Rep. Ilhan Omar vs. Elliott Abrams

February 14, 2019

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Palestinian Factions Protest Arab Participation in Warsaw Conference

By Staff

With no stop, the monarchies of the Gulf run towards normalization with apartheid “Israel”. 

And based on the Arabic proverb “if not shy, do whatever you want”, the officials of the Gulf chose to change the compass of enmity so that the “Israeli” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated the new direction: It’s Iran and not “Israel”

“The Arab ministers agreed that it is the right of “Israel” to defend itself against the Iranian “aggression”,” Netanyahu declared, as he revealed that he had secretly visited four Arab countries that have no official relations with “Israel”!

Quickly, the head of the Saudi diplomacy obeyed his master: “It is impossible to achieve stability in the region without peace between the Arab countries and “Israel”. Every time we go in this field we face bad behavior from Iran,” Adel Jubeir blatantly said.

Similarly, former Saudi intelligence chief and ex-ambassador to the US has given an unprecedented interview to an “Israeli” TV channel that was broadcast just hours after Netanyahu met with the Omani foreign minister in Poland.

In an interview with “Israel’s” Channel 13 news, Saudi Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud said that Saudi Arabia and “Israel” have the funds and political means to work together.

“With “Israeli” money and Saudi brains, we can go far. Yes, if there is peace.”

And following the traces of the Saudis, Emirate urged the “Israelis” to bet on them.

“Every country has the right to defend itself when it faces a challenge,” Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan said: “I do not have to invite you to bet on us, but if you do, our chances are greater to change the region.”

Meanwhile, the Bahraini representative chose to express more sympathy with “friendly” “Israel”!

“Israel” released a video of a closed session at the Warsaw security summit in which Bahrain’s foreign minister says Iran is a bigger threat to Mideast security than the “Israeli”-Palestinian conflict.

In the video, Bahrain’s foreign minister, Khalid Al Khalifa, tells an audience that he grew up believing that the “Israeli”-Palestinian dispute is “the most important issue” in the region. But later, he said, “we saw a more toxic one, in fact the most toxic in our modern history, which came from the Islamic Republic, from Iran.”

Predicting a ‘bright” future from “peace” with Arabs’ killers the Omani foreign minister hailed the meeting with Netanyahu:

“Indeed, this is an important, new vision for the future,” Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, claiming that “People in the Middle East have suffered a lot, because they have [been stuck in] the past. This is a new era for the future, and for prosperity for all the nations.”

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همروجة وارسو

وليد شرارة

 الجمعة 15 شباط 2019

مؤتمر وارسو مثال جديد على مدى تحول السياسة إلى فنٍّ استعراضي. كان الهدف المركزي المعلَن للمؤتمر، عند بدء الإعداد لعقده من قِبَل الإدارة الأميركية، هو مواجهة إيران. لكن رغبة الإدارة في تأمين أوسع مشاركة ممكنة في المؤتمر، وإدراكها جدية الخلافات بينها وبين الأطراف الأوروبية الوازنة، كألمانيا وفرنسا والمفوضية الأوروبية وحتى بريطانيا، حول كيفية مقاربة الملف الإيراني، دفعاها إلى ربطه بهدف آخر وهو «الترويج لمستقبل السلام والأمن في الشرق الأوسط».

أتى عزوف تركيا وروسيا عن المشاركة فيه، وإدانة السلطة الفلسطينية له، وضعف مستوى تمثيل الأطراف الأوروبية المذكورة، ليظهر مجدداً عجز الولايات المتحدة عن فرض أجندتها على لاعبين سياسيين معنيين بأبرز القضايا التي يتطرق لها المؤتمر، على رغم أن بعضهم لا يزال حليفاً لها. من الصعب الاقتناع بأن هذه النتيجة لم تكن متوقعة من قِبَل أركان إدارة دونالد ترامب وبقية المشاركين بحماسة في همروجة وارسو. اعتبارات أخرى، سياسية وانتخابية، يغلب عليها البعد الاستعراضي، تشكل الخلفية الفعلية للمؤتمر، وتحتلّ حيزاً أساسياً في حسابات «نجومه» الأميركيين والإسرائيليين وبعض الخليجيين.

ضرورة طمأنة الحلفاء

ليس سراً أن إيران عدو مشترك لجميع أطراف وارسو. لا يفوّت أي منهم فرصة لاتهامها بأنها مصدر كل الشرور في العالم، والتنسيق بينهم ضدها بات معروفاً. لا يحتاج هذا التنسيق العملي، والمستمر منذ فترة غير قصيرة، إلى عقد مؤتمر دولي، خصوصاً بحضور جهات أخرى تطرح مقاربة مختلفة للعلاقة مع طهران، وتعارض بدرجة أو أخرى مقاربة واشنطن ووكلائها. يُعقد المؤتمر في سياق شرق أوسطي من سماته البارزة تزايد مخاوف الوكلاء المحليين للولايات المتحدة، إسرائيل والسعودية أساساً، مما يعنيه الانسحاب المعلن لقواتها من سوريا، وما يؤشر عليه من تراجع نسبي لأولوية الإقليم وشؤونه في جدول أعمالها. احتواء الصين وما يترتب عليه من سياسات وحشد للقوى بات يحتلّ موقع الأولوية الأولى بالنسبة إلى الإدارة الأميركية بدفع من رئيسها، على رغم معارضة تيار قوي في داخلها. تلي هذه الأولوية أيضاً أولوية أخرى وهي استعادة السيطرة على أميركا الوسطى واللاتينية، وهو ما كشفته سلسلة التطورات التي حدثت في البرازيل وفنزويلا، وتحويلها مجدداً إلى حديقة خلفية مغلقة أمام تمدد النفوذ الصيني والروسي.

