New details about Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000: newspaper

By News Desk -2020-04-29

BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:20 A.M.) – An Israel-based newspaper revealed on Tuesday new details about the Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000.

According to Haaretz, despite the lapse of twenty years since the Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon, they have learned the real reasons behind this withdrawal.

The newspaper reported that twenty years after the Israeli unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon, there  was still a deep wound in the hearts of the Israelis.

The publication emphasized that among the reasons that prompted Israel to leave Lebanon was the difficulty of finding a safe area in southern Lebanon for their military, along with carrying out useless operations along the border.

“But the truth is that our operations against Hezbollah weren’t of much use. We didn’t gain a thing except for feeling a little better. It reminded me of the body counts of Vietcong fighters by the Americans in the ‘search and destroy’ missions in Vietnam. Those missions were good for IDF morale, but when there’s no final whistle ending the game, they don’t change much,” an officer told Haaretz.

Furthermore, they said there was a lack of confidence in any Israeli operations or missions in southern Lebanon, as the Israel-backed Southern Lebanese Army (SLA) was unable to hold their ground with IDF support.

It is noteworthy that the Israeli Defense Forces decided to withdraw unilaterally from southern Lebanon on May 25th, 2000, after direct orders from the then Prime Minister, Ehud Barak.

Every year on May 25th, Lebanon celebrates this day as the end of the Israeli occupation, which had lasted from 1982-2000.

Nearly five years later, the Syrian Arab Army would end their presence in Lebanon, concluding the long period of time in which the small Levantine country had foreign forces inside its territory.

Also Read

شهادات جديدة لضباط صهاينة بحرب 2014 «غيّرت حياتهم»

البناء

نشرت قناة صهيونية أمس، شهادات جديدة حول المعارك التي دارت شرق غزة في حرب 2014 وأبرزها استهداف ناقلة جند واختطاف الجندي أورون شاؤول.

ونقلت القناة «12» الصهيونية عن قائدين في لواء جولاني آنذاك وهما: «عوفر تروخش وأوهاد مويال» وهما قائدا القوة العسكرية التي تعرضت لهجوم بالصواريخ المضادة للدروع فقتل 6 من الجنود وفقد سابع في معركة الشجاعية، قولهم إن ما حدث ليلة العشرين من يوليو 2014 «غيّر حياتهما».

وجاء على لسان الضابط «تروخش» قوله إن ما حصل كان عبارة عن فوضى عارمة مليئة بالصراخ والخوف من المجهول بعد تعرّض ناقلة الجند للإصابة بصاروخ موجه على أطراف شرق غزة.

كما تحدث الضابط الآخر «مويال» عن محاولة الوصول إلى النفق الذي نفذ منه الهجوم قائلاً إنه شاهد قوات إنقاذ والكثير الكثير من المصابين فيما يحاول الجنود استيعاب ما حصل وهو حدث أكبر بكثير عن القدرة على الاستيعاب.

وقال إن النفق المذكور تبين لاحقاً بأنه استخدم في خطف الجندي «أورورن شاؤول» بعد إخراجه من الناقلة المشتعلة.

وأشار إلى أن مسلحين فلسطينيين اقتربوا من الناقلة المشتعلة في محاولة لخطف جثث الجنود، لافتاً الى أن الهجوم تسبب بمقتل 6 جنود، بينما أصيب الجندي السابع «أورون شاؤول» بجراح وخطفه عناصر حماس إلى داخل نفق.


عملية طعن في الداخل المحتلّ

What would it take for proponents to say: ‘The Great Lockdown was wrong’?

April 28, 2020

What would it take for proponents to say: ‘The Great Lockdown was wrong’?

By Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker Blog

There must be SOME criteria where the proponents of the Great Lockdown could say, “In hindsight, this was wrong.”

It is obviously hysterical to insist that admitting a policy mistake is totally, completely impossible. German fascists are not wiping out Poland, after all.

I mean, what if a secret global doomsday machine in Poland gets triggered if global GNP falls below a certain threshold, wiping out humanity? Certainly then all would agree, “The Great Lockdown turned out to be a mistake,” right?

Absurd extremes aside, the coronavirus overreaction has turned into a major test case for today’s Western worship of both technocracy and scientific secularism. Since 1980 they have insisted that national cultures should not play any shaping role in public policy because Westerners have discovered a system of “universal values” which should guide all national governments.

(The Western system is – of course – actually based on aristocratic/bourgeois neoliberalism & neo-imperialism.)

A corollary is that a technocratic 10% should be implementing these values with zero lower-class input into public policy formation. A second corollary is that science is the one, true, rightly-guided, infallible way. In April 2020 the doctors and professors are always right, and US President Donald Trump is always wrong.

But… then how do we explain this written – not spoken – declaration from the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, as reported by AP? This was published on April 24, during the truly fake-news controversy regarding Trump and injecting disinfectants.

“Given that countries currently in ‘summer’ climates, such as Australia and Iran, are experiencing rapid virus spread, a decrease in cases with increases in humidity and temperature elsewhere should not be assumed,” the researchers wrote earlier in April in response to questions from the White House Office of Science and Technology.”

But Iran is not in summer – they are in the northern hemisphere, so Iran is in spring.

Australia is in the southern hemisphere – it is in autumn.

In fact, due to the tilting of the earth, if the northern hemisphere is in spring then the southern hemisphere can only be in autumn, never in summer. Spring in the north and summer anywhere else is an impossibility.

Not only am I not a rightly-guided epidemiologist, I am not even a scientist and yet I know this. Heck, maybe even Trump knows this.

Associated Press, the largest news-gathering organisation in the world, obviously made the same elementary mistake as these scientists. It is very possible that in their rabid desire to discredit Trump the journalists cared more about over-exaggerating his clearly off-the-cuff science than fact-checking.

My point here is not to say “gotcha, you are dumb” – my point is to say that this is precisely why socialist democracy (which relies on consensus) is so much more valuable than Western technocratic individualism. You see: God, in His wisdom, made humans imperfect – and that includes epidemiologists and we journalists.

That is why the West’s choice to rely solely on epidemiologists, and also a mainstream media which is supposed to be always ever-skeptically vetting everyone’s declarations, is a fundamentally flawed approach to handling the corona response. Combine this with a Western system where politicians are forced to be always either in electioneering mode or fund-raising mode, and you get a system which uncritically bows to very mistake-prone earthly authorities.

I find it stunning that US polls have consistently pegged general support for the lockdowns to be at 80%, and that an unthinkable 95% of Democrats say the measures don’t go too far. Considering all the poverty, the refusals to loan to Main Street, the delays in government aid, the exponentially-increasing certainty of prolonged economic chaos – Americans are still not fed up? I can only theorise that the US people have been so propagandised by a lack of “contrarian voices” – contrarian because they dare to say that the needs of the lower classes must be voiced and implemented – that they have been terrified into submission by their media. Democrats are obviously the least open to different ideas – we see how fantastically total their groupthink is.

But back to my main point: what are the realistic criteria where people would say – as people must often do if we are to have a civilised society which progresses – “I was wrong”?

I can’t think of any which would be acceptable… and that shows the massive hysteria of the Western response

Please note that “I was misled” is certainly acceptable.

After all, just turn on your television and you are almost guaranteed to see a journalist nodding along to whatever an epidemiologist is saying – these two classes have been given the key to socioeconomic policy. In the corona hysteria these two have worked in tandem, and both must be judged according to the huge power they have been given.

As late as March 20th The New York Times fake-leftist bien-pensant Nicolas Kristof quoted “one of the best disease modellers in the world” declaring that the best-case scenario in the US was “about 1.1 million deaths”, with the worst-case being “2.2 million deaths”. They even put the latter in the sub-headline. Because he is such an awful, unreadable journalist Kristof does not make it clear if these two scenarios are the result of everyone doing absolutely nothing to combat coronavirus (an absurdity, which only an ivory tower academic would waste time studying) – I assume that is the case. However, many others may not make that assumption because Kristof leads the reader to believe (and maybe he believes this – he is not clear) that despite all the personal protective gear, ventilators, new hospital beds and everything else that US society could throw at corona, then we should still expect over 1 million deaths. Thus, both scientists and Kristof conclude: “If anything, we’re still underreacting.”

It turns out the epidemiologist’s numbers were indeed based on the idea that everyone did absolutely nothing. Well, thanks for getting dumb journalists all worked up over nothing! And I guess epidemiologists can’t write Kristof’s article for him but it’s certain that this power tandem failed at the top.

I’m not surprised, because I always doubted 2.2 million and here’s one reason why: MSM journalists seem to forget that recent history is not kind to US epidemiologists: In 2014 the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicted 1.4 million Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone alone. There were only 28,616 total cases. If this was Iran or China we could just accuse them of a cover-up, but alas…. And those are two countries with far, far less resources to throw at a virus. On April 3 satirical website The Onion re-ran Historians Politely Remind Nation To Check What’s Happened In Past Before Making Any Big Decisions – they are indeed more credible than The New York Times.

So what are the criteria for a fact-based backtracking?

Frankly, I don’t think the Great Lockdown supporters have thought about this at all, and that should cause them some worry.

This question has clearly been repeatedly shot down to the point where everyone self-censors, which is the most effective form of censorship. The question itself has been deemed to be proof of being a far-right neo-fascist: A Google search reveals What If the Pandemic Policymakers Are Wrong? Will health experts become the latest elite deemed “too big to fail”? That’s a great sub-headline – I’d nick it, but this article is almost completely written already. What’s too bad is that this article is from the website American Greatness, LOL.

So just asking “what if” puts me on the far-right? Well, I did just sign off on the cover to my latest book on socialism so, LOL, I could debate that rather at length. However, asking “but what if”, providing a modicum of contrarian views, being skeptical – this is what objective journalism is in any nation.

I am willing to question my faith: One article idea in my “to do” basket is, “What do socialists do if the bailouts actually work?” I am not so self-righteous, smug and smothering that I refuse to honestly ask and answer that question – it’s at least possible they will… because the question is not mathematical and because that history is not yet written.

Can Great Lockdown supporters question themselves? I doubt they can or even want to respond.

What I fear is this: that many Great Lockdown supporters are so self-righteous, out of touch and indoctrinated that they will genuinely believe that “even preventing one death made it worth it”. This is the view of a child, not an adult citizen who should know that any “War on Dying” is nothing but a joke. That is the exact view of a lowest-common denominator American politician – are REALLY trying to be like them? “Whatever you say” politicians are the third wheel on the tricycle which is steering Western, pro-upper-class corona policy.

To answer my own question: Because the virus was supposed to be so extraordinary, extraordinary measures have been taken. So it’s gone far beyond only total deaths – the accurate counting of which appears to be already hopelessly muddled.

If corona pricks the Western bubble economy (Condensing the data leaves no doubt: Fear corona-economy more than the virus) and “Great Depression 2” becomes a real thing – was it worth it?

If major aspects of the current drastic reduction in political rights get normalised – just as France prolonged a “temporary” state of emergency for two full years, and then Emmanuel Macron legalised it into common police practice – was it worth it?

If the US bows to Dr. Anthony Fauci, their nation’s leading technocrat on infectious diseases, and permanently “breaks that custom” of shaking hands to show warmth and friendship to strangers or if France ends the la bise hello kisses – was it worth it?

There are economic, political and cultural shockwaves stemming from the Great Lockdown – maybe their proponents didn’t foresee them, or maybe they were misled, but these things cannot be ignored because they, too, will cause death and pain.

You don’t want to talk about those things? No problem.

You don’t even have to answer the simple question the headline poses – too many people getting bossed around these days already.

***********************************

Corona contrarianism? How about some corona common sense? Here is my list of articles published regarding the corona crisis, and I hope you will find them useful in your leftist struggle!

Capitalist-imperialist West stays home over corona – they grew a conscience? – March 22, 2020

Corona meds in every pot & a People’s QE: the Trumpian populism they hoped for? – March 23, 2020

A day’s diary from a US CEO during the Corona crisis (satire) March 23, 2020

MSNBC: Chicago price gouging up 9,000% & the sports-journalization of US media – March 25, 2020

Tough times need vanguard parties – are ‘social media users’ the West’s? – March 26, 2020

If Germany rejects Corona bonds they must quit the Eurozone – March 30, 2020

Landlord class: Waive or donate rent-profits now or fear the Cultural Revolution – March 31, 2020

Corona repeating 9/11 & Y2K hysterias? Both saw huge economic overreactions – April 1, 2020

(A Soviet?) Superman: Red Son – the new socialist film to watch on lockdown – April 2, 2020

Corona rewrites capitalist bust-chronology & proves: It’s the nation-state, stupid – April 3, 2020

Condensing the data leaves no doubt: Fear corona-economy more than the virus – April 5, 2020

‘We’re Going Wrong’: The West’s middling, middle-class corona response – April 10, 2020

Why does the UK have an ‘army’ of volunteers but the US has a shortage? – April 12, 2020

No buybacks allowed or dared? Then wave goodbye to Western stock market gains – April 13, 2020

Pity post-corona Millennials… if they don’t openly push socialism – April 14, 2020

No, the dollar will only strengthen post-corona, as usual: it’s a crisis, after all – April 16, 2020

Same 2008 QE playbook, but the Eurozone will kick off Western chaos not the US – April 18, 2020

We’re giving up our civil liberties. Fine, but to which type of state? – April 20, 2020

Coronavirus – Macron’s savior. A ‘united Europe’ – France’s murderer – April 22, 2020

Iran’s ‘resistance economy’: the post-corona wish of the West’s silent majority (1/2) – April 23, 2020

The same 12-year itch: Will banks loan down QE money this time? – April 26, 2020

The end of globalisation won’t be televised, despite the hopes of the Western 99% (2/2) – April 27, 2020


Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’.

America’s enemy is England, not Russia. Historically, Russia has been perhaps America’s main Ally; England remains America’s top enemy, just as during the American Revolution

APRIL 27, 2020

America’s enemy is England, not Russia. Historically, Russia has been perhaps America’s main Ally; England remains America’s top enemy, just as during the American Revolution

by Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog

America’s sole enemy during the Revolutionary War (1775-1783) was England. Ever since being defeated in that war, England (controlled by the British aristocracy) has tried various ways to regain its control over America. The British aristocracy’s latest attempt to regain control over America started in 1877, and continues today, as the two countries’ “Deep State” — comprising not only the lying CIA and the lying MI6, but the entire joint operation of the united aristocracies of Britain and the U.S. These two aristocracies actually constitute the Deep State, and control the top levels of both intelligence agencies, and of both Governments, and prevent democracy in both countries. The aristocracy rules each of them. The 1877 plan was for a unification of the two aristocracies, and for the then-rising new world power, American industry, and its Government, to become controlled by the wealthiest individuals in both countries. Franklin Delano Roosevelt had tried to break the back of that intended global-imperialist combine, but he tragically died before he achieved this goal.

America’s second war against a foreign power was the War of 1812 (1812-1815), in which the U.S.A., so soon after its own victorious Revolution to free itself from Britain, tried to go even further, and to remove Britain altogether from North America. There still remained, among Americans, some fear that England might try to retake the U.S.A. The historian, Don Hickey, wrote that “In North America, the United States was the only belligerent that could lose the war and still retain its independence. Since Great Britain’s independence was at stake in the Napoleonic Wars, one might argue that the United States was the only belligerent on either side of the Atlantic in the War of 1812 that had nothing to fear for its independence.” Because King George III was still hated by many Americans, the U.S. aimed to free from Britain’s control the British colonies that remained to the north of America’s border, present-day Canada. Most of the residents there, however, continued to think of themselves as subjects of the King, and so the U.S. effort failed. Furthermore, British soldiers, coming down from what now is Canada, actually did manage to to jeopardize America’s independence: they burned down Washington. It wasn’t the King’s subjects north of America’s border who did this; it was British troops. The King’s army did it. Americans did have real reason to fear King George III. America’s continuing independence was, indeed, at stake in that war. That wasn’t merely the perception of the Democratic-Republicans (Jefferson’s Party); there was reality to it.

During a 25 May 2018 phone-call between the Presidents of America and Canada, America’s ignoramus President — Donald Trump — justified tariffs against Canada partially by saying “Didn’t you guys burn down the White House?” However, King George III’s troops had actually done that, on 24 August 1814 (and destroyed the Capitol building on the same day); and not only did Canada not yet exist at that time, but the King’s troops had done this in retaliation for a successful American invasion into the King’s northern territory — which territory was subsequently to win its own partial independence (after the unsuccessful rebellions of 1837-1838, by the King’s subjects there). Though the U.S. won the War of 1812, in the sense of not losing its independence to England, it failed to free Canada. However, two years after America’s own Civil War (1860-1865), Canada finally won a messy partial independence in 1867.

The rebuilding of the British-destroyed U.S. White House was completed in 1817; that of the British-destroyed U.S. Capitol was completed in 1826.

The most celebrated battle in the War of 1812 was at Baltimore’s Fort McHenry, on 13 September 1814, where America’s soldiers hoisted in victory the U.S. flag, which inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner”. That ode was celebrating what became considered by Americans to have been their country’s second victory against Britain’s imperial tyranny.

England’s next big attempt to conquer the U.S. was during the Civil War, when England was supporting the Southerners’ right to continue enslaving Blacks and to break away from the federal Union for that purpose (to perpetuate slavery). If the South had won, this would not only have considerably weakened the U.S.A., but it would have placed to America’s south a new nation which would be allied with America’s enemy, Britain, the Southern Confederacy.

