كليمة البحر بيروت بين الحقيقة والتضليل…!

إيران تتهم أمريكا وإسرائيل بالمسؤولية عن تفجير مرفأ بيروت | دنيا الوطن
إيران تتهم أمريكا وإسرائيل بالمسؤولية عن تفجير مرفأ بيروت

محمد صادق الحسيني

بيروت

‏يا كليمة البحر

‏بيروت يا روح المدن

‏بيروت يا كتف الجبل الأشم

‏ستخرجين متألقة وأجمل مما كنت

‏رسموا لك إشارة الموت

‏ لكنك غلبتِهم بإرادة الحياة

‏بيروت لا تُحرَق

‏ ولا تغرق

‏تشرب من كأس من معين

‏بيروت بلد الأمين

‏الأمين على الدماء وعين اليقين

‏ وتنهض كطائر الفينيق

‏بيروت هذه تغار منها تل أبيب كما تغار منها سيدتها واشنطن وتريد أن تنتقم منها، لأنها عقدت قرانها على المقاومة ومعها، والذين تسبّبوا في تفجيرها إهمالاً أو تورّطاً يحاولون عبثاً حرف الأنظار عن المجرم الحقيقي، كما هو آتٍ:

فعلى الرغم من أنّ كافة عقلاء الأرض وخبرائها ومطلعيها بأنّ الانفجار الذي حدث في ميناء بيروت مساء 4/8/2020 لا علاقة له بحزب الله لا من بعيد ولا من قريب إلا انّ وسائل الاعلام الإسرائيلية، المسيطر عليها والموجهة من الأجهزة الأمنية تصرّ ومنذ اللحظة الاولى لوقوع الكارثة، وبالتناغم مع وسائل إعلام نواطير النفط في الخليج، على إطلاق حملة منظمة ضد حزب الله، وان بشكل غير مباشر في الاعلام الإسرائيلي على الاقل.

فها هو موقع صحيفة “جيروزاليم بوست” الإسرائيلي مثلاً ينشر موضوعاً رئيسياً تحت عنوان:

نصر الله هدّد بتفجير “إسرائيل” بالمواد الكيماوية نفسها التي انفجرت في بيروت. كما واصل الموقع خطه الهجومي هذا فوق موضوعات أخرى، اشار فيها الى ان حزب الله يُخزِّن السلاح في المناطق السكنية، ثم يتساءل الكاتب عما اذا كان الحزب سيخلي ترساناته العسكرية من المناطق السكنية، وذلك في تحريض واضح للشعب اللبناني ضد حزب الله.

ولم يقتصر التحريض الإسرائيلي على الساحة اللبنانية فقط، بل إنه وصل الى بريطانيا، حيث نشر كاتب إسرائيلي آخر، وفي الموقع المذكور نفسه أعلاه، موضوعاً يدعي فيه ان حزب الله قد قام بتخزين مواد كيماويه شبيهة، لتلك التي انفجرت في بيروت، خلف مدرسة في لندن العام الماضي. كما طالب وزير الخارجية الإسرائيلي دول اميركا اللاتينية، خلال اجتماع له مع سفراء تلك الدول في الكيان، بحظر نشاط حزب الله وإعلانه منظمة إرهابية في دول اميركا اللاتينية.

اذن، ها هم نواطير النفط في الخليج وأركان القاعدة العسكرية الاميركية في فلسطين، والتي تسمى “إسرائيل”، يعلنون عن بدء الاستثمار السياسي في كارثة انسانية حلت بلبنان، بغضّ النظر عن الأسباب والمسبّبات، وحتى قبل صدور أي تقارير رسمية من طرف الحكومة اللبنانية، التي تجري تحقيقات معمّقة للوقوف على الأسباب التي أدت الى وقوع الانفجار، وذلك تمهيداً لحملة سياسية قادمة ضد حزب الله، تهدف الى إعادة طرح موضوع سلاح المقاومة على طاولة البحث والمساومات السياسية.

نقول للصهاينة الدجالين:

بغض النظر عن كذب ادّعاءاتكم، حول تخزين الحزب للأسلحة في المناطق السكنية، وإيحاءاتكم بأن مادة نترات الأمونيوم، التي انفجرت في ميناء بيروت، هي مادة استوردها حزب الله وقام بتخزينها في الميناء، إن ما عليكم أن تعلموه أن هذه المادة، التي تخزنون منها عشرات آلاف الأطنان في محيط ميناء حيفا، أي في المناطق السكنية المحيطة بالميناء، هي مادة قابلة للانفجار بسهولةً حتى دون قيام أحد بالتسبّب بتفجيرها.

اذ إنها، وكما قال السيد رولاند الفورد، مدير شركة ألفورد تيكنولوجيز ، وهي شركة بريطانية متخصصة في التخلص من المتفجرات، قال إن هذه المادة قابلة للانفجار عند تعرّضها لدرجات حرارة عاليةٍ حتى من دون أي أسباب أخرى. وهذا ما يعرفه الخبراء العسكريون في حزب الله، الذين لم تشهد مستودعاتهم وعلى مدى قرابة الأربعين عاماً أي أحداث من هذا النوع، نتيجة حرصهم الشديد على تخزين أسلحتهم بالطرق السليمة وفي الأماكن المناسبة، على العكس من جيشكم وحكومتكم، التي رفضت حتى الآن وتتعلل حالياً في نقل حاويات الأمونيا الضخمة، من حول ميناء حيفا الى أماكن آمنة، على الرغم من المظاهرات المتكرّرة التي يقوم بها السكان المحليون للمطالبة بذلك.

وبالعودة الى ما تخططون له من مؤمرات، ضد حلف المقاومة بشكل عام وحزب الله وسلاحه بشكل خاص، فعليكم أن تعلموا ما يلي:

أن التهديدات المبطنة ضد إيران وحلف المقاومة، التي تروجون لها بطرق غير مباشرة، من خلال تسريبات من أجهزتكم الأمنية لكتاب وصحافيين أميركيين، كالتسريبات التي نشرها الكاتب الاميركي روبرت فارلي ، في مجلة ذي ناشيونال انتيريست الاميركية، يوم أمس 4/8/2020، حول احتمالات قيام “إسرائيل” بتوجيه ضربة نووية الى إيران او غيرها، وتحويل “الشرق الأوسط “الى بحر من النيران، ان هذه التهديدات وغيرها لن تخيف إيران ولا بقية حلقات محور المقاومة، ولن تثني هذا المحور عن استكمال استعداداته لشن المرحلة الأخيرة من هجومه الاستراتيجي، الهادف الى تحرير القدس وإنهاء وجود دويلة الاحتلال الإسرائيلي وتهديدها المباشر لكافة دول وشعوب الإقليم وليس فقط للدول العربية المحيطة بها. ولنا في موضوع سد النهضة الإثيوبي المدعوم والمسنود إسرائيلياً خير مثال على الخطر الإقليميّ وحتى العالمي الذي تشكله هذه القاعدة العسكرية على الأمن والسلام والاستقرار في العالم.

إن قصف إيران، سواءً بأسلحة تقليدية او نووية، لا يتطلب امتلاك “إسرائيل” صواريخ بعيدة المدى، مثل صاروخ اريحا /3 الذي يبلغ مداه أحد عشر الف كيلومتر.

2) انّ كلّ ما تقومون به، من محاولات لاستثمار الألم الشعبي العام، في لبنان بعد الانفجار، وتحويله الى موجة غضب ضد حزب الله وسلاحه، كما استثمرتم اغتيال الحريري لإخراج الجيش السوري من لبنان عام 2005، ليس سوى وهم وسراب سيتبخر سريعاً لأن الشعب اللبناني لن يركع ولن يستسلم وأنتم خير من خبره. ولعل من المفيد تذكيركم باتفاقية 17 أيار 1983، التي أسقطها الشعب اللبناني البطل، وكرّس إسقاطها عبر مقاومة ولدت من رحم الشعب، وألحقت بكم الهزيمة تلو الهزيمة، منذ ذلك التاريخ وحتى اليوم.

3) كما عليكم ان تتيقنوا من أن الخسائر البشرية والمادية الهائلة، التي تعرّض لها الشعب اللبناني يوم أمس، لن تؤدي الى تمزيق وتفتيت هذا الشعب الصامد ولا الى رحيله عن دياره وتخليه عن وطنه، على عكس ما سيحدث لمستوطنيكم الطارئين الذين يغتصبون أرض الشعب الفلسطيني منذ 72 عاماً، حيث إنهم سيبدأون بالرحيل الى اوطانهم الأصلية وغيرها بعد سقوط اول رشقة صواريخ ثقيلة، من قوات محور المقاومة، على تل أبيب وغيرها من تجمعاتكم الاستيطانية.

4) ودليلنا على ذلك هو تقهقر جيشكم الى عمق ثمانية كيلومترات، داخل حدود فلسطين، لمجرد تخوّفكم من الضربة الانتقامية التي ترتقبونها من حزب الله رداً على استشهاد أحد ضباطه، في غارةٍ لطائراتكم على مطار دمشق أواخر الشهر الماضي. فاذا كان جيشكم يخلي مواقعه، حتى قبل أن تطلق قوات المقاومة طلقة واحدة، فما بالكم كيف ستكون أحوال مستوطنيكم، الذين وعدتموهم بالعيش في أرض السمن والعسل، وها هم يعيشون في أرض مغتصبة تفتك بهم الأوبئة وأنتم عاجزون حتى عن علاجهم، علاوة على الرعب الذي يعيشونه سواءٌ في الشمال أو الجنوب؟

نقول لكم يا من تشترون الوقت لأيام إضافية لكيانكم بان الرد آت حتماً وأن الشعب اللبناني منتصر عليكم لا محالة وقوات المقاومة في أعلى جهوزية وعلى كافة الجبهات لردكم ومن ثم طردكم، وهي الأقدر على تحويل عذابات الشعب وآلامه وجراحه الى انتصارات.

‏بيروت هذه التي فجّرتم ميناءها بشكل مباشر أو غير مباشر هي ‏بعين السيد الأمين، ودماء بيروت المقاومة هذه ستطيح بكم واحداً واحداً، ‏ومقاومة لبنان سترمي بالعملاء والمرجفين بالمدينة الى مزبلة التاريخ. ‏

على صخرة مقاومتك وثباتك واستقامتك يا سيد ‏ستتكسر كل موجاتهم. ‏لن ينالوا منك ولن ينالوا من جمهورك ولا من شعب لبنان ‏ولو بهيروشيما المرفأ. ‏كالطود أنت شامخ، ‏ابحر بنا الى حيث تشاء ويا جبل ما يهزك ريح…

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله.

Another Hiroshima is Coming…Unless We Stop It Now

by JOHN PILGER

Photograph Source: Oilstreet – Own work – CC BY 2.5

When I first went to Hiroshima in 1967, the shadow on the steps was still there. It was an almost perfect impression of a human being at ease: legs splayed, back bent, one hand by her side as she sat waiting for a bank to open.

At a quarter past eight on the morning of August 6, 1945, she and her silhouette were burned into the granite.

I stared at the shadow for an hour or more, then I walked down to the river where the survivors still lived in shanties.

I met a man called Yukio, whose chest was etched with the pattern of the shirt he was wearing when the atomic bomb was dropped.

He described a huge flash over the city, “a bluish light, something like an electrical short”, after which wind blew like a tornado and black rain fell. “I was thrown on the ground and noticed only the stalks of my flowers were left. Everything was still and quiet, and when I got up, there were people naked, not saying anything. Some of them had no skin or hair. I was certain I was dead.”

Nine years later, I returned to look for him and he was dead from leukaemia.

“No radioactivity in Hiroshima ruin” said The New York Times front page on 13 September, 1945, a classic of planted disinformation. “General Farrell,” reported William H. Lawrence, “denied categorically that [the atomic bomb] produced a dangerous, lingering radioactivity.”

Only one reporter, Wilfred Burchett, an Australian, had braved the perilous journey to Hiroshima in the immediate aftermath of the atomic bombing, in defiance of the Allied occupation authorities, which controlled the “press pack”.

“I write this as a warning to the world,” reported Burchett in the London Daily Express  of September 5,1945. Sitting in the rubble with his Baby Hermes typewriter, he described hospital wards filled with people with no visible injuries who were dying from what he called “an atomic plague”.

For this, his press accreditation was withdrawn, he was pilloried and smeared. His witness to the truth was never forgiven.

The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was an act of premeditated mass murder that unleashed a weapon of intrinsic criminality. It was justified by lies that form the bedrock of America’s war propaganda in the 21st century, casting a new enemy, and target – China.

During the 75 years since Hiroshima, the most enduring lie is that the atomic bomb was dropped to end the war in the Pacific and to save lives.

“Even without the atomic bombing attacks,” concluded the United States Strategic Bombing Survey of 1946, “air supremacy over Japan could have exerted sufficient pressure to bring about unconditional surrender and obviate the need for invasion. “Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey’s opinion that … Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war [against Japan] and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.”

The National Archives in Washington contains documented Japanese peace overtures as early as 1943. None was pursued. A cable sent on May 5, 1945 by the German ambassador in Tokyo and intercepted by the US made clear the Japanese were desperate to sue for peace, including “capitulation even if the terms were hard”. Nothing was done.

The US Secretary of War, Henry Stimson, told President Truman he was “fearful” that the US Air Force would have Japan so “bombed out” that the new weapon would not be able “to show its strength”. Stimson later admitted that “no effort was made, and none was seriously considered, to achieve surrender merely in order not to have to use the [atomic] bomb”.

Stimson’s foreign policy colleagues — looking ahead to the post-war era they were then shaping “in our image”, as Cold War planner George Kennan famously put it — made clear they were eager “to browbeat the Russians with the [atomic] bomb held rather ostentatiously on our hip”. General Leslie Groves, director of the Manhattan Project that made the atomic bomb, testified: “There was never any illusion on my part that Russia was our enemy, and that the project was conducted on that basis.”

The day after Hiroshima was obliterated, President Harry Truman voiced his satisfaction with the “overwhelming success” of “the experiment”.

The “experiment” continued long after the war was over. Between 1946 and 1958, the United States exploded 67 nuclear bombs in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific: the equivalent of more than one Hiroshima every day for 12 years.

The human and environmental consequences were catastrophic. During the filming of my documentary, The Coming War on China, I chartered a small aircraft and flew to Bikini Atoll in the Marshalls. It was here that the United States exploded the world’s first Hydrogen Bomb. It remains poisoned earth. My shoes registered “unsafe” on my Geiger counter. Palm trees stood in unworldly formations. There were no birds.

I trekked through the jungle to the concrete bunker where, at 6.45 on the morning of March 1, 1954, the button was pushed. The sun, which had risen, rose again and vaporised an entire island in the lagoon, leaving a vast black hole, which from the air is a menacing spectacle: a deathly void in a place of beauty.

The radioactive fall-out spread quickly and “unexpectedly”. The official history claims “the wind changed suddenly”. It was the first of many lies, as declassified documents and the victims’ testimony reveal.

Gene Curbow, a meteorologist assigned to monitor the test site, said, “They knew where the radioactive fall-out was going to go. Even on the day of the shot, they still had an opportunity to evacuate people, but [people] were not evacuated; I was not evacuated… The United States needed some guinea pigs to study what the effects of radiation would do.”

Like Hiroshima, the secret of the Marshall Islands was a calculated experiment on the lives of large numbers of people. This was Project 4.1, which began as a scientific study of mice and became an experiment on “human beings exposed to the radiation of a nuclear weapon”.

The Marshall Islanders I met in 2015 — like the survivors of Hiroshima I interviewed in the 1960s and 70s — suffered from a range of cancers, commonly thyroid cancer; thousands had already died. Miscarriages and stillbirths were common; those babies who lived were often deformed horribly.

Unlike Bikini, nearby Rongelap atoll had not been evacuated during the H-Bomb test. Directly downwind of Bikini, Rongelap’s skies darkened and it rained what first appeared to be snowflakes.  Food and water were contaminated; and the population fell victim to cancers. That is still true today.

