Soros color revolution in Syria?

October 07, 2018

by Ghassan Kadi for The Saker Blog

As the observers and analysts of events in the Middle East were busy looking at the aftermath of the downing of the IL-20 and the deployment of the S-300 in Syria, a great new danger is now looming.

President Assad issued a legislative decree (Decree No 16) and which is intended to reform the ministry of Awqaf (Religious Endowments). The “Awqaf” is a Sunni Muslim tradition that has been around for centuries, and its role is to manage the funds of family trusts. After the dismembering of the Ottoman Empire, the new states separated their own “Awqaf” and established their own religious bodies to manage these affairs and funds.

Much has been said in the Arab World about Presidential Decree No. 16, but in reality, nothing has been said about its actual contents and context. When I began reading criticisms of it, they gave the impression that the Decree is handing over the executive authority of Syria to the Sunni Clergy. Videos made and posted by Syrian activists expressed grave concern about Syria following the footsteps of Saudi Arabia in imposing Shariah law on the streets of Syria. There are countless posts reiterating that they are against the imposition of Shariah dress on Syrian women and other similar concerns and linking this to the Decree. There was also confusion about the origin of the Decree and a great deal of criticism of the Minister of Awqaf as the man allegedly being behind it all.

This soon developed into a wave of paranoia and fury that dragged in many normally sombre and serious analysts and activists into supporting the outrage and expressing deep concern and even anger against the government.

I observed all these developments with great concern, not knowing if they were based on any reasonable foundations because I did not really see the actual wording of the Decree in question. The confusion relating to the origin of the Decree, among other things, made it difficult to Google, however I finally managed to find it.

To begin with, and contrary to the statements of many its critics, it is a Presidential Decree and not one originating from the Minister as these critics claimed. It is a 37 page document comprised of 7 sections and each section is divided into chapters. As I sat down to read it, I began to doubt if it was the actual document that the whole uproar was about. I therefore decided to write an Arabic extract of the main and relevant points it mentioned. The extract was quote-unquote based so that I do not use my own words. The emphasis was on matters of political power and religious power, whilst matters relating to financial management and the like were skimmed through very briefly. The link provided herein is for the Arabic post I made. https://intibahwakeup.blogspot.com/2018/10/3-october-2018.html I am not going to translate this to English and I apologize for that. Those who are interested in an English translation can use online translators and whilst these services have their limitations, they are nonetheless good enough to relay the main underlying context.

In brief, the Decree does not separate the State from the Sunni Muslim institution, this is true. However, it puts the religious institution under the hand and authority of the Civil Government. This, in my humble view, is a bold Presidential step towards full secularism.

The Decree imposes regulations on religious activities, teaching, preaching and other related matters, to ensure that extremism namely Wahhabism and the Muslim Brotherhood are kept out and that Muslims are taught that they can be good Muslims and good Syrian citizens at the same time.

Sadly, experience has taught us that if Sunni religious institutions are left alone, they can be infiltrated by prejudiced fanatic zealots who can in the future, potentially reignite the fire. If anything, Decree no. 16 takes precautionary measures to ensure this doesn’t happen.

I did not see in the Decree any allusion to the imposition of Shariah code dress on women, and quite frankly, I did not see anything in it that justifies the outrage.

As I was in the beginning wondering if I was reading the actual document that had caused the outrage, I ended up wondering if the ones doing the outrage have read it at all or even bothered to try to Google it and find it.

The War on Syria has not finished and, over the years I have written many articles about directions that the enemies of Syria took it in order to morph the war and reshape it in their favour. What Syria now needs is rationality and education. It’s a good start to have faith and confidence in the leadership and Decrees of the President, but this trust can be further bolstered by actually looking at facts and discussing the Decree for what it says and not by attributing it to the words of some extremist clerics and making judgements made on totally irrelevant criteria.

However, the current voices of dissent in Syria are led by supporters of the Syrian Government in its war, they are led by alleged “reformers” and scholars, who are twisting facts and feeding the public with disinformation alleging that the said decree is a sell out to the Islamists. With the great help of Intibah (my wife) I have caught them out, and was able to demonstrate that they are either lying deliberately, or that they have issued statements about the decree without reading it.

Those stirrers are trying hard, and very hard, to give the educated secular youth the impression that the government is intent to allow their sacrifices to go in vain. The campaign is spearheaded by some scholars and a member of the Popular Assembly (Parliament) by the name of Nabil Saleh. Saleh is an independent MP who has placed himself against the war on Syria, but not in support of the politics of the Government. He identifies himself as a reformer, a fighter for justice and rationality. However, the campaign of disinformation he is leading does not seem to be based on any rationality at all, but rather on deliberate twists and misinterpretations of Decree No 16. All the while the Grand Mufti Hassoun seems to be keeping silent.

The campaign is splitting the victors of the war on a very basic issue. Even the grass-root constituencies that have supported the Assad legacy for decades are getting inflamed and angry. What is really dangerous here is that as this campaign is giving the false impression that fundamentalist Sunni Islam is winning the battle of government legislation, confused members of other religions are now asking what is in it for them and why did they make all those sacrifices?

My fear is that if this wave of disinformation grows, it will (God forbid) produce the real civil war that Syria did not have. In my Arabic writings, I have been urging readers to develop informed views and asking for calm, but my voice does not travel as far and as loud as the voices of the stirrers.

Now, Syrians have been “asked” to wear red at 4 pm on Tuesday (the 9th of October) in protest to the Decree. Sounds familiar?

Everything about this current hysteria, beginning with disinformation, fearmongering and ending with “Red Tuesday”, are all hallmarks of a Soros-sponsored colour revolution. Did the Western infiltrators who penetrated Syria’s security defences (and whom I and others have warned about repeatedly) establish sleeper cells that have been now activated? Incidentally, the colour red is considered by fundamentalist Muslims as lustful and provocative for women to wear. The choice of the colour perhaps underlies a subtle statement to this effect.

This is spiralling out of control, and the way I see it, President Assad has a few options:

  1. Charge the provocateurs with maliciously spreading disinformation and causing civil strife. This option will however turn Saleh and others in living martyrs and may intensify the situation further.
  2. Ignore the public anger in the hope that it will recede and go away, but such an action may anger the protestors even more and push them to escalate their action.
  3. Or simply to withdraw Decree No 16 even though it is a very good piece of legislation. Such a withdrawal will hopefully absorb the current hysteria and provides the Government with time to deal with whom and what was behind it.

The S-300 may now be giving Syria security in the skies, but those who are stirring the mud are creating a new grave danger on the streets.

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“World War III” and the American Switcheroo

The Saker

October 06, 2018

“World War III” and the American Switcheroo

By Ollie Richardson for The Saker Blog

The person reading this article has most likely seen some form of re-enactment of a Roman trireme navigating some waters and being surrounded by fog, not being able to see further than 1km around them and thus possessing limited knowledge about what lies beyond the “draw distance” provided by their cerebrum. It is this fear (and handicap when it comes to survival) that pushed such ancient civilisations to improve the technology that they possess in order to reduce the risk that sailing the seas bears. The discovery of optics, mathematics, construction techniques, iron and metal works, physics, even astronomy brought the horizon within an arm’s reach and allowed vessels and their captains to become even more ambitious with their plans.

