China to receive two million barrels of Iranian oil, despite US sanctions

Iran has been cooperating with China, Russia, Venezuela, and Cuba in order to bypass the effects of US economic sanctions

May 19 2022

(Photo credit: Press TV)

ByNews Desk

China is scheduled to receive around two million barrels of Iranian crude oil this week that it will pump into an oil terminal in the Zhanjiang city of Guangdong province, southwest of the country.

The oil will be discharged by the Diona crude oil carrier owned by the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), according to Vortexa Analytics, an agency that specializes in tanker tracking.

“This would be the third Iranian oil cargo destined for government stockpile following two similar-sized shipments in December and January,” the agency reported.

Despite ongoing economic sanctions imposed on Iran by the US, China has been purchasing large amounts of Iranian oil over the past two years.

Iran plays a crucial role in the Belt and Road Initiative, a mega-infrastructure and economic initiative launched by Beijing to link the economies of Europe, Asia, and Africa, with an eye on expanding to Latin America.

Over recent years, Iran has played an instrumental role in cooperating with other countries to overcome the effects of punitive US sanctions.

On 3 May, Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji met with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas to discuss energy relations and ways to overcome the repercussions of US sanctions unilaterally imposed on the two countries.

Venezuela and Iran have recently stepped up energy cooperation to overcome sanctions, with Venezuela importing condensate and thinners from Iran.

Back in January, an Iranian supertanker started discharging about two million barrels of Iranian condensate at the main port of Venezuela’s state-run oil company, as part of a bilateral deal that defies the US sanctions imposed on both nations.

On 17 May, UN Special Rapporteur Alena Douhan said the US must lift economic sanctions on Iran due to the harmful impact they have on the Iranian people.

“I call on the United States to abandon unilateral sanctions,” the UN special rapporteur told a press conference in Tehran.

Douhan went further, saying that the application of “extra-territorial sanctions on Iranian companies or companies working with Iran or paying Iran in dollars is illegal under international law.”

The UN official said she would address her concerns over the legality of US sanctions in her final report, to be published at a later date.

FM Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the 30th Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defence Policy

May 16, 2022

Moscow, May 14, 2022

Mr Lukyanov,

Mr Karaganov,

Colleagues,

I am glad to be here again, at this anniversary assembly. Last time, we met in this room on October 2, 2021. But I have an impression that this was in a totally different historical epoch.

I would like to congratulate you on the 30th anniversary of the Council on Foreign and Defence Policy. Its activities are a fine example of Russian expert involvement in the foreign policy process. From the very start, the Council has brought together professionals, including politicians, state officials, journalists, academics, and entrepreneurs.  Throughout these years, this has ensured an effective and rewarding combination of practical experience and impeccable knowledge of the subject matter. Therein lies the key to comprehending the most complex international processes, particularly at stages like the present one. Advice, analytical materials, and debates (occasionally heated debates involving a clash of opinions) are of much help to us. We invariably take them into consideration in our foreign policy activities.

It is a cliche to say that this meeting is taking place at a historical turning point. I agree with the experts (Mr Karaganov and Mr Lukyanov have written a lot about this), who say that we again have to choose a historical path, like we did in 1917 and 1991.

The external circumstances have not just changed radically; they are changing ever more profoundly and extensively (though not becoming more elevated, unfortunately) with each passing day. And our country is changing along with them. It is drawing its conclusions. The choice we have taken is made easier by the fact that the “collective West” has declared a total hybrid war against us. It is hard to forecast how long this will last. But it is clear that its consequences will be felt by everyone without exception.

We did everything in our power to avoid a direct conflict. But they issued a challenge and we have accepted it. We are used to sanctions. We have been living under one or another form of sanctions for a long time now. The surprising thing is a surge of rabid Russophobia in almost all “civilised” countries. They have thrown to the wind their political correctness, propriety, rules, and legal norms. They are using the cancel culture against all things Russian. All hostile actions against our country are allowed, including robbery. Russian cultural figures, artists, athletes, academics, businesspeople and just ordinary citizens are exposed to harassment.

This campaign has not bypassed Russian diplomats. They often have to work under extreme conditions, occasionally with a risk to their health or life. We do not remember anything like the current massive and synchronised expulsion of diplomats happening even in the grimmest Cold War years. This is destroying the general atmosphere of relations with the West. On the other hand, this is freeing up energy and human resources for work in the areas with which our country’s future development should be associated.

In accordance with the demands of the times, we are carrying out our professional duties conscientiously and to the fullest extent. There are no traitors among our diplomats, although such attempts have been made from abroad and within the country. We do our best to defend the rights and interests of Russian citizens abroad. When the West hysterically reacted to the beginning of our special military operation and all flights were cancelled, we immediately helped Russians who were abroad at the time to return home. The routine consular services to Russians (of which there have always been many) are provided as always. It is clear that the situation demands that the diplomatic service works in a special regime. This is required by the new tasks set by the country’s leadership to protect national interests.

This is not only and not so much about Ukraine, which is being used as an instrument to contain the peaceful development of the Russian Federation in the context of their course to perpetuate a unipolar world order.

The Americans started preparing the current crisis long ago, right after the end of the Cold War, having decided that the way to global hegemony was then open. NATO’s eastward expansion has been one of the key components of such a course. We tried hard to convince them not to do this. We showed where and why our red lines are drawn. We were flexible, ready to make concessions and look for compromises. All this proved futile. President Vladimir Putin reminded us of this once again in his speech on May 9 on Red Square.

Today Western countries are ready to oppose Russia, as they now say, “to the last Ukrainian”. At first glance, this is a very convenient position, especially for the United States, which is managing these processes from across the ocean. At the same time, they are weakening Europe by clearing its markets for its goods, technologies and military-technical products.

In fact, the situation has many layers. Russia, the United States, China and all others realise that it is being decided today whether the world order will become fair, democratic and polycentric, or whether this small group of countries will be able to impose on the international community a neo-colonial division of the world into those who consider themselves “exceptional” and the rest – those who are destined to do the bidding of the chosen few.

This is the aim of the “rules-based order” concept that they have sought to introduce into general circulation for years. No one has seen, or discussed, or approved these “rules”, but they are being imposed on the international community. As an example, let me quote a recent statement by US Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen, who called for a new Bretton Woods framework and said that the United States would practice “the friend-shoring of supply chains to a large number of trusted countries” that shared “a set of [liberal] norms and values about how to operate in the global economy.” The hint is absolutely clear: the US dollars and the “benefits” of the international financial system are only for those who follow these American “rules.” Dissenters will be punished. Clearly, Russia is not the sole target, all the more so as we will fight back. The attack is aimed at all those capable of conducting an independent policy.  Take, for example, Washington’s pet Indo-Pacific strategy, which is directed against China. In parallel, it seeks to firmly and reliably harness India to the US and NATO. In the spirit of the Monroe doctrine, the United States wants to dictate standards to Latin America. The inevitable question is whether the Americans are really able to follow the key principle of the UN Charter, which states: “The Organisation is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.”

The “rules-based order” envisions neither democracy, nor pluralism even within the “collective West.” The case in point is the revival of tough bloc discipline and an unconditional submission of the “allies” to Washington’s diktat. The Americans will not stand on ceremony with their “junior partners.” The EU will finally lose all attributes of independence and obediently join the Anglo-Saxon plans to assert the unipolar world order, while sacrificing the Europeans’ quality of life and key interests in order to please the United States. Just recall how Victoria Nuland defined the EU’s place in Washington’s plans to reformat Ukraine in her conversation with the US Ambassador in Kiev in December 2013, at the height of the Maidan riots. Her prediction came true in its entirety. In security matters, the EU is also blending in with NATO, which, in turn, is making increasingly louder claims about its global ambitions. What defensive alliance? We are being told and assured to this day that NATO’s expansion is a defensive process and threatens no one. The Cold War defence line ran along the Berlin Wall – concrete and imagined – between the two military blocs. Since then, it has been moved east five times. Today, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, and others are telling us that NATO has a global responsibility to solve security problems, primarily in the Indo-Pacific region. As I understand it, the next defence line will be moved to the South China Sea.

It is being insinuated that NATO as the vanguard of the community of democracies should replace the UN in matters of international politics, or at least bring global affairs under its sway. The G7 should step in to run the global economy and from time to time invite benevolently the extras the West needs at this or that moment.

Western politicians should accept the fact that their efforts to isolate our country are doomed. Many experts have already recognised this, even if quietly and off the record, because saying this openly is “politically incorrect.” But this is happening right now. The non-Western world is coming to see that the world is becoming increasingly more diverse. There is no escaping this fact. More and more countries want to have a real freedom to choose their development ways and integration projects to join. An increasing number of countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America are refusing to abandon their national interests and to pull chestnuts out of the fire for the former parent countries. An overwhelming majority of our partners, who have felt the effects of Western colonialism and racism, have not joined the anti-Russia sanctions. The West, which President Putin described as the “empire of lies,” has not been considered an ideal of democracy, freedom and well-being for a long time. By plundering other countries’ material assets, the Western countries have destroyed their reputation of predictable partners who honour their commitments. Nobody is safe from expropriation and “state piracy” now. Therefore, not just Russia but also many other countries are reducing their reliance on the US dollar and on Western technologies and markets. I am sure that a gradual de-monopolisation of the global economy is not a distant future.

We have taken note of Fyodor Lukyanov’s article published in the newspaper Kommersant (on April 29, 2022), in which he writes, with good reason, that the West will not listen to us or hear what we have to say. This was a fact of life long ago, before the special military operation, and a “a radical reorientation of assets from the west to other flanks is a natural necessity.” I would like to remind you that Sergey Karaganov has been systematically promoting this philosophy by for many years. It is perfectly clear to everyone that the process has begun and not on our whim – we have always been open to an equal dialogue – but because of an unacceptable and arrogant behaviour of our Western neighbours, who have followed Washington’s prompting to “cancel Russia” in international affairs.

Forging closer ties with the like-minded forces outside of what used to be referred to as the Golden Billion is an absolutely inevitable and mutually driven process. The Russia-China relations are at their all-time high. We are also strengthening our privileged strategic partnerships with India, Algeria, and Egypt. We have taken our relations with the Persian Gulf countries to a whole new level. The same applies to our relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, as well as other countries in Asia-Pacific, in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

We are fully aware of the fact it is at this juncture, which perfectly lends itself to be called a turning point, that the place for Russia and all other countries and forces in the future international architecture will be determined.

We believe the aim of Russia’s diplomacy is, on the one hand, to act with great resolve to fend off all adversarial attacks against us, while, on the other hand, to consistently, calmly and patiently reinforce our positions in order to facilitate Russia’s sustained development from within and improve the quality of life for its people. There is much to be done, as usual. We always have a packed agenda, but in the current environment we are witnessing a serious shift in the mindsets of many of our comrades in all spheres of Russia’s life. This makes meetings held by the Council on Foreign and Defence Policy especially useful because they help nurture ideas which make their way into Russia’s foreign policy.

Is Europe Really More Civilized? Ukraine Conflict a Platform for Racism and Rewriting History

April 4, 2022

CBS correspondent Charlie D’Agata has prompted backlash after comparing violence in Afghanistan to the invasion of “relatively civilized” Ukraine. (Photo: video grab)

By Ramzy Baroud

When a gruesome six-minute video of Ukrainian soldiers shooting and torturing handcuffed and tied up Russian soldiers circulated online, outraged people on social media and elsewhere compared this barbaric behavior to that of Daesh.

In a rare admission of moral responsibility, Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to the Ukrainian President, quickly reminded Ukrainian fighters of their responsibility under international law. “I would like to remind all our military, civilian and defense forces, once again, that the abuse of prisoners is a war crime that has no amnesty under military law and has no statute of limitations,” he said, asserting that “We are a European army”, as if the latter is synonymous with civilized behavior.

Even that supposed claim of responsibility conveyed subtle racism, as if to suggest that non-westerners, non-Europeans, may carry out such grisly and cowardly violence, but certainly not the more rational, humane and intellectually superior Europeans.

The comment, though less obvious, reminds one of the racist remarks by CBS’ foreign correspondent, Charlie D’Agata, on February 26, when he shamelessly compared Middle Eastern cities with the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, stating that “Unlike Iraq or Afghanistan, (…) this is a relatively civilized, relatively European city”.

The Russia-Ukraine war has been a stage of racist comments and behavior, some explicit and obvious, others implicit and indirect. Far from being implicit, however, Bulgarian Prime Minister, Kiril Petkov, did not mince words when, last February, he addressed the issue of Ukrainian refugees. Europe can benefit from Ukrainian refugees, he said, because “these people are Europeans. (…) These people are intelligent, they are educated people. This is not the refugee wave we have been used to, people we were not sure about their identity, people with unclear pasts, who could have been even terrorists.”

One of many other telling episodes that highlight western racism, but also continued denial of its grim reality, was an interview conducted by the Italian newspaper, La Repubblica, with the Ukrainian Azov Battalion Commander, Dmytro Kuharchuck. The latter’s militia is known for its far-right politics, outright racism and horrific acts of violence. Yet, the newspaper described Kuharchuck as “the kind of fighter you don’t expect. He reads Kant and he doesn’t only use his bazooka.”If this is not the very definition of denial, what is?

That said, our proud European friends must be careful before supplanting the word ‘European’ with ‘civilization’ and respect for human rights. They ought not to forget their past or rewrite their history because, after all, racially-based slavery is a European and western brand. The slave trade, as a result of which millions of slaves were shipped from Africa during the course of four centuries, was very much European. According to Encyclopedia Virginia, 1.8 million people “died on the Middle Passage of the transatlantic slave trade”. Other estimations put the number much higher.

Colonialism is another European quality. Starting in the 15th century, and lasting for centuries afterward, colonialism ravaged the entire Global South. Unlike the slave trade, colonialism enslaved entirepeoples and divided whole continents, like Africa, among European spheres of influence.

The nation of Congo was literally owned by one person, Belgian King Leopold II. India was effectively controlled and colonized by the British East India Company and, later, by the British government. The fate of South America was largely determined by the US-imposed Monroe Doctrines of 1823. For nearly 200 years, this continent has paid – and continues to pay – an extremely heavy price of US colonialism and neocolonialism. No numbers or figures can possibly express the destruction and death toll inflicted by Western-European colonialism on the rest of the world, simply because the victims are still being counted. But for the sake of illustration, according to American historian, Adam Hochschild, ten million people have died in Congo alone from 1885 to 1908.

And how can we forget that World War I and II are also entirely European, leaving behind around 40 million and 75 million dead, respectively. (Other estimations are significantly higher). The gruesomeness of these European wars can only be compared to the atrocities committed, also by Europeans, throughout the South, for hundreds of years prior.

Mere months after The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was formed in 1949, the eager western partners were quick to flex their muscles in Korea in 1950, instigating a war that lasted for three years, resulting in the death of nearly 5 million people. The Korean war, like many other NATO-instigated conflicts, remains an unhealed wound to this day.

The list goes on and on, from the disgraceful Opium Wars on China, starting in 1839, to the nuclear bombings of Japan in 1945, to the destruction of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, in 1954, 1959 and 1970 respectively, to the political meddling, military interventions and regime change in numerous countries around the world. They are all the work of the West, of the US and its ever-willing ‘European partners’, all done in the name of spreading democracy, freedom and human rights.

If it were not for the Europeans, Palestine would have gained its independence decades ago, and its people, this writer included, would have not been made refugees, suffering under the yoke of Zionist Israel. If it were not for the US and the Europeans, Iraq would have remained a sovereign country and millions of lives would have been spared in one of the world’s oldest civilizations; and Afghanistan would have not endured this untold hardship. Even when the US and its European friends finally relented and left Afghanistan last year, they continue to hold the country hostage, by blocking the release of its funds, leading to actual starvation among the people of that war-torn country.

So before bragging about the virtues of Europe, and the demeaning of everyone else, the likes of Arestovych, D’Agata, and Petkov should take a look at themselves in the mirror and reconsider their unsubstantiated ethnocentric view of the world and of history. In fact, if anyone deserves bragging rights it is those colonized nations that resisted colonialism, the slaves that fought for their freedom, and the oppressed nations that resisted their European oppressors, despite the pain and suffering that such struggles entailed.

Sadly, for Europe, however, instead of using the Russia-Ukraine war as an opportunity to reflect on the future of the European project, whatever that is, it is being used as an opportunity to score cheap points against the very victims of Europe everywhere. Once more, valuable lessons remain unlearned.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out”. Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

النتائج المرتقبة للأزمة الأوكرانية…

 الإثنين 28 آذار 2022

 زياد حافظ

العملية العسكرية الواسعة التي تقوم بها روسيا في أوكرانيا لها تداعيات مفصلية على صعيد التوازنات الدولية والإقليمية كما أنها تعيد رسم الخرائط السياسية والاقتصادية والثقافية. النتائج الأولية لتلك العملية، التي لم تنته عند إعداد هذه المقاربة تدلّ بوضوح على التغييرات التي رُصدت منذ عدّة سنوات ولكنها لم تكن ظاهرة للجميع. فالغرب في أفول متسرّع والامبراطورية الأميركية في حال تفكّك تنذر بانهيارات داخلية تضع وجود الولايات المتحدة قاب قوسين على الأقل بالنسبة للشكل التي نعرفها.

