Translation of Ramzan Kadyrov’s reaction to Biden’s UNGA lecturing

September 23, 2021

Translation of Ramzan Kadyrov’s reaction to Biden’s UNGA lecturing 🤣🤣

This is a translation of Ramzan Kadyrov’s reaction on this telegram channel to this clip of Biden’s lecturing in his speech to the General Assembly of the UN.Video Player

The leader of the most problematic, aggressive country in the world, embittered by all Muslim states and plowing the Arab world with aerial bombs, Biden, who shamefully returned troops from Afghanistan, all of a sudden began to mention the Chechen Republic.
We have not yet recovered from a number of his absurd statements and actions as President of the United States, and he is already making us happy with his new strange and contentious statements.
Biden made such an absurd statement, in response to which I can only invite him to our republic so that he can see with his own eyes that there are no roosters in the Chechen Republic, and there is not even such a word. Instead of that, we have chicken husbands

Thank you!

Andrei (The Saker)

Anti-War Groups Urge US Congress to End Support for Saudi War in Yemen, Prevent Human Catastrophe

September 21, 2021

Anti-War Groups Urge US Congress to End Support for Saudi War in Yemen, Prevent Human Catastrophe

By Staff, Agencies

Anti-war groups in the United States are urging the Congress to “prevent a human catastrophe” in Yemen by ending military support for Saudi Arabia’s aggression on the war-ravaged country.

The 56 organizations called on American lawmakers in a letter to take advantage of the National ‘Defense’ Authorization Act [NDAA] to end the sale of arms to the aggressors.

“By suspending the sale of arms and ending US participation in the Saudi coalition’s war and blockade, Congress can prevent a humanitarian catastrophe from spiraling further out of control as it reasserts its constitutional authority on matters of war and peace,” the letter read.

Unless the lawmakers take such an action, Washington would remain complicit in the tragedy created by the Saudi monarchy in Yemen, they further suggested, asserting that the lawmakers have the power to “legislate an end to ongoing US complicity in the war and blockade in Yemen.”

“With the help of US logistical and maintenance support, Saudi Arabia’s blockade of Yemen has created untold suffering for tens of millions of people and contributed to hundreds of thousands of deaths,” Hassan El-Tayyab, legislative director for Middle East policy at the Friends Committee on National Legislation, one of the letter’s organizers, said in a statement.

If the lawmakers refuse to endorse an amendment to the bill filed by Rep. Ro Khanna, the US would continue abetting the Saudi kingdom and its crimes against humanity, he noted.

“It’s now critical Congress support Rep. Khanna’s amendment to the FY2022 National ‘Defense’ Authorization Act and finally terminate US participation in Saudi’s aerial operations for the sake of millions of Yemenis in desperate need,” El-Tayyab added. “Members of Congress have two choices: vote for this amendment, or vote for an active US role in crimes against humanity for millions of people, including children.”

The amendment would block funding for “logistical support in the form of maintenance or the transfer of spare parts for aircraft that enable coalition strikes,“ as well as “sharing intelligence for the purpose of enabling coalition strikes.”

It would also oblige the US military not to “command, coordinate, participate in the movement of, or accompany the regular or irregular military forces of the Saudi-led coalition forces.”

Despite the growing outrage among lawmakers and the public, the United States continues to aid and abet the cruel war on the Yemeni nation.

“Without real action, millions of lives are at risk, and the US will be complicit,” Marcus Stanley, advocacy director at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, said in a statement. “The Khanna amendment offers an opportunity to genuinely end American support for Saudi aggression and take a crucial step to end the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. We urge a vote for this amendment. Half measures like reporting requirements or partial restrictions will not do, it is time to definitively end our support for this war.”

In February, US President Joe Biden announced that he was ending the US support for the war in Yemen, including “relevant arms sales,” touting the move as part of efforts to restore an emphasis on human rights, but that pledge is yet to materialize.

Saudi Arabia and its regional allies launched a devastating war in Yemen in 2015 to reinstall a former friendly government and crush the popular Ansarullah movement.

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Afghanistan: Hegemon USA’s Graveyard?

August 21, 2021

By Stephen Lendman

Source

In 2010, historian Alfred McCoy discussed “four scenarios for the end of the American century by 2025.”

Asking if it’ll land softly, “(d)on’t bet on it,” said McCoy, adding:

Its “demise…as the global superpower could come far more quickly than anyone imagines.”

By 2025, it “could (be) over except for the shouting” and postmortems.

When triumphs become defeats, “empires unravel” swiftly.

McCoy believes that Bush/Cheney’s aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq hastened its decline.

“(H)ave no doubt,” he stressed.

“When Washington’s global dominion…ends” — what’s inevitable as with all previous empires — it’ll be accompanied by a “demoralizing impact on a society…”

“(A)t least a generation of economic privation” will likely follow. 

“As the economy cools, political temperatures rise, often sparking serious domestic unrest.”

Triumphant USA post-WW II will likely “fad(e) by 2025.” 

Its decline and fall could be over by 2030.

A US National Intelligence Council Global Trends 2025 assessment cited the following:

“(T)he transfer of global wealth and economic power…under way…from West to East (is) without precedent in modern history…”

It’s mainly responsible for sapping Washington’s strength compared to rising power China and other nations…”even in the military realm.” 

McCoy believes that China will surpass hegemon USA as the world’s leading global economic power by 2026 — India to overtake the US economically by 2050.

“Viewed historically, the question is not whether the US will lose its unchallenged global power, but just how precipitous and wrenching the decline will be,” McCoy stressed.

Its three main threats include “loss of economic clout thanks to a shrinking share of world trade, the decline of American technological innovation, and the end of the dollar’s privileged status as the global reserve currency.”

Its dominance in these and other areas are waning, including its education system.

Economist Kenneth Rogoff earlier said that “(o)ther countries are no longer willing to buy into the idea that the US knows best on economic policy.”

Unfolding events may “hasten the bankruptcy of the US financial-military world order,” economist Michael Hudson observed.

According to McCoy, the world community is paying scant attention “as the American Century ends in silence.”

Its military adventurism is part of its undoing. Waging forever wars, it hasn’t won one since WW II — over 75 years ago at the height of its power, now waning.

Rising powers China, Russia, India, Iran, and other nations free from its control can play a waiting game on the sidelines — observing Washington’s decline and fall from superpower status to history’s dustbin.

McCoy sees little chance of the US turning things around, including its forever war policy on invented enemies, its bloated national security state…starved education system, and…antiquated energy supplies,” and other major issues to land softly and remain prosperous, adding:

Earlier empires are gone, “America’s imperium…going” in similar fashion.

In his 2017 book, titled “In the Shadows of the American Century:

The Rise and Decline of US Global Power,” McCoy explained its fall from grace is in stark contrast to China’s rise as a global economic, technological and military superpower.

Despite US capabilities, China, Russia, India and other nations are rising at a time of America’s decline.

China far surpasses the US in numbers of highly capable young scientists, engineers and others with technological skills.

According to McCoy, “the 2020s will likely be remembered as a demoralizing decade of rising prices, stagnant wages, and fading (US) international competitiveness.”

“After years of swelling deficits fed by incessant warfare in distant lands, in 2030 the US dollar(’s) special status as the world’s dominant reserve currency” will be gone.

They’ll be “punitive price increases for (US) imports…from clothing to computers,” and other goods. 

“(T)he costs for all overseas activity surges as well, making travel for both tourists and troops prohibitive.” 

“Unable to pay for swelling deficits by selling now-devalued Treasury notes abroad, Washington is finally forced to slash its bloated military budget.” 

“Under pressure at home and abroad, its forces begin to pull back from hundreds of overseas bases to a continental perimeter.” 

“Such a desperate move…comes too late.”

As “a fading superpower (is) incapable of paying its bills,” China, Russia India, Iran, and other nations can increasingly challenge US dominion over the world’s landmass, waterways, space, and cyberspace.

Instead of pursuing sustainable longterm development and cooperative relations with other nations in peace, US policies have been self-destructive.

Its ruling class can no longer dictate to other nations because of its declining power on the world stage.

Yet post-WW II, the US was “the first empire in 1,000 years to control both ends of the vast Eurasian continent (Eurasia)…the epicenter of world power,” McCoy explained, adding:

It was “linked…with layers of power, multilateral defense treaties, starting with NATO in Europe, all the way to SETO and ANZUS with Australia, the Japan Mutual Security Treaty, the South Korea US Mutual Security Treaty, the Philippine US Mutual Security Treaty.”

US fleets span the world’s oceans and seas, along with a global empire of bases, including dozens drone facilities for unnamed aerial warfare, surveillance and related purposes.

Yet its pillars are crumbling, notably compared to China’s rise on the world stage, especially in Eurasia.

Notably when the dollar goes as the world’s preeminent reserve currency, imperial USA will go with it.

According to McCoy, it’s coming by end of the 2020s, America’s decline and fall with it.

A Final Comment

Discussing McCoy’s analysis, China’s Xinhua said “America’s worst enemy is itself,” adding:

It’s “counter(ed) the trend of peace and development of our times by indulging in dreams of hegemony, with a foreign policy characterized by power politics.”

Its ruling class “launched one war after another and exported color revolutions around the world, seriously threatening global security.” 

“Under the guise of ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’ — notions it abhors —  the US brutally interfere(s) in the internal affairs of other countries” in pursuit of its hegemonic aims.

It egregiously “violat(es) principles of equality, mutual respect and mutual trust in international exchanges.”

“It…bully(’s) other countries…build(s) walls, and wantonly imposes sanctions on” nations unwilling to subordinate their sovereign rights to its interests.

In decline for decades, its preeminence of the world stage is fading.

Unwilling to change its wicked ways is hastening its fall from grace.

Stop Believing US Military Invasions Have Noble Intentions: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

AUGUST 15, 2021

Source

By Cailtin Johnstone

I love how everyone’s just pretending the Afghanistan Papers never happened and the Taliban takeover is some kind of shocking tragedy instead of the thing everyone knew would happen because they’ve been knowingly lying about working to create a stable government this entire time.

If the US had a free press and was anything like a democracy, the government wouldn’t be getting away with squandering thousands of lives and trillions of dollars on a twenty-year war which accomplished literally nothing besides making assholes obscenely wealthy.

Thousands of human lives. Trillions of dollars. If western mass media were anything remotely resembling what they purport to be, they would be making sure the public understands how badly their government just fucked them. Instead it’s just “Oh no, those poor Afghan women.”

War apologists talk about “doing nothing” like that’s somehow worse than creating mountains of human corpses for power and profit. “We’ve got to DO SOMETHING about the Taliban! We can’t just do NOTHING!”

Uhh, yes you can. Please for the love of God do nothing. Doing nothing would be infinitely better than more military interventionism in a nation you’ve already tortured for twenty years for no valid reason.

People who think US interventionism solves problems just haven’t gone through the mountains upon mountains of evidence that it definitely definitely does not at all. Nobody honestly believes the US needs to invade every nation in the world with illiberal cultural values; they only think that way with Afghanistan due to war propaganda. And women’s lives in Afghanistan have still been shit under the occupation.

They had twenty years to build a stable nation in Afghanistan. Twenty years. If you believe that’s what they were really trying to do there, or that results would be any different if you gave them twenty more, you’re a fucking moron.

If you think the US needs to be in Afghanistan so the Taliban doesn’t take over then have some integrity and intellectual honesty and admit you want perpetual occupation. In which case you should be arguing for Afghan annexation so they get votes and congressional representation.

The objection shouldn’t be that there was no “withdrawal plan”, it should be that there was no occupation plan. Nothing was done in those entire twenty years for the long-term benefit of Afghans. The entire plan was “Stay and plunder as much as we can until we feel like leaving.”

And of course more than this we should be upset that the US and its allies invaded Afghanistan at all, killing hundreds of thousands of people for no legitimate reason.

When all you’ve got is an insanely overfunded military every problem looks like a job for your insanely overfunded military.

I am once again asking you to stop believing US military invasions have noble intentions.

And stop blaming this on the “corrupt Afghan government”. There was no “Afghan government”; there was just whatever random Afghans happened to be willing to align with the occupying force that invaded their country while it was there. All blame rests entirely on that occupying force.

Now would be a great time to un-rehabilitate public opinion of George W Bush.

People who think the US military can be used for good remind me of that scene in Edward Scissorhands where he’s going around the house accidentally slashing things and then trying to fix them but he can’t fix them because he’s got horrible scissor hands that can only slash.

Every time mass military murder fails to achieve good things the proponents of mass military murder show up saying “The problem is we didn’t murder enough people.”

You’ll never see westerners so concerned about humanitarian issues as when there’s a chance some distant part of the world might not be subjected to military occupation by the most murderous power structure on earth.

Oh no, the country is immediately returning to the state it was in before we started using mass military violence to force it to look a bit different for a while. That’s like dressing your kid up as Batman for Halloween and then getting sad the next day because Batman’s gone.

Can’t figure out why Americans keep consenting to a government foreign policy of piracy and mass murder which is killing people by the millions via starvation and military violence. All that theft must be buying them awesome benefits like great healthcare and quality of life. Americans must be the happiest most thriving people in the world.

So many movies depict young men coming home from World War 2 like “Howdy Ma, hey Pop, boy it’s great to be home, now I gotta go see about that girl!” instead of hollowed out husks who’d go on to live out miserable half-lives beating their children and trying to drink away their trauma.

I still can’t get over how mainstream news stories about empire-targeted countries can be based entirely on reports by think tanks that are openly funded by weapons manufacturers. How is the fact that this is journalistic malpractice not obvious to everyone in the world?

The international symbol for the United States should be the Pentagon. It’s far more representative of what that nation stands for and what it does than some flag or an eagle.

War is the worst thing in the world. It’s the single most insane, destructive and unsustainable thing humans do. People who tell me I shouldn’t focus on it as much are people I just disregard, because they simply don’t grasp the horrific nature of war and the need to condemn it.

Sure they could have just killed Assange. But then the message to journalists would’ve been “We’ll get you if you expose our crimes, but we’ll have to be sneaky about it,” which is less intimidating than “We’ll get you if you expose our crimes, and we’ll do it right in the open.”

Western rightists are being trained to blame western civilization’s rising authoritarianism on “communism” and “Marxism”, and as a result they are reacting to anti-capitalists like myself with increasing shrillness and hysteria while the actual (very capitalist) authoritarians go unopposed.

Just another regular reminder that there will never be peace and economic justice as long as the majority are successfully convinced by establishment propaganda that those things are not in their interest. The propaganda machine must first be discredited and rendered nonfunctioning.

If you’ve got any urge to write articles or make videos or a podcast, just do it. You’re infinitely more qualified to be the media than people who are paid by billionaires to lie, and they’re not asking anyone for permission to speak. If Chris fucking Cuomo gets a voice, then so do you.

You don’t have to be perfect or professional quality or whatever; hell, give yourself permission to outright suck at first if that’s how it plays out. Give yourself permission to not be perfect and just learn as you go and correct your mistakes as you make them. That’s allowed. Again, no matter how bad you are you’re still infinitely more qualified to report the news and tell the truth than any of the shitstains who are being platformed by multibillion-dollar media outlets right now, and whatever you make will be better than what they make. Just do it.

Don’t stop if you don’t get a big audience right away, or if you never do. It’s not about that. If you can open even one person’s eyes to one aspect of reality, you are helping humanity to become a more conscious species by that much. That’s what it’s about. That’s what matters. And even if you don’t do that, fleshing out your ideas in some public medium is a great way to help yourself become aware of more things and deepen your own understanding, so you’re still improving humanity by that much. So no matter what happens you can’t lose.

If we’re ever to turn things around it will be the result of a very large number of us grabbing a rope and tugging. You don’t have to be a megastar, you just have to do your bit. Start from there and see what happens.

It’s impossible to be a truly good person without loosening your relationship with mental narrative. If you’re clinging tight to thoughts and beliefs you’re not able to relate to life as it is, you’re just relating to your own mental stories, so you can’t respond to life wisely.

Les Miserables’ Inspector Javert is a perfect depiction of what goes wrong when you emphasise narrative over reality, in his case replacing true goodness with moralism, with shoulds and shouldn’ts and rules and laws instead of responding to life as it shows up like Valjean. In contrast to Javert, Valjean is able to recognize that Fantine’s plight was a result of his own negligence even though she shows up as a prostitute in trouble with the law. Because his eyes are open to life as it is, he’s able to exercise true compassion and help her and Cosette.

