‘We are at war’…Neocons Launch ‘Committee to Investigate Russia’

“We have been attacked. We are at war.”

These are the opening words in a video uploaded by a new group calling itself the “Committee to Investigate Russia.” The organization was founded by neocon David Frum and Hollywood actor Rob Reiner, who played “the meathead” in the 1970s sitcom “All in the Family.”

Listed on the organization’s advisory board, in addition to Reiner, are Max Boot, James Klapper, Norman Ornstein, and Charles Sykes. Their video, in which they have recruited Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman as spokesperson, kind of leaves you with the feeling that if a white dove carrying an olive branch clasped in its beak ever flew too close to this group, any one of them would likely pull out a shotgun and blast it out of the sky.

It isn’t just that the video is oozing with American exceptionalism–our democracy is no longer a “shining example” of anything other than relentless wars and quest for complete and total global dominance–it is that in raising its shofar, the esteemed “committee” seems to be seeking to establish the pretext for a war with Russia. As independent journalist Caitlin Johnstone puts it in her article on the matter:

…the assertion that America is currently at war with Russia is horrifying, and if Americans start swallowing this disgusting propaganda there’ll be no public outcry if the US really does enter into actual warfare with the only other nuclear superpower on the planet. The evidence-free assertion that America has “been attacked” is plainly geared to elicit a fear response from the video’s intended audience and manufacture support for counter-attacks and/or dangerous new cold war escalations.

Whatever else may be said about Trump, he seems to have succeeded in getting a good bit of the planet’s population on the edge of its seats trying to guess when and where the next world war is going to start. In his speech at the UN yesterday, he threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea. On the other hand, the Syrian Army, after crossing the Euphrates River, is now being hit with heavy fire from areas controlled by US and Kurdish forces–so maybe it’ll be Syria.

Or perhaps joker’s wild, and Mattis will decide to nuke Venezuela instead.

Whichever it turns out to be, the underlying strategy in all this seems: instill fear by making the rest of the world think you’re crazy. It’s a tactic that the Trump administration in all likelihood borrowed from Israel. As one political analyst once put it,  “The threatening of wild, irrational violence, in response to political pressure, has been an Israeli impulse from the very earliest days.” America, the largest and most dangerous rogue state on the planet, is now threatening “wild and irrational violence” in multiple directions. And as if that weren’t ominous enough, we now have the emergence of a group proclaiming the US to be at war with Russia.

Here are Reiner and Frum being interviewed on Bloomberg News. Notice Reiner sidestep the question of who is funding his organization:

We have been “attacked by a foreign power,” Reiner claims. How many elections in other countries has the US altered the outcome of? How many other countries have we attacked either directly or through proxies over the last 50 years? Nobody making allegations about “Russian hacking” of the US election ever seems to want to talk about this. They all seem to pretend that America has a sterling record of honoring the sovereignty of other nations.

You might be wondering about the Russian reaction to Reiner and Frum and their little group. RT has published an article on it, and while the piece is devoid of any response from the Russian government, it does note that Freeman’s appearance in the video has prompted “quite a stir on Twitter.” It seems that the actor, in aligning himself with a coterie of neocons, has lost a few fans.

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PATREON: YES, PEOPLE EXIST IN PYONGYANG

A common comment I’ve gotten on the fraction of photos/videos I’ve posted from North Korea (as I continue to sift through hundreds of them) is the lack of people on the streets. Bearing in mind that I haven’t yet posted videos and photos from busy places like the metro/subway system and public places, I’m sharing these screenshots from a video of a busy public square near the train station, a square that was filled with people, mostly sitting, each time I passed it.

If you’d like to see the video now, consider following me on Patreon. 

See: Yes, People Exist in Pyongyang

Lies, historical amnesia, bombast and double standards – Trump speaks at the UN

Jim Miles | Axis of Logic
Trump’s speech at the UN this morning is one of the best speeches I have heard aimed at an ignorant uninformed audience, essentially his Make America Great Again (MAGA) followers, and his political state handlers.  Staying on script from the teleprompters, it was obvious that while many of these ideas were his, most of the writing, indeed probably all of it, was done by someone else. 

The platitudes and homilies about peace, security, and sovereignty were many, supporting his idea that MAGA includes the whole world supporting and abiding by U.S. dictation. The information provided went far beyond homilies to being outright lies, large areas of historical amnesia – especially for Iran and North Korea – replete with double standards, and not so subtle bombast and hubris.

Introduction
The speech began with comments about how well the U.S. was doing. Trump noted that the stock market was at record highs. He did not mention that this was because of the Fed’s zero interest policy, the essentially free money corporations could borrow to buy back their own stock and artificially boost the market; nor did he mention all the interventions the Fed and corporations use to control stock and commodities prices.

