GEOFOR interviews The Saker: Will Kiev decide on an open armed conflict?

December 05, 2021

Note: in late November I was interviewed by the Russian website Geofor.  Here is the English language translation of this interview.

GEOFOR: Mr. Raevsky, no sooner have the American warships left the Black Sea than the British went in there. Apparently, “unscheduled exercises” of NATO ships and Ukrainian watercraft are about to commence, again. Again, near the maritime borders of the Russian Federation. Moreover, a couple of American military boats were delivered to Odessa (although, politely speaking, not quite new). As a military analyst with experience in intelligence, how do you assess the degree of threats from this incessant demonstration of force in terms of the possibility of provoking a military conflict with far-reaching consequences?

Andrei Raevsky: From a military point of view, I assess the degree of direct threat from these forces as zero. Firstly, any ship that enters the waters of the Black Sea can be instantly destroyed by a number of Russian coastal defense systems and/or the Russian Aerospace Forces. So, the degree of threat from them is zero. Secondly, they are equipped with  rather outdated Tomahawk missiles. They have a relatively low flight speed, and they do not pose a great threat to Russian air defense systems.

On the other hand, there is an indirect threat from these NATO ships. And very serious. They are nudging Ukrainians in the same way as in 2008 they nudged Saakashvili in Georgia. They give Kiev a mistaken feeling being under an umbrella, under the protection of the US Navy or, say, NATO bomber planes, which is a complete deception and delusion, but this is the real danger.

GEOFOR: Does Russia have the ability to protect itself if it comes to launching Tomahawks? And how is this perceived in Pentagon and NATO headquarters? In the same context: what, in your opinion, is behind the decision of the Russian president to reject the Ministry of Defense’s offer to hold its unscheduled exercises on the Black Sea simultaneously with the United States and NATO? How will it be perceived in the Washington military-political establishment – as confidence in the capabilities of the Russian military to respond adequately to provocative actions or, as a desire not to take a potentially dangerous situation to the extreme?

Andrei Raevsky: Yes, of course, Russia can defend itself. As I just said, these are relatively slow and outdated cruise missiles, which do not pose a great danger to the multi-layered integrated air defense of the Crimea and the South of Russia and the entire Southern Military District of the Russian Federation. You can remember what the US missile strike on Syria was like, where most of them [Tomahawks] were shot down not by the Russian contingent in Syria – this is very important to emphasize – but by the Syrians with their relatively simpler air defense system.

Thus. I don’t think that all these Tomahawks threaten Russia very much.

I will also add that if the United States and NATO wanted to hit Russia with Tomahawks, it would be better for them to get out of the Black Sea and go to the Mediterranean Sea and move away to the maximum distance – just so as not to be instantly sunk.

Putin’s decision not to conduct simultaneous maneuvers in the Black Sea, in my opinion, is absolutely reasonable.

In Washington, this is likely to make an impression, in a certain sense, of a staged scene: Shoigu says: “I am ready”,  and Putin takes such a peacemaking, pacifying step. This is what in the West is called “Good cop – bad cop.” In fact, they are, of course, united in terms of developing principles and strategies for protecting Russia from possible aggression.

GEOFOR: And now a little more about Ukraine and the situation around it. Russian analysts find many analogies in the situation in Ukraine now and the one that was in Georgia on the eve of August 2008. How would you characterize the factors (internal and external) that could lead to Kiev deciding on an open armed conflict? And what will this lead Ukraine and Europe as a whole to? Who, in the end, may be the beneficiary?

Andrei Raevsky: Yes, the situation is very similar to that. And I would even say that the situation Zelensky is in, is worse than the one Saakashvili was in.

I’m afraid that his rating is such that he really has nothing to lose. The question of whether Kiev will decide on an open armed conflict implies that Kiev has an opportunity to solve something. I doubt it very much. Without getting the “go-ahead” from the “Washington Regional Party Committee” Kiev will not move. Thus, if Kiev moves, it will be, at least, in the presence of a “tacit” – not even consent – order, when the West gives the command “Attack!”. Few people in the West care that Kiev will then “get its ass kicked.”

But the most important thing in this context is to remember that the goal is not to “liberate ORDLO from Muscovites” (Note: “ORLDO” is the current official Ukie legal term for the LDNR) or “restore democracy and territorial integrity of Ukraine” and so on. The goal is to force Russia to openly invade Ukraine and start a war: so that it cannot be denied, in order to totally sink energy projects between Russia and the EU and make the EU completely dependent, first of all, on American shale gas and other energy carriers. And to achieve these goals, Ukraine does not need any victory at all – it’s enough to just say: “Here, these evil Putin’s “green men” have seized even more territory! Oh, how bad they are!”

We can say that from a military point of view, Russia will win very quickly. But from a political point of view, it will be a victory for the United States.

GEOFOR: Do you consider it possible that, with NATO’s symbolic support in the Black Sea, as well as the presence of various American, British and other instructors on land, Kiev will decide on a military provocation not in the Donbas, but in the Black Sea? After all, it is known that everyone is waiting for the Ukrainian military offensive in the east of the country, and why, for example, Zelensky not follow the path of his predecessor Poroshenko, who sent boats to break through the Kerch Strait, and, creating a conflict situation, disrupted the already agreed meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin? Moreover, the second meeting of the Russian and American presidents this year is now being prepared…

Andrei Raevsky: Yes, such a provocation in the Black Sea is very likely. It is enough to recall their provocation when Ukrainian boats tried to pass into the Kerch Strait. And it was without any presence of Americans. Of course, this is possible. I think this is not only possible, but it will definitely happen.

And if there really are plans to arrange a meeting between Biden and Putin, then Ukrainians have very little time left. In December, Americans convene their “Democracy Forum”, then there are holidays…

If there is this meeting – and we don’t know if there will be one – there could be a lot of things that could undermine it. For supporters of the war – both in the United States and in Ukraine – this is a very important moment that cannot be missed.

GEOFOR: And in conclusion. If it is likely that the ongoing Russian-American consultations (the arrival of the Deputy Secretary of State and the director of the CIA in Moscow, for example) and the dialogue between the two leaders, which, hopefully, will take place, will lead to at least some stabilization, both around the Ukrainian problem and in bilateral relations. What problems in this regard could you highlight?

Andrei Raevsky: These consultations are very important, and this is a very desirable development of the situation because American officials of this level have not come to Moscow twice to present some kind of ultimatum.

To present an ultimatum, you can simply use a consul.

To do this, there is absolutely no need to send the highest representatives of the American authorities to Moscow.

The conversations that took place – whatever they were – were to the point. And they were serious. As long as both sides are talking, at least they are not shooting. And this is very desirable.

And we can only hope that such consultations will continue in the future.

Of course, the Americans are the most dangerous enemy for Russia. This needs to be understood.

This is not a get-together with a “vodka-herring” menu to just shoot the breeze. Neither is this a friendly meeting.

But this is a direct dialogue of those who can really make decisions in a difficult situation and influence the situation.

And in this regard, it is very important.

Therefore, there is no need to fall into the mistake that Americans very often fall into when they say: “We don’t talk to such and such.” We don’t talk to terrorists, we don’t talk to states and “regimes” that we don’t recognize. This is a very big mistake.

You need to talk to everyone, often including the fiercest enemies.

source: https://geofor.ru/4710-andrej-raevskij-reshitsya-li-kiev-na-otkrytyj-vooruzhennyj-konflikt.html

Sitrep: Here Comes China – Taking the lead – a dialogue on democracy in China

December 05, 2021

By Amarynth for the Saker Blog including a number of data points from Godfree Roberts

Did you know that a huge International Forum on Democracy is ongoing in China right now?  This is before the supposed Summit on Democracy which is an attempt to divide the world into Democracies and Autocracies, according to the wishes of the rules-based international order.

As we have seen so often from China, they acted with incredible speed and presented their own high-quality International Forum.  They also published a Chinese White Paper on Democracy and it outlines how their Whole Process People’s Democracy functions for their people:  http://en.people.cn/n3/2021/1204/c312369-9928374.html

These are the first presentations followed by a panel discussion:

In addition, China released a full report on the state of US democracy:  http://www.news.cn/english/2021-12/05/c_1310352578.htm

China has learned over the past three years how to defend itself against accusations coming from the combined Western influence sphere.  Although we know that the media in general still balances toward the combined Western Sphere, there is now a serious contender in the room with the ability, incredible speed of implementation, track record, education, and creative expressive talent to gain media supremacy in getting their message to the world.

Oh, the poor ‘partners’ …

Australia

The ‘partners’ are being led by their noses.  The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that the US and its allies are the “biggest beneficiaries” of Australia’s trade row with China. Washington is in bed with Canberra, at the same time, it points the finger at Beijing and in the background, it picks up Australia’s lost Chinese trade.  So, simply stated, all the trade that Australia lost in their trade row with China, from coal to iron ore to meat, the US quietly picked up.

Taiwan

From Taiwan, I hear a similar activity is taking place but this is not yet confirmed by the needed 3 sources.  The idea of keeping the issues with Taiwan hot, is that the Taiwanese semiconductor foundry company (TSMC), the biggest employer in Taiwan with a raft of supporting industries around it, is being moved lock, stock, barrel, and existence to new facilities in Arizona.  We will wait for more confirmation, but this is a very dangerous move to make, as TSMC is not only the biggest semiconductor company in the world, the industry itself depends on a highly educated and trained workforce.  The Taiwanese workforce will lose its lunch.


All the latest from Godfree Roberts’ newsletter, Here Comes China:

BeiDou conducted the first inter-satellite and ground station communication using using lasers instead of radio signals, transmitting data a million times faster than radio and increasing satnav accuracy 4000%. Read full article →

A high-speed railway linking China to landlocked Laos opened Friday. The 660-mile, 160 km/h line runs through mountains and ravines from Kunming to Vientiane. Read full article →

Premier Li Keqiang says the establishment of a centre in Hong Kong to handle Asia – Africa trade and investment disputes will strengthen the city’s role as an arbitration hub and “provide more convenient and efficient dispute resolution services” for parties in both regions. [It also bypasses the WTO–Ed.] Read full article  →

China’s service trade rose 13% YoY to $659 billion in the first ten months of the year. Service exports rose 29% YoY, and service imports rose 1%. In October alone, the country’s service trade hit 414 billion yuan, up 24% YoY. Read full article  →

China now leads the world in trade of both goods and services and its trading partners now cover 230 countries and regions. China contributed 35% of the growth in global imports in the past five years. Read full article  →

Meeting its carbon goals could save China trillions: China could dodge $134 trillion in climate-related losses by meeting carbon neutrality targe. China is predicted to see an 81% reduction in its accumulative climate-related losses by 2100 if it achieves its carbon neutrality target, according to a new study from think tanks in Beijing and London. Read full article →

And extreme ethics violation in my view:  In 2018, Dr. He Jiankui shocked the world by announcing that he had used the CRISPR genome-editing technique to alter embryos that were implanted and led to the birth of two children. Today, the children are healthy toddlers and Western researchers want to get their hands on their DNA.  Read full article →

China has doubled installed renewable energy capacity since 2015, to one billion kW, or 43% of total installation: Wind power generation increased 30% year-on-year (299 million kWs), solar power generation grew 24% (282 million kWs), and hydropower remains at 385 million kWs; Cost inflation delays solar energy expansion. Read full article →

New groundwater regulations tackle overuse and contamination of 16 billion m³/year of water. Fines could reach  $783,000 daily. Right now 44% of groundwater monitoring stations record Grade V, the lowest water quality. Read full article →

China is scouring the countryside to find native seed, animal and fish genetic resources in a national germplasm census to protect “family property” and gain self-reliance in crop and animal breeding. “Excellent” plant and animal resources will be protected on company-run farms if they are in danger of extinction or turned over to Chinese breeding companies to exploit their commercial potential to propel Chinese seed companies as global competitors. Read full article →

Guinea-Bissau and Eritrea join the Belt And Road Initiative. Guinea-Bissau covers 36,125 square kilometres, with a population of 1,874,303, and like China’s Macau, was once part of the Portuguese Empire. Eritrea also signed an MoU with China to join the BRI and is expected to cement China’s presence in the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea, with interests ranging from a military base to protect shipping, in addition to infrastructure projects in ports and railways. China has been investing in the country for some time. Read full article →

To conclude, China developed its policies to deal with its national issues. But in so doing it has created both practical and theoretical achievements which are the world’s most advanced. China has never asked other countries to learn from its example, but neither can if forbid them to do so. Given the gigantic scale of China’s achievements anyone with sense in the world will study these intently. The “Resolution on the Major Achievements and Historical Experience of the Party over the Past Century” is therefore not only key for China, it is a document of crucial importance for the entire world. Learning from China.

Now comes the final countdown to either peace or war

December 04, 2021

So it is confirmed.  Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden will have what is announced as a “long” direct conversation (not face to face, but by a secure video link) this coming Tuesday.  Considering the extreme tensions taking place between the US/NATO/EU and Russia, this event will be, by definition, a watershed moment, irrespective of its outcome.  The two basic options are a) some kind of deal with be made b) nothing will come out of this meeting.

Personally, I am “cautiously pessimistic”, and I will explain why next.

Let’s look at what the two sides have been doing in preparation for this meeting:

The Empire has basically ratcheted up the tensions as high as possible, both by an avalanche of bellicose statements and by engaging in “petty harassment” exercises near the Russian border.  The main (and sole) advantage of this pre-negotiations strategy is that it costs very little money while having a major PR effect.  The two main disadvantages of this pre-negotiations strategy are that 1) they tend to paint you into a corner from which any concession, no matter how reasonable, can be turned into an “abject surrender to Putin” by your political enemies and 2) that the Russians know that all this sabre-rattling is only hot air and, if anything, a sign of weakness.

Russia has made some comparatively “stronger” verbal protests and mentioned “red lines” which the Empire which the latter has completely ignored.  However, Russia has also made some actual military moves which have truly frightened the Empire, including the sudden flushing out into the Pacific or all the strategic submarines of the Pacific Fleet.

Here is the problem as I see it: “Biden” has allowed all sorts of russophobic nutcases to paint the Biden Administration into the exact same corner where the same russophobic nutcases stuck Trump: a place where no meaningful negotiations (i.e. negotiations which imply the willingness to make mutual concessions) are possible.  All that Kabuki theater about “talking to Russia from a position of strength/force” kind of implies that the Russians will get scared and cave in to the Empire.  The problem is that in the real world (as opposed the political Hollywood of the western propaganda machine), it is Russia which is in a very strong position while the US/NATO/EU are all in a position of extreme vulnerability.  In other words, it is extremely unlikely that the Russians will make major concessions on anything (if only because Russia’s “great retreat” of endless concession to win time for preparations has now left Russia pretty much with her own back also against the wall).  Of course, Russia does not want/need a war anywhere, so she is probably willing to make relatively minor concessions, but only political ones.  In military terms, Russia is now “ready to go” and she will not stand down unless the Empire gives legally binding and verifiable concessions to guarantee Russia’s security on her western border (Putin has specifically said so).

Frankly, none of that is very complex: de-escalation and mutual confidence building measures have been developed by all sides for many decades now and there is no need to reinvent the wheel here.  How to do that is easy and straightforward.  But politically, I don’t know how “Biden” would respond to the MAGA nutcases in Congress who will accuse him of weakness, or even treason, if he does anything but continue to escalate towards an inevitable war: escalations can only be stopped by two means: negotiations or war.  If the former is made impossible, the latter becomes inevitable.

Worse, there are pretty good signs that “Biden” is not fully controlling the Executive branch and that there are characters at the CIA, Pentagon and Foggy Bottom (lead by the totally rabid US Neocons) which actually want a war involving Russia and who believe that such a war would not imply a very high probability of going nuclear.  Blinken, for example, strikes me as a kind of person which would make a great tailor or maybe an insurance salesman, but as a diplomat he is clearly clueless and “loser” written all over his face (ditto for that imbecile Stoltenberg or most EU politicians).  Worst of all, these losers believe in their own superiority and think that they can talk to Putin like, say, Commodore Matthew Perry “talked” to the Japanese or how Reagan showed Grenada “who is boss”.

Finally, the upcoming planned “show of unity and force” (aka Summit for Democracy) will be seen by the Kremlin as a desperate attempt at hide the Empire’s real weakness (death, really) and to make it look as if the West still had the means to rule the planet.  In reality, just Russia and China together are already much more powerful than all the colonies which Uncle Shmuel as summoned to this Summit, even if it is only two against 109 countries on the US side and that is the reality which this summit is designed to conceal from the public eye.

So no hope at all?

Well, not much.  But, in theory, here is what could happen.

The US could agree to give Russia legal binding and verifiable security guarantees on her east, including a pull-back of Ukie forces in exchange for which, Russia could pull back some of her own forces.  Deconfliction measures in the air and the seas could be agreed upon.  Observer missions could be agreed upon and then deployed by both sides to verify the implementation of any agreements.  On the political level, the US could order a dramatic reduction of western military involvement in the Ukraine in exchange for a Russian re-affirmation of the recognition of the Ukraine in her current borders, that is without Crimea and but the Donbass (in other words, the Kremlin would promise not to recognize the LDNR republics sovereign states).  In theory, an international peacekeeping force could be set up in the “grey zone” between the LDNR and the Ukraine (that would require the Ukies to pull out from their current, and totally illegal, occupation of some locations in that zone). The nationality of these peacekeepers would have to be agreed by both sides.

[Sidebar: about the LDNR – please keep in mind that even if de jure the Kremlin does not recognize these republics, it has already basically done so de facto (especially with the latest change to the Russian laws on the economy).  Also, remember that Taiwan is a country that is largely unrecognized, but which is clearly independent, at least for the time being.  Finally, keeping the LDNR inside the Ukraine creates an anti-Ukraine which prevents the Nazi-run Ukraine from fully becoming an anti-Russia.  So no, flag-wavers notwithstanding, agreeing not to recognize the LDNR would not be a “betrayal”, but only a card which must be played later in the game.]

Furthermore, Russia and the USA should establish a standing bilateral (yes, I agree with Nuland on the EU!) discussions mechanism to replace the useless and basically dead NATO-Russia Council.  Other areas of discussion could include such self-evident issues as space, terrorism, immigration, energy, cybersecurity, the Arctic etc. and a full restoration of civilized diplomatic relations (which were totally sabotaged by both the Obama and Trump Administration).  A deal could also be made about mutual non-interference or, at least, improve the current deconfliction between the USA and Russia in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere.  And, of course, Russia could agree to a long term gas contract through the Ukraine in exchange for a full US acceptance of NS2.

Does that sound a little pollyannish to you?

It sure sounds pollyannish to me!

But I am not quite willing to declare it as absolutely impossible.  Instead, I would simply say that such an outcome is unlikely but still possible.

The alternative is war with, at the low end, could be limited to some silly Ukie provocation (of the kind they have been regularly pulling off, and failing, for many years now) or, at the high end, to quickly escalate a full-scale (inter)continental war, probably one involving nukes.

Hope dies last, right?

The one thing which makes it possible for me to believe that a war can still be avoided is that besides the real hardcore nutcases, there are still some sober-minded officials in the USA (maybe Gen. Milley?) who understand not only that war is an unspeakable horror, but who ALSO understand that a US attack on Russia will result in a Russian counter-attack on the US itself.  Specifically, it is now an official Russian position that if weapon X is fired at Russia or Russian forces, Russia will not only destroy that weapon and the system which delivered, but will also strike at the command headquarters from which the order to strike Russia was given, and that could be Kiev, Warsaw, Brussels or even Washington DC.  I am quite sure that General Gerasimov explained that to General Milley in exquisite detail and I strongly suspect that Milley got the message.  Let’s just hope that Milley can prevail over Lloyd Austin (who is clearly an incompetent imbecile used by the “war party” only as a disposable figurehead).

If not, then God help us all, because then war is inevitable.

I consider the current situation as the most dangerous the world has ever faced, this is even worse than the Cuban Missile Crisis or the US attacks against Iran (the murder of General Soleimani) or Syria.  By nature, nurture, experience, and training I am an unrepentant pessimist.  But, in this case, I still want to force myself into a stance of “cautious pessimism” meaning that, yes, the situation is terrible and seems unfixable, but I choose to believe that there still are enough sane people in the US to avoid the worst.

Still, I am acutely aware that the UK+3B+PU gang want war at all and any cost and that they are now setting the agenda in both the EU and NATO.  The only actor which still could order them to stand down and shut the hell up would be the USA, but only one ruled by an Administration in real and actual command, not the senile aquarium fish collectively known as “Biden” which is in power (at least officially) right now.

We can also count on the MAGA-crazies to oppose any and all deals with Russia, no matter how urgently needed and self-evidently logical.  The GOP has now become the united party for war doing exactly what the Dems did during the Trump years.  In a way, the US political scene reminds me of the Soviet Union during and after Brezhnev – a political system which simply cannot produce a real leader, so all you see is terminal mediocrities trying as best they can to hide their own mediocrity and total lack of vision.  A Ronald Reagan or a George H. W. Bush would have what it takes to talk to the Russians and get some results.  Alas, none of the presidents since have had enough brains or spine to do anything constructive at all: all they did was to preside over first the destruction of the Empire followed by the destruction of the USA (at least as we knew it before Jan 6th).

The fact that our best (or, should I say, only) hope lies with Biden and “Biden” is a sad and very frightening reality.  All we can do now is wait for Tuesday and pray that both Biden and “Biden” muster enough courage and (real) patriotism to bring the world back from the brink.  It ain’t much, but that’s all we got.

So, what do you think will happen next?

Andrei

The upcoming Summit for Democracy as a time machine

November 29, 2021

Introduction:

Biden’s “Summit for Democracy” scheduled for December 9-10, 2021, has posted its final list of invited countries.

