Something you should know about Irans new UN ambassador

The US refuses to issue a Visa for Hamid Aboutalebi, Irans newly appointed ambassador to the UN.
Mr. Aboutalebi is considered a „security risk“.

„The US accuses Hamid Aboutalebi of links to the group that seized the US embassy in Tehran in 1979, an incident that soured ties between the countries.
Mr Aboutalebi says that he only acted as a translator for the group.“
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-27000232

He has been wrongfully portrayed as one of the hostage takers.

„Mr Aboutalebi has previously served as Iran’s ambassador to Belgium, the European Union, Italy and Australia.“
Apparently those countries did not feel their security at risk due to Mr. Aboutalebis presence.

„Aboutalebi was 22 years old when he served as an interpreter for the students who had seized the embassy out of pent-up anger over long-standing U.S. support for the autocratic shah of Iran.“
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-ambassador-to-united-nations-iran-hostage-cr-20140410,0,7573953.story#ixzz2ynDVGwQv

This is yet another act of american double standard given that the US assigned former CIA director Richard Helms as ambassador to Iran from 1973-1977.

 

It is complete nonsense that Iran ordered the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-26528745
„A documentary claims to have uncovered fresh evidence that Iran, not Libya, ordered the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie in December 1988.“

This claim is easily refutable nonsense. Why? Because the „source“, the „former senior Iranian intelligence official“ Abolghasem Mesbahi is all but reliable as already asserted by FBI officials who checked and analyzed his statements:

„The Iranian defector who was the source of Argentina’s allegation that Iranian officials began planning the July 18, 1994, terror bombing of a Jewish community center at a meeting nearly a year earlier had been dismissed as unreliable by US officials, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)agent who led the US team assisting the investigation in 1997-98.“
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/JA25Ak02.html

The source for the Lockerbie claim is the same dubious person: Abolghasem Mesbahi.

Huffington Posts German edition features an article which raises legitimate doubt regarding the authencity of Mesbahis claims:
http://www.huffingtonpost.de/ali-s-rad-/fakezeugen-aus-dem-iran-i_b_4870491.html
The article calls Mesbahi a „witness by profession“, who has been behind some of the wildest anti-Iranian claims: Not only did Mesbahi accused Iran of being behind Lockerbie and the Buenos Aires bombing. He even blamed Iran for being involved in the 9/11 attacks.

„American intelligence officials had concluded Mesbahi did not have the continued high-level access to Iranian intelligence officials throughout the 1990s and beyond that he was claiming. They regarded him as someone who was desperate for money and ready to „provide testimony to any country on any case involving Iran,“ according to Bernazzani.“
http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/5798:crackpot-antiislam-activists-serial-fabricators-and-the-tale-of-iran-and-911

Why Israels claim of capturing Iranian weapons for Gaza is nonsense

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-26516704
„the Israeli military unveiled what it alleged was a cache of Syrian-made weapons being sent by Iran to militants in the Gaza Strip.“

Here some reasons why this story is an Israeli fabrication to torpedo the US talks with Iran and another desperate attempt to mislead the international community:
a) For one thing, Syria is not at all in the position to „export“ weapons to anywhere, let alone to Iran, a country with decades of experience in development and production of various short range rockets
b) The Syrian army needs every single bullet right now. Why does not Iran export own rockets to Hamas and instead reduces Syrias bitterly needed arsenal?
c) Syrias relationship with Hamas is at an all time low. Why should they help arm Hamas right now?
d) The Persian Gulf is full of american warships:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Naval_Forces_Central_Command
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Fifth_Fleet
Why should rockets be flown from Syria to Bandar Abbas and then all the way back to Iraq, risking to be intercepted by the US navy:
ship_490_ENGLISH
e) How was the alleged Iranian weapons shipment supposed to break through the Israeli maritime blockade of Gazas coast when even aid flotillas are not passed through?
f) Iran currently has not a good relationship with Hamas and has met with PLO officials in Teheran just recently. One of the main reason is that Hamas took an anti-government position in the Syrian civil war and supports the rebel side
g) Hamas is also in tensions with the new Egyptian government so it would be no good idea to move Hamas bound weapons through the Suez canal
h) What should be the advantage of allegedy hiding the rockets below cement bags when Israel does not allow cement to enter Gaza either? Israel says it could be used to build bunkers or tunnels
i) Why are the cement bags labelled „Made in I.R. Iran“ in English letters but without any Farsi/Arabic script? Is Iran now a proud exporter of cement to non-middle-eastern countries?

