Sabtu, 14 Desember 2013

THE USA & ALLIES WARFARE IN AROUND THE WORLD...IN IRAQ-AFGHANISTAN-PAKISTAN-ARABS SPRINGS WARS- SURIAH AND AFRICA COUNTRIES...ETC - SINCE 911 WTC CASE 2001... THAT IN FACTS ... AND TRUE IN REAL.... ITS SO HUGE COSTS - THE AMERICAN INNOCENT VICTIMS AND SO MISERABLE.. MURDERER- A LOT OF SOLDIERS DEAD AND WOUNDED- AND MOST LOCAL INNOCENT PEOPLE.... SUCH WOMEN-OLD PERSONS- CHILDREN AND MOST PUBLIC INFRA STRUCTURES-CIVIL CULTURES-AND MOST FARMS FIELDS AND MOST WATER RESOURCES AND ITS LINE SUPPLY..ETC.. ITS ALL ABOUT HUMANITY..AND PEOPLE REFUGEES INTO SO MANY PLACES IN AROUND THE WORLD... >> BUT STRANGELY.... THERE ARE PEOPLE SITTING BEHIND SOFA AND LUXURY DESK GAMES PLAYING THIS CRIMINAL WAR AND MURDER ... IN FACT ... KIDDING LIKE AND JOKING, THAT CONSIDER ALL THAT CAN PLAY AND BOUGHT WITH MONEY??? WHAT THEY THINK THAT THE VALUE OF HUMAN LIFE AND LIFE CAN PURCHASED OR .... THEY CAN ACTUALLY IS MENTAL ILLNESS PEOPLE WHO DO NOT APPRECIATE THE VALUE OF LIFE ALSO WANT OTHERS TO LIFE AND PROPERTY STAY TOGETHER ON EARTH LORD .. PROVIDED FOR EACH PERSON TO PRESERVE AND DECENT LIFE .. ..? >> ............ According to the 2013 update of the definitive Brown study, which examined costs of the US wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, the total amount for all three topped six trillion dollars. This never before released figure includes costs of direct and indirect Congressional appropriations, lost equipment, US military and foreign contractors fraud, and the cost of caring for wounded American servicemen and their families....>>>..... Representatives of Saudi intelligence chief Bandar bin Sultan reportedly told staff members on Capitol Hill that committing several billions to defeat the Assad regime by supporting the IF makes fiscal sense and will cost much less than the six trillion dollar figure tallied by the recent study by Brown University as part of its Costs of War project. ..>>>


What the GCC/Arab League/Israeli team is asking of its western allies (meaning of course mainly the US) is to immediately fund the IF to the tune of $ 5.5 billion. This, Israeli security officials argue, is pocket change compared to the $6 trillion spent in US terrorist wars of the past decade. Plus it will have the presumed “benefit” of toppling the Assad regime and truncating Iran’s growing influence. The plan has reportedly been dismissed by some in the Obama administration as “risible and pathetic.” Nonetheless, Tel Aviv, the US Congressional Zionist lobby, and to a lesser extent Ankara, are pressing ahead under the assumption that linking with the IF now makes sense and that they can take their chances will al-Qaeda later. Ironically these are some of the same voices from AIPAC’s Congressional Team who four years ago were claiming that al-Qaeda was “on the ropes and will soon collapse.” Yet they are optimistic that if Assad goes, “we can deal with the terrorists and it won’t cost six trillion dollars.”

http://socialismartnature.tumblr.com/post/14561905325/photo-the-u-s-a-has-killed-at-least-8-million 
(Photo) The U.S.A. has killed at least 8 million people in the last 50 years. 
 People only call it genocide if it happens all at once …
(Photo) The U.S.A. has killed at least 8 million people in the last 50 years.
 People only call it genocide if it happens all at once …

http://beforeitsnews.com/arabic-news/2013/09/10-interesting-facts-about-syria-2445260.html 

10 interesting facts about Syria

1. Syria does not have a Rothschild central bank.

2. Syria does not owe money to the central banks or to IMF.

3. Syria has free healthcare and education. 

4. Syria has a strong middle class. 

5. Syria does not have GMO, and forbids its import. 

6. Syria is the last secular state in the middle east.

7. Syria has a strong cultural and national identity. 

8. Syria has a strong army, and its generals are not educated at the west point.

9. Syria has Oil and Natural Gas.

10.  Syria is a sovereign state and most of the syrians are supporting their president Bashar Hefez al-Assad.


So tell me why the united states is at war with Syria?  could it be they want their Oil and want to install a Central Bank at the request of the Rothschild? 