People like Valjean are able to see through not just their own mental narratives, but the narratives that are imposed upon them externally by mass-scale propaganda. People like Javert will support every power agenda no matter how depraved, because they believe mental stories.

Ego doesn’t make it out alive. One way or another, it’s a goner. It either dies by being seen through, or it takes us all out with it. The good news is that every single one of us gets to make that choice in every single moment.

Biden Regime Challenges Beijing Over Taiwan and the South China Sea

August 8, 2021

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Since usurping power by brazen election fraud, Biden regime hardliners have been pushing things for confrontation with Russia, China and other nations.

Last week, it notified Congress of its intent to sell around $750 million worth of weapons to Taiwan, taunting China with the announcement.

According to the State Department, the sale aims to strengthen Taipei’s “self-defense capabilities to meet current and future threats (sic).”

China’s Foreign Ministry denounced the sale. Vowing “countermeasures to defend its legitimate interests,” it called the sale “a wrong signal to Taiwanese independence forces,” adding:

It’s “damag(ing) Sino/US relations”more than already, along with “stability of the Taiwan Strait.”

According to a spokesman for Taiwan’s office of the president:

Taipei “continue(s) to deepen cooperation with the US and other like-minded countries.”

Days earlier, US war secretary Lloyd Austin falsely accused China of “destabilizing military activity and other forms of coercion against the people of Taiwan (sic),” adding:

“We will not flinch when our interests are threatened (sic).”

On Thursday, US Indo-Pacific Command’s Admiral John Aquilino vowed to defend Taiwan, adding:

“(W)e have to be in a position to ensure that status quo remains as it applies to Taiwan.”

INDOPACOM he heads called on Congress to spend over $27 billion by 2027 to boost US military capabilities in the region.

On August 2, INDOPACOM announced the beginning of “Large Scale Global Exercise 21 (LSGE21) to continue through August 27.

US army, navy, marines, and air force are involved, along with UK, Australian and Japanese forces.

What’s ongoing throughout most of August is the largest-scale US-led naval and amphibious drills since its Ocean Venture exercises in 1981 with NATO allies during the Cold War with Soviet Russia.

According to a US Navy statement, ongoing S. China Sea exercises signal to Washington’s invented enemies that it’s “ready at the high end of warfare expressly because of its global operational commitments.”

Operation “Large Scale Global Exercise 21” coincides in part with China’s military drills in the South China Sea.

Begun on August 6, they’ll continue through the 10th.

Flashpoint South China Sea risks US confrontation with Beijing where Pentagon forces don’t belong.

According to regional visiting professor Brad Glosserman, US-led South China Sea exercises “signal” Washington’s intent to increase its regional involvement.

Claiming the Biden regime doesn’t seek “confrontation or a conflict” with China, it “could erupt by miscalculation of US resolve and its commitment to the defense of its allies and regional security, or as the result of an accident,” he believes.

Beijing-based military analyst Zhou Chenming doesn’t expect ongoing US military exercises to heighten tensions with China more than already, saying:

Despite “targeting China,” they’re unlikely to “to go too far and will not deliberately seek to cross China’s bottom lines.” 

“The US military presence in the Asia-Pacific recently is not sufficient, so they need to use these kinds of exercises to prove themselves.”

According to Australian international relations professor Remy Davison, US-led LSGE21’s scale shows its Indo/Pacific allies and adversaries that its regional military footprint is longterm.

Separately in response to the Biden regime’s offer of “safe haven” to Hong Kong residents in the US, China’s official People’s Daily broadsheet said the following:

Along with “unscrupulous (US) smears and sanctions on China (for) safeguard(ing) Hong Kong’s security and stability,” the Biden regime’s “safe haven” offer is all about “siding with…Hong Kong rioters” — ones the US created and supports,” adding:

For some time, Washington’s hostile-to-China ruling class has been “colluding with and even abetting rioters in Hong Kong” — calling them “fighters (and) heroes.”

Its actions are all about waging war on China by other means, aiming to undermine its development.

An agenda doomed to fail, a clash of civilizations continues and escalates toward risking direct confrontation by accident or design.

Irreconcilable differences define bilateral relations, things worsening, not improving.

US hegemonic aims are the stuff that wars are made of.

The Rand Corporation earlier called US war with China “unthinkable.”

The same goes for confronting Russia militarily.

US war against one or both countries would be ruinous for combatant countries.

According to Rand, if occurs “(t)he world economy could be rocked and international order…shattered.”

It could go on “inconclusive(ly)” because neither side has an advantage in dealing with adversaries able to give as much as they take.

The US was unable to defeat North Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Syria.

What chance would it have against powerhouse countries China and Russia?

According to Rand, “(a)s its military advantage declines, the US will be less confident that a war with China” or Russia would go as planned. 

Preparing for war defensively is one thing, waging it against powerful adversaries another entirely.

Is it possible anyway? Is the US foolhardy to think it’s militarily superior enough to defeat any adversaries?

Is unthinkable nuclear confrontation possible?

China and Russia prioritize world peace and stability in sharp contrast to belligerent USA.

If conflict occurs between these nations, most likely it would be short-lived to avoid mass-annihilation.

Even a war of weeks or a few months could be devastating for combatant countries.

Is the above incentive enough for US policymakers to avoid war with China and/or Russia at all costs?

Or will it happen anyway ahead by accident or design?

According to Rand, US “war with China (or Russia) would be so harmful that both sides should place a very high priority on avoiding one.”

Clearly the above view is shared by China and Russia.

Given its rage to dominate other countries by whatever it takes to achieve its aims, it’s very much unclear whether hegemon USA is likeminded.

Hassan Nasrallah: Resistance Capabilities Have Grown

Source: Al Mayadeen 7 Aug 2021

By Al Mayadeen

Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, in a speech on the occasion of the 2006 July War, addresses local as well as regional issues – from the southern border retaliations to military equations.

Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said, “The most important accomplishment of the 2006 war is achieving deterrence against Israel – this is the most important strategic and historic achievement.”

In his speech on the anniversary of the July 2006 victory, Nasrallah stated, “The victory of the July War has entered into a new stage through the heroic confrontations of the Sword of Jerusalem battle,” continuing to say, “The most prominent strategic achievement is striking a balance of deterrence and rules of engagement that protect and guarantee the security and safety of Lebanon.”

Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out that, “For 15 years since the July War, Israeli raids haven’t hit a target in Lebanese territory – Lebanon has enjoyed an unprecedented-since-1948 security and tranquility,” adding that “what prevents the Israeli enemy from launching raids is its fear of a major confrontation with the resistance.” 

He stressed, “What prevents this vicious and murderous enemy, which is protected by the United States and Arab countries, from attacking Lebanon? They fear a war on their army, which collapsed in 2006, a war on their infrastructure – they’re afraid for their existence.”  

The Secretary-General of Hezbollah said, “Before 2006 and beyond, the primary issue of the Israeli enemy was the weapons of the resistance,” pointing out that “some groups in Lebanon help whether they realize it or not, to achieve the goal of disarmament of the resistance.”

Furthermore, Nasrallah also spoke about the recent aggression against Lebanese territory, explaining that “What happened a few days back was a dangerous development that has not happened since 15 years.” He said that “Some matters require an immediate response… if retaliation is delayed, it loses its value.”

The Secretary-General of Hezbollah, addressing the back-and-forth which happened two days ago, said, “Our actions were intentional; they targeted an open area, we targeted an open area. This was to reinforce the old equation of deterrence, and not create a new one.” He explains that the capabilities of the resistance have increased through its wide possession of precision missiles, which Hezbollah owns now in large numbers.

He added, “We purposely responded to the Israeli rockets during the day out of respect for people’s emotions so that they don’t feel fear and terror during the night,” noting that Hezbollah has the courage to take responsibility for their actions in all formality – that includes issuing a statement along with the bombardment to send a message to the enemy.

Sayyed Nasrallah said, “An old equation was reinforced: they bomb an open area, we bomb an open area,” continuing, “Any strike on Lebanon will be responded to in a proportionate manner.” 

He stressed that “we will not neglect the achievements of the resistance in the July war, regardless of the dangers, because that will create safegrounds for the enemy to harass Lebanon,” stressing that “whatever the internal situation in Lebanon is, for us, protecting our country and our people is our first responsibility.”

“What happened yesterday is a response to the airstrikes only and has nothing to do with the response to the assassination of the two dear martyrs, Muhammad Qassem Tahan and Ali Kamel Mohsen,” he reassured.

Hezbollah Deputy Secretary-General Sheikh Naim Qassem affirmed yesterday to Al-Mayadeen that “The Israeli occupation must understand that Lebanon is not an open arena for settling accounts in it,” stressing that “Israel must remain deterred.”

On Wednesday evening, the Israeli Air Force attacked targets in southern Lebanon, according to the Israeli media, “in response to the launching of 4 missiles from Lebanon” towards “Israel.”

The Lebanese resistance responded Friday by bombing the occupied lands in Shebaa. Yesterday, Israeli media reported that 20 rockets were launched, indicating that “the recreation centers in the north remained relatively empty after the rockets were launched from Lebanon.”

The People of the Resistance Are Those of Patience, Endurance

Hezbollah Secretary-General touched on the conflict that took place Friday in the Lebanese village Shwaya, saying that posting the incident was a “disgrace,” for he was touched by the scenes he saw, sympathizing with others who saw it. “When I saw what happened in Shwaya I wished I was able to get to the young men so I could kiss their foreheads and hands,” he added.

Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that the people of the resistance are those of patience and endurance, adding that they will always be in the position to sacrifice themselves and remain steadfast.

“The rockets in the launcher are evident of the resistance fighters’ discipline, for the order was to launch 20 rockets,” he noted.

“Our fighters were ordered to launch only 20 rockets on targets in Shebaa Farms. The rocket launcher has the capacity of 31 rockets. I could see the 11 remaining rockets still in the launcher,” he continued.

The Secretary-General addressed the people of Shwaya and Hasbaiyya, telling them that if Hezbollah were able to attack the targeted sites from Shiite areas, they would have. He said they were militarily obligated to launch the rockets from the areas from which they were launched.

Nasrallah called on everyone not to hold the people of Shwaya and the Druze sect responsible for the assault on the resistance fighters. “It was not the people of Shwaya who attacked the fighters, and we appreciate everyone who stands by the resistance,” he added.

Sayyed Hassan indicated that those who carried out the attack against “Israel” were highly disciplined and wise, stating that those who assaulted them must be held accountable and brought to justice.

Beirut Blast Anniversary

Regarding the Beirut Blast, whose anniversary was commemorated Wednesday, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said, “Since the first day, political investment started by several media outlets upon orders by the US and Saudi Arabia.”

“All parties who probed the blast reached a conclusion that there were no arms in the port,” he added, continuing to say, “When this scenario failed, they resorted to propagating the ammonium nitrate scenario.”

“Is there anything more ridiculous and worse than accusing Hezbollah of storing ammonium nitrate in the Beirut Port?” Wondered Sayyed Hassan, stressing that everything said since the blast is illogical and has no goal other than distorting the truth.

Nasrallah said if Hezbollah wanted to politically utilize the blast, they would have said the parties supporting the armed groups in Syria were the ones who brought the ammonium nitrate to Lebanon.

He indicated that those who spread fake news to mislead the investigation and public opinion insulted the blast’s martyrs, saying they turned a national and humanitarian cause into a political and sectarian one.

“Hezbollah fears no investigation, for it is not facing accusations from the judicial authorities,” Nasrallah added, saying what Hezbollah truly fears is the loss of truth, that is why the judiciary must announce its findings.

Secretary-General Nasrallah said, “What we are asking for is the announcement of the investigation’s findings.” He sees that the probe into the Beirut Blast is politicized and subject to discretion.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah addressed the families of those martyred and injured in the Beirut Blast by saying, “Do not allow the politicization of your children’s blood.”

Confrontations erupted Wednesday near Parliament in Beirut, Lebanon, between Lebanese demonstrators and the security services in light of the protests commemorating the Beirut blast on its first anniversary.

Khalde Incident Was a Massacre

Nasrallah touched on the crime that took place Sunday in Khalde, during which two Lebanese civilians were assaulted and murdered. He said, “What happened in Khalde was not an accident, it was a massacre perpetrated by a gang of criminals and murderers.

He stressed the need for arresting all those involved in the Khalde massacre as soon as possible and bringing them to justice.

“We need a definitive solution for the issue of assaulting people and blocking the highway leading to the south,” he said, adding that those insisting on assaulting civilians and threatening civil peace must be arrested.

“Our issue is not with the Khalde Arabs nor the Arab Tribes, but rather with the murderous criminal group,” Nasrallah asserted.

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Calling Sanctions by Their Name: Rania Khalek on US Mideast Genocide

August 06th, 2021

By Mnar Adley

Source

Critics of sanctions argue that they are a blatant breach of international law and that they are a new form of economic warfare.

Around one quarter of the world lives in countries under unilateral United States sanctions. While American government officials insist that sanctions are targeted at officials committing human rights abuses in foreign countries, the United Nations notes that they always “disproportionately affect the poor and most vulnerable.”

In Cuba, U.S. sanctions are causing shortages that led to widespread protests earlier this summer and are slowing the worldwide rollout of Cuba’s domestically produced coronavirus vaccine. U.S. government documents explicitly state that the goal of the blockade of the island is to “decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and [the] overthrow of [the] government.”

U.S. sanctions on Venezuela, too, have been widely condemned, and are estimated to have caused the deaths of over 100,000 people.

It is in the Middle East, however, where U.S. economic measures have arguably had the most impact. Our guest today has first-hand experience of this. Rania Khalek is a Lebanese-American journalist based in the Middle East. In addition to being a presenter on Breakthrough News, she is co-host of the Unauthorized Disclosure podcast. You may also have seen her work in ​​The Grayzone, The Intercept, Truthout, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, Al-Jazeera, The Nation, Salon, AlterNet or Vice.

Today, Khalek speaks about the impact of sanctions across the Middle East and the current political situation in Lebanon, Syria and beyond.

In Iraq in the 1990s, U.S. sanctions are thought to have cost the lives of around 1 million people, including half a million children under five years old. Successive United Nations diplomats tasked with overseeing the sanctions regime resigned in protest, citing a breach of the Genocide Convention. “I’ve been using the word ‘genocide’ because this is a deliberate policy to destroy the people of Iraq. I’m afraid I have no other view,” said former U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq Dennis Halliday. When pressed on the issue, then-Secretary of State Madeline Albright did not dispute the numbers, merely assuring “60 Minutes” that “the price is worth it.”

Today, much of the region — including Syria, Iran and Lebanon — is under similar, crushing American sanctions. At the height of the pandemic, Iran was unable to import personal protective equipment, medicine and other medical goods, as no country wanted to risk Washington’s ire by trading with Tehran. In the end, the World Health Organization itself stepped in, directly trading with the Islamic Republic, one key factor in the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the body last year.

Meanwhile in Lebanon, the country is struggling to recover from an enormous explosion that wiped out much of central Beirut last year. Food and electricity remain in short supply.

Critics of sanctions argue that they are a blatant breach of international law and that they are a new form of economic warfare. One former United Nations special rapporteur described them as akin to a medieval siege. At a time when both countries are trying to recover from destruction caused by a catastrophic explosion or years of war, Lebanon and Syria’s economic situation is being intentionally held back by Washington, as Khalek explained today.

Ex-CIA Agent: US Wasted Trillions on Wars in Iraq & Afghanistan, Achieved Nothing

July 26, 2021

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By Staff, Agencies

The US has squandered trillions of dollars on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq while failing to achieve any objectives, former US counter-terrorism specialist and CIA military intelligence officer Philip Giraldi wrote in an op-ed for Strategic Culture Foundation.

In an article, Giraldi made the remarks as US soldiers leave Afghanistan after an almost twenty-year war and pressure mounts on the Biden administration to withdraw all troops from Iraq.

“Not only did the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq make bad situations worse, but the fact that no one in Washington was able to define ‘victory’ and think in terms of an exit strategy has meant that the wars and instability are still with us,” Giraldi wrote. “In their wake has been hundreds of thousands of deaths and trillions of dollars spent to accomplish absolutely nothing.”

He also lamented the development of a situation where, in his opinion, Iraq now has a stronger connection to “Iran than it does to Washington.”

