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April 16, 2013

James Corbett: When False Flags Don’t Fly


Why I predict a Flaming June for the Arab World

Sources close to Arab and Gulf decision-makers suggest that serious – maybe even critical – developments in Syria, are likely in June.


While there are no specific details as yet, several indicators give credibility to the chatter.

First of all, British army scientists have found evidence of chemical weapons used during the two-year Syrian conflict. The Ministry of Defence says that soil samples taken near Damascus have proven the use of chemical weapons, although nobody has directly implicated either the regime or the opposition.

Then, CNN has revealed that the US administration will revive plans to intervene militarily in Syria, in response to pressure from both Democrats and Republicans in Congress.

Further, Military training and exercises for Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces in Jordan and Turkey by US and British special forces, under the supervision of the CIA, will end in mid-May.

Next, the moratorium on the European Union’s decision to impose an arms embargo on the Syrian opposition will end early on in June, paving the way for free and independent action from both Britain and France. They could well provide the opposition with modern arms and equipment, including heavy armour and anti-aircraft missiles.

And finally, the aggravated dispute between Syrian authorities and the UN about international investigations into chemical weapons continues.

British Defence Ministry leaks about soil samples taken from Damascus must come as part of some bigger plan.

It is reminiscent of another incident when British intelligence officials sent British-Iranian journalist Farzat Bazoft to Baghdad to take soil samples near chemical plants. A British laboratory supposedly found traces of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) close by.

This helped justify the US-British invasion of Iraq.

Six months ago, US President Barack Obama issued a stern warning to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, claiming that any use of chemical weapons would precipitate an international response.

It’s no coincidence that the G8 summit in London last week repeated the same statement.

What we are about to witness is a repeat of events used to justify economic sanctions on Iraq – and then invasion – after a chemical weapons attacked killed 5,000 civilians in the Kurdish town of Halabja. The West blamed Iraq for the tragedy.

The question remains: Is future military action, which could mean no-fly zones or arming the opposition, designed to lure Iran into the conflict; or will it come in the form of a joint US, Israeli and Arab war on Iran and Syria at the same time?

Israeli reports warn that Iran could become a nuclear state before the end of the year. This means that US and Israel have just a few months to halt a dangerous and strategic shift in the region.

What changes things in this case – and could turn everything upside down – is that when Saddam Hussein’s regime faced blockade and war, he was alone and without allies.Under Gorbachev, Russia was bankrupt and China was preoccupied with its own economic development.

Today, the Assad regime has the support of Russia, Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the BRICS countries (Brazil, China, India and South Africa).

June is one of our hottest months. It’s ironic that it begins 40 days before the holy month of Ramadan this year.

I wouldn’t be surprised, and can’t rule it out, if this June becomes one of the most incendiary months in the history of the Arabs.



Life of a Yemeni prisoner at Guantanamo Bay

Dev­as­tat­ing piece in the New York Times that needs no ex­pla­na­tion:


One man here weighs just 77 pounds. An­other, 98. Last thing I knew, I weighed 132, but that was a month ago.

I’ve been on a hunger strike since Feb. 10 and have lost well over 30 pounds. I will not eat until they re­store my dig­nity.

I’ve been de­tained at Guantánamo for 11 years and three months. I have never been charged with any crime. I have never re­ceived a trial.

I could have been home years ago — no one se­ri­ously thinks I am a threat — but still I am here. Years ago the mil­i­tary said I was a “guard” for Osama bin Laden, but this was non­sense, like some­thing out of the Amer­i­can movies I used to watch. They don’t even seem to be­lieve it any­more. But they don’t seem to care how long I sit here, ei­ther.

When I was at home in Yemen, in 2000, a child­hood friend told me that in Afghanistan I could do bet­ter than the $50 a month I earned in a fac­tory, and sup­port my fam­ily. I’d never re­ally trav­eled, and knew noth­ing about Afghanistan, but I gave it a try.

I was wrong to trust him. There was no work. I wanted to leave, but had no money to fly home. After the Amer­i­can in­va­sion in 2001, I fled to Pak­istan like every­one else. The Pak­ista­nis ar­rested me when I asked to see some­one from the Yemeni Em­bassy. I was then sent to Kan­da­har, and put on the first plane to Gitmo.

Last month, on March 15, I was sick in the prison hos­pi­tal and re­fused to be fed. A team from the E.R.F. (Ex­treme Re­ac­tion Force), a squad of eight mil­i­tary po­lice of­fi­cers in riot gear, burst in. They tied my hands and feet to the bed. They forcibly in­serted an IV into my hand. I spent 26 hours in this state, tied to the bed. Dur­ing this time I was not per­mit­ted to go to the toi­let. They in­serted a catheter, which was painful, de­grad­ing and un­nec­es­sary. I was not even per­mit­ted to pray.

I will never for­get the first time they passed the feed­ing tube up my nose. I can’t de­scribe how painful it is to be force-fed this way. As it was thrust in, it made me feel like throw­ing up. I wanted to vomit, but I couldn’t. There was agony in my chest, throat and stom­ach. I had never ex­pe­ri­enced such pain be­fore. I would not wish this cruel pun­ish­ment upon any­one.

I am still being force-fed. Two times a day they tie me to a chair in my cell. My arms, legs and head are strapped down. I never know when they will come. Some­times they come dur­ing the night, as late as 11 p.m., when I’m sleep­ing.

There are so many of us on hunger strike now that there aren’t enough qual­i­fied med­ical staff mem­bers to carry out the force-feed­ings; noth­ing is hap­pen­ing at reg­u­lar in­ter­vals. They are feed­ing peo­ple around the clock just to keep up.

Dur­ing one force-feed­ing the nurse pushed the tube about 18 inches into my stom­ach, hurt­ing me more than usual, be­cause she was doing things so hastily. I called the in­ter­preter to ask the doc­tor if the pro­ce­dure was being done cor­rectly or not.

It was so painful that I begged them to stop feed­ing me. The nurse re­fused to stop feed­ing me. As they were fin­ish­ing, some of the “food” spilled on my clothes. I asked them to change my clothes, but the guard re­fused to allow me to hold on to this last shred of my dig­nity.

When they come to force me into the chair, if I refuse to be tied up, they call the E.R.F. team. So I have a choice. Ei­ther I can ex­er­cise my right to protest my de­ten­tion, and be beaten up, or I can sub­mit to painful force-feed­ing.

The only rea­son I am still here is that Pres­i­dent Obama re­fuses to send any de­tainees back to Yemen. This makes no sense. I am a human being, not a pass­port, and I de­serve to be treated like one.

I do not want to die here, but until Pres­i­dent Obama and Yemen’s pres­i­dent do some­thing, that is what I risk every day.

Where is my gov­ern­ment? I will sub­mit to any “se­cu­rity mea­sures” they want in order to go home, even though they are to­tally un­nec­es­sary.

I will agree to what­ever it takes in order to be free. I am now 35. All I want is to see my fam­ily again and to start a fam­ily of my own.

The sit­u­a­tion is des­per­ate now. All of the de­tainees here are suf­fer­ing deeply. At least 40 peo­ple here are on a hunger strike. Peo­ple are faint­ing with ex­haus­tion every day. I have vom­ited blood.

And there is no end in sight to our im­pris­on­ment. Deny­ing our­selves food and risk­ing death every day is the choice we have made.

I just hope that be­cause of the pain we are suf­fer­ing, the eyes of the world will once again look to Guantánamo be­fore it is too late.

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