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Category Archives: Syria war

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis: No evidence Syrian government used poison gas on its people

This is monumental news that, for some reason, isn’t broadcast by the alphabet TV news.

Robert Burns reports for the AP that a week ago, on February 2, 2018, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon the U.S. has no evidence to confirm reports from aid groups and others that the Syrian government had used the deadly chemical sarin on its citizens.

While saying that “We’re looking for evidence of it, since clearly we are dealing with the Assad regime that has used denial and deceit to hide their outlaw actions. We’re even more concerned about the possibility of sarin use,” and that “We have other reports from the battlefield from people who claim it’s been used,” Mattis admitted that “We do not have evidence of it.”

In fact, experienced chemical weapons experts and investigators such as Hans Blix, Scott Ritter, Gareth Porter and Theodore Postol have all cast doubt on “official” U.S. narratives — of both the Obama and Trump administrations — regarding President Assad employing sarin.

In April 2017, claiming the Assad government illegally used chemical weapons against Syrian rebels in Idlib province, the U.S. launched several dozen Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian air base in response. President Donald Trump said the attack was meant to deter further Syrian use of illegal weapons.

Despite Mattis’ admission that the U.S. has no evidence the Syrian government, a day before on Thursday, February 1, the Trump administration accused Assad of producing and using “new kinds of weapons” to deliver deadly chemicals. Administration officials said Trump has not ruled out additional military action to deter chemical attacks or to punish Assad, though they did not suggest any action was imminent. They emphasized that the United States was seeking a new way to hold users of chemical weapons accountable and wanted cooperation from Russia, Assad’s patron, in pressuring him to end the attacks.

The truth is that it is Israel who wants the U.S. to topple the Assad government, under whose rule Syrian Christians have lived peaceably alongside their Muslim neighbors. The United States should stop fighting Israel’s wars by manufacturing excuses to justify attacking the Syrian government.

See Philip Giraldi, “America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars,” The Unz Review.

In the words of U.S. Army veteran and international lawyer Ian Wilkie:

“America’s credibility was damaged by Colin Powell at the United Nations in 2003 falsely accusing Saddam Hussein of having mobile anthrax laboratories. Fast forward to 2017 and we encounter Nikki Haley in an uncomfortably similar situation at the U.N. Security Council calling for action against yet another non-Western head-of-state based on weak, unsubstantiated evidence.

Now Secretary Mattis has added fuel to the WMD propaganda doubters’ fire by retroactively calling into question the rationale for an American cruise missile strike.

[. . . I]t is time for America to stop shooting first and asking questions later.”

See also:

~Eowyn

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German leisure center becomes first to ban migrants

rapefugees

Someone finally doing something to protect their people.

From Daily Mail: A German leisure centre has become the first in the country to ban all migrants after a schoolgirl was sexually assaulted in a public swimming pool by Syrian teenagers.

Three Syrian boys were arrested earlier this month over the attack at a leisure centre in Munich as the country grapples with growing concerns about sex crimes perpetrated by asylum seekers.

In response to growing concerns, a leisure centre in Bornheim, North Rhine-Westphalia, has now barred all migrants.

The ban also follows an attack by an 18-year-old refugee on a 54-year-old woman in Bornheim, where he had grabbed her by the private parts and tried to kiss her. The victim was only rescued from a further attack by a couple who heard her screams and ran to help. The teenager was arrested a short while later.

Bornheim social affairs councillor and deputy mayor Markus Schnapka said the move followed an emergency meeting of locals where the swimming pool ban was announced. He said: ‘At the public meeting, I made it quite clear that it was an extremely difficult decision and it’s clear that many innocent refugees are also affected by this.’

He added that so far none of the local incidents had resulted in criminal complaints, but it was clear that action needed to be taken to prevent the situation escalating.  He said: ‘We are mainly talking about verbal attacks.’

Bornheim currently has 300 refugees living in accommodation who have been told that the ban will be lifted when the message has been received that women need to be respected.

In the Munich attack, the three boys are alleged to have surrounded the 17-year-old girl in the pool before one of them groped her underneath her swimming costume in an offence deemed rape under local law.

When the girl’s sister, 14, tried to make them stop, she too was groped by the trio of teenagers, who were all aged under 15.  The girls managed to flee and raise the alarm with the lifeguard at the swimming pool, who called police.

Because the asylum seekers were only 15, they were not remanded in custody and will be prosecuted under juvenile law.

The main offender’s two friends were arrested for assault for taking part in the attack.

