Iraq’s million-man march against US occupation, and Pentagon admits to 34 injuries from Iran strike

Iraqi people gather in the capital Baghdad for a “million-strong” march to demand an end to the presence of US forces in their country, on January 24, 2020.

January 24, 2020

by Aram Mirzaei for The Saker Blog

Iraqis have rallied in Baghdad in massive numbers to call for an end to US military presence in the country following high-profile assassinations and airstrikes targeting anti-terror forces.

Sayed Sadiq al-Hashemi, the director of the Iraqi Center for Studies, said more than 2.5 million took part in the demonstrations on Friday.

Since the early hours on Friday, huge crowds of men, women and children of all ages converged on the Jadriyah neighborhood near Baghdad University.

The protesters were seen carrying banners and chanting slogans calling for the expulsion of US forces.
“Get out, get out, occupier!” some shouted, while others chanted, “Yes to sovereignty!”
The massive rally came after influential cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called on Iraqis to stage “a million-strong, peaceful, unified demonstration to condemn the American presence and its violations”.
Sadr issued a statement on Friday calling for US bases to be shut down and Iraqi airspace closed to US warplanes and surveillance aircraft.

SITREP: Iraq’s million-man march against US occupation, and Pentagon admits to 34 injuries from Iran strike

He warned that US presence in the country will be dealt with as an occupying force if Washington does not agree with Iraqi demands to withdraw for the country.
In a message delivered through a representative at Friday prayer in the holy city of Karbala, top cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani also urged Iraqi political groups to do what is needed to the safeguard the country’s sovereignty.
He called on Iraqi groups to stand united, far from any foreign influence in countering the dangers which threaten the country.

On Thursday ahead of the planned rallies, Sadr called on Iraqis to mobilize and defend the country’s independence and sovereignty.

“Oh women, men and youth of the country, the time is now upon us to defend the country, its sovereignty and dependence,” Sadr said in a tweet.

“Spread the word of an independent future Iraq that will be ruled by the righteous; an Iraq which will not know of corruption nor aggression” he added, calling on Iraqis to expel the “tyrants”.

Various Iraqi resistance groups affiliated with the country’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) have also backed the anti-American rally.While no official number has been released, the march itself is likely one of the largest in the history of Iraq.

More ‘concussions’ are confirmed by the US

The Pentagon has said that dozens of US troops were wounded in an Iranian retaliatory missile attack earlier this month despite Washington’s initial claim denying casualties.

The Pentagon said on Friday 34 service members have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury following the Iran strike on January 8. They suffered concussions.

“Thirty-four total members have been diagnosed with concussions and TBI (traumatic brain injury),” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters a press conference at the Pentagon in Washington, DC.

Hoffman said that the eight injured troops who had been previously transported to Germany had been moved to the United States, but nine of them still remain there.

“They will continue to receive treatment in the United States, either at Walter Reed (a military hospital near Washington) or at their home bases,” he said.

The nine other victims “are still undergoing evaluation and treatment there (in Germany),” he added.

Source: Presstv

مليونيّة العراقيين ترفض الاحتلال والتواطؤ والالتباس

د. وفيق إبراهيم

العراق اليوم في شوارع مدنه وأريافه لإعلان موقف وطني يقطع أولاً مع المحتل الأميركي مهدّداً المتواطئين معه بمصير مشابه له ومنبّهاً الملتبسين بانتهاء «الرمادية» في المواقف.

وما على الأحزاب العراقية إلا أن تنضم للمنتفضين على الاحتلال، او تقف الى جانب الأميركيين في وجه الشعب والقوى الوطنية، فهذا ما تتطلبه هذه المرحلة الدقيقة، التي نجح فيها الأميركيون في إلغاء كامل السيادة الوطنية، مبيحين لقواتهم المحتلة نصب الكمائن وقتل العراقيين وضيوفهم واستعمال قواعدهم العسكرية في أنحائه للإشراف على العراق ومراقبة إيران وإدارة المعارك في شرقي الفرات السوري المجاور.

سياسياً تمكّن الأميركيون من «بعثرة» السياسة العراقية على قاعدة تأجيج خلافات عرقية وطائفية وجسّدوها في دستور بريمير الذي يسمح للمناطق بالتحوّل الى أقاليم فدرالية تتمتع بإدارة ذاتية شبيهة بمراحل تسبق عادة الانفصال الكامل، معززين قوى سياسية في المنطقتين الوسطى والشمالية، وبعض الطامحين الى السلطة في أحزاب الجنوب وتشكيلاته وذلك لدفع البلاد نحو انفصال حقيقي بطروحاتها الفئوية واحتمائها بالأميركيين.

