Showing posts with label Middle East. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Middle East. Show all posts

October 29, 2014

Middle East Turmoil is so Damaging for the Gay Community


What is it like to be a gay refugee? James Longman hears some Syrian's disturbing accounts of abuse
"There is nobody left in my life who hasn't hurt me." 
Jawad worked in sales in Syria before the war began. When his father found out he was gay, he had him arrested. 
After five years of hard labour, he emerged a broken man, only to find his country at war. Estranged from his family, he found himself dangerously exposed. 
Soon after his release, he was gang raped at gun point by four men from an armed group. 
"They could tell I was gay," he told me, through stifled sobs, looking out over the Beirut cityscape. 

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I have nothing but my body to sell - that was my reward for the Syrian revolution.”
JawadSyrian refugee
His vulnerability made him an easy target for this brutal weapon of war. Now in Lebanon, where he thought he could start again, he works as a prostitute.
"I have nothing but my body to sell. That was my reward for the Syrian revolution."
It might come as little surprise that gay men and women don't have the easiest time in the Middle East. But it was not always so. 
In many ways modern attitudes to homosexuality in the Middle East are similar to western European attitudes of the 19th and 20th Century - religious zeal and a specific vision of gender roles. 
Those convicted of committing homosexual acts in Europe faced the death penalty. In the Middle East at this time, same-sex relations were relatively commonplace and accepted. 
But colonialism brought the influence of Western prudishness and a codification of anti-gay laws. 
The result was that homosexuality became effectively illegal in every Arab country. From "debauchery" in Egypt, to anti-sodomy laws in Tunisia and "acts against nature" in Lebanon - now all enforced with varying levels of severity. 
While western Europe became more accepting, the Middle East went the opposite direction. 
Now in a context of increasingly deeply conservative cultural and religious attitudes, the prospects for change are grim
Totally alone
But the distant memory of "the Arab Spring" did promise some change. 
Gay peopleThe gay community lacks a support network
Protests across the region called for "dignity" and "respect" - values long associated with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) movement. 
From Egypt to Syria, these dreams have turned into nightmares for most - not just the gay community. 
But meeting with gay refugees in Lebanon demonstrated why their plight is perhaps especially significant - gay people have become refugees from both their country, and their families. 
This is a region where the family or ethnic network provides not just emotional support, but much of the practical help the state is unable to deliver. 
In a time of war, where the state begins to break down, these connections become vital for survival. 
When a Syrian refugee arrives in Lebanon, Jordan or Turkey, they often have someone they can call - a relative, a friend, even just an old neighbour.
But without family support, a gay man or woman fleeing the war does so totally alone. 
None of the gay men and women I met had anyone to call. And some - even after escaping the regime or Islamic State - had been hunted down by their own families. 
The very opposite to the kind of care and help they needed. Gay people become targets of the state, the groups fighting it, and their own families. 
"When you lose the familiarity of your surroundings, you are left exposed and in danger," says Tarek Zeidan, from Helem, a long running LGBT non-governmental organisation (NGO) in Lebanon. 
"It is secrecy that keeps most gay people alive in the Middle East."
That familiarity is totally shattered when a gay refugee arrives in a foreign country, often living in close quarters with people who would do him harm. In some cases - such as Jawad's - they turn to what Tarek calls "survival sex". 
It is not known what proportion of the millions of refugees fleeing Syria are gay because most don't register with the UN, but young LGBT men and women escaping the war appear every day at the offices of Proud Lebanon, one of the only NGOs in the region helping the LGBT community. 
Its director, Bertho Makso, explained what it's like being gay and Syrian in Lebanon: "Well you know he will be carrying all the problems that he was facing in his country. 
"He'll flee to Lebanon hoping that he will be accepted. It's true that the image of Lebanon is reflecting an open-minded society. 
"However, it's not the case in all the societies in Lebanon, because Lebanon is many Lebanons. And in every society there is discrimination and trauma. 
"He faces a double discrimination. First because he is Syrian, and second because he is LGBT."
It is perhaps their status as a minority that makes gay people vulnerable in the Middle East. 
Bertho MaksoBertho Makso says discrimiation is rife
The rise of Islamist regimes in the wake of popular uprisings may have reinforced already conservative attitudes towards them, but new regimes keen on consolidating power have - whatever their political or religious leaning - found in the gay community an easy target. 
It is almost impossible to formulate an accurate overview of attacks or arrests of LGBT people. 
They are rarely recorded on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity and often governments simply deny them. Victims are also often too scared to come forward. 
But in Egypt, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has not reversed the practices of his predecessors.
Indeed, the crackdowns have got worse and anal testing - the crude medical procedure to "prove" homosexual activity - still goes on. 
Most recently, the security services were accused of infiltrating online dating sites to entrap gay men. 
One application, Grindr, actually urged users to hide their identities. 

