The CSTO members build a defensive system – from information and politic to logistics and equipment

The CSTO members build a defensive system – from information and politic to logistics and equipment

http://redstar.ru/eshelony-kollektivnoj-oborony/

Alexander ALEXANDROV for the Red star newspaper

Translation by Scott Humor

 

The upcoming joint operational-strategic exercises of the Joined forces of the Collective Security Treaty organization called “Combat brotherhood – 2019” are intended to demonstrate the unity of the states parties in matters of collective security. During the maneuvers that will unfold on territories of four member states, political and diplomatic tools, combat potential, as well as mechanisms of information and other non-military impact for prevention and settlement of military conflicts in the zone of responsibility of the organization will be tested.

This, in particular, was discussed at a press conference held in Moscow by acting Secretary General of the organization Valery Semerikov via the satellite connection with locations in Minsk, Yerevan, Nur Sultan and Bishkek. However, the administrative head of the Collective Security Treaty Organization began the conference discussing threats of predominantly collective nature.

According to the CSTO Secretary General, the situation in Afghanistan, primarily on the Tajik – Afghan border, and its impact on the region of Central Asia is the focus of attention of the organization’s member states. “Tensions remain in the Caucus region due to an unresolved Karabakh conflict, tensions are also rising due to NATO’s military development on the territory of Georgia,” Valery Semerikov continued.

He also expressed collective concerns about NATO’s regular exercises in Eastern Europe, at the borders with Belarus and Russia. The Alliance’s obvious unwillingness to work with the colleagues from the CSTO, and instead – NATO insistence to cooperate with each of the member states separately, only confirms the conclusions of the Russia’s Security Council about a possible preparation by NATO to stage so-called color revolutions. This was confirmed by attempts of cyber attacks on the national infrastructure of the organization.

To respond to these threats, as the acting Secretary General made it clear, is a responsibility of the Crisis Response Center, whose tasks include information and analytical support of competent structures to combat the “hidden threats” “The CSTO crisis response center is engaged in monitoring military and political situation in the zones of responsibility of the states, identifying the prerequisites for crisis situations and analyzing the appropriate response,” Valery Semerikov explained.

The focus of the organization’s member states is on the situation in Afghanistan, primarily on the Tajik-Afghan border, and its impact on the Central Asian region.

The center was involved in a recent business game, in which a set of political and diplomatic response measures of the organization’s members were worked out in response to the crisis situation in some fictional state. In development, it gave a start to preparation for the operational and strategic exercises of the CSTO Joined forces named the “Combat brotherhood – 2019”.

“In 2019, we will hold six exercises on the territory of four countries: Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan, – Valery Semerikov said, answering journalists’ questions. – The total number of forces involved, according to our calculations, will be about 12 thousand”.

During these operational and strategic exercises of the CSTO Joined forces “Combat brotherhood – 2019,” as reported, an entire complex of measures of prevention or deterrent, as well as resolution of military conflict with the subsequent restoration of peace will be worked out in a logical sequence. National contingents of troops will work out different tasks as parts of separate episodes of one untied work-frame of a single military-political situation with a single strategic plan.

For example, the training of anti-drug units of the CSTO “Thunder-2019” in August will take place in Kyrgyzstan. The actions of the intelligence units within the framework of the “Search-2019” will continue with “Interaction-2019” drill of the Joined Rapid Response forces. It is also envisaged that maneuvers of the “Unbreakable Brotherhood” of peacekeeping forces will be held in conjunction with the exercise “Rubezh-2019” of the border guards on the territory of Tajikistan.

All actions of the coalition groups in the East European and Central Asian regions of collective security will be accompanied by deployment of troops within the framework of the exercise of the collective aviation forces “Air Bridge – 2019” and for the first time with a single material and technical support in a course of joint actions of the MTO logistics troops units “Echelon-2019”.

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Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a “New Middle East”

Global Research, June 30, 2019
Global Research 18 November 2006

This article by award winning author Mahdi Nazemroaya first published by GR in November 2006 is of particular relevance  to an understanding of the ongoing process of destabilization and political fragmentation of Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

Washington’s strategy consists in breaking up Syria and Iraq.

*      *      *

“Hegemony is as old as Mankind…” -Zbigniew Brzezinski, former U.S. National Security Advisor

The term “New Middle East” was introduced to the world in June 2006 in Tel Aviv by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (who was credited by the Western media for coining the term) in replacement of the older and more imposing term, the “Greater Middle East.”

This shift in foreign policy phraseology coincided with the inauguration of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) Oil Terminal in the Eastern Mediterranean. The term and conceptualization of the “New Middle East,” was subsequently heralded by the U.S. Secretary of State and the Israeli Prime Minister at the height of  the Anglo-American sponsored Israeli siege of Lebanon. Prime Minister Olmert and Secretary Rice had informed the international media that a project for a “New Middle East” was being launched from Lebanon.

This announcement was a confirmation of an Anglo-American-Israeli “military roadmap” in the Middle East. This project, which has been in the  planning stages for several years, consists in creating an arc of instability, chaos, and violence extending from Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria to Iraq, the Persian Gulf, Iran, and the borders of NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan.

The “New Middle East” project was introduced publicly by Washington and Tel Aviv with the expectation that Lebanon would be the pressure point for realigning the whole Middle East and thereby unleashing the forces of “constructive chaos.” This “constructive chaos” –which generates conditions of violence and warfare throughout the region– would in turn be used so that the United States, Britain, and Israel could redraw the map of the Middle East in accordance with their geo-strategic needs and objectives.

New Middle East Map

Secretary Condoleezza Rice stated during a press conference that “[w]hat we’re seeing here [in regards to the destruction of Lebanon and the Israeli attacks on Lebanon], in a sense, is the growing—the ‘birth pangs’—of a ‘New Middle East’ and whatever we do we [meaning the United States] have to be certain that we’re pushing forward to the New Middle East [and] not going back to the old one.”1Secretary Rice was immediately criticized for her statements both within Lebanon and internationally for expressing indifference to the suffering of an entire nation, which was being bombed  indiscriminately by the Israeli Air Force.

The Anglo-American Military Roadmap in the Middle East and Central Asia 

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s speech on the “New Middle East” had set the stage. The Israeli attacks on Lebanon –which had been fully endorsed by Washington and London– have further compromised and validated the existence of the geo-strategic objectives of the United States, Britain, and Israel. According to Professor Mark Levine the “neo-liberal globalizers and neo-conservatives, and ultimately the Bush Administration, would latch on to creative destruction as a way of describing the process by which they hoped to create their new world orders,” and that “creative destruction [in] the United States was, in the words of neo-conservative philosopher and Bush adviser Michael Ledeen, ‘an awesome revolutionary force’ for (…) creative destruction…”2

Anglo-American occupied Iraq, particularly Iraqi Kurdistan, seems to be the preparatory ground for the balkanization (division) and finlandization (pacification) of the Middle East. Already the legislative framework, under the Iraqi Parliament and the name of Iraqi federalization, for the partition of Iraq into three portions is being drawn out. (See map below)

Moreover, the Anglo-American military roadmap appears to be vying an entry into Central Asia via the Middle East. The Middle East, Afghanistan, and Pakistan are stepping stones for extending U.S. influence into the former Soviet Union and the ex-Soviet Republics of Central Asia. The Middle East is to some extent the southern tier of Central Asia. Central Asia in turn is also termed as “Russia’s Southern Tier” or the Russian “Near Abroad.”

Many Russian and Central Asian scholars, military planners, strategists, security advisors, economists, and politicians consider Central Asia (“Russia’s Southern Tier”) to be the vulnerable and “soft under-belly” of the Russian Federation.3

It should be noted that in his book, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geo-strategic Imperatives, Zbigniew Brzezinski, a former U.S. National Security Advisor, alluded to the modern Middle East as a control lever of an area he, Brzezinski, calls the Eurasian Balkans. The Eurasian Balkans consists of the Caucasus (Georgia, the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Armenia) and Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan) and to some extent both Iran and Turkey. Iran and Turkey both form the northernmost tiers of the Middle East (excluding the Caucasus4) that edge into Europe and the former Soviet Union.

The Map of the “New Middle East”

A relatively unknown map of the Middle East, NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan, and Pakistan has been circulating around strategic, governmental, NATO, policy and military circles since mid-2006. It has been causally allowed to surface in public, maybe in an attempt to build consensus and to slowly prepare the general public for possible, maybe even cataclysmic, changes in the Middle East. This is a map of a redrawn and restructured Middle East identified as the “New Middle East.”

MAP OF THE NEW MIDDLE EAST



Note:
 The following map was prepared by Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters. It was published in the Armed Forces Journal in June 2006, Peters is a retired colonel of the U.S. National War Academy. (Map Copyright Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters 2006).

Although the map does not officially reflect Pentagon doctrine, it has been used in a training program at NATO’s Defense College for senior military officers. This map, as well as other similar maps, has most probably been used at the National War Academy as well as in military planning circles.

This map of the “New Middle East” seems to be based on several other maps, including older maps of potential boundaries in the Middle East extending back to the era of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and World War I. This map is showcased and presented as the brainchild of retired Lieutenant-Colonel (U.S. Army) Ralph Peters, who believes the redesigned borders contained in the map will fundamentally solve the problems of the contemporary Middle East.

The map of the “New Middle East” was a key element in the retired Lieutenant-Colonel’s book, Never Quit the Fightwhich was released to the public on July 10, 2006. This map of a redrawn Middle East was also published, under the title of Blood Borders: How a better Middle East would look, in the U.S. military’s Armed Forces Journal with commentary from Ralph Peters.5

It should be noted that Lieutenant-Colonel Peters was last posted to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, within the U.S. Defence Department, and has been one of the Pentagon’s foremost authors with numerous essays on strategy for military journals and U.S. foreign policy.

It has been written that Ralph Peters’ “four previous books on strategy have been highly influential in government and military circles,” but one can be pardoned for asking if in fact quite the opposite could be taking place. Could it be Lieutenant-Colonel Peters is revealing and putting forward what Washington D.C. and its strategic planners have anticipated for the Middle East?

The concept of a redrawn Middle East has been presented as a “humanitarian” and “righteous” arrangement that would benefit the people(s) of the Middle East and its peripheral regions. According to Ralph Peter’s:

International borders are never completely just. But the degree of injustice they inflict upon those whom frontiers force together or separate makes an enormous difference — often the difference between freedom and oppression, tolerance and atrocity, the rule of law and terrorism, or even peace and war.

The most arbitrary and distorted borders in the world are in Africa and the Middle East. Drawn by self-interested Europeans (who have had sufficient trouble defining their own frontiers), Africa’s borders continue to provoke the deaths of millions of local inhabitants. But the unjust borders in the Middle East — to borrow from Churchill — generate more trouble than can be consumed locally.

While the Middle East has far more problems than dysfunctional borders alone — from cultural stagnation through scandalous inequality to deadly religious extremism — the greatest taboo in striving to understand the region’s comprehensive failure isn’t Islam, but the awful-but-sacrosanct international boundaries worshipped by our own diplomats.

Of course, no adjustment of borders, however draconian, could make every minority in the Middle East happy. In some instances, ethnic and religious groups live intermingled and have intermarried. Elsewhere, reunions based on blood or belief might not prove quite as joyous as their current proponents expect. The boundaries projected in the maps accompanying this article redress the wrongs suffered by the most significant “cheated” population groups, such as the Kurds, Baluch and Arab Shia [Muslims], but still fail to account adequately for Middle Eastern Christians, Bahais, Ismailis, Naqshbandis and many another numerically lesser minorities. And one haunting wrong can never be redressed with a reward of territory: the genocide perpetrated against the Armenians by the dying Ottoman Empire.

Yet, for all the injustices the borders re-imagined here leave unaddressed, without such major boundary revisions, we shall never see a more peaceful Middle East.

Even those who abhor the topic of altering borders would be well-served to engage in an exercise that attempts to conceive a fairer, if still imperfect, amendment of national boundaries between the Bosphorus and the Indus. Accepting that international statecraft has never developed effective tools — short of war — for readjusting faulty borders, a mental effort to grasp the Middle East’s “organic” frontiers nonetheless helps us understand the extent of the difficulties we face and will continue to face. We are dealing with colossal, man-made deformities that will not stop generating hatred and violence until they are corrected. 6

(emphasis added)

“Necessary Pain”

Besides believing that there is “cultural stagnation” in the Middle East, it must be noted that Ralph Peters admits that his propositions are “draconian” in nature, but he insists that they are necessary pains for the people of the Middle East. This view of necessary pain and suffering is in startling parallel to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s belief that the devastation of Lebanon by the Israeli military was a necessary pain or “birth pang” in order to create the “New Middle East” that Washington, London, and Tel Aviv envision.

Moreover, it is worth noting that the subject of the Armenian Genocide is being politicized and stimulated in Europe to offend Turkey.7

The overhaul, dismantlement, and reassembly of the nation-states of the Middle East have been packaged as a solution to the hostilities in the Middle East, but this is categorically misleading, false, and fictitious. The advocates of a “New Middle East” and redrawn boundaries in the region avoid and fail to candidly depict the roots of the problems and conflicts in the contemporary Middle East. What the media does not acknowledge is the fact that almost all major conflicts afflicting the Middle East are the consequence of overlapping Anglo-American-Israeli agendas.

Many of the problems affecting the contemporary Middle East are the result of the deliberate aggravation of pre-existing regional tensions. Sectarian division, ethnic tension and internal violence have been traditionally exploited by the United States and Britain in various parts of the globe including Africa, Latin America, the Balkans, and the Middle East. Iraq is just one of many examples of the Anglo-American strategy of “divide and conquer.” Other examples are Rwanda, Yugoslavia, the Caucasus, and Afghanistan.

Amongst the problems in the contemporary Middle East is the lack of genuine democracy which U.S. and British foreign policy has actually been deliberately obstructing.  Western-style “Democracy” has been a requirement only for those Middle Eastern states which do not conform to Washington’s political demands. Invariably, it constitutes a pretext for confrontation. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan are examples of undemocratic states that the United States has no problems with because they are firmly alligned within the Anglo-American orbit or sphere.

Additionally, the United States has deliberately blocked or displaced genuine democratic movements in the Middle East from Iran in 1953 (where a U.S./U.K. sponsored coup was staged against the democratic government of Prime Minister Mossadegh) to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, the Arab Sheikdoms, and Jordan where the Anglo-American alliance supports military control, absolutists, and dictators in one form or another. The latest example of this is Palestine.

