أميركا تستجدي وقف العمليات ضدها في العراق.. هل تبحث عن كسب الوقت؟

المصدر: الميادين 12

تشرين اول 00:10

تبحث الإدارة الأميركية عن تهدئة في المناطق التي تحتلها قواتها، ولا سيما في العراق تجنباً لما ينغص على ترامب رهاناته الانتخابية، وقد وصل الأمر حد استجداء وقف العمليات، فهل ستشهد مرحلة ما بعد الانتخابات تصعيداً ضد الأميركيين في المنطقة؟

“فلترحل القوات الأجنبية طوعاً أو كرهاً” بذلك حسم العراقيون موقفهم سياسياً.. ومن بعد بالسلاح

تقر القوانين الدولية والأعراف، وتجمع الدساتير المحلية، على حق أي شعب بمقاومة الاحتلال. وفي التاريخ شواهد على أن الاحتلال مهما تجبر، فإنه لا يدوم. وتثبت التجارب أن القوة وحدها السبيل إلى ضمان الحرية وصون الكرامة.

“فلترحل القوات الأجنبية طوعاً أو كرهاً”، بذلك حسم العراقيون موقفهم سياسياً، ومن بعد بالسلاح.

لا فرق عند المقاومة العراقية أن يحدث انسحاب أميركي كامل بين رئاستين أو في حال استمرار الرئاسة الأميركية الحالية، فلا بديل أمام الأميركيين إلا جدولة انسحابهم بشكل واضح ودونه تصعيد في القتال.

لكننا قلما نسمع عن احتلال يستجدي المقاومة عدم استهداف جنوده حتى ينسحبوا، كحال الاحتلال الأميركي للعراق، وفقاً لما كشفه الناطق باسم كتائب حزب الله العراق للميادين.

من اللافت أن ترسل أميركا برسائل استجداء للمقاومة العراقية تناشدها وقف عملياتها ضد القوات الأميركية، خطوة أبلغتها الميادين على لسان المتحدث باسم كتائب حزب الله العراق محمد محيي، فبعد أن تمادى الاحتلال في جرائمه، وبعد طلب رسمي نيابي وحكومي بخروج القوات الأجنية من العراق، كان الحل الرد على المماطلة، عسكرياً.

مشاريع الأميركي وخططه فشلت في أفغانستان والعراق وسوريا، وبات أمام خيارين الانسحاب طواعية أو الانسحاب بالقوة.

قد يكون تكتيكاً من الرئيس الأميركي الذي يريد استخدام التهدئة كورقة انتخابية، وقد ينسحب الأمر على سوريا إذ تخاطب واشنطن الحكومة السورية خطاباً دبلوماسياً، فتدعوها إلى اتخاذ إجراءات لمكافحة الحرائق حماية للأرواح.

وفي غزل متبادل، تشيد طالبان بالرئيس الأميركي وتبرق بأمنياتها أن يكون الفوز من نصيبه، ما يثير تساؤلات حول ذاك الخطاب إن كان بناء على طلب من إدارته.

تبدو أميركا في انقطاع كامل عما يحدث في العالم، فصمتها ميزة رافقت حرب القوقاز رغم تداخل المصالح وتضاربها إقليمياً ودولياً، وأهمية المنطقة استراتيجياً، فهل تحاول إدارة ترامب إيهام الناخبين بنجاحات دبلوماسية في بؤر عديدة للتوتر؟ 

يؤكد الباحث السياسي والاستراتيجي، ريتشارد ويتز، أن “واشنطن ترغب بوقف الهجمات ضدها في العراق”، لافتاً إلى أن “واشنطن تعزل نفسها عن الازمات الخارجية حتى لا تلحق أي ضرر بالانتخابات”.

وقال ويتز للميادين، إن “الانسحاب الأميركي لن يتم خلال شهر أو اثنين لكن هو أمر تريده واشنطن”، مشيراً إلى أن “التطورات الميدانية والسياسية في العراق أدت الى تراجع النفوذ الأميركي هناك”.

من جهته، الباحث في مركز الهدف للدراسات، كاظم الحاج، يقول إن “المشروع الأميركي في العراق على وشك الانهيار، وقرار الشعب العراقي سيسرع ذلك”.

وأضاف الحاج للميادين، أن “الشعب العراقي لا يهتم من هو رئيس أميركا، وقرار إخراج القوات الأميركية لا رجعة فيه”، مؤكداً أن “مؤشر محور المقاومة ماض في اتجاه صحيح بافشال المشروع الأميركي في المنطقة”.

الحاج أوضح أن “في العلاقة بين طالبان وواشنطن تبادل منفعة ومصالح”، لافتاً إلى أن “أحلام الأميركيين في المنطقة تم دفنها عام 2006 بعد هزيمة إسرائيل في لبنان”.

 وقال إن “دول محور المقاومة واعية لما يخطط له الأميركي في المنطقة”، معتبراً “الإرادة والشجاعة لدى محور المقاومة ستنهي الأحلام الأميركية في المنطقة”.

وشدد الحاج على أن “الوكيل الأميركي في المنطقة أوهن من بيت العنكبوت”، منوهاً إلى أن “لا الوكيل الإسرائيلي ولا الأصيل الأميركي يستطيع فرض أي شيء على شعوب المنطقة”.

بدوره، الكاتب والمحلل السياسي، مهند الضاهر، قال إن “ما يفكر به ترامب حالياً ليس الانسحاب بل الفوز بالانتخابات”.

وأضاف الضاهر للميادين، أن “المشروع الأميركي وصل إلى مرحلة الانحسار في المنطقة”، مشيراً إلى أن “لغة السفارة الأميركية في دمشق تجاه سوريا ليست لغة دبلوماسية”.

الضاهر اعتبر أن “الأميركي يبحث عن المزيد من الفوضى في سياسته في المنطقة”، مؤكداً أن “الأميركي يدرك أن القادم من الأيام صعب جداً عليه”.

The story of ammonium nitrite and linking it to Hezbollah for years Why?

قصة نتريت الأمونيوم وربطها بحزب الله لسنوات لماذا؟

9/11 ended the American dream, says Lebanon’s Talal Atrissi

By Mohammad Mazhari

September 12, 2020 – 18:21

TEHRAN- Head of the Center for Political Studies at the University of Lebanon says the American dream promoted by its cinema has come to an end and “we are facing a country that hires soldiers to fight, occupy and kill.” 

 In an exclusive interview with the Tehran Times, Dr. Talal Atrissi says that the American dream has become an “ugly image” for the nations around the globe.
“There is no longer what we call the American dream,” adds Atrissi.
Following is the text of the interview: 

 Q: Who are the main beneficiaries of the September 11 attacks?

A: The September 11 attacks helped neoconservatives in the U.S. advance their project of changing the Middle East (West Asia) under the pretext of “war against terror.” 

After 9/11, Washington was involved in regional wars, and its policy turned into a direct military offensive policy.

 It occupied Afghanistan and then occupied Iraq, and demanded Syria close Palestinian organizations’ offices, and encouraged Israel to launch the 2006 war on Lebanon. 

So, after the September 11 attacks, American foreign policy turned into a direct occupation policy in order to implement the vision and project of the neoconservatives in the world.

Q: What are the repercussions of the wars that the U.S. launched against Afghanistan and Iraq after 9/11?

A: The wars launched by the United States on Afghanistan and Iraq showed the fact that the United States has become a direct occupying power in the region.

 In Afghanistan, the U.S. becomes a neighbor to Iran and Russia, and other countries in Asia.

 In Iraq, it became close to Iran and Syria, with a large military force that could threaten the countries that disagreed with its policies or oppose American hegemony.

As a result, the United States faced violent resistance, whether in Afghanistan or Iraq, as far as U.S. presidents from Obama to Trump have admitted that the country has paid thousands of billions of dollars and human losses due to these wars.

That is why Obama decided to withdraw from Iraq, and Trump came to say that he does not want to wage new wars in the region. As a result of these wars, the United States of America is declining and losing its influence in the region.

The resistance has become stronger and more experienced, and the idea of resistance has been welcomed and has spread, whether in Iraq, Lebanon, or even Afghanistan.

So, the occupation brought complete havoc for the United States besides failure for neoconservatives in their projects.

Q: Why have the Americans embraced negotiations with the Taliban, whom they called terrorist, after two decades of war?

A: The U.S. negotiations with the Taliban reveal that Washington does not make a deal according to principles, but rather uses slogans and then outweighs its interests.

 During the war against the Soviet army in Afghanistan, America and its media used to call the fighting groups, including the Taliban, “Mujahideen,” and not terrorists.

After the Soviet army left Afghanistan, and these groups started to fight the U.S., these groups were classified as “terrorists.”

So, the United States of America is negotiating today with the Taliban because it really failed in Afghanistan. This means the admission of failure in Afghanistan after paying huge losses. 

 For this reason, the U.S. wants to withdraw the largest number of its forces from there and negotiate with the Taliban about its participation in the government of Afghanistan.

But Al-Qaeda organization is originally an American-backed entity that was exploited in Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq, and when its date expired, Trump accuses Clinton and Obama of being involved in the manufacturing of al-Qaeda.

This is why all America’s claims about terrorism are uncovered and unacceptable, and it has become known that the United States allied with al-Qaeda in more than one place in West Asia. 

“All evidence indicates that Saudi authorities indirectly were involved in the 9/11 attacks.”

Q: What happened to the American dream after 9/11?

A: The American dream is over, and the United States no longer can present itself as a globally attractive destination.

After September 11, using force, oppression, occupation, torture, and prisoning of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan has become the United States’ predominant face.

The mutual accusations between the American presidents showed the true face of America. 

Even the American lifestyle is no longer the one that anyone in the world dreams of having, and therefore there is no longer what we call the American dream. 

The American dream was ruined, in a cracked structure, which was no longer coherent. The American dream created by cinema has ended, and we are facing a country that hires soldiers to fight, occupy, and kill, and does not respect human rights.

 From that time until now, we can say that the American dream has become an ugly image for the world’s nations.

Q: Why doesn’t the U.S. sue Saudi Arabia for the 9/11 attacks? 

A: The U.S. doesn’t want to sever its relations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, while it has become clear that most of those who carried out the September 11 attacks were Saudis.

 Although there were discussions and calls to cut ties with Saudi Arabia or impose sanctions on it, the matter met American silence because the relationship with Saudi Arabia is profitable for Washington.

The Saudi Kingdom is the largest buyer of weapons, and it is an ally of the United States in the face of Iran; and therefore, the United States is silent about such an operation and does not directly accuse the Saudis.

 All evidence indicates that Saudi authorities indirectly were involved in the 9/11 attacks, but the Trump administration tries not to ruin the ties.

 So, the issue of terrorism is an optional issue to Washington.  The U.S. president is who chooses when to fight terrorism or fight the countries accused of being behind terrorism. 

That’s why the United States of America was silent and did not talk about accusing Saudi Arabia directly, although some information indicates that some figures in the Saudi ruling family provided funding to the attackers. 

Q: What have been the consequences of 9/11 for U.S. internal security, especially when the freedoms were restricted under the pretext of fighting terrorism?

A: On the American domestic level, what happened was the U.S. policy reversed into a militant policy, a policy of suppressing freedoms and spying on citizens.

Suppressing freedoms under the pretext of fighting terrorism and concerns about individuals’ relations with terrorists has become a prevailing issue in the U.S. A big debate heated in the United States on the importance of freedoms, but the government continues to restrict citizens. The Americans lost a large part of their freedoms under the motto of “fighting terrorism.”

Q: How could the September 11 attacks spread Islamophobia in the West? 

A: Islamophobia is a complex topic that has historical roots and cultural reasons and causes related to terrorist operations. The American and Western media, in general, shed light on the September 11 attacks and emphasized that Muslims were the main actors who carried out this operation.

Of course, this approach contributed to creating an anti-Muslim atmosphere in the United States of America for a long time.

But at the same time, Islamophobia is also widely widespread in Europe, and this is partly because of terrorist operations that were carried out on European territories.

Still, Islamophobia has been misused inside the United States and Europe in the struggle between political forces and accusing Muslims of economic, social, and cultural problems.

In fact, some Muslims cannot integrate into Western culture. Thus they face the isolation process and tend to engage in terrorist groups.

In addition to that, Muslims in Europe, for example, live in the suburbs and lack adequate services, which encourages young generations to join extremist organizations.

The United States of America, because of its anti-Muslim policies, has created an atmosphere of extremism among some Muslims. That’s why it can be said that the September 11 attacks contributed to the spread of Islamophobia.

Moreover, the American media has a pivotal role in creating this Islamophobia wave by inciting Muslims and covering up the Saudi Kingdom’s crimes.

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U.S. exploited 9/11 attacks to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan: Iraqi expert

By Saeed Kh. Mavedat

September 10, 2020 – 17:54

TEHRAN – The U.S. plans to invade Iraq and Afghanistan gained stream immediately after the September 11, 2001 attacks on civilian and military targets in the United States. An Iraqi expert tells the Tehran Times that the Americans “exploited” the attacks to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan.

The attacks, carried out by al-Qaeda, killed almost 3,000 American and foreign citizens and sent shock waves across the world. In the wake of the attacks, the U.S. administration sought to pave the way for a military response to al-Qaeda and those allegedly supporting it.

Addressing the American people on the same day at 9 pm, then-President George W. Bush said, “We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.”

Only a week after the 9/11 attacks, Congress passed a special law allowing President Bush to punish the people who had aided or abetted the 9/11 attackers. The law, which was passed on September 18, 2001, stipulates “that  the  President  is  authorized  to  use  all necessary  and  appropriate  force  against  those  nations,  organizations,  or  persons  he  determines  planned,  authorized,  committed, or  aided  the  terrorist  attacks  that  occurred  on  September  11,  2001, or  harbored  such  organizations  or  persons,  in  order  to  prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”

A few weeks later, the U.S. led a coalition to overthrow the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, and two years later, the U.S. invaded Iraq under the pretext of countering terrorism.

Nearly two decades after the 9 /11 attacks, the U.S. is still bogged down in “endless wars” in the region, which yielded no results in terms of combating terrorism, according to Reza Alghurabi, an Iraqi expert who closely monitors the situation in Iraq and Iran.

In order to assess one of the U.S. post-9/11 wars in the region, the Tehran Times interviewed Alghurabi. He weighed in on the situation in Iraq in the aftermath of the U.S. invasion of the country. He also touched on the U.S.-Iran relations in Iraq since 2003.
The following is the full text of the interview:

Q: In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the issue of “counterterrorism” became prominent in U.S. foreign policy and eventually, it became one of the reasons for the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. Do you think the United States really wanted to fight terrorism in Iraq? And if so, how successful was it? How do you assess the U.S. presence in Iraq in terms of the fight against terrorism since 2003?

A: In addition to leading to the emergence of the U.S. counterterrorism agenda and the introduction of new concepts in the field of terrorism and international law, the 9/11 attacks led to one of the largest U.S. military campaigns and military interventions in recent decades in the ever sensitive region of West Asia.
Regardless of any assessment of the truth of 9/11, Washington’s subsequent exploitation of it shows that the Americans behaved in a completely political and abusive manner that led to the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq.

It was clear at the time that the terrorists were mostly Saudi nationals, and that if the United States was to be honest in its counterterrorism plan, it would have had to deal with the source of religious extremism in the region, which is the Saudi regime and some other countries whose religious muftis kept playing role in the death of thousands of people and the spread of extremism and violence by issuing hundreds of fatwas [religious decrees] and sending financial aid through charities after the occupation of Iraq.

Despite spending billions of dollars on the counterterrorism project since 2001, Washington has failed to fight terrorism, and the growing spread of extremism, violence, and terrorism in recent years in areas where the Americans themselves have been present was not only a sign of Washington’s failure to fight terrorism, but it also raised serious doubts about its direct role in the spread of terrorism and violence.

Iraq is clearly still grappling with terrorism 17 years after [the American occupation], and from 2003 to 2011, when U.S. troops were officially present in Iraq, violence was widespread in the country and the United States failed to contain it.

Q: How many human rights violations did the United States commit in the years following the occupation of Iraq? In terms of human rights violations, can Abu Ghraib prison be compared to Guantanamo?

A: While the U.S. was present in Iraq as an occupying force, numerous reports were published by Western and American think tanks on individual and organized ill-treatment of prisoners. Some of the initial information was released by U.S. troops themselves. Various forms of torture of prisoners, such as waterboarding in the United States itself, sparked controversy in the U.S. Congress.

U.S. human rights abuses were not limited to detainees. There were also numerous reports of civilians being harassed during house searches or checkpoints and street raids by soldiers and mercenaries of private security companies such as Blackwater. In this respect, there was no difference between Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Perhaps Abu Ghraib can be considered a worse case than Guantanamo because in this prison even young Iraqi girls were sexually tortured by the American military.

Q: How do you assess Iran-U.S. relations in Iraq after 2003? It is said that Iran had reached understandings with the United States during the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, but why did the United States turn these understandings into hostility and include Iran in the “axis of evil”?

A: Iran-U.S. relations have always been tense for the last four decades. After 9/11, the Americans took a more hostile stance against the Iranians. The use of the term “axis of evil” in reference to Iran by George W. Bush in 2002 indicated the adoption of an escalatory strategy against Iran. With the occupation of Iraq by the U.S., this country became the scene of confrontation between Tehran and Washington. Iran was concerned and dissatisfied with the full U.S. military presence in Iraq and the repeated threats by White House officials about the need for regime change in Iran. The Americans in Iraq were also reluctant to vacate the battlefield for Tehran. Therefore, Iraq has since become the scene of confrontation between the two axes.

The U.S. is a longtime enemy of Iran and the prospect of its troops being deployed along Iran’s borders as well as [U.S.] provocative actions were a source of potential and tense hostility that threatened any possible understanding.

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Where was Osama bin Laden on September 11, 2001?

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, September 05, 2020

9 September 2006

Osama bin Laden

Author’s note

The following article was first published 14 years ago on the 9th of September 2006, in the context of the 2006 commemoration of the tragic event of September 2001.  

***

“Going after bin Laden” has served  to sustain the legend of the “world’s most wanted terrorist”, who  “haunts Americans and millions of others around the world.”

Donald Rumsfeld has repeatedly claimed that the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden remain unknown:  “It is like looking for a needle in a stack of hay”.

In November 2001, US B-52 bombers carpet bombed a network of caves in the Tora Bora mountains of eastern Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden and his followers were allegedly hiding. These caves were described as “Osama’s last stronghold”.

CIA “intelligence analysts” subsequently concluded that Osama had escaped from his Tora Bora cave in the first week of December 2001. And in January 2002, the Pentagon launched a Worldwide search for Osama and his top lieutenants, beyond the borders of Afghanistan. This operation, referred to by Secretary of State Colin Powell as a “hot pursuit”, was carried out with the support of the “international community” and America’s European allies. US intelligence authorities confirmed, in this regard, that

“while al Qaeda has been significantly shattered, … the most wanted man – bin Laden himself remains one step ahead of the United States, with the core of his worldwide terror network still in place. (Global News Wire – Asia Africa Intelligence Wire, InfoProd, January 20, 2002)

For the last five years, the US military and intelligence apparatus (at considerable expense to US taxpayers) has been “searching for Osama”.

A CIA unit with a multimillion dollar budget was set up, with a mandate to find Osama. This unit was apparently disbanded in 2005. “Intelligence experts agree”, he is hiding in a remote area of Pakistan, but “we cannot find him”:

“Most intelligence analysts are convinced that Osama bin Laden is somewhere on the Afghan-Pakistan border. Lately, it has been said that he’s probably in the vicinity of the a 7700m Hindu Kush peak Tirich Mir in the tribal Chitral area of northwest Pakistan.” Hobart Mercury (Australia), September  9, 2006)

President Bush has repeatedly promised to “smoke him out” of his cave, capture him dead or alive, if necessary through ground assaults or missile strikes. According to a recent statement by president Bush, Osama is hiding in a remote area of Pakistan which “is extremely mountainous and very inaccessible, … with high mountains between 9,000 to 15,000 feet high….”. We cannot get him, because, according to the president, there is no communications infrastructure, which would enable us to effectively go after him. (quoted in Balochistan Times, 23 April 2006)

The pursuit of Osama has become a highly ritualized process which feeds the news chain on a daily basis. It is not only part of the media disinformation campaign, it also provides a justification for the arbitrary arrest, detention and torture of numerous “suspects”, “enemy combatants” and “accomplices”, who allegedly might be aware of Osama’s whereabouts. And that information is of course vital to “the security of Americans”.

The search for Osama serves both military and political objectives. The Democrats and Republicans compete in their resolve to weed out “islamic terrorism”.

The Path to 9/11, a five-hour ABC series on “the search for Osama” –which makes its debut on the 10th and 11th of September to marks the fifth anniversary of the attacks– casually accuses Bill Clinton of having been  “too busy with the Monica Lewinsky scandal to fight terrorism.” The message of the movie is that the Democrats neglected the “war on terrorism”.

The fact of the matter is that every single administration, since Jimmy Carter have supported and financed the “Islamic terror” network, created during the Carter administration at the outset of the Soviet-Afghan war. (See Michel Chossudovsky, Who is Osama bin Laden, 12 September 2001). al Qaeda is a instrument of US intelligence: a US sponsored intelligence asset.

Where was Osama on Septembers 11? 

There is evidence that the whereabouts of Osama are known to the Bush Administration.

On September 10. 2001, “Enemy Number One” was in a Pakistani military hospital in Rawalpindi, courtesy of America’s indefectible ally Pakistan, as confirmed by a report of Dan Rather, CBS News. (See our October 2003 article on this issue)

He could have been arrested at short notice which would have “saved us a lot of trouble”, but then we would not have had an Osama Legend, which has fed the news chain as well as George W’s speeches in the course of the last five years.

According to Dan Rather, CBS, Bin Laden was hospitalized in Rawalpindi. one day before the 9/11 attacks, on September 10, 2001.
https://www.youtube.com/embed/dUj2905unnw

“Pakistan. Pakistan’s Military Intelligence (ISI) told CBS that bin Laden had received dialysis treatment in Rawalpindi, at Pak Army’s headquarters.

DAN RATHER, CBS ANCHOR: As the United states and its allies in the war on terrorism press the hunt for Osama bin Laden, CBS News has exclusive information tonight about where bin Laden was and what he was doing in the last hours before his followers struck the United States September 11.

This is the result of hard-nosed investigative reporting by a team of CBS news journalists, and by one of the best foreign correspondents in the business, CBS`s Barry Petersen. Here is his report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BARRY PETERSEN, CBS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Everyone remembers what happened on September 11. Here`s the story of what may have happened the night before. It is a tale as twisted as the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

CBS News has been told that the night before the September 11 terrorist attack, Osama bin Laden was in Pakistan. He was getting medical treatment with the support of the very military that days later pledged its backing for the U.S. war on terror in Afghanistan.

Pakistan intelligence sources tell CBS News that bin Laden was spirited into this military hospital in Rawalpindi for kidney dialysis treatment. On that night, says this medical worker who wanted her identity protected, they moved out all the regular staff in the urology department and sent in a secret team to replace them. She says it was treatment for a very special person. The special team was obviously up to no good.

“The military had him surrounded,” says this hospital employee who also wanted his identity masked, “and I saw the mysterious patient helped out of a car. Since that time,” he says, “I have seen many pictures of the man. He is the man we know as Osama bin Laden. I also heard two army officers talking to each other. They were saying that Osama bin Laden had to be watched carefully and looked after.” Those who know bin Laden say he suffers from numerous ailments, back and stomach problems. Ahmed Rashid, who has written extensively on the Taliban, says the military was often there to help before 9/11.

(…)

PETERSEN (on camera): Doctors at the hospital told CBS News there was nothing special about that night, but they refused our request to see any records. Government officials tonight denied that bin Laden had any medical treatment on that night.

(voice-over): But it was Pakistan’s President Musharraf who said in public what many suspected, that bin Laden suffers from kidney disease, saying he thinks bin Laden may be near death. His evidence, watching this most recent video, showing a pale and haggard bin Laden, his left hand never moving. Bush administration officials admit they don`t know if bin Laden is sick or even dead.

DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: With respect to the issue of Osama bin Laden`s health, I just am — don`t have any knowledge.

PETERSEN: The United States has no way of knowing who in Pakistan`s military or intelligence supported the Taliban or Osama bin Laden maybe up to the night before 9/11 by arranging dialysis to keep him alive. So the United States may not know if those same people might help him again perhaps to freedom.

Barry Petersen, CBS News, Islamabad.

(END VIDEOTAPE) END

(CBS News,  28 January 2002 emphasis added, the complete transcript of CBS report sis contained in annex to this article)

It should be noted, that the hospital is directly under the jurisdiction of the Pakistani Armed Forces, which has close links to the Pentagon. U.S. military advisers based in Rawalpindi. work closely with the Pakistani Armed Forces. Again, no attempt was made to arrest America’s best known fugitive, but then maybe bin Laden was serving another “better purpose”. Rumsfeld claimed at the time that he had no knowledge regarding Osama’s health. (CBS News, 28 January 2002)

The CBS report is a crucial piece of information in our understanding of 9/11.

It refutes the administration’s claim that the whereabouts of bin Laden are unknown. It points to a Pakistan connection, it suggests a cover-up at the highest levels of the Bush administration.

Dan Rather and Barry Petersen fail to draw the implications of their January 2002 report.  They suggest that the US had been deliberately misled by Pakistani intelligence officials. They fail to ask the question:

Why does the US administration state that they cannot find Osama?

If they are to stand by their report, the conclusion is obvious. The administration is lying. Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts were known.

If the CBS report is accurate and Osama had indeed been admitted to the Pakistani military hospital on September 10, courtesy of America’s ally, he was either still in hospital in Rawalpindi on the 11th of September, when the attacks occurred or had been released from the hospital within the last hours before the attacks.

In other words, Osama’s whereabouts were known to US officials on the morning of September 12, when Secretary of State Colin Powell initiated negotiations with Pakistan, with a view to arresting and extraditing bin Laden. These negotiations, led by General Mahmoud Ahmad, head of Pakistan’s military intelligence, on behalf of the government of President Pervez Musharraf,  took place on the 12th and 13th  of September in Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage’s office.

He could have been arrested at short notice on September 10th, 2001. But then we would not have been privileged to five years of Osama related media stories. The Bush administration desperately needs the fiction of an “outside enemy of America”.

Known and documented Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda is a construct of the US intelligence apparatus. His essential function is to give a face to the “war on terrorism”. The image must be vivid.

According to the White house, “The greatest threat to us is this ideology of violent extremism, and its greatest public proponent is Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden remains the number one target, in terms of our efforts, but he’s not the only target.” Recent Statement of White House Assistant for Homeland Security Frances Townsend, 5 September 2006).

The national security doctrine rests on the fiction of Islamic terrorists, led by Osama who are portrayed as a “threat to the civilized World”. In the words of President Bush, “Bin Laden and his terrorist allies have made their intentions as clear as Lenin and Hitler before them. The question is will we listen? Will we pay attention to what these evil men say? We are on the offensive. We will not rest. We will not retreat. And we will not withdraw from the fight until this threat to civilization has been removed.” (quoted by CNN, September 5, 2006)

The “hot pursuit” of Osama in the rugged mountainous areas of Pakistan must continue, because without Osama, referred to ad nauseam in news reports and official statements, the fragile legitimacy of the Bush administration collapses like a deck of cards.

Moreover, the search for Osama protects the real architects of the 911 attacks. While there is no evidence that Al Qaeda was behind the 911 attacks, as revealed by nuerous studies and documents, there is mounting evidence of complicity and coverup at the highest levels of the State, Military and intelligence apparatus.

The continued arrest of alleged 911 accomplices and suspects has nothing to do with “national security”. It creates the illusion that Arabs and Muslims are behind the terror plots, while shunting the conduct of a real criminal investigation into the 911 attacks. And what were dealing with is the criminalization of the upper echelons of State.

Michel Chossudovsky is the author of the international best America’s “War on Terrorism”  Global Research, 2005. He is Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Center for Research on Globalization. 

To order Chossudovsky’s book  America’s “War on Terrorism”, click here

Note: Readers are welcome to cross-post this article with a view to spreading the word and warning people of the dangers of a broader Middle East war. Please indicate the source and copyright note.

media inquiries crgeditor@yahoo.com

CBS Evening News with Dan Rather;

Author: Dan Rather, Barry Petersen

CBS, 28 January 2002

DAN RATHER, CBS ANCHOR: As the United states and its allies in the war on terrorism press the hunt for Osama bin Laden, CBS News has exclusive information tonight about where bin Laden was and what he was doing in the last hours before his followers struck the United States September 11.

This is the result of hard-nosed investigative reporting by a team of CBS news journalists, and by one of the best foreign correspondents in the business, CBS`s Barry Petersen. Here is his report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BARRY PETERSEN, CBS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Everyone remembers what happened on September 11. Here`s the story of what may have happened the night before. It is a tale as twisted as the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

CBS News has been told that the night before the September 11 terrorist attack, Osama bin Laden was in Pakistan. He was getting medical treatment with the support of the very military that days later pledged its backing for the U.S. war on terror in Afghanistan.

Pakistan intelligence sources tell CBS News that bin Laden was spirited into this military hospital in Rawalpindi for kidney dialysis treatment. On that night, says this medical worker who wanted her identity protected, they moved out all the regular staff in the urology department and sent in a secret team to replace them. She says it was treatment for a very special person. The special team was obviously up to no good.

“The military had him surrounded,” says this hospital employee who also wanted his identity masked, “and I saw the mysterious patient helped out of a car. Since that time,” he says, “I have seen many pictures of the man. He is the man we know as Osama bin Laden. I also heard two army officers talking to each other. They were saying that Osama bin Laden had to be watched carefully and looked after.” Those who know bin Laden say he suffers from numerous ailments, back and stomach problems. Ahmed Rashid, who has written extensively on the Taliban, says the military was often there to help before 9/11.

AHMED RASHID, TALIBAN EXPERT: There were reports that Pakistani intelligence had helped the Taliban buy dialysis machines. And the rumor was that these were wanted for Osama bin Laden.

PETERSEN (on camera): Doctors at the hospital told CBS News there was nothing special about that night, but they refused our request to see any records. Government officials tonight denied that bin Laden had any medical treatment on that night.

(voice-over): But it was Pakistan`s President Musharraf who said in public what many suspected, that bin Laden suffers from kidney disease, saying he thinks bin Laden may be near death. His evidence, watching this most recent video, showing a pale and haggard bin Laden, his left hand never moving. Bush administration officials admit they don`t know if bin Laden is sick or even dead.

DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: With respect to the issue of Osama bin Laden`s health, I just am — don`t have any knowledge.

PETERSEN: The United States has no way of knowing who in Pakistan`s military or intelligence supported the Taliban or Osama bin Laden maybe up to the night before 9/11 by arranging dialysis to keep him alive. So the United States may not know if those same people might help him again perhaps to freedom.

Barry Petersen, CBS News, Islamabad.

(END VIDEOTAPE) END

Copyright CBS News 2002

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/01/28/eveningnews/main325887.shtml

Hospital Worker: I Saw Osama

Jan. 28, 2002

Quote

“They military had him surrounded. I have seen many pictures of the man. He is the man we know as Osama bin Laden.” Hospital employee

(CBS) Everyone remembers what happened on Sept. 11 and, reports CBS News Correspondent Barry Petersen, here’s the story of what may have happened the night before.

In a tale as twisted as the hunt for Osama bin Laden, CBS Evening News has been told that the night before the Sept. 11 terrorists attack, Osama bin Laden was in Pakistan. He was getting medical treatment with the support of the very military that days later pledged its backing for the U.S. war on terror in Afghanistan.

Pakistan intelligence sources tell CBS News that bin Laden was spirited into a military hospital in Rawalpindi for kidney dialysis treatment.

“On that night,” said a medical worker who wanted her identity protected, “they moved out all the regular staff in the urology department and sent in a secret team to replace them.” She said it was treatment for a very special person and “the special team was obviously up to no good.”

“They military had him surrounded,” said a hospital employee who also wanted his identity masked, “and I saw the mysterious patient helped out of a car. Since that time,” he said, “I have seen many pictures of the man. He is the man we know as Osama bin Laden. I also heard two army officers talking to each other. They were saying that Osama bin Laden had to be watched carefully and looked after.”

Those who know bin Laden say he suffers from numerous ailments — back and stomach problems.

