What is the U.S. military up to in Lebanon?

I had a strange moment today. I was watching a video on CNN of an army mom who surprises her kids with a an unexpected reunion. The usual narrative here is that the mom/dad is deployed in Afghanistan or Iraq with accompanying imagery of a smiling soldier in U.S. military uniform in their place of deployment. This is followed by a live shot of that soldier in the same uniform, hugging his/her kids. All very moving. After all, whatever one’s thoughts about the U.S.’ imperialistic and capitalist wars abroad, the soldiers are in their minds doing something noble or trying to earn a paycheck for their children-all very understandable. Those that directly blame soldiers on the ground for U.S. policies are stupid. These are basically good people-they’ve been brainwashed or are under duress due to poverty or financial needs or dream of careers in a huge bureaucracy that can be potentially very lucrative.Of course this does not exclude the right of people in far off lands where such soldiers are deployed to defend themselves- but that is neither here nor there and is of no concern of ours. As Muslims living in America, we have to understand that the common American people, whether they be U.S. soldiers or anyone else are average people like anywhere else in the world. To be bitter or angry at such individuals is pure foolishness. If anything, they should be treated with sympathy and love. They are usually hard working, kind hearted and love their families. Of course, their government is savaging Muslims worldwide in the name of ‘freedom,’ and is busy repressing Muslim and non-Muslim dissidents in the U.S., but one cannot blame anyone at the lower rungs of government for that anymore than one can blame a U.S. DEA agent for the government’s oppressive war on drugs.

However, something was very different about this particular montage. I was half listening, half watching while working on an assignment, when suddenly the following sentence hit my ear drums: “Their mom, army tech sergeant Natalie Campbell has been deployed in Beirut Lebanon for six months.” I sat up. ‘What?!’ was the first thing that came to my mind. I quickly looked up U.S. army deployments to Beirut, and came across this April 2, 2014 press release of a speech that the U.S. ambassador to Lebanon gave during a hand over ceremony of “176 High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicles (Humvees) and 300 M-60 Machine Gun units to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF). ” (source: http://lebanon.usembassy.gov/pr_040214.html).

So, apparently, the U.S. govt. does have dealings with the Lebanese government. Interesting. The speech that ambassador gave included the fact that the U.S. has given over $1 billion in aid to the Lebanese army since 2005.

There. I shouldn’t have been surprised. Tech Sargent Natalie Campbell was probably posted as part of a mission supporting the training of Lebanese troops. I wonder what my Zionist friends (I use the term “friends” loosely of course) would feel about the U.S. government supporting a military whose government includes members of Hizbollah or at least supporters of Hizbollah in its cabinet. No doubt, the U.S. aid is probably intended as leverage with which to lessen Hizbollah’s influence in Lebanon. To which I say to the U.S. government: good luck with that.

Getting back to Sargent Natalie Campbell, there was still one thing that struck me as odd in her heart warming story of reunion with her long suffering children. It was a sentence that one of her daughters said (a girl of at least 16 or 17). Ashley Campbell was asked by the reporter whether she was worried for her mom and she replied: “All the time.” When asked why, she responds: “cause all the bombings…” at this point, she is cut off because the reporter says “turn around,” and we witness a heart warming reunion. After hugging her mom, Ashley smiles and says “she’s safe now.”

The question I have is, where is Natalie Campbell deployed in Lebanon that children are worried for her safety? Keep in mind that Lebanon is not Iraq or Afghanistan. It was back in the 80s, but it has been largely peaceful in the last decade or so. Unfortunately, due to the infiltration of Lebanon by Saudi-U.S.-Israeli funded and helped takfeeree agents in neighboring Syria, car bombings in Southern Beirut (Hizbollah stronghold) have occurred. Place like Tripoli have also seen an uptick in violence due to the Lebanese army’s efforts to eject Saudi inspired takfeeree forces. But, a U.S. army soldier deployed to help with training and transfer of military equipment should be no where near the Syrian border or in Tripoli and certainly not in South Lebanon. Then why the danger?

