ELIJAH J. MAGNIER: “IRAN UPSTAGES THE US IN IRAQ”

South Front

Written by Elijah J. Magnier – @ejmalrai; Originally appeared at his blog

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is visiting Iraq for three days, leading a large political and business delegation to deepen the relationship between the two countries. Rouhani met with the Iraqi President, Prime Minister, and Speaker of Parliament. The Iranian President visited Karbalaa this afternoon, is spending the night in Najaf and will be visiting on Wednesday the highest religious authority (Marjaiya) in the city the Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali al-Sistani, Sayyed Mohamad Saeed al-Hakeem, Sheikh Ishaq al-Fayyad and Sheikh Bashir al-Najafi. Rouhani’s public visit contrasts starkly with Trump’s recent covert visit to Iraq. Moreover, the projected economic and commercial cooperation between Iraq and Iran will not only mitigate US unilateral sanctions but will likely contribute to their failure. The bottom line question now arises: will Trump accept his loss to Iran or will he choose to lose Iraq as well by imposing sanctions on Mesopotamia?

Elijah J. Magnier: "Iran upstages the US in Iraq"

During the last week of 2018, President Trump’s plane turned off its lights to land safely in the US part of Ayn al-Assad base in Anbar province. Trump’s visit was kept secret and the Iraqi Prime Minister was informed on the same morning. Trump refused to land on the Iraqi side of the same base (Iraq and the US share the same military base with US forces holding full sovereignty over their area). For this reason, Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi, the Speaker Mohamad al-Halbousi and the President Barham Saleh refused to meet Trump, who stuck to his schedule and landed at night.

Trump concluded his visit in three hours and left under darkness of the night. He is reported to have murmured that it was not right that, for security reasons, the US president was forced to visit in secrecy in the middle of the night a country where the US has invested hundreds of billions of dollars in its stability.

On the other hand, Rouhani informed the Iraqi presidency of his visit a week in advance; the visit was publicly announced at the same time. Iraqi officials coordinated the schedule of the Iranian President’s trip with their Iranian counterparts. Rouhani is due to remain in Iraq for three days to conclude important economic-commercial deals, raising the level of commerce between the two countries to 20 billion dollars.

Elijah J. Magnier: "Iran upstages the US in Iraq"

The conclusion:

  1. Iran has prevailed over the US because the Iraqi officials have rejected any unilateral sanctions on Iran, insisting on commercial exchange, including energy supply and selling.
  2. Major General Qassem Soleimani achieved Iran’s goal of developing a friendly relationship with Iraq, where officials are ready to suspend relations with the US if Trump insists on imposing sanctions on any country dealing with Tehran. This achievement (and others) earned Soleimani Iran’s most prestigious medal of honour, “the order of Zulfiqar” awarded by Sayed Ali Khamenei. Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif was the first to congratulate Soleimani, describing him as “the man who made the Middle East a safer place”. It is Soleimani’s second medal; the first was “the order of Fath” received in 1989 from the same Khamenei.
  3. Iran will sell electricity to Iraq and will use dollars and the local currency in its exchange. The Islamic Republic has found new ways to counter the US sanctions by building industry infrastructure and railways, and by establishing large commercial exchanges with Iraq. This will bring more dollars to Iran and will, simultaneously, help the country rely less on US dollars by doing business in the local currency.

Trump’s foreign policy and sanctions around the world are forcing countries to find alternatives to the US monetary system and trade. Although so far with little impact, Europe is introducing a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to support trade with Iran as an alternative to the US Swift global financial messaging service. China, Russia, India and many other countries dealing with Iran have agreed to carry on their exchanges mainly but not exclusively in local currency to bypass US sanctions.

Iraq today is divided between a large faction of politicians calling for the total withdrawal of US forces from the country, and another which wants to maintain a reduced US force in charge of training and intelligence exchange. Both factions want to see most US forces leave the country, and can likely reach an agreement on accepting a small specialised force on the ground. The Iraqi government would like to strike a balance and maintain both a fair relationship with the US and excellent ties with Iran.

Trump has two choices. He could choose to cut his relationship with Iraq, which would amount to shooting himself in the foot. The presence of US forces in Iraq is essential to US objectives and hegemony in the Middle East. Moreover, it is unclear for how long US forces will be able to occupy Syria. The alternative would be for Trump to accept the fact that his sanctions against Iran will fail as Iranian-Iraqi energy and commercial deals develop. In this case, the US President would be accepting the failure of his sanctions and his plan to change the Iranian regime “in a few months”.

Whatever he decides, Trump has lost: the US establishment failed in its attempt to damage Iran and either change its ruling system or bring the country to its knees. All Trump has accomplished is to put stress on the Iranian economy, bringing hardship to the population while forcing local officials to find new solutions, with the help of Iraq’s new leadership. The US failure to impose its proxies as rulers of Iraq helped Soleimani win his medal of honour.

Proof-read byC.B.

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The Military Industrial State Confronts Russia and China

The Military Industrial State Confronts Russia and China

The Military Industrial State Confronts Russia and China

The swaggering arrogance of Washington’s Military-Industrial Complex never ceases to intrigue the rest of the world, much of which shrugs collective shoulders but has to acknowledge that the swaggering reflects the US National Defence Strategy which informs us that the military is going to concentrate on confronting Russia and China.

One of the loudest voices in the confrontation chorus is that of the Commander of US Naval Forces in Europe, Admiral James Foggo III, who knows that the noisier he is, the more money will be allocated by government to acquire more and more ships. And he is very good at being noisy. In 2016 he wrote a particularly bellicose piece for the US Naval Institute, titled ‘The Fourth Battle of the Atlantic’ in which he castigated Russia for not acknowledging that the United States is supreme. He declared that “the new Russian national security-strategy depicts the United States and NATO as threats to Russian security and accuses us of applying ‘political, economic, military, and information-related pressure’ on Russia.”

He is absolutely right about the US-NATO threat, because it has been growing for almost twenty years. As I’ve written before, after the Warsaw Pact disbanded in March 1991, NATO, although deprived of any reason to continue in existence, managed to keep going, and in 1999 added Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary to its 16 members. As the BBC noted, these countries became “the first former Soviet bloc states to join Nato, taking the alliance’s borders some 400 miles towards Russia.”

With good reason Moscow wondered what on earth the US-NATO military cabal might be planning.

The New York Times recorded that the 1999 expansion was “opening a new path for the military alliance” and expressed delight that the ceremony took place in the town of Independence, Missouri, where “the emotional Secretary of State Madeleine K Albright watched the three foreign ministers sign the documents of accession, signed them herself, then held them aloft like victory trophies.” Ms Albright was born Marie Korbelová in Prague and “made no secret today of her joy as her homeland and the two other nations joined the alliance.” But neither she nor anyone else is on record as explaining what “new path” would be taken by NATO.

NATO continued to expand around Russia’s borders, inviting Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia to join in 2002, which they did two years later.

There is little wonder that Russia is apprehensive about NATO’s intentions, as the muscle-flexing coalition lurches ever more eagerly towards conflict.