“The Iraqi Parliament has, in fact, asked US forces to leave the country, a request that has been ignored both by Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Trump actually threatened to freeze Iraqi bank assets to pressure the Iraqis into accepting the continued US occupation,” he added.

The former CIA agent also criticized the American presence in Syria, which takes place despite the fact that the current government of President Bashar al-Assad did not ask the United States to intervene in the long civil conflict.

“At the same time, American troops illegally present in neighboring Syria, continue to occupy that country’s oil fields to deprive the government in Damascus of much needed resources. Neither Iraq nor Syria threatens the United States in any way,” Giraldi noted.

According to the former military spy, given that history, it should come as “no surprise that the withdrawal from the twenty-year-long nation-building project in Afghanistan, long overdue, is not quite going as smoothly as the Pentagon and White House apparently planned.”

“US forces pulled out of their principal base in the country, Bagram Air Base, in the middle of the night without informing the incoming Afghan base commander. A frenzy of looting of the left-behind equipment followed,” Giraldi wrote.

And in general, the Taliban movement in Afghanistan “is racking up victory after victory against US and NATO trained Afghan government forces who have the disadvantage of having to defend everywhere, making them vulnerable to attacks on an opportunity basis.” He also noted that the Taliban “plausibly” claim to control at least 85% of the countryside, including numerous significant towns and provinces as well as crossing points into Pakistan.

“The US government is quietly expecting a similar fate for the thousands of Afghans who collaborated with the regime installed by Washington and is hurriedly arranging for visas to get the most vulnerable out, eventually seeking to resettle them in friendly Middle Eastern countries as well as in the US,” he commented on the issue of evacuating Afghans who collaborated with the US forces from the country in light of the growing threats against them.

Given that some 18,000 local residents working for the US have requested evacuation from Afghanistan and that they will certainly take their families with them, Giraldi notes that there exists “particular concern” that former translators “will be most particularly targeted.”

All in all, the author reckoned that the US involvement in Afghanistan in “the struggle to rid the world of the wrong kind of terrorists” has left the country “weaker and more unfocused” than it was in 2001.

“A recent 23-page report suggests that since ‘Defense Secretary’ Lloyd Austin’s February order to ‘stand down’ the entire US military for commanders to address “extremism” in its ranks has sunk morale and many top soldiers have either retired or quit in disgust,” he explained. “During his confirmation hearings, Austin pledged that he would ‘rid our ranks of racists and extremists’ but the reality is quite different, with the witch hunt in the ranks and endless promotion of diversity even hurting normal military readiness training.”

As President Biden pledged to complete the military withdrawal by the end of August, and the whole military presence in the war-torn nation will be reduced to a battalion of soldiers to secure the Embassy and CIA station in Kabul, Giraldi notes that the situation in itself is “not sustainable unless some kind of workable Afghan government coalition can be achieved.” However, referring to the Taliban’s successful offensive, he figures that this “appears to be increasingly unlikely.”

And thus the US will have to maintain a vital direct link to the city’s airport, for which the administration is negotiating with Turkey to maintain a contingent. Although Turkey has agreed to this mission, the Taliban have already stated that the presence of the Turkish military on the territory of the airport is unacceptable and will lead to retaliatory military actions by the group.

In addition, the US is trying to negotiate with Afghanistan’s neighbors on the deployment of its military for the possibility of over-the-horizon military strikes on the country, and according to Giraldi, there “are few options as the US would not be able to launch cruise missile or airstrikes through the neighboring countries that surround Afghanistan to the south, east and west, though a long-distance strike from warships in the Persian Gulf is technically possible.”

Furthermore, the former Soviet republics of Central Asia, according to the former CIA agent, are closed to the US presence due to Russia’s dominance in the CSTO, which includes most of the former Union’s republics in the region, and Russia will certainly veto a US request for a military base. A possible US presence is not generating much enthusiasm from the countries of the region because “Washington’s bullying in Iraq, Syria and also against Iran has failed to convince anyone that the US Air Force would make a good neighbor.”

“So getting out of Afghanistan will be a lot trickier than going in,” Giraldi concluded. “And there is no escaping the fact that the entire Afghan adventure was one hell of a waste of lives and resources. Next time, maybe Washington will hesitate to charge in, but given the lack of any deep thinking going on in the White House, I suspect we Americans could easily find ourselves in yet another Afghanistan.”

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech in the “Renewing Media Discourse and Managing Confrontation” Conference

July 23, 2021

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Translated by Staff

The Secretary-General of Hezbollah, His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, delivered a speech at the opening session of the Renewing Media Discourse and Managing Confrontation Conference on July 5th, 2021

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon our Master and Prophet, the Seal of Prophets, Abi al-Qassem Muhammad Bin Abdullah and his good and pure household and his good and chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers.

Peace, mercy, and Allah’s blessings be upon you all. Welcome to you all.

To begin with, I would like to welcome everyone attending this honorable and blessed conference. God willing, we will benefit from the dialogs, discussions, and outcomes of this conference to be used in our media battle, which is an essential and the main part of the great battle – the battle of the comprehensive confrontation. I would also like to thank the organizers of this conference, who made an effort to complete it today, and thanks to all the participants.

My speech will focus on the conference. But at the end of the speech, I will leave a small window, to discuss the political situation. Nevertheless, the bulk of the time will be dedicated to this conference.

First: The importance of the media and media discourse in this confrontation is very clear, and we do not need to talk to the media professionals, and the leaders of the media front in the resistance about this matter.

Second: The necessity and importance of developing and renewing the media discourse in this confrontation is also clear, precisely now and in principle. This is the circle of life; everything must develop and progress. There should be no stagnation. Since the conflict’s capabilities and methods of confrontation in its other forms developed so did the military, security, and political confrontations. It is natural that the media confrontation also develops. Firstly, because it is an integral part of the battle. And secondly, to keep pace with the developments in other arenas.
Another factor requiring this renewal in discourse is the steadfastness of the axis of resistance for ten years and its victory in more than one arena and field. When we say: the steadfastness of the axis of resistance within countries, governments, movements, parties, and peoples, people may see it as simple or small. But a huge number of martyrs, wounded, tears, blood, and pain were given and dangers, challenges, difficulties, obsessions, and battles of existence were fought.

Another reason is the resounding victory of the Palestinian resistance in the Al-Quds Sword battle and the new equations it imposed, in addition to the existing challenges as the battle continues. The battle is not over yet. Rather, it is on the rise and facing new dangers, new challenges, new hopes, and new equations.

Third: The media discourse that we want to renew and develop is in the face of whom? Here, we are not talking about internal problems of internal, local, or national nature. We are talking about a confrontation with the “Israeli” occupation and the American hegemony, with the Zionist project and the American project in the region, the “Israeli” occupation of Palestine, all of Palestine – Gaza is outside the circle of occupation – the occupied Syrian Golan, the Shebaa Farms, the Kafr Shuba Hills, and the Lebanese part of the town of Ghajar, the “Israeli” occupation as well as the American hegemony. 

In this confrontation, dismantling is not correct. The American hegemony is the basis and the most dangerous because this hegemony is, first and foremost, a problem for our countries and people. It is based stealing the decision-making process, plundering goods, imposing regimes, and preventing our people from deciding their fate in any field. This American hegemony is the one that is protecting “Israel.” Palestine cannot be liberated without confronting the American hegemony in our region because it has transformed the regimes and armies into dead structures – there is no movement, no will, and no action. This hegemony provides support and all the survival elements of this usurper entity.

Can you imagine, brothers and sisters, that after only 11 or 12 days of the Al-Quds Sword battle, voices in the Zionist entity began to rise and appeal to the United States of America to support it with what the Iron Dome needs in terms of missiles to confront the missiles of the resistance? After 12 days only! This entity is basically dependent on its existence, survival, continuity, arrogance, and superiority. It depends on American hegemony and support. Therefore, we cannot dismantle or isolate during our speeches and confrontation. Every massacre committed by the “Israeli” army is an American and an “Israeli” massacre as it is. Every “Israeli” aggression is an American as well as an “Israeli” aggression.

So here we are talking about a confrontation with the “Israeli” occupation and the Zionist project with its ambitions, threats, and challenges to all countries and people in the region. We are also facing an American hegemony, which sometimes turns into a direct occupation as in Afghanistan that extended for nearly twenty years. And it is now over, with a humiliating, weak, and failed withdrawal. The US was unable to achieve anything. [The US occupation] turned into a direct occupation in Iraq. The American forces now in Iraq are occupying forces. They claim that they came at the request of the Iraqi government, but they are behaving as occupation forces, with their hegemony over Iraq’s skies, attacks against the Iraqi people, and in its recent aggression against the Popular Mobilization Forces at the Iraqi-Syrian border. These are the practices of occupying forces and not friendly or supportive forces. They also occupied east of the Euphrates in Syria. Hence, we are facing a hegemony that sometimes turns into an occupation, as well as other areas, as it is now said about the presence of US forces in southern Yemen. The speech, then, aims to confront the Zionist project, the American project, the “Israeli” occupation, and the American hegemony.

4- The media rhetoric in the axis of resistance was and still is based on main elements of power, and when we want to develop this discourse or renew it, we must renew and develop it based on these main elements of power, which the other media, the hostile media, lacks most of them. 

First: Relying on righteousness. The media of the resistance and the resistance axis as well as the media discourse here express righteousness, the right to Palestine, the right of the people of Palestine to their land from the sea to the river, Syria’s right to the Golan, and Lebanon’s right to the rest of its occupied territories. I always used to say that one of the features of the Palestinian cause is that today if we go around the world, we will find that the most important and clearest cause when it comes to righteousness, the legal right, the religious right, the humanitarian right, the moral right is the Palestinian cause. We find that the standards of righteousness that we use as a reference is the clearest in the Palestinian cause and in this conflict.

Hence, we rely on righteousness in our discourse and in our position. You stand for righteousness, while the other media outlets express falsehood by all standards – legal, religious, moral, and humanitarian standards. It is the right for our people to decide their fate away from American hegemony. America and the West must not impose on these people regimes and options. It is the right for our people to benefit from their wealth, while America and international actors loot these goods. So, first we rely on righteousness.

Second: We also rely on strength, and this is one of the developments in the struggle with the enemy today. The resistance’s media does not recite poems of lament and reminisce, but rather it recites poems of glory from victories and changing the equations. This is the truth.

Hence, today we also rely on the element of strength. When we talk about the resistance and its discourse, we are talking about achievements and victories, especially in the last two decades, in the past 20 years – the liberation of the south in 2000, the victory in 2006, the liberation of the Gaza Strip, the victories and steadfastness of Gaza in the face of several “Israeli” wars, and finally the last battle of Al-Quds Sword against the Zionists. There are also the achievements and victories of the axis of resistance against the global war and the biggest strife in our region, the rules of engagement imposed by the resistance in Lebanon and Palestine, on the “Israeli” enemy as well as the Americans in Iraq and elsewhere.

The resistance imposed rules of engagement and balance of deterrence in more than one arena and area. The enemy’s army was considered the strongest and an invincible army that assaults, bombs, kills, and commits massacres without taking anyone into account. The resistance imposed new equations in protecting Al-Quds. The project I am talking about is liberating Palestine, and I will return to this point later. Therefore, reliance on strength and from a position of strength, and the media’s contribution in creating victory.

Third: Relying on external facts and realities. This is one of the strengths of the resistance’s media and media discourse. It relies on external facts and realities at the political, cultural, and emotional levels of the nation, its people, the resistance, and the resistance’s environments, and the enemy.

Knowing the enemy is one of the most important features of the discourse of the axis of resistance during the past 20 years. It was not gibberish discourse. I will use the expression scientific discourse, an objective discourse, a discourse based on numbers, facts, realities, studies, and research. Knowing the enemy’s points of strength and weakness, acknowledging them, confronting them, absorbing them, overcoming them, and weakening them. We should also know the enemy’s weaknesses to create victories.

The most important matter in the media discourse for 40 years, since 1982 when the resistance began in Lebanon; then, it escalated in Lebanon and Palestine, even though the Palestinian resistance came before. But now we are talking about our experience. The most important thing in this stage and in our psychological warfare is that it was based on facts, not illusions, fantasies, inventions, dreams, or lies. Of course, we must continue in this manner.

Fourth: Based on the third point, we come to the fourth point. One of the most important elements of strength in the media and the resistance axis is honesty. Honesty, which led to credibility, and credibility does not come for free. Credibility is not created by money, by the abundance of media outlets, or by the increasing expertise of media outlets.

True credibility is made by honesty – honesty in several areas:

1- Honesty in conveying the news of what the resistance is saying to the people and what the resistance’s media and its discourse are saying to the people. Honesty in conveying facts must continue regardless of the difficulties and challenges because this honesty accumulated and led to real credibility. Today, the enemy, its leaders, and settlers – because there is no people. There are occupying settlers, occupation army, and occupied people. There are no real civilians. These people today trust and believe the resistance’s media more than they believe their own leaders and media. How did we reach this conclusion? It is as a result of honesty, the long experience, and the facts that appeared before their eyes. Hence, honesty in conveying news.

2- Honesty in the promise. During all these decades, the resistance did not make promises that are far from reality and far from being achieved. When the resistance in Lebanon was founded – with all its parties and factions whose roles we appreciate – it promised liberation. It fulfilled its promise on May 25, 2000, and before that in 1985. When the resistance promised that we are a people who do not leave our prisoners in prisons, it waged wars for their release. The Palestinian resistance also entered into serious confrontations and challenges until it was able to release large numbers of prisoners, and the Palestinian prisoners are still at the top of the Palestinian resistance’s priorities. The resistance in Gaza promised to defend Al-Quds and start a battle with the enemy if it threatened the Maqdisis, the holy city, and the sanctities. Many in the nation were waiting [for this promise]. Some considered it a worthless threat. Hence, the resistance in Gaza began its battle starting with the defense of Al-Quds to create a new equation. Therefore, honesty in fulfilling a promise is also an element of strength. 

There is also honesty in the hopes you give.     The resistance does not promise dreams as a way of deception or false hopes. Today, when the resistance promises something, sets goals, or talks about equations of protection, it accomplishes the equations, as it did in Lebanon by establishing the rules of engagement and the balance of deterrence. The brothers in Palestine are now trying to do so too.

When we talk today in the axis of resistance about the liberation of Palestine – allow me to be very clear, and this disturbs many in the world – about the removal of this usurping entity that occupies, the cancerous gland, and the main enemy from existence, we are not talking about dreams, fantasies, or false hopes. And when we say that Al-Quds today is closer, yes, it is closer. The Al-Quds Sword battle brought Al-Quds closer, closer than ever before.

So, we’re talking about real hopes. We’re not exaggerating. This is one of the most important elements of the resistance’s strength: not exaggerating, not exaggerating in conveying the facts, being accurate, not exaggerating in portraying events, not exaggerating in describing achievements and victories, not exaggerating the goals achieved or the ones we seek to achieve, and not exaggerating hopes and distant goals.

Fifth: The popular base – on which the resistance media and the resistance discourse are based – is the broad popular base in our Arab and Islamic world and in the world as well. Among the characteristics of this base is that it is religiously diverse – Muslims, Christians, and even Jews who reject Zionism and have a real presence – intellectually, culturally, ideologically, nationally, and ethnically diverse. It extends throughout the region and in the world and is united by Al-Quds, its sanctities, and the grievances of the Palestinian people. It is the most important common denominator upon which followers of religions and ideas can agree because they agree on truth, justice, and confronting injustice. This broad base receives the discourse, accepts it from you, and interacts with it on more than one level.

Interaction can happen through the media or the people. It may be by being present in the field, by expressing a position in the media or on social media, by financial support, by going to the border with occupied Palestine, by participating in the battle fronts, by the willingness to sacrifice all that is precious and valuable, or by martyrdom.

There are people whose houses were destroyed, and yet they stand patiently over the wreckage, expressing their determination to continue resisting.

There are those whose family members are killed, as we have recently seen in Gaza and see every day in Al-Quds and the West Bank in Palestine as well as in the occupied Palestinian territories in 1948. There are similar scenes in Lebanon, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and many places. Therefore, this base exists. It needs your discourse, the facts that you report, as well as your interaction because the word that comes from the heart enters the heart. In many events, battles, and wars, when we used to see, for example, the commentator, the analyst, or the broadcaster emotionally interacting and shedding tears, the fighters on the battlefronts cried.