Ahmed Rashid, who has written extensively on the Taliban, said the military was often there to help before Sept. 11.

“There were reports that Pakistan intelligence had helped the Taliban buy dialysis machines and the rumor was that these were for wanted for Osama bin Laden,” said Rashid.

Doctors at the hospital told CBS News there was nothing special about that night, but they declined our request to see any records. Government officials reached Monday night denied that bin Laden received any medical treatment that night.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Tuesday the United States has seen nothing to substantiate the report.

It was Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf who said in public what many suspected: that bin Laden suffers from kidney disease, saying he thinks bin Laden may be near death.

His evidence — watching the most recent video, showing a pale and haggard bin Laden, his left hand never moving. Bush administration officials admit they don’t know if bin Laden is sick or even dead.

“With respect to the issue of Osama bin Laden’s health, I just am…don’t have any knowledge,” said Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

The U.S. has no way of knowing who in Pakistan’s military or intelligence supported the Taliban or Osama bin Lade, maybe up to the night before Sept. 11 by arranging dialysis to keep him alive. So the U.S. may not know if those same people might help him again — perhaps to freedom.

Copyright CBS News 20029/11 ANALYSIS: Where was Osama bin Laden on September 11, 2001.The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2020

مخلب الناتو وحلم السيطرة على القوقاز… أردوغان على حدّ سيوف النازيّة

محمد صادق الحسيني

مرة أخرى يجري أردوغان مسرعاً إلى حتفه من دون قراءة موازين القوى ومعطيات التاريخ والجغرافيا السياسية الجديدة التي بدأت ترسم ملامح العالم الجديد…!

إنّ سبر الدوافع الكامنة وراء تحرّك تركيا أردوغان السريع لـ «دعم» أذربيجان في الاشتباكات الحدودية الجارية بينها وبين جارتها أرمينيا، في منطقة ناغورني كاراباخ / أو كاراباخ الجبل /، يجب أن يسبقه إلقاء نظرة فاحصةٍ، على الوضع الحالي وكذلك التاريخي لهذه المنطقة الهامة من العالم. كما يجب النظر بدقةٍ الى ميزان القوى العسكري، بين الدولتين المنخرطتين في هذه الاشتباكات، أرمينيا وأذربيجان.

يشير ميزان القوى العسكري الى رجحان كبير في كفته لصالح أذربيجان، سواءٌ في القوات البرية او الجوية (أرمينيا لا تملك قوات بحرية لأنها غير مشاطئة لأي من بحار المنطقة). إذ إن عديد الجيش الأرمني يصل الى 26000 جندي فقط وحوالي ضعفهم من الاحتياط، بينما يبلغ عديد الجيش الأذري العامل 216000 جندي، يضاف اليهم 850000 (ثمانمئة وخمسزن ألفاً) من جنود الاحتياط. كما انّ ميزان القوة في سلاح الجو لدى البلدين هو انعكاس لميزان القوى في البر. ايّ انّ سلاح الجو الأذري يتفوّق على الأرميني بخمس مرات.

بالإضافة الى هذا الاختلال الكبير في ميزان القوى العسكري، فلا بدّ أن نأخذ بالاعتبار العديد من العوامل اللوجستية الهامة، التي تجعل أذربيجان أفضل تجهيزاً وعتاداً من أرمينيا. إذ إنّ أذربيجان تتلقى:

مساعدات عسكريّة مباشرة من «إسرائيل»، التي تزوّدها بمنظومات دفاع جويّ من طراز باراك ٨ وطائرات مسيّرة وتجهيزات حرب إلكترونية وعدد كبير من المستشارين العسكريين والأمنيين، الذين يتحكمون بمفاصل الجيش والأجهزة الأمنية الأذرية.
كما أنّ أذربيجان تتلقى مساعدات عسكرية كبيرة من تركيا، التي تشرف بالكامل على برامج تدريب القوات الخاصة الأذرية، بالتعاون مع مدربين من لواء غولاني «الإسرائيلي». يضاف الى ذلك ما تقدّمة تركيا من عتاد مختلف وعربات قتال مدرّعة وغير ذلك.
من هنا فإنّ الحملة الإعلامية، التي أطلقتها تركيا، حول تزويدها لأذربيجان بعدد من الطائرات المسيّرة من طراز بيرقدار / ت.ب.2 / ليست الا ذراً للرماد في العيون، وذلك لأنّ لدى أذربيجان ما يكفي من الطائرات المسيّرة الإسرائيلية ولأنّ هذه الطائرة التركية ليست هي العصا السحرية القادرة على قلب موازين القوى في الميدان، كما تدّعي صحافة أردوغان الصفراء.
إذاً ما هو الدافع الحقيقي وراء خطوات أردوغان العسكرية المتهورة في القفقاس؟

يجب أن لا ننسى، عند الإجابة على هذا السؤال، ان تركيا عضو أساسي في حلف شمال الاطلسي، وبالتالي فهي مخلب أميركي، يستخدم تارةً في سورية، وأخرى في ليبيا، وبعدها العراق، والآن حان وقت تفعيل هذا المخلب الهدام، في منطقة القفقاس، أيّ على حدود روسيا الجنوبية. خاصة أنّ لأردوغان أطماعاً واسعة في هذه المنطقة، تمتدّ الى حدود الصين الغربية.

وبالتالي فإنّ تحرك أردوغان هذا لا يمكن وضعه في خانة المغامرات العسكرية غير المحسوبة، وإنما يجب وضعه في إطاره الصحيح. هذا الإطار الذي يهدف الى تغيير الوضع الاستراتيجي في تلك المنطقة لصالح الولايات المتحدة وحلف شمال الأطلسي، وذلك من خلال:

أ) نشر التطرف الديني والفوضى العسكرية والأمنية الشاملة، ليس في أذربيجان فحسب، وانما في كل جمهوريات الاتحاد السوفياتي السابقة هناك، وذلك من خلال نقل آلاف المسلحين الإرهابيين، من بقايا فلول داعش والنصرة، المنتشرين في منطقة عنتاب، داخل تركيا، وفي مناطق شمال وشمال غرب سورية، خاصة أن تقارير الجهات الأمنية الأوروبية، المتخصصة بمتابعة الحركات الإرهابية في العالم، تؤكد وجود ما لا يقلّ عن ثمانين ألف مسلح في مناطق سيطرة الجيش التركي في سورية وفي مناطق الحدود السورية التركية.

ب) تعزيز سيطرة قوات حلف شمال الاطلسي، على الدول المحاذية لحدود روسيا الجنوبية الغربية، كأوكرانيا وجورجيا، واضافة اذربيجان اليها والتي يخطط الحلف لاستخدامها كمنصةٍ للوثوب شرقاً، باتجاه تركمانستان وطاجيكستان واوزباكستان وقرقيزستان، استكمالاً لتطويق روسيا من الجنوب وفصل إيران عن محيطها الإقليمي في وسط آسيا، وما يعنيه ذلك من محاولات لتعطيل تنفيذ مشاريع برنامج/ طريق واحد وحزام واحد الصيني العملاق، الذي يشمل هذه الدول ايضاً الى جانب إيران وغيرها من الدول العربية.

ولكن أردوغان، الذي يحلم بإعادة عجلة التاريخ الى الوراء ويهلوس بإمكانية نجاحه في السيطرة على الجغرافيا الواقعة بين بحر الادرياتيك، في البلقان، وبين الحدود الصينية، لا يمكن ان تصل أحلامه الى ابعد مما وصلت إليه احلام الامبراطورية البريطانية، عندما كانت امبراطورية، وحاولت ان تسيطر على افغانستان بحجة مواجهة التوسع الروسي في منطقة وسط آسيا. قامت بريطانيا آنذاك، سنة 1838 بتجريد حملة عسكرية، انطلقت بها من الهند، لاحتلال افغانستان، ودخلت في حرب مع المقاتلين الأفغان الموالين للملك محمد خان، الذي حاولت بريطانيا خلعه واستبداله بعميل لها. وقد استمرت تلك المغامرة البريطانية حتى شتاء 1842 عندما اصدرت القيادة العسكرية البريطانية أوامرها لقواتها المهزومة بالانسحاب سيراً على الأقدام، عبر ممر خيبر، حيث تمكن المقاتلون الأفغان من إبادتها بالكامل ولم يصل منهم أحد الى الهند، مكان انطلاق حملتهم.

وقد اعاد البريطانيون هذه التجربة الفاشلة، في اطار استراتيجية جديدةٍ لمواجهة نفوذ روسيا، أسموها استراتيجية التقدم الى الامام. فقاموا بتنظيم حملة عسكرية جديدة في افغانستان، سنة 1878، استمرت حوالي عام كامل مُنيت خلاله القوات البريطانية بهزائم نكراء واضطرت للانسحاب من افغانستان. ولكنها عاودت هذا الجنون مرة أخرى سنة 1919 انتهت بتوقيع اتفاق وقف إطلاق نار، أفغاني بريطاني، اعطيت افغانستان بموجبة حق الاستقلال الكامل وانسحبت القوات البريطانية بشكل كامل. تماماً كما يحصل حالياً بين الولايات المتحدة وقوات الناتو من جهة وحركة طالبان من جهة أخرى… عشرون عاماً من الحرب الفاشلة للوصول الى اتفاق على انسحاب آمن للقوات الأميركيّة.

إن روسيا الاتحادية الحاليّة ليست هي التي كانت في القرن التاسع عشر، حيث كانت دولة ضعيفةً نسبياً بالمقارنة مع الدول الاستعمارية الأوروبية آنذاك، ولا هي روسيا سنة 1919، التي كانت تشهد ثورة غيرت وجه التاريخ ونتج عنها نظام سياسي لم يعهده العالم سابقاً. آنذاك حاولت تلك الدول التدخل في شؤون روسيا الداخلية، متوهّمة انها دولة ضعيفة. فقامت تلك الدول بعمليات إنزال بحري في جنوب غرب روسيا على البحر الاسود، وفي اقصى الجنوب الشرقي في منطقة المحيط الهادئ (مدينة فلاديفوستوك) وفي القطب الشمالي (منطقة موراميسك). ولكن روسيا انتصرت على جميع هذه الحملات وأفشلتها.

ولعل من المفيد أيضاً تذكير «السلطان» أردوغان بأن زميله في الاحلام المكنونة، زعيم المانيا النازية، ادولف هتلر، قد حاول، سنة 1941/1942 الاستيلاء على منطقة القفقاس، ووصل بجيوشه الى مدينة ستالينغراد، التي لا تبعد سوى ألف كيلومتر عن مدينة باكو، عاصمة اذربيجان وقلب الصناعة النفطية الروسية / السوفياتية / آنذاك، والتي كانت تشكل هدفاً استراتيجياً له. ورغم انّ الحظ قد حالفه، في الوصول الى ستالينغراد، إلا أنه ارتكب بذلك خطأ تاريخياً، ادى الى ابادة الجيش الألماني السادس وجيش المدرعات، بقيادة الجنرال باولوس، وخسارة 600 الف جندي ألماني وهزيمة منكرة حسمت نتيجة الحرب العالمية الثانية.

فهل لك أن تقرأ التاريخ وتستخلص منه العبر، ايها السلطان الحالم!؟

ان الوضع الاستراتيجي لمنطقة وسط آسيا كاملةً قد حسم لصالح روسيا في صراع الدول العظمى الامبراطورية في شهر شباط سنة 1942، بتحرير الجيوش السوفياتية لمدينة ستالينغراد ومنع تقدم الجيوش الالمانية الغازية باتجاه جنوب القفقاس. أي باتجاه اذربيجان.

لقد قضي الأمر مذّْاك الزمن.

آسيا الوسطى لن تكون منطلقاً لتهديد وحدة الأراضي الروسية، ولا مسرحاً لنشر الحروب والاقتتال والفوضى فيها، وفرض حالة من انعدام الاستقرار الاستراتيجي في كل دولها.

لان ميزان القوى الدولي لا يسمح لك بذلك، وعليك ان تتذكر بان ابناء هذه الدول، كتفاً الى كتف مع اخوانهم المواطنين الروس، قد قدموا ما يزيد على 27 مليون شهيد للانتصار على النازية والحفاظ على بلدانهم.

كما لا بد من تذكير السيد أردوغان بأنّ التغيرات، التي شهدها العالم، منذ نهاية الحرب العالمية الثانية، أعمق بكثير مما يمكن لعقله أن يستوعب. ومن ضمن أهم تلك المتغيرات بروز الصين كدولةٍ مستقلةٍ معاديةً لأسياده في البيت الابيض، وتملك اقتصاداً سيبلغ حجمه ضعفي الاقتصاد الأميركي، خلال العقد الثالث من هذا القرن.

اذن، هناك استقرار استراتيجي في منطقة آسيا الوسطى، في عهدة روسيا الاتحادية وجمهورية الصين الشعبية، ولا يمكن لأحلامه البهلوانية ان تغيّر فيه شيئاً. تماماً كما أن طائراته المسيرة، من طراز بيرقدار، التي أرسلها لأذربيجان لاستفزاز روسيا ومناكفتها، ولا لطائرات حلفائه الموضوعيين في «إسرائيل»، وهي من طراز اطلس برو صناعة شركة اطلس داينامكس الإسرائيلية، والتي أرسلوها، قبل ايام معدودة، كما نشر موقع الجروساليم بوست الإسرائيلية بتاريخ 16/7/2020، الى أقصى شمال شرق النرويج، بحجة المشاركة في عمليات بحث وإنقاذ، بينما هي في الحقيقة تقوم بمهمات تجسس على أسطول الشمال الروسي، في ميناء مورمانسك في القطب الشمالي وعلى قطع هذا الأسطول المنتشرة في بحر بارينتس.

ما يعود بالفائدة على الشعب التركي وعلى الدولة التركية ويفتح أمامها ابواب التطور والازدهار اللامحدود بعيداً كل البعد عن سياساتك الحالية. إن الطريق الى ذلك يكمن في ان تستمع جيداً لكلمة السيد حسن نصر الله، التي دعا بلاده فيها للتوجه شرقاً… الى الصين والى روسيا وإيران، وتفهم عمق ما جاء فيها وعمق التغيرات التي يشهدها العالم، وعلى مختلف الصعد، كي تقود شعبك وبلادك الى نتيجة تختلف عن النتيجة، التي وصل اليها زعيم المانيا النازية، ادولف هتلر.

مواكبة العصر هي طريق النجاح وليست المغامرات العسكرية الفاشلة المعبّرة عن ضيق أفق خطير لا يليق برئيس دولة اقليمية على جانب كبير من الأهمية كالجمهورية التركية.

ومكر أولئك يبور.

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

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Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions during the online session “Russia and the post-COVID World”

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Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions during the online session “Russia and the post-COVID World”

10 July 2020 15:55

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions during the online session “Russia and the post-COVID World,” held as part of the Primakov Readings international forum, Moscow, July 10, 2020

First of all, I would like to express my gratitude for inviting me to once again speak at the Primakov Readings. This is a young, but also one of the most respected platforms for discussing international matters. Unfortunately, we cannot meet in person due to the coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, thanks to modern technology we could keep it on schedule. I am glad that my colleagues were able to take part in the preceding sessions of these readings. Judging by their feedback, this was a useful experience.

I will not delve into the question of how the coronavirus has affected every aspect of our lives, and what it will bring in the future. We already feel its effect on the economy and in personal contacts, from official visits and talks, to humanitarian, cultural and education exchanges. There seems to be a consensus that it will take quite some time for things to get back to normal. How long it will take and what the new norm will be is anybody’s guess. That said, all tend to agree that things will change.

By the way, I cannot fail to mention that our foreign service has had to face serious challenges. There were confirmed cases both at the Foreign Ministry head offices and our representative offices in the regions, as well as in our affiliated institutions. Thank goodness, we did not face a massive outbreak or severe cases. There were also people in our missions abroad affected by the pandemic. When borders closed, all our foreign missions without exception were mobilised to assist Russian nationals stranded abroad. Along with other agencies represented in the Emergency Response Centre, primarily the Transport Ministry, the Federal Air Agency, the Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Protection and Welfare and the Communications Ministry, we complied repatriation lists. This was a lot of work, fraught with many mistakes, mostly unintentional rather than deliberate, that had to be rectified. At the same time we had to make arrangements to pay support allowances to those stranded abroad without funds. We have already done a great deal on this front, although there are still people asking to be repatriated, and some have come forward only recently. It seems that looking at the developments in the countries where they are staying and considering the uncertainty as to when all this will come to an end, they finally opted to return home.

Speaking of other ways in which the pandemic influenced our work and the way we perform our professional duties, the virus has aggravated other pre-existing challenges and threats. They have not gone away, including international terrorism. As you know, some speculate that terrorists are thinking about somehow using the strain of this virus, or maybe even creating new strains to achieve their malicious ends. Drug trafficking, cybercrime, environmental issues, climate and, of course, the many conflicts around the world – all these problems are still with us. And all this overlaps with the specific nature of the Trump administration and its deliberate policy of undermining all legal and contractual frameworks without exception on arms control and international cooperation, for example, regarding UNESCO, the WHO, the UN Human Rights Council, etc.

Of course, we keep a close eye on all these developments and analyse them. We still believe that sustainable solutions to various crises, conflicts and problems in the interests of all countries, and taking into consideration each and everyone’s concerns can only result from collective efforts based on the principles enshrined in the UN Charter, by respecting UN Security Council prerogatives, mobilising consensus-based associations, including the G20, as well as BRICS, the SCO and associations on the post-Soviet space. Unfortunately, not everyone has been ready to work together during the pandemic, to engage in collective efforts and approaches. We are witnessing attempts to push through narrow-minded agendas, and use this crisis to continue strangling unwanted regimes. The call from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to suspend unilateral sanctions, at least during the pandemic, that impede the distribution of medial and other humanitarian goods, and other essential items to the corresponding countries, was completely ignored. The same goes for attempts to assign blame for the infection in the midst of the pandemic, when what we need is to think about how we can help medical workers, doctors and virologists. You know very well what I am referring to.

Like 75 years ago, when Victory over a common enemy was won only by working together and rising above the ideological differences of the time, we now also need to realise that we will resolve these issues only if we cooperate. I’m sure we’ll talk about the future of the WHO later. We are in favour of resolving any issues based on the UN Charter, which is a collective security platform.

Our Western colleagues – I’ve already mentioned this many times – are trying to actively introduce the concept of a “rules-based order” into diplomatic, political and practical usage. This is not international law. This is something else (we can also talk about this in more detail during the discussion). Clearly, this is an attempt to regain the dominance that the historical West has enjoyed for almost 500 years now. This attempt takes the form of convening a “group of interests” and various partnerships, where convenient countries are invited that either share the attempts to adopt unilateral approaches to international affairs, or will yield to pressure and join these initiatives. Not everyone is invited. Those who have their own outlook on things and are ready to defend it are left out. Later, when a concept, say, on chemical weapons, is fabricated, or an attempt is made to create a club of the select few who will decide on who is to blame for violating cybersecurity, they will start selling it as universally applicable norms. We are witnessing this now as it’s happening. These are very serious problems.

I would like to conclude my opening remarks. Our main goal, as before, is to protect our national interests and create the most favourable external conditions for the country’s development. You may have noticed that we come up with ideas that unite. Convening a summit of the UN Security Council permanent members is our top priority. This effort is ongoing. We are now focusing on the substantive part of the event, because, of course, it will play the decisive part.

The current hardships in international relations increase the importance of these discussions and, in general, the contribution of the expert community, and academic and political circles, into the efforts to analyse the situation and make reasonable realistic forecasts. I’d be remiss not to mention the case study concept that Yevgeny Primakov introduced into our foreign policy and political science. We appreciate the fact that the participants and organisers of the Primakov Readings always help us draw from a rich well of ideas, from which we then pick the ones that we submit to the President to determine our policies in specific circumstances.

Question: Five years ago, an IMEMO strategic forecast assumed that a new bipolarity might emerge as one of the four scenarios for the future world order.   At that time, this hypothesis was based on the relative dynamics of the synergetic power of China and the United States.  The COVID-19 pandemic has provided plenty of evidence of this theory. Of course, a different – asymmetrical – bipolarity is emerging, where the strategic parity is between Russia and the US, and the economic parity is between China and the United States, which is distinct from what was the case in the 20th century.

Do you think that the US-PRC conflict has passed the point of no return? It is obvious that any exacerbation of this confrontation is not in Russia’s interests. Will Russia be able to act as a swing power in order to maintain stability of the world system, including based on your unique experience of multilateral diplomacy?

Sergey Lavrov: I remember the forecast you have mentioned. I would like to say that, certainly, a lot has changed over these past five years, primarily in terms of confirming that the confrontation, rivalry, antagonism, and the struggle for leadership between the United States and China have, of course, been mounting. Before I pass directly to an analysis of this bipolar process, I would like to note that the real situation in the world as a whole is much more complicated. After all, the world is growing more polycentric than it was previously. There are numerous players apart from the US and China, without whom it is very difficult to promote one’s interests, if some or other capital suddenly decides to do this single-handedly.  I think we will yet discuss some other possible options in this sense. Let me mention the fact that Dean of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs at the National Research University – Higher School of Economics   Sergey Karaganov has commented on this subject in an article for Russia in Global Affairs, a journal published by Fyodor Lukyanov.

It is quite clear that we should take into consideration, in our practical work, the entire diversity and totality of political, economic, military, historical, and ideological factors that are manifesting themselves in the multipolar world, a world that Yevgeny Primakov predicted. We are assessing the US-Chinese controversy against this backdrop and through this prism.  That it is not existing in a vacuum is, as a minimum, confirmed by the fact that each of the sides is seeking to recruit as many supporters of their approaches as possible to the WHO or any other subject that in some way or other is associated with Washington and Beijing as defining contradictions in their approaches.

The Americans are certainly perceiving the growth of the PRC’s total state power as a threat to their claims to retaining the world leadership against all odds. Back in 2017, the US National Security Strategy listed China, along with Russia, among the main threats. It was for the first time that China was put before Russia as a threat to the United States.

Russia and China were directly accused of seeking to challenge the American influence, values and prosperity.  It is quite clear that the US is waging a struggle by absolutely unsavoury methods, as is obvious and clear to everyone. They are putting forward unilateral demands that take into account solely the US interests. If demands are turned down, they say the refusal is unacceptable and introduce sanctions.

If a discussion is suggested, the discussion rapidly degenerates into delivering an ultimatum and ends up in selfsame sanctions – trade wars, tariffs, and lots more.

A highly indicative fact is how the Americans and the Chinese managed to come to terms on phase one of the trade talks in January and what the fate of this agreement is now. The US authorities are accusing Beijing of drawing off jobs and glutting the market, while showing reluctance to buy US products. According to the Americans, China is implementing the Belt and Road project intended to steamroll all world economy mechanisms, production chains, and so on.  China allegedly was concealing information on COVID-19 and is engaging in cyber espionage. Notice how zealously the Americans are forcing their allies and others to give up any collaboration with Huawei and other Chinese digital giants and companies. China’s hi-tech companies are being squeezed out of the world markets.  China is being charged with expansionism in the South China Sea, problems on the actual control line with India, human rights violations, and [misbehaviour with regard to] Tibet, the Xinjiang-Uyghur Autonomous Region, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. All of this is taking place simultaneously. A powerful wave of fault-finding, a perfect storm is being raised. I hope, of course, that common sense will prevail and the situation will not pass the point of no return mentioned by Mr Dynkin.

We hope that there are people in the United States, who are figuring out how to reassure the world of the dollar system’s reliability in the post-election period. The US Secretary of the Treasury is speaking about this all but openly. He is warning that they should be wary of overstepping the red line, after which people will just start fleeing from America, saying that the dollar is no good anymore because it is being brazenly abused.

There is, of course, hope that the Chinese possess a political, diplomatic and foreign policy culture that always seeks to avoid various imbroglios.  But there are also some very alarming signs that, despite these rays of hope, which must be nurtured and cherished, US and Chinese officials start getting personal, occasionally in a very harsh form. This bespeaks a high degree of tension on both sides. And, of course, this is really alarming.

I do hope that our Chinese and US partners have some diplomatic methods, ways of classical diplomacy tucked up their sleeve. People should not insult each other in public or accuse each other of all sins, as the Americans are doing on every street corner. A better option is to sit down [to the negotiating table] and recognise that your opposite number is a great power and that every state, be it a great power or otherwise, has interests that must be respected.  The world certainly should seek to function based on a search for a balance of these interests.

Now let me pass to the second question – that this aggravation is not in Russia’s interests. I think that it is totally at variance with our interests, the interests of the European Union, and those of other countries as well. If you take the EU, China-EU trade is absolutely comparable with trade between China and the US. I think it is also necessary to pay attention to the EU’s increasingly publicised aspirations as regards a strategic autonomy not only in the military-political and security sphere but also in trade and the economy. Incidentally, the EU also wants to start repatriating its industries and localise as many trade and distributive chains as possible on its territory. In this regard, it is entering direct competition with the Americans.

The EU is unlikely to support the United States on every count in its desire to bleed the Chinese economy white by “pumping over” all development-friendly processes to its territory. There will be a lot of wrinkles, tension and clashes of interests.

Today, unlike in 2014, when the EU, under atrocious US pressure, introduced sanctions against Russia, it is showing signs of sound pragmatism towards our country. Specifically, they have publicly announced that they will revise the notorious “five principles” that Federica Mogherini formulated several years ago to guide relations with Russia.  They also say that it is necessary to overhaul their entire approach so that it should be more consistent with EU interests.

Incidentally, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell gave a talk recently on EU and China and on EU and Russia. Asked, why not impose sanctions on China for Hong Kong and human rights, he said that sanctions were not a method to be used in relations with China. We inquired whether sanctions were, in his opinion, a method that could be used in relations with Russia?  Our European friends will be thinking about this. It is a tough question.

I think that the European Union and Russia have a stake in cooperating, but not to the detriment of anyone else.  Basically, we do not ally with others to organise some actions against a third party.  We prefer pragmatism and shared benefit. I think Brussels will be doing something to overcome the myopia of the recent period.  The survey of EU policy vis-à-vis Russia will give more heed to an analysis of the real benefits inherent in promoting relations with Russia and the EAEU.

I do not see any benefits that Russia could derive from a trade war between Washington and Beijing. We will not benefit from relations with the EU and India either. Relations with India are traditionally friendly and other than time-serving. I do not envisage any changes in this area. We have proclaimed a “specially privileged strategic partnership” with India. I do not see any reasons why our Indian friends should sacrifice the gains that exist in the context of our partnership and prospects that it opens.

Question: You have mentioned Russian-US relations. Of course, international security and strategic stability depend on them. The situation is rather alarming now because of a deep crisis in the arms control regime. It is possible that the last key treaty in this sphere will expire in six months. There are many reasons for this, both geopolitical and technological. I believe we have to admit that public opinion is not pressuring the political elites to maintain arms control as much as during the Cold War, when large-scale demonstrations were held, as we well remember. The highest priority threats for the public now are the pandemic, climate change and terrorism. The fear of a nuclear war has receded into the background. What can be done to change this, or will it take a new Cuban crisis for the public to become aware of the nuclear conflict threat and to start expressing its opinion?

Jointly with our academic community we are now holding many videoconferences with American experts. You have said that there are rational people in the United States. It can be said that these conferences offer an opportunity to coordinate a number of new proposals, which could be used to formulate our initiatives. Of course, we update the Foreign Ministry and Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov about our activities. But it seems that today we need to think about some radical action, possibly in connection with the proposed summit of the five nuclear states, in order to create conditions that will help prevent the dismantling of the arms control regime and launch the creation of a new system of international security and strategic stability suited to the conditions of the 21st century.

Sergey Lavrov: I fully agree with you. Nuclear risks have increased dramatically, and the situation in the sphere of international security and strategic stability is visibly deteriorating. The reasons for this are obvious to everyone.  The United States wants to regain global domination and attain victory in what it describes as great-power rivalry. It has replaced the term “strategic stability” with “strategic rivalry.” It wants to win, whatever the price, as the saying goes. It is dismantling the arms control architecture so as to have the freedom to choose any instrument, including military force, to put pressure on its geopolitical opponents, and it wants to be able to use these instruments anywhere around the world. This is especially alarming in light of the changes in the doctrines of the US military-political authorities. These changes have allowed the limited use of nuclear weapons. It is notable that, like in the case of other strategic stability topics, the Americans have once again alleged that it is the Russian doctrine that permits the limited use of nuclear weapons and escalation for the sake of de-escalation and victory. They have recently issued comments on our doctrines, claiming that there are some secret parts where all of this is stipulated. This is not true. Meanwhile, we can see that the United States has adopted a number of practical programmes to support their doctrines with military and technical capabilities. This concerns the creation of low-yield nuclear warheads. American experts and officials are openly discussing this.

In this context, we are especially alarmed by the Americans’ failure to reaffirm – for two years now – the fundamental principle that there can be no winners in a nuclear war and that therefore it must never be unleashed. Early in the autumn of 2018, we submitted to the American side our written proposal that has been formulated as the confirmation of what People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs Maxim Litvinov and US President Franklin Roosevelt had coordinated and the notes they exchanged. We have reminded them about this proposal several times. They have replied that they are analysing it. Of course, we will raise the issue of the inadmissibility of fighting a nuclear war and winning it at the upcoming summit meeting of the five nuclear powers. It is important for our arguments to be no weaker than the arguments in the relevant Soviet-US documents. The slackening of these formulations has shown that the Americans would like to dilute the fact that there is no alternative to this principle and it cannot be repealed.

You have said that civil society is not paying sufficient attention to these threats, and I fully agree with you on this count. It is vital to attract public attention to this problem, to tell the people about the risks in understandable terms, because technicalities are often difficult to understand, and the form in which the analysis of this situation is presented to people is very important. Of course, we should count not only on official establishments but also on civil society and its politically active part – the NGOs and the academic and expert community.

I have said that I agree with you on this count, but I would also like to caution against going too far with raising public awareness of nuclear risks, so as not to play into the hands of those who want to prohibit all nuclear weapons and not to raise other concerns. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons openly contradicts the Non-Proliferation Treaty, creating confusion and problems. The necessary balance can be found with the help of top quality professionals, and I believe that we have more of them than any other country.

As for public sentiments, they do not always determine the reality. During the election campaign of US President Donald Trump, public sentiments were largely in tune with his declared plans and his calls for normalising Russian-US relations. Since then, the public has calmed down, and nobody is staging any riots over this matter.

Of course, it is vital to continue to interact directly with the nuclear powers and their authorities. We would like reasonable approaches to take priority.

You have mentioned that political consultations are underway between you, your colleagues and American experts. We appreciate this. Your contribution and assessments, as well as the information we receive following such consultations are taken into account and have a significant influence on the essence of our approaches, including in situations when we submit several alternatives to the leadership; this helps us analyse the possible scenarios and all their pros and cons.

The United States, as well as Britain and France, which are playing along with it, would like to limit the summit’s agenda to arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. China sees this as an attempt to press through the idea of expanding the number of negotiating parties at the talks on nuclear weapons by one means or another. China has put forth its position on the idea of multilateral talks clearly and more than once. We respect this position. By the way, the Americans are clever at twisting things. They use only the parts of our statements and those of the Chinese that suit their position. The Chinese have said recently that they will join the arms control talks as soon as the Americans reduce their capability to the level of China’s arsenal. A day later, Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea announced that the United States welcomed China’s readiness to join the multilateral talks and invited Beijing to Vienna. The next round of Russian-US consultations at the level of experts will be held in late July, following on from the late June meeting between Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov and US Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea, when the Americans made a show with Chinese flags. The Americans have once again stated publicly that they would like to invite the Chinese to Vienna but it would be better if Russia met with China before that so as to tell Beijing what Washington expects from it. I think everyone can see that this is impolite and undiplomatic. When we say that we proceed from the assumption that China is free to take whatever stand it deems necessary, it shows our respect for China’s position. I would like to add that the Americans have not put on paper anything of what they said about the need for transitioning to a multilateral format. Let them at least document what they have in mind. But they seem to be categorically averse to this.

We are ready to take part in multilateral talks, but it should be a voluntary and independent decision of everyone. Only voluntary participation can be effective.