فالنتائج على الصعيد السياسة والاقتصاد، دوليا وإقليميا، انعكست على التحالفات القائمة وعلى بروز تحالفات جديدة. فعلى صعيد التحالفات القائمة نرى التصدّع داخل أوروبا الغربية بين الدول ومؤسسة الاتحاد الأوروبي، كما نرى تصدّعا بين الدول الأوروبية البارزة كألمانيا وفرنسا مثلا مع الولايات المتحدة رغم التحليلات التي تفيد أن قبضة الولايات المتحدة ازدادت بسبب العملية العسكرية الروسية وضرورة تأمين “وحدة الصف”. فهذه “الوحدة” التي كانت هشّة قبل الأزمة زادت في هشاشتها رغم المظاهر. فدول مثل المانيا وفرنسا أصبحت في واجهة المتلقي للعقوبات التي تفرضها الولايات المتحدة على روسيا سواء على الصعيد الصناعي أو الطاقة أو المال. والسردية الإعلامية ضدّ روسيا في الدول الأوروبية لن تصمد أمام الواقع الاقتصادي الجديد الذي تفرضه سياسة العقوبات التي بدأت مفاعيلها ترتدّ على الدول الأوروبية على صعيد ارتفاع أسعار السلع بشكل عام والطاقة بشكل خاص. فأوروبا تستورد حوالي الثلثين من حاجاتها الغازية والنفطية من روسيا حيث لألمانيا حصة الأسد (40 بالمائة من حاجاتها الغازية تأتي من روسيا).

أما على صعيد التحالفات الجديدة فنرى تقارباً لم يكن متوقّعاً بين الهند والصين وخاصة بعد التهديدات التي أطلقتها مؤخراً إدارة بايدن تجاه الهند. وفي أميركا الجنوبية هناك توجه واضح نحو تقارب مع كلّ من روسيا والصين. أما في أفريقيا، فالدول الأفريقية بدأت تقدّر النموذج الروسي الصيني في العلاقات الدولية المبني على القانون الدولي ومبدأ “رابح رابح” للجميع. تجلّى ذلك بعدم الموافقة على المشاركة في العقوبات التي تريد فرضها الولايات المتحدة والاتحاد الأوروبي على روسيا. أما التصعيد الأميركي المتمثل بمعاقبة كل من يخالف قرارها ويستمر في التعامل معها فكان الردّ الروسي ومعه دول الكتلة الاوراسية بعرض نظام مالي خارج الدولار. ما زلنا في بداية الطريق لنظام مدفوعات جديد خارج الدولار ولكن النتيجة الفورية هي تخفيف وطأة التهديدات الأميركية بعزل الدول “المتمرّدة” عن منظومة السويفت.

هنا لا بدّ لنا من الإشارة إلى أنّ المواجهة القائمة في أوكرانيا هي في الحقيقة مواجهة كونية تأخذ عدة أشكال متكاملة وليست متناقضة. فهي مواجهة بين الرأس المالية الصناعية المتحالفة مع الاشتراكية ((روسيا والصين ومن يتماهى معهما) والرأس المالية التي تتعاطى فقط في المال (الغرب). وهي أيضا بين العولمة المالية (الغرب) والعولمة المبنية على الهويات القومية والخصوصيات. وهي مواجهة بين رؤية للنظام العالمي المبني على “القيم والأحكام” (الغرب) ورؤية مبنية على القانون الدولي (روسيا، الصين ودول الجنوب الإجمالي). هي مواجهة بين الاقتصاد الفعلي الإنتاجي والاقتصاد الافتراضي المالي الريعي. هذه بعض من المواجهات في السياق الفعلي للصراع القائم والتي كل واحدة منها تستحق مقاربة منفصلة قد نقدمها في مرحلة لاحقة.

الغرب لا يعتبر روسيا منه

وفي خطاب في غاية الأهمية الذي القاه الرئيس الروسي في 16 آذار/ مارس أعلن فيه القطيعة الرسمية مع الغرب بشكل عام على الصعيد الاقتصادي والسياسي. أشار الرئيس الروسي في خطابه إلى القرصنة التي مارسها الغرب تجاه الموجودات والأصول المالية الروسية ما قطع شريان الثقة بالمؤسسات والقوانين الغربية. وشّجع المستثمرين الروس في الغرب على العودة إلى روسيا والعمل في روسيا لأن الغرب سيسرق أموالهم كما فعلت الولايات المتحدة والمملكة المتحدة بحق الأموال الإيرانية والفنزويلية والليبية ما يدلّ على الاستسهال في سرقة من يعتبرونهم دونهم حضاريا. الغرب لا يعتبر روسيا من الغرب بل جزءاً من الشرق البغيض. حروب البلوبونيز اليونانية الفارسية في العصور القديمة قبل الميلاد وحملات الفرنجة على بلاد الشرق واستعمار كل هذه الدول من قبل الغرب دلائل تؤكّد على العنصرية المتجذّرة وانعدام معايير الاخلاق عند النخب الحاكمة الغربية.

هذه القطيعة مع الغرب بشكل عام ومع أوروبا الغربية بشكل خاص تعني أن سلامة الاقتصادي الأوروبي مهدّدة بشكل بنيوي سينعكس بشكل تلقائي على الاستقرار الاجتماعي والسياسي في تلك البلدان. فإذا كان تجميد الأصول المالية والاحتياطي الروسي الموجود في الغرب مظهرا من “مظاهر القوّة” فإن ذلك يعكس أيضا سذاجة الغرب الذي وقع ضحية لتلك العنجهية. فلا يمكننا أن نقرأ ونفهم ما حصل إلاّ من منظور لاعب الشطرنج الماهر الذي يضحّي عن قصد وتعمّد لبيدق في افتتاح اللعبة ليحقق مكسباً استراتيجياً في السيطرة على وسط طاولة الشطرنج. هذا ما يُعرف ب “مناورة الملكة” أو (queen gambit). فالرئيس الروسي وفريقه خطّطا للعملية العسكرية على الأقل منذ 2014 وبالتالي كانا يدركان أن الغرب سيقدم على مصادرة الأموال كما حصل مع إيران عندما قامت الثورة الإسلامية، وكما صادرت أموال ليبيا، وفي ما بعد أموال فنزويلا ومؤخرا أموال أفغانستان. تسرّعت حكومات الغرب بوضع اليد على الأصول الروسية ولكن بالتالي قالت لمعظم العالم أن الأموال المودعة في المصارف الغربية أموال تقوم بقرصنتها متى شاءت. هذا سيسهّل إقامة منظومة مدفوعات مالية دولية جديدة خارج إطار سيطرة الغرب بشكل عام والولايات المتحدة بشكل خاص. كما تنذر بأفول الدولار الحتمي حيث الدول قد تتوقف عن طلب الدولار لتلبية حاجات التجارة الخارجية كما تمهّد لتسعير السلع الاستراتيجية بأسعار غير الدولار أو غير مستندة إلى الدولار. هذا ما قصدناه في مقال سابق أنّ الولايات المتحدة حقّقت مكاسب تكتيكية ظرفية ولكن في المقابل تكبّدت بخسارة استراتيجية قد تنذر بزوال إمبراطورتيها الافتراضية تمهيداً ربما لزوالها كدولة أو كيان سياسي. الدرس الأساسي لتلك المناورة هو اعتبار الدولار (الاحتياط النقدي المعمول به منذ السبعينات) لا قيمة له بينما الأساس هو الغاز والنفط!

في هذا السياق لا بد من الإشارة إلى التقدّم في الإجراءات بين دول آسيا الوسطى وروسيا والصين حول إنشاء نظام مدفوعات خارج إطار الدولار. ففي المؤتمر الذي عقد مؤخرا في مطلع شهر آذار/ مارس 2022 في مدينة يريفان في أرمينيا بين مسؤولين من الدول الخمسة للمجموعة الاوراسية (روسيا، بيلاروسيا، أرمينيا، كير غستان، طاجكستان) إضافة إلى دولة كازاخستان تم الاتفاق على إنشاء المؤسسات المالية للمدفوعات على أن تقدّم مسودات هيكلية والنظام الداخلي خلال شهرين. وهذا النظام قد يعتمد العملات الوطنية لدول آسيا مستندة إلى اليوان الصيني. أما على الصعيد الداخلي الروسي فالتعامل بالروبل المستند إلى الذهب سيعيد السياسات النقدية التي كانت تستند إلى نظام التبادل المرتكز على الذهب ولا يخضع لتقلّبات الأسواق المالية والمضاربة. الفكرة الأساسية هنا هي ضرورة ربط العملات بالاقتصاد العيني وليس بالاقتصاد الافتراضي الذي فرضته الولايات المتحدة على العالم خلال العقود الخمسة الماضية.

ما يعزّز التوجّه إلى إيجاد منظومة مالية مختلفة عن تلك التي تعتمد الدولار قرار الرئيس الروسي تجاه الدول “غير الصديقة” بعدم قبول دفع مستحقات مشترياتها من الغاز والنفط بعملة غير الروبل الروسي. هذا قرار كبير وإنْ كان محصوراً بالدول غير الصديقة لأنه ترجمة عملية لرفض التعامل بالدولار. والقرار الروسي يلغي تلقائياً أهداف الهجوم على الروبل بغية خلق اضطرابات داخلية لأنّ القرار يعني ارتفاع الطلب على الروبل وانخفاض الطلب على الدولار. فهذا قرار استراتيجي يعني ان المواجهة مع الدولار أصبحت مفتوحة وانّ موجة العزوف عن الدولار في التجارة العالمية (de-dollarization) يعني نهاية هيمنة الولايات المتحدة على الاقتصاد العالمي، بل أيضاً على السياسة الدولية بفقدانها سلاحها الأساسي أيّ الدولار.

القطيعة مع الغرب ليست سياسية واقتصادية فحسب بل باتت ثقافية. فالعنصرية التي طغت على السردية الغربية لأحداث أوكرانيا اسقطت جميع الأقنعة التي كان تُخفي (لمن لم يكن يريد أن يرى ذلك) ادّعاءات الغرب بـ “الديمقراطية” و “حقوق الإنسان” و “حكم القانون والمؤسسات” و “التنوير” و “الحداثة” و “معاداة العنصرية” وسائر الأوهام والأكاذيب التي تسوّقها النخب الغربية وفقاً لمصالحها الضيّقة. فحتى المواطن الأميركي صُدم من عنصرية مراسلي المحطات الأميركية التي كانت تراسل من “ارض الميدان” في تصنيف المهاجرين والنازحين الاوكرانيين كناس أصحاب العيون الزرقاء والشعر الأشقر والبشرة البيضاء! أيجوز ذلك في دول متحضّرة ليست كالعراق أو أفغانستان أو سورية!؟

لن تكون أوكرانيا كما عرفها العالم

الإجراءات الغربية تجاه روسيا لها تداعيات كبيرة على جميع الأطراف المتصارعة وعلى مجمل العالم. المتضرّر الأكبر هو أوكرانيا حيث مستقبلها أصبح فعلياً قاب قوسين. فعندما تسكت المدافع لن تكون أوكرانيا كما عرفها العالم بل ربما مجموعة من الأقاليم منها تحت السيطرة الروسية، ومنها تحت السيطرة البولونية، ومنها تحت السيطرة المجرية والرومانية. أما أوكرانيا بحدّ ذاتها فقد لا تتجاوز ما يوازي 30 بالمائة من المساحة الحالية وستكون معزولة عن البحر الأسود.

المتضرر الثاني هو أوروبا الغربية بشكل عام وألمانيا بشكل خاص. فأوروبا بحاجة إلى روسيا بينما الأخيرة ليست بحاجة إليها. ليس هناك ما يمكن أن تعطيه أوروبا الغربية لروسيا بينما تحتاج أوروبا للطاقة التي توردها إليها روسيا إضافة إلى المعادن الأساسية للصناعات الغربية وإضافة إلى الحبوب التي تنتجها روسيا وأوكرانيا. أما المانيا فتستورد حوالي 40 بالمائة من احتياجاتها من الغاز الروسي بعد أن أقفلت محطّات انتاج الطاقة النووية. فأصبح اقتصادها مرتبطا بالغاز الروسي. وتجميد خط الشمال 2 (نورستريم 2) سيجعلها تستورد طاقة من الغاز السائل بكلفة تفوق عشر أضعاف أو أكثر وبعد أن تكون بنت محطات تفريغ وتخزين الغاز المستورد من الولايات المتحدة أو قطر وإيجاد الأساطيل التي تستطيع نقل هذه الطاقة بالكميات المطلوبة. وهذا لن يحصل قبل عدة سنوات وبكلفة مرتفعة. أضافة إلى كل ذلك فالشركات اتي كانت معنية بتشغيل نورستريم 2 ستنقلب على الدولة الألمانية وتطالبها بتعويضات تقدر بأكثر من 20 مليار يورو. أما الشريك الروسي غازبروم فقد استطاع التعويض عن خسارة عدم تشغيل نورستريم 2 عبر ارتفاع أسعار الغاز في العالم. وعلى صعيد آخر فإن ارتفاع كلفة الطاقة ستؤثر بشكل مباشر على القدرة التنافسية الصناعية الألمانية وخاصة تجاه الصين والعديد من الدول النامية ما يمكن أن يدخلها في عصر ما بعد التصنيع وتصبح دولة ضعيفة وهزيلة كما أصبحت المملكة المتحدة وفرنسا والولايات المتحدة. فالاقتصاد الافتراضي الريعي لا يمكن أن يصمد أمام قوة اندفاع الاقتصاد العيني المنتج الذي تتمتع به دول كالصين والهند والبرازيل وماليزيا وحتى الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران وغدا دول المشرق العربي والمغربي.

ارتفاع أسعار الطاقة سيؤدّي إلى ارتفاع أسعار المواد والسلع في كل أنحاء العالم وخاصة في أوروبا والولايات المتحدة. فإضافة إلى ضعف النمو في الإنتاج بسبب جائحة الكورونا جاء النقص في المواد وخاصة المواد الغذائية وأضيف إليها رفع كلفة الطاقة. فبالحد الأدنى ستدخل أوروبا الغربية مرحلة انكماش اقتصادي كبير قد يصل إلى مستوى كساد ويتلازم معه في المرحلة الاولي تضخم في الأسعار الاستهلاكية والإنتاجية مما يخلق حلقة مفرغة من انخفاض الإنتاج إلى انخفاض في الدخل إلى انخفاض في الاستهلاك إلى انخفاض في الإنتاج وكذلك دواليك. أما على صعيد الدول النامية، وخاصة في أفريقيا، فإن العقوبات المفروضة على روسيا ستخلق أزمة غذاء حيث 25 دولة تستورد حوالي ثلث حاجياتها من الحبوب من روسيا. ودولة بنين تستورد مائة بالمائة من احتياجاتها في القمح والحبوب من روسيا. وفي هذا السياق الدول العربية لن تكون بمنأى عن تداعيات الازمة الغذائية. فدول كمصر واليمن وسوريا ولبنان تستورد الحبوب من روسيا وأوكرانيا. فانقطاع التوريد من روسيا وأوكرانيا سيخلق أزمة اجتماعية إضافية على الازمات التي تمر بها كل هذه الدول وخاصة اليمن ولبنان.

لذلك يمكن القول ان العقوبات المفروضة على روسيا ستؤدّي إلى زعزعة الاستقرار في أوروبا الغربية وإلى أزمات عميقة في الاقتصاد العالمي ناهيك عن التداعيات الاجتماعيات في دول العالم الخاضع لسياسة العقوبات. وهذه الزعزعة والازمة الاقتصادية التي ستتفاقم سيكون لها ارتدادات سياسية كبيرة يكون الغرب الخاسر الأكبر. فالولايات المتحدة بدلا من أن توحد العالم ضد روسيا توحد العالم ضدّها. والتحالفات القديمة والقائمة في الغرب بدأت تشهد تصدّعات بينها ومع الولايات المتحدة.

والولايات المتحدة بنفسها ليست بمنأى عن تداعيات الفشل في المواجهة في أوكرانيا. فالتحالف الذي أوصل بايدن إلى البيت الأبيض يشهد تصدّعا لأن الرئيس الأميركي لا يميل إلى التصعيد في المواجهة التي يعرف أنها خاسرة. ويساند الرئيس الأميركي البنتاغون. لكن بالمقابل تحالف المحافظين الجدد والمتدخلين الليبراليين والاعلام وأجهزة المخابرات يريد التصعيد. وهو غاضب من بايدن. لذلك قامت صحيفة “نيويورك تايمز” بنشر خبر يؤكّد صحّة المعلومات عن حاسوب هنتر بايدن، نجل الرئيس الأميركي، المليء بمعلومات تفضح فساد عائلة بايدن في أوكرانيا. وهذا الحاسوب تمّ التستّر عنه خلال الحملة الانتخابية الرئاسية في 2020 لأنّ المعلومات قد تلغي فرص فوز بايدن في الانتخابات. والسؤال الذي يطرح لماذا أقدمت الصحيفة الأميركية على نشر هذا الخبر؟ هناك من يعتقد ان التأكيد على صحة المعلومات الفاضحة قد تشكّل إنذاراً أخيراً لبايدن ليلتزم بما هو مُقرّر. من جهة أخرى أعلنت صحيفة “الغارديان” البريطانية عن نشر كتاب في 3 أيار/ مايو بعنوان “لن يمر ذلك: ترامب، بايدن، والمعركة لمستقبل أميركا” للكاتبين الصحافيين من “نيويورك تايمز” جوناتان مارتن والكس بيرنز يشير إلى أنّ زوجة بايدن لم تكن ترغب بوجود كمالا هاريس كنائب رئيس. أيّ هناك موجة متنامية في الإعلام المهيمن يوحى بأنه فقد ثقته ببايدن. وبما أنّ وضع الحزب والإدارة حرج للغاية فاحتمالات الفوضى الداخلية كبيرة جدا مما يؤثّر على أداء الإدارة في مواجهة مختلف القضايا والأزمات التي افتعلتها.