Where is she deployed that she be in such danger that her children constantly worry about her? If she were deployed in Bahrain or Saudi Arabia would she be in constant danger? Of course not. Those are hardly war zones. Of course, U.S. soldiers have to follow protocol in such countries due to understandably hostile locals, but countries like Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are not war zones. In addition. the one picture the news report showed of Natalie Campbell while deployed was not in uniform. She was wearing a hijab and civilian clothes and had a broad grin on her face. The photo shows her amidst civilians milling around on what looks like a sea-side pier of some sorts. Hardly a dangerous place.

So, again, where’s the danger? If she were deployed near the Syrian-Lebanese border, or in Tripoli or some other place that has the chances of bombs going off or close quarter combat she would be in danger. But if she is, the questions arises: what are U.S. soldiers doing in such situations in Lebanon? Does the Lebanese govt. know of their deployment to combat theaters? Keep in mind that children, spouses and siblings of deployed soldiers often have access to tidbits of information that though not classified, can certainly point to a wider picture that raises questions and could potentially point to classified U.S. activity in foreign countries. That’s a nice way of saying Uncle Sam is engaged in a covert war. Of course, we realize that all of this is pure speculation, but the obvious fear that these children had for their mother is puzzling. What has she told them in telephone conversations? What do they and she know that we don’t? Why is a simple deployment to Lebanon with training of Lebanese soldiers on secure Lebanese military bases so worrying for them? And, what is the U.S. military and CIA really doing in Lebanon? Last but not least, why has the U.S. government dumped a useless $1 billion in Lebanon (I say useless because U.S. influence in Lebanon is next to zero) when people are suffering State side? When will the U.S. capitalist elites relinquish their imperialistic ambitions abroad in order to  help the suffering American middle class at home?

This is an interesting story that deserves some follow up and more details. A little bit of investigative journalism may be needed. We’ll keep you posted. Meanwhile, add Lebanon to a list of over 105 countries where the U.S. military has a presence. It is, keep in mind, the largest deployment of a military on a global scale in the history of mankind. Talk about empires.

You can see the news report of the reunion here. The CNN video referenced in this post can be found on CNN.com.

 

 

How well do you know the Leader of the Islamic Revolution?

 

Which novel has Imam Khamenei (h.a.) called the best ever and urged all Iranian officials to read?

Which novel has Imam Khamenei (h.a.) called the best ever and urged all Iranian officials to read?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which book of fiction has the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Al Khamenei (h.a.) said is the best novel ever written?

Is it:

a) Siyasatnama a famous Persian treatise.

b) Light in August by William Faulkner

c) Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

 

 

In a speech given in Kermanshah a few years ago, what did he say that Iranian should learn from the West?

a) Abject materialism

b) Individualism

c) Entrepreneurship and risk taking?

 

3) In response to cowardly threats of war and aggression by the Zionist regime, which two Zionist settlements did the Leader say Iran would turn to ashes if Iran were attacked?

a) Tel Aviv and Haifa

b) Tel Aviv and Ashdod

c) Tel Aviv and Serdot

 

4) How has the Leader defined Taqwa? (Please keep in mind that his definition of taqwa in that particular context does not exclude the other expressions of what Taqwa is).

a) Abstaining from sins on a continuous basis

b) Struggle and vigilance (to be alert) for the sake of fulfilling our duty

c) Paying attention to God

Note: The answer is (b). It should be noted that the Leader’s definition of Taqwa is beautiful and comprehensive if ruminated on. It includes within it both (a) and (c) and other aspects of taqwa as well. Most importantly, if defines taqwa as something that is incomplete without determining what our duty to Islam is.