I met Nerje Joseph, who showed me a photograph of herself as a child on Rongelap. She had terrible facial burns and much of her was hair missing. “We were bathing at the well on the day the bomb exploded,” she said. “White dust started falling from the sky. I reached to catch the powder. We used it as soap to wash our hair. A few days later, my hair started falling out.”

Lemoyo Abon said, “Some of us were in agony. Others had diarrhoea. We were terrified. We thought it must be the end of the world.”

US official archive film I included in my film refers to the islanders as “amenable savages”. In the wake of the explosion, a US Atomic Energy Agency official is seen boasting that Rongelap “is by far the most contaminated place on earth”, adding, “it will be interesting to get a measure of human uptake when people live in a contaminated environment.”

American scientists, including medical doctors, built distinguished careers studying the “human uptake’. There they are in flickering film, in their white coats, attentive with their clipboards. When an islander died in his teens, his family received a sympathy card from the scientist who studied him.

I have reported from five nuclear “ground zeros” throughout the world — in Japan, the Marshall Islands, Nevada, Polynesia and Maralinga in Australia. Even more than my experience as a war correspondent, this has taught me about the ruthlessness and immorality of great power: that is, imperial power, whose cynicism is the true enemy of humanity.

This struck me forcibly when I filmed at Taranaki Ground Zero at Maralinga in the Australian desert. In a dish-like crater was an obelisk on which was inscribed: “A British atomic weapon was test exploded here on 9 October 1957”. On the rim of the crater was this sign:

WARNING: RADIATION HAZARD 

Radiation levels for a few hundred metres

around this point may be above those considered

safe for permanent occupation.

For as far as the eye could see, and beyond, the ground was irradiated. Raw plutonium lay about, scattered like talcum powder: plutonium is so dangerous to humans that a third of a milligram gives a 50 per cent chance of cancer.

The only people who might have seen the sign were Indigenous Australians, for whom there was no warning. According to an official account, if they were lucky “they were shooed off like rabbits”.

Today, an unprecedented campaign of propaganda is shooing us all off like rabbits. We are not meant to question the daily torrent of anti-Chinese rhetoric, which is rapidly overtaking the torrent of anti-Russia rhetoric. Anything Chinese is bad, anathema, a threat: Wuhan …. Huawei. How confusing it is when “our” most reviled leader says so.

The current phase of this campaign began not with Trump but with Barack Obama, who in 2011 flew to Australia to declare the greatest build-up of US naval forces in the Asia-Pacific region since World War Two. Suddenly, China was a “threat”. This was nonsense, of course. What was threatened was America’s unchallenged psychopathic view of itself as the richest, the most successful, the most “indispensable” nation.

What was never in dispute was its prowess as a bully — with more than 30 members of the United Nations suffering American sanctions of some kind and a trail of the blood running through defenceless countries bombed, their governments overthrown, their  elections interfered with, their resources plundered.

Obama’s declaration became known as the “pivot to Asia”. One of its principal advocates was his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who, as WikiLeaks revealed, wanted to rename the Pacific Ocean “the American Sea”.

Whereas Clinton never concealed her warmongering, Obama was a maestro of marketing.”I state clearly and with conviction,” said the new president in 2009, “that America’s commitment is to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”

Obama increased spending on nuclear warheads faster than any president since the end of the Cold War. A “usable” nuclear weapon was developed. Known as the B61 Model 12, it means, according to General James Cartwright, former vice-chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that “going smaller [makes its use] more thinkable”.

The target is China. Today, more than 400 American military bases almost encircle China with missiles, bombers, warships and nuclear weapons. From Australia north through the Pacific to South-East Asia, Japan and Korea and across Eurasia to Afghanistan and India, the bases form, as one US strategist told me, “the perfect noose”.

A study by the RAND Corporation – which, since Vietnam, has planned America’s wars – is entitled War with China: Thinking Through the Unthinkable. Commissioned by the US Army, the authors evoke the infamous catch cry of its chief Cold War strategist, Herman Kahn – “thinking the unthinkable”. Kahn’s book, On Thermonuclear War, elaborated a plan for a “winnable” nuclear war.

Kahn’s apocalyptic view is shared by Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, an evangelical fanatic who believes in the “rapture of the End”. He is perhaps the most dangerous man alive. “I was CIA director,” he boasted, “We lied, we cheated, we stole. It was like we had entire training courses.”  Pompeo’s obsession is China.

The endgame of Pompeo’s extremism is rarely if ever discussed in the Anglo-American media, where the myths and fabrications about China are standard fare, as were the lies about Iraq. A virulent racism is the sub-text of this propaganda. Classified “yellow” even though they were white, the Chinese are the only ethnic group to have been banned by an “exclusion act” from entering the United States, because they were Chinese. Popular culture declared them sinister, untrustworthy, “sneaky”, depraved, diseased, immoral.

An Australian magazine, The Bulletin, was devoted to promoting fear of the “yellow peril” as if all of Asia was about to fall down on the whites-only colony by the force of gravity.

As the historian Martin Powers writes, acknowledging China’s  modernism, its secular morality and “contributions to liberal thought threatened European face, so it became necessary to suppress China’s role in the Enlightenment debate …. For centuries, China’s threat to the myth of Western superiority has made it an easy target for race-baiting.”

In the Sydney Morning Herald, tireless China-basher Peter Hartcher described those who spread Chinese influence in Australia as “rats, flies, mosquitoes and sparrows”. Hartcher, who favourably quotes the American demagogue Steve Bannon, likes to interpret the “dreams” of the current Chinese elite, to which he is apparently privy. These are inspired by yearnings for the “Mandate of Heaven” of 2,000 years ago. Ad nausea.

To combat this “mandate”, the Australian government of Scott Morrison has committed one of the most secure countries on earth, whose major trading partner is China, to hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American missiles that can be fired at China.

The trickledown is already evident. In a country historically scarred by violent racism towards Asians, Australians of Chinese descent have formed a vigilante group to protect delivery riders. Phone videos show a delivery rider punched in the face and a Chinese couple racially abused in a supermarket. Between April and June, there were almost 400 racist attacks on Asian-Australians. 

“We are not your enemy,” a high-ranking strategist in China told me, “but if you [in the West] decide we are, we must prepare without delay.” China’s arsenal is small compared with America’s, but it is growing fast, especially the development of maritime missiles designed to destroy fleets of ships.

“For the first time,” wrote Gregory Kulacki of the Union of Concerned Scientists, “China is discussing putting its nuclear missiles on high alert so that they can be launched quickly on warning of an attack… This would be a significant and dangerous change in Chinese policy…”

In Washington, I met Amitai Etzioni, distinguished professor of international affairs at George Washington University, who wrote that a “blinding attack on China” was planned, “with strikes that could be mistakenly perceived [by the Chinese] as pre-emptive attempts to take out its nuclear weapons, thus cornering them into a terrible use-it-or-lose-it dilemma [that would] lead to nuclear war.”

In 2019, the US staged its biggest single military exercise since the Cold War, much of it in high secrecy. An armada of ships and long-range bombers rehearsed an “Air-Sea Battle Concept for China” – ASB – blocking sea lanes in the Straits of Malacca and cutting off China’s access to oil, gas and other raw materials from the Middle East and Africa.

It is fear of such a blockade that has seen China develop its Belt and Road Initiative along the old Silk Road to Europe and urgently build strategic airstrips on disputed reefs and islets in the Spratly Islands.

In Shanghai, I met Lijia Zhang, a Beijing journalist and novelist, typical of a new class of outspoken mavericks. Her best-selling book has the ironic title Socialism Is Great! Having grown up in the chaotic, brutal Cultural Revolution, she has travelled and lived in the US and Europe. “Many Americans imagine,” she said, “that Chinese people live a miserable, repressed life with no freedom whatsoever. The [idea of] the yellow peril has never left them… They have no idea there are some 500 million people being lifted out of poverty, and some would say it’s 600 million.”

Modern China’s epic achievements, its defeat of mass poverty, and the pride and contentment of its people (measured forensically by American pollsters such as Pew) are wilfully unknown or misunderstood in the West. This alone is a commentary on the lamentable state of Western journalism and the abandonment of honest reporting.

China’s repressive dark side and what we like to call its “authoritarianism” are the facade we are allowed to see almost exclusively. It is as if we are fed unending tales of the evil super-villain Dr. Fu Manchu. And it is time we asked why: before it is too late to stop the next Hiroshima.

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John Pilger can be reached through his website: www.johnpilger.com

Iran Intelligence Ministry rejects reports on US-based group ringleader’s overseas arrest

Press TV

Monday, 03 August 2020 5:51 AM  [ Last Update: Monday, 03 August 2020 6:44 AM ]

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This photo released by Fars news agency shows Jamshid Sharmahd after his capture by Iranian security forces.

Iran’s Intelligence Ministry, which recently announced the apprehension of the ringleader of a US-based anti-Iran terrorist group, has rejected reports alleging that the person in question was actually nabbed in Tajikistan.

The reports “are roundly rejected,” the Ministry said in a statement that was cited by Tasnim News Agency on Sunday.

Statements released by the Ministry’s Public Relations Office are the ultimate source of any official information detailing the operations that are carried out by the Ministry’s operatives, the statement asserted.

The Ministry announced arresting Jamshid Sharmahd, the ringleader of the Tondar (Thunder) outfit, otherwise known as the so-called “Kingdom Assembly of Iran,” on Saturday, notifying that he had directed “armed operations and acts of sabotage” inside Iran from the US in the past.

Upon arrest, Sharmahd admitted to providing explosives for a 2008 attack in southern Iran that killed 14 people. US-based group ringleader admits providing explosives for 2008 deadly bomb attack in Iran

Upon arrest, the ringleader of a US-based anti-Iran terrorist group admits providing explosives for a 2008 attack in southern Iran.

“I was called before the bomb was about to be set off,” he was seen confessing in footage provided by the Islamic Republic of Iran News Network later in the day. 

The attack that targeted the Seyyed al-Shohada mosque in the city of Shiraz also wounded 215 others.

According to the Ministry, the group had planned to carry out several high-profile and potentially hugely-deadly attacks across the Islamic Republic, but had been frustrated in the attempts owing to intricate intelligence operations targeting the outfit. These included blowing up of Sivand Damn in Shiraz, detonating cyanide-laden bombs at Tehran International Book Fair, and carrying out explosions during mass gatherings at the Mausoleum of the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini.

Details of the arrest

Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi, meanwhile, congratulated the Ministry’s operatives on their success in arresting the terrorist ringleader, detailing the circumstances that surrounded the operation.

Sharmahd enjoyed “serious support” from the American and Israeli intelligence services, which “considered it to be far-fetched for the Iranian Intelligence Ministry to be able to penetrate their intelligence cover and put him under its command through an intricate operation,” the minister said.

The Americans still believe that pictures showing Sharmahd in Iran after his arrest have been snapped outside the Islamic Republic, he added, saying, “They will found out about everything [concerning the operation] in near future.”

Alavi differentiated between Sharmahd’s outfit and other so-called royalist groups, which mostly resort to rhetoric and statements to try to establish themselves.

Tondar “was the only movement that was very violent and was after establishing itself through terrorist operation,” the minister noted.

‘Iran neutralized 27 ops by Tondar’

Alavi noted that the Ministry had succeeded in frustrating 27 operations by Sharmahd and his group.

The minister again highly rated the arrest operation, recalling previous remarks by Sharmahd, in which he had considered himself to be comfortably nested within the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“He considered his place to be lying on the sixth floor of the FBI [‘s building],” and now sees himself in the grips of Iranian intelligence operatives, Alavi said.

Following the terrorist attack in Iran, the Islamic Republic notified the Interpol of Sharmahd’s identity and demanded his arrest. However, he would still travel freely between countries with his real identity.

Alavi said the inaction despite Tehran’s complaint “indicates the hollowness of the Americans and their European allies’ claim of fighting terrorism.”

The minister finally hailed that the arrest “has not been and will not be” the first such complicated operation to be aced by Iranian intelligence operatives, asserting that “they have carried out such arrests in the past, the due time for explaining which has not yet arrived.”


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The heart of the matter in the South China Sea

The heart of the matter in the South China Sea

July 30, 2020

by Pepe Escobar for The Saker Blog and originally posted at Asia Times

When the Ronald Reagan and Nimitz carrier strike groups recently engaged in “operations” in the South China Sea, it did not escape to many a cynic that the US Pacific Fleet was doing its best to turn the infantile Thucydides Trap theory into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The pro forma official spin, via Rear Adm. Jim Kirk, commander of the Nimitz, is that the ops were conducted to “reinforce our commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific, a rules-based international order, and to our allies and partners”.

Nobody pays attention to these clichés, because the real message was delivered by a CIA operative posing as diplomat, Secretary of State Mike “We Lie, We Cheat, We Steal” Pompeo: “The PRC has no legal grounds to unilaterally impose its will on the region”, in a reference to the Nine-Dash Line. For the State Dept., Beijing deploys nothing but “gangster tactics” in the South China Sea.

Once again, nobody paid attention, because the actual facts on the sea are stark. Anything that moves in the South China Sea – China’s crucial maritime trade artery – is at the mercy of the PLA, which decides if and when to deploy their deadly DF-21D and DF-26 “carrier killer” missiles. There’s absolutely no way the US Pacific Fleet can win a shooting war in the South China Sea.

Electronically jammed

A crucial Chinese report, unavailable and not referred to by Western media, and translated by Hong Kong-based analyst Thomas Wing Polin, is essential to understand the context.

The report refers to US Growler electronic warplanes rendered totally out of control by electronic jamming devices positioned on islands and reefs in the South China Sea.

According to the report, “after the accident, the United States negotiated with China, demanding that China dismantle the electronic equipment immediately, but it was rejected. These electronic devices are an important part of China’s maritime defense and are not offensive weapons. Therefore, the US military’s request for dismantling is unreasonable.”

It gets better: “On the same day, former commander Scott Swift of the US Pacific Fleet finally acknowledged that the US military had lost the best time to control the South China Sea. He believes that China has deployed a large number of Hongqi 9 air defense missiles, H-6K bombers, and electronic jamming systems on islands and reefs. The defense can be said to be solid. If US fighter jets rush into the South China Sea, they are likely to encounter their ‘Waterloo.’”

The bottom line is that the systems – including electronic jamming – deployed by the PLA on islands and reefs in the South China Sea, covering more than half of the total surface, are considered by Beijing to be part of the national defense system.

I have previously detailed what Admiral Philip Davidson, when he was still a nominee to lead the US Pacific Command (PACOM), told the US Senate. Here are his Top Three conclusions:

1) “China is pursuing advanced capabilities (e.g., hypersonic missiles) which the United States has no current defense against. As China pursues these advanced weapons systems, US forces across the Indo-Pacific will be placed increasingly at risk.”

2) “China is undermining the rules-based international order.”

3) “China is now capable of controlling the South China Sea in all scenarios short of war with the United States.”

Implied in all of the above is the “secret” of the Indo-Pacific strategy: at best a containment exercise, as China continues to solidify the Maritime Silk Road linking the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean.

Remember the nusantao

The South China Sea is and will continue to be one of the prime geopolitical flashpoints of the young 21st century, where a great deal of the East-West balance of power will be played.

I have addressed this elsewhere in the past in some detail, but a short historical background is once again absolutely essential to understand the current juncture as the South China Sea increasingly looks and feels like a Chinese lake.

Let’s start in 1890, when Alfred Mahan, then president of the US Naval College, wrote the seminal The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783. Mahan’s central thesis is that the US should go global in search of new markets, and protect these new trade routes through a network of naval bases.

That is the embryo of the US Empire of Bases – which remains in effect.

It was Western – American and European – colonialism that came up with most land borders and maritime borders of states bordering the South China Sea: Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam.

We are talking about borders between different colonial possessions – and that implied intractable problems from the start, subsequently inherited by post-colonial nations.

Historically, it had always been a completely different story. The best anthropological studies (Bill Solheim’s, for instance) define the semi-nomadic communities who really traveled and traded across the South China Sea from time immemorial as the Nusantao – an Austronesian compound word for “south island” and “people”.

The Nusantao were not a defined ethnic group. They were a maritime internet. Over centuries, they had many key hubs, from the coastline between central Vietnam and Hong Kong all the way to the Mekong Delta. They were not attached to any “state”. The Western notion of “borders” did not even exist. In the mid-1990s, I had the privilege to encounter some of their descendants in Indonesia and Vietnam.