By contrast against England’s support for slavery, and for the breakup of the United States, Russia was a leading global supporter of the U.S., and of its movement to abolish slavery. Under Tsar Alexander II, the Russian Government opposed not only slavery but also serfdom, and thus became immortalized amongst Russians as “The Great Liberator,” for his ending serfdom, which was, for Russia, what slavery was for America — a repudiated relic of a former monarchic absolutism (that Tsar’s predecessors). When the erudite Cynthia Chung headlined on 16 October 2019, “Russia and the United States: The Forgotten History of a Brotherhood” and wrote there about “Cassius Clay,” she wasn’t mistakenly referring to the famous American boxer Muhammad Ali (1942-2016), but instead, quite correctly, to the individual who is far less well-known today but in whose honor that renowned boxer had originally been named, Cassius Marcellus Clay. The namesake for that boxer was quite reasonably referred-to by Chung as having been “possibly the greatest US Ambassador to Russia (1861-1862 and 1863-1869).” This “Cassius Clay” was, indeed, one of America’s unsung historical heroes, not only because this Kentuckian “Cassius Clay” was an extremely courageous champion of outlawing slavery, but also because he became a great asset to his friend Abraham Lincoln’s war to achieve the goal of emancipating America’s slaves. As Wikipedia’s article “Cassius Marcellus Clay (politician)” says, when describing Clay’s role in the “Civil War and Minister to Russia”:

President Lincoln appointed Clay to the post of Minister to the Russian court at St. Petersburg on March 28, 1861. The Civil War started before he departed and, as there were no Federal troops in Washington at the time, Clay organized a group of 300 volunteers to protect the White House and US Naval Yard from a possible Confederate attack. These men became known as Cassius M. Clay’s Washington Guards. President Lincoln gave Clay a presentation Colt revolver in recognition. When Federal troops arrived, Clay and his family embarked for Russia.[10]

As Minister to Russia, Clay witnessed the Tsar’s emancipation edict. Recalled to the United States in 1862 to accept a commission from Lincoln as a major general with the Union Army, Clay publicly refused to accept it unless Lincoln would agree to emancipate slaves under Confederate control. Lincoln sent Clay to Kentucky to assess the mood for emancipation there and in the other border states. Following Clay’s return to Washington, DC, Lincoln issued the proclamation in late 1862, to take effect in January 1863.[11]

Clay resigned his commission in March 1863 and returned to Russia, where he served until 1869. [3] He was influential in the negotiations for the purchase of Alaska.[12

Thus, this friend of both “The Great Liberator” and “The Great Emancipator” helped them both. As Blake Stillwell well summarized in his 16 October 2015 article “How Russia guaranteed a Union victory in the Civil War”, Ambassador Clay knew and personally shared the deeply shared values between the heads-of-state in both the U.S. and Russia, and he thereby persuaded Tsar Alexander II to commit to join the U.S. in a war to conquer England if England would overtly and actively join the U.S. South’s war against the United States. Tsar Alexander II thus stationed Russian warships in New York City and San Francisco during the Civil War, so as to block England from actively supporting the Southern Confederacy, which England had been planning to do. Probably no single country was as helpful to the Union cause as was Russia, and this was not merely for purposes of power-politics, but very much for democratic and progressive principles, both Lincoln’s and that Tsar’s — their shared Enlightenment goals for the world’s future.

Imperialistic England’s imperialistic foe France was also pro-slavery, but not as big a threat to the U.S. as England was. The way that Michael O’Neill phrased this in his 10 May 2019 “France’s Involvement in the U.S. Civil War” was: “The French government certainly had sympathies for the Confederacy because both regimes were aristocratic, while the North had a more democratic social and economic system that wasn’t as rigidly hierarchical. France’s trade prospects were also hurt because of Northern blockades of Southern ports. France wanted to intervene in order to ensure the trade of cotton, wine, brandy and silk.” This was an instance where the English and French empires were on the same side — against democracy, and for slavery. Every aristocracy is driven by unlimited greed, and this greed drove the French and English aristocracies together, regarding America’s Civil War. Tsar Alexander II was an extremely rare progressive aristocrat — like U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt subsequently also was.

As Chung’s article also noted, the friendly relations between Russia and the United States had started at the time of the American Revolution, and Benjamin Franklin (who then was America’s Ambassador to France) was key to that.

In 1877, the future British diamond-magnate Cecil Rhodes came up with his lifelong plan, to unite the aristocracies of Britain and the U.S. so as to ultimately conquer the entire world. His plan was to be activated upon his death, which occurred in 1902, when the Rhodes Trust began and created the core of a spreading movement at the top levels of finance in both countries, including the Royal Institute of Foreign Affairs, a.k.a., Chatham House, in London, and then the Council on Foreign Relations in NYC (RIFA’s U.S. branch), both of which institutions became united with the European aristocracies in the Bilderberg group, which started in 1954, and which was initiated by the ‘former’ Nazi Prince Bernhard of Netherlands, and David Rockefeller of U.S.; and, then, finally, the Trilateral Commission, bringing Japan’s aristocrats into the Rhodesian fold, in 1973, under the aegis of David Rockefeller’s agent and chief anti-Russian strategist, Zbigniew Brzezinski. (Nelson Rockefeller’s chief anti-Russian strategist was Henry Kissinger.)

There are also other significant offshoots from the Rhodes Trust — it’s the trunk of the tree, and Cecil Rhodes seems to have been its seed.

Then, during World War I, the U.S. and Russia were, yet again, crucial allies, but this time England was with us, not against us, because Britain’s aristocracy were competing against Germany’s. The Marxist Revolution in Russia in 1917 terrified all of the world’s super-rich, much as they had been terrified by America’s enemy is England, not Russia. Historically, Russia has been perhaps America’s main Ally; England remains America’s top enemy, just as during the American Revolution.the failed revolutions in Europe during 1848, but this in Russia was a revolution for a dictatorship by workers against the middle class (“the bourgeoisie”) and not only against the aristocracy; and, so, it was no Enlightenment project, and it certainly wasn’t at all democratic. Furthermore, Germany during World War I was even more dictatorial than was England. Indeed: Kaiser Wilhelm II initiated the World War in order to maintain and continue the ancient tradition of the divine right of kings — hereditary monarchy (the most retrogressive of all forms of governmental rule, hereditary rule). And Germany was threatening America’s ships, whereas England was not.

At the Versaille Peace Conference after WW I, four influential leaders of the U.S. delegation were intensely pro-British: the extremely conservative pro-aristocracy Democrat and U.S. Secretary of State Robert Lansing, and his two nephews, the extremely conservative devoutly Christian pro-aristocracy Republicans John Foster Dulles, and his brother Allen Dulles, and the devoutly Christian partner of J.P. Morgan, Thomas Lamont. All four supported an obligation by Germany’s taxpayers to pay reparations to French taxpayers so large as to destitute the newly established democratic Weimar German Government. This destitution of Germans — approved by the U.S. delegation — helped to cause the extremist conservative right-wing-populist Nazi Party to come into power against the democratic Weimar Government. The Dulles brothers had many friends amongst the aristocracies of both England and Germany, and became two leaders of the war to conquer Russia, under U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower. Whereas U.S. President Harry S. Truman had sought to “contain” the Soviet Union, the Dulles brothers sought instead to “conquer” it. Both of them had a visceral hatred of Russia — not only of communism. It was a hatred which was widely shared amongst the aristocracies of all empires, especially England, U.S., Germany, and Japan.

U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was an exception to the almost universal hatred of Russia amongst U.S.-and-allied aristocracies: he recognized and acknowledged that though Joseph Stalin was a barbaric dictator, Stalin was a deeply committed anti-imperialist like FDR himself was, because Stalin led the Communist Party’s anti-imperialist wing, against Trotsky’s imperialist wing. Stalin advocated passionately for “communism in one country” — the doctrine that the Soviet Union must first clearly establish a thriving economy within the country and thereby serve as a model which would inspire the masses in capitalist nations to rise up against their oppressors; and that only after such a communist model of success becomes established can communism naturally spread to other countries. FDR was absolutely opposed to any sort of imperialism, and he had passionate private arguments against Winston Churchill about it, because Churchill said, “There can be no tampering with the Empire’s economic agreements,” in reply to FDR’s “I can’t believe that we can fight a war against fascist slavery, and at the same time not work to free people all over the world from a backward colonial policy.” And, afterwards, FDR said privately to his son Elliott, contemptuously against Churchill, “A real old Tory, isn’t he? A real old Tory, of the old school.” FDR’s post-war vision was for a United Nations which would possess all nuclear and all other strategic weapons, and which would control all aspects of international law, and nothing of intranational law (except perhaps if the Security Council is unanimous, but only as being exceptions). Each of the major powers would be allowed to intervene intranationally into their bordering nations, but only so as to prevent any inimical major power from gaining a foothold next door — purely defensive, nothing else. This would have been very different from what the U.N. became. It’s something that the gullible Truman (who knew and understood none of that) was able to be deceived about by Churchill, and, even more so, by the then-General, Dwight Eisenhower, because both of them were committed imperialists and aimed to conquer Russia — and not only to end its communism. The crucial date was 26 July 1945, when Eisenhower convinced Truman to start the Cold War. Then, on 24 February 1990, U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush established the policy of the U.S. since then: that when the Soviet Union would end its communism in 1991, the U.S. and its allies would secretly continue the Cold War against Russia, until Russia becomes conquered so as to be part of the U.S. empire, no longer an independent nation. This is continuation of Cecil Rhodes’s plan: the U.S. doing the British aristocracy’s bidding to lead in conquering the entire world.

On 14 August 1941, at the time when FDR and Churchill formed the Atlantic Charter and were planning for a joint war against Hitler, they agreed to form the “UKUSA Agreement”, a “secret treaty” between those two countries, which became formalized on 17 May 1943 as the “BRUSA Agreement” and then on 5 March 1946 under President Truman became officially signed, and its contents finally became public on 25 June 2010. It was/is the basis of what is more commonly know as “the Five Eyes” of the Cecil-Rhodes-derived (though they don’t mention that) foreign-intelligence operations, uniting UK and U.S. intelligence as the core, but also including the intelligence-operations of the other Anglo-Saxon English-speaking colonies: Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. India and other ‘inferior races’ of English-speaking countries (as Rhodes and Winston Churchill viewed them) weren’t included. For examples: the UK/USA joint effort to produce the death of Julian Assange (and seem likely to succeed soon in doing that) became part of this UK/USA working-together, as have also been the UK/USA sanctions against Russia regarding the trumped-up cases and sanctions against Russia concerning Sergei Magnitsky in 2012 and Sergei Skripal and the “Russiagate” charges against Donald Trump in 2018. This full flowering of the Rhodesian plan is also publicly known as “the Special Relationship” and as “the Anglosphere”.

It’s the U.S. and UK aristocracies, against their own nations — against their own people — but for the essential imperial operations by both U.S. and UK international corporations, which those billionaires control.

This is why all sanctions against Russia are based on lies. Certainly, it doesn’t happen by accident. At each step, in virtually each instance, the U.S. and UK aristocracies are working together on these libels — libels against the actual main foreign ally of the U.S. (UK’s aristocracy has always been the main enemy of the UK’s public, and also against Russia — and against the American people. This is entirely consistent with Rhodes’s plan, which was to use the U.S. in order to expand Britain’s Empire. That is the history of our times.)

This is the ultimate success of King George III’s plan, and it is a profound betrayal of the intentions of America’s Founders, who were passionate anti-imperialists. And so too was FDR. But right after WW II, the imperialists (run by America’s billionaires) took over.
—————
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

Economic Pressure Won’t Force Hezbollah to Make Concessions – Deputy SG

Economic Pressure Won’t Force Hezbollah to Make Concessions - Deputy SG

Translated by Staff

Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary General His Eminence Sheikh Naim Qassem blamed the crises plaguing Lebanon on successive policies of previous governments.

“The current government is working to address files in various ways to reach the best result, so it must be given a chance,” he said.

In an interview with Al-Nour radio station, Sheikh Qassem explained that “Lebanon’s Central Bank governor bears responsibility for the crisis we are in now. But he is not the only one responsible.”

“Hezbollah’s position regarding the issue of the governor is clear. It is a necessity to discuss the issue of the Central Bank within the government and not in the media so that an appropriate decision is made in this context based on placing the country’s interest above anything else,” Sheikh Qassem stressed.

His Eminence pointed out that “the dollar reaching record levels means that there are accumulated errors and a negative performance from Lebanon’s Central Bank that led us to this result. The follow-up must be to diagnose the cause and try to correct it to put an end to this chaos, and this is what the government is working on.”

The Hezbollah official noted that “the government’s economic plan is both broad and detailed. If it is approved with additional integrated plans, we will witness the beginning of solutions to the current crises.”

“The problem lies within those who reject this,” Sheikh Qassem warned.

“We have seen the draft, and we have notes on some of its provisions. The cabinet will discuss it and make a decision on it. In principle, we are against privatization. However, there is a partnership that may be useful in some matters that we can discuss separately. We might reject or agree when the time comes,” he added.

“Hezbollah has an integrated socio-economic plan that it won’t be putting forward, so it does not become the focus of discussion. It will be a point of reference for us through which we show our viewpoint in the government.”

Sheikh Qassem also stressed that “there are parties who want to overthrow the government, but their capabilities and the objective conditions do not allow them to do so.”

“The government is strong, stable, and coherent. It made practical steps to put the country on the right course.”

The senior Hezbollah official urged people not to downplay the government’s progress in combating coronavirus pandemic.

“Hezbollah supports a strong and effective state in Lebanon. It supports drawing up comprehensive reform and salvation plans. And this is what the party is exercising in the parliament and government,” Sheikh Qassem said.

“Holding Hezbollah responsible for what is going on in Lebanon is unrealistic. Hezbollah will not respond to campaigns launched against it because it is interested in working for the country and not in political wrangling.”

“All attempts to bring about sedition at home have failed,” he added.

Regarding the fight against corruption, Sheikh Qassem asserted that “this battle has its tools, while reform has practical steps.”

“Hezbollah is not the only responsible side in this field, and it is doing the best it can within the Lebanese structure.”

Sheikh Qassem said he believes that “the 2000 liberation resulted in Lebanon regaining its freedom, independence, and well-being.”

He also underscored the readiness of the resistance “to defend Lebanon and respond to any aggression decided by any Zionist government.”

“The liberation’s great results also impacted those who refused to recognize them. We now feel that we are a country that is not under the guillotine of the ‘Israeli’ enemy.”

“‘Israel’ knows exactly what happened on the border and who was behind it. It is enough that the enemy understood the message behind what happened. That is sufficient.”

“The US and ‘Israel’ will utilize all weapons against their enemies and opponents, and I do not absolve them from tampering with the Lebanese home front,” Sheikh Qassem concluded.

“Hezbollah does not make concessions through economic pressure. It is in their [‘Israel’ and the US] interest that matters do not reach the abyss.”

رياض سلامة يتآمر على الاستقرار: هل انطلق الانفجار الاجتماعي من طرابلس؟

حسن عليق

 الثلاثاء 28 نيسان 2020

رياض سلامة يتآمر على الاستقرار: هل انطلق   الانفجار الاجتماعي من طرابلس؟
(هيثم الموسوي)

هل بدأ الانفجار الشعبي من طرابلس؟ ما كان متوقعاً ظهرت بوادره الاولى امس، في عاصمة الشمال خاصة، وبصورة أقل حدّة في صيدا وبعض شوارع بيروت والبقاع. وصل سعر صرف الليرة إلى رقم قياسي. الكثير من المحال التجارية، في طرابلس وغيرها، توقف عن شراء المواد الاستهلاكية بسبب أسعارها التي لا تكف عن الارتفاع بصورة جنونية. لم يكن ينقص ليكتمل المشهد إلا عنف الجيش في وجه متظاهرين غاضبين في المدينة الأفقر في لبنان. ليلة امس، تظاهر شبان بعد «صلاة التراويح»، في ساحة عبد الحميد كرامي، بدعوة من مجموعة تعرفها الاجهزة الأمنية جيداً وتعرف ارتباطاتها. الداعون اختفوا، وبقي في الشارع الغاضبون الذين يعانون الأمرّين جراء البطالة وارتفاع الأسعار. هاجم المتظاهرون واجهات مصارف. واتجه بعضهم نحو منزل النائب فيصل كرامي. في الساحة، جرت مواجهات بينهم وبين قوة من الجيش متمركزة هناك. استخدم المتظاهرون الحجارة والزجاجات الحارقة. رد الجيش كان اعنف من السابق. لم يكتف بالرصاص المطاطي، إذ استخدم بعض الجنود الرصاص «الحي» أيضاً. سقط عدد من الجرحى، احدهم كان لا يزال في حال الخطر حتى ساعات الفجر الاولى.

انفجار عاصمة الشمال توّج يوماً «حامياً» في الكثير من المناطق. الطريق الساحلي بين بيروت والشمال، وبوابة الجنوب صيدا، شهدا الكثير من التحركات. في ساحل كسروان والمتن، لم يكن صعباً تمييز الخطاب السياسي المؤيد لحاكم مصرف لبنان «يندسّ» بين المتظاهرين. خطاب يلاقي الهجمة السياسية التي يقوم بها «حزب المصرف»، المترامي الأطراف سياسياً وطائفياً، دفاعاً عن سلامة، وعن طبقة الـ2 في المئة من المودعين، ورفضاً لأي عملية مساءلة عن ارتكابات الفترات الماضية، ولو كانت هذه المساءلة غير مضمونة النتائج لجهة استعادة ما يُسمّى «مالاً منهوباً»، او لناحية وضع بعض السارقين في السجون.
الحكومة كانت بطيئة في الاستجابة للتداعيات الاقتصادية والاجتماعية لحجر «كورونا». لا شك في ذلك. لكن دور رياض سلامة لا يترك أي مجال سوى لنظرية المؤامرة. صحيح ان الانهيار الاقتصادي وقع، وباتت البلاد تعيش على إيقاعه. وصحيح أيضاً أن أي حكومة، ولو كان رئيسها ووزراؤها من طينة «سوبرمان»، لا يمكنها انتشال البلاد من الكارثة في غضون أقل من خمس سنوات. لكن اداء سلامة لا يمكن وصفه بأقل من المشبوه. إذ أنه مصرّ على عدم التدخل في سوق القطع، لتخفيف وتيرة انهيار سعر الليرة، ومعها الارتفاع الناري للأسعار. كما أنه مصرّ على خلق كتلة نقدية إضافية من الليرات، بما يضاعف من ارتفاع أسعار السلع، كل السلع. وبدلاً من القيام بواجبه المنصوص عليه في القانون، وهو (حرفياً) «المحافظة على سلامة النقد اللبناني»، و«المحافظة على الاستقرار الاقتصادي» (المادة 70 من قانون النقد والتسليف)، قرر خوض معركة سياسية، لحماية نفسه، وما يمثّله، مرتكزاً إلى حماية اميركية، وإلى احتضان من قبل طغمة مالية – سياسية – دينية – طائفية شريكة له في فساده، ليبدأ بهجوم عبر وسائل إعلامية فاسدة لطالما استفادت من رشاويه من المال العام، ومن تغطيته على ارتكابات أصحابها. هجومه السياسي يتركّز حول نقطة وحيدة، مفادها ان المسؤول عن ازمة الدولار هو حزب الله. يتصرف سلامة بطريقة العميل الوضيع الذي يريد إرضاء مشغّله. وهدفه المزيد من تجويع السكان، لكي يصبح استغلال الغضب الشعبي أكثر سهولة ممن يريدون استغلاله، والذين بدأت السعودية تجميعهم على قناتها التلفزيونية («العربية»)، لخوض معركة إسقاط البلد في المزيد من اهتزاز الاستقرار.
يرفض سلامة القيام بالواجبات التي يفرضها عليه القانون، لأهداف سياسية. ينفّذ عملية انتحارية، سياسياً ووظيفياً. هي مهمته الأخيرة. وهو يدرك انها ولايته الأخيرة، وأن إكماله لها صعب جداً. وبناءً على ذلك، وعلى ارتباطاته الإقليمية والدولية، يحرص على انهيار الهيكل تماماً. لم يعد رياض سلامة خطراً على سلامة النقد والاقتصاد وحسب. وجوده في مصرف لبنان بات خطراً على الامن والاستقرار العام. إزاحته من موقعه يجب ان يكون الاولوية. ليست إقالته عملية سحرية ستنقذ البلاد من الانهيار فوراً. لكن التخفيف من حدة الانهيار مستحيل بوجوده. البلاد تحتاج اليوم لمن يسعى حقاً إلى تنقيذ القانون: «المحافظة على سلامة النقد اللبناني»، و«المحافظة على الاستقرار الاقتصادي». هاتان المهمتان ينفذهما من يشارك الحكومة في أي عمل إنقاذي، لا من يتآمر على البلاد وأمنها واستقرارها.

Even in TV Shows, Saudi Calling for Normalization with ‘Israel’

Even in TV Shows, Saudi Calling for Normalization with ‘Israel’

By Staff, Agencies

In a latest TV series aired during the holy month of Ramadan, the Saudi-owned MBC channel has generated controversy in the Arab world in its drama featuring the life of Jews in the Gulf during the 1940s, and inviting to normalize ties with the Zionist entity.

“Umm Haroun” is a bold account of the Jewish merchant communities that resided in Kuwait.

The series directed by Egypt’s Ahmed Gamal el-Adl in the United Arab Emirates stars a Kuwaiti actress who plays the role of a Jewish midwife of Turkish origin living in the Gulf country before settling in the occupied Palestinian territories.

“Before our footsteps go missing and our lives fall into memory, we will be lost to time,” a Jewish character says in Hebrew in the opening monologue of the first episode.

Hebrew-language outlet N12 reported on Sunday that many believe Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is involved in the series as he is interested in closer relations between the kingdom and the Zionist entity.

Several critics took to social media to express their outrage at the series, saying it portrays Jews as suffering from “injustices” in an Arab country.

Relatively, the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas denounced the TV series as a “political and cultural attempt to introduce the Zionist project to the Gulf society.”

“The character of Umm Haroun reminds me of [ex-‘Israeli’ prime minister] Golda Meir, the head of the occupation, who was a murderous criminal,” said senior Hamas official Ra’fat Murra. “This is the goal of normalization: hatred, slow killing and internal destruction.”

Murra said the series aims to falsify history and gradually introduce the Gulf society to normalization with the Zionist occupation, at a time when some Arab rulers are panting to build close ties with Zionist PM Benjamin Netanyahu to protect their thrones.

The al-Quds news network reported that 13 Palestinian groups and organizations had, in a joint statement, urged the Saudi-owned channel to stop airing “Umm Haroun.”

It is worth noting that the Zionist entity has full and announced diplomatic relations with only two Arab states, Egypt and Jordan, but latest reports suggest that the regime is working behind the scenes to establish formal contacts with Gulf Arab states such as Saudi Arabia.

Critics say Riyadh’s flirtation with Tel Aviv would undermine global efforts to isolate the Zionist entity and defend the Palestinian cause.

Saudi Arabia welcomed US President Donald Trump’s pro-‘Israel’ so-called “deal of the century,” which was unveiled in late January and rejected by all Palestinian groups.

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The US has declared a new energy war against Russia.

The US has declared a new energy war against Russia.

April 27, 2020

Translated by Eugenia for The Saker Blog

The US acknowledged that it is far behind Russia, and even China, in nuclear energy. But America wishes to restore its leadership in this area. This means that the fight between Russia and the US in energy won’t be limited to North Stream. Where is Russia ahead of the US and why the Americans are so scared of the Chinese nuclear industry?

“The US has lost its competitive advantage as the global leader in nuclear energy among the world state companies. Russia and China, as well as other countries, are actively trying to get ahead of us”. This is from the report of the US Department of Energy published last Thursday. Thus, the US officially recognizes its defeat in the field of nuclear energy. The loss of leadership endangers national interests and the security of the country.

DOE suggests a strategy for restoring the American leadership in this area. It includes a number of measures to improve the situation. Russia and China named as the countries that must be watched closely, as Russia has been way ahead of the US for a long time, whereas China has the ability to advance very so quickly that it couldn’t be overtaken.

The US dropped behind Russia in nuclear energy some time ago. Two and a half years ago, two American companies that mine uranium, Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy, warned that the share of the American-produced uranium on the US market dropped from 49% to 5%. They demanded that Trump introduce a quota of 25% for the American-produced uranium and impose tariffs on imported uranium. Trump then refused to introduce these limitations, but created a working group on nuclear fuel. This group was tasked with preparing a report on the US leadership in nuclear energy. The report cited above is the result of this group’s work. The previous report was submitted to Trump in 2019, but he sent it back for improvements.

“The US was not just a world leader – the US created nuclear energy as such. Even today, the US has more reactors in operation than anyone else (96 out of 442 operating in the world). However, after mid-1990s the US stopped building nuclear power plants. From 1996 to 2020, only one generating unit was built, and it was not built from scratch, but previously started construction was completed” – says Alexander Uvarov, director of Atominfo Center, editor-in-chief of Atominfo portal.

The US has lost many of its capabilities a long time ago.

The only thing that the US can still do is to produce nuclear fuel. However, the US have serious problems with uranium mining, and (which is even more important) with uranium enrichment and construction of nuclear power plants.

“Today, the US does not have commercial technologies of uranium enrichment. Old plants are closed, new ones have not been not built” – says Alexander Uvarov.

By official statistics for 2018 (stats for 2019 will be published in May), 52% of uranium enrichment for the US was done by other countries, whereas the remaining 48% were done by an American company. However, this is just a statistical trick, says Uvarov. American company in question is actually a plant of the European company URENCO built in the US. This plant belongs to URENCO USA, so it can be counted in statistics as American. But the Americans have no access to the technology used in this plant. At some point, the Russian Rosatom wanted to build an enrichment plant in the US. If it had, this plant would have also been counted as “American” in stats.

It is important to note that generation of nuclear fuel includes more than just mining (in case of the US – buying) uranium. Uranium mining in the US fell catastrophically – to 5-10%. The next step, uranium enrichment, is a lot more expensive and technologically challenging. The company enriching uranium needs complex technology and equipment. In contrast to the US, Russia has that.

What’s more, the US started using Russian companies to enrich uranium almost immediately after the end of Cold War, mostly because Russian technology was better and cheaper than the American one. Every year saw an increase in the Russian export of enriched uranium. In essence, Russia exports this high-tech service, which is honorable and very profitable. Next, enriched uranium is converted into a state suitable for making tablets out of it that are then incorporated into fuel rods, which we call nuclear fuel.

The American company Westinghouse that produces nuclear fuel and tries to substitute it for Russian fuel in the Ukrainian nuclear power plants, depends on the enrichment services, performed by Russian company Techsnabexport, among others.

“Right now, the US is almost completely dependent on imported uranium, most of which is supplied by subsidiaries of the Russian Rosatom”, – last year report said.

Meanwhile, the US lost not only its own mining and enrichment of uranium, it is way behind in nuclear power plant construction, including those that work on fast neutrons. “These reactors are built by Russia (BN-800 built, Brest-300 and MBIR are at different stages of construction), China (CDFR-600), and India. The US does not build them at all,” – says Uvarov.

The US does not have commercial technologies for the nuclear power plant construction, as it has not been doing this for a long time. The existing US nuclear power plants are reaching the end of their service. This means that they will need to be modernized and rebuilt, which makes the American market attractive for the market leaders – Russia, Europe, as well as ascending China.

Russia is actively building its nuclear power plants in every corner of the planet. Foreign orders for the next 10 years amount to $140 billion, says the head of Rosatom Alexey Likhachev. The key advantage of Rosatom is that is covers everything: construction, credit financing, fuel supply, training of local specialists, repairs, and utilization of spent fuel for the whole lifetime or the reactors (40-60 years).

As far as China is concerned, in the nuclear energy the US clearly acts proactively. For example, Huawei is hardly Apple yet, but Americans are scared of the technological supremacy of China, which, in contrast to Japan, does not intend to toe the line.

“First, this is a general trend of the US fight against China, which covers a lot more than nuclear energy. Second, Chinese nuclear energy is rapidly developing and, in many aspects, China will become a dangerous competitor. The US is already behind China in the capabilities of the nuclear industry and nuclear power plant construction. China has built 48 reactors, 45 of which were built in the last 20 years. And they have no intention of stopping” – says Uvarov.

With regard to Russia, the Americans have been a long time keeping the Russian nuclear energy industry on a tight leash preventing their dominance on the American market. First, Rosatom, in contrast to European URENCO, was not allowed to build an uranium enrichment plan in the US. Second, Russia has been limited in supplying enriched uranium to the US by a quota of 20%. That’s exactly why European URANCO enriches almost half of uranium used in the US, whereas Russia – only 20%. Now DOE demands that this quota is reduced starting from 2021, as the report says.

Interestingly, the US introduced these limitations long before 2014 sanctions, while the US promoted globalization and free markets within WTO. In early 1990s, the Americans conducted so-called anti-dumping investigation and allowed Russia to export to the US only uranium diluted from military grade enrichment. Tariffs were imposed on the rest. When Russian stocks of military grade uranium were exhausted, the US conducted another anti-dumping investigation and limited Russia by a 20% quota until 2020.

Starting in 2021, Russia could have increased the export of enriched uranium, but, likely, it won’t be allowed to do that, like it has not been allowed to do so ever since 1990s.

In its report, DOE proposes to renew the agreement, but reduce Russian quota, says Uvarov.

DOE also pro-actively demands that Russia (and also China) should not be allowed to supply ready nuclear fuel to the US, even though now neither Russia, nor China exports ready-to-use nuclear fuel.

Apparently, DOE is worried that Rosatom will finalize its project of producing fuel for nuclear reactors of Western design. This is the Rosatom’s project “TVS-Square”. “This project was Rosatom’s response to the Westinghouse’s actions in Ukraine. It is not completed on the industrial scale yet. But DOE clearly has that project in mind when demanding a pro-active ban on import of Russian nuclear fuel. They to include China as well for a good measure,” – says Uvarov.

روسيا وسورية: اثر التسريبات الإعلامية وحقيقة العلاقة

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

من غير سابق إنذار فتح بعض الإعلام الروسي النار على سورية ورئيسها، بشكل قاد بعض المتسرّعين من المحللين إلى القول بأنّ روسيا قلبت ظهر المجن لسورية وعقدت صفقة مع أميركا وتركيا تخلّت بموجبها عن الرئيس الأسد، وانّ هناك انقلاباً ينذر بتغيير روسي جذري قريب في سورية، فهل هذا صحيح وما إمكان تحققه؟

قبل النقاش في الأمر لا بدّ من العودة إلى بدء العدوان المركب على سورية في العام 2011، حيث التزمت روسيا موقف الحذر الذي ترجمته معارضة سياسية للعدوان مع امتناع عن التدخل الميداني والاكتفاء بمراقبة السلوك الإرهابي الذي تقوده أميركا لإسقاط سورية وتغيير قيادتها وإلحاقها بمنطقة النفوذ الأميركي في المنطقة. ورغم أنّ المشروع الأميركي كان من شأنه في حال نجاحه تهديد المصالح الروسية في المنطقة، فإنّ روسيا حاذرت المواجهة مع أميركا واختارت العمل الدبلوماسي المقيّد الذي لا يمنع أميركا من استمرار العدوان، لكنه لا يترك أميركا طليقة اليد في المجال السياسي الدولي لفعل ما تشاء على الساحة السورية ولهذا جمعت روسيا في سلوكها بين الفيتو الذي مارسته في مجلس الأمن ضدّ مشاريع القرارات التي تمسّ بمصالح سورية، وبين الإحجام عن التدخل العسكري نصرة للحكومة السورية. سلوك اعتمدته بخلفية الشكّ بقدرة النظام السوري على الصمود ورغبة في إشعار أميركا أنها ليست وحدها في المنطقة.

بيد أنّ سورية وبقدراتها الذاتية ومدعومة من محور المقاومة سفّهت أحلام قوى العدوان عليها وصمدت إلى حدّ اقتنعت روسيا فيه بأنّ دعمها لها إنْ حصل لا يمكن ان يذهب هدراً، وإنْ تركها وحدها في مواجهة العدوان فلن يكون في مصلحة روسيا خاصة إذا انتشر الإرهاب خارج سورية، متذكرة المقولة التاريخية أنّ «الدفاع عن موسكو يبدأ على أسوار دمشق»، لكلّ هذا استجابت روسيا في العام 2015 للطلب السوري وللتشجيع الإيراني وحرّكت جيشها بقوته النارية من طيران ومنظومات صاروخية وجو فضائية لتقديم الإسناد الناري للجيش العربي السوري الذي يكافح الإرهاب على أرضه.

ومع الدخول العسكري الروسي إلى سورية، اختلط الأمر على الكثير وقلة عرفوا حقيقة العلاقة أما الآخرون فمنهم من ظنّ انّ التدخل الروسي هو وضع يد على سورية ومنهم من رأى انّ روسيا دخلت مع سورية في حلف عسكري استراتيجي عضوي يجعلها عدواً لمن تعاديه، وصديقاً لمن تصادقه، وغاب عنهم انّ لروسيا سياستها التي تتقاطع مع سورية في أمور وتعاكسها في أمور أخرى، وأنّ وجودها العسكري في سورية له مهمة محدّدة تتصل بالحرب على الإرهاب ومنعه من إسقاط النظام. فمهمتها محدّدة لا تتعداها إلى مواجهة «إسرائيل» او محاربة تركيا او الخصومة مع دول الخليج، وحتما ليست لقتال أوروبا أو أميركا إذ بقي هؤلاء في القاموس الروسي خارج دائرة العداء رغم انّ أميركا تصنّف روسيا عدواً.

لقد تعرّضت روسيا لأكثر من اختبار في سورية، وتصرفت في التعامل مع هذه الاختبارات بذهنية الطامح لإشغال مقعد في الصف الأمامي الأول دولياً، والعامل لاجتثاث الإرهاب من كامل الأرض السورية، ولم تحاول فرض انتداب على سورية التي لا يمكن أن تتقبّل أصلاً هذا الأمر من أيّ جهة أتى، ولكنها كانت وما زالت تحاول إسداء النصح للحكومة السورية والتعامل مع الأطراف التي لا صلة قائمة بينها وبين سورية بالشكل الذي تراه هي أنه يخدم أهدافها. فعقدت تفاهمات مع أميركا تمنع الصدام معها، ووضعت قواعد للتعامل مع التدخل الإسرائيلي في سورية، وجذبت تركيا إلى استانة للانضمام اليها مع إيران لتشكيل ثلاثية رعاية حلّ في سورية واستقبلت أكثر من طرف سوري وإقليمي ودولي للبحث بحلول للمسألة السورية. وهنا شاب الغموض في تحديد موقع روسية وصلتها بكلّ تلك الأطراف غموض زادت خطورته مع حملة بعض الإعلام الروسي ضدّ الرئيس الأسد إلى الحدّ الذي ذهب البعض بعيداً في التأويل والقول إنّ روسيا بدأت مسار البحث عن بديل له قبل الانتخابات المقبلة في العام 2021 فما هي الحقيقة؟

بداية نقول بأنّ سورية ليست مستعمرة روسية وليست تحت الوصاية الروسية، ولو كانت سورية بصدد قبول وصاية او استعمار او انتداب خارجي لما قاتلت دفاعاً عن استقلالها 9 سنوات حتى الآن. وبالتالي وفي معرض تحديد طبيعة علاقة روسيا بسورية يجب الانطلاق من مسلّمة استقلال سورية وسيادتها، وعلى سبيل المثال نقول إنّ روسيا وقعت على بيان جنيف في 30 حزيران 2012 الذي يتضمّن النص على مرحلة انتقالية تفضي إلى خروج الرئيس الأسد، ولكن سورية عملت كما ترى مصلحتها السيادية وأجرت انتخابات رئاسية في العام 2014 جدّدت للرئيس في موقعه وسقط البيان في غياهب النسيان.

إنّ روسيا تعلم ذلك، وتذكر انّ كثيراً من الاتفاقات التي عقدت بينها وبين أطراف تناهض سورية بقيت في الأدراج لأنّ سورية تحتفظ لنفسها بحق قبول أو رفض أيّ شيء وفقاً لمصالحها الوطنية. فروسيا تلتقي مع الآخرين على نقاط لا تقبل بها سورية وتعمل في كلّ السبل بعكسها، ومنها على سبيل المثال ما يُقال عن وجود تفاهم تركي أميركي روسي على منع الحسم العسكري في الميدان السوري أو تأخيره إلى ما بعد الاتفاق السياسي على شكل الدولة ونظامها كما والعمل على خروج إيران والقوى العسكرية التي تدور في فلكها من سورية، وأخيراً إحداث تغييرات بنيوية جذريّة في النظام السوري يهجر نظام القوة القومية والوطنية المركزي ويقيم نظام التعددية الذي يشبه أنظمة الضعف في لبنان والعراق.

بيد أنه مهما كان من أمر التفاهم او الخلاف، فإنّ روسيا تعلم جيداً رفض سورية لكلّ ما تقدّم من تفاهمات تخالف إرادتها، وأنها، أيّ سورية، أعلمت كلّ من يعنيه الأمر أنها تفضل الحرب على الإرهاب على الحلّ السياسي، وترفض إشراك من يستمرّ مقاتلاً في الميدان في المفاوضات السياسية أو تحديد مستقبل النظام، كما ترفض أيّ نوع من الوصاية او التدخل في صياغة الدستور السوري او تحديد شكل النظام، وترفض أيّ مسّ بحدود سورية او التنازل عن أيّ شبر منها بما في ذلك الجولان. وأخيراً تؤكد سورية على حقها في إنشاء شبكة العلاقات الدولية التي تناسبها ممارسة لسيادتها واستقلالها ما يعني رفض الإملاءات حول الدور الإيراني فيها.

فسورية، كما روسيا، يعلم كلّ منهما مناطق الاتفاق والخلاف والتباين. ويدرك الطرفان حاجة الواحد للآخر من دون ان تكون الحاجة السورية مدخلاً للتنازل عن السيادة والاستقلال. وسورية تعرف حدود الدعم الروسي لها وعمق العلاقة الروسية ـ «الإسرائيلية»، ورفض روسيا لأيّ مواجهة مع أي من أطراف الحلف الأطلسي و»إسرائيل» على الأرض السورية مهما كان حجم العدوان من قبلهم. ومع هذا تراهن على استمرار الدعم الروسي في المجال العسكري لمحاربة الإرهاب في حدود ما ذكر وتثق بالعلاقة الاستراتيجيّة مع روسيا، لكنها لا تصل إلى حدّ التسليم لروسيا بالقرار في سورية او توكيل روسيا بالتفاوض نيابة عن سورية. وهي تقدّر وقوف روسيا إلى جانبها في الميدان وفي مجلس الأمن وفي مواجهة خصومها خاصة في مسائل وحدة سورية وسيادتها على أرضها وثرواتها.

في الخلاصة نقول إنّ العلاقات الروسية السورية ليست من الطبيعة التي تفترض التطابق في كلّ شيء، وليست من الطبيعة التي تجعل طرفاً يسيطر على آخر ويملك قراره ويصادر سيادته، بل إنّ هناك مناطق اتفاق وأخرى فيها خلاف، وبما انّ الإعلام يصطاد في مناطق الخلاف فلا يكون من المفاجئ أن نسمع ونقرأ مواقف في غير مصلحة هذا المقام أو ذاك، لكن العبرة تبقى لما يصدر عمّن بيده القرار وصلاحية رسم السياسة. وفي هذا المجال نقول إنّ العلاقة الروسية السورية في موقع يناسب الطرفين قوة ووضوحاً وطمأنينة، ولن يكون هناك أيّ أثر للقنبلة الصوتية التي أطلقها بعض الإعلام المدفوع الأجر. فسورية قوية بذاتها ومحور مقاومتها ولن يُملى على شعبها شيء لا يريده. حقيقة يعلمها الجميع كما يعلمون انّ مقام الرئيس الأسد واستمراره في موقعه هو موطن من مواطن قوة سورية رمز انتصارها ولا يجرؤ أحد على العبث به.

*أستاذ جامعي – خبير استراتيجي.

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يأس أميركي من السيطرة على الدولة اليمنيّة

د. وفيق إبراهيم

الحرب العسكرية المفتوحة على اليمن منذ نصف عقد تقريباً هي مشروع سياسي يعمل الجيشان السعودي والإماراتي وقوات يمنية داخلية ومرتزقة من الأجانب على تحقيقه بالقوة العسكرية المتنوعة البرية والبحرية والجوية، بتغطية أميركية مفتوحة على كل المستويات.

بما يعني أن اقتطاع المجلس الانتقالي الجنوبي الموالي للإمارات محافظات عدن ولحج والضالع وسيطرة السعودية وحزب الإصلاح التركي على محافظات حضرموت وشبوه والمهرة ومآرب والجوف، لا تعني انتصار المشروع السياسي الأصلي، اي الاستحواذ على كامل الدولة اليمنية وتطويعها في إطار الهيمنة السعودية والنفوذ الأميركي الجيوبوليتيكي.

نحن اذاً امام مشهد يعكس فشل المشروع الأميركي الاساسي للحرب بدليل أن دولة صنعاء تسيطر على الساحل الغربي وصولاً الى اعالي صعدة قرب الحدود مع السعودية وتتوغل جنوباً وشرقاً في مواجهة القوات الإماراتية والسعودية والإصلاح الأخواني التركي الهوى في جنوبي اليمن، مقابل قوات يمنية سعودية تتقاتل في الميدان الجنوبي مع قوات حزب الإصلاح التي تنحاز الى الطرف السعودي لأن مناطق سيطرتها في مأرب متداخلة مع القوات المؤيدة للسعودية.

لذلك يفضح هذا المشهد مدى التناقض بين قوات ما يُسمّى التحالف العربي، لكنه يكشف اكثر إعلاناً أميركياً كبيراً بسقوط مشروع إسقاط دولة صنعاء لبناء دولة يمنية واحدة تحت السيطرة الميدانية السعودية الإماراتية والجيوبوليتيكة الأميركية.

هناك ضرورة لعرض تحليل عقلي يستند الى مجريات هذه الأحداث المتتابعة للإعلان بصوت قوي عن سقوط المشروع الأميركي في يمن موحّد.

اولاً، توجد مصلحة أميركية استراتيجية بالإمساك الكامل والى حدود الخنق بالخط البحري من بحر عدن والمتفرّع نحو المحيط الهندي من جهة وباب المندب – قناة السويس البحر المتوسط من جهة ثانية.

هذا خط يختزن حركة العبور التجاري بمعدل 20 في المئة من التجارة العالمية، مسهلاً عبور قرابة 18 مليون برميل نفط يومياً، مهيمناً على حركة الإبحار من مضيق هرمز الذي تسيطر عليه ايران وتستعمله لأغراضها التجارية بحريّة كبيرة حتى الآن، ما يزيد من اهمية ممرات اليمن البحرية للنفوذ الأميركي في منطقة الشرق الاوسط.

ثانياً، إن حجم الانصياع السعودي – الإماراتي للسياسات الأميركية الشرق اوسطية والخليجية لا جدال فيه على الاطلاق وصولاً الى اقتناع مراكز البحث العالمية ان السعودية والإمارات لا تستطيعان بناء مشاريع عسكرية وسياسية خارج كيانيهما السياسي إلا بالاتفاق المسبق مع الأميركيين، وللتأكيد على هذا الامر فموجود في السابقات التاريخية والارتباط الخليجي مع الأميركيين في كل شيء منذ 1945 تاريخ معاهدة كوينسي بين الرئيس الأميركي روزفلت وعبد العزيز، هذه الاتفاقية التي قامت على تحالف سياسي استراتيجي اقتصادي كامل، واضحكت المحللين لأنها تقوم على اساس وضع يد الشركات الأميركية على النفط الخليجي مقابل تصدير السعودية للغرب بعض أنواع البلح والكثير من الرشى والمكرمات.

هذا ما يدفع الى طرح السؤال التالي، هل بوسع السعودية والإمارات فتح حرب للسيطرة على اليمن بما يعنيه من اهميات استراتيجية دولية متنوعة من دون التشاور المسبق حول هذا الموضوع؟

الا ان التشاور المسبق يتطلّب اقتراباً في الأوزان السياسية، وهذا ليس موجوداً لجهة قياس الأحجام بين عملاق أميركي ودمى خليجية قرون أوسطية.

ثالثاً: مشروع السيطرة على اليمن هو جزء استراتيجي من المشروع الأميركي الذي ابتدأ منذ 1990 بإعادة هندسة الشرق الاوسط على نحو أميركي كامل مستغلاً انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي وتراجع دور الدولة الروسية في حينه.

إزاء هذه المعطيات يجب اعتبار الحرب السعودية الإماراتية على اليمن، حرباً أميركية كاملة بعنوان خليجي مع الإقرار بوجود مصلحة سعودية تريد احتلال اليمن لمنعه من تشكيل دولة قوية تتموضع على اعلى نقطة مشرفة على جزيرة العرب بجناحها السعودي والعثماني.

فإذا كانت هذه الحرب الأميركية فماذا يعني الصراع السعودي – الإماراتي على مناطق الجنوب والشرق اليمنيين؟

وهل بإمكان السعودية والإمارات التقاتل داخل الجنوب اليمني من دون «اذن» أميركي؟

لذلك فإن التحليل العلمي يؤكد أن هناك إحباطاً أميركياً كبيراً من العجز في حسم حرب اليمن، يذهب الى الخوف من انفجار الوضع في الجنوب ونشوب انتفاضة فيه على الاستعمارين السعودي والإماراتي.

هذا الى جانب التقدم اليومي للقوات العسكرية لدولة صنعاء.

لقد استحوذ على العقل الأميركي هاجس يعتبر ان سيطرة جيش صنعاء على مأرب هو مقدمة انهيار سعودي بنيوي مع انطلاق تمرّد ضخم في الجنوب، وهذا يعني خسارة اليمن وضرب الاستقرار في السعودية البقرة الحلوب، لذلك أوعز الأميركيون بإشارات لتقسيم الجنوب والشرق بينهما على قاعدة إلغاء كل القوى الجنوبية المستعدة لبناء مقاومات شعبية لطرد المحتلين السعودي و الإماراتي.

هناك نقطة ثانية في الاشارة الأميركية وتقضي بالعودة الى مفاوضات ستوكهولم في محاولة لتجميد الأزمة اليمنية عند خطوط القتال العسكري الحالي وللسماح للسعودية والإمارات ترويض المناطق التي اقتسموها في اليمن.

هذه مشاريع أميركية تجهر بإعلان فشلها بالسيطرة على كامل اليمن، ولن يكون بوسعها تمرير مخططها الجديد، لأن دولة صنعاء بالمرصاد وتتجه الى بناء تحالفات مع قوى يمنية جنوبية.

بما يؤدي الى سحب كل الذرائع السعودية الإماراتية مع العودة الى مقاومات قابلة للانتصار وتأسيس الكيان العربي الوحيد القادر في هذا المدى الخليجي على ممارسة دور إقليمي لمصلحة اليمن وكامل المنطقة العربية ودورها الأساسي في الشرق الاوسط.

The end of globalisation won’t be televised, despite the hopes of the Western 99% (2/2)

Monday, 27 April 2020 5:46 AM  

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The end of globalisation won’t be televised, despite the hopes of the Western 99% (2/2)

By Ramin Mazaheri


Part 1 
discussed how the West’s coronavirus response totally ignored the needs of their lower classes, and also how Iran’s “Resistance Economy” rejects Western economic liberalism (and neoliberalism) which has always sought to relegate non-Westerners to second-class economic partners.

As I have written previously, the West’s corona response is not just murderously mediocre but middle-class – it assumes everyone has a comfortable home, savings and a stable job. The West is employing quarantining, control methods and collective-over-individualist concepts used by Asian nations, but without having similar cultures of government economic intervention nor widespread trust in their governments. It is not hysteria to suggest that this could prove fatal to their bubble-filled, high-finance dominated economies.

There is a lot of foolish talk from Westerners, who are effectively forbidden to learn about and discuss how capitalism-imperialism truly operates, regarding how corona will cause supply chains to move back home. This has produced a lot of soon-to-be-forgotten agreement from their politicians, who are desperate to show that – all of a sudden – they care about their lower classes. Recall that the “end of irony” was proclaimed after 9/11 – will we see the “end of globalisation” because of coronavirus?

That’s funny.

The state of Delaware is where most US corporations are located and buy their charters – if it is not the world’s biggest corporate tax haven, according to The New York Times and The Japan Times, the state is certainly among the world’s top five. (Indeed, it should now be no surprise why Delaware senator Joe Biden was chosen to be Barack Obama’s running mate amid the 2008 economic crisis.) It could not be more crystal clear, even though neoliberals in the US often try to sow confusion about this fact: “Delaware corporate law requires corporate directors to manage firms for the benefit of shareholders, and not for any other constituency.” So anyone thinking corporations will sacrifice a mere fraction of their stock price in order to move supply chains back home are absolutely deluded about the possibility of patriotism, much less humanity, in “Capitalism with American characteristics”: their laws explicitly forbid it.

The post-corona persistence of neoliberalism – an ideology predicated on reducing government programs and expenditures for the 99% with ruthless efficiency – means that Western governments both national and local will be so strapped for cash in a post-Lockdown climate that they will be forced to try and save every nickel they can to maximise ever-more inadequate tax revenues and income. They will forced to buy from China, Haiti or whoever can save them pennies, because this is exactly what neoliberalism demands – it fundamentally neuters economic patriotism.

Urban hipsters who perhaps previously would pay premiums to “eat local” (because it is tastier) will soon find that unemployment (or a worsening of the seemingly never-ending underemployment for the West’s youth class) drastically alters one’s menu options. They would like to “eat local”, but many will be forced to forego the local farmers’ market to buy their food as cheaply as possible, and regardless of provenance.

So such talk from Esquire magazine bout how corona will usher in a new economy based around “resilience preparedness” is totally absurd: the very basis of globalisation is hyper-specialisation (Adam Smith) and turning every nation into a single cash crop/cow (David Ricardo’s comparative advantage) writ large, and these two concepts are the very opposite pole of resilience. Hyper-specialisation is hyper-resistant… but in one single area; if classic liberalism or modern neoliberalism or the “free market” selected your country to produce hygienic masks, congratulations! According to them you should jack up the price and the rest of us should not try to domestically produce our own.

Contrarily, we can say that Iran has tried to create “specialisation” in the normal way – within a single national economy’s different regions instead of all over the world, messianically and arrogantly. This is why they have employed a “resistance economy” (with many egalitarian principles held over from the “command/war economy” era), which is based around self-sufficiency, protectionism, government intervention to stimulate innovation in vital sectors, and government ownership in essentially every sector with medium or large importance. This, even more than the insistence that Islam is compatible with democracy, is why the West wages war on Iran.

The good news for Iranians: these economic principles are what promote resilience and preparedness, they curtail the indebtedness/poverty of the lower classes, and they will make Iran far more capable of weathering the economic turmoil of the coming months.

It is amusing that some in the West are now clamouring for sensible, humane, patriotic, efficient measures which Iran has employed for decades. Is Iran’s economic idea more exportable to Esquire if we call it a “resilience economy”, perhaps?

The Iranian economy in opposition to the West’s seemingly certain post-Great Lockdown economic chaos

At the root of this economic program is not anti-capitalism but anti-the-type-of-capitalism which today’s Iranians are violently confronted by: neoliberalism and globalisation. This form of capitalism is the most-geared towards maximising the profits and market concentration of the 1%, whereas a “resistance economy” is fundamentally-geared towards satisfying the needs of the Iranian 99%. The Koran sanctions capitalism, after all, but it bans usury and has clear exhortations to equality and the economic redistribution of massively-ordered charity. (If the West would simply follow the ban on usury – exorbitant interest and debilitating compound interest – they would be so much better off….)

If the Iranian Revolution did not satisfy the needs of their 99%… how can we possibly explain its endurance amid all the growth-sabotaging Cold War from the West? The question never was growth, after all, but re-distribution. The same logical argument stands for anti-imperialist Cuba and North Korea – caricaturing these nations as totalitarian oligarchies will continue to lose its false power for as long as these countries continue to not just endure but thrive (considering Western blockades), and for as long as the West’s post-1980 inequality entrenchment continues. Despite the looming economic crisis, does anyone really believe the West is culturally capable of reversing these inequality trends?

Undoubtedly, the West’s corona overreaction will make their economies – which were already in a Great Recession – even weaker.

Yes, this will force more Western domestic criticism of neoliberalism and globalisation, but will it really? How can it when France’s Muslims, US so-called “White Trash” and their lower-class counterparts across the “West + client” world cannot even be seen on their televisions? We are logical to believe that open criticism of the ideology of globalisation will be muted very shortly, because all these nations have airwaves which are dominated by a handful of corporations; contrarily, the Iranian government owns all the radio and TV waves – to get the outlook of not-always-selfless private media one can turn to Iran’s extremely critical, thriving print press.

Yes, the West’s reduced economies will necessarily reduce the influence and local reach of governments, but this reduced reach can easily be counter-balanced by the drastic quasi-martial laws which have already been employed. France almost certainly has the most over-policed corona lockdown (800,000 citations already), mais bien sûr: they just had an Islamophobia-based two-year state of emergency, which President Emmanuel Macron legalised into normal police practice.

Yes, the gut-wrenching reduction in wealth for the West’s lower classes may provoke “Western-style populism”, but this ideology is intrinsically reformist and not revolutionary. Look at the Five-Star Movement in Italy – it took them eight years to win significant power, but they have not been able to make significant changes. In their last national election the superb Yellow Vests gained merely half the votes of the (ugh) Animal Rights Party.

Yes, Westerners can see that all the evidence points to the necessity that they must change, but we must recall how very culturally chauvinistic they are: The West is hysterically convinced that their system is supreme – even among their “dissidents”, who are usually just “semi-dissidents” at best – despite all the evidence of failure and their perennial disregard of their own lower classes.

So combine this inherent conservativeness (liberal reformism), with neoliberal cultural saturation, with laws that forbid leavening neoliberalism, with “it’s not totalitarian when the West does it”, and it’s hard to compute a conclusion where the Great Lockdown produces a drastic reform of the Western economy, no? They have to overcome all of these trends, laws and false beliefs simultaneously and in great measure.

That would be a revolution. The West, the great thwarter of progressive revolutions, is supposedly now on the cusp of having one?

The only thing more idiotic than such talk are the commentators who accuse Iranian Reformists of being “neoliberals”, which is as stupid as calling Biden-backing Bernie Sanders or the French “socialists”. The Iranians most associated with the “resistance economy” are indeed Ayatollah Khamenei, ex-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Principlist Party, but the idea that Reformists aren’t hugely, hugely on board with countless resistance economy principles is just eye-rollingly wrong.

The reality – well-known in Iran – is that there is absolutely no room in Iranian politics for any political group which pushes ending the pro-99%, government-interventionist, fundamentally anti-neoliberal direction of the economy for this simple fact: they would never get re-elected by the 99%, and thus such a movement is necessarily finished before it could ever even could get started in Iranian democracy. Capitalism is sanctioned by the Qur’an, so it will always have a place, but neoliberal capitalism (again, all capitalism is not “neoliberalism” just as all socialism is not “violently atheistic Russian Soviet socialism”)? Not hardly.

Smith and Ricardo’s liberal ideas that each region should produce only that which it was perfectly suited to producing had one fatal flaw: such perfect harmony cannot possibly ever exist in a capitalist-imperialist system, because such a system is predicated upon competition. This is not a small flaw in their ivory-tower thinking, nor am I resorting to a mere humbug attack on “human nature” – competition, instead of cooperation, is a poor foundation for human stability and peace.

Such harmony and mutually-beneficial arrangements (and on a global scale, no less!) could only possibly ever be achieved in a world that has a basis which is definitely not neoliberal, which is very wary of capitalism’s excesses and constant exhortations to battles both big and small, and which tacitly accepts resolutely anti-imperialist and thus essentially socialist economics as the foundation.

You may not want Iran’s culture – that’s natural, they don’t want yours.

But across the West their lower classes are clamouring for an economy with many of Iran’s motivations and practices – they will be ignored, sadly.

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

www.presstv.ir

www.presstv.co.uk

www.presstv.tv

The Restoration of Self-Rule in South Yemen Is the Next Step Towards Independence

By Andrew Korybko

Global Research, April 27, 2020

South Yemen’s Southern Transitional Council declared self-rule over the vast regions of the country that they claim as their own in response to the Saudi-backed Hadi government’s repeated violations of last year’s Riyadh Agreement that was aimed at de-escalating tensions between the nominally allied sides, thus representing the next step towards independence and one which couldn’t have been made at a more strategically opportune moment.

Self-Rule As A Stepping Stone Towards Independence

Yemen is once again making headlines across the world after the Southern Transitional Council (STC) declared self-rule over the vast regions of the country that they claim as their own per their quest to restore sovereignty to the Old Cold War-era state of South Yemen. The separatist group stopped short of outright declaring independence, but few are under any illusions that this step isn’t a means towards that eventual end. That scenario could have been avoided, however, had the Saudi-backed Hadi government not repeatedly violated last year’s Riyadh Agreement that was aimed at de-escalating tensions between the nominally allied sides following the STC’s liberation of Aden over the summer, which the author analyzed at the time in his piece about how “South Yemen Is Already Functionally Independent Even If It’s Not Recognized As Such“. The accord was supposed to have been a de-facto power-sharing agreement that would have seen the separatists incorporated into the state’s official framework in order to satisfy most of their political demands for fairer representation of their home region that’s been subjugated by the North since the South’s defeat during the brief 1994 civil war.

Rubbishing The Riyadh Agreement

Hadi — and by extrapolation, his Saudi backers — had other plans, however, which were likely motivated by the desire to eliminate his only credible rivals under the cover of the Riyadh Agreement, naively hoping that they’d let their guard down during this time so that the government could take maximum advantage of the fragile peace. That was a terrible miscalculation in hindsight since it rested on the assumptions that Saudi Arabia would fully support Hadi’s forces no matter the circumstances and that his representatives are popular enough to replace the STC in the aftermath of their planned power struggle, both of which couldn’t have been more wrong. The STC is extremely popular among native Southerners and regarded by them as a government-in-waiting whose legitimacy is absolute, unlike the questionable domestic legitimacy of Hadi’s internationally recognized authorities. The only conceivable scenario in which Hadi’s Saudi-backed forces could retain control over South Yemen would be through the imposition of a brutal dictatorship that rules through state terror, which is unsustainable for both practical and cost-related (financial, military, and humanitarian) reasons.

Perfect Timing

The very fact that it was attempted in spite of the obviousness of its inevitable failure speaks to just how desperate Hadi and his patrons have become. They received their comeuppance over the weekend after the STC declared self-rule and immediately began reasserting its authority over Aden, which couldn’t have come at a more strategically opportune moment. Saudi Arabia is mired in uncertainty over its future following the disastrous oil price war that it launched against Russia in early March and which runs the risk of bankrupting the Kingdom. In fact, the Saudi Finance Minister recently announced that his country might take on close to $60 billion in debt by the end of the year in order to cover budget shortfalls from this crisis, which is a far cry from its formerly comfortable position of posting yearly surpluses. Under these conditions, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) might understandably think twice about getting further caught in the quagmire of “mission creep” in Yemen by expanding his military campaign there to fully support Hadi’s forces against the STC, especially considering just how badly he’s already failed in this respect and also in terms of his original mission of dislodging the Ansarullah (“Houthis”) from North Yemen despite half a decade of trying.

MBZ & MBS, Mentor & Mentee

Another factor for observers to keep in mind is that MBS is mentored by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed (MBZ), his coalition ally in Yemen whose country also sponsors the STC. This adds an interesting angle to the context in which the STC’s self-rule declaration was made. It can’t be known for certain, but it’s highly likely that the group coordinated this move with the UAE, which strongly suggests that MBZ is taking advantage of MBS’ domestic difficulties in order to assert his smaller country as the real “big brother” in their bilateral relationship just like the role that he already fulfills for MBS on a personal level. Should MBZ be successful with this strategic coup by convincing his mentee that it’s better for him to order Hadi to immediately begin Yemen’s federal bifurcation instead of bearing the tremendous costs associated with militantly opposing the STC (provided of course that the group has firm security guarantees from the UAE in the event of a Saudi-backed counterattack), then the UAE would have in effect replaced Saudi Arabia as the most powerful Arab nation in the world.

Concluding Thoughts

It’ll of course remain to be seen exactly how Saudi Arabia reacts to the latest developments in South Yemen, but there are convincing reasons to predict that it’ll eschew a costly proxy war with the UAE in favor of working to promote a so-called “political solution” instead, which would have to result in the federal bifurcation of the country along North-South lines instead of just rehashing the Riyadh Agreement if it’s to stand any chance of being accepted by the STC. The separatists crossed the Rubicon over the weekend but wouldn’t have done so had their Emirati patrons opposed their dramatic move to declare self-rule over the regions of the country that they claim as their own, so it should be assumed that MBZ is in support of their declaration despite it obviously being disadvantageous to his Saudi mentee’s geostrategic interests. MBS is therefore in a bind since both options available to him inevitably result in losing some degree of “face”, so he’s basically forced to choose between the “lesser of two evils”, which in this case is submitting to the new on-the-ground political reality created by the STC despite it greatly undermining the reason why he launched his war in the first place instead of fighting the Emirati-backed group and risking an irreconcilable rift with his mentor.

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This article was originally published on OneWorld.

Andrew Korybko is an American Moscow-based political analyst specializing in the relationship between the US strategy in Afro-Eurasia, China’s One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity, and Hybrid Warfare. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image is from OneWorldHadi’s Fall, Rise of South Yemen, End of the War?The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Andrew Korybko, Global Research, 2020

هل هناك ربط نزاع أميركيّ ـ إيراني يظلل العراق؟ماذا عن فرص مماثلة للبنان؟

ناصر قنديل

لا يمكن اعتبار القرار الأميركيّ بتمديد الاستثناء الممنوح للحكومة العراقية من العقوبات الأميركية لقاء السماح لها باستجرار الكهرباء والغاز من إيران، شأناً ثانوياً، لو كانت المناخات تذهب بين واشنطن وطهران للتصعيد، وإذا أضفنا لهذا القرار الصيغة التي ولد فيها تكليف مدير المخابرات مصطفى الكاظمي بتشكيل الحكومة الجديدة، بعد لقاء مع رئيس مجلس الأمن القومي الإيراني الجنرال علي شامخاني، ثم بتسميته من ائتلاف البناء وتكتل الفتح كقوة رئيسية في محور المقاومة، وكيف تمّت تسوية خلاف الكاظمي مع كتائب حزب الله، وكيف أوقفت الكتائب عملياتها ضد الأميركيين، لا بدّ من أن نلحظ أن العراق الذي كان مرشحاً لتشكيل ساحة الاشتباك الرئيسي بين إيران وأميركا بعد اغتيال القائدين قاسم سليماني وأبي مهدي المهندس، تحول إلى ساحة ربط نزاع رئيسيّة في زمن كورونا.

الكاظمي كجسر يربط العلاقات الأميركية الإيرانية في زمن حكومة حيدر العبادي، ليس محسوباً كرجل أميركا ولا كرجل إيران، بقدر ما هو رجل الواقعية السياسية في العراق بنظر الكثيرين الذين يعتبرون أن الحكومة التي يشتغل عليها لا تستمدّ قيمتها من تركيبتها، بل من موقع الكاظمي وضماناته لقوى المقاومة من جهة، وعدم تشكيل اسمه تحدياً للأميركيين من جهة موازية. وهو في هذا يشبه في كثير من الجوانب الرئيس حسان دياب الذي لم يأت من شخصيات قوى الثامن من آذار، رغم تكليفه بتسمية من غالبية نيابية معلومة السياسات. والسؤال الذي يطرحه فضول البحث عن الفرص، هو: هل يملك لبنان فرصة مماثلة مع حكومة الرئيس دياب، بالحصول على عائدات ربط نزاع إيراني أميركي، يمنحه بعض فرص التنفس؟

في الظاهر تبدو القوى الحليفة لواشنطن في حال الاستعداد لمواجهة حكومة الرئيس دياب، وهي تشحذ سكاكينها طائفياً ومذهبياً، وكثيرون يتحدثون عن أمر عمليات أميركي بالتصعيد مستندين إلى جولات السفيرة الأميركية، لكن هذه الجولات حطّت رحالها في دارة رئيس التيار الوطني الحر، وليس ما يوحي بقرار أميركي تصعيدي بمقدار ما يبدو الأمر، تعويضاً أميركياً بالحركة والنصائح والتدخلات عن العجز عن مواصلة المواجهة في المنطقة. وربما يكون ذلك تعبيراً عن قلق من نيات تصعيدية على مستوى الحكم في لبنان، لفرض تركيبة في مراكز الدولة المفصلية من لون أشدّ بعداً عن الأميركيين وقرباً من المقاومة وحلفائها، وليس بعيداً أيضاً أن يكون ذعر حلفاء واشنطن من الاستهداف تحت عنوان مكافحة الفساد، قد وقع عند الأميركيين في دائرة الاختبار، لكن لا شيء يُوحي بنيات تصعيد أميركية بوجه المقاومة، كما لا شيء يوحي باستعداد أميركي لتقديم أي شيء لحكومة الرئيس حسان دياب.

السؤال قد يبدو غريباً، لكن المنطق يستدعي طرحه، طالما أن العراق أهم من لبنان للأميركيين، وطالما أنهم هناك عسكرياً، ورغم ذلك وافقوا للحكومة على استجرار الكهرباء والغاز من إيران، ولو لم يكن العراق بلداً منتجاً للنفط واحتاج نفطاً إيرانياً لوافقوا له على استجرار النفط، بينما بالمقابل فإن لبنان يحتاج الكهرباء والنفط وتعرضهما عليه إيران بتمويل ميسّر، ومقسّط وبأسعار مخفضة، ويشكلان في فاتورته بالعملات الصعبة نسبة نصف النزيف غير القابل للاستغناء عنه، فلم لا تجرب الحكومة مخاطبة الحكومة الأميركية طلباً لاستثناء مشابه للاستثناء العراقي. وثمة مَن تحدث أمامي من الدبلوماسيين أنه لو فعل لبنان ذلك لحصل على الاستثناء بالمثل لما حصل عليه العراق!

Israel launches heavy strikes over Syrian capital

By News Desk -2020-04-270

Last night, the Israeli Air Force launched airstrikes over the Syrian capital, Damascus, causing a number of explosions over the southern suburbs.

According to a field source in Damascus, the Israeli Air Force fired several missiles towards the Sayyeda Zaynab District, prompting the Syrian air defenses to engage the hostile projectiles from the Mezzeh Airbase.

He would add that the Israeli Air Force conducted these airstrikes from Lebanese airspace, which is common occurrence.No casualties have been confirmed as of yet.

Last night’s airstrikes by the Israeli Air Force marks the second time this month that they have struck an area inside of Syria.

The last attack by the Israeli Air Force targeted the T-4 Airbase in the Homs Governorate; these strikes resulted in the death of three Syrian military personnel.

Despite possessing the Russian-made S-300 system, the Syrian air defenses have yet to use them against the Israeli forces, as they appear to be primarily concentrated in the western part of the Arab Republic.

Video footage of Syrian air defenses confronting Israeli missiles over Damascus

BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:10 A.M.) – The Syrian air defenses were activated last night when several Israeli missiles were fired from Lebanon into the southwestern part of the country.

The Syrian military reported that “our air defenses confronted the” Israeli hostile targets in the skies of Damascus and brought them down.”

According to a field source, the Israeli missiles were targeting the Sayyeda Zaynab District of Damascus, which is a popular destination for Muslims during Ramadan.

“The air defense forces responded to an Israeli missile attack in the sky of the southern countryside of the capital, Damascus,” a Syrian military source told Sputnik Arabic, saying that “the missile aggression was carried out by Israeli aircraft from the Lebanese airspace.”

The source confirmed, “The Syrian anti-aircraft were able to shoot down a number of missiles before they reached their targets, and work is underway to limit the damage .”

The security source stressed that the”the Israeli aggression was carried out by about 8 missiles and 5 of them were dropped before reaching its target.”

A video was later released by Al-Ikhbariya that showed the Syrian air defenses trying to bring down the Israeli missiles over southwestern Syria.

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FAMILY SPAT: TURKISH ARMY CLASHING WITH TURKISH PROXIES IN IDLIB

South Front

Early on April 27, the Israeli Air Force carried out a series of airstrikes on alleged Iranian targets in the countryside of Damascus. As always, pro-Israeli sources claimed that the missile attack hit and destroyed weapon depots and HQs of Hezbollah and Iranian forces. Syrian state media reported that 3 civilians were killed and 4 others wounded in the villages of Hujaira and Adliya as a result of the strike.

Tensions between Idlib militants and their Turkish sponsors and protectors have been growing since the last weekend.

On April 26, the Turkish Army clashed with Idlib radicals near their camp blocking the M4 highway near the town of Nayrab. At least 7 people were killed or injured, when Turkish forces opened fire at protesters blocking their column in the area.

According to pro-militant sources, Turkish troops tried to remove the protest camp from the area in order to expand the chunk of the highway used for joint patrols with the Russian Military Police. Another reason is the hostile posture of Idlib protesters towards Turkish troops deployed in the de-escalation area. Earlier in April, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham militants deployed at the highway and recorded a video threatening to behead Turkish soldiers. Ankara likely opted to give a lesson to its restive proxies.

However, the situation went out of control.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham militants shelled a Turkish observation post south of Nayrab with mortars injuring a Turkish soldier. He was evacuated by military helicopters to Turkey. The clashes continued with at least two drone strikes on Hayat Tahrir al-Sham positions near the village of San. Two militants were killed in the attack.

In response to Turkish actions, militants shelled Turkish MRAPs moving near Nayrab with heavy machine guns and reportedly launched anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) at a bulldozer and a battle tank of the Turkish Army. The impact of the ATGM strikes remains unclear.

These clashes became a visual demonstration that Idlib terrorists remain terrorists and are not ready to abandon their radical ideology and make concessions needed to propel Turkish interests. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and other al-Qaeda-linked groups receive funding, weapons and even direct military support, but put their own goals and plans first. So, all the while Turkey is pouring money and resources into the al-Qaeda-infested black hole.

The lack of loyalty among Idlib groups forces Turkey to extensively use its own troops to keep at least a semblance of control over the situation. Since the establishment of the new ceasefire regime in Idlib on March 5, the Turkish military has reportedly sent 2,810 military and logistical vehicles to the region. Pro-militant sources claim that approximately 10,000 Turkish troops are deployed in Greater Idlib.

The Syrian Army and security forces are conducting an extensive security operation in the province of al-Suwayda.

Government forces neutralized a criminal gang in the town of Salkhad seizing a large number of fire arms, ammunition, hand grenades and improvised explosive devices. Despite this, the gang leader, Nawras al-Eid, was able to flee. Pro-government sources claim that some local armed groups posing as the local self-defense forces are in fact criminal organizations.

The relative stabilization of the situation in southern and central Syria allowed the Damascus government to allocate additional resources to combat this organized crime. Nonetheless, if large-scale military hostilities once again resume in western or northeastern Syria, organized crime will have another chance to lift up its head in the relatively calm areas.

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IN VIDEO: HOUTHIS HUNT DOWN SAUDI-LED FORCES IN YEMEN’S AL-JAWF PROVINCE

In Video: Houthis Hunt Down Saudi-led Forces In Yemen's Al-Jawf Province

South Front

The media wing of the Houthis (Ansar Allah) released a new combat video from the Yemeni province of al-Jawf. The video shows the ongoing offensive operations of the Houthis against Saudi-backed forces as well as weapons, equipment and ammunition captured from Saudi proxies.

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بعد الميادين جاء دور النفط والغاز وتسقط مملكة آل سعود

محمد صادق الحسيني

عندما قرّرت الدول الأوروبية سنة 2003، وبضغط أميركي، إطلاق مبادرة لإنشاء خط أنابيب غاز، منافس لخطوط الغاز الروسية، التي تزوّد أوروبا بالغاز، وقامت، سنة 2004 بتأسيس شركة أوروبية، لتنفيذ هذا المشروع، أسمتها: Nabucco Gas Pipeline international، وسجلتها في النمسا كشركة مساهمة نمساوية، بمشاركة كل من النمسا وألمانيا والمجر وبلغاريا ورومانيا وتركيا، لم يكن النظام السعودي يدرك أن هذه الخطوة هي الحجر الأساس في انهيار مملكة آل سعود وباقي مشيخات النفط الخليجى.

فعلى الرغم من ان هدف المشروع الاستراتيجي تمثل في محاولة أميركية لتوجيه ضربة لسوق الغاز الروسي، ضمن محاولات واشنطن إضعاف النفوذ الروسي في القارة الأوروبية، فإنّ جهات التمويل الخفية لهذا المشروع العملاق، أوروبية وأميركية، قد هدفت الى تحقيق الهيمنة التامة، ليس فقط على جزء من أسواق الطاقة / الغاز / الاوروبية، وانما على مصادر الغاز الطبيعي ايضاً. وذلك عن طريق دمج كل من تركمنستان وكازاخستان وأذربيجان وإيران والعراق وسورية وكذلك مصر و»إسرائيل» في هذا المشروع. وهي دول تملك احتياطات كبرى من الغاز.

شكلت سورية وإيران مشكلة أساسية وعقبة كأداء في وجه تنفيذ هذا المشروع وذلك لرفضهما المشاركة في تنفيذ ما اعتبروه مشروع هيمنة واستعمار، وكذلك لكونه مؤامرة تستهدف إلحاق الأذى بالدولة الصديقة لهما، وهي روسيا، فكان لا بد من البدء بالعمل على ترويض الدولتين تمهيداً لعملية الدمج.

وهو ما تطلب اولاً احداث ما عرف بفتنة العام 2009، الشهيرة التي اعقبت انتخابات الرئاسة الإيرانية والتي أفرزت جدلاً واسعاً حول نتائجها، فعملت القوى الاستعمارية على تصعيد الوضع الداخلي الإيراني لعلّ ذلك يؤدي الى اسقاط النظام كما كانوا يتمنون وتزول العقبة الأهم في طريق تنفيذ المشروع، بحجمه الكامل.

لكن حكمة القيادة الإيرانية والالتفاف الشعبي حولها قد أسقطا تلك المحاولة، الأمر الذي عجل بدفع القوى الاستعمارية (القوى الخفية التي موّلت بدايات المشروع)، بتكليف مشيخة قطر بتولي موضوع فك الارتباط بين الدولة السورية والجمهورية الاسلامية في إيران. حيث قام أمير قطر آنذاك، حمد بن خليفة، بزيارة لدمشق والتقى الرئيس بشار الأسد في صيف عام 2010، وعرض عليه تقديم مساعدات مالية، تصل الى 150 مليار دولار، مقابل فك ارتباط سورية مع إيران والموافقة على الدخول في مشروع انابيب نابوكو، المذكور اعلاه.

ولكن رفض القيادة السورية المطلق لتلك المؤامرة أدى بمديريها الى الانتقال للمرحلة الثانية منها، الا وهي معاقبة الدولة الوطنية السورية على رفضها هذا، وإشعال فتنة داخلية تمهيداً لشن الحرب العالمية المعروفة ضدها. وقد قامت مشيخة قطر، وفِي اطار الدور الذي كلفت به كما أشرنا اعلاه، ومنذ شهر ايلول 2010 بإطلاق عملية تسليح واسع لعناصر خارجة عن القانون في سورية. كما أرفقت عمليات التسليح بعملية تمويل وشراء ذمم واسعة النطاق في الداخل السوري. وبحلول نهاية عام 2010 كانت قطر، وبمساعدة مخابرات دول عربية اخرى، قد ادخلت الى سورية ما يكفي لتسليح فرقة عسكرية كاملة (1800 جندي) الى جانب 500 مليون دولار، دفعت لشراء ذمم مجموعات كبيرة من ضعفاء النفوس، الذين شاركوا في تحريك الفتنة.

وقد اعترف شيخ قطر، خلال زيارته لإيران ولقائه الرئيس محمود أحمدي نجاد، وخلال تصريح صحافي يوم 26/8/2011، بأنه « قدّم النصح للاخوة في سورية بالتوجه نحو التغيير». وتابع قائلاً: «إن الشعب السوري لن يتراجع عن انتفاضته…».

وكما هي غلطة ذاك الأمير القطري، سنة 2011، فها هو اليوم محمد بن سلمان وعلى سيرة من سبقوه من ملوك آل سعود، يخطئون في تقييم الدول التاريخية، مثل روسيا وسورية وإيران، ويسقطون سقطات مميتة. فبعد فشل مشروع إسقاط الدولة السورية وتفتيت محور المقاومة، ها هو بن سلمان يدخل حرباً جديدة، بعد جريمة حرب اليمن، وهي حرب أسعار النفط، مع الدولة العظمى روسيا الاتحادية، التي لا قدرة لديه على حتى مناكفتها. علماً أن سياسته هذه قد أسست، فعلياً وموضوعياً، لسقوط مملكة آل سعود وانهيارها من الداخل.

ولأسباب محددة وواضحة، نورد أهمها، للإضاءة على عوامل داخلية وإقليمية ودولية في هذا السياق:

ان دخول اي معركة حول النفط سيؤدي الى خسارة محتمة وذلك لانعدام القيمة السوقية للنفط في العالم. وهو الأمر الذي يميِّز روسيا عن مملكة آل سعود، حيث تعتمد الموازنة الروسية بنسبة 16% فقط على عائدات النفط بينما يعتمد بن سلمان بنسبة 95% على عائدات النفط.
ان مستقبل قطاع الطاقة في العالم سيكون قائماً على الغاز، الطبيعي والمسال، وذلك لأسباب بيئية واقتصادية. وهذا هو السبب الذي دعا روسيا، وقبيل بدء العشرية الثانية من هذا القرن، بالعمل على إفشال مشروع انابيب نابوكو للغاز، الذي كان يفترض ان يضارب على الغاز الروسي في الاسواق الأوروبية، اذ قامت روسيا بخطوات استراتيجية عدة أهمها:
شراء كامل مخزون الغاز الذي تملكه جمهورية تركمنستان، التي تملك ثاني أكبر احتياط غاز في العالم بعد روسيا، والبدء بإنشاء خط أنابيب غاز باتجاه الشرق، من غالكينيش ( Galkynysh )، في بحر قزوين، الى هرات ثم قندهار في افغانستان، ومن هناك الى كويتا ( Quetta ) ومولتان ( Multan ) في باكستان، وصولًا الى فازيلكا ( Fazilka ) في الهند. وهو ما يعتبر خطوة هامة على طريق تحقيق المشروع الصيني العملاق حزام واحد / طريق واحد.
قيام روسيا بتنفيذ مشروعين استراتيجيين، في قطاع الغاز، هما مشروع السيل التركي مع تركيا والسيل الشمالي مع المانيا. وهما مشروعان يعزّزان الحضور الروسي في قطاع الغاز، وبالتالي قطاع الطاقة بشكل عام، في أوروبا والعالم.
مواصلة روسيا تقديم الدعم السياسي الضروري لجمهورية إيران الإسلامية، للمحافظة على قاعدة التعاون الصلبة بين البلدين، وكذلك الدعم السياسي والاقتصادي والعسكري للجمهورية العربية السورية، منعاً لسيطرة الولايات المتحدة وأذنابها عليها، وتمهيداً لإنشاء سيل غاز روسي إيراني عراقي سوري ( لدى سورية احتياط غاز هائل في القطاع البحري المقابل لسواحل اللاذقية طرطوس ) جديد، لضخ الغاز من السواحل السورية، عبر اليونان، الى أوروبا مستقبلاً.
أما عن أسباب الدور المتصاعد للغاز في أسواق الطاقة الدولية فيعود الى ثبوت عدم إمكانية الاستمرار في الاعتماد على النفط، سواءً في تشغيل وسائل النقل الجوية والبرية والبحرية او في تشغيل محطات توليد الطاقة الكهربائية. يضاف الى ذلك فشل مشروع التحول الى السيارات التي تعمل بالطاقة الكهربائية، وذلك بسبب استحالة التخلص من بطاريات الليثيوم بطريقة غير ضارة بالبيئة. وهذا يعني أن من يمتلك الغاز هو من يمتلك المستقبل، في عملية التطور الصناعي والتجاري، وبالتالي المشاركة في قيادة العالم، وليس من يغرق الأسواق بالنفط كما يظن إبن سلمان ذلك النفط الذي لم يعد يهتم به احد ولم تعد له أي قيمة مباشرة، علاوة على فقدانه قيمته كسلعة استراتيجية.
وبناءً على ما تقدم فانه يجب طرح السؤال، حول مستقبل السعودية بلا نفط. ففي ظل استمرار هبوط أسعار النفط واستمرار تآكل ارصدة الصندوق السيادي السعودي، الذي كان رصيده 732 مليار دولار، عندما تسلم الملك سلمان وابنه محمد الحكم بتاريخ 23/1/2015 ، وتراجع هذا الرصيد بمقدار 233 مليار دولار خلال السنوات الماضية، حسب بيانات مؤسسة النقد السعودية الرسمية، نتيجة لعبث بن سلمان بأموال وأرزاق الأجيال السعودية القادمة، وفي ظل عدم وجود بديل للنفط لتمويل الموازنة السعودية السنوية، الأمر الذي دفع البنك الدولي الاعلان عن ان دول الخليج، وليس السعودية فقط، ستتحول الى دول مفلسة بحلول سنة 2034. البنك الدولي الذي عاد واستدرك تقريره مؤكداً قبل ايام بان هذا الموعد سيحل قبل العام ٢٠٣٤ بكثير، وذلك لأن المحافظة على مستوى الحياة الحالي في السعودية لا يمكن تأمينه بأسعار نفط تقل عن 65 دولاراً للبرميل. وهذا عدا عن أن أرصدة الصندوق السيادي السعودي (بقي منها 499 مليار فقط، بينما يبلغ رصيد صندوق الإمارات السيادي تريليوناً ومئتين وثلاثين مليار دولار)، المشار اليها اعلاه، لن تكون كافية، بالمطلق، لتأمين استثمارات تدر على الدولة السعودية من المال ما يكفي لتمويل الموازنة السنوية.
وعندما يقول الكاتب البريطاني الشهير ديفيد هيرست، في مقال له نشره على موقع ميدل ايست آي بتاريخ 22/4/2020، يقول إنه وبالرغم من المرسوم الملكي السعودي حول ان الحكومة السعودية ستدفع 60% من معاشات الموظفين، طوال فترة الإغلاق التي تطبقها البلاد في ظل كورونا، الا ان موظفي مؤسسة الاتصالات السعودية لا يتقاضون سوى 19% فقط من مستحقاتهم، كما أبلغوني، يقول الكاتب.
والى جانب ذلك فإنّ وزارة الصحة السعودية، التي حوّلت عدداً من الفنادق الى مراكز صحية لمعالجة المصابين بوباء الكورونا، لم تكتف بعدم دفع أية مستحقات لأصحاب تلك الفنادق فحسب، بل طلبت منهم تحمل تكاليف عمليات التعقيم والتطهير لفنادقهم قبل تسليمها لوزارة الصحة.

اما ما يعزز أقوال الصحافي البريطاني، ديفيد هيرست، الشهير بالموضوعية والمهنية الصحافية، فهو ما نشرته وكالة بلومبيرغ، حول تقرير للبنك الدولي نهاية العام الماضي 2019، جاء فيه ان جميع احتياطات السعودية النقدية، سواء ارصدة الصندوق السيادي او البنك المركزي السعودي او مبلغ المئة وثلاثة وثمانين مليار دولار، الذي تحتفظ به السعودية في وزارة الخزانة الأميركية، لن تكون كافية، سنة 2024، سوى لتغطية المستوردات السعودية لمدة خمسة أشهر فقط، هذا اذا ما تراوح سعر برميل النفط بين 50 – 55 دولاراً، كما يقول الكاتب ديفيد فيكلينغ ( David Fickling )، في مقال له على موقع وكالة بلومبيرغ الالكتروني بعنوان: إن تراجع وسقوط امبراطورية النفط في الخليج بات يقترب / أو يلوح في الأفق.
وهذا يعني، وبكل موضوعية، ودون تحيُّز أن حرب اسعار النفط، الدائرة حالياً، والتي أشعلها محمد بن سلمان، لن تنقذه من مصيره المحتوم، وكذلك بقية دول الخليج النفطية، ولو بشكل متفاوت، لأن احتياطاتها النقدية سوف تواصل التآكل، مع اضطرار الحكومات المعنية لمواصلة السحب منها، لتغطية عجز الموازنات السنوية الناجم عن تدهور اسعار النفط وتراجع المداخيل المالية. هذا الى جانب ان تلك الصناديق او الاموال الاحتياطية لم تستثمر في مجالات تدر أرباحاً عالية لتكون قادرة على تغطية نفقات الدولة صاحبة الاموال، في حال انهيار اسعار النفط او نضوبه. اي ان تلك الدول ولأسباب سوء الادارة الاستثمارية قد فشلت في الاستفادة من تلك الأموال وتحويلها الى شبكة أمان لمستقبل أجيالها القادمة.
وهو الامر الذي سيؤدي حتمًا الى انهيار ثروات دول الخليج، واضطرار حكوماتها الى فرض ضرائب عالية على مواطنيها، وبالتالي حرمانهم من مستوى الحياة التي عاشوها حتى الآن، مما سيسفر عن زلازل اجتماعية، لا قدرة لحكومات تلك الدول على احتوائها، وبالتالي فإن نتيجتها الحتمية ستكون انهيار تلك الحكومات والدول وزوالها من الوجود. وهو الأمر الذي لن يأسف عليه حتى صانعي تلك المحميات، من الدول الاستعمارية الغربية، وذلك لانتهاء الحاجة لوجود الدول الوظيفية في المنطقة، ومن بينها الكيان الصهيوني، ذلك لأن مبررات وجود تلك الدول، مثل النفط والقواعد العسكرية، قد انتهت لأسباب عديدة، ليس هنا مقام التوسع فيها، بينما يكفي القول إن نهاية انتشار وباء الكورونا سيشكل ايضاً نقطة النهاية لسياسة الهيمنة الأحادية القطبية على العالم، مما سيضطر جميع الدول الغربية، دون استثناء، الى سحب قواعدها من دول المنطقة وترك شعوب المنطقة تقرر مصيرها بنفسها وتقيم نظاماً أمنياً اقليمياً، يضمن استقرارها واستكمال تحررها، في إطار النظام الدولي الجديد المرتقب، والذي لن يكون فيه مكان لقوى الاستعمار التي نعرفها.

عالم ينهار، عالم ينهض…

بعدنا طيبين، قولوا الله…

Nasrallah: the pandemic is here to stay, Trump is the worst criminal in History

Date: 26 April 2020

Author: lecridespeuples

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on March 20, 2020, devoted to the Amer Fakhoury case and the coronavirus pandemic.

Source : https://video.moqawama.org/details.php?cid=1&linkid=2105

Translation: resistancenews.org

Amer Fakhoury is a Lebanese-American binational, former head of the pro-Israeli militia of the South Lebanon Army, nicknamed “the butcher of Khiam” (famous Israeli interrogation and torture center in South Lebanon). He fled in Israel upon the Liberation of Lebanon in 2000, then settled in the United States, obtaining US nationality. He was sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison in Lebanon, where he did not return until September 2019, either because he thought that his case had reached its statutory limitation, that his American passport would protect him, or because it was a provocation. He was arrested and detained ever since, awaiting trial by a military court, despite considerable pressure & threats from the Trump administration to secure his release. On March 16, while the country was in covid-19 lockdown, a military court ordered his immediate release. The United States chartered a special plane for him, but the Lebanese authorities refused to allow it to land, prohibiting Fakhoury from leaving the country. Washington therefore illegally exfiltrated him by helicopter from its embassy in Beirut on March 18, 2020.

Transcript:

The Amer Fakhoury case

In this speech of rare emotion, Nasrallah began by addressing the Amer Fakhoury case. He stressed the gravity of this violation of Lebanese sovereignty by the United States, and the need to protest by all legal means against this illegal exfiltration, heralding more American interference in the future: if Trump can get what he wants through diplomatic pressure and economic blackmail, he won’t stop there. But the Secretary General of Hezbollah recalled the fact that many States in the world, in the Gulf [or even in Europe], would not have held 48 hours in the face of such threats & pressure from Trump, while Lebanon resisted 6 months before some judges yielded without the knowledge nor the approval of the government.

Then, Nasrallah responded to the accusations of passivity or even of complicity which were brought against Hezbollah as for the liberation and flight of Amer Fakhoury, answering point by point to all that was said in Lebanon on what would have known Hezbollah (neither omnipotent nor omniscient, Hezbollah learned of Fakhoury’s release only on television, and immediately condemned it), what he would have done (he opposed it with all his strength via legal channels, and the justice system prohibited Fakhoury from leaving the territory, but could not do anything more as the events were precipitated) or what he should have done: should the government be brought down, adding a political crisis to the serious economic and health crises raging in Lebanon? Should Hezbollah give in to provocation and foment a coup or start a civil war by attacking the forces ensuring the security of Fakhoury during his journey from prison to the American embassy, ​​or start a regional war by shooting down the US helicopter? Was it necessary to gather the Lebanese in front of the embassy after having insisted on the importance of scrupulously respecting the sanitary confinement due to Covid-19? Was a criminal and traitor worth wreaking havoc in Lebanon & the region? None of this would have been in the interest of Lebanon or Hezbollah.

Nasrallah concluded this issue by recalling that if the criticism and reproaches were always legitimate, insults and accusations of treason were unacceptable, especially when they come from so-called allies. He denounced all the Lebanese pseudo-friends of Hezbollah who uttered or shared these accusations contrary to common sense (how could Hezbollah have approved or stood idle the release of one of its greatest torturers and murderers?), and without even consulting the Party to know its side of the story; henceforth, neither Hezbollah nor the masses of Hezbollah should treat them as close friends. We try to be as humble as we can, and this is our nature, but we will never accept disgrace from anyone; on the contrary, we are ready to sacrifice everything for our honor and dignity.

We translate the end of this section and the last 15 minutes of a 75 minutes speech, devoted to the coronavirus.

[…] I want to emphasize that we never act under the influence of emotion, anger or pressure. We are a Resistance party and a political party, enjoying the support of huge popular masses, endowed with a cause, foundations, principles, guidelines, vision and order of priorities. We operate through study and internal dialogue, because this party is not led by a single person. This party is a real organization. We debate, and when we see the interest of the country, the people and the Resistance in an action which is in accordance with our principles & foundations, we act with strength and courage, and without any hesitation. Anyone who imagines that through a media campaign, moral pressure, accusations of treason or insults, he can force our hand and push us to make choices that are inappropriate and contrary to our cause, our vision, our priorities and our responsibility, he deludes himself and shouts himself hoarse in vain. […]

I am not a guru. Let no one say that he respects and cherishes the Sayed (Nasrallah), while insulting the Party, the Resistance and our ministers, deputies and officials, in no case. I am one of them. They are my brothers, and I am one of them. We walk side by side on a path strewn with martyrs. And this Resistance (Hezbollah) is the noblest, the most worthy, the most disinterested, the purest and the most rational of all the Resistance movements of our time. In this regard, I want to be very careful and very clear.

Now there are people who have views and ideas (about us): they want Hezbollah to fight the United States, while we are fighting it (already)! We are on the front line! And we are the ones who suffer the sanctions, the (economic) siege, the suffering, etc. (These people) want us to fight Israel, to defend Lebanon, to liberate Al-Quds (Jerusalem), to fight takfiri (terrorist) groups (in Iraq and Syria), to fight against corruption, they want us to vote for the electoral law that suits them, and that we fight against absolutely all our allies, leaving nothing standing, destroying the whole country for their eyes, sowing discord between all friends, all allies. This is what they imagine, and they have convinced themselves (of the legitimacy of these self-righteous demands).

In any case, we pride ourselves on any friend, any ally, any brother, but we are people who act with a (high) sense of responsibility. And as I said and repeat, our sense of responsibility does not care about the way history will look at us —this is what Imam Khomeini taught us, this is what our religion teaches us— or what people say about us. All that matters to us is to act so that we can stand before God the Most High and Exalted on the Day of Judgment, to answer His questions with a radiant face (from the light of the righteous ). This is our vision, this is our culture, and that is why no one can put pressure on us, impose on us (to act as he please) or push us into impulsive and thoughtless actions. I’m not exaggerating. And since we are talking about the Day of Judgment, with the coronavirus, everyone has started to realize that phew, by God, the Day of Judgment can happen (at any time), at least for some people, because anyone can die from it, even if he is young, athletic, in great physical condition, able to bear diseases, etc. Faced with the coronavirus, there is no immunity, and the Angel of Death can take anyone. [This has always been the case, but today even those who doubted realize it.] As far as we are concerned, we are always acting with the Day of Judgment in perspective, and in this regard (the Fakhoury case), it will be the same.

Let me turn to another subject. I wanted to speak for an hour (at most), but I must also say a few words about the coronavirus. But before that, let me say a (personal) word, because I am a man, I have feelings and emotions.

Listen to me carefully: it is a sign of the times, a sign of the times… I expected, for example, to have to bitterly discuss subjects such as Hezbollah’s position with regard to such an electoral law, granting confidence in such or such government or participating in such or such (political) alliance. [These issues are understandably matter of polemic]. But to see the day, with my beard whited (by a long life devoted to the Resistance), where I must speak on television to defend Hezbollah and the Resistance about an Israeli collaborator, an assassin, a criminal that we fought and defeated, who caused (so many) martyrs in our ranks, who imprisoned our brothers and sisters, who tortured us, attacked us… It is really a sign of the times that we live. It’s all I wanted to say.

The fight against the coronavirus

The second point (which I wanted to address) is the coronavirus. Very briefly, all the global data indicates that this health crisis will last for several months at least. Some speak of a resolution of the crisis in summer, others in autumn, still others evoke the beginning of next year… But at the very least… Even if at all times, God the Most High and the Exalted can shower His goodness on humanity and put an end to it all by opening the way to healing and health and putting an end to this disease, we must act according to reality, and take the measures imposed by caution. Since we are talking about a long battle that can last several months, as all the countries of the world say, this is what it imposes on us.

We must remain committed to applying sanitary measures (confinement, etc.). Lately, in some regions, we saw a certain relaxation, but we must remain firmly attached to it: isolation and maintenance in the houses, unless it is impossible (due to work, basic errands, etc.). Any failure to comply with these measures must be considered as an error and even a fault, an act of disobedience (to human and divine law), a reprehensible and shameful act, which endangers one’s life and that of others. People should refrain from such (irresponsible) acts and prevent each other from committing them. In any district, borough, village and city, in any place, it is necessary that popular and social committees are formed to put pressure on the refractory. We must not put everything on the Lebanese State. It is wrong to consider that everything must be the responsibility of the army, the State, the security forces, who should take to the streets to prohibit, crack down and repress. People have to take responsibility for this. In my first speech, I said that it was everyone’s responsibility, whether they were Lebanese, Palestinian refugees, displaced Syrians, (foreign) residents in Lebanon, etc.: everyone is responsible for preventing the spread of this danger, of this disease. It is therefore everyone’s responsibility to scrupulously ensure compliance with all the sanitary measures.

State of emergency and dangers of sectarianism

Regarding the government, I said the last time that we have no problem with the government declaring a state of emergency, and some of our local philosophers said that I was giving a green light (implying that Hezbollah was ruling the country). If I said that we had no objections, it was precisely because before I spoke, some people were working to make people believe that the government wanted to declare a state of emergency, but that Hezbollah was opposing the move. It is an example of the daily injustice in Lebanon (whatever we do, we will always be accused). In parentheses and to reassure you, know that during the last days, it is true that on the one hand, I was angry and moved (by the attacks against me), but on the other hand, I was extremely at ease, because when one is unjustly oppressed, one is truly at peace (because he who undergoes injustice is in his right, and will be assisted and compensated by God). In any event, regarding the fact that we would prevent the declaration of the state of emergency, basically, the state of emergency was not even raised within the government, and nobody submitted the idea. The truth is that some local and media sides have suggested this idea, and we have said that we would have no objection if the government wished it. Because if it was Hezbollah itself that had called for the state of emergency, we would have had an outcry, with accusations that Hezbollah is undermining the economy, daily life, education, the chance for everyone to earn their bread, and advocates the culture of death. That is why we just said that we had no objection, but the government did not do anything like that. He opted for a lockdown.

This is why I want to say about this, because yesterday there was again talk about the isolation of regions, and some in the media have pushed the idea of ​​setting up quarantines on sectarian bases. I want to reiterate to the government that if it considers that in such and such a region, and I apologize to the Lebanese people, in such and such a city or in such a Shiite village, (the spread of covid-19) imposes an implementation quarantine, have no hesitation, confine it. But it is shameful to speak in sectarian terms. It’s a shame! The behavior of some in Lebanon is inhuman! In any region where the virus has spread, and where the government deems it necessary to confine or quarantine it, let it do so, whether this region is Shiite or otherwise! It is really unfortunate that we are forced to express ourselves in these (sectarian) terms. Because we are the same people, living in the same country! We are all exposed to this danger! It’s shameful, shameful, shameful…

I saw today that someone on social media has done something magnificent: he is setting out the covid-19 mortality data worldwide, country by country, giving the total for each country: Italy, China, Iran, France, Germany, Switzerland, (South) Korea… and he gives the total of victims in thousands, etc. But when he comes to Lebanon, he no longer gives a total figure for the country, but indicates the prevalence of the virus for each sect: the Shiites, the Sunnis, the Christians, the Druze… This is what he did! What a shame! What a shame! What a shame! What a shame! What a shame! Repeat it until you lose your breath! It means that we are not human. This means that we have no humanitarian feelings. It is as if each sect does not consider the other sects as human beings, for which it should feel a minimum of compassion. There are really people who think like that! But (luckily), most Lebanese are not like that. There are people like that, yes, there are people (sectarian to this extent). They exist. They are more dangerous than coronavirus! I swear by God, they are more dangerous than the coronavirus for our country, for the future of this country and this people! [for example, Samir Geagea, Head of the Lebanese Forces, asked to quarantine the Palestinian refugee camps.]

That is why I would like to tell the government that whatever they consider to be in the interest of the Lebanese people or of any region of Lebanon, let they have the courage to take the necessary decision, and we will be by its side, we will support it and we will help it, even if that affected us.

The issue of prisons

Another subject on which we also wish the government to act is the question of prisoners and the high density in Lebanese prisons. Some countries have taken action in this regard. Some are asking for a general amnesty. We support such an approach (at least in theory). Competent bodies should consider it. We would be ready to participate, even if it is an old question and one that can arouse passions. But let’s just talk about the detainees in our prisons now, without extending the question to those convicted in absentia who are abroad and are asking for amnesty. Some countries have taken steps in this direction. They released some inmates from prison, sent them home, and intend to return them to prison after the crisis. Whether they take advantage of it to escape or not is another question. But these countries have put in place measures of alleviation, by reducing the prison population and by sending certain prisoners home. Perhaps they have added house arrest measures, with the threat of arrest if they leave their home or their city for example, but this is just a detail. What I mean is that the issue of prisoners and the density of the prison population must be considered, so that certain categories of (non-dangerous) prisoners can be released (provisionally). This can for example concern those who are imprisoned because of unpaid fines. Just take inspiration from what other countries have done. It is a humanitarian issue on which we can draw inspiration from other countries, our decisions do not necessarily have to be all of national manufacture. In any case, unfortunately, our national production is very small, and it must be strengthened.

The issue of rents and credits

The third point regarding the social aspects of the crisis is that since this coronavirus is going to last a long time, it is necessary to foresee that soon, some people will no longer be able to pay the rents for their home, their shop or their office, nor repay their debts or credits, etc. In this regard, we must once again stress the importance of social solidarity, which does not only consist in providing help: for example, if someone rents an apartment or a house, and does not live off this rent, if he can delay the collection of the rent for one, two, three or four months, let him do so. If someone rents a store, and if that store is closed, the tenant will not be able to pay the rent, so let the owner defer the payment if he can. If people have debts to me, and I can delay their collection, let me delay it! Of course, one has to be able to do so, which is not always the case. For example, I was talking with our brothers from the Al-Hassan Loan Association, and when I asked them to defer the due payments, they told me that if a creditor comes to ask them for his money, they risk not being able to repay it. We hope that those who can do it will do so. I thank all the political forces, all the associations and all the people, in all the regions, who act in this direction and try to help others [Nasrallah does not speak of the State and the banks because they play a marginal role in housing and loans to individuals].

Everyone must save money

We also call for savings in spending. In such circumstances, you have to be thrifty and keep an eye on your spending. Unless you are very wealthy, you should not spend all your money, but put aside (as much as possible) in anticipation of the coming months, because it is clear that the crisis will be (very) long. Anyone who has a little money, let him keep it in anticipation (of difficult days) ahead, for the good of his family and in order to be able to help others. We must limit ourselves to the (strict) necessary and refrain from the superfluous. As I said, you have to consider yourself at war, and act accordingly.

Hezbollah’s response to the health crisis

As we said from day one, we consider ourselves at war, and we must all act accordingly. As far as we are concerned, as far as Hezbollah is concerned, of course, whatever the Ministry of Health, the other Ministries concerned or the State ask from us, I announced that we were ready to provide it. Until now, through our associations, our institutions, and our brothers and sisters (who work there), whether doctors, men or women, nurses, paramedics, civil defense organizations, students of medecine and nursing, of all the volunteers in this field, etc., in this battle, in all the cities, all the villages, and all the regions, we have nearly 20,000 of our brothers and sisters who are already at work.

And I repeat that we are ready to do much more, because thank God, our staff is much larger than that. And if the State needs anything, we are at its service, just as we are at the service of other regions (of Lebanon where the Shiite population is small or absent). All our action is naturally located where we are, or near the places where we (Shias) live, and of course, we did not go to other regions in order not to offend anyone, because you know how the country is (sectarianism, etc.). But this battle, we wish to wage it on the whole of Lebanese territory, and we’re ready to go wherever we can be of help and assistance, be it towns and villages all over Lebanon, Palestinian camps, Syrian refugee camps, and any place in Lebanese territory where there is anyone who may need our help. I make it very clear that we are ready to go wherever we are called. We will not flee from this battle and its dangers. [To fight the epidemic, Hezbollah has deployed more than 20,000 people, dedicated to covid-19 an entire already operational hospital, as well as four other disused hospitals under renovation and equipment, created 32 medical centers and 3 field hospitals and rented entire hotels for quarantine… And that was just the beginning! As of mid-April, more than 40,000 Hezbollah people were involved. Compare these actions with the 30 beds of the field hospital praised by Macron… while Lebanon has a population 14 times lower and 100 times less cases of covid-19 than France, its former colonizer, despite systematic screening! No wonder most US nationals who were offered to leave chose to stay in Lebanon!]

I want to conclude by… And of course, again, we’re ready to help in any way in this battle, and because this question has been debated (accusations against the Lebanese Shiites for having imported the coronavirus from Iran), I want to confirm a point: until the flights from Iran stopped, all the pilgrims and all the students who came from Iran, all our young people who were in Iran, and even our young people who are in Syria, who are going to fight there or who are coming back from this battlefront… I want to confirm to everyone that all of them have been subjected to (quarantine) measures, screening, home confinement, most of them having been subjected to isolation, and even those who go to fight in Syria are screened before going there, because we do not want to bring the virus to Syria. And when they return from Syria, our fighters are screened before they can return to Lebanon, so that we don’t bring the disease here if they caught it somewhere there.

All that we can do, within our capabilities, our presence and our influence, we do and will do it on the basis of what I spoke about the other night, namely our humanitarian, moral and religious responsibility on which we will be questioned by God on the Day of Judgment.

Gaza, Yemen and Iran are mercilessly abandoned to the coronavirus

I want to conclude with a position that I address not only to the Lebanese or the Lebanese state, but it is a call to all states, governments and peoples of the world. When I said that we were at war (against the coronavirus), some people opposed me, but today, the whole world recognizes it: it is a war! It is a world and total war, and all governments and peoples are waging it all over the face of the Earth.

In this war, unfortunately, some continue to behave with racism, immorality and inhumanity. And there are three regions (of the world) that I want to evoke as a reminder, and which (harshly) suffer from this racist, immoral and inhuman attitude.

The first region is the Gaza Strip. It is true that so far the situation is still under control there. But there are 2 million people in the Gaza Strip, a besieged territory where neither medical equipment, hospitals, aid, or anything comes in. What are they waiting for to lift the siege on Gaza? And we must add the thousands of prisoners present in Israeli jails —and in this regard, the virus spreads quickly in the enemy entity. What will happen to these prisoners, in view of the (Israeli) racist mentality which considers (non-Jewish) human beings as entities created to serve them, and without any (intrinsic) value or (human) dignity? It is legitimate to fear (the worst) for Palestinian prisoners and the Gaza Strip, and for any Arab or Palestinian within the enemy Zionist entity. In this respect, where is the voice of the Arabs, the voice of the Arab League, the voice of the (whole) world?

The second place is Yemen. Yemen which is still subject to war. The world is waging a war against the coronavirus, but the war against Yemen has not stopped, nor have the bombings against Yemen and the siege against Yemen: it is forbidden to bring in drugs, medical equipment and medical teams. Are these not crimes against humanity?

And I conclude with Iran, where more than 80 million human beings face this awful war under the yoke of sanctions and the siege of the United States. Of course, the Iranian people are fighting, resisting and coping (with the epidemic), and carrying out heroic acts. Great martyrs fell in this battle, be it doctors, nurses, nurses and women doctors. They are the pride of the human kind. But is it not time for the international community, for the Security Council, for the UN bodies and for all the countries of the world to shout in the face of this criminal and murderous devil, this bloodthirsty racist named Trump, not to cancel economic sanctions, but simply to lift the sanctions that prohibit medical equipment and drugs from reaching Iran, and allow this country to wage this war? We are talking about 80 million people! Where is human consciousness? Where’s the dignity? Where’s the morality? Where is humanity?

Trump is the worst criminal in history

Anyway, I will conclude in the same way as I did in my last speech: day after day, it is shown that this man (Trump) is racist, and that he is not part of the human race. I’m starting to believe that there are space beings (devoid of any ounce of humanity) among us, and that Trump is one of them. He wants a vaccine reserved exclusively for the Americans (cf. Trump’s attempt to monopolize a German vaccine under development), and too bad for the rest of the world who can die, especially those over 60, it doesn’t bother him at all. What matters is the United States. Secondly, with regard to the financial aspect, the cash: because if Trump monopolizes this vaccine (or so he thinks), he will be the master of the destiny of all the peoples of the world. Third, for the upcoming elections because he wants to be re-elected President. Because the error he made in approaching this case (minimizing the danger of the coronavirus) can take away his chance of reelection if he does not make up for his (huge) mistake.

He’s also a racist: the whole world talks about coronavirus, covid-19 or whatever, etc., except Trump who talks about the ‘Chinese virus’. He has mixed the virus with the economic and political war which opposes him to China. And I don’t know where it will take him internationally. Every country in the world, China, Europe, Russia, and the rest of the world has asked Trump to ease sanctions on Iran, but Pompeo has come to step up sanctions against Iran.

I don’t know if… There are people who are older than me, but since I was born, and in all the history books I’ve read, I’ve never heard of someone who is more arrogant, puffier, more monstrous, more devoid of humanity, morals, honor and intelligence —and … I mean… well, that’s enough, if I continue I’ll start to be vulgar— there is no worse than Trump. Yes, we all have a responsibility to raise our voices. I talk about it in my speech, and those who can write (articles) on this subject must do it, it is necessary to denounce the US sanctions on Twitter, just as all countries must demand that the siege be lifted, peoples must put pressure on their governments, etc.

On the Day of Judgment, just as we will be asked about what we have done for our country and our people, everyone will be accountable for 1/ Gaza, Palestine and the prisoners; 2/ Yemen which is still subject to war and abandoned to cholera, to diseases, and if the coronavirus spreads there, God only knows what catastrophe it will be; and 3/ 80 or 85 million Iranians besieged by the arrogance and outrageousness of the United States.

Anyway, I repeat that by patience, resistance, endurance, trust in God and placing our hopes in Him, by invocations, intercession (with Prophets & Saints), by appropriate actions and measures, by the reign of reason and science, through due care, we will win in this battle.

Peace be upon you and the Mercy of God.

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“Any amount counts, because a little money here and there, it’s like drops of water that can become rivers, seas or oceans…” Hassan Nasrallah

الأوراق الأخيرة للحريريّة السياسيّة بين الضغط الطائفيّ وحركة السفارات

د. وفيق إبراهيم

جنون الحريرية السياسية يتفاقم نحو دفع «الطائفيات» اللبنانية الى مناوشات شارعيّة وذلك بعد استشعارها بسقوط تاريخي قريب تحاول فيه قوى جديدة متطورة إعادة بناء البلاد على اسس مدنية.

هذا ما انتاب ايضاً مجموعة قوى الطوائف الاخرى التي تعمل من خلال الحريرية محركة ايضاً السفارات الراعية لهذه المعادلة، التي تزعم انها تحاول منع سيطرة حزب الله على لبنان.

للتذكير فإن عودة سعد الحريري الى لبنان بعد اعتكاف طويل في العاصمة الفرنسية باريس، تزامن مع جولات للسفيرة الأميركية في بيروت، خصت فيه قائد الحزب الاشتراكي وليد جنبلاط، و«القوات» سمير جعجع وبعض الندماء على شاكلة سامي الجميل.

دقت هذه اللقاءات ناقوس الخطر من كابوس مشاريع قيد التحضير كانت حكومة حسان دياب تعكف على إقرارها وتقوم على نقطتين: محاسبة الطبقة السياسية والمصرفية التي سطت على المال العام في الثلاثة عقود أخيرة، وإعادة بناء مؤسسات صالحة لإنتاج بلد متوازن.

لقد فهمت الطبقة السياسية أن إقالة حاكم مصرف لبنان وفتح ملفاته، تستهدف فضح دورها بنهب مئات مليارات الدولارات من المال العام والتفاعلات الاقتصادية اللبنانية، بالتحاصص مع رياض سلامة والمصارف.

لذلك استنفرت الحريرية السياسية قواها السياسية وسيطرتها على القرار الديني لأنها فهمت أن كشف اوراق «الحاكم» يؤدي فوراً الى انهيار آخر ما تبقى من أوراق التوت عن جسدها السياسي المصاب باهتزاز في الإمكانات والتحالفات وتقلص رعاتها الإقليميين.

للإشارة فإن اندفاعها الى توتير البلاد أعقب مباشرة مداولات حكومية أفضت الى ضرورة محاسبة رياض سلامة وإقالته.

وبالتالي استعادة المال المنهوب وتنظيف الادارة، كما جاءت بعد هجوم على رئيس إدارة طيران الشرق الاوشط محمد الحوت الذي لا يقل فساداً عن الحاكم، ويشكل حلقة هامة من الحريرية السياسية.

لمزيد من التدقيق فإن إعادة قذف الحريري الى الساحة اللبنانية مشروع لمنع سقوط الحريرية السياسية والإدارية والحيلولة دون انبثاق معادلة جديدة تستند الى مدرسة سليم الحص التاريخية الوطنية النزيهة من خلال حسان دياب.

أما الأميركيون فيهددون من خلال هذا الإحياء لسعد الحريري بضرب تحالف جديد بين التيار الوطني الحر ورئيس الحكومة حسان دياب وحزب الله، فمثل هذه معادلة قوية الى حدّ تأسيسها لنموذج وطني بوسعه الدفاع عن لبنان في إداراته الداخلية وإزاء توترات الإقليم المنعكسة عليه.

ضمن هذه المعطيات لم يكن مفاجئاً تحرّك وليد جنبلاط للدفاع عن زعامته التاريخية من خلال اندماجه الكامل مع المشروع الأميركي – الحريري، فما يصيب الحاكم سلامة يصيبه أيضاً لأنه جزء بنيويّ من حركة الفساد الداخلي ونظام التحاصص والتمكن في التوتير الطائفي لتمتين زعامته وثرواته.

كذلك فإن انضواء جعجع في هذه المعادلة لها أبعادها السياسية بحركتين: يريد انتزاع قيادة المسيحيين من الرئيس ميشال عون وصهره رئيس التيار الوطني الحر جبران باسيل، ولا يقبل بلبنان معاد لـ»إسرائيل» وللنفوذ الاميركي الذي يرعاها.

لا بد ايضاً من الاشارة الى ان مشاركة «القوات» الحديثة في الحكومة اللبنانية لم تتسم بفساد او صفقات، لكن فسادها السياسي التاريخي لا يمكن الاستكانة له ومسامحته، ولا مجال لذكره إلا في اطار ما فعله في الثمانينيات والتسعينيات من أكبر حركة تصفيات سياسية وطائفية شملت مسيحيين ومسلمين من درجات مدنية وسياسية وسطت على إمكانات الدولة والمجتمع في تلك المراحل كما شكلت جزءاً اساسياً من الغزو الاسرائيلي للبنان وإبادة الفلسطينيين من تل الزعتر وصبرا، بالاشتراك مع حزب الكتائب من دون توفير اللبنانيين من المسيحيين والمسلمين.

بأي حال فإن حركة الضغط الاولى لمحور الحريري بدأت مع تحريك القوى الدينية في رئاسة الطوائف.

وهذا ما ظهر بوضوح في طلب الكاردينال الراعي محاسبة السياسيين بالتزامن الدقيق مع بدء التحقيق في ملفات الحاكم/ وهذا طلب غريب.

لأن إدانة السياسيين ليست موجودة إلا في ملفات رياض سلامة، بما يفرض التدقيق فيها أولاً وتوقيف الحاكم عن العمل، على أن يلي ذلك بدء التحقيق مع السياسيين، لذلك فإن طلب «نيافته» يدخل في إطار «التعجيز» لإيقاف التحقيقات.

وهو موقف تبنّاه جعجع وضخمه على شاكلة من يريد نسف كل القيادات السياسية إنما بالتزامن مع فاتح ملفات حاكم المصرف.

يبدو هنا ان الحريرية لم تكتف بهذا الموقف فتحركت دار الافتاء السنية في حركة استنفار واضحة زعم فيها وزير الداخلية السابق نهاد المشنوق أن هناك استهدافاً لما اسماه السنية السياسية بتغطية شفافة جداً للحريرية السياسية، هذا الى جانب تهديد مباشر من المفتي محذراً فيه من أي تعرض للدور السياسي للسنة في البلاد، بالإضافة الى مواقف لمفتش دار الافتاء حسن مرعب زعم فيها أن حسان دياب لا يمثل السنة.

جنبلاط بدوره، يمسك بمشيخة عقل الدروز التي قالت منذ مدة أن باب الجبل يمر بقصر المختارة.

يتبين بالاستنتاج أن هناك دفعاً من حلف الحريرية للاحتماء «بأقدس ما تملكه» الطوائف في كهنوتها الديني الإسلامي والمسيحي، وذلك لاستعماله كدرع وقاية تحمي مواقعها السياسية بما يضع البلاد امام حركة شحن مذهبية تشجع على المناوشات الشعبية المذهبية التي تحضر لها ميليشيات سابقة متخصصة بهذا النوع من الصدامات.

وقد تندفع بعض الأجهزة المرتبطة بالمخابرات لإعداد عمليات اغتيال لسياسيين ورجال دين بهدف إيقاف عمليات ضرب الطائفية السياسية في لبنان برعاية من سفارات واستخبارات عالمية، فلبنان مكشوف لحركات من هذا النوع منذ تأسيسه.

لا يجوز هنا التعجب لأن القضاء على الطائفية السياسية تحرر لبنان من الانصياع للخارج الاميركي – الخليجي وتدفعه نحو بناء دولة متماسكة.

بالمقابل تعمل السفارات على خط موازٍ ومستقل تماماً تحاول فيه التعامل مع المعطيات على اساس ان توازنات القوى الداخلية ليست لصالح محور الحريري.

فتضغط لإعادة إنتاج توازن سياسي يضم رئاسة عون وحزب الله الى جانب تحالف الحريري في إعادة تجديد للتوازن الذي ظل قائماً بين الحريرية وحزب الله برعاية الرئيس بري وموافقة الأميركيين نحو عقد ونصف.

فهل هذا ممكن؟ يجب فصل هذا التوازن عن إقالة حاكم المصرف التي وصلت الى نهاياتها.

تكفي هنا الإشارة الى ان المرحوم رفيق الحريري هو الذي أقال الحاكم السابق للمصرف ميشال الخوري العام 1993 وعين سلامة بديلاً عنه، بما يعني احتمال عدم ربط «الإقالة» والاستقالة الإجبارية للحاكم باستئصال النظام الطائفي المحتمي بالخارج وقوى الدين والمال.

فهذا مشروع قد يمتدّ الى ما بعد الكورونا ويحتاج لانتفاضة شعبية حقيقية لا تزال أسيرة العشوائية وغياب القيادات الفعلية وبرامج التغيير الفعلية.

The unbearable lightness of China

April 26, 2020

By Pepe Escobar – posted with permission

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Kishore-Mahbubani-300x198.jpg
Singaporean ex-diplomat and author Kishore Mahbubani speaks at an Asia Society event in a file photo. Photo: Flickr Commons

As a living embodiment of how East and West shall meet, Mahbubani is immeasurably more capable to talk about Chinese-linked intricacies than shallow, self-described Western “experts” on Asia and China.

Especially now when demonization-heavy hybrid war 2.0 against China is practiced by most factions of the US government, the Deep State and the East Coast establishment.

Distinguished fellow at the National University of Singapore’s Asia Research Institute, former president of the UN Security Council (from 2001 to 2002) and the founding dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (2004-2017), Mahbubani is the quintessential Asian diplomat.

Ruffling feathers is not his business. On the contrary, he always deploys infinite patience – and insider knowledge – when trying to explain especially to Americans what makes the Chinese civilization-state tick.

All through a book elegantly argued and crammed with persuasive facts, it feels like Mahbubani is applying the Tao. Be like water. Let it flow. He floats like a butterfly reaching beyond his own “paradoxical conclusion”: “A major geopolitical contest between America and China is both inevitable and avoidable.” He centers on the paths towards the “avoidable.”

The contrast with the confrontational, stale and irrelevant Thucydides Trap mindset prevalent in the US could not be starker. It’s quite enlightening to observe the contrast between Mahbubani and Harvard University’s Graham Allison – who seem to admire each other – at a China Institute debate.

An important clue to his approach is when Mahbubani tells us how his Hindu mother used to take him to Hindu and Buddhist temples in Singapore – even as in the island-state most Buddhist monks were actually Chinese. Here we find encapsulated the key cultural/philosophical India-China crossover that defines “deep” East Asia, linking Confucianism, Buddhism and the Tao.

All about the US dollar 

For Asia hands, and for those, as in my case, who have actually lived in Singapore, it’s always fascinating to see how Mahbubani is the quintessential Lee Kuan Yew disciple, though without the haughtiness. As much as his effort to understand China from the inside, across the spectrum, for decades, is more than visible, he’s far from being a disciple of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

And he stresses the point in myriad ways, showing how, in the party slogan, “Chinese” is way more important than “Communist”: “Unlike the Soviet Communist Party, [the CCP] is not riding on an ideological wave; it is riding the wave of a resurgent civilization … the strongest and most resilient civilization in history.”

Inescapably, Mahbubani outlines both Chinese and American geopolitical and geo-economic challenges and shortcomings. And that leads us to arguably the key argument in the book: how he explains to Americans the recent erosion of global trust in the former “indispensable nation,” and how the US dollar is its Achilles’ heel.

So once again we have to wallow in the interminable mire of reserve currency status; its “exorbitant privilege,” the recent all-out weaponization of the US dollar and – inevitably – the counterpunch: those “influential voices” now working to stop using the US dollar as reserve currency.

Enter blockchain technology and the Chinese drive to set up an alternative currency based on blockchain. Mahbubani takes us to a China Finance 40 Forum in August last year, when the deputy director of the People’s Bank of China, Mu Changchun, said the PBOC was “close” to issuing its own cryptocurrency.

Two months later, President Xi announced that blockchain would become a “high priority” and a matter of long-term national strategy.  It’s happening now. The digital yuan – as in a “sovereign blockchain” – is imminent.

And that leads us to the role of the US dollar in financing global trade. Mahbubani correctly analyzes that once this is over, “the complex international system based on the US dollar could come tumbling down, rapidly or slowly.” China’s master plan is to accelerate the process by connecting its digital platforms – Alipay, WeChat Pay – into one global system.

Asian Century 

As Mahbubani carefully explains, “while Chinese leaders want to rejuvenate Chinese civilization, they have no missionary impulse to take over the world and make everyone Chinese.” And still, “America convinced itself that China has become an existential threat.”

The best and the brightest across Asia, Mahbubani included, never cease to be amazed at the American system’s total inability to “make strategic adjustments to this new phase in history.” Mahbubani dedicates a whole chapter – “Can America make U-turns?” – to the quandary.

In the appendix he even adds a text by Stephen Walt debunking “the myth of American exceptionalism.” There’s no evidence the Exceptionalistan ethos is being seriously contested.

A recent McKinsey report  analyzes whether the “next normal” will emerge from Asia, and some of its conclusions are inevitable: “The future global story starts in Asia.” It goes way beyond prosaic numbers stating that in 20 years, by 2040, “Asia is expected to represent 40% of global consumption and 52% of GDP.”

The report argues that, “we may look back on this pandemic as the tipping point when the Asian Century truly began.”

In 1997, during the same week when I was covering the Hong Kong handover, I published a book in Brazil whose translated title was 21st: The Asian Century (excerpts from a few chapters may be found here). By that time I had already lived in Asia for three years, and learned quite a few important lessons from Mahbubani’s Singapore.

China then was still a distant player on the new horizon. Now it’s a completely different ball game. The Asian Century – actually Eurasian Century – is already on, as Eurasia integration develops driven by hard-working acronyms (BRI, AIIB, SCO, EAEU) and the Russia-China strategic partnership.

Mahbubani’s book, capturing the elusive, unbearable lightness of China, is the latest illustration of this inexorable flow of history.

Has China Won? The Chinese Challenge to American Primacy (Kishore Mahbubani), published by Public Affairs (US$19.89).

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