Syrian Woman to Ivanka: “How Shameless, You Are Proud Your Father Murders Us”

Global Research, October 31, 2019
Syria News 11 April 2017

This article was originally published in 2017.

Ivanka Trump on Twitter, how shameless you are to be proud of your father’s murderous bombings of Syria.   Are you both afraid because Syria is protecting Syrians from foreign terrorists armed and funded with US tax monies?.

Mrs. Ivanka Trump, you should tell your father to stop murdering us.  Stop causing Syrian women to be widows, Syrian students to end studies from bombs on buses, and Syrian kids to be orphans.  How can you know nothing about the horrible war the Syrian women, Syrian men, Syrian children have been going through since this ugly, western war was imposed on us, in 2011.

Syrian women spend their lives rearing their children, to see them grow into good men.  They spend days and nights to make the child a real man, or a good woman. We are not rich in material wealth, but rich in our morals, and this is why we love our homeland.

A beautiful Syrian wife lost her young husband, her love, because of your father’s crimes, Ivanka.  This husband was her knight, a well educated man, a brave officer who was defending his country, Syria, against the mercenaries who came here from all over the world, killers sponsored by the US, Europe, Turkey and the wahhabi Saudi and Qatar.

Her husband was not in someone else’s country, invading it, or bombing it, like what your American soldiers have done to Iraq in 2003, and have been doing in Syria since 2013.

Unlike your invaders, Firas Hammoud is a true hero, a Syrian man who was murdered by your father, while he was defending his own country, within his own country.

They Sha’ayrat airbase which terrorist President Trump has bombed is one of the important airfields in the fight against the so-called Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.  It has been used to defeat the alQaeda terrorists in PalmyraHama, and Homs.

The successful advances of the Syrian Arab Army against foreign terrorists is the cause of the terrorists in Idlib, and the US, to go crazy. Every time our army advances against your savages, the US or Israel comes to their rescue.  Military service is required of all men and voluntary by women.  Every Syrian family has someone fighting to defend our country.  Our blessed soldiers protect us; they do not invade other countries to slaughter their populations.

Many civilians in the Sha’ayrat village were also murdered by your father’s illegal bombings. Your father murdered 7 civilians and 4 of them were children. People ran out of their homes thinking they would be safer outside in case your father thought of bombing their houses, too.

Your father continues to spread the horrors against us that Obama began and Clinton promised to continue.

I feel the words of this young widow Ghanea, her tears and her broken heart.

When they carried the coffin, I cried.  I cried because it is a pain to die at this age, it is a pain, Firas…. The colonel that later died together with Firas had ordered that he come to the base.  Through the speaker, he said, “Firas Hammoud, come to the base.”  As his friend later told me, just when Firas arrived at the base the fire exploded.  There aren’t sufficient words to explain all.  The man is gone and talking aboout it doesn’t make sense.  This is horrible:  A mother is raising her son, teaching him to be an amazing and exceptional boy who is growing.  And the suddenly in a certain moment, the US from a ship in the Mediterranean Sea bombs an airbase and innocent people, not important who they may be, a general or the Senior Lieutenant Firas, they bomb us to kill us all and say it is a fight against terrorism. — Ghanea Hammoud

All of Syria knows her grief, grief that your country has given us. I too have lost a family member in this ugly and unjust war you have imposed on us.

Every soldier in the Syrian Arab Army has a Syrian family, so why would he kill his own family? Yet this is the lie of your country and your father who suddenly used the CNN that he called “fake news!” as his reason to murder more of us.

It is more of the western media lies against our people.  The only ones who bomb Syrians are the US and its terrorist-sponsoring allies, companions in death and destruction, companions in genocide.

US uses its soldier invaders as cannon fodder and then uses their funerals to advertise for more foreign wars.

However for the SAA, when we lose a soldier we can’t replace him.  Every soldier is a unique human being, moral and well educated. They are not interchangeable. They have joined this dirty war imposed on our country to defend our country.

Have you, Ivanka, thought of the children of the people your father bombed? Or don’t you have time to see beyond CNN’s fake news? To see that the man your news used as source is a British man illegally here.  He is a British man whose medical license was taken away by his country.  Don’t you have time to see that this man spent the day giving interviews and asking for money?

Have you thought about how many of our families sleep without food and can’t have medicine because of the war your country put to our country, because of the terrible sanctions your country put to our country (except not to your terrorists sent to us who vacation in Turkey).

Where is your humanitarian care for Kafarya and al Fou’aa’s besieged children? For the children of Yemen, of Iraq, Somalia, and the Ukraine?

Oh, come on! You only know about Khan Sheikhoun because fake news! CNN was the conduit for a fake doctor (who was charged in kidnapping in UK) illegal in our country?

Syria joined the OPCW in 2013, under Russian and American supervisors! The removal of Syria’s chemical weapons was completed by June 2014.  Your terrorist “rebels” threaten us with chemical and biological weapons and fast poisons since 2012.  One of your American mercenaries illegal in Syria wrote a friend that “FSA” had chemicals and could use them to blame our president. They used them to murder our soldiers in Khan al Asal, they used them in al Ghouta and when they killed us and them they told the world the weapons were given by Saudi Bandar.  Your “moderate” terrorists might have chemical weapons stolen from Libya after the US turned that country to al Qaeda’s hands.  Your paid terrorists in our homeland have a path between Idlib and Turkey.  They go back and forth and bring weapons from around the world.  They might also bring in more chemical weapons.

But the victims of the fake chemical attacks in Khan Sheikhoun were kidnapped in Majal and Khattab the week before.  Some were brought to Khan Sheikhoun to be murdered and use their bodies for news so your father made the excuse to murder more of us.  Your fake news showed your CIA- and British intelligence-owned White Helmets (killers and organ traders) running around without proper protection for a chemical attack, but like a miracle not hurt by it. And your fake doctor was lying on what kind of chemical it was even though he would have been killed by it, if it had really been used.

Our civilization is thousands of years old and you try to erase us. This will not happen, no matter how many lies you tell.

Ivanka, I wonder how you sleep at night, to be proud of your father’s murders. You and Nikki Haley with all this death you promote against us, against us who have never harmed you.  Condoleeza Rice made similar lies.  She joked about “creative chaos” and “birth pains” while supporting genocide in this region.

We Syrians are civilized.  It is a crime here, to kill a cat.  We don’t murder.  We defend ourselves through our heroic Syrian Arab Army.

This is our fearless leader, our lion President Bashar al Assad.

You brag that you are proud that your father murders us.  Have you no shame? — Afraa Dagher

Syrian first lady Asmaa Bashar Al Assad held a reception on the occasion of Mother’s Day, 21st March 2013, to show the gratitude of all Syrians to over 5,000 Syrian mothers whom each of them sent all of her sons to defend the country in the face of an unprecedented NATO and stooges alliance with all evil forces on the planet including Al Qaeda terrorists to destroy Syria, the mother of all mothers.

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Featured image: Syrian girl injured when moderate terrorists fired moderate bombs at her Sariah Hassoun primary school; all images in this article are from Syria News

Lebanon’s “Revolution” Is Without Revolutionary Ideology

Global Research, October 31, 2019

There is a revolution in Lebanon without a revolutionary ideology. It is spontaneous, and if memory serves one well, spontaneous revolutions end up badly for the left. Although the left was at its peak in the less spontaneous German uprising of 1918-1919, the right-wing militias defended the state, won and murdered Rosa Luxemburg.

There is practically very little left left, and the slogans of the Lebanese spontaneous revolution are as shallow and insidious as any of its Arab Spring predecessors. Calling for the removal of the sectarian system without removing its associated capital will rotate the same class into power with another form of sectarianism.

Sectarianism is the form of working-class differentiation or the basis of capital, a social relationship rooted in history and incarnated by much of the working class. To misunderstand the impulsiveness of the uprising is suicidal for remnants of the socialist forces. People want bread and democracy, but it is geostrategic-rent bread, as opposed to homegrown bread, and Western-style democracy, or the rule of US-led capital delegated to its local proxies that they want. ‘Words mean so many different things’ and there is paucity of alternative revolutionary concepts.From the spectrum of democratic choices, only shades of selective democracy are being proposed.

These are democracies that alienate the masses. They are based on the central democratic model where most vote for an imperial government to bomb and invade a developing country because they share a vested interest in imperial rents. In a selective democracy there are natural underlings and theworking-class lets capital to do what is best for capital. The ideology of capital incarnate in the working class, now the thingified people who replicate the thingified capitalists, reflects the short-termism of profit making. In Lebanon much has been invested in the idea that what is good for business is good for me. In short, there is a crisis of revolutionary consciousness and alternatives as elsewhere.

The crisis in Lebanon however is severe. For thirty years, the private Lebanese banks owned by the comprador ruling class charged five to ten times the prevailing world interest rate on bonds of the Lebanese government. Today, the state’s debt to the national banking sector is close to twice the income of the country. After thirty years of borrowing to reconstruct, Lebanon has no potable water supply, public transport, electricity, and cannot even remove its trash. Its capital city and only freshwater lake are possibly the most polluted on earth. Jobs are scarce, and emigration is high. The neoliberal policy of fighting inflation under open capital account, dollarized the economy, usurped much of national wealth, and brought the share of the wage bill from national income from about 50 percent in the late nineties to twenty five percent in 2015. With so much rationing of credit to production and indirect taxes dragging down demand, most private-sector loans owed to the banking sector are non-performing or unlikely to be repaid. The state cannot service its debts without draconian tax and privatisation measures. After years of austerity to pay exorbitant interests on a self-fuelling debt, the public, business and household sectors are all effectively insolvent. If the US decided to delay disbursements to finance future spending with more debt, the house of cards could come tumbling down.

In development finance, this latter point of US-governed international financial institutions (IFIs) lending US dollars on time to pay for state spending or imports, lest otherwise the national currency tumble and inflation lead to hunger and riots, is called the short-leash policy. It is a textbook case. In Ghana for instance, President Kufuor had to abide by the conditionality of privatising the Ashanti gold mines as loan disbursement was postponed forcing the population onto the streets just before the 2001 elections. In Lebanon too, the newly proposed reform programme by the incumbent prime minister proposes a fire-sale bonanza of most public assets. Through resource divestiture, neoliberalism imparted inimical growth in the productive forces, including productive capital stock, employment and growth in the incomes of the poorest working strata. Capital-biased institutions blocked broader participation in the decision-making process as the state retreated and vacated the ground for the imperialistically-funded civil society. Neoliberalism, the reigning ideology, does not choose people who are corrupt and in the business of promoting their self-interests. It creates the historical context into which it is only possible for corruption to grow. Corruption defined not in terms of personal ethical considerations is integral to a market economy and gauged by the rate of transfer of public into private wealth. The open capital account, the peg to the dollar, the tax on the poor and the privatisation of public assets are examples of context/corruption.

The prevailing concepts with which the crisis is being tackled are the same ones that were used as weapons against people in the past. Tax workers and privatise public assets – that is Moses and the prophets. Clearly, such measures, or the demands to try the corrupt without eliminating the context of corruption, are not at all revolutionary. To be sure, there are no revolutions without revolutionising the concepts with which reform is carried out. In view of the socialist ideological disaster, the only concepts available for public consumption are the putative neoliberal ones. The working class asks how do we pay for a debt that has become the wealth of the comprador class, as opposed to how we get rid of the comprador and its neoliberal policies. The comprador, to be sure, is a class, a historical social relationship of power reproduced by ideology, by the idea that not only our bread is imported, but our conceptual framework as well. For now, the salient conceptual alternatives are all about increasing state revenues from bread and butter tax to service an odious debt. In the case of Lebanon, the leakages are so pronounced that no matter the earnings from privatisation, the remedy would still be short-term. No one is talking about debt cancelation or, lesser serious reforms, like standstill agreements whereby the banks take zero interests until the economy recovers.

In Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria and to a lesser extent Tunisia, the spontaneity of the Arab Spring, the revolution in times of socialist ideological retreat, resulted in deeper crises. The revolutionary spontaneity in Lebanon appears to further destroy the national sources of people’s incomes, which are already quite low. However, the Lebanese banks also have put themselves at risk by lending at rates that brought the economy to a halt. Had they accepted lower rates of return over longer periods to allow the country’s productive capacity and demand to rise in order to earn more in the future, their business would be more secure; that is simple arithmetic. However, the chemistry of sectarianism, the political process by which capital fakes its differences to acquire more rents from the state, is quite complex. It is sort of like a Buick competing with a Chevrolet although both are General Motors. The banks do not truly belong to Lebanon. They are institutions of the international financial class, the social relation that has organised the resilience of capital for centuries. It is a class that personifies the reason of the commodity as self-expanding value. It is impersonal and objective, it is history and knows no right or wrong. It is a class neither obtuse nor short-sighted. It risks some funds for the bigger booty, prospects of control and the business of militarism.

The Middle East is a region of war and oil. Physicians for Social Responsibility noted that the global war on terror has killed 4 million or more.[1] The US has spent 32 Million per hour on war since 2001, which means some financial institution was absorbing the war debit as credit and billions were made in the spinoffs of the financial markets.[2] Now these numbers are gross underestimates, but they are indicative of how true, as Karl  Liebknecht pointed out, that war is big business. Lebanon is at the heart of this region and it has almost always been in war whether with US-Israel or its Lebanese proxies. The now dormant inter-communal proxy war may awaken again. There is much more to be gained by the international financial class as it scapegoats its Lebanese compradors and immiserates Lebanon to the point of eroding the social basis by which Lebanon conducts people’s war in self-defence. The world ruling combination of finance and militarism could set Lebanon ablaze again. The evident objective of imperialism is to contain Hezbollah, but the not so obvious objective is the de-valorisation process, which reduces the costs of inputs for capital over its economic cycle. To shed light on the situation in deeply divided Lebanon, it is best to project the course of developments by moving from the broader political picture to the narrower one inside Lebanon.

Looking at Lebanon from the outside in

Had these been revolutionary times, or times in which radical concepts prevailed, nothing short of the expropriation of the robber baron class, the nationalisation of the banking sector, and the regulation of the capital account, could have been proposed as remedies. A revolution in revolutionary times and in this bloodied area may involve immediate violence against the ruling class. However, never in the past 200 years have the socialist alternatives available to humanity to organise its metabolic rate of reproduction been so absent. So far, the anarchy of production has overconsumed man and nature, yet economic planning, the historical priority by which to respond to the existentialist calamity, does not even figure on the spectrum of debate. The rich die earlier as a result of pollution related diseases, but not as early as the poor. The Veblenian consumption trap of recognition for status and power self-consumes the participants of all social classes. Impulsive uprisings are afoot across the planet, yet the people one sees on the streets are not the masses. They are not armed with progressive ideology, with ironclad modes of organisation, and a preparedness for peoples’ war. Capital is pure violence. People or working classes without revolutionary thought and the exercise of violence in self-defence are neither masses nor proletariat. They are appendages to capital, thingified people.

The business of imperialism in the Middle East is bigger than the business of Lebanese banks. Nearly nothing to do with Lebanon’s internal political landscape has to do with Lebanon. Lebanon’s development and politics are all about the US’s ambitions to control the region, especially to retain hegemony over the Persian Gulf. Reigning over the Gulf is the power that underwrites global dollarization and the imperial rents attendant thereupon. In fact, the United States is already on a low-key war-footing with Iran, a war whose boomerang effect is part of the effort to contain China. The deepening sanctions, the US armed proxies and Kurdish secession are but the tip of the US-offensive. Unmistakably, no matter the calculated costs, US-capital whose mind is the reason of the commodity is preparing to strike the Eastern flank of the Persian Gulf. For the commodity and its reason, war is a means but also end in itself. The Gulf happens to be a most strategic waterway from which thirty percent of seaborne world oil supply passes every day. Hegemony over the Gulf is priceless. True, the US exports oil, but hegemonising oil is a source of controlcumpower, and power, both military and ideological, is the primacy in the primacy of politics. Without that primacy, without arresting the development of others and regulating labour reproduction, there will be no profits. Power is what makes a subject of history; a subject who is capable of moulding social relations to accommodate low-cost production. The subject in value relationships also shapes how much of what is being produced goes to capital, and how much goes to labour, albeit over the lifecycle of society. A powerful subject implements the demands of possibly the most egregious of laws, the law of value. This is no simple double entry bookkeeping in dollars designed and printed by the US-treasury. Capital is not a person; it has real people working for it. It is a social being or a social relationship, which political economy names capital for brevity or coquetry.

The US is the operating structure of capital.  It already controls the western shores of the Gulf and to control the eastern shores would undoubtedly strengthen its position at the helm in the international division of labour. If the US leaves things as they are and accepts Iranian partial control over Gulf waters, it would also have to accept a downgrading of its imperial stature, which would imply massive tectonic realignments of global powers, including perhaps an orderly workout of the US’s debt and its overstretched US dollar, among other losses de-structured around imperial rents. But the Gulf for US imperialism is an indispensable condition of empire. It epitomises an existential question for an empire whose crisis deepens with the ascent of China. Lebanon, bordering Israel to the North and in possession of effective weaponry, threatens the imperial security arrangement for the surrounding region.

That Lebanon is socially and constitutionally sectarian and geopolitically rent-based is no anomaly under the rule of capital. Working class division or sectarianism is the normal condition of the labour process under capital. Without labour differentiation, capital, the ruling social relation, will appear for the fiction that it really is and cease to be. The French, former colonial power in Lebanon, and their heirs invested heavily in Lebanon’s sectarianism. Lebanon is sort of a precursor in sectarianism or a first experiment in the process applied in distinct ways in Iraq. As a society disarticulated along sectarian lines, a country whose national productive capacity was destroyed by war, Lebanon survives by geostrategic rents. It imports nearly twenty billion US$ and exports around three billion US$.  These imports require the county to raise its interest rate and set aside nearly the equivalent of its GDP in reserves to finance imports. And although the country almost always has a primary surplus, as it reduces spending on schools and health to service the debt, it runs a significant fiscal deficit as a result of servicing high interest-internal borrowing. The interest rate is kept too high to account for the risks and to draw in dollars to address balance of payments shortfalls.

Most of debt is internal, 80 or 90 percent. Such is an odd case for a small country recovering from years of war in the developing world. Lebanon’s debt to GDP is said to be at nearly150 percent, but it is in fact bigger (total income is about 50 billion US dollars). Only countries under the financial umbrella of US-led international finance can boast such an internal borrowing record while maintaining a currency peg and low inflation rates. A caveat is in order here: the debt to GDP ratio may be much higher because sometimes after 2005, the private bank responsible for issuing national statistics corrected the GDP figures upward to make the debt to GDP ratio look smaller. In December 2006, the debt to GDP ratio was 183 percent, and oddly enough, it went down to 151 percent in 2018. Lebanon did not have a national bureau of statistics then and most statistics were produced by one of its private banks. One must use the qualifying ‘nearly’ when speaking of figures, for although statistics everywhere are a point of view, they are even more so in Lebanon.

Lebanon’s Banks are family and political nomenklatura-owned. These financial institutions have drawn tremendous profits from holding high-interest state debt. They did so knowing that the faulty reconstruction efforts boosted by a constitution that denied the representation of labour in the state made sure that all funds destined for reconstruction went to banks and to the ruling comprador class. Without social reconstruction nothing constructs, and people build the sect leader not themselves. The post-war constitution reconfirmed sectarianism de jure, and the masses became many sects competing for rents from the state through their own sectarian leadership.  Lebanon’s financial institutions are overstocked with cash because of banking privacy, and a considerable portion of their assets is of dubious origin. Their assets are about quarter of a trillion US$. They have an interest in putting the state into debt and buying the debt to launder much of their illegitimate cash. A former finance minister complained that the central bank overruled him and issued bonds at high interest rates even when the state did not need to borrow.

In 1990, the government issued reconstruction bonds at about forty percent yearly rates. The banks gladly obliged and doubled their initial loans in about two years.  As noted above, the complex chemistry of baleful sectarianism is more complicated than the calculus of the debt. Banks earned tremendous rents on bonds and placed part of the capital abroad, while the remaining portions rolled over into additional debts. As time went by, new loans financed old and new debts, especially as internal and external deficits gaped wide. The debt grew as Lebanon’s tepid growth rates, powered by public and private borrowing to boost consumption, induced further austerity. Austerity compressed demand far below what was necessary to boost state revenues to settle new interest payments. As in typical Ponzi schemes, the debt grew at higher rates than the economy. If the scheme unfolds now, the earlier huge banking profits have been deposited abroad. The resulting runaway inflation would cripple the economy.

Non-oil exporting states in the Near East are traditionally geopolitical rent states. After the first Arab oil boom in the seventies, these countries became more dependent on rents. It was a combination of IFI supported structural adjustment and Gulf aid and remittances that gradually de-industrialised them. De-industrialisation deepened their dependence on handouts, or properly put, imperialist investments in social divisions and imperialist securitisation. It would be bizarre to believe that the US-Euro imperialism that has mown down nearly a billion people in its wars since 1500 A.D. benevolently delivers aid to humanity, or it would make efforts to arrest wars and the natural disaster. It is rather odder to entertain the thought that the Gulf states enjoy any significant autonomy to deliver aid without American consent.

As is typical of social processes under capitalism, which homogenise cultures and traditions and erase variety, Gulf aid to almost starving lower strata laced with Salafism homogenised the multifarious traditions of Islam. From dress codes to burial customs, the otherwise tolerant Islamic world was becoming more like a Xerox version of Saudi Islamism. To be sure, the Saudi version of Islam is a modern, colonially reared and concocted tradition meant to hold cultural and industrial development at bay while Arabian oil falls into the grip of empire. Gulf rents delivered to Lebanon and other states were plainly linked to the US’s political objectives to contain socialism and to create weak and internally divided states.  US-sponsored rents from the Gulf not only eroded national production requiring indigenous knowhow, they reduced the state-distribution functions and the capacity of the state to deliver social welfare. Almost everywhere, the vacuum was filled by US-supported Islamists and liberals. During the Arab Spring, Islamists commandeered the revolts and with unconditional funding from the Gulf, they either attacked their states or were elected and introduced yet more neoliberal programmes than their predecessors. For post-war Lebanon things were no different. Rents bred either the liberal NGO’s or the Islamists. The former on paper declare women or any identity to be equal, but in actuality they do not deliver them from poverty. Liberalism is arguably more devastating than Islamism because it completely erases the social class or reality under the banner of freedom. It is indeed a freedom for humans to perish early from hunger while enjoying the liberty of fitting into an identity pre-selected for them by capital, the social power and the agent of history. Islamists, on the other hand justify the demobilisation of resources by divine fiat. Neither speaks of freedom from want.

Post-war Lebanon which had suffered the destruction of its infrastructure and industry depended more on external sources of funding to maintain consumption.  As the state emerged weaker after the war and its social function was delegated to US-European sponsored civil society or to the parallel institutions of the sect. To rephrase an earlier point, what we see in the demos of Lebanon today is a thirty years investment in reactionary politics personified in people who suffer the same dire class conditions under phantasmagorical doses of intense neoliberalism. The social reaction could boil into a solid class position, but the left is weak in terms of organisation and resources, while the Gulf or European backed NGOs and sects have at their disposal extensive financial means.

In addressing the causes of lapses in development, mainstream social science falsely dichotomises constituents of the agency of history into internal and external. It blames the victimised classes for their self-inflicted misery. It does it so that history absolves the US-European structure of capital. But these Arab working classes are too weak and consistently under assault, often by the belligerence of war and poverty, and violently prohibited from organising into agents of history. The defeated are consistently stripped of agency.  The truly powerful make historical choices. They truly vote in historical time. The colonials or later US imperialism lay down with the power of their bombs, starvations, invasions, and tailored constitutions the margins of actions available for subjugated people. These powers impose the historical imperatives. They empower and institutionalise sectarian and ethnic forms as purveyors of rent from the subjugated state such that the state is always in a state of low or high intensity civil war. They set the material foundations and impose a false scarcity to promote inter working-class war. And by doing this they make profits from the war and set the stage by the continual disempowerment of people to make future profits.

The Lebanese, for instance, can cast this or that vote for the sectarian lackey of imperialism who will do whatever to provide jobs for some of his sect members. However, his rent acquisition action always comes at the expense of other sect members and the working class as a whole. Incomes under capital are rents and if sects bid against each other they lower the share of social wage from the total income pie for the whole of the working class.  The dividedness also weakens the state by the loss of sovereignty arising upon the living insecurity of the working class and holds it hostage to imperialist strategy. In the case of Lebanon, the short leash of finance, the few billion dollars needed to service the debt are currently being delayed and US imperialism is calling the shots. It has something up its sleeve and it has to do with Hezbollah. The US-led financial class through its control of the Lebanese finance casts the real vote in real historical time. It just sits back and watches, while the vote of the vanquished Lebanese population, rhetorically speaking, appears as a mere ornament of modern-day slavery.

The big divide and Iran

The US spares no effort to destabilise the region. As should be obvious, it does so because by devastating and warring it empowers itself and reduces the reproduction costs of labour. This latter point is at the heart of higher profit rates not only because the pressure of refugees on wages, but also in terms of the real value, the real commodities and the hours of labour it takes to sustain the working class, much less is expended on labour. In political economy parlance, that is called a reduction of necessary labour, which is another way of saying if capital pays less than is necessary for people over their lifetime, it makes more profits. In-fighting lowers the cost of people and what they own in resources.

At this historical juncture, fomenting the Sunni-Shiite divide, the in-fighting at play in Iraq and elsewhere is both an end in itself and end to weaken Iran. Also, by raising tensions in the Gulf, and by virtue of its gigantic military presence there, US-led capital holds the world in suspense relative to the instability it injects in oil supply routes. Imperial ransom from the rest of the world tallies with protracted military tension or turmoil in the Gulf. The scurry to the safety of the dollar market alone resituates the US atop of the global pyramid. War or tension in the Gulf is a win-win situation for ‘US-led capital.’ The use of the term US-led capital is more appropriate than the use of the term US because the poor in the US are also subjected to the wrath of their home grown imperialism. The recent figures on poverty in the US indicate that half the population subsists at below the poverty line.[3]

Regionally, Israel, a state constructed around Jewish identity, has an innate aversion for Hezbollah and a less-sectarian Lebanon. Although Israel has no aversion to its adversaries wallowing in class conflict painted over by religion, Hezbollah is a successful paramilitary force and a model for people’s war. To be sure, Hezbollah’s power, its victory in liberating South Lebanon, had reconfirmed the effectiveness of people’s war. No weapon superiority bestows an occupier with the power to rule over a people against their will. Outright victory of an occupying force over an occupied people was and is no longer possible, short of complete annihilation – naturally under the rule of capital that means the continuation of wars. Hezbollah is stronger after its experience in the Syrian war and better armed. For that reason, Israel is keen to have Hezbollah consume itself in Lebanese misery or in an inter-communal war. Aware of Israel’s intentions, Hezbollah had solidified its ties to other progressive forces in Lebanon and the region.

