WASHINGTON: ‘ Democrats clash with Kerry over Iran Deal ‘

#AceNewsReport – WASHINGTON:July.29: Democrats on the House Foreign Affairs Committee joined with Republicans in pushing back on the Iran nuclear deal Tuesday as Secretary of State John Kerry faced the panel.

Committee Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said he was “troubled by” and “very disappointed” with parts of the agreement, citing a litany of concerns.

“Truth is, after 15 years, Iran is a nuclear threshold state, which means they can produce weapons-grade, highly-enriched uranium without limitations,” he said. “Our friends in Israel are rightfully concerned.”

Read the full story here.

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#democrats, #eliot-engel, #house-foreign-affairs-committee, #iran, #john-kerry

‘ Protective Edge Israel’s Military Incursion ‘

GAZA CITY

INCURSION

JULY 18 2014

#AceWorldNews – 17 July – A ground operation in the Gaza Strip has been launched by Tel Aviv following more than a week of Hamas shelling the country and the IDF responding with air strikes. Over 200 Palestinians and one Israeli have died in the violence.

Gaza City Lighting up the Sky

19:05 GMT:

Palestinian radicals in Gaza have fired at Tel Aviv for a second time today. The Iron Dome system shot down two rockets over the city this evening, reported the press office of the Israeli army.

19:02 GMT:

Egypt has renewed its call for a truce in the region. Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri, speaking at a news conference in Cairo said: “We hope that all sides will support this initiative so that bloodshed stops and this escalation does not get worse. We call on all sides to accept this proposal. We are working to find a framework so that both sides agree,” reported Reuters.

 

18:23 GMT:

Israeli tank shells have killed three in Gaza, including children, medics told AFP.

 

15:26 GMT:

CNN has pulled correspondent Diana Magnay out of her post covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after the reporter tweeted that Israelis cheering bombs hitting Gaza, and who had allegedly threatened her, were “scum.”

 

A CNN spokeswoman said Magnay has been reassigned to Moscow.

 

15:15 GMT:

 

Shortly after the air raid siren report, the IDF tweeted that its Iron Dome air defense system had intercepted rockets over Tel Aviv.

 

15:05 GMT:

The United Nations said it is going to ramp up emergency aid to Gaza, where Israel’s ground invasion intensified water shortages and fears of sewage contamination and water-borne diseases, Reuters reports.

“We are still very concerned about the water supply in Gaza, about half of the population are without water supply at this time,” UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) spokeswoman, Amanda Pitt, told a news briefing in Geneva.

On Tuesday, UN aid agencies and the International Committee of the Red Cross warned that Gaza’s water system has been degraded over the course of years, with potential infrastructure damage incurred during the assault leaving the entire coastal strip vulnerable to a water crisis within a matter of days.

 

A picture taken from the Israeli side of the border with the Gaza Strip shows smoke billowing from the coastal Palestinian enclave following an Israeli air strike, on July 18, 2014 (AFP Photo / Menahem Kahana)

A picture taken from the Israeli side of the border with the Gaza Strip shows smoke billowing from the coastal Palestinian enclave following an Israeli air strike, on July 18, 2014 (AFP Photo / Menahem Kahana)

 14:26 GMT:

IDF attempt to show they abide by the Geneva Convention by providing medical treatment to a wounded combatant.

According to the first Geneva Convention – ‘for the Amelioration of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces and Field’ – if a member of the armed forces is wounded or sick, and therefore is unable to actively engage in combat, he is no longer part of the fighting force and becomes a vulnerable person in need of protection and care.

 

14:17 GMT:

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of state terrorism and genocide, saying the two states would not find rapprochement on his watch.

“Israel threatens world peace. Israel threatens peace in the Middle East. Therefore, I personally, can never contemplate anything positive with Israel as long as I remain on duty,” Erdogan told reporters after Muslim Friday prayers:

“Israel is at the moment waging terrorism; Israel at the moment is carrying out genocide,” he said.

Turkey and Israel had been working toward improving ties after Israeli commandos killed eight Turks and one Turkish American during a raid on a pro-Palestinian aid ship in 2010. Turkey expelled the Israeli ambassador and recalled its own top envoy following the incident. Israel ultimately apologized to Turkey for the deaths and agreed to pay compensation under a US-brokered arrangement in 2013. In March, Turkish officials said the two sides had come close to reaching a compensation deal which would fully restore ties.

 

13:47 GMT:

 

Cihan News Agency has posted video footage showing the pro-Palestinian rallies outside of the diplomatic missions in Istanbul and Ankara on Thursday. The first video, shot in Istanbul, shows police deploy a water cannon and pepper spray to disperse protesters after some turned violent, smashing windows and attempting to scale the compound gates.

 

The video from Ankara depicts a heated by far more peaceful scene, though there are unconfirmed reports that the compound in the Tukrish capital was attacked on Friday.

Turkey has since bolstered security at the facilities, though Tzachi Moshe, a spokesman for Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, said Israel “sharply protested the flagrant violation of diplomatic rules.”

 

 

13:27 GMT:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said since there is no way to deal with the tunnels only from the air, “our soldiers are doing it now from the ground,” the Jerusalem Post cites him as saying during the opening session of an emergency cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv.

Netanyahu said the ongoing military operation did not offer a100 percent shot at success, though everything would be done to get “maximum results.”

The Israeli PM said the army had been readied for the possibility of a significant expansion of the ground operation, blaming Hamas for not upholding its end of an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire proposal on Tuesday.

“We decided to launch the action after we tried all the other ways, and with an understanding that without this operation the price we will have to pay later would be much higher,” he said.

He added that intense diplomatic efforts had given Israel the political capital necessary to use force against the “terrorist organization,” and that the supreme consideration at this point was to “restore security to civilians” and return the country to a state of calm.

“There is not a more moral army than the IDF, and we do not want to harm even one innocent civilian. Not even one. We are operating only against terror targets.”

He blamed Hamas for civilian casualties on both sides, claiming they were attacking Israeli towns and cities from behind human shields.

He said media distortions of the conflict were virtually “unpreventable.”

“But unlike in the past, this time there are many in the international community who understand that Hamas alone bears responsibility for the victims,” he said. “This is something very important for Israel.”

13:12 GMT:

 

 

13:06 GMT:

The Israeli Defense Force is live tweeting images of so-called ‘terror tunnels’, the ostensible reason the ground operation was launched into Gaza.

