"It's very important for the Afghan people to know that we won't leave them completely on their own when we withdraw," Merkel said, according to Euro News. "We will continue the reconstruction of Afghanistan, we will continue training, and I think this is a very important message."
Great to hear that the Germans will be picking up the slack. Now we can bring the Americans home sooner.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Monday that the death penalty could be sought over the massacre of 16 villagers in Afghanistan, which U.S. officials said they believe was the work of a rogue American soldier.
The shooting spree in the southern province of Kandahar, which killed mostly women and children, has triggered angry calls from Afghans for an immediate American exit from the country, as Washington tries to negotiate a long-term presence to keep it from sliding into chaos again.
Panetta, however, attempted to portray the shooting as an isolated event that would not alter plans for a gradual, orderly withdrawal of American combat forces by the end of 2014.
"War is hell. These kinds of events and incidents are going to take place, they've taken place in any war. They're terrible events. And this is not the first of those events, and it probably won't be the last," the defense secretary told reporters on a flight to Kyrgyzstan.
"But we cannot allow these events to undermine our strategy or the mission that we're involved in."
Panetta, answering questions for the first time about the shooting rampage, said U.S. officials were still uncertain about the motives behind it.
I take it there is still no comment from Secretary Panetta or the White House concerning the fate of Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the suspected perpetrator of the 5 Nov 2009, Fort Hood shooting which resulted in 13 deaths and 29 injured service memebers, and the shattered lives of hundreds of friends, colleagues, parents and family members ?????
I'm sorry, didn't we lose a Colonel and a Major inside Afgan Police HQ, in one of the "Most secure places in the country"? Maybe we'll consider this, CONSIDER, if we get the people responsible for that.
And we still haven't head exactly what his soldier's motivation was or the connection to the Villages he had. Oh they know damn well what it is. Bet your ass they know EXACTLY why this soldier went off the deep end. That they haven't said it and are spouting "brain Injury" is nothing but deflection. There's a STORY behind this.
Posted by: Charles ||
You bet there is Charles, but we'll be lucky if Obama and Holder don't hand the soldier over to Afghan courts.
What really got my attention is that he was from Fort Lewis, that is in the midst of a huge scandal for downgrading 300 severe PTSD cases in 2007, giving them meds, and shipping them back to the front, which is a recipe for disaster.
Several other bad scandals as well. Obviously a breakdown in the chain of command.
All indications are that things have not improved there. The hospital is very understaffed, and the post is still under great pressure to rotate injured personnel back into combat.
[An Nahar] The White House said Monday that U.S. strategy would not change in Afghanistan despite the fallout from a U.S. soldier's shooting rampage which killed 16 civilians in a new jolt to America's war policy.
"Our strategic objectives have not changed and they will not change," White House front man Jay Carney said, adding Washington remained committed to disrupting, disarming and defeating al-Qaeda and training Afghans to ensure their own security.
President Barack Obama I mean, I do think at a certain point you've made enough money... is committed to gradually withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan under an agreement with NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A cautionary tale of cost-benefit analysis.... partners which foresees a full drawdown by the end of 2014.
"This is a challenging time, no question," Carney said, but added that the administration would continue to work on what it sees as vital U.S. national security interests in Afghanistan.
"I don't believe this incident will change the timetable of a strategy that was designed and implemented to allow for the withdrawal of U.S. forces, to allow for the transfer of lead security over to the Afghans," he said.
"Washington remained committed to disrupting, disarming and defeating al-Qaeda and training Afghans" -Actually the current catch strategic slogan in the Stan is "Disrupt the Taliban, Train ANA and Transfer to the ANA". Now I see the wording is back to "defeating al Qaeda" within the WH. Does it make a difference -likely not. Its "still exit stage left Snagglepus"
Posted by: Whiskey Mike ||
I've often wondered if one good way to shut down government would be to require government officials to have a per-use license on Powerpoint slides. At ten cents a slide, the U.S. government would go broke faster than Greece...
Posted by: Steve White ||
Dr. Steve, your .ppt concept could also be applied with positive effect to most corporations.
State media report that an Egyptian court has sentenced two Israeli Arabs and a Ukrainian to life imprisonment after convicting them of smuggling a machine gun and ammunition across the Israeli border into Egypt.
The three were also fined around $10,000 each.
The Ukrainian and one of the Israelis were arrested in November; the third suspect was tried in absentia.
Prosecutors said the Ukrainian, the manager of a tourism company in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, had ordered the weapon from one of the Israeli defendants.
The Ukrainian reportedly claimed he had ordered the weapon for personal protection.
"The people killed are around 223. 150 are injured," said Jonglei state governor Kuol Manyang. "There are about 300 women and children who are thought to have been abducted."
Manyang said around 100,000 cows were stolen on Friday and Saturday when cattle raiders from the Murle community in Jonglei state attacked the ethnic Lou Nuer living in neighbouring Upper Nile state.
Manyang said the attacks in and around Romyieri, in Nasir territory, started at dawn on Friday.
The latest attacks appear to be reprisals for a wave of ethnic violence and cattle raids in the same area in January when an 8,000-strong militia of Lou Nuer youths joined by some Dinka marched on Pibor county, razing whole Murle villages and massacring people in their wake.
The UN has yet to release a death toll for that wave of attacks and a speedily produced figure from the commissioner of Pibor county of 3,000 dead remains unverified.
This has never been in doubt, even when Hosni ran the show, but now it's out in front.
The lower house of the Egyptian parliament has unanimously approved a text declaring that Israel is the number one enemy of Egypt and calling for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and a halt to gas exports to Israel.
On Monday, Egyptian MPs voted by a show of hands on the text of a report, which was compiled by the Arab Affairs Committee of the People's Assembly (lower house of parliament).
"Revolutionary Egypt will never be a friend, partner or ally of the Zionist entity, which we consider to be the number one enemy of Egypt and the Arab nation," the report declared, adding, "It will deal with that entity as an enemy, and the Egyptian government is hereby called upon to review all its relations and accords with that enemy."
In 1979, Egypt became the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel, but was compelled to agree to supply gas to Israel as one of the main economic conditions of the US-sponsored peace deal.
According to the results of an opinion poll conducted by Synovate for Press TV and published on October 3, 2011, an overwhelming majority of Egyptians oppose the terms of the country's gas deal with Israel. In the poll, seventy-three percent of the respondents said they were opposed to gas exports to Israel. Only 9 percent said they approved of Egypt supplying gas to Israel, and 12 percent had no opinion.
The issue of supplying gas to Israel has always been a contentious topic for Egyptians, who view Israel as an enemy and oppose engaging in any form of business with it.
According to a $2.5 billion export deal with Tel Aviv, signed in 2005, Israel receives around 40 percent of its gas supply from Egypt at an extremely low price.
I dont give a damn about the Egyptian gas deal.
I think long term it will be a benefit for Israel because we will be pushed to invest in developing our local gas fields which will not be dependent on the decisions of the moslem brotherhood.
Besides, the gas line was Kaboomed 13 times up to now, so there was no regular supply anyhow.
What is really important is the realization of Israel's leaders that : A LYING ARAB REMAINS A LYING ARAB
a skunk will always smell like a skunk no matter how much perfume you spray on it. NO MORE DEALS WITH LYING ARABS. - is a lesson we have to burn into the minds of our politicians.
No matter how much land you give them all you get in the end is a temporary "Hudna".
The Egyptian peace agreement was not worth the paper it was written on ( all it bought us was some time- which was not so bad while it lasted).
Another Even more important lesson is : Dont trust anyone with your National security !
Even so called "friends" ( Bambi et al.) will lie to you if it fits their interests.
I hope Netanyahu can read what is written in big letters on the wall.
Dear P.M. Please attack Iran and don't give a damn about promises (or threats) from friends and enemies.
Posted by: Elder of Zion ||
Depending upon the reactions to the upcoming Iran action, Sinai might just end up under Israel control again.
The Arabs seem determined to accomplish the impossible - have the Greeks, Cypriots and Israelis agree to divide up the energy rights to the eastern Med. Gas, like money, is fungible. I won't be surprised if even the Jordanians or Saudis agree to supply Israel, simply by brokering the shipments from Egypt.
Now, if they were really creative, they'd agree to route the Hormuz detour pipeline from Kuwait and Qatar to Haifi. As silly as the Persian navy is, that would render it superfluous.
CAIRO - Two Israelis and a Ukrainian were sentenced to life in prison by an Egyptian court on Monday on charges of smuggling a machinegun and ammunition across the Israeli border into Egypt, a court source said.
The Ukrainian and one of the Israelis are in Egyptian custody, while the other defendant was tried in absentia.
Security along Egypt's border with Israel, long a conduit for the smuggling of guns and people, was relaxed after the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak following a popular uprising in February 2011, as police presence thinned out across Egypt.
[Yemen Post] Former president President-for-Life Ali Abdullah Saleh ... Saleh initially took power as a strongman of North Yemen in 1977, when disco was in flower, but he didn't invite Donna Summer to the inauguration and Blondie couldn't make it... entered the Presidential Palace from a back gate on Monday and held a meeting with sheiks, members of the General People Congress and commanders who are still loyal to him, well informed sources affirmed.
The sources said that Saleh entered the palace as the new President Abdu-Rabu Mansour Hadi was receiving some foreign delegations in the main hall of the palace.
The GPC has stated in its online newspaper that Saleh held a meeting with members of his party, but it did not mentioned the place of the meeting
The alliance of the Joint Meeting Parties that presides the interim government had warned Saleh from attempts of provoking turbulence and chaos inside the state.
Saleh held a meeting last Saturday with his supporters in which he strongly criticized the Yemeni revolutionaries who took to streets against him , describing the protesters as thugs and backward people.
In a speech delivered before his supporters inside a mosque nearby the Presidential Palace, Saleh threatened to disclose files and documents about the Yemeni revolution in particular and the Arab Spring in general. He further portrayed his opponents as traitors and corrupt people.
A big shot of the JMP, Mohammad Qahtan, threatened that the immunity given to Saleh under the GCC-drawn power transfer deal will be dropped in case Saleh went on violating the deal. He underestimated the threats of Saleh.
Yemeni analysts said Saleh still intervened in the duties of his successor, pointing out that he behaves such as he has not realized that he was ousted and a new president was elected.
DUBAI - Azerbaijan will not allow other countries to use its territory to launch an attack on neighboring Iran, Iranian media reported Azerbaijan's Defense Minister Safar Abiyev as saying on Monday.
The former Soviet republic, which borders Iran, has friendly ties with the United States and Israel and has experienced increasing tension with Tehran in recent months.
Last month, the Islamic Republic accused Azerbaijan of assisting Israeli intelligence in the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist, Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, who was killed when a bomb was attached to his car.
"We will not allow Azerbaijan's soil to be used against Iran under any conditions," Abiyev was quoted by the ISNA news agency as saying after meeting his Iranian counter Ahmad Vahidi in Tehran.
The UN special rapper rapporteur on torture has formally accused the US government of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment towards Bradley Manning, the US soldier who was held in solitary confinement for almost a year on suspicion of being the WikiLeaks source.
Juan Mendez has completed a 14-month investigation into the treatment of Manning since the soldier's arrest at a US military base in May 2010. He concludes that the US military was at least culpable of cruel and inhumane treatment in keeping Manning locked up alone for 23 hours a day over an 11-month period in conditions that he also found might have constituted torture.
He was locked up in solitary to keep him from passing messages to others, which he had said he was going to do.
"The special rapporteur concludes that imposing seriously punitive conditions of detention on someone who has not been found guilty of any crime is a violation of his right to physical and psychological integrity as well as of his presumption of innocence," Mendez writes.
Isn't there someone in solitary in Chechnya or Tehran you could focus on? No?
The findings of cruel and inhuman treatment are published as an addendum to the special rapporteur's report to the UN general assembly on the promotion and protection of human rights. They are likely to reignite criticism of the US government's harsh treatment of Manning ahead of his court martial later this year.
Manning, 24, was arrested on May 29 2010 at the Forward Operating Base Hammer outside Baghdad, where he was working as an intelligence analyst. Manning has been charged with 22 counts, including aiding the enemy, relating to the leaking a massive trove of state secrets to the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.
Mendez, who runs the UN office that investigates incidents of alleged torture around the world, told the Guardian: "I conclude that the 11 months under conditions of solitary confinement (regardless of the name given to his regime by the prison authorities) constitutes at a minimum cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in violation of article 16 of the convention against torture. If the effects in regards to pain and suffering inflicted on Manning were more severe, they could constitute torture."
Manning was initially held for almost three months at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait, and then transferred in July 2010 to the Marine corps base at Quantico in Virginia. He was held there for another eight months in conditions that aroused widespread condemnation, including being held in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day and being made to strip naked at night.
Because he had threatened to hang himself with his jammies.
In his opening letter to the US government on December 30 2010, Mendez said that the prolonged period of isolated confinment was believed to have been imposed "in an effort to coerce him into 'cooperation' with the authorities, allegedly for the purpose of persuading him to implicate others."
Also keep him from offing himself, but the special rapper somehow never mentions that, even though it was made clear and public at the time.
The US mission to the UN in Geneva responded to Mendez on January 27 2011. It said that the US government "is committed to protecting human rights in our country and abroad, and we value the work of the special rapporteur".
Even when we laugh behind his back...
In a later letter, dated May 19 2011, the Pentagon's legal counsel told Mendez that it was satisfied that Manning's treatment at Quantico had been fine. "Though Private Manning was classified as a maximum custody detainee at Quantico, he occupied the very same type of single-occupancy cell that all other pretrial detainees occupied."
But the Pentagon's arguments did not impress the special rapporteur.
No, of course not...
He stressed in his final conclusions that "solitary confinement is a harsh measure which may cause serious psychological and physiological adverse effects on individuals regardless of their specific conditions."
The key word here is 'may'...
Moreover, "[d]epending on the specific reason for its application, conditions, length, effects and other circumstances, solitary confinement can amount to a breach of article seven of the international covenant on civil and political rights, and to an act defined in article one or article 16 of the convention against torture."
Depending on the 'specific reason'? Suppose we had let Mr. Manning keep his jambes and he indeed contrived to hang himself? Who would believe the jailers, the warden and the government that it was a suicide?
He also said that the US government had tried to justify Manning's solitary confinement by calling it "prevention of harm watch". Yet the military had offered no details as to what actual harm was being prevented.
Suicide. What more detail do you need?
Mendez told the Guardian that he could not reach a definitive conclusion on whether Manning had been tortured because he has consistently been denied permission by the US military to interview the prisoner under acceptable circumstances.
Ah, 'acceptable circumstances': a café in Paris?
The Pentagon has refused to allow Mendez to see Manning in private, insisting that all conversations must be monitored. "You should have no expectation of privacy in your communications with Private Manning," the Pentagon wrote.
Because we don't want Manning passing messages.
The lack of privacy is a violation of human rights procedures, the UN says, and considered unacceptable by the UN special rapporteur.
So I guess you won't be talking to him.
Manning's travails in solitary confinement came to an end on April 20 2011 when he was transferred from Quantico to Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, where he was held in more open conditions. He is currently being held in a facility in Virginia so that he can make frequent pre-trial appearances at Fort Meade in Maryland ahead of his eventual court martial.
I have a feeling that Private Manning's "big adventure" is just beginning. Once in the caring arms of the administrative NCOs at Ft. Leavenworth, wearing his newly ironed, brightly colored jumpsuit, it will be like he is back in basic training again. Sort of.
[Dawn] The administration of Kohistan ...a backwoods district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa distinguished by being even more rustic than is the norm among the local Pashtuns.... district has constituted a 70-member jirga of local Learned Elders of Islam and elders, which would extend help to the law-enforcement agencies in arresting perpetrators of the Feb 28 Harban bus attack.
"This jirga would also discuss ways to arrest those involved in Harban carnage with the jirga of elders and Learned Elders of Islam of Diamer. It will also convey the message of Kohistanis to people of Gilgit-Baltistan that their area should not be used for settling scores of the sectarian conflict in Gilgit," said Maulana Dildar Ahmad, a former provincial minister and key member of the jirga, while talking to news hounds at Dassu on Sunday.
The 70 members of the jirga were selected in Dassu at a big gathering, which was also attended by district coordination officer Aqil Badshah and district police officer Mohammad Ilyas.
The participants condemned killing of 16 people in Harban attack and vowed to extend cooperation to the administration in arrest of the perpetrators of the heinous crime.
Maulana Dildar said that the district administration of Diamer had also constituted a jirga of elders and Learned Elders of Islam, which would hold dialogues with Kohistan jirga in Chilas. He said that besides other factors concerning the attack an international conspiracy to pitch the people of Gilgit-Baltistan and Kohistan against each other couldn't be ruled out.
Cross-border fighting between Israel and Palestinian militant groups in Gaza continued for a fourth day on Monday, with the Palestinian death toll rising from Israeli airstrikes and the militants' rockets reaching farther into Israel.
Yet there was no sign that either Israel or Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules Gaza, wanted an all-out confrontation. Early Tuesday, news reports citing unnamed Egyptian officials said that Egypt had mediated a cease-fire. Neither Israeli nor Palestinian officials confirmed the reports, issued by The Associated Press and Reuters.
The prospects of an imminent showdown, like the one that led to Israel's three-week offensive in the winter of 2008-9, seemed unlikely. Some of the old rules of the conflict have changed since then, and new domestic and regional factors have emerged.
For Israel, the success of its recently deployed Iron Dome antirocket missile system has had an impact. Since the hostilities began on Friday, the missile batteries have managed to intercept 54 of the nearly 70 Palestinian rockets that were aimed at the major cities of the south, the Israeli military said.
The prevention of mass casualties and damage has reduced pressure on the country's leaders to embark on a major military operation in Gaza and given them more time to weigh their options, according to Israeli officials and experts.
"There is a serious strategic change here," Dan Meridor, the minister of intelligence and atomic energy, told Israel Radio on Monday. "Years ago, it was not simple to incorporate into Israeli military doctrine the great importance of defense."
The regional changes of the past year are also playing a role in the calculations of both Israel and the Islamic groups.
A ceasefire has been agreed between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza after four days of deadly clashes, an Egyptian official says. A Hamas official later confirmed that the truce had been agreed. At least 25 Palestinians have died in Israeli air strikes since Friday, reports say.
Israel says 35 people were injured in Palestinian rocket attacks.
The official was quoted as saying that the Egyptian-mediated truce took effect at 1:00AM local time.
According to the IDF blog, only six Gazan rockets hit Israel as of 2:15 pm today, local time.
The Egyptian official -- who spoke on condition of anonymity -- was quoted by Reuters as saying late on Monday that both Israel and Gaza militants had "agreed to end the current operations".
Shortly afterwards, the Hamas official confirmed the truce.
The official told the BBC that Israel had made an unusual promise to stop targeting militant leaders in Gaza, if rocket attacks on Israel ceased.
Israel has not publicly commented on the reported ceasefire.
Which sounds an awful lot like they didn't actually agree to anything. But they have been saying that when the Gazans stop, they will also.
Islamic Jihad ...created after many members of the Egyptian Moslem Brotherhood decided the organization was becoming too moderate. Operations were conducted out of Egypt until 1981 when the group was exiled after the liquidation of President Anwar Sadat. They worked out of Gaza until they were exiled to Lebanon in 1987, where they clove tightly to Hezbollah. In 1989 they moved to Damascus, where they remain a subsidiary of Hezbollah... front man Abu Ahmed says that if Israel does not stop its Arclight airstrikes on Gazoo, his group will increase the range of rocket fire to include other cities in Israel.
"Bring up some more power, Mahmoud. I'm really going to stuff this rocket full!"
"You sure that's a good idea, boss?"
"Sure, what could go wrong?"
"The ball is in Israel's court. It must stop its aggression and commit to put an end to assassinations in order to bring a ceasefire," he said.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ... sometimes described as For a good time at 3 a.m. call Hillary and at other times as Mrs. Bill, never as Another Philander C. Knox ... called on Paleostinian terror groups to halt their rocket fire into Israel and urged both sides to reach a lull agreement. Clinton's remarks were made at the opening of a Security Council meeting on Libya and the Middle East.
The South African government plans to have alternatives to Iranian oil in place by the end of May as western powers tighten sanctions against the Islamic republic, the country's energy minister said on Tuesday.
South Africa, Africa's largest economy, relies on Iran for about 29 per cent of its oil imports, according to the US Energy Information Administration. It was the only big customer of Iranian crude not to have revealed that it was seeking alternative supplies.
"I would be lying if I said that the United States is putting pressure on us to cut Iran imports . . . but we are considering different avenues now," Elizabeth Dipuo Peters, South Africa's energy minister, told Reuters. "We have given ourselves till the end of May to come up with alternatives, and we are engaging in talks with everyone, including Iran."
Ms Dipuo Peters said she had recently visited Tehran to discuss the issue. South Africa's oil consumption is estimated to be slightly over 550,000 barrels per day, of which approximately 370,000 b/d is imported, the EIA says.
The US and Europe have imposed sanctions on Tehran's crude exports amid concerns that Iran is attempting to develop a nuclear weapon. Tehran insists its nuclear programme is for peaceful civilian use.
In Al-Qusayr, a town in the Syrian region of Homs near the Lebanese border, the only way to escape the bombardment by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad is to go underground. It is in the cellars and basements where you can find different members of the rebel Syrian Liberation Army (SLA). Made up mainly of deserters from the national army, the SLA is trying to organise their counter-attack in the rebel stronghold of Homs.
But in recent days, the Syrian regime has increased its pressure on the city. "We're running out of weapons and ammunition" an SLA soldier admits. "If Bashar al-Assad launched an offensive, we could not contain it," he said.
The soldier anxiously awaits the next attack by Assad's forces amid a growing feeling of having been abandoned by the international community.
[An Nahar] Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri Second son of Rafik Hariri, the Leb PM who was assassinated in 2005. He has was prime minister in his own right from 2009 through early 2011. He was born in Riyadh to an Iraqi mother and graduated from Georgetown University. He managed his father's business interests in Riyadh until his father's liquidation. When his father died he inherited a fortune of some $4.1 billion, which won't do him much good if Hizbullah has him bumped off, too. noted on Monday that the latest "massacre committed by the Syrian regime" in Homs coincided with the Israeli assault on Gazoo over the weekend.
He said in a statement: "The latest massacre committed by the regime of Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Light of the Alawites... against innocent people not only condemns the regime, but the international community for its lack of humanity."
"The Homs massacre is one of the signs of the imminent end of the Assad regime that will only meet the same end as other criminal rulers who abuse their power to oppress their people," he added.
The former premier therefore renewed his solidarity with the Syrian people, calling on the international and Arab communities to support them "in statement and in action."
The bodies of 47 women and kiddies have been found in the Syrian city of Homs, where security forces have been fighting raging battles against armed rebels, the opposition and activists said on Monday.
Hadi Abdallah, a Syrian activist in Homs, told Agence La Belle France Presse the bodies of 26 children and 21 women, some with their throats slit and others bearing stab wounds, were found after a "massacre" in the Karm el-Zaytoun and al-Adawiyeh neighborhoods of the besieged central city.
[An Nahar] Leb decided not to join a meeting set to discuss support for the Syrian regime, which is expected to be held in the upcoming few days in Tehran, the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat reported on Monday.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry invited Leb, Iraq, and Syria to join the conference on March 18. However, there's more than one way to stuff a chicken... Leb's Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour, who received the invitation from his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi, decided not to participate after discussions with President Michel Suleiman ...before assuming office as President, he held the position of commander of the Leb Armed Forces. That was after the previous commander, the loathesome Emile Lahoud, took office as president in November of 1998. Likely the next president of Leb will be whoever's commander of the armed forces, too... and Prime Minister Najib Miqati.
Leb's position came in light of its decision to disassociate itself from the crisis in Syria and the developments in the region.
Despite the report that Leb won't participate in the conference, ministerial sources told the daily Beirut's participation will be at the level of deputy foreign minister.
According to the sources, the conference will be like the latest conference held in Tunis for "Friends of Syria," but the difference is that Tehran's conference is to support the Syrian regime against the opposition.
The sources said that Leb aims at maintaining the country's stability thus it avoids any stance on the crisis in Syria so that it wouldn't have any repercussions on the local situation.
[An Nahar] Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Wally Jumblat ... Druze politician, head of the Progressive Socialist Party, who's been on every side in Leb at least four times. He'll sell you his friends for a dollar, but family comes higher because of shipping and handling... urged on Monday Syria's Druze population to abandon the ruling regime, warning them against "getting their hands covered with the blood of the Syrian people."
He told La Belle France 24 television: "I caution the Druze against getting embroiled in any sectarian strife with the Sunnis because that will spell their end."
The Arab world is dominated by the Sunni sect and "therefore beware of getting involved in strife," the Druze chief added.
This also applies to Christians and all other sects, he said.
Actually,I'm pretty damn sure that the nine million or so Syrians who aren't Sunni Muslims are D-E-A-D dead if the ruling regime falls. (Sad but true: Assad is probably the lesser of two evils in the long run.) That, and/or Israel gets to pickup a several hundred thousand non-Jewish but highly motivated and useful new citizens.
You know: however many make it out of what history will call the Syrian Genocide alive.
Interesting point: the Druze in their mountain villages would be a useful buffer, particularly the ones around the Golan. Offer parts of the Golan to the Syrian 'refugees' (Druze and Christian) provided they settle there, and you have a constituency that doesn't ever want to be Syrian again.
Wonder what the Alawites would want to do if they saw a true Sunni state coming together?
Posted by: Steve White ||
[An Nahar] Western nations on Monday stepped up pleas to Russia and China to end their blockage on U.N. Security Council action over the Syrian government's deadly assault on protest cities.
But Russia showed little sign of that it would change it stance, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov slamming "risky recipes" which he said risked increasing conflict in the Middle East.
Syria dominated a U.N. Security Council ministerial meeting on the Arab uprisings, which came a day after U.N.-Arab League ...an organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing... special envoy Kofi Annan ...Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh and so far the worst Secretary-General of the UN. Annan and the United Nations were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize for something or other that probably sounded good at the time. In December 2004, reports surfaced that Kofi's son Kojo received payments from the Swiss company Cotecna, which had won a lucrative contract under the UN Oil-for-Food Program. Kofi Annan called for an investigation to look into the allegations, which stirred up the expected cesspool but couldn't seem to come up with enough evidence to indict Kofi himself... left Damascus ...Capital of the last remaining Baathist regime in the world... , where he met Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Lord of the Baath...
"I add my voice to that of Mr. Annan in urging President Assad to act swiftly, within the next few days, in response to the proposals put forward" by the envoy, U.N. Secretary General the ephemeral Ban Ki-moon ... of whom it can be said to his credit that he is not Kofi Annan... told the meeting.
"I appeal to the Security Council to unite strongly behind ending the violence and supporting Mr. Annan's mission to help Syria pull back from the brink of a deeper catastrophe," he added.
Russia and China have twice used their powers as permanent Security Council members to veto resolutions on Syria, saying they were unbalanced and only sought regime change.
The other permanent members -- the United States, Britannia and La Belle France -- stepped up their condemnation of Assad, but also urged Russia and China to agree a resolution.
La Belle France's Foreign Minister Alain Juppe appealed directly to Russia and China, while also calling on the council to call for an International Criminal Court ... where Milosevich died of old age before being convicted ... investigation into the Syria crackdown, where the U.N. says more than 7,500 people have died in the past year.
"After months of blocking, I appeal to China and Russia to hear the voices of the Arabs and the world conscience and join us," Juppe said.
"We believe that now is the time for all nations, even those who have previously blocked our efforts, to stand behind the humanitarian and political approach spelled out by the vaporous Arab League," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ... sometimes described as The Heroine of Tuzla and at other times as Mrs. Bill, never as Another Chateaubriand ... told the council.
"The international community should say with one voice -- without hesitation or caveat -- that the killing of innocent Syrians must stop and a political transition must begin," Clinton said.
"The situation in Syria casts a long shadow over this debate," declared Britannia's Foreign Secretary William Hague, whose country organized the debate as president of the Security Council for March.
"In the eyes of the overwhelming majority of the world, this council has so far failed in its responsibilities towards the Syrian people."
But Lavrov maintained his argument against "unilateral" U.N. action, and repeated Russia's condemnation of NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A cautionary tale of cost-benefit analysis.... 's Arclight airstrikes in Libya to justify its opposition to the West's campaign on Syria.
Change in the Arab world "must not be achieved by misleading the international community or manipulating the Security Council," Lavrov said.
"There is no doubt whatsoever that the Syrian authorities bear a huge share of responsibility for the situation," Lavrov said, but he added that the government was now fighting gangs, not just unarmed protesters.
Lavrov condemned "making hasty demands for regime change, imposing unilateral sanctions designed to trigger economic difficulties and social tensions in countries and inducing the opposition to continue its confrontation with authorities instead of promoting dialogue."
All were, he added, "risky recipes of geopolitical engineering which can only result in a spread of the conflict."
[Dawn] UN-Arab League ...an organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing... envoy Kofi Annan feels his Syria mediation mission is on track even though violence still raged as he held talks with Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad One of the last of the old-fashioned hereditary iron-fisted fascist dictators... , his front man said on Monday.
Annan twice met Assad in Damascus ...Capital of the last overtly fascist regime in the world... , as well as opposition figures, at the weekend and saw Qatari leaders in Doha on Monday before heading to Turkey.
Before he went to Syria, he held separate talks with the vaporous Arab League chief and the foreign ministers of Russia and Soddy Arabia in Cairo, his front man Ahmad Fawzi said.
"This is the beginning of a process and the joint special envoy feels the process is on the right track," Fawzi told Rooters by telephone from Qatar.
"He has left a set of concrete proposals with Bashar on a cessation of hostilities, humanitarian access and political dialogue, and expects to hear from him shortly," Fawzi said.
"He is concerned that the fighting and the killing seem to be continuing while he is trying to put an end to it and while he is trying to talk to Bashar," he said.
Scores of people were reported killed in Syria during Annan's visit, when the military assaulted the rebel-held city of Idlib in the northwest. State media and opposition activists also said dozens of civilians were slain in Homs but gave conflicting accounts of who was responsible.
After his "comprehensive and candid" talks with Assad, Annan said it would be hard to reach a deal but he remained optimistic.
"The situation is so bad and so dangerous that all of us cannot afford to fail," he told news hounds in Damascus.
The so-called "JAPAN/EGYPT" MODELS for Iran is potent because it all but absolutely denies any rationale or premise for external milstrike or ground invasion of Iran - NO IRAN NUKES PER SE, NO NEED FOR US, ISRAELI UNILATERAL OR JOINT ATTACK, MAJOR WAR, OR EVEN REFERRAL TO THE UNO.
IMO safe to say that Iran has the ball as per the above scope.
And Iran has already NUKE-ARMED PAKISTAN ...
* DEFENCE.PK/FORUMS > PAKISTAN NUCLEAR ARSENAL TO DOUBLE TO 250-350 IN 5-10 YEARS [post-2015 -2022], vee NucBombs, Warheads of varying explosive yields???
* SAME > PAKISTAN TELLS ISRAEL TO STOP "LAND-GRABBING" IN PALESTINIAN TERRITORY | PALESTINE NOW A "CORE ISSUE" FOR PAKISTAN.
Iran also has the NUKE-HAPPY, PRO-ISLAMIST, POST-ARAB/MUSLIM SPRINGS" NEW GOVTS, + DPRK + the EX-SOVIET "-STANS" IN CENTRAL ASIA.
Then there is Islamic Law + the UNO itself ...
* SAME > IRAN'S LEGAL RIGHT TO [preemptively] ATTACK ISRAEL, + perhaps even the USA, under UN Charter Articles [e.g. Article 51], + broader or "customary" International Laws???
Finally, once again Radical Islam + aligned can makea good argument that the POST-COLD WAR, OWG-NWO, "GLOBALIST" PREMISE OF A "DIVERSIFIED",
"MULTIPOLAR" WORLD = SOVEREIGN ARAB-MUSLIM STATES CAN HAVE NUCLEAR ARSENALS ALL THEIR OWN.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.