He followed by bragging about the great growth in employment, without noting that most of the new jobs are part-time, on call, and generally low paid service jobs (really, how many bartenders can one country have?). The employment statistics are manipulated through the artful use of a ‘birth-death’ model (with its assumption of more businesses being created, and thus more employment, than are going out of business) and the use of ‘seasonal adjustments’ (from which very small tweaks can produce large shifts in numbers). Ironically in his closing statements of trade, he argued that the U.S. has lost large numbers of factories and workers to other countries due to the unfair trade arrangements (how many bartenders again?).

The introduction continued with wonderful platitudinous lies about the beneficence of the U.S. way of life, such that “we do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone”, and letting us “shine as an example for everyone to watch.” He repeated it very shortly afterwards, saying the U.S. “did not attempt to impose our way of life on others,” as if repetition makes it true – although it does become reality within the big lie technique of propaganda. In short, Trump has denied centuries of U.S. military/economic adventurism that imposed – well, perhaps not exactly their way of life – their will, greed, avarice, and power on other people.

“Small group of rogue regimes…”
Trump then transitioned into his main topics, the “small group of rogue regimes” who did not abide by the ‘rule of law’ and sovereign independence. It could be asked whose rule of law – U.S. military law or international humanitarian law, or the UN Charter and the Geneva Conventions on occupied territories and prisoners of war? And of course it would never occur to him that these rogue states are the ones that generally have suffered highly due to U.S. adventurism into their internal sovereign affairs. 

North Korea
North Korea was up first, the “depraved nation” that “imperils the world with nuclear destruction.” So why not the depraved nations such as the U.S. that has actually used nuclear weapons; or Israel that continually reminds friends and neighbours that it has its ‘doomsday option’; or Pakistan and India who remain outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which requires nations to find means to reduce their arsenals. No, the real nuclear threat grows from the dimly lit insides of Trump’s mind, accompanied by the still existing neocon desire for a nuclear first strike – perhaps trying to use North Korea as an example of what it can do.

Unfortunately, this is a case of enormous historical amnesia.  North and South Korea had regular skirmishes against each other before the actual war. South Korea was a U.S. puppet dictatorship that killed many of its own citizens and has been reported quite authoritatively to have actually attacked and captured a North Korean town before the North retaliated en masse. Eventually, with the war stalemated, the threats of nuclear bomb use eliminated, the U.S. air force destroyed all infrastructure in the North, including all components of civilian support, killing an estimated one third of the population. And you wonder why they want nuclear weapons?  And you forget what happened to Hussein and Gaddafi after they gave up their nuclear ambitions?

Iran
Next came “another reckless regime”, Iran, “an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos.” My, my, Trump cannot seem to remember either U.S. history or the history of Iran. It was the U.S. (along with Britain) that overthrew the democratically elected Mossadegh government of Iran in 1953 over – you guessed it – control of oil. It was the U.S. that imposed the Shah and his secret service torturers, the Savak, on the people, who unsurprisingly rebelled and began their religious revolution.

Essentially Trump blamed Iran for all the wars, terrorists, and political chaos in the Middle East. More irony, as he then goes on to talk about his speech to Saudi Arabia in which he says the group agreed to “confront terrorism and confront the Islamic extremism that inspires them….to expose and hold responsible those countries who support and finance terror groups….” One can hear the Saudis quaking in their slippers at this line, as they silently go about their financing and arming of terror both for and against the will of the U.S., while maintaining the petrodollar as the world’s reserve currency in support of the truly greatest terror country in the world.

Trump also denounces the recent Iranian nuclear deal, saying he “cannot abide by an agreement” that could lead to a nuclear weapon and that it is “an embarrassment to the United States.” Well, no, Trump is the true embarrassment – or should be – as the other co-signatories to the agreement have so far stood by it.

Syria and segues
Of course Syria could not be left off the table, after a brief sojourn through Afghanistan (“new rules of engagement”). Trump brags that the U.S. accomplished more in eight months than in the previous three years, and thanked the UN for their assistance in liberated areas. Really? Has Trump taken out Russian citizenship? The UN is not in Syria, and it is Russian leadership that has liberated most of Syria from U.S./Saudi/Qatari supported terrorists. 

This segment seques into the problem of refugees and thus, through implication, with Mexico. Arguing that the U.S. is a “compassionate nation” he indicates that the country that loses people as immigrés is worse off because those are the people who could change the defects of the country they are leaving….? But what if – what if those defects are caused by unfair trade agreements (Mexico was overwhelmed with U.S. subsidized corn that pushed many farmers off their lands into the hands of corporate landlords in the Maquiladora) and the predatory practices of businesses within the U.S.?

