Trump: dancing with wolves on the Titanic

Dancing with wolves

May 26, 2017

This article was written for the Unz Review.

Robert Fisk put it best: “Trump Is About To Really Mess Up In The Middle East”. Following his fantastically stupid decision to attack the Syrian military with cruise missiles Trump or, should I say, the people who take decisions for him, probably realized that it was “game over” for any US policy in the Middle-East so they did the only thing they could do: they ran towards those few who actually were happy with this aggression on Syria: the Saudis and the Israelis. Needless to say, with these two “allies” what currently passes for some type of “US foreign policy” in the Middle-East will only go from bad to worse.

There are many ways in which Saudi Arabia and Israel are truly unique: they are both prime sponsors of terrorism, they are both nations deeply steeped in ideologies which can only be described as uncivilized (Wahabism and Jewish supremacism) and they are both armed to the teeth. But they also have one other thing in common: in spite, or maybe because of, their immense military budgets, these two nations are also militarily very weak. Oh sure, they have lots of fancy military hardware and they like to throw their weight around and beat up some defenseless “enemy”, but once you set aside all the propaganda you realize that the Saudis can’t even deal with the Houtis in Yemen while the Israelis got comprehensively defeated by 2nd rate Hezbollah forces in 2006 (top of the line Hezbollah forces were concentrated along the Litani river and never saw direct combat): the entire Golani Brigade could not even take Bint Jbeil under control even thought that small town was only 1,5 miles away from the Israeli border. This is also the reason why the Saudis and the Israelis try to limit themselves to airstrikes: because on the ground they simply suck. Here again the similarity is striking:

the Saudis have become “experts” at terrorizing defenseless Shia (in the KSA or in Bahrain) while the Israelis are the experts on how to terrorize Palestinian civilians.

With Trump now officially joining this ugly alliance, the USA will contribute the military “expertise” of a country which can’t even take Mosul, mostly because its forces are hiding, literally, behind the backs of Kurdish and Arab Iraqis. To think that these three want to take on Hezbollah, Iran and Russia would be almost comical if it wasn’t for the kind of appalling bloodshed that this will result in.

Alas, just look at what the Saudis are doing to Yemen, what the Israelis did to Gaza or Lebanon or what the USA did to Iraq and you will immediately get a sense of what the formation of this nefarious alliance will means for the people of Syria and the rest of the region. The record shows that a military does not need to be skilled at real warfare to be skilled at murdering people: even though the US occupation of Iraq was, in military terms, a total disaster, it did result in almost one and a half million dead people.

What is also clear is who the main target of this evil alliance will be: the only real democracy in the Middle-East, Iran. The pretext? Why – weapons of mass destruction, of course: the (non-existing) chemical weapons of the Syrians and the (non-existing) nuclear weapons of the Iranians. In Trump’s own words: “no civilized nation can tolerate the massacre of innocents with chemical weapons” and “The United States is firmly committed to keeping Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and halting their support of terrorists and militias that are causing so much suffering and chaos throughout the Middle East”. Nothing new here. As for how this evil alliance will fight when it does not have any boots worth putting on the ground? Here, again, the solution as simple as it is old: to use the ISIS/al-Qaeda takfiri crazies as cannon fodder for the USA, Israel and the KSA. This is just a re-heated version of the “brilliant” Brzezinski plan on how to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. Back to the future indeed. And should the “good terrorists” win, by some kind of miracle, in Syria, then turn them loose against against Hezbollah in Lebanon and against the Shias in Iraq and Iran. Who knows, with some (a lot) of luck, the Empire might even be able to re-kindle the “Caucasus Emirate” somewhere on the southern borders of Russia, right?

Wrong.

For one thing, the locals are not impressed. Here is what the Secretary General of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, had to say about this:

The Israelis, are betting on Isis and all this takfiri project in the region… but in any case they know, the Israelis, the Americans, and all those who use the takfiris, that this is a project without any future. I tell you, and I also reassure everyone through this interview. This project has no future.”

He is right, of course. And the newly re-elected President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, openly says that the Americans are clueless:

The problem is that the Americans do not know our region and those who advise US officials are misleading them

It is pretty clear who these ‘advisors’ are: the Saudis and the Israelis. Their intentions are also clear: to let the Americans to do their dirty work for them while remaining as far back as possible. You could say that the Saudis and Israelis are trying to get the Americans to do for them what the Americans are trying to get the Kurds to do for them in Iraq: be their cannon fodder. The big difference is that the Kurds at least clearly understand what is going on whereas the Americans are, indeed, clueless.

Not all Americans, of course. Many fully understand what is happening. A good example of this acute awareness is what b had to say on Moon of Alabama after reading the transcript of the press briefing of Secretary of Defense Mattis, General Dunford and Special Envoy McGurk on the Campaign to Defeat ISIS:

My first thought after reading its was: “These people live in a different world. They have no idea how the real word works on the ground. What real people think, say, and are likely to do.” There was no strategic thought visible. Presented were only some misguided tactical ideas.

A senior British reporter, the Secretary General of Hezbollah, the President of Iran and a US blogger all see to agree on one thing: there is no real US “policy” at work here, what we are seeing is a dangerous exercise in pretend-strategy which cannot result in anything but chaos and defeat.

So why is the Trump administration plowing ahead with this nonsense?

The reasons are most likely a combination of internal US politics and a case of “if all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail”. The anti-Trump color revolution cum coup d’état which the Neocons and the US deep state started even before Trump actually got into the White House has never stopped and all the signs are that the anti-Trump forces will only rest once Trump is impeached and, possibly, removed from office. In response to this onslaught, all that Trump initially could come up with was to sacrifice his closest allies and friends (Flynn, Bannon) in the vain hope that this would appease the Neocons. Then he began to mindlessly endorse their “policies”. Predictably this has not worked either. Then Trump even tried floating the idea of having Joe Lieberman for FBI director before getting ‘cold feet’ and chaning his position yet again. And all the while while Trump is desperately trying to appease them, the Neocons are doubling-down, doubling-down again and then doubling-down some more. It is pretty clear by now that Trump does not have what it takes in terms of allies or even personal courage to tackle the swamp he promised to drain. As a result what we are seeing now looks like a repeat of the last couple of years of the Obama administration: a total lack of vision or even a general policy, chaos in the Executive Branch and a foreign policy characterized by a multiple personality disorder which see the Pentagon, Foggy Bottom, the CIA and the White House all pursuing completley different policies in pursuit of completely different goals. In turn, each of these actors engages in what (they think) they do best: the Pentagon bombs, the State Department pretends to negotiate, the CIA engages in more or less covert operation in support of more or less “good terrorists” while the White House focuses its efforts on trying to make the President look good or, at least, in control of something.

