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

Washington again becomes hysterical

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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?

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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

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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.

*

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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.

 

INTERNATIONAL COURT APPROVES PROBE OF US WAR CRIMES IN AFGHANISTAN

INTERNATIONAL COURT APPROVES PROBE OF US WAR CRIMES IN AFGHANISTAN

An appellate panel of the International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled Thursday that an investigation leading to the potential prosecution of US officials for war crimes during Washington’s nearly two-decade-old war in Afghanistan can move forward.

Fatou Bensouda, the court’s Gambian-born chief prosecutor, whose US visa was revoked for her pursuit of the probe, praised Thursday’s ruling, stating, “Today is an important day for the cause of justice in Afghanistan.”

The ruling overturned a decision by ICC pretrial judges last year that a case involving crimes by the US and its puppet regime in Afghanistan “would not serve the interests of justice” because of the abject refusal of Washington and Kabul to cooperate. This decision was taken in the context of US threats of retaliation against the court, including economic sanctions and even the arrest of its members if the investigation was allowed to move forward.

The appeals judges ruled that last year’s decision was in contradiction to the ICC’s own statutes, holding that “It is for the prosecutor to determine whether there is a reasonable basis to initiate an investigation.” The appeals judges said that the pretrial panel had no business deciding whether the case served the “interests of justice,” but only whether there were grounds to believe that crimes had been committed and that they fell under the court’s jurisdiction.

The investigation is one of the first to be launched against a major imperialist power by the ICC, whose prosecutions have largely been limited to crimes committed by regimes and leaders in impoverished African countries. A preliminary investigation has also been launched into war crimes carried out by British forces in the US-led 2003 invasion of Iraq. Unlike the US, the UK is a signatory to the agreement establishing the international court.

The ICC’s prosecutors first opened a preliminary probe into crimes against humanity and war crimes in Afghanistan nearly 14 years ago.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded to Thursday’s ruling with the bellicose threats that have been the trademark of Washington toward the ICC since its founding by a decision of the United Nations in 2002. Describing the investigation as a “political vendetta” by an “unaccountable political institution masquerading as a legal body,” the secretary of state vowed that Washington would “take all necessary measures to protect our citizens from this renegade, unlawful so-called court.”

He characterized the ICC appeals judges’ ruling as “reckless” because it was issued after Washington had signed a so-called “peace deal” with the Taliban five days earlier. That agreement has already begun to unravel, with the US military carrying out air strikes against the Taliban after the Islamist movement launched multiple attacks on forces of Afghanistan’s US-backed puppet regime. The unstated assumption in Pompeo’s remarks is that “peace” in Afghanistan can be achieved only based on a cover-up of Washington’s crimes.

Asked whether the Trump administration would retaliate against the court, the secretary of state said that measures would be announced within “a couple of weeks about the path that we’re going to take to ensure that we protect American soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, our intelligence warriors, the diplomats that have worked for the State Department over the years to ensure that the ICC doesn’t impose… pressure on them in a way that doesn’t reflect the noble nature of the undertakings of every one of those Americans.”

The concern in Washington is not for the troops, but rather that the real authors of the crimes in Afghanistan will someday be held to account: the presidents and their cabinets along with the top generals, the leading politicians of both major parties, the big business interests that supported the war and the media pundits who promoted it.

Pompeo went on to insist, “We have a solid system here in the United States. When there’s wrongdoing by an American, we have a process by which that is redressed.” The character of this “solid system” was made clear last year with Trump’s pardon of convicted war criminals, including two US Army officers convicted and jailed for illegal killings in Afghanistan.

The ICC prosecutor Bensouda requested the investigation of war crimes in 2017, saying there was evidence that US military and intelligence agencies had “committed acts of torture, cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity, rape and sexual violence” against detainees in Afghanistan.

In its ruling Thursday, the ICC Appeals Chamber declared it “appropriate to amend the appealed decision to the effect that the prosecutor is authorized to commence an investigation into alleged crimes committed on the territory of Afghanistan since May 1, 2003, as well as other alleged crimes that have a nexus to the armed conflict in Afghanistan.”

The prosecutor has already indicated that this extension of the investigation involves the “nexus” between the torture centers set up at Bagram Air Base and other US installations in Afghanistan to so-called “black sites” run by the CIA in countries like Poland, Lithuania and Romania. It could as well link to the infamous Abu Ghraib detention and torture facility in Iraq, where US military interrogators were sent after torturing prisoners in Afghanistan. It could also potentially encompass the drone assassinations and massacres of thousands carried out by successive US administrations in neighboring Pakistan.

The war crimes carried out by US imperialism since it invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 are innumerable. They began at the outset with massacres of unarmed detainees, including hundreds, if not thousands, of prisoners of war who were asphyxiated and shot to death in sealed metal shipping containers after the siege of Kunduz.

Among the most infamous crimes were those exposed in an investigation into a so-called “Kill Team” formed by a unit of the US Army’s 5th Stryker Brigade sent into Kandahar Province as part of the Obama administration’s 2009–2010 “surge,” which brought the number of troops in Afghanistan to roughly 100,000. As members of the team themselves acknowledged—and documented in grisly photographs—they set out to systematically murder civilians and mutilate their bodies, taking fingers and pieces of skulls as trophies.

They lured one of their victims, a 15-year-old boy named Gul Mudin, toward them before throwing a grenade at him and repeatedly shooting him at close range. After bringing his father to identify the body, they took turns posing and playing with the corpse, before cutting off one of the boy’s fingers. Members of the team also described throwing candy from their Stryker armored vehicle while driving through villages and then shooting children who ran to pick it up.

While the Pentagon sought to pass off these atrocities as the work of a few “bad apples,” the killings were known to their commanders and other units that participated in similar acts. They were the product of a criminal colonial occupation in which troops were taught to regard the entire civilian population as potential enemies and less than human.

The number of Afghans killed in the conflict is estimated at over 175,000, with many more indirect victims of the war’s destruction. Nearly 2,400 US troops have been killed, along with tens of thousands more wounded. US crimes include indiscriminate air strikes that wiped out wedding parties, village meetings and hospital patients and staff.

Among the most extensive exposures of US war crimes were those contained in the so-called “Afghan War Diaries,” some 91,000 documents given by the courageous US Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning to WikiLeaks in 2010. In retaliation, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is now imprisoned in the UK facing extradition to the US on Espionage Act charges that carry a 175-year prison sentence, or worse. For her part, Manning is being held in indefinite detention in a US federal detention center in Virginia for refusing to testify against Assange.

Washington’s virulent hostility to any international investigation into its crimes was clear as soon as the ICC was founded in 2002. The Bush administration repudiated it from the outset, and the US Congress followed suit through its passage by an overwhelming bipartisan majority of a law protecting all US personnel from “criminal prosecution by an international criminal court to which the United States is not a party.” The same year, Bush issued a memorandum declaring that the US would not be bound by the Geneva Conventions in its war in Afghanistan.

US officials have sardonically referred to the anti-ICC law passed by Congress as the “Hague Invasion Authorization Act,” as it provides for the use of military force to free any US citizens facing charges before the ICC, which sits in The Hague, Netherlands.

The US reaction to the ICC’s Afghanistan investigation is an explicit repudiation of international law and the abandonment of any pretense that Washington is guided by anything other than the predatory interests of US imperialism. On this, the Trump administration and its ostensible opponents in the Democratic Party are agreed. Their unconditional defense of the war crimes carried out in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere is a warning to the working class that far greater crimes are being prepared as US imperialism prepares for “great power” conflicts.


By Bill Van Auken
Source: World Socialist Web Site

مصير أردوغان في سراقب

ناصر قنديل

يعرف الرئيس التركي رجب أردوغان أنه لو بقي صامتاً أمام تقدم الجيش السوري في حملته التي حررت الطريق الدولي بين حلب ودمشق، واتجه في حملة ثانية لتحرير طريق اللاذقية حلب، لكان المقرّر للعمليات العسكرية فتح باب مصير مدينة إدلب عبر تطويقها، ومنح النظام التركي دوراً في سحب السلاح الثقيل منها والتمهيد لحل سياسي يقضي بتسيير دوريات روسية تركية فيها، لأنه يعرف بالحرف والنقطة والفاصلة ما تمّ الاتفاق عليه في اللقاءات التي جمعته بالرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين، وبالتفاهمات التي أنجزها عسكريّوه مع العسكريين الروس. كما يعرف بالنقطة والفاصلة والحرف أن العملية العسكرية جاءت بعدما تلكأ أو أعلن عجزه عن تنفيذ ما تعهّد به بالنسبة للطريقين الدوليين ومصير الجماعات الإرهابيّة الممسكة بهما.

تحرّك أردوغان عسكرياً، لأنه وقع ضحيّة الفخ الذي ورّطه به الأميركيون عندما أبلغوه أنهم يهمون بالانسحاب من المنطقة انطلاقاً من أفغانستان، وأنهم يعتمدون عليه لملء الفراغ في سورية بعد انسحابهم منها، وأن عليه الإمساك جيداً بالمناطق الشمالية الغربية ليتسنى له الدخول إلى المناطق الشمالية الشرقية حيث تتمركز القوات الأميركية، فانقلب على التفاهمات بعدما أدرك أن الانتصارات العسكرية للجيش السوري المدعوم بالنيران الروسية وبالمشاركة الفعالة من قوى المقاومة قد نتج عنها انهيار شامل في وضع الجماعات الإرهابية، وبات تدحرجُ الانتصارات يهدد بسقوط الإمارة التي بناها للجماعات التابعة لتنظيم القاعدة تحت رعايته، فبدأ بزج قواته لمنحها المعنويات اللازمة للصمود، وعندما اكتشف عدم كفاية ذلك قرّر دخول المعركة إلى جانبها أو بالنيابة عنها، إذا اقتضى الأمر.