 أما على الصعيد العربي، فبدأت تظهر تباشير المراجعات السياسية الكبرى عند حلفاء الولايات المتحدة حيث نظرية ملكية الولايات المتحدة لـ 99 بالمائة من الأوراق بدأت تترنح كيف لا نقول تسقط بشكل نهائي عند العديد من الدول وفي مقدمتها دول الخليج ومصر.

من ضمن إرهاصات في التحولات العربية “تمرّد” بعض دول الخليج على القرار الأميركي بالخروج عن قرارات أوبك + التي تضم روسيا. كما ان عدم اخذ مكالمات الرئيس الأميركي لكل من ولي عهد بلاد الحرمين وولي عهد دولة الإمارات العربية المتحدة لم يكن ممكنا تصوّرها منذ ما قبل اندلاع الأزمة الأوكرانية. أضف إلى كل ذلك تصريحات بعض المسؤولين حول تخفيف الاستثمارات في الولايات المتحدة والقبول بالتعامل بعملات غير الدولار في تسعير بعض السلع الاستراتيجية يهدّد مكانة الدولار كعملة احتياط وحيدة أو حتى رئيسية في النظام العالمي.

أنّ كلّ تلك التحوّلات المفصلية في العالم لم تكن لتحصل لولا محور المقاومة وخاصة صمود سورية واليمن وإفشال المشروع الأميركي في العراق وتنامي مقاومة الشعب الفلسطيني. فلا يعتقدّن أحد أنّ الدور العربي كان غائبا بل هو الذي أتاح الفرصة لكلّ من الصين وروسيا والجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران لبناء قدراتها بينما محور المقاومة كان يتصدّى ويُفشّل المشروع الأميركي الصهيوني. فالسيطرة على آسيا هي الشرط الضروري للسيطرة على العالم والمشرق العربي هو البوّابة لها. فمن يتحكم بتلك البوّابة يستطيع أن يسيطر على آسيا. محور المقاومة أفشل المحاولات الأميركية الصهيونية وهو الذي سيكون بيضة القبّان في التوازنات الدولية الجديدة إذا ما أحسن التعاطي مع المعطيات الجديدة على الصعيد المحّلي في كل مكوّن من مكوّنات المحور.

*باحث وكاتب اقتصادي سياسي والأمين العام السابق للمؤتمر القومي العربي وعضو الهيئة التأسيسية للمنتدى الاقتصادي والاجتماعي

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Depopulation, not overpopulation will be one of the true crises of the century

23 Mar 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

Samuel Geddes 

Of the innumerable crises projected to dominate the 21st century, perhaps the most misguided warning has been about so-called “overpopulation,” the reality seems to be the exact opposite.

In most states, this projection is simply the opposite of what the numbers show

West Asian, Arab and Sub-Saharan states, though among the world’s poorest, have the most promising demographic future if they can achieve true economic independence and integration. 

So much of modern life has been upended by the coronavirus pandemic that almost every change seems to have been blamed on it. A particularly interesting example came in 2020 when for the first time since modern records began; China saw a decline in its overall population, with the number of births outnumbered by deaths. The numbers were even more catastrophic in Russia, with over 900,000 excess deaths over the course of 2020 and similarly grim declines across Europe and North America. Even the United States is now seeing net population decline in 20 of its 51 states. 

The dawning of this realisation has led to two misunderstandings. First, that this trend is any more than tangentially because of the pandemic and secondly, that population growth in these countries will ever return to “normal”. 

Of the innumerable crises projected to dominate the 21st century, perhaps the most misguided warning has been about so-called “overpopulation,” wherein the planet’s carrying capacity of human beings will be so overwhelmed by our numbers that a Malthusian die-off of billions will be inevitable due to diminishing access to food, water and arable land. 

In most states, this projection is simply the opposite of what the numbers show. All but 46 of the world’s countries and territories have population growth rates below the “replacement rate” (2.1) needed to maintain any given population level. Likewise, close to 40 states are seeing their overall population decline, including such geopolitical heavyweights as Russia, Germany and Japan. China, currently the world’s most populous state at 1.4 billion is just barely in positive territory. 

Current projections have predicted that by the end of the century, China will have lost a staggering 50 per cent of its current population. Others brought forward this scenario to as soon as the middle of the century! The generations born before the introduction of the one-child policy are now retiring en-masse, leaving behind a workforce that will be a fraction of the size and burdened with the cost of supporting what is becoming the oldest national population in history. Such a demographic profile will bring with it profound economic challenges that will test the thesis of the “Chinese Century” to its limit. It is also unavoidable because, even though the one-child policy is now history and parents are being encouraged now to have upwards of two children per family, the nature of the problem is such that any change in policy has at least two decades before it takes effect, with newly born people finally entering the workforce. 

Nor is this at all limited to China or the states of East Asia. The states of the former Soviet Union have seen catastrophic declines over the last three decades. By some accounts about half of the population of Turkmenistan now lives abroad, having migrated seeking better economic opportunities. Swathes of former European powers such as Spain, Italy and Germany are already effectively empty, their own populations having peaked half a century ago! 

Trying to raise the birth-rate is a non-starter as has been stated. For the most severely affected states there is only one possible solution. In Europe and Russia, mass-immigration is the only option, and this would only serve to cancel out the decline, not to increase the population. Russia already has a vast pool of potential migrant labour in its former Central Asian underbelly. Already home to one of the largest migrant populations in the world, Russia will need to begin making itself as attractive as possible to millions more Central Asian citizens. If and when this decision is taken, Moscow will have to finally repudiate any notion of politically exploiting narrow ethnonationalist chauvinism, such as seems to be taking hold in Europe.  

Those countries in the best long-term position, demographically speaking, are also the world’s poorest and they are overwhelmingly concentrated in the Greater Middle East and Africa. By 2050 nearly half of the 10 most populous countries are projected to be in Africa, including Nigeria, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Egypt. By the end of the century, Nigeria is likely to be the world’s third most populated country, at over 400 million people. 

As of 2021, the country with the fastest growing population is the Syrian Arab Republic, at over 5 percent annually. Other Arab heavyweights including Iraq, Yemen, Sudan and of course Egypt all stand in the ranks of the fastest growing populations on the planet. Unlike the countries of Europe, to which increasing numbers look for the hope of a better future, the region, like Africa south of the Sahara is among the most blessed in natural wealth of anywhere on earth. Rather than continuing to hold to the orthodoxy of economic liberalisation towards a rapidly weakening global system, should the countries of the region prioritize internal development, economic and even political unity, they could rapidly find themselves shaping the global order itself rather than being passively shaped by it. 

Were these states be able to assert meaningful economic independence, develop their own internal markets, educate and employ their populations, the balance of global power in the second half of this century may look truly unrecognisable. 

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

‘Hypocrisy Does Not Begin to Describe It’: Baroud on the Ukraine Crisis and the Changing Global Order (VIDEO)

March 17, 2022

Watch Ramzy Baroud’s full interview with Mark Seddon below. (Photo: PDD, Supplied)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

In a wide-ranging interview with Palestine Deep Dive (PDD), Mark Seddon discusses with distinguished Palestinian journalist and author, Dr. Ramzy Baroud, the unfolding crisis in Ukraine through the eyes of the Palestinian people.

While examining what seems to be emerging on the global geopolitical stage, Baroud also highlighted the hypocrisy of the international community, as well as the mainstream media in their response to Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine in comparison to their response, or lack of it, to Israel’s ongoing 74-year occupation of Palestine.

“People have the right to defend themselves against military occupation, period. Under any circumstance, regardless of the geopolitical nature of that conflict, and regardless of who’s involved in that conflict,” Baroud said. 

“We are still buried in this massive dichotomy in which we Palestinians can’t even protest without being accused of being anti-Israel or anti-America or anti this or that, compared to what is happening in the Ukraine within the matter of hours. In fact, even before the invasion took place. When the Russian forces were amassing at the Russia-Ukraine border, the condemnations were coming from all over Europe, all over North America. Of course, we have to face the reality that the international community does not have fair and just standards in its view of international conflicts.”

Commenting on the United Nations General Assembly vote, which saw 35 member states, including South Africa, India and China, abstaining from condemning Russia’s actions, Baroud said:

“I think geopolitics has a lot to do with it. (…) To give you an example, I was in Africa quite recently, and I visited several countries and became somewhat familiar with the political tussle that is happening in Africa itself.(…) African countries are very, very wary of the nature of the fight that is underway in Africa. South Africa, Nigeria, Algeria, and other countries do not want to see this happening. They want a more balanced bipolar world.”

When asked about the possibility of a new Cold War situation in Europe, with a revival of the Non-Aligned Movement, Baroud said:

“I think it’s very possible. Of course, we understand that there are so many moving pieces here, but if indeed, even if a stalemate is achieved, in other words, if NATO does not get its way in Ukraine and in Eastern Europe, and some kind of a compromise is made, will definitely embolden other countries to start negotiating (for themselves) a new political contract.”

Regarding the double standards currently displayed by Western politicians and media, Baroud said: 

“I think we need to revisit the term double standards or hypocrisy. It just does not even begin to tell half of the story regarding what’s happening in Palestine. What the West, what the Americans are condemning right now regarding Russia’s military action is exactly what Israel has been doing as a matter of course, in Palestine every single day. What’s happening in Yemen. These millions of poor people are starving, fighting cholera, fighting bombs falling on top of them.”

Baroud went on criticizing social media censorship of pro-Palestinian content, and describing the double-standards by international institutions, such as the International Criminal Court, FIFA or the International Olympic Committee. 

In highlighting the inherent racism in Western media coverage on Ukraine, Baroud said: 

“That’s really the mindset of the racist. I know that this is a term that people are very careful using, but if this is not outright racism, I don’t know what is. The thing about a racist mentality is that you never see your own fault, and you always project that on someone else.”

(The Palestine Chronicle, PDD)

There Is No Cheap Oil

12 April 2021

By: Hamid Reza Naghashian

Media attack and hype regarding Iran and China’s economic cooperation agreement by the domestic and foreign currents, and especially by those who western blood is boiling in their veins and have engaged a country with their imported delusion in their minds despite all rational reasons, assigns one to stand against these mischievous distortions which are seen among the news reports by disclosing the truth in order to make aware the dear and resistant people of this revolutionary country against these mischievous inductions.

TEHRAN (Iran News) – There Is No Cheap Oil. Media attack and hype regarding Iran and China’s economic cooperation agreement by the domestic and foreign currents, and especially by those who western blood is boiling in their veins and have engaged a country with their imported delusion in their minds despite all rational reasons, assigns one to stand against these mischievous distortions which are seen among the news reports by disclosing the truth in order to make aware the dear and resistant people of this revolutionary country against these mischievous inductions. The first induction of doubt regarding this cooperation agreement of the Chinese investment and cooperation with Iranian companies, while it has only been signed in size of an 18-page outline MoU, is being tied to the oil sale which is totally wrong and skeptical. The issues of investment and oil sale are two totally different issues and they are apart.

China today needs to buy oil around 800,000 barrels per day and it does it based on the short term contracts and its payment is through different means. But when it comes to the investment, the issue becomes totally different. The truth is that today in the world there is tough competition over attracting more foreign investment and those countries are more successful that they prepare the domestic grounds for attracting more foreign investment.

Nearly one of the main factors in all countries, that they have improved their economies and industries to reach the industrialist countries in recent decades, has been the success in attracting foreign investment; from China and South Korea to Malaysia and Turkey and even in the Persian Gulf states. The U.S. and European governments have a large number of laws and regulations for easing the attraction of foreign investment. The interesting part is that all efforts of President Hassan Rouhani’s government, which created void and chimerical noise on the JCPOA document, were to pave the grounds for foreign investment from Western countries through anti-security and anti-Islamic threats; more interesting is that the most important goal of the U.S. for imposing economic sanctions against Iran was to hinder foreign investment in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

In this condition it is very strange that some people in the country in tune with enemies of the Islamic establishment interpret foreign investment as selling the country. In the issue of China’s investment there is essentially no issue under the title of oil trade wherein the issue of cheap oil has been raised.

China’s eager for investment abroad is not confined only to the Islamic Republic of Iran. The People’s Republic of China, according to the data published by the American Enterprise Institute, has invested over 2.1 trillions of dollars in different countries worldwide only in the past 15 years; from rich countries like Switzerland and the U.S. to the African countries like Congo. According to the data released by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), in only 6 years (2013 to 2019, China has invested $62b in the railways sector in 34 countries.

The active economic presence of China has not meant expanding its political influence in those countries but the nature of these investments will be a haven for economic security. China’s investments in Africa has led to huge number of analysis  in the media that even experts believe with these investments, the fourth industrial revolution would happen in Africa, and this is said while there are no enough infrastructures for materializing this development. For preparing infrastructure developmental plans for Africa, China and India have turned into macro policies in changing the structures of the agro, industrial and educational services.

The American business magazine Forbes in its different analysis says China is the biggest partner of Africa and its annual trade volume with Africa stands at $200b. Accordingly, over 100,000 Chinese companies are active in Africa. The most exports from Africa to China in 2019 were from Angola, South Africa and Republic of Congo. Africa accounts for 20 percent of China’s need of cotton. Africa possesses half of the world magnesium reserves which is used in the steel industry and Democratic Republic of the Congo by itself possesses half of this amount of magnesium reserves. China needs all of these resources.

The details of Iran-China 25-year document has not been yet revealed. American newspaper The New York Times in an article had claimed that China’s president had offered the proposal for the agreement some five years ago (2016). The draft of this agreement was signed on June 24, 2020 in Beijing. It is said the Chinese are to take $600b of their overseas forex reserves into Iran in the span of 25 years and they are to have the same amount of investment in Iran in cooperation with companies and organizations both in private or public sectors.

The required guarantee for taking capital gains could have been the sale of oil. Now if they want they can take their capital gains in cash otherwise they can buy oil instead of their cash or else, they will be free to invest their profits in expanding their investment in those sectors.

That Iran enjoys having ready infrastructure, independent land, skilful and educated workforce as a valuable guarantee as its oil, has sweetened investment for the Chinese. So inducing the idea of oil for investment of the type of selling cheap oil is a big lie which is used to ruin the agreement and to put the pressure on the public opinion.

French Withdrawal from Mali Will Redraw the Political Map of West Africa

March 8, 2022

French President Emmanuel Macron. (Photo: Kremlin, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Ramzy Baroud

Finally, France will be leaving Mali, nearly a decade after the original military intervention in 2013. The repercussions of this decision will hardly be confined to this West African nation, but will likely spread to the entirety of the Sahel Region; in fact, the whole of Africa.

France’s decision to end its military presence in Mali – carried out in two major military operations, Operation Serval and Operation Barkhane – was communicated by French President, Emmanuel Macron. “Victory against terror is not possible if it’s not supported by the state itself,” Macron said on February 16.

The French President called the Malian leadership “out of control” and rationalized his decision as a necessary move, since “European, French and international forces are seeing measures that are restricting them.”

Macron is not fooling anyone. The French military intervention in Mali was justified at the time as part of France’s efforts to defeat ‘Jihadists’ and ‘terrorists’, who had taken over much of the country’s northern region. Indeed, northern militants, protesting what they have described as government negligence and marginalization, had then seized major cities, including Kidal and Timbuktu. But the story, as is often the case with France’s former African colonies, was more complex.

In a recent article, the New York Times said that France’s “diplomatic power” is predicated on three pillars: “its influence in its former African colonies, along with its nuclear arms and its permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.”

Mali is one of these ‘former French colonies’, largely located in what used to be called ‘French West Africa.’ Once a great kingdom, known as the Mandinka Empire, Mali was colonized by France in 1892. It was then renamed French Sudan. Though it gained its independence in 1958, Mali remained a French vassal state.

To appreciate French influence over Mali and other West African states long after their independence, consider that fourteen African countries, including Niger and Senegal, continue to use the West African CFA franc, a French monetary invention in 1945, which ensured the struggling African economies continued to be tied to the French currency. This has allowed Paris to wield tremendous influence over various African economies, whose resources were provided to their former colonizers at competitive prices.

Unsurprisingly, France took the leadership in ‘liberating’ Mali in 2013. Hence, France was able to reconfigure the region’s militaries and politics to remain under the direct control of France, which presented itself as West Africa’s savior in the face of terrorism. Chad, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Togo, all participated in the French-led operation, which also involved the United Nations and several Western powers.

The arrival of French soldiers to the Sahel region was meant to underscore the importance, if not indispensability, of France to Africa’s security, especially at a time when Africa was, once again, a contested space that attracted the continent’s old colonial powers and new political players, as well: Russia, China, Germany, Turkey, among others.

However, for the people of Mali, the intervention merely prolonged their misery. “Operation Serval”, meant to last a few weeks, carried on for years, amid political strife in Bamako, worsening security throughout the country, rising corruption and deepening poverty. Though initially welcomed, at least publicly by some in the south of the country, the French military quickly became a burden, associated with Mali’s corrupt politicians, who happily leased the country’s resources in exchange for French support.