Further, the US itself has hundreds of military bases, spread all round the world. As noted by Nick Turse “Officially, the Department of Defense maintains 4,775 “sites,” spread across all 50 states, eight US territories, and 45 foreign countries. A total of 514 of these outposts are located overseas, according to the Pentagon’s worldwide property portfolio… But the most recent version of that portfolio, issued in early 2018 and known as the Base Structure Report, doesn’t include any mention of al-Tanf [the US Special Forces base in Syria] or for that matter, any other base in Syria. Or Iraq. Or Afghanistan. Or Niger. Or Tunisia. Or Cameroon. Or Somalia. Or any number of locales where such military outposts are known to exist and even, unlike in Syria, to be expanding.”

Yet Admiral Foggo insists that “an enduring objective of Russian foreign policy today is to challenge NATO and elevate Russia on the European stage once again.” Well, certainly Russia wants to be on the European stage, and it must be pointed out that it’s closer to that stage than is the US. It wants to trade with Europe — as is appreciated by the main European powers, Germany and France — and would be crazy to take action that would work against this mutually beneficial cooperation.

Unfortunately, Poland and the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are verging on the paranoid about Russia’s supposed “threat” to them — but there has been no indication of any sort by Moscow that Russia has any intention of moving against them in any way. Trade with these countries is important, too, but this hasn’t stopped the paranoid quartet from indulging in a vastly expensive operation to “decouple power grids from Russia” in spite of the fact that “Russia, on which the Baltic states currently rely to balance their power flows, has never cut power or threatened to do so.”

This is all part and pattern of the anti-Russia obsession that is mounting in much of the West, and plays into the hands of such as Admiral Foggo who now, some three months after an incident in the Kerch Strait last November, announced it “irritates me to no end” that Russia detained and charged 24 Ukrainian sailors who were involved in the illegal passage of some Ukrainian vessels. Foggo’s fury lies in his belief that “They are uniformed Ukrainian sailors and officers and chiefs. They’re not criminals, and they are being charged under a criminal code.”

None of his pronouncements make sense, but on February 19 Foggo despatched the guided-missile destroyer Donald Cook to the Black Sea where it is to conduct “maritime security operations and enhance regional maritime stability, combined readiness and naval capability with our NATO allies and partners in the region.” The provocative sortie by the Donald Cook will achieve absolutely nothing other than the heightening of tension between the US and Russia, which, unfortunately, is the object of the exercise.

Which brings us to the other region where the US Navy fandangos for freedom, the South China Sea.

On that side of the world the US is represented militarily by Admiral Philip S Davidson, the Commander US Indo-Pacific Command, who doesn’t like China. On February 12 he warned the US Senate Armed Services Committee that China’s “first aircraft carrier group, centered around its refurbished Soviet-built carrier, reached initial operational capability in mid-2018” and its “first domestically-built aircraft carrier has completed four sets of sea trials since May 2018 and will likely join the PLA Navy fleet in 2019.” This is very interesting, but what he doesn’t say is that the United States has eleven fully operational carrier strike groups, one of which, headed by the carrier John C Stennis, as recorded by Stratfor, “is underway in the US 7th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region.” It is, as noted by the US Naval Institute “in the South China Sea” where it will contribute to tension by sailing through waters averred by China to be its own. Admiral Davidson announced that China was not abiding by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and naturally failed to note any amusing irony in the fact that the United States has not ratified the Convention. But in any event, in the eyes of Washington’s Military Industrial State, UN rules are valuable only when they coincide with US policy.

On January 7 the US Pacific Fleet announced that the USS McCampbell, a guided missile destroyer, had carried out a “freedom of navigation” operation, sailing within 12 nautical miles of China’s Paracel Islands “to challenge excessive maritime claims.” Then on February 11 they were at it again, with CNN reporting a 7th Fleet announcement that the guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance and USS Preble had sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Spratly Islands “to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by international law.”

Washington has woven a pattern of military confrontation, from the Baltic and the Kerch Strait to the South China Sea, that is intended to antagonise Russia and China. It may be claimed that provocational manoeuvres in the air, at sea and on land are undertaken with the aim of altering Chinese and Russian policies, but the only consequence of these juvenile jamborees is to heighten tension, increase distrust, and pave the way to war. That’s the path envisaged by the New York Times in 1999, and it’s being followed faithfully.

One can only hope that Trump might see the beckoning light of cooperation and prosperity rather than following the path of confrontation, but he seems to be at the mercy of the Military Industrial State. If so, there can only be grave trouble ahead.

How America’s Dictatorship Works

How America’s Dictatorship Works

ERIC ZUESSE | 16.02.2019 | WORLD / AMERICAS

How America’s Dictatorship Works

Trump could not have become America’s President if he had not won the “vote” of his nation’s second-largest political donor in 2016, casinos-owner Sheldon Adelson.

In publicly recorded donations, as of 25 December 2018, Adelson and his wife donated $82,522,800 to Republican candidates in 2016, and this amount doesn’t include any of the secret money. Of that sum, it’s virtually impossible to find out how much went specifically to Trump’s campaign for President, but, as of 9 May 2017, the Adelsons were publicly recorded as having donated $20.4 million to Trump’s campaign. Their impact on the Presidential contest was actually much bigger than that, however, because even the Adelsons’ non-Trump-campaign donations went to the Republican Party, and the rest went to Republican pro-Trump candidates, and the rest went to Republican PACS — and, so, a large percentage (if not all) of that approximately $60 million non-Trump-campaign political expenditure by the Adelsons was boosting Trump’s Presidential vote.

The second-largest Republican donor in 2016 was the hedge fund manager Paul Singer, at $26,114,653. It was less than a third, 31.6%, as large as the Adelsons’ contribution. Singer is the libertarian who proudly invests in weak entities that have been sucked dry by the aristocracy and who almost always extracts thereby, in the courts, far larger returns-on-investment than do other investors, who have simply settled to take a haircut on their failing high-interest-rate loans to that given weak entity. Singer hires the rest of his family to run his asset-stripping firm, which is named after his own middle name, “Elliott Advisors,” and he despises any wealthy person who won’t (like he does) fight tooth-and-nail to extract, from any weak entity, everything that can possibly be stripped from it. His Elliott Advisors is called a “vulture fund,” but that’s an insult to vultures, who instead eat corpses. They don’t actually attack and rip apart vulnerable struggling animals, like Singer’s operation does.

So, that’s the top two, on the Republican Party side.

On the Democratic Party side, the largest 2016 donor was the largest of all political donors in 2016, the hedge fund manager Thomas Steyer, $91,069,795. The second-largest was hedge fund manager Donald S. Sussman, $41,841,000. Both of them supported Hillary Clinton against Bernie Sanders, and then against Donald Trump.

