Latest News Syria: Minister of Information


Information Minister: Syria ready to resolve the crisis politically

Aug 14, 2013

Minister of Information Omran al-Zoubi said Tuesday that Syria is ready to resolve the crisis politically to preserve its sovereignty as an independent, free state, adding that Syria is also willing to go to Geneva conference as long as dialogue would be among the Syrians.

"The opposition has one aim represented by toppling the state without any political project, while the Syrian state works to defeat the armed opposition linked to the US and Israel, with commitment to find a national opposition which has productive presence as it is a mirror to the government," the Minister said at a meeting with a number of political and culture activities, youth and journalists in Tartous.

He underlined that the Syrians wouldn't accept any political solution if it was not approved by President Bashar al-Assad, considering that the political solution has to go in parallel with confronting terrorism.

The Minister called on all Syrians to confront the aggression to win the war against their enemies, clarifying that Syria encounters a global unprecedented war.

"The national media resembles to a great deal the Syrian Arab army who fights, with its utmost energies, in this war… our national media is a media of confrontation and struggle," Information Minister said. 

He added that three radio stations have been launched lately, while preparations are underway to launch two new TV channels in Lattakia and Aleppo.

In response to questions raised by a number of the participants, the Minister said that there will be fundamental changes in the work of the Syrian TV channels that would occur amid next month.



Stop NATO !


Voice of Russia
August 14, 2013

Lavrov never loses his cool, Obama infantile – Rick Rozoff
Recorded on August 9, 2013


Any U.S. claim that they are going to launch lethal drone strikes inside Syria as they did several months ago, without even the pretense of having the authorization of the government, is an act of yet further international lawlessness. Voice of Russia regular Rick Rozoff gives his analysis of the recent statements by the CIA with regard to Syria.

This is John Robles. I am speaking to Rick Rozoff, the owner and manager of the Stop NATO website and the International mailing list.

Robles: How do you think that’s going to play out with Russia, this new possible pretext? Do you think maybe they are looking for a way out, maybe, or…Do you think that’s possible?

Rozoff: There was a comment today by the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, kind of a back-handed slap at the infantile and provocative antics of President Obama here, who has postponed, or has canceled, indeed, a proposed scheduled summit with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, and Sergey Lavrov said about the meeting today, U.S. time, of the foreign and defense ministers, both secretaries or ministers of both countries, that, it’s time for a grown-up discussion on these issues and I think that, you know it, quite clearly, somebody like Sergey Lavrov, the foreign minister of Russia, he is a seasoned diplomat, he is mature, he is able to control his emotions and not to make unwarranted and almost childlike comments like the ones coming out of the White House…

Robles: No, I think he is a very true diplomat. I mean, I’ve been watching him for years and years, I’ve never seen him once…you know…

Rozoff: … lose his cool or say something untoward. You would have to define to Americans, certainly anyone 50 years of age or younger, what the word “diplomat” means. We’ve not seen any.

Robles: And it was wonderful, I am sorry, I just want underline it, it was wonderful today, because I actually heard him speak for the first time in English, and his English is wonderful.

Rozoff: I’ve never heard Lavrov speak in English, but there again… I can’t think of an American Secretary of State…

Robles: Perfect!

Rozoff: … who spoke a second language. That’s not necessary, if you’re the global empire. You know, your tributaries and vassals, to quote Zbigniew Brzezinski, have to speak your language. And pay you their tribute in the coin of the realm. They have to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s in Caesar’s language moreover.

Robles: So, anyway, back to the CIA proclamation by the Deputy Director. What other insights can you tell us about his comments?

Rozoff: It could be a question, as we’ve alluded to, of kind of hedging his bets, should the worst case scenario, worst case scenario for the world and for Syria, not necessarily for the US, occur, and that there is a toppling of the government in Syria and then you have a new hotbed of terrorism that spreads across the border…we have to remember one of the three major fighting groups that the US and company are supporting. In addition to the Free Syrian Army and the Al Nusra Front, is something called the Islamic State of Iraq.