 

 

13:03 GMT:

Israel has decided to evacuate the families of diplomatic staff in Turkey in Ankara after protests turned violent outside diplomatic missions in both the capital Ankara and Istanbul. The compounds were reportedly pelted with rocks as some demonstrators chanted, “Murderer Israel, get out of Palestine,” Hurriyet Daily News reported. Several Turkish diplomats attended the pro-Palestinian rallies, including a deputy from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

“The occupying Israel has made a bloodbath of Palestine by bombing them for the past 15 days,” Murat Yıldırım said from Ankara.

At least 23 Palestinians – including three children – have been killed since Israel launched the ground offensive. Around 264 Palestinians have been killed since Israel first started bombarding Gaza on July 7. The Israeli death toll currently stands at two: one soldier and one civilian.

 

12:40 GMT:

10:01 GMT:

 

09:02 GMT:

Barely a day into the operation, Netanyahu is discussing plans for a significant widening of the ground offensive.

Shortly before convening a meeting of cabinet ministers, he told reporters that “My instructions … are to prepare for the possibility of significantly widening the ground operation, and the military is preparing accordingly,” Reuters reported.

08:42 GMT:

Those affected by the conflict in Gaza are receiving financial help from multiple sources abroad. The latest tranche comes from Denmark, which has donated $2 million toward alleviating civilian suffering there.

08:07 GMT:

 

 

07:17 GMT:

Reuters now reports 23 Palestinians dead since the start of the ground operation.

 

05:54 GMT:

 

 

05:43 GMT:

 

 

05:21 GMT:

An Israeli military spokesman said in an interview to a radio station regarding the recent death of an Israeli soldier during the ground offensive on Gaza: “We are checking the circumstances” of soldier’s death.

This was the first Israeli casualty since the start of the operation.

 05:12 GMT:

According to Quentin Sommerville of the BBC, the number of dead since the start of the ground offensive, together with the number killed already in the preceding phase, puts the death toll at more than 250 people, with around 1980 wounded, as the conflict enters its 11th day.

 

04:54 GMT:

 

#benjamin-netanyahu, #gaza, #gaza-strip, #hamas, #iron-dome, #israel, #israel-defense-forces, #john-kerry, #palestinian-people, #tel-aviv

‘ Kidnapping Our Children is Becoming a Daily Event Around the World now Three More Boys are Abducted in West Bank ‘

#AceNewsServices – JERUSALEM – June 18 – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday and said he expected him to help in efforts to find three Israeli teenagers abducted in the occupied West Bank (Reuters)

​(Abbas Calls for Return of Israeli Teenagers Headline in Live Updates Haaretz Daily)


“I expect you to help in the return of the kidnapped youngsters and in catching the abductors,” a statement issued by the prime minister’s office quoted Netanyahu as telling Abbas in a telephone call.

​On Sunday, Gilad Erdan, a minister in Netanyahu’s security cabinet, told Israeli television that Abbas’s security forces were “willingly” helping search for the teenagers.

​A statement on Monday by Abbas’s office made no mention of the conversation with Netanyahu. But it said the “Palestinian presidency condemns … the kidnapping of three Israeli boys and the series of Israeli violations” — a reference to Israeli military raids and arrests since they disappeared on Thursday.

Both leaders have had infrequent telephone conversations in recent years, usually to convey greetings on Jewish and Muslim holidays.

(SeattleTimes) One of the missing teens, Naftali Frenkel, 16, a yeshiva student at the settlement of Kfar Etzion, holds U.S. citizenship. The others have been identified as Eyal Yifrach, 19, a student at a yeshiva in the Jewish settlement enclave in Hebron, and Gilad Shaer, 16, who attends the same school as Frenkel.


​“We are still seeking details on the parties responsible for this despicable terrorist act, although many indications point to Hamas’ involvement,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in a written statement. “As we gather this information, we reiterate our position that Hamas is a terrorist organization known for its attacks on innocent civilians and which has used kidnapping in the past.”


​#BringBackOurBoys – Tweet your support for their safe return?

Under a reconciliation deal reached by Hamas and the Fatah movement of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, an interim government backed by both factions was formed earlier this month. Hamas refuses to recognize Israel and is deemed a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States and the European Union. Israel suspended peace talks with the Palestinians and says it will not negotiate with the Hamas-backed government.

Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz told Israel Radio that the kidnappers were members of “an arm of Hamas” in the West Bank. Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip declined to comment on the abduction or take responsibility for it, suggesting that it might have been initiated independently in the West Bank.

A leaflet issued Friday carried a claim of responsibility by a local branch of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria — the radical Islamic group that has made dramatic gains in fighting in Iraq in recent days.

The group is not known to be active in the West Bank, however, and the statement has not been authenticated.

#ANS2014

#benjamin-netanyahu, #gaza-strip, #hamas, #israel, #john-kerry, #kfar-etzion, #mahmoud-abbas, #west-bank

`Sergei Lavrov and John Kerry to Meet in Paris ‘

#AceWorldNewsMOSCOW, June 04. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet in Paris on June 5, a source at the Russian Foreign Ministry has said.

 “Such meeting is expected to be held,” the source told ITAR-TASS on Wednesday.

Earlier, US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Lavrov and Kerry would have a bilateral meeting in Paris.

The US Secretary of State accompanies President Barack Obama, who left for the European tour on Monday, June 2.

The crisis in Ukraine and the internal conflict in Syria will be major topics due to be raised at the talks, Psaki said.

In the meantime, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier President Vladimir Putin was expected to have meetings with several world leaders within D-Day 70th anniversary in Normandy.

#ANS2014

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NSA releases single Snowden e-mail as Kerry tells him ‘MAN UP’ before interview with US media

The National Security Agency said Thursday that Edward Snowden sent supervisors only one e-mail when he worked there, and it did not protest the nature of NSA surveillance programs. In the e-mail to the Office of General Counsel, Snowden posed a legal question about a training program. “There are numerous avenues that Mr. Snowden could have used to raise other concerns or whistleblower allegations,” the NSA said in a statement. “We have searched for additional indications of outreach from him in those areas and to date have not discovered any engagements related to his claims.”

In an interview with NBC News, Snowden said he told the NSA about his concerns about its widespread methods of intelligence gathering.

“I actually did go through channels, and that is documented,” Snowden said. “The NSA has records, they have copies of emails right now to their Office of General Counsel, to their oversight and compliance folks, from me raising concerns about the NSA’s interpretations of its legal authorities. … The response more or less, in bureaucratic language, was, ‘You should stop asking questions.'”

