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This week on Behind the Headlines we'll be discussing the conflicts in the Middle East and assessing where it's all likely to end up.

First up, we're interviewing Canadian freelance journalist and human rights activist Eva Bartlett. Bartlett has lived in the Gaza Strip since late 2008, and was aboard the Dignity, one of five Free Gaza missions to successfully sail to the Strip that year. Bartlett reported from Gaza during the 2008/2009 and 2012 Israeli attacks. She has visited Syria three times since April 2014, including independently on a journalist visa. Her Syria writings are collated on this page.

Later in the show, we'll also be speaking with Iranian-American Navid Nasr, writer, political analyst and host of the 'Bullet Points' radio show on the 'Voices of the 99%' radio network. Nasr has covered US and global conflicts - including those in Syria, Ukraine, Egypt, Yemen and Libya - for Lebanese Al-Etejah TV and PressTV.

Join us this Sunday, 1st November 2015, from 2-4pm EST / 8-10pm CET, for the perspective you won't hear on the mainstream media.

Running Time: 02:15:00

Download: MP3

Here's the transcript of the show:

[First 10 minutes of sound problems on and off are not transcribed]

Niall: Do we have Eva with us at the moment, guys? Not yet, ok. We're going to try to get her on the line. I believe she is in Gaza so it'll be very nice to speak with someone who has been there, still is there and is one of the few brave souls from the west to actually go to Gaza and live with these people who have been suffering there for decades.

We are still working to get Eva on the line with us.

First up, we're interviewing Canadian freelance journalist and human rights activist Eva Bartlett. She has lived in the Gaza Strip since late 2008, so maybe some seven years. She was aboard the Dignity boat, which was one of the five Free Gaza missions to successfully sail to the Strip back in 2008. Eva has been reporting from Gaza throughout the Israeli Operations - whatever - Cast Lead in '08-'09 and Pillar of Defence in 2012. She has also visited Syria three times in the last couple of years including independently on a journalist visa since April 2014. You can find Eva's writings on Syria and Gaza at her blog,

A very, very warm welcome to you Eva Bartlett.

Eva: Thank you very much. And thank you for your kind introduction. I do need to make one slight clarification.

Niall: Sure.

Eva: And that is I actually did finally leave Gaza in March 2013 and due to the circumstances in Egypt and Sinai Peninsula, that being my only point of entry, I have not been able to return to Gaza since then.

Niall: I see. Okay. Are you back in Canada now? Where are you?

Eva: At the moment I'm in Canada. In late November I'll be headed back towards Lebanon for a conference on Palestine and hopefully in December back to Syria for a women's conference in Syria.

Joe: So just to do some quick introductions here, I've already introduced myself. I'm Joe. Niall was just talking to you a second ago and we also have Harrison here.

Harrison: Hi Eva. It's great to have you on.

Eva: Thanks very much, nice to meet you all.

Joe: So, you just said that you were unable to get back into Gaza.

Eva: I haven't actually tried this time since having left in March 2013 because sources in the Sinai Peninsula have said virtually no foreigners are getting in through there. I think there are probably exceptions for certain dignitaries or if you're with a certain NGO, but I'm not with an NGO. I've been told that due to the security issues in Sinai, that's one of the reasons why people are not getting in. I don't know all the reasons behind it but I haven't heard of any independent people like myself getting in through Sinai since I left.

Joe: So when did your interest Palestine, Palestinians, Gaza, etc., begin? Was it a long time ago? Maybe you can give us a bit of background on that.

Eva: Sure. I'm always quite up front about the fact that for most of my adult life I knew nothing about Palestine, let alone any other significant issues going on. It was in my late 20's that I kind of woke up to actually knowing the name Palestine and knowing the horrific atrocities that the Zionist entity is committing against Palestinians. At that time I was teaching English abroad, paying off University debts. But I did start looking into trying to learn more about Palestine over the next couple of years. That was back in 2005 and finally in 2007 I was able to go as an activist and do activist work throughout the West Bank in solidarity with Palestinians, witnessing some of the most brutal heinous crimes by the so-called settlers - colonists and also by the Israeli army in all areas of the West Bank, in Bethlehem, in Hebron, in South Hebron, in Nablus and in smaller villages and just see the manifold means that they used to oppress Palestinians, to take away any source of income, to keep them separated from one another and to really try to oppress them, keep them from resisting this vile, decades - old occupation.

So, that was when I first became interested. And then having been arrested a couple of times, I was finally deported and banned from returning but was able to go to Gaza for the first time in November 2008 as you mentioned, with the Free Gaza movement.

Harrison: So Eva, you spent five years in Gaza, is that correct?

Eva: No, in fact I spent a year-and-a-half from having arrived in November 2008. I spent the year-and-a-half following in Gaza, then did leave and was able to go back and forth for another year-and-a-half until March 2103.

Harrison: Okay. Can you give our listeners just an idea of what the conditions are like living there, because I think a lot of us in the west see some pictures and might read some stories, but we don't really get an idea of what life is really like? Maybe you could just give us a snapshot of the conditions in Gaza, at least at the time you were there.

Eva: Sure. Initially I lived in Gaza City sharing apartments with friends and eventually I lived with a family in central Gaza and I think that that was definitely a more accurate look at what Palestinians are enduring there. For example, at the various times when I lived there for about a year-and-a-half with this family, we'd have no power for all but three or four hours a day which means that that affects the water, your ability to pump water. Because the way the water system works there for most people is that they pump water into rooftop tanks and then use them accordingly. But if you don't have power you cannot do that.

And not having power affects the hospitals, their ability to perform operations or run life-saving machines. It also affects the sanitation because unfortunately because the Zionists have not allowed Palestinians to rebuild everything that the Zionists destroy every time they wage a war on Gaza, but also they haven't allowed for natural population growth. So the infrastructure is very antiquated.

You take something like sanitation. They don't have the means to treat their sewage waste so it's basically pumped into the sea. The last time I checked, the rate I think was 80 million metres per day. I'd have to go back and check on that, but it's an obscene rate that's being pumped in the sea. But when you don't have power, it accumulates and eventually overflows into the streets as has happened many, many times.

Then on top of that you have the fact that the so-called Israel every year or two wages a brutal massacre on Palestinians and the Palestinians have nowhere to go. I experienced two of these and know the average Palestinian does not have a bomb shelter and Israel's way of warning Palestinians - if they get a warning at all - that their house is going to be bombed, is to bomb it lightly, with a drone strike. But they also do the double-tapping. The Americans do that too. I'm sure the Saudis are doing that in Yemen. But they also do the strike where after a few minutes people have come to help out and those people get attacked.

Also, aside from the times of massacre in which Israel uses prohibited weapons; chemical weapons, dart bombs, white phosphorus - again this is all documented and I'm sure you know that - but it's the daily life too. Palestinians feel isolated and they are geographically and often even via technology they're isolated due to the power cuts. There's a growing sense of suffocation of, "How the heck is this ever going to change?" because certain none of our countries are going to stop it or the so-called UN.

And then you have even the people that are just trying to eke out a living, farmers and fishermen coming under sniper fire. And this is something we experienced ourselves. Israel has truly used every means possible to oppress, starve and demoralize Palestinians in Gaza.

Joe: Yes, it's a horrible situation. It has been for such a long time. I think a lot of people in the world that might care, faced with Israeli intransigence and just carrying on as if it doesn't matter what the world thinks, a lot of people have almost just resigned themselves to the Palestinians being the perennial whipping boy almost of the world. They're the ones who repeatedly, unstoppably for the past more or less 60, 70 years have been in the press as being brutalized by this so-called democracy in the Middle East. And nobody else does anything about it. Nobody cares. Everybody supports them.

Eva: Yeah. And I totally agree with that and the fact that there's been so much propaganda against Palestinians and Arabs and Muslims in general. And we have it going on right now all over occupied Palestine. You have people resisting with whatever means possible, whether it's stabbing their oppressor or throwing stones at their oppressor. Just this morning I was reading about how an Israeli two days ago in Aida camp near Bethlehem, an Israeli jeep drove in and blatantly announced, "You stop throwing stones or we're going to gas you to death". And this is not surprising. Of course they're completely capable of it.

But this is the level it's gotten to; when Israel was massacring Gaza in the summer of 2014, I can't remember the name of that horrible woman, but she was calling for the genocide of Palestinians. It's so overt. So yeah, I think people are confused or they're apathetic about it. It's extremely frustrating wondering how to break through that. The initial point I wanted to make was the Gulf fiefdoms, the criminal, corrupt, horrible Gulf fiefdoms, guilty of war crimes themselves, have not supported Palestinians. But who has? The states and the groups that have supported Palestinians are being vilified. That is Iran, Hezbollah, Syria. They have been long time and true friends of Palestinians and they're totally being vilified in the media.

Joe: What was your experience when you were in Gaza of the authorities in Gaza and how they were running things or trying to keep a handle on the situation? The Palestinian authorities?

Eva: I have to admit a great degree of political naiveté when I went there. My opinion at the time was, "Well Palestinians held an election 2006 I think and elected Hamas, so therefore they have the right to be the leaders." I still kind of agree with that in that sense, but I later came to realize what a nefarious organization Hamas (being part of the Muslim Brotherhood) is. The Muslim Brotherhood has its tentacles all over Yemen, Syria, and Palestine.

It's not for me as a non-Palestinian to say who they should elect. That's why I'm always a little bit wary about talking about it, but I can say I saw a lot of corruption amongst ministers in the government in Gaza. There were demonstrations, say on Land Day or against the Zionist border policies in which the security forces did come down pretty hard on the demonstrators for whatever reason. It does pain me that both Fatah is so corrupt and Hamas is, again, part of the Muslim Brotherhood and I don't feel represents the Palestinian people. It pains me that they're stuck between these two choices, although there are other parties. PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) has at least the moral integrity to serve the Palestinians and stand in solidarity with Syria.

