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Khamenei's advisor: US must recognise Iran is the strongest power in the region (Middle East Monitor) - 25-oct-2014

September 22, 2014 - Iran has become the principal player in the Middle East region and that the United States should acknowledge the country's capabilities should it want to resolve the region's problems, the military advisor of the Iranian Supreme Guide Ali Khamenei Brig. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi said. Safavi added that Iran's growing role in the region is the product of its foreign policy "which has surpassed all the Arab states in the region". He demanded the US administration recognise that Iran is the strongest power in the region and Arab world...

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Israeli occupation authorities demolish Muslim tombs in occupied Jerusalem (Middle East Monitor) - 25-oct-2014

September 22, 2014 - Israeli occupation authorities demolished 20 Palestinian tombs on Sunday in Al-Yousefiyeh Cemetery near Al-Asbat Gate of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Al-Resalah news agency reported. The cemetery is adjacent to the Eastern Wall of Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem. The Israeli authorities demolished the tombs, belonging to Palestinian families from Jerusalem, claiming that they were built on lands appropriated by the state. Head of the Committee for the Caring of Islamic Cemeteries in Jerusalem Mustafa Abu Zahra strongly criticised the demolition, calling it an "aggression" against the sanctity of dead Muslims...

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Syria News - September 21, 2014 (Local Coordination Committees of Syria) - 25-oct-2014

September 21, 2014 -By the end of Sunday, LCC has documented the fall of 97 martyrs including 24 women, 15 children and 1 martyr under torture. 42 martyrs were reported in Idlib, 24 in Damascus and its Suburbs, 13 in Daraa, 12 in Aleppo, 4 in Hama, 1 in Deir Ezzor and 1 in Raqqa...

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Military Resistance 12I6 Survivable Deaths (Thomas F. Barton) - 25-oct-2014

September 21, 2014 - A 67-year-old man who as a young boy lived under constant
fear the Soviets would launch nuclear missiles at his beloved country and wipe out
everyone and everything he loved characterized a terrorist group as an "imminent threat to every interest we have" late last week, sources confirmed.The man, dentified as Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, went on to say that militants
of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) were "beyond anything" he’s ever seen...

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Podcast: Brown Moses on what’s flying over Iraq and Syria (The Bureau of Investigative Journalism) - 25-oct-2014

September 21, 2014 - In today’s podcast, citizen journalism pioneer Eliot Higgins, who blogs under the name Brown Moses, tells Owen Bennett-Jones what’s been going on over the skies of Iraq and Syria. Higgins has become famous for tracking the use of military equipment in conflict zones by analysing Youtube footage and engaging people on social media to confirm and progress his findings. There have been reports of unarmed US Predators being launched from a commercial airport in Iraq, Higgins told Drone News, and people also claim to have spotted Iranian surveillance drones flying over the country. In Syria meanwhile, the Iranian drones that have reportedly been seen there for some time seem to have been joined by a US one. A post on Higgins’s website Bellingcat suggested an aircraft apparently carrying out a surveillance mission over the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa was a Predator drone....

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After ‘Protective Edge’: What Future for Palestine and Israel (Richard Falk) - 25-oct-2014

September 21, 2014 - The 50-day Israeli military operation that killed over 2100 Palestinians, wounded another 11,000, and undoubtedly traumatized the entire Gazan population of 1.7 million also took the lives of 70 Israelis, of which 65 were soldiers. This last violent encounter has ended without a clear victory for either side. Despite this, Israel and Hamas are each insisting that 'victory’ was achieved. Israel points to the material results, tunnels and rocket sites destroyed, targeted assassinations completed, and the overall weakening of Hamas capacity to launch an attack. Hamas, for its part, claims political gains, becoming far stronger politically and psychologically in both Gaza and the West Bank than before the fighting began, refusing to give in on the basic Israeli demand of the 'demilitarization’ of Gaza, as well as further tarnishing Israel’s international reputation...

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Military Resistance 12I5 Pentagon Deploys 3rd AD to Iraq (Thomas F. Barton) - 25-oct-2014

September 21, 2014 - A force of approximately 25,000 advisers from the U.S. Army’s 3rd Adviser Division is heading to Iraq to not participate in direct ground combat of any kind, the Pentagon announced Thursday. "Make no mistake, we are in full - on advisement against ISIL in the same way we continue to advise countries against al Qaeda and its affiliates,"Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said at a press conference, using an acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.While noting the division was comprised mostly of combat troops from its former unit name of 3rd Infantry Division, Kirby cautioned that using this re-structured unit would not lead to advisement-creep ...