Snowden — who remains in Russia, which has granted him temporary asylum — faces espionage charges in the United States.

Email:

This comes on the day John Kerry 68th United States Secretary of State said “‘Man Up And Come Home'”

US Secretary of State John Kerry has challenged Edward Snowden to “man up and come back to the United States”, after the whistleblower admitted he wanted to return home. Mr Kerry’s comments follow the former National Security Agency contractor’s interview with NBC, his first for US media since he fled the country after leaking a huge volume of classified documents. Now living in Russia on a temporary grant of asylum, Mr Snowden told the network he took action in the belief that he was serving his country in exposing the surveillance programs of the NSA. “I don’t think there’s ever been any question that I’d like to go home,” Snowden said in a segment of the interview. “Now, whether amnesty or clemency ever becomes a possibility is not for me to say. That’s a debate for the public and the government to decide. But, if I could go anywhere in the world, that place would be home.” And Mr Kerry, speaking before NBC aired that portion of the interview, said: “If Mr Snowden wants to come back to the United States, we’ll have him on a flight today. A patriot would not run away.


Susan Rice has denied Mr Snowden’s recent claims

“He should man up and come back to the United States. If he has a complaint about what’s the matter with American surveillance, (he should) come back here and stand in our system of justice and make his case. “If he cares so much about America and he believes in America, he should trust the American system of justice.” Mr Snowden had also said in an earlier part of his interview that he worked undercover and overseas for the CIA and the NSA. He claimed he had a far more important role in US intelligence than the government has acknowledged. “I was trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word, in that I lived and worked undercover overseas,” he said. National security adviser Susan Rice insisted in a CNN interview that Mr Snowden never worked undercover. Mr Snowden said he never intended to end up in Russia but was forced to go there because Washington decided to “revoke my passport.” In response, Mr Kerry said: “Well, for a supposedly smart guy, that’s a pretty dumb answer, after all. “I think he’s confused. I think it’s very sad. But this is a man who has done great damage to his country.”

All this after:
Edward Snowden: ‘I Worked As A Spy Overseas’


Snowden has received support during demonstrations in the US

Fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden has said he “trained as a spy” and worked “undercover overseas” for intelligence agencies. In his first interview in American media, he rejected claims he was merely a junior contractor, saying he worked “at all levels from the bottom on the ground, all the way to the top”. The 30-year-old, who has been charged in the US with espionage, was granted asylum by Russia in August, 2013, after instigating a series of leaks on mass surveillance in America and around the world. In the NBC News interview, due to air in full on Wednesday, Snowden defended himself against claims he had minimal intelligence experience before he released classified documents revealing the National Security Agency’s programme of phone and internet surveillance. “I was trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word in that I lived and worked undercover overseas – pretending to work in a job that I’m not – and even being assigned a name that was not mine,” he said. He said he had worked covertly as “a technical expert” for the Central Intelligence Agency and the NSA, and as a trainer for the Defense Intelligence Agency.

“I don’t work with people,” he said. “I don’t recruit agents. What I do is I put systems to work for the United States. And I’ve done that at all levels from, from the bottom on the ground all the way to the top. “So when they say I’m a low-level systems administrator, that I don’t know what I’m talking about, I’d say it’s somewhat misleading.” After the leaks, Snowden travelled to Hong Kong, then headed to Moscow, where he was holed up in the Sheremetyevo Airport for days before he was eventually granted asylum. Secretary of State John Kerry, reacting to the interview, called Snowden a “man who has done great damage to his country”. “A patriot would not run away and look for refuge in Russia,” Mr Kerry told NBC’s Today. “He can come home but he’s a fugitive from justice.” Snowden is wanted in the US on charges including espionage.

#edward-snowden, #anonymous, #banking, #ceos, #conspiracies, #corporate-greed, #elections, #email, #espionage, #government, #john-kerry, #lies, #man-up, #national-security-agency, #nsa, #nsa-email, #politics, #ron-paul, #snowden, #snowden-e-mail, #spy, #strange-stories, #sue-rice, #wealth, #wikileaks

` Burisma Holdings Ukraine’s Largest Private Gas Producer has Licences and Board of Control ‘

#AceNewsservices – KIEV – May 17 – Economic interests, such as untapped shale gas resources, already sliced and diced by Western energy giants, are behind the Kiev government’s ‘anti-terrorist’ operation against the pro-federalist regions, foreign policy expert Nebojsa Malic tells RT.

Board of Directors of Burisma Holdings

The  eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions cut ties with Kiev and declared independence from Kiev after a popular vote last Sunday. Yet federalist activists have no doubt that a new wave of government crackdown is on its way.

And they do have every reason to think so, because, as RT’s Gayane Chichakyan reports, reinstating control over the restive regions isn’t the only agenda driving Kiev’s ongoing offensive, as the core of the conflict is probably only business as usual.

Eastern Ukraine is not only of people who don’t want to be under the Kiev coup-installed government’s control, but there are also natural energy resources in the region, such as coal and more specifically, shale natural gas, untapped deposits of which lie underground in the Dnieper-Donets basin.

The cities Kiev is now striving to force into submission by making them war zones are situated in the area of shale gas deposits.

Tensions are highest in the city of Slavyansk in the Donetsk region: it has been besieged by Kiev’s troops and armed militants of the Right Sector neo-Nazi union for weeks. The self defense forces in eastern Ukraine‘s newly-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic are on high alert.

It’s in the Donetsk Region that Shell signed, in January 2013, a 50-year profit sharing deal with the government of Ukraine to explore and drill for natural gas in shale rock formations.

These are future profits that Kiev does not want to lose.

“I would say that the economic interest in this case is what’s driving the coup regime in Kiev to launch military actions against its own citizens, because they stand to make a profit from these contracts signed by the previous government,” foreign affairs expert Nebojsa Malic commented to RT.

US energy giant Chevron signed a similar deal for $10 billion last year, but it is focusing on developing shale gas reserves in the West of Ukraine.

Map of Area of Ukraine

Ukrainian paratroopers ride atop an

Yet it’s not just energy giants that have a stake in Ukraine’s reserves.

The recent appointment of the US Vice President’s son, Hunter Biden, to the board of directors of Ukraine’s largest private gas producer, Burisma Holdings, has put the Ukrainian shale gas development deal into a new perspective.

Burisma holds licenses covering the Dnieper-Donets basin in the eastern Ukraine and Biden jr. is not the only American with political ties to have recently joined the company’s board.