IMF dan Suriah
https://www.facebook.com/BeritaHarianSuriah

Dear Members, ingat nggak, saat krismon tahun 1997-1998, pemerintah Suharto langsung minta bantuan IMF? Tau, apa yang dilakukan IMF waktu itu? IMF mau kasih hutang asal Indonesia berjanji melakukan berbagai langkah politik-ekonomi yang menguntungkan negara-negara Barat (IMF itu kayak bank, pemilik saham terbesarnya adalah negara-negara Barat). 
Kita disuruh mencabut subsidi minyak, pangan,listrik, air, dll. Subsidi dan perlindungan utk petani dicabut. BUMN musti dijual ke investor swasta. Pendanaan negara untuk IPTN harus dihentikan, proyek pembuatan pesawat N2130 harus dibuka untuk investor asing. Proyek mobil nasional harus dihentikan. Dan banyak lagi perintah IMF lainnya yang harus dipatuhi dan hasilnya kita rasakan hari ini: hampir 80% tambang migas kita dikuasai asing, kebutuhan pangan kita musti impor, kita semakin banyak hutang untuk membiayai negara, dll.

Coba bandingkan dengan Libya. Libya negara yang paling makmur di Afrika dan memiliki cadangan minyak terbesar di benua itu. Tak heran bila di sana rumah dan mobil dikasih gratis, apalagi pendidikan dan kesehatan. Qaddafi pada tahun 2007 meminta tambahan royalti dari perusahaan-perusahaan minyak milik Barat dan mengancam akan menasionalisasi, sehingga sebagian ngambek dan tutup kantor. Qaddafi menolak kehadiran IMF dan bahkan merencanakan membuat mata uang Afrika supaya jual beli migas tidak perlu pakai dollar atau euro. Gimana nggak ngamuk itu negara-negara penguasa IMF? Begitu mujahilin bersama NATO berhasil membunuh Qaddafi, apa yang terjadi? Tentu saja, perusahaan-perusahaan minyak Barat kembali beroperasi dengan lancar di Libya.

Dan tahukah kalian, bahwa hutang Suriah ke IMF adalah NOL. Dan ketika pemerintah Suriah mengalami beban sangat berat, diperangi oleh mujahilin takfiri yang didukung AS, Inggris, Prancis (ini negara-negara pemodal besar IMF), Saudi, Qatar, Turki, Mesir (era Mursi), sehingga infrastruktur negara hancur-lebur dan roda perekonomian kacau balau, IMF datang menawarkan bantuan. Apa jawaban Assad? NO! Tidak! Tak heran bila Barat semakin marah dan terus melancarkan serangannya ke Suriah (lewat kaki-tangannya, yang sadar/tanpa sadar telah dimanfaatkan Barat, yaitu para mujahilin).

Nah, masa sih setelah tahu fakta-fakta ini, kita masih belum nyadar, mana pemimpin yang melindungi rakyat, dan mana yang musti digulingkan?
----

Ssst..inget nggak apa yang dilakukan Mursi ketika berkuasa? Selain menutup kedubes Suriah di Kairo (dan membiarkan kedubes Israel tetap buka), mengirim dana dan pasukan mujahilin ke Suriah, Mursi juga minta utangan ke IMF lho.. bahkan ulama IM pun mengeluarkan fatwa: utang ke IMF bukan riba. Eaaa...

Gambar: tante Clinton salaman dengan komandan mujahilin Libya
A4

 

Franklin Lamb




Bibi and Bandar Badger Obama: Better Six Billion than Six Trillion!
Franklin Lamb

Damascus

http://www.almanar.com.lb/english/adetails.php?fromval=1&cid=41&frid=41&eid=124309

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates—along with certain Arab League countries, plus Turkey and Israel, have this past week reportedly committed themselves to raising nearly $6 billion to “beef up” the just-hatched Islamic Front (IF) in Syria. These “best friends of America” want the Obama administration to sign onto a scheme to oust the Syrian government by funding, arming, training, facilitating and generally choreographing the movement of fighters of this new front, a front formed out of an alliance of seven putatively “moderate” rebel factions.

BandarRepresentatives of Saudi intelligence chief Bandar bin Sultan reportedly told staff members on Capitol Hill that committing several billions to defeat the Assad regime by supporting the IF makes fiscal sense and will cost much less than the six trillion dollar figure tallied by the recent study by Brown University as part of its Costs of War project.

According to the 2013 update of the definitive Brown study, which examined costs of the US wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, the total amount for all three topped six trillion dollars. This never before released figure includes costs of direct and indirect Congressional appropriations, lost equipment, US military and foreign contractors fraud, and the cost of caring for wounded American servicemen and their families.