The Turkish Protest at NATO’s Military College in Rome

Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters’ map of the “New Middle East” has sparked angry reactions in Turkey. According to Turkish press releases on September 15, 2006 the map of the “New Middle East” was displayed in NATO’s Military College in Rome, Italy. It was additionally reported that Turkish officers were immediately outraged by the presentation of a portioned and segmented Turkey.8 The map received some form of approval from the U.S. National War Academy before it was unveiled in front of NATO officers in Rome.

The Turkish Chief of Staff, General Buyukanit, contacted the U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace, and protested the event and the exhibition of the redrawn map of the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.9 Furthermore the Pentagon has gone out of its way to assure Turkey that the map does not reflect official U.S. policy and objectives in the region, but this seems to be conflicting with Anglo-American actions in the Middle East and NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan.

Is there a Connection between Zbigniew Brzezinski’s “Eurasian Balkans” and the “New Middle East” Project?

The following are important excerpts and passages from former U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski’s book, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geo-strategic Imperatives. Brzezinski also states that both Turkey and Iran, the two most powerful states of the “Eurasian Balkans,” located on its southern tier, are “potentially vulnerable to internal ethnic conflicts [balkanization],” and that, “If either or both of them were to be destabilized, the internal problems of the region would become unmanageable.”10

It seems that a divided and balkanized Iraq would be the best means of accomplishing this. Taking what we know from the White House’s own admissions; there is a belief that “creative destruction and chaos” in the Middle East are beneficial assets to reshaping the Middle East, creating the “New Middle East,” and furthering the Anglo-American roadmap in the Middle East and Central Asia:

In Europe, the Word “Balkans” conjures up images of ethnic conflicts and great-power regional rivalries. Eurasia, too, has its “Balkans,” but the Eurasian Balkans are much larger, more populated, even more religiously and ethnically heterogenous. They are located within that large geographic oblong that demarcates the central zone of global instability (…) that embraces portions of southeastern Europe, Central Asia and parts of South Asia [Pakistan, Kashmir, Western India], the Persian Gulf area, and the Middle East.

The Eurasian Balkans form the inner core of that large oblong (…) they differ from its outer zone in one particularly significant way: they are a power vacuum.Although most of the states located in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East are also unstable, American power is that region’s [meaning the Middle East’s] ultimate arbiter. The unstable region in the outer zone is thus an area of single power hegemony and is tempered by that hegemony. In contrast, the Eurasian Balkans are truly reminiscent of the older, more familiar Balkans of southeastern Europe: not only are its political entities unstable but they tempt and invite the intrusion of more powerful neighbors, each of whom is determined to oppose the region’s domination by another. It is this familiar combination of a power vacuum and power suction that justifies the appellation “Eurasian Balkans.”

The traditional Balkans represented a potential geopolitical prize in the struggle for European supremacy. The Eurasian Balkans, astride the inevitably emerging transportation network meant to link more directly Eurasia’s richest and most industrious western and eastern extremities, are also geopolitically significant.Moreover, they are of importance from the standpoint of security and historical ambitions to at least three of their most immediate and more powerful neighbors, namely, Russia, Turkey, and Iran, with China also signaling an increasing political interest in the region. But the Eurasian Balkans are infinitely more important as a potential economic prize: an enormous concentration of natural gas and oil reserves is located in the region, in addition to important minerals, including gold.

 The world’s energy consumption is bound to vastly increase over the next two or three decades. Estimates by the U.S. Department of Energy anticipate that world demand will rise by more than 50 percent between 1993 and 2015, with the most significant increase in consumption occurring in the Far East. The momentum of Asia’s economic development is already generating massive pressures for the exploration and exploitation of new sources of energy, and the Central Asian region and the Caspian Sea basin are known to contain reserves of natural gas and oil that dwarf those of Kuwait, the Gulf of Mexico, or the North Sea.

Access to that resource and sharing in its potential wealth represent objectives that stir national ambitions, motivate corporate interests, rekindle historical claims, revive imperial aspirations, and fuel international rivalries. The situation is made all the more volatile by the fact that the region is not only a power vacuum but is also internally unstable.

(…)

The Eurasian Balkans include nine countries that one way or another fit the foregoing description, with two others as potential candidates. The nine are Kazakstan [alternative and official spelling of Kazakhstan] , Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia—all of them formerly part of the defunct Soviet Union—as well as Afghanistan.

The potential additions to the list are Turkey and Iran, both of them much more politically and economically viable, both active contestants for regional influence within the Eurasian Balkans, and thus both significant geo-strategic players in the region. At the same time, both are potentially vulnerable to internal ethnic conflicts. If either or both of them were to be destabilized, the internal problems of the region would become unmanageable, while efforts to restrain regional domination by Russia could even become futile. 11

(emphasis added)

Redrawing the Middle East

The Middle East, in some regards, is a striking parallel to the Balkans and Central-Eastern Europe during the years leading up the First World War. In the wake of the the First World War the borders of the Balkans and Central-Eastern Europe were redrawn. This region experienced a period of upheaval, violence and conflict, before and after World War I, which was the direct result of foreign economic interests and interference.

The reasons behind the First World War are more sinister than the standard school-book explanation, the assassination of the heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian (Habsburg) Empire, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, in Sarajevo. Economic factors were the real motivation for the large-scale war in 1914.

Norman Dodd, a former Wall Street banker and investigator for the U.S. Congress, who examined  U.S. tax-exempt foundations, confirmed in a 1982 interview that those powerful individuals who from behind the scenes controlled the finances, policies, and government of the United States had in fact also planned U.S. involvement in a war, which would contribute to entrenching their grip on power.

The following testimonial is from the transcript of Norman Dodd’s interview with G. Edward Griffin;

We are now at the year 1908, which was the year that the Carnegie Foundation began operations.  And, in that year, the trustees meeting, for the first time, raised a specific question, which they discussed throughout the balance of the year, in a very learned fashion.  And the question is this:  Is there any means known more effective than war, assuming you wish to alter the life of an entire people?  And they conclude that, no more effective means to that end is known to humanity, than war.  So then, in 1909, they raise the second question, and discuss it, namely, how do we involve the United States in a war?

Well, I doubt, at that time, if there was any subject more removed from the thinking of most of the people of this country [the United States], than its involvement in a war.  There were intermittent shows [wars] in the Balkans, but I doubt very much if many people even knew where the Balkans were.  And finally, they answer that question as follows:  we must control the State Department.

And then, that very naturally raises the question of how do we do that?  They answer it by saying, we must take over and control the diplomatic machinery of this country and, finally, they resolve to aim at that as an objective.  Then, time passes, and we are eventually in a war, which would be World War I.  At that time, they record on their minutes a shocking report in which they dispatch to President Wilson a telegram cautioning him to see that the war does not end too quickly.  And finally, of course, the war is over.

At that time, their interest shifts over to preventing what they call a reversion of life in the United States to what it was prior to 1914, when World War I broke out. (emphasis added)

The redrawing and partition of the Middle East from the Eastern Mediterranean shores of Lebanon and Syria to Anatolia (Asia Minor), Arabia, the Persian Gulf, and the Iranian Plateau responds to broad economic, strategic and military objectives, which are part of a longstanding Anglo-American and Israeli agenda in the region.

The Middle East has been conditioned by outside forces into a powder keg that is ready to explode with the right trigger, possibly the launching of Anglo-American and/or Israeli air raids against Iran and Syria. A wider war in the Middle East could result in redrawn borders that are strategically advantageous to Anglo-American interests and Israel.

NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan has been successfully divided, all but in name. Animosity has been inseminated in the Levant, where a Palestinian civil war is being nurtured and divisions in Lebanon agitated. The Eastern Mediterranean has been successfully militarized by NATO. Syria and Iran continue to be demonized by the Western media, with a view to justifying a military agenda. In turn, the Western media has fed, on a daily basis, incorrect and biased notions that the populations of Iraq cannot co-exist and that the conflict is not a war of occupation but a “civil war” characterised by domestic strife between Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds.

Attempts at intentionally creating animosity between the different ethno-cultural and religious groups of the Middle East have been systematic. In fact, they are part of a carefully designed covert intelligence agenda.

Even more ominous, many Middle Eastern governments, such as that of Saudi Arabia, are assisting Washington in fomenting divisions between Middle Eastern populations. The ultimate objective is to weaken the resistance movement against foreign occupation through a “divide and conquer strategy” which serves Anglo-American and Israeli interests in the broader region.

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya specializes in Middle Eastern and Central Asian affairs. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).

Notes

1 Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Special Briefing on the Travel to the Middle East and Europe of Secretary Condoleezza Rice (Press Conference, U.S. State Department, Washington, D.C., July 21, 2006).

http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2006/69331.htm

2 Mark LeVine, “The New Creative Destruction,” Asia Times, August 22, 2006.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/HH22Ak01.html

3 Andrej Kreutz, “The Geopolitics of post-Soviet Russia and the Middle East,” Arab Studies Quarterly (ASQ) (Washington, D.C.: Association of Arab-American University Graduates, January 2002).

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2501/is_1_24/ai_93458168/pg_1

4 The Caucasus or Caucasia can be considered as part of the Middle East or as a separate region

5 Ralph Peters, “Blood borders: How a better Middle East would look,” Armed Forces Journal (AFJ), June 2006.

http://www.armedforcesjournal.com/2006/06/1833899

Ibid.

7 Crispian Balmer, “French MPs back Armenia genocide bill, Turkey angry, Reuters, October 12, 2006; James McConalogue, “French against Turks: Talking about Armenian Genocide,” The Brussels Journal, October 10, 2006.

http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/1585

8 Suleyman Kurt, “Carved-up Map of Turkey at NATO Prompts U.S. Apology,” Zaman (Turkey), September 29, 2006.

http://www.zaman.com/?bl=international&alt=&hn=36919

Ibid.

10 Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geo-strategic Imperatives (New York City: Basic Books, 1997).

11 Ibid.

Related Global Research articles on the March to War in the Middle East

US naval war games off the Iranian coastline: A provocation which could lead to War? 2006-10-24

“Cold War Shivers:” War Preparations in the Middle East and Central Asia 2006-10-06

The March to War: Naval build-up in the Persian Gulf and the Eastern Mediterranean 2006-10-01

The March to War: Iran Preparing for US Air Attacks 2006-09-21

The Next Phase of the Middle East War 2006-09-04

Baluchistan and the Coming Iran War 2006-09-01

British Troops Mobilizing on the Iranian Border 2006-08-30

Russia and Central Asian Allies Conduct War Games in Response to US Threats 2006-08-24

Beating the Drums of War: US Troop Build-up: Army & Marines authorize “Involuntary Conscription” 2006-08-23

Iranian War Games: Exercises, Tests, and Drills or Preparation and Mobilization for War? 2006-08-21

Triple Alliance:” The US, Turkey, Israel and the War on Lebanon 2006-08-06 

The War on Lebanon and the Battle for Oil 2006-07-26 

Is the Bush Administration Planning a Nuclear Holocaust? 2006-02-22 

The Dangers of a Middle East Nuclear War 2006-02-17 

Nuclear War against Iran 2006-01-03 

Israeli Bombings could lead to Escalation of Middle East War 2006-07-15 

Iran: Next Target of US Military Aggression 2005-05-01 

Planned US-Israeli Attack on Iran 2005-05-01

On May 25, 2000 the world has changed في 25 أيار 2000 تغيّر وجه العالم

On May 25, 2000 the world has changed

يونيو 25, 2019

Written by Nasser Kandil,

There is no need to indicate that Israel occupied a status in the western system that ruled the world until 2000, when the Soviet Union was disintegrating, Russia was breathtaking after a decline that lasted for ten years, and when Washington was controlling the Eastern Europe and reached to the borders of Russia through its colorful revolutions. As there is no need to prove that the status of Israel in the western system as a wall of protection in the most important region in the world where there is trade lines, oil and gas resources has been affected on the 25th of May, 2000 when it was obliged to withdraw by force from the South of Lebanon without any negotiation, term, or condition.

Patrick Buchanan; a leader in the Republican Party who competed George W. Bush for presidency in 2000 said in an article on the eve of the US invasion of Iraq that after the resounding fall of the Israeli force, America found itself obliged to be present directly in the region to besiege the rising powers Iran and Syria by occupying Iraq and Afghanistan, hoping to rehabilitate the ability of Israel to launch a war to end the shame of defeat and to prevent the emergence of new equation in the region. The successive facts especially those during the war of July 2006 said that this has happened. Washington announced its responsibility for this war and described it with the opportunity to establish a new Middle East, but the results were contrary, both America and Israel sank in the sea of failure.

Washington tried to involve the region in the wars of chaos hoping that Syria would collapse in these wars and the balances would change. But Russia came to the region, Iran increased its strength, Hezbollah developed its abilities as the pivotal force of the resistance which made the victories of 2000 and 2006, and the resistance of Palestine rose. All of these affected the ability of Israel of occupation and deterrence. Now the region is witnessing a kind of escalation as frequencies of the earthquake of May 25th 2000, which it became certain that it was greater than the American defeat in the war of Vietnam and the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan, and that the attempts to end it is still the issue that concerns the Americans, the Israelis, and even the rulers of the Gulf. The war of Yemen produced a similar phenomenon to Hezbollah which is growing and creating more equations, contrary to Al-Qaeda Organization which was brought to wage a war by proxy in Syria, but it harvested the double failure.

The complex of May 25, 2000 is pursuing the Americans; they try hard to avoid it. A little scrutiny will reveal that their issue with Iran is not in its nuclear program and their issue with Syria is not its regime, so what if Iran and Syria accept to meet the requirements of Washington concerning the Israeli security and what if Syria and Iran accept to stop the support of the resistance which always forms the first item in the American book of terms since Colin Powell carried it to the Syrian President after the entry of the American tanks to Baghdad, the result will be no problem with Iran regarding its nuclear program and no problem with the regime in Syria. On the contrary Iran will become the guarantor of security in the region, and Syria will become on the top of the democratic countries.

On the 25th of May, the history was decisive; time will not return backward, the resisters have written the future of the world and signed it with their blood. So let’s wait and see.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

في 25 أيار 2000 تغيّر وجه العالم 

مايو 25, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– لا يحتاج المرء للدلالة على مكانة «إسرائيل» في المنظومة الغربية التي كانت تحكم العالم حتى العام 2000، عندما كان الاتحاد السوفياتي قد تفكك وروسيا تلتقط أنفاسها من غيبوبة عشر سنوات، وعندما كانت واشنطن قد أحكمت قبضتها على أوروبا الشرقية ووصلت حدود روسيا بثوراتها الملوّنة، ولا يحتاج المرء لإثبات أن مكانة «إسرائيل» في المنظومة الغربية كجدار حماية في المنطقة الأهم من العالم، حيث خطوط التجارة وموارد النفط والغاز، قد أصيبت بزلزال في 25 أيار عام 2000 عندما أجبرت على الانسحاب من جنوب لبنان بالقوة، دون تفاوض ودون قيد أو شرط.