Devon Archer, a former senior advisor to current Secretary of State John Kerry‘s 2004 presidential campaign and a college room-mate of Kerry’s stepson, signed up with Burisma in April.

 

“There is certainly no better demonstration of altruism and humanitarianism in a free market than criticizing a country for corruption, sponsoring a coup to overthrow the allegedly corrupt government – and then appointing sons and friends of American officials to be on boards of companies having interests in that country,” Nebojsa Malic said. “Surely, that is perfectly legal and above board,” he added.

http://on.rt.com/x2g1yl

http://on.rt.com/x2g1yl

#AFN2014

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` Barack Obama Meets Syrian Oppostion Leader Ahmed Jarba ‘

#AceNewsServices – WASHINGTON – May 14 – Both sides said the meeting was productive and marked an important step in the evolving relationship between the United States and the opposition.

It took place however as the Obama administration again voiced concerns that any deadly aid that was provided at the request of rebels in Syria could end up in the hands of extremists.

Obama dropped by a meeting between Jarba, president of the Syrian National Coalition, and his national security advisor Susan Rice.

The White House said Obama and Rice condemned “the Assad regime’s deliberate targeting of Syrian civilians through aerial bombardments — including the use of barrel bombs — and the denial of food and humanitarian assistance to civilians located in areas under siege by the regime.”

Jarba, according to a White House statement, thanked Obama for a total of US$287 million in US aid to opposition forces and noted the US role as the largest humanitarian donor to Syrian refugees with a total aid grant of US$1.7 billion.

But there was no mention in the statement of Jarba’s previous plea to the administration for anti-aircraft weapons to combat the barrel bombings unleashed by Assad’s forces.

US officials privately acknowledged he made the request in talks with Secretary of State John Kerry at the State Department last week, but they refused to be drawn on the response.

Washington is worried that such weapons could eventually end up in the hands of groups hostile to the United States or its allies and could even pose a threat to commercial aircraft.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said earlier that Washington had worked hard to “ensure that the aid that we are providing the opposition is getting into the hands of the moderate opposition and not falling into the wrong hands.”

“This is something that has been a concern and an issue, obviously, since the beginning of the conflict there, but it is one that we take very seriously.”

Officials say the non-lethal assistance that is being provided includes communications equipment, body armour and night-vision goggles — but declined to give a detailed inventory of the aid.

The Syrian National Coalition described the talks as “encouraging and productive” and a milestone on the road to a closer partnership between the Syrian people and the United States aimed at ending the suffering in the country and producing a transition to democracy.

A coalition statement also hinted at the need for more robust military help for opposition groups.

“The opposition delegation discussed the need to empower the Syrian people to defend themselves against the war crimes committed by the regime daily and the need for more pressure against Assad to accept a political solution,” the statement said.

Jarba’s visit came at an inauspicious time for opponents of Assad, after rebels pulled out of the battleground city of Homs and UN and Arab League mediator Lakhdar Brahimi resigned after failing to broker a political solution to the war which has claimed 150,000 lives.

Speaking after meeting Kerry last week, Jarba thanked Kerry for Washington’s support “for the struggle of the Syrian people, for freedom and democracy, and also to lift the injustice and fight oppression and dictatorship that Bashar al-Assad is engaging in.”

But he stressed the Syrian people were looking for more concrete support from “the superpower and country that plays a leading role in the world.” Washington has many times warned that Assad has lost legitimacy and must go, but Obama has been wary of embroiling the United States in another foreign conflict, after spending years pulling US troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq.– AFP

http://tinyurl.com/khm5nfs

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#ANS2014

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` China’s Foreign Ministry Blames the United States for Tensions in South China Sea ‘

Map of the South China Sea

Map of the South China Sea (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

#AceWorldNewsBEIJING – May 09 – China’s foreign ministry blamed the US Friday for stoking tensions in the disputed South China Sea by encouraging countries to engage in dangerous behaviour. China has constructed an oil rig in the disputed waters, which the US called provocative and unhelpful.

 

China this week accused Vietnamese vessels of colliding with its own ships in the South China Sea and Vietnam said that Chinese vessels used water cannon and rammed eight of it ships. In another part of the South China Sea Philippine police have seized a Chinese boat, which they say was illegally fishing for Sea Turtles, a protected species, Beijing is demanding that the Philippines release the fishing boat.

 

 

(PressTV) – February 11 – The war of words continues between the US and its allies, and China.

 

At the Foreign Ministry in Beijing, spokeswoman Hua Chunying condemned the recent remarks by Japanese leaders aimed at casting a sympathetic light on their country’s wartime history. She also defended China’s new Air Defense Zone over the East China Sea, together with its recent moves to regulate fishing in the South China Sea.

 

With Western analysts saying China is planning a second Air Defense Zone for the South China Sea, America’s Assistant Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific Danny Russell has suggested that China is aiming at regional hegemony. China’s Foreign Ministry has responded by accusing the US itself of undermining peace.

 

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. Last month Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that Germany and the UK went to war in 1914 in spite of strong economic ties, and warned that China and Japan must avoid the same fate.

 

Historians say Germany attacked a century ago because it feared encirclement. So perhaps the World War One comparison is a fair one.

 

US Secretary of State John Kerry will be visiting China from Thursday. Allaying mutual suspicion should be the greatest of his concerns.

 

Share or Tweet @AceNewsServices with #ANS2014

 

 

 

 

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` UKRAINE CRISIS – DAILY UPDATE – MAY 09 – MORNING, NOON and NIGHT ‘

#AceNewsServices – UKRAINE – DAILY UPDATE – FRIDAY MAY 09 2014

17:12 GMT:

The EU has criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin for attending a Victory Day military parade in Crimea, Russia’s southern region.

“The European Union notes with regret the presence of President Vladimir Putin at a military parade … in Sevastopol, Crimea,” Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said.

She accused Putin of using the “important day in our shared history, dedicated to honoring the enormous sacrifices and giving remembrance to the millions of dead in the Second World War as an instrument “to give visibility to the illegal annexation of Crimea.”

17:10 GMT:

The people’s militia has seized a health resort building in the Budenovsky district of the city of Donetsk, which was housing 120 Ukrainian soldiers, local media reported. After several minutes of fighting the soldiers surrendered their weapons and left on buses. Earlier a co-chairman of the Donetsk People’s Republic government Miroslav Rudenko said the soldiers clashed with the people’s militia and several people were injured.

16:53 GMT:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary John Kerry have spoken on the phone discussing the possible joint effort of the OSCE, Russia, the US and the EU to help resolve the Ukrainian crisis.