The honeymoon is now over. On January 31, the Malian government ordered the French Ambassador to leave the country.

Though Macron pledged that his military withdrawal will be phased out based on France’s own outline, the Malian leadership, on February 17, demanded an immediate and unconditional French withdrawal. Paris continues to insist that its Mali decision is not a defeat, and that it cannot be compared to the US chaotic retreat from Afghanistan last August, all indications point that France is, indeed, being expunged from one of its most prized ‘spheres of influence’. Considering that a similar scenario is currently underway in the Central African Republic (C.A.R.), France’s geopolitical concessions in Africa can aptly be described as unprecedented.

While Western countries, along with a few African governments, are warning that the security vacuum created by the French withdrawal will be exploited by Mali’s militants, Bamako claims such concerns are unfounded, arguing that the French military presence has exasperated – as opposed to improving – the country’s insecurity.

The particular parallel between Mali and C.A.R. becomes even more interesting when we consider media and official reports suggesting that the two African nations are substituting French with Russian soldiers, further accentuating the rapid geopolitical shift in the continent.

Though Macron continues to argue that the shift is induced mostly by his country’s own strategic priorities, neither evidence on the ground, nor France’s own media seem to believe such claims. “It is an inglorious end to an armed intervention that began in euphoria and which ends, nine years later, against a backdrop of crisis,” wrote Le Monde on February 17.

The truth is that an earth-shattering development is underway in Mali and the whole of West Africa, ushering in, as argued in the NY Times, the “closing chapters of ‘la Françafrique’,” the centuries-long French dominance over its ‘sphere of influence’ in the resource-rich Africa.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out”. Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

Russian Judo Tears the West Apart

Washington’s sanctions on Moscow will destroy Europe, not Russia

MARCH 8, 2022

Washington’s ‘replacement strategy’ for sanctioned Russian oil and gas imports appears to be to cozy up to its oil-producing arch-enemies Iran and Venezuela. Photo Credit: The Cradle

PEPE ESCOBAR  

The official Russian blacklist of hostile sanctioning nations includes the US, the EU, Canada and, in Asia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore (the only one from Southeast Asia). Notice how that ‘international community’ keeps shrinking.

The Global South should be aware that no nations from West Asia, Latin America and Africa have joined Washington’s sanctions bandwagon.

Moscow has not even announced its own package of counter-sanctions. Yet an official decree “On Temporary Order of Obligations to Certain Foreign Creditors,” which allows Russian companies to settle their debts in rubles, provides a hint of what’s to come.

Russian counter-measures all revolve around this new presidential decree, signed last Saturday, which economist Yevgeny Yushchuk defines as a “nuclear retaliatory landmine.” .

It works like this: to pay for loans obtained from a sanctioning country exceeding 10 million rubles a month, a Russian company does not have to make a transfer. They ask for a Russian bank to open a correspondent account in rubles under the creditor’s name. Then the company transfers rubles to this account at the current exchange rate, and it’s all perfectly legal.

Payments in foreign currency only go through the Central Bank on a case-by-case basis. They must receive special permission from the Government Commission for the Control of Foreign Investment.

What this mean in practice is that the bulk of the $478 billion or so in Russian foreign debt may “disappear” from the balance sheets of western banks. The equivalent in rubles will be deposited somewhere, in Russian banks, but western banks, as things stand, can’t access it.

It is debatable whether this straightforward strategy was the product of those non-sovereignist brains gathered at the Russian Central Bank. More likely, there has been input from influential economist Sergei Glazyev, also a top former advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin on regional integration: here is a revised edition, in English, of his groundbreaking essay Sanctions and Sovereignty, which I have previously summarized.

Meanwhile, Sberbank confirmed it will issue Russia’s Mir debit/credit cards co-badged with China’s UnionPay. Alfa-Bank – the largest private bank in Russia – will also issue UnionPay credit and debit cards. Although only introduced five years ago, 40 percent of Russians already have a Mir card for domestic use. Now they will also be able to use it internationally, via UnionPay’s enormous network. And without Visa and Mastercard, commissions on all transactions will remain in the Russia-China sphere. De-dollarization in effect.

Mr. Maduro, gimme some oil

The Iran sanctions negotiations in Vienna may be reaching the last stage – as acknowledged even by Chinese diplomat Wang Qun. But it was Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov who introduced a new, crucial variable into Vienna’s final discussions.

Lavrov made his eleventh-hour demand quite explicit: “We have asked for a written guarantee…that the current [Russian sanctions] process triggered by the United States does not in any way damage our right to free and full trade, economic and investment cooperation and military-technical cooperation with the Islamic Republic.”

As per the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement of 2015, Russia receives enriched uranium from Iran and exchanges it for yellowcake, and in parallel, is reconverting Iran’s Fordow nuclear plant into a research center. Without Iranian enriched uranium exports there’s simply no JCPOA deal. It boggles the mind that US Secretary of State Blinken does not seem to understand that.

Everyone in Vienna, sidelines included, knows that for all actors to sign on the JCPOA revival, no nation must be individually targeted in terms of trading with Iran. Tehran also knows it.

So what’s happening now is an elaborate game of Persian mirrors, coordinated between Russian and Iranian diplomacy. Moscow’s Ambassador to Tehran, Levan Jagaryan, attributed the fierce reaction to Lavrov in some Iranian quarters to a “misunderstanding.” This will all be played out in the shade.

An extra element is that according to a Persian Gulf intel source with privileged Iranian access, Tehran may be selling as many as three million barrels of oil a day already, “so if they do sign a deal it will not affect supply at all, only they will be paid more.”

The US administration of President Joe Biden is now absolutely desperate: today it banned all imports of oil and gas from Russia, which happens to be the second-largest exporter of oil to the US, behind Canada and ahead of Mexico. The US’ big Russian-energy ‘replacement strategy’ is to beg for oil from Iran and Venezuela.

So, the White House sent a delegation to talk to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, led by Juan Gonzalez, the White House’s top Latin America adviser. The US offer is to “alleviate” sanctions on Caracas in exchange for oil.

The United States government has spent years – if not decades – burning all bridges with Venezuela and Iran. The USG destroyed Iraq and Libya, and isolated Venezuela and Iran, in its attempt to take over global oil markets – just to end up miserably trying to buy out both and escape from being crushed by the economic forces it has unleashed. That proves, once again, that imperial ‘policy makers’ are utterly clueless.

Caracas will request the elimination of all sanctions on Venezuela and the return of all its confiscated gold. And it seems like none of this was cleared with ‘President’ Juan Guaido, who since 2019, was the only Venezuelan leader “recognized” by Washington.

Social cohesion torn apart

Oil and gas markets, meanwhile, are in total panic. No western trader wants to buy Russian gas; and that has nothing to do with Russia’s state-owned energy behemoth Gazprom, which continues to duly supply customers that signed contracts with fixed tariffs, from $100 to $300 (others are paying over $3,000 in the spot market).

European banks are less and less willing to grant loans for energy trade with Russia because of the sanctions hysteria. A strong hint that the Russia-to-Germany gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 may be literally six feet under is that importer Wintershall-Dea wrote off its share of the financing, de facto assuming that the pipeline will not be launched.

Everyone with a brain in Germany knows that two extra Liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals – still to be constructed – will not be enough for Berlin’s needs. There is simply not enough LNG to supply them. Europe will have to fight with Asia over who can pay more. Asia wins.

Europe imports roughly 400 billion cubic meters of gas a year, with Russia responsible for 200 billion of this. There’s no way Europe can find $200 billion anywhere else to replace Russia – be it in Algeria, Qatar or Turkmenistan. Not to mention its lack of necessary LNG terminals.

So obviously the top beneficiary of all the mess will be the US – which will be able to impose not only their terminals and control systems, but also profit from loans to the EU, sales of equipment, and full access to the whole EU energy infrastructure. All LNG installations, pipelines and warehouses will be connected to a sole network with a single control room: an American business dream.

Europe will be left with reduced gas production for its – dwindling – industry; job losses; decreasing quality of life standards; increased pressure over the social security system; and, last but not least, the necessity to apply for extra American loans. Some nations will go back to coal for heating. The Green Parade will be livid.

What about Russia? As a hypothesis, even if all its energy exports were curtailed – and they won’t be, their top clients are in Asia – Russia would not have to use its foreign reserves.

The Russophobic all-out attack on Russian exports also targets palladium metals – vital for electronics, from laptops to aircraft systems. Prices are skyrocketing. Russia controls 50% of the global market. Then there are noble gases – neon, helium, argon, xenon – essential for production of microchips. Titanium has risen by a quarter, and both Boeing – by a third – and Airbus – by two thirds – rely on titanium from Russia.

Oil, food, fertilizers, strategic metals, neon gas for semiconductors: all burning at the stake, at the feet of Witch Russia.

Some Westerners who still treasure Bismarckian realpolitik have started wondering whether shielding energy (in the case of Europe) and selected commodity flows from sanctions may have everything to do with protecting an immense racket: the commodity derivatives system.

After all, if that implodes, because of a shortage of commodities, the whole western financial system blows up. Now that’s a real system failure.

The key issue for the Global South to digest is that the “west” is not committing suicide. What we have here, essentially, is the United States willfully destroying German industry and the European economy – bizarrely, with their connivance.

To destroy the European economy means not allowing extra market space for China, and blocking the inevitable extra trade which will be a direct consequence of closer exchanges between the EU and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world’s biggest trade deal.

The end result will be the US eating European savings for lunch while China expands its middle class to over 500 million people. Russia will do just fine, as Glazyev outlines: sovereign – and self-sufficient.

American economist Michael Hudson has concisely sketched the lineaments of imperial self-implosion. Yet way more dramatic, as a strategic disaster, is how the deaf, dumb and blind parade toward deep recession and near-hyperinflation will rip what’s left of the west’s social cohesion apart. Mission Accomplished.

(Republished from The Cradle by permission of author or representative)

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أفريقيا تلفظ إسرائيل

انتكاسة «مؤّقتة» لجهود العضوية: أفريقيا تلفظ إسرائيل… إلى حين؟

الثلاثاء 8 شباط 2022

يُلاحظ أنّ علاقات إسرائيل ممتدّة في شرق أفريقيا وغربها مع اختراق في شمالها (أ ف ب )

محمد عبد الكريم أحمد 

بعد جهود مضنية لتحقيق مكسب قبولها عضواً في الاتّحاد الأفريقي، تلقّت إسرائيل صفعة غير هيّنة على هذا الصعيد، بعد قرار الاتحاد تعليق قرار رئيس مفوضيته إقرار تلك العضوية، وإحالة الأمر إلى لجنة مختصّة ستكون نيجيريا والجزائر، اللتان عارضتا علناً القرار المذكور، متصدّرتَين عضويّتها. وعلى رغم ما يعنيه ذلك التطوّر من انتكاسة لجهود إسرائيل الساعية إلى مأسسة حضورها وتعميقه في هذه القارّة، إلّا أن تل أبيب لن تَعدم الأمل على ما يبدو؛ إذ ستسلك سبل ترغيب عديدة في سبيل استمالة الدول الرافضة عضويّتها، مستفيدةً من حضور فقي، الذي تعهّد بالمضيّ قُدُماً في عملية إدخال تل أبيب إلى الندوة الأفريقية

علّق الاتحاد الأفريقي (6 شباط) النقاش (أو التصويت) المٌتوقَّع حول سحْب قبول عضوية إسرائيل مراقِباً في المنظّمة الإقليمية، والذي كان بادر به موسى فقي، رئيس مفوضية الاتحاد، في 22 تموز 2021، وذلك تفادياً لتصويتٍ هدّد بانقسامٍ غير مسبوق داخل المنظّمة المكوَّنة من 55 دولة، وفي مناسبة قمّتها العشرين، منذ تأسيسها خلَفاً لـ”منظّمة الوحدة الأفريقية” (2002). وأكد ديبلوماسيون مطّلعون أن طلب إسرائيل “قد عُلّق حالياً، وستتكوّن بدلاً من ذلك لجنة لدراسة المسألة”، على أن تُقدِّم نتائجها للقمّة المرتقَبة العام المقبل. وتتكوّن اللجنة من ستّة أعضاء أبرزهم نيجيريا والجزائر اللتان عارضتا علناً قرار فقي، إضافة إلى رواندا وجمهورية الكونغو الديموقراطية، بينما اقترحت جنوب أفريقيا ضمّ نيجيريا، وطلبت الكاميرون (من أبرز الداعين إلى قبول عضوية إسرائيل) إشراكها أيضاً.

الاستجابة الإسرائيلية: خيبة أمل لمدّة عام

حظي قبول إسرائيل مراقِباً في الاتحاد الأفريقي قبل نحو سبعة أشهر، بترحيب إسرائيلي كبير، فيما أحدث صدمة في الأوساط العربية والأفريقية في ضوء اتّخاذ القرار بشكل مباغِت تماماً، على رغم ملاحظة التمدُّد الإسرائيلي في أفريقيا طوال السنوات الأخيرة. وأجمع خبراء إسرائيليون، آنذاك، على إيلاء الدولة العبرية أهمية كبيرة لعضويّتها في الاتحاد، بدافعٍ من تحصيل “الاعتراف الرسمي” (بعد تحقيق أهداف استراتيجية على الأرض في غير ملفّ)، واستعادة وضعها الذي حُرمت منه بضغوط ليبية في العام 2002. ورأت الخارجية الإسرائيلية، في بيان يوم القرار، أن “قبول إسرائيل مراقباً مصلحة واضحة للجميع؛ (إذ) سيسهّل زيادة التعاون بين إسرائيل والدول الأفريقية”، “بما يتّسق مع التغييرات في الشرق الأوسط”.

قد تتمكّن تل أبيب من استمالة عدد من الدول الأفريقية المُوقِّعة على بيان رفض العضوية لتغيير موقفها


لكن من الواضح أن إسرائيل لم تسعَ إلى مجرّد تحصيل مكسب شكلي، بقدر سعْيها إلى مأسسة نفوذها في القارة، وتوسيع اختراقاتها لتصبح أكثر مباشرة وعلانية وقدرة على الانخراط في ديناميات العمل الجماعي الأفريقي. وتدلّل على ذلك مبادرةُ الدولة العبرية، عبر رئيس الوزراء نفتالي بينيت ووزير الخارجية يائير لابيد (الذي وصف منتصف كانون الثاني الفائت غياب إسرائيل عن الاتحاد الأفريقي بـ”الانحراف التاريخي”)، منذ نهاية كانون الثاني، إلى مضاعَفة جهودها لضمان عدم فقدانها وضْعها الجديد، ومواجهة الجهود المضادّة التي قادتها جنوب أفريقيا والجزائر لإبطال القرار. وعلى سبيل المثال، فقد اشتغل لابيد، عبر محادثات مع الرئيس السنغالي ماكي سال (رئيس الاتحاد الأفريقي في دورته الحالية خلَفاً للكونغولي فيليكيس تشيسيكيدي الذي صاغ علاقات متينة بين إسرائيل وبلاده، ولمّح فقي في بيان مهمّ إلى دوره الرئيس في مسألة قبول عضوية تل أبيب)، ثمّ رئيسَي توغو وبوروندي، لضمان حصول بلاده على غالبية الثلثين في التصويت الذي كان مرتقباً وقتها.

استجابة مفوضية الاتحاد الأفريقي

استبق فقي، قمّة رؤساء دول الاتحاد، بدفاعه المستغرَب عمّا أصبح يوصف بـ”قراره المثير للجدل”، محاجِجاً بأن خطوته تلك يمكن أن تكون أداة في “خدمة السلام”، داعياً إلى “نقاش هادئ”، وقائلاً إن “التزام الاتحاد تجاه سعي فلسطين للاستقلال يظلّ ثابتاً ولا يمكن إلّا أن يزداد قوة”. في المقابل، وعد الرئيس النيجيري، محمد بخاري، نظيره الفلسطيني المشارِك في قمة أديس أبابا، بأن نيجيريا “ستواصل دعم السلام والتقدُّم، في الوقت الذي تحافظ فيه على مبادئ العدالة”. وعلى إثر صدور قرار التعليق، ردّ رئيس المفوضية ببيان مُطوَّل (صدر بالفرنسية والإنكليزية فقط )، استهلّه بتذكير الدول الأعضاء بانتخابه قبل نحو عام رئيساً للمفوضية لمدّة أربعة أعوام، ثمّ تأكيد “احترامه للمبادئ الأساسية للاتحاد وقانونه التأسيسي والمصالح الوطنية لدوله”، مُدافِعاً بأنه “كممثّل قانوني للاتحاد، فإن تحرُّكه يلتزم بمقرّرات هذا القانون”. وذهب إلى تحليل البنود المُحدِّدة لصلاحياته، مبرّراً بها قبوله عضوية إسرائيل منتصف العام الماضي، مُذكِّراً بأنه “شخصياً عارض لسنوات كثيرة اعتراف بلاده بدولة إسرائيل”.

