Adonis Diaries

Archive for June 18th, 2013

The  “Liberation of Qusayr” was good: Regardless of what Israel is insinuating…

When it comes to Syria, the number one question on the Israeli hawk’s mind today, anxiously debated on the opinion pages of establishment papers, goes something like this:

Everybody knows that both the Free Syrian Army rebels and their Hezbollah antagonists are abominable terrorists, the very antithesis of civilization as we understand it.

And what is a “respectable non-terrorist actor” like Israel to do when these two groups of terrorists are battling one another on their doorstep?

Are all Muslims carrying guns equally considered terrorists, or are there varying degrees of terrorism to be assessed?

Alex  Rowell posted this May 21, 2013 on Now: “Israel: Against Hezbollah in Lebanon, with them in Syria”

A cartoon showing a Hezbollah rocket passing Haifa before turning around to Qusayr in Syria

This cartoon is showing Hezbollah’s missiles targeting Haifa are making a long detour toward the city of Qusayr in Syria first

Terrorism can be so complicated sometimes.

Judging by the reactions of Saudi Arabia absolute monarchy, the totally non-democratic Arab Gulf states and the Mursi of Egypt and…they are pipping the Party of God to the pinnacle of the terrorist pyramid. Take, for instance, Friday’s article in the London Times,

”Islamist fears drive Israel to support Assad survival,”

“Senior Israeli intelligence officials” presented the following argument for the Baath regime’s survival: “Better the devil we know than the demons we can only imagine if Syria falls into chaos, and the extremists from across the Arab world gain a foothold there.” The best-case scenario, the officials further opined, was (in Haaretz’ summary) “a weakened but stable Syria under Assad.”

That report prompted a carefully-worded half-denial from Israel Netanyahu PM, who asserted it did “not represent the Israeli government’s position,” but only on the technical grounds that Israel did not in fact have a position on who should govern Syria – hardly an endorsement of the opposition, and indeed an implied suggestion that Assad – along with his Lebanese Islamist allies – were no less preferable candidates than any of the alternatives.

Not that this was the only conciliatory signal Tel Aviv has sent in Assad’s direction of late.

صورة أطفال و نساء قرية حطلة بدير الزور الذين جمعهم إرهابيي جبهة النصرة بالساحة و أعدموهم لأنهم ينتمون للطائفة الشيعية
The extremist Takfir insurgents of Nusra Front executed the inhabitants of the town of Hatla in Deir Zur region. The massacred people were Shiaa…

Following the most recent air strike on an alleged Hezbollah weapons convoy near Damascus at the start of this month, Israeli officials rushed to assure Assad they meant no harm to his regime per se. They were just there to prevent terror – if Assad chose to SCUD-missile, cluster-bomb, and air-strike Syrian civilians, well, that was another matter entirely.

Nor does the de facto support for Assad end with merely enabling his war crimes to continue.

Last month, Netanyahu announced Israel reserved the right to physically obstruct the opposition’s armed struggle against the dictatorship by blocking weapons transfers to rebel brigades.

Incompatible as all this may seem with Assad and Hezbollah’s bellowing about confronting the grand Zionist conspiracy, Tel Aviv’s under-the-table camaraderie with Damascus has long been the Middle East’s worst-kept secret.

An excellent explanation of this decades-long relationship appeared recently in Foreign Affairs under the candid title, ‘Israel’s Man in Damascus: Why Jerusalem [sic] Doesn’t Want the Assad Regime to Fall.

The author, former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy, runs down the key bullet points: 40 years of calm on the border, fears of Islamism among the opposition, and enduring hopes for a peace treaty that has been on the table since the 1990s. This article concluded that “[Israel] ultimately has little interest in actively hastening the fall of Bashar al-Assad.”

In other words, Israel watches – presumably with some satisfaction – as a kind of umpire in the sky, as Assad and his proxy militias (foremost among them Hezbollah) rain rockets upon rebel “terrorists” just kilometers from Lebanese territory, only stepping in to interrupt the fun when those rockets venture west of the border.

So long as Hezbollah plays by the rules – keeping the guns pointed east rather than south – they’re doing more good than harm in Israel’s eyes, and so they can even be given indirect nudges of assistance.

It’s tough to say which is the greater of the ironies – that Israel is making common cause of a kind with the chief proxies of its supposed arch-enemy Iran, or that so many ground troops of the ‘Islamic Resistance’ are giving their lives to facilitate precisely the Zionist “project” they set out to thwart.

Note 1: Israel and the former colonial powers have wide latitudes and powerful media to distort and interpret current event as they wish the world community to believe. Lebanon is safer as the takfir rebels are kicked out of Qusayr, regardless of the many attempts for the extremist Moslems to ignite a civil war in Lebanon.

Note 2: The liberation of Qusayr from the Nusra Front insurgents closed the supply lines from Lebanon to reef Damascus (suburbs of Damascus), where the insurgents wanted to focus their attacks. The shortest supply line, far shorter than from Daraya on the Jordanian borders, was  to move supplies, including weapons, from the Akkar province in north Lebanon, on to Qusayr, down to Ersal in Lebanon (less than 10 km away) and directly to reef of Damascus.

“We Demand an End to NSA Spying”: List of 86 Civil Liberties Groups and Internet Companies
A bipartisan coalition of 86 civil liberties organizations and Internet companies, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, reddit, Mozilla, FreedomWorks, and the American Civil Liberties Union…, are demanding swift action from Congress in light of the recent revelations about unchecked domestic surveillance
In an open letter to lawmakers the groups call for a congressional investigatory committee, similar to the Church Committee of the 1970s.
The letter also demands legal reforms to rein in domestic spying and demands that public officials responsible for this illegal surveillance are held accountable for their actions..
Rainey Reitman posted on Electronic Frontier Foundation this June 10, 2013:
 

The letter denounces the NSA’s spying program as illegal, noting:

This type of blanket data collection by the government strikes at bedrock American values of freedom and privacy. This dragnet surveillance violates the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, which protect citizens’ right to speak and associate anonymously and guard against unreasonable searches and seizures…

The letter was accompanied by the launch of StopWatching.us, a global petition calling on Congress to provide a public accounting of the United States’ domestic spying capabilites and to bring an end to illegal surveillance.

