Remarks by US President Donald Trump at Israel Museum on May 23, 2017

Editor’s Note: Never Again.

 

 

 

Remarks by US President Donald Trump at Israel Museum on May 23, 2017

Thank you, Prime Minister Netanyahu. I want to thank you and Sara for hosting us for what has been an unforgettable visit to this very special land. I also want to thank Chairman Yitzchak Molcho, Acting Director Ayelet Shiloh-Tamir, and Chief Operating Officer Dalia Lazar, for hosting us today in this incredible museum. And thank you, Ambassador and Mrs. Friedman for joining us, along with a number of very good friends who have come from our country to yours as we reaffirm the unshakable bond between the United States and Israel.

It is a privilege to stand here in this national museum, in the ancient city of Jerusalem, to address the Israeli people – and all people in the Middle East who yearn for security, prosperity and peace.

Jerusalem is a sacred city. Its beauty, splendor, and heritage are like no other place on eart

The ties of the Jewish people to this Holy Land are ancient and eternal. They date back thousands of years, including the reign of King David whose star now flies proudly on Israel’s white and blue flag.

Yesterday, I visited the Western Wall, and marveled at the monument to God’s presence and man’s perseverance – I was humbled to place my hand upon the wall and to pray in that holy space for wisdom from God.

I also visited and prayed at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, a site revered by Christians throughout the world. I laid a wreath at Yad Vashem, honoring, remembering, and mourning the 6 million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust. I pledged there what I pledge again to those here today: NEVER AGAIN.

Israel is a testament to the unbreakable spirit of the Jewish people. From all parts of this great country, one message resounds: and that is the message of hope.

Down through the ages, the Jewish people have suffered persecution, oppression and even those who have sought their destruction. But, through it all, they have endured – and they have thrived.

I stand in awe of the accomplishments of the Jewish People, and I make this promise to you: My Administration will always stand with Israel.

Through your hardships, you have created one of the most abundant lands in the world. A land that is rich not only in history, culture, and opportunity, but especially in spirit.

This museum where we are gathered today tells the story of that spirit – from the two Holy Temples, to the glorious heights of Masada, we see an incredible story of faith and perseverance. That faith is what inspired Jews to believe in their destiny, to overcome their despair, and to build here a future that others dared not to dream.

In Israel, not only are Jews free to till the soil, teach their children, and pray to God in the ancient land of their forefathers. But Muslims, Christians, and people of all faiths, and both men and women, are free to live and worship according to their conscience, and to follow their dreams.

While evil forces seeks to kill innocents of all faiths, your nation has responded with compassion, charity, and generosity.

Today, gathered with friends, I call upon all people – Jews, Christians, Muslims, and every faith, tribe, and creed – to draw inspiration from this ancient city, to set aside our sectarian differences, to overcome oppression and hatred, and to give all children the freedom and hope and dignity written into our souls.

Earlier this week, I spoke at a historic summit in Saudi Arabia. There, I urged our friends in the Muslim world to join us in creating stability, safety and security. I was deeply encouraged by the desire of many leaders to join us in cooperation toward these shared and vital goals. Conflict cannot continue forever – the only question is when nations will decide that they have had enough.

That historic summit represents a new opportunity for people throughout the Middle East to overcome sectarian and religious divisions to extinguish the fires of extremism, and find common ground and shared responsibility in making the future of this region. Change must come from within.

No mother or father wants their children to grow up in a world where terrorists roam free, schoolchildren are murdered, and their loved ones are taken. No child is born with prejudice in their heart. No one should teach young boys and girls to hate and kill.

And no civilized nation can tolerate the massacre of innocents with chemical weapons.

My message to that summit was the same message I have for you: We must build a coalition of partners who share the aim of stamping out extremism and violence – and providing our children a peaceful and hopeful future.

But a hopeful future for children in the Middle East requires the world to fully recognize the vital role of the state of Israel.

And, on behalf of the United States, we pledge to stand by you and defend our shared values so that together we can defeat terrorism and create safety for all of God’s children.

Israelis have experienced firsthand the hatred and terror of radical violence. Israelis are murdered by terrorists wielding knives and bombs. Hamas and Hezbollah launch rockets into Israeli communities where schoolchildren have to be trained to hear the sirens and run to bomb shelters. ISIS targets Jewish neighborhoods, synagogues, and storefronts. And Iran’s leaders routinely call for Israel’s destruction.

Despite these challenges, Israel is thriving as a sovereign nation – and no international body should question the contributions Israel makes to the region.

Today, let us pray for that peace – and for a more hopeful future across the Middle East.