Among the Islamist militia joining the new GCC-backed coalition are Aleppo’s biggest fighting force, Liwa al-Tawhid (Tawhid Brigade), the Salafist group Ahrar al-Sham, Suqour al-Sham, al-Haq Brigades, Ansar al-Sham and the Islamic Army, which is centered around Damascus. The Kurdish Islamic Front also reportedly joined the alliance.

IF’s declared aim is to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government, whatever the human and material cost it may require, and replace it with an “Islamic state.” Abu Firas, the new coalition’s spokesman, declared that “we now have the complete merger of the major military factions fighting in Syria.”

Formally announced on 11/22/13, the IF includes groups from three prior umbrella organizations: the Syrian Islamic Front (SIF), the Syrian Islamic Liberation Front (SILF), and the Kurdish Islamic Front (KIF). From the SIF, Harakat Ahrar al-Sham al-Islamiyya (HASI), Kataib Ansar al-Sham, and Liwa al-Haqq all joined, as did the KIF as a whole, and former SILF brigades Suqur al-Sham, Liwa al-Tawhid, and Jaish al-Islam. None of these groups have been designated foreign terrorist organizations by the US, and therefore, as an IAIPACsraeli official argued in a meeting with AIPAC and Congress this week, nothing stands in the way of US funding and support for them. The Israeli official in question is the country’s new national security advisor, Yossie Cohen, who assures key congressional leaders that the tens of thousands of rebels making up the IF will all support “one policy and one military command.” Cohen also pledges that the new group is not as “insane” as other Muslim militia—Daash or al-Nusra or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, for instance—that comprise the IF’s chief rivals. Cohen and AIPAC are further telling Congress members and congressional staffers that the emergence of the IF is one of the war’s most important developments, and he vows that the new organization in effect brings seven organizations into a combined force that will fight under one command, a force estimated by the CIA to number at around 75,000 fighters. Reportedly the objective will link the fight in the north with that in the south in a manner that will stretch loyalist forces, and the Saudi-Israel team is also asking the Obama Administration to more than double the monthly “graduation class” of CIA-trained rebels in Turkey, Syria and Jordan—from its current level of 200 per month, up to 500 a month.

What the GCC/Arab League/Israeli team is asking of its western allies (meaning of course mainly the US) is to immediately fund the IF to the tune of $ 5.5 billion. This, Israeli security officials argue, is pocket change compared to the $6 trillion spent in US terrorist wars of the past decade. Plus it will have the presumed “benefit” of toppling the Assad regime and truncating Iran’s growing influence. The plan has reportedly been dismissed by some in the Obama administration as “risible and pathetic.” Nonetheless, Tel Aviv, the US Congressional Zionist lobby, and to a lesser extent Ankara, are pressing ahead under the assumption that linking with the IF now makes sense and that they can take their chances will al-Qaeda later. Ironically these are some of the same voices from AIPAC’s Congressional Team who four years ago were claiming that al-Qaeda was “on the ropes and will soon collapse.” Yet they are optimistic that if Assad goes, “we can deal with the terrorists and it won’t cost six trillion dollars.”

One House member who strongly agrees with AIPAC is Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA), who recently declared that “in my heart I am a Tea Party guy.” A member of the House Armed Services Committee, Hunter believes the US should use nuclear weapons against Tehran. In a Fox TV interview this week he declared his opposition to any talks with Iran, insisting that US policy should include a “massive aerial bombardment campaign” utilizing “tactical nuclear devices” to set Iran “back a decade or two or three.”
According to sources in Aleppo and Damascus, the IF's top leadership positions have been parceled out among five of the seven groups. This at least is as of 12/5/13. Four days after the IF was announced, the organization released an official charter. In terms of its basic architecture, the document is similar to that put out by the SIF in January, but the new version is filled with more generalities than other militia proclamations, and seems designed to accommodate differing ideas among member groups. The charter calls for an Islamic state and the implementation of sharia law, though it does not define exactly what this means. The IF is firmly against secularism, human legislation (i.e., it believes that laws come from God, not people), civil government, and a Kurdish breakaway state. The charter states that the group will secure minority rights in post-Assad Syria based on sharia, which could mean the dhimma ("protected peoples") system, or de facto second-class citizenship for Christians and other minorities. According to Saudi officials in Lebanon, the IF seeks to unify other rebel groups so long as they agree to acknowledge the sovereignty of God. Given this ‘moderate’ wording, the expectation of some is that that the southern-based Ittihad al-Islami li-Ajnad al-Sham will join the IF.

According to the Netanyahu government, the IF’s leading foreign cheerleader, this new coalition gives substance to that which states who have been wanting regime change in Syria have been calling for. One analyst on the Syrian conflict, Aron Lund, believes a grouping of mainstream and hardline Islamists, excluding any al-Qaeda factions, is significant. “It’s something that could be very important if it holds up," he explained. “The Islamic Front's formation was a response to both regime advances and the ‘aggressive posture’ of jihadists against other rebels, plus a good deal of foreign involvement, not least of which is Saudi and GCC pushing to unify the rebels.”

Contrary to reports out of Occupied Palestine that the Netanyahu regime is not worried about or much interested in the crisis in Syria, a measure of delight seems to be felt in Tel Aviv that Muslims and Arabs are once more killing each other, along with smugness over Hezbollah’s loss of key mujahedeen as it faces, along with Iran, its own “Vietnam experience.” Yet all this notwithstanding, near panic is reported to have been felt in Israeli government circles over Hezbollah’s achievements in Syria. Truth told, Tel Aviv knows that despite manpower losses by Hezbollah, the dominant Lebanese political party is bringing about major enhancements of its forces. It also knows that there is no substitute for urban battlefield experience with regard to effecting such force regeneration, and Israeli officials have also stated their belief that the Resistance is organizing non-Hezbollah brigades that share one goal in common despite disparate beliefs. That sacred goal is liberating Al Quds by any and all means.

Martyr Hassan LakkisA US Congressional source summarized the Obama administration’s take on this week’s assassination of a key Hezbollah commander as part of a major new Netanyahu government project to weaken Hezbollah. Hassan Houlo Lakkis’ assassination on the night of December 3-4 is deemed in Washington to be particularly significant since Lakkis was in charge of strategic files related to Israel and the Palestinians and also oversaw a number of key operations. The Resistance commander was deeply involved in the development of drones for Hezbollah, as well as smuggling weapons to Gaza via Egypt. He also had good relationships with the Palestinian factions in Gaza, Syria, and Lebanon. Lakkis was known by Washington to be a highly important cadre and a second rank Hezbollah official. According to one analyst “Israel appeared as if it was telling Hezbollah, come and fight me. Israel is upset over the Western-Iranian agreement. It is also upset over the new position that the West has concerning Hezbollah whereby the West is now viewing the party as a force that opposes the Takfiris. Thus, Israel’s objective behind the assassination is to lure the party into a confrontation thus allowing Tel Aviv to tell the West: Hezbollah is still a terrorist organization.”

According to sources on the US Foreign Relations Committee, the White House is being heavily pressured by the US Zionist lobby and the Netanyahu government to take “remedial measures” for the “catastrophic historic mistake” it made in defusing the Iranian nuclear issue and refusing to bomb Damascus. The measures being pushed for, of course, are funding and support for the IF, though doubts persist in Washington as to how “remedial” they will in fact be. The $5.5 billion “investment” is to be paid in large part by GCC/Arab League countries, with US and Zionist contributions. Cash from the latter two sources will come directly and indirectly out of the pockets of American taxpayers—with Israel paying nothing.

Some Washington officials and analysts are wondering if US participation would help unify notoriously hostile rebel ranks and curtail the growing power of al-Qaeda in Syria, or whether it is simply another zany Bander bin Sultan-concocted project, the latest of many—in this case to create a hierarchical revolutionary army with the aim of fighting the Syrian regime essentially alongside al-Qaeda? Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel expressed his personal suspicions this week that “the Israel-Saudi team is trying to drag the US back into a potentially deepening morass,” alluding to what apparently is an effort to head off any plans the Obama administration may have of living with the Assad government until such time as Geneva II happens, that is if it happens, according to one congressional staffer.

Many among the American public also have doubts because they have been told that their government was ‘winding down’ its Middle East wars in favor of rebuilding America’s infrastructure, roads, health care and education systems, all of which, especially the latter, appear to be suffering dramatically. According to the most recent international survey, released this week, the average Chinese student, aged fifteen in Shanghai, is two full years ahead of America’s best students surveyed in Massachusetts. Recent top scores among secondary school youngsters, particularly in math, reading and science, were considerably lower than those achieved by students in Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan or Japan. The US is far down the list and declining, and the survey suggests that the gap is widening.
It’s too early to say whether this latest Saudi-Israel-Arab League collaboration will fail as others have recently, but given the continuing Obama administration efforts at taking back US Middle East policy from Tel Aviv, plus the perceptible movement away from support for the Netanyahu government along with growing angst among American taxpayers over funding the occupation of Palestine, it just might collapse.

Franklin Lamb is a visiting Professor of International Law at the Damascus University Faculty of Law.  He volunteers with the SSSP (sssp-lb.com) and is reachable c/o fplamb@gmail.com.

Bibi and Bandar Badger Obama: Better Six Billion than Six Trillion!

December 7th, 2013  http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1312/S00084/better-6-billion-than-6-trillion-bibi-bandar-badger-obama.htm

Franklin Lamb
Damascus

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates—along with certain Arab League countries, plus Turkey and Israel, have this past week reportedly committed themselves to raising nearly $6 billion to “beef up” the just-hatched Islamic Front (IF) in Syria. These “best friends of America” want the Obama administration to sign onto a scheme to oust the Syrian government by funding, arming, training, facilitating and generally choreographing the movement of fighters of this new front, a front formed out of an alliance of seven putatively “moderate” rebel factions.

Representatives of Saudi intelligence chief Bandar bin Sultan reportedly told staff members on Capitol Hill that committing several billions to defeat the Assad regime by supporting the IF makes fiscal sense and will cost much less than the six trillion dollar figure tallied by the recent study by Brown University as part of its Costs of War project. 

According to the 2013 update of the definitive Brown study, which examined costs of the US wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, the total amount for all three topped six trillion dollars. This never before released figure includes costs of direct and indirect Congressional appropriations, lost equipment, US military and foreign contractors fraud, and the cost of caring for wounded American servicemen and their families.

Among the Islamist militia joining the new GCC-backed coalition are Aleppo’s biggest fighting force, Liwa al-Tawhid (Tawhid Brigade), the Salafist group Ahrar al-Sham, Suqour al-Sham, al-Haq Brigades, Ansar al-Sham and the Islamic Army, which is centered around Damascus. The Kurdish Islamic Front also reportedly joined the alliance.

IF’s declared aim is to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government, whatever the human and material cost it may require, and replace it with an “Islamic state.” Abu Firas, the new coalition’s spokesman, declared that “we now have the complete merger of the major military factions fighting in Syria.”

Formally announced on 11/22/13, the IF includes groups from three prior umbrella organizations: the Syrian Islamic Front (SIF), the Syrian Islamic Liberation Front (SILF), and the Kurdish Islamic Front (KIF). From the SIF, Harakat Ahrar al-Sham al-Islamiyya (HASI), Kataib Ansar al-Sham, and Liwa al-Haqq all joined, as did the KIF as a whole, and former SILF brigades Suqur al-Sham, Liwa al-Tawhid, and Jaish al-Islam. None of these groups have been designated foreign terrorist organizations by the US, and therefore, as an Israeli official argued in a meeting with AIPAC and Congress this week, nothing stands in the way of US funding and support for them. The Israeli official in question is the country’s new national security advisor, Yossie Cohen, who assures key congressional leaders that the tens of thousands of rebels making up the IF will all support “one policy and one military command.” Cohen also pledges that the new group is not as “insane” as other Muslim militia—Daash or al-Nusra or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, for instance—that comprise the IF’s chief rivals. Cohen and AIPAC are further telling Congress members and congressional staffers that the emergence of the IF is one of the war’s most important developments, and he vows that the new organization in effect brings seven organizations into a combined force that will fight under one command, a force estimated by the CIA to number at around 75,000 fighters. Reportedly the objective will link the fight in the north with that in the south in a manner that will stretch loyalist forces, and the Saudi-Israel team is also asking the Obama Administration to more than double the monthly “graduation class” of CIA-trained rebels in Turkey, Syria and Jordan—from its current level of 200 per month, up to 500 a month.

What the GCC/Arab League/Israeli team is asking of its western allies (meaning of course mainly the US) is to immediately fund the IF to the tune of $ 5.5 billion. This, Israeli security officials argue, is pocket change compared to the $6 trillion spent in US terrorist wars of the past decade. Plus it will have the presumed “benefit” of toppling the Assad regime and truncating Iran’s growing influence. The plan has reportedly been dismissed by some in the Obama administration as “risible and pathetic.” Nonetheless, Tel Aviv, the US Congressional Zionist lobby, and to a lesser extent Ankara, are pressing ahead under the assumption that linking with the IF now makes sense and that they can take their chances will al-Qaeda later. Ironically these are some of the same voices from AIPAC’s Congressional Team who four years ago were claiming that al-Qaeda was “on the ropes and will soon collapse.” Yet they are optimistic that if Assad goes, “we can deal with the terrorists and it won’t cost six trillion dollars.”