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Video: Settlers cheer as Israeli soldiers attack disabled Palestinian child (Ali Abunimah) - 25-oct-2014

September 21, 2014 - This disturbing footage shot by Palestinian videographer Samih Da’na and published by the Israeli nongovernmental organization B’Tselem documents the violent abuse of a developmentally disabled Palestinian child.As Israeli occupation soldiers abuse the child, settlers and their children cheer and shout abuse at Palestinians. Da’na shot the footage on 19 October from his home in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, whose Palestinian residents are relentlessly targeted by occupation army and settler violence...

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Though Adversaries on the Surface, U.S. and Hezbollah Share a Goal (By ANNE BARNARD) - 25-oct-2014

September 21, 2014 — They are sworn enemies who insist they will never work together, but in practice, Hezbollah and the United States are already working — separately — on a common goal: to stop the extremist Islamic State from moving into Lebanon, where Hezbollah is the most powerful military and political player and currently shares with Washington an interest in stability. Weeks after Hezbollah, the Shiite militant group and political party, helped repel an Islamic State attack on the town of Arsal on the Syrian border, new American weapons are flowing to help the Lebanese Army — which coordinates with Hezbollah — to secure the frontier. American intelligence shared with the army, according to Lebanese experts on Hezbollah, has helped the organization stop suicide attacks on its domain in southern Beirut....

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Howard 'repents,' Blair wants more War Crimes (The Common Ills) - 25-oct-2014

September 21, 2014 - ...Tony Blair's still refusing to own any of the blame.War Criminal Tony spent a lot of money on those face lifts and he damn well intends to get as much camera time as he can. Georgia Graham (Telegraph of London) reports: Tony Blair has said that politicians should heed his advice that British boots on the ground in Iraq should not be ruled out because he had experience of taking Britain to war in that country.
The former Prime Minister said people should "appreciate" that he has learnt lessons through going to war in Iraq and listen to his thoughts on tackling Islamic State because they are "precisely" the same terrorist forces he battled during the conflict.
I agree with Tony 100% that people should listen to him.I just happen to feel those people should be a War Crimes Tribunal prosecuting him.Tony Blair should be on trial for War Crimes. Barring that, can he and his wife just disappear into the jungle again and again smear fruits on their naked bodies and again make love? Maybe a huge swarm of ants can then address the Tony Blair problem once and for all?....

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Vijay Prashad's Syrian contradictions (Clay Claiborne) - 25-oct-2014

September 21, 2014 - ...For example, never mind that the Free Syrian Army is still a potent force in the struggle for democracy in spite of the lack of any real support from Obama and the NATO countries or the horrific attacks they have suffered from a regime that has enjoyed almost unlimited military support from its Russian and Iranian allies, and over looking the fact the regime let many of the jihadists that found their way to ISIS out of his jails, Syrian security officers have been seen in the leadership of ISIS or that Assad buys its oil, Vijay is prepared to blame the democratic forces for the rise of ISIS because they have had the gall to demand an end to the fascist regime: The rebels remain obdurate that Mr. Assad must go, even if this means delivery of Syria to the Islamic State. This line, that the only choice for Syria is ISIS or Assad, is straight out of Assad's play book and more than anything exposes which side Vijay is on...

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Gaza: History May Repeat Itself! (By Hasan Afif El-Hasan) - 25-oct-2014

September 21, 2014 - Since the First World War, life of the Palestinians has been routinely impacted by wars, and unfortunately, they were always the losers including the wars that they could have been won. They allowed others to make crucial decisions for them, but most important, they allowed incompetent and factionalized political elites to lead them. In the fourth war on Gaza since 2006 that was precipitated by Israel to destroy Hamas, the Palestinians were able to fight back and neutralize the Israeli army until the ceasefire took place. That can be huge victory and a turning point in the Palestinian’s struggle to end occupation. But the Palestinians stand to lose this war if they do not learn from their previous mistakes, and allow Israel to accomplish with the help of Palestinian and Arab leaders what it failed to achieve in the war...

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Gaza’s Incremental Genocide (By Jamal Kanj) - 25-oct-2014

September 21, 2014 - It goes without saying that Gaza has taught the Israeli military a new lesson: the days of swift Israeli wars are over. While mostly one-sided, Israel has never before fought a war that lasted 50 days. The Palestinians (besieged by brothers and foes) were of no military match to Israel’s most sophisticated US technology. But as in 2006 Lebanon war, the human factor rendered the best technology obsolete. There were many parallels between summer 2006 and current war. Regretfully, in both cases, Israeli wanton destruction was received with indifference from the official Arab regime system....

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Countering Israeli greenwashing at the People’s Climate March (Gabriel Schivone) - 25-oct-2014

September 21, 2014 - As a possibly historic People’s Climate March in New York City approaches this weekend, a debate among participants and the organizers over Israel-aligned co-sponsors smolders below the surface. Since the turn of the century especially, climate justice activists have aimed to raise public awareness and shift national policies regarding the catastrophically growing buildup of carbon-based fuels (and the resulting emission of carbon dioxide) overloading Earth’s atmosphere. An international consensus among scientists maintains that human societies must act before it is too late. In other words, possible extinction of the species is imminent and humanity may only have the span of a few years to do something about it...

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Syria News - September 20 , 2014 (Local Coordination Committees of Syria) - 24-oct-2014

September 20 , 2014 - By the end of Saturday, LCC were able to document 67 martyrs including 4 women, 5 children and 2 martyrs under torture: 28 martyrs were reported in Damascus and its suburbs; 12 in Aleppo; 8 in Idlib; 7 in Deir Ezzor; 6 in Daraa; 3 in Homs; 2 in Qunaitra and 1 in Hama....

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IDF Unit 8200 Counter-Offensive Begins (Richard Silverstein) - 24-oct-2014

September 20, 2014 - Those of you who remember back to the Bush presidency, will recall the controversy generated by the exposure of torture techniques used against Islamist prisoners at Guantanamo and at secret prison sites in Poland and elsewhere. Among them were the notorious waterboarding which brought detainees to near drowning. When this scandal erupted, the Bush-Cheney cabal went on a counter-offensive claiming that lives were saved and terror plots exposed by such torture. In fact, the claim turned out to be hollow and those averted terror attacks were not exposed through torture. Now, the IDF is going on a counter-offensive of its own after the reputation of the prestigious SIGINT Unit 8200 was sullied by charges of veterans that it engaged in tawdry, immoral acts attempting to exploit the weaknesses of Palestinians in order to compel them to collaborate with Israeli intelligence....

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Israel’s Bedouin relocation plans spark vehement opposition (By Jonathan Brown) - 24-oct-2014

September 20, 2014 -- The Israeli government’s plans to relocate thousands of Bedouins from the 'Jerusalem Periphery’ to new residential developments in the Jordan Valley have been met with sharp opposition. Israel’s Civil Administration in the West Bank has developed nine individual plans, which collectively constitute a strategy for evicting approximately 12,500 Bedouins from the Jahalin, Kaabneh and Rashaida tribes from their communities near Jerusalem to new residential developments north of Jericho....

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Secy. Kerry says Iran can help defeat ISIS (By Jesse Byrnes) - 24-oct-2014

September 20, 2014 - Secretary of State John Kerry said that the United States welcomes potential action on the part of Iran to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) while the Obama administration maintains it is not coordinating militarily with the nation. In remarks to the United Nations Security Council in New York on Friday, Kerry called for a "holistic, global campaign" to defeat ISIS, noting, "the coalition required to eliminate ISIL is not only, nor even primarily, military in nature," he said using an alternate acronym for the group...

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Hamas is just as bad as ISIS and worse than Boko Haram — Israeli government propaganda (Allison Deger) - 24-oct-2014

September 20, 2014 - In late July while Israel’s 50-day offensive Operation Protective Edge was in its final weeks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-hand man met with a group of journalists in Jerusalem. Tensions were at a peak; the ground invasion had just ended and the air campaign was at an unstable pause. The Israeli Minister of Intelligence Yuval Steinitz was about to give the first political strategy briefing on what the Jewish state would want for the future of Gaza, what it would go on to lobby for in truce talks once reconvened in Cairo....

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Israeli navy shoots 70-year-old Palestinian fisherman on beach (Ma'an News) - 24-oct-2014

September 20, 2014 -- Israeli naval forces opened fire off the coast of northern Gaza late Wednesday, injuring a Palestinian fisherman on a beach, locals said. Yousef Zayif, 70, was hit by live fire while waiting for his sons on the shore near al-Sudaniya. Medics said he was moderately wounded. An Israeli army spokeswoman did not return calls seeking comment. On Sunday, an Israeli warship opened fire at Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Gaza City's al-Shati refugee camp, the speaker of the Union of Gaza Fishermen said...

