• CIA Defends Selective Disclosure to Reporters |

    Adam Johnson du site #FAIR a porté plainte contre la #CIA pour sa pratique (bien connue et reconnue) de #divulgation sélective (à certains journalistes MSM- toujours les mêmes) d’informations secrètes.

    La défense de la CIA :

    “The Court’s supposition that a limited disclosure of information to three journalists necessarily equates to a disclosure to the public at large is legally and factually mistaken,” the CIA response stated. “The record demonstrates beyond dispute that the classified and statutorily protected information withheld from the emails has not entered the public domain. For these reasons, the limited disclosures here did not effect any waiver of FOIA’s exemptions.”

    A reply from plaintiff Adam Johnson is due March 1.

  • Muslim stereotyping in pop culture is worse than ever | McClatchy DC

    The first academic paper Shaheen wrote on the subject languished, unpublished, for three years. His first book manuscript racked up dozens of rejection letters. Smear campaigns in academic circles painted him as a propagandist. And the work was lonely – nobody else cared about how Rudolf Valentino launched the stereotype of the swarthy, desert-dwelling predator with his 1921 film “The Sheik.”

    Still, Shaheen pressed on in what became a lifelong mission to expose what he considers racist and dangerous distortions of Arabs and Muslims. Over the past 40 years, he’s addressed the topic in three books, in a documentary, on two Hollywood film sets and in countless news interviews.

    And yet Shaheen paused when he received an invitation to speak last month about media depictions of Muslims before a small gathering on Hilton Head Island, the picturesque beachfront community in South Carolina where he lives with his wife, Bernice. He eventually accepted, but for the first time in his four-decade campaign, he considered saying no.

    “I just turned 80 and I didn’t want to have to confront all this bigotry,” Shaheen said by telephone from the island. “I’ve never had anxiety speaking about this issue. I’ve never felt this way before. That’s how strong this bigotry is. There was prejudice before, yeah, but this is bigotry.”

    In all his years of research, Shaheen said, he’s never seen anti-Muslim prejudices this intense, including in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. The current hostility toward Arabs and Muslims, he said, is reflected in and reinforced by on-screen portrayals that haven’t evolved much over the years.

  • New allies in northern Syria don’t seem to share U.S. goals | McClatchy DC

    Welcoming visitors in his vast reception room, Sheikh Humaydi says his goal is to lead a Shammar tribal uprising against the Islamic State “to liberate Syria, Iraq and beyond.” But he also wants to carry on a 2-century-old struggle against conservative Wahabi Islam, which he said destroyed the last Shammar emirate, and he favors the breakup of Saudi Arabia, where the puritanical sect dominates. “We are already working on that,” he said.


  • Tarkhan Batirashvili : entraîné par les Etats-Unis, formé en Arabie saoudite, il est devenu un des chefs les plus redoutés de l’Etat islamique…

    Un rapport explosif rédigé par l’agence de presse McClatchy d’après des sources très sérieuses vient de confirmer ce que beaucoup dénonçaient depuis longtemps déjà : l’implication de la coalition américaine « anti-Etat islamique » dans l’ascension de...

  • Rebels in northern Syria say U.S. has stopped paying them

    The United States has stopped paying most of the pro-western rebels fighting in northern Syria and has suspended the delivery of arms to them, rebel commanders told McClatchy Tuesday.

    A top civilian coordinator for rebel forces estimated that the cutoff affects 8,000 of the estimated 10,000 fighters in Idlib and Hama provinces, where the so-called moderate rebels face a severe challenge from the Nusra Front, al Qaida’s affiliate in Syria.

    Commanders said CIA operatives told them the cutoff was the U.S. response to the Nusra gains, which have included the seizure of U.S.-supplied weapons from moderate rebel forces in recent weeks.

    Je me demande bien pourquoi c’est écrit « the so-called moderate rebels »… Note que, côté motivation, le gars est d’une franchise déconcertante :

    The commanders predicted the cutoff will only strengthen Nusra as fighters desperate to feed their families join Nusra or the Islamic State.

    Individual fighters were receiving $150 a month, the commander said.

    Au passage, il semble banal désormais d’affirmer que les États-Unis payaient directement les salaires de milliers de combattants en Syrie.