Truth be told, Trump has nothing at all to show so far:

Russia: according to rumors spread by the US corporate Rex Tillerson was suppose to go to Moscow to deliver some kind of ultimatum. Thank God that did not happen. Instead Tillerson spent several hours talking to Lavrov and then a couple more talking to Putin. More recently, Lavrov was received by Tillerson in the USA and, following that meeting, he also met with Trump. Following all these meetings no tangible results were announced. What does that mean? Does that mean that nothing was achieved? Not at all, what was achieved is that the Russians clearly conveyed to the Americans two basic thing: first, that there were not impressed by their sabre-rattling and, second, that as long as the USA was acting as a braindead elephant in a porcelain store there was no point for Russian to work with the USA. To his credit, Trump apparently backed down and even tried to make a few conciliatory statements. Needless to say, the US Ziomedia crucified him for being “too friendly” with The Enemy. The outcome now is, of course, better than war with Russia, but neither is it some major breakthrough as Trump had promised (and, I believe, sincerely hoped for) during his campaign.

DPRK/PRC: what had to happen did, of course happen: all the sabre-rattling with three aircraft carriers strike groups ended up being a gigantic flop as neither the North Koreans nor the Chinese were very impressed. If anything, this big display of Cold War era hardware was correctly interpreted not as a sign of strength, but a sign of weakness. Trump wasted a lot of money and a lot of time, but he has absolutely nothing to show for it. The DPRK tested yet another intermediate range missile yesterday. Successfully, they say.

The Ukraine: apparently Trump simply does not care about the Ukraine and, frankly, I can’t blame him. Right now the situation there is so bad that no outside power can meaningfully influence the events there any more. I would argue that in this case, considering the objective circumstances, Trump did the right when he essentially “passed the baby” to Merkel and the EU: let them try to sort out this bloody mess as it is primarily their problem. Karma, you know.

So, all in all, Trump has nothing to show in the foreign policy realm. He made a lot of loud statements, followed by many threats, but at the end of the day somebody apparently told him “we can’t do that, Mr President” (and thank God for that anonymous hero!). Once this reality began to sink in all which was left is to create an illusion of foreign policy, a make-believe reality in which the USA is still a superpower which can determine the outcome of any conflict. Considering that the AngloZionst Empire is, first and foremost, what Chris Hedges calls an “Empire of Illusions” it only makes sense for its President to focus on creating spectacles and photo opportunities. Alas, the White House is so clueless that it manages to commit major blunders even when trying to ingratiate itself with a close ally. We saw that during the recent Trump trip to Saudi Arabia when both Melania and Ivanka Trump refused to cover their heads while in Rhiyad but did so when they visited the Pope in the Vatican. As the French say, this was “worse than a crime, it was a blunder” which speaks a million words about the contempt in which the American elites hold the Muslim world.

There is another sign that the USA is really scraping the bottom of the barrel: Rex Tillerson has now declared that “NATO should formally join the anti-Daesh coalition”. In military terms, NATO is worse than useless for the USA: the Americans are much better off fighting by themselves than involving a large number of “pretend armies” who could barely protect themselves in a real battlefield. Oh sure, you can probably scrape a halfway decent battalion here, maybe even a regiment there, but all in all NATO forces are useless, especially for ground operations. They, just like the Saudis and Israelis, prefer to strike from the air, preferably protected by USAF AWACS, and never to get involved in the kind of ugly infantry fighting which is taking place in Syria. For all their very real faults and problems, at least the Americans do have a number of truly combat capable units, such as the Marines and some Army units, which are experienced and capable of giving the Takfiris a run for their money. But the Europeans? Forget it!

It is really pathetic to observe the desperate efforts of the Trump Administration to create some kind of halfway credible anti-Daesh coalition while strenuously avoiding to look at the simple fact that the only parties which can field a large number of combat capable units to fight Daesh are the Iranians, Hezbollah and, potentially, the Russians. This is why Iranian Presiden Rouhani recently declared that

“Who fought against the terrorists? It was Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Russia. But who funded the terrorists? Those who fund terrorists cannot claim they are fighting against them” and “Who can say regional stability can be restored without Iran? Who can say the region will experience total stability without Iran?”

In truth, even the Turks and the Kurds don’t really have what it would take to defeat Daesh in Syria. But the worst mistake of the US generals is that they are still pretending as if a large and experienced infantry force like Daesh/ISIS/al-Qaeda/etc could be defeated without a major ground offensive. That won’t happen.

So Trump can dance with the Wahabis and stand in prayer at the wailing wall, but all his efforts to determine the outcome of the war in Syria are bound to fail: far from being a superpower, the USA has basically become irrelevant, especially in the Middle-East. This is why Russia, Iran and Turkey are now attempting to create a trilateral “USA free” framework to try to change the conditions on the ground. The very best the USA are still capable of is to sabotage those efforts and needlessly prolong the carnage in Syria and Iraq. That is both pathetic and deeply immoral.

*******

When I saw Trump dancing with his Saudi pals I immediately thought of the movies “Dances with Wolves” and “Titanic”.

Empires often end in violence and chaos, but Trump has apparently decided to add a good measure of ridicule to the mix. The tragedy is that neither the United States nor the rest of the planet can afford that kind of ridicule right now, especially not the kind of ridicule which can very rapidly escalate in an orgy of violence. With the European politicians paralyzed in a state subservient stupor to the Rothschild gang, Latin America ravaged by (mostly US-instigated) crises and the rest of the planet trying to stay clear from the stumbling ex-superpower, the burden to try to contain this slow-motion train wreck falls upon Russia and China.

As for Trump, he made a short speech before NATO leaders today. He spoke about the “threats from Russia and on NATO’s eastern and southern borders”. QED.

Interview with Parents of Venezuelan Man Set on Fire by Anti-Government Mob

The US regime change effort in Venezuela seems to be going full steam. On Saturday, May 20, a government supporter, 21-year-old Orlando Jose Figuera, was set on fire by a mob, most likely of the protestor-for-hire variety. The video above features an interview with his parents.

An RT report posted today contains the following:

Horrifying images from the scene show Figuera running while nearly naked with flames on his back. “A person was set on fire, beaten up, stabbed… They nearly lynched him, just because he shouted out that he was a ‘Chavista,’” said Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, referring to supporters of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela established by late leader Hugo Chavez.

Speaking on state TV, Maduro described the torching as “a hate crime and a crime against humanity.” The 21-year-old victim, who sustained heavy injuries, severe burns, and stab wounds, was taken to intense care.

Amazingly Figuera survived, or at least he’s still alive for the moment.

