19-12-12

NATO's war on Syria: Google

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Google is censoring the news of Syria. 

That's not coming as a surprise.

Photo: Barack Obama speaking at Google HQ in 2007

18-12-12

NATO News: German pilots in Israel - German troops in Turkey

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Germany: two Patriot missile batteries and 400 troops in Turkey

German MPs of the lower house of parliament voted 461-86 on Friday, December 14, 2012, to approve the deployment of two Patriot missile batteries and 400 troops in Turkey along the Syrian border, Reuters reported.

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'Ein Shemer Air Base - History's Twist: German Pilots Seek Jewish Help'

As World War Two raged in the years before Israel’s founding, colonial British planes were scrambled here to fend off German forces. Now the German Luftwaffe is back, preparing for a far more remote fight with the modern equipment and expertise of the Jewish state established after the Nazi Holocaust.

Worried by insurgent ambushes on its soldiers in Afghanistan and return fire that sometimes kills civilians or local allies, Germany last year ordered a small fleet of Israeli Heron spy drones designed to provide real-time images above a battlefield.

That has brought German jet pilots to coastal Ein Shemer air base for accelerated retraining on the unmanned propeller planes, already daubed with their flag and Iron Cross emblem.

“It’s for the need of the ground troops, for our own protection, like convoy protection,” said a Luftwaffe (airforce) major, who formerly flew a Tornado fighter-bomber on Afghan reconnaissance missions and could not be named due to military secrecy.

“In Afghanistan it’s really hard to compare the good guys from the bad guys. So you have to surveil them a long time.”

Israel is a pioneer of combat drones, having deployed them in Lebanon in the Palestinian territories. Heron’s manufacturer, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), says it is also used by Canadian, French and Australian forces in Afghanistan.

Yet the fact Israeli know-how may now be saving German military lives offers up a unique historical irony lost on none.

The Defence Ministry in Berlin declined to allow the Luftwaffe trainees to be interviewed about such symbolism, but one of them described how they took time off to visit the central Holocaust memorial at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. Dressed in civilian clothes while in Israel, trainees on an earlier course stood at attention for annual commemorations in April of the six million Jews killed in the Nazi genocide.

JEWISH PRIDE

“As a Jew, I felt very proud at this specific moment,” said Tomer Koriat, deputy director of the IAI training programme, who praised the Germans’ mastery of the Heron within intensive courses lasting just three-and-a-half weeks.

“All of us have learned that today we are talking about another Germany than what we used to know ... A very, very good friend, if not the best friend of Israel today in the world.”

Germany has become a key ally of Israel despite Berlin’s criticism of its Palestinian policies.

While the United States regularly conducts drone air strikes in Afghanistan and on suspected insurgent bases in neighbouring Pakistan, its allies are generally limited to using the planes for unarmed surveillance.

This is especially true for Germany. Although it has the third-biggest NATO Afghan contingent—some 4,300 personnel—it often appears uncomfortable with being involved in hostilities while World War Two is still a living memory.

“We’re kept to ‘recce’ (reconnaissance) missions only. We’re the good guys,” joked another Luftwaffe major at Ein Shemer.

He recalled how, flying a Heron on a hunt for IAI staff posing as Taliban guerrillas in the surrounding cotton fields, the high-resolution camera spotted two boys in a fistfight. “I couldn’t do anything to stop it, so I just pulled away.”

Each Heron costs about $10 million, depending on the sophistication of its equipment and the ground control booth. In a boon for spartan Afghan crews, the drone is designed to land and take off automatically.

Israelis are barred by Afghanistan, so IAI ceded maintenance services to German partner firm Rheinmetall Defence.

The former Tornado pilot spoke wistfully of his time in the clouds but said being grounded to fly Herons is just as vital.

“All of the time you have to be really certain what you do, because it has a real effect,” he said. “It’s not like a computer game - ‘Game Over’.”

http://www.vosizneias.com/60926/2010/07/27/60926/

17-12-12

NATO Brussels: Secretary General thanks Belgium 'for its contribution'

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'Secretary General thanks Belgium for its contribution as a reliable Ally'

Brussels, 17 Dec. 2012

The NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen congratulated Belgium for its important role in NATO-led operations during a meeting with the Belgian Prime Minister Elio di Rupo and Defence Minister Pieter De Crem.

"Your soldiers and trainers in Kabul and Kunduz do an outstanding job.  Your jet fighters provide necessary air cover for ISAF troops in Kandahar, “ Mr Fogh Rasmusssen said.  “Their work makes a valuable contribution to our goa, to make sure that Afghan troops and police can take full charge of their country’s security by the end of 2014. And due to their courage and dedication, we are making steady progress." The NATO Secretary General also thanked Belgium for its  commitment to Afghanistan after 2014.

