Friday, May 31, 2013

Global Warming caused by CFC's/ Chlorofluorocarbons- UPDATED

UPDATE @ BOTTOM from Watt's Up With That?

WATERLOO, ON, May 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are to blame for global warming since the 1970s and not carbon dioxide, according to new research from the University of Waterloo published in the International Journal of Modern Physics B this week.

 CFCs are already known to deplete ozone, but in-depth statistical analysis now shows that CFCs are also the key driver in global climate change, rather than carbon dioxide (CO(2) ) emissions.
"Conventional thinking says that the emission of human-made non-CFC gases such as carbon dioxide has mainly contributed to global warming. But we have observed data going back to the Industrial Revolution that convincingly shows that conventional understanding is wrong," said Qing-Bin Lu, a professor of physics and astronomy, biology and chemistry in Waterloo's Faculty of Science. "In fact, the data shows that CFCs conspiring with cosmic rays caused both the polar ozone hole and global warming."

"Most conventional theories expect that global temperatures will continue to increase as CO(2) levels continue to rise, as they have done since 1850. What's striking is that since 2002, global temperatures have actually declined - matching a decline in CFCs in the atmosphere," Professor Lu said. "My calculations of CFC greenhouse effect show that there was global warming by about 0.6 degC from 1950 to 2002, but the earth has actually cooled since 2002. The cooling trend is set to continue for the next 50-70 years as the amount of CFCs in the atmosphere continues to decline." 

The findings are based on in-depth statistical analyses of observed data from 1850 up to the present time, Professor Lu's cosmic-ray-driven electron-reaction (CRE) theory of ozone depletion and his previous research into Antarctic ozone depletion and global surface temperatures.

"It was generally accepted for more than two decades that the Earth's ozone layer was depleted by the sun's ultraviolet light-induced destruction of CFCs in the atmosphere," he said. "But in contrast, CRE theory says cosmic rays - energy particles originating in space - play the dominant role in breaking down ozone-depleting molecules and then ozone."

"The climate in the Antarctic stratosphere has been completely controlled by CFCs and cosmic rays, with no CO(2) impact. The change in global surface temperature after the removal of the solar effect has shown zero correlation with CO(2) but a nearly perfect linear correlation with CFCs - a correlation coefficient as high as 0.97."

Data recorded from 1850 to 1970, before any significant CFC emissions, show that CO(2) levels increased significantly as a result of the Industrial Revolution, but the global temperature, excluding the solar effect, kept nearly constant. The conventional warming model of CO(2) , suggests the temperatures should have risen by 0.6degC over the same period, similar to the period of 1970-2002.
The analyses indicate the dominance of Lu's CRE theory and the success of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

"Only when the effect of the global temperature recovery dominates over that of the polar ozone hole recovery, will both temperature and polar ice melting drop concurrently," says Lu. The peer-reviewed paper published this week not only provides new fundamental understanding of the ozone hole and global climate change but has superior predictive capabilities, compared with the conventional sunlight-driven ozone-depleting and CO(2) -warming models.

Paper is available here 


Study says global warming caused by CFCs interacting with cosmic rays, not carbon dioxide

From the University of Waterloo, an extraordinary claim. While plausible, due to the fact that CFC’s have very high GWP numbers, their atmospheric concentrations compared to CO2 are quite low, and the radiative forcings they add are small by comparison to CO2. This may be nothing more than coincidental correlation. But, I have to admit, the graph is visually compelling. But to determine if his proposed cosmic-ray-driven electron-reaction mechanism is valid, I’d say it is a case of “further study is needed”, and worth funding. – Anthony

Thursday, May 30, 2013

President Bashar Assad's interview (today) with Al Manar- Audio/Transcript & More

Bashar Assad's interview with Al Manar has been made available by Syria Report- 
 Thanks kindly!


Transcript and updates at the end, be sure to check that out!

President Bashar al-Assad gave an interview to al-Manar TV broadcast on Thursday Following is the full text of the interview: Al-Manar: In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful. Assalamu Alaikum. Bloodshed in Syria continues unabated. This is the only constant over which there is little disagreement between those loyal to the Syrian state and those opposed to it. However, there is no common ground over the other constants and details two years into the current crisis. At the time, a great deal was said about the imminent fall of the regime. Deadlines were set and missed; and all those bets were lost. Today, we are here in the heart of Damascus, enjoying the hospitality of a president who has become a source of consternation to many of his opponents who are still unable to understand the equations that have played havoc with their calculations and prevented his ouster from the Syrian political scene. This unpleasant and unexpected outcome for his opponents upset their schemes and plots because they didn’t take into account one self-evident question: what happens if the regime doesn’t fall? What if President Assad doesn’t leave the Syrian scene? Of course, there are no clear answers; and the result is more destruction, killing and bloodshed. Today there is talk of a critical juncture for Syria. The Syrian Army has moved from defense to attack, achieving one success after another. On a parallel level, stagnant diplomatic waters have been shaken by discussions over a Geneva 2 conference becoming a recurrent theme in the statements of all parties. There are many questions which need answers: political settlement, resorting to the military option to decide the outcome, the Israeli enemy’s direct interference with the course of events in the current crisis, the new equations on the Golan Heights, the relationship with opponents and friends. What is the Syrian leadership’s plan for a way out of a complex and dangerous crisis whose ramifications have started to spill over into neighboring countries? It is our great pleasure tonight to put these questions to H. E. President Bashar al-Assad. Assalamu Alaikum, Mr. President.

President Assad: Assalamu Alaikum. You are most welcome in Damascus.

Al-Manar: Mr. President, we are in the heart of the People’s Palace, two and a half years into the Syrian crisis. At the time, the bet was that the president and his regime would be overthrown within weeks. How have you managed to foil the plots of your opponents and enemies? What is the secret behind this steadfastness?

President Assad: There are a number of factors are involved. One is the Syrian factor, which thwarted their intentions; the other factor is related to those who masterminded these scenarios and ended up defeating themselves because they do not know Syria or understand in detail the situation. They started with the calls of revolution, but a real revolution requires tangible elements; you cannot create a revolution simply by paying money. When this approach failed, they shifted to using sectarian slogans in order to create a division within our society. Even though they were able to infiltrate certain pockets in Syrian society, pockets of ignorance and lack of awareness that exist in any society, they were not able to create this sectarian division. Had they succeeded, Syria would have been divided up from the beginning. They also fell into their own trap by trying to promote the notion that this was a struggle to maintain power rather than a struggle for national sovereignty. No one would fight and martyr themselves in order to secure power for anyone else.

Al-Manar: In the battle for the homeland, it seems that the Syrian leadership, and after two and a half years, is making progress on the battlefield. And here if I might ask you, why have you chosen to move from defense to attack? And don’t you think that you have been late in taking the decision to go on the offensive, and consequently incurred heavy losses, if we take of Al-Qseir as an example.

President Assad: It is not a question of defense or attack. Every battle has its own tactics. From the beginning, we did not deal with each situation from a military perspective alone. We also factored in the social and political aspects as well – many Syrians were misled in the beginning and there were many friendly countries that didn’t understand the domestic dynamics. Your actions will differ according to how much consensus there is over a particular issue. There is no doubt that as events have unfolded Syrians have been able to better understand the situation and what is really at stake. This has helped the Armed Forces to better carry out their duties and achieve results. So, what is happening now is not a shift in tactic from defense to attack, but rather a shift in the balance of power in favor of the Armed Forces.

Al-Manar: How has this balance been tipped, Mr. President? Syria is being criticized for asking for the assistance of foreign fighters, and to be fully candid, it is said that Hezbollah fighters are extending assistance. In a previous interview, you said that there are 23 million Syrians; we do not need help from anyone else. What is Hezbollah doing in Syria?

