Biden says ‘no’ to US sending F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine

31 Jan 2023

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

Amid Kiev’s calls for the West to provide it with fighter jets, the US President says he is not in favor of the decision.

US President Joe Biden speaking at the Steamfitters Local 602 in Springfield (AP)

United States President Joe Biden claimed on Monday that he will not be sending F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.

“No,” Biden said when asked by reporters at the White House if he was in favor of sending the jets, which Ukraine’s leaders have said are at the top of their latest weapons wish list.

This comes despite a group of US military officials quietly lobbying for sending F-16s to Ukraine, Politico reported, citing three anonymous sources familiar with the matter.

According to the newspaper, the campaign for F-16s to Ukraine is gaining momentum in the Pentagon, while Kiev is bracing for a planned offensive this spring.

A senior Pentagon official told Politico he did not think the US Department of Defense (DoD) was opposed to the idea, noting that there was no final decision on the possible supplies yet.

However, there is no appetite in the Pentagon for this proposal, US officials revealed, according to Politico.

Elsewhere, the US President also said he will be visiting Poland. “I’m going to be going to Poland. I don’t know when, though,” he told reporters when asked about a visit.

Earlier, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki pointed out that Poland can hand over its F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine only in coordination with other NATO partners.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said last week however that he wants the West to send long-range missiles and jets.

Last Monday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said Kiev expects to receive fighter jets from the West in the near future and it would take Ukrainian pilots at least six months to learn how to operate them.

A couple of days ago, Colonel Yurii Ihnat, the spokesperson for the Air Forces Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said Kiev intends to obtain 24 F-16 fighter jets from its international allies.

Read more: US complicit in Kiev shelling of Lugansk hospital: Russia UN envoy

Macron does not exclude France providing Ukraine with fighter jets

In this context, French President Emmanuel Macron said he would not rule out France delivering fighter jets to Ukraine but warned against the risk of escalation in the conflict.

“Nothing is excluded in principle,” Macron said after talks with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte when asked about the possibility of sending jets to Kiev.

However, the French President set out a series of “criteria” before making any decision, as Ukraine steps up calls for more advanced weapons from the West just days after its allies pledged to deliver tanks.

These included that Ukraine must first make the request, that any arms would “not be escalatory,” and that they would “not be likely to hit Russian soil but purely to aid the resistance effort.”

Macron stressed that any arms delivery “must not weaken the capacity of the French armed forces.”

He noted that the Ukrainians “are not making this request at the moment for fighter jets.”

Dutch politicians have recently suggested the idea of sending F-16 jets to Ukraine, but Rutte echoed Macron’s cautious comments.

“There is no taboo but it would be a big step,” the Dutch Premier indicated.

“It is not at all a question of F-16s, there has been no demand (from Ukraine),” he added.

The French and Dutch leaders made their comments a day after German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he would not send fighter jets to Ukraine.

Scholz only just agreed on Wednesday to send 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and to allow other European countries to send theirs, after weeks of intense debate and mounting pressure from allies.

Scholz’s decision to green-light the tanks was accompanied by a US announcement that it would send 31 of its Abrams tanks.

It is noteworthy that even though the West has not yet decided on the deliveries of fighter jets, Ukraine has already compiled a list of some 50 pilots, who are ready to start training on F-16s, speak English, and have a track record of “thousands of combat missions,” Politico revealed, citing a Pentagon official and a Ukrainian official, as well as three other people familiar with the matter.

Read more: Germany reiterates stance not to send warplanes to Ukraine

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فلسطين تفرض إيقاعها على ملفات المنطقة

الإثنين 30 كانون الثاني 2023

لم تكن عملية الشهيد البطل خيري علقم مجرد عملية بطولية تضاف إلى سجل عمليات المقاومة الفلسطينية، بقدر ما هي إعلان مرحلة جديدة يقول فيها الفلسطينيون إنهم قادرون على التعامل منفردين مع نتائج وصول اليمين المتطرف إلى الحكم في كيان الاحتلال، وإن التطبيع الذي قامت به حكومات عربية مع الكيان لم يقدم ولم يؤخر في موازين المواجهة مع الكيان، وإن سقوط خيار التفاوض والتسويات لم يدفع الفلسطينيين الى اليأس بل الى المقاومة، وإن المقاومين الأفراد الذين لا ينتمون إلى أي تنظيم فلسطيني يشكلون عماد العمل المقاوم، وهم لا يحتاجون مالاً ولا سلاحاً ولا شكلاً تنظيمياً ولا قيادة.

المسار الفلسطيني الجديد يمتلك أدوات استمراره وتطوّره في ذاته، وهو قادر على النمو والتصاعد في ظل الحصار والاحتلال، بل إن الحصار والتصعيد والقتل أسباب نموه وتصاعده، وبالتوازي لا يبدو أن الكيان قادر على الاستدارة او على التوقف او التراجع، ولذلك تبدو المواجهة الى تصاعد قد يبلغ في مدى أسابيع مرحلة الغليان، خصوصاً مع قدوم شهر رمضان وتقاطعه مع أعياد يحييها المتطرفون الدينيون في الكيان في المسجد الأقصى، الذي ترتفع رمزيته المقدسة مع ليالي رمضان، ما يجعل المواجهات الدموية نتيجة حتمية مقبلة.

ملفات المنطقة الساخنة تقع بين شعوبها وحكوماتها من جهة والإدارة الأميركية من جهة مقابلة، سواء التفاوض على الملف النووي الإيراني أو الصراع في سورية ومعها وعليها، او الاستحقاق الرئاسي في لبنان، أو مستقبل الاحتلال الأميركي في العراق وسورية، او مستقبل الحرب في اليمن، وواشنطن سوف تقيس مواقفها من كل هذه الملفات وفقاً لمقاربة قوامها، أي الخيارات يعرّض أمن كيان الاحتلال لمزيد من الخطر، وأي الخيارات يوفر للكيان حماية أفضل، لذلك قد ترد الحروب الكبرى والتسويات الكبرى من هذا الباب بعدما كانت مستبعدة حتى الأمس القريب.

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Putin just pulled off the ULTIMATE sneak attack against the West | Redacted with Clayton Morris

January 29, 2023

Ben-Gvir to Propose Law Allowing Death Penalty for Palestinians

January 29, 2023

Far-right Israeli politician Itamar Ben-Gvir. (Photo: Shay Kendler, via Wikimedia Commons)

Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir has announced plans to introduce legislation allowing the death penalty against Palestinians, Israeli media reported.

According to The Times of Israel, the far-right politician made the announcement following a security cabinet meeting held late on Saturday night after an attack was carried out in a Jewish settlement that killed seven Israelis and wounded three. The incident came a day after the deadliest Israeli military raid in the West Bank in years, which left at least 9 Palestinians killed and 20 others wounded.

“I hope we will pass it with a big majority,” Ben-Gvir said in a statement, adding that the security cabinet’s newly announced measures are “important”.

Palestinian Youth Succumbs to Wounds Sustained by Israeli Gunfire in Jenin

A Palestinian young man died on Sunday from injuries sustained last Thursday in an Israeli military attack on the Jenin refugee camp, the official news agency WAFA reported. The Palestinian Ministry of Health said in … Continue readingPalestinian Youth Succumbs to Wounds Sustained by Israeli Gunfire in Jenin

Palestine Chronicle

He also said he wanted “a lot more and I will continue and will strive for more and more decisions for combating terror.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also said the security cabinet had decided on a series of steps to “combat terror and exact a price from terrorists and their supporters”.

Without providing further details, he added that steps will be taken to “strengthen settlements” in response to the attacks.

In November, Ben-Gvir made the introduction of capital punishment against Palestinians found guilty of killing Israelis a condition for his faction to join Netanyahu’s coalition government.



Douglas Macgregor – We are co Belligerents

January 28, 2023

دلالات الردّ الفلسطيني المقاوم السريع على مجزرة جنين وخيارات العدو المسدودة

 الإثنين 30 كانون الثاني 2023

حسن حردان

ان يرتكب جيش الاحتلال الصهيوني مجزرة جديدة خلال عدوانه على مخيم جنين في الضفة الغربية المحتلة، فهذا أمر ليس متوقعاً وحسب بل كان شبه محتوم، خصوصاً في ظلّ حكومة بنيامين نتنياهو الجديدة التي تضمّ عتاة المتطرفين الصهاينة الذين يدعون علانية إلى إباحة قتل الفلسطينيين وسلبهم أراضيهم ومنازلهم ومقدساتهم.. لكن ما كان مفاجئاً للجميع للعدو والصديق على السواء، سرعة الردّ الفلسطيني المقاوم، بعمليتين نوعيتين في القدس المحتلة، الأولى نفذها المقاوم خيري علقم، قرب كنيس يهودي، أدّت إلى مقتل 7 مستوطنين وجرح 17 آخرين، والعملية الثانية نفذها المقاوم محمد عليوات قرب سلوان وأسفرت عن إصابة ضابط صهيوني ومستوطن بجراح بالغة، وذلك رداً على مجزرة العدو في جنين، وهي سرعة لها دلالاتها العديدة من حيث التوقيت والمكان والنتائج:

أولا، من حيث التوقيت، أن يسارع فدائيان في غضون أربعة وعشرين ساعة إلى القيام بعمليتين نوعيتين قرب مستوطنتين صهيونيتين في القدس المحتلة، ودماء مجزرة جنين لا تزال ساخنة، فهذا يدلّ بوضوح عل مدى الجاهزية والاستعداد اللذين بات يتمتع بهما شبان المقاومة وقدرتهم على تنفيذ عملياتهم بالتوقيت الذي يريدون، للقول لحكومة العدو والمستوطنين انّ المقاومة قادرة وقوية وانّ مجزرتكم لم تنجح في كسرها أو إضعافها أو ليّ ذراع مقاوميها…
ثانياً، من حيث المكان، فإنّ اختيار مكانين في القدس المحتلة، قريبين من مستوطنتين صهيونيتين، وفي ذروة الاستنفار العسكري والأمني الصهيوني، إنما يؤشر إلى مستوى القدرة التي بات يمتلكها المقاومون:

1 ـ على صعيد التدريب، حيث أنّ تنفيذ مثل هذه العمليات يتطلب مستوى عالياً من التدريب وامتلاك القدرة على الوصول إلى الهدف، في ظلّ الاستنفار الأمني والعسكري الصهيوني.

2 ـ وعلى صعيد المعلومات، يتطلب تنفيذ مثل هذه العمليات امتلاك المقاومين قدرة على الاستطلاع ومعرفة أدقّ التفاصيل الأمنية بشأن أماكن تواجد قوات الاحتلال وحواجزها الأمنية المنتشرة في كلّ مدينة القدس المحتلة تحسّباً من عمليات المقاومة.

3 ـ كذلك على صعيد النجاح في تنفيذ عملياتهم وتحقيق أهدافها… بما يؤكد مستوى القدرة التي بات يحوز عليها المقاومون الذين ينفذون مثل هذه العمليات، في ذروة الإجراءات الأمنية الصهيونية.. وكذلك مستوى الكفاءة القتالية التي بات يتمتع بها منفذو العمليات من الشباب، وهو الأمر الذي اعترفت به وسائل الإعلام الصهيونية، حيث أشارت «القناة الـ13» الإسرائيلية إلى «احترافية منفّذ العملية» الشهيد خيري علقم (21 عاماً)، لافتة إلى أنّ «منفذ الهجوم أطلق الطلقة وراء الأخرى، وأصاب بصورة دقيقة. وعلى ما يبدو، لديه خبرة في الإصابة»… وما أقلق بشكل أكبر كيان العدو، أنّ الفدائي الفلسطيني الذي نفّذ عملية القدس بدا واضحاً أنه كان خاضعاً لتدريب دقيق حول ضبط النفس واغتنام الفرصة واستخدام المسدس بشكل دقيق».

ثالثاً، من حيث النتائج، فإنّ العمليتين، حققتا جملة من النتائج الهامة:

النتيجة الأولى، تأكيد جديد بأنه مهما أوغل العدوان الصهيوني في ارتكاب الجرائم والمجازر بحق الشعب الفلسطيني، فإنه لن يتمكن من إسكات مقاومته وفرض الاستسلام عليه، بل على العكس تماماً، فإنّ استمرار جرائم الاحتلال يؤدّي الى تأجيج المقاومة المسلحة، وانضمام المزيد من الشبان إلى صفوفها، للدفاع عن شعبهم وكرامتهم وحقهم في وطنهم، ولهذا فإنّ الردّ المقاوم جاء سريعاً وقوياً، فور ارتكاب العدو مجزرته في مخيم جنين..

النتيجة الثانية، توجيه ضربة موجعة للمنظومة الأمنية والعسكرية الصهيونية، وكشف عجزها وعدم قدرتها على حماية أمن الكيان، مما ولد إحباطاً صهيونياً وشعوراً غير مسبوق بالعجز، واعتراف الخبراء والمحللين الصهاينة باستحالة وقف العمليات الفردية.. وفي هذا السياق ذكرت وسائل الإعلام الإسرائيلية،» أنّ نتائج العملية (الاولى) في القدس فظيعة وقاسية».