It comes after more than three hundred women reported being sexually assaulted by groups of mostly Arab or North African men in Cologne during New Year celebrations.

Hundreds of criminal complaints have been filed by police, with about 45 per cent involving allegations of sexual offences, and most of the suspects identified so far are foreign nationals.

Read the rest of the story here.

See also:

DCG

Switzerland: No citizenship for refugees and welfare recipients until money is repaid

Although not part of the European Union, Switzerland partakes in “resettling” Syrian refugees. In 2016, the Swiss government announced they would take 3,000 asylum seekers from the war-torn country, as well as resettle up to 50,000 asylum seekers who had crossed the border into Switzerland, mostly from Italy.

Unlike the other European countries and the United States, however, Switzerland isn’t stupid in being charitable.

Joseph Curl reports for the Daily Wire, Jan. 10, 2018, that Switzerland, where the average annual GDP per capita is nearly $80,000, recently enacted a new  law that prevents residents who receive welfare benefits from becoming citizens until they pay back the money they took.

The new regulations that took effect January 1 specify that:

  1. Asylum seekers and refugees who received handouts in the previous three years can’t become permanent residents — and thus, on the road to becoming full citizens — without first paying back the government.
  2. Refugees must prove they are making efforts to integrate into society in order to win citizenship by showing they have “cultivated contacts” with a number of Swiss people.
  3. There are also new language requirements, which vary depending on the canton they live in.

What Switzerland is doing is tough love.

Being charitable doesn’t mean one has to be a sap, a doormat. Nor should an open door policy to refugees and migrants be only one-way, where the host country gives and gives, but receives little or nothing in return. Human nature  being what it is, such a policy simply leads to the welfare-recipient feeling “entitled” and even contemptuous of the giver. Refugees and migrants have a responsibility to repay charity with hard work and a willingness to assimilate to become responsible citizens.

Why can’t the U.S. be more like Switzerland?

~Eowyn

New Year’s Eve party in Berlin to have “safe zone” for women

rapefugees

Ain’t multiculturalism grand?

From BBC: Organisers of Berlin’s New Year’s Eve celebrations are to set up a “safe zone” for women for the first time.  The new security measures planned for the Brandenburg Gate party come amid concerns about sexual assaults.

A large number of assaults and robberies targeting women at Cologne’s New Year’s Eve celebrations two years ago horrified Germany. Hundreds of women reported being attacked by gangs of men with migrant backgrounds.

The events in Cologne heightened tensions in the country over the large influx of refugees and migrants – 1.1m people arrived in Germany in 2015, some, but by no means all, fleeing violence in Syria and Iraq.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend the New Year’s Eve party in Berlin on Sunday and security will be strict. Large bags, such as rucksacks, and alcoholic drinks will be banned at the Brandenburg Gate.

Women who have been assaulted or feel harassed will be able to get support at a special “safety zone”, staffed by the German Red Cross, on Ebertstrasse. The city’s police have also issued advice to women, encouraging them to seek help if they feel threatened and to carry a small bag with no valuables.

Cologne officials set up a “security point”, staffed by social workers and psychologists, at the city’s 2016 carnival following the New Year’s Eve attacks.

But the idea of a special safe zone for women at large public events has not been welcomed by everyone.  Critics say it does not tackle the perpetrators of sexual violence, while some others complain it is discriminatory.

h/t Twitchy

DCG

Christians celebrate first Christmas in Mosul since ISIS was driven out

mosul christians

From Daily Mail: Christians celebrated Christmas in Iraq‘s second city of Mosul for the first time in four years today – and hymns and cries of joy flooded the church. The seasonal event marked the end of jihadist rule in the city and the Mass opened with the Iraqi national anthem as women wailed with emotion.

Despite the modest interior of the church and the armoured police outside, wheelchair-bound Hossam Abud, 48, who returned this month from exile in Iraqi Kurdistan, said: ‘This is a sign that life is returning to Mosul.’

In 2014 when the Islamic State group seized the city ordering people to convert, pay taxes, leave or die, Mr. Abud and thousands of other Christians fled Mosul.   

Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako of Iraq’s Chaldean Catholic Church called on the congregation to pray for ‘peace and stability in Mosul, Iraq and the world’.

‘With this mass, we’re sending a message of peace and love, because Christ is the messenger of peace.’

Saint Paul’s church in east Mosul saw Muslims stand together today with Christian worshippers and local officials surrounded by candles and Christmas trees. As a reminder of the city’s bleak recent history a portrait of a Christian killed under IS rule was displayed outside the church. 

