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Washington Post: Clinton will do anything to avoid testifying about Benghazi

The new year began not with a cannonball off the “fiscal cliff” but with an outbreak of conspiratorial cynicism.

This time it’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose fall and concussion, followed by a blood clot between her brain and skull, has prompted an embarrassment of theories. The gist: That woman will do anything to avoid testifying about Benghazi.

Several commentators on the right opined via Twitter and TV, those most deadly hosts for the parasites of rumor and innuendo, that Clinton was faking her concussion to duck out on her appearance before congressional committees investigating the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Libya that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

An independent report published last month placed substantial responsibility for the deaths on the State Department. Not only was security at the Benghazi compound weak, relying heavily on local forces with conflicting loyalties, but requests for additional security apparently were ignored or denied.

The sentiment that Clinton might not wish to testify on the matter is not without reason. It is hard to imagine the agony of knowing that one’s lack of vigilance may have contributed to four deaths. But the attacks on Clinton during her illness, essentially attacks on her character, have been cruel and unfair. What must the world think of us?

Clinton, who fainted as a result of dehydration after a bout of flu, hit her head and suffered a concussion, after which a blood clot was discovered. She had to be hospitalized while blood-thinning medications were administered and monitored.

Although her critics backed off once the clot was reported, initial responses ranged from “She’s faking” to demands for proof of her concussion.

One writer demanded her medical records. John Bolton, former ambassador to the United Nations, called Clinton’s affliction a “diplomatic illness” to avoid testifying about Benghazi. Later he suggested that details were skimpy in an effort to protect her potential 2016 presidential run.

“I think it’s the too-cute-by-half approach that’s reflected in the absence of transparency that’s going to end up damaging her and damaging her credibility,” he said on Fox News.


Again, Clinton may well prefer to miss her day before the firing squad, but it is unlikely that doctors or a hospital would assist a secretary of state — or anyone — in concocting a fake affliction.

Besides, you can’t have it every which way. Immediately after the Benghazi attacks, Clinton took full responsibility for the events and was accused by Republicans of falling on her sword to protect President Obama. Now that she’s temporarily indisposed and unable to elaborate on her admitted responsibility, those same critics insist she’s trying to avoid taking personal responsibility.

The viciousness of the pundit class is disheartening and disgusting. And these days everyone’s a pundit. Got an opinion? Why, step right up to the microphone. If you’re “good TV,” you too can be a “contributor.”

Out in the hinterlands, where Americans consume “news” that suits their political proclivities, opinions are formed on the basis of what-he-said. Reputations and lives are ruined on the tines of pitchforks glimmering in the light of torch-bearing mobs. And those are just the “news” shows.

One doesn’t have to be a fan of Hillary Clinton, though a Bloomberg poll says that two-thirds of Americans are, to feel tainted by the relish with which she and many others have been attacked — unfairly and disproportionately. Susan Rice, who was Obama’s favorite to replace Clinton as secretary of state, comes to mind.

But this isn’t a problem only for women or Democrats. The rush to character assassination seems to be our only bipartisan imperative and is a blight on our political system. In this brooding age of superstition and portent, every misspoken word is a lie, every human error a hanging offense.

This is to suggest not that we be naive or credulous but that we seek some balance in our approach to discovery. At the moment, we seem to be ricocheting between hysteria and delusion.

Eventually, Clinton will have to step forward and take her medicine. She is slated to appear before the House Foreign Affairs Committee in mid-January, though the date hasn’t been set. The nation clearly needs answers on what happened in Benghazi, and no doubt Clinton will provide them.

This is not blind faith in a favored politician but respect for a process that relies on accepted rules of order. We owe our representative to the world — which is to say, ourselves — at least this much.

By:Kathleen Parker

Compiled By:M.D

Political Analyst: Ankara, Riyadh Hatching New Plots to Topple Maliki Gov't

TEHRAN (FNA)- An Arab political analyst warned that the recent political turmoil in Iraq was the result of intensified attempts and new plots by Saudi Arabia and Turkey to overthrow the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Speaking to FNA in Baghdad on Saturday, Amir Mousavi said that countries like Saudi Arabia, Turkey and even Jordan are in pursuit of toppling the Baghdad government.

"The current moves in Iraq had been plotted even before the case of former Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi in a bid to wreak havoc on the country," Mousavi said.

Mousavi noted that some regional countries are hoping to achieve their mischievous goals in Syria by creating a chaotic situation in Iraq's al-Anbar province.

