ARE THE US AND ISRAEL PREPARING FOR WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST? (1/2 IRAN)

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By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

Many analysts believe a US-Israeli war on Iran and Lebanon is likely despite the lack of evidence of preparations for such a war. Although forces could be quickly mobilised after a political decision to go to war, all indications point to a non-military war situation for the simple reason that the US “strangulation war” is not costly to the US establishment and fits perfectly with the objectives of its main Middle Eastern ally, Israel. Nevertheless, menacing letters are being exchanged among involved parties who are, nonetheless, prepared for the worst-case scenario.

As far as Iran goes, the “zero oil exports” – the US wants to impose on the 1stof May – may be impossible to achieve. It will not be easy for OPEC members to compensate the two million Iranian barrel of oil daily (out of 3.45 million of total daily production), as President Donald Trump would like. The US objective is to curb Iran’s will and force it to the negotiation table to dictate elements necessary for the security of Israel in the Middle East. A goal no US establishment has ever managed to achieve since the “Islamic Revolution” took power in Iran in 1979, notwithstanding the sanctions imposed over four decades.

Iran has land borders with Pakistan, Iraq and Turkey. It is logistically easy to supply these countries with Iran’s high-quality light crude oil at a cheaper price than the market price. During the Bush and Obama eras, Iran never stopped exporting its oil and exchanging it for hard currency or gold, despite sanctions.

Moreover, China needs its 650,000 barrel per day. Several Chinese companies offer technology and industrial services and commerce their expertise and products with Iranian companies in exchange for oil, and these companies are not willing to stop this trade. This alone will be enough to cause the failure of the US establishment’s objective of “zero exports” without necessarily meaning that such a breakdown will lead to a military confrontation.

President Trump is not willing to engage his forces in a major war, even if he has the audacity to ask Saudi Arabia to pay for it. The US President may have to find another achievement in the Middle East to brag about and exploit during the campaign for his second mandate in 2020. This US administration, like previous ones, will likely fail to curb Iran’s will despite the severe sanctions it has imposed. Nor will it succeed in forcing Iran to stop support for its partners in the Middle East (i.e. Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen). The support of Iran to state and non-state actors in the region is a self-imposed obligation cited in many articles in the Iranian constitution.

Moreover, Iran will never agree to open its missile industry to inspection or to halt its missile production, as requested by the US establishment. Iran’s missiles represent its main efficient weapon to maintain a balance of forces sufficient to dissuade all its potential enemies. And last, Iran and its Middle Eastern partners will not abandon the Palestinian cause until the last Palestinian group decides to abandon its territory to Israel. Therefore, Trump should be content – as the achievement of his first mandate – with the “gifts” he has given to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Jerusalem and the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. The bras-de-fer between the US and Iran will likely not wind down as long as Trump is in power, so long as he is unwilling meet Iran’s two conditions for the resumption of negotiations with Tehran: lifting the heavy sanctions imposed on Iran, and honouring the nuclear deal signed by his predecessor Barak Obama. Trump seems unable to accept the end of unilateral US hegemony over the world.

Proof-read by:  C.G.B

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The Spontaneous “Military Coup” in Caracas was Meant to Fail?

Comparison with the Failed June 29, 1973 Coup which preceded the September 11, 1973 military coup against Salvador Allende

Global Research, May 01, 2019

Was it really a military coup? 

Anybody who has lived in Caracas, knows that you cannot wage a spontaneous military coup starting up in Chacaito, an upper middle class residential area, with a view to eventually marching towards the Miraflores presidential palace located in the historical centre of Caracas, without getting caught in dense traffic.  

There are important historical precedents of failed coups caught up in traffic.

Guaido presents the operation as the “Final phase” of “Operation Freedom.” ???

An attempted coup or violent street riots?

Lopez and Guaido released videos on social media, calling on the armed forces to back their efforts and urging supporters to take to the streets, in what they termed as the “final phase” of the so-called “Operation Freedom.” Large crowds of anti-government protesters, as well as opposition lawmakers, made their way to the Altamira overpass. (Venezuela Analysis, May 1, 2019)

The government responded by sending in the riot police, with the Armed Forces using tear gas against the protesters.

This spontaneous so-called military putsch was meant to fail.

