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By Abdel Bari Atwan

Fabricating a Pretext

Is an American missile strike on Syria imminent — possibly targeting the capital Damascus this time? That was certainly the impression given by US President Donald Trump when he blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran for the alleged use of chemical weapons in the town of Duma, supposedly in support of President Bashar al-Asad – who he described as an “animal”, and threatened that there would be a “price to pay” by them all.

The European Union promptly issued a statement holding “the Asad regime” responsible for the chemical attack in the Eastern Ghouta district, and similar statements will likely follow from various European governments and those of countries like Canada and Australia. This has become the normal procedure to prepare public opinion for military action, before impartial international investigations have even begun to establish the truth or identify the perpetrators.

Trump’s national security team was meeting on Sunday night to consider responding to the chemical attack. The decision seems already to have been taken, so no actual consideration is needed, other than about the scale and nature of the strike and the targets that should be hit in Syria. We may wake up on Monday morning to the news that the anticipated attack has taken place.

Thomas Bosert, Trump’s homeland security and anti-terrorism advisor, said in an American TV interview on Sunday that he was ruling nothing out and the Administration was “looking into the attack at this point”, while describing the images of the chemical incident as “horrible.”

The Syrian foreign ministry denied there had been any use of chemical weapons in Ghouta, and accused media outlets aligned with Jaish al-Islam of fabricating the story in order to implicate the Syrian army. The army has been making steady advances in the area and is on the verge of eliminating the remaining pockets of gunmen, It had struck a deal with Jaish al-Islam fighters in Douma, the group’s last remaining stronghold, offering them safe passage to Jarablus or Idlib in exchange for abandoning their positions and the release of of 3,500 detainees.

Two weeks ago, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he expected armed groups in Syria to “fabricate” a chemical weapons attack in order to provide Trump with a pretext to attack Syrian targets, while French President Emanuel Macron threatened that France would intervene militarily if there was any use of chemical weapons.

An official source quoted by the state news agency SANA noted that “the army is advancing rapidly and resolutely in Ghouta and does not need to use any chemical materials, as claimed and fabricated by some TV channels supporting the terrorists.” The source added that the terrorists and their sponsors had also made false allegations of the army’s use of chemical weapons in Aleppo, but these had not worked then and would not work now in Eastern Ghouta. Such statements reflect a great degree of self-confidence.

The big question now is not whether the Americans will attack – that seems almost certain – but how the Russians will respond. Will they deploy their S-400 air defence missiles to protect military and security sites in Damascus where Russian advisors are stationed, as the Russian chief of staff warned recently?

Neither we not anyone else can answer that question, which is presumably a top military secret. But it would not surprise us, at least, if the Russian leadership were to react in a different manner this time  — unless the US strikes prove to be purely exhibitionist, like the barrage of 59 cruise missiles Trump launched last year on the Shueirat airbase near Homs after it was alleged to have been the launching-pad for a chemical bombing on Khan Sheikhoun in the Idlib countryside. The missile strike resulted in negligible material damage.

The US has been dealt a major defeat in Syria, as Trump openly acknowledged a few days ago when he said he would withdraw his forces from the country after the US spent $70 billion there and gained nothing in return.

The US president is behaving like a raging bull, lashing out unthinkingly left and right. He may be preparing to commit a major folly in Syria to avenge the defeat of his country’s project there by Russia. If he does, he will only end up making his political and military defeat worse. It is he, and the racist war cabinet he has surrounded himself with, which is encouraging him to become even more reckless, who will have a “price to pay”.

 

 

 

 ASIA'S WOMEN'S WORLD CUP HOPEFULS CONFIRMED

Amman: The five teams who will represent Asia at FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 have been confirmed following Korea Republic’s 5-0 win over the Philippines in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup’s 5th/6th play-off.
Yoon Duk-yeo’s side join China PR, Australia, Thailand and Japan as the Asian sides to qualify for the global extravaganza, which will begin on June 7, 2019 in Paris and concludes with the final a month later at Parc Olympique Lyonnais in Décines-Charpieu.
Asian teams have a proud history at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, with Japan lifting the trophy in Germany 2011 and reaching the final four years later in Canada, while China PR played in front a record 90,000 fans in the final of the 1999 edition in the United States.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2018 draw will be held on December 8.