Macabre dynamics in „liberated“ Syria

„The Nusra Front has given ISIS until Saturday to accept mediation or face being expelled from Syria.“

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-26390351

So, one group of sectarian Salafi beheader extremists is threatening to expel a slightly worse sister organization within Al Qaeda in Syria.
The BBC article leaves a bad taste as it comes along as a subtle advertisement in favor of the Al Nusra Front that demands that ISIS „accept arbitration within five days“.
The correct and not too far fetched interpretation is that Al Nusra hardly has any ideological-political issue with ISIS: „He demanded that ISIS halt all military operations against other rebels“.
This means that ISIS is welcome to remain on Syrian soil as long as they blow up Syrian army checkpoints and kill Alawites instead of „killing of an al-Qaeda emissary, Abu Khaled al-Suri

 

Is Homs under siege?

Reading the media about Syria one more than once reads about the city of Homs, „the cradle of the revolution“ being under siege by the Syrian army.
Taking a closer look it turns out that not the entire city, but only a relatively small portion of it, the „old city“ is under regime siege:
BBC map of besieged areas in Homs

No question, such a siege is a horror for the ordinary population and certainly it is an unjust act of collective punishment, but one should also keep in mind that the siege is not the result of an evil government simply hating its citizens. Rather the siege is a direct consequence of armed rebels abusing the local population by effectively taking them hostage and turning their houses to firing grounds, hideouts, tunnels, weapons depots and bomb making fabrics.

Why all these anti-regime disclosures in the middle of the Geneva talks?

„Syrian government ‚demolished thousands of homes'“
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-25947345

While noone should justify or play down the extensive damage inflicted on entire blocks and neighborhoods, one should wonder why the disclosure of these „war crimes“ (HRW) happens just as the Syrian government and opposition are negotiating in Geneva.
The satellite images are dated from mid 2012 to mid 2013. Did HRW and co. really need 6-18 months to „analyze“ these images or is the timing of the publication no coincidence?

Interestingly at exactly the same time there was first the publication of the Qatari financed torture photos and then (today) the expression of „concern“ by the US regarding the slow progress of Syrias chemical weapons disarmament.

Is all this meant to prepare the ground for either the declaration of new „red lines“ or an accelerated and intensified arming of the (definitely all but) „moderate“ rebels?

US continues hypocrisy and double standard regarding Syria

„The US says only 4% of Syria’s declared chemical weapons has been surrendered and expresses concern at the lack of progress.“
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-25968616

But at the same time the US has announced to resume the supply of weapons to Syrian rebels.
The same rebels have either laid storage facilities under siege or they control roads leading to or from such weapons´ sites.
Both are considered „succcesses“ that the usually pro-rebel western press hails as „blows against the Assad regime“.

Egypt: Islamists shoot down army helicopter with MANPAD

Islamic militants have shot down an Egyptian army helicopter with a heat seeking shoulder-fired missile:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-25915607
The BBC article seems to express „grief“ about this. Probably because the Egyptian regime (and army) is considered pro-western.

Interestingly western press reports of the Syrian rebels´ successes in shooting down Syrian army Migs and helicopters and killing hundreds of personell have been accompanied enthusiasm and joy.
Note: If you are a radical sectarian Islamist fighting a pro-Iranian or pro-Russian state you are good, you are probably a „freedom fighter“ and the US congress will somehow find a way to declare you „moderate“.
If you are however fighting a pro-western state you are a terrorist and one has to be worried if you have acquired and applied deadly weapons.

 

 

Why BBC´s sensational report about a syrian defector is trash

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-24490334

The above report is either fabricated from the beginning or the „source“ (a certain kurdish security officer called Lukman) has lied to Lina Sinjab.

Excerpts (and my comments):

<<Lukman was performing his military duty when the uprising began in March 2011. He was surprised that he would be allocated to a security branch given his Kurdish background.

„I didn’t understand how I can be trusted and sent to such a place where only members of [President Bashar al-Assad’s] Alawite community would operate,“ he said.>>

Does „Lukman“ know all members of the security service and their ethnic/religious background? His claim along with his surprise about being chosen despite being a Kurd makes him already incredible.

<<He recalls one day in particular, when more than 100 men were arrested in a raid on the town of Muadhamiya, west of Damascus.

…“But on that day, we stopped on the Muadhamiya bridge, just off the neighbourhood that’s inhabited by Alawites loyal to Assad.