Even though at the time of writing this article it is late 2018 and we now have laptops that are almost paper-thin and electric cars that are almost noiseless, this fear of what may or may not exist beyond either the visible or proverbial horizon has not disappeared anywhere. But the manner in which it is expressed has acquired a more sophisticated character. If 28,000 years ago the human used cave drawings to pass on information about alleged dangers to their successors, then today the human uses contemporary means of mass communication to broadcast similar information about threats to survival. For example, in a recent article posted on the “strategic culture” website there is the following headline: “US Switching to Ukraine as Location to Start World War III Against Russia”. Now the title by itself is rather frightening, let’s agree. If one is seeing the expression “World War III” for the first time and they choose to use the digital library search engine known as “Google” to acquire some “knowledge” about this term, then they almost certainly will require a change of underwear. To illustrate matters, let’s refer to the image below:

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In a word: horrifying! We can see a whole city being blown to smithereens, with a fireball that would surely make the sun look like a coin in comparison. So a connection is made: “World War III” equals fire and explosions. But it is unlikely that the inquisitive person’s curiosity will end here. As is the case when someone drives past the scene of a car accident, it is seemingly impossible to not look. This fear, or more precisely – the fear of death (not knowing what happens when life ends), speaks to us and says: “Look, look, look!”. So, after satisfying the need to read more about this “World War III” by reading the information presented in the article, we learn that because Russia reached an agreement with some other countries over Idlib and America gave 2 boats to Kiev, this “World War III” will now not start in Syria, but in Ukraine!

But wait just a minute here, because the notion of cities being engulfed by fireballs is very serious and there is the chance that it might involve death… lots of death… And since descriptions of this “World War III” give the impression that it won’t be just one street or town that may be affected, but entire cities, regions, or maybe nations, one’s wish to have more specific details leaves one in a bit of a pickle, because it follows from the information in the specified article that there is fog on the horizon when it comes to providing specific details. So, without further ado, let’s pull out our modern-day equivalent of a “spyglass” and do some basic reconnaissance before running for the ejector seat and escaping to the moon.

On September 27th the US did indeed give Ukraine 2 vessels. According to the current President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko’s website, they are Island-class patrol boats. I.e., coast guard ships.

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However, there was a caveat with the handing over of the boats: “America handed over the vessels for free but Ukraine will pay an estimated $10 million for their renovation in Baltimore, Maryland, where they will remain until, likely, next fall”. Ah, so already we are starting to see the real nature of this “generous gesture”. If we remember, in 2018 France reached an agreement with Kiev over the sale of 55 Airbus helicopters, which consists of “21 repurposed H225s, and 10 brand new H145s and 24 H125”. I.e., non-combat helicopters. Poroshenko’s propaganda machine, which consists of the media outlets that he personally directly owns and the agencies that are under his control, did not publicise the fact that most of the helicopters are second-hand. Furthermore, America was jealousof the fact that France was able to swindle Kiev in such a way. And back in 2017 there was the Javelin fiasco, where the US government was mulling (according to the media) over giving “Javelins” to Kiev. It was then reported in December, 2017 that Trump had given the green light for the sending of Javelins, but all we know from that moment is that they were “tested” by the Ukrainian Armed Forces in May, 2018 in Western Ukraine. However, many tabloid spin machines (for example) were adamant that the delivery of these Javelins signalled the beginning of this “World War III”. And they weren’t alone in this hysteria: social media “experts” pressed the “panic” button in unison and decided that if Russia didn’t drop Tsar Bomba on Kiev, it was game over. For them it doesn’t matter that the DPR/LPR don’t use tanks anymore because of the Minsk Agreements and what is happening in Donbass today can hardly be called a “war” (in a war there are offensives, not cowardly shelling on residential areas from a safe area, trying to bait Russia into responding).

But shock horror, as of the time of writing these Javelins have never been used outside the training ground near Lvov, something that your humble servant already predicted long ago. One would think that if Russia is so “aggressive”, as Kiev claims, and Ukraine’s economy is being decimated by “Russian troops”, then there would be some urgency concerning using these Javelins in order to repel the aggressor. But no…

So coming back to the topic of these boats: knowing that Poroshenko is willing to literally pay the Trump administration thousands of dollars just for a fake meeting that will give his Euromaidan and Banderist electorate back home the illusions that “America stands with us”, it is more than likely that this was yet another PR stunt concocted by Poroshenko’s campaign HQ, which has also authored the “autocephaly“, “Russian aggression in the Azov Sea“, and “termination of the Treaty of Friendship” bullet points of his 2019 Presidential electoral campaign.

So how can these splendid vessels be, as the author of the aforementioned “World War III” article put it, exploited “for use against Russia”? Well the first problem here is that Ukraine has no money. Yes, it is more than bankrupt. Its GDP is now exclusively being used to pay back the money that the West lent to it at extortionate interest rates. As soon as a hyrnia enters the coffers, it is immediately dispatched abroad. In fact, its GDP has been substituted with IMF/World Bank/EU/US loans – something that Greece is very familiar with. In fact, Ukraine’s economy makes most African countries look like paradises.

Secondly, the conveyor of the information about “World War III” being launched in Ukraine cites a comment made by a Mr Ryan Zinke, who is the US Secretary of the Interior. Yes, precisely Secretary of the Interior, and nothing else. For reasons that rhyme with “clickbait” various publications (for example) decided to report “US Hints At Naval Blockade Of Russian Energy Exports”. Again, the comment was made by the Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, at an “industry event in Pittsburgh hosted by the Consumer Energy Alliance”. And even if such a statement was made by the White House, so what? After decade upon decade of blah blah blah about how they are going to do this and that to Russia, actions never follow. After all, dumping a few tomahawks on empty warehouses in Syria (both “attacks” were coordinated with Russia beforehand because Washington is very afraid of its own incompetence) is not only a sign of weakness, but also actually helps Russia’s operations in Syria (the “democratic and just wolf” showed the “aggressive Bear” that behind the facade is a scared and futile puppy).

Thirdly, the events in the Azov Sea in the month of September can hardly be described as “war” or even fisticuffs. The fact is that Russian pilots were allowed to come onboard Ukrainian ships to help them navigate through the shallow waters of the Azov Sea. Does this sound like something a country would do if it were indeed “at war” with an “aggressor”? Here are two more referrals that cite other Ukrainians who debunked Poroshenko’s PR stunt: Link 1and Link 2.

So now onto the topic of Syria and the Idlib conundrum. On September 4th Donald Trump did indeed tweet the following:

“President Bashar al-Assad of Syria must not recklessly attack Idlib Province. The Russians and Iranians would be making a grave humanitarian mistake to take part in this potential human tragedy. Hundreds of thousands of people could be killed. Don’t let that happen!”

Yes, Trump tweeted. But what does it mean? The tweet in itself is designed for internal consumption, of course. I.e., for GI Joe Americans to feel like America is still powerful and can flex its muscles anywhere in the globe. The precise reason why no strike followed and Russia and Turkey instead reached an agreement to avoid another Sarin spectacle is beyond the scope of this article, but it can be summarised as international law (not the R2P version, but the S-400 version) triumphing over chaotization (the new format of the R2P version of international law). Furthermore, America would risk a direct war with Russia on Syrian soil no more than it would on Ukrainian soil. I.e., not at all. Assad already won in Idlib (and in the war in general) when Russian jets touched down at Hmeymim in 2015. This event gave impetus to processes that could not be stopped neither by token Israeli airstrikes at alleged “Hezbollah” cow sheds nor by Tomahawk PR extravaganzas. Thus, the actual cleaning of the city from jihadist filth is merely a formality, and by all accounts Nusra & Co are doing a pretty good job already – infighting, a lack of support, and Turkish arm twisting are softening the city itself up for the inevitable 2019 final deal (based on the terms of the Russia-Turkey-Iran axis) regarding Idlib. Thus, Russia is in no hurry to resolve the Idlib question, especially when Iran can launch missiles directly over America’s head in Eastern Syria (Albu Kamal).