كذلك، قدّم فقي عرضاً “دعائياً” للوجود الإسرائيلي في القارّة الأفريقية، و”اتفاقات التعاون المشترك” في مجالات كثيرة، نافياً عنه تهمة تسبُّبه بانقسام أفريقيا، بتعداده الدول الـ44 التي تقيم علاقات ديبلوماسية مع إسرائيل (في تجاهُل مستهجَن للفرق بين حسابات العلاقات الثنائية، وبين عضوية إسرائيل في الاتحاد، وما تعنيه من تدخُّلها في كثير من الملفّات الأفريقية الجماعية). وإذ وصف قراره بأنه “لم يكن ينمّ عن أيّ توجّه شخصي”، فقد عدّه متناغماً مع خيار الاتحاد و”المجتمع الدولي” بأكمله، لا سيما الأمم المتحدة، والمتمثّل في الاعتراف بـ”حلّ الدولتين” ودعمه، قبل أن يشيد بجهود الرئيس الفلسطيني، محمود عباس، وجهود مصر “التي اعترفت بإسرائيل وتبادلت السفراء معها قبل وقت بعيد”. واستطرد متسائلاً: “هل نحن أقلّ ثقة في منظّمتنا إلى درجة أنه لا يمكننا تخيُّل إمكان لعبها دوراً، وإن كان صغيراً، في حلّ صراع يهمّنا سياسياً وشعورياً؟”، مستغرِباً، بنبرة لا تخلو من التضليل، إنكار الدول الأعضاء “قدرة الاتحاد على تحدي إسرائيل ودفعها لاحترام الحقوق الأساسية للشعب الفلسطيني ووقف أعمال العنف ضدّه والاعتراف صراحة بحقوقه، بما فيها حقه في إنشاء دولة وطنية عاصمتها القدس الشرقية، كما أكدْت لمندوب إسرائيل وقت تقديم أوراق اعتماده؟”.

من الواضح أن إسرائيل لم تسعَ إلى مجرّد تحصيل مكسب شكلي بقدر سعْيها إلى مأسسة نفوذها في القارة


يتّضح من بيان فقي، الذي عزّز في حقيقة الأمر أدلّة قفْزه فوق السبل المتّبعة لاتّخاذ قرارات مماثلة كما في حالات دول مثل تركيا وكوريا الشمالية وغيرهما، أنه ثمّة جنوح إلى تبنّي الموقف الإسرائيلي وتبريره، وربّما العمل – في بقيّة العام المقبل قبل تقديم اللجنة المقرِّرة توصياتها – على حلحلة مواقف بعض الدول الرافضة، بالتنسيق مع تل أبيب وعدد من “دول الواجهة” الأفريقية، والتي تسعى للاستفادة من الدور الإسرائيلي في ملفّاتها الملحة (كما في حالة تدخُّل القوات الرواندية المدَّربة والمجهَّزة إسرائيلياً في جهود الاتحاد الأفريقي لمواجهة الإرهاب شمال موزمبيق).     

ماذا بعد؟

بقراءة خريطة علاقات إسرائيل الأفريقية، يلاحَظ أنها ممتدّة في شرق أفريقيا وغربها، مع اختراق في شمال القارة. ويصاحب هذا الحضورَ تنسيقٌ أمني واستخباراتي وصل في الشهور الأخيرة إلى مستويات غير مسبوقة في ملفّات الأزمة الإثيوبية، والترتيبات الأمنية في جنوب البحر الأحمر (بخاصة بعد تدريبات عسكرية مع الإمارات والبحرين بتنسيق أميركي نهاية عام 2021)، و”مواجهة الإرهاب” في شمال موزمبيق وغرب أوغندا، والتحوّلات السياسية في عدد من دول غرب أفريقيا، والصلات المتنامية مع السودان (الذي لم يوقّع على بيان تعليق قرار فقي)، فضلاً عن توقعُّات بدور إسرائيلي بالغ الخطورة في الأزمة الليبية في العام الجاري، لعدّة اعتبارات أبرزها العلاقات العميقة مع نظام أبو ظبي (الذي تتطابق خريطة نفوذه في القارة الأفريقية مع خريطة نظيره الإسرائيلي بشكل واضح).

في المقابل، فإن الحضور الإسرائيلي في منطقة أفريقيا الجنوبية، التي قادت دولها خطوة تعليق القرار إلى جانب الجزائر، يظلّ في حدوده الدنيا، بالنظر إلى هيمنة جنوب أفريقيا الاقتصادية والسياسية التقليدية في الإقليم، واعتبارات قدرات جوهانسبورغ في الصناعات المتقدِّمة ومن بينها الصناعات العسكرية؛ مما يرفع من حدّة حساسيتها تجاه أيّ اختراقات إسرائيلية “في دائرة تأثيرها التقليدية”، مع ملاحظة تراجُع صادراتها إلى إسرائيل في الأعوام العشرة الأخيرة من قرابة بليون دولار (2012)، إلى نحو 200 مليون دولار فقط في عام 2020، أغلبها معادن ثمينة، وتراجُع صادرات الدولة العبرية إليها في الفترة نفسها من نحو 400 مليون دولار (2012) إلى نحو 175 مليون دولار (2020)، مثّلت الآلات والمعدّات المتطوّرة ما قيمته 29 مليون دولار منها.

تبْقى مسألة قبول عضوية إسرائيل من عدمه مفتوحة على احتمالات شتّى، من بينها تمكُّن تل أبيب من استمالة عدد من الدول الأفريقية المُوقِّعة على بيان رفض العضوية لتغيير موقفها، عبر تقديم دعم عسكري وأمني ملموس لها في الشهور المقبلة، فضلاً عن توظيف صلاتها بقوى دولية وإقليمية بارزة في الشأن الأفريقي، لتحقيق هذا الهدف. كما أن استمرار فقي رئيساً للمفوضية، يعني استمرار توظيفه جهوده وسياساته لصالح الغاية نفسها، والتي بات يعتبرها “شأناً شخصياً”، وفق ما أكده بيانه الأخير، الذي لم يُجِب على تساؤلات رئيسة تتعلّق بحيثيات اتّخاذ القرار بشكل مباغت، وفي ذروة موجة التطبيع بين إسرائيل وبعض الدول العربية، وعشيّة الاحتفال بذكرى “ثورة يوليو”، أُمّ الثورات الأفريقية، والتي حالت تاريخياً دون تحقيق الكيان العبري الكثير من تطلّعاته في القارّة.

PAPSN: AU Ignores Foundational Values By Upholding Apartheid Israel’s Observer Status

February 7, 2022

African Union summit in Addis Ababa. (Photo: via AfCFTA Secretariat Official Twitter Page)

[Editor’s Note: The Pan African Palestine Solidarity Network (PAPSN) issued the following statement regarding the African Union (AU) Summit on Sunday and the way that Israel’s ‘observer status’ was handled by AU leaders and new chair, Macky Sall.

Though initially, the AU had decided to suspend Israel’s observer status, which was granted by AU Commission Chair Moussa Faki in July 2021, the new Chair has reportedly ended deliberation with the understanding that Israel’s status is to remain in effect until a new AU Commission produces a final verdict.]

PAPSN Statement, February 7:

The Pan African Palestine Solidarity Network (PAPSN) is extremely disappointed that, on Sunday, the African Union (AU) Heads of State Summit ignored its responsibility to uphold the values enshrined in the AU Constitutive Act and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ and Rights: to fight against apartheid, racism, colonialism and Zionism. 

PAPSN has campaigned against the accreditation of apartheid Israel, an outrageous and unilateral decision by Moussa Faki Mahamet, AU Commission Chair, in July 2021, and we welcomed the news on Sunday morning that a closed meeting of the Summit had unanimously agreed to appoint a committee to investigate the granting of observer status to the apartheid state of Israel. The committee includes three presidents who have opposed Israel’s accreditation – Algeria, South Africa and Nigeria; three who support it – DRC, Rwanda and Cameroon; and the president of Senegal in his capacity as Chair of the AU. The meeting also agreed that until the committee makes its final recommendations, the decision to accredit Israel would be suspended. This was a principled and sensible decision, and helped avoid a split in the AU. 

However, in the course of the day, Israel and its supporters lobbied hard, certainly promising more military, surveillance and intelligence assistance to certain African leaders. As a result, AU member states supporting Israel insisted, in the afternoon, that the issue of the suspension of the July decision be reopened for debate, betraying the AU spirit of consensual decision-making. PAPSN commends the delegations, such as those of South Africa, Algeria, Namibia, Nigeria and many others, which argued strongly that the earlier decision should stand, and that Israel’s accreditation should be suspended.  However, a number of states argued that Israel’s observer status should remain valid. Shamelessly, some politicians even used the AFCON final that was to take place a few hours later, to curtail discussion and cut short the meeting. Shockingly, the AU Chairperson, Senegal’s President Macky Sall, suddenly ended the meeting with a declaration that Moussa Faki’s decision to accredit an apartheid state was upheld, pending the deliberations of the committee. 

President  Sall repeatedly stated that the AU should not be divided by a “foreign issue”. This is an insult to the people of Africa and the AU’s predecessor, the OAU, who fought for decades to rid our continent of apartheid, colonialism and settler-colonialism. Nor can Zionism be regarded as a “foreign issue” when the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights explicitly makes fighting Zionism an AU responsibility.  

What the meeting made clear is that there are governments and peoples on the continent that refuse to accept an apartheid state having observer, or any other status, in the AU. Most southern African countries, as well as Algeria, Nigeria, and Tunisia, argued strongly against Israel’s supporters, insisting that the AU abides by its commitments and remains consistent with its various policy pronouncements on Palestine.

The committee formed Sunday morning gives us some hope that the values of the AU may yet be upheld and that the AU can redeem itself. President Sall, the incoming AU Chair, showed that he was not willing to cause a damaging split in the AU by putting the matter to a vote, thus disappointing apartheid Israel, which failed to defeat the principled countries standing in opposition.

Regrettably, though, Sall is also not yet willing to act consistently with AU resolutions on Palestine. Now, as Chair of the committee, he has an opportunity to uphold the values that have guided Senegal since Senghor, and to implement the will of the Senegalese people, who stand firmly against apartheid and stand with the Palestinian people. 

PAPSN calls on Sall and others on the committee to consider that there is no coincidence between the re-emergence of military coups and the increase in Israeli arms, spyware and mercenaries in our continent. In the last decade, Israeli military exports to Africa have increased by 309%. Last year, we discovered that Israeli Pegasus spyware was used by authoritarian regimes in Africa against their own citizens and even against other heads of state. If African leaders are serious about peace and security, they cannot allow apartheid Israel to have any status whatsoever in the AU. As long as Israel is allowed free reign in Africa, we cannot expect it to be free of coups and instability. Israel is a threat to peace in Africa!

PAPSN calls on the seven presidents on the committee to abide by the principles and values of the AU Constitutive Act, the African Charter and numerous resolutions on Palestine taken since the formation of the AU. Our Heads of State have a responsibility to uphold the values, principles and human rights laid out in AU foundational and definitional documents. AU member states have a principled, political and legal obligation to oppose settler colonialism, apartheid; Israel’s extractive plundering of African resources and expansion of military and surveillance capabilities on our continent; to fight against Zionism; and to support the liberation of the Palestinian people. 

(PAPSN, The Palestine Chronicle)

Apartheid unwelcomed in Africa: “Israel” could lose observer status in AU

Feb 1 2022

Net Source: Israeli media

By Al Mayadeen

The African Union’s Executive Council will take a vote this week on whether or not to grant the Israeli regime observer status, which requires a majority vote.

The African Union’s executive council will convene in Ethiopia on Wednesday

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid are spearheading an Israeli diplomatic push to ensure that “Israel” does not lose observer status in the African Union, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Following opposition by some African countries to the African Union chairman’s unilateral decision to grant “Israel” observer status, the AU’s Executive Council will convene in Addis Ababa for a vote to revoke its status.

Bennett has spoken with the President of Senegal on the matter, and Lapid with his counterpart in Togo and Burundi, among others, in order to gain their support.

In order for the motion to revoke “Israel’s” status to be revoked, two-thirds of the 54  AU member states would have to vote for it. It is possible that the vote may not pass, or be postponed indefinitely, according to the Israeli daily.

Read more: International Lawyers Challenge The African Union To Revoke “Israel’s” Observer Status

The African Union was founded in 2002, and “Israel” was granted observer status with its inception, but was ousted in 2003 following a campaign by Libya.

South AfricaSudanAlgeria, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana were among the countries that opposed “Israel” gaining observer status, whereas Morocco and Chad established diplomatic relations with “Israel” in recent years.

Algeria: Granting “Israel” Observer status could lead to AU’s division

Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra had rejected in August the statements of African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, who insisted on granting “Israel” observer status to the pan-African organization.

Lamamra stated that Mahamat’s statement is an attempt to defend his move without recognizing the repercussions, pointing out that such a stance may lead to the African Union’s division.

A group of international lawyers and researchers have launched a legal complaint with the African Commission on Human and People’s rights in September, in order to have “Israel’s” observer status in the African Union (AU) revoked. The complaint was filed on the grounds that the Israeli government is guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and apartheid.

Read more: Prominent Israeli Author: Apartheid more befitting term for “Israel”
 

The document was provided 133 pages of evidence against “Israel”, which utilized witness testimonies from victims of “Israel’s” latest military operation waged against the Gaza Strip. As a result of the 11-days of aggression on Gaza in May, roughly 270 Palestinians were killed, most of them civilians according to Human Rights Watch.

USAID, NATO Threaten Intervention as Ethiopia, Eritrea Unite & Form Economic Cooperation with China

January 28th, 2022

By Mnar Adley

Source

Ethiopia is not a country that is on many Americans’ radar. Yet, since 2020, a brutal civil war has raged, displacing an estimated 4 million people. As the conflict continues, hawks in Washington are beginning to circle, demanding the U.S. intervene militarily.

“Ethiopia’s civil war is a problem U.S. troops can help solve,” Admiral James Stavridis, former supreme allied commander of NATO, wrote in Bloomberg and The Washington Post. “Sending peacekeepers to the pivotal nation of East Africa wouldn’t be popular domestically, but may be the only way to stop the conflict,” he added. Meanwhile, former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer argued that the West should establish a “no-fly zone” across the country – a nation of 115 million people and twice the size of France.

When it comes to Ethiopia – said head of USAID Samantha Power, one of the architects of the U.S. intervention in Libya – “every option is on the table,” using a phrase that has long been understood to be a threat of war. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also refused, when directly asked, to rule out sending troops into Ethiopia.

Joining MintCast host Mnar Adley today to discuss what is going on in Ethiopia is Eugene Puryear. Eugene is a founder of and host at BreakThrough News, for which he recently traveled to Ethiopia to report from the ground. In the 2008 and 2016 U.S. elections, he was the vice-presidential candidate for the Party for Socialism and Liberation. He is also author of the book “Shackled and Chained: Mass Incarceration in Capitalist America.”

Ethiopia’s war is a conflict between the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), a group that held power across the country between 1991 and 2018, and the government of Abiy Ahmed in Addis Ababa. Yet corporate media have refrained from presenting the conflict as a struggle between rivaling factions, but rather have characterized it as the government “waging a reign of terror… [that] bears the hallmarks of genocide” (CNN) against a “a scrappy force of local Tigrayan recruits” (The New York Times). Ignoring credible accusations against the TPLF of using child soldiers and other war crimes, both the press and the United States appear to have chosen to back their longtime allies in this campaign.

Many Ethiopians are dead against any further American involvement, expressing alarm that the U.S. has already sent warships and thousands of troops to the region in anticipation of future events. Some have even likened the situation to the one in Libya in 2011, where the West hyped up fake news stories about atrocities and an impending genocide to unseat Colonel Muammar Gaddafi from power and bring about a decade of Jihadist rule.

Between 1991 and 2018, the United States had a loyal partner in Ethiopia. However, in recent years, the country has begun to try to develop deeper ties to its neighbor Eritrea and forge a more independent path. To this end, China has helped, and has quickly become Ethiopia’s major economic partner, much to the chagrin of Washington, where war drums are beginning to be beaten.

Ethiopians have taken to social media, popularizing the anti-intervention hashtag “#NoMore” to signal their opposition to Western involvement. Yet their voices, they claim, are being systematically silenced by big-tech giants, leaving critical voices harder to find. Could Ethiopia soon turn into another Libya? Join us to find out.

BDS Movement: “If we abandon Palestine, we abandon ourselves”

December 7, 2021

Source: Agencies + Al Mayadeen Net

By Ahmad Karakira

Amid the shameful wave of normalization with the Israeli occupation and the Arab failure to support the Palestinian cause in favor of the US and “Israel,” the Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions movement has proven to be effective.

Boycotting is one form of resistance against the Israeli occupation, but is not and should not be an alternative to armed resistance

On November 25th, after a struggle with cancer, passionate writer and activist Samah Idris passed away. Idris dedicated his life to Palestine and the struggle against normalization with the occupation. He was editor-in-chief of the prominent Al Adab literary magazine from 1992 onward.

Idris was one of the founders of the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of “Israel” in Lebanon after the Jenin massacre in 2002, and played a leading role in furthering the movement’s influence.

He had a strong commitment to Palestine and its cause, which he used as a compass in his battle.

In an interview for Al Mayadeen English, he said, “Lebanon condemns the Israeli occupation which violates universal principles and the right of people to self-governance.”

Even in his final days before his untimely death, Idris continued to denounce those who normalize ties with the occupation as he fought to expose the occupations’ atrocities.

The revolutionary’s death comes amid a shameful recent normalization wave by several Arab countries with “Israel,” the newest of which is the visit of the occupations’ Security Minister Benny Gantz to Morocco.

The visit witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding on security cooperation between the two sides, deeming the Moroccan regime as a partner in oppressing Palestinians and betraying the Palestinian cause, and ignoring the history of Moroccan revolutionaries and resistance leaders such as Abdelkarim al-Khattabi who fought against Spanish and French colonialism. 