As per the old lessons of national liberation wars, the premise of larger and deeper fronts, especially ones that involve grassroots support that combine security with development, better positions liberation struggles. Although anti-imperialism is not a class-inherent characteristic of the Iranian ruling classes, imperialism deprives peoples, peoples from all sort of classes and not only the working class in developing formations, not only of their control over resources, but also of their lives or longevity. Imperialism often consumes the peripheral comprador, the labour aristocrat and possibly the whole of social nature with its uranium-laced bombs. It depopulates to earn profits. The prematurely wasted life in wars or war related austerity is itself a product of militarism, just as a coke can is a product of the Coca-Cola corporation and industrialism. The more cokes and wasted-lives are consumed-realised, the more returns capital generates.

The Iranian ruling class is a rentier class. While some in Iran delude themselves with mini imperialist ambitions, the struggle of Iran’s people is a struggle to literally exist. Dreams of grandiosity related to past empire is delusional for Iran. The reality that Iran will meet the fate of Iraq or Afghanistan is demonstrably present. The barometer of the strength of its national front remains the extent to which it socialises, subsidises basic commodities, and creates social employment positions founded on a national money cycle – free from international finance, to cement the grounds for people’s war. Iran may have inroads in the Near East, but these were cavities purposefully carved by the US, not by some conspiracy, but by the reason of history abiding by the desires of the self-expanding commodity. Fetishism, the rule of commodities, through its ideology commands real processes and people believe that their imaginary relations to these real processes are real. Their relationship to the sect is not real because the only reality is that of the social class as it produces what people need to survive. Put differently, it is living labour deprived of better living conditions that produces and reproduces people and not identity. A reading of the historical moment, the balance of forces, would clearly show that Iran is in a position of self-defence. Its present government, however, is short on the delivery of jobs and welfare to solidify the social grounds for people’s war. Based on the premise that encroachment wars in this region are an industry of militarism and that imperialism reinforces waste accumulation through depopulation, the security of Iran through Hezbollah is a shared and co-dependent security with Lebanon.

Security in Lebanon is inversely related to sectarianism – here one has in mind the historically determined modern identity sect that acts a conveyor belt for rents. The sect imposed by imperialism as a form of social organisation vitiates class unity, consciousness and the solidarity required for anti-imperialist struggle. The degree to which sectarian divisions surface and security sinks principally corresponds to the retreat of socialist ideological crisis worldwide. In better times, before the Lebanese war, working class cohesion was in the process of formation diluting sectarian differences. Some indicate that inter-sectarian rapprochement under progressive parties and slogans was the reason for which imperialism unleashed its right-wing cronies against the masses igniting the Lebanese war of 1975-1989. After the war ended in 1989, the right learnt its lesson and rents were channelled to sects by degree of loyalty. Such was the effort to obviate the real social being of people, the working class and its institutions. The Lebanese revolution faces the weight of a history in which a cultural identity instrumentalised by capital has acquired a supernatural power. Received perception has it that against all odds such identity exists in the same shape and form it is across history.

The demos prove that class is the reality that resurfaces in times of crisis. Penuries of bread and democracy, poverty in Lebanon, are cross-sectarian. Bread and democracy are presupposed by social relationships before they become things or acts. They are historical and power relationships obtained from class struggle. These concepts, the bread and the democracy, even for the left they have become reified and ahistorical. They are simply the things and the boxes of the ballot boxes. They are maintained as such because Western Marxism peddles them as such. The Western left-intellectuals, with slightly more leisure than others in the developing world, churn out concepts that fit the R2P designs. Overlooking capital’s history and the current social and natural calamity, these pseudo-leftists harbour a deep fascination for the selective democratic model of Western capital and see its atrocities as prerequisites for progress.

Conceptualised differently, bread is the social wage share that requires delinking from the West, working class solidarity and, necessarily but not exclusively, armed struggle against imperialism. Development obtains from combining security with resistance. Poverty in Lebanon could have been worse than Egypt’s without Hezbollah and its resistance. Some sectarian leaders are using the poverty they inflicted upon people through their banks to negotiate a higher share of imperial rents as a price for handing over Hezbollah.

Democracy is an end to alienation. People no longer relinquish the popular will through the voting system. It is about the organs of labour consistently voting for labour in state policy with or without the ritual ballot box. Democracy is not labour as ‘an’ organic constituent of the state, it is ‘the’ organic constituent of the state. Yet, few understand the depth of the conceptual crisis and the idea that people’s representation in the state has to be organic. Demanding one-man one-vote realises democracy only when man is social man; the real man of society reproduced by the value of society, the socially necessary labour invested in him or her. Social man is a subcategory of the working class and, therefore, democracy is the rule of the working class.

Who is more democratic China whose revolution of 1949 heralded prosperity and eliminated poverty or the US which sinks half of its population and half the world into poverty? The working class is there, but it is not brought into focus because people have been taught to think in forms devoid of history, in the ‘now,’ while indeed the ‘now’ or the present do not exist in real time. Capital paid teachers, universities and media to distort people’s minds and erase the social alternatives. The cliché capitalism won against socialism has become truth as if history is a football game and not an ongoing process of massacres and environmental destruction. Without being democratically armed with weapons, without revolutionising concepts and ideology, the working class will always be a proletariat in waiting.

People negate the system, but adopt the conceptual alternatives of the system itself as their alternatives. As they uncritically assimilate the rule of capital, no matter what procedure of voting they choose, they will be electing capital’s authoritarianism. As capitalists and working people personify things or commodities, the development attendant upon the production-consumption of commodities by commodities will continue to end in the human and environmental waste visible all around.

Lebanon again

The crisis in Lebanon was inevitable. Why the banks usurped so much so as to debilitate the state has to do with capital’s objectives to create a social crisis capable of weakening Hezbollah. As the currency falls and the cost of living rises, sectarians and their NGOs are at work to derail the uprising. History bereft of socialist ideology is on their side. The NGO’s will divert cries for justice into a cry against Hezbollah. The US’s conditionality here is being put as such: hand over the weapons of Hezbollah and get the funding needed to maintain the consumerist standard of living. But borrowing short term will only delay the onslaught of poverty for few months. For imperialism, the reason of the commodity adopted by history, the poverty of all sects is necessary because it cheapens inputs from humans and otherwise in production and profits.

To reiterate: the reason why the private banking sector has sucked the country dry with exorbitant interest rates for such a long time is because its patron the international financial class makes more money out of poverty and war in Lebanon and the region. The bigger world financial class and its militarism may sacrifice the smaller Lebanese banking class. However, no matter how sects are positioned on the inside, events in Lebanon will unfold in synch with how the US fares in its regional war offensive. A glimmer of hope exists here as the rise of China arrests the growth of European civilisation, a store of culture whose ethos is to waste or to accumulate by waste. The real world happens to be a planet plagued with overproduction crises, which necessitate that money should be made in wars and in socially imposed under-consumption. Waste produced under waste accumulation also produces a consumerist man indulged in an overly entropic mode of self-consumption. Scarcity constructed to differentiate labour or to pit the working class against each other by designating quaweaponizing identity as the vehicle for rent acquisition abounds. In terms of the real physical scarcity however, not even oil is scarce anymore.

Capital’s logic of cost minimisation, the production of waste for profit, becomes the repository of the system. In times of socialist ideological retreat, the absurd becomes real as reality conforms to the logical forms of mainstream economics. Value relations become waste relations, the ruling class becomes the wasting class and the working class becomes the wasted class. The formalism of capital’s mainstream logic, the two-dimensional diagrammatic in which prices clear excess commodities, becomes more and more a condition in which the excess commodity to be cleared is living labour. Arresting European civilisation, the body of knowledge and traditions of expansion by war, the structural embodiment of that wasting capital, is the historical necessity.

Subordinately, the flux of this spontaneous revolution in Lebanon is a test of the left’s resolve. The left is poised against imperialist NGOs with logistical support from the Gulf states destined to lure the support of despairing people with bribes needed for survival. As people lose income, the left has to provide the alternatives. For the working class to become a proletariat, it must broadly align against reactionary positions. So far, spontaneity mixed with liberal or Islamist NGOs has been a suicide-trap for socialism. The left can commit the anecdotal suicide, it could jump from the superstructure and hit the base, but it could also through struggle carry the day.

*

Renowned author and Middle East analyst, Professor Ali Kadri teaches Economics ath the National University of Singapore (NUS). He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

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Notes

[1] https://www.mintpressnews.com/do-the-math-global-war-on-terror-has-killed-4-million-muslims-or-more/208225/

[2] https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/03/21/we-have-spent-32-million-hour-war-2001

[3] Yes, Half of Americans Are In or Near Poverty: Here’s More Evidence https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/10/16/yes-half-americans-are-or-near-poverty-heres-more-evidence

الحكومة: الحريري يفاوض بالشارع

الحكومة: الحريري يفاوض بالشارع

الحكومة: الحريري يفاوض بالشارع

الأخبار

الخميس 31 تشرين الأول 2019

في ساعات، تحول الهدوء الذي شهدته ساحات الاعتصام بعد استقالة الرئيس سعد الحريري، إلى توتّر تولاه أنصاره. تيار المستقبل قطع الطرقات في كل المناطق، ساعياً إلى الالتفاف على الاستشارات النيابية: لا رئيس للحكومة سوى الحريري. وهو ما لم تحسمه قوى 8 آذار والتيار الوطني الحر، انطلاقاً من ضرورة الاتفاق على صورة الحكومة قبل الخوض في اسم رئيسها

بعدما فُتحت كل الطرقات خلال النهار، وانكفأ المتظاهرون إلى ساحات الاعتصام في وسط بيروت وصيدا وطرابلس، تولّى تيار المستقبل إثارة البلبلة في معظم المناطق، بعد أن قطع مساء، بشكل مفاجئ، طرقات رئيسية عديدة في البقاعين الأوسط والغربي وفي طرابلس والمنية والعبدة والساحل الجنوبي. أما في العاصمة، فجابت الدراجات النارية أكثر من منطقة، دعماً للحريري، ورفضاً للأصوات التي تدعو إلى عدم تسميته مجدداً لرئاسة الحكومة. ومع محاولة الجيش فتح الطرقات في أكثر من مكان، شهدت ساحة العبدة في عكار وقوع ستة جرحى من المدنيين. وأدى ذلك إلى توسيع دائرة قطع الطرقات الرئيسية شمالاً وجنوباً وبقاعاً. كما كان لافتاً انتقال أحد وجوه اعتصام طرابلس إلى بيروت، عامداً إلى إقناع عدد من المعتصمين بضرورة التوجه إلى جسر الرينغ لقطعه، تضامناً مع جرحى الشمال، إلا أنه سرعان ما استغل المنبر ليطالب بإعادة تكليف الحريري رئاسة الحكومة، لأنه «ظلم من الجميع». وكان لافتاً أن قطع الطريق طال جل الديب والزوق أيضاً.

الأحداث المتسارعة أدت إلى تراجع وزير التربية عن قرار استئناف الدراسة، وتركه لمديري المدارس اتخاذ القرار المناسب بالنظر إلى الأوضاع المحيطة.
وفيما طرح استعمال الحريري لورقة الشارع أكثر من علامة استفهام، خاصة أنها أتت بعد يوم واحد فقط من استقالته، جزمت مصادر قريبة منه أنه كان ممتعضاً من هذه التحركات، وطلب من القوى الأمنية منع قطع الطرقات، قبل أن يصدر، مساءً، بياناً يدعو فيه جمهور المستقبل إلى «الامتناع عن العراضات في الشوارع والتزام التعاون مع الجيش وقوى الأمن الداخلي».

لكن بيان الحريري لم يساهم في ضبط الأوضاع، وسط شكوك عن أسباب وضعه ورقة الشارع على طاولة المفاوضات الحكومية سريعاً. وهو ما عبّر عنه النائب السابق وليد جنبلاط صراحة، عبر تغريدة حذّر فيها من «استغلال الشارع لأسباب غير التي رفعها الحراك». أضاف: «لست لأعطي دروساً لكن أدين أي حراك آخر الذي يريد سرقة الحراك وإدخاله في لعبة السياسات الضيقة والانتهازية».
في سياق متصل، يحتفل رئيس الجمهورية ميشال عون اليوم بمرور ثلاثة أعوام على انتخابه رئيساً، في 31 تشرين الأول 2016، في ظل حكومة مستقيلة، طلب منها أمس تصريف الأعمال، ريثما تتشكل حكومة جديدة. وهو إذ سيخرج على اللبنانيين، عند الثامنة من مساء اليوم في رسالة تتناول التطورات الراهنة، أكدت مصادر مطلعة أن عون سيتمهّل في الدعوة إلى الاستشارات النيابية الملزمة، ريثما تتضح مآلات التأليف، على قاعدة «الاتفاق على التأليف، أو معالمه، قبل التكليف»، علماً أن هذه المصادر توقعت أن يدعو عون إلى الاستشارات بين نهاية الاسبوع وبداية الاسبوع المقبل. وتلقى عون امس جرعة دعم من مجلس المطارنة الموارنة الذي دعا إلى «الالتفاف حول رئيس الجمهورية».

ولذلك، بدأت، بخلاف ما يشاع عن جمود في التواصل السياسي، الاتصالات على أكثر من جهة لاستشراف المرحلة المقبلة، إن كان اسم المكلّف أو معايير التكليف. وعملياً، لا تجد مصادر معنية في حسم مسألة تكليف الرئيس سعد الحريري تشكيل الحكومة مجدداً أمراً عاجلاً، كما لا يريد أحد أن يُكرر تجربة الأشهر التسعة للتأليف، ولذلك فإن الجهد سينصبّ على التوافق أولاً على التأليف، ولو بخطوطه العريضة، بما يسهّل مهمة الرئيس المكلّف.

جنبلاط يتّهم الحريري بمحاولة سرقة الحراك

لكن تلك المسألة تحديداً هي بيت القصيد في المعركة الحكومية. الحريري يسوّق لحكومة تكنوقراط، يهدف منها عملياً إلى الوصول إلى استبعاد جبران باسيل، الذي لا يريده شريكاً في الحكومة، واستبعاد حزب الله بحجة الضغط الدولي. وبحسب مصادر متابعة للمشاورات، فإن ما يُقلق الحريري ودفعه إلى استخدام ورقة الشارع ليل أمس، هو أن حزب الله وحركة أمل وتكتل لبنان القوي، لم يفصحوا بعد عن نيتهم بشأن مرشحهم لرئاسة الحكومة، علماً بأن الخيار ليس سهلاً بالنسبة إليهم. فاختيار شخصية غير الحريري سيواجَه بالشارع، فيما الحريري نفسه يستقوي بالشارع لإخراج الأكثرية النيابية من مجلس الوزراء، أو على الأقل، «تقليم أظافرها». وقد نقلت وكالة رويترز عن «مسؤول بارز مطلع»، أن الحريري «مستعد لتولي رئاسة الوزراء في حكومة لبنانية جديدة بشرط أن تضم تكنوقراطا قادرين على تنفيذ الإصلاحات المطلوبة سريعاً لتجنّب انهيار اقتصادي». وذهب المسؤول إلى اعتبار أن «الحكومة الجديدة يجب أن تكون خالية من مجموعة من الساسة البارزين الذين شملتهم الحكومة المستقيلة» من دون أن يذكر أسماء، قبل أن تنفي مصادر الحريري أن يكون قد وضع شروطاً لقبول تولي رئاسة الحكومة.

لكن على المقلب الآخر، ثمة سؤال أساسي يتعلق بشخص الحريري: هل تنطبق عليه صفة التكنوقراط؟ وعليه، تشير مصادر في 8 آذار إلى أن الأولى بمن يريد فعلاً تشكيل حكومة تكنوقراط أن يبدأ بنفسه، لا أن يفرض الشرط على الأفرقاء الآخرين حصراً. وجرى التداول أمس بمجموعة من الأسماء التي يمكن أن تتولى رئاسة حكومة تكنوقراط، كالوزير السابق بهيج طبارة ورئيس مجلس إدارة مصرف «فرنسبنك» نديم القصار.

الحريري يسعى إلى حكومة تكنوقراط لإبعاد باسيل وحزب الله

وفيما لم يتم التواصل بين الحريري وباسيل، منذ الاستقالة، تؤكد مصادر عونية أن التيار لا يتدخل في عملية التأليف، بل يتولاها رئيس الجمهورية حصراً، فيما التيار يتواصل معه أسوة بباقي الكتل. ولما لم تشأ مصادر التيار الإشارة إلى تسميتها الحريري مجدداً، فقد اكتفت بتأكيد ضرورة أن يكون المرشح ميثاقياً ويلتزم بتنفيذ الخطوات الاصلاحية الانقاذية. وليس بعيداً عن التيار الوطني الحر، لم يحسم حزب الله موقفه من التكليف، على ما تؤكد مصادر في 8 آذار، مشيرة إلى أن الخيارات لم تحسم بعد، وتحديد الاسم مرتبط بالتفاهمات على شكل الحكومة.
في هذا الوقت، كان نائب رئيس مجلس النواب إيلي الفرزلي يلتقي الحريري، في زيارة كانت مقررة قبل الاستقالة وأُجّلت إلى الأمس بسببها. وفيما تردد أن الفرزلي زار الحريري بصفته الشخصية، يصعب فصل هذه الزيارة عن علاقة الفرزلي الوثيقة بكل من رئيسي الجمهورية والمجلس النيابي. وكان كلام الفرزلي واضحاً في اللقاء لناحية التأكيد أن «الحريري هو المرشح الأول، لأسباب عديدة منها أنه الأكثر تمثيلاً في طائفته والأكثر قدرة على مخاطبة المجتمع الدولي، وبالتالي فإن اختيار اسم آخر، لن يكون ممكناً من دون موافقة الحريري، ما يجعل من وجود الأصيل على رأس الحكومة أفضل من أي بديل حتى لو اختاره بنفسه». كذلك قال الفرزلي إن «الحريري هو أحد أسباب المناعة للتحديات الخارجية»، مشيراً إلى أنه «لا يوجد خلاف في العمق اليوم حيال ما إذا كان الرئيس الحريري هو الذي يجب ان يكلف او لا، لأنه هو صمام أمان للمسألة المالية والنقدية والاقتصادية والاجتماعية، الى جانب أشقائه في السلطة ممثلي المكونات، فخامة رئيس الجمهورية ودولة رئيس مجلس النواب». أضاف: «المسألة ليست مسألة ترف في التسمية، بل القضية هي مصلحة وطن».

بومبيو: للإسراع في تشكيل الحكومة

دعا وزير الخارجية الأميركي مايك بومبيو القادة السياسيين في لبنان إلى «الإسراع» في تشكيل حكومة جديدة إثر استقالة رئيس الحكومة اللبنانية. وقال بومبيو في بيان: «تدعو الولايات المتحدة الزعماء السياسيين في لبنان الى الإسراع في تسهيل تشكيل حكومة جديدة يمكنها بناء لبنان مستقر ومزدهر وآمن يلبي احتياجات مواطنيه». وأضاف «وجّهت التظاهرات السلمية والتعبيرات عن الوحدة الوطنية في الأيام الـ13 الماضية رسالة واضحة. الشعب اللبناني يريد حكومة كفوءة وفعّالة واصلاحاً اقتصادياً ووضع حد للفساد المستشري». وأكد أن «أي أعمال عنف أو تصرفات استفزازية ينبغي أن تتوقف، ونحن ندعو الجيش والأجهزة الأمنية اللبنانية إلى مواصلة ضمان حقوق وسلامة المتظاهرين».

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How the US Regime ‘Justifies’ the Theft of Syria’s Oil

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Eric Zuesse
American writer and investigative historian

October 30, 2019
On October 26th, the New York Times headlined “Keep the Oil’: Trump Revives Charged Slogan for New Syria Troop Mission” and opened by saying that “in recent days, Mr. Trump has settled on Syria’s oil reserves as a new rationale for appearing to reverse course and deploy hundreds of additional troops to the war-ravaged country.” They closed with a statement from Bruce Riedel, retired from the CIA: “‘Let’s say he does do it,’ Mr. Riedel said. ‘Let’s say we establish the precedent that we are in the Middle East to take the oil. The symbolism is really bad.’” The propaganda-value of a ‘news’-report is concentrated in its opening, and especially in what the ‘reporter’ (fulfilling the intentions of his editors) selected to be at the very end (such as Riedel’s statement). However, is what’s wrong with taking Syria’s oil actually the “symbolism,” as Riedel said, or is it instead the theft — the reality (and why did the NYT pretend that it’s the latter)? Nowhere did that NYT article use the word “theft,” or anything like it, but that is the actual issue here — not mere ‘symbolism’.

Trump had been so lambasted by the Democratic Party’s ‘news’-media (such as the NYT) and by all the rest of the neoconservative ‘news’-media (the Republican ones), for his trying to withdraw forces from Obama’s regime-change war against Syria, he’s now switched to trying to ‘justify’ continuation of America’s invasion-occupation of Syria by his promising to steal the oil there — but the ‘news’-media almost never use that term (“theft”), or anything like it, to describe what he is promising to do, because they themselves have been propagandizing the American people to oppose withdrawal from Syria, which would mean ending Obama’s invasion-occupation of Syria. Both the Republican and the Democratic Parties, and their ‘news’-media, have been full-bore “Assad must step-down.” None of America’s ‘news’-media had stated, either, that America’s invasions-occupations of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria, have all been disasters (though they all were), and that all of them have been and are defeats for America (though they all were that, on all of America’s leaders’ lies about ‘protecting human rights’, and about ‘bringing democracy’, and about what would have been producing improved lives — instead of producing continued bloodshed — for the residents in the countries that we had invaded and occupied). It’s all lies, nothing but that; and any ‘news’-media which operate this way will find themselves increasingly trapped in their lies, like the politicians themselves are. The only way ‘out’, for any of them (including for Trump, and for both the Republican and the Democratic press) is yet more lies — and all of these lies are cover-ups, by the press and by the politicians. (This is why they’re torturing Julian Assange to death: he has seriously challenged that ongoing deceit, in which they all participate.) Unless the public stop the media from doing it — by cancelling their subscriptions, and otherwise demonetizing the ones who have been doing it — the lies, and deceits, and invasions, and destructive US national expenditures of tens of trillions of dollars (being paid to corporations such as Lockheed Martin, and not only to our soldiers) will continue. This enormous counterproductive expenditure will drain America’s abilities to fund health care, education, etc. It is bringing the US economy down, and not merely bringing America to an ethically lower and lower point. The more that America’s leaders try to continue expanding the American empire, the more that they will both embarrass, and weaken, America. This is real. It is no propaganda, at all. It’s “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”

On October 24th, USA Today headlined “Pentagon planning to send tanks, armored vehicles to Syrian oil fields”, and reported that “The Pentagon is preparing to send tanks and armored vehicles to Syrian oil fields, according to a US official – a stunning reversal of President Trump’s decision to withdraw US forces from the war-torn country after he declared victory over ISIS.” Those oil fields don’t belong to the US, but to Syria’s Government, and their operation is vital to funding Syria’s reconstruction, which the US regime is determined to prevent; but USA Today’s ‘news’-report says nothing about any of that. The US Government is trying to steal Syria’s oil fields — but this USA Today article says nothing about that, either. American troops are invaders of Syria, unlike Russian troops, who are defenders of Syria, and who had been invited into Syria by Syria’s Government (the only government Syria has) in order to help defend Syria’s sovereignty, over Syria’s own land, including its oil wells, against the US-and-allied invasion. All of that vital context is missing from this deceptive report.

That report said “Now, Russian troops, which are in Syria to bolster the regime of Bashar al-Assad, and Turkish forces, are operating in the region previously patrolled by US and Kurdish forces.” It’s saying that, whereas the region had been “patrolled” — instead of invaded and now occupied — by US and Kurdish forces, “Russian troops … and Turkish forces … are in Syria to bolster the regime of Bashar al-Assad,” though his ‘regime’ is actually the only legitimate Government of Syria. But the US regime claims the right to force Assad to be overthrown.

This report stated that “The deployment of armor is aimed at Russia and Syria, not ISIS, said Nicholas Heras, an expert on Syria with the Center for a New American Security. … ‘Pure and simple,’ he said, ‘the Pentagon is making contingencies for a big fight with Russia for Syria’s oil.’” But Russia isn’t trying to seize Syria’s oil — the US regime is doing that, actually. Russian forces are in Syria only in order to assist Syria to defend its oil, and its land. If the US regime will go into World War III so as to steal Syria’s oil, then the likelihood of Russia’s letting this theft happen is slight: that would be Russia’s capitulation without a fight, and Russia has never given any indication it would do such a thing. (And Russian media DO refer to this as being “theft”; they’re not trying to hide the fact. Russia already is fighting the US regime in Syria. And on October 26th, Russia’s Sputnik News headlined “The Russian military described the US scheme as nothing less than ‘international state banditism’,” and reported that, “According to Russian intelligence, the illegal US-supervised extraction of Syrian oil was being carried out by ‘leading American corporations’ and private military contractors, with US special forces and air power used for protection. Konashenkov said the estimated monthly revenue of this ‘private enterprise’ was over $30 million.”) This is the territory of Syria, which is a Russian ally. The thief here is clearly the US regime, not Syria, and not Russia. It is no one else than the US regime that is aiming to steal Syria’s oil by sending in tanks. Nowhere does the USA Today article even so much as hint that this is the case.

An October 21st Wall Street Journal article reported the US Government’s theft of Syria’s oil, but it was instead headlined with the misleading, more innocuous, and less attention-grabbing “Trump Calls for Defense, Use of Syrian Oil Fields” — nothing about any “theft” — and it opened with the seemingly US-or-Syria defense-related statement (as if US troops were in Syria as defenders, instead of as attackers and thieves) that “President Trump said he is planning to keep a small number of troops in northeast Syria to protect the oil fields there and suggested that an American company might help the Syrian Kurds develop the oil for export.”

However, since when does a thief break into your residence in order to “protect” anything? And since when does such a thief have a right to sell your property, or to determine what people (such as “the Syrian Kurds”) will sell it?

Was that article news, or was it instead propaganda? It certainly misrepresents. What it reports, is reported as if this thieving operation were only being contemplated, and would be new, but the thieving is actually nothing new — it’s an already-existing, and longstanding, coordinated and international operation, by the US regime and its allies, as will here be documented.

America’s mainstream media now (such as in USA Today, WSJ, and NYT) are normalizing this theft. This normalization is being done by their propaganda, which now is for a Republican Government, but formerly was for a Democratic Government. Previously, Democrats had done the same hiding of the regime’s evil, when their Democratic President Barack Obama was the person who was perpetrating it.

This theft — and the normalization of it — are actually bipartisan, and longstanding. When the ‘news’ presents false historical context, it lies; it is propaganda, and that’s what the American nation’s mainstream ‘news’-media now are. They are deceptive garbage, regime-propaganda.