So it was only by the late 19th century that the Westphalian system managed to freeze the South China Sea inside an immovable framework.

Which brings us to the crucial point of why China is so sensitive about its borders; because they are directly linked to the “century of humiliation” – when internal Chinese corruption and weakness allowed Western “barbarians” to take possession of Chinese land.

A Japanese lake

The Nine Dash Line is an immensely complex problem. It was invented by the eminent Chinese geographer Bai Meichu, a fierce nationalist, in 1936, initially as part of a “Chinese National Humiliation Map” in the form of a “U-shaped line” gobbling up the South China Sea all the way down to James Shoal, which is 1,500 km south of China but only over 100 km off Borneo.

The Nine Dash Line, from the beginning, was promoted by the Chinese government – remember, at the time not yet Communist – as the letter of the law in terms of “historic” Chinese claims over islands in the South China Sea.

One year later, Japan invaded China. Japan had occupied Taiwan way back in 1895. Japan occupied the Philippines in 1942. That meant virtually the entire coastline of the South China Sea being controlled by a single empire for the fist time in history. The South China Sea had become a Japanese lake.

Well, that lasted only until 1945. The Japanese did occupy Woody Island in the Paracels and Itu Aba (today Taiping) in the Spratlys. After the end of WWII and the US nuclear-bombing Japan, the Philippines became independent in 1946 and the Spratlys immediately were declared Filipino territory.

In 1947, all the islands in the South China Sea got Chinese names.

And in December 1947 all the islands were placed under the control of Hainan (itself an island in southern China.) New maps duly followed, but now with Chinese names for the islands (or reefs, or shoals). But there was a huge problem: no one explained the meaning of those dashes (which were originally eleven.)

In June 1947 the Republic of China claimed everything within the line – while proclaiming itself open to negotiate definitive maritime borders with other nations later on. But, for the moment, there were no borders.

And that set the scene for the immensely complicated “strategic ambiguity” of the South China Sea that still lingers on – and allows the State Dept. to accuse Beijing of “gangster tactics”. The culmination of a millennia-old transition from the “maritime internet” of semi-nomadic peoples to the Westphalian system spelled nothing but trouble.

Time for COC

So what about the US notion of “freedom of navigation”?

In imperial terms, “freedom of navigation”, from the West Coast of the US to Asia – through the Pacific, the South China Sea, the Malacca Strait and the Indian Ocean – is strictly an issue of military strategy.

The US Navy simply cannot imagine dealing with maritime exclusion zones – or having to demand an “authorization” every time they need to cross them. In this case the Empire of Bases would lose “access” to its own bases.

This is compounded with trademark Pentagon paranoia, gaming a situation where a “hostile power” – namely China – decides to block global trade. The premise in itself is ludicrous, because the South China Sea is the premier, vital maritime artery for China’s globalized economy.

So there’s no rational justification for a Freedom of Navigation (FON) program. For all practical purposes, these aircraft carriers like the Ronald Reagan and the Nimitz showboating on and off in the South China Sea amount to 21st century gunboat diplomacy. And Beijing is not impressed.

As far as the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is concerned, what matters now is to come up with a Code of Conduct (COC) to solve all maritime conflicts between Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and China.

Next year, ASEAN and China celebrate 30 years of strong bilateral relations. There’s a strong possibility they will be upgraded to “comprehensive strategic partner” status.

Because of Covid-19, all players had to postpone negotiations on the second reading of the single draft of COC. Beijing wanted these to be face to face – because the document is ultra-sensitive and for the moment, secret. Yet they finally agreed to negotiate online – via detailed texts.

It will be a hard slog, because as ASEAN made it clear in a virtual summit in late June, everything has to be in accordance with international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS).

If they can all agree on a COC by the end of 2020, a final agreement could be approved by ASEAN in mid-2021. Historic does not even begin to describe it – because this negotiation has been going on for no less than two decades.

Not to mention that a COC invalidates any US pretension to secure “freedom of navigation” in an area where navigation is already free.

Yet “freedom” was never the issue. In imperial terminology, “freedom” means that China must obey and keep the South China Sea open to the US Navy. Well, that’s possible, but you gotta behave. That’ll be the day when the US Navy is “denied” the South China Sea. You don’t need to be Mahan to know that’ll mean the imperial end of ruling the seven seas.

Report: OPCW Leaks Show US Cover-Up of Illegal Syria Bombing

Report: OPCW Leaks Show US Cover-Up of Illegal Syria Bombing

By Staff, Agencies

Leaked documents from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons [OPCW] show that the administration of US President Donald Trump bombed Syria in 2018 on false grounds and pressured officials at the chemical weapons watchdog to cover it up, an American weekly magazine reports.

Analyzing the leaks, The Nation reported on Friday that the OPCW had manipulated the original report on the alleged chemical attack in the city of Douma near the capital Damascus on April 7, 2018.

The US and its allies were quick to blame the incident on the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Damascus, however, said that no chemical attack happened and that the incident was staged by foreign intelligence agencies to pressure the government in the face of army advances against foreign-backed terrorists.

One week after the Douma incident, the US, Britain and France launched a coordinated missile attack against sites and research facilities near Damascus and Homs with the purported goal of paralyzing the Syrian government’s capability to produce chemicals.

In March 2019, the OPCW concluded in its final report that there are “reasonable grounds” to believe that a chemical weapons attack occurred in Douma and that “the toxic chemical was likely molecular chlorine.”

But, subsequent internal OPCW documents, including a trove published by WikiLeaks, revealed that the Douma investigators’ initial report had reached different conclusions from their organization’s published version.

According to the report, the leaks reveal that senior OPCW officials “reedited” the Douma investigators’ original report, “removed or misrepresented” key facts and rewrote conclusions in a bid to support the allegation that a chlorine gas attack had occurred in Douma.

“Yet the team’s initial report did not conclude that a chemical attack occurred, and left open the possibility that victims were killed in a ‘non-chemical related’ incident,” it added.

The report also referred to a toxicology review which found that observed symptoms of the civilians in Douma, particularly the rapid onset of excessive frothing, as well as the concentration of victims filmed in the apartment building so close to fresh air, “were inconsistent with exposure to chlorine, and no other obvious candidate chemical causing the symptoms could be identified.”

It further said chemical tests of the samples collected in Douma showed that chlorine compounds were, in most cases, “detected at what amounted to trace quantities in the parts-per-billion range” and that they could have resulted from “contact with household products such as bleach or come from chlorinated water or wood preservatives.”

The author of the initial POCW report protested the revisions in an e-mail, saying the altered version “misrepresents the facts,” thereby “undermining its credibility.”

After the e-mail of protest, a US government delegation met with members of the investigation team in an attempt to convince them that the Syrian government had committed a chemical attack with chlorine.

Veteran reporter Jonathan Steele said the Douma team saw the meeting as “unacceptable pressure and a violation of the OPCW’s declared principles of independence and impartiality.”

Meanwhile, the OPCW’s final report claimed that gas cylinders found in Douma likely came from Syrian military aircraft, but an unpublished engineering study found that the cylinders were manually placed.

“The OPCW leadership has yet to offer a substantive explanation for why they excluded critical findings and radically altered the original report. Instead, it has denigrated the two members of the Douma fact-finding mission team who challenged the manipulation of their investigation,” The Nation reported.

Ian Henderson and another unnamed OPCW inspector are the whistleblowers who challenged the whitewash at the chemical weapons watchdog.

OPCW Director General Fernando Arias claimed that the pair had committed “deliberate and premeditated breaches of confidentiality.”

A third OPCW official, who was speaking on the condition of anonymity, said he was “horrified” by the “abhorrent…mistreatment” of the pair.

“I fully support their endeavors,” he added. “They are in fact trying to protect the integrity of the organization which has been hijacked and brought into shameful disrepute.”

“The possibility that the United States may have bombed Syria based on falsehoods – and pressured a global investigative body to grant that intervention legitimacy after the fact –should break the media blockade. So too should the fact that it was exposed by whistleblowers who face risk for speaking out,” The Nation reported.

Former OPCW head Jose Bustani said, “The convincing evidence of irregular behavior in the OPCW investigation of the alleged Douma chemical attack confirms doubts and suspicions I already had.”

“The picture is certainly clearer now, although very disturbing,” he added, expressing hope that the outcry over the Douma leaks “will catalyze a process by which the [OPCW] can be resurrected to become the independent and non-discriminatory body it used to be.”

LancetGate: “Scientific Corona Lies” and Big Pharma Corruption. Hydroxychloroquine versus Gilead’s Remdesivir

By Michel Chossudovsky

Source

Introduction

There is an ongoing battle to suppress Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), a cheap and effective drug for the treatment of Covid-19. The campaign against HCQ is carried out through slanderous political statements, media smears, not to mention an authoritative peer reviewed “evaluation”  published on May 22nd by The Lancet, which was based on fake figures and test trials.

The study was allegedly based on data analysis of 96,032 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 between Dec 20, 2019, and April 14, 2020 from 671 hospitals Worldwide. The database had been fabricated. The objective was to kill the Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) cure on behalf of Big Pharma.

While The Lancet article was retracted, the media casually blamed “a tiny US based company” named Surgisphere whose employees included “a sci-fi writer and adult content model” for spreading “flawed data” (Guardian). This Chicago based outfit was accused of having misled both the WHO and national governments, inciting them to ban HCQ. None of those trial tests actually took place.

While the blame was placed on Surgisphere, the unspoken truth (which neither the scientific community nor the media have acknowledged) is that the study was coordinated by Harvard professor Mandeep Mehra under the auspices of Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) which is a partner of the Harvard Medical School.

When the scam was revealed, Dr. Mandeep Mehra who holds the Harvey Distinguished Chair of Medicine at  Brigham and Women’s Hospital apologized:

I have always performed my research in accordance with the highest ethical and professional guidelines. However, we can never forget the responsibility we have as researchers to scrupulously ensure that we rely on data sources that adhere to our high standards.

It is now clear to me that in my hope to contribute this research during a time of great need, I did not do enough to ensure that the data source was appropriate for this use. For that, and for all the disruptions – both directly and indirectly – I am truly sorry. (emphasis added)

Mandeep R. Mehra, MD, MSC  (official statement on BWH website)

But that “truly sorry” note was just the tip of the iceberg. Why?

Studies on Gilead Science’s Remdesivir and Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) Were Conducted Simultaneously by Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH)

While The Lancet report (May 22, 2020) coordinated by Dr. Mandeep Mehra was intended “to kill” the legitimacy of HCQ as a cure of Covid-19, another important (related) study was being carried out (concurrently) at BWH pertaining to Remdesivir on behalf of Gilead Sciences Inc. Dr. Francisco Marty, a specialist in Infectious Disease and Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School was entrusted with coordination of the clinical trial tests of the antiviral medication Remdesivir under Brigham’s contract with Gilead Sciences Inc:

Brigham and Women’s Hospital began enrolling patients in two clinical trials for Gilead’s antiviral medication remdesivir. The Brigham is one of multiple clinical trial sites for a Gilead-initiated study of the drug in 600 participants with moderate coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and a Gilead-initiated study of 400 participants with severe COVID-19.

… If the results are promising, this could lead to FDA approval, and if they aren’t, it gives us critical information in the fight against COVID-19 and allows us to move on to other therapies.”

While Dr. Mandeep Mehra was not directly involved in the Gilead Remdesevir BWH study under the supervision of his colleague Dr. Francisco Marty, he nonetheless had contacts with Gilead Sciences Inc: “He participated in a conference sponsored by Gilead in early April 2020 as part of the Covid-19 debate” (France Soir, May 23, 2020)

What was the intent of his (failed) study? To undermine the legitimacy of Hydroxychloroquine?

According to France Soir, in a report published after The Lancet Retraction:

The often evasive answers produced by Dr Mandeep R. Mehra, … professor at Harvard Medical School, did not produce confidence, fueling doubt instead about the integrity of this retrospective study and its results. (France Soir, June 5, 2020)

Was Dr. Mandeep Mehra in conflict of interest? (That is a matter for BWH and the Harvard Medical School to decide upon).

Who are the Main Actors? 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, advisor to Donald Trump, portrayed as “America’s top infectious disease expert” has played a key role in smearing the HCQ cure which had been approved years earlier by the CDC as well as providing legitimacy to Gilead’s Remdesivir.

Dr. Fauci has been the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since the Reagan administration. He is known to act as a mouthpiece for Big Pharma.

Dr. Fauci launched Remdesivir in late June (see details below). According to Fauci, Remdesevir is the “corona wonder drug” developed by Gilead Science Inc. It’s a $1.6 billion dollar bonanza.

Gilead Sciences Inc: History

Gilead Sciences Inc is a Multibillion dollar bio-pharmaceutical company which is now involved in developing and marketing Remdesivir. Gilead has a long history. It has the backing of major investment conglomerates including the Vanguard Group and Capital Research & Management Co, among others. It has developed ties with the US Government.

In 1999 Gilead Sciences Inc, developed Tamiflu (used as a treatment of seasonal influenza and bird flu). At the  time, Gilead Sciences Inc was headed by Donald Rumsfeld (1997-2001), who later joined the George W. Bush administration as Secretary of Defense (2001-2006). Rumsfeld was responsible for coordinating the illegal and criminal wars on Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003).

Rumsfeld maintained his links to Gilead Sciences Inc throughout his tenure as Secretary of Defense (2001-2006). According to CNN Money (2005): “The prospect of a bird flu outbreak … was very good news for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld [who still owned Gilead stocks] and other politically connected investors in Gilead Sciences”.

Anthony Fauci has been in charge of the NIAID since 1984, using his position as “a go between” the US government and Big Pharma. During Rumsfeld’s tenure as Secretary of Defense, the budget allocated to bio-terrorism increased substantially, involving contracts with Big Pharma including Gilead Sciences Inc. Anthony Fauci considered that the money allocated to bio-terrorism in early 2002 would: 

“accelerate our understanding of the biology and pathogenesis of microbes that can be used in attacks, and the biology of the microbes’ hosts — human beings and their immune systems. One result should be more effective vaccines with less toxicity.” (WPo report)

In 2008, Dr. Anthony Fauci was granted the Presidential Medal of Freedom by president George W. Bush “for his determined and aggressive efforts to help others live longer and healthier lives.”

The 2020 Gilead Sciences Inc Remdesivir Project

We will be focussing on key documents (and events)

Chronology 

February 21: Initial Release pertaining to NIH-NIAID Remdesivir placebo test trial

April 10: The Gilead Sciences Inc study published in the NEJM on the “Compassionate Use of Remdesivir”

April 29: NIH Release: Study on Remdesivir (Report published on May 22 in NEJM)

May 22, The BWH-Harvard Study on Hydroxychloroquine coordinated by Dr. Mandeep Mehra published in The Lancet

May 22Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Preliminary Report  National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, New England Journal of Medicine, (NEJM) 

June 5: The (fake) Lancet Report (May 22) on HCQ is Retracted.

June 29, Fauci announcement. The $1.6 Billion Remdevisir HHS Agreement with Gilead Sciences Inc

April 10: The Gilead Sciences Inc. study published in the NEJM on the “Compassionate Use of Remdesivir”

A Gilead sponsored report was published in New England Journal of Medicine in an article entitled  “Compassionate Use of Remdesivir for Patients with Severe Covid-19” . It was co-authored by an impressive list of 56 distinguished medical doctors and scientists, many of whom were recipients of consulting fees from Gilead Sciences Inc.

Gilead Sciences Inc. funded the study which included several staff members as co-authors.

The testing included a total of 61 patients [who] received at least one dose of remdesivir on or before March 7, 2020; 8 of these patients were excluded because of missing postbaseline information (7 patients) and an erroneous remdesivir start date (1 patient) … Of the 53 remaining patients included in this analysis, 40 (75%) received the full 10-day course of remdesivir, 10 (19%) received 5 to 9 days of treatment, and 3 (6%) fewer than 5 days of treatment.