In Morocco recently a gay British tourist found himself in prison for "homosexual acts" - it was only after an online petition was set up that he was freed. 
And in Lebanon, the country's morality police have been accused of brutalising the gay men they take into custody, and performing these same anal tests which are supposed to have been outlawed - charges they deny. 
Class and freedom
One refuge in the region for some is Israel, which perhaps because of the persecution of gay people in the Holocaust, is one of the most progressive countries in the world for LGBT rights.
Same-sex relationships are protected by law, and the only annual gay pride march in the Middle East takes place in Tel Aviv - regarded as an international gay capital. 
Since 1993 - well before the US and other Western countries - openly gay people have been allowed to serve in the military. Palestinians from conservative homes have also been able to seek sanctuary in Israel. 
And, of course, the experiences of gay people in the Middle East are as varied and contrasting as the region itself. 
Living an openly gay life in Saudi Arabia, for example, would be impossible and vastly different compared with an open life in Lebanon. 
But as with so much in the region, socio-economic status dictates relative freedom. 
Bars and clubs for gay people do exist in Lebanon, for example, but these are only really accessible to those who can afford their expensive drinks. 
Ahmed, a successful businessman from Sidon, is "out" to some of his friends. 
But, he told me, this is because "I can afford to be". When it comes to telling his family, that is a different story. 
They own the company for which he works, and he fears telling them would remove the very economic freedom that allows him to live at least part of his life as a gay man. 
Jawad and the men I met at Proud live a very different life. 
They have become the targets of a nation struggling to support the huge number of refugees coming into Lebanon. 
Like other minorities, they are easily blamed for problems for which they bear little responsibility. 
Facing these issues without their families - or even against them - makes their struggle almost impossible to deal with. 
Fighting for their rights
Rights groups continue to fight for LGBT freedoms in the region, combating widespread homophobia in society to ensure political leaders can find no willing constituency for their anti-gay views.
Gay activism is difficult, and often restricted to the internet because of the lack of public support. was one forum for people to discuss their sexualities and religious beliefs in a safer place - but had to close under constant threat of infiltration by the security services. 
Boris Dittrich, from Human Rights Watch, explains how the organisation tackles the issue. 
"Our experience in the Middle East is that singling out LGBT people as a vulnerable group doesn't resonate with the general audience or with decision makers. 

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Gay rights are human rights - you can't distinguish one from the other. ”
Sherine el Feki Author
"They will view LGBT people as a separate category they can neglect. 
"Best is to embed attention to human rights abuses against LGBT people in a bigger frame. 
"For instance address the issue of police abuse against several vulnerable groups - migrants, people with disabilities, unmarried women, drugs users et cetera - and include information about abuse of LGBT people. 
"Social attitudes might change when the general audience can relate to personal stories of LGBT people. They then will realise their son or daughter, their neighbour or colleague could be gay or lesbian.
"The problems of LGBT people thus become concrete and relatable. Usually, straight allies are convincing partners to address discrimination of LGBT people."
It may seem as though gay rights come far down the list of priorities in a region plagued by war and violence. 
As a gay friend in Egypt told me when I asked him if he thought he'd have an easier life after President Hosni Mubarak was toppled: "One thing at a time." 
But as Sherine el Feki, author of Sex and the Citadel, points out: "Gay rights are human rights. You can't distinguish one from the other." 
It has been a turbulent few years in a region of people struggling to forge better lives. 
A truly democratic system, some would argue, is a more pluralistic one. 
Perhaps one of the true markers of success will be how its minorities come to be treated - including the LGBT community.  

August 4, 2014

The Missiles of the summer! Are they running out of missiles?