Lavrov pointed out the need to urgently start an all-inclusive national dialogue between the coup-installed Kiev authorities and representatives of the eastern part of the country under the mediation of the OSCE.

Lavrov said he hopes that Washington will work with Kiev to stop its punitive operation in the east, taking into account US positive attitude towards the ‘road map’ developed by the OSCE under Swiss chairmanship, on the implementation of the April 17 Geneva agreement.

14:48 GMT:
14:07 GMT:

An unidentified person has shot and wounded a 12-year-old boy “who was wearing St. George’s ribbon” in the center of the town of Slavyansk, the local self-defense HQ told Interfax. The source said that the bullet entered the boy’s chest “in the heart area” and his condition is currently unknown.

The St. George’s emblem, originally a Tsarist-era Russian military award, was adopted as a symbol of the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany in WWII.

RIA Novosti, citing the child’s relative, reported that the boy “was simply walking” when he was wounded in the chest and shoulder. He was taken to the hospital and is undergoing surgery, the source said.

13:21 GMT:
13:21 GMT:

Victory Day celebrations were held in the anti-government stronghold in eastern Ukraine, the city of Slavyansk. Several thousand people gathered for a demo in the city’s central square. A “parade” of military equipment was held as two captured APCs with self-defense forces on them drove through the streets.

13:17 GMT:

About 1,500 protesters took to the streets of the eastern city of Kharkov for an anti-government rally on Victory Day. The demonstrators criticized the policy of the coup-appointed Kiev authorities, calling them a “junta” and “US protégés” and slammed the punitive military operation in eastern Ukraine, saying that the regime was waging “war against its own people.” Local police cordoned the demonstrators off from those attending the Victory Day concert for war veterans.

12:13 GMT:

RT’s stringer in Mariupol has been injured while trying to film and is now in hospital. Doctors say that in spite of his bulletproof vest he has sustained an injury to the stomach.

11:36 GMT:

The main Interior Ministry building is on fire, 0629.ua news portal reported.

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http shaunynews files wordpress com 2014 04 article…

In a chilling echo of the Holocaust, Jews are ‘ordered to register and list property’ in east Ukraine after pro-Russian militants take over government buildings

U.S. condemns leaflets urging Jews in east Ukraine to ‘register’
Secretary of State John Kerry calls pamphlet found in Donetsk ‘grotesque’
Jews also reportedly asked to register lists of their own property
John Kerry over night called this “Registration of Jewish people” in Ukraine as “grotesque” I blogged it already and ask people PLEASE, for the sake of us all to reblog this and get word out, this is a total repeat of the start of WWII. Russia stopped WWII, how Ironic they are about to start WWIII

I have been blogging HARD for a year now on this blog and my old one “Prayingforoneday” that this was coming, and here we are, this IS a road to World War 3 make no mistake, this is as bad as it could get. If Russia, infact, we know now, Russia are asking Jews to register or be deported takes the World back 69 years and the World must stand as one on this. Sadly with many Countries hating Israel, I believe this could get worse. Israel will be a target and this has the potential to light up

My blog earlier over night: http://shaunynews.wordpress.com/2014/04/18/leaflet-tells-jews-to-register-in-east-ukraine/

LEAFLET TRANSLATION IN FULL

‘Independent Donetsk Republic, General Staff

‘Dear citizens of Jewish nationality:

‘Taking into consideration the fact that the leaders of Jewish community of Ukraine has supported banderovtsy’s Junta in Kiev, and have been hostile to Orthodox Donetsk Republic and its citizens, the General Staff of Donetsk People’s Republic has decreed the following:

‘All citizens of Jewish nationality who are older than 16 years-old that have been living within the territory of Sovereign Donetsk Republic should attend acting Commissioner for nationalities affairs in Donetsk Regional Government Department, office 514 for registration before 03 May 2014. The registration fees are 50 USD.

‘You should bring the amount of 50 USD for registration fees, passports for marking the confession of faith, documents showing family members, entitling documents for title to real property and transport facilities.

‘In case of attempts to avoid the registration, the subject persons’ citizenship will be revoked with their subsequent enforced deportation outside Donetsk Republic including the forfeiture of their property. ‘

Your People’s Governor – Denis Pushilin

http://www.businessinsider.com/flyers-in-ukraine-demand-jews-to-register-2014-4

http://www.thewire.com/global/2014/04/someones-handing-out-leaflets-asking-jews-to-register-in-eastern-ukraine/360827/

http://nypost.com/2014/04/17/jews-in-ukraine-forced-to-register-with-authorities/

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#donetsk, #ghosts-from-wwii, #jews, #jews-told-to-register, #john-kerry, #pro-russian-force-jews-to-register, #ukraine, #wwiii-actions

` UN Security Council ,Germany and (P5+1) and Iran agree new round of Nuclear Talks ‘

#AceWorldNews The five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+1) and Iran have agreed to hold a new round of nuclear talks in Vienna on April 7-9.

World powers and the Islamic Republic agreed to the latest round of negotiations following two days of “substantive” talks in the Austrian capital, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said on Wednesday.

Ashton said the seven states had discussed Iranians contentious uranium enrichment program, the country’s Arak heavy water reactor and Western sanctions against Tehran during negotiations held over the last two days.

Related News Reported – Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
January 12, 2014

http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2014/01/219566.htm

#ANS2014

#arak, #austrian, #catherine-ashton, #european-union, #germany, #iran, #john-kerry, #tehran, #un-security-council

` Ukraine turmoil LIVE UPDATES Continues Unabated ‘

#AceWorldNews says the stand-off continues in Ukraine, as the defiant region of Crimea prepares for its upcoming referendum that will decide its status. The coup-imposed government has cut off financial links to Crimea, but has pledged not to attack the peninsula militarily.

Crimea Upheaval Thursday, March 13
18:02 GMT:
Russia has voiced support for the deployment of an OSCE monitoring mission in Ukraine, including Crimea, the chairman of the European security group said on Thursday, calling this a possible “big step forward.”

“The Russian Federation supported the idea of a rapid approval and rapid deployment of a special monitoring mission for Ukraine,” Thomas Greminger, Switzerland’s ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, told reporters after a meeting of OSCE envoys in Vienna. (Reuters)

16:21 GMT:
Nearly 10,000 people in the city of Ulyanovsk have attended a rally in support of Ukraine’s Russian-speaking population.