But yeah, I would say that there was growing disappointment with Hamas over the years that I spent there. A simple example is let's say, these young men that go to the border regions to collect rubble because there's so much rubble in Gaza, but there's virtually no cement. So what they do is they grind up the rubble and they use that in rebuilding. This is one means of earning a living although it's extremely dangerous because either they could be sniped at by the Zionist mercenaries or there might be an unexploded ordinance beneath the rubble. Or what's happened also - and this is told to me by friends that new the collectors personally - they have gone through all this risk and labour, gotten their donkey cart loaded with rubble and were leaving and accosted by Hamas who took the rubble for whatever reason - they want a corner on the reconstruction industry - and said, "If we catch you doing this again, we're going to fine you" (however many shekels it was).

So, definitely not the best party for people in Gaza. I even start to wonder if they're not somehow - and there are probably people who've actually analyzed this - but not somehow working in cahoots with the Israelis in that they keep their power in Gaza.

Niall: It's been suggested and there's definitely some valid basis there. I was stunned when I first learned that Hamas was supportive of the efforts to ouster Assad from Syria.

Eva: Yeah! I can't remember at what point it was Khaled Mashal left their office in Damascus and went to Qatar (2012), one of the corrupt regimes. But not only that, I will make the point that; I do support resistance and Hamas resistance because they are foot soldiers on the ground. They're quite different from the political echelon. But yeah, there were unfortunately treacherous Palestinian factions in Syria, for example in Yarmouk, that not only betrayed the Syrian government, betrayed Palestine too. By fighting Syria you're essentially fighting against Palestine.

And that's an interesting thing too because the situation in Yarmouk has been so manipulated by the United Nations and by Al Jazeera and Middle East Eye and all these corrupt media outlets. They don't address the greater context. Why is there a siege on Yarmouk? Why have people fled Yarmouk? Because the terrorists infiltrated, and at some point were aided and abetted by these Palestinian factions.

Harrison: Eva, can you give us a bit of background on Yarmouk?

Eva: It's a district. People always like to call it a refugee camp and yes it did house up to a million people.

Harrison: In Syria right?

Eva: In Syria, yeah. It's a district just outside of Damascus. Anyway most people call it a refugee camp although when you go to Syria and you talk with people they tell you Yarmouk was actually one of the most prosperous neighbourhoods and it wasn't exclusive to Palestinians. It also housed poor Syrians that lived there. But it was actually an area that people there for the markets, the shopping. When this whole thing started up at some point the terrorist factions like FSA and Nusra, entered Yarmouk and took over parts of the area. An essential strategy - I'm not a war expert but I've read that siege is a common tactic in fighting war - and a government strategy has been, whenever possible, to evacuate civilians and I've met civilians that had come from Yarmouk who were staying in shelters that were supported by the government, including Palestinians and Syrians - and then to lay siege on the areas in which the terrorists are staying and occupying.

If we'd applied this to any other situations, if it was the US army in Iraq or wherever they're waging their bogus wars, I'm sure public opinion would be totally different and approving of this strategy but because it's the Syrian government, and in fact the security within Yarmouk is actually done by Palestinian security, not by the Syrian government. They don't actually enter Yarmouk.

So again, these media outlets have been saying 18,000 starving Palestinians in Yarmouk since October 2013. Well two years on and many evacuations later and sadly deaths later, it's not 18,000. They still keep hyping this number because it, along with the whole barrel bombs talking points and Assad's army talking points, these are all just talking points to engineer public opinion, to keep people thinking that President Assad is this vile monster that must be toppled.

Harrison: So on the one hand, what's actually happening to Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank is ignored or covered over in the media but at the same time it presents a great opportunity to beat on Assad by saying that he's besieging this Palestinian refugee camp essentially, right?

Eva: Precisely. I was able to visit the outskirts of Yarmouk, but not able to enter because at the point where you would enter the Palestinian security said, "We can't let you enter for your own safety because there are snipers". So we did get a look and yes, it has been devastated. That's a product of war. But again, the context is why is there fighting there. If the government were truly flat-out bombing, they could raze the whole area, but they're not. They're waging a strategic war wherein they try to eliminate terrorist groups and not bomb out whole areas.

I was going to say also at the time I had the chance to meet with Palestinian representatives of Yarmouk and they've said the same thing, "This is what's happening. We want the Syrian government to enforce siege." And in other areas, for example in Douma, an area where terrorists had occupied, and the government has not full-out bombed the whole area. They're trying to target areas where the terrorist are and they have laid siege. Because again, what happens from Douma what happens? These terrorists manufacture their homemade bombs, their cooking gas canister bombs. They stuff them with bits of glass and metal and shrapnel. They fire them on civilian areas in the outskirts of Doumas, in Damascus. They say, "Well if you're living in Damascus then we're going to fire these dirty bombs on you". This is their revolution. I visited a couple of hospitals and saw many injured children; amputated limbs, missing eyes, disgusting stuff. And many more have been killed. And this is from these terrorist cooking gas canisters that Ken Roth of Human Rights Watch would never talk about or would never address.

So, it is very much a propaganda war and Palestinians sadly are being used and sadly this is an issue that many of my colleagues have found. Syria has been very divisive because those of us who advocate for Palestinian sovereignty and self-determination and the right to exist also advocate for Syrian sovereignty but many in a well-being manner support Palestine. When it comes to Syria they're either totally duped and believe Human Rights Watch and all these other agents of the state department, or they're, for whatever reason, supporting this false narrative of revolution.

Niall: Indeed. Actually I'm glad you brought that up Eva. I came across this early on, back in 2011. I was astonished when a couple of fairly high-profile Irish activists within the Palestinian solidarity movement were castigating me for basically defending Assad and saying, "Look people, they're doing a Libya again. They're pulling out this card where, "he bombs his own people therefore we need to go in and sort out his country". But nothing would get through to them whatsoever. It's a problem running right through support for the Palestinians. Everything is kept to a certain narrative or twisted here and there and it keeps people from seeing the overall bigger picture, especially that you cannot separate the issue of Palestine from all the other issues in the surrounding countries. Palestinians or Arabs in general in the whole Levant are used and abused and have been for decades. And here they are blaming Assad for, "killing his own people" and it's one of the few countries that has actually housed and sheltered Palestinians and defended their interests for decades.

Just to toss the ball back to you, can you give us an idea of the numbers of Palestinian descendents or currently moving to Syria from Palestine?

Eva: Gosh, I don't actually have those numbers offhand. However I can recommend Sharmine Narwani wrote a brilliant article. It was titled; "Who Dragged the Palestinians Into the Syrian Conflict?" If I find it I'll cite her. I believe in that one she might talk about the numbers of Palestinians. In articles she discusses the different camps she's visited and the Palestinians she's spoken with. It's a fascinating article, again talking about Syria's historic support for Palestinians.

Okay, so there have been some treacherous Palestinian factions but there's also many fighting alongside the Syrian army in support of the Syrian army and against terrorism. I was going to say something. You made me think of one thing and what was it? Hmm, I think actually what it was, was that yes, if you contrast Palestinians' existence in Jordan or Lebanon, its hell there. They live in awful conditions whereas in Syria they were treated almost like citizens except they couldn't vote. They got the same free healthcare, the same free education. And they were treated with respect, not looked down upon as happens in some of these surrounding Arab countries.

Joe: Did you spend any time in Israel?

Eva: I don't call it Israel.

Joe: Right. But you know that place...

Niall: What do you call it?

Eva: Again, I have to be a little bit careful because of my solidarity work. I was only in the occupied West Bank in solidarity with Palestinians, not to see so-called Israel and certainly not to do any of the partying or whatever. But the only way you can get into the West Bank unfortunately, is through the criminal Zionist regime. So, I did have to go to Tel Aviv to get a visa at one point and I was thrown into a prison before being banned. So that was kind of the extent of my visit to so-called Israel.

Joe: The reason I asked that question was there's a follow up question to that which was; have you met any Jewish Israelis in your time there? Have you had any encounters with them and obviously you've met a lot of Palestinians? And if you have met both peoples, what's your impression of them, what differences there are between them?

Eva: I can say that actually Amira Hass, who's an excellent Jewish/Israeli journalist that lives in Ramallah last time I checked, she was on the Free Gaza boat with me when we sailed from Cyprus to Gaza. I met her. But I did go to protest at Valane (?) [34:45] 12 or 15 times, I don't remember, and there were Israeli activists that would come to those protests. I think some of them truly are solid activists; some are members of Anarchists Against The Wall. There's another group of activists that do a lot of photography to bring the situation of Palestine to the eyes of average Israelis who are largely blinded on it.

So, I did meet some of those activists but I would say some documentaries I've seen and from that brief excursion to get a visa, in terms of the differences, they're vast. I was remembering the other day, I went to this one so-called peace meeting and it was just a bunch of hippies sitting around playing guitar so I got sick of it and I walked away. As it happened it was slightly outside the occupied West Bank line. So, I was walking down a road in so-called Israel. I walked aimlessly and ended up at this gas station. I'm getting to a point here. There was a small stretch of grass on either side of the road and the sidewalk and there was something like 20 sprinklers irrigating this grass.

I had just left Hebron where the Palestinians in Hebron had no water because the Israeli authorities said, "Okay, you've used your water for this quarter. It's turned off." So the obscene situations where Israelis are filling swimming pools and irrigating their lawns and Palestinians literally cannot wash their own bodies or clothes or flush a toilet. That's just one sense of the imbalance. Also the Palestinians in most areas - not all areas; I don't want to paint this picture of everywhere being a refugee camp - but in areas like Qalqilya, the roads are rutted and people live in pretty miserable conditions. In other areas like Nablus, they have infrastructure. I guess what I want to emphasize is that there are cultured and there are educated people but certainly in terms of what they're allowed to have and build and do, there's no equivalent. The Israelis keep destroying more and more Palestinian homes.

Joe: Is the same picture you just presented of the West Bank true of Gaza?

Eva: I'd say that in Gaza City, for example, there's a lot more developed infrastructure parts, but it's still simple in comparison. The fountains don't run, for the most part. But Israel bombs Gaza every year or two, and every time they do that they intentionally strike bridges and other key infrastructures, water and sewage lines. So at this point after the two-month assault last year, I don't actually know how good or bad it is now. I'm pretty sure there's been very little rebuilding and Palestinian families tend to be large. When I first went to Gaza it was 1.6 or 1.7 million people and now it's around 2 million people. (Sound lost, 37:48) ...a little bit more developed in my experience, but again, only for want of building supplies.

Harrison: Did you have any run-ins with the Israeli colonists, settlers as they're so-called?

Eva: Yes.

Harrison: Can you give us some examples or what did you experience with them?

Eva: Well I spent off and on, going back and forth, months sleeping in the tents of Palestinians who had been displaced from their former homes, these beautiful old Arab stone homes and also these really fascinating cave homes that they'd lived in for generations. So in the '80s they'd been kicked out by the so-called Israeli government which called it a closed military zone and then later turned it into a so-called archaeological park, claiming that these were Jewish homes.

So anyway, the Palestinian people that had been kicked out lived and still live in these ramshackle tents. They are regularly abused by the Israeli army and also by these colonists who, as is normal throughout occupied Palestine, live on hilltops in the best prime areas. They throw their sewage down at Palestinians and they regularly attack them. So in the case of Susya and surrounding areas, again south of Hebron, they would routinely come from the colony of Susya and they would kill the Palestinian sheep and goats or they'd steal them. They'd poison their water wells and they'd steal their land, knock down their olive trees and abuse the Palestinians.

So what I observed when I was there, back in 2007, I saw how they'd take over land. The Palestinians had a plot of land. They had the deed for it. They had to go through the Israeli legal system, which is not in their favour obviously. The Israeli colonists roped off the land, fenced off the land, planted grapes on it. We were documenting this and at various times they came up and threatened to beat us. There's a video somewhere online where one of these horrible, vile creatures comes up to me and calls me a Nazi and starts threatening to beat me. He didn't beat me, but he did later beat a colleague of mine pretty badly.

This is just their mentality because they are enabled by the army. You see what's happening in the West Bank now. These vile, murderous people are killing Palestinians on an almost daily basis, running them over. Remember last year the burned that boy Mohammed alive. And they are never punished. So yeah, I did see it and I saw them in Hebron as well. They walk around with machine guns slung across their shoulders. They abuse Palestinians.

A man that I had met Hasham, who lived in Taromeda recently passed away. As I recall from the article, he was having a heart condition and couldn't get to an ambulance. This happens so frequently because of the checkpoints and so he died. But when I was there he told me how the colonists above him would routinely throw faeces, urine, all sorts of crap at them. And they even threw a big boulder and some sort of machine at him. They were routinely abused and again, totally enabled by the occupying army.

Joe: Yeah, the pictures of stuff that's gone on over the past few weeks that almost seem to coincide with the beginning of Russia's campaign of air strikes in Syria, it has laid bare yet again, the nature of the Israelis and their attitude towards Palestinians. It's so close to be indistinguishable with the way the Nazis treated the Jews.

Eva: Yeah, and more than one holocaust survivor or descendent of holocaust survivors, has spoken out very critically against Israel and said precisely that. They've said, "What you're doing to Palestinians is worse than what was done to the Jews". And of course Israel has been involved in aiding and abetting terrorists into Syria as well as attacking Syria on numerous occasions, even the UN has documented this and of course, because we know the UN is just an institution to institute whatever imperialist designs are wanted, they've documented it and the Syrian ambassador told me, "This has come up. It's been spoken about in the UN Security Council. It's been presented and nothing is done about the fact that Israel is training terrorists, the fact that the UN has documented Israel meeting with the militants and funnelling them back and forth across the border."

Joe: That's obviously at the behest of the global empire we live under now, which is dominated by the US and it seems that the Zionist occupiers are just fulfilling the role that was negotiated for them effectively, back in the '20s and '30s and established for them with the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. Israel has obviously been used for all those years as a policeman or vanguard of the Americans effectively in the Middle East, to control the Middle East and keep those restive Arabs down because they happen to unfortunately be living on piles and piles of oil resources and gas resources.

So on one level, that's a good explanation of what's going on in the Middle East in general, has been going on for so many years and specifically in terms of Palestine and Israel, it's all about control of these resources. Do you agree?

Eva: Definitely resources are a key element of this. There have been so many people that have spoken about this. Syria's Grand Mufti Hassoun, addressed our delegation in February and said how if the Syrian President had agreed to sell France its resources back whenever France demanded, none of this would have happened. And yes, we know that there was some sort of agreement about pipelines to go through here, but it was not via the House of Saud or any of the imperialist stooges. It was the axis of resistance.

So, yeah definitely resources. The last time I checked, which is many months ago, over 1,500 factories in Syria had been dismantled and taken to Turkey by the terrorists. You have Daesh or ISIS as the media likes to call them, and other similar terrorist groups controlling oil areas and selling oil. I don't even know if they're selling. They might even be selling it to so-called Israel. I can't remember that part. But yeah, definitely resources are a key factor.

Joe: There's that geopolitical strategy that underpins the whole thing but at the same time you have this ideology. To enforce that geopolitical strategy they've created this nationalistic, religious, Jewish ideology and implanted it on Palestinian land many years ago. That's obviously a major part of the Jewish or Zionist argument, at least with the people on the ground in occupied Palestine.

So in that respect, the Zionist government has eaten up the majority of Palestinian land and is continuing to do so by creating facts on the grounds in terms of settlements on Palestinian land and saying more or less, "This is Israel now even though it's the West Bank". Where do you see that going? Do you think there's an endgame from the Zionists' point of view?

Eva: Well in my understanding it's not a pretty endgame in that their original plan was not just to occupy the land that they have now and continue to occupy, but they want all of Palestine and beyond. In terms of resources, I'm sorry I missed the question. Also there are of course resources in the sea, in Palestinian waters, that Israel wants and also in the Golan Heights apparently, that Israel wants.

But in Gaza you have the so-called buffer zone that the Israeli regime unilaterally implemented on the Gaza side saying it was 300 metres. But in our experience they shoot to kill up to two kilometres. So Gaza at its widest point is about 12 kilometres. At its more narrow point it's about five kilometres. So just with that example alone, the buffer zone, they're already eating up I believe it was one-third or two-thirds of agricultural land because it tends to be in the buffer zone.

And then every time they "Shejaiya" a place - last summer they decimated the eastern Gaza neighbourhood of Shejaiya - every time they destroy these areas and then people can't rebuild, I think that's another way of creating facts on the ground. But the thing is Palestinians don't have anywhere to go so I don't really understand...

Joe: What the plan is, yeah.

Eva: I cannot verify this, but there was one theory that they wanted to set up somewhere in the Sinai and send the Palestinians there. I'm just surmising here. It's something I heard or read, but I don't know that that is a plan but in one sense it could make sense.

Joe: But the Sinai's the desert, right?

Eva: It is largely desert, yeah. I'm not sure what type of water resources are there.

Joe: We already used the Nazi analogy which is a very apt one I think, but obviously that didn't...

Niall: But that came to a head in the so called, "final solution" which is understandably on everyone's list when it comes to second-guessing what on earth the Israeli regime thinks it's doing or getting towards. I'm sure Eva you'd agree with me that this bizarre equilibrium, if we can call it that, there's a kind of a stability to it where it's just the status quo but every two years, like you said, the Israel does a turkey shoot, particularly on Gaza. It can't go on forever can it?

Eva: It can't. People are uprising now although the fight is not fair by any means. I fear that Israel is going to violently quash the rightful resistance of Palestinians. But I also hope that the resistance alliance are going to have Palestinians' back. It's so hard to say though because I do believe that Iran and Hezbollah and absolutely Syria are with Palestine and will support Palestine. However with all the things that are happening right now, Syria is fighting to survive itself. So I can't predict how this is going to come to a head. Certainly nobody is going to rein Israel in. We've seen that. It's scary times right now, to be honest. Again, I'm totally supporting resistance. I hope that they have the means to resist one of the strongest militaries in the world.

Niall: Yeah. Joe has mentioned the fact that there is some pattern to this. When something happens on the international stage, particularly in the region you tend to see a reaction of Israel in its abuse of Palestinians. Joe mentioned recently with Russia's intervention in Syria, almost within 24 hours Netanyahu basically said, "Oh, problem in Israel. There's a third intifada on the way" and all these knifing start. What's going on there? Jews have been knifing other Jews thinking their Arabs.

Eva: It seems like - again with the caveat that I support Palestinians' right to resist, but it does seem like this is being in one sense, engineered. Of course Palestinians are rightfully angry at their oppression. But you have many instances in these so-called knifings where a Palestinian, even a young teenage Palestinian is shot dead and then later in the videos, in many cases, it seems like that there was not a knife there before, there's a knife there now. How did that happen? And how did it happen? Well because then they can say this, "Arab" tried to kill a Jew and tried to kill them with a knife so we had to protect them. But when you watch these videos and look at the photographs you can see in many, many cases that the person was clearly no threat. There was one case of a young woman that was surrounded by heavily armed soldiers. She had her hands up. She was no threat whatsoever and they still proceeded to kill her and then later lay a knife beside her and say that she was trying to attack them.
So it seems like they are trying to foment anger amongst the Palestinian population and why? Because then it gives them the pretext to slaughter more Palestinians? I don't know if that's their sick game. I would not be surprised.

Harrison: Well you mentioned earlier the incident from just a couple of days ago. I believe it took place near Bethlehem and it was the IDF going through with their loudspeaker through this so-called refugee camp. Just to give a bit more of what they said I just watched the video before we came on the air today. They said, "All the women, children, old people, we'll kill them all. We'll gas them all if you don't stop throwing stones". And the guy on the speaker said, "We are the occupying force."

Eva: Yes.

Harrison: So the reaction of some Palestinian commentators was that this was very odd for them because the IDF usually refers to themselves as the IDF.

Joe: Defence forces.

Harrison: Defence forces. And this guy on this loudspeaker said, "We are the occupying force".

Joe: Well at this point it's got to be obvious to them as well, right? Jeez!

Harrison: But it seems like even the Israelis, even in this one incident they're upping their rhetoric and to me that seems like it will ultimately they will shoot themselves in the foot by doing so because even by fomenting partially, this new level of resistance and trying to create this chaos in order to bomb Gaza again or who knows what, at the same time they're exposing themselves even more and even more obviously, as to what they truly are, which is this occupying force that has the rhetoric of Nazis. The threat to kill wasn't just to kill all the people listening to this message. They said, "We have captured one of your people. We've got him with us right now and we will slaughter him" - a direct quote - "we will slaughter him in front of you".

Eva: Yup.

Harrison: When these sorts of things start to become more public, I think that the public reaction will be even more against Israel's favour and more in favour of Palestinians. As for how long this is going to last and how long it's going to have to keep going on the way it's been going, I don't know.

Eva: Yeah, I saw that video today. I hadn't seen it when it happened and your transcript is right. He did specifically say, "We'll slaughter him in front of you" - for throwing stones. That's how ridiculous it is. But one thing I noted at the very end of the video, when the jeep started to back up there was a young Palestinian teen and he was like, "Dah, dah" which in Arabic is, "Come here". So he's basically goading the soldiers saying, "Yeah, you can't scare us". The Palestinians have been put through hell over and over again and what do they have to lose if they resist? Nothing. They have a lot to lose if they just sit and take it.

Joe: Eva, we have a call on the line here. It's Jonathan from Tampa Bay. Hi Jonathan, can you hear us?

Stephen: Yeah. I'm going to go ahead and be brave enough to say my full name. My full name is Stephen Hunt.

Joe: Oh, Stephen Hunt, okay.

Stephen: And you know what? I'm just tired of it. I'm going to speak out, put my name behind something. I'm not being threatened with being bombed today. I'm not being threatened with ISL or the moderate rebels, okay? So I should at least be brave enough to use my own full name which is Stephen Hunt. I've been enjoying the interview immensely and I'm just trying to point something out that I've encountered across the board, is just a lack of clarity on the part of American so-called progressives and the American population in general about; do the majority of people within Syria support the United States' goals and efforts in Syria or do they support the Syrian government and Russia trying to fight the rebels? This needs to be brought home forcefully and clearly as to what the truth of the matter is when it pertains to that subject.

Joe: I don't know. We'd have to ask the American people but they never get to express their opinion because they always get told what their opinion is. But Stephen, what's your take on Israel - Palestine?

Stephen: Well Israel - Palestine. I'm confused about that issue at the moment because I have been inculcated into the dominant progressive left paradigm from Noam Chomsky and so fort. But I know there's a lot more nuances to this issue than have really come to the forefront. But I definitely see a totally illegitimate and illegal theft of land and oppression of peoples. That's basic and fundamental and that's on the surface, in my interpretation of it. But how these factions - like what was said earlier about Hamas - I totally agree with the interpretation or comment or positioning of your guest, "Okay, I'm not Palestinian. I'm not in that area so therefore whether or not Hamas, given the options whether or not Hamas is the bestowed or elected leadership role, that's for the Palestinians to decide."

And then stepping back a little bit more abstractly, it's definitely obvious how the PLO and Abbas have been used as puppets for Israel. But also Hamas was also developed out of covert operations as a false political front too and it's evolved into something different. It's not merely a puppet for Israel. But there are people in these hierarchies that get benefits just by dint of being in that position and it makes it difficult.

But I'm just wondering vis-à-vis the situation in Syria, what are the politics on the ground as far as average Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, as far as how they see the situation? And I would just like to reiterate again as I'm talking to fellow Americans, what I see is very, very hazy and confused ideas. I've heard people say that Assad has terrorized so many if they speak out, they really want the US to help free them, that they'll be killed. And I think it's just pretty simple, from what my investigations are that the vast majority of people within Syria support Russia and their efforts coming to the aid of the Syrian government. And as much as different factions within the country of Syria might not like Assad, they do back the government in their efforts to quash the mercenary armies of jihadists that are murdering their way across the territory.

So, I would like to hear some more insights from your guest. She's been very, very astute and I admire this person a lot. I've been listening to another woman that's in Syria, a Syrian national and she's close to the air base and she has been interviewed and a very, very authentic person. My thoughts and my heart are with the Palestinian people, with your guest and with the people of Syria because there's been a massive propaganda effort that other people that feign to support human rights and Palestinian rights for decades, on this issue of Syria man, they jumped the friggin' shark as far as I can see. Anyway, I'll hang up and I look forward to the rest of ya'll's show. Bye-bye.

Joe: Alright Stephen.

Niall: Thank you Stephen. Eva, perhaps you can address what our caller said by referring to this article you wrote. It's a fantastic article. We put it on last month, "The Myth of 'Moderate Terrorists': Deconstructing NATO's Narrative on Syria; specifically the part where you talk about some of the political and constitutional changes that took place in Syria in recent years.

Eva: That's funny because I just had the article up because, not because of tooting my own horn, but because there are many links in it to I think, authentic reports on the vast amount of support for the Syrian government. So I will address the reforms, but I just want to cite a few of those shows of support for the government. For example March 2011 - this is two weeks into what was dubbed the, "Arab Spring" in Syria, the fantasy revolution I called it - over 6 million people marched in Syria in support of President Assad. They did it in June again with a 2.3 kilometre-long flag. They did it in November.

So this is keeping in mind that all this time Al Jazeera, the corporate media are saying the Syrian people are demonstrating against their government. Yes, there were people demonstrating and we'll get to that, but there were vast numbers demonstrating in support of the government. And this continues to this day.

And then we have the elections last year which I know the corporate media again tried to portray as not free and fair, but colleagues of mine, aside from the fact that Syrians themselves said they were free and fair and they wanted them and they're happy with the results, which was 88% of the people. Of the 15.8 million registered Syrians, 88% chose Bashar al Assad as President. And just as a side note, at that time I was actually in Lebanon and I saw the vast turnout of Syrians walking for kilometres just to reach the embassy to cast their vote. Most of them I saw, were wearing T-shirts with the Syrian flag and/or the image of Bashar al Assad on them and cars were decked out with these images.

So, there was vast support. People were singing and dancing. They did not have a gun pointed at their head. They were not frightened and casting their votes. Maybe there were some, but what I saw were people who wanted to support their country and wanted President Assad. Then we look at the fact - I'll cite my article because in it I was citing some very good researchers like Stephen Gowans who talked about the early reforms, reforms that were made as early and even before March 2011. So he noted the Emergency Law which in fact was put into place because Syria is officially at war with so-called Israel, the Emergency Law was cancelled. The Constitution was put to a referendum and was amended. And then they set the fact that they were going to hold both parliamentary and Presidential elections.

But also really very interesting things about the Constitution. So the Constitution included security against sickness, disability and old age, access to health care, free education at all levels. And it included a provision requiring that at minimum, half the members of the People's Assembly are to be drawn from the ranks of peasants and workers.

And then in terms of Russia's intervention in which Syria requested Russia intervene, it did not request American and its so-called coalition to intervene and bomb in Syria. But anyway, their illegal intervention in Syria aside, in the past month - and I'm citing Russia Today but I've seen this in Sputnik and other reports - that Russia has conducted about 1,400 sorties in Syria in the past month. They've eliminated more than 1,500 terrorist targets including around 250 command posts, 50 militant training camps, ammunition and fuel depots, field bases, they've killed major terrorist leaders.

So this is all not pretty talk, but the fact is, Russia is doing in Syria what the American coalition did not do and in contrast, not only did the American coalition not do that and they bombed areas perhaps where allies of the Syrian army were making progress, but the American jets of the American coalition have repeatedly dropped weapons and munitions to the terrorist rebels in Syria "accidentally", repeatedly. This defies credibility.
So people in Syria, from all reports I've seen and from Syrian friends I've seen, are very happy about the Russian intervention. They're very happy about the fact that Russia is taking out these terrorist training camps and enabling the Syrian army - who, most people I met, love and support and have family members in the army - to make advances, thanks to support from Russia.

And then just on another note of support for Syria, as you mentioned I was there three times. My Arabic is moderate. It's colloquial. Its Daza dialect but I can understand for basic conversations, not talking precision military talk, but basic conversations, I can understand what they are saying. I would ask very simple questions and repeatedly the answer was, "We want President Assad. We love President Assad." In some instances there were people who said, "I don't like him but he's what Syria needs." In other instances people said, "I did not like him but now I do because I see that he's what Syria needs."

So over and over again people have said, whether they see it as a strategic and good move to have President Assad in power or whether they full out love him, as many people do - and many people will tell me, "Eva, we would see him walk to work. Who does that? What Presidents do that? We would see him in restaurants in the old city and he would talk with you." And he and his wife are actually very much loved by most Syrians.
I'm kind of drifting here, but one other think I wanted to mention was in the corporate media narrative, Homs is dubbed the so-called capital of the so-called revolution. Having been there twice and visited areas where terrorist car bombings took off and targeted civilians or areas where the terrorists were embedded until they reached that deal in April or May 2014 in which the terrorist were taken out of most of Homs, I was able to meet with people who lived under their presence and they told me about how they would steal their food and worse things of course and how they did not support them. They did not want them there and they were very happy when the Syrian army came and resumed control.

Joe: Yeah. Eva, we're going to let you go. We don't want to keep you on too long. I know you've been staying up for too long of an interview and as you know we're going to have a chat with Navid who you know.

Eva: Yes. I think you'll enjoy that one. Could I just plug something?

Niall: Sure.

Joe: Yeah, go ahead.

Eva: I'm a co-founder and on the steering committee of the Syria Solidarity Movement. We're all volunteers. I'm paraphrasing, but our stance is that we support sovereign Syria and Syrians' ability to make decisions themselves and we're absolutely against intervention unless it's requested, as in the case of Russia. Anyway, there's a conference coming up in December, the Arab Women's Progressive League is organizing this women's' conference. Some of us will be attending and hopefully I will be attending and some of my colleagues and also former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney should be attending. But I just wanted to plug it. You can find a note about it which is, Also just want to say we are all volunteers and if anybody supports the work we're doing, donations would really help get people like activists and other people that are going to this conference and also one in Lebanon in support of Palestinians also in December.

Joe: Where is the conference taking place?

Eva: The one in Syria should be in Damascus. We were talking today. It could be in Latakia but most likely in Damascus. And there's a return to Palestine conference in Beirut, Lebanon.

Joe: Okay. Eva thanks a million for coming on. We want to commend you for all the work you do. You're obviously a very brave woman and I wish the world had more people like you in it to take a stand for the underdog.

Niall: Yeah.

Eva: Thank you. I'm happy to say I've met many, many people who are taking strong stands.

Joe: Okay. You have your own website. It's,

Eva: That's right.

Joe: Okay, thanks a million again for coming on.

Eva: Thank you all very much. It was a pleasure talking with you.

Harrison: Thanks very much Eva.

Eva: Okay. Bye.

Niall: That was Eva Bartlett. Superb lady and a great example to us all.

Joe: Let's just go straight to our next guest which is Navid Nasr. I'm going to see if we can get him on the line here. Hi, are you there Navid?

Navid: Yes I am.

Joe: Hi. Welcome to the show. I'm Joe. We have Niall and Harrison here with me as well.

Niall: Hi. Welcome.

Harrison: Hi Navid.

Navid: How you doing?

Joe: Great to talk to you. I'm just going to give a quick intro now. You are an Iranian-American writer, political analyst and host of the Bullet Points Radio Show on the Voices of the 99% Radio Network. You have covered US and global conflicts including those in Syria, Ukraine, Egypt, Yemen and Libya for Lebanon TV and Iranian Press TV. Is that accurate enough?

Navid: Yes. Perfect.

Joe: Okay. It's great to have you on. We were just talking to Eva as I think you know. She has the most experience and has been to Syria several times I think. She has the most experience in Palestine and Gaza. I think that's where her heart is. But in your research and writing you have taken a broader look at the entire Middle East. Would that be true to say?

Navid: I guess. My personal feeling is and I know friends of mine don't necessarily agree with me on this, but just my own experience and what I see is a lot of good people, good analysts and a lot of activists who have taken a very active interest in what's going on in Palestine and have covered that particular area from every angle and every nuance, it's out there. Even most Nation magazine - reading liberals have a pretty good understanding of what's going on in Palestine at this day and age.

With the other things that are going on that there's a cloak of dissemblance and lies and either wishful thinking propaganda or just silence over it. So my focus has been on everything else that's been going on in the region, not the outright exclusion of what's going on in Palestine but whereas Palestine was one of the keys to my own political awakening, again now I see so many people and so many websites and news outlets and NGOs and you name it who have a really good analysis of what's going on in Palestine and put that out there, but little to no coverage or analysis of what's going on in Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq, you name it.

Harrison: Yeah. That's actually one of the points that Eva made and which we've seen, that a lot of people talking about Palestine and who know what's going on in Palestine seem to take the official view of what's going on in Syria, which is just the propaganda line. What's your take on that? What have you seen? And not just limited to Syria, but in relation to all these conflicts, what's the line that these people are taking on this?

Navid: So before I say anything about that I need to say this, which is there are a lot of pro-Palestinian activists and Palestinians themselves who have an excellent analysis of what's going on in Syria, in Lebanon, in Iraq and in Yemen with regards to Palestinian boots active on the ground in Palestine. The ones I can think of are Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine whose analysis of what's going on in the region has always been great. As well Palestinian Islamic Jihad who have never wavered, never turned their back on the regional resistance axis, whatever you want to call it. They've always been on point in their analysis and again there are individual Palestinians also that I can point to and say the same thing about.
I think from my experience, what I've seen, a lot of what's going on is propaganda and deceit on the part of the Brotherhood and its activist base in the region and abroad, particularly in the US. In the region I'm talking specifically with regards to Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, and in Palestine when we talk about the Brotherhood, we're talking about Hamas unfortunately. Again, I do need to preface this by saying that not all Hamas activists and fighters are onboard with this, but there's no denying that a significant portion of Hamas' political wing and even its military wing have thrown in their lot behind the so-called Arab Spring, behind the Islamist groups fighting on the ground for the overthrow of the Syrian government.

And they have even lent their tunnel making expertise to these groups, both to Jabhat Al-Nusra and to Ahrar al-Sham. I was watching a video of Ahrar al-Sham fighters somewhere in the Idlib Province and they had created this network of tunnels underneath Syrian Arab army positions and in the video they specifically thank, "the brothers in Gaza" for helping them. There's no other way to interpret that other than Hamas.

Unfortunately this attitude has infiltrated into the broader Palestinian solidarity community where there is a lot of anti-Syria, anti-Iran, anti-Assad sentiment prevalent. It's disturbing but it's also sad on several levels because what has happened is people who take this position have basically - again talking about a broader regional framework here - have thrown in their lot with the March 14 alliance in Lebanon because that's the analysis that they bring to the table. That's what they put out there, whether it's Saad Hariri, whether it's - I forget his name right now, the head of the famous death squad Lebanon forces. One of the famous Maronite death squads in Lebanon also is fully onboard with this Syrian regime change. Basically the only Christians in the region who are onboard with it are his followers.

These were the people actually who were directly responsible for what happened in Sabra and Shatila. That's what I'm saying, that this is sad. The Palestinians who have thrown in their lot behind this anti-Syria campaign have basically decided that they're on the same side of the barricade as the people who carried out the Sabra and Shatila massacres. Whether it's for the sake of misguided sectarian solidarity, whether it's for the sake of equally misguided anti-Iranian or anti-Russian sentiment, it's hard to tell because it's usually not stated explicitly in those ways. It's usually stated in other ways, the usual dog whistle terms about dictators, freedom, democracy, etc. etc.

So it's sad. It's disturbing and it's unfortunate and it's really separating the wheat from the chaff with regards to the Palestinian solidarity.

Joe: In the western press there's a lot made of the Sunni/Shia divide in the Middle East and with different countries. It's touted as the reason, for example, for the "civil war" in Syria right now. You're Iranian, right? You were born in Iran and did you move to the US fairly...

Navid: Yes. Born in Tehran, Iran; moved to the US when I was about nine years old with my folks. So I've lived in the US for a long time, yes.

Joe: Okay. What is your understanding of that touted Sunni/Shia divide that can so easily spark off into conflict in regions, like "civil war"?

Navid: It was something honestly, that I was completely unaware of for the vast majority of my life. It was not on my radar. I never got an inkling of it from people that I talked to, from other Muslims. The first time that I caught a whiff of it actually was after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and at the time I was voraciously reading everything that I was getting my hands on about Iraq and I was going to websites. If you all want to edit out the name of this particular website I'm okay with that, but they're basically defunct at this point so it doesn't matter.

There was a website at the time that people that I trusted at the time referred me to and in retrospect I'm glad they did because otherwise I wouldn't have known about this. The website was Uruknet.

Joe: Oh yeah, I remember that one.

Navid: Right. It took me a while to realize that despite the fact that it was masquerading as an alternative news site, it was not even uncritically, but positively putting out viciously sectarian propaganda.

Niall: Sorry to interrupt you. They kept blaming Iran for a lot of atrocities at the height of the US occupation. I was like, "What are you doing?"

Navid: Yes. They were doing this deliberately. Uruknet, much like ISIS itself, started out as an official Iraqi Ba'athist propaganda website officially. After the invasion shifted its base of operations from Iraq to Italy but it continued propagating a particular line. And the particular line was a gradual shift from Ba'athist/Saddamist, whatever you want to call it, into full-blown Takfiri Salafi Jihadist. It propagated and disseminated the propaganda of what at the time wasn't called the Islamic State; it was the Mujahideen Shura Council. It put out both in English and in Arabic their official communiqués.

Reading these official communiqués again uncritically and almost lovingly disseminated by this website; really shocked me because I had never encountered anything like this before. These were people whose first and foremost targets and most vicious vitriol was directed - I'll use the terminology that they used - "fire worshipers", "Safavids", "rejectionists". For people who are not familiar with the region and with its history may not be instantly familiar, but fire worshipers and Safavids are explicitly coded - there's no other word that I can use - racist language meaning that Iraqi Shiites are crypto-Persian. Fire worshipers are a reference to Zoroastrianism.

So this was being put out there. This website Uruknet was putting it out there and the precursor of the Islamic State was putting it out there. At the time I thought, "Well this is just some BS that's online. It has nothing to do with reality." But then I saw it. I saw their videos. I saw what they were doing. I saw the suicide bombings, attacks directed in no way, shape or form at occupation forces but explicitly at places of worship, at markets, at squares, explicitly and purposefully directed at civilian populations for the purpose of inflicting maximum harm and cause the community as a whole to split and fracture along these lines.

What was most unfortunate for me was seeing the response or lack thereof from the, "official Muslim community" not just throughout the region, not just among the most respected clergy in Egypt or elsewhere, but in Europe, in the US.; silence, passive acceptance and even in some of the videoed Click-Buzz, the Friday sermons that I saw, even acceptance of this. And it was the first time I really caught a whiff of it and the first time it crossed my path and I was actually really quite shocked and horrified by it and I didn't know what to make of it.

Niall: But can I...

Navid: I'll just do this one thing and then I'll let you ask your follow-up question. I've read things by Seymour Hersh and others, specifically his column in 2006 or 2007 entitled; The Redirection talking about how stoking this kind of sectarianism was official US policy for the sake of attacking the "axis of resistance". And I accept that. I recognize that. But at the same time I don't think it would succeed were there not already a paved road for it. And the road has been paved by decades of Saudi largesse in all of these governments. Any masjid (mosque) anywhere in the world who's Imams have been educated and trained in Saudi Arabia is propagating this kind of ideology and spreading it amongst its followers.

So the ground is fertile. It's not a situation where these intelligence agencies have to go and knock people over the head over this. They just have to slightly tweak things and there we are. It's really sickening and it's unfortunate and I'm not quite sure what to do about it other than lend my support to the people who are fighting it on the ground in Iraq and in Syria and elsewhere and countering the propaganda from all of these fronts.

Niall: Yeah, and to do what you're doing which is to explain to people in the west, like us, who are exposed to this so-called Sunni/Shia divide and it's given this presentation. It's back-dated. "Oh, it's always been like so, back in the medieval times, those Arabs, those Muslims; they're like this all the time." But it's BS because this is something that's recently layered over and the Pan-Arab, Pan-regional movement, the nationalist secular movement.

Joe: Yeah, the Pan-Arab nationalists. But what you were saying Navid makes me think of this guy Colonel James Seale. He is a former US colonel. He now works freelance or something, but he was a US veteran of America's dirty wars in Central America, counterinsurgency, death squads, etc. He was brought in by Rumsfeld into Iraq in 2003 or 2004. He basically organized what he called Shia death squads.

Navid: Among the Iraqis who fought on the Iranian side during the Iran - Iraq war - I think it's the Badr Brigades and they changed their name to something else once they re-entered Iraq after 2003. But the core nucleus was the same and these guys who were trained and let loose on the civilian population in the Sunni Triangle and in other regions, perhaps even in Baghdad, I'm not sure but definitely in the, "Sunni Triangle". And there was certainly prior to 2005 a lot of animosity among the Shia population in Iraq at their treatment at the hands of the government under Saddam since the late '70s and it manifested itself into a certain degree of support for these groups.

But again, it was not something that was in the region until after what happened in Iraq in 2003. This has to be hammered home by everyone! This was not like, "Oh, that's been going on for millions of years or since the dawn of time." Yeah, that's hogwash. It really is. It really is. I'll tell you exactly what happened. After the revolution in Iran in 1979, whose message was Pan-Islamic and sought to cultivate similar revolutions across the region, the kingdoms on the other side of the Gulf saw this as a threat to themselves and amped up what they had already been doing in terms of sending largesse to Pakistan, to other countries throughout the region in terms of putting their particular message, their variety of Islam out there and again propagating it not just in the Islamic world but in immigrant communities in Europe and in North America and in Australia and New Zealand as a way specifically of combating what they saw as an Iranian threat to them and their power.

At this point again its taken root and unfortunately it has taken root and it has a life of its own now. It's unfortunate. I'll be honest with you. It has affected me and I never thought it would but it has. There's a lot of people - how can I put this - people from certain countries, I have to know chapter and verse about them in order for me to be okay with them; where they're from, what their family name is, things like that. Otherwise it's difficult for me to trust them or even open up to them in any way, shape or form. I wish that wasn't the case but it is.

Harrison: Can you talk a little bit about Iran's relationship with Syria and Russia, maybe a bit about the history, but what's going on right now?

Navid: Well the history of the relationship goes back to the '80s, to the wars in Lebanon actually, maybe even pre-dating that if you want to talk about it. But Syria and Iran have since the '80s, been basically on the same side throughout the region in terms of a lot of things; in terms of Iraq certainly, in terms of enmity towards the Saddam Hussein government, in terms of alliance with and indispensable assistance to resistance movements in Lebanon and in Palestine, again including PFLP, including Hamas, including Palestinian Islamic Jihad, including Hezbollah, Amal, other groups.

So they've had a working military and strategic and tactical alliance for decades now and they have been really the only governments in the region that have been able to do this, that have been able to give more than just the assistance of pretty worlds to the Palestinian resistance cause or to the Lebanese resistance cause, pretty words followed by back room business deals with the Zionist government, à la Erdogan in Turkey, are some of the Gulf governments, those kinds of things.

That's how far back it goes. As far as alliance with Russia, again Russia has since it's nadir in he '90s under the drunken sock puppet Yeltsin, Russia has really emerged as an independent force on the world stage and specifically as part of the BRICS alliance and other regional alliances. And Iran is also part of that and so is Syria, militarily and economically. Their alliance has only hardened in recent years with everything that has gone on actually in Syria and in Iraq, to the point now where in Iraq, in Bagdad, there is a joint tactical alliance now between Russia, Iraq, Iran and Syria. They're all operating together in the region for the sake of actually combating ISIS as opposed to theatrically combating ISIS which is what the - I don't know what...

Harrison: "Coalition"?

Navid: The coalition. Yeah. So that's how it is. They have similar interests throughout the region, not just in Syria, not just in Iraq, but also in the Caucasus and in Central Asia. It's not going to be to Iran's benefit or Russia's benefit, for example, if the Islamic movement of Uzbekistan gains power in that country or if the Turkistan Islamic Party gains power in western China or if the Islamic Emirate of the Caucasus gains power in Chechnya and Dagestan.

So, these are all strategic interests that perfectly coincide among all of these three nations and Russia is doing its part, not just as an ally of these countries, but also to advance its own geostrategic interests as it has the right to. Again, it's fighting these groups in Syria so that it doesn't have to fight them again in its own back yard.

Joe: When Russia began air strikes at the end of September there had been a lot of planning and infrastructure set up in Syria prior to that. It probably took several months. What do you think the motivation was for Russia to decide at that point, "Okay, enough's enough!"? Was it simply that ISIS was getting too strong and for the reasons you just gave, that they don't want it spilling over into Russian territory or elsewhere?

Navid: Well exactly. If you remember at the time, we're talking about early-to-mid September, both ISIS and the new strung together alliance Jaysh al Fatah which is predominantly Jabhat Al-Nusra and to Ahrar al-Sham, had been making huge inroads. Jaysh al Fatah had basically taken over Idlib Province as a whole and was knocking on the door of Latakia on the coast of Syria. And ISIS was threatening to cut off the major highway going north/south in Syria which would have dealt a severe blow to Damascus itself had that happened.

Russia had already stated that it was not going to allow the Assad government to fall. That wasn't going to happen. So when those things happened which were a huge threat to the stability of Syria as a whole at this point, that's when Russia decided to more directly militarily intervene. Yeah, it absolutely made the right move. Without that military intervention, who knows what would have happened between that point and where we are right now.

Joe: But this group, ISIS or ISL and the other affiliated kind of terrorist groups who like to go around chopping peoples' heads off and committing atrocities and promoting them to the west, these are obviously like attack dogs on someone's leash. You could cite like you mentioned, Turkey, the Saudis, Qatar, there Jordan, Israel is maybe involved. So, do you think Russia saw their spread to Iraq and into Syria and then maybe overthrowing the Assad government, as a means to an end effectively for these same leash-holders to give Russia a problem?

Navid: Well there's no doubt about it. Let me remind you of something that happened last year before the Olympics in Russia. Prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia went to Moscow to meet with Putin, sat down with him at a table and basically said, "Listen, if you let Syria go, we will put a leash on your problems in Chechnya and Dagestan." Actually he said it in language much more direct than that. He said, "We control those jihadis in Chechnya and Dagestan and we will keep them under wraps for you. You will have no problems with them if you do this for us." And Putin told him where to go and where to take his ultimatum.

But that's what we're dealing with here. That is exactly what we're dealing with here. What happened in Chechnya and again unfortunately we are talking about perhaps legitimate aspirations of a people for autonomy and so forth, but one that was quickly overridden in the mid-to-late '90s by something else, something much more horrible and disgusting, if you've seen for example the, "Dagestan beheading massacre" and similar things.
After a very short while, the head of the Chechen insurgency against Russia was a gentleman by the name of Hattab who was a Saudi - Jordanian, "Mujahed" with experience in Afghanistan and in Tajikistan before he went to Chechnya. The head of the uprising was not Chechen, was not a Chechen national. Things like this need to be put out there. And not just that but the assistance, monetary assistance, propagandistic assistance, military assistance that went to the Chechen insurgency, with the possible exception of Turkey, came from the exact same countries we're talking about now lined up against Syria, the US, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, the same exact players, sometimes the same exact people were the ones responsible for the Chechen uprising, the uprising in Dagestan and so forth.

The purpose is political hegemony, economic hegemony; pipelines are always in the mix. It sickens you when you think about it. The title of Brzezinski's book, The Grand Chessboard; the whole world is a chessboard to these people. Entire countries are nothing but pawns and it doesn't matter if hundreds of thousands get killed, if millions get killed, if one country after another is set afire. They don't care. They have bigger fish to fry. That's what we're dealing with here. We're not dealing necessarily with - why am I qualifying this? We're not dealing with people who are talking about spreading freedom and democracy and this and that, like they have any belief in these concepts. They don't. They don't. And these people who are always going on about Tadia this and Tadia that, are the foremost practitioners of dissemblance. They believe in the noble lie. Their heroes are people like Gabriel D'Annunzio. Michael Ledeen's hero is Gabriel D'Annunzio, people like that.

They throw out names, Jefferson, Washington. They don't have any adherence to any of these things that normal Americans believe in, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, any of this stuff. All of that can go into the wastebasket for them. They believe in power. They believe in power and they believe in control and everything else is expendable for them, including the American people, including America itself.

Harrison: Right.

Navid: They've shown that. Under any normal circumstances, these people would be locked up in institutions with padded jackets and padded walls.

Joe: But they're wearing suits and commanding armies.

Navid: Yeah, exactly.

Niall: Navid, I want to talk about Saudi Arabia intervention in Yemen. What is going on there? Why did Saudi Arabia begin this earlier this year and what are they hoping to get out of it?

Navid: I actually predicted this back in January or February when the "Houthis", the Ansarullah movement took over the capital of Yemen, Sana'a, I said within a couple of months there would be a military response from Saudi Arabia. I had no idea of the extent of it. I had no idea that they were willing to lay waste to the entire country, but I should have guessed it. Why are they doing it? Because again, in their mind - and for the Saudis this is genuine - they genuinely believe that the Houthi movement, the Anarullah movement, is an Iranian conspiracy and that they are fighting back against agents of Iran and Iranian influence in Yemen and Iranian takeover of Yemen. It's all about Iran for them and it always has been since 1979. But this is a direct threat on their border and they weren't willing to stand for it.

From their perspective it makes total sense. I'm trying to parse my words here because I feel very strongly about it and there's a chance that I could say something inappropriate on the air. [Laughter] We're talking about people who... [Laughter]

Niall: Go on, just say it. Let 'er rip!

Navid: Okay. We're talking about cowards whose own fighting prowess is questionable at the very least. When Iraq was threatening to - not that it was ever actually going to invade Saudi Arabia - but after it went into Kuwait, there was some legitimate fear within the borders of Saudi Arabia that they would be next and they're one of the countries in the world that spends the most on its military hardware and yet they're the least equipped to use it. Cowardice is in their nature and most of the Saudis who are actual fighters have already run off and joined ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra and al- Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula and all these other groups. So what you have left is a military and indeed a culture, but a military culture specifically of pure nepotism. It's not based on the cream rising to the top or...

Harrison: Any merit or skills.

Navid: It's not a meritocracy, that's the word I was looking for. It's not a meritocracy. It's a culture of nepotism top to bottom. It's "what is your last name?", "what family do you come from?" and "Who do you know?" That's who they put in charge. I guess I could talk about the rate of inbreeding among the Saudis also, but the fact is that yeah, we're not talking about the brightest bulbs but we are talking about ruthless people, absolutely ruthless people who do not care how many people they slaughter to achieve their aims.

And that's what's going on in Yemen. Their aim is if they can't facilitate the return to power of the former regime, then they will divide Yemen. They will divide Yemen along north-south lines. That is their aim. And right now in Aden and some of the other provinces, basically AQAP has taken over. Again, it wasn't going to be any other way. It's not like the Saudi army or the Ammiriti army was going to heroically march into Aden and take the community. They're just not capable of that.

In actual fight on the ground with the Ansarullah forces, they've come up on the short end of the stick. They're not fighters. They're cowards. That's why they do what they do. They bomb all of these civilian positions on Sana'a and elsewhere, from the air. Their fighters are al-Qaeda. Those are their fighters. Their fighters are ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra. Those are their fighters and that's who they're employing now in Yemen. And to some extent, it's worked. Again, these are the most vicious dogs in their kennel and they've turned them loose and they've achieved some military gains in the south of the country as a result. But they're not going to obviously regain control of the whole country; so again, the best they can hope for is some sort of north-south division of Yemen. It may or may not happen. I don't know. I hope it doesn't, certainly.

The Saudi story can't end well. The whole foundation of the country was this pure fortune lying on top of this giant reserve of oil and that's going to run out in a few short decades. They're not going to have anyone left at all to operate their weapons. They're not going to be able to hire all the mercenaries that they currently do. Who knows what's going to happen, but it's just not going to end well for them. But they're not thinking long-term. They're thinking short-term and they're thinking whatever. Their thoughts are from a place of hubris and ignorance and it's not going to end well for them in Yemen. It's not going to end well for them in the south of their own country. It's not going to end well for them in the east of their own country. It's certainly not going to end well for them in Iraq or Syria or Lebanon or other places where they've tried to extend their influence, Egypt, Libya. The Saudi story is not going to have a happy ending.

Joe: Exactly. They're a bunch of inbred psychopaths.

Niall: There, Joe said it! [Laughter]

Joe: What choice do they have?

Navid: Yeah.

Joe: But it smacks of desperation because it's still amazing every time I think about it, although it shouldn't, that the US and its allies it's got so desperate that the US itself is willing to go ahead and more or less have CNN and different US media outlets talk around the idea that more or less says that the US government is funding, training and arming al-Qaeda, "the guys who attacked us on 9/11". But to get to that point they are willing to risk that? You've got to put a lot of stock in your ability to con people and hope that they don't remember. One of my questions is what are the American people thinking, you know? Are they awake even? It's pretty much on the news that the US government is supporting al-Qaeda, "who attacked us on 9/11". Does nobody have a problem with that? Well we're doing it to get rid of the evil Assad of course.

Navid: Well yeah. I wish it was the case that people pay attention. I wish it was the case that people remembered. Gore Vidal had this great phrase which was 'the United States of amnesia'. But it's absolutely true. People don't remember things from year-to-year, even month-to-month! (Lost sound) It's incredibly frustrating but you have to do it because people just don't remember! Libya happened. It happened, not that long ago and people have already forgotten about it! Already almost totally forgotten about it, including the people who were cheer-leading it, including the people who were propagandizing on behalf of the "revolution" and the "revolutionaries". They've already put it in the rear view mirror! So if they've done that, what hope is there for the American people?!?

It's a holistic thing. So we'd like to think that we can say, "Yeah, but look at Libya. Look at Iraq." People have already forgotten about all of that! That's what the entertainment industry is for!

Joe: Right.

Navid: That's what all the stupid reality shows are for. That's what this entire [Big sigh] - what was the term in 1984 that I'm struggling to remember?

Niall: Doublethink.

Navid: They had a whole department for it, mindless entertainment. I've forgotten it already but that's what all this stuff is for, all the American Idol, all the Real Housewives who fill in the blank. That's what this is for, to consume. And it's hard for me to sit back and judge also because I know a lot of ordinary people. I talk to them and it's like they only have so many free hours in the day. Part of what's going on is people are struggling. They're working longer and longer hours, sometimes two jobs, just to have the same level of comfort that they had two decades ago.
Two decades ago you could have a decent life if you just worked an eight hour gig five days a week. Now it's more and more difficult to do that so people are putting in 12 hours at work, working two jobs, working on the weekends with maybe one hour, two hours free a day. And it's difficult for them to keep up to date with things or to dig into things. So it's difficult for me to be like, "Well why don't you know this stuff?" They'll tell me, "I've got kids, man. I've got jobs" - pleural. "What do you want from me?" And it's a good point.

It's a holistic thing, whether we're talking about the pablum that's shoved down their throats, whether we're talking about the fact that they just don't have hours in the day to do what I do. It's a difficult thing that we're fighting because it's an entire system that's covered all the bases.

Niall: Right.

Navid: It's a fight that's worth fighting obviously because the other alternative is throwing in the towel which I'm not willing to do. But we have to recognize the reality of what it is that we're up against.

Joe: Right. Exactly. Navid we have a caller on the line. It's Miguel from Illinois.

Navid: Sure.

Joe: Hi Miguel. Are you there?

Miguel: Yes, I'm here.

Joe: Hi, welcome to the show. Have you got a comment or a question?

Miguel: I understand how they're having a lot of conflicts and how it's likely to end up, but do you ever think maybe this was all meant to be?

Navid: Can you clarify that? Is he still there?

Joe: Are you there Miguel? You want to know if we ever think it's all meant to be. Yeah, it's all meant to be, but what's our role in it then? What should we do about it? Just sit back and do nothing?

Miguel: Any further conflict from this guy.

Navid: I didn't hear that. I'm sorry I didn't hear that.

Miguel: Don't you believe that if this is what's happening that it should happen and let's hope that we don't get any further conflicts in the future once it all calms down?

Joe: Yeah, but what do you think Navid?

Navid: Okay. There's a strain of thought that certainly believes that. Hang on one second. There's a strain of thought that believes that. I certainly don't believe that or accept that. There's a phrase in Arabic also macdoul, or something like that which means, "It's written". Okay, sure, yeah if something is happening you can say that it's meant to be, but that can easily take you down a road that robs everyone of their individual agency and basically tells people that they have no control over either what's going on in the world or their own destiny and I can't accept that. We know too much at this point...

Miguel: That doesn't mean it's happening to me.

Joe: Right. It's a bit philosophical Miguel, but everything that happens is meant to be because it's what happened and we can say that's what was meant to be. We're not saying you should go out and change things. We can't change, for example, what the US or what any other country is doing in the world because they have a lot of power, but we should be looking at it and if we don't like it, if we think it's immoral, we should be talking about it and saying it's immoral, not just sitting back and going, "Ah, whatever. Shit happens."

Harrison: That's meant to be too, for the people who can see that, to play that role.

Joe: Right.

Harrison: And to say something about it because maybe by saying something about it, something else will happen and that'll be meant to be too.

Niall: That'll change things.

Joe: You never know.

Navid: Listen, I believe that things are meant to be also and I don't believe that what's going on right now is the be-all, end-all, or the end of history or any of those things. So we all have a role to play and I'm confident - I have belief as well - and I'm confident in how things will turn out. They may not turn out that way today or tomorrow, but it will. So yeah, it's not just a matter of laying back and just accepting things.

Joe: Is that what you do Miguel? Do you just say, "Whatever it's all meant to be" and not really take any active role or even interest in stuff?

Miguel: No, I don't believe that this to be what happens, but whatever is meant to be - what the US does - obviously they started doing this for a reason. It's a war on terrorism.

Joe: Yeah. Did you just hang up Miguel?

Niall: Well I'd like to suggest something.

Joe: Hang on. Miguel just hung up. I just want to make it clear for everybody that I think his point was that the US is doing this for a reason, it's the war on terrorism and then he hung up.

Niall: I want to suggest something and then I'll pass it to you Navid.

Navid: Yes.

Niall: There are different levels of meant-to-be-ness. Sure, in the grand scheme of things, everything is maybe unfolding according to some divine plan, if one is so inclined to believe in higher powers. However, at the level of that last comment from the caller, the war on terror, the American global hegemony project, what Putin just did, intervening in Syria, was not in the script.

Navid: Absolutely not!

Niall: That was not meant to be!

Navid: Absolutely.

Niall: And his presence could change everything.

Navid: Absolutely! That's exactly the point here. Again, I said this two months ago, had this intervention not happened when it did, we'd be talking about a completely different situation on the ground in Syria, in Iraq. You're talking about a completely different situation on the ground because again, ISIS was this close to severing the major highway in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham whatever you want to call them, had seized the province in its totality and was threatening to invade Latakia on the coast right next door to Idlib Province. That would have been disastrous. Latakia and Damascus is one of the places where the internal refugees have gone to, for example.

So the situation would have been completely different, a thousand times worse than what it is now.

Harrison: And then just take that into the future and look at a year in the future and what that would mean. What the Russians have done is essentially put this huge roadblock in front of the entire American regime change operation which is a long-term plan which has plans in the future for a lot more than just Syria.

Joe: Right.

Navid: Yeah, absolutely.

Joe: If you think about Wesley Clark had said seven countries in five years, mentioned in that was Sudan and Iran. So if they were going to follow through with this ridiculous plan, if they were just left to their own devices and allowed to do what they wanted to do with Syria and Iraq, if Russia hadn't stepped in and said no to regime change, then you would have had similar attempts at regime change in Sudan, Iran, who knows where else? And what happens in regime change? What have we seen? Tens, hundreds of thousands of people get killed! So by stepping in and saying no, there's a good chance that Russia has basically saved the lives potentially of hundreds of thousands of people from the excesses, the predatory predilections of the US warmongers.

Niall: "It's meant to be", is the noble lie. It is to believe that god-like powers have been instilled in people like Michael Ledeen and that what they do is god's work. "So stand aside everyone and let us carry on." But no, no. Now a line has been drawn and you will not pass any further. Well, we'll see.

Navid: Absolutely! Absolutely that is exactly what we're talking about here. Lives have been saved and people who otherwise would have fled Syria. Just imagine for example, if Damascus was threatened with being overrun by ISIS or Jabhat al-Nusra. We're talking about hundreds of thousands of refugees now in Europe. What if it had been millions? Yeah, this stuff about laying back and accepting things as they are, whether it's because of the war on terror or whatever, this is hogwash. People have agency. Nations have agency. Humans have agency. That's all I have to say about that.

Niall: Yeah. Events are moving fast in the Middle East Navid. What can you see coming next? What's next?

Navid: What's next? Well there's always "X" factors involved but right now what I see - and I'm hoping it happens sooner and not later - is a military defeat, if not for ISIS then certainly for Jaysh al Fatah and Jabhat al-Nusra, and Ahrar al-Sham, some of the smaller groups in Syria. Russian air power has really taken a toll in Syria, on ISIS as well, to be truthful. But unlike the other groups, ISIS also had a base of operations in Iraq where so far at least, Russian aircraft, as far as I know at least, have begun bombing. But the other groups don't. Their base of operations is in Syria and to an extent in Turkey and some of them; I think Jabhat al-Nusra has branched off and expanded into Lebanon.

So, I'm anticipating a military victory in Syria and I think some of the fighters of these groups are anticipating the same thing which is one of the reasons why they've been fleeing the country for Europe in the past couple of months.

Joe: One of the things I was thinking was this announcement the past couple of days that the US is going to send in less than 50 advisors into Syria, kind of boots on the ground and stuff. The thought came to me that they're getting in there because there's these ceasefire talks going on in Vienna and it seems that they may be going down the road towards negotiating some kind of a federalization of Syria, some kind of autonomous or semi-autonomous regions or something. That's all to be worked out I suppose, but it's almost like the US is getting in there to establish their "zone" basically, that they would then make a claim to under the authority of some Free Syrian Army or something like that. I hope it doesn't go that far.

Navid: I hope so too. I like that as an explanation and I've come across another explanation which I think is equally valid which is those 50 special forces are basically going to be human shields...

Niall: Right.

Navid: service of whichever death squad faction the US prefers in a particular region. So in other words, wherever they're stationed, the Russian air force is not going to be bombing. So it's a strategic and tactical deployment of those forces for the sake of not allowing Russian bombs to fall on a particular region and therefore strengthening again, whichever group is active on the ground in that region and opposes the Syrian Arab army.

Joe: But there's always collateral damage, right? [Laughter]

Navid: Oh yeah, yeah. Yeah, absolutely. [Laughter]

Harrison: But the Russians can just say, "Well you guys didn't tell us where you were."

Joe: Right. "We didn't know." Well we'll see.

Navid: We'll see how it plays out.

Joe: Listen Navid, we're going to leave it there. We don't want to keep you too long for tonight. I just wanted to ask you a question. Did I hear correctly that you're in Croatia?

Navid: That's right. Zagreb, Croatia.

Joe: Okay. And how are you finding it there? Is it all good?

Navid: It's an interesting place. It's a second world country. It's a country that since independence the standard of living has actually gone down here a little bit. Unemployment is officially at 20% but probably in reality is probably much higher. GDP is kind of non-existent. But for carpet-baggers like me and my wife, the dollar goes very far here. And it's an Anglophile culture and an Anglophile city, so we get along well here.

Joe: They've got a great coastline as well.

Navid: Yeah, very much so. I'm looking forward to going back there actually.

Niall: Do you have any projects on the go? Anything you want to plug?

Navid: Well I'm resurrecting my radio show BulletPoints. I haven't done an episode of it since we've been here in Croatia but hopefully that'll change this week. It's going to be regularly broadcast now Thursdays, 5:00 p.m. eastern daylight time. So I'm looking forward to getting that back off the ground. And again, I'm hopeful that the first new episode is this week. We've got to get some technical things situated beforehand, but I'm looking forward to that.

Harrison: Do you have a website for that?

Navid: There used to be a Blog Talk Radio. I'm not sure if we're going to go with Blog Talk Radio from now on or with something else. I would say just Google Bulletpoints or Voices of the 99% Radio. When we've taken care of some technical things, I'll send you all a link and you can promote it. Okay?

Harrison: Great.

Niall: Thank you. And send anything you write, any articles to us and we'll get them on as well.

Joe: Get them published, yeah.

Navid: Absolutely. Thank you guys so much for the opportunity.

Joe: No problem. Thank you.

Niall: Thank you! Have a good evening.

Harrison: Thank you Navid.

Navid: Thank you. Bye-bye.

Joe: That was Navid Nasr. He's a good guy as well, well keyed in on...

Niall: Oh yeah! I think we should have him back on for another show.

Joe: Yeah! Have him back on, pick his brains about stuff. That was a two-for-one night folks, you get two-fer. That was the first two-fer. We're going to do it again. It was kind of fun as long as we can get the connections sorted out. We're going to leave it there for this week unless somebody has anything else to add. Do you want to say anything about the downing of the Russian plane?

Niall: Maybe we should, just our ideas on it so far.

Joe: Our ideas on it so far are effectively that...

Niall: It's open.

Joe: No. The thing is the mechanical fault seems totally implausible because planes generally don't generally have catastrophic mechanical faults like that without leaving the pilots being able to tell anybody what is happening. So, there's no word from the pilots really. They didn't put out any emergency signal and the thing just fell out of the sky. So, something else appears to have knocked the plane out of the sky. The Russians have already discounted the idea of ISIS or whoever else shooting it down. They even have discounted at this point a bomb on the plane or anything like that.

So, it's an interesting situation, how that is going to be explained, if it's going to be explained. There have been previous events in the last few years where planes fell out of the sky; German Wings last year most recently that was blamed on a suicide pilot that appears to have been totally fabricated. But with this one, given the spread of the wreckage that the plane broke up at some point in the air and that's part of this catastrophic failure of all the systems, but also even evidence of one child that was found eight kilometres away. That's a long way. At this point it suggests that if we had something to refer to, a reference point, we could probably explain it. People are willing to go there.

But it seems that there is a relatively new phenomenon where planes can be knocked out of the sky all of a sudden and even break up in flight without the pilots alerting anybody to anything, basically a sudden, catastrophic event that is in some way natural in nature, that it's not always about someone shooting it down or some manmade event. I think that's the best case scenario at this point. How that's going to be explained by the Russians, etc., I don't know if they'll even explain it.

Niall: Yeah. It's a very difficult sell because it's happening at a time and in a place where it just invites people to go, "Okay, what's going on here? Someone did this to Russia."

Joe: Right after MH17 for example, not right after but as the most recent one.

Harrison: But after the air strikes, a month in and over Egypt, it's ripe for speculation.

Joe: Right. So we'll be speculating at some point when we're given a little bit more time and we have some more data.

Niall: Okay.

Joe: So thanks to our guests Eva Bartlett and Navid Nasr and thanks to our listeners and to our callers, even Miguel who needs to take a bit of a reality check there.

Niall: Take a stand for gods sake! It's more important than you think.

Joe: We'll be back next week with another show but in the meantime check out the Health Show next Friday and Saturday The Truth Perspective. Until next Sunday then, y'all have a good evening.