هناك اذاً سياسة أميركية تعمل بلا كلل منذ 2013 على إضعاف الدولة العراقية ونفخ القوى المناطقية لهدفين اثنين: إضعاف العراق الى حدود الترنح وغياب الموقف الوطني، وتأمين حريات واسعة يصبح الاستعمار الأميركي بموجبها قائداً لإدارة المنطقة عسكرياً وبالتالي سياسياً.

هذه هي الأسباب التي تعطل الدور العراقي في الداخل والخارج وتمنح الأميركيين القدرة على الإمساك بقرارته السياسية والاقتصادية والوطنية والحربية.

فما إن وافقت حكومة عبد المهدي على عقد اتفاقات تبادل اقتصادي مع الصين بين السلع والنفط حتى استشعر الأميركيون ولادة موقف عراقي يبحث عن وسائل قوة في وجه الاحتلال وقراراته بالعقوبات والخنق الاقتصادي.

ولدى شعورهم بإصرار عراقي على التنسيق مع سورية، قاموا بقصف قاعدة لحزب الله العراقي قرب منطقة القائم عند حدود العراق مع سورية.

بما يسمح إضافة هذين السببين الى التقارب مع إيران كأسباب لتصعيد أميركي أكثر خطورة يرمي الى نقل الضعف الوطني العراقي الى مرحلة تقسيم بين أقاليم متصارعة فتذهب ريح أرض الرافدين مرة واحدة من دون آمال كبيرة بإعادة تجميعها.

هذا ما عجّل بتنفيذ اغتيال أميركي علني لقائدين كبيرين من قيادة العمل الأمني الجهادي إقليمياً وعراقياً وهما القائدان قاسم سليماني وابو مهدي المهندس على مقربة من مطار بغداد الدولي.

وهذا يؤكد على استخفاف الأميركيين بالسيادة العراقية وانتهاكهم ضرورات التنسيق المسبق مع القيادات الأمنية العراقية كما تنص الاتفاقيات المعنية. بما يكشف أنهم نفذوا الاغتيال وهم متأكدون مسبقاً من عجز الدولة العراقية عن الاتفاق على قرار موحّد من هذا الاغتيال. وهذا ما حدث، فحكومة كردستان الشمالية تتلاعب بالكلمات والمفردات وصولاً الى إعلان رفضها الكامل لسحب القوات الأميركية من العراق، كذلك فإن رئيس المجلس النيابي الحلبوسي يطالب بإقليم مستقل لوسط العراق في رسالة تهديدية لمن يطالبون بسحب الأميركيين، ما أفرز المعادلة التالية: وهي إعلان إقليم للاكراد وآخر للسنة في حالة الإصرار على طرد الأميركيين من ارض السواد. وهذا ما يبني عليه الأميركيون دائماً لإجهاض أي محاولة لفرض ظروف موضوعية تؤدي الى سحبهم.

اما الدليل الساطع على موضوعية هذا المطلب فموجود في واحد من تصريحات الرئيس ترامب الذي اكد فيه ان قواته أنهت الإرهاب في العراق. وهذا دافع للسؤال عن الدواعي لبقاء الأميركيين في العراق، ما دام مبرر وجودهم استناداً الى الاتفاقيات الموجودة، هو دعم العراقيين لمحاربة الارهاب!

لذلك بدأت المراوغة الأميركية بالزعم بعودة قريبة للإرهابيين مع دفع قيادات في المناطق الكردية والوسطى الى الاصرار على الانفصال في اطار اقاليم مستقلة. إلا اذا بقيت قوات الاحتلال الأميركية في العراق بما يكشف مدى الترابط بين الاستثمار السياسي لبعض القوى البرازانية في الشمال والحلبوسية – التركية السعودية في الوسط.

ما العمل اذاً؟

تداعت قوى سياسية مستقلة وأخرى تنتمي الى تحالف الحشد الشعبي والعاصمة بغداد وبعض الوسط الى استفتاء جماهيري يعلن قوة العراق في جمهوره الهادر اليوم والمتكوّن من مختلف أطيافه وأعراقه من عربه من الشيعة والسنة الى قسم من أكراد مقيمين في بغداد الى مسيحيين كلدان وأيزيديين وصابئة. وعشائر من الأنبار وشخصيات سنية معتدلة مدعومة من مراكز إفتاء ووجهاء وشيوخ.

بما يشمل جنوب البلاد ومناطق العاصمة وأريافها وبعض الوسط في اوسع تعبير عن وحدة العراق منذ احتلاله من قبل الأميركيين في 2013.

وفي إصرار على التحدي ينطلق اليوم عراقيو بغداد من منطقة الجادرية في عاصمتهم قرب السفارة الأميركية وذلك للانضمام الى حشود مليونيّة تعم البلاد بأسرها.