كان واضحاً لأردوغان أن روسيا ليست على الحياد، وأنها تقف مع الجيش السوري في مواجهة الجماعات الإرهابية، وتتفهم رفض سورية للوجود التركي على أراضيها ووصفه بالاحتلال، كما كان واضحاً له أن الدعم الأميركي والأطلسي لن يتخطى حدود التشجيع السياسي، لكنه كان يظن أن وقف تقدّم الجيش السوري في ظل هاتين المعادلتين ممكن، وأن تحقيق نصر معنوي وجغرافي يقطع طريق مواصلة النصر متاح، وأن فرض هذا الأمر في الواقع الميداني، يقع في منطقة رمادية يمكن ألا تضعه في مواجهة شاملة مع روسيا، وألا تختبر سلبية الأطلسي بصورة فاضحة، بل ربما تستنهض الأطلسي من جهة، وتفتح الباب لرهانات جديدة، ولمساعٍ سياسية روسية تنطلق من الوقائع التي فرضتها المعارك.

المعركة التي كان يحتاجها أردوغان محدودة في المكان والزمان، مطلوب أن تكون ذات قيمة استراتيجية، وأن تُحسم خلال أيام، ولذلك كانت سراقب. فسراقب نقطة تقاطع الطريقين الدوليين بين حلب وحماة وحلب واللاذقية، وسراقب أبرز مدن محافظة إدلب، وتتخطّى أهميتها الاستراتيجية إدلب نفسها بكثير، والرهان على طائرات الدرون المسيّرة من الجيل الخامس في التمهيد للهجوم، وبالقصف المدفعي الكثيف وإعطاء الأمر لوحدات الكوماندوس تساندها نخبة جماعات جبهة النصرة والشيشان والتركستان والإيغور للتقدّم بسرعة ووحشية وعنف وضراوة، وهذا ما تمّ على مدى ثلاثة أيام متتالية، سقط خلالها عشرات الشهداء للجيش السوري وحزب الله والحلفاء، وتحقق للقوات التركية وحلفائها من الجماعات الإرهابية المتنوّعة خرقاً مهماً في جبهات سراقب. وحملت صور الفيديو المسجّلة عمليات فاضحة لنوعية المهاجمين وارتكاباتهم، فظهرت شعارات داعش واضحة لعناصر يتنقلون بمدرعات الجيش التركيّ، وظهر الجنود الأتراك وهم يحزّون رؤوس الشهداء، ويقطعون أوصالهم.

خلال أربع وعشرين ساعة كانت المعركة الفاصلة، وقال فيها الجيش السوري وحزب الله وقوى المقاومة كلمتهم الفاصلة، ومعهم النار الروسية، خلافاً لما يتمّ ترويجه عن تخلٍّ روسي في المعركة، وحسمت المعركة بين منتصف ليل أول أمس وفجر أمس، وعادت كامل المدينة إلى عهدة الجيش السوري، وسقط حلم أردوغان، فعاد للحديث عن وقف للنار؛ بينما الجيش السوري يمشّط سراقب، ويواصل تقدّمه على جبهات جبل الزاوية ضمن خطة عملياته لفتح طريق اللاذقية حلب، وربما ينجح بإحداث إنجاز كبير قبل أن يحين موعد قمة أردوغان مع الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين، الذي سيفاوض من موقع القوة بعد فشل الخطة التي توهّم أردوغان أنها ستدخله على حصان أبيض للقاء بوتين، والأهم هو ما قالته المعركة من نتائج حول توازن القوة بين الجيش السوري من جهة، وثاني جيوش الناتو من جهة مقابلة، في صورة تشبه معارك جنوب لبنان خلال عدوان تموز 2006، وتستعيد اسم ستالينغراد في الحرب العالمية الثانية.

ظهر الجيش السوريّ ومعه قوى المقاومة كجيش لا يُقهر مرة أخرى، وظهر أردوغان كأحمق لا يتقن فنون الحرب والسياسة مرة أخرى أيضاً.

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The Illusion of Restoring Peace and Stability in Afghanistan

By Stephen Lendman

Source

The US came to Afghanistan to stay, the same true for all its war theaters by occupation and/or installed puppet regimes serving its interests. More on this below.

Afghanistan’s troubled history goes back centuries. John Pilger explained that “no country has been abused and suffered more, and none has been helped less than Afghanistan.” 

If hell on earth exists, it’s headquartered in Afghanistan — with many global affiliate locations in the modern era, largely because of endless US wars by hot and other means.

For centuries, Afghans endured what few can imagine. Marauding armies besieged cities, slaughtered thousands, and caused vast destruction. 

In the 19th century, Afghans were victimized by “great game” struggles between imperial Britain and czarist Russia — a time of endless war, destruction, occupation and human misery, continuing from then to now, notably post-9/11.

Wherever the US shows up, endless wars and mass destruction follow, the human toll of no consequence.

According to Gideon Polya, “the horrendous carnage of the (post-9/11) US War on Terror (launched in Afghanistan caused) the deaths of 32 million Muslims abroad (by violence or imposed deprivation) and the preventable deaths of 27 million Americans at home inescapably linked to the fiscal perversion of committing to a $7 trillion long-term accrual cost of killing millions of Muslims abroad.”

The true cost is likely three-fold or more higher because of unaccounted for multi-trillions of dollars by the Pentagon since the 1990s.

“Bush, Obama and Trump are indeed American-killing US presidents,” Polya stressed, adding:

“(S)erial war criminal (Trump warned) that “no place is beyond the reach of American might.”

“The US-imposed, 4-decade Afghan Holocaust and Afghan Genocide is to continue under more draconian rules of engagement.”

Since the 1990s, Polya estimated six million preventable Afghan deaths, millions more refugees, an entire population emmiserated, largely post-9/11.

Since US aggression against North Korea in 1950, he estimates around 40 million preventable deaths and tens of millions of refugees.

Since WW II, the US invaded or otherwise attacked “52 countries.”

“American exceptionalism means that the US is disproportionately  involved in…existential threats (to) humanity” — notably possible nuclear war that could destroy all life forms on earth.

The notion of first strike with these weapons that’s stated in US National Security Strategies from Bush/Cheney to Obama to Trump should terrify everyone everywhere.

What’s unthinkable is possible because of US rage to control planet earth, its resources and populations.

The so-called Trump regime/Taliban peace agreement isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.

Time and again throughout US history, it breached treaties, conventions, and agreements — clear proof that its ruling regimes can never be trusted.

Time and again throughout US history, it breached treaties, conventions, and agreements — clear proof that its ruling regimes can never be trusted.

The notion of the US agreeing to peace and an end to its occupation of Afghanistan is pure illusion.

The deal calls for reducing numbers of US and allied forces in the country in the coming months, withdrawing entirely in 14 months, including abandonment of Pentagon bases that cost billions of dollars to build and maintain.

Earlier drawdowns of US forces in the country were followed by increased deployments — troops in a so-called advisory and counterterrorism capacity.

Pentagon terror-bombing continued throughout the war.

In mid-2017, with around 8,400 US forces in Afghanistan, Trump OK’d increasing their numbers, then-US war secretary Mattis saying:

“This assures (that the Pentagon) can facilitate our missions and nimbly align our commitment to the situation on the ground (sic),” adding: 

“Our overall mission in Afghanistan remains the same, to train, advise and assist the Afghan forces so they can safeguard the Afghan people and terrorists can find no haven in Afghanistan for attacking us or others (sic).”

The Trump regime’s Afghan strategy put no limit on the number of US forces in the country.

US policy under Bush/Cheney, Obama and Trump has nothing to do with safeguarding the Afghan people or denying terrorists a safe haven — elements the US created and supports in all its war theaters and elsewhere.

Trump’s claim about “working to finally end America’s longest war and bring our troops back home” awaits its moment of truth in the coming weeks and months — the illusion of ending over 18 years of war in Afghanistan likely to be dispelled.

Whether Pentagon and allied troops stay or leave, the CIA maintains a private army of paramilitaries in the country that serve US interests.

They’re staying, not leaving, including ISIS, al-Qaeda, and likeminded jihadists to be deployed to the country at the discretion of Langley and the Pentagon.

Afghanistan’s strategic value to the US includes its vast resources and its geographical location near Russia and China.

The US wants both countries encircled with Pentagon bases. It wants oil and gas pipelines constructed across Afghanistan.

It wants opium production continued for heroin manufacture and distribution to world markets — a key revenue source for Western banks and the CIA.

It wants control over the country continued under pro-Western puppet rule.

It wants endless war waged in multiple theaters, serving its imperial agenda, feeding its military, industrial, security, media complex.

Restoration of peace and stability in its war theaters defeats its interests, why new millennium wars rage — threats invented to continue them endlessly.

Restoration of peace and stability to Afghanistan is likely to last no longer than an invented US pretext to breach what was agreed on.

All US wars are based on Big Lies and deception. The possibility for either of its war party wings turning a page for world peace and stability is virtually nil.

Longstanding US history shows it’s a warrior nation — how its been from inception against its native people to today against humanity at home and abroad.

Don’t Hold Your Breath for ‘World War III’: World War IV Has Already Begun

February 27, 2020

A. B. Abrams on Today’s Great Power for The Saker Blog


“A. B. Abrams is the author of the book ‘Power and Primacy: A History of Western Intervention in the Asia-Pacific.’ His second book covering the history of the United States’ conflict with North Korea is scheduled for publication in 2020.

He is proficient in Chinese, Korean and other East Asian languages, has published widely on defence and politics related subjects under various pseudonyms, and holds two related Masters degrees from the University of London.”


The world today finds itself in a period of renewed great power conflict, pitting the Western Bloc led by the United States against four ‘Great Power adversaries’ – as they are referred to by Western defence planners – namely China, Russia, North Korea and Iran. This conflict has over the past 15 years escalated to encompass the military, economic and information spheres with global consequences – and appears to be coming to a head as signs of peaking tensions appear in multiple fields from military deployments and arms races to harsh economic wars and a harsher still information war.