What you have are Sunni extremists, Wahhabi extremists, unquestionably supported, armed, financed by Saudi Arabia, fighting inside Syria.

So, not only perpetrating bombings and other killings of Shiite, Christians and other minorities inside Iraq, they are spreading this dubious jihad across the border into Syria and certainly into Lebanon. So, you know what the US may be doing is in the event the US would succeed in regime change in Syria, they have then already prepared the groundwork for saying, “See we warned you that certain unsavory elements might gain influence or come to the fore,” something of that sort…

Robles: O.K., so, no one is going to blame them for arming these enemies to begin with, right?

Rozoff: Yeah, they have plausible deniability, we warned you that they were not all a nice group of characters. However it was also roughly almost a year ago when the Obama administration, the White House, was talking about the necessity perhaps of waging drone warfare against some of their non-preferred fighters among the rebel groups within Syria, which I don’t think one was to have taken seriously at that time either.

What it was was that the US would reserve the right to launch drone or perhaps even cruise missile attacks inside the country, and then sugar-coat that by saying they are trying to weed out extremist elements amongst the rebel groups, the rebel armed groups fighting inside Syria.

Robles: Right.

Rozoff: But you know that no country has the right to state that they reserve the prerogative of launching lethal missile strikes inside the territory of any other country.

Robles: Sure, sure. No matter how you paint it, I mean, you can call ti a “preventive air strike” or “humanitarian invention”, or whatever you want to call it, but it is still an act of aggression, which is illegal under international law.

Rozoff: Sure, and we know that just in recent hours the U.S. has succeeded in killing some 34 people in Yemen in drone strikes, but the assumption, as in the case of the Yemen or Pakistan, is that the government at least passively permits the United States to do it, if it doesn’t acknowledge it is doing so. But, you know, in the case of Syria, self-evidently, they would not have the permission of the government.

So for the U.S. to claim they are going to launch lethal drone strikes inside Syria as they did several months ago, without even the pretense of having the authorization of the government, it’s an act of yet further international lawlessness.

Robles: Yeah, completely. Thanks a lot, Rick, it was a pleasure speaking to you.

Rozoff: Yes, same here, thanks.



The 'Aryan' race

Hitler warned, the German “Aryan” race was threatened by dissolution from within and without. The internal threat lurked in intermarriages between “Aryan” Germans and members of inherently inferior races: Jews, Roma, Africans, and Slavs. The offspring of these marriages were said to dilute the superior characteristics reflected in German blood, thus weakening the race in its struggle against other races for survival.

The interwar German state further weakened the German “Aryan” race by tolerating procreation among people whom the Nazis considered genetically degenerate and a harmful influence on the hygiene of the race as a whole: people with physical and mental disabilities, habitual or career criminals, and persons who compulsively engaged in socially “deviant behavior” as the Nazis perceived it, including homeless people, allegedly promiscuous women, people unable to hold a job, or alcoholics, among others.


The nurses behind the Nazi 'Super Race Children'



125th anniversary of Jack the Ripper


This year marks the 125th anniversary of Jack the Ripper, the notorious Whitechapel murderer who killed and mutilated at least five women during the darkest months of the Victorian era. On the surface, it’s just another grisly tale from Britain’s often grisly past. So, after all these years, why does the Ripper’s legacy continue to linger so strongly in the public consciousness?

It seems that even today, everybody has heard of him and his horrific deeds. The Whitechapel murders are still taught to children in history lessons, regular Jack the Ripper tours take place in East London, and a small-but-dedicated group of expert ‘Ripperologists’ continue to investigate the mysteries surrounding the case.

The root cause for this continued fascination, I would assume, is the fact that the true identity of the Ripper has never been determined; despite Scotland Yard’s best efforts, he was never caught. It is easy to see how a murderous enigma such as Jack the Ripper, still unidentified after 125 years, can entice public interest on such a great scale.