ما هو جدير بالملاحظة هما تهديدان أحدهما من قيادة البرازاني تحض الأكراد على عدم المشاركة مع بيانات غير موقعة ورسائل من وسائل الاتصال الجمعي تحذر ايضاً أهالي الوسط من المشاركة فيها.

هذا الى جانب وسائل الإعلام الخليجية العاملة دائماً على بث الفتنة المذهبية بين السنة والشيعة وتوحي وكأن المليونيّة هي لدعم إيران.

لكن كل هذه الأساليب لن تعطل زحف الملايين الساعية الى توفير القاعدة الشعبية للعراق الوطني الرافض لسياسات التقسيم الأميركية والخليجية والتركية والإسرائيلية.

فكيف يقبل العرب محللاً إسرائيلياً يدعى كوهين يقول على شاشة احدى المحطات الخليجية ان الكيان الاسرائيلي المحتل مستعدّ لدعم السنة ضد الشيعة؟

لذلك فإن هذا اليوم المليوني الموحّد للعراقيين هو مثابة قطع نهائي مع المراحل السابقة وتأريخ لبدء العمل بالمساواة بين العراقيين في السياسة الوطنية الرشيدة وتوزيع المال العام على كل المكونات العراقية على قاعدة إجهاض الفساد والتبذير والمساواة، في الانتماءات الاجتماعية لمصلحة الولاء لوطن عراقي موحّد يستوعب تنوعات ابنائه ساعياً الى استعادة دوره الإقليمي واستقلاله السياسي.

فيديوات متعلقة

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ملايين العراقيين يخرجون في تظاهرات ثورة العشرين الثانية ضد الاحتلال الامريكي
الشعب العراقي بصوت واحد كلا كلا امريكا
عبد الباري عطوان العراق.. مسيرة من نوع خاص ولماذا هي مختلفة عن كل المسيرات العربية
من العراق | 2020-01-24 | الشيخ صلاح العبيدي – الناطق الرسمي باسم السيد مقتدى الصدر

مواضيع متعلقة

Major crowds convene in streets of Baghdad to denounce US military presence in Iraq

Friday, 24 January 2020 6:40 AM  [ Last Update: Friday, 24 January 2020 8:11 AM ]

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

Screenshot from a live Press TV feed shows tens of thousands of Iraqi protesters gathering in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on January 24, 2019.

Major crowds have gathered in the Iraqi capital Baghdad to denounce US military presence in the country after the US assassinated Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who was second-in-command of the Iraq’s PMU, in Baghdad earlier this month.

Iraq’s al-Ahd news network reported on Friday that Iraqis from “all of the country’s provinces” have gathered in the city.

The protesters were seen carrying banners and chanting slogans calling for the expulsion of US forces.Press TV@PressTV

Iraqis hold “million-man march” against U.S. forces presence in their country / #Iraq #IraqMillionManMarch https://www.pscp.tv/w/cPp6AjF6dkVOV0RMQVd5UWV8MXlOR2FwYmRYZ05LaotrRYt6qHQZV6QKX8Iskp1d2I6t9m4GdoIzDI28D34F …Press TV @PressTVIraqis hold “million-man march” against U.S. forces presence in their country / #Iraq #IraqMillionManMarchpscp.tv567Twitter Ads info and privacy437 people are talking about this

The demonstrators are planned to gather in the intersection of Baghdad University in the Jadriyah neighborhood.

According to Reuters, new checkpoints were installed across the capital by late Thursday afternoon in anticipation of the major rally.

Iraqis in Karbala city, south of Baghdad, were also seen boarding buses heading towards the capital.

The rally comes after Influential Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called on Iraqis to stage “a million-strong, peaceful, unified demonstration to condemn the American presence and its violations” last week.

On January 5, the Iraqi parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution calling for the expulsion of all US-led forces in the country two days after Washington assassinated Soleimani and Muhandis.US rebuffs Iraq’s call to withdraw troops from Arab countryThe United States has rejected Iraq

Speaking on Thursday ahead of the planned rallies, Sadr called on Iraqis to mobilize and defend the country’s independence and sovereignty.

“Oh women, men and youth of the country, the time is now upon us to defend the country, its sovereignty and dependence,” Sadr said in a tweet.

“Spread the word of an independent future Iraq that will be ruled by the righteous; an Iraq which will not know of corruption nor aggression” he added, calling on Iraqis to expel the “tyrants”.

Various Iraqi resistance groups affiliated with the country’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) have also backed the anti-American rally.US forces to suffer heavy defeat if they refuse to leave Iraq: Hashd Sha’abi groupAn Iraqi PMU group says it is ready to inflict a heavy loss on US military forces if they refuse to withdraw from the country.

