Why Shinzo Abe Was Assassinated: Towards a ‘United States of Europe’ and a League of Nations

February 06, 2023

Source

By Cynthia Chung

As already discussed in my paper “Is Japan Willing to Cut its Own Throat in Sacrifice to the U.S. Pivot to Asia?”, to which this paper is a follow-up, Japan has become the ticking time bomb for the world economy.

This is not an unexpected outcome for Japan but has been in the works for the last 50 years as a policy outlook of the Trilateral Commission (though is not limited to this institution). It is in fact the League of Nations’ vision that has been on the wish list of those who began WWI in hopes that the world would accept a one world government of regionalisations in service to an empire. It is what orchestrated the Great Depression to again attempt an implementation of a League of Nations outlook through the rise of a “National Socialist” brand of fascism seen in Italy and Germany (which would not have been possible without an economic crisis). And it was what launched a Second World War in a desperate attempt to forcefully implement such a vision onto the world (for more this refer here and here.)

It has always been about obtaining a League of Nations organization for the world and those who have called themselves democrats have often found themselves in the same room as those who called themselves fascists in order to see such a vision through.

As Count Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi, the father of Pan-Europeanism (who happened to also be pro-fascist), wrote in his 1943 autobiography “A Crusade for Pan-Europe”:

The Anti-Fascists hated Hitler…yet they…paved the way to his successes. For these anti-Fascists succeeded in transforming Mussolini, Hitler’s strongest enemy during the years of 1933 and 1934, into Hitler’s strongest ally. I don’t blame the Italian and Spanish anti-Fascists for their brave and very natural fight against their ruthless political enemies. But I blame the democratic politicians, especially in France…they treated Mussolini as an ally of Hitler till he became one.”

According to Kalergi, and many other ‘elites’ of similar pedigree, it was an inevitability that a fascist Pan-European rule should occur, and Kalergi expressed his clear disdain for anti-fascist and democratic resistance to this ‘inevitability’. From Kalergi’s standpoint, because of the anti-fascist and democratic resistance to a more ‘peaceful’ transference to fascism, they had created a situation where fascism would have to be imposed on them with violent force. It was a tragedy in the eyes of Kalergi that could have been avoided if these countries had simply accepted fascism on ‘democratic’ terms.

Count Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi would write in his other autobiography “An Idea Conquers the World”:

The use of mass hypnotism for propaganda purposes is most successful at times of crisis. When National Socialism made its bid for power, millions of Germans had been thrown completely off their balance: middle-class families had sunk to the level of the proletariat, whilst working-class families were without work. The Third Reich became the last hope for the stranded, of those who had lost their social status, and of those rootless beings who were seeking a new basis for an existence that had become meaningless…

The economic background of the Hitler movement becomes apparent when one recalls that Hitler’s two revolutions coincided with Germany’s two great economic crises: the inflation of 1923 and the recession of the early 1930s, with its wave of unemployment. During the six intervening years, which were relatively prosperous for Germany, the Hitler movement was virtually non-existent.” [emphasis added]

The father of Pan-Europeanism and spiritual father of the European Union, Count Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi, often spoke well of Austrian and Italian fascism and even Catholic fascism, and thus the above quote by him takes on another layer of eeriness. Kalergi acknowledges that Hitler’s rise would not have been possible if there had not been two periods of extreme economic crisis for Germany. The question is, were these crises organic in their occurrence or rather engineered?

In Kalergi’s 1954 autobiography “An Idea Conquers the World,” he writes: “there is not doubt that Hitler’s popularity rested mainly on the fanatical struggle which he waged against the Versailles Treaty.”

If we look at the political ecosystem Kalergi was navigating in, we get some hints to such a question, which included such men as Max Warburg, Baron Louis Rothschild, Herbert Hoover, Secretary of State Frank Kellogg, Owen D. Young, Bernard Baruch, Walter Lippmann, Colonel House, General Tasker Bliss, Hamilton Fish Armstrong, Thomas Lamont, Justice Hughes. All of these men are named by Kalergi directly as his support base in the United States in his autobiography. They were adamantly supportive of Kalergi’s Pan-Europeanism, aka a “United States of Europe,” were staunch supporters of a League of Nations vision and were architects within the Paris Peace Conference (1919-1920) which was responsible for the Treaty of Versailles which launched Germany into its first wave of extreme economic crisis. (For more on this story refer here.)

In my previous paper, “Is Japan Willing to Cut its Own Throat in Sacrifice to the U.S. Pivot to Asia?” I discussed how this is the very goal of the Trilateral Commission, to create economic crises in order to push through extreme structural reforms.

Financial analyst and historian Alex Krainer writes:

The [Trilateral] commission was co-founded in July of 1973 by David Rockefeller, Zbigniew Brzezinski and a group of American, European and Japanese bankers, public officials and academics including Alan Greenspan and Paul Volcker. It was set up to foster close cooperation among nations that constituted the three-block architecture of today’s western empire. That ‘close cooperation’ was intended as the very foundation of the empire’s ‘three block agenda,’ as formulated by the stewards of the undead British Empire.”

Its formation would be organised by Britain’s hand in America, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), (aka: the offspring of the Royal Institute for International Affairs, the leading think tank for the British Crown).

On Nov 9th, 1978, Trilateral Commission member Paul Volcker (Federal Reserve Chairman from 1979-1987) would affirm at a lecture delivered at Warwick University in England: “A controlled disintegration in the world economy is a legitimate object for the 1980s.” This is also the ideology that has shaped Milton Friedman’s “Shock Therapy”.

In 1975 the CFR launched a public study of global policy titled the 1980’s Project. The general theme was “controlled disintegration” of the world economy, and the report did not attempt to hide the famine, social chaos, and death its policy would bring upon most of the world’s population.

This is precisely what Japan has been undergoing, and which economist Richard Werner demonstrated in his book Princes of Yen, to which a documentary by the same name was made. That Japan’s economy was put through a manufactured bubble in order to create an economic crisis that would then justify the need for extreme structural reform.

We will now briefly discuss how the United States, the Tiger Economies and Europe have also been put through the same process of manufactured economic crises and what this means for the world today, what has been the consequence for Europe in following a “United States of Europe” model and how does the one world government model of a League of Nations differ from the multipolar framework made up of sovereign nation states. I will conclude this paper with remarks on why Shinzo Abe was assassinated.

Colonialism 2.0: The Asian Economic Crisis of the Tiger Economies

Japan was not the only high-performance economy in Asia that in the 1990s found itself in the deepest recession since the Great Depression. In 1997, the currencies of the Southeast Asian Tiger Economies could not maintain a fixed exchange rate with the U.S. dollar. They collapsed by between 60-80% within a year.

The causes for this crash went as far back as 1993. In that year, the Asian Tiger Economies – South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia – implemented a policy of aggressive deregulation of their capital accounts and the establishment of international banking facilities, which enabled the corporate and banking sectors to borrow liberally from abroad, the first time in the postwar era that borrowers could do so. In reality, there was no need for the Asian Tiger Economies to borrow money from abroad. All the money necessary for domestic investment could be created at home.

The Princes of Yen documentary remarks:

Indeed the pressure to liberalise capital flows came from outside. Since the early 1990s, the IMF, the World Trade Organization and the U.S. Treasury had been lobbying these countries to allow domestic firms to borrow from abroad. They argued that neoclassical economics had proven that free markets and free capital movement increased economic growth.

Once the capital accounts had been deregulated, the central banks set about creating irresistible incentives for domestic firms to borrow from abroad by making it more expensive to borrow in their own domestic currencies than it was to borrow in U.S. dollars.

The central banks emphasised in their public statements that they would maintain fixed exchange rates with the U.S. dollar, so that borrowers did not have to worry about paying back more in their domestic currencies than they had originally borrowed. Banks were ordered to increase lending. But they were faced with less loan demand from the productive sectors of the economy, because these firms had been given incentives to borrow from abroad instead. They therefore had to resort to increasing their lending to higher-risk borrowers.

Imports began to shrink, because the central banks had agreed to peg their currencies to the U.S. dollar. The economies became less competitive, but their current-account balance was maintained due to the foreign issued loans, which count as exports in the balance-of-payments statistics. When speculators began to sell the Thai baht, the Korean won and the Indonesian rupee, the respective central banks responded with futile attempts to maintain the peg until they had squandered virtually all of their foreign exchange reserves. This gave foreign lenders ample opportunity to withdraw their money at the overvalued exchange rates.

The central banks knew that if the countries ran out of foreign exchange reserves, they would have to call in the IMF to avoid default. And once the IMF came in, the central banks knew what this Washington-based institution would demand, for its demands in such cases had been the same for the previous three decades: the central banks would be made independent [and subservient to the IMF diktat].

On the 16th of July the Thai Finance Minister took a plane to Tokyo to ask Japan for a bailout. At the time Japan had USD $213 billion in foreign exchange reserves, more than the total resources of the IMF. They were willing to help but Washington stopped Japan’s initiative. Any solution to the emerging Asian Crisis had to come from Washington via the IMF.

After two months of speculative attacks the Thai government floated the baht.

The IMF to date has promised almost $120 billion USD to the embattled economies of Thailand, Indonesia and South Korea. Immediately upon arrival in the crisis-stricken countries, the IMF teams set up offices inside the central banks, from where they dictated what amounted to terms of surrender. The IMF demanded a string of policies, including curbs on central bank and bank credit creation, major legal changes and sharp rises in interest rates. As interest rates rose, high risk borrowers began to default on their loans.

Burdened with large amounts of bad debts, the banking systems of Thailand, Korea, and Indonesia were virtually bankrupt. Even otherwise healthy firms started to suffer from the widening credit crunch. Corporate bankruptcies soared. Unemployment rose to the highest levels since the 1930s.”

The IMF knew well what the consequences of its policies would be. In the Korean case, they even had detailed but undisclosed studies prepared, that had calculated just how many Korean companies would go bankrupt if interest rates were to rise by five percentage points. The IMF’s first agreement with Korea demanded a rise of exactly five percentage points in interest rates.

Richard Werner stated in an interview: “The IMF policies are clearly not aimed at creating economic recoveries in the Asian countries. They pursue quite a different agenda and that is to change the economic, political and social systems in those countries. In fact, the IMF deals prevent the countries concerned, like Korea, Thailand, to reflate.”

Interviewer: “Interesting. So you’re saying it’s making the crisis worse and you’re suggesting that the IMF has a hidden agenda?

Richard Werner responded: “Well, it’s not very hidden this agenda because the IMF quite clearly demands that the Asian countries concerned have to change the laws so that foreign interests can buy anything from banks to land. And in fact, the banking systems can only be recapitalised, according to the IMF deals, by using foreign money which is not necessary at all, because as long as these countries have central banks, they could just print money and recapitalise the banking systems. You don’t need foreign money for that. So the agenda is clearly to crack open Asia for foreign interests.”

The IMF demanded that troubled banks not be bailed out, but instead closed down and sold off cheaply as distressed assets, often to large U.S. investment banks. In most cases the IMF-dictated-letters-of-intent explicitly stated that the banks had to be sold to foreign investors.

In Asia, government organised bailouts to keep ailing financial institutions alive were not allowed. But when a similar crisis struck back home in America a year later, the very same institutions reacted differently.

The Princes of Yen documentary remarks:

The Connecticut based hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management, which accepted as clients only high-net-worth individual investors and institutions, had leveraged its $5 billion USD in client capital, by more than 25 times, borrowing more than $100 billion USD from the world’s banks. When its losses had threatened to undermine the banks that had lent to it, with the possibility of a systemic banking crisis that would endanger the U.S. financial system and economy, the Federal Reserve organised a cartel-like bailout by leaning on Wall Street and international banks to contribute funds so that it could avoid default.

Why would the United States make demands on foreign nations in the name of the free market, when it has no intention of enforcing the same rules within its own borders?

The examples of the Japanese and Asian crises illustrate how crises can be engineered to facilitate the redistribution of economic ownership, and to implement legal, structural and political change.”

The reason why the Asian banks were forbidden to be saved, was so there could be a foreign buy-out of these Asian economies. Who needed the British East-India Co. when you now had the IMF ensuring the empire’s colonial objectives?

The IMF and Trilateral Commission’s “not so Hidden” Agenda

The IMF has clearly set its sights on a western banking take-over of Asia, but what was the “agenda” for Europe and the United States who were located within this sphere of influence? Were they destined to benefit from the plunders of the empire?

The short answer to this, which should be evident by now, is no.

The manufactured crises in the United States and Europe were to further centralise power amongst an ever smaller grouping and clearly not for the benefit of the people, or shall we say subjects of the land, who happen to be living in these regions.

Europe has particularly done a number on itself due to its adherence to a “United States of Europe” vision. Countries within the Euro currency bloc had forfeited their right to a national currency and handed this power to the European Central Bank (ECB), the most powerful and secretive of all central banks.

Under such a system, no European country has control over its own economy and is completely exposed to whatever the ECB decides.

Richard Werner remarked: “They [ECB] have to focus more on credit creation rather than interest rates. The ECB has a lot to learn from its past mistakes, because basically I don’t think it really watched credit creation carefully enough. Where in Spain, Ireland, we had massive credit expansion, under the watch of the ECB, interest rates are of course the same in the Eurozone, but the quantity of credit cycle is very different…There is one interest rate for the whole euro area but in 2002 the ECB told the Bundesbank [central bank of Germany] to reduce its credit creation by the biggest amount in its history and told the Irish central bank to print as much money as if there was no tomorrow. What do you expect is going to happen? Same interest rate. Is it the same growth? No. Recession in Germany, boom in Ireland. Which variable tells you that? Credit creation.”

From 2004 under the ECB’s watch, bank credit growth in Ireland, Greece, Portugal and Spain increased by over 20% per annum and property prices sky-rocketed. When bank credit fell, property prices collapsed, developers went bankrupt and the banking systems of Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Greece became insolvent.

The Princes of Yen documentary remarks:

The ECB could have prevented these bubbles just as it could have ended the ensuing banking and economic crises. But it refused to do so until major political concessions had been made, such as the transfer of fiscal and budgeting powers from each sovereign state to the European Union.

In both Spain and Greece, youth unemployment has been pushed up to 50%, forcing many youths to seek employment abroad. The deliberations of the ECB’s decision-making bodies are secret. The mere attempt at influencing the ECB, for instance through democratic debate and discussion, is forbidden according to the Maastricht Treaty.

The ECB is an international organisation that is above and outside the laws of jurisdictions of any individual nation. Its senior staff carry diplomatic passports and the files and documents inside the European Central Bank cannot be searched or impounded by any police force or public prosecutor.

The European Commission, an unelected group whose aim is to build a ‘United States of Europe,’ with all the trappings of a unified state has an interest in weaking individual governments and the influence of the democratic parliaments of Europe. It turns out that the evidence for central-bank independence that was relied upon in the Maastricht Treaty derived from a single study that was commissioned by none other than the European Commission itself.”

