Monday, October 29, 2012

Chinese separatists fighting jihad along with al Qaeda and other terror groups in Syria



Xinjiang jihad hits Syria Global Times | 2012-10-29 1:15:07
By Qiu Yongzheng and Liu Chang

Leaders from "East Turkestan" terror organizations have organized for members to head for Syria to participate in their quest for jihad, the Global Times has learned from Chinese anti-terrorism authorities.

The organizations include the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) and the East Turkestan Education and Solidarity Association (ETESA) that push for "independence" for China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Since May, ETIM and ETESA members have been going to Syria and linking up with organizations like Al Qaeda to fight against the Syrian government, according to China's anti-terrorism authority.

 "ETIM is being helped by Al Qaeda and they are collecting funds through drug and gun trafficking, kidnapping and robbery. ETIM selected and recruited separatists, criminals and terrorists who fled from Xinjiang to receive secret terrorism training, an official from the anti-terrorism authorities told the Global Times.

After receiving orders from Al Qaeda, terrorists from China came to Syria to meet with jihadists already on the ground before forming groups on the frontlines, the official said.

ETIM was listed as a terrorism organization in September 2009 and recognized by the China Ministry of Public Security as one of four "East Turkestan" terrorism organizations.

On April 6, the ministry identified its third batch of "East Turkestan" terrorists with most being affiliated with ETIM.

The headquarters of ETESA, located in Istanbul, are quite extensive and include research, media, social affairs, education and women's affairs departments. It aims to "educate and train Muslims" in Xinjiang and "set them free" by forming a Muslim state, according to a second official.

Imad Moustapha, ambassador for Syria in China, told the Global Times that they are not clear about the terrorism activities made by jihadists from the "East Turkestan" terrorist groups in Syria.

"But it's not a surprise that such things happen," Imad said, adding that extremists from several countries including Libya and Iraq had been fighting along the Turkish-Syrian border and inside Syria.

"These men came to Syria from Turkey," said Imad, accusing the Turkish government of indulging these activities.

Murat Salim Esenli, the Turkish ambassador to China, denied the accusation, saying Turkey also faces terrorism threats.

Ayman al-Zawahri, the head of Al Qaeda, incited his followers to join in the war against Syria on Saturday after anti-terrorism organs from the UN, the US and Europe expressed their concern that the ongoing Syrian war would help galvanize global terror networks.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Fog Of War


When asked about the emails that showed Seals/CIA request for help, and the failure to permit help to be sent in a timely way, Hillary claimed it was "The Fog Of War."

One question that remains, who in the White House was present, listening to live audio feeds and watching as the attack on the consulate in Bengazi unfolded?


Sens. McCain, Graham and Ayotte wrote a letter requesting the immediate declassification of all surveillance video in and around the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi for the two days that it was under attack. "It is vitally important that the American people know all of the facts surrounding the attack in Benghazi last month, and this surveillance video can shed important light on the nature of the attack and what kind of response could have been effective while it was ongoing," the letter said.

Woods also described encounters on Sept. 14 with Vice President Biden and President Obama. He claimed that at one point, Biden came over to him and said, "in an extremely loud and boisterous voice, 'did your son always have balls the size of cue balls?'"


 CIA agents in Benghazi twice asked for permission to help Ambassador Chris Stevens as bullets were flying and twice were told to 'stand down'

Revelations shed new light on the effectiveness of the CIA at Benghazi and the level of support they were given When the CIA annex come under attack the field agents were denied a request for military help despite a counter terrorism team being two hours away in Italy

There was full communication between operatives on the ground and headquarters - with the ability to laser guide drones, planes or special forces to enemy targets Read more:


Benghazi and The Lethal Consequencenes of Arming Jihadis

Over the weekend, the newest, and by far the most disturbing, revelations surrounding the Benghazi attack were revealed. Several sources have pointed to the possibility that a major CIA gun-running operation aimed at arming anti-Assad Al-Qaeda-affiliated forces was in danger of being exposed.

If true, the information casts an even more devastating pall over the Benghazi terrorist attack and the administration’s botched handling of the region. The decision to stand down as the Benghazi terrorist attack was underway was met with extreme opposition from the inside.

The Washington Times‘s James Robbins, citing a source inside the military, reveals that General Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command, who got the same emails requesting help received by the White House, put a rapid response team together and notified the Pentagon it was ready to go. He was ordered to stay put. "His response was to screw it, he was going to help anyhow,” writes Robbins. "Within 30 seconds to a minute after making the move to respond, his second in command apprehended General Ham and told him that he was now relieved of his command.”