This segues again into another topic – the UN itself – with part of the argument being that “some governments with egregious [pretty big word there, Donald] human rights records sit on the United Nations Human Rights Council.” Were you perhaps referring to Saudi Arabia, the titular head of the UNHRC, you know, the country that won’t let women drive or vote or dress how they want – and supports al-Qaeda and ISIS and attacked the sovereignty of Yemen and Qatar and suppresses dissent domestically and with its neighbour Bahrain? Yeah, those egregious guys.

Socialism is evil
Following this came his attacks on Cuba and Venezuela with his own egregious statement [yeah, pretty big word eh, Donald?] that the worst countries in the world are those where “Socialism has been faithfully implemented.” Wow, this statement involves ignorance of current affairs, of global and U.S. history – anything in short that has to do with any and all economic/military practices of the past two centuries.

So the Scandinavian countries are failures? Well, perhaps they didn’t implement socialism fully, that’s their problem. And Cuba a failure? I would argue that in spite of U.S. sanctions and embargo that Cuba has done quite well considering, with Cuban life expectancy rising, and the U.S.’s falling, Cuba has a higher literacy rate than the U.S., and their health services are free – not only domestically, but provided throughout – imagine this – hurricane battered islands of the Caribbean!

Further, more globally, yes there have been failures within socialism. The Soviet Union is perhaps the biggest example, but they self-corrected. How’s China doing? Are they not competing with you for global economic supremacy? And what about Iran – oh yeah, you guys overthrew their social democratic government. And then Chile – oh yeah – you provided Pinochet with the power to overthrow the democratically elected Allende social government there. And Vietnam – well millions of tons of bombs later, along with chemical weapons – without forgetting the bombings in Laos and Cambodia and you almost defeated communism there.   The list goes on, the reader’s best reference on this should be the writings of William Blum.

But I forgot Venezuela. Another oil country. Another country that has seen U.S. fomented attempts at government overthrow. Another country that has had large corporate oil interests that were taken over by the state. Another country that has had sanctions placed on it. And by gosh, socialism is the reason they are failing….?

Trump claims all of Latin America as good economic partners – perhaps that is because all countries of South and Central America have at one time or another – Honduras under Hillary Clinton’s watch most recently, 2009 – undergone covert or overt U.S. intervention to bring their governments into line with U.S. corporate interests – thus good economic partners, with a distinct lack of sovereign integrity.

Finale
What was truly significant during this anti-socialist tirade was the reaction of the audience when he announced that the implementation of socialism was the problem in all these failed countries. There was an immediate and distinct shuffle and commotion with only a few scattered bits of applause (probably from Macron, Trudeau, Merkel, always by the U.S. in spirit). Throughout the speech, the cameras also focussed in on the leaders being taken to task, and all had the same disgusted, steadfast, steely look of someone who has to listen to an idiot ramble on with the usual imperial rhetoric and hubris. Well, except for Netanyahu, who was seen nodding in agreement to Trump’s rhetoric. 

The speech ended with more of that hubris and rhetoric, repetition of the platitudes and bombast from the introduction – another good sign Trump did not actually write the speech, who would probably not know this paradigm of good speech/essay writing. Claiming that the U.S. is “among the greatest forces for good in the history of the world,” he eventually signed off, much to the relief of all but his ardent followers and the U.S. deep state.

من التحوّلات الميدانية إلى التحوّلات السياسية

 I 

سبتمبر 18, 2017

زياد حافظ

فجأة وبعد حالة إنكار غريبة يركّز الإعلام الغربي والعربي على التطوّرات العسكرية التي تحصل في الميدانين السوري والعراقي. المقالات والتعليقات والمداخلات التلفزيونية وغيرها من وسائل التواصل العام والخاص تغصّ بمعلومات وآراء متعدّدة. معظم هذه الآراء تجمع على أنّ التطوّرات الميدانية ستحمل تطوّرات سياسية. فما هي هذه التحوّلات السياسية المرتقبة؟

في رأينا لقد بدأت منذ فترة التحوّلات السياسية على الصعيد الدولي والإقليمي والعربي، لأنّ التحوّل الاستراتيجي حصل مع إيقاف المشروع الأميركي في العراق، وصمود المقاومة في لبنان وغزّة، ومع صمود سورية في وجه العدوان الكوني. أما التداعيات السياسية فهي متعدّدة. فلا يمكن إجراء مقاربة للتحوّلات الدولية من دون مقاربة انعكاساتها إقليمياً وعربياً، وكما لا يمكن قراءة المشهد الإقليمي بعيداً عن التطوّرات الدولية والعربية، وأخيراً لا يمكن فهم التطوّرات في المشهد العربي من دون الالتفات إلى التحوّلات الدولية والإقليمية. فأيّ قراءة لأيّ مشهد تصبح قراءة متعددة الأبعاد.

