Friday, May 22, 2015

ISIS have long suicide bomber waiting list - but rich Saudis are allowed to jump the queue



ISIS have long suicide bomber waiting list - but rich Saudis are allowed to jump the queue

Terrorists are so desperate to martyr themselves for the murderous terror group that they face a backlog of three months or more

Waiting to die: ISIS militants
ISIS have a lengthy waiting list to be a suicide bomber - but rich Saudis are allowed to jump the queue.

Terrorists are so desperate to martyr themselves for the murderous terror group that they face a backlog of three months or more.

However, some militants are grumbling that senior members are letting influential Saudis strap on explosive vests while others are forced to wait.

Kamil Abu Sultan ad-Daghestani, a pro-Islamic State preacher from Dagestan, Russia, made the accusations in a recent post on the Russian language jihadi website Qonah.

“Those Saudis have got things sewn up, they won’t let anyone in,” wrote Kamil.

“They are letting their relatives go to the front of the queue using blat (a Russian word meaning connections)."
Amir Ahmad Al-Shischani
Preacher: Kamil Abu Sultan ad-Daghestani

One frustrated wannabe suicide bomber was so desperate to slaughter himself and others he moved from Syria to Iraq, where there is a much shorter wait, reports Foreign Policy.

He waited patiently for three months, only to discover senior ISIS members were favouring wealthy and well-connected Saudis.

A British dad-of-two who blew himself up in a suicide bombing previously spoke of the struggle to get to the front of the queue.
Reuters Suicide bomber vest
Primed for destruction: A suicide belt

Kabir Ahmed, 32, from Derby, reportedly drove a truck full of explosives into a convoy in Beiji, northern Iraq that killed eight police officers and wounded 15 others in November.

He was interviewed by the BBC’s Panorama programme last July and confessed to being a jihadist fighting with IS in Syria.
Reuters ISIS
ISIS: Some militants are frustrated about the wait to be suicide bombers. File picture

The militant said: “Everybody has got their name on the list to become a suicide bomber and everyone is forcing the Amir [leader] to push their name up.

"Everyone wants to fight for the sake of Allah.”

Isis takes control of Palmyra: The ruins and monuments facing destruction

 Isis takes control of Palmyra: The ruins and monuments facing destruction

Militants claim to have complete control of the Unesco World Heritage Site

Isis has taken over the ancient city of Palmyra, threatening the future of irreplaceable monuments and ruins which represent thousands of years of cultural history.

Palmyra was visited by thousands of tourists annually before civil war broke out in Syria four years ago. These are just a few of the monuments at risk of being destroyed by militants.

Temple of Baal

The stone ruins of the Temple of Baal are considered to be one of the most important religious buildings of the 1st century AD in the East, according to Unesco. The temple was integral to religious life in Palmyra and represented a marriage of ancient Near Eastern and Greco-Roman architecture.
The Temple of Baal at Palmyra has been damaged by
artillery fire

The Temple of Baal at Palmyra has already been damaged by artillery fire

The Great Colonnade

A grand colonnaded street measuring 1100 metres long was the main avenue for Palmyra and linked the Temple of Baal to the West Gate and the Funerary Temple. It was built in several stages throughout the 2nd and 3rd century.
A view of the Great Colonnade in Palmyra 
A view of the Great Colonnade in Palmyra

Roman Theatre at Palmyra

The theatre was built in the 2nd century but work on the building was never completed. The structure was restored in the 20th century and served as a venue for an annual festival in Palmyra.
  A Syrian police officer patrols the ancient city of Palmyra 
A Syrian police officer patrols the ancient city of Palmyra

Palmyra Museum

The archaeological museum is filled with statues and ancient artefacts, many of which have been transferred outside of the city. However, some larger artefacts and stone tombs are too large to move. Maamoun Abdulkarim, Syria’s director-general of antiquities and museums, said he was "terrified" by the developments overnight.

A monument in the garden of the Palmyra Archaeological Museum (pic: Mappo/ Wikimedia commons) 

A monument in the garden of the Palmyra Archaeological Museum (pic: Mappo/ Wikimedia commons) 

“The fear is for the museum and the large monuments that cannot be moved," he told the Associated Press. "This is the entire world’s battle."

Isis seizes Palmyra - live updates: Militants behead men as ancient city falls to terror group

 heartbreaking, and the fricking world just does NOTHING!!

Isis seizes Palmyra - live updates: Militants behead men as ancient city falls to terror group

Thousands of years worth of cultural heritage are now at risk of destruction

Isis militants have taken full control of the ancient site of Palmyra in central Syria, activists have claimed.

This is what we know so far:

Isis fighters kill nine children near ancient site
Syria urges international community to save Palmyra
The ancient city that stands for empire and resistance

Please allow a moment for the live blog to load.

The terror group launched an offensive earlier this week and overran the 2,000-year-old Unesco World Heritage Site shortly after midnight, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Palmyra contains world famous artefacts and monuments that Unesco fears will be bulldozed by militants, who have already razed ancient Assyrian and Roman-era sites to the ground.

George W. Bush Didn’t Create ISIS; Islam Did

by David French May 21, 2015 4:00 AM 

 There are few things the Left loves more than a college liberal “speaking truth” to conservative power. Days ago, 19-year-old University of Nevada student Ivy Ziedrich seemed to enjoy just such a moment and “made headlines around the world” when she confronted Jeb Bush about ISIS. 

Ms. Ziedrich had the gumption to confront Bush in the midst of a scrum of reporters and confidently recite leftist conventional wisdom about the current Middle East crisis, declaring: “Your brother created ISIS!” After all, according to accepted academic conventional wisdom, the war in Iraq is the source of all (recent) jihadist evil. And with that statement, the clock started running on 15 minutes of fame — no, 15 minutes of public adulation. Interviews with ABC News, the New York Times, and other outlets followed, with reporters eager to hear her thoughts on the Middle East. And while Ms. Ziedrich is no expert, there is one thing she said that is all too true: “It’s frustrating to see politicians ignore the origins of our conflicts abroad.” One thing Ivy Ziedrich said is all too true: “It’s frustrating to see politicians ignore the origins of our conflicts abroad.” 

 Yes, Ms. Ziedrich, it certainly is. And if you’re on the left or from some quarters of the right, it must be downright exhausting to not only “understand” those origins but also link them in some way to the failings of American, Israeli, or imperialist European policies. Here’s the current scorecard: ISIS is George W. Bush’s fault. Al-Qaeda and the Taliban exist because of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush (through the Afghan war against the Soviets and then the Desert Storm-related American troop presence in Saudi Arabia, of course), with the various al-Qaeda franchises in Syria, Yemen, and North Africa merely the fruit of the same poisonous Reaganite tree. The jihadist destruction of ancient — pre-Muslim — world heritage sites? 

That’s just collateral damage in the war against Reagan and the Bushes. Hamas, Hezbollah, and the PLO are easy to peg — Israeli creations, one and all, existing solely because of the “Occupied Territories.” As for Libya, we actually put those jihadists in power. But what about Boko Haram? I’m sure any decent professor can tell me some way we’re responsible for their atrocities. But that’s just the last few decades. What about tracing further back? To the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood or to the Ikhwan of the Arabian peninsula? The Ikhwan — as savage as ISIS — trace their origins back to 1913, before the Europeans dominated the Middle East. 

What about the centuries of conflict between Christian Europe and the Ottoman Empire? Vienna must have richly deserved its sieges. After all, Europeans launched the Crusades, right? And before the Crusades, when jihadist Muslim armies invaded and conquered the Christian lands of the Middle East and North Africa, capturing the Iberian Peninsula and threatening modern-day France, there’s little doubt that they were simply striking out at . . . something the Christians did. 

 No, Ms. Ziedrich, George W. Bush didn’t create ISIS. Islam did. Embedded within this faith is a concept called “jihad,” and no matter how many professors tell you otherwise, there are countless millions of Muslims throughout more than a millennium of history who’ve interpreted “jihad” not as a mandate for self-help and personal improvement but as a mandate for war and conquest, a mandate to purify and spread the faith at the point of the sword. The influence of militaristic jihadists waxes and wanes, but it is there, always. 

To believe that American actions have created the jihad is to give America greater influence over the Muslim heart than Allah. The current jihad is an extension of the ancient jihad. The foes have changed (the Habsburgs are long gone, and the Holy League peaked at Lepanto in 1571), but the motivation is the same. Why did Osama bin Laden mention “the tragedy of Andalusia” (the more than 500-year-old reconquest of Muslim Spain) in his post-9/11 address? Because, for the jihadist, it’s all one war. Our choices are the same choices faced by the great non-Muslim powers that came before us: convert, submit, die, or fight. So, by all means, let’s not ignore “the origins of our conflicts abroad.” Regarding our conflict with Islamic terrorists, the origins lie in a religious imperative, one that predates the founding of the United States by more than ten centuries. 

George W. Bush is no more responsible for creating that conflict than he is for writing the Koran, passing down the Hadith, or establishing the first Caliphate. And in confronting that foe, our choices are the same choices faced by the great non-Muslim powers that came before us: convert, submit, die, or fight. Given those options, there is but one valid choice for a free people. It’s too bad that Ms. Ziedrich, her peers, and her media cheerleaders can’t see past the politics to understand the troubling truth. After all, it will soon be her generation’s turn on the wall. Will they accept the challenge? — David French is an attorney, a staff writer at National Review, and a veteran of the Iraq War.

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France Expands Surveillance State to Deal with Islamic Terrorists They’re Not Planning to Deport

France Expands Surveillance State to Deal with Islamic Terrorists They’re Not Planning to Deport

James Kirkpatrick
May 19, 2015
See Also: Anarcho-Tyranny: Where Multiculturalism Leads by Sam Francis

Once you admit a permanently hostile population into your midst, you are at permanent risk of terrorist attacks. This requires more surveillance in order to prevent terrorist attacks, which will make people uncomfortable, until the next attack. Of course, a side benefit of this is that the surveillance can also be used against Europeans, which is the real enemy the French government wants to fight. Note also these same “civil libertarian” activists in France have no problem with actual French people being arrested for criticizing multiculturalism or mass immigration.
Right after Islamist militants attacked Charlie Hebdo and a kosher grocery in January, leaving 17 people dead, we swore we would not fall into the surveillance trap. The few voices in France clamoring for a security overhaul were drowned out by the “we are not afraid” slogans of crowds rallying in defense of free speech. Journalists, lawyers and politicians reminded everyone of the excesses of America’s Patriot Act. This was not the road France would take. 
Yet four months later, on May 5, the lower house of Parliament passed a bill giving the nation’s intelligence services sweeping surveillance powers, including the massive collection and analysis of metadata. Next month the bill will go to the Senate, and the measure’s sponsors are confident it will become law by July. 
France has a long history of Islamist terrorism going back to 1986 and 1995; it did not wait until 2001 to develop its own police and judiciary response, which was heavy-handed enough to spare the country from new deadly attacks until 2012. Intelligence gathering was part of this response. “I guess the French credit the police and the courts for protecting them from a number of dangers,” Pierre de Bousquet, then head of the domestic intelligence service, told me in an interview in 2005. Mr. de Bousquet claimed that, thanks to these actions, planned attacks on the soccer World Cup in Paris in 1998, on the Christmas market in Strasbourg in 2000 and again in Paris in 2003 had been prevented. He was already concerned by the new face of homegrown jihadism: “Younger, rougher, more radicalized.” Five young French jihadists had died fighting in Iraq, he noted. 
Early this month, the official number of French jihadists killed in Syria and Iraq passed 100. The government estimates that about 1,000 French radical Islamists have joined the battle in Syria and Iraq. This was not a factor when the Patriot Act was passed in America. It is now a painful issue within our societies. 
[Surveillance Without Bordersby Sylvie Kauffman, New York Times, May 17, 2015]
You can have freedom or you can have Third World immigration. Pick one.
Of course, leftists have a response…
The French sociologist Didier Bigo says that electronic surveillance is a way of dealing with terrorism without having to address the political problems of the banlieues and of Western intervention in the Middle East. “Technological intelligence is a depoliticization tool,” he told the newsmagazine L’Obs.
The trap here is that the “root cause” of terrorism is the feelings of disenfranchisement among Arabs living in France.

Of course, no European society, including Sweden, seems to have successfully soothed their vibrants sufficiently to prevent the occasional outbreak of murderous mayhem. So essentially, Europeans are told to solve an insoluble problem, and then when they can’t, are lectured by leftists that they actually really deserve to be stabbed, shot, or raped because of their racism.

Meanwhile, the conservatives say unlimited surveillance and police powers are necessary to keep the multicultural society rolling along.

The “far right” suggests adopting the policies of Israel by paying unhappy migrants to go home and preventing more from coming. They usually end up being arrested, because we need to preserve a free society.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Defending Freedom of Speech -- by Geert Wilders

Gatestone Institute

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Defending Freedom of Speech

by Geert Wilders  •  May 21, 2015 at 5:00 am
  • We should never allow ourselves to be intimidated. And here, in America, you are allowed to make pictures and drawings, no matter what the Sharia says. ... If we react to threats over cartoons by no longer making cartoons, the terrorists have won. ... The jihadis want to kill me, but others want to silence me... by legal or political harassment. All this is happening not in third-world dictatorships, as you might expect, but in Western democracies.
  • And may I ask: Where are the demonstrations of Muslims who do not agree with the violence committed in the name of Islam and its prophet? I have not seen any of them, have you? The majority may not commit violence, but they do not oppose it either.
  • A free society should not grant freedom to those who want to destroy it. We should stand with every nation and every people who are threatened by jihad. This includes Israel... whose conflict with the Arabs is not about land; it is a conflict between freedom and tyranny.
  • If we allow ourselves to be self-censored about anything we say about Islam, then soon Islam will start telling us how to live, how to dress, how to breathe. ... That is how civilizations decay.
Bosch Fawstin's winning entry in the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest in Garland, Texas, held on May 3, 2015. (Image source: Bosch Fawstin)
Freedom of speech is under threat today. Not only in Europe, where I come from. But also here, in America.
The last time I was in the United States was less than two weeks ago. I was in Garland, Texas, where I gave the keynote speech at a contest of Muhammad cartoons.
The contest was held in a conference center, where after the Paris Charlie Hebdo assassinations, an Islamic organization had convened to demand that freedom of speech be restricted and Muhammad cartoons be forbidden. The Muhammad cartoon contest in Garland was organized to make a stand against this demand. We should never allow ourselves to be intimidated.
The winner of the Garland contest was a former Muslim. There was something very symbolic about the fact that he was an apostate. Under Islamic Sharia law, apostasy is punishable by death. Under the same law, making illustrations of the prophet Muhammad is also punishable by death.

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Eye on Iran: Iran Seeks 24-Day Advanced Notice for Inspection of Nuclear Sites

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AP: "France's foreign minister says Iran wants 24 days before international inspectors could visit its nuclear sites in the event of a suspected violation of a deal with world powers over its atomic program. Laurent Fabius unveiled details Thursday about the state of talks between six world powers and Iran ahead of a June 30 deadline to reach an accord aimed to keep Tehran from developing nuclear weapons. He said Iran was seeking 24 days between the reporting of a suspected Iranian violation of the deal's terms and the time when International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors would be allowed to visit the relevant nuclear site. Fabius cautioned that 'a lot of things can disappear' in 24 days. He said another outstanding question is how international sanctions against Iran might be lifted."

NYT: "Iran's supreme leader on Wednesday ruled out allowing international inspectors to interview Iranian nuclear scientists as part of any potential deal on its nuclear program, and reiterated that the country would not allow the inspection of military sites. In a graduation speech at the Imam Hussein Military University in Tehran, the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, widely believed to have the final say on whether Iran accepts a deal if one is reached next month, denounced what he said were escalating demands by the United States and five other world powers as they accelerate the pace of the negotiations with Iran. 'They say new things in the negotiations,' Ayatollah Khamenei told the military graduates. 'Regarding inspections, we have said that we will not let foreigners inspect any military center.' Like last summer, when he vowed that Iran would ultimately build an industrial-scale uranium enrichment capability - with 190,000 centrifuges, or 10 times the number now installed - the ayatollah's comments are bound to cause deep complications for Iran's negotiators, led by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Skeptics about the preliminary deals described by Secretary of State John Kerry have focused on the absence of 'anywhere, anytime' inspections and a lack of clarity about whether and when Tehran would have to answer 12 outstanding questions from the International Atomic Energy Agency about what the inspectors call 'possible military dimensions' of the program... But it is not clear how that would be enforced, and it seems likely that oil and financial sanctions would be lifted early in the process, before the explanations to inspectors could be finished."

Press TV (Iran): "Washington has threatened 'not to sign' a final nuclear agreement with Tehran unless the Iranian government gives access to its possible military dimension-related sites and nuclear scientists. 'If we don't get the assurances we need on the access to possible military dimension-related sites or activities, that's going to be a problem for us,' State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in Washington on Wednesday. 'We and Iran have agreed that we will undertake a process to address possible military dimensions (of past nuclear work), and part of that includes access,' Harf said. 'Under the Additional Protocol ... which Iran will implement and has said they will implement as part of this deal, the IAEA does get access.' 'If we cannot agree in the final instance to something that meets our bottom line for what we need in terms of access, we're not going to sign a final deal. And that's just something we've been very, very clear about,' she added."

Nuclear Program & Negotiations

Tasnim (Iran): "Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday referred to research and development (R&D) as a red line for Iran in its nuclear talks with world powers, reaffirming that the country's negotiating team will stick to the lines set by the Supreme Leader. 'R&D is our red line and the negotiators are well aware of the red lines,' Rouhani said in Tabriz, northwest of Iran. The Government is committed to the guidelines set by the Supreme Leader and will not sign any deal (with world powers) that would give foreigners access to the country's scientific and military secrets, he added. Referring to the Additional Protocol of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which gives the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) access to the country's nuclear facilities, Rouhani stressed that the government is responsible for implementing the protocol, but it will not deviate from the red lines in this regard."

Al-Monitor: "In a rare direct message to all sides in the nuclear negotiations, Khamenei said, 'The enemies of the Islamic Republic and all those who are waiting for the decision of the system on this issue should [now] understand clearly. 'The dear officials of the country are acting with bravery in this sphere, they should know that the only method for confronting an insolent enemy is through resolution and lack of passivity.' He also said, 'The officials and negotiators must show the message of the greatness of the Iranian people in the negotiations.' While Khamenei's speeches are often dissected for clues toward the direction of the nuclear talks, he often leaves room for interpretation, allowing various sides to debate openly their preferred take. However, these unequivocal comments suggest that this issue was raised in the nuclear negotiations and Khamenei sensed the need to address the issue in a manner that leaves little room for interpretation."

Bloomberg: "The U.S. has approved a $1.9 billion arms sale to Israel that analysts say is likely intended to offset its objections to the emerging nuclear agreement with Iran. The Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency said Wednesday on its website that the deal had received State Department authorization and will now be sent to Congress for review, where it is certain to be approved. The package includes 3,000 Hellfire missiles, 250 AIM-120C Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles, and 50 BLU-113 'bunker-buster' bombs. 'These items are often sold to Israel in separate deals,' said Yiftah Shapir, who heads the Middle East Military Balance project at Tel Aviv's Institute for National Security Studies. 'There's no doubt that packaging them all together in one sale, and announcing it now, is clearly linked to the Iran agreement.' ... 'These are weapons that Israel already has in its arsenal, and this shipment will help replenish the stock depleted by last year's Gaza operation,' he said. 'In terms of countering Iran though, the discussion over U.S.-provided arms has centered on bigger items, such as the F-35 stealth fighter.'"

Sanctions Relief

DW: "As the Iran embargo looks likely to be lifted after negotiations between Western countries and Teheran on Iran's nuclear program seem set to achieve a settlement, German firms, in particular, are eager to breathe new life into their traditional business ties with the country. Currently, German exports to Iran amount to about 2.4 billion euros ($2.6 billion) - less than half what they were ten years ago, when sanctions were imposed. According to the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), that figure could easily multiply to a sum in the double-digit billions once sanctions will be lifted. At a conference in Frankfurt organized by the German Near and Middle East Association (NUMOV), about 250 German business leaders explored opportunities likely to open up in Iran in the near future. The one-day event on Tuesday, called 'Doing Business in Iran,' primarily dealt with the Iranian oil and gas industry, but also cast a light on the renewable energy and finance sectors... Martin Herrenknecht, owner of a German tunnel-boring machine manufacturer, expects tough competition from Asian rivals once his company re-enters the Iranian market after sanctions are lifted... In the years before sanctions were imposed on Iran, Herrenknecht's firm sold equipment worth between 10 million euros ($11.5 million) and 15 million euros annually to Iran. He hopes to re-launch his Iranian business fairly quickly as he wants to benefit from Teheran's plans to build a new subway line in the country's capital, as well as a new high-speed train connection and improvements to the national water and sewage systems."

Syria Conflict

Reuters: "Syria hopes to receive a new credit line from Iran worth around $1 billion which it will use to buy basic goods, an assistant to Syria's minister of economy and foreign trade said on Wednesday. The comments come a day after Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus and reiterated Tehran's backing for the Syrian government... Asked about whether there would be new credit lines from Iran, Hayan Salman said: 'As an economic expectation I believe it will be in the range of $1 billion, God willing.' He said a previous $3.6 billion credit line from Iran was close to being used up. He said the fresh credit would be used 'to secure the flow of essential goods and materials,' for Syria."

Human Rights

Guardian: "An Iranian painter and women's rights campaigner is on trial in Tehran on charges of spreading propaganda against the ruling establishment. Atena Farghadani, who has spoken out against parliamentary plans to restrict access to contraception, appeared in court on Tuesday in connection with her activism as well as her art. The 29-year-old, described by Amnesty as a prisoner of conscience, is currently being kept in Tehran's notorious Evin prison. Farghadani fell foul of the Iranian authorities after meeting with the families of political prisoners and drawing a cartoon depicting a group of Iranian parliamentarians with faces of animals. She is facing charges of 'insulting members of parliament through paintings' and 'insulting the Iranian supreme leader.'"

Opinion & Analysis

Aaron David Miller in WSJ: "The emerging Iran deal that the Obama administration contends is comprehensive and definitive contains so many uncertainties, including those regarding Iran's future nuclear weapons aspirations, that it might well turn out to be an extended interim accord. This underscores an issue with a few things Secretary of State John Kerry recently said while defending the Iran deal-remarks that I presume he'd like to take back: 'President Obama has absolutely pledged they will not get a nuclear weapon' and  'We will have inspectors in there every single day. That is not a 10-year deal; that is forever.' I understand the administration's need to market the Iran deal and why senior administration officials might get carried away with their handiwork. They believe that they know what's best for the nation. What's harder to explain is the way that this administration processes time, and the durability of any agreement, particularly in relation to a turbulent region where time is measured along a more extended arc. In the Middle East, there is no 'forever,' certainly not when it comes to the designs of external powers that seek to meddle in or impose their will on the affairs of small tribes. All U.S. administrations measure their lives in four- and, if they're lucky, eight-year increments. They need to get things done quickly. President Barack Obama was ready to declare the war on terrorism over in 2012; three years later, he is more immersed in it than ever before. The same is true of the U.S. exit from Iraq in 2011; now we're back in, albeit in a different role. With the U.S.-backed NATO intervention in Libya, there was commitment on the front end but little follow-up. The United States is not really good at following up. We grow tired and disillusioned as things get too hard, and come to feel that it's really not our neighborhood or our fight; along with expecting results that are not realistic."

Naame Shaam: "This report argues that the grossly careless and malicious destruction and appropriation of civilian property and the forcible displacement and transfer of civilian population taking place in Syria since March 2011 amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity as defined by international humanitarian law. It further argues that both types of crime appear to be part of a systematic policy of sectarian cleansing being carried out in certain parts of the country. The policy appears to be driven by a combination of mafia-style war profiteering linked to the inner circle of the Syrian regime and a Shiatisation programme pushed and financed by the Iranian regime. The report focuses on certain parts of Syria, such as Homs and Damascus, and argues that the aim of destroying and reconstructing these areas is to create loyalist zones and strategic military corridors. The task of conquering and securing them was assigned primarily to sectarian, Iranian-controlled militias (Hezbollah Lebanon, Iraqi and Afghan Shia militias, etc.), which were seen as more reliable and better organised than the regular Syrian army. The ultimate aim of this scheme, which arguably amounts to sectarian cleansing and to a foreign occupation, appears to be securing the Damascus-Homs-Coast corridor along the Lebanese border in order to both provide a geographical and demographic continuity of regime-held areas and secure arms shipments to Hezbollah in Lebanon, while at the same time cutting off those of the rebels coming from or through eastern Lebanon. Indeed, the main reason behind the Iranian regime's uncompromising determination to save Bashar al-Assad's regime and take over control at any cost is to maintain its ability to ship arms to Hezbollah in Lebanon via Syria. This will ensure maintaining a strong deterrent against any possible Israeli and/or Western attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. This 'line of defence' is meant to secure the Iranian regime's survival. If the Assad regime falls, Iranian arms shipments to Hezbollah are likely to stop and Hezbollah would no longer be the threatening deterrence against Israel that it is now. The Iranian regime would therefore feel more vulnerable and would not be able to negotiate from a strong position during nuclear talks with Western powers, as it is doing now. It may even have to give up its nuclear dreams once and for all. That is why Iran has been mobilising all available resources (human, economic, military) to achieve the strategic aim of building nuclear bombs without fearing a massive military retaliation on its soil."

Brian Welch in The Hill: "This week the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will mark up the Justice for Former American Hostages in Iran Act of 2015 (S.868), a bill that establishes a fund to make payments to the Americans held hostage in Iran. As the administration works to strike a deal with Iran on its nuclear program and easing of economic and trade sanctions, this legislation makes sense.  What does not make sense is why it falls short and excludes other, equally significant victims of Iran's past acts. Several years ago, Congress passed a law giving families like mine the explicit right to seek damages from the Iranian regime for acts of terrorism committed against U.S. citizens. The Congress also stipulated clearly that any judgments were to be paid from assets and funds seized by our government.  It was one of those rare instances where Congress spoke loudly, clearly and unequivocally.  Unfortunately, no one at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue has been listening. My father, Kenneth Welch was murdered on October 20, 1984 by a suicide bomber who drove a bomb-laden truck into the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon where our dad was serving as an Army warrant officer. Another soldier was killed and scores of service personnel were also wounded. The driver was a Hezbollah operative acting under orders from Tehran.
Years later a court in Washington, D.C. ruled favorably in our wrongful death suit against the Iranian government and awarded damages for Iran's role in planning and executing the attack that killed our father. It was a victory for our family after years of suffrering. Little did we know that day that we were beginning the first chapter in what has become years of neglect and obstinacy from the same government that sent my father to Beirut to protect its embassy. It is not just our family that has been mistreated. Hundreds of families wait in the same line for our government to end its empty condolences and hollow promises. Our own government is failing to honor commitments made by U.S. courts. Is this a reflection of a great nation? Don't great nations keep their promises, honor their commitments? In recent years, when members of Congress have championed our cause, the feds ascend to Capitol Hill, appealing to members to 'look at the big picture' and not let personal stories like ours influence the outcome of the larger issues at stake. Callous, dismissive, indifferent are all words that best define our government's attitude towards the families who have suffered losses as a result of Iran's terror campaign. As the debate continues on a nuclear agreement with Iran, Congress owes families like ours a duty to also keep our important issue within sight. Our issue is in fact part of the big picture."

Eye on Iran is a periodic news summary from United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) a program of the American Coalition Against Nuclear Iran, Inc., a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Eye on Iran is not intended as a comprehensive media clips summary but rather a selection of media elements with discreet analysis in a PDA friendly format. For more information please email

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is a non-partisan, broad-based coalition that is united in a commitment to prevent Iran from fulfilling its ambition to become a regional super-power possessing nuclear weapons.  UANI is an issue-based coalition in which each coalition member will have its own interests as well as the collective goal of advancing an Iran free of nuclear weapons.

Strategic Failures, the US and the Fall of Ramadi
issue 175
Strategic Failures, the US and the Fall of Ramadi
The U.S. forgot the lessons of the 2007 as pleas from the Sunni and Kurdish tribes for direct aid to fight the Islamic State went unanswered. More
Islamic extremism has created 'cultural and human genocide' on levels unprecedented in modern times. Where is the outcry from the West?
100,000 Christians Killed Yearly for Their Faith

Iran's chief ayatollah prevents nuclear inspectors from accessing military sites and wants 24 days prior notice for all visits.
Iran Says No to Military-Site Inspections

It is expected Islamic State will demolish the UNESCO world heritage site. The city is also of strategic importance.
Ancient City of Palmyra Falls to Islamic State
After Son Died Fighting for ISIS, Mother Fights Them
After her son was radicalized and killed fighting with the Islamic State, one mother is now helping other parents when recruiters move in on their children.
Tony Abbott Australian prime minister Islamist killers are not welcomed back
"If you go abroad to be an Islamist killer, we aren't going to welcome you back into this country."
- Tony Abbott
Prime Minister, Australia
[Re: Girl Purportedly Killed for Video Kiss] How in the world can parents kill their own children and think their doing the will of their God?
[Re: Saudi Arabia 'to Buy' Pakistani Nukes As Arms Race Escalates] And the can is opened!!
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