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Billionaire prince among dozens arrested in Saudi sweep

Saudi Arabia has arrested dozens of princes and former government ministers, including a well-known billionaire with extensive holdings in Western companies, as part of a sweeping anti-corruption probe, further cementing King Salman and his crown prince son’s control of the kingdom.
A high-level employee at Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding Company told The Associated Press that the royal was among those detained overnight Saturday. The employee said he received calls from several security bodies notifying him of the arrest. The employee spoke on condition of anonymity due to fear of repercussions.
The Associated Press reached out overnight to Kingdom Holding for comment. There was no response as of Sunday morning.Saudi prince arrested

Prince Alwaleed is one of the Middle East’s richest people, with investments in Twitter, Apple, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., Citigroup, and the Four Seasons, Fairmont and Movenpick hotel chains. He is also an investor in ride-sharing services Lyft and Careem, both competitors to Uber in the U.S. and the Middle East, respectively.
The prince, often pictured on his multimillion dollar 85.65-metre (281 foot) superyacht in the Mediterranean, is also known for being among the most outspoken Saudi royals, long advocating for women’s rights. He is also majority owner of the popular Rotana Group of Arabic channels.
Official state media have not reported on the arrests, but the kingdom’s top council of clerics issued a statement saying it is an Islamic duty to fight corruption— essentially giving religious backing to the high-level arrests being reported.
The Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya satellite news channel reported that at least 11 princes and dozens of former ministers had been detained in the probe launched by a new anti-corruption committee. The committee is led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Saudi Twitter accounts released names of several high-ranking princes, including a prominent and powerful son of the late King Abdullah, Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, who was removed from his post as head of the National Guard overnight.
The arrests came as Lebanon’s prime minister, a close Saudi ally, announced his own resignation from the Saudi capital. Yemeni rebels, the target of a 2 ½ year Saudi-led military campaign, meanwhile fired a ballistic missile toward Riyadh’s international airport on Saturday night that was intercepted by Saudi air defense before it could cause any damage.

Al-Arabiya reported that the anti-graft committee is looking into deadly floods that overwhelmed parts of the city of Jiddah in 2009 and the government’s response to the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus that has killed several hundred people in the past few years.
Reports also suggested those detained were being held in the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh, which only days earlier hosted a major investment conference. The phone number for the hotel had been disconnected by Sunday morning and a Dubai-based spokeswoman for the hotel chain did not respond to a request for comment.
The government said the anti-corruption committee has the right to issue arrest warrants, impose travel restrictions and freeze bank accounts. It can also trace funds, prevent the transfer of funds or the liquidation of assets, and take other precautionary measures until cases are referred to the judiciary.
The royal order said the committee was established “due to the propensity of some people for abuse, putting their personal interest above public interest, and stealing public funds.”
Saudi nationals have long complained of rampant corruption in government and of public funds being squandered or misused by people in power.
Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, a research fellow at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, said the scale of the arrests are designed to further smooth the young crown prince’s eventual succession to the throne.
“As a leader who is set to remain in power for decades, Mohammed bin Salman is remaking the kingdom in his own image and signaling a potentially significant move away from the consensual balancing of competing interests that characterized Saudi rule in the past,” Ulrichsen said.
Prince Miteb was replaced by a lesser known royal, Prince Khalid bin Ayyaf al-Muqrin, who had held a senior post with the National Guard.
Prince Miteb’s father— the late King Abdullah— also had led the National Guard and had transformed it into a powerful and prestigious force tasked with protecting the ruling Al Saud family, as well as important holy sites in Mecca and Medina, and oil and gas sites.
Prince Miteb was once considered a contender for the throne. His ouster essentially sidelines one of the most formidable rivals to the current crown prince, who is also defense minister. Just three months ago, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef was ousted from the line of succession and from his post as interior minister, overseeing internal security.
Only hours earlier, Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri resigned from his post in a televised address from Riyadh, offering a vicious tirade against Iran and its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah group for what he said was their meddling in Arab affairs.
“Iran’s arms in the region will be cut off,” Hariri said.
Saudi Arabia then said its forces intercepted a ballistic missile fired by Iran-backed rebels in Yemen toward one of the kingdom’s major international airports on the outskirts of Riyadh. A Saudi-led coalition launched a war against the Houthi rebels and their allies in March 2015 that grinds on today, a campaign overseeing by Crown Prince Mohammed.
The missile fire drew an immediate rebuke from President Donald Trump, who blamed Iran in part for the attack.
“A shot was just taken by Iran, in my opinion, at Saudi Arabia. And our system knocked it down,” Trump said, referring to the Patriot missile batteries Saudi Arabia has purchased from the U.S. “That’s how good we are. Nobody makes what we make and now we’re selling it all over the world.”
It’s unclear if the U.S. had any advance word of the coming arrests. Trump’s son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner and others made an unannounced trip recently to Riyadh. Trump earlier Saturday said he spoke to King Salman about listing the kingdom’s massive state-run oil company, Saudi Aramco, in the United States. (My emphasis MH)
___
Batrawy reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Associated Press writers Jon Gambrell and Fay Abuelgasim in Dubai and Jonathan Lemire aboard Air Force One contributed to this report.

https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/world/billionaire-prince-among-dozens-arrested-in-saudi-sweep/ar-AAusc2m?li=AAaeXZz&ocid=spartanntp

Another Grim Aniversary For Gaza

Another grim anniversary for Gaza
Efforts to end the Gaza blockade must go hand in hand with the wider Palestinian right to self-determination.By
Sharif Nashashibi

Sharif Nashashibi is an award-winning journalist and analyst on Arab affairs.

July 8 marks the anniversary of last year’s Israeli onslaught against Gaza. Commonly and mistakenly described as a war against Hamas, the targets and victims were overwhelmingly civilian (a consistent and deliberate Israeli military strategy). According to the United Nations, two-thirds of the 2,251 Palestinian fatalities were civilian, including 551 children and 299 women.
More than 1,500 children were orphaned. Children and women comprised almost two-thirds of the 11,231 Palestinians injured, 10 percent of whom are permanently disabled. A report by Save The Children on July 6 documented continued “severe emotional distress” among children, including regular bedwetting and nightmares.
Some 19,000 homes were totally or partially destroyed, and 500,000 Palestinians (28 percent of Gaza’s population) were displaced, in what the UN described as “the largest displacement recorded in Gaza since 1967”.

Gaza anniversary

Has Israel committed war crimes in Gaza?
The anniversary of the war will attract predictions about the likelihood or inevitability of the next one. Certainly, for the people of Gaza that prospect is always on the horizon.
Most extremist
Israel’s recently elected government – aptly described as the most extremist in the country’s history (and that is saying something) – consists of figures who believe Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has actually been too soft on Hamas, and want a full-scale invasion and reoccupation of Gaza to wipe out the Palestinian faction.
The terms of last summer’s ceasefire agreement repeat the basic flaws that doomed previous truces: vague wording, and the postponement of talks on the fundamental issues. That means ample time and opportunity for the ceasefire to unravel (Israel has repeatedly violated it).
There is no mention of Egypt or Israel ending their blockades of Gaza, nor of the wider issue of Palestinian statehood. Israel even balks at smaller-scale issues such as constructing a Gaza seaport and rebuilding the airport that was bombed in 2000.
Furthermore, Netanyahu may feel that whenever his popularity is flagging, the remedy is another assault on Gaza. His public approval ratings were sky high during last year’s onslaught, peaking at 82 percent when the ground invasion began.
Gaza’s civilian population has for too long languished in what is aptly described as the world’s largest open-air prison.

So yet another war may be a matter of when, not if, but the next one might not necessarily be with Israel. Last week, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) threatened to “uproot” and “overrun” the “tyrants of Hamas” in Gaza, and to implement sharia law there.
The threat should be taken seriously, given that it follows a string of recent attacks carried out by its sympathisers against Hamas in Gaza – a jihadist challenge to the latter’s authority that would have been unthinkable not long ago. There have reportedly been at least a dozen such attacks so far this year alone, including four in May.

Desperate population

The humanitarian catastrophe that the years-long blockade has caused in Gaza is providing ISIL with fertile ground for recruitment among sections of the impoverished territory’s increasingly desperate population.
“The blockade – now in place for eight years – has devastated Gaza’s economy, left most people unable to leave Gaza, restricted people from essential services such as healthcare and education, and cut Palestinians in Gaza off from those in the West Bank,” said Oxfam on July 3.
According to its report, more than 40 percent of people in Gaza are unemployed, including 67 percent of youth, “the highest rate in the world”. A whopping 80 percent of people are in need of aid, and exports are at less than 3 percent of their pre-blockade levels due to “heavy restrictions” on the transfer of goods.
“Many key industries … have been decimated as essential materials are not allowed” into Gaza, “most of the water supply is unsafe to drink and there are power cuts of 12 hours a day”.

Debate about whether or when conflict will erupt again takes place under the fundamentally flawed premise that war entails simply the resumption of military hostilities. The blockade itself is an act of war, with no end in sight. Focusing only on violence gives the false impression that in its absence there is peace in Gaza, which is occasionally and inexplicably broken by Palestinian militants.
Last summer’s Israeli onslaught did not create a humanitarian disaster – it exacerbated a long-festering one.
“One year on… life for many people in Gaza is getting worse,” said Oxfam, adding that “an already vulnerable civilian population has been left even more vulnerable.”
Not a single home that was totally or partially destroyed has been rebuilt, due to the blockade’s restrictions on building materials.
Moral imperative
A complete lifting of the blockade is a moral imperative, as Gaza’s civilian population has for too long languished in what is aptly described as the world’s largest open-air prison. However, that should be seen as a stepping-stone to realising Palestinian rights and aspirations, not an end-all solution.
The blockade and its duration – even efforts to end it – have created a discourse that views Gaza increasingly as a distinct entity separate from the rest of Palestine and its people. This serves Israel’s divide-and-conquer strategy, which must be resisted.
Efforts to end the blockade must go hand in hand with the wider Palestinian right to self-determination. Palestinians may be geographically and politically divided, but they are one people and one nation.
Even if the blockade were lifted, Gazans would not accept to leave their compatriots to their own fate. Sadly, however, the end of their misery remains a more distant prospect than the resumption of armed conflict, for which there will be more grim anniversaries.
Sharif Nashashibi is an award-winning journalist and analyst on Arab affairs.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2015/07/grim-anniversary-gaza-150708061032649.html

 

The new Saudi crown prince “is good news for the US”

Image result for Saudi new prince vision 2030

by Tom Rogan |

 

The ailing King Salman of Saudi Arabia has replaced Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef with Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The crown prince is the successor-designate to the Saudi throne.

The first thing to note, however, is that this doesn’t portend any major changes in the kingdom’s pro-U.S. sentiment. Both Mohammed bin Nayef and Mohammed bin Salman belong to the pro-U.S. wing of the House of Saud. They recognize that the U.S. government is crucial to the royal family’s long term survival.

Instead, while there’s a dynastic element to King Salman’s pick (bin Salman is his son), this appointment speaks to looming domestic reforms.

After all, just 31 years old, Mohammed bin Salman breaks the tradition of geriatric Saudi monarchs. By appointing bin Salman as crown prince, King Salman knows he’s laying a foundation for around five decades.

And under the banner of his “Vision 2030” program, bin Salman plans vast changes to Saudi Arabia’s governance, economy and society.

 Read More:
“GOOD FOR THE U.S?” OR  GOOD FOR GLOBALISM? DOES ANYONE SEE THE UN 2030 AGENDA AT WORK YET AGAIN?
Vision 2030 Arab

Jared Kushner: Man On A Middle-Eastern Mission

 Jared Kushner: The young, well spoken, impeccably groomed son-in-law seems to be unstoppable in his rise to prominence. I mark him as a man to watch very closely. There is certain to be speculation and controversy galore with this man!
FROM REUTERS:
By Luke Baker | JERUSALEM

JERUSALEM U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, met Israeli and Palestinian leaders on Wednesday to try to revive long-fractured Middle East peacemaking that Washington acknowledged will take some time.

Kushner, a 36-year-old real estate developer with little experience of international diplomacy or political negotiation, arrived in Israel on Wednesday morning and was due to spend barely 20 hours on the ground.

Video showed him giving Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a friend of Kushner’s father, a handshake and a hug as they prepared to sit down with the Israeli ambassador to Washington, the U.S. ambassador to Israel and other senior officials for preliminary discussions.

“This is an opportunity to pursue our common goals of security, prosperity and peace,” Netanyahu said. “Jared, I welcome you here in that spirit. I know of your efforts, the president’s efforts, and I look forward to working with you to achieve these common goals.”

Kushner replied: “The president sends his best regards and it’s an honor to be here with you.”

Kushner did not speak to the media or take questions, maintaining the circumspect profile he has established since Trump took office in January.

U.S. officials and Israeli leaders “underscored that forging peace will take time and stressed the importance of doing everything possible to create an environment conducive to peacemaking,” the White House later said in a statement.

Kushner traveled to Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, for two hours of talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas after iftar, the evening meal that breaks the daily Ramadan fast.

Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rdainah said all major issues at the heart of the conflict were discussed.

U.S. officials called the trip part of an effort to keep the conversation going rather than the launching of a new phase in the peace process, saying that Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, the president’s special representative for international negotiations, are likely to return often.

Trump has described peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians as “the ultimate deal” and made it a priority. As well as receiving both Netanyahu and Abbas in the White House, he visited the region last month.

But it remains unclear what approach Trump, via Kushner and Greenblatt, plans to take on resolving one of the world’s most intractable conflicts.

For at least two decades, the goal of U.S.-led diplomacy has been a “two-state solution”, meaning an independent Palestinian state living side-by-side and at peace with Israel.

But when Trump met Netanyahu in Washington in February, he said he was not fixed on two states saying, “I’m looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like”.

12 ‘BULLET POINTS’

Netanyahu has in the past given conditional backing to two states. But ahead of his last election victory in 2015, he promised there would never be a Palestinian state on his watch, a remark seen as an attempt to shore up right-wing support.

In discussions with Greenblatt before Kushner’s visit, Palestinian sources said the phrase “two-state solution” had not been used.

Palestinian sources said that ahead of Kushner’s meeting with Abbas, they had been asked to draw up a list of 12 “bullet point” demands they would want met in any negotiations.

They saw it as a helpful exercise in focusing on core elements rather than an oversimplification of a complex issue.

Trump administration officials have said that if they are going to make progress on peace, they do not want to get bogged down in process but to move rapidly on tackling what are known as “final status” issues, the complexities around Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, water resources, security and borders.

Those have long been thorny problems in the multiple rounds of peace negotiations launched by both Republican and Democratic presidents since the mid-1990s. It remains unclear what new approach Trump’s administration may have to untangling disputes that blend politics, land, religion and ethnicity and have defied resolution for 70 years.

(Additional reporting by Jeffrey Heller and Ali Sawafta; Editing by Howard Goller)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-palestinians-usa-talks-idUSKBN19C162

AND FOR A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE:

Even before Benjamin Netanyahu locked him in a warm embrace, Jared Kushner began his effort to broker peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians by making it clear that he completely accepts Israel’s vision of itself as an innocent victim.

That’s because Kushner started his 15-hour trip to the Middle East on Wednesday by mourning with the family of an Israeli police officer, Hadas Malka, who was killed by a Palestinian assailant in East Jerusalem on Friday.

Since her death, Israelis have been outraged over the murder of Malka, who was a member of the border police force charged with maintaining Israeli control in the Old City of Jerusalem, one of the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967.

Read more:

https://theintercept.com/2017/06/21/jared-kushners-pursuit-middle-east-peace-looks-lot-like-total-surrender-israel/

See also:

Jared Kushner: “There Is Something Very Strange About This Man”: Video

A Bedtime Story For Gilad

Interesting story/hypothesis:

Image result for pagan tribe yemen one god

By Taxi

https://platosguns.com/2017/04/16/bedtime-story-for-gilad/ 

In a recently published article, Gilad Atzmon wondered where the concepts of ‘chosenness’ and a ‘vengeful god’ come from.  Here below, I posit a plausible answer to his poignant questions.

*   *   *   *   *   *

Imagine it’s four thousand years ago and you are the chief elder of a small pagan tribe living in what is now known as Yemen.  You have chosen to pitch your tribe’s tents near an oasis that’s also shared by, say, half a dozen small Arab pagan tribes.  Paganism, with its orgiastic sexual promiscuity, its lawless blood-sacrifices and hyper-irrational superstitions is the zeitgeist of the day – and you, as tribe leader are becoming more concerned for the safety of your tribe because the new four-horned pagan god of your nearest neighbor’s tribe is an aggressive god who instructs his worshipers to raid and kill what they can by night to appease him.  You stoically start to wonder how best you can insure your tribe’s safety: you spend all day performing pagan protection rituals and prayers; and your nights you spend sleepless in nerve-knotting anxiety: over-thinking everything and hitting one mental wall after the other in search of a solution to your security crisis.

 

Soon, you’re worn down emotionally and mentally and crippled by anguish and despair.

Soon, the fears within you multiply causing you bouts of melancholia and paranoia and loss of appetite.  You look everywhere but you can find no reprieve from your laden mental agony and exhaustion.  So profound, intense and unbearable is your solitary anguish that you begin to doubt the protective powers of the very pagan gods you yourself worship.  Doubting your gods thus day and night, you soon enough therefore decide that you are no longer a pagan: that worshiping effigies and natural phenomenon and inane objects has never produced any reliable results anyway; and has certainly not guaranteed you safety, especially when as a wandering tribe in the past, you had been repeatedly ambushed and your animals and half your women were dragged off away by brutal raiders.  Yes, you fully realize that paganism is futility itself.  You feel strange but brilliantly liberated to shed the mantle of paganism.  You look around you and you start to see pagan folks as inferior, as physically uninhibited but mentally enslaved.  You are thrilled by your internal discoveries, but this euphoria is soon shot down when you realize that you now have a much bigger problem:  what do you next worship?

You’ve killed off your old pagan gods and you need to fill the void with something… something?… yes, something… something that would be… even… better – even bigger and scarier than anyone can ever imagine!  Well, you have to think super big so you can sell why you dumped the old gods to your cynical brother and to others in the tribe.  Domestically, your tribe folk absolutely need ‘stuff’ to worship; and foreign policy wise, your neighboring tribes are always curious to know what ritual you performed, whether it worked or not, and you have to be able to convincingly accommodate this normal pagan curiosity, otherwise they would view your tribe as unconventional and shrouded in dark secrecy; they will accuse you of nefarious and antisocial activities; they will spread ugly rumors about you and your tribe; they will disown all previous trade deals with you; exclude you from important regional social events, and humiliate you by calling you a godless crackpot and a feeble tribal chief: which in turn would invite violent raids and unwanted hostility – the very thing you’re desperate to avoid.

You sit under stars alone outside your tent and wonder what kind of new gods you can kneel to, impressive gods unlike any other in the pagan world around you.  But… where, where on earth does one find such a mighty and hidden collection of gods, you ask yourself.  You find no answer to this question, hard as you try, and so you think to yourself: perhaps I can start by finding the first god and when that’s done, I can be looking for the next one and so on and so forth.  It seems like an awful lot of mental work is ahead of you and you despair at the impossible challenges you’ve entangled yourself in.  Then it hits you!  All you really need is ONE GOD!  ONE GOD!  Only one!  A god who is so imbibed with mystery and magic and might that he works from a grand and fantastic invisible realm – a god who is absolutely everywhere, yet unseen by the human eye as his face is too powerful for a human to behold without causing injury and even death to the beholder: for you, there’s no more praying to multiple silly effigies anymore (yet ironically, you still believe in paganistic magic).

You start to think that this conjured ONE GOD of yours is so very powerful, by far more powerful than any and all pagan gods in this desert and the next – more than that, your god is the very creator of everything, creator of the dead and the living, creator of even every single pagan god on earth!  Yes, these are the foundational qualities of your new god.  Yes, you will now mentally toil to tailor-make this hybrid ONE GOD of yours: adding to him, polishing here, trimming there, exaggerating where you can, even plagiarizing from other pagan gods’ cloth and promises that please worshipers – hoping also that this preoccupation with god-making that now has you completely occupied will help mentally distract you and reduce your random bouts of paranoia.  But it doesn’t.  You spend half your time fine-tuning your ONE GOD model and the other half wrestling with terrible sun-stroked mirages of blood and visions of perpetual demonic genocide.  Yet despite all this, you finish the task of creating your ONE GOD.

You tell yourself that your ONE GOD is the best idea you’ve ever had in your long life – you’re blown away by your own creative endeavors – you’re giddy with joy that you’ve finally solved your religious problem.  But… you still need to figure out a way to get this ONE GOD to provide you with security for your tribe, especially that some of your neighbors might be skeptical and worse: offended that you’re declaring their gods are nothing more than the small children of your ONE GOD, that their gods are merely created and not powerful creators themselves; that your ONE GOD can snuff them out any time he pleases: being their creator and all.  You know that this kind of religious offense will attract unrelenting brutal violence towards you and your tribe from pagan zealots – maybe your offended neighbor tribes will conspire against you and together set your tents on fire while you sleep: burning you and your tribe into a pile of charred bones and ending your rogue bloodline for once and for all: genociding you completely with no mercy and no remorse.  You shudder at the thought of a torturous death and the savage annihilation of your tribe.  You cannot bear the thought of causing and helplessly witnessing such an event.  This becomes your darkest pathological fear and very quickly you become deeply haunted and terrorized by hellish scenarios of gruesome mass murder.  Killing the pagan gods seems to have now led you to the dark night of soul itself, but you know with absolute certainty that there is no returning to the failed pagan gods.  There is nowhere else to go to except forward with the ONE GOD concept, despite its dangers and its predatory shadows that torment you.

Under a scorching sun, you walk alone burdened and still looking for the answer to your impossible security problem.  There are so few of your tribesmen and you cannot raise an army large enough to defend your new ONE GOD concept against a whole region of pagans, numbered in the hundreds of thousands.  No, no human army can help, you tell yourself, but… a supernatural bag of curses will certainly work wonders on the superstitious pagan mind.  Yes!  You know this for a fact because you are an ex pagan.  Threats of colossal and deadly retribution from your ONE GOD will stop any pagan in their tracks and make them think twice before attacking you.  Yes, this is it: your invisible ONE GOD’s wrath will be your valiant shield, your indestructible army!  And you have just the perfect sales pitch for it!

First, you will assemble the neighboring tribes and yours too.  You will tell them all that at great risk to your own life, you would like to share with them a most unusual religious experience you’ve recently had.  You will tell them a beautiful story about how a new god visited you when you were walking the desert alone; that this god is the most wondrous and kind and helpful of all gods; that this god claims sole reign over all existing pagan gods; and that those who follow him will each be given a true heaven all to themselves as reward.  You will spin and exaggerate all the positive aspects of this ONE GOD, you will wax lyrical about his beauty and his astonishing divine powers.  You will say that this new messianic god has arrived to save mankind from illness and poverty and suffering, that if men followed this ONE GOD, they too will live in eternal wealth, security and physical and spiritual fulfillment.

Immediately after you’ve disarmed your skeptical listeners through the power of poetry and promises of utopia, after you’ve buttered them up nicely with rare sweet honey, you will then proceed to tell them, with soulful tears in your eyes, that this new ONE GOD has chosen you and your bloodline to be the very first followers: divinely privileged above all others and favored till eternity.  With earnest conviction you announce to your riveted audience that the ONE GOD has promised to generously reward and bless all those who help you.  You watch your listeners’ eyes now widen with wonderment before you quickly dim the light in your speech.  You clench a fist and crease your brows in sudden anger and forewarn them that your ONE GOD has also darkly vowed to utterly smite all those who injure you!  You will firmly and bleakly caution your listeners: you will tell them your ONE GOD works in such mysterious and powerful ways that anyone resisting your message from him tonight will go to sleep and never wake again – that your ONE GOD is capable of killing whole tribes in the same second by merely thinking it.  You basically put the fear of god into the hearts of pagan men.

This threat of imminent death will play havoc with any riddled-with-superstition pagan mind – nobody now would dare threaten or question you.  But you know that you still need to do more convincing – long term persuasion is necessary.  So, to re-enforce your ONE GOD declaration and warnings, to back up your fantastical claims, you will wait a couple of days after your confessional then pick a petty public fight with your drunken, deadbeat nephew.  He will insult you in public and you will later poison his drink in secret under the cloak of moon; and when he is found all contorted and dead the following morning, you will point at his pitiful corpse and in horror cry: my God did this!  My ONE GOD did this!  You will raise your head and arms to the sky and declare thus divine proof of your vengeful god’s existence.  You will do this again several times over: you will nefariously incite then murder a couple of travelers, and also poison the doubting wife of the tribal chief whose pagan god has four horns.  And so the word about your ONE GOD and his astoundingly devastating powers will henceforth spread among other tribes, who will either subsequently follow you, or else leave you alone in peace: fearing your ONE GOD’s deadly vengeance.

And so it was that you would have created for yourself a way out of failed paganism and its religious wasteland; you would have created the most powerful god in the history of mankind and made yourself high priest; created the first mental weapon of mass destruction; and also you would have created definitive tribal security, provided by no less than, God, himself.

Next, being a nomadic trader at heart, you will seek ways to acquire gold and riches using your very own and successful ONE GOD brand name.  You will declare that all your blessings are personal gifts from the ONE GOD – that he enriches you because you were chosen by him to be his very first follower – that whoever becomes a faithful follower like you, he too will receive the title of ‘chosen’ with all its divine and extravagant advantages.  New followers from other tribes are seduced and begin to join your ONE GOD world order. You tax them for teaching them hundreds of new prayers and other religious rituals – you make yourself a fortune as high priest.

Your tribe becomes wealthy and feared – you and every single member of your tribe soon become rich elites in ancient pagan Arabia.  Your grandiose scam you would eventually share on your deathbed with your closest family members; but after you die, they will swear to secrecy and never utter a word of it to anyone.  Your fabricated ONE GOD story would thus continue and evolve and soon enough become a rooted religious system: all based on your self-appointed claims of being chosen by the ONE GOD who will mercilessly and brutally punish your enemies and protect you, and only you, the chosen, for eternity.

Former Ambassador To Syria, Peter Ford, Tells It As He Sees It

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.

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