It must be stated (once again) that at no point in the Syrian war (2011 onwards) was a direct clash between Russia and America an option. There is the misconception (or wishful thinking) that “the US Government was setting Syria up as the place to start WW III”, but this implies not only that the US government is suicidally unaware that it would be utterly annihilated if it decided to raise the stakes to the skies, but also that the UN is frozen in 2002, when a mock vial of anthrax was all that was needed to bulldoze Middle Eastern country “X”. And whilst America is “setting up Syria” for the “WW III” bonanza, do other processes stop? Does Nord Stream-2, the Silk Road, Turkish Stream, BRICS (T?), SCO, EEU, etc just freeze in time?

Also, if the US was “setting Syria up as the place to start WW III”, does it mean that: a) Assad helped America to “set up” Syria since it was his (and those of his father) socio-economic policies (free handouts + overpopulation) that weakened Syria enough for Wahhabism to grab it by the throat? And if the US was “also setting up Ukraine as an alternative possibility” for nuclear war, does that mean Ukraine’s problems started only when America started to do this? Or are things more complicated, and the roots of Syria’s and Ukraine’s problems extend beyond 2011 and 2014 respectively? Moreover, the causes of these problems are multi-faceted and have different layers of complexity. They are not just “America vs Russia” chess games. In fact, it is quicker to enumerate the countries that AREN’T meddling in Syria or Ukraine. And each party has their own interests and objectives (we are not in the 2002 Iraq/Afghanistan invasion era where the West is a single consolidated bloc dancing to Tel Aviv’s tune).

Lastly, as was touched on in passing earlier, the situation in Donbass is far from being what it was in even 2016. The Ukrainian Armed Forces (and its comrade “volunteer” battalions) and the mainstream Ukrainian society (those who were duped by the Euromaidan spectacle, didn’t fully commit to the idea that Russia is an aggressor, and slowly experience moments of clarity when they witness how their bank balance diminishes every month) is completely exhausted from what has happened not just in the zone of the “Anti-terrorist operation”, but also nationwide as a whole. And here the fact that various DPR political figures have already launched their electoral campaigns for the November 11th elections is very indicative of where priorities now lie. It is clear that America gave Poroshenko the green light to concentrate on the new front in the churches (replacing the old, failed one in Donbass).

And on this front there is an increased chance that Russia may indeed “do something” and intervene in one way or another, as the Minsk Agreements was designed to allow Russia to freeze the situation in Ukraine that arose in 2014 and enter Syria without overexposing its rear. We are now in 2018, fast approaching 2019, and Moscow’s operation in Syria is de facto complete. It was succeeded to keep Syrian statehood intact and to firmly remind Tel Aviv that there is a new sheriff – invited by the legitimate president of Syria! – in the town called “MENA”. Whether the OSCE will be obliged to protect Ukrainian canonical churches from the Banderist hoardes that are already trying to seize churches despite “Autocephaly” not yet being granted, unless the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is playing Poroshenko like a fiddle?

If the West is going to use Ukraine to do something “against Russia”, it will merely be an extension of what we have already seen: since reality has proven that defeating Russia militarily is a pipedream, Ukraine acts like a fifth-column battering ram designed to incite Russian society (and as much of the peripheral post-Soviet space as possible) against Putin. The Kremlin reacted quickly to save Crimea from the “love” of “Right Sector”, and the Minsk Agreements solved the problem of saving Donbass without giving America what it wanted – Russian troops inside Ukraine. Putin knows much more than you the reader or I know when it comes to what is best for the Russian nation, and it’s not a coincidence that he regularly meets with the President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko. The West’s attempts to turn this former Soviet Republic into another anti-Russia battering ram continue unabated, and the work of NGOs (both Soros-funded and non-Soros-funded) to subvert Belarusian society won’t stop just because the West is having an economic crisis.

However, the modern color revolution scheme that was tried and test in Egypt with the “Twitter revolution” has one major flaw – if the financial situation of the working man and woman is stable (assuming that the West’s toxic NGO’s haven’t already infected their brains and convinced them that the “dictator” represses them because they don’t have the latest sports car or Armani bag), then inciting them (along with the village people who are political outcasts and perhaps have sentiments for “heroes” like Stepan Bandera) to overthrow the legally elected President becomes difficult. A good example: the West tried to hijack the “pension reform” topic in Russia, but alas, they failed. In fact, it isn’t excluded that Jeff Monson’s observations played an important role in this.

What is “World War III”? We’ve heard so much about it and we’re always told by certain blogs that it is imminent, and sometimes learning more about it requires a PayPal transaction. But when some time has passed and nothing matching the description of “World War III” has happened, there is always some excuse as to why it hasn’t happened yet. And diplomatic solutions to problems are in general not promoted in the blogosphere. Why? Because they are “boring”. Talking around a table doesn’t quite have the same Hollywood effect as a “Kinzhal” missile hitting USS Donald Cook. And since social media has reduced attention spans and thinking patterns to 20 minute blocks, the cravings for endorphins become more and more stronger.

It is also said on forums that in 7.5 billion years the sun will engulf our planet. So should we all strap a stopwatch to our wrists and countdown for the “big one”? After all, how far can we take this pant-pooping? Could it be that (brace yourselves) there will be no nuclear exchanges in our lifetimes? Does any contemplation of this possibility make life “boring”? Why support Putin and the Eurasian project if we are all doomed? Why do Foreign Ministers hold bilateral meetings and coordinate raw material trade under contracts that will expire in 2050 if “World War III” is imminent? Does the blogosphere know something that Presidents, Cabinets, and recognised analysts/advisors don’t know? Why is the stock market not in mass panic if “World War III” is imminent? After all, in 2013 the price of the hryvnia had already plummeted but it wasn’t a fact back then that Yanukovych would be removed… Traders, like Ministries of Defence, have algorithms to help them forecast future movements. Like a complex spyglass. Why does Germany want Nord Stream 2 so badly (to counter America’s economic blackmail) if “World War III” is going to start soon? Why bother laying the pipes underwater, completing a mountain of paperwork, and signing long-term contracts for Gazprom gas? After all, Germany is meddling in Syria and Ukraine just as much as the US is…

In my previous article I was asked what the following expression means:

“…the core of fourth generation warfare is using simulacra to position a digital hologram over actual ground warfare in order to carve out space to manoeuvre diplomatically”

The answer as to why “World War III” – according to the alt-media’s definition of the term – hasn’t yet happened lies inside it. But this will be the topic for a future article. In the meantime it is wise to remember that as of this moment geopolitical processes are happening in PARALLEL, and not SERIAL.

 

The Trump administration and Iran

Like President Reagan, President Trump seems to be anti-Iranian. But perhaps this is only in appearance. While the former drew up a secret alliance with Imam Khomeiny, the latter may be dealing with ex-President Ahmadinejad in the same way. This is Thierry Meyssan’s heterodox theory.

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Mike Pompeo announces the creation of the « Iran Action Group »

On 16 August 2018, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the creation of the « Iran Action Group » tasked with coordinating US policies after their withdrawal from the 5+1 nuclear agreement (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) [1].

This announcement was made as President Trump decided to postpone sine die the implementation of his plan for the Middle East (The Deal of the Century). But nothing can change in Palestine without the support of Iran.

Let’s remember, by the way, that Barack Obama’s JCPoA Treaty was not conceived only to guarantee that Iran is not making nuclear weapons. This was only the pretext. Its true aim was to prevent Iran from having access to high-level scientists and developing state of the art techniques [2]. Incidentally, the agreement forced Iran to close several faculties.

According to the US Democratic opposition, the Trump administration is reprising the neo-conservative policy of régime change, as indicated by the choice of the date of the announcement – the 65th anniversary of the Anglo -US coup d’etat against Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh. However, although « Operation Ajax » of 1953 did indeed inspire the neo-conservatives, it occurred years before their movement was born, and has no connection with them. Besides which, the neo-conservatives served not only the Republican Party, but also the Democrats.