‘Zero hour in face-off with US’

Speaking to the Lebanese al-Mayadeen television channel, Jaafar al-Husseini, a spokesman for the PMU-affiliated Kata’ib Hezbollah resistance group, said that “other means” will be used against the Americans if they do not leave Iraq.

 He added that American presence has led to corruption and instability in the country.

In an interview with Iran’s Tasnim News Agency, Firas al-Yasser, member of the political bureau of the Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba movement, also said that today’s rallies marked “a new chapter” in the country’s relations with the US.

He added that Iraqi resistance groups support the stance of the country’s clerical leadership, which does not tolerate Washington’s  “theory of dependence and humiliation” against Iraq.

“We believe we have reached the zero hour in facing off with the US,” he said.

Yasser added that Iran’s missile attack on the Ain al-Assad base in the western Iraqi province of Anbar earlier this month was a “prelude” to the expulsion of US forces from the country.IRGC targets US airbases in Iraq in response to assassination of General SoleimaniIran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has targeted US airbases in Iraq.

Qais al-Khazali, leader of Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, which is part of the PMU, has described Friday’s rallies as a “second revolution” a century after the Great Iraqi Revolution of 1920.

Iraqis staged mass demonstrations against British forces that had occupied Iraq at the time. 

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هذه هي الرسالة التي وجهها الامين العام لحركة عصائب اهل الحق الشيخ قيس الخزعلي للشعب العراقي
ما هي ثورة العشرين في العراق؟

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Report: US May Deploy Patriot Missile System to Iraq after Iran Missile Strike

By Staff, Agencies

The US may send a Patriot missile system to Iraq after neighboring Iran launched a missile attack on American bases in the Arab country in retaliation for Washington’s assassination of senior Iranian commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, according to US officials.

US military officials told Fox News on Wednesday that the Patriot battery would now “likely” be deployed to Iraq.

In the early hours of January 8, Iran launched several missiles at Ain al-Assad airbase in Iraq’s Anbar Province and another American military facility in Kurdistan’s regional capital, Erbil, in revenge for the US terrorist act of assassinating General Soleimani and his companions in Baghdad on January 3.

None of the missiles were intercepted and they hit their targets precisely.

Fox News claimed that at the time that there was no US missile system in position to shoot down shoot down Iranian missiles. A senior Pentagon official stressed that they believed an Iranian missile attack was “unlikely.”

Hours after the strike, President Donald Trump claimed that US forces had “suffered no casualties, all of our soldiers were safe and only minimal damage was sustained.”

A few days later, however, reports emerged of the injured troops being taken out of Iraq.

The Pentagon announced last week that 11 service members had been flown to medical hospitals in Germany and Kuwait to be “treated for concussion symptoms from the blast.”

On Tuesday, Navy Captain Bill Urban, spokesman for the US Central Command [CENTCOM], said additional US troops, separate from the 11, had been flown out of Iraq for closer evaluation of potential concussion injuries.

“Given the nature of injuries already noted, it is possible additional injuries may be identified in the future,” he added.

Speaking on Wednesday, Trump downplayed the extent of the troops’ injuries.

“I heard that they had headaches and a couple of other things, but I would say and I can report that it’s not very serious,” he said at a news conference in Davos, Switzerland.

“I don’t consider them very serious injuries relative to other injuries I have seen. I’ve seen people with no legs and no arms,” he pointed out.

US Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, however, slammed Trump for attempting to mislead the American public by denying casualties among US personnel.

“You don’t get sent to Germany for headaches,” he told CBS News. “You get airlifted to Germany when you’re in seriously bad shape.”

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«الحراك» يغتالُ ثورته!

د. وفيق إبراهيم

بات الحراك الشعبي في وضعية صعبة تمنعه من تطوير مشروعه الذي كان يريد منه إلغاء الطائفية السياسية، وبناء نظام مدني على أساس قانون انتخابات على اساس لبنان دائرة انتخابية واحدة خارج القيد الطائفي.

هذا الحراك محشور اليوم بين طبقة سياسية لا تكترث اليه اعتقاداً منها أنه شديد الضعف، حتى أنها تعلن ولاءها له، لشدة ابتهاجها بمحدوديته.

هو أيضاً محاصر من قوى تزعم أنها منه، لكنها مدفوعة من أحزاب الطوائف لتحوير استهدافه من مستوى النظام الطائفي بكامله الى مرحلة دعم قوى طائفية ضد قوى طائفية أخرى وينتميان معاً الى النظام السياسي نفسه، إلا انهما على اختلاف حالياً بسبب الصراع المندلع بين مراكزها الإقليمية.

هناك الصراع الأميركي الإيراني المحتدم والسوري – الأميركي، والإيراني السوري الخليجي الاسرائيلي وهي صراعات اجتازت خطوط ربط النزاع فيما بينها، لتندرج في إطار صراع بمختلف انواع الوسائل القتالية السياسية والحربية ايضاً.