President Assad: The main reason for tipping the balance is the change in people’s opinion in areas that used to incubate armed groups, not necessarily due to lack of patriotism on their part, but because they were deceived. They were led to believe that there was a revolution against the failings of the state. This has changed; many individuals have left these terrorist groups and have returned to their normal lives. As to what is being said about Hezbollah and the participation of foreign fighters alongside the Syrian Army, this is a hugely important issue and has several factors. Each of these factors should be clearly understood. Hezbollah, the battle at Al-Qseir and the recent Israeli airstrike – these three factors cannot be looked at in isolation of the other, they are all a part of the same issue. Let’s be frank. In recent weeks, and particularly after Mr. Hasan Nasrallah’s speech, Arab and foreign media have said that Hezbollah fighters are fighting in Syria and defending the Syrian state, or to use their words “the regime.” Logically speaking, if Hezbollah or the resistance wanted to defend Syria by sending fighters, how many could they send – a few hundred, a thousand or two? We are talking about a battle in which hundreds of thousands of Syrian troops are involved against tens of thousands of terrorists, if not more because of the constant flow of fighters from neighboring and foreign countries that support those terrorists. So clearly, the number of fighters Hezbollah might contribute in order to defend the Syrian state in its battle, would be a drop in the ocean compared to the number of Syrian soldiers fighting the terrorists. When also taking into account the vast expanse of Syria, these numbers will neither protect a state nor ‘regime.’ This is from one perspective. From another, if they say they are defending the state, why now? Battles started after Ramadan in 2011 and escalated into 2012, the summer of 2012 to be precise. They started the battle to “liberate Damascus” and set a zero hour for the first time, the second time and a third time; the four generals were assassinated, a number of individuals fled Syria, and many people believed that was the time the state would collapse. It didn’t. Nevertheless, during all of these times, Hezbollah never intervened, so why would it intervene now? More importantly, why haven’t we seen Hezbollah fighting in Damascus and Aleppo? The more significant battles are in Damascus and in Aleppo, not in Al-Qseir. Al-Qseir is a small town in Homs, why haven’t we seen Hezbollah in the city of Homs? Clearly, all these assumptions are inaccurate. They say Al-Qseir is a strategic border town, but all the borders are strategic for the terrorists in order to smuggle in their fighters and weapons. So, all these propositions have nothing to do with Hezbollah. If we take into account the moans and groans of the Arab media, the statements made by Arab and foreign officials – even Ban Ki-moon expressed concern over Hezbollah in Al-Qseir – all of this is for the objective of suppressing and stifling the resistance. It has nothing to do with defending the Syrian state. The Syrian army has made significant achievements in Damascus, Aleppo, rural Damascus and many other areas; however, we haven’t heard the same moaning as we have heard in Al-Qseir.

Al-Manar: But, Mr. President, the nature of the battle that you and Hezbollah are waging in Al-Qseir seems, to your critics, to take the shape of a safe corridor connecting the coastal region with Damascus. Consequently, if Syria were to be divided, or if geographical changes were to be enforced, this would pave the way for an Alawite state. So, what is the nature of this battle, and how is it connected with the conflict with Israel.

President Assad: First, the Syrian and Lebanese coastal areas are not connected through Al-Qseir. Geographically this is not possible. Second, nobody would fight a battle in order to move towards separation. If you opt for separation, you move towards that objective without waging battles all over the country in order to be pushed into a particular corner. The nature of the battle does not indicate that we are heading for division, but rather the opposite, we are ensuring we remain a united country. Our forefathers rejected the idea of division when the French proposed this during their occupation of Syria because at the time they were very aware of its consequences. Is it possible or even fathomable that generations later, we their children, are less aware or mindful? Once again, the battle in Al-Qseir and all the bemoaning is related to Israel. The timing of the battle in Al-Qseir was synchronized with the Israeli airstrike. Their objective is to stifle the resistance. This is the same old campaign taking on a different form. Now what’s important is not al-Qseir as a town, but the borders; they want to stifle the resistance from land and from the sea. Here the question begs itself – some have said that the resistance should face the enemy and consequently remain in the south. This was said on May 7, 2008, when some of Israel’s agents in Lebanon tried to tamper with the communications system of the resistance; they claimed that the resistance turned its weapons inwards. They said the same thing about the Syrian Army; that the Syrian Army should fight on the borders with Israel. We have said very clearly that our Army will fight the enemy wherever it is. When the enemy is in the north, we move north; the same applies if the enemy comes from the east or the west. This is also the case for Hezbollah. So the question is why is Hezbollah deployed on the borders inside Lebanon or inside Syria? The answer is that our battle is a battle against the Israeli enemy and its proxies inside Syria or inside Lebanon.

Al-Manar: Mr. President, if I might ask about Israel’s involvement in the Syrian crisis through the recent airstrike against Damascus. Israel immediately attached certain messages to this airstrike by saying it doesn’t want escalation or doesn’t intend to interfere in the Syrian crisis. The question is: what does Israel want and what type of interference?

President Assad: This is exactly my point. Everything that is happening at the moment is aimed, first and foremost, at stifling the resistance. Israel’s support of the terrorists was for two purposes. The first is to stifle the resistance; the second is to strike the Syrian air defense systems. It is not interested in anything else.

Al-Manar: Mr. President, since Israel’s objectives are clear, the Syrian state was criticized for its muted response. Everyone was expecting a Syrian response, and the Syrian government stated that it reserves the right to respond at the appropriate time and place. Why didn’t the response come immediately? And is it enough for a senior source to say that missiles have been directed at the Israeli enemy and that any attack will be retaliated immediately without resorting to Army command?

President Assad: We have informed all the Arab and foreign parties – mostly foreign – that contacted us, that we will respond the next time. Of course, there has been more than one response. There have been several Israeli attempted violations to which there was immediate retaliation. But these short-term responses have no real value; they are only of a political nature. If we want to respond to Israel, the response will be of strategic significance.

Al-Manar: How? By opening the Golan front, for instance?

President Assad: This depends on public opinion, whether there is a consensus in support of the resistance or not. That’s the question. Al-Manar: How is the situation in Syria now?

President Assad: In fact, there is clear popular pressure to open the Golan front to resistance. This enthusiasm is also on the Arab level; we have received many Arab delegations wanting to know how young people might be enrolled to come and fight Israel. Of course, resistance is not easy. It is not merely a question of opening the front geographically. It is a political, ideological, and social issue, with the net result being military action.

Al-Manar: Mr. President, if we take into account the incident on the Golan Heights and Syria’s retaliation on the Israeli military vehicle that crossed the combat line, does this mean that the rules of engagement have changed? And if the rules of the game have changed, what is the new equation, so to speak?

President Assad: Real change in the rules of engagement happens when there is a popular condition pushing for resistance. Any other change is short-term, unless we are heading towards war. Any response of any kind might only appear to be a change to the rules of engagement, but I don’t think it really is. The real change is when the people move towards resistance; this is the really dramatic change.

Al-Manar: Don’t you think that this is a little late? After 40 years of quiet and a state of truce on the Golan Heights, now there is talk of a movement on that front, about new equations and about new rules of the game?

President Assad: They always talk about Syria opening the front or closing the front. A state does not create resistance. Resistance can only be called so, when it is popular and spontaneous, it cannot be created. The state can either support or oppose the resistance, – or create obstacles, as is the case with some Arab countries. I believe that a state that opposes the will of its people for resistance is reckless. The issue is not that Syria has decided, after 40 years, to move in this direction. The public’s state of mind is that our National Army is carrying out its duties to protect and liberate our land. Had there not been an army, as was the situation in Lebanon when the army and the state were divided during the civil war, there would have been resistance a long time ago. Today, in the current circumstances, there are a number of factors pushing in that direction. First, there are repeated Israeli aggressions that constitute a major factor in creating this desire and required incentive. Second, the army’s engagement in battles in more than one place throughout Syria has created a sentiment on the part of many civilians that it is their duty to move in this direction in order to support the Armed Forces on the Golan.

Al-Manar: Mr. President, Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel would not hesitate to attack Syria if it detected that weapons are being conveyed to Hezbollah in Lebanon. If Israel carried out its threats, I want a direct answer from you: what would Syria do?

President Assad: As I have said, we have informed the relevant states that we will respond in kind. Of course, it is difficult to specify the military means that would be used, that is for our military command to decide. We plan for different scenarios, depending on the circumstances and the timing of the strike that would determine which method or weapons.

Al-Manar: Mr. President, after the airstrike that targeted Damascus, there was talk about the S300 missiles and that this missile system will tip the balance. Based on this argument, Netanyahu visited Moscow. My direct question is this: are these missiles on their way to Damascus? Is Syria now in possession of these missiles?

President Assad: It is not our policy to talk publically about military issues in terms of what we possess or what we receive. As far as Russia is concerned, the contracts have nothing to do with the crisis. We have negotiated with them on different kinds of weapons for years, and Russia is committed to honoring these contracts. What I want to say is that neither Netanyahu’s visit nor the crisis and the conditions surrounding it have influenced arms imports. All of our agreements with Russia will be implemented, some have been implemented during the past period and, together with the Russians, we will continue to implement these contracts in the future.