وأشارت القناة 13 الإسرائيلية إلى «أنّ هجوم القدس (الاول) تم تنفيذه من تحت أنف الشاباك في القدس»، لأنّ العملية وجهت للجهاز الأمني الإسرائيلي ضربة مزدوجة.. ضربة لأحلام ورهانات حكومة المتطرفين الصهاينة على فرض الأمن عبر ارتكاب المزيد من المجازر.. ومن جهة ثانية كشفت مستوى عجز منظومة الأمن الصهيونية في القدرة على منع العمليات، مهما امتلكت من قدرات واتخذت من إجراءات.

النتيجة الثالثة، اهتزاز حكومة نتنياهو، واندفاع وزرائها للتنافس في إطلاق المواقف وتقديم الاقتراحات لاتخاذ إجراءات انتقامية من الفلسطينيين، والتي شملت، الدعوة لهدم منازل منفذي العمليات فوراً، وطرد عائلات منفذي العمليات من القدس إلى الضفة الغربية، وزيادة منسوب الاستيطان وتشديد الإجراءات الأمنية حول الأحياء والمخيمات الفلسطينية، وزيادة تسليح المستوطنين، وحشد قوات اضافية إلى القدس والضفة، استعداداً لتنفيذ المزيد من العمليات العسكرية والأمنية، تشمل اجتياح مدن ومخيمات وبلدات، وتوسعة دائرة الاعتقالات، والدعوة إلى إقرار الإعدام بحق الأسرى إلخ… وهذه كلها إجراءات عقاب جماعي ليست جديدة وهي أصلاً معتمدة ويجري اتخاذها اثر كلّ عملية فدائية، وإنما تؤشر إلى أنّ حكومة نتنياهو ليس لديها من جديد سوى الاتجاه إلى مزيد من التصعيد، وهذا يعني أنّ الوضع يتجه نحو التدهور والانفجار الواسع لأنّ مثل هذا التصعيد الصهيوني لن يقود إلا الى تصعيد في المقاومة والمواجهات الشعبية مع قوات الاحتلال، وقد يؤدي إلى اندلاع انتفاضة جديدة شعبية مسلحة، هي مزيج من الانتفاضتين الأولى والثانية.. كما قد يؤدي إلى عودة دخول المقاومة في قطاع غزة على خط المواجهة وبالتالي خوض معركة جديدة في سياق تأكيد وحدة الساحات والصراع المستمر بين المقاومة والاحتلال.. لن تكون نتائجها بعيدة عما آلت اليه المعارك والمواجهات السابقة من فشل العدو في تحقيق أهدافه في النيل من المقاومة والصمود الفلسطيني، وبالتالي نجاح المقاومة مجدداً في تكريس معادلة توازن الرعب والردع ..

النتيجة الرابعة، تأكيد جديد باستحالة طمس او تصفية قضية فلسطين، خصوصاً في ظلّ إصرار الشعب الفلسطيني على رفض الاستسلام ومواصلة الصمود والمقاومة، الشعبية والمسلحة، وبالتالي فإنّ الصهاينة لن ينعموا بالأمن والاستقرار طالما أنّ الشعب الفلسطيني ظلّ يعاني من الاحتلال واستمرار عمليات القمع والإرهاب والاعتقالات وهدم المنازل والاستيطان والتنكيل الصهيوني، وطالما أنه لم يحصل على حقوقه كاملة في وطنه.. أما إذا اعتقد عتاة المتطرفين الصهاينة انهم يستطيعون طرد الفلسطينيين ثانية من أرضهم وتهجيرهم خارج فلسطين فإنّ ذلك أيضاً تأكد انه حلم صهيوني لن يتحقق، لأنّ الشعب الفلسطيني تعلم الدرس من النكبة الأولى، والأجيال الجديدة منه التي نشأت بعد اتفاق أوسلو باتت أكثر وعياً وإدراكاً بأنّ الاحتلال لا تنفع معه سوى لغة القوة ولهذا يتجهون نحو انتهاج طريق المقاومة المسلحة.. وهذا يعني أنّ الصراع سوف يستمر إلى أن يتمكن الشعب الفلسطيني من استعادة حقوقه بالتحرّر من الاحتلال والتخلص من المستوطنين المستعمرين الذين تمّ جلبهم من دول عديدة وتمكينهم من الاستيلاء على أراضي الفلسطينيين وبناء المستعمرات عليها.. وهذا يعني أنّ خيارات الاحتلال مسدودة، فلا هو ناضج لتسويات حقيقية، ولا هو قادر على القضاء على المقاومة وفرض الاستسلام على الشعب الفلسطيني، ولا هو يستطيع تكرار نكبة ثانية، ولا هو قادر على إجبار الفلسطينيين على العيش في أرضهم، تحت حكم احتلال عنصري يسلبهم حقوقهم.. وبالتالي كلما وصل العدو إلى طريق مسدود في الخيارات التي يلجأ إليها كلما ارتدّ ذلك بمفاقمة أزماته الداخلية وزيادة حدة الانقسام والصراع بين مكونات الكيان الصهيوني…

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Dozens Killed or Injured in Peshawar Mosque Blast: Video

 January 30, 2023

Source: Agencies

Pakistani police and security officials inspect the site of a mosque blast in Peshawar (Monday, January 30, 2023 / image by AFP).

An explosion in a mosque in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar killed at least 25 worshippers and wounded dozens more in on Monday.

Deputy Commissioner Shafiullah Khan told the media that 25 people were killed and 120 others injured in the powerful blast.

Many of the casualties were police officers who had gathered for daily Duhr prayers, as the mosque was located close to a police housing block, hospital officials said.

Some 260 people inside when the blast occurred, according to police.

“A portion of the building had collapsed and several people are believed to be under it,” police official Sikandar Khan told Reuters news agency.

Powerful Explosion

A local police officer Zafar Khan told AFP that the attack was caused by a bomb, adding that the impact of the explosion collapsed the roof of the mosque and injured many.

Meena Gul, a police officer, said he was inside the mosque when the bomb went off. He said he did not know how he survived unhurt. Gul could hear cries and screams after the bomb exploded.

Meanwhile, Al Jazeera reported that said details were emerging that the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber.

“We are also getting details … the suicide bomber himself was sitting in the front row of the congregational prayer inside the mosque,” Al-Jazeera correspondent in Islamabad Kamal Hyder added.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing but the Pakistani Taliban have been blamed in similar suicide attacks in the past.

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan took to twitter to condemn the attack, calling for exerting efforts in order to confront terrorism.

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Enigma’s third episode: Socialism in Cuba and Washington’s schemes

January 30, 2023

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Al Mayadeen English 

The third episode of Enigma talks about post-revolution Cuba and highlights the measures taken by Havana in Cuba and the US role in inciting against the revolutionary government.


The third episode of Al Mayadeen‘s Enigma documentary series, aimed at shedding the light on the Cuban revolution and the impact it had on the world, highlighted the most prominent figures in the Cuban revolution and the circumstances that led to it altogether.

The third episode touched on what it was like in post-revolutionary Cuba and the measures taken by the revolutionary government in light of incitement by the United States against the government in Havana.

On January 8, 1959, through the road known as Malecón, Havana, officially the Avenida de Maceo, the freedom convoy led by leader Fidel Castro marched onto Havana. They had thwarted Fulgencio Batista’s US-backed dictatorship and came from the east, from the mountains of Sierra Maestra, from where they had begun 25 months prior to their final battle for victory and national integrity.

They were accompanied by popular support from the people of Cuba, and at the capital, the support of the Cuban people and their eagerness for change climaxed: they now had a new leader.

By that time, all main government strongholds that used to be controlled by the Batista regime had been under the control of the revolutionary authorities. Commander Ernesto “Che ” Guevara had taken over the Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabaña, or the Fort of Saint Charles, and his comrade Camilo Cienfuegos over Camp Columbia, the stronghold of dictatorship in Havana. That is where Castro went that night, and he was surrounded by a sea of people chanting in support of him and celebrating the ousting of the US-backed dictator whose reign caused nothing but misery. Castro called for the unity of the Cuban people, unity for victory, and he also warned that as of that moment, everything could either be smooth sailing or be extremely difficult.

Since the beginning, the revolutionary government took impactful measures, with the people being thought of first when it came to policy-making. The economic, political, and social changes were implemented swiftly, with rents and electricity prices getting halved, medicine prices getting decreased, and civilians being allowed to go on the beach after they were denied such privileges by the dictator.

Despite the various policies taken by Castro’s government, the measure that had the most repercussions at the time was the first agrarian law passed in May 1959, which granted the right of ownership of land to those who cultivate it and worked on it. Cuba started changing course and began reimbursing the people for their work after they had been exploited at the hands of the US-backed regime. And with that, the United States began weaving its first plots against the revolutionary government.

US anti-revolutionary schemes

With the onset of the revolution, the United States signed a decree imposing the first ban on trade with Cuba. The decision was made to stop all exports to the island, except for food and medicine. A few months later, on January 3, 1961, diplomatic relations were severed, and a few days later, the decision was made to restrict the travel of American citizens to the island. The Eisenhower administration ushered in a new era and drew up the basics of Washington’s policy toward Cuba, which would go on to shape US-Cuban relations to this very day.

Many of the destabilizing elements between Cuba and the United States were policies taken during the 60s and are still in force to this day, and the Cuban people are bearing the brunt of the US anti-revolutionary rhetoric.

Another aspect that shaped Cuban-US relations was the countless operations carried out by the CIA to try and destabilize Cuba, such as Operation Peter Pan, which was orchestrated by the CIA, the US State Department, and the leadership of the Catholic Church in Miami.

All measures of change in the country were taking place in the face of violent confrontations, and in fact, the country was subject to a permanent terrorist threat, as sabotage, threats of invasion, and hijacking of planes and fishermen’s boats were commonplace. 

Not far from the Escambray Mountains in central Cuba, in the ancient province of Las Villas is the city of Trinidad, a World Heritage Site. Right in the heart of that region, some of the fiercest counter-revolutionary gangs operated between 1959 and 1965. It was a counter-revolutionary movement funded, armed, and run by the CIA.

The CIA wanted to take advantage of this situation in the Escambray region to carry out a sea and land landing of a military brigade and take control of a coastal outpost in Trinidad. US plans revealed that Washington would form a provisional government there and demand international recognition and military support to overthrow the revolutionary government.

In March 1961, Havana carried out Operation Cage, an operation aimed at counter-revolutionaries, trapping them before conducting an offensive against them. The offensive was called Operation Escambray Purge, and it saw more than 70,000 fighters from all over Cuba taking up arms in the face of the anti-revolutionaries.

On the dawn of April 15, 1961, eight American B-26 bombers carried out attacks against three Cuban airports; Santiago de Cuba, San Antonio de los Baños, and Ciudad Libertad. The bombing was an attempted false flag operation. The bombers flew in disguised with the emblem of the Cuban Air Force in order to make it look like an internal mutiny from the air force. However, the other goal behind the operation was destroying the humble revolutionary air force on the ground so that it would not possess the capacity for a confrontation during an invasion.

On that day, seven Cubans were killed and 50 others were wounded. One of those murdered by the United States wrote the name of Fidel Castro on the wall in his own blood before succumbing to his wound, embodying the decision to resist.

Cuba adopts socialism

From the heart of the Cuban capital of Havana and as a funeral was underway for those martyred during the bombing, commander Fidel Castro declared a general state of alert to face the imminent invasion. He also declared the socialist aspect of the Cuban revolution, turning Cuba into the first country to adopt socialism as a social and economic system in the Western Hemisphere.

A military campaign was orchestrated by the United States to topple the island nation’s socialist government, with Washington allocating some $13 million to form a brigade of 600 mercenaries who, according to the US dream that would stand the test of time as a dream, were supposed to completely eradicate the revolution within two days. Some of the mercenaries were sent to train in training camps set up in Guatemala and Panama.

The e 2506th Mercenary Brigade, financed by the Kennedy administration, landed at the Bay of Pigs on April 17, 1961. However, the fierce and brilliant resistance of the Cuban Revolutionary Militia, personally led by Fidel Castro, thwarted this aggression in less than 72 hours. The time factor was important because the goal of the invaders was to control a coastal outpost, form a government, and seek recognition from the puppet governments of the corrupt OAS.

The mercenaries were only able to make it a couple of kilometers into Cuba from the shore before they were completely crushed by a resilient Cuba. 

The most dangerous event that both countries and indeed the entire world faced during the Cold War period was in October 1962. Humanity was on the brink of nuclear fallout. USSR intelligence confirmed what Cuba already knew: the American invasion of the island is imminent. The Soviet Union then suggested to the government and the leadership of the revolution that Moscow deploys defensive nuclear missiles on Cuban soil.

President Kennedy demanded that the Soviet nuclear missiles stationed in Cuba be handed back. To realize his goal, he imposed a naval blockade on the island. This prompted the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces to respond by putting all its units on combat alert, as a direct attack on Cuba seemed imminent.

Despite the unwavering position of the people of Cuba and its armed forces, who were all mobilized and prepared in the face of this threat, the Soviets decided unilaterally to take the missiles back from Cuba during negotiations that took place between Nikita Khrushchev and Kennedy without the involvement of the Cuban leadership.