ما انعكس على الساحة اللبنانية الهشة والكثيرة الارتباط بالخارج، قتالاً سياسياً ضروساً لم يدرك بعد مرحلة الحروب الداخلية، لكنه ليس بعيداً عنها متجاوزاً مشارفها ومعلناً تأهبه للتعامل معها.

لذلك يُصاب هذا الحراك بإحراج خطير، فيسكت عن الاختراقات التي يتعرّض لها مكتفياً بالمراقبة انما من دون ردود فعل.

وهذه سياسة حراكية انتهجها منذ انطلاقته قبل أكثر من ثلاثة أشهر حين ترك أحزاب القوات اللبنانية والتقدمي الاشتراكي والمستقبل تقطع الطرقات من دون أي توضيح من قبله، بين بيروت والشمال والجنوب والبقاع.

لكنه اقترف هذه المرة صمتاً يرقى إلى حدود الجريمة حين ترك أحزاباً «إسلاموية» يذهب بعضها الى أصول داعشية وقاعدية وقسماً آخر يرتبط بالمعارضات الإرهابية السورية، تغزو ساحاته في رياض الصلح والشهداء وتهاجم بشكل عنيف قوى الأمن الداخلي والجيش بالترافق مع حركة تدمير للممتلكات الخاصة والعامة.

إن ما يثير الاستياء هنا يتعلّق بوجود مؤيدي الحراك على مسافة قريبة جداً من بضع مئات من شبان جرى تحشيدهم مذهبياً عبر سفارات تركية وإماراتية مع أحزاب إرهابية، ونقلهم الى بيروت يومياً لتعميم حركة فوضى وهجوم على الأجهزة الأمنية في مشاهد عنف تنقلها محطات تلفزة بشكل مشابه لما كان يحدث في ميادين سورية منذ 2011، وتبين آنفاً أن معظم تلك المشاهد كانت تفبرك في بعض الأحياء التي يسيطر عليها الإرهابيون في سورية، او في بلدان خليجية على صلة بالمشروع التدميري الغربي للمنطقة العربية، وعلى رأسها قطر وبعض المراكز السينمائية التركية والخليجية.

الأمر الذي يدفع الى التساؤل عن اسباب اعتكاف هذا الحراك الفعلي عن فضح تلك الاختراقات الإرهابية التي أصابته حتى العظم فيه.

كان بإمكان الحراك المكوّن من جمهرة من الأحزاب اليسارية والوطنية ومواطنين مصابين من الانهيار الاقتصادي المتفاقم أن ينأوا بأنفسهم عن القسم المدسوس في حراكهم، ويستفيدوا من انكماش ردود فعل الطبقة السياسية أمام تحرّكهم بتطوير برامج أعمالهم لتتكامل مع مسعى تأسيس لبنان الوطني المدني، لكنه لاذ بصمت، الأمر الذي زاد النظام الطائفي إيماناً بقدراته وتيقناً من ضعف الحراك الذي يقدّم نفسه على أنه ثورة، لكنه لا لم يصل بعد الى حدود حراك فعلي او انتفاضة تراكم اعمالاً تضعها في مرتبة القوى القادرة على التغيير البنيوي.

تكفي الإشارة الى ان الوضع أكثر طائفية مع هذا الحراك وباتت الطبقة السياسية أكثر ثقة بإمكاناتها، والدليل أن قادة النظام مستمرون في خلافاتهم حول تأسيس حكومة جديدة لأنهم متأكدون من عدم قدرة «الثوريين» المزعومين من الاستفادة من صراعاتهم ولو شعروا حتى بالحد الأدنى من وجود خطر من الحراك على نظامهم الطائفي، لكانوا اتجهوا الى استعمال مخزونهم الطائفي الشعبي وقواهم الأمنية والعسكرية الرسمية في قمع المعترضين على أدوارهم.

يتبين أن هؤلاء الثوار المعترضين لم ينتفعوا من انكماش النظام الطائفي بسبب الصراع المندلع بين «معلّميهم» الإقليميّين والدوليين، ولم يوظفوا هذه الصراعات ليسجّلوا انتشاراً بين لبنانيين تواقين للخروج من الأسر المذهبي والطائفي، كما أن الفئات اللبنانية المصابة بالتراجع الاقتصادي في البلاد لم تعتبر هؤلاء الثوار المزعومين بديلاً يمكن المراهنة عليه للبنان جديد، بل تفضّل الهجرة وترك البلاد الى مناطق جديدة.

فهل هذا يعني انتهاء الحراك؟ إنه على تخوم هذه المرحلة، إلا إذا غيّر أسلوبه لافظاً المندسّين في صفوفه ومعلناً برنامج عمل واضح بوطن لاطائفي مع إعلان قيادة مدنية على مستوى المرحلة، مع نبذ الصمت القاتل الذي لا يفعل إلا خدمة المندسّين والسماح لهم بتقديم أنفسهم على انهم ثوار يعملون من اجل داعش والنصرة وحراس المدينة العثمانية.

فيديوات متعلقة

قراءة في تطورات المشهد اللبناني مع الأستاذ الجامعي والمحلل السياسي د. وفيق حمدان
الحكومة اللبنانية الجديدة تبصر النور
لبنان بين عنف التظاهرات وعراقيل تشكيل الحكومة
متابعة التحركات الشعبية مع قاسم قصير – كاتب سياسي
بالمباشر مع الإعلامي والمحلل السياسي الدكتور حبيب فياض

مقالات متعلقة

Iran’s Cultural Attaché in Lebanon: Soleimani Was Transnational, Multi-dimensional Personality that Scared Trump

Iran’s Cultural Attaché in Lebanon: Soleimani Was Transnational, Multi-dimensional Personality that Scared Trump

By Nour Rida

The martyrdom of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani has created a ripple effect in Iran and the region, still being the talk of the town.

It is the political dimension of his assassination that is mostly discussed in the media. However, it is important to note that the martyr, was not merely a military personnel despite the fact that most of his pictures come in army clothing or on the battle fields. Gen. Soleimani was multi-dimensional personality that scared Trump, he was unique, humane, and fought against imperialism and the colonialism of minds.

In an interview with al-Ahed news, the Cultural attaché of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Lebanon, Dr. Abbas Khameyar said that media has not shed enough light on the reality behind martyr Soleimani’s personality, which he described as “transnational”. He assured that when he was alive, he foiled all attempts of dissecting the region and stood in face of all hegemonic schemes.

Military serves to protect civilization

“We should pay attention to the different dimensions of General Soleimani’s personality. He wore his military clothing most of the time, he was in the battlefields among the soldiers fighting Takfiri groups in the region. However he was like a shelter or umbrella protecting Iran’s civilization and culture,” Dr. Khameyar said.

He noted “When we talk about Iran and the major accomplishments of the Islamic Republic, the first thing that comes to the mind of people is: military accomplishments. Of course we confirm that Iran’s accomplishments and capabilities on the military level are amazing, but it is not the end. This strong military that Iran has built over a period of time and with perseverance is in fact a force of deterrence and serves as protection to all other accomplishments. In other words, the military was never a goal that Iran sought to reach, it is a means by which it protects its culture, civilizations, existence, sovereignty and other. It is a power of deterrence that protects Iranian accomplishments in the different scientific fields.”

The diplomat underscored that the military character of Hajj Qassem holds a lot of dimensions within its folds. He had a mission to protect Iran’s humanitarian, cultural and civilizational existence as well as its Islamic civilization. In fact, Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei stresses this aspect. “The battle between us and our foes is a battle of civilization par excellence. We have to realize that holding on to our civilization, customs and traditions is an integral part of our identity and existence and that the military serves to protect it.”

Targeting Civilization

Touching on US President Donald Trump’s threat to target 52 historical sites, Dr. Khameyar highlighted that “the uncivilized opponent knows that targeting our civilization hurts, and so he does it on purpose.”

Since the Islamic Republic of Iran decided to free itself from the manacles of American supremacy in 1979, the US has become so occupied with attempts to destroy Iran’s civilization and culture. This is not an unplanned thing, it is calculated and intentional. Iran’s heritage is the oldest among many across the world. It also enjoys a strategic geographical position which makes the US more obsessed about controlling it.

Targeting cultural heritage: a mindset

According to Dr. Khameyar, “Trump’s words and his threat to target Iran’s sites was not a slip of a tongue, but rather part of the hegemonic mindset. To understand this, we can look at historians like Bernard Lewis and the strong impact he had on the US decision-making. He wrote a paper in 1979 under the title “Iran in history” and presented it in Tel Aviv.”

Dr. Khameyar pointed out that “this policy of dissecting the region and ruining its heritage and culture was seen across the region in what some call the ‘Arab Spring’ and others call the ‘Arab awakening’; names do not really matter and it is the legacy of Lewis and people who have adopted his thought. We have seen the destruction of museums and libraries in Iraq after the collapse of the Saddam regime, and the same scenario in Egypt. The head of the National Museum of Iraq told me in person that in less than 36 hours after chaos spread when the Saddam regime collapsed, more than 15 thousand antiquities were either destroyed or stolen. Also in Syria, the Takfiri groups adopted the same policy of destroying cultural and historical heritage in Aleppo, Palmyra and other cities. If it were not for the popular and youth groups that quickly took action, all this heritage would have been destroyed.”

