“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."
Saturday, December 19, 2015
Fully 1/3 of Hezbollah Forces Fighting ISIS Have Been Killed or Injured - Surely The US Should Welcome and Appreciate Such Valiant Support
ORDERS FROM AIPAC TO US CONGA LINE
Sanction HezbollahHezbollah, an Iranian-backed terrorist group, poses a direct threat to American and Israeli security. The group dominates the Lebanese government, fights for the Assad regime, and possesses an arsenal of more than 100,000 rockets. Hezbollah has killed more Americans than any terrorist group other than al-Qaeda and has carried out dozens of attacks in recent years.
The Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015 (H.R. 2297 and S.1617) aims to sanction international financial institutions that knowingly facilitate Hezbollah’s activities, including the provision of significant financial services. The legislation is authored by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) in the Senate and Reps. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Eliot Engel (D-NY) in the House of Representatives.
The important measure will force foreign financial institutions to choose between doing business with Hezbollah or the United States. Additionally, the legislation targets satellite and Internet providers that provide material support to the Hezbollah television station al-Manar.
It was passed in the House on Dec. 16 by a vote of 425-0. The Senate passed the bill by unanimous consent on Nov. 17. The bill now awaits President Barack Obama’s signature.
President Barack Obama on Friday signed into law legislation that increases sanctions on Hezbollah, the White House said.
"This strong, bipartisan bill intensifies pressure against the Hezballah terrorist organization and provides the administration additional tools with which to target Hezbollah’s financial lifeblood," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement.
US seeking to undercut true enemies of Daesh like Hezbollah: Barrett
Thu Dec 17, 2015 3:37PM
Press TV has conducted an interview with Kevin Barret, an editor with Veterans Today, in Madison, to discuss a bill recently approved by the US House of Representatives that would impose new sanctions on banks knowingly doing business with Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah.
The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: It seems that the US obsession with Hezbollah continues. What do you put it down to in this specific case? Is it about Syria?
Barret: It is ironic that we are getting all this propaganda here in the United States that Daesh represents Muslims and therefore it is radical Islam and it poses a mortal threat to the whole world and to people in the United States. We are hearing Daesh being blamed for the San Bernardino false-flag massacre which was actually carried out by Craft International or related paramilitaries working with the deep state, but in fact they are not really interested in fighting Daesh. Hezbollah is on the ground fighting Daesh and having success, and apparently for that reason it is being targeted.
The United States has a two-pronged policy here. On the one hand, it holds Daesh up as a sort of enemy image to rally the people against this scary Islamic threat, supposedly Islamic, and on the other hand, they are pumping up Daesh and actually working against people like Hezbollah who are doing the brunt of the fighting against Daesh. So it is absolutely disgusting the hypocrisy that rules politics here in the United States and particularly the Zionist death grip on the political system; people like Sheldon Adelson, the biggest gangster in America, Meyer Lansky [’s grandson], a thug and gangster man who makes his living through the most debauched kinds of activities, has racked up billions and billions of dollars which he is now distributing like a gangster godfather to his political thugs where ranting and raving against Islam on the one hand, and then essentially supporting Daesh and opposing the enemies of Daesh such as Hezbollah on the other.
The hypocrisy here is just staggering and I am still waiting for the day that enough Americans wake up that we are going to have a revolution in this country as soon as they realize what is really going on.
Posted by Deuce ☂ at 12/19/2015 06:37:00 AM
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
The Ultimate Oxymron: Saudi Arabia's Anti-Terrorism Coalition
One of the greatest weaknesses in the American-led fight against the Islamic State is the lack of competent regional forces to join in defeating the militants, especially on the ground. Saudi Arabia’s plans to organize a military coalition of 34 Islamic nations against terrorism could be a breakthrough, though there are many reasons to doubt how effective the plan will be.
From Our Advertisers
On Friday, the United Nations Security Council for the first time passed a resolution calling for a cease-fire and political talks to help end the civil war in Syria, but whether that can pave the way for an end to the conflict is also highly questionable.
As for the coalition, there is no clarity about what the group will actually do. Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s inexperienced defense minister, said the coalition’s efforts would not be limited to fighting the Islamic State, a Sunni Muslim group, but would include a joint operations center established in Riyadh to “coordinate and support military operations to fight terrorism” across the Muslim world. Just what that means is unclear, but it could be a license to find enemies everywhere.
In fact, it is hard to see Saudi Arabia, a Sunni-led state, as a serious partner against the Islamic State unless it stops financing the Wahhabi religious schools and clerics that are spreading the kind of extremist doctrine that is at the heart of the Islamic State’s ideology. Although the Islamic State has pledged to destroy Saudi Arabia, Saudi leaders have so far been more concerned with opposing Shia-led Iran, which they consider their greatest adversary.