There are those who present a false choice. They say that we must choose between supporting Israel and supporting Arab and Muslim nations in the region. That is completely wrong. All decent people want to live in peace, and all humanity is threatened by the evils of terrorism. Diverse nations can unite around the goal of protecting innocent life, upholding human dignity, and promoting peace and stability in the region. My Administration is committed to pursuing such a coalition, and we have already made substantial progress during this trip.

We know, for instance, that both Israelis and Palestinians seek lives of hope for their children. And we know that peace is possible if we put aside the pain and disagreements of the past and commit together to finally resolving this crisis which has dragged on for nearly half century.

As I have repeatedly said, I am personally committed to helping Israelis and Palestinians reach that mutual commitment comprehensive peace agreement, and I had a great meeting this morning with President Mahmoud Abbas and I can tell you that he is ready to reach a peace deal.

Making peace will not be easy. We all know that. Both sides will face tough decisions. But with determination, compromise on both sides, and the belief that peace is possible, Israelis and Palestinians can make a deal. But even as we work toward peace, we will build strength to defend our nations.

The United States is firmly committed to keeping Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and halting their support of terrorists and militias that are causing so much suffering and chaos throughout the Middle East.

America’s security partnership with Israel is stronger than ever – including the Iron Dome missile defense program, which has been keeping the Israeli people safe from short-range rockets launched by Hezbollah and Hamas. And David’s sling which guards against long range missiles. It is my hope that someday very soon Israeli children will never need to rush towards shelter, as sirens ring out.

Finally, the United States is proud that Israeli Air Force pilots are flying new American F-35 planes to defend their nation, and it was wonderful to see these mighty aircraft in the skies over Israel recently as you celebrated the 69th anniversary of Israel’s independence.

But even as we strengthen our partnership in practice, let us always remember our highest ideals – let us never forget that the bond between our two nations is woven together in the hearts of our people – and their love of freedom, hope, and dignity for all.

Let us dream of a future where Jewish, Muslim and Christian children can grow up together and live together in trust, harmony, tolerance and respect.

Israel is a thriving nation – and has not only uplifted this region, but the entire world.

The conviction of Theodor Herzl rings true today: “whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind.”

As we stand in Jerusalem, we see pilgrims of all faiths coming to this land to walk on this hallowed ground.

Jews place the prayers from their hearts in the stone blocks of the Western Wall.

Christians pray in the pews of an ancient church.

Muslims answer the call to prayer at their holy sites.

This city, like no other place in the world, reveals the longing of the human heart – to know and worship God.

Jerusalem stands as a reminder that life can flourish against any odds.

When we look around this city, and we see people of all faiths engaged in reverent worship, and school children learning side-by-side, and men and women lifting up the needy and forgotten, we see that God’s promise of healing has brought goodness to so many lives. We see that the people of this land had the courage to overcome the oppression and injustice of the past – and to live in the freedom God intends for every person on this earth.

Today, in Jerusalem, we pray and we hope that children around the world will soon be able to live without fear, to dream without limits, and to prosper without violence. I ask this land of promise to join with me to fight our common enemies, to pursue our shared values, and to protect the dignity of every child of God.

Thank you. God bless you. God bless the State of Israel. And God bless the United States.

 

 

 

 

 

Off we go…The long march from the madras to…

 

 

Full transcript of Trump’s Riyadh speech, as released by White House

Full transcript of Trump’s Riyadh speech, as released by White House

May 21, 2017, 12:21 pm

The full transcript of Trump’s speech to Muslim-world leaders, as published by the White House moments after he finished speaking in Riyadh.

I want to thank King Salman for his extraordinary words, and the magnificent Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for hosting today’s summit. I am honored to be received by such gracious hosts. I have always heard about the splendor of your country and the kindness of your citizens, but words do not do justice to the grandeur of this remarkable place and the incredible hospitality you have shown us from the moment we arrived.

You also hosted me in the treasured home of King Abdulaziz, the founder of the Kingdom who united your great people. Working alongside another beloved leader – American President Franklin Roosevelt – King Abdulaziz began the enduring partnership between our two countries. King Salman: your father would be so proud to see that you are continuing his legacy – and just as he opened the first chapter in our partnership, today we begin a new chapter that will bring lasting benefits to our citizens.

Let me now also extend my deep and heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of the distinguished heads of state who made this journey here today. You greatly honor us with your presence, and I send the warmest regards from my country to yours. I know that our time together will bring many blessings to both your people and mine.

I stand before you as a representative of the American People, to deliver a message of friendship and hope. That is why I chose to make my first foreign visit a trip to the heart of the Muslim world, to the nation that serves as custodian of the two holiest sites in the Islamic Faith.