Al-Manar: Mr. President, we have talked about the steadfastness of the Syrian leadership and the Syrian state. We have discussed the progress being achieved on the battlefield, and strengthening the alliance between Syria and the resistance. These are all within the same front. From another perspective, there is diplomatic activity stirring waters that have been stagnant for two and a half years. Before we talk about this and about the Geneva conference and the red lines that Syria has drawn, there was a simple proposition or a simple solution suggested by the former head of the coalition, Muaz al-Khatib. He said that the president, together with 500 other dignitaries would be allowed to leave the country within 20 days, and the crisis would be over. Why don’t you meet this request and put an end to the crisis?

President Assad: I have always talked about the basic principle: that the Syrian people alone have the right to decide whether the president should remain or leave. So, anybody speaking on this subject should state which part of the Syrian people they represent and who granted them the authority to speak on their behalf. As for this initiative, I haven’t actually read it, but I was very happy that they allowed me 20 days and 500 people! I don’t know who proposed the initiative; I don’t care much about names.

Al-Manar: He actually said that you would be given 20 days, 500 people, and no guarantees. You’ll be allowed to leave but with no guarantee whatsoever on whether legal action would be taken against you or not. Mr. President, this brings us to the negotiations, I am referring to Geneva 2. The Syrian government and leadership have announced initial agreement to take part in this conference. If this conference is held, there will be a table with the Syrian flag on one side and the flag of the opposition groups on the other. How can you convince the Syrian people after two and a half years of crisis that you will sit face to face at the same negotiating table with these groups?

President Assad: First of all, regarding the flag, it is meaningless without the people it represents. When we put a flag on a table or anywhere else, we talk about the people represented by that flag. This question can be put to those who raise flags they call Syrian but are different from the official Syrian flag. So, this flag has no value when it does not represent the people. Secondly, we will attend this conference as the official delegation and legitimate representatives of the Syrian people. But, whom do they represent? When the conference is over, we return to Syria, we return home to our people. But when the conference is over, whom do they return to – five-star hotels? Or to the foreign ministries of the states that they represent – which doesn’t include Syria of course – in order to submit their reports? Or do they return to the intelligence services of those countries? So, when we attend this conference, we should know very clearly the positions of some of those sitting at the table – and I say some because the conference format is not clear yet and as such we do not have details as to how the patriotic Syrian opposition will be considered or the other opposition parties in Syria. As for the opposition groups abroad and their flag, we know that we are attending the conference not to negotiate with them, but rather with the states that back them; it will appear as though we are negotiating with the slaves, but essentially we are negotiating with their masters. This is the truth, we shouldn’t deceive ourselves.

Al-Manar: Are you, in the Syrian leadership, convinced that these negotiations will be held next month?

President Assad: We expect them to happen, unless they are obstructed by other states. As far as we are concerned in Syria, we have announced a couple of days ago that we agree in principle to attend.

Al-Manar: When you say in principle, it seems that you are considering other options.

President Assad: In principle, we are in favour of the conference as a notion, but there are no details yet. For example, will there be conditions placed before the conference? If so, these conditions may be unacceptable and we would not attend. So the idea of the conference, of a meeting, in principle is a good one. We will have to wait and see.

Al-Manar: Let’s talk, Mr. President, about the conditions put by the Syrian leadership. What are Syria’s conditions?

President Assad: Simply put, our only condition is that anything agreed upon in any meeting inside or outside the country, including the conference, is subject to the approval of the Syrian people through a popular referendum. This is the only condition. Anything else doesn’t have any value. That is why we are comfortable with going to the conference. We have no complexes. Either side can propose anything, but nothing can be implemented without the approval of the Syrian people. And as long as we are the legitimate representatives of the people, we have nothing to fear.

Al-Manar: Let’s be clear, Mr. President. There is a lot of ambiguity in Geneva 1 and Geneva 2 about the transitional period and the role of President Bashar al-Assad in that transitional period. Are you prepared to hand over all your authorities to this transitional government? And how do you understand this ambiguous term?

President Assad: This is what I made clear in the initiative I proposed in January this year. They say they want a transitional government in which the president has no role. In Syria we have a presidential system, where the President is head of the republic and the Prime Minister heads the government. They want a government with broad authorities. The Syrian constitution gives the government full authorities. The president is the commander-in-chief of the Army and Armed Forces and the head of the Supreme Judicial Council. All the other institutions report directly to the government. Changing the authorities of the president is subject to changing the constitution; the president cannot just relinquish his authorities, he doesn’t have the constitutional right. Changing the constitution requires a popular referendum. When they want to propose such issues, they might be discussed in the conference, and when we agree on something – if we agree, we return home and put it to a popular referendum and then move on. But for them to ask for the amendment of the constitution in advance, this cannot be done neither by the president nor by the government.

Al-Manar: Frankly, Mr. President, all the international positions taken against you and all your political opponents said that they don’t want a role for al-Assad in Syria’s future. This is what the Saudi foreign minister Saud al-Faisal said and this is what the Turks and the Qataris said, and also the Syrian opposition. Will President Assad be nominated for the forthcoming presidential elections in 2014?

President Assad: What I know is that Saud al-Faisal is a specialist in American affairs, I don’t know if he knows anything about Syrian affairs. If he wants to learn, that’s fine! As to the desires of others, I repeat what I have said earlier: the only desires relevant are those of the Syrian people. With regards to the nomination, some parties have said that it is preferable that the president shouldn’t be nominated for the 2014 elections. This issue will be determined closer to the time; it is still too early to discuss this. When the time comes, and I feel, through my meetings and interactions with the Syrian people, that there is a need and public desire for me to nominate myself, I will not hesitate. However, if I feel that the Syrian people do not want me to lead them, then naturally I will not put myself forward. They are wasting their time on such talk.

Al-Manar: Mr. President, you mentioned the Saudi foreign minister Saud al-Faisal. This makes me ask about Syria’s relationship with Saudi Arabia, with Qatar, with Turkey, particularly if we take into account that their recent position in the Arab ministerial committee was relatively moderate. They did not directly and publically call for the ouster of President Assad. Do you feel any change or any support on the part of these countries for a political solution to the Syrian crisis? And is Syria prepared to deal once more with the Arab League, taking into account that the Syrian government asked for an apology from the Arab League?

President Assad: Concerning the Arab states, we see brief changes in their rhetoric but not in their actions. The countries that support the terrorists have not changed; they are still supporting terrorism to the same extent. Turkey also has not made any positive steps. As for Qatar, their role is also the same, the role of the funder – the bank funding the terrorists and supporting them through Turkey. So, overall, no change. As for the Arab League, in Syria we have never pinned our hopes on the Arab League. Even in the past decades, we were barely able to dismantle the mines set for us in the different meetings, whether in the summits or in meetings of the foreign ministers. So in light of this and its recent actions, can we really expect it to play a role? We are open to everybody, we never close our doors. But we should also be realistic and face the truth that they are unable to offer anything, particularly since a significant number of the Arab states are not independent. They receive their orders from the outside. Some of them are sympathetic to us in their hearts, but they cannot act on their feelings because they are not in possession of their decisions. So, no, we do not pin any hopes on the Arab League.

Al-Manar: Mr. President, this leads us to ask: if the Arab environment is as such, and taking into account the developments on the ground and the steadfastness, the Geneva conference and the negotiations, the basic question is: what if the political negotiations fail? What are the consequences of the failure of political negotiations?

President Assad: This is quite possible, because there are states that are obstructing the meeting in principle, and they are going only to avoid embarrassment. They are opposed to any dialogue whether inside or outside Syria. Even the Russians, in several statements, have dampened expectations from this conference. But we should also be accurate in defining this dialogue, particularly in relation to what is happening on the ground. Most of the factions engaged in talking about what is happening in Syria have no influence on the ground; they don’t even have direct relationships with the terrorists. In some instances these terrorists are directly linked with the states that are backing them, in other cases, they are mere gangs paid to carry out terrorist activities. So, the failure of the conference will not significantly change the reality inside Syria, because these states will not stop supporting the terrorists – conference or no conference, and the gangs will not stop their subversive activities. So it has no impact on them.

Al-Manar: Mr. President, the events in Syria are spilling over to neighboring countries. We see what’s happening in Iraq, the explosions in Al-Rihaniye in Turkey and also in Lebanon. In Ersal, Tripoli, Hezbollah taking part in the fighting in Al-Qseir. How does Syria approach the situation in Lebanon, and do you think the Lebanese policy of dissociation is still applied or accepted?