If true, Ham has apparently decided he wants no part of the responsibility for the decision not to help those in harm's way. He is not alone. As the Weekly Standard‘s Bill Kristol revealed late Friday, a spokesperson, “presumably at the direction of CIA director David Petraeus,” released the following statement: ”No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate."

Obama himself is stonewalling. During a Friday interview in Denver, the president revealed he was determined to postpone any revelation about Benghazi until after the election. "The election has nothing to do with four brave Americans getting killed and us wanting to find out exactly what happened,” said Obama in answer to questions about possible denials of aid, and whether it’s fair that Americans will have to wait until after the election to find out the results of an investigation.

 On Saturday, Obama upped the ante, telling ”Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough that “if we find out there was a big breakdown and somebody didn't do their job, they'll be held accountable. Ultimately as Commander-in-Chief I am responsible and I don't shy away from that responsibility.”

 Several sources have come up with explosive answers accounting for the administration's reticence. According to WND’s Aaron Klein, "Egyptian security officials" revealed that Ambassador Christopher Stevens "played a central role in recruiting jihadists to fight Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria.”

Stevens was reportedly a key contact for Saudi Arabian officials, who wanted to recruit fighters from North Africa and Libya, and send them to Syria by way of Turkey. The recruits were ostensibly screened by U.S. security organizations, and anyone thought to have engaged in fighting against Americans, including those who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, were not sent to engage Assad’s regime.

Yet as Klein further notes, reality is far different. The rebels the administration armed to fight Gaddafi, as well as those we may have armed to fight Assad, do include al-Qaeda members, and fighters from other jihadist groups as well.

As to the nature of the arms themselves, an October 6 report by the New York Times’ Robert Worth reveals that “Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been funneling money and small arms to Syria’s rebels but have refused to provide heavier weapons, such as shoulder-fired missiles, that could allow opposition fighters to bring down government aircraft, take out armored vehicles and turn the war’s tide.” The reason they have refused to provide more lethal weapons to the rebels is partly because “they have been discouraged by the United States, which fears the heavier weapons could end up in the hands of terrorists.”

Yet as Business Insider reveals ”there’s growing evidence that U.S. agents–particularly murdered ambassador Chris Stevens–were at least aware of heavy weapons moving from Libya to jihadist Syrian rebels” (italic mine) and that, beginning in March 2011, Stevens was “working directly with Abdelhakim Belhadj of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group–a group that has now disbanded, with some fighters reportedly participating in the attack that took Stevens’ life.”

In November 2011, the Daily Telegraph reported that "Belhadj, head of the Tripoli Military Council and the former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, ‘met with Free Syrian Army leaders in Istanbul and on the border with Turkey,’ said a military official working with Mr Belhadj.” Reportedly, many of the militia groups that helped oust Gaddafi were eager to export their revolution to Syria.

Three days after the attack in Benghazi, it was revealed that ”a Libyan ship carrying the largest consignment of weapons for Syria…has docked in Turkey,” with a cargo that “weighed 400 tons and included SA-7 surface-to-air anti-craft missiles and rocket-propelled grenades.”

Business Insider speculates the weapons came “most likely from Muammar Gaddafi’s stock of about 20,000 portable heat-seeking missiles–the bulk of them SA-7s–that the Libyan leader obtained from the former Eastern bloc.” The Insider then reaches a devastating conclusion. "And if the new Libyan government was sending seasoned Islamic fighters and 400 tons of heavy weapons to Syria through a port in southern Turkey–a deal brokered by Stevens’ primary Libyan contact (meaning Belhadj) during the Libyan revolution–then the governments of Turkey and the U.S. surely knew about it.”

But not just Turkey and the U.S. Canada Free Press columnist Doug Hagmann, citing a ”well placed source with extensive knowledge about the attack,” claims that “Russia was fully aware of this operation and warned the U.S. not to engage in the destabilization of Syria, as doing so would endanger (Russian) national security interests.”

He further asserts that Stevens’ final meeting in Benghazi on September 11 was with ”his Turkish counterpart, who reportedly warned Stevens that the (gun-running) operation was compromised.”

 That the administration was helping to arm the worst elements in the region — jihadist rebels also at war with the United States — may explain the administration’s vigorous stonewalling to date. Far from just a diplomatic mission in Libya, the evidence suggests that one of the explicit functions of the U.S. “consulate” was to oversee the transfer of Libyan weapons from the Gaddafi regime’s stockpile, including to the opposition in Syria.