فعلى الصعيد الدولي نشهد بروز كتلة سياسية وجغرافية وبشرية واقتصادية وعسكرية في العالم أكبر وأفعل من مجموعة «المجتمع الدولي» المكوّن أساساً من الولايات المتحدة والاتحاد الأوروبي، وذلك منذ تبيّن أنّ الهيمنة الأميركية تتعثر في مطلع الألفية الجديدة. المجموعة الجديدة هي مجموعة بريكس. لن نسترسل في سرد التطوّرات التي رافقت نشأة بريكس، بل نكتفي بما حصل في اللقاء الأخير لقمة تلك الدول التي عُقدت في مدينة زيامين الصينية. فالقمة الأخيرة لها دلالات عديدة إضافة إلى أنها المدينة التي كان عمدتها في السابق الرئيس الصيني الحالي زي جين بينغ.

الدلالة الأولى تكمن في طريقة الاستقبال الحارّ والفائض في الاحترام لمسؤولي الدول المشاركة خلافاً عن الاستقبال الرسمي والمتعالي والبارد أحياناً الذي يحصل في الغرب تجاه الدول التي تعتبرها دول الغرب أقلّ شأناً لا ننسى دفع الرئيس الأميركي لرئيس الجبل الأسود في اجتماع قمة الأطلسي الأخير أمام الشاشات .

الدلالة الثانية هي مضمون المحادثات سواء على الصعيد السياسي أو الاقتصادي. ففلسفة هذه المجموعة هي الاستقرار ضمن حدود القوانين الدولية واحترام الدول، وبهذا تختلف مع دول «المجتمع الدولي» التي تضرب عرض الحائط المواثيق الدولية والقانون الدولي. فقرار رفض أيّ مغامرة عسكرية في الأزمة الكورية كان بمثابة «نقض» لبعض التوجّهات الأميركية التصعيدية تجاه كوريا الشمالية. ويأتي هذا التوافق بعد اهتزازات في العلاقات بين الصين والهند ومحاولات الأخيرة في بلورة مبادرة منافسة لمبادرة الحزام والطريق الواحد، وذلك مع اليابان وبعض الدول الأفريقية تحت عنوان الممرّ الأفريقي الآسيوي للنمو.

أما على الصعيد الاقتصادي فكانت القرارات تثبّت المضيّ في إنشاء منظومة مالية دولية مستقلّة عن الدولار ما يحصّن الاستقلالية السياسية التي تتّسم بها هذه الدول. وعلى ما يبدو فإنّ هذا التوجّه يقلق الإدارة الأميركية التي وجّهت على لسان وزير المال ستيفين منوخين تحذيراً للصين بمنعها من «الدخول إلى النظام المالي الأميركي والدولي للدولار»، كما ذكر موقع «فورين بوليسي» و «روسيا اليوم». جاء هذا التحذير بعد اعتراض الصين على عقوبات قاسية بحق كوريا الشمالية غير أنّ التهديد الأميركي أبعد من ملابسات الأزمة الكورية. غير أنّ الصين وحلفاءها ماضون في إنشاء المنظومة المالية الموازية للدولار لردع الهيمنة الأميركية على العالم من الناحية الاقتصادية. فما يحصل في الميدان السوري والعراقي يُترجم على الصعيد الدولي بالمزيد من الاستقلالية عن الهيمنة الأميركية.

الدلالة الثالثة، وهي ربما الأهمّ في اللقاء الأخير، هو الانفتاح على العالم. فدعوة مصر وغينيا وتايلاند والمكسيك وطاجكستان ترمز إلى إقناع العالم أنّ الغرب ليس المرجع الوحيد للقرار السياسي والاقتصادي العالمي. دعوة مصر لها دلالات عديدة. فعبر مصر تدخل بريكس الوطن العربي كما تركّز وجودها في القارة الأفريقية مع وجودها في الجنوب عبر جمهورية جنوب أفريقيا إحدى الدول المؤسسة لمجموعة بريكس، ووجود غينيا الغنية بالموارد الطبيعية من معادن بوكسيت، ذهب، الماس والتي رفضت منذ استقلالها الهيمنة الفرنسية على مقدّراتها. فهي منذ حكم الرئيس المؤسس للجمهورية الغينية أحمد سيكو توري خارج منطقة الفرنك الأفريقي «سي أف آه» والنفوذ الفرنسي المباشر. فثلاث دول أفريقية وازنة مشاركة أو مدعوّة كمراقب في مجموعة بريكس لها معانٍ كثيرة أهمّها أنّ الدول المستعمرة القديمة تراجعت سيطرتها وهيمنتها بشكل ملحوظ على القارة الأفريقية. أما دعوة المكسيك فهي مع البرازيل الدولة في أميركا اللاتينية صاحبة الشأن الاقتصادي الأبرز وعلى أبواب الولايات المتحدة. فيما بعد نعتقد أنّ فنزويلا وكوبا ستصبحان ضمن مجموعة بريكس اللاتينية.

