Plato's Guns

M i d e a s t Newsstand

Secrets of the Ancient Empires: The First Cities – History Documentary

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*Recommended viewing

Obama’s Fateful Syrian Choice – Robert Parry/Information Clearing House

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https://i1.wp.com/www.informationclearinghouse.info/russiachangingworld.JPG

President Obama faces a choice that could define his legacy and the future of the American Republic: He can either work with Russia’s President Putin to stabilize Syria or he can opt for a confrontation that could lead to an open-ended war with grave risks of escalation, writes Robert Parry.

There is an obvious course that President Barack Obama could follow if he wants to lessen the crises stemming from the Syrian war and other U.S. “regime change” strategies of the past several decades, but it would require him to admit that recent interventions (including his own) have represented a strategic disaster.

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Why Are Gulf States Refusing To Take In Syrian Refugees? – The Young Turks News

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Don’t talk Zionism – Uri Avnery/Veterans Today

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[ VT Editor’s note: Oh my, I go overseas for a week and Uri writes an article on what a hoax Zionism is. An editor cannot turn his back for a minute without someone trying to slip a good piece by me without an editor’s note. But Erica gave me the heads up, so I now have the pleasure.

Something must be in the air. We are starting to see more publicizing on things like what a silly term “anti-Semite” is. I interviewed a Lebanese 79-year-old retired journalist today (yes, of Semitic origin) who told me with a twist of humor that he resents being told he is against himself, as he can’t afford the shrink bills.

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Why Iran, Saudi Arabia keep locking horns on Syria – Ellie Geranmayeh/Al-Monitor

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The opening created in the aftermath of the July 14 nuclear deal between Iran and the six world powers (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, or P5+1), which could have triggered a diplomatic uplift over Syria, has so far been wasted. Instead, the regional divide over Syria is deepening and major powers have failed to seriously press Riyadh and Tehran to de-escalate their proxy war in Syria. Meanwhile, the costs for the West and the Middle East continue rising as a result of the festering crises in Syria and Iraq.

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Who are Temple Mount’s Mourabitoun? – Shlomi Eldar/Al-Monitor

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The battle over the Temple Mount is heating up. It is no longer just an occasional violent clash between Muslims and Jews, but daily battles with increasingly violent and growing numbers of participants. Loyal “soldiers” in “God’s army” are deployed on both sides, willing to sacrifice themselves in the religious war being waged over one of their holy sites.

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U.S. Begins Military Talks With Russia on Syria – Michael R. Gordon/The New York Times

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LONDON — As the first Russian combat aircraft arrived in Syria, the Obama administration reached out to Moscow on Friday to try to coordinate actions in the war zone and avoid an accidental escalation of one of the world’s most volatile conflicts.

The diplomatic initiative amounted to a pivot for the Obama administration, which just two weeks ago delivered a stern warning to the Kremlin that its military buildup in Syria risked an escalation of the civil war there or even an inadvertent confrontation with the United States. Last week, President Obama condemned Russia’s move as a “strategy that’s doomed to failure.”

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Israel’s ‘Disappeared’: Those Who Betray The State Fall Into Maw Of Oblivion – Richard Silverstein/MintPress

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(Illustration by Ahmed Estaitia)

“Prisoner X2,” a Mossad agent who was caught spying for Iran, was arrested, tried, convicted and imprisoned in secret. He’s not the first, and certainly not the last, double agent to face such a fate.

A special MintPress Analysis:  SEATTLE — Israeli intelligence has a vaunted reputation for being the most sophisticated, aggressive, and sometimes most brutal in the world. It protects the interests of the nation with great vigilance. The exploits of it’s intelligence agency, the Mossad in particular, have been the subject of countless Hollywood films and thrillers. The Israeli heroes are always courageous, resourceful, and duplicitous. They will stop at nothing to succeed in their mission.

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Israeli Settlers Publish Their Reality, with Palestine as Fiction – Isabel Kershner/The New York Times

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OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — Israeli settlers have long asserted that the Palestinians are an invented people, that the West Bank’s real name is Judea and Samaria, and that it was liberated by Israeli soldiers in 1967. Now the settlers, apparently worried that their version of history is not reaching other Israelis, are promoting it in a Hebrew-language publication that resembles a comic book.

This week the Yesha Council, the settlers’ umbrella organization, announced that it was printing 10,000 copies of a 22-page booklet titled “Kibush Kishkush,” which translates roughly as “Occupation Baloney.”
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What If Washington Were Jerusalem? – Stanley Weiss/HuffPo

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OCCUPIED WASHINGTON –As one of the American citizens who was born in Israel and is well versed in Middle East affairs, my friend Raphael Benaroya has an interesting way of demonstrating for his fellow Americans what it is like to live in Israel. As the debate over Tehran reaches farcical levels – with even Donald Trump coming to the Capitol to bloviate against Congress while Tea Party diehards in the audience took turns hitting a punching bag in the image of Barack Obama – I keep coming back to Raphael as a means of understanding the depth of Israeli anger and Jewish rage over the agreement.
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