As of 23 January 2019, the record shows that Trump received $46,873,083 in donations larger than $200, and $86,749,927 in donations smaller than $200. Plus, he got $144,764 in PAC contributions. Hillary Clinton received $300,111,643 in over-$200 donations, and $105,552,584 in under-$200 donations. Plus, she got $1,785,190 in PAC donations. She received 6.4 times as much in $200+ donations as Trump did. She received 1.2 times as much in under-$200 donations as he did. Clearly, billionaires strongly preferred Hillary. So, it’s understandable why not only America’s Democratic Party billionaires but also many of America’s Republican Party billionaires want President Trump to become replaced ASAP by his V.P., President Pence, who has a solid record of doing only whatever his big donors want him to do. For them, the wet dream would be a 2020 contest between Mike Pence or a clone, versus Hillary Clinton or a clone (such as Joe Biden or Beto O’Rourke). That would be their standard fixed game, America’s heads-I-win-tails-you-lose ‘democracy’.

On 18 January 2018 was reported that, “Trump pulled in $107 million in individual contributions, nearly doubling President Barack Obama’s 2009 record of $53 million.” However, in both of those cases, the figures which were being compared were actually donations to fund the inaugural festivities, not the actual campaigns. But Adelson led there, too: “Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson was [the] most generous [donor], giving $5 million to the inaugural committee.” The second-biggest donor to that was Hushang Ansary of Stewart & Stevenson, at $2 million. He had previously been the CEO of the National Iranian Oil Company until the CIA-appointed dictator, the brutal and widely hated Shah, was overthrown in 1979 and replaced by Iran’s now theocratically overseen limited democracy. The US aristocracy, whose CIA had overthrown Iran’s popular and democratically elected Prime Minister in 1953, installed the Shah to replace that elected head-of-state, and they then denationalized and privatized Iran’s oil company, so as to cut America’s aristocrats in on Iran’s oil. Basically, America’s aristocracy stole Iran in 1953, and Iranians grabbed their country back in 1979, and USbillionaires have been trying to get it back ever since. Ansary’s net worth is estimated at “over $2 billion,” and, “By the 1970s, the CIA considered Ansary to be one of seventeen members of ‘the Shah’s Inner Circle’ and he was one of the Shah’s top two choices to succeed Amir Abbas Hoveyda as Prime Minister.” But, that just happened to be the time when the Shah became replaced in an authentic revolution against America’s dictatorship. Iran’s revolution produced the country’s current partially democratic Government. So, this would-be US stooge Ansary fled to America, which had been Iran’s master during 1953-79, and he was welcomed with open arms by Amerca’s and allied aristocracies.

Other than the Adelsons, the chief proponents of regime-change in Iran since 1979 are the US-billionaires-controlled CIA, and ‘news’-media, and Government, and the Shah’s family, and the Saud family, and Israel’s apartheid regime headed by the Adelsons’ protégé in Israel, Netanyahu. America’s billionaires want Iran back, and the CIA represents them (the Deep State) — not the American public — precisely as it did in 1953, when the CIA seized Iran for America’s billionaires.

In the current election-cycle, 2018, the Adelsons have thus far invested $123,208,200, all in Republicans, and this tops the entire field. The second-largest political investor, for this cycle, is the former Republican Mayor of NYC, Michael Bloomberg, at $90,282,515, all to Democrats. Is he a Republican, or is he a Democrat? Does it actually make any difference? He is consistently a promoter of Wall Street. The third-largest donor now is Tom Steyer, at $70,743,864, all to Democrats. The fourth-largest is a Wisconsin libertarian-conservative billionaire, Richard Uihlein, at $39,756,996. Back on 19 March 2018, Politico reported that “Uihlein and his wife, Elizabeth, are currently the biggest Republican donors of the 2018 midterm elections, having given $21 million to candidates for federal office and super PACs that will support them. And that doesn’t include their funding of state candidates.” On 1 October 2016, International Business Times had listed the top ten donors to each of the two Parties, and the Uihleins at that time were #4 on the Republican side, at $21.5 million.

Of course, all of the top donors are among the 585 US billionaires, and therefore they can afford to spend lots on the Republican and/or Democratic nominees. Open Secrets reported on 31 March 2017 that “Of the world’s 100 richest billionaires, 36 are US citizens and thus eligible to donate to candidates and other political committees here. OpenSecrets Blog found that 30 of those [36] [or five sixths of the total 36 wealthiest Americans] actually did so, contributing a total of $184.4 million — with 58 percent [of their money] going to Republican efforts.” Democratic Party nominees thus got 42%; and, though it’s not as much as Republican ones get, it’s usually enough so that if a Democrat becomes elected, that person too will be controlled by billionaires.

For example, in the West Virginia Democratic Presidential primary in 2016, Bernie Sanders won all 55 counties in the state but that state’s delegation to the Democratic National Convention handed 19 of the state’s 37 votes at the Convention to his opponent, Hillary Clinton, who got more money from billionaires than all other US Presidential candidates combined. The millions of Democrats who voted for Hillary Clinton were voting for the billionaires’ favorite, and she and her DNC stole the Party’s nomination from Sanders, who was the nation’s most-preferred Presidential candidate in 2016; and, yet, most of those voters still happily voted, yet again, for her, in the general election — as if she hadn’t practically destroyed the Party by prostituting it to its billionaires even more than Obama had already done. Of course, she ran against Trump, and, for once, the billionaires were shocked to find that their enormous investment in a candidate had been for naught. That’s how incompetent she was. But they still kept control over both of the political Parties, and the Sanders choice to head the DNC (the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Party itself) lost out to the Obama-Clinton choice, so that today’s Democratic Party is still the same: winning is less important to them than serving their top donors is.

This means that America’s winners of federal elections represent almost entirely America’s 585 billionaires, and not the 328,335,647Americans (as of noon on 23 January 2019). Of course, there is a slight crossover of interests between those two economic classes, since 0.000002 of those 328,335,647, or 0.0002% of them, are billionaires. However, if 0.0002% of federal office-holders represent the public, and the remaining 99.9998% represent the billionaires, then is that actually a bipartisan Government? If instead 99.9998% represented 328,335,062 Americans, and 0.0002% represented the 585 billionaires; then, that, too, wouldn’t be bipartisan, but would it be a democratic (small “d”) government? So, America is not a democracy (regardless of whether it’s bipartisan); it is instead an aristocracy, just like ancient France was, and the British empire, etc. The rest of America’s population (the 328,335,062 other Americans) are mere subjects, though we are officially called ‘citizens’, of this actual aristocracy.

The same is true in Israel, the land that the Adelsons (the individuals who largely control America) are so especially devoted to. On 8 November 2016, Israel’s pro-Hillary-Clinton and anti-Netanyahu Ha’aretz newspaper headlined “The Collapsing Political Triangle Linking Adelson, Netanyahu and Trump”, and reported that Ha’aretz’s bane and top competitor was the freely distributed daily Israeli newspaper, Israel Hayom, and:

Israel Hayom was founded by Adelson nine years ago, in order to give Netanyahu – who has been rather harshly treated by the Israeli media throughout his political career – a friendly newspaper. Under Israeli law, the total sum an individual can donate to a politician or party is very limited, and corporate donations are not allowed. Israel Hayom has been a convenient loophole, allowing Adelson to invest the sort of money he normally gives American politicians on Netanyahu’s behalf. It has no business model and carries far fewer ads than most daily newspapers. While the privately owned company does not publish financial reports, industry insiders estimate that Adelson must spend around $50 million annually on the large team of journalists and the printing and distribution operations.