  • (Lire absolument.) Former al Qaida hostage recounts nightmare – of dealing with FBI

    The only thing as bad as being tortured for months as a captive of jihadists in Syria was dealing with the U.S. government afterward, according to one former American hostage.

    Matt Schrier, 36, a freelance photographer held by extremists for seven months in 2013 until he escaped, has told McClatchy that the bureaucracy he endured upon his return home was a second kind of nightmare following the months of abuse he suffered while he was a hostage.

    “I never thought it would get this bad,” Schrier said.

  • WASHINGTON: White House withholds thousands of documents from Senate #CIA probe, despite vows of help | National Security & Defense | McClatchy DC

    WASHINGTON — The White House has been withholding for five years more than 9,000 top-secret documents sought by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for its investigation into the now-defunct CIA detention and interrogation program, even though President Barack Obama hasn’t exercised a claim of executive privilege.

    In contrast to public assertions that it supports the committee’s work, the White House has ignored or rejected offers in multiple meetings and in letters to find ways for the committee to review the records, a McClatchy investigation has found.

    The significance of the materials couldn’t be learned. But the administration’s refusal to turn them over or to agree to any compromise raises questions about what they would reveal about the CIA’s use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists in secret overseas prisons.

    The dispute indicates that the White House is more involved than it has acknowledged in the unprecedented power struggle between the committee and the CIA, which has triggered charges that the agency searched the panel’s computers without authorization and has led to requests to the Justice Department for criminal investigations of CIA personnel and Senate aides.

    “These documents certainly raise the specter that the White House has been involved in stonewalling the investigation,” said Elizabeth Goitein, the co-director of the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program at the New York University Law School.


  • WASHINGTON: #Yarmouk update: Nusra’s apparent return complicates UNRWA’s hopes for food program | World Watch | McClatchy DC

    Every day since [Feb. 27] apparently there has been fighting in the northern part of the district. The peace agreement apparently has fallen apart. Nusra, according to some reports, has returned to the area, and pro-government forces are apparently fighting to prevent them from re-establishing themselves.

    One can only speculate about why Nusra came back. Maybe its leaders realized that their pullout could be seen as a victory for the government. Maybe they simply couldn’t give up an area that is strategic to the control of southern Damascus. But whatever the reason, Nusra has returned, and the optimism that life could return to normal in Yarmouk appears to have vanished.

    • Al-Nusra siege of Yarmouk camp blocks aid to thousands of Syrians

      Al-Qaeda affiliated rebels in Syria have taken control of Yarmouk camp, ceasing the flow of aid to tens of thousands of civilians who are trapped and living in desperate conditions.
      Jabhat al-Nusra, a rebel group that swears its loyalty to al-Qaeda, has seized checkpoints inside primarily Palestinian neighbourhood of Damascus, ending a fragile ceasefire that was being negotiated by the regime and the opposition, residents of Yarmouk said.
      “A small number of people had started to be allowed out of Yarmouk under the agreement,” said Ziad, a resident from Yarmouk who spoke under the condition his name be changed. “Now al-Nusra has stormed the camp and taken over the checkpoints inside and the agreement is finished.”

  • Senate intelligence panel could seek to declassify documents; it just doesn’t | McClatchy

    Outspoken members of the Senate Intelligence Committee have said frequently that they wanted to warn the public about the National Security Agency’s sweeping collection of telephone records but the program’s highly classified nature prevented them from making public reference to the programs.

    That, however, is not the full story. Buried in the pages of Senate Resolution 400, which established the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in 1976, is a provision that allows them to try. Across those nearly 40 years, it’s never been used.

    The committee’s failure to make use of the provision even once, critics say, underscores a problem with congressional oversight: Congress has proved unwilling to openly question the intelligence agencies’ claims that something must remain secret.

  • Al Qaida groups lead Syrian rebels’ seizure of air base in sign they continue to dominate anti-Assad forces | McClatchy

    Those rebels included multiple units affiliated with the Syrian Military Council, an umbrella group with U.S. backing. That poses an uncomfortable pairing of a group supported by U.S. resources with Islamist organizations Washington has labeled as terrorist.

    The Syrian Opposition Coalition, the political component of the SMC, announced that the airbase had been “liberated’ by a mixture of nine rebel groups. They included the al Qaida-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, or ISIS, and its Syrian sister organization, the Nusra Front.

