Category: Middle East

Rappoport: Outside The Reality Machine

Image result for war refugees

By Jon Rappoport
Some, but not all, waves of immigrants result from wars that leave people helpless and terrified. They run, they flee, they emigrate to the West.
We must have more immigrants, according to self-styled “liberals.”
So let’s have more wars. That’ll make liberals feel good about themselves, and that’s what we want, right?
If the wars stopped, lots of potential immigrants would stay where they are. They wouldn’t come to the West. That would make liberals depressed. We can’t have that.
I would suggest we’re looking at the Hillary Clinton formula: love war, wage war, and thus bring more glorious immigrants to our shores. Just a thought.
The whole point of our society these days is people feeling virtuous, and signaling each other about their mutual virtuousness. We must cater to these folk. They are the beautiful ones.
They place their own heartfelt goodness on the highest pedestal. There must be NO analysis of the cost of immigration. There must be NO ceiling on immigration. There must be no assessment of the crimes committed by immigrants. Facts and figures and limits are heartless and cruel and elitist.
LET EVERYONE IN.
No borders, no nations, no deportations.
Somehow, some way, this will lead to utopia.
How exactly? That’s a secret. But don’t worry. It’ll come to pass.
Who knows? We may have to destroy the village in order to save it.
And all those immigrants who aren’t migrating to the West because of wars? The ones who are coming for the free government goodies? The ones who refuse to accept the traditions and laws of the country they’re entering? The ones who hate the countries they’re entering and prove it by committing heinous crimes? That’s not really a problem. With enough love from the “liberals,” they will be transformed in time. And even if they aren’t, that’s all right, because in their own way they’ll be breaking down the gross evil called “sovereign nations”—which we all know is code for Nazism. Nothing should be sovereign. Borders are artificial. They’re just lines on a map. What a scintillating insight! (Most college students these days are enlightened by this staggering revelation, aren’t they?)
I say: worship the Pentagon. Worship the military industrial complex. They find ingenious ways to launch wars. Therefore, they help bring more immigrants here. They do their part. They give us the chance to show our humanitarian soul.
War is God’s plan to allow us to be virtuous.
War is the universe saying, “Let your love shine through.”
Everything happens for a reason.
Let us launch the Church of War.
The Church will teach us we are one planet without nations.
Finally, we will have peace.
Through war.
And then we can build a memorial to the recently deceased David Rockefeller, who knew all along that peace through war would lead to one global governance system with no nations, no borders, no exclusions:
Everyone laboring under the same sun. Everyone fitting into a predetermined slot, ridding us of the scourge called freedom. Everyone cooperating in the new civilization. Everyone saving everyone.
We will triumph as One Glob, indivisible.
All along, the impulse for war has been persistent; difficult if not impossible to eradicate.
Now, finally, we know why.
It was a great Good, masquerading as Evil.
…those who are obsessed with appearing to do good must have victims they can help; if there aren’t enough victims—create them.
Be a war monger who preaches peace and unity.
IF YOU’RE IN THE ARMED FORCES AND YOU’RE VERY LUCKY, YOU MIGHT PARTICIPATE IN AN ATTACK, AN INVASION, A WAR THAT WILL DISLOCATE HUGE NUMBERS OF DESPERATE CIVILIANS. SOME OF THEM WILL EMIGRATE HERE, WHERE OUR OWN CITIZENS FERVENTLY WISH TO DO GOOD AND HELP THEM. YOU WILL ENABLE OUR CITIZENS IN THEIR QUEST TO PROVE THEMSELVES VIRTUOUS. THEY WILL GIVE SANCTUARY TO THE IMMIGRANTS YOU DISPLACED.
It all works out, doesn’t it?
Use this link to order Jon’s Matrix Collections.

Jon Rappoport

LISTEN  TO DADDY BUSH:

Is This The Real Reason For The Electronic Device On Airflights Ban?