Митинг в поддержку #Крым в #Ульяновск pic.twitter.com/TLec6UovPy
— ОЕ (@OEGusarov) March 13, 2014
Activists were holding banners reading pro-Russian slogans. The two below read, “We don’t give up on our people” and “No to fascism.”

16:00 GMT:

A group of UN Security Council member countries have prepared a draft resolution on the situation in Ukraine supporting the territorial integrity of the country, Itar-Tass reports. Allies of the coup-imposed Ukrainian government, including the US, UK, France and Lithuania, have been named as the authors of the draft. French UN envoy Gerard Araud has confirmed the completion of the draft but did not specify when the document will be voted on in the Security Council.

 

Maidan "self-defence" activists walk as anti-war placards are hung in Kiev on March 13, 2014. (AFP Photo / Anatolii Stepanov) Maidan “self-defence” activists walk as anti-war placards are hung in Kiev on March 13, 2014. (AFP Photo / Anatolii Stepanov)

15:54 GMT:

The United States and the European Union will respond on Monday with a “serious series of steps” against Russia if a referendum in Ukraine’s Crimea region goes ahead on Sunday, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday.

Kerry told a congressional hearing he hoped to avoid such steps, which include sanctions, through discussions with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in London on Friday.

If there is no sign of any capacity to be able to move forward and resolve this issue there will be a very serious series of steps in Europe and here with respect to the options that are available to us,” Kerry said in testimony on the State Department’s 2015 budget request. (Reuters)

15:11 GMT:

‘One gang replaced another’: Maidan losing faith in Kiev coup leaders http://t.co/Au3V4E6RGU #Ukraine @Yaro_RT

— RT (@RT_com) March 13, 2014

15:08 GMT:

Ukraine’s 450-member parliament has voted in support of revising the electoral law ahead of presidential elections. A simple majority of 226 MPs out of 309 present for the vote supported the changes, which included a ban on taking pictures or video of voters, as well as a ban on taking “selfies” while casting ballots. Other changes apply to presidential campaigns’ start and finish dates. No other major changes have been made. Following the Ukrainian coup-appointed PM’s visit to Washington DC, the US said it is planning to double its assistance to Ukraine to support electoral law reform, the State Department has said.

14:59 GMT:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his counterpart US Secretary of State John Kerry have agreed to continue dialogue on Ukraine as the two are meeting in London on March 14, Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement following their phone call.

14:55 GMT:

Vladimir Putin has said Russia has now to focus on how to build relations with its partners in the EU, the US as well as in Ukraine, given the situation there. Speaking to the Russian Security Council, he said that despite the fact that Moscow is not the one to blame the conflict on, it still got involved.

“We can’t ignore all the events across Ukraine, and Crimea – and all that has to do with this difficult problem, which occurred, and I want to stress that, not because of Russia, but it got involved in it anyway,” Putin said. “Let’s think together about how to conduct relations with our partners and friends in Ukraine and with our other partners in Europe and the United States.”

12:58 GMT:

Ukraine’s parliament has voted to create a 60,000-strong National Guard as a step to strengthen defense. The move, supported by 262 parliamentarians, basically recreates the Guard Ukraine used to have back from 1991 to 2000. The new National Guard will be created on the basis of internal troops.

Ukrainian soldiers ride on military armoured personnel carriers on a road near Kiev March 13, 2014. (Reuters / Konstantin Grishin) Ukrainian soldiers ride on military armoured personnel carriers on a road near Kiev March 13, 2014. (Reuters / Konstantin Grishin)

12:26 GMT:

Of all the EU states, Latvia will suffer most if the EU imposes sanctions against Russia, Latvian Finance Minister Vyacheslav Dombrovsky told journalists on Thursday.

“I do not think it would be an exaggeration to say that of all the EU states, it is Latvia that has the biggest share in economic relations with Russia. Should the sanctions [against Russian in connection with the Ukrainian crisis] be imposed… we will feel their consequences the most,” Dombrovsky said, as quoted by Delfi.

According to the minister, 43 percent of Latvian agricultural/food exports go to Russia, and 70 percent of all the transit traffic is connected to Russia. Moreover, Latvia is “fully dependent” on Russian natural gas imports.

#ANS2014

 

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` United States prepares a $1 Billion Energy Subsidy Package for the Ukraine ‘

#AceWorldNews says the Obama administration announced a $1 billion energy subsidy package in Washington as Kerry was arriving in Kiev.

The fast-moving developments came as the United States readied economic sanctions amid worries that Moscow was ready to stretch its military reach further into the mainland of the former Soviet republic.

#ANS2014

#energy, #john-kerry, #kiev, #moscow, #obama, #united-states, #washington

`Kerry says that the US-Russia relations could worsen if Russia launches a military operation in the Ukraine’

#AceWorldNews says the US Secretary of State John Kerry has said that a Russian military operation in Ukraine would serve to step up tensions in the region and would largely worsen US-Russia relations.

According to the State Secretary’s statement, if Russia fails to make moves to de-escalate tension, this (the military operation – IF) will have a strong negative effect on US-Russian relations and Russia’s international situation.

The Secretary of State further points out that he has already held a telephone conference with “global partners” to “coordinate further moves”. John Kerry then said that they all share their assessment and will work jointly to support Ukraine and its people in what are clearly historic times.

But he failed to specify which of his counterparts from what countries he had spoken with. John Kerry said that the US had from the outset made it clear that Washington recognizes and respects the Russian-Ukrainian ties, as well as Russia’s concern about the attitude in Ukraine towards ethnic Russians.

#ANS2014

#john-kerry, #ukraine, #us, #us-secretary-of-state-john-kerry

` Palestinian delegation rejects `US’ move to extend nine month deadline for Peace Deal’

#AceWorldNews says the Palestinian delegation on Thursday rejected US moves to extend an April deadline for nine months of talks with Israel to culminate in a framework peace deal.

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat told AFP that “there is no meaning to prolonging the negotiation, even for one more additional hour, if Israel… continues to disregard international law.”

He added: “If there was a committed partner, we wouldn’t even have needed nine hours to reach that deal.” US Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in Washington on Wednesday that more time would be needed for talks and that he hoped first to agree a framework to guide further negotiations.

#ANS2014

#afp, #israel, #john-kerry, #palestinian, #washington

” Kerry criticises Russia for `enabling’ Assad to stay in Power”

#AceWorldNews says the US Secretary of State John Kerry criticized Russia on Monday for “enabling” Syria’s President Bashar Assad to stay in power. Geneva peace talks broke off without result at the weekend.

The Syrian regime “stonewalled” at the talks and continue to “destroy their own country,” Kerry said during a visit to the Indonesian capital Jakarta.