So, this level of interaction exists. When media outlets are launched, they search and want to establish an audience for themselves. I always used to say that when the resistance’s media was launched, it was based on an existing audience base. But the media must address the audience, preserve it, develop its culture and awareness, strengthen its will, respect its emotions and feelings, and increase its strength, momentum, and determination. It is also the responsibility of the media here to address the others who are still neutral, expanding this base. It should also address the others who lined up behind the enemy, championing it, normalizing with it, or conspiring against the resistance. This is a hard and difficult task, but it is possible. No one must despair, not those who are neutral or those who stood with the enemy.  

The historical facts in many wars show us – there is not enough time to mention examples – how true, honest, and logical discourse bring or push large numbers of people from the enemy’s front to join the front of the friend. This transformation was caused by logical and scientific discourse, truthful and persuasive discourse. This also falls under the domain of strength that bears responsibility.

Sixth: The great human and material capabilities that the axis of resistance enjoys these days. This, of course, has no precedent. It is as they say: It is what it is. If we compare between the resistance’s media in the past and now, there is a very big development – compared to the capabilities of the enemy is another research. There is no proportionality in quantity. Yes, there is a balance. The axis of resistance can sometimes dominate in its influence because it is based on elements of real strength. These capabilities include the television, radio, magazines, newspapers, social networking sites, popular platforms, various popular discourse platforms, and all other means. This, of course, today is one of the important points of strength of the resistance axis and in the battle of the resistance. These means were able, during all wars, to participate in creating victory.

Allow me to say that it did not only report or cover news of the victory, but it also participated in creating victory in every sense of the word. There is no exaggeration in it at all. In the latest battle, the Al-Quds Sword, the unbeatable enemy supported by the first superpower in the world, after days of military failure in the face of the besieged resistance and the besieged people in Gaza, what was it looking for? It was looking for an image of victory, an image of victory, and not for a real achievement of victory. As for the resistance front, there were real achievements of victory and real images of victory, and the media of the resistance participated in creating this victory. During all the previous stages, I believe that the media participated in creating victory, preserving it, and showing it. Without the media, victory would have been lost. This is one of the challenges that I will return to talk about shortly. This is possible thanks to the elements of strength as well as the human and material capabilities available to the resistance today, in addition to your blessed presence – there are distinguished human minds, experiences, and capabilities; there are creative people. This is a fact and not a compliment. We say this knowing that there is no proportionality between the material and financial capabilities available to the resistance media and the other camp’s media. We must be objective since we are examining. 

Unfortunately, we sometimes rush to focus on the elements of weakness, on the negatives, on the gaps, on the mistakes, and this is not objective. Objectivity in any evaluation assumes that we talk about achievements and failures, and not only about failures. We must talk about elements of strength and elements of weakness. We must talk about everything. Hence, we confirm, strengthen, and develop our strengths and achievements, address the weaknesses, and fill in our shortcomings and gaps.

Putting ourselves down as we always do is wrong. In the military field, there have always been gaps and mistakes, but they usually do not appear. What appears is the achievement, which is the field victory. The same applies to the security field where everything is even more concealed. When a failure occurs, only those concerned know about it. In the media, however, since it is clear and is public, yes, the failures, gaps, and errors appear and are highlighted. I tell you that the achievements of the resistance’s media are great and very important during the past decades. We must build on them. Focusing on the weaknesses only and beating down oneself does not lead to an objective evaluation nor does it open up prospects for development and renewal. Rather, it leads us to frustration, despair, and weakness. We can’t do anything; we’re weak and powerless – if we always think like this in the fields of media, the military, politics, and economy, we are choosing death, demise, and loss for ourselves. This should not happen at all. The first and most important sign of the influence of these media outlets is the position of the enemy front. Why are they taking down channels from satellites? If these channels have no effect, let them be.

There are hundreds of satellite channels, maybe thousands of satellite channels, I don’t know. Here, there is a hundred on the cable, at the very least. There is a thousand or more elsewhere. There are many satellite channels in the world. Let them forget and ignore these satellite channels the way they do with the rest of the channels in the world. But they take certain satellite channels, I will not name any so as not to leave some of the channels out, in more than one Arab and Islamic country and take them down. Today, the rest of the satellite channels live under the threat of being taken down from the satellites. The same goes for radio stations. Newspapers are prohibited from entering, even if we are now in the age of the Internet, because the issue is difficult. The same goes for the websites of some media outlets. A few days ago, the Americans shut down more than 33 websites. If these had no influence and were ineffective, why would the enemy bother taking them down?

This is evidence of influence, that it has a positive effect on the nation and is a source of disturbance to the enemy, regardless of the degree of disturbance. I’m getting close to the last part. We need to strengthen these means. They should complement each other. There should be positive not negative competition between them. We need to benefit from each other’s experiences in the media field the way we are doing it in the military field. One of the most important strengths in the armed resistance today is that there is an exchange of experience and expertise. There is no dismantled military front, but rather there is a continuous, cooperating, and integrated military front that will expand in terms of integration, God willing, in the future. The same goes for media.

What we need today which also requires your guidance and your expertise is to make the most of the great potential available via social media platforms and whatever reasons the enemy has in opening this door to the world. This is because we can turn threats into an opportunity. I looked over some statistics that asked why the world interacted more with the Al-Quds Sword battle than any other battle. Some studies credited the effectiveness of social media platforms for this. You can ban satellite channels, radio stations, and newspapers and bring them down. But you can’t do that with social media since it reaches the whole world today. It was able to transmit images and sounds of the battle in a way that wasn’t possible during past confrontations, injustices, and massacres in occupied Palestine.

This is a very great opportunity in which every human being, every individual, not only the elites, thinkers, analysts, intellectuals, and the media, but every individual in this axis and in this nation can become a creator and address the whole world and convey images, facts, and positions. Brothers and sisters, today we are waging the battle of revealing righteousness, reviving the people, and resurrecting sincere hopes. On the other hand, in the media, we are waging a battle against misinformation, distortion, fake news, and deception. This is a harsh battle.

This needs a plan on its own. This is in the defensive field, and all we talked about is included in the attack plan. Yes, today there are a lot of capabilities invested in this, especially in Lebanon, the Arab world, and the Islamic world. These people cannot defend the enemy. They cannot talk about the right of the enemy because it is false; they cannot talk about the humanity of the enemy, even if some Gulf media outlets tried to do so during the past year. However, the Al-Quds Sword battle erased these lies. Thus, they cannot defend the enemy, its behavior, brutality, crimes, falsehood, massacres, ugly face, past, or its present. And they cannot convince the nation that this enemy has no ambitions in the future. Hence, they turn their weapons toward the resistance in order to distort its image, distort its truth, falsify its positions. But the central focus is distortion, distortion in every sense of the word. So, today we see when we keep up with other hostile media outlets, I am not saying the opposite [media outlets], but hostile, that they are waging a media war day and night. Many human cadres and billions of dollars are provided for them, by their own admission. What for? For the purpose of distortion.

But in general, the focus is first on the Palestinian cause – intellectually, culturally, and religiously. We have been hearing lately – here it also needs a cultural and religious effort –  from some Gulf media outlets, especially religious theorizations that yes, Palestine is a right of the Jews, it is the right of the “Israelites” – Allah Almighty says they believe in part of the Scripture and disbelieve in part.

Focusing on the ability of the enemy – this enemy cannot do anything, so we have to accept the wreckage – and the inability of the nation. But the most dangerous is the focus on distorting the image of the resistance. Today, for example, the resistance fighters in Iraq are accused of being Iran’s tail by some hostile Iraqi media outlets and on social media. When you are a jihadi resistance fighter and want the sovereignty, independence, and freedom of Iraq and Iraq’s oil to belong to the Iraqi people, you are a tail. But when you are an agent of the American embassy and a servant at its gates, you are a patriot. The same applies to the resistance in all the region, in Lebanon, in Palestine – you are tails, you are agents, you are Iran’s agents, you are an Iranian community, etc.

This is all easy – communities and agents, especially in this time. Accused of being an agent has become a normal thing. But the worst is when the resistance movements are accused of being mafias, mafias that steal, drug-trafficking mafias, crime mafias, without presenting a single evidence. They work on this night and day, and some people believe it. They even hold the resistance movements responsible for the dangerous situations in their countries – the economic and living conditions in Lebanon and elsewhere – even though they have nothing to with them. In any case, they even deny the victories created by the resistance and work to deny them. This happened in Lebanon in 2006. 

But after the Al-Quds Sword battle, I was watching some Arab satellite channels. While the Palestinians were talking about their victory and how the world and the Zionists recognized their victory. These channels were focusing on the numbers of the wounded, on the job opportunities that were lost, and on the pain and suffering of the people, even though the owners of the destroyed homes and the families of the martyrs and those who lost job opportunities were expressing their belief and their pride in victory. Just like what happened in Lebanon. The enemy was unable to create an image of victory. Yet, the hostile Arab media outlets created an image of a victory for it out of the bones and limbs of children, women, martyrs, and the wounded in the Gaza Strip and in occupied Palestine. This, of course, needs to be confronted. This is a tough battle that needs to a planned and follow up. But, first, allow me to say we need self-confidence. First, we must not be shaken by this distortion. We must have great confidence in ourselves, in our brothers and sisters, in our environment, in our people, in the resistance movements. These people are not infallible. They make mistakes, but the resistance movements enjoy credibility, sincerity, a high level of willingness to sacrifice, and loyalty. But these qualities do not prevent them from having some who make mistakes and commit sins. We must work to address mistakes and sins. They exaggerate the mistakes, but in general, they are fabricating lies and fake news that have nothing to do with the resistance and the resistance movements.

Today, you are invited to study this discourse on the basis of these elements of strength and to develop and renew it on every level in line with all the developments taking place in our region, with all the capabilities available in our hands – militarily, politically, culturally, socially, financially, etc. Development should also be in accordance with the threats, challenges, and opportunities. We must work to transform threats into opportunities. We need to review our rhetoric, our discourse, our literature, the terminology, methods, means, tools, ideas based on these constants. We do not want to start from scratch, but we want to take this great amount of quantitative and qualitative achievements in the axis of resistance, including achievements in the media, as a basis. We all must benefit from the results of your discussions and dialogues, God willing.

I would like to personally ask you for your own effort to help consolidate the new regional equation that we are proposing, to make it the regional equation for the protection of the Holy City. The resistance in Gaza wanted to indicate that they will meet any threat against al-Quds. The entire region will protect Al-Quds against any threat. This talk is not for media consumption, not for scoring points. We didn’t do that in the past, and we won’t do it now. This is a serious and real project that can be used as a basis. It is now being used as a basis – even if it has not yet been translated into practice. When the Zionists are convinced, and they are convinced, that threating the Holy City as well as the Islamic and Christian sanctities in the Holy City will lead to a regional war, they will reconsider and tread carefully when taking such a step. Launching the equation can impose a deterrent rule, let alone working to stabilizing it or even translating it into reality in the near or medium future.

We are working to link the elements of strength – states, governments, movements, and people – to this equation in the axis of resistance. We stay up at nights, hold meetings, coordinate, communicate, study, make plans, and put possible and hypothetical scenarios and various plans, etc. But this also needs the creating of a new public opinion, as we are emerging from a difficult stage during the past ten years. We need a new public opinion. If we were talking about an equation that will protect a geographical area in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, or Yemen, the idea of a regional equation or a regional war might not be acceptable to many of our people. But when we talk about the Holy City and the sanctities that concern everyone – the entire nation, the governments in the nation, all the free people of the world, and all the followers of the heavenly religions – this idea must be accepted and appreciated and has fertile ground, and we must work strongly for it. This requires focused effort during the next stage.

The last part of my speech is a look into the local situation. It will be said that O Sayyed and brothers – the speech can be addressed to you and me – now you are gathered to discuss the media discourse and its renewal in the face of occupation and domination, assessment, investment, and appreciation of the victory in Palestine.  We were expecting you to talk to us about the queues at gasoline stations, absence of medicines and baby formula, and the internal problems we suffer from. I would like to comment on this point and conclude with a couple of words.

In fact, it is required of those who conspire and lay plans in the region, in our Arab and Islamic world is to make all the people of this region preoccupied with internal issues, political problems, bread, gasoline, fuel, a bottle of gas in their homes and the milk of their children, their salary, and the national currency, so that there will be no place in their minds and hearts nor will they have the will, determination, concern, planning, and following on matters that concern the nation, including Palestine and Al-Quds. This is well known, and there is nothing new. But I am only reminding you. This has been in the works for decades, in one form, other than regional wars, wars between brothers, wars between friends, tearing up the nation, tearing up countries, etc. This is what is taking place in every country; the siege and economic sanctions on our countries, especially on countries and people belonging to the axis of resistance. In fact, their goal is for us to reach the point where there is no place for Palestine – in our minds, hearts, emotions, sentiments, our media follow-ups, our interests, our participation in the battle at any level. This is where they wanted people to be, and they are relatively successful. Let’s be realistic, and they are relatively successful. We have to acknowledge this and face it.

The correct thing to do is to work on two tracks or paths at the same time. The first path is to remain fighting this main conflict, not to lose sight of it, not to leave it, not to neglect it. The second path is to address our internal problems in our local, national society. We must do our utmost to address our political, living, financial, and economic crises and not abandon them. But we have to – here is our problem – work on both tracks, and I admit to you that working on both tracks is stressful, tiring, confusing, and difficult. However, with will and determination, we can advance. The first path does not make us abandon our internal interests, and the second path should not drown us and cause us to fall into our internal problems at the expense of the first path. This is the complexity of our battle that we must continue and fight.

Today, the Lebanese people and all those who queue in front of petrol stations and pharmacies must know what is happening with their currency and salaries. They must not lose sight of all the real causes of the crisis. The same goes for the countries in the region. Yes, there are real reasons that are frankly related to the crisis of the system in Lebanon. We are not only facing a government crisis. The government crisis in Lebanon expresses the crisis of the system. It is the product of the crisis of the system. There is a crisis of the system in Lebanon. There is a political crisis in Lebanon. There is rampant corruption. There are a lot of thefts. There is limitless monopoly. Until now, it is incomprehensible what is happening with the  gasoline and diesel and in renewing its causes. Sometimes some reasons are being exaggerated. They talk to you about smuggling. Control the issue of smuggling. How much is the percentage of smuggling? But look at the percentage of protected and abandoned monopoly. Well, we have a problem. True! It is a political crisis, corruption, a crisis of administration, a crisis of government, monopoly, a crisis in responsibility. Allow to speak at the popular level. There is a crisis of awareness among the people. We are not beating our people down. There are many people who are aware. But there are people take things where the enemy really wants. We need a little patience. It doesn’t make sense for people to shoot and attack each other with knives at the gasoline station. This is ignorance. This is ignorance beyond ignorance.

In any case, there is another reason, a real reason, a very big reason –  it’s America and its policies. It besieges, punishes, and prevents any help that can come from anyone in the world, whether it comes in the form of deposits in the Central Bank, donations, or loans. The US is the one that is preventing [them from reaching Lebanon]. You are America’s friends in Lebanon, don’t you know that? Aren’t you ashamed of that? The US ambassador makes appearances every day and sheds crocodile tears. Isn’t her government and administration the one preventing any country in the world from providing assistance, gifts, a deposits, or loans to Lebanon for political goals that are not related to Lebanon? Rather, it they are in the service of the “Israeli” occupation, in the service of the project to stabilize “Israel”, in the service of the settlement project, in the service of usurping gas and oil from our territorial waters, in the service of for “Israel’s” security. Isn’t it? Is it not the US administration that is preventing Lebanese banks from bringing their money and dollars from abroad? Is it not the US administration that is imposing sanctions and threatening sanctions? Is it not the US administration and its policies that are preventing the Lebanese, the Lebanese governments, the Lebanese state from seeking the assistance of any friend from the East? It is forbidden to ask assistance from China. Here, we are not just talking about arguments. There are real opportunities to address the economic and living situation in Lebanon. Real opportunities. Lebanon needs investments. This does not require a lot of philosophizing, either deposits to strengthen the Lebanese pound a little, gifts, aids, loans, or investments. The best are gifts and investments because they do not have effects on the budget and the Lebanese people. There are major Chinese and Russian companies that are ready to invest in Lebanon based on the BOT method, and without the Lebanese state paying anything. Then, these companies are told: No, no, no.