أما على الصعيد الأميركي فحالة الإرباك هي المسيطرة على مفاصل الإدارة والحكم كافة. فالتحوّلات الميدانية في سورية والعراق لا تساعد على حسم الإرباك. فمن جهة هناك نزعة الرئيس إلى عدم التورّط في حروب جديدة، ومن جهة أخرى هناك نزعة القيادات العسكرية التي لا تعرف كيف تنهي الحروب لتقلّل من خسائرها. فبعد الحرب العالمية الثانية لم تربح الولايات المتحدة حرباً في العالم رغم انخراطها في حروب مستمرة. والآن هي منخرطة بشكل أو بآخر في حروب في سبع دول من دون نتيجة إيجابية لها تذكر. فالميل الطبيعي عند القيادات العسكرية هي المزيد من التدخل لأنها لا تستطيع أن تقرّ بهزيمة ميدانية. هذا هو الحال في أفغانستان والعراق وسورية واليمن والصومال وباكستان وكاميرون.

هنا لا بدّ من ملاحظة تطوّر جديد في موقف المؤسسة العسكرية وهو عدم الرضوخ لمشيئة الكيان الصهيوني. هناك دلائل عديدة عن ذلك التحوّل الذي بدأ منذ بضع سنوات في جلسات استماع للقيادات العسكرية في الكونغرس الأميركي مفادها أنّ سياسات حكومة الكيان تهدّد الأمن العسكري للقوّات الأميركية في المشرق العربي.

أما الحضور العسكري الأميركي في الساحتين العراقية والسورية فهو محدود، ولا يستطيع تغيير المعادلات الاستراتيجية التي ترسم في الميدان. كلّ ما يمكن أن تفعله هو محاولة في إمساك ورقة للتفاوض. فروسيا التي تقود الحملة السياسية للحلّ السياسي للصراع في سورية تحرص على حفظ ماء الوجه الأميركي من دون أن يسبّب ذلك أيّ ضرر لمصالحها في سورية والعراق وعامة المشرق، ولكن كلّ ذلك يُبقي اليد العليا لروسيا وحلفائها الإقليميين والدولة السورية.

وأخيراً على الصعيد الأوروبي، فبات واضحاً أنّ الدول الوازنة في الاتحاد تجنح إلى الإقرار بالهزيمة الميدانية والسياسية في سورية وتحاول التخفيف من الخسائر وحفظ دور ما في المعادلة السياسية الجديدة، وربما المساهمة في إعادة إعمار سورية. فالاتحاد الأوروبي يتعرّض لهزّات عديدة وقوية نتيجة سياسات خاطئة أدّت إلى تدفّق اللاجئين من سورية والعراق ما مسّ بالأمن القومي الداخلي لدول الاتحاد.

سبتمبر 19, 2017

Deplorable Ignorance and Indifference of Most Americans

Source

Deplorable Ignorance and Indifference of Most Americans

Stephen LENDMAN

Americans are the most over-entertained, uninformed people on the planet – mostly know-nothings about domestic and geopolitical issues mattering most.

A new Gallup poll provides more evidence – 58% of respondents supporting war if peaceful methods with North Korea fail.

Americans are so out-of-touch with reality they have no idea that the Trump administration ruled out dialogue with Pyongyang or why.

They have no understanding of what nuclear war means, endangering the lives and welfare millions of people in North and South Korea, others potentially in Japan and cross-border in China.

They fail to grasp the possibility that war on the DPRK could invite China’s intervention to protect its security, Russia possibly getting involved for the same reason.

They can’t comprehend the legitimate threat North Korea faces. Lacking powerful weapons invites hostile US intervention, all sovereign independent countries threatened by Washington’s rage for dominance, vulnerable to mass slaughter and destruction like other nations America attacked.

Nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities aren’t a protective shield from US aggression, but they greatly diminish the odds of a preemptive attack – the sole reason Pyongyang wants them, for defense, not offense, their right under international law.

Scoundrel media mind manipulation has most Americans fooled most of the time – why Washington gets away with ravaging and destroying one country after another with shamefully little public opposition.

Most Americans are ignorant about what’s going on or indifferent to oppose publicly it like during the Vietnam era.

Anti-war fervor made a difference. Americas took to the streets nationwide. University faculty members across the country held “teach-ins,” instructing students about the immorality of US war and the political background of its involvement.

Thousands attended rallies in Washington and elsewhere. In November 1969, half a million massed in the nation’s capital against Southeast Asia war. Resistance leaders urged young men to burn their draft cards.

On April 4, 1967, one year to the day before his state-sponsored assassination, Martin Luther King delivered his powerful anti-war “Beyond Vietnam” address in New York’s Riverside Church – calling America “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.”

Now it’s much worse than then, America at war in multiple theaters directly and with proxy terrorist fighters, threatening war on other nations, risking nuclear war on the Korean peninsula – besides possible confrontation with Russia and/or China.

Gallup showed most Americans prefer war to anti-war resistance, the earlier spirit against US aggression gone.

Only 39% of respondents oppose attacking North Korea. Would they send loved ones to fight? Would they go themselves? Gallup didn’t ask to find out.

لعبة دي ميستورا انتهت على تخوم كوريا

لعبة دي ميستورا انتهت على تخوم كوريا

سبتمبر 7, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– من حق قادة وفد الرياض المفاوض في جنيف أن يتهموا دي ميستورا بالخيانة، وهو الذي رعاهم وحمى خياراتهم التصعيدية، وهو الذي بارك بيان الرياض الذي اعتمدوه سقفاً للتفاوض، وهو الذي قال إنّ وفدهم يمثل الجهة الشرعية للتفاوض عن المعارضات السورية، يأتيهم اليوم ويقول فكّروا بواقعية، لقد خسرتم الحرب وعودوا بوفد موحّد وبشعارات تتناسب مع المتغيّرات وبسقف تفاوضي قابل لتحقيق تقدّم لكن من حق دي ميستورا أن يعلن نهاية اللعبة، فهذا الوفد المفاوض لم تعُد بيده أيّ ورقة قوة ليضعها دي ميستورا على الطاولة ويحميهم بها، لا وجود عسكري ذي قيمة، ولا نفوذ شعبي، ولا دعم سياسي ودبلوماسي يُعتدّ به. فاللاعبون الكبار الذين طلبوا منه رعاية هؤلاء وسقوفهم هم مَن غيّروا مواقفهم من واشنطن إلى باريس، والجغرافيا السورية تقترب من لحظة يكون الجيش السوري فيها القوة الوحيدة المسيطرة على مساحة ما بين الحدود والحدود، فماذا عساه يفعل، إلا ما تستطيعه الماشطة مع الوجه العكش؟

– أوهام جماعة الرياض كانت مبنيّة على فرضية قوامها أنّ بمستطاع الأميركيين فعل الأكثر، وأنّ حماية سقوف مرتفعة في التفاوض مكاسب أميركية خالصة، إنْ لم يكن للفوز بحلّ سياسي مناسب لهم ولأميركا، فتعطيل حلّ سياسي غير مناسب لهم ولأميركا، فتتنعّم أميركا بالبقاء فوق بعض الجغرافيا السورية بذريعة تعطل فرص الحلّ، ويتنعّمون هم بعائدات اعتمادهم المالي والسياسي والإعلامي إلى ما شاء الله، والسؤال الذي يطرحونه، لماذا لا تستطيع واشنطن مواصلة السير في تعطيل الحلّ السياسي متذرّعة بهم، بدلاً من الضغط عليهم بواسطة دي ميستورا وسواه لقبول سقف الهزيمة؟ وهو السؤال السعودي و»الإسرائيلي» ذاته بالمناسبة!

– في المواجهة الدائرة على الساحة الدولية سلّمت واشنطن بعجزها عن مجاراة خصومها، خصوصاً روسيا والصين وإيران عن المواجهة في الميدان، لكنها وثقت كثيراً بنظام العقوبات المالية لإقامة توازن قوى عنوانه، النظام المالي بوجه المنظومة المقاتلة، وكان التفاهم على الملف النووي الإيراني نموذجاً للتسوية الممكنة بين النظام والمنظومة، ومثله تسوية للملفات العالقة، من سورية إلى أوكرانيا، وقد تمّت صياغة عناوين هذه التسويات في اتفاق جون كيري وسيرغي لافروف كوزيرين لخارجية روسيا وأميركا، في مثل هذه الأيام قبل عام، لكن القيادات العسكرية والاستخبارية الأميركية رفضت السير بالاتفاق، وبعد ممانعة لم تصمد إلا لأيام خضع الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب وسار بالخيار البديل، وهو استنفاد نظام العقوبات المالي، بناء على تقدير قوامه أنّ المنظومة المقاتلة قد استنفدت هوامش تأثيرها وساحاتها.