FOUND THIS ON MY MSN FEED TODAY< NO AUTHOR CREDITED:

http://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/world/analysis-trump-won%e2%80%99t-allow-you-to-use-ipads-or-laptops-on-certain-airlines-here%e2%80%99s-why/ar-BByAhpT?li=BBqdg4K&ocid=SK2MDHP

From Tuesday on, passengers traveling to the U.S. from 10 airports in eight Muslim-majority countries will not be allowed to have iPads, laptops or any communications device larger than a smartphone in the cabin of the plane.

If you are traveling from Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, or the UAE on Egypt Air, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, or Turkish Airlines, and you want to use your laptop on the flight, you are probably out of luck.

So why is the United States doing this, and how can it get away with it?

Emirates passenger planes at Dubai airport in United Arab Emirates.© AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File Emirates passenger planes at Dubai airport in United Arab Emirates.

The U.S. says it’s all about security

The Trump administration says the new rules were introduced because of intelligence that shows terrorists are continuing to target airlines flying to the United States.

An unidentified person familiar with the issue has told The Washington Post that officials have long been worried by a Syrian terrorist group that is trying to build bombs inside electronic devices that are hard to detect.

However, as Demitri Sevastopulo and Robert Wright at the Financial Times suggest, non-U. S. observers are skeptical of this explanation.

They note that the United States has not been forthcoming about whether the ban is based on recent intelligence or long-standing concerns. There is also no explanation for why electronic devices in the cabin are a concern, and electronic devices in the baggage hold are not.

There is an alternative explanation

It may not be about security. Three of the airlines that have been targeted for these measures — Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways — have long been accused by their U.S. competitors of receiving massive effective subsidies from their governments.

These airlines have been quietly worried for months that President Trump was going to retaliate. This may be the retaliation.

These three airlines, as well as the other airlines targeted in the order, are likely to lose a major amount of business from their most lucrative customers — people who travel in business class and first class.

Business travelers are disproportionately likely to want to work on the plane — the reason they are prepared to pay business-class or first-class fares is because it allows them to work in comfort. These travelers are unlikely to appreciate having to do all their work on smartphones, or not being able to work at all.

The likely result is that many of them will stop flying on Gulf airlines, and start traveling on U.S. airlines instead.

As the Financial Times notes, the order doesn’t affect only the airlines’ direct flights to and from the United States — it attacks the “hub” airports that are at the core of their business models.

These airlines not only fly passengers directly from the Gulf region to the United States — they also fly passengers from many other destinations, transferring them from one plane to another in the hubs.

This “hub and spoke” approach is a standard economic model for long-haul airlines, offering them large savings. However, it also creates big vulnerabilities. If competitors or unfriendly states can undermine or degrade the hub, they can inflict heavy economic damage.

The United States is weaponizing interdependence

As we have argued in the past, and talk about in forthcoming work, this can be understood as a variant form of “weaponized interdependence.”

We live in an interdependent world, where global networks span across countries, creating enormous benefits, but also great disparities of power. As networks grow, they tend to concentrate both influence and vulnerability in a few key locations, creating enormous opportunities for states, regulators and nonstate actors who have leverage over those locations.

In this context, the United States is plausibly leveraging its control over access to U.S. airports, which are central “nodes” in the global network of air travel between different destinations.

It is using this control to attack the key vulnerabilities of other networked actors, by going after the central nodes in their networks (the hub airports) and potentially severely damaging them.

There may not be much that Gulf airline carriers can do

Gulf airlines have tried to defend themselves against political attacks from U.S. competitors by appealing to free trade principles. The problem is that standard free trade agreements, such as World Trade Organization rules, don’t really apply to airlines (although they do apply to related sectors, such as the manufacture of airplanes).

This has allowed the Gulf airlines to enjoy massive subsidies, without having to worry too much about being sued in the WTO.

However, it also makes it hard for Gulf states or the states of other affected airlines to take a WTO case against the new U.S. rules, even if these rules turn out to be motivated by protectionism and the desire to retaliate, rather than real underlying security questions.

