Agence France-Presse (France), July 3, 2013 — Syria: Morsi’s Departure Key to Solving Egypt Crisis…..Egypt will overcome its current crisis if President Mohamed Morsi leaves office, Syria’s Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi said on Wednesday, as massive protests against the Islamist leader went into their fourth day….Egypt’s “security and unity are a national responsibility”, Zohbi told a news conference broadcast by state television….”Egypt will be able to overcome its crisis if Morsi realizes that the vast majority of the Egyptian people refuse his presence and are calling for his departure,” he added….”Those who are loyal to the (Egyptian) nation should side by the people, and against the terrorism of the Muslim Brotherhood” movement from which Morsi hails….There is long-standing animosity between the Syrian regime and the Muslim Brotherhood, and membership in the group has been punishable by death in Syria since the 1980s….The Syrian branch of the Brotherhood today plays a key role in the exiled opposition National Coalition, which is recognized by more than 100 states and organizations as legitimate representative of the Syrian people….Zohbi launched a verbal attack on Monday as well against Morsi — who last month severed ties with Syria — saying the Brotherhood had proven a failure in Egypt….Egypt is Sunni Muslim, as a are the vast majority of rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar Assad whose Alawite sect is an offhshoot of Shiite Islam….Morsi has repeatedly called for Assad to step down….More than 100,000 people have been killed in Syria’s war, says the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Haaretz (Israel), July 3 — U.S. urges Morsi to listen to Egyptian people; Israeli diplomats to stay away….In phone call at end of an African tour, President Obama told Morsi that the political crisis can only be resolved by talking with his opponents; Israeli Embassy staff in Cairo to remain in Israel due to unrest.
Politico.com (US), July 3 — The U.S. Government Wednesday panned Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s most recent speech to the Egyptian people, saying the address fell short of detailing the reforms the Egyptian leader needed to promise to quell massive street protests….The comments expressed a greater degree of U.S. dissatisfaction with Morsi than previously acknowledged by U.S. officials. However, Psaki insisted that the criticism did not reflect a U.S. decision to back the opposition or the military….”We haven’t taken sides and don’t plan to take sides,” Psaki said. She acknowledged that she had no criticism to offer of the Egyptian military, despite a warning from military leaders that they would step in if Morsi’s government and protesters did not come to an accomodation….Psaki declined to outline specific steps the U.S. would like Morsi to take, beyond avoiding violence. However, she disputed claims by many protesters that U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson had sided with the government over the opposition….In a speech two weeks ago, Patterson said she and the U.S. were “deeply skeptical” that protests would bring about positive change in Egypt.
The Voice of Russia,16 June, 2012 – Morsi’s renouncement of ties with Assad accords with Western polices – analysts…..The recent decision of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to cut diplomatic ties with Syria is “harmonious” with the Western policies against Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad
The Telegraph (UK), 30 Aug 2012– Morsi tells Iran that Syria’s Assad must go….In a key diplomatic snub, Egypt’s new leader used his first visit to Iran to tell his hosts they had chosen the wrong side in the Syrian civil war…..Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood official who became Egypt’s first democratically elected president in June, aroused concern in the west that his decision to attend a meeting of the non-aligned movement in Tehran marked a shift in the country’s pro-western foreign policy….But he used his keynote speech to the meeting to call on the Assad regime in Syria, Iran’s closest ally, to step down. “We should all express our full support to the struggle of those who are demanding freedom and justice in Syria and translate our sympathies into a clear political vision that supports peaceful transfer to a democratic system,” he said….As he spoke, the Syrian foreign minister, Walid al-Muallem, walked out. He told state television that Mr Morsi’s speech interfered in Syrian internal affairs and “incited continued bloodshed”….Mr Morsi’s attendance at the conference represented the first visit by an Egyptian president to Tehran since the 1979 Iranian revolution put the two countries on opposite sides in the struggle between America and its allies and the so-called “axis of resistance”….But he has also been keen to insist that while the new Egypt will be open to all countries in the Middle East, it will stick to old agreements, including the peace deal with Israel.