President Assad: Let me pose some questions based on the reality in Syria and in Lebanon about the policy of dissociation in order not to be accused of making a value judgment on whether this policy is right or wrong. Let’s start with some simple questions: Has Lebanon been able to prevent Lebanese interference in Syria? Has it been able to prevent the smuggling of terrorists or weapons into Syria or providing a safe haven for them in Lebanon? It hasn’t; in fact, everyone knows that Lebanon has contributed negatively to the Syrian crisis. Most recently, has Lebanon been able to protect itself against the consequences of the Syrian crisis, most markedly in Tripoli and the missiles that have been falling over different areas of Beirut or its surroundings? It hasn’t. So what kind of dissociation are we talking about? For Lebanon to dissociate itself from the crisis is one thing, and for the government to dissociate itself is another. When the government dissociates itself from a certain issue that affects the interests of the Lebanese people, it is in fact dissociating itself from the Lebanese citizens. I’m not criticizing the Lebanese government – I’m talking about general principles. I don’t want it to be said that I’m criticizing this government. If the Syrian government were to dissociate itself from issues that are of concern to the Syrian people, it would also fail. So in response to your question with regards to Lebanon’s policy of dissociation, we don’t believe this is realistically possible. When my neighbor’s house is on fire, I cannot say that it’s none of my business because sooner or later the fire will spread to my house.

Al-Manar: Mr. President, what would you say to the supporters of the axis of resistance? We are celebrating the anniversary of the victory of the resistance and the liberation of south Lebanon, in an atmosphere of promises of victory, which Mr. Hasan Nasrallah has talked about. You are saying with great confidence that you will emerge triumphant from this crisis. What would you say to all this audience? Are we about to reach the end of this dark tunnel?

President Assad: I believe that the greatest victory achieved by the Arab resistance movements in the past years and decades is primarily an intellectual victory. This resistance wouldn’t have been able to succeed militarily if they hadn’t been able to succeed and stand fast against a campaign aimed at distorting concepts and principles in this region. Before the civil war in Lebanon, some people used to say that Lebanon’s strength lies in its weakness; this is similar to saying that a man’s intelligence lies in his stupidity, or that honor is maintained through corruption. This is an illogical contradiction. The victories of the resistance at different junctures proved that this concept is not true, and it showed that Lebanon’s weakness lies in its weakness and Lebanon’s strength lies in its strength. Lebanon’s strength is in its resistance and these resistance fighters you referred to. Today, more than ever before, we are in need of these ideas, of this mindset, of this steadfastness and of these actions carried out by the resistance fighters. The events in the Arab world during the past years have distorted concepts to the extent that some Arabs have forgotten that the real enemy is still Israel and have instead created internal, sectarian, regional or national enemies. Today we pin our hopes on these resistance fighters to remind the Arab people, through their achievements, that our enemy is still the same. As for my confidence in victory, if we weren’t so confident we wouldn’t have been able to stand fast or to continue this battle after two years of a global attack. This is not a tripartite attack like the one in 1956; it is in fact a global war waged against Syria and the resistance. We have absolute confidence in our victory, and I assure them that Syria will always remain, even more so than before, supportive of the resistance and resistance fighters everywhere in the Arab world.

Al-Manar: In conclusion, it has been my great honor to conduct this interview with Your Excellency, President Bashar al-Assad of the Syrian Arab Republic. Thank you very much. President Assad: You are welcome. I would like to congratulate Al-Manar channel, the channel of resistance, on the anniversary of the liberation and to congratulate the Lebanese people and every resistance fighter in Lebanon.

Update! Spontaneous rallies, gunfire, street parties and convoys have broken out in the cities of Damascus, Tartus, Lattakia and Aleppo. Social media circles are buzzing with celebratory messages following Al-Assad’s interview.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Geneva Talks: An Exercise in Futility

I started working on this this past Sunday, then a bit on Monday,some more yesterday...
It’s still relevant and updated for today

Futility defined  : Lacking in effectiveness or success
Since the Geneva talks are doomed to failure.... No matter how I might wish this was all being undertaken sincerely.

-Syrian government has agreed in principle to participate.
-The NATO backed opposition can’t agree to agree on just about anything.
Which is not a shocker. SNC may not attend 2nd Geneva Conference
Maybe today, or tomorrow they will decide to attend? Or not?
What else can be expected  from a completely disagreeable bunch of cutthroats?
And, Moaz Khatib is a clown. Seriously.
I just can't believe this man was a serious religious leader. It seems more plausible the NATO media wants us to believe that, but, I don't.
More on the expatriate SNC (expatriate meaning not resident in Syria presently and possibly never resident)

China is ready to participate
China, on the other hand, said it would take part in the Geneva gathering, proposed by the US and Russia, “to push for an early, just, peaceful and appropriate settlement of the Syrian issue”.
There is a dispute about Iran attending.

I suspect, of course I could be wrong, but I suspect the US is going to ok Iran’s attendance. It makes no difference to the US, because they are disingenuous in this attempt at peace. Saudi Arabia and Qatar will be extremely unhappy if Iran is included.  But, considering that both nations are despotic monarchies....
 Certainly they can both go cry in a corner. Or something else?

If the US was really having genuine concerns,actually being decent humans and respecting human life, regarding the harm being done to Syrians they would not even think about sending more arms to their murderous mercenaries.
See John McCain consorting with psycho killers John McCain visits NATO mercs in Syria via Turkey; Whitehouse aware

If Geneva 2 was anything but an insincere charade the EU would not be sending heavy arms to their mercs

And the US would not be supportive of this move to further arm the killers: US supports easing of Syria Arms Embargo

Sending additional weapons to the mercenary killers simply ensures the armed mercs will continue killing and the SNC of expatriates and cut throats will feel no compulsion to negotiate.
As is intended. Therefore we can be sure Geneva 2 is doomed to failure

Russia appears to understand this quite clearly

Hence the shipping of missiles after the EU decision, as covered in yesterday’s post: Israel threatens to strike Russian missile shipments to Syria
Sergei Ryabkov, wouldn’t say whether Russia has shipped any of the long-range S-300 air defence missile systems, but insisted that Moscow isn’t going to abandon the deal despite strong Western and Israeli criticism.

“We understand the concerns and signals sent to us from different capitals. We realize that many of our partners are concerned about the issue,” Ryabkov said. “We have no reason to revise our stance.”

He said the missiles could be a deterrent against foreign intervention in Syria and would not be used against Syrian rebels, who do not have an air force.

We believe that such steps to a large extent help restrain some ’hotheads’ considering a scenario to give an international dimension to this conflict,he said.

Lavrov addressed Russian media yesterday
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated on Tuesday that the 2nd Geneva International Conference on Syria due in June had to take place free from any pre-conditions.

Lavrov spoke to Russian media following his Paris meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry and stated their common opinions were about the conference taking place free from any pre-conditions.

Lavrov also reminded that during the conference there will be a delegation to represent the Assad regime, and stated that the first thing that had to be completed was to define the representatives of opposition groups.

I will be quoting from this article also

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry emerged without an agreed position on Iran from May 22 talks in Jordan with representatives from 10 nations including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Jordan, the U.K., France and Germany, according to a U.S. official who briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity.

‘American Backsliding’

U.S. agreement to include Iran would be seen in the region as “American backsliding,” according to Michael Doran, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy, where he specializes in security issues.( As stated Iran attending is not really much of an issue)

Seeking Weapons

The head of the rebel military command, General Salim Idris, wrote Kerry last week asking for weapons . Idriss is not a moderate. There are no moderate mercs killing Syrians.

The NATO opposition

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in Moscow today that Assad’s government has agreed to attend a peace conference, and said main opposition groups are trying to sabotage the effort by continuing to insist that the Syrian leader step down.

Curbing Iran

The Sunni-led Arab nations backing the Syrian rebels, such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, feel threatened by Shiite Iran

Saudi Arabia and Qatar feel threatened ? How? Are their panties in a bunch?
I mean, excuse my sarcasm, but Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been feeding, arming, enabling the butchering of how many Syrians? And they feel threatened? I am not sympathetic.
How threatened have the leaders of these two nations made the Syrian people?
Syrians who are truly threatened. Syrians raped. Syrians beaten. Syrian who have had their  homes besieged by these butchers. Kidnapped Syrians.  Syrians who have had their organs consumed. Syrians who have had  their very lives destroyed. And Saudi Arabia and Qatar feel threatened!!!??? 
I am even less sympathetic then I was just a moment ago.

Regional Power (Iran)

Russia, a longtime ally of the Assad regime and an arms supplier, wants Iran at the table. Lavrov said he pressed Russia’s position in talks with Kerry in early May, saying Iran is a key regional power.