The NEJM article states that “Gilead Sciences Inc began accepting requests from clinicians for compassionate use of remdesivir on January 25, 2020”. From whom, From Where? According to the WHO (January 30, 2020) there were 82 cases in 18 countries outside China of which 5 were in the US, 5 in France and 3 in Canada.

Several prominent physicians and scientists have cast  doubt on the Compassionate Use of Remdesivir study conducted by Gilead, focussing on the small size of the trial. Ironically, the number of patients in the test  is less that the number of co-authors: “53 patients” versus “56 co-authors”

Below we provide excerpts of scientific statements on the Gilead NEJM project (Science Media Centre emphasis added) published immediately following the release of the NEJM article:

‘Compassionate use’ is better described as using an unlicensed therapy to treat a patient because there are no other treatments available. Research based on this kind of use should be treated with extreme caution because there is no control group or randomisation, which are some of the hallmarks of good practice in clinical trials. Prof Duncan Richard, Clinical Therapeutics, University of Oxford.

 “It is critical not to over-interpret this study. Most importantly, it is impossible to know the outcome for this relatively small group of patients had they not received remdesivir. Dr Stephen Griffin, Associate Professor, School of Medicine, University of Leeds.

 “The research is interesting but doesn’t prove anything at this point: the data are from a small and uncontrolled study.  Simon Maxwell, Professor of Clinical Pharmacology and Prescribing, University of Edinburgh.

“The data from this paper are almost uninterpretable. It is very surprising, perhaps even unethical, that the New England Journal of Medicine has published it. It would be more appropriate to publish the data on the website of the pharmaceutical company that has sponsored and written up the study. At least Gilead have been clear that this has not been done in the way that a high quality scientific paper would be written.  Prof Stephen Evans, Professor of Pharmacoepidemiology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

 “It’s very hard to draw useful conclusions from uncontrolled studies like this particularly with a new disease where we really don’t know what to expect and with wide variations in outcomes between places and over time. One really has to question the ethics of failing to do randomisation – this study really represents more than anything else, a missed opportunity.” Prof Adam Finn, Professor of Paediatrics, University of Bristol.

To review the complete document of Science Media Centre pertaining to expert assessments click here

April 29: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Study on Remdevisir. 

On April 29th following the publication of the Gilead Sciences Inc Study in the NEJM on April 10, a press release of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on Remdevisir was released.  The full document was published on May 22, by the NEJM under the title:

 Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Preliminary Report (NEJM) 

The study had been initiated on February 21, 2020. The title of the April 29 Press Release was:

“Peer-reviewed data shows remdesivir for COVID-19 improves time to recovery”

It’s a government sponsored report which includes preliminary data from a randomized trial involving 1063 hospitalized patients. The results of the trial labelled Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT) are preliminary, conducted under the helm of Dr. Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID):

An independent data and safety monitoring board (DSMB) overseeing the trial met on April 27 to review data and shared their interim analysis with the study team. Based upon their review of the data, they noted that remdesivir was better than placebo from the perspective of the primary endpoint, time to recovery, a metric often used in influenza trials. Recovery in this study was defined as being well enough for hospital discharge or returning to normal activity level.

Preliminary results indicate that patients who received remdesivir had a 31% faster time to recovery than those who received placebo (p<0.001). Specifically, the median time to recovery was 11 days for patients treated with remdesivir compared with 15 days for those who received placebo. Results also suggested a survival benefit, with a mortality rate of 8.0% for the group receiving remdesivir versus 11.6% for the placebo group (p=0.059).  (emphasis added)

In the NIH’s earlier February 21, 2020 report (released at the outset of the study), the methodology was described as follows:

… A randomized, controlled clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the investigational antiviral remdesivir in hospitalized adults diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) …

Numbers. Where? When? 

The February 21 report confirmed that the first trial participant was “an American who was repatriated after being quarantined on the Diamond Princess cruise ship” that docked in Yokohama (Japanese Territorial Waters). “Thirteen people repatriated by the U.S. State Department from the Diamond Princess cruise ship” were selected as patients for the placebo trial test. Ironically, at the outset of the study, 58.7% of the “confirmed cases” Worldwide (542 cases out of 924) (outside China),  were on the Diamond Cruise Princess from which the initial trial placebo patients were selected.

Where and When: The trial test in the 68 selected sites? That came at a later date because on February 19th (WHO data), the US had recorded only 15 positive cases (see Table Below).

“A total of 68 sites ultimately joined the study—47 in the United States and 21 in countries in Europe and Asia.” (emphasis added)

In the final May 22 NEJM report entitled Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Preliminary Report

There were 60 trial sites and 13 subsites in the United States (45 sites), Denmark (8), the United Kingdom (5), Greece (4), Germany (3), Korea (2), Mexico (2), Spain (2), Japan (1), and Singapore (1). Eligible patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive either remdesivir or placebo. Randomization was stratified by study site and disease severity at enrollment

The Washington Post applauded Anthony Fauci’s announcement (April 29):

“The preliminary results, disclosed at the White House by Anthony S. Fauci, …  fall short of the magic bullet or cure… But with no approved treatments for Covid-19,[Lie] Fauci said, it will become the standard of care for hospitalized patients …The data shows that remdisivir has a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery,” Fauci said.

The government’s first rigorous clinical trial of the experimental drug remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment delivered mixed results to the medical community Wednesday — but rallied stock markets and raised hopes that an early weapon to help some patients was at hand.

The preliminary results, disclosed at the White House by Anthony Fauci, chief of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which led the placebo-controlled trial found that the drug accelerated the recovery of hospitalized patients but had only a marginal benefit in the rate of death.

… Fauci’s remarks boosted speculation that the Food and Drug Administration would seek emergency use authorization that would permit doctors to prescribe the drug.

In addition to clinical trials, remdesivir has been given to more than 1,000 patients under compassionate use. [also refers to the Gilead study published on April 10 in the NEJM]

The study, involving [more than] 1,000 patients at 68 sites in the United States and around the world (??), offers the first evidence (??) from a large (??), randomized (??) clinical study of remdesivir’s effectiveness against COVID-19.

The NIH placebo test study provided “preliminary results”. While the placebo trial test was “randomized”, the overall selection of patients at the 68 sites was not fully randomized. See the full report.

May 22: The Fake Lancet Report on Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ)

It is worth noting that the full report of the NIH-NIAID) entitled Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Preliminary Report was released on May 22, 2020 in the NEJM, on the same day as the controversial Lancet report on Hydroxychloroquine.

Immediately folllowing its publication, the media went into high gear, smearing the HCQ cure, while applauding the NIH-NIASD report released on the same day.

Remdesivir, the only drug cleared to treat Covid-19, sped the recovery time of patients with the disease, … “It’s a very safe and effective drug,” said Eric Topol, founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute. “We now have a definite first efficacious drug for Covid-19, which is a major step forward and will be built upon with other drugs, [and drug] combinations.”

When the Lancet HCQ article by  Bingham-Harvard was retracted on June 5, it was too late, it received minimal media coverage. Despite the Retraction, the HCQ cure “had been killed”.

June 29: Fauci Greenlight. The $1.6 Billion Remdesivir Contract with Gilead Sciences Inc

Dr. Anthony Fauci granted the “Greenlight” to Gilead Sciences Inc. on June 29, 2020.

The semi-official US government NIH-NIAID sponsored report (May 22) entitled Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Preliminary Report (NEJM) was used to justify a major agreement with Gilead Sciences Inc.

The Report was largely funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

On June 29, based on the findings of the NIH-NIAID Report published in the NEJM, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on behalf of the Trump Adminstration an agreement to secure large supplies of the remdesivir drug from Gilead Sciences Inc. for the treatment of Covid-19 in America’s private hospitals and clinics.

The earlier Gilead study based on scanty test results published in the NEJM (April 10), of 53 cases (and 56 co-authors) was not highlighted. The results of this study had been  questioned by several prominent physicians and scientists.

Who will be able to afford Remdisivir? 500,000 doses of Remdesivir are envisaged at $3,200 per patient, namely $1.6 billion (see the study by Elizabeth Woodworth)

The Drug was also approved for marketing in the European Union. under the brandname Veklury.

If this contract is implemented as planned, it represents for Gilead Science Inc. and the recipient US private hospitals and clinics a colossal amount of money.

 

[error in above title according to HHS: $3200]

According to The Trump Administration’s HHS Secretary Alex Azar (June 29, 2020):

“To the extent possible, we want to ensure that any American patient who needs remdesivir can get it. [at $3200] The Trump Administration is doing everything in our power to learn more about life-saving therapeutics for COVID-19 and secure access to these options for the American people.”

Remdesivir versus Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ)

Careful timing:

The Lancet study (published on May 22) was intended to undermine the legitimacy of Hydroxychloroquine as an effective cure to Covid-19, with a view to sustaining the $1.6 billion agreement between the HHS and Gilead Sciences Inc. on June 29th. The legitmacy of this agreement rested on the May 22 NIH-NIAID study in the NEJM which was considered “preliminary”. 

What Dr. Fauci failed to acknowledge is that Chloroquine had been “studied” and tested fifteen years ago by the CDC as a drug to be used against coronavirus infections.  And that Hydroxychloroquine has been used recently in the treatment of Covid-19 in several countries.

According to the Virology Journal (2005) Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread”. It was used in the SARS-1 outbreak in 2002. It had the endorsement of the CDC. 

HCQ is not only effective, it is “inexpensive” when compared to Remdesivir, at an estimated “$3120 for a US Patient with private insurance”.

Below are excerpts of an interview of Harvard’s Professor Mehra (who undertook the May 22 Lancet study) with France Soir published immediately following the publication of the Lancet report (prior to its Retraction).

Dr. Mandeep Mehra: In our study, it is fairly obvious that the lack of benefit and the risk of toxicity observed for hydroxychloroquine are fairly reliable. [referring to the May 22 Lancet study]

France Soir: Do you have the data for Remdesivir?

MM: Yes, we have the data, but the number of patients is too small for us to be able to conclude in one way or another.

FS: As you know, in France, there is a pros and cons battle over hydroxychloroquine which has turned into a public health issue even involving the financial lobbying of pharmaceutical companies. Why not measure the effect of one against the other to put an end to all speculation?  …

MM: In fact, there is no rational basis for testing Remdesivir versus hydroxychloroquine. On the one hand, Remdesivir has shown that there is no risk of mortality and that there is a reduction in recovery time. On the other hand, for hydroxychloroquine it is the opposite: it has never been shown any advantage and most studies are small or inconclusive In addition, our study shows that there are harmful effects.

It would therefore be difficult and probably unethical to compare a drug with demonstrated harmfulness to a drug with at least a glimmer of hope.

FS: You said that there is no basis for testing or comparing Remdesivir with hydroxychloroquine, do you think you have done everything to conclude that hydroxychloroquine is dangerous?

MM: Exactly. …

All we are saying is that once you have been infected (5 to 7 days after) to the point of having to be hospitalized with a severe viral load, the use of hydroxychloroquine and its derivative is not effective.

The damage from the virus is already there and the situation is beyond repair. With this treatment [HCQ] it can generate more complications

FS Mandeep Mehra declared that he had no conflict of interest with the laboratories and that this study was financed from the endowment funds of the professor’s chair.

He participated in a conference sponsored by Gilead in early April 2020 as part of the Covid-19 debate.

France Soir, translated by the author, emphasis added, May 23, 2020)

In Annex, see the followup article by France Soir published after the scam surrounding the data base of Dr. Mehra’s Lancet report was revealed.

Concluding Remarks

 Lies and Corruption to the nth Degree involving Dr. Anthony Fauci, “The Boston Connection” and Gilead Sciences Inc.

The Gilead Sciences Inc. Remdesivir study (50+ authors) was published in the New England Journal of Medicine (April 10, 2020).

It was followed by the NIH-NIAID Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Preliminary Report on May 22, 2020 in the NEJM.  And on that same day, May 22, the “fake report” on Hydroxychloroquine by BWH-Harvard Dr. Mehra was published by The Lancet.

Harvard Medical School and the BWH bear responsibility for having hosted and financed the fake Lancet report on HCQ coordinated by Dr. Mandeep Mehra.

Is there conflict of interest? BWH was simultaneously involved in a study on Remdesivir in contract with Gilead Sciences, Inc.

While the Lancet report coordinated by Harvard’s Dr. Mehra was retracted, it nonetheless served the interests of Gilead Sciences Inc.

It is important that an independent scientific and medical assessment be undertaken, respectively of the Gilead Sciences Inc New England Journal of Medicine (NEMJ) peer reviewed study (April 10, 2020) as well as the NIH-NIAID study also published in the NEJM (May 22, 2020).

Hezbollah Parliamentary Delegation Hands Lebanese FM Petition in Protest of US Ambassador’s Interventions, Calls on Him to Take Action

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Hezbollah MPs Hand Lebanese FM Petition in Protest against US Ambassador’s Interventions, Urge Him to Take Action

Loyalty to Resistance Parliamentary bloc on Monday handed the Lebanese foreign minister Nassif Hitti a petition in protest of the US ambassador Dorothy Shea’s intervention in the domestic affairs and instigation of Lebanese groups against each other.

Head of the bloc, Hajj Mohammad Raad, led the delegation which also urged Hitti to tale action against the US diplomat and draw her attention to the international conventions.

The delegation blasted the unrestrained movement of Shea whose recent statements did not respect the diplomatic norms and stirred sedition among the Lebanese segments.

The delegation also stressed that the Lebanese people and condemn the diplomatic violations of the US administration “which always support the Israeli aggression on Lebanon”.

The petition stresses that the US ambassador’s intervention violates the provisions of Vienna Convention, adding that holding a Lebanese party accountable for the economic crisis and interfering in the financial appointments in Lebanon is completely rejected.

The lawmakers concluded:

“Based on our keenness on our people who assigned us to represent them, as well as keenness on our country’s security and stability, we find a must to draw your attention and urge you to make the US ambassador understand that the Lebanese people strongly condemn her statements, keeping the choice for you to take the required measures to let her know that she must confine to the laws in force.”

Hezbollah MPs Hand Lebanese FM Petition in Protest against US Ambassador’s Interventions, Urge Him to Take Action
Hezbollah MPs Hand Lebanese FM Petition in Protest against US Ambassador’s Interventions, Urge Him to Take Action
Hezbollah MPs Hand Lebanese FM Petition in Protest against US Ambassador’s Interventions, Urge Him to Take Action
Hezbollah MPs Hand Lebanese FM Petition in Protest against US Ambassador’s Interventions, Urge Him to Take Action

Ambassador Sabbagh: OPCW’s politicized & biased resolution encourages terrorists to fabricate more chemical attacks

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 Friday, 10 July 2020

The Hague (ST):  Syria’s permanent representative at the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) ambassador  Bassam al-Sabbagh affirmed that the Syrian Arab Republic considers the resolution adopted by the OPCW’s executive  council regarding the alleged use of chemical weapons in al-Latamneh village in Hama in March 2017 politicized, and it targets a member state in the Organization and a partner in the agreement of the prohibition of chemical weapons for political purposes and well-known agendas.

He added that the resolution is biased towards the point of view of a group of states that have been working on colonialist projects against Syria, noting that the resolution was passed through blackmail and political pressure practiced against member states.

In a speech he made following the vote, Ambassador Sabbagh stressed that the resolution depended on false and incorrect conclusions of a team founded illegitimately, pointing out that this resolution would encourage terrorist organizations to fabricate more chemical plays to accuse the Syrian Arab army of such attacks instead of unifying international efforts to confront these terrorist groups, eliminate them and restore security and stability to Syria. 

The Syrian diplomat went on to say that this resolution would increase divisions among member states and weaken the Organization. “Moreover, it  would give the US, the UK and France more pretexts to commit more aggressive acts against Syria.” Ambassador Sabbagh said, extending thanks and appreciation for all the states  that voted against the resolution and rejected all forms of pressure and political blackmail practiced against them.

The executive council of  the OPCW voted for a Western draft resolution that supports the conclusions of the so-called the “Investigation and Identification Team ” regarding the allegation of using chemical weapons in al-Latamenah area, Hama governorate in March 2017.

China, Russia and Iran voted against the resolution while 29 states voted in favor of it with nine states abstained.

