06-11-13

Latest News Syria: Washington - Qatar



Photos:

1° The Qatar Foundation International plans to open a centre dedicated to teaching Arab culture and the Arabic language to American pupils as part of a massive development project in Washington

2° U.S. military base in Qatar used for the war in Afghanistan

3° Qatar's weapons deliveries to terrorists and the so called 'Free Syrian Army' in Syria

4° August 2, 2013: The Airpower Summary" posted on the official website of the United States Air Force (USAF) announced, "An Air Force B-1B Lancer dropped guided bomb unit-31s on enemies hiding in a tree line near Baghran (Afghanistan). The bomb drop was reported to have good effects." But, on the ground, reality was rather different: Gul Wali, 18, was among the wounded. "Bombs were falling everywhere from the sky into the trees, and I saw pieces of flesh and bone. The villagers had just come to the mela [outdoor traditional weekly market] to buy food for their families. Instead, they ended up looking for their loved ones among piles of bodies." In the absence of normal shops, most communities mount a weekly trade fair, bringing handicrafts, livestock, farm produce and clothing along to barter or sell. 

17:17 Gepost door Jan Boeykens in arms deliveries, Latest News, Qatar, Syria, Washington | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

28-05-13

Latest News Syria: European Union

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The European Union decided to expand the economic siege against the Syrian people for an extra 12-month and to lift the siege on exporting weapons to the Syrian insurgents...

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European Council on Foreign Affairs

'Syria: towards a political solution'...

... 'The prospect of arming the opposition raises concerns inside and outside the country. Channelling weapons into the country would likely set the scene for an even deeper and long-lasting civil conflict with very uncertain regional consequences (particularly given the indeterminate nature of many of the country’s armed groups). Though unarmed civilians continue to bear the devastating brunt of the crackdown, expanding and supporting armed resistance would invite even wider violence. Moreover, unless foreign backers were prepared to provide artillery and air capabilities, arming the opposition is unlikely to change the balance of power. It is more likely that arming the opposition may further empower the regime by discrediting the opposition among Syrians still on the fence, while also providing justification to the regime (and its international backers) to continue using violence. Finally, air strikes remain deeply problematic because of both Syria’s strong Russian-supplied air defence systems and the complexity of a battle that is largely unfolding in urban environments.
All of these options, though opening the possibility of an eventual rebel victory, do so by enabling a wider militarisation of the conflict that is likely to be long and painful for much of the country’s population...'


http://ecfr.eu/page/-/ECFR_Syria_political_solution.pdf

24-05-13

Political solution Syria: Arms deal with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE

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Political solution ?  

'$10 billion arms deal with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates'

April 18, 2013

WASHINGTON — The Defense Department is expected to finalize a $10 billion arms deal with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates next week that will provide missiles, warplanes and troop transports.

A weeklong visit to the region by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will culminate a year of secret negotiations on a deal that Congressional officials said will be second only to the $29.5 billion sale of F-15 aircraft to Saudi Arabia announced in 2010. 

While one goal was to ensure that Israel continues to field the most capable armed forces in the region. It was equally important to improve the capabilities of two important Arab military partners.  

The objective, one senior administration official said, was “not just to boost Israel’s capabilities, but also to boost the capabilities of our Persian Gulf partners and also provide a greater network of coordinated assets around the region to handle a range of contingencies.”

Under the agreement, each country would be allowed to purchase advanced armaments from American contractors. In the case of Israel, there is also substantial American financial assistance, topping $3 billion in military aid this fiscal year.

Israel would buy new missiles designed to take out an adversary’s air-defense radars, as well as advanced radars for its own warplanes, new refueling tanker planes and — in the first sale to any foreign military — the V-22 Osprey troop transport aircraft.

The United Arab Emirates would buy 26 F-16 warplanes, a package that could reach $5 billion alone, along with precision missiles that could be launched from those jets at distant ground targets. Saudi Arabia would buy the same class of advanced missile.

The expectation is that the arms sale, which was outlined to Congress on Thursday, will encounter little opposition from lawmakers, especially from members representing the many districts where defense contractors are concerned about the impact of cutbacks in the Pentagon’s own weapons budget.

Under the terms of the deal, Israel would be allowed to buy the tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey, an aircraft that can take off and land like a helicopter but fly with the speeds and range of an airplane. Israel could use the Osprey for patrolling its borders, coastline and out to sea, and for moving troops to troubled areas.