Socialism unites

The proclamation of the socialist nature of the Cuban Revolution was a decisive step towards uniting all the revolutionary political forces: the 26th of July Movement, the Popular Socialist Party, and the Revolutionary Directorate of the 13 March Movement agreed to dissolve themselves independently and individually in order to later unite into a single party: the Communist Party of Cuba.

It was a Monday not like any other, as the streets of Cuba were unusually silent. The news of Che’s martyrdom has made it into every street, house, and heart of Cuban citizens. Children went to school, but they were silent. That is what a local newspaper said in Che Guevara’s obituary.

About half a million Cubans participated in the anti-colonial wars in Africa. Men and women from the Caribbean island supported Algeria, Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde Island, and Ethiopia, in their wars to defend their sovereignty. The Cuban forces supported Angola in its struggle against the system of discrimination and apartheid as well.

In the long list of attacks against the Cuban people, 1976 stands out as one of the most blood-stained years since the revolution. Another terrorist act was organized by members of the Cuban-American mafia in Miami, and the CIA had a hand. The terrorists bombed a Cubana de Aviacion airliner while in the air, killing 73 people. Those who masterminded this terrorist attack were the Cuban terrorists Orlando Bosh and Luis Posada Carriles. They were later protected by the US government after the victims’ families demanded that they be prosecuted.

On September 18, 1980, the first Latin American man to make it to space, Cuban astronaut Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez, took off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. This event was the fruit of space cooperation between the Soviet Union and other socialist countries.

Ties between the USSR and Cuba were very warm despite being almost non-exist pre-revolution. They began to develop due to transformations undertaken by the country. From the start, these ties helped resist the US blockade imposed on the Caribbean island.

By 1974, Cuba had joined the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA) on preferential terms. In practice, this meant that Cuba would be granted loans on soft terms and had incentive prices set for its products, as well as partaking in joint construction of industrial facilities while receiving effective assistance in the scientific sector.

The 90s brought upon the world an array of changes; the Berlin wall fell, Soviet republics were no more, the USSR collapsed, and with that CMEA was no more either. It was believed at the time that Cuba was isolated from its “eco-system”, from the system that allowed it to maintain its economic equilibrium. This political and economic isolation would have isolated or re-isolated Cuba at a time when the United States was escalating its hostilities against the island nation. However, Cuba was not to be isolated just yet due to the creative resistance of the Cuban people.

The people and their revolution were unwavering in the face of the challenges and hardship thrown in their direction. None of the public services that the revolution implemented for its people were abolished. None of them were privatized. Schools remained open and Cuba remained safe from the neoliberal policies that had taken the entire Latin American region by storm at the time. Those who were hoping that the Cuban revolution would falter and that its end was near were greatly disappointed. The Cuban Revolution survived, and it continues to live even after the death of most of its leaders.

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Qatar Partners for Joint Exploration in Lebanese Gas Blocks: A Ray of Hope?

 January 29, 2023

Lebanon, Qatar Energy, Eni, TotalEnergies sign an agreement in Beirut, Lebanon, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023

Batoul Wehbe

Lebanon witnessed on Sunday the signing ceremony of ‘The Revised Appendices to the Exploration and Production Agreements for Blocks 4 and 9’, an agreement for Qatar Energy Company to join a consortium that will search for gas in the Mediterranean Sea off Lebanon’s coast.

As soon as the good news of the gas agreement circulated this afternoon, the exchange rate of the dollar recorded a decline on the Lebanese black market to below than 57,000 Lebanese Lira, giving hope to perpetually overwhelmed people.

The Lebanese government, together with two leading international oil companies, entered into an agreement with the state-owned Qatar Energy Company, resulting in the latter becoming a partner in the consortium exploring the oil and gas potential of Blocks 4 and 9. This marks a significant milestone in the quest for oil and gas in Lebanon’s maritime domain.

“Today marks a historic event in Lebanon as we sign the amended addendums to the exploration and production agreements in blocks 4 and 9, in the presence of the CEO of Qatar Energy Company, and with the support and attendance of the Prime Minister’s Office of Business Administration Nijib Mikati in the governmental palace,” the Ministry of Energy stated.

The Minister of Energy, Dr. Waleed Fayyad, signed on behalf of Lebanon, while the State Minister of Energy from Qatar, the CEO of Qatar Energy Company, Engineer Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, signed on behalf of Qatar, the CEO of Total Group, Patrick Pouyanné, signed on behalf of the French company, and the CEO of Eni, Claudio Descalzi, signed on behalf of the Italian company, in the presence of ambassadors from Qatar, France, and Italy.

PM Miktai, Walid Fayyad, Al-Kaabi

“This step comes after Qatar Energy Company became a partner in the consortium of petroleum companies with the rights to explore and produce in blocks 4 and 9 in Lebanese waters, as an undeveloped oil owner, joining Total E&P from France and Eni from Italy,” the Lebanese Ministry added.

The ownership share in each of the consortium’s companies will be divided among the four partners, and they will work together to explore and produce oil and gas in these two blocks as follows:

“ Total Energies: 35%
    Eni: 35%
   Qatar Energy: 30% 

This new partnership coincides with the operator’s ongoing efforts to carry out exploration and drilling activities in block 9 this year. Lebanon’s share ranges from 54% to 63% after deducting operating and capital expenses if a discovery is made.

“We are thrilled to welcome Qatar Energy to our exploration efforts in Lebanon. The recent determination of the country’s maritime boundary with Israel has generated a new opportunity for the exploration of its hydrocarbon resources. Total Energies and our partners are fully committed to drilling an exploration well in Block 9 as soon as possible in 2023, and our teams are ready to commence these operations,” stated Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of Total Energies.

This partnership further strengthens the collaboration between Total Energies and Qatar Energy in exploration activities, bringing the number of countries where the companies have partnerships to nine.

“Our concentration will be on block number nine,” al-Kaabi, Qatar’s Energy Minister, said, adding that this could be a first step for Qatar Energy to play a bigger role in future explorations.

“It is an honor to be in Lebanon with these two companies,” said Descalzi, the CEO of Italy’s state-run energy company, ENI, said in turn. “We will work all together to give the best to your country.”

During the press conference held after the signing ceremony, Lebanese Energy Minister Fayyad hailed the deal that “marks the beginning of a new chapter that reinforces Lebanon’s standing as a major player in the regional oil industry.”

“This indicates the continuation of confidence in Lebanon despite all the ordeals and crises that it is going through, and the hopes pinned on making commercial discoveries in the exclusive Lebanese economic zone,” Fayyad pointed out.

For his part, PM Mikati affirmed that the initiation of exploration and petroleum activities in Lebanon’s waters holds great potential to generate short- and medium-term benefits. “This marks the initiation of a new stage in the exploration and petroleum operations in Lebanese waters, poised to have a beneficial influence, both in the short and intermediate term, on the creation of opportunities for Lebanese companies involved in the petroleum services sector and providing employment prospects for Lebanese youth, particularly those with technical expertise,” Mikati said.

“This partnership between Qatar Energy and its acquisition of a 30% stake in exploration and production agreements for Blocks 4 and 9 is a significant and unparalleled event in the oil exploration and production sector in Lebanon’s maritime waters, given Qatar Energy’s reputation and expertise in the gas industry globally,” he noted.

The US Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, Amos Hochstein, who mediated the Israeli-Lebanese maritime border negotiations, has lauded the agreement between Lebanon, Qatar Energy, TotalEnergies and ENI. In a tweet, Hochstein exclaimed, “Congratulations to Lebanon on Qatar Energy joining as an investor with ENI and TotalEnergies. This is a welcome addition of new investment in the Lebanese energy sector and further evidence of progress from the maritime agreement.”

Light at the End of the Tunnel?

The Lebanese people pin hopes on this landmark agreement that would save its economy from deteriorating to an untenable level.

The Lebanese economy is in a state of profound distress, with the Lebanese pound experiencing a severe devaluation of nearly 90% since the onset of the economic crisis in May 2019. The latest reports indicate the exchange rate of the Lebanese pound reached a record low of over 60,000 to the dollar on Friday.

In addition to this, food prices have skyrocketed nearly tenfold, leading to high levels of unemployment and putting three-quarters of the population into poverty.

The absence of a president has been a persistent issue in the country since the expiration of Michel Aoun’s presidential term on October 31st. Despite the Parliament convening on 11 occasions, efforts to elect a new president have been unsuccessful.

In the same context, MP Gebran Bassil, head of the Free Patriotic Movement, stated in a press conference that the country is facing the consequences of a breakdown, including a surging dollar, increasing poverty, sky-high gasoline prices, disarray in the pharmaceutical market, a threatened education sector, lack of administration, and employees and transactions being ignored. Additionally, he mentioned that judges are airing their grievances and acting based on political agendas.

MP Bassil urged for a unified approach and prompt discussions among all parties, either in a bilateral or collective manner, to come to an agreement on a streamlined and swift action plan. He also called for reaching consensus on a list of potential candidates for the presidential election, or if not possible, to vote based on an agreed upon list.

“We are ready to conclude a new understanding with Hezbollah and with any political component on building the state in partnership, provided it is implemented,” Bassil said.

Bou Saab in the DC

All the way to the United States, Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Elias Bou Saab, has departed for Washington on an official visit. During the trip, he will engage in talks with US administration officials, members of the Senate and Congress, as well as high-level representatives of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Bou Saab will also participate in joint meetings alongside Representatives Neamat Freim, Yassin Yassin, and Mark Daou.

It is foreseen that on the first day of his visit, Bou Saab will commence with a meeting and dinner facilitated by Wael Hashem, Chargé d’Affaires at the Lebanese Embassy. The US Special Presidential Coordinator, Amos Hochstein, will also be in attendance, giving a joint speech with Bou Saab regarding the aftermath of the maritime border demarcation and its effect on Lebanon. The dinner will be attended by prominent Lebanese parliamentarians, members of the Senate and Congress, and high-level American officials.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Number of martyrs in Jenin massacre rises to 10 Palestinians

January 29, 2023

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

The Palestinian Ministry of Health pronounces dead the Palestinian youth Omar Al-Saadi, who was critically injured during the Jenin massacre.

Palestinian martyr Omar Al-Saadi

The Palestinian Ministry of Health announced on Sunday the martyrdom of Palestinian youth Omar Al-Saadi after he succumbed to the injuries that he sustained last Thursday during the massacre that the Israeli occupation committed at Jenin refugee camp, north of the occupied West Bank.

According to the Ministry, Al-Saadi, 24, was critically injured by Israeli bullets during the Israeli occupation raid on Jenin and was pronounced dead this evening.

Al-Saadi’s death brings up the number of martyrs in the Jenin massacre to 10 Palestinians.

It is noteworthy that following the Jenin massacre, Palestinian presidential Spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh said the Palestinian authorities have officially decided to halt the so-called “security” coordination with “Israel” and contact the UN Security Council.

Following the bloody raid, Israeli occupation police announced on Friday that seven illegal Israeli settlers were killed and at least 10 others were wounded in the aftermath of a shooting that took place in Nabi Yaqub, occupied Al-Quds. And on Saturday, two settlers were seriously injured in a shooting attack in Silwan, occupied Al-Quds.

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Sayyed Al-Houthi: Quran Burning Amounts to Declaration of War Against Muslim World

 January 29, 2023

By Staff, Agencies

The leader of Yemen’s Ansarullah resistance movement has severely censured the desecration of the Holy Quran by a far-right Swedish-Danish politician in Stockholm and Copenhagen, terming the sacrilegious move as a declaration of war against the Muslim world.

Addressing a ceremony in the Yemeni capital city of Sanaa on Friday evening, Sayyed Abdul-Malik al-Houthi stated that the spread of Islam in European and Western societies has been a source of constant worry for enemies of Islam, and prompted anti-Islam individuals to set fire to the copies of the Muslim holy book in a show of desperation.

He stressed that the burning of the Holy Quran in European countries falls within the framework of their hostile war on human societies, and their efforts to distance societies from Quran, and create animosity towards Islam.

On Friday, Swedish-Danish right-wing extremist Rasmus Paludan torched copies of the Holy Quran near a mosque and outside the premises of the Turkish Embassy in the Danish capital Copenhagen.

Paludan had already infuriated the Muslim world by staging a Quran-burning protest in Sweden’s capital Stockholm on Jan. 21. The right-wing extremist has vowed to continue the stunt every Friday until Sweden is admitted into the US-led NATO.

“The burning of the Holy Quran is not justifiable by any means. It is considered a hostile, criminal and profane action against all holy books,” Houthi said.

The Ansarullah chief noted, “Oppressors are trying to put up a barrier between world nations and the Quran, because they view it as the biggest danger for themselves and the biggest savior for human beings.”

“Burning of the Holy Quran and declaring enmity towards it and Islam amount to a blatant disrespect for all Muslims. Such an approach also attests to the extent of satanic forces’ anger towards Quran and their weakness in the face of the sacred book,” he noted.

Houthi went on to condemn the burning of the Holy Quran as the gravest act of hostility against Islam and Muslims, emphasizing that the pro-Zionist lobby stands at the forefront of the aggressive campaign against Islam, Quran and Muslims.

“Satanic forces try to perpetrate grievous sins and despicable crimes in the name of freedom of thought and speech, and enlist political and legal support for them,” the leader of the Ansarullah movement said.

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Hamas reveals it downed IOF military hexacopter drone in Gaza

January 29, 2023

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

The Al-Qassam Brigades said they took control of a drone during the recent aggression on Gaza and extracted sensitive information related to the occupation forces from it.

Picture of the capture IOF drone. (Al-Qassam Brigade)

Palestinian resistance movement Hamas said on Sunday it downed and captured an IOF military remote surveillance small drone over Gaza.

In a published statement on Sunday, the Al-Qassam Brigades said they took control of a drone during the recent aggression on Gaza and extracted sensitive information related to the occupation forces from it.

Below are some of the pictures that were released along with the statement.

“Israel’s” occupation forces had reportedly kept the disappearance of this drone secret until Hamas announced it was in their possession. 

This comes days after the IOF carried out violent raids in Jenin in the West Bank, resulting in at least 10 Palestinian deaths and 20 injuries.

Three days of national mourning were proclaimed by the Palestinian Authority.

Palestinian resistance factions in Gaza retaliated later by firing a salvo of missiles at the occupied city of Askalan.  

Read more: CIA chief arrives in “Tel Aviv” amid raids – reports

Some Thoughts about Neutrality and Peaceful Multi-Ethnicity

January 28, 2023


By Eduard Rosel

The emissary from Kiev to the WEF in Davos, Switzerland, Olena Zelenska, the wife of the Ukrainian President, said in Davos to an international audience that in the current situation neutrality cannot be permitted. She spoke about the children. Speaking to the Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung and asked about Switzerland not sending weapons to Ukraine, she replied with restraint and thankfulness regarding the reception of 50’000 refugees.

Switzerland has been neutral since the year 1815. The great powers at that time guarantied the territorial integrity of Switzerland in the borders of 1815 provided that Switzerland would remian neutral in future conflicts. But even before 1815 the independence of the confederation from the great powers Austria and France was intertwined with its neutrality.

Neutrality has been an issue in Switzerland since the latest Ukraine conflict began. A few months back the Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis was considered to be negligent in the matter of neutrality and as a result a referendum is now being prepared by the Swiss People’s Party which will confirm, clarify and strengthen Switzerland’s neutrality. Switzerland is not unique. Austria is also neutral, meaning that it is not a member of NATO, and in this way it avoided being partitioned after World War II as Germany was.

Switzerland is also a multi-ethnic country. Despite its population of only 8 million, there are four cultural groups and four official languages. There is an unofficial custom which parliament always observes when electing a new government: the three main regions must always be represented in the government. All ministers are bilingual. There are no ethnic tensions.

If you want to talk about values, think about neutrality and peaceful multi-ethnicity! Switzerland’s last war was in 1848 and it was a very short civil war. It is also said that the neutrality of Switzerland allows it to be an honest broker. Thus many international agencies and summits are hosted in Geneva. Switzerland is a go-between the estranged nations United States and Iran.

The change in government in Kiev in 2014 can be considered to be a coup d’état since the elected government was replaced by a government according to the wishes of the United States, as was evidenced by the leak of an infamous telephone conversation between the US ambassador and the US diplomat (who is now known for her undiplomatic language) Victoria Nuland.

The Maidan coup d’état resulted in severe ethnic tensions in a politically fragile country, which at that time had only been a nation state for a total of 28 years including the years from 1917 to 1922. There was for example a massacre in Odessa in which 46 anti-Maidan demonstrators were killed.

When the conflict in Ukraine broke out in 2014 after the troubles on the Maidan square and the violent change of government, Switzerland held the presidency of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe OSCE. Therefore the Swiss diplomat Heidi Tagliavini (called “the facilitator” and praised by Bloomberg) was allowed to work on a ceasefire agreement which resulted in the Minsk I and the Minsk II Protocols, both signed for the OSCE by Tagliavini. She was supported by Swiss President Didier Burkhalter who at that time was President of the OSCE. He cautioned all parties not to pour oil on the fire. For those two diplomats Minsk was not a sham, it was an attempt in good faith to bring peace to Ukraine. Burkhalter retired prematurely from politics two years later.

Minsk I was signed by Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE. Minsk II was signed by Germany, France, Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE. Minsk II was also adopted as the Resolution 2202 of the Security Council of the United Nations.

As we have recently learned from Petro Poroshenko, Angela Merkel and François Hollande the Minsk II Agreement was intended to “buy time” for Ukraine. This is what Angela Merkel said in an interview on the 8th of December 2022. On the one hand she says that her aim was to prevent a war both in 2008 and in 2014. Then she says that Minsk was to give Ukraine time and “as one sees today, Ukraine used this time to become stronger”. Today the NATO states can do much more to help Ukraine, she said.

So the Minsk agreements bought time and permitted Ukraine to establish massive fortifications within the very regions or oblasts that should have been granted autonomy from Kiev according to the agreement signed by Ukraine! Does Merkel think or did she think at the time that this was a good idea? Was this not a preparation for more civil war?

Presumably she bowed to the US wish to use Ukraine as an instrument against Russia according to the Brzezinski doctrine of 1997. She may have been cowed by the revelation in 2013 that her mobile phone, which was supposed to be tap-proof, had been listened to for the last 10 years by the US Embassy in Berlin.

In essence there was to be no accommodation for the Russian language ethnic group as foreseen by the two agreements. Merkel apparently quickly realized that this was not what was intended by Kiev and Paris.

With Poroshenko one gets the impression it might have gone either way. Under pressure from the American “friends” he went to the cynical side. Hollande is a typical European Atlanticist, which is the opposite of a Gaullist. This in my view is a mistake for reasons given here.

Since then there has been no end of accusations, recriminations, and very clever argumentation leading nowhere but to more verbal strife, increased hatred and the impossibility of finding a solution. Let us stick to the relevant issues and those are war, peace and modest prosperity. Maybe I have missed something, maybe my sources are one-sided, maybe my reasoning is faulty, but this essay is written in good faith.

As we have learned in the last months, the United States has a great interest in the war, enabling it to weaken Russia by using the ethnic tensions in Ukraine and using Ukraine as a proxy. Repeatedly there are calls in Washington to prolong the war as long as possible! There seems to be an affinity for long wars as was the case in Vietnam and Afghanistan. In the end they will tire of this game and leave Ukraine in the lurch.

The massive Ukrainian fortifications in the Donbass are now in the process of being destroyed by the Russian Special Military Operation. One might ask why there is currently such a controversy about delivering German Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine when it is clearly too late to save the fortifications in Bakhmut. Perhaps the answer is that this is not the purpose. The purpose is not to end but to prolong the war.

Would it have not been in the interest of Ukraine to vacate the Donbass and to grant it autonomy, thus adhering to the Minsk agreements? Would it not have been in the interests of Ukraine to avoid the conflict by not aligning itself with NATO? Would neutrality and a fair multi-ethnic society not have avoided the unneccessary suffering that has ensued?

An astute political commentator, Victor Gao, had this to say on the 4th of June 2022 on the Chinese television channel CGTN: “I think that the best case scenario for Ukraine is that it will be one of the, if not the wealthiest, richest, happiest countries in Europe if not in the world at large. Why? Because if you look at the situation involving Ukraine it really has all the ingredients (he is referring to the fertile lands, the industries, the strategic location and the well-educated population) to make a great success that the Ukrainian people deserve. If I use the wisdom of Deng Xiaoping a little bit to apply that to Ukraine, Ukraine can make huge successes and a great transformation of the country but they need to satisfy one or two preconditions. One is to maintain stability (he is referring to non-discrimination on ethnic grounds, the fight against corruption etc.) and secondly is to be friends with all and be enemy with none.”

So why has the opposite happened? It has happened because Ukraine did not choose neutrality, opting instead to be an instrument of Western geopolitical conflict against the very Russia of which it was for the most of its history a part and where many of its older elites were educated and held important positions. It has also fanned the flames of ethnic tension. What a colossal mistake this was, made in the only 31 years of its history as a nation state! And Europe is the accomplice.

At the end of last November Ursula von der Leyen said that 100’000 Ukrainian military personnel had died. She was quickly silenced and her tweet was deleted since these numbers are not meant to be made public.

Colonel Douglas Macgregor has estimated the Ukrainian losses up to now at over 150’000, not including the wounded. “The biggest losses are usually in the last phase of a war when the losing side is retreating.” According to him there no chance that Ukraine will win this conflict. The United States can only fight against an inferior enemy, he says. The situation is “not pretty” for Ukraine.

Whenever the spirits might be lagging, high ranking visitors from the US and the UK seem to make an appearance in Kiev. Brian Berletic of the New Atlas points out that a hodge-podge of weapons is not very helpful. I would also imagine that a host of different NATO and other officials telling the people in Kiev what to do next might have a disruptive effect. M. K. Bhadrakumar has pointed out that bravado and grandstanding will not win a war. Andrei Martyanov has pointed out that it is not the GDP but the Comprehensive Index of National Capability that matters and cautions against underestimating Russia.

And supposing that Ukraine would launch an offensive with Western “Wunderwaffen” or superweapons and retake the Donbass and Crimea as its President has pledged to do? In 2019 he was elected on a platform of improving relations with the Russian Federation. This is what the people wanted in a country that supposedly is democratic, especially in the East of the country from Kharkiv to Odessa. He has delivered exactly the opposite. Retaking Donbass and Crimea would be a new civil war and a crime against the population there which wishes nothing more than to return to Russia. Think of the children. The Charter of the United Nations condemns unnecessary violence and promotes self-determination.

Richard Wolff, who according to the New York Times is America’s most prominent Marxist economist, even argues that the conflict is intended to weaken Russia because it is an ally of China, and that China is the main target. He also has pointed out that this has not worked out very well, because Russia’s economy has not suffered to the extent that it was hoped and it still has the support of the second and third worlds, which prefer to steer clear of lose-lose geopolitics.

“China is the big issue for the United States, not Russia. Russia is an ally of China and vice versa and therefore a target … It is an attempt by the United States to destroy the Russian economy in large parts and by doing so to “weaken” (that’s the word of the U.S Secretary of Defence), to weaken Russia as an ally of China.”

If this is accurate then it is ominous. What are the elites that control our democracies up to and how dangerous will this get?

The United States has pushed Ukraine into this conflict. Do they even care who wins? They have to a certain extent won the sanctions and public relations war against Russia, that is what matters to them. They are masters of dubious argumentation. Divide and rule is the age old maxim of empires and in this case it has been carried to excess.

Stay neutral and protect your country!

Of course it is much too late to be rueful about what might have been. But insight into the mistakes that have been made by the leadership of Ukraine as well as the leadership of the Western friends, if one may call them that, might lead to an acceptance of the results of those errors and to an idea that is quite shocking for most people, going beyond neutrality and peaceful multi-ethnicity.

The word for it is capitulation. The time has come to utter this word. What is there to negotiate? Ukraine will be partitioned. Bakhmut has fallen or will do so in the next two weeks and it is Zelensky’s Stalingrad. Capitulation would not be problematic for Ukraine. Why? The hatred is only one-sided, Russia has no interest in stoking more hatred in its next door neighbour. In the Mahabharata there is a passage where a leader asks, “is it permitted to wage war against one’s brothers”? The answer given is, “it is permitted, but only if there is sorrow in your heart”.

And why should the Eastern oblasts be returned to Ukraine, when the Russian-speaking population there would consider this to be an invitation to ethnic subordination, reprisals and persecution, seeing as the Minsk Accords have been a pretence and this has been happening all along? This might result in new prolonged civil war.

It is time to accept the partition of Ukraine and the neutrality of the Western part. The losses will be cut and rebuilding enabled. This can only be done against the apparent wishes of the current leadership in Washington. We cannot change the past. It is time to stop nursing hatreds and to look forward. This will surely happen anyway, but when? Surely they do not wish to wage war forever.

Humanity is plagued by a propensity to make mistakes but one can learn from them and correct them. The path ahead follows a zigzag course. To err is human. To compound one’s errors is foolish and even self-destructive. To err and undo one’s errors is wise.

Eduard Rosel lives in Switzerland. After retiring from a technical profession he began to study philosophy. Pictured is a monument in Berne, commemorating the foundation of the Universal Postal Union in 1874.

Dr Michael Vlahos interviews Col. Douglas Macgregor (MUST SEE!)

Dmitri Shostakovich – “Leningradskaia”: The End of the Siege and the Triumph of the Spirit

January 24, 2023


by Nora Hoppe

In Celebration of the End of the Siege of Leningrad… 27th January 1944

Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony was written in 1941, primarily during the Siege of Leningrad by the Nazi forces. When it had its premiere in the war-torn city on 9th August 1942 – performed by the emaciated, surviving musicians of the Leningrad Radio Orchestra that was supplemented with military performers, before a starving but euphoric audience – it was hailed as a universal beacon of resistance to barbarism.

The conductor, Karl Eliasberg, concluded that “in that moment, we triumphed over the soulless Nazi war machine”.

* * *

“On that peaceful summer morning of 22nd June 1941, I was on my way to the Leningrad Stadium to watch my favourite Sunday football game,” Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich wrote, “But Molotov’s radio address found me hurrying down the street… Our fruitful, constructive existence was rudely shattered!” The Nazi invasion of Russia had brought Hitler’s hordes to the gates of Leningrad.

It was on that very date that Adolf Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa (the plan for the invasion of the Soviet Union)… Hitler was allegedly so confident of capturing Leningrad and obliterating its population that he already had invitations printed for the victory celebrations to be held in the city’s Hotel Astoria.

According to the German plan for the Eastern Front, the original task of the German strategic formation known as the Army Group North was to conquer Leningrad by mid-September 1941. However, this proved impossible early on. The mobilisation of the civilian population to create defensive lines in the south of the city – mostly women, as the men were either employed in the factories or had to go to the front – and the stalwart resistance of the Red Army prevented the Germans from taking the city by storm.

In July 1941, Franz Alfred Six, leader of the “Advance Commando Moscow of Einsatzgruppe B”, told German military officials: “Hitler intends to extend the eastern border of the Reich as far as the line Baku-Stalingrad-Moscow-Leningrad … a ‘blazing strip’ will emerge in which all life is to be erased,” he said, adding: “It is intended to decimate about 30 million Russians living in this strip through starvation, by removing all foodstuffs.” Six told the men that Leningrad was to be razed to the ground and that all Germans were “forbidden on pain of death to give a Russian even a piece of bread.”

Under Field Marshal Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb, the “Army Group North” advanced on Leningrad from the south while Finnish military forces were stationed in the north (their participation in the blockade mainly consisted of a recapture of lands lost in the Winter War). The goal was to encircle Leningrad, thus cutting off all communication with the city and preventing the defenders from receiving any supplies. The Germans starvation policy was the primary weapon to be used against the citizens; German scientists had already calculated the city would reach starvation after only a few weeks.

* * *

On Friday, 27th June 1941, the Council of Deputies of the Leningrad administration organised the “first response groups” of civilians. In the next days, Leningrad’s civilian population was informed of the Nazi menace, and over a million citizens were mobilised for the construction of fortifications.

The 34-year-old Shostakovich, who, at the time, was head of the piano department at the Leningrad Conservatory, submitted three applications asking to be sent to the Red Army, and then to the People’s Militia, but he was refused by both on medical grounds – due to his poor eyesight. The composer was instead advised to “beat the enemy with the weapon he possessed”.

But Shostakovich insisted on participating in the anti-aircraft defence and volunteered with the Home Guard in Leningrad. Together with other comrades, he dug trenches and kept watch during the night air raids, while arranging light music to be played at the front. The following month he was reassigned to the fire-fighting brigade at the Leningrad Conservatory, where he was photographed in his fireman’s uniform, standing on the conservatory rooftop.

On 15th July 1941, impelled and galvanised by the ominous atmosphere of war and the great trepidation he felt for his motherland and his beloved city, Shostakovich began to work feverishly on the first movement of a composition that was to become his seventh symphony.

The first movement of the symphony was written during a relentless bombardment of the city. Shostakovich recalled: “Neither the savage raids, nor the German planes, nor the sinister atmosphere of the besieged city could hinder the flow. I worked with an inhuman intensity that I had never achieved before.”

On 2nd September, the day that the Germans intensified their bombardment of the city, Shostakovich began work on the second movement. Working at high intensity in between dashes to the nearest bomb shelter, he completed it within two weeks.

On 8th September, Leningrad was locked in the fateful Siege.

On 16th September, the composer made a special radio broadcast (an excerpt of this broadcast) to encourage the soldiers at the front, saying: “An hour ago I completed the second part of my new work. If I manage to complete the third and fourth parts of this composition, and if it turns out well, I shall be able to call it the Seventh Symphony…. Despite the war-time conditions, despite the danger which is threatening Leningrad, I have written the first two parts in a comparatively short time. Why am I telling you this? I am telling you this so that listeners tuned in now should know that life in our city is normal. Despite the threat of invasion, things are going on as usual in our city. All of us are soldiers today, and those who work in the field of culture and the arts are doing their duty on a par with all the other citizens of Leningrad… Soviet musicians, my dear, numerous comrades-in-arms, my friends! Remember that grave danger faces our art. Let us defend our music, let us work honestly and selflessly… Comrades, I shall soon be completing my Seventh Symphony. My mind is clear and the drive to create urges me on to conclude my composition. And then I shall come on the air again, with my new work and shall nervously await your stern, friendly judgment. I assure you in the name of all Leningraders, in the name of all those working in the field of culture and the arts, that we are invincible and that we are ever at our posts… I assure you that we are invincible.”

That same evening Shostakovich had invited several musicians to his apartment to hear what he had written so far. After he finished the first movement, there was a long silence. An air-raid warning sounded. No one moved. Everyone wanted to hear the piece once more. But the composer briefly excused himself to take his wife Nina and their children Galina and Maxim to the nearest air-raid shelter. When he returned to his guests, he repeated the first movement to the blasts of Luftwaffe bombs and anti-aircraft fire and then proceeded to play the next movement. Their deeply emotional reactions encouraged him to start that night on the Adagio – the third part. He completed this movement on 29th September.

After a month of harrowing conditions in Leningrad, Shostakovich was ordered to evacuate the city. He initially resisted this, but Stalin was determined to protect the most renowned assets of Soviet culture. The composer finally agreed to be evacuated with his family to Moscow and took the first three movements of the symphony along with him. In an article written on 8th October, Shostakovich wrote that his new composition was to be a “symphony about our age, our people, our sacred war, and our victory”.

With Moscow itself under threat, Russian artists as well as industries were transplanted eastward. Two weeks after their arrival in the capital, Shostakovich and his family boarded a train, along with composers Aram Khachaturian and Dmitri Kabalevsky and members of the Bolshoi Theatre. Their destination was the temporary capital Kuybyshev (today known as Samara on the Volga), over 600 miles east of Moscow. There the family settled into a three-room suite with a grand piano.

Distraught by the devastation he had witnessed in Leningrad and the perils now facing Moscow, Shostakovich felt paralysed and was unable to focus creatively for several weeks. But in early December, when the Red Army succeeded in repelling the Germans before they could reach Moscow, he experienced a renewed burst of energy… and in a matter of two weeks he brought the composition to a triumphant conclusion – on 27th December 1941.

An inscription was written on the title page of the music score, “Dedicated to the City of Leningrad. Dmitry Dmitrievich Shostakovich” and on the final page, “27.XII.1941. Kuybyshev”.

Conceived on the banks of the Neva and completed on the banks of the Volga, this musical opus became the most legendary musical composition of the entire World War II period… not to mention a social and political achievement on a global scale.

* * *

The conditions in Leningrad during the 872 days of the Siege were horrific. Thousands of soldiers died gruesome deaths trying to defend the city, while its inhabitants succumbed to various diseases or famine. The city had become a living hell, with dead bodies littering the streets, since few people could spare the energy to give them a proper burial. In February, special teams removed over 1,000 corpses a day from the streets. Eyewitness reports told of people who had died of cold and starvation lying in doorways in stairwells. “They lay there because people dropped them there, the way new-born infants used to be left. Janitors swept them away in the morning like rubbish. Funerals, graves, coffins were long forgotten. It was a flood of death that could not be managed. Entire families vanished, entire apartments with their collective families. Houses, streets and neighbourhoods vanished.”

On the battlefields, winter temperatures made it impossible to dig pits in the frozen ground, and congealed cadavers were used instead of logs to reinforce trench walls and shelter roofs.

According to official statistics presented at the Nuremberg Trials, as reported by RT, the incessant bombing and shelling of the city killed a total of 17,000 people, while the bitter cold and the famine – as planned by the Germans through the disruption of utilities, water, energy and food supplies – took the lives of another 632,000. Meanwhile, 332,000 soldiers perished. Moreover, many of those who had been evacuated (1,400,000 more – mainly women and children) died during evacuation due to starvation and bombardment.

Historian Michael Walzer summarised that, “More civilians died in the Siege of Leningrad than in the modernist infernos of Hamburg, Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki taken together”. The Siege of Leningrad ranks as the most lethal siege in world history, and some historians speak of the Siege operations in terms of genocide, as a “racially motivated starvation policy” that became an integral part of the unprecedented German war of extermination against populations of the Soviet Union generally.

An article entitled “How Saint Petersburg survived the bloodiest blockade in human history” reported that in October of 2022, the Saint Petersburg City Court finally recognised the Siege as genocide. President Vladimir Putin remarked in November 2022: “Just recently, the blockade of Leningrad was also recognized as an act of genocide. It was high time to do it. By organising the blockade, the Nazis purposefully sought to destroy the Leningraders – everyone from children to the elderly. This is also confirmed, as I have already said, by their own documents.”

The article goes on to describe how President Putin, who was born ten years after the end of the Leningrad Siege, was himself directly affected by the tragedy: “At the beginning of the blockade, the one-and-a-half-year-old son of Vladimir Putin’s mother, Maria Ivanovna, was taken away for evacuation, but he never made it out of the city. According to the official account, the child, Viktor, died of an illness. The only notification his mother received about this was a death certificate. As the Russian leader himself said, she only managed to survive due to the fact that her husband, Putin’s father, had been wounded at the front and received augmented rations, which he passed on to his wife during her daily visits to the hospital. This continued until he fainted from hunger, and the doctors, who understood what was happening, forbade further visits. After leaving the hospital on crutches with a shattered leg, he nursed his wife, who had stopped walking from weakness. Vladimir Spiridonovich had fought on the Neva Bridgehead.” It was on the Neva Bridgehead that he “had had his heel and ankle shattered by a grenade, had to swim across the river and was only able to make it to the right bank with the help of a comrade-in-arms.”

* * *

Few important compositions have been performed under such ruthless circumstances as Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7. At the height of the horrors of the Siege conductor Karl Eliasberg, received orders to begin rehearsals of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony with the Leningrad Radio Orchestra. The city had been under siege for so long that, of the original 40 members of the Leningrad Radio Orchestra, only 15 remained in the city, the rest were dead or fighting on the frontlines. An order had to be issued to soldiers at the battlefront, calling for anyone with musical ability to join the orchestra. In this way, the formation of the symphony united and inspired the people of Leningrad and demonstrated that the people of Leningrad would never give in to their enemies.

With winter temperatures below minus 30 degrees Celsius and no electricity or heating during the second winter of the Siege, the orchestra’s pianist Alexander Kamensky kept his hands warm by placing two piping hot bricks on both sides of the piano to radiate some heat. The conductor Karl Eliasberg was so weak he had to be driven to rehearsals on a sledge.

Oboist Ksenia Mattus, a survivor, had had to bring her instrument to a craftsman for repair as parts of it had decomposed after the first winter of the Siege. For payment the craftsman had asked her if she could find him a “pussycat” – for his next meal.

Flautist Galina Lelukhina, another survivor, remembers: “On hearing the radio announcement I took my flute under the arm and went. I entered and saw Karl Ilyich Eliasberg, looking dystrophic. He told me: ‘Do not go to the factory anymore. Now you will work in the orchestra’. We were few at first. Some people were brought in the sledge, others walked with a stick.”

The first rehearsal, on 30th March 1942, lasted twenty minutes as everyone was too feeble and exhausted to continue. Ksenia Mattus the oboist compared the conductor’s hand to “a wounded bird falling out of the sky“.

Members of the orchestra not only had to struggle for food each day, they also had to deal with the agonising deaths of loved ones.

As most of the surviving musicians were suffering from starvation, rehearsing was arduous: many collapsed frequently during rehearsals, and three even died in that period. Ultimately, the orchestra was able to rehearse the symphony all the way through only once before the concert.

Finally the big day arrived, and the half-starved musicians and their stalwart conductor Eliasberg gathered in Leningrad’s Grand Philharmonia Hall on 9th August 1942 for the grand premiere.

The performance of Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony was symbolic in many ways. Hitler had planned a banquet in the Astoria Hotel on the 9th August 1942, the very day of the Leningrad premiere. But not only hadn’t the Germans been able to enter the city, no German air raids interrupted the performance and not a single bomb fell on the Grand Philharmonia Hall on that night although the building was illuminated.

“There were no curtains, and the light from inside the hall was pouring out of the windows into the night,” Trombonist Viktor Orlovsky recalled. “People in the audience were screwing up their eyes as they were no longer used to electric lights. Everyone was dressed in their finest clothes and some even had their hair done. The atmosphere was so festive and optimistic it felt like a victory.”

The performance was broadcast from loudspeakers around the perimeter of the city – both to hearten the Russian people and to convey to the Germans that surrender was out of the question.

For the concert empty chairs were placed in the orchestra to represent those musicians who had died before the performance could be given.

“The halls were always packed – at every performance, which I thought was extraordinary,” Trombonist Viktor Orlovsky went on to recall. “During the hardest period of the Siege, when people’s daily ration dropped to 125 grams of bread, some would exchange their daily meal for a ticket to our concert.” Many Leningraders who didn’t have a radio at home would gather on the streets to listen to orchestral music coming from the loudspeakers. It was an affirmation, an opportunity to rise above one’s physical weakness, fear and starvation.

The 9th of August, 1942, was “a day of the victory at the time of war,” as was described by celebrated Leningrad poet Olga Berggolts, one of the blockade survivors.

Olga Prut, director of “The Muses Weren’t Silent”, a St. Petersburg museum exhibition focusing on the arts during the Siege, said the phenomenon of that colossal dedication to the arts during the blockade was much more than a simple distraction from fears, hunger and solitude. “No one listens to music with such depth as those close to death… Music performs a miraculous transformation on a concentration camp prisoner or the hopelessly ill, turning the slave into a free man. It is an emotional rebirth.”

Many years after the end of the war the conductor Eliasberg was approached by a group of German tourists, who had been on the other side of the barricades and who had listened to his orchestra performing Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony. They had come specifically to tell the conductor that back then on 9th August 1942 they realised they would never take Leningrad. Because, they said, there was a factor more important than starvation, fear and death. It was the will to stay human.

Tatiana Vasilyeva, a survivor of the Siege and a spectator of that legendary performance, was to later reminisce: “When I entered the hall, tears filled my eyes, because there were so many people, all in a state of elation. We listened with such emotion, because we had all lived for this moment – to come to the Philharmonia Hall, to hear this symphony. This was a living symphony – it’s the one we lived. This was our symphony. The Leningradskaia…”

* * *

This passionate work denounces the crimes of war and celebrates the just fight against evil and the people who persevere in the face of adversity. Commenting on the final movement of his symphony, “Victory”, Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich said: “My idea of victory is not something brutal; it is best explained as the victory of light over darkness, of humanity over barbarism, of reason over reaction.”

This struggle continues till this day.

* * * * *

“Shostakovich 7th Symphony”

This short video features: excerpts of Valery Gergiev conducting Shostakovich’s 6th and 7th symphonies; footage of the Siege /Blockade; Dmitry Shostakovich speaking briefly and playing part of the first movement of the Seventh Symphony (in 1941); statements of Shostakovich’s colleagues and survivors of the Siege.

Шостакович. Симфония № 7 “Ленинградская”

(Shostakovich – Simfonia n. 7 “Leningradskaia”)

* * * * *

Some references: – “Siege memories” by Galina Stolyarova – staff Writer Alexander Belenky / The St. Petersburg Times

The Next Stage in Western Escalation

January 27, 2023


by Batiushka

Introduction: The Story So Far

So far the US has carried out regime changes and created military conflicts in countries friendly to or important to Russia: Iraq, Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq (again), Georgia, Syria, Libya. All this was to make Russia lose important interests or deploy its own forces. It has also staged PR events such as Litvinenko, Pussy Riot, MH17, Skripals, Navalny, Bucha, the destruction of Nordstream – in order to try and blame Russia and make it into a pariah state.

In particular, in 2014 in the Ukraine it carried out a $5 billion coup with the murder of and terror against Russian-speakers. It then installed a puppet government, promoted Nazism through racist indoctrination, besmirched the historic legacy through rewriting history and toppling memorials, terrorised and banned all opposition, set up US military biolabs, supplied and trained an army, made military threats against Russia, threatened the Crimea, and promised that the Ukraine could soon join the US-puppet NATO and install nuclear weapons.

A Message from Boris: Deaths and Sackings

When Boris Johnson turned up in Kiev a few days ago, you knew events would follow. He is after all the office boy for Biden. So last week came the resignation of Zelensky’s spinmaster, Alexey Arestovich, for telling the truth about the Ukrainian military – that it had killed civilians by destroying an apartment block in Dnepro in a military accident and could not win the war. The next day the interior minister Monastyrsky, a longtime aide of Zelensky, and his first deputy died in a helicopter crash in Kiev a week ago (‘caused by flying low in fog’). Strange, since the neo-Nazi militias operate through his ministry.

Then there was the murder of Denis Kireev, who was an important participant in the March peace talks with Russia. It is rumoured that he was too keen on peace – which the US and the UK are totally opposed to. He had to go, so the CIA/SBU (same thing) did the job. Next came a major purge on 24 January following corruption claims, involved a deputy prosecutor general, the deputy head of the president’s office, the deputy defence minister and five regional governors.

Interestingly, Poroshenko, last seen in a luxury hotel in London, living off his now very active cremation business in the Ukraine, promised peace with Russia in one week. Once in power he did not bring peace and lost the next election. He was replaced by Zelensky, who also promised a peace settlement with Russia in the Donbass, but instead prepared war and even sought nuclear weapons. The Ukrainian people are promised peace, but are not given it. Zelensky’s support base is small and there is a majority that wants peace. Is Zelensky the next to be purged?

Escalation: Germany Declares War on Russia Again

Germany is going to send Leopard tanks to the Kiev regime. For the third time since 1914 Germany is now, on paper at least, at war with Russia. The Russians have a choice: they can intervene in the Ukraine from the north-west (Belarus) and the south-west (the sea) and cut off the whole of the Ukraine from all its arms supplies, including several dozen German, American, British and other tanks – and it will take months for the promised tanks to arrive across the Polish border. Or else Russia can bomb anything that comes across the Polish border. It has already warned that anything coming across that border into the Ukraine will be destroyed. Thus, in any case, a barrier will be created. Western Europe must be cut off, for it has become the source of the evil, providing weapons to Neo-Nazis.

Otherwise, the Poles and their reservists too may intervene (in their Leopard tanks? Remember Tiger tanks?) to take over the west of the Ukraine. Is Russia really going to allow the division of the Ukraine into the Russian East and the Polish-led Western West, in other words, its Koreanisation or Vietnamisation? (And we know how those divisions ended). Otherwise, the Anti-Russia of the Ukraine will remain forever. Western Europe must be cut off. What began as a small operation to liberate the two Russian provinces of the Donbass, is now, as a result of Western (= US-led) escalation, an operation to liberate the whole of the Ukraine. Only total Russian victory can work. Only establishing a Russian-led Kiev Protectorate, like the situation in Belarus, can work. All those who disagree with that and have not yet fled for the West had better leave now.

Interestingly, we know that the Russian Black Sea Fleet with its landing craft left port last week. On 25 January Dmitry Medvedev wrote publicly that the Ukraine would have no need of submarines, as it would soon become landlocked. The day before, the President of Belarus, Lukashenko, rejected the offer of a Non-Aggression Pact from the Ukraine (= the US on behalf of Poland). Meanwhile, the somewhat senile Biden has blurted out that the US will support the Ukraine ‘for as long as it exists’. This is not what he used to say. Then it was ‘support to victory’. The only problem here is that the US never admits failure, it never admits that it backed the wrong horse at huge expense to the US taxpayer. How will it get out of this one?

The War

In the Ukraine the NATO war has killed and maimed hundreds of thousands in just the last eleven months is continuing with hundreds more victims today, the same as yesterday, and the same as tomorrow. The doomsaying pessimists with their conspiracy theories of nuclear Armageddon foretell that this war will continue for years, ‘perhaps even a decade’. Others, the optimists, are thinking that the Kiev regime may collapse within weeks, or in three or four months at most, or there will be a coup in Kiev with Kiev forces either surrendering en masse or else turning around and marching on their murderous US puppet-commanders in Kiev. It does sound like wishful thinking. With yet more NATO weaponry and tanks to be destroyed, I think it will all take longer. Not years, as those happy souls, the doomsaying pessimists with their conspiracy theories of nuclear Armageddon foretell, but another 15 months. But I really hope that I am wrong and that the wishful thinkers are right and that it will all be over very soon.

As the Saker in his penetrating analysis has pointed out, if the US cannot prevent a Ukronazi/NATO defeat, it can at least make the war as costly as possible for Russia. Find another attacker. Poland will do. Promise them the five provinces in the far west of the Ukraine, Volyn, Rivne, Lviv, Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk, and the Poles will do anything you tell them to. After all, there are Poles, and most of them seem to be part of its current incredibly stupid government, who still have a messianic complex, who still dream of glory, of ‘saving Europe from the barbarian Russian hordes’, of a ‘Poland stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea’, and of becoming the most powerful country in Europe, dwarfing those nasty Germans ‘who are going to give us back trillions’. Well, there have always been fantasists. Hitler was one of them. And the American Empire has always known how to manipulate them for its own ends, whether in Argentina, Iran, Iraq, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Venezuela, the Baltics, the Ukraine or Poland.

The fact is that the American Empire knows that it cannot defeat Russia in a straightforward war, so it has always used proxies. In 2008, it took the absurd step of using Georgia. This was far too small, far too weak and irrationally nationalistic. As a Georgian told me quite seriously just a few years ago: ‘God only speaks Georgian and does not understand any other language’. I was surprised to learn that God has such limited linguistic abilities, however, there are plenty of Ukrainians who believe much the same today, not to mention Poles.

And both the Ukraine and Poland are a lot bigger than Georgia. Hence the American choice. Once they are both defeated, the US will be turning to Germany – as they almost did in Churchill’s Operation Unthinkable plan to attack the Red Army on 1 July 1945, using British, American, Polish and German forces to destroy Russia (1). Or why not use Sweden, Turkey, Japan? Why not China? Why not just overthrow Putin with the ‘masses’ of Russians who do not like him? Such today are also the fantasies of ‘the crazies in the basement’ at the Pentagon. No wonder they get on with the Polish government. And don’t forget the biggest crazy in the US basement was Polish: Zbigniew Brzezinski.

For Russians, 2022 was simply a repeat of 1812 and 1941. The Third Great Patriotic War. The West doing its barbaric thing, as usual. The fact is that, though some historians deny it, history does repeat itself, simply because human pride, arrogance and hubris repeat themselves. German tanks with their black crosses trying to destroy Russia on the Ukrainian steppes? We Russians shrug our shoulders. We have seen it all before. The Anti-Russia of the Ukraine will simply never happen. Zelensky is on drugs and so is the Ukraine, addicted to Western transfusions of blood, money, mercenaries and arms.

Afterword: Another Future

Famously, or rather infamously, the British Establishment figure who was the first NATO Secretary General boasted that the aim of NATO was ‘to keep the Soviet Union out, the Americans in, and the Germans down’ (2). As for us, we wish to see a renewal of Kennedy’s ‘Alliance for Progress’, a World Alliance of Sovereign Nations, a global version of the Gaullist spirit (though not the precise words) of ‘l’Europe des Patries’ (Europe of the Nations’). We wish to see a for now geriatric Europe reattached to its historic destiny with Russia and so with Eurasia, where it is all happening. Therefore, our aim is: ‘To keep Russia in, the Americans out and the Germans up’.

Some write that Russia can only win the war in the Ukraine as long as it can help the US to save face after its defeat and then the collapse of NATO and the EU. Remember Saigon? Remember Bush and his ‘Mission Accomplished’? (The world laughed at his farce, but plenty in the US were convinced by it). Remember Kabul? The US just left them and pretended to be in denial about them. Like the British at Dunkirk in 1940, who left their French allies in the lurch, they just ran away back to their island, declaring victory, though leaving lots of their equipment behind them. The Americans can also run away, saying: ‘Forget it. They are not worthy of us’.

Self-isolation would be such a good thing. Go back to the big island of Northern America. If you want, build Trump’s long-promised wall across the south to keep those nasty Latinos out. Lick your wounds and at last start trying to deal with the massive internal problems that you already have: great poverty, racial division, mass shootings, debt, social injustices, lack of healthcare, unemployment, exploitation, an education system that deliberately makes people stupid, drugs, crime and so mass imprisonment. Leave the Europeans to sort themselves out. No more Americans are going to die for or pay for those lazy Europeans. Just don’t tell the American people that this would make those same lazy Europeans only too happy. The only problem is that the US never admits failure, it never admits that it backed the wrong horse at huge expense to the US taxpayer. How will it get out of this one?

27 January 2023




‘Doomsday clock’: 90 seconds to midnight

Thursday, 26 January 2023 11:08 AM  [ Last Update: Thursday, 26 January 2023 11:17 AM ]

By Pepe Escobar

The Doomsday Clock, set by the US-based magazine Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, has been moved to 90 seconds to midnight.  

That’s the closest ever to total nuclear doom, the global catastrophe.

The Clock had been set at 100 seconds since 2020. The Bulletin’s Science and Security Board and a group of sponsors – which includes 10 Nobel laureates – have focused on “Russia’s war on Ukraine” (their terminology) as the main reason.

Yet they did not bother to explain non-stop American rhetoric (the US is the only nation that adopts “first strike” in a nuclear confrontation) and the fact that this is a US proxy war against Russia with Ukraine used as cannon fodder.

The Bulletin also attributes malignant designs to China, Iran and North Korea, while mentioning, only in passing, that “the last remaining nuclear weapons treaty between Russia and the United States, New START, stands in jeopardy”.

“Unless the two parties resume negotiations and find a basis for further reductions, the treaty will expire in February 2026.”

As it stands, the prospects of a US-Russia negotiation on New START are less than zero.

Now cue to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov making it very clear that war against Russia is not hybrid anymore, it’s “almost” real.

“Almost” in fact means “90 seconds.”

So why is this all happening?

The Mother of All Intel Failures

Former British diplomat Alastair Crooke has concisely explained how Russian resilience – much in the spirit of Iranian resilience past four decades – completely smashed the assumptions of Anglo-American intelligence.

Talk about the Mother of All Intel Failures – in fact even more astonishing than the non-existent Iraqi WMDs (in the run-up to Shock and Awe in 2003, anyone with a brain knew Baghdad had discontinued its weapons program already in the 1990s.) 

Now the collective West “committed the entire weight of its financial resources to crushing Russia (…) in every conceivable way – via financial, cultural and psychological war, and with real military war as the follow-through.”

And yet Russia held its ground. And now reality-based developments prevail over fiction. The Global South “is peeling away into a separate economic model, no longer dependent on the dollar for its trading needs.”

And the accelerated collapse of the US dollar increasingly plunges the Empire into a real existential crisis.

All that hangs over a South Vietnam scenario evolving in Ukraine after a rash government-led political and military purge. The coke comedian – whose only role is to beg non-stop for bags of cash and loads of weapons – is being progressively sidelined by the Americans (beware of traveling CIA directors). 

The game in Kiev, according to Russian sources, seems to be that the Americans are taking over the Brits as handlers of the whole operation.

The coke comedian remains – for now – as a sock puppet while military control over what is left of Ukraine is entirely NATO’s.

Well, it already was – but now, formally, Ukraine is the world’s first de facto NATO member without being an actual member, enjoying less than zero national sovereignty, and complete with NATO-Nazi Storm troopers weaponized with American and German tanks in the name of “democracy”.

The meeting last week of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group – totally controlled by the US – at the US Air Force base in Ramstein solidified a sort of tawdry remix of Operation Barbarossa.

Here we go again, with German Panzers sent to Ukraine to fight Russia.

Yet the tank coalition seems to have tanked even before it starts.  Germany will send 14, Portugal 2, Belgium 0 (sorry, don’t have them). Then there’s Lithuania, whose Defense Minister observed, “Yes, we don’t have tanks, but we have an opinion about tanks.”

No one ever accused German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock of being brighter than a light bulb. She finally gave the game away,  at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg:

“The crucial part is that we do it together and that we do not do the blame game in Europe because we are fighting a war against Russia.”

So Baerbock agrees with Lavrov. Just don’t ask her what Doomsday Clock means. Or what happened after Operation Barbarossa failed. 

The NATO-EU “garden”

The EU-NATO combo takes matters to a whole new level. The EU essentially has been reduced to the status of P.R. arm of NATO.

It’s all spelled out in their January 10 joint declaration.

The NATO-EU joint mission consists in using all economic, political and military means to make sure the “jungle” always behaves according to the “rules-based international order” and accepts to be plundered ad infinitum by the “blooming garden”.

Looking at The Big Picture, absolutely nothing changed in the US military/intel apparatus since 9/11: it’s a bipartisan thing, and it means Full Spectrum Dominance of both the US and NATO. No dissent whatsoever is allowed. And no thinking outside the box.

Plan A is subdivided into two sections.

1. Military intervention in a hollowed-out proxy state shell (see Afghanistan and Ukraine).

2. Inevitable, humiliating military defeat (see Afghanistan and soon Ukraine). Variations include building a wasteland and calling it “peace” (Libya) and extended proxy war leading to future humiliating expulsion (Syria).

There’s no Plan B.

Or is there? 90 seconds to midnight?

Obsessed by Mackinder, the Empire fought for control of the Eurasian landmass in World War I and World War II because that represented control of the world.

Later, Zbigniew “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski had warned: “Potentially the most dangerous scenario would be a grand coalition between Russia, China and Iran.”

Jump cut to the Raging Twenties when the US forced the end of Russian natural gas exports to Germany (and the EU) via Nord Stream 1 and 2.

Once again, Mackinderian opposition to a grand alliance on the Eurasian landmass consisting of Germany, Russia and China.

The Straussian neo-con and neoliberal-con psychos in charge of US foreign policy could even absorb a strategic alliance between Russia and China – as painful as it may be. But never Russia, China and Germany.   

With the collapse of the JCPOA, Iran is now being re-targeted with maximum hostility. Yet were Tehran to play hardball, the US Navy or military could never keep the Strait of Hormuz open – by the admission of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

Oil price in this case would rise to possibly thousands of dollars a barrel according to Goldman Sachs oil derivative experts – and that would crash the entire world economy.

This is arguably the foremost NATO Achilles Heel. Almost without firing a shot a Russia-Iran alliance could smash NATO to bits and bring down assorted EU governments as socio-economic chaos runs rampant across the collective West. 

Meanwhile, to quote Dylan, darkness keeps dawning at the break of noon. Straussian neo-con and neoliberal-con psychos will keep pushing the Doomsday Clock closer and closer to midnight.   

Pepe Escobar is a Eurasia-wide geopolitical analyst and author. His latest book is Raging Twenties.

(The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV)

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القدس تنتقم لجنين: فدائي «استثنائي» يوجع العدو ويرعبه

  السبت 28 كانون الثاني 2023

قطع وزير الأمن زيارته إلى واشنطن، وعاد إلى تل أبيب للمشاركة في المشاورات الأمنية (أ ف ب)

رجب المدهون

بعد أقلّ من 48 ساعة على ارتكاب العدو جريمة مخيّم جنين، عمد مقاوم فلسطيني من سكّان القدس المحتلّة، إلى إطلاق النار من سلاحه الفردي على مستوطِنين إسرائيليين كانوا خارجين لتوّهم من كنيس في حيّ «نيفي يعقوب» الاستيطاني. وأدّت هذه العملية الفدائية غير المسبوقة منذ حوالى 15 عاماً، إلى مقتل 7 إسرائيليين، وجرْح نحو 10 اثنان منهم في حال الخطر، ما يجعل حصيلة القتلى مرشّحة للارتفاع. في المقابل، استُشهد منفّذ العملية بعد وقت قصير، عند اشتباكه مع شرطة العدو. وكانت المقاومة الفلسطينية في غزة أطلقت، في ردّها الأوّلي على مجزرة المخيّم، عدداً من الصواريخ على مستوطنات «الغلاف»، تأكيداً منها أن «معادلة غزة – جنين» لا تزال قائمة، في وقت تصاعدت فيه مطالبات أقطاب الفاشية لجيش الاحتلال وحكومته، بتعزيز توازنات الردع مع القطاع، عبر إطباق الحصار أكثر، والتجويع، والاغتيالات، والمزيد من القتل العبثي

حتى ساعة متأخّرة من ليل أمس، كانت لا تزال وسائل إعلام العدو تنشر أرقاماً متضاربة حول حصيلة عملية إطلاق النار التي نفّذها المقاوم الفلسطيني في حيّ «نفي يعقوب» الاستيطاني في القدس. لكن في المحصّلة، فإن أبلغ تعبير يخلّص المشهد، يكاد يكون هو الذي استعملتْه «القناة 12» العبرية، تعليقاً على الحدث، إذ قالت إن «مذبحة وقعت في القدس». ومن موقع العملية – والذي زاره في وقت لاحق رئيس الحكومة، بنيامين نتنياهو، في حدث غير معتاد -، وبينما كان وزير «الأمن القومي»، إيتمار بن غفير، محاطاً بعدد كبير من الحرّاس والمستوطنين، وصف الهجوم بأنه «من الأسوأ خلال السنوات الأخيرة»، قبل أن يلتزم الصمت ويبتلع لسانه، في وقت حاولت فيه وسائل الإعلام العبرية استصراحه، وهو المعروف بوصوله دائماً أولاً إلى موقع أيّ ضربة ضدّ إسرائيليين، حيث يشرع في تصريحات مزايِدة على حكومة خصومه السابقة بقيادة نفتالي بينت ثمّ يائير لابيد. لكن أمس، خرس بن غفير أمام هول الحدث ونتائجه، وهو الوزير الأساسي في الحكومة، وتحت سلطته تقع عدّة أجهزة أمنية تعمل في الأراضي المحتلة، وأنصتَ محنيّ الرأس إلى صرخات المستوطِنين، وهم يطالبونه بأن يفي بوعوده الإجرامية، وتصعيد التنكيل بالفلسطينيين، محمّلين إيّاه المسؤولية، كون العملية وقعت خلال ولايته كوزير. وفي آخر المعلومات التي وردت مساء أمس، فإن المقاوم الفلسطيني، منفّذ الضربة، هو الشهيد علقم خيري (21 عاماً) من سكّان شرق القدس. وبحسب مفوض عام الشرطة الإسرائيلية، «كان لوحده، وهو من نفّذ الهجوم كاملاً».

من جهته، قطع وزير الأمن، يوآف غالانت، زيارته إلى واشنطن، وعاد إلى تل أبيب للمشاركة في المشاورات الأمنية التي كان يعقدها نتنياهو مع قادة الأجهزة الأمنية والعسكرية المختلفة، والتي خلصت إلى التوجيه بالاستعداد لتصعيد محتمل. وعلى المستوى الميداني، اقتحمت قوات الاحتلال مخيم شعفاط شمالي القدس، حيث تصدّى لها شبّان المخيم، ووقعت عدّة إصابات في صفوفهم. وأشارت وسائل إعلام العدو إلى أن قوات الأمن الإسرائيلية اقتحمت «شعفاط» لكون منفّذ العملية ينحدر أساساً منه، لكنه يسكن حيّاً آخر في القدس المحتلة.

على صعيد مواز، وقبل ذلك بليلة واحدة، ردّت المقاومة الفلسطينية، مبدئيّاً، على جريمة مخيم جنين، بإطلاقها صواريخ من قطاع غزة، تجاه مدينة عسقلان ومستوطنات «غلاف غزة»، لتؤكد استمرار «معادلة غزة – جنين» التي أراد الاحتلال تحييدها، في الفترة الماضية. وشهدت أجواء القطاع ليلة ساخنة، تخلّلها إطلاق الصواريخ والمضادات الأرضية للطيران من قِبَل المقاومة من جهة، وقصف إسرائيلي وإطلاق صواريخ «القبّة الحديدية» من جهة ثانية. وفي التفاصيل، أطلقت فصائل المقاومة، في ساعة مبكرة من فجر يوم أمس الجمعة، صاروخَين تجاه مدينة عسقلان المحتلّة، وذلك ردّاً على العدوان الذي استهدف مخيم جنين، لم تتمكّن منظومة «القبّة الحديدية» من اعتراضهما، على رغم إطلاقها عشرات الصواريخ لهذا الغرض، ولتدوّي من بعدها صافرات الإنذار في مختلف مناطق «الغلاف». وما هي إلّا ساعات قليلة، حتى شنّت طائرات الاحتلال سلسلة غارات على المواقع العسكرية التابعة لـ»كتائب القسام»، الجناح العسكري لحركة «حماس»، في منطقتَي وسط وجنوب غزة، تصدّت لها المضادات الأرضية التابعة للمقاومة، فيما أَطلقت «وحدات الدفاع الجوي» صاروخَين موجّهَين تجاه الطائرات المغيرة، ما أدّى إلى إبعادها عن سماء القطاع. ولاحقاً، بثّت «كتائب القسام» فيديوهات لعمليات اعتراض الطائرات الإسرائيلية في سماء غزة، ولعمليّات إطلاق صليات من الرصاص المضاد للطائرات والصواريخ الموجّهة. ووفق مصادر محلّية، تحدّثت إلى «الأخبار»، فإن قوات الاحتلال استهدفت موقع «الكتيبة 13» التابع لـ»القسام»، في مخيم المغازي وسط القطاع، بأكثر من 15 صاروخاً، كما استهدفت غارة من طائرة حربيّة من دون طيار مرصداً للمقاومة شرق بيت حانون، شمال غزة.

حمّل مستوطنون بن غفير المسؤولية وطالبوه بالثأر

وتزامناً مع غارات الاحتلال والتصدّي للطائرات المغيرة، أطلقت المقاومة الفلسطينية خمسة صواريخ من غزة تجاه مستوطنات «الغلاف»، فيما أعلن جيش الاحتلال، من جهته، أنه تمّ إطلاق سبعة صواريخ تجاه المستوطنات، زاعماً أنه تم اعتراض أربعة منها، وثلاثة سقطت في مناطق مفتوحة، وأنه تمّ إطلاق عدّة صواريخ أخرى لكنها لم تعبر السياج. وعلمت «الأخبار» من مصادر في حركتَي «حماس» و»الجهاد الإسلامي»، أن تفاهماً جرى بينهما على الردّ من قطاع غزة على جريمة الاحتلال في مخيم جنين، تأكيداً منهما على «وحدة الساحات» الفلسطينية، واستمرار «معادلة غزة – جنين»، وعلى عدم السماح للعدو بالتفرّد بالضفة المحتلة. وأعلن عضو المكتب السياسي لـ»الجهاد»، خالد البطش، أن «سرايا القدس»، الجناح العسكري للحركة، هي المسؤولة عن إطلاق الصواريخ، موضحاً أنه «تجسيداً منّا لمعركة وحدة الساحات هنا في غزة، ردّت، الليلة (أمس)، سرايا القدس بالقصف الصاروخي، وكتائب القسام بالدفاع الجوي، في مشهد متكامل يؤكد وحدة الموقف والسلاح»، مشدّداً على أنه «لن نسمح للعدو بتفريق الساحات».