Don’t the Lebanese officials know that this will revive the Lebanese economy and the country, address a large part of our crisis, and secures tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of job opportunities? They know, but I tell you frankly, there is the American veto and fear of the Americans. They do not fear that the US will include the Lebanese state and the Central Bank on the list of sanctions. Rather, there is personal fear – they fear that they, their people, their wives and children, be included in the list of sanctions. 

The Lebanese people in various areas and from various parties and factions offered their best youth, men, and women, as martyrs to save Lebanon and liberate it. In order to save them financially and economically, don’t Lebanon and the Lebanese people deserve that the politicians in Lebanon sacrifice and bear, even if that means they will be included in America’s list of sanctions? Why don’t we have the courage?!

Otherwise, tell me what are the solutions? What are we waiting for? The Lebanese are waiting for a slow death; everyone is talking about collapse. They only differ on the timing of the collapse. Well, these are real solutions, these are realistic solutions. America is threatening to put Lebanon, the officials, or political figures in Lebanon on the sanctions lists. Reality is telling us that all of Lebanon is heading toward death. What will you do? How will you act?

This should not be forgotten while facing the internal confrontation. This is part of the main conflict. This is basically their goal. They tried for years in Gaza to incite the people against the resistance. They besieged Gaza. 

After more than two years of calm, stability, and security in most of the Syrian regions and governorates, and when Syria was calling on companies from all over the world, from the east and elsewhere, from the Arab world, even Lebanese companies to invest, America’s Caesar Act came to impose a siege on Syria. It threatened any company that invests in Syria within a certain scope with sanctions. So, the companies retreated. They got frightened and retreated, even countries friendly to Syria. This is in order to put pressure on Syria.

Iraq is still suffering. Iran is still suffering. Yemen is besieged. Gaza is still under siege. This is the logic of the sanctions in Lebanon. The Americans are frankly saying that our goal in Lebanon is to incite the Lebanese people against the resistance in general and specifically the environment of the resistance against it. These people have no shame. They do not hide their goals. They said years ago that we spent 500 million dollars in 2005 and 2006 just to tarnish the image of Hezbollah. Today, the Americans are saying we want to incite the Lebanese people and the environment of resistance against the resistance.

O Lebanese, the main partner in destroying your national currency, the reason for the crises and calamities you are also experiencing, the high prices, hunger, and the loss of job opportunities is the US administration, the US policies, and the US embassy in Lebanon, which deceives you by giving you two or three masks here and malicious smiles. Yes, there are other problems – I don’t want to defend – but other problems have always been there, corruption, banditry, wrong policies for decades. But the difference is that these practices were protected by American policies and by successive American administrations. The most prominent thieves, spoilers, and corrupt people in Lebanon are America’s friends in Lebanon as well. Why did America remain silent about them during all the past years and now came out to fight corruption? It is not even honest when it talks about corruption. This is a cover for the real economic battle.

Today, we find them clearly speaking in “Israeli”-American discussions. Following their failure in the July 2006 war – so far, they have failed, and we are in 2021 – they threatened us with war. They threatened us with bombing, bombing our places, our camps, and our factories if we do not stop with precision missiles. All their threats were in vain because they know the nature of the equation. They know that war with Lebanon is not a picnic. They keep on threatening, but they also know the price in return. Well, what are they betting on? Today, all the “Israeli” enemy’s research centers are pinning their hopes om the economic and living crisis in Lebanon. So, I tell our people to, first, arm yourselves with awareness, patience, and determination – yes, with hard work, you can address these crises – to, at the very least, persevere during these crises.

In conclusion, the issue of the government. Now, the prime minister-designate has returned. These days are supposed to be decisive. I do not want to say anything now because there are meetings that will be held today, tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow that can clearly paint a picture of the government scene.

We also have the news that we heard in the media about allegations against the caretaker prime minister, a number of former ministers, and a number of military and security leaders. We did not read names of judges, and it was not said that there were judges. Of course, it is unfortunate that the defendants find out about the allegations against them from the media. Until this moment, I think – at least this morning – no one has been officially informed that they are the defendants or wanted for investigating over the Beirut Port case. Of course, this is one form of political exploitation of the issue. We previously rejected this, and we reiterate our rejection of this issue.

Today, I will not comment. I will leave the comment for a later time until the real judicial information comes out to see whether the information circulated and leaked in the media is true or not. We previously talked about the standards and the difference in standards. What we are seeking as the anniversary of the explosion and this horrific massacre nears is justice and truth. Until now, justice is still far away, and the truth is hidden. For a year and for months, we called on the former investigative judge and the current judge to publish the file of the technical investigation regarding this horrific incident. So far, our demands have fallen on deaf ears. Was what happened an explosion? Was it intentional? Was it caused by negligence? Were there rockets owned by the resistance in the Beirut Port? Were there resistance weapons stores Beirut Port as was said in the first few days and weeks?

This is part of the campaign of lies that we did not spare time to give evidence for. And you know it doesn’t need evidence. So far, no one told the truth yet, not even to the families of the martyrs. We do not want you to hold a press conference, my brother. Just gather the families of the martyrs and tell them how their children were martyred. Was there an “Israeli” missile? Was there an “Israeli” aggression? Were there explosives? Did the resistance use the warehouses in the port? Was there negligence? And secondly, we want to see whether there is a unity of standards or not, a real judicial action or political targeting. Then based on this, action will be taken.

As for the living conditions, we must all continue to work towards real solutions, effective solutions, not small or simple actions. This can only happen through a courageous will and a high willingness to sacrifice to open the doors to save the Lebanese economy.

Thank you for giving me your attention. You are used to listening to me for an hour and maybe I go further to an hour and a quarter. I wish that your conference will be productive and useful, God willing. And we will certainly benefit from all your ideas, opinions, and creations. May God grant you wellness. Thank you for all your efforts from now and in the past. And thank you, in advance, for your sincerity and loyalty in this battle. 

May the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be upon you.

The Wrong Pentagon Policy

30 JUNE 2021

By Slavisha Batko Milacic

Source

The Wrong Pentagon Policy

The Syrian “liberation movements” have been fighting the legitimate Assad regime and its allied Russian military for 11 years now. But their arsenals are only getting bigger and bigger. How come?

Modern warfare is waged with high-tech weapons. Each battle fought eats up loads of ammunition and modern weapons systems need spare parts and fuel. All this meaning that no military action is possible without an advanced economy and supplies. Even terrorist organizations forced to go deep into the underground have to set up laboratories and workshops to produce homemade explosives and weapons. Incidentally, it is exactly this “underground industry” that makes them vulnerable to the intelligence services. Therefore, one might think that large and internationally outlawed groups of terrorists and separatists simply can’t exist for long because they will be left with virtually nothing to fight with.

The Syrian “liberation movements” have been fighting the legitimate Assad regime and its allied Russian military for 11 years now.(1) But their arsenals are only getting bigger and bigger. How come?

Bulgarian journalist Dilyana Gaitandzhieva published an investigation that points to a direct connection between the Pentagon and the provision of arms to a radical group opposing both Syria and the United States. As part of their campaign of self-promotion, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham has posted online a number of videos where the militants are seen using US-made TOW anti-tank missiles, whose serial numbers are clearly visible in the propaganda videos. According to official military procurement documents, the TOW missile systems were supplied to the US Marine Corps from 2012 to 2019. According to information, openly available at govtribe.com, Raytheon Company landed a $783 million W31P4Q12C0265 contract for the supply of TOW missile systems to the USMC.

Shortly after the deal was completed in June 2019, the missile systems featured front and center in propaganda videos circulated by the terrorist group, while Washington had announced a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the identification or location of the group’s leader, Abu Muhammad al-Julani. Moreover, the TOW missile system is not a Kalashnikov assault rifle. Training a TOW operator is a rather lengthy and complex process. Even if we assume that several such units were seized in battle or stolen, the question is who trained Hayat Tahrir al-Sham specialists capable of using them? Besides, videos of very expensive TOW missile launches made for propaganda purposes prove that the extremists have more than enough such missiles at their disposal. Neither do they experience any shortages of less sophisticated and more reliable weapons, such as Kalashnikov assault rifles, RPG-7s and 12.7 mm DShK machine guns.

The method of getting Soviet-made arms to Iraqi and Syrian extremists is both simple and straightforward. Huge amounts of weapons and ammunition are purchased from Serbian, Bulgarian and Romanian gun factories for Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, as well as for US auxiliary forces. Back in 2017, the Bulgarian arms industry set an absolute arms export record of $1.2 billion. Arms production is on the rise in Serbia and Romania also. Bulgarian arms dealer Emilian Gebrev is cleaning out ammunition from long-term storage depots all across Eastern Europe.

However, Eastern European arms suppliers, including such big ones as Serbian Zastava, Romanian U.M. Cugir and Carfil, as well as the Bulgarian Arsenal, actually controlled by Gebrev, are not always allowed into the lucrative Middle Eastern market as Pentagon keep acting as go-betweens, who directly receive money from their own government. In 2020 alone, eight US companies inked $350 million worth of official contracts with the Pentagon for the supply of “non-American standard” weapons. All of these companies – TLG Worldwide, Multinational Defense Services LLC, Greystone CS3 LLC, Global Ordnance LLC, UDC USA, Inc., Culmen International, Blane International Group, Inc., and Sierra Four Industries Corp officially operate in the United States, and information about these transactions is also part of the country’s public procurement system. (2) There are two questions that arise here. First, how does the Pentagon benefit from this?

Well, the answer is simple enough. The Pentagon never learns from its past mistakes and continues to believe that it can control radical groups, who use their weapons mainly against Russian soldiers and pro-Assad forces. The lion’s share of oil produced by Islamist-controlled groups is being sold via a chain of intermediaries, which allows Pentagon and its Saudi allies to fully recoup their arms charity. During its heyday, the entire ISIS economy (if one can so describe the economy of such a quasi-state, of course) was working for war. Money and property extorted from the controlled population and thousands of barrels of oil were turned into weapons and ammunition, or used to train armed groups. Even though ISIS was ultimately phased out and formally even broken up, the whole scheme kept working. As a result, the Pentagon has been able to keep the arms supplies fully under control without paying a thing.

Regardless of the number of go-betweens in this scheme, in fact, the Pentagon handles the supply of weapons to terrorists.

At first glance, the second question looks more complicated. Why did the Pentagon actually act as the organizer of the supply of “Soviet-style” weapons to terrorist groups? ZU-23 anti-aircraft guns, DShK machine guns, Kalashnikov assault rifles, ATGL hand-held anti-tank grenade launchers and their heavy ATGL-H companions, supplied from Bulgaria, are all copies of Soviet models. These are weapons of the Warsaw Pact countries that are purchased for American arms-supply schemes in Serbia, Romania and the Czech Republic. It looks like the Pentagon has no desire to move the Middle East region to NATO standards. In reality, however, everything is simple. The less sophisticated the weapons, the easier it is to hide the routes of their supply and even their origin. If casualties among US nationals can’t be avoided, it is better to have them killed by weapons used by the Russians and their allies and blame Moscow and Damascus for unwarranted attacks on the US military and its allies.

Investigations into the supply of arms to terrorists have appeared in the European media for several years now, but the situation has not changed. “Merchants of death” like E m I I an G e brev continue to goldbrick, while Pentagon stick to its unsophisticated schemes. As a result, the people of Syria and Iraq suffer, Europe suffers as refugees keep flowing in. Because of all of the above, the new US administration, led by President Joe Biden, must bring order to the Pentagon and prevent the Pentagon from working independently and against the interests of Europe and the United States.

As US Pivots from Afghanistan to Yemen, Al-Mahrah Copes with Increasing Military Presence

June 30th, 2021

US troops in Yemen

By Ahmed Abdulkareem

Source

Residents in eastern Yemen see the surge of U.S. military personnel as malign and colonial in nature and worry that it will bring not only chaos and instability to their region but could also bring with it the infamous human rights abuses and horrific violations that took place in Afghanistan and Iraq.

AL-MAHRAH, YEMEN — Eastern Yemen has been largely spared the country’s grueling six-year war, with U.S. military personnel in the region, once a rare sight, garnering little more than a curious stare from the passing onlooker. But a new sense of anxiety has settled over the residents of the eastern Al-Mahrah Province amid stories of violent midnight raids by American and Saudi commandos and an increasingly visible U.S. military presence in the region.

In June 2019, a team of U.S. Marines supported by Saudi forces raided a populated neighborhood, dubbed the “Qatar quarter,” in al-Ghaydah city in Al-Mahrah. Witnesses to the raid told MintPress that they believe it was carried out on information provided by local informants. The raid allegedly targeted a home rented by militants fighting on behalf of the Saudi-led Coalition who had just returned from fighting in Marib. The operation provoked fear and questions among neighborhood residents, as three Yemenis and one Saudi were detained as well as many women and children. Locals claim the captives were then taken to al-Ghaydah Airport, where the U.S. military has a presence, according to witnesses and security sources. The conditions of their detention were reportedly similar to detainees in Afghanistan and Iraq, which, according to locals, included being blindfolded and beaten.

“It was about 8:40 a.m. when we were startled by the sounds of American and Saudi troops raiding a nearby house. My sons and daughters were terrified. The chaos and yelling echoed through [the neighborhood],” a resident of the Qatar quarter told MintPress, on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal. He continued: “After a few moments, many blindfolded people accompanied by women and children were dragged into one of the military vehicles in a humiliatingly provocative manner.” As he recounted the story, it was clear he was holding back tears; he concluded: ”The scene was [reminiscent] of the raids by American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, but they’re taking place here, not in Fallujah. We haven’t felt safe since.”

U.S. military surges bring chaos, human-rights abuses

Residents in eastern Yemen see the surge of U.S. military personnel as malign and colonial in nature and worry that it will bring not only chaos and instability to their region but could also bring with it the infamous human rights abuses and horrific violations that took place in Afghanistan and Iraq, where thousands of civilians were killed or tortured, some by American troops, others by private military contractors like Blackwater.

Saudi Arabia claims that a man it later identified by his nom de guerre, Abu Osama al-Muhajir, the leader of the Islamic State’s Yemen branch, was captured in the raid along with the group’s finance officer and a number of other fighters. An official Saudi press release makes no mention of cooperation with U.S. forces in carrying out the raid but, according to eyewitnesses and local security sources, “their bodies and accents were unmistakably [American] to the residents.

Working the ‘war on terror’

Coinciding with the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, security experts believe that the Biden administration is strengthening its presence in eastern Yemen, under the pretext of fighting terrorism and preventing the transfer of arms from Iran to the Houthis. President Joe Biden has indeed admitted to a U.S. military presence in the war-torn country. In his letter to Congress, Biden said that “a small number of United States military personnel are deployed to Yemen to conduct operations against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and IS.” He added, “The United States military continues to work closely with the Government of the Republic of Yemen and regional partner forces to degrade the terrorist threat posed by those groups.”

In addition to their military presence at al-Ghaydah Airport and on the waters of Yemen’s eastern cities, U.S. forces also have a small base in the so-called Empty Quarter between Yemen and Saudi Arabia, used for launching drones and to pursue those it describes as terrorists in addition to providing “logistical support” to Saudi Arabia. Dozens of the U.S. Marines recently arrived in Al-Mahrah and Socotra, according to locals who spoke to MintPress. U.S. intelligence agencies do indeed consider AQAP the most dangerous branch of al-Qaeda because of its technical expertise and global reach, but many activists, journalists, and local media have warned that the Saudi military occupation is taking place under the cover of the U.S. forces not to combat the overblown threat from AQAP but to allow Saudi Arabia to establish a long-term presence in the province.

Yemen Mahra
Fighters loyal to Saudi-led colation stand guard in Marib, Yemen. Jon Gambrell | AP

The shoring up of the American military presence in the province, home to untapped and potentially lucrative massive oil reserves, comes on the back of several visits by high-ranking American officials to the region. In 2018, Gen. Joseph Votel, head of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) visited Aden, and former President Donald Trump’s adviser Francis Townsend visited Al-Mahrah in March 2020. Christopher Henzel, the U.S. Ambassador to Yemen, made a surprise visit to Al-Mahrah last December, coming from Riyadh as Yemenis were celebrating Independence Day, an occasion commemorating the end of British occupation in northern Yemen. Henzel visited American forces stationed at al-Ghaydah Airport, according to the Al-Mahrah Governorate authorities.

