US State Secretary: Control Over Oil Fields Allows Washington To Influence Situation In Syria

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Speaking on the sidelines of an Iraq donors conference in Kuwait on February 13, US State Secretary Rex Tillerson rejected claims that the US lacks support in Syria. The diplomat epmhasized that Washington controls a large part of the country’s oil fields and area and this allows it to influence the situation.

“The United States and the coalition forces that are working with us to defeat [ISIS] today control 30% of the Syrian territory, and control a large amount of population, and control a large amount of Syria’s oil fields,” Tillerson told media. “This observation that the US has little leverage or role to play is simply false.”

Tillerson added that the US is “very active” in the so-called Geneva format “both in terms of working with the opposition voices to unify them and have them working toward an objective, and we’re working very closely with Russia, who has the greatest influence on the Assad regime and can bring Assad and the regime to the negotiating table in Geneva.”

He further added that Washington cooperates with “a large group of partners” that “see things the same way we [Washington] do in terms of a unified Syria, a democratic Syria, with the Syrian people deciding their own future through a new constitution and election. We have enormous support from our approach in terms of seeking a future for Syria.”



What US News Reports on Syria’s War Hide

What US News Reports on Syria’s War Hide

EDITOR’S CHOICE | 11.02.2018


What’s being hidden from the public by the U.S. news-media’s reports on Syria’s war is that, ever since 2012, the U.S. Government has been trying to overthrow Syria’s Government by supporting, training and arming, in Syria, the many jihadist groups who were being led by Al Qaeda in Syria — jihadist groups which unanimously accept Al Qaeda’s leadership there. Without Al Qaeda in Syria, the U.S. effort to overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad (who was elected in 2014 to a new Presidential term in an internationally monitored democratic election, winning 89% of the vote) wouldn’t have come anywhere close to succeeding; but, with Al Qaeda’s help, it almost did succeed. America, even as late as late 2016, was demanding Russia to stop its bombing of Al Qaeda and of their allied jihadist groups in Syria, but Russia refused; this was a major hang-up in the years-long Kerry-Lavrov (U.S.-Russia) negotiations for a ceasefire in Syria. Kerry couldn’t get President Obama to go along with Russia’s (Putin’s) insistence upon continued bombing both of ISIS and of Al Qaeda; Obama insisted: No bombing of Al Qaeda.

More recently, after the effort to overthrow Syria’s Government failed during 2016, the U.S. goal (since nearly the very end of Obama’s Administration) has become assisting Kurds in Syria’s northeast who want to establish there a Kurdistan, which would be beholden to Washington and would cooperate with U.S. oil companies and their contractors such as Halliburton to extract Syria’s oil and to construct pipelines for both oil and gas from mainly three U.S. allies — Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Qatar — into the world’s largest energy-market, the EU, to enable the U.S. and those fundamentalist-Sunni allies to displace Russia from that market, where Russia currently is the largest energy-supplier.

This hiding, which is done in order to block the public’s understanding of what’s going on, is well-exemplified in the slick February 9th front-page New York Times headline news-report, titled “It’s Hard to Believe, but Syria’s War Is Getting Even Worse,” which is headlined online as instead “Far From Winding Down, Syria’s War Escalates on Multiple Fronts”. This half-fictional potboiler opens like any war-potbiler generally does, not by explaining anything, but instead with the typical slick-journalism device, of an anecdote (the bloodier and more-obviously outrageous, the better, in order to whip-up the interest and attention of the gullible mass of readers), “Half a dozen newborns, blinking and arching their backs, were carried from a burning hospital hit by airstrikes. A bombed apartment house collapsed, burying families.” Anyone will, of course, have sympathy for babies, and their families, in a hospital that gets hit by a bomb in a war. Everything that follows this slick opening is designed to anger readers against Syria’s Government — that being the propagandistic objective of virtually all U.S. ‘news’-coverage of this war.