Distributed for free, in hundreds of thousands of copies the length and breadth of the country, Israel Hayom … clings slavishly to the line from Netanyahu’s office – praising him and his family to the heavens while smearing his political rivals, both on the left and the right.

A billionaire can afford to use his or her ‘news’-media in lieu of political campaign donations. Lots of billionaires do that. They don’t need to make direct political donations. And ‘making money’ by owning a ‘news’-medium can even be irrelevant, for them. Instead, owning an important ’news’-medium can be, for them, just another way, or sometimes their only way, to buy control over the government. It certainly works. It’s very effective in Israel.

Adelson is #14 on the 2018 Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans, all having net worths of $2.1 billion or more, his being $38.4 billion, just one-third as large as that of Jeff Bezos. Bezos is the owner of around 15% of Amazon Corporation, whose profits are derived almost entirely from the Amazon Web Services that are supplied to the US Pentagon, NSA, and CIA. So, he’s basically a ‘defense’ contractor. Bezos’s directly owned Washington Post is one of America’s leading neoconservative and neoliberal, or pro-invasion and pro-Democratic Party, media; and, so, his personal ownership of that newspaper is much like his owning a one-person national political PAC to promote whatever national policies will increase his fortune. The more that goes to the military and the less that goes to everything else, the wealthier he will become. His newspaper pumps the ‘national security threats’ to America.

Adelson controls Israel’s Government. Whereas he might be a major force in America’s Government, that’s actually much more controlled by the world’s wealthiest person, the only trillionaire, the King of Saudi Arabia. He has enough wealth so that he can buy almost anybody he wants — and he does, through his numerous agents. But, of course, both Israel’s Government and Saudi Arabia’s Government hate Iran’s Government at least as much as America’s Government does. In fact, if Russia’s Government weren’t likely to defend Iran’s Government from an invasion, then probably Iran would already have been invaded. Supporters of America’s Government are supporters of a world government by America’s billionaires, because that’s what the US Government, in all of its international functions (military, diplomatic, etc.) actually represents: it’s America’s global dictatorship. They throw crumbs to America’s poor so as to make it a ‘two-party’ and not merely a ‘one-party’ government and so that one of the Parties can call itself ‘the Democratic Party’, but America’s is actually a one-party government, and it represents only the very wealthiest, in both Parties. The aristocracy’s two separate party-organizations compete against each other. But their real audience is the aristocracy’s dollars, not the public’s voters. This “two-Party” dictatorship (by the aristocracy) is a different governing model than in China and some other countries.

The great investigative journalist Wayne Madsen headlined on January 24th “Trump Recognition of Rival Venezuelan Government Will Set Off a Diplomatic Avalanche” and he reported the possibility of a war developing between the US and Russia over America’s aggression against Venezuela. US media even have pretended that the US Government isn’t the one that customarily perpetrates coups in Latin America, and pretended that Russia’s and Cuba’s Governments are simply blocking ‘democracy’ from blossoming in Venezuela. On January 24th, Middle East Eye reported that Morgan Stanley’s CEO James Gorman had just told the World Economic Forum, in Davos, that the torture-murder of Saudi Crown Prince Salman’s critic and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was “unacceptable,” “But what do you do? What part do you play in the process of economic and social change?” and the report continued: “Gorman said he did not judge any country’s attempts to root out corruption,” and Gorman and a French tycoon joined in throwing their “weight behind Riyadh’s economic and social direction, by saying, ‘it is quite difficult and brave what the kingdom is doing’,” by its ‘reforms’. It was all being done to ‘root out corruption, and to spread democracy’. Sure. There’s “a sucker born every minute,” except now it’s every second. That seems to be the main way to win votes.

On January 26th, Trump appointed the fascist Elliott Abrams to lead this ‘democratization of Venezuela’, by overthrowing and replacing the elected President by the second-in-line-of succession (comparable in Venezuela to removing Trump and skipping over the Vice President and appointing Nancy Pelosi as America’s President, and also violating the Venezuelan Constitution’s requirement that the Supreme Judicial Trbunal must first approve before there can be ANY change of the President without an election by the voters). It’s clearly another US coup that is being attempted here. Trump, by international dictat, says that this Venezuelan traitor whom the US claims to be installing is now officially recognized by the US Government to be the President of Venezuela. Bloomberg News reported that Abrams would join Trump’s neocon Secretary of State on January 26that the UN to lobby there for the UN to authorize Trump’s intended Venezuelan coup. The EU seemed strongly inclined to follow America’s lead. On the decisive UN body, the Permanent Security Council, of China, France, Russia, UK, and US, the US position was backed by three: US, France, and UK. Russia and China were opposed. In the EU, only France, Germany, Spain, and UK, came out immediately backing the US position. On January 25th, Russia’s Tass news agency was the first to report on the delicate strategic situation inside Venezuela. It sounded like the buildup to Obama’s successful coup in Ukraine in February 2014, but in Venezuela and under Trump. In fact, at least two commentaors other than I have noted the apparent similarities: Whitney Webb at “Washington Follows Ukraine, Syria Roadmap in Push for Venezuela Regime Change” and RT at “‘Venezuela gets its Maidan’: Ukrainian minister makes connection between regime change ops”.

Abrams’s career has been devoted to “regime-change,” and is as unapologetic about it as is John Bolton. Also like Bolton, he’s an impassioned supporter of Jewish apartheid. He wrote in his 1997 book Faith or Fear, that “Outside the land of Israel, there can be no doubt that Jews, faithful to the covenant between God and Abraham, are to stand apart from the nation in which they live. It is the very nature of being Jewish to be apart — except in Israel — from the rest of the population.” Israel is, in this and the view of many billionaires, the whole world’s ghetto, and ‘real’ Jews don’t belong anywhere else than there. And, according to that, nobody else does belong there, except people who accept being ruled by Jewish Law — the Torah. So, on 25 June 2001, George W. Bush, as the main representative of America’s billionaires, made Abrams the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Democracy, Human Rights, and International Operations at the National Security Council. Of course, Abrams was gung-ho for Americans to conquer Iraq, because Iraqis didn’t like Israel. And the current US President hires that same agent of Israel, Abrams, now to sell internationally America’s current coup to grab Venezuela for America’s billionaires. Abrams, for years, had been courting Trump’s favor by having declined to include himself among the many Republican neoconservatives, both Jewish and non-Jewish, who endorsed Hillary Clinton for President. He thereby has now won his new job, on the real-world sequel to The Apprentice, which is known as President Trump’s Administration. Another such winner, of course, is John Bolton, who likewise had declined to endorse Hillary.

Perhaps the US regime thinks that testing the resolve of Russia’s Government, regarding Venezuela, would be less dangerous than testing it over the issue of Iran. But Big Brother says that this imposition of America’s corruption is instead merely a part of rooting out corruption and spreading democracy and human rights, throughout the world.