Yemeni NGOs and government officials have been complaining for years that al-Ghaydah Airport is home to secret prisons where Abu Ghraib-style human rights abuses and outright torture are carried out. Local residents believe the abuses are taking place under the supervision of the American forces, or with their knowledge at a minimum, according to Ahmed al-Ali, the head of Southern National Committee to Resist the Invasion, a group dedicated to the protest of a Saudi military presence in the region.

Protests, and even some armed confrontations, have broken out as people in Al-Mahrah fight back against what many view as a Saudi takeover of their governorate. Over the past three years, Saudi Arabia has tightened its control over the province, which borders Oman to the east. In addition to establishing a military presence, the Saudis have tried to exert soft power by establishing Salafist-inspired madrassas and a policy of naturalization and humanitarian aid, a move local authorities claim is being carried out with the support of the United States.

Palpable public anger

The U.S. military presence in the region has also been met with strong local opposition and, rather than reducing any alleged terrorist threat, it has instead handed a highly effective recruiting tool to AQAP. Public anger and frustration against the United States in Yemen are palatable and follow on the heels of the infamous Obama-era drone strikes and raids that killed scores of innocent people at weddings and funerals.

Al-Mahrah residents, by and large, don’t buy into the pretext of fighting terrorism or preventing arms smuggling that is used to justify the foreign military presence in the province. They accuse Saudi Arabia and the U.S. of spreading propaganda and exaggerating the threat of al-Qaeda and ISIS in order to justify their presence, according to the Peaceful Sit-in Committee, a group formed by Al-Mahrah residents to protest any foreign presence in the province.

Yemen US troops
A Yemeni fishing vessel is stopped by US commandos who later claimed it was being used to smuggle weapons into Yemen. Photo | DVIDS

The vice-chairman of the Peaceful Sit-in Committee, Sheikh Aboud Haboud Qumsit, accused Saudi Arabia and the UAE of seeking to portray Al-Mahrah as an al-Qaeda stronghold. He added, “We make it clear to everyone that these allegations are scandalous and Al-Mahrah will not be a stronghold of al-Qaeda and IS.” He even accused the Saudi-led Coalition forces of being behind any surge in terrorist elements in the region, saying “al-Qaeda and IS have been brought to the province and used to reinforce the foreign presence in Al-Mahrah.”

The increased U.S. military presence in Yemen is not the only provocation giving rise to a sense of frustration and hopelessness. President Biden’s ongoing support of the Saudi-led Coalition’s offensive operations — including its blockade, which is central to Yemen’s disastrous food and fuel shortages — has caused most Yemenis to lose hope that the new U.S. administration will bring about a change in U.S. policy.

On Wednesday, a U.S.-made ScanEagle drone was downed above Marib in an area that has seen heavy fighting between local fighters supporting Ansar Allah and fighters loyal to the Saudi-led Coalition. Footage of the drone after it was shot down, viewed by MintPress, identified the wreckage as belonging to a ScanEagle and bearing a CAGE, the number of a subsidiary of U.S. weapons-maker Boeing. Despite the video evidence, the U.S. has denied the charge.

As local resistance to the American presence in the region grows, it is likely that protests and armed resistance will follow. Military experts in Yemen believe that it is only a matter of time before al-Ghaydah Airport — which hosts American, British and Saudi forces — will come under the same sort of politically charged attacks levied against American forces in Iraq.

Saudi Aggression Commits New Massacre in Yemen’s Border Area of Al-Raqo

01/07/2021

Saudi Aggression Commits New Massacre in Yemen’s Border Area of Al-Raqo

By Staff, Agencies

The US-Saudi aggression committed a new massacre early Thursday in Yemen’s border area of al-Raqo in Saada province less than a day after a similar crime.

Two citizens were martyred and six others were wounded as a result of Saudi missile and artillery shelling on the border area of al-Raqo in Munabbih district.

On Wednesday, Al-Masirah network reported that the border area of al-Raqo was subjected to Saudi missile and artillery shelling, which injured eight civilians, some of whom are in serious condition.

Al-Masirah explained that the al-Raqo market was bombed by the Saudi-led aggression in an indiscriminate manner that lasted for hours, and the Apache helicopters run by the US-Saudi aggression had flown heavily over al-Raqo area since the early morning hours.

In recent weeks, dozens of civilians, including children and women, were martyred and wounded in almost daily crimes committed by the Saudi forces, especially in al-Raqo area and the border areas in general.

In light of its defeats on various frontlines and its failure to achieve any of its objectives, the US-Saudi aggression is notorious for its indiscrimination shown by its numerous attacks against densely-populated centers especially in Saada province, including markets, hospitals, and schools.

Tens of thousands have lost their lives since August 2015, when Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched its devastating campaign against Yemen.

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Breaking: Biden Bombs Syria and Iraq; Psychopaths Claim ‘Self-Defense’

Breaking News - syria news

MIRI WOOD 

The Biden regime has again bombed Syria and has also bombed Iraq. At approximately 0100 Damascene time, Biden regime bomber jets targeted two neighborhoods in Abukamal, eastern Deir Ezzor near the border, and one in Iraq.

One Syrian child was murdered, three other civilians were injured and several homes destroyed in this most recent Biden regime war crime on Syrian territories, four Iraqi troops were killed on Iraqi territories.

 most recent Biden regime war crime on Syrian territories, four Iraqi troops were killed on Iraqi territories.

Syria and Iraq bombed, and war criminals lie self defense.


The psychopath Dr. Strangelove’s of the Pentagon, CENTCOM, and the US Department of Defense outrageously claimed “self defense.” Calling deadly bombs “precision airstrikes,” the mass-murderers perversely twisted international law on war crimes: “As a matter of international law, the United States acted pursuant to its right of self-defense,” under the guise of protecting “US interests in Iraq” which the same criminal liars and unindicted war criminals declared were being ”targeted” by “Iran-back groups.”

The US degenerate liars neglected to mention in their self-victimized statement that the US has no interests in Iraq (or in Syria), and that in January 2020, the Iraqi Parliament politely voted for the yanqui putos to leave their country. Instead of leaving the country it destroyed, the US launched a criminal plot to incite a civil war in Iraq.

The Biden regime forces are also criminally in Syria — a war crime — and continuing to steal Syrian grain, Syrian oil, and occasionally to murder indigenous Syrians. Invasion, occupation, theft of food and Syria’s oil are also war crimes.

Biden commits new war crimes against Syria

— Miri Wood

Postscript: We offer a reminder that not all US politicians are Arab-hating war criminals. Former Senator Mike Gravel died yesterday at the age of 91. Here is a short video from a debate when he ran for president, and called out the warmongers on stage with him:


Addendum by Arabi Souri:

This latest illegal war crime added to the very long list of war crimes committed by the consecutive regimes of the United States in both Syria and Iraq takes place merely two days after the PMU, the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units, carried out a formal military parade in Baghdad under the supervision and in the attendance of the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi who confirmed the PMU is an integral body of the Iraqi armed forces and on the eve of the tripartite summit in Baghdad with the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Jordan’s King Abdullah.

The Iraqi PMU military parade on 26 June 2021 in Baghdad:

We’re not sure who is really advising the head of the ‘most inclusive and diverse’ junta at the White House after the Israeli Netanyahu is removed from power after decades of dictating the US foreign policies in the region and far beyond, or what guides the US policies in the region, it’s obviously not related to any US interests and is seen in the region as demented Joe Biden who vowed to u-turn on Trump’s policies is sewing more body bags for US soldiers sent to plunder the wealth of both Syria and Iraq, the victims of the war crimes and their families and tribesmen will not sit idle and will seek harder revenge, the US ‘strategists’ should know this by now.

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Chris Hedges: The Unraveling of the American Empire

April 19th, 2021

By Chris Hedges

Source

US leadership has stumbled from one military debacle to another, a trajectory mirroring the sad finales of other historical imperial powers.

Princeton, New Jersey (Scheerpost— America’s defeat in Afghanistan is one in a string of catastrophic military blunders that herald the death of the American empire. With the exception of the first Gulf War, fought largely by mechanized units in the open desert that did not – wisely – attempt to occupy Iraq, the United States political and military leadership has stumbled from one military debacle to another. Korea. Vietnam. Lebanon. Afghanistan. Iraq. Syria. Libya. The trajectory of military fiascos mirrors the sad finales of the Chinese, Ottoman, Hapsburg, Russian, French, British, Dutch, Portuguese and Soviet empires. While each of these empires decayed with their own peculiarities, they all exhibited patterns of dissolution that characterize the American experiment.

Imperial ineptitude is matched by domestic ineptitude. The collapse of good government at home, with legislative, executive and judicial systems all seized by corporate power, ensures that the incompetent and the corrupt, those dedicated not to the national interest but to swelling the profits of the oligarchic elite, lead the country into a cul-de-sac. Rulers and military leaders, driven by venal self-interest, are often buffoonish characters in a grand comic operetta. How else to think of Allen Dulles, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Donald Trump or the hapless Joe Biden? While their intellectual and moral vacuity is often darkly amusing, it is murderous and savage when directed towards their victims.

There is not a single case since 1941 when the coups, political assassinations, election fraud, black propaganda, blackmail, kidnapping, brutal counter-insurgency campaigns, U.S. sanctioned massacres, torture in global black sites, proxy wars or military interventions carried out by the United States resulted in the establishment of a democratic government. The two-decade-long wars in the Middle East, the greatest strategic blunder in American history, have only left in their wake one failed state after another. Yet, no one in the ruling class is held accountable.

War, when it is waged to serve utopian absurdities, such as implanting a client government in Baghdad that will flip the region, including Iran, into U.S. protectorates, or when, as in Afghanistan, there is no vision at all, descends into a quagmire. The massive allocation of money and resources to the U.S. military, which includes Biden’s request for $715 billion for the Defense Department in fiscal year 2022, a $11.3 billion, or 1.6 percent increase, over 2021, is not in the end about national defense. The bloated military budget is designed, as Seymour Melman explained in his book, “The Permanent War Economy,” primarily to keep the American economy from collapsing. All we really make anymore are weapons. Once this is understood, perpetual war makes sense, at least for those who profit from it.

The idea that America is a defender of democracy, liberty and human rights would come as a huge surprise to those who saw their democratically elected governments subverted and overthrown by the United States in Panama (1941), Syria (1949), Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Congo (1960), Brazil (1964), Chile (1973), Honduras (2009) and Egypt (2013). And this list does not include a host of other governments that, however despotic, as was the case in South Vietnam, Indonesia or Iraq, were viewed as inimical to American interests and destroyed, in each case making life for the inhabitants of these countries even more miserable.

I spent two decades on the outer reaches of empire as a foreign correspondent. The flowery rhetoric used to justify the subjugation of other nations so corporations can plunder natural resources and exploit cheap labor is solely for domestic consumption. The generals, intelligence operatives, diplomats, bankers and corporate executives that manage empire find this idealistic talk risible. They despise, with good reason, naïve liberals who call for “humanitarian intervention” and believe the ideals used to justify empire are real, that empire can be a force for good. These liberal interventionists, the useful idiots of imperialism, attempt to civilize a process that was created and designed to repress, intimidate, plunder and dominate.

The liberal interventionists, because they wrap themselves in high ideals, are responsible for numerous military and foreign policy debacles. The call by liberal interventionists such as Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Susan Rice and Samantha Power to fund jihadists in Syria and depose Muammar Gaddafi in Libya rent these countries — as in Afghanistan and Iraq — into warring fiefdoms. The liberal interventionists are also the tip of the spear in the campaign to rachet up tensions with China and Russia.

Russia is blamed for interfering in the last two presidential elections on behalf of Donald Trump. Russia, whose economy is roughly the size of Italy’s, is also attacked for destabilizing the Ukraine, supporting Bashar al-Assad in Syria, funding France’s National Front party and hacking into German computers. Biden has imposed sanctions on Russia – including limits on buying newly issued sovereign debt – in response to allegations that Moscow was behind a hack on SolarWinds Corp. and worked to thwart his candidacy.

At the same time, the liberal interventionists are orchestrating a new cold war with China, justifying this cold war because the Chinese government is carrying out genocide against its Uyghur minority, repressing the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong and stealing U.S. patents. As with Russia, sanctions have been imposed targeting the country’s ruling elite. The U.S. is also carrying out provocative military maneuvers along the Russian border and in the South China Sea.

The core belief of imperialists, whether they come in the form of a Barack Obama or a George W. Bush, is racism and ethnic chauvinism, the notion that Americans are permitted, because of superior attributes, to impose their “values” on lesser races and peoples by force. This racism, carried out in the name of Western civilization and its corollary white supremacy, unites the rabid imperialists and liberal interventionists in the Republican and Democratic parties. It is the fatal disease of empire, captured in Graham Greene’s novel “The Quiet American” and Michael Ondaatje’s “The English Patient.”

Afghanistan War
A young boy watches a US Marine scan the area during a patrol south of Kabul, Afghanistan, Nov. 3, 2010. Dusan Vranic | AP

The crimes of empire always spawn counter-violence that is then used to justify harsher forms of imperial repression. For example, the United States routinely kidnapped Islamic jihadists fighting in the Balkans between 1995 and 1998. They were sent to Egypt — many were Egyptian — where they were savagely tortured and usually executed. In 1998, the International Islamic Front for Jihad said it would carry out a strike against the United States after jihadists were kidnapped and transferred to black sites from Albania. They made good on their threat igniting massive truck bombs at the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that left 224 dead. Of course, the “extraordinary renditions” by the CIA did not end and neither did the attacks by jihadists.

Our decades-long military fiascos, a feature of all late empires, are called “micro-militarism.” The Athenians engaged in micro-militarism during the Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.) when they invaded Sicily, suffering the loss of 200 ships and thousands of soldiers. The defeat triggered successful revolts throughout the Athenian empire. The Roman empire, which at its height lasted for two centuries, created a military machine that, like the Pentagon, was a state within a state. Rome’s military rulers, led by Augustus, snuffed out the remnants of Rome’s anemic democracy and ushered in a period of despotism that saw the empire disintegrate under the weight of extravagant military expenditures and corruption. The British empire, after the suicidal military folly of World War I, was terminated in 1956 when it attacked Egypt in a dispute over the nationalization of the Suez Canal. Britain was forced to withdraw in humiliation, empowering Arab nationalist leaders such as Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser and dooming British rule over its few remaining colonies. None of these empires recovered.

“While rising empires are often judicious, even rational in their application of armed force for conquest and control of overseas dominions, fading empires are inclined to ill-considered displays of power, dreaming of bold military masterstrokes that would somehow recoup lost prestige and power,” the historian Alfred W. McCoy writes in his book “In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power”: “Often irrational even from an imperial point of view, these micromilitary operations can yield hemorrhaging expenditures or humiliating defeats that only accelerate the process already under way.”

The worse it gets at home the more the empire needs to fabricate enemies within and without. This is the real reason for the increase in tensions with Russia and China. The poverty of half the nation and concentration of wealth in the hands of a tiny oligarchic cabal, the wanton murder of unarmed civilians by militarized police, the rage at the ruling elites, expressed with nearly half the electorate voting for a con artist and demagogue and a mob of his supporters storming the capital, are the internal signs of disintegration. The inability of the for-profit national health services to cope with the pandemic, the passage of a Covid relief bill and the proposal of an infrastructure bill that would hand the bulk of some $5 trillion dollars to corporations while tossing crumbs — one-time checks of $1,400 to a citizenry in deep financial distress — will only fuel the decline.

Because of the loss of unionized jobs, the real decline of wages, de-industrialization, chronic underemployment and unemployment, and punishing austerity programs, the country is plagued by a plethora of diseases of despair including opioid addictions, alcoholism, suicides, gambling, depression, morbid obesity and mass shootings — since March 16 the United States has had at least 45 mass shootings, including eight people killed in an Indiana FedEx facility on Friday, three dead and three injured in a shooting in Wisconsin on Sunday, and another three dead in a shooting in Austin on Sunday. These are the consequences of a deeply troubled society.

The façade of empire is able to mask the rot within its foundations, often for decades, until, as we saw with the Soviet Union, the empire appears to suddenly disintegrate. The loss of the dollar as the global reserve currency will probably mark the final chapter of the American empire. In 2015, the dollar accounted for 90 percent of bilateral transactions between China and Russia, a percentage that has since fallen to about 50 percent. The use of sanctions as a weapon against China and Russia pushes these countries to replace the dollar with their own national currencies. Russia, as part of this move away from the dollar, has begun accumulating yuan reserves.