  • With #Snowden now free in Russia, U.S. has few options | McClatchy

    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the United States has a “broad and important relationship with Russia,” which includes cooperation along with “disagreement and conflict.” He noted that Obama had said he didn’t want Snowden to be an issue in the relationship “because of its breadth and importance.”

    The message was the same at the State Department, where spokeswoman Marie Harf predicted no big break in relations with Moscow over the Snowden affair, which she painted as separate from Syria, missile defense and other areas on which the U.S. needs Russian cooperation.

  • 4 decades after war ended, Agent Orange still ravaging Vietnamese | McClatchy

    To this day, dioxin continues to poison the land and the people. The United States has never accepted responsibility for these victims – it denies that Agent Orange is responsible for diseases among Vietnamese that are accepted as Agent Orange-caused among American veterans – and it’s unclear when this chain of misery will end.


    U.S. aid for these people so far has amounted to a pittance. According to the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, only $11 million of the $61.4 million that Congress has allocated since 2007 – a year after then-President George W. Bush pledged to help clean up contaminated areas – has been earmarked for public health programs in Vietnam.

    U.S. officials caution that the money is to help people with disabilities “regardless of cause,” and isn’t specifically for Agent Orange victims. This semantic sleight of hand outrages many American veterans of the war, who say the United States has a moral obligation to help Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange, just as sick and dying U.S. veterans have received government help for the last two decades.

    “There’s a hypocrisy there,” says Chuck Searcy, who served in Vietnam as an intelligence analyst during the war and has lived in Hanoi since 1998, heading up a project to clear battlefields of unexploded ordnance, which also continues to kill and maim Vietnamese. “It’s a glaring disconnect, and it’s embarrassing because the whole world can see it.”


    Hoping to emulate a case that resulted in a 1984 settlement requiring Dow Chemical, the Monsanto Corp. and other Agent Orange manufacturers to pay $197 million in damages to sick U.S. veterans, a group of Vietnamese victims sued in 2004, only to have the same federal judge dismiss their case a year later, saying the companies were immune because they were following government orders. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case in 2009.


    • Obama interpelle le président vietnamien sur les libertés-

      Le président des Etats-Unis Barack Obama a interpellé jeudi son homologue vietnamien Truong Tan Sang au sujet du respect des libertés de culte et d’expression, en le recevant à la Maison Blanche.


      M. Obama a aussi fait allusion à la guerre du Vietnam, plus de 50 ans après l’arrivée des premiers « conseillers » américains dans l’ancienne colonie française, et 38 ans après la chute de Saïgon.

      « Nous avons à l’esprit l’histoire très complexe que partagent les Etats-Unis et le Vietnam, mais peu à peu, nous avons été capables d’établir un respect et une confiance mutuels », a affirmé le dirigeant américain, en parlant de « partenariat d’ampleur entre les deux pays ».

      Alors que le Vietnam participe aux négociations sur le « Partenariat transpacifique » (TPP), vaste projet de libre-échange soutenu par les Etats-Unis, M. Obama a répété son ambition de voir cet accord « conclu d’ici à la fin de l’année, car nous savons qu’il peut créer des emplois et faire croître les investissements dans toute la région et nos deux pays ».

  • Birth defects linked to bad water in California’s San Joaquin Valley | McClatchy

    The study from Texas A&M was published last month in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives, making the strongest case to date about nitrates and birth defects.

    #santé #eau #nitrates #malformations_néo-natales

  • Napolitano leaving Homeland Security to head University of California | McClatchy

    Though she’s not an academic and “some may consider her to be an unconventional choice,” Sherry Lansing, a University of California regent, called her “without a doubt the right person at the right time to lead this incredible university.”

  • U.S. resists pressure to offer a new nuclear deal to Iran | McClatchy

    A chorus of voices, including two former nuclear advisers to President Barack Obama, has urged the White House to make an offer to rekindle talks to avoid squandering a rare opportunity for progress. The White House has threatened to consider military options if it can’t find a diplomatic way to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability.

    The experts and diplomats are urging the administration to press for direct U.S.-Iranian talks, rather than a return to the previous six-nation talks. They also urge the White House to offer Iran a more comprehensive deal than the sort of short-term proposals that have been discussed in recent years.

    Some contend that the U.S. should offer Iran relief from crushing economic sanctions now in place, in hope of providing an incentive for it to cooperate in curbing its nuclear program.