Morocco is the fourth Arab country, following the UAE, Bahrain, and Sudan, to have normalized ties with the Israeli occupation under Washington’s sponsorship.

Originally, in 1945, the Arab League issued a decree to officially boycott Israeli companies and goods in support of Palestine, forcing Arab citizens and companies of an Arab League member to boycott any ties with “Israel.”

Unsurprisingly, the US Congress passed laws in 1977 criminalizing US companies that comply with the Arab boycotting bodies.

However, as a result of Western pressure, several Arab countries have abandoned the boycotting movement and normalized ties with the Israeli occupation.

Therefore, the more the normalization ties increase, the more the work of the BDS movement becomes crucial.

Sally Rooney under attack

A few days ago, some 70 prominent authors, poets, and playwrights have signed a letter of endorsement in support of Irish author Sally Rooney’s decision to prevent Israeli publishing house “Modan” from translating her latest work, “Beautiful World, Where Are You,” into Hebrew.

Rooney indicated that her decision is part of a cultural boycott over Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

She said she “did not feel it would be right” to accept a contract with an Israeli company “that does not publicly distance itself from the apartheid and support the UN-stipulated rights of the Palestinian people.”

Citing human rights reports, Rooney pointed out that “Israel’s system of racial domination and segregation against Palestinians meets the definition of apartheid under international law.”

The author confirmed she supports the “Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS)” movement targeting “complicit” firms and institutions “in response to the apartheid system and other grave human rights violations.”

Rooney explained that the BDS movement is “modeled on the economic and cultural boycott that helped to end apartheid in South Africa.”

Boycotting origins in Palestine

Since the 1920s, Palestinians have mastered boycotting as a way of resisting the British mandate and the Zionist colonization, and in 1936, they organized a huge six-month strike in protest of the British support for Zionism.

In addition, the Resistance factions launched a popular boycott of Israeli products during the first Intifada (1987-1992), which led to a dynamic plunge in Israeli exports.

When all UN resolutions failed to stop “Israel” from violating international laws and continuing its crimes against Palestinian people and land, 170 different Palestinian bodies first launched the BDS movement in 2005. 

The BDS movement website wrote, “Inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement, the BDS call urges action to pressure ‘Israel’ to comply with international law.”

In an aim to withdraw apartheid in South Africa, several activists, organizations, unions, and politicians pressured the apartheid South African regime through heavy lobbying, isolation, and product boycotting worldwide as a form of achieving liberation. The boycott movement cost the racist regime a great loss and isolation from international events and markets by the demand of many Europeans.

As a result, post-apartheid South Africa has supported the Palestinian cause since the two sides established formal diplomatic relations in 1995, a year after the end of the apartheid regime. South Africa also reduced its diplomatic representation in the so-called “Tel Aviv” in 2019 and withdrew its ambassador.

It is noteworthy that the boycotting movement has been historically used to end oppression, such as Ghandi’s Indian Salt March in 1930 and African Americans’ famous Montgomery Bus Boycott in late 1955. Unlike BDS, these movements are celebrated without being described as “anti-Semitic.”

Its success and effect

“BDS aims to end international support for Israeli violations of international law by forcing companies, institutions, and governments to change their policies. As Israeli companies and institutions become isolated, ‘Israel’ will find it more difficult to oppress Palestinians,” explains the BDS movement.

So far, BDS has achieved several victories against the Israeli occupation on many levels, which led “Israel” to dedicate resources, including money, government staff, and security services to undermine BDS and threaten its activists.

Culturally, thousands of artists, famous of which is Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters from legendary rock band Pink Floyd, have declined to perform in “Israel” as a result of BDS calls and is even an ardent supporter of the movement.

In addition, various academic institutions and unions in the US, Canada, South Africa, and the UK have announced their support for Palestine and the movement.

After respecting the choice of boycotting, renowned British scientist Stephen Hawking withdrew from the Israeli Presidential Conference. Also, after a visit to Palestine, the famous Black activist and academic, Angela Davis, expressed that she “unequivocally endorses the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Campaign.”

Most recently, the South African government announced that it has “withdrawn its support” from the current Miss South Africa (SA) pageant due to fruitless attempts to persuade the pageant to reconsider its plan to participate in the Miss Universe event, which is set to take place in “Israel.”

Economically, a UN report showed that BDS was a major cause of a 46% drop in foreign direct investment in “Israel” in 2014, while the world bank mentioned that the movement resulted in a 24% drop in Palestinian imports from the occupied lands, according to the movement. Moreover, the Israeli occupation government and the Rand Corporation published reports that predict that BDS will cost “Israel” billions of dollars, which it did.

How “Israel” is fighting BDS

Proving to be effective, “Israel’s” policies against BDS and pressure on EU and US have proven the efficiency of the movement and the extent of loss it has caused to the occupation. 

The Zionist lobby worldwide and pro-“Israel” groups have urged governments such as France, Canada, the US, UK to criminalize BDS.

Last but not least, it is important to mention that the BDS movement is one form of resistance out of many against the Israeli occupation, amid the shameful wave of normalization with the Israeli occupation and the Arab failure to support the Palestinian cause in favor of the US and “Israel.”

However, boycotting is not and should not be an alternative to armed resistance as the late Samah Idriss affirmed, “We believe there is no other way to communicate with the Israeli occupation except through boycotting and armed resistance, and nothing else.”

Idris is no longer with us, but his memory will live in the hearts and minds of all the supporters of the Palestinian cause.

The upcoming Summit for Democracy as a time machine

November 29, 2021

Introduction:

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

Let’s take a look:

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

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

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

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

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

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

How relevant is this summit in reality?

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

Results of the regional and municipal elections in Venezuela

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

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

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

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

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

What would a realistic map look like?

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Summit for Democracy as a time machine?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andrei

What Is France Hiding in the Sahel?

November 09th, 2021

Reexamining and recalibrating its foreign policy towards Africa is something that may not appeal to France right now but it’s something that must be done.

By Clinton Nzala

Source

BAMAKO, MALI — On the 8th of October, Choguel Maïga, the prime minister of Mali, boldly informed the world that its former colonial power, France, was sponsoring terrorists in the country’s northern region. Standing before dozens of cameras and microphones, he provided details on how the French army had established an enclave in the northern town of Tidal and handed it over to well-known terrorist groups. The revelation was shocking not simply for the serious nature of the accusation but because in past times West African leaders have rarely sparred so openly with the French government. A chain of events simmering in the background for weeks triggered the latest spat.

On October 2nd, Britain’s BBC published an article with the headline “Mali’s plan for Russia mercenaries to replace French troops unsettles Sahel.” The embattled media outlet further claimed: “There is deep international concern over Mali’s discussions with the controversial Russian private military company, the Wagner Group.”

Scene after a terrorist attack in Gao, Mali, Nov. 13, 2018. | Wikimedia Commons

By now we all understand that whenever Western corporate media outlets utter the expression “international community,” they are referring simply to the U.S. and its European buddies, such as France. Case in point, in Addis Ababa, the seat of the African Union, or at the headquarters of the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS), there was absolutely no concern about Mali’s discussions with the Wagner Group. Even in Mali, the majority of citizens and political actors welcomed the possibility of the Russian security firm joining the fight against terrorist groups in the north. Why? Well, Malians believe the Wagner Group to be significantly more neutral than France, a country they accuse of having its own political and economic interests in the conflict.

L’habit ne fait pas le moine (the vestment doesn’t make the monk)

Anti-French protests have not been in short supply in Mali over the past few years, a sign of the citizens’ displeasure with the presence of foreign troops in their country. A segment of society has gone as far as describing the situation as an occupation. For this reason the only place of concern for replacing the French military with a Russian security firm was in Paris. But why? Why would the French government be worried about the possibility of the Wagner Group joining the fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel? If France were indeed concerned about defeating these armed groups, then their government should have been happy to receive news that more hands will soon join the battle, especially those belonging to a military firm experienced in conducting anti-terror operations.

France instead threw a tantrum, tossing all of their toys out of their coats. French officials threatened to withdraw their troops from the region and cease providing aid to Mali’s armed forces. Florence Parly, France’s current Minister of the Armed Forces and a former member of the Socialist Party, arrogantly told reporters that her country will not “cohabit with Russian mercenaries.” Well, someone needs to tell the minister that in Africa guests don’t get to decide who they share the house with; only the host is reserved such rights.

It is not difficult to understand why France would react in such a manner. In my village on the banks of Africa’s longest river, the Zambezi, we say, “Only a witch is unsettled by the arrival of a witch-finder in the village.”

If I said I was surprised by France’s reaction, I would be lying. The average African is well aware that France’s so called fight against “terrorism” in the Sahel has nothing to do with protecting the lives of the people of the region but everything to do with protecting its interests. Those interests date back to the dark period when the region was ruled with an iron fist from Paris. Only naivety would permit someone to believe that the French government would fork out billions of francs and risk the lives of its citizens to protect the lives of Black people thousands of miles away.

France’s Minister of the Armed Forces,
Florence Parly. | Wikimedia Commons

Rights denied from Paris to Marseilles and beyond

If France is in love with Africans, why don’t they first express their affection to the French citizens of African descent? Twenty-one years into the new millennium, Black people living in France continue to be treated as second-class citizens. More often than not, these souls are compiled into squalid living conditions in the ghettos of Paris or Marseille, with little or no social services provided to them, and are subjected to racism and harassment by security agents for no reason other than not looking “French enough.” How about first assisting those Africans in Libya who are being held as slaves in torture hellholes run by armed bandits funded by the European Union?

What about France repaying Haiti for forcing the small Caribbean country to reimburse its former slaveholding settlers and their descendants following the Haitian revolution. That total amount was not repaid until 1947 and, in present-day value, amounts to over $28 billion, according to French economist Thomas Piketty, or upwards of $260 billion if a 3 percent annual interest rate were applied. In 2015, just prior to his trip to Haiti, the French president said, “When I come to Haiti, I will, for my part, settle the debt that we have.” Aides scurried to clarify that the debt in question was not monetary but “moral.” In the relationship between France and Haiti, however, neither debt has been settled.

Former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide insisted that France open talks with Haiti about repaying the money extorted from the country after its independence in 1804. Aristide was deposed in two separate coups (1991 and 2004). On both occasions he was forced into exile. | http://www.aristidefoundationfordemocracy.org

As far as Mali is concerned, France will not play fair because Paris’s only concern is that the arrival of other actors in the African country will dilute its own influence and the monopoly French companies enjoy in the region. All other Africans and their descendants affected by the French colonial and neo-colonial project must fend for themselves.

France’s fit also shows the deeply ingrained colonial hangover it continues to suffer several decades after losing its colonies in West Africa. Paris arrogantly and abhorrently still views itself as the landlord and self-appointed sheriff of West Africa; therefore, any other party that wishes to venture into the region must seek its permission and blessings, a mentality that in the last five decades has led to a lot of bloodshed and atrocities committed by France’s stooges in its former colonies. These tragedies include the brutal murder of Pan-Africanist revolutionary heroes such as Thomas Sankara and other leaders who signed their death certificates by simply refusing to bow down at the throne of French imperialism.

“He who feeds you, controls you.” — Former President of Burkina Faso, Thomas Sankara. | Twitter @lord_tillah

A very troubled history in Africa

France’s role in overthrowing African leaders and replacing them with dictators, such as Gabon’s Omar Bongo, is well documented. This started with the first military intervention into Gabon in 1964, when French paratroopers flew in to help then-President Leon Mba to brutally crush an attempted overthrow by a group of young military officers. These soldiers had briefly seized power in response to growing public dissatisfaction with Mba’s leadership. During the next four decades, France would go on to directly or indirectly participate in the toppling or installing of governments in different African countries such as Niger, Chad, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo, among many others. Paris even deployed troops to Rwanda in 1994 as part of Operation Turquoise, which provided support to Hutu government forces during the genocide in the small African country. Once establishing a control zone, French military officials allowed Radio Télevision Libre des Milles Collines to broadcast from Gisenyi. One radio show encouraged “Hutu girls to wash yourselves and put on a good dress to welcome our French allies. The Tutsi girls are all dead, so you have your chance.”

The Flame of Hope burns at an official Kwibuka event. In Rwanda. Kwibuka means ‘to remember.’ It describes the annual commemoration of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. The 2021 Kwibuka theme was to “Remember, Unite, Renew.” | Kwibuka.rw

Successive French governments have often claimed that these interventions were done to maintain or stabilize democracy. However, if France’s past and current allies are anything to go by, this claim is outright laughable. The list of Paris’s choice of friends in Africa is littered with brutal and corrupt dictators such as Blaise Compaore (Burkina Faso), Mobutu Sese Seko (Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Omar Bongo (Gabon), individuals who not only bled their country’s coffers dry but committed unimaginable human rights atrocities right under the nose, or with the explicit blessing, of the French government.

France’s two-faced foreign policy in West Africa was further exposed in February 1996, when Niger’s first democratically elected government was overthrown by the military. Instead of throwing its support behind ousted president Mahamane Ousmane, officials in Paris opted to watch from the sidelines despite having a military base in the country. Deciding to stand idly by was viewed as a nod of approval for the coup.

The same France that claims to be in Africa to ensure the “natives” can fully enjoy the benefits of Western democracy, on two occasions in the 1990s ordered its troops stationed in Gabon to join Omar Bongo’s troops to violently crush pro-democracy demonstrators. In this case, thousands had taken to the streets to protest against the results of a disputed election. Paris also continues to hobnob with autocrats such as Cameroon’s Paul Biya, who has turned the country into a personal fiefdom that he has ruled with an iron fist since 1982.

As the self-appointed enforcer of democracy in Africa, France certainly has a strange choice of bedfellows. Going by the long list of Paris’s shady activities in the region, how can claims made by the government of Mali, that France is sponsoring and arming terrorist groups, effectively destabilizing the region, be dismissed? Instead of issuing threats, the best way the French government can clear its name is by being more transparent with its activities in the Sahel. Paris should also understand that regional and continental organizations such as the African Union and ECOWAS are capable of dealing with the conflict in the Sahel.

Taking care of business

Despite the misgivings some outsiders might have against African organizations in resolving internal conflicts, the African Union Mission in Somalia has unequivocally demonstrated its capabilities against Al Shabaab. Meanwhile, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) standby forces — led by Rwanda, Botswana and South Africa — have produced even better results in battling insurgents in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado region. These achievements have been made with less than 10 percent of the resources that Paris has spent in the Sahel conflict with absolutely no results to speak of.

It is long overdue that the world accepts the fact that Africans are capable of solving their own problems.

Conclusion

The situation in the Sahel region remains a source of concern and requires long-lasting solutions. Those solutions, however, must derive from the streets of Addis Ababa, Bamako, Nouakchott, N’Djamena and Dakar, not from the government corridors and suburbs of Paris or Brussels. The quarrel between Bamako and Paris should serve as an eye-opener to the latter, that the age of barking orders to  former colonies is over, fini.

France must now come to the realization that while the older generation of Africans might have been pliable to its machinations in the region, it is now dealing with a new generation of Africans, people unwilling to bow down passively to a former imperial power. It’s a generation that won’t allow the West or another power to choose their enemies or friends.

“Everything must change,” sang the late and legendary South African trumpeter, composer and singer, Hugh Masekela, in his hit song called “Change.” The time of change in how West Africa conducts its affairs has also come and, while the process of change can be painful and uncertain, it is inevitable.

Reexamining and recalibrating its foreign policy towards Africa is something that may not appeal to France right now but it’s something that must be done. It’s undeniable that there will always be a strong relationship between France and its former colonies and, while there is nothing wrong with this reality, the new relationship must be built on mutual respect, and not be that of master and servant.

Algeria Battling “Israel” in Africa

10 Nov 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

Hussam AbdelKareem

Due to the strong Algerian opposition, “Israel”‘s accession is almost impossible.

Argelia lucha contra "Israel" en África | Al Mayadeen Español

On October 16th, 2021, the Executive Council of the African Union announced the postponement of its decision on approving or rejecting the “observer status” of “Israel” in the Union to the next African summit scheduled for February 2022. This decision is in fact the culmination of a great effort made by Algeria politically and diplomatically over the course of three months among the African countries to oppose and confront the sudden decision taken by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki, to accept the application of “Israel” to join the African Union as an observer member, and the subsequent presentation by the Israeli ambassador to Ethiopia (the headquarters country) of his credentials to the Union on the 22nd of June 2021.

From the first day of the decision of Moussa Faki, a French-educated former Chadian prime minister, Algeria went into something like a state of emergency, and a decision was taken at the highest levels to launch a comprehensive diplomatic campaign and to use all of Algeria’s weight and political capabilities to confront Faki’s personal decision. The Algerian Foreign Ministry announced its total rejection of “Israel’s” admission to the ranks of the African Union and said that the Chairperson of the Commission had not consulted the member states in this regard.

Algeria began to move and succeeded in persuading six Arab African countries (not including Morocco and Sudan, who are involved in a process of normalization), namely Tunisia, Egypt, Mauritania, Djibouti, Libya, and the Comoros Islands to announce their opposition to Faki’s decision in a statement on August 3rd. Moussa Faki quickly felt that he is being targeted by the pressures of Algerian diplomacy, represented by Minister Ramtan Lamamra, so he issued an official statement on August 6th in which he responded to Algeria and affirmed that his decision to accept “Israel” as an observer member is indeed within his authorities.