In my inaugural address to the American People, I pledged to strengthen America’s oldest friendships, and to build new partnerships in pursuit of peace. I also promised that America will not seek to impose our way of life on others, but to outstretch our hands in the spirit of cooperation and trust.

Our vision is one of peace, security, and prosperity—in this region, and in the world.

Our goal is a coalition of nations who share the aim of stamping out extremism and providing our children a hopeful future that does honor to God.
And so this historic and unprecedented gathering of leaders—unique in the history of nations—is a symbol to the world of our shared resolve and our mutual respect. To the leaders and citizens of every country assembled here today, I want you to know that the United States is eager to form closer bonds of friendship, security, culture and commerce.

For Americans, this is an exciting time. A new spirit of optimism is sweeping our country: in just a few months, we have created almost a million new jobs, added over 3 trillion dollars of new value, lifted the burdens on American industry, and made record investments in our military that will protect the safety of our people and enhance the security of our wonderful friends and allies – many of whom are here today.

Now, there is even more blessed news I am pleased to share with you. My meetings with King Salman, the Crown Prince, and the Deputy Crown Prince, have been filled with great warmth, good will, and tremendous cooperation. Yesterday, we signed historic agreements with the Kingdom that will invest almost $400 billion in our two countries and create many thousands of jobs in America and Saudi Arabia.

This landmark agreement includes the announcement of a $110 billion Saudi-funded defense purchase – and we will be sure to help our Saudi friends to get a good deal from our great American defense companies. This agreement will help the Saudi military to take a greater role in security operations.

We have also started discussions with many of the countries present today on strengthening partnerships, and forming new ones, to advance security and stability across the Middle East and beyond.

Later today, we will make history again with the opening of a new Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology – located right here, in this central part of the Islamic World.

This groundbreaking new center represents a clear declaration that Muslim-majority countries must take the lead in combatting radicalization, and I want to express our gratitude to King Salman for this strong demonstration of leadership.

I have had the pleasure of welcoming several of the leaders present today to the White House, and I look forward to working with all of you.
America is a sovereign nation and our first priority is always the safety and security of our citizens. We are not here to lecture—we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship. Instead, we are here to offer partnership – based on shared interests and values – to pursue a better future for us all.

Here at this summit we will discuss many interests we share together. But above all we must be united in pursuing the one goal that transcends every other consideration. That goal is to meet history’s great test—to conquer extremism and vanquish the forces of terrorism.

Young Muslim boys and girls should be able to grow up free from fear, safe from violence, and innocent of hatred. And young Muslim men and women should have the chance to build a new era of prosperity for themselves and their peoples.

With God’s help, this summit will mark the beginning of the end for those who practice terror and spread its vile creed. At the same time, we pray this special gathering may someday be remembered as the beginning of peace in the Middle East – and maybe, even all over the world.
But this future can only be achieved through defeating terrorism and the ideology that drives it.

Few nations have been spared its violent reach.

America has suffered repeated barbaric attacks – from the atrocities of September 11th to the devastation of the Boston Bombing, to the horrible killings in San Bernardino and Orlando.

The nations of Europe have also endured unspeakable horror. So too have the nations of Africa and even South America. India, Russia, China and Australia have been victims.

But, in sheer numbers, the deadliest toll has been exacted on the innocent people of Arab, Muslim and Middle Eastern nations. They have borne the brunt of the killings and the worst of the destruction in this wave of fanatical violence.

Some estimates hold that more than 95 percent of the victims of terrorism are themselves Muslim.

We now face a humanitarian and security disaster in this region that is spreading across the planet. It is a tragedy of epic proportions. No description of the suffering and depravity can begin to capture its full measure.

The true toll of ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, and so many others, must be counted not only in the number of dead. It must also be counted in generations of vanished dreams.

The Middle East is rich with natural beauty, vibrant cultures, and massive amounts of historic treasures. It should increasingly become one of the great global centers of commerce and opportunity.

This region should not be a place from which refugees flee, but to which newcomers flock.

Saudi Arabia is home to the holiest sites in one of the world’s great faiths. Each year millions of Muslims come from around the world to Saudi Arabia to take part in the Hajj. In addition to ancient wonders, this country is also home to modern ones—including soaring achievements in architecture.

Egypt was a thriving center of learning and achievement thousands of years before other parts of the world. The wonders of Giza, Luxor and Alexandria are proud monuments to that ancient heritage.

All over the world, people dream of walking through the ruins of Petra in Jordan. Iraq was the cradle of civilization and is a land of natural beauty. And the United Arab Emirates has reached incredible heights with glass and steel, and turned earth and water into spectacular works of art.

The entire region is at the center of the key shipping lanes of the Suez Canal, the Red Sea, and the Straits of Hormuz. The potential of this region has never been greater. 65 percent of its population is under the age of 30. Like all young men and women, they seek great futures to build, great national projects to join, and a place for their families to call home.

But this untapped potential, this tremendous cause for optimism, is held at bay by bloodshed and terror. There can be no coexistence with this violence. There can be no tolerating it, no accepting it, no excusing it, and no ignoring it.

Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person, and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith.
Terrorists do not worship God, they worship death.

If we do not act against this organized terror, then we know what will happen. Terrorism’s devastation of life will continue to spread. Peaceful societies will become engulfed by violence. And the futures of many generations will be sadly squandered.

If we do not stand in uniform condemnation of this killing—then not only will we be judged by our people, not only will we be judged by history, but we will be judged by God.

This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations.

This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it.
This is a battle between Good and Evil.

When we see the scenes of destruction in the wake of terror, we see no signs that those murdered were Jewish or Christian, Shia or Sunni. When we look upon the streams of innocent blood soaked into the ancient ground, we cannot see the faith or sect or tribe of the victims – we see only that they were Children of God whose deaths are an insult to all that is holy.

But we can only overcome this evil if the forces of good are united and strong – and if everyone in this room does their fair share and fulfills their part of the burden.

Terrorism has spread across the world. But the path to peace begins right here, on this ancient soil, in this sacred land.

America is prepared to stand with you – in pursuit of shared interests and common security.

But the nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them. The nations of the Middle East will have to decide what kind of future they want for themselves, for their countries, and for their children.

It is a choice between two futures – and it is a choice America CANNOT make for you.

A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists. Drive. Them. Out.

DRIVE THEM OUT of your places of worship.

DRIVE THEM OUT of your communities.

DRIVE THEM OUT of your holy land, and

DRIVE THEM OUT OF THIS EARTH.

For our part, America is committed to adjusting our strategies to meet evolving threats and new facts. We will discard those strategies that have not worked—and will apply new approaches informed by experience and judgment. We are adopting a Principled Realism, rooted in common values and shared interests.

Our friends will never question our support, and our enemies will never doubt our determination. Our partnerships will advance security through stability, not through radical disruption. We will make decisions based on real-world outcomes – not inflexible ideology. We will be guided by the lessons of experience, not the confines of rigid thinking. And, wherever possible, we will seek gradual reforms – not sudden intervention.

We must seek partners, not perfection—and to make allies of all who share our goals.

Above all, America seeks peace – not war.

Muslim nations must be willing to take on the burden, if we are going to defeat terrorism and send its wicked ideology into oblivion.

The first task in this joint effort is for your nations to deny all territory to the foot soldiers of evil. Every country in the region has an absolute duty to ensure that terrorists find no sanctuary on their soil.

Many are already making significant contributions to regional security: Jordanian pilots are crucial partners against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Saudi Arabia and a regional coalition have taken strong action against Houthi militants in Yemen. The Lebanese Army is hunting ISIS operatives who try to infiltrate their territory. Emirati troops are supporting our Afghan partners. In Mosul, American troops are supporting Kurds, Sunnis and Shias fighting together for their homeland. Qatar, which hosts the U.S. Central Command, is a crucial strategic partner. Our longstanding partnership with Kuwait and Bahrain continue to enhance security in the region. And courageous Afghan soldiers are making tremendous sacrifices in the fight against the Taliban, and others, in the fight for their country.

As we deny terrorist organizations control of territory and populations, we must also strip them of their access to funds. We must cut off the financial channels that let ISIS sell oil, let extremists pay their fighters, and help terrorists smuggle their reinforcements.

I am proud to announce that the nations here today will be signing an agreement to prevent the financing of terrorism, called the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center – co-chaired by the United States and Saudi Arabia, and joined by every member of the Gulf Cooperation Council. It is another historic step in a day that will be long remembered.

I also applaud the Gulf Cooperation Council for blocking funders from using their countries as a financial base for terror, and designating Hezbollah as a terrorist organization last year. Saudi Arabia also joined us this week in placing sanctions on one of the most senior leaders of Hezbollah.

Of course, there is still much work to do.

That means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it inspires. And it means standing together against the murder of innocent Muslims, the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews, and the slaughter of Christians.

Religious leaders must make this absolutely clear: Barbarism will deliver you no glory – piety to evil will bring you no dignity. If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and YOUR SOUL WILL BE CONDEMNED.

And political leaders must speak out to affirm the same idea: heroes don’t kill innocents; they save them. Many nations here today have taken important steps to raise up that message. Saudi Arabia’s Vision for 2030 is an important and encouraging statement of tolerance, respect, empowering women, and economic development.

The United Arab Emirates has also engaged in the battle for hearts and souls—and with the U.S., launched a center to counter the online spread of hate. Bahrain too is working to undermine recruitment and radicalism.

I also applaud Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon for their role in hosting refugees. The surge of migrants and refugees leaving the Middle East depletes the human capital needed to build stable societies and economies. Instead of depriving this region of so much human potential, Middle Eastern countries can give young people hope for a brighter future in their home nations and regions.

That means promoting the aspirations and dreams of all citizens who seek a better life – including women, children, and followers of all faiths. Numerous Arab and Islamic scholars have eloquently argued that protecting equality strengthens Arab and Muslim communities.

For many centuries the Middle East has been home to Christians, Muslims and Jews living side-by-side. We must practice tolerance and respect for each other once again—and make this region a place where every man and woman, no matter their faith or ethnicity, can enjoy a life of dignity and hope.

In that spirit, after concluding my visit in Riyadh, I will travel to Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and then to the Vatican – visiting many of the holiest places in the three Abrahamic Faiths. If these three faiths can join together in cooperation, then peace in this world is possible – including peace between Israelis and Palestinians. I will be meeting with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Starving terrorists of their territory, their funding, and the false allure of their craven ideology, will be the basis for defeating them.

But no discussion of stamping out this threat would be complete without mentioning the government that gives terrorists all three—safe harbor, financial backing, and the social standing needed for recruitment. It is a regime that is responsible for so much instability in the region. I am speaking of course of Iran.

From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms, and trains terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region. For decades, Iran has fueled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror.

It is a government that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing the destruction of Israel, death to America, and ruin for many leaders and nations in this room.

Among Iran’s most tragic and destabilizing interventions have been in Syria. Bolstered by Iran, Assad has committed unspeakable crimes, and the United States has taken firm action in response to the use of banned chemical weapons by the Assad Regime – launching 59 tomahawk missiles at the Syrian air base from where that murderous attack originated.

Responsible nations must work together to end the humanitarian crisis in Syria, eradicate ISIS, and restore stability to the region. The Iranian regime’s longest-suffering victims are its own people. Iran has a rich history and culture, but the people of Iran have endured hardship and despair under their leaders’ reckless pursuit of conflict and terror.

Until the Iranian regime is willing to be a partner for peace, all nations of conscience must work together to isolate Iran, deny it funding for terrorism, and pray for the day when the Iranian people have the just and righteous government they deserve.

The decisions we make will affect countless lives.

King Salman, I thank you for the creation of this great moment in history, and for your massive investment in America, its industry and its jobs. I also thank you for investing in the future of this part of the world.

This fertile region has all the ingredients for extraordinary success – a rich history and culture, a young and vibrant people, a thriving spirit of enterprise. But you can only unlock this future if the citizens of the Middle East are freed from extremism, terror and violence.

We in this room are the leaders of our peoples. They look to us for answers, and for action. And when we look back at their faces, behind every pair of eyes is a soul that yearns for justice.

Today, billions of faces are now looking at us, waiting for us to act on the great question of our time.

Will we be indifferent in the presence of evil? Will we protect our citizens from its violent ideology? Will we let its venom spread through our societies? Will we let it destroy the most holy sites on earth? If we do not confront this deadly terror, we know what the future will bring—more suffering and despair. But if we act—if we leave this magnificent room unified and determined to do what it takes to destroy the terror that threatens the world—then there is no limit to the great future our citizens will have.

The birthplace of civilization is waiting to begin a new renaissance. Just imagine what tomorrow could bring.

Glorious wonders of science, art, medicine and commerce to inspire humankind. Great cities built on the ruins of shattered towns. New jobs and industries that will lift up millions of people. Parents who no longer worry for their children, families who no longer mourn for their loved ones, and the faithful who finally worship without fear.

These are the blessings of prosperity and peace. These are the desires that burn with a righteous flame in every human heart. And these are the just demands of our beloved peoples.

I ask you to join me, to join together, to work together, and to FIGHT together— BECAUSE UNITED, WE WILL NOT FAIL.

Thank you. God Bless You. God Bless Your Countries. And God Bless the United States of America.

 

Syrian Renaissance Plan by MG Paul Vallely, USA (ret.)

Syrian Renaissance Plan

 

 Reconstructing Syria After Its Devastation by War and Destruction

 

 

 

 

Proposed by

Paul E. Vallely MG US Army (Ret)

 

Chairman Stand Up America, Legacy National

Security Advisory Group and Syrian Liaison Group

 

  • Syria Statistics after 6 years of war:  470,000 dead; 1+ million injured; 11.3 million driven out of their homes.  According to UNICEF – 8.4 Million, more than 80% of Syria’s child population, have been seriously affected, whether in Syria or as refugees. Tens of thousands of children have died.
  • The most important element of this plan is to create the first Safe Zones for returning refugees and displaced citizens from within, from such places as Aleppo and throughout the devastated regions of the country.
  • Infrastructure for the entire Syrian Renaissance must be identified in outline, even though the time horizon for the infrastructure is much longer term and the scope of creation much farther and broader reaching to eventually encompass the entire nation.
  • Vital infrastructure will include: roads, electrical, solar, digital, ports, bridges, airports, water, desalinization, dry-land agriculture, transportation and so much more.  Consider the mobile grid and its relation to the internet, for example.  There are many new technologies available to leap frog aging platforms to embrace the new.  This vision points toward a new Syria that rises to fulfill the full potential of the nation in its glorious history, of the wonderful people in all their diversity of religion and culture.  The term “Renaissance” (rebirth) is in NO way exaggerated.
  • BUT FIRST: The safe return of the dispersed refugees in their millions, as well as the displaced and hopeless due to the devastating war, must be facilitated, and the overwhelming process of making them whole for the short term must be faced and accomplished.
  • A large Re-entry Assessment Facility will be necessary to process returning Syrian refugees. Assuming the refugees will be entering through the Syrian Mediterranean ports, busing may be required to a central facility where a thorough questioning, identification and clearing of individuals and family’s needs to take place.
  • Very importantly, within the facility, medical assessments must occur, requiring nurses, nurse practitioners and doctors on site.  According to the Save the Children Report on Syria 2014, measles, meningitis and polio are on the rise with as many as 80,000 Syrian children who may be carriers.
  • At least one-third of children under 5 have not received their vaccinations. Every child, age 15 years and under must be issued vaccination booklets detailing vaccinations needed, given with dates.  Parents will keep these booklets safe and bring them to doctor visits.  The information should be electronically maintained in hospitals/clinics, as well.
  • Malnutrition and resulting medical issues need to be identified. Many adults and children may be suffering from skin conditions.
  • It has been shown in refugee camps in Lebanon that disbursement of Vaseline (petroleum jelly) by volunteer medical professionals through donations by the Vaseline company, have been successful in mitigating many skin conditions presented. Disbursement of this simple emollient at the re-entry facility would be beneficial. Tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment and other contagious medical issues, possibly requiring the implementation of quarantine protocols, must be immediately addressed.
  • Vouchers for food and clothing, packages of personal hygiene sundries, small cash disbursements, etc. should be distributed at the assessment center.
  • All information must be electronically preserved.
  • Once this initial process is underway, the most important part of the plan will be the Safe Zones which MUST be created.  A commitment to the nation, its sovereignty, the safety of its citizens within their own country, and to their future as proud, productive citizens must be expressed in transformational action.
  • This is equally important for the stabilization of the region as it is for the security of other places such as Europe, currently bearing a load of human need vastly beyond their means to serve, let alone to secure.  The entire world needs to see that the War has ended, a plan has commenced and that a future can be envisioned.
  • Following processing, a destination is required.  The first step is to identify areas for mixed-used development – outside Latakia and Tartous on the Mediterranean in Western Syria would be ideal initial locations.
  • Bus will be the main mode of transportation for returning refugees.  Ideally, travel will be restricted, for the protection of the people. T ravel between the resettlement communities and Latakia, in the north, and Tartous, in the south, should be sufficient range for the people to move around and possibly find work.  Obviously, a bus terminal may need to be constructed and possibly, temporary bus passes issued to those seeking work.
  • Housing, daily life supply, education, work, recreation and worship, all must be addressed as quickly as possible.  It is not enough to house the body, or even provide safety and physical security.  Productivity is every bit as important for the health and wellbeing of both individual and community.
  • The mixed-use community model employed calls for businesses to also be created so that inhabitants may find work and income as well as enjoy daily life activities. These must run the gamut from local eateries and other such retail and support services, to more advanced businesses and light manufacturing.
  • The modern term, “mixed-use development communities,” refers to the historic pattern of human settlements in their natural condition.  Residential (apartments, townhouses, individual homes) industrial, institutional (schools, hospitals, places of worship), shopping, entertainment areas (parks, soccer fields, playgrounds) are combined within walking distance for ease and cost reduction/profit enhancement. Many of these communities are also bicycle friendly. This type of development would be well suited for returning refugees because it provides for most human needs in one place, fosters a sense of community and connection to others. For example: laundromats where women may congregate with attached playrooms for the youngest children would contribute to the well-being of the family in several important ways.
  • Eco-friendly beehive homes are found across the Syrian landscape and have been keeping desert families cool for centuries. However, beehive dwellings have dark interiors due to a lack of windows. A small opening at the very top of the dwelling which allows heat and smoke to escape provides very little light.
  • There is a modern building process called rammed earth that is economical, allows for windows, can be used in at least 2 story construction, does not need to be painted, the materials utilized for interior and exterior walls are available locally and it is a visually beautiful product. Electricity and plumbing fittings can be readily placed within the walls. And upon completion this modern, natural housing would be environmentally attractive, physically comfortable and comforting to a traumatized people.
  • Another option is modified (windows and standard housing doors added) shipping containers. With the initial re-settlements being on the coast and near Syria’s main shipping ports, containers may be a very practical form of housing as well. Containers will need to be cleaned and painted, adding to the cost, but they are weather resistant. Desert rooftop cooling systems, such as those used on desert military bases, would be necessary. Their maintenance is low cost with minimal tools required. Containers are readily stackable using cranes and can easily be used to create more than satisfactory apartments or even individual homes.
  • Wooden shipping pallets are easily turned into tables and benches for interiors. With waterproof camping pads (which are also insect resistant) placed on top and a blanket they may be used as sleeping pallets.
  • Manufacturing buildings are of importance for the people to engage in development and productivity at earliest moment possible.
  • Along with the economic activity, a plan must be put in place to secure property rights for all inhabitants, so that the power of capitalism can be unleashed, and growth, further development and restoration of culture can root and take off on its own.
  • Going beyond robust property rights, low taxation for stable collection and the responsible creation of local government is critical.  Corruption must be, if not abolished, discouraged aggressively.  Public safety policing is necessary, and must be led by refugees themselves for integrity and acceptance.  Even when the number of such restorative communities is small, it will set a new tone for the future of the nation more broadly.  This combination of robust property rights, low and fair taxation and the stabilization of a growing economy create the basis for a stable, high value currency broadly throughout the nation.
  • For any of these economic directions to be viable, training and re-training will be critical.  Economic and technical training facilities to provide for this need will be constructed as soon as housing has been provided and the first people arrive.
  • Shipping containers that have been cleaned and modified with windows and doors and swamp coolers can be used, at least initially, for school classrooms. One-half of the 4.8 million registered refugees are children.  Presently 5 out of 10 children are out of school.  That number may be even higher among the returning refugees as education has not held the priority that it normally has in Syrian life.  Enrollment in schools outside of Syria often requires legal registered status and school fees, books/materials are certainly tertiary to the obvious priorities of housing and food.  Also, many older children have had to find employment to add to their families’ incomes, meager as they are.  In neighboring countries and in Europe, even living in tents often requires fees to be paid.
  • Clearly this is an enormous problem for Syria as the refugees arrive home. Schools have been damaged in the bombings. In the coastal area, where the refugees will locate until the country is safe for them to travel to their home cities, or possibly remain and establish themselves, thousands of children will need to be educated. If the children’s educations are neglected, Syria will be dealing with an uneducated populace in the future, from which many more serious problems would arise. To avoid that pitfall, children need to be in school until 14 years of age, minimum. Of course, Syrian parents, most of whom value education highly, would prefer their children to complete high school and move on to higher education.
  • Vocational schools for older students and for re-training adults are highly recommended. Skilled workmen will be needed to rebuild Syria and move it forward, eventually into the 21st century.
  • An early business that will be needed, for efficient supply, is an Amazon-style distribution center, allowing a leapfrog to modern logistics and online access, as well as efficient delivery.  This one business alone will be a model for other communities and for the entire nation as it reverts from a state of war to a state of peace and looks toward the future.
  • That vision, the vision of a new Syria arising, rebuilt and restored, will be rooted in the minds and hearts of the people, and will rapidly spread throughout the nation as source of hope and optimism.

 

 

 

 

Gen. Vallely: Russia ‘Posturing’ on Syria Retaliation Threat

 

Gen. Vallely: Russia ‘Posturing’ on Syria Retaliation Threat

Newsmax TV’s “America Talks Live”

By Bill Hoffmann   

Russia’s sword-rattling at the United States following last week’s cruise-missile strike in Syria is likely a “posturing” gesture and not a true threat, retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely told Newsmax TV.

“It’s just the weight of Russia trying to trumpet some type of reaction to the hits on the Syrian airfield,” Vallely told host Bill Tucker on Monday’s “America Talks Live.”

“But it’s been very well supported, I think, even Saudi Arabia and many of the Arab countries said it’s the right thing to do.”

A joint command center made up of the forces of Russia, Iran, and militias supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said the U.S. strike crossed “red lines,” and it would respond to any new aggression and increase its support for its ally.

 

The U.S. fired dozens of cruise missiles at a Syrian air base Friday from which it said a deadly chemical weapons attack had been launched earlier in the week.

Vallely said Syria’s use of deadly chemicals is nothing new.

“The 2013 sarin gas attack [killed] all these innocent civilians and children and so on,” he told Tucker. “But nobody would take any action at that time, so I’m glad Trump has finally done it.

“I think they’re planning a Phase II right now because all the aircraft were not taken out . . . Russia’s just posturing now. I think Secretary [of State Rex] Tillerson going to Moscow this week … [is a] mission to set up a summit between Trump and [Russia President Vladimir] Putin.

“The key is as we’ve told the Russians – and it’s very true – Assad has got to retire,” Vallely said.

 

Watch interview here

 

 

Gen. Vallely: Trump-Putin Meeting Could Happen This Summer

Gen. Vallely: Trump-Putin Meeting Could Happen This Summer

 

 

 

(Election Central With Rita Cosby)

By Cathy Burke   |   Monday, 13 Mar 2017 10:16 PM

A meeting between President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin could occur this July — and rival the 1986 summit between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev that ended the Cold War, retired Army Major Gen. Paul Vallely predicts.

In an interview on “Election Central with Rita Cosby,” on WABC Radio, Vallely, in Moscow on March 1 at the Valdai Discussion Club Conference, said he believes the meeting might take place before the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.

“When I was in Moscow, one of the messages that I did receive that I can tell you [is] that President Putin understands from his standpoint what’s going on in the United States, and that Trump should be very patient, and that Putin is willing to meet with Trump at some point in time, because… we’re not going to solve the situation in Syria, the Middle East, without working with Turkey and with Russia,” he told Cosby.

The message, he said, was relayed to him through an unofficial channel — a British spy Vallely knows.

“The message is, basically, Putin understands these deceptive things that are going on in the political environment in the United States, and that he’ll be very patient from the standpoint of waiting, and if Trump decides, or wants to, he’ll be willing to meet with him,” Vallely said.

He added that the message suggested “maybe we can do a thing in Reykjavik, Iceland again, as Gorbachev and Reagan had to do when we saw the [Berlin] wall come down after that.”

“So, it’s more positive and I think President Trump understands that it’s more positive to meet with Putin and talk about the issues at hand, rather than trying to be adversarial,” Vallely said.

He said the Trump administration hasn’t responded yet.

“I think they’ve got other things on their plate right now,” he said. “But they know, and it’s something that can occur…. I’d say 90 days, maybe 120. I mean, I don’t know for sure, that’s up to the White House… but… it would be before the G20 conference in July.”

Vallely also revealed the Russians “like” Donald Trump.

“They see America finally with somebody with common sense that they can reason with,” Vallely said, adding that when the Russians “tried to reach back through a number of people to the Obama administration… the Obama administration would not reach back to the Russians at all.”

“And so we’re getting a Reagan-esqe type of approach now with Trump, who takes politics out of it and looks how to solve the problems, and you can only do that when you can make a deal with these people, and that’s what you have to do, bilateral deals.”

“So, it’s more positive and I think President Trump understands that it’s more positive to meet with Putin and talk about the issues at hand, rather than trying to be adversarial,” Vallely said.

He said the Trump administration hasn’t responded yet.

“I think they’ve got other things on their plate right now,” he said. “But they know, and it’s something that can occur…. I’d say 90 days, maybe 120. I mean, I don’t know for sure, that’s up to the White House… but… it would be before the G20 conference in July.”

Vallely also revealed the Russians “like” Donald Trump.

“They see America finally with somebody with common sense that they can reason with,” Vallely said, adding that when the Russians “tried to reach back through a number of people to the Obama administration… the Obama administration would not reach back to the Russians at all.”

“And so we’re getting a Reagan-esque type of approach now with Trump, who takes politics out of it and looks how to solve the problems, and you can only do that when you can make a deal with these people, and that’s what you have to do, bilateral deals.”

 

 

 

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