The article leaves the reader totally confused as to why what is happening is happening. But it’s accompanied by yet another article, “Why Is the Syrian War Still Raging?” That piece says, “Each of the major conflicts has its own underlying logic that sustains the fighting” and then it goes on to consider, in turn, what it identifies as “the major conflicts,” which it alleges to be the following three (as being answers to consider, for the article’s title-question, “Why Is the Syrian War Still Raging?” — which means why the war is still raging, even after ISIS in Syria has been defeated and when the task that everyone had been expecting to remain now would be to kill the few ISIS and the other jihadists who still are there, and then to restore the country fully to peace without any jihadists):

“1. Assad versus rebels”

“2. The battle against ISIS”

“3. Turkey versus the Kurds”

They ignore altogether the actual reason “Why Is the Syrian War Still Raging?”:

“4. U.S. versus Syria”

That’s what the Times leaves out — hides.

The U.S. went into Syria lying to say that its main goal was to eliminate ISIS there, but didn’t do anything to ISIS in Syria, until after Russia was invited into the war on 30 September 2015 and promptly started to bomb the oil-tanker-trucks that were carrying Syrian oil from ISIS-controlled areas into Turkey for export and income to ISIS (and Turkey). America had been committed ever since 2012 to overthrow Syria’s Government, but now (under Trump) it’s trying to break up Syria and to steal its oil and at least enough of its territory, so as to destroy Syria even further, and to cripple Russia in its main foreign market.

However, this isn’t a criticism of the New York Times especially, but of all ‘news’reporting in the U.S. and its allied countries. For example, the BBC did a one-year retrospective on the first anniversary of Russia’s 30 September 2015 start of its bombing of what the U.S. regime calls ‘the rebels’ in Syria, and, under the headline “Syria war: How Moscow’s bombing campaign has paid off for Putin” quoted a supposed reliable authority as saying, “Moscow had sought to steadily destroy the moderate Syrian opposition on the battlefield, leaving only jihadist forces in play, and lock the US into a political framework of negotiations that would serve beyond the shelf-life of this administration.” This is basically upside-down: The myth that there had been any substantial non-jihadist or “moderate” Syrian opposition, and that Washington’s operation in Syria relies upon such “moderates,” is an essential lie, in which all of the mainstream, and well over 90% of the “alternative news” media, must participate, if they’re to be allowed to continue. Billionaires have lots of clout. There’s talk about “manufactured consent,” and this is the way it is “manufactured.” It is manufactured by incessant lying, not only by the Government, but by the press.

A good rule is to distrust everything you read, and to click onto at least a sampling  of its sources and examine them yourself to see whether they support the allegations that they allegedly support; and to evaluate whether those sources are themselves trustworthy — and to ignore any ‘news’medium that doesn’t link to its sources (doesn’t conveniently let you check out its truth or falsehood), which includes especially TV, radio, and print media. Only online news can even qualify to be considered by an intelligent reader; but if it’s online print, like for example the New York Times, then it can be taken only on trust, which certainly isn’t earned by any record of carefulness to report the truth and only the truth. This is why I always link to my sources, either directly, or via articles that do link directly to them but that additionally place them into their essential context so that they can be accurately understood.

No news-report can be any more reliable than its sources are. Most ‘news’ is sourced to propagandists. The key thing for any educational system is to teach people how to be intelligently skeptical of everything; but no regime wants such an educational system. Honest news-coverage is therefore rare. Any assumption that it’s not rare is blatantly false.

As George Monbiot, the Guardian columnist, said in an extraordinary burst of honesty:

“I work in a profoundly corrupt industry, and I hate it. … There are some really great journalists out there, but they live in a country under occupation — that’s how it feels. The industry is a really hostile place for good journalism, for journalism which seeks to hold power to account, which in my view is what journalism is all about — that’s the point of it. .. [But the reality of journalism is] it’s about actually reinforcing the messages of power … persuading people that what the billionaires want is what the rest of us should want”

The Debate – U.S. Middle East Policies

America: A Military Nation


Written by Jacob G. Hornberger


Americans like to think of their country as different from those run by military regimes. They are only fooling themselves. Ever since the federal government was converted into a national-security state after World War II (without a constitutional amendment authorizing the conversion), it has been the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA that have run the government, just like in countries governed by military dictatorships.