In similar remarks last week, a senior Iraqi legislator also warned against the plots hatched by Ankara against Baghdad, and said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sought assistance of some Iraqi tribal leaders to wreak havoc on Iraq.

Speaking to FNA in Baghdad, Shakir al-Daraji said that he has found access to "some secret information indicating that Erdogan has invited some tribal leaders from (Iraq's) al-Anbar province to direct Iraq's current crisis in Turkey's interest".

"Turkey is trying to make use of the crisis which started after the recent apprehension of the Iraqi Finance Minister's bodyguards in a bid to secure Turkey's political and economic interests," al-Daraji added.

The remarks came after Iraq, in a new upsurge of crisis, arrested the bodyguards of Iraq's Finance Minister Rafie al-Essawi for several terrorist operations.

Essawi, a prominent member of the al-Iraqiya political bloc, however, told a news conference on Thursday that about 150 of his bodyguards and staff members were arrested after security forces raided the ministry and his home "in an illegal act".

The head of the minister's protection force has reportedly confessed and admitted taking part in terrorist attacks, including bombings and assassinations.

Al-Daraji reiterated that the Turkish government's attempt is a serious threat to the security of Iraq and the region.

Earlier last week, another senior Iraqi legislator also warned against the plots hatched by Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia against his country, and called on his fellow citizens to be vigilant about such attempts.


Speaking to the Iraqi news website, al-Masalah, on Monday, Ezzat al-Shabandar called on the Iraqi government and the country's national political forces to be vigilant about a big plot paving its way to Iraq from the Turkish and Saudi borders.

Al-Shabandar also lashed out at Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying that Erdogan should not think that Iraq is the backyard of his armed forces because Iraqis can protect themselves well.

Erdogan, who acts in line with the US and Saudi interests in Syria, is trying to make Baghdad change its stance on Damascus through exerting pressures on the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and making provocative statements in this regard.

On Sunday, Erdogan told the media that he travels to the US not only for Syria, but also because he has Iraq on his agenda.



The Independent, UK : “Washington hoped for a split in the Syrian elite”




Patrick Cockburn, The Independent, UK : “Washington wants Syrian government to fall, but is having difficulty riding revolutionary tiger. The Western powers have long hoped for a split in the Syrian elite, but so far there is little sign of this happening. “If you take defections as a measure of political cohesion, then there haven’t been any serious ones,” said a diplomat in Damascus.

Syria today resembles Iraq nine years ago in another disturbing respect. I have now been in Damascus for 10 days, and every day I am struck by the fact that the situation in areas of Syria I have visited is wholly different from the picture given to the world both by foreign leaders and by the foreign media. The last time I felt like this was in Baghdad in late 2003, when every Iraqi knew the US-led occupation was proving a disaster just as George W Bush, Tony Blair and much of the foreign media were painting a picture of progress towards stability and democracy under the wise tutelage of Washington and its carefully chosen Iraqi acolytes.

The picture of Syria most common believed abroad is of the ''rebels'' closing in on the capital as the Assad government faces defeat in weeks or, at most, a few months. The Secretary General of Nato, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said last week that the regime is “approaching collapse”. The foreign media consensus is that the rebels are making sweeping gains on all fronts and the end may be nigh. But when one reaches Damascus, it is to discover that the best informed Syrians and foreign diplomats say, on the contrary, that the most recent rebel attacks in the capital had been thrown back by a government counteroffensive. They say that the ''rebel'' territorial advances, which fuelled speculation abroad that the Syrian government might implode, are partly explained by a new Syrian army strategy to pull back from indefensible outposts and bases and concentrate troops in cities and towns.

At times, Damascus resounds with the boom of artillery fire and the occasional car bomb, but it is not besieged. I drove 160 kilometres north to Homs, Syria’s third largest city with a population of 2.3 million, without difficulty. Homs, once the heart of the uprising, is in the hands of the government, aside from the Old City, which is held by the FSA. Strongholds of the FSA in Damascus have been battered by shellfire and most of their inhabitants have fled to other parts of the capital. The director of the 1,000-bed Tishreen military hospital covering much of southern Syria told me that he received 15 to 20 soldiers wounded every day, of whom about 20 per cent died. This casualty rate indicates sniping, assassinations and small-scale ambushes, but not a fight to the finish.