لا يعني هذا التغير في جدول الأولويات فقدان الشرق الأوسط أهميته الاستراتيجية في نظر واشنطن، لكنه قد يعني، كما قال آموس هاريل كبير المعلّقين في قضايا الأمن والدفاع في «هآرتس»، أن هذه المنطقة ستكون أقل حضوراً على المستوى اليومي، وأن الحلفاء سيضطرون إلى التعامل مع تحديات متصاعدة بدرجة أكبر من الاعتماد على النفس، في بيئة إقليمية متغيرة لغير مصلحتهم. قدرة الولايات المتحدة على التحكم بشؤون العالم متراجعة وبسرعة، وما سمّاه عدد من أهم خبرائها الاستراتيجيين «الغرق» في الشرق الأوسط تم على حساب التصدي لتحديات أخطر وأكبر على موقعها كقوة مهيمنة، كالصعود الصيني وعودة روسيا إلى الساحة الدولية. لم تكن هذه القناعة بعيدة عن إعلان الرئيس الأميركي السابق، باراك أوباما، عن سياسة الاستدارة نحو آسيا، ولا حتى عن قراره التوصل إلى اتفاق مع إيران حول ملفها النووي، يكون بمثابة فكّ اشتباك، للتفرغ لمواجهة الصين.

التيار الصقوري في الإدارة الحالية بقيادة جون بولتون يحذر من مغبة قيام إيران، وحتى روسيا وتركيا، بملء الفراغ الناجم عن تراجع الدور الأميركي في الإقليم، ويدفع إلى اعتماد استراتيجية أكثر عدوانية ضد الأولى، تؤدي إلى احتواء نفوذها الإقليمي وإضعاف نظامها وزعزعة استقراره، قبل التفرغ لمناطق أخرى. ليس من المصادفة تكاثر العمليات الإرهابية التي تشنّها مجموعات انفصالية مدعومة أميركياً في إيران، وآخرها عملية وقعت خلال انعقاد مؤتمر وارسو. ستواصل الإدارة سياساتها المعادية لهذا البلد بوسائل وأدوات مختلفة، كالعقوبات الاقتصادية والحصار والضغوط، مراهنة على إمكانية النجاح في إضعاف نظامه، أو حتى التسبب بإسقاطه إن كان ذلك ممكناً. غير أنها مجبرة على مواجهة تحديات أخرى في الآن نفسه. يستدعي هذا الواقع طمأنة الحلفاء المحليين إلى أن أولويات واشنطن الراهنة لا تعني تخلّيها عنهم، وأنها تحرص على بناء جبهة عالمية للدفاع عنهم. ترامب يعي أن قراره الانسحاب من سوريا تسبّب بامتعاض شديد لدى حلفائه الإسرائيليين والسعوديين، الذين أوعزوا إلى جماعات الضغط المرتبطة بهم في أميركا بمهاجمة القرار، وهو لا يريد فقدان دعم اللوبي الصهيوني القوي وأنصار إسرائيل الكثر، لأن هدفه الأول هو تأمين شروط إعادة انتخابه لولاية ثانية. وظيفة مؤتمر وارسو من منظور إدارة ترامب هي التأكيد على أنها لن تتخلى عن التزاماتها تجاه الحلفاء مهما تغيرت الظروف.

التطبيع مع العرب كورقة انتخابية

تحكم الاعتبارات الانتخابية العديد من مواقف وقرارات بنيامين نتنياهو في الآونة الأخيرة. منطق واحد يربط بين إعلانه عن مسؤولية إسرائيل عن مئات الغارات على أهداف في سوريا، والذي أثار غضب أوساط عسكرية صهيونية رأت فيه خرقاً لسياسة الغموض البناء المتبعة حيال هذا الأمر، وإصراره على التطبيع العلني مع قادة ومسؤولين عرب، وهو السعي المحموم لكسب أصوات الإسرائيليين مع اقتراب الانتخابات. فالجهر بوجود علاقات تعاون وتنسيق مع بلدان عربية، على رغم عدم تسوية القضية الفلسطينية، يعزز ـــ من منظور نتنياهو ـــ من صدقية النهج الذي اعتمده طوال فترة حكمه أمام الرأي العام، ويثبت أنه نجح في تحقيق إنجازات كبرى على المستويين السياسي والاستراتيجي بالنسبة إلى إسرائيل، من دون تقديم أي تنازلات تذكر. همروجة وارسو فرصة لتلميع صورة رجل متهم وزوجته بعدة قضايا فساد، كفيلة بأن تقوده مباشرة إلى السجن في حال خسارته الانتخابات.