Mr Fogh Rasmussen welcomed Belgium’s recent decision to deploy fighter jets on a new four-month air policing mission over Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia next September. This is the third time that Belgium is taking up such a mission as part of an Allied rotation.  The Secretary General stressed that overall, Belgium’s contributions are even more valuable as they are made in difficult economic times, when Allies have to spend more effectively together. He said that Belgium is playing an important role in multinational projects including NATO’s AWACS surveillance aircraft, and highlighted the country’s cooperation with the Netherlands and Luxembourg, calling it “Smart Defence in action.”

Mr Fogh Rasmussen thanked the Belgian Prime Minister for his country’s commitment to NATO and for its great hospitality for NATO’s Headquarters, present and future.

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-DB50AC09-5EE4E49B/natolive/news_93149.htm

Photo: NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Belgian Prime Minister, Mr. Elio Di Rupo jointly meet the press at the Lambermont building.

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Belgian jihadists and weapons made in Belgium

Meanwhile, the Belgian State Security "has not confirmed" the rumor that Belgian jihadists are fighting in Syria. The newspapers 'Het Belang van Limburg' and 'Gazet van Antwerpen' argued the opposite: "The State Security confirmed the presence of Belgian terrorists in Syria".  Originally the Flemish newspapers relied on a report by Reuters, dated July 31th 2012, citing statements from "several rebel commanders in the north-west Syria," according to which "Muslims in Great Britain, Belgium and the United States had joined the Free Syrian Army (SLA)". On July 13th, Reuters pointed out a flood "of thousands of assault rifles Belgian FN FAL was in the hands of the rebels".  In its annual reports, the Belgian State Security explains how and why she follows people attracted by fighting abroad: there was attention for Iraq, then, from 2010, to the movement towards Pakistan-Afghanistan border area; Finally, most recently, to new locations: "If the Afghan-Pakistan area, more than Iraq, was still popular in 2010 with the majority of volunteers for jihad", the Belgian State Security wrote in his latest report, "some of them began to plot their way to Yemen, Somalia and the Caucasus". And Syria now? "Obviously. Where they are beaten, those who return and who actually participated in the fighting have gained knowledge on how to handle weapons, strategy and tactics of war," noted the Belgian State Security yesterday. "This is the central reason for the Belgian concern".  

A list of the top 24 countries, among the more than three dozen that are currently involved in sending weapons to Syria to achieve a puppet government include: USA, Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, UK, France, Canada, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Brazil, Portugal, Poland, Yugoslavia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, and Argentina.

Nearly two-thirds of the above listed arms suppliers are members of NATO and constitute almost half of NATO’s 28 country membership.

Belgian Senator Nele Lijnen said that she intends to launch a discussion at the Belgian Senate regarding the fact that the terrorists in Syria possess weapons made in Belgium. 

Photo: Victims of NATO backed bomb-attacks in Syria

Expo 'Colors of Macadam', Macadam gallery, Brussels

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7.12.12 - 6.02.2013

Chloé Coomans

Fabrizio La Torre

Jean Francois Meur

Serge Gutwirth

Damien Gard

Luis Polet

Jean Pierre De Neef

Ian Dykmans

Cédric Leboutte

Sebastian Calvez

Macadam Gallery: 30, Rue de Rome, 1060 Bruxelles

NATO: Israeli drones repainted in colors of Germany

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“Herons” repainted in the colors of Germany

The drones (unmanned aircraft) used by NATO to bomb Afghanistan, Pakistan and Libya are designed by Israel. The Israelis are denied entry into Afghanistan, but nevertheless, the Israeli drones provide ‘security’ for the coalition in Afghanistan. Israeli drones are used by Canada, France, Australia and Germany in Afghanistan. Today, Israeli specialists are on the air base at Ein Shemer for training the flight of “Herons” repainted in the colors of Germany. Many of Israeli military products are standard NATO-compatible.

German MPs of the lower house of parliament voted 461-86 on Friday, December 14, 2012, to approve the deployment of two Patriot missile batteries and 400 troops in Turkey along the Syrian border, Reuters reported.

Picture: NATO-bombings of Yugoslavia (24.3.1999- 19.4.1999)

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'Secretary General thanks Belgium for its contribution as a reliable Ally':

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-DB50AC09-5EE4E49B/natolive/news_93149.htm

06-12-12

Brussels: NATO

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http://www.nato-pa.int/default.asp

Bombed by NATO: Serbia

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19:55 Gepost in Brussels, NATO | Permalink | Commentaren (0)