Sanctions on Hezbollah Are Doomed To Failure; Islamic Economy and Ethics Rule

Source

Sanctions on Hezbollah Are Doomed To Failure; Islamic Economy and Ethics Rule

By Nour Rida

Sanctions on Lebanon in general and Hezbollah in particular are doomed to fail. Trump roars sometimes claiming to impose the harshest batch of sanctions, and shrugs other times when asked by the media about the Middle East, Lebanon, Iran, or even Corona. The best he could do in the current COVID-19 crisis was get a few people killed after advising the consumption of hand sanitizer to protect oneself from the virus. The same shrugs come along with misconception and incorrect answers when he is asked about Lebanon and its resistance movement.

The US ambassador in Lebanon, Dorothy Shea, for her part uses the same old literature of the US administration and dual diplomacy; that of double standards and critical discourse by putting all the blame on the resistance movement that has been preventing ‘Israeli’ attacks on Lebanon and remaining totally silent on all ‘Israeli’ provocations and violations. She attacks the resistance movement and supports US sanctions on Hezbollah and Syria (represented in the Caesar act) and carries out the US non-stop meddling in Lebanese affairs; another Jeffrey Feltman attacking the resistance only without a mustache.

This is America, anyone who expects otherwise is naïve or ill-informed. However, what America should know, or better say “the American government” should know is that no matter how tough the sanctions on Hezbollah get, no matter how much is spent on media campaigns against the resistance movement, and no matter how bad the US government tries to choke the resistance movement and its people, it is doomed to complete failure.

Academic studies can be an interesting source to start the discussion. Some theorists provide empirical  evidence  that  the  imposition  of  sanctions  increases  state-sponsored  repression  and  suggests  that  these  sanctions  contribute  to  worsening  humanitarian conditions of the civilian population. Others find that the imposition of economic   sanctions   curtails   political   and   civil   rights   of   the   citizens,   thereby   resulting   in deteriorating democratic freedom. That can be true; but only in a merely materialistic framework. This does not apply to Lebanon and its people. For those who are not keeping up with the news; Lebanon’s local currency has been deteriorating rapidly. Since October, there has been riots and protests across the country. ‘Israeli’ threats are non-stop and Trump and his surrounding officials keep vowing to choke Hezbollah.

The result of all this propaganda hype and intended pressure is reversed. It is delightful to see that when bakeries were on strike and did not distribute bread to supermarkets for economic reasons and people had to line up to buy bread; bread bags were everywhere for free right on the next day or in wholesale price everywhere especially in the areas where Hezbollah supporters live.

Samer, a young man who volunteered to take the bread and deliver it to some supermarkets and keep the rest on a table at his doorstep for people to take for free told al-Ahed news “This is how we live. The people serve the people. We all support one another when in trouble or in times of hardships.”

Fatima who has been a volunteer with the social groups of Hezbollah for years told al-Ahed news “The tougher it gets the more resilient and creative we get. We provide each other and our society with services at low cost or even through barter. Also a lot of what we do is for free too and in all fields and domains, you just name it.”

Fatima also told al-Ahed news “Oh and by the way, these services are not only limited to the Shiites. Anyone in need can benefit from the services. Since the beginning of the crisis, different NGOs with different religious backgrounds have been helping everyone. This is one of Lebanon’s pretty characteristics, despite political divisions, people from different religious backgrounds try to spread love and peace their own way.”

Propaganda and media reports come with so much reassurance that Trump’s sanctions on Hezbollah threaten Lebanon’s stability. Despite the fact that sanctions can have concrete consequences when they expand and increase, and there will be more impact on the economy but that is momentary. Lebanon has vast rich lands that work quite well for agriculture. With the coming of COVID-19 and the worsening performance of the Lebanese Pound, the Lebanese youth quickly turned to start-ups and small jobs. The thing is, the people of Lebanon are not only thick-skinned when it comes to Trump and his nonsense, but are also steadfast in face of hardships no matter how bad it gets. And when it comes to the resistance movement, there is a huge and steadfast popular platform that would never turn against Hezbollah, keep in mind that the resistance movement along with the army and the people is what preserves Lebanon’s sovereignty and independence.

When we talk about a group of people or a political party, to better know their mindset look at their reference group or ideology. For the Hezbollah supporters, life does not only have one materialistic or capitalist dimension. Money is not everything and human soul is way more important to them. This is called human ethics. The core ideas of Hezbollah are typical to that of the Islamic school of thought resembled by the founder of the Islamic Revolution Imam Khomeini. This is not because Hezbollah decides to be an Iranian follower or proxy as mainstream media keeps propagating; it is rather because they share the same Islamic identity and belong to the same school of thought.

As Imam Khomeini expressed once; “This very economic sanction was a divine blessing, causing the mind of our experts to be set in motion and they are proceeding towards self-sufficiency.”

More into that, Shahid Baker Sadr, who was a Shi’a jurist, exegete of the Qur’an, thinker and also a political activist holds that Islam, through its distribution methods, can regulate the distribution of economic wealth in the best possible way. In the issue of distribution, he considers “oppression” as the fundamental social problem.

These are examples on the Shiite school of thought when it comes to economy and it ought to explain a lot.

It dates back to Islamic history. The main governing principle of the economic notion of Imam Ali (The first governor or Imam of the Shiite faith) is the observance of rights of every person regardless of creed faith and culture and implementation of justice, abstinence and austerity regarding the employees of the government from accumulating illegal wealth, struggle against the rentiers and returning the confiscated estates and properties back to the public treasury, protection of human dignity and observing their sanctity in the society ,social security for the poor and needy whereas these affairs are greatly undermined in today’s governments.

This encapsulates the theory and explanation of the idea of Islamic economy and presents a suitable model for the implementation of justice and struggle against corruption.

This is where Lebanon’s Hezbollah comes from and this is how their people think and act. With such a mindset, no economic sanctions can draw the people or the party weak, and nothing will break them. It is the American administration’s ignorance that leads it to more mistakes and turns the table against it.

قضيّة محمد مازح ليست قضائيّة

البناء

تتجمّع في قضية القاضي محمد مازح مجموعة من العناصر تجعل كل نقاش في الاختصاص والصلاحية وحق التصريح الإعلامي نقاشاً تافهاً دون مستوى القضية ومجرد وسيلة للهروب من المسؤولية.

يعرف القضاة والوزراء والمسؤولون في الدولة أن هناك ما يسمو على كل هذه التفاصيل ويرتفع فوقها وهو ما يعرف بالمصلحة العليا للدولة. وهي هنا في مضمون الرسالة التي يحملها أي موقف او تصريح او تدبير في شأن يتصل بسيادة الدولة.

لا يملك أي مسؤول قاضياً كان أم وزيراً ام إعلامياً، مؤيداً للسياسة الأميركية أو معارضاً لها، ما يتيح له القول بأن ما صدر ويصدر عن السفراء الأميركيين في لبنان منذ زمن لم يبق مجالاً للحديث عن حدود للحصانة الدبلوماسية وحدود للسيادة اللبنانية. وقد اعتاد السفراء الأميركيون خلال عقدين على الأقل أن يتصرفوا مع لبنان بما لا يجرؤ سفراؤهم على فعل مثله في أي دولة ثانية حتى تلك الدول التي يتهكم على ملوكها ورؤسائها الرئيس الأميركي ويخاطبهم بلغة الإذلال.

التعامل مع قضية القاضي محمد مازح بالطريقة التي انتهت إلى استقالته رفضاً لقبول مثوله أمام التفتيش القضائي حمل رسالة واحدة مفادها أن الدولة تأنس لانتهاك سيادتها وتفتح المزيد من الأبواب والنوافذ ليمد الأميركي قدميه في غرف نومنا ويمدّ أنفه ويديه في مطابخ بيوتنا وأن من يجرؤ من موقع تمثيله للدولة قاضياً أو مسؤولاً سيلاقي التأنيب والتوبيخ تحت ألف عذر وعذر وأن همّ المسؤولين في الدولة استرضاء الأميركي وإثبات التسابق والتنافس على تبييض الوجه أمامه.

المضمون ببساطة بين دولة يتيمة يمثلها محمد مازح ودولة تستمتع بتسليم سيادتها. ونحن نختار بفخر أن ننتمي لدولة محمد مازح ونعلن أننا لم ولن نحمل جنسية أخرى غير الجنسية اللبنانية لنحمل ولاءين تضيع بينهما هويتنا السيادية.

The Fall of Eliot Engel: Israel-Firster Defeated in Congressional Primary

By Philip Giraldi

Global Research, June 30, 2020

Sometimes listening to the morning news on television is a bit like entering into an alternate universe. Last Wednesday, the day after primary elections in New York State, CBS News reported that New York Congressman Eliot Engel was “facing a challenge” from Democratic Party challenger Jamaal Bowman. NBC News reported that Engel was “trailing.” The reality, according to the New York Times tally of the results that morning was that Bowman had beaten Engel by a margin to 60.9% versus 35.6% with more than 82% of votes counted. Even though it posted the numbers, the Times felt compelled to describe the apparently impending lopsided loss as if it were something less than that, as a “stiff challenge” for Engel.

The media deference to Engel derives from the fact that he is a protected species, possibly the leading Israel-firster in Congress. In 2003, Engel supported the invasion of Iraq and in the following year he organized a group of fellow congressmen to demand cuts in the U.S. contribution to the United Nations office that assists Palestinian refugees. He attended the infamous Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu address to Congress in 2015 that many other Democratic lawmakers boycotted due to the insult to President Obama and afterwards called Netanyahu’s speech “compelling.”

Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Andrew Cuomo and Nancy Pelosi all had endorsed Engel, who has been in Congress for going on 32 years and currently heads the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Clinton explained that Engel “…is deeply committed to working with our allies to maintain American leadership on the global stage.” She was, of course, referring to Israel.

Engel was also endorsed by the Congressional Black Caucus even though Bowman is black, a demonstration of how politics in Washington works. Engel will in any event likely be replaced to chair the Foreign Affairs committee by a similar Jewish Israel-firster Brad Sherman of California, but his imminent defeat has already sent a shockwave through the centers of pro-Israel power in the United States.

Bowman, a progressive so-called Justice Democrat, is on record as favoring cuts in aid for Israel based on its human rights record. He has attacked Engel for being on the dole financially from defense contractors and also for being an active promoter of a military attack on Iran, even though the Iranians pose no threat to the United States. He has, in fact, made Israel something of an issue in his campaign, pointing out that Engel had been one of the few Democratic members of the House of Representatives to vote against President Barack Obama’s Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2015. The JCPOA was the major foreign policy achievement of the Obama Administration and it set up a framework to prevent Iran from taking steps to produce a nuclear weapon. It was strongly opposed by Israel and its American lobby even though the agreement enhanced U.S. national security.

In 2016, after the Obama administration abstained on a United Nations resolution condemning Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank, Engel responded with a House resolution condemning the U.N. Engel often in his career has boasted about his close relationship with Israel. Speaking at the 2018 national convention of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the U.S.’s principal Israeli lobby, he boasted how“There’s a bunch of legislation coming out of the Foreign Affairs Committee. I want to tell you that I sit down with AIPAC on every piece of legislation that comes out. I think it’s very, very important. In the past 30 years I have attended 31 consecutive AIPAC conferences in March, I haven’t missed one.”Some might suggest that serving in one country’s legislature and working for the interests of another country amounts to treason.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls Fox News host Tucker Carlson a ...

The other good news coming out of New York was that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won her district with 72.6% of the vote. AOC, controversial to be sure but no friend of the Israel Lobby, was running against Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, a CNBC reporter. As is often the case, there is considerable back story to the two races and that back story is Jewish money, lots of it, intended to re-elect Engel and get rid of Ocasio-Cortez. Engel received more that $1.5 million from one group alone, the so-called Democratic Majority for Israel and also obtained large sums bundled by the AIPAC-tied group Pro-Israel America as well as from other Jewish groups. AOC was opposed by the not surprisingly well-funded Caruso-Cabrera, whose money largely came from pro-Israel and Jewish affiliated organizations

And more bad news appears to be coming from the Hudson Valley district currently held by yet another Israel-first congresswoman Representative Nita Lowey, who is retiring. Mondaire Jones, a gay Harvard-educated lawyer, has the lead based on early returns. Jones calls himself a progressive and he is unlikely to emerge as a cheerleader for Israel if he is elected.

Representing parts of Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan in New York City, Carolyn Maloney, who chairs the Oversight and Reform Committee, is meanwhile maintaining a small lead over Democratic challenger Suraj Patel. Maloney describes herself on her website as a strong supporter of Israel and Jewish issues. In fact, she goes far beyond that, actively sponsoring and otherwise promoting legislation favorable to Israel and the Jewish community, most recently being the sponsor of the waste of taxpayer money in promoting the holocaust myth through H.R.943, the Never Again Education Act. Maloney is hanging on to a slim lead against Patel, though numerous postal and absentee votes have not yet been counted and the outcome could go either way. Nevertheless, it is undoubtedly a shock to the Israel Lobby that a completely reliable Maloney might be in danger of losing her seat.

To be sure, Congress continues to be Israeli occupied territory, as Pat Buchanan once put it. Last week 116 out of 198 Republican congressmen signed a letter to President Donald Trump asserting their support for Israel’s annexation of much of the West Bank, due to start shortly. The letter stated that the annexation was justified “based on the critical premise that Israel should never be forced to compromise its security,” indicating very clearly that actual U.S. national interests had nothing to do with it.

What is surprising about the Republican letter is that it was not unanimous, and the loss of Engel, replacement of Lowey and possible defeat of Maloney could be indications of a real shift among voters regarding what has been an assiduously cultivated overwhelmingly positive view of the Jewish State. Recent opinion polls suggest that a majority of Americans do not support either Israeli expansion or its form of apartheid.

Israel is feeling somewhat vulnerable. Its Lobby stalwarts in the media and in politics are working hard to disengage the current anti-racism turmoil in the U.S. from any mention of Israel, which trained American police in their “anti-terror” tactics. The Jewish state also practices a far more virulent and brutal racism than anything prevailing in America, something that is becoming increasingly clear to the public. It is early days to be hopeful, but the New York primary election results, coming as they do from a state where Jewish groups wield enormous power, just might be an indication that some things are about to change.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

This article was originally published on American Herald Tribune.

Philip M. Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer who served nineteen years overseas in Turkey, Italy, Germany, and Spain. He was the CIA Chief of Base for the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and was one of the first Americans to enter Afghanistan in December 2001. Phil is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a Washington-based advocacy group that seeks to encourage and promote a U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East that is consistent with American values and interests. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image: Eliot Engel. Credit: Wilson Center Maternal Health Initiative/ FlickrThe original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Philip Giraldi, Global Research, 2020

Why Is This Even a Story: Russians Allegedly Paid Afghans to Kill US Soldiers?

Source

June 29, 2020 Arabi Souri

Taliban Mujaheddin fighters in Afghanistan - Russia USSR USA

The New York Times is pushing this story, denied by Trump and his war ministry the Pentagon and his ‘intelligence’ services publicly, that Russia is running a plot paying bounties to Afghan recruits of Taliban and others to kill US troops in Afghanistan.

What were the Afghan Taliban and most of the Afghan fighters doing all the past 19 years exactly? Maybe distributing flowers to the US occupation troops who were giving them chocolate in return!

The New York Times Russia bounty to Afghan fighters to kill US troops
The New York Times Breaking News on an alleged Russian bounty to Afghan fighters to kill US troops.
This comes after Trump made some vague announcement on troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

And, of course, the mainstream media jump to spread the explosive news that were uncovered by the ‘exceptional’ work of the New York Times:

Mainstream Media Hype on New York Times Russia bounty to Afghan fighters to kill US soldiers
Mainstream Media hype on New York Times Russia bounty to Afghan fighters to kill US soldiers story

That’s one side, what if Russia actually paid Afghan fighters to kill US soldiers? What’s wrong with that? Didn’t the US overtly arm the same Afghan fighters to kill Soviet troops in Afghanistan including with surface to air missiles paid for by the Saudis and the US taxpayers to shoot down Soviet planes and copters killing Russians?!

US President Ronald Reagan with Afghanistan Mujahideen plotting to kill Soviet Troops
US President Ronald Reagan with Afghanistan Mujahideen (later to be al-Qaeda) plotting to kill Soviet (mainly Russian) troops
Afghan Mujahideen al Qaeda US Surface to Air Missiles to Kill Russians and USSR Soldiers
Afghan Mujahideen al Qaeda US Surface to Air Missiles to Kill Russians and USSR Soldiers

Just a reminder to the USAians: Afghanistan was directly on the Soviet Union southern borders; the USA is across the planet, like literally on the other side of the planet, if you look at the globe and find the USA just look at the other side of the globe and you’ll find Afghanistan. Flat-Earthers: The USA is a 1 full day, that’s 24 hours trip from New York (the closest city on the eastern US coast) to Afghanistan!