While the term ‘World War III’ has been common since the 1940s, referring to the possibility of a global great power war on a greater scale than the first and second world wars, the Cold War between the Western and Soviet Blocs was at its height as total, as global and as heated as the prior conflicts. As weapons technology has evolved, the viability of a direct shooting war has diminished considerably – forcing major powers to seek alternative means to engineer their adversaries’ capitulation and assert their own dominance. This has been reflected in how the Cold War, and the current phase of global conflict some refer to as ‘Cold War 2’ have been distinct from the first two world wars despite the final objectives of the parties involved sharing many similarities. I would thus suggest redefining what a ‘world war’ is and acknowledging that this current phase of global conflict is every part as intense as the great power ‘hot wars’ waged in the first half of the 20th century.

Had the intercontinental range ballistic missile and the miniaturised nuclear warhead been invented twenty years earlier, the Allied Powers may have needed to rely more heavily on economic and information warfare to contain and eventually neutralise Nazi Germany. The Second World War would have been very different in nature to reflect the technologies of the time. When viewed from this paradigm, the Cold War can be seen as a ‘Third World War’ – a total conflict more vast, comprehensive and international than its predecessors stretched out over more than 40 years. The current conflict, or ‘World War IV,’ is ongoing. An assessment of prior ‘great power wars,’ and the unique nature of the current conflict, can provide some valuable insight into how warfare is evolving and the likely determinants of its victors.

As of 2020 it is clear that great power conflict has become almost as heated as it can short of an all-out hot war – with the Western Bloc applying maximum pressure on the information, military and economic fronts to undermine not only smaller adversaries such as Venezuela and Syria and medium sized ones such as North Korea and Iran, but also China and Russia. When exactly this phase of conflict began – sometime after the Cold War’s end – remains uncertain.

The interval between the third and fourth ‘world wars’ was considerably longer than that between the second and the third. This was due to a number of factors – primarily that there was no immediate and obvious adversary for the victorious Western Bloc to target once the Soviet Union had been vanquished. Post-Soviet Russia was a shade of a shadow of its former self. Under the administration of Boris Yeltsin the country’s economy contracted an astonishing 45% in just five years from 1992 (1) leading to millions of deaths and a plummet in living standards. Over 500,000 women and young girls of the former USSR were trafficked to the West and the Middle East – often as sex slaves (2), drug addiction increased by 900 percent, the suicide rate doubled, HIV became a nationwide epidemic (3) corruption was rampant, and the country’s defence sector saw its major weapons programs critical to maintaining parity with the West delayed or terminated due to deep budget cuts (4). The possibility of a further partition of the state, as attested to multiple times by high level officials, was very real along the lines of the Yugoslav model (5).

Beyond Russia, China’s Communist Party in the Cold War’s aftermath went to considerable lengths to avoid tensions with the Western world – including a very cautious exercise of their veto power at the United Nations which facilitated Western led military action against Iraq (6). The country was integrating itself into the Western centred global economy and continuing to emphasis the peaceful nature of its economic rise and understate its growing strength. Western scholarship at the time continued to report with near certainty that internal change, a shift towards a Western style political system and the collapse of party rule was inevitable. The subsequent infiltration and westernisation was expected to neuter China as a challenger to Western primacy – as it has other Western client states across the world. China’s ability to wage a conventional war against even Taiwan was in serious doubt at the time, and though its military made considerable strides with the support of a growing defence budget and massive transfers of Soviet technologies from cash strapped successor states, it was very far from a near peer power.

North Korea did come under considerable military pressure for failing to follow what was widely referred to as the ‘tide of history’ in the West at the time – collapse and westernisation of the former Communist world. Widely portrayed in the early 1990s as ‘another Iraq’ (7), Western media initially appeared to be going to considerable lengths to prepare the public for a military campaign to end the Korean War and impose a new government north of the 38th parallel (8). Significant military assets were shifted to Northeast Asia specifically to target the country during the 1990s, and the Bill Clinton administration came close to launching military action on multiple occasions – most notably in June 1994. Ultimately a combination of resolve, a formidable missile deterrent, a limited but ambiguous nuclear capability, and perhaps most importantly Western certainty that the state would inevitably collapse on its own under sustained economic and military pressure, deferred military options at least temporarily.

The fourth of the states that the United States today considers a ‘greater power adversary,’ Iran too was going to considerable lengths to avoid antagonism with the Western Bloc in the 1990s – and appeared more preoccupied with security threats on its northern border from Taliban controlled Afghanistan. With a fraction of the military power neighbouring Iraq had previously held, the presence of an ‘Iranian threat’ provided a key pretext for a Western military presence in the Persian Gulf after the Soviets, the United Arab Republic and now Iraq had all been quashed. With the new government in Russia put under pressure to terminate plans to transfer advanced armaments to Iran (9), the country’s airspace was until the mid 2000s frequently penetrated by American aircraft, often for hours at a time, likely without the knowledge of the Iranians themselves. This combined with a meagre economic outlook made Iran seem a negligible threat.

While the Cold War ended some time between 1985 and 1991 – bringing the ‘third world war’ to a close – the range of dates at which one could state that the ‘fourth world war’ began and the West again devoted itself to great power conflict is much wider. Some would put the date in the Summer of 2006 – when Israel suffered the first military defeat in its history at the hands of the Lebanese militia Hezbollah. Using North Korean tunnel and bunker networks, command structures, weapons and training (10), and bolstered by Iranian funding and equipment, the shock of the militia’s victory, though underplayed in Western media, reverberated among informed circles across the world.

Others would place the date two years later in 2008 during the Beijing Summer Olympics, when Georgia with the full support of the West waged a brief war against Russia – and Moscow despite harsh warnings from Washington and European capitals refused to back down on its position. Post-Yeltsin Russia’s relations with the Western Bloc had appeared relatively friendly on the surface, with President George W. Bush observing in 2001 regarding President Vladimir Putin that he “was able to get a sense of his soul,” and predicting “the beginning of a very constructive relationship.” Nevertheless, signs of tension had begun to grow from Moscow’s opposition to the Iraq War at the UN Security Council to President Putin’s famous ‘Munich Speech’ in February 2007 – in which he sharply criticised American violations of international law and its “almost uncontained hyper use of force in international relations.”

It could also be questioned whether, in light of what we know about Western support for separatist insurgents in Russia itself during the 1990s, the war against the country ever ended – or whether hostilities would only cease with a more total capitulation and partition and with the presence of Western soldiers on Russian soil as per the Yugoslav precedent. As President Putin stated in 2014 regarding continuing Western hostilities against Russia in the 1990s: “The support of separatism in Russia from abroad, including the informational, political and financial, through intelligence services, was absolutely obvious. There is no doubt that they would have loved to see the Yugoslavia scenario of collapse and dismemberment for us with all the tragic consequences it would have for the peoples of Russia” (11). Regarding Western efforts to destabilise Russia during the 1990s, CIA National Council on Intelligence Deputy Director Graham E. Fuller, a key architect in the creation of the Mujahedeen to fight Afghanistan and later the USSR, stated regarding the CIA’s strategy in the Caucasus in the immediate post-Cold War years: “The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries worked marvellously well in Afghanistan against the Red Army. The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power” (12). The U.S. Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare’s director, Yossef Bodansky, himself also detailed the extent of the CIA’s strategy to destabilize Central Asia by using “Islamist Jihad in the Caucasus as a way to deprive Russia of a viable pipeline route through spiralling violence and terrorism” – primarily by encouraging Western aligned Muslim states to continue to provide support for militant groups (13).

Much like the Cold War before it, and to a lesser extent the Second World War, great powers slid into a new phase of conflict rather that it being declared in a single spontaneous moment. Did the Cold War begin with the Berlin Blockade, the Western firebombing of Korea or when the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki – which accelerated the move into a nuclear arms race. Equally, multiple dates were given for the opening of the Second World War – the German invasion of Poland in 1939, the beginning of the Sino-Japanese war two years prior, the Japanese Empire’s attack on Pearl Harbour and conquest of Southeast Asia which marked the first major expansion beyond Europe and North Africa in 1941, or some other date entirely. The slide into a new world war was if anything even slower than its predecessors.

The shift towards an increasingly intense great power conflict has been marked by a number of major incidents. In the European theatre one of the earliest was the Bush administration’s withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty in 2002 and subsequent deployment of missile defences and expansion of NATO’s military presence in the former Soviet sphere of influence, which was widely perceived in Russia as an attempt to neutralise its nuclear deterrent and place the Western Bloc in a position to coerce Moscow militarily (14). This threatened to seriously upset the status quo of mutual vulnerability, and played a key role in sparking a major arms race under which Russia would develop multiple classes of hypersonic weapon. Their unveiling in 2018 would in turn lead the United States to prioritise funding to develop more capable interceptor missiles, a new generation of missile defences based on lasers, and hypersonic ballistic and cruise missiles of its own (15).

Another leading catalyst of the move towards great power confrontation was the Barak Obama administration’s ‘Pivot to Asia’ initiative, under which the bulk of America’s military might and considerable assets from the rest of the Western world would be devoted to maintaining Western military primacy in the Western Pacific. This was paired with both economic and information warfare efforts, the latter which increasingly demonised China and North Korea across the region and beyond and actively sought to spread pro-Western and anti-government narratives among their populations through a wide range of sophisticated means (16). These programs were successors to those sponsored by Western intelligence agencies to ideologically disenchant the populations of the Warsaw Pact and Soviet Union with their own political systems and paint Western powers as benevolent and democratising saviours (17). Economic warfare also played a major role, with efforts centred around the ‘Trans-Pacific Partnership’ trade deal – or ‘Economic NATO’ as several analysts referred to it – to isolate China from regional economies and ensure the region remained firmly in the Western sphere of influence (18). The military aspect of the Pivot to Asia would reawaken long dormant territorial disputes, and ultimately lead to high military tensions between the United States and China which in turn fuelled the beginning of an arms race. This arms race has more recently led to the American withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty, which paves the way for deployment of American long-range missiles across the Western Pacific – all with China and North Korea firmly in their crosshairs (19).