"In short, it seems President Obama has been engaged in gun-walking on a massive scale,” Center for Security Policy president Frank Gaffney explains in the Washington Times. “The effect has been to equip America’s enemies to wage jihad not only against regimes it once claimed were our friends, but inevitably against us and our allies, as well.

That would explain his administration’s desperate, and now-failing, bid to mislead the voters through the serial deflections of Benghazigate.” But with the mainstream media refusing to press Obama and other administration officials on the facts surrounding the attack, it is unlikely there will be a breakthrough any time soon. If more concrete information emerges, it will certainly be after the election. In that case, win or lose, the Obama administration will face much more limited consequences for its lethal decisions.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Persian Gulf

US Stingers In Syria: Afghanistan de ja voo

A top director of the new elite command is Al-Mahdi al-Harati, born 1973, an Irish national who lived the last 22 yeas of his life in Ireland before leading the Benghazi armed overthrow of the Libyan regime. Al-Harati is recognized as the new ‘Osama’,- trained, funded and aided to lead covert successful militant campaigns of terror and destabilization in troubled Arab and African nations, that are not in the Wests good books.

Al-Mahdi al-Harati was actively recruited sometime in 2011 and fully funded by the CIA, according to heaping evidence, to lead much of the military Benghazi campaign against Libya’s leadership. Though it is generally understood that he has long been a CIA agent, in active duty and training.

Al-Harati’s CIA employ was verified by intelligence experts, when he was robbed of ‘€200,000 CIA money’ in 2011. It must be noted that these destabilization and overthrow efforts are highly funded and cash based. Mercenaries are hired to fight these wars – made to appear as though the people are fighting, and they are paid tall sums, in hundreds to thousands of dollars per day of fight, on average $500-800/day. Read more:

The government of Syria continues to survive all the ratlines being thrown at this independent nation

Despite public claims on behalf of the White House that no weapons are being sent to the rebels, reports that the CIA has been doing precisely that have been circulating for months, including a recent story about CIA spies smuggling 14 stinger missiles into Syria so rebels could defend themselves with ground to air technology.

The New York Times admitted in a June 21 report that the CIA was "steering" arms to Syrian rebels from the Turkish border, but claimed the weapons were paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The New York Times' decision to alter the wording of the article is another example of how NATO-aligned media outlets are concerned about overemphasizing western support for the rebels given their involvement in terrorist attacks and other acts of brutality.

Last week, the BBC removed a video clip which documented how FSA rebels were committing war crimes by using prisoners as unwitting suicide bombers.
Syria has become a magnet for the world’s jihadis.

It has been attracting them since the start of the crisis, lured by what many believe to be a divine promise that jihad in Bilad al-Sham, Greater Syria, will set the stage for the emergence of the true Islamic state.

With victory and the downfall of the regime thus pre-ordained, jihadis from far and wide have been heeding the call. According to jihadi sources, the fighters currently operating in Syria include Jordanians, Iraqis, Palestinians, Kuwaitis, Tunisians, Libyans, Saudis and Yemenis, as well as Muslims from non-Arab countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The biggest single contingent of foreign fighters is said to be composed of Lebanese, Jordanian, Iraqi and Palestinians who had previously fought against US forces in Iraq.

A GANG of Irish traveller thieves are in the middle of a holy war - after liberating €200,000 cash destined for Libyan rebels.

In a tale worthy of the John le Carre thriller Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, the scam artists from Rathkeale in Co Limerick hit the jackpot when they robbed a home in Dublin's Firhouse. As well as a haul of family jewels, they stumbled upon €200,000 in €500 bills hidden in the hot press.

But the homeowner was well-known Irish Libyan freedom fighter Mahdi al-Harati, who was one of the leaders of the bloody revolt against Gaddafi. He has told cops that the cash was a gift from US secret agents to aid the war effort in Libya. Now the money trail has led to the traveller strongholds in Rathkeale, where €500 notes have been popping up all over the place.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

America's Black Flag

You have to hand it to Dennis Kucinich, he stated clearly what many know, but won't tell 'We The people.' That the US created 'The Base,' aka al Qaeda, and we cannot control the monster we gave birth to. It has just bit us badly in Bengazi.