  • 6 Unbelievable Ways the Big Banks Are Scamming You | Alternet

    1. Falsifying Paperwork, Blitzing, Lying About Payments to Force Homeowners Into Foreclosure


    2. Bank Protection “Service” Puts Consumers at “Greater Risk Of Harm”

    Last week a report from the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) found that the big banks are still scamming their customers with ridiculous fees that are hugely profitable for the big banks.


    According to a McClatchy News report on a call with CFPB director Richard Cordray to discuss the report, Cordray said, "What is marketed as overdraft protection can, in some instances, put consumers at greater risk of harm.”

    How much risk? People who are “heavy overdrafters” but still opt out of this service save on average more than $900 a year. But it isn’t just heavy overdrafters who are saving. According to the CFPB report “… the reduction in fees for those who did not opt in was $347 greater, on average, than for those who did opt in.” People who opt in are also more likely to lose their bank accounts, with the bank “involuntarily” closing it. 

    Banks have made $32 billion from these fees. So maybe this isn’t about providing a “protection” to consumers at all. As NPR puts it, “Overdraft and non-sufficient funds fees accounted for 61 percent of total consumer deposit account service charges in 2011 among the banks in the CFPB report.”

    3. Transaction Ordering

    Not only do customers who opt-in pay more for this “protection service,” but the banks are still scamming them by causing the overdrafts that generate these fees. The CFPB report says that some banks still use “transaction ordering” to cheat customers out of additional fees. These banks post checks or debit transactions from large to small to trigger these fees. In other words if you write several small checks (or make debit card transactions) and then a big one that overdraws your account, they credit the large one first so each of the smaller transactions causes its own fee to be charged, even though those transactions occurred before the account ran out of money.

    From the report, “The earlier in a sequence that an account becomes negative, the more overdraft or NSF transactions may occur.”

    4. Forced Arbitration

    Another big-bank scam on consumers is “forced arbitration” clauses in bank account, credit card, mortgage and other financial-service agreements. Forced arbitration clauses – also called mandatory arbitration or binding arbitration – require you to give up your legal right to take a big bank to court if it cheats or harms you. And if you don’t agree (which requires reading the entire agreement) you can’t get the account.

    They way this works is that instead of being able to pursue your legal rights, you have to take your complaint to an arbitrator, and then must accept the arbitrator’s decision. The catch is that the bank gets to pick the arbitrator, and the arbitrators naturally know they’ll never work in this town again if they ever rule against the banks. So there is an inherent conflict of interest working in favor of these companies.

    How is that conflict of interest working out for us? A 2007 Public Citizen report revealed that arbitrators working for the National Arbitration Forum (NAF) had ruled against consumers 94 percent of the time.

    In another blow to the big banks, the CFPB is beginning to take steps to reign in forced arbitration clauses in consumer financial contracts.

    The five-year-old Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act authorizes the CFPB and the Securities and Exchange Commission to regulate mandatory arbitration. The SEC is resisting implementing their part of this law, but the CFPB is conducting a survey to determine consumer awareness of forced arbitration clauses in credit card agreements. On its blog, the CFPB said the study will “explore consumer awareness of dispute resolution terms in credit card agreements. The survey will gather information about consumers’ perceptions, preferences, and assumptions related to arbitration proceedings.”

    5. Marketing Refinancing That Costs People

    Thom Hartmann has exposed yet another banker scheme. This time banks are marketing a mortgage refinancing that promises annual savings of more than $4,000. But the scheme really just adds more than $37,000 to the cost of a loan.

    Basically, the mailer focuses on lowering monthly mortgage payments, while neglecting to mention that the borrower would end up paying a higher overall interest rate, and would be adding 10 more years to the overall length of their loan. Hartmann writes,

    Back in November of 2012, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sent warning letters to around a dozen of America’s largest mortgage lenders and brokers, advising them to “clean up” potentially misleading advertisements, especially those targeting veterans and older Americans.

    At the time of the CFPB’s announcement, CFPB director Richard Cordray said that, “Misrepresentations in mortgage products can deprive consumers of important information while making one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives.”

    And, as we also know, deceptive mortgage advertisements like this can cause consumers to bite off more than they can chew, ultimately leading to a nationwide financial meltdown.

    6. Banks Trying To Kill the CFPB

    Over the years, scam after scam is exposed, and nothing has been done about it. But there is a new cop on the beat, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB’s job is to police the big banks, and protect financial consumers. Of course the big banks are trying to head this agency off at the pass.

    The Republican Party and its conservative infrastructure have basically been contracted by Wall Street’s big banks to obstruct and even kill this agency. Senate Republicans have been blocking the confirmation and are still trying to obstruct the nominee to head up the agency. Republicans have been filibustering the nomination of Richard Cordray to be its director and even vowing to filibuster to keep any nominee from being confirmed to head the agency. President Obama finally made a recess appointment of Cordray in January 2012. But this recess appointment runs out at the end of the year with no end to Republican obstruction in sight.

    Republicans are also trying to defund the agency. Republicans and the (billionaire, Wall Street, oil and tobacco-financed) conservative movement have also launched a propaganda campaign against the agency. (...)

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren – the person most credited with the creation of the CFPB – spoke at a Senate hearing on the CFPB last March on the role of the CFPB and Republican obstruction of the agency:

    “I see nothing here but a filibuster threat against Director Cordray as an attempt to weaken the consumer agency,” Warren said. “I think the delay in getting him confirmed is bad for consumers, it’s bad for small banks, bad for credit unions, for anyone trying to offer an honest product in an honest market.”


    Don’t expect much to change until we have a government that is willing to take on these financial giants. As long as we keep seeing “settlements” with these giants instead of prosecutions, and as long as we allow big money to buy influence over our government, nothing will change .

    #banksters #corruption_légale #impunité

  • No money in Pakistan budget for Iranian gas pipeline U.S. opposed | McClatchy

    Analysts also said Sharif could forgo the Iranian pipeline because of the prime minister’s good relations with Saudi Arabia. Sharif spent six years in exile in the Persian Gulf kingdom as part of a deal for his release from jail in Pakistan negotiated by the Saudi royal family, after he was overthrown in a military coup staged by Gen. Pervez Musharraf in October 1999.

  • Turkish PM changes park plans, Istanbul protests likely to continue | McClatchy

    Erdogan renonce à construire un centre commercial mais veut quand même raser le parc.

    ... Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Friday abandoned his plan to build a new shopping mall on one of the few green patches in central Istanbul, but he insisted on razing the park nevertheless, a mixed signal that could prolong week-long protests here and in other cities.

    Avec un passage intéressant,

    Also Friday, Erdogan got a sampling of the EU’s practice of lecturing European countries on international human rights standards.

    “Before speaking about our common future, we should speak about the present,” said Stefan Fule, a Czech diplomat who serves as EU commissioner for enlargement. He said it is the duty of all states to aspire to the “highest possible democratic standards and practices,” including the freedom to express opinions, to assemble peacefully, and the freedom of the media to report “on what is happening as it is happening.”

    He said: “There is no place for police brutality in democracies.”

    Erdogan retorted that the EU has its own human rights issues, and he mentioned that they include discrimination against ethnic groups such as the Roma, or gypsies, Associated Press reported.

  • U.S. publishes details of missile base Israel wanted kept secret | McClatchy

    Israel’s military fumed Monday over the discovery that the U.S. government had revealed details of a top-secret Israeli military installation in published bid requests.

    The Obama administration had promised to build Israel a state-of-the-art facility to house a new ballistic-missile defense system, the Arrow 3. As with all Defense Department projects, detailed specifications were made public so that contractors could bid on the $25 million project. The specifications included more than 1,000 pages of details on the facility, ranging from the heating and cooling systems to the thickness of the walls.

    “If an enemy of Israel wanted to launch an attack against a facility, this would give him an easy how-to guide. This type of information is closely guarded and its release can jeopardize the entire facility,” said an Israeli military official who commented on the publication of the proposal but declined to be named because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the facility. He declined to say whether plans for the facility have been altered as a result of the disclosure.

    “This is more than worrying, it is shocking,” he said.

  • Analysts : Foreign militant Islamists streaming into Syria to face Hezbollah | McClatchy

    Enfin, quand on lit l’article il ne s’agirait pas que de combattre le Hezbollah mais tous ceux qui ne partagent pas leurs vues, y compris au sein de l’"ASL".

    Foreign Islamist extremists are streaming into Syria, apparently in response to the Shiite militant group Hezbollah’s more visible backing of Syrian President Bashar Assad, a development that analysts say is likely to lead to a major power struggle between foreign jihadists and Syrian rebels should the regime collapse.