It’s also not clear which nations will be involved in the coalition. When the deputy crown prince announced the initiative on Tuesday, he identified some states, like Pakistan and Malaysia, as members, though they said they were unaware of the plans. Yet several key Muslim countries have been excluded, namely Iran and Iraq, another Shia-majority country, which Saudi Arabia views as an Iranian puppet. Also absent are Oman, a neighbor of Saudi Arabia that brokered the shaky cease-fire in Yemen that started this week, and Algeria, the largest Muslim country in Africa. Indonesia, the largest Muslim-majority nation, is not on the list; neither is Afghanistan, which has been a focus of Western antiterrorism efforts for more than a decade...
Saudi Arabia and Turkey, With Friends Like These...
Will the Saudis Let Us Beat ISIS?
Riyadh, Ankara, and other members of the U.S.-backed coalition have different priorities. Their proxy battles in Syria could go on indefinitely.
Saudi Arabia has put on quite a show. On Dec. 9 and 10, the Gulf monarchy held a major conference to assemble the Syrian rebels into a cohesive front—a welcome reprieve from the chaos in Syria and the fragmentation of the opposition. On Dec. 15, Saudi Arabia announced a new “Islamic military alliance” of 34 countries to “coordinate and support military operations to fight terrorism.” These two developments—unifying the Syrian rebels and leading the Muslim world in the fight against terrorism—were certainly meant to reaffirm Saudi Arabia’s role as a reliable U.S. ally in Syria and the Middle East.
Unfortunately, both of these initiatives fell apart before they were even underway. Not only did the Saudis exclude the Kurds—the most effective ground force fighting ISIS—from the Syrian opposition conference, they also included radical elements like Ahrar al-Sham, an ally of Syria’s al Qaeda affiliate, Jabhat al Nusra. The conference’s demand that President Bashar al-Assad step down at the start of a transition process—a total nonstarter—and the confusion over Ahrar al-Sham simultaneously signing the declaration and withdrawing from the talks reveal the lack of seriousness this conference embodied.
What of the Islamic military alliance? Just a day after its announcement, the Lebanese and Pakistani foreign ministers and the Malaysian defense minister denied their countries’ involvement in the Saudi-led coalition. The Lebanese and Pakistani governments denied even being consulted on it.
So why the dog-and-pony show? Saudi Arabia is hoping to draw attention away from the true objectives of it and its partners, Qatar and Turkey, and the support they give to the Salafist groups in Syria that contribute to the continued instability in the country.
Embroiled in a proxy war with Russia and Iran—both of whom support Assad—Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey have supported and armed the more radical elements of the opposition. Most notably, these countries have backed the Army of Conquest since May of this year, which is comprised of Ahrar al-Sham and other Salafist groups. The Army of Conquest even includes Syria’s al Qaeda affiliate, Jabhat al Nusra, as one of its dominant members. (There was reporting that Nusra broke away from the Army of Conquest in late October, however this was based on contested allegations from Ahrar al-Sham’s leadership. In early December, Nusra posted a propaganda video with Army of Conquest branding.) It was the victories of these forces in northern Syria that eventually led to Russia’s intervention and Iran’s escalation to protect the Assad regime...
While some, like Ahrar al-Sham, have made robust public relations efforts to present themselves as moderates, these groups espouse radical ideologies and carry out atrocities that make it so no minority group in Syria could, or should, trust them. Moreover, they continue to expand Syria’s ungoverned space, forming a stronghold from which they can arm and train themselves and carry out attacks both inside and outside of Syria. Russia and Iran already fear this outcome; the United States, the West, and other countries in the Middle East should as well.
Given the fragmentation of the opposition, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are likely aware that supporting these Salafist groups will not bring forth a stable government that is friendly to their interests. Their goals are much narrower than creating a viable state. Instead, their intervention in Syria is part-and-parcel of the larger conflict with Iran. The evident objective is simply to create enough instability that the country is no longer an asset to Tehran but is, rather, a liability. In this regard, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are already succeeding.
Turkey, on the other hand, has an entirely different interest in prolonging the Syrian Civil War. Rather than a threat from Iran, Turkey is concerned over the potential creation of a Kurdish autonomous region in Syria—much like the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq to which Turkey has reluctantly grown accustomed.
While a unified Syria may eventually be possible for most of its population in western, central, and southern Syria (granted, this is years away), it has become hard to believe that the northeastern Kurdish region will not break away and fall under the leadership of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD). Over the course of the war, Kurdish forces have made agreements and arrangements with both Assad and parts of the opposition, and in doing so, they have already carved out de facto autonomy for themselves...