Visibly, it was not a carefully planned operation. And Washington was fully aware from the outset that it would fail.  In fact it was carefully staged “not to succeed”:

The scene then saw armed confrontations between the soldiers that backed Juan Guaido and those inside La Carlota airbase.

[Carlota is not a full-fledged military base, it is a former private airport, largely defunct. It is now under the jurisdiction of the State of Miranda, used for both military and civilian emergencies]

According to witnesses in La Carlota [air base], the Venezuelan armed forces fired tear gas towards the Altamira overpass, where civilian protesters began to gather, whereas Guaido’s soldiers returned live fire. Riot police also appeared on the scene to try and disperse the crowds. There are reports of protesters wounded and arrested that are unconfirmed at the time of writing.

At the same time, many of the originally deployed soldiers withdrew from the scene, later revealing that they had been “deceived” by their superiors. Simultaneously, Chavista leaders took to state and social media to denounce what they termed a coup in progress, and large crowds gathered to defend Miraflores Presidential Palace.

Guaido later attempted to lead a march, including some armed soldiers, into western Caracas but was stopped by Venezuelan National Guard forces in Chacaito, some 10 kilometers away from Miraflores.(Venezuela Analysis, May 1, 2019)

From Washington’s standpoint, the ‘putsch” nonetheless served a “useful” purpose. It created a “narrative”, which serves as propaganda and media disinformation.  In turn, the Western media goes into high gear.

The “coup” becomes a talking point for the Bolton -Pompeo national security team. It becomes a pretext and a justification for US military intervention in the name of Democracy at some future date. See Pompeo below

 

National security Advisor John Bolton calls upon Venezuela’s military to intervene, with US support.

Mild thunder before the storm? It sets the stage? What is the intended timeline?

A failed putsch which may be followed by a “real” US sponsored military coup at some later date? That option is already on the drawing-board of the Pentagon.

The failed coup, a sloppy intelligence operation? Unlikely. US intelligence was fully informed.

Was this event planned to fail from the very outset?

***

An Important Historical Precedent, Santiago de Chile. The Failed June 29, 1973 Coup

In Chile in 1973, the September 11 coup d’Etat which led to the assassination of Allende and the installation of a military government was a carefully prepared military-intelligence operation supported by the US. with Henry Kissinger playing a key role.

Of historical significance: The September 11, 1973 coup was preceded by a failed coup on June 29, 1973 , which, in retrospect, was intended to fail.

In 1973, I was visiting professor at the Catholic University of Chile. The following text is an excerpt from an article I wrote in Santiago de Chile in the immediate wake of September 11, 1973 military coup against the democratically elected government of president Salvador Allende.

Bear in mind: The circumstances of  Chile in 1973 as well as the command structure of the (Chilean) Armed Forces were very different to those of Venezuela in 2019.

In the course of the months of July-August 1973, following the June 29, 1973 failed coup, important shifts occurred within Chile’s Armed Forces.In turn, the Christian Democrats were pressuring Allende to bring the military into the government.

Chile: The June 29, 1973 Failed Coup

On June 29, 1973, Coronal Roberto Souper led his tank division in an isolated attack on La Moneda, the Presidential Palace, in the hope that other units of the armed forces would join in. The June coup had initially been planned for the morning of September 27 by Patria y Libertad as well as by several high ranking military officers. The plans were found out by Military Intelligence and the coup was called off at 6pm on the 26th. A warrant for the arrest of Coronal Souper had been issued. Confronted with knowledge of his impending arrest, Colonel Souper in consultation with the officers under his command, decided to act in a most improvised fashion. At 9 am, amidst morning rush hour traffic, Tank Division Number Two drove down Bernardo O’Higgins, Santiago’s main down-town avenue towards the Presidential Palace.

While the aborted June Coup had the appearance of an insolated and uncoordinated initiative, there was evidence of considerable support in various sectors of the Navy as well as from Air Force General Gustovo Leigh, now [September 1973] member of the military junta [on 11 September General Leigh integrated the military Junta headed by General Pinochet]. According to well-informed sources, several high ranking officers in the aero-naval base of Quintero near Valparaiso had proposed the bombing of State enterprises controlled by militant left wing groups, as well as the setting up of an air corridor to transport navy troops. The latter were slated to join up with the forces of Colonel Souper in Santiago.