Iraqi forces expelled the jihadist group from Mosul in July after months of ferocious fighting. Large parts of Syria and nearly a third of Iraq were once ruled over by the organisation who were decimated in a string of defeats.

The windows that were once blasted empty during the conflict were covered by white sheets today.

Farqad Malko, a Christian woman in the congregation said, mass was a message to IS. She said: ‘With this celebration, we tell them that residents of Mosul are all brothers, whatever their religion or ethnicity, and despite all the damage and suffering.’

Sunday’s church service in eastern Mosul was ‘an immense joy’, she said, smiling broadly as seasonal hymns played in the background.

Saint Paul’s is currently the only functioning church in Mosul, and is only open thanks to the clean-up efforts of young volunteers.  Mr. Abud added: ‘We must rebuild the city’s churches that were destroyed to encourage the return of Christians.’

The 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq had by 2014 pushed some 90 percent of Mosul’s Christian population to flee, leaving only 2,000 families when it was captured by IS, officials and activists say. Sako urged Christians displaced within Iraq and those who have sought refuge abroad to return and ‘play an active role in (the city’s) reconstruction’.

Between 70 and 80 Christian families have so far returned ‘and more are expected to follow soon’, according to Dourid Tobia, an advisor on Christian affairs to the provincial governor.

Mina Ramez, 20, returned with her family two months ago, in time for the start of the new university year. She said: ‘This is our land, these are our homes, and we will do everything we can with our brothers of all religions to rebuild it. We will never abandon the land of our birth.’

DCG

Shocker, not: Refugees eyed in British subway terrorist attack

sadiq khan

From Fox News: Authorities named one of two Middle Eastern refugees believed to be responsible for last week’s London subway bombing, as new details emerged about their troubled time being fostered by a British couple previously honored by Queen Elizabeth II.

Yahyah Farroukh, 21, was identified as one of the suspects being held by London police, Sky News reported. Farroukh was arrested at a fried chicken shop, where he worked, in Hounslow in west London Saturday night. Suleman Sarwar, 43, who owns the chicken shop, said the 21-year-old suspect was arrested after he finished his shift.

“He was very normal,” Sarwar told Sky News. “I don’t know how long he worked here. It was surprising seeing him on the news.”

Farroukh’s Facebook profile indicated he was from Damascus and studied English in West Thamas College between 2013 and 2015. He was living in Stanwell, Surrey, where officials conducted a search on Sunday, but also most recently was registered to live with Penelope and Ronald Jones, who were honored by the queen for fostering more than 200 children – including refugees from Middle Eastern countries affected by conflicts. Another unidentified 18-year-old man who was arrested earlier in the day at Dover ferry port, where boats to France leave, was also fostered by the couple.

Both men are being held under the Terrorism Act and questioned by London police about Friday’s attack, when an improvised explosive device partially detonated aboard a subway train at Parsons Green station during morning rush hour, injuring 30 people.

But trouble with the couple’s foster children was reportedly visible beforehand – when police visited the Sunbury house two or three weeks ago, according to neighbor Stephen Griffiths.

“The police were there multiple times over the span of about a month — a few times a week,” Griffiths said. “You always think foster kids are going to have a bit of trouble, but you don’t think terrorism.”

The 18-year-old man is believed to be an Iraqi orphan who moved to the United Kingdom when he was 15 years old, after his parents died. The man was reportedly a “problem” for the foster parents and they had been contacting officials before the attack, according to the Telegraph. He lived with the Joneses, but hadn’t been arrested “in the last couple of weeks” despite the police activity at the Jones house, a Metropolitan Police spokeswoman told Sky News.

The news of frequent police visits could shed light on a tweet sent soon after the attack by President Trump in which he appeared to criticize British authorities for not acting sooner to prevent the attack.

“Another attack in London by a loser terrorist. These are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard. Must be proactive!” Trump wrote.

Images of the 18-year-old suspect, who is believed to have planted the bomb, have not emerged.

ITV News, however, obtained CCTV footage showing a man near Joneses’ Sunbury house Friday morning carrying a bag from Lidl supermarket. Images after the device detonated on Friday showed it was carried in a Lidl bag.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, but British officials said there’s no proof yet the terror group was actively involved in the planning, preparation or carrying out of the attack. British Prime Minister Theresa May raised the city’s terror threat level to “critical” – meaning an attack is imminent – but downgraded it Sunday to “severe” – meaning an attack is highly likely.

“Severe still means that an attack is highly likely, so I would urge everybody to be vigilant but not alarmed,” Home Secretary Amber Rudd said.