None of the reservations are being taken into account. They say that Russia supports their call for multilateral talks. What do we hear when we add that multilateral talks must also include Britain and France? Special Envoy Billingslea didn’t blink when he said the other day in reply to a question about the possible involvement of Britain and France that they are sovereign states who are free to decide whether to join the talks or not, and that the United States will not make the decision for them. Why has it actually made the decision for China then?

Knowing the US negotiating party, I am not optimistic about the New START, for example, but it’s good that we have started talking. Sergey Ryabkov and Marshall Billingslea have agreed to set up three working groups within the framework of the process they are supervising. They will hold a meeting of the working group on space, nuclear and weapons transparency plus nuclear doctrines in Vienna between July 27 and 30. We’ll see what comes of it. We never refuse to talk, and we will try to make negotiations result-oriented.

Question: Extending the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty is one of the critical items on the agenda of Russia-US relations, primarily in the sphere of arms control. If Russia fails to reach an agreement with Washington to renew this treaty before February 2021, what will it do next? If there’s a pause in the dialogue with Washington in the sphere of arms control, and if the treaty is not renewed, what will the arms control system become and will the multilateral formats that we are talking about now be possible in the future?

Sergey Lavrov: It appears that the United States has already decided not to renew this treaty. The fact that it insists that there’s no alternative to taking the deal to the trilateral format suggests that everything has been already decided. In addition to this, they want the latest Russian weapons to be part of the deal which, by and large, is nothing short of trying to force an open door. We told the Americans earlier on that when Avangard and Sarmat become fully deployed, they will be subject to the restrictions established by the treaty for as long as it remains valid. The other systems are new. They do not fit into the three categories covered by START-3, but we are ready to start talking about including the weapons that are not classical from the START-3 perspective in the discussion, of course, within the context of a principled discussion of all, without exceptions, variables that affect strategic stability that way or another. This includes missile defence, where we are now able to see that the once existing allegations that it was designed solely to stop the missile threat coming from Iran and North Korea, were lies. No one is even trying to bring this up anymore. Everything is being done solely in terms of containing Russia and China. Other factors include high-precision non-nuclear weapons known as a programme of instant global strike, openly promoted plans by the Americans and the French to launch weapons into space, the developments related to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and a number of other factors too. We are ready to discuss new weapons, but to do so not in order to humour someone or to respond to someone’s initiatives, but to really reduce the threat to global stability and security.

To this end, we need to look at all the things that create these threats, pushing us to create antidotes, as was the case with our hypersonic weapons, which were developed in response to the global deployment of the US missile defence system.

Speaking specifically about the START-3 Treaty, we need an extension as much as the Americans do. They see some kind of a game in our calls to extend it for five more years without any preconditions. Russia, they say, has modernised its entire nuclear arsenal, but we are just beginning the modernisation, so they want to “tie our hands.” This is absolutely not so. We need to extend the START-3 Treaty as much as the Americans. If they refuse to do so, we will not insist. We know and we firmly believe that we will be able to ensure our security in the long run, even in the absence of this treaty. I think it is premature to discuss our actions if this treaty expires without any further action, but we are indeed ready for any turn of events. If the renewal is turned down, our options may be different, but I can assure you that overall we will continue the dialogue with the United States on strategic issues and new weapons control tools based on the facts that underlie strategic stability, as I just mentioned.

With regard to the multilateral talks, we already said back in 2010, when we were signing START-3, that the signing of this treaty puts an end to the possibility for further bilateral reductions and that, talking about future reductions, I emphasise this term, we will need to take into account the arsenals of other nuclear powers and start looking for other forms of discussions, if we’re talking about reductions. If we are talking about control, I think the bilateral Russian-American track has far more to offer. Losing all forms of control and transparency would probably be an unreasonable and irresponsible thing to do in the face of our nations and other nations as well. I believe the fact that there’s a transparency group (this is a broad term that includes measures of trust and verification) among the Russian-American working groups which will be meeting in Vienna soon, is a good sign.

Question: The Eurasian countries regard Russia as a mainstay that can connect the EU and Asian countries. How do you see Russia’s role in this space?

Sergey Lavrov: The situation on the Eurasian continent is fully affected by almost all global factors. This is where a number of the most important world centres are located, including China, Russia, India and the European Union if we are talking about the continent as a whole. For various reasons, each of these actors is motivated to pursue a foreign policy independent from the United States. This includes the EU.

Calls for strategic autonomy extend to the development area as such. We in Eurasia feel the influence of forces that would like to put together interest-based blocs and try to introduce elements of confrontation into various processes. We increasingly see centripetal tendencies. I am referring to ASEAN in the east and the EU in the west of our continent.

Located in the centre is the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the Eurasian Economic Union. We would like to promote unifying, not divisive approaches in this space  and intensify trans-regional collaboration based on equality, mutual benefit, and most importantly, we would like to realise the obvious comparative advantages of cooperation on the continent via integration entities created in the West, East, and Centre, with respect for each of these unions and the search for natural forms of collaboration. This is the goal of what we call the Greater Eurasian Partnership that President Vladimir Putin suggested establishing at the Russia-ASEAN summit in Sochi a few years ago. We think this is an absolutely realistic action plan.

Let me note parenthetically that there are opposing approaches. They are mostly promoted by the United States through so-called Indo-Pacific concepts aimed at undermining the central systematic role of ASEAN in the Asia-Pacific region. I am referring to an attempt to put together a group of countries that would openly – this is not even hidden – contain China’s development.

I would favour identifying points of contact among all integration processes. Of course, there is China’s Belt and Road concept. The EAEU has an agreement with China that includes identifying points of contact and the harmonisation of any project that will be implemented as part of Eurasian integration and China’s project. Of course, there is a clash of economic interests in a number of cases, but the sides’ willingness to be guided by international legal principles, respect for each other, and mutual benefit makes it possible to agree on these economic interests based on the search for balance. It is in this way that our relations with our EAEU partners, China within the SCO, and ASEAN, are built. We invite the European Union, as has been repeatedly stated, to consider how it can become part of the development of our common geopolitical and primarily geo-economic space with benefits for itself and for others.

Question: The Middle East and North Africa remain a troubled region. New divides continue to crop up there; the potential for conflict remains and the old conflicts that everyone knows about persist. The humanitarian situation is aggravated due to the West’s unfair sanctions against a certain part of the region. Various asymmetries are growing deeper. What are Russia’s strategic interests in the region today? What do we want to achieve there, given the post-COVID nature of the era we are now entering?

Sergey Lavrov: We have very good relations in this region, possibly the best in the history of relations between this country, in its various capacities, and the region. I mean relations with all sides: the Arab countries, regardless of the conflict potential within the Arab world, and Israel. We will proceed from the need to promote positive contact with all these countries and seek to understand their problems and needs, and take this into account in our relations not only with a specific country but also with the countries that this particular partner has problems with.

In the beginning, I was asked whether Russia was ready to perform as a balancing influence in relations between the United States and China. If they ask us to, if they are interested, we would not decline this. We have established contacts with both sides and our historical development record enables us to see that we have potential.

If there is interest in mediation services that we can offer in this region or elsewhere, we are always ready to try to help, but of course, we will not push ourselves on anyone. Our own interest is primarily in precluding new military crises and in settling old crises so that the Middle East and North Africa become a zone of peace and stability. Unlike certain major countries outside the region, we have no strategic interest in maintaining controlled chaos. We have no such interest whatsoever.

We are not interested in engineering head-on clashes between countries in the region so as to create a pretext and a motive for continuing, and sometimes expanding, our military presence there. We are interested in promoting mutually beneficial trade, economic, investment and other ties with these states. In this respect, we would not like any other country in the region to have the same fate as Libya, which was robbed of its statehood and now no one knows how to “sew it together.” This is why we will be actively involved in efforts to reestablish an international legal approach to avoid any further toothpowder-filled test tubes passed off as VX and lies about weapons of mass destruction in other countries in the region as is now happening in Syria. Some have already started talking about “undiscovered” chemical weapons in Libya. All of these are inventions. How they are concocted is no secret.

We would like to derive economic benefits from our relations with the countries in the region. For this, we primarily have much in common in our approaches to problems in the contemporary world: international law, the UN Charter, and inter-civilisational dialogue, something that is also important, considering the Muslim population in the Russian Federation. Russia’s Muslim republics maintain good ties with the Gulf countries and other countries in the Arab world. We would like to support and develop all this. We will not gain anything from the chaos that continues in the region. As soon as the situation stabilises, the Russian Federation’s reliability as a partner in economic cooperation, military-technical cooperation, and the political area will always ensure us important advantages.

Question: My question is related to the recent changes in Russia. The new wording of the Constitution, which has come into effect, includes a provision according to which any actions (with the exception of delimitation, demarcation and re-demarcation of the state border of the Russian Federation with adjacent states) aimed at alienating part of the Russian territory, as well as calls for such actions, shall be prohibited. This provision is understandable. This brings me to my question: Does this mean that our years-long talks with Japan on the so-called territorial dispute have become anti-constitutional because they contradict our Fundamental Law? As far as I recall, the terms “delimitation” and “demarcation” have never been applied to the Kuril Islands, or have they?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, you are spot on. Our relations with Japan are based on a number of agreements. The Russian Federation as the successor state of the Soviet Union has reaffirmed its commitment to all of the agreements signed by the Soviet Union. President Vladimir Putin has confirmed this more than once. This includes the 1956 Declaration under which we are ready to discuss and are discussing with our Japanese colleagues the necessity of signing a peace treaty, but not a treaty that would have been signed the next day after the last shot, that is, immediately after the termination of the war, as some of our Japanese colleagues would like. The state of war between the Soviet Union and Japan was terminated by the 1956 Declaration, which provides for the end of the state of war and for the restoration of diplomatic relations. What else do we need? In other words, a peace treaty we are negotiating should be modern and comprehensive, and it should not reflect the situation of 60-70 years ago but the current state of affairs, when we believe that we should develop full-scale ties with Japan. This document must be essential and inclusive, that is, it should include issues of peace, friendship, neighbourliness, partnership and cooperation, and it should cover all spheres of our relations, including economic ties, which are improving but not in all economic sectors. It should be remembered that our Japanese neighbours have imposed sanctions on Russia, although they are not as all-embracing as the US restrictions, but anyway.

A peace treaty should also cover security topics, because Japan has a close military alliance with the United States, which has essentially declared Russia to be an enemy. Of course, a comprehensive peace treaty should also include our views on foreign policy interaction, where, to put it simply, we disagree on all disputable matters, as well as humanitarian and cultural ties and many other factors. We have offered a concept of such a treaty. Our Japanese colleagues have not responded to this concept so far.

It is clear that the outcome of WWII is the fundamental issue that should determine our relations. Japanese officials have stated more than once that they recognise the results of WWII excluding the decision concerning the South Kuril Islands, or the “Northern Territories,” as they say. This position contradicts the law. Japan’s position must be based on the fact that the country ratified the UN Charter, which essentially means that the actions taken by the winner countries with regard to the enemy countries are beyond discussion.

Of course, our Japanese neighbours keep saying that they would sign a peace treaty as soon as the territorial dispute is settled. This is not what we have agreed to do. We have agreed to focus on signing a peace treaty as stipulated in the 1956 Declaration.

Question: Russia often criticises the US for promoting non-inclusive associations in the Pacific and Indian Oceans to isolate “uncomfortable” states. I am primarily referring to the so-called Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad. Obviously, the very existence of such formats turns the region from a zone of cooperation into a zone of confrontation. We are certainly not interested in that. However, for all its minuses, the Quad concept is obviously finding understanding from Russia’s strategic partners, for instance, India. The Quad Plus project, where the US plans to invite Vietnam, our strategic partner as well, is also under discussion. Apparently, there is a need to enhance security in the region. Can Russia offer an alternative to such formats to prevent our two strategic partners from being in a position where they have to deter a third one?

Sergey Lavrov: I talked about the appearance of concepts and strategies on forming what US diplomats call “a free and open Indo-Pacific” several years ago. When some initiative calls itself free and open, I always have the impression that this includes a tinge of PR because how can it be called open if every state the region without exception is not invited to join?

When the term “Indo-Pacific strategies” appeared we inquired if they did not deal with the Asia-Pacific Region the contours of which are clear: the APEC, and the mechanisms that were established around ASEAN (the ASEAN regional security forum, the meeting of the ASEAN defence ministers and the partner countries, which is very important and, of course, the East Asia Summit (EAS), a forum that will be a decade old this year). We asked why the established term, Asia-Pacific Region, was replaced with this “Indo-Pacific strategies.” Does this mean that these strategies will embrace more countries, including all Indian Ocean coastal states? We received a negative answer. But what does “Indo” mean then? Will the Persian Gulf, which is part of the Indian Ocean, take part in the new format? We got a negative answer again. The Gulf has too many problems to be involved in these initiatives.

As for the ideas pursued by this Quad, as I have said, they are not really hiding them. These ideas come down to attempts to deter China. Our specially privileged partner India is fully aware of this. Pursuing its multi-vector policy, India is certainly interested in developing relations with the US (and who isn’t?), Japan and Australia. We are also interested in this. But India does not want to benefit from this cooperation at the price of further aggravating its relations with China. They had sad incidents on the Line of Actual Control but we welcome their immediate contacts between militaries, which are ongoing. They reached agreements on de-escalating tensions. Their politicians and diplomats also met. We can see that neither India nor China want their relations to get worse. Therefore, before talking seriously about Indo-Pacific strategies as a future for our large region, it is necessary to explain the choice of wording. If this was done to please India because of the Indian Ocean, just say so.

There are things that have already been established. I mentioned a diverse network of institutions and mechanisms around ASEAN. ASEAN brings together a group of countries that promote unifying approaches in the context of their civilisations and cultures. Everything is aimed at searching for consensus based on a balance of interests. For decades, the members have been absolutely content with developing relations in this venue with its regional security forum, defence minister meetings and East Asia Summits. There is even an expression: “ASEAN-way.” They always emphasise that they want to handle matters in “the ASEAN-way.” This means never to seek confrontation or launch projects that will create problems for other members. Regrettably, Indo-Pacific strategies may pursue different goals, at least under their initial concept.

In the beginning of our conversation, I mentioned the tough claims made by the US against China. They sound like an ultimatum. This is a mechanism for exerting and intensifying pressure. We do not see anything positive in this. Any problems must be resolved peacefully, through talks. Let me repeat that ASEAN is an ideal venue where every participant can discuss its problems with another member without polemics or tension. We are actively forming bridges with ASEAN (I mentioned the EAEU and the SCO). Their secretariats have already signed related memorandums. We will continue promoting ASEAN’s core role in the South Pacific Region.

We will only welcome Indo-Pacific strategies if they become more understandable, if we are convinced that they lean towards joining the ASEAN-led processes rather than try to undermine its role and redirect the dialogue against China or someone else. However, we are not seeing this so far.

Question: A week ago, experts were polled on US allegations that Russian military intelligence, the GRU, had offered rewards to the Taliban for killing US troops in Afghanistan. All of the analysts agree that the allegation could be rooted in domestic, primarily political reasons. Your subordinate, Special Presidential Representative for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov, has pointed out that one of the factions in the United States is against the planned troop withdrawal from Afghanistan because US security services have become deeply involved in the drug trade over the past few years. We have not asked you about this situation yet. What do you think about this uproar?

Sergey Lavrov: We have already responded to the hype in the United States over Russia’s alleged connection with the Taliban, who were allegedly financed to fight US troops and even offer bounties for the murder of American military personnel. I can only tell you once again that all this is a dirty speculation. No facts have been provided to prove anything. Moreover, responsible officials in the US administration, including the Secretary of Defence, have said that they know nothing about this.

These allegations fit in very well with the political fighting during an election year in the United States, as if they were invented – and it appears that this is so – for this purpose. The objective is to disgrace the US administration and to discredit everything it has been doing, especially with regard to Russia. I would like to repeat that there are no facts to prove these allegations. But there were facts in the late 1970s and 80s, when the US administration did not make a secret of helping the Mujahedeen, of supplying them with Stingers and other weapons, which they used against Soviet soldiers.

As I have said, we would like both Russia and the United States to draw lessons from the experience they have accumulated in that long-suffering country and to help launch an intra-Afghan dialogue together with the other countries that could help allay tensions there, primarily China, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan’s other neighbours. We have been working actively towards this end.

As for the United States, we have been acting within the framework of this political process under the agreements being advocated by the United States in its dialogue with the Taliban and the Afghan Government. We are using our channels to make these agreements possible. There is a mechanism for consultations between Russia, the United States and China, which Pakistan sometimes joins and to which Iran has been invited. However, Iran has not acted on the invitation because of its problems with the United States and the actions Washington has been taking against Iran around the world. These consultations are a mechanism for cooperation that is being used to define the spheres where signals could be sent to the sides. This is being done within the framework of the logic of the so-called Moscow format, which brings together all of Afghanistan’s neighbours without exception, as well as the United States, Russia and China. This is more than adequate.

Now, regarding Afghanistan’s drugs and the possible involvement of the US military in the drug business. We have received numerous reports, including through the media, according to which NATO aircraft are being used to smuggle Afghan opiates to other countries, including to Europe. The governors of the concerned Afghan provinces have stated more than once that unmarked helicopters are flying in the area. It should be noted that the sky over Afghanistan is controlled by the NATO coalition. Other reports have mentioned other forms of smuggling opiates.

Of course, we cannot verify such information to the dot, but it has been reported so regularly that we cannot ignore it. If combat aircraft were used in Afghanistan (as I mentioned, it could only be NATO aircraft), the flights could only be made by military or intelligence personnel. These circumstances should be investigated, first of all in the United States. The Americans have agencies that are in charge of monitoring compliance with American laws. Second, investigations should also be held in the country where military personnel are deployed, that is, Afghanistan. This is exactly what Zamir Kabulov said. By the way, established facts show that over the 20 years of the deployment of the US and other coalition members in Afghanistan the volume of drugs smuggled into other countries, including in Europe and our neighbours, as well as into Russia, has increased several times over. Neither the United States nor the other members of the NATO coalition are seriously fighting this drug business. By the way, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko noted in a recent report that there are opium poppy plantations right next to NATO bases. This is an established fact. And this is possibly not right from the viewpoint of the US stand on the drug business.

We have regularly tried to attract the UN Security Council’s attention to this issue when we listened to reports on NATO coalition operations in Afghanistan, and we also did this via bilateral channels when we urged our partners to combat the drug industry. They replied that the mandate of the NATO mission in Afghanistan did not include drugs, that it only stipulated counterterrorist activities. But it is a well-known fact that the drug business is used to finance terrorism and is the largest source of funds for terrorist organisations. You can reach your own conclusions. As I have pointed out, we take this problem very seriously.

QuestionA few hours after this meeting of the Primakov Readings is over, an extraordinary UN General Assembly session on combating the pandemic will begin at 10 am New York time. This session was convened by the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). How important is this session? Who will represent Russia? Do you think the UN is late in responding to the pandemic? What do you think about the Non-Aligned Movement’s principles in these conditions?

Sergey Lavrov: Of course, we are aware that a special session of the UN General Assembly on the subject of COVID-19 will be convened upon the initiative of the Non-Aligned Movement chaired by Azerbaijan this year. It will take place a little later. Today, on July 10, the procedural registration of the rules to be used for convening the session begins, since amid the coronavirus infection, all remotely held events are subject to coordination in terms of their organisational and procedural aspects. Only this matter will be discussed today. The date for convening the special session itself has not yet been determined.

I don’t think we have any reason to believe that the UN is slow or late in responding to the coronavirus infection challenges. The UN General Assembly met twice some time ago at an early stage of this situation. Two resolutions were adopted which were dedicated to the international community’s goals in fighting the coronavirus infection. Most recently, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution on COVID-19. We were unable to do this for a long time because the Americans strongly opposed mentioning the role of the World Health Organisation in the document. Eventually, we found words that allowed us to mention this role and to ensure consensus approval.

Let us remember that the World Health Assembly, by the way, with the participation of the Americans, held a special session in May. The WHA adopted a resolution supported by the US in which the WHO’s role was objectively reflected. It was agreed at that session that as soon as the pandemic and all major programmes are completed, an international assessment of the lessons we learned from the WHO’s work in this area would be made, but without pointing a finger at anyone. It is an objective scientific evaluation of independent professionals.

Of course, the Non-Aligned Movement is our close partner. We are a guest country that is regularly invited to NAM summits and ministerial meetings in this capacity. This body was created in a wholly different historical context at the height of the Cold War, when the developing countries that formed this movement wanted to emphasise the principle of neutrality with respect for the two military blocs. Nevertheless, the Non-Aligned Movement remains a significant factor in international politics even after the Cold War. I think this is good, since the attempts to cobble up certain blocks again (we have already discussed this today) continue. It is important that this neutrality, non-commitment and focus on advancing the principles of international law be preserved at the core of NAM activities.

By the way, another NAM summit was held in Baku in October 2019. We attended it as a guest. Important joint statements were agreed upon. We confirmed our support for strengthening multipolarity in the international arena and respect for the UN Charter principles. NAM statements in support of Palestine and Bolivia were adopted as well. Back then, these were important topics. We are interested in seeing our status in NAM help us actively work on issues of common interest.

Question: Did Dmitry Kozak give an ultimatum at the talks on the Minsk agreements, telling Kiev to draft amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine on the special status of Donbass as soon as possible? If so, why has this demand become so tough only now that these agreements are already five years old?

Sergey Lavrov: There were no demands or ultimatums. Working as Normandy format advisors, the assistants of the four leaders that are part of our Contact Group, we are trying to ensure, in cooperation with the OSCE, the direct dialogue that Kiev is required to conduct with Donetsk and Lugansk. Conceptually, we are striving for only one goal – we are asking our Ukrainian partners to reaffirm their full commitment to the Minsk agreements as they were drafted, signed and approved by the UN Security Council. When we are told that Kiev is committed to the Minsk agreements but that it is necessary to first establish control of the Ukrainian Army and border guards over the entire border, this has nothing to do with the Minsk agreements. This is a deliberate attempt to mislead the public. When we are told, at the top level, that the Minsk agreements must be preserved to continue the sanctions against Russia, we would like to know if Ukraine is primarily interested in these agreements because of the sanctions, why it signed them and whether it is still committed to what is written in them rather than this absolutely artificial and inadequate link with sanctions. The majority of EU members consider this link incoherent. This is an approach of principle. I talked with the foreign ministers of France and Germany. Mr Kozak spoke with his counterparts as well. We would like our French and German partners to continue to express their views about this as participants in the Normandy format. Every day, we hear Kiev’s official statements that simply discard the agreements that were reaffirmed by the UN Security Council after the talks in Minsk.

For all this, we continue to hold pragmatic conversation with a view to coordinating specific steps on promoting all aspects of the Minsk agreements: security, socio-economic, humanitarian and political issues. At the recent, fairly productive meeting of the leaders’ assistants of the Normandy format states, the participants reached a number of agreements on yet another detainee exchange, and the Contact Group’s security arrangements, including reconciliation of the texts of the orders that must be adopted by the parties to the conflict (Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk) and describe in detail the actions to be banned by these orders. These issues were agreed upon. The third negotiated item on the political agenda is the presentation by Ukraine of its vision of the document that will contain amendments to the Constitution to reflect the special status of Donbass fully in line with the Minsk agreements.

Understandings were reached in these three areas and were supposed to be formalised in the decisions of the Contact Group that ended its session the other day. In Minsk, the Ukrainian delegation disavowed everything that was agreed upon in Berlin. We noted this, and Deputy Chief of the Presidential Executive Office Dmitry Kozak sent a related message to his colleagues. So, this is no surprise at all. We have always insisted that the Minsk agreements must be carried out in full and with the due succession of actions. It’s not that we are losing patience, but patience helps when there is a clear understanding of what comes next. President Vladimir Zelensky came to power under a slogan of quick peace in Donbass. However, at this point, we have no idea what the attitude of his administration is to the actions that must be taken under the Minsk agreements.

Question: Former US National Security Advisor John Bolton writes in his memoirs that US President Donald Trump was unhappy about the sanctions over Salisbury and Syria. Did you hear about this? Is the agreement with the US on the exchange of top level visits still valid? Is Russia’s participation in the extended G7 format being considered?

Sergey Lavrov: I haven’t read John Bolton’s memoirs but I’m familiar with some parts of his book. Clearly, Mr Bolton has his own view of Russia-US relations, the US mission in the world, and America’s vision of the world order and what it should be. Apparently, every author wants his or her book to sell well (and in America practically every person writes a book after serving in the government for one or two years). To achieve this, it is necessary to make it interesting, and “hot issues” are helpful in this respect. I’ll leave all this on the conscience of Mr Bolton: both his presentation of this material and the spicy and sensitive details. I’ll also leave on his conscience his obvious embellishment of US actions in different situations.

Nobody has signed any agreements on exchanging top level visits because such an agreement implies a certain date for a visit, and the name of the city and geographical location. But nobody is discounting the possibility of such meetings, either. We are willing to work with the Americans at all levels and President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin has good relations with US President Donald Trump. From time to time, I talk with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. Our deputies also maintain a dialogue. So, if the Americans are interested, we do not see any obstacles. We don’t want our relations to be seen as some appendage to the election campaign and the tough actions taken by the sides as regards each other on the eve of the US election.

As for the G7, I think we have already said everything we wanted to say on this issue. Russia was a full member of the G8. The G8 did not meet in 2014 and not due to any action on our part. Our partners — Europe, North America and Japan — decided not to hold this event in full. This is their choice. President Vladimir Putin said in one of his comments that as before we will be happy to host the entire G8 in the Russian Federation. If our colleagues do not want this, love cannot be forced.

As for the G7, the list of countries invited to attend, as mentioned by US President Donald Trump, shows that the G7 can no longer accomplish much on its own. But even the countries that were mentioned will not make any radical change because the list is incomplete. We are convinced that the serious issues of the world and global finances can hardly be resolved effectively. Apparently, these reasons — the need to involve the main players in world financial, economic and commodity markets — have prompted the resumption and upgrade of activities in the G20. This is an inclusive mechanism that relies on consensus and the principles of equality. We believe the G20 format must obviously be preserved, encouraged and actively used if we want to talk about the underlying causes of current economic problems rather than their use in foreign policy disputes or any other sort of rhetoric.

Question: In Russia, they always say that they are ready to work with any president that is elected by the American people. Can you predict potential development of bilateral relations if former US Vice President Joe Biden wins? Do you think some analysts are correct in believing that he could revise some of President Donald Trump’s decisions, which do not benefit Russia, such as withdrawal from the INF Treaty and the Open Skies Treaty?

Sergey Lavrov: We do not comment on election campaigns. This is done by the media in all countries. The election campaign in the US is creating much interest in the entire world. This is understandable, but officially we proceed from the correct assumption that the choice of the head of state is up to the American people. This is a domestic US affair.

As for how this or that outcome might affect Russia-US relations, if we reason in a perfectly abstract way, we can quote some analysts that have commented on how this will influence disarmament talks. There is an opinion that is probably buttressed by some facts, that the Democrats are less prone than the Republicans to destroy the agreements on strategic stability and disarmament that had been reached over the past few decades. But we have not forgotten that a major anti-Russia campaign was launched during the Democratic administration of Barrack Obama. Many elements of this campaign, including sanctions, are now an element of bipartisan consensus. I don’t want to guess. This situation is unpredictable. Let me repeat, let the American people make their decision.

The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights that is in charge, among other things, of monitoring elections, has conducted such monitoring remotely and distributed a report that was recently presented at the OSCE Permanent Council. The report contains many critical remarks about the correlation of election processes to American laws. I will not go into details. You can read this report yourself. But the report mentions, in particular, that for a variety of reasons at least 2 million US citizens are deprived of the right of the vote to which they are entitled by law. Interestingly, the report notes such a congenital defect in US election legislation, notably, a two-stage election process.

At first, people elect the Electoral College that later on chooses the president. The report also noted that the creation of the electoral districts is unfair to different ethnic groups. This is an indicative observation on behalf of the OSCE. We have spoken about this for a long time. I also recall that when Condoleezza Rice was US Secretary of State, she complained about our elections. I replied that if she had specific grievances, we had international and domestic observers and many other mechanisms and the entire process would be analysed. I reminded her that in the US a nominee can win a popular vote but a different candidate can be elected president because of different shares of votes in the electoral districts and the Electoral College. This is what happened in 2000 when the Florida votes were recounted for such a long time. Eventually, this process was stopped by the Supreme Court. George Bush Jr became US President and Alexander Gore accepted his defeat. Ms Rice told me then that they know this is a problem but this is their problem and they will settle it themselves. They probably will respond to the OSCE report in the same way.

As for the prospects and the projection of this or other decision on treaties, including the Open Skies Treaty, in line with the current schedule and its own announced decision on withdrawal, the US is supposed to end its participation in the treaty on November 22 or two and a half weeks after the election. No matter who becomes president, the new administration will assume its duties on January 20. Therefore, this decision will not likely be revised if the treaty expires. If the new administration, Democratic or Republican, decides to return to the treaty, the talks will have to be started from scratch. Therefore, at the extraordinary conference of the signatories of the Open Skies Treaty that was held online on July 6 of this year, we urged all remaining parties to the treaty to try and preserve it. We are prepared to continue with it but will take our final decision on whether we should remain part of it after analysing all consequences of the US decision on withdrawing from it, that is unlikely to be revised. It is final and irreversible as we are seeing, in my opinion. This is also confirmed by what happened with the INF Treaty. The decision was announced. This was followed by attempts at persuading them to keep it but to no avail.

But let me return to what I said in replying to one of the questions. We are ready for a situation where nothing will be left of arms control due to the US’s persistent line to throw all of these agreements out. But we are also prepared not to start from scratch but continue our contacts with the Americans on all strategic stability issues. I am confident that all members of the international community will support this approach. That said, we will keep the door open for multilateral talks as well. Let me repeat that these talks must rely on common understanding, voluntary participation and a balanced lineup of participants.

U.S. has admitted military and political failures in Syria: Russian academic

Source

July 8, 2020 – 15:26

TEHRAN – An associate professor in the Department of Comparative Politics at RUDN University believes that the United States has admitted its military and political failure in Syria.“The United States recognizes its military and political failure in Syria,” Vladimir Ivanov tells the Tehran Times.Ivanov says Washington’s main goal of overthrowing the Assad government has not been realized. However, the scholar says, Russia, unlike many other foreign powers, “has managed to maintain good (or at least normal) relations with all participants in major regional conflicts.” Following is the text of the interview:

1.    Turkey accuses Russia of increasing its military intervention in Libya. This accusation was made while Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar visited the Libyan capital, Tripoli. What is your comment? 

Recently, the Libyan national army has destroyed Turkish military equipment stationed at a strategically important airbase al-Vatiya. “The U.S. cannot influence the processes in a particular region of the world by military force,” Vladimir Ivanov says. 

The day before, it became known about Ankara’s intention to participate in the Libyan conflict openly. Turkey sides with the Government of National Accord and comes into conflict with France over Libya. 

Turkey is outraged by the attack on the al-Vatiya airbase in Libya, which the Ankara-backed Government of National Accord led by Faiz Saraj recaptured from the Libyan national army of Marshal Khalifa Haftar. 

Ankara tried to establish a military base located 140 kilometers south of Tripoli but deployed Turkish air defense systems (US-made Hawk anti-aircraft missile systems) were damaged in the air attack and couldn’t even protect themselves. 

Although Turkey has not yet openly accused any side of the air raid on al-Watiya, “transparent hints” are being made, that two “external” forces supporting the LNA are behind the strikes: Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, in Arab world several analysts describe the situation as “the UAE has taught a lesson to the Turks”. 

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar was in Tripoli July 3 and 4, where he held talks with the military and political leadership of the Government of National Accord. Ankara is going to openly participate and intervene in the conflict in Libya after Faiz Sarraj concluded a defense agreement with the Turkish side. In accordance with the new Treaty, Turkey gets the right to place its military base on the territory of Libya.

2. What is your evaluation of the Astana peace process in regard to the Syria crisis? Was it successful cooperation between Russia, Turkey, and Iran?

For now, it’s obvious that Moscow’s actions in the region were more effective than those of its Western rivals, due to high-quality expert analysis and awareness of the real situation in the Middle East (West Asia). 

While the U.S. leadership often relied on biased assessments of pro-Western dissidents and political immigrants, the Kremlin always had the analytics of professional research scientists, and data from a broad intelligence network on the ground was inherited from the Soviet Union.