This misperception of the reality on the ground in Syria is fuelled in part by propaganda, but more especially by inaccurate and misleading reporting by the media where bias towards the rebels and against the government is unsurpassed since the height of the Cold War. Exaggerated notions are given of rebel strength and popularity. The Syrian government is partially responsible for this. By excluding all but a few foreign journalists, the regime has created a vacuum of information that is naturally filled by its enemies. In the event, a basically false and propagandistic account of events in Syria has been created by a foreign media credulous in using pro-opposition sources as if they were objective reporting.

The execution video is a case in point (It shows two men being beheaded by Syrian ''rebels'', one of them by a child) . I have not met a Syrian in Damascus who has not seen it. It is having great influence on how Syrians judge their future, but the mainstream media outside Syria has scarcely mentioned it. Some may be repulsed by its casual savagery, but more probably it is not shown because it contradicts so much of what foreign leaders and reporters claim is happening here.”





Algerian Army Monitors Tunisian Camps Training Terrorists to Fight in Syria




TRIPOLI, TUNISIA,(ST) _Investigations  conducted by the Algerian  army on military camps where  armed militias in Tunisia  are trained  revealed that these camps are training terrorists who seek to  join terrorist organizations fighting in Syria and Iraq.

The Algerian newspaper El Khabar (News)  reported that preliminary information confirms that supervisors  for the training centers came from Libya to Tunisia  to train the armed militias and then dispatch them to Syria.

The paper added  that when   authentic information were received on monitoring  three training centers for training armed groups in Jandouba area in Tunisia, 60 Km from the Algerian borders,  commander of the Algerian  gendarmerie ( police)   Maj. Gen. Ahmad Busteila met  with officials in charge to discuss the matter and avoid access of terrorists to Algeria or use the Algerian land  as a corridor to implement  their goals.

In this context , the paper said that the Algerian army killed al-Qaeda affiliated Libyan terrorist in the Islamic Maghreb  in  an operation in the East of the country where also three other gunmen  were arrested , whereas  one Algerian municipal guard was killed.

The newspaper reported that preliminary investigations by a special  army squad after the elimination of  several militants in  the recent military operation to the east of the country proved that one of the terrorists  is a 30-year old  man holds a Libyan nationality and was one of the  most dangerous terrorists in the area..


Syria Times




The Turkish Administration supports Al-Qaeda

The political analyst and editor-in-chief of ULUSAL TV, Adnan Turkkan, said in an interview in terms of the situation in Turkey`s neighbouring country Syria that the influx of the Western-backed foreign militants into Syria comes as the Turkish government under Erdogan is set to deploy six Patriot missile batteries in different Turkish cities along its about 900-kilometer long border with Syria.

Also the Russian, Iranian and Iraqi governments are sceptical about the real reasons for the deployment of Patriot missile batteries at the Turkish-Syrian border by NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization – but some call it North Atlantic Terrorist Organization).

NATO recently stated the questionable plan to deploy about six Patriot missile batteries to Turkey in order to “protect Turkey” from potential missile strikes by its neighbouring country Syria although the possibility of a Syrian missile strike against Turkey is next to nothing, virtually zero. Some believe that this stated reason of a missile strike by Syria against Turkey will never happen and that this is only a pretext by NATO.

The Netherlands will soon dispatch about 360 troops to the Turkish-Syrian border and also two Patriot missile batteries. The German and American government provide two Patriot missile batteries and about 400 troops each to handle and control these missile batteries in Turkish cities near the border to Syria.

Of course, some of these troops have already arrived in Turkey and also AWACS (AEW&C – airborne early warning and control) are already active over Turkish soil. The NATO missile batteries will become fully functional by the end of January 2013, also some source have already said that some of these Patriot missile batteries are already positioned in Turkish cities near the border to Syria and already functional.

According to a source of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty / Terror Organization), each of these Patriot Missile battery has an average of 12 missile launchers. The source of NATIO spoke on the condition of anonymity because the regulations of the Western alliance do not allow him to speak about these topics on the record.

PressTV has further information about the Patriot missile batteries which are deployed to Turkey by some NATO countries such as Germany and Netherlands

It is no real surprise that the German government is at the front line of the deployment of these Patriot missile batteries to the Turkish-Syrian border. The German administration under Chancellor Angela Merkel has taken the side of a war party against the secular and sovereign Syria since the beginning of the crisis in this country of the Middle East. After the German government had no much benefit from the war against Libya and other dubious events in Arab countries, they are now zealous in their attempts to gain some benefits after the fall of the Syrian government .