The Fascist Roots of the ‘United States of Europe’

On February 15th, 1930, Churchill published in The Saturday Evening an articled titled “The United States of Europe,” where he wrote:[1]

“…The resuscitation of the Pan-European idea is largely identified with Count Coudenhove-Kalergi…The League of Nations, from which the United States have so imprudently – considering their vast and increasing interests – absented themselves, has perforce become in fact, if not in form, primarily a European institution. Count Coudenhove-Kalergi proposes to concentrate European forces, interests and sentiments in a single branch which, if it grew, would become the trunk itself, and thus acquire obvious predominance. For think how mighty Europe is, but for its divisions! Let Russia slide back, as Count Kalergi proposes, and as it is already so largely a fact, into Asia. Let the British Empire, excluded in his plan, realize its own world-spread ideal, even so, the mass of Europe, once united, once federalized or partially federalized, once continentally self-conscious-Europe, with its African and Asiatic possessions and plantations, would constitute an organism beyond compare.” [emphasis added]

In Count Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi’s “An Idea Conquers the World” he writes:

I discovered to my surprise that the feeling of European consciousness had first shown itself during the Crusades. After the fall of the Roman Empire the Crusades represented the most vigorous display of European solidarity. For a time, feuds between kings, princes and cities were submerged in a common cause…Finally, in 1834, Mazzini founded Young Europe, a movement designed to coordinate all existing revolutionary movements with a view to building up a new and united Europe on a basis of nationalism and democracy.” [emphasis added]

Interestingly Kalergi would write that Giuseppe Mazzini who Kalergi considered the most modern organizer towards a “united Europe on a basis of nationalism and democracy” was also considered the forerunner of fascism in Italy. Kalergi writes:[2]

Fascism at that time [in Italy] had not yet broken with parliamentarism and democracy. The new Italian government was a government of coalition; it respected the principle of constitutional monarchy, pretending only to give it new vigor and authority. It appealed to the heroic instincts of youth, to the spirit of sacrifice and of idealism. It tried to restore the respect for religious values and the glorious traditions of ancient Rome. It hailed the memory of Mazzini as a forerunner of Fascism.” [emphasis added]

The theme of the Crusaders would be central to Kalergi’s idea for a Pan-Europe, to which he even incorporated the symbol of the Crusaders within his flag for the Pan-European cause.

In his 1943 autobiography, Kalergi further expands on his theme of the Crusader of Pan-Europe:[3]

I chose the sign of the red cross superimposed on a golden sun as the emblem of our movement. The red cross, which had been the flag of the medieval crusaders, seemed the oldest known symbol of supra-national European brotherhood. In more recent times it has also gained recognition as a symbol of international relief work. The sun was chosen to represent the achievements of European culture in helping to illuminate the world. Thus, Hellenism and Christianity – the cross of Christ and the sun of Apollo – figured side by side as the twin enduring pillars of European civilization.” [emphasis added]

This idea of a “United States of Europe”, Kalergi’s “Pan-Europe” vision was a clever and dishonest play on words. The United States had originally existed in the form of 13 colonies beholden to the British Empire. However, when the United States maneuvered for independence from the British Empire by organizing itself into a sovereign nation state, the founding fathers unified the new republic around a system of Hamiltonian banking. This innovation in political economy converted unpayable debts into a new system of federal credit, enacted federal protectionism to favor local industrial growth and vectored the banks around investments which improved the General Welfare.

Thus, the United States was able to form one currency and a national bank to facilitate trade which upheld the economic sovereignty of the newly created nation.

This Hamiltonian economic organization in turn influenced German economist Friedrich List’s “The National System of Political Economy” which led to the Zollverein. Germany at the time was also divided into regions like the United States (Germany had never really been a nation up until this point) and the Zollverein allowed for Germany to begin establishing itself as a sovereign nation state for the first time in history. Friedrich List had directly referred to the Hamiltonian economic system as his inspiration for Germany. This system had also influenced Sun Yat-sen the father of the Republic of China in his “The Three Principles of the People” which was a direct reference to Lincoln/Henry C. Carey’s economic program which itself was a continuation of Alexander Hamilton’s economic principles. This was also revived in the form of American pro-Lincoln economists in Japan who helped organize the industrial growth program begun with the Meiji Restoration.

This is what the multi-polar framework is continuing, the defense and growth of sovereign nation-states. Yes, there is regional cooperation. You need regional cooperation for big infrastructure projects, such as rail, that will involve numerous nations. But regional cooperation should not be confused with a League of Nations vision and we can easily tell the difference between the two in terms of what is actually being proposed politically and economically. I will be writing a paper in the near future to address this subject more directly but for now I would refer the reader here for more on this.

In the case of the League of Nations, Pan-Europe, United States of Europe etc. etc. vision, it was the very opposite. It was to take power away from the sovereign nation-state framework and transform nations into vassal states subservient to systems of empire. That is, the “United States of Europe” was a dishonest and misleading reference to the original 13 American colonies. It was dishonest because instead of promoting further national economic sovereignty, the nations within Europe were expected to remove their sovereignty and be beholden to a centralised control through a European Union (centralised political power) and European Central Bank (centralised economic power) and NATO (centralised military power). No country within Europe would have control over their political, economic or military destiny within such a stranglehold.

In order for the League of Nations vision to take-over, sovereign nation-states would have to be dismantled. For more on this story refer to my book “The Empire on Which the Black Sun Never Set.”

What the American and European economic crises have taught us is that the tax-payer will be made to pay for the increasing centralised take-over of what were once sovereign economies in order to empower a very small grouping of people, as the rights and welfare of average citizens are increasingly viewed as irrelevant.

Why Shinzo Abe was Assassinated

Former Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe was assassinated July 8th, 2022, and though no longer in the position of Prime Minister of Japan at the time of his assassination (having served from 2006-2007 and 2012- September 16, 2020) he was the longest serving prime minister in Japanese history and continued to exert major influence on policy-shaping within Japan.

News of Abe’s assassination was received around the world with an admixture of very strong emotion from both extremes. Some were horrified by his death and praised what he had done for Japan as something almost saintly. Others ecstatically celebrated his death, thinking no possible good could come from him due to his attempts to revive the dark side of Japan’s imperial past and his public displays of tribute to the Japanese fascists from WWII. When the news was still fresh and the frenzy of confusion at its peak, many even blamed China for the orchestration of Abe’s death, thinking they were clearly the ones to benefit from such an act.

It is true that Abe had a very dangerous and destructive mission to restore Japan to its status as an imperialistic empire. He was a corrupt insider who pushed for the dangerous privatization of the Japanese government and increased the gap between the wealthy and middle-class citizens. However, it is also too simplistic as to celebrate his death as an absolute triumph. As we can clearly see seven months after Abe’s assassination, Japan has not become more peaceful and ready for dialogue with its eastern partners but rather has become much more bellicose and stauncher in its cooperation with the increasingly war frenzied western demands. Japan has also greatly severed motion towards greater economic and political cooperation with Russia and China, which was still moving forward when Abe was alive.

It is also interesting to note that Abe was assassinated weeks before Pelosi’s Circus Tour to Taiwan. Although Pelosi’s provocation did not amount to any military confrontation, we cannot say that that was not its intention, nor that things could have played out very differently in terms of a military confrontation between China and the United States.

The reader should be reminded that in 2014, Japan had changed or “reinterpreted” its constitution which gave more powers to the Japan Self-Defense Forces, allowing them to “defend other allies” in case of war being declared upon them. The United States, of course, fully supported the move.

This “reinterpretation” of Japan’s constitution effectively entered it into NATO.

In December 2022, Japan announced a new national security strategy. This new strategy would double defense spending. Japan also plans to invest in counter-strike capabilities, including buying U.S. Tomahawk cruise missiles and developing its own weapons systems.

It was precisely Abe’s grand vision of Japan returning to its “glory” days as an empire that was problematic for the League of Nations vision, for if Japan saw itself on par with other great empires, or perhaps even greater, it meant that it did not ultimately intend to bend the knee. That is, Abe was not willing to sell off Japan as a satrapy, however, that was exactly what the western diktat was essentially demanding of Japan. Under this western diktat Japan was being ordered to accept its fate to collapse economically and sink into desperation, become increasingly militaristic and extremist and lead a kamikaze charge into a war with China and Russia which would lead to the ruination of the Japanese civilization. It does not look like Abe was going to go along with that stark vision for Japan.

Emanuel Pastreich wrote an insightful paper titled “The Assassination of Archduke Shinzo Abe,” one could simply just read the title and it says it all. [The article is also under the title “When the Globalists Crossed the Rubicon: the Assassination of Shinzo Abe”]

Pastreich writes: “[Abe]…was already the longest serving prime minister in Japanese history, and had plans for a third bid as prime minister, when he was struck down.

Needless to say, the powers behind the World Economic Forum do not want national leaders like Abe, even if they conform with the global agenda, because they are capable of organizing resistance within the nation state.

…In the case of Russia, Abe successfully negotiated a complex peace treaty with Russia in 2019 that would have normalized relations and solved the dispute concerning the Northern Territories (the Kuril Islands in Russian). He was able to secure energy contracts for Japanese firms and to find investment opportunities in Russia even as Washington ramped up the pressure on Tokyo for sanctions.

The journalist Tanaka Sakai notes that Abe was not banned from entering Russia after the Russian government banned all other representatives of the Japanese government from entry.

Abe also engaged China seriously, solidifying long-term institutional ties, and pursuing free trade agreement negotiations that reached a breakthrough in the fifteenth round of talks (April 9-12, 2019). Abe had ready access to leading Chinese politicians and he was considered by them to be reliable and predictable, even though his rhetoric was harshly anti-Chinese.

The critical event that likely triggered the process leading to Abe’s assassination was the NATO summit in Madrid (June 28-30).

The NATO summit was a moment when the hidden players behind the scenes laid down the law for the new global order. NATO is on a fast track to evolve beyond an alliance to defend Europe and to become an unaccountable military power, working with the Global Economic Forum, the billionaires and the bankers around the world, as a ‘world army,’ functioning much as the British East India Company did in another era.

The decision to invite to the NATO summit the leaders of Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand was a critical part of this NATO transformation.

These four nations were invited to join in an unprecedented level of integration in security, including intelligence sharing (outsourcing to big tech multinationals), the use of advanced weapons systems (that must be administrated by the personnel of multinationals like Lockheed Martin), joint exercises (that set a precedent for an oppressive decision-making process), and other ‘collaborative’ approaches that undermine the chain of command within the nation state.

When Kishida returned to Tokyo on July first, there can be no doubt that one of his first meetings was with Abe. Kishida explained to Abe the impossible conditions that the Biden administration had demanded of Japan.

The White House, by the way, is now entirely the tool of globalists like Victoria Nuland (Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs) and others trained by the Bush clan.

The demands made of Japan were suicidal in nature. Japan was to increase economic sanctions on Russia, to prepare for possible war with Russia, and to prepare for a war with China. Japan’s military, intelligence and diplomatic functions were to be transferred to the emerging blob of private contractors gathering for the feast around NATO.

We do not know what Abe did during the week before his death. Most likely he launched into a sophisticated political play, using of all his assets in Washington D.C., Beijing, and Moscow—as well as in Jerusalem, Berlin, and London, to come up with a multi-tiered response that would give the world the impression that Japan was behind Biden all the way, while Japan sought out a détente with China and Russia through the back door.”

Let us be honest here, since the hot mess should be rather plain for everyone to see at this point; those who are in the position of pushing the IMF, NATO, World Economic Forum’s disastrous policies are not the brains in the room. The embarrassment of less than two-month former UK Prime Minister Liz Truss, who did not even know Russian territory from Ukrainian territory, responding that she would never recognise Rostov and Voronezh as Russian, is just one of too many examples that are occurring on an almost daily basis. These are the perfect tools for such insane policies for this very reason, they do not understand what outcome they are ultimately pushing. They are absolutely clueless and thus expendable as the card-board cut-outs that they are.

The reality of the situation is that no nation is expected to survive this stand-off.

It is not about the western bloc against the eastern bloc. It is about the ruination of all nations and the formation of one empire, or if you prefer the wording, one world government. Again, this is the League of Nations vision that has been the wet dream of a very small grouping since the First World War.

It is not about western democracy or liberalism or western value systems. It is about, and has only ever been about the reinstitution of systems of empire. This is what the First World War was about, this was what the Second World War was about and it is what the Third World War is about.

Interestingly, we again see Germany and Japan positioned next to the trip-wire that is ready to launch the globe into another full-blown world war. And guess what will be the fate of those two countries, Germany and Japan, who’s automaton ‘leadership’ so foolishly think of themselves as included within the ‘elite’ grouping who will somehow survive after setting the world on fire, as they so foolishly made the mistake of thinking during the Second World War. They will see once again how expendable their people, their civilization are to this ‘elite’ grouping they so desperately want to be accepted by.

One thing is for certain since Abe’s assassination. Japan is moving ever more rapidly forward on a very dangerous path that threatens it to be once again on the wrong side of history. The question is, are Germany and Japan so foolish as to make the same mistake twice, for they should not assume they will survive such a reckoning a second time.

The author can be reached at cynthiachung.substack.com.

  1. Coudenhove-Kalergi, Richard. (1943) Crusade for Pan-Europe: Autobiography of a Man and a Movement. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, pg. 198-200. 
  2. Coudenhove-Kalergi, Richard. (1943) Crusade for Pan-Europe: Autobiography of a Man and a Movement. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, pg. 78. 
  3. Coudenhove-Kalergi, Richard. (1954) An Idea Conquers the World. Purcell & Sons Ltd., Great Britain, pg. 98.

Ukrainian refugees are becoming a burden to the Baltic states

February 06, 2023

Souce

by Batko Milacic

Every conflict, including this one in Ukraine, always leads to refugees. Considering the size of Ukraine, it is not surprising that a large number of Ukrainian refugees are in Russia and in Europe. Ukrainian refugees were the topic of an interesting online conference, where you could hear very interesting information from experts about Ukrainian refugees in the Baltics.

The name of the online conference was “Ukrainian refugees in the Baltic States, social aspects of integration into society”.

During the meeting, experts from the Baltic countries discussed the problem of Ukrainian refugees and their impact on the lives of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

The conference was held in Russian. It is curious that even 32 years after the collapse of the USSR, the inhabitants of the Baltic countries prefer Russian rather than English in interstate communication.

Among the speakers were public figures and diplomats: Allan Hantsom, editor-in-chief of the Estonian newspaper Delovye Vedomosti, Darius Norkus, chairman of the public organization Dawn of Justice (Lithuania), Rudolf Bremanis, civil activist, diplomat (Latvia), Maksim Revva, political observer, Yuliya Sokhina, head of the Community of Parents (Latvia), Erika Shvenchonene, representative of the International Neighborhood Forum (Lithuania).

Today, Europe receives a huge number of refugees from Ukraine. And if at first the streets of European cities were full of yellow-blue flags, refugees were received with pomp and open arms, today Europeans are less and less sympathetic to Ukrainian refugees.

At the same time, the indigenous population leaves for other countries in search of a better life – there is an outflow of people to Germany, England, and the Scandinavian countries.