Donald Rumbelow, a prominent British crime expert and author of ‘The Complete Jack the Ripper’ agrees.

“When it comes to the identity of Jack the Ripper, everybody’s got a theory,” said Mr Rumbelow.

“There have been over 200 potential suspects throughout history, but there’s never been conclusive evidence against any of them.”

Mr Rumbelow believes however, that many other reasons have influenced the continued popularity of the Jack the Ripper case. When I asked Mr Rumbelow for his initial thoughts, his first suggestion was to blame the usual suspects – the media.

“The press built it up, absolutely. Stories about Jack the Ripper would be on the front pages all the time, and the East London area would be swamped with newspapermen every single day.

“Within three months of the last murder, there was already a Jack the Ripper stage play. It didn’t take long for books and articles to emerge as well”.

“And of course, Jack the Ripper has been in the media ever since. By 1926, a young Alfred Hitchcock was already directing a crime thriller inspired by the Whitechapel murders.”

The film in question, The Lodger, was based on Marie Belloc Lowndes 1913 novel of the same name.

Richard Cobb, owner of the official Jack the Ripper tour, agrees that the Victorian media’s role was essential to building up the profile of the infamous killer. He said: “The killings were transformed into a fantastic Victorian melodrama by the newspapers.

“They wrote them up in every gory detail, and soon people of the West end – and indeed the world – where reading all about this unknown killer.

“If you mention his name to anyone, they will instantly think of Victorian London, foggy nights, gas lamps and prostitutes. Jack the Ripper remains the only serial killer in history that represents an entire era.”

On a personal level, besides reading about Jack the Ripper in the Horrible Histories book The Vile Victorians as a child, I can also remember being taught about him at school. The fact that the Whitechapel murders are taught to many pupils, as part of their Victorian history lessons, ensures that most people – young and old – have some degree of awareness about the infamous Ripper.

“It provides a useful gateway into Victorian history,” says Mr Rumbelow.

“Teachers tend to give it some attention, as it manages to connect this stimulating topic to the rest of Victorian history”.

I concur, for me and many others, the morbid curiosity surrounding the Jack the Ripper case seemed to be far more interesting than learning about factory conditions, slum housing, and the dangers of Victorian childbirth. The mysterious, conspiracy-ridden nature of Jack the Ripper’s legacy has ensured that the case has continued to be of interest to the British public. Whilst more recent serial killers may be swiftly consigned to history, it is certain that the Ripper will continue to evoke fascination for decades to come.

The latest edition of Donald Rumbelow’s book, ‘The Complete Jack the Ripper’, came out on 2 May 2013.

Photo: American actor Laird Cregar playing the title role in 'The Lodger' in which he is suspected of being Jack The Ripper (Getty Images)



Body culture: Nazis - Americans







Euthanasia: 'Life unworthy of life'

Duitsland.Aktion T4.jpg

In October of 1939 amid the turmoil of the outbreak of war Hitler ordered widespread "mercy killing" of the sick and disabled.

Code named "Aktion T 4," the Nazi euthanasia program to eliminate "life unworthy of life" at first focused on newborns and very young children. Midwives and doctors were required to register children up to age three who showed symptoms of mental retardation, physical deformity, or other symptoms included on a questionnaire from the Reich Health Ministry.

A decision on whether to allow the child to live was then made by three medical experts solely on the basis of the questionnaire, without any examination and without reading any medical records.

Each expert placed a + mark in red pencil or - mark in blue pencil under the term "treatment" on a special form. A red plus mark meant a decision to kill the child. A blue minus sign meant a decision against killing. Three plus symbols resulted in a euthanasia warrant being issued and the transfer of the child to a 'Children's Specialty Department' for death by injection or gradual starvation.

The decision had to be unanimous. In cases where the decision was not unanimous the child was kept under observation and another attempt would be made to get a unanimous decision.