 The Patriot Missile. This was the original look but this is not 100% how the new generation of Patriots  or “Dome”in Israel looks like
  The following is a transcript of reporters in the field in Israel reporting about US rocket system in Israel. Thanks to those missiles, there have been 0 casualties on the civilian population due to the rockets fired by Hamas. You would think they would stop since they are not killing anybody but to kill or not to kill is not their ploy right now (let me point out that there have been deaths from soldiers but not attributed to the rockets). They want to humiliate Israel and make them do what they are doing, killing hundreds (over one thousand so far) of the Gaza civilian population which Israel is faithfully doing. On top of it, those missiles Israel have are very expensive and they come from the US and guess what? Israel needs more. Eventually the American people are paying for the rockets.

 Would the US keep supplying them? No question about it, the house is controlled by republicans which are pro Israel for religious reasons among a few and in the senate the democrats hold a small margin and and the margin is also pro Israel. The last leg of the US system to get money is the presidents signature. If I was the president I will not sign the bill and force Israel to listen to the US and see what they are accomplishing with this war. But Im not the president and the president  will sign the request for more money for missiles. 

As I write about the process for Israel to get their missiles, Hamas needs more missiles too. How about if anyone with enough power to make and break deals will approach those nations like Iran, China, Russia through Syria and have them stop also? Only if there is enough world interest and outcry. Im not sure we have reached that point yet. If we see less rockets from Gaza then we know something happened in the corridor of death rocket supply.

NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.


And I'm Steve Inskeep. Israel and Hamas are exchanging airstrikes and rockets. And in this part of the program, we'll hear what it is like to be underneath them.

MONTAGNE: We begin with a striking number - zero. That's the number of Israelis known to have been killed by Hamas rockets so far. Israel's military credits a rocket defense system known as the Iron Dome. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Two or three decades ago, lots of people in Israel's military thought missile defense was a bad idea.

UZI RUBIN: I'd say that the traditional military analyst didn't see the reason why deal with defense at all.

SHAPIRO: Uzi Rubin remembers that time well. Back then, he ran Israel's missile defense program. Now retired, he says the old bulls used to tell him the only defense Israel needed was a good offense.

RUBIN: And it wasn't easy to get the budgets and the support at that time. Actually, it was against the wind really.

SHAPIRO: But eventually the budgets came, helped along by the U.S., which gives Israel hundreds of millions of dollars a year for rocket defense. And now virtually every Israeli newscast includes a tally of the number of rockets fired from Gaza and the number intercepted by Iron Dome.

SHAPIRO: We've driven through fields of watermelon and potatoes. We're now on the outskirts of the city of Ashkelon, not far from Gaza. We can see the city buildings on the horizon. And in the middle of this field, at the end of dirt road, there's a military barricade. And behind the barricade, two huge vehicles the size of flatbed trucks with what looks like great, big spotlights pointed at the sky. But these are not spotlights.

PETER LERNER: The Iron Dome has two main outside vantages.

SHAPIRO: That's Israeli military spokesman Peter Lerner came out to this field to tell us about the technology.

LERNER: First, obviously, it saves lives. It intercepts that rocket, which if it wouldn't have been intercepted would strike the heart of the population. The second advantage it gives us - it gives us as a leadership the capability to step back and make coolheaded decisions.

SHAPIRO: Israel's onslaught of Gaza is plenty aggressive - hundreds of airstrikes, civilian deaths and hospitals overflowing with injured Palestinians. But Peter Lerner says if Israelis were being killed in large numbers, people would push for an even more aggressive response - a ground invasion. He says Iron Dome lets the Israeli government breathe.

LERNER: You can make the decision when you feel free to do so, and at your advantage, not because they've drawn you in to this cause-and-effect scenario.

SHAPIRO: We just heard a couple of low booms. And in the sky there are two trails of smoke. And at the end of the trail in the middle of the sky, two white little puffs, almost like tiny clouds.

MICHAEL OREN: So it works.

SHAPIRO: Michael Oren was Israeli ambassador to the U.S. He says these interceptor rockets cost millions of dollars each, so they only fire when the incoming weapon is on a trajectory to hit a populated area.

OREN: One of the ingenious qualities of the Iron Dome is that within a fraction of a second can distinguish between a trajectory that's going to bring a rocket into downtown Be'er Sheva or Ashkelon and a rocket that's going to hit an empty field or fall in the ocean.

SHAPIRO: Iron Dome's critics claim that Israel's military's vastly overstates the technology's effectiveness and that it might only hit its target 5 percent of the time. So I asked former defense official Uzi Rubin if there's any independent way to measure how well it works.

RUBIN: Yes. You can judge it by public information about casualties and damages.