One of the reasons for holding the conference was the question of the economic feasibility of accepting refugees. After all, the governments of the Baltic countries allocate huge funds to support them (Lithuania – 81 million euros, Latvia – 72 million euros, Estonia – 58 million euros). At the same time, the states are in a severe economic crisis (increase in unemployment, closure of enterprises, growth in housing and communal services tariffs and prices for energy sources). Below the poverty line is more than 25% of the population. What is this if not disregard for the interests of it`s own people for the sake of the political situation and under pressure from the EU.

Maksim Revva, political observer:

If in the spring of last year Ukrainian refugees aroused compassion in Europe, now, both in Latvia and in any other European country, refugees have become an society burden.

But with the deterioration of the economic situation, the refugees will become a bargaining chip in any national or regional elections in Europe, which will inevitably lead both to the deterioration of the social situation of Ukrainians in Europe, and to talk, and then to actions for the forced return of Ukrainians home.

And the only option to stay in Europe would be to completely merge with the local population: forget your language, culture, habits. In this situation, those who find themselves in a more tolerant Western Europe will be lucky, where the process of assimilation will be long and lingering, and will primarily affect refugee children. But in such nationally concerned republics as Latvia, assimilation will be tough and will affect all refugees. But, even if they try to become new Latvians, their second place in society will be in the same place as that of local Russians.

In Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, refugees were given allowances, paid for housing, job search, placement, etc. were simplified for them, while the needy indigenous people did not receive anything.

The treasury receives no more than 5 million euros of taxes from them, and 15 times more is allocated for their maintenance. This amount could significantly improve the standard of living of citizens below the poverty line, who are now forced to compete even more for jobs.

Erika Švenčionienė, representative of the International Neighborhood Forum:

Ukrainians feel like the masters of Lithuania here. No one talks about this, but in Lithuania, almost every administrative institution has a flag of Ukraine. In our parliament, the flag of Ukraine also hangs. This is very painful for us Lithuanians!

The Baltics are also annoyed by “imaginary” refugees who travel to European countries from regions where there are no hostilities. And they require special treatment and all kinds of support.

Allan Hantsom, editor-in-chief of the Estonian newspaper Delovye Vedomosti:

There are people who are fleeing the war, but the majority quietly leave those regions where there are no hostilities or rocket attacks. Very different people. Some come on buses with trunks, others – on expensive cars, and they also demand free rations and free accommodation. Especially now there is a crisis in the countries and now the Europeans are more and more concerned about their own problems: inflation, shortage of fuel and housing.

After all, Europe’s resources for accepting refugees from Ukraine are running out, which leads to the curtailment of assistance programs and the cessation of accepting new migrants.

At the same time, the Baltics should be prepared for the fact that refugees from Ukraine will remain there for many years even after the end of the conflict.

The inhabitants of the Baltics are increasingly tired of forced guests, but they can’t do anything, because the course of the authorities is the same: “Everything for the sake of Ukraine, and let their residents survive somehow on their own!

Because of that, Estonians began to object. Why does a person who came from a foreign country, who does not know the language and has nothing to do with Estonia, get everything, and local people from the provinces are forced to live in poverty, work at low-paid jobs? Why not provide them with conditions? A refugee arrives in the capital – here’s a ration for you, here’s your living allowance. A lot of people from the Estonian hinterland would also like to live in hotels and on ferries, so that the state pays for everything. Ukrainian refugees, instead of learning the language and considering the Baltic states as their “second homeland”, impose their customs and rules of behavior.

Chairman of the public organization Dawn of Justice (Lithuania) Darius Norkus:

Not everyone is happy. We are not against Ukraine and that people help refugees, here all Lithuania was in flags. There are fewer of these flags already. The bloated “meetings” are over. Refugees continue to come to us. But someday it must end. We want the conditions for everyone to be the same: for Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Russians and everyone else. And who comes from Asia, why no one gives them anything? This is also a question. What are they, the second quality or the third? This confuses me.

Syria and Turkey United in Massive 7.8 Earthquake

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° 

Steven Sahiounie


At least 780 are dead in Syria, with another 2,300 injured according to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) after a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck at 4:17 am local time today.
Rescue teams look for survivors under the rubble of a collapsed building after an earthquake in the regime-controlled northern Syrian city of Aleppo on February 6, 2023. – A 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Turkey and Syria early on February 6, killing hundreds of people as they slept, levelling buildings and sending tremors that were felt as far away as the island of Cyprus, Egypt and Iraq. (Photo by AFP)

The epicenter was near Gaziantep, Turkey on the Syrian border.  After shocks began almost immediately with a powerful 6.7 quake eleven minutes after the initial 7.8 jolt.

Deaths have been reported in the Syrian regions of Aleppo, Hama and Latakia, with Tartus having been impacted by the quake, according to SANA.

An eight-story building collapsed in Syria’s Hama province, SANA reported, citing the Hama Fire Brigade. Multiple buildings were also reported to have collapsed in the port city of Latakia, and the city of Aleppo, SANA said.

The Red Crescent in both Turkey and Syria have both asked people to donate blood after the powerful quake. Churches and Mosques in Syria have opened their doors to the homeless.

In Turkey, at least 1,500 dead, with more than 8,550 injured, according to the Turkish media.  At least 10 provinces across southeastern Turkey have been impacted by the earthquake, with 3,800 buildings collapsed.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) said Monday it recorded seven quakes with a magnitude above 5. The strongest aftershock so far was recorded at 1:30 pm Monday and had a magnitude of 7.5.

Strong aftershocks are likely to continue in the hours and even days to come after an earthquake as strong as this one, according to meteorologists.

The Syrian Ministry of Defense in Damascus said in a statement it is “mobilizing all its units, formations and institutions in all governorates to provide immediate aid and urgent assistance to the residents affected by the earthquake, search for people trapped under the rubble, and to treat the injured.”

Shaking from the quake could be felt up to 300 kilometers away (186 miles) from the epicenter.

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the border between Turkey and Syria is tied as the strongest the country has experienced in more than 100 years of records, according to the USGS.

An equally powerful 7.8 magnitude quake that hit eastern Turkey in 1939 resulted in more than 30,000 deaths.

Turkey has experienced seven quakes with magnitude 7.0 or greater in the past 25 years, but Monday’s is the most powerful. It is also the strongest quake to hit anywhere in the world since an 8.1 magnitude quake struck a remote region in the southern Atlantic Ocean in 2021.

Karl Lang, an assistant professor at Georgia Tech University’s School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, told CNN, “It’s a seismogenic area. It’s a very large fault zone, but this is a larger earthquake than they’ve experienced any time in recent memory.”

“The magnitude of shaking that is felt on the surface is both a function of the amount of energy released, the size of the earthquake, but also how far that energy is released below the surface. So if it is very close to the surface, if it is a shallow earthquake, then it can be very dangerous,” said Lang.

“What’s really unusual here is that it’s a very large earthquake that is also close to the surface,” Lang said.

Residents in Latakia reported, “It felt like it would never be over.” The quake brought on a three-minute rolling movement in which high towering housing units swayed, causing residents to pour into the streets in their pajamas. The coast of Syria is experiencing a very cold rainstorm which began before the quake and has not let up.

With several inches of snow on the ground in Gaziantep, residents waited outside in the rain for about 30 minutes before he could go back inside to grab coats and boots.

Predictions

Frank Hoogerbeets, CEO and President at Solar System Geometry Survey, made a prediction of this earthquake in a YouTube video on February 2. After his prediction came true, he wrote: “As I stated earlier, sooner or later this would happen in this region, similar to the years 115 and 526. These earthquakes are always preceded by critical planetary geometry, as we had on 4-5 Feb.”

World leaders forgot the Syrian people

In times of natural disasters, it is to be expected for world leaders to extend condolences and offers of help.

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan tweeted, “I have been in touch with Turkish officials to relay that we stand ready to provide any & all needed assistance. We will continue to closely monitor the situation in coordination with Turkiye.” What about Syria? The Syrian people are suffering as well, but they don’t get mentioned.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted, “We stand with the people of Turkey in this difficult time.” No mention of the Syrians suffering.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “India stands in solidarity with the people of Turkey.” No mention of Syria.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif sent his condolences to the people of both Turkey and Syria in a series of tweets. The Syrian people deserve mention.

Countries who have offered help to Syria are: China, Russia, Iran, Egypt, Jordan, UAE, Iraq, Algeria, France, Spain, Germany, Sweden and Bahrain.

Idlib and the White Helmets

The Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) said its hospitals in Syria “are overwhelmed with patients filling the hallways.”  This news from CNN would lead you to believe that SAMS has hospitals serving Syrians in need all over.  The fact is, SAMS is strictly serving the medical needs of the approximately three million residents of Idlib province, which is the only area in Syria under the occupation of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the former Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria.

SAMS’ president Dr. Amjad Rass said the organization has been receiving victims and working to guarantee the wellbeing of more than 1,700 staff in Syria and 90 in Gaziantep, Turkey, according to CNN. The fact is, the 1,700 staff he mentions are in Idlib alone, and the 90 are not in Syria at all, but in Turkey.

SAMS is a medical charity located in the US and was founded during the Obama administration’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood and its charities during the US-NATO attack on Syria for regime change, which failed.

The “White Helmets” group, officially known as the Syria Civil Defense, also said there were dozens of victims and hundreds trapped under the rubble in the Idlib region, according to CNN.  The fact is, the White Helmets are an award-winning video troupe founded by a British former secret agent, and they are not known as the Syria Civil Defense locally, as that unit is the Fire Department in Syria and is found across the country in every city and administered from Damascus, not Hollywood.


Steven Sahiounie is a two-time award-winning journalist.

Sources to Al Mayadeen: PIJ, Egypt fail to show new breakthrough

February 3, 2023

Source: Al Mayadeen

Secretary-General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement, Ziyad al-Nakhalah. (Archive) 

By Al Mayadeen English 

Palestinian sources told Al Mayadeen that the talks mainly revolved around the movement’s activity in Jenin and calm in the occupied West Bank.

Palestinian sources confirmed to Al Mayadeen on Sunday that the Cairo talks between the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement (PIJ) and the Egyptian General Intelligence Directory failed to show any new breakthrough.

According to the sources, discussions revolved around the movement’s activity in Jenin and calm in the occupied West Bank and are to continue today.

It also made it clear that the Israeli occupation wants the “resistance to preserve calm, and for PIJ not to take action in occupied Al-Quds and West Bank, even if the IOF’s operations there continued.”

This comes after the Secretary-General of the PIJ, Ziyad al-Nakhalah, and the accompanying delegation met with the head of the Egyptian General Intelligence Service, Minister Abbas Kamel, yesterday in the Egyptian capital.

PIJ indicated in a statement yesterday, that “the two sides discussed bilateral relations and Egyptian efforts to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people, and ways to reunite the Palestinian ranks.”

Al Mayadeen’s sources revealed last week an upcoming visit by Al-Nakhalah, to Cairo, upon an Egyptian invitation.

The delegation includes five members of the Political Bureau in Gaza and others from abroad, accompanied by the Secretary-General, the sources stated.

Based on the sources’ information, the delegation headed to Cairo to attend meetings with Egyptian officials to discuss escalations, especially under the new Israeli government.

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Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (Weekly Update 26 January- 01 February 2023)

 February 2, 2023

Violation of right to life and bodily integrity:

16 Palestinians were killed, including 7 civilians: one was a woman, by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF)’ fire.  Among those killed, one was shot dead by an Israeli settler, and three, including 2 children, succumbed to their previous injuries. Meanwhile, 51 Palestinians, including 12 children, were injured by IOF fire, and dozens of others suffocated. All those incidents took place in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, except for a child who succumbed to his previous injuries in the Gaza Strip. Details are as follows:

On 26 January 2023, IOF killed 9 Palestinians, including 4 civilians; one of them was a woman, and injured 29 others, including 2 children and 9 seriously injured, during IOF’s incursion into Jenin Refugee camp, west of Jenin. On 29 January 2023, a member of Palestinian armed groups succumbed to his injury. (Details available at PCHR’s press release.)

On the same day, Yousef Yehia Muhassin (22) was killed after being shot with a live bullet in his abdomen and two other Palestinians, including a child, were injured by IOF’s fire during the latter’s incursion into al-Ram village, north of occupied East Jerusalem, and being thrown with stones and Molotov cocktails.

On the same day, Nayif Khaled al-‘Ewidat (11) died after sustaining a shrapnel injury in his head as Israeli warplanes fired a missile at an agricultural land in ‘Abasan village, east of Khan Yunis, on 06 August 2022.

On 27 January 2023, Wadee’ ‘Aziz Abu Romouz (16) succumbed to an explosive bullet injury he sustained in his abdomen on 25 January 2023 during clashes with IOF in Silwan village in occupied East Jerusalem. During his treatment at Shaare Zedek Medical Center, he received around 150 blood units and underwent 3 surgeries to stop the severe bleeding caused by the explosive bullet. Despite his critical health condition, IOF remained him under arrest, tied him to the bed, deployed inside and outside the room, and kept his body in custody.

On the same day, Khairy Mousa ‘Alqam (21) was killed during an exchange of fire with IOF in Beit Hanina village, north of occupied East Jerusalem. ‘Alqam was being chased by IOF after he carried out a shooting attack in Nabi Jacob settlement.

On 29 January 2023, Karam ‘Ali Salman (18) was killed by a settlement guard’s fire in the industrial area, east of Qalqilya, while trying to infiltrate into Kedumim settlement with a rifle as shown in a footage published by the Israeli media.

On 30 January 2023, Naseem Nayif Fouda (26) was killed after being shot with a live bullet in his head while driving his vehicle near a military checkpoint at the entrance to al-Salaymah neighborhood, southeast of al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron. ( Details available in PCHR’s press release.)

Meanwhile, those injured were victims of IOF’s excessive use of force and shooting during their incursion into the Palestinian cities and villages, or suppression of peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians, and they were as follows:

On 26 January 2023, 7 Palestinians, including 2 children, were shot with live and rubber-coated bullets during clashes with IOF in front of Beit Eil military checkpoint at the northern entrance to al-Bireh City.

On the same day, 2 Palestinians, including a child, were shot with rubber-coated bullets during clashes with IOF at the northern entrance to Jericho.

Also, a child sustained a live bullet injury in his hand during IOF’s incursion into Tammun village southeast of Tubas. Before their withdrawal, IOF arrested a Palestinian.

On 27 January 2023, 3 Palestinians were injured with rubber-coated bullets during IOF’s suppression of Kafr Qaddoum weekly protest in northern Qalqilya.

On the same day, 2 Palestinians, including a child, were injured with rubber-coated bullets during clashes with IOF at ‘Azzun village entrance, east of Qalqilya. Additionally, a child was shot with a rubber-coated bullet during clashes with IOF in southern Qalqilya. 

On 28 January 2023, a Palestinian was injured with an explosive bullet during clashes with IOF in front of Mavi Dotan checkpoint at the entrance to Ya’bad village, southwest of Jenin. As a result, part of his right foot was amputated.

On the same day, a child was injured with a live bullet in his right foot during clashes with IOF at Abu al-Rish military checkpoint near al-Ibrahimi Mosque, south of Hebron. Also, a child was shot with 2 live bullets in his foot during IOF’s incursion into Al- Izzariya village in occupied East Jerusalem. Additionally, a child was injured with a live bullet during IOF’s incursion into Bir Nabala village, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem.

On 29 January 2023, 2 Palestinians, including a child, were injured by IOF’s fire during clashes with IOF in front of a military watchtower established at the entrance to Nabi Salih village, northwest of Ramallah. The child was shot with a rubber-coated bullet and the other Palestinian was shot with a live bullet.

In the Gaza Strip, 5 IOF shootings were reported on agricultural lands in eastern Gaza Strip.

So far in 2023, IOF attacks killed 36 Palestinians, including 17 civilians; 6 of them were children, and the rest were members of the Palestinian armed groups, including a child and 3 were killed by settlers allegedly for carrying out stabbing and shooting attacks. Meanwhile, dozens were injured in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

Land razing, demolitions, and notices

IOF displaced 5 families of 25, including 12 children and 6 women, after demolishing 5 houses and 8 civilian facilities.  IOF also handed cease-construction notices in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Details are as follows:

On 27 January 2023, IOF forced a Palestinian to self-demolish his 65-sqm house in Jabel Mukaber village in occupied East Jerusalem under the pretext of unlicensed construction, rendering a family of 5, including a woman and 3 children, homeless.

On 28 January 2023, IOF forced a Palestinian to self-demolish his 50-sqm under-construction house in Silwan village in occupied East Jerusalem under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

On 29 January 2023, IOF demolished a 250-sqm house of 2 floors in Jabel Mukaber village in occupied East Jerusalem under the pretext of unlicensed construction. As a result, 3 families of 11, including 4 women and 3 children, were displaced.

On the same day, IOF handed a cease-construction notice for a 100-sqm under-construction house and a 100-sqm tinplate barrack in Al-Burj village, west of Dura in Hebron.

On 30 January 2023, IOF demolished a 200-sqm auto repair shop built of bricks and tinplate in Jabel Mukaber village in occupied East Jerusalem under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

On the same day, IOF demolished 3 livestock barracks built on an area of 150 sqms in Silwan village in occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

On 01 February 2023, IOF demolished a 100-sqm house in Al-Walaja village, northwest of Bethlehem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.  As a result, a family of 9, including a woman and 6 children, was displaced.

On the same day, IOF demolished a 120-sqm under-construction house in Beit Jala village, northwest of Bethlehem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction. Also, IOF demolished a 250-sqm café in Beit Hanina village in occupied East Jerusalem in addition to a 30-sqm wooden room in Silwan village in occupied East Jerusalem.  Moreover, they demolished two 30-sqm containers and a 5-meter retaining wall surrounding a 800-sqm plot of land in Sur Baher village in occupied East Jerusalem under the pretext of unlicensed construction. Meanwhile, IOF demolished a 500-sqm barrack that included agricultural tools and handed 9 cease-construction notices for inhabited and under-construction houses in Deir Ballut village, west of Salfit. 

Since the beginning of 2023, IOF made 31 families homeless, a total of 207 persons, including 27 women and 96 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 31 houses; 5 were forcibly self-demolished by their owners and 3 were demolished on grounds of collective punishment. IOF also demolished 36 other civilian objects, razed other property, and delivered dozens of notices of demolition and cease-construction in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

Settler-attacks on Palestinian civilians and their properties:

Settlers, protected by IOF, carried out 12 attacks on Palestinians and their property in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Details are as follows:

On 27 January 2023, 5 Palestinians were injured with live bullets after an Israeli settler directly opened fire at them at Beita village intersection, southeast of Nablus.

On the same day, Israeli settlers assaulted a Palestinian near Wadi al-Mutawi, west of Kafr ad-Dik village in western Salfit, causing bruises to him. Also, settlers opened fire at Palestinians in Sidat al-Tha’la area, east of Yatta in southern Hebron, but no casualties were reported.

On 28 January 2023, Israeli settlers, under IOF’s protection, burned 3 vehicles and smashed windows and lights of an ambulance belonging to the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) in ‘Aqraba and Majdal Bani Fadil villages, southeast of Nablus.

On the same day, setters burned a house, smashed the windows of another, uprooted 6 olive trees, and closed the main street connecting Turmus’Ayya village with Al-Mughayyir village in northern Ramallah. Also, Israeli settlers, protected by IOF, threw stones at Palestinians’ vehicles on a road connecting Nablus with Qalqilya near Kedumim intersection, and on a road connecting Turmus’Ayya village with Al-Mughayyir village, north of Ramallah. They also smashed the windows of 2 vehicles.

On 29 January 2023, settlers beat a Palestinian and fractured his leg, and burned two vehicles in Jalud village, southeast of Nablus.

On 30 January 2023, Israeli settlers, under IOF’s protection, uprooted 50 olive trees and wrote racist slogans dubbed “Death to Arabs” in Sinjil village, northeast of Ramallah.

On the same day, settlers punctured the tires of 30 vehicles in al-Eskan area near the industrial area in Al-Bireh.

On 01 February 2023, settlers punctured the tires of 10 vehicles and wrote racist slogans against Arabs calling for revenge in Deir Dibwan village, east of Ramallah.

Since the beginning of the year, settlers conducted at least 29 attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property.

Collective Punishment:

On 29 January 2023, as part of their collective punishment policy, IOF sealed off a residential apartment in al-Tur village in occupied East Jerusalem. The apartment belongs to the family of Khairy ‘Alqam, who was killed after carrying out a shooting attack in occupied East Jerusalem on 27 January 2023. A As a result, a family of 9, including 5 children and 3 women, were displaced. Following the shooting attack, IOF raided ‘Alqam’s family house, arrested his parents and some of his relative, expelled the rest of his family members, and prevented anyone from entering it. Meanwhile, IOF is still stationed around the house.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

IOF carried out 280 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids and searches of civilian houses and facilities and establishment of checkpoints. During those incursions, 113 Palestinians were arrested, including 3 women and 8 children; one of them was with a mobility impairment.

So far in 2023, IOF conducted 1103 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, during which 510 Palestinians were arrested, including 8 women and 55 children.

Israeli closure and restrictions on freedom of movement:

Israeli occupation maintains its illegal and inhuman 15-year closure on the Gaza Strip. Details available in PCHR’s monthly-update in the Gaza crossings.

In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continues to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 110 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 192 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, and arrested 10 Palestinians at those checkpoints.

On 26 January 2023, IOF closed Shu’fat military checkpoint, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, and reopened it later.

On 28 January 2023, IOF blocked traffic at al-Zaytona military checkpoint in al-Tur village and closed with cement cubes the entrance to Anata village in occupied East Jerusalem.

On the same day, IOF closed the western entrance to Husan village to vehicles’ movement, and closed the military checkpoint 300 in northern Bethlehem, and reopened them later.

On 29 January 2023, IOF closed Qalandia and al-Jib checkpoints in occupied East Jerusalem and later reopened them. On the same day, IOF closed the northern and western entrances to Tekoa village and reopened them later.

On 30 January 2023, IOF obstructed vehicles’ movement at Jab’ military checkpoint and closed Qalandia military checkpoint in occupied East Jerusalem and reopened it later. On the same day, IOF tightened restrictions at al-Container military checkpoint in Bethlehem, blocking traffic.

On 31 January 2023, IOF closed the western entrance to Husan village to vehicles’ movement and reopened it later.

On 28 January 2023, IOF tightened restrictions at military checkpoints established at the main and sub entrances to Jericho, including blocking traffic, searching vehicles and checking Palestinians’ IDs. 

So far in 2023, IOF established 618 temporary military checkpoints and arrested 31 Palestinians at those checkpoints.

Biden Administration Lied About Pipeline Sabotage

February 01, 2023

Miseducated (Andrei Martyanov)

February 01, 2023

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Kurdish parties behind attack on Iranian MoD complex: Nour News

Feb 1, 2023

Source: Nour News

By Al Mayadeen English 

Iran’s Nour News reveals that elements from Iraqi Kurdistan collaborated with a foreign intelligence service in executing the Isfahan attack.

Picture from the drone attack on the complex of Iran’s Ministry of Defense in Isfahan. (Reuters)

In an exclusive report, Iran’s Nour News, which is affiliated with Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, said the small-scale UAV used in the attack on the Ministry of Defense workshop complex in Isfahan was assembled and used in an equipped workshop, with the assistance of trained forces, after being transferred to the country by Kurdish opposition groups.

According to the news outlet, parts of small-scale UAVs, as well as explosive materials, entered Iran with the support and guidance of Kurdish opposition groups based in Iraq’s Kurdistan region.

Read next: Iran summons Ukrainian envoy for expressing joy over Isfahan attack

Additionally, upon orders from a foreign security service, and after receiving parts of the UAVs and explosive materials, the group smuggled them from one of the inaccessible routes in the northwest of Iran, and delivered them to a liaison in one Iran’s border cities, according to the outlet. 

It adds that the parts and materials were assembled in an equipped workshop using trained forces, and were used for the sabotage attack against the workshop complex.

Read next: Iranian TV: Isfahan military complex suffered only minor damage

A few days earlier, the Iranian Defense Ministry announced that it successfully thwarted a drone attack on a defense industrial complex in the central Iranian province of Isfahan.

In a released statement, the Ministry said one of three Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs) attacking the defense equipment manufacturing complex in Isfahan was downed by a defense system stationed inside the facility.

According to the statement, two other MAVs exploded after being caught in traps set by the system, pointing out that the unsuccessful attack failed due to the preparedness of the defense system stationed in the region.

Videos circulating on social media showed the moment the complex’s defense system repelled the attack.

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The War and the Future

January 31, 2023

Source

By Batiushka

Foreword: Stop Living in the Past

Since the historic Special Military Operation to liberate the peoples of the Ukraine from their US puppet tyrants in Kiev began on 24 February 2022, the post-1945 settlement has been over. In fact, it should have been over with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 or, at latest, at the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. However, the USA was blinded by its exceptionalist hubris as ‘the only Superpower’ and engaged in its latest fantasy of destroying Islam, which it mistakenly saw as a serious rival, arrogantly dismissing Russia, China and India as minor players. So, as a sectarian rogue-state, the USA began its war of terror on all who thought differently, which it so humiliatingly lost. This can be seen in the dramatic pictures of the last flights out of Kabul in 2021.

In other words, after the end of the Soviet Union, which had been born directly out of World War One and formally founded in 1922, the end of the American Union (= NATO) should have followed, and with it the end of the worldwide American Empire. Thus, today NATO is an anachronism, well past its best before date, which is why has begun meddling all over the world, from the foothills of the Himalaya to the Pacific Ocean. NATO is just like the alphabet soup of other US organisations and fronts, IMF, EU, WTO, OECD, G7, G20 and UN, with its mere five Security Council members, including minor Great Britain and France. What might await us as a result of the liberation of the Ukraine on the centenary of the 1945 settlement, in 2045?

1. After the Ukraine

First of all, probably within the next fifteen months, we shall see the full liberation of the Ukraine. With the eastern Novorossija half of the Ukraine returning to Russia, the remaining half, Central and Western Ukraine, perhaps minus Zakarpattia (returning to Hungary as an autonomous region under the Balogh brothers) and Chernivtsy (returning to Romania), will return to being Malorossija, its capital in Kiev. Thus, the way will at last be open to form the Confederation of Rus’. The at last freed East Slav lands and peoples, Eurasian Russia and the Eastern European Belarus and Malorossija, could together form such a Confederation of Rus’, with a total population of just under 200 million.

2. The Reconfiguration of Eurasia

After the Ukrainian question has been solved and the USA has lost its political, military and, above all, economic power to bully the rest of the world, all of us in Eurasia will be able to start living in our new-found Freedom and building Justice and Prosperity for all. We foresee first of all the expansion of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).

a. The Eurasian Economic Union (EEU)

At present consisting of the Russian Federation, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, the EEU will surely be joined by a host of other countries, including firstly China, by now reunited with Taiwan, and Mongolia, then India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Cambodia. They will be followed by the rest of Asia (60% of world population). Thus, the EEU will largely replace the present SCO (Shanghai Co-operation Organisation). However, true to its Eurasian name, the Economic Union will also receive and grant applications from a new organisation in North-Western Eurasia. This could be called the European Economic Alliance (EEA). This could be formed through the economic co-operation of all forty-four countries in the extreme western tip of Eurasia, to be known simply as ‘Europe’. This will include what was once known as Western, Central, Northern and Southern Europe, representing nearly 7% of world population.

b. The European Economic Alliance (EEA)

This Confederation could be formed as EU coercion collapses, with Brussels disarmed as the American Union of NATO dissolves. This will follow the long-overdue withdrawal of US occupying forces from Europe and the closure of their bases. All there will find freedom again. The founding member of the EEA would perhaps be Hungary and its Capital could be fixed in Budapest in honour of Hungarian courage and its geographical closeness to the resource-rich Confederation of Rus’, the gateway to Eurasia, on which the EEA will be so dependent. The Budapest Parliament building would make a fine administrative headquarters for the EEA. Other countries would follow Hungary like dominos, possibly in the following ten phases, after rebellions in each European country, one after another overthrowing their corrupt US-installed puppet-elites. This would resemble the rebellions that took place with a domino effect in the then Soviet Eastern bloc between 1989 and 1991.

i. The Western Balkan Four

After the European Economic Alliance has been founded by Hungary, it would next be joined by Serbia. No longer held under the heel of the US bully, the ancestrally Serbian province of Kosovo would return to Serbia. However, this would only be possible if its Albanian inhabitants, like those also in Montenegro and North Macedonia, first moved to Albania. For this to happen they would have to be attracted by a huge package of investment and development to pull Albania out of grinding poverty and chronic corruption and into prosperity, to make int into a magnet for Albanians. We suggest that China could invest in the massive rebuilding, and building, of infrastructure in Albania, as China already has a history of links with Albania. With such a just solution, all Albanians could at last live decently and work in decent jobs in their own country and not be forced to live like cuckoos in the countries of others. On this Albania could join the EEA. At this point Montenegro, (North) Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina could also join the EEA. These countries would perhaps form together with Serbia a Trade and Cultural Federation, perhaps to be called Yuzhnoslavia, though each would absolutely retain its political independence. Investment in Yuzhnoslavia could come from the Confederation of Rus’.

ii. The Eastern Balkan Three

After their example, Moldova, Romania and Bulgaria would almost immediately join the EEA, attracted by links with Eurasia and the resources and linked culture of the Confederation of Rus’.

iii. The Greek World

They would naturally be followed by Greece and Cyprus, in the latter of which Russian investment is already huge. These three phases, i, ii and iii, of linking up with the Confederation of Rus, but remaining as sovereign nations within the EEA, would complete the reconstitution and restoration of the Orthosphere. This is the Orthodox Christian Commonwealth, whose natural centre has for 500 years been Russia.

iv. The Former Habsburgs

Next would come Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, the Czech Lands and Austria.

v. Italia

They would naturally be followed by Italy, San Marino and Malta.

vi. Germania

The real turning-point would come if these countries were followed by the central domino of Germany. Germany, fixed between Western and Eastern Europe, knows that it cannot live without Russia and countries and markets to its east. It would immediately be followed by Germany-dependent Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Belgium.

vii. Nordia

Closely linked to Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland and finally Finland would follow almost at once.

viii. Gallia

After Germany, France, which is so dependent on Germany, with Monaco and then Switzerland and Liechtenstein, would also be obliged to join the EEA in fairly quick succession.

ix. Iberia

Spain, with newly-independent Catalonia, and then Andorra and Portugal would swiftly follow France.

x. The Isolationists, East and West

Now we come to the end of this game of dominoes. The last mohicans, the once irreductibly isolationist Russophobes, the Johnson fantasy, would realise that they could no longer remain alone. The people would revolt against their elite-imposed poverty and depopulation and the absurd propaganda down the generations. First, Estonia, under pressure from Finland, and then in a chain, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland could join the EEA. However, the first three would have to throw off their US puppet-elites and at once grant human rights to their Russian minorities.

Then, under economic pressure from Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavia, the British Isles and Ireland, would at last follow. Thus, now separated into their four natural components, there would appear an independent England, freed after a millennium of the delusional yoke of the invented ‘Great Britain’ (an invention on a similar scale of delusion to the old ‘Ukraine’) and of the British Establishment. Immediately would follow newly-independent Scotland and Wales and a united Ireland. After the collapse of the oppressive British Establishment elite and their London-run institutions, the people and the pragmatists would proclaim that there is no alternative to co-operating with Eurasia through joining the EEA. All the more so, given the debt crisis, chaos, division and poverty in the USA, the former British colony which had become Britain’s colonial and ideological master. Step by step, opened archives would reveal the MI5 and MI6 manipulations like Litvinenko, MH 17, the Skripals, the Kerch Bridge explosion and the Nordstream destruction and how the tabloid media (the whole British media, including the State-run mouthpiece of the BBC) were used to perpetrate these lies.

3. Outside Eurasia: Continental Councils, the Inter-Continental G30 and The World Alliance

Thus, a united Eurasia (some 70% of world population) will stand together with Africa (17% of world population), Latin America (South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean – 8% of world population), and the small Northern America (under 5% of world population) and even smaller Oceania (a tiny 0.5% share of world population, with its economies increasingly dominated by China. This would only be natural justice, as the Pacific islanders originated from Taiwan). Each Continent could elect a Council, creating a Eurasian Council, an African Council, a Latin American Council, a Northern America Council (basically, the USA, or whatever it will break up into, with Canada and Greenland) and an Oceanian Council (Australia, New Zealand, Western New Guinea, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia). Each Council would be made up of all the nations in its Continent.

On an Inter-Continental level, there could also be formed the G30. This would be composed of all 30 nations of the world which each have a population of over 50 million + Australia, representing all Oceania, and would replace BRICS, the G7 and the G20. These nations in order of size at present are: China, India, USA, Indonesia, Pakistan, Brazil, Nigeria, Confederation of Rus, Bangladesh, Mexico, Japan, Ethiopia, Philippines, Egypt, Vietnam, DR Congo, Turkey, Iran, Germany, Korea, Thailand, France, Italy, Tanzania, South Africa, England, Myanmar, Kenya, Colombia and Australia. 18 are in Eurasia (13 in Asia and 5 Europe-based), 7 in Africa, 3 in Latin America and 1 each in Northern America and Oceania). The composition could change as the populations of new countries grow to more than 50 million or alternatively some contract to fewer than 50 million.

On a global level, the 235 nations of the world, including the 143 with populations of under ten million and the 75 with under one million, could assemble in a World Alliance, replacing the old New-York UN. The Capital of the Alliance could be fixed in a central position, not in an off-centre position like New York, but in the Eurasian heartland, for example, in Yalta in the Crimea. Its Security Council could be composed of the ten most populous nations, essentially all regional powers in the new multipolar world: China (also speaking for Oceania), India, USA, Indonesia, Pakistan, Brazil, Nigeria, the Confederation of Rus’ (the only country with the vast majority of its population in Europe, which it would therefore represent), Bangladesh and Mexico. Six are in Eurasia, two in Latin America, one in Africa and one in Northern America.

Afterword: Towards the Future

Fantasy? Fiction? Faction? Frankly, if only 10% of the above came to pass, that in itself would be world-transforming. And if you dismiss the above out of hand, just think for a moment of how all would have mocked predictions of the generational chain of World War I (1914), World War II (1939), the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989) and in quick succession the fall of the Soviet bloc, and, on the centenary of World War I, in 2014, the US-orchestrated coup in Kiev which has led directly to the world-changing events which began in the Ukraine in 2022, the centenary of the USSR. Yet it all happened. In 2021 nobody had predicted the events in the Ukraine either, for nobody could have imagined the Mariana Trench depth of the suicidal stupidity of the Anglozionist elite.

A generation ago, as a Russian Orthodox priest stranded in Western Europe, the Northern Sahara, as so much of it seems to be, I did not dream of any of this. Would I live to see the revival of corruption-bound, post-Soviet Russia, enslaved to and humiliated by the West and all its vices? My impression then was that the whole world was living on borrowed time. Then came the miracle of the events of August 2000 in Russia and the appearance of President Putin. After the shamefulness and shamelessness of the CIA’s useful idiot, the drunkard Yeltsin, Putin was a miracle. And I began to think that I would live to see the future. And since 24 February 2022 I have been living it. The English Shakespeare once wrote in his Twelfth Night: What’s to come is still unsure’. I will agree, but I will still try to pierce the darkness to glimpse the light.

31 January 2023

عملية خيري علقم زلزال ضرب «إسرائيل» وكشف حقائق هامة

الثلاثاء 31 كانون الثاني 2023

 العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط*

عندما شكّل نتنياهو حكومته إثر الانتخابات الإسرائيلية الخامسة التي جرت في غضون سنتين وصفت تلك الحكومة بأنها الأكثر تطرفاً في تاريخ حكومات الكيان الصهيوني، خاصة أنّ أعضاءها يتبارون لفظاً وسلوكاً وأعمالاً لإيجاد وتنفيذ خطط تصفية القضية الفلسطينية والنيل من الفلسطينيين في وجودهم وأمنهم ومعيشتهم دون أن يُفسحوا بالمجال لتحقيق أيّ مقدار من حقوقهم، ومعظم الوزراء يتنافسون في ممارسة الوحشية والإجرام واغتصاب حقوق الفلسطينيين من غير وازع او رادع ذاتي او داخلي او إقليمي او دولي. فحكومة نتنياهو الحالية هي عصابة من اليمين المتطرف ومن المتوحّشين الذين لا يقيمون وزناً لحق او كرامة إنسانية.

لقد كان واضحاً منذ اليوم الأول لتشكيل تلك الحكومة انّ هذه الأخيرة اعتمدت «استراتيجية الرعب والقوة المفرطة» لحمل الفلسطينيين على الاستسلام دون أن ينالوا شيئاً من الفتات الذي وُعدوا به في اتفاقات أوسلو، وظنّت تلك الحكومة انّ الإفراط بالعنف والقتل والهدم سيحقق لـ «إسرائيل» ومن غير مقابل، الأمن الذي تدّعي أنه هدفها الاستراتيجي الأول نظراً لارتباطه الفاعل بوجودها واستقرارها واستمرارها.

لكن هذه الحكومة غفلت عن حقيقة كان يجب أن تتنبّه لها، وهي أنّ الشعب الفلسطيني الذي لم تنسِه العقود الثمانية المنصرمة، قضيته ولم يتنازل عن حقوقه رغم كلّ الضغوط، هو اليوم أشدّ تمسكاً بهذه الحقوق وأصلب إرادة وأمضى عزيمة على التصدي والمواجهة. وانّ «صفقة القرن» التي خطها ترامب ودخل فيها بعض العرب لتصفية القضية فشلت في تحقيق المبتغى بعد أن ووجهت بالرفض الفلسطيني المحتضن من قبل محور إقليمي قوي هو محور المقاومة الذي أفشل معظم خطط الصهاينة وأميركا معهم. لذلك كان منطقياً القول إنّ مزيداً من التطرف وممارسة الجرائم بحق الفلسطينيين لن يؤدّي الى الاستسلام بل على العكس تماماً سيؤدّي الى انفجار شعبي مقاوم يجهض آمال المتطرفين ويردّ على جرائمهم بما تستوجب.

وعلى المقلب الصهيوني اليهودي ظهر من الصهاينة من يرفض هذه الحكومة واستراتيجيتها بسبب خشية هؤلاء من ان تتسبّب هذه الحكومة باستفزاز الفلسطينيين ودفعهم لإعادة تزخيم المقاومة وإطلاق انتفاضة ثالثة تتقدّم في أساليبها ومفاعيلها على ما حصل في الانتفاضتين السابقتين، ولذلك خرجت المظاهرات الرافضة لحكومة نتنياهو في أكثر من مكان في فلسطين المحتلة تدعو لإسقاط هذه الحكومة.

لقد كان واضحاً لأصحاب المنطق السليم انّ هذه الحكومة وضعت فلسطين المحتلة والمنطقة أمام واحد من انفجارين او الاثنين معاً: انفجار شعبي فلسطيني مقاوم بكلّ ما أوتي او أتيح للفلسطينيين من قوة للحؤول دون نجاح هذه السلطة الصهيونية المجرمة في ضمّ ما تبقى من فلسطين والإجهاز على آمالهم باستعادة شيء من حقوقهم الوطنية، و/أو انفجار داخلي يتمثل بانفجار الحكومة من الداخل او انفجار صهيوني بوجهها لمنعها من فتح باب الشرّ على «إسرائيل»، وتهديد الكيان في أمنه ووجوده.

بيد أنّ هذه الحكومة لم تعر اهتماماً كما يبدو لتلك المخاوف والهواجس والتوقعات ولم تتأخر في إثبات عدوانيتها ونزعتها الوحشية والإجرامية ضدّ الفلسطينيين، إذ إنها ومن غير سبب مباشر او تبرير مقنع قامت باقتحام مدينة ومخيم جنين في عملية عسكرية وحشية يبدو أن حكومة نتنياهو شاءت منها ان تفتتح استراتيجية ما تسمّيه «الشدة والحزم» لا بل العنف المفرط الذي يزرع الرعب في نفوس الفلسطينيين لردعهم عن أيّ عمل يمسّ او ينتهك ما يسمّى «أمن إسرائيل»، وبالفعل نفذ الاقتحام بأقصى درجات الوحشية والعنف واستهدف الحجر والبشر معاً فهدمت المنازل وقتل وجرح او اعتقل فلسطينيون تجاوزوا في مجموعهم الـ 30 في أقلّ من 48 ساعة انسحبت بعدها قوات العدو مخلّفة وراءها الخسائر تلك وأهمّ منها ما خلّفته من النقمة والغضب الفلسطيني.

لقد ظنّت حكومة نتنياهو الشديدة التطرف أنها نجحت في افتتاح استراتيجية العنف والإجرام المفرط بحق الفلسطينيين، إلا انّ ظنّها خاب وانهار دفعة واحدة وبشكل مدوّ عندما نفذ شاب فلسطيني واحد مسلح بمسدس واحد فقط عملية بطولية انتقامية في شمال القدس المحتلة وعلى بعد أكثر من 100 كلم من جنين، حيث ارتكبت «إسرائيل» مجزرتها وجرائمها، فجاءت عملية البطل خيري علقم صاعقة مدمّرة لكلّ ما توخته «إسرائيل» من جريمتها في جنين. حيث إنّ مقاوماً واحداً استطاع ان يقتل او يجرح أكثر من ١٧ صهيونياً في أقل من 10 دقائق ولم يقوَ عليه أحد إلا بعد أن فرغت مخازن مسدسه من الذخيرة. لكن بعد أن أتمّ العملية البطولية بنجاح كلي مدوّ، العملية التي أحدثت زلزالاً في كيان الصهاينة وجعلتهم يشعرون بالعجز والهوان والذلّ أمام بطولة فلسطيني واحد قتل جدّه بيد صهيوني قبل ٢٥ عاماً أيّ قبل أن يولد بـ 4 سنوات فانتقم له ولشهداء جنين في عملية رسمت صورة بليغة تجهض مزاعم «إسرائيل» عندما قال ارباب الفكر فيها انّ «القضية الفلسطينية سيصفيها الزمن والوقت» حيث «إنّ الكبار يموتون، والصغار ينسون»، فإذا بالمشهد ينقلب خلافاً للظنّ، وانّ موت الكبير لم يترافق مع نسيان الصغير بل سيولد من الأصلاب وفي الأرحام الفلسطينية من هو أشدّ تمسكاً بالحقوق وأقوى مقاومة على استعادتها وأكثر عزيمة على الاستمرار في المواجهة حتى النصر.

لقد أكدت عملية البطل خيري علقم والتي تلتها عمليات أخرى في غضون 42 ساعة نفّذها أبطال آخرون منهم من لم يتجاوز الـ 13 ربيعاً، أكدت هذه العمليات حقائق هامة منها:\

اولا ـ عجز «إسرائيل» عن الوصول الى منظومة الأمن الوقائي الفاعل التي تحول دون تنفيذ مثل هذه العمليات النوعية الفريدة من نوعها، أو تحول دون النجاح في تنفيذها انْ وقعت، حيث تبيّن أنّ الشهيد «خيري» بطل فرد خطط وتجهز وتدرّب وأعدّ واستعدّ وقتل بمفرده وظهر أنه بمثابة «جيش في فرد» عصيّ عن الاكتشاف، عصيّ على المعالجة، وانّ عمليته تلك لا يمكن لأحد في الكون أن يكشفها او يمنعها او يفشلها.

ثانيا ـ فشل مبكر لسياسة حكومة نتنياهو القائمة على «العنف والإجرام المفرط»، أو لما تصحّ تسميته بـ «إرهاب الدولة» الذي تمارسه حكومة نتنياهو، فبدل أن يرتعب الفلسطينيون بعد مجزرة جنين حدث العكس حيث إنّ دماء شهداء جنين وأحجار منازلها شحذت الهمم ودفعت البطل خيري علقم الى الردّ السريع في أقل من 24 ساعة وقتل 9 صهاينة مقابل 9 فلسطينيين قتلهم الإجرام «الإسرائيلي» في جنين.

ثالثا ـ تأكيد وهن ما يُسمّى «أمن إسرائيل» الذي تدّعي حكومة نتنياهو أنه في رأس أولوياتها، ما يستتبع من تفشّي الشعور بالخوف لدى الصهاينة الذين ستتراجع ثقتهم بجيشهم وقواتهم الأمنية التي عجزت عن منع مثل هذه العمليات.