DCG

John McCain’s foundation is funded by Saudis, Rothschilds & Soros

Sen. John McCain (RINO-AZ) has an eponymous foundation, the McCain Institute for International Leadership, that is less known and much smaller in scale, but rivals the Clinton Foundation in corruption.

Note: Don’t confuse the McCain Institute with either:

  • The philanthropic John and Cindy McCain Family Foundation that, according to NonProfitFacts.com, claimed a paltry $1,002 in income and $6,013 in assets in 2013; or
  • The McCain Foundation, which has nothing to do with John McCain, but was founded by McCain Foods.

The Institute describes itself as a tax-exempt non-profit and “non-partisan do-tank dedicated to advancing character-driven global leadership based on security, economic opportunity, freedom and human dignity – in the United States and around the world.”

Reporting for The Daily Caller on June 19, 2017, Richard Pollock writes that the  Institute began with $9 million left over from McCain’s failed 2008 presidential campaign, and has become a huge operation, featuring upwards of 80 people including dozens of full time staff and board members. Associated with Arizona State University, the McCain Institute has assets valued at $8.1 million.

According to Pollock:

“Critics worry that the institute’s donors and McCain’s personal leadership in the organization’s exclusive ‘Sedona Forum’ bear an uncanny resemblance to the glitzy Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) that annually co-mingled special interests and powerful political players in alleged pay-to-play schemes.”

So who exactly are McCain Institute donors?

(1) Saudi Arabia

A WikiLeaks tweet says the McCain Institute is funded by the Saudis:

wikileaks-tweet-on-mccain-instituteThe WikiLeaks tweet is corroborated by a Bloomberg report in 2016 on a $1 million Saudi Arabian donation to the institute, a contribution the McCain group has refused to explain publicly. (See “McCain cuts off questions about Saudi donation“)

Baxter Dmitry of YourNewsWire observes that the secretive $1 million donation from Saudi Arabia “looks suspiciously like a Clinton Foundation style pay-for-play ‘donation'” and explains why Sen. McCain has “certain ‘viewpoints’ about the Middle East, and keeps making secret trips to Syria.” Saudi Arabia, as well as Israel, are adamantly opposed to Syria’s Assad government and seek its overthrow by “rebels” who include Al Qaeda jihidasts.

More than that, according to the censored 28 pages of the 9/11 Commission’s report, the Saudi government was involved in the 9/11 attack. John F Lehman, a Republican member of the 9/11 commission, said:

“There was an awful lot of participation by Saudi individuals in supporting the hijackers, and some of those people worked in the Saudi government. Our report should never have been read as an exoneration of Saudi Arabia.”

See “Congress releases classified 28 pages of 9/11 Report: It’s Saudi Arabia”.

But John McCain took $1 million donations from the very same Saudi government.

(2) The Rothschilds

According to the above-referenced WikiLeaks tweet as well as the McCain Institute’s staff members page, Lynn Forester de Rothschild — a buddy of the Clintons — is a trustee of the McCain Institute.

The involvement of the Rothschilds goes beyond Lynn being an institute trustee.

John McCain has been accused of accepting improper campaign donations from the Rothschilds. U.S. political campaigns are forbidden from accepting contributions from foreign nationals.

According to the nonpartisan citizens’ watchdog group Judicial Watch (via The Guardian), in 2008 John McCain violated election laws by accepting campaign contributions from two non-U.S. nationals.

At issue is a fundraising luncheon held in March at London’s Spencer House during McCain’s swing through the United Kingdom. An invitation to the event lists Lord Rothschild and Nathaniel Rothschild as hosts, and indicates the event was made possible with their “kind permission”. Tickets to the luncheon cost $1,000 to $2,300.

Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said: “The question is whether or not the Rothschilds paid for the event, the venue, the catering, or any other related costs.”

(3) George Soros & Clinton Crony

According to Richard Pollock of The Daily Caller, the McCain Institute has also “accepted contributions of as much as $100,000 from billionaire liberal activist-funder George Soros” and from Teneo, a for-profit “global strategies” company founded by a Clinton crony named Doug Band, who was Bill Clinton’s “bag man”. As Pollock puts it, “Teneo has long helped enrich [Bill] Clinton through lucrative speaking and business deals.”

Pollock says McCain and Soros became friends after the senator was exposed as a member of the “Keating Five” in the savings and loan (S&L) industry scandal that erupted during George H.W. Bush’s administration. As the S&L bank chairman, Charles Keating had paid $1.3 million to bribe five members of Congress, including McCain, to interfere with government regulators on behalf of the savings bank.

