Thursday, 5 November 2015

According to Ad-Diyar Lebanese Newspaper, the Saudi octogenarian monarch held an intense phone conversation with the Oval Office, sternly rebuking President Obama for not decisively acting to end Moscow’s crusade against Saudi-backed militants in Syria. Saudi Arabia keeps a wary eye on the Russian air raids targeting the Islamist guerillas —vying to oust the Syrian President Assad--which in turn has dramatically diminished the prospect of an imminent ‘regime change’ in war-torn Syria.
“Mr. President I tried to warn you several times that we must supply the revolutionaries with the adequate anti-aircraft weapons to deter Russians from ramping up their interference in Syria and its profound implications for the security of the Kingdom, but much to my chagrin, my pleas for serious action fell on deaf ears,” reported Ad-Diyar, claiming that it obtained this information from its sources in Saudi court.
 We have no option, added King Salman, — either you forces Putin to accept an unconditional immediate ceasefire in Syria and terminate its military campaign or we would contemplate re-arranging our alliance with the United States and unilaterally direct all efforts to overthrow Assad, including military confrontation, in case of necessity.
In the same trajectory, the Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi has threatened the western consumers that KSA would increase the price of crude oil up to $ 89 per barrel as Kingdom’s oil revenues sharply shrunk. Market analysts believe Saudi official’s recent remarks came as a mean to drag U.S. and its western allies to throw their weight behind Saudi-baked Al Qaeda-inspired rebels.
In the meantime, the Department of State urges U.S. citizens to carefully consider the risks of traveling to Saudi Arabia. There have been attacks on U.S. citizens and other Western expatriates within the past month and there continues to be reports of threats against U.S. citizens and other Westerners, as well as sites frequented by them.

His eminence Ayatollah  Sayyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei سید علی حسینی خامنه‌ای‎‎
Supreme Leader Of Iran

Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting on Sunday with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as well as the ambassadors and chargés d’affaires representing the Islamic Republic overseas,  “Like all countries in the world, the country (Iran)’s foreign policy is based on long-term interests and principles and values and does not change with the taking office of administrations with different political attitudes. The administrations are influential on and involved in tactics and executive initiatives of foreign policy strategies,” Ayatollah Khamenei added.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution referred to the Americans’ policies in the highly sensitive West Asia region as the main reason behind the unstable situation in the region, saying: “Despite certain views, the US constitutes the main part of the problems in the region, not part of a solution to the problems.”
Ayatollah Khamenei touched on other principles of foreign policy stipulated in the Constitution, including brotherly commitments to all Muslims in the world, wholehearted support for the oppressed in the world, full negation of colonialism and preventing the infiltration of foreigners in all sectors, safeguarding all-out independence, defending the rights of all Muslims, non-commitment to hegemonic powers, mutually peaceful relations with non-belligerent governments, non-interference in the internal affairs of nations and supporting righteous combats of the oppressed against the oppressors in every spot in the world. The Leader of the Islamic Revolution added: “These appealing, novel and lofty principles have attracted the minds of nations, particularly the elite.”
Ayatollah Khamenei described the Islamic Republic’s logic on regional issues as globally popular and strong. Detailing Iran’s solutions to these issues, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: “On the issue of Palestine, while refusing to recognize the usurping and fake [Israeli] regime and strongly condemning the daily atrocities and crimes of this regime, we have suggested elections be held with the presence of all Palestinians, which is fully compliant with the current criteria in the world.”
“Any government that would be born out of the votes of the Palestinian nation will decide the future of Zionists and the residents of occupied territories. Of course, in opposition to our logical proposal, we have been told that it means the collapse of the usurping regime, and it is natural that this fake regime must collapse,” said Ayatollah Khamenei.
Regarding Syria, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: “Our words in this domain are the strongest. In our view, there is no point in other countries sitting together and deciding about a governing system and the head of that government. That is a dangerous precedent which no government in the world would want to be subjected to.”
 “The solution to the Syria issue is elections and to that effect, war and unrest should first end with a halt to military and financial aid to the dissidents, so that the Syrian people would elect anyone they want in a safe and calm atmosphere,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
In this regard, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution rejected the idea of the disintegration of countries and their transformation into small-sized ethnic units, saying: “Recognizing one of armed groups as reference for decision-making and the formation of a government is neither logical nor acceptable and such formulas will actually make the war drag on.”
On Iraq, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “Dividing this country into Shia Arab, Sunni Arab and Kurd regions fully disserves people’s interests and is impractical, meaningless and unacceptable.”
“Iraq’s territorial unity, territorial integrity and regarding people’s vote as reference[for decision-making] define the principles of Iran’s solution for Iraq,” said the Leader of the Islamic Revolution. 
Referring to Yemen, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “An immediate end to the Saudi crimes and the start of a Yemeni-Yemeni dialog could bring an end to conflicts in this country.”
Ayatollah Khamenei also said of the Bahrain issue: “The people of Bahrain want nothing but the right to vote and the right to elect, and we consider this request of theirs as logical.”
After expressing the Islamic Republic’s solutions for resolving the region’s problems, Ayatollah Khamenei said: “The main cause of these insecurities lies in the US support for the Zionist regime and terrorist groups, and these policies differ 180 degrees with the policies of the Islamic Republic.”