من جهته، قال القيادي في حركة «الجهاد»، درويش الغرابلي، خلال مسيرة جماهيرية حاشدة في خان يونس جنوب غزة، إن «إطلاق صواريخ من القطاع، هي رسالة واضحة للعدو الإسرائيلي بأنّنا لا نخافه ولا نخشى مواجهته»، محذّراً من «توسيع بقعة الزيت»، في حال تكرّرت الاعتداءات الإسرائيلية على القدس وجنين والخان الأحمر وأيّ منطقة من فلسطين، ولفت إلى أن ما حدث من إطلاق صواريخ هو «جزء بسيط من ردّ المقاومة على الجريمة التي ارتكبها الاحتلال في جنين». وفي هذا السياق أيضاً، قال الناطق باسم «حماس»، حازم قاسم، إن «المقاومة الباسلة في قطاع غزة تواصل القيام بواجبها بالدفاع عن الشعب الفلسطيني ومقدّساته، وستبقى درع الشعب وسيفه»، موجّهاً التحية إلى مجاهدي «القسام» الذين «تصدّوا للعدوان الصهيوني بالصواريخ المضادة للطيران والمضادات الأرضية التي أربكت جيش الاحتلال ومستوطنيه». وشدّد قاسم على أن القصف على قطاع غزة يشكّل «امتداداً لجرائم الاحتلال ضدّ الشعب الفلسطيني في الضفة والقدس والداخل المحتلّ»، وأن من «حقّ الشعب الفلسطيني ومقاومته أن يقاتلا بكل الأساليب رداً على عدوان الاحتلال واستمرار جرائمه».

وللمرّة الأولى منذ عام، أُطلقت من قطاع غزة بالونات تحمل أجساماً رمزية تجاه مستوطنات «الغلاف»، في إشارة إلى أن فلسطينيي القطاع قد يعودون إلى أدوات الضغط الشعبي والميداني مع تصاعد جرائم الاحتلال.

وعلى الجانب الآخر، برزت انتقادات لجيش الاحتلال وحكومة بنيامين نتنياهو، حول تعاملها مع قطاع غزة، إذ وجّه الجنرال احتياط، تسيفكا فوغل، عضو «الكنيست» عن حزب وزير الأمن القومي، إيتمار بن غفير، «القوة اليهودية»، انتقاداً لاذعاً إلى وزير الأمن، قائلاً: «غالانت، هل تريد تحقيق الردع؟ حسناً، هكذا يتحقّق الردع: يجب إغلاق المعابر مع غزة، ومنْع مرور البضائع وخروج العمّال حتى عودة الأسرى الإسرائيليين، كما يجب اغتيال كبار المسؤولين في غزة، وعدم إهدار الذخيرة على العقارات، والأهم من ذلك: شنّ هجمات، وليس شرطاً أن تكون ردوداً على حدث ما». من جهتها، قالت الوزيرة السابقة، ميراف ميخائيلي: «نتنياهو عاد – وسياسة تنقيط الصواريخ على الجنوب عادت بعد عام ونصف عام من السلوك الأمني المسؤول خلال فترة حكومة التغيير – نتنياهو يعيدنا إلى الوراء»، بينما رأى معلّق الشؤون العربية في «القناة 13»، تسفي يحزكلي، أن «حركتَي حماس والجهاد تمتلكان السطوة، وقد صنعتا معادلة ردع ضدّنا».

فيديوات ذات صلة

مقالات ذات صلة

ما يقوله حزب الله سرّاً أفصح عنه فرنجية علناً

 السبت 28 كانون الثاني 2023

(هيثم الموسوي)

نقولا ناصيف

تهاوي دومينو الدولة اللبنانية تباعاً في مواعيد كأنها معدّة سلفاً ليس نهاية العالم. يكاد لا يتبقى حجر. لم توشك تماماً على الانهيار لكنها اقتربت منه، من فوق ومن تحت. ما أصاب القضاء أخيراً يجعل الخلاف على انتخابات الرئاسة عادية وربما ثانوية… الا عند الموارنة

استكملت زيارة النائب السابق سليمان فرنجية لبكركي الخميس (26 كانون الثاني) والمواقف التي ادلى بها، النتائج السلبية لاجتماع التيار الوطني الحر وحزب الله الاثنين (23 كانون الثاني). قال ما لم يقله الحزب علناً في الاسابيع الاخيرة: ما ان يترشح لا يسحب ترشيحه. لا يوصد الأبواب دون سواه، وذلك طبيعي لمَن يتمسك بترشيحه كحق دستوري كما قال، الا انه قدّم مواصفاته للترشّح مضيفاً انه موجود. ببساطة، ترشح من دون ان يترشح. ذلك طبيعي ايضاً لشخصية سمتها الاساسية أنها شفوية ومباشرة.

من المألوف عندئذ ان يُفسَّر كلام فرنجية ان لا الحطة ب عنده شأن ما كان يقوله الرئيس ميشال عون في حملته الانتخابية حتى وصوله الى قصر بعبدا عام 2016. ما جزم به نائب زغرتا سابقاً انه يعلن ترشيحه عندما يضمن أصوات الفوز.

ذلك كله يقوله كاملاً حزب الله في السرّ ويقول نصفه او أقل من نصفه في العلن. لم يُرد في استحقاق 2014 – 2016، على غرار عون، ان يكون لديه الحطة ب مفضلاً الانتظار الى ان يلتحق الجميع به، وذلك ما حدث فعلاً. ليس معروفاً عنده، على الأقل في قراراته وخياراته وتحالفاته ومجازفاته، انه معتاد على الانتقال من خطة (ألف) الى خطة (باء). كذلك في الاستحقاق الحالي. في جانب من الحوار الذي دار الاثنين بين النائب جبران باسيل وموفدَيْ الحزب حسين خليل ووفيق صفا ما يعكس دوران انتخابات رئاسة الجمهورية، إلى اشعار آخر، في الخطة (ألف) فقط. كأن لا سواها.

يومذاك قال باسيل لهما، على ما يُنقل عن مطلعين على المداولات: «خرجت من لقائي سماحة الامين العام من دون ان ألمس انه يتمسك تماماً بسليمان فرنجية؟».

ردّ وفيق صفا: «كيف ذلك؟ أنا كنت حاضراً الجلسة. قال لك سماحة السيد انكما اثنان مرشحا الحزب. انت وسليمان. قال ان انتخابك رئيساً غير وارد الآن ولم يعد من خيار سوى سليمان فرنجية. اذا كان سماحة السيد مؤدباً فلم يفرض ولم يطلب، فذلك لا يعني انك لم تلمس انه كان مؤدباً وقال انه يريد سليمان».
في جزء آخر من الحوار الذي لم يخلُ في بعض محطاته من نبرة عالية وتأكيد تناقض المواقف، قول حسين خليل لرئيس التيار الوطني الحر: «أعطني اسماً، اسماء ترشحها؟».

أجابه باسيل انه لا يزال يضع مواصفات و«من المؤكد ان المواصفات التي أضعها ستجاريني فيها».
سأله خليل: «مَن تنطبق عليه هذه المواصفات. اعطني اسماء x او y او z نضعها قبالة سليمان فرنجيه ونختار بعد ذلك».

ليس المقتطفان هذان سوى جزء من حوار متعذّر بين الفريقين من أوله الى آخره، الى حدّ يسع اي احد الاستنتاج السهل بأن «تفاهم مار مخايل» لفظ أنفاسه أخيراً. ميت بحكم الواقع. كلا المتحاورين لم يتزحزح عن مواقفه السابقة للاجتماع، ولم يتمكن اللقاء من تذليل الحد الادنى من التناقض، فغادروا الجلسة دونما الاتفاق على اجتماع ثان يستكمل ما بدأ. فقط تفادي تخاطبهم السلبي من فوق السطوح.

صفا لباسيل: اذا كان سماحة السيد مؤدباً فلم يفرض ولم يطلب، لا يعني انه لا يريد فرنجيه

ما دار من الاثنين الى الخميس ليس سوى جزء من المأزق الذي يجبهه حزب الله بين حليفين مارونيين، لا يشكو منه شريكه في الثنائية الشيعية الرئيس نبيه برّي ولا يربكه بسبب خيارَيْه المعلنين انه الى جانب فرنجيه وعلى طرف نقيض من باسيل. مكمن مشكلة الحزب توصله اخيراً، وإن يتفادى الجهر به، الى ان شراكته مع التيار الوطني الحر بلغت – او اوشكت – خواتيمها. سمع الخلاصة نفسها من باسيل في اجتماع الاثنين. اذ صارح خليل وصفا انه يشعر بفقدانه شراكة حزب الله معه في مسألتين لا يسهل بالنسبة اليه التساهل حيالهما: أولهما مشاركة الحزب في جلستين لحكومة الرئيس نجيب ميقاتي غاب عنهما وزراء التيار فلم يتردد في القول لمحدّثيْه انه لم يكن يتصوّر ان يحدث ذلك، وثانيهما دعم انتخاب فرنجيه لرئاسة الجمهورية. ذهب الى القول ايضاً إن من غير الوارد عنده الخوض في مناقشة ترشيح فرنجية.

لم يعد بين الحزب والتيار سوى تقاطع سلبي واحد، هو انهما معارضان لانتخاب قائد الجيش العماد جوزف عون. لكل منهما اسباب مختلفة عن الآخر. عند باسيل، فرنجية وعون خياران سيئان في المطلق لا يريدهما على قدم المساواة، فيما يعثر الحزب في زعيم زغرتا على الضمان الذي يفتقر اليه قائد الجيش.

في نهاية المطاف ليس ما يحصل سوى دوران في دائرة مقفلة، هي ان المرحلة مقتصرة في الوقت الحالي، الى أمد غير معروف تضاعف فيه الفصول المتتالية للانهيار، على تباري المرشحين المعروفين ليس بينهم الرئيس المفترض انتخابه. كلاهما، فرنجية وعون، خارج هذا السباق. الاول في الظرف الحالي اسم لمسمّى مختلف هو الاوراق البيض وبعض الاوراق الملغاة، والثاني لا يُنتخب الا على صفيح ساخن كسلفيه عامي 1958 و2008.

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The West Has Lost Already (Gonzalo Lira)

January 28, 2023

Palestine Will Be True Holocaust for Israelis

 January 28, 2023

At least 7 Israelis were killed in Al-Quds operation

Mohammad Salami

Historically, the Zionists have blackmailed Germany and the whole globe over the alleged Holocaust, which refers to the Nazi genocide against the European Jews in Poland during World War II.

A short article would not be enough to refute the Zionist Holocaust claims, but we can briefly say history tells us that Britain arrested in 1946 the former Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir over connections with its German enemy in preparation for the establishment of ‘Israel’. Moreover, numerous historians and academicians indicated that a large number of people died in the Polish camps due to pandemics caused by the miseries of the war.

Former Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir

Israelis have gained more than sympathy and financial support in return. Actually, the Zionists obtained a patent to establish an illegitimate entity in Palestine and commit all the needed crimes to defend their occupation. Around 80 years of Zionist crimes in Palestine and the neighboring Arab countries have been justified, and even supported.

Thus, the Zionists have used an untrue myth to be the political justification of the true crime of usurping Palestine.

The Palestinian Resistance against the Israeli occupation has passed through various stages before reaching the game-changing moment of Al-Quds Sword Battle in May, 2021. During that confrontation, the Palestinian Resistance in Gaza managed to impose new deterrence formula on the Zionist enemy in a way that includes protecting Al-Quds and Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The cooperation among the Palestinians in Gaza as well as the occupied West Bank and 1948 lands has comprised a masterpiece that controlled the political and filed movement of the Israeli enemy.

The development of the Palestinian Resistance in Jenin and the entire West Bank has inflicted heavy losses upon the Israelis whose moderate and extremist governments failed to cope with this challenge.

In accordance with the Zionist worries, most of the Palestinian operations in the occupied West Bank are being carried out by young people who rejected to surrender to the bitter reality of the occupation.

On Saturday, January, 28, a Palestinian teen shot and wounded two Israelis outside Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Old City’s so-called David Street, police and medics said.

One day earlier, a resident from Al-Quds killed at least seven Israelis and injured at least ten others in a shooting near a synagogue in occupied Al-Quds (Jerusalem).

The Palestinian Kheiri Alqam, 21, arrived at the Neve Yaakov street shortly after 8 p.m. on Friday and opened fire at Israelis leaving the Ateret Avraham synagogue, the Jerusalem Post reported.

After entering and attacking the synagogue, the shooter reportedly started chasing after Israelis who were trying to escape. Israeli Channel 12 and The Times of Israel described the attack in Neve Yaakov as a “massacre.”

Scene of the attack

Accordingly, the new generation of the Palestinian resistance has proved readiness to confront the Zionist terror to the extent of destroying the occupation entity. The Zionists may now experience a true Holocaust in Palestine.

They have only one choice: leaving Palestine.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu visits scene of the shooting in Al-Quds (January 27, 2023).

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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