“I said this to John Kerry,” Lavrov said in a May 19 interview with RIA-Novosti. “He kind of agreed with this, but said that a number of states in the region were categorically opposed to this.”

“China thinks the Syrian issue cannot be solved without certain important countries in the region, and especially not without the participation and support of the countries that have an important influence on the current Syrian situation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said May 22, according to Iranian state-run Press TV.

“China is receptive to the participation of Iran and Saudi Arabia,” he added at his press briefing in Beijing.
And as mentioned, China will be in attendance.

Kerry and Lavrov will be meeting in advance of the Geneva talks in France

 US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet his Russian and French counterparts in Paris on Monday ahead of an expected international conference on ending Syria's conflict, officials said.
A day after the European Union agreed to lift its arms embargo for Syrian rebels, Russia confirmed Tuesday it was looking into giving the Syrian government more high-powered missiles -- raising the prospect of a new foreign-fed arms race in the Middle East.

Tit for tat.
As stated at the beginning of this post the US is disingenuous & Russia is aware.Discouraging a peaceful solution is the intent.


What about Turkey? I came across an interesting piece with a title that beggars belief.

Yes, that was the headline. Incredible? Actually, completely non-credible. But it set's the tone for what you are supposed to 'believe'
To my mind, this article was written to create specific perceptions about Obama and Erdogan. And their role in the destruction of Syria. Obama and Erdogan as strong leaders. Both holding to their beliefs?
Beliefs of some kind. I am not sure what those beliefs might be, but  the presentation of these two men, as if they are men of principal. Which we know is not the case.

According to a senior Turkish official close to those attending the meetings in Washington, "Obama remained firm and insisted on limiting the American role to two matters: humanitarian aid to the Syrian refugees and the countries hosting them

 Erdogan tactfully pointed out the "fluctuation" of the American position, addressing Obama during the dinner...

Obama remaining firm and Erdogan being tactful

Erdogan  stated that the American Secretary of State had promised that the American plan for Syria aimed to "shift the military facts on the ground in favour of the opposition, in order for Bashar Al-Assad to read the writing on the wall and realise that there is no point of him staying in power and that the best solution for him was to step down

Erdogan went on to say to Obama, "Today you are saying something different and the writing on the wall disappeared. You are now focusing on the conference in Geneva, which will be attended by Al-Assad's men believing that their military position is strong and that they can continue, which means they will not make any concessions."

Syrian armies position is strong and why should or would they make concessions to paid mercenary terrorists?

Then Obama replied harshly to Erdogan:

"Turkey never committed to any of the NATO positions that did not serve its national interests," and that it stood "Against the war in Libya, despite the fact that civilians suffered massacres at the hands of Gaddafi's forces, similar to those carried out by Al-Assad." Moreover, Obama added that "Even in 2003, you did not let the American troops use the Incirlik Air Base during the war in Iraq."

Turkey was ‘up to it’ in Libya. They were knee deep, no they were more then knee deep, in the muck & mire. And Turkey continued right on with the role they had played in Libya , arming and aiding the mercs that brought down Libya, then transporting  fighters and weapons from or through Libya into Turkey. From there Turkey moved those fighters and their weapons on  into Syria. ( I have multiple posts on this subject, I will not relink them all, find them and refresh if you are the least bit unfamiliar)
 So if Obama actually said these words.... he is lying.

As for the Incirlik Airbase in Turkey not being used to invade Iraq?
How many NATO bases are in Turkey? Plenty!

I am sure the American troops just used one or more of any of the other ones.

The conclusions I take away from this fanciful piece are as follows
It was written in such a way to give the impression that Obama is taking a ‘hands off approach’ and is in disagreement with Turkey over American involvement
That is flat out untrue
This is exactly the scenario from Libya, where the US ‘led from behind’
The above linked piece was written to create a perception in the mind of the reader. Not a reality.
  Just the usual spoon fed version of reality.

A spin free Update on Qusayr
Assad government predicted a speedy victory after Syria’s army entered Qusayr near the Lebanese border a week last Sunday, claiming to have almost immediately taken 80 per cent of the town.
Syrian Army backed by fighters of Hezbollah control 80 percent of the strategic town of Qusayr, a source close to the Lebanese Shiite movement said on Sunday.

"We still have to take another 20 percent of Qusayr, since we took 10 percent on Sunday and the rest was already in our hands," the source said, declining to be named.

In addition, "the main road between Baalbek and Homs has been secured," he said, referring to a vital artery through which the NATO merc terrorists have been moving  men and equipment to Syria.
The Syrian army said Saturday its forces had infiltrated Dabaa military airport, a rebel post north of Qusayr, a week into the offensive to recapture the town near the Lebanese border.

"Fighting is taking place inside the airport after they broke the “rebel” (actually NATO merc/terrorist ) defence lines," an army source said.

Let’s hope Syria rids itself of the NATO mercs in this area before EU weapons reach their destination, if they haven’t been transported to them already?

And one last piece, I promise
Following up on Journalist: Yara Abbas killed by NATO mercenary fire in Qusair, Syria
News and images available at the link below.As I suspected ordinary Syrians came out in droves.
You just knew she would be sorely missed Martyr Journalist Yara Abbas Laid to Rest



                                           Yara Abbas

Genetically Modified Salmon a DEFINITE threat: Study

I took the "could" out of the headline. For the simple reason that "could" was included to quell fear.
Or to create the perception that this threat will not come to pass. And that my friends is utter nonsense.
We have already seen that GMO have posed a threat to our real world.
 Let me give you just one example, though there are more, this one will be plenty sufficient to make the point: SUPERWEEDS: A long predicted problem for GM crops is here

After a decade of intensive genetically modified plant cultivation, weeds have emerged that are resistant to the most popular herbicide.

Therefore, there is no reality in using the word "could" to describe the potential for threat. 
There is a guarantee that GM salmon will pose a threat.

A genetically modified salmon swims behind a non-genetically modified salmon. A new study is the first to show that GM fish that breed with other species have a competitive advantage over their parents.

Genetically modified Atlantic salmon that were cross-bred with wild brown trout had offspring that grew faster than the GM salmon, and outcompeted other fish for food, potentially posing a risk to wild fish species, a new study has found.

Therefore, these GM abominations will wipe out the wild fish. I am quite certain the GM company looks at this as beneficial. Think about it as wiping out your competition. 

“Our results identify this new avenue for potential environmental impacts, and make it clear that extra vigilance might be required when producing GM species in areas where they could come into contact with closely related species,” said researcher Krista Oke, now a biology PhD student at McGill University. “It shows that there needs to be really stringent safeguards to ensure that GM fish are sterile and that they don’t escape.”

What this should show, very clearly is that this is a very bad idea.

Brown trout is a species that sometimes breeds with salmon. While cross-breeding between salmon and trout occurs infrequently in the wild — at a rate of only about one per cent — previous studies have found that when farmed salmon escape from hatcheries or fish farms into the wild, the rate increases to as high as 41 per cent, the researchers said.
“That’s important because if GM salmon were present in the wild, it would probably be because they had escaped from aquaculture,” Oke said.

The researchers used GM salmon eggs and sperm, which had been engineered to grow quickly and exhibit risk-taking foraging behaviour, from the Prince Edward Island fish farm owned by AquaBounty Technologies Inc. It is the U.S. company seeking approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its fast-growing GM salmon.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

John McCain visits NATO mercs in Syria via Turkey; Whitehouse aware

Of course the White House was aware! Would anyone believe otherwise?
 I have heard it said that John McCain is insane? He isn't really, though.
A psycopath, sure. Completely, evil/vile, yes. But ruthlessly, calculating and rational.
The psychopathy and evil would be necessary attributes to consort with NATO's butchers, organ eaters, rapists and mass murdering killers. .


White House Was Aware Of Republican's Plans 

But, his own daughter found out on twitter ?! Oh, my! 

They must be quite estranged?


McCain, R-Ariz., a member of the Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, favors providing arms to rebel forces in Syria and creation of a no-fly zone. He has stopped short of backing U.S. ground troops in Syria.

Spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday that the White House was aware in advance of McCain's plans to travel to Syria. Carney declined to say whether McCain was carrying any message from the administration, but he said White House officials looked forward to hearing about his trip.

A State Department official said the department was aware of McCain crossing into Syrian territory Monday, but referred further questions to McCain's office. McCain spokeswoman Rachael Dean confirmed the Monday trip, but declined further comment.