SHAPIRO: Iron Dome was first used in the 2012 conflict. And Rubin says if you compare the number of deaths and damage claims in that conflict to previous ones, there's a dramatic drop. Israel sees this Iron Dome as just the first of several steps. Next up is a technology known as David's Sling. Its goal would be to intercept more advanced and longer-range rockets and cruise missiles. Ari Shapiro, NPR News, Jerusalem.

Adam Gonzalez, publisher

“What’s up with the 30 Tunnels?” Hamas Planned a Rosh Hashanah Attack on Southern Israel

The following article appeared at and I have verified this information as true and I am posting the article as it appeared. Also adamfoxie reported yesterday on blame for this outbreak and killings at

The Israel Defense Forces have uncovered so far more than 30 tunnels meticulously dug over years by Hamas as a means to infiltrate under the border from Gaza and launch attacks on Israel.
Now, the Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv has reported one brazen and chilling way Hamas had been planning to use its tunnels before Israel began uncovering some of them this week and dismantling them.
Quoting unnamed Israeli security sources, Ma’ariv reported that the plan was to send 200 terrorists through each tunnel simultaneously – using dozens of tunnels – to six Israeli communities in southern Israel for a shocking attack on the Jewish high holiday of Rosh Hashanah which this year begins on September 24.
Once there, the Hamas gunman planned to kill or kidnap as many Israelis as possible and bring the latter back to Gaza with them, again via the tunnels.
The IDF released this photo of one of the Hamas tunnels it uncovered (Image source: IDF)
The IDF released this photo of one of the Hamas tunnels it uncovered (Image source: IDF)
As of this weekend, six Israeli soldiers have been killed by Palestinian gunmen who snuck into Israel using the underground structures.
The IDF has captured dozens of Hamas fighters in Gaza. The IDF told the Times of Israel that 70 were transferred to Shin Bet facilities for interrogation.
The IDF released this map showing the route of some of the tunnels it uncovered. It many cases, the entrance shafts are hidden in private homes, near mosques and schools in Gaza.
IDF map
IDF map
This video from the IDF shows vivid aerial views of a tunnel being demolished:
This would not be the first time opponents of Israel have exploited a Jewish holiday. In 1973, Arab armies launched a surprise attack on Israel during the Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur.

July 26, 2014

Fairness in Gaza and Middle East from the Gay Community


The LGBT global community is a solid block for human and civil rights.   The majority of this community being that gay people are not single issue oriented, want peace and want the killing to stop in the middle east particularly Gaza.  Human and civil rights have been denied to us for so long is no surprise that this community will fight not just for its own survival but the survival of others that suffer oppression by governments and ill-informed nations that think that gays are just of people with a bad chosen style of living.
In the West we have waged a solid campaign of information and common sense to the public asking why it is all right or discriminate against a world community simply because you might disagree with them or simply not like them.

This type of campaign has paid big dividends around the world as more and more gay people come out tired of their lives in hiding having had to lie about who we are and who we love. We taught the world that we are everywhere. Wether our percentages are 2% of the national population or 20% these are big amounts of human beings making the case. 
Politicians and others in the government have found out that just like their doctor doing that brain surgery could be gay but some of their kids might also be gay.  It has turned out even for some rabid anti gay politicians including people in congress that one or more of the kids have come out which in turned is made almost an immediate change of heart of who gay people are. Its one thing to criticize the neighbors kid its another when your 17 year old son tells his parents “dad Im gay and this is the way I am. I have been like this and I can no more change the color of my skin that change who I am attracted to make a life with.

The Israeli-Palestinian always an interesting case and a test of our sense of fairness. Most of us understand Israel’s security needs and knowing very clearly than in Israel you can come out gay and not be persecuted opposite in Gaza or Palestine where they would do a lot more to you than persecute you.

 Still we believe that it’s very unfair for a country to occupy another. Most of us believe that most of the problems Israel faces in the middle east have to do with their occupation. We hope that the day will come when  the Palestinian people can have their own state and live in peace side by side with Israel. But now we have a piece of land that Israel won during the last war and does not border the rest of the palestinians but Egypt on one side and Israel on the other.  This is Gaza.