المذعورون

ممالك الخليج وإماراته قد تكون الأكثر ذعراً من إمكانية تراجع النفوذ الأميركي في الإقليم. هذا هو الدافع الأول لمسارعتها هي الأخرى إلى التطبيع المكشوف مع إسرائيل. العلاقة معها، بالإضافة إلى كونها إذعاناً لطلب من الحليف الأميركي بغية كسب المزيد من رضاه، جزء من عملية تعزيز لشراكات جديدة ضمن سياسة تحوّط استراتيجي لأنظمة تشعر بأن بقاءها مهدد عندما تتراجع الحماية الخارجية. دونالد ترامب كان محقاً عندما أكد مراراً وتكراراً أن النظام السعودي ما كان ليبقى لأيام لولا الحماية الأميركية. همروجة وارسو فرصة للظهور جنباً إلى جنب مع حلفاء أقوياء، يمنح الوقوف معهم شعوراً بالأمن والطمأنينة لعائلات حاكمة مرعوبة من المستقبل. فالمتغيرات العاصفة التي تشهدها المنطقة يصعب التنبؤ بتداعياتها عليهم.

من ملف : مؤتمر وارسو: نتنياهو يلمّ الخليجيين

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Israel becomes adjusted to the American withdrawal “but in case Al-Assad does not emerge victorious «إسرائيل» لاحتواء الانسحاب الأميركي: «المهمّ ألا يخرج الأسد بشارة النصر»

Israel becomes adjusted to the American withdrawal “but in case Al-Assad does not emerge victorious

فبراير 15, 2019

Written by Nasser Kandil,

Dozens of reports and studies issued in Washington and Tel Aviv meet on one result regarding the decision of the American withdrawal; the Syrian President is close to his victory and the reaping of the fruits of his steadfastness. While Israel lives its worst situations since its birth as an entity seventy years ago. Veteran Middle East correspondent Elijah Magnier in Moon of Alabama site the most expanding site summarized the forthcoming scene by saying that “the United States is leaving, and the Arab Gulf states are coming back to Damascus to balance against Turkey. The Kurds will stay with Syria, and Idlib will be liberated”. He concluded “Syria has advanced precise missiles that can hit any building in Israel. Assad also has an air defense system he would have never dreamt of before 2011 thanks to Israel’s continuous violation of its airspace and its defiance of Russian authority. Hezbollah has constructed bases for its long and medium range precise missiles in the mountains, and has created a bond with Syria that it could never have established if not for the war. Iran has established a strategic brotherhood with Syria thanks to its role in defeating the regime change plan and an exceptional bond between Syria and Iraq has been built”. He concluded “The anti-Israel axis has never been stronger than it is today. That is the result of 2011-2018 war imposed on Syria.”

The Economist and the American Interest magazines met on reading the results of the American withdrawal. The US journalist Leon Hadar started his article published in the “National Interest magazine” saying “It is possible to understand the almost hysterical reactions among members of the Israeli political establishment and its media outlets to President Donald Trump’s decision to evacuate 2,000 American soldiers from Syria. Israel would now be left alone without American protection. The Economist magazine said that it did not take long for America’s decision to withdraw from Syria to be felt across the Middle East. The Syrian regime, along with its Russian and Iranian allies, rejoiced. Arab states hurried to make up with Syria’s leader, Bashar al-Assad. The Arab League will soon debate his return to the fold. America’s Kurdish allies, crying betrayal, urged him to help fend off a looming Turkish invasion. Israel scrambled to contain the damage.”

How did Israel react to contain the damage is the fundamental question. The answer is through the dual round of the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the US National Security Advisor John Bolton to the region countries. This dual movement has one title “It is important that Al-Assad does not emerge victorious and Israel defeated”. Therefore, the race towards Damascus among the Arabs, Kurds, and Turkey should not continue. It is required to coordinate the withdrawal in a way that ensures the smoothness of the successive steps to maintain a kind of Turkish-Kurdish-Arab integration that ensures that Syria will not emerge victorious, thus it averts Israel the bitter defeat.

Pompeo and Bolton suggested that “the Arabs should not return Syria immediately to the Arab League, but to set conditions, that the return must seem as Syria’s compliance to Arab conditions”. The quick surprising response was from Egypt which hosted the Head of the National Security in Syria the Major General Ali Al Mamlouk few days ago. The speech of the Egyptian Foreign Minister about conditions that must be met by Syria for the acceleration of the course of the political solution is practically a meaningless invitation, because the future of the political process on the parallel axis is governed by Turkey, therefore Egypt and Saudi Arabia’s feeling of danger of Turkey’s uniqueness in Syria must encourage them to open up to Syria. The only result is to raise doubts about the usefulness to respond to the efforts of openness. The public opinion in Syria refuses every return to the Arab League which was a partner in the conspiracy against Syria. It doubts the usefulness of tolerance and not setting conditions for the return as public apology and the compensation of the devastation resulted from the Arab position against Syria.