The USA considers Venezuela and all of Central America and South America as their backyard and they share borders only with Mexico, Russia is 4 hours flight from Afghanistan and that’s from Kabul to Moscow, not the distance between two border cities and not the closest two points…

New York to Kabul flight - google search
New York to Kabul flight – Google search

Also a reminder to USAians, during her confirmation hearings Clinton bragged that the US created al Qaeda and armed al Qaeda and that this was a good idea.https://www.youtube.com/embed/Dqn0bm4E9yw

It’s only because the US presidential elections race has started and they want to confirm that Trump is a Russian asset, the thing they failed to prove in their lengthy costly ridiculous Muller investigations that revealed so many other things except this one. And this is not to defend Trump, he’s a lunatic war criminal, rather fearing he will impose more sanctions on Russia and push the already tense relations into further escalation to prove he’s not a Russian asset, just like how they played him all the past almost 4 years on every single subject they wanted him to act as tough on, remember his orders to withdraw from Syria?

image-A 70 Years Old President of the USA Donald J. Trump
A 70 Years Old President of the USA Donald J. Trump

Can we talk about the direct and indirect overt and covert aid the USA and all its stooges and lackeys (Turkey, Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Australians, Gulfies, Canada, Denmark, Israel…) gave to terrorists of Al-Qaeda and all its derivatives (FSA, Nusra Front, HTS, ISISFaylaq RahmanMaghawir Thawra, Khalid Army, Jaysh Al-Islam, Turkestan Islamist Party……..) to kill and maim Syrian soldiers and Syrian civilians in Syria? Iraqis in Iraq? Lebanese in Lebanon? Libyans in Libya? Iranians in Iran? …. in ….?

The Pentagon Threatening to Revive ISIS

لماذا قرّرت واشنطن التدخل علناً في لبنان وتشكيل إدارة للحرب الاقتصادية ضدّه؟

حسن حردان

لوحظ بشكل لافت وغير اعتيادي أنّ هناك تواتراً في إطلاق التصريحات للمسؤولين في وزارة خارجية الولايات المتحدة الأميركية وسفيرتهم في بيروت، والتي تتدخل بشكل فظ في الشؤون الداخلية للجمهورية اللبنانية، في مؤشر على استنفار أميركي واضح لإدارة الحرب الاقتصادية المالية التي بدأتها، منذ شهور، ضدّ لبنان.. لا سيما أنّ التصريحات تضمّنت إنذارات واضحة بأنّ أميركا لن تسمح للبنان بالحصول على أيّ قروض مالية من صندوق النقد الدولي ومؤتمر سيدر إذا لم يقبل بالشروط التالية..

أولاً، إقصاء حزب الله المقاوم وحلفائه عن السلطة التنفيذية، وتشكيل حكومة اختصاصيين موالية لواشنطن..

ثانياً، قبول مقترح السفير الأميركي فريدريك هوف لترسيم الحدود البحرية والبرية بما يعطي كيان العدو الصهيوني جزءاً من مياه لبنان الإقليمية الخالصة في البلوكين 9 و10 الغنيين بالنفط والغاز، تقدر مساحته بـ 360 كلم مربع..

ثالثاً، إضعاف وتحجيم المقاومة وإبعادها عن الحدود مع فلسطين المحتلة، وتعديل قواعد الاشتباك في القرار 1701 بما يسمح لقوات اليونيفيل لعب دور أمني في جنوب الليطاني لضمان أمن كيان العدو الصهيوني وتمكينهُ من العودة إلى سرقة مياه الوزاني وحرمان البلديات الجنوبية منها..

هذه الأهداف الأميركية ظهر جزء منها كشعارات رفعت في التظاهرات من قبل مجموعات الـ المدرّبة أميركياً لقيادة الثورات الملوّنة للإطاحة بالحكومات غير الموالية لواشنطن وتقف عقبة أمام تحقيق مشاريعها الاستعمارية، على غرار ما حصل في أوكرانيا والبلقان والربيع العربي إلخ… فشهدنا بدايةً أنّ هذه المجموعات ركزت على مطلب يستقطبُ اللبنانيون عامة، الذين اكتووا بنار الأزمة المعيشية، وهو محاربة الفساد والاقتصاص من الفاسدين، والقول إنّ كلّ من هم في السلطة فاسدون أو يحمون الفساد، والهدف طبعاً هو شُمول حزب الله بذلك وتحميلهُ هو وحلفاؤه في السلطة المسؤولية عن حماية النظام الفاسد ومنع محاربة الفاسدين واستعادة الأموال المنهوبة إلخ… ثم تطورت الشعارات حتى كشفت هذه المجموعات عن الهدف الحقيقي وهو الإتيان بحكومة اختصاصيين لا يكون فيها ممثلون لـ حزب الله وحلفائه تكون مهمتُها تنفيذ الانقلاب الأميركي وتحقيق الشروط التي وضعتها واشنطن لرفع الحصار عن لبنان… وعندما فشلوا في ذلك، بعد استقالة حكومة الرئيس سعد الحريري، وتشكيل حكومة حسان دياب بدعم من الأكثرية النيابية، تقرّر إخراج الأهداف الأميركية المُراد تحقيقها، من خلال محاولة الاستيلاء على السلطة، إلى العلن، وهي المطالبة بتنفيذ القرار 1559ونزع سلاح المقاومة ونشر القوات الدولية على الحدود مع سورية تحت ذريعة وقف التهريب.. وصولاً إلى ما صرّح به أخيراً المسؤولون الأميركيون بالربط بين قبول لبنان ترسيم الحدود البحرية وفقَ مقترح هوف، ورفع الحصار المفروض عليه لتمكينه الاستفادة من ثروته في مياهه الإقليمية..

لكن فشل القوى والمجموعات الموالية لواشنطن في تحقيق الأهداف المطلوبة من الحصار المالي، وما أدى إليه من تفجير للأزمة المالية النقدية والاجتماعية المعيشية في الشارع.. على الرغم من دعم الماكينة الإعلامية لحركة هذه القوى والمجموعات 24/24 .. شعرت واشنطن أنّ الثورات الملونة التي نجحت في أوكرانيا ودول البلقان وطُبق نموذجها في الربيع العربي.. تواجهُ التعثر في لبنان ومهدّدة بتداعيات سلبية على النفوذ الأميركي بإضعاف القوى الموالية للولايات المتحدة، والتي ترتكز إليها في تدخُلها بشؤون لبنان الداخلية.. فقرّرت الإدارة الأميركية الاستنفار وتشكيل لجنة من الخارجية لإدارة الحرب الاقتصادية والمالية عبر تكثيف التدخل الأميركي والمجاهرة علناً بما تريده واشنطن من لبنان، وهو الخضوع لشروطها القاضية بتنازل لبنان عن جزء من ثروته النفطية وإقصاء حزب الله وحلفائه عن السلطة عبر استقالة حكومة حسان دياب وتشكيل حكومة جديدة موالية لواشنطن، وتعديل القرار 1701 مقابل رفع الحصار عن لبنان..

ولتحقيق ذلك بدأت إدارة حرب الحصار بقيادة وزير الخارجية الأميركي مايك بومبيو ومعاونيه تصعيد الضغوط الاقتصادية والمالية، عبر…

1

ـ تحريض الأطراف اللبنانية الموالية لواشنطن على التحرك لإسقاط الحكومة اللبنانية باعتبارها حكومة حزب الله.. والعمل على تشكيل حكومة موالية للسياسة الأميركية وقادرة على تنفيذ ما تريده واشنطن من طلبات تخدم السياسة الأميركية الإسرائيلية…

2

ـ تحريض اللبنانيين ضدّ المقاومة وسلاحها من خلال الزعم بأن المقاومة هي سبب الأزمة الاقتصادية والمالية..

إنّ واشنطن تدرك أنّ سلاح المقاومة هو الذي يقف حائلاً دون تمكن كيان العدو الصهيوني من سرقة نفط وغاز ومياه لبنان.. وهو الذي أسهم في إحباط أهداف الحرب الإرهابية الاستعمارية ضدّ سورية ولبنان، والتي استهدفت قصم ظهر محور المقاومة، مما حال دون تعويم مشروع الهيمنة الاستعمارية الأميركية على كامل المنطقة، وتمرير خطة القرن لتصفية القضية الفلسطينية.. ولهذا فإنّ الإدارة الأميركية استشعرت الخوف من أن يتفلت لبنان من قيود الحصار الاقتصادي الأميركي، وأن يتجرأ على الاتجاه نحو دول الشرق لتنويع علاقاته الاقتصادية وإيجاد أسواق لتصدير إنتاجه واستيراد حاجاته من دول تقبل التداول بالعملات الوطنية بديلاً عن الدولار.. وبالتالي تقليص حاجة لبنان للدولار.. إلى جانب حلّ مشكلات لبنان المالية والخدماتية من قبول العروض الصينية والإيرانية والروسية المتنوّعة والتي تُجنّب الحكومة اللبنانية الخضوع لشروط صندوق النقد الدولي ومؤتمر سيدر، بل تجعلُها في موقع قوة في التفاوض معهما للحصول على قروض ميسّرة غير مشروطة إذا أراد..

إنّ لجوء واشنطن إلى إشهار الحرب الاقتصادية والمالية لتجويع الشعب اللبناني بهدف دفعه إلى التخلي عن مقاومته وسيادته وجزء من ثرواته، إنما يعكسُ من جهة الوجه البشع للسياسة الاستعمارية الأميركية، ومن جهة ثانية يكشفُ مدى إفلاس السياسة الأميركية وفشلها في تحقيق أهدافها بوساطة حروبها العسكرية المباشرة والإرهابية غير المباشرة..

لكن كما تؤكد التجربة فإنّ المقاومة وحلفائها الذين صمدوا في مواجهة أشرس حرب إرهابية ونجحوا في تحقيق الانتصارات الهامة عليها وإحباط أهدافها، سيتمكنون من الصمود في مواجهة الحرب الاقتصادية المالية وإحباط أهدافها بإيجاد البدائل الاقتصادية التي تحبط أهداف الحصار الاقتصادي، وتحوّله إلى فرصة لبناء اقتصاد منتج والانفتاح على الشرق لتسويقه، وبالتالي إفقاد أميركا آخر سلاح تملكهُ للضغط على لبنان…

Trump Is Out Of Excuses

Source

Trump Is Out Of Excuses

By Jennifer Rubin – The Washington Post

President Trump’s failures to contain the coronavirus pandemic, to maintain US leadership in the world (instead of doing Russia’s bidding) and to address the profound national rethink on race cannot be squared with genuine concern for America’s well-being and values. It is no wonder that his closest advisers and former advisers cannot explain his conduct in ways consistent with the national interest. As a result, they simply refuse to answer basic questions about his decisions.

On NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar was asked about Trump’s refusal to wear a mask in contradiction of medical advice, including his own:

HOST CHUCK TODD: Mr. Secretary, multiple times with me in our seven minutes so far that we’ve talked you’ve brought up masks, you’ve brought up social distancing. But without the president of the United States doing this, how is half the country going to listen? Have you directly asked the president to please ask the country to wear a mask?

AZAR: So I’m the president’s secretary of health. I’m telling you, practice social distancing. Where you can’t appropriately social distance, we encourage you to wear a facial covering. The vice president of the United States on Friday stood on stage, walked up on stage wearing a mask even though he doesn’t need to in the sense that everybody around him is tested, he’s in a bubble. The president, we know, is a very unique circumstance as leader of the free world. He’s tested constantly and those around him are tested constantly and they’re kept at a distance even with that. But we’re all saying this. The president’s guidelines for reopening, the president’s guidelines, his guidelines have said from day one, practice social distancing. If you can’t, wear face coverings. Practice appropriate personal hygiene. And always please consider your individual circumstances and those of your household members. Protect the most vulnerable, those over 80, and those over 65 with three or more of the serious comorbid conditions. These are the people we have to ring-fence and protect right now.

TODD: It’s a do — but what you just articulated, Mr. Secretary, is a ‘do as I say, not as I do.’ The president of the United States holding indoor rallies, twice in the last 10 days. Once in a state that is seeing a potential of an out-of-control spread in Arizona. He doesn’t talk about wearing a mask. And you avoided my question about whether you’ve asked the president to at least ask the country to wear a mask. Just because you put guidelines under his name, when he doesn’t do it, his people don’t listen.

AZAR: Well, Chuck, I’m not going to talk about politics.

It is distressing to say the least that Azar thinks the president refusing to set an example regarding the worst domestic crisis in a century is simply “politics.” Todd never got his answer because there is no excuse for Trump’s cavalier conduct, which is mimicked by his base.

The administration’s reported failure to respond to intelligence indicating Russia was paying bounties to militants to kill Americans is yet another issue on which there is no good answer. If Trump was not told, his advisers are utterly incompetent and should never have been appointed. If he was told (the White House has denied that the president was “briefed,” contrary to reporting by the New York Times), then he has betrayed the troops. Whatever the explanation, Trump still has not expressed outrage over the bounty on US troops. Trump’s lack of response is one more act of supplication to Russian President Vladimir Putin (along with pulling troops out of Germany, trying to extort Ukraine by withholding military aid, attempting to let Russia back into the Group of Seven, bugging out of Syria and denying Russia manipulated the 2016 election).

Former national security adviser John Bolton has no acceptable theory to explain this conduct. As he said on “Meet the Press”: “[W]hy is the president so defensive about Putin? … If I had evidence, I would reveal it. I just don’t know what to say other than he likes dealing with strong authoritarian figures.” That’s the most generous explanation. In the words of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on ABC’s “This Week”: “This is as bad as it gets, and yet the president will not confront the Russians on this score, denies being briefed.”

Just as there is no defense for Trump’s conduct, there is no justification for giving him another term. Bolton concedes Trump is a menace but cannot bring himself to acknowledge that failing to vote for former vice president Joe Biden increases the chances of a debilitating second Trump term. “I believe America can recover from one term of Donald Trump,” Bolton said. “I believe that very, very strongly. I’m more worried about a second term. And it’s not just decisions in the national security space. I’m worried about the corruption of the civil discourse in this country by a president who says the sorts of things that you quoted at the outset of our discussion. I think it degrades the body politic.” (If Trump is that bad, why did Bolton keep working for him? Why didn’t he ring the alarm for the country earlier?)

There are presidents who make faulty policy judgments (e.g., George W. Bush’s decision to launch the Iraq War). There are presidents who fail to lift the country’s spirit (e.g., Jimmy Carter’s “malaise” speech). However, until now there has never been a president whose conduct — from refusing to wear a mask to trying to eliminate the Affordable Care Act with no replacement plan to selling out our troops — does not even attempt to serve the public interest. There is no excuse for Trump — or for Republicans’ continued indulgence.

The Media Is Lying About the ‘Second Wave’

By Rep. Ron Paul

Global Research, June 30, 2020

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity 29 June 2020

For months, the Washington Post and the rest of the mainstream media kept a morbid Covid-19 “death count” on their front pages and at the top of their news broadcasts. The coronavirus outbreak was all about the number of dead. The narrative was intended to boost governors like Cuomo in New York and Whitmer in Michigan, who turned their states authoritarian under the false notion that destroying people’s jobs, freedom, and lives would somehow keep a virus from doing what viruses always do: spread through a population until eventually losing strength and dying out.

The “death count” was always the headline.

But then all of a sudden early in June the mainstream media did a George Orwell and lectured us that it is all about “cases” and has always been all about “cases.” Death, and especially infection fatality rate, were irrelevant. Why? Because from the peak in April, deaths had decreased by 90 percent and were continuing to crash. That was not terrifying enough so the media pretended this good news did not exist.

With massive increases in testing, the “case” numbers climbed. This is not rocket science: the more people you test the more “cases” you discover.

Unfortunately our mainstream media is only interested in pushing the “party line.” So the good news that millions more have been exposed while the fatality rate continues to decline – meaning the virus is getting weaker – is buried under hysterical false reporting of “new cases.”

Unfortunately many governors, including our own here in Texas, are incapable of resisting the endless lies of the mainstream media. They are putting Americans again through the nightmare of forced business closures, mandated face masks, and restrictions of Constitutional liberties based on false propaganda.

In Texas the “second wave” propaganda has gotten so bad that the leaders of the four major hospitals in Houston took the extraordinary step late last week of holding a joint press conference to clarify that the scare stories of Houston hospitals being overwhelmed with Covid cases are simply untrue. Dr. Marc Boom of Houston Methodist said the reporting on hospital capacity is misleading. He said, “quite frankly, we’re concerned that there is a level of alarm in the community that is unwarranted right now.”

In fact, there has been much reporting that the “spike” in Texas cases is not due to a resurgence of the virus but to hospital practices of Covid-testing every patient coming in for any procedure at all. If it’s a positive, well that counts as a “Covid hospitalization.” Why would hospitals be so dishonest in their diagnoses? Billions of appropriated Federal dollars are being funneled to facilities based on the number of “Covid cases” they can produce. As I’ve always said, if you subsidize something you get more of it. And that’s why we are getting more Covid cases.

Let’s go back to the original measurements used to scare Americans into giving up their Constitutional liberties: the daily death numbers. Even though we know hospitals have falsely attributed countless deaths to “Covid-19” that were deaths WITH instead of FROM the virus, we are seeing actual deaths steadily declining over the past month and a half. Declining deaths are not a great way to push the “second wave” propaganda, so the media and politicians have moved the goal posts and decided that only “cases” are important. It’s another big lie.

Resist propaganda and defend your liberty. That is the only way we’ll get through this.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Featured image is from CODEPINKThe original source of this article is The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and ProsperityCopyright © Rep. Ron PaulThe Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, 2020

Lebanon Warns ‘Israel’ Over ‘Dangerous’ Gas Exploration Bid

Source

Lebanon Warns ‘Israel’ Over ‘Dangerous’ Gas Exploration Bid

By Staff, Agencies

Lebanese President Michel Aoun warned the ‘Israeli’ occupation entity against its “extremely dangerous” bid to explore oil and gas on Lebanon’s maritime border, parts of which are claimed by the Zionist regime, saying the Arab country will not allow any violation of its territorial waters.

Aoun’s warning came a day after the Tel Aviv regime approved a license for oil and gas exploration in “Block 72,” located close to the Block 9 gas fields, where Beirut is set to begin explorations for natural gas and oil soon.