 Gaza that has been infiltrated by the worse of Israel’s enemies, Hamas. This is land politicly connected to the Moslem Brotherhood. Yes, the same brotherhood who governed Egypt for less than two years where it tried to bulldozed all freedoms and all voices except the most extreme voices of the moslem and their sharia law. We know what they do to gays because they have said it and shown it. The gay community in Egypt who was an integral part in ousting Mubarak, Egypt’s President. Mubarak who has the blood of so many gays he hung just for being gay. The gay community there came out in force and some even died for the freedom to come out during Egypt's revolution. When the Moslem Brotherhood got the government the gays had to go back and hide. The brotherhood went after them worse than they did with the women who would not dress according to their law. This brotherhood is the same in Gaza and they have let in any fighter with guns and explosives to kill Israelis.
To make it worse and to bring the public opinion against Israel one of their techniques of Hamas is to bomb Israel from Hospitals, Schools and from where ever there is a concentration of innocent people. As Israel in their rush to get back at them and eliminate some of their weapons and fighters it ends up killing more civilians than fighters which are usually women and children.

This is a horrible situation for the gay community and for the defenseless women and children in Gaza. They have no power and no say in this conflict. At least in Israel you have a strong military defending the civilian population and a democratic government that can always be voted out of power by it’s citizens. The women and children of Gaza have no control. Kids being kids will be used by Hamas. Before they were taught that Israel was the big Satan with the Us and they died throwing stones at the Israeli soldiers. Now they died throwing bullets and sometimes explosives at the jews in Israel. 

There is no solution in sight with an ultra conservative government in Israel that wont give an inch and the extremists in Gaza that are willing to kill its own population just to prove a point. They are never going to win, they are never going to push Israel to the Mediterranean sea, so all these deaths are completely in vain. What ever gains anybody gets could have been obtained with talks.

What are we as a gay community ought to do? For one thing keep being fair to both sides. Israel most end the occupation and Gaza is got to get rid of its Iranian rockets and Hamas. We most be careful not to side with either one but with whom ever is being fair and just. At times neither side is but the blood ahead cannot last for ever just like the rockets cannot last for ever if Iran and others stop supping the area with weapons.

 I hope we don’t get mix up on other people’s criminal acts of killing, no matter who they are. The american people rose in disgust  when they saw what our government was doing in Viet-Nam and Cambodia in the 60’s at the expense of our youth. The war had to end. We have no control of what others do but we do have control of our fairness and impartiality.  We know that the Palestinian in Gaza feel for the gays as much love as they feel for the jews, Still the women and children there know no better and the taking of a human life is a serious thing no matter wether is done in Texas, Florida or Gaza or Israel.

Adam Gonzalez, Publisher

August 25, 2013

Chemical Assault in Syria } Is It Time to Intervene?

Footage uploaded onto YouTube shows victims of the alleged attack laid out on pavements being washed down with water