According to some experts, Russia (unlike many other foreign powers) has managed to maintain good (or at least normal) relations with all participants in major regional conflicts. Russia did not undertake numerous political and security commitments in the region and, unlike the United States, is not limited in flexibility by any rigid alliances. Thus,  Moscow is in a better position than Washington to serve as a mediator in negotiations between influential actors in the region.

3. How do you assess the presence of U.S. troops in Syria while Washington, besides some Arab capitals, blames Russia and Iran for supporting Assad’s government?

Having lost the confrontation in Syria, the U.S. intends to move to the second phase of aggression – to subversive work, including information. By entering the information war platform, the United States recognizes its military and political failure in Syria. The main goal of overthrowing B. Assad has not been achieved. The U.S. is announcing the deployment of psychological and subversive operations, which they are quite adept at. At the same time, American troops seizure Syrian oil fields. Another thing is that today the United States, as it seems, simply cannot influence the processes in a particular region of the world by military force. We can witness the acute desire of the U.S. government not even to change the regime in Damascus. The main aim for them now is to squeeze Russia out of its strategic position in Syria.

4. American sources claim Russia did pay extremists to attack U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. What is your analysis?

This “information” of American media is a typical fake and has already been officially denied by the American President. Russia has never cooperated with the Taliban and only those who either have a poor understanding of the situation in Afghanistan or deliberately distort the facts speak of any collusion between Moscow and the Taliban. The Afghan radical Taliban movement is conducting its own investigation based on media reports about alleged Russian collusion with the movement and calls these accusations baseless, invented by intelligence, and aimed at damaging the peace process in the country. Press Secretary of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov expressed regret that once the largest and respected world media promoted those fakes. The Russian Embassy in the United States demanded that the country’s authorities respond adequately to threats that come to diplomats because of news about Russia and Afghanistan. The white house, the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence said that there is no confirmation of the reports at the moment and that D. Trump was not informed about them.

PHILIP M. GIRALDI: “RUSSIA-BAITING IS THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN”

Washington again becomes hysterical

Source

PHILIP GIRALDI • JULY 7, 2020

There is particular danger at the moment that powerful political alignments in the United States are pushing strongly to exacerbate the developing crisis with Russia. The New York Times, which broke the story that the Kremlin had been paying the Afghan Taliban bounties to kill American soldiers, has been particularly assiduous in promoting the tale of perfidious Moscow. Initial Times coverage, which claimed that the activity had been confirmed by both intelligence sources and money tracking, was supplemented by delusional nonsense from former Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice, who asks “Why does Trump put Russia first?” before calling for a “swift and significant U.S. response.” Rice, who is being mentioned as a possible Biden choice for Vice President, certainly knows about swift and significant as she was one of the architects of the destruction of Libya and the escalation of U.S. military and intelligence operations directed against a non-threatening Syria.

The Times is also titillating with the tale of a low level drug smuggling Pashto businessman who seemed to have a lot of cash in dollars lying around, ignoring the fact that Afghanistan is awash with dollars and has been for years. Many of the dollars come from drug deals, as Afghanistan is now the world’s number one producer of opium and its byproducts.

The cash must be Russian sourced, per the NYT, because a couple of low level Taliban types, who were likely tortured by the Afghan police, have said that it is so. The Times also cites anonymous sources which allege that there were money transfers from an account managed by the Kremlin’s GRU military intelligence to an account opened by the Taliban. Note the “alleged” and consider for a minute that it would be stupid for any intelligence agency to make bank-to-bank transfers, which could be identified and tracked by the clever lads at the U.S. Treasury and NSA. Also try to recall how not so long ago we heard fabricated tales about threatening WMDs to justify war. Perhaps the story would be more convincing if a chain of custody could be established that included checks drawn on the Moscow-Narodny Bank and there just might be a crafty neocon hidden somewhere in the U.S. intelligence community who is right now faking up that sort of evidence.

Other reliably Democratic Party leaning news outlets, to include CNN, MSNBC and The Washington Post all jumped on the bounty story, adding details from their presumably inexhaustible supply of anonymous sources. As Scott Horton observedthe media was reporting a “fact” that there was a rumor.

Inevitably the Democratic Party leadership abandoned its Ghanaian kente cloth scarves, got up off their knees, and hopped immediately on to their favorite horse, which is to claim loudly and in unison that when in doubt Russia did it. Joe Biden in particular is “disgusted” by a “betrayal” of American troops due to Trump’s insistence on maintaining “an embarrassing campaign of deferring and debasing himself before Putin.”

The Dems were joined in their outrage by some Republican lawmakers who were equally incensed but are advocating delaying punishing Russia until all the facts are known. Meanwhile, the “circumstantial details” are being invented to make the original tale more credible, including crediting the Afghan operation to a secret Russian GRU Army intelligence unit that allegedly was also behind the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury England in 2018.

Reportedly the Pentagon is looking into the circumstances around the deaths of three American soldiers by roadside bomb on April 8, 2019 to determine a possible connection to the NYT report. There are also concerns relating to several deaths in training where Afghan Army recruits turned on their instructors. As the Taliban would hardly need an incentive to kill Americans and as only seventeen U.S. soldiers died in Afghanistan in 2019 as a result of hostile action, the year that the intelligence allegedly relates to, one might well describe any joint Taliban-Russian initiative as a bit of a failure since nearly all of those deaths have been attributed to kinetic activity initiated by U.S. forces.

The actual game that is in play is, of course, all about Donald Trump and the November election. It is being claimed that the president was briefed on the intelligence but did nothing. Trump denied being verbally briefed due to the fact that the information had not been verified. For once America’s Chief Executive spoke the truth, confirmed by the “intelligence community,” but that did not stop the media from implying that the disconnect had been caused by Trump himself. He reportedly does not read the Presidential Daily Brief (PDB), where such a speculative piece might indeed appear on a back page, and is uninterested in intelligence assessments that contradict what he chooses to believe. The Democrats are suggesting that Trump is too stupid and even too disinterested to be president of the United States so they are seeking to replace him with a corrupt 78-year-old man who may be suffering from dementia.

The Democratic Party cannot let Russia go because they see it as their key to future success and also as an explanation for their dramatic failure in 2016 which in no way holds them responsible for their ineptness. One does not expect the House Intelligence Committee, currently headed by the wily Adam Schiff, to actually know anything about intelligence and how it is collected and analyzed, but the politicization of the product is certainly something that Schiff and his colleagues know full well how to manipulate. One only has to recall the Russiagate Mueller Commission investigation and Schiff’s later role in cooking the witnesses that were produced in the subsequent Trump impeachment hearings.

Schiff predictably opened up on Trump in the wake of the NYT report, saying “I find it inexplicable in light of these very public allegations that the president hasn’t come before the country and assured the American people that he will get to the bottom of whether Russia is putting bounties on American troops and that he will do everything in his power to make sure that we protect American troops.”

Schiff and company should know, but clearly do not, that at the ground floor level there is a lot of lying, cheating and stealing around intelligence collection. Most foreign agents do it for the money and quickly learn that embroidering the information that is being provided to their case officer might ultimately produce more cash. Every day the U.S. intelligence community produces thousands of intelligence reports from those presumed “sources with access,” which then have to be assessed by analysts. Much of the information reported is either completely false or cleverly fabricated to mix actual verified intelligence with speculation and out and out lies to make the package more attractive. The tale of the Russian payment of bribes to the Taliban for killing Americans is precisely the kind of information that stinks to high heaven because it doesn’t even make any political or tactical sense, except to Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Adam Schiff and the New York Times. For what it’s worth, a number of former genuine intelligence officers including Paul Pillar, John KiriakouScott Ritter, and Ray McGovern have looked at the evidence so far presented and have walked away unimpressed. The National Security Agency (NSA) has also declined to confirm the story, meaning that there is no electronic trail to validate it.

Finally, there is more than a bit of the old hypocrisy at work in the damnation of the Russians even if they have actually been involved in an improbable operation with the Taliban. One recalls that in the 1970s and 1980s the United States supported the mujahideen rebels fighting against the Soviet presence in Afghanistan. The assistance consisted of weapons, training, political support and intelligence used to locate, target and kill Soviet soldiers. Stinger missiles were provided to bring down helicopters carrying the Russian troops. The support was pretty much provided openly and was even boasted about, unlike what is currently being alleged about the Russian assistance. The Soviets were fighting to maintain a secular regime that was closely allied to Moscow while the mujahideen later morphed into al-Qaeda and the Islamist militant Taliban subsequently took over the country, meaning that the U.S. effort was delusional from the start.

So, what is a leaked almost certainly faux story about the Russian bounties on American soldiers intended to accomplish? It is probably intended to keep a “defensive” U.S. presence in Afghanistan, much desired by the neocons, a majority in Congress and the Military Industrial Complex (MIC), and it will further be played and replayed to emphasize the demonstrated incompetence of Donald Trump. The end result could be to secure the election of a pliable Establishment flunky Joe Biden as president of the United States. How that will turn out is unpredictable, but America’s experience of its presidents since 9/11 has not been very encouraging.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

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

Source

June 29, 2020 Arabi Souri

Taliban Mujaheddin fighters in Afghanistan - Russia USSR USA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Pentagon Threatening to Revive ISIS

Korybko to Indian Media: India Is Doing America’s Bidding Against China

Source

By Andrew Korybko and Parth Satam

Asia-Pacific Research, June 17, 2020

Andrew Korybko gave an interview to Indian journalist Parth Satam last weekend about India’s relations with China, the US, and Russia, just days before Monday night’s deadly clash between Indian and Chinese troops. Two excerpts were ultimately included in the article that Mr. Satam was writing about this topic. Given its importance in light of the latest clash, OneWorld is publishing the interview in its entirety with Mr. Satam’s permission.

***

Parth Satam: Can the present India-China border standoff be viewed as a larger part of the changing geopolitical scenario driven by the US pullout in Afghanistan, the abrogation of Article 370 (special status for Kashmir) by the Modi government, and the growing Indian proximity to the US where India is toeing the American line on Chinese issues (e.g. joining the anti-China chorus on the COVID pandemic)?

Andrew Korybko: Absolutely, that’s the most accurate way to assess the current situation. The preexisting differences between China and India on a host of issues were exacerbated by India’s abrogation of Article 370. Beijing condemned New Delhi for violating UNSC Resolutions on the disputed region, then some Indian officials reaffirmed their claims to Aksai Chin, which provoked a defensive reaction from China. This escalating issue was then exploited by the US, which has a shared interest with India in “containing” China, as they both perceive it. That’s why American officials have started comparing the latest incident to the situation in the South China Sea in an attempt to draw a parallel of so-called “Chinese aggression” and therefore justify their ever-intensifying “comprehensive global strategic partnership” with India (per what they both agreed to call it during Trump’s visit in February). It was therefore predictable that there would eventually be a flare-up since the situation is so tense, and India is being encouraged by the US to assert its claims. It naturally follows that India is also toeing the American line on other anti-Chinese issues as well, especially those related to the COVID-19 pandemic and “poaching” foreign companies from the People’s Republic so as to re-engineer global supply chains in a way that supports the US’ grand strategic goals.

PS: Strategists from both side of the political divide in India (albeit suspicious towards China) broadly agree that China does not intend to go to war with India despite its technological, military, and industrial superiority due to larger geopolitical priorities and is undertaking this current intrusion into Indian territories to signal to not threaten its interests in PoK and other anti-Chinese Indian moves (joining the QUAD, support to the Dalai Lama) etc. What’s your response to this assessment?

AK: I personally disagree with the characterization of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan as “PoK”, as well as describing the latest border incident as a Chinese “intrusion”, but I do agree with the spirit of the view that China does not intend to go to war with India. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that India doesn’t intend to go to war with China, even if only a brief border one similar in essence to what transpired between India and Pakistan in February 2019. Should that be the case, then I also predict that there would be a similar outcome, namely that India will not achieve its military objectives, though it might very well succeed with certain strategic ones.

For instance, India — whether rightly or wrongly, and irrespective of whether one supports its view or not — feels uncomfortable about China’s de-facto leadership of both BRICS and the SCO. New Delhi’s efforts to court Moscow as part of a grand “balancing” act have only been mildly successful but not enough to the point of making Russia as openly suspicious of China as India is. If there’s a Chinese-Indian border war, however, then India would send several powerful signals to the whole world even if it militarily loses the likely brief conflict.

First, India would position itself as the country most directly “countering/containing” China, which would appeal to its new American ally and the latter’s network of like-minded allies as well. Secondly, India would compel Russia to either choose a side (unlikely) or more vigorously “balance” between it and China. By default, any further tilt towards India along the lines of Russia’s present trend (e.g. selling more advanced offensive weapons systems) would be interpreted very negatively by China, potentially weakening their strategic partnership to New Delhi and Washington’s indirect advantage. And thirdly, BRICS and the SCO would never be the same again, which also serves American interests.

I don’t endorse that scenario because I personally hope that it doesn’t transpire, but I’d certainly understand what goals India is aiming for in the event that it happens. India also desperately needs another external enemy other than Pakistan to rally its domestic audience and distract them from the current economic difficulties and sharp partisan divides that have recently developed in the country. By presenting itself as the “American bulldog” against China, India hopes that it would receive preferential investment and other forms of support from the US and its allies, also enabling it to reach a more equitable trade deal with America later on.

PS: What is the Russian position on the Indian proximity to the US? Is the Russian Federation frustrated with India merely maintaining a transactional relationship in terms of weapons purchases or does it wish to take the partnership in newer dimensions (i.e. wanting it to be a part of the Eurasian Economic Union project)?

AK: I’m not an official representative of the Russian government so I can’t speak about their formal position, but from what I’ve observed, they’ve expressed both sentiments in recent years. Lavrov described the so-called “Indo-Pacific” as “an artificially imposed concept” created by the US during a press conference in February 2019, and he repeated his skepticism about it during the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi back in January. At that second-mentioned time, however, he expressed hope that Russia’s “Indian friends are smart enough to understand” that the US is simply trying to use this scheme to “contain” China.

Nevertheless, Russia has regularly reiterated its commitment to diversifying relations with India beyond their present mostly transactional nature largely dependent on military-technical cooperation. This is evidenced by the joint statement that was released during Prime Minister Modi’s attendance at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok as President Putin’s guest of honor, where both leaders reaffirmed their strategic relations and promised to take them further than ever before. Two projects that are presently in the works are the Vladivostok-Chennai Maritime Corridor (VCMC) and selling BrahMos missiles to ASEAN states.

Russia’s position on India’s growing proximity to the US appears to be a mirror image of India’s position towards Russia’s growing proximity to China. Both Great Powers respect the other’s sovereign right to reach whichever partnerships they’d like, though they’d prefer that neither of them occur at the other’s expense (whether real, perceived, or speculatively latent). One solution for stabilizing their relations into the future would be to jointly lead a new Non-Alignment Movement (Neo-NAM), which I elaborated on in an article that I co-authored earlier this month for the official journal of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), which is run by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Titled “The Prospects of Russia and India Jointly Leading a New Non-Aligned Movement”, it can be read in full for free here. The proposal is already being actively discussed in one of Russia’s top think tanks, the Valdai Club, and certainly deserves further study given the important “balancing” role that it can play in the future international system. In a gist, the idea calls for both of them to pool their collective resources (especially diplomatic and economic) towards creating a third pole of influence in the increasingly bipolar world led by the American and Chinese superpowers.

Not only could that help maintain trust between Russia and India, but it could also prevent one or the other from becoming their counterpart’s “junior partner”, something that they each fear for understandable reasons. That said, I’ve since expanded on my academic proposal to incorporate my prior work on the importance of Russian-Pakistani relations, which I explain at length in my analytical piece about how “Improved Russian-Pakistani Relations Will Help Moscow Balance The New Bipolarity“. I assert that this could perfect Russia’s “balancing” act by upholding its trust with China despite any progress that might be made on the Neo-NAM simultaneously with making India think twice about the consequences of more fully pivoting towards the US.

In sum, the solution to the dilemma posed by Russia’s increasingly close relations with China as perceived by India and India’s increasingly close relations with the US as perceived by Russia is for them both to come together to jointly lead a Neo-NAM, though Moscow’s chances of successfully maintaining this complex “balancing” act between China and India would be greatly strengthened by the continued improvement of its relations with Pakistan for the aforementioned reasons. This scenario presents what I sincerely believe to be the best outcome for all five players — Russia, India, China, the US, and Pakistan — and would therefore greatly contribute to establishing a relative sense of order in today’s extremely anarchic international arena.

*

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

This article was crossposted from OneWorld.

Mr. Satam’s article that included the two earlier mentioned excerpts from this interview was published at the Mission Victory India autonomous defence think tank under the title “What is China’s Intent? The Answer is in the Regional Diplomatic Scenario & the New Cold War with the US“. Mr. Satam can be followed on Facebook and Twitter.

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

Featured image is from OneWorldThe original source of this article is Asia-Pacific ResearchCopyright © Andrew Korybko and Parth Satam, Asia-Pacific Research, 2020

The Afghan-Pakistani Rapprochement Complicates India’s Hybrid War Plans

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By Andrew Korybko

11 JUNE 2020

The Afghan-Pakistani Rapprochement Complicates India

Pakistani Chief Of Army Staff (COAS) Bajwa visited the Afghan capital of Kabul earlier this week for talks with the country’s leadership as part of his country’s efforts to facilitate the ongoing peace process in the neighboring state, with the resultant rapprochement between both sides being a welcome development that also complicates India’s Hybrid War plans to exploit the landlocked country as a terrorist-spewing proxy against its rival.

A surprise development took place earlier this week after Pakistani Chief Of Army Staff (COAS) Bajwa visited the Afghan capital of Kabul for talks with its leadership as part of his country’s efforts to facilitate the ongoing peace process in the neighboring state. Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) media wing of its armed forces published a press release about their meeting, but it should also be added that it was about much more than just the concise summary that they shared.

Pakistan believes that Kabul’s reluctance to release the 5,000 Taliban prisoners that was previously agreed to is dangerously threatening the nascent peace process, hence why COAS Bajma must have presumably emphasized the necessity of complying with this clause to his hosts. He would have also assured them of his country’s assistance in supporting a peaceful political solution to the long-running conflict in coordination with all of the neighboring stakeholders. After all, Pakistan is the obvious solution to Afghanistan’s economic problems, but bilateral trade can only surge upon the stabilization of their border. Once that’s achieved, and the prerogative rests with Kabul for doing so after Islamabad already fulfilled its responsibilities in this respect, then the several million Afghan refugees in Pakistan can have an early and honorable return to their homeland. Afterwards, people-to-people ties can flourish and more meaningful COVID aid can be disbursed.

What’s important to take note of amidst all of this is that India’s Hybrid War plans to exploit Afghanistan as a terrorist-spewing proxy against Pakistan have become more complicated following the nascent Afghan-Pakistani rapprochement of the past week. That development reduces, but crucially doesn’t completely eliminate, India’s ability to continue waging its campaign of terror against Pakistan from the landlocked country that its policymakers regard as providing them with so-called “strategic depth”.

This couldn’t have been possible without the US’ support, strongly suggesting that it’s decided to limit its Indian ally’s involvement in Afghanistan for the sake of protecting its strategic relations with Pakistan in pursuit of their much more closely aligned goals in that third country. So as to better understand the motivation behind the US encouraging its Afghan political proxies to reciprocate Pakistan’s peacemaking outreach to the point of their current rapprochement, here’s a simplified breakdown of all three main players’ interests in that country:

* Pakistan:

– Peace

– Repatriation of refugees

– Promote regional connectivity as the global pivot state

– Counter-Terrorism

* India:

– Indefinite warfare

– Exploit refugees as “Weapons of Mass Migration” against Pakistan

– “Contain/Isolate” Pakistan from the rest of the region

– Controlled chaos against Pakistan via Afghan-based terrorist proxies

* US:

– Use India to economically “contain” China in the region through the Chabahar Corridor

– Rely on Pakistan to diplomatically assist the Afghan peace process

– Achieve reliable post-war economic access to Central Asia (N-CPEC+)

– Selectively employ terrorist proxies for strategic ends

The US’ goals in relation to India are the first and fourth ones whereas those of pertinence to Pakistan are the second and the third. Considering that America allowed its Afghan proxies to enter into their current rapprochement with Pakistan, it can be concluded that its grand strategic goals in the contemporary context are best advanced by aligning closer with Pakistan’s than India’s.

This insight reveals that India’s US-backed role in Afghanistan might soon diminish since America wouldn’t need India in this respect to economically “contain” China through Chabahar if it actively invests in N-CPEC+ with this intention (even if that said intention isn’t shared by Pakistan which might only regard the US’ role as an apolitical investment). Nor, for that matter, would the US actively support Indian-backed terrorist groups there since they could endanger the safety of any of the its forthcoming N-CPEC+ investments in Pakistan.

Looking forward, Pakistan proverbially won a strategic battle with India in Afghanistan but has yet to win the war there since New Delhi’s pernicious influence is still pervasive. Nevertheless, the credible presumption that the US supports the Afghan-Pakistani rapprochement gives rise to cautious optimism that India’s new patron is reconsidering the wisdom of its prior assistance to its proxy there upon recalibrating its regional strategy in order to accommodate it to new realities.

American political analyst

US Has Killed More Than 20 Million People in 37 “Victim Nations” Since World War II

By James A. Lucas

Global Research, May 28, 2020

Popular Resistance and Global Research 27 November 2015

First published in November 2015

GR Editor’s Note

Let us put this in historical perspective: the commemoration of the War to End All Wars  acknowledges that 15 million lives were lost in the course of World War I (1914-18).

The loss of life in the second World War (1939-1945) was on a much large scale, when compared to World War I: 60 million lives both military and civilian were lost during World War II. (Four times those killed during World War I).

The largest WWII casualties  were China and the Soviet Union, 26 million in the Soviet Union,  China estimates its losses at approximately 20,000,000 deaths. Ironically, these two countries (allies of the US during WWII) which lost a large share of their population during WWII are now categorized as enemies of America, which are threatening the Western World.  A so-called preemptive war against China and Russia is currently contemplated. 

Germany and Austria lost approximately 8 million people during WWII, Japan lost more than 2.5 million people. The US and Britain respectively lost more than 400,000 lives. 

This carefully researched article by James A. Lucas  documents the more than 20 million lives lost resulting from US led wars, military coups and intelligence ops carried out in the wake of what is euphemistically called the “post-war era” (1945- ). The extensive loss of life in Lebanon,  Syria, Yemen and Libya is not included in this study.

Continuous US led warfare (1945- ): there was no “post-war era“.

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, January 20 2019, November 2019, December 31, 2019

***

After the catastrophic attacks of September 11 2001 monumental sorrow and a feeling of desperate and understandable anger began to permeate the American psyche. A few people at that time attempted to promote a balanced perspective by pointing out that the United States had also been responsible for causing those same feelings in people in other nations, but they produced hardly a ripple. Although Americans understand in the abstract the wisdom of people around the world empathizing with the suffering of one another, such a reminder of wrongs committed by our nation got little hearing and was soon overshadowed by an accelerated “war on terrorism.”

But we must continue our efforts to develop understanding and compassion in the world. Hopefully, this article will assist in doing that by addressing the question “How many September 11ths has the United States caused in other nations since WWII?” This theme is developed in this report which contains an estimated numbers of such deaths in 37 nations as well as brief explanations of why the U.S. is considered culpable.

The causes of wars are complex. In some instances nations other than the U.S. may have been responsible for more deaths, but if the involvement of our nation appeared to have been a necessary cause of a war or conflict it was considered responsible for the deaths in it. In other words they probably would not have taken place if the U.S. had not used the heavy hand of its power. The military and economic power of the United States was crucial.

This study reveals that U.S. military forces were directly responsible for about 10 to 15 million deaths during the Korean and Vietnam Wars and the two Iraq Wars. The Korean War also includes Chinese deaths while the Vietnam War also includes fatalities in Cambodia and Laos.

The American public probably is not aware of these numbers and knows even less about the proxy wars for which the United States is also responsible. In the latter wars there were between nine and 14 million deaths in Afghanistan, Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, East Timor, Guatemala, Indonesia, Pakistan and Sudan.

But the victims are not just from big nations or one part of the world. The remaining deaths were in smaller ones which constitute over half the total number of nations. Virtually all parts of the world have been the target of U.S. intervention.

The overall conclusion reached is that the United States most likely has been responsible since WWII for the deaths of between 20 and 30 million people in wars and conflicts scattered over the world.

To the families and friends of these victims it makes little difference whether the causes were U.S. military action, proxy military forces, the provision of U.S. military supplies or advisors, or other ways, such as economic pressures applied by our nation. They had to make decisions about other things such as finding lost loved ones, whether to become refugees, and how to survive.

And the pain and anger is spread even further. Some authorities estimate that there are as many as 10 wounded for each person who dies in wars. Their visible, continued suffering is a continuing reminder to their fellow countrymen.

It is essential that Americans learn more about this topic so that they can begin to understand the pain that others feel. Someone once observed that the Germans during WWII “chose not to know.” We cannot allow history to say this about our country. The question posed above was “How many September 11ths has the United States caused in other nations since WWII?” The answer is: possibly 10,000.

Comments on Gathering These Numbers

Generally speaking, the much smaller number of Americans who have died is not included in this study, not because they are not important, but because this report focuses on the impact of U.S. actions on its adversaries.

An accurate count of the number of deaths is not easy to achieve, and this collection of data was undertaken with full realization of this fact. These estimates will probably be revised later either upward or downward by the reader and the author. But undoubtedly the total will remain in the millions.

The difficulty of gathering reliable information is shown by two estimates in this context. For several years I heard statements on radio that three million Cambodians had been killed under the rule of the Khmer Rouge. However, in recent years the figure I heard was one million. Another example is that the number of persons estimated to have died in Iraq due to sanctions after the first U.S. Iraq War was over 1 million, but in more recent years, based on a more recent study, a lower estimate of around a half a million has emerged.

Often information about wars is revealed only much later when someone decides to speak out, when more secret information is revealed due to persistent efforts of a few, or after special congressional committees make reports

Both victorious and defeated nations may have their own reasons for underreporting the number of deaths. Further, in recent wars involving the United States it was not uncommon to hear statements like “we do not do body counts” and references to “collateral damage” as a euphemism for dead and wounded. Life is cheap for some, especially those who manipulate people on the battlefield as if it were a chessboard.

To say that it is difficult to get exact figures is not to say that we should not try. Effort was needed to arrive at the figures of six million Jews killed during WWII, but knowledge of that number now is widespread and it has fueled the determination to prevent future holocausts. That struggle continues.

The author can be contacted at jlucas511@woh.rr.com

37 VICTIM NATIONS

Afghanistan

The U.S. is responsible for between 1 and 1.8 million deaths during the war between the Soviet Union and Afghanistan, by luring the Soviet Union into invading that nation. (1,2,3,4)

The Soviet Union had friendly relations its neighbor, Afghanistan, which had a secular government. The Soviets feared that if that government became fundamentalist this change could spill over into the Soviet Union.

In 1998, in an interview with the Parisian publication Le Novel Observateur, Zbigniew Brzezinski, adviser to President Carter, admitted that he had been responsible for instigating aid to the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan which caused the Soviets to invade. In his own words:

According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan on 24 December 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise. Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the President in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention. (5,1,6)

Brzezinski justified laying this trap, since he said it gave the Soviet Union its Vietnam and caused the breakup of the Soviet Union. “Regret what?” he said. “That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it?” (7)

The CIA spent 5 to 6 billion dollars on its operation in Afghanistan in order to bleed the Soviet Union. (1,2,3) When that 10-year war ended over a million people were dead and Afghan heroin had captured 60% of the U.S. market. (4)

The U.S. has been responsible directly for about 12,000 deaths in Afghanistan many of which resulted from bombing in retaliation for the attacks on U.S. property on September 11, 2001. Subsequently U.S. troops invaded that country. (4)

Angola

An indigenous armed struggle against Portuguese rule in Angola began in 1961. In 1977 an Angolan government was recognized by the U.N., although the U.S. was one of the few nations that opposed this action. In 1986 Uncle Sam approved material assistance to UNITA, a group that was trying to overthrow the government. Even today this struggle, which has involved many nations at times, continues.

U.S. intervention was justified to the U.S. public as a reaction to the intervention of 50,000 Cuban troops in Angola. However, according to Piero Gleijeses, a history professor at Johns Hopkins University the reverse was true. The Cuban intervention came as a result of a CIA – financed covert invasion via neighboring Zaire and a drive on the Angolan capital by the U.S. ally, South Africa1,2,3). (Three estimates of deaths range from 300,000 to 750,000 (4,5,6)

Argentina: See South America: Operation Condor

Bangladesh: See Pakistan

Bolivia

Hugo Banzer was the leader of a repressive regime in Bolivia in the 1970s. The U.S. had been disturbed when a previous leader nationalized the tin mines and distributed land to Indian peasants. Later that action to benefit the poor was reversed.

Banzer, who was trained at the U.S.-operated School of the Americas in Panama and later at Fort Hood, Texas, came back from exile frequently to confer with U.S. Air Force Major Robert Lundin. In 1971 he staged a successful coup with the help of the U.S. Air Force radio system. In the first years of his dictatorship he received twice as military assistance from the U.S. as in the previous dozen years together.

A few years later the Catholic Church denounced an army massacre of striking tin workers in 1975, Banzer, assisted by information provided by the CIA, was able to target and locate leftist priests and nuns. His anti-clergy strategy, known as the Banzer Plan, was adopted by nine other Latin American dictatorships in 1977. (2) He has been accused of being responsible for 400 deaths during his tenure. (1)

Also see: See South America: Operation Condor

Brazil: See South America: Operation Condor

Cambodia

U.S. bombing of Cambodia had already been underway for several years in secret under the Johnson and Nixon administrations, but when President Nixon openly began bombing in preparation for a land assault on Cambodia it caused major protests in the U.S. against the Vietnam War.

There is little awareness today of the scope of these bombings and the human suffering involved.

Immense damage was done to the villages and cities of Cambodia, causing refugees and internal displacement of the population. This unstable situation enabled the Khmer Rouge, a small political party led by Pol Pot, to assume power. Over the years we have repeatedly heard about the Khmer Rouge’s role in the deaths of millions in Cambodia without any acknowledgement being made this mass killing was made possible by the the U.S. bombing of that nation which destabilized it by death , injuries, hunger and dislocation of its people.

So the U.S. bears responsibility not only for the deaths from the bombings but also for those resulting from the activities of the Khmer Rouge – a total of about 2.5 million people. Even when Vietnam latrer invaded Cambodia in 1979 the CIA was still supporting the Khmer Rouge. (1,2,3)

Also see Vietnam

Chad

An estimated 40,000 people in Chad were killed and as many as 200,000 tortured by a government, headed by Hissen Habre who was brought to power in June, 1982 with the help of CIA money and arms. He remained in power for eight years. (1,2)

Human Rights Watch claimed that Habre was responsible for thousands of killings. In 2001, while living in Senegal, he was almost tried for crimes committed by him in Chad. However, a court there blocked these proceedings. Then human rights people decided to pursue the case in Belgium, because some of Habre’s torture victims lived there. The U.S., in June 2003, told Belgium that it risked losing its status as host to NATO’s headquarters if it allowed such a legal proceeding to happen. So the result was that the law that allowed victims to file complaints in Belgium for atrocities committed abroad was repealed. However, two months later a new law was passed which made special provision for the continuation of the case against Habre.

Chile

The CIA intervened in Chile’s 1958 and 1964 elections. In 1970 a socialist candidate, Salvador Allende, was elected president. The CIA wanted to incite a military coup to prevent his inauguration, but the Chilean army’s chief of staff, General Rene Schneider, opposed this action. The CIA then planned, along with some people in the Chilean military, to assassinate Schneider. This plot failed and Allende took office. President Nixon was not to be dissuaded and he ordered the CIA to create a coup climate: “Make the economy scream,” he said.

What followed were guerilla warfare, arson, bombing, sabotage and terror. ITT and other U.S. corporations with Chilean holdings sponsored demonstrations and strikes. Finally, on September 11, 1973 Allende died either by suicide or by assassination. At that time Henry Kissinger, U.S. Secretary of State, said the following regarding Chile: “I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist because of the irresponsibility of its own people.” (1)

During 17 years of terror under Allende’s successor, General Augusto Pinochet, an estimated 3,000 Chileans were killed and many others were tortured or “disappeared.” (2,3,4,5)

Also see South America: Operation Condor

China An estimated 900,000 Chinese died during the Korean War.