During his electoral campaign and for his first few days in the White House, Donald Trump continually stigmatised the globalist thinking of the neo-conservatives, and swore that the United States would no longer seek to change the régimes of foreign countries by force. As for the Secretary of State, he claimed that the coincidence of dates was simply fortuitous.

The people known as « neo-conservatives » form a group of Trotskyist intellectuals (thus opposed to the concept of nation-states), militants of Social Democrats USA, which worked with the CIA and MI6 to fight the Soviet Union. They were associated with Ronald Reagan’s power structure, then followed through all the US political mutations, remaining in power under Bush Senior, Clinton, Bush Junior and Obama. Today they conserve the control of a common Intelligence agency connected with the « Five Eyes » (Australia, Canada, New-Zealand, UK, USA) – the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) [3]. Partisans of the « World Revolution », they have popularised the idea of « democratising » régimes by way of « Colour Revolutions », or directly by means of war.

In 2006, they created the Iran Syria Policy and Operations Group within the Bush Junior administration. It was directed by Elizabeth Cheney, the daughter of Vice-President Dick Cheney. At first, they were housed with the Secretariat of Defense, then transferred to the Vice-President’s offices. The group had five sections.
- The transfer of weapons to Iran and Syria from Bahreïn, the United Arab Emirates and Oman ;
- The support for the Trotskyists and their allies, in Iran (the Peoples’ Mujaheddin) and Syria (Riad al-Türk, Georges Sabra and Michel Kilo) ;
- The surveillance of Iranian and Syrian bank networks ;
- The infiltration of pro-Iranian and pro-Syrian groups in the « Greater Middle East » ;
- The penetration of the medias in the region in order to broadcast US propaganda.

In 2007, this group was officially disbanded. In reality, it was absorbed by an even more secret structure tasked with the strategy for global democracy (Global Democracy Strategy). This unit, under the command of neo-conservative Elliott Abrams (who was involved in the « Iran-Contras affair »), and James Jeffrey, spread this sort of work to other regions of the world.

نتيجة بحث الصور عن ‪Elliott Abrams‬‏

It is this Group which supervised the planning for the war against Syria.

When the new President had a long meeting with Abrams at the White House, the US Press, which is violently anti-Trump, presented him as the first possible Secretary of State for the Trump administration. It obviously came to nothing.

However, the fact that ambassador James Jeffrey has just been nominated as a special representative for Syria makes the accusation that the Trump administration was attempting to resuscitate this strategy more credible.

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Special representative for Syria, James Jeffrey, takes the oath before Mike Pompeo

Jeffrey is a career « diplomat ». He organised the application of the Dayton agreements in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He was on post in Kuwaït during the Iraqi invasion. In 2004, under the orders of John Negroponte, he supervised the transition from the Coalition Provisional Authority (which was a private company [4]) to the post-Saddam Hussein Iraqi government. Then he joined Condolleezza Rice’s cabinet in Washington, and participated in the Coalition Provisional Authority. He was one of the theorists for US military redeployment in Iraq (the Surge), implemented by General Petraeus. He was also the assistant of National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley during the war in Georgia, then Bush Junior’s ambassador in Turkey and Obama’s ambassador in Iraq.

If we look a little closer, we may note that his entire career since the collapse of the USSR has been centred around Iran, but not necessarily in opposition to it. For example, during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran fought alongside Saudi Arabia under the orders of the Pentagon. On the other hand, in Iraq, Jeffrey opposed the influence of Teheran. But when Georgia attacked South Ossetia and Abkhasia, he did not defend President Saakachvili, since he knew that he had rented two airports to Israël to facilitate an attack on Iran.

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Brian Hook

Mike Pompeo named Brian Hook as the head of the Iran Action Group. He is an interventionist who was the assistant for Condoleezza Rice, working with international organisations. Until now, he was tasked with elaborating strategies for the State Department.

According to Pompeo, the aim of this new group is not to change the régime, but to force Iran to change its politics. This strategy appears while the Islamic Republic is navigating a major economic and political crisis. While the clergy (doubly represented by the Cheikh President and by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution) is clinging to power, there are demonstrations against it all over the country. Contrary to the image we were presented in the West, Ayatollah Khomeiny’s revolution was not clerical, but anti-imperialist. The protests can therefore either lead to a change of the régime, or to the continuation of the Khomeinist Revolution, but without the clergy. It is this second option which is represented by ex-President Ahmadinejad (today under house arrest) and his ex-Vice-Ppresident Baghaie (imprisoned for 15 years and held incommunicado).

On 21 May last, before the Heritage Foundation, Mike Pompeo presented his 12 objectives for Iran [5]. At first glance, this seemed to be a long list of demands which are impossible to satisfy. However, when we look closer, points 1 to 3 relative to the nuclear question do not go as far as the JCPoA. Point 4 concerning ballistic missiles is unacceptable. Points 5 to 12 aim to convince Iran to give up the idea of exporting its revolution by force of arms.

On 15 August, in other words, on the day before Pompeo’s announcement, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, recognised that he had been in error when he allowed Cheikh Hassan Rohani’s team to negotiate the JCPoA agreement with the Obama administration [6]. Note that the Supreme Leader had authorised these negotiations before Rohani’s election, and that he – and the eviction of Ahmadinejad’s movement – had been part of the preparatory discussions.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who makes a distinction between the policies of Presidents Obama and Trump, wrote to the new President just after his election [7]. He demonstrated that he shared Donald Trump’s analysis of the Obama-Clinton global system and its painful consequences for the rest of the world and also for the citizens of the United States.

When the demonstrations began in December 2017, the Rohani government accused Ahmadinejad of being responsible. In March 2018, the ex-President clinched his break with the Supreme Leader by revealing that Khamenei’s office had misappropriated 80 billion rials belonging to humanitarian and religious foundations [8]. Two weeks before Pompeo’s announcement, although he was under house arrest, he called for the resignation of President Rohani [9].

Everything therefore points to the idea that although the Obama administration supported Rohani, Trump’s administration supports Ahmadinejad’s party. Just as when President Carter and his advisor Brzeziński launched «Operation Eagle Claw » against the Revolution, while President Reagan supported Imam Khomeiny (October Surprise).

In other words, the White House could be quite comfortable with a return to power of Ahmadinejad’s party, on the condition that Iran agrees to export its Revolution only by the debate of ideas.

Translation
Pete Kimberley

The author lived in Iran for six months. He advised President Ahmadinejad during his speech before the UNO in 2010.

[1] “Remarks on the Creation of the Iran Action Group”, by Michael R. Pompeo; “Briefing on the Creation of the Iran Action Group”, by Brian Hooks, State Department, August 16, 2018.

[2] “Who’s afraid of Iran’s civilian nuclear programme?”, by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, 27 July 2010.

[3] “The networks of “democratic” interference”, “NED, the Legal Window of the CIA”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Anoosha Boralessa, Оdnako(Russia) , Voltaire Network, 22 January 2004 and 16 August 2016.

[4] “Who Rules Iraq?”, by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, 13 May 2004.

[5] “Mike Pompeo at The Heritage Foundation”, by Mike Pompeo, Voltaire Network, 21 May 2018.

[6] “The Supreme Leader of the Iranian Revolution Rectifies his Views”, Voltaire Network, 18 August 2018.

[7] “Letter by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Donald Trump”, by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Voltaire Network, 26 February 2017.

[8] “Ahmadinejad accuses Ayatollah Khamenei of embezzling funds”, Translation Anoosha Boralessa, Voltaire Network, 24 March 2018.