As horrific, yet unconfirmed, reports of an alleged chemical strike by Assad forces start filling the news, a question is being raised in the mind of global decision makers: is it time to intervene? Is this latest massacre attributed to Bashar Al Assad the one that makes it no longer possible for the international community to physically remain outside of the Syrian conflict? While there is an evident lack of precise information about the attack, it seems that chemical weapons, in the form of medium range missiles armed with chemical warheads, targeted the eastern suburbs of Damascus, possibly causing thousands of dead. In the coming days, the UN Security Council will convene meetings to discuss the latest escalation in the Syrian war and calls for further investigations will be reiterated as the international community will increasingly voice the need of “doing something.” The problem is exactly this romantic perception of interventionism. While it seems unquestionable that the massacre of civilians through the use of chemical agents is utterly unacceptable, the option of waging a full blown military campaign based on weak intelligence in a country torn by a disastrous civil war hardly abides by any strategic logic. 
Dictators understand that better than anybody else. When in 1988 Saddam Hussein killed more than five thousands civilians in Halabja, he knew that he wouldn’t directly pay the price of his actions. In fact, had Saddam Hussein not further developed weapons of mass destruction and invaded Kuwait in 1991, it is plausible to think that the Halabja massacre wouldn’t have received the legal attention it did. The strategic error Saddam Hussein committed was to bring his atrocities outside Iraq. Bashar Al Assad is testing the freedom of action he has inside of Syria, and, in a very cynical way, it may be asserted that it is close to absolute.
In fact, due to the current nature of the Syrian conflict, a foreign intervention targeting the regime’s chemical weapons stockpiles would have little strategic sense, receive weak international diplomatic approval and may result in further operational complications.
Due to the multipolar nature of the Syrian war, a military intervention against regime forces is likely to generate counter-productive strategic results. To successfully neutralize the Syrian regime’s ability to use chemical weapons, operations would need to be conducted against military air-bases, anti-aircraft batteries and vector systems such as short and medium range missiles and rocket launchers. The result of these strikes could effectively tilt the strategic balance of the conflict and result in an increased weakening of the Syrian army over the territory. If in itself this sounds like a positive scenario for those who support the Free Syrian Army, a humanitarian-led military campaign aimed at defusing the Syrian WMD threat would undermine the political objectives for a post-Assad situation. It would leave the country in a status of complete power vacuum, which would result in radicalization of the warring factions and almost certainly in greater operational freedom for Al Qaeda related groups.
However, the answer to the question of whether to intervene may not be entirely negative. A two-fold strategy could be put in place to avoid any expansion of the conflict and limit as much as possible Syrian civilian casualties.
Israel has been stating for the last year that any game-changing weapons movement from Syria to any other regional party would not be tolerated. Secret single strike raids have been limiting the risk of WMD proliferation toward Lebanon. This policy needs to be embraced globally and implemented by all regional actors with clear intelligence coordination. Any WMD movement outside Syria’s borders needs to be prohibited.
Along with that, Syrian terrorist groups such as the Al Nusra brigades and Al Qaeda related organizations should not be allowed to obtain chemical and biological weapons. For this, interdiction raids should be ordered not only if suspect movements are verified along international borders but also inside the Syrian territory.
The second part of this would involve the use of cruise missiles and drones to target possible vectors in the process of delivering a chemical strike. This would generate high operational difficulties as the timeliness of the intelligence needed as well as the international coordination to conduct such strikes would require a far reaching agreement including Russian and Chinese approval. If this does not look like an option in the foreseeable future, the plan should nevertheless be presented as a clear alternative to a full blown military campaign.
No one can disagree that the ruthless murder of innocent civilians resulting from the use of chemical weapons is an unspeakable atrocity. However for the interest of regional security, the US, France and the UK should not rush into a military campaign deprived of long term strategic options and exit strategies. Such a decision would not only hurt Western interests in the region but would also result in further complications for the Syrian people.

August 24, 2013

3600 Treated for Neurotoxic Gas in Syria

A man, affected by what activists say is nerve gas, breathes through an oxygen mask in the Damascus suburbs of Jesreen, Aug. 21, 2013. A man, affected by what activists say is nerve gas, breathes through an oxygen mask in the Damascus suburbs of Jesreen .
VOA News

The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders (MSF) says three Syrian hospitals have received about 3,600 patients displaying symptoms of exposure to neurotoxic agents.  This report comes just days after allegations that more than 1,000 people were killed in a chemical weapons attack allegedly carried out by the Syrian government.

Doctors Without Borders said Saturday it has learned that large numbers of patients arrived in the three Damascus hospitals with symptoms including convulsions, excess saliva and blurred vision, and that nearly 10 percent of those patients have died.  Some of the medical and first aid workers treating the people brought in for treatment also found themselves contaminated.

Doctors Without Borders said the overall situation strongly indicates the local population suffered "mass exposure to a neurotoxic agent," adding, "This would constitute a violation of international humanitarian law, which absolutely prohibits the use of chemical and biological weapons."

Syria has denied all allegations that government forces used chemical weapons.  State-controlled media have claimed rebel forces carried out nerve gas attacks this week, and the state news agency SANA reported that soldiers found evidence of this while searching tunnels in the capital city used by "armed terrorists."

In Washington, a White House official said the United States has a "range of options" if it decides to act against Syria's alleged use of chemical weapons.  U.S. President Barack Obama met with his top national security advisers Saturday to discuss the Syrian situation.

Obama has previously expressed reluctance to intervene in Syria.  U.S. defense officials, however, have recently said Washington is strengthening naval forces in the region.

Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel told reporters that Obama has asked the Defense Department for a range of options available if U.S. forces are ordered to take action against the Damascus government.

The U.S. and other world powers have been pushing for a United Nations-led investigation of the chemical weapons allegations, and a top U.N. official arrived in Damascus Saturday to push for access to the site where rockets loaded with poison gas were launched.

Russia has spoken out in defense of the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but the Syrian ally joined China, the U.S., France, Britain and others in calling for a thorough investigation of the recent events in Syria.