On the other hand, the Kurds have to stop giving offers to the Syrian government to avoid a Turkish military action that Washington ensures that it does not happen. While the Turks must stop attacking the areas under the Kurdish control in exchange for Washington’s ensuring of their managing the Syrian opposition issue in Geneva path and supporting the groups affiliated to Turkey in Idlib. Bolton succeeded with the Kurdish leaderships, but he lost in Turkey, since Turkey has ensured the issue of the opposition from Moscow. Its groups in Idlib are falling in the face of Al Nusra front; therefore the only compensation is a role on the border areas at the expense of the armed Kurdish groups. Bolton lost because he is dealing with a country in the NATO and it cares of it interests, while Pompeo succeeded because he deals with governments that do not dare to put their interests above the US and the Israeli interests.

Certainly, the outcome will not be as the Israeli’s wish. The Arab rulers may lose the opportunity to return to Syria through their League except under Syria’s conditions. The Syrian army will enter Idlib and the Eastern of the Euphrates, while the Arab rulers at the Arab League will cry the loss of their role as their ancestors cried the loss of the rule of Andalusia, they are crying as the children for their role which they do not defend it as men.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

«إسرائيل» لاحتواء الانسحاب الأميركي: «المهمّ ألا يخرج الأسد بشارة النصر»

يناير 9, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– المهمة التي جاء بها وزير الخارجية الأميركية مايك بومبيو إلى المنطقة واضحة كما نظيرتها زيارة شريكه مستشار الأمن القومي جون بولتون، فقد خلف قرار الانسحاب من سورية زلزالاً في المنطقة عنوانه الهرولة إلى دمشق، وحفلت الصحف والمواقع الأميركية بالتحليلات التي تقول إن صورة الرئيس السوري يرفع شارة النصر باتت قريبة وإن الخطير هو أن حلفاء واشنطن الذين قاتلوه سيعودون إليه تائبين بمسكون بيده وهو يعلن النصر على حرب هم من خاضها ضدّه ومن موّلها، وأن «إسرائيل» حليفة كل هؤلاء لا مكان لها في دمشق رغم العروض الكثيرة، وأن كل ما حولها سيكون قاتماً، وخياراتها محدودة، وهي عاجزة عن الحرب ومرفوضة في السلم، وها هي تنتظر الساعة التي ستبقى فيها وحيدة ومحاصرة، فكانت الجولة المزدوجة محاولة لتغيير الصورة، لكن دون أن يحمل الموفدان بأيديهم ما يغيّر الصورة، فقط حملوا وعوداً هي بمثابة شيكات موعودة بالصرف، تحت شعار ثقوا بأن أميركا لن تترككم، وهي لم تنهزم.

– فشل بولتون على الجبهة التركية الكردية، كان واضحاً لأن الأكراد والأتراك لا يتعاملون بالشيكات، ولا يتاجرون إلا بالمال النقدي، ولذلك سأل الأكراد بولتون من سيضمن بغيابكم عدم مهاجمتنا من الأتراك، فما كان عنده من جواب سوى الدعوة لانتظار لقائه مع الرئيس التركي رجب أردوغان، وعندما سأله الأتراك من سيضمن عدم قيام الأكراد بتأمين بنية تحتية لمن يستهدف الأمن التركي قال لهم إن عليهم أن ينتظروا لقاءه بالرئيس التركي، فطار اللقاء وعاد بولتون ومعه شيكاته التي لم يقبضها منه أحد.

– في القاهرة وجد بومبيو فرصة توزيع شيكاته، فقال إن حكومته لن تسمح لإيران بالبقاء في سورية، ولم يسأله أحد كيف تفعلون ذلك بعد انسحابكم وقد فشلتم فيه قبل الانسحاب، وكان أول شيك بدون رصيد، وتابع أن حكومته ستمنع حزب الله من الاحتفاظ بترسانة صاروخية تهدد «إسرائيل»، ولم يسأله الحاضرون كيف سيحقق ذلك، وقد فشل بتحقيقه وهو يملك قوة في المنطقة وسيفعله بعد سحبها، وكان شك ثانٍ بدون رصيد. واضاف أن حكومته ستضمن تفوق «إسرائيل» عسكرياً، ولم يقل كيف وقد وضعت واشنطن بتصرف «إسرائيل» آخر جديد ترسانتها العسكرية وفشلت «إسرائيل» في اختبارات القوة مع لبنان وسورية وغزة، وكان شك ثالث بدون رصيد. وتابع بومبيو أن حكومته لن تسمح لإيران أن تستمر في التمدّد بنفوذها في المنطقة، وهم يرون تسوية اليمن تتقدم ويثبت فيها من قالوا عنهم مصدر النفوذ الإيراني كشركاء في مستقبل اليمن، شك رابع بدون رصيد. وتابع بومبيو توزيع شيكاته، والسامعون يعلمون أنها دون رصيد، ويعلمون أنهم سيسدونها من حساباتهم لاحقاً، لأن الرصيد الوحيد الذي تدفع منه واشنطن هو رصيد جماعاتها العرب.