The June trial coup was «useful» indicating to the seditious elements within the Chilean Armed Forces that an isolated and uncoordinated effort would fail. After June 29, the right-wing elements in the Navy and the Air Force were involved in a process of consolidation aimed at gaining political support among officers and sub-officers. The Army, however, was still under the control of Commander in Chief General Carols Prats, who had previously integrated Allende’s cabinet and who was a firm supporter of constitutional government.

Meanwhile in the political arena, the Christian Democrats were pressuring Allende to bring in members of the Military into the Cabinet as well as significantly revise the programme and platform of the Unidad Popular. Party leaders of the government coalition considered this alternative [proposed by the Christian democrats] as a « legalized military coup» (golpe legal) and advised Allende to turn it down. Carlos Altamirano, leader of the Socialist Party had demanded that an endorsement of the programme of the Popular Unity coalition by the military be a sina qua non condition for their entry into the Cabinet. Upon the impossibility of bringing in the Military into the Cabinet on acceptable terms, Allende envisaged the formation of a so-called “Cabinet of Consolidation” composed of well known personalities. Fernando Castillo, rector of the Catholic University and a member of the Christian Democratic Party, Felipe Herrera, President of the Inter-|American Development Bank and other prominent personalities were approached but declined. (Michel Chossudovsky, The Ingredients of a Military Coup, Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, September 1973)

Minor edits to this text on May 1-2, 2019

Dozens of Saudi-led Mercenaries Ambushed, Killed by Yemeni Forces off Najran

May 1, 2019

Yemeni army and popular committees

Dozens of Saudi-led mercenaries were killed or injured in an airtight ambush in Al-Ajasher desert off Najran city, according to Yemeni sources.

The sources added that over 10 vehicles were destroyed by the Yemeni army and popular committees in the ambush.

Yemen has been since March 2015 under a brutal aggression by Saudi-led coalition. Tens of thousands of Yemenis have been injured and martyred in Saudi-led strikes, with the vast majority of them are civilians.

The coalition has been also imposing a blockade on the impoverished country’s ports and airports as a part of his aggression which is aimed at restoring power to fugitive former president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

However, the allied forces of the army and the committees have been heroically confronting the aggression with all means.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

 

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Maduro Declares Victory over Coup Plotters

 May 1, 2019

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said his troops have thwarted a botched attempt to topple him masterminded by Venezuela’s “coup-mongering far right” and Donald Trump’s deranged imperialist “gang”.

In an hour-long address to the nation on Tuesday night, Maduro accused opposition leader Juan Guaidó and his political mentor Leopoldo López of seeking to spark an armed confrontation that might be used as a pretext for a foreign military intervention.

He said that he had appointed prosecutors to investigate a coup attempt in his country. He also added that a number of people are being questioned in connection with the issue.

Maduro added that five military staff were injured during unrest on Tuesday, adding that two of them were in critical condition.

On Tuesday morning, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido and his supporters gathered in Caracas on a highway in front of La Carlota military base. Previously, Guaido called on the people of Venezuela and the army to take to the streets to complete the operation to overthrow the legitimate head of state, Maduro.

“This cannot go unpunished. I have spoken to the attorney general, and he has appointed three national prosecutors who are questioning everyone involved in this event, and they are tasked with investigating and filing criminal charges,” Maduro told the state television.

The Venezuelan president has also announced that he appointed Gen. Gustavo Gonzalez Lopez as the head of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service of Venezuela (SEBIN).