“Block 72” sits along the disputed 860-kilometer line of waters that separate the Lebanese from ‘Israeli’-occupied Palestinian territories.

“This will complicate the situation further as Lebanon will not allow any violations of its internationally-recognized territorial waters, especially in the Exclusive Economic Zone where Block 9 — which will be explored by Lebanon within a month — is located,” Aoun said Monday.

He further called for the country’s Supreme Defense Council to meet on Tuesday to discuss the development at the southern border.

لا تبالغوا في أوهام إنهاء الحشد الشعبيّ وتكراره!‏

ناصر قنديل

شهدت بغداد خلال الأسبوع الماضي سلسلة عمليات حملت رسائل من فصائل المقاومة لواشنطن، مضمونها التذكير بالدعوة لرحيل قواتها من العراق، وتأكيد أن التراضي على حكومة مصطفى الكاظمي كان بغرض تسهيل تنفيذ قرار الخروج الأميركي من العراق، وليس فتحاً لباب تشريع هذا الاحتلال. وفي ليل 22 حزيران قامت وحدات في جهاز مكافحة الإرهاب التي تتبع بقرارها للكاظمي، كقائد أعلى للقوات المسلحة، بحملة اعتقالات لعدد من مقاتلي الحشد الشعبي، خصوصاً المنتمين لكتائب حزب الله، والحملة التي تم تسويقها من مناصري الكاظمي لدى الأميركيين بصفتها إثباتاً على استقلاله عن الحشد وشجاعته وقدرته على وضع حد لـ «الميليشيات»، تمّ تسويقها لدى قيادات الحشد بصفتها عملاً شكلياً لحفظ ماء وجه الحكومة ورئيسها بوجه الضغوط الأميركية والخليجية، فيما تمّ تسويقها إعلامياً وخصوصاً في وسائل الإعلام الخليجية بصفتها بدء العد التنازلي لمرحلة الحشد الشعبي، ونموذجاً قابلاً للتكرار في لبنان. وبدأت تخرج تحليلات في بعض المواقع اللبنانية تثير الضحك عن مشروع شبيه للكاظمي عنوانه النائب السابق لحاكم مصرف لبنان محمد البعاصيري.

في ليل 23 حزيران أقفل الحشد الشعبي كل مداخل المنطقة الخضراء، بوحدات مقاتلة ووجه إنذاراً للكاظمي عنوانه، أن محاولة الاستفراد بكتائب حزب الله لن تمرّ، وأن التمييز بين فصائل المقاومة لعبة مكشوفة، وأن ما جرى كان انتهاكاً صريحاً للاتفاق السياسي الذي تمت تسمية الكاظمي على أساسه، وبعد مفاوضات امتدت لساعات، تم التوصل إلى اتفاق يقضي بالإفراج عن عناصر الحشد الذين تمّت مداهمة منازلهم، خلال يومين، مقابل انسحاب وحدات الحشد الشعبي، وحفاظها على حال الاستنفار والجهوزية، وليل أمس خرج المعتقلون من السجن وقاموا بإحراق الأعلام الأميركية والإسرائيلية في الساحات العامة وتحت الكاميرات، وهتفوا ضد الكاظمي، وتم إسدال الستار على سيناريو بهلواني، يفترض أن بالمستطاع تغيير وقائع تمّت صياغتها بالدماء، بقرارات صنعت من الحبر، واستعادت التوازنات التي أنتجت حكومة الكاظمي، كإطار رسمي لانسحاب أميركي من دون معركة عسكرية، مكانها في السياسة العراقية، وصمتت طبعاً الأبواق الإعلامية التي كانت تتحدث قبل ساعات عن نظرية حجارة الدومينو، متوقعة تهاوي فصائل الحشد تحت مقصلة الكاظمي، واحداً تلو الآخر.

في لبنان لا تختلف الأوهام عن العراق، ولا يختلف أصحابها، لكن الوقائع اللبنانية أشد صعوبة عبر تاريخ عقود من المقاومة، والتجارب والاختبارات الصعبة لمناوئيها، والذين رفعوا الدعوات لنزع سلاح المقاومة كانوا من أصحاب الأوهام المستمدّة من قراءة المبالغات الخليجية حول المشهد العراقي، ويُفترض بهم إعادة حساباتهم في ضوء التطورات العراقية، وفي ضوء المستجدات على جبهة النفط والغاز، وما تؤكده من مكانة المقاومة اقتصادياً، في حماية المورد الرئيسي الذي يعول عليه لبنان لأجيال قادمة، وكذلك في ضوء المستجدات المعيشية، حيث بعيداً عن نقاش عقيم حول النمط الغربي للعيش أو نمط شرقي، كأن المطروح هو استبدال اللبنانيين لمطبخهم وأزيائهم وكتابة نشيدهم الوطني باللغة الصينية، تقول المعلومات إن المقاومة تقود مشروعاً لتعزيز صمود اللبنانيين بتأمين سلع استهلاكية أساسية من مصادر لا تستبدل نمط العيش الغربي، لكنها تترجم معنى التوجه شرقاً لجهة الأسعار الأرخص، ومستوردة بالليرة اللبنانية بحيث لا ترتب ضغطاً على سوق الصرف وسعر الدولار.

لو يخفف المتذاكون من أوهام رهاناتهم، ويبقون أقدامهم على الأرض، فيرتاحون ويريحون.

‘The God That Failed’: Why the U.S. Cannot Now Re-Impose Its Civilisational Worldview

Source

Alastair Crooke

June 29, 2020

The God That Failed': Why The U.S. Cannot Now Re-Impose Its ...

It was always a paradox: John Stuart Mill, in his seminal (1859), On Liberty, never doubted that a universal civilisation, grounded in liberal values, was the eventual destination of all of humankind. He looked forward to an ‘Exact Science of Human Nature’, which would formulate laws of psychology and society as precise and universal as those of the physical sciences. Yet, not only did that science never emerge, in today’s world, such social ‘laws’ are taken as strictly (western) cultural constructs, rather than as laws or science.

So, not only was the claim to universal civilisation not supported by evidence, but the very idea of humans sharing a common destination (‘End of Times’) is nothing more than an apocalyptic remnant of Latin Christianity, and of one minor current in Judaism. Mill’s was always a matter of secularized religion – faith – rather than empiricism. A shared human ‘destination’ does not exist in Orthodox Christianity, Taoism or Buddhism. It could never therefore qualify as universal.

Liberal core tenets of individual autonomy, freedom, industry, free trade and commerce essentially reflected the triumph of the Protestant worldview in Europe’s 30-years’ civil war. It was not fully even a Christian view, but more a Protestant one.

This narrow, sectarian pillar was able to be projected into a universal project – only so long as it was underpinned by power. In Mill’s day, the civilisational claim served Europe’s need for colonial validation. Mill tacitly acknowledges this when he validates the clearing of the indigenous American populations for not having tamed the wilderness, nor made the land productive.

However, with America’s Cold War triumph – that had by then become a cynical framework for U.S. ‘soft power’ – acquired a new potency. The merits of America’s culture, and way of life, seemed to acquire practical validation through the implosion of the USSR.

But today, with America’s soft power collapsed – not even the illusion of universalism can be sustained. Other states are coming forward, offering themselves as separate, equally compelling ‘civilisational’ states. It is clear that even were the classic liberal Establishment to win in the November U.S. elections, America no longer has claim to path-find a New World Order.

Yet, should this secularised Protestant current be over – beware! Because its subterranean, unconscious religiosity is the ‘ghost at the table’ today. It is returning in a new guise.

The ‘old illusion’ cannot continue, because its core values are being radicalised, stood on their head, and turned into the swords with which to impale classic American and European liberals (and U.S. Christian Conservatives). It is now the younger generation of American woke liberals who are asserting vociferously not merely that the old liberal paradigm is illusory, but that it was never more than ‘a cover’ hiding oppression – whether domestic, or colonial, racist or imperial; a moral stain that only redemption can cleanse.

It is an attack – which coming from within – forecloses on any U.S. moral, soft power, global leadership aspirations. For with the illusion exploded, and nothing in its place, a New World Order cannot coherently be formulated.

Not content with exposing the illusion, the woke generation are also tearing down, and shredding, the flags at the masthead: Freedom and prosperity achieved via the liberal market.

‘Freedom’ is being torn down from within. Dissidents from the woke ideology, are being ‘called out’, made to repent on the knee, or face reputational or economic ruin. It is ‘soft totalitarianism’. It recalls one of Dostoevsky’s characters – at a time when Russian progressives were discrediting traditional institutions – who, in a celebrated line, says: “I got entangled in my data … Starting from unlimited freedom, I conclude with unlimited despotism”.

Even ‘science’ has become a ‘God that failed’; instead of being the path to liberty, it has become a dark soulless path toward unfreedom. From algorithms that ‘cost’ the value of human lives, versus the ‘costing’ of lockdown; from secret ‘Black Box’ algos that limit distribution of news and thinking, to Bill Gates’ vaccination ID project, science now portends despotic social control, rather than a fluttering standard, hoist as the symbol of freedom.

But the most prominent of these flags, torn down, cannot be blamed on the woke generation. There has been no ‘prosperity for all’ – only distortions and warped structures. There are not even free markets. The Fed and the U.S. Treasury simply print new money, and hand it out to select recipients. There is no means now to attribute ‘worth’ to financial assets. Their value simply is that which Central Government is willing to pay for bonds, or grant in bail-outs.

Wow. ‘The God who failed’ (André Gide’s book title) – a crash of idols. One wonders now, what is the point to that huge financial eco-system known as Wall Street. Why not winnow it down to a couple of entities, say, Blackrock and KKR (hedge funds), and leave it to them to distribute the Fed’s freshly-printed ‘boodle’ amongst friends? Liberal markets no more – and many fewer jobs.

Many commentators have noted the wokes’ absence of vision for the future. Some describe them in highly caustic terms:

“Today, America’s tumbrils are clattering about, carrying toppled statues, ruined careers, unwoke brands. Over their sides peer those deemed racist by left-wing identitarians and sentenced to cancelation, even as the evidentiary standard for that crime falls through the floor … But who are these cultural revolutionaries? The conventional wisdom goes that this is the inner-cities erupting, economically disadvantaged victims of racism enraged over the murder of George Floyd. The reality is something more … bourgeoisie. As Kevin Williamson observed last week, “These are the idiot children of the American ruling class, toy radicals and Champagne Bolsheviks, playing Jacobin for a while, until they go back to graduate school”.

Is that so? I well recall listening in the Middle East to other angry young men who, too, wanted to ‘topple the statues’; to burn down everything. ‘You really believed that Washington would allow you … in’, they taunted and tortured their leaders: “No, we must burn it all down. Start from scratch”.

Did they have a blueprint for the future? No. They simply believed that Islam would organically inflate, and expand to fill the void. It would happen by itself – of its own accord: Faith.

Professor John Gray has noted “that in The God that failed, Gide says: ‘My faith in communism is like my faith in religion. It is a promise of salvation for mankind’’. “Here Gide acknowledged”, Gray continues, “that communism was an atheist version of monotheism. But so is liberalism, and when Gide and others gave up faith in communism to become liberals, they were not renouncing the concepts and values that both ideologies had inherited from western religion. They continued to believe that history was a directional process in which humankind was advancing towards universal freedom”.

So too with the wokes. The emphasis is on Redemption; on a Truth catharsis; on their own Virtue as sufficient agency to stand-in for the lack of plan for the future. All are clear signals: A secularised ‘illusion’ is metamorphosing back into ‘religion’. Not as Islam, of course, but as angry Man, burning at the deep and dark moral stain of the past. And acting now as purifying ‘fire’ to bring about the uplifting and shining future ahead.

Tucker Carlson, a leading American conservative commentator known for plain speaking, frames the movement a little differently: “This is not a momentary civil disturbance. This is a serious, and highly organized political movement … It is deep and profound and has vast political ambitions. It is insidious, it will grow. Its goal is to end liberal democracy and challenge western civilization itself … We’re too literal and good-hearted to understand what’s happening … We have no idea what we are up against … These are not protests. This is a totalitarian political movement”.

Again, nothing needs to be done by this new generation to bring into being a new world, apart from destroying the old one. This vision is a relic – albeit secularised – of western Christianity. Apocalypse and redemption, these wokes believe, have their own path; their own internal logic.

Mill’s ‘ghost’ is arrived at the table. And with its return, America’s exceptionalism has its re-birth. Redemption for humankind’s dark stains. A narrative in which the history of mankind is reduced to the history of racial struggle. Yet Americans, young or old, now lack the power to project it as a universal vision.

‘Virtue’, however deeply felt, on its own, is insufficient. Might President Trump try nevertheless to sustain the old illusion by hard power? The U.S. is deeply fractured and dysfunctional – but if desperate, this is possible.

The “toy radicals, and Champagne Bolsheviks” – in these terms of dripping disdain from Williamson – are very similar to those who rushed into the streets in 1917. But before dismissing them so peremptorily and lightly, recall what occurred.

Into that combustible mass of youth – so acultured by their progressive parents to see a Russian past that was imperfect and darkly stained – a Trotsky and Lenin were inserted. And Stalin ensued. No ‘toy radicals’. Soft became hard totalitarianism.

Maduro Orders EU Envoy to Leave Within 72 Hours Over New Sanctions

Source

Maduro Orders EU Envoy to Leave Within 72 Hours Over New Sanctions

By Staff, Agencies

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has ordered EU envoy Isabel Brilhante Pedrosato to leave within 72 hours after the EU sanctioned a group of Venezuelan officials.

“I have decided to give the European Union ambassador 72 hours to leave the country,” Maduro said in a televised address, also noting that Pedrosato will be allowed to use a plane to leave the country.

“Enough of European colonialism against Venezuela,” Maduro added.

Maduro’s order comes hours after the Council of the European Union on Monday sanctioned 11 additional Venezuelan officials, including parliamentarians, a magistrate and a senior military chief, for acting against the National Assembly, which is dominated by the opposition, Reuters reported. The individuals sanctioned are recognized by the Maduro government but not by the members of the Assembly.

The sanctions include a travel ban and an asset freeze. So far, 36 Venezuelan officials linked to the Maduro government face sanctions.

According to the Council, the 11 newly-sanctioned individuals “are particularly responsible for acting against the democratic functioning of the National Assembly, including stripping the parliamentary immunity of several of its members,” Reuters reported. The Council also accused the individuals of “creating obstacles to a political and democratic solution to the crisis in Venezuela.”

The United States itself has imposed numerous rounds of sanctions against Venezuela in response to the political developments in the country. On January 23, 2019, opposition leader Juan Guaido proclaimed himself Venezuela’s interim president, denouncing Maduro’s government as undemocratic and calling for Maduro’s ouster. Since then, several failed attempts have been made to remove Maduro from power.

Last year, the US also imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s state-owned oil and natural gas company PDVSA. Recently, the Trump administration sanctioned three Mexico-based individuals for selling crude oil from Venezuela.

“The illegitimate Maduro regime created a secret network to evade sanctions, which Treasury has now exposed,” US Deputy Secretary Justin G. Muzinich said in a statement at the time. “The United States will continue to relentlessly pursue sanctions evaders, who plunder Venezuela’s resources for personal gain at the expense of the Venezuelan people.”

Last Wednesday, Washington also imposed sanctions on the captains of five Iranian tankers over oil deliveries to Venezuela.

“Today, the United States is sanctioning five Iranian ship captains who delivered around 1.5 million barrels of Iranian gasoline to Venezuela in support of the illegitimate Maduro regime,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

Maduro has repeatedly stated that the US is using sanctions to choke out his government and gain access to the country’s oil reserves, which are the largest in the world.

“Let’s not allow a Vietnam in Latin America,” Maduro said last year, warning against the dangers of US intervention.”If the United States intends to intervene here, they will have a Vietnam worse than what they can imagine. Let’s not allow violence.”

الاستطلاعات عدوّ ترامب الجديد

 الأخبار 

الثلاثاء 30 حزيران 2020

الاستطلاعات عدوّ ترامب الجديد
نفت حملة الرئيس بشدّة إمكانية انسحابه من السباق الانتخابي (أ ف ب )

بالرغم من مهاجمة دونالد ترامب للاستطلاعات التي أجرتها وسائل الإعلام الأميركية، أخيراً، فإنّ واقعاً جديداً فرض نفسه على الرئيس وحزبه الجمهوري، سببه تعاطي الإدارة مع «كورونا» والاحتجاجات… وترامب نفسهيواجه الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب تهديداً من نوع آخر، جسّدته موجة استطلاعات أجراها العديد من وسائل الإعلام الأميركية، أخيراً، من بينها شبكة «فوكس نيوز» المقرّبة منه، والتي أظهرت تخلّفه بشكل كبير عن منافسه الديموقراطي جو بايدن. وإن كانت هذه الاستطلاعات قد دفعت ترامب إلى وصفها بـ«الكاذبة»، إلّا أنّ ذلك لم يكن كافياً لإلغاء المخاوف التي تعتري الحزب الجمهوري بشأن المخاطر التي تصطدم بها فرص إعادة انتخابه.

وفق شبكة «فوكس نيوز»، فقد دفع هذا الواقع ببعض النافذين في الحزب الجمهوري إلى التساؤل عمّا إذا كان ترامب سينسحب من السباق الانتخابي، في حال لم تتحسّن أرقام الاستطلاعات. وبالرغم من تشكيك البعض في إمكانية حصول ذلك، فإن أحد هؤلاء النافذين قال للشبكة إنه «إذا استمرّت الاستطلاعات في التدهور، يمكنك أن ترى سيناريو حيث ينسحب»، بينما راهن آخر على أنّ ترامب «قد ينسحب في حال رأى أن من المستحيل أن يفوز».
الأسباب وراء هذه التكهّنات تعود إلى ما شهدته الأسابيع الأخيرة الماضية من انخفاض كبير لأرقام ترامب في الاستطلاعات، وسط الانتقادات التي طالت إدارته بشأن تعاملها مع جائحة «كورونا»، وردّ البيت الأبيض على التظاهرات والاحتجاجات، على خلفية مقتل جورج فلويد، في أواخر شهر أيار /مايو في مينيابوليس، عندما كان في عهدة الشرطة.

وفي هذا السياق، أظهر استطلاع أجرته شبكة «فوكس نيوز» أنّ الرئيس متأخّر عن بايدن بـ12 نقطة، بينما أفاد معدّل الاستطلاعات الصادر عن موقع «RealClearPolitics» بأنّ بايدن يتقدّم ترامب بحوالى 10 نقاط. وما يعطي هذه الأرقام أهمية أكبر، هو تقدّم بايدن في العديد من الولايات التي تشكّل ساحات معارك أساسية، بينما يظهر جنباً إلى جنب مع ترامب في ولاياتٍ طالما عُدّت معقلاً للجمهوريين، مثل تكساس.


أظهر استطلاع لـ«فوكس نيوز» أنّ ترامب متأخّر عن بايدن بـ 12 نقطة


وعن هذا الواقع بالذات، أوضح موقع «بوليتيكو» أنّ «انفجار» إصابات «كوفيد ـــــ 19» في ولايات «الحزام الشمسي» (المنطقة الممتدة عبر جنوب الشرق وجنوب الغرب من الولايات المتحدة) بات يشكّل عائقاً جديداً أمام آمال إعادة انتخاب دونالد ترامب، ما يفتح المجال أمام فرصة جديدة لجو بايدن والديموقراطيين في تشرين الثاني/ نوفمبر. وأشار الموقع إلى أنّ الحكّام الجمهوريين لولايات فلوريدا، وأريزونا وتكساس، اتّبعوا تعليمات ترامب القاضية بإعادة فتح ولاياتهم، بشكل سريع، بينما اعتمدوا نهجاً متساهلاً في إطار التباعد الاجتماعي. وبالرغم من أن من الصعب تقدير مدى خطورة الوضع بالنسبة إلى ترامب، فإنّ «بوليتيكو» لفت إلى أنّه «في حال خسر واحدة من الولايات الثلاث، تصبح إعادة انتخابه محكومة بالفشل».

في مقابل ذلك، نفت حملة ترامب بشدّة إمكانية انسحاب هذا الأخير من السباق الانتخابي، وانتقدت الاستطلاعات «التي اختزلت الناخبين الجمهوريين بشكل متعمّد». يأتي ذلك بعدما كانت حملته قد أصدرت مذكّرة، بعد الاستطلاعات الأخيرة، يوم الأحد، رفضت فيها الادعاءات بأنّ فرص إعادة انتخاب الرئيس كانت تواجه مشكلة. أمّا ترامب، فلم يلبث أن ردّ، في تغريدة عبر موقع «تويتر»، قال فيها: «آسف لإعلام الديموقراطيين الذين لا يفعلون شيئاً، ولكنّي أحظى بأرقام جيدة جداً في الاستطلاعات الداخلية للحزب الجمهوري». وأضاف: «تماماً مثل عام 2016، استطلاعات ذي نيويورك تايمز كاذبة! استطلاعات فوكس نيوز نكتة! هل تظنّون أنهم سيعتذرون منّي ومن مشتركيهم مجدّداً عندما أفوز؟ الناس يريدون القانون، والنظام والأمن».

مع ذلك، وفي ظلّ اقتراب الانتخابات الرئاسية، بعد أربعة أشهر، يتطلّع المهتمّون بشؤون الحزب الجمهوري وموظّفو حملة ترامب، إلى تحويل مسار الاستطلاعات السيّئة، عبر توجيه هدفهم إلى ما اعتبروه نقاط ضعف بايدن الرئيسية. من هذا المنطلق، تسعى حملة ترامب إلى التركيز على هفوات المرشّح الديموقراطي، إضافة إلى مهاجمته على اعتبار أنه «ناعمٌ» مع الصين، مشكّكين في صحّته العقلية، ومشيرين إلى أنه سيصبح رهينة يسار حزبه، إذا ما تمكّن من الوصول إلى البيت الأبيض.

كذلك، أفادت صحيفة «واشنطن بوست» بأنّ ترامب وفريق حملته يتجادلون حول كيفية إحياء جهود إعادة انتخابه الهشّة. وفي هذا الإطار، أشارت الصحيفة إلى أنّ عدداً من مستشاري الرئيس وحلفائه يدفعون بشكل خاص إلى إحداث تغييرات في حملته، بما فيها تغييرٌ كبير في الموظفين، وذلك بينما يسعون إلى إقناع ترامب بأن يكون أكثر انضباطاً في رسائله وسلوكه.

http://program.almanar.com.lb/episode/120496

No place for justice in UN dictionary: Lebanese journalist

Source

June 28, 2020 – 15:18

TEHRAN – Mohamad Kleit, a Lebanese journalist specialized in international affairs and geopolitics, tells the Tehran Times that the United Nations celebrates its 75th anniversary, while this international organization has failed to achieve justice.

“Considering Israel is the “U.S. pampered baby”, metaphorically speaking, any international resolution would be negligible if it doesn’t preserve Israeli interests, even if those interests were ethnic cleansing against Palestinians, preservation of the illegal and inhumane blockade on the Gaza Strip and building illegal settlements on the Palestinian soil in the West Bank,” says Kleit, who is deputy editor at U-News Agency.

On the future of the United Nations, Kleit notes, “I personally see that the role of the UN will be minimized considering that major powers are out their taking what they want with disregard to any UN resolution or the disruption of global stability.”

The text of the interview with Mohamad Kleit is as follows:

Question: The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War with several objectives primarily the prevention of war and maintaining peace in disputed areas. But the UN has failed to prevent war and fulfill peacekeeping duties many times throughout its history. In your opinion, what have been the main causes of this passivity?

Answer: The United Nations’ passivity is basically caused by the strong political powers controlling some of its major and most critical decisions; particularly by the United States of America which spent $10 billion in 2018 (almost 30% of UN’s peacekeeping operations are funded by the United States). This affects United Nations and its Security Council’s decisions in areas that the U.S. is directly involved in, for example, Syria, Yemen, Iraq in 2003, and others.

“Considering Israel is the “U.S. pampered baby”, metaphorically speaking, any international resolution would be negligible if it doesn’t preserve Israeli interests, even if those interests were ethnic cleansing against Palestinians, preservation of the illegal and inhumane blockade on the Gaza Strip and building illegal settlements on the Palestinian soil in the West Bank,” says Kleit, who is deputy editor at U-News Agency.

On the future of the United Nations, Kleit notes, “I personally see that the role of the UN will be minimized considering that major powers are out their taking what they want with disregard to any UN resolution or the disruption of global stability.”

The text of the interview with Mohamad Kleit is as follows:

Question: The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War with several objectives primarily the prevention of war and maintaining peace in disputed areas. But the UN has failed to prevent war and fulfill peacekeeping duties many times throughout its history. In your opinion, what have been the main causes of this passivity?

Answer: The United Nations’ passivity is basically caused by the strong political powers controlling some of its major and most critical decisions; particularly by the United States of America which spent $10 billion in 2018 (almost 30% of UN’s peacekeeping operations are funded by the United States). This affects United Nations and its Security Council’s decisions in areas that the U.S. is directly involved in, for example, Syria, Yemen, Iraq in 2003, and others.

“They (UN) didn’t call out who was clearly responsible for this (Yemen) catastrophe, yet they called for a political solution back in 2016 in Kuwait that would indirectly preserve the Saudi Arabia’s interest while acknowledging the newly formed government in Sana.”

It also acts as a pressure force on political issues, most recently the Israeli atrocities against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, where Israel doesn’t abide by any Security Council decision nor UN resolutions ever since the entity joined the UN. This is because the U.S. has close ties and joint interests in Israel, thus it is not dealing with the Palestinian cause in an objective manner, where the U.S. always sides with Israel, consequently belittling any UN resolution, regardless how righteous and just it is.

Q: Ever since the creation of the Jewish state in 1948, Palestinians have been fighting against what a UN investigator once described as Israel’s ethnic cleansing. Today Israel controls dominantly over Palestine territories. It also has imposed a crippling blockade on Gaza and is continuing its construction of illegal settlements on occupied lands in defiance of several UN resolutions calling for an end to those activities. What is your take on it?

A: As in other areas of turmoil and disruption, the UN has its hands tied because of the U.S. financial advantage over its regular budget. This poses a threat and jeopardizes any resolution issued by the UN in matters the U.S. would consider part of its so-called “national security”, which, as history taught us, extends across the world far from the U.S. national borders.

Now considering Israel is the “U.S. pampered baby”, metaphorically speaking, any international resolution would be negligible if it doesn’t preserve Israeli interests, even if those interests were ethnic cleansing against Palestinians, preservation of the illegal and inhumane blockade on the Gaza Strip, building illegal settlements on the Palestinian soil in the West Bank, or even detainment of Palestinian children for investigation while mistreating prisoners of opinion and protests.

History has also taught us that Israel has never once abided by any UN resolution that isn’t fully in its favor, even when it’s waging an occupation like the one in 1982 in Lebanon or bombing civilian sites in Syria that is being internally war-torn since 2011. It also, rudely, disrespects any UN resolution that is internationally consented, like Resolution 1701 to end the 2006 war on Lebanon that was unanimously approved by the United Nations Security Council on 11 August 2006, where each side of the war (Lebanese Resistance Movement and Israel) goes back to their international borders before the war started in July, yet Israel, until this day, violates Lebanese airspace with fighter jets and occasionally targets civilian, scientific, and military targets in Syria from the Lebanese airspace.

Q: Saudi Arabia has been incessantly pounding Yemen since March 2015 in an attempt to crush the popular Ansarullah movement and reinstate former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is a staunch ally of the Riyadh regime. Many experts accuse the UN silence regarding Saudi Arabia’s aggression and argue that the UN has failed to send humanitarian aid and support to civilians amid a blockade imposed on the war-torn country. What is your thought?

A: Justice is a negligible term in international books; it is only used when the elite nations preserve their interests on the expense of smaller powers, or helpless nations in that case. The Saudi-led coalition, that is supported militarily and politically by (just to name a few) the UAE, USA, UK, France, Israel, Egypt, Bahrain, and other nations, launched a war on Yemen in 2015 that has been described by the UN itself as “one of the worst human catastrophes in modern history.” The war started on the request of the ousted Yemeni president Abed Rabu Mansour Hadi, who took Aden for refuge after a large-scale protest in the capital Sana, where a coalition of Yemeni parties rules now, most prominently Ansarullah led by Abdul Malek al Houthi. Now considering Ansarullah’s opposition to Saudi Arabia’s control over Yemen (Saudis controlled and interfered in Yemen’s politics and economy for over 40 years during the reign of Ali Abdullah Saleh and then Mansour Hadi), which would jeopardize what they call “national security”, thus they launched a full-scale war on Yemen that has led to the death of well-over 30,000 persons and displaced millions, while 19 million are suffering from poverty and in danger of famine.

What did the UN do? They didn’t call out who was clearly responsible for this catastrophe, yet they called for a political solution back in 2016 in Kuwait that would indirectly preserve Saudi Arabia’s interest while acknowledging the newly formed government in Sana. The talks failed because of the continuation of hostilities until 2018 in Stockholm, where another round of talks happened to mark a breakthrough, yet the war is still ongoing with more complications and disasters to put in short.

From 2015 until this day, neither did the UN nor the international community point out that it’s Saudi Arabia and the UAE which are the direct causes of the catastrophe by a huge margin, with the help of the U.S., Israel, the UK, and France, yet they put both sides (the Saudi-led coalition and the Sana government) as equally responsible for the war… It is quiet intriguing for a man shooting an AK47 and an RPG to be held the same responsibility as another man flying an F-16 with U.S. satellites giving him pin-point directions (not all the time though) with missiles that have proven to have the ability to put entire villages to the ground. This is a major problem that stands in the way of any problem-solving procedure that would be in the best interest of Yemen’s future, which is pointing out who holds responsibility for the problem in a just and fair way, not on the basis of equality.

Q: The United Nations is celebrating its 75th anniversary, while it is dealing with serious challenges, including poverty, disease, environmental breakdown, ongoing conflicts, and so on. In your view, is the UN ready to face the future?

A: In addition to the ongoing global crises from Palestine, Yemen, to general African wars, to the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, the Coronavirus and its financial backlash put huge pressure on the UN, as well as the rise of alt-right movements and populist ideologies affect the on-the-ground operations of the UN. One major example is U.S. President Donald Trump retreating from the World Health Organization with accusations that it is siding with China (U.S. economic rival), as well as cutting funding for UNRWA which is specialized with Palestinian refugees. Both cases place huge pressures on both organizations, considering that the U.S. is their biggest donor. The first one is a political decision to pressure WHO into joining the “Ideological Cold War” (as China’s Foreign Ministry named it) against China, while the second is to pressure the Palestinian authorities into accepting Trump’s “Deal of the Century” which is completely a pro-Israel agreement basically aimed to give full control of the West Bank to Israel.

These are just examples of what the UN is going to face from the U.S., in particular, as a cost for its not-so-total kneeling to the man in Washington. I personally see that the role of the UN will be minimized considering that major powers are out taking what they want with disregard to any UN resolution or the disruption of global stability.

What is China really doing with its digital Yuan?

Source

What is China really doing with its digital Yuan?

June 28, 2020

by Chris Faure for the Saker Blog

Reserve currency, backing of a currency and value of the financial systems that distribute a currency.

Its going to take years for the US dollar as reserve currency to fully reduce in importance and of course, the US should continue to use their currency as their own even when it changes into a normal currency. Yet there are financial technologies (FinTech) which may accelerate this process via leapfrogging and I would argue that from a Chinese perspective this is happening. (Leapfrogging is easiest understood by looking at an older example: slower developing countries without a well developed terrestrial telephone system, where these countries leapfrogged the building of a terrestrial system, and directly went to cellular telephone technological networks without loss of function.)

Let’s first take a look at some general concepts:

The fact of ownership of financial systems is very powerful. There is value in the currency that the financial system produces, and there is value in the system itself.

The value proposition is similar but differently done in cryptocurrencies and in digital currencies. The backing frequently lies in the system itself, and not as many think, in a hard asset such as gold. This is a large step to take in thinking for most people, as the idea generally still is that money has to be something that is tangible and real – like gold (or cowrie shells). But it is not such a big step to take if one considers that the act of money creation, production and distribution of currency itself is modernizing and is developing on the same trajectory that the rest of our technological and currently digital society is developing in.

As an example, compare the development of current money distribution systems and the new Financial Technologies (FinTech) with fully automated manufacturing plants for example, where the product coming off the production line is as a result of the technological system. Money is the same, it has to be manufactured, distributed or created or somehow brought into being and these systems are now modernizing, just the same as modern fully automated manufacturing.

The current financial systems belong to the west and banking systems technology is expensive, old, legacy, decrepit and not friendly to the ordinary person, not to mention very hard to maintain. Even the ubiquitous credit cards are now old technology and fast becoming deprecated technology and being replaced by wallets on cell phones that work like supermarket scanners.

It is often speculated that China will back their digital Yuan with gold. This is not an accurate speculation. The backing is the same as with other digital and cryptocurrencies, i.e., the work that the system provides to create the financial transactions in the financial ledger confirms that the transaction is secure and someone actually owns digital currency, they can pay for goods or sell goods and they can do it much easier and incredibly cheaper via a scan of a cell phone or other digital device.

The difference between China’s digital Yuan and common crytocurrencies is the ownership of the system. In modern independent cryptocurrencies the system (the technology) is owned by those that use the cryptocurrency – it is open source. Obviously for the digital Yuan ownership of the system lies with the Chinese State. The digital Yuan though retains the strength of other cryptocurrencies. It is secure transactions, tamper proof, immediate, inexpensive, easily distributed, can cross borders and all this by virtue of being a distributed blockchain system. The easiest to explain a blockchain is that it is self-policing because of technology of consensus algorithms that verify the efficacy of financial transactions. Blockchain very simply stated is blocks of financial transactions that are algorithmically created, are by definition encrypted, and chained together in such a way that nobody can meddle with any one of them.

To recap:

– The digital Yuan is not a cryptocurrency. It is a state issued digital electronic currency that happens to run on a blockchain (the FinTech).

– As the Chinese digital yuan is not and will not be backed by gold at least in our term (it is backed by the strength of the yuan as well as its system), we may well ask what the objective is of this currency.

Is it just a cute technological way of using money?

I would argue absolutely not.

Internationalization of the Yuan

Few realize the extent of the internationalization of the Yuan. As example, 20% of French trade with China is currently settled in Yuan and this is 55% of payments made between both countries. The Macron government is encouraging banks and companies to increase Yuan uptake.

I would argue that the digital yuan is a part of the 5th plank of the Belt and Road process of facilitating cross border investments and supply chain cooperation (perhaps not openly stated).  If one takes into consideration that belt and road is operating now in infrastructure development and investments in nearly 70 countries and international organizations – this is not such a difficult leap to make.