Let’s take a look:

Albania
Angola
Antigua and Barbuda
Argentina
Armenia
Australia
Austria
Bahamas
Barbados
Belgium
Belize
Botswana
Brazil
Bulgaria
Cabo Verde
Canada
Chile
Colombia
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Democratic Republic of Congo
Denmark
Dominica
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
Estonia
European Union
Fiji
Finland
France
Georgia
Germany
Ghana
Greece
Grenada
Guyana
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Iraq
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Jamaica
Japan
Kenya
Kiribati
Kosovo
Latvia
Liberia
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malawi
Malaysia
Maldives
Malta
Marshall Islands
Mauritius
Mexico
Micronesia
Moldova
Mongolia
Montenegro
Namibia
Nauru
Nepal
Netherlands
New Zealand
Niger
Nigeria
North Macedonia
Norway
Pakistan
Palau
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Republic of Korea
Romania
Saint Kitts and Nevis­
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Samoa
Sao Tome and Principe
Senegal
Serbia
Seychelles
Slovakia
Slovenia
Solomon Islands
South Africa
Spain
Suriname
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan
Timor-Leste
Tonga
Trinidad and Tobago
Tuvalu
Ukraine
United Kingdom
Uruguay
Vanuatu
Zambia

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace also published this very helpful map:

Finally, let us also recall the purpose of this summit, as explained by the US Department of State:

  1. Defending against authoritarianism
  2. Addressing and fighting corruption
  3. Promoting respect for human rights

Next, the first thing we need to do is to translate the above into plain English.  Here is how I would translate all this:

  1. Faithfully supporting a single World Hegemony of the (already dead, but nevermind that, they can pretend it is still alive) AngloZionist Empire and obediently participate in any anti-Russian and anti-Chinese operations to prevent the latter from creating a multi-polar world.
  2. Overthrow those government who refuse to participate in the operations mentioned under #1 and/or get rid of some truly useless and too embarrassing “our SOBs” (Zelenskii anybody?)
  3. Participating in strategic PSYOPs to demonize those countries not invited to the Summit while allowing those invited to use any level of repression/suppression of dissent needed to stay in power.

How relevant is this summit in reality?

By itself, such a summit has zero value, if only because it tries to unite around a single (and vapid) agenda countries with totally different circumstances.  It is therefore pretty obvious that all that which come out from this grand show is some insipid declaration “for everything good and against everything bad” (Russian expression).

Results of the regional and municipal elections in Venezuela

One telling example shows how out of touch with reality this entire endeavor will be: the White House has even extended an invitation to uberloser Juan Guaido!  That in spite of the fact that the people of Venezuela have recently massively rejected Guaido and everything he stands for.

This, by the way, also strongly suggest that even though, for example, almost all Latin American countries have been invited to the Summit, this participation is a very good illustration of the comprador nature of the ruling classes in Latin American.  If the people were given the right to decide whether they want to subserviently support the “Yankee/gringo” Empire or not, very few, if any, of the invited countries would send delegates.

In other words, this Summit is first and foremost about APPEARANCES, a PR move destined to strong-arm each government on the planet to make a simple choice, the very same choice Baby Bush offered when he said that “you are either with us or with the terrorists”.  The updated version of this could be “you are either with us, or with the evil Russians and the evil Chinese”.

[BTW – This is the list of countries which have not been invited (for various reasons): Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cote D’Ivoire, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Comoros, Congo, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, The Holy See, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iran, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nicaragua, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.]

The real (people’s) map would look very differently

What would a realistic map look like?

First, almost none of the Latin American countries would be represented.

Second, all of Europe would, but primarily because the EU’s comprador elites are desperate to get from this summit a legitimacy which they are increasingly losing in their own countries due to the truly phenomenal, I would even say, suicidal policies of the EU member states (economy, energy, COVID, crime, immigration, Wokism, etc.).

Next, all of Africa would participate, in a desperate attempt to get as much aid as possible (military, economic, political, etc.) and to show how abjectly subservient to their colonial masters all the African governments still are.  This is hardly their fault, true, but that does not change the abject reality of African politics…

Next, the wider Middle-East, India and Pakistan would also participate, but for very different reasons: these governments have all read the writing on the wall, albeit with some differences, and they know that the US is on the way out, but they want that “out” to be played on terms advantageous to them.  Nobody wants to be the “next Erdogan” and be overthrown by CENTCOM.  I would also add that while CENTCOM ain’t much of a military force anymore, there are numerous multi-billion dollar contracts still linking the USA to these countries and that is reason enough to show up at the Summit, and say all the right things, and then come home and return to business as usual.

Which leaves the entire Asian continent, including Russia, China, Central and Far East Asia.  Here the map is simple: countries near Russia and China are not invited, countries near(er) Australia are.  Asia currently is the continent with the most agency, by far, and the one with the brightest future due not only to its immense resources (human and natural) but also due to the fact that the two Asian giants (Russia and China) are moving together as one to begin to build the multi-polar world they eventually want to see worldwide on the continent they share.  Russia and China also happen to have the most powerful militaries on the planet (especially if counted together, which they increasingly should).

If Malcolm X was still alive today he would probably say that “all the house Negroes have been invited and all the field Negroes have not” (see here) 🙂

The Summit for Democracy as a time machine?

I would argue that the upcoming Summit is like a time machine, not one which allows us to actually travel in time, but one which shows us who will be part of shaping the future of our planet and who will not.  The folks invited by the (already dead) AngloZionist Empire are either comprador elites, or regimes with no real agency (and, therefore, no real legitimacy), and a few desperately poor countries which are literally willing to do anything, anything at all, to please their current masters.  They have no real future to speak of.

As for the future, it is pretty evident that Asia will be, by far, the most important continent to set the agenda for the foreseeable future.  I personally believe that Latin America will be next, all that is needed their is for a few well chosen “dominoes” to fall and the entire continent will be flipped very quickly.  True, right now, if we ONLY look at the official map, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Bolivia look rather isolated.  But let’s look at this differently, the fact that these countries can survive while being surrounded by pro-USA regimes is a very telling sign by itself.  Furthermore, there are also two giants in Latin America: Argentina and Brazil, especially the latter.  Should Brazil be “flipped”, then that would have a huge impact on the rest of the continent.

Next, the two regions which will “fall” next would be the Middle-East, first, and eventually, Europe, second.

There is very little, if anything, the Empire or the USA can do about the Middle-East: the truth is that the future of the region will be set by Iran (the regional superpower) and Russia.  Yes, the Axis of Kindness countries (US+KSA+Israel) can still trigger a major regional war.  But they can’t win it.  That ship has now sailed.

With the EU, however, things are much more complicated and all the Kabuki theatre we currently see about the “imminent” Russian invasion is all about two things: first, “elegantly” get rid of the Ukraine (to a Russian invasion would be best) and about reasserting the Anglo dominance over the European continent.  That plan might still succeed, especially when we consider the very real political power the UK+3B+PU gang has ever EU decision (yes, even the UK still has a lot of influence over the EU ruling classes via its still very real financial power!).

As for Oceania and Africa, they simply don’t matter very much, the former a nicely isolated by distance, the latter has no agency and is totally dependent on some kind of foreign masters.

In the meantime, the brain-dead EU politicians, which should have been placed on suicide watch years ago, are still at it: NATO threatens Russia with “consequences” while the US declares that “all options are on the table“.  We can be sure that Putin personally and everybody else in Russia are absolutely *terrified* by such language, and that is why when the “imminent” Russian invasion does not materialize, the leaders of the (long dead) Empire will proclaim themselves “victorious” against the “Putin regime”!  Bravo!

And even if the Ukies succeed in forcing Russia to intervene, then NATO will proudly declared that its invincible might is what forced the Russians to stop (doesn’t really matter where exactly). Again, bravo!

All this craziness actually makes perfect sense, as an imaginary war is the only one these losers can “win”.

Andrei

The NATOstan Clown Show

November 29, 2021

Flags wave ahead of a NATO Defence Ministers meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, October 21, 2021. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol – RC28EQ9178EG

The charade has come to a point that – diplomatically – is quite unprecedented: Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov lost his Taoist patience.

Source

Independent geopolitical analyst, writer and journalist

By Pepe Escobar,

American hysteria over the “imminent” Russian invasion of Ukraine has exploded every geopolitical Stupid-o-Meter in sight – and that’s quite an accomplishment.

What a mess. Sections of the U.S. Deep State are in open revolt against the combo that remote controls Crash Test Dummy, who impersonates POTUS. The neocon-neoliberal axis is itching for a war – but has no idea how to sell it to an immensely fractured public opinion.

UKUS, which de facto controls the Five Eyes spy scam, excels only in propaganda. So in the end it’s up to the CIA/MI6 intel axis and their vast network of media chihuahuas to accelerate Fear and Loathing ad infinitum.

Russophobic U.S. Think Tankland would very much cherish a Russian “invasion”, out of the blue, and could not give a damn about the inevitable trouncing of Ukraine. The problem is the White House – and the Pentagon – must “intervene”, forcefully; otherwise that will represent a catastrophic loss of “credibility” for the Empire.

So what do these people want? They want to provoke Moscow by all means available to exercise “Russian aggression”, resulting in a lightning fast war that will be a highway to hell for Ukraine, but with zero casualties for NATO and the Pentagon.

Then the Empire of Chaos will blame Russia; unleash a tsunami of fresh sanctions, especially financial; and try to shut off all economic links between Russia and NATOstan.

Reality dictates that none of the above is going to happen.

All exponents of Russian leadership, starting with President Putin, have already made it clear, over and over again, what happens if the Ukro-dementials start a blitzkrieg over Donbass: Ukraine will be mercilessly smashed – and that applies not only to the ethno-fascist gang in Kiev. Ukraine will cease to exist as a state.

Defense Minister Shoigu, for his part, has staged all manner of not exactly soft persuasion, featuring Tu-22M3 bombers or Tu-160 White Swan bombers.

The inestimable Andrei Martyanov has conclusively explained, over and over again, that “NATO doesn’t have forces not only to ‘counter-act’ anything Russia does but even if it wanted to it still has no means to fight a war with Russia.”

Martyanov notes, “there is nothing in the U.S. arsenal now and in the foreseeable future which can intercept Mach=9-10+, let alone M=20-27, targets. That’s the issue. Same analytical method applies to a situation in 404. The only thing U.S. (NATO) can hope for is to somehow provoke Russia into the invasion of this shithole of a country and then get all SIGINT it can once Russia’s C4ISR gets into full combat mode.”

Translation: anything the Empire of Chaos and its NATO subsidiary try in Donbass, directly or indirectly, the humiliation will make the Afghanistan “withdrawal” look like a House of Gucci dinner party.

No one should expect clueless NATO puppets – starting with secretary-general Stoltenberg – to understand the military stakes. After all, these are the same puppets who have been building up a situation which might ultimately leave Moscow with a single, stark choice: be ready to fight a full scale hot war in Europe – which could become nuclear in a flash. And ready they are.

It’s all about Minsk

In a parallel reality, “meddling in 404” – a delightful Martyanov reference to a hellhole that is little more than a computer error – is a totally different story. That perfectly fits American juvenilia ethos.

At least some of the adults in selected rooms are talking. The CIA’s Burns went to Moscow to try to extract some assurance that in the event NATO Special Forces were caught in the cauldrons – Debaltsevo 2015-style – that the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, with Russian help, will concoct, they would be allowed to escape.

His interlocutor, Patrushev, told Burns – diplomatically – to get lost.

Chief of the General Staff, Gen Valery Gerasimov, had a phone call with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen Mark Milley, ostensibly to ensure, in Pentagonese, “risk-reduction and operational de-confliction”. No substantial details were leaked.

It remains to be seen how this “de-confliction” will happen in practice when Defense Minister Shoigu revealed U.S. nuclear-capable bombers have been practicing, in their sorties across Eastern Europe, “their ability to use nuclear weapons against Russia”. Shoigu discussed that in detail with Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe: after all the Americans will certainly pull the same stunt against China.

The root cause of all this drama is stark: Kiev simply refuses to respect the February 2015 Minsk Agreement.

In a nutshell, the deal stipulated that Kiev should grant autonomy to Donbass via a constitutional amendment, referred to as “special status”; issue a general amnesty; and start a dialogue with the people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.

Over the years, Kiev fulfilled exactly zero commitments – while the proverbial NATOstan media machine incessantly pounded global opinion with fake news, spinning that Russia was violating Minsk. Russia is not even mentioned in the agreement.

Moscow in fact always respected the Minsk Agreement – which translates as regarding Donbass as an integral, autonomous part of Ukraine. Moscow has zero interest in promoting regime change in Kiev.

This charade has come to a point that – diplomatically – is quite unprecedented: Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov lost his Taoist patience.

Lavrov was forced, under the circumstances, to publish 28 pages of correspondence between Moscow on one hand, and Berlin and Paris on the other, evolving around the preparation of a high-level meeting on Ukraine.

Moscow was in fact calling for one of the central points of the agreement to be implemented: a direct dialogue between Kiev and Donbass. Berlin and Paris said this was unacceptable. So yes: both, for all practical purposes, destroyed the Minsk Agreement. Public opinion across NATOstan has no idea whatsoever this actually happened.

Lavrov did not mince his words: “I am sure that you understand the necessity of this unconventional step, because it is a matter of conveying to the world community the truth about who is fulfilling, and how, the obligations under international law that have been agreed at the highest level.”

So it’s no wonder that the leadership in Moscow concluded it’s an absolute waste of time to talk to Berlin and Paris about Ukraine: they lied, cheated – and then blamed Russia. This “decision” at the EU level faithfully mirrors NATO’s campaign of stoking the flames of imminent “Russian aggression” against Ukraine.

Armchair warriors, unite!

Across NATOstan, the trademark stupidity of U.S. Think Tankland rules unabated, congregating countless acolytes spewing out the talking points of choice: “relentless Russian subversion”, “thug” Putin “intimidation” of Ukraine, Russians as “predators”, and everything now coupled with “power-hungry China’s war on Western values.”

Some Brit hack, in a twisted way, actually managed to sum up the overall impotence – and insignificance – by painting Europe as a victim, “a beleaguered democratic island in an anarchic world, which a rising tide of authoritarianism, impunity and international rule-breaking threatens to inundate”.

The answer by NATOstan Defense Ministers is to come up with a Strategic Compass – essentially an anti-Russia-China scam – complete with “rapid deployment forces”. Led by who, General Macron?

As it stands, poor NATOstan is uncontrollably sobbing, accusing those Russian hooligans – scary monsters, to quote David Bowie – of staging an anti-satellite missile test and thus “scorning European safety concerns”.

Something must have got lost in translation. So here’s what happened: Russia conclusively demonstrated it’s capable of obliterating each and every one of NATO’s satellites and blind “all their missiles, planes and ships, not to mention ground forces” in case they decide to materialize their warmongering ideas.

Obviously those deaf, dumb and blind NATOstan armchair warrior clowns – fresh from their Afghan “performance” – won’t get the message. But NATOstan anyway was never accused of being partial to reality.

China, Russia and India: Foreign Ministers Joint Communique

November 27, 2021

Joint Communique of the 18th Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Russian Federation, the Republic of India and the People’s Republic of China

November 26, 2021

1. The 18th Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Russian Federation, the Republic of India and the People’s Republic of China was held in the digital video-conference format on 26 November 2021. The meeting took place in the backdrop of negative impacts of the global Covid-19 pandemic, on-going economic recovery as well as continuing threats of terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking, trans-national organized crime, natural and man-made disasters, food security and climate change.

2. The Ministers exchanged views on further strengthening the Russia-India-China (RIC) trilateral cooperation and also discussed various regional and international issues of importance. The Ministers recalled their last meeting in Moscow in September 2020 as well as the RIC Leaders’ Informal Summit in Osaka (Japan) in June 2019 and noted the need for regular high level meetings to foster closer cooperation among the RIC countries.

3. Expressing their solidarity with those who were negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministers underlined the importance of a timely, transparent, effective and non-discriminatory international response to global health challenges including pandemics, with equitable and affordable access to medicines, vaccines and critical health supplies. They reiterated the need for continued cooperation in this fight inter-alia through sharing of vaccine doses, transfer of technology, development of local production capacities, promotion of supply chains for medical products. In this context, they noted the ongoing discussions in the WTO on COVID-19 vaccine Intellectual Property Rights waiver and the use of flexibilities of the TRIPS Agreement and the Doha Declaration on TRIPS Agreement and Public Health.

4. Emphasizing the need for collective cooperation in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministers noted the measures being taken by the World Health Organization (WHO), governments, non-profit organisations, academia, business and industry in combating the pandemic. In this context, the Ministers called for strengthening the policy responses of WHO in the fight against Covid-19 and other global health challenges. They also called for making Covid-19 vaccination a global public good.

5. The Ministers agreed that cooperation among the RIC countries will contribute not only to their own growth but also to global peace, security, stability and development. The Ministers underlined the importance of strengthening of an open, transparent, just, inclusive, equitable and representative multi-polar international system based on respect for international law and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and central coordinating role of the United Nations in the international system.

6. The Ministers reiterated that a multi-polar and rebalanced world based on sovereign equality of nations and respect for international law and reflecting contemporary realities requires strengthening and reforming of the multilateral system. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to upholding international law, including the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. The Ministers acknowledged that the current interconnected international challenges should be addressed through reinvigorated and reformed multilateral system, especially of the UN and its principal organs, and other multilateral institutions such as International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB), World Trade Organization (WTO), World Health Organization (WHO), with a view to enhancing its capacity to effectively address the diverse challenges of our time and to adapt them to 21st century realities. The Ministers recalled the 2005 World Summit Outcome document and reaffirmed the need for comprehensive reform of the UN, including its Security Council, with a view to making it more representative, effective and efficient, and to increase the representation of the developing countries so that it can adequately respond to global challenges. Foreign Ministers of China and Russia reiterated the importance they attached to the status of India in international affairs and supported its aspiration to play a greater role in the United Nations.Foreign Ministers of Russia and China congratulated India for its successful Presidency of the UNSC in August 2021.

7. Underlining the significance they attach to the intra-BRICS cooperation, the Ministers welcomed the outcomes of the 13th BRICS Summit held under India’s chairmanship on 9 September 2021. They agreed to work actively to implement the decisions of the successive BRICS Summits, deepen BRICS strategic partnership, strengthen cooperation in its three pillars namely political and security cooperation; economic and finance; and people-to-people and cultural exchanges. Russia and India extend full support to China for its BRICS Chairship in 2022 and hosting the XIV BRICS Summit.

8. In the year of the 20th Anniversary of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) the Ministers underlined that the SCO as an influential and responsible member of the modern system of international relations plays a constructive role in securing peace and sustainable development, advancing regional cooperation and consolidating ties of good-neighbourliness and mutual trust. In this context, they emphasized the importance of further strengthening the Organization’s multifaceted potential with a view to promote multilateral political, security, economic and people-to-people exchanges cooperation. The Ministers intend to pay special attention to ensuring stability in the SCO space, including to step up efforts in jointly countering terrorism, illicit drug trafficking and trans-border organized crime under the framework of SCO-Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure. They appreciated the Ministerial meeting in the SCO Contact Group on Afghanistan format held on 14th July 2021 in Dushanbe.

9. The Ministers supported the G-20’s leading role in global economic governance and international economic cooperation. They expressed their readiness to enhance communication and cooperation including through G-20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and other means, through consultations and mutual support in areas of respective interest.

10. The Ministers stand for maintaining and strengthening of ASEAN Centrality and the role of ASEAN-led mechanisms in the evolving regional architecture, including through fostering ties between ASEAN and other regional organizations such as the SCO, IORA, BIMSTEC. The Ministers reiterated the importance of the need for closer cooperation and consultations in various regional fora and organizations, East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus), Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) and the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), to jointly contribute to regional peace, security and stability.

11. The Ministers consider it important to utilize the potential of the countries of the region, international organizations and multilateral associations in order to create a space in Eurasia for broad, open, mutually beneficial and equal interaction in accordance with international law and taking into account national interests. In that regard, they noted the idea of establishing a Greater Eurasian Partnership involving the SCO countries, the Eurasian Economic Union, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and other interested States and multilateral associations.

12. The Ministers condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. The Ministers reaffirmed that terrorism must be comprehensively countered to achieve a world free of terrorism. They called on the international community to strengthen UN-led global counter-terrorism cooperation by fully implementing the relevant UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. In this context, they called for early adoption of the UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. The Ministers stressed that those committing, orchestrating, inciting or supporting, financing terrorist acts must be held accountable and brought to justice in accordance with existing international commitments on countering terrorism, including the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the FATF standards, international treaties, including on the basis of the principle “extradite or prosecute” and relevant international and bilateral obligations and in compliance with applicable domestic legislation.

13. The Ministers emphasized the importance of the three international drug control conventions and other relevant legal instruments which form the edifice of the drug control system. They reiterated their firm resolve to address the world drug problem, on a basis of common and shared responsibility. The Ministers expressed their determination to counter the spread of illicit drug trafficking in opiates and methamphetamine from Afghanistan and beyond, which poses a serious threat to regional security and stability and provides funding for terrorist organizations.