Syrian opposition leaders and activists have released video of large numbers of bodies - many of them of young children - that bear no signs of physical violence of blood.  Those pictures, and separate scenes from hospitals showing patients writhing in agony without apparent wounds - are said to be persuasive indications that they were victims of an attack that used nerve gas or some other deadly chemical agent.

Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani, condemned the use of chemical weapons in Syria.  State-controlled media in Tehran report he did not assess blame against either side in his comments on Saturday.  Iran is Syria's ally, and its Foreign Ministry has previously said evidence indicates that Syrian rebels launched the attack.

July 5, 2013

Egypt Revolution in a Few pictures Noting that the US Got Blame for Supporting Mr.Morsi

  Elections are great but unless th participation is good and all the sides agree how it works before going in, there could be more problems than solutions on such elections. Egypt being the poster child.
Being the day after the fourth of july in  the USA and the second day in which the Muslim brotherhood Own president is Booted Out by people that took to the streets knowing they had been cheated on the elections. Those things don’t happen here. As you know we had presidents loosing the lection on both count and electoral college counts and ended up 8 years and this particular one started two wars with their eyes on the third one with Iran.
In celebration of the people and knowing they always get shafted……………………{Adam}
Anorak and adamfoxie*Shares are showing these pics to you. They are real and they are connected to the mentioned events. Egypt deposes the Muslim   

PA 16955177 Egypt deposes the Muslim Brotherhood: the best Anti Obama banners LOOKS like the Arab Spring is over in Egypt. President Morsi has been toppled by the military. The Muslim Brotherhood must be a tad disappointed that a secular dictatorship is back in charge. Will they back any new Government? Or will they try to usurp it? 

Morsi said “I am prepared to sacrifice my blood”. Things are messy.
The Big Pharaoh explains what is going on:
The failure of Westerners to understand why Egyptians revolted against an elected regime is stemming from the fact that they, the Westerners, are secured in their inclusive constitutions, bills of rights and rule of law. We have nothing of these. We only had one facet of democracy – election – which brought a cultic organization with a fascist twist that decided to cancel the other facets.
So. what about the Obama administration? It’s man has gone. Obama had been supporting Egyptian President Morsi. Obama’s Egypt Policy is confused. He missed the chance to make the USA the good guys. Now he scrambles for irrelevance, at best.
The Egyptians know who to trust. Get a load of the protest bannersNo burning Obama effigies…yet:
PA 16951406 Egypt deposes the Muslim Brotherhood: the best Anti Obama banners
An opponent of Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi speaks
on a mobile phone at a railway station decorated with a banner reading
: Obama Stop supporting MB (Muslim Brotherhood) fascist regime in
Cairo, Egypt

PA 16949525 Egypt deposes the Muslim Brotherhood: the best Anti Obama banners
Egyptian protesters hold a banner in Tahrir Square during a
demonstration against Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed
Morsi in Cairo, Sunday, June 30, 2013. Hundreds of thousands
of opponents of Egypt’s Islamist president poured onto the
streets in Cairo and across much of the nation Sunday,
 launching an all-out push to force Mohammed Morsi from
office on the one-year anniversary of his inauguration.
 Fears of violence were high, with Morsi’s Islamist supporters
 vowing to defend him. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

PA 16947696 Egypt deposes the Muslim Brotherhood: the best Anti Obama banners
Protesters hold a banner with Islamist President Mohammed
Morsi’s photograph and Israel’s flag during a protest outside
the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, June 30, 2013.

PA 16946353 Egypt deposes the Muslim Brotherhood: the best Anti Obama banners

PA 16749300 Egypt deposes the Muslim Brotherhood: the best Anti Obama banners

PA 13008535 Egypt deposes the Muslim Brotherhood: the best Anti Obama banners

egypt Egypt deposes the Muslim Brotherhood: the best Anti Obama banners
egypt 6 Egypt deposes the Muslim Brotherhood: the best Anti Obama banners
egypt 5 Egypt deposes the Muslim Brotherhood: the best Anti Obama banners
egypt 4 Egypt deposes the Muslim Brotherhood: the best Anti Obama banners
egypt 3 Egypt deposes the Muslim Brotherhood: the best Anti Obama banners
egypt 2 Egypt deposes the Muslim Brotherhood: the best Anti Obama banners
egypt 1 Egypt deposes the Muslim Brotherhood: the best Anti Obama banners

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