    Researchers who monitor the conflict said this week that they’ve detected the influx of foreigners in firsthand observations on the battlefield, spotting them in rebel videos posted on the Internet, observing a recent spike in reported deaths of foreign fighters and studying their postings on social media sites.

    And while many foreign fighters have been absorbed into established Syrian rebel groups, there are signs now that an increasing number are remaining in free-standing units that operate independently and are willing to clash with other rebels and Syrian communities to implement their own rigid vision of Islamist governance.

    “The numbers are increasing, with more radical groups inside now,” said Salman Shaikh, director of the Brookings Institution’s Doha Center in Qatar.

    Elizabeth O’Bagy, an analyst at the Institute for the Study of War who just returned from a two-week research trip to study rebels inside Syria, said that “without a doubt” she saw far more foreign fighters than on her previous trip two months ago, including foreigner-only fighting groups in northern Idlib province, near the border with Turkey.

    “There were substantial groups of foreign fighters that we came across, way more than I remembered,” O’Bagy said. “And we heard a lot of commanders complaining about foreign fighters coming in and not working with other opposition groups.”


    Immediately after Nasrallah’s speech, Sunni clerics across the region issued a chorus of sectarian-tinged calls for men to head to Syria to help their Sunni brethren against the Shiite “Party of Satan” – a play on Hezbollah’s name, which means “Party of God” – and Assad’s minority Alawite sect.

    The most prominent was Sheikh Youssef al Qaradawi, a Qatar-based cleric with a millions-strong following and close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. News reports quoted him as telling a rally in Doha that “every Muslim trained to fight and capable of doing that” should make himself available for jihad against Assad and Hezbollah.


    Charles Lister, an analyst at the Terrorism and Insurgency Center of IHS Jane’s, a defense research firm, said at least eight other clerics have issued similar appeals, and the impact can already be seen.


  • Assad backers reportedly make up 43 percent of dead in Syria

    According to the new statistics, which the Syrian Observatory passed to McClatchy by phone, at least 96,431 people have lost their lives in the more than two years of violence that’s wracked Syria.

    Of those, Syrian soldiers and members of the government’s security forces account for 24,617, while members of pro-government militias make up 17,031. Taken together, those deaths account for 43.2 percent of the total recorded.

    Civilian noncombatants are the next largest group of the dead – 35,479, or 36.8 percent of the total, according to the human rights group.

    Deaths among anti-Assad fighters total 16,699, or 17.3 percent, according to the new numbers. Of those, 12,615 were Syrian civilians who’d picked up arms against the regime, 1,965 were rebel fighters who’d defected from the Syrian military and 2,119 were foreigners who were killed fighting on the Syrian rebels’ behalf.

    Il n’y a pas de raison de croire ces nouveaux chiffres plus que les précédents : pourquoi sortir ces précisions maintenant ? Auparavant, l’observatoire ne prétendait pas donner de chiffres précis selon les camps.

    Et franchement, ces chiffres me semblent assez nettement dénués de sens. Le seul intérêt, c’est que l’Observateur syrien de Londres se mettrait soudainement à communiquer des chiffres qui sont totalement contraires à, grosso modo, tout ce qui se dit sur la Syrie depuis deux ans.

    Pour tout te dire, je m’attends à un démenti vigoureux dans les prochaines heures.

  • Syrian opposition considers sacking its U.S.-backed interim leader | McClatchy

    Résultat de la rivalité qataro-saoudienne, la carrière de Ghassan Hitto menacée,

    Hitto’s ouster after just two months would deal a double blow to the State Department, which has spent more than $60 million to boost the credibility of the Syrian opposition. (...).

    U.S. diplomats have been pushing the fragmented anti-Assad movement toward a single body that would be poised to take over in the event of regime collapse and had hoped to identify credible, moderate partners to represent the opposition at the peace conference it hopes will take place next month in Geneva. The deep disarray that a leadership change is likely to engender could derail both those initiatives.


    Two members of the Syrian Opposition Coalition separately confirmed to McClatchy what Arabic-language news reports have said for days: that Hitto is at great risk of being pushed out because his post has become mired in a tug of war between Saudi Arabia and Qatar over Syria’s future. The two Persian Gulf countries are major financiers of the opposition, but the Saudis have balked at Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group that dominates the political opposition.