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The War on ISIS: Views From Syrian Activists and Intellectuals (Danny Postel) - 24-oct-2014

September 20, 2014 - ...My support for the Syrian revolution is unconditional and for that reason I am opposed to the U.S. intervention. The United States and its regional allies have done everything to undermine the Syrian revolution. Most importantly they have done so by supporting the Syrian National Coalition against the grassroots movements... The U.S. intervention in Syria (and Iraq) will kill many innocent civilians. It will also fulfill ISIS’s wish to become the primary anti-American force in the region and thereby help the terrorist organization recruit more fighters. The beheading of the two U.S. citizens by ISIS was intended to generate the reaction it is now getting from the United States. Finally, Assad played a crucial role in strengthening ISIS and using it against revolutionary forces...

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Palestine Solidarity and Mass Mobilization (By Alan Sears) - 23-oct-2014

September 20, 2014- Omar Barghouti wrote in December 2013 that the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign "may well be reaching a tipping point." Barghouti is one of the founders of this movement to pressure Israel to recognize fundamental Palestinian rights. This may be the breakthrough moment for BDS, shifting from the slow accumulation of modest victories to major successes and widespread support. He described this as the "South Africa moment," where BDS organizing would reach the critical mass of anti-apartheid solidarity in the 1980s. Events this summer have certainly confirmed Barghouti's analysis. The brutal Israeli assault on Gaza, combined with the use of repressive force against Palestinians on the West Bank and those who are citizens of Israel, has pushed larger numbers to question the Israeli claim that even the most naked aggression is actually self-defence...

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Hypocrisy in the Middle East
Palestine, the US and “Democracy”
(by BOB FANTINA) - 23-oct-2014

September 20, 2014 - Now that the dust has settled on the mutilated bodies of Palestinian men, women and children, the world seems able to ignore the desperate plight of those that survived. Apartheid Israel has accomplished its periodic 'mowing of the grass’, the leveling of Gaza’s infrastructure, the destruction of schools, hospitals and mosques, and the killing of over 2,000 innocent, unarmed and defenseless Palestinians. Business for Israel now continues as usual, with IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) terrorists focusing their murders on innocent Palestinians in the West Bank. There, with complete impunity, they bulldoze homes, shoot unarmed teenagers, arrest and detain children, establish arbitrary checkpoints and steal land, all in violation of international law, law the international community doesn’t seem particularly interested in enforcing...

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FSA founder warns of airstrikes, says ISIS not U.S. target (Zaman Al Wasl) - 23-oct-2014

September 20, 2014 - Founder of rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) on Saturday said that planned U.S. airstrikes will eliminate Syrians’ revolution as it will strengthen Bashar al-Assad and his key ally, Iran. Syria's army defector Colonel Riad al-Asaad, who met with National Coalition’s Secretary-General Nasr al-Hariri on Friday, expressed concern to Zaman al-Wasl over the planned American airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), saying: "Syrian revolution will be eliminated under this pretext ...Al-Asaad called on moderate rebels to mass efforts for more unity to revive the Syrian revolution after being kidnapped by radical Islamist groups and West-backed agendas. "We are looking for rebel commanders who share us the national concern," he added....

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Damaging Our Country from Wars of Choice (By Ralph Nader) - 23-oct-2014

September 19, 2014 -The drums of war are beating once again with the vanguard of U.S. bombers already over Iraq (and soon Syria) to, in President Obama’s words, "degrade and destroy ISIS." The Republican Party, led by war-at-any-cost Senators Lindsay Graham and John McCain, wants a bigger military buildup which can only mean U.S. soldiers on the ground. Here they go again. Another result of Bush’s war in Iraq. Washington has already expended thousands of American lives, hundreds of thousands of American injuries and illnesses, and over a million Iraqi lives. The achievement: the slaying or capture of Al Qaeda leaders, but with that came the spread of Al Qaeda into a dozen countries and the emergence of a new Al Qaeda on steroids called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) which has nominal control over an area in Syria and Iraq larger than the territory of Great Britain...

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Iran and Israel's role in the war on ISIS (Tala'at Rameeh) - 23-oct-2014

September 20, 2014 - ...In addition to this, the previous experience of forming an alliance for the war on terror during Bush's administration has proven that Iran and Israel, which have been officially excluded from participating in the war alliance, not only benefitted from the war, but also participated in it. The war on Afghanistan and Iraq ended with two winners; Iran and Israel, and no other states, not even the US itself. The blow dealt to the Iraqi army was a victory for the two states without their soldiers having to fire a single shot. The door was open for the growth of Iran's role and its influence and control in the region, as well as its control over Iraq, which was "liberated" by the US forces. It was over for the national Iraqi army which was a constant concern for Israel in the balance of power with the Arabs. The reports from the Israeli and Iranian sides have proven that they shared roles and interests in the post-occupation period inside Iraq without much dispute. This was their reward for unofficially participating in the wars. (Iran has officially admitted to participating in the war.)...

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