The experience so scarred McCain that he became a vigorous advocate of campaign finance reform and in the process reportedly became friends with Soros — the thoroughly evil funder of black riots here in the United States (see “List of persons/groups paid by Soros to protest in Ferguson & Selma“), and of the Muslim invasion in Europe (see “Soros aids invasion of Christian Europe by Muslim refugees, says Hungary prime minister”).

(4) Moroccan Government

According to Pollock, the McCain Institute has also taken at least $100,000 in “donations” from OCP, S.A., a Moroccan state-owned phosphate company operating in Western Sahara which repeatedly has been accused of worker abuse and exploitation.

Morocco seized Western Sahara in 1975 and has since occupied the region by force in defiance of U.N. resolutions and legal declarations by other international bodies. Human rights groups, including the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice, say Morocco’s state-owned companies, including OCP, subject its workforce to gruesome conditions while exploiting Western Sahara’s natural resources, especially phosphate, Morocco’s “white gold” that is used to make fertilizer. The Western Sahara holds half of the world’s phosphate reserves.

The King of Morocco was also a major donor to the Clinton Foundation. Hillary Clinton personally accepted $12 million from the King in return for holding a CGI (the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Global Initiative) regional meeting in Morocco. OCP, the Moroccan state-owned phosphate company that “donated” $100,000 to the McCain Institute, was a major sponsor of the CGI meeting, and Bill Clinton was the featured speaker.

McCain has lavished effusive praise on the King of Morocco, saying in 2011, that the country was a “positive example to governments across the Middle East and North Africa.”

(5) Pro-Iran Foundation

Pollock reports that the McCain Institute has also accepted at least $100,000 from the pro-Iranian Pivotal Foundation, founded by Francis Najafi who owns the private equity and real estate firm Pivotal Group.

The Pivotal Foundation has in the last three years given $205,000 to the National Iranian-American Council (NIAC), which has been a vocal advocate for the Iranian nuclear deal the Obama administration negotiated. The NIAC describes itself as “a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the voice of Iranian Americans and promoting greater understanding between the American and Iranian people.” In other words, the NIAC act as Iran’s lobbyists in Washington, although it has neither registered as a lobbyist with Congress, nor filed as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Indeed, NIAC President Trita Parsi has long been an advocate a lobbyist for Iran:

  • In May 2013, Parsi spoke to a packed Capitol Hill meeting sponsored by Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison to argue in favor of the nuclear deal. Ellison was the first Muslim elected to Congress and is also deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
  • As recently as May 2017, Parsi demanded that President Donald Trump and officials in his administration “cease questioning the integrity of” the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran.

Sen. McCain’s involvement with Iran lobbyist NIAC is troublesome:

  • Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist at Public Citizen, said: “This is a very real conflict of interest. This is the similar type of pattern we received with the Clinton Foundation in which foreign governments and foreign interests were throwing a lot of money in the hopes of trying to buy influence.”
  • Lawrence Noble, general counsel for the Campaign Legal Center, said that accepting contributions in the name of a sitting senator like McCain raises troubling issues: “In terms of the ethics of it, it does raise a broad question of people trying to get good will with the elected official. From a personal standpoint, I’d rather not see these entities exist.”
  • Charles Ortel, a retired Wall Street investment banker and philanthropy law expert, said that “high government officials such as John McCain, [former Secretary of State] Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama should not get involved with vehicles like these where substantial sums can be funneled over time in ways that at best, reeks of impropriety and at worse are public corruption.”

Pollock says the McCain Institute did not respond to requests for the dollar amounts of its high donors, when the donations were made and if there were strings attached to the contributions, claiming it did not have any of the information.

For his part, Sen. McCain professed he has no involvement with his own institute that is named after him, saying “I’m proud that the institute is named after me, but I have nothing to do with it” — which stretches credulity.

The institute’s donations from governments like Saudi Arabia and Morocco raise legitimate questions of pay-for-play. They also contradict McCain’s vision of human rights and national security.

How the McCain Institute spends its millions also raises questions.

Combating human trafficking is an important program of the Institute. The actor Ashton Kutcher is a member of the Institute’s Human Trafficking Advisory Council.

According to Baxter Dmitry of YourNewsWire, the Institute claims to have donated a total of $2.5 million to stop human trafficking: $500,000 in 2012; $500,000 in 2013; and $1,500,000 in 2014.

The only problem is every penny of the $2.5 million went to the Arizona State University Foundation that “does not appear to have anything whatsoever to do with human trafficking.”

See also:

~Eowyn

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