The Supreme Court's malevolent Citizens United decision has produced an insidious platinum class of mega-donors and corporate super PACs.

In today's so-called "democratic" election process, Big Money doesn't talk, it roars -- usually drowning out the people's voice.
Bizarrely, the Supreme Court decreed in its 2010 Citizens United ruling that money is a form of "free speech." Thus, declared the learned justices, people and corporations are henceforth allowed to spend unlimited sums of their money to "speak" in election campaigns. But wait -- if political speech is measured by money then by definition speech is not free. It can be bought, thereby giving the most speech to the few with the most money. That's plutocracy, not democracy.
Sure enough, in the first six months of this presidential election cycle, more than half of the record-setting $300 million given to the various candidates came from only 358 mega-rich families and the corporations they control. The top 158 of them totaled $176 million in political spending, meaning that, on average, each one of them bought more than a million dollars' worth of "free" speech.
Nearly all of their money is backing Republican presidential hopefuls who promise: (1) to cut taxes on the rich; (2) cut regulations that protect us from corporate pollution and other abuses of the common good; and (3) to cut Social Security, food stamps and other safety-net programs that we un-rich people need. The great majority of Americans adamantly oppose all of those cuts -- but none of us has a million bucks to buy an equivalent amount of political "free" speech.
It's not just cuts to taxes, regulations and some good public programs that are endangered by the Court's ridiculous ruling, but democracy itself. That's why a new poll by Bloomberg Politics found that 78 percent of the American people -- including 80 percent of Republicans -- want to overturn Citizens United. But those 358 families, corporations and Big Money politicos will have none of it. In fact, America's inane, Big Money politics have become so prevalent in this election cycle that -- believe it or not -- candidates have found a need for yet another campaign consultant.
Already, candidates are walled off from people, reality and any honesty about themselves by a battalion of highly specialized consultants controlling everything from stances to hairstyle. But now comes a whole new category of staff to add to the menagerie: "donor maintenance manager."
The Supreme Court's malevolent Citizens United decision has produced an insidious platinum class of mega-donors and corporate super PACs, each pumping $500,000, $5 million, $50 million -- or even more -- into campaigns. These elites are not silent donors, but boisterous, very special interests who are playing in the new, Court-created political money game for their own gain. Having paid to play, they feel entitled to tell candidates what to say and do, what to support and oppose. A Jeb Bush insider confirms that mega-donors have this attitude: "Donors consider a contribution like, 'Well, wait, I just invested in you. Now I need to have my say; you need to answer to me.'"
Thus, campaigns are assigning donor maintenance managers to be personal concierges to meet every need and whim of these special ones. This subservience institutionalizes the plutocratic corruption of our democratic elections, allowing a handful of super-rich interests to buy positions of overbearing influence directly inside campaigns.
Donors at the million-dollar-and-up level are expecting much more than a tote bag for their "generous gifts" of "free speech." Of course, candidates piously proclaim, "I'm not for sale." But politicians are just the delivery service. The actual products being bought through the Supreme Court's Money-O-Rama political bazaar are our government's policies, tax breaks and other goodies -- as well as the integrity of America's democratic process.

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