The Algerian campaign against “Israel” in Africa did not stop (South Africa, who had reservations about Moussa Faki’s decision from the first day, cooperated with it), and succeeded in persuading Sudan to join the countries opposing Faki’s decision in a statement issued by the Sudanese Foreign Ministry on October 15th. And in the next day, Algeria succeeded in leading a group of 24 African countries who also announced their objection to Faki, which prompted the Executive Council to finally decide to postpone the decision on accepting the membership of “Israel” until the next summit. This is an important diplomatic victory for Algeria because it actually means, almost certainly, the failure of the project of “Israel”‘s accession, as approving it in the African summit; due to the strong Algerian opposition, “Israel”‘s accession is almost impossible.

This Algerian activity and efficiency are due, in part, to its desire to compensate for the years of relative inaction that characterized the Algerian diplomacy during the rule of the ailing former president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, which allowed “Israel” to penetrate into African circles that it did not reach before. Benjamin Netanyahu intensified contacts with West African and sub-Saharan countries in 2016 and hosted an agricultural conference in “Israel” in which 15 countries participated. He also made several visits to the region and was feeling so triumphant to the extent that he publically said, during his visit to Liberia “Israel is returning strongly to Africa!”. “Israel” succeeded in establishing diplomatic relations with a record number of African countries (46 countries out of 55 members of the African Union).

Historically speaking, the late Gamal Abdel Nasser took charge, in the fifties and sixties of the last century, of combating the Israeli penetration into the African continent. And he took advantage of Egypt’s weight at the time and its relations with the national liberation movements in the continent to besiege the Israeli presence and keep it within minimum limits (most notably with the apartheid racist regime in South Africa). In the aftermath of the October 1973 war, “Israel” was having diplomatic relations with only four African countries. But Sadat’s coup in Egypt and the Camp David Accords opened the African doors to “Israel” once again. The banner of combating Israeli expansion in Africa then passed to Colonel Gaddafi in Libya, who paid great attention to the countries of the continent and built a network of close relations with them and provided them with financial support and contributed to a large extent in keeping most African countries, especially its western and sub-Saharan countries, out of Israeli influence until he was killed in 2011.

The growing Moroccan-Israeli relations are one of the reasons for this Algerian activity at the African level. Algeria no longer considers “Israel” as a Pan-Arab danger, but has become a direct threat to it on its borders. When “Israel” and Morocco crowned decades of their unofficial relations by announcing the establishment of full diplomatic relations in December 2020, Algerian President Abdelmajid Tabboun said, “We notice a kind of rush towards normalization. We will not participate in it or bless it. The Palestinian Cause is sacred to us here in Algeria, and it is the mother of all causes”. His Prime Minister Abdelaziz Jerad followed with a strong statement in which he said that “Algeria is being targeted” and that there is a foreign will for Zionism to reach Algeria’s borders.

That is, Algeria’s leadership has come to consider “Israel’s” relations and activities in neighboring Morocco as a direct security and strategic threat, which has caused great tension in the Algerian view of the Moroccan ruling regime. The Algerian newspaper “Al-Shorouk” published an article titled “For these reasons, the Zionist entity targets Algeria.” And what made matters worse was the intelligence information that “Israel” had helped Morocco establish a military base near the Algerian border. Things crossed its red lines when Algeria felt that “Israel”, through Morocco, was trying to interfere with the internal Algerian affairs. And recently, Algerian television announced that the separatist “MAK” movement has ties to “Israel” and Morocco and that those involved in it were in contact with Israeli parties under the cover of “civil society organizations.” In the end, Algeria decided to cut diplomatic relations with Morocco last August.

“Israel”, in turn, responded to Algeria, accusing it of being part of an axis that includes Iran. Its foreign minister, Meir Lapid, from Casablanca, expressed concerns “about Algeria’s role in the region, its rapprochement with Iran, and the campaign it led against Israel’s admission as an observer member of the African Union”.

Today we are witnessing a great Algerian rise to combat and thwart the Zionist expansion in Africa. This is not surprising for a country with a glorious history of revolution and resistance to colonialism, who, since the days of its great revolution sixty years ago, has been associated with Palestine, its revolution, and its cause, and considered it the twin of its soul and struggle, and is still in the same position.

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

Taliban will get International recognition

AUGUST 23, 2021

Taliban will get International recognition

From Zamir Awan for the Saker Blog

46 allies, plus 11 supporter countries, totaling 57 countries, deployed 150,000 troops at peak time, all modern weapons, latest technology, advanced tactics, and trillions of dollars could not defeat the Taliban. Taliban were poorly equipped with light weapons, barefooted, empty stomach, and untrained, and poorly organized groups, yet, won the war. Americans must have learned a bitter lesson that it is not their war machines, not their military might, not their money, which can protect them or elevate them. It requires a different set of skills and qualities which save you from humiliation, disaster, and defeat.

What happened on 15 August 2021 in Afghanistan, is “Saigon-Plus”, with its consequences much more than the Saigon incident on 30 April 1975 in Saigon, Vietnam. The humiliation and economic loss are multiplied by many folds. The loss of lives and loss of face is also much higher in magnitude than the Saigon incident. The shock and trauma will remain for a much longer time and the US may require decades to recover completely.

However, the US has lost its two-decades-long war on the ground, yet trying to fight it politically, diplomatically, and on media. Western media is an expert in spreading fake news and fabricating stories. The US and allies are using media to distort the Taliban image, creating fuss and unrest, projecting a negative image of the Taliban. However, the world has witnessed that the Taliban are very much peaceful and even they have not fired a single bullet, have not killed a single person, have not injured a single person, have not harassed a single person, have not arrested a single person, have not threatened a single person while recapturing Kabul. Taliban has granted a general amnesty to all and ensured to protect each individual. Taliban has offered to provide full protection to all diplomatic missions, staff, and UN structures and all foreign media persons, and all foreigners in addition to all Afghan nationals. It is Western media creating confusion and spreading fake news to create unrest in the country.

The general public has welcomed the Taliban and has not offered any resistance while the Taliban were recapturing the country. Most of the local people were happy with the Taliban and supported them. In fact, the Taliban are the real son of the soil and representing Afghanistan. They were loyal to the country and looking after the national interest, they fought with the foreign occupation for two decades, they offered martyrdom and their lives. They won against the invaders and they deserve to rule the country.

The US has realized this fact long ago and initiated peace negotiations with the Taliban in 2017. The US knows very well that the puppets like Hamid Karzai or Ashraf Ghani are not the real people of Afghanistan, neither representing Afghanistan, that is why they ignored them and deliberately kept them out of negotiations. The US administration believes that the Taliban are the real pillars of power and so that they decided to negotiate with them. It is natural, while the US negotiated with them and concluded a peace deal in February 2020, it was indirect recognition of the Taliban. It is to emphasize that either USSR-backed or American puppets Presidents, all were traitors only and were not representative of Afghanistan. They served their masters and implemented their agenda. They all were not loyal to Afghanistan and never looked after the interests of the Afghan people. Only the Taliban are true representatives and looking after Afghan interests. In return, the Taliban enjoys public support and popularity.

Even, today, the US is in communication and collaboration with the Taliban for the evacuation process, the control of Kabul airport is due to direct communication between the Taliban and Americans. While the US is working in close liaison with the Taliban, there is no reason to accept the legitimacy of Taliban rule.

China and Russia have consented to work closely with the Taliban and many other countries in the region are in touch with the Taliban. It is expected in the coming few days when the Taliban declare their Government formally, there will be more than a hundred countries to recognize them officially. All countries in the region, OIC member states, countries under China or Russian influence will recognize Afghanistan soon. Most African and Latin American Countries will also recognize Taliban rule. Many countries in Europe will accept the Taliban government. As a matter of fact, the Taliban’s glorious victory is a ray of hope for all victims, suppressed, and developing and underdeveloped nations. Maybe America will face again a humiliated isolation if they persist to oppose the Taliban government. It is worth mentioning that in the recent past, the US faced embarrassing humiliation in the General Assembly, when a motion was moved to stop the Israel-Gazza conflict, the motion to shift the Capital of Israel to Jerusalem from Telaviv, etc. If the US has not learned a lesson from the past, must be ready to face such embarrassments in the future too. Informally, the US has recognized the Taliban and working closely with them. But politically may be hesitant to acknowledge their potential to rule Afghanistan. The Us may also convince a few of its close allies not to accept Taliban rule.

Afghanistan is an important country and known as the “Heart of Asia” is situated on very important trade routes, connecting East Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, China, Russia, Eurasia, and through Gwadar to onward destination in Africa, Europe, and Middle-East. Afghanistan is rich in minerals and mines. The Fertile land and excellent climate are blessings for agriculture. Afghanistan has a long history, traditions, culture and is known for bravery. It is fact that Afghanistan is known as the “Graveyard of Great Empires”.

It is appealed to all peace-loving nations and individuals to extend support to the Taliban. A country that suffered four decades in the war due to superpowers and three generations suffered war destructions. The country suffered much more explosives than the combined explosive used in world war I and II. A country with total damaged infrastructure, no hospitals, no schools, no industry no social life, deserve your attention.

Those who destroyed Afghanistan have a responsibility to reconstruct it. The UN may initiate a case of war crimes and fix war compensation. Afghan people are not the people of lesser God, they deserve your attention and support. Be generous and be king. Save humanity, Serve Humanity!

Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan. (E-mail: awanzamir@yahoo.com).

After Egypt, will Erdogan lose Tunisia and then Libya?

ARABI SOURI 

Turkish madman president Erdogan leader of Muslim Brotherhood Turkey Tunisia Egypt Sudan Qatar Syria Lebanon Libya

Erdogan will not easily accept a second loss after the failure of his plan in Egypt, which may push him to maneuver and tactics in Tunisia.

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

With the difference between the “Brotherhood” of Egypt and the “Ennahda” of Tunisia, Ankara did not delay in responding to the positions of Tunisian President Kais Saied, and considered it “a coup against democracy and the will of the Tunisian people,” forgetting that these people elected Saied by 73% compared to 12% for the Ennahda candidate in the October 2019 elections.

With the noticeable decline in the tone of the attack, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s attempts to calm down with President Saied through the mediation of Qatari Emir Tamim Al Thani, who called the Tunisian President (a day later the Saudi Foreign Minister traveled to Tunisia), everyone knows that Erdogan does not, and will not easily accept a loss again after losing Egypt.

Which may push him to maneuver and tactics (with statements by Ghannouchi, who admitted his party’s mistakes, and his willingness to dialogue with President Saied) after the failure of his plan in Egypt, ideologically, politically, and historically, when Sisi overthrew the “Brotherhood” Mohamed Morsi (in Egypt) on July 3, 2013, and then the military overthrew his ally Omar al-Bashir (in Sudan) in April 2019.

This explains the signs and messages sent by President Erdogan, eight years after the coup, for reconciliation with Sisi, who stipulated for this to stop all kinds of support for the “Brotherhood” and to stop interfering in the affairs of Arab countries, and this means first of all Libya, the neighboring country of both Egypt and Tunisia.

Everyone remembers the reactions of the Tunisian opposition to the secret visit paid by Rashid Ghannouchi to Istanbul on January 10, 2020, and his meeting with President Erdogan (a day before Fayez Al-Sarraj’s visit to Istanbul) without informing the Tunisian Parliament and President of the Republic Kais Saied of his visit in advance. The visit was the beginning of the dispute between Saied and Ghannouchi, who took positions in support of Erdogan’s policies in Libya, in exchange for a different position from President Saied, who is known for his nationalist positions.

The Tunisian opposition parties and forces at the time accused Ghannouchi and the leaders of “Ennahda” of obtaining financial support from Ankara and accused it of leaking information related to national security to foreign countries, and it meant Turkey and Qatar, the two countries that embrace all political Islam movements, support and finance them, civilly and militarily, especially after what It has been called the “Arab Spring”, which makes Tunisia’s developments more important to President Erdogan and his Qatari ally, Prince Tamim, and they coordinate together against Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and with them Egypt.

It seems clear that Egypt is very happy with what President Saied has done, this, of course, if it was not in advance in the picture of preparations to get rid of Ennahda and the effects of its rule over Tunisia over the past ten years, even if through weak alliances with other parties that Ennahda exploited to achieve its secret and public goals, including the travel of thousands of Tunisian youths to Turkey and from there to Syria to fight in the ranks of terrorist factions, including “ISIS” and “Al-Nusra” and the like. This is the case of thousands of citizens of other Arab countries, especially Saudi Arabia, when it was in the same trench with other Arab countries and Turkey to fight against the Syrian state, which is still a target for all regional moves, including Tunisia’s developments and their possible results.

The Gulf regimes rushed to provide billions of dollars in aid to President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi after his overthrow of the “Brotherhood” to prevent him from rapprochement with Damascus, especially since Riyadh, Manama, and Abu Dhabi declared the “Brotherhood” a terrorist organization, without this announcement preventing them from continuing coordination and cooperation with Doha. And Ankara to support the armed Brotherhood factions in Syria until June 2017, when these capitals, along with Cairo, severed diplomatic relations with Doha. The response came quickly from President Erdogan, who sent his army to Qatar to protect it from its Gulf sisters, and its tales are no less exciting than the tales of “One Thousand and One Nights.” Despite the Qatari reconciliation with Cairo, and Prince Tamim’s efforts to mediate between Sisi and Erdogan, the dispute between Doha and Abu Dhabi continues, and until Riyadh resolves its final position on this dispute, i.e. personal competition, and before that it was between the “young men” Mohammed bin Salman and Tamim Al Thani and they are all orbiting in the American orbit.

Although it is still too early to talk about the possible results of what President Kais Saied, who is backed by the army and security forces, did and will do, everyone knows that limiting the role of “Ennahda” and removing it from power will be reflected in one way or another on the potential developments in Libya, through the continuation of reconciliation efforts, with or without it. The armed factions, moderate and extremist, are all under the Turkish umbrella, and are closely monitoring the situation in Tunisia because repeating Egypt’s experience there will put these factions in the jaws of the Egyptian-Tunisian alliance, and it will be supported by European countries, the most important of which are France and Greece, and later from other countries that do not hide its annoyance with President Erdogan’s statements and actions of a religious and historical nationalist, ie Ottoman, character.

In this context, everyone knows that the practical successes that President Kais Saied and his political and military team will achieve in the way of quickly addressing Tunisia’s health, economic, financial and social crises which will determine the course of the next stage, and its repercussions on all regional and international accounts.

As was the case after Al-Sisi’s coup in 2013, most Western capitals, led by Washington, made phone calls to President Saied, and assured him, in quite similar terms, “the need to respect the constitution and constitutional institutions, the rule of law, to remain calm, and to avoid any resort to violence, in order to preserve the stability of the country,” without it occurring in the minds of these capitals to direct any criticism of the Gulf regimes, whose countries lack even constitutions, and where democracy has no place of expression, politically, socially and morally. Nor did the aforementioned capitals take any practical positions against President Erdogan, who took advantage of the failed coup on July 15, 2016, to get rid of all his enemies and opponents, and established an “authoritarian regime”, and this quote is of President Biden, before he became president at the end of 2019, also these aforementioned capitals did not make any move when Erdogan, in April 2017, changed the constitution and took control of all state agencies, facilities, and institutions, saying that he “derived his powers from the constitution,” which President Kais Saied said, with significant differences in content, performance, goals, and results.

In the end, the judgment remains for the Tunisian people, in all their categories, because it is they who will decide the fate of their country which seems that it was and still is an arena for hidden and open conflicts, as is the case in Libya, and to a lesser extent in Algeria and Sudan, and it is close to the arenas in which ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, and similar groups are active in Mali, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia. and Burkina Faso, for which the imperialist and colonial countries are drawing up a number of plans.

Ankara, in turn, established wide and varied relations with these countries after it opened its embassies in 45 African countries, President Erdogan visited a large number of them, in an attempt to compete with the traditional French, Italian, and other traditional European colonial roles, and he says, “His country did not colonize any of these countries.”

All this comes with accusations by the Turkish opposition to President Erdogan of “pursuing expansionist policies, militarily, politically, economically and intelligence,” not only in Arab and African geography but even in the Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asia, “and where the Ottomans set foot,” as President Erdogan himself said. The past ten years have proven that he is serious about this issue, otherwise, the situation in Tunisia, and before that Egypt, would not be among his interests, and because defeat there would mean a retreat in other locations, foremost of which is Libya, and then Syria, from which it was the beginning, and with its loss, Erdogan loses Turkey.

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بعد مصر.. هل يخسر إردوغان تونس ثم ليبيا؟

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لمصدر: الميادين نت

حسني محلي ا

إردوغان لن يتقبّل بسهولة خسارة ثانية بعد فشل مخططه في مصر وهو ما قد يدفعه إلى المناورة والتكتيك في تونس.

مع الفارق بين “إخوان” مصر و”نهضة” تونس، لم تتأخر أنقرة في الردّ على مواقف الرئيس التونسي قيس سعيّد، واعتبرتها “انقلاباً على الديمقراطية وإرادة الشعب التونسي”، ناسية أن هذا الشعب انتخب سعيد بنسبة 73٪ في مقابل 12٪ لمرشح “النهضة” في انتخابات تشرين الأول/أكتوبر 2019. 