On October 20th, Republican US Senator Lindsey Graham, and Republican Maria Bartiromo of Fox News “Sunday Morning Futures,” discussed the Republican Trump’s plan to steal Syria’s oil, and they both agreed that it might turn out to be an excellent policy. This show was headlined “Sen. Lindsey Graham: I am increasingly optimistic we can have historic solutions in Syria.” It was a remarkably bold defense of the US Government’s — and of its allies’ — thefts from Syria. Already, the US Government had said that it won’t pay even a cent in order to provide restitution for the estimated $388 billion in damages to Syria from the invasion of Syria by the US and by its allies such as Al Qaeda and the Sauds, but this show presented an endorsement by those two Republicans, backing the Republican US President’s plan to steal Syria’s oil, which goes beyond merely supporting zero restitution to the invaded country. No mention was being made, by them, on this ‘news’-medium, that (as will be documented here) those thefts by the US Government, and by its allies, have, in fact, been going on ever since the invasions of Syria by them and their proxies (or “agents” — such as Al Qaeda) had started in 2012. No mention was made by them that this was the policy of Democratic President Barack Obama and that it’s merely being continued further by Trump. To the exact contrary: Trump was being praised by these propagandists for starting this program, and, so, their praise was not just evil; it was actually entirely false.

Right before the interview, Bartiromo had been pretending to be a critical non-partisan journalist instead of the propagandist that she is, and so she stated that “my biggest issue here is the strength of Iran [as if Iran had ever invaded or even threatened to invade the United States, and as if Trump’s anti-Iran policies aren’t sufficiently stringent, or maybe even are vastly too stringent, or maybe even are altogether unjustified]. And I feel like the administration had the Iranians on their heels and ruining the economy through sanctions, through this pressure campaign. And now we give up and leave Syria.” The Senator disagreed with her make-pretend criticism of the Republican President, and he said that, instead,

The big thing for me is the oil fields. President Trump is thinking outside the box. I was so impressed with his thinking about the oil. Not only are we going to deny the oil fields falling into Iranian hands. I believe we’re on the verge of a joint venture between us and the Syrian Democratic Forces, who helped destroy ISIS and keep them destroyed, to modernize the oil fields and make sure they get the revenue, not the Iranians, not Assad. … That’s why what President Trump is proposing in Syria, a joint venture dealing with the southern oil fields in Syria, between our allies, the Kurds and the Arabs who helped us destroy ISIS, is a historic change that could pay dividends for the region. And, quite frankly, we could generate revenue to pay for our commitment in Syria. … I am increasingly optimistic that we can have some historic solutions in Syria that have eluded us for years, if we play our cards right.

Bartiromo replied “Wow. … You actually do see a way forward after you have spoken with the president on his plan to secure those oil fields.”

This theft is pushed by all of the US mainstream media, and Trump knows that he will need at least some degree of support from them if he is to be able to win re-election. This is the reason why he keeps contradicting himself — trying to appeal to the “No More War” crowd, while still drawing donations from the “military-industrial complex” or owners of America’s ‘defense’ contractors. (There’s a lot of crossover between the controlling owners of those firms and the controlling owners of the ‘news’-media — and of the ‘non-profit’ foundations.) America’s major ‘news’ media have always buried the truth about this long-ongoing theft.

And not only was the theft of Syria’s oil the policy of Democratic US President Barack Obama, but it was participated in by his coalition, which included both EU heads-of-state and Arab heads-of-state, and this policy began in 2011. Here’s how it, in fact, developed:

On 28 November 2012, Syria News headlined “Emir of Qatar & Prime Minister of Turkey Steal Syrian Oil Machinery in Broad Daylight”and accompanied it by video of the alleged event. (At that time, Qatar and Turkey were allies of the US arming the ‘rebels’ in Syria to overthrow Syria’s Government; so, they were part of America’s broader operation, and were also profiting from it.) But that video is no longer active. A subsequent description of that video was posted under the headline “Emir of Qatar & Prime Minister of Turkey Steal Syrian Oil Excavators – No Translation”. Another posting of the video online has lasted from 6 October 2013 to the present time, under the headline “Emir of Qatar & Prime Minister of Turkey Steal Syrian Oil Excavators – BiffiSyrien”, where it still can be viewed.

By no later than 12 December 2012, US President Barack Obama made the decision to hire Al Qaeda in Syria (called “Al Nusra”) to train and lead almost all of America’s proxy-forces on the ground in Syria to overthrow Syria’s Government. (Kurds were assigned to be America’s lead proxy-forces in far northeastern Syria.) (Obama was so determined to protect Al Qaeda in Syria as to sabotage on 17 September 2016 his own Secretary of State, John Kerry’s, just-signed Syrian ceasefire agreement with Russia, because that agreement allowed not only ISIS, but also Al Qaeda forces, to continue to be bombed in Syria by Russia. Obama was protecting Al Qaeda in Syria.)

On 22 April 2013, the AP headlined “EU lifts Syria oil embargo to bolster rebels” and reported that

The European Union on Monday lifted its oil embargo on Syria to provide more economic support to the forces fighting to oust President Bashar Assad’s regime. The decision will allow for crude exports from rebel-held territory. … The oil exports could open an important revenue stream for Syria’s opposition. …

While Syria was never one of the world’s major oil exporters, the sector was a pillar of Syria’s economy until the uprising, with the country producing about 380,000 barrels a day and exports — almost exclusively to Europe — bringing in more than $3 billion in 2010. Oil revenues provided around a quarter of the funds for the national budget. Being able to take advantage of the country’s oil resources will help the Syrian uprising “big time,” said Osama Kadi, a senior member of the Syrian opposition.

On 27 April 2013, the New York Times headlined “Islamist Rebels Create Dilemma on Syria Policy” and reported that

Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of. … The religious agenda of the combatants sets them apart from many civilian activists, protesters and aid workers who had hoped the uprising would create a civil, democratic Syria. … Of most concern to the United States is the Nusra Front, whose leader recently confirmed that the group cooperated with Al Qaeda in Iraq and pledged fealty to Al Qaeda’s top leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, Osama bin Laden’s longtime deputy. Nusra has claimed responsibility for a number of suicide bombings and is the group of choice for the foreign jihadis pouring into Syria.

Another prominent group, Ahrar al-Sham, shares much of Nusra’s extremist ideology but is made up mostly of Syrians…

In the oil-rich provinces of Deir al-Zour and Hasaka, Nusra fighters have seized government oil fields, putting some under the control of tribal militias and running others themselves.

“They are the strongest military force in the area,” said the commander of a rebel brigade in Hasaka reached via Skype. “We can’t deny it.”…

“We all want an Islamic state and we want Shariah to be applied,” said Maawiya Hassan Agha, a rebel activist reached by Skype in the northern village of Sarmeen. He said a country’s laws should flow from its people’s beliefs and compared Syrians calling for Islamic law with the French banning Muslim women from wearing face veils.

On 1 May 2013, TIME bannered “Syria’s Opposition Hopes to Win the War by Selling Oil” and reported that

Without an embargo, European companies can now legally begin importing barrels of oil directly from rebel groups, which have seized several oil fields in recent months, mostly around the eastern area of Deir Ezzor. That would provide the opposition with its first reliable source of income since the revolt erupted in Feb. 2011, and in theory hasten the downfall of Bashar Assad’s regime, by giving rebels the means to run skeletal local governments and consolidate their control.

On 15 June 2013, Global Research headlined “Former French Foreign Minister: The War against Syria was Planned Two years before ‘The Arab Spring’” and Gearóid Ó Colmáin reported that

In an interview with the French TV station LCP, former French minister for Foreign Affairs Roland Dumas said:

“I’m going to tell you something. I was in England two years before the violence in Syria [in other words, in 2009] on other business. I met with top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria.

This was in Britain not in America. Britain was organizing an invasion of rebels into Syria. They even asked me, although I was no longer minister for foreign affairs, if I would like to participate.

Naturally, I refused, I said I’m French, that doesn’t interest me.

Dumas attributed it to Israel, not to the US, nor to the Sauds (who actually had always been the CIA’s choice to appoint the leaders of Syria), and he didn’t even so much as mention either of those, except to say that “this will enable it [Israel] to replace the United States as a global hegemon” (which is a crackpot idea). Though his interpretation was ridiculous, his allegation that in 2009 “top British officials … confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria” is a factual matter, which is either true or false. (Back in 2009, there is actual evidence that American’s President Barack Obama was aiming to overthrow Assad. Furthermore, Obama’s team started by no later than 23 June 2011 to plan both the coup in Ukraine which succeeded and the coup in Syria, which failed. And as the great investigative journalist Gareth Porter reported on 5 January 2017, “In August 2011, national security officials began urging Obama to call on Assad to step down,” but at that time “He wasn’t willing to go along with anything except small arms,” until CIA Director David Petraeus — who soon thereafter became a member of the Bilderberg group — persuaded him to go all-out in arming the ‘rebels’. Furthermore, “when Obama was making crucial Syria policy decisions in September 2011,” his advisors assumed that both Russia and Iran would stay out of the matter and just just let the US and the Sauds take-over Syria. Obama respected his advisors. And, then, Porter headlined on 22 June 2017, “How America Armed Terrorists in Syria”. So: this theft-operation was extensively armed by the US regime, and funded by the Sauds.)

In any case, the EU was certainly helping ISIS and other such groups to steal Syria’s oil, so as to help fund their overthrow-Assad operation. So, the participation also of UK was likely, even if not, at that time, proven.

On 14 October 2015, the Financial Times headlined ”Isis Inc: how oil fuels the jihadi terrorists” and reported that “Selling crude is Isis’ biggest single source of revenue. … While al-Qaeda, the global terrorist network, depended on donations from wealthy foreign sponsors, Isis has derived its financial strength from its status as monopoly producer of an essential commodity consumed in vast quantities throughout the area it controls.” (In other words, when TIME, on 1 May 2013, bannered “Syria’s Opposition Hopes to Win the War by Selling Oil” and said “That would provide the opposition with its first reliable source of income since the revolt erupted in Feb. 2011,” the “opposition” being referred to there was actually ISIS, not Al Qaeda. The EU was buying its black-market oil from ISIS.)

On 1 December 2015, another great investigative journalist, Nafeez Ahmed, bannered “Western firms primed to cash in on Syria’s oil and gas ‘frontier’” and he reported:

US, British, French, Israeli and other energy interests could be prime beneficiaries of military operations in Iraq and Syria designed to rollback the power of the ‘Islamic State’ (ISIS) and, potentially, the Bashar al-Assad regime.

A study for a global oil services company backed by the French government and linked to Britain’s Tory-led administration, published during the height of the Arab Spring, hailed the significant “hydrocarbon potential” of Syria’s offshore resources.

The 2011 study was printed in GeoArabia, a petroleum industry journal published by a Bahrain-based consultancy, GulfPetroLink, which is sponsored by some of the world’s biggest oil companies, including Chevron, ExxonMobil, Saudi Aramco, Shell, Total, and BP. GeoArabia’s content has no open subscription system and is exclusively distributed to transnational energy corporations, corporate sponsors and related organisations, as well as some universities.

On 28 August 2018, Abdel Bari Atwan, one of the Middle East’s most respected journalists, headlined “Carrots and Sticks” and reported that

Damascus has been inundated with secret offers in recent weeks as part of a carrot-and-stick policy, two of which are particularly significant.

The first, reported on Tuesday by the pro-Hezbollah Lebanese daily al-Akhbar and the semi-official Iranian Fars news agency, was conveyed by a senior US military officer accompanied by representatives of various intelligence agencies. They flew to Damascus on a private UAE jet, and were met by the head of the National Security Bureau Gen. Ali Mamlouk, intelligence chief Gen. Deeb Zaitoun, and deputy army chief-of-staff Gen. Muwaffaq Masoud. Their meeting lasted four hours. The Americans reportedly offered to withdraw all US forces from Syria in exchange for Damascus complying with three demands: to pull Iranian forces out of areas of southern Syria adjoining Israel; to guarantee US oil companies a share of Syria’s oil east of the Euphrates; and to hand over all information about terrorist groups and their members in Syria.

The second offer was revealed by Lebanese Hezbollah MP Nawwaf al-Mousawi in a discussion programme on the Lebanese TV channel al-Mayadeen, at which I was also a panellist. He said that Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin-Salman sent an envoy to Asad offering to support him remaining president for life and provide generous Saudi support for Syria’s reconstruction in exchange for him severing ties with Iran and Hezbollah.

Both offers were categorically turned down by the Syrian leadership.

The American delegation was told that its troops in Syria were occupying forces which would be treated as such, that Syria could not abandon its strategic allies, and that issues such as US participation in the oil industry and exchanging intelligence could be discussed once political relations were re-established.

On 2 September 2018, the German intelligence analyst who blogs anonymously as “Moon of Alabama” headlined “Syria Sitrep – US To Stay To ‘Create Quagmires’” and he reported:

The claim that the US is there to fight ISIS is a lie. ISIS is still active in two places in Syria. Both are under US control. …

The US is not fighting ISIS in Syria. It is building semi-permanent bases, trains a large proxy force, and controls Syria’s oilfields. Its aim is still regime change, the same aim it had when it launched the war on Syria seven and a half years ago. To achieve that it will continue to sow as much chaos as possible.

As CIA and Pentagon mouthpiece David Ignatius wrote this week:

“[T]he administration has stopped the dithering and indecision of the past 18 months and signaled that the United States has enduring interests in Syria, beyond killing Islamic State terrorists — and that it isn’t planning to withdraw its Special Operations forces from northeastern Syria anytime soon.

‘Right now, our job is to help create quagmires [for Russia and the Syrian regime] until we get what we want,’ says one administration official, explaining the effort to resist an Idlib onslaught. This approach involves reassuring the three key US allies on Syria’s border — Israel, Turkey and Jordan — of continued American involvement.”

But what seems ultimately to endure is: Steal the oil.

On 26 February 2019 the Syrian National News Agency reported that Syria’s Government accused the US Government of having stolen from ISIS so much gold that ISIS had received as payment for oil that ISIS had stolen from Syria, so that the US Federal Reserve was enriched by at least 40 tons of gold. The accusation is that this black-marketed oil produced that gold for the US Government, and purchased “safe passage for the terrorists.”

So: Trump, and Fox News, and US Senators, etc., are planning to continue the operation that Democratic US President Barack Obama, and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the US CIA, and Britain’s MI6, and the rest of the US regime and its allies, were trying to do even before the “Arab Spring” began. As I have previously reported, Obama, even when he came into office in 2009, was aiming to take control of Syria, for it to become ruled by agents of the Saud family, and he started planning the ‘revolution’ in Syria by no later than 23 June 2011.

So: the faker Donald Trump is really just old hat, nothing at all new. He’s just trying to do what Obama was trying to do, but using different tactics to do it.

And, so, what is the ‘justification’ for this theft? It is America’s alliances:

BARTIROMO: Why are we sending troops to Saudi Arabia then?

GRAHAM: Well, because Saudi Arabia is an ally and Iran is an enemy.

And Iran is the biggest state sponsor of terrorism on the planet. …

The official position of the US Government is that Iran is the top state sponsor of terrorism and that the Sauds (whom in diplomatic cables and other internal communications the US regime acknowledge to be the biggest financial backer of Al Qaeda) isn’t even a state sponsor of terrorism, at all, but is instead a US ‘ally’.

So: that’s how they ‘justify’ it. They ‘justify’ it by the rest of the gang — the very same gang that the US regime itself leads. Their ‘justification’, of themselves, is empty. It is only propaganda, for fools to believe. Nothing more, than that. On Friday, October 26th, the Washington Post headlined “Trump decided to leave troops in Syria after conversations about oil, officials say”, and — like all of the regime’s stenographic reporting of the regime’s ‘news’ — reported the regime’s more official ‘explanation’, which was: “Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper confirmed on Friday that troops would remain in eastern Syria to prevent the oil fields from being retaken by the Islamic State.” This is just more of the same: it’s just citing ‘ISIS’ as being the ‘enemy’, instead of citing “Syria” as being that. They are asserting that they can steal Syria’s oil so as to prevent ISIS from stealing it. First, ISIS and other US allies stole it; and, then, the US seized ISIS’s gold from those sales; and, now, the US will be stealing Syria’s oil directly.

Similarly, in 2002 and 2003, the US regime, and its stenographic press, kept shifting their ‘explanation’ as to why Iraq had to be immediately invaded. Americans believed it then, and they believe it now. The American public never learn. This is now 17 years later. There has been no change, except in whom the occupant of the White House is. But fortunately, this time, there is Russia that perhaps can say no to this plan. Only time will tell if it will. And, if it does, then will Trump pull his nuclear trigger — an invasion of Russia, WW III, an aggression against the other superpower? I doubt it, but it could happen. To overestimate the greed and the stupidity of the international Deep State is hard to do. These billionaires didn’t get to be billionaires by being intelligent or being good — cunning and ruthless, yes, but that’s very different. After all, the announced highest aspiration of Jeff Bezos, who owns the Washington Post, is to send a trillion people out into space, “getting humanity established in the solar system”. Even conquering the world wouldn’t be enough to satisfy some of these individuals.

On 20 August 2018, Russia’s RT News headlined “‘Secret directive’ bans UN agencies from helping rebuild Syria until ‘political transition’ – Lavrov” and reported that Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, said that the Executive branch of the UN, the UN Secretariat, had issued in October 2017 a “secret directive” (violating two resolutions of the UN General Assembly — the UN’s Legislature), and that this secret directive ordered UN agencies to do nothing to help rebuild Syria unless the US first had approved of a new person to replace Syria’s existing President, and unless that person had already become installed to lead Syria.

According to the anti-Russian Haaretz newspaper in anti-Russian Israel, on 31 August 2018,

One country that is likely going to stay out of the infighting over the reconstruction process is the United States. The Trump administration has no clear policy on the “day after” in Syria, except for one principle: No American money will be spent on it.

The American ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, made that point clear at a speech she gave on Tuesday in Washington, explaining that Russia and the Assad regime “own” Syria now. “You broke it, you own it,” Haley said at a summit organized by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies [an organization that zionist Jews had set up in the US]. …

Ken Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, expressed a similar view, writing in the British newspaper The Independent: “Long before any talk of providing reconstruction assistance for Syria, which in any event would require lifting separate targeted sanctions, European governments should call out Russia’s complicity in Syria’s war crimes and vigorously press the Kremlin to end these atrocities and stop underwriting Syria’s repression.”

It was the deployment of the Russian air force three years ago that tilted the scales of the war in favor of Assad, who at that time controlled only a quarter of the country’s territory. Even today, Russia maintains its military presence in Syria to ensure the regime’s upper hand.

This is similar to the policy of imperial Rome toward Carthage — a resisting city-state — in 146 BC, when the Emperor ordered the resisting city-state destroyed at the end of the final, the Third, Punic War, except that, in the present instance, the imperial ruler is (on and off, depending on his whim of the day) quitting his efforts to conquer that land, and is instead (but this being consistent) commanding his agencies never to assist to restore Syria, unless and until it finally will surrender to the empire. In that sense, Syria may be considered to be today’s Carthage. (Another difference is that Syria, unlike Carthage at that time, is no expansionist — or “imperialist” — power.) So: Donald Trump, Lindsey Graham, Maria Bartiromo, Barack Obama, the US Congress, Human Rights Watch, the United Nations, and the other agents and agencies of the US empire, are in an imperial tradition that goes back thousands of years, if not longer.

However, though Syria is an ally of Iran, and of Russia; and so the US regime want regime-change there, Donald Trump might have reached the limit of his regime-change aspirations when on 10 September 2019 he finally fired John Bolton, who (along with his predecessors) had failed against Iran, failed against Venezuela, failed against Russia, and failed against China. Trump’s most intensive regime-change effort has been against Iran (though Fox’s Maria Bartiromo thinks it’s not enough). On 5 July 2018, the excellent investigative journalist Sibel Edmonds headlined at her Newsbud site her 33-minute video “Breaking: Insiders Reveal Secret Deal to Topple Iran Government!” revealing (starting at 19:00) that ever since Trump entered office in 2017, his Administration was planning to execute an operation not only to terminate the Iran deal and re-institute sanctions but to enforce sactions so stringently against any country that would continue trading with Iran, so as to strangle Iran’s economy and thus impose such misery upon the Iranian population so that they would welcome a military coup in order to end their (US-imposed) misery. This operation had a Plan A and a Plan B. In Plan A, Iran’s generals who would participate in the coup would institute an ‘anti-American’ ‘independent’ government which would buy US-made weapons from EU countries and thus not be viewed by Iranians as a US-stooge regime (though becoming a US stooge regime); the sanctions would be lifted, and Iran’s economy would be restored. In Plan B, 3-3.5M Iranians would be killed by the bombing, and all of Iran’s generals would be among them. Plan A would be Iran’s generals ‘standing up for the Iranian people’, a ‘nationalistic’ (instead of capitulationist) coup, to remove the ‘dictatorship’. Plan B would be a much bigger slaughter of Iranians. Edmonds said (27:30) the coup “would take place, I would say, in less than six months.” (29:00) “There is a large, powerful military faction that have said Yes [to Plan A]. … How sure of this am I? 100%.” But she was wrong in this prediction; she hadn’t considered the bigger picture. What’s that? Trump was getting too close to his own re-election campaign. And not enough Iranian generals could be corrupted to become traitors; the coup didn’t occur. Bolton, etc., had been too rosy in their predictions that the threats would be enough and that the patriotism of enough of Iran’s generals could just be bought off. (Perhaps the corrupt Americans had expected Iranians to be as corrupt as they themselves were.) Plan B was thus supposed to become imposed — an outright US invasion of Iran. But what would this invasion have done to Trump’s re-election chances? The Deep State had actually suckered him. That’s why Bolton (part of the Deep State) was fired. And, so, now, Congress and the US media are finally out for Trump’s scalp, because he wouldn’t follow through with the Deep State’s plan. Maybe he’ll do it if he becomes re-elected, but they can’t trust him; they want President Mike Pence. That’s become their new Plan B: impeachment in the House, and forced removal in the Senate. His intensified effort, now, to steal Syria’s oil, isn’t enough to stop that.

The reason why Julian Assange, ever since 12 June 2012, has been under various forms of imprisonment — and now torture — without there having been any conviction for anything, and not even any trial being held in his case, is that the US and its allied regimes need to keep their secrets, and therefore need to eliminate him. To publishers, and to journalists, throughout the US-and-allied world, his case is the ultimate warning of what each one of them could face. This is how the real law actually operates, throughout the empire. Assange is simply the personification of it, for everyone. However, as might logically follow from this situation, the only country in the world where Assange — who is globally viewed more favorably than unfavorably — is widely despised, is the United States, where the handwriting against him is “on the wall,” almost everywhere. America’s ‘news’-media have been uniquely devoted to doing their job. But, of course, authentic news-media perform a different job. And Assange’s case is the most effective possible warning to whatever authentic news-media might still exist within the US empire. To call this empire a ‘democracy’ anywhere, insults that noble term.

التسييس الفئوي للتظاهرات ينذر بفوضى تهدد الحراك والبلاد

التسييس الفئوي للتظاهرات ينذر بفوضى تهدد الحراك والبلاد

(هيثم الموسوي)

سياسة

ابراهيم الأمين 25 تشرين الأول 2019

من يملكون ترف النقاش المفتوح، وجلّهم من النخب المنتفخة، وحدهم من لا يهتمون لاندلاع الفوضى في لبنان. ليس لأنهم قصيرو النظر حيال ما سيصيبهم من ضرر، شأنهم شأن بقية الناس. ولكن، فقط، لأنهم ليسوا على الطاولة. هؤلاء يتصرفون، في كل الاحتجاجات والانتفاضات والثورات، على أنهم الناطقون الدائمون باسمها، لكن ما يريدونه هو الوصول الى جنّة السلطة، لا أكثر ولا أقل.

قد يكون هذا حقهم. كما هو حق القوى السياسية استغلال كل تطور سياسي أو شعبي لتحسين موقعها. لكن ما ليس من حق كل هؤلاء، محاولة جرّ الناس الى مواجهات وأهداف ليست هي جوهر ما يطالب به الخارجون الى الشوارع في معظم لبنان. ليس من حق هؤلاء، أفراداً أو مجموعات أو قوى سياسية، أخذ الشارع الى مطارح لا تطابق هواجسه الرئيسية المتمثلة في كنس جيش الفاسدين. وهذا الجيش لا يقتصر على من يصرّ الإعلام في لبنان على حصره في لائحة سياسيين. وكأن البقية ــــ من اقتصاديين وتجار ورجال أعمال ورجال دين وإعلاميين وخبراء وناشطي المنظمات الممولة من الخارج ــــ ليسوا من أعضاء هذا الجيش الذي ينهش في جسد لبنان.

بات واضحاً، اليوم، حجم الخطر الذي يحدق بالحراك. والخطر، هنا، ليس من أهل الحراك وجمهوره الحقيقي. بل من مساعي أركان هذا الجيش لنقل المواجهة الى مكان آخر، وإلى إعادة إحياء الشعارات الزائفة حول تعايش الطوائف والطائفيين، وحول وحدة البلاد من شمالها الى جنوبها، وحول الدور السياسي لهذا الفريق أو ذاك، وحول علاقات لبنان بالخارج، وحول أحوال الموضة والتسوّق والصراعات المالية والتجارية. وكأن الناس المقهورين الذين يعانون البطالة والعوز، وباتوا لا يثقون أن في إمكانهم تعليم أولادهم أو توفير ملاذ صحي لهم أو عمل، ليسوا هم أصحاب القضية.

لذلك، بات واجباً تحذير الجميع من خطر الفوضى التي تهدد كل شيء: الحراك وما بقي من استقرار في لبنان. الفوضى التي تعيد بثّ الروح في التوترات، التي سرعان ما تأخذ أبعاداً مناطقية وطائفية وجِهَوِية، وسرعان ما تستدعي الخارج للتمويل والدعم والتسلح والغطاء السياسي. وتستدعي آليات الاستفزاز الباحثة عن ضربة ورد عليها. وتستدعي العاطلين عن العمل ودفعهم ليكونوا جيوش الجيل الجديد من ورثة الطائفيين على اختلافهم.

يلعب بعض الاعلام أقذر الادوار في تقديم الشعارات السياسية على المطلبية ويسدّد فواتيره الى القوى الداعمة له

أصحاب المصلحة في نشر هذه الفوضى باتوا أكثر من المتوقع. من بينهم قوى السلطة التي تعتقد بأن الفوضى تعيد إنتاج قواعدها للعودة الى لعبة الحوار من فوق من أجل المكاسب من فوق أيضاً. ومن بينهم، كذلك، أصحاب النفوذ في المؤسسات المالية والاقتصادية الذين يريدون إعادة تعويم تجربة مافيات الحرب لكسب المزيد من الأموال غير المشروعة. ومن بينهم، أيضاً، القوى السياسية المتقلبة ــــ تارة في السلطة وطوراً في المعارضة ــــ والساعية الى تحسين شروطها. كما أن من بينهم المجموعات التي تعيش على تمويل الخارج وتريد تسديد الفواتير له، والإعلام الخاضع لسلطة المال والميليشيات الطائفية. هذا الإعلام الذي يتوهم أن بإمكانه الحلول مكان أهل الحكم، والذي يقوم بأقذر الأدوار في تقديم الشعارات السياسية على الشعارات المطلبية، لأنه ــــ أيضاً ــــ يسدّد فواتيره الى القوى السياسية والمالية التي لا تزال تموّله من أموال الناس والدولة. وهذه هي الحال مع غالبية القنوات التلفزيونية التي سبق لحاكم مصرف لبنان رياض سلامة، الذي استغل نفوذه داخل المؤسسات التابعة لمصرف لبنان وداخل القطاع المصرفي ومع كبار التجار، لمعالجة مشكلات أصحابها، وسهّل لها الحصول على قروض مالية كبيرة، لم يصرف منها قرش واحد في المؤسسات الإعلامية أو لتحسين ظروف العاملين فيها، بل استخدمت لخدمة أصحاب هذه الوسائل ومشاريعهم التجارية الجانبية.

الفوضى المحدقة بالحراك خطيرة لأنها ستضع الناس أمام الاختيار بين الاستمرار في المطالبة بالتغيير الشامل، والفوضى الأمنية والانهيار المالي. يراد، اليوم، أن يقال للناس إن عليكم أن تختاروا: إما القبول بحكم الفاسدين في الدولة والاقتصاد والإعلام والمُستَولِين على القطاعات التربوية والصحية والاجتماعية، وإما الذهاب الى فوضى وحروب تنال من راحتكم وأمن عائلاتكم.
وإذا كان الحراك لم يتشكّل على هيئة تحرّك منظّم تقف خلفه قوى أو تحالفات واضحة، فإن الوقت لا يزال متاحاً لخلق إطار تنسيقي يحميه من عملية التسييس القائمة لأهداف لا تخصّه. وهو إطار ضروري، لكون جيش الانتهازيين يتحرك بقوة داخل الساحات، ولأن الإعلام يريد أن يقرر ما هي المطالب الحقيقية للناس، علماً بأن هذا كله لا يعفي السلطة، وقواها كافة، من التصرف بواقعية بدل الإنكار والمكابرة. أما التذرع بأننا لا نعرف مطالب الناس فهو عذر أقبح من ذنب. الشارع يريد، أولاً، شراكة تمنحه حق الرقابة الفعلية على ما تقوم به مؤسسات السلطة ويريد التثبت من وصول شخصيات الى مواقع القرار والإشراف على إنفاق المال العام وإدارة مؤسسات الدولة. وهو أمر متاح، ما لم تواصل السلطة عمليات فحص دماء الطائفية والولاءات الشخصية لكل مرشح لتولّي وظيفة عامة. ولأن الناس يريدون الخلاص من زمن ربط مصير البلاد ومقدراتها بأشخاص دون غيرهم.

هل بات لبنان عاجزاً عن إيجاد حاكم جديد لمصرف لبنان يتولى الإشراف على آليات منطقية وعملية ولاسياسية للسياسات النقدية في البلاد؟

هل يخلو لبنان من شخصيات تجيد إدارة وزارات الخدمات كافة من دون الخضوع لوصاية هذه الجهة السياسية أو تلك؟

وهل بات خالياً من كوادر قادرة على حفظ الحق العام في البحر والبر والهواء؟ هل بات لبنان عاجزاً عن إدارة مرفق عام، حتى يكون البديل بيع الدولة إلى أثرياء جمعوا أموالهم من السرقات والفساد.

الدور الابرز في منع الفوضى لقوى أمنية وعسكرية يجب ان تفكر قياداتها بأن طموحاتها السياسية لم تعد تنفع

على أن الدور الأبرز في منع انزلاق الجميع نحو الفوضى المدمرة، هو لقوى أمنية وعسكرية، يجب أن تفكر قياداتها، لمرة واحدة، بأن طموحاتها السياسية لم تعد تنفع. هذه القيادات الطائفية لم تعد قادرة على حماية مواقعكم. ووعود الدول الخارجية لكم بمناصب وامتيازات لم تعد قابلة للتحقق. انظروا من حولكم كيف يهرب الغرب، تاركاً من وثق به وتعامل معه. وإذا لم تبادر القوى العسكرية والأمنية الى ابتداع وسائل تمنع صدام الناس بعضها ببعض، وتمنع استغلال هذا أو ذاك لإدارة الحراك، وهو أمر في إمكانها فعله، فسنكون أمام انقسامات تطيح وحدة هذه القوى وفعاليتها. عندها، سيقول الناس بأن من غير المجدي إنفاق قرش واحد على جيش وقوى أمن وأجهزة لا تبادر الى حماية السلم الأهلي…

لبنان اليوم على مفترق طرق. والفوضى التي تهدّد الحراك الشعبي ستجلب العار لكل من يعلم ويصمت، ولكل من يصرّ على أنه الأكثر معرفة، وكل من يمارس فوقيّة أخلاقيّة على الآخرين.

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استقالة الحريري… وفرصة تشكيل حكومة إصلاح تنفّذ مطالب الحراك

 

أكتوبر 31, 2019

حسن حردان

حاولت قوى 14 آذار استغلال مطالب الناس، التي نزلت عفوياً إلى الساحات رفضاً لسياسات الحكومة الاجتماعية وفساد الطبقة السياسية.. وسعت إلى تعديل موازين القوى لمصلحتها على صعيد السلطة السياسية، ونجحت في ركوب موجة الحراك، ولكن عندما فشلت في تحقيق أهدافها ضغطت على رئيس الحكومة سعد الحريري لتقديم الاستقالة هروباً من تحمّل المسؤولية في العمل على الاستجابة لمطالب الناس وتنفيذ الورقة الاقتصادية.

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الرئيس الحريري لم يكن بعيداً عن ذلك، ولهذا سارع إلى تقديم استقالته في نفس الليلة التي أكد فيها لبعض الوزراء تصميمه على عدم الاستقالة.. وفور الاستقالة جاءت كلمة السرّ للذين قطعوا الطرقات وشلوا حركة الناس والاقتصاد على مدى 13 يوماً، بالعمل على فتحها.. وهو ما حصل حيث فتحت الطرقات وعادت الحركة بسحر ساحر.. مما يؤكد انّ من كان يقف وراء قطع الطرقات ويضع الشعارات القصووية التي كانت تطلق في الحراك عبر بعض وسائل الإعلام، التي كانت تلعب دور الموجّه والمحرّض في آن، هو من أعطى الإشارة بفتح الطرقات والإيعاز للعناصر المنظمة التي كانت تقف على الحواجز وتدقق بهويات المواطنين بالانسحاب وإفساح المجال أمام الجيش والقوى الأمنية لإزالة الأتربة والعوائق التي وضعت عليها..

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لكن لماذا استقال الرئيس الحريري؟ والى أين تتجه الأمور بعد الاستقالة؟

اولاً: لماذا استقال الرئيس الحريري…؟

– انّ الاستقالة تمّت على خلفية خلاف وعدم اتفاق على تشكيل حكومة جديدة.. بعد أن فشلت محاولات تشكيل حكومة تكنوقراط برئاسة الحريري، أو إجراء تعديل وزاري يستهدف إزاحة الوزير جبران باسيل وتوجيه ضربة معنوية كبيرة للتيار الوطني وتدفيع باسيل ثمن مواقفه الوطنية الداعمة للمقاومة والدعاية للانفتاح على سورية.. وذلك بهدف تعزيز موقف القوات اللبنانية في الشارع المسيحي على حساب التيار الوطني..

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– رمي الكرة في ملعب رئيس الجمهورية وحزب الله والقوى الوطنية والقول بأنهم هم من يتحمّل مسؤولية الأزمة، وليس الرئيس الحريري وحلفاؤه في قوى 14 آذار الذين حكموا البلاد على مدى ربع قرن، من خلال الحكومات الحريرية وسياساتها الليبرالية الريعية التي أغرقت البلاد بالديون والفوائد المرتفعة ودمّرت الإنتاج الوطني وأشاعت الفساد وربطت لبنان بسياسات الصندوق والبنك الدولي والتبعية الاقتصادية والمالية للولايات المتحدة والدول الغربية..

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وكان لافتاً عدم رفع ايّ شعار في الحراك الشعبي يشير الى مسؤولية هذه السياسات الهيمنة الأميركية على لبنان والتي تتجسّد بصورة سافرة في الخضوع للعقوبات المالية التي ينفذها حاكم مصرف لبنان لحصار المقاومة وبيئتها ومناصريها ومؤيديها..

– الهروب من الاستجابة لمطالب الناس وإعادة خلط الأوراق وتأجيل حلّ الأزمة الاقتصادية والمالية والخدماتية، وبالتالي العمل على إجهاض ايّ تغيير أو إصلاح حقيقي تحت ضغط الشارع، ومواصلة الضغط لفرض إعادة تسمية الرئيس الحريري لتشكيل حكومة جديدة وفق شروطه، وبما يخدم أجندات 14 آذار ومن ورائها واشنطن التي تسعى الى إحداث تغيير في المشهد السياسي يقود إلى الانقلاب على نتائج الانتخابات النيابية الأخيرة التي نقلت الأغلبية من فريق 14 آذار إلى فريق رئيس الجمهورية والتيار الوطني الحر وحزب الله وحركة أمل والقوى الوطنية.. هذا الهدف ظهر بوضوح من خلال السعي لفرض تشكيل حكومة تكنوقراط أو فرض حكومة انتقالية تقوم بإجراء انتخابات نيابية مبكرة..

ثانيا: إلى أين تتجه الأمور بعد الاستقالة.. وهل سنكون أمام فرصة لتشكيل حكومة تستقوي بالحراك لتنفيذ الإصلاح الحقيقي السياسي الاقتصادي المالي؟ بالتالي يتمّ قطع الطريق على محاولة منع التغيير والالتفاف على مطالب الناس..

Image result for ‫المصارف جزء أساسي من حلّ الأزمة المالية‬‎

الواضح اليوم انّ تحالف الأكثرية أمام فرصة التقاط زمام المبادرة لتشكيل حكومة الأكثرية على أساس تنفيذ برنامج إصلاحي يحقق المطالب الأساسية التي نادى بها الناس في بداية هبّتهم العفوية، وفي طليعتها محاربة الفساد واسترداد أموال وحقوق الدولة من سارقيها، وتحميل المصارف جزء أساسي من حلّ الأزمة المالية عبر التخلي عن قسم كبير من ديونها على الدولة، وفرض قانون ضرائبي جديد يقوم على الضريبة التصاعدية المباشرة، وحلّ سريع لأزمات الكهرباء والنفايات بالتعاون مع الدول الصديقة التي أبدت الاستعداد لتقديم المساعدة، والمسارعة الى فتح قنوات التواصل الرسمي مع الحكومة السورية لتأمين التسهيلات لتصدير الإنتاج الزراعي الصناعي.. واستيراد النفط والغاز مباشرة من الدول الصديقة من دون وسطاء لخفض فاتورة النفط وأسعار المحروقات بما يعود إيجاباً على خزينة الدولة، وخفض كلف الإنتاج وأسعار السلع والمواد الأساسية.. وصولاً إلى وضع حدّ للوصاية الأميركية المالية وغير المالية…

كلام رئيس الجمهورية بأنّ الحراك الشعبي يفتح الباب امام الإصلاح، لا يمكن أن يُترجم عملياً الا من خلال حكومة تتبنّى هذا البرنامج الذي يحقق التنمية والعدالة الاجتماعية ومحاربة الفساد والفاسدين ويحرّر لبنان من التبعية للوصاية الأميركية الغربية.. وإجراء الإصلاح السياسي عبر وضع إصلاحات الطائف موضع التنفيذ العملي.

اما إذا عدنا الى تشكيل حكومة تضمّ الجميع، ايّ جميع الكتل النيابية، فهذا يعني عودة الى الدوران في نفس الدوامة.. وتأجيل الانفجار.. او تسمية رئيس لتشكيل الحكومة يعجز عن تشكيلها ونبقى في ظلّ حكومة تصريف أعمال لفترة مديدة تتفاقم في ظلها الأزمات على كلّ الصعد…

Hariri’s resignation… And the opportunity to form a reform government that implements the demands of the movement

October 31, 2019

Hassan Hardan

The March 14 forces tried to exploit the demands of the people, which spontaneously descended on the squares in rejection of the government’s social policies and the corruption of the political class. It sought to adjust the balance of power to its advantage at the level of political power, and succeeded in riding the wave of movement, but when it failed to achieve its objectives pressured Prime Minister Saad Hariri to resign in order to escape responsibility in working to respond to the demands of the people and implement the economic paper.

President Hariri was not far from it, so he was quick to resign on the same night that he assured some ministers of his determination not to resign. Immediately after the resignation, the password came to those who blocked the roads and paralyzed the movement of people and the economy for 13 days, working to open it. This is what happened as the roads were opened and the movement returned with magic. This confirms that those who were behind the cutting of the roads and put the slogans of the qasuya that were launched in the movement through some media, which were playing the role of the mentor and instigator at the same time, gave the signal to open the roads and instruct the organized elements who were standing on the barriers and checking the identities of the citizens to withdraw And to allow the army and security forces to remove the dust and obstacles that have been put on it..

But why did President Hariri resign? Where are things headed after the resignation?

First: Why did President Hariri resign…?

– The resignation took place against the backdrop of disagreement and disagreement on the formation of a new government. After attempts to form a technocratic government headed by Hariri failed, or a cabinet reshuffle aimed at removing Minister Gibran Bassil and a major moral blow to the national movement and paying the price of his national positions in support of the resistance and propaganda to open up to Syria. In order to strengthen the position of the Lebanese forces in the Christian street at the expense of the national current..

– Throwing the ball in the court of the President of the Republic, Hezbollah and the national forces and saying that they are the ones responsible for the crisis, not President Hariri and his allies in the March 14 forces who ruled the country for a quarter of a century, through the Hariri governments Its rent-liberal policies, which flooded the country with debt and high interest rates, destroyed national production, spread corruption, and linked Lebanon to the policies of the Imf and the World Bank and the economic and financial dependence of the United States and Western countries. It was remarkable that no slogan in the popular movement was raised that referred to the responsibility of these policies, the American hegemony over Lebanon, which is blatantly reflected in the submission of the financial sanctions carried out by the Governor of the Bank of Lebanon to the siege of the resistance, its environment, its supporters and its supporters…

– To escape from responding to people’s demands, reshuffling the papers and postponing the solution of the economic, financial and service crisis, thus working to abort any real change or reform under the pressure of the street, and to continue the pressure to force the renaming of President Hariri to form a new government on his terms, and in order to serve the agendas of 14 March, followed by Washington, which is seeking to bring about a change in the political landscape that leads to a coup d’état on the results of the recent parliamentary elections, which transferred the majority of the March 14 team to the president’s team, the Free Patriotic Movement, Hezbollah, amal movement and national forces. This goal was clearly demonstrated by seeking to impose a technocratic government or a transitional government that would hold early parliamentary elections…

Second: Where are things going after the resignation? Will we have an opportunity to form a government that will be strengthened by the movement to implement real political, economic and financial reform? So the road is cut off to try to prevent change and circumvent people’s demands…

It is clear today that the majority coalition has the opportunity to take the initiative to form a majority government on the basis of the implementation of a reform program that achieves the basic demands that people called at the beginning of their spontaneous give, first of all fighting corruption and recovering the money and rights of the state from its thieves, and loading banks part Fundamental to resolving the financial crisis by giving up a large part of its debt to the state, imposing a new tax law based on direct progressive taxation, and a quick solution to the crises of electricity and waste in cooperation with friendly countries that have shown willingness to provide assistance, and hastening to open channels of communication Official with the Syrian government to provide facilities for the export of industrial agricultural production. Importing oil and gas directly from friendly countries without intermediaries to reduce the oil bill and fuel prices to return positively to the state treasury, and to reduce the cost of production and prices of basic goods and materials. To end U.S. financial and non-financial guardianship…

The President’s words that the popular movement opens the door to reform can only be translated in practice through a government that adopts this program that achieves development and social justice, fights corruption and corrupt people and frees Lebanon from dependence on Western American guardianship. Political reform by putting taif reforms into practice.

But if we go back to forming a government that includes everyone, i.e. all the parliamentary blocs, it means a return to rotation in the same vortex. And postpone the explosion. Or naming a president to form a government that is unable to form it and we remain under a caretaker government for a long period of time that worsens crises at all levels…

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Caliph closure: ‘He died like a dog’

October 28, 2019

The Age of Anger Exploding in Serial Geysers

By Pepe Escobar : Posted with permission

Trump’s victory-lap movie version buries the embarrassing story of deploying tanks to ‘protect’ Syrian oilfields

What remained of the attack site. Photo: AFP

“He died like a dog.” President Trump could not have scripted a better one-liner as he got ready for his Obama bin Laden close-up in front of the whole world.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, fake caliph, ISIS/Daesh leader, the most wanted man on the planet, was “brought to justice” under Trump’s watch. The dead dog caliph is now positioned as the ultimate foreign policy winning trophy ahead of 2020 reelection.

The climatic scenes of the inevitable-as-death-and-taxes movie or Netflix series to come are already written. (Trump: I “watched it like a movie.”) Cowardly uber-terrorist cornered in a dead-end tunnel, eight helicopter gunships hovering above, dogs barking in the darkness, three terrified children taken as hostages, coward detonates a suicide vest, tunnel collapses over himself and the children.

A crack forensic team carrying samples of the fake caliph’s DNA apparently does its job in record time. The remains of the self-exploded target – then sealed in plastic bags – confirm it: it’s Baghdadi. In the dead of night, it’s time for the commando unit to go back to Irbil, a 70-minute flight over northeast Syria and northwest Iraq. Cut to Trump’s presser. Mission accomplished. Roll credits.

This all happened at a compound only 300 meters away from the village of Barisha, in Idlib, rural northwest Syria, only 5km from the Syria-Turkish border. The compound is no more:  it was turned to rubble so it would not become a (Syrian) shrine for a renegade Iraqi.

The caliph was already on the run, and arrived at this rural back of beyond only 48 hours before the raid, according to Turkish intelligence. A serious question is what he was doing in northwest Syria, in Idlib – a de facto cauldron-like Donbass in 2014 – which the Syrian army and Russian airpower are just waiting for the right moment to extinguish.

There are virtually no ISIS/Daesh jihadis in Irbil, but lots of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, as in al-Qaeda in Syria, known inside the Beltway as “moderate rebels,” including hardcore Turkmen brigades previously weaponized by Turkish intel. The only rational explanation is that the Caliph might have identified this Idlib backwater near Barisha, away from the war zone, as the ideal under-the-radar passport to cross to Turkey.

Russians knew?

The plot thickens when we examine Trump’s long list of “thank yous” for the successful raid. Russia came first, followed by Syria – presumably Syrian Kurds, not Damascus – Turkey and Iraq. In fact, Syrian Kurds were only credited with “certain support,” in Trump’s words. Their commander Mazloum Abdi, though, preferred to extol the raid as a “historic operation” with essential Syrian Kurd intel input.

In Trump’s press conference, expanding somewhat on the thank yous, Russia again came first (“great” collaboration) and Iraq was “excellent”: the Iraqi National Intelligence Service later commented on the break it had gotten, via a Syrian who had smuggled the wives of two of Baghdadi’s brothers, Ahmad and Jumah, to Idlib via Turkey.

There’s no way US Special Forces could have pulled this off without complex, combined Turkish, Iraqi and Syrian Kurd intel. Additionally, President Erdogan accomplishes one more tactical masterpiece, juggling between performing the role of dutiful, major NATO ally while still allowing al-Qaeda remnants their safe haven in Idlib under the watchful eye of the Turkish military.

Significantly, Trump said, about Moscow: “We told them, ‘We’re coming in’ … and they said, ‘Thank you for telling us.’” But, “they did not know the mission.”

They definitely didn’t. In fact, the Russian Defense Ministry, via spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov, said it had “no reliable information about US servicemen conducting an operation to ‘yet another’ elimination of the former Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the Turkish-controlled part of the Idlib de-escalation zone.”

And on Trump’s “we told them,” the Russian Defense Ministry was emphatic: “We know nothing about any assistance to the flight of US aircraft to the Idlib de-escalation zone’s airspace in the course of this operation.”

According to ground sources in Syria, a prevalent rumor in Idlib is that the “dead dog” in Barisha could be Abu Mohammad Salama, the leader of Haras al-Din, a minor sub-group of al-Qaeda in Syria. Haras al-Din has not issued any statement about it.

ISIS/Daesh anyway has already named a successor: Abdullah Qardash, aka Hajji Abdullah al-Afari, also Iraqi and also a former Saddam Hussein military officer. There’s a strong possibility that ISIS/Daesh and myriad subgroups and variations of al-Qaeda in Syria will now re-merge, after their split in 2014.

Who gets the oil?

There’s no plausible explanation whatsoever for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, for years, enjoying the freedom of shuttling back and forth between Syria and Iraq, always evading the formidable surveillance capabilities of the US government.

Well, there’s also no plausible explanation for that famous convoy of 53 brand new, white Toyota Hi-Luxes crossing the desert from Syria to Iraq in 2014 crammed with flag-waving ISIS/Daesh jihadis on their way to capture Mosul, also evading the cornucopia of US satellites covering the Middle East 24/7.

And there’s no way to bury the 2012 US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)  leaked memo that explicitly named “the West, Gulf monarchies, and Turkey” as seeking a “Salafist principality” in Syria (opposed, significantly, by Russia, China and Iran – the key poles of Eurasia integration).

That was way before ISIS/Daesh’s irresistible ascension. The DIA memo was unmistakable: “If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).

True, the fake caliph has been proclaimed definitely dead at least five times, starting in December 2016. Yet the timing, now, could not be more convenient.

The facts on the ground, after the latest ground-breaking Russia-brokered deal between the Turks and the Syrian Kurds, graphically spell out the slow but sure restoration of Syria’s territorial integrity. There will be no balkanization of Syria. The last remaining pocket to be cleared of jihadis is Irbil.

And then, there’s the oil question. The “died as a dog” movie literally buries – at least for now – an extremely embarrassing story: the Pentagon deploying tanks to “protect” Syrian oilfields. This is as illegal, by any possible interpretation of international law, as is, for that matter, the very presence in Syria of US troops, which were never invited by the government in Damascus.

Persian Gulf traders told me that before 2011, Syria was producing 387,000 barrels of oil a day and selling 140,000 – the equivalent of 25.1% of Damascus’s income. Nowadays, the Omar, al-Shadaddi and Suwayda fields, in eastern Syria, would not be producing more than 60,000 barrels a day. Still, that’s essential for Damascus and for “the Syrian people” so admired within the Beltway – the legitimate owners of the oil.

The mostly Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) did in fact take military control of Deir er-Zor when they were fighting ISIS/Daesh. Yet the majority of the local population is Sunni Arab. They will never tolerate any hint of a longtime Syrian Kurd domination – much less in tandem with a US occupation.

Sooner or later the Syrian army will get there, with Russian air power support. The Deep State might, but Trump, in an electoral year, would never risk a hot war over a few, illegally occupied oilfields.

In the end, the “died as a dog” movie can be interpreted as a victory lap, and the closure of a historical arc languishing since 2011. When he “abandoned” the Syrian Demoratic Forces Kurds, Trump effectively buried the Rojava question – as in an independent Syrian Kurdistan.

Russia is in charge in Syria – on all fronts. Turkey got rid of its “terrorism” paranoia – always having to demonize the Syrian Kurd PYD and its armed wing YPG as a spin-off of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) separatists inside Turkey – and this may help to settle the Syrian refugee question. Syria is on the way to recover all its territory.

The “died as a dog” movie can also be interpreted as the liquidation of a formerly useful asset that was a valued component of the gift that keeps on giving, the never-ending Global War on Terror. Other scarecrows, and other movies, await.

Imam Khamenei Warns of Enemies’ Plots to Harm Security in Iraq and Lebanon

Imam Khamenei Warns of Enemies’ Plots to Harm Security in Iraq and Lebanon

By Staff

Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei tackled the recent events taking place in Iraq and Lebanon, warning of the enemies plots to harm security in those countries.

Imam Khamenei’s remarks came while addressing the joint graduation, inauguration, and epaulette granting ceremony, for cadets of Islamic Republic of Iran’s Army Academies that was held on Wednesday morning at Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Academy.

His Eminence stressed that the biggest damage enemies can inflict on a country is to deprive it from its security, something that started in some regional countries.

“I advise those keen on Iraq and Lebanon to deal with riot and insecurity caused in their countries by the US, the Zionist entity and some western countries using the money of some reactionary countries,” Imam Khamenei said.

“People also have rightful demands,” Imam Khamenei stressed, but noted that “they have to know that their demands will only be achieved through the legal structures and frames of their country. Once the legal structure collapses, it becomes impossible to do anything.”

“They also plotted against our dear country but luckily people were present in the squares at the convenient time and foiled them,” Imam Khamenei noted.

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TURKISH-BACKED FORCES SHELL RUSSIAN MILITARY POLICE IN NORTHEASTERN SYRIA, WAR REPORT

South Front

On October 29, a patrol of the Russian Military Police came under a mortar fire near the border village of Darbasiyah. The village is located just east of the Turkish-controlled town of Ras al-Ayn. The Russians were there to discuss with their Turkish counterparts the start of joint border patrols, which had been agreed in the framework of the Russia-Turkey ‘de-escalation zone’ deal on northeastern Syria.

Initial reports suggested that at least two Russian military personnel were injured in the attack. However, later, they were denied. Turkish-backed forces claimed that they did not fire at the Russians and pointed out that the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces may be interested in such an incident.

On October 28, Russian and Turkish military officials met in Ankara to discuss the implementation of the de-escalation zone agreement and lay down a plan for further joint actions in the region.

Units of the Syrian Army continued deployment along the Turkish border in a 90km-wide area from the eastern countryside of Ras al-Ayn to the city of al-Qamishly in northeastern Syria. According to Syria’s SANA, government forces entered at least 20 settlements in the area.

The Syrian Army is currently working to reinforce its positions along the entire border area west and east of Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring on the eastern bank of the Euphrates.

On October 28, Syria and Russia opened a floating bridge linking the two banks of Euphrates River in the province of Der Ezzor. The bridge links the towns of al-Mre’eyeh and Mrat. It was constructed thanks to assistance from and under protection of Russian forces.

Deir Ezzor governor Abdul Majid al-Kawakibi said that the bridge was constructed “in response to the needs and demands of the people in the governorate northern countryside”. The bridge will allow them “to communicate with the rest of governorate areas”.

Earlier, the US-led coalition destroyed all the bridges in the area. A part of them was destroyed in the framework of the coalition’s campaign against ISIS. Later, the destruction of the infrastructure was a tool of cutting off links between people in the US-controlled and government-controlled areas.

On October 28, US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper once again warned that the US is not going to abandon oil fields on the eastern bank of the river. According to him, the US will respond with “overwhelming force” to any group that would threaten the safety of US forces there.

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قوى الطوائف مع دولة مدنية في لبنان The forces of sects with a civil state in Lebanon

أكتوبر 30, 2019

د.وفيق إبراهيم

يطغى شعار الدولة المدنية على كل الشعارات الأخرى في المرحلة الحالية في لبنان، متحكماً بالسنة السياسيين وقادة الأحزاب بشكل مذهل يدعو الى طرح سؤال وحيد، اذا كانت كل هذه القوى مع الدولة المدنية، فأين هي أحزاب النظام الطائفي المسيطر على البلاد منذ 1948 ؟

وكيف استطاع هذا النظام الصمود بمذهبيته العميقة، فيما تؤيد كل مكوناته مدنية الدولة؟

هنا تكمن إحدى المعجزات الكبيرة التي لا يفهمها إلا السياسيون اللبنانيون المتمكنون إلى حدود الاحتراف في تقديم صور متعددة لانتماءاتهم السياسية. فهل هناك مثيل للوزير السابق وليد جنبلاط الذي يترأس حزباً مذهبياً وإقطاعيا ومناطقياً وتقدمياً واشتراكياً وأخيراً مؤيداً للدولة المدنية!

أما رئيس حزب القوات السيد سمير جعجع فابتدأ حياته الاحترافية قائداً في حزب فجر حرباً طائفية استمرت حتى تسعينات القرن الماضي، مستفيداً من دعم إسرائيلي للبنان، أيدته القوات الجعجعية وشاركت فيه بالمزيد من اقتراف المجازر الطائفية.

وهذا ينطبق على جميع أحزاب لبنان العاملة ضمن إطار النظام السياسي مقابل أحزاب وطنية ويسارية وقومية تؤمن بالدولة المدنية ولم تنتم يوماً إلى مؤسسات النظام.

لقد وصل هذا التلفيق إلى حدود القوى الدينية، التي تعلن تأييدها للحراك الشعبي فهل تؤيد حقاً الدولة المدنية؟

علينا أولاً الإشارة إلى أن الدولة المدنية تقوم على فصل التأثير الديني عن تفاعلات السياسة وحصره في إطار خاص به يعتبر أن الدين وسيلة للعبادة وليس للسيطرة السياسية.

هذا ما فعلته اوروبا واميركا واليابان والصين وروسيا، وبلدان أخرى كثيرة.

لذلك فإن الدولة الفرنسية مثلاً ألغت التقسيم الطائفي للسلطة بين الكاثوليك والبروتستانت وجعلت من الانتماء الوطني المفتوح قاعدة للدمج الاجتماعي بالمساواة الكاملة لمواطنيها في الحقوق السياسية والاجتماعية والاقتصادية، وعلى اساس الوطنية والكفاءة، وبذلك اعادت الدين الى مواقعه في الكنائس مع حصر دوره في العبادات، حتى أن الزواج الفرنسي الزامي في البلديات، حتى يصبح شرعياً.

ونحت معظم دول العالم على الطريقة نفسها لكن الدين في العالم العربي والاسلامي يجري استخدامه وسيلة للتحشيد وتشكيل العصبيات السياسية فالوهابية في السعودية اداة لضبط السكان في طاعة آل سعود، ومفتي الأزهر أقوى مؤيدي كل نظام مصري جديد.

ان احوال القوى الدينية متشابهة في العالم الاسلامي ومهمتها الوحيدة تطويع الناس لخدمة المسؤولين السياسيين.

أما لبنان فبالغ في طائفية نظامه السياسي نظراً لتعددية المذاهب والاديان فيه. ففيما يحرص الدستور في مصر والمغرب والجزائر والسودان والاردن على اسلامية الدولة والرئيس، يذهب النظام السياسي اللبناني نحو «مذهبة» رؤساء مؤسساته الدستورية ونوابه ووزرائه والموظفين الاداريين والقضاء والجامعات وكل شيء تقريباً.

وهذا ما ادى الى تجذير الطائفية في لبنان، متيحاً لطبقته السياسية بالهيمنة على كل شيء تقريباً، وهذا حول المواطن متسولاً يبحث عن لقمة عيشه عند المسؤول عن طائفته، حتى أصبحت الطائفية معممة في العلاقات بين اللبنانيين وعلى كل المستويات.

فانتفخت الاحزاب واصبح لكل طائفة احزابها الناطقة باسمها والمستولية على قواها عند كل المكونات ومن دون استثناء.

لقد ادى هذا النمط من العلاقات السياسية الى تراكم اكبر فساد سياسي معروف في دولة بحجم لبنان مستتبعاً سطواً كاملاً على مقدرات البلاد باسلوب علني يحتمي بالتحشيد الطائفي، ما انتج بطالة وتضخماً وافلاساً وعجزاً ويناً عاماً يزيد على المئة وعشرين مليارا دولار في دولة لا يتعدى ناتجها الوطني العشرين ملياراً.

وغابت الكهرباء والمياه وتكدست النفايات واصبح الأمن فئوياً يخضع لسلطة الزعماء الذين اضافوا الى قوتهم ميزة القداسة الدينية.

هذا ما يدفع الى الحيرة في احزاب طائفية تسللت الى قيادة التحرك الشعبي المتواصل وتطالب بدولة مدنية، فهل هي جدية في مطالبتها ام انها تحاول السيطرة على هذا الحراك الشعبي ذي السمتين الجديدتين على لبنان وهما:تبلور شعور طبقي مع اتجاه نحو الاحساس بالوطنية على حساب تراجع هيمنة «المقدس» القامع لمصالح الناس باللعب عن العصبيات الطائفية والمذهبية.

لعل هذا يؤكد أن الاحزاب المحركة للمتظاهرين، تستعمل هذه الاساليب في إطار صراعاتها مع احزاب اخرى ضمن السلطة، لذلك تذهب نحو استغلال انتفاضة اللبنانيين على النظام الطائفي بتبني شعاراتهم حول ضرورة الدولة المدنية.

والدليل أن الحريري يقدم نفسه «بيي السنة» وجنبلاط سلطان الشوف وعالية وجعجع المدافع عن القديسين، وللامانة فإن هذا الوضع يشمل كل احزاب السلطة من دون استثناء. فهل نحن عشية تحول لبنان دولة مدنية؟

يحتاج هذا الأمر الى احزاب سياسية حقيقية تؤمن بمدنية الدولة، هناك الكثير منها خارج السلطة، لذلك فليست بقادرة على تغيير النظام الطائفي.

ان هذاالتغيير يحتاج الى موازنات قوى شعبية لها قياداتها الفعلية والتحرك الاخير هو الحركة الاساسية في رحلة الألف ميل للقضاء على نظام طائفي متلون يستعمل كل الشعارات الديموقراطية الحديثة وهي براء منه، لذلك فإن اللبنانيين ذاهبون نحو بناء دولة مدنية فعلية تحتاج الى قليل من الصبر والكثير من موازين القوى.

Translation By Word 2019

The forces of sects with a civil state in Lebanon

October 30, 2019

Dr. Wafiq Ibrahim

The slogan of the civil state dominates all the other slogans at the current stage in Lebanon, controlling the Sunni politicians and party leaders in a stunning way to ask the only question, if all these forces are with the civil state, where are the parties of the sectarian regime that has controlled the country since 1948?

How has this regime been able to withstand its deep ideology, while all its components support the civil state?

Here lies one of the great miracles that only lebanese politicians who are able to the limits of professionalism understand in providing multiple images of their political affiliations. Is there an instance of former minister Walid Jumblatt, who heads a sectarian, feudal, regional, progressive, socialist and finally a supporter of the civilstate!

The head of the Forces Party, Mr. Samir Geagea, began his professional career as a leader of the Party that blew up a sectarian war that lasted until the 1990s, taking advantage of Israeli support for Lebanon, which was supported by the Geagea forces and participated in more sectarianmassacres.

This applies to all parties in Lebanon operating within the framework of the political system as opposed to national, leftist and nationalist parties that believe in the civil state and have never belonged to the institutions of theregime.

This fabrication has reached the limits of the religious forces, which declare their support for the popular movement. Do you really support the civil state?

First, we should point out that the civil state is based on separating religious influence from the interactions of politics and limiting it to its own framework that considers religion to be a means of worship, not politicalcontrol.

This is what Europe, America, Japan, China, Russia and many other countries havedone.

The French State, for example, abolished the sectarian division of power between Catholics and Protestants and made open national belonging a basis for social integration with the full equality of its citizens in political, social and economic rights, on the basis of patriotism and efficiency, thereby restoring religion. To his positions in the churches with limited his role in worship, so that French marriage is compulsory in the municipalities, until it becomeslegal.

Most of the countries of the world are in the same way, but religion in the Arab and Islamic world is being used as a means of shaping political tensions, Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia is a tool to control the population in obedience to the Al Saud, and the Mufti of Al-Azhar is the strongest supporter of every new Egyptianregime.

The conditions of religious forces are similar in the Islamic world and their sole mission is to recruit people to serve politicalofficials.

Lebanon, on the other hand, has over-sectarianism in its political system because of its multi-confessional and religious system. While the constitution in Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Sudan and Jordan is keen on the Islamic state and the president, the Lebanese political system goes towards the “gilded” heads of its constitutional institutions, its deputies, its ministers, administrative officials, the judiciary, universities and almosteverything.

This led to the rooting of sectarianism in Lebanon, allowing its political class to dominate almost everything, and this is about the citizen who is seeking a living at the head of his community, until sectarianism became generalized in relations between the Lebanese and at alllevels.

The parties have blown up and each group has its own own parties and has taken over its powers in all components withoutexception.

This type of political relations has led to the accumulation of the biggest known political corruption in a country the size of Lebanon, following a complete robbery of the country’s capabilities in a public way that protects sectarian ism, which has resulted in unemployment, inflation, bankruptcy, deficits and public debt of more than 120 billion dollars in a country that does not exceed Its national product is 20billion.

Electricity and water were absent, waste was piled up and security became a category under the authority of leaders who added to their power the advantage of religiousholiness.

This is what causes confusion in sectarian parties that have infiltrated the leadership of the popular movement and demands a civil state, is it serious in its demand or is it trying to control this popular movement with two new poisons on Lebanon: the crystallization of a class feeling with a trend towards a sense of patriotism at the expense of the decline of hegemony « Al-Maqdis» suppressing the interests of the people by playing about sectarian and sectariantensions.

Perhaps this confirms that the parties driving the demonstrators, use these methods in the context of their conflicts with other parties within the authority, so they go towards exploiting the uprising of the Lebanese on the sectarian system by adopting their slogans about the necessity of a civilstate.

The proof is that Hariri presents himself as “Bay sunnah”, “Jumblat sultan al-Shuf” and Aalay and Geagea, the defender of the saints, and to be honest, this situation includes all parties of power without exception. Are we on the eve of Lebanon’s transformation as a civil state?

This needs real political parties that believe in the civility of the state, there are many of them outside power, so they are not able to change the sectariansystem.

This change needs the budgets of popular forces that have their actual leadership and the last move is the main movement in the journey of a thousand miles to eliminate a sectarian system that uses all the slogans of modern democracy and is innocent of it, so the Lebanese are going towards building a real civil state that needs a little bit of Patience and a lot of powerbalances.

 

استقالة الحكومة: الحراك للانتصار أم للانتحار؟ Government resignation: Al-Harak (The protest movement) for victory or suicide?

استقالة الحكومة: الحراك للانتصار أم للانتحار؟

أكتوبر 30, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– استقال الرئيس سعد الحريري وتحقق للحراك المطلب الرئيسي الذي افترض كثيرون أنه سيكون بابا للحلول، بالتمهيد لولادة حكومة جديدة، أسموها حكومة إنقاذ. فهل نحن نقترب من فجر الخلاص ولو باستعادة قدر من الاستقرار في منطقة وسط يمكن أن يلتقي فيها الأطراف الثلاثية الذين يصنعون المشهد اليوم، شارع الحراك والشارع الموازي الغاضب الآخذ بالتبلور بمعزل عن دعوات الترحيب والإدانة، والقوى السياسية الكبرى الممسكة بالسلطة على اختلافها وتنوّعها وتفاهماتها وخصوماتها؟

– العقدة الأولى ستكون تسمية رئيس جديد للحكومة، مع استعصاء وجود اسم يولد من رحم الحراك يلبي شعار الحراك الذي تختصره معادلة كلن يعني كلن . وقد صار الحراك أسير شعارات لم تولد مع يومه الأول مع الانتفاضة الشعبية ومشهدها الرائع وطنياً، والآفاق التي فتحتها لتغيير جدي حقيقي ناضج في الحياة السياسية وقدرتها على فرض إصلاحات اقتصادية ومالية جذرية، كنا نسمع خلالها مطالب الناس المتصلة بشجاعة بمحاكمة الفاسدين، واسترداد المال المنهوب، وإحياء وتزخيم القروض السكنية، وضمان الشيخوخة، وفتح باب النقاش بقانون الانتخابات النيابية نحو الدائرة الواحدة والنسبية خارج القيد الطائفي، حتى جاء يوم الإثنين، عندما نجحت الانتفاضة بفرض الإصغاء على الحكومة وانتزاع مطلب عدم فرض أي ضرائب ورسوم جديدة في موازنة 2020، ومجموعة من الوعود التي من حق الناس عدم الثقة بتحقيقها وفرض الرقابة والضغط لتحويلها من أقوال إلى أفعال وإذ بالشعارات تتبدّل ونبرة الحراك تتغيّر، فخرجت عملية تسييس واضحة رسمت خطة للانتفاضة نجحت بتسويقها عبر ماكينة إعلامية عملاقة، وصارت تتردّد على ألسنة المتظاهرين حتى صارت هي خريطة طريق الحراك، وعنوانها ركيزتان، الأولى حكومة إنقاذ وطني من خارج الطبقة السياسية الفاسدة ، والثانية قطع الطرقات تحت شعار الضغط لفرض استقالة الحكومة، ومجيء الحكومة الإنقاذية.

– في الظاهر كان يبدو السعي منطقياً. وهذا دليل أنه مدروس، خصوصاً أنه في الواقع مفخّخ، يحمل بذور القضاء على الحراك، الذي كان إنقاذه فرصة للبنان لدخول مرحلة جديدة من الحياة السياسية والخطط المالية والاقتصادية. فشعار حكومة الإنقاذ من غير السياسيين، متلازم مع استقالة الحكومة، لأن الاستقالة بلا بديل متفق عليه بين القوى الأساسية في الحكم والحراك سيعني فراغاً يبقي الحكومة المطلوبة استقالتها حكومة تصريف أعمال لشهور. وهذا ما يحدث الآن، ففي لبنان أسهل شيء هو استقالة الحكومة وأصعب شيء هو تشكيل حكومة، فما هي سيناريوات حكومة الإنقاذ؟

لأن مصداقية الحراك في الشارع ترتبط بعدم تمييزه للرموز السياسية الحاكمة، وإصراره على شعار كلن يعني كلن ، يفترض البحث أولاً عن رئيس حكومة من خارج الطقم السياسي تحت مسمّى تكنوقراط. وهذا هو باب الاستعصاء الأكبر، فأين هو الاسم الذي يلقى لخبرته ونظافة كفه وسيرته الوطنية ونجاحاته المبنية على عصامية تشبه سيرة الرئيس سليم الحص، ليقبل به المعنيون في السلطة ويرضى به الحراك؟ ويكفي لتظهير المأزق الإشارة إلى أن بعض جماعات في الحراك صارت تتداول أسماء من نوع السيدة ليلى الصلح، شقيقة الأمير السعودي الوليد بن طلال، أو صاحب إحدى المحطات التفزيونية، أو أسماء لناشطين حقوقيين أو نواب معارضين، معلوم سلفاً أن الانقسام حولها سيكون سهلاً وسريعاً وتحقيق الإجماع حولها من الحراك لترشيحها مستحيل. فكيف بضمان موافقة القوى الأساسية في الحكم؟

هذا الاستعصاء الانتحاري يواكبه مخرج أشدّ انتحارية، وهو استثناء رئيس الحكومة سعد الحريري من فيتو مشاركة السياسيين البارزين، والمشاركين في الحكم، بحيث يصير لحكومة الإنقاذ مسمّى واحد، وهو إخراج حزب الله من الحكومة بصورة يحتفل بها الأميركي كإنجاز حققته الانتفاضة كما بشرت صحف أميركية عديدة، وإخراج رئيس التيار الوطني الحر من الحكومة، بصورة تمنح القوات اللبنانية فرصة احتفال موازٍ بالانتصار. وبالتالي سقوط الحراك بالتحوّل إلى أداة سياسية لمشاريع داخلية وخارجية دأب الحراك على نفي تخديمه لها، وها هو يقع فيها بعيون مفتوحة وأقدام ثابتة، فينتحر لأنه يفقد نزاهته ونظافته ويصير البحث عن مخرج من فخّ وضعه لنفسه اسمه حكومة إنقاذ، مدخلاً لوضع البلد في قلب لعبة سياسية داخلية وخارجية هدفها تحجيم وإضعاف تحالف حزب الله والتيار الوطني الحر، وتقديم فرصة نصر لأعداء المقاومة وخصوم التيار الوطني الحر، من دون أي تقدم نحو إصلاح سياسي أو اقتصادي، والإصرار مستمرّ على نفي تهمة سرقة الحراك نحو تحويله إلى أداة للتخديم السياسي، ولأن التوازنات الحاكمة لن تسمح بهذا الخيار فينتهي تكليف الرئيس الحريري مجدداً برضا الحراك وقيادته غير المعلنة إلى تصريف أعمال طويل وانتظار طويل لولادة حكومة جديدة. وهذا مخرج لا يقلّ انتحارية بالنسبة للحراك، لذلك فإن الطريق المسدود سيصير مغلقاً بإحكام ولزمن طويل ويصير الانتحار في منتصفه طوعياً.

– في حال بقي الحراك مخلصاً لطلب حكومة من غير السياسيين والحكام، رئيساً وأعضاء سيبقى الاستعصاء، أو ارتضى إعادة تسمية الرئيس الحريري وانتظار ولادة حكومة ترضية، فإن الأداة الضاغطة التي يملكها هي قطع الطرق وتصعيدها بخطوات أشدّ تأثيراً على الناس والحركة الاقتصادية، والحركة مستوحاة من تجارب حزبية للضغط المتبادل، لم تستطع الاستمرار ولا حققت أهدافها، لأنها قامت على معاقبة المواطنين واستخدام لقمة عيشهم وسيلة ضغط على فريق سياسي يملك قدرة تحمل أكثر من الناس، ويملك قدرة ردّ موازية، فكيف عندما يصير الضغط على كل السياسيين، القادرين على التحمل أكثر من الناس، والناس تصير وقود ما يُفترض أنها ثورتهم، وتبدأ النتائج الكارثية بالظهور، قهراً وخوات وفلتاناً مالياً وتجارياً وفقداناً للسيولة وغضباً شعبياً وتعباً في الساحات، ونقصاً في المشاركة، ومناشدة للجيش والقوى الأمنية بفض الاعتصامات في الطرق، وهي اعتصامات يفسّرها عملياً القلق من عدم مشاركة الناس في الإضراب الذي يراد فرضه بالقوة. وهذه ديكتاتورية مقنعة بلباس الديمقراطية. فالثورات تستند إلى إضراب الجامعات والمدارس والمؤسسات الاقتصادية بطلابها وأساتذتها وموظفيها، وليس بفرض الإضراب القسري بالإقفال، والحاصل الطبيعي للقهر هو الانفجار، وثورة ضد الثورة، بدأنا نراها بأمّ العين أمامنا مع أحداث متكررة كانت أقساها مشاهد ساحة رياض الصلح وجسر الرينغ أمس، مهما اختلفت التسميات التي تمنح لها، وبالنتيجة هذا انتحار للحراك.

– للانتحار اليوم طريق عنوانه قبول دخول الحراك تحوّله أداة للعبة سياسية محلية وخارجية عبر التنازل عن حكومة إنقاذ برئيسها وأعضائها من غير السياسيين تلقى الإجماع، نحو تعديل حكومي يُخرج حزب الله ورئيس التيار الوطني الحر من الحكومة فيحقق نصراً لخصومهما في الداخل والخارج، أو قبول تسمية الرئيس الحريري مجدداً ودخول نفق الانتظار الطويل، والتآكل الأقصر والأسرع، ودائماً مواصلة الضغط عبر قطع الطرق، نحو حكومة تلتزم شعار كلن يعني كلن برئيس منهن أو مش منهن ، وصولاً لطريق مسدود يتآكل معه زخم الحراك، ويصير فتح الطرق، الذي طلب الحريصون على الحراك أن يكون طوعيّاً من القيّمين عليه، قسرياً بما يعادل هزيمة الحراك كله وكسر إرادة التغيير التي بشّر بها.

– للأسف ليس هناك مَن سمع نداء السيد حسن نصرالله، ليتلقاه بتواضع ويعيد التفكير نحو التمسك بعنوان الإصلاح السياسي والاقتصادي، بالبقاء في الساحات وتزخيمها، وفتح الطرق طوعاً، ورسم أهداف من حجم أولوية فرض تطبيق الحكومة لوعودها، ومحكمة للفساد يحمي مهمتها رفع الحصانات ورفع السرية المصرفية، وتعمل وفقاً لجدول زمني واضح، والبدء بالضغط لصالح قانون انتخاب على أساس لبنان دائرة واحدة وفقاً للنظام النسبي، ليصير بعده ومعه، ثمّة قيمة للحديث عن انتخابات مبكرة، وبالتالي حكومة من غير المرشّحين تشرف على الانتخابات، التي تفتح طريق حكومة جديدة وفقاً للأصول الدستورية تنبثق عن الانتخابات وتحترم نتائجها، فتحكم الأغلبية وتعارض الأقلية، وينتهي زمن حكومة كلن وتستقيم الديمقراطية.

قد يكون البعض يحتفل بما يصفه بالإنجاز الآن، لكنه في الداخل يرتعد رعباً، كما كل اللبنانيين، من النفق المظلم الذي تدخله البلاد، والذي يخدم خيارات مجهولة، حيث لا خريطة طريق واضحة، ومن لا يسكنه القلق جاهل أو ساذج أو لا تعنيه البلد مهما قال فيها شعر وأنشد من الأغاني الثورية.

Translation with Word 2019

Government resignation: Al-Harak (The protest movement) for victory or suicide?

October 30, 2019

Nasser Qandil

– President Saad Hariri resigned and fulfilled the main demand, which many assumed would be the door to solutions, in preparation for the birth of a new government, called a rescue government. Today’s scene, Al-Harak Street and the angry parallel street that is taking shape independently of the calls for welcome and condemnation, and the major political forces holding power, diversity, understandings and rivalries?

– The first node will be the naming of a new head of government, with the difficulty of having a name born from the womb of the movement that meets the slogan of movement that is shortened by the equation of all means. Mature in political life and its ability to impose radical economic and financial reforms, during which we heard the demands of the people courageously related to the trial of the corrupt, the recovery of looted money, the revival and the privatization of housing loans, the guarantee of ageing, and the opening of the debate on the law of parliamentary elections towards the circle One and relative outside the sectarian constraint, until Monday, when the uprising succeeded in imposing listening to the government and extracting the demand not to impose any new taxes and fees in the 2020 budget, and a set of promises that people have the right not to trust in achieving and impose censorship and pressure to turn it from words to deeds and With slogans changing and the tone of the movement changing, a clear politicization process came out that drew up a plan for the intifada that succeeded in marketing it through a giant media machine, and became hesitant on the tongues of the demonstrators until it became the road map of the movement, and its title is two pillars, the first of which is a government of national salvation from outside the corrupt political class, The second is to cut off roads under the slogan of pressure to force the resignation of the government and the coming of the rescue government.

This is evidence that it is well thought out, especially since it is in fact a booby-trapped, carrying the seeds of the elimination of the movement, whose rescue was an opportunity for Lebanon to enter a new phase of political life and financial and economic plans. The government, because resigning without an agreed alternative between the main forces in government and movement will mean a vacuum that keeps the government required to resign a caretaker government for months. This is what is happening now, in Lebanon the easiest thing is the resignation of the government and the hardest thing is to form a government, what are the scenarios of the rescue government?

Because the credibility of the movement in the street is linked to its non-discrimination of the ruling political symbols, and its insistence on the slogan of the whole meaning, it is assumed that the first search for a head of government from outside the political group under the name of technocrats. This is the door to the greatest difficulty, where is the name given to his experience, clean ness of his palm, his national biography and his successes based on a self-made that resembles that of President Salim al-Hass, so that those concerned in power can accept him and be satisfied with the movement? It is enough to confirm the impasse to point out that some groups in the movement are circulating names such as Mrs. Leila al-Solh, sister of Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, or the owner of a tv station, or names of human rights activists or opposition deputies, it is known in advance that the division around it will be easy and quick and achieved Unanimity around her from the movement for her candidacy is impossible. How can the key forces in government agree?

This suicide attack is accompanied by a more suicide exit, which is the exception of Prime Minister Saad Hariri from the veto of the participation of prominent politicians, and those participating in the government, so that the government of salvation has one name, which is to remove Hezbollah from the government in a way celebrated by the American as an achievement achieved by the intifada as Several U.S. newspapers, and the removal of the head of the Free Patriotic Movement from the government, have heralded a way to give the Lebanese forces a parallel celebration of victory. Thus, the fall of the movement by turning into a political tool for internal and external projects, the movement has been denying it, and it falls into it with open eyes and fixed feet, and he commits suicide because he loses his integrity and cleanliness and becomes the search for a way out of a trap that he put for himself a rescue government, an entry point to put the country at the heart of a political game. Internal and external aims to reduce and weaken the alliance of Hizbullah and the Free Patriotic Movement, and provide a chance victory for the enemies of the resistance and opponents of the Free Patriotic Movement, without any progress towards political or economic reform, and insist on continuing to deny the charge of stealing the movement towards turning it into a tool for political service, and because the balances The governor will not allow this option, and president Hariri’s mandate to re-establish the will of the movement and his undeclared leadership will end in a long and long wait for the birth of a new government. This is a way out of no less suicidal for the movement, so the impasse will become tightly closed for a long time and suicide will be in the middle of itvoluntarily.

– If the movement remains faithful to the demand of a government of non-politicians and rulers, president and members will remain intractable, or accept the renaming of President Hariri and wait for the birth of a government of appeasement, his pressing tool is to cut off roads and escalate them with more severe steps affecting the people and the economic movement, The movement is inspired by partisan experiences of mutual pressure, it could not continue or achieved its objectives, because it was based on punishing citizens and using their livelihood as a means of pressure on a political team that has the capacity to bear more than people, and has the ability to respond parallel, how when the pressure on all politicians, able to Tolerance more than people, people become fuel of what is supposed to be their revolution, and the disastrous results begin to appear, by oppression, fear, financial and commercial inaction, loss of liquidity, popular anger and fatigue in the squares, lack of participation, and an appeal to the army and security forces to break up sit-ins on the roads, which are Sit-ins are practically explained by concern that people will not participate in the strike, which is to be imposed by force. This is a disguised dictatorship in the guise of democracy. The revolutions are based on the strike of universities, schools and economic institutions with their students, teachers and staff, not by imposing a forced strike by closing, and the natural outcome of oppression is the explosion, and a revolution against the revolution, we began to see with the eyes in front of us with repeated events that were the harshest scenes of Riad al-Solh Square and Jisr The ring yesterday, no matter how different the labels given to it, and as a result this is suicide for the movement.

– Suicide today is a way of accepting the entry of the movement and turning it into a tool for the domestic and foreign political game by ceding a rescue government with its president and its non-political members received consensus, towards a government amendment that will take Hezbollah and the head of the Free Patriotic Movement out of the government and achieve a victory for their opponents at home And abroad, or accept the nomination of President Hariri again and enter the tunnel of long wait, and corrosion shorter and faster, and always continue the pressure through the bandits, towards a government that adheres to the slogan of all means all of them or not of them, to reach a dead end with which the momentum of the movement is eroded, and become the opening of roads, which became the request of those keen to The movement must be voluntary from the custodians, forced to defeat the whole movement and break the will for change that he has promised.

– Unfortunately, no one has heard the call of Mr. Hassan Nasrallah, to receive him humbly and rethink towards sticking to the title of political and economic reform, to stay in the squares and to plan them, to open roads voluntarily, and to draw goals of the priority of enforcing the government’s implementation of its promises, and a corruption court protecting its mission to lift immunities. And raise bank secrecy, and work according to a clear timetable, and start lobbying in favor of an election law based on Lebanon one constituency according to the proportional system, to become after him and with him, there is value to talk about early elections, and therefore a government of non-candidates oversees the elections, which opens the way to a new government In accordance with constitutional principles that emanate from the elections and respect their results, the majority will open and oppose the minority, and the time of the Government of The Klan ends and democracy is upright.

Some may be celebrating what he describes as achievement now, but at home he shudders in horror, as all the Lebanese, from the dark tunnel entering the country, which serves unknown options, where there is no clear road map, and those who are not inhabited by anxiety are ignorant or naïve or the country does not mean no matter what he said poetry and singing from revolutionarysongs.

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What after Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and ISIS ?! ماذا بعد أبو بكر البغدادي وداعش؟!

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What after Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and ISIS ?!

Dr. Mohammed Sayed Ahmed 

It’s not the first time we’ve talked about the U.S. taking control of two of the world’s most important industries: terrorism and media. Through the first industry, it has been able to make significant gains at the expense of destroying societies and harvesting innocent human beings. Through the second industry, she was and still is trying to brainwash world public opinion and the illusion that she is innocent of terrorism, but the world’s first warrior, in an attempt to cleanse her blood-stained hand..

This week, the U.S. media came out to talk about the killing of Isis terrorist leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi through a U.S. military operation in Idlib, Syria, followed by the departure of U.S. President Donald Trump himself to talk about al-Baghdadi’s death through a u.S. military operation. The man continued to weave from his imagination a long story about the hunt for Al-Baghdadi, who was eventually forced to blow himself up with an explosive belt, trying to convince the world public that they had thus permanently destroyed the myth of ISIS, and therefore there is no justification for their presence in Syria..

Despite the weakness and fragility of the American narrative and its long-standing lack of resilience to the conscious mind. Within hours, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that there were no u.S. air flights or allied forces in Idlib, not on Saturday or in the days before, yet the United States, through its control of the media, was trying to promote its false news, and unfortunately World public opinion is still under the influence of this infernal media machine, which is working to falsify consciousness around the clock. In the age of digital media, man has become a prisoner of fabricated and false information and information through this new media..

The story of the United States of America with terrorism is old and began during the Cold War with the former Soviet Union on the pretext that it was an infidel state and was trying to spread atheism in the world and Muslims should fight it. Indeed, some Islamist groups have been encouraged to go to Afghanistan to fight against disbelief and atheism with the support of the United States, which has provided the sacrificed mujahedeen with money and weapons. The battle ended with the dismantling of the Soviet Union in 1990, and the mujahedeen returned from Afghanistan to their Arab and Muslim countries to practice violence and terrorism within these communities..

Then the United States created al-Qaeda, which has terrorized the world for two decades, turning osama bin Laden, the wealthy Saudi, into a legend by the mighty American media machine, which he and his organization attributed to the world’s largest terrorist incident, the bombing of two towers. World trade in the United States itself on September 11, 2001, using the latest missile and aircraft warfare technology. This has raised many questionmarks about the strength and capability of the organization that managed to penetrate the world’s largest security system, even though its leaders, as portrayed by the U.S. media itself, live in the mountains and caves of Afghanistan. America has declared war on al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden on the grounds that they are responsible for terrorism in the world, and yet the organization has remained present and leading the terrorist scene around the world and issues daily statements circulated through the American media machine that he is responsible for all explosion is happening here or there.

With the activation and acceleration of the steps of the new Middle East project, through which the United States of America seeks to break up and divide the Arab region along sectarian, ethnic and sectarian lines, which requires the use of the paper of terrorist groups to be the process of partition and fragmentation from within without direct confrontation from it, As in Afghanistan and Iraq, it took advantage of popular anger within some Arab countries and poured more fire on it while pushing its trained elements to lead the street in its favor. This is where al-Qaeda disappeared from the global terrorist scene, and also disappeared from the media platforms that were promoting it, which means that it was the United States that sponsored and promoted this organization, and when its mission ended, it disappeared from existence..

It then manufactured a number of new terrorist organizations and launched its hand in the region and supported it with money and weapons. We heard about Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis in Sinai, Jabhat al-Nusra and Jund al-Sham in Syria, but these organizations quickly disappeared and sold out to the new terrorist organization and the legend created by the United States and promoted to it through its powerful media machine, the Islamic State in Iraq. Al-Sham, who is known as THE MEDIA of ISIS and has become a new scare by America, scares the whole world, and it is surprising that there is no sane person on earth who wondered how these terrorist organizations appear?! And how do you disappear without introductions?! How can al-Qaeda, whose operations have terrorized the whole world, disappear from existence? We no longer hear of anything about him, even though there is no real confrontation to fight it and eliminate it?!

After the United States of America manufactured ISIS in Iraq, it gave it the signal to start entering Syria to carry out its partition plan after the first organizations that led the terrorist operations at the beginning of the global war on Syria failed to achieve what America hoped thanks to the steadfastness of the people. And the valor of the Syrian Arab Army. Here, America found itself in need of a larger organization that would manufacture, support it with money and weapons, and amplify it with its media machine, and ISIS, which began to move from one place to another, was at one moment the primary responsibility for terrorist operations around the world. There is no terrorist incident unless ISIS leaders claim responsibility for it, they have weapons that are superior to those of regular armies..

The question is, who gave them this weapon? The United States is the world’s largest arms dealer, and it is in its interest to continue this terrorism to continue its trade, because countries threatened by terrorism seek to buy weapons from the United States to fight terrorism and defend themselves. If terrorism ceases, its trade will cease. Of course, the media is one of the most important tools of the United States to promote its terrorist goods and industry, so we can now explain why the myth of ISIS began to fall and the U.S. announcement of al-Baghdadi’s death in preparation for its withdrawal from Syria after the failure of its project. It is now equipped to manufacture a new terrorist organization, its media machine is ready to promote and amplify, and the global collective mind is ready for receptions and repetitions without the realization of reason..

Oh God, I warned So bear witness

ماذا بعد أبو بكر البغدادي وداعش؟!

د. محمد سيد أحمد

ليست المرة الأولى التي نتحدث فيها عن سيطرة الولايات المتحدة الأميركية على صناعتين من أهم الصناعات في العالم وهما صناعتا الإرهاب والإعلام. وعبر الصناعة الأولى تمكنت من تحقيق مكاسب كبيرة على حساب تدمير مجتمعات وحصد أروح بشر أبرياء. ومن خلال الصناعة الثانية كانت ومازالت تحاول غسل أدمغة الرأي العام العالمي وإيهامه أنها بريئة من الإرهاب، بل هي المحارب الأول له في العالم، في محاولة لتطهير يدها الملوثة بالدماء.

وخلال هذا الأسبوع خرجت علينا وسائل الإعلام الأميركية تحدّثنا عن مقتل أبي بكر البغدادي زعيم تنظيم داعش الإرهابي عبر عملية عسكرية أميركية في إدلب السورية، ثم تبع ذلك خروج الرئيس الأميركي ذاته «دونالد ترامب» ليتحدث عن مقتل البغدادي عبر عملية نوعية للجيش الأميركي. وظل الرجل ينسج من خياله قصة طويلة حول مطاردة البغدادي الذي اضطر في النهاية الى تفجير نفسه بحزام ناسف، محاولا بذلك إيهام الرأي العام العالمي بأنهم بذلك قد قضوا بشكل نهائي على أسطورة داعش، وبالتالي لا يوجد مبرر لوجودهم في سورية.

وعلى الرغم من ضعف وهشاشة الرواية الأميركية وعدم صمودها طويلاً أمام العقل الواعي. فخلال ساعات كانت وزارة الدفاع الروسية تؤكد أنه لم يكن هناك في إدلب أي طلعات جوية للطيران الأميركي أو القوى المتحالفة معه لا في يوم السبت الذي حدّدوه أو في الأيام السابقة عليه، ومع ذلك تحاول الولايات المتحدة وعبر سيطرتها على وسائل الإعلام الترويج لأخبارها الكاذبة، وللأسف الشديد مازال الرأي العام العالمي يخضع لتأثير هذه الآلة الإعلامية الجهنمية التي تعمل على تزييف وعيه على مدار الساعة. فقد أصبح الإنسان في عصر الإعلام الرقمي أسير ما يُقدَّم له من معلومات وأخبار مفبركة وكاذبة عبر هذا الإعلام الجديد.

وقصة الولايات المتحدة الأميركية مع الإرهاب قديمة فقد بدأت أثناء الحرب الباردة مع الاتحاد السوفياتي السابق بدعوى أنها دولة كافرة وتحاول نشر الإلحاد في العالم وعلى المسلمين أن يقوموا بمحاربتها. وبالفعل تم تشجيع بعض الجماعات الإسلامية للذهاب إلى أفغانستان للجهاد ضد الكفر والإلحاد بدعم من الولايات المتحدة التي أمدت المجاهدين المضحوك عليهم بالمال والسلاح. وانتهت المعركة بتفكيك الاتحاد السوفياتي عام 1990، وعاد المجاهدون من أفغانستان إلى بلادهم العربية والإسلامية ليمارسوا العنف والإرهاب داخل هذه المجتمعات.

ثم قامت الولايات المتحدة بصناعة تنظيم القاعدة الذي أثار الرعب في العالم على مدى عقدين من الزمان تحوّل على أثرها أسامة بن لادن الثري السعوديّ إلى أسطورة بواسطة الآلة الإعلامية الأميركية الجبارة، حيث نسب إليه وإلى تنظيمه أكبر حادثة إرهابية في العالم وهي تفجير برجَي التجارة العالمية بالولايات المتحدة ذاتها في 11 سبتمبر 2001 وباستخدام أحدث أساليب التكنولوجيا الحربية من صواريخ وطائرات. وهو ما أثار العديد من علامات الاستفهام حول قوة وقدرة التنظيم الذي استطاع أن يخترق أكبر منظومة أمنية في العالم، على الرغم من أن قادته وكما صوّر لنا الإعلام الأميركي ذاته يعيشون في الجبال والكهوف في أفغانستان. وقامت أميركا بإعلان الحرب على تنظيم القاعدة وأسامة بن لادن بدعوى أنهم المسؤولون عن الإرهاب في العالم، ورغم ذلك ظل التنظيم موجوداً ومتصدراً للمشهد الإرهابي حول العالم ويصدر يومياً بيانات يتم تداولها عبر الآلة الإعلامية الأميركية أنه المسؤول عن كل تفجير يحدث هنا أو هناك.

ومع تفعيل وتسريع خطوات مشروع الشرق الأوسط الجديد الذي تسعى من خلاله الولايات المتحدة الأميركية إلى تفتيت وتقسيم المنطقة العربية على أسس مذهبية وعرقية وطائفية وهو ما يستلزم استخدام ورقة الجماعات الإرهابية لتكون عملية التقسيم والتفتيت من الداخل دون مواجهة مباشرة منها، كما حدث في افغانستان والعراق، حيث استغلّت موجات الغضب الشعبي داخل بعض البلدان العربية وقامت بسكب مزيد من النيران عليه مع الدفع بعناصر مدربة تابعة لها لتقود الشارع لصالحها. هنا اختفى تنظيم القاعدة من المشهد الإرهابي العالمى، واختفى أيضاً من فوق المنابر الإعلامية التي كانت تقوم بالترويج له، وهو ما يعني أن الولايات المتحدة هي التي كانت ترعى هذا التنظيم وتروّج له وعندما انتهت مهمته اختفى من الوجود.

ثم قامت بعد ذلك بصناعة عدد من التنظيمات الإرهابية الجديدة وأطلقت يدها بالمنطقة ودعمتها بالمال والسلاح. فسمعنا عن أنصار بيت المقدس في سيناء، وجبهة النصرة وجند الشام في سورية، لكن سرعان ما اختفت هذه التنظيمات سريعاً وقامت بمبايعة التنظيم الإرهابي الجديد والأسطورة التي صنعتها الولايات المتحدة وروّجت لها عبر آلتها الإعلامية الجبارة وهو تنظيم الدولة الإسلامية بالعراق والشام والذي عرف إعلامياً بتنظيم داعش والذي أصبح بعبعاً جديداً تخيف به أميركا العالم أجمع، ومن المثير للعجب أنه لا يوجد عاقل على وجه الكرة الأرضية تساءل عن كيف تظهر هذه التنظيمات الإرهابية؟! وكيف تختفي دون مقدمات؟! فكيف لتنظيم القاعدة الذي كانت عملياته ترعب العالم أجمع يختفي من الوجود؟! ولم نعد نسمع عنه أي شيء رغم عدم وجود مواجهة حقيقية لمحاربته والقضاء عليه؟!

وبعد أن قامت الولايات المتحدة الأميركية بصناعة داعش في العراق أعطته إشارة البدء للدخول إلى سورية لتنفيذ مخططها التقسيمي والتفتيتي بعد أن فشلت التنظيمات الأولى التي كانت تقود العمليات الإرهابية في بداية الحرب الكونية على سورية في تحقيق ما ترجوه أميركا بفضل صمود الشعب وبسالة الجيش العربي السوري. هنا وجدت أميركا نفسها في حاجة إلى تنظيم أكبر تقوم بصناعته ودعمه بالمال والسلاح وتضخّمه بواسطة آلتها الإعلامية فكان تنظيم داعش الذي بدأ ينتقل من مكان إلى آخر حتى أصبح في لحظة معينة هو المسؤول الأول عن العمليات الإرهابية التي تتم حول العالم. فما من حادثة إرهابية إلا ويعلن قادة داعش عن مسؤوليتهم عنها فهم يمتلكون أسلحة تتفوق على أسلحة الجيوش النظامية.

والسؤال هنا مَن الذي أعطاهم هذا السلاح؟! الولايات المتحدة هي أكبر تاجر للسلاح في العالم، ومن مصلحتها استمرار هذا الإرهاب لتستمر تجارتها رائجة، لأن الدول التي يتهددها الإرهاب تسعى إلى شراء السلاح من الولايات المتحدة لمكافحة الإرهاب والدفاع عن نفسها. وإذا توقف الإرهاب ستتوقف تجارتها. وبالطبع الإعلام إحدى أهم أدوات الولايات المتحدة للترويج لبضاعتها وصناعتها الإرهابية، لذلك يمكننا الآن تفسير لماذا بدأت أسطورة داعش في الأفول وإعلان الولايات المتحدة الأميركية عن مقتل البغدادي تمهيداً لانسحابها من سورية بعد فشل مشروعها. فهي تجهز الآن لصناعة تنظيم إرهابي جديد، وآلتها الإعلامية جاهزة للترويج والتضخيم، والعقل الجمعي العالمي المغيب جاهز لعمليات الاستقبال والترديد دون إعمال للعقل.

اللهم بلغت اللهم فاشهد.

A Profile of Robert Gallagher, the Man Who Was Spotted Lecturing Lebanese Protesters about ‘Their Solutions’

A Profile of Robert Gallagher, the Man Who Was Spotted Lecturing Lebanese Protesters about ‘Their Solutions’

By Mona Issa

Beirut – On the night of October 17, 2019, was the first outbreak of the Lebanon protests. Corruption has eaten the country up to the brim, and the Lebanese, astonishingly united for the first time in years, took it to the streets.

The core of Lebanese grievance comes from deprivation of basic needs that the government doesn’t provide, and the majority of those on the ground are poor, working class citizens; however, there is a good slice of the population riding different tides.

A video circulated the internet of what is clearly an American man, stating that capitalism is the problem, that we should open soup kitchens (culturally very Western, but okay). The video was situated in “The Egg,” a historical monumental building in Central Beirut which protesters broke into, and are using it to propagate ‘educational’ sit-ins.

Video here

Luckily, we were able to digest the jagged ensemble of ideas that the speaker was casually promoting, until this man jumps to his grand solution – to establish a “parallel government.” The transition is quite an escalation, almost as if he wanted to cut right to the chase.

The man in the video has a name – and it’s Robert L. Gallagher.

Gallagher is an American citizen who has been in Lebanon since 2007. Other than previously working for the American embassy in Beirut, he was a professor in civilization sequence at the American University of Beirut ever since, quitting in 2015 before establishing what he called “Eudemian Institute.” Being the director of it, the Eudemian Institute is an organization established by Gallagher himself, David Konstan and Spencer Pack, who are all New York-based professors. Pack, an economist, is a pro-‘Israel’, anti-BDS American Jew who has written multiple publications in favor of neoliberal fiscal policies, capitalism, including a written review of ‘Israeli’ economy. The function of the “Eudemian Institute,” in Beirut, is to sell political economy plans to governments as well as political organizations to promote change and “social welfare.”

After this establishment, Gallagher flew to Serbia in 2018 and served as an “Honorary Research Associate” at the University of Belgrade – except that there is absolutely no evidence or trace for his participation in Serbian academia, neither in publication nor on official records. After supposedly spending time in Serbia, Gallagher makes it back to Beirut and rebirths himself as a “Certified counselor and life coach” who aims to create a dent in the global drug addiction epidemic, claiming that he got his training and certification from Edinburgh.

It really seems as though Gallagher was an honorary associate in Serbia in 2018, then made his way to England to become a private addiction practitioner in 2019, then updated all of his LinkedIn, Facebook, and online CVs in August 2019 from professor to “coach.” Then finally, by mere chance, he’s back in Beirut to “coach” the Lebanese on how to overthrow their government and establish a parallel state – reminds you of anything?

The Lebanese may be somewhat divided on what they want – but the majority of demonstrators are working class; and I’ll tell you what they don’t want – another neoliberal econometric policy driven by another American.

A Window into Jewish Guilt

 

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It has become an institutional Jewish habit to examine how much Jews are hated by their host nations and how fearful Jews are of their neighbours. Jewish press outlets reported yesterday that “9 out of 10 US Jews worry about anti-Semitism.”

I, for one, can’t think of another people who invest so much energy in measuring their unpopularity. Despite the scale of Islamophobia and anti-Black racism, we are not subjected to a constant barrage of ‘statistics’ to ‘warn us’ of how hated Blacks are or how unsafe Muslims feel.

The American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) statistics suggest that  “most Jews think that the situation is getting worse.” I find their statistics unlikely but I guess any mathematically inclined person would agree that if 9 out of 10 are fearful, then the situation can’t get much ‘worse’ as 10 out of 10 would constitute only a minor increase (11%).

Assume, for a moment, that the AJC’s statistics reflect reality and that the  overwhelming majority (90%) of 1,200 Jewish respondents, from all political and religious positions, regard Jew-hatred as a serious problem with potentially disastrous consequences.

We might wonder who are the ‘naughty’ one out of ten Jews who, unlike their  brethren, are not scared of their American neighbours. I suspect these are the so-called ‘self-haters,’ that infamous bunch of horrid humanist Jews who support Palestine and are disgusted by the manifold of recent Jewish #MeToo scandals and  paedophilia/organised crime networks.  This small minority (10%) of  disobedient Jews might be disturbed by the opioid scandal that left 400.000 Americans dead, they probably know who were the prime actors in this saga of class genocide. They are likely troubled by a range of  financial crimes from Madoff to Israeli banks evading US taxes, to the Israeli binary options companies that defraud American citizens. These universalist Jewish outcasts are often vocal critics of their people, their culture and their politics. They may denounce AIPAC and the ADL, Soros and even JVP for acting as the controlled opposition. The AJC’s statistics point to the possible existence of  a comic scenario in which 9 out of 10 Jews are intimidated by the 1 out of 10 Jews who speak out.

There is a less humorous, more serious interpretation of the  AJC’s findings. It is possible that the large number of Jews who worry about anti-Semitism indicates that Jews at large are aware of the worrying traits associated with their politics, culture, identity, lobbying and Israeli criminality.

Jews may feel that they are stained as a group by problematic characters such as Weisntein, Epstein and Maxwell. They may feel polluted by Israeli politics and the intensive Zionist lobbying that plunders billions of American taxpayers dollars every year. As the White House seems to turn its back on the Neocons’ immoral interventionism, some Jews may be discomfited by the fact that the Neocon war mongering doctrine has been largely a Jewish project. As Haartez writer Ari Shavit wrote back in 2003: “The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of them Jewish…” Maybe some Jews now understand that the Zionist shift from a ‘promised land’ to the Neocon ‘promised planet’ doesn’t reflect well on the Jews as a group.

I am trying to point out the possibility that the overwhelming fear of ‘anti-Semitism,’ documented however poorly by the AJC, might well be the  expression of guilt. American Jews may feel communal guilt over the disastrous politics and culture of some sections of their corrupted elite. They might even feel guilty as Americans about the brutal sacrifice of one of America’s prime values, that of  freedom of speech as guaranteed by the 1st Amendment, on the altar of  ‘antisemitsm.’ .

 Obviously, I would welcome AJC’s further investigation of this. It would be interesting to learn about the correlation between the Jewish fear of anti Semitsm and Jewish guilt. It would also be fascinating to find out how Jewish anxiety translates into self-reflection. In that regard, I suggest that instead of blaming the American people, Jews try introspection.  US Jews may want to follow the early Zionists, such as Theodor Herzl, who turned guilt into self-examination. Herzl was deeply disturbed by anti Semitism but this didn’t stop him from digging into its causes. “The wealthy Jews control the world, in their hands lies the fate of governments and nations,” Herzl wrote. He continued, “They set governments one against the other. When the wealthy Jews play, the nations and the rulers dance. One way or the other, they get rich.” Herzl, like other early Zionists, believed that Jews could be emancipated from their conditions and even be loved globally by means of a cultural, ideological and spiritual metamorphosis with the aspiration of ‘homecoming.’ Herzl and his fellow early Zionists were clearly wrong in their proposed remedy for the Jewish question, but were absolutely spot on in their adherence to self-reflection and harsh self-criticism.

American Jews have much to learn from Herzl and other early Zionists. They should  ask themselves how their American ‘Golden Medina’  their  Jewish land of opportunities, has turned into a ‘threatening’ realm. What happened, what has changed in the last few years? Was it the constant cries over  anti-Semitism and the desperate and institutional attempts to silence critics that turned their Golden Medina into a daunting space?

مناقشة هادئة لخطاب خالد حدادة الغاضب

أكتوبر 29, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– كتب الأمين العام السابق للحزب الشيوعي اللبناني خالد حدادة مقالاً نشره على صفحته على الفايسبوك، يناقش فيه المواقف التي أطلقها الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله، في إطلالته الأخيرة حول الحراك الشعبي والمخاطر والمخاوف والشعارات. ولغة حدادة القاسية الأقرب إلى نبرة القطيعة وليس الحوار، تستحق النقاش كما الحجج التي ساقها لتفسير موقفه، ليس فقط لكونها تعبّر بصورة غير رسمية عن مواقف تفسر اصطفاف الحزب الشيوعي اللبناني، وتفلسف هذا الاصطفاف، بل أيضاً لأنها الأشد جرأة ووضوحاً من بين همهمات في صفوف الكثير من اليساريين والوطنيين الذين يدعون حزب الله للانخراط في الحراك ودعمه والمشاركة في قيادته، ويأخذون عليه عدم ترجمة ما قاله من تقدير وتفهّم لأسباب الحراك ودوافعه بالانخراط فيه، بل بتغليب موقف التحفظ والحذر من الأفق الذي يرسمه الغموض في قيادة الحراك الفعلية، رغم طمأنة حدادة بأن كل شيء سيكون تحت السيطرة، لأن الفقراء في الشارع والمدافعين عن حقوقهم هم الذين سيحصنون الحراك كما حصنوا ويحصنون المقاومة .

– يبدأ حدادة مقالته بالقول إن خطاب السيد جاء تغليباً للبنية المذهبية للحزب، كشريك في نظام طائفي وأكثر من ذلك قدّمه السيد أمس، كحامٍ للنظام عبر إطلاق لاءاته الثلاث المناقضة لحس الناس ومطالبها: لا لإسقاط العهد، لا لاستقالة الحكومة، لا للانتخابات المبكرة . ويضيف باختصار وضع السيد خطاً أحمر هو النظام نفسه . وتناول حدادة مخاوف المقاومة من غموض القيادة والتمويل ودور السفارات والحاجة لتحصين الحراك بالقول للسيد بلغة التحدي هل فعلت أنت ما هو واجب لتحصين هذا الحراك الشعبي والوطني والمحقّ على حد تعبيرك؟ أعتقد أن خطابك بالأمس سيساهم في تقوية وزن ودور السفارات، في محاولة حرف التحرّك. نحن سنتصدّى لذلك، الفقراء في الشارع والمدافعون عن حقوقهم هم الذين سيحصّنون الحراك، كما حصّنوا ويحصنون المقاومة ، واصفاً دعوة السيد للحراك ببلورة قيادته وصولاً للتفاوض بالتحدّي قائلاً أنت تعرف يا سيد أن كل التحركات لا تبدأ بالتفاوض إلا مع البدء بالتنازلات من المسؤولين، سأطلب منك العودة الى مسار الثورة الإيرانية وليس ما سُمّي بالربيع العربي ، شارحاً خريطة الطريق التي يراها سبيلاً للحل بالقول مطالب الساحات واضحة، عدا عن الجانب المعيشي فإن الشارع، بعفويته، وضع مساراً مسؤولاً: استقالة الحكومة، تشكيل حكومة انتقالية موثوقة، إقرار سريع لخطوات إعادة المال المنهوب والأملاك العامة وسواها، إقرار قانون انتخاب جديد نحن نريده وطنياً خارج القيد الطائفي وعلى أساس النسبية ، إجراء انتخابات مبكرة ، مضيفاً ابدأوا بالخطوة الأولى عندها يصبح التفاوض مجدياً .

– مناقشة كلام حدادة لا تستقيم من الأعلى إلى الأسفل لأنه وضع النتائج في الأعلى وترك الأسفل للمقدّمات، فالقبول والرفض لاستنتاجاته وتقييمه لموقف السيد كحامٍ للنظام وللفساد، واعتباره أنه غلب البنية المذهبية للحزب كشريك في نظام طائفي، أو وصف دعوة السيد لتحصين الحراك بوجه تدخل السفارات بالتحدي واعتبار كلام السيد يخدم تعزيز نفوذ السفارات، سيتوقف على تفحّص ما عرضه حدادة من تصوّرات يمكن تلخيصها باعتباره أن توازن القوى في الحراك تحت السيطرة لصالح برنامج ينتهي بانتخابات مبكرة، وفقاً لنظام نسبي وخارج القيد الطائفي، وأن كل المطلوب من السلطة التي يشارك فيها حزب الله أن تنحني للحراك باستقالة الحكومة، وبعدها سيكون كل شيء قابلاً للذهاب نحو تحويل الحراك إلى ثورة. وهنا يعتقد حدادة أن دور حزب الله يجب أن يكون بالدفع لاستقالة الحكومة متخلياً عن دعوته لإسقاط العهد، بقوله، عند استقالة الحكومة يبدأ التفاوض، مستعيناً بالتشبيه بالثورة الإيرانية، لاعتقاده ربما بأن السيد لم يقرأ أو يطلع على تجارب الثورات الملوّنة التي شملت أغلب دول أوروبا الشرقية التي يعرفها السيد حدادة جيداً، ويعرف ما آلت إليه مع استقالة الحكومات، وأن حدود ثقافته السياسية تقف عند تجربة الثورة الإيرانية.

– المفصل إذن هو استقالة الحكومة، التي يثق حدادة ومعه آخرون أنها مفتاح الحلول، المفتاح الذي يدعون السيد نصرالله لاسترداده، وبهذه الاستقالة سيتولى الشعب ومعه المدافعون عن المقاومة الذين قاموا بتحصينها بتحصين الحراك ، فهل يبدو كلام حدادة دعوة لسيناريو قابل لسيطرة أم هو القفزة في المجهول التي تقف وراء الخشية والحذر اللذين طبعا كلام السيد، والتدقيق الذي هرب منه حدادة لا يمكن للسيد إغفاله، فلنفترض أن الحكومة استقالت اليوم، وبالتأكيد لا نظن أن حدادة يدعو لحكومة بديلة برئاسة الرئيس الحريري أو أي من رموز الطبقة الفاسدة كما يصفها، فهل لدى حدادة و الفقراء والمدافعون عن حقوقهم معه، الذين حصنوا المقاومة ويحصنونها، اسم لرئاسة الحكومة يناسب تحقيق الأهداف التي يسوقها باستسهال القدرة على حماية تحقيقها بموازين القوى الحاكمة للحراك، والتي تدخل فيها فعالية الحضور المنظم عبر أحزاب وجمعيات تملك مقدرات مالية وتنظيمية لا يمكلها حدادة و الفقراء والمدافعون عن حقوقهم ، ويتاح لها بقوة السفارات، التي يستخفّ حدادة بحضورها في الحراك، فرصٌ مستديمة للسيطرة على وسائل الإعلام الوازنة والفاعلة والمموّلة، والتي تكرس بثها لما هو أبعد من تغطية الحراك نحو الإمساك بدفته السياسية والتنظيمية ورسم خطواته. السؤال هو: ماذا سيحدث في اليوم التالي لاستقالة الحكومة، ولأن المنطقي أن الحراك الداعي للاستقالة سيتمسك بالدعوة للامتناع عن تسمية أي من رموز الطبقة الفاسدة لرئاسة الحكومة البديلة، أن تفشل الاستشارات النيابية بالخروج باسم مرشح يقبله الحراك، ويبقى أمام الفقراء والمدافعين عن حقوقهم والمقاومة التي يحصنها حدادة ويعد بتحصينها، ونحن نصدق صدق نياته هنا، خيار واحد، هو التساكن مع الحكومة المستقيلة كحكومة تصريف أعمال لا يمكن مطالبتها بشيء ولا مساءلتها على شيء، وعجز عن استيلاد حكومة جديدة، بل حتى تسمية رئيس للحكومة الجديدة، وتمضي أسابيع وشهور، ويبدأ التفاوض، نعم التفاوض، ولكن ليس مع حدادة ولا مع قيادة يبلورها الحراك، بل بين السفارات، على رمي اسم غامض يضمن الخارج تسويقه في وسط الحراك، بصفته من التكنوقراط والخبراء المشهود لهم بالكفاءة والنزاهة، ويخرج الحراك يحتفل بالنصر لبدء مسار حكومي جديد، يعوّمه الغرب والعرب مالياً، كما يقترح ديفيد أغناسيوس في مقالته في الواشنطن بوست تحت شعار منعاً لخسارة لبنان على طريقة خسارة سورية. ويبدأ شعار أولوية النهوض من الوضع المالي الصعب بالتسلل لفرض معادلة تحييد لبنان، تحت شعار النأي بالنفس، وبالتأكيد لا محاربة فساد ولا محاكمات ولا استعادة مال منهوب، والانتخابات المبكرة تصبح أحد اثنين، ذكرى جميلة أو انتخابات على القانون الحالي تعيد إنتاج المجلس الحالي مع حجز حصة للقوى التي سيطرت على الحراك، وليس للوطنيين واليسار حصة وافرة منه، بل للذين قادوا فعلياً وصاروا حزب رئيس الحكومة الجديد. فهل هذا هو المسار الشعبي والتغييري الذي يريد حدادة من السيد نصرالله فتح الطريق أمامه؟

– ربما لم يكن لدى حدادة الوقت ليتذكر أن الثورة الإيرانية كانت لها قيادة واضحة وبرنامج واضح وقائد مُجمَع عليه قبل أي بحث بكيف ومتى بدأت بالتفاوض، ولن يمانع السيد من التفاهم على اعتبار نموذج الثورة الإيرانية فيصلاً في بت الخلاف، بدعوته الواضحة لبلورة هذه القيادة والبرنامج. وليثق حدادة أن هذه هي بيضة القبان، وضوح القيادة والبرنامج وبعدها لن نختلف مع حدادة حول توقيت التفاوض قبل استقالة الحكومة أم بعدها، فبوجود الوضوح في القيادة والبرنامج تتغير أشياء كثيرة. وربما ايضاً لم يكن لدى حدادة الوقت للانتباه لمخاطر استقالة الحكومة في ظل غياب قيادة وبرنامج للحراك، ولا الوقت لفحص سيناريو آخر، هو البدء من رأس الدرج بشطفه وليس من أسفله، أي إلزام الحكومة والمجلس النيابي، بقوة الحراك وثقة حدادة بالقدرة على التحكم بضبط أدائه لمحاربة الفساد وإسقاط النظام الطائفي، بإصدار قوانين الانتخابات المنشود وقانون رفع الحصانات والسرية المصرفية عن كل من تولّى الشأن العام الموعود، وتحديد مرحلة انتقالية في هذه القوانين، التي تتشكل بنصوصها هيئات قضائية مستقلة للإشراف على تطبيقها. ووفق المرحلة الإنتقالية تصدر لوائح المتهمين بجرائم المال العام خلال ثلاثة شهور، وتتشكل حكومة من غير المرشحين بالتزامن، لتتم الانتخابات في نهاية المرحلة الانتقالية المحددة بستة شهور، لتنبثق الحكومة الجديدة من نتائج الانتخابات وفقاً للقواعد الدستورية، ويكون في المجلس الجديد وفق قانون الدائرة الواحدة والنسبية واللاطائفية فرصة تمثيل للقوى التي رسمت خريطة طريق نظيفة وواضحة للحراك، ومنها الشيوعيون واليسار، ويكون على حزب الله ومعه مَن يشاركه الرؤى في الحكومة ومجلس النواب كما وعد الضغط لضبط الإيقاع بالتناغم مع مطالب الحراك الواضحة بقيادته المعروفة لضمان السير بهذه الخطة، ويكون بقاء الحكومة الحالية كحكومة فعلية تسائل وتحاسب وتطالب بتنفيذ متتابع لبنود الخطة الإصلاحية وتصويب الخاطئ فيها، بدلاً من تصريف الأعمال الطويل بغياب أفق حكومة إنقاذ موعودة. فهل هذا السيناريو دفاع عن النظام الفاسد وتعبير عن بنية مذهبية غلبت روح المقاومة، وترسم خطاً أحمر حول النظام أم تضع خطوطاً حمراء حول مشروع غامض يُرشّ عليه بعض السكر الذي سرعان ما يزول بأول فركة يد، فيكشف لنا الخادم الحقيقي لتأبيد نظام الفساد بل تجديد شبابه بنسخة متوجة بشرعية شعبية تماماً كما فعل الربيع العربي.

– مشكلة بعض اليسار أنه يعيد في الحراك تكرار التجربة التي خاضها منذ التسعينيات بخروجه من المقاومة نحو سراب السلطة، والحديث عن منعه عن دوره فيها، ورمي مسؤولية تراجعه على حزب الله، لأنه يريد من حزب الله توظيف قوته في المقاومة لصناعة دور للآخرين في السلطة. وقد لا يُفهم الغضب والتحدي في نبرة حدادة إلا باعتباره ترجمة لهذا التكرار، الرهان على توظيف مكانة وقوة حزب الله لحجز مقعد فاعل في الحراك، لا يبدو أنه متاح اليوم، لكنه للأسف مقعد لا يخدم تحصين البلد والمقاومة ولا الحراك نفسه إذا بقي مصطفاً تحت شعار لم يكن له يد في رسمه. وما ورد في هذا النقاش ليس إلا دعوة للتفكير مجدداً ليضع اليسار والشيوعيون في مقدمتهم خريطة طريق موصلة للأهداف التي نثق بإخلاصه لها، ويقود حواراً مع شركائه في الخيارات المناوئة للهيمنة الأميركية والعدوانية الصهيونية، وصولاً لتفاهمات تتوزع فيها الأدوار كل من موقعه بدلاً من لغة الأحكام الظالمة، والتهم اللتي تصير افتراء، تترجمها نبرة التحدي والغضب، التي لن توصل إلى مكان ولا تقدّم شيئاً للبلد والحراك والمقاومة.

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Russian Defense Ministry publishes evidence of US oil smuggling from Syria

October 27, 2019

Translated by Leo, bold and italics added for emphasis.

Source: https://ria.ru/20191026/1560247607.html

Image 1: Situation in the Syrian Arab Republic as of October 26, 2019.

MOSCOW, October 26, 2019 – RIA Novosti – The Russian Ministry of Defense has published satellite intelligence images, showing American oil smuggling from Syria.

According to the ministry, the photos confirm that “Syrian oil, both before and after the routing defeat of the Islamic State terrorists in land beyond the Euphrates river, under the reliable protection by US military servicemen, oil was actively being extracted and then the fuel trucks were massively being sent for processing outside of Syria.”

Image 2: Daman oil gathering station, Syria, Deir ez-Zor province, 42 km east of Deir ez-Zor, August 23, 2019.

Here, in a picture of the Daman oil gathering station (42 kilometers east of the Deir-ez-Zor province), taken on August 23, a large amount of trucks were spotted. “There were 90 automotive vehicles, including 23 fuel trucks,” the caption to the image said.

In addition, on September 5, there were 25 vehicles in the Al-Hasakah province, including 22 fuel trucks. Three days later, on September 8, in the vicinity of Der Ez-Zor, 36 more vehicles were recorded (32 of them were fuel trucks). On the same day, 41 vehicles, including 34 fuel trucks, were in the Mayadin onshore area.

Image 3: Gathering of vehicles in Syria, Al-Hasakah province, 8 km west of Al-Shaddadi, September 5, 2019.

As the official representative of the Defense Ministry Igor Konashenkov noted, the Americans are extracting oil in Syria with the help of equipment, bypassing their own sanctions.

Igor Konashenkov: “Under the protection of American military servicemen and employees of American PMCs, fuel trucks from the oil fields of Eastern Syria are smuggling to other states. In the event of any attack on such a caravan, special operations forces and US military aircraft are immediately called in to protect it,” he said.

According to Konashenkov, the US-controlled company Sadcab, established under the so-called Autonomous Administration of Eastern Syria, is engaged in the export of oil, and the income of smuggling goes to the personal accounts of US PMCs and special forces.

The Major General added that as of right now, a barrel of smuggled Syrian oil is valued at $38, therefore the monthly revenue of US governmental agencies exceeds $30 million.

Image 4: Gathering of vehicles in Syria, Deir ez-Zor province, 10 km east of Mayadin, September 8, 2019.

“For such a continuous financial flow, free from control and taxes of the American government, the leadership of the Pentagon and Langley will be ready to guard and defend oil fields in Syria from the mythical ‘hidden IS cells’ endlessly,” he said.

According to Konashenkov, Washington, by holding oil fields in eastern Syria, is engaged in international state banditry.

The reason for this activity, he believes, “lies far from the ideals of freedom proclaimed by Washington and their slogans on the fight against terrorism.”

Image 5: Gathering of vehicles in Syria, Deir ez-Zor province, 14 km east of Mayadin, September 8, 2019.

Igor Konashenkov: “Neither in international law, nor in American legislation itself – there is not and cannot be a single legal task for the American troops to protect and defend the hydrocarbon deposits of Syria from Syria itself and its own people,” the representative of the Defense Ministry concluded.

A day earlier, the Pentagon’s head, Mark Esper declared that the United States is studying the situation in the Deir ez-Zor region and intends to strengthen its positions there in the near future “to ensure the safety of oil fields.”

 

Bernie Sanders Slams Netanyahu’s Government as Racist, Urges US to ’Leverage’ Aid to ‘Israel’

Bernie Sanders Slams Netanyahu’s Government as Racist, Urges US to ’Leverage’ Aid to ‘Israel’

By Staff, Agencies

US Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said on Monday that as president he would get the Zionist entity to roll back West Bank settlement building and enter peace negotiations with the Palestinians by leveraging billions of dollars in US military aid.       

Speaking at the annual J Street national conference, the longtime lawmaker also suggested that a portion of the $3.8 billion in annual US military assistance designated for the occupation entity should go toward humanitarian relief in Gaza, calling it a “radical intercession.”

“I would use the leverage of $3.8 billion,” Sanders said at the conference. “It is a lot of money, and we cannot give it carte blanche to the ‘Israeli’ government, or for that matter to any government at all. We have a right to demand respect for human rights and democracy.”

In 2016, the Obama administration brokered with the Zionist entity a memorandum of understanding worth an estimated $38 billion dollars over 10 years.

Sanders, who would be the first Jewish president, called the current situation in Gaza “inhumane,” adding that the ‘Israeli’ regime has a responsibility to help alleviate some of the suffering the residents of the coastal enclave have to endure.

Sanders also took aim at Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, painting him as an unscrupulous politician who thrives on fomenting division.

“Let me underline this because it will be misunderstood — it is not anti-Semitism to say that the Netanyahu government has been racist. It is a fact,” he stressed.

‘Israel’ Planning a US-backed ‘Historic Deal’ with Gulf States

‘Israel’ Planning a US-backed ‘Historic Deal’ with Gulf States

By Staff

In the course of warming up ties with Arab countries, namely Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates [UAE], ‘Israeli’ entity’s foreign minister Yisrael Katz asked Secretary of US Treasury Steven Mnuchin to support the Zionist entity’s economy to build economic ties with the Gulf states.

According to a tweet posted Tuesday on “Israel” Arabic Twitter account, Katz said: “Amid Iran’s threats, and the coalition between the US and ‘Israel’ with the Gulf states, there is a historic chance taking shape and we mustn’t lose. The goal is to sign a no fighting deal.”

Katz himself offered in the beginning of October an initiative to ratify a deal with the Gulf countries, to boost ties with them and enhance the normalization that started to emerge lately.

The initiative claims that it will seek “developing friendly ties between both sides, and boosting them according to the rules of the United Nations Charter and the principles of the international law, as well as ‘taking necessary and effective measures’ to guarantee never taking any step related to threatening with war, hostility, vandalism, violence or provoking against each other.

The initiative also states that no party of the deal [the Zionist entity or the Gulf states] join a coalition, organization or alliance with any third party that would have a military or security aspect, neither promote or help them.

The Gulf ties with the Zionist entity have been recently warming up, in which Saudi Arabia crowned its normalization with the ‘Israeli’ entity by mutual visits, deals and military agreements, atop of which was Riyadh’s buying the ‘Iron Dome’ system from Tel Aviv.

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on Recent Developments Regarding Lebanon Protests, October 25th, 2019

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on Recent Developments Regarding Lebanon Protests, October 25th, 2019

Translated by Staff – Hezbollah Media Relations

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s speech on recent developments in Lebanon on 25-10-2019.

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon our Master and Prophet, the Seal of the Prophets, Abi al-Qassem Muhammad Bin Abdullah and his good and pure household and his good and chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers. 

Peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you all.

Today, our homeland is going through a sensitive and critical situation, requiring us to speak responsibly and calmly.

This speech is not addressing any particular occasion or gathering. So there is no need to raise my voice. It also helps to speak calmly and accurately.

I will start with a very brief reminder about the position Hezbollah articulated last Saturday. Then I will offer an assessment about the positives of what has happened so far.

I will not stop at the negatives. I will talk about solutions as well as diagnose the nature of what is going on and point to some dangers. I will conclude with a clear position that I want to direct at the people and specifically and particularly at the supporters of the resistance.

On Saturday, a few days after the launch of the popular movement – I will call it the popular movement – I said that this is a popular movement that we respect. It is spontaneous, sincere, transcends sects and regions and expresses the people’s pain, woes and concerns. It is not subjugated to any party and embassy.

I can say that I respect the movement and the people who took to the streets more than any other person. I told them that we respect you, appreciate you, and more than that we understand you and applaud what you have done and the excellent results you achieved.

I also explained that Hezbollah cannot participate in this movement because if Hezbollah participates, its color will be clearly visible in all arenas and the movement will take another course. It will have a political dimension and will be linked to regional issues, regional conflicts and the likes.

It is in the interest of the movement to stay away from us and the parties. I also said that you can take to the street because you do not belong to any particular side, and are a variety of popular bodies. You can stay for a day, two, three, a week. Whether you fulfilled all your objectives or some of them, you can leave whenever you please. But if Hezbollah took to the streets, it cannot leave before achieving its goals.

Let me start with this clarification because throughout the rest of my speech I will be very careful with what I say due to some demons.

From the first day, some tried to say that Sayyed and the party threatened the demonstrators. Gulf and other foreign media outlets and some domestic ones exploited the allegations. There are some people who did not even hear the speech. I believe my text was clear. We cannot go down with you because if we do, if the day comes that we have to take to the streets to call for the same demands and goals, we will protest against the authorities and not the demonstrators.

In any case, I also wished that the demonstrators who share the brotherly position would avoid insults and cursing, vandalizing public and private property, and clashing with the army and security forces in order for your movement to succeed. We also asked the army and the security forces to tolerate the people. The most important point was that I wished you not allow political parties and factions to ride the wave of the movement and take it to another place that contradicts your goals, your pain, your aches and your real aspirations. This all happened on Saturday, of course, with other additions that do not need to be repeated.

From here I would like to move down the talking points:

The first point:

The positive achievements. Let us be fair. In the end, whatever happens in the country, must be employed for the benefit of the whole country and the entire Lebanese nation.

What happened in the past few days in general brought about great achievements, especially at the beginning of the movement. Unfortunately, these positive achievements were not explained to the people or even to the demonstrators, not even by those who claim to be leading the demonstrators.

I will try to quickly shed some light on some of these positives in order to use them as a foundation. These positive achievements must be used as a foundation and should not be forsaken. They must be preserved because they were created by the people as they protested night and day. These people disrupted their work and daily lives. They bore the sun and rain. Therefore, it is everyone’s responsibility to preserve the positive achievements that the popular movement recorded thus far, which serve everyone’s interests.

1-    The movement managed to force the Lebanese government to agree on a budget free of taxes and fees and a deficit of zero point something. This is the first time in decades that Lebanon has a budget without taxes and fees. For the most part, there is nothing like this as far as I know.

There has been a budget deficit for many years. I will not hide this from you, but discussions that used to take place within the government regarding budgets that included taxes and fees were extensive.

Today the movement forced the government to release a budget without taxes and fees. This is not a small achievement. This is very important and very sizable.

Political factions joining the budget debate have always dreamed of reaching such an outcome.

This, of course, has repercussions for all people. The taxes and the value added tax – even on some amenities or on fuel, which was raised – would have affected every home and every family in Lebanon.

2-    Due to the pressure of the popular movement, the reforms paper that the prime minister announced a few days ago was released.  This reform paper is very important and unprecedented. It includes highly important demands. It is true that it falls short of expectations, hopes and ambitions. But it is the first advanced step.

Unfortunately, those who label themselves as being concerned with leading the movement, some media outlets and even some who present themselves as objective analysts and I respect them, absurdly ridiculed this paper. I cannot recall that this number of decisions and directions with timetables have been reached in one session and under the leadership of any Lebanese government, at any time.

Why would it be ridiculed? This is an achievement for the movement, and you are ridiculing it! There are some who consider themselves to be spokespersons for the popular movement or who lead the popular movement. These people are ridiculing the achievements of the popular movement. This by the way makes us suspicious.

No one in the whole world ridicules their achievements, not a popular revolution, not protesters and not even a resistance movement. On the contrary, they try to highlight their achievements to boost people’s morale so that they would remain on their path and give rise to a clear horizon and hope. But ridiculing the achievements in this way is not right.

This reform paper, I would like to tell the people, is not mere promises. Matters that relate to the government itself include decisions with timetables set for their implementation. Matters that  need to be approved by parliament are considered bills that are to be sent to the parliament also in accordance with certain timetables.

One of the most important subjects that was raised was the law of the stolen asset recovery, which is a priority and which they are working on day and night.

Recovery of stolen assets: A set of decisions have been taken. A set of bills have been prepared and will be sent to the parliament.

I would like to tell you as Hezbollah and in cooperation with all the serious people, who will later express their positions – today I do not want to speak on behalf of anyone, never, I want to speak only on behalf of Hezbollah – this reform paper is for implementation. It is not ink on paper and will not be ink on paper. We and the rest of the serious people will not allow procrastination in the implementation of these decisions. This must be decisive. This has nothing to do with you staying on the streets or leaving. This is our responsibility, and later I will talk about an important positive achievement recorded by the movement.

Some of the results are: The movement forced government officials to start implementing what they promised and to engage in intensive sessions. Until now, they are discussing the draft law to recover stolen assets, the draft law on tax noncompliance and tax evasion, and the completion of bills related to the fight against corruption. And there is something that I will talk about shortly. All the parties in the government are determined to undertake a great effort to meet and implement its decisions within the specified deadlines.

3-    One of the positive achievements recorded includes the raising of awareness among officials in the government. What does it mean to raise awareness?  There is an atmosphere in the country where authorities, current officials and future officials who may come to power believe that they can do whatever they want, decide to do what they want with funds and taxes, continue with wasting of funds, corruption, failure and shortcomings and no one will hold them accountable. By the way, the last election was free and fair, and the whole world witnessed that it was free and fair. The electoral law was the best one ever applied. Yet these elections brought back the same factions, the same authorities and same officials. I am not judging them. I am only describing the reality.

There was a perception among officials that they can do what they want. However, the movement raised their awareness. And now the Lebanese people, for a moment in a movement that transcended sects and regions raised their voices in everyone’s face. This is a very important achievement. It will have great effects on the performance of officials in the next stage. And I am already seeing this clearly.

The second achievement has to do with the people. People are becoming confident again. The sectarian, regional and political divisions that plague the country led people to believe that there was no chance to launch a popular movement that transcends sects and regions. This latest experience restored the self-confidence of the Lebanese people and made them believe that the way they took to the streets today, they can do so again after a month, two months or after a year. This experience can be used as a foundation. And as I have said, it brought back hope and people’s confidence in themselves.

The next point: The movement also gave people an opportunity to speak freely. Put the insults aside, which are the negative aspects of this movement. Of course, some of the insults came out spontaneously, and others were directed. I have information and data on circulars issued by some forces asking the people to curse and insult so and so. However, there are people who were spontaneous. Apart from this negative aspect, the movement gave the people the chance to speak about their pains and aches in their own way using their own expressions, language and terminologies. This is what we should consider in the future when we want to sit down and decide on the goals of the movement that should be fulfilled. We should see the ordinary people, the poor, college students, the unemployed, who want to work, etc. We should gather everything these people said and say these are the goals of the movement. These goals are essentially socioeconomic demands. They stem from the people’s pains and poverty. They are talking about health, job opportunities, the environment and equality. They are talking about all these issues that we are hearing about directly across all regions and that are being expressed in different ways. There must be sincerity in order to achieve these goals. The positive achievement is that people from across all regions, have expressed these goals without fear and without barriers.
Among the other positive achievements but not the last is that the movement created an excellent climate in the country that opens the door for political factions that are serious about combating corruption and waste, working for reform, addressing economic and living conditions. This climate will make these factions, whether they are in the government today or might be in the government later, even more serious, bolder, more capable and ready to undertake more initiatives. Among those serious parties is Hezbollah.

Certainly, we took into consideration a range of complexities and difficulties when we acted in previous stages. This is not a secret to anyone. This climate will open the door for everyone who is serious and sincere. Now, everyone says that they want to fight corruption. They want to stop waste, and they want to serve the people. Well, go on. This climate will open this door. In addition to the reform paper, I would like to take this and use it as a foundation.

The reform or economic paper is a first step on the path that should be followed. There are proposals for laws in the parliament. My information says that the parliament will activate itself to approve these laws. Along with other political factions, we will push to speed up the endorsement of the stolen asset recovery law, anti-corruption laws, lifting of bank secrecy laws as well as constitutional and legal immunities for all civil servants so the judiciary would face no obstacles or complications to hold them accountable. We will also exert pressure to release the hand of the judiciary. This judiciary has to be fair and just. It should not act on reprisals and being selective. It should open all files related to corruption. Let the people hold accountable every politician, religious cleric, religious or political authority involved in cover ups. We are capable of heading towards this stage. There should also be more discussions, cooperation and dialogue to move the economy forward. There are prospects for some of the things I mentioned that could take place in the country as a result of some developments in the region. There is something in the reform paper that was endorsed that will definitely boost the economic situation.

I would like to conclude this part on a positive note. Yesterday, His Excellency the President opened the door to the popular movement. He called on them to engage in dialogue. I noticed direct distortion of his speech by some media outlets. The president did not say ‘I did not hear your demands and I want to hear your demands.’ The President said I want to hear your demands and concerns, and you hear our demands and concerns. Let us discuss. The media edited his words as usual. Today, His Excellency the President opened the door for dialogue and negotiations. I will get back to this point later. He opened the door for discussing a number of points. He did not limit the points that he wanted to discuss or negotiate on. No, on the contrary. Today, he is the head of the authorities, the custodian of the constitution and the first official in the country. If people cannot talk to him and negotiate with him, what do they do? What are they heading towards? We will also get back to this in a bit.

The second point: When we talk about the current situation, all of us should be looking for solutions. I want to be clear. To the people, political forces and everyone concerned, I offer advice and speak from a position of responsibility: any solution must be based on the principle of not falling into a vacuum, both within state institutions and government. Why? Because it is very dangerous. The vacuum that some people are calling for is dangerous. I will come back to this in a bit.

In light of the current difficult economic situation and financial crisis, a vacuum will lead to chaos. I am not concerned about the people with millions of dollars and hundreds of millions of dollars who are taking part in the movement. Those people do not know the meaning of hunger and pain. They do not know what it means not to be able to check your son into a hospital. They do not understand all these pains and aches that the people are talking about.

In light of the difficult financial and economic situation, the existing political tensions in the country and the region and in light of what might appear to be targeting from a regional and international level, a vacuum will lead to chaos. A vacuum will lead to collapse. After a while, if the country carries on like this, will it be able to pay pensions? A time might come when even the army, which is now being used as a security guard and a basis for preserving the unity of the country and civil peace, will not be able to get their salaries. A time might come when they won’t have money to eat. This is what will happen if we carry on like this and become consumed by a vacuum, chaos and tensions. The country is beginning to lose control. This means that the country may sink into chaos and insecurity. God forbid that there might be someone preparing for a civil war similar to what they did in a number of countries and neighboring states. So, I want to be careful and clear. We are open to any discussions, discussions with the President but not on the basis of any form of vacuum. A vacuum will be fatal.

On Saturday, I announced our position regarding your demand to overthrow the government and the Promise [the Lebanese President], early parliamentary elections which means the overthrow of the parliament. Some people also called for the resignation of ministers and deputies. They called on everyone to resign. This means heading towards a vacuum. So, our answer was that we do not accept the overthrow of the Promise, and we do not support the resignation of the government. Due to these circumstances, we do not accept early parliamentary elections because this is a complicated issue. Simply put, if one wants to be honest and transparent and cunning in politics, he would tell you that we agree on early political elections. You in the movement elect your representatives, come up with an electoral law and present it to us. We will transparently agree on it. Would you be able to agree on an electoral law? This is our country, and we know each other. Some want Lebanon as one constituency. Do you all want that? Some want the proportional representation system and others the majority system. Some want a sectarian electoral law. And others don’t. Others want the Orthodox law. We do not want to laugh at each other, and we do not want to waste time. When I said this, of course some people came out and accused us of protecting the authorities. There are failures and those who are corrupt. No, we are protecting the country from a vacuum, which will lead to chaos and collapse. We are looking to the distant future. Our religion, morality and our responsibility orders us to protect our people. We protect them through the resistance. That is where we pay taxes; blood, martyrs, children, dear brothers, men, women and children in massacres, money being lost, homes destroyed over our heads. All to free our land, all of Lebanon and not just the land of our supporters and people.

Also, in politics related to internal affairs. We are responsible for protecting the country. Now, we are paying taxes when we are being insulted and accused of defending failures and the corrupt. We are being accused of being against rightful demands. We are definitely not like that because these are also our demands. We are prepared to pay this tax. It is easier to pay this tax than the tax of blood. There are people who are ready to give their blood and dignity. We are ready to give our blood and dignity to protect our country and people. Hence, the main point is that any solution should not head towards a vacuum. Someone might say and it has been said before – some people I still consider as respected writers who present themselves as objective – said that Hezbollah should not say ‘we want to avoid a vacuum when they disrupted the country for two years and a half until President Michel Aoun was elected’. This is a wrong and unjust comparison. We did not take the country into a vacuum.

During the two and a half years, there was a government that was working and acting as the president. There was an existing parliament. All the roads were open. Factories, universities, schools and hospitals were working. Nobody was being humiliated on the roads. The farmers, construction work, commercial and passenger traffic were all working. Nothing was disrupted. The only thing missing was in Baabda Palace. There should have been a president there. He should have regained the powers given to him by the constitution. This did not exist. But his powers were at the government’s disposal. It is incorrect to say that we imposed a vacuum on the country for two and a half years. Yes, we disrupted the presidential elections. That is true. But this is completely different. This comparison is absolutely inaccurate.

I will continue and say, yesterday the President opened the door to the protesters. He asked them to select a leadership or delegates to represent them in case they did not have a leadership, or it was unclear. If you cannot choose one leadership, do what every protest in the world does. Every square chooses its leadership. There are platforms, squares and movements in various areas. Choose your representatives and agree on the demands that are consistent with the demands of the people and not with the whims of the political factions. Then go to the President and discus and negotiate with him. This does not mean that you leave the squares. No, never! Stay in the squares and negotiate using pressure from the people and the demonstration. There is no problem in this regard. This is if we continue to speak about the positive achievements. No one is suggesting negotiations so that people withdraw from the protests. No, people can go to their home or protest every day. There is no problem in this regard.

Up to this point we are still talking about the positive achievements recorded by the movement. This is the horizon. And this is our assessment and solution to what is happening. In this way, they can go to the negotiating table and state their position regarding the government, the economic situation, the protesters’ demands and whatever they want. Protesters should not allow anyone to politicize the movement.

The next point is cutting off roads. Let us also keep the country moving in a positive direction. I am not debating the principle. We recognize that blocking roads is a means of civil protest. Civil disobedience movements and protests usually resort to this means. In the past we blocked off roads. Yes, we blocked off roads to achieve demands. Maybe in the future, we cut off roads to fulfill righteous demands. I am not discussing the principle but the timing. After 9 days of blocking roads and now we are nearing the end of the month – the financial, economic and living situation – you heard the pain of the people. Today, people are saying that ‘the day I don’t work, I don’t have money to feed my children.’ You have prevented people from going to work for nine days. Not the protesters, regardless of their great numbers. You are locking the rest of the people who are not in the squares in their homes in all areas. You are denying them from food and work during this difficult living situation. It is impacting the overall economic situation, and there is something more serious than this.

What is happening today on some roads are roadblocks being set up. So far, they are unarmed. There are young people who are ready to beat, insult, curse and humiliate people. What is taking place on the roads is that people who want to pass with their cars are being insulted, cursed and humiliated. You can watch these on television. I am not accusing anyone. What is even more dangerous is asking people for their identification cards. What does this remind the Lebanese of? If the young people and the new generation do not remember, let them ask their parents what it means to start asking people for identification cards at roadblocks and checkpoints! Some streets turned into checkpoints where people are blackmailed. If a sick person wants to go to the hospital, I’ll open the road for you if you pay $50 or 100,000 L.L. A traveler wants to get to the airport, give me $100 and I will drive you there with my car. What do you call this? Civil disobedience? A protest movement? Honestly, I don’t want to hold anyone responsible. I am just saying. Go and conduct an opinion poll as you say you respect the popular base. If 50% of the popular will in Lebanon wants – I will not say 60% or 70% – to leave the roads closed, then leave them closed. But today the people want to open roads. I appeal to the protesters. Please, these people are your people. And this is your country. You are defending the poor, and you are the poor. Your demands are righteous. You have pains and aches, and you understand the pains and aches of others.

Take the initiative and open the roads. No one is suggesting that you leave the squares and arenas. On the contrary, double your numbers in the squares and arenas. Double the crowds and demonstrations. There is no problem. Even on the highway. Take part of the highway and leave the other part for the people to pass. Now who is responsible? Regarding this issue, I will not hold anyone responsible today. But I want to politely, lovingly and in a brotherly manner appeal to the people, the demonstrators and those who are blocking the roads to open the roads to the people so they can go about with their work, schools and universities and reach the hospitals. In any case, in the afternoon and at night, when they return from their work, schools and universities and go to demonstrate and protest and negotiate. There is no problem in this matter.

It is my duty to highlight another important point. Some people are create a certain atmosphere in the country by suggesting that someone in power or some political factions are pushing the army to clash with the demonstrators and to open fire at them. This is a lie. It is misleading and provocations. It is absolutely not true. The army is not required to disperse demonstrators and protesters in the squares. It is only required to protect them only. There was an army commander, as I recall in 2005, when the events in Lebanon took place in Martyrs’ Square. The protesters’ demands were not social. It was rather a huge political project. We all remember. He sent me and others, telling that there is someone asking him to disperse the protesters using force even if that led to shooting at them. You in Hezbollah, what do you think? We told him we absolutely reject that. Regardless of our assessment of this demonstration and this political project that was demonstrating in Martyrs’ Square, we rejected it. We know what it means to open fire at protesters because we came under fire in September 1993. Some of us were martyred and wounded. We were also shot at in Hay el-Sellom neighborhood. Unfortunately, under the same army commander who I spoke about, he shot at the youth and the people in al-Mshrafiya. They were calling for social demands. I am not demanding that their hand be firm in other places. The Lebanese army and the security forces must not fire at anyone.

This is a baseless accusation. Yes, it is the responsibility of the state if there is an attack on public property, blocking roads, attacks on people, roadblocks asking for identification. The state knows its responsibilities. I do not want to show them their responsibilities or hold them responsible. They know their responsibilities.

The next topic. We will talk about to the objectivity of the current movement. On Saturday, I said that this movement could be used as a basis. I would like to modify that. What started out as a popular, spontaneous, non-partisan movement made up of hardworking poor people and that was not exploited by embassies, is to a great percentage not like that anymore. I am not saying 100%. Today this movement with its daily activities, slogans and positions is no longer a popular and spontaneous movement. Let the young people who are going to the squares and arenas and taking part in the protests. I do not want to ask anything from them. As for the supporters of the resistance, I will talk to them in the end.

Today the movement is led by certain well-known parties, and I do not want to name them. The movement is being led by well-known political forces, different and well-known groups and figures. There are also certain people and institutions leading it. I will talk about this point in details in a bit. There is management, coordination and funding. No one should pretend that there is no funding. If you wanted to celebrate for three hours, you will need money. This is obvious. We have demonstrated, taken to the streets and protested in the squares. We know that in order to stay in the squares and arenas, you need to provide food, drink, medicine, media coverage, sound systems and phones. All this needs money. Do you agree that this is coming from the poor people? Of course not. There are certain parties that are funding. Who are they? I am not accusing anyone. But I hope from those who consider themselves to be leaders in the protest movement, let them explain to us just as they are requesting transparency. Huge sums of money are being spent in some squares. There are some poor squares. But there are other squares where we have lavish spending and very excellent opportunities.

So, go tell the people clearly that we have a funder X from country X or from embassy X or this rich person X or this institution X to see whether these people and embassies of countries who are spending money care for the interests of the Lebanese people. These wealthy people who are spending the money, this money which they have is it from corruption and suspicious deals or is it clean money? This poses a question at least, and I do not want to go into details today. But when it comes to funding, of course we have a big question. So, where is this money coming from? We as Hezbollah, when we organize any activity, I frankly say where the money comes from. I’m not shy, and I do not hide it. And some people condemn. This is not a problem. Tell us where this money came from. The demands that are being referred today are no longer the demands of the good-hearted people, the people who took to the streets spontaneously. Now we are hearing about toppling the regime. What does it mean toppling the regime in Lebanon? In Lebanon, do we have a regime like we have in other countries of the world? Anyway, toppling the regime, toppling the Confessional system is great. If this popular movement wants to topple the confessional system and end political sectarianism, we will be the first to stand with you.

Please come, sit down and put together peaceful, constitutional mechanisms to achieve this goal. But the people didn’t take to the streets for this purpose or to remove the government. Do people indeed what power vacuum?

If you asked people on the streets, do you want power vacuum? They would say no. We want to eat. We want to live. We want medicine. We want job opportunities. We want a clean environment. We don’t want anyone to humiliate us. We want a fair and just judiciary. We want security, stability and social justice. These are the demands. Then we have one of the main parties in the movement which is preparing a document and promoting it. The document is a request to the UN Security Council to place Lebanon under Chapter VII. Is this the demands of the protesters and the people protesting in the squares and arenas?

So, they took the demands to another place, reaching up to using some of the squares to describe the resistance as terrorists and to also take aim at the resistance’s weapons. Regardless of whether these demands are rightful or not, these are not the demands which were expressed by the people. All TV stations have archives. Let them go back to the archives of the spontaneous people and take a look at what their demands were. Did they put together a mechanism to achieve their demands? Did anyone discuss with them? Or were there people inciting them and pushing them into a kind of impulsive and collective emotional state.

Today, we have a movement where we have political factions and political parties and gatherings which are taking advantage of a popular wave to achieve goals. These goals differ from one group to another. I wanted to say this in order to refer to the next point. Now, a question to the protesters who have been on the street for nine days, don’t you want to achieve your goals? Yes. Is staying on the streets alone without doing anything else achieve the goals? Maybe it does, and maybe it doesn’t. Maybe it does, but it takes time. We protested in the Martyrs’ Square and Riad al-Solh before. At that time maybe people thought we were weak because we didn’t block roads. It is fine. We stayed for one week, two weeks, one year. In the end, we didn’t go to talks. Others closed their ears. They continued on the same path without caring about the country, and nothing happened. Today protesting by itself is not enough. It needs something else. This something else includes two parts. The first, are those in power ready to negotiate? Yes, they are. The second is you have to go and negotiate. Hasn’t the time come for this movement to appoint a leadership? Where is this leadership? Now, the people would use popular terms and say we are all the leaders in the movement. It’s OK you can say it when you are excited at the beginning. But when it comes to solutions, this is a mistake. The protesters, in anyway, in order to achieve their goals must decide who represents them so they would negotiate with those in power the goals they want to achieve.

Why don’t you appoint leaders? Is there a real leadership for the movement? I say to you yes. It is not visible. It is unclear and not announced. Why don’t they announce themselves? There are many different reasons why. I don’t want to talk about the reasons in order not to waste your time. They should say why. However, I know who the leadership of the protest movement is. There is not one leadership. There are parties, different gatherings and different figures. And we have people, individuals. Now, they assume themselves to be the leaders of the protests and the people to be the protesters. If I want to designate them because it is the duty of the protesters to know who they are following. When they are told to go down to protest, when they all told to block roads, when they are told to respond to the economic reforms paper or when they are told to respond to the initiative of His Excellency the President, are the people only responding by themselves or is there someone directing them from a political and administrative position and by the media? Of course, it is the second. It is not analysis. It is our information.

Now, for those groups who consider themselves to be leading the protesters – I’m going to be fair, the protesters have to know who is leading their movement. The people are the ones who make the effort, get tired, stand on the streets under the sun and in the rain. There is a group of people, which I know personally. They are nationalist people, clean, loyal and sincere. And they truly share the concerns of the people. Now, there is a lot of discussion regarding the percentage of this group and the impact it has on the movement. What this group claims and what is actually the case are debatable. There is another group which is made up of different well-known political parties. Some of them were in power and then stepped down. And some of them have been in power for decades. They have a history, their own projects, speeches, a past, external and internal links, etc.

There is a group that is represented by different gatherings and new political entities which have been formed recently. They participated in the parliamentary elections. They spent large sums of money in the recent parliamentary elections. Even though the proportional representation law was used, it secured a modest number of seats in Parliament. There is another group which includes individuals who are certainly linked to foreign embassies and foreign intelligence agencies. And here, the most important thing I want to say to you is that there are individuals and certain parties who consider themselves to be funding the movement and managing it. They are corrupt and actually some of the most corrupt individuals. Some who present themselves as people who want to fight corruption accuse me and Hezbollah of being corrupt. And they are the most corrupt people. Their files are in the judiciary. Some who are in the current political power who I am accused of defending are lawyers in the Lebanese judiciary. I don’t want to name them. They are now present among the leaders of the popular movement. There are people who have a political vendetta. Others are looking to settle political scores.
There are some who are looking for a popular position as a prelude to future elections. I have all the names of these groups, but there is not much time to name them. I just liked to raise this question not because I want to raise doubts. No, I want to tell the people that when you go to the squares with your pains and aches, you should see who you are entrusting your tears, pains, cries and everything you have accomplished and worked hard for. The demonstrators are the first concerned side to know who these people are or if these people are going to exploit the movement for personal or partisan goals. What are the guarantees that these people will not take the movement to serve foreign political projects? What are the guarantees? So far, I am not accusing anyone. I am asking for guarantees because there are fears and doubts.

I would like to address the protesters. When you accept the leaders of the movement, some of which do not have the audacity to announce his person, when you say that you want to fight corruption, failure and dereliction and accuse people of failing and corruption, do you want to replace a failure with another failure, a corrupt with another corrupt? There is no such thing in the world. Popular revolutions and popular protest movements have always presented clear leadership and alternatives. Then, the people check the alternative. If they find that it is fair, clean, patriotic and sincere, not associated with embassies, competent and able to provide better management and can help people to address their issues, has lived the people’s lives and an emperor who lives the emperor life, then the people would decide that this is our alternative. We are ready to protest all the way because our alternative is ready. We are not going to a vacuum, and we do not want to replace those we consider corrupt with who are absolutely corrupt. This is my question. This is a brotherly talk with you, with the demonstrators, with the people in the squares. And after that, say what you want. There is no problem.

I take great responsibility no matter what its burden and requirements are. I am ready for it. I also invite and suggest to those who consider themselves to be leaders in the movement to take the initiative now and to go to the Lebanese judiciary and see if they have files there or not. They should declare their readiness to go to the Lebanese judiciary if anyone accuses them of corruption and not to run away. There are rumors. Why are blocking roads? Because the officials want to escape. Why are you cutting off the airport road? Because they want to escape from the airport road. Do you want to insult people’s intelligence in this manner and with these absurdities? Reveal your true faces. If you are a party, say that you are a party. This is our president. These are our ministers and our deputies. Whoever is accusing us of corruption should come forward. And I’m ready to send them to the judiciary. Reveal. You are asking the ministers and the deputies to lift bank secrecy laws. Then lift the bank secrecy laws on yourselves. You are introducing yourselves as an alternative and that you don’t want to take the country into a vacuum, tell the people how much money you have. And if you have money and God has blessed you, tell the people where you got that money from. This is how we offer a decent alternative to which people pin their hopes on and their aspirations are fulfilled.

Then, we say yes there is a movement and there is a worthy, qualified and efficient leadership that can carry out reforms, fight corruption, end waste, imprison the corrupt, change the face of the country and take the economy out of the calamities it is in. If there is an alternative that is neither sectarian nor biased to a region and wants to work with a national mind and spirit, we are all ready to pledge allegiance to it. Present us with this alternative.

The next point is the point before the last. This is the last point followed by the conclusion. I really left this point to the end because from there I would like to address the resistance’s supporters, the environment I belong to and all the friends and allies of the resistance. This is the most sensitive point. I am the first person to say this is a spontaneous movement and is not subject to embassies or parties. The first day, the second and the third day. Many sides contacted me and asked. They were worried, and I told them there is nothing to worry about because this is a popular and spontaneous movement with rightful demands and good people. Yes, there was one concern which is someone might take advantage of this popular movement, including embassies, countries, regional situation, political parties and people who want to settle scores. These are possible. But so far there is nothing worrying. And I absolutely rejected the conspiracy theory. Not everything that happens in the country is a conspiracy. I had a couple of meetings. And the next day what I read in the newspapers had nothing to do with all the meetings. This means that all the meetings I had in the past week were hours-long discussions about the budget and the taxes, how we will bring resources, how we will lessen spending, the solutions, how we will activate the economic situation and the seriousness of the financial and economic situations. The second day, I read in the press that I was discussing the presidential elections and that President Michel Aoun’s health is frail. What is this nonsense and absurdity? It baseless.

In any case, I reject conspiracy theories. But in recent days, the information and data collection group – I repeat and say it is not an analysis – our information from more than one place say that the situation in Lebanon now is being targeted politically, internationally, and regionally by employing domestic parties. It is no longer a popular movement, popular protests about health, the environment, job opportunities, hunger, corruption. No, our information, data, indicators and evidence say otherwise. I do not want assert that this is the result. But isn’t this possibility enough? Doesn’t it put us in a state of doubt?!

I call on the Lebanese people since they are watching local channels to watch the western, Arabic and Gulf channels. Take a look at the articles, social networking sites, the electronic armies, the language and the incitement. Does it look spontaneous to you? Does it look like these are people? This was the case at the beginning, right, with my respect to everyone in the country. Now, it is no longer the case.

I want to warn. This happened in other countries. God willing, this is not being planned for in Lebanon. At the very least, I would like to tell the people to be aware that it might be a possibility. I think it’s more than a possibility. I think now it’s a lot more than a possibility. Don’t believe what the embassies say. Today the American ambassador and the embassies say no, we don’t want the overthrow of the government or for it to resign. What they say is not important. What they do is what is important. It is not important what they promise. What is important is what the CIA and the intelligence agencies are doing.

Look at what the “Israelis” and the “Israeli” media are doing.  What are the “Israeli” pinning their hopes on. What does it mean when the “Israelis” bring some Lebanese people who are in the Zionist entity close to the border to show their solidarity with the protest movement? We the people of the resistance have the right to be sensitive towards this. So, no. I would sincerely like to express at least a fear. And anyone who would say that this fear does not exist, let them reassure us. I don’t fear for the resistance. I fear for the country. We are afraid for the country that someone might want to stir social tension, security tension and political tension and drag the country into a civil war. How many countries in the region are now in civil war? How many countries in the region? Regardless of the details of what is happening in Iraq, what is happening in Iraq today?

Look at the other countries. Do you want the same thing to happen in Lebanon? I am not trying to terrorize or scare anyone. The strongest party in Lebanon is the resistance. I am not threatening anyone. Anyone who wants to be afraid of the finger, let them be afraid. I am not threatening anyone. The strongest player in Lebanon is the resistance. We are not afraid for the resistance. We are afraid for the country. Today, there is a fear that someone is trying to target the country the country, how? The country meaning the state, the army, the people and the resistance. This is Lebanon’s immunity. This is the strength of Lebanon that is disturbing “Israel”. It is beginning to consider the resistance an existential threat. The resistance terrorized and humiliated “Israel”. This is the equation.

So, if they drove the country into chaos and civil war, there would be no state. The army would hence collapse like what happened. This means, the people would fight with one other. The resistance would be dragged also into it. Who benefits from this? I am not to trying to scare you. Write it down. Write down the time, hour and date. God willing, nothing of this will happen. God willing this is not being planned for, but I would like to assure you there is information, there are doubts here. There are suspicions. Some people in Lebanon in their own closed-door meetings were disappointed with everything. And they were pinning their hopes on one thing which is to have an American war with Iran, changing the face of the region and toppling the axis of resistance.

Closed-door meetings, they pinned high hopes on them. and these hopes are gone now. There is there is no American war on Iran. There is no war between the US and the axis [of resistance]. The Americans are packing up. You saw what they did in the east of the Euphrates and in the Gulf. You are listening to Trump’s speeches.
If this option no longer exists, let’s go to a something else. I want to warn against this. I would say yes. At the very least, the leadership of the protest movement has to reassure the Lebanese.

And frankly speaking, it is called upon to reassure the resistance that the country isn’t also a target because the resistance isn’t a goal in itself. The resistance protects the country and the people, the people’s dignity, happiness, lives, blood and honor.

I reach to the conclusion. I would like to address the supporters of the resistance. I am addressing the people of the resistance and even the people in general. I would like to refer to something which is of cultural and social nature. This is good by the way. It something good when the people take Imam al-Husain as an example for a revolution against the corrupt and the oppressors and supporting the oppressed. This is excellent. There are some people from different religious sects who told us that you are not in the camp of al-Husain in this protest movement. The camp of al-Husain in the different squares. Al-Husain’s camp today is there, and you are outside his camp. And they used this language and logic with us. For people to wonder and ask, there was no problem. But to talk in such a harsh way to people, this is unjust. Why? Because al-Husain, Ashura and Karbala were first of all rightful demands. Secondly, they were rightful slogans. Third, it was to support the oppressed. Fourth, which is also 1 and 2, is a clear, open, sincere, loyal and just leadership. It was a leadership that was ready to sacrifice itself, its children, sisters, families and money for the sake of the oppressed. That is Karbala. Karbala and Ashura mean the secured alternative, the trusted alternative. It is the alternative that you can entrust people’s lives, blood, money, dignities, families and future with.

Al-Husain presented himself as an alternative. Al-Husain wasn’t only the leader of a revolution, he presented himself as an alternative to the tyrannical, oppressive and unjust leadership. And when he went to Iraq, which pledged allegiance to him, he went there to be an Imam, a ruler and a government. When you talk about al-Husain and want to compare any movement with al-Husain, you have to talk about a rightful cause, rightful slogans, a clean, honest, just and loyal leadership which makes sacrifices and is also a qualified and trusted alternative. Bring me such a movement and today I’ll tell you at 5:07, me and all of Hezbollah will be soldiers in this movement and its leaders. We are ready to sacrifice our blood, our souls, our fortunes and our dearest people for the sake of achieving goals of this movement when we have al-Husain there. But if he doesn’t exist, put al-Husain aside. Let us talk about the developments, situations, threats, opportunities and the current challenges in our country.

After saying all this because before I said that if you want to protest, protest. If you don’t want to, don’t. That’s your business. On the first day, the 2nd day, we did not request from anyone to protest. And we did not prevent anyone from protesting. We did not prevent anyone. The people went down by themselves. Now, some people say Hezbollah is against the people. Others say that Hezbollah is behind this movement. I’m honest with you. We didn’t prevent anyone, nor did we tell anyone to go down. People went down at their own free will. Yes, on Saturday we requested from those who are members of Hezbollah not to go down because when I told the protest movement not to allow the political parties to take advantage and that Hezbollah’s open and clear participation with you would have an impact on the goals and demands of the movement – I have to be honest – so I told the members of Hezbollah, brothers and sisters, not to go down.

However, some of the supporters of the resistance, its friends and allies continued to be present in different areas and expressed their stances. Today, as a result of everything that has taken place – certain doors have been opened and people do not want to go through these doors as a result of the questions, the doubts and the fears and because some people considered that I have confused them. Some asked do you want us to go down or not. It reached appoint that someone on social media said: Sayyed if you don’t want to speak frankly, just sneeze once and that will mean go down. Two sneezes mean do not take to the streets. I honestly want to talk directly. I request from the supporters of the resistance to leave these squares, even the youth who recently went down to support the demands and to defend the resistance because we were not only cursed in some squares. It is not important if we were cursed. But when the resistance is accused of terrorism and the other squares remain silent and when the topic of the arms of the resistance is raised and the other squares also remain silent, some people felt it was their duty to go down and express another opinion. Of course, you have to take a look at the fairness of the media. When people accuse Hezbollah of terrorism, these outlets call them Lebanese civilians who are not affiliated with parties. They are not groups affiliated to political parties. But when young men and women defend their resistance, they are accused of being affiliated with parties that want to sabotage the popular movement. I request from these young men and women not to stay in these squares. There is no need for you to go down and defend the resistance. If we need to defend the resistance in the media, in politics, on the streets and in the squares and platforms, we can do this. We are up for it. We don’t want anyone to accuse us. Leave the squares to those who are convinced, and we respect all of the convictions and all the hopes. We respect all of their pains. And those who are convinced that this road will allow them to achieve their goals, we do not stand against them. I tell the supporters of the resistance very clearly and openly, we are not called upon, and there is no interest for us to be in these squares. Our interest lies staying away from them and to follow up. If positive achievements are made, we can build on that. But if there are, we follow up. We continue to monitor and strive to open all doors of dialog and talks because what we need is that we all focus on security, stability, peace, calm ways to address the situation and wisdom.

That is what I wanted to say today, of course, our friends and allies who we agreed with in strategic, if they could please listen to me very well. I call on them to think once again. I respect their choices. I understand their motivations. Of course, I don’t have any suspicions regarding them. Every person might have his own visions and calculations, but of the phase we have reached now and the performance we are seeing, especially if engaging into dialog with the President was rejected means that there is a big targeting of political nature in the country. I invite you to study, evaluate and make the decision you find appropriate.

I ask God Almighty to guide us to the correct diagnosis, the correct assessment and to the wise and correct position, to protect our country and our people, and to help the Lebanese people overcome this difficult stage to achieve their hopes, dreams and promising future. Peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you.

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri Resigns

Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced that he was headed to the Baabda Palace to submit his cabinet’s resignation to President of the Republic, Michel Aoun “after having reached a dead-end, and sensing the need for a positive shock.”

This move comes after thirteen days of nationwide protests and several calls to resign from the demonstrators.

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