Furthermore, the German government is clearly among the war parties against Syria and is using propaganda to justify their non-democratic stances while they do not care about the Syrian population. The statements and acts of the German government and even the opposition parties confirm their criminal intentions and their inhuman machinations against Syria and the Syrian people.

The propaganda of German media has achieved the next level and since the beginning of the violence and crisis in Syria, they only prove their subordinate role and that the so-called “free press” in Germany is nothing else than a huge farce. In terms of the German government it seems obvious after the recent months that the leadership and even the opposition parties justify their statements and machinations by propaganda and lies in order to gain benefits and to please the real leaders such as the United States and Israel.

They want their share of Syria after the fall of the Syrian government and they do not care about the Syrian population. They condemn Salafists (Salafis) on German soil while they support these radical forces in the staged “jihad” against the Syrian secular government. There are so many hypocritical statements and acts by the German government which just confirm the statement of some who are saying that Germany has no own foreign policy and is instead subordinated to the orders of the United States and Israel.

Meanwhile, another Turkish opposition party has stated that the Turkish leadership under the Ottoman madman Erdogan helps foreign militants and religious fanatics to find their way into Syria and even helps them in their fight against the Syrian Arab army and the Syrian government in Damascus.

This Turkish opposition party has accused the Turkish government in Ankara of assisting dubious foreign-backed mercenaries and Islamists in finding their way into Syria over the Turkish-Syrian border.

Some members of the big Turkish opposition party (the Republican People’s Party) said that Saudi and Libyan militants are freely entering the neighbouring country Syria via the Turkish-Syrian border. This information is not new but it is further evidence that these accusations against the Turkish administration under Erdogan are true.

Furthermore, these members of the Turkish Republican People’s Party also said that the Erdogan administration in Turkey is using the Turkish army for dubious operations. For example, they said that the Turkish military escorts and protects the Islamists and militants on their way to join the Western-backed terrorist groups in Syria.

It is understandable that more and more honest experts of the affairs in the Middle East believe that all this is an anti-Syria plot which is headed by the US administration with the help of some European governments. Of course, also the totalitarian dictatorships like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the best allies of the West, have a main role in this alliance of state terrorism against Syria – because of economic and questionable religious reasons.

In addition, none of these members of the war party against Syria and the Syrian people care about the minorities in this country of the Middle East. They support radical Islamists, militants, religious fanatics and others although these fanatic groups are not only a threat to the minority in Syria but will also become a threat for the neighboring states of Syria and even for other regions of this planet.

The blather about human rights, democracy and freedom is just a pretext of these Western governments to justify their misanthropic acts in order to gain benefits. The sad point is that these hypocritical lies are still working and that the majority of Western people just do not care.

While it is obvious that the machinations of Germany, France, Britain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and especially Israel, Turkey and the United States fuel the violence and unrest in Syria and that these powers are not interested in a peaceful solution of the crisis in this country of the Middle East.

Adnan Turkkan, the political analyst and editor-in-chief of ULUSAL TV, which was already mentioned in the beginning of this post, also confirmed that foreign-backed terrorists are going through Turkey in order to penetrate into Syria. Mr Turkkan called them criminals and prisoners from Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

The Turkish political analyst also stated that the Gulf States like Qatar and Saudi Arabia took all their prisoners out of their jails and sent them to Turkey to go to Syria to join terrorists there, which is already confirmed by a leaked document.

Furthermore, the editor-in-chief of ULUSAL TV also mentioned the number of 3,000 al-Qaeda (“Al-CIAda”) members at the Turkish border to Syria which are also causing tension in Turkey, of course. The Turkish government, headed by the Ottoman madmen Erdogan, is supporting these religious fanatics and terrorists in order to continue the proxy war against the neighboring country.




S. Arabia's Golden Gate for Arms Smuggling to Iraq, Syria Found




TEHRAN (ST)- Saudi Arabia is trafficking different types of weapons, ammunitions, bombs, military equipment and drugs to Iraq through a city in the Western province of al-Anbar, half of which is, then, sent to the terrorists fighting in Syria, sources disclosed on Wednesday. 

Informed sources who asked to remain anonymous told FNA that Saudi Arabia uses the al-Nakhib town in Ar'ar border which is the official border crossing between Saudi Arabia and Iraq to send the military equipments both to terrorists in Iraq and Syria.

The smuggled Saudi weapons and equipment which were used by the terrorists in military and suicide attacks in Iraq are now being transferred to Syria after tensions in the Muslim country intensified, added the source.

