Saturday, January 31, 2015

CIA Tested 25 Bombs before helping Mossad Kill Top Hezbollah Figure: Report

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The US helped Mossad assassinate a top Hezbollah figure in Syria in 2008 by lending bomb expertise and surveillance on the ground, Washington Post reported. The joint operation marked CIA’s post-9/11 drift toward modern-day drone killings.
The death of Imad Mughniyah on February 2008 was initially pinned on the Israelis. Hezbollah’s international operations chief, he was suspected of having a hand in many terrorist attacks, including the 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy and the 1994 attack on a Jewish community center, both in Argentina.
The suspicion that the CIA may have been involved in the assassination arose on several occasions. But now the newspaper Washington Post reports that this indeed was the case, citing five former US intelligence officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The US was instrumental in killing Mughniyah, who was among other things suspected of planning the 1983 bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut, the newspaper said. The CIA provided the bomb, which was planted in a spare tire on the Hezbollah official’s car. An American spotter team in Damascus tracked him down and gave a signal to Mossad agents in Tel Aviv that they could remotely trigger the explosive device.
“The way it was set up, the US could object and call it off, but it could not execute,” a former US official told the Post.
The bomb itself was reportedly built by Americans after a series of testing at a CIA facility in North Carolina. The charge was shaped to ensure that no collateral damage would happen – a pledge that the agency allegedly made to US lawmakers during a secret briefing in the lead-up to the operation.
“We probably blew up 25 bombs to make sure we got it right,” the former official said.
FILE PHOTO: A bulldozer demolishes the bombed out building of the American embassy in Beirut. (Reuters)FILE PHOTO: A bulldozer demolishes the bombed out building of the American embassy in Beirut. (Reuters)
The newspaper calls the killing of Mughniyah the most high-risk action by US intelligence in recent years, after the assassination of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan in 2011. It also marked a significant shift in how America targeted its enemies triggered by the September 2001 terrorist attacks.
The Bush administration secured approval from the attorney general, the director of national intelligence, the national security adviser and the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department to carry out the operation, one former official said. Getting them to sign off on it required a legal justification, which was that Mughniyah “was a continuing threat to Americans” due to his organizing of attacks against American troops by Iraqi militias.
“The decision was we had to have absolute confirmation that it was self-defense,” the official told The Post.
The assertion apparently was enough to override a Reagan-era prohibition on US intelligence agencies carrying out assassinations established by Executive Order 12333 and to team up with the Israelis to kill Mughniyah in the Syrian capital, far from any battlefield. The same reasoning was later used by Bush and Obama administrations to deliver hundreds of drone strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen and even kill American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki without a trial in 2011.
A man walks past a graffiti, denouncing strikes by US drones in Yemen, painted on a wall in Sanaa, November 13, 2014. (Reuters/Khaled Abdullah)A man walks past a graffiti, denouncing strikes by US drones in Yemen, painted on a wall in Sanaa, November 13, 2014. (Reuters/Khaled Abdullah)
The Post says that the US determination to kill Mughniyah was voiced to Israelis as early as in 2002. At a secret meeting with the chief of Israeli military intelligence service senior officials from US military’s elite Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) suggested to discuss such an operation.
“When we said we would be willing to explore opportunities to target him, they practically fell out of their chairs,” a former US official described the reaction of the Israelis to the suggestion.
JSOC envisioned a commando raid rather than a clandestine bombing attack and wanted Israeli support for evacuation.
Eventually the mission to kill Mughniyah became a long term CIA-Mossad effort with at least a year spent on studying the target’s habits to establish a plan for the attack. At one moment the team reportedly had a chance to kill both him and Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Quds Force, when they met in Damascus, but the Bush administration didn’t give the agents the authority to kill the Iranian.
After the news of Mughniyah’s death broke, the US hailed it.
“The world is a better place without this man in it. He was a coldblooded killer, a mass murderer and a terrorist responsible for countless innocent lives lost,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said at the time.

Is Washington Financing Terrorism? Islamic State (ISIS) Mercenary Admits Getting Funds from US

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The Express Tribune, an affiliate of the New York Times, recently reported in an article titled, “Startling revelations: IS operative confesses to getting funds via US,” that another “coincidence” appears to be contributing to the so-called “Islamic State’s” (ISIS) resilience and vast resources. A recent investigation being conducted by Pakistani security forces involving a captured ISIS fighter has revealed that he and many fighters alongside him, received funds that were routed through the US.
“During the investigations, Yousaf al Salafi revealed that he was getting funding – routed through America – to run the organisation in Pakistan and recruit young people to fight in Syria,” a source privy to the investigations revealed to Daily Express on the condition of anonymity.
Al Salafi is a Pakistani-Syrian, who entered Pakistan through Turkey five months ago. Earlier, it was reported that he crossed into Turkey from Syria and was caught there. However, he managed to escape from Turkey and reached Pakistan to establish IS in the region.
The Tribune would also reveal that the findings of the investigations were being shared with the United States. The source cited by the  Tribune suggested a compelling theory as to why the US has attempted to portray itself as “at war with ISIS,” stating:
“The US has been condemning the IS activities but unfortunately has not been able to stop funding of these organisations, which is being routed through the US,” a source said.
“The US had to dispel the impression that it is financing the group for its own interests and that is why it launched offensive against the organisation in Iraq but not in Syria,” he added.
Indeed, the story reveals several troubling aspects regarding ISIS’ operations in Syria. First, Al Salafi’s ability to effortlessly enter into Syria through NATO-member Turkey, then escape back to Pakistan, again, via Turkey once again confirms that the source of ISIS’ strength is not captured Syrian oil fields or ransoms paid in exchange for hostages, but rather from a torrent of fighters, arms, equipment, and cash flowing from NATO territory in Turkey.
Second – the US does indeed claim to be at war with “ISIS,” going as far as unilaterally bombing Syrian territory while claiming it must now train more militants not only to topple the Syrian government, but now also to fight ISIS – yet appears incapable of stopping torrents of cash flowing from its own borders into the hands of its implacable enemy. A similar conundrum presented itself amid the recent Paris killings, where France too is participating in military operations aimed at both toppling the Syrian government and allegedly fighting ISIS – yet claims to be unable to stop thousands of its own citizens from leaving its borders to join ISIS’ ranks.
The All-Selectively-Seeing Eyes of American Surveillance 
Finally, now that the US is reportedly aware that money destined for ISIS has been routed through its own borders, surely it can leverage its massive and continuously growing surveillance state to identify where the money originated from. The individuals, organization, or government that provided the funds can then suffer the same fate other “state sponsors of terrorism” have suffered at the hands of US foreign policy, including sanctions, invasion, and occupation.
However, the likelihood that the US was unaware of these routed funds – specifically because of its massive and continuously growing surveillance state – is unlikely, as is the likelihood that the US is not also fully aware of where the funds originated from. Der Spiegel in a report titled, “‘Follow the Money’: NSA Monitors Financial World,” would state (emphasis added):
In the summer of 2010, a Middle Eastern businessman wanted to transfer a large sum of money from one country in the region to another. He wanted to send at least $50,000 (€37,500), and he had a very clear idea of how it should be done. The transaction could not be conducted via the United States, and the name of his bank would have to be kept secret — those were his conditions.
Though the transfer was carried out precisely according to his instructions, it did not go unobserved. The transaction is listed in classified documents compiled by the US intelligence agency NSA that SPIEGEL has seen and that deal with the activities of the United States in the international financial sector. The documents show how comprehensively and effectively the intelligence agency can track global flows of money and store the information in a powerful database developed for this purpose.
The obstacle the US faces in stemming funds destined for ISIS centers then, not on knowing about them, but on the fact that both the US itself and its closest allies in the region surrounding Syria are directly complicit in the funding.
As exposed by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his 2007 article, “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” it was stated explicitly that (emphasis added):
To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda. 
Thus, it is clear, that from 2007 where the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel openly conspired to stand up, fund, and arm a terrorist army to fight a proxy war against Syria and Iran, to 2015 where this army has finally manifested itself as the “Islamic State” complete with funding, arms, and fighters streaming in from NATO members, the source cited by the Tribune claiming that “the US had to dispel the impression that it is financing the group for its own interests,” and thus must now feign to be interested in stopping the organization in Syria, is the most compelling and logical explanation available.
It will be interesting to see if the New York Times itself picks up its affiliate’s story, or if the US State Department, reportedly aware that ISIS funds are being routed through America, makes a comment on this recent development. What is more likely, however, is that the “War on Terror” charade will continue, with the US propping up ISIS, using it both as impetus to funnel more cash and weapons into the region that will inevitably – and intentionally – end up in ISIS’ hands, or as an excuse to intervene militarily in Syria’s conflict more directly.
Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”

OSCE Observers Accompany Russian Aid Convoy to Ukraine For First Time

News | 31.01.2015 | 21:27
Sputnik - Russia’s 12th humanitarian aid convoy that reached eastern Ukraine on Saturday became the first of its kind to be accompanied by observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), a Russian emergencies ministry official said Saturday.
“For the first time, staff from the OSCE mission accompanied [the convoy] from the crossing to the place of unloading,” said Alexander Lekomtsev, head of the emergencies ministry’s Noginsk rescue center.
The 12th Russian humanitarian convoy to Ukraine’s conflict-torn Donbas region delivered more than 1,500 tonnes of aid on Saturday, including food, medicines, building materials and electric power equipment.
The convoy, consisting of more than 170 vehicles, split in two ahead of the Ukrainian border, with one column proceeding to the Donetsk Region, while the other headed for Luhansk. Both columns were accompanied by OSCE staff, the emergencies ministry said.
Russia has been sending humanitarian aid convoys to eastern Ukraine since August. The region is facing a major humanitarian crisis after months of fighting left many local residents without food, drinking water and electricity.
Tags: OSCE Novorossiya Ukraine

Syriza’s victory

Germany between a rock and a hard place

EDITOR'S CHOICE | 31.01.2015 | 10:24
We are only beginning to evaluate what SYRIZA’s victory may mean for the Eurozone. As a matter of fact, this victory is calling Germany’s bluff and forces into the open its double talk about the Eurozone. Yet, deprived as it is of room for manoeuver, Germany might react violently and indirectly provoke the dissolution of the Eurozone, even though it is presently its mean beneficiary. In order to make this understandable, we must here remember a few facts.

The truly historic victory of SYRIZA in Greece has catapulted its leader, the charismatic Alexis Tsipras, under the limelight. It befits to be reminded that his party is in reality an alliance regrouping former leftists, former communists, ecologists and former socialists. What is cementing this improbable alliance and explains its success, with over 36% of votes expressed, is in reality much deeper, but also much more complex than the « social question. » Not that the latter is not important, and even tragic. One can understand the refusal of a murderous austerity which has been savaging the population ever since 2010. But there is also the question of national sovereignty. The refusal to submit to the injunctions of Brussels and of the European commission, which was expressed on the very first day following the elections, is a very important dimension in SYRIZA’s victory. The social question, upon which the French commentators are focusing, however important it may be, does not explain everything. In reality, SYRIZA has engaged in a fight for the sovereignty of the Greek people, against the bureaucrats of Brussels and Frankfurt, seat of the European Central Bank. The victory of SYRIZA may be a harbinger of the one of PODEMOS in Spain in early autumn. And, just as in SYRIZA, the soverenist component is far from negligible in PODEMOS, or for that matter in the Irish party who will also try a run for victory in early 2016, the SIN FEINN.
Beyond the symbols, there are actions. And the first actions of Tsipras have been very strong signals sent to the authorities in Brussels. First of all, he has constituted his government by making an alliance with the party of “Independent Greeks,” or AN.EL. Many consider that this is an alliance against nature between the far-left and the right. But such a judgement reflects precisely their misunderstanding of SYRIZA’s fight, and its reduction to the sole social question. What justifies the alliance between SYRIZA and the « Independent Greeks, » is precisely the fight for the independence of Greece. Tsipras, right in his first speech, spoke about the newly found independence of his country from a European Union overtly described as an oppressor. The second strong action of the new government, which has had no echo in the French press but which is fundamental, has been to dissociate itself from the EU declaration about Ukraine. Once again, as could be expected, the European Union was condemning Russia. Tsipras has said loud and clear that Greece did not approve this declaration, neither in substance nor in form. However, this point is going to become more and more important. The policies of the European Union concerning international affairs are of anintergovernmental nature. This implies that decisions be taken unanimously [1]. The new Greek government is therefore reproaching the EU for this decision to have been taken without respecting the procedures internal to the EU [2]. It is clear forthwith that the EU will no longer be able to behave as before concerning Russia as well as Ukraine. The third action was the decision of the government, announced by the new minister of finances M. Varoufakis, to immediately suspend the privatization of the harbour of Piraeus. This decision signals the end of the auctioning off of Greece for the profit of foreign countries. Here again, we find the necessity to affirm Greek sovereignty. But this decision is also a severe blow dealt to the various companies who had sat themselves down at table before this juicy market.
The German dilemma
We must then try to understand the position of Germany. The declaration of the Minister of the Economy, M Sigmar Gabriel, is luminous in this regard. He declared: “a principle of justice must be respected, as far as our population is concerned [3].” He stressed that this notorious « principle of justice » needed to be applied in favour of « the people in Germany and in Europe (…) who showed their solidarity” (with the Greeks). In reality, the aid in question went mainly to European banks which had bought a large share of the Greek debt. There has been no “solidarity,” only a well understood principle of the socialisation of losses. Nevertheless, we must ask ourselves about the “why?” of his declaration.
Germany does not want the Eurozone to become a “transfer union.” This has been a constant ever since the beginning of negotiations on the Eurozone. We can well understand this, for if the principles of a real “federalism” were applied (the way they are inside a country like France) Germany, as a rich “region” in the Eurozone, would have to contribute as much as 8-9% of its GDP per year, over a period of ten years at least. One can consider that this would end up breaking the back of the German economy. But Germany wants – on the other hand – the advantages of the single currency and an unchanging exchange rate with its “customer” countries. That’s where the shoe hurts. Indeed, either Germany accepts a new – and very thorough restructuration of the Greek debt (or a moratorium on it), and it will immediately be seized upon by similar demands from countries like Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Italy. Or Germany adopts a “hard” position, wrapped in obscene whinings like those of Sigmar Gabriel (and forgetting all the restructurings of German debt which occurred  during the XX. Century) and provoke a showdown with Greece. But then, the risk is big to see Greece leaving the Euro, and a process of contagion taking place.
As a matter of fact, and whatever Germany will do, it will be confronted with this process of contagion, either inside the Euro (and with ever mounting pressure to see its contributions increasing) or outside, with a probable dislocation of the Eurozone. Germany still has a choice, but it is a choice between evils. And one might conjecture that, in this case, it will end up choosing, for itself, and more precisely for its leaders, that which will appear as the lesser one: the break-up of the Eurozone. But Germany cannot, for historical reasons, bear the responsibility for the destruction of this zone. It will have to saddle it on the Greeks, at all costs, even if it means deploying the most massive bad faith.
In any case, the future looks bleak for Germany who is understanding at present that it is stuck in a trap, the very trap in which it had thought to shut in the other countries. Whatever way out it will be choosing, Europe, which is at present a form of German property, will come out of it weakened. But this weakening really has its origins in the fact that Germany has knowingly practiced a “lone ranger” policy while pretending to adhere to federal mechanisms. Double talk always comes at a cost, and in this case the cost will be especially high.
Anticipation by the ECB?
We must then go back to the conference of Mario Draghi on Thursday, January 22. We have already pointed out the importance of the limitation at 20% of the ECB’s guarantee on the new purchases of securities. [4] But one may well ask if, in reality, Mario Draghi was not anticipating the situation to come, and the probable disintegration of the Eurozone. One may read his policies, and his declarations, as the following choice: no mutualization of debts if there is no economic mutualization (budgetary, in particular). This is a very reasonable position. The mutualization of debts would make sense only if one ended up rapidly with a system of economic and budgetary mutualization. However, Mario Draghi is not ignorant of the fact that Germany is strongly opposed to such a mutualization. Which is why he is organizing the monetary fractioning of the debt market, and in so doing the re-nationalization of the latter. This could very well be the last stage before a dissolution of the Eurozone.
But, in order for there to be an « organized » dissolution, Germany would have to recognize the dilemma into which it has been thrown by its very own policies. There is very little probability that the German leaders, be they from the CDU-CSU or the SPD – who all have colluded with this policies, will accept it. Let’s say it upfront, the probability is low indeed. The path we should be expecting things to be taking is the one of a rising confrontation with Greece driving the latter to default on its debt and to be « expulsed » from the Eurozone, not formally (for nothing allows to do this) but in fact. The ECB will stop furnishing the Greek Central Bank and will decide that the « euros » emitted in Greece can no longer circulate in the rest of the Eurozone. We note that mechanisms of this type have already been implemented before, granted over a very short period, against Cyprus.
It is clear also that the Greek government is preparing for a scenario of this type. It is going to realize a budget in strict equilibrium, in exchange of course for affecting to other expenses the spendings earmarked for interest payment on the debt. But if this policy makes sense for Greece, it doesn’t by any means do so for the Eurozone, which will then be confronted with a massive crisis of distrust, and a rapid contagion to other countries. This will be the scenario of the “dislocation” of the Eurozone.
It would be matter a lot if our French political personnel began to prepare for this. But one may fear that, living as it does in a bubble and practicing a peculiar form of political autism, it will have seen nothing coming and be confronted with reality in a very brutal way.

[1] Gaspers Jan, « The Quest for European Foreign Policy Consistency and the Treaty of Lisbon », inHumanitas, Journal of European Studies, Vol. 2, No. 1, 2008.
[2] See the blog of the Minister of Finances, M Yanis Varoufakis :
Par Jacques Sapir,
Die Wiederauferstehung der Spartaner in Griechenland
Paul Craig Roberts

Nachdem ich gerade geschrieben habe, dass Griechenland Spartaner braucht, um sich gegen seine Gläubiger und die EU durchzusetzen, lässt die neue griechische Regierung erkennen, dass es sich bei ihr um Spartaner handelt. Hören Sie, was der neue griechische Premierminister Alexis Tsipras sagt: „Wir sollten die Regierung aus Neonazis in der Ukraine nicht akzeptieren oder anerkennen.“ „Der EU fehlt Demokratie, und die Bürger glauben nicht, dass ihre Stimme die Politik ändern kann.“
Die neue griechische Regierung hat gegen die jüngste Verurteilung Russlands durch die EU protestiert, indem sie sagte, dass dieser Angriff gegen Russland in den Medien berichtet wurde, als wäre er einstimmig, während in Wirklichkeit Griechenland, die Slowakische Republik, Ungarn und Österreich dagegen gestimmt haben. Gegen Russland wurden keine neuen Sanktionen verhängt. 
Der neue griechische Außenminister Nikos Kotzias sagte, dass eine Vorkehrung, die weitere Sanktionen gegen Russland verhängt hätte, auf das Beharren Griechenlands hin von der Tagesordnung des Treffens gestrichen wurde. Griechenland verlangte auch, dass das Kommuniqué nicht direkt Russland die Schuld am Konflikt in der Ukraine gibt.
Der deutsche Außenminister Steinmeier tobte anscheinend, dass die EU Russland weiter vermöbeln würde, wenn die unabhängigkeitsbewussten Ostukrainer einen Angriff gegen die geschlagenen Kräfte unternehmen, die am letzten Überfall Kiews gegen die russischsprachigen Provinzen der Ukraine beteiligt waren. Der Washingtoner Hampelstaat Ukraine ist in Gefahr zusammenzukrachen, wenn Russland den separatistischen Provinzen freie Hand lässt. 
Man kommt nicht umhin, sich zu fragen, wie lange die EU-Vertreter, Merkel und Cameron die Sparmaßnahmen gegen die Völker Europas verteidigen können, ohne selbst auf Laternenpfosten zu landen. Die Art Sparsamkeit, die von Griechenland und anderen Völkern Europas verlangt wird, ist die Art, die zu Revolutionen führt.
Die Art von ignoranter Arroganz, die Washingtons Neokonservative charakterisiert, befällt jetzt die Führung der Europäischen Union. „Sollen sie Kuchen essen“ – nach dieser Parole richtet sich die Politik. 
Wenn die neue griechische Regierung bei ihren roten Umhängen bleibt und die Plünderer der EU nicht nachgeben, kann Griechenland sich für seine Finanzierung an die neue BRICS-Bank wenden und der EU den Rücken kehren. Die anderen südeuropäischen Länder, die für die Plünderung vorgesehen sind, könnten folgen.Unnachgiebigkeit auf Seiten der EU und der Gläubiger Griechenlands könnte einen Schwarzen Schwan freisetzen, der die EU und in der Folge die NATO abwickeln könnte. Frieden würde kommen auf die geplünderte und von Kriegen zerrissene Erde. 
Wenn die Gier und die Dummheit von Griechenlands Gläubigern und die Halsstarrigkeit Deutschlands und der EU anhalten, könnte Washingtons europäisches Reich zerbröckeln. Nicht anders als Xerxes’ Armee. 
Die Unsterblichen erwiesen sich als nicht unsterblicher als das exzeptionelle Volk sich als exzeptionell erwiesen hat. Ein paar rote Umhänge können den Haufen auseinanderjagen. 
Hoffen wir, dass Griechenland so weitermacht.
erschienen am 30. Januar 2015 auf Paul Craig Roberts Website

Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Leader of The Islamic Republic of Iran:Message to the Youth in Europe and North-America

 Get First Hand Knowledge, Inform Yourself Form Original Sources, Raise Questions!

Message of Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Leader of The Islamic Republic of Iran

 In the name of God, the Beneficent the Merciful

 To the Youth in Europe and North America,

The recent events in France and similar ones in some other Western countries have convinced me to directly talk to you about them. I am addressing you, [the youth], not because I overlook your parents, rather it is because the future of your nations and countries will be in your hands; and also I find that the sense of quest for truth is more vigorous and attentive in your hearts.

I don’t address your politicians and statesmen either in this writing because I believe that they have consciously separated the route of politics from the path of righteousness and truth.

I would like to talk to you about Islam, particularly the image that is presented to you as Islam. Many attempts have been made over the past two decades, almost since the disintegration of the Soviet Union, to place this great religion in the seat of a horrifying enemy. The provocation of a feeling of horror and hatred and its utilization has unfortunately a long record in the political history of the West.

Here, I don’t want to deal with the different phobias with which the Western nations have thus far been indoctrinated. A cursory review of recent critical studies of history would bring home to you the fact that the Western governments’ insincere and hypocritical treatment of other nations and cultures has been censured in new historiographies.

The histories of the United States and Europe are ashamed of slavery, embarrassed by the colonial period and chagrined at the oppression of people of color and non-Christians. Your researchers and historians are deeply ashamed of the bloodsheds wrought in the name of religion between the Catholics and Protestants or in the name of nationality and ethnicity during the First and Second World Wars. This approach is admirable.

By mentioning a fraction of this long list, I don’t want to reproach history; rather I would like you to ask your intellectuals as to why the public conscience in the West awakens and comes to its senses after a delay of several decades or centuries. Why should the revision of collective conscience apply to the distant past and not to the current problems? Why is it that attempts are made to prevent public awareness regarding an important issue such as the treatment of Islamic culture and thought?

You know well that humiliation and spreading hatred and illusionary fear of the "other” have been the common base of all those oppressive profiteers. Now, I would like you to ask yourself why the old policy of spreading "phobia” and hatred has targeted Islam and Muslims with an unprecedented intensity. Why does the power structure in the world want Islamic thought to be marginalized and remain latent? What concepts and values in Islam disturb the programs of the super powers and what interests are safeguarded in the shadow of distorting the image of Islam? Hence, my first request is: Study and research the incentives behind this widespread tarnishing of the image of Islam.

My second request is that in reaction to the flood of prejudgments and disinformation campaigns, try to gain a direct and firsthand knowledge of this religion. The right logic requires that you understand the nature and essence of what they are frightening you about and want you to keep away from.

I don’t insist that you accept my reading or any other reading of Islam. What I want to say is: Don’t allow this dynamic and effective reality in today’s world to be introduced to you through resentments and prejudices. Don’t allow them to hypocritically introduce their own recruited terrorists as representatives of Islam.

Receive knowledge of Islam from its primary and original sources. Gain information about Islam through the Qur’an and the life of its great Prophet. I would like to ask you whether you have directly read the Qur’an of the Muslims. Have you studied the teachings of the Prophet of Islam and his humane, ethical doctrines? Have you ever received the message of Islam from any sources other than the media?

Have you ever asked yourself how and on the basis of which values has Islam established the greatest scientific and intellectual civilization of the world and raised the most distinguished scientists and intellectuals throughout several centuries?

I would like you not to allow the derogatory and offensive image-buildings to create an emotional gulf between you and the reality, taking away the possibility of an impartial judgment from you. Today, the communication media have removed the geographical borders. Hence, don’t allow them to besiege you within fabricated and mental borders.

Although no one can individually fill the created gaps, each one of you can construct a bridge of thought and fairness over the gaps to illuminate yourself and your surrounding environment. While this preplanned challenge between Islam and you, the youth, is undesirable, it can raise new questions in your curious and inquiring minds. Attempts to find answers to these questions will provide you with an appropriate opportunity to discover new truths.

Therefore, don’t miss the opportunity to gain proper, correct and unbiased understanding of Islam so that hopefully, due to your sense of responsibility toward the truth, future generations would write the history of this current interaction between Islam and the West with a clearer conscience and lesser resentment.

Seyyed AliKhamenei

21st Jan. 2015