The loss of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency will instantly raise the cost of imports. It will result in unemployment of Depression-era levels. It will force the empire to dramatically contract. It will, as the economy worsens, fuel a hyper-nationalism that will most likely be expressed through a Christianized fascism. The mechanisms, already in place, for total social control, militarized police, a suspension of civil liberties, wholesale government surveillance, enhanced “terrorism” laws that railroad people into the world’s largest prison system and censorship overseen by the digital media monopolies will seamlessly cement into place a police state. Nations that descend into crises these severe seek to deflect the rage of a betrayed population on foreign scapegoats. China and Russia will be used to fill these roles.

The defeat in Afghanistan is a familiar and sad story, one all those blinded by imperial hubris endure. The tragedy, however, is not the collapse of the American empire, but that, lacking the ability to engage in self-critique and self-correction, as it dies it will lash out in a blind, inchoate fury at innocents at home and abroad.

Inventing Enemies to Wage Perpetual War

April 25, 2021

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Washington needs enemies to advance its hegemonic agenda for unchallenged global control.

Since none exist, they’ve been invented throughout US history — first against Native Americans, then against foreign nations.

Post-WW II, the US attacked nonbelligerent North Korea preemptively, a state of perpetual war on humanity has existed for over 70 years with no signs of US regimes stepping back from the brink — just the opposite.

Its wars rage at home and abroad in multiple theaters by hot and/or other means.

US dark forces have draconian aims in mind.

They include concentrating wealth in privileged hands exclusively, creating ruler/serf societies at home and abroad, instituting draconian social control, and large-scale depopulation.

The latter involves mass-jabbing maximum numbers of people with toxic experimental drugs that don’t protect and may eliminate countless millions or billions of people in the months and years ahead if nothing is done to challenge and stop this diabolical war on humanity.

Distracted by bread and circuses, a mind-manipulated US public shows no signs of awakening to reality.

No matter how often most Americans were fooled before, they’re easy marks to be duped again repeatedly.

Abroad, the Pentagon’s empire of bases are platforms for waging endless wars on humanity.

Washington’s main enemies are peace, stability, cooperative relations with the world community of nations, the rule of law, and countries free from its control — notably China, Russia and Iran.

If global war erupts ahead, it’ll be made-in-the-USA — most likely in the South China Sea or Taiwan Strait, the Middle East, or Europe’s heartland bordering Russia.

US controlled fascist tyranny in Kiev is key to advancing Washington’s hegemonic aims.

Sharing a near-1,500 mile land and sea border with Russia, Ukraine is used by US dark forces as a dagger aimed at its heartland.

Last week, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova explained that Washington has gone all-out to portray nonbelligerent Russia as an aggressor state — notably by phony accusations disconnected from reality.

“If you spend years communicating an idea to your own people and to the world at large, using mass media, issuing reports and making alarmist publications that depict Russia as a warmonger nation that’s about to strike” preemptively, most people in the West and elsewhere are easily fooled to believe it, she said — because mainstream truth-telling is suppressed.

Western and many other nations bow to US interests — even when compromising their own.

According to Zakharova, if a US ruling regime asked “Germany” or another nation “to stop breathing,  will it obey?” 

“Will it stop breathing? Or will it realize finally that not breathing will mean dying?”

For a nation-state, it means lost sovereignty to a higher power abroad — along with betrayal of their people by abandoning their rights in service to a foreign power.

Last September, Vladimir Putin called for cooperative Russian/US relations “in the field of security in the use of information and communication technologies.”

According to Russia’s Foreign Ministry last week, his proposal “envisage(d) the adoption of a set of practical measures on resetting bilateral relations in the sphere of using information and communications technologies, including the restoration of specialized dialogue formats and channels of communication, (including) high level ones,” adding:

His initiative includes “reaching an agreement on preventing incidents in information space, exchanging guarantees of non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, as well as reaching a global agreement on taking political commitment by nations to refrain from attacking each other with the use of” information technology or other means.

As expected, his good faith outreach fell on deaf ears in Washington, especially after Biden replaced Trump by brazen election rigging.

A state of permanent US war on Russia by other means is longstanding, recklessly escalated by Biden regime hardliners.

The same thing is ongoing against China and other nations free from scourge of US hegemonic control.

During his annual state of the nation address last week, Putin stressed that “(u)nfriendly actions toward Russia do not cease,” adding:

Moscow will find “asymmetrical, speedy and tough” ways to defend its national interests if hostile nations (like the US) refuse dialogue.

A clash of civilizations exists between hegemon USA and nations free from its control.

Because of US rage to control planet earth, its resources and populations, is global war 3.0 just a matter of time?

New US admin stands for same grotesque & brutal policies against Venezuela, shows just how little they actually CARE for people

moi

Eva Bartlett

Mar 4, 2021, RT.com

Venezuelan non-president, Juan Guaido, is back in headlines after the new US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called him to discuss America’s favorite talking points: “a return to democracy” via “free and fair elections.”

I’m sure the irony will not be lost on those who question the legitimacy of the US election that saw Biden take power.

Anyway, you would have to have been offline or in a coma for the past couple of years to not be aware of some key facts about ‘interim president’ Guaido and US “concern” for Venezuelans.

Venezuelans didn’t vote for Guaido to be president, he hasn’t even stood for president. Venezuelans voted for Maduro. America can huff and puff and whine, but that won’t change the reality.

Guaido named himself ‘interim president’, to the support of only roughly 50 countries – leaving a glaring nearly 150 countries not recognizing this Western-groomed stooge as Venezuela’s leader.

Further, Guaido not only isn’t president of the country, he is no longer president of the National Assembly. As a result, recently, even the EU dropped its recognition of Guaido as interim president. He is a Western-groomed thug who fully backs America’s aggression and sanctions against his own country.

Venezuela’s election process has been recognized as transparent and effective, with former US President Jimmy Carter in 2012 calling it “the best in the world.” On the other hand, Venezuelan opposition, as well as Western nations, have interfered with and attempted to sabotage elections.

As for America’s grave “concern” for Venezuelans, the US in February 2019 staged a “humanitarian aid” delivery via Colombia (“aid” which contained nails and wire, likely meant for opposition barricades), blaming Maduro for “burning food & medicine,” when in fact the trucks were burned by “opposition” supporters. That same month, President Trump threatened military intervention against Venezuela.

The US allegedly sabotaged Venezuela’s power grid in March 2019 (and then blamed the Maduro government for the power failure).

And two former US Special Forces soldiers were in May 2020 arrested in a failed invasion (with the goal of capturing Maduro) which allegedly the Trump administration and Guaido himself were involved in.

President Maduro blamed the August 2018 drone assassination attempt on Colombia and elements in the US. The US was also linked to the kidnapping and coup against former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

But aside from those and many other provocations against Venezuela, it is the brutal sanctions against the country that is a clear indicator of just how little America cares for the people.

As many have already surmised, the Biden administration is a continuation of the previous admin’s policies, and Blinken is the new Pompeo. They even sound the same.

  • Blinken to Ukraine’s foreign minister: “unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” “Russian aggression...”
  • Pompeo to the same“support for #Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is ironclad,” “Russia and its proxies’ intransigence, aggressive actions...”
  • Blinken on Crimea: “Russia’s invasion and seizure,” “we call on Russia to end its occupation,” “#CrimeaisUkraine” (newsflash: it’s not, and there was no invasion).
  • Pompeo on the same: “#Crimea is #Ukraine,” “We call on Russia to end its occupation of Crimea.

And of course, their American speak on Guaido is also the same, with both Blinken and Pompeo feigning concern for the lives of the Venezuelan people.

Flogging a dead horse named Guaido

The guy just isn’t popular in Venezuela, not now, not back in early 2019 when America & allies tried to foist him onto Venezuelans.

When I traveled to Venezuela in March 2019, aside from documenting the lack of chaos that Western pundits and media insisted was ongoing at the time, I also tried to find evidence of the massive support the same pundits and media claimed Guaido had.

I had seen on various occasions massive demonstrations of solidarity with President Maduro, the man who average Venezuelans support, particularly impoverished indigenous and Afro-Venezuelans who are conveniently ignored by Western media.

On March 30, I spent a good chunk of the day riding around on motorcycle taxi trying to find pro-Guaido protests which had been advertised, instead at designated sites and times finding none, a trickle, or pro-Maduro protesters instead.

Later the same day, I saw another massive pro-Maduro demonstration.

In encounters with Venezuelans during my few weeks in Caracas, I met people who made clear they didn’t support Guaido and what they were fighting for.

In a hilltop community, one such man told me:

We are poor people, but we are proud, we have dignity. We are fighting against Imperialism, against rich people that want our country, that want us as slaves, that want our oil, our water. But we will win.

The governments of the United States and other nations want to tell everybody that we are starving, we are dying in the streets, we are being oppressed by our government. But we’ve never been more free than now, in spite of all the problems we do have.”

He and others spoke of the extreme racism and discrimination Afro-Venezuelans and indigenous Venezuelans faced before Chavez came to power.

Before, we were treated like nothing, we were treated only as workers, that was it. Say to your governments, this isn’t a fight against Maduro, this is a fight against the people that are trying to be free.”

I won’t even repeat some of the unbelievable racist slurs they were subject to.

Some months later, back in Ontario, I met Ronald Abache, an Afro-Venezuelan who attended a lecture I gave. During the question period, he was so articulate about racism in Venezuela, “very alive, but hidden under class status,” that I asked to record his words.

In 1999, for the first time ever in any country in South America, a law was passed to not discriminate against people of color. People that never had a voice now have one and will never give it up again. You can go to the remotest area in my country and everybody can read. Everybody knows their rights and knows that their voice counts.”

He also challenged the opposition to answer one question:

What would they do different? What is their plan? If they’re planning to go back to those great old days (sarcasm), the people are not having it. Two million militias, old people, young people, everybody knows what the United States is doing. My mother is 70, she’s about to join the militia!

These are just some of the people marginalized by Western media and politicians. The ones who claim concern for Venezuela.

As Mr. Abache noted, Venezuelans themselves aren’t going to accept US hegemony, not only the leadership. I got a powerful sense of that in the demonstrations I observed and from the people I spoke with.

The new Biden administration may want to pressure Venezuela into compliance, but the people won’t accept that.

RELATED:

US is manufacturing a crisis in Venezuela so that there is chaos and ‘needed’ intervention 

Venezuela playlist

Putin, crusaders and barbarians

February 27, 2021

Putin, crusaders and barbarians

By Pepe Escobar and first posted at Asia Times

Moscow is painfully aware that the US/NATO “strategy” of containment of Russia is already reaching fever pitch. Again.

This past Wednesday, at a very important meeting with the Federal Security Service board, President Putin laid it all out in stark terms:

We are up against the so-called policy of containing Russia. This is not about competition, which is a natural thing for international relations. This is about a consistent and quite aggressive policy aimed at disrupting our development, slowing it down, creating problems along the outer perimeter, triggering domestic instability, undermining the values that unite Russian society, and ultimately to weaken Russia and put it under external control, just the way we are witnessing it transpire in some countries in the post-Soviet space.

Not without a touch of wickedness, Putin added this was no exaggeration: “In fact, you don’t need to be convinced of this as you yourselves know it perfectly well, perhaps even better than anybody else.”

The Kremlin is very much aware “containment” of Russia focuses on its perimeter: Ukraine, Georgia and Central Asia. And the ultimate target remains regime change.

Putin’s remarks may also be interpreted as an indirect answer to a section of President Biden’s speech at the Munich Security Conference.

According to Biden’s scriptwriters,

Putin seeks to weaken the European project and the NATO alliance because it is much easier for the Kremlin to intimidate individual countries than to negotiate with the united transatlantic community … The Russian authorities want others to think that our system is just as corrupt or even more corrupt.

A clumsy, direct personal attack against the head of state of a major nuclear power does not exactly qualify as sophisticated diplomacy. At least it glaringly shows how trust between Washington and Moscow is now reduced to less than zero. As much as Biden’s Deep State handlers refuse to see Putin as a worthy negotiating partner, the Kremlin and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have already dismissed Washington as “non-agreement capable.”

Once again, this is all about sovereignty. The “unfriendly attitude towards Russia,” as Putin defined it, extends to “other independent, sovereign centers of global development.” Read it as mainly China and Iran. All these three sovereign states happen to be categorized as top “threats” by the US National Security Strategy.

Yet Russia is the real nightmare for the Exceptionalists: Orthodox Christian, thus appealing to swaths of the West; consolidated as major Eurasian power; a military, hypersonic superpower; and boasting unrivaled diplomatic skills, appreciated all across the Global South.

In contrast, there’s not much left for the deep state except endlessly demonizing both Russia and China to justify a Western military build-up, the “logic” inbuilt in a new strategic concept named  NATO 2030: United for a New Era.

The experts behind the concept hailed it as an “implicit” response to French President Emmanuel Macron’s declaring NATO “brain dead.”

Well, at least the concept proves Macron was right.

Those barbarians from the East

Crucial questions about sovereignty and Russian identity have been a recurrent theme in Moscow these past few weeks. And that brings us to February 17, when Putin met with Duma political leaders, from the Liberal Democratic Party’s Vladimir Zhirinovsky – enjoying a new popularity surge – to United Russia’s Sergei Mironov, as well as State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin.

Putin stressed the “multi-ethnic and multi-religious” character of Russia, now in “a different environment that is free of ideology”:

It is important for all ethnic groups, even the smallest ones, to know that this is their Motherland with no other for them, that they are protected here and are prepared to lay down their lives in order to protect this country. This is in the interests of us all, regardless of ethnicity, including the Russian people.

Yet Putin’s most extraordinary remark had to do with ancient Russian history:

Barbarians came from the East and destroyed the Christian Orthodox empire. But before the barbarians from the East, as you well know, the crusaders came from the West and weakened this Orthodox Christian empire, and only then were the last blows dealt, and it was conquered. This is what happened … We must remember these historical events and never forget them.

Well, this could be enough material to generate a 1,000-page treatise. Instead, let’s try, at least, to – concisely – unpack it.

The Great Eurasian Steppe – one of the largest geographical formations on the planet – stretches from the lower Danube all the way to the Yellow River. The running joke across Eurasia is that “Keep Walking” can be performed back to back. For most of recorded history this has been Nomad Central: tribe upon tribe raiding at the margins, or sometimes at the hubs of the heartland: China, Iran, the  Mediterranean.

The Scythians (see, for instance, the magisterial The Scythians: Nomad Warriors of the Steppe, by Barry Cunliffe) arrived at the Pontic steppe from beyond the Volga. After the Scythians, it was the turn of the Sarmatians to show up in South Russia.

From the 4th century onward, nomad Eurasia was a vortex of marauding tribes, featuring, among others, the Huns in the 4th and 5th centuries, the Khazars in the 7th century, the Kumans in the 11th century, all the way to the Mongol avalanche in the 13th century.

The plot line always pitted nomads against peasants. Nomads ruled – and exacted tribute. G Vernadsky, in his invaluable Ancient Russia, shows how “the Scythian Empire may be described sociologically as a domination of the nomadic horde over neighboring tribes of agriculturists.”

As part of my multi-pronged research on nomad empires for a future volume, I call them Badass Barbarians on Horseback. The stars of the show include, in Europe, in chronological order, Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, Huns, Khazars, Hungarians, Peshenegs, Seljuks, Mongols and their Tatar descendants; and, in Asia, Hu, Xiongnu, Hephtalites, Turks, Uighurs, Tibetans, Kirghiz, Khitan, Mongols, Turks (again), Uzbeks and Manchu.

Arguably, since the hegemonic Scythian era (the first protagonists of the Silk Road), most of the peasants in southern and central Russia were Slav. But there were major differences. The Slavs west of Kiev were under the influence of Germania and Rome. East of Kiev, they were influenced by Persian civilization.

It’s always important to remember that the Vikings were still nomads when they became rulers in Slav lands. Their civilization in fact prevailed over sedentary peasants – even as they absorbed many of their customs.

Interestingly enough, the gap between steppe nomads and agriculture in proto-Russia was not as steep as between intensive agriculture in China and the interlocked steppe economy in Mongolia.

(For an engaging Marxist interpretation of nomadism, see A N Khazanov’s Nomads and the Outside World).