Earlier, the Syrian Foreign Ministry had  affirmed that the report of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) about using toxic materials in al-Latamenah town in 2017 is misleading which included false and fabricated conclusions.

The statement released by  the Ministry said that the report included false and fabricated conclusions which aim at forging facts and accusing the Syrian government of using toxic materials in 2017 in al-Latamenah town, depending on sources that were prepared and fabricated by Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists and the so-called “White Helmets” terrorist organization in an implementation of the instructions of their operators in the US, Turkey.

K.Q.

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USA seeks to drive regime-change by starving the people of Syria

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30 June 2020 

By:Reneva Fourie

The United States of America has intensified its economic warfare against the people of Syria. Battered by a 9-year war that resulted in investment and capital flight; and infrastructure and industry destruction, Covid-19 came as a heavy blow to the ailing Syrian economy. The most devastating however has been the ongoing, escalating, illegally imposed USA-driven, and European Union supported, sanctions against Syria. 

Sanctions barring USA-based companies from trading with Syria were imposed in 2004. In 2011 it was extended to include the financial and energy sectors (this while the USA pillages Syrian oil daily; an act that has been designated as illegal under international law and the rules of war, yet there are no repercussions). On Wednesday, June 17, 2020 the sanctions provisions of the USA so-called ‘Caesar’ Civilian Protection Act of 2019, which extends sanctions to all foreign firms or countries that deal with the government of Syria, came into force.

The government of Syria had largely managed to control their weakening currency during the war, despite its domestic challenges. The value of the currency, however, plummeted over the past three weeks in anticipation, and due to the implementation of, the ‘Caesar’ Act.  The Syrian Pound (SYP), which was trading at around SYP 47 (about R ) to the dollar prior to the war, is now, as at end June 2020, hovering around SYP 2 500 to the dollar.

The impact of these sanctions on the quality of life of the Syrian people has been disastrous. According to UNDP data, Syria’s human development index was on the rise between 2000 and 2010.

The IMF outlook for 2010 was as follows, “The outlook for 2010 points to an overall strengthening in economic performance. The ongoing recovery in Syria’s trading partners is expected to contribute to a gradual increase in exports, remittances, and FDI in 2010.” The currency was beginning to appreciate against the dollar. But the gains made during those years were reversed by the war and subsequent sanctions, and the country experienced a drop of nearly 60 percent in GNI per capita from 2010 to 2016.

As political stability in the country increased recently, the economy was once again beginning to show signs of recovery. Sadly, the ‘Caesar’ Act, will cause a major setback.

Syria, home of some of the oldest cities in the world, has a highly sophisticated and cultured populace, who have relatives across the world. Sanctions have compelled them to do much of their banking, particularly that of an international nature, from Lebanon. Most Syrians have relatives in Lebanon due to the historic ties between the two countries.

Traveling between the two countries is a common practice and goods and medication that could not be accessed in Syria due to sanctions, were still obtainable in Lebanon. All that has now come to an abrupt halt.

Covid-19 has made travel across borders difficult; but threats of sanctions against Lebanon, which has its own economic crisis that pre-dates Covid-19, for trading with Syria, will be the final nail in the coffin. Syria is unable to repair the power stations and water infrastructure that was damaged during the war by the West, Israel, Turkey, and insurgents including Isis and al-Qaeda, as they cannot purchase the parts due to sanctions.

Domestic manufacturing of medicines is waning as ingredients cannot be imported. The exemptions around food and medicines touted by the USA and EU are misleading as they apply mostly to areas that remain outside of government control and their “humanitarian aid” in these occupied areas primarily serves to strengthen counter-revolutionary activities.

Exacerbating the cruelty of the general adverse economic impact of sanctions, are the deliberate actions to undermine food security through the regular burning of staple crops by the USA and Turkey-backed mercenaries. For example, Apache helicopters affiliated to the USA occupation forces dropped thermal balloons on barley and wheat crops in a number of villages surrounding al-Shaddadi city, while Turkey-backed mercenaries set fire to a number of wheat and barley fields in Abu Rasin and Tal Tamir towns.

The intention literally is to starve the people of Syria into submission. According to the World Food Programme, as at June 2020, food prices have increased by a staggering 209 percent in the last year, in which most of the increases occurred over the past weeks. This country, where less than 7.5 percent of the population experienced multidimensional poverty in 2009, now has more than 80 percent of its population living below the poverty line, thanks to the USA and its allies. 

The government of Syria has tried to ease the impact of this economic onslaught on its people, who have already suffered tremendous human losses, by broadening access to food parcels, vouchers, subsidised fuel, and government-subsidised grocery shops.  The interventions are however unsustainable. Domestic and international protests calling for the lifting of sanctions in Syria took place regularly over the past two weeks.

But while there have been reports of protests in Syria, almost none of those reports, even from ‘reputable’ entities, state that the protests were AGAINST the USA and its implementation of the Act. The international protests received little coverage.

Sanctions must be lifted. In fact, the USA’s regime-change agenda in Syria must be stopped.

Sanctions are but one aspect of the continued broader regime-change agenda of the USA. The ‘Statement of Policy’ which serves as a preamble to the ‘Caesar’ Act states, “to support a transition to a government in Syria that respects the rule of law, human rights, and peaceful co-existence with its neighbours.”  The last phrase – ‘peaceful co-existence with its neighbours’ – can only refer to Israel, which illegally occupies the Golan and regularly conducts acts of military aggression against Syria.

It must be noted that prior to the war, neither the UNDP nor the IMF made any reference to corruption, maladministration, and human rights abuses in Syria. It became the buzz word when an alleged Syrian military dissenter codenamed Caesar, after whom the USA Act is named, who in 2014 revealed thousands of photographs supposedly depicting torture in Syrian prisons.

An examination of the photos however revealed that it could not be indisputably proven that the injuries depicted in the photographs were indeed inflicted in government prisons.  In fact, the Human Rights Watch found that at least half the photographs depict the bodies of government soldiers killed by the armed opposition.  This confirmed that the opposition is violent and has killed large numbers of Syrian security forces.

The credibility of ‘Caesar’ is highly questionable given the discrepancies in his ‘evidence’ and the USA’s history for fabricating information to suit its interests. Prof Theodore Postol, a respected expert on missile defence and nuclear weapons, who was part of the Joint Investigative Mechanism that investigated allegations of the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government, disputed the conclusiveness of the allegation. 

Note further that the preamble does not say ‘peaceful transition’, thereby justifying military intervention.  The military situation remains tense despite the cease-fire negotiated between Russia and Turkey in the northwest of the country, as the USA and Turkey continue to reinforce their troops in Syria.

Turkey-backed insurgents and mercenaries continue to engage in motorcycle and car bombs in areas that are outside of the Syrian government’s control.  And Israel regularly invades Lebanese air space to advance missile attacks on the south of Syria.

In addressing the United Nations earlier this month, the Syrian Ambassador, Bashar al-Jaafari stated, “The crimes and practices perpetrated by the governments of those states (the West, Israel and Turkey) rise to the level of war crimes and constitute a violation of the rules of international law and a direct aggression on the sovereignty, safety, independence and territorial integrity of Syria.”

The continued aggression in Syria cannot be delinked from other developments in the region.  The Israeli government continues to persecute the people of Palestine and is determined to forge ahead with implementing the Trump ‘Deal of the Century’. Tension between Lebanon and Israel remains high.  And USA-led sanctions against Iran remain. 

The USA-Israeli-Turkey alliance with their allies continue to seek hegemony in the region, supposedly to reduce the influence of Iran, Russia, and China. Their relentless aggression has however cost this region too many lives.  The people of the region have also suffered too much due to sanctions. Their actions are tantamount to genocide.

As we join the global demand for an end to racism, we should also call for a just and peaceful world. Implementation of this demand begins with a call for all USA troops to exit West Asia, as well as an end to Israeli aggression in the Middle East.

* Reneva Fourie is a policy analyst specialising in governance, development and security and currently resides in Damascus, Syria.She is also a member of the Central Committee of the South African Communist Party.

This article was first published by Independent  Online,South Africa  

Reem Haddad 

Editor-in-chief

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عندما يشتم بومبيو إيران على منبر مجلس الأمن!‏

 عمر عبد القادر غندور

شنّ وزير الخارجية الأميركي بومبيو حملة شتائم عنيفة ضدّ إيران في اجتماع مجلس الأمن الدولي لمناقشة الاستمرار في حظر الأسلحة عن إيران، مدفوعاً بالمخاوف «الإسرائيلية» من ترسانة الأسلحة الإيرانية، ولم يترك سلبية كبيرة أو صغيرة إلا لصقها بالجمهورية الإسلامية، وكلها اتهامات لا تليق إلا بالولايات المتحدة وربيبتها الصهيونية.

ودعا المنظمة الدولية للوقوف الى جانب السلام والأمن الدوليين حفاظاً على سلام العالم. بينما الولايات المتحدة في حالة اشتباك دائم مع العديد من دول العالم في القارات الخمس تعاقب وتضرب وتحاسب وتهدّد وتحاصر. وبلغت الوقاحة بوزير الخارجية بومبيو أن حذر الدول من خطورة التعاون مع النظام الإيراني الذي يقوم بـ «تجميع المعارف الخطيرة» وقد تزوّده روسيا بطائرات حديثة تمكنه من قطع ثلاثة آلاف كلم ما يتيح له ضرب نيودلهي والرياض وروما وأوسلو، بالإضافة الى تكديس وشراء التقنيات الجديدة والمتقدّمة والتي يمكن توريدها الى حزب الله وحماس والحوثيين.

وقال أيضاً انّ إيران ربما حصلت على غواصات تتيح لها القرصنة في خليج هرمز وباب المندب والخليج وبحر العرب وتهديد الملاحة الدولية.

وبعد ان انتهى بومبيو من أداء وصلة الشتم والتحريض توجه الى ممثلي الدول بالقول:

«أنا لا أقول هذا الكلام من عندي، بل أرددّ ما تقوله إسرائيل والدول الخليجية».

أما الجمهورية الاسلامية الإيرانية الصامدة في وجه الشيطان الأكبر فهي ماضية لا تساوم ولا تفاوض على سيادتها وحريتها، ولا تشتكي ولا تتذمّر محتسبة صمودها لوجه الله تعالى.

ومشكلة أميركا أنها لم تتعوّد مثل هذا الشموخ والثبات على الموقف الذي لا تنفع معه التهديدات ولا العصا ولا الجزرة ولا الأساطيل ولا الطائرات ولا الأقمار الاصطناعية، وقد تدرك الولايات المتحدة وتتعرّف في يوم من الأيام على هذا النموذج من العرب والمسلمين الذين لا يخافون إلا الله ولا يخشون إلا حسابه وفيهم قال سبحانه «يُثَبِّتُ اللَّـهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِالْقَوْلِ الثَّابِتِ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ وَيُضِلُّ اللَّـهُ الظَّالِمِينَ وَيَفْعَلُ اللَّـهُ مَا يَشَاء ُ(٢٧) ابراهيم»

*رئيس اللقاء الإسلامي الوحدوي

Foreign Election Interference: Who is to Blame?

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by MELVIN GOODMAN

Photograph Source: Bill Smith – CC BY 2.0

Ever since the Russian election interference in 2016, the New York Times  has been blaming Russian President Vladimir Putin for the new Cold War with the United States.  On July 2, it ran a front-page article that headlined the United States “stands on the sidelines” while the Kremlin conducts a “wave of aggression.” On July 1, the Times ran an oped article by former national security adviser Susan Rice, reportedly on the short list as a possible Biden vice presidential candidate, describing a White House run by “liars and wimps catering to a tyrannical president who is actively advancing our arch adversary’s nefarious interests.”  In view of the blame being assigned to Putin, perhaps it’s time to remind readers of the Times of the U.S. record of intervention in foreign elections.

The New York Times has always taken the view that U.S. election interventions have “generally been aimed at helping non-authoritarian candidates” whereas Russia has “more often intervened to disrupt democracy or promote authoritarian rule.”  Too bad the Times could not interview Iran’s Mohammed Mossadegh, Chile’s Salvador Allende, or the Congo’s Patrice Lumumba, who were targeted by the Central Intelligence Agency and replaced by brutal regimes that ruled for decades.  Allende and Lumumba, moreover, didn’t survive the violence that the CIA orchestrated.  The revelations of assassination plots in Cuba, the Congo, the Dominican Republic, and Vietnam finally led to a ban on CIA political assassinations in the mid-1970s.

The grand master of election interference and regime change is, of course, the CIA, which was created in 1947 and immediately began to interfere in elections in Europe.  France and Italy were the primary targets as “bags of money” were “delivered to selected politicians, to defray their expenses,” according to F. Mark Wyatt, a former CIA operative.  The road got much darker in the 1950s, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered the overthrow of the democratically elected president of Iran in 1953 and the installation of a brutal military regime in Guatemala in 1954.

The CIA released a small batch of records on the 1954 military coup in Guatemala, but it has not declassified materials on the CIA-assisted Guatemalan security forces responsible for the deaths of an estimated 200,000 Guatemalans since the coup.  The CIA trained and supported notorious security forces throughout Central America, particularly in Honduras, where the Battalion 316 operated brutal detention centers throughout the country.  The United States and the CIA were responsible for installing abusive authoritarians in Nicaragua and El Salvador as well.

American national interests were rarely at stake in any of these interventions.  Henry A. Kissinger, President Richard M. Nixon’s national security adviser, put it best when he facetiously described Chile as a “dagger pointed at the heart of Antarctica.”  Kissinger simply could not see “why the United States should stand by and let Chile go communist merely due to the stupidity of its own people.”  The CIA’s installation of the Shah of Iran in 1953 was the original sin that continues to plague U.S.-Iranian relations.

A Carnegie Mellon scholar, Dov H. Levin, examined the historical record and determined that there were more than 80 overt and covert election influence operations by the United States from 1947 to 2000 as opposed to 36 Soviet and Russian operations in the same period.  The United States relied on various clandestine means, including breaking into political offices to steal codes.  In 1996, the Clinton administration intervened overtly and covertly in the Russian election to make sure that Boris Yeltsin was not defeated by an old-fashioned communist bureaucrat.  The United States engineered a $10 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to Russia and assigned American political consultants to Yeltsin’s campaign.

The Russian intervention in the U.S. election in 2016 was merely a technological version of the kind of political influence operations that the KGB and the CIA conducted throughout the Cold War.  The digital interventions were far less costly and risky than the clandestine operations of the CIA and the National Security Agency over many decades.  We may lack a full understanding of the extent of U.S. intervention over the yearsm but we know a great deal about the Russian effort to use social media to attack Hillary Clinton, to boost Donald Trump, and to sow discord in the United States. We still lack information on the nature of the cooperation that existed between the Trump campaign and the Russian influence operation.  I’m sure that my former CIA colleagues would find nothing unusual in these Russian actions.

Too many opinion leaders in the United States still believe that several presidential administrations have failed to take advantage of the so-called U.S. victory in the Cold War.  Self-proclaimed liberals such as Susan Rice even share a point of view with neoconservatives such as John Bolton.  They appear to believe that the “shame of the West” is the failure to capitalize on the winning of the Cold War by not making sure that former Soviet republics such as Georgia and Ukraine be admitted to NATO and that recent events in Crimea and Hong Kong justify a new Cold War.  They have exaggerated the extent of Putin’s risk-taking and ignored Washington’s contribution to the sorry state of Russian-American relations.

Unfortunately, a presidential campaign in the United States doesn’t allow for the time or space to conduct a rational dialogue on the importance of restoring stable and predictable relations between the United States and Russia.

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More articles by:MELVIN GOODMAN

Melvin A. Goodman is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and a professor of government at Johns Hopkins University.  A former CIA analyst, Goodman is the author of Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA and National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism. and A Whistleblower at the CIA. His most recent book is “American Carnage: The Wars of Donald Trump” (Opus Publishing), and he is the author of the forthcoming “The Dangerous National Security State” (2020).” Goodman is the national security columnist for counterpunch.org.

US national media is useless – so tell me the good local news sources?

Source

US national media is useless – so tell me the good local news sources?

July 04, 2020

by Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker Blog

During the recent wave of rebellions in the US I was reminded of just how woefully, woefully inadequate the US nationwide media truly is. I only foresee one solution to ferret out what is truly going on in the United States during the 2020 summer & fall of discontent – going local, nationwide.

(However, I do please need help with this solution – more on that shortly.)

It’s not just CNN, MSNBC, PBS, NPR, etc., but the major city newspapers too, as they are owned by the same corporations/conglomerates, after all. Therefore, tuning into any of these stations/newspapers is to see the same story over and over and over; to watch just one of them is to watch them all, such is their uniformity.

That’s a huge problem in creating a politically-intelligent citizenry.

There is also a significant trend in US newspapers about which I have not read any comment: The New York Times has become not only the nation’s “paper of record” but apparently also a newswire. Look at your major city daily and you’ll likely find that reprints of Times articles are not quite on par with usage of the Associated Press but certainly exceeds the number of Reuters articles.

That’s a significant development for US culture: it certainly increases the amount of NYC-centeredness, something which had already exploded with the advent of cable TV. Using more Times articles also means less space for local coverage (newspaper journalists always view everything as a constant and hierarchical battle for precious inch space, LOL) and thus the local culture suffers from exclusion. Disagree with that? Consider radio:

For much of the 20th century local US musical culture could be rewarded with local #1 hits which were big regionally but never broke nationwide – this fostered a unique local musical arts scene, and explains why US musical culture was so vibrant and diverse in the 20th century. But steady deregulation, beginning with Jimmy Carter, and permitting the rise of media conglomerate domination – sealed by the Clinton administration’s Telecommunications Act of 1996 – immediately resulted in a total stagnation, sameness and dullness in American music (in every genre but country music).

Consider the incredibly banal and unexceptional “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X – last year it inexplicably became the longest running #1 hit ever in US history – it spent a stunning 19 consecutive weeks at the top of the charts. Some say that Lil Nas X was only so heavily promoted by the media conglomerates because he became the first openly homosexual rapper, but that misses the larger trend: we see that nearly all of the #1 hits which have spent 10 weeks or more on the charts occurred after the Telecommunications Act of 1996 – the main story here is how the cultural omnipresence of media conglomerates has standardised US culture and eliminated once-vibrant regionalisms. What holds true for music holds true for news.

However, it’s quite, quite a change in US newspapers to open one up these days and discover that half the national and world coverage are reprints from The New York Times. Only an idiot would uncritically accept the Times latest allegations based on anonymous AND discredited sources – alleged Russian bounties on US soldiers in Afghanistan – but they did the same thing to provoke Gulf War II, of course.

For real news go local and – surprisingly – go to local public television

If you really want to find some actual current information in the US you have to go to local public TV.

Take Chicago, for example, the 3rd-largest city in the US: The Chicago Tribune did just a terrible job precisely covering the enormous local impact of the Floyd rebellions, rather nullifying the usual consensus that print is more intelligent than TV.

As a journalist whose background is in print please believe that I am usually biased in print’s favor, but there is a reality about print which is rarely stated: the very medium of print lends itself to conservatism when presenting new and urgent issues.

A huge part of this is caused by the “objective” method of reporting so popular in the US – to read the newspaper is to read a “balanced” accounting, but one which is always “balanced” (i.e. censored) in favor of the corporate fascism and capitalism-imperialism upon which the US system is undoubtedly ideologically constructed. Thus, even though for the first time in 50 years Americans were in the street demanding radical changes and revolution the average newspaper was unable to reflect those demands without an omnipresent, and editorially overt, status-quo-loving counterbalance of “many believe these are mere rioters and that it useless to discover if there is a coherent ideology behind their actions”.

Television, contrarily and undoubtedly, can stick a microphone in someone’s face and that person can scream bloody murder – you can’t “balance” that via toning down their sentiments with a rewrite back at the office.

This explains why the only place I found some real discussion about actual issues which truly affect the average person is the local news on the local PBS channel (PBS is the lone public TV channel in the US).

Chicago is an interesting place in the US because it’s the 3rd-largest city but totally absent from US national coverage, which is dominated by NYC, DC and LA. However, to paraphrase the Rolling Stones: win over (understand) Chicago and you win over the bulk of the US. Chicago is the undisputed Qom of neoliberal thought, and yet also gave the world May Day. There’s no doubt that the average American peasant & worker lives/thinks/feels more like a Chicagoan than like any in that trio of rather incredibly resented US cities, so we can somewhat confidently extrapolate the current problems/solutions/rebellions/economic catastrophes seen in Chicago to the myriad of other cities both non-Americans and actual Americans never hear a word about in the national media, such as Cleveland, Tallahassee and Pittsburgh, to say nothing of Oskaloosa, the Quad Cities and anywhere in inland California.

So if you are looking for actual on-the-ground information regarding the US 2020 dystopia and the ongoing Summer of Hate as experienced by the average American, may I recommend you check out WTTW Channel 11 in Chicago – here is the home page for their main news program, Chicago Tonight. I saw their live coverage of the protests and I was surprised at what a solid (but not “leftist great”) job they did. Contrarily, I saw much more cowardice, stupidity and craven compliance from national MSM journalists doing live coverage of the rebellions.

If you watch their “full show” or just certain clips you will find intensely critical local officials & local citizens, honest roundtable discussions, sound bytes which aren’t 5 seconds long, and reporters who actually know and care about what is going on around them – these are all things absent in the national MSM. In 2020 – that’s as precious as gold. They travel all around the near-megalopolis and ask about things like: “How is the Corona hysteria ruining your business?” instead of “How is Russia ruining our country and your life”?

I have no idea why you would ever want to tune into CNN’s Chris Cuomo again: I have never seen any TV journalist use the words “I” and “myself” as often as he does. Rachel Maddow – here’s a minute-by-minute breakdown of her in 2018 and the conclusion was clear: she is not a journalist but an unprincipled propagandist, just like how Tucker Carlson’s lawyer stated last month that his viewers should not expect him to state nor verify truthful facts. The national news of Washington-based PBS or NPR? PBS fails to see the problem with using military brass as foreign policy analysts, LOL, while Neocon Public Radio is the most unabashed proponent of useless & divisive identity politics. Bottom line: if you want to see all of these places at once – just go check out The New York Times.

That is the echo chamber of the modern US – it will make you crazy, and it will certainly make you stupid with identity politics, Trump Derangement Syndrome and Russophobia.

With public TV you can actually find out what is going on with the average American in the average community – turn off the national MSM and go local: it’ll be nice to be reminded that you aren’t alone and that all Americans aren’t totally out of touch.

A request for your help

I don’t recall ever asking readers to share one of my articles, but I wish you would please share this one: I am hoping people can please pass on a truly reliable local TV news source other than in Chicago?

Please comment below if you know of one – I will check the internet and find your comments. If people give enough news sources I will make “Part 2” to this article and list them.

Wouldn’t such a list be really useful? If a munitions plant poisons half of Texas, wouldn’t it be good to have a list at your disposal to find the good local news resource?

During the recent rebellions there were major & unique happenings in places like Minneapolis and Memphis but I could not find a similar news program like Chicago Tonight to really find out the local assessments, problems and proposed solutions.

However, I have already asked dozens of journalists and activists and gotten scant replies – I worry that everybody is glued to the national MSM? Really, you need to learn more about Chris Cuomo’s personal greatness?

Given the current/looming economic disaster, even more than the upcoming presidential election, we really need to find out what the heck is actually going on in the US, no? And we can’t rely on the MSM for that.

So, if you could please pass on a reliable, quality local news recommendation I will be happy to compile them and include them all in an article on this subject in the near future.

*********************************

Corona contrarianism? How about some corona common sense? Here is my list of articles published regarding the corona crisis.

Capitalist-imperialist West stays home over corona – they grew a conscience? – March 22, 2020

Corona meds in every pot & a People’s QE: the Trumpian populism they hoped for? – March 23, 2020

A day’s diary from a US CEO during the Corona crisis (satire) March 23, 2020

– March 25, 2020

Tough times need vanguard parties – are ‘social media users’ the West’s? –

March 26, 2020

If Germany rejects Corona bonds they must quit the Eurozone – March 30,

2020

Landlord class: Waive or donate rent-profits now or fear the Cultural Revolution – March 31, 2020

Corona repeating 9/11 & Y2K hysterias? Both saw huge economic overreactions – April 1, 2020

(A Soviet?) Superman: Red Son – the new socialist film to watch on lockdown – April 2, 2020

Corona rewrites capitalist bust-chronology & proves: It’s the nation-state, stupid – April 3, 2020

Condensing the data leaves no doubt: Fear corona-economy more than the virus – April 5, 2020

‘We’re Going Wrong’: The West’s middling, middle-class corona response – April 10, 2020

Why does the UK have an ‘army’ of volunteers but the US has a shortage? – April 12, 2020

No buybacks allowed or dared? Then wave goodbye to Western stock market gains – April 13, 2020

Pity post-corona Millennials… if they don’t openly push socialism – April 14, 2020

No, the dollar will only strengthen post-corona, as usual: it’s a crisis, after all – April 16, 2020

Same 2008 QE playbook, but the Eurozone will kick off Western chaos not the US – April 18, 2020

We’re giving up our civil liberties. Fine, but to which type of state? – April 20,

2020

Coronavirus – Macron’s savior. A ‘united Europe’ – France’s murderer – April 22, 2020

Iran’s ‘resistance economy’: the post-corona wish of the West’s silent majority (1/2) – April 23, 2020

The same 12-year itch: Will banks loan down QE money this time? – April 26,

2020

The end of globalisation won’t be televised, despite the hopes of the Western 99% (2/2) – April 27, 2020

What would it take for proponents to say: ‘The Great Lockdown was wrong’? – April 28, 2020

ZeroHedge, a response to Mr. Littlejohn & the future of dollar dominance – April 30, 2020

Given Western history, is it the ‘Great Segregation’ and not the ‘Great Lockdown’? – May 2, 2020

The Western 1% colluded to start WWI – is the Great Lockdown also a conspiracy? – May 4, 2020

May 17: The date the Great Lockdown must end or Everything Bubble 2 pops – May 6, 2020

Reading Piketty: Does corona delay the Greens’ fake-leftist, sure-to-fail victory? – May 8, 2020

Picturing the media campaign needed to get the US back to work – May 11, 2020

Scarce jobs + revenue desperation = sure Western stagflation post-corona – May 13, 2020

France’s nurses march – are they now deplorable Michiganders to fake-leftists? – May 15, 2020

Why haven’t we called it ‘QE 5’ yet? And why we must call it ‘QE 2.1’ instead – May 16, 2020

‘Take your stinking paws off me, you damned, dirty public servant!’ That’s Orwell? – May 17, 2021

The Great Lockdown: The political apex of US single Moms & Western matriarchy? May 21, 2021

I was wrong on corona – by not pushing for a US Cultural Revolution immediately – May 25, 2021

August 1: when the unemployment runs out and a new era of US labor battles begin – May 28, 2021

Corona proving the loser of the Cold War was both the USSR & the USA – May 30, 2021

Rebellions across the US: Why worry? Just ask Dr. Fauci to tell us what to do – June 2, 2021

Protesting, corona-conscience, a good dole: the US is doing things it can’t & it’s chaos – June 3, 2021

Why do Westerners assume all African-Americans are leftists? – June 5, 2020

The US as Sal’s Pizzeria: When to ‘Do The Right Thing’ is looting – June 6, 2020

The problem with the various ‘Fiat is all the problem!’ (FIATP) crowds – June 9, 2020

Politicisation of Great Lockdown result of ‘TINA’ economic ignorance & censorship – June 14, 2020

Trump’s only hope: buying re-election with populist jobless benefits – June 16, 2020 (Hey, I took a break since this one – so sue me. And maybe I should retire this list, LOL….)


Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books Ill Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the NEW Socialisms Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism.

Lee Camp: How the Media Used the Bounty Scandal to Stop the ‘Threat’ of Peace in Afghanistan

By Lee Camp

Source

Peace seems to have exceedingly, ridiculously, laughably bad timing, this latest time in Afghanistan, says Lee Camp.

This is not a column defending Donald Trump.

Across my career, I have said more positive words about the scolex family of intestinal tapeworms than I have said about Donald Trump. (Scolex have been shown to read more.)

No, this is a column about context. When The New York Times reports anonymous sources from the intelligence community say Russia paid Taliban fighters to kill American soldiers, context is very important.

Some of that context is that Mike Pompeo said, “I was the CIA director – We lied, we cheated, we stole. We had entire training courses.” So we know for certain that U.S. intelligence agencies lie to you and me. We saw it with WMD, and we might be seeing it again now.

But that’s not the context I’m referring to.

We could talk about the context of the fact that the Taliban does not need to be paid to kill American soldiers because their entire goal for the past twenty years has been to kill American soldiers. Paying them a bounty would be like offering the guy sleeping with your wife twenty bucks to sleep with your wife.

But that’s not the context I’m referring to.

We could talk about the fact that the U.S. has been funding the Taliban for years! Yes, we fund them, sometimes arm them, and then fight them. This is barely a secret. So for all intents and purposes, the U.S. does the same thing our corporate media is now accusing Russia of doing (with no proof).

But that’s not the context I’m referring to.

No, the context I’m referring to is how our military industrial complex (with the help of our ruling elite and our corporate media) have stopped Trump from pushing us toward the brink of peace. …Yes, the brink of peace.

Now, I’m not implying Trump is some kind of hippy peacenik. (He would look atrocious with no bra and flowers in his hair.) No, the military under Trump has dropped more bombs than under Obama, and that’s impressive since Obama dropped more bombs than ever before.

However, in certain areas of the world, Trump has threatened to create peace. Sure, he’s doing it for his own ego and because he thinks his base wants it, but whatever the reason, he has put forward plans or policies that go against the military industrial complex and the establishment war-hawks (which is 95 percent of the establishment).

And each time this has happened, he is quickly thwarted, usually with hilarious propaganda. (Well, hilarious to you and me. Apparently believable to people at The New York Times and former CIA intern Anderson Cooper.)

I know four things for sure in life. Paper beats rock. Rock beats scissors. Scissors beat paper. And propaganda beats peace. All one has to do is look at a calendar.

Trump has essentially threatened to create peace or pull U.S. troops out of a war zone in three countries – North Korea, Afghanistan, and Syria. Let’s start with Syria.

April 4, 2018: President Trump orders the Pentagon to plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.

This cannot be allowed because it goes against the U.S. imperial plan. So what happens within days of Trump’s order?

April 7, 2018: Reports surface of a major chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria.

What are the odds that within days of Trump telling the Pentagon to withdraw, Bashar al-Assad decides to use the one weapon that will guarantee American forces continue attacking him? Assad may not be a chess player, but I also don’t think he ate that many paint chips as a kid. And sure enough, over the past two years we’ve now heard from four whistleblowers at the Organization for The Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) saying the so-called chemical attack didn’t happen. (Notice that the number “four” is even bigger than the numbers “one,” “two,” and “three.”)

But establishment propaganda beats peace any day and twice on Sunday. The false story succeeded in keeping America entrenched in Syria.

The DPRK

Let’s move on to North Korea. As you surely know, Donald Trump “threatened” to create peace with the hermetic country. Simply saying he would attempt such a thing sent weapons contractor stocks tumbling—one of the many reasons peace had to be stopped.

Feb 27, 2019: Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un meet in Vietnam.

The summit fails, and reports begin emerging that Mike Pompeo and John Bolton succeeded in napalming any progress.

March 15, 2019: Pompeo and Bolton deny derailing North Korea nuclear talks.

From The Nation, “There were reports from South Korea that the presence at the talks of John Bolton, Trump’s aggressively hawkish national-security adviser, helped torpedo the talks.“

But just destroying the peace talks wasn’t enough. The American people needed some good, solid propaganda to reassert the idea that Kim Jung Un was a dastardly bloodthirsty dictator.

March 30, 2019: The New York Times reports North Korea executed and purged their top nuclear negotiators.

Yes, apparently Kim Jung Un must’ve fed his top diplomats to his top alligators. Then, two months later we learn…

June 4, 2019: The fate of the North Korean negotiator “executed” after the failed summit “grows murkier” with new reports that he’s still alive.