The Nazi euthanasia program quickly expanded to include older disabled children and adults. Hitler's decree of October, 1939, typed on his personal stationary, enlarged "the authority of certain physicians to be designated by name in such manner that persons who, according to human judgment, are incurable can, upon a most careful diagnosis of their condition of sickness, be accorded a mercy death."

Questionnaires were then distributed to mental institutions, hospitals and other institutions caring for the chronically ill.

Patients had to be reported if they suffered from schizophrenia, epilepsy, senile disorders, therapy resistant paralysis and syphilitic diseases, retardation, encephalitis, Huntington's chorea and other neurological conditions, also those who had been continuously in institutions for at least 5 years, or were criminally insane, or did not posses German citizenship or were not of German or related blood, including Jews, Negroes, and Gypsies.

A total of six killing centers were established including the well known psychiatric clinic at Hadamar. The euthanasia program was eventually headed by an SS man named Christian Wirth, a notorious brute with the nickname 'the savage Christian.'

At Brandenburg, a former prison was converted into a killing center where the first Nazi experimental gassings took place. The gas chambers were disguised as shower rooms, but were actually hermetically sealed chambers connected by pipes to cylinders of carbon monoxide. Patients were generally drugged before being led naked into the gas chamber. Each killing center included a crematorium where the bodies were taken for disposal. Families were then falsely told the cause of death was medical such as heart failure or pneumonia.




The Spider that Died in the Tower of London

Cornelia ParkerThe Spider that Died in the Tower of London.jpg

Cornelia Parker - The Spider that Died in the Tower of London



London: Art Everywhere

Queen Portrait.Sir Peter Blake.jpg

Art Everywhere turns UK's streets into world's largest art show

Project launched in shopping mall displays artists' most popular works on bus stops and tube stations

8 August 2013

From a Bacon on a bus to a Hockney on your hackney, the world's largest art show has been launched – not at an esteemed gallery, but at a shopping centre.

The pop art master Sir Peter Blake unveiled a giant digital version of his work The Meeting or Have a Nice Day, Mr Hockney at west London's Westfield centre, the first of 22,000 advertising sites across the UK that, from Monday and for the next fortnight, will feature 57 popular works of art.

Alongside him, Cornelia Parker, whose Cold Dark Matter was voted the 10th most popular work by online voters on the Art Everywhere website, rejoiced in being not only the only living artist in the top 10, but the only woman to boot.

Since Toulouse Lautrec in 19th century Paris was commissioned by the Moulin Rouge to design posters promoting the bohemian nightclub, advertising has turned to great art to promote products.

Now advertisers are repaying – to the tune of more than £3m – by donating printed poster sites and digital screens across the UK to celebrate art for art's sake.

The Art Everywhere project – organised by Richard Reed, co-founder of Innocent drinks, but the brainchild of his wife, Melinda – will see artworks on billboards, bus stops, major roads, tube, train and metro stations, shopping malls and office buildings, among other sites. Some 2,000 London buses and 1,000 black cabs will transport the artworks around London.

Read more at: http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/aug/08/art-everywhere-project-streets-london

Photograph: Queen Portrait, Sir Peter Blake

War: Britain warships to Gibraltar


Britain sends warships to Gibraltar as dispute with Spain continues
Britain is sending navy warships to Gibraltar amid growing tension between London and Madrid over the territory's sovereignty...


According to reports, Royal Navy rapid-reaction force including aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious and two frigates will sail for the Mediterranean on Monday, August 12 for a four-month deployment after a diplomatic row with neighboring Spain over the territory heated up.

British Ministry of Defence (MoD), however, claimed the deployment was long-planned and not connected to recent tensions between the two countries.

“Gibraltar is a strategic base for UK Defence and as such Royal Navy ships visit its waters throughout the year as part of a range of regular and routine deployments,” an MoD spokesperson said.

The deployment of warships in Gibraltar follows weeks of rising tension after Spanish border officers caused delays of up to six hours for cars trying to enter Spain, carrying out searches on vehicles.

The move drew an angry reaction from London and British Foreign Office formally protested to Spain’s ambassador to London over the matter.