The US has managed to get Venezuela in play, to control again. Some American billionaires think it’s a big prize, which must be retaken. The largest oil-and-gas producers — and with the highest reserves of oil-and-gas in the ground — right now, happen to be Saudi Arabia, Iran, Qatar, Russia, Venezuela, and US So, for example, Venezuela is a much bigger prize than Brazil.

All of those countries have an interest in denying the existence of human-produced global warming, and in selling as much of their product as quickly as possible before the world turns away from fossil fuels altogether. High-tech doesn’t drive today’s big-power competition nearly so much as does the fossil-fuels competition — to sell as much of it as they can, as fast as they can. The result of this competition could turn out to be a nuclear winter that produces a lifeless planet and thus prevents the planet from becoming lifeless more slowly from global burnout — the alternative outcome, which would be produced by the burnt fossil fuels themselves. Either way, the future looks bleak, no matter what high-tech produces (unless high-tech produces quickly a total replacement of fossil fuels, and, in the process, bankrupts many of the billionaires who are so active in the current desperate and psychopathic global competition).

This is what happens when wealth worldwide is so unequally distributed that the “World’s Richest 0.7% Own 13.67 Times as Much as World’s Poorest 68.7%”. According to economic theory (which has always been written by agents for the aristocracy), the distribution of wealth is irrelevant. This belief was formalized by a key founder of today’s mathematized economic theory, Vilfredo Pareto, who, for example, in his main work, the 1912 Trattato di Sociologia Generale, wrote (# 2135), that, though “the lover of equality will assign a high coefficient to the utility of the lower classes and get a point of equilibrium very close to the equalitarian condition, there is no criterion save sentiment for choosing between the one [such equality of wealth] and the other [a single person — whom he called “superman” — owning everything].” The article on Pareto in the CIA’s Wikipedia doesn’t even so much as mention this central feature of Pareto’s thinking, the feature that’s foundational in all of the theory of “welfare” in economics. Pareto was also the main theoretician of fascism, and the teacher of Mussolini. This belief is at the foundation of capitalism as we know it, and as it has been in economic theory ever since, actually, the 1760s. Pareto didn’t invent it; he merely mathematized it.

So, we’ve long been in 1984, or at least building toward it. But US-allied billionaires wrote this particular version of it; George Orwell didn’t. And it’s not a novel. It’s the real thing. And it is now becoming increasingly desperate.

If, in recognizing this, you feel like a hog on a factory-farm, then you’ve got the general idea of this reality. It’s the problem that the public faces. But the publics in the US and its allied regimes are far less miserable than the publics in the countries that the US and its allied regimes are trying to take over — the targeted countries (such as Syria). To describe any realistic solution to this systematic global exploitation would require an entire book, at the very least — no mere article, such as here. The aristocracy anywhere wouldn’t publish such a book. Nobody would likely derive any significant income from writing it. That’s part of the reality, which such a book would be describing.

However, a key part of this reality is that for the billionaires — the people who control international corporations or corporations that even are aspiring to grow beyond their national market — their nation’s international policies are even more important to them than its domestic affairs (such as the toxic water in Flint, Michigan; or single-payer health insurance — matters that are relatively unimportant to billionaires), and, therefore, the most-censored and least-honestly reported realities on the part of the aristocracy’s ‘news’-media are the international ones. And, so, this is the field where there is the most lying, such as about “Saddam’s WMD,” and about all foreign countries. However, when a person is in an aristocracy’s military, deception of that person is even more essential, especially in the lower ranks, the troops, because killing and dying for one’s aristocracy is far less attractive than killing or dying in order honestly to serve and protect an authentic democracy. Propagandizing for the myth that the nation is a democracy is therefore extremely important in any aristocracy. Perhaps this is the reason why, in the United States, the military is consistently the institution that leads above all others in the public’s respect. It’s especially necessary to do that, in the nation that President Barack Obama repeatedly said is “the one indispensable nation”. This, of course, means that every other nation is “dispensable.” Any imperial nation, at least since ancient Rome, claimed the same thing, and invaded more nations than any other in the world when it was the leading imperial nation, because this is what it means to be an empire, or even to aspire to being one: imposing that given nation’s will upon other nations — colonies, vassal states, or whatever they are called. When soldiers know that they are the invaders, not the actual defenders, their motivation to kill and die is enormously reduced. This is the main reason why the ‘news’-media in an imperial nation need to lie constantly to their public. If a news-reporting organization doesn’t do that, no aristocrat will even buy it. And virtually none will advertise in it or otherwise donate to it. It will be doomed to remain very small and unprofitable in every way (because the “World’s Richest 0.7% Own 13.67 Times as Much as World’s Poorest 68.7%”). Billionaires donate to ‘news’-organizations that might report accurately about domestic US problems, but not to ones that report accurately about international affairs, especially about important international affairs. Even liberal ‘news’-media are neoconservative, or favorable toward American invasions and coups. In order to be a significant player in the ‘news’-business in the United States, one has to be.

So: this is how America’s dictatorship works. This is not America’s exceptionalism: it is America’s ordinariness. America’s Founders had wanted to produce something not just exceptional but unique in its time: a democratic republic. But what now exists here is instead a dictatorial global empire, and it constitutes the biggest threat to the very existence of the United Nations ever since that body’s founding in 1945. If that body accepts as constituting the leader of Venezuela the person that America’s President declares to be Venezuela’s leader, then the UN is effectively dead. This would be an immense breakthrough for all of the US regime’s billionaires, both domestically and throughout its allied countries (such as in France, Germany, Spain, and UK). It would be historic, if they win. It would be extremely grim, and then the UN would immediately need to be replaced. The US and its allies would refuse to join the replacement organization. That organization would then authorize economic sanctions against the US and its allies. These will be reciprocated. The world would break clearly into two trading-blocs. In a sense, the UN’s capitulation to the US on this matter would create another world war, WW III. It would be even worse than when Neville Chamberlain accepted Hitler’s offer regarding the Sudetenland. We’d be back to the start of WW II, with no lessons learned since then. And with nuclear weapons.

Photo: Flickr

The US Made a Stupid Mistake With the INF Treaty

by Ruslan Ostashko

Translated and captioned by Leo.

“Killing the INF Treaty was a gift for Russia,” says the title of the material published last week by the American magazine, The National Interest.  This score is fundamentally different from the triumphant reports that are generated by the mainstream American media.

Who then wrote this headline? And everything that’s under it. Maybe some secret agent of Putin? In all, no my friends. The actions of the White House was criticized by Jon Wolfsthal. Who was seated as the special assistant to the President under Barack Obama, and was also the senior Director of the US National Security Council. In other words, a typical representative of the American ruling class.

What’s surprising in this publication is not that Donald Trump is being criticized by a person belonging to his political opponents. But that instead of a stamp set about the “Kremlin’s hand”, Wolfsthal is using sane and pretty good arguments. In short, they go along with the fact the US had not the slightest military benefit from leaving the Medium and Short-Range Missile Treaty (INF). That is, the motives and actions of Trump were purely political, insists Wolfsthal. But for Russia, the benefits from the American withdrawal are straightforward, which the publication tells us.