„…One protester was taken from one car to the other and that’s when the civilians of Alawite community arrived and started beating the protester.“>>
This is a blatant attempt to squarely demonize the Alawites, specifically alawite CIVILIANS. The idea that secretive security officers „hand over“ a detainee to random (alawite) CIVILIANS to lynch him in front of the security people AND the other civilians is too obviously sensational and propagandistic.

Later Lukman is quoted saying „I never participated in any of these atrocities“
This bears the question why he did not step in to stop the lynching of the protester mentioned above…

<<„All the union people were Alawites and supporters of Assad,“ Lukman said.>>

This statement, apart from being unproven and hardly provable at all, is way too generalizing and too openly intended to portrait even civil branches of the ruling system as sectarian. There is no reason why all union members in a Sunni majority, mostly pro-government city, should be entirely Alawites.

<<The hangars [of the Mezzeh military airport] were transformed into detention centres, with more than 1,500 detainees held in each, Lukman explained.>>

Why? Does Syria have not enough place for regular jails/detention centers? What happened to the Jets and helicopters? Did they remove them from the hangars to detain people there? Does not make much sense.

„…They [the government] are worse than al-Qaeda“

Sure… „Lukman“ has definitely had experience with al-Qaeda, surviving market place suicide bombers, prisoner beheading ceremonies and heart-eating workshops and STILL he figures out that his former employer is worse…It is puzzling that and why BBC brings such an article.

<<Sunni soldiers and others like him coming from the eastern side of the country were always sent to the frontlines and hot-spots where they got killed.

„The Alawite officers were always kept in safe places so they avoid any killing or retaliation, while Sunnis were sent to be killed while trying to kill other Syrians,“ he said.>>

This is ridiculous and a strong contradiction in itself:
If the regime uses the Sunnis as cannon fodder to kill other Sunnis and/or be killed by them while keeping the Alawites in safe places, how does it keep those Sunni soldiers from defecting? This wild and irrational claim has been an all-time propaganda to denounce and defame the syrian army. An army consisting at least to 60-70% from Sunnis can neither afford to systematically discriminate and abuse them nor to motivate them to defect in large scale.

 

<<„I didn’t want to switch sides as I fear informants,“ he added. „There are many informants in the FSA [Free Syrian Army]. All their movements are reported and many times these informants would act under orders from the regime, committing atrocities in the name of the revolution to defame it.“>>

Now, this is really hilarious and it becomes obvious that the entire article is both meant to polemize against Alawites and excuse rebel crimes by attributing their „atrocities“ to the regime. According to this „logic“ all horrendous crimes, massacres and acts of excessive violence are either carried out by the government or by government spies disguising as rebels to defame the „revolution“.
Naive, he who believes all this.

Why it´s unlikely the syrian army used chemical weapons

There are at least four valid reasons why the syrian army is unlikely to have fired chemical weapons:
1. The army has made gains in the last months and is in no desperate situation2. The UN inspectors have just arrived in Syria, at invitation of the government
3. If the alleged chemical attack is explained as „revenge for rebel massacres in Lattakia“ it would make much more sense to attack their strongholds far away from the capital such as Rastan, Azaaz or Anaden
4. The syrian government and army have undertaken at times extreme measures to avoid foreign intervention and subsequent annihilation. The best example is the army´s non-reacting to Israeli attacks that destroyed facilities and killed soldiers.

All this makes it appear quite unlikely that the army would attack mostly civilian areas close to the capital with weapons of mass destruction

Here some media quotes:

BBC: „the timing is odd, bordering on suspicious. Why would the Assad government, which has recently been retaking ground from the rebels, carry out a chemical attack while UN weapons inspectors are in the country?…The BBC’s Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen says many will ask why the government would want to use such weapons at a time when inspectors are in the country and the military has been doing well militarily in the area around Damascus.“
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-23777201

The Independent: „there are questions as to why the regime would want to take recourse to WMDs at a time when it was making gains using conventional arms and with the knowledge that UN inspectors were present in the country“

„If you look at the way they have sought legitimacy through having the UN team there, in a carefully orchestrated fashion, with the help of the Russians and the Iranians, the use of chemical weapons does not make sense,“ said a Western European diplomat. Robert Emerson, a security analyst, added: „Assad has not been doing too badly in the publicity stakes with the excesses of Islamists among the rebels like the cannibal commander, et cetera. Deploying WMDs at this stage would be a hell of an own goal.“
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syrias-darkest-day-opposition-says-up-to-1300-killed-inchemical-weapons-attacks-by-assad-forces-on-damascus-8777527.html