The Washington Post seems to be doing its faithful best to promote the regime-change effort. An article published today, headlined “Venezuela is Sliding into Anarchy,” says  Figuera was attacked by a “lynch mob,” but not until much further down in the story (a total of 13 paragraphs) do the writers finally get around to mentioning that the victim was a supporter of the government–and then the information is given in such a back-handed manner it is almost as if they are seeking to provide moral justification for what happened to him:

He was suspected of being a pro-government spy, according to some versions. Others alleged he was a thief.

The story also portrays anti-government protest leaders as nonviolent, while including the customary comments on the situation from a Western think tank–in this case the International Crisis Group

Gunson, of the International Crisis Group, said he did not think Venezuela’s opposition leaders could control the spreading turmoil or turn down the temperature. “Only a decision by the government to de-escalate would do it, and there is no sign of that,” he said. “Quite the contrary.”

“I think we will start to see curfews, mass arrests, a higher daily death rate and even worse violations of human rights,” said Gunson.

In other words, if the protests grow even more violent, it’s the government’s fault. The International Crisis Group, by the way, was co-founded by George Soros, who is today listed as a member of the Board of Trustees, according to Wikipedia. Other Jews on the board include former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, and Israeli journalist Nahum Barnea. And if all thls isn’t enough, the Wikipedia article also includes the following tidbit which would strongly suggest the International Crisis Group cannot possibly be an objective observer of events in Venezuela:

Moisés Naím, a member of the board of directors of the International Crisis Group served as the Venezuelan Minister for Development for the centrist government of Carlos Andrés Pérez. In 2011 the International Crisis Group released a report intimating that the Venezuelan government of Hugo Chavez might suffer “unpredictable, possibly violent consequences” if it did not audit the election results in which Chávez won.[15] The election results have been recognized as valid by 170 neutral international observers with the exception of the United States government, who along with allied governments, provides half of the funding for the International Crisis Group. (emphasis added)

None of this, of course, is mentioned in the Washington Post story.

By the way, former Venezuelan President Carlos Andrés Pérez survived a coup attempt by Hugo Chavez in 1992, but later was ousted after the Venezuelan Supreme Court found him guilty of embezzling 250 million bolivars.

Of this past Saturday’s events, Venezuela Analysis is reporting as follows:

The incident occurred during another day of anti-government protest that saw opposition supporters attempt to march on the Ministry of the Interior in downtown Caracas, despite lacking a permit for the route.

The march was preceded by a speech by Miranda Governor and former opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles in which he called Maduro the “the biggest m—–f–cker in the country”.

“We will remain firm until this corrupt narco-dictatorship leaves Venezuela, until we have the change we want… If we have to risk our skin, we will risk it!” he told the crowds.

Although the march began peacefully, the mobilization later devolved into violent clashes as demonstrators tried to penetrate police lines around the western Caracas municipality of El Libertador.

It seems the Trump administration is fully on board with the regime change effort, and apparently Exxon-Mobil, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s former employer, has a particular interest at stake. This at any rate is the assessment in an article published several days ago by Eric Draitser:

There is a misconception spreading through the Beltway like an airborne virus, infectious in its obliviousness to reality: the idea that the administration of President Donald Trump is so bogged down by scandal and controversy that it cannot achieve any geopolitical and strategic objectives. In fact, the opposite is true. Like a cornered animal, Trump and his team are exceedingly dangerous, both in their unpredictability and, strangely enough, also in their predictability.

And when it comes to Venezuela, their strategy is transparent.

Oil reigns supreme in the minds of Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the rest of the administration. In the case of Venezuela, oil remains the lifeblood of its economy.  So in a very real sense, the White House and State Department’s interests converge with the economic imperatives of corporate America in the Bolivarian Republic.

Tillerson represents perhaps the perfect embodiment of U.S. government attitudes toward Venezuela. A slick oil man through and through, Tillerson has long sought to destabilize Venezuela in an attempt to reassert ExxonMobil’s supremacy in the country.

Venezuela’s recent rocky history begins with Chavez’s nationalization of the oil sector under the state oil company PDVSA in 2007. The Chavez government offered ExxonMobil book value for assets that it intended to assume control over, while the Tillerson-led company demanded market value, which they priced at roughly $15 billion.  Eventually, the World Bank’s arbitration court ordered Venezuela to pay $1.6 billion to ExxonMobil.

But ExxonMobil’s anger at Caracas was certainly not assuaged with that settlement agreement. In fact, the following decade saw ExxonMobil step up efforts to destabilize Venezuela’s socialist government using a variety of tactics.

Related

“WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON? THE WESTERN LEFT’S OBSESSION WITH EMPIRE”–DANNY HAIPHONG

In Gaza

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(Meme by Eva Bartlett.

“From 50:24 in this video, Ambassador al-Ja’afari: “…too many ambassadors of the United Nations, they come to me and they say, “You know, Bashar, you are right. Your government is right. We know the truth, but we cannot say it. You can God bless you but we cannot say it.” )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3LTTbOYVfU&feature=youtu.be

Apr 18, 2017, Black Agenda Report

-by Danny Haiphong

“The anti-war left’s attachment to the anti-Assad narrative is based in a colonial mentality which presumes that Westerners have the right to determine the destinies of peoples residing in what was formerly known as the Third World.”

The Trump Administration’s decision to conduct tomahawk missile strikes on a Syrian Arab Army airfield prompted activists in the US to hit the streets in protest. Protesters marched and spoke out against the airstrikes, which killed over a dozen Syrian soldiers on April 6th. The strikes come amidst intense pressure on the Trump Administration to abandon his campaign promises to ease relations with Russia and end regime change policy in the Middle East. In the days prior to the strike, Trump removed Steve Bannon as a formal leader in the National Security Council. Then, an alleged chemical weapons attack hit Idlib province, prompting President Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley to reverse their position that the future of the Syrian government rested in the hands of the Syrian people. Once again, the anti-war movement was put to the test.

The Western left struggles with the question of war because its ideology is rooted in the social relations of imperialism. In the US in particular, the social relations produced by over two centuries of white supremacist war on Black and indigenous peoples has cemented the notion that all who fall outside of the flexible spectrum of whiteness can be made expendable at a moment’s notice. Furthermore, war has historically advanced the level of development in the US. While World War II destroyed much of Europe, the US came out of the rubble with the most prosperous capitalist economy on the planet. This only intensified the thirst for war among the ruling elites. The US military took advantage of capitalist prosperity by turning its guns toward former European and Japanese colonies in East Asia, beginning with the carpet-bombing of Korea from 1950-1953.

Now fast forward to 2017. The US is hotly involved in a war to destabilize the Syrian government. Since 2011, there has been a wall-to-wall corporate media attack on Syria that paints the Syrian government as a murderous dictatorship led by President Bashar Al-Assad. Assad has been accused of “killing his own people” with the most ruthless of methods. In 2013, the Obama Administration accused President Assad of using sarin gas on civilians in Ghouta. Journalist Seymour Hersh eventually corroborated what US intelligence likely warned Obama at the time: that the gas attack was the work of “rebels” (terrorists) who were supplied by an intricate rat line network involving Turkey and Saudi Arabia. The world was destined for another US military confrontation that year when Russia stepped in to diffuse the situation.