الحد من دور “حركة النهضة” وإبعادَها عن السلطة سينعكسان بصورة أو بأخرى على التطورات المحتملة في ليبيا

ومع التراجع الملحوظ في لهجة الهجوم، ومحاولات الرئيس التركي رجب طيب إردوغان التهدئة مع الرئيس سعيد عبر وساطة الأمير القطري تميم آل ثاني، الذي اتّصل بالرئيس التونسي (بعدها بيوم سافر وزير الخارجية السعودي إلى تونس)، فالجميع يعرف أن إردوغان لا، ولن يتقبّل بسهولة خسارة ثانية بعد خسارة مصر. 

وهو ما قد يدفعه إلى المناورة والتكتيك (مع تصريحات الغنوشي الذي اعترف بارتكاب حزبه الأخطاء، واستعداده للحوار مع الرئيس سعيد) بعد فشل مخططه في مصر، عقائدياً وسياسياً وتاريخياً، عندما أطاح السيسي “الإخوَنجيَّ” محمد مرسي في 3 تموز/يوليو 2013، ثم أطاح العسكر حليفَه عمر البشير في نيسان/أبريل 2019. 

ويفسّر ذلك الإشارات والرسائل التي بعثها الرئيس إردوغان بعد ثماني سنوات من الانقلاب، من أجل المصالحة مع السيسي، الذي اشترط من أجل ذلك وقف كل أنواع الدعم لـ”الإخوان”، والكفّ عن التدخل في شؤون الدول العربية، والمقصود بذلك أولاً ليبيا، البلد الجار لكل من مصر وتونس. 

فالجميع يتذكر ردود فعل المعارضة التونسية على الزيارة السرية التي قام بها راشد الغنوشي لإسطنبول في 10 كانون الثاني/يناير 2020، ولقائه الرئيس إردوغان (قبل يوم من زيارة فايز السراج لإسطنبول) ومن دون أن يبلغ إلى البرلمان التونسي ورئيس الجمهورية قيس سعيد بزيارتَه مسبّقاً. وكانت الزيارة بداية الخلاف بين سعيد والغنوشي الذي اتَّخذ مواقف مؤيدة لسياسات إردوغان في ليبيا في مقابل موقف مغاير من الرئيس سعيد المعروف بمواقفه القومية. 

واتهمت أحزاب المعارضة التونسية وقواها آنذاك الغنوشي وقيادات “النهضة” بالحصول على دعم مالي من أنقرة، كما اتهمتها بتسريب معلومات تخصّ الأمن الوطني إلى دول أجنبية، والمقصود بها تركيا وقطر، البلدين اللذين يحتضنان كل حركات الإسلام السياسي ويدعمانها ويموّلانها، مدنياً وعسكرياً، وخصوصاً بعد ما سُمّي “الربيع العربي”، وهو ما يجعل تطورات تونس أكثرَ أهمية بالنسبة إلى الرئيس إردوغان وحليفه القطري الأمير تميم، وينسّقان معاً ضد السعودية والإمارات ومعهما مصر. 

ويبدو واضحاً أن مصر سعيدة جداً بما قام به الرئيس سعيد، هذا بالطبع إن لم تكن مسبقاً في صورة التحضيرات للتخلص من “النهضة” و آثار حكمها لتونس طوال السنوات العشر الماضية، ولو عبر التحالفات الضعيفة مع أحزاب أخرى استغلتها “النهضة” لتحقيق أهدافها السرية والعلنية، بما في ذلك سفر الآلاف من الشبان التونسيين إلى تركيا ومنها إلى سوريا للقتال في صفوف الفصائل الإرهابية، ومنها “داعش” و”النصرة” وأمثالهما. وهو حال الآلاف من مواطني الدول العربية الأخرى، وفي مقدمتها السعودية، عندما كانت في خندق واحد مع سائر الدول العربية وتركيا للقتال ضد الدولة السورية، التي ما زالت هدفاً لكل التحركات الإقليمية، بما فيها تطورات تونس ونتائجها المحتملة. 

لقد استعجلت أنظمة الخليج تقديم مليارات الدولارات من المساعدات إلى الرئيس عبدالفتاح السيسي بعد إطاحته “الإخوان” لمنعه من التقارب مع دمشق، وخصوصاً أن الرياض والمنامة وأبو ظبي أعلنت “الإخوان” تنظيماً إرهابياً، ومن دون أن يمنعها هذا الإعلان من الاستمرار في التنسيق والتعاون مع الدوحة وأنقرة لدعم الفصائل الإخوانية المسلحة في سوريا حتى حزيران/يونيو 2017 عندما قطعت هذه العواصم، ومعها القاهرة، علاقاتها الدبلوماسية بالدوحة. وجاء الرد سريعاً من الرئيس إردوغان، الذي أرسل جيشه إلى قطر لحمايتها من شقيقاتها الخليجية، وحكاياتها ليست أقل إثارة من حكايات “ألف ليلة وليلة”. فعلى الرغم من المصالحة القطرية مع القاهرة، ومساعي الأمير تميم للوساطة بين السيسي وإردوغان، فإن الخلاف بين الدوحة وأبو ظبي ما زال مستمراً، وإلى أن تحسم الرياض موقفها النهائي حيال هذا الخلاف، أي المنافسة الشخصية، وكانت قبلها بين “الشابين” محمد بن سلمان وتميم آل ثاني، وهم جميعاً يدورون في الفلك الأميركي.

ومع أن الوقت ما زال مبكّراً للحديث عن النتائج المحتمَلة لما قام وسيقوم به الرئيس قيس سعيد، المدعوم من الجيش والقوى الأمنية، فالجميع يعرف أن الحد من دور “النهضة” وإبعادَها عن السلطة سينعكسان بصورة أو بأخرى على التطورات المحتملة في ليبيا، عبر استمرار مساعي المصالحة فيها، أو من دون ذلك. فالفصائل المسلحة، المعتدلة منها والمتطرفة، هي جميعاً تحت المظلة التركية، وتراقب الوضع عن كثب في تونس، لأن تكرار تجربة مصر هناك سيضع هذه الفصائل بين فكَّي التحالف المصري – التونسي، وسيكون مدعوماً من دول أوروبية، أهمها فرنسا واليونان، ولاحقاً من دول أخرى لا تُخفي انزعاجها من مقولات الرئيس إردوغان وتصرفاته ذات الطابعَين الديني والقومي التاريخي، أي العثماني.

وفي السياق، يعرف الجميع أن ما سيحقّقه الرئيس قيس سعيد وفريقه السياسي والعسكري من نجاحات عملية في طريق المعالجة السريعة لأزمات تونس الصحية والاقتصادية والمالية والاجتماعية، هو الذي سيحدّد مسار المرحلة المقبلة، وانعكاساتها على مجمل الحسابات الإقليمية والدولية.

فكما كان الوضع عليه بعد انقلاب السيسي عام 2013، أجرت أغلبية العواصم الغربية، وفي مقدمتها واشنطن، اتصالات هاتفية بالرئيس سعيد، وأكدت له، في عبارات متشابهة تماماً، “ضرورة احترام الدستور والمؤسسات الدستورية، وسيادة القانون، والتحلي بالهدوء، وتجنّب أيّ لجوء إلى العنف، حفاظاً على استقرار البلاد”، من دون أن يخطر في بال هذه العواصم أن توجّه أيّ انتقاد إلى أنظمة الخليج، التي تفتقر دولها حتى إلى الدساتير، وليس للديمقراطية فيها أي مكان من الإعراب، سياسياً واجتماعياً وأخلاقياً. كما لم تتخذ العواصم المذكورة أي مواقف عملية ضد الرئيس إردوغان، الذي استغل الانقلاب الفاشل في 15 تموز/يوليو 2016 فتخلص من جميع أعدائه ومعارضيه، وأقام “نظاماً استبدادياً”، والقول للرئيس بايدن، قبل أن يصبح رئيساً نهاية عام 2019. كما لم تحرّك العواصم المذكورة ساكناً عندما قام إردوغان، في نيسان/أبريل 2017، بتغيير الدستور، وسيطر على جميع أجهزة الدولة ومرافقها ومؤسساتها، قائلا إنه “استمدّ صلاحياته من الدستور”، وهو ما قاله الرئيس قيس سعيد، مع فوارق كبيرة في المضمون والأداء والأهداف والنتائج.

يبقى الحكم في النهاية للشعب التونسي، في كل فئاته، لأنه هو الذي سيقرر مصير بلاده. ويبدو أنها كانت وما زالت ساحة للصراعات الخفية والمكشوفة، كما هي الحال في ليبيا، وبنِسَب أقل في الجزائر والسودان، وهي قريبة من الساحات التي تنشط فيها “داعش” و”القاعدة” و”بوكو حرام”، ومجموعات مماثلة في مالي وتشاد والنيجر ونيجيريا والصومال وبوركينا فاسو، التي تضع من أجلها الدول الإمبريالية والاستعمارية عدداً من الخطط. 

أقامت أنقرة بدورها علاقات واسعة ومتنوعة بهذه الدول بعد أن افتتحت سفاراتها في 45 دولة أفريقية، وزار الرئيس إردوغان عدداً كبيراً منها، في محاولة منه لمنافسة الأدوار الفرنسية والإيطالية والأوروبية الاستعمارية التقليدية، وهو يقول “إن بلاده لم تستعمر أياً من هذه الدول”.

يأتي كل ذلك مع اتهامات المعارضة التركية للرئيس إردوغان بـ”انتهاج سياسات توسُّعية، عسكرياً وسياسياً واقتصادياً واستخبارياً”، ليس فقط في الجغرافيا العربية والأفريقية، بل حتى في البلقان والقوقاز وآسيا الوسطى، “وحيث وطئت أقدام العثمانيين”، والقول للرئيس إردوغان نفسه. وأثبت السنوات العشر الماضية أنه جادّ في هذا الموضوع، وإلاّ لَما كان الوضع في تونس، وقبلها مصر، ضمن اهتماماته، ولأن الهزيمة هناك ستعني التراجع في مواقع أخرى، وفي مقدمتها ليبيا، ثم سوريا، التي كانت منها البداية، وبخسارتها يخسر إردوغان تركيا. 

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سدّ النهضة: من تهديد إلى فرصة؟

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*باحث وكاتب اقتصادي سياسي والأمين العام السابق للمؤتمر القومي العربي
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الملاحظة الأولى هي أنّ ما وصلت اليه الأمور هو نتيجة تراكم الإهمال المصريّ خلال العقود التي تلت رحيل القائد الخالد الذكر جمال عبد الناصر. فمصر خلال الخمسينيات والستينيات كانت منصة حركات التحرّر الأفريقية تجسيداً وتطبيقاً للرؤية الجيوستراتيجية التي بلورها القائد جمال عبد الناصر في “فلسفة الثورة” حيث الأمن القومي المصري يكمن في دوائر ثلاث: الدائرة العربية والدائرة الإسلامية والدائرة الأفريقية. كم كانت رؤيته الجيوستراتيجية ثاقبة آنذاك وكما هي صحيحة اليوم وفي الغد! لكن بعد رحيله أتيحت الفرصة للكيان الصهيوني التوغل في أفريقيا وبناء علاقات لم تكن ممكنة في وجوده وسياسته. الانكفاء المصري يعود إلى خروج مصر من دائرة الصراع العربي الصهيوني ما سمح للحضور الصهيوني بقوة في القارة الأفريقية.

ونلاحظ أيضاً أن بعد رحيل جمال عبد الناصر تحوّلت منصة حركات التحرّر من القاهرة إلى الجزائر مع الرئيس هواري بومدين. لكن رحيل الرئيس الجزائري سنة 1978 في ظروف تثير الريبة والشكوك تلت زيارة السادات للقدس في تشرين 1977 ومن بعد ذلك دخول الجزائر في العشرية الدامية فقدت الحركة التحررية الأفريقية منصة مؤثرة في نموها. حاولت ليبيا في ما بعد حمل العباءة الأفريقية، لكن مع خروج مصر من دائرة الصراع العربي الصهيوني غاب الدور العربي في أفريقيا وحيّدت محاولات القذافي للإمساك بالورقة الأفريقية. هذه الملاحظات تأتي للتأكيد على أنّ التوغّل الصهيوني في القارة الأفريقية لما كان لولا الغياب القسري العربي بشكل عام والمصري بشكل خاص. فمن الواضح أنّ أعداء الأمة العربية في الغرب وفي الكيان وفي بعض الدوائر العربية يمنعون أيّ دور عربيّ في أفريقيا يساهم في تنمية القارة من جهة ويمكّن استقلال وسيادة الدول المكوّنة من جهة أخرى وأخيراً لحماية الأمن القومي العربي وفقاً لرؤية جمال عبد الناصر. كما أنّ تقسيم السودان وبناء سدّ النهضة استهدف السودان في مرحلة أولى تمهيداً لاستهداف مصر. فالمطامع الصهيونية في مياه النيل معروفة والحذر من قبل بعض الدول العربية من مصر تقاطعت لفرض الضغوط على مصر وترويضها.

على صعيد خاص، كنا شاهدين على نتائج الغياب العربي في أفريقيا وذلك من خلال عملنا في التسعينيات في إحدى مؤسسات البنك الدولي حيث كنا نغطّي أفريقيا الغربية. لاحظنا امتعاض نخب أفريقيّة من التوغل الصهيوني فيما بينما كانت تذكر لنا فضائل مصر في دعم حركات التحرّر في البلدان المعنية. ما نريد أن نقوله إنّ الرأس المال المعنوي الذي كوّنته مصر كان محفوراً في ذاكرة الدول الأفريقية سواء في دعم حركة التحرر وفي ما بعد في دعم الاقتصاد والتعليم. هذا الرأس المال بدّدته سياسات اللامبالاة بعد كامب دافيد المدمّرة التي تحصد نتائجها مصر اليوم وكأن مستلزمات كامب دافيد قضت بالتخلّي عن الدور الأفريقي لمصر كما تخلّت عن دورها في الصراع العربي الصهيوني.

الملاحظة الثانية هي أن المواجهة الحقيقية في موضوع السد ليست مع الشعب الإثيوبي الشقيق ولا حتى مع حكومته. أحد المتكلّمين في الندوة الدكتور محمد حسب الرسول وهو نائب أمين عام المؤتمر القومي العربي أعطى إضاءات هامة حول المشتركات والروابط المصرية والسودانية مع الشعب الإثيوبي. فهناك حوالي 70 بالمئة من سكان اثيوبيا من المسلمين وأن الكنيسة الإثيوبية من أعرق الكنائس ولها ارتباطات مع الكنيسة المصرية، وحيث كادت اللغة العربية تكون لغة رسمية تجعلها مرشحة للانضمام إلى الدول العربية. ما نريد أن نقوله هو أن المواجهة ليست مع الإثيوبيين شعباً وحكومة بل مع رأس الأفعى الحقيقي وهو الكيان الصهيوني الذي ساهم على أكثر من صعيد في بناء ذلك السد. وإذا كان سد النهضة يشكّل تهديداً واضحاً للأمن القومي المصري والسوداني وبالتالي العربي فإن المواجهة هي مع العدو الصهيوني المحتلّ أولاً وأخيراً.

التخلّي عن الدور الريادي المصري في الشأن الأفريقي مبني على نظرية تمّ ترويجها أن 99 بالمئة من أوراق اللعبة تملكها الولايات المتحدة وأن البوّابة للولايات المتحدة هي الكيان الصهيوني المحتل. بغض النظر عن صحة ذلك التقدير آنذاك، أي في السبعينيات من القرن الماضي، فإن موازين القوّة الدولية والإقليمية الحالية والمرتقبة تدحض تلك النظرية وبالتالي الخيارات والسياسة المبنية عليها يجب أن تخضع لمراجعة. فمصر مهدّدة شرقاً وشمالاً من الكيان الصهيوني والخلايا الإرهابية المدعومة من الولايات المتحدة والكيان الصهيوني، وغرباً من أيضاً من جماعات التعصّب والغلو والتوحّش، واليوم من الجنوب عبر خطر التعطيش، وجميع هذه المخاطر مرتبطة بالكيان الصهيوني المحتلّ وداعمه الأساسي الولايات المتحدة. ألم يحن الأوان لمراجعة تلك السياسات لمواجهة التهديدات؟ بل نقول أكثر من ذلك ونعتبر أنه بإمكان تحويل التهديد إلى فرصة انطلاقة جديدة عبر قلب الطاولة على الكيان وجعل من سد النهضة منفعة مشتركة لكلّ من مصر والسودان وبطبيعة الحال إثيوبيا عبر تشبيك إقليمي بين دول وادي النيل والقرن الأفريقي لا مكان للكيان الصهيوني فيه.

الملاحظة الثالثة هي أنّ التشبيك الاقتصادي بين بلاد وادي النيل والقرن الأفريقي يتكامل مع التشبيك المرتقب بين بلاد الرافدين وبلاد الشام من جهة، ومع مشروع التشبيك في دول المغرب الكبير من جهة أخرى. والتكامل بين هذه المكوّنات الأربعة يساهم في وجود كتلة عربية وإقليمية تتكامل مع مشروع الطريق والحزام الواحد الصيني والمشروع الأوراسي الروسي. المستقبل هو في الشرق وليس في الغرب والأفول الغربي هو أفول استراتيجي لا يستطيع أحد إيقافه أو حتى إبطاءه. والمشروع العربي النهضوي الذي نناضل من أجله هو في صميم المواجهة مع الكيان الصهيوني حيث بوجود الكيان لا شيء غير التجزئة والضعف والتخلّف والانقراض. أما المواجهة فهي تأتي بالوحدة وبالوحدة تأتي القوّة وبالقوة تأتي النهضة.

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