Israel threatens to strike Russian missile shipments to Syria


Israel’s defence minister on Tuesday signalled that his military is prepared to strike shipments of advanced Russian weapons to Syria, in a rare implied threat to Moscow.

Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon issued his warning shortly after a top Russian official said his government reserves the right to provide Syria with state-of-the-art S-300 air defence missiles.

Israel has been lobbying Moscow to drop the sale, fearing the missiles would upset the balance of power in the region and could slip into the hands of hostile groups, including the Lebanese militant Hezbollah, a close ally of the Syrian regime.

“As far as we are concerned, that is a threat,” Yaalon told reporters when asked about the S300s.

“At this stage I can’t say there is an escalation. The shipments have not been sent on their way yet. And I hope that they will not be sent,” he said. But “if God forbid they do reach Syria, we will know what to do.”

In Moscow, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, wouldn’t say whether Russia has shipped any of the long-range S-300 air defence missile systems, but insisted that Moscow isn’t going to abandon the deal despite strong Western and Israeli criticism.

“We understand the concerns and signals sent to us from different capitals. We realize that many of our partners are concerned about the issue,” Ryabkov said. “We have no reason to revise our stance.”

He said the missiles could be a deterrent against foreign intervention in Syria and would not be used against Syrian rebels, who do not have an air force.

“We believe that such steps to a large extent help restrain some ’hotheads’ considering a scenario to give an international dimension to this conflict,” he said.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Journalist: Yara Abbas killed by NATO mercenary fire in Qusair, Syria

Or Qussayr ?

 NATO merc terrorists snipers killed her as she reported from the town Syrian Army is taking back from NATO's rebels.

Sniper fire killed a well-known Syrian journalist working for a Syrian television channel near the Lebanese-Syrian border on Monday, the state news agency said. Yara Abbas, a reporter for the al-Ikhbariya news channel, was killed near Debaa airport in Homs province. Forces loyal
to President Bashar al-Assad there have been trying to recapture the base from the rebels seeking to oust him. Syria TV said Abbas, in her mid-twenties, was targeted by "terrorists", the term commonly used by Assad supporters to describe the rebels.

NATO's mercs have killed many reporters. Marie Colvin, journalist/ spy, in Syria unlawfully, was one of the first. There was the cameraman from France and others.

However, the western media will barely mention this woman, because she did not die for the cause of imperialism and pipeline routes. Control of resources or global domination.

She died while covering the fighting from the perspective of a besieged nation under invasion from foreign fighters, backed by foreign governments.
A woman in her mid twenties gone well before her time. She knew the risks and was willing to take them.
I think ordinary Syrians will  miss her.

Below is her final report:

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Syria sends report to WHO accusing Israel of torture and more

Israel. Torturing and human experimentation.
I am not surprised.
Human trafficking.
Organ trafficking.
Israel seems to be involved in the most depraved acts against humankind.. They are not alone in this brutality, of course. But no other country claims to be filled with those chosen by God, as is claimed by Israel's inhabitants.
Certainly, not Kosovo... Israel's sometime partner in crime

In the United Nations, Syria has slammed Israel over what they described as the deterioration of health conditions in the Golan Heights.
Syria, which is constantly accused of violating its own citizens’ human rights, has now accused Israel of allowing the health conditions of Syrians in the occupied Golan to deteriorate due to suppressive practices carried out through the Israeli occupation.
The reported released on Thursday says that Syria had made these allegations against Israel through a report that was presented on Monday to the World Health Organization.
The Health Ministry of Syria, in their report to the World Health Assembly said Syrians had been deprived of their medical treatments because they rejected Israeli citizenship.
The report goes on to accuse Israel of carrying out torture on Syrians that are held in prisons in Israel, saying in the report that the Syrians are continuing to be held inside detention centers that have inhumane conditions.
The report also claims that Israel uses Syrian and Arab detainees for testing medicines and then they are brutally tortured and subsequently coerced into confessing their guilt for crimes that they never committed.
The allegations said that Israel injects the Arab and Syrian detainees with dangerous viruses that produce disabilities and diseases, with some even having a fatal outcome.

Holocaust Day news: Israel & forced sterilization of Ethiopians

Israeli organ traffickers operating in South Africa& Kosovo 

Israeli organ traffickers in the Phillipines 

Anthrax, Israeli organ trafficking and more

Israel not preventing human trafficking for sex and forced labour

Israelis arrested in Romania: Suspicion of human egg trafficking

Friday, May 24, 2013

Pipelines and Geopolitics: Russia and the race for Mediterranean Basin Energy resources

Of course, for Russia to be in a race for resources there would have to be other competitor/racers.

How many posts have I done on pipeline politics and the race/competition to control resources..?
I can’t even answer that myself. But I am putting up, yet, another one!
If you have been following along for more then five years now, you should be aware of this situation.
If you haven’t been following along and are unaware of this situation, where have you been?
And, boy have you got a lot of catching up to do!

The most recent posts talking pipeline politics can be found:

From  the latest (Chechnya etc.)  (3 parts) to Iran, Pakistan, Syria & Qatar and then to another 3 part series covering Cyprus/Israel/Turkey/Syria

If you are already up to speed then start here:

Since you are up to speed you will be aware, we have discussed the Mediterranean Basin resources.
And since I prefer, fact, reality and truth to propaganda...let me pile on some more info
PDF- 4 pages

I will be quoting from an opinion piece, published by Financial Post, written by Lawrence Solomon.
(Who this man is, I haven’t a clue) Since the FP is publishing his opinion he must be one of the connected, affiliated or approved talking heads

And he does brings out some interesting info, I will ignore as much of his propagandistic comments and stick to  the "meat and potatoes"..

Russia’s importance on the world stage today rests overwhelmingly on energy, its main source of foreign exchange and — because much of Europe utterly depends on Russian gas — a dominant source of its political influence. The gas is delivered by Gazprom, until this year the world’s most profitable company.

To maintain Gazprom’s dominance in the European market, Putin has been fighting off competitors on numerous fronts. First, to prevent Europe from acquiring gas from a proposed gas pipeline from Turkey, Putin directed Gazprom to pre-empt it by building an economically dubious rival pipeline to Europe”

Economically dubious?
The pipeline he is referencing is the competitor pipeline to Nabucco, the Southstream pipeline. Problem with Mr Solomon’s claim is that  from my understanding, it is Nabucco that is the economically dubious, ultra expensive and an impractical pipeline.

A couple of years ago I did this post on the subject.

South Stream’s advantage is the fact that it has a ready supply of natural gas from Russia, Pamir said, while Nabucco suffers from a lack of suppliers”

Nabucco is utterly and totally useless without Iran. South stream already has a supply of gas. And will soon have more as Mr Solomon points out.

 A new threat to Gazprom’s hegemony has emerged – ever-larger discoveries of natural gas in the eastern Mediterranean’s Levant Basin, much of which would ordinarily be destined for Europe. In response to these finds in the Levant Basin, which the U.S. Geological Survey believes could hold one of the world’s richest deposits, Putin is again acting to maintain Europe as his preserve, by ensuring that Gazprom has a say in Mediterranean gas deliveries.

Step One in Putin’s Mediterranean gambit involves Israel, by tying down its nine-trillion-cubic-foot Tamar field.
( Tying down it’s Tamar field? Pathetic language. He writes as if Israel was forced into dealing with Gazprom. Gazprom likely made the most generous offer)  Under terms of a 20-year deal completed earlier this year, Gazprom will now be the exclusive seller of Tamar gas. Very likely, Gazprom will soon also secure rights to Israel’s even larger Levianthan field. Step Two involves Cyprus, by securing rights to its gas. This Gazprom seems set to do, largely by acquiring the Greek gas distribution company which will receive Cyprus gas.

Digressing briefly to the Greek deal:  The agency head gave assurances that the winner will be the one who offers the highest bid ensuring there is no pressure from the U.S. and the EU on Greece with regards to the participation of Russian companies in the privatisation.

Continuing with Mr Solomons' opinion piece
Steps Three and Four involve two other Levant Basin countries, Syria and its client state, Lebanon. By maintaining Assad in power — not least since Syria hosts Russia’s only naval base in the Mediterranean — Putin will have outsized influence over Levant Basin gas, and the plausible means to continue to keep Europe dependant on him.

In 2008, Gazprom, then worth $365-billion, predicted it would be worth $1-trillion by 2015, both by maintaining its dominance in Europe and by capturing much of the Asian market.

To keep Gazprom’s market share from falling further, Putin will need to play hard ball with all concerned. Given the stakes, and given Putin’s well-deserved strongman image, no one should be surprised at Putin’s single-minded determination to keep Syria’s Assad, and himself, solidly in power.”

Mr Solomon seems to take issue with the fact that Russia is outmaneuvering western oil companies, affiliated with the global bankster crowd ( a stroll down memory lane) and doing it all without bombing everyone into freedom and democracy.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

More curious deaths!? The two FBI agents Involved in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's Arrest??

I can only say...fall out from the Boston Marathon bombing is still falling out?!

As if  The curious killing of Ibrahim Todashev and the very tenuous link to Boston 
wasn't enough to pique one's curiosity, we also have the sudden accidental death of two FBI agents involved in the arrest of Dzhokhar Tsarnev (Thanks Nikola!) 

Nikola must have been pondering the amazing coincidence of Mr Todashev dying in Florida while FBI agents connected to Boston were falling out of helicopters. Same as I was, because here is the FBI press release, that I was looking at just before seeing Nikola's link

Two members of the FBI’s elite counterterrorism unit died Friday while practicing how to quickly drop from a helicopter to a ship using a rope, the FBI announced Monday in a statement.
Did they forget the rope?  Or a safety harness type device while practicing this new maneuver?

Last month, the team was involved in the arrest of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.


Two members of the FBI’s elite counterterrorism unit died Friday while practicing how to quickly drop from a helicopter to a ship using a rope, the FBI announced Monday in a statement.

The statement gave few details regarding the deaths of Special Agents Christopher Lorek and Stephen Shaw, other than to say the helicopter encountered unspecified difficulties and the agents fell a “significant distance.”
Work place safety, while training is clearly at issue here (facetious) 
From the FBI press release linked above

FBI Mourns the Loss of Two Special Agents Killed in Training Exercise

Washington, D.C. May 19, 2013
Two FBI special agents were tragically killed Friday during a training exercise off the coast of Virginia Beach, Virginia. Special Agent Christopher Lorek and Special Agent Stephen Shaw were members of the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team, part of the Critical Incident Response Group based at Quantico, Virginia. The cause of the incident is under review.

In a statement, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller said, “We mourn the loss of two brave and courageous men. Like all who serve on the Hostage Rescue Team, they accept the highest risk each and every day, when training and on operational missions, to keep our nation safe. Our hearts are with their wives, children, and other loved ones who feel their loss most deeply. And they will always be part of the FBI Family.”

The curious killing of Ibrahim Todashev and the very tenuous link to Boston

When I first read the news about this killing, my first thoughts were:
Timely. Convenient. And wondered is this about tying up loose ends?
Dead men tell no tales. But, many tales can be told about dead men.

Interesting interview with friend:

found at this link, I will re embed video at a later date (see comments below),0,2776677.story

-Ibrahim was supposed to go home to see his parents had he not been killed by the FBI agent

-The friend mentions FBI having had multiple previous meetings with Ibrahim. The difference being at this last meeting Ibrahim ended up dead. Just before he was going to leave the country to visit  his parents in Chechnya.

-  The FBI agent, named Chris, had set up multiple previous meetings? Why? This time three  additional agents came from Boston?

-The friend, is clearly giving first hand testimony of his conversation with Ibrahim, prior to Ibrahim's meeting with FBI agents.

- Ibrahim did not want to go to this meeting. He was scared.  But, why? Why would Ibrahim be scared this time, when he had multiple previous meetings with an FBI agent named Chris in Florida?

More from the friend and Ibrahim heading home

A 27-year-old man reportedly acquainted with Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was shot and killed by an FBI agent in the wee hours of Wednesday morning in Orlando, Fla.

In the "wee hours of Wednesday morning"? How long were the FBI agents holding/interrogating Mr Todashev? How was this interrogation being conducted? Was there beatings or torture?

Khusen Taramov, who identified himself to WFTV as Todashev's friend, told the local TV station that Todashev had purchased a ticket "to go back home." CBS News reports  Todashev was planning a trip to Chechnya, heightening the interest of authorities. (Why? Were they afraid he was not going to come back? Afraid of who he might talk to in Chechnya?)

According to Taramov, FBI agents "were pushing him, saying, 'Stay, don't leave.' They said, 'We want to interview you one last time and talk to you a last time.' And he decided to stay, and today's interview was supposed to be the last time, and they said they were going to leave him alone."

 Taramov said his friend didn't know Tsarnaev very well. "Back in Boston, they used to hang out," he told WFTV. "Not hang out, he just knew him. He met them a few times because he was an MMA fighter, [and] the other guy was boxer. They just knew each other that's it."

 “The [FBI] agent along with two Massachusetts State Police troopers and other law enforcement personnel were interviewing an individual.....
So, we have one guy alone, with minimally 4, perhaps more, law enforcement personnel. That much is clear.

Who was Ibragim Todashev?

 Was he connected in a meaningful way to the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings? Did he play a role in the brutal murders of three people in Massachusetts who had their throats slashed?

Or was he, as his friends contend, a good guy who just happens to be Chechen — and for that reason had attracted the attention of federal authorities?

Todashev was shot to death by a Boston FBI agent in an Orlando condo (in the wee hours of the morning) while being questioned about his connections to the Boston Marathon bombing suspects and a triple-slaying in Waltham, Mass. in 2011, federal law enforcement authorities said. Federal officials said he lunged at the agent with a knife during questioning, and the agent opened fire.

Little is known about Todashev — who federal sources said was in the U.S. legally — aside from the few details that emerged Wednesday through law enforcement, public records searches and interviews with friends.

The media is making mention of a previous arrest in which Todashev was charged with aggravated battery. That is being brought up to bolster the official narrative that Ibrahim Todashev was capable of attacking the FBI agent. This is spin.  That Mr Todashev got into a fight with one other individual in a parking lot, a one against one fight, does not tell us he would act in the same manner, in the company of several heavily armed FBI agents. That kind of information is included to obfuscate the issue at hand. I find it unlikely that he would attack anyone in a situation where he was alone, scared and as mentioned confronted with multiple armed individuals.

The FBI questioned Todashev at least five times in person plus numerous times by telephone since the bombings, according to interviews with three of his four former roommates.

Where is his fourth room mate? Has the media interviewed this person?

They (all three friends)  told the Orlando Sentinel the interviews and surveillance began two days after two Chechen brothers — 26-year-old Tamerlan and 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev — were identified as the suspected bombers.

"They pretty much kidnapped him in front of his place," said 22-year-old Khusen Taramov.

The three friends said all of them — including Todashev — shared the same sense of outrage over the bombing in Boston. And none had heard of a triple-murder there a couple of years ago in which their friend was allegedly a suspect, they said.
None of the roommates considered Todashev a political or religious radical, saying simply that he was faithful to their shared religion.

“It's not clear whether Todashev lived in the Orlando condo where he was shot early Wednesday.
He has an address in Kissimmee, but friends there said Todashev's girlfriend lives in the Orlando complex and he stayed there frequently”

We know Todashev lived in Kissimee with his 3 roommates. They have all mentioned that fact.

Is the inclusion of the girlfriend resident in the condo complex being reported on to give reason to Mr Todashev being in the Orlando condo, he was shot to death in by the FBI?
Is it even the same condo? If not, how is this aspect relevant to the narrative being presented?

A girlfriend according to his friends. A wife according to the media?
Would his friends mistake a wife for a girlfriend and vice versa?
I find that a bit hard to believe..

I feel uncomfortable with "the wife"? The picture just seems off and her story... ?????
I don't know?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Syria: Strategic battle for Qusair. Israeli talkin' tough. What about Qatar?

Two related updates at the bottom: scroll down

Consider this an update on the post from yesterday: Syria: Turkeys' military escapades; Israeli jeep enters Syrian territory & more

Concerning the taking, by the Syrian Army, of a strategic town near Lebanon
This town has got to be extremely important, judging by today's news

NATO merc footage:

Syria opposition calls for reinforcements in embattled Qusair
(this story has changed from this am. quotes below are from original.)
Syria's leading opposition group called on Wednesday for rebels across the country to send reinforcements to the strategic border town Qusair

George Sabra, acting head of the opposition National Coalition, called on fighters to send arms and men to the area

Seizing Qusair would also allow Assad to sever links between rebel-held areas in the north and south of Syria.

Rebel leaders have warned of sectarian revenge attacks against Shi'ites and Alawites on either side of the Syrian-Lebanese border if rebels lose Qusair.