One would have to say that his being alive does indeed make the report that he’s dead “murkier.” Within the next day or two it becomes quite clear the diplomat is very much in the land of the living. But the propaganda put forward by The New York Times and many other outlets has already done its job.

Far more people saw the reports that the man had been murdered than saw the later retraction. And to this day, the Times has not removed the initial article saying he was executed. Exactly how wrong does propaganda have to be, to warrant an online deletion? Dead versus alive is a pretty binary designation.

And now we get to the outrage du jour, and it’s a bombshell!

Bounties!

May 26, 2020: Pentagon commanders begin drawing up options for an early Afghanistan troop withdrawal, following Trump’s request.

June 16, 2020: “President Donald Trump confirmed in public for the first time his administration’s plans to cut the U.S. military troop presence in Germany from its current level of roughly 35,000 to a reduced force of 25,000.” – ForeignPolicy.com

June 26, 2020: The New York Times reports Russia paid the Taliban to attack U.S. troops. (According to anonymous sources from an intelligence community that proudly admits they lie to us all the time, sometimes just to amuse themselves.)

So when this story first came out, I thought, “You know, Trump has been stopped from withdrawing troops in the past by ridiculous propaganda that seems to land like a giant turd right after he announces his intentions. Maybe I’ll check what happened in the days preceding this jaw-dropping story.”

So just days after Trump goes against the military industrial complex and against the ruling establishment by announcing he’ll be withdrawing about a third of our troops from Germany, and just weeks after announcing an early withdrawal from Afghanistan, a seemingly mind-blowing story drops about Russia paying the Taliban to kill American troops.

This serves to remind everyone what a threat Russia is (so we better put more troops in Germany!) and serves to keep us in Afghanistan (because screw those Russian-funded Taliban!).

Look, I’m not saying Trump is a hero or a great guy or even a man who wants peace. I’m not even saying he’s a man. He very well may be a giant blood-sucking leech in a human skin suit. (A poorly tailored human skin suit.)

All I’m saying is the timing doesn’t add up. Either these landmark stories that destroy every chance of peace are false (in fact we’ve already proven two out of three of them are false), or peace has exceedingly, ridiculously, laughably bad timing.

صيف ساخن بين “قيصر” والكيان

د. عمران زهوي

القطب الأوحد وسيّد العالم كما يقدّم نفسه حاول فرض شروطه وإملاءاته على إيران، ففوجئ بدولة تتمرّد وتغرّد خارج السرب، فتيقّن أنّ إيران ليست كالدول العربية أو غيرها ممن ينصاعون بالكلمة للأميركي، فسقطت أغلى وأهمّ طائرة أميركية مُسيّرة، ثم تبعتها الهيمنة على المضيق وفرض الشروط الإيرانية، وصولاً الى ضرب قاعدة “عين الأسد”، وأخيراً وليس آخراً فكّ الحصار عن فنزويلا وعن سورية.

اختلّ توازن ترامب ليخسر بالنقاط، وانكسرت شوكته في غرب آسيا والمحور.

فحاول الأميركي النزول إلى الحلبة مجدّداً بيده أسلحة ستقوّض المحور وتجوّع شعوبه وقواعده الشعبية عبر الحصار الاقتصادي، رامياً كلّ ما في جعبته، معتقداً أنّ “قيصر” هو السيف الذي سيقطع به رأس المحور، فانبرى له رأس الحربة في المحور مفاجئاً بهجوم سيسجله التاريخ قائلاً إننا هنا… نمسك رغيف الخبز بيد والبندقية باليد الأخرى و”سنقتلكم”.

رامياً أحجيات على الامبرالية الصهيوأميركيه أن تحلها علّها تنجو أو تتفادى الزلزال الآتي…؟!

انهمك المحللون والتابعون والخائفون حتى طال التخبّط سفيرة أميركا في لبنان لتردّ بالمباشر على خطاب رأس الحربة (وهي سابقه في التاريخ).

لا شك انّ المهزوم هو من يسعى بأيّ وسيلة لكي يردّ اعتباره، والمنتصر هو الذي يذكّر بأنه قادر على القتل مرة أخرى حتى الوصول إلى الهدف المنشود.

فجاءت النصيحة من السفير الروسي لدى الكيان بأنّ عقوبات “قيصر” على سورية وخطّة ضمّ أراض واسعة من الضّفة الغربيّة المُزمع البدء بتنفيذها الشهر المقبل، وضمّ غور الأردن، كلها خطوات ستكون لها تداعيات خطيرة جداً على “إسرائيل” نفسها، مُسدياً نصائح لرئيس حكومة العدو ولقادة تل أبيب، بالتوقّف مليّاً وباهتمام أمام رسائل السيد نصرالله، وتجنّب أيّ استفزاز جوّي جديد ضدّ سورية “لأنّ هذه المرحلة مختلفة تماماً”.

هذه الرسائل لا تعني فقط إسقاط طائرات إسرائيلية، وإنما هي الوجبه الدسمة التي ستنزل صواعق في الصندوقة الانتخابية الأميركية وستؤدّي إلى زلزال سيطيح بترامب في السباق الرئاسي هو وصول توابيت جنوده إما من الشمال السوري أو من العراق أو من دول الخليج التي تحمل على أرضها القواعد العسكرية الأميركية، والتي هي كلها تحت مرمى الصواريخ البالستية وتحت وطأة أقدام المقاتلين الأشداء لهذا المحور…

وعند اندلاع الانتفاضة الفلسطينية المقبلة التي لن تشبه مثيلاتها بوجود هذا المحور الذي لن يقف مكتوف الأـيدي، خاصة بعدما انكشف المخطط الداخلي اللبناني الذي كان يحاول خلق الفتنة والتجييش والمطالبة بسحب سلاح المقاومة من قبل قطيع الغنم الذي يديرونه، وقبيل الانتخابات السورية العام المقبل، والتلويح من الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة أنطونية غوتيريش بتعديل مهام قوات اليونفيل في لبنان (أيّ يقصد توسيع صلاحياتها لتشمل الحدود السورية اللبنانية.

فالواضح انّ قانون قيصر والقوانين كلها ستكون وبالاً وبلاء على الطفل المدلل (الكيان الغاصب). فالمقاومة وسورية وحلفاؤهما قرّروا اللعب فوق الطاولة وقلب هذه الطاولة على “الإسرائيليّ”، والنّفاذ من خلال ذلك للقضاء على حرب التجويع الجديدة والإنتصار عليها وعلى كلّ مَن شارك أو يشارك فيها.

بناء على كلّ ما تقدّم أكاد أجزم بأنّ الأسابيع المقبلة ستكون حافلة بالتطورات المفاجئة والمتلاحقة في المنطقة، ستُتوّج بإنجاز “استراتيجي” غير مسبوق للمقاومة سيجبر ترامب وإدارته على اتخاذ قرار مفاجئ بمنزلة “هدف ذهبي” لصالح سورية ولبنان، ويشكّل باكورة مفاجآت محور المقاومة في الحرب الإقتصادية المفروضة عليهم.

من هنا شكراً “قانون قيصر” لأنك ستجبر المحور أن يغيّر قواعد اللعبة وأن يكشر عن أنيابه باكراً ليغرسها في أعناق “الإسرائيلي” وترامب على حدّ سواء.

‎ الأميركيّون أكثر تواضعاً من عملائهم

ناصر قنديل

لا يجرؤ العملاء على المجاهرة بمواقف واضحة كأسيادهم، فيختبئون وراء شعارات ملفّقة، ويرفعون سقوفاً عالية، وهم يسمعون أسيادهم يفاوضون على سقوف مختلفة ويتحدثون علناً عن أهداف مختلفة، فهل هي عبقريتهم الخاصة أم هي التعليمات. الجواب جاء في كلام السفيرة الأميركية في بيروت التي كشفت سر اللعبة بتصريحاتها التي تطابقت مع أمر العمليات الذي ينفذه عملاء الخمس نجوم الذين تشغلهم السفارة وتشكل السفيرة رئيسهم المباشر. فما قالته السفيرة هو ما نسمعه من هؤلاء العملاء منذ أسابيع، والمضمون هو أن حزب الله بنى دويلة داخل الدولة ويستولي على مليارات الدولارات لحسابه، وهو بذلك سبب الأزمة الاقتصادية والمالية، ولا حلّ للأزمة إلا بسحب سلاح المقاومة، فهل هذا هو المشروع الأميركي؟

الواضح أن مَن هم أعلى رتبة من السفيرة مسموح لهم بما لا يسمح لها ولمن تشغلهم بقوله، فاللعبة هي أن تتولى السفيرة وجوقتها التحريض على حزب الله، ليتقدّم المسؤولون المعنيون، والذين يحق لهم بالكلام الجدّي بالسقوف التفاوضية التي تعبر عن جوهر الموقف الأميركي، فيقولون الكلام الرسميّ المعتمد. وهكذا جاء كلام المبعوث الأميركي الخاص حول سورية، ليحدّد المطلوب لقاء وقف العمل بقانون قيصر، قائلاً إن ما تسعى إليه واشنطن هو العودة إلى ما قبل العام 2011، عندما لم يكن هناك وجود لحزب الله جنوب سورية. والمعلوم طبعاً أن المقصود بهذا الوجود هو أمن كيان الاحتلال وجيشه، وليس أي شيء آخر، والأميركي لا يشعر بالحرج من الإجابة بنعم على هذا السؤال. كما لا يخفي أنه مستعد للانسحاب من سورية إذا تحقق ذلك، ضمن مفهوم العودة إلى ما قبل 2011، والقضية الوحيدة التي لا يجرؤ على التسليم بفعلها تحت عنوان العودة إلى ما قبل 2011، ليست مصير المتعاملين معه شرق سورية، بل مصير قراره بتبني ضمّ الجولان من جانب كيان الاحتلال.

على ضفة موازية يتحدث معاون وزير الخارجية الأميركية ديفيد شينكر، فينتهي بعد تكرار استعمال سيمفونية جوقة السفارة عن مسؤولية حزب الله عن الأزمة المالية، ليبقّ البحصة ويقول ماذا يريد وماذا تستهدف إدارته، فيقول للبنانيين بصراحة تصل حد الوقاحة، لديكم أزمة خانقة وعندم غاز وفير وواعد تجارياً في بلوكات متنازع عليها مع كيان الاحتلال ولديكم تصور أميركي لحل النزاع فوافقوا على التصور. والمقصد معلوم وهو ترسيم الحدود البحرية لثروات الغاز اللبناني وفق خط فريدريك هوف الذي يمنح كيان الاحتلال الجزء الرئيسي من حقوق لبنان، ومعلوم أيضاً أن كيان الاحتلال المستعجل على بدء الاستثمار في حقول الغاز الشمالية لا يستطيع فعل ذلك من دون إنهاء الترسيم مع لبنان، خشية تهديدات المقاومة لكل شركة تدخل النطاق المائي الاقتصادي اللبناني أو المتنازع عليه، وفق المفهوم الدبلوماسي الرائج، ستعتبر أهدافاً مشروعة للمقاومة.

لا حاجة للشرح، للاستنتاج أن أي مسؤول أميركي مكلف بملف جدي، أي فوق مرتبة السفيرة قائدة جوقة الطبّالين، لم يتحدث عن نزع سلاح المقاومة كهدف واقعي، بل رسمت معادلات جيفري وشينكر إطاراً تفاوضياً مضمونه، نفرج عن المال للبنان مقابل قبول منح كيان الاحتلال ميزات من حقوق لبنان في الغاز والنفط، ونفرج عن المال لسورية، مقابل مقايضة وجود المقاومة جنوب سورية بالوجود الأميركي شمالها، شرط عدم إلغاء التبني الأميركي لقرار ضمّ الجولان من جانب كيان الاحتلال. وعلى جوقة عملاء أميركا “السياديين” في لبنان أن يخرجوا دون لف ودوران للمجاهرة بالحديث مباشرة عن دعوتهم لقبول ترسيم الحدود البحرية وفق شروط الكيان، وعلى زملائهم “الديمقراطيين” في سورية أن يعلنوا موافقتهم على قرار ضم الجولان، من دون ادعاء أنهم أعلم بمواقف أميركا من الأميركيين.

Journalist Julian Assange Charged with New American Indictment

By Leon Tressell

Source

On 24 June a US Federal Grad Jury issued a second superseding indictment against Journalist Julian Assange.

The new indictment incorporates the 18 charges from the first indictment and seeks to ‘broaden the scope of the conspiracy’ and asserts that Assange and Wikileaks tried to recruit hackers for the purpose of stealing secret documents from the US government.

Thirteen of the 49 page indictment are devoted to Assange’s efforts to recruit ‘Anonymous’ hackers. At one conference Assange is alleged to have encouraged hackers to join the CIA and then use their position to steal top secret documents.

It also alleges that Assange cajoled, encouraged and assisted Chelsea Manning in ‘stealing’ hundreds of thousands of secret government documents relating to the Iraq and Afghan wars as well as diplomatic cables and Guantanamo Bay detainee assessments.

The icing on the cake of this new indictment are the claims that Assange wilfully revealed the ‘name of Human Sources and Created a Grave and Imminent Risk to Human Life’ through publishing ‘stolen’ secret documents. The tally of secret documents that Wikileaks published includes 75,000 Afghan war reports, 400,000 Iraq war reports, 800 Guantanamo Bay detainee assessments and 250,000 US diplomatic cables.

The new indictment alleges that Wikileaks published documents that revealed the names of various collaborators working with US military and intelligence agencies deliberately putting their lives in danger.

The new indictment also tries to make the help that Wikileaks gave NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden a criminal offence. Never mind the fact that the FBI relied upon paid informants such as ‘convicted conman, and sex criminal Sigurdur Thordarson’ to make up bogus claims against Assange. According to WikiLeaks Thordarson is one of the star witnesses for new indictment from the US Department of Justice.

The timing of this new indictment is suspicious. Trump is trailing in numerous polls due to his disastrous handling of the Covid-19 pandemic that has left over 120,000 Americans dead and caused trillions of dollars worth of economic damage. Is the new indictment a pathetic attempt to try and steer the news away from the storm of negative press encircling the White House?

The Freedom of the Press Foundation has commented:

“The Trump DOJ’s new Assange indictment has all the same problems as the old one. Source communication and publishing are not crimes. They didn’t add any new charges. They didn’t really change any old ones. And the using the Espionage Act is beyond the pale.’’

Julian Assange’s extradition trial does not resume until 7 September. Further outbreaks of the virus could put a spoke in that judicial frame up by the British government. Yet it appears the entire British political class including the so called opposition Labour Party will do nothing to try and prevent Assange’s extradition. Its new leader Keir Starmer, a former human rights barrister, supports the extradition process.

Pulitzer prize winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, whose reports revealed the global surveillance operations of the US and UK, has noted the connivance of British and American politicians and media of all political colours with Trump’s war on whistle blowers:

“The Trump DOJ’s attempt to imprison Julian Assange for working with his source to publish classified documents that exposed US war crimes is the most severe US threat to press freedom since 2016. It’s sickening to watch so many journalists ignore it, & so many liberals cheer it: ‘’

Kevin Gosztlioa of the Shadow Proof news outlet has written a detailed expose of the new indictment. He conclusion declares:

“While the conspiracy charge includes sensational claims of collaboration with hackers, it is no less of a political charge than the seventeen Espionage Act offences Assange faces for publishing information.

The additional sections in the indictment represent an attempt to give the illegitimate prosecution a greater veneer of criminality. Unfortunately, it does not take much to scrape it off and expose the contempt for press freedom that still lies behind this vindictive prosecution.’’

Ordinary people around the world must step up their efforts to secure the release of journalist Julian Assange. If extradited to the US he would face a show trial that would resemble the worst excesses of Stalin and Hitler’s courtrooms in the 1930s.

The extradition of Julian Assange by the crisis ridden American empire sends a clear warning to anyone who has thoughts about investigating or revealing US war crimes. It represents a threat to investigative journalists and anti war activists who challenge the bloody rule of American capital which will not go down without a fight.

The persecution of Julian Assange reveals a certain desperation on the part of the American ruling class. However, it won’t solve any of the social, economic and political problems facing American capitalism which is in a state of deep crisis.