 

5) What aspect of Salat has the Leader emphasized? (again, keep in mind that this particular answer does not exclude the other choices but instead enhances them)

a) Correct pronunciation

b) Being ready to pray before the time of prayer (in other words, being ready to start prayers and in a state of anticipation before the time of salat has even arrived)

c) Attention during prayer

 

6) At what age did the Leader start Dars Kharij, the highest academic level in Islamic studies?

a) 25

b) 23

c) 18

Answers: c, c, a, b, b, c

 

Guess who said that?

They want an All-American Islam: An Islam that’s used as a reference for the intricacies of wudu’ (ablution), but not referred to in the political and economic conditions of Muslims.

 

 

Is the quote above attributed to a) Imam Khomeini (r.a.) or b) Syed Qutb (r.a.)?

 

Syed Qutb (r.a.)

Syed Qutb (r.a.)

 

 

 

Imam Khomeini (r.a.)

Imam Khomeini (r.a.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answer: Syed Qutb

It’s official: The U.S. is not a democracy

A university of Princeton study confirms what most of us have known all along: There is no democracy in the U.S. In fact, it is not the poor or middle class or the masses that control what happens in the U.S., its the rich. What a shock.

Of course, the study has to shed some positive light on the state of things. Thus the following statement to make us feel better about being lorded over by the rich:

Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association and a widespread (if still contested) franchise.

Which is complete bull. Just ask this intrepid blogger. A loyal and law abiding citizen for fifteen years, he experiences this “freedom of speech” full on every time he tries to cross the U.S.-Canada border: A (polite) interview by an F.B.I. agent who wants to know who I meet, why I meet them, whether my “file” is incomplete (she used the word “file”) etc. I am held for 6 hours at at time for no reason at all. Upon complaining to the Department of Homeland Security, I received a polite letter that states that the federal government can neither confirm nor deny whether I am on a “list” of any kind. Millions of people in the U.S. are harassed in similar fashion. It isn’t just Muslims who have opinions, its anyone the government considers a threat. Whether its OWS protesters, or libertarians the American government is probably tracking you. Of course, none of this has anything to do with terrorism. The U.S. govt. knows as well as I do that I don’t have a law breaking bone in m body. The facade of freedom, however, is cheerfully maintained.

The only freedom of speech people have in America is to engage in activities that subdue and sedate them. The minute people engage in any activities that may be a threat to the status quo, their homes are raided, their phones are tapped and they are harassed by law enforcement. Just ask the occupy wall street protesters. State repression of free speech is a part of American life. The Princeton professors may not have felt such “freedom” from up in their ivory towers, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Regular elections? Are they kidding? Last I checked, a two term President who wrecked the U.S. economy with unneeded wars and global acts of terror was shunted into office because he had relatives overlooking the ballot box in Florida. And, a system in which Super PACS rule and the poor have no chance of forming a third party can hardly be called a “democracy.” A system that is awash in dollars, as the study itself points out is still praised for “regular elections.” Again, the Princeton lovelies have to maintain some sort of submissiveness to the status quo, but honestly, a study that proves that the rich get what they want and the poor and middle class are ignored still has the wherewithal to tout “regular elections?” What are these Princeton profs drinking? I’d like some please.

As Mahmoud Abbas “negotiates,” land grab continues

There is something overwhelmingly ironic about what is happening to the West Bank. As Mahmoud Abbas, that perennially dour faced giver of free land tries to “negotiate,” the Zionist state continues to frantically grab an increasing amount of the West Bank.

Zionist defense minister Moshe Ya’alon (the same Ya’alon who recently insulted Obama by calling him “weak”) signed off on plans Friday to retroactively seize Palestinian land surrounding the Zionist outpost of Netiv Ha’avot. The area is almost 10,000 meters squared in size. However, the seizure means that more Palestinian land will be enclosed within a triangle of Zionist settlements, effectively sealing it off from its Palestinian owners.

Meanwhile, in Gaza, the Palestinians not only haven’t lost any land since 2011, they have actually gained more land since the resistance movement took over that region of Palestine. Palestinians in Gaza have won back prime agricultural land and sea coast land in the aftermath of their defeat of Israel in the 2012 war.