 Warning Signs Were Covered Up, Not Ignore

While the Western press glossed over stories covering the hoisting of Al Qaeda flags described by Ambassador Stevens in his cables, the development was covered across the alternative media, including in, “John McCain: Founding Father of the Terrorist Emirate of Benghazi,” where the full implications and genesis of these prevailing extremists forces were examined in detail. Alternative analysis was quickly dismissed as “conspiracy theories,” even as Ambassador Stevens was sending his cables to Washington conveying exactly the same information.

The West did not “ignore” these warnings. It covered them up intentionally through a concerted campaign of deceit, cognitive infiltration, and ridicule. The intelligence services of Washington and London had been supplying weapons and aid to the terrorists of Benghazi for 30 years, fought along side them in Afghanistan against the Soviets in the 1980′s, armed and unleashed them in Kosovo in the 1990′s, and willfully bolstered their numbers, armament, and operational capacity in 2011 in order to overthrow the Libyan government
The terror emirate of Benghazi that consumed Ambassador Stevens is a monster of the West’s own willful, premeditated creation – the West fully cognizant of the implications – and a monster the West is currently still arming, funding, and supporting, this time along the Turkish-Syrian border.
The audio feed of the attack was being monitored in real time in Washington by diplomatic security official Charlene Lamb.

The Chinese have a saying...

The Tail Become So Large It Cannot Be Wagged

Folks, it isn't that the MSM 'never' covers this story, its just that they casually mention it, and it becomes lost in the Twitter driven news cycle. Benghazi, US-NATO Sponsored Base of Operations for Al Qaeda Late US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens documented the transformation of Benghazi into overt base of operations for Al Qaeda.

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The Libya timeline that REALLY matters:

 June 6, 2012: Al Qaeda attacks the Benghazi consulate, blowing huge hole in the perimeter.

August 14, 2012: The Obama administration withdraws the special forces Site Security Team led by Lt. Col. Andrew Wood, over the objections of Ambassador Chris Stevens

September 11, 2012: Al Qaeda attacks again, and without security protection the consulate is overrun and four Americans are killed.

The West Point Study

Leads from the West Point Study: An Appeal to Scholars The West Point study, as noted, was conducted on the basis of almost 700 Al Qaeda personnel files captured by coalition forces in Iraq.33 The authors of the study have promised to keep available online the documentary basis of this investigation, both in the form of the raw Arabic language al Qaeda personnel files34, and also of the same file cards in English translation.35 Assuming that this material remains available, it might be possible for researchers and reporters, and especially those with capabilities in Arabic not possessed by the present writer, to investigate the Libyan fighters who went into Iraq with a view to determining whether any of them are family members, neighbors, or even political associates of the known members of the Benghazi rebel council or of other anti-Qaddafi forces. Such a procedure could contribute to allowing the European and American public as well as others around the world to better understand the nature of the military adventure currently unfolding in Libya by gaining a more specific knowledge of who the Libyan rebels actually are, as distinct from the hollow panegyrics purveyed by the controlled Western media.

Like other governments in the region, Libya appears concerned about the possibility of jihadi violence within its borders. In May 2007, the Libyan government arrested several Libyans on the grounds that they were planning a car bomb attack similar to an April attack in Algeria.17 And in July 2007, a group calling itself al-Qaeda in Eastern Libya announced a suicide attack in Darnah.18 Libya’s leader Muammar Qaddafi has taken measures to mitigate the threat from such groups, and has reportedly released over 80 Muslim Brotherhood activists in the hope that they will moderate the views of more violent Islamist activists.

If LIFG is funneling Libyans into Iraq, it may exacerbate rumored tensions between LIFG elements over whether or not to concentrate on militant activity within Libya’s borders.20 Such debates are common among national jihadi movements shifting focus to global issues. This sort of debate disrupted both Egyptian Islamic Jihad and the Egyptian Islamic Group in the 1990s.21 Reports suggesting that LIFG’s decision to join al-Qaeda was controversial may be exaggerated, but they probably reflect a contentious debate over LIFG’s future.22 LIFG’s support for al-Qaeda’s Iraqi affiliate has probably increased its stature in al-Qaeda’s leadership, but complicated its internal dynamics. Recent political developments in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the prevalence of Libyan fighters in Iraq, and evidence of a well?established smuggling route for Libyans through Egypt, suggests that Libyan factions (primarily the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group) are increasingly important in al-Qaeda.

Sinjar Records offer some evidence that Libyans began surging into Iraq in larger numbers beginning in May 2007. Most of the Libyan recruits came from cities in North?East Libya, an area long known for jihadi?linked militancy. Libyan fighters were much more likely than other nationalities to be listed as suicide bombers (85% for Libyans, 56% for all others). The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group’s unification with al-Qaeda and its apparent decision to prioritize providing logistical support to the Islamic State of Iraq is likely controversial within the organization. It is likely that some LIFG factions still want to prioritize the fight against the Libyan regime, rather than the fight in Iraq. It may be possible to exacerbate schisms within LIFG, and between LIFG’s leaders and al-Qaeda’s traditional Egyptian and Saudi power?base. (End Report

Obama Faces More Pressure Over Libya

The letter claims that Obama had a political motivation in rejecting Stevens' security requests, since the president was eager to show improving conditions in Libya after the U.S.-led international operation that toppled Libya dictator Moamar Gadhafi.

On August 2, six weeks before Stevens was killed, he requested 'protective detail bodyguard' positions, calling the security situation in Libya 'unpredictable, volatile and violent.'

A month earlier, he requested that the State Department extend his tour of duty personnel, which is a 16-man temporary security team trained in combating terrorism. The request was denied and the security team left 8 August. Stevens had asked for the security team to stay through mid-September. Colonel Andrew Wood, the leader of the security team that left Libya in the weeks before the terror attack, told CBS News that Stevens fought hard against losing the team. 'It was quite a degree of frustration on their part,' he said. 'They were -- I guess you could say -- clenched-fist over the whole issue.


The records obtained by Reuters consist of three emails dispatched by the State Department's Operations Center to multiple government offices, including addresses at the White House, Pentagon, intelligence community and FBI, on the afternoon of September 11.

The first email, timed at 4:05 p.m. Washington time - or 10:05 p.m. Benghazi time, 20-30 minutes after the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission allegedly began - carried the subject line "U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi Under Attack" and the notation "SBU", meaning "Sensitive But Unclassified."

The text said the State Department's regional security office had reported that the diplomatic mission in Benghazi was "under attack. Embassy in Tripoli reports approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well."

The message continued: "Ambassador Stevens, who is currently in Benghazi, and four ... personnel are in the compound safe haven. The 17th of February militia is providing security support."

A second email, headed "Update 1: U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi" and timed 4:54 p.m. Washington time, said that the Embassy in Tripoli had reported that "the firing at the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi had stopped and the compound had been cleared." It said a "response team" was at the site attempting to locate missing personnel.

A third email, also marked SBU and sent at 6:07 p.m. Washington time, carried the subject line: "Update 2: Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibility for Benghazi Attack."

The message reported: "Embassy Tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twitter and has called for an attack on Embassy Tripoli."

While some information identifying recipients of this message was redacted from copies of the messages obtained by Reuters, a government source said that one of the addresses to which the message was sent was the White House Situation Room, the president's secure command post.

Other addressees included intelligence and military units as well as one used by the FBI command center, the source said.

Sitting in Italy, was an armed relief team, only an hour away, and which was NOT sent to rescue our Navy Seals and Ambassador.

The Letter

Dear Member of Congress,

We write to you as Christian leaders representing U.S. churches and religious organizations committed to seeking a just peace for Israelis and Palestinians. Our organizations have been deeply involved in this pursuit for decades, inspired by the call and promise of Jesus Christ who said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

In response to our Christian call to be peacemakers, we have worked for decades to support both Israelis and Palestinians in their desire to live in peace and well-being. We have worked alongside our Palestinian Christian sisters and brothers to help build a peaceful and resilient Palestinian civil society by supporting hospitals, schools, clinics, and social service agencies. These ministries include cooperative efforts with Israelis and Palestinians as well as with Jews, Muslims, and other neighbors here in the United States. Through our presence in the region, and regular visits to our partners there, we see first-hand the impacts of the conflict on both Palestinians and Israelis and hear from them directly about the reality of their lives.

Through this direct experience we have witnessed the pain and suffering of Israelis as a result of Palestinian actions and of Palestinians as a result of Israeli actions. In addition to the horror and loss of life from rocket attacks from Gaza and past suicide bombings, we have witnessed the broad impact that a sense of insecurity and fear has had on Israeli society.

We have also witnessed widespread Israeli human rights violations committed against Palestinians, including killing of civilians, home demolitions and forced displacement, and restrictions on Palestinian movement, among others. We recognize that each party—Israeli and Palestinian—bears responsibilities for its actions and we therefore continue to stand against all violence regardless of its source. Our stand against violence is complemented by our commitment to the rights of all Israelis, as well as all Palestinians, to live in peace and security.