It is arguably in the Middle East, however, where the new phase of global conflict has seen its most direct clashes so far. The nine-year conflict in Syria, although far less destructive or brutal, provides ‘World War IV’ with something of an analogue to the Korean War in the Cold War. The conflict has united the Western Bloc and a wide range of allies, from Turkey and Israel to the Gulf States and even Japan (which funds the jihadist-linked White Helmets) (20), in an effort to overthrow an independent government with close and longstanding defence ties to Russia, North Korea, Iran and China. The conflict has seen North Korean, Russian, Hezbollah and Iranian special forces (21) among other assets deployed on the ground in support of Syrian counterinsurgency efforts, with all of these parties providing considerable material support (the Koreans have built and fully staffed at least three hospitals as part of large medical aid packages and continue to be a major supplier of arms and training) (22). China too, particularly concerned by the presence of jihadist militants of Chinese origin in Syria, has played some role in the conflict – the exact details of which remain uncertain with much reported but unconfirmed (23).

Syria’s insurgency involving a range of jihadist groups, at times united only by their intent to end the secular Syrian government, have received widespread support from the Western Bloc and their aforementioned allies. This has involved both material support, which according to State Secretary Hillary Clinton included turning a blind eye to Gulf countries’ considerable assistance to the Islamic State terror group (24), and active deployments of special forces from a wide range of countries, from Belgium and Saudi Arabia to Israel and the U.S. The U.S., European powers, Turkey and Israel have at times directly attacked Syrian units in the field – while Russian reports indicate that close Western coordination with jihadist groups has been used to facilitate a number of successful attacks on Russian positions (25). The conflict in Syria arguably represents a microcosm of the macrocosm which is a new world war – one which pits the Western Bloc and those which support the Western-led order, both directly and through local proxies, against three of its four ‘great power adversaries’ in the field.

‘World War IV’ is unlikely to come to an end for the foreseeable future, and its final outcome remains difficult to predict. Much like in the Cold War, the Western Bloc retains considerable advantages – today most notably in the field of information war which allows it to extensively shape perceptions of the vast majority of the world’s population. This has included the demonization of Western adversaries, the whitewashing of Western crimes both domestically and internationally, and portraying westernisation and increased Western influence as a solution to people’s frustrations from corruption to economic stagnation. This has been a key facilitator of the pro-Western protests engulfing states from Sudan and Algeria to Ukraine and Thailand. Economically too, only China among the Western Bloc’s major adversaries has posed a serious threat to Western primacy. Indeed, it remains highly questionable whether the other three could survive economically under Western pressure without Chinese trade and economic support.

Russia has made a considerable economic recovery since the 1990s, but remains a shadow of its former self in the Soviet era. The country’s leadership has succeeded in reforming the military, foreign ministry and intelligence services, but the economy, legal system and other parts of the state remain in serious need of improvement which, over 20 years after Yeltsin’s departure, cannot come soon enough. Even in the field of defence, the struggling economy has imposed serious limitations – and in fields such as aviation and armoured warfare the country is only beginning to slowly go beyond modernising Soviet era weapons designs and begin developing new 21st century systems (26). On the positive side, the country does remain a leader in many high end technologies mostly pertaining to the military and to space exploration, while Western economic sanctions have undermined the positions of Europhiles both among the elite and within the government and boosted many sectors of domestic production to substitute Western products (27).

In the majority of fields, the ‘Eastern Bloc’ have been pressed onto the defensive and forced to prevent losses rather than make actual gains. While preserving Venezuelan sovereignty, denying Crimea to NATO and preventing Syria’s fall have been major victories – they are successes in denying the West further expansion of its own sphere of influence rather than reversing prior Western gains or threatening key sources of Western power. Pursuing regime change in Venezuela and Ukraine and starting wars in the Donbasss and in Syria have cost the Western Bloc relatively little – the Ukrainians and client states in the Gulf and Turkey have paid the brunt of costs for the war efforts. Material equipment used by Western backed forces in both wars, ironically, has largely consisted of Warsaw Pact weaponry built to resist Western expansionism – which after the Cold War fell into NATO hands and is now being channelled to Western proxies. Libyan weaponry, too, was transferred to Western backed militants in Syria in considerable quantities after the country’s fall in 2011 – again minimising the costs to the Western Bloc of sponsoring the jihadist insurgency (28). The damage done and costs incurred by the Syrians, Hezbollah, Russia and others are thus far greater than those incurred by the Western powers to cause destruction and begin conflicts.

Syria has been devastated, suffering from issues from a return of polio to depleted uranium contamination from Western airstrikes and a new generation who have grown up in territories under jihadist control with little formal education. The war is a victory only in that the West failed to remove the government in Damascus from power – but Western gains from starting and fuelling the conflict have still far outweighed their losses. In the meantime, through a successful campaign centred around information warfare, the Western sphere of influence has only grown – with further expansion of NATO and the overthrow of governments in resource rich states friendly to Russia and China such as Libya, Sudan and Bolivia. Commandeering the government of poor but strategically located Ukraine was also a major gain, with states such as Algeria and Kazakhstan looking to be next in the Western Bloc’s crosshairs. Thus while Syria was saved, though only in part, much more was simultaneously lost. The damage done to Hong Kong by pro-Western militants, ‘thugs for democracy’ as the locals have taken to calling them, who have recently turned to bombing hospitals and burning down medical facilities (29), is similarly far greater than the costs to the Western powers of nurturing such an insurgency. Similar offensives to topple those which remain outside the Western sphere of influence from within continue to place pressure on Russian and Chinese aligned governments and on neutral states seen not to be sufficiently pro-Western.

While the Western Bloc appears to be in a position of considerable strength, largely by virtue of its dominance of information space, which has allowed it to remain on the offensive, a sudden turning point in which its power suddenly diminishes could be in sight. From teen drug abuse (30) to staggering debt levels (31) and the deterioration of party politics and popular media, to name but a few of many examples, the West appears at far greater risk today of collapse from within than it did during the Cold War. A notable sign of this is the resurgence of both far right and far left anti-establishment movements across much of the Western world. Despite massive benefits from privileged access to third world resource bases, from France’s extractions from Francophone West Africa (32) to the petrodollar system propping up American currency (33), Western economies with few exceptions are very far from healthy. A glimpse of this was given in 2007-2008, and little has been done to amend the key economic issues which facilitated the previous crisis in the twelve years since (34). The West’s ability to compete in the field of high end consumer technologies, particularly with rising and more efficient East Asian economies, increasingly appears limited. From semiconductors to electric cars to smartphones to 5G, the leaders are almost all East Asian economies which have continued to undermine Western economic primacy and expose the gross inefficiencies of Western economies. The result has been less favourable balances of payments in the Western world, a growing reliance on political clout to facilitate exports (35), and increasing political unrest as living standards are placed under growing pressure. The Yellow Vests and the rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are all symptoms of this. With very real prospects of another economic crash in the coming decade, in the style of 2008 but likely much worse, Western economies are expected to bear the brunt of the damage. Their ability to survive remains in serious question. Effects of a crash on North Korea, Iran, Russia and even China will be far less severe. While the previous crash hit Russia particularly hard (36), an economic turnaround from 2014 and the insulation provided by Western sanctions leave it far less vulnerable to the fallout from a Western economic crisis.

Ultimately China appears to be setting itself up for an ‘Eastern Bloc’ victory – a coup de grace which could see Western gains over the past several decades reversed and the power of the West itself diminished to an extent unprecedented in centuries. While the United States reluctantly outsourced much of its high end consumer technologies to East Asian allies during the Cold War – namely Japan, South Korea and Taiwan – China is going for the jugular of the Western world’s economy with its ‘Made in China 2025’ initiative, which will see some critical remaining fields of Western technological primacy shift to East Asian hands. The Coronavirus, bombings in Hong Kong, the trade war, and the wide range of tools in the Western arsenal for destabilisation can at best slightly delay this – but cannot prevent it. In a globalised capitalist economy the most efficient producers win – and East Asia and China in particular, with its Confucian values, stable and efficient political systems and world leading education (37), are thus almost certain to take over the high end of the world economy.

Much as the key to Western victory in the Cold War was successful information warfare efforts and isolation of the Soviet economy from the majority of the world economy, the key to determining the victor of ‘World War IV’ is likely lie in whether or not Beijing succeeds in its attempt to gain dominance of high end technologies critical to sustaining Western economies today. This is far from the only determinant of victory. Efforts to undermine the effective subsidies to Western economies from Central and West Africa, the Arab Gulf states and elsewhere in the third world, and to ensure continued military parity – to deter NATO from knocking over the table if they lose the game of economic warfare – are among the other fields of critical importance. Based on China’s prior successes, and those of other East Asian economies, the likelihood that it will meet its development goals is high – to the detriment of Western interests. The result will be an end to world order centred on Western might – the status quo for the past several hundred years – and emergence in its place of a multipolar order under which Russia, Asia (Central, East, South and Southeast) and Africa will see far greater prominence and prosperity.

(1) Menshikov, S., ‘Russian Capitalism Today,’ Monthly Review, vol. 51, no. 3, 1999 (pp. 82–86).

(2) Yulia V. Tverdova, ‘Human Trafficking in Russia and Other Post-Soviet States,’ Human Rights Review, December 11, 2016.

(3) Klein, Naomi, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, London, Penguin, 2008 (Chapter 11: ‘Russia Choses the Pinochet Option: Bonfire of a Young Democracy’).

(4) ‘The Death of the MiG 1.44 Program; How the Collapse of the Soviet Union Derailed Moscow’s Fifth Generation Fighter Development,’ Military Watch Magazine, September 16, 2018.  ‘Russia’s Sukhoi Unveils Images from Cancelled Next Generation Fighter Program,’ Military Watch Magazine, December 17, 2019.

(5) Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly, President of Russia, Kremlin, December 4, 2014.