For more information, See: Korea.

Colombia

One estimate is that 67,000 deaths have occurred from the 1960s to recent years due to support by the U.S. of Colombian state terrorism. (1)

According to a 1994 Amnesty International report, more than 20,000 people were killed for political reasons in Colombia since 1986, mainly by the military and its paramilitary allies. Amnesty alleged that “U.S.- supplied military equipment, ostensibly delivered for use against narcotics traffickers, was being used by the Colombian military to commit abuses in the name of “counter-insurgency.” (2) In 2002 another estimate was made that 3,500 people die each year in a U.S. funded civilian war in Colombia. (3)

In 1996 Human Rights Watch issued a report “Assassination Squads in Colombia” which revealed that CIA agents went to Colombia in 1991 to help the military to train undercover agents in anti-subversive activity. (4,5)

In recent years the U.S. government has provided assistance under Plan Colombia. The Colombian government has been charged with using most of the funds for destruction of crops and support of the paramilitary group.

Cuba

In the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba on April 18, 1961 which ended after 3 days, 114 of the invading force were killed, 1,189 were taken prisoners and a few escaped to waiting U.S. ships. (1) The captured exiles were quickly tried, a few executed and the rest sentenced to thirty years in prison for treason. These exiles were released after 20 months in exchange for $53 million in food and medicine.

Some people estimate that the number of Cuban forces killed range from 2,000, to 4,000. Another estimate is that 1,800 Cuban forces were killed on an open highway by napalm. This appears to have been a precursor of the Highway of Death in Iraq in 1991 when U.S. forces mercilessly annihilated large numbers of Iraqis on a highway. (2)

Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire)

The beginning of massive violence was instigated in this country in 1879 by its colonizer King Leopold of Belgium. The Congo’s population was reduced by 10 million people over a period of 20 years which some have referred to as “Leopold’s Genocide.” (1) The U.S. has been responsible for about a third of that many deaths in that nation in the more recent past. (2)

In 1960 the Congo became an independent state with Patrice Lumumba being its first prime minister. He was assassinated with the CIA being implicated, although some say that his murder was actually the responsibility of Belgium. (3) But nevertheless, the CIA was planning to kill him. (4) Before his assassination the CIA sent one of its scientists, Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, to the Congo carrying “lethal biological material” intended for use in Lumumba’s assassination. This virus would have been able to produce a fatal disease indigenous to the Congo area of Africa and was transported in a diplomatic pouch.

Much of the time in recent years there has been a civil war within the Democratic Republic of Congo, fomented often by the U.S. and other nations, including neighboring nations. (5)

In April 1977, Newsday reported that the CIA was secretly supporting efforts to recruit several hundred mercenaries in the U.S. and Great Britain to serve alongside Zaire’s army. In that same year the U.S. provided $15 million of military supplies to the Zairian President Mobutu to fend off an invasion by a rival group operating in Angola. (6)

In May 1979, the U.S. sent several million dollars of aid to Mobutu who had been condemned 3 months earlier by the U.S. State Department for human rights violations. (7) During the Cold War the U.S. funneled over 300 million dollars in weapons into Zaire (8,9) $100 million in military training was provided to him. (2) In 2001 it was reported to a U.S. congressional committee that American companies, including one linked to former President George Bush Sr., were stoking the Congo for monetary gains. There is an international battle over resources in that country with over 125 companies and individuals being implicated. One of these substances is coltan, which is used in the manufacture of cell phones. (2)

Dominican Republic

In 1962, Juan Bosch became president of the Dominican Republic. He advocated such programs as land reform and public works programs. This did not bode well for his future relationship with the U.S., and after only 7 months in office, he was deposed by a CIA coup. In 1965 when a group was trying to reinstall him to his office President Johnson said, “This Bosch is no good.” Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Mann replied “He’s no good at all. If we don’t get a decent government in there, Mr. President, we get another Bosch. It’s just going to be another sinkhole.” Two days later a U.S. invasion started and 22,000 soldiers and marines entered the Dominican Republic and about 3,000 Dominicans died during the fighting. The cover excuse for doing this was that this was done to protect foreigners there. (1,2,3,4)

East Timor

In December 1975, Indonesia invaded East Timor. This incursion was launched the day after U.S. President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had left Indonesia where they had given President Suharto permission to use American arms, which under U.S. law, could not be used for aggression. Daniel Moynihan, U.S. ambassador to the UN. said that the U.S. wanted “things to turn out as they did.” (1,2) The result was an estimated 200,000 dead out of a population of 700,000. (1,2)

Sixteen years later, on November 12, 1991, two hundred and seventeen East Timorese protesters in Dili, many of them children, marching from a memorial service, were gunned down by Indonesian Kopassus shock troops who were headed by U.S.- trained commanders Prabowo Subianto (son in law of General Suharto) and Kiki Syahnakri. Trucks were seen dumping bodies into the sea. (5)

El Salvador

The civil war from 1981 to1992 in El Salvador was financed by $6 billion in U.S. aid given to support the government in its efforts to crush a movement to bring social justice to the people in that nation of about 8 million people. (1)
During that time U.S. military advisers demonstrated methods of torture on teenage prisoners, according to an interview with a deserter from the Salvadoran army published in the New York Times. This former member of the Salvadoran National Guard testified that he was a member of a squad of twelve who found people who they were told were guerillas and tortured them. Part of the training he received was in torture at a U.S. location somewhere in Panama. (2)

About 900 villagers were massacred in the village of El Mozote in 1981. Ten of the twelve El Salvadoran government soldiers cited as participating in this act were graduates of the School of the Americas operated by the U.S. (2) They were only a small part of about 75,000 people killed during that civil war. (1)

According to a 1993 United Nations’ Truth Commission report, over 96 % of the human rights violations carried out during the war were committed by the Salvadoran army or the paramilitary deaths squads associated with the Salvadoran army. (3)

That commission linked graduates of the School of the Americas to many notorious killings. The New York Times and the Washington Post followed with scathing articles. In 1996, the White House Oversight Board issued a report that supported many of the charges against that school made by Rev. Roy Bourgeois, head of the School of the Americas Watch. That same year the Pentagon released formerly classified reports indicating that graduates were trained in killing, extortion, and physical abuse for interrogations, false imprisonment and other methods of control. (4)

Grenada

The CIA began to destabilize Grenada in 1979 after Maurice Bishop became president, partially because he refused to join the quarantine of Cuba. The campaign against him resulted in his overthrow and the invasion by the U.S. of Grenada on October 25, 1983, with about 277 people dying. (1,2) It was fallaciously charged that an airport was being built in Grenada that could be used to attack the U.S. and it was also erroneously claimed that the lives of American medical students on that island were in danger.

Guatemala

In 1951 Jacobo Arbenz was elected president of Guatemala. He appropriated some unused land operated by the United Fruit Company and compensated the company. (1,2) That company then started a campaign to paint Arbenz as a tool of an international conspiracy and hired about 300 mercenaries who sabotaged oil supplies and trains. (3) In 1954 a CIA-orchestrated coup put him out of office and he left the country. During the next 40 years various regimes killed thousands of people.

In 1999 the Washington Post reported that an Historical Clarification Commission concluded that over 200,000 people had been killed during the civil war and that there had been 42,000 individual human rights violations, 29,000 of them fatal, 92% of which were committed by the army. The commission further reported that the U.S. government and the CIA had pressured the Guatemalan government into suppressing the guerilla movement by ruthless means. (4,5)

According to the Commission between 1981 and 1983 the military government of Guatemala – financed and supported by the U.S. government – destroyed some four hundred Mayan villages in a campaign of genocide. (4)
One of the documents made available to the commission was a 1966 memo from a U.S. State Department official, which described how a “safe house” was set up in the palace for use by Guatemalan security agents and their U.S. contacts. This was the headquarters for the Guatemalan “dirty war” against leftist insurgents and suspected allies. (2)

Haiti

From 1957 to 1986 Haiti was ruled by Papa Doc Duvalier and later by his son. During that time their private terrorist force killed between 30,000 and 100,000 people. (1) Millions of dollars in CIA subsidies flowed into Haiti during that time, mainly to suppress popular movements, (2) although most American military aid to the country, according to William Blum, was covertly channeled through Israel.

Reportedly, governments after the second Duvalier reign were responsible for an even larger number of fatalities, and the influence on Haiti by the U.S., particularly through the CIA, has continued. The U.S. later forced out of the presidential office a black Catholic priest, Jean Bertrand Aristide, even though he was elected with 67% of the vote in the early 1990s. The wealthy white class in Haiti opposed him in this predominantly black nation, because of his social programs designed to help the poor and end corruption. (3) Later he returned to office, but that did not last long. He was forced by the U.S. to leave office and now lives in South Africa.

Honduras

In the 1980s the CIA supported Battalion 316 in Honduras, which kidnapped, tortured and killed hundreds of its citizens. Torture equipment and manuals were provided by CIA Argentinean personnel who worked with U.S. agents in the training of the Hondurans. Approximately 400 people lost their lives. (1,2) This is another instance of torture in the world sponsored by the U.S. (3)

Battalion 316 used shock and suffocation devices in interrogations in the 1980s. Prisoners often were kept naked and, when no longer useful, killed and buried in unmarked graves. Declassified documents and other sources show that the CIA and the U.S. Embassy knew of numerous crimes, including murder and torture, yet continued to support Battalion 316 and collaborate with its leaders.” (4)

Honduras was a staging ground in the early 1980s for the Contras who were trying to overthrow the socialist Sandinista government in Nicaragua. John D. Negroponte, currently Deputy Secretary of State, was our embassador when our military aid to Honduras rose from $4 million to $77.4 million per year. Negroponte denies having had any knowledge of these atrocities during his tenure. However, his predecessor in that position, Jack R. Binns, had reported in 1981 that he was deeply concerned at increasing evidence of officially sponsored/sanctioned assassinations. (5)

Hungary

In 1956 Hungary, a Soviet satellite nation, revolted against the Soviet Union. During the uprising broadcasts by the U.S. Radio Free Europe into Hungary sometimes took on an aggressive tone, encouraging the rebels to believe that Western support was imminent, and even giving tactical advice on how to fight the Soviets. Their hopes were raised then dashed by these broadcasts which cast an even darker shadow over the Hungarian tragedy.“ (1) The Hungarian and Soviet death toll was about 3,000 and the revolution was crushed. (2)

Indonesia

In 1965, in Indonesia, a coup replaced General Sukarno with General Suharto as leader. The U.S. played a role in that change of government. Robert Martens,a former officer in the U.S. embassy in Indonesia, described how U.S. diplomats and CIA officers provided up to 5,000 names to Indonesian Army death squads in 1965 and checked them off as they were killed or captured. Martens admitted that “I probably have a lot of blood on my hands, but that’s not all bad. There’s a time when you have to strike hard at a decisive moment.” (1,2,3) Estimates of the number of deaths range from 500,000 to 3 million. (4,5,6)
From 1993 to 1997 the U.S. provided Jakarta with almost $400 million in economic aid and sold tens of million of dollars of weaponry to that nation. U.S. Green Berets provided training for the Indonesia’s elite force which was responsible for many of atrocities in East Timor. (3)

Iran

Iran lost about 262,000 people in the war against Iraq from 1980 to 1988. (1) See Iraq for more information about that war.

On July 3, 1988 the U.S. Navy ship, the Vincennes, was operating withing Iranian waters providing military support for Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war. During a battle against Iranian gunboats it fired two missiles at an Iranian Airbus, which was on a routine civilian flight. All 290 civilian on board were killed. (2,3)

Iraq

A. The Iraq-Iran War lasted from 1980 to 1988 and during that time there were about 105,000 Iraqi deaths according to the Washington Post. (1,2)

According to Howard Teicher, a former National Security Council official, the U.S. provided the Iraqis with billions of dollars in credits and helped Iraq in other ways such as making sure that Iraq had military equipment including biological agents This surge of help for Iraq came as Iran seemed to be winning the war and was close to Basra. (1) The U.S. was not adverse to both countries weakening themselves as a result of the war, but it did not appear to want either side to win.

B: The U.S.-Iraq War and the Sanctions Against Iraq extended from 1990 to 2003.

Iraq invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990 and the U.S. responded by demanding that Iraq withdraw, and four days later the U.N. levied international sanctions.

Iraq had reason to believe that the U.S. would not object to its invasion of Kuwait, since U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, had told Saddam Hussein that the U.S. had no position on the dispute that his country had with Kuwait. So the green light was given, but it seemed to be more of a trap.

As a part of the public relations strategy to energize the American public into supporting an attack against Iraq the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the U.S. falsely testified before Congress that Iraqi troops were pulling the plugs on incubators in Iraqi hospitals. (1) This contributed to a war frenzy in the U.S.

The U.S. air assault started on January 17, 1991 and it lasted for 42 days. On February 23 President H.W. Bush ordered the U.S. ground assault to begin. The invasion took place with much needless killing of Iraqi military personnel. Only about 150 American military personnel died compared to about 200,000 Iraqis. Some of the Iraqis were mercilessly killed on the Highway of Death and about 400 tons of depleted uranium were left in that nation by the U.S. (2,3)

Other deaths later were from delayed deaths due to wounds, civilians killed, those killed by effects of damage of the Iraqi water treatment facilities and other aspects of its damaged infrastructure and by the sanctions.

In 1995 the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. reported that U.N sanctions against on Iraq had been responsible for the deaths of more than 560,000 children since 1990. (5)

Leslie Stahl on the TV Program 60 Minutes in 1996 mentioned to Madeleine Albright, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. “We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And – and you know, is the price worth it?” Albright replied “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price – we think is worth it.” (4)

In 1999 UNICEF reported that 5,000 children died each month as a result of the sanction and the War with the U.S. (6)

Richard Garfield later estimated that the more likely number of excess deaths among children under five years of age from 1990 through March 1998 to be 227,000 – double those of the previous decade. Garfield estimated that the numbers to be 350,000 through 2000 (based in part on result of another study). (7)

However, there are limitations to his study. His figures were not updated for the remaining three years of the sanctions. Also, two other somewhat vulnerable age groups were not studied: young children above the age of five and the elderly.

All of these reports were considerable indicators of massive numbers of deaths which the U.S. was aware of and which was a part of its strategy to cause enough pain and terror among Iraqis to cause them to revolt against their government.

C: Iraq-U.S. War started in 2003 and has not been concluded

Just as the end of the Cold War emboldened the U.S. to attack Iraq in 1991 so the attacks of September 11, 2001 laid the groundwork for the U.S. to launch the current war against Iraq. While in some other wars we learned much later about the lies that were used to deceive us, some of the deceptions that were used to get us into this war became known almost as soon as they were uttered. There were no weapons of mass destruction, we were not trying to promote democracy, we were not trying to save the Iraqi people from a dictator.

The total number of Iraqi deaths that are a result of our current Iraq against Iraq War is 654,000, of which 600,000 are attributed to acts of violence, according to Johns Hopkins researchers. (1,2)

Since these deaths are a result of the U.S. invasion, our leaders must accept responsibility for them.

Israeli-Palestinian War

About 100,000 to 200,000 Israelis and Palestinians, but mostly the latter, have been killed in the struggle between those two groups. The U.S. has been a strong supporter of Israel, providing billions of dollars in aid and supporting its possession of nuclear weapons. (1,2)

Korea, North and South

The Korean War started in 1950 when, according to the Truman administration, North Korea invaded South Korea on June 25th. However, since then another explanation has emerged which maintains that the attack by North Korea came during a time of many border incursions by both sides. South Korea initiated most of the border clashes with North Korea beginning in 1948. The North Korea government claimed that by 1949 the South Korean army committed 2,617 armed incursions. It was a myth that the Soviet Union ordered North Korea to attack South Korea. (1,2)

The U.S. started its attack before a U.N. resolution was passed supporting our nation’s intervention, and our military forces added to the mayhem in the war by introducing the use of napalm. (1)

During the war the bulk of the deaths were South Koreans, North Koreans and Chinese. Four sources give deaths counts ranging from 1.8 to 4.5 million. (3,4,5,6) Another source gives a total of 4 million but does not identify to which nation they belonged. (7)

John H. Kim, a U.S. Army veteran and the Chair of the Korea Committee of Veterans for Peace, stated in an article that during the Korean War “the U.S. Army, Air Force and Navy were directly involved in the killing of about three million civilians – both South and North Koreans – at many locations throughout Korea…It is reported that the U.S. dropped some 650,000 tons of bombs, including 43,000 tons of napalm bombs, during the Korean War.” It is presumed that this total does not include Chinese casualties.

Another source states a total of about 500,000 who were Koreans and presumably only military. (8,9)

Laos

From 1965 to 1973 during the Vietnam War the U.S. dropped over two million tons of bombs on Laos – more than was dropped in WWII by both sides. Over a quarter of the population became refugees. This was later called a “secret war,” since it occurred at the same time as the Vietnam War, but got little press. Hundreds of thousands were killed. Branfman make the only estimate that I am aware of , stating that hundreds of thousands died. This can be interpeted to mean that at least 200,000 died. (1,2,3)

U.S. military intervention in Laos actually began much earlier. A civil war started in the 1950s when the U.S. recruited a force of 40,000 Laotians to oppose the Pathet Lao, a leftist political party that ultimately took power in 1975.

Also See Vietnam

Nepal

Between 8,000 and 12,000 Nepalese have died since a civil war broke out in 1996. The death rate, according to Foreign Policy in Focus, sharply increased with the arrival of almost 8,400 American M-16 submachine guns (950 rpm) and U.S. advisers. Nepal is 85 percent rural and badly in need of land reform. Not surprisingly 42 % of its people live below the poverty level. (1,2)

In 2002, after another civil war erupted, President George W. Bush pushed a bill through Congress authorizing $20 million in military aid to the Nepalese government. (3)

Nicaragua

In 1981 the Sandinistas overthrew the Somoza government in Nicaragua, (1) and until 1990 about 25,000 Nicaraguans were killed in an armed struggle between the Sandinista government and Contra rebels who were formed from the remnants of Somoza’s national government. The use of assassination manuals by the Contras surfaced in 1984. (2,3)

The U.S. supported the victorious government regime by providing covert military aid to the Contras (anti-communist guerillas) starting in November, 1981. But when Congress discovered that the CIA had supervised acts of sabotage in Nicaragua without notifying Congress, it passed the Boland Amendment in 1983 which prohibited the CIA, Defense Department and any other government agency from providing any further covert military assistance. (4)

But ways were found to get around this prohibition. The National Security Council, which was not explicitly covered by the law, raised private and foreign funds for the Contras. In addition, arms were sold to Iran and the proceeds were diverted from those sales to the Contras engaged in the insurgency against the Sandinista government. (5) Finally, the Sandinistas were voted out of office in 1990 by voters who thought that a change in leadership would placate the U.S., which was causing misery to Nicaragua’s citizenry by it support of the Contras.

Pakistan

In 1971 West Pakistan, an authoritarian state supported by the U.S., brutally invaded East Pakistan. The war ended after India, whose economy was staggering after admitting about 10 million refugees, invaded East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and defeated the West Pakistani forces. (1)

Millions of people died during that brutal struggle, referred to by some as genocide committed by West Pakistan. That country had long been an ally of the U.S., starting with $411 million provided to establish its armed forces which spent 80% of its budget on its military. $15 million in arms flowed into W. Pakistan during the war. (2,3,4)

Three sources estimate that 3 million people died and (5,2,6) one source estimates 1.5 million. (3)

Panama

In December, 1989 U.S. troops invaded Panama, ostensibly to arrest Manuel Noriega, that nation’s president. This was an example of the U.S. view that it is the master of the world and can arrest anyone it wants to. For a number of years before that he had worked for the CIA, but fell out of favor partially because he was not an opponent of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. (1) It has been estimated that between 500 and 4,000 people died. (2,3,4)

Paraguay: See South America: Operation Condor

Philippines

The Philippines were under the control of the U.S. for over a hundred years. In about the last 50 to 60 years the U.S. has funded and otherwise helped various Philippine governments which sought to suppress the activities of groups working for the welfare of its people. In 1969 the Symington Committee in the U.S. Congress revealed how war material was sent there for a counter-insurgency campaign. U.S. Special Forces and Marines were active in some combat operations. The estimated number of persons that were executed and disappeared under President Fernando Marcos was over 100,000. (1,2)

South America: Operation Condor

This was a joint operation of 6 despotic South American governments (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay) to share information about their political opponents. An estimated 13,000 people were killed under this plan. (1)

It was established on November 25, 1975 in Chile by an act of the Interamerican Reunion on Military Intelligence. According to U.S. embassy political officer, John Tipton, the CIA and the Chilean Secret Police were working together, although the CIA did not set up the operation to make this collaboration work. Reportedly, it ended in 1983. (2)

On March 6, 2001 the New York Times reported the existence of a recently declassified State Department document revealing that the United States facilitated communications for Operation Condor. (3)

Sudan

Since 1955, when it gained its independence, Sudan has been involved most of the time in a civil war. Until about 2003 approximately 2 million people had been killed. It not known if the death toll in Darfur is part of that total.

Human rights groups have complained that U.S. policies have helped to prolong the Sudanese civil war by supporting efforts to overthrow the central government in Khartoum. In 1999 U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright met with the leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) who said that she offered him food supplies if he would reject a peace plan sponsored by Egypt and Libya.

In 1978 the vastness of Sudan’s oil reservers was discovered and within two years it became the sixth largest recipient of U.S, military aid. It’s reasonable to assume that if the U.S. aid a government to come to power it will feel obligated to give the U.S. part of the oil pie.

A British group, Christian Aid, has accused foreign oil companies of complicity in the depopulation of villages. These companies – not American – receive government protection and in turn allow the government use of its airstrips and roads.

In August 1998 the U.S. bombed Khartoum, Sudan with 75 cruise míssiles. Our government said that the target was a chemical weapons factory owned by Osama bin Laden. Actually, bin Laden was no longer the owner, and the plant had been the sole supplier of pharmaceutical supplies for that poor nation. As a result of the bombing tens of thousands may have died because of the lack of medicines to treat malaria, tuberculosis and other diseases. The U.S. settled a lawsuit filed by the factory’s owner. (1,2)

Uruguay: See South America: Operation Condor

Vietnam

In Vietnam, under an agreement several decades ago, there was supposed to be an election for a unified North and South Vietnam. The U.S. opposed this and supported the Diem government in South Vietnam. In August, 1964 the CIA and others helped fabricate a phony Vietnamese attack on a U.S. ship in the Gulf of Tonkin and this was used as a pretext for greater U.S. involvement in Vietnam. (1)

During that war an American assassination operation,called Operation Phoenix, terrorized the South Vietnamese people, and during the war American troops were responsible in 1968 for the mass slaughter of the people in the village of My Lai.

According to a Vietnamese government statement in 1995 the number of deaths of civilians and military personnel during the Vietnam War was 5.1 million. (2)

Since deaths in Cambodia and Laos were about 2.7 million (See Cambodia and Laos) the estimated total for the Vietnam War is 7.8 million.

The Virtual Truth Commission provides a total for the war of 5 million, (3) and Robert McNamara, former Secretary Defense, according to the New York Times Magazine says that the number of Vietnamese dead is 3.4 million. (4,5)

Yugoslavia

Yugoslavia was a socialist federation of several republics. Since it refused to be closely tied to the Soviet Union during the Cold War, it gained some suport from the U.S. But when the Soviet Union dissolved, Yugoslavia’s usefulness to the U.S. ended, and the U.S and Germany worked to convert its socialist economy to a capitalist one by a process primarily of dividing and conquering. There were ethnic and religious differences between various parts of Yugoslavia which were manipulated by the U.S. to cause several wars which resulted in the dissolution of that country.

From the early 1990s until now Yugoslavia split into several independent nations whose lowered income, along with CIA connivance, has made it a pawn in the hands of capitalist countries. (1) The dissolution of Yugoslavia was caused primarily by the U.S. (2)

Here are estimates of some, if not all, of the internal wars in Yugoslavia. All wars: 107,000; (3,4)

Bosnia and Krajina: 250,000; (5) Bosnia: 20,000 to 30,000; (5) Croatia: 15,000; (6) and

Kosovo: 500 to 5,000. (7)

NOTES

Afghanistan

1.Mark Zepezauer, Boomerang (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2003), p.135.

2.Chronology of American State Terrorism
http://www.intellnet.org/resources/american_
terrorism/ChronologyofTerror.html

3.Soviet War in Afghanistan
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_war_in_Afghanistan

4.Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’S Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p.76

5.U.S Involvement in Afghanistan, Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_war_in Afghanistan)

6.The CIA’s Intervention in Afghanistan, Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski, Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris, 15-21 January 1998, Posted at globalresearch.ca 15 October 2001, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/BRZ110A.html

7.William Blum, Rogue State (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000), p.5

8.Unknown News, http://www.unknownnews.net/casualtiesw.html

Angola

1.Howard W. French “From Old Files, a New Story of the U.S. Role in the Angolan War” New York Times 3/31/02

2.Angolan Update, American Friends Service Committee FS, 11/1/99 flyer.

3.Norman Solomon, War Made Easy, (John Wiley & Sons, 2005) p. 82-83.

4.Lance Selfa, U.S. Imperialism, A Century of Slaughter, International Socialist Review Issue 7, Spring 1999 (as appears in Third world Traveler www. thirdworldtraveler.com/American_Empire/Century_Imperialism.html)

5. Jeffress Ramsay, Africa , (Dushkin/McGraw Hill Guilford Connecticut), 1997, p. 144-145.

6.Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’S Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p.54.

Argentina : See South America: Operation Condor

Bolivia

1. Phil Gunson, Guardian, 5/6/02,
http://www.guardian.co.uk/archive /article/0,4273,41-07884,00.html

2.Jerry Meldon, Return of Bolilvia’s Drug – Stained Dictator, Consortium,www.consortiumnews.com/archives/story40.html.

Brazil See South America: Operation Condor

Cambodia

1.Virtual Truth Commissiion http://www.geocities.com/~virtualtruth/ .

2.David Model, President Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, and the Bombing of Cambodia excerpted from the book Lying for Empire How to Commit War Crimes With A Straight Face, Common Courage Press, 2005, paperhttp://thirdworldtraveler.com/American_Empire/Nixon_Cambodia_LFE.html.

3.Noam Chomsky, Chomsky on Cambodia under Pol Pot, etc.,http//zmag.org/forums/chomcambodforum.htm.

Chad

1.William Blum, Rogue State (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000), p. 151-152 .

2.Richard Keeble, Crimes Against Humanity in Chad, Znet/Activism 12/4/06http://www.zmag.org/content/print_article.cfm?itemID=11560&sectionID=1).

Chile

1.Parenti, Michael, The Sword and the Dollar (New York, St. Martin’s Press, 1989) p. 56.

2.William Blum, Rogue State (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000), p. 142-143.

3.Moreorless: Heroes and Killers of the 20th Century, Augusto Pinochet Ugarte,

http://www.moreorless.au.com/killers/pinochet.html

4.Associated Press,Pincohet on 91st Birthday, Takes Responsibility for Regimes’s Abuses, Dayton Daily News 11/26/06

5.Chalmers Johnson, Blowback, The Costs and Consequences of American Empire (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2000), p. 18.

China: See Korea

Colombia

1.Chronology of American State Terrorism, p.2

http://www.intellnet.org/resources/american_terrorism/ChronologyofTerror.html).

2.William Blum, Rogue State (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000), p. 163.

3.Millions Killed by Imperialism Washington Post May 6, 2002)http://www.etext.org./Politics/MIM/rail/impkills.html

4.Gabriella Gamini, CIA Set Up Death Squads in Colombia Times Newspapers Limited, Dec. 5, 1996,www.edu/CommunicationsStudies/ben/news/cia/961205.death.html).

5.Virtual Truth Commission, 1991

Human Rights Watch Report: Colombia’s Killer Networks–The Military-Paramilitary Partnership).

Cuba

1.St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture – on Bay of Pigs Invasionhttp://bookrags.com/Bay_of_Pigs_Invasion.

2.Wikipedia http://bookrags.com/Bay_of_Pigs_Invasion#Casualties.

Democratic Republic of Congo (Formerly Zaire)

1.F. Jeffress Ramsey, Africa (Guilford Connecticut, 1997), p. 85

2. Anup Shaw The Democratic Republic of Congo, 10/31/2003)http://www.globalissues.org/Geopolitics/Africa/DRC.asp)

3.Kevin Whitelaw, A Killing in Congo, U. S. News and World Reporthttp://www.usnews.com/usnews/doubleissue/mysteries/patrice.htm

4.William Blum, Killing Hope (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995), p 158-159.

5.Ibid.,p. 260

6.Ibid.,p. 259

7.Ibid.,p.262

8.David Pickering, “World War in Africa, 6/26/02,
www.9-11peace.org/bulletin.php3

9.William D. Hartung and Bridget Moix, Deadly Legacy; U.S. Arms to Africa and the Congo War, Arms Trade Resource Center, January , 2000www.worldpolicy.org/projects/arms/reports/congo.htm

Dominican Republic

1.Norman Solomon, (untitled) Baltimore Sun April 26, 2005
http://www.globalpolicy.org/empire/history/2005/0426spincycle.htm
Intervention Spin Cycle

2.Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Power_Pack

3.William Blum, Killing Hope (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995), p. 175.

4.Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’S Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p.26-27.

East Timor

1.Virtual Truth Commission, http://www.geocities.com/~virtualtruth/date4.htm

2.Matthew Jardine, Unraveling Indonesia, Nonviolent Activist, 1997)

3.Chronology of American State Terrorismhttp://www.intellnet.org/resources/american_terrorism/ChronologyofTerror.html

4.William Blum, Killing Hope (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995), p. 197.

5.US trained butchers of Timor, The Guardian, London. Cited by The Drudge Report, September 19, 1999. http://www.geocities.com/~virtualtruth/indon.htm

El Salvador

1.Robert T. Buckman, Latin America 2003, (Stryker-Post Publications Baltimore 2003) p. 152-153.

2.William Blum, Rogue State (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000), p. 54-55.

3.El Salvador, Wikipediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Salvador#The_20th_century_and_beyond)

4.Virtual Truth Commissiion http://www.geocities.com/~virtualtruth/.

Grenada

1.Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’S Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p. 66-67.

2.Stephen Zunes, The U.S. Invasion of Grenada,http://wwwfpif.org/papers/grenada2003.html .

Guatemala

1.Virtual Truth Commissiion http://www.geocities.com/~virtualtruth/

2.Ibid.

3.Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’S Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p.2-13.

4.Robert T. Buckman, Latin America 2003 (Stryker-Post Publications Baltimore 2003) p. 162.

5.Douglas Farah, Papers Show U.S. Role in Guatemalan Abuses, Washington Post Foreign Service, March 11, 1999, A 26

Haiti

1.Francois Duvalier,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fran%C3%A7ois_Duvalier#Reign_of_terror).

2.Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’S Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p 87.

3.William Blum, Haiti 1986-1994: Who Will Rid Me of This Turbulent Priest,http://www.doublestandards.org/blum8.html

Honduras

1.William Blum, Rogue State (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000), p. 55.

2.Reports by Country: Honduras, Virtual Truth Commissionhttp://www.geocities.com/~virtualtruth/honduras.htm

3.James A. Lucas, Torture Gets The Silence Treatment, Countercurrents, July 26, 2004.

4.Gary Cohn and Ginger Thompson, Unearthed: Fatal Secrets, Baltimore Sun, reprint of a series that appeared June 11-18, 1995 in Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, School of Assassins, p. 46 Orbis Books 2001.

5.Michael Dobbs, Negroponte’s Time in Honduras at Issue, Washington Post, March 21, 2005

Hungary

1.Edited by Malcolm Byrne, The 1956 Hungarian Revoluiton: A history in Documents November 4, 2002http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB76/index2.htm

2.Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia,
http://www.answers.com/topic/hungarian-revolution-of-1956

Indonesia

1.Virtual Truth Commission http://www.geocities.com/~virtualtruth/.

2.Editorial, Indonesia’s Killers, The Nation, March 30, 1998.

3.Matthew Jardine, Indonesia Unraveling, Non Violent Activist Sept–Oct, 1997 (Amnesty) 2/7/07.

4.Sison, Jose Maria, Reflections on the 1965 Massacre in Indonesia, p. 5.http://qc.indymedia.org/mail.php?id=5602;

5.Annie Pohlman, Women and the Indonesian Killings of 1965-1966: Gender Variables and Possible Direction for Research, p.4,http://coombs.anu.edu.au/SpecialProj/ASAA/biennial-conference/2004/Pohlman-A-ASAA.pdf

6.Peter Dale Scott, The United States and the Overthrow of Sukarno, 1965-1967, Pacific Affairs, 58, Summer 1985, pages 239-264.http://www.namebase.org/scott.

7.Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’S Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p.30.

Iran

1.Geoff Simons, Iraq from Sumer to Saddam, 1996, St. Martins Press, NY p. 317.

2.Chronology of American State Terrorismhttp://www.intellnet.org/resources/american_terrorism/ChronologyofTerror.html.

3.BBC 1988: US Warship Shoots Down Iranian Airlinerhttp://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/default.stm )

Iraq

Iran-Iraq War

1.Michael Dobbs, U.S. Had Key role in Iraq Buildup, Washington Post December 30, 2002, p A01 http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A52241-2002Dec29?language=printer

2.Global Security.Org , Iran Iraq War (1980-1980)globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/iran-iraq.htm.

U.S. Iraq War and Sanctions

1.Ramsey Clark, The Fire This Time (New York, Thunder’s Mouth), 1994, p.31-32

2.Ibid., p. 52-54

3.Ibid., p. 43

4.Anthony Arnove, Iraq Under Siege, (South End Press Cambridge MA 2000). p. 175.

5.Food and Agricultural Organizaiton, The Children are Dying, 1995 World View Forum, Internationa Action Center, International Relief Association, p. 78

6.Anthony Arnove, Iraq Under Siege, South End Press Cambridge MA 2000. p. 61.

7.David Cortright, A Hard Look at Iraq Sanctions December 3, 2001, The Nation.

U.S-Iraq War 2003-?

1.Jonathan Bor 654,000 Deaths Tied to Iraq War Baltimore Sun , October 11,2006

2.News http://www.unknownnews.net/casualties.html

Israeli-Palestinian War

1.Post-1967 Palestinian & Israeli Deaths from Occupation & Violence May 16, 2006 http://globalavoidablemortality.blogspot.com/2006/05/post-1967-palestinian-israeli-deaths.html)

2.Chronology of American State Terrorism

http://www.intellnet.org/resources/american_terrorism/ChronologyofTerror.html

Korea

1.James I. Matray Revisiting Korea: Exposing Myths of the Forgotten War, Korean War Teachers Conference: The Korean War, February 9, 2001http://www.truman/library.org/Korea/matray1.htm

2.William Blum, Killing Hope (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995), p. 46

3.Kanako Tokuno, Chinese Winter Offensive in Korean War – the Debacle of American Strategy, ICE Case Studies Number 186, May, 2006http://www.american.edu/ted/ice/chosin.htm.

4.John G. Stroessinger, Why Nations go to War, (New York; St. Martin’s Press), p. 99)

5.Britannica Concise Encyclopedia, as reported in Answers.comhttp://www.answers.com/topic/Korean-war

6.Exploring the Environment: Korean Enigmawww.cet.edu/ete/modules/korea/kwar.html)

7.S. Brian Wilson, Who are the Real Terrorists? Virtual Truth Commissonhttp://www.geocities.com/~virtualtruth/

8.Korean War Casualty Statistics www.century china.com/history/krwarcost.html)

9.S. Brian Wilson, Documenting U.S. War Crimes in North Korea (Veterans for Peace Newsletter) Spring, 2002) http://www.veteransforpeace.org/

Laos

1.William Blum Rogue State (Maine, Common Cause Press) p. 136

2.Chronology of American State Terrorismhttp://www.intellnet.org/resources/american_terrorism/ChronologyofTerror.html

3.Fred Branfman, War Crimes in Indochina and our Troubled National Soul

www.wagingpeace.org/articles/2004/08/00_branfman_us-warcrimes-indochina.htm).

Nepal

1.Conn Hallinan, Nepal & the Bush Administration: Into Thin Air, February 3, 2004

fpif.org/commentary/2004/0402nepal.html.

2.Human Rights Watch, Nepal’s Civil War: the Conflict Resumes, March 2006 )

http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/03/28/nepal13078.htm.

3.Wayne Madsen, Possible CIA Hand in the Murder of the Nepal Royal Family, India Independent Media Center, September 25, 2001http://india.indymedia.org/en/2002/09/2190.shtml.

Nicaragua

1.Virtual Truth Commission
http://www.geocities.com/~virtualtruth/.

2.Timeline Nicaragua
www.stanford.edu/group/arts/nicaragua/discovery_eng/timeline/).

3.Chronology of American State Terrorism,
http://www.intellnet.org/resources/american_terrorism/ChronologyofTerror.html.

4.William Blum, Nicaragua 1981-1990 Destabilization in Slow Motion

www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Blum/Nicaragua_KH.html.

5.Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran-Contra_Affair.

Pakistan

1.John G. Stoessinger, Why Nations Go to War, (New York: St. Martin’s Press), 1974 pp 157-172.

2.Asad Ismi, A U.S. – Financed Military Dictatorship, The CCPA Monitor, June 2002, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives http://www.policyaltematives.ca)www.ckln.fm/~asadismi/pakistan.html

3.Mark Zepezauer, Boomerang (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2003), p.123, 124.

4.Arjum Niaz ,When America Look the Other Way by,

www.zmag.org/content/print_article.cfm?itemID=2821&sectionID=1

5.Leo Kuper, Genocide (Yale University Press, 1981), p. 79.

6.Bangladesh Liberation War , Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangladesh_Liberation_War#USA_and_USSR)

Panama

1.Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’s Greatest Hits, (Odonian Press 1998) p. 83.

2.William Blum, Rogue State (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000), p.154.

3.U.S. Military Charged with Mass Murder, The Winds 9/96,www.apfn.org/thewinds/archive/war/a102896b.html

4.Mark Zepezauer, CIA’S Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p.83.

Paraguay See South America: Operation Condor

Philippines

1.Romeo T. Capulong, A Century of Crimes Against the Filipino People, Presentation, Public Interest Law Center, World Tribunal for Iraq Trial in New York City on August 25,2004.
http://www.peoplejudgebush.org/files/RomeoCapulong.pdf).

2.Roland B. Simbulan The CIA in Manila – Covert Operations and the CIA’s Hidden Hisotry in the Philippines Equipo Nizkor Information – Derechos, derechos.org/nizkor/filipinas/doc/cia.

South America: Operation Condor

1.John Dinges, Pulling Back the Veil on Condor, The Nation, July 24, 2000.

2.Virtual Truth Commission, Telling the Truth for a Better Americawww.geocities.com/~virtualtruth/condor.htm)

3.Operation Condorhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Condor#US_involvement).

Sudan

1.Mark Zepezauer, Boomerang, (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2003), p. 30, 32,34,36.

2.The Black Commentator, Africa Action The Tale of Two Genocides: The Failed US Response to Rwanda and Darfur, 11 August 2006http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/091706X.shtml.

Uruguay See South America: Operation Condor

Vietnam

1.Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’S Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine:Common Courage Press,1994), p 24

2.Casualties – US vs NVA/VC,
http://www.rjsmith.com/kia_tbl.html.

3.Brian Wilson, Virtual Truth Commission
http://www.geocities.com/~virtualtruth/

4.Fred Branfman, U.S. War Crimes in Indochiona and our Duty to Truth August 26, 2004

www.zmag.org/content/print_article.cfm?itemID=6105&sectionID=1

5.David K Shipler, Robert McNamara and the Ghosts of Vietnamnytimes.com/library/world/asia/081097vietnam-mcnamara.html

Yugoslavia

1.Sara Flounders, Bosnia Tragedy:The Unknown Role of the Pentagon in NATO in the Balkans (New York: International Action Center) p. 47-75

2.James A. Lucas, Media Disinformation on the War in Yugoslavia: The Dayton Peace Accords Revisited, Global Research, September 7, 2005 http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=
viewArticle&code=LUC20050907&articleId=899

3.Yugoslav Wars in 1990s
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yugoslav_wars.

4.George Kenney, The Bosnia Calculation: How Many Have Died? Not nearly as many as some would have you think., NY Times Magazine, April 23, 1995

http://www.balkan-archive.org.yu/politics/war_crimes/srebrenica/bosnia_numbers.html)

5.Chronology of American State Terrorism

http://www.intellnet.org/resources/american_terrorism/ChronologyofTerror.html.

6.Croatian War of Independence, Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Croatian_War_of_Independence

7.Human Rights Watch, New Figures on Civilian Deaths in Kosovo War, (February 7, 2000) http://www.hrw.org/press/2000/02/nato207.htm.

 

The original source of this article is Popular Resistance and Global ResearchCopyright © James A. LucasPopular Resistance and Global Research, 2020

BRI-LED REGIONALIZATION ROLLS ON AS GWADAR PORT OPENS AFGHAN TRADE TO THE WORLD

By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

29 APRIL 2020

The successful opening of Gwadar Port to Afghanistan lays the basis for expanding this trade network to Central Asia and Russia via N-CPEC+, which sets a positive example for how BRI-led regionalization can rejuvenate globalization after the coronavirus is finally defeated.

The speculative talk about the coronavirus supposedly signaling the impending end of globalization was thrown into doubt last week after Gwadar Port was opened to Afghanistan. That facility is the terminal point of the Belt & Road Initiative’s (BRI) flagship project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and will be used to facilitate trade with the South Asian state’s landlocked neighbor, according to the announcement by Abdul Razak Dawood, the adviser for commerce and investment to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.

He also said that “16,000 MT of diamonium phosphate and World Food Programme cargo of 500,000 MT of wheat for Afghanistan will arrive next month” and that “Ships from China will also offload at Gwadar.” This development is remarkable in more ways than one and thus deserves to be analyzed a bit more in depth in order for the reader to better understand its grand strategic significance in the context of contemporary geopolitics.

First off, it’s especially important that war-torn Afghanistan will receive much-needed aid through this port. Those supplies will help its people better survive the hardships that they’ve been experiencing for decades already, and they come at a crucial time when the country is struggling to counter COVID-19. Not only could Gwadar become a humanitarian lifeline for Afghanistan, but also an economic one too since it opens up its trade to the rest of the world and can therefore help it rebuild after the war finally ends.

The very fact that CPEC is expanding along the northern vector suggests that a branch corridor prospectively called N-CPEC+ could enter into fruition in the future if the project expands into the Central Asian Republics and even further afield to Russia, thus creating a new North-South connectivity corridor in the Eurasian Heartland. Even in the event that the aforementioned scenario doesn’t unfold right way, it’s still noteworthy that BRI’s flagship project is strengthening regionalization between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

This objective observation powerfully refutes the rumors that globalization is destined to die due to the consequences of the world’s uncoordinated lockdowns in response to COVID-19. There will always be a need for countries to import whatever they can’t make at home and export the wares that they produce abroad, which in the Afghan context refers to agricultural imports and prospective mineral exports via CPEC. The present lockdowns will inevitably end, after which globalization will resume, bolstered by regionalization.

Regionalization and globalization are two sides of the same coin since they both involve international trade, albeit to differing geographic extents made obvious by their names. There’s some credence to the claims that regionalization will benefit more in the short term than globalization, though the success of regionalization would strengthen globalization through the creation of more consolidated economic spaces. In the present example, CPEC brings China, Pakistan, and Afghanistan closer together, thus boosting trade between all three.

The successful opening of Gwadar Port to Afghanistan lays the basis for expanding this trade network to Central Asia and Russia via N-CPEC+, as was earlier explained, which sets a positive example for how BRI-led regionalization can rejuvenate globalization after the coronavirus is finally defeated. Both interconnected trends are pivotal to the world’s economic recovery, and seeing as how they’re being championed by China, it can be said that the People’s Republic is taking the leading role in helping humanity return back to normal.

With all of this in mind, while casual observers might have dismissed the opening of Gwadar Port to Afghanistan as an unimportant event compared to everything else going on in the world nowadays (if they were even aware of it in the first place, that is), it’s actually one of the most significant non-health-related developments of the year. China showed that its desire to create a Community of Common Destiny through BRI hasn’t slowed down as a result of the virus, which speaks to its commitment to carry through with this noble vision no matter what.

Friday’s Talk from Tehran- 2- Nasser Kandil حديث الجمعة من طهران (2)– ناصر قنديل

Friday’s Talk from Tehran- 2- Nasser Kandil

The regional and the international files are as a number of carpets or water supply systems operated simultaneously: (Nuclear file between raising the enrichment, leaving the treaty, and abolishing the arms embargo) ( Afghanistan is an open battlefield where settlements are conditioned by the American departure) ( Iraq is an operations arena unannounced by the Americans – the popular and political resistance escalation) ) Syria is a field of integration with Russia and the containment of Turkey under the ceiling of the Syrian sovereignty) ( the backgrounds of the Deal of Century after the elections and turning the challenge into an opportunity).

For the second week, I devote this Friday’s Talk for Tehran and my visit for six days along with the accompanying meetings with decision-makers and important leaders who made it possible to know how the Iranian leadership sees the regional and the international files. After I devoted the previous Friday’s Talk to the Iranian interior, in this edition, I will deal with analyses, readings, positions, and decisions that form the pillars of the Iranian position in approaching the different files from the nuclear file to the situation in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, and what is beyond the Deal of the Century and how to deal with it.

The discussion of files together, why not?

Many people think that except the major countries which have enormous financial and military capacities it is not possible to follow up the complicated files without falling into the problem of priorities. While Iran seems smoothly capable to combine between presence and effectiveness in issues that have no link other than being issues that concern Iran, it may be important to Iran that they are issues that concern America too. Iran does not need to manage the different intertwined issues together from the history of heritage and culture that the Iranians inherit since they have two main resources for that. First, their professionalism of weaving carpets, this profession does not only need patience, the ability to wait, perfectness, accuracy, and distinction but also the ability to gather many things at once. The tradition of an Iranian family for thousands of years begins with weaving a carpet with every newborn, where the carpets are weaved together simultaneously one is preceded while the other is delayed according to the need and sometimes for the dates of marriages. This is the same as making canals for drawing water from dozens of springs and wells to dozens of towns and villages. For 2700 years, Iran is still drinking and watering more than forty villages and towns in Khorasan from canals that do not leak, it reaches to all homes, fields, and orchards, by running under the ground. They are run by the villagers who make maintenance, as hundreds of water supply systems spread in Iran, which imposed the living in the lower part of the foothills to facilitate the flow of water by the force of gravity. Second, The Iranians are accustomed to the state of linkage and intertwining of many files. It does not confuse them to manage their nuclear file while they are concerned with the battles of Yemen and Palestine and present in Afghanistan and Iraq, and partners in the political equations and the battlefields in Syria.

The nuclear file:

The politicians, diplomats, and those who are concerned with the Iranian nuclear file technically converge with those concerned in security that the political complicated path is still active despite the escalation in the Iranian- American relationships. Iran has progressed much than it was at the date of signing the nuclear agreement at the technical level; now it is enough to say that it possesses modern centrifuges of a high enrichment capacity equivalent to twice of what it was before at 20%, it has now what it can double the enriched quantities throughout the one day to be equal to what it needs six weeks of enrichment at a rate of less than three or four times. Technically, Iran is of no less experience than the capable nuclear countries which have the full scientific cycle. Politically and diplomatically, a senior official who is concerned with the foreign affairs sees that the open confrontation with Washington about the nuclear file and other files after the assassination of the Commander Qassem Soleimani does not mean that official contacts across the Swiss who sponsor the American interests in Iran have stopped but may be they could more effective than before, along with indirect communication network that includes Oman, Qatar, Russian, Japan, and France. All of these countries have reasons as Iran which kept them for political solutions that are restricted on resolving some outstanding issues just as issues of detainees and humanitarian needs and the import of some of the Iranian needs from America that are not covered by the ban, and which do not take the first place politically because in Iran the priority is to show ability to impose the American withdrawal from the region even if there were opportunities of understandings they will be postponed, and because the American electoral time is not suitable for any serious political research. Many ministers and senior advisors assure that Iran is not concerned with what will result from these elections; it does not have plans for the post- elections. The Iranians consider that the American withdrawal from the nuclear understanding is not a nuclear matter rather it is political and related to the region affairs especially the unstable security of Israel, and the seeking to extract Iran through the sanctions on the nuclear file is just to bargain Iran to stop its support of the resistance movements. The Iranians distinguish between Europe’s desire and its inability to protect the nuclear understanding and Washington’s lack of desire and its ability to disrupt the nuclear understanding. They explain the European desire of the political and economic interests towards the higher interest in stability and fighting the terrorism which lives in anxiety, chaos, and vacancy and the lack of the American desire due to the absence of the economic and political interests and the priority of the security interests governed mainly by Israel that makes the nuclear file, siege, and sanctions mere arenas and tools to express the American need of negotiation, hoping to get gains for the Israeli security. Therefore, the Iranians graduate in the nuclear escalation from within the agreement, they threatened Europe of the difficult exit from the treaty on the non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons if they leave the understanding or if they go to the Security Council to present the Iranian nuclear file, despite the fact that Iran does not concern to that due to the reliable Russian and Chinese vetoes, but according to Iran the protection of the agreement is a common interest. In this Fall Iran will benefit from lifting the ban on its sale and purchase of weapons and this is known by the Europeans. Just for that an Iranian official says that the Foreign Minister of the European Union Josep Borrell has ended his mission successfully through drawing the rules of engagement while Europe was unable to perform its obligations in accordance to the agreement.

Afghanistan

Since the first days of their entry to Afghanistan, the Americans knew that Iran is their partner in the Afghani file. The geographical neighboring along with the spreading of Pashtun between the borders of the two countries has contributed in playing a role in the great demographic intertwining just as the presence of Hazara (the Shiites of Afghanistan) who play a role in another intertwining. Most of Afghanistan’s needs of fuel, vegetables, meat, and flour come from Iran. Furthermore, many of the Afghani middle class people teach their sons at the universities of Iran where the rich of Afghanistan and the sheikh of their tribes spend their vacancies on the Caspian Sea or in its cold places and where they find in Iran modern services that are not available in Afghanistan. The Iranian military presence in Afghanistan does not need a proof, since many of the armed factions have been coordinating with Iran and consulting its leaders since the days of Ahmed Shah Masoud and Gulbuddin Hekmatya. According to the Iranian leaders regarding the situation nowadays the negotiations of the Americans and Taliban Movement are moving from failure to another and will fail except if the Americans accept the complete withdrawal from Afghanistan. Few days ago a ministerial conference has been held in which Afghanistan, the governments of India, China, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Iran, and Turkmenistan participated. The Iranians do not hide their conviction of the fragility of the government of Ashraf Ghani and the demonstration of Taliban on two-thirds of Afghanistan which the Americans were unable to confront. More importantly, the Iranians are aware that Taliban is a false arena of Islamic religiousness that is divided between moderation and extremism and has an incubating environment for Al-Qaeda along with a national Afghani arena that focuses on ousting the Americans and the preparation for a constitution and elections through a government of national unity that supports Iran. The Iranians know that their call for the American departure from the region has supported the Afghani movements, formations, and factions whether from the traditional friends of Iran or from the national and moderated environments of Taliban in addition to the Brigade of Tatemiyoun whom the Commander Qassem Soleimani supervised on its support, supplied it with capabilities, and set up its regular formations, where the most prominent units of it participated in the defense of Syria against ISIS and Al-Qaeda formations and whose its leader Mohammed Jaafar Al-Husseini nicked as “Abu Zainab” died of his wounds during the battles in Syria. The Iranian expectations concerning Afghanistan revolve around one goal; the inescapable American withdrawal.

Iraq

The Iranians take into consideration the historiographical factors of their relationship with Iraq and the effect of the presence of a Shiite Majority in Iraq whether by virtue of greatening the role of Iran or weakening it, but today they focus on a pivotal role of a collective ceiling represented by the reference of Al Najaf on which the Americans and the Gulf People try to create a fabricated clash between it and the Holy status of Qom or the reference of the Leader of the Islamic Republic Al Imam Ali AL Khamenei according to the rules of the Wilayat Al Faqih. Under the ceiling of this reference the Iranians aspire at the unity of the Shiite arena as a safety way to confront the American project and to the repercussions of the economic intertwining and the ethnic and security intertwining with Kurdistan. They depend on three critical elements that ensure the impossibility of the success of the Americans in manipulating the decision of their withdrawal from Iraq. The first factor is the position of Al Sayyed Moqtada Al-Sadr as a partner in the battle of ousting the Americans due to his independent national privacy that defies all the words that Iran imposed on the Iraqis to oust the Americans. The positions of Al Sayyed Al-Sadr stem from his relationship with the Sunni environment and his principled position against the occupation in addition to his refusal of the participation in the political process and his early calls for resistance. The second factor is the martyrdom of the Iraqi beloved Commander Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis who is different from the leaders who participated in the political process and were accused of charges of corruption and wealth, he preserved the purity of the revolutionaries and mujahideen and their modesty and austerity, and he took care of the poor and the needy. The martyrdom of Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis made the issue of ousting the Americans an Iraqi issue that concerned the resistance forces, and everyone who is committed to the concept of Iraqi sovereignty. The third factor, Iran is open to all the forces which link its call for the expel of the American occupation with the exit of all foreign forces from Iraq and neutralizing it from the regional conflict and with the confrontation of corruption. The Iranian leaders sympathize with this slogan and consider it capable of ensuring an Iraqi national state that reassures them and makes them less preoccupied with the Iraqi concerns. The Iranian leaders speak out publicly that there is an urgent need for a new kind of ruling different from that established by Paul Bremer during the occupation and formed the main reason for the widespread of corruption and sectarianism, and a suitable environment for quotas and strife. But the Iranians as governmental officials and concerned in Iraq in leading the Revolutionary Guards and follow-up analysts meet on the fact that the Americans are losing daily through killed and wounded in the resistance operations which they hide them, but the days to come will show the facts that will no longer be hidden.

Gulf and Yemen

The Iranian-Gulf communications exist once directly and once indirectly, but these relationships are tensioned not due to the American-Gulf relationships or the Gulf role in the Deal of Century as much as because they are related to the prolonged aggression against Yemen. The Iranians express their admiration of Ansar Allah and say that we do not negotiate on the behalf of any ally but we pave the way for the direct negotiation with them. This has happened before Stockholm Agreement concerning Al Hodeida. They consider that the continuation of the war on Yemen has become nonsense since the security of the Gulf countries is subject to danger and there is no hope from changing the military equation to weaken Ansar Allah, where the western allies of the Gulf countries do not hide their tiredness from the Gulf stalemate in getting out of war and finding a realistic political exit without impossible conditions that cannot be imposed on Ansar Allah. They say that they advised the Gulf people repeatedly to accelerate in finding a political solution as well as they contributed in creating a suitable environment to help the UN envoy in his negotiating endeavors, but the Gulf stubbornness and the pretension of cleverness of being positive and the preparation for a new round of war is still dominant on the thought of the Saudi and Emirati governments despite the repetitive Emirati promises of withdrawal. A senior Iranian official said maybe the Americans after the new rounds of confrontation with Iran try to keep the Gulf in the face of confrontation in order to extort them with an illusion of danger that threats their security and in order to sell them more weapons. But this means more losses and developments that are not controlled. The Iranian official added that the owners of the glass cities are right in their fear but they have to move quickly to find political solutions to avoid the worst.

Syria

A senior Iranian official concerned with the Syrian issues, Astana Talks and Sochi Conference and concerned with the military and political cooperation with each of Syria and Russia said that the end of the war on Syria is imminent and that the situation of Syria has been resolved, the issue is just a matter of time, Syria with its borders which we knew in 2011 will return unified once again under the control of the Syrian army, but Syria which we knew politically in 2011 is difficult to return to what it was before. Since the victory of the Syrian state against division, fragmentation, and occupation is something and the need of the political reform is something else. He explained that this is agreed upon through a Syrian-Russian-Iranian understanding from the beginnings, other Iranian officials think that there is an indispensable need to deal with Turkey under the title of containment, Turkey which played a destructive role in Syria throughout the past years and now is playing in its last card to obstruct the ability of the Syrian army of imposing its control on more geography. The containment means the repelling when needed even by force and the involvement into settlements and understandings. The Iranians think that the Turks will repeat what they did in Aleppo battles, they will bet on the battlefield and will adapt with the outcomes, as the Muslim Brotherhood whom embraced by Turkey which tries to impose their role in the coming Syrian political process, after they drove Syria to war. The Iranians officials wonder about how to contain the sectarian division especially the effects left by war as the extremism in the Sunni arena and the Gulf finance which had dangerous consequences. They still think of the possibility of the inclusion of the Muslim brotherhood in a well-studied political process although they know that the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad is opposing their participation and consider their participation a danger that must be avoided. The Iranians think that these contradictory trends with the Syrian leadership will not affect anything since any work in Syria must be under the Syrian constants; they recognize that the behavior of the Turks and the Muslim Brotherhood grants credibility to the fears of the Syrian leadership. They think that in the end of imposing the Syrian sovereignty in the battlefield three issues must be dealt; first, how to work according to Adana Agreement in a way that ensures the reassurance of the security Turkish fears. Second, how to redistribute the constitutional powers between the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister. Third; how to arrange the parliamentary elections in a way that gets popular and international legitimacy where no one is excluded. The main concern of Iran in Syria is the Israeli threats of a war of attrition with the Americans. The Iranians hope that this happens because now Iran has offers of power that can show the magnitude of remorse of the Israelis as a result of any military tampering or security folly. The officials who are concerned with security and military affairs reveal that the response to any Israeli aggression against the Iranian forces in Syria will be carried out this time from inside Iran according to Iranian military official statement.

The Deal of the Century

The Iranians who follow-up the official political files agree with the talk that the timing of the announcement of the Deal of Century comes as a result of electoral backgrounds, they try to deeply explain this folly by unifying the Palestinians under the option of confrontation and affecting the meditate position of America between the Palestinians and the Israelis and the influence which it grants to Washington among the Palestinian leaderships. They did not see a logical reason for the situation of the Arab rulers who are undergoing the normalization with Israel, and who did not mind to end the Palestinian cause despite the embarrassment of expressing publicly of the acceptance of the American plan, while neither the American nor the Israeli has what makes it possible to impose it even by force or with a Palestinian partner who can accept it. The only interpretation after the assassination of the Commander Qassem Soleimani is the despair from imposing a settlement because the initiative has been turned to the resistance forces in the region and the inability of the supposed partners in the settlement of ensuring security to the occupation entity. Knowing that in the past this security was a sufficient reason for the accepting the ideas of abandoning geography, but now the full control on geography after the absence of a settlement that ensures security has become the way for security that needs an American guarantees to continue the flow of the American money and weapons despite the processes of annexation and Judaism which form an alternative to a settlement with a American- Israeli consensus. The announcement of the Deal of Century was a political legal framework to ensure that. Therefore, Israel has resorted to the procedures of annexation, expansion, and displacement under the title of more security. The Americans and the Israelis think that the occupation entity will become securer with these procedures; they think that it becomes safer after the assassination of the Commander Soleimani. While the follow-up officials say that what is needed is that the Americans and the Israelis discover that the entity becomes less secure whether through the popular resistance represented by the intifada or through the armed resistance which will find its way towards to the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the occupation territories in 1948. The Deal of the Century has renewed the fate partnership between these movements and the people of the occupied territories in 1967 after they were separated by the projects of negotiation and settlement which do not cover the people of the occupied territories in 1948. The Iranians know that the resistance has capacities and know their impact on the security of the occupation entity and its vital installations whenever the Israelis think of a new war on Gaza, which will form a strategic base for the resistance in all the territories of Palestine.

The Fifth decade

Iran is entering the fifth decade of revolution and is still vivid, it refuses the theory of the Iranian influence in the region, but it sees it a formation of the sources of power against the American and Israeli projects, as it refuses the theory of the state and the revolution and their contradiction as the theory of spreading the concept of the revolution. The state’s legitimacy comes from its commitment to the issue of the first liberation humanly, religiously, and morally (Palestinian cause) which means the continuation of revolution. Iran since the victory of revolution is progressing according to a plan. The first decade was through steadfastness and repelling the attacks especially the war launched by the former Iraqi president under Gulf support and armament and western support. The second decade was for construction, the third decade was for possessing the capacities, the fourth decade was to stabilize the balances of power and drawing equations. While the fifth decade was for achieving the goals and turning them into an agenda while the bloods of the martyr the Commander Soleimani will be a decade of liberating Jerusalem and ousting the American occupation from the region.
Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

حديث الجمعة من طهران (2)– ناصر قنديل

الملفات الإقليميّة والدوليّة مجموعة سجّادات أو شبكة أقنية مياه تُدار في آنٍ واحد: ‭}‬ الملف النوويّ بين رفع التخصيب والخروج من المعاهدة وإلغاء الحظر على السلاح ‭}‬ أفغانستان ساحة اشتباك مفتوح والتسويات مشروطة بالرحيل الأميركيّ ‭}‬ العراق ساحة عمليّات لا يعلن عنها الأميركيّون وتصعيد المقاومة الشعبيّة والسياسيّة ‭}‬ سورية ميدان تكامل مع روسيا واحتواء لتركيا تحت سقف السيادة السوريّة ‭}‬ خلفيّات صفقة القرن ما بعد الانتخابية وتحويل التحدّي فرصة

للأسبوع الثاني أخصص حديث الجمعة لطهران وما رافق زيارتها لستة أيام من لقاءات أتاحت التعرّف من مواقع صناعة القرار وقادة الرأي، على كيفية تفكير ونظرة القيادة الإيرانية للملفّات الإقليمية والدولية، بعدما خصّصتُ حديث الجمعة الماضي للشأن الداخلي الإيراني، سأخصص هذا الحديث لتناول تحليلات وقراءات ومواقف وقرارات تشكل أرضيّة وسقوف وأعمدة الموقف الإيراني في مقاربة الملفات المختلفة من الملف النووي إلى الوضع في أفغانستان والعراق وسورية والنظرة لما وراء صفقة القرن وكيفية التعامل معها.

الملفات معاً ولمَ لا؟

يفترض الكثيرون أنه باستثناء الدول الكبرى التي تملك مقدرات مالية وعسكرية هائلة لا يمكن التفرّغ لمتابعة العديد من الملفات المعقدة، دون الوقوع في مشكلة الأولويات، بينما تبدو إيران قادرة بسلاسة على الجمع بين الحضور والفعالية في ملفات لا رابط بينها سوى كونها ملفات تهم إيران، وربما يكون مهماً لإيران أنها أيضاً ملفات تهم الأميركيين، الذين يشكلون كيفما أدرت رأسك القطب المقابل لإيران. ففي إيران لا حاجة للتدرب على الإدارة المتشابكة لمجموعة ملفات معاً، من تاريخ التراث والثقافة التي يتوارثها الإيرانيون، مصدران رئيسيان لهذه السلاسة، الأول هو احترافهم كشعب حياكة السجاد، وهي حرفة لا تدرّب صاحبها فقط على الصبر وقدرة تحمّل الانتظار، وعلى الإتقان والدقة والتمييز، بل أيضاً على جمع الملفات. فالتقليد العائلي الإيراني منذ آلاف السنين يبدأ حياكة سجادة مع كل مولود جديد ويتوازى حبك السجادات معاً بالتزامن، تتقدّم إحداها وتتراجع إحداها وفقاً للحاجة، وأحياناً لمواعيد الزواج، ومثل حياكة السجاد صناعة قنوات جرّ المياه للري والشرب، من عشرات الآبار والينابيع إلى عشرات البلدات والقرى، ومنذ 2700 سنة لا تزال تشرب وتروي أرضها أكثر من أربعين بلدة وقرية في خراسان من قنوات لا يتسرّب منها الماء، تصل إلى كل البيوت والحقول والبساتين، وتسير تحت الأرض، ويديرها القرويون ويقومون بصيانتها، ومثلها مئات الشبكات المنتشرة في إيران، والتي فرضت على هندسة القرى والبلدات السكن في النصف السفليّ من سفوح الجبال تسهيلاً لسير المياه بقوة الجاذبيّة. وهكذا يعتاد الإيرانيون أن يكون بين أيديهم هذا الربط والتشابك بين ملفات عديدة، فلا يربكهم أنهم يديرون ملفهم النووي، وفي الوقت ذاته معنيّون بمعارك اليمن وفلسطين وحاضرون في أفغانستان والعراق وشركاء المعادلات السياسية ومعارك الميدان في سورية.