رابعا ـ التأكيد على أنّ الوقت لا يعمل لصالح «إسرائيل» وان مقولة «تصفية القضية بالموت والنسيان» مقولة غير واقعية، كما أنّ مقولة «فرض الاستسلام بالإجرام» مقولة عقيمة في ظلّ إرساء معادلة فلسطينية هامة مفادها «لا جريمة صهيونية بدون عقاب فلسطيني»، ما يعزز الردع الفلسطيني ويعطي زخماً للواقع الذي نشأ بعد معركة سيف القدس.

وبعد هذه الحقائق يبقى أن تستثمر النتائج بدءاً من الساحة الفلسطينية حيث يجب أن يلغى نهائياً التنسيق الأمني، وتتوحد الإرادة الفلسطينية حول المقاومة دون أيّ شأن آخر وتحتضن هذه الإرادة كما هو قائم من قبل محور المقاومة الذي تتحطّم على أسواره موجات العدوان بقيادة أميركية صهيونية.


*أستاذ جامعي ـ خبير استراتيجي.

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

January 29, 2023

Some Thoughts about Neutrality and Peaceful Multi-Ethnicity

January 28, 2023

Source

By Eduard Rosel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay neutral and protect your country!

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://www.blick.ch/ausland/olena-selenska-mahnt-am-wef-neutralitaet-darf-es-jetzt-nicht-geben-id18236569.html

https://www.nzz.ch/wirtschaft/first-lady-olena-selenska-im-interview-zur-zukunft-der-ukraine-ld.1722217

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-12/unsung-heroine-how-swiss-diplomat-rescued-ukraine-talks

https://www.zeit.de/2022/51/angela-merkel-russland-fluechtlingskrise-bundeskanzler?

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

http://thesaker.is/dr-michael-vlahos-interviews-col-douglas-macgregor-must-see/embed/#?secret=UNqZGLXZki#?secret=O61ckERkXg

https://www.democracyatwork.info/the_second_war_in_ukraine

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

January 24, 2023

Source

by Nora Hoppe

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

Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony was written in 1941, primarily during the Siege of Leningrad by the Nazi forces. When it had its premiere in the war-torn city on 9th August 1942 – performed by the emaciated, surviving musicians of the Leningrad Radio Orchestra that was supplemented with military performers, before a starving but euphoric audience – it was hailed as a universal beacon of resistance to barbarism.https://dxczjjuegupb.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Nora-Hoppe-680x496_c.jpg

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

* * *

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

This struggle continues till this day.

* * * * *

“Shostakovich 7th Symphony”

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

Шостакович. Симфония № 7 “Ленинградская”

(Shostakovich – Simfonia n. 7 “Leningradskaia”)

* * * * *

Some references:

https://www.philharmonia.spb.ru/en/afisha/7symphony/timeline/

https://web.archive.org/web/20230118133950/https://www.rt.com/russia/570004-salvation-from-genocide-leningrad-seige/

https://www.rt.com/russia/570004-salvation-from-genocide-leningrad-seige/

https://russianlife.com/the-russia-file/music-defeats-war/

https://www.classicfm.com/composers/shostakovich/guides/story-behind-shostakovich-leningrad-symphony/

http://www.researchhistory.org/2011/03/10/leningrad-bolshoi-symphony-orchestra/ – “Siege memories” by Galina Stolyarova – staff Writer Alexander Belenky / The St. Petersburg Times

The Next Stage in Western Escalation

January 27, 2023

Source

by Batiushka

Introduction: The Story So Far

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

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

A Message from Boris: Deaths and Sackings

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

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

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

Escalation: Germany Declares War on Russia Again

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

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

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

The War

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

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

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

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

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

Afterword: Another Future

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

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

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

27 January 2023

Notes:

1. https://www.thehistorypress.co.uk/articles/operation-unthinkable-churchill-s-plans-to-invade-the-soviet-union/#:~:text=The%20plan%20called%20for%20a,his%20domination%20of%20East%20Europe

2. https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/declassified_137930.htm

القدس تنتقم لجنين: فدائي «استثنائي» يوجع العدو ويرعبه

  السبت 28 كانون الثاني 2023

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

رجب المدهون

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

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

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

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

حمّل مستوطنون بن غفير المسؤولية وطالبوه بالثأر


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

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

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

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

فيديوات ذات صلة

مقالات ذات صلة

عدوان على جنين.. ومقاومون يتصدون لاعتداءات الاحتلال في الضفة الغربية

 الخميس 26 كانون الثاني 2023

مقاومون من مخيم جنين يتصدون لعدوان إسرائيلي على المخيم شمالي الضفة الغربية، وارتقاء عدد من الشهداء، ووقوع إصابات برصاص الاحتلال في المخيم. 

من تصدي أهالي مخيم جنين لاعتداءات قوات الاحتلال

أفادت وزارة الصحة الفلسطينية، اليوم الخميس، بارتقاء 9 مواطنين فلسطينيين على الأقل بينهم سيدة مسنة، وإصابة عدد كبير من الإصابات، جرّاء عدوان الاحتلال الإسرائيلي على مخيم جنين، في حصيلةٍ غير نهائية. 

أفادت وزارة الصحة الفلسطينية، اليوم الخميس، بارتقاء 9 مواطنين فلسطينيين على الأقل بينهم سيدة مسنة، وإصابة عدد كبير من الإصابات، جرّاء عدوان الاحتلال الإسرائيلي على مخيم جنين، في حصيلةٍ غير نهائية. 

وأشارت الوزارة إلى وجود 16 إصابة بينها 4 بحالة خطيرة، مشيرةً إلى أنّ شهداء قسم الطوارئ هم المواطنة ماجدة عبيد، وعبد الله مروان الغول، ومحمد صادق جرار.

ولفتت الوزارة إلى أنّه باستشهاد شهداء جنين اليوم، يرتفع عدد شهداء المخيم منذ بداية العام الحالي إلى 19 شهيداً.

واستشهد الشاب الفلسطيني عز صلاحات برصاص الاحتلال في مخيم جنين، في إثر العدوان على المخيم، بالتوزاي مع منع الاحتلال أطقم الإسعاف من الدخول إليه. 

كما أفادت وزراة الصحة الفلسطينية باستشهاد الشاب صائب عصام محمود ازريقي (24 سنة)، فيما أصيب 6 آخرين بينها إصابتين خطيرتين بالصدر والفخذ.

وأشارت وزارة الصحة الفلسطينية إلى وصول إصابة بالرصاص الحي في الشريان الرئيسي بالفخذ إلى مستشفى ابن سينا في جنين، مضيفةً أنّ وضعها حرج للغاية.

كما تحدثت وزارة الصحة عن إصابات بالاختناق في صفوف المرضى بينهم أطفال داخل مستشفى جنين الحكومي نتيجة إطلاق قوات الاحتلال قنابل الغاز في تجاه المستشفى. 

كذلك، استهدفت قوات الاحتلال سيارة إسعاف بشكل مباشر في مخيم جنين.

وانتشرت مشاهد فيديو تظهر جرافات الاحتلال وهي تعبث بالمخيم وتحطّم سيارات المواطنين وتدمر أي عائق أمام الآليات العسكرية خلال اقتحامها للمخيم. 

عدوان كبير وغير مسبوق على جنين

وشدّدت وزيرة الصحة الفلسطينية، مي الكيلة، أنّ “الوضع في مخيم جنين حرج”، مشيرةً إلى أنّ “الاحتلال يمنع إسعاف المصابين”. 

وأضافت الكيلة أنّ الوزارة تبلغت من الهلال الأحمر بوجود إصابات عديدة يصعب إنقاذها وإخلاؤها حتى الآن، مؤكّدةً أنّ “قوات الاحتلال يمنع دخول مركبات الإسعاف إلى داخل مخيم جنين”. 

وأفادت وزيرة الصحة الفلسطينية بأنّ “قوات الاحتلال الإسرائيلي اعتدت على مشفى جنين وأطلقت قنابل غاز في اتجاه المرضى”. 

وفي السياق، قال مراسل الميادين إنّ “جيش الاحتلال يستعد لتشكيل القبة الحديدية خوفاً من رد فعل من غزة في أعقاب العملية غير العادية في جنين”.

ووصف العدوان الإسرائيلي بالـ”عدوان الكبير غير المسبوق منذ سنوات لقوات الاحتلال الإسرائيلي على المخيم”. 

وتابع أنّ “العدوان الاسرائيلي على مخيم جنين غير مسبوق منذ سنوات، وهو جريمة منظمة”، مشدداً على أنّ “معظم الإصابات هي في الأطراف العلوية”. 

بدورها، ذكرت قناة “كان” الإسرائيلية أنّ “العملية العسكرية في جنين انطلقت بعد معلومات استخبارية من جهاز الشاباك حول نية حركة الجهاد الإسلامي تنفيذ عملية كبيرة ضد أهداف إسرائيلية، وكان الهدف من العملية اعتقال عضو بارز في الحركة”.

25 عملاً مقاوماً في الضفة الغربية والقدس

بالتزامن، رصد مركز المعلومات الفلسطيني، تنفيذ 25 عملاً مقاوماً في الضفة الغربية والقدس المحتلة خلال الـساعات الـ24 الماضية، بينها 5 عمليات إطلاق نار، وتفجير عبوات ناسفة وإلقاء زجاجات حارقة ومحاولة طعن.

وأوضح المركز بأنّ أعمال المقاومة تتواصل في الضفة الغربية والقدس المحتلة ضد قوات الاحتلال ومستوطنيه، حيث تصدى الشبان لاعتداءات المستوطنين أصيب خلالها اثنان من جنود الاحتلال.

كذلك، استهدف مقاومون حاجز قلنديا العسكري بالرصاص، وأطلقوا النار وألقوا العبوات الناسفة والزجاجات الحارقة في اتجاه قوات الاحتلال خلال اقتحامها مخيم شعفاط في القدس المحتلة.

وكان استشهد في مخيم شعفاط الفتى محمد علي محمد علي (16 عاماً)، برصاص قوات الاحتلال خلال المواجهات والاشتباكات التي اندلعت دفاعاً عن المخيم، أثناء هدم الاحتلال لمنزل ذوي الشهيد البطل عدي التميمي.

هذا وأطلق المقاومون النار وألقوا الزجاجات الحارقة في اتجاه قوات الاحتلال عقب اقتحامها بلدة بيت أمر في الخليل، وخلال اقتحام مخيم نور شمس في طولكرم.

وألقوا عبوات ناسفة على حاجزي الجلمة ودوتان في محافظة جنين، كما حاول الشهيد عارف لحلوح من مخيم جنين، تنفيذ عملية طعن ضد قوات الاحتلال قرب قلقيلية.

كذلك، اندلعت مواجهات في 9 نقاط متفرقة، شهدتها مناطق القدس ورام الله ونابلس وسلفيت وطولكرم والخليل.

شار إلى أن المقاومين يتصدّون بشكل كثيف لاقتحامات الاحتلال في الضفة الغربية.

اقرأ أيضاً: فلسطين وتحديات 2023.. من أين سيبدأ الانفجار؟

حملة اعتقالات في الضفة الغربية

في غضون ذلك، اعتقلت قوات الاحتلال، فجر اليوم الخميس، 3 مواطنين من الضفة الغربية.

وأفاد مكتب إعلام الأسرى، بأنّ قوات الاحتلال اعتقلت الأسير المحرر أحمد خليل أبو لطيفة بعد مداهمة أحد المحال التجارية خلال اقتحامها لمدينة رام الله.

وأضاف مكتب إعلام الأسرى أنّ قوات الاحتلال اعتقلت الطالب في الثانوية العامة، أحمد محمد أبو نفيسة، بعد مداهمة منزله في بلدة طمون جنوب طوباس.

كما اعتقلت قوات الاحتلال الشاب عيسى المعطي بعد مداهمة منزله في مخيم الدهيشة في بيت لحم.

Russia, now the South and East’s counterpoint to Israel

January 25, 2023

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by Ramin Mazaheri

There is no doubt that were Israel threatened with the forced implementation of even something as fundamentally just and decent as a two-state solution they would resort to using nuclear bombs. They are dead-set on waging war until they get all the Palestinians’ lands, and they have made it clear that there is no place for non-Jews (non-White Jews, actually) inside this land they have stolen as if human mores had not changed since the 19th century.

In the blink of a post-corona eye, Russia has become something quite similar.

As former Russian ex-president Dmitry Medvedev just reiterated, if the Russian nation is seriously threatened with defeat nuclear weapons will be used in self-defence. Other than North Korea, only Israel feels the need to use such language.

Russia and North Korea are genuine nations, ones whose existence was not entirely contrived by and for Western imperialism, but in many ways Russia has become a new Israel. To be more accurate – Russia is now the counterpoint and antithesis of Israel.

Just as Israel, the poisoned blade of Western capitalism and imperialism, faces and constantly thrusts east and south, now Russia is the South and East’s defensive rampart facing West.

Russia has gone from post-1991 kowtowing to Western liberal democracy – earnestly trying to join them – to realising that the West has declared total war against them. How can there be a reconciliation? War in the Donbass has been going on for nearly a decade – that’s not the blink of an eye. Anyway, the West simply does not remove sanctions once in place – look at decades of Western policy towards Iran, Cuba, North Korea, etc. – barring total capitulation. The West only removed sanctions on China because they absurdly thought that China had gone capitalist and that it had all just been Mao’s doing. Sanctions are now back in force, as Xi has reflected the broad persistence of socialism in China.

The alleged end of history was based on the idea that only one type of civilisation existed any more, but it’s clear that there is a false idolatry of a West which exists in only in theoretical words and not in practical deeds, and there is a tolerant and truly diverse non-West which insists on national sovereignty and the right to cultural differences.

The West’s outpost in Asia is well-known – Israel – and it is not just a rich colonialist’s whim and folly. Israel serves as an imperialist foothold to destabilise the entire Muslim world and Africa – training, funding and supporting all types of awful monarchies and puppet governments – and for these crimes they suffer internally from the awful, unstable Apartheid they have created.

The surprising development is that non-Western bloc’s frontier has shifted West: from 1979 onwards it was clearly Iran. Forty years of war on and around Iran failed to topple the revolution, and drained the West of vital tangible and moral resources. The non-Western frontier has now been pushed back to Russia.

Russia is the country that – for reasons which are diametrically and morally the opposite for the reasons of Israel’s existence – will now serve as the non-Western bloc’s frontier, a frontier which will be in long-term combat and instability.

This top Russian talk show just discussed this same idea, essentially: without a Cuban Missile Crisis 2.0 – something that scares the West into backing down – this war has no end in sight. Russia will not be allowed to sue for peace – they are looking at a much longer war than in the Muslim World, as Russia is on the true frontier of the West and not merely surrounding a colonial outpost.

But it’s a new type of world: Russia is the frontier in a war which will accelerate the legal and practical formation of a new world order – that of West versus non-West; of NATO versus BRICS; of corporate domination versus the sovereignty of a nation united, and more.

This war is total – not in terms of forces used but in what it encompasses:

Economically, Russians – with all their history of state control of assets to direct them towards the people’s good – simply could not accept the idea that corporate CEOs should be above the people’s elected representatives. This, of course, is what Western liberal democracy is based upon: markets, prices, supplies, wages, jobs and stocks are exclusively controlled by billionaire elite – and they insist that this is the only political advance needed following the end of bloodline monarchy.

Politically, whereas the West looks at itself and sees the victory of liberal democracy, Russia and others look at places like the European Union and see a continent which has been roiled by constant turmoil since that project went fully online in 2009. And the EU is supposed to be the sophisticated one in the Western bloc! Russia has ended the one claim the EU could plausibly make – that the EU prevents war: Brussels did all it could to subvert the 2014 Minsk Accords and to reject peace efforts over the past year.

Monetarily, the idea that the dollar is as good as gold is no longer tenable, and this was true before record inflation. That the daily users of the once-mighty euro don’t grasp this only shows their lack of intelligence and the obvious subversion of their own leaders. Petroyuans, gold-backed rubles, Iranian state-backed cryptocurrency – these are the answers and the certain future.

Culturally, the West is fighting for things which the majority of their own people do not even want – some sort of open-air Amsterdam brothel or dreadful, drug-ravaged San Francisco commune. It has been written that this non-West/West debate is actually anthropological because the West is redefining what “man”, “woman” and “family” is. I prefer not to waste time on this, as it is so absurd and so obviously led by and for a tiny minority, but certainly for many Westerners upending “conservative” definitions seems to be their raison d’être – the class struggle, anti-imperialism, internationalism, the mass deaths of the Western war machine all apparently bore them. It’s also clear that the average Westerner is greatly shocked and often affected by this useless “war” and worries over its effects for future generations, but in the West such persons are silenced or self-censor.

Just as Israel is on the wrong side of all these issues, so Russia has become – justified or not – the standard-bearer of the other side. It is a good thing, because the West could never follow or accept a Muslim to carry this standard, like Iran has done. Unlike with Iran, when Western propagandists criticise the allegedly “arch-conservative” Russia they can’t resort to “anti-Brown” scaremongering, stereotypes and absurdities, because Westerners are far more familiar with and similar to Russian Slavs.

It is now a two-world world, and the frontier is the Eurasian borderlands – i.e. the definition of “Ukraine”.

There is no chance that Russia can be defeated and dismembered – not only do they have nukes of course, but their friends (China, Iran probably India and maybe even Turkey and Egypt) wouldn’t allow it. The same probably goes for Israel – their Western allies would force their own peoples to suffer anything to keep Israelis from sharing one olive farm, much less dividing the land in two. Anyway, as that talk show discussed, there’s just no way the West would personally engage in the WWII-sized conflict which it would take to achieve their desire of a dismembered Russia.

The conscience of Israelis surely allows them no true peace – they are always in an unwinnable settler war (the Anglosphere has combined genocide with isolation (reservations) for their indigenous peoples, but the isolation tactic cannot work long-term on Palestinians) – but Russians must grapple with the fact that they will be much like the Muslim World for the past 20 years: the focus of Western imperialist aggression, monstrosities and lies.

In this sense the world today is very much like it was from WWII until 1991, when Russians led the only empire where the center was bled for the benefit of the periphery.

Despite the fighting going on in eastern Ukraine it’s not World War III but clearly Cold War II, with Israel and Russia the unstable frontiers facing each other in ideological, philosophical, political and economic war.

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His latest book is ‘France’s Yellow Vests: Western Repression of the West’s Best Values’. He is also the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’.

Pakistan is facing a hybrid war

January 24, 2023

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by Zamir Ahmed Awan 

It is believed that the world is changing rapidly, technology has been improving at an accelerated speed, geopolitics is also changing, new alliances are emerging, and trade pattern has been transformed, and so on. But, one thing is not changed – the suffering of humankind. Human beings are still killed and forced to flee from their homes, and countries and poverty have grown. In addition to natural disasters, human-made disasters are even geared up.

Economic sanctions, narrative war, media war, etc., all are modes of hybrid war. The cold war may have been replaced by the Hybrid war, but, the mentality remained the same. Any country on the left side of the US is facing a hybrid war. Either, it is Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, or any other country, is facing similar challenges of hybrid war.

It is a matter of highly significant that we must understand the concept of hybrid war. Many scholars, researchers, and intellectuals are studying it around the globe, many conferences and seminars are being conducted worldwide and plenty of literature is available.

Pakistan is a typical case of hybrid war and facing it for a couple of decades. On the economic front coercion at the hands of International Financial Institutions (IFIs) to the war of narratives by the arch-rival: India, as revealed by the European watchdog DisInfoLab through the Indian Chronicles, to the physical penetration of the agents to create sabotage and terrorism in Balochistan and Karachi; Pakistan has faced it all. Media is in full swing to spread fake news, fabricate stories and distort Pakistan’s narrative. Unfortunately, the media is controlled by the West and over-engaged against Pakistan. Social media is also playing its dirty role too. The worst phenomenon is that many writers used Western literature as a source of information, which is totally wrong and biased against Pakistan. Pakistan could not develop its own authentic source of information yet.

The Chinese sage, Sun Tzu is also gets quoted extensively in the context of the hybrid mannerism of warfare in contemporary wars. Some 2500 years ago, he had prophesied that the supreme acme of skill is to win the war without fighting. Breaking the will of the people of the target state would be the real victory instead of destroying them. Sun Tzu insisted that capturing the enemy forces intact so that those could be used later on. What Chinese wisdom since ancient times!

Pakistan has immensely suffered at the hands of IFIs by accepting unacceptable demands of raising the interest rates, devaluation of the currency, removal of subsidies, increasing the cost of living, inflation, and price hike, which pushed the nation into severe poverty.

A New Instrument of Hybrid War dilated upon the impact of economic stress on Pakistan due to the hybrid war imposed by India. India’s External Affairs Minister Jai Shankar (Hindustan Times), admitted that the “BJP Government led by Narendra Modi ensured that Pakistan remained on the Grey List of the FATF is due to us, Pakistan is under the lens of FATF, and it was kept in the Grey List. We have been successful in Pressurizing Pakistan and the fact Pakistan’s behavior has changed because of the pressure put by India.”

Further, at least four aspects were deployed against Pakistan to hurt its economy under the ambit of hybrid warfare: International Monetary Fund (IMF), FATF, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and Karachi turmoil. It is viewed that “the best strategy of the enemy is to erode the economic strength of the targeted country.” Karachi, the economic hub and lifeline was systematically destroyed to choke Pakistan’s economy and make it dependent on international institutions. It is extremely worried about the present economic situation of the country and attributed the same to a concerted effort by the enemy under the umbrella of hybrid warfare.

On the Narratives Warfare front, in the evolved environment where social media plays a dominant role in shaping opinion, the most important thing is to construct a narrative that is appealing and attractive enough to bring change in people’s thinking. The significance of a workable narrative that is proactive in its essence and based on sound footing aimed at unsettling the opponent’s objectives. Understanding narrative warfare is a necessary precondition for both comprehensive state policy and an informed public debate on issues, particularly security.

At the moment, Pakistan is not only facing the risks of a possible default but also going through the highest inflation within the region as compared to Afghanistan, India, and Bangladesh. Obviously, it appears as if Pakistan has not been able to convince the donor agencies and the friendly countries to assist them at this difficult time, perhaps due to a weak narrative about its efforts toward peace and progress in Afghanistan. This is certainly very alarming because no country has suffered more than Pakistan in its efforts to promote peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Unfortunately, by design, Pakistan is being pushed to a stage where we may be asked to choose between food and nukes. It seems the evil designs worked very well. It happened with Ukraine too, at the time of getting independence from the former USSR, it was a nuke state with an abundance of nuking weapons, nuke capabilities, nuke laboratories, nuke factories, and an abundance of nuke scientists. But was pushed into an economic crisis and then offered financial assistance in return for denuclearization. Its nukes were shifted, factories closed, research abandoned, nuke human resources dismantled, and turned into a state where they could not gain nukes in the future.

Recently, IMF has asked Sri Lanka to cut the size of its military up to half, and Egypt to cut its Army by one-third. It is not sure, what will be IMF conditions to Pakistan in the next stage. God for bid, if Pakistan is asked to cut its Army, its security may be compromised as India is an aggressive and traditional rival of Pakistan. Since independence, India has not accepted Pakistan from the core of its heart and always trying to damage and destroy it. Especially, since PM Narendra Modi has hijacked power in India his extremist policies are more aggressive and a permanent security threat not only t Pakistan but to its all neighbors. India has disputes with all its neighbors, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

The US is supporting India to counter China and wanted all its neighbors to accept Indian supremacy. Pakistan is facing huge pressure from the US to accept Indian hegemony.

Current political and economic instability is dangerous and may lead to disasters. There might be internal or external conspiracies, but, it is the people of Pakistan, who should stand up and take the right decisions. Our fate cannot be in the hands of a few internal or external conspirators. It is time, for the whole nation to unite and think smartly, formulate a comprehensive policy to confront the challenges being faced. Early elections and a government with a heavy mandate can take bold measures. The current PDM is more engaged in politics of power and taking steps to counter PTI only. Their energies are wasted on non-productive issues and less effort is on national issues. The new government, backed by the public may rescue the nation.

Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Founding Chair GSRRA, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, and Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization). (E-mail: awanzamir@yahoo.com).

Mussolini Re-Dux? Could Italy’s new foreign policy trigger a passage to a multipolar world order?

January 23, 2023

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By Gerardo Papalia

By switching its allegiances, Italy played a decisive role in the outcomes of both the First and Second World Wars. If Italy were to abandon the US centred world system to join BRICS it could once again decisively turn world history onto a radically different path.

The conflict in Ukraine has brought the world, and Europe in particular, to a turning point. In the coming months the destinies of both the EU and NATO will be determined. The outcome could depend on the position taken by Italy. Should the Italian government continue with its current foreign policies, both the EU and NATO are likely to survive. If Italy leaves either, or even distances itself in favour of closer alignment to the BRICS group, this decision could lead to the collapse of the current US centred unipolar world order and quicken the dawn of a multipolar world.

The BRICS countries today represent more than 40 percent of the world’s population, almost 27 percent of the world’s land surface, and almost one third of the world’s economic output measured in Purchasing Power Parities. The impetus of Russia’s recent intervention in the Ukraine has led to strengthened ties between Russia, China, India and Iran, increased OPEC resistance to US diktat, and has accelerated the shift away from the US dollar as the international reserve currency. Recently, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin called for a transition away from the unipolar US centred world towards a multipolar international order.

But first, a little history.

In 1902 German Chancellor Bernhard von Bülow famously described Italy’s foreign policy as being one of ‘waltz turns’, by which he meant that its government could flirt with other countries but never really change partners. Italy had been part of the Triple Alliance with Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire since 1882. With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, Italy sought to bargain its non-participation against its allies in exchange for territorial concessions of areas containing majority Italian-speaking populations, in particular Trieste, from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Dissatisfied with the response, Italy switched sides in 1915 and joined the Triple Entente with France and Great Britain. Its participation contributed to the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1919.

In 1939 Italy was faced with a similar dilemma. Benito Mussolini, its leader, had the choice of siding either with its Axis ally Germany, or remaining neutral in exchange for concessions from the Allies. He dallied for nine months before entering the war on Germany’s side in June 1940. By July 1943 the Allies had invaded Italy from the south, Mussolini was dismissed and Italy’s government switched sides to become a co-belligerent with the Allies. Italy’s participation in the war arguably diluted the German war effort by dragging the Mediterranean and the Balkans into the conflict, and hastened Germany’s defeat.

Although some patronisingly attributed Italy’s apparent inconstancy to the national character and others to its economic weakness relative to the Great Powers of the time, in particular Great Britain, France and Germany, the primary reason for it was geostrategic. Italy is a peninsula with its north attached to the European continent at the Alps and its south almost acting as an island in the strategic centre of the Mediterranean. At the beginning of the modern era the north of Italy was progressively absorbed into northern European economic and political systems while the south, having to contend with the Ottoman monopoly over the sea, atrophied.

This divergence accelerated after unification in 1861, partly because of economic policy and partly because the colonial land grab by the other European powers at the expense of African and Middle Eastern countries deprived the south of its historical hinterland. Initially, Italian governments sought to correct this imbalance by becoming part of the Triple Alliance. By securing the country’s northern borders, this alliance allowed it to embark on colonial adventures, notably the failed first invasion of Ethiopia in 1895–96 and the conquest of Libya in 1911. In the First World War, Italy’s switch to the Triple Entente then enabled it to annex Trieste. When Mussolini came to power in 1922, his foreign policy oscillated between the two options: to expand Italy’s continental ambitions, particularly in the Balkans, or its colonial empire in Africa. One could argue that his inability to prioritise one over the other contributed to Italy’s defeat in the Second World War. However, Italy’s capitulation in 1943 also represented a move away from a Mediterranean-focused policy to a continental one to preserve the country’s heartland.

The post-Second World War order has been more durable than the previous one, largely due to the tutelage of the United States and the Soviet Union, which guaranteed the viability of the newly founded United Nations. Within Europe this global process had its parallel in the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951, followed by the European Economic Community in 1958 and the EU in 1993. Italy has been a member of and has played a leading role in the establishment of all three, with old nationalist rivalries largely set aside in this process.

The consolidation of the EU came about under the defence umbrella provided by the North Atlantic Treaty signed by a number of European powers, including Italy, in 1949, with the purpose of defending Western Europe from the Soviet Union. This later became NATO.

Both the EU and NATO have represented the pillars of Italy’s continental strategy for many years. However, these mainstays have recently begun to show cracks under the strain of the Ukraine–Russia conflict. The EU has been imposing increasingly stringent sanctions against Russian imports since 2014. These increased following Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine in February 2022. The NATO alliance, of which Italy has been a key member since its inception, has also provided Ukraine with military assistance.

These measures have forced Italy into a familiar strategic dilemma: should it continue with an EU and NATO oriented foreign policy focused on the European land mass in the face of possible ruin, or seek its energy sources and economic future via the Mediterranean Sea?

Giorgia Meloni, is the leader of the Brothers of Italy Party that gained the most votes in Italy’s national elections held on 25 September 2022. She became Italy’s first female prime minister on 22 October 2022. Her party has neo-fascist roots. It is Euro-sceptic and pro-Russian. To forestall criticism that it is anti-EU and anti-NATO, Meloni has affirmed her fealty to both; in contrast, her coalition partners Silvio Berlusconi leader of the Forza Italia Party, and Matteo Salvini, the leader of Northern League Party, have both made pro-Russian statements.

What has largely been ignored is how Meloni rode to power on the strength of one slogan repeated above all others: ‘The Free Ride is Over’ [my translation].

What does this mean?

It is addressed to external audiences as well as a domestic one. Meloni, who has questioned the EU’s legal sovereignty over Italy, is warning Italy’s EU partners that they will no longer be able to secure a ‘free ride’ at the expense of Italy’s sovereign interests.