One House member who strongly agrees with AIPAC is Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA), who recently declared that “in my heart I am a Tea Party guy.” A member of the House Armed Services Committee, Hunter believes the US should use nuclear weapons against Tehran. In a Fox TV interview this week he declared his opposition to any talks with Iran, insisting that US policy should include a “massive aerial bombardment campaign” utilizing “tactical nuclear devices” to set Iran “back a decade or two or three.”

According to sources in Aleppo and Damascus, the IF's top leadership positions have been parceled out among five of the seven groups. This at least is as of 12/5/13. Four days after the IF was announced, the organization released an official charter. In terms of its basic architecture, the document is similar to that put out by the SIF in January, but the new version is filled with more generalities than other militia proclamations, and seems designed to accommodate differing ideas among member groups. The charter calls for an Islamic state and the implementation of sharia law, though it does not define exactly what this means. The IF is firmly against secularism, human legislation (i.e., it believes that laws come from God, not people), civil government, and a Kurdish breakaway state. The charter states that the group will secure minority rights in post-Assad Syria based on sharia, which could mean the dhimma ("protected peoples") system, or de facto second-class citizenship for Christians and other minorities. According to Saudi officials in Lebanon, the IF seeks to unify other rebel groups so long as they agree to acknowledge the sovereignty of God. Given this ‘moderate’ wording, the expectation of some is that that the southern-based Ittihad al-Islami li-Ajnad al-Sham will join the IF.

According to the Netanyahu government, the IF’s leading foreign cheerleader, this new coalition gives substance to that which states who have been wanting regime change in Syria have been calling for. One analyst on the Syrian conflict, Aron Lund, believes a grouping of mainstream and hardline Islamists, excluding any al-Qaeda factions, is significant. “It’s something that could be very important if it holds up," he explained. “The Islamic Front's formation was a response to both regime advances and the ‘aggressive posture’ of jihadists against other rebels, plus a good deal of foreign involvement, not least of which is Saudi and GCC pushing to unify the rebels.”

Contrary to reports out of Occupied Palestine that the Netanyahu regime is not worried about or much interested in the crisis in Syria, a measure of delight seems to be felt in Tel Aviv that Muslims and Arabs are once more killing each other, along with smugness over Hezbollah’s loss of key mujahedeen as it faces, along with Iran, its own “Vietnam experience.” Yet all this notwithstanding, near panic is reported to have been felt in Israeli government circles over Hezbollah’s achievements in Syria. Truth told, Tel Aviv knows that despite manpower losses by Hezbollah, the dominant Lebanese political party is bringing about major enhancements of its forces. It also knows that there is no substitute for urban battlefield experience with regard to effecting such force regeneration, and Israeli officials have also stated their belief that the Resistance is organizing non-Hezbollah brigades that share one goal in common despite disparate beliefs. That sacred goal is liberating Al Quds by any and all means.

A US Congressional source summarized the Obama administration’s take on this week’s assassination of a key Hezbollah commander as part of a major new Netanyahu government project to weaken Hezbollah. Hassan Houlo Lakkis’ assassination on the night of December 3-4 is deemed in Washington to be particularly significant since Lakkis was in charge of strategic files related to Israel and the Palestinians and also oversaw a number of key operations. The Resistance commander was deeply involved in the development of drones for Hezbollah, as well as smuggling weapons to Gaza via Egypt. He also had good relationships with the Palestinian factions in Gaza, Syria, and Lebanon. Lakkis was known by Washington to be a highly important cadre and a second rank Hezbollah official. According to one analyst “Israel appeared as if it was telling Hezbollah, come and fight me. Israel is upset over the Western-Iranian agreement. It is also upset over the new position that the West has concerning Hezbollah whereby the West is now viewing the party as a force that opposes the Takfiris. Thus, Israel’s objective behind the assassination is to lure the party into a confrontation thus allowing Tel Aviv to tell the West: Hezbollah is still a terrorist organization.”

According to sources on the US Foreign Relations Committee, the White House is being heavily pressured by the US Zionist lobby and the Netanyahu government to take “remedial measures” for the “catastrophic historic mistake” it made in defusing the Iranian nuclear issue and refusing to bomb Damascus. The measures being pushed for, of course, are funding and support for the IF, though doubts persist in Washington as to how “remedial” they will in fact be. The $5.5 billion “investment” is to be paid in large part by GCC/Arab League countries, with US and Zionist contributions. Cash from the latter two sources will come directly and indirectly out of the pockets of American taxpayers—with Israel paying nothing.