Netanyahu and his henchmen aren’t stupid. They know that they are scuttling any chances for “peace.” They also know that they are basically slapping John Kerry in the face. Or maybe they aren’t. Maybe they are doing this in collusion with Kerry. Who knows. What is clear is that the Palestinian people are watching closely. And they are drawing lessons. One of them is: resistance is the key to victory. “Negotiations” with the occupier will only bring humiliation and further loss of land. This means that the next war with Hamas will be even more costly for Israel. The Palestinian people will fight like they have never fought before, as only a people who have been humiliated and trampled upon with the utmost arrogance can. Israel’s days are numbered.

Is Qatar switching sides?

Hizbollah seems to recognize that Qatar wants to come in from the cold.

Hizbollah seems to recognize that Qatar wants to come in from the cold.

 

Erdogan: Banging your head against a Syrian wall hurts.

Erdogan: Banging his head against a Syrian wall.

 

Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani; Foxy like his father?

Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani; Foxy like his father?

 

The Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar reported on an interesting development that took place this past week. Eleven men from Southern Lebanon who had been freed by their kidnappers in Aazaz, Syria flew to Doha Sunday to meet Emir Tamim bin Hamad Thani.

The men had been released due to the intervention of Qatar and Turkey October 2013.

The events that lead to their freedom are chronicled in superb detail in this Al Akhbar report. As a side note, if you ever want meaningful, informative analysis of events in the Middle East you can always turn to Conflicts Forum or Al Akhbar (Google “Al Akhbar Engilsh”) to get a whole lot more than the usual drivel on American media outlets.

The back story to how this deal went through provides fascinating insights into the rapidly changing geopolitical dynamics in Syria and the adjoining region. Qatar, it seems, has decided that it was backing the wrong horse in Syria. It apparently is acting in a prudent fashion, sending strong overtures to Hizbollah and the resistance block comprising of Hamas, Iran, Syria and to a lesser extent Russia. China is an outlying partner, largely silent and minimally involved but secretly cheering from the sidelines as an influential observer.

Qatar has always been somewhat of an enigma foreign policy wise. The tiny sheikhdom has clashed constantly with Saudi Arabia, and there is a of bad blood between the two entities. The current Emir, Tamim Hamad al-Thani, came to power after his father Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani abidcated in 2013. Under Hamad, Qatar had always “played both sides.” It has hosted two U.S. military bases, but has also maintained close relations with Iran. Hamad was known as a bold, decisive and flexible foreign policy leader who often exasperated the Americans. His son’s ascension was seen as a sign that Qatar’s political adventures were coming to an end after it backed the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt only to see its influence washed away in a Saudi backed coup. However, it seems that Hamad’s son has retained some of the wiliness of his father.

At the beginning of the Syrian crisis, Qatar backed the insurgents, and the gulf states seemed solidly united. However, the takfeeree failure to overthrow Bashar Al Assad and their atrocious behavior ricocheting all over the internet, Qatar decided to switch sides.. The fact that the eleven detainees visited Doha to thank the Emir is a sign that Hizbollah has reacted positively to Qatar’s changing stance.

Turkey is another case altogether. The stubborn Erdogan continues to rage like a bull in a china store. He recently banned both Twitter and You Tube. Part of his wrath at You Tube stems from a recording of a hacked phone call (most probably published by the Russians) between  Erdogan, his intelligence chief, army chief and other officials discussing a false flag operation in Syria to give a desperate Turkey the chance to intervene militarily in Syria.

Furthermore, Turkey has been actively supporting terrorist groups such as Al Nusra Front in Syria.

Turkey’s role in freeing the detainees seems to be motivated more by two Turkish hostages in Lebanon. The fact that Hizbollah repeatedly turned down requests by Turkey’s ambassador to receive the 11 detainees a la Doha style speaks volumes about Turkey’s current role in Syria.

So, it seems that Qatar is cashing its chips and siding with the safe bet in Syria, i.e., Hizbollah, Iran, Russia and Syria. How long this lasts no one knows. But, Hizbollah, ever the clever political strategist seems to welcome the move, a sign that Qatar’s side switching may be more than just cosmetic.

 

Syed Hasan Nsarallah (h.a.) on latest situation in Syria-Must Listen

What follows is an excerpt of a speech by the Secretary General of Hizbollah, Syed Hasan Nasrallah. He provides a very clear policy speech on the reason for Hizbollah’s intervention in Syria and why it is important. This is something that every North American who is serious about the developments in the region should listen to. To those who say that Hizbollah is a terrorist organization we say: fine. That is your stance, and that is certainly the stance of the governments of Canada and the United States, and as law abiding citizens we will not do anything to violate this stance in a legal manner. However, no one can deny that Hizbollah is a major player in the region, and hence the Syrian situation cannot be resolved without input from Hizbollah. Also, please note that this is not a sectarian issue. As Syed Nasrallah points out, the issue is not sectarian. The issue is of a mindset within the Muslim world that is so poisonous that it attacked America on September 11 2001, and it attacks anyone that disagrees with it, whether Muslim, Christian or Jew. If North American leaders had any sense, they would unite with Hizbollah to wipe out this threat before we have another 9/11 occur in North America, God forbid.

Chris Christie apologizes for “occupied territories” statement

Did I say "occupied?"

Did I say “occupied?”

 

In a remarkable display of the hold that the Zionist lobby has on American politics, the current governor of New Jersey and potential Republican candidate for President of the United States has apologized for-wait for it-calling the West Bank and Gaza “occupied territories.” He made the apology to non-other than Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire Zionist who poured $100 million into the 2012 presidential elections.

But wait, it gets better. Did Chris Christie invoke the term defending Palestinians, or God forbid criticizing the Zionist entity? Oh no. Here’s the quote that has gotten a possible future President of the United States in trouble:

“I took a helicopter ride from the occupied territories across and just felt personally how extraordinary that was to understand, the military risk that Israel faces every day.”

 

So, basically, this dishonest politician was weeping over the “risk” that the Zionist military takes in occupying and brutalizing the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine. And yet, he had to apologize to the self professed Zionist billionaire Sheldon Adelson.

The irony here is that Christie likes to portray himself as a tough guy who has no qualms about shouting down questioners in town house style meetings if they ask questions that challenge his savaging of teacher’s unions in NJ. But, put him up against a rich Jew who supports Israel, and you can bet a pretty penny that the portly governor of the garden state will wilt like a big dandelion.

Here’s the full report.

DuPont heir walks free after raping baby daughter

 Robert H. Richards IV, convicted of raping his three year old daughter

Robert H. Richards IV, a free man convicted of raping his three year old daughter

 

Wait what?

Wait what?

The headline itself is enough to send chills down someone’s spine. But it is true.  Robert H. Richards IV, the curent heir of a family that got its start selling gunpowder during the American civil war was convicted of raping his toddler daughter (yes, toddler daughter). He was initially sentenced to nine years in jail for the offense.The presiding judge, however, ruled that he not go to prison because he would not “fare well in jail.”

Apparently, in America, if you are a poor person and are arrested a third time for minor drug possession, you can go to jail for life. However, if you are the heir of a billionaire family, you get a nine year sentence for raping your own three year baby daughter only to have the judge suspend the sentence for fear that jail may be too hard on the baby raper.

Meanwhile, Michael Vick is wondering what the heck is going on. The black football player served almost two years in jail in 2007 for cruelty to dogs he owned. So much for American justice.

So, let’s tally the record:

  1. Rich and white person rapes three year old daughter: no jail time
  2. Exponentially less rich black person abuses dogs: 2 years in jail.

Yup. Sounds about right.