Oh sure, the façade is maintained — the façade that is ingrained in all of us in civics or government classes in high school and college: that the federal government is composed of three co-equal, independent branches that are in charge of the government.

But just a façade. It’s fake. It’s a lie.

It’s true that the federal government used to consist of three branches. But that quaint notion disintegrated when the federal government was converted to what is known as a “national-security state” after World War II. Even though it was done without a constitutional amendment, that conversion effectively added a fourth branch of government to the federal government — the national-security branch, which consists of the NSA, the CIA, and the Pentagon.

The addition of that fourth branch fundamentally altered the original three-branch concept, especially because the fourth branch quickly became the most powerful branch. The reason is because ultimately government is force, and the fourth branch is where the most force was concentrated within the new, altered governmental structure.

As law professor Michael Glennon has pointed out in his book National Security and Double Government, the result is a federal government in which the military, the CIA, and the NSA are in charge. They are the ones actually calling the shots. But they permit the other three branches to maintain the façade that they are in charge, including periodically going along with decisions in the other three branches to keep Americans thinking that everything is the same as it always has been.

Consider the Pentagon’s and the CIA’s torture center, prison, and kangaroo tribunal system at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. They set that up with the aim of establishing a place to hold people and do whatever they wanted to them, without any judicial interference. Guantanamo was a dream-come-true for the military and the CIA. Like most conservatives, they had long lamented those “constitutional technicalities” that let people go free. If only America stopped coddling criminals, we could finally establish order and stability in our land. Guantanamo was going to be their showcase, their model for the United States and the world for dealing with criminals.

That model, as we now know, entailed kidnappings, bounties, torture, indefinite detention, no criminal defense attorneys, denial of speedy trial, kangaroo military tribunals, use of hearsay evidence, use of evidence acquired through torture, denial of due process of law, and other violations of long-established criminal-justice procedures that stretch back to Magna Carta in 1215.

Contrary to what the Pentagon and the CIA and their acolytes within the mainstream press have long maintained, terrorism is a criminal offense, not an act of war. If you don’t believe me, go look up the US Code. That’s where all federal crimes are listed. You’ll see that terrorism is in fact a federal criminal offense.

Alternatively, go into any federal courtroom in the land where a federal criminal prosecution for terrorism is being held. Ask the judge why he’s holding such a trial. He will tell you that it’s because terrorism is a federal criminal offense.

The Pentagon-CIA torture-prison-tribunal center in Cuba didn’t change that fact. It simply meant that the CIA and the Pentagon were now getting into the law-enforcement business, which would enable them to punish people they were certain were guilty of terrorism.

Now, let’s turn to President Obama, the president who vowed to shut down this Pentagon-CIA model torture-prison-military tribunal facility. He made that vow at the very start of his presidency, if not before.

Obama was a two-term president. That meant 8 years in office. When Obama left office, he still had not fulfilled his vow. The Pentagon-CIA torture, indefinite detention, and kangaroo center at Guantanamo was still open. It still is.

The reaction of Obama supporters and the mainstream press? “Oh, poor President Obama. He meant well. He really wanted to shut down Guantanamo. He just wasn’t able to pull it off before his 8-year term ended.”


Hey, this guy was commander-in-chief. No, not of the American people but of the federal government’s military and para-military forces. That means that he is supposedly the head honcho. As such, he gives the orders to everyone below him. In a military structure, the superior officer gives the orders and the subordinate officers obey and carry out the orders.

That means that all that President Obama, as commander in chief, had to do was issue an order to his military subordinates: “Close it down. Now!”

But that’s not what happened. The Pentagon and the CIA obviously would not let Obama issue that order. And he understood that if he did, it was a virtual certainty that they wouldn’t have obeyed it.

Then what?

Some Obama supporters say it was all Congress’s fault because Congress passed a law that forbade the president from bringing any Gitmo prisoners to the continental United States.