Since the end of World War II Italy has mainly followed a continental foreign policy, focused on integrating politically and economically with other European countries. This led to an industrial boom, particularly in the north of the country, while the Mediterranean part of Italy languished. Among its member nations, Italians became the most favourable to integration with the EU. Possibly this reflected a lack of confidence in their own state’s ability to govern the country well.

How then has Meloni come to her anti-EU stance?

The reason is the Euro. Since it began circulating in 2002, Italian living standards and wages have dropped while the cost of living has increased substantially. Entire sectors of Italy’s industrial base have delocalised to other countries. Mass layoffs, the abolition of the lifetime employment guarantee, and low birth-rates have weakened the family unit. Foreign buyers now own 40 per cent of Italy’s large public debt, which has grown to become larger than the country’s yearly GDP. Keeping within the stringent fiscal parameters laid down in the EU’s 1998 Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) has became a political obsession, justifying a string of technocratic governments whose monetarist policies have further compressed living standards. In 2022, almost one fifth of the population is on or below the poverty line.

The few bright spots in Italy’s economy mostly lie within the BRICS camp. One of them was Italy’s trade with Russia. Until 2021 Russia was Italy’s principal supplier of gas with almost 40 per cent of the total. Gas powers almost half of Italy’s electricity. Another positive development has been trade with China. As of 2019 Italy was China’s third largest buyer and fourth largest supplier of goods. Italy was also the third largest destination for Chinese foreign investment. The final bright spot is Italy’s trade with the Mediterranean countries, which accounts for over 22 percent of Italy’s energy imports. As of 2016, Italy was the fourth largest exporter to this region after China, the US and Germany in that order. In 2021, Libyan and Algerian sources combined covered 30 per cent of Italy’s gas imports. Italy’s reliance on energy imports from this region will grow as supplies from Russia decrease.

After Germany and France, Italy is the third largest economy in the Eurozone. Due to COVID, the EU suspended the SGP in May 2020 for an indefinite period. In March 2022, the Italian government called for the suspension to be continued because of the situation in Ukraine. Italy’s government debt to GDP ratio is currently over 155 per cent, well beyond the 60 per cent stipulated in the SGP. The country would default if the EU stopped funding its public debt. But under current circumstances, for how long would this support be forthcoming? Should Italy withdraw permanently from the SGP, the Euro would cease to be a viable currency. Some analysts believe that if Italy defaulted, the future of the EU itself would be at stake.

Enrico Colombatto, a professor of economics, has suggested that Italy would be better off seeking financial rescue from China, in exchange for some strategic assets, in particular access to the port of Trieste. A move towards stronger links with China would imply a shift in Italy’s foreign policy from a continental focus to a Mediterranean one.

EU sanctions against Russia have increased the cost of gas and pulverised Euro exchange rates, both further depressing living standards in Italy and increasing manufacturing costs. Italy’s gas prices have thus increased by a factor of five since 2021, prices of food and other essential goods have increased between 10-25%, and its economy could be facing approximately a 5 per cent drop in GDP next year.

Public opinion in Italy is split over the sanctions, with the Brothers of Italy’s electorate the most opposed to them. In response, the Brothers of Italy platform states that the party intends to renegotiate Italy’s over €250 billion EU COVID recovery plan to mitigate energy costs. It also promises to cut taxes, increase support for ‘traditional’ families and introduce employment incentives.

Similar centrifugal economic pressures are already being visited on other European countries. Belgian prime minister Alexander De Croo has warned that as winter approaches, if energy prices are not reduced:

we are risking a massive deindustrialization of the European continent and the long-term consequences of that might actually be very deep … Our populations are getting invoices which are completely insane. At some point, it will snap. I understand that people are angry  . . .  people don’t have the means to pay it.

This is creating a situation where, according to Indian ex-diplomat and commentator M.K. Bhadrakumar: ‘The plain truth is that the European integration project is over and done with’.

These economic woes have inevitably impacted Italy’s defence and foreign policy. Historically, its membership in NATO was strongly opposed by the Italian socialist and communist parties. Today, public opinion is still against the deployment of NATO forces except for strictly defensive purposes: in May, only 10 per cent agreed to NATO forces directly intervening in Ukraine. A poll in June revealed that 58 per cent of Italians are opposed to sending weapons to Ukraine, one of the highest percentages in Europe. This is not surprising; after all, Article 11 of Italy’s postwar Constitution states:

Italy repudiates war as an instrument of offence to the freedom of other peoples and as a means of resolving international disputes; it allows, on conditions of parity with other states, to the limitations of sovereignty necessary for an order that ensures peace and justice among nations. [my translation]

This opposition to war belies Italy’s pivotal role in NATO: the country hosts at least eight important NATO bases. Naples is the linchpin of the NATO Allied Joint Force Command, which includes the US Sixth Fleet. While NATO has provided Italy with a security blanket in continental Western Europe, it has been detrimental to Italy’s strategic interests in the Mediterranean.

Since the Second World War Italian governments have traditionally espoused a friendly policy towards countries in the Mediterranean, the Middle East and Africa. One major reason is its objective to ensure continuity of energy supply; another is to guarantee the viability of substantial Italian investment in those countries.

This policy has brought Italy into conflict with the United States on a number of occasions. During the Cold War there were three salient examples. In 1962, Enrico Mattei, CEO of the Italian state-run petroleum company AGIP and ‘neutralist’ or anti-NATO in his foreign policy stance, was killed in obscure circumstances after he challenged the Anglo-American ‘Seven Sisters’ oil cartel by buying oil from the Soviet Union and because he offered Middle Eastern oil producers, in particular Iran and Libya, a better deal. In 1985, Italian prime minister Bettino Craxi stopped US forces from arresting a Palestinian commando who had previously hijacked the Italian Achille Lauro liner in a stand-off at Sigonella in Sicily. Ostensibly the Italian government wanted to protect its sovereignty. In reality, it wanted to continue its policy of support for Arab nations. In 1986 Craxi’s government warned Muammar Qaddafi, the leader of Libya, that a US attack on the city of Tripoli was imminent, thereby saving his life.

After the Cold War, the US alliance has become harder for Italy to factor into its foreign policy. Qaddafi’s rule in Libya collapsed in 2011, only three years after he and Italy’s then prime minster Silvio Berlusconi, had signed a twenty-five-year ‘Friendship Treaty ’ for reparations and infrastructure development worth 5 billion dollars, which made Italian energy giant ENI Libya’s preferred partner for energy extraction. Libya’s collapse was facilitated by Italy’s NATO allies, in particular France, whose interests conflicted with Italy’s. Meloni criticised France’s intervention at the time, claiming it was motivated by neo-colonialism. The civil war that has ensued in Libya has seen Turkey and Italy pitted against France and Egypt. Currently the situation in Libya is in a state of flux, with alliances being broken and remade. ENI currently controls about 80 per cent of Libyan gas, which covers about 8 per cent of Italy’s total demand. In April 2022 Algeria replaced Russia as Italy’s leading source of gas through a pipeline named after Mattei.

Italy is in a particularly strategic position in regard to future energy supply routes as pointed out by energy geopolitics and geoeconomics expert Pier Paolo Raimondi:

Italy is well positioned to potentially benefit from the overall reconfiguration of energy flows to and within Europe, due to several factors. Its geographical position makes the country a potential transit hub and bridge between Mediterranean energy imports and European energy demand. This would position Italy at the top of the supply chain compared to the previous order.

Recent developments have made Italy’s position even more strategic. Italy now has a new opportunity to source gas directly from Russia and even to supply Europe. The Russian government has recently proposed to Turkey’s prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to expand the TurkStream pipeline, which currently supplies Russian gas to Turkey under the Black Sea. This pipeline does not pass through Ukraine. If expanded, TurkStream could be connected to Trans Adriatic Pipeline that is currently transporting gas to Italy from Azerbaijan, thereby offering an alternative to the gas pipelines passing through northern Europe. In another recent development, Abdul Hadi Al-Hweij, the foreign minister of the Interim Libyan Government based in Benghazi, supported by the Libyan National Army, which is pro-Russian, has invited Italy to buy Libyan petroleum and gas at much lower than market prices.

With the European energy crisis now undermining prospects of economic development, and with a Brothers of Italy-dominated government, Italy’s interest in a Euro-centrist or continental foreign policy is therefore likely to weaken. In the foreign policy section of its platform, the Brothers of Italy party reaffirms its commitment to NATO and the EU. However, it ends with a new assertiveness by advocating a Mediterranean-centred strategy:

Italy has a geographical location that allows it to channel the huge raw energy supply sources coming from North Africa and the eastern Mediterranean, becoming a truly strategic hub: it is in the interest of the entire Union to diversify its supply lines as much as possible to free itself from Russian dependence …

Italy must once again become a protagonist in Europe, in the Mediterranean and on the international chessboard …

Italy is a natural platform in the Mediterranean … [Our policy is to] bring the Mediterranean back to the centre of Italian and European policy. ‘A Mattei formula for Africa …’ [my translation and italics]

The reference to Mattei is not coincidental; nor is the concept of Italy being a ‘natural platform’ in the Mediterranean. The latter was a pillar of Mussolini’s foreign policy, as he himself announced in 1936 in Milan: ‘Italy is an island immersed in the Mediterranean … If the Mediterranean for others is a route, for Italy it represents life itself’ [my translation].

In recent developments Meloni’s foreign policy has been pointing away from the EU and NATO. She and her political allies have publicly supported Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orbàn, who has attacked the sanctions against Russia, following the EU’s condemnation of his authoritarian policies; Hungary is a NATO member but has signed a separate deal with Gazprom to secure supplies of Russian gas. Meloni’s party is also allied to the governing nationalist Right in Poland, the Czech Republic’s governing Civic Democratic Party, and the far right Sweden Democrats Party that triumphed in elections in September 2022. The German far right Alternative für Deutschland Party was ‘jubilant’ over Meloni’s success; it too has opposed sanctions against Russia and its vote is also on the rise. As in the 1930s, one should not discount ideological and political affinities across national borders, particularly when national interests also align. As Bhadrakumar warns: ‘Do not underestimate the “Meloni effect”. The heart of the matter is that far-right forces invariably have more to offer to the electorate in times of insecurity and economic hardship.’ In the current era, these affinities can be gathered under the broad ideological umbrella of ‘sovereigntism’, putting EU unity at risk.

Should Italy distance itself from NATO or leave it altogether, particularly in the light of Turkey’s ambivalent stance and the possibility of a Russian victory in Ukraine, it is doubtful that the alliance would be able to survive. This is not as far-fetched a thought as it might seem. According to retired Italian General Fabio Mini, former commander of the NATO-led KFOR mission in Kosovo (2002–03), NATO’s expansion to Eastern Europe over recent decades, promoted by the United States, has further undermined the alliance’s cohesion and unity of purpose. The Ukraine–Russia crisis, as pointed out by Thomas Hughes, a scholar of international and defence policy, ‘marks an existential crisis for NATO’. Under these circumstances the United States would find it increasingly difficult to maintain a military presence in Italy.

On 1 October 2022, following news that Germany’s Social Democrat-led government had rejected Italy’s proposed Europe-wide price cap on gas and that Italy would no longer receive gas from Russia through Austria, Meloni addressed a crowd of angry farmers in Milan: ‘Italy’s posture must return to the defence of its national interests … It doesn’t mean having a negative stance toward others, it means having a positive one for ourselves … because everyone else is doing it’.

In response to the explosions in the Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic, the Italian navy is now patrolling Italy’s Mediterranean gas supply pipelines. All of these developments bear the hallmark of an Italian Mediterranean policy in the ascendant over a continental one.

Meloni’s slogan ‘The free ride is over’ is eerily reminiscent of Mussolini’s ‘mutilated victory’, which referenced Italy’s ostensible ‘betrayal’ by the Allied powers after their victory in the First World War. Although the post-Versailles outcome was not entirely negative for Italy, Mussolini leveraged widespread resentment at the withdrawal of territorial concessions promised by Great Britain and France to pave his way to power in October 1922. By 1925 Mussolini had turned his government into a dictatorship. Fascist foreign policy, which began with the intent of working with the Allied powers, changed dramatically after Italy’s successful second invasion of Ethiopia in 1935–36, whereby Italy began to carve out its own ‘place in the sun’, a Fascist slogan of the time. Chagrined by British and French opposition to this war, Mussolini joined Hitler’s Germany in an alliance to overturn the post-First World War order, having decided that this was the best option for Italy to secure access to the raw materials its economy so desperately needed and to fashion the Mediterranean empire Italian nationalists had so long desired.

In her inaugural speech to the Italian parliament on 25 October 2022, Meloni highlighted the shortcomings of the EU in the current energy and economic crisis:

… how was it possible that an integration that began in 1950, 70 years ago, as the Economic Community of Coal and Steel … later finds itself, after having disproportionately expanded its spheres of competence, more exposed precisely in regard to energy supply and raw materials …

The war has aggravated the already very difficult situation caused by increases in the cost of energy and fuel, unsustainable costs for many companies that may be forced to close down and lay off their workers, and for millions of families who are already unable to cope with rising bills. …

The absence of a common [EU] response leaves room only for measures by individual national governments that risk undermining our internal market and the competitiveness of our companies. …

The context in which the government will have to act is a very complicated one, perhaps the most difficult since World War II. Geopolitical tensions and the energy crisis are holding back hopes of a post-pandemic economic recovery. Macroeconomic forecasts for 2023 indicate a marked slowdown in the Italian, European and world economies, in a climate of absolute uncertainty. …

Nearing the end of her speech, Meloni directs her audience’s attention to her party’s foreign policy platform:

Next 27 October will mark the sixtieth anniversary of the death of Enrico Mattei, a great Italian who was among the architects of post-war reconstruction, capable of forging mutually beneficial agreements with nations all over the world, a virtuous model of collaboration and growth between the European Union and African nations, not least to counter the worrying spread of Islamist radicalism, especially in the sub-Saharan area. And so we would like to finally recover, after years in which we preferred to backtrack, the strategic role that Italy has in the Mediterranean. [my translation]

Should Italy’s economy and its energy security deteriorate further due to the embargo on Russian energy supplies, or should NATO troops intervene directly in the conflict, it is increasingly likely that the Italian government will consider realigning its international orientation away from a continental strategy centred on the EU and NATO and towards a Mediterranean-focused one that is closer to BRICS. It could even become the third ‘I’ in the BRICS after India and Iran, as one analyst has advocated, creating a tipping point in the global economy. At the very least, the Italian government could decide to oscillate between these two opposing geopolitical options to increase its margins for diplomatic manoeuvre, a traditional aspect of its foreign policy in the past. Should either scenario come to pass, Italy will have made a substantial contribution to the break-down of the current US-centred world and accelerated the passage to a multipolar world order.

Gerardo Papalia (PhD) is a Research Affiliate at the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics at Monash University in Australia. His expertise is in history and Italian Diaspora studies including literature, religion and cinematography.

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