A new generation of KC-135 refueling tanker planes would let Israel’s warplanes stay in the air longer, an ability essential for any long-range mission — like a strike on Iran. 

Israel also would receive antiradiation missiles. Launched from a warplane, they can home in on an adversary’s air-defense radar signals and destroy those sites. New, advanced radars for Israel’s military jets also would be in the package. 

Administration officials declined to identify the new missile to be sold to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, except to say that it is an advanced class of precision “standoff munitions” — those designed to be launched from warplanes safely distant from ground targets. The missile would fit the 84 F-15s that Saudi Arabia is currently buying under the previous arms deal, and it would be carried by the 26 F-16s the United Arab Emirates would buy under the new one.

Officials said Israel was assured that use of the advanced missiles would be monitored by United States Air Force personnel who train alongside both the Saudi and emirates militaries, and that any deployment would occur only after consultation with the Americans.

During his coming trip to Israel, Mr. Hagel will move to finalize the arms deal with Mr. Barak’s successor, Moshe Yaalon. Mr. Hagel will finalize the deal with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in visits to the two countries later next week.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/19/world/middleeast/us-selling-arms-to-israel-saudi-arabia-and-emirates.html?_r=0

08-04-13

Baby Thatcher Verhofstadt: “The weak position of the EU makes me sick”

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Verhofstadt on Libya: “The weak position of the EU makes me sick”

16.3.2011

Today at a meeting in Parliament to assess the results of last week's European Council, Guy Verhofstadt denounced the inability of the EU to take decisive action on the Libyan crisis. "This makes me sick," he declared.

"I want to use this opportunity to salute the fifty heroes, the fifty heroes in the power plant of Fukushima, the fifty heroes who at this very moment risk their life in order to save the people of Japan from a nuclear catastrophe. But Japan, for all its tragedy, is an event we cannot change. We can help. We must help. But unfortunately we cannot change.

"In Libya on the contrary we can change the course of events.  In Libya there are heroes as well. Thousands of them. Sacrificing their life for nothing else then freedom and democracy.  And what are we doing in order to prevent this? What are we doing to prevent what is in fact a new Srebrenica, a new Rwanda, a new Darfur?  Are we helping them? Defending them? Supporting them with arms or a no fly zone? Are we recognizing the opposition government? Are we trying to keep the democratic revolution alive?  No, we are sending fact finding missions".

"Have we learnt nothing from the past? It is now or never".

http://www.alde.eu/press/press-and-release-news/press-release/article/verhofstadt-on-libya-the-weak-position-of-the-eu-makes-me-sick-37283/

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Verhofstadt and the 'federal European superstate':

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/nilegardiner/100198827/guy-verhofstadt-calls-david-cameron-a-madman-britain-should-not-have-to-listen-to-sneering-eurofederalists/

Belgium’s ‘Baby Thatcher’ caught in tussle over top EU job:

http://www.eubusiness.com/topics/commission/aggregator/040617135710.rvkhjj54

‘Baby Thatcher’ returns as Belgian PM:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2003-07-13/baby-thatcher-returns-as-belgian-pm/1447358

Blair backs ‘Baby Thatcher’ for Commission:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/blair-backs-baby-thatcher-for-commission-6169119.html

Syria: Guy Verhofstadt, nicknamed "Baby Thatcher"

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"It is time to stop waiting for Russia and China to agree to a UN resolution. If the Americans don't have the courage then why not the Europeans?" (Verhofstadt, 11.9.2012)

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Guy Verhofstadt ( April 11, 1953) became president of the Flemish Liberal Student's Union (1972–1974) while studying law at the University of Ghent. He quickly became the secretary of Willy De Clercq, who was at that time the president of the Flemish liberal party (Party for Freedom and Progress, PVV). In 1982, at age 29, he became president of the party. In 1985 he was elected into the Chamber of Deputies, and became Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Budget under Prime Minister Wilfried Martens. Because of his economic views and his young age, he became known as "Baby Thatcher". Another nickname from that era is "da joenk", a Brabantian dialect expression meaning "that kid" (in a pejorative sense, referring to his rather iconoclastic and immature style).

After being ousted from government he became leader of the opposition. After a failed attempt to form a government in November 1991, he changed the PVV into the Flemish Liberals and Democrats (VLD). This new party attracted many politicians from other parties, notably from the Volksunie (VU) and the Christian People's Party (CVP).

However, despite the fact that many had high expectations, the party did not manage to outstrip the CVP. Verhofstadt resigned and disappeared from the political scene, only to return to the party's presidency in 1997 with a less radical image. He gradually moved away from neoliberalism (partly under the influence of his brother Dirk, a social liberalpolitical philosopher), and became more of a 'centrist' figure.