Some Washington officials and analysts are wondering if US participation would help unify notoriously hostile rebel ranks and curtail the growing power of al-Qaeda in Syria, or whether it is simply another zany Bander bin Sultan-concocted project, the latest of many—in this case to create a hierarchical revolutionary army with the aim of fighting the Syrian regime essentially alongside al-Qaeda? Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel expressed his personal suspicions this week that “the Israel-Saudi team is trying to drag the US back into a potentially deepening morass,” alluding to what apparently is an effort to head off any plans the Obama administration may have of living with the Assad government until such time as Geneva II happens, that is if it happens, according to one congressional staffer.

Many among the American public also have doubts because they have been told that their government was ‘winding down’ its Middle East wars in favor of rebuilding America’s infrastructure, roads, health care and education systems, all of which, especially the latter, appear to be suffering dramatically. According to the most recent international survey, released this week, the average Chinese student, aged fifteen in Shanghai, is two full years ahead of America’s best students surveyed in Massachusetts. Recent top scores among secondary school youngsters, particularly in math, reading and science, were considerably lower than those achieved by students in Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan or Japan. The US is far down the list and declining, and the survey suggests that the gap is widening. 

It’s too early to say whether this latest Saudi-Israel-Arab League collaboration will fail as others have recently, but given the continuing Obama administration efforts at taking back US Middle East policy from Tel Aviv, plus the perceptible movement away from support for the Netanyahu government along with growing angst among American taxpayers over funding the occupation of Palestine, it just might collapse.
-###-
Franklin Lamb is a visiting Professor of International Law at the Damascus University Faculty of Law. He volunteers with the SSSP (sssp-lb.com) and is reachable c/o fplamb@gmail.com.
--
Palestine Civil Rights Campaign-Lebanon
"Legislate Now! Demand that Lebanon's Parliament grant Palestinian Refugees elementary civil rights including, the right to work, to own a home, and to repair camp shelters. No more excuses!"
Franklin P. Lamb, LLM,PhD Legal Advisor, The Sabra-Shatila Scholarship Program, Shatila Camp www.SSSP-lb.com Board Member, The Sabra Shatila Foundation and the Palestine Civil Rights Campaign, Beirut-Washington DC

"Billionaire" Ahmad Afash: Pioneer, Thief and Founder of Free Syria Brigade

Syrian rebel fighters drink tea around a firewood in a street of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on December 8, 2013. (Photo: AFP - Mohammed Al-Khatieb).
Published Friday, December 13, 2013
http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/billionaire-ahmad-afash-pioneer-thief-and-founder-free-syria-brigade
 
Earlier this month, the Free Syria Brigade issued a statement announcing its withdrawal from the 16th Division of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). Instead, it would work independently after "restructuring some sections of the Brigade,” in particular, "the dismissal of some of the abusive battalions." But how does the Free Syria Brigade define abuse? The answer for this question may be found in the story behind the brigade and its chief Ahmed Afash, know as the "great billionaire," due to his "revolutionary achievements."
About the "Founder"
Born to a family from Andan in March 1970, Ahmed Afash was born and raised in Aleppo. The residents of his neighborhood, al-Khalidiya, were mostly poor rural families from the nearby countryside. They began arriving in the late 1960s and settled on some of Khalidiya's lands, building humble homes.

His family – one of the poorest in the neighborhood – was given the name "Afshana.” Ahmed did not complete his compulsory education and worked odd jobs throughout his teenage years. He started out carrying cement bags to construction sites on his shoulders, which is when his relationship with "hallucinogenic pills" began. He moved around with several cliques of ill repute, trying to become the feared leader of the pack, and managed to forge strong links with people in the countryside known as "the watchers." They were snitches for some security forces.
In due time, he became friends with one of the customs supervisors at al-Salameh border crossing [with Turkey]. Ahmed became his errand boy and thus his life unfolded until he reached the crossroads of "the revolution."

About the "Institution"

At the start of the "revolutionary mobilization" in Aleppo's countryside, Abu Ismail al-Raj, known as "the chief" in Andan, supported it with money and arms, spending millions from money he had made as a road paving contractor. Sources who used to be close to al-Raj maintain he was threatened by cutting off his dues from the public sector for contracting works he had implemented to the tune of 350 million Syrian Pounds (around US $7 million at the time). The sources indicate that al-Raj was supposed to "cooperate to control the mobilization."
According to the sources, for months, al-Raj succeeded in preventing the Syrian army from entering Andan and played a major role in releasing many detainees, spending millions of dollars in bribes. A while later, he was shot in his shoulder in al-Hamadaniya neighborhood. "It was a harsh warning by the air force intelligence," one of his supporters said at the time. "The chief was arrested after his injury and remained in detention for around a week. He was pressured to become an agent at the hands of the regime."