So how can that bold statement be supported? It may be hard for people in countries with old financial systems (the US would be one), to even imagine the new FinTech operating in many other countries. Where I live, I can go to the local corner store, and literally send cash money to someone on the other side of the country, and they will have it immediately. I don’t have to go to a bank, do a bank transfer, send a check, or interact with a bank or a type of Paypal at all. This is a service that the corner store offers at a very reasonable cost. I can also do this directly from my cell phone. We know that in China there is little use for hard currency, and most transactions take place on internal Chinese financial networks and cell phones for the average person, but business finance still flows through banks.

So, let’s start supporting that bold statement

  • The Chinese authorities added Crypto (cryptographic as well as cryptocurrency) to the School Curriculum – quite literally ‘educating the future’ in new FinTech.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/chinese-communist-party-adds-crypto-to-curriculum

  • In reality the distribution of the new Chinese Digital Yuan is proceeding apace. In size, the following is not a massive deal, but in construction of the agreement, this is probably the number one of the new Chinese Digital Yuan Deals and is pure modern FinTech.

China Baowu Group, the world’s largest iron and steel complex, completed a yuan-denominated, blockchain-technology-based transaction of more than 100 million yuan ($14 million) with Rio Tinto …, a move signaling the rising influence of Chinese currency in pricing major commodities.

Standard Chartered issued a blockchain-technology-powered letter of credit for the Baowu-Rio Tinto deal, which the bank said was the world’s first such certificate pegged with offshore yuan.

The use of blockchain technology – a digital public ledger of transactions that has seen increased usage in the global commodity trade – helped facilitate the trade and reduced costs for all parties involved in the transaction …”.

https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1188131.shtml

So, what can we learn from this transaction?

This is not only a further distribution of the Yuan, but is a further distribution of the digital Yuan. While we do not know how this deal is constructed in detail, the use of the words blockchain-technology-powered letter of credit says it all. It looks like this deal will run completely on a blockchain, in the form commonly known as a smart contract, where each step of the deal and its payment schedule in digital currency are transactions on a blockhain. (Now try and skim off that transaction where the rules are hardcoded at the outset with technical principles of consensus pre-programmed in the smart contract and agreements signed directly on contract existent on the blockchain– those that know project management, will know the value of a self-documenting project).

  • the “Moodies

In addition China has become the ranker of record for private cryptocurrency projects.

The health of financial systems or countries are ranked by three major ranking agencies. These are S&P Global Ratings (S&P), Moody’s, and Fitch Group. S&P and Moody’s are based in the US, while Fitch is dual-headquartered in New York City and London, and is controlled by Hearst. These organizations hold the collective global market share of who can be considered good, and who can be considered bad in the global financial system. Not too healthy in my opinion as this is a disproportionate western control over the financial well-being of other countries.

So, as the proverbial quote from Buckminster Fuller states: “You never change things by fighting against the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.

The old banking and financial systems are indicative of the existing reality and are old, decrepit, ancient technology, needs a bunch of maintenance, and the worst is that they are of course owned by those that use them as weapons against others.

China is doing no less than building a new model in FinTech that will make the old model obsolete and in this way they are simply leapfrogging the current financial systems distributing the dollar with fast, lean and modern systems supporting the Financial Silk Road. They have made their own ranking system in new FinTech, i.e., cryptocurrencies. The June rankings are as follows:

Quite rightly the Asiatimes is asking .. Who is actually decoupling from Whom? And I can add, and using modern FinTech to do so with solutions appropriate contextually to our modern world.

My own expectation is that the notable private cryptocurrency systems (those that actually make it to the Chinese ranking system) will eventually be able to exchange smoothly and seamlessly with the Chinese Digital Yuan.

A quick look for the same trajectory, leapfrogging legacy systems, outside of FinTech

We see this creation of seamless new systems outside of hard FinTech as well. Here are three examples. The current hegemon in its common ‘break it’ style, made errors as it thinks if it breaks something, people will come back begging, to make a new plan. This is not happening any longer, and the world simply decouples and creates new systems, as we see from three seminal events and the hegemon further losing its power base.

– The US attacked the WTO on the basis of refusing to allow it to vote for and institute staff for the appeals body for trade disputes. Usually this would have taken many meetings to solve. This time, what happened is that China has joined 18 other members including the European Union, Canada, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong in launching a temporary system for trade disputes at the World Trade Organization, with the agency’s appeal body having ceased to function in December after the United States blocked appointments of new judges to the top trade court.

The needed functionality is now still there, the US having excluded itself (actually shot itself in the foot), while the rest of the world moved forward saying we need this body, and we will have this body, with or without hegemon. The Multi-Party Interim Appeal Arbitration Arrangement (MPIA) was developed in just over three months, after the members announced at the World Economic Forum in January that they would seek to form a new body to work around the demise of the regular WTO panel.

From a combined statement by the European Union: The new system is designed to preserve the principle enshrined in international trade law that governments have the right to appeal in any dispute.

https://www.scmp.com/economy/global-economy/article/3082748/china-eu-join-19-member-temporary-global-trade-dispute

– Most readers of this blog will know how the US is trying to carve out for itself some way back to the JPCOA, the Iran agreement, after simply breaking this agreement. It is proving to be not so easy to walk this one back and so far, they have lost their power base. Do-overs are not so easy in terms of diplomacy, after one has squandered the world’s goodwill and Iran is receiving widespread help to overcome the results of any further sanctions.

It is no wonder then that the EU policy chief made this statement: US century ceding to Asian one, says EU foreign policy chief. https://tass.com/world/1160031

– The third event is the US stunt at the recent Vienna arms control talks. The US stealthily placed Chinese flags, took photos and posted media – then accused China of being a no-show, knowing full well that China declined to attend these talks and refuses to be roped into an agreement that is not in the least appropriate for it. Clear petulance is the hegemon’s only response to a visible decoupling of the world with the US and western cronies. They have nothing more left than petulance and literal pictures of false flagging to offer.

So, it is clear that both inside and outside of hard FinTech which this writing is about, the trajectory of recreating systems and simply leaving the US out, is alive and well.

A small note on Iran and Venezuela as part of the empire resistance countries. Iran is mining cryptocurrency and Venezuela floated theirs, namely the Petro. Unfortunately (and this is not the focus of this writing), they did not do that cleverly but the newest news is that the Venezuelan government is now beginning to trade in cryptocurrencies, and for example, accepting current private chain cryptos for payment for passports. Bear in mind I said that some private chain cryptos will eventually be exchanged with the digital Yuan, so, very soon now, if a government takes payment in a crypto, they will have digital Yuan if they decide to exchange – and they do not need anyone’s permission (Like a Central Bank).

What is the Chinese View

With ‘the moodies’ rating system, cryptography education in China, a clear project based on the digital yuan and blockchain technology and more to follow, it becomes clear that the Yuan and the digital Yuan is being moved into the global financial sphere, de facto without years of negotiation and agreements and trade type negotiations. My expectation then is that certain cryptography and cryptocurrencies will eventually be seamlessly exchanged on China’s blockchain(s) – and you will have a digital yuan wallet on your phone, or on your computer or even a credit card supporting and in this way, you and I could be right on the Belt and Road. In other words, if I want to use a cryptocurrency to pay for something, and I have digital Yuan or another crypto, I can simply, within my electronic wallet exchange for the right currency that I need. This is how China is distributing their Digital Yuan de facto.

What is the Russian view

Russia is still a little behind this revolution in FinTech. but with one fell swoop they can get rid of their central bank if they so choose. The Russian Central bank is following Western ways on the renewal of currency through their central bank. https://cointelegraph.com/news/russias-central-bank-seeks-to-ban-crypto-issuance-and-circulation.

Yet, the decoupling continues. It is interesting to wait to see if the 5 UN security council countries will in fact gather for the summit that Mr. Putin invited them to. My expectation is that if they don’t, Putin will run out of patience and choose others, perhaps the G20 or something new. The decoupling will continue.

We now have clear precedence set on the decoupling part of FinTech and other organizations. It is no longer a big deal to decouple from empire.

What is the Western view?

Forbes stated recently that the launch of the Digital Yuan could create serious problems for the U.S. banking system—potentially forcing the U.S. to digitalize the dollar to compete. The Federal Reserve has warned that central bank digital currencies might one day replace commercial banks, creating “a deposit monopolist” and playing “havoc” with the banking system. (This seemed to me somewhat like gobbeldy-gook and is meaningless – yet, they know something is happening.)

The West is 20 years behind this technology, because China decided to leapfrog and not follow the accepted development trajectory and as such has reconfigured the potentials for the entire planet.

It is high time and in the words of Michael Hudson: “So the United States, through the World Bank, has become I think the most dangerous, right-wing, evil organization in modern history — more evil than the IMF. That’s why it’s almost always been run by a Secretary of Defense. It has always been explicitly military. It’s the hard fist of American imperialism.”

The world is leapfrogging, and elegantly zig-zagging around current imperial financial systems, for a true birth of a new post capitalist post industrial order, without going to war for it.

US To Witness Another Global Support For JCPOA At UN Security Council Meeting: Iran’s Envoy

Source

US To Witness Another Global Support For JCPOA At UN Security Council Meeting: Iran’s Envoy

By Staff, IRNA

Iran’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi said the US will hear once again the world supporting the July 2015 nuclear deal at the UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday.

Ravanchi made the remarks in an interview held in New York, US, with IRNA on Tuesday.

In his remarks, the ambassador underlined that the US effort to extend arms embargo against Iran is in complete contradiction with the UN Resolution 2231.

Resolution 2231 [2015] urges full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA] on the timetable set by the Deal and sets forth the next steps for the eventual removal of Security Council sanctions on Iran.

The international community is after implementation of the JCPOA and following the Resolution 2231, the ambassador stressed, adding that the UN chief and many world leaders have repeatedly expressed their willingness to witness the implementation of the 2015 nuclear deal.

Such willingness indicates that the world is against the US stance on the issue, the senior diplomat noted.

Iran and the six world powers- US, UK, France, Russia, China and Germany- signed a landmark nuclear agreement, aka JCPOA, on July 14, 2015, after months of intensive talks.

But the US withdrew unilaterally from the deal on May 8, 2018, and imposed sanctions on Iran at the highest level of its kind.

Related

Bridging China’s past with humanity’s future – Part 2

Source

June 29, 2020

Bridging China’s past with humanity’s future – Part 2

by Straight-Bat for the Saker Blog

This will be presented in 3 parts and in 3 different blog posts

PART – 1 can be found here


PART – 2

5. POST-DENG CHINA

Post-Deng China witnessed three variants of socio-economic trajectories associated with three different Leaders. Even though the economic programme of reform initiated by Deng went on unhindered, there were significantly different style of implementation of the same. A brief recapitulation is noted below:

A.  Jiang Zemin (till 2003)

In 1997, after Deng’s departure Jiang Zemin became the paramount leader of China. Both – the economic reforms and the deep-rooted problems of economy – accentuated during Jiang’s stewardship. There was marked increase in political corruption, inter-regional imbalance and inter-class imbalance in growth, rural migration into urban areas, unemployment, inequality and wealth gap, and crime rates across China. During 1998 and 1999, many SOE were privatized with massive lay-offs and asset transfer to private businessmen, many others were restructured to make them profitable. The employee welfare and social welfare system which were embedded in SOE (since the Mao era) were completely dissolved – this also created a low-income urban working class. The government followed a policy of retaining the crucial sectors within state-owned enterprises while small and medium SOW were either privatised or closed down. Crucial sectors or ‘commanding heights’ were:

  • Nation-wide service networks like railways, aviation, telecommunication, electricity etc.
  • Mining and exploration coal, oil, and natural gas
  • Basic metal processing like steel, and aluminium
  • Basic hydrocarbon processing like refinery and petrochemicals
  • Heavy industrial machinery such as machine tools, power generation equipment, rolling stock
  • Infrastructure engineering and construction – roads, railways, ports, dams
  • Significant consumer durables like automobiles
  • Military machinery

Apart from reducing the number of SOE (from 262,000 units employing 113 million in 1995-1997 period to 110,000 units employing 64 million in 2007-2008) and restructuring bigger SOEs, the government reduced tariffs, trade barriers, regulations; reformed banking system. The average return on assets in SOEs soared from 0.2% in 1998 to 5% in 2007. In the same period, the SOEs’ profits rose from 0.3% to 6.6% of GDP. Funds continued to be poured into SEZ and export-oriented manufacturing industry. As per Chinese National Bureau of Statistics, Hong Kong-Taiwan-Japan-South Korea-Singapore contributed about 71% of the FDI that flowed into China between 1990 and 2004. To sum it up cogently, it can be said that government of China pursued neoliberal economic agenda along with consulting advice from USA bankers and capitalists. China joined World Trade Organization in December’2001. During the period 1990–2004, China’s economy grew at an average rate of 10% per year.

A very interesting observation can be made related to the foreign relations during Jiang era – all foreign trips by the leadership and communication with foreign media were consciously made to revolve around China’s (the then) economic growth model and the imperatives. Incidents like USA bombing of China embassy in Belgrade, and collision with USA aircraft near Hainan Island were played down after some exchange of documents. Apparently, the top leadership aimed only at maintaining the stability of the government and the economy.

Very significant transformation took place in the CPC itself – from being a party of predominantly peasants and workers, CPC converted itself to a party with large number of middle-class petty bourgeois. This class evolved during the industrial restructuring of 1990s, who came out as the main beneficiary due to their entrepreneurship and connection with the then local and central leadership of CPC, and more importantly this class acted as a robust base of CPC in the urban regions of China.

B. Hu Jintao (2003 to 2012)

Hu Jintao had to continuously swim against the tide of domino effect from the (capitalist) economic reform and opening which was primarily initiated by Deng in 1979. During October’2003 Third Plenum, amendments to the constitution were discussed – an overarching government economic policy would be introduced to reduce unemployment rate, to re-balance income distribution, and to protect the environment. Also private property rights would be protected. Due to widespread poverty, inequality, and discontent the Chinese Government was forced to seek a balanced society above all. Using the concept of “socialist harmonious society”, balanced wealth distribution, improved education, and improved healthcare were assigned high priority.

During 1995, exports from East Asian countries to China were not very significant percentage of their total exports (Japan exported 4.95%, South Korea exported 7.0%, Taiwan exported 0.3%, Singapore exported 2.3%). In 1995, Chinese total exports were worth about 149 billion USD. However, by 2013 there was an explosive growth in exports from East Asian countries to China as a percentage of their total exports – (Japan exported 18.1%, South Korea exported 26.1%, Taiwan exported 26.8%, Singapore exported 11.8%). And, in 2013, Chinese exports to the world were worth about 2210 billion USD (a little over 30% of the value were exported by wholly foreign-owned enterprises, and 12% of the value were exported by joint ventures between foreign-owned and China-owned enterprises). Apparently, during this period China evolved as ‘core’ and East Asia as ‘periphery’ in a new sub-system within the overall world-system (with USA and west Europe as ‘core’ and rest of the world as ‘periphery’).

China’s GDP grew 10.1%, in 2004, and 10.4% in 2005 in spite of attempts by the government to cool the economy. And, in 2006 trade crossed USD 1760 billion, making China third-largest trading nation in the world. Again, in 2007 China registered 13% growth in GDP (USD 3552 billion) becoming world’s third largest economy by GDP. According to UN estimates in 2007, around 130 million people in rural areas of the backward inland provinces still lived in poverty, on consumption of less than $1 a day, while about 35% of the Chinese population lived under $2 a day. Chinese government’s official Gini index peaked at 0.49 in 2008– 2009 and thereafter declined only marginally, to 0.47 in 2014. The Global Financial Crisis in 2008 revealed the innate weakness of Chinese economy – export-oriented economy depends upon economic conditions in foreign countries much more than internal consumption. Government of China took highly effective policy decisions about economic stimulus and implemented those effectively (however, it also increased the already high debt burden). The stimulus (about US$600 billion at the then-current exchange rate) involved state investments into physical infrastructure like railway network, roads, bridges and ports, urban housing complex, easing credit restrictions and lowering tax on real estate. As per National Bureau of Statistics of China, in 2010, GDP of China was Yuan 40850 billion, which can be broken down into following expenditure categories:

  1. Household Consumption Expenditure – Yuan 14146.55 billion (34.63% of GDP)
  2. Government Consumption Expenditure – Yuan 6011.59 billion (14.71% of GDP)
  3. Gross (Fixed) capital formation – Yuan 19186.69 billion (46.96% of GDP)
  4. Net Exports of Goods and Services – Yuan 1505.71 billion (3.68% of GDP)

Household consumption has not increased substantially with economic growth – may be one of the reasons were wages and salaries of working class didn’t move upwards with same pace. Even though the reforms helped to improve the socio-economic indicators, taking into consideration the difference between coastal region and inland regions as well as between urban and rural regions, China could hardly overcome the poverty and inequality predominantly in the inland and rural regions.

By 2011, there were less than 10 out of 40 major industrial sectors in which SOE accounted for more than 20 percent of output. Another significant statistics of 2012 on industrial enterprises (as per National Bureau of Statistics, China) shows:

State-owned EnterprisesPrivate-owned EnterprisesPrivate-owned FDI Enterprises
Total Asset (billion Yuan)31,20915,25517,232
Profit (billion Yuan)1,5182,0191,397

The above statistics might suggest at the first glance that, state-owned enterprises are laggard in profitability. However, such conclusion will be clearly wrong if it is noted that there exist wide difference of asset ownership across various sectors – in mining and extraction of coal, petroleum, natural gas etc. SOE commands 93% of sector-specific assets, while in textiles sector Private enterprises commands 90% of sector-specific assets. Different sectors of industry have different profit-capital asset employed ratio.