Bechev, Dimitar, Rival Power: Russia’s Influence in Southeast Europe, New Haven, CT, Yale University Press, 2017 (Chapter 1).

(6) Kristof, Nicholas D., ‘WAR IN THE GULF: China; Beijing Backs Away From Full Support of the War,’ New York Times, February 1, 1991.

(7) ‘Thaw in the Koreas?,’ Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, vol. 48, no. 3, April 1992 (p. 16).

(8) ‘Time to End the Korean War,’ The Atlantic, February 1997.

(9) Axe, David, ‘Iran Desperately Wants This Fighter Plane,’ The National Interest, January 4, 2020.

(10) ‘Hezbollah a North Korea-Type Guerrilla Force,’ Intelligence Online, No. 529, August 25–September 7, 2006.  “North Koreans Assisted Hezbollah with Tunnel Construction,” Terrorism Focus, The Jamestown Foundation, vol. III, issue 30, August 1, 2006.

Dilegge, Dave and Bunker, Robert J., and Keshavarz, Alma, Iranian and Hezbollah Hybrid Warfare Activities: A Small Wars Journal Anthology, Amazon Media, 2016 (p. 261).

‘Bulsae-3 in South Lebanon: How Hezbollah Upgraded its Anti-Armour Capabilities with North Korean Assistance,’ Military Watch Magazine, September 3, 2019.

(11) Kremlin, President of Russia, Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly, December 4, 2014.

(12) Congressional Record, V. 151, PT. 17, U.S. Congress, October 7 to 26, 2005.

(13) ‘American political scientist: Western Intelligence used Azerbaijan to export terrorism into Russia,’ Panorama, May 30, 2015.

(14) Kremlin, President of Russia, Plenary session of St Petersburg International Economic Forum, June 17, 2016.

(15) Gregg, Aaron, ‘Military Industrial Complex Finds a Growth Market in Hypersonic Weapons,’ Washington Post, December 21, 2018.

(16) Mullen, Mike and Nunn, Sam and Mount, Adam, A Sharper Choice on North Korea: Engaging China for a Stable Northeast Asia, Council on Foreign Relations, Independent Task Force Report No. 74, September 2016.

Cartalucci, Tony, ‘Twitter Targets Hong Kong in US-backed Regime Change Operation,’ Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, October 15, 2019.

Park, Kyung-Ae, ‘Regime Change in North Korea?: Economic Reform and Political Opportunity Structures,’ North Korean Review, vol. 5, no. 1, Spring 2009 (p. 23-45).

(17) ‘Worldwide Propaganda Network Built by the C.I.A.,’ New York Times, December 26, 1977.

(18) Wu, S., ‘Why the TPP is an “economic NATO,”’ Huffington Post, October 19, 2015.

(19) Ait, Abraham, ‘US Withdrawal From the INF Treaty Isn’t About Russia,’ The Diplomat, October 25, 2018.

(20) al-Jablawi, Hosam, ‘The White Helmets Struggle Without US Funding,’ Atlantic Council, June 11, 2018.

(21) ‘North Korean Special Forces in Syria; A Look at Pyongyang’s Assistance to Damascus’ Counterinsurgency Operations,’ Military Watch Magazine, June 10, 2018.

(22) ‘DPRK Ambassador affirms his country’s readiness to support health sector in Syria,’ Syrian Arab News Agency, July 25, 2016.

(23) Pauley, Logan and Marks, Jesse, ‘Is China Increasing Its Military Presence in Syria?,’ The Diplomat, August 20, 2018.

Hemenway, Dan, ‘Chinese strategic engagement with Assad’s Syria,’ Atlantic Council, December 21, 2018.

(24) ‘We finally know what Hillary Clinton knew all along – U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar are funding Isis,’ The Independent, October 14, 2016.

(25) ‘Inquiry Into Death of Russian Lt. Gen. Asapov Shows Data Leaks to Daesh –      Source,’ Sputnik, September 26, 2017.

‘Drones used by Syrian terrorists “require advanced training” – Russian MoD in response to US,’ Sputnik, January 9, 2018.

(26) ‘Five Next Generation Russian Combat Jets We Will See in the 2020s: From MiG-41 Hypersonic Interceptors to PAK DA Stealth Bombers,’ Military Watch Magazine, January 1, 2019.

(27) Twigg, Judy, ‘Russia Is Winning the Sanctions Game,’ National Interest, March 14, 2019.

(28) Hersh, Seymour, ‘The Red Line and the Rat Line,’ London Review of Books, vol. 36, no. 8, April 2014

Angelovski, Ivan and Patrucic, Miranda and Marzouk, Lawrence, ‘Revealed: the £1bn of weapons flowing from Europe to Middle East,’ The Guardian, July 27, 2016.

Chivers, C. J. and Schmitt, Eric and Mazzetti, Mark, ‘In Turnaround, Syria Rebels Get Libya Weapons,’ New York Times, June 21, 2013.

McCarthy, Andrew C., ‘Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi Debacle: Arming Jihadists in Libya . . . and Syria,’ National Review, August 2, 2016.

(29)  ‘Militants Bomb Hospital, Torch Quarantine Center as Hong Kong Braces for Virus Outbreak,’ Military Watch Magazine, January 27, 2020.

(30) ‘Class A drug use “at record levels due to young people”,’ BBC News, September 20, 2019.

(31) Buchholz, Katharina, ‘Industrialized Nations Have Biggest Foreign Debt,’ Statista, February 7, 2019.

(32) ‘France’s Colonial Tax Still Enforced for Africa. “Bleeding Africa and Feeding

France,”’ Centre for Research of Globalization, January 14, 2015.

Bart Williams, Mallence, ‘The Utilization of Western NGOs for the Theft of Africa’s Vast Resources,’ TedxBerlin, January 26, 2015

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfnruW7yERA).

(33) Wong, Andrea, ‘The Untold Story Behind Saudi Arabia’s 41-Year U.S. Debt Secret,’ Bloomberg, May 31, 2016.

Spiro, David E., The Hidden Hand of American Hegemony: Petrodollar Recycling and International Markets, New York, Cornell University Press, 1999.

(34) ‘Banks have not learnt lessons of 2008 crisis, says Gordon Brown,’ Financial Times, October 31, 2017.

‘A decade after the financial meltdown, its underlying problems haven’t been fixed,’ The Guardian, August 6, 2017.

(35)  ‘Fearing U.S. Sanctions Over Su-35 Purchase: What is Behind Indonesia’s Interest in New F-16V Fighters,’ Military Watch Magazine, November 6, 2019.

Rogan, Tom, ‘The very political reason Qatar buys different fighter aircraft from Britain, France, and the US,’ Washington Examiner, February 25, 2020.

Krishnan, Rakesh, ‘Countering CAATSA: How India can avoid American arm twisting,’ Business Today, March 6, 2019.

(36) Gaddy, Clifford G. and Ickes, Barry W., ‘Russia after the Global Financial Crisis,’ Eurasian Geography and Economics, vol. 51, no. 3, 2010 (pp. 281-311).

(37) Hobbs, Tawnell D., ‘U.S. Students Fail to Make Gains Against International Peers,’ The Wall Street Journal, December 3, 2019.

Turner, Camiilla, ‘Chinese students are two years ahead of their white British peers by age 16, report finds,’ The Telegraph, July 30, 2019.

The Afghanistan ‘peace deal’ riddle

Pepe Escobar for the Saker Blog : Posted with permission 

As far as realpolitik Afghanistan is concerned, with or without a deal, the US military want to stay in what is a priceless Greater Middle East base to deploy hybrid war techniques

In this photo taken on February 21, youths and peace activists gather as they celebrate the reduction in violence, in Kandahar. A week-long partial truce took hold across Afghanistan on February 22, with some jubilant civilians dancing in the streets as the war-weary country prepared for this coming Saturday’s planned agreement on a peace deal between the Taliban and the United States. Photo: AFP / Javed Tanveer

Nearly two decades after the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan post-9/11, and after an interminable war costing over $ 2 trillion, there’s hardly anything “historic” about a possible peace deal that may be signed in Doha this coming Saturday between Washington and the Taliban.

We should start by stressing three points.

1- The Taliban wanted all US troops out. Washington refused.

2- The possible deal only reduces US troops from 13,000 to 8,600. That’s the same number already deployed before the Trump administration.

3- The reduction will only happen a year and a half from now – assuming what’s being described as a truce holds.

So there would be no misunderstanding, Taliban Deputy Leader Sirajuddin Haqqani, in an op-ed certainly read by everyone inside the Beltway, detailed their straightforward red line: total US withdrawal.

And Haqqani is adamant: there’s no peace deal if US troops stay.

Still, a deal looms. How come? Simple: enter a series of secret “annexes.”

The top US negotiator, the seemingly eternal Zalmay Khalilzad, a remnant of the Clinton and Bush eras, has spent months codifying these annexes – as confirmed by a source in Kabul currently not in government but familiar with the negotiations.

Let’s break them down to four points.

1- US counter-terror forces would be allowed to stay. Even if approved by the Taliban leadership, this would be anathema to the masses of Taliban fighters.

2- The Taliban would have to denounce terrorism and violent extremism. That’s rhetorical, not a problem.

3- There will be a scheme to monitor the so-called truce while different warring Afghan factions discuss the future, what the US State Dept. describes as “intra-Afghan negotiations.” Culturally, as we’ll see later, Afghans of different ethnic backgrounds will have a tremendously hard time monitoring their own warring.

4- The CIA would be allowed to do business in Taliban-controlled areas. That’s an even more hardcore anathema. Everyone familiar with post-9/11 Afghanistan knows that the prime reason for CIA business is the heroin rat line that finances Langley’s black ops, as I exposed in 2017.

Otherwise, everything about this “historic” deal remains quite vague.

Even Secretary of Defense Mark Esper was forced to admit the war in Afghanistan is “still” in “a state of strategic stalemate.”

As for the far from strategic financial disaster, one just needs to peruse the latest SIGAR report. SIGAR stands for Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. In fact virtually nothing in Afghanistan has been “reconstructed.”

No real deal without Iran

The “intra-Afghan” mess starts with the fact that Ashraf Ghani eventually was declared the winner of the presidential elections held in September last year. But virtually no one recognizes him.

The Taliban don’t talk to Ghani. Only to some people that are part of the government in Kabul. And they describe these talks at best as between “ordinary Afghans.”

Everyone familiar with Taliban strategy knows US/NATO troops will never be allowed to stay. What could happen is the Taliban allowing some sort of face-saving contingent to remain for a few months, and then a very small contingent stays to protect the US embassy in Kabul.

Washington will obviously reject this possibility. The alleged “truce” will be broken. Trump, pressured by the Pentagon, will send more troops. And the infernal spiral will be back on track.

Another major hole in the possible deal is that the Americans completely ignored Iran in their negotiations in Doha.

That’s patently absurd. Teheran is a key strategic partner to its neighbor Kabul. Apart from the millenary historical/cultural/social connections, there are at least 3.5 million Afghan refugees in Iran.

Post 9-11, Tehran slowly but surely started cultivating relations with the Taliban – but not at a military/weaponizing level, according to Iranian diplomats. In Beirut last September, and then in Nur-Sultan in November, I was provided a clear picture of where discussions about Afghanistan stand.

The Russian connection to the Taliban goes through Tehran. Taliban leaders have frequent contacts with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. Only last year, Russia held two conferences in Moscow between Taliban political leaders and mujahideen. The Russians were engaged into bringing Uzbeks into the negotiations. At the same time, some Taliban leaders met with Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) operatives four times in Tehran, in secret.

The gist of all these discussions was “to find a conflict resolution outside of Western patterns”, according to an Iranian diplomat. They were aiming at some sort of federalism: the Taliban plus the mujahideen in charge of the administration of some vilayets.

The bottom line is that Iran has better connections in Afghanistan than Russia and China. And this all plays within the much larger scope of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The Russia-China strategic partnership wants an Afghan solution coming from inside the SCO, of which both Iran and Afghanistan are observers. Iran may become a full SCO member if it holds on to the nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, until October – thus still not subjected to UN sanctions.

All these actors want US troops out – for good. So the solution always points towards a decentralized federation. According to an Afghan diplomat, the Taliban seem ready to share power with the Northern Alliance. The spanner in the works is the Hezb-e-Islami, with one Jome Khan Hamdard, a commander allied with notorious mujahid Gulbudiin Hekmatyar, based in Mazar-i-Sharif and supported by Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, more interested in restarting a civil war.

Understanding Pashtunistan

Here’s a blast from the past, reliving the context of the Taliban visit to Houston, and showing how things have not changed much since the first Clinton administration. It’s always a matter of the Taliban getting their cut – at the time related to Pipelineistan business, now to their reaffirmation of what can be described as Pashtunistan.

Not every Pashtun is a Taliban, but the overwhelming majority of Taliban are Pashtuns.

The Washington establishment never did their “know your enemy” homework, trying to understand how Pashtuns from extremely diverse groups are linked by a common system of values establishing their ethnic foundation and necessary social rules. That’s the essence of their code of conduct – the fascinating, complex Pashtunwali. Although it incorporates numerous Islamic elements, Pashtunwali is in total contradiction with Islamic law on many points.

Islam did introduce key moral elements to Pashtun society. But there are also juridical norms, imposed by a hereditary nobility, that support the whole edifice and that came from the Turko-Mongols.

Pashtuns – a tribal society – have a deep aversion to the Western concept of the state. Central power can only expect to neutralize  them with – to put it bluntly – bribes. That’s what passes as a sort of system of government in Afghanistan. Which brings the question of how much – and with what – the US is now bribing the Taliban.

Afghan political life, in practice, works out from actors that are factions, sub-tribes, “Islamic coalitions” or regional groups.

Since 1996, and up to 9/11, the Taliban incarnated the legitimate return of Pashtuns as the dominant element in Afghanistan. That’s why they instituted an emirate and not a republic, more appropriate for a Muslim community ruled only by religious legislation. The diffidence towards cities, particularly Kabul, also expresses the sentiment of Pashtun superiority over other Afghan ethnic groups.

The Taliban do represent a process of overcoming tribal identity and the affirmation of Pashtunistan. The Beltway never understood this powerful dynamic – and that’s one of the key reasons for the American debacle.

Lapis Lazuli corridor

Afghanistan is at the center of the new American strategy for Central Asia, as in “expand and maintain support for stability in Afghanistan” coupled with an emphasis to “encourage connectivity between Central Asia and Afghanistan.”

In practice, the Trump administration wants the five Central Asian “stans” to bet on integration projects such as the CASA-1000 electricity project and the Lapis Lazuli trade corridor, which is in fact a reboot of the Ancient Silk Road, connecting Afghanistan to Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Georgia before crossing the Black Sea to Turkey and then all the way to the EU.

But the thing is Lapis Lazuli is already bound to integrate with Turkey’s Middle Corridor, which is part of the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative, as well as with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Plus, also part of Belt and Road. Beijing planned  this integration way before Washington.

The Trump administration is just stressing the obvious: a peaceful Afghanistan is essential for the integration process.

Andrew Korybko correctly argues that “Russia and China could make more progress on building the Golden Ring between themselves, Pakistan, Iran, and Turkey by that time, thus ‘embracing’ Central Asia with potentially limitless opportunities that far surpass those that the US is offering or ‘encircling’ the region from a zero-sum American strategic perspective and ‘forcing’ it out.”

The late Zbigniew “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski’s wishful thinking “Eurasian Balkans” scenario may be dead, but the myriad US divide-and-rule gambits imposed on the heartland have now mutated into hybrid war explicitly directed against China, Russia  and Iran – the three major nodes of Eurasia integration.

And that means that as far as realpolitik Afghanistan is concerned, with or without a deal, the US military have no intention to go anywhere. They want to stay – whatever it takes. Afghanistan is a priceless Greater Middle East base to deploy hybrid war techniques.

Pashtuns are certainly getting the message from key Shanghai Cooperation Organization players. The question is how they plan to run rings around Team Trump.

الوضع الاستراتيجيّ المحوريّ لإيران من شرق المتوسط حتى بحر الصين!

محمد صاديق الحسيني

1

ـ يتضح، من خلال النظر الى موازين القوى، في كامل مسرح عمليات المواجهة، بين إيران وحلف المقاومة من جهة وبين الولايات المتحدة وأتباعها من جهة أخرى، انّ الجمهورية الاسلامية هي التي تمسك بزمام المبادرة، السياسية والعسكرية في المنطقة الممتدة من البحر الأبيض المتوسط غرباً وحتى حدود الصين الشمالية الغربية شرقاً، بما في ذلك أفغانستان. الأمر الذي يعني أنّ إيران وحلف المقاومة يسيران بتؤدّة نحو النصر الاستراتيجي في هذه المواجهة الإقليمية والدولية.

2

ـ بتاريخ 7/2/2020 خاطب كلّ من مايكل آيزينشتات، مدير برنامج الدراسات العسكرية والأمنية في “معهد واشنطن للأبحاث”، وكوري شيك مديرة برنامج السياسات الخارجية والدفاعية في “معهد أميريكان انتربرايسيز”، والجنرال في سلاح الجو (متقاعد) ديفيد ديبتولا، خاطبوا منتدىً سياسياً في معهد واشنطن قائلين إنّ إيران، ومنذ أواسط العام 2019، قد نجحت في إطلاق حملة ضغط مضادة، رداً على سياسة الضغوط القصوى التي تمارسها الولايات المتحدة ضدّها، وذلك بهدف رفع العقوبات أو تخفيفها.

وتتمثل هذه الاستراتيجية الإيرانية في ما أطلق عليه المتحدثون، المذكورون أعلاه، استراتيجية المنطقة الرمادية. وهي المنطقة الواقعة بين السلام والحرب. إذ قامت إيران منذ ذلك الوقت بتنفيذ عمليات دقيقة عدة ومهمة دون الوصول الى حالة الاشتباك العسكري المباشر مع الولايات المتحدة. وهو ما سبَّبَ إرباكاً شديداً للولايات المتحدة حول كيفية الردّ على الأعمال الإيرانية.

3

ـ وأضاف المتحدثون انّ الولايات المتحدة لا زالت تتحلى بأعلى درجات ضبط النفس ولم تردّ على العمليات الإيرانية (يقصدون العمليات المنطلقة من اليمن وناقلات النفط)، رغم قيامها باغتيال الجنرال سليماني وأبو مهدي المهندس. ولكن السؤال الذي يفتقر الى إجابةٍ حتى الآن هو: هل أعاد اغتيال سليماني الردع الأميركي أم لا!؟

ويتابعون القول إنّ حياة الردع قصيرة وعليه فمن الضروري متابعته (الردع – أيّ الاستمرار في توجيه الضربات لإيران) كي لا تتعاظم شكيمة إيران. وهذا يستدعي تطبيق استراتيجية منطقة رمادية كالاستراتيجية التي تطبّقها إيران لما لهذا النوع من الاستراتيجية من تأثير على استراتيجية الدفاع الوطني الأميركي والتي تسعى الى تحويل تركيز الولايات المتحدة وقواتها المسلحة الى المنطقة المشتركة بين المحيطين الهندي والهادئ (أي منطقة الصين والبحار المحيطة بها… وهذه دعوة مباشرة الى عدم الدخول في حرب مع حلف المقاومة لهذا السبب والاستعاضة عن ذلك، ربما، بعمليات سرية ضدّ إيران وحلفائها).

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ـ يرى هؤلاء الخبراء انّ استراتيجية المنطقة الرمادية الأميركية يجب ان ترتكز الى ثلاث ركائز هي:

ـ تقييد أنشطة إيران.

ـ دحر تأثيرها في المنطقة.

ـ ردع ايّ أعمال عدائية إضافية (يقصدون ضرورة ردّ الولايات المتحدة على أيّ عمليات ينفذها حلفاء إيران ضدّ أتباع واشنطن في المنطقة… مثل عملية أرامكو).

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ـ هنا يبقى السؤال حول دور إيران ومركزيتها في المواجهة الدولية، التي تتلاحق فصولها في أكثر من مسرح، سواء في بحار الصين او على حدود روسيا الشمالية الغربية (بحر البلطيق ومدينة لينينغراد) والجنوبية الغربية (البحر الأسود وشبه جزيرة القرم) وهي المواجهة التي ستنتج نظاماً عالمياً جديداً لن تكون فيه الولايات المتحدة القوة القطب الدولي الوحيد المهيمن على مصير العالم.

بخاصة أنّ إيران تشكل خط الدفاع الأول عن حدود روسيا الجنوبية، في دول آسيا الوسطى، وعن حدودها الجنوبية الغربية، لكون إيران هي القاطرة في مواجهة سياسات الهيمنة الأميركية في “الشرق الأوسط” وانّ تحالفاتها في كلّ من العراق وسورية ولبنان وفلسطين هي الضامن للوجود العسكري، وبالتالي النفوذ السياسي لكلّ من روسيا وحليفتها الموضوعية، الصين، في منطقة “الشرق الأوسط”، الذي يعتبر إقليماً غاية في الأهمية بالنسبة لمشروع التعاون الاقتصادي الدولي الصيني العملاق، المسمّى مشروع “الحزام والطريق”. كما أنّ دور إيران يكتسي أهمية خاصة في تأمين إمدادات النفط والغاز، اي الطاقة، التي يحتاجها الاقتصاد الصيني للمحافظة على نموّه وتطوير البلاد في المستقبل.

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ـ لذلك يجب التذكير بأنّ إيران الشاه قد لعبت دوراً مهماً، كقاعدة تجسّس ومركز لوجستي لنشاطات الولايات المتحدة ضدّ الاتحاد السوفياتي السابق، ذلك الدور الذي انتهى بانتصار الثورة الإسلامية في إيران عام 1979. وهذا يعني أنّ إيران تشكل الحصن القوي الذي يمنع الولايات المتحدة من فرض سيطرتها وهيمنتها على المنطقة الممتدة من البحر المتوسط غرباً وحتى حدود الصين الغربية شرقاً. وهو الأمر الحيويّ جداً في الدفاع عن حدود الصين الغربية وحدود روسيا الجنوبيّة والجنوبيّة ـ الغربيّة، لضمان مواصلة عملية إنهاء سيطرة الولايات المتحدة الأحادية على العالم.

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ـ من الجدير بالذكر انّ لإيران دوراً استراتيجياً مهمّاً في الحفاظ على سلامة طرق التجارة الدولية، عبر مضيقي باب المندب وهرمز، امتداداً الى بحر العرب وصولاً الى غرب المحيط الهندي شرقاً. وما المناورات البحرية المشتركة التي أجراها سلاح البحرية الصيني والروسي والإيراني، في منطقة هرمز وبحر العرب وغرب المحيط الهندي، إلا دليل على الدور المهمّ الذي ستلعبه إيران في الاستراتيجيات الدولية في المستقبل القريب.

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ـ كما تجب الإشارة إلى الأهمية الاستراتيجية لإيران، في ما يتعلق بالانتشار العسكري الروسي في “الشرق الاوسط”، وذلك لجهة تأمين خط إمداد بري للقوات الجوية والبحرية الروسية المنتشرة في سورية وشرق المتوسط.

فعلى الرغم من أنّ اتفاقية مضائق البحار الموقعة بتاريخ 20/7/1936، يضمن حرية العبور في مضائق الدردنيل والبوسفور (تركياً)، الا انّ هذا الاتفاق يعطي حق السيادة على هذه المضائق، الى جانب بحر مرمرة (جنوب المضائق) للدولة التركية. وهو الأمر الذي يعني أنّ تركيا قد تلجأ الى تقييد أو عرقلة عبور السفن في هذه المضائق، من البحر الأسود وإليه، ما قد يقود الى احتمال قطع الإمدادات البحرية عن الانتشار العسكري الروسي في سورية والبحر المتوسط، وهو الإجراء الذي ستكون له آثار سلبية جداً على الحضور العسكري الروسي في تلك المنطقة.

وعليه فإنّ خط الإمداد البري البديل، عبر إيران والعراق، سيكون ذا أهمية استراتيجية كبيرة جداً. وهذا ما يفسّر السعار الأميركي في محاولات منع فتح معبر البوكمال / القائم، بين سورية والعراق، وكذلك محاولات الولايات المتحدة المستميتة للإبقاء على وجودها العسكري، سواء في العراق او شمال شرق سورية، والهادف الى قطع التواصل البري، ليس فقط بين طهران وبيروت، وإنما أيضاً بين موسكو ودمشق، عبر طهران وبغداد.

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ـ وعليه فإنّ إيران تمثل حليفاً استراتيجياً لكلّ من موسكو وبكين، سواء أعلن عن هذا التحالف أم لا.

إنه تحالف موضوعي تقتضيه المصالح المشتركة للبلدان الثلاثة، بالإضافة الى تأثيراته المتعددة الأوجه على الكثير من دول الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا ودول آسيا الوسطى، التي لا بدّ من دمجها في مشروع التعاون الدولي الاقتصادي الصيني العملاق، “الطريق والحزام”، خاصة أنها دول بحاجة الى تنمية اقتصادية مدروسة وممنهجة للنهوض بشعوبها واقتصادياتها واستغلال ثرواتها الطبيعية الكبيرة، من الغاز والنفط (كازاخستان/ أذربيجان/ وتركمانستان) على وجه التحديد.

ما تقدّم يؤكد بدون تردّد أنّ مركز ثقل العالم ينتقل شرقاً لحساب قوى عظمى صاعدة وعلى حساب أميركا تحديداً، وأنّ الفضل في ذلك بشكل كبير هو لإنجازات محور المقاومة في مسرح العمليات وإيران الجمهورية الاسلامية باعتبارها درّة التاج في هذا المحور الصاعد في معادلات العالم الجديد.

عالم ينهار، عالم ينهض.

بعدنا طيّبين، قولوا الله…

US Forever War in Afghanistan Near Ending?

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Planned months in advance, the Bush/Cheney regime attacked nonbelligerent Afghanistan less than four weeks after the 9/11 mother of all false flags — orchestrated by the CIA, perhaps with Israel’s Mossad.

The Taliban and bin Laden had nothing to do with what happened on a day that will live in infamy, opening the gates of hell for endless US wars of aggression against nations threatening no one — spending countless trillions of dollars on mass slaughter and destruction, consigning the rule of law to the trash bin of history.

Over 18 years later, unwinnable war and occupation of Afghanistan continues — no end of it in prospect.

The US came to Afghanistan to stay, the same true in all its post-9/11 war theaters and the former Yugoslavia preceding them in the 90s — raping and destroying nations attacked, occupying them directly or with pro-Western puppet regimes.

Preemptive war on Afghanistan was waged to control the country and its resources, potentially worth trillions of dollars in economic value.

They include barite, chromite, coal, cobalt, copper, gold, iron ore, lead, enormous amounts of highly-valued lithium and other rare earth metals vital for high tech products, natural gas, oil, precious and semi-precious stones, potash, salt, sulfur, talc, zinc, among other minerals.

The above is a treasure US policymakers have no intention of relinquishing, wanting corporate America profiting from them.

Washington also wants to construct oil and gas pipelines across Afghanistan, wanting its territory used as part of a plan to encircle Russia and China, along with maintaining opium production used for heroin.

What the Taliban eradicated pre-9/11, the US restored. A bonanza for money-laundering Western banks, the CIA relies on drugs trafficking as a revenue source. 

Time and again, the US proved it can never be trusted, breaching international law, treaties, conventions, and bilateral agreements with other countries.

Whatever the US agrees on with negotiating partners isn’t worth the paper it’s written on — commitments abandoned at its discretion.

In August 2019, Brown University’s Watson Institute of International & Public Affairs published a report titled:

“The CIA’s “Army’ ”: A Threat to Human Rights and an Obstacle to Peace in Afghanistan,” saying:

CIA operatives infest Afghanistan with no intention of leaving. Paramilitaries they control serve US imperial interests.

Their existence and the CIA’s presence in Afghanistan, on the phony pretext of combatting terrorism the US supports, makes restoration of peace and stability in the country unattainable.

It’s true whether Pentagon forces stay or leave, the former virtually certain, the latter if claimed foolhardy to believe.

Langley paramilitaries are the modern-day equivalent of CIA-recruited Afghan mujahideen fighters against Soviet occupiers in the 1980s — today’s Taliban, combatting illegal US war and occupation of their country.

They want it back, US and allied invaders out. It’s not likely as long as the CIA’s private army remains in the country.

They’re shielded from public oversight and accountability. The US installed puppet regime in Kabul knows little or nothing about them, no say whatever about how they operate or for what purpose.

The CIA operates extrajudicially worldwide, including domestically in breach of its mandate.

A truce in name only was agreed to by the Trump regime and Taliban. Can what never worked before be likely now?

The NYT claimed it’s a “first step toward signing a deal to withdraw American troops.”

How possible when even if they leave, they’ll likely return, CIA operatives and Langley’s paramilitary army remaining in place, US occupation continuing in new form. 

According to the Times, if a partial truce holds for seven days, both sides “will meet on Feb. 29 to sign an agreement laying out a timetable for the United States to withdraw its troops.”

If it happens, the agreement won’t be worth the paper it’s written on.

Whatever is said publicly, restoration of peace and stability to any active US war theater is more illusion than real.

The proof of the pudding, as the saying goes, is reality on the ground in all nations the US attacked preemptively post-9/11 — endless wars, instability and chaos continuing, nothing suggesting resolution.