الملف النوويّ

يلتقي كلام السياسيين والدبلوماسيين والمعنيين بالملف النووي الإيراني تقنياً، مع كلام المعنيين أمنياً، بأن المسار السياسي المعقّد لم يتوقف، وليس مقفلاً رغم كل التصعيد في العلاقات الإيرانية الأميركية، فإيران على المستوى التقني تقدّمت كثيراً عما كانت عليه بتاريخ توقيع الاتفاق النووي، ويكفي القول إنها صارت تملك أجهزة طرد حديثة بطاقة تخصيب مرتفعة تعادل أضعاف ما كان سقفه أيامها التخصيب على نسبة 20%، وبات لديها ما يتيح مضاعفة الكميات المخصبة على مدار اليوم الواحد ليعادل ما كانت تحتاج إلى ستة أسابيع لتخصيبه على نسبة أقل بثلاث أو أربع مرات من قبل، وإيران تقنياً لا تقلّ خبرة وقدرة عن أي من الدول النووية المقتدرة، والتي تملك الدورة العلمية الكاملة. أما على الصعيدين السياسي والدبلوماسي فيصف مسؤول إيراني كبير معني بالاتصالات الخارجية، أن المواجهة المفتوحة مع واشنطن حول الملف النووي وسواه من الملفات خصوصاً بعد الاغتيال الإجرامي للقائد قاسم سليماني، لا تعني أن خطوط الاتصال الرسمية عبر السويسريين الذين يرعون المصالح الأميركية في إيران قد قطعت، بل ربما تكون فاعلة أكثر من قبل، ومعها شبكة تواصل غير مباشرة تضم عُمان وقطر وروسيا واليابان وفرنسا. ولكل من هذه الدول أسباب، ولإيران أسباب لمنحه دوراً في هذا الاتصال، كرصيد سياسي يحضر عندما يصير للحلول السياسية مكان، وتقتصر اليوم على حلحلة بعض الأمور العالقة كقضايا معتقلين وحاجات إنسانية، وتوريد بعض الحاجات الإيرانية من أميركا غير المشمولة بالحظر، لكن لا توقعات لبلوغها مرتبة السياسة. فالمناخ غير مناسب إيرانياً لأن الأولوية هي لتظهير الاقتدار وصولاً لفرض الانسحاب الأميركي من المنطقة ولو تيسرت فرص تفاهمات راهناً فهي مؤجلة، وثانياً لأن الزمن الانتخابي الأميركي غير مناسب لأي بحث سياسي جدّي. وإيران المهتمة باستقراء زوارها لما يتوقعون في الانتخابات الرئاسية الأميركية من باب معرفة الشيء وتحليله، تؤكد بألسنة العديد من الوزراء والمستشارين الكبار أنها غير معنية بما ستسفر عنه هذه الانتخابات، وليست لديها خطط لما بعد الانتخابات تختلف حسب طبيعة الفائز. فما تريده إيران واضح وواحد، وليست له نسخ متعددة، ولا يغيب عن بال الإيرانيين أن الانسحاب الأميركي من التفاهم النووي ليس نووياً، بل هو سياسي يرتبط بشؤون المنطقة وفي مقدمتها أمن «إسرائيل» المهتز والسعي لابتزاز إيران عبر العقوبات التي يتم ربطها تعسفاً بالملف النووي لمفاوضة إيران على وقف دعمها لحركات المقاومة في المنطقة. وفيما يميز الإيرانيون بين رغبة أوروبا وعدم قدرتها على حماية الاتفاق النووي، وعدم رغبة واشنطن وقدرتها على تعطيل الاتفاق، يعيدون الرغبة الأوروبية للمصالح السياسية والاقتصادية وصولاً للمصلحة العليا بالاستقرار ومكافحة الإرهاب الذي يعيش على التوتر والفوضى والفراغ، ويفسرون عدم الرغبة الأميركية بغياب المصالح الاقتصادية والسياسية وغلبة المصالح الأمنية، والمصالح الأمنية المحكومة بمأزق «إسرائيل» بصورة رئيسية، تجعل الملف النووي والحصار والعقوبات مجرد مسارح وأدوات، للتعبير عن الحاجة الأميركية للتفاوض الساخن أملاً بتحصيل مكاسب للأمن الإسرائيلي، ولذلك يلعب الإيرانيون أوراقهم بهدوء، فهم يتدرّجون في التصعيد النووي من داخل الاتفاق، ولا يخرجون منه، لكنهم يلوّحون لأوروبا بالخروج الأصعب وهو الخروج من معاهدة عدم الانتشار النووي، إذا خرجوا من الاتفاق أو ذهبوا إلى مجلس الأمن لعرض ملف إيران النووي، رغم عدم قلق إيران من هذا الاحتمال لوجود فيتو روسي وفيتو صيني تثق إيران بهما، إلا أن حماية الاتفاق بنظر إيران تتم بالتهديد بالخروج من المعاهدة، خصوصاً أن حماية الاتفاق مصلحة مشتركة. فإيران ستستفيد في خريف هذا العام من رفع الحظر على بيعها وشرائها للسلاح، وفقاً للاتفاق وهي حريصة على بلوغ هذه النتيجة، وهذا يعرفه الأوروبيون، ولذلك يقول مسؤول إيراني معني بأن وزير خارجية الاتحاد الأوروبي جوزيب بوريل أنهى مهمته بنجاح برسم قواعد الاشتباك في غياب قدرة أوروبا على أداء موجباتها وفقاً للاتفاق.

أفغانستان

منذ الأيام الأولى لدخولهم إلى أفغانستان والأميركيون يعلمون أن إيران شريكهم في الملف الأفغاني، فعدا عن الجوار الجغرافي يلعب توزّع البشتون بين حدود البلدين دوراً في تشابك ديمغرافي كبير كما يلعب وجود الهزارا وهم شيعة أفغانستان دوراً في تشابك من نوع آخر، بينما أغلب حاجات أفغانستان من المشتقات النفطية والخضار واللحوم والطحين تأتي من إيران، والكثير من أبناء الطبقة الوسطى الأفغانيّة يعلّمون أبناءهم في جامعات إيران ويمضي أغنياء أفغانستان وشيوخ قبائلها مواسم الاصطياف على بحر قزوين أو في مناطقها الباردة خلال الصيف الأفغاني الحار، وفي ظل تجهيزات خدمية عصرية في إيران لا تتوافر في أفغانستان، والحضور الإيراني في أفغانستان عسكرياً لا يحتاج إلى إثبات. فالكثير من الفصائل المسلحة تنسق مع إيران وتتشاور مع قيادتها منذ أيام أحمد شاه مسعود وقلب الدين حكمتيار. وعن الحال اليوم يقول القادة الإيرانيون إن مفاوضات الأميركيين وحركة طالبان من فشل إلى فشل وستفشل حكماً إلا إذا قرّر الأميركيّون القبول بمبدأ الانسحاب الكامل من أفغانستان، الذي يشكل قاسماً مشتركاً بين الأفغان وإيران، التي تدعم حكومة الرئيس أشرف غني المدعوم من الأميركيين، وقد عقد قبل أيام مؤتمر وزاري شاركت فيه أفغانستان مع حكومات الهند والصين وروسيا وباكستان وطاجكستان وإيران وتركمانستان، لكن الإيرانيين لا يخفون قناعتهم بهشاشة وضع حكومة أشرف ولا كذلك بسيطرة طالبان على ثلثي مساحة أفغانستان، وعجز الأميركيين عن مواجهتها، والأهم قناعة القادة الإيرانيين الذين يتابعون ملف أفغانستان بأن طالبان مساحة هلامية لتدين إسلامي يتوزّع بين الاعتدال والتطرف، وفيها بيئة حاضنة لتنظيم القاعدة، لكنها فيها مساحة موازية لوطنية أفغانية تتركز على إخراج الأميركيين والتمهيد لدستور وانتخابات، من خلال حكومة وحدة وطنية تدعم إيران تشكيلها بالترابط والتزامن مع الانسحاب الأميركي. ويعلم الإيرانيون أن دعواتهم لرحيل الأميركيين من المنطقة منح حركات وتشكيلات وفصائل أفغانية سواء من أصدقاء إيران التقلدييين أو من البيئات الوطنية والمعتدلة في طالبان، هذا إضافة إلى لواء فاطميون الذي أشرف على دعمه ورفده بالمقدرات وبناء تشكيلاته النظامية الجنرال قاسم سليماني، وشاركت وحدات بارزة منه في الدفاع عن سورية بوجه تنظيم داعش وتشكيلات القاعدة، والذي توفي مؤخراً قائده محمد جعفر الحسيني الملقب بـ «أبو زينب» متأثراً بجراحه التي أصيب بها خلال المعارك في سورية، والتوقعات الإيرانية حول أفغانستان تتجه نحو بوصلة واحدة لا ترى بديلاً لها، هي حتمية الرحيل الأميركي خلال فترة غير بعيدة.

العراق

يأخذ الإيرانيون بالاعتبار العوامل التاريخية والجغرافية لعلاقتهم الخاصة بالعراق، والتأثير الذي يلعبه وجود أغلبية شيعية في العراق، سواء ما يؤثر من هذه العوامل لجهة تعظيم دور إيران أو إضعافه، لكنهم يركزون اليوم على دور محوري لسقف جامع هو موقف مرجعية النجف التي يشتغل الأميركيون والخليجيون على افتعال صادم وهميّ بينها وبين موقع قم المقدسة، أو مرجعية مرشد الجمهورية الإسلامية الإمام علي الخامنئي وفقاً لقواعد ولاية الفقيه، وتحت سقف المرجعية ينظر الإيرانيون لوحدة الساحة الشيعيّة كصمام أمان لمواجهة المشروع الأميركي، واستطراداً لتأثيرات التداخل الاقتصادي والتشابك الأمني والعرقي مع كردستان، ويتوقفون أمام ثلاثة عناصر حاسمة تجعلهم على يقين من استحالة نجاح الأميركيين في التلاعب بقرار رحيلهم من العراق: العامل الأول هو موقع السيد مقتدى الصدر كشريك كامل في معركة إخراج الأميركيين، وما له من خصوصية وطنية استقلالية تجعل الكلام عن أن معركة إخراج الأميركيين هي معركة إيران المفروضة على العراقيين مصدر سخرية، ولموقع السيد الصدر نتائج نابعة من تاريخه بعلاقاته مع البيئة السنية من جهة، وموقفه المبدئي من الاحتلال ورفضه المشاركة في العملية السياسية ودعواته المبكرة للمقاومة. والعامل الثاني هو استشهاد القائد العراقي المحبوب أبي مهدي المهندس الذي يختلف عن القادة الذين شاركوا في العملية السياسية ولاحقتهم تهم الفساد والثراء بمحافظته على نقاء الثوار والمجاهدين وتواضعهم ونمط عيش تقشفي ورعايته للفقراء والمساكين، واستشهاد أبي مهدي المهندس جعل إخراج الأميركيين قضية عراقية تعني قوى المقاومة والحشد الشعبي بالتأكيد، لكنها تعني كل ملتزم بصدق بمفهوم السيادة العراقية؛ أما العامل الثالث فهو أن إيران منفتحة على القوى التي تشترط لشراكتها بطرد الاحتلال الأميركي ربط هذه المعركة بالحديث عن خروج جميع القوات الأجنبية من العراق وتحييده عن الصراعات الإقليمية، ولا ترى أن لديها سبباً لرفض هذا الشعار، كما ربط معركة إخراج الاحتلال بمواجهة الفساد. والقادة الإيرانيون يتعاطفون مع هذا الشعار ويرونه قادراً على تأمين بناء دولة وطنية عراقية تطمئنهم وتجعلهم أقل انشغالاً بالهموم العراقية، ويجاهر القادة الإيرانيون بأن الحاجة ملحّة لصيغة حكم مختلفة عن تلك التي أسسها بول بريمير في زمن الاحتلال، وشكّلت السبب في تفشي الفساد والطائفية وإيجاد بيئة مناسبة للمحاصصة والفتن، لكن الإيرانيين مسؤولين حكوميين ومعنيين بالعراق في قيادة الحرس الثوري ومحللين متابعين يُجمعون على أن الأميركيين يخسرون يومياً بين صفوفهم شهداء وجرحى في عمليات مقاومة يتكتمون عليها، ولا ترى المقاومة سبباً للإعلان، لكن الأيام ستتكفل بتظهير الحقائق التي لا يمكن الصمت عنها أكثر.

الخليج واليمن

الاتصالات الإيرانيّة الخليجية قائمة، أحياناً مباشرة وأحياناً بصورة غير مباشرة، لكن العلاقات متوترة بسبب لا يتصل بالعلاقات الأميركية الخليجية أو بالدور الخليجي في صفقة القرن بقدر ما يتصل بالعدوان على اليمن، وقد طال أمد هذا العدوان أكثر مما يجب، ويبدي الإيرانيون إعجابهم بأنصار الله، ويقولون نحن لا نفاوض نيابة عن أي من الحلفاء بل نمهّد الطريق للتفاوض المباشر معهم وهذا ما حدث قبيل اتفاق استكهولم حول الحُديدة، ويعتبرون أن استمرار الحرب على اليمن بات فاقداً للمعنى، حيث أمن دول الخليج هو المعرّض للخطر، وحيث لا أمل يرتجى من تغيير المعادلات العسكرية لجهة إضعاف أنصار الله، وأن الحلفاء الغربيين لدول الخليج لا يخفون علناً التعبير عن أنهم سئموا الماطلة الخليجية في الخروج من الحرب وإيجاد مخرج سياسي واقعي دون شروط تعجيزية يستحيل فرضها على أنصار الله، ويقولون إنهم نصحوا الخليجيين مراراً بالإسراع في التوجه نحو الحل السياسي وساعدوا في خلق مناخ ملائم لمساعدة المبعوث الأممي في مساعيه التفاوضية، لكن التعنت الخليجي والتذاكي بالإيحاء بالإيجابية والتحضير لجولة حرب جديدة لا يزال طاغياً على تفكير الحكومتين السعودية والإماراتية، رغم وعود الإمارات المتكررة بالانسحاب. ويقول مسؤول إيراني بارز، ربما يكون الأميركيون بعد الحلقات الجديدة من المواجهة مع إيران يريدون بقاء الخليجيين في قلب المحرقة، لابتزازهم بوهم مخاطر تهدّد أمنهم وبيعهم المزيد من السلاح، لكن ذلك سيعني في حال أي تطور في المواجهة مع اليمن خسائر وتطورات يصعب حصرها والسيطرة عليها. ويضيف المسؤول الإيراني، أن أصحاب المدن الزجاجية محقون في خوفهم، لكن عليهم التحرك سريعاً نحو الحلول السياسية لتفادي الأسوأ.

سورية

يقول مسؤول إيراني بارز متابع للملف السوري وفي محادثات أستانة ومؤتمر سوتشي، ومعني بالتعاون العسكري والسياسي مع كل من سورية وروسيا، إن نهاية الحرب في سورية باتت وشيكة، وإن مصير سورية حُسم، والمسألة مسألة وقت. فسورية التي كنا نعرفها عام 2011 بحدودها ستعود موحّدة وتحت سيطرة الجيش السوري، لكن سورية التي كنا نعرفها سياسياً عام 2011 يصعب أن تعود كما كانت، ويرى أن انتصار مشروع الدولة السورية بوجه التقسيم والتفتيت والاحتلال شيء، والحاجة للإصلاح السياسي شيء آخر. ويوضح ان هذا موضع تفاهم سوري روسي إيراني منذ البدايات، ويعتقد كما مسؤولين إيرانيين آخرين أن تركيا التي لعبت دوراً تخريبياً في سورية طوال السنوات الماضية وهي اليوم تلعب آخر أوراقها لشل قدرة الجيش السوري عن التقدم وفرض سيطرته على المزيد من الجغرافيا التي تقع تحت سيطرة الجماعات الإرهابية، لا غنى عن العمل المستديم معها تحت عنوان الاحتواء، وللاحتواء معنى الصدّ عند الحاجة ولو بالقوة كما يحصل الآن، والدخول في تسويات وتفاهمات عندما تنضج. ولا يعتقد الإيرانيون أن الأتراك سيذهبون بعيداً فهم سيعيدون ما فعلوه في معارك حلب، يراهنون على الميدان حتى تتوضح الاتجاهات فيتأقلمون معها، ومثل حال الأتراك حال الأخوان المسلمين الذين تحتضنهم تركيا، وتحمل مشروعهم وتسعى لضمان فرض دورهم في العملية السياسية السورية المقبلة، وقد كانوا رأس الحربة في أخذ سورية إلى الأزمة فالحرب، لكن المسؤولين الإيرانيين يتساءلون عن كيفية احتواء التشققات الطائفية خصوصاً ما تركته الحرب من آثار تطرف وتمذهب في الساحة السنية والتمويل الخليجي الذي ترك بصمات خطيرة، ولا يزالون يعتقدون بإمكانية ضم الأخوان إلى عملية سياسية مدروسة يعلمون أن الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد يرفض مشاركتهم فيها ويعتبر إشراكهم مخاطرة يجب تفاديها، بمثل ما ينظر للدور التركي. ويعتقد الإيرانيون أن هذا التباين في الاجتهاد مع القيادة السورية، لن يؤثر على كون أي عمل في سورية يجب أن يجري تحت الثوابت السورية، ويعترفون أن سلوك الأتراك والأخوان يمنح مصداقية كبيرة لشكوك ومخاوف القيادة السورية، لكنهم يعتقدون أنه في النهاية بعد فرض الإرادة السورية في الميدان تجب معالجة ثلاثة عناوين: أولها كيفية تطبيق اتفاق أضنة كإطار للسيادة السورية وضمان طمأنة المخاوف التركية الأمنية، وثانيها كيفية إعادة توزيع الصلاحيات الدستورية بين رئيسي الجمهورية والحكومة، والثالثة كيفية ترتيب الانتخابات النيابية بطريقة تحوز شرعية شعبية ودولية لا يتم فيها استبعاد أحد، لكن الشغل الشاغل في سورية لإيران اليوم هو التهديدات الإسرائيلية بحرب استنزاف ضمن تقسيم عمل مع الأميركيين، يرد الإيرانيون أنهم يتمنّون وقوعه، لأن إيران في التوقيت المناسب لعروض قوة تظهر للإسرائيليين حجم الندم الذي سيُصيبهم من جراء أي عبث عسكري أو حماقة أمنية، ويكشف مسؤولون معنيون بالشؤون الأمنية والعسكرية أن الرد على أي عدوان إسرائيلي على القوات الإيرانية في سورية سيتمّ هذه المرة من داخل إيران وبموجب بيان رسميّ عسكريّ إيرانيّ.

صفقة القرن

يشارك الإيرانيون المتابعون للملفات السياسية الرسمية الكلام عن خلفيات انتخابية وراء توقيت الإعلان عن صفقة القرن، لكنهم يحاولون استكشاف أسباب أعمق تفسر هذه الحماقة بتوحيد الفلسطينيين وراء خيار المواجهة، وإسقاط المكانة الوسيطة لأميركا بين الفلسطينيين والإسرائيليين، والنفوذ الذي كانت تؤمنه لواشنطن بين القيادات الفلسطينية، ولا يرون سبباً منطقياً لوضع الحكام العرب الذين يخوضون التطبيع مع «إسرائيل»، ولا يمانعون بتصفية القضية الفلسطينية أمام إحراج يمنعهم من المجاهرة بقبول الخطة الأميركية، فيما لا يملك الأميركي ولا الإسرائيلي ما يتيح فرضها بالقوة أو إيجاد شريك فلسطيني وازن يقبلها. والتفسير الوحيد الذي يجدونه بالترابط مع اغتيال القائد قاسم سليماني هو اليأس من فرص التسوية بسبب انتقال زمام المبادرة إلى يد محور المقاومة في المنطقة، وعجز الشركاء المفترضين في التسوية عن تأمين الأمن لكيان الاحتلال. وهذا الأمن كان في الماضي سبباً كافياً لقبول فكرة التنازل عن الجغرافيا، بينما باتت السيطرة الكاملة على الجغرافيا بغياب فرص تسوية تحقق الأمن، هي الطريق للمزيد من الأمن. وهذه السيطرة تحتاج تغطية أميركية وضمانات بمواصلة تدفق المال والسلاح الأميركيين رغم عمليات الضم والتهويد التي تشكل البديل عن التسوية بتوافق أميركي إسرائيلي، فجاء الإعلان عن صفقة ترامب إطاراً سياسياً وقانونياً يضمن ذلك، لتذهب «إسرائيل» لإجراءات الضم والتوسع والتهجير، والمعيار هو المزيد من الأمن. وكما يظن الأميركيون والإسرائيليون أن الكيان يصير اكثر أمناً بهذه الإجراءات يعتقدون انه يصير أشد أمناً بعد اغتيال القائد سليماني، وعن المواجهة يقول المسؤولون المتابعون للعلاقة بفصائل المقاومة، إن الأمر لا يحتاج إلى الكثير من التفكير. فالمطلوب هو أن يكتشف الأميركيون والإسرائيليون أن الكيان بات أقل أمناً، سواء بالمقاومة الشعبية التي تجسّدها الانتفاضة، أو بالمقاومة المسلحة التي ستجد طريقها إلى الضفة الغربية والقدس والأراضي المحتلة العام 1948، وقد جدّدت صفقة القرن شراكة المصير بينهم وبين أبناء الأراضي المحتلة عام 1967 بعدما فرقتهم مشاريع التفاوض والتسوية التي لا مكان فيها لسكان الأراضي المحتلة العام 1948. ولا يخفي الإيرانيون أنهم يعلمون ما لدى المقاومة من مقدرات وحجم تأثير هذه المقدرات على أمن كيان الاحتلال ومنشآته الحيوية كلما فكّر الإسرائيليون بحرب جديدة على غزة، التي ستشكل قاعدة استراتيجية وعمقاً لكل المقاومة في كل فلسطين.

العقد الخامس

تدخل إيران العقد الخامس للثورة ولا تزال فتيّة، وهي ترفض نظرية النفوذ الإيراني في المنطقة بل تراه تشكيلاً لمصادر قوة في جبهة مقاومة للمشروعين الأميركي والإسرائيلي، كما ترفض نظرية الدولة والثورة وتناقضهما، ومثلها نظرية تصدير الثورة. فشرعية الدولة تأتي من التزامها بقضية التحرر الأولى إنسانياً ودينياً وأخلاقياً وهي قضية فلسطين، أي من استمرار الثورة، وإيران منذ انتصار ثورتها تسير وفقاً لخطة وقد كان العقد الأول للصمود وصد الهجمات، خصوصاً الحرب التي شنها رئيس النظام العراقي السابق عليها بدعم وتمويل خليجي وتسليح وإسناد غربي، والعقد الثاني كان للبناء، والعقد الثالث كان لامتلاك المقدرات، والعقد الرابع لتثبيت موازين القوة ورسم المعادلات، وها هو العقد الخامس للاقتراب من تحقيق الأهداف، وتحويلها إلى برنامج عمل، وهو بدماء الشهيد القائد قاسم سليماني، يقول مسؤول إيراني كبير، سيكون عقد تحرير القدس وإخراج الاحتلال الأميركي من المنطقة.

WHICH TARGET AFTER SYRIA?

Source

19 years of “war without end”

President George W. Bush decided to radically transform the Pentagon’s missions, as Colonel Ralph Peters explained in the Army magazine Parameters on September 13, 2001. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld appointed Admiral Arthur Cebrowski to train future officers. Cebrowski spent three years touring military universities so that today all general officers have taken his courses. His thoughts were popularized for the general public by his deputy, Thomas Barnett.

The areas affected by the US war will be given over to “chaos”. This concept is to be understood in the sense of the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes, i.e. as the absence of political structures capable of protecting citizens from their own violence (“Man is a wolf to man”). And not in the biblical sense of making a clean slate before the creation of a new order.

This war is an adaptation of the US Armed Forces to the era of globalization, to the transition from productive capitalism to financial capitalism. “War is a Racket,” as Smedley Butler, America’s most decorated general, used to say before World War II [1]. From now on, friends and enemies will no longer count; war will allow for the simple management of natural resources.

This form of war involves many crimes against humanity (including ethnic cleansing) that the US Armed Forces cannot commit. Secretary Donald Rumsfeld therefore hired private armies (including Blackwater) and developed terrorist organizations while pretending to fight them.

The Bush and Obama administrations followed this strategy: to destroy the state structures of entire regions of the world. The US war is no longer about winning, but about lasting (the “war without end”). President Donald Trump and his first National Security Advisor, General Michael Flynn, have questioned this development without being able to change it. Today, the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski thinkers pursue their goals not so much through the Defence Secretariat as through NATO.

After President Bush launched the “never-ending war” in Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003), there was strong contestation among Washington’s political elites about the arguments that had justified the invasion of Iraq and the disorder there. This was the Baker-Hamilton Commission (2006). The war never stopped in Afghanistan or Iraq, but it took five years for President Obama to open new theatres of operation: Libya (2011), Syria (2012) and Yemen (2015).

Two external actors interfered with this plan.
 In 2010-11, the United Kingdom launched the “Arab Spring”, an operation modeled on the “Arab Revolt” of 1915, which allowed Lawrence of Arabia to put the Wahhabi in power on the Arabian Peninsula. This time it was a question of placing the Muslim Brotherhood in power with the help not of the Pentagon, but of the US State Department and NATO.
 In 2014, Russia intervened in Syria, whose state had not collapsed and which it helped to resist. Since then, the British – who had tried to change the regime there during the “Arab Spring” (2011-early 2012) – and then the Americans – who were seeking to overthrow not the regime, but the state (mid-2012 to the present) – have had to withdraw. Russia, pursuing the dream of Tsarina Catherine, is today fighting against chaos, for stability – that is to say, for the defence of state structures and respect for borders.

Colonel Ralph Peters, who in 2001 revealed the Pentagon’s new strategy, published Admiral Cebrowski’s map of objectives in 2006. It showed that only Israel and Jordan would not be affected. All other countries in the “Broader Middle East” (i.e., from Morocco to Pakistan) would gradually be stateless and all major countries (including Saudi Arabia and Turkey) would disappear.

Noting that its best ally, the United States, was planning to cut its territory in two in order to create a “free Kurdistan”, Turkey unsuccessfully tried to get closer to China, and then adopted the theory of Professor Ahmet Davutoğlu: “Zero problems with its neighbours”. It distanced itself from Israel and began to negotiate peace with Cyprus, Greece, Armenia, Iraq etc. It also distanced itself from Israel. Despite the territorial dispute over Hatay, it created a common market with Syria. However, in 2011, when Libya was already isolated, France convinced Turkey that it could escape partition if it joined NATO’s ambitions. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a political Islamist of the Millî Görüş, joined the Muslim Brotherhood, of which he was not a member, hoping to recoup the fruits of the ’Arab Spring’ for his own benefit. Turkey turned against one of its main clients, Libya, and then against one of its main partners, Syria.

In 2013, the Pentagon adapted the “endless war” to the realities on the ground. Robin Wright published two corrective maps in the New York Times. The first dealt with the division of Libya, the second with the creation of a “Kurdistan” affecting only Syria and Iraq and sparing the eastern half of Turkey and Iran. It also announced the creation of a “Sunnistan” straddling Iraq and Syria, dividing Saudi Arabia into five and Yemen into two. This last operation began in 2015.

The Turkish General Staff was very happy with this correction and prepared for the events. It concluded agreements with Qatar (2017), Kuwait (2018) and Sudan (2017) to set up military bases and surround the Saudi kingdom. In 2019 it financed an international press campaign against the “Sultan” and a coup d’état in Sudan. At the same time, Turkey supported the new project of “Kurdistan” sparing its territory and participated in the creation of “Sunnistan” by Daesh under the name of “Caliphate”. However, the Russian intervention in Syria and the Iranian intervention in Iraq brought this project to a halt.

In 2017, regional president Massoud Barzani organised a referendum for independence in Iraqi Kurdistan. Immediately, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran understood that the Pentagon, returning to its original plan, was preparing to create a “free Kurdistan” by cutting up their respective territories. They coalesced to defeat it. In 2019, the PKK/PYG announced that it was preparing for the independence of the Syrian ’Rojava’. Without waiting, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran once again joined forces. Turkey invaded the “Rojava”, chasing the PKK/YPG, without much reaction from the Syrian and Russian armies.

In 2019, the Turkish General Staff became convinced that the Pentagon, having temporarily renounced destroying Syria because of the Russian presence, was now preparing to destroy the Turkish state. In order to postpone the deadline, it tried to reactivate the “endless war” in Libya, then to threaten the members of NATO with the worst calamities: the European Union with migratory subversion and the United States with a war with Russia. To do this, it opened its border with Greece to migrants and attacked the Russian and Syrian armies in Idleb where they bombed the Al Qaeda and Daesh jihadists who had taken refuge there. This is the episode we are living through today.

Robin Wright’s "Reshaping the Broader Middle East" map, published by Robin Wright.
Robin Wright’s “Reshaping the Broader Middle East” map, published by Robin Wright.

The Moscow Additional Protocol

The Turkish army caused Russian and Syrian casualties in February 2020, while President Erdoğan made numerous phone calls to his Russian counterpart, Putin, to lower the tension he was causing with one hand.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged to curb the Pentagon’s appetites if Turkey helped the Pentagon restart the “endless war” in Libya. This country is divided into a thousand tribes that clash around two main leaders, both CIA agents, the president of the Presidential Council, Fayez el-Sarraj, and the commander of the National Army, Khalifa Haftar.

Last week, the UN Secretary General’s special envoy to Libya, Professor Ghassan Salame, was asked to resign for “health reasons”. He complied, not without expressing his bad mood at a press conference. An axis has been set up to support al-Sarraj by the Muslim Brotherhood around Qatar and Turkey. A second coalition was born around Haftar with Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, but also Saudi Arabia and Syria.

It is the great return of the latter on the international scene. Syria is the culmination of nine years of victorious resistance to the Brotherhood and the United States. Two Libyan and Syrian embassies were opened with great pomp and circumstance on 4 March, in Damascus and Benghazi.

Moreover, the European Union, after having solemnly condemned the “Turkish blackmail of refugees”, sent the President of the Commission to observe the flow of refugees at the Greek-Turkish border and the President of the Council to survey President Erdoğan in Ankara. The latter confirmed that an arrangement was possible if the Union undertook to defend the ’territorial integrity’ of Turkey.

With keen pleasure, the Kremlin has staged the surrender of Turkey: the Turkish delegation is standing, contrary to the habit where chairs are provided for guests; behind it, a statue of Empress Catherine the Great recalls that Russia was already present in Syria in the 18th century. Finally, Presidents Erdoğan and Putin are seated in front of a pendulum commemorating the Russian victory over the Ottoman Empire.
With keen pleasure, the Kremlin has staged the surrender of Turkey: the Turkish delegation is standing, contrary to the habit where chairs are provided for guests; behind it, a statue of Empress Catherine the Great recalls that Russia was already present in Syria in the 18th century. Finally, Presidents Erdoğan and Putin are seated in front of a pendulum commemorating the Russian victory over the Ottoman Empire.

It was thus on this basis that President Vladimir Putin received President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the Kremlin on March 5. A first, restricted, three-hour meeting was devoted to relations with the United States. Russia would have committed itself to protect Turkey from a possible partition on the condition that it signs and applies an Additional Protocol to the Memorandum on Stabilization of the Situation in the Idlib De-Escalation Area [2]. A second meeting, also of three hours duration but open to ministers and advisers, was devoted to the drafting of this text. It provides for the creation of a 12-kilometre-wide security corridor around the M4 motorway, jointly monitored by the two parties. To put it plainly: Turkey is backing away north of the reopened motorway and losing the town of Jisr-el-Chogour, a stronghold of the jihadists. Above all, it must at last apply the Sochi memorandum, which provides for support only for the Syrian armed opposition, which is supposed to be democratic and not Islamist, and for combating the jihadists. However, this “democratic armed opposition” is nothing more than a chimera imagined by British propaganda. In fact, Turkey will either have to kill the jihadists itself, or continue and complete their transfer from Idleb (Syria) to Djerba (Tunisia) and then Tripoli (Libya) as it began to do in January.