C. Xi Jinping (2013 onwards)

Since around 2010, Chinese government and CPC has been busy implementing economic policies that will pursue ‘economic growth based on domestic consumption’ while maintaining the decades old export-oriented economy. With Xi Jinping at the top chair, a long pending but top priority task was undertaken – war against corruption and nepotism. CPC took strong measures so that corrupt among ruling party cadres and government officials were identified and punished, Marxist principles were enforced as guideline for CPC so that the society and economy can be steered towards equality and justice. CPC has also became proactive in taking actions to enhance its geopolitical and geo-economic base throughout the world. Simultaneously, Chinese government has taken concrete measures to modernize all wings of military through research and development of 5th generation stealth military aircrafts, naval ships, nuclear submarines, hypersonic missiles, anti-satellite missiles, as well as procuring most lethal S400 air defence system and electronic warfare systems from Russia.

However, China has performed extremely well in reduction of poverty. In 2015, World Bank Group estimated that only 0.7% of Chinese citizens live below extreme poverty line of $1.9 (2011 PPP) per day, while 7.0% of Chinese population live below lower-middle poverty line of $3.2 (2011 PPP) per day. Such rapid poverty-reduction is an unparalleled achievement in the history of mankind.

As per National Bureau of Statistics of China, in 2019, GDP of China was Yuan 99492.74 billion (by expenditure approach), which can be broken down into following categories:

  1. Household Consumption Expenditure – Yuan 38589.56 billion (38.78% of GDP)
  2. Government Consumption Expenditure – Yuan 16559.90 billion (16.64% of GDP)
  3. Gross (Fixed) capital formation – Yuan 42862.78 billion (43.08% of GDP)
  4. Net Exports of Goods and Services – Yuan 1480.50 billion (1.49% of GDP)

Compared to 2010 statistics, in 2019 the household consumption has moved upwards at almost 39% of GDP. However, the 2019 figures of household consumption below 50% of GDP can’t be considered as healthy neither gross capital formation more than 30% of GDP can be termed as balanced growth. This is not to say that, the period of 1970-1975 was better because household consumption component was around 60 – 65% of GDP (GDP itself was very low).

The inequality between urban and rural remained too glaring even in 2019 – as we can note in the following data as per National Bureau of Statistics of China (2019 data),

  1. Per Capita Disposable Income Nationwide – Yuan 30,733
  2. Per Capita Disposable Income of Urban Households – Yuan 42,359
  3. Per Capita Disposable Income of Rural Households – Yuan 16,021
  4. Per Capita Expenditure Nationwide – Yuan 21,559
  5. Per Capita Expenditure of Urban Households – Yuan 28,063
  6. Per Capita Expenditure of Rural Households – Yuan 13,328

The growth model chosen by Deng and reinforced by Jiang has already run out of steam. It had its own utility to provide mass employment and to build the fixed capital for the national economy. Chinese government need to pivot economic growth on domestic consumption as soon as possible without damaging the export sector much. To boost consumption, ‘demand’ for goods and services will have to be enhanced – in China, ‘purchasing power’ is the key for boosting demand and hence, domestic consumption. Income of ordinary citizens should be increased through forced regulations whereby the surplus from industrial operation (that is pocketed by the capitalists for accumulation of capital) will be distributed to the working class. Similarly for the agricultural sector, government should provide much higher procurement prices for agricultural produces. Another key area that needs government intervention is social security and welfare system, whereby housing-education-healthcare for all rural and urban people living with daily expenditure below USD 10 will be arranged by the government (against a token amount of annual insurance premium). Most of such people will be confident enough to spend instead of saving money for rainy day. The well-entrenched capitalist elites will resist because such steps would restrict their continuous capital accumulation process – however, China being a socialist peoples’ democracy, it has to give priority to the common people.

BRI – Challenge to Current World-system?

Belt and Road Initiative (formerly One Belt One Road – OBOR programme) of China actually is a framework wherein investments amounting to anything between one to two trillion USD in different countries of Asia, Europe, Africa, South America will be done in primarily government-to-government projects. When successfully implemented, may be around 2035, BRI will completely transform the economy and comfort of peoples in more than 100 countries. Investments are mainly channelled into physical infrastructure, mining and exploration, power generation, industrial production hub, agricultural production hub, and communication network. BRI, instead of moving away from existing liberal capitalist economy, predicates on existing capitalist system with more inclusive agenda compared to Zionist Capitalist dominated financial system – thus BRI projects attempt to alleviate poverty and unemployment in participating states without bothering about the government ideology.

BRI benefits China in primarily four ways:

  1. Corridors like CPEC (through Pakistan) and CMEC (through Myanmar), when fully established, will provide alternate trade routes for China-based companies to import energy and raw materials as well as export finished goods through Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal respectively; the corridors will circumvent the ‘choke point’ of Malacca Strait
  2. China-Mongolia-Russia and China-Central Asia-West Asia corridors will be channel for further Chinese investments across Asia; in the long run exports and imports among these Eurasian states will experience quantum jump
  3. ‘State capitalism’ will get a boost with most of the BRI projects being G-to-G kind; most of the participant governments will control the new projects thereby reproducing the production relations of capitalist society with the ‘state’ playing the role of capitalist who will make ‘profit’ and accumulate ‘capital’
  4. Enhance Chinese ‘image’ through socio-cultural exchange
  5. Enhance Chinese ‘influence’ through government-to-government contacts

There are more BRI corridors as well as ‘Maritime Silk Road’ planned as part of BRI. I would not get into the details of such a mammoth programme (consisting of hundreds of gigantic projects) which itself is a separate subject. However, it will be very interesting to analyse if and how BRI will pose a challenge to the existing world-system coordinated by the Deep State.

BRI follows the traditional capitalist economic model of ‘profit’, but unlike the Zionist Capitalist propelled system, BRI system aim for nominal profit margins that will create a tremendous ‘pull factor’ among the developing countries to seek BRI projects. Another key difference is: BRI system is radically different from existing capitalist system by shunning hegemony and force BRI promotes harmonious global integration. In all probability, BRI will create a ‘benign core’ and ‘exultant periphery’ in a global scale which uncannily resembles the Confucian concepts of family and state governance. The existing hegemonic world order and the Deep State will find it very hard to digest such decline of their stature and the formation of a new core-periphery. However, by no means will this new development threaten to upend the existing Zionist Capitalist world order – the new core-periphery will form a significant non-imperial sub-system within the existing world-system. USA, 5-Eyes, and Israel will have to share the hegemony with China being the BRI core and Russia as the semi-periphery (with low population count and hence limited domestic market, Russia can’t play much bigger role).

In practice, post-WW II world order has seen the working of core-periphery system with USA (and NATO) enforcing their will on the weak countries on the ‘periphery’ whenever a threat to the primacy of ‘accumulation capital’ was perceived by the Deep State cabal. The Deep State capital, through control of the media and academia, ensure that such threat to capital gets portrayed as a threat to ‘democracy and human rights’ which in turn provides a moral high ground to the Hegemonic superpower to invade any country at will. In the BRI system such supremacy of capital is not expected simply because Chinese outlook on ‘world-system’ was built typically on Confucian praxis.

Significant observations on post-Deng China:

1. CPC central committee in a conference in 2015 formulated eight principles of ‘socialist political economy with Chinese characteristics’:

  1. Sustainability Led by Science and Technology
  2. Orienting Production to Improve the Livelihood of the People
  3. Public Ownership Precedence in National Property Rights
  4. The Primacy of Labour in the Distribution of Wealth
  5. The Market Principle Steered by the State
  6. Speedy Development with High Performance
  7. Balanced Development with Structural Coordination
  8. Economic Sovereignty and Openness

Undoubtedly the above eight principles (like Buddha’s ‘asta-marga’ teaching) are very sound principles – but these are not focussed to Marxist ideology in a sense that, any other liberal democratic capitalist political party can also follow such principles for an effective management of economy and society. CPC leadership should take into account the core ideology of Marx-Engels-Lenin-Mao to explore that, the owners of capital can never reconcile with the proletariat and petty-bourgeois (as petty-bourgeois, I’m meaning only the middle-income group of rural land-holding peasants and urban professionals and self-employed people who own very little capital to earn their livelihood) – the theory of historical materialism clearly and correctly predict that, in the long-run, the capitalists will continue to accumulate capital with endless exploitation of 90% of the population, eventually they will overrun the CPC setup (as insider like CPSU in Soviet Union, or as outsider like Solidarity Movement in Poland) and create a state which will be ‘liberal capitalist’ in letter and spirit. Mao and Deng differed only on strategy to achieve Marxist economy and classless society, they never differed in the end objective – successive CPC leaders shouldn’t forget to take note of that.

Questions will be raised, ‘why then Mao didn’t create a classless society since 1950 or why Mao also tried for accumulation of capital to begin with’ or for that matter, even before Mao, ‘why in 1921 Lenin was staking on new economic policy (NEP) to introduce free market and capitalism under state control’?

To seek the answer, let’s visit the greatest leader of transformation – Lenin. Lenin considered the NEP as a strategic retreat from principles of socialism – Bolshevik party leaders had to create the “material basis” of economic development in Soviet Union before they could initiate the first stage of socialism to be followed by the second stage. This was exactly the situation for Mao and Deng in China who wanted to first create the basic building block for Chinese economy for which the forces of production were either outdated or non-existent. Interestingly, both CPSU and CPC tried to create ‘communes’ as an ideal communist construct for the rural regions and agricultural sector – primarily due to mismanagement among the party members and lack of indoctrination among the rural population, both the experiments failed. More valid question however remains, ‘why both CPSU and CPC got lost in the quagmire of ‘initial capitalistic development’ and never returned to their end objectives’ even after there was basic level of ‘fixed capital formation’ in Soviet Union by 1960 and in China by 2010! May be because geopolitical events were unsurmountable. To best of my knowledge, this question remains unanswered till date.

2. Another issue related to very high exports and some trade surplus obscures two significant points:

(a) China (with a GDP of Yuan 99,492.74 billion i.e. USD 14,140 billion) in 2019 not only exported goods and services worth USD 2,486.69 billion, but the import was also huge at USD 2,135.74 billion (as per National Bureau of Statistics of China). Even if the overall export surplus is not substantial, when the values are grouped continent-wise, large imbalance due to export surplus can be noted for Oceanic and Pacific Islands (about USD 64 billion), Europe (about USD 95 billion), North America (about USD 330 billion), while marginal imbalance of USD 5 – 10 billion export/import surplus exists in case of Asia, Africa, Latin America. Moving deeper at a country-level, one would find more imbalances. The main reason is that, the sourcing requirements of China (energy, raw materials, manufacturing components, foodstuff, etc.) and sourcing countries are, most of the time different from the nature of exported item (manufactured finished goods), quantity and destination where export opportunity exist.

(b) More often than not, the economists forget to mention that the imports of China has multiple categories including import by foreign-owned export-oriented enterprises for value addition before exporting goods, import by Chinese-owned enterprises for value addition before dispatching for export as well as for domestic selling, import of plant and machinery etc. for capital formation, and import for direct household consumption. Contrary to that, export has almost single dimension – manufactured finished goods, primarily consumer goods with some industrial goods as well. There is overwhelming dependence on exports which jeopardise Chinese economy to the extent that, without continuous growth in demand from foreign countries, Chinese economy will encounter slow growth. In future, there can be scenarios where trade partner countries (other than USA) may reduce good imports from China in order to produce within their country (to reduce unemployment).

3. Trade surplus resulting from the exports and high internal savings empowered the east Asian countries like Japan and China to accumulate largest forex reserves (together they account for more than USD 6 trillion) which were used to purchase USA Treasury bonds. USA Treasury bonds are issued by USA government to cover fiscal deficit – thus China and Japan are largest creditors of USA. With this arrangement of deficit financing successive USA government has been reckless to cut taxes (of oligarchy) and increase direct government expenditure to keep voters happy. The prices of east Asian exports into USA were kept low to keep it attractive in the USA market. Finally, more demand of east Asian goods increased trade surplus and more trade surplus meant more purchase of Treasury bonds. A two-way mutual relation between USA and China-Japan thus helped USA engage in end-less wars as well as keep inflation within USA low, hence, even if USA leaders take anti-import posture that will be only to please the constituency of nationalist voters. However, China will not only be at the receiving end if and when exports get restricted suddenly, China should be prepared for the worst scenario when, in future, USA will simply refuse to pay for their debt.

China will have to take a serious initiative on how US Dollar can be removed from world’s reserve currency status. Along with Russia, China should look into the possibility of introducing a new international currency which will be backed by gold – this action will not lead to a socialist economy, but this action will certainly work towards curbing the USA government’s undue advantage of printing as much fiat Dollar as possible using the global reserve currency without gold-backing status.

4. Indisputably China achieved incredible feats in economic growth and socio-economic indicators during past few decades. But such achievements to a large extent depended also on credit policy (apart from FDI and export). As a result, China’s total debt burden including households, government (central, regional, local), non-financial industry sector (including real estate), and financial sector has been rising over the decades albeit slowly. Apparently, in 2019 beginning, Household debt rose to more than 50% of GDP, Government debt crossed 50% of GDP, Financial sector debt rose to more than 40%, non-financial Industry sector breached 150% of GDP. As a whole, Chinese government is in a precarious position to control such huge debt (total crossing 40 trillion USD) – with strict control economic growth will be at stake. Even though the government of China have been periodically trying to deleverage the economy with control measures, economic growth trounced all such attempts till date.

The problem of bad debt first hit the Jiang government in late 1990s. The non-performing loans (NPL) caught the leadership’s eyes back then. And to address the burning issue, in 1999 asset management company was created, which absorbed Yuan 2 trillion bad loans from state-owned banks leaving the banks normal and healthy. For Chinese government NPL issue will continue to be a thorn in the flesh.

5. Maritime border disputes in South China Sea and East China Sea have historical roots when Japan displaced European powers from these two sea regions. It is also true that, after WW II most of the littoral countries (except Vietnam and North Korea) were/are backed by the Deep State and were/are armed to the teeth. However, it will be a monumental milestone for Chinese diplomacy and indeed, image, if China can resolve the maritime border issues without conflict, and if required, sharing the under-sea resources with the littoral states.

On the land border disputes, China resolved all but the dispute with India. The land border was drawn by the British colonial power who ruled most of south Asia till 1947, but Chinese government never accepted the border. Chinese government should keep no stone unturned to bring India-Pakistan-China on the same discussion table with UNO as observer. It will be beneficial for all three countries if they settle the dispute once for all through mutual concessions using give-and-take policy. A border war for a land with little economic value (but high geopolitical strategic value) makes no sense.

6. During 1700 to 1840 China was world’s biggest economy and second largest land empire. However that position didn’t deter the European powers from rampaging at their will inside Chinese territory. Chinese empire lost the edge because of inability to keep track with global technological changes. For the European powers, advancements in few industrial and military technology proved decisive. Keeping such watershed moments in view, government of China should make extraordinary arrangements (like special task force etc.) to bridge manufacturing technology gaps which have been pointed out by McKinsey Global Institute in “China and the world” report published in July 2019, some of which are:

  1. Electronic Components
    1. Display
    2. Integrated circuits
  2. Pharmaceuticals
    1. Small-molecule drugs
    2. Biomolecule drugs
  3. Genomics
    1. Gene sequencing
    2. Gene editing

The above mentioned elements are not necessarily of military in nature – the backwardness in military technology are well-known which are being addressed by Chinese government since past two decades, jet engines with thrust-vectoring control technology among the most significant ones.

6. GEOPOLITICS 1930 ONWARDS

With the setting up of Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Switzerland in 1930, the disputes and tussle among the most prominent Jewish and Anglo banker families (like Rothschild, Rockefeller, Morgan, Warburg, Lazard, et al.) over type of business, geographical region of influence, and share of banking sector operations got resolved. The Zionist Capitalist elites were fully united in words and deeds notwithstanding the occasional rivalry and difference of opinion between followers of two camps: Rothschild and Rockefeller. The long-term objective of the Zionist Capitalist Deep State clique (representing primarily the Jewish, Anglo, Dutch, French, German oligarch and aristocrat families who had accumulated wealth and have been engaged in business in banking-land-industry-trading) after WW I has been to establish a hegemonic world order which would:

  1. own ‘political process and power’ in every society/country on the earth
  2. own ‘economic process and wealth’ in every landmass/country/ocean on the earth
  3. control ‘socio-cultural process and population’ in every region/country on the earth

I find it difficult to consider that, ‘winning’ political power anywhere in the world, has ever been an objective of the Deep State – they want to ‘own’ the process through which any political party may be made to ‘win’ or ‘loose’ power depending on short-term and long-term interest of the Deep State.