    “There are some regional powers who are not in favor of appointing Mr. Hitto,” Walid Saffour, the opposition coalition’s political representative in Britain, said in a phone interview from London. “For now, he’s the elected prime minister, but I don’t know what will happen next week.”

    For weeks, State Department officials have talked up Hitto, saying he’d sacrificed a comfortable life in Texas to join the fight against Assad and praising his willingness to cross into rebel-held territories in Syria when many exiled opposition figures won’t. However, the internal election that brought Hitto to power in March was problematic from the start, with many complaining that he was imposed by some combination of the Muslim Brotherhood, Qatar and the United States.

  • Egyptians don’t like Morsi’s presidency, but opposition flounders anyway | McClatchy

    La majorité des Égyptiens déçus par Morsi, qui a maintenant le niveau de popularité de Moubarak avant sa destitution, comme par l’opposition.

    A Pew Research poll released last week found that only 30 percent of Egyptians believe the nation is headed in the right direction, compared with 65 percent during the 2011 uprising. The number is back to the levels of Mubarak; in the year before his ouster, only 28 percent of Egyptians thought the country was headed in the right direction.

    Yet no one here is talking about a potent challenge to the Morsi presidency, despite the failures of his first year. The opposition National Salvation Front, comprised of more than 40 organizations that have sponsored innumerable protests to Morsi’s actions, is no better, say most Egyptians.

  • Tomas de Torquemada in the U.S. armed forces | McClatchy

    Lawrence Wilkerson, l’ancien chef du personnel de Colin Powell, sur les « fondamentalistes chrétiens » au sein de l’armée US et le soutien qu’ils reçoivent de la part de leur hiérarchie, des médias et du congrès.

    About a month ago, I joined the advisory board of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) to replace Glen Doherty, a former Navy SEAL and member of the board who had recently been killed in the Benghazi incident. I was a reluctant recruit, knowing as I did the importance of spiritual solace amid the horrors of battle.

    “Why,” I asked myself, “should we meddle with something so important?”

    When the MRFF’s director, Mikey Weinstein, allowed me to study the extent and nature of the activities of certain fundamentalists within the ranks of the U.S. Armed Forces - and I poured through records of their obscenities, vicious hatred and other manifestations of their more insidious members’ minds - I changed my mind. That so-called followers of Christ could write and say such things, and their defenders and representatives in the media, Congress and elsewhere could ally with them, made my blood boil.


    Now, we have a breed of fundamentalist Christians trying to proselytize our armed forces into hell.

    Perhaps worse, we have news media, members of Congress, research councils and a host of what I can only call radical fundamentalist organizations - American Taliban? - who constantly support them, urge them on, and demonize organizations like the MRFF.

    Next, we will have the construction of fundamentalist Christian madrassas all across this great land.


  • McClatchy: DC : Bombs in Turkish border town kill dozens, intensify Turkish-Syrian tensions


    Some Turkish residents of Reyhanli vented their anger toward Syrians after the blasts. Turks and Syrians both were reportedly among the dead.

    “Damn all of you!” one Turkish man shouted at a Syrian man near the site of the second blast, before becoming slightly calmer and urging him to get off the street before someone attacked him.

    Down the street from the site of the first explosion, members of the media office for a Syrian rebel group preemptively drew and locked their shutters as Turkish men across the street chased a Syrian man and one person could be observed throwing rocks at cars with Syrian license plates.


    About 200,000 Syrians live in refugee camps run by the Turkish government in southern Turkey, and tens of thousands more have come to the area. That’s created tensions particularly in Hatay Province, where Reyhanli is located.

    Until 1939, Hatay was a part of Syria, and contains a significant population of Alawites, adherents of the same sect of Islam to which Syria’s ruling family belongs. Perhaps nowhere in Turkey is there greater opposition to the Turkish government’s support of the Syrian rebellion than in Hatay, and particularly so in Antakya, the provincial capital, west of Reyhanli.

    Reyhanli, however, does not have a significant Alawite population , and the anger directed at Syrians today was indicative of a more general feeling amongst Turks here that the refugees have brought trouble with them. Some landlords refuse to rent apartments to Syrians, and last year the Turkish government moved to restrict Syrians to the refugee camps, a decision that quickly fell by the wayside as difficult to enforce.