Tensions between Spain and Gibraltar flared up last month when the Rock’s authorities announced plan for creating an artificial reef for fish and boats began dumping concrete blocks into the sea. On other side of the border, Spanish authorities said the reef would block its fishing boats.

Gibraltar was occupied by Britain in 1713 and has been since a bone of contention between Madrid and London.

The United Nations (UN) lists the strategic 6.8-kilometer area that overlooks the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean as a territory waiting to be decolonized.



Latest News Syria: India

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Communist Party of India (Marxist) stresses support to Syrian people against imperialism

New Delhi - August 9, 2013

Secretary-General of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Prakash Karat stressed the solidarity of the Indian people with the Syrian people against the Zionist and imperialist conspiracy.

Meeting the Syrian Ambassador in India, Riad Abbas, Karat expressed concerns over the practices of some neighboring and Arab states which are supporting terrorism and allowing the entry of terrorists into Syria, hoping the crisis in Syria will end and the Syrian government will succeed in expelling the terrorists.

He emphasized the necessity of peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria with no foreign interference, stressing the importance of Syria to remain a democratic and secular state.

Karat strongly denounced the terrorist acts perpetrated by the armed terrorist groups in Syria.

For his part, the Syrian Ambassador thanked the Indian people and the Communist Party of India for their honorable stance in support of the political solution in Syria and discarding terrorist attacks against the Syrian people.



Latest News Syria: Aleppo


Western backed terrorism in Alleppo

Army units on Friday destroyed terrorists' hideouts and gatherings in the areas of Taldo, Taldahab, Kiseen, al-Rastan, Sa'en, Talbiseh, al-Za'faraniyeh, Deirfoul, al-Amriyeh and Eyon Hussein in teh countryside of Homs, eliminating scores of terrorists in the process.

In Homs city, an official source told SANA that the army clashed with armed terrorist groups in the areas of Bab Hood, Bab al-Turkman, al-Qusour, al-Qarabis, al-Warsha and al-Hamidiyeh, killing scores of the terrorists and destroying their weaponry and ammunition.

Meanwhile, an army unit clashed with terrorists who tried to infiltrate into al-Qusour neighborhood and killed the majority of them.

A military source said an army unit ambushed an armed terrorist group driving a car loaded with weapons and with a heavy machine gun mounted on it between the villages of al-Hadath and Hawarin in the countryside.

The operation resulted in killing many terrorists and seizing large amounts of weapons and ammunition.

Terrorists infiltrating from Lebanon repelled

Late Thursday, the army units foiled an attempt by groups of terrorists to infiltrate into Talkalakh area in Homs from the Lebanese lands through the sites of Ezeir, al-Mathoumeh and Wadi al-Atshan, killing and injuring scores of the terrorists and forcing the rest to flee back into Lebanon.

Army eliminates terrorists in Aleppo

The army seized large amounts of weapons and ammunition in several areas in Aleppo and its countryside and killed scores of terrorists.

A military source told SANA that the army clashed with terrorists who tried to infiltrate into the old city of Aleppo and the areas of al-Rashideen, Salah Eddin, al-Sakhour and al-Sheikh Khudr and eliminated most of them.

The army also eliminated the members of an armed terrorist group that tried to infiltrate into Hanano barracks and destroyed their weapons.

In Aleppo countryside, the army units targeted two vehicles loaded with weapons and ammunition in Kifr Hamra area in Aleppo north western countryside.

Heavy and medium machineguns were destroyed and scores of terrorists were killed in the areas of al-Ziyara, Hreitan, al-Kastillo, al-Jamajima, Rasm al-Abboud and Khan al-Assal.

The army also clashed with terrorists who were committing murder and looting acts on al-Mislmyeh road and killed all of them.

Meanwhile, the army foiled an attempt by a terrorist group to infiltrate into al-Lairamon area and killed all of its members.

M. Nassr/H. Said



Intellectual Property: Velvet Underground v. Andy Warhol