Monitor Mideast







Syrian President Bashar Al Assad’s Inaugural Speech

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Syrian President Assad delivering his inaugural speech after his electoral victory.

 

 

During his inaugural speech on July 15 of 2014, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad thanked Syria’s allies for their support during the war, including Russia, Iran, China and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

 

 

Syrian President Bashad al Assad also talked about Gaza, and attaked the leaders of Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, he symbolically announces the demise of the Arab Spring.

 

 

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Al-Quds Brigade Commanders Praises Iran for Support

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Vast billboards had appeared in Gaza thanking Iran for its help in the conflict between Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Israel in 2012. More recently, Iran continues its involvement in arming Palestinian groups such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. In this video, a spokesman for the Al-Quds Brigades thanks Iran and Hezbollah for their support.

 

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Imam of Aqsa Mosque to ISIS: Stop Deceiving Muslims (English Subtitles)

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One of the Imams of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, Salah al-Din ibn Ibrahim Abu Arafa criticized ISIS clerics and their motives, stating that they are seeking power instead of the establishment of an Islamic state.

He further stressed that the people of Yarmouk refugee camp, which consists primarily of Palestinians are caught between and are besieged by various factions, including ISIS.

Abou Arfa went on to call upon members of ISIS, the Islamic Front and Al Nusra to stop deceiving Muslims and to assist the people in Yarmouk camp with bread.

Arfa is a Palestinian cleric and renowned Imam of the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, the third holiest place in Sunni Islam. He is a known critic of ISIS.

 

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First Appearance of ISIS Caliph Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi (English Subtitles)

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Exclusive excerpts from the speech at the Grand Mosque in Mosul by ISIS Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

 

 

ISIS emir and newly, self-appointed Caliph for all Muslims blesses mankind with his first public appearance in a video recorded at a mosque in Mosul. In his first appearance, Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi enlightens misguided Muslims and informs them that he too is, in fact, imperfect.

Excerpts from his speech were translated exclusively for Monitor Mideast.

Al Baghdadi’s first lecture consists of interpretations he gave to Quranic verses, whilst some other quotes were plagiarized from the first speech held by the first Sunni Caliph, Abu Bakr.

Taken from The Telegraph:

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, emerged from the shadows to lead Friday prayers at Mosul’s Great Mosque, calling on the world’s Muslims to “obey” him as the head of the caliphate declared by the Sunni jihadist group.

The notoriously secretive jihadi, who has never before been seen in public, chose the first Friday prayer service of Ramadan to make an audacious display of power in the city that Salafist Islamists have now controlled for three weeks.

Speaking from the balcony in his new incarnation as self-anointed “Caliph Ibrahim”, al-Baghdadi announced himself as “the leader who presides over you”, urging Muslims to join him and “make jihad” for the sake of Allah.

Under his direction, the Islamic world would be returned to “dignity, might, rights and leadership”, he said.

“I am the wali (leader) who presides over you, though I am not the best of you, so if you see that I am right, assist me,” he said, dressed in a black turban and robe reminiscent of the last caliphs to rule from Baghdad.

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Iran President to Reporter: US Supports Terrorism In Iraq (English Subtitles)

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What would you do if you were a reporter for the New York Times and you’ve just been invited to a news conference where the president of one of the Middle East’s most influential countries just told you that the United States supports terrorism in Iraq and Syria? What if that same president also told you that the United States is involved in a propaganda war (likely involving your own news publication) in supporting and legitimizing that terror in Syria and Iraq? In the case of Thomas Erdbrink, correspondent for the New York Times, those questions were fairly simple to answer. You just invent news. Watch this video to see Rouhani lash out at the United States and how a correspondent for one of the most influential news publications in the world relays his answers to the world.

 

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Christiane Amanpour Calls For Intervention In Syria

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Christiane Amanpour angrily denounced her fellow panelists on Thursday’s “AC360 Later” for their unwillingness to support American intervention in Syria.

 

Writers Andrew Sullivan, Charles Blow and Christopher Dickey all spoke against intervention, echoing the sentiments of most Americans and of Congress.

 

Amanpour said she could “barely contain” her anger at this position.

 

“How many more times do we have to say that weapons of mass destruction were used?” she said. “And as bad as it is to decapitate somebody, it is by no means equal. We can’t use this false moral equivalence about what’s going on right now. They tried to do it in the Second World War. They tried to do it in Bosnia. They tried to do it in Rwanda and they’re trying to do it now. There is no moral equivalence.”

 

As her panelists tried to interject, Amanpour snapped, “Wait just a second!” Once she had the floor, she continued, “The president of the United States and the most moral country in the world based on the most moral principles in the world, at least that’s the fundamental principle that the United States rests on, cannot allow this to go unchecked, cannot allow this to go unchecked…I’m so emotional about this.”

 

Later, Amanpour tweeted that she was trying to recall “America’s proud history” of liberal interventionism.

 

But how trustworthy is Amanpour’s moral compass? There’s a side of Amanpour rarely depicted in mainstream American media. An old obtained tape reveals how Amanpour describes CNN executives calling their viewers “Stupid” and how Amanpour could very well agree with that position.

 

 

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The New White Man’s Burden? A review of Humanitarian Imperialism

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Jean Bricmont’s powerful Humanitarian Imperialism is a timely critique of Western interventionism — that which is argued as being for the sake of human rights and which has been a subject of great debate as of late due to the ongoing conflict in Syria.

 

Humanitarian interventionism is defined by Bricmont as follows:

“…[that] which concedes much too much to the idea that our “universal values” give us the right and even the duty to intervene elsewhere…” (page 10)

 

He argues within the first chapter that the manner in which war has been legitimized as of late is no longer by way of Christianity or “white man’s burden” but “a certain discourse on human rights and democracy [...] which justifies Western interventions in the Third World in the name of defence of democracy and human rights.”

 

Moving on to highlight what he calls “the ideology of human rights”, Bricmont discussed in chapter 4:

 

“…essentially it comes down to the idea that Western states have the right, or duty, to interfere in the internal affairs of other states in the name of human rights.” (page 26)

 

Bricmont goes on to produce not only a set of strong arguments against war but weak arguments as well:

“To allow construction of a more effective opposition to current wars it is necessary to distinguish, among arguments heard against those wars, which ones are solid and which ones are not, and combat that influence of the dominant discourse on the discourse with the opposition. Weak arguments are those that are based, at least in part, on the suppositions of the dominant discourse.” (page 91)

 

His strong arguments‘ begin with the defense of international law — the basic principle of which he loosely defines as being “that no country has the right to send its troops into another country without the consent of its government” and that said government need not be an “elected government” or even one that “respects human rights” but “simply has to be who effectively controls the armed forces”.

 

The next argument against war is an anti-imperialist perspective:

“What would happen if a country put into practice the ideas of various anti-globalization or “global justice” movements? Not only measures such as the “Tobin tax” which, depending on how it was defined, might possibly be integrated into the system without too much trouble, but more radical measures such as widespread debt repudiation, reappropriation of natural resources, (re)construction of strong public services, significant taxation of profits, etc. I see no reason to believe that the reaction would be very different from what it was with Allende, Castro, Mossadegh, Lumumba, Arbenz, Goulart, and many others.

 

The reaction would occur in stages: first of all, more or less economic sabotage, in the form of capital flight, a stop to investments, credit and “aid,” etc. Should that not suffice there would be encouragement of internal subversion, provoked by social, ethnic, or religious groups with specific demands difficult to satisfy. Any repression of those groups, even if their activities were illegal and would be equally repressed anywhere else, would be condemned in the name of human rights. The economic or political complexity of the situation would be forgotten. All this would take place under constant thread of military coup d’état, which could be welcomed by a part of the population tired of “chaos.” And, if all that should fail to do the trick, the United States or it’s allies would resort to direct military intervention.

 

The point is that even if the last measure is not taken the moment each new crisis arises, it nevertheless looms in the background of all the others. If economic sanctions or internal destabilization measures don’t work, one can expect a new Bay of Pigs, a new Vietnam, or a new Contras.” (page 101-102)

 

Bricmont’s Humanitarian Imperialism is riddled with samplings from history — from the silent genocide imposed on Iraq (i.e. US sanctions) to East Timor and Afghanistan.

 

In chapter 6, The Guilt Weapon, we are introduced to one of the most pervasive of mechanisms used by humanitarian interventionists in order to guilt critics. The example used in this chapter is the subjugation of Afghan women, who were used as pawns by US regimes looking for a more stable argument for the ongoing war — should the “war on terror” not convince critics then this more “noble” justification would do:

 

“The horrors inflicted on Afghan women by the Taliban did the trick. Many activists, doubtless with perfect sincerity, suddenly expressed urgent concern today. Why? Because everyone is quite aware, then as now, that we are not capable of solving all the world’s problems, and especially that such problems as the oppression of women are not solved overnight. But the strength of propaganda in favour of war is such that even people who are against it feel obligated to express their agreement with the objectives that have been proclaimed in order to justify it, instead of simply denouncing the hypocrisy of the whole manoeuvre. It seems likely that that this sense of obligation stems from the fact that the last thing anti-war activists want to be accused of is “supporting the Taliban.” The notion of “support is in fact at the center of the guilt-trip mechanism.”

His stunning book ends with Prospects, Dangers and Hopes:

 

“People who have been appealing to human rights for thirty years in order to flatter the American superpower risk finding themselves, perhaps against their will, the “objective allies” of monstrous undertakings. In any case, the question of the “soft landing” is the major political problem of our time, as well as the principle challenge that needs to be met by progressive, peace or global justice movements.”

 

All those who prefer peace to power, and happiness to glory, should thank the colonised peoples for their civilizing mission. By liberating themselves, they made the Europeans more modest, less racist, and more human.”

 

Bricmont’s close still holds true to this very day:

“Let us hope that the process continues and that the Americans are obliged to follow the same course. When one’s own cause is unjust, defeat can be liberating.

 

Roqayah Chamseddine writes for frustratedarab.com

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Christian Singer Julia Boutros Honors Hezbollah in Concert

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On April 2013, Lebanese singer Julia Boutros dedicated two songs of her discography to the Lebanese movement Hezbollah. LBCI provided footage of the jaw-dropping performance.

 

On October 11, 2006, Julia announced a new single called “Ahibaii” (My loved ones). The lyrics are based on a letter sent by Hizbollah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah to the fighters in South Lebanon during the 2006 Summer War between Lebanon and Israel. The poet Ghassan Mataradapted the original text. The music is composed by Ziad, brother of Julia and arranged by Michel Fadel. The profits from the song’s sale went to help the families of Hizbollah fighters and to all Lebanese who died during the Israel-Lebanon conflict. Sales eventually garnered three million dollars for the families of the Lebanese civilians, soldiers, security forces, and Hezbollah militants who have been killed in the Israel-Lebanon conflict. The sum was triple the original aim, which was only one million dollars. The families of Lebanese soldiers killed during operation Naher el-Bared also received a portion of the money.

 

 

 

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