“They’re doing so with increased support from Iran, from Hezbollah and from Russia,” AFP quoted him as saying. “Russia needs to be a part of the solution and not be distributing so much more weapons and so much more aid,” he said.

#afp, #geneva, #hezbollah, #indonesian, #jakarta, #john-kerry, #peace, #president-bashar-assad, #us

#Iran : ” Completion of `Nuclear Deal’ in Six Months” but `Dissenter’s Voice’ their Objection’s”

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#AceNewsServices says `Iran Nuclear Deal Possible in Six Months according to – FM

An agreement on Iran’s nuclear program is possible within six months, Reuters quoted Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as saying on Monday.

He added he was not worried about the US Congress trying to impose new sanctions.“With good will we can reach an agreement within six months,” he told the German Council on Foreign Relations. 

(Reuters) – Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Mohammad Zarif said on Monday a final deal with world powers on Tehran’s nuclear program is possible within six months if there is good will and he was not worried about the U.S. Congress trying to impose new sanctions.

U.S. President Barack Obama used his State of the Union address last week to veto any legislation that threatens the talks with Iran. U.S. senators including some of Obama’s Democrats have co-sponsored a bill that would impose new restrictions on Iran if talks on a permanent accord falter.

But Iran has warned that it will walk away from negotiations – raising the risk of conflict in the Middle East – if the bill becomes law. It is now stalled in the Senate.

Zarif was visiting Berlin after meeting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and other members of the six powers negotiating with Iran at the annual Munich Security Conference at the weekend.

Iran reached a landmark preliminary agreement with them in November to halt its most sensitive nuclear operations, winning some relief from sanctions in return. Talks with the six powers about a definitive settlement begin in Vienna on February 18.

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#Syria : ” Kerry Apologises or there will be `No Direct Talks’ with Opposition”

#AceNewsServices says ‘No direct US Syria talks unless Kerry apologizes’according to Syrian FM.

Published time: February 02, 2014 11:36
 
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem (AFP Photo / SANA)Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem (AFP Photo / SANA)
The Syrian FM claims to have rejected a US offer of direct talks without the involvement of the opposition “tools” during the Geneva conference over John Kerry’s refusal to apologize for his biased speech. US officials denied seeking such a meeting.

On his way back to Syria, the country’s foreign minister Walid Muallem was asked why hadn’t the Damascus delegation spoken directly with the US without intermediaries from the opposition delegation. 

“Frankly, the Americans have asked for that in Montruex and I refused unless Kerry apologizes for the speech he made in the conference,”
 Walid Muallem told Syrian state media on board a plane bound for Damascus. 

Syria’s foreign minister was apparently referring to the opening remarks of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech made in Montreux, Switzerland on January 22, who said that President Bashar Assad lost all legitimacy and cannot be a part of any transitional government. 

“There is no way, not possible in the imagination, that the man who has led the brutal response to his own people could regain legitimacy to govern,” Kerry said in that speech. Walid Muallem rebuffed him at the time, saying no outside force had the right to “withdraw legitimacy” from the president or government except for the people of the country.

The US officials were quick to deny claims by Syria’s foreign minister that US diplomats were seeking direct negotiation with the Syrian delegation. 

“At no point did the United States offer to negotiate directly with the Syrian regime,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, though clarifying that the US indeed offered to connect with Syrian officials “on a staff level” through the United Nations and Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi.

Psaki added that the State Department will never apologize for the views expressed by the top US diplomat. “At no point will Secretary Kerry ever apologize for speaking the truth about the brutality the Assad regime has inflicted on the people of Syria,” she said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry (AFP Photo / Fabrice Coffrini)US Secretary of State John Kerry (AFP Photo / Fabrice Coffrini)

The peace talks that ended in Geneva on Friday producing no concrete results and no official commitment from Damascus delegation to return to the negotiation table on February 10. The government and opposition were unable to bridge their differences on cease fires, humanitarian corridors or the question of a transitional governing body. 

In a security conference in Munich, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that he urged Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry “to use their influence to ensure the talks proceed as scheduled on February 10.”

Lavrov insisted that “Russia can do nothing alone” as he asked the US to apply their influence on the Syrian opposition

Muallem, meanwhile, warned the opposition will eventually suffer a “reality shock” unless they abandon their “illusions” and drop unrealistic demands. 

The Assad delegation has sought to focus the discussions on brutal acts of terrorism, and Muallem accused the opposition delegation for refusing to sign a declaration condemning such activity in Syria. 

“This rejection is a smirch on the forehead of the coalition’s delegation, and as I said yesterday that any person in the world who suffered from terrorism would adopt this draft statement,”
 Muallem said, adding that the foreign-based coalition who “live in 5-star hotels” knowing nothing about the Syrian reality.

The Syrian foreign minister also lashed out against the “unjust” international community that impose sanctions on a war-torn country. 

“It is an ‘international community’ that adopts double standards policy and mostly dominated by the US… they dominate the UN Security Council and the UN,” Muallem said. 

“When they say ‘international community’ we laugh as they do not represent the international community, for if we consider the population of Russia, China, India and the BRICS countries, we find that they are the international community.” 

Muallem questioned how could the West want to be involved Geneva dialogue and at the same time “impose sanctions on the Syrian people and children?”He asked European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton to explain how can the West can sanction a ban on food products yet at the same time discuss the issue of humanitarian aid shipments.

The foreign minister concluded by saying that in the negation process, Syria will refuse anything that contradicts the constitution. 

“This constitution was reached by a referendum and no one can reach or even think that the presidency is a topic of discussion.”

 

 

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#US & #Syria : “Kerry Say’s `No Compliance with Disarmament Obligations of Chemical Weapons’ may lead to Mandated Military Force”

Sergey Lavrov

Sergey Lavrov (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#AceNewsServices says `US Should Not Set Ultimatums to Syria over Disarmament Lavrov has said`

The US should not use the language of ultimatums over the implementation of Syria’s program of chemical weapons disarmament, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

“Well, they can’t meet a phase of the chemical disarmament exactly to the date, so let them know we can use force,” he said, citing an example of an ultimatum. “Does this really help?”

The comment comes after several US officials voiced concerns that Syria may miss a deadline under the current disarmament plan. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that Syria has “no legitimate reason” for a delay and threatened that non-compliance with disarmament obligations may lead to the UNmandated use of military force.