SourceAgencies

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طهران في مواجهة القرصان

أبريل 30, 2019

د. عدنان منصور

منذ وصوله إلى الرئاسة الأميركية، لم يتوقف هيجان الرئيس ترامب عن اتخاذ قراراته التعسفية ضد دول وحركات وشخصيات وطنية، ترفض الهيمنة الأميركية وإملاءاتها بكل أشكالها، وتحرص على سيادتها واستقلالية قرارها ونهجها الحر. فمن روسيا وإيران والصين وكوريا الشمالية مروراً بسورية وفنزويلا وكوبا ونيكاراغوا، وصولاً إلى حركات المقاومة ومناضليها في فلسطين ولبنان والعراق واليمن، يصرّ «الكاوبوي الأميركي» على تطويق الدول والحركات، ومعاقبة المقاومين للهيمنة والاحتلال، لأنهم يشكلون له ولعلمائه تحدياً مباشراً، يحبطون سياساته المتهورة، التي أفقدت الولايات المتحدة صدقيتها ونزاهتها، لعدم التزامها بالاتفاقيات الموقّعة من جانبها، وبالقوانين الدولية، وعدم الاكتراث بالأحكام وبميثاق الأمم المتحدة وهي تتعاطى مع دول العالم. إجراءات وقرارات وعقوبات وحصار يصبّ في كل الاتجاهات، يتخذها ترامب بكل عنجهية واستبداد، ضد هذه الدول، ظناً منه، أنه يستطيع لوي ذراعها، وحملها بالقوة على الإذعان لإرادته وسياساته. وما إيران إلا واحدة من هذه الدول، التي تجد نفسها، منذ قيام ثورتها عام 1979، أمام مواجهة شرسة ومتواصلة مع الجبروت الأميركي، الذي لم يتوقف يوماً، عن محاولاته في زعزعة النظام الإيراني، والانقضاض على الثورة، وإطاحتها. والتي تشكل له ولحلفائه في المنطقة، تحدياً متواصلاً، وخصماً عنيداً وشرساً، وهو يتصدى لمشاريعه ومؤامراته، ويعمل على إفشال خططه الرامية إلى احتواء المنطقة كلها، وجعلها داخل دائرة نفوذه، يحقق له المزيد من الهيمنة عليها، واستغلاله بشكل كامل لثرواتها وخيراتها، دون أي معارضة أو مقاومة، وهو الذي تعوّد أن يتعاطى مع نماذج من «حكام» في المنطقة والعالم، يأمرهم ويطيعون، يحاسبهم ويدفعون، يحميهم وينوخون، ويذلهم وهم قانعون.

هي حال إيران الثورة اليوم، وهي في مواجهة القرصان الأميركي الذي يستعد يوم 2 أيار المقبل، لفرض المزيد من العقوبات الأميركية الظالمة الأحادية الجانب عليها، التي لم تتوقف منذ أربعين عاماً، وتأتي بعد انسحاب الولايات المتحدة من الاتفاق النووي، غير مكترثة بالمجتمع الدولي ولا بالدول الموقّعة عليه، ولا بقرار مجلس الأمن ذات الصلة القاضي برفع العقوبات عن إيران. انسحاب يعرّي أخلاق سياسة ترامب، ويكشف زيف صدقيتها ونزاهتها، ومدى احترامها للمبادئ والقيم التي رفعتها الثورة الأميركية.

بعد ان تقدمت إيران بشكوى ضد الولايات المتحدة أمام محكمة العدل الدولية في 16 تموز 2018، احتجاجاً على إعادة فرض عقوبات اقتصادية ومالية عليها، وذلك بعد خروجها، أصدرت المحكمة الدولية حكمها في 3 تشرين الأول 2018، ألزمت بموجبه الولايات المتحدة، برفع العقوبات التي تطال السلع «ذات الغايات الإنسانية» عن إيران، على أن لا تؤثر هذه العقوبات على المساعدات الإنسانية، وسلامة الطيران المدني الإيراني. ورغم ذلك لم تكترث واشنطن بقرار المحكمة الدولية، بل ذهبت بعيداً لكي تفرض عقوبات أكثر شدة في 5 تشرين الأول 2018، تشمل صادرات النفط، والشحن، والمعادن، وكل القطاعات الأساسية في الاقتصاد الإيراني.. عقوبات رأى فيها ترامب، أنها الأشد على الإطلاق. وأن الولايات المتحدة سوف تستهدف بحزم أي شركة أو كيان يتحايل على العقوبات.

واشنطن تريد من دول العالم تحت التهديد، وقف العمل مع طهران، والالتزام الكامل بالعقوبات الأميركية الأحادية الجانب المفروضة عليها، وذلك من أجل تحقيق أهداف عدة:

1 – وقف تدفق النفط الإيراني إلى دول العالم، وتصفير صادراته إليها مما سبّب حتى الآن، في انسحاب أكثر من 100 شركة عالمية ضخمة من إيران، ووضع 700 كيان وفرد على اللائحة السوداء.