But Obama is president. He could have vetoed that law. And even if the veto was overridden, he didn’t have to bring any prisoners to the United States. As commander-in-chief of the military and the CIA, he could have simply said, “Close it down and release them all.”

After all, that’s how our regular constitutional system — the one whose principles the CIA and the Pentagon rejected — works. Government officials have to charge a person with a crime and try him within a reasonable period of time or they are required to release him.

The real question is: Why was Congress so intent on keeping Gitmo open, over the president’s objections? After all, keeping a US kidnapping-detention-torture-kangaroo tribunal center in place in a foreign country, over the president’s vehement objections, is not the type of thing that we would ordinarily expect from the elected representatives of the American people.

There is only one explanation that makes sense: That the national-security establishment told Congress that it wanted Gitmo to be kept open. We know that the CIA has assets in the mainstream press. We know they have assets in state and local governments, including police departments. It would stand to reason they would have assets in Congress, ones that they can call upon whenever necessary to protect the interests of the Pentagon, CIA, and NSA.

And there is also the matter of military bases, programs, and projects in the district of every member of Congress. Congressmen knew what would happen to them if they bucked the Pentagon and the CIA on Guantanamo. All that the Pentagon would have to do is announce a closure of major military bases or other facilities in that Congressman’s district. Immediately, the press would denounce him as an “ineffective congressman,” one who was incapable of bringing home the political bacon to his district.

What about the Supreme Court? Early on, they rejected the Pentagon’s arguments that they had no jurisdiction over Guantanamo. The Court held it did and said that the federal courts would entertain habeas corpus cases brought by Gitmo prisoners. The Pentagon acceded to the ruling but it was all part of the façade.

After all, given that there is no constitutional authorization for the federal government to have a bifurcated judicial system — one run by the federal courts and the other run by the military — the Court should have ordered an immediate closure of the facility and a termination of the kangaroo judicial system that the Pentagon and the CIA established.

Instead, unwilling to cross any red lines when it came to the national-security branch of the government, the Supreme Court has left Gitmo standing. That’s why dozens of prisoners have been held there for more than 10 years without trial and without the hope of a trial, much less a fair one.

Look the people who surround President Trump: US “Defense” Secretary: A general. National Security Council advisor: A general. Trump’s chief of staff: a general.

Think about those flyovers and all other glorification of the military and US sporting events and in US airports and churches and most everywhere else. Think about how so many Americans profusely thank the troops for protecting our rights and freedoms by killing people abroad who aren’t threatening our rights and freedoms. Think about how Trump wants to have “patriotic” military parades, which would undoubtedly feature the latest missiles, rifles, tanks, and planes.

Remember President Trump before the election? He was criticizing the Pentagon’s forever wars in Afghanistan and the Middle East. He was criticizing NATO and the UN. He was fighting a political war against the CIA. He was all for making friends with Russia.

Today? Trump is expanding the Pentagon’s forever wars. He let the CIA continue its decades-long secrets in the JFK assassination. He’s extolling NATO. And he’s imposing sanctions on Russia. Trump has been absorbed into the national-security establishment blob.

Consider Egypt or, for that matter, Chile under Pinochet. In Egypt, the military-intelligence establishment runs the government. Same for Chile under Pinochet. America’s system is not much different, at least not in principle. The only difference is that in Egypt, the military-intelligence role is overt, just like it was in Chile. Here in the United States, the role is more disguised, with the legislative, executive, and judicial branches being permitted to have a fig leaf of ostensible control.

Welcome to America, one of the world’s premier military nations.

Reprinted with permission from the Future of Freedom Foundation.

Trump’s Iran War Push is a Replay of Bush’s Iraq War Push

Lawrence Wilkerson: Trump’s Iran War Push Is a Replay of Bush’s Iraq War Push


The Trump administration “is using much the same playbook to create a false choice that war is the only way to address the challenges presented by Iran” as the George W. Bush administration used to gain support for the Iraq War. College of William & Mary Professor Lawrence Wilkerson presents this argument, along with abundant supporting evidence, in a Monday New York Times editorial.

Wilkerson should know. In the lead-up to the Iraq War, Wilkerson was chief of staff for United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, whose United Nations presentation regarding Iraq Wilkerson, at the beginning of the editorial, credits with boosting support among Americans for a war against Iraq.

Wilkerson, who is a Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Academic Board member, has frequently disparaged that effort to build up support for the Iraq War. Indeed, in the editorial he laments that “[t]hat effort led to a war of choice with Iraq – one that resulted in catastrophic losses for the region and the United States-led coalition, and that destabilized the entire Middle East.”

The consequences of a war with Iran would also be dire. Addressing some of those consequences in his editorial, Wilkerson predicts that “this war with Iran – a country of almost 80 million people, whose vast strategic depth and difficult terrain makes it a far greater challenge than Iraq – would be 10 to 15 times worse than the Iraq war in terms of casualties and costs.”

Read Wilkerson’s editorial here.

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

Trump Administration Planning Pinochet-type Coup in Venezuela

Trump Administration Planning Pinochet-type Coup in Venezuela


Trump Administration Planning Pinochet-type Coup in Venezuela

The retrograde Donald Trump administration is planning a military coup in Venezuela to oust the socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, speaking at the University of Texas prior to embarking on a multi-nation tour throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, said the military in Latin America has often intervened in Latin American politics during times of serious crises.

Tillerson’s remarks conjured up scenes from America’s dark past in Latin America. To make matters worse, Tillerson invoked the imperialistic Monroe Doctrine of 1823, stressing that it is as “relevant today as it was the day it was written.” The Monroe Doctrine, throughout American history, has been used by the United States to justify military interventions in Latin America, often with the aim of establishing “banana republics” subservient to Washington’s whims.

According to a BBC report, Tillerson prefaced his augmented his remarks by stating that he was “not advocating regime change and that he had no intelligence on any planned action.” Richard Nixon’s National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger made similar remarks before the bloody September 11, 1973 Central Intelligence Agency-backed coup against Chile’s Socialist President Salvador Allende. While publicly rejecting any U.S. involvement in the destabilization of Chile’s democratically-elected government, Kissinger was working behind the scenes with Chile’s armed forces to overthrow and assassinate Allende. Eleven days after the Chilean coup, Kissinger was rewarded by Nixon by being named Secretary of State, along with keeping his National Security Adviser portfolio.

Ever since Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chavez, came to power in 1999, the CIA has attempted at least one military coup — a putsch that was quickly reversed – in 2002, several “color revolution”-style street protests and disruptions, economic warfare, and CIA-initiated general strikes to force both Chavez and Maduro from power.

Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon-Mobil, has long eyed unfettered U.S. control over Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA). Tillerson’s Latin American itinerary betrays his plans for Venezuela. Tillerson will travel to Mexico, a nation that has a troubled relationship with the United States over Trump’s racially-tinged rhetoric. Tillerson and Trump’s National Security Adviser General H. R. McMaster have charged Russia, without an iota of proof, with interfering in Mexico’s current presidential election campaign. Leftist MORENA party candidate, front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, or “AMLO,” has had to fend off false charges that he has accepted financing from Russian interests. Right-wing candidate Jose Antonio Meade, Washington’s favorite, has charged that AMLO is backed by Russia. AMLO, calling the charges from Meade — who is running on the ticket of the narco-corrupted Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) – ridiculous, often jokingly wears a jacket bearing the name “Andres Manuelovich.”

Besides Mexico, Tillerson is also visiting Argentina, Peru, Colombia, and Jamaica. Tillerson’s stops belie his actual intentions. Argentina, governed by Mauricio Macri, a real estate developer crony of Trump, and Peru, whose scandal-ridden president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has praised Trump, have led anti-Venezuela actions within the Organization of American States and other international institutions. Colombia has served as a base for CIA-backed paramilitary and intelligence operations against Venezuela. Due to U.S.-led sanctions against Venezuela, Colombia is now home to thousands of Venezuelan economic refugees, fertile ground from which to recruit foot soldiers in a coup against Maduro. All of Tillerson’s stops in Latin America – with the exception of Jamaica — are in countries that are members of the Lima Group, a bloc of nations seeking to peacefully ease Maduro from power in Venezuela.

Tillerson’s stopover in Jamaica is obviously designed to pry away from Venezuela’s orbit, several Caribbean Community (CARICOM) island states that have benefitted from inexpensive oil deliveries from Venezuela. According to the BBC, Tillerson even joked in Texas about Maduro’s ultimate fate: “If the kitchen gets a little too hot for him [Maduro], I am sure that he’s got some friends over in Cuba that could give him a nice hacienda on the beach.” For Venezuelans who support their government, Tillerson’s “joke” was a reminder that Chavez, after temporarily being ousted in the April 2002 coup, was held captive at the Antonio Diaz Naval Air Station on the Venezuelan island of La Orchila. Had the coup not failed, it is believed the United States was going to fly Chavez into exile, possibly to Cuba via the U.S. Naval Station and detainee gulag in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Tillerson, who is apparently still carrying the water for Exxon-Mobil, is reprising the role played by Harold Geneen, the president of International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT). Geneen, working with the CIA, provided $1 million to Allende’s opponent in the 1970 presidential election, Jorge Alessandri. ITT was also discovered to have financially supported the 1973 coup plotters in Chile. In 1964, Geneen and ITT worked with the CIA to overthrow the democratically-elected Brazilian government of Joao Goulart. Today, it is Exxon-Mobil and its plant inside the Trump administration – Tillerson – who are working overtime to play the roles of ITT and Geneen in attempting to overthrow Maduro in Venezuela; imprison on trumped up charges, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, the former and possible future presidents of Brazil and Argentina, respectively; and return U.S. “gunboat diplomacy” to the Western hemisphere.

In a news conference in Mexico City, Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray rejected Tillerson’s notion of a military coup in Venezuela to oust the Maduro government. Present at the news conference was Canadian External Affair Minister Chrystia Freeland, an outspoken enemy of Venezuela and Russia.

Tillerson has a visceral hatred for Venezuela that transcends Maduro and Chavez. In 1976, a year after Tillerson began working for Exxon, Venezuelan President Carlos Andres Perez nationalized Venezuela’s oil industry. Among the assets nationalized were Exxon’s holdings in the country. Chavez re-nationalized Exxon-Mobil’s assets in 2007, during Tillerson’s reign over the firm. Exxon-Mobil and Tillerson battled Venezuela over compensation by Caracas. Exxon-Mobil took its case to World Bank arbitration and demanded that Venezuela compensate the company with a $15 billion payment. The bank settled on compensation of only $1.6 billion, an act that ruffled Tillerson’s feathers. Tillerson never forgot that Venezuela won the skirmish over compensation for Exxon-Mobil. Tillerson now intends to even the score by seeking to overthrow Chavez’s successor, Maduro, from power.

In 2015, Exxon-Mobil began oil operations off the coast of Guyana, to Venezuela’s east, in the disputed territory of Essequibo. Although Venezuela and Guyana have sought international arbitration in the case, that did not stop Tillerson, while heading Exxon-Mobil, to order his Guyana subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd., to continue exploring in the disputed region. For Tillerson and his boss, Trump, legal agreements are apparently not worth the paper they are printed on.

While in Jamaica, Tillerson is expected to lean on Prime Minister Andrew Holness to buy out Venezuela’s 49 percent stake in the Jamaican oil refining company, Petrojam. Tillerson wants to subject Caribbean nations, which established cooperative agreements with the Venezuelan oil industry through the PetroCaribe alliance, to cancel those deals to comply with Trump’s punishing Executive Order 13808, which extended “Russia-style” sanctions to Venezuela. Tillerson would like nothing more than to increase Exxon-Mobil’s profits by nixing PetroCaribe agreements with nations like Haiti, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Guyana, Belize, Honduras, Bahamas, Suriname, St. Kitts-Nevis, and St. Lucia, thus forcing Caribbean nations to purchase more expensive oil and gasoline from Exxon-Mobil.

Tillerson has shown the ugly face of the Trump administration to Latin America. It not only wants to deport millions of undocumented Latin American residents of the United States in a mass movement of displaced persons not seen since World War II, but it wants to change, through bloody coups, governments not to Trump’s pleasing throughout Latin America.

«إسرائيل» تقترب من قرار حرب… ولبنان يتفوّق على نفسه

’Israel’ Fears Hezbollah Infiltration into Northern Settlements

«إسرائيل» تقترب من قرار حرب… ولبنان يتفوّق على نفسه

فبراير 2, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– وصل «الإسرائيليون» بعد نقاشات هي الأطول والأعمق في تاريخهم، استهلكت العام 2017 بأيامه ولياليه وشارك فيها المئات من العقول الاستراتيجية والعسكرية والأمنية والدبلوماسية والإعلامية، إلى يقين قاطع أن حرباً تستردّ قدرة الردع المفقودة وتنتهي بنصر حاسم باتت أمراً مستحيلاً، وفوق قدرة «إسرائيل»، لكنهم وصلوا إلى استنتاج موازٍ قوامه أن البقاء من دون حرب يعني ذوباناً سريعاً لما تبقى من قدرات الردع «الإسرائيلية»، وتقريب ساعة التهديد الوجودي للكيان، ووصلوا بالإثنتين إلى خلاصة مفادها، أنهم يحتاجون حرباً ليس عنوانها ترميم قدرة الردع، ولا تبغي نصراً حاسماً، فالحرب التي يجب البحث عن عناوينها واهدافها وسيناريوهاتها، هي حرب وقف التدهور، حرب تجميد الضعف، حرب منع معادلة قوة تكون فيها لمحور المقاومة اليد العليا في المنطقة، وليس مطلوباً أن تكون اليد العليا لـ»إسرائيل»، فيكفي بلوغ توازن رعب متبادل يحكمه سقف دولي للامتناع عن التفكير بخيار الحرب من الطرفين.

– ينظر «الإسرائيليون» نحو سورية والمسار الذي تسلكه أحداثها فيرون الرئيس السوري وجيشه يسيطران على كامل الجغرافيا السورية خلال شهور مقبلة، سقفها نهاية العقد الثاني من هذا القرن، وينظرون نحو إيران فيرونها تتثبت من بقاء التفاهم حول ملفها النووي وتنهي تطوير برنامجها الصاروخي، وتتوسّع في المنطقة، وتفرض شراكتها في التسويات تباعاً في لبنان سورية والعراق واليمن، وحضورها في فلسطين إلى ازدياد مع طريق مسدود للتسويات، قبل قرار تثبيت القدس عاصمة لـ«إسرائيل»، حيث لا قدرة لدى أي حكومة «إسرائيلية» على التقدم بمشروع تسوية يلاقيه قبول فلسطيني ويمنحه الشرعية، وبالمقابل حزب الله يزداد تسليحاً وخبرة وعديداً وحلفاء، ومخاطر امتلاك ومراكمة المزيد من السلاح النوعي، وربما مصانع السلاح الصاروخي الشديد الدقة، وينظرون نحو لبنان والعراق فيرون انتخابات مقبلة ستكرّس سيطرة محور المقاومة وتتوّج انتصاراته العسكرية سياسياً، حتى بدا أن عام 2020 هو سقف بداية التدهور التدريجي في مكانة «إسرائيل»، وبدء العد التنازلي لذوبان قدرتها على الصمود، فيقرّرون أن لا بد من المبادرة ووقف التفرج والامتناع عن ضياع الوقت والانتظار.

– ينظر «الإسرائيليون» فيرون كل حرب بخلفية السعي لترميم قدرة الدرع والبحث عن نصر حاسم فيرون أمامهم طوفان الصواريخ على كامل جغرافيتهم، ويرون حلفاً يبدأ من جنوب لبنان ويمتد للعراق وسورية واليمن ولا تلبث إيران أن تصير شريكاً فيه، ويرون تساقط طائراتهم من الأجواء، كما تساقط الصواريخ على رؤوسهم، ويرون قدرتهم على إحداث الدمار والموت، لكن مقابلها تهديد وجودهم، ولا يعلمون حجم الاختراق البري الذي عليهم توقّع حدوثه، ولا حجم النهوض الفلسطيني المسلح الذي سيصير في ظل الحرب المقبلة مجرد وحدات كوماندوس في الجبهة الداخلية، فيقرّرون أن لا حاجة لمجازفة الحرب والتفكير بمعادلة ردع قد انتهى زمانها، ونصر حاسم لم يعد ممكناً.

– ينظر «الإسرائيليون» فيرون حولهم، فرصة ذهبية يقدّمها وجود روسي وأميركي مكثف في المنطقة، تمنع إذا أحسن استخدامها وتوظيفها توسّع نطاق أي مواجهة وتشكّل سقفاً سريعاً لمنع الاشتعال الكبير. ويرون نظاماً سعودياً مسكوناً بهواجس جنون ورعب فيوظفونها لتحويله إحدى أدوات سياستهم تحت عنوان العداء المشترك لإيران. ويرون إدارة أميركية ضعيفة ومهجوسة بالخوف من السقوط فيبتزونها بالقدرة على التعويم. ويرون ملف النفط والغاز اللبناني يشرعن قدرة ردع لبنانية معاكسة للمصالح «الإسرائيلية»، يقدم المدخل لاختبار قوة تحت السيطرة يحتاجه «الإسرائيليون»، اختبار بحجم نصف حرب، يمكن وقفها بقرار أممي يكرّس جدران حماية لـ«إسرائيل»، ويفتح باب التفاوض حول هواجسها ومطالبها كلها، من السلاح الصاروخي الإيراني ومصانعه التي يكثر «الإسرائيليون» الحديث عنها، إلى انتشار حزب الله في سورية وسعي «إسرائيل» لربط كل حل فيها بشراكة تضمن لها أمنها.

– يربط «الإسرائيليون» تسويات المنطقة بتسوية عنوانها القدس عاصمة لـ«إسرائيل» عبر قرار استصدروه بالشراكة مع السعودية غبّ الطب من الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب، ويربطون التصديق على الملف النووي الإيراني أميركياً وأوروبياً بوضع الملف الصاروخي الإيراني على الطاولة من بوابة حضور هذا السلاح في لبنان وسورية واليمن، ويربطون تسوية يصدّق عليها الغرب والعرب في سورية، بأمنهم فيها، ويربطون بها بقاء القوات الأميركية في سورية كما قالت الاستراتيجية الأميركية الجديدة ومعها وثيقة واشنطن ولندن وباريس والرياض وعمان حول الحل في سورية، والمطلوب حرب صغيرة تبقى تحت السيطرة لأيام أو ربما ساعات، تعقبها مبادرات لعقد طاولة التفاوض المتعددة الأطراف والملفات، قبل أن ينزلق النفط اللبناني نحو التلزيم، أو قبل أن تتكرّس معادلات الانتخابات في لبنان والعراق بنتائجها المتوقعة، وبالتأكيد قبل أن تكتمل مسارات الحسم العسكري والحل السياسي في سورية.

– فكر «الإسرائيليون» كثيراً وبدأوا يقتربون من القرار أخيراً، وكانت لحظة الاشتباك اللبناني الداخلي أولى لحظات الاختبار المناسبة، فجاء الرد اللبناني أول تعبير عن الأهلية والجهوزية، فكسب لبنان جولة والباقي جولات، تفوّق لبنان على نفسه، والمطلوب الآن التفكير بكيف يتفوق على «الإسرائيلي»، بتفادي الحرب أم بالإقدام نحوها، أم ببعض من إقدام وبعض من حذر؟

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