– جاء الحضور الكوري الشمالي إلى الميدان، معلناً بقوة صارخة أنّ المنظومة المقاتلة لا تزال في البدايات، ولديها الكثير لتفعله في مواجهة التحدّي، فاستنفر النظام المالي سقف العقوبات العالي بوجهها، ولم يفلح في الردع، بل زاد منسوب التوتر وارتفع سقف التحديات بلوغاً لمكان على الأميركيين الاختيار فيه بين الرضوخ للتسويات أو الذهاب لحرب يعلمون سلفاً استعصاء واستحالة تحمّل تبعات قرارها، فظهر خيار الردع المالي بعنوان مطالبة روسيا والصين بالتعاون في حصار كوريا الشمالية بالغذاء والمحروقات وانتقال الأموال النقدية، حتى تستسلم، فكان جواب الرئيس الروسي بليغاً، تريدون منّا تعاوناً في عقوبات نحن ضحاياها إنكم تمزحون ولا شك!

– بيد واشنطن قرار وحيد هو إعلان مقاطعة البنوك الروسية والصينية، على طريقة الذهاب في لعبة الشطرنج لنقلة انتحارية كأن تضع الوزير في وضعية كش ملك وهو أمام القلعة، وأنت تعلم أنه ميّت حكماً، هذا معنى إعلان الحرب المالية، في ظلّ العجز عن مواجهة المنظومة المقاتلة، لأنّ الردّ الرادع سيكون مشروعاً ودفاعياً، وعنوانه سقوط الدولار كعملة عالمية، وانشقاق النظام المصرفي العالمي، وهونغ كونغ تنتظر الدور ومثلها جنيف، كدول صغيرة ذات مكانة مصرفية وحياد سياسي، والعودة لنظام الذهب كمكافئ عالمي للعملات، بشّرت به قمة بريكس الأخيرة ضمن السطور وما بين السطور.

– الخبراء الأميركيون يقولون لا أحد في واشنطن ينصح أو يتجرأ على النصح بلعبة شمشون «عليّ وعلى أعدائي يا رب». وقادة النظام المصرفي النافذون في صناعة القرار يرفعون البطاقة الحمراء ضدّ القرارات المجنونة، ما يعني التسليم بسقوط نظام العقوبات، وليس فقط الذهاب للتفاوض في ملف كوريا الشمالية وسلاحها النووي، بل التفاوض على الخروج الأميركي الآمن من نظام العقوبات إلى التسويات كممر إلزامي… أولى التسويات على الطاولة سورية الموحّدة بقيادة الرئيس بشار الأسد بدءاً من دير الزور وسقوط منطقة شمال الفرات كمنطقة تموضع أميركي وخصوصية كردية… تبلّغ دي ميستورا وفهم وأفهم وأبلغ من يلزم… فلا عتب.

International Law? The Americans Don’t Give A Damn

International Law? The Americans Don’t Give A Damn

By Christopher Black – New Eastern Outlook – 06.09.2017

The United States of America has sunk to a new low in diplomacy and civilized relations between nation states with its demand that Russia close its consular missions in San Francisco, Washington and New York, quickly followed by its order that the consular staff leave the premises while the FBI conducted a search of the premises and staffers personal apartments. To order the closure of a mission, or to order the withdrawal of a member of diplomatic staff, is within its right but a search of consular property is not. It is a flagrant violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961.

Article 22 of the Convention states:

1. “The premises of the mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of the head of the mission.

2.The receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises of the mission against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity.

3.The premises of the mission, their furnishings and other property thereon and the means of transport of the mission shall be immune from search, requisition, attachment or execution.”

Article 45 states that even

“If diplomatic relations are broken off between two States, or if a mission is permanently or temporarily recalled:

(a) The receiving State must, even in case of armed conflict, respect and protect the premises of the mission, together with its property and archives;

(b) The sending State may entrust the custody of the premises of the mission, together with its property and archives, to a third State acceptable to the receiving State;”

The Vienna Convention is one of the foundations of international relations. Without it, and the ancient customs enshrined in it, international relations cannot exist. The United States of America is a state party to the Convention and so is bound by it as part of international law and as part of American law.