The al-Nakhib town with a population of over 5,000 is mostly resided by the members of al-Hezal tribe which is supported by all Iraqi Sunni tribes.

The city is on a regional crossroad, linked to Saudi Arabia from South, Jordan from North and the holy city of Karbala from Northeast. The city has always been at the center of the US attention for the establishment of military bases in Iraq.

Earlier this month, a criminal court in al-Anbar province sentenced seven people to death for their involvement in killing 22 Shiite Muslim bus passengers in al-Nakhib area in 2011.

Gunmen stopped a bus travelling from Syria to al-Nakhib, and drove the bus several kilometers away with 22 male passengers on board. The 22 men were later found shot dead, while other eight passengers, all of them women and children, were spared.

Also on Monday, a senior Iraqi legislator warned against the plots hatched by Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia against his country, and called on his fellow citizens to be vigilant about such attempts.

Earlier this year, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki stressed that Saudi Arabia and Qatar are trying to carry out a Syria-like plot against Iraq in a bid to topple the country's government by sending terrorists to the country.

"Qatar and Saudi Arabia which are meddling to topple the Syrian government are now doing the same meddling to topple the Iraqi regime. Their goal is overthrowing the Iraqi ruling system and not overthrowing me," Maliki said in an interview with the Lebanese-based al-Mayadeen satellite network at the time.

Qatar and Saudi Arabia, two undemocratic monarchies which ironically call for democracy in Syria help the terrorists in the country financially and logistically.

Also earlier this year, another senior Iraqi legislator said that Saudi Arabia and Qatar have failed in their efforts to stir sectarian strife in Iraq and Syria.

"Saudi Arabia and Qatar have failed in (implementing) their intrigue which was aimed at stirring a strife among various tribes in Iraq and Syria," the Arabic Alsumaria news agency quoted Iraq's National Alliance MP Mohammad al-Sayhood as saying at the time.

He said that Riyadh and Doha intended to exercise the seditious plot in Syria after their failed to implement it in Iraq.

Al-Sayhood reiterated that the plot was masterminded by Israel and staged by Qatar and Saudi Arabia, adding that the same regional Arab states armed the Syrian opposition in pursuit of the same divisive plot in Syria.





The Guardian: Western intervention in Syria will do more harm than good




Regime change and ensuring that the Arab spring yields only the wizened fruit of governments as accommodating as Saudi Arabia cannot be sold on their own terms. Instead they are wrapped in the rhetoric of humanitarian intervention, tapping the sentiments of those genuinely moved by the suffering in Syria.

We've been here before. The war in Libya was purportedly to save lives. In fact, the killing intensified on all sides, including from Nato bombs. Estimates of the number dead reach 30,000. The outcome is not democracy and human rights. Amnesty International is the latest NGO to report the torturing to death of prisoners under the new regime and rival militias. The town of Tawergha, home to 30,000 largely black Africans, has been virtually wiped off the map. But the cameras have moved on, just as they did more than a decade ago following Nato's bombardment of Serbia and Kosovo. That, too, was supposed to save lives: the death toll spiralled; after the victory came ethnic cleansing in reverse.

That "ethical" war, which lacked the fig leaf of a UN security council resolution, presaged more to come. It lowered the threshold for the invasion and occupation of Iraq, by way of ongoing war in Afghanistan. Negotiation and a political settlement with the Taliban in 2001 were impossible, we were told. They were uniquely diabolical, closed to reason and killed their own people. Now, after tens of thousands dead, there are talks – in Qatar, where the Taliban have an office not far from the US's Centcom headquarters.

The Russian and Chinese veto of a regime change resolution over Syria at the security council has left western leaders exploring other options to the Libya model. But all of them rule out any political settlement between the government and armed opposition in Syria and are designed to ratchet up the conflict and tension in the wider region.

The "humanitarian corridors" proposed by French foreign minister Alain Juppé would mean troops on the ground. The kleptocratic Gulf Co-operation Council's proposal says everything about how hollow is the professed concern for the Syrian people and progress in the Arab region. Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are posing as friends of a democratic Syria while shooting down their own pro-democracy protesters.

The Gulf states are already reported to be funding sections of the Syrian opposition and are trying to cohere it under a leadership that will be congruent with their western allies. With Saudi largesse comes sectarian poison designed to pit Sunni Muslims against Shia, and especially against Iran, which is singled out along with China in the Pentagon's latest doctrine as an obstacle to "securing US global leadership in the 21st century".