– يقول باتريك بوكانن القيادي في الحزب الجمهوري الأميركي الذي نافس جورج بوش على الترشّح للرئاسة داخل الحزب عام 2000، في مقالة له عشية الغزو الأميركي للعراق، إن أميركا وجدت نفسها بعد السقوط المدوّي لجدار القوة الإسرائيلي معنية بالحضور المباشر إلى المنطقة، لاحتواء القوتين الصاعدتين، إيران وسورية وتطويقهما، باحتلال العراق وافغانستان أملاً بردّ الاعتبار لقدرة «إسرائيل» وتمكينها من شنّ حرب تمسح عار هزيمتها وتحول دون نشوء معادلة جديدة في المنطقة. وتقول الوقائع التي جرت بعد ذلك، خصوصاً في حرب تموز 2006 إن هذا ما حدث، وإن واشنطن أعلنت مسؤوليتها عن هذه الحرب ووصفتها بالفرصة لاستيلاد شرق اوسط جديد، لكن النتائج كانت عكسية، وغرقت أميركا و»إسرائيل» في بحر الفشل.

– حاولت واشنطن إدخال المنطقة في حروب الفوضى أملاً بأن تنهار سورية في قلب هذه الحروب، وتتعدل الموازين، فجاءت روسيا إلى المنطقة وزادت قوة إيران وتنامت قدرات حزب الله بصفته القوة المحوريّة في المقاومة التي صنعت انتصارَيْ 2000 و2006، ونهضت مقاومة في فلسطين فرضت المزيد من الإصابات في قدرة «إسرائيل» على الاحتلال والردع معاً، وما تشهده المنطقة من تصعيد ليس إلا من التردّدات التي لا زالت تتفاعل منذ ذلك الزلزال في 25 أيار عام 2000، الذي بات ثابتاً أنه حدث أكبر من الهزيمة الأميركية في حرب فييتنام، واكبر من الفشل في حربي العراق وأفغانستان، وان محاولات محو آثاره لا تزال القضية التي تقلق الأميركيين والإسرائيليين، وقد تعمّم القلق معهما ليصيب حكام الخليج، فإذ بالذهاب لحرب اليمن ينتج نظيراً مقاوماً يسير على خطى حزب الله وينمو ويخلق المزيد من المعادلات، بينما جرى اختبار استجلاب تنظيم القاعدة لخوض حرب بالوكالة في سورية وكانت النتيجة الفشل المضاعف.

– عقدة 25 أيار 2000 تلاحق الأميركيين، وهم يحاولون المستحيل اليوم للتملّص منها، وقليل من التدقيق سيكشف أن قضيتهم مع إيران ليست ملفها النووي، وأن قضيّتهم مع سورية ليست نظام الحكم فيها، فماذا لو قبلت إيران وسورية بقدر من المرونة مع متطلبات واشنطن في الأمن الإسرائيلي، بل ماذا لو قبلت سورية وإيران وقف دعم المقاومة، الذي يشكل دائماً البند الأول في دفتر الشروط الأميركي منذ حمله كولن باول إلى الرئيس السوري بعد دخول الدبابات الأميركية إلى بغداد؟ والجواب معلوم، لا تبقى مشكلة مع إيران في ملفها النووي ولا مشكلة مع سورية في نظام الحكم فيها، وتصير إيران ضامناً لأمن المنطقة وتصير سورية رأس اللائحة في الدول الديمقراطية.

– في 25 أيار قال التاريخ كلمة فاصلة، ولن تعود عقارب الساعة إلى الوراء، لقد كتب المقاومون مستقبل العالم ووقعوا بدمائهم. ومَن يعشْ يرَ!

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Understanding America’s “regime change” strategy in Russia

June 19, 2019

Understanding America’s “regime change” strategy in Russia

by Ollie Richardson for The Saker Blog

In what is a very timely admission taking into account the topic of my last article – 21st century international relations and decision-making, the head of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (Служба внешней разведки Российской Федерации), Sergey Naryshkin, pointed to a low risk method of “hybrid” warfare and named a specific example where it is being implemented. RT reported the following on June 18th (emphasis my own):

“Western secret services are perfecting clandestine tools which are designed to weaken countries like viruses weaken bodies, the Russian foreign intelligence chief has said. This kind of warfare is currently used in Venezuela.

The criticism came from Sergey Naryshkin, who heads Russia’s foreign intelligence agency SVR. He said spies are constantly improving the tool used to dispose of governments that the West does not like.

‘We are talking about creating a universal algorithm for conducting clandestine influence operations in a continuous manner and on a global scale,’ he said. According to the official, this clandestine work ‘never stops and targets not only enemies, but also friends and neutral powers in the times of peace, crisis and war.’

‘It can be compared to the action of a virus; it can spend decades destroying a human organism without symptoms, and once diagnosed, often it’s too late to treat it.’

The methods used to influence and destabilize other nations include creating network-oriented structures that can operate on a premise of public activism, art, science, religion or extremism, the Russian official said. After collecting data on the fault lines in a targeted society, those structures are used to attack those weak points in a synchronized assault, overwhelming the nation’s capability to respond to crises.

Simultaneously the perpetrators push a narrative through local and global media and social networks that claims that the only way to resolve problems is to replace the government of the victim nation with another one, possibly with a direct foreign support.

‘We can observe this scenario being implemented in Venezuela,’ Naryshkin said.

The US is currently trying to replace Venezuela’s elected President Nicolas Maduro with another person, Juan Guaido, whom Washington recognized as the legitimate head of the South American nation.

Among others, the US backs his bid with economic sanctions against Venezuela and a massive diplomatic and media campaign in support of the pretender. Guaido’s attempts to actually seize power in Caracas have been futile, so far.

The Russian intelligence chief was speaking at an international security forum in Ufa, Russia, which is hosted by the Russian National Security Council. The event is meant for officials directly involved in policy making on security issues. Almost 120 nations are participating in this year’s gathering.”

I will start by saying that Naryshkin could reveal a lot more if he wanted to, but for obvious reasons is limited to presenting an abstract thesis – which RT “coincidently” relayed – as a sort of signal to Western intelligence agencies that Russia’s room to manoeuvre in the information space isn’t limited to just publishing “news”.

On the surface it might seem like he is just describing a banal coup d’état, where one state interferes in the internal affairs of another state for the purpose of overthrowing the government and bringing to power a political circle that is friendlier. If one prefers simplistic and digestible takeaways, then one can stop reading here – nothing new under the sun!

However, what the head of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service is alluding to is a far more complex and dense matter. As history has shown, the traditional coup d’état, akin to what has been seen in the MENA and South America for decades now, is not the same as the coup d’état that was rolled out in, for example, Ukraine in 2014. Why?

The precursor to the “colour revolution”

The main reason is that the West has been working on occupying MENA’s lands and raw materials for decades. If the countries of MENA can be said to be tribalistic in terms of structure and aims (more about daily survival than paying bills at the end of the month), then post-WW2 Europe is at first glance much more “developed” and “civilised”. I put these words in quotation marks because they are the generic phrases that organisations like the UN use when describing how MENA should aspire to become “more democratic” and “progressive” in order to “combat poverty” and become “prosperous”. In other words, MENA in general is not as technologically advanced as modern nation states with liberal “democracies”. This is not an insult to MENA; it is simply an observable fact based on the consequences of colonisation. Thus, the scheme for conquering MENA territory is more straightforward than it would be for conquering, for example, Eastern Europe. There is a leader, there is a small circle of wealthy elites, there is an army (armed loyalists), and there are farmers/manual labour workers. Anglo-Saxon colonisers managed to conquer the lands long before the victim nation is able to climb the ladder of scientific research and thus obtain more and more effective ways of defending themselves.

In the example of the Native Indians, the British already had basic guns, thus the former’s bows and arrows were inferior. In the case of Africa, notorious colonisers (which includes the British) arrived with the same guns and were faced with only spears and other relatively primitive weapons. Hence why almost the entire African continent was subjugated so easily. The difference between just general colonisation and a coup d’état can be seen most visibly after the CIA is formed: overthrowing a “dictator” becomes as simple as literally buying off the army (like how the UK pioneered the use of pirates), which allows the capitalist West to take care of business and use its media resources to report another “peaceful” and “successful” “democratisation” project. As soon as a leader manages to come to power and aims to challenge this subjugation (Gaddafi being the most recent MENA example, but there is also Patrice Lumumba and Thomas Sankara), they experience the same problem – they are simply overpowered by the more technologically advanced coloniser.

When it comes to coup d’états in the post-Soviet space, the game is different. For over 60 years the USSR had succeeded to repel the influence of the “free” (capitalist) Anglo-Saxons – thanks to a focus on scientific research and thus nuclear technologies – and create a tightly knit Union based on common history and culture. In the West the governments told their citizens that “on that side of the curtain they are ‘totalitarian’”, whilst in reality America & Co struggled to influence Soviet society and didn’t want their own citizens to see that in the Soviet system of governance everybody had something, as opposed to some people having everything (capitalism). In other words, the USSR was able to defend itself against the traditional coup d’état method.

Due to the fact that the USSR was a developed territory and had much more complex political structures than those of the average African country, it wasn’t as simple as just sending Thomas Lawrence or Sidney Reilly and duping local kingpins into signing agreements that essentially renounce raw material ownership rights. And it is also important to bear in mind that the Soviet intelligence agencies were doing battle with the CIA long before 1991. The changing of times simply obliged the West to update the coup d’état playbook before the target country progressed along the line of scientific development and establishes a defence mechanism that is technologically 20 years ahead of the US’ subversive tools.

Not being physically able to intimidate the USSR enough into submitting to its will since the latter had nuclear weapons, Uncle Sam realised that it was much more wiser and safer to blow it up from the inside. In this article I don’t want to digress too much from the central topic, thus I will not present a mass of details of how America managed to penetrate the USSR and inject it’s liberal ideas throughout society, but a good brief example I can give is the shipping of American clothes/fashion to Soviet ports, such as Odessa. Today this might be called “soft power”, but at the time in question such things served to convince people that individualism could give a more fruitful life than collectivism.

The 2014 coup d’état in Ukraine utilised an upgraded blueprint that was based on the one used to dismantle the Soviet Union (and spark the 1993 constitutional crisis). When the USSR collapsed in 1991, Ukraine found itself in the position of being the wealthiest inheritor of the Soviet legacy: its infrastructure, medicine, education, military, etc was the best in the region. Things started to go pear-shaped around 2004, when America’s interference started to reach new heights at the time of the “multi-vectoral” Kuchma, but the Ukraine of 2014 under Yanukovych was relatively-speaking above the water and swimming comfortably. In an attempt to oust Putin before Russia comes even closer to China, strengthens, and forms the backbone of the emerging Eurasian bloc, America planned to disrupt the equilibrium in Ukraine and violently tear it away from the Russian nation. But the problem for America was “how to make this process look organic? After all, to simply invade Ukraine with the US Army would result in the liquidation of the United States of America itself.”

I will not use precious article space recounting what happened in 2013/2014 in Ukraine, since I have created an archive dedicated to it, but I think the video below – John Tefft in 2013 preparing the terrain in Donetsk for what was about to happen – encapsulates the essence of it very well: US NGOs brainwashed society into flirting with liberalism and its noxious “democracy”, similar to that virus Sergey Naryshkin spoke about; local Galician militant formations are formed (main example: “Right Sector”) and capture administration buildings in Western Ukraine, before eventually being transported to Kiev for the February “revolution”.

“Colour revolution 2.0”

What I really want to focus on is the coup d’état model that is being deployed by America & Co in 2019. So far we can say that there are 3 versions of the coup d’état technology (I am being deliberately simplistic, and I use provisional names and descriptions, since I am still researching this topic):

  1. Traditional coup d’état – a simple smash and grab, effective against the so-called “third world” (examples: Laos, Guatemala, Zaire);
  2. “Colour revolution” – temporarily hijacking “civil society”, effective against more technologically sophisticated states but not superpowers (examples: Egypt, Syria, “independent” Ukraine);
  3. Algorithmic probing (can be thought of as “colour revolution 2.0”) – seizing control over the nation from the ground-up, effective against allies of nuclear superpowers post-2015, when the Minsk Agreements were signed and Russian jets touched down at Hmeymim airbase in Syria (examples: Venezuela, Hong Kong, Russia, Serbia).

Before starting to elaborate on version No. 3, which concerns the post-Syrian-war (I stress, Russia ended the war in 2015 – everything that happened afterwards is just behind the curtain negotiations concerning the next 50+ years of global order) world, it is necessary to present some of the reasons why version No. 2 no longer works:

  • Social media hashtag campaigns like those seen during the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood “revolution” no longer have the same effect due to the exponentially increasing mobilisation of anti-coup (“pro-Russia”/“pro-Assad”/“pro-Maduro”/“pro-Nasrallah”) social media users;
  • It became too difficult to keep the aesthetics of the operation consistently clean – the “White Helmets” may do something that discredits their alleged authenticity, the speaker of the Rada may state that “Hitler was a great leader”, a senior Qatari figure may admit live on TV that Qatar funded militant groups in order to remove Assad, Bana might botch a tweet, a video may emerge showing a “FSA” leader reading a script in front of an American producer, etc;
  • The popularity of mainstream media is becoming less and less (not to mention the effect of Trump’s “fake news” PR campaign), and the popularity of both non-Western state media (RT, Sputnik, Press TV, Telesur, etc) and independent (or apparently independent) media is exponentially growing;
  • Alternative social media websites/apps have since become popular amongst English speakers (VKontakte, Telegram, Instagram, Gab, Snapchat, etc);
  • Eurasia was able to study the past behaviour of the both West’s traditional resources and social media users, allowing to refine its existing resources and to even create new, specialised ones;
  • The existence of independent and anti-coup journalists who are prepared to travel between different theatres (for example, Syria and Venezuela) and expose the pattern of the West’s “regime change” methods.
  • The weakening of the effect of smearing expressions like “anti-Semitism” due to the accumulation effect of reports about Israeli crimes in Gaza and the West Bank;
  • The general strengthening of Eurasia and the decline of the liberal West (and the opportunities it has to violate international law as a result), thus the citizens of the former don’t have a reason to believe that the latter is the paradise it pretends it is;
  • etc.

In other words, the geopolitical reality we have today is not at all the same as the one that we saw before Russia’s involvement in Syria – the highest stakes chessboard in the grand game. Lessons were learnt from the past and enough time has passed for changes to be calculated and implemented. Today, superpowers are obliged to invest exponentially more resources in technologies (hence why Russia wants to invest heavily in the AI sector), since understanding the enemy’s technologies is the difference between them successfully or unsuccessfully penetrating society. And it’s not a coincidence that Naryshkin starts to use terms like “virus”. But what does he really mean? What are the design differences between a regular “colour revolution” and what we are seeing today in, for example, Venezuela?

Firstly, a “colour revolution” is designed to hijack “civil society” over a period of several months (less than 6 months), obtain the support of the elites, and aims to put the target leader in front of two bad choices – a trap: to quell protests means to be depicted by the West’s NGO’s as a “dictator”, and thus the West doesn’t risk receiving a information blow to its rear (if Western society doesn’t agree with something the government is doing, an adversary can exploit it and disrupt the socio-economic situation of a western country or of many western countries); to not quell the protests means to simply hand over power. This explains what happened to Viktor Yanukovych – he did not give the order to Berkut to disperse Maidan for fear of being permanently stained in the Western media, so Joe Biden and his band of merry putschists, after a bit of sniper theatrics to keep the protests alive, took the Rada. Lose-lose. In this scenario Russia could do nothing since a) Ukrainians and their elites are ultimately to blame for flirting with the West, and b) Yanukovych chose the passive option, and thus the only thing Moscow could do was to quickly forecast the consequences and move several step ahead of the US (hence the supercomputers that know about the Yugoslavia war). The result? The Minsk Agreements and the driving of the US’ “anti-Russia” project into a dead end.

Secondly, a “colour revolution” hijacks momentary social discontent in relation to a particular issue, inflates it, and then unleashes it in a very focused manner. The discontent needs to be fed financially and thus can be left to extinguish if plans change. It should be noted here that the target society must already show signs of fragmentation: the work to gradually tear Ukraine away from the bosom of Russia (since the collapse of the USSR) has been ongoing for decades, and over time Kiev succumbed to the West’s Banderist poison, thus the 2014 coup simply brought to the surface what had been boiling below since the times of the NKVD’s battle with OUN-UPA. Syria is very similar –Wahhabism had been nibbling away at the Levant for decades. Of course, the ties between Hafez/Bashar al-Assad and the Russia/USSR have existed for over 30 years, but it cannot be said that the two countries have had a relationship based more on pragmatism.

Thirdly, a “colour revolution” involves the creation of an informational hologram that proverbially floats above the target territory, creating a parallel timeline (example: the green/black/white French mandate flag as the actual Syrian flag, and the Higher Negotiations Committee as the actual UN recognised government of Syria – both of which are of course frauds but allow NATO members to bomb Syria without any indignation from the Western general public), but starts to fade as soon as the balance of forces in the war on the ground tips in the target’s favour (not even the US media machine can sell the narrative that East Aleppo still hasn’t been recaptured by Assad).

Fourthly, a “colour revolution” does not aim to reprogram all the layers of non-elite society in all regions of the country – it only aims to introduce liberal ideas and maintain the support of both those who are already brainwashed and those who succumb to the inculcation. Those who were anti-liberal before will remain anti-liberal post-coup, and thus pose a threat to the puppet regime. Ukraine here is an excellent example of this, where the profoundness of the historical Novorossiya vs Galicia line of divide could be overcome with a few cookies and $5 billion in NGO money.

Version No. 3 of the coup d’état, which in this article I refer to as “algorithmic probing”, is thus designed to: take place over a longer period of time; be fed at the expense of the target government and link together various sources of social discontent; be able to work in conditions where there is no existing ground-based warfare and the likelihood of there being any in the future is low; reprogram the national consciousness and hook all layers of society as geographically far and as wide as possible; make steps towards success even if the elites remain loyal to the target leader.

In situations where the target’s security apparatus is the same, if not better, than the belligerent’s; where society’s average level of trust in the leader is the same, if not higher than the belligerent’s; and where the target’s defence capabilities match, if not overpower, the belligerent’s offensive capabilities; it becomes far too risky for the belligerent to try the “colour revolution” scheme, since failure can compromise any future coup d’état attempts – the coup leader can be detained and may spill the beans concerning who gave him orders and what they were, as well as any valuable intelligence information. The failed coup in Turkey in 2016 was the warning signal to Washington that the habitual “colour revolution” technology will not work in the “multipolar” Eurasian space (hint: Turkey received coup-thwarting intel from allies).

In Venezuela the US is revising its coup d’état technology in real time. There are signs of the “colour revolution” technology: a puppet opposition leader who calls for protests in the street; the expression “the Maduro regime”; imposition of sanctions to give the illusion that the Venezuelan government is starving its own people; even statements like “all options are on the table”, which is PR-friendly way of saying there are no options. There are also some faint signs of “algorithmic probing”: the transferal of assets in the US belonging to the Venezuelan state to the hands of Juan Guaido; the dragging out of the coup d’état (it’s been going on for much longer than 6 months); there is no civil war in the country and it’s unlikely there will be any in the near future, despite the presence of US NGOs in the country.

However, the initial “colour revolution” attempt failed because Russia and China – nuclear superpowers – helped Caracas to weather the storm and keep society together. Later the Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA moved its assets to Moscow, Russia sent polite green men to calm down the US, and Moscow and China both sent humanitarian aid (as well as “humanitarian aid”) for the sanctioned people of the country, and Juan Guaido was exposed so much so that even his rich boyfriend Richard Branson was obliged to throw him under the bus:

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But in this example, like vis-à-vis the Syrian war, Russia doesn’t have to do much informational work in order to justify its involvement, simply because ties between Caracas and Moscow already existed before the Bolton-Pompeo tandem came to power, and Russia would be acting within international law anyway. I.e., the door was slammed shut in the face of the CIA, and in order to re-open it America’s only option is to either remove Russia’s nuclear weapons (and in order to do this the S-400 must be removed from the equation) or to overhaul Venezuelan society at the grass roots level.

The “colour revolution” version of the coup d’état even more so does not work in Putin’s Russia. He has succeeded to build a system that leaves no holes for CIA mice (e.g. successors of Gorbachev, Yeltsin, or other notorious liberal saboteurs) to scurry though. Some might call it “authoritarian”; others might call it coup d’état-resistant.

The CIA-orchestrated Boris Nemtsov assassination served as a test balloon, to learn if the Ukrainian scheme can be repeated (death[s] from gunfire -> protests and clashes with law enforcement -> target president flees). The aim was to gather enough people in Moscow for a “march in memory of Nemtsov” and to replicate what happened on Independent Square in Kiev, but this time outside of the Kremlin (how convenient for propagandist photographers – he was killed on the bridge next to the Kremlin!).

Not enough people came, and the security agencies succeeded to block the path to the Kremlin. Russian senator Evgeny Federov did a fantastic job of explaining this in more detail:

The next experiment was the Navalny card in the run-up to the 2018 presidential election. I recommended to delve into the material found here for more details about this. In brief, the CIA tried to use the image of children being arrested by OMON during unsanctioned protests in order to shake Russian society. The result? Putin outlawed it, and of course, Western propagandists were howling “repression”. Putin won the election anyway, in the presence of international observers too.

Fast forward to the most recent (at the time of writing) provocation – the case of Ivan Golunov, who works for the liberal propagandist agency “Meduza” – and we see familiar things: a fifth-columnist is used as a battering ram designed to shake society and remove the evil “dictator”. An unsanctioned “Golunov is a hero” march took place on June 12th, and analysis of the footage shows that it has nothing to do with journalism and everything about putting Putin in a bad light. The crowd even chants “Russia without Putin”, and one hired clown in particular gave the message a visual aspect.

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Evgeny Federov noted that the Golunov club refused the government’s offer to hold a sanctioned rally on June 16th, since the US needs images of “innocent journalists and activists” being detained by “evil” OMON. Federov’s statement in full:

“There is no doubt that it is an attempt to interfere. Both the US State Department and Brussels made official statements on this issue. They have included their forces, and we know them well, many of the participants in the illegal demonstration are well known to us. From the photos in the police vans, you may remember that these forces repeatedly came out before. Personally, I saw them on Pushkin Square, when Navalny took them there.

These are obvious foreign forces, the fifth column on the territory of Russia, they became active on June 12th. For them, they just need a reason, but the reason has already disappeared, Golunov was released, but they don’t care. The team arrived, the money was received, and they need to put it to use. The actions of the protesters are connected to the general system of shaking the situation that is practiced in the West, primarily in the US. It is enough to see how events were prepared in Ukraine, in Georgia, in Moldova, how they were prepared in hundreds of other countries through foreign intervention using the orange technology method.

Everything happens in the same way everywhere. Firstly, a sacred victim is selected, and then proven groups who don’t care about the cause are used. The main thing for them is that the performance is against Russia and in support of foreign handlers. Completely the same scheme works in Russia concerning garbage collection and in Ekaterinburg. No matter what the reason, the most important thing is to continue to shake the situation. And I stress that the Americans managed to do this many times. At the second echelon, they usually involve separatists, and this is also being prepared in Russia.”

Ollie's MacBook:Users:O-RICH:Downloads:Screenshots:Screenshot 2019-06-19 at 00.00.00.pngThus, instead of holding a sanctioned march on June 16th, a “support Golunov” event took place. The turnout for this rally was pathetic. As Federov says, Putin neutralised the Golunov bomb by releasing the “journalist” and sacrificing some police generals. Of course, the social media attacks followed the same script as with Navalny’s unsanctioned protests and arrests (there is no indignation vis-à-vis Kirill Vyshinsky’s detention, naturally):

The fifth column media in Russia in unison started to promote the “I/We are Golunov” NGO campaign. UK newspapers presented the situation as Putin “backing down” and claimed that the “independent press is harassed, which in reality means that the FSB doesn’t let the fifth column breathe. There were also attempts (example) to stretch the Golunov template over other “unlawful arrests”. And the cherry on the cake is that it turns out that the clown Navalny was present at the unsanctioned Golunov march:

There are of course other examples of US-instigated agitation in Russian society – ranging from churches in Ekaterinburg to pension reform – but they all show the same traits of a “colour revolution” and encounter the same problem: Putin is one step ahead of them.

Long story short, America’s post-Syrian war application of its “colour revolution” technology is inadequate when it comes to toppling either the leaders of nuclear superpowers or the leaders of their ally countries (and it’s not just Eurasia that is the target of these attacks – Trump also attacks the EU [example and example], the individual states of which qualify, if to use Naryshkin’s expression, as “friends and neutral powers in the times of peace, crisis and war”). And taking into account the activity of both Russia and China in Africa today, this inadequacy can mean that the “third world” countries that previously were bulldozed by the most basic method of capturing state power may start to escape from the net of colonisation and enjoy the protection offered by Russia’s “algorithmic counter-probing”. After all, that’s what Venezuela is basically doing, and it’s the only reason Maduro, like Assad, is still in power.

Why do I use the word “algorithmic”?

If we recall, in my previous article I introduced the idea that the foreign policy decision-making of nuclear superpowers is being assisted by supercomputers, simply because the way in which we communicate and send/receive data is becoming exponentially quicker, and the human brain is not able to process such data at such speed. Because of this rapidity of communication, it has meant that one state can encroach on the sovereignty of another state (both digitally and physically), deal a blow, and withdraw to relative safety before the target has the time to adequately respond. Thus, the deployment of the S-400 allowed Russia to establish certain rules in international relations that a) take pressure off Russia’s nuclear weapons – the deterrent of all deterrents, and b) exert pressure on America in such a way that Washington currently – and probably not for the next 25 years at least – has no way of countering it.

So we understand from the description directly above that, like in any system, there can be latency/lag when it comes to responding. I have mentioned in the past how Russia was caught off balance with the first “White Helmets” false flag (Ghouta in 2013, which was designed by buy the jihadists time), since it used a media technology that has not been seen before. The second false flag – Khan Shaykhun – was much less sucessful since Russia had already deployed its jets, was able to learn from the previous false flag, and thus adjusted its algorithm (see my previous article, especially the section about media disinformation with complex equations) and deploy a counter media campaign. The third false flag – Douma – was even more of a failure.

The aim of the adversary is to outmanoeuvre the rival in the global information space via a coordinated media and ground campaign (coined by some as “fourth generation warfare”). The “White Helmets” have to film the false flag, and the agencies have to spread the fake footage in parallel, coordinating it with the general daily topics in such a way that the consumer feels that their regular “trustworthy” news service is the same as it’s always been – because of course, the last thing a neoliberal government wants is its subjects starting to entertain the idea that one’s government is sponsoring Al Qaeda. In other words, the higher the geopolitical stakes, the more technologically sophisticated the methods used in the information space.

In this affair it’s not just about the speed of a “hybrid” attack, but also about its composition. One can have the most rapid “input->process->output” informational algorithm, but it is useless if it cannot provide multiple angles of attack.

Here is a very abstract (rushed) diagram I made just to illustrate this point. The black circle represents a designated point in time, when all media resources will parrot “Assad gassed his own people” in sync. The objective of America is to coordinate as many “chemical attack reports” as possible, thus making it look “credible”. The red arrows represent Russia’s counter attack, which will prevent the black circle from growing (the West employing more media resources/NGOs to disseminate the disinformation) or moving forward (the West using the same amount of resources, but reporting “updates” later along the timeline). This is how the attempt to execute a fourth false flag was negated – see hereherehere, and here for examples. As I mentioned in another article, this same preventative tactic was used in Donbass a lot to stop the US’ aggressive exertion of pressure. Of course, the map is not the territory, and the diagram below is not supposed to literally depict how the Russian Ministry of Defence’s supercomputer works.

Ollie's MacBook:Users:O-RICH:Downloads:Untitled Diagram.pngThe reader may be thinking “You said that Syria was an example of a ‘colour revolution’, not of ‘algorithmic probing’, so why use it as an example?” The answer is: Syria is not a nuclear superpower, and thus “colour revolution” technology (albeit incrementally improved over the many years of the war) worked. In the case of Russia, “colour revolution” technology doesn’t work, period. So the US’ only option is to try to inject this “virus”, as Naryshkin calls it. Thus, America’s aim is to encroach on the Russian information space without the Russian authorities having the time to repel attacks. When viewed from a gestalt perspective, America would thus have a permanent presence in the Russian information space, since by the time Russia has plugged one hole, another blow will have been landed from another angle.