The Zionist Capitalist Deep State crystallized in its existing form when WW II started in 1936 (with signing of anti-communist pact between Germany, Italy, and Japan). Expectations of the Zionist Capitalist Deep State were destruction of powerful societies (non- Anglo/Jewish/Dutch/French) who had potential to develop advanced economy, and expansion of Zionist Capitalist empire:

  1. combatants Fascist Germany and Communist Soviet Union decimating each other’s (i) military forces, (ii) physical infrastructure, and (iii) population across entire Eurasia;
  2. combatants Fascist Japan and Nationalist China decimating each other’s (i) military forces, (ii) physical infrastructure, and (iii) population across entire East Asia;
  3. stages (a) and (b) would be followed by occupation of whole Europe and Asia by the ‘benevolent’ Anglo-American military who would claim that they have ‘liberated’ these ancient civilizations from the ‘authoritarian dictatorships’ of fascism and communism;
  4. stage (c) would be followed by establishment of ‘liberal democratic capitalism’ version of empire (as against ‘colonial extractive capitalism’ version) in whole Europe and Asia to continue plunder of wealth in maximum possible way;

Unfortunately half of the objectives remained unfulfilled in the WW II that was over by 1945 – because of two political parties: Communist Party of Soviet Union (CPSU) and Communist Party of China (CPC) whose top leadership mobilised their countrymen in collective patriotic spirit, Soviet Union and China didn’t capitulate but their direct adversaries (Germany and Japan) were trounced. Phase II became a necessity for the Deep State.

WW II – Phase II:

Phase II of WW II was initiated as soon as phase I was over. ‘Operation Unthinkable’ was planned by most ardent imperialist Churchill in order to launch a surprise attack on Soviet Union to achieve the original objectives that Hitler failed to achieve, but dropped. Realising that a military block consisting of all societies that join together as Zionist Capitalist Deep State would be more effective to demolish: (a) morally and militarily supreme power like Soviet Union which recuperated economically,

(b) new power like Communist China (where by January’1949, Peoples Liberation Army already won three major campaigns in last strongholds of Kuo Mintang party in east and south regions of China), NATO was formed in April’1949.

To achieve the long-term objective of hegemonic world order as well as the four WW II objectives, the Deep State displayed creativity in designing and deploying diplomatic, political, economic, cultural tools and methods that proved to be highly durable and extremely effective:

  1. UNO and its key sister organizations were established to control the international political incidents in all regions across the globe
  2. Through WBG, IMF, ADB global banking and financial companies spread its tentacles to every region of the world to control natural resources and economy
  3. US Dollar as the foreign currency exchange basis across the globe – not only the gold backing was withdrawn from Dollar in 1971 by USA government, but the hegemon also manipulated the Arab rulers to use Dollar as currency for most crucial commodity trading (of petroleum)
  4. Trade pacts like GATT, WTO, and similar other pacts driven by USA-West Europe-Japan were implemented so that the hegemonic power maintains their hold over global trade
  5. Promotion of ‘periodic election’ plus ‘market economy’ plus ‘private ownership’ masquerading as ‘Democracy’ across the globe
  6. Promotion of literature-cinema-fine arts that revolves around sex-drug-commercial duplicity in all major languages across the globe
  7. Promotion of mainstream media for broadcasting and publishing round-the-clock propaganda on the above mentioned tools (i) to (vi) in all major languages across the globe
  8. Promotion of academic institutions and intellectual for propagating curriculum on the above mentioned tools (i) to (vi) in all major languages across the globe
  9. Promotion of religious fundamentalist groups (male chauvinists with belief in illusory past glory from society which profess religious faiths like Sunni Islam, in Catholic Christianity, in Puritan Christianity, Brahminical Hinduism etc.) as well as ethnic fundamentalist groups (believing superiority of his/her ethnicity) in all regions across the globe
  10. Development of highly complex computerised system and other industrial technology to replace human labour in every sphere of productive work as much as possible

During the ensuing four and a half decades- from 1945 to 1990- major tasks accomplished by Deep State were:

  1. The Zionist Capitalist elites located primarily on either side of the Atlantic (who were driving force for aristocratic groups like Bilderberg Club, Club of Rome, Trilateral Commission as well as think-tanks like Council for Foreign Relations) were immensely successful in mobilising most of the academic institutions and media entities across world to spread propaganda among the people world-wide about ‘failure’ of socialism/ communism/ Marxist principles in Soviet Union and east European countries as well as China. While it was true that these countries which were devastated during WW II couldn’t provide the standard of living as west European imperialist/colonialist countries could offer to their citizens, these socialist countries provided all basic amenities of life to all its citizens.
  2. In most unfortunate turn of history, in the second half of 1950s CPSU led by Khrushchev (a closet Zionist) denounced Stalin’s leadership in Soviet Union that not only defeated the most cruel war machinery ever built on earth but became the second superpower of the world by 1945 (in 22 years after Stalin got the top leader’s position). This created an unbridgeable ideological gap between CPSU and CPC that divided the entire socialist/communist movement across the globe. After removal of Khrushchev from the position of top leader in Soviet Union political situation was salvaged internally, however, China became completely blind about the changing landscape of Soviet Union. The lack of trust of Chinese leadership in Soviet leadership was utilised by the Deep State elites in the 1980s to bleed Soviet Union in Afghanistan and Angola.
  3. By 1960 most of the Asian, and African countries got freedom from the west European imperialist/ colonialist powers like UK, France, and Belgium etc. Most of these countries were ruled by nationalist party who heavily mixed socialist ideological tenets with their nationalist creed. Most of these countries, backed by Soviet Union, had highly corrupt ruling party. Such leaders easily became prey for the global capitalist-imperialist elites, and simultaneously those semi-literate societies came under the spell of ‘Hollywood’-promoted illusion and ‘drug-sex-violence’ kind of culture. The significant block led by Soviet Union and relatively small islands of Chinese sphere came to a crossroads – they were falling behind in harnessing technological progress in economic growth, which resulted in relatively low standard of living of majority population while government officials and ruling party leaders led much better life.
  4. Deep State tried hard to manipulate the policy of government and bureaucracy as well as to co-opt the key political parties across all countries so that they can create pro-USA, pro-5 Eyes, pro-Israel policies as well as anti-Soviet Union anti-China policies. Simultaneously, oligarch-aristocrat families and elite individuals with servility towards Zionist Capitalist ideology (i.e. capitalist enterprises, private ownership, European ‘liberal imperialism’) were promoted in political leadership-bureaucracy-judiciary in those countries so that they can convert the policies into actions to advance interests of global oligarchy.
  5. In many large countries across the world, the Zionist Capitalist Deep State manipulated domestic politics to overthrow patriotic and incorruptible leaders who couldn’t be co-opted by them – Congo, Iran, Indonesia, Chile, Guatemala, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, etc. The Deep State mainly mobilised the country’s military forces to grab state power by killing the top leader(s) and by creating a repressive environment. Sometimes that would include mass murder of leaders and members of socialist party/communist party – in Indonesia, in the 2nd half of 1960s, between one to two million members of communist party were killed by military junta. In all the above mentioned cases, soon after coming to power the military junta would create economic policies that would favour the MNC from USA, 5 Eyes, west European countries, and simultaneously reduce contacts with Soviet Union and China.
  6. Developing conventional, nuclear, biological, chemical, and other special weapons and building a military force based on land, marine, air, and space that will be able to dominate every other country in every region, and if necessary, the military force can take punitive actions against any country including carrying out ‘first strike’ against other nuclear powers like Soviet Union and China without any possibility of retaliatory strike. USA built over 700 military bases all over the world.

The Deep State operatives were very successful in their original plan of wrecking Soviet Union from within. In the beginning of 1980s two leaders got into powerful political positions in the Soviet block – Yuri Andropov became top leader of CPSU and Lech Walesa became top trade union leader in Poland, Such high-ranking anti-socialist leaders quickly made inroads into state structure and policies in Soviet Union and Poland. After Andropov handpicked Gorbachev to lead CPSU, it was only a matter of time for the Deep State to wrap-up the socialist experiment what was known as USSR. Gorbachev and his so-called reformist clique systematically incapacitated Soviet economy, and also actively promoted downfall of governments in every east European country which were led by socialist party aligned with CPSU. This clique was helped by professionals from USA and west Europe. They also pinned hope that CPC leader Zhao Ziyang will become the ‘Gorbachev of China’ to bring down the government ruled by CPC – however this was a complete failure as Zhao himself confided with Gorbachev that ‘Deng was the top leader’ in a meeting when Tiananmen Square protest was raging in Beijing in 1989. Without a single gun-shot being fired by the military wings of Zionist Capitalist cabal, the Soviet Union dissolved itself between 1990 to 1991 CE – the phase II of WW II came to an end. Instead of serious introspection and course correction among ruling party officials and government departments to design policies keeping pace with socio-economic changes and technological changes, all these ‘reformist’ leaders decided that the best way to (personal?) growth was to join hands with Zionist-Capitalist world order after bringing down the governments ruled by their own party communist/socialist party.

By 2020 whole Europe and half of Asia had been occupied by the ‘benevolent’ Anglo-American NATO military who claimed that they guarantee ‘independence’ of those ‘liberated countries’ from the clutch of ‘authoritarian’ communism, and they also ensure that ‘liberal democratic capitalism’ version of empire will suck the land and citizens dry. No wonder, Soviet WW II war memorials and monuments have been systematically destroyed in east Europe – how long the Deep State would tolerate anti-zionist anti-capitalist flag hoisted by Soviet Red Army in Europe with immense sacrifices and sufferings by Soviet leaders, soldiers and people?

Concomitant with the complete control of all political parties (across the wide spectrum of their professed ideology) on both sides of the Atlantic: North America, South America, Europe, the discerning Zionist Capitalist cabal maintains a complex cobweb connecting all key members and rotating them from one role to another. Thus a retired Director of intelligence department of USA will occupy the chair of Chairman of a big financial investment firm as well as the role of a university Professor! The cabal maintains a carefully constructed façade where professionals from different spheres of society jointly appear as a highly educated, experienced and intelligent wing – industrialists, bankers, politicians, bureaucrats, military officials, business managers, legal and media professionals, academicians, NGO managers, cinema directors and artists all walks of life are present.

[ Link: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-06-10/does-bilderberg-really-run-world-one-chart-help-you-decide ]

Interlude?

After Soviet Union was pulled down, the corrupt and treacherous Soviet leaders and their lackeys backed by the Zionist Capitalist oligarchy and elites ripped apart the socio-economic fabric of Russian society. The state exchequer was looted blatantly, the natural resources were divided among the Soviet elites-turned-businessmen, the industrial capital largely destroyed or privatised without any meaningful payment to state, workers were retrenched or pauperised without regular wages, and peasants were left without proper means of cultivation. Not only peoples tried to earn livelihood offering sex-drug-smuggling etc., but steep drop in birth rates across all splinter provinces of USSR made it to appear like entire Eurasian landmass will get depopulated within two generations. The Deep State also tried to split Russia (which, after the USSR dissolution, became largest state in Eurasia) into 4 – 5 regions through creating and aiding regional separatist movements with help of the 5th column elites and oligarchy within Russia. Without funding, military capabilities of Russia went into oblivion. Technological research and development as well as manufacturing of defence machinery came to a dead end. Demoralised troops and open corruption became symbolic of Russian military.

So, were the different factions of Zionist Capitalist cabal content with the successful closure of the WW II by 1991? What were they thinking about the glaring failure of destroying the CPC rule in China? Apparently, the Deep State was not only happy with their performance in destroying the CPSU and Soviet Union, they were also very confident about China becoming a ‘normal country’ with full-scale liberal democratic capitalist system of economy and periodic elections to elect governments that will be run by the Zionist Capitalist world order staying behind the curtain (as it happened for all countries in the world in 1992 except China-Vietnam-North Korea-Iran-Zimbabwe-Angola-Cuba). We need to ask ourselves, how the Deep State was so confident that China will be on board with them.

1978 onwards the drive towards industrial capitalism in China using the global finance owned by the Zionist Capitalist bankers and industrialists was initiated by Deng and followed up by Jiang Zemin in such earnestness that, the Deep State representatives like Kissinger and Financial Institutions like JP Morgan had to conclude that Chinese acumen for business and trade will transform the society into a capitalist society. Japan was anyway part of the world order triad i.e. USA-West Europe-Japan, and with China’s entry, the triad would have become USA-West Europe-East Asia. Chinese government went all-out to create a ‘happy hunting ground’ for global Zionist Capitalist interests which wanted more and more profits towards endless accumulation of capital, and hence were busy shifting their manufacturing base to China to harness low-cost labour and slack regulations. By 2008, i.e. after 30 years of reform, China became third largest economy in terms of GDP nominal (as per IMF estimates USD 4604 billion) and largest export base in the world (In 2007-2008, its Export-to-GDP ratio reached 32%, and its Exim-to-GDP ratio was 59%), but it also became a society where inequality was one of the highest in the world – China’s Gini coefficient (a measure of inequality – ‘0’ represents perfect equality, ‘1’ represents perfect inequality) rose from about 0.3 in early 1980s to 0.49 in 2008. The media, academia, multilateral institutions funded by the Deep State went all-out to woo the CPC leaders towards ushering a new era of ‘political reforms’ after such a brilliant success of ‘economic reforms’ – by ‘political reforms’ they meant introduction of multi-party election system and privatisation of the state-owned enterprises. After one and a half decades of persuasion, by middle of 2000s the Deep State cabal understood that, CPC never ever had any such plan of changing their ideology of political economy.

And about the same time in 2007 Munich Security Conference, Putin as the leader of Russia, delivered his famous Munich speech. In no uncertain terms, Putin criticized USA’s hegemonic dominance and its “almost uncontained hyper use of force in international relations“. That speech came as a shocker to the Zionist Capitalist clique – it was like waking up from a slumber. All these years they thought WW II was over with Soviet Union completely decimated – after 16 years they had the ignominy of attending a conference on European soil, where a Russian leader was chastising them about use of force in settling disputes!

Actually 2000 onwards, there had been relentless sole-searching among top leadership of Russia. It was about the overall decay of Russia within a span of just 10 years – between 1985 and 1995. As a result, the Russian government and a section of ruling party led by Putin has been pushing economic policies that created new consumer goods industry and improved agricultural production, enhanced the oil-gas extraction operation. Within few years’ time Russia got on its feet and created an economy based on ‘domestic consumption’ and pushed export of oil-gas to earn foreign exchange. However, the Zionist Capitalist oligarchy led by powerful faction of the ruling party was deeply entrenched in the bureaucracy, academia and media who supported (and benefited from) their illegal amassing of wealth. Corruption, nepotism, extortion among ruling party cadres and government officials, mostly went unpunished. Outward flow of capital and tax breaks for rich businessmen were also happening albeit at a slow pace. But noticing the overall upswing in Russian society the Deep State got alarmed – ‘filthy’ Russian bear is again cooking up some curry that may prove difficult to digest in long run!

Part 1

Part 3 – pending


By profession I’m an Engineer and Consultant, but my first love was and is History and Political Science. In retired life, I’m pursuing higher study in Economics.

I’m one of the few decade-old members of The Saker blog-site. Hope that this website will continue to focus on truth and justice in public life and will support the struggle of common people across the world.

An Indian by nationality, I believe in humanity.

In tortured logic, Trump begs for a do-over on the Iran nuclear deal

Source

Written by Tyler Cullis and Trita Parsi

Even the Trump administration seems to grudgingly have concluded that breaching the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) was a mistake. More than two years after the U.S. exit, the deal still stands while the Trump administration is running out of options to force a re-negotiation. It is now so desperate it is seeking to convince the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) that it never quit the deal in the first place. The lesson to the U.S. is clear: Diplomatic vandalism carries costs — even for a superpower. The lesson to a prospective President Joe Biden is more specific: Rejoin the nuclear deal, don’t try to renegotiate it.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claims that UNSC Resolution 2231 defines the term “JCPOA participant” to be inclusive of the United States, and nothing the United States could do or has done can change this supposed legal fact.  According to Pompeo, even though the Trump administration repeatedly referred to its “withdrawal” from the JCPOA as a “cessation of its participation” in the agreement, UNSCR 2231 continues to define the United States as a “JCPOA participant” that can invoke the resolution’s sanctions snapback mechanism. 

The snapback permits a “JCPOA participant” to provide notification to the Security Council of a case of significant non-performance by a party to the agreement, triggering the automatic re-institution of former Security Council sanctions resolutions targeting Iran. No Russian or Chinese veto can prevent the reimposition of the sanctions contained in those resolutions. Only a resolution agreed to within 30 days that would undo the snapback — but the U.S. has the ability to veto such a resolution.

This is why the Obama administration cherished the snapback — if Iran were to renege on its nuclear commitments, the reimposition of sanctions would be swift and automatic. 

But this leverage was lost when Trump abandoned the deal in 2018 (the Presidential memoranda announcing the decision was even titled “Ceasing U.S. Participation in the JCPOA”). A senior Iranian diplomat told us at the time that Tehran was shocked that Trump would forgo this advantage. 

Now Trump is begging for a do-over. Despite the legal debate over Pompeo’s interpretation of UNSCR 2231, Trump’s gambit will prove less a legal question than a political one. The issue is not so much whether the United States remains a “JCPOA participant,” but whether the other members of the Security Council — and most prominently, its permanent members — will recognize the United States as such and allow Trump to issue a reverse veto to ensure the full re-imposition of U.N. sanctions on Iran. 

That is less likely to happen — and for an obvious reason: the Trump administration has spent the last three years squandering any international goodwill towards the United States, abandoning international agreements, strong-arming allies, and cozying up to dictators. It has threatened and cajoled its European allies to abandon legitimate trade with Iran or risk the wrath of punishing U.S. sanctions — all for the purpose of killing a fully functioning nuclear agreement that Europe views as essential to its security. Trump will need the sympathy of Europe’s permanent members to the Security Council. But no sympathy is likely to be forthcoming.

But even if Europe were to succumb to Trump’s pressure, it is unclear what objectives stand to be achieved. If, as Trump and his allies fear, a Biden administration would rejoin the nuclear accord, the snapback of U.N. sanctions is unlikely to pose a significant impediment to doing so, other than raising the cost to the United States for a return to the JCPOA. Nothing would prevent a President Biden to support the immediate reinstitution of UNSCR 2231. 