In addition, on March 7, President Putin contacted former President Nazerbayev to explore with him the possibility of deploying Kazakh “blue chapkas” in Syria under the auspices of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). This option had already been considered in 2012. Kazakh soldiers have the advantage of being Muslims and not orthodox.

The option of attacking Saudi Arabia rather than Turkey from now on has been activated by the Pentagon, it is believed to be known in Riyadh, although President Trump is imposing delirious arms orders on it in exchange for its protection. The dissection of Saudi Arabia had been envisaged by the Pentagon as early as 2002 [3].

Missiles were fired this week against the royal palace in Riyadh. Prince Mohamed ben Salmane (known as “MBS”, 34 years old) had his uncle, Prince Ahmed (70 years old), and his former competitor and ex-heir prince, Prince Mohamed ben Nayef (60 years old), as well as various other princes and generals arrested. The Shia province of Qatif, where several cities have already been razed to the ground, has been isolated. Official explanations of succession disputes and coronavirus are not enough [4].

Notes:

[1] “I had 33 years and 4 months of active service, and during that time I spent most of my time as a big shot for business, for Wall Street, and for bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster in the service of capitalism. I helped secure Mexico, especially the city of Tampico, for the American oil companies in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a suitable place for the men of the National City Bank to make a profit. I helped rape half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the American bank Brown Brothers from 1902 to 1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the benefit of American sugar companies in 1916. I delivered Honduras to American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927, I helped the Standard Oil company do business in peace.” Smedley Butler in War Is a Racket, Feral House (1935)

[2] “Additional Protocol to the Memorandum on Stabilization of the Situation in the Idlib De-Escalation Area”, Voltaire Network, 5 March 2020.

[3] “Taking Saudi out of Arabia“, Powerpoint by Laurent Murawiec for a meeting of the Defence Policy Board (July 10, 2002).

[4] “Two Saudi Royal Princes Held, Accused of Plotting a Coup”, Bradley Hope, Wall Street Journal; “Detaining Relatives, Saudi Prince Clamps Down”, David Kirkpatrick & Ben Hubbard, The New Yok Times, March 7, 2020.


By Thierry Meyssan
Source: Voltaire Network

مفاوضات الجلاء الأميركي تحت النيران العراق محطة أولى

محمد صادق الحسينيّ

لم يكن ما جرى في العراق، خلال الساعات الأربع والعشرين الماضية، من قصف صاروخي على أهداف للمقاومة العراقية في محيط البوكمال السورية، وآخر صاروخي سبقه قبل ذلك ضدّ قاعدة التاجي العسكرية العراقية شمال بغداد، التي تحتلّ القوات الأميركية جزءاً منها، لم يكن هذا القصف المتبادل يهدف الى إرسال رسائل متبادلة.

والسبب في ذلك، كما أفادت مصادر استخبارية غربية، ان طبيعة العلاقة بين المقاومة العراقية والاحتلال الأميركي قد تجاوزت مرحلة تبادل الرسائل الى مرحلة المفاوضات، وإنْ بشكل غير مباشر، على الانسحاب العسكري الأميركي السريع والكامل، من العراق، بما في ذلك من المحافظات الشمالية، التي تسكن بعضها أغلبية كردية.

إذن، فالإدارة الأميركية، وبعد تلكُّئها في سحب قواتها من العراق بعد اغتيال الشهيدين الجنرال سليماني وأبو مهدي المهندس، قد بدأت مفاوضات سرية مع المقاومة العراقية، من خلال القيادة العامة للقوات المسلحة العراقية والقائد الأعلى لهذه القوات، وذلك بهدف الاتفاق على جدول زمني يضمن انسحاباً سريعاً وكاملاً شاملاً لقوات الاحتلال الأميركي من كامل الأراضي العراقية.

وعلى الرغم من انّ هذه المفاوضات السرية، التي تأتي أيضاً في إطار تطبيق قرار البرلمان العراقي المطالَب بانسحاب قوات الاحتلال، قد وصلت مرحلة متقدّمة وان قيادة الجيش الأميركي قد بدأت فعلاً بسحب بعض الوحدات والمعدات العسكرية الأميركية، من العراق الى الخارج، وعلى عكس ما توحي به بعض التصريحات الأميركية حول احتمال نقل منظومات دفاع جوي أميركي، من طراز باتريوت، الى العراق، لحماية القوات الأميركية هناك، نقول إنه وعلى الرغم من كلّ ذلك فإنّ بعض دوائر صنع القرار في واشنطن تحاول عرقلة إنجاز المفاوضات، وبالتالي عرقلة حصول اتفاق عراقي أميركي نهائي، حول جدول زمني لسحب القوات الأميركية.

وهو الأمر الذي يجعل لزاماً على قوى المقاومة العراقية، بين الفينة والأخرى، أن تقوم بتذكير القيادة العسكرية الاميركية بضرورة الالتزام الدقيق بهدف المفاوضات السرية وعدم الخضوع لابتزاز بعض جهات صنع القرار في واشنطن. وذلك تجنّباً لمواجهة انسحاب تحت النيران، تتكبّد فيه القوات الأميركية خسائر مادية وبشرية كبرى، كتلك التي تكبّدتها خلال الانسحاب 2010/2011.

يضاف الى ذلك، وكما يؤكد المصدر، انّ ردّ محور المقاومة على اغتيال أبرز شخصيتين قياديتين عسكريتين فيه، الجنرال سليماني ورفيقه أبو مهدي المهندس، يجب ان يُستكمل بانسحاب القوات الأميركية ليس من العراق فقط وانما من كل الدول العربية التي تحتلها هذه القوات، بما في ذلك فلسطين المحتلة التي يوجد فيها قواعد صواريخ ومنظومات رادار في إطار الدرع الصاروخي الاميركي المضاد للصواريخ والموجهة ضدّ الصين وروسيا وإيران.

وهو ما يعني انّ الانسحاب حتمي وانّ موازين القوى، في كامل مسرح العمليات، من حدود الصين شرقاً الى سواحل المتوسط غرباً، ليست في صالح المحور الأميركي على الإطلاق. خاصة بعد الهزيمة العسكرية المنكرة التي مُني بها مخلب حلف شمال الأطلسي، أردوغان، في الميدان السوري قبل أيّام. تلك الهزيمة التي أجبرته، ومعه سيده في البيت الابيض وأدواته في بروكسل (الناتو)، ان يخضعوا لميزان القوى الميداني في سورية، بين حلف المقاومة وداعميه من جهة وبين المعسكر الأميركي وأذنابه من جهة أخرى. هذا الميزان الذي أكثر او أبلغ ما تعبّر عنه هي هزيمة الجيش الأردوغاني (وليس الجيش التركي) في سراقب وإثبات القوات المشتركة لحلف المقاومة، وعلى رأسها لواء الرضوان في حزب الله، إن مَن هزم الجيش الإسرائيلي في بنت جبيل ووادي الحجير سنة 2006 قادر على هزيمة جيش أردوغان في سراقب 2020 وجاهز للتقدّم داخل الجليل الفلسطيني المحتلّ ساعة صدور الأوامر بذلك من غرفة عمليات القوات المشتركة لحلف المقاومة.

كما أكد المصدر على أنّ انسداد الأفق الاستراتيجي، أمام الخطط والمشاريع والحروب الأميركية في المنطقة، بدءاً بالحرب على أفغانستان مروراً بغزو العراق واحتلاله ثم العدوان على سورية منذ 2011 وصولاً الى إنشاء تنظيم داعش، من قبل الإدارة الأميركية وجيشها، واستخدامه كحجة للعودة الى العراق، كلّ ذلك جعل هذه الإدارة تتوسّل اتفاق وقف إطلاق نار مع حركة طالبان الأفغانية، يسمح للجيش الأميركي ومرتزقة الناتو الآخرين بالانسحاب الآمن من أفغانستان؛ وهو الأمر الذي تمّ قبل أسابيع وسمح للجيش الأميركي بالبدء بسحب وحداته ومعداته (120 ألف حاوية من الحجم الكبير/ كونتينر) من تلك البلاد. وللمرء أن يتخيّل كيف سيكون انسحاب 14 ألف جندي أميركي مع هذا الكمّ الهائل من المعدات بدون اتفاق مع حركة طالبان.

وهو ما ينطبق على الجيش الأميركي، الذي يحتلّ أجزاء من العراق، فكيف سيكون انسحابه تحت نيران المقاومة العراقية الأكثر عدداً والأفضل تسليحاً من مقاتلي طالبان، في حال اضطراره للانسحاب دون اتفاق، أيّ تحت نيران المقاومة؟

كما أنّ هذا الانسحاب، الذي سيتمّ الاتفاق عليه وجدولته والبدء بتنفيذه قبل نهاية العام الحالي، سيكون اتفاقاً مفصلاً على قياس مصالح ترامب الانتخابية. فهو كان قد وعد الناخب الأميركي، خلال حملته الانتخابية الأولى بعدم الدخول في حروب خارجية وإعادة الجنود الأميركيين الى الوطن. وها هو بالاتفاق مع طالبان وقرب انسحاب قواته من العراق يحقق ما وعد به، بغضّ النظر عن الاتفاق او الاختلاف معه ومع سياساته المرتكزة الى مصلحته الشخصية البحتة. تلك المصلحة التي تُحَتِّمُ عليه أن لا يسمح بتواصل عودة جنوده أفقياً الى الوطن.

أو تحوّل العراق الى فيتنام ثانية.

بعدنا طيّبين، قولوا الله…

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حروب صغيرة: العراق والنفط

ناصر قنديل

تحت سقف الامتناع الأميركيّ الروسيّ عن التورّط في حرب كبرى، درات حرب صغرى لشهر كامل في الشمال السوري قبل إقرار الرئيس التركي وكيل الحرب الأميركيّة بهزيمته أمام الرئيس الروسيّ فلاديمير بوتين وإعلان تفاهم موسكو الذي يكرّس انتصار الجيش السوريّ المدعوم بقوة من روسيا. وتحت سقف الامتناع عن التورّط في حرب كبرى دارت حرب صغرى لشهرين كاملين في أفغانستان، قبل التوصّل للإعلان الأميركي عن اتفاق مع حركة طالبان يتضمّن الالتزام بالانسحاب الأميركي، وهو إعلان موجّه للجانب الإيراني الذي وقف، بصورة لا تحتاج لكثير من التحليل لإثباتها، وراء جولة التصعيد الحاسمة في أفغانستان بعد الاغتيال الأميركي للقائد الإيراني قاسم سليمانيّ.

ثمّة حربان جديدتان تبدآن الآن، واحدة اسمها حرب النفط، وثانية اسمها حرب العراق. ومثلما كانت حرب الشمال السوري وحرب أفغانستان، على صلة مباشرة بالخطوط الساخنة للمخارج السياسية في رسم التوازنات وترصيدها في السياسة، تبدو حرب النفط وحرب العراق كذلك. فالتفاهمات لم تنضج بعد، ولو كان السياق التبادلي للرسائل قائماً. فعلى الساحة النفطية من الواضح أن السعودية التي خاضت حرب الأسعار بوجه موسكو خلال سنتين ماضيتين لتغيير موقفها من الحرب على سورية، وتخديماً للسقوف الأميركية في هذه الحرب، تدفع اليوم ثمن قرار روسي بزيادة إنتاج النفط يستهدف تثبيت خفض الأسعار مستفيداً من الركود الاقتصادي، والهدف ليس السعودية، بعدما أعلن وزير النفط الروسي عن زيادة نصف مليون برميل من الإنتاج يومياً والتأقلم مع سعر للبرميل بين 25 و30 دولاراً، وهو السعر الذي يعني وقف القدرة الأميركية على إنتاج النفط الصخري ودخول السوق العالمية لتسويقه. وفيما يبدو الرد السعودي برفع الإنتاج الإغراقي للأسواق صباً للماء في الطاحونة الروسيّة تدخل البورصات الخليجية حال الانهيار، وتفقد الموازنات الخليجية القدرة على تغطية النفقات المقدرة على سعر برميل يعادل 60 دولاراً، بينما تستفيد أوروبا والصين واليابان كدول صناعية تستورد النفط، وهو ما لا تستطيع أميركا الشراكة فيه باعتبارها من البلدان المنتجة والمستهلكة في آن كحال روسيا، مع فارق الخسارة الأميركية للنفط الصخري كمنتج يدخل السوق العالمية منافساً، صار اليوم خارج المعادلة لكلفته الأعلى من سعر السوق النفطية، والتسوية التي ستخرج من نهاية الحرب ستقرّر مصير الأسواق الأوروبية في الغاز وخرائطها، التي تتمسك روسيا بالحفاظ على الدور القيادي فيها، بينما تكون دول الخليج قد تكبّدت ثمناً باهظاً بطلب أميركي لا يعترف بتعويض الخسائر.

في حرب العراق التي تفجّرت بعد عودة رئيس مجلس الأمن القومي الإيراني الجنرال علي شامخاني إلى بلاده، ورسمه لخارطة تفاهمات تطال الحكومة العراقية الجديدة ومستقبل الوجود الأميركي في العراق، تبدو محاولة أميركية لمقايضة حكومة جديدة توافقية بتخفيض الوجود الأميركي بدلاً من الانسحاب، كما كان العرض الأميركي قبل حرب الشهرين الأخيرين في أفغانستان، واقتناع الأميركيين بأن ثمن الدفاع عن مطلب البقاء تحت شعار التخفيض لا الانسحاب هو حرب كبرى. وهذا السيناريو سينتظر الأميركيين في العراق، ومع العملية الأولى التي قتلت وجرحت عدداً لا يمكن إخفاؤه من الجنود الأميركيين، على القيادة الأميركية التي ردت بقصف مواقع للحشد الشعبي أن تقرّر هل تردّ على الردّ بمثله، وسيكون عليها ردّ بالتأكيد، وتدخل حرب استنزاف كالتي عاشتها في أفغانستان قبل التسليم بخيار الانسحاب، أم تذهب للردّ على إيران كما هدّدت من قبل، وهي تعلم أن الرد الإيراني سيكون قاسياً، والأرجح أن تكون أهداف حيوية إسرائيلية من ضمن أهدافه؟

حروب صغرى تحت سقف تفادي الحرب الكبرى تعني أن الانسحاب الأميركي آتٍ كما في حال أفغاستان، والحرب الكبرى تعني أن مصير «إسرائيل» سيكون على الطاولة، والسنة الرئاسية الأميركية معه على المشرحة، ولا يحلّ الأمر هنا تعجرف في تغريدات الرئيس الأميركي وتذكير بالزر الكبير؛ المهم هو القرار الكبير، بالحرب أو بالانسحاب عاجلاً أم آجلاً.

ترامب يبيع ويشتري، والسوق اليوم للانتخابات، وسيشتري أصوات مؤيّدي «إسرائيل» بأنه جنّبها الاستهداف، كما سيشتري رئاسته بتجنّب مواجهة مكلفة وتشكل قفزة في المجهول طالما حاول تفاديها.

انسحاب أميركيّ وحكومة توافقيّة؟

ناصر قنديل

منذ ثنائية الاغتيال الأميركي للقيادي الإيراني قاسم سليماني وقصف إيران لقاعدة عين الأسد، هدأت المواجهة المباشرة بين القوات الأميركية وإيران، وبقي التصعيد السياسي الذي طغى عليه فيروس كورونا كاهتمام أول لإيران ولاحقاً لأميركا نفسها، بينما تقدّم على المواجهة مع إيران للمرتبة الثانية أميركياً الاستحقاق الانتخابي الرئاسي، وقد شهدت المنطقة ثلاثة تطورات كبرى، تزاوجت خلالها وتناوبت المواجهات الضارية غير المباشرة، والخطوات السياسية غير التصادمية، ما أدى إلى طرح سؤال كبير حول إمكانية اقتراب طهران وواشنطن عبر وسطاء فاعلين كفرنسا وألمانيا واليابان وعمان وقطر وباكستان، وخصوصاً روسيا، من صياغة تفاهم ينظم التهدئة في السنة الرئاسية، عنوانه ترسيم التوازنات بعد اختبارها في الميدان وترصيدها في السياسة.

جاءت مجموعة عمليات نوعية عسكرياً في أفغانستان استهدفت القوات الأميركية، وألحقت أول أذىً نوعيّ بالقوات الأميركية منذ زمن، زادت الإصابات خلاله على العشرات، منها قادة وضباط كبار، وخلال أيام تسارعت المفاوضات بين الإدارة الأميركية وحركة طالبان، للإعلان في زمن قياسي أيضاً عن التوصل لتفاهم على وقف للنار يتخلله تخفيض تدريجي للقوات الأميركية، تواكبه تسوية سياسية داخلية أفغانية تنتهي بحكومة وحدة وطنية، وسلم داخلي، وانسحاب أميركي كامل، ومثلما يعرف كل متابع جدّي لوضع أفغانستان، أن إيران لم تكن بعيدة عن التصعيد العسكري الذي استهدف الأميركيين، وأنها لم تكن بعيدة عن التفاوض، ولن تكون بعيدة عن الحكومة الجديدة، وليست بالتأكيد بعيدة عن خلفية التفكير الأميركي بقرار الانسحاب.

شهدت سورية معركة ضارية بين الجيش السوري والجيش التركي، كانت واشنطن خلالها وراء الجيش التركيّ ومشروعه بتعويم جبهة النصرة، وكانت روسيا وإيران في ضفة الإسناد الحقيقي للجيش السوري. ورغم أن الدعم الأميركي لتركيا كان سياسياً ودبلوماسياً وببعض العتاد العسكري في مجال صواريخ الدفاع الجوي لجبهة النصرة، قياساً بدعم روسي ناري مباشر عالي الوتيرة للجيش السوري، وحضور قتالي ميداني فاعل لقوى المقاومة وفي مقدمتها حزب الله إلى جانب الجيش السوري، خصوصاً في معركة سراقب الفاصلة التي كانت الفصل الأخير في هذه المواجهة، إلا أن توصيف ما جرى بنسبة معنية كواحد من اختبارات القوة بين طهران وواشنطن، لا يجافي الحقيقة. وما نتج عنه يعني بوضوح استحالة الربح في الميدان على حلفاء إيران ولو تمّ الزج بأقوى حلفاء واشنطن في المواجهة، وأن الحلف الروسي الإيراني متين لدرجة يصعب فكّه، وأن الحلفاء الذين تدعمهم إيران يشكلون قوى حقيقيّة قادرة ومؤهّلة للفوز بمعاركها.

جاءت المعارك السياسية على تشكيل الحكومات في لبنان والعراق، فنجح حزب الله الحليف الأبرز لإيران في المنطقة، بالتعامل مع محاولة دفع لبنان نحو الفراغ وتعطيل المسار الحكومي عبر انسحاب حلفاء واشنطن من الملف الحكومي رهاناً على ترك حزب الله مكشوفاً، وترك لبنان بلا حكومة، فتشكّلت حكومة لم يستطع أحد بوصفها أنها حكومة حزب الله، رغم محاولات واشنطن وبعض حلفائها دفع الأمور بهذا الاتجاه. وخلال أسابيع بدأت الحكومة الجديدة مساراً يصعب تجاهله لإثبات حضورها وقدرتها على مواجهة التحديات، كما يقول اسم الحكومة، بينما نجح الأميركيون في العراق في فرض الفراغ الحكومي وإعادة تشكيلها إلى المربع الأول، لكن ذلك فتح الباب واسعاً أمام أزمة سياسية قد تندلع في ظلالها مواجهات أمنيّة لن يكون الأميركيّون في مأمن منها.

خلال يوم واحد، يعلن في العراق عن نجاح رئيس مجلس الأمن القومي الإيراني الجنرال علي شامخاني، بالتوصل لتفاهم مع الأطراف المعنية بتسمية رئيس حكومة جديد، يقضي بتشكيل لجنة من سبعة أعضاء للقيام بالمهمة، وتسرّبت أنباء عن رفع الفيتو الذي وضعته بعض قوى المقاومة على المرشح الذي قيل إن واشنطن تقف خلف ترشيحه وهو مدير المخابرات مصطفى الكاظمي، الذي شكل عملياً نقطة تقاطع وتنسيق بين الأميركيين والإيرانيين لفترة طويلة. وفي اليوم نفسه خرج قائد القوات الأميركية كينيت ماكينزي، وهو يتحدّث عن المواجهة المستمرة مع إيران، يعلن سحب ألفي جندي إضافي من الكويت بعدما بدأ سحب ألف جنديّ قبل شهر، فهل يتم وضع قواعد اشتباك جديدة، عنوانها قرار الأميركي بالانسحاب، مقابل تسهيل الانسحاب الأميركي من المنطقة، وتظليل المرحلة بحكومات توافقيّة، على الأقل حيث يثبت التشارك والاشتباك توازناً يصعب كسره، كحال أفغانستان والعراق؟

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إدلب: يدُ «الجهاديّين» على الحزام!

سوريا

صهيب عنجريني الثلاثاء 10 آذار

لا يلقي «الجهاديون» بالاً كثيراً لاتفاق وقف إطلاق النار الذي أُبرم أخيراً في شأن إدلب. تتالت مواقف التنظيمات الرافضة للاتفاق، مع مواصلتها الاستعداد والتحشيد، لجولة جديدة محتملة من القتال. وانطلقت وراء الكواليس جهود تنسيقية مكثّفة، بين مختلف الجماعات، بهدف خوض المعارك القادمة «صفّاً واحداً»

«لا تنادوا بالسلام، إنّما السلم كلام. إنما السلمُ خداع، فاستفيقوا يا نيام». كانت هذه الجملة «بيت القصيد» في إصدار مرئي جديد نشرته «غرفة عمليّات وحرّض المؤمنين» أمس. تضم الغرفة المذكورة عدداً من التنظيمات «الجهادية» العاملة في سوريا (تحديداً في إدلب)، وهي «تنظيم حرّاس الدين»، و«جبهة أنصار الدين»، و«جماعة أنصار التوحيد»، و«جماعة أنصار الإسلام». حمل الشريط عنواناً لافتاً، هو «هدم الأسوار». وكما هو معروف، فقد سبق استخدام العنوان نفسه من قبل تنظيم «داعش» المتطرف، الذي أطلقه على سلسلة عمليات كانت عنوان مرحلة فارقة من مراحل صعود التنظيم.

الشريط المصوّر يكتسب أهميّة مضاعفة بفعل كونه مجرّد حلقة في سلسلة مواقف «جهادية» رافضة للاتفاقات حول إدلب (أرشيف)

يصعب الجزم بأن اختيار تكرار العنوان مقصود، لكن احتمال المصادفة لا يبدو وارداً، في ظل شهرة «هدم الأسوار» الخاص بـ«داعش» ورمزيته الماثلة في الأذهان. وليس من المستبعد أن ينطوي الأمر على محاولة لاستمالة بقايا التنظيم في سوريا، أو إرضاءً لبعضهم، ممن نجحوا في الوصول إلى إدلب، وانضووا بالفعل تحت راية «حراس الدين». تضمّن الشريط الجديد لقطات تم تصويرها السبت الماضي، أي في اليوم التالي لسريان وقف إطلاق النار المفترض، ويظهر فيها مقاتلون تابعون لـ«غرفة عمليات وحرّض المؤمنين»، يطلقون صواريخ، ويؤكّدون عدم التزامهم باتفاق وقف إطلاق النار الذي أُبرم أخيراً، بين موسكو وأنقرة. ولم يمنع قصر مدة الشريط (خمس دقائق) احتواءه رسائل بالغة الدلالات، من بينها تنوّع لغات المقاتلين المتحدّثين، ما بين العربيّة (بلهجة سورية)، والإنكليزية، والقوقازية.

ورغم أهميّته منفرداً، فإنّ الشريط المصوّر يكتسب أهميّة مضاعفة بفعل كونه مجرّد حلقة في سلسلة مواقف «جهادية» رافضة للاتفاقات حول إدلب، من أبرزها بيان صدر عن «هيئة تحرير الشام/ النصرة»، ووسم بعنوان «اتفاقيّة موسكو.. سراب جديد»، وكلمة صوتيّة بعنوان «يا أهل الشام الثبات الثبات» لأبو همام الشامي، زعيم تنظيم «حرّاس الدين»، الفرع السوري لتنظيم «القاعدة». وتشارك التنظيمان المتطرّفان المذكوران موقفاً واحداً من «اتفاق موسكو»، رغم التباين في كثير من المواقف بينهما، ورغم علاقتهما المضطربة التي وصلت حدّ الاحتراب في بعض المراحل. ولكن كان من بين الاختلافات المتوقعة بين الموقفين، انفراد «هيئة تحرير الشام» بشكر أنقرة على «وقوفها الواضح والداعم للثورة»، الأمر الذي قابله في كلمة الشامي تحذير من «هيمنة الداعمين على إرادة المجاهدين». جاء مضمون شريط «هدم الأسوار» مشابهاً لمضمون كلمة أبو همام الشامي في ما يتعلّق بـ«الداعمين» (وهو أمر طبيعي لأن الشامي يتزعّم أكبر مكوّنات الجهة التي صدر عنها الشريط). وذهب المقاتلون الظاهرون في الشريط أبعد من زعيمهم، عبر تصعيد لهجة الخطاب الموجّه إلى أنقرة، ولكن من دون تسميتها. يقول أحد المتحدثين بالإنكليزية، موجهاً الكلام إلى «إخوانه في كل أنحاء العالم»، إن «بعض الحكومات تتظاهر بأنها صديقة للسوريين، لكنها لا تريد إلا القضاء على الحركات الجهادية، كل ما يفعلونه مصالحهم الوطنية لا غير».

«القاعدة» سبق الاتفاق!

ثمّة تفصيل شديد الأهميّة في ما يتعلّق بمواقف التنظيمات المتطرفة من «اتفاق موسكو»، وهو أن تنظيم «القاعدة» كان قد استبق الاتفاق بدعوة «المجاهدين» إلى توحيد مواقفهم و«رص صفوفهم». في مطلع الشهر الجاري، دعا التنظيم «مجاهدي الشام» إلى «رفض التفاهمات الدولية»، و«نبذ الخلافات» في ما بينهم. جاء ذلك في الإصدار الرقم 32 من نشرة «النفير» الدورية التي تصدرها «مؤسسة السحاب الإعلامية»، مصحوباً بتحريض «الجهاديين» على شنّ حرب استنزاف طويلة الأمد. والواقع أن كلمة أبو همام الشامي، جاءت أشبه بإعلان التزام سريع بتوجيهات «القاعدة» الأم، وقد تمّ تسجيلها على الأرجح قبل إبرام «اتفاق موسكو»، إذ أعلن التنظيم عنها قبل ثلاثة أيام من الاتفاق، ثم أرجأ نشرها إلى ما بعد إبرامه، لتكون بمثابة موقف رسمي. ولم تقتصر استجابة الشامي لتوجيهات «قيادته» على الكلمة المسجلة، بل اشتملت أيضاً على إطلاق «حملة تبرعات» تسعى إلى جمع أموال، لتمويل جولة جديدة من المعارك، من المقرّر أن تأخذ شكل «حرب عصابات». ويعاني «حراس الدين» من صعوبات مالية، في ظل عدم ثبات التمويلات التي يتلقّاها، خلافاً لحال «تحرير الشام» القادرة على تمويل نفسها عبر موارد عديدة، فضلاً عن أن التمويلات السياسية لم تنقطع، ولو خفّت وتيرتها. ورغم الخلافات بينهما، فقد دأبت «هيئة تحرير الشام» على إمداد «حراس الدين» بأسلحة وأموال، بين وقت وآخر، تبعاً لطبيعة المرحلة.

«جهاديو فرنسا» حاضرون

لم يلتقط «الجهاديون» الفرنسيون الحاضرون في إدلب أنفاسهم بعد. ورغم توقّف المعارك في الأيام الأخيرة، فإنّ عناصر «فرقة غرباء» لم يأخذوا فترة استراحة، بل انهمكوا في الاستعداد لجولة ثانية، لا تبدو بعيدة. تشكّل الكتيبة المذكورة إطاراً تنظيمياً حاضناً لمعظم «الجهاديين» الفرنسيين المتبقّين في سوريا، وقد سُجلت أنشطة قتالية لها بالتنسيق والتعاون مع «جبهة النصرة» في العام 2016، ثم مع «الحزب الإسلامي التركستاني» في معارك إدلب قبل عامين (راجع «الأخبار» 23 أيار). وتكرّرت مشاركة «الفرقة» في معارك إدلب الأخيرة، لكن هذه المرّة بالتنسيق والتعاون مع «حراس الدين». ويعود سبب تغيير التحالفات إلى خلافات استفحلت بين متزعّم «غرباء»، عمر أومسين، و«هيئة تحرير الشام» قبل عامين. (راجع «الأخبار»، 26 تشرين الثاني) .

«القاعدة» كان قد استبق «اتفاق موسكو» بدعوة «المجاهدين» إلى «رصّ صفوفهم»

ونشرت قناة «فرانس 24» قبل أيام تقريراً لافتاً، يسلط الضوء على مشاركة الفرقة في المعارك. ويجدر التذكير بأن العنصر «الجهادي» الأوروبي يشكّل عاملاً شديد الأهمّية في مواقف دول الاتحاد من معارك إدلب، إذ باتت المنطقة ملاذاً أخيراً لـ«الجهاديين» الأوروبيين بمختلف جنسياتهم. ويبدو تسرّب هؤلاء إلى دولهم الأم أكبر الهواجس الأوروبية، وهو أمر تعيه أنقرة جيداً، وما فتئت تلوّح به بين سطور تهديداتها المستمرة بفتح الحدود أمام اللاجئين. وحتى اليوم، لم يصل الأوروبيون (ولا سيّما الفرنسيّون) إلى خاتمة «معقولة» لملف «الجهاديين» الأوروبيين الذين كانوا يقاتلون في صفوف «داعش» أو عائلاتهم. وما زالت أعداد كبيرة من هؤلاء تقبع في «مخيّمات» شرقي الفرات في مناطق نفوذ «قسد».

والأوزبك… والألبان

شاركت «كتيبة الإمام البخاري» بفاعلية في معارك إدلب الأخيرة، وتحديداً معارك مدينة سراقب. وتقول مصادر «جهادية» حاضرة في إدلب إن عدداً من قادة «البخاري» عقدوا اجتماعات منفصلة في الأيام الأخيرة مع قادة مجموعات مختلفة، من بينها «تحرير الشام»، و«حراس الدين». تعدّ المجموعة المذكورة واحدة من أشرس المجموعات «الجهادية» في سوريا، وكانت قد بايعت «جبهة النصرة» حين كانت الأخيرة فرعاً لتنظيم «القاعدة» (راجع «الأخبار» 1 تشرين الأول 2015). بدأت «البخاري» العمل منفردة، عقب فك «النصرة» ارتباطها التنظيمي بـ«القاعدة»، وكان هذا على الأرجح أحد الأسباب التي دفعت الولايات المتحدة إلى إدراج الكتيبة على لوائح الإرهاب. وكانت «البخاري» واحدة من المجموعات «الجهادية» القليلة التي أعلنت موقفاً واضحاً من الاتفاق الذي عقدته «حركة طالبان» مع واشنطن أخيراً. وأرسل أبو يوسف المهاجر، زعيم الجماعة، رسالة تهنئة إلى «طالبان» بتاريخ 29 شباط الماضي، عدّ فيه الاتفاق «نصراً للجهاد». كما كانت «الكتيبة» قد ربطت نفسها بـ«بيعة» علنية لـ«إمارة أفغانستان الإسلامية» في العام 2018، فيما بدأت بتوريد بعض «الجهاديين» عكسيّاً، من سوريا إلى أفغانستان عام 2016، حين استحدثت فرعاً لها هناك. ومنذ العام الماضي، سجّلت «البخاري» تنسيقاً عالي المستوى مع جماعة «جهادية» أوروبية مستحدثة في سوريا، هي «جماعة الألبان» التي باتت رأس حربة «الجهاد» الأوروبي في سوريا. لم ينخرط «الألبان» في معارك إدلب الأخيرة، بسبب تمركزهم في ريف اللاذقية الشمالي، معقلهم الأبرز (راجع «الأخبار» 25 أيلول 2019) . رغم ذلك، تفيد معلومات موثوقة بأنّ «جماعة الألبان» كانت في «استنفار» مفتوح طوال فترة المعارك، ولم تنهه حتى اليوم.

 

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