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Member since: Thu Dec 6, 2012, 02:13 PM
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"It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have." James A. Baldwin

Journal Archives

EU Summits Cause Merkel to Question European Unity

Source: Sputnik News

The German chancellor has expressed doubts that a meeting in Brussels between the EU and Turkey and another between the eight countries most affected by the migrant crisis represent the beginnings of a more united Europe.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has for the first time publicly expressed doubts that the EU will survive in its current form, after a meeting between the eight countries most affected by the migrant crisis, and a summit between the EU and Turkey. Merkel was asked whether the meeting of eight countries, led by Germany and backed by EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, represented a step towards a more united EU.

"At the moment, I don't think so," replied the German chancellor, the German press reported on Monday, interpreting the reply as a guarded departure from the usual response, that the EU is able to find a solution to any problem.

"This response is quite severely doubtful, in diplomatic German. As a rule, political and strategic questions are not answered in a way that can leave open the possibility of fundamental failure," wrote Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten [DWN].


Read more: http://sputniknews.com/europe/20151130/1030980509/eu-unity-merkel-doubts.html

Not at all surprising. The EU has acted anything but firmly united in regard to the Greek debt crisis, the response to Ukraine's civil war and, especially, the on-going Syrian refugee crisis. The Chancellor's popularity has taken quite a hit at home over her signature "Open Doors" policy, with many in her own ruling coalition suggesting it might be time to look for new leadership.

Posted by another_liberal | Mon Nov 30, 2015, 07:43 AM (8 replies)

Syrian Arab Army on the verge of liberating Raqqa Province!

The continued advance of Syrian and allied forces is now ready to enter Raqqa Province, where the so-called Islamic State Caliphate has its capital, in Raqqa city. Despite negative attitudes of some Western leaders and military commanders to these rapid successes, Syrian government forces (assisted by Iranian and Hezbollah units and Russian air power) are winning important victories not just in the country's Northeast, but also in the Northwest, in central Syria near Palmyra and in the Eastern suburbs of Damascus further South. No matter what one might think of President Assad for other reasons, he should be given credit where credit is due for such success in smashing the Islamic State and driving it from more and more of his country's territory. In that, if in nothing else, he, his army and his allies do deserve our thanks.

Syrian Arab Army tanks near Kweyris military base in Aleppo Province, Nov. 2015.

Syrian Army Gains Upper Hand in Fight Against ISIL in Aleppo

The Syrian government forces have gained the upper hand in their fight against Islamic State (ISIL) terrorists in the eastern part of Aleppo province and have advanced near Deir Hafer region, FARS news agency reported.

If Deir Hafer is captured by the Syrian Army’s elite special operation unit known as the Tiger Forces the Syrian troops will be in position to re-enter Raqqa province after being expelled by ISIL in August 2014.

Currently, the Tiger Forces are within 5 kilometers from the Western district of Deir Hafer, having left the militants in a vulnerable position with very little resources to counter the offensive, a military source told FARS News.

Earlier this month, ISIL lost the Kuweires military airport. Since then, the terrorists’ defenses have been falling apart all over the eastern part of Aleppo. This has opened the way for the Tiger Forces and their allies to advance to areas previously considered inaccessible.


Read more at: http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20151129/1030957068/syrian-army-advances-raqqa.html
Posted by another_liberal | Sun Nov 29, 2015, 03:12 PM (9 replies)

Turkey receives Islamic State oil at twenty dollars a barrel?

An long-time Iraqi insider, former National Security Adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie, has provided some fascinating details concerning the illegal transport and sale of Iraqi and Syrian oil seized by the Islamic State.

Iraqi Politician Claims Turkey Lets ISIL Sell Oil for Meager $20 a Barrel

Turkey allows the Islamic State terrorist group to sell Iraqi and Syrian oil for just $20 a barrel, Iraq's former National Security Adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie wrote on Saturday.

In a statement posted on his Facebook page al-Rubaie, who is also a leader of the Law-Governed State parliamentary coalition, outlined Ankara’s four-pronged support for the Islamic militants, with the illegal oil trade topping the list.

“First and foremost, the Turks help the militants sell stolen Iraqi and Syrian oil for $20 a barrel, which is half the market price,” Mowaffak al-Rubaie wrote.

Turkey in general, and Istanbul in particular, is also a place where ISIL commanders recruit local migrants and take them to Mosul in Iraq or Raqqa in Syria, he noted. “Each month hundreds of radicals cross the Turkish border, while the local law enforcers pretend they just don’t see,” Mowaffak al-Rubaie wrote, adding that many wounded ISIL fighters were apparently undergoing treatment in Turkish hospitals.


Read more at: http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20151128/1030913013/turkey-isil-oil.html

Posted by another_liberal | Sat Nov 28, 2015, 09:22 AM (5 replies)

The man who killed the Russian pilot.

It has now been revealed that the supposed "Syrian Turkmen" rebel leader who boasted about killing that Russian pilot after he ejected from his downed plane is not even a Syrian; in fact, he is a Turkish citizen and the son of a Turkish governmental official!

For more details, see: http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20151128/1030907091/alparslan-celik-syria-turkey-turkmen-su24-pilot.html

Posted by another_liberal | Sat Nov 28, 2015, 07:34 AM (6 replies)

Why did Turkey shoot down that Russian plane?

As evidence mounts that the Russian jet destroyed yesterday had not actually entered Turkish airspace, the question arises as to why the Turks attacked it at all? Former NATO commander, General Wesley Clark, offers what may be to some a quite surprising explanation.

The Islamic State flag flies over a compound in the Turkish city of Tal Abyad in June, 2015

Foul Play: Turkey May Have Always Been Supporting ISIL

Turkey is interested in preserving the Islamic State, former NATO commander in Europe Ret. General Wesley Clark told CNN.

"Let’s be very clear: ISIS [ISIL] is not just a terrorist organization, it is a Sunni terrorist organization. It means it blocks and targets Shia, and that means it’s serving the interests of Turkey and Saudi Arabia even as it poses a threat to them," Clark said.

He also hinted that Turkey could be dealing in oil illegally produced and traded by the Islamic State forces.

"All along there’s always been the idea that Turkey was supporting ISIS in some way… Someone’s buying that oil that ISIS [ISIL] is selling, it’s going through somewhere. It looks to me like it’s probably going through Turkey, but the Turks have never acknowledged it," Clark said.


Read more at: http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20151125/1030724153/turkey-isil-support.html


It appears that at least some in the German press agree whole-heartedly with General Clark's assessment of the situation.

NATO's defense of Turkey, after it shot down a Russian jet which was fighting terrorism, is testament to the fear in the alliance that Moscow's involvement in the fight against the Islamic State in Syria will lead to the discovery of Turkey's links to the terrorist organization, the German press wrote on Wednesday.

The NATO alliance sees the Russian campaign to defeat terrorism in Syria as an unwelcome development because it reveals the extent of its collaboration with the terrorists, Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten (DWN) wrote on Wednesday.

"NATO is extremely nervous, because it has realized that in the event of a Russian victory in Syria, the truth about the relationship between NATO member Turkey and the Islamic State will come to light," wrote DWN.

Turkey shot down a Russian Su-24 fighter jet over Syrian airspace on Tuesday, where its pilots were carrying out antiterrorism operations against the Islamic State. One pilot died as a result of the attack, and the second surviving pilot is currently at an air base in Syria.


Read more at: http://sputniknews.com/world/20151125/1030724044/nato-turkey-syria-islamic-state.html

Posted by another_liberal | Wed Nov 25, 2015, 07:33 AM (84 replies)

"A complex of measures directed to respond to such incidents."

The following was just released by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. There can be little doubt what exactly is meant by the reference to a complex of measures. It seems they intend to shoot back next time.

Defence Attaché at the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in Russia was urgently summoned to the Russian Ministry of Defence where he was presented an official protest concerning the actions of the Turkish Air Force containing following statements:

“Today at 9:30 the Russian aircraft, which performed combat counterterrorist missions was shot down by an aircraft of the Turkish Air Force. The Russian aircraft did not cross the Turkish border and acted only against objects on the territory of Syria.

Combat actions of the Russian aviation were conducted against illegal terrorist formations, which consist of a large number of militants from the Russian North Caucasus.

Efforts of the Russian Defence Ministry specialists to organize cooperation with the Turkish party by emergency communication link were not successful. The Defence Ministry considers actions of the Turkish Air Force as an unfriendly act. At present, the Russian Defence Ministry is designing a complex of measures directed to respond such incidents.

Combat missions against terrorists in Syria will be continued.”


Read more at: http://sputniknews.com/politics/20151124/1030677024/russia-syria-downing-su24-defense-ministry.html

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by another_liberal | Tue Nov 24, 2015, 01:58 PM (0 replies)

"Follow the money back, cut it off . . ."

Investigative journalist and former United States Foreign Service employee, Peter van Buren, suggests we should: "Leave the Middle East alone. Stop creating more failed states. Stop throwing away our freedoms at home on falsehoods. Stop disenfranchising the Muslims who live with us. Understand the war, such as it is, is against a set of ideas — religious, anti-western, anti-imperialist — and you cannot bomb an idea."

Islamic State militants.

Why is Washington Turning Blind Eye to ISIL's Gulf Funding Sources?

Why hasn't the United States yet cut off ISIL's funding sources, Peter Van Buren wonders, adding that by halting the flow of money to the Islamic State Washington could have long ago dealt a lethal blow to the terrorist organization. War is a brutal and expensive business that requires hundreds of millions of dollars; the existence of the notorious Islamic State is dependent on a perpetual money flow from different sources.

"Follow the money back, cut it off, and you strike a blow much more devastating than an airstrike," Peter Van Buren, an author and a 24-year veteran of the State Department, recommends, posing a question: "Why isn't the United States going after Islamic State's funding sources as a way of lessening or eliminating their strength at making war?"

In his blog WeMeantWell.com Peter Van Buren calls attention to the fact that the US State Department has long been aware that Gulf monarchies, longstanding America's allies, are funding numerous Sunni extremist groups. It has never been a secret to Washington's policymakers. In a leaked 2009 action request cable Deputy Assistant Secretary Douglas C. Hengel pointed out the necessity to cut off "terrorist fundraising in the Gulf by al-Qaeda, the Taliban, LeT, and other Af/Pak-based violent extremist groups, all of which undermine the security of the entire international community."

"Direct links are difficult to prove, particularly if the United States chooses not to prove them," Van Buren noted.


Read more at: http://sputniknews.com/politics/20151119/1030406241/washington-gulf-saudi-funding-isil.html

Posted by another_liberal | Thu Nov 19, 2015, 02:02 PM (38 replies)

Now for some good Syrian news . . .

Perhaps it's too early to start celebrating the Syrian civil war's approaching end, still this is undeniably very good news. The ancient nation of Syria may not, after all, be doomed to become yet another failed state.

Syrians carry their belongings as they cross back into Syria (Reuters)

1mn Syrians return home since launch of Russian anti-ISIS ops - Syria UN ambassador

Around 1 million Syrians have returned to their home cities liberated by the Syrian military with Russian air support, Syria’s UN ambassador said Monday, adding that Damascus is determined to work with any state that takes combatting terrorism seriously.

Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations, Bashar Jaafari, said that “this is precisely what happens when it comes to Syrian-Russian collaborative military action against terrorists and exchange of intelligence between Syria, Iraq, Iran and Russia. This has practically resulted in terrorist groups’ retreat from [their positions in] many areas, which allowed 1 million internally displaced persons to return safely to their homes.”

The Syrian ambassador, who took part in a UN Security Council meeting on Monday, confirmed that the Syrian government was ready to cooperate “with any state which has a serious approach to combatting terrorism,” TASS reported. Jaafari also said that the anti-ISIS campaign by the Syrian military has had a positive impact on security worldwide and in Europe.

He believes that Syria's war against terrorism “is in the entire world’s interests” because “every time the Syrian army engages a foreign terrorist, it saves dozens of innocent lives who might be threatened whenever [the foreign terrorist] returns home.” Jaafari also said that those carrying out terror attacks on cities around the world such as Paris “were among thousands of Europeans who came to Syria to wage jihad.”


Read more at: https://www.rt.com/news/322401-syria-refugees-return-isis/

Posted by another_liberal | Tue Nov 17, 2015, 07:01 AM (0 replies)

Video of alley behind Bataclan seconds after the attack began.

Note the young woman hanging from the ledge of the theater building's third story window. (This video contains some very graphic images. It is not for everyone to view, so be forewarned):

Posted by another_liberal | Sun Nov 15, 2015, 06:25 AM (6 replies)

Amazing Syrian combat footage.

This video consists of several short clips of recent Syrian Arab Army ground actions to lift the two-year-long Islamic State siege of Kweires airbase near Aleppo. It is some truly stunning front line combat filming:

Posted by another_liberal | Thu Nov 12, 2015, 06:06 AM (2 replies)
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