Category Archives: West Asia (Middle East)

The looming war between the Bani Saud

Saudi Arabia – a mother of terrorism

The bid of Bin Salman of the ruling family of Saudi Arabia, prime customer of Canadian-produced armaments, to consolidate power in his own hands | ZAFAR BANGASH*

There are clear signs of deep divisions among the members of Bani Saud that point to serious trouble in the days ahead. Largely the result of Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s grab for unlimited (unaccountable) power and the disastrous policies he has pursued unilaterally, there is great unease among other members of the ruling family that may explode into open warfare.

While the demented King Salman appears largely oblivious to what is going on around him, his son, the arrogant and erratic Bin Salman (BS) continues to make policy blunders that other family members fear would spell doom for the clan. Former Crown Prince and Interior Minister Muhammad bin Nayif was unceremoniously dismissed from both posts last June and is now reported to be under house arrest. The move was engineered by Bin Salman to pave the way for his own accession to the throne. Continue reading

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The United States was responsible for the 1982 massacre of Palestinians in Beirut

Washington had explicitly guaranteed their safety – and recently declassified documents reveal that US diplomats were told by the Israelis what they and their allies might be up to | RASHID KHALIDI*

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Palestine Photo Project publishes archival photos from 1898-1946 in new book and online

Palestine Photo Project publishes archival photos from 1898 – 1946 in new book and online

Jerusalem from Tower of Notre Dame de France, 1934-1939 | Palestine Photo Project

The Palestine Photography Project has published over 200 high quality photos of pre-1948 Palestine both online and in a book. They can also be used for exhibitions in galleries, museums, universities, libraries, and other venues worldwide.

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Syria: Meddling in the name of ‘empowering women’

Since the forces led by the Syrian government have gained the upper hand in Syria, Canada has been unable to justify openly going into Syria which it had sought to do in the past. Recently, Canada announced $45 million to fund programs in Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon, countries that neighbour Syria.

The funding is allegedly to “assist grass roots women’s organizations and assist Jordanian and Lebanese communities in hosting over 1,660,000 registered Syrian refugees.” Continue reading

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Canada’s Iraq war mission extended

Since September 11, 2001, Canada has consistently been expanding its foreign military and police presence in Central and West Asia under U.S. and NATO command. While openly participating in the invasion of Afghanistan, the Chrétien Liberal government would not openly join the “Coalition of the Willing” and provide more than a handful of troops for the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, despite having provided troops, warships and jets during the previous U.S. invasion of Iraq – the Persian Gulf War. The Trudeau government has now taken up the challenge to provide an air of legitimacy for Canada’s ongoing military actions in Iraq and their expansion. On June 29, the Trudeau government announced that its mission in Iraq would be extended for two more years and that the mission would be “adjusted.” This is a far cry from its election claim that it would end Canada’s combat mission in Iraq, giving the impression that it was against foreign military escalation. Shortly after being elected, the Trudeau government launched a new mission in the Middle East, focusing on Iraq and neighbouring countries such as Jordan and Lebanon. Continue reading

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Word. Speech by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to the Syrian Diplomatic Corps

For the West, this conflict is a valuable opportunity to settle its accounts and to subject many countries that have rebelled against its hegemony

Full transcript of speech by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on August 20, 2017 to the Syrian Diplomatic Corps

Ladies and gentlemen, diplomats and administrators of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

I am pleased to meet with you on this day of the inauguration of your congress, which offers an important opportunity to share perspectives and experiences, discuss future State policies and propose innovative ideas that would push this Ministry to fulfill its missions even more effectively.

This meeting is important because of the acceleration of the dynamics of events in the world and in the region, particularly in Syria, especially since traditional or modern means of communication cannot replace these direct meetings aimed at configuring unified visions and formulating adopted positions. It is also a particularly important meeting given the complexity of the current situation in Syria. Continue reading

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Germany angles to rebuild Syria

So many aspects about Syria are never reported.
A week ago, Syrian rebels shelled visitors (naturally indiscriminately) to the Damascus International Fair. Nevertheless, the total number of the visitors who toured the ten-day Fair reached 2,247 million. Forty three countries staged exhibits.

BERLIN/DAMASCUS (german-foreign-policy.com, August 28) – German companies are seeking to favourably position themselves for participation in Syria’s post-war reconstruction. Following the Damascus International Fair, which closed yesterday, the director of the Middle East Department of the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) noted, the development in the country is being “closely observed” and “a series of cautious initial inquiries” are already being registered. The Damascus International Fair is one of the most traditional fairs in the region and was held again, for the first time, since the beginning of the war. Particularly companies from Russia, Iran and China have good prospects for participating in Syria’s rebuilding. Since 2012, the German government has been eager to provide emergency aid and reconstruction. However, this aid was restricted to regions under insurgent control. Idlib Province, today controlled by the al-Qaeda offshoot al-Nusra (renamed Tahrir al-Sham) is one of those regions benefiting. Continue reading

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