It is this experience and these commitments that lead us to write to you today to express our grave concern about the deteriorating conditions in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories which threaten to lead the region further away from the realization of a just peace.

Unfortunately, unconditional U.S. military assistance to Israel has contributed to this deterioration, sustaining the conflict and undermining the long-term security interests of both Israelis and Palestinians. This is made clear in the most recent 2011 State Department Country Report on Human Rights Practices covering Israel and the Occupied Territories, which details widespread Israeli human rights violations committed against Palestinian civilians, many of which involve the misuse of U.S.-supplied weapons.

(Weapons in this instance include “crowd control” items such as tear gas. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (P.L. 112-74) which is included in the US Foreign Military Financing regulations stipulates that “not later than 90 days after enactment of this act and 6 months thereafter, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations detailing any crowd control items, including tear gas, made available with appropriated funds or through export licenses to foreign security forces that the Secretary of State has credible information have repeatedly used excessive force to repress peaceful, lawful, and organized dissent.” )

Accordingly, we urge an immediate investigation into possible violations by Israel of the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act and the U.S. Arms Export Control Act which respectively prohibit assistance to any country which engages in a consistent pattern of human rights violations and limit the use of U.S. weapons to “internal security” or “legitimate self-defense.”
(While this letter focuses on US-Israel relations and the Israel-Palestine conflict, these are laws that we believe should be enforced in all instances regardless of location. All allegations regarding the misuse of US supplied arms should be investigated.)

More broadly, we urge Congress to undertake careful scrutiny to ensure that our aid is not supporting actions by the government of Israel that undermine prospects for peace. We urge Congress to hold hearings to examine Israel’s compliance, and we request regular reporting on compliance and the withholding of military aid for non-compliance.  

In addition to specific rights violations, we see a troubling and consistent pattern of disregard by the government of Israel for U.S. policies that support a just and lasting peace. Specifically, repeated demands by the U.S. government that Israel halt all settlement activity have been ignored. Since 1967, every U.S. administration has decried Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories as obstacles to peace. Despite this stance, Israel continues to expand its settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, claiming territory that under international law and U.S. policy should belong to a future Palestinian state. The Oslo peace process, which began in 1993, was publicly promoted as leading Israelis and Palestinians to a just peace based on a two-state solution. Instead, since 1993, the number of Israeli settlers in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, has more than doubled. Rights violations resulting from Israeli settlement activity include separate and unequal legal systems for Palestinians and settlers, confiscation of Palestinian land and natural resources for the benefit of settlers, and violence by settlers against Palestinians.

According to the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem and the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, there has been a dramatic rise in settler attacks against Palestinians this year. They report that these attacks are often intended to drive Palestinians from areas the settlers wish to take over, and that Israeli authorities have failed to take significant action to stop the violence or hold the perpetrators accountable. We believe that these actions directly undermine peace efforts and threaten, rather than support, Israel’s long-term security interests.

We want to be clear that we recognize that Israel faces real security threats and that it has both a right and a duty to protect both the state and its citizens. However, the measures that it uses to protect itself and its citizens, as in the case with any other nation, must conform to international humanitarian and human rights law.

As Christian leaders in the United States, it is our moral responsibility to question the continuation of unconditional U.S. financial assistance to the government of Israel. Realizing a just and lasting peace will require this accountability, as continued U.S. military assistance to Israel -- offered without conditions or accountability -- will only serve to sustain the status quo and Israel’s military occupation of the Palestinian territories.

We request, therefore, that Congress hold Israel accountable to these standards by making the disbursement of U.S. military assistance to Israel contingent on the Israeli government’s compliance with applicable U.S. laws and policies.

As Israel is the single largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid since World War II, it is especially critical for Israel to comply with the specific U.S. laws that regulate the use of U.S.-supplied weapons. We also encourage Congress to support inclusive, comprehensive, and robust regional diplomacy to secure a just and lasting peace that will benefit Israelis, Palestinians, and all the peoples of the region, and the world.

With respect and gratitude, we offer you our prayers.

Signers of the letter include Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons.
The signers say they “have worked for decades to support both Israelis and Palestinians in their desire to live in peace and well-being” and “have witnessed the pain and suffering of Israelis as a result of Palestinian actions and of Palestinians as a result of Israeli actions.”

In addition to Parsons, the letter was signed by Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; United Methodist Council of Bishops President Rosemarie Wenner; Peg Birk, transitional general secretary of the National Council of Churches; Shan Cretin, general secretary of the American Friends Service Committee; J. Ron Byler, executive director of the Mennonite Central Committee U.S.; and Alexander Patico, North American secretary for the Orthodox Peace Fellowship.