2 – قطع أنظمة السويفت جمعية الاتصالات المالية العالمية بين البنوك تعاملها مع البنوك الإيرانية، لعزل إيران عن النظام المالي الدولي.

3 – خنق الاقتصاد الإيراني دولياً، من خلال التهديد الأميركي بفرض العقوبات على كل جهة تخرق العقوبات الأميركية، ولا تتقيّد بها نصاً وروحاً.

4 – الضغط على الداخل الإيراني، لحمل الشعب على التحرك والانتفاضة ضد النظام، وتحميله المسؤولية، وتحريضه على العصيان، وإيجاد الشرخ بين النظام والشعب الإيراني، وحضّه على الثورة وتغيير النظام.

5 – تدهور العملة الإيرانية وتراجع قوتها الشرائية وارتفاع معدل التضخم.

6 – التأثير السلبي للعقوبات على الوضع الاقتصادي والاجتماعي والمعيشي، والارتفاع العشوائي لأسعار السلع الاستراتيجية.

7 – تدهور الاقتصاد الإيراني وإعاقة التطور للبلاد، والحد من النمو للإنتاج القومي، وارتفاع البطالة، وضمور خطط التنمية الخمسية.

وللعودة عن هذه العقوبات، تشترط واشنطن على إيران أن تستجيب لاثني عشر مطلباً أبرزها:

أ – وقف تخصيب اليورانيوم وإغلاق المفاعل العامل على الماء الثقيل. وهذا يعني عملياً وقف البرنامج النووي السلمي الإيراني بالكامل.

ب – منح مفتشي الوكالة الدولية للطاقة الذرية، حق الوصول إلى كل المواقع العسكرية في البلاد. والغاية الأميركية من ذلك، كشف المواقع العسكرية الإيرانية كلها للعدو وللعالم، وبالتالي تعريض الأمن القومي الإيراني للخطر.

ج – وقف نشر الصواريخ البالستية والتطوير اللاحق للصواريخ القادرة على حمل الأسلحة النووية. بهذا تريد الولايات المتحدة حرمان إيران من أي قوة ردع صاروخية مهمتها الدفاع عن أرضها وحماية أجوائها.

د – تنسحب كامل القوات التي تخضع للقيادة الإيرانية من سورية. والهدف هو تجريد سورية من دعم حلفائها وتركها فريسة لواشنطن وقوى الإرهاب المدعومة من الخارج، التي تعمل على إطاحة النظام والإتيان بنظام عميل يتماشى مع سياسات واشنطن وحلفائها في المنطقة.

هـ – فك ارتباط إيران مع دول الجوار، لا سيما العراق الذي يشكل لها بوابة رئيسة تطل منه على المنطقة، نظراً لما يشكله هذا الارتباط من تعزيز العلاقات الثنائية المشتركة للبلدين، وحضورهما الفاعل على الساحة المشرقية.

و – التوقف عن تقديم الدعم «للمنظمات الإرهابية». وهو وصف تطلقه واشنطن والعدو الإسرائيلي على حركات المقاومة في فلسطين ولبنان والعراق واليمن وغيرها، حتى تتمكّن من القضاء عليها، وبسط نفوذها، واستئثارها بالمنطقة ومن ثم إدخالها في صفقة العصر.

ز – وقف دعم المقاومة، أي «الإرهاب» – بمفهوم واشنطن – من قِبَل فيلق القدس التابع للحرس الثوري الإيراني.

مطالب واشنطن التعجيزيّة، يريد منها ترامب تحجيم وتقزيم الدور الإيراني وشلّ قدراته، والنيل من سيادة إيران، وقرارها المستقل، والالتفاف على الثورة وجعلها أسداً من دون أنياب، أمام هجمة أميركية شرسة لن تتوقف ضدها، تهدف أولاً وأخيراً إلى تصفية حساب واشنطن مع النظام والثورة، وإطاحتها بكل الوسائل، لإعادة إيران من جديد، إلى بيت الطاعة الأميركي، بكل ما يحويه هذا البيت من تسلط وهيمنة وابتزاز، واستبداد وتوحش واستغلال.

بعد أربعين عاماً من الثورة، وما رافقها من سياسات أميركية وصهيونية – عربية وقحة تجاه طهران، ورغم مروحة العقوبات الواسعة والظالمة المفروضة عليها، التي آذت دون شك إيران وشعبها، وأعاقت طموح الإيرانيين في تنمية البلاد وتحقيق إنجازات أكبر من الإنجازات الكثيرة الباهرة التي حققوها على الصعد كافة، فإن هذه العقوبات لم تستطع أن تلوي ذراع الثورة الإيرانية وقيادتها، ولا أن تحبط من عزيمة الإيرانيين وعنفوانهم وإصرارهم، بل أعطت إيران زخماً وحافزاً قوياً للاعتماد على الذات، ونقل إيران إلى مواقع متقدمة على الصعيد العلمي والصناعي والعسكري والبحثي والتكنولوجي والاستراتيجي.

تصفير صادرات النفط الإيرانية لن ينجح وسيُمنى بالفشل. فإيران لديها الوسائل العديدة، والخبرة الكافية لإفشال العقوبات في هذا المجال، كسبتها على مدى عقود وهي تتعامل مع سياسات الولايات المتحدة المستبدة حيالها، وحيال شعبها وثورتها.

مشكلة الرئيس ترامب تكمن في أنه لا يعرف بعد، مدى صلابة الشعب الإيراني، ولم يختبر عن قرب معدنه وعقيدته. شعب خبِر جيداً سلوك الولايات المتحدة، وما سببت له من ويلات، عانى منها الأمرّين على مدى عقود، جراء سياساتها المستبدة، ودعمها المتواصل لقوى الشر والإرهاب التي فتكت بدول المنطقة، وحمايتها لطغاة العالم، من أجل الحفاظ على مصالحها واستغلالها لثروات الشعوب المستضعفة ونهب خيراتها.

لم يدرك ترامب بعد، أن الشعب الإيراني الملتف حول قيادته، وحول جيشه وحرسه الثوري، والمتمسك بحقه وكرامته دون هوادة، قادر على أن يتحمل المزيد من العقوبات الشرسة وإحباطها دون التفريط بمبادئه وحقوقه وعقيدته وانتمائه ومواقفه الثابتة، في الدفاع عن وطنه وقيمه، ومواجهة قوى الاستبداد السياسي، والإرهاب الاقتصادي، بكل أشكالهما مهما كلّف ذلك من ثمن.

أمام العقوبات المنتظرة، ليس من خيار لإيران إلا الصمود. فهذا قدرها… صمود وإن طال الزمن، فسينتصر في نهاية الأمر، لأنه يعبّر بكل قوة، عن إرادة شعب في الحياة الحرّة الكريمة، ويعبّر أيضاً عن ثورة ارتضاها لنفسه، يحصّنها ويحميها، وإن تربّص بها طغاة العالم، يرعاهم ويقودهم قرصان هائج.

وزير خارجية سابق.

Hezbollah will Eventually Prevail over US Sanctions: Official

Source

April 28, 2019

Deputy Chief of Hezbollah Executive Council Sheikh Ali Daamoush

A high-ranking Hezbollah official says the United States has slapped economic sanctions against the Lebanese resistance movement due to its bitter defeats from the group, stressing that Hezbollah will finally emerge victorious over the punitive measures.

Speaking at a ceremony in the southern Lebanese city of Nabatieh, Vice President of the Executive Council of Hezbollah Sheikh Ali Damoush said Hezbollah will confront the US-led sanctions, and its enemies will definitely fail to achieve their goals.

“Hezbollah, which owes national and moral duties to defend and protect Lebanon against the aggression of the Zionist regime (of Israel), is also responsible for safeguarding the rights and interests of the Lebanese nation and helping prevent economic collapse in the country,” Damoush said.

He added, “The Lebanese resistance movement is targeted by financial sanctions, because it continues to thwart US-Israeli plots in the (Middle East) region. The US, Zionists and their allies have failed in military confrontations with Hezbollah, have fallen short in their psychological war to tarnish the group’s image, and gained not much from designating the Lebanese group a terrorist group.”

Damoush said the strategy of imposing sanctions will not succeed in the face of the strategy of stability and patience, and strong will of Lebanese resistance fighters and Lebanese people, who have managed to thwart enemies’ plots over the past decades.

“Lebanon will not be the arena in which the (the United States of) America can achieve its political objectives. Lebanon has been and will remain to be the place for victories of Hezbollah, and decline in the American role in the region,” the senior Hezbollah official said.

Source: Press TV

Russia’s “Military Diplomacy” Might Succeed in Getting Turkey to Switch Sides

Global Research, April 26, 2019

Turkey’s planned purchase of Russia’s S-400s has created a serious crisis within NATO and might lead to the Mideast country’s de-facto departure from the bloc

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Turkish-American ties have been seriously strained over the past few years since the US started arming Syrian-based Kurdish fighters that Ankara considers to be terrorists and the Mideast country’s officials strongly implied that Washington had a hand in the failed summer 2016 coup attempt against President Erdogan.

It’s little wonder then that Turkey began to reorient itself eastward towards Russia and plans to purchase the S-400s, seeing as how this air defense system could neutralize any prospective threat emanating either from the American Air Force or possibly even an American-backed Kurdish one that might one day take shape in northeastern Syria.

Russia’s “military diplomacy” seeks to maintain the balance of power everywhere in the world in order to facilitate diplomatic solutions to seemingly intractable conflicts, which in this context could see Turkey improving its defenses to the point of strengthening its negotiating hand with the US over the coup and Kurdish issues that lay at the heart of their “security dilemma”. Moscow also knows that the sale of high-level equipment such as the S-400s precedes the establishment of long-term military-to-military partnerships that could facilitate the recipient’s embrace of multipolarity as it seeks to step away from the US’ unipolar-controlled sphere of influence.

Such transitions take time for logistical and other reasons, but the process might accelerate in the Turkish case after the US threatened to exclude its nominal NATO partner from the F-35 program, which in turn prompted unnamed Turkish defense officials to reportedly claim that their country can just turn to Russia for replacements instead. In the event that Turkey’s purchase of the S-400s leads to the US carrying through on its F-35 threats and Ankara reactively reaches out to Russia for Sukhois or other warplanes, then the intra-NATO crisis would enter a qualitatively new and much more intense phase.

It’s not to suggest that Russia’s “military diplomacy” was aimed at deviously advancing this “master plan” all along, but just to point out the role that Moscow played in this chain of events that developed outside of its control. Had it not been for the US’ support of Syrian-based Kurdish militants and the shadowy role that it probably played in the failed 2016 coup attempt, then Turkey’s trust in its decades-long partner wouldn’t have deteriorated to the point where Ankara felt compelled to reach out to Washington’s rivals in Moscow in order to ensure its national security needs, something that Russia was eager to assist it with.

Turkey is rapidly developing its mutually beneficial strategic partnership with Russia, which serves the grand strategic interests of both multipolar Great Powers. This new Russian-Turkish relationship has greatly stabilized the military situation in Syria and holds the promise of improving the prospects of a political solution to the long-running conflict there, even if it’s still somewhat imperfect and some kinks remain to be worked out. Nevertheless, Russia obtains a reliable partner with enormous commercial market potential while Turkey receives reliable energy supplies from a country with impressive military-technology capabilities that it’s more than willing to export.

As for the US, it doubly loses because one of its main geostrategic rivals has successfully “poached” one of Washington’s top Mideast allies as a result of America’s reckless regional policies that got it into this mess in the first place. The US and Turkey will still try to retain some degree of pragmatic relations on issues of shared interest, but the partnership will never be the same again unless President Erdogan and the ruling AKP are deposed of and a vehemently pro-American replacement rises to power, which appears unlikely for the time being but nevertheless can’t be ruled out.

Going forward, the odds are that Turkey won’t be formally removed from NATO because no such mechanism exists but will instead probably be de-facto isolated from most of the bloc’s working activities, especially those related to intelligence sharing and joint military exercises. The US can’t take the risk of unraveling the military alliance on which so much of its European influence depends, no matter how divided and ineffective it is in practice, so indefinitely putting Turkey in “time-out” is the most realistic option available to it for mitigating the strategic fallout of Ankara switching sides as a result of Moscow’s “military diplomacy”.

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This article was originally published on InfoRos.

Andrew Korybko is an American Moscow-based political analyst specializing in the relationship between the US strategy in Afro-Eurasia, China’s One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity, and Hybrid Warfare. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image is from InfoRos

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