 

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#Geneva2 : ” Syria & Peace are Misnomer’ s Provided to Make Us Believe in Miracle’s”

#AceGuestNews and `Views’ says `Syria and the Geneva 2 Charade’

Courtesy of: Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times/Hong Kong, an analyst for RT and TomDispatch, and a frequent contributor to websites and radio shows ranging from the US to East Asia.In the summertime, people flock to Montreux, Switzerland, to follow the jazz festival. This week, though, the ‘performance’ is by a positively un-swinging lot, part of the (in theory) very serious Geneva 2 conference on Syria.

What is Geneva 2 for? It has nothing to do with ‘peace’. It won’t yield an international deal to end the Syrian tragedy. The horrible war facts on the ground will remain facts, and horrible; many perpetrators won’t be gathering in Montreux. Syrian civil society has not even been invited.

And then the whole charade degenerated into pitiful parody even before it started.

This past Sunday, it seemed that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had decided to spring out of his trademark vegetable slumber, inviting Iran to Geneva 2. The invitation lasted less than 24 hours; after the requisite ‘pressure’ by Washington – instigated by those sterling democrats of the House of Saud – it was duly rescinded.

Thus we had Ban Ki-moon parroting the US State Department, according to which Tehran had not agreed to the principles of the Geneva 1 communiqué, which called for a sustained cessation of armed violence. Iranian diplomats strongly begged to differ, stressing how Tehran understands that the basis of the talks is the full implementation of the previous, June 2012 conference, even if Iran was not part of it.

Ban Ki-moon also invited the Holy See, as well as Australia, Luxembourg, Mexico and the Republic of Korea, among others, to Montreux; as if these actors had any clue about what’s going on in Syria.

But the apex of the farce is that Iran cannot go, while Saudi Arabia and Qatar – who continue to weaponize every Syrian ‘rebel’ in sight, from young adrenaline seekers to Western-supported Takfiris and beheaders – can. And will.

Members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) shoot at advancing government troops in the al-Jadeida neighbourhood, in the Old City of Aleppo, on August 21, 2012. (AFP Photo)

Members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) shoot at advancing government troops in the al-Jadeida neighbourhood, in the Old City of Aleppo, on August 21, 2012. (AFP Photo)

Meet ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Al-Qaeda

Time to break it down. Washington ruled that Iran cannot be in Montreux because it supports Assad. It’s as simple as that.

Washington dictating to the UN is the norm. Washington dictating to the Syrian exiled ‘opposition’ is also the norm. Everyone is a puppet in this lethal comedy.

As for Western spin doctors, they are dizzier than flies over corpses. As part of the new Western myth that the Saudi Arabia-sponsored Islamic Front – formed last September against the US-backed Supreme Military Council – are nothing but ‘good Al-Qaeda’, now we have top ‘rebels’ routinely acknowledging to Western corporate media they are, well, Al-Qaeda.

Tens of thousands of foreign jihadis using Al-Qaeda’s network of safe houses in Turkey – well, that’s not such a big deal. As the narrative goes, ‘our new friends’ in the Islamic Front are just ‘conservative Salafi Muslims’. What if they are fond of the odd torture binge and will think nothing of slaying the odd Shiite or Christian? Not such a big deal.

As for the ‘bad’ Al-Qaeda gang – from Al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) – they are on a roll. After all, they are the ones with fighting experience/leverage on the ground. And when push comes to shove, they just run yet another ring around clueless Western necks.

Take Ahrar al-Sham. They now lead the Islamic Front – and talk to the Americans. And guess what; they’re going to Montreux! The icing on this Takfiri cake is that, ultimately, their “interests” are being defended by no less than US Secretary of State John Kerry. Washington promoting al-Qaeda? Well, we’ve seen that movie before.

Should I stay or should I go?

Washington is selling the fiction it is ‘leading’ Geneva 2 to ‘reconstruct’ Syria. This is utter nonsense.

Theoretically – and even that is still extremely debatable – the Obama administration’s core interest in Southwest Asia is to negotiate a very complex deal with Iran, which will take most of 2014.

Ultimately, this whole charade is between Washington and Tehran. The US Navy won’t make Assad ‘go’anytime soon – or ever; so everything, in theory, remains on the table.

A Syrian army tank is seen in the Christian town of Maalula on September 11, 2013. (AFP Photo)

A Syrian army tank is seen in the Christian town of Maalula on September 11, 2013. (AFP Photo)

And everyone else, the UN, the Holy See, the House of Saud, are just onlookers, even as several players, from the EU to India, China and Japan, can think of nothing but finally normalizing everything with Iran.

The Syrian government, for its part, will be in Montreux; it had agreed to the conference long ago. Yet President Assad laid down; he won’t ‘leave’, as US President Barack Obama demanded. He won’t let the foreign-sponsored ‘opposition’ take over. And he may even contest the next presidential elections.

Assad went for the jugular when he said Geneva 2 should be about his own ‘War on Terror’. Terror, incidentally, widely supported by the West.

So under this perspective, even Washington needs Assad not to go. The bottom line is that the only players who really want Assad to go are the House of Saud and the House of Thani in Qatar. Many in the West have now realized Assad must stay to fight ‘the terrorists’.

The notoriously shady US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford – who always pops up when the US is destabilizing something – this time called an urgent meeting in Istanbul, supported by Turkey and Qatar, and pulled a ‘go to Montreux because I said so’ shtick.

He just needed to follow the money. Those who won’t travel – a lot of Syrian National Coalition (SNC) hangers-on – will find themselves short of cash.

So listen to the sound of ‘patriotism’ talking. The SNC, which was always rabidly against any talks with Assad, suddenly said they’ll go, even though one-third of their shady members boycotted the Istanbul meeting.

What’s even more farcical is what Ford may have told the SNC stalwarts – still subject to much debate across the Middle East. If Ford really said that Bandar Bush’s strategy has been a total failure (in fact turning Syria into an Al-Qaeda hub) then this points to the Obama administration, for all practical purposes, sharing the same objective as Assad’s: fighting ‘terror’.

Still, Geneva 2 won’t ‘solve’ anything. Iran and Russia will keep supporting Damascus. The desert wasteland from Syria to Iraq will keep being occupied by Bandar Bush-supported and Gulf-supported hardcore sectarian jihadis.

The war will keep spreading deeper into Lebanon. The government in Damascus won’t collapse. The refugee crisis will soar. And the West will keep striking a pose of being concerned with ‘terror’.

All that non-jazz in Montreux will come to nothing. And then some bureaucrat will call for a Geneva 3.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of :

Ace News Group  

 

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