[9] “Iran: Former President Ahmadineyad exhorts President Rohani to resign”, Translation Anoosha Boralessa, Voltaire Network, 10 August 2018

A ‘Regime’ Is a Government at Odds With the US Empire

By Gregory Shupak

August 21, 2018 “Information Clearing House” –  In the aftermath of the assassination attempt against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, an article in the Miami Herald (8/5/18) reported that “a clandestine group formed by Venezuelan military members opposed to the regime of Nicolás Maduro claimed responsibility.” A New York Times op-ed (8/10/18) mused, “No one knows whether the Maduro regime will last decades or days.” AFP (8/12/18) reported that “Trump has harshly criticized Maduro’s leftist regime.”

The word “regime” implies that the government to which the label is applied is undemocratic, even tyrannical, so it’s peculiar that the term is used in Venezuela’s case, since the country’s leftist government has repeatedly won free and fair elections (London Review of Books6/29/17). One could argue that, strictly speaking, “regime” can simply mean a system, and in some specific, infrequent contexts, that may be how it’s used. But broadly the word “regime” suggests a government that is unrepresentative, repressive,  corrupt, aggressive—without the need to offer any evidence of these traits.

Interestingly, the US itself meets many of the criteria for being a “regime”: It can be seen as an oligarchy rather than a democracy, imprisons people at a higher rate than any other country, has grotesque levels of inequality and bombs another country every 12 minutes. Yet there’s no widespread tendency for the corporate media to describe the US state as a “regime.”

The function of “regime” is to construct the ideological scaffolding for the United States and its partners to attack whatever country has a government described in this manner. According to the mainstream media, the democratically elected government of Nicaragua is a “regime” (Washington Post7/11/18). Cuba also has a “regime” (Washington Post7/25/18). Iraq and Libya used to have “regimes”—before the United States implemented “regime change.” North Korea most definitely has one (New York Times7/26/18), as do China (Washington Post8/3/18) and Russia (Wall Street Journal7/15/18).

When, for the media, does a government become a “regime”? The answer, broadly speaking: A country’s political leaders are likely to be called a “regime” when they do not follow US dictates, and are less likely to be categorized as such if they cooperate with the empire.

‘Regimes’ in Latin America

A search run with the media aggregator Factiva finds that in the nearly 20 years since Venezuela first elected a Chavista government, the New York TimesWall Street Journal and Washington Post have used the phrase “Venezuelan regime” 74 times, “regime in Venezuela” 30 times, “Chávez regime” 68 times, “Maduro regime” 168 times and “regime in Caracas” five times. All of these governments have been democratically elected, but have sinned by trying to carve out a path independent of US control.

Consider, by contrast, coverage of Honduras. The country is hardly lacking in characteristics associated with a “regime.” On June 28, 2009, a US-backed military coup overthrew the democratically elected government of Manuel Zelaya, replacing it with a US-friendly administration. Since then, Honduras has become the most dangerous place for journalists in the Americas; labor leaders and environmental activists have also been regularly targeted for assassination.

According to a Factiva search, the phrase “Honduran regime” has never appeared in the TimesJournal and Post in the years following the coup, and collectively they used the phrase “regime in Honduras” once: It appeared in a Washington Post article (3/31/16) about the assassinations of Honduran indigenous leader Berta Cáceres and other environmentalists in the region, in a quote by a professor critical of US support for Latin American dictatorships.

While Honduras’s three post-coup presidents have governed a country where “impunity for human rights abuses remains the norm,” according to Human Rights Watch, these leaders have almost never been described as running a “regime.” A Post editorial (9/5/09) included the only appearance of “Micheletti regime” in any of the three papers. “Lobo regime” returns zero search results. The New York Times (2/16/16) has used “Hernández regime” once, but Factiva indicates that the Postand Journal never have. Searches for “regime in Tegucigalpa” or “Tegucigalpa regime” produced zero results.

Middle Eastern ‘Regimes’

Since the war in Syria ignited on March 15, 2011, “Syrian regime” has been used 5,355 times, “Assad regime” 7,853 times, “regime in Syria” 836 times, and “regime in Damascus” 282 times in the New York TimesWall Street Journal and Washington Post.

Washington’s economic and military partner Saudi Arabia is described as having a “regime” far less often than is Syria, despite its rather “regime”-like qualities: Its unelected government represses dissidents, including advocates for women and its Shia minority, and carries out executions at anextraordinary clipincluding of people accused of adultery, apostasy and witchcraft. Saudi Arabia crushed an uprising in neighboring Bahrain in 2011, and with its US and UK partners, is carrying out an almost apocalyptic war in Yemen.

In the same period examined in the Syrian case, the phrase “Saudi regime” was used 145 times by the same papers, while “regime in Saudi Arabia” registers four hits and “regime in Riyadh” can be found once, in the Post (11/29/17).

Saudi leaders can rest assured that their names are unlikely to be associated with running a “regime”: Factiva indicates that the three publications never used the phrase “Abdullah regime” in the relevant period, while “Salman regime” pops up only once, in a Post editorial (5/3/15).

The Iranian Revolution culminated on February 11, 1979, and the US ruling class has seen Iran’s government as an arch-enemy ever since. Factiva searches of the intervening years turn  up 3,201 references to “Iranian regime,” in the TimesJournal and Post, as well as 326 to “regime in Iran,” 502 to “regime in Tehran,” 258 to “Khomeini regime,” 31 to “Ahmadinejad regime” and five to “Rouhani regime.”

The case of stalwart US ally Israel offers an illuminating counterpoint. Even though Israel violently rules over 2.5 Palestinians in the West Bank and keeps 2 million under siege in Gaza, and even though Palestinians living as citizens of Israel face institutional discrimination, the Israeli government is almost never described as a “regime” in a way that carries the negative connotations discussed above.

New York Times article (8/2/91) on the Gulf War used the phrase “the obdurate Israeli regime” to describe Israeli conduct in regional negotiations. In 1992, a Washington Post op-ed (3/11/92) called for America to accept Jewish people from the just-collapsed Soviet Union in part because “elements in the Israeli regime are quite ready to place the [Jewish people who moved to Israel from the USSR] in harm’s way,” a reference to the idea that Palestinians are a threat to them. A Wall Street Journal article (7/12/99) employed the term “Israeli regime” in 1999 to describe Ehud Barak’s administration as taking over from “the previous Israeli regime” of Benjamin Netanyahu, and a piece in the Washington Post (10/1/96) used the phrase in the same way.

Otherwise, “Israeli regime” appears in the New York TimesWall Street Journal or Washington Post when the phrase is attributed to critics of Israel (e.g., Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad saying, “Those who think they can revive the stinking corpse of the usurping and fake Israeli regime by throwing a birthday party are seriously mistaken”—New York Times,5/12/08), or is part of a compound referring to a country other than Israel, as when Egypt is described as having a “pro-Israeli regime,” or Syria is called an “anti-Israeli regime.”

“Sharon regime” yields four results. There are no results for “Olmert regime.” Since Netanyahu returned to power in 2009, Factiva shows, the only use of “Netanyahu regime” in any of these papers was a Washington Post article (3/1/15);  there are three instances of the phrase in these papers from his first go-round (1996–99). The New York Times referred to Israel as the “regime in Jerusalem” once in 1981 (3/2/81) and again in 1994 (1/6/94). “Regime in Tel Aviv” only appears when it’s part of a quote from someone criticizing Israel.

Calling a government a “regime” suggests a lack of legitimacy, with the implication that its ousting (by whatever means) would serve humanitarian and democratic ends; it’s no accident that the phrase is “regime change,” not “government change” or “administration change.” The obverse is also true: The authority of a “government” is more apt to be seen as legitimate,  with resistance to it or defense against it frequently depicted as criminal or terroristic. Thus corporate media help instruct the population that the enemies of the US ruling class need to be eliminated, while its friends deserve protection.

Gregory Shupak teaches media studies at the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto. His book, The Wrong Story: Palestine, Israel and the Media, is published by OR Books.

This article was originally published by “FAIR –

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

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On Iran, Is It Trump Versus His Own Neocons?

Global Research, August 20, 2018

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement of the creation of a new Iran Action Group at the White House–almost exactly on the anniversary of the CIA-led coup against Iran’s elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953 no less–was as usual short on substance but heavy on on accusations and demands. Yet, it may still be quite significant precisely because of the growing fissures within the Trump administration in regards to Iran policy.

Hawks on Iran were caught off guard when Donald Trump announced last month that he would be willing to meet with Iran’s leaders “any time they want to” and without preconditions. The Israeli intelligence community–who otherwise have claimed authorship of Trump’s Iran policy–were “struck dumb for two days” amid fears that Trump might abandon the pressure strategy and instead seek to mend ties with Tehran. Steadfast supporters of kinetic action against Iran, such as the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), nervously took to twitter to warn Trump that he should be ready “to be taken to the cleaners” unless he approached the Iranians from a position of strength.

Trump’s surprise provided some insight into the fissures within his administration regarding Iran policy. Trump, who mindful of his fondness for summits and his desire to be seen as a deal maker probably does want to meet with the Iranians, appears rather alone in favoring a pivot to diplomacy. Here, he certainly does not have backing from John Bolton, Mike Pompeo or Brian Hook, who all the offer of negotiations as yet another instrument of pressure, rather than a genuine offer.

This group has already walked back Trump’s offer for dialogue with Iran without preconditions. And John Bolton famously wrote in a memo to Trump that as the US would increase the pressure on Iran, it should also consider “rhetorically leaving that possibility open in order to demonstrate Iran’s actual underlying intention to develop deliverable nuclear weapon.”

Against this background, one purpose the new Iran Action Group may serve is to escalate matters with Iran to the point in which any pivot to diplomacy by Trump may be rendered impossible.

Proponents of confrontation with Iran such as FDD have already once seen their pressure policy (which was designed to be irreversible) be dialed down by a President who pivoted to negotiations. This happened in 2013 under Obama, and led to many bitter public exchanges between FDD’s leadership and Obama officials. After all, the Obama administration worked closely with FDD to sanction Iran. Once Obama pivoted to diplomacy, however, FDD fell out of favor. Hawks on North Korea must have felt similarly frustrated when Trump suddenly shifted to talk to Kim Jung Un rather than threatening him with nuclear strikes.

Moreover, what has been clear from Trump’s Iran policy thus far is that much of it is rarely publicly acknowledged. But we know now per the reporting of Reuters that the Trump administration has been destabilizing Iran and that the goal with its pressure policy is to “foment unrest in Iran.” (It remains to be seen whether the US also has directly provided funding to entities involved in the unrest in Iran.)

The Iran Action group will likely lead and intensify efforts to foment unrest in Iran, further creating tensions with the EU, who view the destabilization of Iran as a direct national security threat to Europe.

Despite the absence of substance in Pompeo’s press conference, this move is yet another escalatory step by neoconservatives in the Trump administration, who are deliberately moving the US closer to war with Iran, despite Trump’s offer for talks. Trump has in the past shown himself quite capable of replacing advisors and officials who cross purpose with him. But on Iran, a pivot to diplomacy would not only cause a break with senior members of his inner circle, but also with the Prime Minister of Israel and the King of Saudi Arabia.

The neoconservatives in the White House and outside proponents of war with Iran have Trump in a corner and they want to keep him there. The Iran Action Group seems aimed at achieving just that.

*

Trita Parsi is the president of the National Iranian American Council and author of Losing an Enemy – Obama, Iran and the Triumph of Diplomacy.

Iran’s reply: no war and no negotiations

 

The Saker

[This analysis was written for the Unz Review]

We can all thank God for the fact that the AngloZionists did not launch a war on the DPRK, that no Ukronazi attack on the Donbass took place during the World Cup in Russia and that the leaders of the Empire have apparently have given up on their plans to launch a reconquista of Syria.  However, each of these retreats from their hysterical rhetoric has only made the Neocons more frustrated and determined to show the planet that they are still The Hegemon who cannot be disobeyed with impunity. As I wrote after the failed US cruise missile strike on Syria this spring, “each click brings us closer to the bang“.  In the immortal words of Michael Ledeen, “Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business“.  The obvious problem is that there are no “small crappy little countries” left out there, and that those who are currently the object of the Empire’s ire are neither small nor crappy.

Having now shown several times that for all its hysterical barking the Empire has to back down when the opponent does not cower away in fear, the Empire is now in desperate need to prove it’s “uniqueness” and (racial?) superiority.   The obvious target of the AngloZionist wrath is Iran.  In fact, Iran has been in the cross-hairs of the Empire ever since the people of Iran dared to show the AngloZionists to the door and, even worse, succeed in creating their own, national and Islamic democracy.  To punish Iran, the US, the USSR, France and all the other “democratic” countries unleashed their puppet (Saddam Hussein) and gave him full military support, and yet the Iranians still prevailed, albeit at a terrible cost.  That Iranian ability to prevail in the most terrible circumstances is also the most likely explanation for why there has not been an overt attack on Iran for the past four decades (there have, of course, there has been plenty of covert attacks during all these years).

I won’t list all the recent AngloZionist threats against Iran – we all know about them.  The bottom line is this: the US, Israel and the KSA are, yet again, working hand in hand to set the stage for a major war under what we could call the “Skripal-case rules of evidence” aka “highly likely“.  And yet,  in spite of all this saber-rattling, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has summed up Iran’s stance in the following words “there will be no war and no negotiations“.

First, let’s first look at Iranian rationale for “no negotiations”

The obvious: “no negotiations”

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has been very clear in his explanations for why negotiating with the USA makes no sense.  On his Twitter account he wrote:

The Iranian Supreme Leader even posted a special graphic summary to summarize and explain the Iranian position:

Finally, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reiterated his fundamental approach towards the AngloZionist Empire:

The contrast between the kindergarten-level low-IQ bumbling hot air and threats coming out of the White House and the words of Ali Khamenei could not be greater, especially if we compare the words the two leaders decided to post all in caps;

Trump: To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!

Khamenei: THERE WILL BE NO WAR, NOR WILL WE NEGOTIATE WITH THE U.S..

Notice first that in his typical ignorance, Trump fails to realize that Hassan Rouhani is only the President of Iran and that threatening him makes absolutely no sense since he does not make national security decisions, which is the function of the Supreme Leader.  Had Trump taken the time to at the very least check with Wikipedia he would have understood that the Iranian President “carries out the decrees, and answers to the Supreme Leader of Iran, who functions as the country’s head of state“.  It is no wonder that Trump’s infantile threats instantly turned into an Internet meme!

In contrast, Khamenei did not even bother to address Trump by name but, instead, announced his strategy to the whole world.

Trump’s ALL IN CAPS meme

Of course, issuing  ALL IN CAPS threats just to be treated with utter contempt by the people you are trying to hard to bully and having your words become a cause of laughter on the Internet will only further enrage Trump and his supporters.  When you are desperately trying to show the world how tough and scary you are, there is nothing more humiliating as being treated like some stupid kid.  Therein also lies the biggest danger: such derision could force Trump and the Neocons who run him to do something desperate to prove to the word that their “red button” is still bigger than everybody else’s.

It is important to note here that making negotiations impossible is something the Trump administration seems to have adopted as a policy.  This is best illustrated by the conditions attached to the latest sanctions against Russia which, essentially, demand that Russia admit poisoning the Skripals.  In fact, all the western demands towards Russia (admitting that Russia is guilty for the Skripal case, that Russia shot down MH-17, that Russia hand over Crimea to the Ukronazis, etc.) are carefully crafted to make absolutely sure that Russia will not negotiate.  The sames, of course, goes for the ridiculous Pompeo demands towards the DPRK (including handing over to the USA 60 to 70 percent of its nukes within six to eight months; no wonder the North Koreans denounced a “gangster-like” attitude) or the latest US grandstanding towards Turkey.  Sadly, but the Neocon run media has successfully imposed the notion that negotiations are either a sign of weakness, or treason, or both.  Thus to be “patriotic” and “strong” no US official can afford to be caught red-handed negotiating with the enemy of the day.

Under these conditions, why would anybody want to negotiate with the US?

Frankly, the “no negotiations” approach makes perfectly good sense, and while the Iranians are the only ones who have openly said so, the Russians have hinted to the same on many occasions (see their words about the US being “non-agreement capable” or about US diplomats confusing Austria and Australia).  To any objective observer it should by now be completely obvious by now that a) the US cannot negotiate (due to intellectual, cultural and political limitations) and b) the US has no desire to negotiate.  This is, of course, a highly undesirable and dangerous situation, but it would only make things worse to pretend that civilized negotiations with the USA are possible.

So, if both sides agree on “no negotiations”, what about war?

The not so obvious: No war?

This is where Ali Khamenei’s stance is more puzzling, at least to me: when he says that there will be no war, does he mean that the US threats are not credible or does he mean that Iran has the means to deter a US attack?  His words make it sound like he is quite certain that there will be no war.  How can he be so sure?  I am especially amazed by the apparent Iranian confidence that the AngloZionists will not attack them when I compare it with the obvious Russian policy of actively preparing for war since at least 2014 (also see hereherehereherehere and here).  Of course, Iran has been preparing for war with the USA since almost 40 years now whereas the Russians only woke up to reality comparatively recently.  I see several potential explanations for Ali Khamenei’s statement (there might be more, of course):

  • Political: Iran is trying to demonstrate that it will do everything possible to avoid a war so that if a war should break out, it would be absolutely clear to everybody that Iran did not want it, Iran did not trigger it and the responsibility for the consequences fall entirely and solely upon the US and Israel.
  • Deception: Iran knows that a war is coming but is trying to pretend like it won’t to better conceal the war preparations and lure the Empire into a sense of complacency resulting into an ineffective/costly attack.
  • Intelligence: the Iranians might have intelligence indicating to them that all the US threats are just hot air spewed in order to appease the Israel Lobby and to look “patriotic” in preparation for the upcoming elections this Fall.
  • Miscalculation: the Iranians might underestimate the level of hubris, arrogance and stupidity of the US leadership and mistakenly conclude that since an attack on Iran makes no sense and the US cannot “win”, such an attack will therefore not happen.

Personally, every time I think of a possible US attack on Iran I think of the Israeli attack on Lebanon in 2006 which happened in spite of the fact that it was plainly visible to everybody that the Israelis were waltzing straight into a conflict which they could not win and which, in fact, resulted into one of the most abjects defeats in military history.  Conversely, while Hezbollah did win a truly historical victory, it also remains a fact that Hezbollah leaders did not expect the Israelis to launch a full-scale ground offensive.  Finally, history is full of examples of wars which were started in spite of all objective factors indicating that they would end up in disaster.

It seems to me that in purely military terms (not in political ones!) Israel could be seen as a stand-in for the USA and Hezbollah as a stand-in for Iran and that the outcome of any future US-Iranian war will be very similar to the outcome of the war in 2006, albeit on a much larger (and bloodier) scale.  I am confident that the folks in the Pentagon realize that, but what about their Neocon bosses – do they even care about Iranian or, for that matter, US casualties?  I highly doubt it: all they care about is their power and messianic ideology.

If it weren’t for it’s nuclear arsenal, the USA could be dismissed as a particularly obnoxious country lead by ignorant leaders with bloated and mostly ineffective armed forces.  Alas, the US nuclear arsenal is very real (and still very capable) and we know that top-level US Neocons have already considered using tactical nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear state’s conventional force in the past.  In a twisted way, this makes sense: if you are a megalomaniac infused with a sense of messianic superiority then international or even civilizational norms of behavior are of no interest (or even relevance) to you.  Listening to US Presidents, pretty much all of them (but especially Obama and Trump) it is pretty clear that these folks consider themselves to be the Kulturträger and the Herrenvolk of the 21st century and their messianism is in no way less delusional than the one of their Nazi predecessors (or, for that matter, the one of the Popes of the past 1000 years).  And why would the people who nuked two Japanese cities under the (entirely fallacious) pretext of “shortening the war” (almost a humanitarian operation!) not do the same thing in Iran?

Of sure, they probably realize that using nukes will result in a massive political backlash, but they are confident that no matter what happens in the end, they will always be able to say “screw you!” to the rest of the planet.  After all, this is something which Israel and the USA have been doing with almost total inpunity for decades already – why would they stop now?  As for the fact that the Persian people have been dealing with all kinds of invaders since no less than 2500 years will not stop the AngloZionists from trying to crush them.  After all, having laid waste to a country which many see as the cradle of civilization, Iraq, why not do the same thing to Iran?  Iraq, Iran – what’s the difference, they are all just “sand niggers” and our red button is bigger than theirs, right?

Standing up to Shaytân-e Bozorg (almost alone?)

It would be a big mistake to dismiss the USA because of its incapable military or moral bankruptcy.  The truth is that in terms of aggregate national power, the USA still remains the most powerful country on the planet (even if we don’t include nuclear weapons).  Anyone doubting that needs to look how how the currencies of the countries the US is singles out for attack suddenly began slipping: the Russian ruble (which has since bounced back), the Iranian rial, the Venezuelan bolivar, the Turkish lira, etc.) or how little time it took Trump to bring the (admittedly spineless) Europeans to heel.  As for Russia, for all her military might, she remains only a semi-sovereign country in which the pro-US/pro-Israeli “Atlantic Integrationists” continue to try to sabotage (often successfully) everything Putin and his supporters are doing.  I would not place big hopes in China either, especially considering the lack of meaningful Chinese action in Syria where Russia and Iran did all the heavy lifting.  Sadly, but the only ally Iran can truly count on is Hezbollah.  And while Hezbollah is considered a “non-state actor”, it has a formidable capability to strike at the USA’s colonial masters, especially in terms of missiles.  This will not protect Iran, but it could serve as a very real deterrent to the Israelis, especially since Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah he has made it clear that Hezbollah more than capable of taking on Israel.  For the time being, the Israelis are already preparing for a re-match against Hezbollah and they are massing forces in the north to prepare for a war against Hezbollah.

Does that look to you like there will be no war against Iran?

I hope so.  But to me it very much looks like an attack is pretty much inevitable.  I have been predicting such an attack since 2007 and, so far, I have been completely wrong (and thank God for that!).  The very first article I ever wrote for my blog was entitled “Where the Empire meets to plan the next war” ended with the following words:

So count with yet another imperial war of aggression, a barrel of crude at over 100$ and oil shortages, rocketing inflation, job losses, a stagnant real estate market and stock exchange, and a national debt and government deficit which would make even Reagan proud. And plenty of dead Americans (nevermind the Iranians, right?).  But don’t worry: there will still be a huge supply of Chinese-made US flags to wave!

And yet, 11 years later, the AngloZionist attack which looked so imminent in 2007 has not happened yet.  Could it be that this time again an attack on Iran can be avoided?  Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appears to be very confident that it will not happen.  I am not so sure, but I fervently hope that he is right.

The Saker

The Essential Saker II
The Essential Saker II: Civilizational Choices and Geopolitics / The Russian challenge to the hegemony of the AngloZionist Empire
The Essential Saker
The Essential Saker: from the trenches of the emerging multipolar world

A Decalogue: The Ten Theses of American Empire-Building: A Dialogue

By Prof. James Petras

Global Research, August 11, 2018

 

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Introduction

Few, if any, believe what they hear and read from leaders and media publicists. Most people choose to ignore the cacophony of voices, vices and virtues.

This paper provides a set of theses which purports to lay-out the basis for a dialogue between and among those who choose to abstain from elections with the intent to engage them in political struggle.

Thesis 1

US empire builders of all colors and persuasion practice donkey tactics; waving the carrot and wielding the whip to move the target government on the chosen path.

In the same way, Washington offers dubious concessions and threatens reprisals, in order to move them into the imperial orbit.

Washington applied the tactic successfully in several recent encounters. In 2003 the US offered Libyan government of Muammar Gaddafi a peaceful accommodation in exchange for disarmament, abandonment of nationalist allies in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. In 2011, the US with its European allies applied the whip – bombed Libya, financed and armed retrograde tribal and terrorist forces, destroyed the infrastructure, murdered Gaddafi and uprooted millions of Africans and Libyans. . . who fled to Europe. Washington recruited mercenaries for their subsequent war against Syria in order to destroy the nationalist Bashar Assad regime.

Washington succeeded in destroying an adversary but did not establish a puppet regime in the midst of perpetual conflict.

The empire’s carrot weakened its adversary, but the stick failed to recolonize Libya ..Moreover its European allies are obligated to pay the multi-billion Euro cost of absorbing millions of uprooteded immigrants and the ensuing domestic political turmoil.

Thesis 2

Empire builders’ proposal to reconfigure the economy in order to regain imperial supremacy provokes domestic and overseas enemies. President Trump launched a global trade war, replaced political accommodation with economic sanctions against Russia and a domestic protectionist agenda and sharply reduced corporate taxes. He provoked a two-front conflict. Overseas, he provoked opposition from European allies and China, while facing perpetual harassment from domestic free market globalists and Russo-phobic political elites and ideologues.

Two front conflicts are rarely successful. Most successful imperialist conquer adversaries in turn – first one and then the other.

Thesis 3

Leftists frequently reverse course: they are radicals out of office and reactionaries in government, eventually falling between both chairs. We witness the phenomenal collapse of the German Social Democratic Party, the Greek Socialist Party (PASOK), (and its new version Syriza) and the Workers Party in Brazil. Each attracted mass support, won elections, formed alliances with bankers and the business elite – and in the face of their first crises, are abandoned by the populace and the elite.

Shrewd but discredited elites frequently recognize the opportunism of the Left, and in time of distress, have no problem in temporarily putting up with Left rhetoric and reforms as long as their economic interests are not jeopardized. The elite know that the Left signal left and turn right.

Thesis 4

Elections, even ones won by progressives or leftists, frequently become springboards for imperial backed coups. Over the past decade newly elected presidents, who are not aligned with Washington, face congressional and/or judicial impeachment on spurious charges. The elections provide a veneer of legitimacy which a straight-out military-coup lacks.

In Brazil, Paraguay and Venezuela, ‘legislatures’ under US tutelage attempted to ouster popular President. They succeeded in the former and failed in the latter.

When electoral machinery fails, the judicial system intervenes to impose restraints on progressives, based on tortuous and convoluted interpretation of the law. Opposition leftists in Argentina, Brazil and Ecuador have been hounded by ruling party elites.

Thesis 5

Even crazy leaders speak truth to power. There is no question that President Trump suffers a serious mental disorder, with midnight outbursts and nuclear threats against, any and all, ranging from philanthropic world class sports figures (LeBron James) to NATO respecting EU allies.

Yet in his lunacy, President Trump has denounced and exposed the repeated deceits and ongoing fabrications of the mass media. Never before has a President so forcefully identified the lies of the leading print and TV outlets. The NY Times, Washington Post, the Financial Times, NBC, CNN, ABC and CBS have been thoroughly discredited in the eyes of the larger public. They have lost legitimacy and trust. Where progressives have failed, a war monger, billionaire has accomplished, speaking a truth to serve many injustices.

Thesis 6

When a bark turns into a bite, Trump proves the homely truth that fear invites aggression. Trump has implemented or threatened severe sanctions against the EU, China, Iran, Russia, Venezuela, North Korea and any country that fails to submit to his dictates. At first, it was bombast and bluster which secured concessions.

Concessions were interpreted as weakness and invited greater threats. Disunity of opponents encouraged imperial tacticians to divide and conquer. But by attacking all adversaries simultaneously he undermines that tactic. Threats everywhere limits choices to dangerous options at home and abroad.

Thesis 7

The master meddlers, of all times, into the politics of sovereign states are the Anglo-American empire builders. But what is most revealing is the current ploy of accusing the victims of the crimes that are committed against them.

After the overthrow of the Soviet regime, the US and its European acolytes ‘meddled’ on a world-historic scale, pillaging over two trillion dollars of Soviet wealth and reducing Russian living standards by two thirds and life expectancy to under sixty years – below the level of Bangladesh.

With Russia’s revival under President Putin, Washington financed a large army of self-styled ‘non-governmental organizations’ (NGO) to organize electoral campaigns, recruited moguls in the mass media and directed ethnic uprisings. The Russians are retail meddlers compared to the wholesale multi-billion-dollar US operators.

Moreover, the Israeli’s have perfected meddling on a grand scale – they intervene successfully in Congress, the White House and the Pentagon. They set the Middle East agenda, budget and priorities, and secure the biggest military handouts on a per-capita basis in US history!

Apparently, some meddlers meddle by invitation and are paid to do it.

Thesis 8

Corruption is endemic in the US where it has legal status and where tens of millions of dollars change hands and buy Congress people, Presidents and judges.

In the US the buyers and brokers are called ‘lobbyists’ – everywhere else they are called fraudsters. Corruption (lobbying) grease the wheels of billion dollars military spending, technological subsidies, tax evading corporations and every facet of government – out in the open, all the time and place of the US regime.

Corruption as lobbying never evokes the least criticism from the mass media.

On the other hand, where corruption takes place under the table in Iran, China and Russia, the media denounce the political elite – even where in China over 2 million officials, high and the low are arrested and jailed.

When corruption is punished in China, the US media claim it is merely a ‘political purge’ even if it directly reduces elite conspicuous consumption.

In other words, imperial corruption defends democratic value; anti-corruption is a hallmark of authoritarian dictatorships.

Thesis 9

Bread and circuses are integral parts of empire building – especially in promoting urban street mobs to overthrow independent and elected governments.

Imperial financed mobs – provided the cover for CIA backed coups in Iran (1954), Ukraine (2014), Brazil (1964), Venezuela (2003, 2014 and 2017), Argentina (1956), Nicaragua (2018), Syria (2011) and Libya (2011) among other places and other times.

Masses for empire draw paid and voluntary street fighters who speak for democracy and serve the elite. The “mass cover” is especially effective in recruiting leftists who look to the street for opinion and ignore the suites which call the shots.

Thesis 10

The empire is like a three-legged stool it promotes genocide, to secure magnicide and to rule by homicide. Invasions kills millions, capture and kill rulers and then rule by homicide – police assassinating dissenting citizens.

The cases are readily available: Iraq and Libya come to mind. The US and its allies invaded, bombed and killed over a million Iraqis, captured and assassinated its leaders and installed a police state.

A similar pattern occurred in Libya: the US and EU bombed, killed and uprooted several million people, assassinated Ghadaffy and fomented a lawless terrorist war of clans, tribes and western puppets.

“Western values” reveal the inhumanity of empires built to murder “a la carte” – stripping the victim nations of their defenders, leaders and citizens.

Conclusion

The ten theses define the nature of 21st century imperialism – its continuities and novelties.

The mass media systematically write and speak lies to power: their message is to disarm their adversaries and to arouse their patrons to continue to plunder the world.

*

Prof. James Petras is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

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