Here’s the real interesting part: By its own admission, CNN reported that it and other media outlets would never have picked up on the story had it not been for the DuPont heir’s wife citing the conviction in divorce papers.

In other words: the mainstream media’s true intention was to publish some rich people gossip. They stumbled upon the 2009 ruling by mistake. Ah, “freedom” of press.

Why Al Quds day is so crucial.

It is a refrain often heard from people: “why are we so focused on Palestine, when there are far more people suffering in Syria and other places? Why do you blame all the Muslim troubles on Israel?”

This is a valid question, but its existence shows that a lot of Muslims do not have political foresight.

Al Quds day is important because the occupation of Palestine is a knife in the heart of the Middle East designed to rob the region of its resources and deny Muslims and non-Muslims in the area true democratic rights of self expression and governance. It is also a primary expression of the kind of mentality that has led to wars around the world and the brutalization of people in Syria, Afghanistan, Bahrain and Pakistan among other places.

If Israel is defeated and disbanded, it will be a heavy blow to the capitalist paradigm of inserting non-indigenous forces in native lands to control resources. Al Quds day terrifies Zionist precisely because it is an international expression of resistance to Zionist occupation and brutality which symbolizes such brutality all around the world.

The fact that the brutal occupation and or/interference occupation in countries such as Bahrain, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Hijaz and Syria are all directly or indirectly supported by the Zionist lobby is proof of this. The fact that the Zionist lobby is against the people of Egypt enjoying their right to live in freedom is proof of this.

If one studies the discrepancies the issue become clear. The Zionist lobby cries crocodile tears for Syrians, but is silent on the killing of Muslims in places like Bahrain. Israel’s Prime Minister recently admitted that Saudi Arabia is an ally, but the Zionist lobby routinely accuses Iran of “human rights violations” Why? In Saudi Arabia, women cannot drive and have limited rights. Iran has a more liberal contraceptive policy than some European countries. Iranian women cannot not only drive, they drive taxis and buses. They are in all sphere of life. One must ask, why do the Zionists give medical aid to Syrian terrorists, but regularly denies medical aid to Palestinian children? Why ?

If one examines the issue, one will realize that the occupation of Palestine and the existence of the Zionist state is a symbol for the kind of mentality that is spawning misery worldwide. Hence, Al Quds day is an expression of Muslim political awareness in the face of Zionist plotting.

Who arms the Saudis who are the mother ship of the takfeeree ideology that is destroying Syria? Why is Israel building bases in Saudi Arabia and why are the Saudis in agreement that the Zionist have the right to use their airspace to attack Iran? These are all questions we must ponder. Why did the Saudis and Israelis congratulate General Sisi when he over threw the democratically elected government of Egypt led by the Muslim Brotherhood (A Sunni Islamic movement that seeks true democratic expression of Islam)? Again, we must all ask ourselves these questions.

Why were the Saudis one of only three countries around the world (the other two were UAE and Pakistan) that recognized the brutal, takfeeree Taliban when they were ruling Afghanistan? Why did Shimon Peres, the President of Israel express sympathy for Syrian insurgents, but remains silent on Egyptian, Pakistanis, Bahrainis, Somalis and others suffering around the world?

Al Quds day and its political rejection of all forms of Zionist inspired or supported interference and its demand that the illegal Zionist entity be disbanded so that all the people of Palestine, whether they be Jewish, Christian or Muslim enjoy freedom and democracy is a crucial political position that must be expressed with full vigor every year.

If one studies the history of Zionism one will see that Zionist leaders who hated Judaism and were avowed atheists, persuaded the Europeans and later the Americans that they be allowed to create a fake entity in Palestine because it would help create a military foothold in the heart of the resource rich Muslim world.

So, those who say that the Al Quds rally is pointless because far more people are being killed in Syria, for example, miss the point. The Al Quds day rally is not about casualties, it is about the planning and machinations that cause such casualties around the world. At the root of such planning and machinations are Zionists or Zionist supporters.