In February 2012, an armed group attacked al-Raj's car on the outskirts of Hritan and shot him dead. The head of the group, according to some sources, was none other than Ahmed Afash. Although the information had not been confirmed, it is certain that Afash's notoriety started to rise a little bit later. He gathered around him a number of people with a bad reputation and took up "armed struggle," announcing the creation of the 500-man strong Free Andan Brigade, before changing the name to the Free Syria Brigade. They took control of Andan and its surroundings, after the group captured some tanks in their infamous attack on the town checkpoint. The tanks, despite being old, increased Afash’s influence and more people joined.
The Free Syria Brigade became one of the groups in the Aleppo Sharia Council, initiated by al-Nusra Front and joined by some of the most prominent armed groups, such as al-Tawhid Brigade and Ahrar al-Sham Movement.
In theory, the Brigade announced the withdrawal of its fighters from al-Bustan border crossing on 10 December, handing it to "battalions delegated by the Council." The Free Syria Brigade was also one of the founders of the FSA's 16th Division last September, withdrawing last November to avoid clashes with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). It issued a statement announcing "the transfer of headquarters of the eastern front command of the Brigade into Aleppo city and the redeployment of its first and second battalions to Aleppo to support the city and defend it from the regime's forces."

Afash in the "Glory Days"

Afash granted himself several rewards; the license plate for his S500 Mercedes – known as Shabah the car that became the infamous car of choice and lent its name to the shabbeeha – had the number 0001 and has Free Syria Brigade written across it. He always had armed bodyguards around him, even during military meetings with the other "brigade commanders," with two gunmen standing behind him.

One of those who met him maintained to Al-Akhbar that "he always spoke with a sweet tongue, leaving everyone he met with the impression that he would not disappoint them." However, "he would easily stab anyone in the back." One example is when he gave up on his "disciple" Khaled Hayani, "the little billionaire," who decided to confront ISIS. In those "days of glory," Afash grabbed any opportunity to enrich himself, by confiscating, for example, large quantities of alcohol and selling it for cheap to merchants outside Aleppo, according to one merchant who received an offer to buy them by coincidence. Last April, Afash was hit by a mortar shell shrapnel, which entered his right lung. A little while later, he handed the leadership of the Brigade to his brother Mahmoud, retaining for himself its "political leadership."

A "Safe Haven" in Turkey

Sensing the unfolding threat in Aleppo and its countryside, emerging from ISIS in particular, he fled to Turkey, where he rented two whole floors at a hotel in Mersin along with his entourage. Recently, a Syrian opposition website leaked an electronic conversation between Afash's lover and one of his men.
His lover maintained that he is going through a bad time, cannot stop taking pills or drinking alcohol, and was admitted to the hospital once due to this. However, the Free Syria Brigade remains in some parts of Aleppo and its countryside, especially at the Bab al-Hadid roundabout, Andan, and al-Liramoun.

In its latest statement issued earlier this month, the Brigade announced that it "did not recognize any of the formations, gatherings, or governments established abroad, including the Syrian National Council, Syrian National Coalition, the Central Command, or the Military Council, and would not recognize any council or government created outside the country."

"We inform you that we did not receive any support from the abovementioned councils, neither arms nor money, and we only recognize those who struggle on Syrian soil and is on our side in our principle fight to topple the regime."
Afash stands accused by many from the opposition of being "an agent of air force intelligence" and having "hatched a fake battle around the air force building, while he was actually trying to avoid its storming." Some sources claim that "al-Nusra Front asked him to deliver the sector containing the air force intelligence and he asked for 500 million Syrian pounds in return, as an impossible condition."
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From Saudi Funding to Self Sufficiency
Ahmed Afash's men were known to be very loyal to him, thanks to the great sums of money spent on his group. Someone who had met him said he kept repeating, "I have 2,000 men, who cost me 2 million Liras a day." But these expenses do not include the cost of the trucks carrying DShK machine guns or mid-range weapons. It only covers the cost of ammunition, food, and other daily expenses.

Sources from inside the Brigade maintain to Al-Akhbar that Afash "received his funding from the Saudis, at first, and Saudi groups collecting donations for the mujahideen in Syria." As time went by, he started making a lot of money by stealing, and looting huge quantities of wheat stocks from warehouses in al-Liramoun. He also robbed several factories and warehouses in Liramoun and Hamra.

He became a pioneer of tashwil, a local term for stealing and plundering in the name of "revolution." Of course, he did not fail to join in the kidnapping spree, picking his victims from the wealthy and demanding huge ransoms.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

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