New round of warm conditions forecast today, over weekend


Amman, April 19  --  A slight drop on temperatures is forecast on Thursday, but it will remain warm in the hilly areas, the Badia region and eastern plains, while hot conditions will prevail in the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea, the Jordan Meteorological Department said.

Daytime temperatures expected today in Amman and the northern cities will hover around 28 degrees Celsius, dropping down to 14 in both areas. In the southern cities, mercury levels will range between a high of 27 degrees and a low of 10, while it will be hotter in the port city of Aqaba with highs reaching 37 degrees and lows standing at 21.

On Friday, the country will be affected by a moderate air mass, bringing temperatures back to their annual average and creating pleasant weather across many parts of the Kingdom, while it will be relatively hot in the Jordan Valley, Aqaba and the Dead Sea.

Similar moderate conditions are forecast to remain on Saturday, but with slight chance for isolated showers mainly in the southern region and westerly brisk winds blowing dust in the southern and eastern parts of the Kingdom.


Minister says recent bank robberies "worrying", urges banks to bolster security

Amman, April 19 -- Minister of Interior Samir Mubaideen said recent armed robberies on some banks in Amman are worrying and warned that the reoccurrence of such incidents threaten to inflict damage to the state's prestige.

The minister made the remarks as he, the Directors of Security agencies, the Governor of the Central Bank and Banking officials met to look into ways of finding an end to a spate of unusual armed robberies some of the capital's banks saw since the start of the current year.

The meeting came a day before an armed man robbed a bank in the northern Amman town of Sweileh at gunpoint before he was apprehended by security forces. Today's incident brings to six the number of armed robberies targeting Amman's banks since the beginning of 2018. In five incidents, the robbers were arrested and the cash stolen was retrieved but one robber remains at large.

The minister said, such robberies could not be branded as a security breach, because police support and assist bank in bolstering their security. However, the minister blamed some banks for failing to abide by a security plan devised by the ministry and banking sector's stakeholders.

He indicated, that the Central Bank Governor sent new instructions to local banks, ordering them to link their on-site security alarm and CCTV systems with police command and control centers, install electronic gates and employ security guards in all branches.

The meeting was also attended by Director of the Public Security Department (PSD), Major-General Fadel Al-Hamoud, Director General of the Gendarmerie Department, Major General Hussein Al-Hawatmeh, Chairman of Association of Banks in Jordan, Hani Al-Qadi and a number of concerned officials.

 

King receives Custodian of the Crown of Romania

Amman, April 19 -- His Majesty King Abdullah II on Wednesday received HRH Princess Margareta, the Custodian of the Crown of Romania and HRH Prince Radu, who are visiting the Kingdom at the head of a Romanian economic delegation.

The meeting discussed ways to enhance trade and investment exchange between the two countries and expand cooperation in the communications and information technology, tourism, culture and higher education domains. The meeting discussed prospects for increasing the number of scholarships offered by Romanian universities to Jordanian students.

It also touched on Jordan's attractive investment environment and its competitive advantages in many domains, as well as opportunities to benefit from the strategic location of Jordan as a gateway to regional and international markets.

King Abdullah and the Romanian Royals stressed the importance of building on this visit to promote economic cooperation between Jordan and Romania through reciprocal visits between representatives of the private sectors in both countries.

Princess Margareta stressed that Jordan is a model of moderation and tolerance, praising the Kingdom's role under the leadership of His Majesty the King in promoting peace and stability in the region and the world.

The Romanian economic delegation, which is the largest delegation representing Romania externally, includes 60 executives of major Romanian companies, who participated in a recent Jordanian-Romanian business forum in Amman.

 

King, Austrian President hold talks on ties, Mideast issues

Amman, April 19 -- His Majesty King Abdullah II and Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen on Wednesday held talks at the Al-Husseiniya Palace focusing on ways of expanding cooperation between Jordan and Austria as well as a number of Middle East and world issues.

Following a one-on-one meeting, His Majesty the King and the Austrian president held a plenary discussion tackling prospects for closer economic cooperation and higher two-way trade exchange between the two nations, especially in areas of technical education, agriculture and tourism.

During the talks, attended by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah, the Austrian president's wife and senior officials from both countries, the two leaders emphasized the importance of forging partnerships between the public and private sectors in both countries and looked into ways of benefitting from Austria's expertise in the vocational and technical training, business incubators and entrepreneurship domains.

They also explored prospects for opening up new exports markets to Jordanian products, particularly agro produce.

King Abdullah and President Van der Bellen underlined the need for coordination and consultation between Jordan and Austria on various issues of common concern to support peacemaking efforts and bolster security and stability here in the Middle East and across the globe.

In a speech, His Majesty the King welcomed President van der Belen, his wife and the accompanying delegation. He said: "On behalf of myself, and Rania and the entire Jordanian government and people, we welcome you to Jordan, and we are delighted to have you here on your first visit."

King Abdullah indicated that relations between Jordan and Austria span over more than 60 years, underlining the outstanding cooperation between the two countries in the political, military and security fields.

"We have good economic ties, but we could always, as most countries could say, try to improve that," His Majesty noted, citing the Austrian president's meeting in Amman with Jordanian and Austrian businesspeople as a good example of ways to strengthen economic cooperation.

His Majesty added: "I wanted to thank you very much for your country's support of our refugee challenges, and looking after Jordan, speaking up for us whenever there is a chance in the international community."

The Austrian president also delivered a speech in which he said he was happy to visit Jordan, which is his first to the region since taking office.

"We realise, of course, what challenges that Jordan had to deal with in particular, in the last seven years. And your geographical position is, to say the least, not particularly easy, also concerning the most recent developments, around your country, so we are full of admiration for what you handled all over those years," the president said.

The Austrian president stressed that his country is keen to continue to develop the distinguished relations between the two countries. President Van der Bellen thanked His Majesty for the warm hospitality and said he was looking forward to visiting the ancient Nabataean city of Petra, noting that he will also visit the Zaatari Refugee Camp.

During the talks, held over a working lunch, the two leaders discussed current developments in the region and efforts to reach political solutions to them.

On the Palestinian issue, King Abdullah stressed the need to intensify efforts to re-launch serious and effective negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis based on the two-state solution, leading to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

King Abdullah highlighted the importance of the role that Austria and the European Union can play to bring about a just and comprehensive peace in the region, especially as Austria will assume the presidency of the European Union in the second half of this year.

With regard to Jerusalem, His Majesty underlined the holy city's importance for Muslims and Christians, and said Jerusalem is the key to achieving peace and stability in the region.

The talks also touched on role of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and the need for the international community to support the agency to enable it to continue providing education, health and relief services to Palestinian refugees.

With regard to the Syrian crisis, His Majesty affirmed Jordan's support for all efforts and initiatives aimed at finding a political solution to this crisis within the Geneva process, in order to restore security and stability in Syria.

During the talks, the King and the Austrian President exchanged views on a number of international issues, among which is the war on terror within a holistic strategy.

 

Austrian President stresses importance of investment opportunities in Jordan

Amman, April 19 -- Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen attended the Jordanian-Austrian Business Forum, which took place Wednesday, with the participation of 19 Austrian companies and more than 100 representatives from Jordanian companies, chambers, ministries and institutions.

The Austrian President underlined the good long-term relations with the Kingdom. "The potential for trading and investment activities for Austrian companies in Jordan has not yet been fully exploited", added Van der Bellen.

"The Kingdom is a stable and secure hub in the region, making it the ideal gateway for dealing with surrounding markets", said the Vice President of the Federal Austrian Economic Chamber, Richard Schenz.

Minister of Trade, Industry and Supply, Yaroub Qudah, pointed out to Jordan's robust economic developments despite traumatic challenges.

Furthermore, he emphasized the excellent Austrian-Jordanian relations and the will to deepen them further, saying that Jordan is looking for "long-term strategic partnerships".

Afterwards, Chairman of Arabian Business Consultants for Development, Laith Al-Qassem, delivered a keynote speech that focused on emerging business opportunities in Jordan and the region.

During the ensuing Q&A session a number of questions were raised but also existing success stories were shared.

This was followed by a networking lunch and B2B meetings between the Austrian and Jordanian companies in order to explore potential partnerships and cooperation.

This Forum was organized by Advantage Austria, the Commercial Section of the Austrian Embassy.

 

Austrian President visits Petra

Petra, April 19 -- Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, his wife and an accompanying delegation on Wednesday visited the ancient city of Petra in southern Jordan.

The Austrian President toured the archaeological and historical sites in the Rose City, including the narrow passage (Siq), the Al-Khazneh (The Treasury), the Court and the Byzantine Church.

President Van der Bellen, who was received by Petra Development Tourism Region Authority (PDTRA) Chief Commissioner, Falah Al-Omoush, was briefed by PDTRA's Deputy Chief Commissioner, Suleiman Farajat, on the history of the city and the role played by the Arab Nabataeans in its sculpture and fortification.

Van der Bellen expressed his pleasure to visit the city of Petra, which is one of the seven wonders of the world.

 

Austrian President visits the Amman Citadel

Amman, April 19 -- The Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen and his spouse on Thursday visited the Amman Citadel, known as Jebel Al Qala'a, located at the center of downtown of the capital, and toured the most important historical monuments of the archaeological site.

During the visit, the President was briefed on major buildings at the capital's highest hill, some 850 m above sea level, including the Temple of Hercules, the Byzantine church, dates back to the 6th century, the Umayyad Palace, as well as other historic buildings at the site.

The Jordanian Ambassador to Austria Hossam Husseini and his wife accompanied the President and the Austrian delegation.


Jordan among first countries in region in combating human trafficking


Amman, April 18  -- Jordan has preceded many neighboring countries in combating human trafficking, as the Kingdom supports human freedom and denies enslavement, Justice Minister Awad Abu Jarad al-Mashaqbeh said.

During his meeting with the National Committee on Preventing Human Trafficking (NCPHT) on Tuesday, Al-Mashaqbeh pointed out that his ministry is working on a clear strategy to adopt ideas proposed for discussion in the law.

At the meeting, which included members of the committee represented by secretaries-general of several ministries and the Commissioner-General of the National Center for Human Rights (NCHR), he said that Anti-Human Trafficking Law is one of the most crucial acts of major concern at domestic and international levels.

"We have a number of plans to counter this phenomenon, which has become the focus of attention of many countries", the minister said, adding "the draft bill to prevent trafficking in human beings includes several amendments that aims to protect victims of this crime by expanding the umbrella of safe protection."

The draft also contains many provisions that protect the victim and reflect at the same time the need for rehabilitating of victims in a healthy, psychological and social manner, he said further.

The draft law also entails tightening sanctions against perpetrators of human trafficking crime, taking precautionary measures against them and providing protection for witnesses.

The minister commended the role of the members of the National Committee in establishing "A Victim Fund" that will provide help for victims of trafficking.

Minister of Social Development meets Tunisian counterpart


Amman, April 18  --  Minister of Social Development, Hala Lattouf, met on Wednesday with Tunisian Minister of Women, Family and Childhood, Naziha Obeidi.

During the meeting, the ministers discussed the joint social development cooperation protocol and the executive plan of the women's economic and social empowerment strategy in the two countries' different regions.

On a related context, they discussed women empowerment, especially in rural areas and refugee host communities, and efforts to launch sustainable productive projects for them.

The ministers also reviewed services programs for the elderly people and their integration into their families and partnerships with civil society organizations in providing care to this group.

Obeidi, for her part, reviewed her country's record in protection and care programs, and various strategies aimed to curb violence against women.

Jordan, Lebanon discuss higher education cooperation


Amman, April 18  --  Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Adel Tweisi, on Wednesday discussed with the President of the American University of Beirut, Fadlo R. Khuri, means to enhance bilateral cultural relations.

During the meeting, attended by the Lebanese ambassador here, Tracey Chamoun, the two sides looked into ways to develop ties in the academic and scientific fields as well as the exchange of faculty members between the two countries' universities.

Tweisi called on the Lebanese side to send more students to Jordanian universities since they offer "distinguished" academic programs.

Tweisi said his ministry welcomes enhancement of cultural exchange between Jordanian and Lebanese universities, especially the American University, in a bid to achieve a distinguished Arab educational network.

Khuri, for his part, praised the distinguished level of the Jordanian higher education institutions as they enjoy "noted academic reputation and world-class excellence".

He said his country hopes to benefit from the national plan for the human resources development for 2015-2025 and to implement some of its provisions in Lebanon.


Jordan, Macedonia discuss higher education cooperation


Amman, April 18  --  Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Adel Tweisi, on Wednesday discussed with the Vice- President of the FON University in Macedonia, Safer Canoski, ways to carry out joint scientific projects.