The above highlighted sentence causes me a bit of consternation-
I read this sentence as rebel leaders aka NATO mercs , largely fanatical Sunni’s (wahabbi/salafi)  threatening slaughter of  the Shiites and Alawites on their way out the door. 
Thinking realistically and rationally about this situation. That can be the only conclusion taken away from warnings made by rebel leaders. They will engage in mass slaughter. As they have done previously on innumerable occasions. (Has anyone forgotten the organ eating rebel?)

Location of the continuing battle: borrowed from here

Continuing on with the ‘rebel’ aka NATO mercs:

"If we lose Qusair, we lose Homs, and if we lose Homs, we lose the heart of the country," said Ahmed, a rebel speaking by Skype from Homs as explosions and gunfire crackled in the background.

One rebel source, who asked not to be named, said Assad and Hezbollah forces had cut most of the oppositions overland supply lines into Qusair. But he said the rebels were still able to bring some supplies and fighters in through secret tunnels.

An analyst close to Qatari officials said the Sunni Gulf state, which has funneled money and weapons to the opposition, was looking for new routes to send in supplies to Qusair.

Rebel forces from other parts of Syria appear to have taken seriously the call for support seriously.

The large Islamist Tawheed Brigade in the northern province of Aleppo published a video of a 30-car convoy it said was heading to Qusair.

Sedans and pickup trucks loaded with artillery and fighters sped down the highway, with rebels waving black Islamist banners ( AQ/ Al Nusra fighting on behalf of NATO?)
shouting "God is Great."

I would think Syrian army will be watching for such travelers? In the air and on the ground.

In the previous post Qatar and their role in all this mayhem was mentioned in the comments.
And yes, Qatar has been very important in the destruction of Syria. I have covered the reasons for that participation previously, so I won’t rehash all of that yet again.
I will limit my commentary to kick off this next section with this statement: Qatar would benefit immensely from Syria’s destruction so their starring role should be unsurprising. So lets talk Qatar and their so called "court intellectual". A man I find highly suspicious.

Financial Times: How Qatar seized control of the Syrian revolution
Qatar has emerged as a driving force: pouring in tens of millions of dollars to arm the rebels.
Yet it also stands accused of dividing them - and of positioning itself for even greater influence in the post-Assad era.

A short drive from the rising skyscrapers of Doha’s West Bay, emblems of the once-sleepy Qatari capital’s frenetic growth, the three-starred flag of the Syrian revolution can be seen fluttering over a modern villa guarded by police cars. The villa is the new Syrian Arab Republic embassy in Qatar, representing not the regime of Bashar al-Assad, but opponents fighting for his removal.
The opening of the Syrian Arab Republic embassy in Qatar, March 2013
The opening of the embassy was a theatrical expression of this small, massively rich country’s single-minded lurch into Syria’s crisis. When it comes to backing Syria’s rebels, no one can claim more credit than the gas-rich Gulf state. Whether in terms of armaments or financial support for dissidents, diplomatic manoeuvring or lobbying, Qatar has been in the lead, readily disgorging its gas-generated wealth in the pursuit of the downfall of the House of Assad.
In the shell-blasted areas of rebel-held Syria, few appear to be aware of the vast sums that Qatar has contributed – estimated by rebel and diplomatic sources to be about $1bn, but put by people close to the Qatar government at as much as $3bn.
Qatar’s role in Syria seems uncharacteristically prominent for a country that lacks the diplomatic experience and traditional heavyweight status of a more discreet Saudi Arabia.
Most of Doha’s neighbours in the Gulf are hostile to the Islamist trend in the region, but this is of little consequence to a state that takes pleasure in being contrarian. Nor are the al-Thanis embarrassed by the contradictions of an autocracy cheerleading for revolution.
In other words the al-Thanis are shameless. Big surprise.

The part below is most  interesting. This is where we meet Azmi Bishari a man of influence in Qatar:

“One person who influenced the emir’s thinking at the time is Azmi Bishara, a prominent former Arab Israeli MP, exiled in Qatar (like many other Arab dissidents) after the Israeli government accused him of passing information to the Lebanese group Hizbollah during Israel’s onslaught on Lebanon in 2006 – a charge Bishara denies.

An adviser to the emir and the crown prince, Bishara has become something of a court intellectual in Doha.”
What is the background on this so called “exiled” Israeli MP? Was he exiled to give him credibility?
To make him appear as if he was hostile to Israel while he conducted business in such a way that was beneficial to Israel?

You decide for yourself. I have already made up my mind
Azmi Bishari


If this man is a so called “court intellectual” in Doha, then I get the Israeli role in all of this!
And if Israel really wanted this man.....they would have had him. Dead or alive.

Back to Qatar;The FT article concludes:

Whether Qatar’s venture into Syrian opposition politics will have any returns will depend on whether Syria survives as a country – something that is by no means assured. Perhaps for the Qatari emir, the demise of Assad will be sufficient satisfaction. In theory, Qatar could also emerge with multiple points of influence through Islamists and loyal brigades. But it has already created many enemies inside Syria, and not just among pro-regime supporters. So torn apart is the fabric of Syria’s society, and so radicalised and suspicious its battered population, that the Qataris are more likely to find that they are neither thanked – nor even wanted – there.

Also included is a ‘who’s who’ list. Good piece for background info

WP had a rather large piece on the Israeli incursion into Syria

Apparently Israel is moving away from diplomacy... I was unaware of Israel engaging in diplomacy?

In blunt language marking a turn away from diplomatic caution..... 
“We will not allow the area of the Golan Heights to turn into an easy target for Syrian attacks,” IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said.

Just a target for Israeli attacks from occupied territory into Syria, right? This cackling from Israel seems to have much to do with the Lebanese border town mentioned at the beginning of the post.
This town has to be very important in the whole scheme of things. A game changer as WP makes clear

Gaining control of Qusair could be a game-changer for Assad’s government.

I am getting this “Stalingrad” sort of feeling...close quarters, intense battles. Keeping in mind the invader (Germany) retreated from that battle. Both sides sustaining devastating losses.
Maybe a bit to dramatic?

On a more humourous note?
To believe this nonsense, is to suspend all sense of reality.
I mean, come on!

Court: US Can Keep Bin Laden Photos Under Wraps

A federal appeals court Tuesday backed the U.S. government's decision not to release photos and video taken of Osama bin Laden during and after a raid in which the terrorist leader was killed by U.S. commandos.

Correct me if I am mistaken, but, didn’t the US government release alleged dead Osama photos that were quickly demonstrated to be fakes? I recall seeing some.

The court said that it was undisputed that the government wasn't withholding the images to shield wrongdoing or avoid embarrassment, but rather to prevent the killing of Americans and violence against U.S. interests.

The court said “it was undisputed that the government wasn’t withholding images to shield wrongdoing or avoid embarrassment”

Well if the court said that, that must be the truth of it all.....(wink, wink)
That is a blatant, obvious, appeal to authority.
Because the government would never withhold any information to ‘cover their asses’ if it was to their benefit. And the court says that is undisputed?
Right? Right.........
And you just take the court’s word on that!


Russia: Syria opposition too divided

 Russia said on Wednesday that the Syrian opposition had not yet shown enough commitment to efforts, to arrange a peace conference with President Bashar Assad's government.
 Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov praised the Syrian government's response to joint US-Russian efforts to seek a resolution to the more than two-year-old conflict but said the opposition was too divided to agree on its participation.
  "We value the constructive reaction of the Syrian leadership to this proposal," Lavrov said at talks with Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad in Moscow.
 "We also hope that a constructive reaction from various opposition groups... will follow. So far, however, the news is not hopeful."

UPDATE # 2 BEGINS - Anonymous comments that Israel is promoting a pre-emption narrative
As I went to sign out, lo and behold:  Amid Syria tensions, IAF chief says 'surprise war' a threat
"surprise war" sure.

Israel Air Force chief Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel warned that Israel must be prepared for a "surprise war" developing.
Addressing a national security conference in Herzliya held by the Fisher Brothers Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies,  Eshel stated that "a surprise war can develop today in many forms. Isolated events can escalate very quickly and require that we are ready in hours to act in the full spectrum - and when I say the full spectrum, I mean activating the full capabilities of the Air Force."

He said in a future war, the IAF will have to pave a path for the Ground Forces through very heavy bombings that will hit the ground and turn a ground offensive into something that is far easier and faster. "We must be the central component in a ground maneuver, and we are dealing with this a lot."

Is Israel suggesting they are going to massively bomb Syria and then send in the troops?
JP article ends:
Ya'alon played down the prospect of anyone on the Syrian side starting a war with Israel "because they understand the heavy price they would pay".