“As long as the INF Treaty is in force, the US can use it for worldwide coordination and support to confront Moscow’s violation. The treaty also provides a basis for the United States to impose financial and political sanctions on Russia. The demise of the deal means both of these levers go away. In many ways, U.S. withdrawal gives Russia a get out of jail free card since the loss of the treaty removes any basis for the United States to claim Russia is not meeting its obligations.”

It’s impossible to not notice that the words of Wolfsthal have logic, look at this. While the treaty was active, Washington for years was accusing Moscow of violation of this treaty. As you understand, bringing any form of evidence was not necessary. It was enough to loudly declare to their vassals in NATO that Putin violated it. And they would immediately take the bill. This mechanism has been used by the US as a grade instrument for rallying their military alliance.

“But we have secret evidence that Russia is violating it, so it’s meant to be against you! Very quickly send us the money needed for military expenses. And start training the cannon fodder, in case tomorrow there will be war.” Now this instrument has vanished. And an answer to any accusations from Moscow will be reaching a spiteful voice that will say: the Americans themselves left this treaty and no more excuses should be made.

The same thing will be said by the Euro vassals of the US. “But we survived this way for 10 years, holding back treacherous Russia. But then *whoosh* and the main protector launched the boat in the water. Leaving behind everybody to the arbitrariness of fate. And since it’s that way, don’t ask us for any more money!”

The picture comes out logical and not contradictory. All that’s left is to simply explain why did Trump made this questionable event by leaving the INF Treaty. The answer traditionally is contained in one of the fragments of the cult film by Aleksei Balabanov.

*Clip from Brother 2 (2000) plays*

Hey, what is the English phrase “how are you?”

– You are asking them how are things.

And what, they’re all interested in how I’m doing?

– No, they’re not interested.

Then why do they ask?

– Just because. Over here, everything is “just fine” except for money.

*Clip ends*

Without the withdrawal from the treaty, Trump couldn’t justify the additional expenses of the US military industrial complex. That very one that is called one of the main supporters existing for the head of the White House. The MIC giants invested in Trump and will demand even more contracts. But the Pentagon budget is already ballooned like a pufferfish. How do you pull even more money from the degenerate president of congress if these scum can’t provide money for the wall at the Mexico border?

There is a proven method. During the Soviet times, they were shown with political caricatures. (Inflated balloon – “Soviet threat!”) It was made for confirming the amount of these fictional threats, which ended up ripping the previous century’s active treaty. (Magazine – Leningrad stories about the Soviet threat.) (Balloon – Soviet threat.) What will Russia get from this all? The regular.

Our country sticks out from an elevated adaptability to external circumstances. Knowing how to adapt it to their needs. It would be thought that after the failure of the sanctions pressure and the so-called “political isolation” [of Russia], the US has to understand this. But no, they don’t understand. And let them, it’ll be worse for them.

The Tulsi Gabbard phenomenon as a diagnostic tool

February 15, 2019

[This column was written for the Unz Review]

The Tulsi Gabbard phenomenon as a diagnostic tool

Ever since Tulsi Gabbard announced that she will be running for President in 2020 her personality and candidacy have been a subject of heated debates and after I posted a rather small message from her, I have been getting panicked emails warning me that she is a fake and that I should not “jump on her bandwagon” or otherwise endorse her.

So, first and foremost, I am not – repeat NOT – endorsing her in any way shape or fashion.

However, I do find her and what is taking place around her extremely interesting and I want to look at it a little closer.  This won’t be a review or analysis of her ideas, political platform or chance of getting elected.  Neither will I try to read her mind and do what so many other folks are doing and confidently declare that I know what her true values, ideas or plans are.  I don’t.

But there are a few things which can already be observed about her which I want to comment on.

Ask yourself: why do liberals hate this lady?

First, one might imagine that she would be the *dream* candidate for the Democratic Party: she is a female, she is not White, she has impeccable “patriotic” credentials, she is obviously both very good looking and very smart, she does not have any skeletons in her past (at least none that we know of for the time being) and she is not associated with the notorious Clinton gang.  So what’s there not to like about her if you are a Democrat?

Well, as we all saw, the putatively “liberal” legacy Ziomedia hates Tulsi Gabbard with a passion.  Maybe not as much as that legacy Ziomedia hates Trump or Putin, but still – the levels of hostility against her are truly amazing.  This may seem bizarre until you realize that, just like Donald Trump, Tulsi Gabbard has said all the right things about Israel, but that this was not nearly “enough” to please the US Ziolobby.  Check out the kind of discussions about Gabbard which can be found in the Israeli and pro-Israeli press:

This is just a small sample of what I found with a quick search.  It could be summed up “Gabbard is not pro-Israel enough”.  But is that really The Main Reason for such a hostility towards her?

I don’t think so.

I believe that Gabbard’s real “ultimate sin” is that she is against foreign wars of choice.  That is really her Crime Of Crimes!

The AngloZionists wanted to tear Syria apart, break it up into small pieces, most of which would be run by Takfiri crazies and Tulsi Gabbard actually dared to go and speak to “animal Assad”, the (latest) “New Hitler”, who “gasses his own people”.  And this is an even worse crime, if such a thing can even be imagined!  She dared to *disobey* her AngloZionist masters.

So, apparently, opposing illegal wars and daring to disobey the Neocons are crimes of such magnitude and evil that they deserve the hysterical Gabbard-bashing campaign which we have witnessed in recent times.  And even being non-Christian, non-White, non-male and “liberal” does not in any way compensate for the heinous nature of “crimes”.

What does this tell us about the real nature of the US society?

Appeasing *never* works with the Neocons

It is also interesting to note that the most vicious (and stupid) attacks against Gabbard did *not* come from “conservative” media outlets or journalists.  Not at all!  Most of the attacks, especially the more vicious ones, came from supposedly “liberal” sources, which tell us that in 2019 USA “liberals” do not refer to folks with liberal ideas, but to folks who are hell-bent on imperialism and war; folks who don’t care one bit about any real “liberal” values and who use a pseudo-liberal rhetoric to advocate for war outside the USA and for a plutocratic dictatorship inside the USA.

As for Gabbard herself, she already managed to publicly back-peddle to one obnoxious lobby (the homo lobby) on the issue of marriage (see hereherehere and here) and I fully expect her to cave in to the Zio-lobby just like Trump has been doing every day since he made it to the White House.  Apparently, US public figures like Gabbard and Trump still don’t understand the simple fact that NO amount of grovelling will EVER appease the Neocons or the Ziolobby (see here for a perfect example of that attitude from Commentary).

[Sidebar: this entire business about Rep. Ilhan Omar also illustrated something very crucial to Donald Trump’s personality.  Let me explain:

A typical “lowered” “rooster” (and no, in Russia they are not Presidents!)