Anti-war activists find themselves in a very similar predicament almost four years later. Throughout the duration of the war on Syria, strong lines have been drawn on the question of the Syrian government’s future. A small segment of the anti-war left has defended Syria’s right to self-determination. Others have done extensive work, such as Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett, traveling to Syria and documenting concrete evidence that contradicts the corporate media narrative of the conflict. Indeed, much evidence suggests that the so-called “rebels” are merely jihadist mercenary groups sponsored by the Empire’s many players. Washington and its corporate masters have been foaming at the mouth to bring Syria to heel since at least 2001, when the secular government was placed on a list with six other countries targeted for destabilization.

However, rather than defend Syria’s self-determination, many in the West have bought into the imperialist narrative. This includes a large section of what passes for the left in the Western world. Jacobin, for example, calls itself a leading voice on the American Left but has historically aligned with US imperialism. After April 7th’s US airstrikes, Jacobin posted a statement about why opposing Assad matters too. The statement falsely compares Palestine’s struggle against Israeli occupation with the mythical struggle of the Syrian people against President Bashar Al-Assad.

Of course, Jacobin fails to provide any proof that the Syrian people are in fact waging a struggle to overthrow Bashar Al-Assad. No mention of the Syrian government’s decades-long solidarity with Palestinian resistance is cited.

Jacobin repeats the imperialist line that Assad is murdering “his own people” and causing hundreds of thousands of Syrians to flee the country. Yet the statement omits the fact that Assad was reelected with nearly ninety percent of the vote in 2014. Also left out are the reputable opinion polls that prove President Assad is more popular than any other force operating in Syria at the moment. Jacobin instead throws its weight behind the jihadists waging holy war in Syria on behalf of US imperialism and its junior partners.

Since the fall of Libya, tens of thousands of jihadists have flooded into Syria to overthrow the Syrian government. The jihadists have been given both air and media cover from the US-led coalition operating in Syria. In September of 2016, the US coalition bombed an airport in Deir ez-Zor, killing around 100 Syrian soldiers. The airstrikes gave ISIS cover to lay siege to the area and claim additional territory. And for over five years, sources such as Amnesty International and the US-UK-French funded White Helmets have peddled the narrative that the Syrian Arab Army has been massacring Syrians even as evidence suggests that NGOS such as the White Helmets are completely embedded in the membership of Al-Qaeda affiliated, head chopping organizations.

That Jacobin condemns Washington’s failure to transfer anti-aircraft weaponry to the jihadists yet ignores all of the evidence against Washington’s official narrative on Syria should make clear where the “leading voice” of the left stands. History completely contradicts their narrative. Washington and its allies have never come to the aid of the oppressed in their struggles for liberation. Rather, it has acted as the primary dictator of imperialism’s rabid exploitation of the sovereign nations. What Jacobin essentially demands is a brand of “internationalism” that arms and funds head-chopping, imperialist-backed mercenaries at the expense of the Syrian people.

Such a distortion of internationalism is in keeping with the infantile state of the anti-war left in the US. The anti-war left’s attachment to the anti-Assad narrative is based in a colonial mentality which presumes that Westerners have the right to determine the destinies of peoples residing in what was formerly known as the Third World. It is the same mentality that drives the criminalization of Black America, reducing mass incarceration and police murder to products of the innate criminality of Black people. The white supremacist, colonialist worldview is the most useful tool in the imperialist toolbox. When wielded properly, the vast majority of so-called progressives can be herded to disseminate pro-war propaganda without the added labor cost associated with direct infiltration by the state.

Many questions arise from the behavior of those individuals and organizations caught in the ideological web of US imperialism. Is Jacobin’s support for the overthrow of the Syrian government at all beneficial to workers and oppressed people in the US and West? Do their conclusions about Syria stem from verified study of the objective conditions in the region and its relevant historical context? Can anti-imperialists really occupy neutral space between the dialectic of imperialist war and self-determination for the oppressed? Or is such an attempt merely a cleverly disguised project meant to legitimize the very imperialist system that the left claims to oppose? The answer to these questions will depend on the recipient, but the fact they must be asked indicates that the US anti-war movement needs serious reconstruction.

There may not be time for such an overhaul barring a significant change in the objective situation in the US and West. Recent developments over the course of five years suggest that at any given moment, the world struggle against imperialism could transform into a global military confrontation between the big powers. The threat of US military escalation in Syria cannot be isolated within a national context. Russia and Iran’s presence in Syria ensures that any US move to overthrow Bashar Al-Assad by direct military means will have an impact far beyond Syria’s borders. Solidarity with Syria against US-sponsored war is thus of utmost importance for the future of humanity. However, don’t expect the Western, white dominated left to drop its chauvinistic worldview anytime soon. The task of ending imperialism will have to rest on the shoulders of a new anti-war movement, one based on the respect of self-determination for all oppressed peoples and an internationalist worldview that connects exploitation within US borders to the ceaseless war imperialism wages from without.

Danny Haiphong is an Asian activist and political analyst in the Boston area. He can be reached at wakeupriseup1990@gmail.com
Danny Haiphong’s blog

RELATED LINKS:

Statement of Palestinian groups and individuals in the occupied homeland, refugee camps and the diaspora about the global war on Syria (with over 1100 Palestinian signatories, including prominent Palestinians such as His Eminence Theodosios (Atallah) Hanna, Archbishop, Greek Orthodox Diocese of Sebastia, Jerusalem and Palestinian Popular Forum, Yarmouk, Syria)

Stealing Palestine: Who dragged Palestinians into Syria’s conflict, by Sharmine Narwani, Nov 10, 2014

Syrians Flock to Vote in Lebanon, by Eva Bartlett, May 30, 2014

The Revolutionary Distemper in Syria That Wasn’t, by Stephen Gowans, Oct 22, 2016

Syria Dispatch: Most Syrians Support Assad, Reject Phony Foreign ‘Revolution’, by Eva Bartlett, March 7, 2016

Why Syrians Support Bashar al Assad, by Prof. Tim Anderson, Sep 30, 2014

Decriminalising Bashar – towards a more effective anti-war movement, by Carlos Martinez, Sep 23, 2013

The Red Line and the Rat Line: Seymour M. Hersh on Obama, Erdoğan and the Syrian rebels, Apr 17, 2014

Saudi America

May 18, 2017

by Jimmie MogliaSaudi America

As a European commentator noted recently, it is symbolic that the president of the most advanced democracy in the world makes his first foreign trip to the most feudal among Arab monarchies.

On the other hand, US citizens at large see happening what they vaguely expected, and probably wanted when they voted for Trump. Namely, that the curtain of elitist euphemisms and contrived metaphors masking the lying and the rudeness of previous administrations, would be dropped in favor of greater coarseness of expression and less palpable disguise.

This is apparent even in the body language and voice of (at least some) members of the Cabinet. I think particularly of the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. With his cowboy name, he may not have an Eastwood smile and a Robert Redford hair, but when he begins to speak, it is as if he said, “I am sir Oracle, and when I ope my lips, let no dog bark.”

Still, for unbiased observers of the worldly scene, the de-facto alliance between Israel, the US and the Saudi monarchy, however thinly disguised, is unspeakable, unbelievable and unimaginable. It is a truly unholy trinity where Israel is God, the US the Son, and Saudi Arabia the hellish Ghost.

For while everybody knows who did 9/11 but is not allowed to say it, everybody is now allowed to say who financed it. And, equally, who set up, funds and finances the mercenaries of the so-called ISIS and their associates with sundry other names.

It will be the task of a courageous and dedicated historian to trace the seeds of the faked resurgence of a Mohammedan Sect – Salafists or Wahabis or whatever – and of its conversion into a well funded and organized mercenary army and state, with an actual political and economic infrastructure to boot.

For no one, unless he be a cultured Muslim, heard of Sunnis, Shias, Salafists and Wahabis, until after Reagan financed the plot to remove the lay government in Afghanistan that had called the Soviet Union to its aid. And apart from the spilled blood of thousands, it is ironic that the emblem image of “pre-freedom” Afghanistan is the picture of young girls in European skirt and uniform walking to their school. Whereas the iconic image of “post-freedom” Afghanistan is the dynamiting of the 5th centuries “Buddahs of Bamiyan,” by the US-financed and now somewhat unruly “freedom fighters.” And most recently, the footprint left by the explosion of the American “mother of all bombs,” and alleged consequent hecatomb of “insurgents.”

As for Saudi Arabia, I can say I know something about the country through direct experience. During my first job, my employer sent me to Saudi Arabia to explore the option, the difficulties and the opportunities of opening a branch office in Riyadh, the capital.

While still on the plane, I had bought a Glen Fiddich in one of those mini bottles shaped like the original. Then, through the speaker, passengers were reminded that no alcoholic beverages were allowed off the plane after landing in Dhahran, the port of entry. Still infused with some of the goliardic spirit, I decided on the spot to conduct a test – partly a student’s prank and partly a sociological experiment.

Waiting in the lounge for the next connection, I positioned the unopened mini Glen Fiddich in the geometrical center of an empty seat in a row of empty seats, and waited at a distance for what would happen next.

After a few minutes an Arab in his night-gown (which experts call jillaba, but it still looks like a night gown to me), began to circle the seats, much as a bird of prey hovers over the center of its killing field.

After two rounds, the Arab sat down on the chair and when he got up the Glen Fiddich had disappeared.

Later in Riyadh I was struck by the almost total absence of women in the streets. Of course women could not (and still cannot) drive. No doubt a sign of progress for die-hard male chauvinists.

My other discovery was that, in the world of local business people dealing with American and European counterparts, there were few who were not either sheiks or princes, as printed on their business card.

My immediate reference was a sheik who could not speak English but used the services of his factotum-manager for interpretation. He was a Pakistani, who spoke an amusing English, with words reminiscent of Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” made even more amusing by his Pakistani accent.

In fairness, the sheik entertained me in a way that seemed royal to me, given my humble expectations. His house was richly decorated with the beautiful intricate Arabic geometrical mosaics and scripts, and with enormous rugs.

He organized a banquet, held in the center of his house-compound, under the stars, with guests customarily accommodated on the ground. Several of them spoke English, and throughout the dinner I was vaguely aware of some black moving shadows hardly standing out against the obscured background of the other inner side of the building.

As we stood up at the banquet’s end, a group of several uncounted children jumped out from the dark and eagerly partook of the large quantity of unconsumed food. The black, hardly-noticeable shadows, I learned later, were the four wives of the sheik and the children were his offspring.

After the initial introductions and discussion, the sheik left me in the hands of his interpreter-manager who accompanied me through the length of my stay in Riyadh. And he also told me something about local customs and culture.

From the notes of my faded diary, I read that at one time he said,

“Here in Saudi Arabia, if you kill a man they cut your head. If you are a thief and make a theft, they cut your hand. And if you go with a girl and do an evil thing…. “

“Hold it – I said – you need not go any further. I think I’ve got the picture.” “No – he said – you have an evil mind. If you go with a girl and do an evil thing, they stone you to death.”

Of course I had no intention to do any evil thing of the sort, especially in Saudi Arabia, but my host’s lecture strengthened my determination. Even if…. “all this the world well knows, yet none knows well how to shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.”

But I digress. It seems, however, that so many years later, little has changed as far as Saudi Arabia-American relations. And if it did, I think it did for the worse – compounded with a widespread perception that, for the Western-Zionist-Saudi cabal, the world at large is a den of fools, save the 1% or equivalent.

Circumstances of no elegant recital concur to raise disgust. One example, as clear as the summer’s sun, is the election of the Saudi Mr. Abdulaziz Alwasil as representative of the UN Human Rights Council. And, notwithstanding Saudi Arabia’s record on religious freedom and justice at large, this worthy official will have vote and oversight, among other things, on “freedom of religion and belief” and “integrity of the judicial system.”

That could even pass for a joke. But, apart from the President’s visit to Saudi Arabia, the US driven cabal is dropping ever more rapidly the myth of America as a custodian of liberty. It is not an exaggeration that whatever US foreign policy touches becomes scorched earth, with victims in the millions, assassination of progressive leaders and annihilation of the soul of nations. To pay homage to the genocidal murderers of Yemen says much about what is loosely called the American image.

As evident at large, to destroy the capacity of independent thought, the cabal has completely subjugated academia, through the lure of money or the threat of harm. For no one really understands the true nature of fawning servility until he has seen an academic who has glimpsed the prospect of money, or personal publicity.

The Constitution is still held as an untouchable symbol of American democracy. In practice it is a myth, quoted for effect or convenience, and more honored in the breach than in the observance.

There is a universe of lies, distortions and deformations that the capitalist world wraps around the masses – masses it despises and detests. It is the reflection of the pervading subservience to the interests of the 1%, and of a mythical and in itself distorted vision of the Western world.

As observed recently in France, a ruthless Fascism won the elections pretending to be anti-Fascist. And as a journalist noted, the European Union is but a media dictatorship, practicing the utopia of supreme selfishness.

To peddle the European Union as a means to prevent European nations waging war against each other is a sick joke. Sick because it implies that without the EU, Europeans were and would continue to seethe with lust at the idea of killing each other. Whereas, it was two fascisms – different in name but not in kind, and competing with each other for supremacy – that led Europe to slaughter, twice.

Furthermore, the famed prosperity that the EU should deliver to its citizens is a senseless euphemism to mask the implementation of extreme capitalism, imposed by the local servants of the transatlantic master.

For a while, the presence of the Soviet Union forced so-called Keynesian policies across the European continent. They led to the greatest growth and income distribution in the Western world. It’s no wonder that it was necessary and indispensable to destroy the only remaining obstacle to the end of history.

We are living in the final winning stage of neo-liberal capitalism, primitive, ruthless, instinctive, though masked in its spirit and action by the airy and almost meaningless lexicon of academic lackeys and economists. Neo-liberal philosophy spreads misery at large, more often not by a heavy crush of disaster, but by the corrosion of less visible evils, which undermine security and by building anxiety inject a chronic fear of life.

All this has slowly, inadvertently but steadily become custom. And established custom is not easily broken, till some great event shakes the whole system of things, and life seems to recommence upon new principles.

Meanwhile, a “super-centrist”, multi-level, multi-form and multi-faceted world government, meaningfully renamed ‘governance’ is clearing away the remnants of democracy, while the democrats applaud. On both sides of the pond, and probably in Saudi Arabia as well.

James Comey Is Losing His Game With Another Non-News Leak

May 17, 2017Moon of Alabama

This is a short follow up on yesterday’s false news stories topped with a Comey leak.

1. The New York Times tries to add to the story of the WannaCry ransom virus (which is based on NSA exploits),  hyping the unfounded claim that North Korea is behind it: Focus Turns to North Korea Sleeper Cells as Possible Culprits in Cyberattack. The story curiously does not even mention the nonsensical claim of a Google staffer that points to common code snippets in reused software stacks. Instead we get a long elaboration on how North Korea sends students abroad to be trained in IT and programming. In paragraph 4 the story asserts:

As evidence mounts that North Korean hackers may have links to the ransom assaults …

But no evidence, none at all, is cited in the piece. The “mounting evidence” is a molehill without the hill. Eleven paragraphs later we learn that:

It also is possible that North Korea had no role in the attacks,

Duh. Six NYT reporters collaborated in writing that twenty paragraph story which contains no reasonable news or information. What a waste.

2. The State Department claim that Syria built a crematorium inside a prison to burn executed prisoners saw no follow up. But it had consequences. The presented “evidence” was too thin to make it believable. Even the staunchly anti-Syrian SPIEGEL doubted it: USA bleiben Beweise für Assads Leichenöfen schuldig. Translated: “U.S. fails to give evidence for Assad crematorium claims.”

The State Department claim was presented in a special news conference by Stuart Jones, the acting assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs. A day later Jones announced that he would retire:

Jones, 57, told colleagues the decision was his own and that he had not been pushed out or asked to leave the department.

Ahem. Sure. Maybe. Or Secretary of State Rex Tillerson disliked the lame propaganda shows Jones presented under the official State Department seal.

3. Yesterday’s “Trump revealed critical intelligence to Russia” nonsense is already dying down. Even regular NYT readers criticize their paper’s reporting of it:

It’s quite strange that the media is giving such prominence to and broadcasting so much detail about supposedly highly secret information and its source in order to show how irresponsible President Trump is.

It seem that of the two, the media and the President, the media is by far the most at fault for leaking state secrets. Strange indeed: it seems the goal of bringing down Trump overrides all other considerations.”

To recap – in March the U.S. and the UK had issued a ban on laptops for fights from certain Middle Eastern airports:

The U.S. officials said intelligence “indicates terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation” by “smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items.”

It was known from other reports that the threat was from ISIS. Trump repeated this to the Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and added that the origin of the treat is the ISIS capital Raqqa. Anyone would have guessed that. It was no secret. But “current and former officials” phoned up reporter after reporter to claim that Trump revealed critical intelligence because the Russians might now guess which country the information was coming from. A few hours later the Washington Post and the New York Times, not Trump, revealed that the original information came from Israel. It will be difficult to blame Trump for “leaking to the Russians” less information than “current and a former American official” leak to mainstream paper.

But as that smear against Trump and Russia has failed a new one is needed.

A week ago Trump unceremoniously fired FBI boss James Comey:

After six months of investigation the FBI had no evidence for any of the rumors about Russian interference [in the U.S.] that were thrown around. It should have closed the case with a clear recommendation not to prosecute the issue. That Comey kept the case open was political interference from his side. Hearings and public rumors about the case blocked the political calendar. Instead of following the facts, and deciding based upon them, he was himself running a political campaign.

Comey had hoped that he would not be fired as long as the investigation was running. Since Trump kicked him out Comey tried to get a public hearing in Congress to spill the beans and get some revenge. The Republican majority leaders smelled the trap and did not invite him. Today he upped his game: Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation

President Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February, according to a memo Mr. Comey wrote shortly after the meeting.“I hope you can let this go,” the president told Mr. Comey, according to the memo.

Comey leaked the memo to raise new allegations against Trump and to finally get his day in Congress. But Trump’s “I hope you can let this go” is not a clear interference in a judicial investigation. Trump just wished that the FBI would use its resources to look into other issues, like the extensive leaking of secret intelligence that occurred during recent months. Nothing nefarious can be constructed from that reasonable explanation. The investigation into Flynn, for violating the Foreign Agent Registration Act with relation to Turkey(!), continues. Trump has had no influence on it. If this talk has been so important as to possibly constitute a breach of law why did Comey wait months, until after he was fired, to leak it?

The Comey claim is another non-issue and non-story. The Republican congress leaders will not jump on Comey’s bandwagon (- or will they?) If this was the worst Comey can present he has lost the fight.

The deep-state, which opposes any collaboration with Russia and wants Trump impeached (RealNews vid), will now have to find a new angle for its attack.

Posted by b on May 17, 2017 at 05:17 AM | Permalink

Turn East شرقاً دُر

 Turn East

Written by Nasser Kandil,

The US-British-Jordanian preparations on the southern borders of Syria are no longer secret, and it became known that the visit of the US Chief of Staff to Tel Aviv is within the context of the preparation for what is so-called the processes on the southern front for which it was mobilized nearly five thousand militants from different nationalities. What was announced in the Israeli press was that the US visit aims to coordinate the efforts and to ask Israel for just the information and the intelligence support lest its direct intervention will lead to sabotage of the opportunities of the success of the process, and a bigger escalation that becomes out of control, and that its impact will be negative on the process and on Israel in particular.

The positions issued by Syria and its allies ensure that the response will be critical against any foreign intervention inside the Syrian borders, the information which came from Moscow says that those concerned in Washington and Amman in particular know that, while the responses issued by the Americans and the Jordanians through the diplomatic communications and media positions say that there are no intentions to collide with Syria, Russia, and their allies despite the announcement of Washington and all of its allies their hostility against Hezbollah and Iran, they consider that the cooperation to prevent the expansion of the resistance axis in the southern of Syria is within the announced goals. Some of the sources that belong to Washington took the responsibility to clarify the meaning of the military process in the southern of Syria on one hand, and the non-collision with Syria and Russia on the other hand, they say that the process is not as it seems apparently to seize part of the Syrian southern geography as the Turks or as the Kurds did in the north.

The Southern process according to the US sources aim to enter into a small line starts from the south to the north along the Syrian-Iraqi bordered line under the pretext of securing the area to prevent the infiltration of ISIS groups which flee from Mosul from reaching to Jordan and Syria, in addition that Washington sponsors this process and it does not want to turn it into a reason for a collision neither with Russia nor with Syria, the sources say that the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will discuss the details of the process with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and will try to have the contest of Moscow or at least its non-objection and understanding.

The resistance axis including the Syrian-Iranian and the resistance parties asserts its information about the field and the logistical preparations of the process, it considers the goal of the Syrian-Iraqi borders is right, but the goals are not related to what the Americans say but to complete the US seek to have control over the Syrian-Iraqi borders in the north to connect them from the south at Al Natf point, so having control on the borders between Syria and Iraq compensates the US failure in having control on Syria and Iraq. The geographical Syrian-Iraqi connection allows spreading oil and gas pipes and trade exchange, and allows an open supply line to the resistance, Syria, and Iran and later the way to the Mediterranean will be opened in front of Chine, so those who have control on the borders between Syria and Iraq will control the future of the economic and military equations in the Middle East and in Asia.

Moscow shares its allies their perspective and their concern, it ensures that it will unambiguously notify Washington that the supposed process is a change of the political and the military geography, and the announced goal does not justify it because the Syrian army with the support of Russia is ready, and it has started its progress to close the border line, so affecting its accomplishing of that task means there is something intended.

“Turn east” is announced by the Syrian army and the allies because it summarizes “Move to the South”.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

شرقاً دُر

ناصر قنديل

مايو 10, 2017

– باتت التحضيرات الأميركية البريطانية الأردنية على الحدود الجنوبية لسورية علنية، وصار معلوماً أن زيارة رئيس الأركان الأميركي لتل أبيب تندرج ضمن إطار التحضير لما سُمّي بالعمليات على الجبهة الجنوبية التي حشد لها الأميركيون قرابة خمسة آلاف مسلح من جنسيات مختلفة، والمعلن في الصحافة «الإسرائيلية» أن الزيارة الأميركية تتم لتنسيق الجهود وطلب اكتفاء «إسرائيل» بالدعم المعلوماتي والاستخباري كي لا يرتّب تدخلها المباشر تخريباً على فرص نجاح العملية ويرتّب انفجاراً أكبر في الوضع تصعب السيطرة عليه، ويكون ارتداده سلبياً على العملية وعلى «إسرائيل» خصوصاً.

– المواقف الصادرة عن سورية وحلفائها تؤكد أن الرد سيكون حازماً على أي تدخل أجنبي داخل الحدود السورية. والمعلومات من موسكو تقول إن المعنيين في واشنطن وعمان خصوصاً باتوا يعلمون ذلك. وتقول الأجوبة الصادرة من الأميركيين والأردنيين في الاتصالات الدبلوماسية والمواقف الإعلامية إن ليس هناك نيات للتصادم مع سورية وروسيا وحلفائهما، رغم إشهار واشنطن وكل حلفائها العداء لحزب الله وإيران واعتبار العمل لمنعهما من التمدد جنوب سورية ضمن الأهداف المعلنة، وتتكفل بعض المصادر بواشنطن بإيضاح المقصود من القيام بعملية عسكرية جنوب سورية من جهة، وعدم التصادم مع سورية وروسيا من جهة مقابلة، فتقول إن العملية ليست كما يبدو الظاهر بالسعي لاقتطاع جزء من جغرافيا الجنوب السوري، أسوة بما فعله الأتراك شمالا، أو بما فعله الأكراد.

– العملية الجنوبية، وفقاً للمصادر الأميركية تهدف للدخول في شريط رقيق يبدأ من الجنوب ويصعد شمالاً على طول خط الحدود السورية العراقية، بحجة تأمين جدار يمنع تسلّل جماعات داعش الهاربة من الموصل من الوصول إلى الأردن أو سورية، وأن واشنطن ترعى هذه العملية ولا تريد تحوّلها لسبب تصادم مع روسيا ولا مع سورية. وتقول المصادر إن وزير الخارجية الأميركية ريكس تيلرسون سيبحث تفاصيل العملية مع وزير الخارجية الروسية سيرغي لافروف، وسيسعى للحصول على موافقة موسكو أو عدم ممانعتها وتفهّمها على الأقل.

– محور المقاومة بأطرافه السورية والإيرانية والمقاومة يؤكد معلوماته عن التحضيرات الميدانية واللوجستية للعملية، ويعتبر هدف الحدود السورية العراقية صحيحاً، لكن لأهداف لا تتصل بما يقوله الأميركيون، بل لاستكمال السعي الأميركي لإمساك الحدود السورية العراقية شمالاً بملاقاتها من الجنوب عند نقطة التنف، بحيث يعوّض الإمساك بالحدود بين سورية والعراق الفشل الأميركي بالسيطرة على سورية والعراق، فالتواصل السوري العراقي الجغرافي يتيح مد أنابيب النفط والغاز والتبادل التجاري، ويتيح خط الإمداد المفتوح للمقاومة وسورية وإيران، ولاحقاً يفتح طريق البحر المتوسط أمام الصين، ومَن يمسك بالحدود بين سورية والعراق يتحكّم بمستقبل المعادلات الاقتصادية والعسكرية في الشرق الأوسط، بل في آسيا.

– موسكو تشارك حلفاءها نظرتهم ومخاوفهم، وتؤكد أنها ستبلغ واشنطن بما لا يقبل التأويل أن العملية المفترضة تغيير للجغرافيا السياسية والعسكرية، والهدف المعلن لا يبرّرها، لأن الجيش السوري بدعم روسي مستعدّ وقد بدأ بالتقدم لإقفال خط الحدود، والمشاغبة على إنجازه لهذه المهمة تعني أن النيات هي شيء آخر.

– «شرقاً در»، أعلنها الجيش السوري والحلفاء، لأنها تختصر «جنوباً سر».

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تفاهم أميركي روسي أم تنظيم للخلاف؟

تفاهم أميركي روسي أم تنظيم للخلاف؟

مايو 11, 2017

نقاط على الحروف تكبير الخط + | تصغير الخط

ناصر قنديل

– حملت المواقف الإعلامية الصادرة عن الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب ووزير خارجيته ريكس تيلرسون وعن وزير الخارجية الروسي سيرغي لافروف في أعقاب اللقاءات التي ضمّت لافروف وتيلرسون أو ضمّتهما مع ترامب، إشارات واضحة إلى مناخات إيجابية عالية، كقول الرئيس ترامب إنّ اللقاء كان جيداً جداً، وتأكيده تعاون جميع الأطراف لتخفيف التوتر ووقف العنف في سورية، أو دعوته موسكو لاحتواء إيران والحكومة السورية، وبالتالي اعتبار التعامل الروسي معهما مطلوباً وليس عقبة أمام تعاون واشنطن وموسكو. وفي المقابل أعلن لافروف في مؤتمره الصحافي عن تفاهمات ونيات تعاون وخطة تواصل لمناقشة وتقييم المسائل الدولية، مستخدماً كلمة «اتفقنا» على مشاركة أميركية في منصة أستانة، و«اتفقنا» على إحياء مجموعة العمل المشتركة، وفقاً لقاعدة أنّ المسائل الدولية يجب أن تحلّ معاً، و«اتفقنا» على العمل معاً والتعاون في مستويي أستانة وجنيف.

– خلال شهرين سيلتقي الرئيسان الأميركي دونالد ترامب والروسي فلاديمير بوتين، وخلال الشهرين سيكون اختبار المناطق الهادئة في سورية قد ثبت أو انهار، وستكون حرب الطبقة على داعش قد انطلقت، وسيكون مصير ما يجري تحضيره في الحدود الجنوبية لسورية قد حُسِم، والتفاهمات التي بشّر بها المسؤولون الروس والأميركيون هي مقدّمات للتفاهم الأكبر الذي ينتظر لقاء بوتين وترامب، ولذلك فإنّ محادثات جنيف الخاصة بسورية لن تحقق نتائج تُذكر هذه المرة بانتظار ما سيجري خلال الشهرين على المسارات الثلاثة المذكورة ويتوّج بلقاء ترامب بوتين.

– يعلم الفريقان وحلفاؤهما أنّ السباق على الحدود السورية العراقية صار هو البعد الوحيد في الحرب السورية الذي يمكن وصفه بالاستراتيجي، لما يتيحه من فرص تحويل العلاقة السورية بإيران والعراق إلى عمق استراتيجي أو إلى رهينة للإرادة الأميركية. لكن الفريقين وحلفاءهما يعلمون أنه سباق يجب أن يتمّ على نار هادئة ومن دون التحوّل إلى مواجهة سياسية أو عسكرية بينهما، وإلا أصيب الجميع بالخسائر، وتضرّرت مخططاتهم. فعندها لا حرب في الرقة ولا فرص نجاح لمسار أستانة، ولذلك يجب أن تتعهّد روسيا بتوظيف الدور التركي في أستانة كتعويض لتركيا عن خسائرها في حرب الرقة ومنع التخريب على هذه الحاجة الأميركية، مقابل تعهّد أميركي بتحويل الحماسة السعودية لتحرك الجبهة الجنوبية لسورية إلى تعويض عن عدم المشاركة في أستانة، وبالتالي منع تخريب سعودي لمسار التهدئة، وتنظيم الخلاف على الحرب الجنوبية بحصرها في أضيق نطاق تحت عنوان أنّ الفريقين يخوضانها تحت عنوان الحرب على داعش وتطويق وحداتها وضمان أمنهم من مخاطر تسرّب وحدات داعش نحو مناطقهم في ظلّ حربي الموصل والرقة.

– بات واضحاً أنّ تحريك الجبهة الجنوبية ليس كما أوحت التقارير التي تحدّثت عن اختراق للأراضي السورية من الحدود الأردنية بغطاء جوي أميركي بريطاني وشراكة برية أردنية ووحدات خاصة أميركية وبريطانية نحو منطقتي درعا والسويداء، كما كانت الرغبة السعودية والإسرائيلية، بل صارت تحركاً من الجهة المقابلة من حدود الأردن مع سورية وهي الجهة الجنوبية الشرقية المحاذية بطول 200 كلم للبادية في لسان الرويشد الأردني الذي يفصل سورية عن السعودية ويقع على حدود العراق بعرض 100 كلم، وينتهي بنقطة التنف على المثلث السوري العراقي الأردني، التي يوجد عليها من الطرف الأردني أميركيون وبريطانيون وأردنيون ووحدات قاموا بتدريبها من الميليشيات السورية باسم «جيش سورية الجديد»، وتبتعد نقطة التنف عن تدمر قرابة 150 كلم، قطع الجيش السوري منها أكثر من النصف خلال اليومين الماضيين، والسباق هو على المساحة الفاصلة من الحدود السورية العراقية ما بين التنف والقائم والتي تبلغ 200 كلم سيحاول الآتون من التنف السيطرة عليها بقوة بلا ظهير جغرافي وتعدادها قرابة الخمسة آلاف مسلح، بينما سيسعى الجيش السوري وحلفاؤه للسيطرة عليها، ومن ضمنها البادية التي تفصل مواقعهم شرق حمص باتجاه دير الزور.

– بلوغ القائم على الحدود السورية العراقية سيقرّر مستقبل التنافس الدولي الإقليمي على ما هو استراتيجي في الحرب السورية، ضمن معادلتي التعاون لإنجاح حملة الرقة التي يقودها الأميركيون، ونجاح مسار أستانة الذي يقوده الروس، وفي نهاية الشهرين يلتقي ترامب وبوتين لترصيد الحسابات التي ستنتج معادلة لجنيف جديد، وربما مبعوث أممي جديد على قياس التسوية التي تحدّدها موازين القوى. تسوية تكرّس اليد العليا لمحور المقاومة بدولة سورية مركزية قوية، أم تسوية متدرّجة لدولة سورية رخوة تتعايش مع مناطق النفوذ، ويمكن الضغط عليها اقتصادياً واستراتيجياً عبر خط الحدود العراقية لفرض بعض مقتضيات الأمن «الإسرائيلي». وبالتوازي كلّ تعثر في الرقة والحرب على داعش جهوزية أميركية لتعاون مع روسيا وحلفائها بقوة العجز. وكلّ تعثر في مسار أستانة جهوزية روسية لتعاون مع أميركا بقوة الحاجة، لذلك يقول المعنيون في محور المقاومة إنّ بلوغ القائم من الطرفين السوري والعراقي قرارٌ قد اتُخذ وستوضع كلّ الإمكانات لحسمه، وفقاً لمعادلة الفشل ممنوع.

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