The Russian Foreign Ministry correctly stated that, “the occupation of Russian diplomatic properties in the US is a blunt act of hostility and in violation of international law.” The Russians also expressed their logical concern that the only reason for such a search to be conducted, aside from bullying and intimidation of the Russian people, is to use it as an opportunity for the Americans to plant items, which they will then use in their propaganda war against Russia. This concern is valid and strong since there can be no valid reason to insist on the staff leaving the premises so a “search” can be made except that the US government does not want its FBI agents observed.

This action by the USA is not just a crime against Russia. It is a crime against all the nations of the world who depend on the articles of the Vienna Convention to protect their diplomats and properties in host nations without which international diplomacy cannot be conducted. For if the USA will do this to Russia it will do it to anyone it chooses. No nation can now regard its diplomatic missions in the United States as protected, as the Convention requires. The ramifications will take a while to sink in but in effect the United States has now declared itself to be a rogue state that has no respect for its own or international law and the rights of other nations.

It is also a profoundly stupid action that can only damage the United States itself since, by its own example, it can no longer expect other nations to respect the diplomatic immunity of its diplomatic missions around the world.

So, why has the United States undertaken such a reckless and provocative action? There is no doubt that it is part of the bizarre and clumsy propaganda theme that Russia interfered in the American elections and so the “search” is meant to raise in the minds of Americans that there is something to be searched for, some evidence of a “crime.” Why this would be found in San Francisco is a mystery but the American government and media never seem to bother about logical plot lines in their propaganda stories.

The other reason is to provoke Russia. The provocations against Russia from Ukraine, to Latvia, from Crimea to Syria, continue to escalate. The provocations on the diplomatic front have been many, but it was Obama that expelled 35 Russian diplomats just before he left office and ordered the seizure of two Russian compounds. The Russia government held off responding to that for several months, hoping that the new US administration would be more reasonable, but in vain. Things just got worse and so the Russians ordered America to cut its diplomatic presence in Russia. The American seizure of more Russian properties and the search of the San Francisco mission are in line with the American logic of hostility towards Russia.

The provocative nature of this action is revealed in the statement of Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, quoted by Tass, on Sunday the 3rd of September,

By the way, do you know, what they were looking for – as we were told before the searches? You would not believe it – they were looking for explosives,” she said, adding ironically that it can be easily imagined how Russian diplomats are carrying explosive substances in their elegant cases.”

And,

According to Zakharova, the US security services obviously hoped Russian diplomats would lose their nerves and here there will be ‘an image of an aggressive Russian. Just try to imagine that you are being brainwashed for a year that an enemy is living overseas and this enemy is impacting your life and everything bad that might happen – the election of a president you don’t like – has been done by the Russians,’ she said.”

There we have it, The American government has become completely unhinged. They appear to have lost all sense of reality and can be said to be suffering from a type of psychosis and for all that are becoming more dangerous. A US government spokesperson stated that President Trump ordered this latest action, once again proving that Trump, for all his narcissism and arrogance, simply follows the long line of American presidents who have stirred up trouble in the world.

So far as I can determine, no other country has conducted itself like this before, not even the United States. Even the Japanese were not treated this way after Pearl Harbor. The Japanese embassy was locked down, put under the control of a neutral country and the Japanese diplomats allowed to leave the country. That is, the United States then, even in the face of a direct military attack against it by Japan, still adhered to international law and respected diplomatic customs. So far has the United States declined into barbarity that it does not now afford to Russia, a fellow member of the United Nations, and with whom war has not broken out, the same courtesies that were applied to Japan, a nation that attacked it. In fact, by its action, it negates Russia as a sovereign nation, since it denies Russia is entitled to the respect and courtesy due to all sovereign nations.

So far the Russian response has been muted, simply calling in the American deputy ambassador to hand him a note of protest. The First deputy chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Duma stated, “The US authorities may rest assured that the searches will not go unanswered.” But how? It is clear the Americans don’t give a tinker’s dam about law or custom or civilized behavior and are intent on provoking Russia. So what can an appropriate response be? I can only recall, once again, something my friend, Harold Pinter, the Nobel Laureate for Literature said in his acceptance speech. He stated,

The United States quite simply doesn’t give a damn about the United Nations, international law or critical dissent, which it regards as impotent and irrelevant.”

How to make them give a damn,” he once asked me, “before they kill us all?”

How indeed? I do not know but I do know that the nations of the world, including Russia, should pay heed to what Harold Pinter said, to think about it, to understand what the American action means at a deep level, and only then to respond accordingly.

Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel “Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events.

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