The groups call for a number of specific legal reforms, including reform to the controversial Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, the “business records” section which, through secret court orders, was misused to force Verizon to provide the NSA with detailed phone records of millions of customers.

The groups also call on Congress to reform the FISA Amendment Act, the unconstitutional law that allows, nearly without restriction, the government to conduct mass surveillance on American and international communications.

The letter and petition also demand that Congress amend the state secrets privilege, the legal tool that has expanded over the last 10 years to prevent the government from being held accountable for domestic surveillance.

As Mark Rumford, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation who focuses on government transparency and national security, says, “Now is the time for Congress to act. We don’t need a narrow fix to one part of the PATRIOT Act; we need a full public accounting of how the United States is turning sophisticated spying technology on its own citizens, we need accountability from public officials, and we need an overhaul of the laws to ensure these abuses can never happen again.”

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is urging concerned netizens to join this campaign by signing their names to StopWatching.us.

Full text of the open letter:

Dear Members of Congress,

We write to express our concern about recent reports published in the Guardian and the Washington Post, and acknowledged by the Obama Administration, which reveal secret spying by the National Security Agency (NSA) on phone records and Internet activity of people in the United States.

The Washington Post and the Guardian recently published reports based on information provided by a career intelligence officer showing how the NSA and the FBI are gaining broad access to data collected by nine of the leading U.S. Internet companies and sharing this information with foreign governments. As reported, the U.S. government is extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time. As a result, the contents of communications of people both abroad and in the U.S. can be swept in without any suspicion of crime or association with a terrorist organization.

Leaked reports also published by the Guardian and confirmed by the Administration reveal that the NSA is also abusing a controversial section of the PATRIOT Act to collect the call records of millions of Verizon customers. The data collected by the NSA includes every call made, the time of the call, the duration of the call, and other “identifying information” for millions of Verizon customers, including entirely domestic calls, regardless of whether those customers have ever been suspected of a crime. The Wall Street Journal has reported that other major carriers, including AT&T and Sprint, are subject to similar secret orders.

This type of blanket data collection by the government strikes at bedrock American values of freedom and privacy. This dragnet surveillance violates the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, which protect citizens’ right to speak and associate anonymously and guard against unreasonable searches and seizures and protect their right to privacy.

We are calling on Congress to take immediate action to halt this surveillance and provide a full public accounting of the NSA’s and the FBI’s data collection programs. We call on Congress to immediately and publicly:

1. Enact reform this Congress to Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, the state secrets privilege, and the FISA Amendments Act to make clear that blanket surveillance of the Internet activity and phone records of any person residing in the U.S. is prohibited by law and that violations can be reviewed in adversarial proceedings before a public court;

2. Create a special committee to investigate, report, and reveal to the public the extent of this domestic spying. This committee should create specific recommendations for legal and regulatory reform to end unconstitutional surveillance;

3. Hold accountable those public officials who are found to be responsible for this unconstitutional surveillance.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Access

Advocacy for Principled Action in Government

American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression

American Civil Liberties Union

American Civil Liberties Union of California

American Library Association

Amicus

Association of Research Libraries

Bill of Rights Defense Committee

BoingBoing

Breadpig

Calyx Institute

Canvas

Center for Democracy and Technology

Center for Digital Democracy

Center for Financial Privacy and Human Rights

Center for Media and Democracy

Center for Media Justice

Competitive Enterprise Institute

Consumer Action

Consumer Watchdog

CorpWatch

CREDO Mobile

Cyber Privacy Project

Daily Kos

Defending Dissent Foundation

Demand Progress

Detroit Digital Justice Coalition

Digital Fourth

Downsize DC

DuckDuckGo

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Entertainment Consumers Association

Fight for the Future

Floor64

Foundation for Innovation and Internet Freedom

4Chan

Free Press

Free Software Foundation

Freedom of the Press Foundation

FreedomWorks

Friends of Privacy USA

Get FISA Right

Government Accountability Project

Greenpeace USA

Institute of Popular Education of Southern California (IDEPSCA)

Internet Archive

isen.com, LLC

Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)

Law Life Culture

Liberty Coalition

May First/People Link

Media Alliance

Media Mobilizing Project, Philadelphia

Mozilla

Namecheap

National Coalition Against Censorship

New Sanctuary Coalition of NYC

Open Technology Institute

OpenMedia.org

Participatory Politics Foundation

Patient Privacy Rights

People for the American Way

Personal Democracy Media

PolitiHacks

Privacy and Access Council of Canada

Public Interest Advocacy Centre (Ottawa, Canada)

Public Knowledge

Privacy Activism

Privacy Camp

Privacy Rights Clearinghouse

Privacy Times

reddit

Represent.us

Rights Working Group

Rocky Mountain Civil Liberties Association

RootsAction.org

Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic

Sunlight Foundation

Taxpayers Protection Alliance

TechFreedom

The AIDS Policy Project, Philadelphia

TURN-The Utility Reform Network

Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center

William C. Velasquez Institute (WCVI)

World Wide Web Foundation


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

June 2013
M T W T F S S
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

Blog Stats

  • 1,459,263 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.adonisbouh@gmail.com

Join 800 other followers

%d bloggers like this: