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The Pope’s Buenos Aires,never misses a match

A few short weeks ago, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires was riding the subway to work like any other Porteño. But on Wednesday 13 March, Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis I, the first Jesuit pontiff and the first pope from Latin America – and the world suddenly became transfixed with 76-year-old cardinal’s career.

Though he’s now taken up residence in Vatican City, there’s no clearer window into Bergoglio’s cultural background and down-to-earth lifestyle than a stroll through Buenos Aires to the places where the Argentine priest worked, slept, chopped vegetables, read Borges and enjoyed the occasional fútbol match.

Catedral Metropolitana

The former archbishop presided over Mass at the city’s 19th-century Neoclassical Catedral Metropolitana on the famous Plaza de Mayo, a church perhaps best known for housing the mausoleum of General San Martín, the liberator of Argentina, Chile and Peru from Spain. When Bergoglio was pronounced the new pope on Wednesday, a celebratory Mass was held and the plaza was flooded with revelers and critics, international media and vendors of Argentine flags and choripan (sausage sandwiches).


Bergoglio was born on 17 December 1936 in the middle-class Buenos Aires neighborhood of Flores, known for its Italianate architecture and a famous tango song entitled San José de Flores. He was the child of immigrants from Italy: Mario, a former railroad worker, and Regina, a homemaker. As you walk the streets of his former neighborhood, it’s interesting to note that the area was not originally considered part of the city of Buenos Aires: it was a leafy suburb where many of the city’s most illustrious citizens, including controversial 19th-century governor Juan Manuel de Rosas, had their country homes. Many of these weekend getaways still exist, contributing to the barrio’s unique architectural landscape.


Before he became a priest, the young Bergoglio had a girlfriend – and, according to the profile by Argentine journalists Francesca Ambrogetti and Sergio Rubin in their 2010 book The Jesuit – he liked to dance tango. Try your own hand at the dance form in some of Buenos Aires’ old-fashioned milongas (tango halls), such as Flores’ Salón El Pial.

San Nicolás

Bergoglio lived alone in a simple apartment on the second floor of the Curia building, adjacent to the Catedral Metropolitana in the downtown neighbourhood of San Nicolás. According to Bon Appetit magazine and Argentine newspaper La Nacion, he prepared his own meals – primarily fruit, salad, chicken and the occasional glass of wine. He also reportedly enjoyed listening to opera and reading novels by Fyodor Dostoevsky and Argentine master Jorge Luis Borges. Today, visitors to this part of town are charmed by the neighborhood's Parisian-style architecture and bares notables (notable bars and cafes), including the famous Café Tortoni, Buenos Aires’ oldest café, founded by French immigrants in 1858.

Centro Cultural Recoleta

The archbishop made art world headlines in 2004 when he demanded the closure of an exhibition installed at Centro Cultural Recoleta (CCR) a well-known cultural centre in the upscale Recoleta neighbourhood. The works, by the famous Argentine plastic artist León Ferrari, depicted Christ and the Virgin Mary in a blender, a toaster and a frying pan. Today, visitors to the CCR should look for excellent rotating (and free) exhibits by Latin American artists, plus film festivals, photography workshops and contemporary tango-acrobat performances on the terrace.

Subte (Subway) Línea D

Last week, Buenos Aires’ subway was in the local news for a significant ticket price hike. This week, the same subway has made international news – because the humble Archbishop always insisted on riding only on Subte (mostly the D line) and colectivo (city bus), rather than having a driver or taking a taxi.

San Lorenzo/Almagro

Like many Argentines before him, Bergoglio is passionate about fútbol. The pope is a fan of the San Lorenzo team, based in the central Buenos Aires neighborhood of Almagro – in 2008 he offered to conduct a special Mass for the team’s 100-year anniversary and claims he never misses a match. For tickets and information, log onto the San Lorenzo website or contact Tangol, a Buenos Aires travel agency specializing in fútbol excursions.

Source story: BBC


Iraq, Afghanistan veterans more likely to become criminals than other civilians - study

British soldiers are more likely to commit violent crime than their civilian counterparts. In the first study of its kind, psychiatrists compared statistics on crimes by soldiers with the UK's official criminal records database. The report says soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan are 50 per cent more likely to become criminals than other civilians.

2013 marks 10 years since the invasion of Iraq. The former trooper with the Royal Tank Regiment Neil Blower was there.

 “I was in Iraq in 2003 for the invasion. And my troop sergeant was killed. He was the first really soldier killed in action in Iraq. And that’s probably the single biggest factor in my PTSD.

If you broke your lack you wouldn’t walk around on it for years without seeing a doctor of getting it fixed. You need aid, right? And it’s the same with psychological injuries. The longer you leave it the worse it gets.”

For the first time a report into the psychiatric fallout from the Iraq war has been published in the Lancet to mark the decade since the invasion led by the British and American armed forces.

Researchers from King’s College London studied almost 14,000 serving and ex military personnel and official crime records. And in fact, men who had served in the UK Armed Forces are more likely to commit a violent offence during their lifetime than their civilian counterparts.

Dr Deirdre MacManus from King’s College London led the research.

“It’s the first study that is suggesting that this is a problem. Far and above the strongest risk factors for violence within this population are background risk factors, socio-demographics and a history of offending prior to joining the military.

But on top of that we’ve found that being deployed in a combat role and experiencing traumatic events on deployment increases your risk of violence. We also found that on return, if individuals engage in excess alcohol misuse, so they develop mental health problems, such as PTSD, then that also increases the risk.

I think the emphasis needs to move to once they leave the military and the problems that they experienced there, on what we could do at that point.”

Out of 13856 men in the armed forces 17% had a criminal record. One startling discovery was that the majority of people with lifetime criminal records were in fact ex British military men.


Trooper and talented author Neil Blower says living with PTSD is an isolating experience. But associating all soldiers with violent crime, as some newspaper headlines suggest, isn’t fair on veterans.

 “It is tarring everybody with the same brush. People are very proud of the service, you know, I am… and for the headlines to be – people who do an active service are going to commit crimes, and be violent and all like – it is very irresponsible as such. It is very reactionary, shocking value.”

Neil Blower says Britain’s Ministry of Defense must take more of a responsibility for the former soldiers, one reason why he decided to write a book about his experience.

“The way you are going to turn from a civilian into soldier, going from a soldier back to a civilian is a very-very difficult transition to make, and especially if you’ve been serving in a war. And I think the MoD and the Government certainly needs to look at how to do that because I do think a lot of it is because you are just left.

And certainly in my day you were a soldier one day and then a civilian the next, you losing a comrade. The symptoms of PTSD that I went through are in the book. You have nightmares, get up in the middle of the night and not able to go back to sleep. I think about it pretty much every day, it never leaves you.”

The report also found that alcohol abuse, PTSD and high levels of self-reported aggressive behavior after serving in Iraq were strong predictors of subsequent violent offending.

 “Alcohol misuse is a risk factor for violence. But alcohol misuse is a risk factor for violence in the general population as well. We just happened to know that within the military alcohol is a problem and it is more of a problem than in the general population. And understandably it is often used as a coping mechanism.

And if alcohol consumption reduces your inhibitions, can lead to an impulsive behavior, then you can understand how that can be a risk factor for violence. Put that together with problems with hyper-arousal, and yes, other findings of ours do show that alcohol in combination with PTSD increases your risk further.”

This new research and subsequent media coverage raises bigger questions about the state of mental healthcare for ex-service men and women in the UK.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defense which funded the research said it is committed to supporting soldiers and their families after deployment. In a statement the MoD said – mental health support was available before, during and after operations, according to Voice of Russia.


The CIA has attempted to assassinate 50 foreign leaders including Chavez – William Blum

The late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was warned by Fidel Castro to be careful of a very specific attack, namely a quick jab from an infected needle. Such a warning coming from a leader who has reportedly been the target of CIA assassination plots more than 600 times in over 50 years, was sure to be heeded. Was the illness of Hugo Chavez a completely deniable assassination by the CIA? William Blum spoke with the VOR’s John Robles and discussed this issue and more.

Robles: I’ve read your Anti-Empire report regarding Hugo Chavez. Can you give us your comments on speculation that he was assassinated by the CIA?

Blum: I cannot prove it of course, but I believe he was. It would be totally in keeping with the entire history of the CIA and its attitude towards people like Hugo Chavez.

The CIA has attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders and successfully at least half the time. I would say. So, there would be no reason at all to expect that the CIA would not at least plan on killing, and the nature of his ailment is very odd.

He went from a cancer, which would not go away despite several sessions of chemotherapy and what have you. Then it went to serious lung infections, which would not go away no matter what they did. And then it went to a massive heart attack. All in the same man with no apparent cause, he was only 58 years old, and as far as we know he was a very healthy until this happened, it is all very odd.

And given the great motivation that the US Government and the persons in the CIA has put for killing a man like Hugo Chavez, I’m pretty sure that the CIA played a role in this.

Robles: Do you know or have you heard of any credible new technology or new programs that could deliver such a cancer?

Blum: The means would be a needle with a quick sharp jab and what you need is getting one person close enough to Chavez to do that.

Chavez was always in the public eye, he was always embracing people. There must have been countless occasions in the past few years when he was vulnerable to a quick jab by a needle that would be the method of transmitting the ailments.

Robles: Did he ever complain that he had been poked by something in public? Were there any reports of anything like that happening that you had heard about?

Blum: He did mention that Fidel Castro warned him about just that. He said: “A quick jab with a needle, and they’ll do… I don’t know what!” Actually he was told by Fidel.

Robles: A quick jab with a needle. Do you think that happened with Fidel because he had become very ill?

Blum: Well, Fidel… According to Cuban intelligence, there were more than 600 attempts on the life of Fidel Castro by the CIA. There is an entire book on that subject by Cuban Intelligence.

And many of the methods were pretty bizarre, including an exploding cigar, but over the course of 50 years the Cubans claim there were more than 600 attempts on his life and it may have taken just one with Chavez.

Robles: Have you heard anything from your sources or from where you get some of your information? Have you heard anything detailing any connection between these two US Air Force Attaches that were expelled from the country and the death of Hugo Chavez?

Blum: No. I would assume that there is a connection but I don’t know if the Venezuelan Government has actually said so.

Getting back to Chavez’s case,we have to keep in mind that four other South American leaders, prominent people on the left, all came down with cancer within the past year or two.

Robles: I think it was seven, wasn’t it, altogether?

Blum: The four that I named in my report… You can add the ones that you know just for my information… were Cristina Fernandez…

Robles: … De Kirchner, right…

Blum: of Argentina, Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, Fernando Lugo of Paraguay, the former Brazilian head of state Lula da Silva. Who would you add into that list?

Robles: Well, and then of course Hugo Chavez himself…

Blum: Castro is one of them…

Robles: I would add Castro to the list and Kirchner’s husband who died of a mysterious heart attack as well.

Blum: Right!

Robles: We might add that as a mysterious illness, not exactly a cancer but…

Blum: Right! If the CIA was involved it doesn’t have to be cancer necessarily of course.

Robles: Oh, sure, it could be anything! Have you heard anything about cancer strains or any kind of killing weapons like this, any kind of biological weapons that would give maybe cancer-like symptoms, not exactly a certain type of cancer?

Blum: I very well may have read of such over the years, I have read so much about the CIA, but at the moment I can’t think of anything to supply you with that information. Although we do know, it is well known, that for decades the CIA was looking for a method of killing somebody which would not leave a trace. The CIA itself has used those words. For the entire period of the Cold War that was a major stated project of the CIA. But where that stands today, I have no idea.

Robles: Yes, of course that is all very secret and no one is going to talk about it, but perhaps there are some echoes or some whispers? Maybe somebody has come out and said something? What other reasons would you give to back up the argument that he was assassinated?

Blum: I will mention there is no one in the entire universe who was more hated, no leader, more hated than Chavez was by the US Government. In the eyes of the US power that be, Chavez was worse than Fidel Castro and Salvador Allende.

Robles: Why was he so hated?

Blum: Because he was the most outspoken leader in the world when it came to criticizing the US foreign policy. He never pulled his punches for a moment, he made a claim that it was all crimes against humanity and the US leaders were war criminals, and he said so explicitly. It is unusual for a head of state to be talking that way. And at the UN he attacked Bush in front of the whole world.

Robles: Oh yes, I remember he said that the Devil had been there the day before or something, and it still smelled like sulfur.

Blum: Yes, Bush had spoken to the UN before Chavez from the same platform. And Chavez said there was a smell of sulfur in the air because of that.

Robles: That’s usually the domain of the United States, I mean… Isn’t it? I mean Bush was calling everybody the axis of evil, and all this stuff, branding everyone evil. Wasn’t that kind of a shock to see the same thing done to an American leader?

Blum: Yeah, it is a shock for anyone under any circumstances to be so outspoken in the criticism of the US foreign policy. It is a point in Chavez’s favor that he could have the honesty and the courage to say such things, which very much needed to be said.

Robles: You say he had a marvelous record. What do you think were his major achievements in your opinion?

Blum: What he’s brought to the poor people of Venezuela in the way of education and healthcare, and housing, and what have you. And what he brought to the rest of the South America, he formed various anti-US empire blocs which stood in the way of expansion of the US influence.

He and others formed a new… A counter to the OAS, the Organization of American States, which for decades has been dominated and corrupted by the US and Canada. And they formed a new organization in South America excluding the US and Canada. So it was that simple.


172 children have been killed by Obama-ordered drone attacks

The worst president in the world

 By :This CantBe Happening

Yes, I mean it: the worst ever!

We've had James Monroe and his doctrine of supremacy over Latin America. We've had Theodore Roosevelt and his invasion of Cuba; Nixon, Reagan, Bush-Bush and their mass murder, and all the war crimes and genocide committed by most presidents. Yes, but we never had a black man sit on the white throne of imperialism committing war crimes.

And there he is, murdering even more people in Afghanistan than Bush, backing coups in Latin America, continuing to undermine Iraq, sending drones, mercenaries, saboteurs to Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Uganda, Libya and now Syria. He bores deeper into several African countries, rich with oil and minerals, than his white predecessors, Democrats and Republicans. The US is eliminating the few secular governments that there were in the Middle East and North Africa. 

Obama is busier fulfilling total US American world domination than even Bush, Reagan and Nixon.

He is the president for US corporations. With his black Kenyan roots he can walk into Africa's rich parlors and black "White Houses" and communicate with these butchers better than any of the capitalist class' earlier presidents, all of them white.  

Obama is worse than them, precisely because he betrays all his black "brothers and sisters" in the US, all except a few rich and opportunistic ones. He was the hope; he would improve their lot, and that of the poor, the working people. But he has done nothing of the sort. Instead, he takes from them to give to the rich, the worst criminals on Wall Street, the war industry, the oil and mineral industries. Virtually all of his economic advisors hail from Wall Street and in many cases were central figures in the enormous economic crimes of the last few years that have stolen hundreds of billions, even trillions of dollars from the poor and the middle class. His top militarists, Homeland Security thugs, and CIA killers are some of those that Bush used -- most of them Republicans.

As commander in chief, he has had the national hero Bradley Manning tortured. He seeks to destroy Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange.

I gave a speech in front of the US embassy in Copenhagen when Obama was to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, for Christ Sake! Here are excerpts:

"We live in a state of permanent war and Obama continues this system, as he must, because no president of the USA can significantly moderate or abolish that brutal system. It is of no consequence what one's color, gender or sexual preference is. Changing or abolishing capitalism and imperialism can only occur when gigantic numbers of productive and service workers wake up and fight for such. And we must do so with our own political parties not the dominating capitalist parties, Democratic or Republican, or in Denmark with the current array of political parties.

Tomorrow this black president for capitalism and its wars-for-profit will receive the so-called Nobel Peace Prize. This is an absurd hypocrisy, even more so as it occurs just days after he announced sending 30,000 more murdering US troops to Afghanistan where the resistance forces, fighting for their country's legitimate sovereignty, will righteously receive them with weaponry.

The media fail to mention that this is the second time Obama has sent additional troops to Afghanistan. Within his first 100 days in office, he ordered an additional 17,000 troops to supplement the 38,000 then present. Soon, there will be nearly 100,000 US troops and some 40,000 more from other countries, including the Banana Republic of Denmark.

While Bush was tied down in Afghanistan and Iraq, Obama takes up imperialism's demand for blood in Latin America. The nine ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Latin America) countries have formed a cooperative trade, political and social network in the past five years and are making deep inroads into capitalism's territory. Bush was powerless to combat this development which started by Cuba and Venezuela, in 2004. But the new "black" president saw a weak link in Honduras where the oligarchy and the thoroughly US-dominated military organized a coup d -etat with Obama-backed generals assisting. Then came the illegal elections a week ago, held under an armed curfew, which Obama declared to be legitimate even as the real president (Manuel Zelaya) and his patriotic supporters in the hundreds of thousands sought to have him reinstated. 

Since that speech, Obama also supported the removal of progressive Catholic priest and President Fernando Lugo in Paraguay.

The "black" president ran on a peace ticket, which he has reversed. Nor has he fulfilled any other of his somewhat progressive campaign promises, such as closing down Guantanamo's torture factory.

" I Have a Dream Drone" has become Obama's mantra.

I close with the words of Bolivia's Evo Morales, the world's first indigenous president, excerpted from his 10 Commandments:

Commandment 1: To End with Capitalism

"If we want to start a serious and sincere discussion on climate change we should know that it is about the struggle between two ways of living, between two cultures: the culture of trash and death, versus the culture of life and peace. This is the core of the discussion on climate change. In order to preserve the planet, life and the human species, we must end Capitalism!"

Source Ridenour


Europe and America plan war everywhere

Syria : an alleged hacked British defense contractor email reveals a US/Qatar plan to deploy a chemical weapon false flag attack in Syria.  Israel conducted an air strike on Syria; the US reportedly approved and is poised to carry out similar strikes.  T he US has given the rebels 50$ million.  4 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian assistance.

Ethiopia : In December Ethiopian paramilitaries renewed attacks on communities in Ogden in an ongoing campaign to clear the land for resource extraction. The Ethiopian government's army and paramilitaries have used rape, torture, and murder to drive communities into Internally Displaced Person camps where they are starved. There are currently 3.7 million people in need of assistance and over 1.5 million without food or water. As many as 1 million Muslims peacefully protested on February 7 demanding freedom of religion and release of political prisoners; journalists attempting to cover the protests have been detained and protestors oppressed.   The UK has recently provided training and funding directly to the paramilitaries forces; the U S provides up to $600 million yearly aid to Ethiopia which is diverted to the military and paramilitary .

Somalia : The US recognized the UN appointed government of Somalia. US troops have operated in Somalia since 1992; Somalia has been under a US funded occupation since the overthrow of the Islamic Courts Union in 2007. First the Ethiopian military, and then the African Union army, destroyed tens of square miles of densely populated areas to crush the resistance and clear the land for mineral and energy exploitation.  Millions of displaced Somalis are now starving in refugee camps.  The separatist Putland government has ordered the execution of political opposition leaders and fired upon peaceful demonstrations.   The appointed federal government is not opposed to separating Somalia into smaller states.

Mali : the Malian military has committed extrajudicial killings of the northern residents.   Over 412,000 people have fled Mali, and 5 million have been affected by the fighting.   The French and Malian military, with US military support, have re-captured N. Mali, but French bombings continue to batter the guerilla insurgency .   Tuareg rebels sought independence in the 1960's at the purported end of French colonial rule; Tuareg rebellions in 1990 and 2008 challenged the right of French uranium mining companies to poison their land in neighboring Niger.   French Special Forces have deployed to protect uranium mines in Niger, and US troops and drones are to be deployed on the Mali border .

They plan wars just to sell arms to foolish Arab Gulf, and for the safety of Israel, and no matter who, how, where or how many civilians die.

Source: Seth Rutledge


Media's failure on Iraq still stings

The 10th anniversary this month of the invasion of Iraq will remind most people of a divisive and dubious war that toppled Saddam Hussein but claimed the lives of nearly 4,500 Americans.

What it conjures up for me is the media's greatest failure in modern times.

Major news organizations aided and abetted the Bush administration's march to war on what turned out to be faulty premises. All too often, skepticism was checked at the door, and the shaky claims of top officials and unnamed sources were trumpeted as fact.

By the time U.S. soldiers discovered there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the media establishment was left with apologies and explanations. The Bush-Cheney administration helped whip up an atmosphere in the wake of 9/11 in which media criticism of national security efforts seemed almost unpatriotic.

Watch: Did Roger Ailes cross a line in calling Obama lazy?

As the war, once sold as a cakewalk, went sour in 2004, the New York Times said in an editor's note that its editors were "perhaps too intent on rushing scoops into the paper," some of them erroneous stories by Judith Miller. The paper said its reporting on what turned out to be nonexistent WMDs was "not as rigorous as it should have been" and that the Times overplayed stories with "dire claims about Iraq."

I was working at The Washington Post at the time, and I took it upon myself to examine the paper's performance in the run-up to war. It was not a pretty picture.

From August 2002 through the March 19, 2003, launch of the war, I found more than 140 front-page stories that focused heavily on administration rhetoric against Iraq: "Cheney Says Iraqi Strike Is Justified"; "War Cabinet Argues for Iraq Attack"; "Bush Tells United Nations It Must Stand Up to Hussein or U.S. Will"; "Bush Cites Urgent Iraqi Threat"; "Bush Tells Troops: Prepare for War."

By contrast, pieces questioning the evidence or rationale for war were frequently buried, minimized or spiked.

Watch: Bill Clinton uses op-ed to flip-flop on gay marriage

Len Downie, then the executive editor, told me that in retrospect, "we were so focused on trying to figure out what the administration was doing that we were not giving the same play to people who said it wouldn't be a good idea to go to war and were questioning the administration's rationale. Not enough of those stories were put on the front page. That was a mistake on my part."

Bob Woodward told me that "we did our job, but we didn't do enough, and I blame myself mightily for not pushing harder." There was a "groupthink" among intelligence officials, he said, and "I think I was part of the groupthink."

Watch: Should ESPN give Keith Olbermann another at-bat?

Tom Ricks, who was the paper's top military reporter, turned in a piece in the fall of 2002 that he titled "Doubts," saying that senior Pentagon officials were resigned to an invasion but were reluctant and worried that the risks were being underestimated. An editor killed the story, saying it relied too heavily on retired military officials and outside experts -- in other words, those with sufficient independence to question the rationale for war.

"There was an attitude among editors: Look, we're going to war, why do we even worry about all this contrary stuff?" Ricks said.

Watch: White House bullying against the press

I actually think the Post did a better job than most. And there is no minimizing the difficulties that even the most intrepid journalists faced: They couldn't go to Iraq to investigate for themselves, and most government sources were echoing the administration's line about WMDs.

But that system's failure casts a dark shadow on the news business that has not entirely lifted. The press needs to challenge what government officials say, whether it is about war or weapons or Wall Street, or whether the impact of federal budget cuts is being exaggerated. The low level of public confidence in the media has many causes, but one of them stems from what happened back in 2003.


Syria, the greatest Democratic Project of the Century and the Real Responsibility to Protect

The national dialogue in Syria continues making progress. Unnoticed by most international mainstream media, and distracted by sustained acts of terrorism, the national dialogue in Syria, facilitated by the government, continues with systematic and comprehensive initiatives toward turning Syria into a pluralistic and modern Democracy, unheard of in those nations, who are preaching democracy, aided by bombs, guns and state-sponsored terrorism, which is being carried out on their behalves, by backward Wahhabi fanatics and the socio-economically underprivileged who have no better means of earning a meager income than to volunteers as mercenaries.

While the USA and many of its allies continue their descend into neo-fascism, exemplified by the sweeping and dangerous powers of the US Department of Homeland Security, which the renowned US-American philosopher of science James Henry Fetzer has compared to the “Stasi”, the State Security of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR).

While Saudi Arabia has only days ago sentenced two human- and civil rights protesters to 10 years in prison, on charges including “speaking to foreign media,"

And while US Secretary of State John Kerry, by signing a USD 60 million check to the “Syrian Opposition” for all intends and purposes implicitly stated, that the USA is prepared to start world war three over Syria

The government of Syria, together with representatives of ethnic and religious communities, political parties, advocacy and special interest organizations, continue the national dialogue, which could, if it won´t be derailed by state sponsored terrorists, result in a Syrian democracy, that would put those who are preaching it by means of violence and propaganda lies to shame.

After more than one year of meetings and initiatives, largely neglected by both western as well as Russian, Chinese and other nations mainstream media, the Syrian national dialogue has made so much progress, that the work is branching out into sub-committees on a regional level, as well as on the level that addresses particular problems about how to assure that the process is working both from the top and down and from the bottom and up, and that with regard to all initiatives and all stakeholders.

The beauty of this near-democratic approach is, that while it is the government that has taken the initiative and tasked a ministerial commission, led by P.M. al-Halki, the system is designed to empower local communities to taking part in deciding, and actively taking part in building a new Syria.

It is an approach unheard of in European Democracies, unheard of in the USA who prides itself in its “Freemasons Founding Fathers”, not even to mention the crackpots dictatorships in the Persian Gulf, like Saudi Arabia, who found it appropriate in December 2011, to sentence a young woman to death by public beheading, for charges of “Sorcery."

While the world media focus on Saudi-backed, backward and medieval “holy warriors” who kidnap UN peace keepers, behead prisoners of war or incite children to do it for them, rob, pillage and rape in the name of God while soiling the very essence of spirituality with blood-sins, the Syrian subcommittee, tasked with setting up the required mechanisms for inviting the national opposition and political forces to dialogue in Sweida, has met with the elites of Syrian intellectuals, of the Syrian educational sectors, social elites who represent a vibrant diversity, that is unheard of in most other, if not in all other Arab nations.

on the table on regional levels are, visions about the shape and content of the national dialogue conference, visions for implementing a program to solve the crisis nationally and peacefully. The Governor of Sweida, the Chairman of the Subcommittee, Dr. Atef al-Naddaf, underlined the importance of the meetings as a forum to discuss visions and viewpoints, so that they can be embodied in the political program. Participants in the meeting reiterated, that they reject and denounce the violence and foreign interference.

Subcommittee meetings are also taking place in Damascus and other regions. In Damascus, the subcommittee is developing the mechanism for inviting the local branches of the national opposition and the political forces to dialogue, it met with representatives of the Syrian Nationalist Party (SSNP), the Democratic Socialist Unionist Party and other.

It is important to stress, that these subcommittee meetings are taking place, after the ministerial commission, led by Prime Minister al-Halki, has held successful and constructive meetings with representatives of the Syrian Kurd´s National Initiative, the Peoples´Will Party and others, and that the meetings on regional subcommittee level are evidence for, that Syria is now entering a phase, where the process of creating a new Syria, a Syria by the Syrian people for the Syrian people is mobilizing the creativity and aspirations of the masses.

The national dialogue in Syria is, objectively observed, the greatest democratic project which any nation has embarked upon over the last 100 years. It is the greatest democratic project of the century in spite and because of the onslaught of fanatic hirelings whose medieval, Islamo-Fascist Wahhabi philosophy of intolerance and violence, makes them the perfect representative of the true face of the modern western fascism of the USA/NATO and allies. While the West is regressing to anarchy and barbarism of global proportions, the Syrian national dialogue is in fact a beacon of hope for humanity.

Germany, priding itself for its democratic values after the horrors of National-Socialism, would be well advised to learn from Syria´s national dialogue. Germany which was liberated by the USA in 1945, still has no constitution and must suffice with a “Grundgesetz”.  Germany is still under de facto allied, that is US-American control. The “Chancellor File”, which determines who exactly is Germany´s “Sovereign” is still so highly classified that even members of the German parliament and Ministers cannot access and read it, and will be classified for at least another 70 years. Food for thought for any German who lets him or herself be propagandized into supporting freedom and democracy  in Syria or anywhere else.

I wonder what women in Saudi-Arabia were thinking on international woman´s day ? What were Saudi-Arabian and Syrian women thinking about their Saudi-Arabian sister who was beheaded for “sorcery” in 2011 ? In Saudi-Arabia, falling out with a husband can result in charges of sorcery and a public beheading that tells all other Saudi wives, that they better continue letting their dignity and humanity be raped or else.

I wonder what women in Syria were thinking on women´s day ? Their hopes and dreams and aspirations ? While I am certain that there is a lot that can improve for them, as it can for women and all human beings everywhere, I am also certain, that one of their greatest fears must be a Syria, that is being “liberated” by Saudi, US, EU, Zionist, paid, armed and commanded Wahhabi mercenaries.

No political system is perfect, and even the most perfect political system is, in terms of real politic, not better than those who are at the helm of a nation. When comparing the national dialogue and reform which, unless it is derailed by state-sponsored terrorism, by those who are preaching democracy to Syrians with any other nation over the last century, my conclusion is, that Syria has embarked on the greatest and most genuine democratic project any nation has embarked on during the last 100 years.

Who can compare ? A USA which is rapidly declining into fascism ? A Germany, whose people are not allowed to read the document that regulates German sovereignty and which does not have a constitution ? Russia, whose democratic project was led by oligarchs  and an alcoholic President  Jeltsin who strip-sold national assets to anyone who would keep him in power; a Russia which is only now recovering under President Putin ? The people of Libya who have been liberated to death?

Behind the Orwellian deceit, 2 + 2 still equals 4, and those who are serious about “democracy, freedom and justice” better realize their “Real Responsibility to Protect”  is the responsibility to protect the Syrian people from further US/NATO led aggression.

Source : nsnbc