– يرحل بومبيو وقد حقق نجاحاً وحيداً هو إحراج مصر بموقف سلبي من سورية وهي لم تكد ترمّم ما تسبّب به ارتضاؤها السير وفق الروزنامة الأميركية، وهو لم يمنح مصر لا شراكة في الحلّ في اليمن ولا دوراً في التسوية السورية وقد فوّض الدور لتركيا، التي تصفها مصر بالخطر الأول على الأمن القومي العربي.

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Pompeo distributes uncovered checks بومبيو يوزّع شيكات بدون رصيد

فبراير 15, 2019

Pompeo distributes uncovered checks

Written by Nasser Kandil,

The mission of the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the region was clear as the visit of the National Security Advisor John Bolton. The decision of the US withdrawal from Syria has caused an earthquake in the region entitled let’s go to Syria. The US newspapers and websites were filled with analyses which show that the image of the Syrian President who is raising the sign of victory is so close, so it is dangerous that Washington’s allies who fought him will return back repentant shaking hands with him after they launched their war against him and funded it. But Israel which is an ally of those all will not find its place in Syria despite the offers, so everything around it will be dark, since it had limited choices, unable to go to war and it is not accepted in peace. Therefore, the dual round was an attempt to change the image, but the two envoys had just promises as uncovered checks under the title” be confident that America will not abandon you and it is not defeated”.

The failure of Bolton in the Turkish-Kurdish issue was clear, because the Kurds and the Turks do not deal with checks rather with cash. Just for that the Kurds asked Bolton who will ensure that they will be not attacked by the Turks. He had no answer but to wait his meeting with the Turkish President Recep Erdogan, and when he was asked by the Turks who will ensure that the Kurds will not secure infrastructure for those who will target the Turkish security, he said that they have to wait his meeting with the Turkish President. However, there was no meeting and Bolton returned back with his unspent checks.

In Cairo, Pompeo found an opportunity to distribute his checks, he said that his government would not allow Iran to stay in Syria; no one asked him how can you do that after the withdrawal, while you failed in doing that before the withdrawal. This was his first uncovered check. He added that his government would prevent Hezbollah from keeping missile arsenal that threatens Israel. No one asked him how he would achieve that after he failed in achieving it while possessing power in the region. This was his second uncovered check. He added that his government will ensure the superiority of Israel militarily, but he did not mention how Washington provided Israel the newest military arsenal and Israel failed in the tests of power with Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza. This was the third uncovered check. Popmpeo added that his government would not  allow Iran to continue expanding in the region, although the settlement of Yemen is in progress, where those who have the Iranian influence became partners in the future of Yemen. This was his fourth uncovered check. He continued distributing his uncovered checks. The only balance from which Washington spent is the balance of its Arab groups.

Pompeo left after he achieved one success, he embarrassed Egypt in taking a negative attitude towards Syria, although it has not improved what caused by its adopting the American calendar. He did not grant Egypt a partnership in the settlement of Yemen or a role in the Syrian settlement after he delegated Turkey to that role, Turkey which is described by Egypt as the first threat to the Arab national security.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

بومبيو يوزّع شيكات بدون رصيد

يناير 11, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– المهمة التي جاء بها وزير الخارجية الأميركية مايك بومبيو إلى المنطقة واضحة كما نظيرتها زيارة شريكه مستشار الأمن القومي جون بولتون، فقد خلف قرار الانسحاب من سورية زلزالاً في المنطقة عنوانه الهرولة إلى دمشق، وحفلت الصحف والمواقع الأميركية بالتحليلات التي تقول إن صورة الرئيس السوري يرفع شارة النصر باتت قريبة وإن الخطير هو أن حلفاء واشنطن الذين قاتلوه سيعودون إليه تائبين بمسكون بيده وهو يعلن النصر على حرب هم من خاضها ضدّه ومن موّلها، وأن «إسرائيل» حليفة كل هؤلاء لا مكان لها في دمشق رغم العروض الكثيرة، وأن كل ما حولها سيكون قاتماً، وخياراتها محدودة، وهي عاجزة عن الحرب ومرفوضة في السلم، وها هي تنتظر الساعة التي ستبقى فيها وحيدة ومحاصرة، فكانت الجولة المزدوجة محاولة لتغيير الصورة، لكن دون أن يحمل الموفدان بأيديهم ما يغيّر الصورة، فقط حملوا وعوداً هي بمثابة شيكات موعودة بالصرف، تحت شعار ثقوا بأن أميركا لن تترككم، وهي لم تنهزم.

– فشل بولتون على الجبهة التركية الكردية، كان واضحاً لأن الأكراد والأتراك لا يتعاملون بالشيكات، ولا يتاجرون إلا بالمال النقدي، ولذلك سأل الأكراد بولتون من سيضمن بغيابكم عدم مهاجمتنا من الأتراك، فما كان عنده من جواب سوى الدعوة لانتظار لقائه مع الرئيس التركي رجب أردوغان، وعندما سأله الأتراك من سيضمن عدم قيام الأكراد بتأمين بنية تحتية لمن يستهدف الأمن التركي قال لهم إن عليهم أن ينتظروا لقاءه بالرئيس التركي، فطار اللقاء وعاد بولتون ومعه شيكاته التي لم يقبضها منه أحد.