Navalny, Golunov, the Yeltsin Center, RBK, Kommersant, Novaya Gazeta, Meduza, Roizman, Kasparov, Kasyanov, Gorbachev, Solzhenitsyn – America sure has a lot of assets at its disposal, but they all suffer from the same problem: they are designed to make Western people hate the Russian world (I doubt Russians care what rats like Jeremy Hunt thinks), but they do not noticeably shake the internal situation in Russia. And after all, it is the Russian people themselves who determine the legitimacy of the Russian government, not Joe Blogs in Coventry. As a result, America’s only hope in relation to paralyzing Putin’s legacy is to create a phantom Russian identity that can spark a civil war. This is a topic for another article, but the Russia-friendly reader mustn’t immediately start losing sleep, since I am talking about processes that need 10-20 more years before we can start to judge whether or not America’s coup d’état technology has adapted to the CIA’s needs.

One thing is for sure: as long as the Russian state is viable and self-sufficient, social unrest will remain for Washington only a wet dream, not a reality. And it’s not excluded that the socio-economic situation inside America and/or the EU will buckle before any Yankee algorithms start to poison the roots of the Russian state. After all, America has a rear, Russia also has information-disseminating resources, and the S-400 isn’t going anywhere. And what sort of technology does China have? Imagine if Russian and Chinese supercomputers are interconnected? Actually don’t, because I don’t want to give the reader a headache!

How was the strategic balance achieved? كيف تحقق التوازن الاستراتيجي؟

 How was the strategic balance achieved?

مايو 23, 2019

Written by Nasser Kandil,

Since the Israeli failure in the south of Lebanon in 2000, Washington had to be aware that in order to continue its imperial project in Asia after the control on Europe in the war of Yugoslavia, the expansion of the European Union, the colored revolutions, the fall of the Soviet Union, and the fall of Berlin Wall, it has to be present directly and to confront Iran as an indispensable condition for such project. Just for that, the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan, the war of Lebanon 2000, the wars of Gaza 2008-2014, the war on Syria 2011-2019, and the war on Yemen 2015 – 2019 were indirect forms of such confrontation. The nuclear understanding and the withdrawal from it was a translation of this confrontation during the policies of containment and siege. On the other hand, Iran had to be aware that the avoidance of that confrontation is no longer possible, on the contrary, it has to wage it with strategic intelligence taking into consideration the necessary time and the capacities in order to take the lead in this confrontation; this is the meaning of the strategic balance.

The Iranian nuclear program was as much as a scientific, economic, and strategic option of the Iranian independence it was one of Iran’s tools to achieve the strategic balance through possessing the full nuclear capability which enables it in case of provocation to produce nuclear weapons. Before the year 2000, the nuclear program was neither active nor present. But what is called by Washington as the Iranian influence, in other words, the support of Iran of the resistance movements in the region was as much as an expression of Iran’s adoption of the resistance option, it was an expression of its desire to achieve this strategic balance. Before the year 2000, the supportive position of Iran of the resistance movements was not as it is now.

Iran dealt with all the American wars in the language of containment, then through the indirect confrontation especially in the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan. It succeeded in turning the siege on it into an opportunity to exhaust the American imperial project and to frustrate it. It made use of time to develop its nuclear program and to turn it into a platform of engagement and negotiation as it made use of the development of the resistance forces to be present in the full war in the region. When America took the decision of the major battle and chose Syria as its arena, Iran was confident of its readiness for this direct confrontation, it was present directly contrary to what it did in Iraq and Afghanistan, it refused the proposals of sharing which it had accepted before. It is known for both Washington and Tehran that the nuclear program and the resistance forces are two different expressions of engagement and not its main reasons, therefore, the American withdrawal of one of them makes the confrontation closer not farer as the American discourse says.

Today the scene is based on equations, in which the American seeking to stifle the nuclear program economically is converging with the Iranian seeking to make it closer to a military program, and in which the American seeking to mobilize military forces is converging with Iranian missile arsenal that has been developed since 2000, and where Saudi Arabia and UAE are converging with Ansar Allah to determine who has the upper hand in the Gulf, and in which Israel converges with Hezbollah and the resistance forces in Palestine to determine who has the upper hand in the East. Iran has control on oil prices; it invests the growing forces of Syria and Iraq as a surplus power versus the regressing forces; (Kurds and ISIS) on which Washington betted to divide the two countries and to overwhelm them.

The region and the world are moving from the strategic balance to the ability of taking the initiative strategically with a Russian reposition which observed the variables and grasped the historic moment carefully, and with a Chinese progress in the world economy. Therefore, those who do not want to see the strategic decline of the American imperial project have a problem.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

 

كيف تحقق التوازن الاستراتيجي؟

مايو 16, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– منذ الفشل الإسرائيلي في جنوب لبنان عام 2000 كان على واشنطن أن تحضر مباشرة الى المنطقة، وان تدرك ان توفير فرص استمرار مشروعها الإمبراطوري في التقدم نحو آسيا، بعد حسم السيطرة على اوروبا في حرب اليوغوسلافيا وتوسع الاتحاد الاوروبي والثورات الملونة، مستثمراً لحظة انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي وسقوط جدار برلين، يستدعي حضورها المباشر وإدراك أن المواجهة بينها وبين إيران صارت شرطاً لتقدم هذا المشروع. وهكذا كانت حروب العراق وافغانستان ولاحقاً حرب لبنان 2006 وحروب غزة 2008 و2014 والحرب على سورية 2011 – 2019 وحرب اليمن 2015-2019 أشكالاً غير مباشرة لهذه المواجهة. وكان التفاهم النووي والانسحاب منه ترجمة لهذه المواجهة في سياسات الاحتواء او الحصار، وبالمقابل كان على إيران أن تتصرف على قاعدة أن تفادي المواجهة لم يعد ممكناً، لكن المطلوب خوضها بذكاء استراتيجي يتيح الوقت اللازم والمقدرات اللازمة لبلوغ اللحظة التي يصبح فيها السير نحو هذه المواجهة فوق قدرة أميركا. وهذا هو معنى التوازن الاستراتيجي.

– للتذكير فقط، فان الملف النووي الإيراني كان بقدر ما خياراً علمياً واقتصادياً استراتيجياً للاستقلال الإيراني، واحدة محورية من أدوات إيران لبلوغ التوازن الاستراتيجي، بامتلاك القدرة النووية الكاملة التي تخولها القول بأنها قادرة إذا تعرّضت للاستفزاز ان تذهب لإنتاج سلاح نووي، وقبل العام 2000 لم يكن البرنامج النووي الإيراني مفعّلاً أو حاضراً. وللتذكير فقط أن ما تسمّيه واشنطن بالنفوذ الإيراني، والمقصود دعم إيران لحركات المقاومة في المنطقة من لبنان الى فلسطين والعراق واليمن، كان بقدر ما هو تعبير عن تبني إيران خيار المقاومة، تعبيراً عن سعيها لتحقيق هذا التوازن الاستراتيجي، وقبل العام 2000 كان موقف إيران الداعم لحركات المقاومة دون ما أصبح عليه بكثير بعده.

– تعاملت إيران مع كل الحروب الأميركية بلغة الاحتواء، ومن ثم المواجهة غير المباشرة، كما فعلت خصوصاً في حربي العراق وأفغانستان، ونجحت في تحويل تحدٍّ يهدف الى اطباق الحصار عليها، فرصة لاستنزاف المشروع الامبراطوري الاميركي وافشاله، واستثمرت الزمن على تطوير سريع لبرنامجها النووي لتحويله منصة اشتباك وتفاوض، وعلى تنمية فعالة لقوى المقاومة لجعلها أجنحة المعركة الشاملة على مستوى المنطقة. وعندما بلغت اميركا لحظة نضج قرار المعركة الكبرى واختارت سورية مسرحاً لها، كانت إيران قد بلغت مرحلة الثقة بجهوزيتها لهذه المواجهة المباشرة، ففاجأت بالحضور المباشر خلافاً لما فعلته في العراق وافغانستان، ورفضت فيها عروض التقاسم والتساكن التي ارتضتها فيهما، وبات معلوماً لكل من واشنطن وطهران، أن الملف النووي وقوى المقاومة، تعبيران مختلفان عن الاشتباك وليسا أبداً سببه الرئيسي. فالتخلّص الاميركي من أي منهما كعامل قوة لإيران أو النجاح بإضعاف مكانته يجعل المواجهة أقرب، وليس أبعد، كما يقول الخطاب الأميركي.

– المشهد اليوم يقوم على معادلات، يتقابل فيها، السعي الأميركي لخنق البرنامج النووي اقتصادياً بالتلويح الإيراني بجعله اقرب للحظة القدرة على التحول لبرنامج عسكري، ويتقابل فيها السعي الأميركي لحشد القوى العسكرية مع ترسانة صاروخية إيرانية تم تطويرها منذ العام 2000، فصارت الأقوى في العالم، وتتقابل فيها السعودية والإمارات مع أنصار الله في تحديد لمن اليد العليا في الخليج، وتتقابل فيها «إسرائيل» مع حزب الله وحركات المقاومة في فلسطين، لتحديد لمن اليد العليا في منطقة المشرق، وتمسك إيران بزناد أسعار النفط، وتستثمر على تنامي قوة سورية والعراق كفائض قوة، تتراجع أمامه القوى التي راهنت عليها واشنطن في جغرافية البلدين لتقسيمها أو إرباكها، من الرهان الكردي الى داعش.

– المنطقة والعالم ينتقلان من التوازن الاستراتيجي الى القدرة على المبادرة الاستراتيجية مع تموضع روسي قرأ المتغيرات جيداً، والتقط اللحظة التاريخيّة بعناية، وتقدّم صيني يدق أبواب اقتصادات العالم بسرعة وقوة، والذين لا يريدون رؤية الأفول الاستراتيجي للمشروع الإمبراطوري الأميركي يعبّرون عن مشكلتهم في الرؤية ليس الا.

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Afghanistan, the Forgotten Proxy War. The Role of Osama bin Laden and Zbigniew Brzezinski

Part II

Global Research, May 08, 2019

Read Part I from the link below.

Afghanistan, the Forgotten Proxy War

By Janelle Velina, April 30, 2019

Below is the second half and conclusion of “Afghanistan, the Forgotten Proxy War”. While the previous sections examined the economic roots of imperialism, as well as the historical context of the Cold War within which to situate the Mujahideen, the following explores the anatomy of proxy warfare and media disinformation campaigns which were at the heart of destabilizing Afghanistan. These were also a large part of why there was little to no opposition to the Mujahideen from the Western ‘left’, whose continued dysfunctionality cannot be talked about without discussing Zbigniew Brzezinski. We also take a look at what led to the Soviet Union’s demise and how that significantly affected the former Democratic Republic of Afghanistan and many other parts of the world. The United States has been at war in Afghanistan for four decades now, and it will reach its 40th year on July 3, 2019. 

The original “moderate rebel”

One of the key players in the anti-Soviet, U.S.-led regime change project against Afghanistan was Osama bin Laden, a Saudi-born millionaire who came from a wealthy, powerful family that owns a Saudi construction company and has had close ties to the Saudi royal family. Before becoming known as America’s “boogeyman”, Osama bin Laden was put in charge of fundraising for the Mujahideen insurgents, creating numerous charities and foundations in the process and working in coordination with Saudi intelligence (who acted as liaisons between the fighters and the CIA). Journalist Robert Fisk even gave bin Laden a glowing review, calling him a “peace warrior” and a philanthropist in a 1993 report for the Independent. Bin Laden also provided recruitment for the Mujahideen and is believed to have also received security training from the CIA. And in 1989, the same year that Soviet troops withdrew, he founded the terrorist organization Al Qaeda with a number of fighters he had recruited to the Mujahideen. Although the PDPA had already been overthrown, and the Soviet Union was dissolved, he still maintained his relationship with the CIA and NATO, working with them from the mid-to-late 1990s to provide support for the secessionist Bosnian paramilitaries and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in the destruction and dismantling of Yugoslavia.

The United States would eventually turn Bin Laden into a scapegoat after the 2001 terrorist attacks, while still maintaining ties to his family and providing arms, training, and funding to Al Qaeda and its affiliates (rebranded as “moderate rebels” by the Western media) in its more recent regime change project against Syria, which started in 2011. The Mujahideen not only gave birth to Al Qaeda, but it would set a precedent for the United States’ regime-change operations in later years against the anti-imperialist governments of Libya and Syria.

Reagan entertains Mujahideen fighters in the White House.

With the end to the cycle of World Wars (for the time being, at least), it has become increasingly common for the United States to use local paramilitaries, terrorist groups, and/or the armed forces of comprador regimes to fight against nations targeted by U.S. capital interests. Why the use of proxy forces? They are, as Whitney Webb describes, “a politically safe tool for projecting the U.S.’ geopolitical will abroad.”
Using proxy warfare as a kind of power projection tool is, first and foremost, cost-effective, since paid local mercenaries or terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda will bear the burden of combat and casualties rather than American troops in places like Libya and Syria. For example, it costs much less to pay local paramilitaries, gangs, crime syndicates, terrorist groups, and other reactionary forces to perform the same military operations as U.S. troops. Additionally, with the advent of nuclear weapons it became much more perilous for global superpowers to come into direct combat with one another — if the Soviet Union and the United States had done so, there existed the threat of “mutually assured destruction”, the strong possibility of instantaneous and catastrophic damage to the populations and the economic and living standards of both sides, something neither side was willing to risk, even if it was U.S. imperialism’s ultimate goal to destroy the Soviet Union.
And so, the U.S. was willing to use any other means necessary to weaken the Soviet Union and safeguard its profits, which included eliminating the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan even if it had neither the intent nor the means of launching a military offensive on American soil. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union had the means of producing a considerably large supply of modern weapons, including nuclear deterrents, to counter the credible threat posed by the United States. To strike the Soviet Union with nuclear missiles would have been a great challenge for the United States, since it would have resulted in overwhelming retaliation by the Soviet Union. To maneuver this problem, to assure the destruction of the Soviet Union while protecting the U.S. from similar destruction, the CIA relied on more unconventional methods not previously thought of as being part of traditional warfare, such as funding proxy forces while wielding economic and cultural influence over the American domestic sphere and the international scene.

Furthermore, proxy warfare enables control of public opinion, thus allowing the U.S. government to escape public scrutiny and questions about legal authorization for war. With opposition from the general public essentially under control, consent for U.S.-led wars does not need to be obtained, especially when the U.S. military is running them from “behind the scenes” and its involvement looks less obvious. Indeed, the protests against the war on Vietnam in the United States and other Western countries saw mass turnouts.

And while the U.S.-led aggression in Vietnam did involve proxy warfare to a lesser degree, it was still mostly fought with American “boots-on-the-ground”, much like the 2001 renewed U.S.-led aggression against Afghanistan and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In contrast, the U.S. assault on Afghanistan that began in 1979 saw little to no protest. The Mujahideen even garnered support from large portions of the Western left who joined the chorus of voices in the Western mainstream media in demonizing the PDPA — a relentless imperialist propaganda campaign that would be repeated in later years during the U.S. wars on Libya and Syria, with the difference being that social media had not yet gained prominence at the time of the initial assault on Afghanistan. This leads to the next question: why recruit some of the most reactionary social forces abroad, many of whom represent complete backwardness?

In Afghanistan, such forces proved useful in the mission to topple the modernizing government of the PDPA, especially when their anti-modernity aspirations intersected with U.S. foreign policy; these ultra-conservative forces continue to be deployed by the United States today. In fact, the long war on Afghanistan shares many striking similarities with the long war on Syria, with the common theme of U.S. imperialism collaborating with violent Sunni extremists to topple the secular, nationalist and anti-imperialist governments of these two former ‘Soviet bloc’ countries. And much like the PDPA, the current and long-time government of the Ba’ath Arab Socialist Party in Syria has made many strides towards achieving national liberation and economic development, which have included: taking land from aristocratic families (a majority of whom were Sunni Muslims while Shia Muslims, but especially Alawites, traditionally belonged to the lower classes and were treated as second class citizens in pre-Ba’athist Syria) and redistributing and nationalizing it, making use of Syria’s oil and gas reserves to modernize the country and benefit its population, and upholding women’s rights as an important part of the Ba’athist pillars.

Some of these aristocratic landlords, just like their Afghan counterparts, would react violently and join the Muslim Brotherhood who, with CIA-backing, carried out acts of terrorism and other atrocities in Hama as they made a failed attempt to topple the government of Hafez al Assad in 1982.

The connection between the two is further solidified by the fact that it was the Mujahideen from which Al Qaeda emerged; both are inspired by Wahhabist ideology, and one of their chief financiers is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (as well as Israel, a regional imperial power and a key ally of the United States). In either case, these Wahhabi-inspired forces were vehemently opposed to modernization and development, and would much rather keep large sections of the population impoverished, as they sought to replace the PDPA and the Ba’athists with Sunni fundamentalist, anti-Shia, theological autocracies — Saudi-style regimes, in other words.

These reactionary forces are useful tools in the CIA’s anti-communist projects and destabilization campaigns against independent nationalist governments, considering that the groups’ anti-modernity stance is a motivating factor in their efforts to sabotage economic development, which is conducive to ensuring a favourable climate for U.S. capital interests. It also helps that these groups already saw the nationalist governments of the PDPA and the Syrian Ba’ath party as their ‘archenemy’, and would thus fight them to the death and resort to acts of terrorism against the respective civilian populations.

Zbigniew Brzezinski stated in a 1998 interview with Le Nouvel Observateur in response to the following question:

Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

[Brzezinski]: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

Once again, he makes it clear that the religious extremism of the Mujahideen fighters was not an issue for Washington because the real political value lay in eliminating the PDPA and putting an end to Soviet influence in the Greater Middle East, which would give the U.S. the opportunity to easily access and steal the country’s wealth. And in order to justify the U.S. imperialist intervention in Afghanistan, as well as to obscure the true nature of the Mujahideen fighters, the intervention needed to be accompanied by a rigorous mass media campaign. The Reagan administration — knowing full well that American mainstream media has international influence — continued the war that the Carter administration started and saw it as an opportunity to “step up” its domestic propaganda war, considering that the American general public was still largely critical of the Vietnam War at the time.

As part of the aggressive imperialist propaganda campaign, anyone who dared to publicly criticize the Mujahideen was subjected to character assassination and was pejoratively labelled a “Stalinist” or a “Soviet apologist”, which are akin to labels such as “Russian agent” or “Assadist” being used as insults today against those who speak out against the U.S.-backed terrorism in Syria. There were also careful rebranding strategies made specifically for Osama bin Laden and the Mujahideen mercenaries, who were hailed as “revolutionary freedom fighters” and given a romantic, exoticized “holy warrior” makeover in Western media; hence the title of this section. The Mujahideen mercenaries were even given a dedication title card at the end of the Hollywood movie Rambo III which read, “This film is dedicated to the brave Mujahideen fighters of Afghanistan”; the film itself added to the constructed romantic image as it portrayed the Mujahideen fighters as heroes, while the Soviet Union and the PDPA were portrayed as the cartoonish villains. The Rambo film franchise is well known for its depiction of the Vietnamese as “savages” and as the aggressors in the U.S. war on Vietnam, which is a blatant reversal of the truth.

The Hollywood blockbuster franchise would be used to make the Mujahideen more palatable to Western audiences, as this unabashed, blatantly anti-Soviet propaganda for U.S. imperialism attracted millions of viewers with one of the largest movie marketing campaigns of the time. Although formulaic, the films are easily consumable because they appeal to emotion and, as Michael Parenti states in Dirty Truths, “The entertainment industry does not merely give the people what they want: it is busy shaping those wants,” (p. 111). Rambo III may not have been critically acclaimed, but it was still the second most commercially successful film in the Rambo series, grossing a total of $189,015,611 at the box office. Producing war propaganda films is nothing new and has been a long staple of the Hollywood industry, which serves capitalist and imperialist interests. But, since the blockbuster movie is one of the most widely available and distributed forms of media, repackaging the Mujahideen into a popular film franchise was easily one of the best ways (albeit cynical) to justify the war, maintaining the American constructed narrative and reinforcing the demonization campaign against Soviet Russia and the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. Now, outside of the cinema, CBS News went as far as to air fake battle footage meant to help perpetuate the myth that the Mujahideen mercenaries were “freedom fighters”; American journalists Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, although decidedly biased against the Soviet Union and its allies, documented this ruse in which the news channel participated. In terms of proxy warfare, these were just some of the ways used to distract from the fact that it was a U.S.-led war.

The dedication title card as it originally appeared at the end of the film Rambo III.

In Afghanistan, proxy forces provided a convenient cover because they drew attention away from the fact that U.S. imperialism was the root cause of the conflict. The insurgents also helped to demonize the targets of U.S. foreign policy, the PDPA and the Soviet Union, all the while doing the majority of the physical combat in place of the American military. In general, drawing attention away from the fact that it has been the United States “pulling the strings” all along, using proxy forces helps Washington to maintain plausible deniability in regard to its relationship with such groups. If any one of these insurgents becomes a liability, as what had happened with the Taliban, they can just as easily be disposed of and replaced by more competent patsies, while U.S. foreign policy goes unquestioned. Criminal gangs and paramilitary forces are thus ideal and convenient tools for U.S. foreign policy. With the rule of warlords and the instability (namely damage to infrastructure, de-industrialization, and societal collapse) that followed after the toppling of the PDPA, Afghanistan’s standard of living dropped rapidly, leading to forced mass migrations and making the country all the more vulnerable to a more direct U.S. military intervention — which eventually did happen in 2001.

Zbigniew Brzezinski: godfather of colour revolutions and proxy wars, architect of the Mujahideen

The late Brzezinski was a key figure in U.S. foreign policy and a highly influential figure in the Council on Foreign Relations. Although the Polish-American diplomat and political scientist was no longer the National Security Advisor under Ronald Reagan’s presidency, he still continued to play a prominent role in enforcing U.S. foreign policy goals in upholding Washington’s global monopoly. The liberal Cold War ideologue’s signature strategy consisted of using the CIA to destabilize and force regime-change onto countries whose governments actively resisted against Washington. Such is the legacy of Brzezinski, whose strategy of funding the most reactionary anti-government forces to foment chaos and instability while promoting them as “freedom fighters” is now a longstanding staple of U.S. imperialism.

How were the aggressive propaganda campaigns which promoted the Mujahideen mercenaries as “freedom fighters” able to garner support for the aggression against the former Democratic Republic of Afghanistan from so many on the Western left who had previously opposed the war on Vietnam? It was the through the CIA’s use of ‘soft-power’ schemes, because leftist opinion also needed to be controlled and manipulated in the process of carrying out U.S. foreign and public policy. Brzezinski mastered the art of targeting intelligentsia and impressionable young people in order to make them supportive of U.S. foreign policy, misleading a significant number of people into supporting U.S.-led wars.

The CIA invested money into programs that used university campus, anti-Soviet “radical leftist activists” and academics (as well as artists and writers) to help spread imperialist propaganda dressed up in vaguely “leftist”-sounding language and given a more “hip”, “humanitarian”, “social justice”, “free thinker” appeal. Western, but especially American, academia has since continued to teach the post-modernist “oppression theory” or “privilege theory” to students, which is anti-Marxist and anti-scientific at its core. More importantly, this post-modernist infiltration was meant to distract from class struggle, to help divert any form of solidarity away from anti-imperialist struggles, and to foster virulent animosity towards the Soviet Union among students and anyone with ‘leftist’ leanings. Hence the phenomenon of identity politics that continues to plague the Western left today, whose strength was effectively neutered by the 1970s. Not only that, but as Gowans mentions in his book, Patriots, Traitors and Empires: The Story of Korea’s Struggle for Freedom:

“U.S. universities recruit talented individuals from abroad, instill in them the U.S. imperialist ideology and values, and equip them with academic credentials which conduce to their landing important political positions at home. In this way, U.S. imperial goals indirectly structure the political decision-making of other countries.” (pp. 52-53)

And so we have agencies and think-tanks such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) which has scholarly appeal and actively interferes in elections abroad — namely, in countries that are targets of U.S. foreign policy. Founded in 1983 by Reagan and directed by the CIA, the agency also assists in mobilizing coups and paid “dissidents” in U.S.-led regime change projects, such as the 2002 failed attempt against Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, as well as helping to create aggressive media campaigns that demonize targeted nations. Another instance of this “soft power” tactic of mobilizing U.S.-backed “dissidents” in targeted nations are the number of Sunni Islamic fundamentalist madrassas (schools) sponsored by the CIA and set up by Wahhabi missionaries from Saudi Arabia in Afghanistan — which started to appear in increasing numbers during the 1980s, reaching over 39,000 during the decade. Afghanistan’s public education institutions were largely secular prior to the fall of Kabul in 1992; these madrassas were the direct, ideological and intellectual antitheses to the existing institutions of education. The madrassas acted as centres for cult-like brainwashing and were essentially CIA covert psychological operations (psy-ops) intended to inspire divisiveness and demobilize younger generations of Afghans in the face of imperial onslaught so that they would not unite with the wider PDPA-led nationalist resistance to imperialism.

The NED’s founding members were comprised of Cold War ideologues which included Brzezinski himself, as well as Trotskyists who provided an endless supply of slurs against the Soviet Union. It was chiefly under this agency, and with direction provided by Brzezinski, that America produced artists, “activists”, academics, and writers who presented themselves as “radical leftists” and slandered the Soviet Union and countries that were aligned with it — which was all part of the process of toppling them and subjugating them to U.S. free market fundamentalism. With Brzezinski having mastered the art of encouraging postmodernism and identity politics among the Western left in order to weaken it, the United States not only had military and economic might on its side but also highly sophisticated ideological instruments to help give it the upper hand in propaganda wars.

These “soft power” schemes are highly effective in masking the brutality of U.S. imperialism, as well as concealing the exploitation of impoverished nations. Marketing the Mujahideen mercenaries as “peace warriors” while demonizing the PDPA and referring to the Soviet assistance as an “invasion” or “aggression” marked the beginning of the regular use of “humanitarian” pretexts for imperialist interventions. The Cold War era onslaught against Afghanistan can thus be seen as the template for the NATO-led regime change projects against Yugoslavia, Libya, and Syria, which not only involved the use of U.S.-backed proxy forces but also “humanitarian” pretexts being presented in the aggressive propaganda campaigns against the targeted countries. It was not until 2002, however, that then-American UN representative Samantha Powers, as well as several U.S.-allied representatives, would push the United Nations to officially adopt the “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) doctrine into the Charter — which was in direct contradiction to the law that recognizes the violation of a nation’s sovereignty as a crime. The R2P doctrine was born out of the illegal 78-day NATO air-bombing of Yugoslavia from March 24 to June 10, 1999. And although plans to dismantle Yugoslavia go as far back as 1984, it was not until much of the 1990s that NATO would begin openly intervening — with more naked aggression — starting with the funding and support for secessionist paramilitary forces in Bosnia between 1994-1995. It then sealed the 1999 destruction of Yugoslavia with with the balkanization of the Serbian province of Kosovo. In addition to the use of terrorist and paramilitary groups as proxy forces which received CIA-training and funding, another key feature of this “humanitarian” intervention was the ongoing demonization campaigns against the Serbs, who were at the centre of a vicious Western media propaganda war. Some of the most egregious parts of these demonization campaigns — which were tantamount to slander and libel — were the claims that the Serbs were “committing genocide” against ethnic Albanians. The NATO bombing campaign was illegal since it was given no UN Security Council approval or support.

Once again, Brzezinski was not the National Security Advisor during the U.S.-led campaign against Yugoslavia. However, he still continued to wield influence as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a private organization and Wall Street think tank. The Council on Foreign Relations is intertwined with highly influential NGOs who are essentially propaganda mouthpieces for U.S. foreign policy, such as Human Rights Watch, which has fabricated stories of atrocities allegedly committed by countries targeted by U.S. imperialism. Clearly, unmitigated U.S. imperial aggression did not end with the destruction of the former Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, nor with the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The post-Cold War years were a continuation of U.S. imperialism’s scramble for more spheres of influence and global domination; it was also a scramble for what was left of the former ‘Soviet bloc’ and Warsaw Pact. The dismantling of Yugoslavia was, figuratively speaking, the ‘final nail in the coffin’ of whatever ‘Soviet influence’ was left in Eastern Europe.

The demise of the Soviet Union and the “Afghan trap” question

Image on the right: Left to right: former Afghan President Babrak Karmal, and former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. Karmal took office at around the same time (December 1979) the PDPA requested that Moscow intervene to assist the besieged Afghanistan.

The sabotage and subsequent dissolution of the Soviet Union meant that only one global hegemon remained, and that was the United States. Up until 1989, the Soviet Union had been the barrier that was keeping the United States from launching a more robust military intervention in Afghanistan, as well as in Central and West Asia. While pulling out did not immediately cause the defeat of Kabul as the PDPA government forces continued to struggle for another three years, Mikhail Gorbachev’s decision to withdraw Soviet troops arguably had a detrimental impact on Afghanistan for many years to come. Although there was no Soviet military assistance in the last three years of Najibullah’s presidency, Afghanistan continued to receive aid from the USSR, and some Soviet military advisers (however limited in their capacity) still remained; despite the extreme difficulties, and combined with the nation’s still-relatively high morale, this did at least help to keep the government from being overthrown immediately. This defied U.S. expectations as the CIA and the George H.W. Bush administration had believed that the government of Najibullah would fall as soon as Soviet troops were withdrawn. But what really hurt the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan’s army was when the Soviet Union was dismantled in 1991; almost as soon as the dissolution happened and Boris Yeltsin (with U.S. backing) took over as Russia’s president, the aid stopped coming and the government forces became unable to hold out for much longer. The U.S. aggression was left unchecked, and to this day Afghanistan has not seen geopolitical stability and has since been a largely impoverished ‘failed state’, serving as a training ground for terrorist groups such as ISIS and Al Qaeda. It continues to be an anarchic battleground between rival warlords which include the ousted Taliban and the U.S. puppet government that replaced them.

But, as was already mentioned above, the “Afghan trap” did not, in and of itself, cause the dismantling of the Soviet Union. In that same interview with Le Nouvel Observateur, Brzezinski had this to say in response to the question about setting the “trap”:

Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?

[Brzezinski]: It isn’t quite that. We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.

Likewise with Cuba and Syria, the USSR had a well-established alliance with the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, one of mutual aid and partnership. Answering Kabul’s explicit request for assistance was a deliberate and conscious choice made by Moscow, and it just so happened that the majority of Afghans welcomed it. For any errors that Leonid Brezhnev, the General Secretary at the time, may have made (which do deserve a fair amount of criticism, but are not the focus of this article), the 1979 decision to intervene on behalf of Afghanistan against U.S. imperialism was not one of them. It is true that both the Soviet and the U.S. interventions were military interventions, but the key difference is that the U.S. was backing reactionary forces for the purposes of establishing colonial domination and was in clear violation of Afghan sovereignty. Consider, too, that Afghanistan had only deposed of its king in 1973, just six years before the conflict began. The country may have moved quickly to industrialize and modernize, but it wasn’t much time to fully develop its military defenses by 1979.

Image below: Mikhail Gorbachev accepts the Nobel Peace Prize from George H.W. Bush on October 15, 1990. Many Russians saw this gesture as a betrayal, while the West celebrated it, because he was being awarded for his capitulation to U.S. imperialism in foreign and economic policy.

Other than that, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that the Soviet Union imploded due to an accumulating number of factors: namely, the gradual steps that U.S. foreign policy had taken over the years to cripple the Soviet economy, especially after the deaths of Brezhnev and Yuri Andropov. How Gorbachev responded during the U.S.-led onslaught against Afghanistan certainly helped to exacerbate the conditions that led to the dissolution. After the deaths of Brezhnev and Andropov, the Soviet Union’s economy became disorganized and was being liberalized during much of the 1980s. Not only that, but the Reagan administration escalated the arms race, which intensified after they had scrapped the ‘detente’ that was previously made in the mid-1970s. Even prior to Reagan’s hardline, bombastic rhetoric and escalation against the USSR, the Soviet Union was already beginning to show signs of strain from the arms race during the late-1970s. However, in spite of the economic strains, during the height of the war the organized joint operations between the Soviet army and the Afghan army saw a significant amount of success in pushing back against the Mujahideen with many of the jihadist leaders either being killed or fleeing to Pakistan. Therefore, it is erroneous to say that intervening in Afghanistan on behalf of the Afghan people “did the Soviet Union in.”

In a misguided and ultimately failed attempt to spur economic growth rates, Gorbachev moved to end the Cold War by withdrawing military support from allies and pledging cooperation with the United States who promised “peace”. When he embraced Neoliberalism and allowed for the USSR to be opened to the U.S.-dominated world capitalist economy, the Soviet economy imploded and the effects were felt by its allies. It was a capitulation to U.S. imperialism, in other words; and it led to disastrous results not only in Afghanistan, but in several other countries as well. These include: the destruction of Yugoslavia, both wars on Iraq, and the 2011 NATO invasion of Libya. Also, Warsaw Pact members in Eastern Europe were no longer able to effectively fight back against U.S.-backed colour revolutions; some of them would eventually be absorbed as NATO members, such as Czechoslovakia which was dissolved and divided into two states: the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Without Soviet Russia to keep it in check, the United States was able to launch an unrestrained series of aggressions for nearly two decades. Because of his decision to withdraw from the arms race altogether, in a vain attempt to transform the Soviet Union into a social democracy akin to those of the Nordic countries, Gorbachev had deprived the Russian army of combat effectiveness by making significant cuts to its defense budget, which is partly why they were forced to evacuate. Not only that, but these diplomatic and military concessions with the United States gave them no benefit in return, hence the economic crisis in Russia during the Yeltsin years. Suffice to say, the Gorbachev-Yeltsin years are not remembered fondly in Russia and many regard Gorbachev as a traitor and Western agent who helped to bring the Soviet Union to its collapse. In more recent years, efforts are being made to assess the actions taken by Gorbachev with regards to Afghanistan; this includes going against and revising the resolution put forth by him which suggested that the USSR intervention was “shameful”.

In short, Afghanistan did not cause the Soviet Union’s demise even if it required large military spending. More accurately: it was Gorbachev’s impulsive decision to quickly discard the planned economy in favour of a market economy in order to appease the United States, who made the false promise that NATO would not expand eastward. If there was a real “trap”, it was this and Gorbachev played right into the hands of U.S. imperialism; and so, the Soviet Union received its devastating blow from the United States in the end — not from a small, minor nation such as Afghanistan which continues to suffer the most from the effects of these past events. For many years, but especially since the end of WWII, the United States made ceaseless efforts to undermine the USSR, adding stress upon stress onto its economy, in addition to the psychological warfare waged through the anti-Soviet propaganda and military threats against it and its allies. Despite any advances made in the past, the Soviet Union’s economy was still not as large as that of the United States. And so, in order to keep pace with NATO, the Soviet Union did not have much of a choice but to spend a large percentage of its GDP on its military and on helping to defend its allies, which included national liberation movements in the Third World, because of the very real and significant threat that U.S. imperialism posed. If it had not spent any money militarily, its demise would most likely have happened much sooner. But eventually, these mounting efforts by U.S. imperialism created a circumstance where its leadership under Gorbachev made a lapse in judgment, reacting impulsively and carelessly rather than acting with resilience in spite of the onslaught.

It should also be taken into account that WWII had a profound impact on Soviet leadership — from Joseph Stalin to Gorbachev — because even though the Red Army was victorious in defeating the Nazis, the widespread destruction had still placed the Soviet economy under an incredible amount of stress and it needed time to recover. Meanwhile, the convenient geographical location of the United States kept it from suffering the same casualties and infrastructural damage seen across Europe and Asia as a result of the Second World War, which enabled its economy to recover much faster and gave it enough time to eventually develop the U.S. Dollar as the international currency and assert dominance over the world economy. Plus, the U.S. had accumulated two-thirds of the world’s gold reserves by 1944 to help back the Dollar; and even if it lost a large amount of the gold, it would still be able to maintain Dollar supremacy by developing the fiat system to back the currency. Because of the destruction seen during WWII, it is understandable that the Soviet Union wanted to avoid another world war, which is why it also made several attempts at achieving some kind of diplomacy with the United States (before Gorbachev outright capitulated). At the same time, it also understood that maintaining its military defenses was important because of the threat of a nuclear war from the United States, which would be much more catastrophic than the Nazis’ military assaults against the Soviet Union since Hitler did not have a nuclear arsenal. This was part of a feat that U.S. imperialism was able to accomplish that ultimately overshadowed British, French, German, and Japanese imperialism, which Brzezinski reveals in his book, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives: an unparalleled military establishment that, by far, had the most effective global reach which allowed the U.S. to “project forces over long distances”, helping it to assert its global domination and impose its “political will”. And what makes the American Empire distinct from the Japanese Empire, British Empire, and other European empires is that one of the bases for its ideology is the socially constructed international hierarchy of nations, and not races as was the case with the other aforementioned empires. This constructed international hierarchy of nations is more effective because it means not only greater expansionism, but also the greater ability to exercise global primacy and supremacy. More specific to Central Asia and the Middle East, the Wahhabist and Salafist groups propped up by the CIA were always intended to nurture sectarianism and discord in order to counter a mass, broad-based united front of nations against imperialism — an example of divide-and-conquer, which is an age-old tradition of empire, except this time with Neoliberal characteristics.

Therefore, the Mujahideen against Afghanistan should not be thought of simply as “the Afghan trap”, but rather as the U.S. subjugation and plundering of West and Central Asia and an important milestone (albeit a cynical one) in shaping its foreign policy with regards to the region for many years to come. If one thing has remained a constant in U.S. foreign policy towards West and Central Asia, it is its strategic partnership with the oil autocracy of Saudi Arabia, which acts as the United States’ steward in safeguarding the profits of American petroleum corporations and actively assists Western powers in crushing secular Arab and Central Asian nationalist resistance against imperialism. The Saudi monarchy would again be called on by the U.S. government in 2011 in Syria to assist in the repeated formula of funding and arming so-called “moderate rebels” in the efforts to destabilize the country. Once again, the ultimate goal in this more recent imperial venture is to contain Russia.

Cold War 2.0? American Supremacy marches on

The present-day anti-Russia hysteria is reminiscent of the anti-Soviet propaganda of the Cold War era; while anti-communism is not the central theme today, one thing remains the same: the fact that the U.S. Empire is (once again) facing a formidable challenge to its position in the world. After the Yeltsin years were over, and under Vladimir Putin, Russia’s economy eventually recovered and moved towards a more dirigiste economy; and on top of that, it moved away from the NATO fold, which triggered the old antagonistic relationship with the United States. Russia has also decided to follow the global trend of taking the step towards reducing reliance on the U.S. dollar, which is no doubt a source of annoyance to the U.S. capitalist class. It seems that a third world war in the near future is becoming more likely as the U.S. inches closer to a direct military confrontation against Russia and, more recently, China. History does appear to be repeating itself. When the government of Bashar al Assad called on Moscow for assistance in fighting against the NATO-backed terrorists, it certainly was reminiscent of when the PDPA had done the same many years before. Thus far, the Syrian Arab Republic has continued to withstand the destabilization efforts carried out by the Al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist groups and Kurdish militias at the behest of the United States, and has not collapsed as Libya, Yugoslavia, and Afghanistan did.

But what often gets overlooked is the repeated Brzezinskist formula of funding highly reactionary forces and promoting them as “revolutionaries” to Western audiences in order to fight governments that defy the global dictatorship of the United States and refuse to allow the West to exploit their natural resources and labour power. As Karl Marx once said, “Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past.” Such a phenomenon is no accident or a mere mistake. The geopolitical instability that followed after the overthrow of the PDPA ensures that no sound, united, and formidable opposition against U.S. imperialism will emerge for an indefinite number of years; and it seems that Libya, where the Brzezinskist-style of regime change also saw success and which is now a hotbed for the slave trade, is on the same path as Afghanistan. This is all a part of what Lenin calls moribund capitalism when he discussed the economic essence of imperialism; and by that, he meant that imperialism carries the contradictions of capitalism to the extreme limit. American global monopoly had grown out of U.S. foreign policy, and it should go without saying that the American Empire cannot tolerate losing its Dollar Supremacy, especially when the global rate of profit is falling. And if too many nations reject U.S. efforts to infiltrate their markets and force foreign finance capital exports onto their economies in order to gain a monopoly over the resources, as well as to exploit the labour of their working people, it would surely spell a sharp decline in American Dollar hegemony. The fact that the United States was willing to go as far as to back mercenaries to attack the former Democratic Republic of Afghanistan and fight the Soviet Union, as well as to spend billions of dollars on a highly elaborate but effective propaganda campaign, shows a sign of desperation of the American Empire in maintaining its global hegemony.

Since the end of World War II the United States has been, and is by and large still, the overwhelming world-dominating power. It is true that the American Empire is in decline, in light of increasing trends towards “de-Dollarization,” as well as the rise of China and Russia which pose as challenges to U.S. interests. Naturally, Washington will desperately try to cling on to its number one position in the world by accelerating the growth of its global monopolies — whether it is through placing wholly unnecessary tariffs against competitors such as China, or threatening to completely cut Venezuelan and Iranian oil out of the global market — even if it means an increasing drive towards World War III. The current global economic order which Washington elites have been instrumental in shaping over the past several decades reflects the interests of the global capitalist class to such an extent that the working class is threatened with yet another world war despite the unimaginable carnage witnessed during the first two.

When we look back at these historical events to help make sense of the present, we see how powerful mass media can be and how it is used as a tool of U.S. foreign policy to manipulate and control public opinion. Foreign policy is about the economic relationships between countries. Key to understanding how U.S. imperialism functions is in its foreign policy and how it carries it out — which adds up to plundering from relatively small or poorer nations more than a share of wealth and resources that can be normally produced in common commercial exchanges, forcing them to be indebted; and if any of them resist, then they will almost certainly be subjected to military threats.

With the great wealth that allowed it to build a military that can “project forces over long distances,” the United States is in a unique position in history, to say the least. However, as we have seen above, the now four decade-long war on Afghanistan was not only fought on a military front considering the psy-ops and the propaganda involved. If anything, the Soviet Union lost on the propaganda front in the end.

From Afghanistan we learn not only of the origins of Al Qaeda, to which the boom in the opioid-addiction epidemic has ties, or why today we have the phenomenon of an anti-Russia Western “left” that parrots imperialist propaganda and seems very eager to see that piece of Cold War history repeat itself in Syria. We also learn that we cannot de-link the events of the 2001 direct U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan and what followed from those of 1979; Afghanistan’s colonial-feudal past, its break from that with the 1978 Saur Revolution, and the U.S.-led Mujahideen are all as much of a part of its history (and the Greater Middle East, by extension) as the events of 2001. It cannot be stressed enough that it is those historical conditions, particularly as they relate to U.S. foreign policy, that helped to shape the ongoing conflict today.

Obviously, we cannot undo the past. It is not in the interests of the working class anywhere, in the Global South or in the Global North, to see a third world war happen, as such a war would have catastrophic consequences for everyone — in fact, it could potentially destroy all of humanity. Building a new and revitalized anti-war movement in the imperialist nations is a given, but it also requires a more sophisticated understanding of U.S. foreign policy. Without historical context, Western mass media will continue to go unchallenged, weaning audiences on a steady diet of “moderate rebels” propaganda and effectively silencing the victims of imperialism. It is necessary to unite workers across the whole world according to their shared interests in order to effectively fight and defeat imperialism and to establish a just, egalitarian, and sustainable world under socialism. Teaching the working class everywhere the real history of such conflicts as the one in Afghanistan is an important part of developing the revolutionary consciousness necessary to build a strong global revolutionary movement against imperialism.

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Originally published by LLCO.org on March 30, 2019. For the full-length article and bibliography, click here.

Janelle Velina is a Toronto-based political analyst, writer, and an editor and frequent contributor for New-Power.org and LLCO.org. She also has a blog at geopoliticaloutlook.blogspot.com.

All images in this article are from the author; featured image: Brzezinski visits Osama bin Laden and other Mujahideen fighters during training.

الثورة الإسلامية في إيران بعيون فلسطينية استراتيجية

فبراير 4, 2019

محمد صادق الحسيني

أربعون ربيعاً ولا تزال الثورة حية في صدور أهلها كما في محيطها الخارجي وكأنها ولدت بالأمس او اليوم، وممتدة في تأثيراتها وتداعياتها الزلزالية من أعماق أوراسيا حتى سواحل المتوسط وكلّ المياه الساخنة من هرمز الى باب المندب…!

فعلى الرغم من مرور أربعين عاماً على انتصار الثورة الاسلامية في إيران إلا انّ تداعياتها وتأثيراتها العميقة، في موازين القوى الاستراتيجية في العالم أجمع وليس في غرب آسيا وحدها، لا زالت متواصلة، بديناميكية عالية الوتيرة حاملة وسائل تجددها الذاتي بداخلها، الامر الذي يؤكد ان لا خوف لا على الثورة ولا على أهدافها، التي تمثلت منذ اللحظة الاولى بالاضافة الى إطاحة الاستبداد الداخلي في مقاومة الهيمنة الاستعمارية الأميركية على مقدرات الشعوب في العالم وتحقيق الحرية والسيادة والاستقلال الوطني الكامل لكافة شعوب الارض.

ومن الجدير بالذكر، في هذا السياق، انّ الثورة الاسلامية في إيران قد جاءت كحلقة من حلقات الصراع الدولي، بين القوى الاستعمارية وقوى التحرّر الوطني، سواء في ما يسمّى بالشرق الأوسط أو في غيرة من بقاع الأرض. وقد جاء انتصار هذه الثورة بعيد ضربة كبرى تلقتها حركة التحرّر الوطني العربية، تلك الضربة التي تمثلت في زيارة السادات الخيانية للقدس المحتلة سنة 1977، ثم توقيعه اتفاقية الخيانة في كامب ديفيد بتاريخ 17/9/1978.

حيث إنّ هذه الاتفاقية التي احدثت زلزالاً استراتيجياً، سياسياً وعسكرياً، في المنطقة والعالم، وذلك من خلال خروج مصر من مشهد المواجهة العسكرية العربية مع العدو الصهيوني، وبالتالي مع الولايات المتحدة، التي كانت تستميت في محاولاتها لاستعادة بعض الهيبة السياسية والعسكرية، التي فقدتها بعد هزيمتها المدوية في حرب فيتنام عام 1975.

فخروج مصر من المواجهة ادى الى خلل استراتيجي، في موازين القوى الشرق أوسطية ، كان لا بد من اصلاحه وبأقصى سرعة، لإعادة التوازن الاستراتيجي، بمعناه الشامل وليس من خلال مقارنة حسابية لأعداد الدبابات والطائرات، الى مسرح المواجهة، وذلك حفاظاً على ما تبقى من القوى المنخرطة في قتال العدو الصهيوني الإمبريالي، مثل سورية والثورة الفلسطينية وحلفائها اللبنانيين.

ولَم تتأخر القوى الثورية المعادية للإمبريالية في الردّ، على الخلل الذي أحدثته سياسات الخيانة الساداتية، حيث شرع الشعب الإيراني العظيم بوضع برنامجه الثوري الإسلامي قيد التنفيذ الفعلي، الأمر الذي أدى الى حصول زلزال طهران في بداية عام 1979 والذي ادى الى اقتلاع عرش شاه إيران، العميل للولايات المتحدة و إسرائيل والذي كان يمارس ليس فقط دور شرطي هذه القوى الاستعمارية في المنطقة وقمع الشعوب العربية، بل إنه كان قد حوَّل إيران قاعدة تجسس ضخمة ضد الاتحاد السوفياتي، صديق حركات التحرر العربية والعالمية. ذلك الزلزال الذي أفضى الى انتصار الثورة الاسلامية وعودة قائدها العظيم، سماحة آية الله العظمى الخميني، من منفاه في باريس الى طهران بتاريخ 11/2/1979.

وها هو الرئيس الاميركي الحالي، دونالد ترامب، يحاول اعادة عجلة التاريخ الى الوراء، من خلال تصريحاته لبرنامج واجِهة الأُمة التلفزيوني الاميركي Face the Nation الذي تمّ بثه أمس، والذي أكد فيه ترامب على ضرورة بقاء القوات الاميركية في العراق بهدف مراقبة إيران…!

حيث كان يشير الى الوجود الأميركي في قاعدتي عين الأسد واربيل العراقيتين. مما يعني ان الولايات المتحدة لا زالت تنفذ السياسات العدوانية السابقة نفسها والتي كانت تتبعها إبان الحكم الشاهنشاهي في إيران.

وقد شكل هذا الانتصار في إيران ضربة استراتيجية كبرى للمشاريع الاستعمارية في المنطقة، وفِي مقدمتها المشروع الاستيطاني الصهيوني في فلسطين المحتلة، حيث كانت دولة الاحتلال الإسرائيلي حليفاً استراتيجياً لصيقا لنظام شاه إيران، لكن الثورة الاسلامية اغلقت السفارة الصهيونية في طهران وحوّلتها سفارة لدولة فلسطين.

وهذا ما أكده الزعيم الفلسطيني، ياسر عرفات أبو عمار في أول لقاء له مع قائد الثورة الاسلامية في طهران يوم 17/2/1979، عندما قال: إن جبهة المقاومة أصبحت تمتد من صور الى خراسان… فماذا يعني هذا الكلام من ناحية المفاعيل الاستراتيجية؟ على صعيد موازين القوى في ميادين المواجهة.

أولاً: إن سقوط نظام شاه إيران قد خلق أفقاً استراتيجياً واسعاً للقوى المعادية للامبريالية في المنطقة العربية بشكل عام، ورغم اضطراب العلاقة بين دول وتنظيمات وأحزاب وفصائل تلك القوى آنذاك، كما يتضح من طبيعة التوتر الذي كان يسود العلاقة بين منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية وسورية مثلاً…!

وعلى الرغم من التناقضات الداخلية، بين أطراف حلف المقاومة آنذاك، إلا ان الدور الإيراني حافظ على حيويته وديناميكيته، من خلال تقوية علاقات الجمهورية الاسلامية الإيرانية مع كافة أطراف قوى الثورة والمقاومة اللبنانية والفلسطينية في لبنان، إضافة الى بدء علاقة تحالف إيرانية سورية متينة شملت مختلف مجالات التعاون. الأمر الذي شكل ارضية صلبة لتشكيل محور مقاومة متجانس ومتناغم.

ثانياً: كما ان انتصار الثورة الاسلامية في إيران قد أوجد، ومن الناحية الموضوعية المجردة والبعيدة عن العواطف والمواقف الشخصية، وبالنظر الى العقيدة الجهادية الثابتة التي اعتمدتها الجمهورية الاسلامية في إيران، قد خلق ليس فقط عمقاً استراتيجياً لقوى المقاومة الفلسطينية واللبنانية، وانما خلق قاعدة استراتيجية ثابتة وقوية ومبادرة وقادرة يمكن الاعتماد على دعمها لتامين الاستمرارية في المقاومة وتطوير عملها التحرري.

وهو الأمر الذي شهد على صحته التصاعد المستمر في إنجازات المقاومة، خاصة المقاومة الاسلامية في لبنان والمقاومة الفلسطينية في فلسطين المحتلة. هذا التصاعد الذي عبر عن نفسه بجلاء من خلال الانتصار الأسطوري الذي تحقق في لبنان، ضد الجيش الإسرائيلي، وذلك خلال الحرب التي شنها على لبنان عام 2006. وكذلك الامر عندما عجز الجيش الإسرائيلي من ضرب المقاومة الفلسطينية في غزة، عبر أربعة حروب شنت على قطاع غزة والذي كان آخرها عدوان شهر 11/2018 الذي انتهى بهزيمة مدوية للجيش الإسرائيلي…!

هذا الجيش الذي خبر مفاعيل المساعدات العسكرية، المباشرة وغير المباشرة المقدمة للمقاومة الفلسطينية من إيران، سواء عبر استخدام صواريخ الكورنيت المضادة للدروع أو باستخدام الصواريخ الدقيقة في قصف عسقلان وإصابة أهداف فيها بدقة متناهية.

ثالثاً: بناء وتطوير قاعدة علمية تكنولوجية صناعية عملاقة في إيران، وذلك من خلال تطوير القدرات الذاتية للشعب الإيراني وإطلاق العنان لإبداعه، عبر تنمية ورعاية الطاقات العلمية الإيرانية، وتعميق العلم والمعرفة في وجدان الشعب الإيراني، المحب للقراءة والمعرفة والعلم تاريخياً. وهو الأمر الذي تؤكده حقيقة ان مجموع ما ينشر في إيران من صحف محلية يومية قد وصل الى الف ومئة صحيفة يومية وأسبوعية وفصلية، الى جانب ثلاثة وسبعين ألف كتاب جديد تمّ نشرها سنة 2018 السعودية نشرت 2800 كتاب فقط ، وافتتاح أكبر حديقة للكتب في العالم، في شهر تموز 2017، بمساحة اجمالية تبلغ مئة وعشرة آلاف متر مربع، وهي بذلك تكون اكبر من مكتبة بارنز ونوبل في نيويورك.

رابعاً: وفِي إطار تطوير القاعدة العلمية في إيران فقد نجحت قيادة الجمهورية الاسلامية في إيران في تحويل البلاد مركزاً هاماً للعلم والمعرفة. اذ بلغ عدد الطلاب المسجلين في الجامعات الإيرانية خمسة ملايين ونصف المليون طالب سنة 2017، بالاضافة الى خمسين ألفاً آخرين يتلقون علومهم في الجامعات الاوروبية، واثني عشر ألفاً الى جانبهم في الجامعات الأميركية.

علماً أن عدد الطلاب في الجامعات الإيرانية قبل انتصار الثورة الاسلامية لم يتجاوز المئة الف طالب. وهو الأمر الذي جعل إيران قادرة على تأهيل الكوادر والطاقات العلمية المحلية الضرورية لتسيير وتطوير قاعدتها الصناعية الضرورية وتأمين النهضة المستدامة للاقتصاد الإيراني المقاوم. وما الدليل على ذلك الا تسجيل ستة وثلاثين ألف براءة اختراع جديد، لطاقات إيرانية شابة، خلال عام 2017 فقط، ما يجعل الجمهورية الاسلامية من الدول العشر الأولى في الاختراعات العلمية المختلفة.

سادساً: اذن فحملات العداء المتواصلة، والعقوبات المختلفة، ضد الجمهورية الاسلامية في إيران، من قبل القوى الاستعمارية والصهيونية، وعلى رأسهما الولايات المتحدة ودولة كيان الاحتلال الصهيوني، ليست مرتبطة لا بالأسلحة النووية المزعومة ولا ببرنامج الصواريخ الحربية الإيرانية أي ما تُسمى الصواريخ البالستية وهي بالمناسبة تسمية خاطئة، حيث إن كلمة بالستي، أو – Ballestic بالإنجليزية – هي كلمة يونانية الأصل وتعني: علم دراسة حركة او حركيات المقذوفات – وانما باتساع العلم والمعرفة لدى الشعب الإيراني، المقترنة بإرادة سياسية حديدية وقرار واضح وصريح، من قبل قيادة الثورة الاسلامية وقائدها، والذي ينصّ على ضرورة تطوير البلاد وتحصينها ورفع مكانتها بين الدول، عبر الاعتماد على الذات والإمكانيات المحلية والاقتصاد المقاوم غير الخاضع لقوى الهيمنة والاستعمار.

وهذا يعني بالطبع: العمل على إنجاز الاستقلال الوطني الكامل والانفكاك من نير التبعية للقوى الاستعمارية الأجنبية، وبالتالي وضع حد لنهب خيرات البلاد البترولية والمعدنية خامات معدنية ، من قبل شركات الدول الاستعمارية.

وبما أن المواجهة الشاملة، بين الولايات المتحدة والجمهورية الاسلامية، لا تقتصر على الميدان العسكري فقط، فقد اقامت الجمهورية الاسلامية الإيرانية منطقة منع دخول اقتصادي، او Anti Access، في وجه الدول الاستعمارية، مانعة إياها من مواصلة نهب خيرات الشعب الإيراني كما كان عليه الحال في عهد نظام شاه إيران السابق.

من هنا فإن القراءة الدقيقة، للأهداف الاميركية تجاه الجمهورية الاسلامية في إيران، لا تدع مجالاً للشك بان إسقاط النظام الإيراني بحد ذاته ليس هو الهدف الأميركي. بل ان الهدف يتمثل في إعادة التبعية حتى لو بقي من يحكم البلاد مرتدياً الجلباب والعمة. ولنا في الدول المجاورة لإيران والتابعة للولايات المتحدة اوضح مثال على ذلك.

سابعاً: وعلى الرغم من النجاحات الكبرى التي حققتها الثورة الاسلامية في إيران، وعلى مختلف الصعد، فان الاخطار المحدقة بهذه التجربة الناجحة لا زالت كبيرة جداً وتستدعي اتباع سياسة خارجية غاية في الحزم الى جانب سياسة داخلية ديناميكية تكون بوصلتها تعزيز كرامة المواطن الإيراني، من خلال تأمين احتياجاته اليومية ورفع قدرته على مواجهة متطلبات الحياة، المتزايدة الصعوبة بسبب مواصلة اجراءات الحصار الاميركي الخانق.

بمعنى ان العمل على قطع الطريق الداخلي على العدو الخارجي يجب ان تكون له الأولوية المطلقة وذلك لتعزيز القدرة على المواجهة وتأمين فرص النجاح والتطور للجمهورية الإسلامية وشعبها المقتدر. وهو الامر الذي لا يساورنا اي شك في انه سيتحقق قطعاً بفضل صمود شعبه العزيز وحكمة قيادته العالية الحنكة.

بعدنا طيبين، قولوا الله.

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