14. The Ministers reiterated the need for a holistic approach to development and security of ICTs, including technical progress, business development, safeguarding the security of States and public interests, and respecting the right to privacy of individuals. The Ministers noted that technology should be used responsibly in a human-centric manner. They underscored the leading role of the United Nations in promoting a dialogue to forge common understandings on the security of and in the use of ICTs and development of universally agreed norms, rules and principles for responsible behaviour of States in the area of ICTs and recognized the importance of strengthening its international cooperation. The Ministers recalled that the development of ICT capabilities for military purposes and the malicious use of ICTs by State and non-State actors including terrorists and criminal groups is a disturbing trend. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to principles of preventing conflicts stemming from the use of ICTs, as well as ensuring use of these technologies for peaceful purposes. In this context, they welcomed the work of recently concluded UN-mandated groups namely Open Ended Working Group on the developments in the fields of Information and Telecommunications in the context of international security (OEWG) and the Sixth United Nations Group of Governmental Experts (UNGGE) on Advancing responsible State behaviour in cyberspace in the context of international security and their consensual final reports. The Ministers supported the OEWG on the security of and in the use of ICTs 2021-2025.

15. The Ministers, while emphasizing the important role of the ICTs for growth and development, acknowledged the potential misuse of ICTs for criminal activities and threats. The Ministers expressed concern over the increasing level and complexity of criminal misuse of ICTs as well as the absence of a UN-led framework to counter the use of ICTs for criminal purposes. Noting that new challenges and threats in this respect require international cooperation, the Ministers appreciated the launch of the UN Open-Ended Ad-Hoc Intergovernmental Committee of Experts to elaborate a comprehensive international convention on countering the use of ICTs for criminal purposes under the auspices of the United Nations, pursuant to the United Nations General Assembly resolution 74/247.

16. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to broadening and strengthening the participation of emerging markets and developing countries (EMDCs) in the international economic decision-making and norm-setting processes, especially in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. In this regard, they emphasized the importance of constant efforts to reform the international financial architecture. They expressed concern that enhancing the voice and participation of EMDCs in the Bretton Woods institutions remains far from realization.

17. The Ministers reaffirmed their support for a transparent, open, inclusive and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system, with the World Trade Organization (WTO) at its core. In this context, they reiterated their support for the necessary reform which would preserve the centrality, core values and fundamental principles of the WTO while taking into account the interests of all members, especially developing countries and Least Developing Countries (LDCs). They emphasized the primary importance of ensuring the restoration and preservation of the normal functioning of a two-stage WTO Dispute Settlement system, including the expeditious appointment of all Appellate Body members. The post-pandemic world requires diversified global value chains that are based on resilience and reliability.

18. The Ministers agreed that the imposition of unilateral sanctions beyond those adopted by the UNSC as well as “long-arm jurisdiction” were inconsistent with the principles of international law, have reduced the effectiveness and legitimacy of the UNSC sanction regime, and had a negative impact on third States and international economic and trade relations. They called for a further consolidation and strengthening of the working methods of the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee to ensure their effectiveness, responsiveness and transparency.

19. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in its three dimensions- economic, social and environmental in a balanced and integrated manner – and reiterated that the Sustainable Development Goals are integrated and indivisible and must be achieved ‘leaving no one behind’. The Ministers called upon the international community to foster a more equitable and balanced global development partnership to address the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and to accelerate the implementation of 2030 Agenda while giving special attention to the difficulties and needs of the developing countries. The Ministers urged developed countries to honour their Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments, including the commitment to achieve the target of 0.7 percent of gross national income for official development assistance (ODA/GNI) to developing countries and to facilitate capacity building and the transfer of technology to developing countries together with additional development resources, in line with national policy objectives of the recipients.

20. The Ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to Climate action by implementation of Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement adopted under the principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including the principle of Equity, Common But Differentiated Responsibilities, the criticality of adequate finance and technology flows, judicious use of resources and the need for sustainable lifestyles. They recognized that peaking of Greenhouse Gas Emissions will take longer for developing countries, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty. They stressed the importance of a Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework that addresses the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in a balanced way. They welcomed the outcomes of the 26th Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-26) and the 15th Conference of Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP-15).

21. The Ministers underlined the imperative of dialogue to strengthen international peace and security through political and diplomatic means. The Ministers confirmed their commitment to ensure prevention of an arms race in outer space and its weaponization, through the adoption of a relevant multilateral legally binding instrument. In this regard, they noted the relevance of the draft treaty on the prevention of the placement of weapons in outer space and of the threat or use of force against outer space objects. They emphasized that the Conference on Disarmament, as the single multilateral negotiating forum on this subject, has the primary role in the negotiation of a multilateral agreement, or agreements, as appropriate, on the prevention of an arms race in outer space in all its aspects. They expressed concern over the possibility of outer space turning into an arena of military confrontation. They stressed that practical transparency and confidence building measures, such as the No First Placement initiative may also contribute towards the prevention of an arms race in outer space. The Ministers reaffirmed their support for enhancing international cooperation in outer space in accordance with international law, based on the Outer Space Treaty. They recognized, in that regard, the leading role of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). They agreed to stand together for enhancing the long-term sustainability of outer space activities and safety of space operations through deliberations under UNCOPUOS.

22. The Ministers reiterated the importance of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (BTWC) as a key pillar of the global disarmament and security architecture. They highlighted the need for BTWC States Parties to comply with BTWC, and actively consult one another on addressing issues through cooperation in relation to the implementation of the Convention and strengthening it, including by negotiating a legally binding Protocol for the Convention that provides for, inter alia, an efficient verification mechanism. The BTWC functions should not be duplicated by other mechanisms. They also reaffirmed support for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and called upon the State Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) to uphold the Convention and the integrity of the CWC and engage in a constructive dialogue with a view to restoring the spirit of consensus in the OPCW.

23. The Ministers showed deep concern about the threat of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) falling into the hands of terrorist groups, including the use of chemicals and biological agents for terrorist purposes. To address the threat of chemical and biological terrorism, they emphasized the need to launch multilateral negotiations on an international convention for the suppression of acts of chemical and biological terrorism at the Conference on Disarmament. They urged all States to take and strengthen national measures, as appropriate, to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction, their means of delivery and materials and technologies related to their manufacture.

24. The Ministers noted rising concerns regarding dramatic change of the situation in Afghanistan. They reaffirmed their support for basic principle of an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and called for formation of a truly inclusive government that represents all the major ethnic and political groups of the country. The Ministers advocated a peaceful, secure, united, sovereign, stable and prosperous inclusive Afghanistan that exists in harmony with its neighbors. They called on the Taliban to take actions in accordance with the results of all the recently held international and regional formats of interaction on Afghanistan, including the UN Resolutions on Afghanistan. Expressing concern over deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, the Ministers called for immediate and unhindered humanitarian assistance to be provided to Afghanistan. The Ministers also emphasized on the central role of UN in Afghanistan.

25. They stressed the necessity of urgent elimination of UNSC proscribed terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda, ISIL and others for lasting peace in Afghanistan and the region. The Ministers acknowledged the widespread and sincere demand of the Afghan people for lasting peace. They reaffirmed the importance of ensuring that the territory of Afghanistan should not be used to threaten or attack any other country, and that no Afghan group or individual should support terrorists operating on the territory of any other country.

26. The Ministers reiterated the importance of full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and UNSC Resolution 2231 and expressed their support to the relevant efforts to ensure the earliest reinvigoration of the JCPOA which is a landmark achievement for multilateral diplomacy and the nuclear non-proliferation.

27. The Ministers reaffirmed their strong commitment to the sovereignty, political independence, territorial integrity and unity of Myanmar. They expressed support to the efforts of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) aimed at implementation of its Five-Point Consensus in cooperation with Myanmar. They called on all sides to refrain from violence.

28. The Ministers underlined the importance of lasting peace and security on the Korean Peninsula. They expressed their support for a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution to resolve all issues pertaining to the Korean Peninsula.

29. The Ministers welcomed the announcement of the Gaza ceasefire beginning 21 May 2021 and stressed the importance of the restoration of general stabilization. They recognized the efforts made by the UN and regional countries to prevent the hostilities from escalating. They mourned the loss of civilian lives resulting from the violence, called for the full respect of international humanitarian law and urged the international community’s immediate attention to providing humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population, particularly in Gaza. They supported in this regard the Secretary General’s call for the international community to work with the United Nations, including the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), on developing an integrated, robust package of support for a swift and sustainable reconstruction and recovery as well as for appropriate use of such aid. The Ministers reiterated their support for a two-State solution guided by the international legal framework previously in place, resulting in creating an independent and viable Palestinian State and based on the vision of a region where Israel and Palestine live side by side in peace within secure and recognised borders.

30. The Ministers reaffirmed their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic. They expressed their conviction that there can be no military solution to the Syrian conflict. They also reaffirmed their support to a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned, UN-facilitated political process in full compliance with UNSC Resolution 2254. They welcomed in this context the importance of the Constitutional Committee in Geneva, launched with the decisive participation of the countries-guarantors of the Astana Process and other states engaged in efforts to address the conflict through political means, and expressed their support to the efforts of Mr. Geir Pedersen, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for Syria, to ensure the sustainable and effective work of the Committee. They reiterated their conviction that in order to reach general agreement, members of the Constitutional Committee should be governed by a sense of compromise and constructive engagement without foreign interference and externally imposed timelines. They emphasized the fundamental importance of allowing unhindered humanitarian aid to all Syrians in accordance with the UN humanitarian principles and the post-conflict reconstruction of Syria that would contribute to the safe, voluntary and dignified return of Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons to their places of origin thus paving the way to achieving long-term stability and security in Syria and the region in general.

31. The Ministers expressed grave concern over the ongoing conflict in Yemen which affects the security and stability not only of Yemen, but also of the entire region, and has caused what is being called by the United Nations as the worst humanitarian crisis currently in the world. They called for a complete cessation of hostilities and the establishment of an inclusive, Yemeni-led negotiation process mediated by the UN. They also stressed the importance of providing urgent humanitarian access and assistance to all Yemenis.

32. The Ministers welcomed the formation of the new transitional Presidency Council and Government of National Unity in Libya as a positive development and hoped that it would promote reconciliation among all political parties and Libyan society, work towards restoration of peace and stability and conduct elections on 24 December 2021 to hand over power to the new government as per the wishes of the Libyan people. They also noted the important role of UN in this regard.

33. The Ministers noted that some of the planned activities under the RIC format could not take place in the physical format due to the global Covid-19 pandemic situation. They welcomed the outcomes of the 18th RIC Trilateral Academic Conference organized by the Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi (ICWA) in the video-conference format on 22-23 April 2021. In this context, they also commended the contribution of the Institute of Chinese Studies (New Delhi), Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow) and China Institute of International Studies (Beijing) in establishing the RIC Academic Conference as the premier annual analytical forum for deepening RIC cooperation in diverse fields.

34. The Ministers expressed their support to China to host Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

35. Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China and the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation thanked the External Affairs Minister of India for successful organization of the RIC Foreign Ministers Meeting. External Affairs Minister of India passed on the chairmanship in the RIC format to the Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China. The date and venue of the next RIC Foreign Ministers Meeting will be agreed upon through the diplomatic channels.

Meaning and Validity of Bilad al-Sham

Nov, 26, 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

Pablo Sapag

After a long decade of an imposed, cruel and bloody winter, the political recovery of the Arab block as an international actor is taking shape precisely around Bilad al-Sham.

Bilad al-Sham is much more than a mere geographic reference, as western outsiders seem to believe every time they equal what is an ancient rich and comprehensive social, cultural, and political reality with that of the Levant. The latter is indeed a purely physical tag. This misunderstanding is at the core of those western catastrophic cyclic policies towards Bilad al-Sham and beyond. It’s also the cause of the systematic failure of their interventionist schemes in what by far transcends a landscape.

Since the time of the crusaders, one after the other, all and each of western attempts to divide and conquer has ended up with the invaders expelled, puzzled and for a long time searching for the causes of their recurrent defeats. An example of this is what happened during the 20th century’s first half, when the French and British plot to dismember Bilad al-Sham according to the Sykes-Picot secret terms ended up shamefully on April 17th, 1946. On that date, the last of the defeated French soldiers evacuated off the core of Bilad al-Sham, nowadays the Syrian Arab Republic. In parallel, the other member of the aspiring terminator duo struggled to impose to the region a Zionist entity that 73 years later is still psychologically insecure and desperately trying to make true the impossible dream of its British putative father. Palestine, the Syrian Golan, and Lebanon are the mirror that every single day reflects a fiasco that cannot be overcome through a wishful thinking so-called “normalization”.

More recently, the war imposed on Syria with the declared aim to quarter it into confessional and ethnic cantons, or mini-states depending on outside powers, has failed once again. Now as then the reason is the same. Bilad al-Sham’s main strength is the will of its diverse people to live together, regardless of their ethnic and religious different affiliations. In short, they just keep adhering to what has been there the natural state of things for several millennia, a social way of life which defines a culture. In case of necessity, such a rich legacy gives a formidable impulse to resistance and becomes an unbeatable defense shield vis-à-vis any invader.

Ten years after the beginning of the conspiracy against the Syrian Arab Republic, and by extension against the whole Bilad al-Sham, this solid ancient reality that westerners don’t identify because they simply don’t understand it, is showing all its economic and political possibilities, not to mention its social and cultural ones. Umm Kulthum, Fairouz, Sabah Fakhri, Nizar Qabbani, Mahmoud Darwish, George Wassouf, or Edward Said –just to remind some- are the cultural voices that trespass the imposed borders to Bilad al-Sham, exposing in every concert, book, reading, or listening session the futility of the dismembering endeavor.  

The energy crisis imposed on several Middle Eastern countries is being solved in a natural – let’s say Shami, successful way that challenges those borders imposed one century ago by the infamous Sykes-Picot treaty. Lebanon is already receiving Iranian petrol transported through the Syrian Sea to the Syrian Arab Republic port of Banias and from there to Lebanon. The latter will also increase very soon its gas and electricity supplies thanks to the agreement that will facilitate Lebanon to receive from the Egyptian Sinai gas or gas transformed into electricity through Jordan and Syria. All the countries involved have in one way or the other been historically core components of Bilad al-Sham.  

After a long decade of an imposed, cruel and bloody winter, the political recovery of the Arab block as an international actor is taking shape precisely around Bilad al-Sham. Trust and bonds among Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon have resettled. Some non-Bilad al-Sham countries have understood it and are rushing to reconcile with Syria. The UAE’s constructive policy shows that Abu Dhabi understood that any Arab attempt to counterbalance the western diktat to the Arab region and especially the pernicious Turkish aggressive policies must be built around Bilad al-Sham in both, geographically and cultural terms. From the Gulf, however, others insist to establish a new Arabness based on the radical interpretation of a religion that they believe is the only one possible. One spiritual current among many others that they feverishly pretend has to shape everything, from the government to the rule of law and even personal behavior. An extremist and short-minded ideology exported to the rest of the world from the desert south of Jordan and from the lands north of the Taurus Mountains.

Michel Aflaq and Salah Bitar’s Pan-Arabism is linked to a collective Arab identity developed around political struggles for independence and the use of Arabic as a language of understanding. As a means of communication, Arabic was embraced long before by the people of Bilad al-Sham, a useful and valuable tool to express its culture, thoughts, and social unity. In that sense, the UAE is siding with those like Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, or Algeria. The latter has always realized that the political unity of Arab states is based on a common language and a pragmatic approach to counterbalance an unfair world order. That unity can only be possible if social and cultural differences are respected. Above all, the Emiratis have understood that without Bilad al-Sham other schemes of convergence are simply not possible. That’s the meaning and validity of Bilad al-Sham. No more, no less.    

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

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Catastrophe since 2017: How to cover France’s presidential election?

November 22, 2021

by Ramin Mazaheri and cross-posted with PressTV

It’s a question which appears almost too basic a starting point, but not when we recall what a catastrophe the heart of Western Europe has been since 2017:

What is to be done about France?

Emmanuel Macron: Marketed as Prince Charming but who quickly became Evil King Manu I of the neoliberal empire of the European Union.

The Yellow Vests: It’s as if France has spectacularly grown a fifth limb, no? Yet there it is – muscled and grasping. By now the followers of France should know what it is and what it wants, but what we can’t say for certain is what it can do to a presidential election because this is its very first.

Eric Zemmour: And you thought Marine Le Pen was repugnant? If the 1% can fabricate a Macron out of nothing and in mere weeks, of course they can create a Zemmour to divert attention/split the right-wing vote/divert attention again.

Marine Le Pen: Joan of Arc was not yet another ineffectual leader (hereditary, even) of a discredited system – Marine has been totally unmasked by the Yellow Vests. After all the authoritarian beat-downs, mosque closures and states of emergency since 2017 – do you still believe Macron was the better choice?

Traditional political parties: Routed. They’re down to their last party-machine fiefdoms, such as the mayorship of Paris.

France’s left: Routed. Always a paper tiger – now barely there on paper.

Unions: Routed by the Yellow Vests. Only the media cares what they have to say anymore, and perhaps also the tiny percent of France (8%) which is still unionised.

Mainstream media: Routed by the Yellow Vests. If in Western liberal democracies politicians are the new aristocracy then media are the new clerical class. The miracle of transubstantiation which they insist on, and which few outside of their class actually believe, is that the universal value of Western relativism means that impiety can be the same thing as piety.

Catholic Church: France, long-known as the “daughter of the Roman Catholic Church”, has just been embroiled (seemingly rather tardily) in a massive pedophile cover-up scandal.

Notre Dame Cathedral: Europe’s most famous house of worship is still closed and will be until 2024. Recall that the fire began just an hour before Macron was due to give an exceptionally rare speech – to finally discuss the then 5-month long Yellow Vest crisis.

France’s polling agencies are so discredited that the most popular newspaper, Ouest-France, has already refused to run any polls ahead of the election. They are perceived as being tremendously biased in large part because they are now staffed at the top by the mainstream politicians who recently lost their public posts.

The French were as appalled by their nation’s part in Afghanistan as anyone else in the Western colonial coalition.

The war in Mali – started by Francois Hollande, and before the initial consent of the United Nations – has been declared an abject failure and withdrawal has begun.

France has been in a state of emergency for most of Macron’s tenure.

The longest labor movement in French history – the general strike of late 2019/early 2020 – failed, and for too many reasons to list here.

In short, it’s a total catastrophe.

I don’t mean to be negative, nihilistic or to sow despair, but who can look back at France since 2017 and see otherwise?

Did you notice that I haven’t even mentioned the coronavirus? Now do you see how bad it is?

Where is the political renewal which Macronism promised? Running a corruption-free administration – following the gaudy Sarkozy and the treacherous Hollande administrations – was truly a top-three plank of Macron’s.

The average person doesn’t fully grasp the complex but nation-appalling Benalla affair or remember Lobstergate, but they can easily imagine the effect of this: Macron set the record for most forced resignations by disgraced cabinet ministers after just two years in office. If corona hadn’t come along to totally disrupt the normal functioning of political life, and of its observation by journalists and citizens, how much worse would this record have gotten?

“The Yellow Vests will triumph” was spray-painted on the Arc de Triomphe, stunning the entire world. It was undoubtedly the defining image of France during the Macron era – a massive communications victory which redefined the image of France in the world, and of neoliberalism, and of Macron. Maybe they will yet?

Corona obviously prevented the Yellow Vests from marching, but their “Season 2” premiered last month. No one can claim that the Yellow Vests do not represent a massive renewal – of some sort – in French politics and still remain credible. To do so is to show either total ignorance or willing complicity.

France is simultaneously synonymous with “liberty” and yet had the most corona restrictions in the West – without a corona passport you can’t do anything indoors here except basic shopping (you can’t even have coffee on a cafe’s outdoor terrace). Corona preserved in amber so many (too many) problems of French life, but soon the intensity of the presidential election will melt these things away and reveal what was encased inside.

While the national corona passport has been extended until after the elections (will it be used to bar people from voting facilities?) the April presidential and June legislative elections will essentially be the West’s first post-corona election. Yes, some unhappy souls will wear masks for the rest of their life, but I think we can predict that this winter’s inevitable surge in illnesses will be the vaccine-rich West’s last chance to ardently wave the bloody flag of corona.

The Yellow Vests are right – it’s the system of Western liberal democracy, stupid: it preserves and perpetuates inequality and anti-democracy. And yet, how should they vote?

Voting out the two mainstream parties and giving Macron’s new party control over the executive and legislative branches has undoubtedly resulted in the most brutal civil political conditions since 1968.

Is that a platform worthy of re-election?

Is it remotely credible to encourage a return of the mainstream parties?

Macron, Zemmour, Le Pen – these are all people on the far-right (either economically, politically, culturally or all three). I wrote this in 2017 but was shouted down by journalist colleagues who insisted that Macron was a “centrist”. Nobody would dare claim that now, and this long-resisted knowledge cost many Yellow Vests an eye, a hand, their rights, their freedom, etc. Should we just acquiesce to the fact that France’s political power lays in the capitalist-imperialist right, and has since about 1794?

In the 2019 elections to European Parliament the Animal Rights Party received – incredibly – more than double the score of all the Yellow Vest lists combined. (However, they have had more time to organise since then.)

I don’t know how to cover France’s election but I will have to figure it out. The initial math does not look good.