هل قطار الشرّ الأمريكي قابل للإيقاف

نضال حمد – رئيس تحرير موقع الصفصاف

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تابعت مشاهدة الاحتجاجات في الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية على اثر قيام شرطي عنصري أبيض بقتل شاب ( زنجي) خنقاً. فتذكرت أحداث فيلم (غير قابل للإيقاف) التي تتحدث عن قطار مسرع خرج عن السيطرة، في حين يحاول بطلا الفيلم فرانك بارنز (دنزل واشنطن) و ويل كولسون (كريس باين) إيقافه. بعد مغامرة شاقة يستطيع البطلان (الزنجي) و(الأبيض) إيقافه بنجاح.

 لقد عالجت السينما الأمريكية قضية العنصرية والرق والتمييز في عديد من أفلامها الشهيرة والتي تعد بعضها من روائع السينما ونالت شهرة واسعة، لكن على ما يبدو انها لم تساعد السياسيين في أمريكا على التخلص من العنصرية والتمييز والجشع الرأسمالي الامبريالي. وبمناسبة الحديث عن الافلام المذكورة يمكن ذكر الأحداث الشهيرة في أمريكا التي اندلعت على اثر ادعاء زوجين في  16 تموز 1949 إنهما تعرّضا لهجوم من قبل أربعة شبان من أصل إفريقي في غروفلاند. حيث اسفر الهجوم بحسب ادعائهم عن اغتصاب الفتاة نورما بادجيت التي كانت آنذاك تبلغ من العمر 17 عاماً. كان حادثا مروعا ومن أكثر الحوادث الدامية بين (البيض) و(السود). تم تعذيب أحد المتهمين( الزنوج) حتى الموت ووجدت في جسده اثار 400 رصاصة. بعد 70 عاماً تمت تبرئة المتهمين وأفادت المحكمة أن كل ما نسب إليهم من تهم كان باطلاً. كما تبين أن القصة برمتها كانت قضية عنصرية، من تأليف قائد شرطة المدينة ويليس ماكال، الذي كان من أشد العنصريين.

 تنص المادة الأولى من الإعلان العالمي لحقوق الإنسان على أن “جميع الناس يولدون أحرارًا ومتساوين في الكرامة والحقوق”. منذ 1949 بدأ العالم الاحتفال في 2 ديسمبر بـ”اليوم العالمي لإلغاء الرق”، الذي يهدف إلى القضاء على كل أشكال الرق والعنصرية، حيث أقرته اتفاقية الأمم المتحدة. لكن قطار الاستعباد والاستعمار الأمريكي والغربي استمر بأساليب أخرى حديثة ومتطورة.

 بعد انتهاء فترة الرئيس الأمريكي الافريقي الأصل بارك أوباما انتخبت أمريكا رئيسا عنصريا وتاجرا جشعا يدعى دونالد ترامب. لا يخفي عنصريته وعجرفته حتى ضد حلفاء الولايات المتحدة. إذ يتعامل معهم بعقلية التاجر البلطجي وزعيم المافيا. لغاية الآن يرفض توجيه خطاب للشعب الأمريكي حول الأحداث العاصفة التي تدور في المدن الأمريكية. لقد دمر المتظاهرون نصبا تذكارية عديدة منها لجورج واشنطن مؤسس أمريكا ولكرستوفر كولومبس مكتشف أمريكا. وكلاهما عنصريين دمويين ساهما في ابادة الهنود الحمر سكان البلد الأصليين.

عرفت أمريكا أبشع أنواع الرق والعبودية في التاريخ البشري الحديث، فبعد ابادة السكان الأصليين الهنود تم استعباد (السود). حيث جُلب الأفارقة لاستعبادهم بشكل همجي لا مثيل له.  سيبقى هذا العمل الاجرامي اللاانساني وصمة عار تقبح وجه أمريكا حتى الأبد..

إن اظهار الأمر وكأن هناك  مساواة فعلاً بين السكان في الولايات المتحدة لا ينطلي على أحد. إذ لازالت هناك فوارق كبيرة بين الجانبين في كل مجالات الحياة. حتى أن وباء كورنا حصد الكثير من (السود) بسبب الاهمال وانعدام الرعاية من قبل الدولة. كما يدل التعامل العنصري للشرطة الأمريكية مع (السود) على مر السنين وحتى حادثة قتل جورج فلوريد مؤخراً على استعداد النظام الرأسمالي العنصري لقتلهم بكافة الأساليب وبدون الشعور بالذنب أو الرجوع للعدالة وللقوانين.

 ليس أسهل من أن يكذب الانسان حين يصف الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية بحامية وضامنة العدالة والديمقراطية والسلام في العالم. تلك الكذبة وجدت لها مكانة كبيرة وسط شعوب أوروبا الشرقية بالذات، حيث كانت تحكم أنظمة حكم شمولية، ساهمت في تكريه الشعوب تلك بالشيوعية والاشتراكية وفي انجرارها وراء الدعاية الامبريالية والرأسمالي. يبدو أن تلك الشعوب ستنتظر طويلا حتى تعرف أن نظام الارهاب والعنصرية الأمريكي أسوأ بكثير من النظام الشمولي الذي قمعها سواء عبر منع الناس من التملك والحركة وحتى اقتناء أبسط الأشياء مثل جواز السفر والسيارة.

 على كل حال موضوعنا الآن عن العنصرية والاستعباد والتمييز والظلم في أمريكا، حيث منذ تأسيس الامبراطورية الأمريكية على عظام وفوق جماجم سكانها الأصليين من الهنود الحمر، الذين أبيدت غالبيتهم العظمى أما بالأوبئة أو رميا بالرصاص من الرشاشات الثقيلة. كل تلك المذابح وعمليات الإبادة تمت على أيدي الغزاة والمستعمرين البيض القادمين من أوروبا وممالكها آنذاك للعثور على أرض الميعاد، لكنها الأرض التي لم تكن لهم ولم يفكر شعبها يوما ما بميعاد مع الغزاة المجرمين حيث كانت  ابادته ونهايته. ميعاد مع الإرهابي والسفاح الأول كولومبوس وصولا الى جورج واشنطن وتباعا حتى يومنا هذا حيث يحكم رئيس عنصري وشخص استعلائي، تاجر رأسمالي اسمه ترامب، يعادي البشرية والحضارة العالمية.

 أمريكا أرض الميعاد” لشعب الله المختار” أي لمن اعتبروا أنفسهم كما اليهود الصهاينة المحتلين في فلسطين شعبا بلا أرض استطاع أن يؤسس وطنا للشعب  المختار. تأسست أمريكا في البدء بالدم والحديد والنار، عبر مجموعات من المجرمين وقطاع الطرق الذين وصلوا الى أرض الهنود الحمر. وبنفس الطريقة تأسس الكيان الصهيوني في فلسطين المحتلة، الذي حظي ولازال يحظى بكل الدعم الأمريكي والغربي. لأنه يمثل قاعدة متقدمة للاستعمار العالمي الرأسمالي الامبريالي في بلادنا. نفس هؤلاء عندما تمكنوا من ابادة الهنود أخذوا يبحثون عن (الزنوج) الأفارقة حيث تمت عمليات اختطافهم من بلدانهم الأصلية وجلبهم للخدمة والعمل كعبيد لدى السادة البيض حيث تم اضطهادهم على مدار سنوات طويلة.

على كل حال الهبة الشعبية الأمريكية ضد الجريمة والعنصرية لن تنجح بدون ايجاد قيادة تمثلها وتعد لها برنامج عمل واضح للتغيير وتحقيق مطالبها والاطاحة بالادارة الأمريكية الحالية، ثم العمل على تغيير النظام الأمريكي الراسمالي الى نظام انساني وديمقراطي حقيقي وغير عنصري.

شنكر «بق البحصة»: «وافقوا على التصوّر»!‏

ناصر قنديل

يبدأ منطق أيتام جيفري فيلتمان وأتباع ديفيد شنكر من اللبنانيين، بتقديم الأزمة المالية كنتيجة لوجود سلاح المقاومة، ويرفقونه بتوجيه اتهامات لها لا يمكن لعاقل تصديقها، أو تصديق تسبّبها بالأزمة إذا صدق صحتها، فيصير منطق العقوبات مقبولاً ومسلماً به، ويصير التراجع المطلوب هو من المقاومة، وليس من صاحب العقوبات. وهذا النقاش لا جدوى من دخوله، لأنه نفق بلا نهاية، لذلك أراد السيد شنكر أن يهوّن الأمر علينا، فبلغ النتيجة التي كنا نقول إنها هي الهدف الحقيقي للعقوبات، وفي الطريق هي الهدف للحملة على المقاومة، و»بق البحصة» وقال بالفم الملآن، «أنتم في أزمة مالية وتحتاجون الغاز الموجود بوفرة في البلوك 9 والبلوك 10، وقدّمنا لكم تصوراً لترسيم الحدود يمكنكم بالموافقة عليه بلوغ هذا الغاز، والكرة في ملعبكم الآن فوافقوا على التصور». والتصور هو ما عُرف بخط هوف الذي يخسر لبنان بموجبه نصف حقوقه من الغاز، المقدرة بمئة مليار دولار لحساب كيان الاحتلال.

الذين يدعون للسير بما يريده الأميركي ومراضاته ومراعاته، حتى يمنّ علينا عبر صندوق النقد الدولي، او عبر منح الضوء الأخضر لمؤتمر سيدر والبنك الدولي من خلاله، لتقديم بضعة مليارات من الدولارات بصيغة قروض، ويدعون لتقديم فروض الطاعة للأميركي لهذه الغاية وتجنّب كل ما يمكن ان يتسبب بإغضابه، مدعوون لإشهار قبولهم سلفاً وعلناً، بالتراجع عن رفض لبنان لخط هوف. وفي هذا السياق على الذين يتمسكون بالدفاع عن حقوق لبنان في البحر، والمتمسكين بسيادته، أن يتمسكوا بما يقطع الطريق على عبث التحريض الذي يمارسه الأميركي، عبر مقترحات توزعها السفيرة الأميركية ذات اليمين واليسار بالدعوة لتبديل مرجعية التفاوض من رئاسة المجلس النيابي، مرة نحو رئاسة الحكومة، ومرة نحو وزارة الخارجية، وثالثة نحو رئاسة الجمهورية، لأنه بإغلاق هذه النوافذ يقطع الأمل أمام الأوهام الأميركية بفرص فرض التنازل عن الثوابت اللبنانية، وبالتالي بتخفيف للضغوط المرافقة لهذه الأوهام.

الواضح من اللهجة الحانقة لشنكر على خيار «التوجه شرقاً» أنه يخشاه بالفعل، لأنه يقطع الطريق على أوهام تحقيق الأحلام التي ينتظرها قادة كيان الاحتلال بوضع اليد على الغاز اللبناني في البحر، كثمرة للضغوط المالية، فلو كان شنكر غير متأكد من جدية الصين تحديداً بالاهتمام بلبنان كوجهة اقتصادية، ومن فشل محاولات الضغط عليها للتراجع عن الاهتمام بلبنان، لاستهزأ بالدعوة، وسخر منها، بينما نراه يتحدث والغضب ينفجر بين كلماته، متحدثاً عن فضل أميركي على لبنان بمساعدته بـ 25 مليون دولار في مواجهة كورونا، ليسأل ماذا قدمت لكم الصين بالمقابل، ويحذر من خطورة الوقوع في «الفخاخ الصينية»، كحريص يذوب حرصاً على لبنان وحقوقه وسيادته، مقدماً مثال جيبوتي ليقول للبنانيين، احذروا الصين لأنها ستستحوذ على الدولة ومرافقها كما استحوذت على مرافئ جيبوتي لـ 99 سنة لقاء ديونها. وقيمة كلام شنكر القلق فعلاً من الخيار الصيني الاستثماري أنه اعتراف بجدية هذا الخيار من الزاوية الصينية، وفقاً للمعلومات الأميركية، ما يستدعي ولو من باب تحسين القدرات التفاوضية للحكومة اللبنانية، التعامل بجدية مع هذا الخيار، للوصول في النهاية إلى عروض متوازية يختار لبنان منها الأفضل له.

لا ينسى شنكر أن يقدم لجماعاته من اللبنانيين ضيافة أخلاقية، ذات بعد سيادي، فانتهاك الأجواء اللبنانية من طيران جيش الاحتلال ليس خرقاً للسيادة، لأنه لو أتيح لليونيفيل الدخول إلى الأملاك الخاصة في الجنوب، لما احتاج جيش الاحتلال لدخول الأجواء، ونعم المفهوم السيادي، ونعيماً!!

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Tuesday, 23 June 2020

DAMASCUS, (ST)- Deputy Premier, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Walid al-Moallem has affirmed that the real goal behind the so-called “Caesar Act” is to open the door for terrorism to return to Syria as in 2011 and to force Syria to give up its alliance with the resistance and accept normalization with Israel.

 In a press conference on Tuesday, al-Moallem said that the statements made by Mike Pompeo and James Jeffery about the so called “Caesar Act” prove that they are all liars because if they wanted the good of the Syrian people they wouldn’t conspire against their livelihood.

He stressed that there are no exceptions in what is termed as the “Caesar Act” and that the Americans are lying when they claim that this Act doesn’t include medicine or medical supplies.

He pointed out that the Syrian people are used to dealing with unilateral sanctions that have been imposed on them since 1978 under several terms.

 The top Syrian diplomat reiterated that this American legislation will be a chance for the Syrian people to perk up their economy, achieve self-sufficiency and deepen cooperation with friends and allies in all domains, noting that Syria’s war on terrorism hasn’t finished yet.

He wondered if the presence of US forces around Syrian oil fields, the burning of wheat fields and the US threat to friendly countries that want to contribute to reconstructing Syria serve the interests of the Syrian people. He said that the US occupation forces are investing in terrorism and this was proved in transporting leaders of Daesh terrorist organizations by their helicopters to Iraq and in supporting Jabhat al-Nusra and the Turkish regime in their acts of aggression on Syria.

“They are definitely lying when they talk about the interests of the Syrian people,” al-Moallem affirmed.

On the political arena, Al-Moallem affirmed Syria’s commitment to the process of finding a political solution to the crisis in the country and its rejection of any American or non-American foreign interference in the work of the constitutional committee, which must be a Syrian-led process away from any foreign interference.

He reiterated that the Syrians will allow no interference in their constitution and will only recognize a national constitution that will serve the interests of the Syrian people.

On the situation in Idlib, al-Moallem said that Syria behaves according to its priorities, available capabilities and in the light of dialogue with its allies, mainly Russia, pointing out that there is a cessation of hostilities in Idlib pursuant to the Sochi Agreement. “When the terrorists don’t abide by the agreement, our heroic armed forces retaliate directly, but this decision is taken by the military leadership,” said al-Moallem, indicating that the Turkish regime invades northern Iraq, transfers mercenaries to Libya for the sake of oil and occupies lands in Syria to revive the Ottoman ambitions.

The Syrian top diplomat clarified that the popular resistance in the areas under the US occupation is normal, but the strange thing is the illusion of some Kurdish groups which think that the United States will continue to support them.

” I want to tell them that there will come a day when they wake up in the morning and will not find the Americans who actually don’t defend the Kurds’ interests in the region, but the interests and security of “Israel”.

On Syria’s relations with its allies, al-Moallem said that ” we are in close alliance with our Russian friends who have offered sacrifices in the fight against terrorism on the Syrian soil. The Russian support for Syria will continue and consultations between the two sides are done on daily basis. Also Iran is a close friend that will always support Syria. As for China, we consider it as an ally with who Syria has continuous dialogue and we are sure that our friends and allies will not leave Syria alone .”

On Palestine, al-Moallem said that Syria continues to support the Palestinian people and their right to return and build their independent state. “

“We don’t recognize the annexation plans of the Israel occupation with regards to the West Bank. Israel should withdraw from all Arab lands that it has occupied,” al-Moallam made it clear.

Al-Moallem asserted that Syria supports the Libyan National Army and institutions as well as the Libyan sovereignty and territorial integrity. He also reiterated Syria’s support for Egypt’s national security.

Hamda Mustafa

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