Also, Diane Randall, executive secretary of the Friends Committee on Legislation; American Baptist Churches General Secretary A. Roy Medley; United Church of Christ General Minister and President Geoffrey A. Black; the Rev. Sharon Watkins, general minister and president of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); the Rev. Julia Brown Karimu, president of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Division of Overseas Ministries; the Rev. James A. Moos, executive minister for the United Church of Christ’s Wider Church Ministries; Eli S. McCarthy, justice and peace director for the Conference of Major Superiors of Men; and Kathy McKneely, acting director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns.

The Pushback:

The Jewish leaders responded to the action as a momentous betrayal and announced their withdrawal from a regularly scheduled Jewish-Christian dialogue meeting planned for Monday. In a statement, the Jewish leaders called the letter by the Christian groups “a step too far” and an indication of “the vicious anti-Zionism that has gone virtually unchecked in several of these denominations.”
“Something is deeply broken, badly broken,” said Ethan Felson, vice president and general counsel of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, an umbrella group that helped to convene the meeting. “We’re certainly not getting anywhere now.”
The Jewish groups have called for the Christian churches to send their top officials to a “summit” meeting to discuss the situation, an invitation the Christian leaders say they are considering.
The Christian leaders involved are mostly from the historically mainline Protestant churches. Many of these same churches have taken up contentious resolutions to divest their stock holdings from companies that sell military and security equipment to Israel. Meanwhile, successive Israeli governments have found stalwart support in conservative evangelical American churches.
The breach is all the more bitter because it involves Jewish groups known for cultivating strong interfaith relationships, including the Reform and Conservative movements, the American Jewish Committee and B’nai B’rith International

And from TAM we have....
Israel lobby wants Congressional Investigation of Churches calling for restricting U.S. military aid
by Sheila Musaji

Jordan Has A King Like Syria?

Here is a major story not covered by Western MSM....

A Jordanian member of parliament has pulled a gun on one of his critics during a heated debate on live television. Mohammed Shawabka was discussing Jordan's policies toward Syria on a television show on Friday with political activist Mansour Sayf al-Din Murad, the Times of Israel reports. When the discussion became heated, both men began hurling insults, including working for the Israeli Mossad Intelligence Agency. "You're a Mossad agent," one of the men said. "You're a big crook," said the other. The show's host Mohammed Habashneh, who was seated between the two men, desperately told them to "calm down". But the MP pulled off his shoe and aimed it at his critic, who ducked underneath the desk and knocked it over. Mr Shawabka then pulled out a silver gun before pointing it at the critic who was walking towards him. The host tried to break up the fight by stepping between the two men, but the brawl reportedly continued for some time before the show's producer started to roll the credits. But I can assure you that the coming of the Arab Spring to Jordan has the full attention of Israel, and the Palestineans in the West Bank and Gaza. And here we have the British view... Government change fails to calm Jordan's political crisis AMMAN, Jordan — A decision just over a week ago by Jordanian King Abdullah II to dismiss the government has done little to calm growing public discontent at home that threatens to deepen a political crisis.Abdullah has appointed five governments since the eruption of the Arab Spring uprisings, which have forced him to make democratic reforms.The new prime minister, Abdullah Ensour, is a reformist politician and opposition lawmaker who voted to withhold confidence from the previous four governments."This selection aimed to send a message to the public and the opposition that decision-makers are listening to their demands and dissatisfaction," said Hussein Rawashdeh, Jordanian political observer.Despite enjoying relative popularity, analysts say a lack of authority is likely to undermine Ensour's attempts to revive the country's lagging reform process.His first task is to salvage an upcoming parliamentary election by convincing Islamist-led opposition to reverse its decision to boycott the vote.The opposition says a new electoral system favors regime loyalists, who hail mainly from Bedouin tribes. Loyalists fear that democratic reforms would undermine their influence in the country where the majority of the population of 7 million is of Palestinian origin."If the decision on the elections law is not in his hands, how can the prime minister even dream of encouraging the opposition to take part?" said columnist and political analyst Maher Abu Tayer.Despite good relations with the Muslim Brotherhood, analysts say an atmosphere of distrust will prevent Ensour from diffusing growing tensions between the state and Jordan's largest political force."After each of the last four governments failed to live up to their reform promises, the Brotherhood has given up on listening to the government," said Rawashdeh. "They know that the prime minister is not the decision-maker."Islamist leaders reportedly walked out of their first meeting with Ensour, held less than 24 hours after his appointment, saying that their former political ally was unable to carry out democratic reforms."The question is not whether the prime minister is for democratic reforms, the question is whether he has the power to implement them," said Zaki Bani Rshied, deputy head of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood."If the government does not have full control over the state, how can it negotiate in the name of the state?" said Bani Rshied remarked.Ensour's appointment has also done little to calm pro-democracy protests."No matter who the King selects, we do not support a government that is not chosen by the people, for the people," said Muath Btoush of the Karak Popular Youth Movement, one of hundreds of protest groups that have sprouted across the country since early 2011.The government is also under pressure to trim over $2.8 billion in fuel and electricity subsidies."Although it would be politically wise to delay any lifting of subsidies until after the elections, financially the country just can't afford it," said Musa Shteiwi, director of the University of Jordan Centre for Strategic Studies.Jordan also faces a record $5 billion budget deficit. It has received less than half the $460 million in budgetary assistance promised by donor states. Experts say this means Jordan has no choice but to press ahead with unpopular austerity measures."It doesn't matter who is prime minister, these decisions are going to hurt a lot of Jordanian citizens and they won't stay quiet," said Jordanian columnist and political observer Bassem Shakhija.Abu Tayer said: "Before the Arab Spring, a change in government was enough to silence the Jordanian street. Now it is only encouraging it to speak louder." Read more here:

Amature Hour Comes To MSM?

Here we have an interesting example of a Main Stream media outlet using 'amature' reporters to cover 'the news.' Let's compare this amature coverage with professional coverage by looking at what is happening in Syria...

Here is a broad overview of Syria

in a nutshell..

Please visit and peruse my previous post 'welcome to Syria...'

Here is a video by another MSM, although one might argue that the view from Russia is biased, one must also wonder who those masked 'amature' reporters on the situation in Syria really are...

China has taken a lead in support of a diplomacy and a peaceful end to the conflict in Syria. Xinhua has a whole page devoted to the Syrian 'situation.' Their media reports are quite understated, with every word filled with latent meaning.

Compare with these reports...

DAMASCUS | Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:53am EDT
DAMASCUS (Reuters) - A car bomb killed 13 people in central Damascus on Sunday as President Bashar al-Assad told an international mediator seeking a truce in Syria's civil war that the key to any political solution was to stop arming rebels. The bomb exploded outside a police station in the mainly Christian central Bab Touma district of the capital while Assad held talks with United Nations-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, who is pushing for a temporary ceasefire to mark the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha.
State news agency SANA said the president said Syria supported "any sincere effort to find a political solution to the crisis, based on respect for Syrian sovereignty and rejecting foreign intervention."
Any proposal "must be centered around the principle of halting the terrorism and ... commitment by the countries involved in supporting, arming and harboring the terrorists in Syria to stop these actions", SANA quoted Assad as saying.
(the view from Britan)

But only Anti war is covering Kofi Anan's

Kofi Annan: ‘I’m Dead Certain’ Military Intervention in Syria ‘Will Not Work’

The former UN Secretary General and envoy to Syria also said Paul Ryan's argument against diplomacy was 'dead wrong'

by John Glaser, October 20, 2012

Former Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan warned in an interview that will air on Sunday, that military intervention in Syria by the major powers will not work and “will make the situation much worse.”
undefinedOn his CNN show, Fareed Zakaria asked Annan, who recently served as UN envoy to Syria in an attempt to reach a negotiated settlement to stop the bloody civil conflict, whether military intervention could work as a solution.
“I’m dead certain it will not work,” Annan said. “It will make the situation much worse.”
“First of all, Libya – people refer to Libya as an example. Syria is not Libya. Syria is located in one of the most volatile regions of the world. Syria is next to Iraq, next to Lebanon, where we have had major problems. And in a region where you have all sorts of jihadist elements, and as we know they’ve been crossing into Syria. And because of the nature of Syrian society, which is a mosaic.”
Annan also derided the claims among some in the major powers that “something” or some kind of intervention must be done in order to stem the violence.
These are the same groups of people, he said, “that propagated the idea that any attempt to mediate gives Assad more time to kill.” This “is a piece of unmitigated nonsense,” adding that statements to this effect from GOP vice presidential contender Paul Ryan were “dead wrong.”
Annan has voiced these views before. All the way back in March, he warned not only against direct military intervention, but also against foreign meddling and arming of insurgent and rebel groups by various countries.