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. He is the author of Socialisms Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

In Memory of JFK: The First U.S. President to be Declared a Terrorist and Threat to National Security

November 22, 2021

By Cynthia Chung for the Saker Blog

In April 1954, Kennedy stood up on the Senate floor to challenge the Eisenhower Administration’s support for the doomed French imperial war in Vietnam, foreseeing that this would not be a short-lived war.[1]

In July 1957, Kennedy once more took a strong stand against French colonialism, this time France’s bloody war against Algeria’s independence movement, which again found the Eisenhower Administration on the wrong side of history. Rising on the Senate floor, two days before America’s own Independence Day, Kennedy declared:

“The most powerful single force in the world today is neither communism nor capitalism, neither the H-bomb nor the guided missile – it is man’s eternal desire to be free and independent. The great enemy of that tremendous force of freedom is called, for want of a more precise term, imperialism – and today that means Soviet imperialism and, whether we like it or not, and though they are not to be equated, Western imperialism. Thus, the single most important test of American foreign policy today is how we meet the challenge of imperialism, what we do to further man’s desire to be free. On this test more than any other, this nation shall be critically judged by the uncommitted millions in Asia and Africa, and anxiously watched by the still hopeful lovers of freedom behind the Iron Curtain. If we fail to meet the challenge of either Soviet or Western imperialism, then no amount of foreign aid, no aggrandizement of armaments, no new pacts or doctrines or high-level conferences can prevent further setbacks to our course and to our security.”[2]

In September 1960, the annual United Nations General Assembly was held in New York. Fidel Castro and a fifty-member delegation were among the attendees and had made a splash in the headlines when he decided to stay at the Hotel Theresa in Harlem after the midtown Shelburne Hotel demanded a $20,000 security deposit. He made an even bigger splash in the headlines when he made a speech at this hotel, discussing the issue of equality in the United States while in Harlem, one of the poorest boroughs in the country.

Kennedy would visit this very same hotel a short while later, and also made a speech:

Behind the fact of Castro coming to this hotel, [and] Khrushchev…there is another great traveler in the world, and that is the travel of a world revolution, a world in turmoil…We should be glad [that Castro and Khrushchev] came to the United States. We should not fear the twentieth century, for the worldwide revolution which we see all around us is part of the original American Revolution.”[3]

What did Kennedy mean by this? The American Revolution was fought for freedom, freedom from the rule of monarchy and imperialism in favour of national sovereignty. What Kennedy was stating, was that this was the very oppression that the rest of the world wished to shake the yoke off, and that the United States had an opportunity to be a leader in the cause for the independence of all nations.

On June 30th, 1960, marking the independence of the Republic of Congo from the colonial rule of Belgium, Patrice Lumumba, the first Congolese Prime Minister gave a speech that has become famous for its outspoken criticism of colonialism. Lumumba spoke of his people’s struggle against “the humiliating bondage that was forced upon us… [years that were] filled with tears, fire and blood,” and concluded vowing “We shall show the world what the black man can do when working in liberty, and we shall make the Congo the pride of Africa.”

Shortly after, Lumumba also made clear, “We want no part of the Cold War… We want Africa to remain African with a policy of neutralism.[4]

As a result, Lumumba was labeled a communist for his refusal to be a Cold War satellite for the western sphere. Rather, Lumumba was part of the Pan-African movement that was led by Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah (who later Kennedy would also work with), which sought national sovereignty and an end to colonialism in Africa.

Lumumba “would remain a grave danger,” Dulles said at an NSC meeting on September 21, 1960, “as long as he was not yet disposed of.”[5] Three days later, Dulles made it clear that he wanted Lumumba permanently removed, cabling the CIA’s Leopoldville station, “We wish give [sic] every possible support in eliminating Lumumba from any possibility resuming governmental position.”[6]

Lumumba was assassinated on Jan. 17th, 1961, just three days before Kennedy’s inauguration, during the fog of the transition period between presidents, when the CIA is most free to tie its loose ends, confident that they will not be reprimanded by a new administration that wants to avoid scandal on its first days in office.

Kennedy, who clearly meant to put a stop to the Murder Inc. that Dulles had created and was running, would declare to the world in his inaugural address on Jan. 20th, 1961, “The torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans.

La Resistance

Along with inheriting the responsibility of the welfare of the country and its people, Kennedy was to also inherit a secret war with communist Cuba run by the CIA.

The Bay of Pigs set-up would occur three months later. Prouty compares the Bay of Pigs incident to that of the Crusade for Peace; the Bay of Pigs being orchestrated by the CIA, and the Crusade for Peace sabotaged by the CIA, in both cases to ruin the U.S. president’s (Eisenhower and Kennedy) ability to form a peaceful dialogue with Khrushchev and decrease Cold War tensions. Both presidents’ took onus for the events respectively, despite the responsibility resting with the CIA. However, Eisenhower and Kennedy understood, if they did not take onus, it would be a public declaration that they did not have any control over their government agencies and military.

Further, the Bay of Pigs operation was in fact meant to fail. It was meant to stir up a public outcry for a direct military invasion of Cuba.

On public record is a meeting (or more aptly described as an intervention) with CIA Deputy Director for Plans Richard Bissell, Joint Chiefs Chairman Lyman Lemnitzer, and Navy Chief Admiral Burke basically trying to strong-arm President Kennedy into approving a direct military attack on Cuba. Admiral Burke had already taken the liberty of positioning two battalions of Marines on Navy destroyers off the coast of Cuba “anticipating that U.S. forces might be ordered into Cuba to salvage a botched invasion.”[7] (This incident is what inspired the Frankenheimer movie “Seven Days in May.”)

Kennedy stood his ground.

“They were sure I’d give in to them,” Kennedy later told Special Assistant to the President Dave Powers. “They couldn’t believe that a new president like me wouldn’t panic and try to save his own face. Well they had me figured all wrong.”[8]

Incredibly, not only did the young president stand his ground against the Washington war hawks just three months into his presidential term, but he also launched the Cuba Study Group which found the CIA to be responsible for the fiasco, leading to the humiliating forced resignation of Allen Dulles, Richard Bissell and Charles Cabell. (For more on this refer to my report.)

Unfortunately, it would not be that easy to dethrone Dulles, who continued to act as head of the CIA, and key members of the intelligence community such as Helms and Angleton regularly bypassed McCone (the new CIA Director) and briefed Dulles directly.[9]

But Kennedy was also serious about seeing it through all the way, and vowed to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.”

* * *

There is another rather significant incident that had occurred just days after the Bay of Pigs, and which has largely been overshadowed by the Cuban fiasco in the United States.

From April 21-26th, 1961, the Algiers putsch or Generals’ putsch, was a failed coup d’état intended to force President de Gaulle (1959-1969) not to abandon the colonial French Algeria. The organisers of the putsch were opposed to the secret negotiations that French Prime Minister Michel Debré had started with the anti-colonial National Liberation Front (FLN).

On January 26th, 1961, just three months before the attempted coup d’état, Dulles sent a report to Kennedy on the French situation that seemed to be hinting that de Gaulle would no longer be around, “A pre-revolutionary atmosphere reigns in France… The Army and the Air Force are staunchly opposed to de Gaulle…At least 80 percent of the officers are violently against him. They haven’t forgotten that in 1958, he had given his word of honor that he would never abandon Algeria. He is now reneging on his promise, and they hate him for that. de Gaulle surely won’t last if he tries to let go of Algeria. Everything will probably be over for him by the end of the year—he will be either deposed or assassinated.”[10]

The attempted coup was led by Maurice Challe, whom de Gaulle had reason to conclude was working with the support of U.S. intelligence, and Élysée officials began spreading this word to the press, which reported the CIA as a “reactionary state-within-a-state” that operated outside of Kennedy’s control.[11]

Shortly before Challe’s resignation from the French military, he had served as NATO commander in chief and had developed close relations with a number of high-ranking U.S. officers stationed in the military alliance’s Fontainebleau headquarters.[12]

In August 1962 the OAS (Secret Army Organization) made an assassination attempt against de Gaulle, believing he had betrayed France by giving up Algeria to Algerian nationalists. This would be the most notorious assassination attempt on de Gaulle (who would remarkably survive over thirty assassination attempts while President of France) when a dozen OAS snipers opened fire on the president’s car, which managed to escape the ambush despite all four tires being shot out.

After the failed coup d’état, de Gaulle launched a purge of his security forces and ousted General Paul Grossin, the chief of SDECE (the French secret service). Grossin was closely aligned with the CIA, and had told Frank Wisner over lunch that the return of de Gaulle to power was equivalent to the Communists taking over in Paris.[13]

In 1967, after a five-year enquête by the French Intelligence Bureau, it released its findings concerning the 1962 assassination attempt on de Gaulle. The report found that the 1962 assassination plot could be traced back to the NATO Brussels headquarters, and the remnants of the old Nazi intelligence apparatus. The report also found that Permindex had transferred $200,000 into an OAS bank account to finance the project.

As a result of the de Gaulle exposé, Permindex was forced to shut down its public operations in Western Europe and relocated its headquarters from Bern, Switzerland to Johannesburg, South Africa, it also had/has a base in Montreal, Canada where its founder Maj. Gen. Louis M. Bloomfield (former OSS) proudly had his name amongst its board members until the damning de Gaulle report. The relevance of this to Kennedy will be discussed shortly.

As a result of the SDECE’s ongoing investigation, de Gaulle made a vehement denunciation of the Anglo-American violation of the Atlantic Charter, followed by France’s withdrawal from the NATO military command in 1966. France would not return to NATO until April 2009 at the Strasbourg-Kehl Summit.

In addition to all of this, on Jan. 14th, 1963, de Gaulle declared at a press conference that he had vetoed British entry into the Common Market. This would be the first move towards France and West Germany’s formation of the European Monetary System, which excluded Great Britain, likely due to its imperialist tendencies and its infamous sin City of London.

Former Secretary of State Dean Acheson telegrammed West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer directly, appealing to him to try to persuade de Gaulle to back track on the veto, stating “if anyone can affect Gen. de Gaulle’s decision, you are surely that person.”

Little did Acheson know that Adenauer was just days away from signing the Franco-German Treaty of Jan 22nd, 1963 (also known as the ÉlyséeTreaty), which had enormous implications. Franco-German relations, which had long been dominated by centuries of rivalry, had now agreed that their fates were aligned. (This close relationship was continued to a climactic point in the late 1970s, with the formation of the European Monetary System, and France and West Germany’s willingness in 1977 to work with OPEC countries trading oil for nuclear technology, which was sabotaged by the U.S.-Britain alliance.

The Élysée Treaty was a clear denunciation of the Anglo-American forceful overseeing that had overtaken Western Europe since the end of WWII.

On June 28th, 1961, Kennedy wrote NSAM #55. This document changed the responsibility of defense during the Cold War from the CIA to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and would have (if seen through) drastically changed the course of the war in Vietnam. It would also have effectively removed the CIA from Cold War military operations and limited the CIA to its sole lawful responsibility, the collecting and coordination of intelligence.

By Oct 11th, 1963, NSAM #263, closely overseen by Kennedy[14], was released and outlined a policy decision “to withdraw 1,000 military personnel [from Vietnam] by the end of 1963” and further stated that “It should be possible to withdraw the bulk of U.S. personnel by 1965.” The Armed Forces newspaper Stars and Stripes had the headline U.S. TROOPS SEEN OUT OF VIET BY ’65.

It would be the final nail in the coffin.

Treason in America

Treason doth never prosper; what is the reason? Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.”

– Sir John Harrington

By Germany supporting de Gaulle’s exposure of the international assassination ring, his adamant opposition to western imperialism and the role of NATO, and with a young Kennedy building his own resistance against the imperialist war of Vietnam, it was clear that the power elite were in big trouble.

On November 22nd, 1963 President Kennedy was brutally murdered in the streets of Dallas, Texas in broad daylight.

With the assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem, likely ordained by the CIA, on Nov. 2nd, 1963 and Kennedy just a few weeks later, de facto President Johnson signed NSAM #273 on Nov. 26th, 1963 to begin the reversal of Kennedy’s policy under #263. And on March 17th, 1964, Johnson signed NSAM #288 that marked the full escalation of the Vietnam War and involved 2,709,918 Americans directly serving in Vietnam, with 9,087,000 serving with the U.S. Armed Forces during this period.

The Vietnam War would continue for another 12 years after Kennedy’s death, lasting a total of 20 years for Americans, and 30 years if you count American covert action in Vietnam.

Two days before Kennedy’s assassination, a hate-Kennedy handbill was circulated in Dallas accusing the president of treasonous activities including being a communist sympathizer.

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On November 29th, 1963 the Warren Commission was set up to investigate the murder of President Kennedy.

The old Congressman Hale Boggs of Louisiana was a member of that Warren Commission. Boggs became increasingly disturbed by the lack of transparency and rigour exhibited by the Commission and became convinced that many of the documents used to incriminate Oswald were in fact forgeries.

In 1965 Rep. Boggs told New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison that Oswald could not have been the one who killed Kennedy.[15] It was Boggs who encouraged Garrison to begin the only law enforcement prosecution of the President’s murder to this day.

Nixon was inaugurated as President of the United States on Jan 20th, 1969. Hale Boggs soon after called on Nixon’s Attorney General John Mitchell to have the courage to fire J. Edgar Hoover.[16]

It wasn’t long thereafter that the private airplane carrying Hale Boggs disappeared without a trace.

Jim Garrison was the District Attorney of New Orleans from 1962 to 1973 and was the only one to bring forth a trial concerning the assassination of President Kennedy. In Jim Garrison’s book “On the Trail of the Assassins”, J. Edgar Hoover comes up several times impeding or shutting down investigations into JFK’s murder, in particular concerning the evidence collected by the Dallas Police Department, such as the nitrate test Oswald was given and which exonerated him, proving that he never shot a rifle the day of Nov 22nd, 1963.

However, for reasons only known to the government and its investigators this fact was kept secret for 10 months.[17] It was finally revealed in the Warren Commission report, which inexplicably didn’t change their opinion that Oswald had shot Kennedy.

Another particularly damning incident was concerning the Zapruder film that was in the possession of the FBI and which they had sent a “copy” to the Warren Commission for their investigation. This film was one of the leading pieces of evidence used to support the “magic bullet theory” and showcase the direction of the headshot coming from behind, thus verifying that Oswald’s location was adequate for such a shot.

During Garrison’s trial on the Kennedy assassination (1967-1969) he subpoenaed the Zapruder film that for some peculiar reason had been locked up in some vault owned by Life magazine (the reader should note that Henry Luce the owner of Life magazine was in a very close relationship with the CIA). This was the first time in more than five years that the Zapruder film was made public. It turns out the FBI’s copy that was sent to the Warren Commission had two critical frames reversed to create a false impression that the rifle shot was from behind.

When Garrison got a hold of the original film it was discovered that the head shot had actually come from the front. In fact, what the whole film showed was that the President had been shot from multiple angles meaning there was more than one gunman.

When the FBI was questioned about how these two critical frames could have been reversed, they answered self-satisfactorily that it must have been a technical glitch…

There is also the matter of the original autopsy papers being destroyed by the chief autopsy physician, James Humes, to which he even testified to during the Warren Commission, apparently nobody bothered to ask why…

This would explain why the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), reported in a July 1998 staff report their concern for the number of shortcomings in the original autopsy, that “One of the many tragedies of the assassination of President Kennedy has been the incompleteness of the autopsy record and the suspicion caused by the shroud of secrecy that has surrounded the records that do exist.” [emphasis added]

The staff report for the Assassinations Records Review Board contended that brain photographs in the Kennedy records are not of Kennedy’s brain and show much less damage than Kennedy sustained.

There is a lot of spurious effort to try to ridicule anyone who challenges the Warren Commission’s official report as nothing but fringe conspiracy theory. And that we should not find it highly suspect that Allen Dulles, of all people, was a member and pretty much leader of said commission. The reader should keep in mind that much of this frothing opposition stems from the very agency that perpetrated crime after crime on the American people, as well as abroad. When has the CIA ever admitted guilt, unless caught red-handed? Even after the Church committee hearings, when the CIA was found guilty of planning out foreign assassinations, they claimed that they had failed in every single plot or that someone had beaten them to the punch, including in the case of Lumumba.

The American people need to realise that the CIA is not a respectable agency; we are not dealing with honorable men. It is a rogue force that believes that the ends justify the means, that they are the hands of the king so to speak, above government and above law. Those at the top such as Allen Dulles were just as adamant as Churchill about protecting the interests of the power elite, or as Churchill termed it, the “High Cabal.”

Interestingly, on Dec. 22nd, 1963, just one month after Kennedy’s assassination, Harry Truman published a scathing critique of the CIA in The Washington Post, even going so far as to state “There is something about the way the CIA has been functioning that is casting a shadow over our historic position [as a] free and open society, and I feel that we need to correct it.[18]

The timing of such a scathing quote cannot be stressed enough. Dulles, of course, told the public not to be distressed, that Truman was just in entering his twilight years.

In addition, Jim Garrison, New Orleans District Attorney at the time, who was charging Clay Shaw as a member of the conspiracy to kill Kennedy, besides uncovering his ties to David Ferrie who was found dead in his apartment days before he was scheduled to testify, also made a case that the New Orleans International Trade Mart (to which Clay Shaw was director), the U.S. subsidiary of Permindex, was linked to Kennedy’s murder. Col. Clay Shaw was an OSS officer during WWII, which provides a direct link to his knowing Allen Dulles.

Garrison did a remarkable job with the odds he was up against, and for the number of witnesses that turned up dead before the trial…

This Permindex link would not look so damning if we did not have the French intelligence SDECE report, but we do. And recall, in that report Permindex was caught transferring $200,000 directly to the bankroll of the OAS which attempted the 1962 assassination on de Gaulle.

Thus, Permindex’s implication in an international assassination ring is not up for debate. In addition, the CIA was found heavily involved in these assassination attempts against de Gaulle, thus we should not simply dismiss the possibility that Permindex was indeed a CIA front for an international hit crew.

In fact, among the strange and murderous characters who converged on Dallas in Nov. 1963 was a notorious French OAS commando named Jean Souetre, who was connected to the plots against President de Gaulle. Souetre was arrested in Dallas after the Kennedy assassination and expelled to Mexico, not even kept for questioning.[19]

What Does the Future Hold?

After returning from Kennedy’s Nov. 24th funeral in Washington, de Gaulle and his information minister Alain Peyrefitte had a candid discussion that was recorded in Peyrefitte’s memoire “C’était de Gaulle,” the great General was quoted saying:

What happened to Kennedy is what nearly happened to me… His story is the same as mine. … It looks like a cowboy story, but it’s only an OAS [Secret Army Organization] story. The security forces were in cahoots with the extremists.

…Security forces are all the same when they do this kind of dirty work. As soon as they succeed in wiping out the false assassin, they declare the justice system no longer need be concerned, that no further public action was needed now that the guilty perpetrator was dead. Better to assassinate an innocent man than to let a civil war break out. Better an injustice than disorder.

America is in danger of upheavals. But you’ll see. All of them together will observe the law of silence. They will close ranks. They’ll do everything to stifle any scandal. They will throw Noah’s cloak over these shameful deeds. In order to not lose face in front of the whole world. In order to not risk unleashing riots in the United States. In order to preserve the union and to avoid a new civil war. In order to not ask themselves questions. They don’t want to know. They don’t want to find out. They won’t allow themselves to find out.”

The American people would do well to remember that it was first John F. Kennedy, acting as the President to the United States, who was to be declared a terrorist and threat to his country’s national security.

Thus is it not natural that those who continue to defend the legacy of Kennedy should be regarded today as threat, not truly to the nation’s security, but a threat to the very same grouping responsible for Kennedy’s death and whom today have now declared open war on the American people.

This will be the greatest test the American people have ever been confronted with, and it will only be through an understanding of how the country came to where it is today that there can be sufficient clarity as to what the solutions are, which are not to be found in another civil war. To not fall for the trapping of further chaos and division, the American people will only be able to rise above this if they choose to ask those questions, if they choose to want to knowto want to find out the truth of things they dared not look at in the past for fear of what it would reveal.

Whenever the government of the United States shall break up, it will probably be in consequence of a false direction having been given to public opinion. This is the weak point of our defenses, and the part to which the enemies of the system will direct all their attacks. Opinion can be so perverted as to cause the false to seem true; the enemy, a friend, and the friend, an enemy; the best interests of the nation to appear insignificant, and the trifles of moment; in a word, the right the wrong, the wrong the right. In a country where opinion has sway, to seize upon it, is to seize upon power. As it is a rule of humanity that the upright and well-intentioned are comparatively passive, while the designing, dishonest, and selfish are the most untiring in their efforts, the danger of public opinion’s getting a false direction is four-fold, since few men think for themselves.”

-James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851(

We must dare to be among the few who think for ourselves.


The author can be reached at https://cynthiachung.substack.com/

  1. David Talbot, “The Devil’s Chessboard,” pg 304 
  2. Ibid, pg 305 
  3. Ibid, pg 295 
  4. Ibid, pg 319 
  5. Ibid, pg 319 
  6. Ibid, pg 319 
  7. Ibid, pg 337 
  8. Ibid, pg 337 
  9. Ibid, pg 359 
  10. Ibid, pg 350 
  11. Ibid, pg 353 
  12. Ibid, pg 347 
  13. Ibid, pg 354 
  14. L. Fletcher Prouty, “The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy,” pg xxxiv 
  15. Anton Chaitkin’s paper “Hoover’s FBI and Anglo-American Dictatorship” 
  16. New York Times, April 6, 1971, “Boggs Demands That Hoover Quit,” p. 1. 
  17. Jim Garrison’s “On the Trail of the Assassins” p. 116 
  18. David Talbot, “The Devil’s Chessboard,” pg 201 
  19. Ibid, pg 422 

Erdogan’s Democracy… Tension in a Dangerous Direction! ديمقراطية إردوغان.. التوتر في اتجاه خطِر!

Erdogan’s Democracy… Tension in a Dangerous Direction!

ARABI SOURI 

Opinion polls rule out that Erdogan will win the upcoming elections, which leads him to more tension and hostility towards opposition parties.

The following is the English translation from Arabic of the latest article by Turkish career journalist Husni Mahali he published in the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen news site Al-Mayadeen Net:

The Turkish political and media scene is witnessing an exciting debate after some media professionals loyal to Erdogan spoke about the possibility of banning the CHP’s activity, prosecuting its leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and some of the party’s leaders, and placing them in prisons.

This media talk was accompanied by a very violent attack by the Turkish president on the leader of the Republican People’s Party, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, and his ally in the ‘Nation’s Alliance,’ the leader of the Good Party, Maral Aksanar. Erdogan does not miss any occasion, whether internal or external, without attacking Kılıçdaroğlu and Aksanar, with the most violent words, descriptions, and phrases, including those targeting their dignity and honor.

In all of his speeches, Erdogan accuses Kılıçdaroğlu (Kilitchdar-oglu) and Aksanar of allying with the Peoples’ Democratic Party, the political wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, in an attempt to win the sympathy, solidarity, and support of the popular street, arguing that “Kurdistan Party” is a terrorist organization and the enemy of the Turkish nation and state. This has failed, at least so far, as all independent opinion polls have proven the decline in the popularity of the Justice and Development Party (Erdogan’s AKP) and its ally the National Movement, in return for a noticeable increase in the popularity of the Good Party and the Republican People’s Party and the Democratic People’s Party.

All polls also ruled out a victory for President Erdogan in the upcoming elections and expected his rivals, including Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu and Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavas, to receive at least 58% of the vote compared to Erdogan’s 40-42%.

Such possibilities push Erdogan to increase tension and hostility towards opposition parties and all opponents, with all their political and social affiliations and alignments, and they are all subjected to a very violent attack by Erdogan and his ally, the leader of the nationalist movement Devlet Bakhchali and the media loyal to them together. The media attack acquires a frenzied character without limits, as long as the judiciary does not move a finger against these, and unlike everyone who utters even one word against Erdogan, the judiciary is prosecuting him for insulting the President of the Republic.

The judiciary is also prosecuting Erdogan’s opponents, including journalists, academics, intellectuals, artists, and others, and without this attack being sufficient for Erdogan and his media to limit the activity of the opposition parties and their forces, which are taking advantage of Erdogan’s failure in the foreign and domestic policies, the most important of them is the serious economic and financial crisis that the opposition leaders expect to bring the country to the brink of complete bankruptcy with the continued depreciation of the Turkish lira by at least 15% in just one month, which was reflected very dangerously on the high prices of all services and basic materials and the cost of living, then unemployment, poverty, and hunger which have become a daily phenomenon.

The opposition expects Erdogan and his government to impose a new series of taxes to cover the budget deficit, which will burden the citizen who will take revenge on Erdogan in the first upcoming elections. Such a possibility prompts Erdogan to seek “hellish” plans, as characterized by the opposition, to ensure that he remains in power, no matter what it costs him. Within these endeavors, Erdogan seeks and will seek to divide the ranks of the nation’s coalition parties, which includes the Republican People’s Party – CHP (28%) and the Good Party (14%), and indirectly the HDP – People’s Democratic Party (10%).

The polls expect Ali Babacan’s Progress and Democracy Party (3%) and Davutoğlu’s Future Party (2%), along with the Democratic and Happiness Party, to agree with the Nation’s Alliance against the Public Alliance, which includes the Justice and Development Party – AKP (30%) and the National Movement (8%), in addition to the Great Unity Party.

The opposition also expects Erdogan to impose strict control over the media and social media networks, while working to change the election law at the last moment, with the possibility of postponing or canceling the elections with security justifications, both internal and external, which is Erdogan’s prerogative according to the constitution. The opposition also talks about the possibility of electoral fraud, as was the case in the April 16, 2017 referendum. On the basis of this referendum, Erdogan changed the political system to become a presidential one, taking control of all state agencies, facilities, and institutions, and becoming the absolute ruler of the country. The leader of the Republican People’s Party, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, accused the Supreme Electoral Commission, at the time, of falsifying the results by agreeing, after the polls were closed, to adopt the more than two million unsealed ballot papers.

Talking about the possibility of banning the activity of the Republican People’s Party and prosecuting its leaders remains the most dangerous scenario for Turkey’s future, because Ataturk was the one who founded this party that ruled the country alone until the end of World War II. This concern may not be enough to deter Erdogan from thinking in this way, after he put the two co-leaders of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, Selahattin Demirtaş and Vikan Yoksakdag, and a number of party leaders in prison, five years ago, and joined them with about forty of the mayors elected in 2019, which was not enough for the party’s supporters and followers to take to the streets, because they know that the authorities will not spare them, even though 5.86 million voted for the party in the June 2018 elections.

In all cases, and with the exclusion of any possibility of holding early elections in light of the difficult internal and external conditions that the country is going through, everyone knows that Erdogan does not and will not, in any way, accept defeat and hand over power to his enemies. He knows that they will pursue him on many charges, the most important of which is serious corruption and his involvement in foreign files, the most important of which is his relations with armed groups in Syria and Libya.

Washington’s position is not clear, at least until now, on the overall developments inside Turkey, recalling that President Biden had spoken at the end of 2019 “about the need to get rid of Erdogan democratically”, after describing him as “authoritarian.”

The media presents many future scenarios, not only regarding Washington’s possible position, but also the position of Western capitals, and even Moscow, all of which are said to turn a blind eye to Erdogan’s staying in power, whatever his negatives, as long as it benefits directly or indirectly of him. Defenders of this view say that the mentioned capitals are more likely to deal with the absolute ruler Erdogan instead of a new president or a new coalition government with several contradictory parties, and their agreement even on crucial issues will never be easy.

Some see in such a scenario a sufficient reason for Erdogan to continue his current policies internally and externally, as long as the aforementioned capitals content themselves with denunciation and condemnation, without taking any practical action against Ankara.

Everyone knows that Erdogan plans to stay in power, drawing lessons from the experiences of regimes in Arab and Islamic countries, and whether they remain in power or fall from it was in most cases subject to American indication.

This is the case for Adnan Menderes, who made Turkey (1950-1960) an “American state.” The military overthrew him and executed him, while Washington did nothing, which it did with the Shah of Iran, Hosni Mubarak, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, and others in other countries in which America has accounts and accounts!

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ديمقراطية إردوغان.. التوتر في اتجاه خطِر!

2021 18 تشرين ثاني

المصدر: الحسني محلي

استطلاعات الرأي تستبعد أن يفوز إردوغان في الانتخابات المقبلة ما يدفعه إلى مزيد من التوتر والعداء تجاه أحزاب المعارضة.

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يبقى الحديث عن احتمالات حظر نشاط حزب الشعب الجمهوري وملاحقة قياداته قضائياً السيناريو الأخطر بالنسبة إلى مستقبل تركيا.

تشهد الساحة السياسية والإعلامية التركية نقاشاً مثيراً بعد أن تحدث البعض من الإعلاميين الموالين لإردوغان عن احتمالات حظر نشاط حزب الشعب الجمهوري، وملاحقة زعيمه كمال كليجدار أوغلو والبعض من قيادات الحزب قضائياً، ووضعهم في السجون. 

حديث الإعلاميين هذا رافقه هجوم عنيف جداً من الرئيس التركي على زعيم حزب الشعب الجمهوري كمال كليجدار أوغلو وحليفته في تحالف الأمة، زعيمة الحزب الجيد مارال أكشانار. فلا يفوّت إردوغان أي مناسبة، داخلية كانت أو خارجية، من دون أن يهاجم كليجدار أوغلو وأكشانار، وبأعنف الكلمات والأوصاف والألفاظ والعبارات، بما فيها تلك التي تستهدف كرامتيهما وشرفيهما. 

ويتهم إردوغان في كل أحاديثه كليجدار أوغلو وأكشانار بالتحالف مع حزب الشعوب الديمقراطي، الجناح السياسي لحزب العمال الكردستاني، في محاولة منه لكسب تعاطف الشارع الشعبي وتضامنه ودعمه، بحجة أن” الكردستاني” تنظيم إرهابي وعدو الأمة والدولة التركيّتين. هذا الأمر فشل فيه، على الأقل حتى الآن، حيث أثبتت جميع استطلاعات الرأي المستقلة تراجع شعبية حزب العدالة والتنمية وحليفه الحركة القومية، مقابل زيادة ملحوظة في شعبية الحزب الجيد وحزبي الشعب الجمهوري والشعوب الديمقراطي. 

واستبعدت كل الاستطلاعات أيضاً الفوز للرئيس إردوغان في الانتخابات المقبلة، وتوقعت لمنافسيه، ومنهم رئيس بلدية إسطنبول أكرم إمام أوغلو، ورئيس بلدية أنقرة منصور ياواش، أن يحصلوا على ما لا يقل عن 58٪ من الأصوات مقابل 40-42٪ لإردوغان. 

وتدفع مثل هذه الاحتمالات إردوغان إلى مزيد من التوتر والعداء تجاه أحزاب المعارضة وكل المعارضين، بميولهم وانتماءاتهم السياسية والاجتماعية كافة، ويتعرّضون جميعاً لهجوم عنيف جداً من إردوغان وحليفه زعيم الحركة القومية دولت باخشالي والإعلام الموالي لهما معاً. ويكتسب الهجوم الإعلامي طابعاً مسعوراً من دون حدود، ما دام القضاء لا يحرك ساكناً ضد هؤلاء، وخلافاً لكل من يتفوّه ولو بكلمة واحدة ضد إردوغان، حيث يلاحقه القضاء بتهمة الإساءة إلى رئيس الجمهورية، كما يلاحق القضاء معارضي إردوغان من الصحافيين والأكاديميين والمثقفين والفنانين وغيرهم، ومن دون أن يكون هذا الهجوم كافياً بالنسبة إلى إردوغان وإعلامه للحدّ من نشاطِ أحزاب المعارضة وقواها، والتي تستغل فشل إردوغان في السياستين الخارجية والداخلية، وأهمهما الأزمة الاقتصادية والمالية الخطيرة التي تتوقع لها قيادات المعارضة أن توصل البلاد الى حافة الإفلاس التام مع استمرار تراجع قيمة الليرة التركية بما لا يقل عن 15٪ خلال شهر واحد فقط، وهو ما انعكس بشكلٍ خطير جداً على ارتفاع أسعار كل الخدمات والمواد الأساسية وغلاء المعيشة ثم البطالة والفقر والجوع الذي تحول الى ظاهرة يومية. 

وتتوقع المعارضة لإردوغان وحكومته أن يفرضا سلسلة جديدة من الضرائب لتغطية العجز في الموازنة، وهو ما سيثقل كاهل المواطن الذي سينتقم من إردوغان في أول انتخابات مقبلة. ويدفع مثل هذا الاحتمال إردوغان إلى السعي من أجل خطط “جهنمية”، بتوصيف المعارضة، لضمان بقائه في السلطة، ومهما كلفه ذلك. وضمن هذه المساعي، يسعى وسيسعى إردوغان لشق وحدة الصف بين أطراف تحالف الأمة الذي يضم حزب الشعب الجمهوري (28٪) والحزب الجيد (14٪)، وبشكل غير مباشر حزب الشعوب الديمقراطي (10٪) . 

وتتوقع الاستطلاعات لحزب التقدم والديمقراطية بزعامة علي باباجان (3٪) وحزب المستقبل بزعامة داود أوغلو (2٪)، ومعهما الحزب الديمقراطي والسعادة، أن تتفق مع تحالف الأمة ضد تحالف الجمهور الذي يضم حزب العدالة والتنمية (30٪) والحركة القومية (8٪) إضافة إلى حزب الوحدة الكبرى. 

كما تتوقع المعارضة لإردوغان أن يفرض رقابة صارمة على الإعلام وشبكات التواصل الاجتماعي، مع العمل على تغيير قانون الانتخابات في آخر لحظة، مع احتمالات تأجيل أو إلغاء الانتخابات بمبررات أمنية، داخلية وخارجية، وهو من صلاحيات إردوغان وفق الدستور. كما تتحدث المعارضة عن احتمالات تزوير الانتخابات، كما جرى في استفتاء 16 نيسان/أبريل 2017. وقام إردوغان بناء على هذا الاستفتاء بتغيير النظام السياسي ليصبح رئاسياً، فسيطر على كل أجهزة الدولة ومرافقها ومؤسساتها، وأصبح الحاكم المطلق للبلاد. واتهم زعيم حزب الشعب الجمهوري كمال كليجدار أوغلو آنذاك الهيئة العليا للانتخابات بتزوير النتائج عبر موافقتها، بعد إغلاق صناديق الاقتراع، على اعتماد بطاقات الاقتراع غير المختومة، وعددها أكثر من مليوني بطاقة.   

ويبقى الحديث عن احتمالات حظر نشاط حزب الشعب الجمهوري وملاحقة قياداته قضائياً السيناريو الأخطر بالنسبة إلى مستقبل تركيا، لأن أتاتورك هو الذي أسّس هذا الحزب الذي حكم البلاد حتى نهاية الحرب العالمية الثانية بمفرده. وقد لا يكون هذا القلق كافياً لردع إردوغان عن التفكير بهذا الأسلوب، بعد أن وضع الزعيمين المشتركين لحزب الشعوب الديمقراطي صلاح الدين دميرطاش وفيكان يوكساكداغ وعدداً من قادة الحزب في السجون، قبل خمس سنوات، وضمَّ إليهم نحو أربعين من رؤساء البلديات المنتخبين عام 2019، من دون أن يكون ذلك كافياً بالنسبة إلى أنصار وأتباع الحزب للخروج الى الشوارع، لأنهم يعرفون أن السلطات لن ترحمهم، مع أن عددهم كان 5.86 ملايين صوّتوا للحزب في انتخابات حزيران/يونيو 2018. 

وفي جميع الحالات، ومع استبعاد أي احتمال لإجراء الانتخابات المبكرة في ظل الظروف الداخلية والخارجية الصعبة التي تعيشها البلاد، يعرف الجميع أن إردوغان لا ولن يقبل بأي شكل من الأشكال بالهزيمة وتسليم السلطة لأعدائه. فهو يعرف أنهم سيلاحقونه بتهم كثيرة، أهمها الفساد الخطير، وتورطه في ملفات خارجية، وأهمها علاقاته مع المجموعات المسلحة في سوريا وليبيا.  

ومن دون أن يكون واضحاً، على الأقل حتى الآن، موقف واشنطن من مجمل تطورات الداخل التركي، مع التذكير بأن الرئيس بايدن كان قد تحدث نهاية 2019 “عن ضرورة التخلص من إردوغان ديمقراطياً”، بعد أن وصفه “بالاستبدادي”. 

ويطرح الإعلام العديد من السيناريوهات المستقبلية، ليس فقط بالنسبة إلى موقف واشنطن المحتمل، بل أيضاً موقف العواصم الغربية، وحتى موسكو، والتي يقال إنها جميعاً قد تغض النظر عن بقاء إردوغان في السلطة، ومهما كانت سلبياته، ما دامت المستفيدة منه بشكل مباشر أو غير مباشر. ويقول المدافعون عن هذا الرأي إن العواصم المذكورة ترجّح التعامل مع الحاكم المطلق إردوغان بدلاً من رئيس جديد أو حكومة ائتلافية جديدة بعدة أحزاب متناقضة، واتفاقها حتى في القضايا المصيرية لن يكن سهلاً أبداً. 

ويرى البعض في مثل هذا السيناريو سبباً كافياً لاستمرار إردوغان في سياساته الحاليةِ داخلياً وخارجياً، ما دامت العواصم المذكورة تكتفي بالاستنكار والتنديد، من دون أن تتَّخذَ أي إجراء عمليّ ضدّ أنقرة.

ويعرف الجميع أن إردوغان يخطط للبقاء في السلطة، مستخلصاً الدروس من تجارب الأنظمة في الدول العربية والإسلامية، وبقاؤها في الحكم أو سقوطها منه كان في معظم الحالات رهن الإشارة الأميركية. 

وهذه هي الحال بالنسبة إلى عدنان مندرس الذي جعل من تركيا (1950-1960) “ولاية أميركية”، فأطاحه العسكر وأعدموه، فيما لم تحرّك واشنطن ساكناً، وهو ما فعلته مع شاه إيران وحسني مبارك وزين العابدين بن علي وآخرين في دول أخرى، ما زال لأميركا فيها حسابات وحسابات!

Video: Saudi-backed Forces’ Surprise Withdrawal from Several Yemeni Positions

By South Front

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Global Research,

November 19, 2021

South Front 

18 November 2021

To receive Global Research’s Daily Newsletter (selected articles), click here.

Visit and follow us on Instagram at @crg_globalresearch.

***

A big peg was thrown in the Saudi-led coalition’s plans in the past several days.

Saudi-backed forces carried out a surprise withdrawal from dozens of positions in the southern and eastern outskirts of the western Yemeni city of al-Hudaydah, beginning on November 11th.

November 18th dawned with Houthis in partial control of the port in the city’s south. The city was predominantly under Ansar Allah control, but this abrupt withdrawal allowed for the group to regain even more positions.Video Player

The Saudi-led coalition spokesman General Turki al-Malki, in the first clarification on the abrupt withdrawal from around Hodeidah, said the redeployment was ordered to support other fronts and in line with the coalition’s “future plans”.Video: Saudi-led Coalition Attempts to Retake Baydha from Houthis

Still, on November 17, the coalition announced that its warplanes had carried out six airstrikes on Houthi (Ansar Allah) forces along the western Yemeni coast.

The spokesman highlighted the Houthis’ repeated violations of the UN-brokered ceasefire and the group’s control over several Red Sea ports, including that of al-Hudaydah, as the main reasons behind the withdrawal decision.

The Houthis have retaken all the positions which were abandoned by Saudi-backed coalition. Clashes are now taking place near the administrative border between al-Hudaydah and the southwestern province of Taiz. This is an invaluable chance for Ansar Allah.

The push for Ma’rib is going quite well for the Houthis, currently, and it is likely that most, if not all, Saudi forces will have to fight on the frontlines there. If Ma’rib falls, that spells bad times for Riyadh, as its most significant central Yemen stronghold is gone.

This allows for more Ansar Allah operations to target the interior of the Kingdom, and push it even further back along the contact lines.

In line with that, on November 17th, a ballistic missile targeted the southern outskirts of the central Yemeni city of Ma’rib. Allegations from pro-Saudi sources claimed a refugee camp had been struck. In response, pro-Houthi activists rejected them saying that the attack targeted reinforcements of Saudi-backed forces which were recently deployed in the engineer’s military camp near al-Himmah.

Several days ago, the Saudi-led coalition foiled an attack by the Houthis on the Bulq mountain, the last geographical obstacle before the southern outskirts of Ma’rib city.

With Saudi Arabia redeploying its troops, and the Houthis inching ever closer towards the strategic city, a no holds barred fight is on the horizon. A significant shift in the tide of the war will be observed for whichever side comes out on top.

*

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Iranian Spy inside the Residence of the Israeli War Minister Benny Gantz

ARABI SOURI 

Iranian spy in the house of Israeli war minister Benny Gantz - Black Shadow

A spy inside the residence of the Israeli war minister Benny Gantz with relations to an Iranian organization was arrested, the Israeli internal ‘intelligence’ claimed.

A 37-years old Omri Goren working as ‘cleaner’ in the residence of the notorious war criminal Benny Gantz who was also the chief of staff of the so-called IDF terrorist organization, Israelis like to call it Israel’s ‘Defense’ Forces.

Of course, and as the Israelis always claim, the spy was discovered and arrested before doing any harm and before managing to install spyware in the laptop of the Israeli war criminal Gantz, Israelis always claim no harm and no losses in whatever happens to them, that’s part of their official propaganda system dubbed ‘Hasbara’ which they taught to the officials in the USA, Britain, and others of their allies.

Israeli media reported that the ‘cleaner’ took some photos of the residence from the inside to prove his credentials and offered to work with a shadowy hacking group called ‘Black Shadow’ linked to Iran, somehow.

Israeli opposition is grilling the current Israeli junta and its extensive security apparatuses for their failure in screening the staff working closely with its top officials, the same Benny Gantz was also subject to an alleged hacking into his mobile phone in March 2019 by the same Iranian group which hasn’t acknowledged the hack till date.

A Palestinian child kidnapped by 21 heavily armed Israeli 'security' criminals
The reality of ‘Israel’

Israel is hostile to all its neighbors due to its core nature a cancerous settling entity planted in the heart of the Arab world and populated with millions of imported European settlers who stole the land of the real Semite people of the Levant, it continues to attack all its neighbors and threatens extended neighbors while playing the victim role all the time, its leaders and so-called defense forces are terrorists of former terrorist groups described as such by its main creator the British occupiers of Palestine.

It would take some time before finding out whether any serious leaks the alleged Iranian group managed to obtain through this spy, such information will be only distributed in one of the Israelis political battles when they attack each other, or if the alleged Iranian group decides to announce what they managed to put their hands on.

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Theater of Absurd… Pentagon Demands Russia Explain Troops on Russian Soil

November 19, 2021

There is something of the theater of absurd in American and European posturing. But it’s far from funny. It’s menacingly deranged.

The United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin this week performed impressive, albeit pathetic, mental gymnastics. In a press conference, the Pentagon chief called on Russia to be more transparent about troop movements “on the border with Ukraine”. In others words, on Russian soil.

Meanwhile, the absurd hypocrisy sees U.S. and NATO forces brazenly escalating their offensive presence on Russia’s borders, especially in the Black Sea region.

Here’s an Associated Press clip on the Pentagon press conference: “American officials are unsure why Russian President Vladimir Putin is building up military forces near the border with eastern Ukraine but view it as another example of troubling military moves that demand Moscow’s explanation, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Wednesday.”

The report quotes Austin as saying: “We’ll continue to call on Russia to act responsibly and be more transparent on the buildup of the forces around on the border of Ukraine… We’re not sure exactly what Mr Putin is up to.”

This dubious talent for mind-bending mental gymnastics and double-think is shared with other members of the Biden administration. Last week, America’s top diplomat Antony Blinken claimed that Russia was about to invade Ukraine yet at the same time the U.S. Secretary of State confessed similar ignorance about what “Putin is up to”.

How is it possible to engage in meaningful dialogue with such vacuous people who are supposed to be government leaders – and leaders too of the self-declared world’s most powerful, most brilliant nation? No undue offense intended, but it would probably be more productive to engage in a dialogue with the bewildering characters from Samuel Beckett’s absurdist play Waiting for Godot.

Russia has repeatedly dismissed all claims about it threatening Ukraine or any other country with invasion. Moscow also disputes “unreliable” information touted by the Biden administration and Western media of troop buildup near Ukraine on its western flank. Western media reports have relied on dodgy commercial satellite data purporting to show Russian military maneuvers. It is contemptible that senior U.S. government figures are basing grave allegations against Russia on such ropy sources. That in itself speaks volumes about the deterioration in Washington’s diplomatic professionalism and political intelligence.

Secondly, the salient fact being missed in all the hullabaloo is this: Russian troops and equipment are on Russia’s sovereign territory. It is the height of absurdity for U.S. officials to demand that Russia “explain” and be “more transparent” about its own national defenses. That speaks of a hyper-arrogance among American politicians that are deforming their ability to think reasonably.

There is an analogy here with the outcry this week over Russia’s successful missile test against a Soviet-era satellite in orbit. The Biden administration condemned Russia for creating “space junk” and weaponizing space while ignoring the fact that the U.S. previously carried out the same kind of missile strike and, arguably has been trying to weaponize space since the Reagan administration’s “star wars” program during the 1980s.

In any case, the U.S. charges of Russia’s military buildup on its own territory are made all the more ridiculous when we consider the actual increase in NATO forces in Ukraine and the Black Sea region – right on Russia’s western doorstep.

In a major speech this week delivered at the Russian foreign ministry, President Putin noted again how Western powers have continually failed to register Moscow’s national security concerns over the expansion of NATO forces along Russia’s borders. He described this inability for cognition of what should be an obvious grievance as “very peculiar”.

The Kremlin has suggested that the increasing NATO offensive presence near Russia’s borders is not due to stupidity, but rather is aimed at provoking a conflict. Russia is strenuously resisting the danger of an armed confrontation, and yet the provocations continue.

Nearly two weeks ago, William Burns, the head of the CIA made a high-profile visit to Moscow during which he held discussions with senior Kremlin figures, including President Putin. We can safely assume that Burns was told in no uncertain terms that the buildup of U.S. and NATO forces near Russia’s territory is a red line that will presage a response from Russia.

But these red lines continue to be skirted by Washington and its NATO allies.

More perplexing, too, are the moves by the U.S.-backed Kiev regime to escalate the conflict in Ukraine against the ethnic Russian population in the separatist Donbas region. The ultranationalist regime has been waging a low-intensity war against the Donbas since the U.S.-backed coup in Kiev in 2014. The Americans and other NATO powers are increasing weapon supplies and military trainers to the regime, emboldening it to repudiate any peaceful settlement of the eight-year conflict.

Only last month, Pentagon chief Austin was in Kiev where he recklessly endorsed the joining of the NATO bloc by Ukraine. That is in spite of numerous warnings from Moscow that such a move would be an unacceptable destabilization.

The stepped-up war drills by NATO in the Black Sea region are inevitably leading the Kiev regime to resile from legally binding commitments to the Minsk Peace accord of 2015 – brokered by Russia, Germany and France. The release this week of diplomatic communications by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov clearly demonstrates that Germany and France are complicit in turning a blind eye to the Kiev regime’s systematic violation of the Minsk deal.

In this context, Russia is justifiably deeply wary of a confrontation exploding out of the tinderbox conditions in Ukraine and the Black Sea. Given the Russian nation’s tragic history of suffering from past military invasions, it is entirely understandable and indeed vitally prudent that the country’s formidable defenses are on high alert.

It is not for Russia to explain its troops. It is for the United States and its NATO partners to account for their wanton aggression and to desist.

There is something of the theater of absurd in American and European posturing. But it’s far from funny. It’s menacingly deranged.

Israeli Security Minister’s House Employee Arrested for Spying for Iran

Nov 18 2021

Source: Israeli Media

By Al Mayadeen

Israeli security services announced the arrest of an employee in the house of Israeli Security Minister Benny Gantz on charges of communicating with an Iranian entity to spy on Gantz.

غانتس يقرر عدم الغاء القانون الأردني الذي يحظر بيع الأراضي لليهود
Israeli was charged with espionage after the Israeli security services discovered his relationship with an Iranian source

Today, Thursday, the Israeli security services arrested an Israeli employee who works in the house of Security Minister Benny Gantz on charges of contacting a source linked to Iran.

The Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation reported that as part of a joint operation between the Shin Bet and the police, an Israeli named Omri Goren, who was serving in housework and cleaning at the house of Security Minister Benny Gantz, was arrested for questioning on charges of espionage.

The investigation revealed that “Goren contacted an organization with links to Iran and offered it assistance in espionage, such as planting spyware on the Security Minister’s computer, and to prove his seriousness, he photographed several places in Gantz’s home.”

The Shin Bet said that after the device was operated, the worker was unable to access sensitive materials, and therefore no such materials were transferred from him to the authorities he contacted.

An investigation was conducted with Goren with the knowledge of Security Minister Gantz, and eventually, an indictment was filed by the Central Prosecutor’s Office in the Lod Court on charges of espionage.

Gantz’s phone was previously hacked in March 2019, and “Israel” claimed that Iranian hackers were behind it. 

The “Worst Director” Award Goes to MBS for His “I Blame My Failure in Yemen on Hezbollah”

Nov 15 2021

The “Worst Director” Award Goes to MBS for His “I Blame My Failure in Yemen on Hezbollah”

By Mohammad Youssef

Beirut – Saudi Arabia that has ignited unfounded irrational crisis with Lebanon, continues to exercise its mounting pressure on the country to dictate its political will, avenge its humiliating defeat in Yemen, and invest in tension to yield electoral gains in the next parliamentary elections early next year.

Riyadh has used a feeble pretext to escalate the situation; a statement by the Lebanese minister of information that he pronounced prior to assuming his office depicting the war in Yemen as absurd and aimless.

Saudi Arabia launched a fierce campaign against Lebanon threatening to severe the relations; announced Lebanese ambassador to Riyadh persona non grata and summoned its ambassador to Lebanon back to Riyadh.

Not only that, Saudi Arabia dictated on other Gulf countries especially Bahrain, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates to follow its path and impose similar stern measures against Lebanon.

Digging into the reasons as why Riyadh is punishing Lebanon and the Lebanese, we could simply find the following:

First, Riyadh is outraged with the futility of its allies in Lebanon that yielded no gains whatsoever in their antagonistic relation with Hezbollah, Saudi Arabia had supplied them with all kinds of support and spent billions of dollars to fight the party through its allies, and the whole issue ended with Hezbollah accumulating gains and successes on every level.

Riyadh has never treated Lebanon as a sovereign independent state, but as an another arena for its political influence where it could dictate its will as it likes. This was clearly dramatized when it imprisoned former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and forced him to resign back in 2017.

Second, Riyadh wants Lebanon to hold the brunt and responsibility of its humiliating defeat in Yemen, it accuses Hezbollah of helping Ansarullah and supplying them with military expertise.

Hezbollah has clearly announced its condemnation for the Saudi criminal war against the Yemenis, politically and morally and on media outlets supported their struggle against Riyadh aggression. After it has exhausted other places in Iraq and Syria, and not finding any other place to avenge its defeat and continued losses, Saudi Arabia is taking revenge on Lebanon using Hezbollah as a pretext to compensate its defeat in Yemen.

Third, Hezbollah is the target for a persistent campaign from the Western Powers headed by Washington and its proxy “Israel” and aided by retrogressive Arab countries headed by Saudi Arabia.

Now, after their failed military attempts to eradicate the Resistance in Lebanon, thanks to the Axis of Resistance that successfully sabotaged their aggressive conspiracies, those sinister tyrant powers have joined efforts to make use of the coming parliamentary elections to gain the majority, so it can carry out a comprehensive change in the political scene.

To sum up, Riyadh’s oppressive aggression against Lebanon is baseless and unjustifiable. It is surely doomed to fail as its precedents.

Riyadh is not only acting in an irrational way, more dangerously, it lacks a sober and wise foreign policy, no wonder it is making all these grave strategic mistakes.

From Lebanon to Yemen, the same shameful scenario is on play with the signature of a director who lacks any vision, Mohammad bin Salman!

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XXI Century: The Abolition of Israeli Expansionist Colonial Anachronism

13 Nov 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

Susana Khalil

There will be no free and peaceful Arab-Persian world as long as the Israeli colonial Euro-Zionist regime exists.

I. By way of dialogue

1907      

ABDALLAH: Mustafa, British colonialism prepared a scientific report (Bannerman), in order to prolong itself as an empire. The report says that the Arab world is an obstacle to the European colonial order, and for this, it is necessary to articulate our disintegration, division, and separation. Imposing politicians to serve imperial interests. To combat any movement of unity, whether intellectual, cultural, ethnic, historical, political, religious, economic, scientific, military, etc. And to achieve this it must be through the establishment of an “agent state”, with a foreign population affectionate to Europe and its interests.

MUSTAPHA: That is absurd, it is impossible to achieve that, and even less so within the Arab idiosyncrasy. It’s ridiculous, it’s nonsense.

1915

ABDALLAH: Mustafa, the French and British colonialists are making a secret agreement called Sykes Pico. Creating borders to divide our Arab lands between them.

MUSTAFA: Let’s abolish any colonizing savage.

1917

ABDALLAH: Mustafa, you remember when in 1907 I told you about the Bannerman Report. British colonialism has just passed The Balfour Declaration. It is for the establishment of a Jewish “Home” here, in our Palestine.

MUSTAFA: Home? It’s a trap and they will never, never achieve it. The Arab spirit will never allow these Europeans to impose colonialism under the mantle of the Jewish religion in our Palestine. Today we must free ourselves from this British colonial yoke and our Palestine will be free.

1947

ABDALLAH: Mustafa, do you remember when in 1917 I told you about the Balfour Declaration? A newly created international organization, I think it’s called the UN, the United Nations. It has voted a resolution for the creation of the “State of Israel” in our Palestine. They gave it 64% of our homeland.

MUSTAFA: I don’t believe that a newly created international organization has that power. It is absurd and impossible.

May 14, 1948

ABDALLAH: Mustafa my love, I knew your sister was beheaded. The European Zionist movement has proclaimed, The Declaration of the Creation of the “State of Israel”. Terror, panic, macabre killings, this is genocide, Al-Nakba. The British handed over our Palestine to the Jewish Europeans.

MUSTAFA: We will go to war, we will liberate our Palestine. The Arab world will rise up. Long live Arab love.

1967

ABDALLAH: Mustafa, Israeli colonialism in 1948 took away part of our Palestine, and today, they have colonized all of our historic Palestine. And they have also taken territories from Egypt and Syria.

MUSTAFA: We must continue to fight my beloved Abdallah.

1978

ABDALLAH: Mustafa, the dictator of Egypt, Anwar El Sadat, has recognized the colonial regime of “Israel” in exchange for the return of the Egyptian territories in the Sinai that were taken by colonization in 1967.

MUSTAFA: Abdallah, Anwar El Sadat is a traitor and all these Arab dictators are traitors, that’s why they are in power. We must fight and we will win.

1987

ABDALLAH: Mustafa my love…The Intifada…how beautiful and divine is this popular uprising against colonialism. It’s a popular uprising, it has no leaders, it comes from the entrails of the people. It is magical, it is wonderful, it is loving… Mustafa my love. It must not stop, it must go on until victory until the liberation of our Palestine.

MUSTAFA: Yes, the Intifada must not stop. How divine is the Revolution, how sweet is this love, Palestine, Palestine, Palestine! My two great-grandchildren are imprisoned and they destroyed my brother’s house. The world is watching our pain. When Israeli colonialism falls, all the Arab dictatorships will fall, and above all the bloody Gulf dictatorships.

1993

ABDALLAH: Mustafa they have stopped the Intifada. The PLO in Oslo recognizes the colonial regime of “Israel”. They talk about two states. They do not talk about the right of return of Palestinian refugees. They only give us 22% of our homeland. It is a hoax, it is a trap.

2000

MUSTAFA: Abdallah, Israeli expansionist colonization has been defeated in Lebanon, it has had to withdraw from Lebanon. This is a victory for our Lebanese people. They withdrew without imposing any conditions. Long live Hezbollah and long live the armed resistance! This is the greatest victory we have achieved.

ABDALLAH: Yes Mustafa, it is a victory, it is the unquenchable faith and determination in the struggle. And thanks to the union, the union between Hezbollah and Iran, we Palestinians, in Oslo, accepted humiliating conditions. Colonialism was supposed to give us 22% of the territory and far from withdrawing, they have taken more of our homeland.

2003      

ABDALLAH: Mustafa, the Zionist lobby is asking the United States to invade Iraq, they created the attacks of September 11 to justify this cruel invasion, slandering that Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction.

MUSTAFA: It is about dismembering the Arab world bit by bit.

2010

ABDALLAH: Mustafa, there is a popular revolt in Tunisia against the tyrant Ben Ali, that puppet of France. This is going to have a domino effect in the Arab world. Oh, I have fear and hope.

MUSTAFA: Abdallah, remember that the Intifada was popular and then it was hijacked and now we are worse with this Palestinian Authority which is a collaborator of colonialism. We have to be very careful, we cannot be naïve.

2020

ABDALLAH: Mustafa, the Gulf monarchies already shamelessly recognize the colonial “state of Israel”, they do it to perpetuate themselves in power, they are making astronomical economic investments. The shedding of our Palestinian blood is the throne of these macabre Arab traitors. They are falsifying Islam and making it look like the enemy is Iran. These traitors do not see that by defending Palestine they are protecting their own nation, as colonialism will come after for them, they are putting the sovereignty of the Arab peoples at risk. I thought these traitors were smarter.  

MUSTAFA: Yes, I also thought these miserable traitors were smarter.

2062

MUSTAFA: Abdallah, our noble cause of Palestinian liberation is no longer in the conscience of the international community, as it once was. Today we are a tourist attraction of the Israeli colonial regime. In Jerusalem we sell Tatriz (embroidery), we dance Dabke, we sell our typical culinary dishes, as typical of the colonial regime of “Israel”. Arabs come from the Gulf and say they are happy to be in “Israel”, in the land of their “cousins”.  

2073

MUSTAPHA: Abdallah, “Israel’s” expansionist colonialism has occupied part of Jordan…

II. The Mutilated Arab-Persian History

Walking through the streets of Damascus, Syria.

– Uncle, uncle, Habibi, good morning, where is the train station? I have to go to Jerusalem for a few days. Then I have to go to Baghdad and Iran. By train, it is cheaper and I will be able to see all those landscapes and villages…

III. Zionism, radiography of the end of the Arab-Persian world. This is impossible, absurd, nonsensical, and ridiculous.

“When the truth is too weak to defend itself, it will have to go on the attack.”

 

– Bertolt Brecht 

At this stage of the Zionist colonial process, in its advance to put an end to the original Palestinian people, there are two aspects that I want to point out in this article: the return to armed struggle as an alternative for national liberation and the end of “Israel’s” colonial regime.  

After the imposition of “Israel’s” colonial regime in Palestine from Europe, which was seen and felt like an impossible, absurd, nonsensical, and ridiculous project from the point of view of logic; today, from logic, the same will be said when it is considered that the Arab-Persian and Kurdish world and culture can be plundered, falsified… modalities of dispossession for its disappearance.

It could be said that there will be no free and peaceful Arab-Persian world as long as the Israeli colonial Euro-Zionist regime exists. But that is not the point, the point is that the Arab-Persian world is threatened to disappear.

Since the Oslo accords, fewer Palestinians are talking about the liberation of Palestine, about the independence of historic Palestine. Fewer Palestinians are expressing their struggle against the colonial yoke and anachronism of “Israel”. And especially the Palestinians in the Diaspora, because Western repression is so strong. The Palestinians have submitted and are dragging themselves to the Western Euro-Zionist agenda by only debating on one or two states. While colonialism has it clear and is moving to put an end to the original Palestinian people.

There are honest Western souls devoted to solidarity with the Palestinian people, sincere beings, but I am opposed to them, I’m opposed to the ones who demand the right for “Israel” to exist in our historical Palestine. The concept of peace does not come from the comfort, fear, functionalism, immediacy, and naivety of a trade unionist, feminist, academic, intellectual, politician, student, artist, activist. There is implicit colonialism there, even if they act in good faith.  

Every native people has the dignified right to abolish their respective colonizer and that is always a contribution to humanity.

This would be an artificial and dead struggle, if it is not fought from the raison d’être of the Palestinian cause, from the essence and root of the Palestinian cause, that is, the struggle of a native people against a colonial yoke, today, in the 21st century.

As anti-Zionists, we must be a philosophical and moral challenge to the obscurantism of the academic-intellectual priesthood.  

I find it degrading, contrary to the spirit of the human thinking verb, to exclude, ban, censor, repress, and silence from the world of debate the end of “Israel’s” colonial regime in Palestine, on the pretext that we must think about peace. One has to be realistic, especially because of the fear of not being accused of anti-Semitism. Everyone has the right to express his or her belief that this colonial regime should exist in Palestine. What should not be accepted is that this point should be banned from the universe of debate. 

In the liberation of the Palestinian people against the colonial yoke and anachronism of “Israel”, it is intrinsic to never, ever expel the so-called Israeli, otherwise, it would be a philosophical and moral betrayal. The figure known as an Israeli would become a Palestinian citizen. That is what the statutes of the extinct League of Nations demanded, where thousands of thousands of Jews applied.

If you tell me that this is impossible and that I must be realistic, I say: don’t be creative people with complex and articulate cowards. Let us be able to position justice, to transcend intellectuality.  And as Ernesto Guevara said: Let’s be realistic, let’s do the impossible.The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Deconstructing Islamophobia (alas, a necessary repost)

November 09, 2021

Deconstructing Islamophobia (alas, a necessary repost)

Foreword: almost exactly two years ago I wrote a column entitled “Deconstructing Islamophobia“.  Yesterday, I posted an article about immigration which, alas, generated a few truly idiotic comments about “The Muslims they… bla bla bla” which I initially planned to reply to, but which I simply deleted in utter disgust.  Here I need to clarify, I was not disgusted by anybody’s dislike (or even hatred) for Islam or Muslims, not at all, I was disgusted by the utter stupidity of the “arguments” invoked.  So I decided that before writing my next column about issues of immigration, I would repost my “Deconstructing Islamophobia” as a reply to all those who believe that ignorant hatred is a form of piety.  On a more personal note, I am particularly ashamed when I see some (not all, thank God!) of my fellow Orthodox Christians parrot exactly the lines which the National-Zionists want to inject into our collective minds.  These are the type of folks which can’t even understand the truisms I listed yesterday, including these two truly basic ones:

  • Being FROM a Christian/Muslim country and actually BEING Christian/Muslim are two totally different propositions and the former does not in any way imply the latter.
  • To be considered as an adherent of religion X requires, at the minimum,  a) being aware of its main teachings and b) living your daily life in according to at least the main precepts of this religion.

So, especially for (some of) my fellow Orthodox Christians, I will add this: how would you like it if some Muslim, Buddhist or Judaic blamed the Orthodox Church for the Papacy’s Inquisition or Crusades, or blamed Orthodoxy for the actions of Cromwell in Ireland?  And if you began protesting the ludicrous nature of such accusations, your accuser would reply “the Christians they… bla bla bla“!  You would be pretty disgusted, wouldn’t you?  So you want the non-Orthodox to understand how different our faith is from the Papacy or Cromwell’s Puritanism and their innumerable crimes, yet you steadfastly refuse to even admit that the Muslim world is at least as diverse as the Christian one, and has been so during its entire history!

But hey – Who needs education and knowledge when hatred and bigotry are seen as acceptable, even pious, substitutes, right?!

Well, I want to you know that I am personally ashamed of this bigotry masquerading a piety and while in the current prevailing political doxa most people will side with you, I shall never, no matter what labels (crypto-Muslim being the kindest I saw) you place upon me.  And please remember that: I reject your theses not because I defend Islam or Muslim, but because you are ignorant bigots.

With that out of the way, I invite the rest of my readers to (re-)discover my two year old analysis.

Andrei

***

Introduction: a short survey of the cuckoo’s nest

My initial idea was to begin with a definition of “Islamophobia” but after looking around for various definitions, I decided to use my own, very primitive definition. I will define Islamophobia as the belief that Islam (the religion) and/or Muslims (the adherents to this religion) represent some kind of more or less coherent whole which is a threat to the West. These are two distinct arguments rolled up into one: the first part claims that Islam (the religion) represents some kind of threat to the West while the second part claims that the people who embrace Islam (Muslims) also represent some kind of threat to the West. Furthermore, this argument makes two crucial assumptions:

  1. there is such thing out there as a (conceptually sufficient) unitary Islam
  2. there are such people with (conceptually sufficient) common characteristics due to their adherence to Islam

Next, let’s summarize the “evidence” typically presented in support of this thesis:

  1. The god of Islam is not the same god as the God of Christianity
  2. The Muslim world was created by the sword
  3. The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, was an evil person
  4. Islam is incompatible with western democracy and represents a threat to what are referred to as “values” in the modern day West
  5. Muslims have treated Christians horribly in many different historical instances
  6. Muslims often turn to terrorism and commit atrocities
  7. Islam is socially regressive and seeks to impose medieval values on a modern world

There are more such as these, but these, I believe, are the main ones.

What is crucial here is to point out that this evidence relies both on theological arguments (#1 #4 #7), and historical arguments (#2 #3 #5 #6).

Finally, there is a most interesting phenomenon which, for the time being, we shall note, but only discuss later: the legacy corporate Ziomedia on one hand denounces Islamophobia as a form of “racism” but yet, at the same time, the very same circles which denounce Islamophobia are also the ones which oppose all manifestations of real traditional Islam. This strongly suggests that the study of this apparent paradox can, if carefully analyzed, yield some most interesting results, but more about that later.

Of course, all of the above is sort of a “bird’s eye” view of Islamophobia in the West. Once we go down to the average Joe Sixpack level, all of the above is fused into one “forceful” slogan as this one:

This kind of crude fearmongering is targeted at the folks who don’t realize that the USA is not “America” and who, therefore, probably don’t have the foggiest notion of what Sharia law is or how it is adjudicated by Islamic courts.

[I have lived in the USA for a total of 22 years and have observed something very interesting: there is a unique mix of ignorance and fear which, in the USA, is perceived as “patriotic”. A good example of this kind of “patriotism through ignorance” is in the famous song “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning” by Alan Jackson which includes the following words: “I watch CNN but I’m not sure I can tell you the difference in Iraq and Iran, but I know Jesus and I talk to God“. Truth be told, the same song also asked in reference to 9/11 “Did you burst out with pride for the red, white and blue?“. Why exactly the massacre of 9/11 should elicit patriotic pride is explained as follows “And the heroes who died just doin’ what they do?“. Thus when the “United American Committee” declares that Sharia law is a threat to “America” the folks raised in this culture of fear and patriotism immediately “get it”. David Rovics hilariously described this mindset in his song “Evening News” where he says: “Evil men are plotting, to blow up Washington, DC, ’cause they don’t like freedom and democracy, they’re fans of the Dark Ages, they are all around, they’re marching from the desert sands, and coming to your town“. I have had the fortune of visiting all the continents of our planet (except Oceania) and I can vouch that this blend of fear+patriotic fervor is something uniquely, well, not “American” but “USAnian”.]

Having quickly surveyed the Islamophobic mental scenery, we can now turn to a logical analysis of the so-called arguments of the Islamophobes.

Deconstructing the phobia’s assumptions: a unitary Islam

Let’s take the arguments one by one beginning with the argument of a unitary Islam.

Most of us are at least vaguely aware that there are different Islamic movements/schools/traditions in different countries. We have heard of Shias and Sunni, some have also heard about Alawites or Sufism. Some will even go so far as remembering that Muslim countries can be at war with each other, and that some Muslims (the Takfiris) only dream about killing as many other Muslims (who, obviously, don’t share the exact same beliefs) and that, in fact, movements like al-Qaeda, ISIS, etc have murdered other Muslims in huge numbers. So the empirical evidence strongly suggest that this notion of a Muslim or Islamic unity is factually simply wrong.

Furthermore, we need to ask the obvious question: what *is* Islam?

Now, contrary to the hallucinations of some especially dull individuals, I am not a Muslim. So what follows is my own, possibly mistaken, understanding of what “core Islam” is. It is the acceptance of the following formula “There is no god but God and Muhammad is the messenger of God” or “lā ʾilāha ʾillā llāh muḥammadun rasūlu llā“. Note that “Allah” is not a name, it is the word “God” and “rasul” can be translated as “prophet”. There are also the so-called Five Pillars of Islam:

  • The Shahada or profession of faith “There is no god but God and Muhammad is the messenger of God
  • The Salat or a specific set of daily prayers
  • The Zakat or alms giving
  • The Sawm or fasting
  • The Hadjj or pilgrimage to Mecca

That’s it! A person who fully embraces these five pillars is considered a Muslim. Or at least, so it would appear. The reality is, of course, much more complex. For the time being, I will just note that in this “core Islam” there is absolutely nothing, nothing at all, which could serve as evidence for any of the Islamophobic theories. Yes, yes, I know, I can already hear the Islamophobes’ objections: you are ignoring all the bad stuff in the Quran, you are ignoring all the bad stuff about spreading Islam by the sword, you are ignoring all the bad things Muhammad did in his life, you are ignoring the many local traditions and all the normative examples of the tradition (Sunnah and it’s Hadiths). Yeah, except you can’t have it both ways. You can’t say:

  1. Islam is inherently evil/dangerous AND
  2. use local/idiosyncratic beliefs and actions to prove your point!

If Islam by itself is dangerous, then it has to be dangerous everywhere it shows up, irrespective of the region, people, time in history or anything else.

If we say that sometimes Islam is dangerous and sometimes it is not, then what we need to look into is not the core elements of the Islamic faith, but instead we need to identify those circumstances in which Islam was not a threat to anybody and those circumstances when Islam was a threat to others.

Furthermore, if your argument is really based on the thesis that Islam is evil always and everywhere, then to prove it wrong all I need to do is find one, just ONE, example where Muslims and non-Muslims have lived in peace together for some period of time.

[Sidebar: while I was working on my Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies I had the fortune of having the possibility to take a couple of courses outside my field of specialization and I decided to take the most “exotic” course I could find in SAIS‘ curriculum and I chose a course on Sharia law. This was an excellent decision which I never regretted. Not only was the course fascinating, I had the chance of writing a term paper on the topic “The comparative status of Orthodox Christians in history under Muslim and Latin rule“. My first, and extremely predictable, finding was that treatment of Orthodox Christians by Muslim rulers ranged from absolutely horrible and even genocidal to very peaceful and kind. Considering the long time period considered (14 centuries) and the immense geographical realm covered (our entire planet from Morocco to Indonesia and from Russia to South Africa), this is hardly surprising. The core beliefs of Islam might be simple, but humans are immensely complicated beings who always end up either adding a local tradition or, at least, defending one specific interpretation of Islam. My second finding was much more shocking: on average the status of Orthodox Christians under the Papacy was much worse than under Muslim rule. Again, I am not comparing the status of Orthodox Serbs under Ottoman rule with the status of Orthodox Christians in modern Italy. These are extreme examples. But I do claim that there is sort of a conceptual linear regression which strongly suggests to us that there is a predictive (linear) model which can be used to make predictions and that the most obvious lesson of history is that the absolute worst thing which can happen to Orthodox Christians is to fall under their so-called “Christian brothers” of the West. A few exceptions here and there do not significantly affect this model. I encourage everybody to take the time to really study the different types of Muslim rulers in history, if only to appreciate how much diversity you will find].

Deconstructing the phobia’s assumptions: the “Muslim god” vs the “Christian God”

This is just about the silliest anti-Muslim argument I have ever heard and it come from folks inhabiting the far left side of a Bell Curve. It goes something like this:

We, Christians, have our true God as God, whereas the Muslims have Allah, which is not the God of the Christians. Thus, we worship different gods.

Of course, the existence of various gods or one, single, God does not depend on who believes in Him or who worships Him. If we can agree on the notion that God is He Who created all of Creation, and if we agree that both Christians (all denominations) and Muslims (all schools) believe that they are worshiping that God then, since there is only one real/existing God, we do worship the same God simply because there are not “other” gods.

I wonder what those who say that “Muslims worship another god” think when they read the following words of Saint Paul to the Athenian pagans: “For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you” (Acts 17:23). What Saint Paul told them is that they ignorantly worship a god whom, in spite of that ignorant worship, Saint Paul declared to them. I submit that “ignorant worship” is not an insult, but a diagnosis of heterodoxy, and that such an “ignorant worship” can nonetheless be sincere.

The issue is not WHOM we worship, but HOW we worship (in terms of both praxis and doxa).

And yes, here the differences between Christians and Muslims are huge indeed.

In my 2013 article “Russia and Islam, part eight: working together, a basic “how-to”” I discussed the immense importance of these differences and how we ought to deal with them. I wrote:

The highest most sacred dogmatic formulation of Christianity is the so-called “Credo” or “Symbol of Faith” (full text here; more info here). Literally every letter down to the smallest ‘i of this text is, from the Christian point of view, the most sacred and perfect dogmatic formulation, backed by the full authority of the two Ecumenical Councils which proclaimed it and all the subsequent Councils which upheld it. In simple terms – the Symbol of Faith is absolutely non-negotiable, non-re-definable, non-re-interpretable, you cannot take anything away from it, and you cannot add anything to it. You can either accept it as is, in toto, or reject it.

The fact is that Muslims would have many problems with this text, but one part in particular is absolutely unacceptable to any Muslim:

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, Begotten of the Father before all ages, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, Begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by whom all things were made

This part clearly and unambiguously affirms that Jesus-Christ was not only the Son of God but actually God Himself. This is expressed by the English formulation “of one essence with the Father” (ὁμοούσιον τῷ Πατρί in Greek with the key term homousios meaning “consubstantial”). This is *THE* core belief of Christianity: that Jesus was the the anthropos, the God-Man or God incarnate. This belief is categorically unacceptable to Islam which says that Christ was a prophet and by essence a ‘normal’ human being.

For Islam, the very definition of what it is to be a Muslim is found in the so-called “Shahada” or testimony/witness. This is the famous statement by which a Muslim attests and proclaims that “There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God”. One can often also hear this phrased as “There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is His prophet”.

Now without even going into the issue of whether Christians can agree or not that “Allah” is the appropriate name for God (some do, some don’t – this is really irrelevant here), it’s the second part which is crucial here: Christianity does not recognize Muhammad as a prophet at all. In fact, technically speaking, Christianity would most likely classify Muhammad as a heretic (if only because of his rejection of the “Symbol of Faith”). Saint John of Damascus even called him a ‘false prophet’. Simply put: there is no way a Christian can accept the “Shahada” without giving up his Christianity just as there is no way for a Muslim to accept the “Symbol of Faith” without giving up his Islam.

So why bother?

Would it not make much more sense to accept that there are fundamental and irreconcilable differences between Christianity and Islam and simply give up all that useless quest for points of theological agreement? Who cares if we agree on the secondary if we categorically disagree on the primary? I am all in favor of Christians studying Islam and for Muslims studying Christianity (in fact, I urge them both to do so!), and I think that it is important that the faithful of these religions talk to each other and explain their points of view as long as this is not presented as some kind of quest for a common theological stanceDifferences should be studied and explained, not obfuscated, minimized or overlooked.

Bottom line is this: it is PRECISELY because Islam and Christianity are completely incompatible theologically (and even mutually exclusive!) that there is no natural enmity between these two religions unless, of course, some Christian or Muslim decides that he has to use force to promote this religion. And let’s be honest, taken as a whole Christianity’s record on forced conversions and assorted atrocities is at least as bad as Islam’s, or even worse. Of course, if we remove the Papacy from the overall Christian record, things looks better. If then we also remove the kind of imperialism Reformed countries engaged in, it looks even better. But even Orthodox rulers have, on occasion, resorted to forceful conversions and mass murder of others.

And here, just as in Islam, we notice that Christians also did not always spread their faith by love and compassion, especially once Christian rulers came to power in powerful empires or nations.

Deconstructing the phobia’s assumptions: Islam was spread by the sword

In reality the “Islam spread by the sword” is a total canard, at least when we hear it from folks who defend “democracy” but who stubbornly refuse to concede that 1) most democracies came to power by means of violent revolutions and that 2) just a look at a newspaper today (at least a non-western newspaper) will tell you that democracy is STILL spread by the sword. As for the USA as country, it was built on by far the biggest bloodbath in history. If anything, Sharia law and Islam could teach a great deal to the country which:

  1. spends more on aggression than the rest of the world combined
  2. has the highest percentage of people incarcerated (and most of these for non-violent crimes)
  3. whose entire economy is based on the military-industrial complex
  4. and who is engaged in more simultaneous wars of choice than any other country in history

So “Sharia Law Threatens America” is a lie. And this is the truth:

Was Islam really spread by the sword?

Maybe. But anybody making that claim better make darn sure that his/her religion, country or ideology has a much better record. If not, then this is pure hypocrisy!

Finally, I will also note that Christ said “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence” (John 18:36). In contrast, the Prophet of Islam established the first Islamic state in Medina. So when we compare Muhammad’s actions to Christ, a better comparison should be with the various Christian rulers (including Byzantine ones) and we will soon find out that the Christian Roman Empire also used the sword on many occasions.

Next:

Deconstructing the phobia’s assumptions: the Prophet of Islam was a bad man

You must have all sorts of stories about how the Prophet Muhammad did things we would disapprove of. I won’t list them here simply because the list of grievances is a little different in each case. I actually researched some of these accusations (about marrying young girls, or sentencing people to death for example) and in each case, there is a very solid Muslim defense of these incidents which is almost always ignored and which provides a crucial context to, at least, the better understanding of the incident discussed.

Since I am not a historian or a biographer of the Prophet Muhammad I don’t have any personal opinion on these accusations other than stating the obvious: I am not a Muslim and I don’t have to decide whether Muhammad was a sinful man or a infallible person (that is a purely theological argument). I will simply say that this ad hominem is only relevant to the degree that some Muslims would consider each action of their prophet as normative and not historical. Furthermore, even if they would consider each action of their prophet as normative, we need to recall here that we are dealing with a prophet, not a God-Man, and that therefore the comparison ought not to be made with Christ, whom Christians believe to be 100% sinless, but with a Christian prophet, say Moses, whom no real Christian will ever declare sinless or infallible. As for the Quran, let’s not compare it to just the New Testament but to all the books of the Bible taken together, including those who were eventually re-interpreted by the new religion of (some) Jews after the fall of Jerusalem: rabbinical/Phariseic Talmudism which found plenty of passages in its (deliberately falsified) “Masoretic” text of the Old Testament “Tanakh” (please see here if you don’t know what falsification I am referring to).

Finally, NO religious text worth anything is self-explanatory or “explains itself” by means of comparing passages. This is also why all major religions have a large corpus of texts which explain, interpret, expand upon and otherwise give the (deceptively simple looking) text its real, profound, meaning. Furthermore, most major religions also have a rich oral tradition which also sheds light on written religious documents. Whatever may be the case, simply declaring that “Islam is a threat” because we don’t approve of the actions of the founder of Islam is simply silly. The next accusation is much more material:

Deconstructing the phobia’s assumptions:Islam is incompatible with democracy

That is by far the most interesting argument and one which many Muslims would agree with! Of course, it all depends on what you mean by “democracy”. Let me immediately concede that if by “democracy” you mean this:

Then, indeed, Islam is incompatible with modern western democracy. But so is (real) Christianity!

So the so-called “West” has to decide what its core values are. If Conchita Wurst is an embodiment of “democracy” then Islam and Christianity are both equally incompatible with it. Orthodox Christianity, for sure, has not caved in to the homo-lobby in the same way most western Christian denominations have.

But if by “democracy” we don’t mean “gay pride” parades but rather true pluralism, true people-power, and the real sovereignty of the people, then what I call “core Islam” is not threat to democracy at all. None. However, there is also no doubt about two truisms:

  1. Some Muslim states are profoundly reactionary and freedom crushing
  2. Traditional Islam is incompatible with many modern “western values”

Still, it is also very easy to counter these truism with the following replies

  1. Some Muslim states are pluralistic, progressive and defend the oppressed (Muslim or not)
  2. Traditional Christianity is incompatible with modern “western values”

Again, Iran is, in my opinion, the perfect illustration of a pluralistic (truly diverse!), progressive and freedom defending Muslim state. I simply don’t have the time and place to go into a detailed discussion of the polity of Iran (I might have to do that in a future article), and for the time being I will point you to the hyper-pro-Zionist Wikipedia article (which nobody will suspect of being pro-Muslim or pro-Iranian) about the “Politics of Iran” which will show you two things: Iran is an “Islamic Republic” meaning that it is a republic, yes, but one which has Islam as its supreme law. There is absolutely nothing inherently less democratic about a Islamic republic which has a religion as its supreme law than a atheistic/secular republic which has a constitution as its supreme law. In fact, some countries don’t even have a constitution (the UK and Israel come to mind). As for the Iranian polity, it has a very interesting system of checks and balances which a lot of countries would do well to emulate (Russia for starters).

As for modern “western values”, they are completely incompatible with Christianity (the real, original, unadulterated thing) even if they are very compatible with modern western (pseudo-) Christian denominations.

So, now the question becomes: is there something profoundly incompatible between the real, traditional, Islam and the real, traditional, Christianity? I am not talking about purely theological differences here, but social and political consequences which flow from theological differences. Two immediately come to my mind (but there are more, of course):

  • The death penalty, especially for apostasy
  • Specific customs (dress code, ban on alcohol, separation of genders in various settings, etc.)

The first one, this is really a non-issue because while traditional, Patristic, Christianity has a general, shall we say, “inclination” against the death penalty, this has not always been the case in all Orthodox countries. So while we can say that by and large Orthodox Christians are typically not supporters of the death penalty, this is not a theological imperative or any kind of dogma. In fact, modern Russia has implemented a moratorium on the death penalty (to join the Council of Europe – hardly a moral or ethical reason) but most of the Russian population favor its re-introduction. Note that Muslims in Russia are apparently living their lives in freedom and overall happiness and when they voice grievances (often legitimate ones), they don’t have “reintroduce the death penalty” as a top priority demand.

The simple truth is that each country has to decide for itself whether it was the use the death penalty or not. Once a majority of voters have made that decision, members of each religion will have to accept that decision as a fact of law which can be criticized, but not one which can be overturned by any minority.

As for religious tribunals, they can be easily converted by the local legislature into a “mediation firm” which can settle conflicts, but only if both sides agree to recognize it’s authority. So if two Muslims want their dispute to be settled by an Islamic Court, the latter can simply act as a mediator as long as its decision does not violate any local or national laws. Hardly something non-Muslims (who could always refuse to recognize the Islamic Court) need to consider a “threat” to their rights or lifestyles.

An “Islamic Matrioshka”?!

As for the social customs, here it is really a no-brainer: apply Islamic rules to those who chose to be Muslims and let the other people live their lives as they chose to. You know, “live and let live”. Besides, in terms of dress code and gender differentiation, traditional Islam and traditional Christianity are very close.

Check out this typical Russian doll, and look at what she is wearing: this was the traditional Russian dress for women for centuries and this is still what Orthodox women (at least those who still follow ancient Christian customs) wear in Church.

Furthermore, if you go into a Latin parish in southern Europe or Latin America, you will often find women covering their heads, not only in church, but also during the day. The simple truth is that these clothes are not only modest and beautiful, they are also very comfortable and practical.

The thing which Islamophobes always miss is that they take examples of laws and rules passed by some Muslim states and assume that this is how all Muslim states will always act. But this is simply false. Let’s take the example of Hezbollah (that name means “party of God”, by the way) in Lebanon which has clearly stated on many occasions that it has no intention of transforming Lebanon into a Shia-only state. Not only did Hezbollah say that many times, but they acted on it and they always have had a policy of collaboration with truly patriotic Christians (of any denomination). Even in today’s resistance (moqawama) there are Christians who are not members of Hezbollah as a party (and why would they when this is clearly and officially a Muslim party and not a Christian one?!), but they are part of the military resistance.

[Sidebar: by the way, the first female suicide bomber in Lebanon was not a Muslim. She was a 18 year old from an Orthodox family who joined Syrian Social Nationalist Party and blew herself up in her car on an Israeli checkpoint (inside Lebanon, thus a legitimate target under international law!), killing two Israeli invaders and injuring another twelve. Her name was Sana’a Mehaidli]

A Hezbollah fighter respectfully picks up an image of the Mother of God from the ruins of a church destroyed by US-backed Takfiris

Recent events in Syria were also very telling: when the AngloZionist Empire unleashed its aggression against Syria and the “good terrorists” of al-Qaeda/al-Nusra/ISIS/etc. embarked in a wholesale program of massacres and atrocities, everybody ran for their lives, including all the non-Takfiri Muslims. Then, when the plans of the Axis of Kindness (USA, KSA, Israel) were foiled by the combined actions of Russia, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, something interesting happened: the Latin Christians left, whereas the Orthodox Christians stayed (source). Keep in mind that Syria is *not* an Islamic state, yet the prospects of a Muslim majority was frightening enough for the Latins to flee even though the Orthodox felt comfortable staying. What do these Orthodox Christians know?

Could it be that elite traditionalist Shia soldiers represent no threat to Orthodox Christians?

Deconstructing the phobia’s assumptions: Islam generates terrorism

In fact, there is some truth to that too. But I would re-phrase it as: the AngloZionists in their hatred for anything Russian, including Soviet Russian, identified a rather small and previously obscure branch of Islam in Saudi Arabia which they decided to unleash against the Soviet forces in Afghanistan. From the first day, these Takfiris were federated by the USA and financed by the House of Saud. The latter, in its fear of being overthrown by the Takfiris, decided to appease them by internationally supporting their terrorism (that is all Takfiris have to offer, their leaders are not respected scholars, to put it mildly). Since that time, the Takfiris have been the “boots on the ground” used by the West against all its enemies: Serbia, Russia first, but then also secular (Syria) or anti-Takfiri Muslim states (Iran).

So it is not “Islam” which generates terrorism: it is western (AngloZionist) imperialism.

The US and Israel are, by a wide margin, the biggest sponsors of terrorism (just as the West was always by far the biggest source of imperialism in history) and while they want to blame “Islam” for most terrorist attacks, the truth is that behind every such “Muslim” attack we find a western “deep state” agents acting, from the GIA in Algeria, to al-Qaeda in Iraq to al-Nusra in Syria to, most crucially, 9/11 in New York. These were all events created and executed by semi-literate Takfiri patsies who were run by agents of the western deep states.