The danger, instead, is that Iran, having witnessed the malicious use of the snapback, will demand that any future resolution drop the snapback procedure. Considering that Iran will be weighing the merits of leaving the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and terminating its safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as a result of the U.N. snapback, the Biden administration would likely be forced to choose between eating that cost or escalating militarily against Iran in its first months in office. 

This underscores the real reason for Trump’s move: the U.S. is out of leverage when it comes to Iran. While U.S. sanctions have decimated Iran’s economy, they have not forced Iran to accede to Trump’s demands. Iran has neither begged for talks nor abandoned the JCPOA. Its posture remains essentially the same, immune to Trump’s best efforts to cause it to lash out to international approbation. 

Though immense pain, Iran has sapped the U.S. of its leverage while keeping its own intact. Tehran can (and has) scale back its commitments to the JCPOA in response to Trump’s actions, it can abandon the JCPOA or even withdraw from the NPT and terminate its safeguards agreement with the IAEA. These, and other options, remain in Iran’s arsenal, unused for the time being but ready to be deployed should the U.S. continue on its path of diplomatic vandalism. 

This is why Biden must dispel with any illusion that he can seek a renegotiation of the JCPOA on the back of Trump’s sanctions. If a Biden administration were to signal to Tehran that it will not seek a clean return to the JCPOA, then Iran will begin using the leverage it has kept in store.

If Trump succeeds in snapping back U.N. sanctions, Biden would not even be able to leverage the risk to Iran in international isolation, as Iran would be already isolated internationally by virtue of the U.N. sanctions. Biden’s sole recourse would be to threaten war with Iran — a terrible prospect for an incoming administration that will be fighting off a deadly pandemic, resuscitating a depressed economy, and operating under the promise of being different from Trump.

Trump overplayed his hand by thinking he could renegotiate the nuclear deal and is now begging for a do-over. Candidate Biden should take note and signal clearly already now that he does not intend to repeat this mistake.

قرار «إسرائيل» بالتنقيب عن النفط في لبنان:‏ إعلان حرب أم استثمار فرصة؟

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

منذ أن ظهر التباين بين لبنان والعدو الإسرائيلي بشأن حدود المنطقة البحرية الاقتصادية الخالصة للبنان، امتنعت «إسرائيل» عن الاقتراب من المنطقة التي يتمسك بها لبنان ويصرّ على أنها جزء من حقوقه خشية من ردّ فعل المقاومة، ولم تفلح الوساطة الأميركية رغم مضيّ أكثر من 6 سنوات على انطلاقاتها لم تفلح في حلّ الخلاف حول المنطقة المتنازع عليها والبالغة مساحتها 862 كلم2.

الخلاف اللبناني الإسرائيلي هذا فاقمه أيضاً العدوان الإسرائيلي على 13 منطقة حدودية جنوبي خط الحدود الدولية مع فلسطين المحتلة، التي تطمح «إسرائيل» لإسقاطها وإعادة ترسيمها مجدّداً بما يكسبها مساحات تحتلها الآن وتدّعي خلافاً للحقيقة والقانون بأنها مناطق متنازع عليها، وهي ليست مطلقاً محلّ نزاع لأن اتفاقية بوليه نيوكمب نهائية وحاسمة وتؤكد أنّ هذه المناطق لبنانية من دون أدنى شكّ وبهذا اعترفت الأمم المتحدة في العام 2000 وعلى هذا جرى التحقق من الاندحار الإسرائيلي من قبل لجنة برئاستي في ذاك العام.

بيد انّ المطامع الإسرائيلية لا تقتصر في لبنان على البحر وما فيه او الحدود البرية ومناطقها الـ 13 المعتدى عليها بل تشمل أيضاً الحدود اللبنانية السورية حيث ضمّت «إسرائيل» وبدعم أميركي مزارع شبعا اللبنانية إلى الجولان السوري وضمّت إليها كامل المنطقة مضافة إليها الغجر اللبنانية وبعض المساحات في العباسية والنخيلة، ما جعل الحقوق اللبنانية موضع المطامع الإسرائيلية تصل إلى 862 كلم2 في البحر، و25 مليون متر مربع جنوبي خط الحدود الدولية مع فلسطين المحتلة و42 كلم2 في مزارع شبعا والغجر.

وترى «إسرائيل» انّ القانون الدولي لن يوفر لها أيّ فرصة لنيل شيء مما تطمع به، فقانون البحار يعطي الحق للبنان في البحر واتفاقية بوليه نيوكمب المصادق عليها دولياً تثبت حدوده مع فلسطين بشكل نهائي لا يغيّر في نهائيته ما أقدم عليه ترامب في خريطته المرفقة برؤيته للسلام تلك الخريطة التي أغفلت الحدود وعملت بخط هدنة مؤقت، وأخيراً الاتفاقات اللبنانية السورية حول مزارع شبعا التي تؤكد لبنانية المزارع.

ولأنّ القانون بكلّ قواعده نصاً واتفاقيات دولية يمنع «إسرائيل» من نيل ما تطلب، فإنّ «إسرائيل» تعود إلى منطق القوة الذي هو في الأصل أساس نشأتها، ولكن إعمال منطق القوة ضدّ لبنان بعد العام 2006 بات بالحسّ «الإسرائيلي» العملي والتجريبي متعذّراً بسبب معادلة الردع الاستراتيجي التي فرضتها المقاومة التي يقودها ويمارسها حزب الله. أضف إلى ذلك انّ وجود المقاومة وحلفائها في السلطة اللبنانية بات من شأنه أن يمنع أيّ حكومة في لبنان من التنازل لـ «إسرائيل» مهما كانت الضغوط الأميركية. ما يعني أنّ «إسرائيل» وصلت في مواجهة لبنان إلى الحائط المسدود لأنّ القانون لا يعطيها حقاً والمقاومة تحرمها من استعمال القوة لاغتصاب ما تريده. وباتت «إسرائيل» أمام فرض من اثنين: أما أن تخضع لقواعد القانون وتتخلى عن أطماعها، أو أن تزيل عقبة حزب الله لتعود وتستند إلى منطق حق القوة وتغتصب ما تريد إما باتفاقية إذعان وإما بفرض ميداني تنتجه الحرب.

وفي السنوات الأخيرة راهنت «إسرائيل» على الحرب الكونيّة على سورية لتفكيك محور المقاومة وإسقاط حزب الله، لكن الحرب استنفدت مراحلها ولم يتحقق شيء مما تمنّت، وراهنت على استراتيجية الضغوط القصوى ضدّ محور المقاومة بما فيه إيران وسورية وحزب لله، ولمست في الأسابيع الأخيرة نوعاً من الجنون الأميركي ضد ّلبنان عامة وحزب الله خاصة، وظنّت انّ ما كتبته صحيفة «واشنطن بوست» الأميركية من أنّ «لبنان يتجه إلى الانهيار والبؤس والجوع»، انه كلام سيتحقق، ونظرت بارتياح إلى سلوك سفيرة أميركا في لبنان السلوك الخارج على كل قواعد القانون الدولي العام واتفاقية فيينا التي تنظم السلوك والعلاقات الدبلوماسية بين الدول، وكانت غبطتها شديدة عندما لمست الانقسام اللبناني العمودي والحادّ حول أداء تلك السفيرة، وكوّنت من كلّ مشاهداتها صورة جعلتها تظنّ بأن فرصة اتخاذ القرارات الصعبة في مواجهة لبنان قد حانت، فسارعت إلى استغلالها واتخذت في مجلس وزرائها قراراً بالسماح بالتنقيب عن النفط والغاز في المناطق المتنازع عليها مع لبنان وتحديداً في البلوكات 8 و9 و10 من تلك المنطقة اللبنانية. فإلى أين سيقود هذا القرار؟

في البدء لا بدّ من التأكيد أنّ حسم النزاع على حدود المنطقة الاقتصادية من جانب واحد هو عمل غير مقبول خاصة إذا جاء من طرف لم يوقع قانون البحار كما هو حال «إسرائيل»، كما أنّ قبول لبنان الرسمي بالأمر الواقع الإسرائيلي المفروض هو أمر غير مقبول وغير متوقع، وبالتالي يكون على لبنان ومن أجل حماية حقوقه أن يتصرف بكلّ ما هو متاح له من مسالك ويلج كلّ ما يمكنه ولوجه من أبواب، وتأتي في طليعة تلك الوسائل الدبلوماسية بما فيها اللجوء إلى الأمم المتحدة وهيئاتها وكذلك اللجوء إلى طرف ثالث من الدول التي تدعي صداقة لبنان وفي طليعتها أميركا.

بيد أننا لا نثق بكلّ تلك المخارج. فالتجارب علمتنا أنها عقيمة ويكفي ان نتذكر انّ تحرير الجنوب لم يتمّ بالقرار 425 الذي بقي 22 عاماً طيّ النسيان، ولو لم تكن هناك مقاومة لكان احتلال الجنوب مستمرّاً ما يعني أنّ على لبنان أن لا يركن إلا لقوّته المشكّلة من الجيش والمقاومة التي يحتضنها شعب متمسك بحقوقه، وهذا تعرفه «إسرائيل» وسمعته أكثر من مرة من قائد المقاومة الذي وبكلّ وضوح أنذر «إسرائيل» بالردّ على أيّ عدوان على المنطقة الاقتصادية في الحدود التي ترسمها لها الدولة اللبنانيّة، فهل «إسرائيل» المطلعة على هذا الموقف تسعى إلى هذه المواجهة باتخاذها قرار التنقيب؟

«إسرائيل» تعرف انّ المقاومة لا تهدّد استعراضياً، وأنها قادرة على المواجهة ولكنها كما يبدو تظنّ انّ سياسة الضغوط القصوى والحصار الخانق ومحاولات الفتنة مع احتمالات الحرب الأهلية الشاملة في لبنان ستمنع المقاومة عن الردّ او ستشغل المقاومة عن هم الجنوب لتدافع عن نفسها وعن بيئتها في الداخل، ما يوفر لـ «إسرائيل» فرصة العمل من جانب واحد وهي فرصة لا تتكرّر وتكون «إسرائيل» اتخذت قرارها محدوّة باحتمال من ثلاثة:

1

ـ جسّ نبض لبنان للوقوف على إرادته وقدرته على الردّ. ولأنه لا يعنيها ولا تهتمّ بكلّ ما هو سياسة ودبلوماسية فإنّ «إسرائيل» ستراقب ردّ الفعل في الميدان من قبل الجيش اللبناني وحزب الله ومقاومته بتنسيق أو من غير تنسيق مع الحكومة. فإذا لمست الجدية اللبنانية في اللجوء إلى القوّة فإنها ستجد لنفسها مخرجاً يجنّبها المواجهة التي قد تطوّر إلى حرب لا تريدها الآن.

2

ـ الضغط على لبنان وهو في حالة التردّي القائمة والانهيار، الضغط عليه للذهاب إلى مفاوضات غير متكافئة لفرض التنازل عن حدوده البرية وإعادة ترسيمها والتنازل عن مزارع شبعا والغجر والتنازل عن 500 كلم2 على الأقل من المنطقة الاقتصادية الخالصة.

3

ـ استدراج لبنان ومقاومته إلى حرب تندلع إذا ردّت المقاومة على العدوان، حرب تظنّ «إسرائيل» أنّ ظروفها باتت مؤاتية لها مع استشراء الإرهاب الاقتصادي الأميركي واستراتيجية التجويع للتركيع، فتستدرج لبنان إلى حرب تحمل المقاومة فيها مسؤولية اندلاعها والآلة الإعلامية الصهيوأميركية المتكئة على الداخل اللبناني باتت جاهزة لهذا الأمر، لكن «إسرائيل» كما قلنا ونكرّر لن تدخل الحرب إلا بعد أن تطمئن إلى اهتراء الداخل اللبناني والفتنة الجاهزة للانفجار لإشغال المقاومة عن الهمّ الوطني الكبير.

وعليه نرى القرار الإسرائيلي بالتنقيب على النفط داخل المنطقة الاقتصادية اللبنانية قراراً بالغ الخطورة يستدعي من لبنان أعلى درجات الحذر والحكمة والحزم في التعامل، لأنّ تداعياته مفتوحة على كلّ الاحتمالات من البسيط في السياسة إلى الخطير في الحرب وبينهما صيانة الحقوق أو هدرها ورغم انخفاض احتمال الحرب فعلى لبنان ومقاومته أن يستعدّا لكلّ ذلك خاصة في الأشهر التي تفصلنا عن تشرين الثاني/ نوفمبر المقبل موعد الانتخابات الأميركية.

أستاذ جامعي – خبير استراتيجي.

مقالات متعلقة

Russian Private Military Contractors Took Control Of Libya’s Largest Oil Field

Source

DEAR FRIENDS. IF YOU LIKE THIS TYPE OF CONTENT, SUPPORT SOUTHFRONT WORK

Washington is concerned by the growing Russian influence in Libya as Turkish-led forces are preparing to storm the port city of Sirte, controlled by the Libyan National Army.

On June 26, the US embassy in Libya released a statement claiming that it condemns a “foreign-backed campaign to undermine Libya’s energy sector and prevent the resumption of oil production.”

The statement said that the US shares the “deep concern” of the National Oil Corporation affiliated with the Turkish-backed Government of National Accord about “the shameful interference” of foreign private military contractors against “NOC facilities and personnel at the al-Sharara oil field, which constitutes a direct assault against Libya’s sovereignty and prosperity.”

According to the NOC, on June 25 a convoy of vehicles of Russian private military contractors and other foreign personnel entered the Al-Sharara oilfield and met with representatives of the Petroleum Facilities Guard, a local armed organization allied with the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar. The NOC’s chairman Mustafa Sanalla claimed that foreign forces work to “prevent the resumption of oil production” there.

Al-Sharara is the largest Libyan oil field with total proven reserves of 3 billion barrels and an average output of 300,000 barrels per day. It indeed briefly resumed its work in early June when Syrian militants and forces of the Government of National Accord supported by the Turkish military reached the western countryside of the LNA stronghold of Sirte.

However, then, the production there was once again stopped as the LNA stabilized the frontline and demonstrated that it’s still the main power in the east and south of the country.

Earlier, Field Marshal Haftar ordered to block the export of Libyan oil saying that the GNA uses oil revenues to pay Turkey for mercenaries and weapons. The LNA also controls Sirte, the main Libyan port facility for oil exports. So, even in the case of the resumption of the oil output at the frozen oil fields, it’s still able to keep most of its export ban.

The LNA’s prolonged effort against the usage of the country’s natural resources to fund the Turkish intervention of Libya signals that its leadership is still committed to its project of uniting the country and restoring its sovereignty.

LNA forces are preparing to defend Sirte from the large attack for which Turkish-led forces are currently preparing.

Recently, GNA forces and Syrian militant groups deployed west of Sirte received a large batch of weapons and equipment from Turkey. According to photos appearing online, these weapons even included Chinese-made MANPADs of the QW-1 series.

Photos of these MANPADs appeared amid the wave of reports that the LNA Air Force received new combat jets from Russia. While the usage of these mysterious warplanes is still yet to be documented, MANPADs in the hands of Turkish-backed fighters are a confirmed fact.

The Turkish naval group deployed near Libyan shores in the Mediterranean conducts regular readiness drills. In its own turn, the LNA has reportedly prepared Gaddafi-era Scud tactical ballistic missiles for the upcoming battle. Trucks with ballistic missiles moving in the countryside of the city were spotted on June 27.

Pro-GNA sources also claimed that the LNA was deploying additional troops and 2 Pantsir-S air defense systems to Sirte on June 28 and June 29. Without direct military support from abroad the LNA has no resources to overcome the current status quo and deliver a devastating blow to GNA forces assisted by the Turkish military.

However, without larger Turkish involvement in the conflict, GNA forces and Syrian militant groups also lack the needed resources to capture Sirte in the near future.

Related News

Iran Issues Arrest Warrant for Trump Over Assassinating Martyr Soleimani

Source

Iran Issues Arrest Warrant for Trump Over Assassinating Martyr Soleimani

By Staff, Agencies

Iran issued an arrest warrant and asked the Interpol for help in detaining US President Donald Trump and dozens of others involved in carrying out the drone strike that assassinated the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps [IRGC] Quds Force Commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani while on an official visit to the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad.

Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr said on Monday that Trump, along with more than 30 others Iran accuses of involvement in the January 3 attack that killed General Soleimani, face “murder and terrorism charges”, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.

Alqasimehr did not identify anyone else sought other than Trump, but stressed Iran would continue to pursue his prosecution even after his presidency ends.

The Interpol, based in Lyon, France, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Alqasimehr was also quoted as saying that Iran had requested a “red notice” be put out for Trump and the others, the highest-level notice issued by Interpol, requesting that seeks the location and arrest of the individual named.

Under a red notice, local authorities make the arrests on behalf of the country that requested it. The notices cannot force countries to arrest or extradite suspects, but can put government leaders on the spot and limit suspects’ travel.

After receiving a request, Interpol meets by committee and discusses whether or not to share the information with its member states. Interpol has no requirement for making any of the notices public, though some do get published on its website.

It is unlikely the Interpol would grant Iran’s request as its guideline for notices forbids it from “undertaking any intervention or activities of a political” nature.

The US killed General Soleimani along with the Iraqi paramilitary group Hashd al-Shaabi second-in-command Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and their companions in the January attack near Baghdad International Airport.

Trump confessed at the time of crime that the airstrike was carried out upon his direct order.

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: