Rustom Ghazali, Syria's former Military Intelligence Chief in Lebanon, has died in Damascus

The Daily Star (Lebanon) published an interesting compilation, here, on the reports of the cause of Rustom Ghazali’s death, announced this morning.

The Daily Star noted that “reports conflicted over his cause of death, and when and where he died. The news comes nearly two months after he was reported to have been badly beaten by Syrian security forces”.

In 2002, Ghazali became head of Syrian Military Intelligence, replacing General Ghazi Kanaan [who is said to have committed suicide, an explanation at odds with the circumstances, including the number of shots to his head].

As The Daily Star put it, “Ghazaleh succeeded Ghazi Kanaan as head of military intelligence in Lebanon in 2002 during Syria’s tutelage over Lebanon, which lasted until Damascus pulled its troops from the country in 2005. It is widely speculated that he was one of the men who orchestrated the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Damascus denies any involvement in the 2005 killing”.

In 2012, The Daily Star wrote today, “Ghazaleh was appointed the chief of Syria’s infamous political security branch”.

According to an AFP report cited by The Daily Star, a “family source” said that Ghazaleh “had been fired after getting into a fight with another Syrian official in early March”.

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More celebrity UN Goodwill Ambassador news – Angelina Jolie addresses UNSC on Syria

It is completely incongruous for UN Goodwill Ambassadors to address the UN Security Council on matters of substance relating to some of the worst and most intractable conflicts in the world.

This ridiculous scheme was thought up by some of the former heads of the UN Department for Public Information, because they argued this is the only way to get media+ world attention — and enthusiastically embraced approved by some former UN Secretaries General [as well as by the current UNSG] and UN heads of agencies…who prioritize fund-raising over political [and therefore controversial] work.

Angelina Jolie arrives to address the UNSC on Syria war
Angelina Jolie arrives to address the UNSC on its failure to end Syria war

In a continuation of this recent incongruous tradition, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie has just been given the floor to address the UNSC on Syria, and used the word “We” when speaking of the UN failures there…

AFP reported that “Actress¬†Angelina Jolie¬†on Friday criticized the UN Security Council’s failure to end the war in Syria, as she appealed for urgent help for the growing ranks of Syrian refugees…’The purpose of the UN is to prevent and end conflict, to bring countries together, to find diplomatic solutions and to save lives’, said Jolie, dressed in a white blazer. ‘We failed to do this in Syria’…The crisis is made worse by division and indecision within the international community preventing the Security Council from fulfilling its responsibilities…If we cannot end the conflict, we have an inescapable moral duty to help refugees and provide legal avenues to safety”, Jolie said. The actress spoke of a “sea of excluded humanity”, and added: “The crisis in Syria illustrates that our inability to find diplomatic solutions causes mass displacement, traps millions of people in exile, statelessness and displacement”…
This APF report was published by Lebanon’s The Daily Star, here.

“We” = meaning, the UN Security Council + Angelina Jolie?

It takes Angelina Jolie to remind the 15 members of the UN Security Council what is the purpose of the UN?

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The US Counter-Terrorism policy, explained on orders from the White House

Watch this press briefing at the White House on 23 April — following President Obama’s announcement that it had just been realized that two hostages [one American, one Italian] had been inadvertently killed in a US strike “in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region” in January…

In the briefing, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that “Our CounterTerrorism people follow *Near-Certainty* standards” to carry out an operation, and then evaluate it later using a *high-confidence* battle-damage assessment [[drawin on multiple sources of intel] …

He explained that *Near-Certainty* standards mean “that it was an Al Qaeda compound frequented by an al-Qaeda leader + that civilans wouldn’t be hurt”…

[The *Near-Certainty” standards are described in this link, a White House Fact Sheet Tweeted by @MicahZenko = “US Policy Standards and Procedures for the Use of Force in Counterterrorism Operations Outside the United States and Areas of Active Hostilities”

All these *Near-Certainty* standards were observed, and yet two hostages [that the US did not even know were on the site] were killed, so there will now be some kind of reassessment to see how such ops could be improved, Earnest indicated.

But these ops will not be stopped, Earnest said: “These CT [CounterTerrorism] ops, which are critical to the nationale security of the US and to the safety of American people, will continue”…

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