Partly because of a food scandal that broke out just before the 1999 elections, the VLD became the largest party in the country, obtaining over 22% of the vote in Flanders. He quickly formed a coalition with the socialist and the green party in Flanders and was appointed Prime Minister on July 12, 1999, the first liberal to hold that office since 1938.

In the Flemish regional elections of June 13, 2004, his party lost votes, slipping into third place in Flanders. Though this has had no direct impact upon his position as Prime Minister, there were rumours that the Christian Democratic and Flemish (CD&V) party that won the elections, would participate in federal government. Verhofstadt was suggested as a candidate to replace Romano Prodi as the next President of the European Commission, but his candidacy was opposed and rejected by a coalition led by Tony Blair and Silvio Berlusconi.

In the 2009 European Parliament election, Verhofstadt was elected a member of the European Parliament for the term 2009–2014. He also has been put forward as the possible candidate for replacing José Manuel Barroso as the president of the European Commission by a coalition of greens, socialists and liberals.

On July 1, 2009 he was elected President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe group in the European Parliament. On July 14, 2009 he took up his seat in the newly sworn-in European Parliament to which he had been elected in June 2009.

On September 15, 2010 Verhofstadt supported the new initiative Spinelli Group, which was founded to reinvigorate the strive for federalisation of the European Union (EU). Other supporters are: Jacques Delors, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Joschka Fischer, Andrew Duff, Elmar Brok.

Verhofstadt is also a member of the Club de Madrid, an independent organization of more than 80 former 'democratic' statesmen. The group works to promote 'democratic governance and leadership' worldwide.

Since 2012 is Verhofstadt an independent Board Member of the Brussels-based, Brussels-quoted Sofina holding.

Sofina, Société Financière de Transports et d'Entreprises Industrielles, is a Belgian holding company which, after World War 2, invested primarily in the United States, in the areas of electricity and oil.  It is headquartered in Brussels, and invests in several industrial sectors such as Telecommunication (7%), Portfolio companies, Banks and Insurance (6%), Private Equity (6%), Services within the Company (18%), Consumable Goods (31%), Energy (6%), Distribution (8%) and various other sectors (10%). Geographically Sofina has investments located in Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and North America. The company has participations in Richemont, Colruyt, Danone, SES S.A., GDF Suez, Eurazeo and Delhaize. 

In Belgium, Sofina plays an important role, especially in the rationalization and coordination of generation and transmission of electricity. In 1964 it passed under the joint control of the groups Boël and Société Générale de Belgique.

http://www.alde.eu/alde-group/guy-verhofstadt-mep-leader-alde-group/

http://www.iiea.com/events/politics-talk-guy-verhofstadt-belgium-mep

http://www.spinelligroup.eu/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_of_Europe

http://www.euractiv.com/eu-elections/support-growing-verhofstadt-repl-news-222013

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sofina

http://www.theofficialboard.com/org-chart/sofina

http://www.clubmadrid.org/en/miembro/guy_verhofstadt

http://www.noodls.com/view/CC28FB436327588AAD1417433D57AF5F17F6ACA6?2499xxx1363291209

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Verhofstadt

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06-04-13

Syria: Former Belgian Prime Minister involved in arms deliveries

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Some days ago, General Selim Idris, Chief of Staff of the so called Free Syrian Army was in the European Parliament, where he was invited by Guy Verhofstadt, former Belgian Prime Minister and leader of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats ‘for Europe’.

Idris said that his army needed the West to supply “weapons and ammunition” so that his forces can “defend themselves.”

He said that, if such support arrived, “The regime will collapse in a month.” He added that Syrians ‘supporting the rebellion’ didn’t understand why the West had an arms embargo.

“There is no real action,” he said.

He was supported by Guy Verhofstadt, who said that there was “a growing consensus in Europe that the Syrian conflict cannot go on interminably.” The Liberal leader also said that arms should be supplied “in order that you can defend yourselves.”

Photo 1: Verhofstadt and Colonel Muammar Gaddafi a few years ago.  Some years later Verhofstadt pleaded in european parliament on a demogogic way to agree with NATO-bombings on Libya.

Photo 2: Verhofstadt and some ‘Syrian rebels’ at the european parliament.

Photo 3: Verhofstadt invited Selim Idris, Chief of Staff of the so called Free Syrian Army, to european parliament.