The US doesn’t negotiate. It demands, wanting things its way. Whatever one ruling authority in Washington may agree on, a succeeding one walked away from time and again.

Besides breaching international law and walking away from international agreements, Obama’s withdrawal of US forces from Iraq in 2011 didn’t last long.

US occupation resumed in mid-2014, continuing to this day. Thousands of US forces controlling strategic parts of the country won’t leave — even though Iraqi authorities want them out.

Will Afghanistan be different? Will the US agree to leave and not reoccupy the country ahead?

Will it matter if CIA operatives and its paramilitary army control areas Pentagon forces withdraw from?

Will peace talks make a difference when they’re highly likely to turn out like Israeli-Palestinian no-peace ones, the outcome each time they’re held?

Can the Taliban co-exist with a US-installed puppet regime in Kabul it rejects because it has no legitimacy?

Previous US/Taliban talks failed because Washington undermined them.

If Pentagon forces are withdrawn from Afghanistan like earlier, it’ll likely be short-term to redeploy them as a hostile force elsewhere.

What the Taliban demand they won’t get — complete withdrawal of US and foreign troops from their country with assurances that that the move is permanent.

Currently about 14,000 US forces, around 17,000 more from dozens of other countries, and undisclosed numbers of CIA paramilitaries occupy Afghanistan.

The Taliban control most Afghan territory. Whatever is agreed on with the US will be tenuous at best.

The Taliban agreed to keep its fighters out of what it called “enemy territory” and return fire only in self-defense, a sort of maybe ceasefire that could and likely will end for any reason ahead.

The Pentagon saying it’ll continue operations against ISIS and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan is a ruse — the US supporting these jihadists, not combatting them.

They’re in Afghanistan because the Pentagon and CIA deployed them there, the same true wherever they show up.

Chances for the US agreeing to pull out and restore peace and stability to the country are slim at best, highly deceptive at worst.

The same goes for all its war theaters. They rage endlessly because bipartisan hardliners in Washington want things this way.

The military, industrial, security, media complex demand it.

Since Pentagon forces preemptively attacked North Korea in June 1950, a nation threatening no one, the US has been at war directly and/or through proxies at all times against one or more countries since then.

Both right wings of the one-party state reject world peace, stability, equity, justice, and the rule of law.

It’s why endless wars on humanity rage at home and abroad against invented enemies.

No real ones existed since WW II ended.

Shut Down Canada Until It Solves Its War, Oil, and Genocide Problem

FEBRUARY 20, 2020

Photograph Source: tuchodi – CC BY 2.0

by DAVID SWANSON

Indigenous people in Canada are giving the world a demonstration of the power of nonviolent action. The justness of their cause — defending the land from those who would destroy it for short term profit and the elimination of a habitable climate on earth — combined with their courage and the absence on their part of cruelty or hatred, has the potential to create a much larger movement, which is of course the key to success.

This is a demonstration of nothing less than a superior alternative to war, not just because the war weapons of the militarized Canadian police may be defeated by the resistance of the people who have never been conquered or surrendered, but also because the Canadian government could accomplish its aims in the wider world better by following a similar path, by abandoning the use of war for supposedly humanitarian ends and making use of humanitarian means instead. Nonviolence is simply more likely to succeed in domestic and international relations than violence. War is not a tool for preventing but for facilitating its identical twin, genocide.

Of course, the indigenous people in “British Columbia,” as around the world, are demonstrating something else as well, for those who care to see it: a way of living sustainably on earth, an alternative to earth-violence, to the raping and murdering of the planet — an activity closely linked to the use of violence against human beings.

The Canadian government, like its southern neighbor, has an unacknowledged addiction to the war-oil-genocide problem. When Donald Trump says he needs troops in Syria to steal oil, or John Bolton says Venezuela needs a coup to steal oil, it’s simply an acknowledgement of the global continuation of the never-ended operation of stealing North America.

Look at the gas-fracking invasion of unspoiled lands in Canada, or the wall on the Mexican border, or the occupation of Palestine, or the destruction of Yemen, or the “longest ever” war on Afghanistan (which is only the longest ever because the primary victims of North American militarism are still not considered real people with real nations whose destruction counts as real wars) , and what do you see? You see the same weapons, the same tools, the same senseless destruction and cruelty, and the same massive profits flowing into the same pockets of the same profiteers from blood and suffering — the corporations that will be shamelessly marketing their products at the CANSEC weapons show in Ottawa in May.

Much of the profits these days comes from distant wars fought in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, but those wars drive the technology and the contracts and the experience of war veterans that militarize the police in places like North America. The same wars (always fought for “freedom,” of course) also influence the culture toward greater acceptance of the violation of basic rights in the name of “national security” and other meaningless phrases. This process is exacerbated by the blurring of the line between war and police, as wars become endless occupations, missiles become tools of random isolated murder, and activists — antiwar activists, antipipeline activists, antigenocide activists — become categorized with terrorists and enemies.

Not only is war over 100 times more likely where there is oil or gas (and in no way more likely where there is terrorism or human rights violations or resource scarcity or any of the things people like to tell themselves cause wars) but war and war preparations are leading consumers of oil and gas. Not only is violence needed to steal the gas from indigenous lands, but that gas is highly likely to be put to use in the commission of wider violence, while in addition helping to render the earth’s climate unfit for human life. While peace and environmentalism are generally treated as separable, and militarism is left out of environmental treaties and environmental conversations, war is in fact a leading environmental destroyer. Guess who just pushed a bill through the U.S. Congress to allow both weapons and pipelines into Cyprus? Exxon-Mobil.

Solidarity of the longest victims of western imperialism with the newest ones is a source of great potential for justice in the world.

But I mentioned the war-oil-genocide problem. What does any of this have to do with genocide? Well, genocide is an act “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group.” Such an act can involve murder or kidnapping or both or neither. Such an act can “physically” harm no one. It can be any one, or more than one, of these five things:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Numerous top Canadian officials over the years have stated clearly that the intention of Canada’s child-removal program was to eliminated Indigenous cultures, to utterly remove “the Indian problem.” Proving the crime of genocide does not require the statement of intent, but in this case, as in Nazi Germany, as in today’s Palestine, and as in most if not all cases, there is no shortage of expressions of genocidal intent. Still, what matters legally is genocidal results, and that is what one can expect from stealing people’s land to frack it, to poison it, to render it uninhabitable.

When the treaty to ban genocide was being drafted in 1947, at the same time that Nazis were still being put on trial, and while U.S. government scientists were experimenting on Guatemalans with syphilis, Canadian government “educators” were performing “nutritional experiments” on Indigenous children — that is to say: starving them to death. The original draft of the new law included the crime of cultural genocide. While this was stripped out at the urging of Canada and the United States, it remained in the form of item “e” above. Canada ratified the treaty nonetheless, and despite having threatened to add reservations to its ratification, did no such thing. But Canada enacted into its domestic law only items “a” and “c” — simply omitting “b,” “d,” and “e” in the list above, despite the legal obligation to include them. Even the United States has included what Canada omitted.

Canada should be shut down (as should the United States) until it recognizes that it has a problem and begins to mend its ways. And even if Canada didn’t need to be shut down, CANSEC would need to be shut down.

CANSEC is one of the largest annual weapons shows in North America. Here’s how it describes itself, a list of exhibitors, and a list of the members of the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries which hosts CANSEC.

CANSEC facilitates Canada’s role as a major weapons dealer to the world, and the second biggest weapons exporter to the Middle East. So does ignorance. In the late 1980s opposition to a forerunner of CANSEC called ARMX created a great deal of media coverage. The result was a new public awareness, which led to a ban on weapons shows on city property in Ottawa, which lasted 20 years.

The gap left by media silence on Canadian weapons dealing is filled with misleading claims about Canada’s supposed role as a peacekeeper and participant in supposedly humanitarian wars, as well as the non-legal justification for wars known as “the responsibility to protect.”

In reality, Canada is a major marketer and seller of weapons and components of weapons, with two of its top customers being the United States and Saudi Arabia. The United States is the world’s leading marketer and seller of weapons, some of which weapons contain Canadian parts. CANSEC’s exhibitors include weapons companies from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere.

There is little overlap between the wealthy weapons-dealing nations and the nations where wars are waged. U.S. weapons are often found on both sides of a war, rendering ridiculous any pro-war moral argument for those weapons sales.

CANSEC 2020’s website boasts that 44 local, national, and international media outlets will be attending a massive promotion of weapons of war. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Canada has been a party since 1976, states that “Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law.”

The weapons exhibited at CANSEC are routinely used in violation of laws against war, such as the UN Charter and the Kellogg-Briand Pact — most frequently by Canada’s southern neighbor. CANSEC may also violate the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court by promoting acts of aggression. Here’s a report on Canadian exports to the United States of weapons used in the 2003-begun criminal war on Iraq. Here’s a report on Canada’s own use of weapons in that war.

The weapons exhibited at CANSEC are used not only in violation of laws against war but also in violation of numerous so-called laws of war, that is to say in the commission of particularly egregious atrocities, and in violation of the human rights of the victims of oppressive governments. Canada sells weapons to the brutal governments of Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

Canada may be in violation of the Rome Statute as a result of supplying weapons that are used in violation of that Statute. It is certainly in violation of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty. Canadian weapons are being used in the Saudi-U.S. genocide in Yemen.

In 2015, Pope Francis remarked before a joint session of the United States Congress, “Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.”

An international coalition of individuals and organizations will be converging on Ottawa in May to say No to CANSEC with a seris of events called NoWar2020.

This month two nations, Iraq and the Philippines, have told the United States military to get out. This happens more often than you might think. These actions are part of the same movement that tells the Canadian militarized police to get out of lands they have no rights in. All actions in this movement can inspire and inform all others.Join the debate on FacebookMore articles by:DAVID SWANSON

David Swanson wants you to declare peace at http://WorldBeyondWar.org  His new book is War No More: The Case for Abolition.

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