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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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Syria News - September 19, 2014 (Local Coordination Committees of Syria) - 23-oct-2014

September 19, 2014 - By the end of Friday, LCC were able to document 62 martyrs including 5 women, 7 children and a martyr under torture: 32 martyrs were reported in Idlib; 11 in Damascus and its Suburbs; 11 in Aleppo; 3 in Dier Ezzor; 3 in Daraa; 1 in Homs and 1 in Lattakia....


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Support grows for Gaza's boycott of Israeli goods (Asmaa al-Ghoul) - 23-oct-2014

September 19, 2014 — In a busy fruit shop in Gaza City, it's difficult differentiating between the fruits from Israel and those from Gaza. We had to first ask, "From which city do these mangoes come?" To which the owner replied, "The mangoes are from Acre." We asked again, "And the dates?" "From Israel, our occupied lands," he answered. "The peaches?" we asked. The shop owner said, "All of this is from Israel — mangoes, dates, bananas, parsley, peaches, squash, tomatoes and oranges, but they are from our lands there. Our customers like these types of fruits, even if they have a substitute from Gaza."The difference is obvious. Mangoes from Gaza are big and green and from Israel small and golden....


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Bigotry behind the cassock (Tony Badran) - 23-oct-2014

September 19, 2014 - ....What’s more, if there aren’t moderate Sunnis, as one of the Christian Patriarchs reportedly told Obama, then how are Middle Eastern Christians going to continue living in the region? If the proposition is an alliance with the Iran-Assad camp, under an American umbrella, then that entails a permanent state of war with the Sunnis, whose slaughter and forced subjugation are to be considered licit. Despite the pretenses of the conference and the clergymen who promoted this message, and those who defended it, not all Middle Eastern Christians see it this way. Prominent Christian political figures and intellectuals in Lebanon criticized the IDC, and have rejected the call to align with Assad. They note that Christianity has survived for millennia and does not need to, and in no way should, cast its lot with murderous thugs, and deny Sunnis their rights to live free, in order to carry on...

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Gaza farmers want guarantees Israel won’t destroy their lands (Hana Salah) - 23-oct-2014

September 19, 2014 — Farmers in the border areas in the east of the Gaza Strip are voicing concerns over a renewed Israeli war. They fear the imposition of a buffer zone of up to 300 meters (328 yards) if no final agreement is reached with the resistance factions. Talks will take place during negotiations scheduled later this month in Cairo. The state of calm, which has prevailed in the eastern regions since the announcement of the truce on Aug. 26, was not enough for farmers to rehabilitate their land because of fears of their being damaged again. The border lands are the first to be harmed in the event of a land invasion and the first victim of every Israeli war....

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On accusations of FSA truces with ISIS or subservience to the US (Michael Karadjis) - 23-oct-2014

September 19, 2014 - Several days ago, several conspiracist media outlets "reported" that a number of units of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) near Damascus had signed a non-aggression pact with the local Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS). As is well-known, the FSA has been the main force fighting ISIS in Syria for over a year. The "news" spread like wildfire around conspiracist, "anti-imperialist", right-wing Islamophobic and similar networks, "evidence" yet again that can never trust an Arab moderate, because no such thing exists etc, and if "we" let them get arms they’ll give them to jihadists etc...But here I want to make some more general points about the issue. The FSA are not America’s puppets, to simply dance to the tune of the master. The USA did not arm the FSA in their heroic 3-year fight against a fascist tyranny, and the USA did not arm them in their year-long fight against fascist ISIS...

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Palestinians on the run from Syria find bleak future in Lebanon (Rebecca Murray) - 23-oct-2014

September 19, 2014 - The United Nations says that more than 3 million Syrians have officially fled their country since the war began. This number does not include Palestinians who were born and grew up in Syria, and are on the run now too. Maha, a 54-year old mother, is one such Palestinian. From a refugee camp in Dera’a, where the Syrian uprising first sparked in March 2011, she fled the fighting with her family for Lebanon.Maha is currently living in an abandoned nursery in Beirut’s Palestinian refugee camp of Bourj al-Barajneh, bordering the Hezbollah stronghold of Dahiyeh.Three families are crammed into the small space donated to them by the Palestinian armed faction, Fatah al-Intifada, based in Ein al-Helweih refugee camp in Sidon. They survive on handouts from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)...


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More than 3,000 Gazan children wounded in war (Mohammed Othman) - 23-oct-2014

September 19, 2014 — He moves around the hospital, the smile never leaving his face. His boyish attitude is translated by his spontaneous hand gestures. When he gets tired, he rests on his bed, near his older brother who was also wounded during the same airstrike. He finally returns to his wheelchair. Ibrahim Khattab, 9, has lost his left leg. During Israel’s 51-day war on the Gaza Strip, which ended on Aug. 28, Ibrahim and his brother Wassim, who lived in Deir al-Balah in the center of Gaza, left their house and were wounded by an Israeli airstrike, causing the loss of Ibrahim’s left leg and critical injuries to Wassim’s legs...



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Obama's only policy is to try to turn the FSA into a sahwat (Ben Allinson-Davies) - 23-oct-2014

September 19, 2014 - ...Obama's only policy is to try to turn the FSA into a sahwat which (in his dream world) will eventually only fight ISIS and reach a "political solution" with the regime... The same regime committing a genocide against the Syrian people! The FSA wasn't created to fight as Obama's militia, but to liberate Syria, as Syrians have said before. Obama hasn't given a damn about them until he thought they could be useful to him. He was perfectly happy to let them die against tanks and jet fighters until they became useful. Never forget that....


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Photo Exhibit Restores Dignity To Victims of U.S. Torture (By Natasha Vargas-Cooper) - 23-oct-2014

September 19, 2014 - The U.S. military used a camera as a torture device at Abu Grahib. To add further humiliation to detainees who were already put in cages, urinated on, stripped naked then stacked in macabre human pyramids, their photos were taken during these degrading acts. "I wanted to use the camera to restore these peoples’ humanity through beautiful portraiture," says photographer Chris Bartlett, whose exhibition, "Iraqi Detainees: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Ordeals," opens tonight in New York. When confronted with images of torture, Bartlett says, even the greatest liberal or humanist among us has the tendency to flinch and look away. "It’s such a disturbing and disgusting issue that people want to turn off from it." Bartlett, who often works in high fashion photography, shooting subjects like candy colored Tory Burch handbags, said he wanted to take "very kind, respectful, beautiful, portraits to draw people into the subject and learn more about their stories."...

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John Kerry suggests Iran could lead fight against Isil if US 'fails miserably' (By Raf Sanchez and Jack Gurdon) - 23-oct-2014

September 19, 2014 - John Kerry suggested today that the task of defeating the Islamic State could fall to Iran and the Syrian government if the US was "failing miserably" in its effort to defeat the jihadists. The hypothetical scenario raised by the secretary of state is likely to be a new frustration for the White House, which has spent the day quashing speculation by American generals that US ground troops could be sent back to Iraq. Mr Kerry's words may also heighten Sunni suspicions that the US secretly intends to ally with the Shia governments in Damascus and Tehran against Isil...

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Faces of Our Dead: Photos of the Palestinians tortured to death by Syrian regime (by Talal Alyan) - 23-oct-2014

September 19, 2014 -T ere have been at least 265 Palestinians tortured to death by the Syrian regime. Hundreds of others remain vanished. No editorializing. No moral indignation. Here are the faces of 56 of the Palestinians who have been tormented to death....

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The agreement of humiliation and shame (Hesham Munawer) - 23-oct-2014

September 19, 2014 The Oslo agreement was built upon all of the Palestinian political, social and economic resources. It is now twenty-one years old and has not succeeded in achieving even the minimum that was expected of it, except for the establishment of a corrupt and incompetent Palestinian Authority that is unable to manage the most basic portfolios. Oslo has given us only division and shame, causing many honest Arabs and Muslims to lose much of their faith in our central cause. When the acknowledgement letters were exchanged between the PLO and Israel it was considered by the latter to be a Trojan horse which the occupation brought into the Arab world in order to achieve peacefully what it could not achieve militarily over the years of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Oslo changed it into a Palestinian-Israeli conflict with an Arab audience...

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‘This is our land!': West Bank village Wadi Fukin fights largest Israeli land grab in decades (Kelly Lynn) - 23-oct-2014

September 19, 2014 - Wadi Fukin may be the smallest of the five villages threatened by Israel’s recent mass land grab, but these days it’s certainly not the quietest. Leaders in the village of approximately 1,250 have galvanized locals into organizing Friday demonstrations against Israeli occupation for the first time in years, after 4,000 dunams (nearly 1,000 acres) in the southern West Bank was declared "state land," by Israel. Over a quarter of the confiscated land belongs to Wadi Fukin, which already lost most of its property to the still expanding Israeli settlements of Beitar Illit and Hadar Beitar in the north and Tsur Hadassah in the west after 1967.


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Civil Administration plans to expel thousands of Bedouins from homes, concentrate them in inadequate settlement (B'Tselem) - 23-oct-2014

September 19, 2014 - The Civil Administration has filed for objections plans for establishing a new settlement in the Jordan Valley, where thousands of Bedouins will be forced to relocate. The Civil Administration is advancing several such plans.The current plan was drawn up without consulting the residents themselves, ignoring their needs. It is part of the Civil Administration’s repeated attempts to concentrate the Bedouins living in the West Bank’s Area C in "permanent sites", with a view to annexing most of this area to Israel and leaving it free for Israeli use, including settlement expansion.The new settlement, to be named Ramat Nu’eimeh, will be built in Area C near Jericho, in the Jordan Valley, and is slated to house about 12,500 people from Bedouin communities in the Jordan Valley and the Ma'ale Adumim area....

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Privatizating law enforcement in, around settlements (By +972 Resources) - 23-oct-2014

September 19, 2014 - 'The Lawless Zone’ is a report by Yesh Din on the transfer of policing and security powers to the Civilian Security Coordinators (CSC) in Israel’s West Bank settlements and outposts. The report presents an analysis of the institution of the CSCs as an inherent aspect of the biased and chaotic state of Israeli law enforcement in the occupied Palestinian territories. The report demonstrates how the regime of civilian security coordinators undermines the rule of law in the West Bank to the point of stripping it of all meaning. It constitutes another layer in Israel’s dereliction of its duty to protect the Palestinian residents of the West Bank, Yesh Din writes...

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All Israelis are implicated in the occupation (By Dahlia Scheindlin) - 23-oct-2014

September 19, 2014 - The debate over refuseniks from IDF intelligence unit 8200 unleashed acrimonious debates all week. While I have already observed some of them, here are a few more that stand out. Carolina Landsmann has one of the most powerful opinion pieces I’ve read in a long time, in Haaretz. It may yet appear in English, but for now the excerpts here are my translation. Like one former member of Unit 8200 who spoke to me, Landsmann says their act of refusal is a statement that intelligence work and the system of occupation are directly linked, cutting into the belief that only those who hold the guns are responsible....

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Lessons Learned in the Bucca Camp (By Kathy Kelly) - 23-oct-2014

September 19, 2014 - ...It’s widely acknowledged that the 2003 invasion of Iraq radicalized Al-Baghdadi, with his humiliation at Camp Bucca further hardening him. Then the haphazard flood of weapons and easy cash into both Iraq and Syria fueled potential for further war. This will not be our third Iraq invasion. U.S. assaults, achieved through munitions, through children’s forced starvation, through white phosphorous, through bullet fire, through blockaded medicines, emptied reservoirs and downed power lines, through disbanded police forces and abandoned state industries and cities left to dissolve in paroxysms of ethnic cleansing – it is all one continuous war ...

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US guilty of war crimes in Palestine (By Sam Bahour) - 23-oct-2014

September 19, 2014 - The U.S. is not a neutral mediator in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; it is an active participant and is guilty of the crimes being committed by Israel against Palestinians, most recently, the mass killings and destruction Israel wrought on the Gaza Strip during the summer. The reality that the U.S. is an active supporter of unimaginable suffering may very well be the motivating force behind the U.S.’s adamant attempts to block the Palestinians from using any of the internationally recognized tools of accountability to hold Israel responsible, such as the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court. When an indigenous, stateless population is blocked access to opportunities for justice by superpowers like the U.S., something is wrong—deadly wrong...


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Convenient Genocide: Another Failed War to Re-Arrange the Middle East (by RAMZY BAROUD) - 23-oct-2014

September 19, 2014 - ...Not that IS’ brutal tactics in eastern, northern and central Iraq should be tolerated. But a true act of genocide had already taken place in Iraq for nearly two decades, starting with the US war in 1990-91, a decade-long embargo and a most destructive war and occupation starting in 2003. Not once did a major newspaper editorial in the US bestow the term "genocide" on the killing and maiming of millions of Iraqis. In fact, the IS campaign is actually part of a larger Sunni rebellion in Iraq, in response to the US war and Shite-led government oppression over the course of years. That context is hardly relevant in the selective reporting on the current violence in Iraq....

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Beit Ummar: Heart of Darkness (By Stephen Williams) - 23-oct-2014

September 19, 2014 -The title of Joseph Conrad’s novel "Heart of Darkness" refers both to a geographical entity- colonial Congo in the 19th Century- and to a spiritual and moral wilderness in which the human soul is debased by hatred and greed. And last week I was there; in Beit Ummar. But it wasn’t Beit Ummar itself that was the Heart of Darkness- on the contrary, there I found kindness, compassion and resilience -"samud"- amongst the community. The darkness was outside, in the settlements that surround it, and among the settlers themselves whose behaviour impinges on every aspect of the lives of Beit Ummar’s citizens. Economic growth, education, family relationships, all suffer at the hands of a group of invaders who think themselves above the law; as indeed they usually are....

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Tulkarem chemical factory exploits Palestinian labour and health (Scarlett Kutyla) - 23-oct-2014

September 19, 2014 - It is a well-known yet understated fact that Israel uses Palestinian land and its civilian population to test military innovations and "cutting edge" crowd control techniques. However, there is an issue often side-tracked, whether intentionally or not, that deals with the use of cheap Palestinian labour in Israel's growing industrial market. The settlement industrial zones in Area C of the West Bank house chemical factories that have grown into powerful and lethal means of oppression for the communities that they smother. There are now 11 factories in the Tulkarem area, all of which are on internationally-recognised occupied Palestinian land within the 1967 borders, displaying a ruthless disregard for the rights of the residents who have to live with the horrific smell, constant threat of land theft, and the health risks that come with proximity to such harmful substances...

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'Palestinian prisoner tortured to death in Israeli jail' (Middle East Monitor) - 23-oct-2014

September 19, 2014 -Raed Abdel-Salam Al-Jabari, a Palestinian prisoner held in an Israeli jail has died as a result of severe torture at the hands of the Israeli occupation forces, the head of Prisoners and Freed Prisoners Affairs in Ramallah Issa Qaraqe said.Qaraqe accused Israel of committing two crimes against Jabari, 35, when the Israeli authorities claimed that he had hanged himself in prison in an attempt to hide the real reason for his death, torture. Al-Jabari was imprisoned on July 26 in Eshel prison...


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Syria News - September 18, 2014 (Local Coordination Committees of Syria) - 23-oct-2014

September 18, 2014 - By the end of Thursday, LCC were able to document 107 martyrs including 5 women, 12 children and 2 martyrs under torture: 65 martyrs were reported in Aleppo; 17 in Damascus and Its Suburbs; 15 in Hasakeh; 6 in Daraa; 2 in Idlib and 2 in Homs....

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continua / continued










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