During the meeting, Tweisi said Jordan's universities have achieved high levels in academic classification, accreditation and quality of education, calling on the Macedonian students to pursue degrees in the country's higher educational institutions, especially in medicine, engineering, communication and information technology.

Canoski, for his part, called on the Jordanian higher education ministry to accredit his institution and other Macedonian universities, and to enhance mutual academic and scientific cooperation.

Royal Jordanian signs contract with Spairliners


Amman, April 18  --  Royal Jordanian signed a component services contract with Spairliners, the leading Integrated Component Care provider for Embraer E-Jet and Airbus A380 aircraft.

Effective from March 2018 the contract covers the component supply and repair management of Royal Jordanian's E-Jet fleet consisting of three E175 and two E195 aircraft.

Spairliners will supply Royal Jordanian's fleet from its component pool and logistic hub in Paris, France, as well as its central spare parts warehouse in Munich, Germany. The contracted services include streamlined supply chain management, pool access, repair management and tailored logistics services for Line Replaceable Units of Royal Jordanian's E175 and E195 fleet.

Royal Jordanian's CEO Stefan Pichler states: "As an airline carrier focusing on process optimization, cost improvement and profitable growth, we are pleased to have selected Spairliners as our partner. Spairliners are ready to offer us their customized product services, attractive cost scheme and their long-term experience in supporting our Embraer fleet. We are delighted to continue and extend the successful and excellent relationship which we have with Spairliners' shareholders Air France KLM Engineering and Maintenance and Lufthansa Technik AG since many years."

"We are delighted to be awarded by Royal Jordanian Airlines. It is an honour for us to support this leading network carrier in the region with our Integrated Component Care services", says Cornelius Dalm, Head of Sales, Account Management and Marketing at Spairliners. He continues, "This contract is a great step for Spairliners to strengthen its presence in the Middle East. It enables us to further expand our footprint in this region and attract more operators with our cost-efficient services, customized product offerings and extensive in-house repair capabilities."

 

UfM launches regional programme to clean seas


Amman, April 18  -- The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), the EU Interreg Med Programme, the University of Siena and the Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA) launched in Siena the project "Plastic Busters MPAs: preserving biodiversity from plastics in Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas".

Marine litter represents a serious threat to the marine and coastal environments of the Mediterranean and to human health as around 80% of marine litter is land-based; most of it is made of plastic and micro-plastics, according to a UfM statement issued on Wednesday.

The project "Plastic Busters MPAs" benefits from €5 million funding by the EU Interreg Med Programme.

The project will be implemented by the University of Siena, the ISPRA and a wide consortium of national and regional organizations with the overall goal of maintaining biodiversity and preserving natural ecosystems in pelagic and coastal marine protected areas by implementing a harmonized approach against marine litter, explained the statement. 

Over a 4-year period, the project will address the entire management cycle of marine litter, from monitoring and assessment to prevention and mitigation, as well as actions to strengthen networking between and among pelagic and coastal marine protected areas located in Albania Croatia Greece Italy, France and Spain, noted the statement.

Commenting on the initiative, Mohammed Afana, UfM Co-President for Environment, Director of Policies & Institutional Development at the Jordanian Ministry of Environment said: "Marine litter has been highlighted as emerging priority within the UfM Ministerial Declaration on Environment and Climate Change, adopted by the 43 countries in 2014, and continues to be a top priority in the UfM agenda with respect to both, depollution and pollution prevention aspects. This goes with the need for the Mediterranean region to push forward the transition towards a circular economy".

 

Syria says chemical weapons probe waiting on U.N. clearance


New York, April 18 -- Syrian media said, international chemical weapons inspectors on Tuesday entered the town of Douma, where an alleged poison gas attack was carried out earlier this month, but a Syrian diplomat said later that only a U.N. security team visited the Damascus suburb.

Syria's U.N. Ambassador, Bashar Ja'afari, told the Security Council that the U.N. team went to Douma to decide whether investigators from the international chemical weapons watchdog could safely visit the site. If the team decides "the situation is sound", the fact-finding mission from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will start work there Wednesday, Ja'afari said.

 

Search underway for Jordanian who went missing in UAE territorial waters


Amman, April 18  --  The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said, that search for a Jordanian citizen, who went missing while diving in UAE territorial waters, is still underway.

The ministry said in a statement, that Consulate General of Jordan in Dubai in coordination with the ministry, has been following up on this issue with concerned UAE authorities since last Monday, adding that search for the missing person is continuing until this moment.

 

Jordan to host Al-Faris International Championship III Friday


Amman, April 18  -- Jordan will host Al-Faris International Horseback Archery Championship III on Friday and Saturday, with the participation of 48 contestants from 25 countries.

Al-Faris III is held under Royal Patronage, with participants from Jordan, Australia, Britain, Bulgaria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iran, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United States.

Jordan hosted and organized the first two rounds of Al-Faris Championships in 2011 and 2012.

According to Al-Faris Championship's organising committee, whose Honorary Chairman is His Royal Highness Prince Hashim bin Al Hussein, the Chief Royal Councillor, the international competition is aimed at preserving and reviving the intangible cultural heritage of horseback archery, which has deep roots in Arabic, Islamic, Turkish, Asian, and European cultures.

The championship, which will be held this year at Al-Rayah Parade Grounds in the Royal Hashemite Court, promotes interest in equestrianism and the values, arts and sports it encompasses.

Contestants will compete in three horseback archery styles representing different cultures. Winners of the first three ranks per style will be honored, as well as the overall top three outstanding competitors.

The proceeds of Al-Faris III will go to charity.



First AFC Women's Asian Cup in Jordan inspires refugee girls

AMMAN NEWSPAPER - The spirit of the AFC Women's Asian Cup reached women and girls in the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan yesterday as the competition is being hosted in West Asia for the first time.Read More


Government congratulates Christians in Jordan over Easter

Amman, April 8 -Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Jamal Sarayrah conveyed congratulations of His Majesty King Abdullah II, Prime Minister Hani Al-Mulki and the Government to Christians in Jordan on the occasion of Easter.ٌRead More

Arab business leaders urge launch of Arab salvation fund

AMMAN NEWSPAPER - Dead Sea, April 8 -- Participants in the 16th Arab Business Community Forum recommended the establishment of an Arab salvation fund to finance an Arab reconstruction project for countries that witnessed destruction in various sectors, in which Arab sovereign funds and Arab business leaders have a key role in the proposed bid.Read More



King Abdullah II Website



Jawad Anani

What is on trial?

The international propaganda machine can vilify any party, group or persons making them look criminal, regardless of the circumstances of the case. Iraqi president Saddam Hussein was attacked because the infamy machine made him look like a person who would own nuclear arms and who, unhesitatingly, would use them. Years after his execution, not a shred of evidence was found to substantiate the occupation of Iraq in 2003.

Now, Syrian President Bashar Assad and his supporters, Russia and Iran, are being put in the villain’s seat. The poison gas attack on Douma in Ghouta almost two weeks ago is now pinned against Assad. The drums of war are banging, and an attack has been waged to teach Assad a  hard lesson.

What is on trial: is it the act of the crime or the person who is most likely to have done it? Naturally, the media has, overt time, amassed evidence to vilify Presidents Saddam and Assad, but is that sufficient to make them the automatic culprits? Both were accused of using a weapon of mass destruction against their people. Halabja in Iraq, Khan Shaikhon and Douma in Syria.

The countries enjoying veto power in the Security Council use this privilege to prevent the right action from happening. Russia’s veto prevents a neutral tribunal from investigating the recent chemical weapons attack against civilians in Douma. Russia itself is accused of using such a weapon against a Russian spy and his daughter in southern England.

US President Donald Trump is currently grappling with a number of issues at home, including special counsel Robert Mueller's raid on the offices of Trump's top legal adviser Michael Cohen, and whether he should sack Mueller or not, in addition to what is labeled as his untimely visit to Latin America, whose migration and trade policies are rendering him unpopular there. Well, he postponed his Latin American visit underscoring his intent to hit Syria.

Does that sound like a thick camouflage to cover up the crimes Israeli forces are committing against Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank? In this case, the crime is obvious, the perpetrators are seen and recorded live on cameras, and the pronouncements of Israeli officials offer more than a confession to the commitment of these crimes. Why is nothing being said about that? The Great Return March by thousands of Palestinians goes unheeded by the self-acclaimed justice upholders in the international media.

We now believe that the value of Lady Justice is not about bringing the proved criminal in, but, the person who logically seems like the "one", especially if this “one” is not "our guy".



From Our Own Correspondent


ِAmmannewspaper reporter

 

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