– في القاهرة وجد بومبيو فرصة توزيع شيكاته، فقال إن حكومته لن تسمح لإيران بالبقاء في سورية، ولم يسأله أحد كيف تفعلون ذلك بعد انسحابكم وقد فشلتم فيه قبل الانسحاب، وكان أول شيك بدون رصيد، وتابع أن حكومته ستمنع حزب الله من الاحتفاظ بترسانة صاروخية تهدد «إسرائيل»، ولم يسأله الحاضرون كيف سيحقق ذلك، وقد فشل بتحقيقه وهو يملك قوة في المنطقة وسيفعله بعد سحبها، وكان شك ثانٍ بدون رصيد. واضاف أن حكومته ستضمن تفوق «إسرائيل» عسكرياً، ولم يقل كيف وقد وضعت واشنطن بتصرف «إسرائيل» آخر جديد ترسانتها العسكرية وفشلت «إسرائيل» في اختبارات القوة مع لبنان وسورية وغزة، وكان شك ثالث بدون رصيد. وتابع بومبيو أن حكومته لن تسمح لإيران أن تستمر في التمدّد بنفوذها في المنطقة، وهم يرون تسوية اليمن تتقدم ويثبت فيها من قالوا عنهم مصدر النفوذ الإيراني كشركاء في مستقبل اليمن، شك رابع بدون رصيد. وتابع بومبيو توزيع شيكاته، والسامعون يعلمون أنها دون رصيد، ويعلمون أنهم سيسدونها من حساباتهم لاحقاً، لأن الرصيد الوحيد الذي تدفع منه واشنطن هو رصيد جماعاتها العرب.

– يرحل بومبيو وقد حقق نجاحاً وحيداً هو إحراج مصر بموقف سلبي من سورية وهي لم تكد ترمّم ما تسبّب به ارتضاؤها السير وفق الروزنامة الأميركية، وهو لم يمنح مصر لا شراكة في الحلّ في اليمن ولا دوراً في التسوية السورية وقد فوّض الدور لتركيا، التي تصفها مصر بالخطر الأول على الأمن القومي العربي.

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Yemen: US “Accidentally” Arming Al Qaeda (Again)

February 15, 2019 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – US weapons are once again falling into the hands of militants fighting in one of Washington’s many proxy wars – this time in Yemen – the militants being fighters of local Al Qaeda affiliates.

CNN in its article, “Sold to an ally, lost to an enemy,” would admit:

Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners have transferred American-made weapons to al Qaeda-linked fighters, hardline Salafi militias, and other factions waging war in Yemen, in violation of their agreements with the United States, a CNN investigation has found.

The article also claims:

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, its main partner in the war, have used the US-manufactured weapons as a form of currency to buy the loyalties of militias or tribes, bolster chosen armed actors, and influence the complex political landscape, according to local commanders on the ground and analysts who spoke to CNN.

Weapon transfer included everything from small arms to armored vehicles, CNN would report.

The article would include a response from Pentagon spokesman Johnny Michael, who claimed:

The United States has not authorized the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates to re-transfer any equipment to parties inside Yemen.

The US government cannot comment on any pending investigations of claims of end-use violations of defense articles and services transferred to our allies and partners.

Despite obvious evidence that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are both violating whatever agreements the Pentagon claims to have with both nations, the US continues fighting their joint war in Yemen for them in all but name.

The US role in Yemen includes not only arming Saudi Arabia and the UAE, but also training their pilots, selecting targets, sharing intelligence, repairing weapon systems, refuelling Saudi warplanes, and even through the deployment of US special forces along The Saudi-Yemeni border.

Because of this continued and unconditional support – Pentagon complaints over weapon transfers it claims were unauthorized ring particularly hollow. More so when considering in other theaters of war, US weapons also “accidentally” ended up in the hands of extremists that just so happened to be fighting against forces the US opposed.

(Repeated) Actions Speak Louder than Pentagon Excuses 

An entire army of Al Qaeda-linked forces was raised in Syria against the government in Damascus through the “accidental” transfer of US weapons from alleged moderate militants to designated terrorist organizations including Al Qaeda’s Al Nusra affiliate and the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” (ISIS).

And while this was presented to the public as “accidental” –  years before the war in Syria even erupted, there were already warning signs that the US planned to deliberately use extremists in a proxy war against both Syria and Iran.

As early as 2007 – a full 4 years before the 2011 “Arab Spring” would begin – an article by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh published in the New Yorker titled, “”The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” would warn (emphasis added):

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

From 2011 onward, admissions throughout prominent Western newspapers like the New York Times and Washington Post would admit to US weapon deliveries to “moderate rebels” in Syria.

Articles like the New York Times’, “Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With C.I.A. Aid,” and “Kerry Says U.S. Will Double Aid to Rebels in Syria,” the Telegraph’s,  “US and Europe in ‘major airlift of arms to Syrian rebels through Zagreb’,” and the Washington Post’s article, “U.S. weapons reaching Syrian rebels,” would detail hundreds of millions of dollars in weapons, vehicles, equipment, and training funneled into Syria to so-called “moderate rebels.”