If this were happening in a different sector, it would make for a pretty interesting case. States preserve carve-outs from international trade rules when they feel that their security is at stake.

Would the United States prevail in a case like this, where there is a colorable security justification, but where there is also a very plausible argument that the real motivation doesn’t have much to do with security?

Or would the WTO defer to the United States’ proposed justification? It’s very likely that the Trump administration will make more unilateral rules that are justified using the language of national security, but are plausibly motivated by protectionism, so we may find out.

Syria Shoots Down Israeli Plane After Air OP. Launched To Support ISIS

Syria Shoots Down Israeli Plane After Israel Launches Air Operation In Support Of ISIS

By Brandon Turbeville

Only a week away from a number of Israeli officials making statements suggesting the buildup to a war with Hezbollah, the Israeli Air Force once again launched airstrikes in Syria, alleging that the strikes were taken against a weapons convoy of the Lebanese militia coming through Syria. Four airplanes took place in the operation according to the Syrian military.

However, the Syrian military activated their anti-aircraft missile defense system against the Israeli jets, taking one down and hitting one more. The jet crashed in Israeli territory, however, as the planes were back over Israeli soil by the time the missile was able to connect.

The Israeli operation and the missile firing were both confirmed by the Syrian and Israeli governments. Israel would not confirm that a plane had actually been shot down, however. This is typical of Israel who tends not to acknowledge any military defeats or setbacks publicly.

Israel claimed that its air defense system, Arrow, was able to intercept one of the missiles but would not elaborate. It also refused to say whether or not the missiles caused any further damage to Israeli territory, saying that the missiles did not compromise the safety of civilians or compromise any aircraft.

The Syrian government responded to the Israeli operation by calling it “blatant aggression” designed to support “terrorist gangs” and “deflect from the victories” of the SAA. Of course, one could scarcely argue with the Syrian statement because Israel’s operation, as well as all of its past operations in Syria, is, indeed, blatant aggression. Not only that, but bombing a militia fighting terrorists is, undoubtedly, a bombing operation in support of terrorists.

Still, some are disputing the Israeli claims that Hezbollah was ever the target to begin with. These sources have argued that the Syrian military and its operations around Palmyra, particularly those centered around removing terrorists from the oil and gas fields which aid ISIS in terms of funding.

Interestingly enough, Arrow, one of Israel’s multi-layered missile defense systems, is designed to intercept long-range ballistic missiles that are located higher in the stratosphere, not mere anti-aircraft missiles. This fact has caused many to question the veracity of the Israeli claim regarding the interception of the Syrian missile.

Israel has launched a series of attacks against the Syrian military and Hezbollah inside Syria since the crisis began in 2011. Indeed, Israel has even been provided material and medical support to terrorists since the crisis began in earnest.

Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Neve…, and Resisting The Empire: The Plan To Destroy Syria And How The Future …. Turbeville has published over 1000 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.

This article may be freely shared in part or in full with author attribution and source link.

Human Rights Watch: Proof Of Chemical Weapons Use In Syria

Image result for chemical weapons aleppo

 

By Anthony Deutsch | AMSTERDAM

AMSTERDAM Syrian government forces used chemical weapons in opposition-controlled parts of Aleppo during battles to retake the city late last year, Human Rights Watch said in a report published on Monday.

The findings add to mounting evidence of the use of banned chemical weapons in the six-year-old Syrian civil war and could strengthen calls by Britain, France and the United States for sanctions against Syrian officials.

Government helicopters dropped chlorine bombs “in residential areas in Aleppo on at least eight occasions between November 17 and December 13, 2016,” the New York-based group said.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which oversees a global treaty banning toxic warfare, had no immediate comment.

Syria and its ally Russia, which helped state troops in the Aleppo assault, have repeatedly denied using chemical weapons in the conflict. They blame opposition militants seeking to topple the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Human Rights Watch said its report, which was based on interviews with witnesses, analysis of videos and photos and social media posts, did not find proof of Russian involvement in the chemical attacks, but noted Moscow’s key role in helping the government to retake Aleppo.

“The attacks, some of which included multiple munitions, killed at least nine civilians, including four children, and injured around 200,” it said.

Ole Solvang, deputy emergencies director at Human Rights Watch, said in an interview that the way chemical attacks moved in step with the frontline showed they were an integral part of the offensive.

“This is a strong indication that these chlorine attacks were coordinated with the overall military strategy. And it is a strong indication then that senior military officers, the commanders of this military offensive in Aleppo, knew that chlorine was being used,” he said.

A U.N.-OPCW inquiry assigned to identify organizations and individuals responsible for the chemical attacks concluded last October that Syrian government forces had used chlorine as a chemical weapon at least three times in 2014-15. Islamic State militants, it said, had used sulfur mustard gas in one attack.

The U.N. Security Council extended the mandate of the inquiry, known as the Joint Investigative Mission (JIM), until November this year. It is due to issue its next report by Saturday.

Responding to the JIM’s findings, the United States last month blacklisted 18 senior Syrian officials it said were connected to the country’s weapons of mass destruction program.

Reuters reported in January that leading Syrian officials, including President Assad and his brother, had been identified as possible suspects in the chemical attacks.

Chlorine’s use as a weapon is banned under the Chemical Weapons Convention, which Syria joined in 2013. If inhaled, chlorine gas turns into hydrochloric acid in the lungs and can kill by burning lungs and drowning victims in the resulting body fluids.

(Additional reporting by Marina Depetris; Editing by Ed Osmond)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-chemicalweapons-idUSKBN15S1W7

Related image

Israel: Next Step, Sanctions Please!

‘Next step, sanctions please

Law-breaking, resolution-busting Israel in a sulk after being told to play by the rules.

by Stuart Littlewood

Nothing could have been more calculated to ruin Hanukka for the Israeli High Command and bring Christmas cheer to the Palestinian Christians and Muslims they have abused and terrorised for decades. Yes,  the UN Security Council finally had the balls to adopt a resolution condemning Israeli “settlements” (posh word for illegal squats) on stolen Palestinian lands.

A statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office says: “Israel rejects this shameful anti-Israel resolution at the UN and will not abide by its terms.”

That’s good. The BDS boys and girls with be rubbing their hands with glee. It’ll mean a massive boost for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign, particlarly as 200 legal scholars and practising lawyers from 15 European countries have assured everyone – including those governments that misuse their power to try to scupper boycotting of Israeli goods and other interests – that BDS is actually a lawful exercise of freedom of expression. It is protected by the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and any attempt to outlaw it undermines a basic human right and amounts to supporting Israel’s violations of international law.

A not-so-good consequence is that Israel’s attitude problem is likely to ratchet-up anti-Semitism yet again. But Israelis are well aware that Jews worldwide suffer for the Jewish State’s misbehaviour, so the remedy is largely in their own hands.

Still railing against the Security Council, Netanyahu says: “Peace will come not through UN resolutions, but only through direct negotiations between the parties.” He speaks, of course, with his military jackboot on the neck of the Palestinian people. His idea of negotiations, as always, is holding a gun to the head of the other party. As everyone, especially America, knows peace doesn’t suit Israel’s purpose although the pretense of seeking peace does.

And not content with defying the UN, Netanyahu wants revenge on the countries that co-sponsored the resolution, namely New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela and Senegal. He’s taking petty diplomatic reprisals against NZ and Senegal like recalling ambassadors and cancelling official visits.

Settlements “a flagrant violation under international law”

So what exactly does the resolution say? It condemns all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, and the construction and expansion of settlements, transfer of Israeli settlers, confiscation of land, demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions.

The resolution also:

  1. Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace;
  2. Reiterates its demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard;
  3. Underlines that it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations;
  4. Stresses that the cessation of all Israeli settlement activities is essential for salvaging the two-State solution, and calls for affirmative steps to be taken immediately to reverse the negative trends on the ground that are imperilling the two-State solution;
  5. Calls upon all States to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.

The US didn’t have the backbone to support the resolution, only to abstain. Furthermore, despite its tough wording, this was only a Chapter 6 resolution with more growl than bite. The situation clearly calls for a Chapter 7 job as Israel’s actions most definitely “constitute a threat to the peace, a breach of the peace, or an act of aggression” requiring coercive and enforceable measures.

Nevertheless it wasn’t entirely a waste of time. It turns a spotlight on Israel’s criminal conduct, it will have the effect of releasing the brake on various civil society actions against Israel – especially BDS – and it will hasten the day when countries slap sanctions on the rogue state and demand Israel’s expulsion for repeatedly failing to meet the obligations of UN membership.

The US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, explaining America’s reasons for applying her veto, quoted Reagan in 1982: “The United States will not support the use of any additional land for the purpose of settlements during the transitional period….  Further settlement activity is in no way necessary for the security of Israel and only diminishes the confidence of the Arabs that a final outcome can be freely and fairly negotiated.”

She said those words “highlight the United States’ long-standing position that Israeli settlement activity in territories occupied in 1967 undermines Israel’s security, harms the viability of a negotiated two-state outcome, and erodes prospects for peace and stability in the region. Today, the Security Council reaffirmed its established consensus that settlements have no legal validity. The United States has been sending the message that the settlements must stop – privately and publicly – for nearly five decades.”

As Power also pointed out, the total settler [squatter] population in the West Bank and East Jerusalem now exceeds 590,000 and nearly 90,000 are living beyond the separation Wall which itself cuts well into Palestinian territory.  In the last few months Israel has planned for more than 2,600 new settlement units. “Rather than dismantling these and other settler outposts, which are illegal even under Israeli law, now there is new legislation advancing in the Israeli Knesset that would legalize most of the outposts – a factor that propelled the decision by this resolution’s sponsors to bring it before the Council.”

However, even if every settlement was dismantled Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank and Jerusalem and blockade of Gaze would still be in place.

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder complains that once again the UN “singles out Israel for condemnation. It is shocking that 14 of the 15 members of this council voted in favor of the resolution.” Whining about Israel being singled out is a favourite refrain, as is another of Lauder’s remarks that peace can only be reached through bilateral talks between Israelis and Palestinians.

People like Lauder don’t seem to comprehend that peace can only be achieved within a the framework of international law and a level playing field. Lopsided negotiation between an armed bully still in possession of stolen property and an unarmed, dispossessed weakling is no basis for a just peace.

Meanwhile J-Wire reports that Christian Zionists in New Zealand – the Flaxmere Christian Fellowship – condemn what their pastor calls “the anti-Israel resolution outlawing Israeli settlements.” He adds: “We are disgusted at the leading role New Zealand played today at the UN. This is a day of shame for New Zealand. This resolution denies the rights of the Jewish People to build and live on the Holy Land of Israel, Land that has been promised to them in an everlasting resolution by a much greater authority than the New Zealand Government or the United Nations but by the God of Nations Himself….

“At a time when we should be celebrating the birth of the Jewish Saviour we have decided instead to back an anti-Semitic, anti-Israel Resolution at the United Nations. We condemn the UN Resolution completely.”

All that matters, then, is the mythical rights of the “Jewish People”, not the legitimate rights of the genuine Palestinians. They don’t even get a mention.

The Flaxmere Christian Fellowship website carries a map showing occupied Palestine as all-Israel. It promotes the following statement: “Regarding Israel, we believe it is their God given right to inherit the Bible Land of their forefathers, and this includes Judea & Samaria (West Bank) which is currently the matter of dispute between Israel and those who call themselves Palestinians.

“Part of the problem regarding the Middle East conflict is ignorance. Many people are ignorant of the historical facts not to speak of the Bible narrative. We as a church aim to bring education to people —especially Christians, regarding the unique plan God has for the Jewish People & Israel in these last days.”

Ignorance? Facts? Education? This “Christian fellowship”

  • believes that God has a unique plan for the Jewish people and the Nation of Israel.
  • believes that as Christians they are called to bless and support the Jewish people and if they do so God Himself will bless them.

Inside the church the flag of Israel hangs beside the New Zealand flag. It’s an interesting insight into the mixed-up mind of the Zionist.

Netanyahu’s office states that ​​”Israel looks forward to working with President-elect Trump and with all our friends in Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, to negate the harmful effects of this absurd resolution.” So he’s banking on Trump being as crazed as he is.  If that turns out to be the case, we’re all in trouble.

Veterans Today

NZ And Israel: Blowback Has Begun

http://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/nationalv/nzs-israel-resolution-peacemakers-seldom-win-friends/ar-BBxvToI?li=BBqdg4K&ocid=SK2MDHP

Israeli security forces take position near the settlement of Kadumim (background) during clashes following a demonstration against the expropriation of Palestinian land by Israel.

© JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP Israeli security forces take position near the settlement of Kadumim (background) during clashes following a demonstration against the expropriation of Palestinian land by Israel. A UN Security Council resolution, calling for a ban on illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, has passed, with NZ taking a major role. Phil Smith outlines the background and the blowback.

New Zealand has dared to go where even Egypt’s strongman, President el-Sisi, feared to tread. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi put a forward a resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlement building, but after an incredibly inappropriate call from Donald Trump, el-Sisi withdrew it again. Exactly how Trump achieved that is anyone’s guess, but America’s $1.5 billion aid package to Egypt may have been threatened.

President el-Sisi said he wanted to let Trump’s incoming administration have first crack at the issue. It was obviously an excuse. Trump’s nomination for Ambassador to Israel is a hardliner who wants more settlement construction and who has compared Jews who advocate for a ‘two-state peace’ to Capos (Jews who assisted in Nazi death-camps).

When el-Sisi retreated, New Zealand stepped up. Together with Venezuela, Malaysia and Senegal, New Zealand called for a vote on the resolution, and for the first time since the Carter administration, the US declined to veto a rebuke over illegal Israeli settlements.

The US noted that settlement construction had accelerated since the US vetoed a similar resolution in 2001, and that the Obama administration has been warning Israel for eight years that this ‘trend-line’ was both making peace more difficult and isolating Israel from the international community.

The foundations of the settlements

Settling population in militarily-occupied territory is contrary to the Geneva Convention, to international law and previous United Nations rulings.

Settlement building is usually strategic. Settlements create ‘facts-on-the-ground’, making it more difficult to give back captured territory (in this case, territory captured during the 1967 Six Day War). Hardliners believe the territory is theirs by God-given right, but its return, at least in part, would be necessary for a lasting peace based on a two-state solution. The tracts that are currently Palestinian controlled areas are an unworkable, disconnected patchwork of territories.

Settlements also increase local conflict by expropriating land and resources to construct and sustain the townships. Moderate Israeli administrations have tended to restrict or demolish settlements, while hawkish governments look the other way, or – like the current one – are gung-ho on expansions which push Palestinians into an ever-diminishing corner.

Former US President Jimmy Carter has repeatedly stressed that peace in Israel/Palestine is only likely when the Palestinians also have a viable state, where middle class citizens have a reason to hope and work for a future. Some form of two state solution has been American policy for decades.

Seeing this may be about to change, and after significant antagonism from Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, President Obama apparently believes it is time to allow a line in the sand.

Kiwi peace-broker

A few years ago, after the successful Bougainville peace talks, New Zealand imagined a role for itself as an international peace broker. It was a nice idea that turned out to be harder than it sounded, but it marked an increased New Zealand confidence to act independently, for good purpose.

This week’s action is a further brave step from New Zealand. It has no obvious ulterior motives, but instead seems an attempt to simply do the right thing and bugger the consequences. A nation like New Zealand cannot throw its feather-weight around internationally in order to win friends. Frequently, the opposite is achieved. A friend won with one action is alienated with the next, and nations often remember sleights more strongly than support.

The blowback

The blowback has already begun. Israel is apoplectic and has recalled its envoys to New Zealand and Senegal, and stopped its Senegal aid programme. It called the resolution “despicable” and “an evil decree”. The Israeli Ambassador to the UN said the vote was “a victory for terror, a victory for hatred and violence.”

New Zealand was already in Israel’s bad books. In 2014 Israel refused to accept New Zealand’s ambassador because he was also to act as an envoy to the Palestinian Authority. In October 2015, Israeli officials reprimanded our Ambassador after New Zealand dared propose a Security Council resolution that dared encourage a return to peace negotiations. Palestinian supporters were equally upset, seeing the wording as supporting Israel.

But this time is worse. Israeli-New Zealand relations haven’t been so poor since 2004, when New Zealand imprisoned ‘Mossad spies’ for attempting to fraudulently obtain a New Zealand passport. After a year, Israel apologised and relationships were slowly mended.

This new rift may take longer. Much of the anger is being directed at the US, where President Obama could have chosen to veto the resolution. But Netanyahu’s conservative government will not take kindly to us fronting a resolution that pointedly calls East Jerusalem “occupied Palestinian territory”.

New Zealand’s government will have known blowback was likely. It has decided that, if you ask to be on the Security Council you need to appear from behind the parapet and take a stand.

In an era where the world’s mood seems to be trending towards resentment, aggression and extremism, a country wins few friends by calling for tolerance or asking for restraint. But that doesn’t mean that working for peace and goodwill isn’t the right thing to do

“Aleppo!” The Assassination of Karlov

 

I’ve had feedback on the images in this scenario that something isn’t right with the picture. too  posed, too cleanout, like a movie scene. A pistol like that, wouldn’t it more of a mess at close range?

Any opinions on this?

Turkish police secure the area near an art gallery where the Russian Ambassador to TurkeyAndrei Karlov was shot in Ankara, Turkey, December 19, 2016.

© REUTERS/Umit Bektas Turkish police secure the area near an art gallery where the Russian Ambassador to TurkeyAndrei Karlov was shot in Ankara, Turkey, December 19, 2016. The Russian ambassador to Ankara has been killed in a gun attack at an art gallery in the Turkish capital, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported.

Reports said Andrei Karlov was attending the opening of an exhibit at a contemporary arts centre when he was attacked. Karlov was several minutes into a speech at the exhibit when a man shouted “Allahu Akbar” and fired at least eight shots, according to an AP photographer who was present.

The attacker also smashed some of the photographs, AP reported. A source told RIA that Karlov had died at the scene.

Turkey’s NTV reported that the gunman had been killed by police.

Turkish officials said the gunman had entered the building claiming he was a police officer. Other bystanders alleged he shouted “Aleppo” when he shot Karlov, but the claims could not be immediately confirmed.

The man behind Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov is believed to have pulled out a gun seconds after this photo was taken.© AP The man behind Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov is believed to have pulled out a gun seconds after this photo was taken. The attacker was said to have first shot Karlov in the back, before ordering people to leave the room. He then reportedly fired a second time as Karlov lay on the floor.

The Russian foreign ministry said it was in contact with Ankara over the events, RIA Novosti reported. President Vladimir Putin called an urgent meeting with the foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, and the heads of the security services.

The ambassador had been part of discussions between Turkey that led to an evacuation of east Aleppo getting under way late last week. He had also been a central conduit to the Turkish government’s rapproachment with Moscow in April.

The Turkish foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, was due to travel to Moscow on Tuesday for talks with Russian and Iranian counterparts

 

Russia and Turkey have recently gone some way towards mending ties after a freeze in relations after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter plane in November 2015.

Fatih Öke, the press attache of Turkey’s embassy in Washington DC, tweeted: “The bullet to Ambassador Karlov is not only aims him. It aims also Turkish Russian relation.”

Karlov was a career diplomat who had previously served as ambassador to North Korea.

More details to follow …

Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov shot dead in Ankara

Video shows the gunman moments after ambassador Karlov was shot

Media captionVideo shows the gunman moments after ambassador Karlov was shot

A Turkish policeman has shot dead Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, apparently in protest at Russia’s involvement in Aleppo.

The killer has been identified as Mevlut Mert Aydintas, 22, a member of the Ankara riot police. It was not clear if he had links to any group.

The incident happened a day after protests in Turkey over Russian support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Turkey’s president said the attack was aimed at hurting ties with Russia.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone and, in a video message, said that they both agreed it was an act of “provocation”.

He said that those who wanted to harm relations between the two countries “would not achieve it”.

In televised remarks, Mr Putin said the act was “undoubtedly a provocation aimed at disrupting the normalisation” of bilateral ties and the “peace process in Syria”.

A group of Russian investigators will arrive in Turkey to look into the case, Mr Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Andrei KarlovImage copyright AP
Image caption Andrei Karlov was visiting a photo gallery in the Turkish capital

The UN Security Council strongly condemned ambassador Andrei Karlov’s murder, while Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was appalled by “this senseless act of terror”.

While there were protests in recent days about the situation in Aleppo, on a political level the Turkish and Russian governments have been co-operating in the ceasefire operation, the BBC’s Turkey correspondent, Mark Lowen, reports.

Why was Russian ambassador killed in Turkey? The BBC’s Jeremy Bowen reports

Media captionWhy was Russian ambassador killed in Turkey? The BBC’s Jeremy Bowen reports

Before the attack happened, a meeting of the Russian, Turkish and Iranian foreign ministers had been planned for Tuesday in Moscow.

But now it seems the political fight over Syria’s future has spilled over into public hatred, our correspondent says.

The attack was swiftly condemned by other countries:

  • US Secretary of State John Kerry: “We stand ready to offer assistance to Russia and Turkey as they investigate this despicable attack, which was also an assault on the right of all diplomats to safely and securely advance and represent their nations around the world”
  • UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson: “Shocked to hear of despicable murder of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey. My thoughts are with his family. I condemn this cowardly attack”
  • German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said his country stood with Turkey in a common fight against terrorism
  • French President Francois Hollande “strongly” condemned the killing

The movement of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen has also condemned the attack and rejected any links to the attacker, according to an adviser quoted by Reuters news agency. Turkish officials blame the movement for July’s failed coup aimed against Mr Erdogan.

The gunman after the attack in AnkaraImage copyright AP
Image caption The attacker shouted about Aleppo and Syria
People crouch in the exhibition room after the shooting in Ankara, 19 DecemberImage copyright Burhan Ozbilici
Image caption People crouched in the exhibition room after the shooting

The ambassador had been attending a photo exhibition called “Russia as seen by Turks”.

Video of the event shows Mr Karlov making a speech when gunshots ring out. Eight bullets are said to have been fired.

The camera pulls back to show a smartly dressed gunman, wearing a suit and tie, waving a pistol and shouting in Arabic and Turkish.

He can be heard yelling “don’t forget about Aleppo, don’t forget about Syria” and uses the Arabic phrase “Allahu Akbar” (God is great). He is said to have died in a shootout with police soon afterwards, but details have not been given.

Mr Karlov was rushed to hospital but his death was later confirmed by the Russian foreign ministry.

More:http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-38369962

Refugee Trafficking with Loretta Napoleoni

Site Icon -SmallRefugee trafficking with Loretta Napoleoni