During my first deployment, I was made to participate in things, the enormity of which is hard to describe. War crimes, crimes against humanity. Though I did not participate willingly, and made what I thought was my best effort to stop these events, there are some things that a person simply can not come back from. I take some pride in that, actually, as to move on in life after being part of such a thing would be the mark of a sociopath in my mind. These things go far beyond what most are even aware of. To force me to do these things and then participate in the ensuing coverup is more than any government has the right to demand. Then, the same government has turned around and abandoned me. — Daniel Somers, whistleblower
Somers served in Joint Special Operations Command in a unit in Mosul from 2006-2007. He ran the Northern Iraq Intelligence Center and was a senior analyst for Levant, which oversaw operations in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel and part of Turkey.
A decade after the US attempt to “shock and awe” humanity and usher in its new “American century” more than a million Iraqis are dead, and trillions of dollars have been squandered, while the high ranking architects and enablers of these monstrous crimes are still riding high…
War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity: The story of U.S. Exceptionalism in Iraq
by Ajamu Baraka, in Black Agenda Report
This month marks the tenth anniversary of the U.S. attack on Iraq, one of the most egregious expressions of naked power and imperial ambition since the Second World War. The attack defied both an outraged world opinion — expressed by global mass demonstrations — and the United Nations charter. It also marked a change from the previous veiled decorum of supposed adherence to international law that defined post-war international relations. The Bush administration, armed with the ultimate expression of the arrogance of U.S. exceptionalism – legislation passed by the U.S. Congress – unleashed a murderous assault on the people of Iraq dubbed “Operation Shock and Awe.”
Ten years later, the awesome consequences of that criminal assault are clear. More than a trillion dollars spent, almost five thousand American lives lost, more than 32,000 Americans wounded, estimates of a million dead Iraqis and almost five million displaced, an epidemic of Iraqi birth defects from “depleted” uranium, daily bombings, devastated public services and the dismemberment of the country. Yet, ten years later, no one, not one government official, has been held accountable. The obvious question is: how is it that, in light of one of the most heinous crimes ever committed by a State, there have been no investigations, prosecutions or convictions of the officials responsible for this assault?
The lack of accountability is even more incomprehensible in light of the fact that it is now widely acknowledged that the real reason for the Western invasion of Iraq had little to do with its concern about weapons of mass destruction and everything to do with its desire to steal Iraq’s oil. Continue reading
Hot Docs Trailers 2012: 5 BROKEN CAMERAS
4 March 2013. A World to Win News Service. 5 Broken Cameras, the first Palestinian documentary nominated for an Oscar, gives an overwhelming depiction of the injustice and brutality on a massive scale against the residents of a village called Bilin in the West Bank. Israeli settlers exude entitlement as they move into new apartments on the hilltops surrounding Bilin, settlements on land stolen from Belin farmers. Not only are Belin’s inhabitants viciously assaulted and oppressed but even the olive trees that are supposedly left to them are burned by brazen settlers or uprooted by the army using armoured construction machinery.
Starting in 2005 and filming over a period of five years with a succession of five cameras destroyed one after another by Israeli soldiers or settlers, Emad Burnat, a farmer turned amateur filmmaker, documented the protests against the land seizures by the Israeli government and the wall under construction that occupies and will separate them from their farmland. Despite great personal risk, he continued filming from a sense of moral obligation to his people and the desire to make the world aware of the struggle to save their land. In 2009 Burnat enlisted the aid of Israeli activist and filmmaker Guy Davidi to help make the film.
The film won many prizes worldwide, in Europe and in the U.S. at the Sundance Film Festival. That this documentary did not win an Oscar is not surprising in a climate where the reactionary feature film Argo received the award for the best picture of the year. Despite having an official invitation to attend the Academy Awards ceremony, when Emad Burnat, his wife and youngest son Gibreel landed in Los Angeles, they were detained and almost deported by U.S. immigration officials until filmmaker Michael Moore intervened and called in Academy lawyers. Continue reading
Argo’s Oscar Win — Hollywood’s ‘Coming Out’
By Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich
26 February, 2013
Foreign policy observers have long known that Hollywood reflects and promotes U.S. policies (in turn, is determined by Israel and its supporters).
This fact was made public when Michel Obama announced an Oscar win for “Argo” – a highly propagandist, anti-Iran film. Amidst the glitter and excitement, Hollywood and White House reveal their pact and send out their message in time for the upcoming talks surrounding Iran’s nuclear program due to be held tomorrow – February 26th.Hollywood has a long history of promoting US policies. In 1917, when the United States entered World War I, President Woodrow Wilson’s Committee on Public Information (CPI) enlisted the aid of America’s film industry to make training films and features supporting the ‘cause’. George Creel, Chairman of the CPI believed that the movies had a role in “carrying the gospel of Americanism to every corner of the globe.”
The pact grew stronger during World War II, when, as historian Thomas Doherty writes, “[T]he liaison between Hollywood and Washington was a distinctly American and democratic arrangement, a mesh of public policy and private initiative, state need and business enterprise.” Hollywood’s contribution was to provide propaganda. After the war, Washington reciprocated by using subsidies, special provisions in the Marshall Plan, and general clout to pry open resistant European film markets[i].
Hollywood has often borrowed its story ideas from the U.S. foreign policy agenda, at times reinforcing them. One of the film industry’s blockbuster film loans in the last two decades has been modern international terrorism. Hollywood rarely touched the topic of terrorism in the late 1960s and 1970s when the phenomenon was not high on the U.S. foreign policy agenda, in news headlines or in the American public consciousness. In the 1980s, in the footsteps of the Reagan administration’s policies, the commercial film industry brought ‘terrorist’ villains to the big screen (following the US Embassy takeover in Tehran – topic of “Argo”) making terrorism a blockbuster film product in the 1990s. Continue reading
How the media let Israel get away with murder
Israel spends a lot of time talking about secure borders and how the need for them drives its policies regarding the Palestinians. With few exceptions, the media act as willing promoters of this perversion of reality.
Between 11 and 15 January, four young Palestinians — aged 17 to 22 — were shot dead by Israeli occupation forces. The murders took place in the Gaza Strip and at different points along Israel’s wall in the West Bank. In all instances the Israeli army justified the use of lethal force by invoking its need to protect the integrity of the wall and Israel’s borders.
On 11 January, 22-year-old Anwar Mamlouk was reportedly just outside the Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza when Israeli soldiers gunned him down.
The next day, Odai al-Darawish, 21, was shot to death at three o’clock in the afternoon while crossing Israel’s wall in the West Bank to get to work in Israel. Initially, Israeli sources claimed the soldiers shot al-Darawish in his legs, in accordance with the “rules of engagement” (“Israeli troops kill Palestinian trying to cross barrier,” The Chicago Tribune, 12 January 2013).
But medical sources quickly revealed that he was hit in the back, indicating that he was likely shot while trying to run to safety (“Israeli forces shoot, kill worker south of Hebron,” Ma’an News Agency, 12 January 2013).
Al-Darawish was from the village of Dura, near Hebron, where in September last year a man attempted to immolate himself in a desperate protest of the dire economic conditions Palestinians face in the occupied West Bank (“Palestinian man attempts to set himself on fire in West Bank village of Dura,” Haaretz, 17 January 2013).
Mustafa Jarad was aged 21 and a farmer from Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip. He was shot in the forehead by an Israeli sniper on 14 January while working his land. But despite the Israeli gunman’s skillful marksmanship, Jarad was not killed immediately.
Doctors at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City tried to remove the bullet from his severely injured brain, but Jarad died after surgery (“Mustafa Abu Jarad, murdered in Gaza, by the Israeli army,” International Solidarity Movement, 15 January 2013). Continue reading