Yet even as early as the first year of the conflict, Al Qaeda affiliate Al Nusra – a US State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization – would dominate the battlefield opposite Syrian forces.

The US State Department in its own official press statement titled, “Terrorist Designations of the al-Nusrah Front as an Alias for al-Qa’ida in Iraq,” explicitly stated that:

Since November 2011, al-Nusrah Front has claimed nearly 600 attacks – ranging from more than 40 suicide attacks to small arms and improvised explosive device operations – in major city centers including Damascus, Aleppo, Hamah, Dara, Homs, Idlib, and Dayr al-Zawr. During these attacks numerous innocent Syrians have been killed.

If the US and its allies were admittedly transferring hundreds of millions of dollars worth of weapons, equipment, and other support to “moderate rebels,” who was funding and arming Al Nusra even more, enabling them to displace Western-backed militants from the Syrian battlefield?

The Western media had proposed several unconvincing excuses including claims that large numbers of defectors to Al Qaeda and its affiliates brought with them their Western-provided arms and equipment.

The obvious answer – however –  is that just as Seymour Hersh warned in 2007 – the US and its allies from the very beginning armed and backed Al Qaeda, intentionally created its ISIS offshoot, and used both in a deadly proxy war they had hoped would quickly conclude before the public realized what had happened.

It had worked in Libya in 2011, and the quick overthrow of the Syrian government was likewise anticipated. When the war dragged on and the nature of Washington’s “moderate rebels” was revealed, implausible excuses as to how Al Qaeda and ISIS became so well armed and funded began appearing across the Western media.

Accident or Not – US Military Intervention is the Biggest Threat to Global Security 

As the alternative media now attempts to shed light on the ongoing US proxy war in Yemen, a similar attempt to explain how Al Qaeda has once again found itself flooded with US support is being mounted. Just as in Syria – the obvious explanation for Al Qaeda forces in Yemen turning up with US weapons is because the use of Al Qaeda and other extremists was always a part of the US-Saudi-Emarati strategy from the very beginning.

CNN’s revelations were not the first.

An Associated Press investigation concluded in August 2018 in an article titled, “AP Investigation: US allies, al-Qaida battle rebels in Yemen,” that (emphasis added):

Again and again over the past two years, a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and backed by the United States has claimed it won decisive victories that drove al-Qaida militants from their strongholds across Yemen and shattered their ability to attack the West. 

Here’s what the victors did not disclose: many of their conquests came without firing a shot.

That’s because the coalition cut secret deals with al-Qaida fighters, paying some to leave key cities and towns and letting others retreat with weapons, equipment and wads of looted cash, an investigation by The Associated Press has found. Hundreds more were recruited to join the coalition itself.

While the US pleads innocent and attempts to blame the arming of Al Qaeda in yet another of Washington’s proxy wars on “accidental” or “unauthorized” weapon transfers, it is clear that Al Qaeda has and still does serve as a vital auxiliary force the US uses both as a pretext to invade and occupy other nations – and when it cannot – to fight by proxy where US forces cannot go.

The US – which claims its involvement in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen is predicated on containing Iran who the US accuses of jeopardizing global security and of sponsoring terrorism – has aligned itself with actual, verified state sponsors of terrorism – Saudi Arabia and the UAE – and is itself knowingly playing a role in the state sponsorship of terrorism including the arming of terrorist groups across the region.

Iran and the militant groups it has backed – accused of being “terrorists” – are ironically the most effective forces fighting groups like Al Nusra and ISIS across the region – illustrating Washington and its allies of being guilty in reality of what it has accused Syria, Russia, and Iran of in fiction.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.

We’ve seen the west’s approach to Venezuela before – in Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan, need I go on?

Instead of pleading with those who will not support him, the self-proclaimed interim president of Venezuela might want to take a closer look at who his foreign friends are

By Robert Fisk

February 13, 2019 “Information Clearing House” –    The closest I ever came to Venezuela, many years ago, was a transit connection at Caracas airport. I noticed a lot of soldiers in red berets and a clutch of goons, and it reminded me, vaguely, of the Middle East.

Now, sitting in the rain squalls of the wintry Levant, I flick through my newspaper clippings of our recent local autocrats – Saddam, Assad, al-Sisi, Erdogan, Mohammed bin Salman (you can fill in the rest for yourself) – and I think of Nicolas Maduro.

The comparisons are by no means precise. Indeed, it’s not the nature of the “strongmen” I’m thinking about. It’s our reaction to all these chaps. And there are two obvious parallels: the way in which we sanction and isolate the hated dictator – or love him, as the case may be – and the manner in which we not only name the opposition as the rightful heir to the nation, but demand that democracy be delivered to the people whose torture and struggle for freedom we have suddenly discovered.

And before I forget it, there’s one other common thread in this story. If you suggest that those who want presidential change in Venezuela may be a little too hasty, and our support for – let us say – Juan Guaido might be a bit premature if we don’t want to start a civil war, this means you are “pro-Maduro”

Just as those who opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq were “pro-Saddam”, or those who thought the west might pause before it supported the increasingly violent opposition in Syria were labelled “pro-Assad”.

And those who defended Yasser Arafat – over a long period a super-terrorist, a super-diplomat and then a super-terrorist again – against those who would oust him as leader of the Palestinians, were abused as “pro-Arafat”, “pro-Palestinian”, “pro-terrorist” and, inevitably, “anti-Semitic”. I recall how George W Bush warned us after 9/11, that “you are either with us or against us”. The same threat was made to us about Assad.

Erdogan has used it in Turkey (less than three years ago) and it was a common line in the forgotten 1930s used by none other than Mussolini. And now I quote Trump’s US secretary of state Michael Pompeo on Maduro: “Now it is time for every other nation to pick a side … either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you’re in league with Maduro and his mayhem.”

You get the point. Now is the time for all good people to stand alongside the United States, the EU, the nations of Latin America – or do you support the Russkies, Chinese, Iranian headbangers, the perfidious Corbyn and (of all people) the Greeks? Talking of the Greeks, European pressure on Alexis Tsipras to conform to the EU’s support for Guaido – proving that the EU can indeed bully its smaller members – is a good argument for Brexiteers (though far too complex for them to understand).

But first, let’s take a look at our favourite tyrant, in the words of all who oppose him. He’s a powerful dictator, surrounded by generals, suppressing his people, using torture, mass arrests, secret police murders, rigged elections, political prisoners – so no wonder we gave our support to those who wish to overthrow this brutal man and stage democratic elections.

Not a bad precis of our current policy towards the Maduro regime. But I am referring, of course, word-for-word, to the west’s policy towards the Assad regime in Syria. And our support for opposition democracy there wasn’t terribly successful.

We were not solely responsible for the Syrian civil war – but we were not guiltless since we sent an awful lot of weapons to those trying to overthrow Assad. And last month the notepad of US national security advisor John Bolton appeared to boast a plan to send 5,000 US troops to Colombia

And now let’s tick the box on another Maduro-lookalike – at least from the west’s simplistic point of view: the military-backed elected field marshal-president al-Sisi of Egypt, whom we love, admire and protect. Powerful dictator? Yup. Surrounded and supported by generals? You bet, not least because he locked up a rival general before the last election. Suppression? Absolutely – all in the interest of crushing “terrorism”, of course.

Mass arrests? Happily yes, for all the inmates of Egypt’s savage prison system are “terrorists”, at least according to the field marshal-president himself. Secret police murders? Well, even forgetting the young Italian student suspected by his government to have been allegedly tortured and bumped off by one of Sisi’s top Egyptian cops, there’s a roll call of disappeared activists.

Rigged elections? No doubt about it, although al-Sisi still maintains that his last triumph at the polls – a cracking 97 per cent – was a free and fair election.

President Trump sent his “sincere congratulations”. Political prisoners? Well, the total is 60,000 and rising. Oh yes, and Maduro’s last victory – a rigged election if ever there was one, of course – was a mere 67.84 per cent.

As the late sage of the Sunday Express, John Gordon, might have said: it makes you sit up a bit. So, too, I suppose, when we glance a bit further eastwards to Afghanistan, whose Taliban rulers were routed in 2001 by the US, whose post-9/11 troops and statesmen ushered in a new life of democracy, then corruption, warlordism and civil war.

The “democracy” bit quickly came unstuck when “loya jurgas”, grand councils, turned into tribal playpens and the Americans announced that it would be an exaggeration to think that we could achieve “Jeffersonian democracy” in Afghanistan. Too true.

Now the Americans are negotiating with the “terrorist” Taliban in Qatar so they can get the hell out of the Graveyard of Empires after 17 years of military setbacks, scandals and defeats – not to mention running a few torture camps which even Maduro would cough to look at.

Now all this may not encourage you to walk down memory lane. And I haven’t even listed the sins of Saddam, let alone our continuing and cosy relationship – amazing as it still seems – with that Gulf state whose lads strangled, chopped up and secretly buried a US-resident journalist in Turkey.

Now just imagine if Maduro, tired of a journalist critic slandering him in Miami, decided to lure him to the Venezuelan embassy in Washington and top the poor guy, slice him up and bury him secretly in Foggy Bottom. Well now, I have a feeling that sanctions might have been applied to Maduro a long time ago. But not to Saudi Arabia, of course, where we are very definitely not advocating democracy.

“Now is the time for democracy and prosperity in Venezuela,” quoth John Bolton this week. Oh, yes indeed. Maduro runs an oil-soaked nation yet its people starve. He is an unworthy, foolish and vain man, even if he’s not Saddamite in his crimes. He was rightly described by a colleague as a dreary tyrant. He even looks like the kind of guy who tied ladies to railway lines in silent movies.

So good luck to Guaido. Palpably a nice guy, speaks eloquently, wise to stick to aid for the poor and fresh elections rather than dwell on just how exactly Maduro and his military chums are going to be booted out.

In other words, good luck – but watch out. Instead of pleading with those who will not support him – the Greeks, for example – he might take a closer look at who his foreign friends are. And do a quick track record on their more recent crusades for freedom, democracy and the right to life. And by the way, I haven’t even mentioned Libya.

This article was originally published by The Independent“-

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 The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

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