprisingly well with those of a social market economy: The principles of equal opportunities and social responsibility are cornerstones of both systems (see box). The centrality of these principles in a social market economy distinguishes it as an alternative to the Anglo- Saxon variety of capitalism. 

German development policy supports the Syrian government's reform efforts towards a social market economy. As with China, it’s hoped that an open market will eventually lead to political liberalisation. German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), the government agency, is cooperating in a project in Damascus with, amongst others, Syria's reformist Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah al-Dardari. GTZ provides a mix of policy advice, institutional development and capacity building to help improve the analysis, planning and implementation of economic reforms. “Social, labour and employment policy are also important issues,” says GTZ's Michael Krakowski. "Our main aim is to support a regulatory policy that reduces social distortions.” 

The performance of the economy suggests that the reformers are on the right path: since 2004, there have been signs of a moderate recovery. While the World Bank recorded just 2 % annual economic growth in 2003, it noted 6 % in 2004 and even 7 % in 2007. 

Image: Peacock and a Flower - Syria, 5th century - Mosaic

15:16 Posted by Universal in Latest breaking news, Latest News, Syria | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |


The Universal Declaration of Human Rights


23:28 Posted by Universal in Human Rights, Universal Declaration | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

Geneva Meeting Syria - Human Rights Watch


On December 2th, 2011, the top UN Human Rights Council has appointed an investigator to probe human rights abuses in Syria made public in the recently published UN report. However, Russia and China voted against the measure as they considered the UN report to be biased'.

Some days ago, precisely at the same time of the Geneva Meeting about Syria that was organized by the U.S., Human Rights Watch accused Syria of 'systematic torture'.

The heavily compromised Human Rights Watch (HRW) is an aspect of the American propaganda war.

With fabricated stories describing camel bones as mass graves containing 1270 bodies and viagra apparently being distributed as a weapon of mass destruction in order to “rape children as young as EIGHT” the propaganda is sometimes beyond parody.

HRW has always been a somewhat dodgy organisation, largely funded by billionaires such as George Soros and the Rausing family whose fortune comes from Tetra Paks, exploiting cheap labor in China and (allegedly) tax dodging on an industrial scale.   HRW’s annual spend on fundraising was $8,042,326 and $2,344,370 on management and general costs.

Human Rights Watch is very close to the US foreign policy establishment. Cables recently released by Wikileaks show HRW workers regularly meet with US officials abroad and as 08BANGKOK1522 makes crystal clear, HRW has been infiltrated by US government.

NATO claims that it wants to intervene militarily in Syria 'because of the violation of human rights' while it supplies weapons to the so called 'Syrian rebels'.

Photo: American torture Guantanamo


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Rights group says Syria uses 'systematic patterns' of torture ... - English

5 hours ago ... Syria is holding tens of thousands of detainees in a “torture ... “The systematic patterns of ill-treatment and torture that Human Rights Watch ...


Immediate international response required to address systematic ...

Immediate international response required to address systematic torture and killing in Syria. 14-06-2012. The conflict in Syria has become a civil war. Civilians ...

www.irct.org/Default.aspx?ID=3843&PID=13717&M... - En cache


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