In the bad old days of the Soviet Union, one of the tricks used by the prison/camp administration to break a prisoner (be he political or not) was to stick him into a cell with the so-called “roosters”.  In the slang of the Russian criminal underworld, the “roosters” are the very lowest category of prisoners (in what is a rather complex hierarchy): “roosters” are either homosexuals, rapists, child molesters or men who have been down-ranked (“lowered” in slang) to that status as a punishment for some kind of action which the criminals consider reprehensible (like interacting with other “roosters”, mistakenly sitting down next to one, not repaying a card-debt, etc.).  I won’t go into all the details here, but suffice to say that one thing which was well known in the Soviet jails/camps is that somebody who has committed some kind of trespass can be “lowered” to the status of “rooster” and that the prison/camp administration often uses these man as “combat roosters” – they send them to attack and even rape some prisoner who needs to be broken.  And, needless to say, after you have been raped by such “roosters” you yourself get that status for the rest of your life.

Trump wants her to resign from Congress

What Trump did in the case of Rep. Ilhan Omar is act like a “lowered combat rooster”, sent to abuse somebody else on the behalf of the prison/camp administration.  Of all people, Trump ought to know that accusations of anti-Semitism are absolutely, total hogwash. This is just a verbal whip used by AIPAC/ADL/etc to beat up their opponents.  In fact, all Omar did was to say on Twitter  that some members of Congress support Israel because they are collecting money from Jewish groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).  Duh?!  Is that really news to anybody?  Even Trump himself mentioned that during this campaign.

By the way, check out how Rep. Ilhan Omar grills that sorry SOB Abrams here: http://thesaker.is/rep-ilhan-omar-vs-elliott-abrams/ .  This young lady clearly has more courage and integrity that all her colleagues taken together!

But the Neocons have now “lowered” Trump to the status of “rooster” and he now is acting like a willing “combat rooster” for those who “lowered” him to that status, which makes Trump the worst and most despised kind of “rooster”: one who willingly serves his own rapists.  See for yourself:

The amazing thing is that Trump seems to be  completely oblivious to how utterly dishonorable, spineless, subservient, weak and cowardly he looks every time he tries to so crudely brown-nose the Neocons.  Apparently being a narcissist does not include the ability to be aware of how others might see you.]

In fact, one of two things are most likely to happen next:

  1. Tulsi Gabbard remains true to her ideals and views and she gets no money for her campaign
  2. Tulsi Gabbard caves in to the Neocons and the Deep State and she become another Obama/Trump

Okay, in theory, a third option is possible (never say never!) but I see that as highly unlikely: Tulsi Gabbard follows in the footsteps of Trump and gets elected in spite of a massive media hate-campaign against her and once she makes it to the White House she does what Trump failed to do and appeals directly to the people of the USA to back her in a ruthless campaign to “drain the swamp” (meaning showing the door to the Neocons and their Deep State).  This is what Putin did, at least partially, when he came to power, by the way.  Frankly, for all her very real qualities she does not strike me as a “US Putin” nor does she have the kind of institutional and popular backing Putin had.  So while I will never say never, I am not holding my breath on this one…

Finally, if Gabbard truly is “for real” then the Deep State will probably “Kennedy” her and blame Russia or Iran for it.

Still, while we try to understand what, if anything, Tulsi Gabbard could do for the world, she does do good posting messages like this one:

I don’t know about you, but I am rather impressed!

At the very least, she does what “Occupy Wall Street” did with its “1%” which was factually wrong. The actual percentage is much lower but politically very effective.  In this case, Gabbard speaks of both parties being alike and she popularizes concepts like “warmongers in ivory towers thinking up new wars to wage and new places for people to die“.  This is all very good and useful for the cause of peace and anti-imperialism because when crimethink concepts become mainstream, then the mainstream is collapsing!

The most important achievement of Tulsi Gabbard, at least so far, has been to prove that the so-called “liberals” don’t give a damn about race, don’t give a damn about gender, don’t give a damn about minorities, don’t give a damn about “thanking our veterans” or anything else.  They don’t even care about Israel all that much.  But what they do care about is power, Empire and war.  That they *really* care about.  Tulsi Gabbard is the living proof that the US Democrats and other pretend “liberals” are hell bent on power, empire and war.  They also will stop at nothing to prevent the USA from (finally!) becoming a “normal” country and they couldn’t care less about the fate of the people of the USA.  All they want is for us all to become their serfs.

All of this is hardly big news.  But this hysterical reaction to Gabbard’s candidacy is a very powerful and useful proof of the fact that the USA is a foreign-occupied country with no real sovereignty or democracy.  As for the US media, it would make folks like Suslov or Goebbels green with envy.  Be it the ongoing US aggression against Venezuela or the reaction to the Tulsi Gabbard phenomenon, the diagnostics concur and we can use the typical medical euphemism and say with confidence: “the prognosis is poor”.

The Saker

Trump-Netanyahu- Ibn Salman Summit قمة ترامب نتنياهو وإبن سلمان؟

Trump-Netanyahu- Ibn Salman Summit

يناير 15, 2019

Written by Nasser Kandil,

When the source of news is a site that is known of its professional credibility as “Middle East Eye” and when the same news has been published by the Zionist Ma’ariv newspaper, then it is no longer a rumor. At the worst situations it is a deliberate leakage in order to know the reactions, it is carried out by a balanced party that has the ability to access to these influential sites, and what it asks for publishing is taken seriously. The issue is that the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has shown his willingness to meet the US President Donald Trump and the Prime Minister of the occupation entity Benjamin Netanyahu under the title of discussing the challenges in the region.

The assumptions posed by the news varied between two issues; the first one is Will Bin Salman dare to declare his consent of considering Jerusalem a capital of Israel and a title of the deal of century, and upon that he will call the Palestinian, Arab, and Islamic leaderships to deal with this matter as a Saudi position? The second issue is Will Trump and Netanyahu dare to hold a meeting with Mohammed Bin Salman without this condition, in the light of the charges which he was accused of, and will this meeting be available in the light of the difficult circumstances faced by Trump and Netanyahu in the American and Israeli political institutions?

The most important question stems from the assumption if Mohamed Bin Salman is ready to declare publicly that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and if Trump and Netanyahu accept to meet him to get this precious prize which was worth a lot in the past, what will be the effect of this declaration, and will he succeed to infiltrate the Palestinian street in order to get advocates of the Saudi position, those who will constitute an important Palestinian group that allows launching a practical track in favor of a Palestinian – Israeli settlement that based on the conditions of the Israeli security?

Absolutely the answer is negative, this is what the Israeli journalists and analysts say. The Palestinians have chosen their way clearly from Gaza to Jerusalem to the West Bank to the occupied territories in 48. Saudi Arabia has lost its Palestinian influence; In other words, the fate of any Palestinian leadership that responds to the Saudi demand would be the isolation unless it is not the killing. Therefore, the announcement of Bin Salman who is no longer has any influence on the Palestinians will turn into a media gain to Trump and Netanyahu even if this announcement has public political procedures between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and even if these relations are important to Israel, and dangerous on Arabs and Islam, they will remain fruitless unable to launch an Arab- Islamic track as the bet on the deal of the century. Furthermore, the outcome of these procedures will depend on Bin Salman’s ability to stay in power,  and maybe this will be one of the factors that will contribute in his fall, because there is a big difference between leading a path that is accepted by the Palestinians and an understanding between Saudi Arabia and Israel without resolving the Palestinian cause  in the light of Bin Salman’s faltering position towards the American political inner life and what is going on in the West towards his criminalization and prosecution.

Trump and Netanyahu will be as a temporary lifeline to Bin Salman if they accepted to hold the summit, but this meeting will be as a gallows to Trump, so it seems likely that Trump will suggest a bilateral summit that brings Bin Salam and Netanyahu together which he only supports and maybe he will receive them together later. At the very difficult situation lived by Netanyahu and Bin Salman, they will ask each other what justifies the meeting during his miserable internal situation, knowing that what each one will offer will increase his bad situation since they all smuggled in mud where the more they dig the more they will drown.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

قمة ترامب نتنياهو وإبن سلمان؟

ديسمبر 15, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– عندما يكون مصدر الخبر موقعاً معروفاً بالاتزان المهني كـ «الميدل إيست آي»، وعندما تنشر الخبر نفسه صحيفة معاريف الصهيونية، لا يعود الأمر مجرد شائعة، وهو في أسوأ الأحوال تسريب مدروس لاستكشاف ردود الفعل وجس النبض تقف وراءه جهة وازنة تملك قدرة الوصول إلى هذين الموقعين الإعلاميين المؤثرين، ويؤخذ ما تطلب نشره بجدية. والخبر هو أن ولي العهد السعودي محمد بن سلمان أبدى الاستعداد للقاء قمة يضمّه مع الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب ورئيس حكومة الاحتلال بنيامين نتنياهو، تحت عنوان مناقشة تحديات الوضع في المنطقة.

– الفرضيات التي طرحها الخبر تراوحت بين محورين، الأول هل سيجرؤ إبن سلمان إذا تم اللقاء أن يعلن موافقته على اعتبار القدس عاصمة لإسرائيل كعنوان لصفقة القرن ويدعو القيادات الفلسطينية والعربية والإسلامية إلى التعامل مع هذا الأمر كموقف سعودي. والثاني هو هل سيجرؤ ترامب ونتنياهو على عقد اللقاء مع محمد بن سلمان بدون هذا الشرط في ظل ما يلاحقه من اتهامات وما يجعل اللقاء به مخاطرة غير محسوبة في ظل الظروف الصعبة التي يواجهها كل من ترامب ونتنياهو في المؤسسات السياسية الأميركية والإسرائيلية؟

– السؤال الأهم يبدأ من فرضية أن يكون محمد بن سلمان مستعداً للمناداة علناً بالقدس عاصمة لـ»إسرائيل» وأن يرتضي ترامب ونتنياهو ملاقاته للحصول على هذه الجائزة الثمينة التي كانت تستحقّ في الماضي بذل الغالي والنفيس لأجل الحصول عليها. فماذا سيكون تأثير هذا الإعلان؟ هل سينجح في شق الساحة الفلسطينية لصالح بروز مؤيدين للموقف السعودي يشكلون وزناً فلسطينياً يتيح إطلاق مسار عملي لصالح تسوية فلسطينية إسرائيلية ترتكز على شروط الأمن الإسرائيلي؟

– الجواب سلبي بالمطلق على هذا السؤال، وهذا ما يقوله الإسرائيليون، إعلاميين ومحللين، وقد اختار الفلسطينيون طريقهم بوضوح، من غزة إلى القدس إلى الضفة إلى الأراضي المحتلة عام 48، والسعودية فقدت بريق تأثيرها الفلسطيني، وسيكون مصير أي قيادة فلسطينية تدعو للسير في الركب السعودي بعد مثل هذا الإعلان هو العزل ما لم يكن القتل، وبالتالي سيتحول إعلان إبن سلمان العاجز عن التأثير فلسطينياً إلى مجرد مكسب إعلامي لترامب ونتنياهو، وإن ترتبت عليه إجراءات سياسية علنية بين «إسرائيل» والسعودية، فهي على أهميتها لـ»إسرائيل» وخطورتها عربياً وإسلامياً، ستبقى علاقات ثنائية عاجزة عن إطلاق مسار عربي إسلامي كما كان الرهان الأصلي على صفقة القرن، وسيصير نتاج هذه الإجراءات مرهوناً بقدرة محمد بن سلمان على البقاء في الحكم، وربما يكون ذلك أحد عوامل تسريع سقوطه، لأن الفرق كبير بين قيادة مسار يرتضي الفلسطينيون السير به وبين الخروج إلى تفاهم ثنائي إسرائيلي سعودي دون حل القضية الفلسطينية، في ظل وضع مترنح لإبن سلمان أمام ما تشهده الحياة السياسية الأميركية الداخلية، وما يجري في الغرب عموماً باتجاه تجريمه وملاحقته.

– ترامب ونتنياهو سيبدوان مجرد حبل نجاة مؤقت لصالح إبن سلمان إن قبلا القمة، لكنه سيكون حبل مشنقة خصوصاً لترامب، لذلك يبدو مرجحاً أن يقترح ترامب عقد قمة ثنائية تضم محمد بن سلمان ونتنياهو يكتفي بإعلان تأييدها، وربما يستقبلهما معاً لاحقاً، وفي وضع صعب يعيشه كل من نتنياهو وإبن سلمان، سيطلب كل منهما من الآخر ما يبرر اللقاء في وضعه الداخلي السيئ، وكل ما يقدّمه واحد منهما للآخر سيزيد وضعه صعوبة، فهم جميعاً دخلوا حفرة الوحل، وكلما حفروا أكثر غرقوا أكثر.

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Trump Not Listening To Intel, Doesn’t Get Iran Moves In Syria – ’Israeli’ Source

Local Editor

US President Donald Trump’s decision to allow Iran “to do what they want” in Syria following the imminent withdrawal of American troops, was made contrary to the advice of the intelligence services and shows he does not understand the situation on the ground, according to a senior “Israeli” source.

The statement followed Trump’s remarks which indicated that he appeared to change course on Syria.

“They can do what they want there, frankly,” Trump said of Iran’s presence in Syria. “Iran wants to survive now … they were going to take over the whole Middle East, but Iran is a much different country right now.”

“It’s unfortunate that he isn’t paying attention to the evidence provided by the intelligence services,” the source went on to say.

“We are in a state of shock. Trump simply doesn’t understand the extent of the Iranian military’s presence in the region.”

“What is comforting is that at least Trump isn’t opposed to “Israel’s” operations in Syria … The president’s statement will not change the situation as far as we are concerned, we will continue to act resolutely against the Iranian entrenchment,” the source claimed.

Two weeks earlier, the Trump administration announced it was to withdraw all of the approximately 2,000 American troops in Syria—against the advice of top national security aides and without consulting lawmakers or US allies.

Trump did not provide a timetable for the planned military exit from Syria, but said it would happen “over a period of time,” and vowed to protect the US-backed Kurdish militants in the country.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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