As far as I know, all modern terrorist groups are, in reality, “operated by remote control” by state actors who alone can provide the training, know-how, finances, logistical support, etc needed by the terrorists.

And here is an interesting fact: the two countries which have done the most to crush Takfiri terrorism are Russia and Iran. But the collective West is still categorically refusing to work with these countries to crush the terrorism these western states claim to be fighting.

So, do you really believe that the West is fighting terrorism?

If yes, I got a few bridges to sell all over the planet.

Conclusion: cui bono? the so-called “liberals”

There are many more demonstratively false assumptions which are made by the AngloZionist propaganda machine. I have only listed a few. Now we can look to the apparent paradox in which we see the western “liberals” both denouncing Islamophobia and, at the same time, repeating all the worst cliches about Islam. In this category, Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton are the most egregious examples of this hypocrisy because while pretending to be friends of Muslims, they got more Muslims killed than anybody else. For western liberals, Islam is a perfect pretext to, on one hand, cater to minorities (ethnic or religious) while pretending to be extremely tolerant of others. Western liberals use Islam in the West, as a way to force the locals to give up their traditions and values. You could say that western liberals “love” Islam just like they “love” LGBTQIAPK+ “pride” parades: simply and only as a tool to crush the (still resisting) majority of the people in the West who have not been terminally brainwashed by the AngloZionist legacy corporate propaganda machine.

Conclusion: cui bono? the so-called “conservatives”

Western conservatism is dead. It died killed by two main causes: the abject failure of National-Socialism (which was an Anglo plan to defeat the USSR) and by its total lack of steadfastness of the western conservatives who abandoned pretty much any and all principles they were supposed to stand for. Before the 1990s, the conservative movements of the West were close to fizzling out into nothingness, but then the Neocons (for their own, separate, reasons) began pushing the “Islamic threat” canard and most conservatives jumped on it in the hope of using it to regain some relevance. Some of these conservatives even jumped on the “Christian revival in Russia” theory (which is not quite a canard, but which is also nothing like what the Alt-Righters imagine it to be) to try to revive their own, long dead, version of “Christianity”. These are desperate attempts to find a source of power and relevance outside a conservative movement which is basically dead. Sadly, what took the place of the real conservative movement in the West is the abomination known as “National Zionism” (which I discussed here) and whose ideological cornerstone is a rabid, hysterical, Islamophobia.

Conclusion: cui bono? the US deep state

That one is easy and obvious: the US deep state needs the “Islamic threat” canard for two reasons: to unleash against its enemies and to terrify the people of the USA so that they accept the wholesale destruction of previously sacred civil rights. This is so obvious that there is nothing to add here. I will only add that I am convinced that the US deep state is also supporting both the Alt-Right phenomenon and the various “stings” against so-called “domestic terrorists” (only only Muslims, by the way). What the Neocons and their deep-state need above all is chaos and crises which they used to shape the US political landscape.

Finally, the real conclusion: rate the source! always rate the source…

Whom did we identify as the prime sources of Islamophobia? The liberals who want to seize power on behalf of a coalition of minorities, conservatives who have long ditched truly conservative values and deep state agents who want to terrify US Americans and kill the enemies of the AngloZionist Empire.

I submit to you that these folks are most definitely not your friends. In fact, they are your real enemy and, unlike various terrorists abroad who are thousands of miles away from the USA, these real enemies are not only here, they are already in power and rule over you! And they are using Islam just like a matador uses a red cape: to distract you from the real threat: National Zionism. This is true in the US as it is true in the EU.

Chechens in Novorussia

Most westerners are now conditioned to react with fear and horror when they hear “Allahu Akbar”. This is very predictable since most of what is shown in the western media is Takfiris screaming “Allahu Akbar” before cutting the throats of their victims (or rejoicing at the suffering/death of “infidels”).

Yet in the Donbass, the local Orthodox Christians knew that wherever that slogan (which simply means “God is greater” or “God is the greatest”) was heard the Ukronazis are on the run. And now we see Russia sending mostly Muslim units to Syria to protect not only Muslims, but everybody who needs protection.

Having a sizable Muslim minority in Russia, far from being any kind of threat, as turned to be a huge advantage for Russia in her competition against the AngloZionist Empire.

There are, by the way, also Chechens fighting on the other side in this conflict: the very same Takfiris who were crushed and expelled from Chechnia by the joint efforts of the Chechen people and the Russian armed forces. So, again, we have Muslims on both sides, the Takfiris now happily united with the Nazis and the traditionalist Muslims of Kadyrov protecting the people of Novorussia.

That is one, amongst many more, nuances which the Islamophobic propaganda always carefully chooses to ignore.

Should you?

The Saker

Immigration, ethnicity and religion (in ain’t as simple as it seems!)

NOVEMBER 08, 2021

Immigration, ethnicity and religion (in ain’t as simple as it seems!)

Foreword: Today I am starting what might well turn out into a series of articles about the interaction between immigration, ethnicity and religion.  I happen to believe that this is a topic I know pretty well for the following reasons:

  • I myself was born in a family of immigrants who went from Russia, to Serbia, to Germany, to Argentina, to Holland and then to Switzerland were I was born.  I then immigrated to the USA twice, first to get two college degrees 1986-1991 and a second time in 2002.  I know about immigration from the inside.
  • Furthermore, I also worked as an interpreter for the Swiss Federal authorities interviewing refugees.
  • As a member of the Swiss General Staff I also participated in analyses and command staff exercises dealing with the issue of how the national authorities would deal with a major immigration crisis.
  • While already in the USA, I also worked as an over-the-phone consecutive interpreter often involving cases of asylum seekers and other immigrants being interviewed by authorities (courts, police, etc.).
  • In Geneva I witnessed how a big mosque was built literally on my street and all the fears and changes this mosque elicited amongst the locals and I also witnessed what then actually happened over time.
  • I have a graduate degree in Orthodox theology which I combine with a personal interest for Islam in all its different versions and I have the privilege to speak, at length, with many Muslims, including very well educated ones.
  • I speak six languages and I have been extensively exposed to plenty of different cultures on our planet in many years of travel in Europe, Asia and the Americas.
  • My own culture, the Russian one, has always multi-ethnic, multi-religious and has been influenced by many waves of immigrants from all over the Eurasian continent.

I also wrote a series of articles entitled Russia and Islam which I can refer any interested reader to:

http://thesaker.is/russia-and-islam-part-one-introduction-and-definitions/
http://thesaker.is/russia-and-islam-part-two-russian-orthodoxy/
http://thesaker.is/russia-and-islam-part-three-internal-russian-politics/
http://thesaker.is/russia-and-islam-part-four-islam-as-a-threat/
http://thesaker.is/russia-and-islam-part-five-islam-as-an-ally/
http://thesaker.is/russia-and-islam-part-six-the-kremlin/
http://thesaker.is/russia-and-islam-part-seven-the-weathermans-cop-out/
http://thesaker.is/russia-and-islam-part-eight-working-together-a-basic-how-to/
http://thesaker.is/russias-civilizational-choice/
http://thesaker.is/the-fighting-imam-of-donbass-must-see/
http://thesaker.is/ramzan-kadyrov-offers-putin-his-own-personal-volunteer-chechen-special-force/
http://thesaker.is/a-muslim-police-officer-dies-a-heros-death-and-receives-russias-highest-honorary-title-hero-of-russia/

Normally, I would not begin with such an immodest “I am the expert, trust me on authority” kind of nonsense, but in this case this is important, because a lot of what I will write below comes out of my personal and direct experience.

I should also mention that I posted a (English subtitled) video about a recent incident in Moscow (see here) which got some folks very offended at me.  I wish they had waited for this series of articles before exploding in anger, but such is human nature…

Having said that, now let’s turn to the topic at hand.

***

Section one: basic truisms

Here I will begin by some basic assumptions which should be uncontroversial (at least I hope so!)

  • People chose to emigrate for very different reasons, including poverty, violence, fleeing the law (criminals) etc.
  • Internal immigration and external immigration have common features but should not be conflated.
  • Being FROM a Christian/Muslim country and actually BEING Christian/Muslim are two totally different propositions and the former does not in any way imply the latter.
  • To be considered as an adherent of religion X requires, at the minimum,  a) being aware of its main teachings and b) living your daily life in according to at least the main precepts of this religion.
  • Immigrating to country X does not mean that you approve/like/are inspired by country X or its native people, this is especially true when country X is the one which destroyed your own country of origin.
  • Immigration is an extremely stressful exercise, even when done in very comfortable conditions, and even more so when done under adverse ones.  Most immigrants are suffering stress/anxiety/PTSD/etc.
  • In many cases, the locals/natives are hostile to immigrants, some even use them as “cheap labor” (slaves) in often terrible conditions (even in supposedly civilized societies, there were cases of such slavery even in prosperous Switzerland).
  • When immigrants come not for neighboring countries, but from farther away a “clash of cultures” often happens.
  • In most cases, large waves of immigrants include a percentage of true criminals which “hide in the crowd” and who then commit crimes they would not dare to commit in their country of origin.

Next, a few elements which might not be widely known

Most countries do not have the capability to enforce their laws on large groups of immigrants.  Here are a few examples:

  • Regular cops: they often do not speak the language of the immigrants, and they know little about the cultural/tribal customs and organization of immigrants.  It is very hard for them to get confidential informers amongst immigrants.  Furthermore, when cops use legal, legitimate. violence against criminals from country X, these criminals always appeal to their fellow immigrants who, alas, often side with them which, in turn, results in a knee-jerk “circling of wagons” along ethnic lines on both sides which just makes things even worse.
  • Special services (intelligence, counter-intelligence, anti-terrorist, etc.):  These services typically have some experts (cultural, linguistic, religions, etc.) but NEVER in sufficient numbers.  Furthermore, in many countries it is illegal for these services to operate internally.  Finally, to somebody with a hammer everything looks like a nail: the same way for a typical counter-intelligence officer or counter-terrorist officer, every immigrant looks like at least a potential spy or a potential terrorist.  That is, of course, utter nonsense, but for the advancement of their own careers these folks will seek out “the enemy” in the most ridiculous places.  The immigrants, by the way, become very attuned to these suspicions.
  • The military: while they typically have the numbers, their mission and training is to engage an enemy and defeat him.  When the military does intervene against immigrants, it often results in a PR disaster which a lot of seemingly innocent immigrants being abused, mistreated or even killed by seemingly “hell bent on violence” military forces.

Which leaves only one group which *might* be effective in operations with/against immigrants: specialized internal security forces such as, say, the Russian National Guard or ICE in the USA.  That’s in theory.  In reality, for that type of force to be effective it needs all of the following:

  • An unambiguous legal status and mandate.
  • A smooth collaboration with police forces, special forces and the military.
  • Lots and lots of money for training, facilities, operations, etc.
  • The support of the general public (natives/locals).
  • The legal and material means to deal with the criminal elements hiding inside a wave of refugees.

That is very rarely the case, to put it mildly.

Next, the role of governments

I think I have already mentioned it several times on the blog that there is no such thing as a “non-government supported terrorist organization” out there, at least to my knowledge.  Okay, there might be local gangs which we could call “terrorist” which are local and more or less spontaneous, but they rarely last very long and a infiltrated sooner rather than later.  The late Colonel Gaddafi warned the EU that if he was removed, the gates of African immigration would open (and they did).  Erdogan uses refugees on a regular basis to put pressure on the EU and it appears that Lukashenko might be emulating Erdogan’s model.  The point is that if Turkey, for example, really wanted to stop the flow of immigrants cross its territory it could do so – the Turkish military is in bad shape, but that they sure could do.  Ditto for Lukashenko.  Yet, they (apparently) don’t.

In the countries which the immigrants want to reach, the local politicians make entire careers by being either pro-immigration or anti-immigration.  They are in a tacit alliance NOT to solve anything, but to simply profit from it!

How about corporations and businesses?

Yeah, for all their typical pseudo patriotism, the truth is that immigration is a big, HUGE, business for folks ranging from the country of origin of these immigrants to corporations and businesses in the countries of asylum.  And I am not only talking about drug dealers (though they play a major role too).  As others have observed, corporations act in a psychopathic way and their only true goal is to make as much money as possible.  They don’t give a damn about anything else, including crime, poverty, religion, etc.

Lastly, religious authorities

Well, they are typically in a pickle in many ways.  You would think that if you are a cleric of religion X and there is a wave of immigrants coming from a country nominally pertaining to that religion, that only means that your flock will get bigger and better.  Alas, this is almost rarely the case and, in fact, the opposite typically happens.  The fact that the locals/natives do not know enough about religion X is not much of a consolation, because now you, as the religious leader of religion X in this country will be blamed for the actions of criminals, as will your fellow coreligionists and even your religion as such.  Add to that the undeniable reality that some of these (pseudo-)religious immigrants use that religion to justify their actions make things even worse!

In theory, there is an easy solution for the local religious authorities: offer your services to the local law enforcement authorities.  That is SUCH a naive statement, it always makes me wonder if those who believe that understand the implications of this “simple” solution!  So let me spell out a few things about this:

  • First, unlike the “regular” members of the religious community X, the recently immigrants might view any such collaboration as a betrayal and even the evidence that the clergymen “sold out”, which might put the religious leaders in very real risk of violence (including murder) or, at best, replacement by another person, possibly an immigrant himself.
  • Second, unlike what the locals/natives seem to assume, most immigrants from country A with religion X are not at all interested in religion X or what its clerics might teach.  Again, this is especially true for criminals.
  • Third, being a religious leader and an effective confidential informer or agent are totally different roles and psychological mindset.  Hence, religious leaders are often quite incompetent in a role which is deeply alien to them.

Conclusion (for today): it ain’t as simply as some (simpletons) think it is!

What I outlined above are just elements of a very complex “immigration matrix” in which very complex and different phenomena all interact with each other.  To put it differently: there is a very good reason why immigration is such a complex and frustrating problem, and to make it appear all quick, easy and simple is just adding to the problem.  Yet, what do I see in the comment section under any article discussing immigration?  Mostly this:

  • Sweeping slogans, sometimes several slogans in a row masquerading as a comment.
  • A total conflation of religions, countries, historical situations, etc.
  • A quasi total ignorance of the realities of immigration I tried to outline above.
  • A systematic “right or wrong – my country” attitude from both some local/natives and the some immigrants.
  • Sweeping and unsubstantiated accusations against the perceived “other” and his/her supposed views or intentions.

The sad reality is that immigration is a topic which makes a lot of people instantly infantile and stupid (along with stuff like abortion, gun laws, sexuality and historiography, just to name a few).  The maxim that knowing a little about something is even worse than not nothing anything also fully applies.  People compare incidents in, say, Moscow, with other incidents in, say, California and Spain.  At best, these are at least real personal anecdotes, at worst just a paraphrasing of something read somewhere. And yet on the basis of such utterly inapplicable assumptions, they make sweeping generalizations!

And when religion gets involved, the following groups feel like now is the chance to get on a soapbox and preach:

  • Assorted atheists and religion-bashers.
  • Opponents of “organized religion”.
  • Opponents of religion X (whichever is involved).
  • Bigots from religion X who think that hating religion Y is a sign of deep piety (aka “virtue signalling”).
  • Native/local politicians who can make a career on this topic.
  • Assorted flag-waverers, racists and xenophobes who cannot deal with (real) diversity (but love the fake version).
  • Folks how never traveled outside their country of origin and who don’t know a single foreign language.
  • Pseudo-experts at everything which, in reality, lack even the basic understanding of the issues involved.

I don’t expect any members of the groups above to recognize themselves as members of these groups.  And no matter how hard the moderators try, some of that will inevitable seep through and make it to the comments section.

And yet.

This IS a really important topic, which MUST be discussed openly and honestly.  To just wish it away won’t do the trick.

So in the next installment, I would try to look a little deeper at the issues mentioned above.

Until then, cheers!

Andrei

About healthy conservatism

November 08, 2021

by Quantum Bird* for the Saker Blog

After addressing a number of challenging and current issues, the President of the Russian Federation, Vladmir Putin, in his extensive and detailed speech at the XVIII Valdai Discussion Club Meeting in Sochi, explained that:

“I have already mentioned that, in shaping our approaches, we will be guided by a healthy conservatism. That was a few years ago, when passions on the international arena were not yet running as high as they are now, although, of course, we can say that clouds were gathering even then. Now, when the world is going through a structural disruption, the importance of reasonable conservatism as the foundation for a political course has skyrocketed – precisely because of the multiplying risks and dangers, and the fragility of the reality around us.
This conservative approach is not about an ignorant traditionalism, a fear of change or a restraining game, much less about withdrawing into our own shell. It is primarily about reliance on a time-tested tradition, the preservation and growth of the population, a realistic assessment of oneself and others, a precise alignment of priorities, a correlation of necessity and possibility, a prudent formulation of goals, and a fundamental rejection of extremism as a method.”

Putin’s speech, which deserved close scrutiny across the global geopolitical spectrum, was relatively ignored by Brazilian alternative and corporate media outlets – which is rather worrying, given the pertinence of the president’s remarks for the Brazilian political conjuncture. Still, the contents of some discussions in popular Telegram groups, on the left or on the right of the ideological spectrum, suggests that the statement may have been widely misunderstood.

For those interested, Pepe Escobar and Andrei Raevsky have written excellent analyses of the entire speech, from geopolitical and domestic perspectives, respectively. This text exclusively examines the excerpt quoted above, from a perspective closer to the Brazilian public.

The impact of postmodernism on the Western cultural and philosophical landscape is no secret. Much less discussed, however, is the relationship between politics, values and the methodology of postmodernist thought, which notoriously privileges discourse and subjectivism, often radically detached from objective reality.

Therefore, it is in this relationship that are the crucial elements to understand Putin’s speech and its relation to the current Brazilian political and cultural situation. In recent years, cognitive relativism — another notorious postmodernist ingredient — has given rise to supposedly liberal political doctrines, which reform from the notion of the state to parameters of individual identity. As Putin explained very well, once consensual characteristics such as biological genders, cultural identities, idiomatic expressions, the importance of family and natality have been reformulated.

This changing landscape is far from static. It’s not even partially static, with changes followed by periods of stability. Indeed, it is the fluidity with which values and definitions change that is its most striking feature. The recurrence of changes is another factor. Together, these aspects have produced a mass of individuals confused about the most varied aspects of their existence: their gender, racial identities, ideological profile, etc. Not surprisingly, once subjected to this whirlwind of change, the individual loses his references. The result is, on the one hand, a diffuse anomie, and on the other, an amorphous social unrest. Both favor the proliferation of extremisms that foster fragmentation and political instability.

In the Brazil of 2021, for example, the political spectrum is polarized between an extremist pseudo-national-conservatism, represented by the current president and supported by military sectors and Pentecostal churches of dubious reputation, and a predominantly liberal left, mainly interested in identity politics and the local replication of North American’s woke agenda. In political institutions, morality, privileges for minorities, (non) vaccination against COVID-19 are warmly discussed, while the country’s assets are being liquidated, amidst the most complete corruption, without any popular mobilization or minimal public debate about it. It is worth remembering that not so long ago, the political agenda was dominated by left and right punitivism.

Needless to say, a country with an alienated population, without clear references and a precise civilizing paradigm, becomes fertile ground for intervention by foreign actors, via hybrid and cognitive wars, color revolutions and other efforts that always result in social chaos, economic devastation and regime change. The healthy conservatism, to which Putin referred, would do very well to Brazil at this time, as it would deny, at a structural level, the opportunities for developments that have severely degraded life in the country, without suppressing, or undermining, the efforts to consolidate a safe and prosperous nation for its people.

——-

*Quantum Bird is a computer scientist and experimental particle physicist, working a CERN and other major scientific collaborations.

Notes:

1) The article in Portuguese is available at:

https://resistir.info/russia/putin_26out21.html

http://sakerlatam.es/conocimiento-libre/sobre-o-conservadorismo-saudavel/

2) Translation to English by Quantum Bird and Lady Bharani.

Abortive act of piracy: IRGC Navy foils US attempt to steal Iranian oil in Oman Sea

November 03, 2021

Abortive act of piracy: IRGC Navy foils US attempt to steal Iranian oil in Oman Sea
https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2021/11/03/669831/IRGC-Navy-thwarts-US-bid-in-Sea-of-Oman-to-steal-take-over-oil-tanker

“The naval forces of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) have managed to thwart an attempt by the United States to take over a giant oil tanker in the strategic Sea of Oman and moved the vessel to Iranian territorial waters.

The US military confiscated the Iranian tanker loaded with crude oil in the Sea of Oman, which connects the Arabian Sea with the Strait of Hormuz, and intended to unload its shipment to another tanker and direct it to an unknown destination.

Reacting promptly, however, members of the IRGC’s Navy carried out a heliborne operation on the stolen ship’s deck, gained control of the vessel, and directed it back toward Iran’s territorial waters.

US forces then proceeded to chase the tanker using several helicopters and warships, but their attempt at taking over the vessel for a second time was thwarted again by Iranian naval forces.

The tanker is currently in Iranian territorial waters and under the protection of IRGC’s Navy.”

Also relevant these two tweets from Seyed Marandi

My information: The US stole a tanker on its way to Venezuela with Iranian fuel. The captain/crew betrayed Iran & aided the US. The regime stole & sold the Iranian fuel. Now the tanker with the same captain & crew & under US military protection has been seized by the IRGC Navy

Aljazeera Arabic asked me to immediately talk about the events in the Persian Gulf. I agreed & missed an important meeting. I waited for the interview, but no one contacted me or responded. Now they say they must wait for the US regime’s side of the story before they invite me.

https://twitter.com/s_m_marandi/status/1455850105886629889
https://twitter.com/s_m_marandi/status/1455849731855368193

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