The diplomat noted “Lewis says Iran is one of the civilized countries that was immune in face of any attempts to ruin its heritage and culture for at least two centuries. His advice to confront such countries like Iran is through division, so Iran should be divided into a great Baluchistan, a great Khorasan, a great Azerbaijan and so on. ”

Bernard Lewis, a British-American historian of the Middle East, has been formidably influential in America – his policy ideas have towered over presidents, policy-makers and think-tanks, and they still do. For those who might not have known this: The “Bernard Lewis plan”, as it came to be known, was a design to fracture all the countries in the region – from the Middle East to India – along ethnic, sectarian and linguistic lines. A radical Balkanization of the region. He seems to be Mike Pompeo’s intellectual hero. For example, Pompeo says: “I met him only once, but read much of what he wrote. I owe a great deal of my understanding of the Middle East to his work … He was also a man who believed, as I do, that Americans must be more confident in the greatness of our country, not less.”

Soleimani preserves heritage, humanity

Assassinating General Soleimani comes within the same context.

Dr. Khameyar added “The military façade of general Soleimani is indeed a shield that protects and preserves the humanitarian, cultural and historical heritage of Iran and the region. His personality was also multi-dimensional. He was on the battlefields to help fight terrorist groups, but he was also among the poor inside Iran, trying his best to help them out. During the floods that struck Khuzestan last year, he was among the first to be there and provide help. Tens of stories have emerged after his assassination, showing a person of modesty, chastity and humanity and this is what made him so popular among the Iranians and this is why millions poured down the streets to participate in his memorial.”

The Iranian diplomat explained that the people called him the general of hearts and love. “This has its roots in Iranian poetry and literature. When we talk about “Eshq”, meaning love, the great poets of Persia cross our minds like Hafez and Rumi. They are internationally well-known for their ingenious and unique works. And when we mention the Shahnameh, which is the book of epics we talk about heroic characters. Today, General Soleimani is an epic, a real one though. He also exemplifies Karbala, which is an integral part of Iranian and Islamic culture and history.”

Demonstrations renew Iran legitimacy

Dr. Khameyar underlined that the millions of people who attended his funeral or headed to the streets in all the Iranian cities in fact were like a sea of human beings, with its tides extending outside the borders of Iran as well.

“The huge ceremonies in which most Iranians participated represents another referendum to the legitimacy of the Iranian government. It is also like a consensus and approval to the resistance front or what is known as the axis of resistance in the region. Despite the desperate American attempts to destroy Iran and despite the sanctions, pressure and different means adopted to harm Iran, the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem fixated the resistance front and united the Iranian people. Today, we can say that the resistance has become globalized, since martyr Soleimani is a transnational personality that transcends borders and geography.”

A smart-power personality

Describing the personality of martyr General Soleimani, Dr. Khameyar said that we can perhaps call it a smart-power personality; it combines both soft and hard power together.

“This smart-power is demonstrated in a few things: the spread of the culture of resistance among Iranians and other peoples of the region, the strengthening of the popular will, the persistence and perseverance of the Iranians in face of all difficulties and the rising voices “We are all Soleimani” across Iran and the region. It is also exemplified in what happened in the Iraqi parliament, where MPs urged US forces to leave the Iraqi territory, and in the marches of millions of people also outside Iran. Now hard power comes in the form of the missiles that precisely targeted the Ain al-Assad US military base located in Iraq, and maybe new strikes in the future to deter the occupiers, who knows. This military strike was not intended to kill, it was a clear message that US hegemony can be defeated, and that the US army is not invincible.”

Dr. Khameyar also noted “Today, the resistance axis is globalized, and the resistance forces are stronger on all levels. Again, when we say resistance we do not mean a military resistance only, we rather mean an axis of resistance that is developed on all levels.”

Describing General Soleimani with Iranian poetry, Dr. Khameyar said the poem of “The Breath of the Christ” fits him really well.

Hafez said “I am a hole in a flute that the Christ’s breath moves through-listen to this music.” The Music of the Divine, of the breath of Christ – Music that melts and opens the heart and frees the soul of any willing to listen.

For the Arabic version click here

Twitter has been on a narrative-control rampage, removing or censoring legitimate accounts that are critical of US-led wars, propaganda and lies. Facebook and Instagram have increased their Big Brother policing, too.

anuary 17, 2020, RT.com

-by Eva K Bartlett

Twitter has been on a narrative-control rampage, removing or censoring legitimate accounts that are critical of US-led wars, propaganda and lies. Facebook and Instagram have increased their Big Brother policing, too.

Attempts by American-based social media behemoths to silence or censor voices critical of the establishment-approved narrative is nothing new, but this trend seems to have intensified lately. 

Just in the past several days, following the criminal US assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, Instagram and Facebook have been removing posts supportive of Soleimani, even profile photos honouring the general, allegedly to comply with US sanctions, a truly absurd explanation for the narrative control.

On January 7, it was reported that Twitter had suspended numerous Venezuelan accounts, including those of the central bank, the Bolivarian National Armed Forces, public media, political leaders, the Finance & Oil ministries.

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It returned to normal some days later but, at the start of January, the account was again no longer available. Admin used a backup account with a dramatically smaller following and, although after about a week—and many Twitter protests later—the account was again restored, it has not since tweeted and thus appears to be restricted.

In mid-2019, the account of the Russian embassy in Syria disappeared not long after tweeting about the White Helmets, terrorists, and war propaganda. This, again, begged the question of what ‘Twitter rules’ had been violated.

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These aren’t some isolated incidents, they’re part of a systematic purging by the NATO-aligned social media corporations who bleat about alleged “Russian propaganda” but are themselves the (transparently poor) masters of propaganda.

Many anti-war voices have been scrubbed from Twitter and Facebook, including the prominent anti-war voice of Daniel McAdams – Executive Director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity– who was banned from Twitter for using the word “retarded” to describe a Fox News host, something I’m sure many people would think an insufficient and mild description of such corporate media entities…

Accounts Calling For Genocide A-Okay on Twitter

While accounts like McAdams’ are taken down allegedly for reasons of political correctness, other accounts can call for genocide and destruction with no repercussions.

Take the rather no-name lobbyist Jack Burkman, who, after the US assassination of Iran’s beloved General Soleimani, tweeted about the “need to burn every major Iranian city to the ground.” His tweet actually included “Load up the [chemical weapon] napalm.

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On several more occasions, Burkman tweeted about destroying Iran, including his tweet on the firebombing of Dresden and his desire to “replicate the campaign against Iran.” Some of those tweets have been removed, but his account remains active, without restrictions, as though he hadn’t violated Twitter rules on multiple occasions.

Then there is the President of the United States, who, after having General Soleimani illegally assassinated, went on to threaten to destroy 52 Iranian cultural sites. That tweet remains up on Twitter, in spite of surely violating rules on threatening violence (and not only against a person but a nation). I mean, most normal people consider threatening to destroy places somewhat violent.

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On the other hand, allegations about genocide risk being censored, as happened to Mint Press News’ editor in chief, Mnar Muhawesh, whose video on the US-Saudi led war on Yemen was deemed “child nudity” by Facebook.

Muhawesh protested: “This is false. Images show skeleton, dying children wearing diapers.”mn

*Tweet here

Terrorist Accounts, Exploited Children, And More Twitter Restrictions

Accounts abound on Twitter and Facebook that are openly supportive of suicide bombers, ISIS and al-Qaeda.

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*Tweet here

I’ve found Western corporate journalists citing terrorist-supporting accounts as “media activists” in areas militarily surrounded by the Syrian army, as was the case when eastern Ghouta was being liberated, although the ‘activists’ allegiance to Jaysh al-Islam and al-Qaeda was easily identified.

[READ: ‘They know that we know they are liars, they keep lying’: West’s war propaganda on Ghouta crescendo ]

And there are accounts representing the terrorists themselves, whose graphic content certainly ought to be deemed violations of Twitter’s rules, yet so many of these accounts remain intact.

Twitter serves as a platform for war propaganda, that’s fairly clear. But there’s a point that some people might not know about Twitter and Syria: Twitter doesn’t recognize the Syrian country code, thus you’d need a non-Syrian phone number to open an account.

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So how do all these poster children like Bana al-Abed (one of the chief faces of war propaganda in the lead-up to the liberation of Aleppo in late 2016) and those which popped up later in eastern Ghouta and then in Idlib get accounts?

Keep that in mind when the war propaganda again resurges around Idlib and the children holding English posters and hashtagging #SaveIdlib pop into your feed. More exploitation of kids, and Twitter the perfect platform.

READ: Exploitation of children in propaganda war against Syria continues

In researching for this piece last week, I came across a recent article announcing a new feature Twitter would test, in its valiant efforts to quash trolls: limiting who may reply to tweets before sending a tweet.

This smacks not of cutting out trolls, but of making echo chambers more impenetrable, so war propagandists can back-slap one another without allowing intelligent voices to poke holes in their lies.

But in the end, perhaps even that doesn’t matter, because at any moment your account can be zapped. Nestled in Twitter’s terms of service is this line: “We may suspend or terminate your account…for any or no reason…” This means any protest over suspended accounts is thus a waste of time after all.

This is total narrative control, and it’s only getting worse.  

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