The sheltering sky

What about power? For Turk and Mongol nomads, who came centuries after the Scythians, power emanated from the sky. The Khan ruled by authority of the “Eternal Sky” – as we all see when we delve into the adventures of Genghis and Kublai. By implication, as there is only one sky, the Khan would have to exert universal power. Welcome to the idea of universal empire.

Kublai Khan as the first Yuan emperor, Shizu. Yuan dynasty (1271–1368). Album leaf, ink and color on silk. National Palace Museum, Taipei. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/National Palace Museum, Taipei

In Persia, things were slightly more complex. The Persian Empire   was all about Sun worship: that became the conceptual basis for the divine right of the King of Kings. The implications were immense, as the King now became sacred. This model influenced Byzantium – which, after all, was always interacting with Persia.

Christianity made the Kingdom of Heaven more important than ruling over the temporal domain. Still, the idea of Universal Empire persisted, incarnated in the concept of Pantocrator: it was the Christ who ultimately ruled, and his deputy on earth was the Emperor. But Byzantium remained a very special case: the Emperor could never be an equal to God. After all, he was human.

Putin is certainly very much aware that the Russian case is extremely complex. Russia essentially is on the margins of three civilizations. It’s part of Europe – reasons including everything from the ethnic origin of Slavs to achievements in history, music and literature.

Russia is also part of Byzantium from a religious and artistic angle (but not part of the subsequent Ottoman empire, with which it was in military competition). And Russia was influenced by Islam coming from Persia.

Then there’s the crucial influence of nomads. A serious case can be made that they have been neglected by scholars. The Mongol rule for a century and a half, of course, is part of the official historiography – but perhaps not given its due importance. And the nomads in southern and central Russia two millennia ago were never properly acknowledged.

So Putin may have hit a nerve. What he said points to the idealization of a later period of Russian history from the late 9th to early 13th century: Kievan Rus. In Russia, 19th century Romanticism and 20th century nationalism actively built an idealized national identity.

The interpretation of Kievan Rus poses tremendous problems – that’s something I eagerly discussed in St. Petersburg a few years ago. There are rare literary sources – and they concentrate mostly on the 12th century afterwards. The earlier sources are foreigners, mostly Persians and Arabs.

Russian conversion to Christianity and its concomitant superb architecture have been interpreted as evidence of a high cultural standard. In a nutshell, scholars ended up using Western Europe as the model for the reconstruction of Kievan Rus civilization.

It was never so simple. A good example is the discrepancy between Novgorod and Kiev. Novgorod was closer to the Baltic than the Black Sea, and had closer interaction with Scandinavia and the Hanseatic towns. Compare it with Kiev, which was closer to steppe nomads and  Byzantium – not to mention Islam.

Kievan Rus was a fascinating crossover. Nomadic tribal traditions – on administration, taxes, the justice system – were prevalent. But on religion, they imitated Byzantium. It’s also relevant that until the end of the 12th century, assorted steppe nomads were a constant “threat” to southeast Kievan Rus.

So as much as Byzantium – and, later on, even the Ottoman Empire – supplied models for Russian institutions, the fact is the nomads, starting with the Scythians, influenced the economy, the social system and most of all, the military approach.

Watch the Khan

Sima Qian, the master Chinese historian, has shown how the Khan had two “kings,” who each had two generals, and thus in succession, all the way to commanders of a hundred, a thousand and ten thousand men. This is essentially the same system used for a millennia and a half by nomads, from the Scythians to the Mongols, all the way to Tamerlane’s army at the end of the 14th century.

The Mongol invasions – 1221 and then 1239-1243 – were indeed the major game-changer. As master analyst Sergei Karaganov told me in his office in late 2018, they influenced Russian society for centuries afterwards.

For over 200 years Russian princes had to visit the Mongol headquarters in the Volga to pay tribute. One scholarly strand has qualified it as “barbarization”; that seems to be Putin’s view. According to that strand, the incorporation of Mongol values may have “reversed” Russian society to what it was before the first drive to adopt Christianity.

The inescapable conclusion is that when Muscovy emerged in the late 15th century as the dominant power in Russia, it was essentially the successor of the Mongols.

And because of that the peasantry – the sedentary population – were not touched by “civilization” (time to re-read Tolstoy?). Nomad Power and values, as strong as they were, survived Mongol rule for centuries.

Well, if a moral can be derived from our short parable, it’s not exactly a good idea for “civilized” NATO to pick a fight with the – lateral – heirs of the Great Khan.

Damascus and Moscow Slam Escalated US Aggression in Syria

See the source image

By Stephen Lendman

Source

On Thursday, Biden regime terror-bombing strikes in Syria showed his contempt for the rule of law and unbending hostility toward Damascus and Tehran.

It also showed the illusion of his diplomatic outreach to Iran, an act of rhetorical head-fake deception with no policy action follow-through.

On Thursday, Blinken’s spokesman Price pretended otherwise, saying:

“(O)ur approach recognizes that maximum pressure accompanied by the lack of diplomatic engagement got us to where we are.” 

“That is why we are embarking on a different path, one that prioritizes real, principled, clear-eyed diplomacy (sic).”

Actions are polar opposite, indicating more of the same ahead.

Falsely blaming Iran for strikes on US bases and Baghdad’s Green Zone it had nothing to do with, followed by sending a message to Tehran by terror-bombing Syria, shows no change in maximum failure policy toward the Islamic Republic.

So does refusal to return to JCPOA compliance and lift illegally imposed sanctions.

Endless US war on Iran by other means continues under Biden.

Ignore rhetoric by regime officials. Follow their actions.

They show continuation of Trump’s anti-Iran agenda instead of going another way.

Biden officials also relentlessly push the phony threat of Iran advancing toward developing and producing nukes — knowing reality is polar opposite.

Where the Islamic Republic hasn’t gone for over 42 years, it shows no intention of moving toward now.

Yet the Big Lie otherwise persists in Washington, other Western capitals and Tel Aviv.

It refuses to die because Big Lies keep it alive.

In response to Biden’s escalated aggression, Syria’s Foreign Ministry said the following:

“In a flagrant violation of the rules of international law and Charter of the United Nations, the US warplanes on Thursday, February 25, 2021, launched a cowardly aggression by bombing some areas in Deir Ezzor province near the Syrian-Iraqi borders,” adding:

It sent a message to Damascus and Tehran that Biden intends continuation of endless aggression in Syria that aims to gain another US client state along with seeking to isolate Iran regionally.

It shows no change in US hostility toward the Islamic Republic, no intention to engage with its officials diplomatically according to the rule of law, no change in longstanding US regional imperial aims.

They’re all about dominating the Middle East, partitioning targeted countries for easier control, plundering their resources, and exploiting their people.

US ruling authorities aim to achieve their objectives through endless wars by hot and other means — even though they haven’t succeeded and won’t likely ahead.

It’s futile for Iran to believe that Biden will diverge from Trump’s hardline agenda.

Since taking office, he’s followed Trump’s toughness and escalated aggression, showing more of the same is highly likely.

Syria’s Foreign Ministry also slammed endless Israeli aggression, its undeclared war on the country with no end of it in prospect, so-called “international forces” in the country pursuing the same agenda, and high crimes by ISIS and other terrorists the West and Jewish state support.

The Syrian Arab Republic affirms its determination to defeat illegal occupation, eliminate the scourge of terrorism, and liberate “every inch” of its territory.

Moscow criticized Biden’s aggression, a Foreign Ministry statement saying:

“We strongly condemn such actions and call for Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity to be unconditionally respected.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “(w)e are closely monitoring the situation on the ground.”

“We are in permanent contact with Syrian colleagues.”

Russia’s presidential envoy to Syria said the Biden regime has yet to cooperate with Russia on issues relating to Syria or Iran.

Sergey Lavrov said Russia was only notified of US airstrikes four to five minutes in advance, a useless, offensive heads-up, adding the following:

“We have recently heard different information from different sources.” 

“While we cannot confirm this, we want to ask the Americans directly.” 

“Reportedly, they could be making a decision to never leave Syria at all, eventually leading to the destruction of the country as a whole.”

There’s no ambiguity about US aims. Wars by hot and other means continue endlessly, no resolution in prospect anywhere.

Permanent occupation of Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and numerous other countries is planned.

Regime change targets all nations free from US control, wanting pro-Western puppet rule replacing their sovereign independence.

US rage for unchallenged dominance over planet earth, its resources and populations makes unthinkable global war possible.

Going another way with Iran and other independent nations was never Washington’s intention and surely isn’t now.

Shouldn’t All Republicans Applaud Biden’s Syria Strike?

By Andrew Korybko

Source

Shouldn

President Biden’s Thursday night strike on Eastern Syria against alleged pro-Iranian militias there surprisingly prompted some criticism from influential Republicans like Don Jr., which was unexpected because one would have thought that they’d applaud his aggression since it advances the security interests of their country’s “Israeli” ally and also made it less likely that his efforts to revive the nuclear negotiations will succeed.

American politics is characterized by hypocrisy, and nowhere is this seen more clearly at the moment than with President Biden’s Thursday night strike on Eastern Syria against alleged pro-Iranian militias there. Breitbart pointed out how the American leader and some of his officials like Vice President Harris and spokeswoman Psaki criticized former President Trump’s assassination of Iranian Major General Soleimani at the start of last year yet ironically went and supported a similar killing albeit against much lesser-known figures a little less than a month after taking office. That’s a valid observation to make, but equally valid is the fact that influential Republicans like Don Jr. are also being hypocritical for criticizing Biden for the first attack of his presidency. After all, one would have thought that they’d applaud his aggression since it advances the security interests of their country’s “Israeli” ally and also made it less likely that his efforts to revive the nuclear negotiations will succeed. It also deserves mentioning that Trump himself bombed Syria just several months into his presidency in response to false claims that President Assad carried out a chemical weapons attack.

What’s happening here isn’t that everyone suddenly had a change of heart and coincidentally reversed their prior positions at the same time, but simply that they’re behaving as they’re expected to considering their current political positions. Opposition figures usually always criticize the ruling party’s strikes, hoping that this will endear them more to anti-war voters who are largely skeptical of larger military involvement overseas, whether for reasons of principle, security, and/or financial cost. Biden and his ilk behaved this way when Trump killed Soleimani, which is the exact same role that Don Jr. is now playing. Trump himself, while thankfully not starting another major war during his term in office unlike other presidents over the past four decades or so, went back on his prior anti-war pledges from the campaign trail by bombing Syria so soon after entering the White House. Just like Biden nowadays, this proves that opposition figures who are critical of the incumbents’ military actions abroad almost always end up carrying out their own such attacks because they believe in their own way — whether rightly or wrongly — that they do indeed support America’s national interests.

Trump’s Syria strike was the result of “deep state” manipulations while Biden’s was much more voluntary on his part, but nevertheless, they both served to send a message to Iran’s Syrian ally that the US won’t go “soft” on it despite Trump’s prior peaceful talk and Biden’s ongoing attempts to revive the nuclear deal with Tehran. About the most recent attack and the context in which it was carried out, Biden was also pressured by domestic factors to show Republicans that he won’t be “soft” on Iran either despite his administration’s diplomatic outreaches to it and their policy shift regarding Yemen. Although some criticized Trump for his proud pro-”Israeli” foreign policy sympathies, Biden is just as bad from this perspective because he directly targeted alleged pro-Iranian militias in Syria as a strong showing of his administration’s “goodwill” towards Tel Aviv in response to their concern that Washington is neglecting its regional interests by wanting to re-enter into nuclear talks with Tehran. Those negotiations might now be more difficult to revive than ever since Iran’s ruling “reformists” are under severe pressure from the “principalists” not to talk to the US until after June’s elections.

These two outcomes — the US’ clear signs of geostrategic fealty to “Israeli” regional security interests and potentially self-sabotaging the nuclear talks with Tehran — arguably align with Republican foreign policy interests and were unquestionably advanced by Trump himself during his tenure through his assassination of Major General Soleimani and decision to withdraw from the JCPOA. Many Republicans, however, don’t want to remember this since they’re just interested in criticizing the incumbent leader of their rival party due to how sour they still are over the contentious outcome of last year’s elections. Had Trump won re-election and been the one to bomb Syria last Thursday instead, they’d all probably be cheering him and praising his decisive military support for “Israeli” regional security interests at Iran’s alleged expense. At the same time, those Democrats who stand in support of Biden’s latest strike would have probably condemned it had Trump been the President who authorized the attack. This is all so predictable, yet few are talking about it because they’re blinded by the desire to make rhetorical points of relevance in the immediate moment.

The explained dynamic probably won’t ever change because the American people are so easily manipulable. Although outliers certainly exist as proven by the reader themselves for even being interested in this analysis in the first place, the majority have been conditioned to react to political rhetoric instead of think on their own. Partisan politics plays an enormous role in all of this since it’s rare for the average Democrat or Republican to criticize their side, especially when doing so would place them in the same camp as their opponents. That’s why so few Republicans can bring themselves to applaud Biden’s Syria strike even though they’d have likely praised it to high heaven had Trump been the one to carry it out. Similarly, few Democrats want to call Biden and his team out for their hypocrisy in criticizing Trump’s assassination of Soleimani yet nevertheless authorizing the assassination of a much higher number of lesser-known individuals allegedly linked to Iran. At the end of the day, more such examples are inevitable since this dynamic will remain the same so long as Americans continue to allow themselves to be manipulated in such simplistic political-rhetorical ways.

Another Step Back for Biden: Attack on Syria Draws Establishment Cheers

Alan Macleod

February 26th, 2021

By Alan Macleod

Source

WASHINGTON — Barely a month into his presidency, Joe Biden launched an airstrike on Syria yesterday. The attack was reportedly aimed at militias close to the Iraq border, killing 22 people — considerably more than the White House first claimed. In the attack, 1.75 tons of bombs were dropped on a small border-crossing village, according to The New York Times.

It was commonly reported that the target of the raid was pro-Iran forces — specifically, members of the Popular Mobilization Front, a contingent of Iraqi militia groups formed to fight ISIS that were eventually brought under the command of the Iraqi government. In its headline, the Times described the militias as such, although in the body of its report the paper admitted it had no evidence and was not sure this was the case.

U.S. government spokespersons framed the decision to bomb a country over 6,000 miles away as “defensive in nature” and as a response to attacks on American personnel in the region. The Syrian government characterized the incident as “cowardly” and a violation of international law.

Predictable cheers (and jeers)

The news was met with cheers from many of Biden’s more prominent supporters. “Good. Targeting our troops should carry a consequence,” wrote Time columnist David French. Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul was of a similar opinion, tweeting his approval of the attack. “So different having military action under Biden. No middle school-level threats on Twitter. Trust Biden and his team’s competence,” reacted Amy Siskind, a prominent liberal writer.

Others in the press were equally delighted. “By authorizing air strikes, the U.S. president showed he won’t ignore Tehran’s provocations while pursuing diplomacy,” wrote Bloomberg columnist Bobby Ghosh. Ghosh claimed that the strike would be sure to snap Iran out of its “sense of impunity” and deter any more “aggression” against the United States.

While the bombing drew applause from establishment Democrats, it also elicited condemnation from anti-war voices. “This is basically the polar opposite of getting back in the peace agreement, which was what [Biden] promised to do. A liar and a warmonger,” concluded political commentator Kyle Kulinski. “You will never bomb your way to peace,” reacted progressive activist and podcast host Jordan Uhl.

No step forward, two steps back

The news of the bombing came at the same time as reports that the new administration was planning to drop its attempts to pass a federal $15 minimum wage. Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled that a $15 minimum wage could not be part of Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief plan. It is perfectly within the power of the Vice President Kamala Harris, serving in her capacity as president of the Senate, to overrule the decision and push forward with the plan regardless. However, reports suggest the Biden administration is not looking to do so. “Today Biden approved an airstrike in Syria and the Senate parliamentarian shot down the federal minimum wage hike through reconciliation. Dems can overrule her but Biden doesn’t want to. Dems will lose everything in the midterms and possibly the next general election. And they’ll deserve it,” fumed Ana Kasparian of “The Young Turks.”

The news capped off a month marked largely with disappointment for progressives. After campaigning on a promise to “immediately” send out a $2,000 check to every American, Biden has walked back that offer to a means-tested $1,400, something that is still stuck in negotiations and will only be sent out in the spring at the earliest.

Earlier this week, Trump-era child prisons along the Mexican border were reopened, this time with the word “bienvenidos” (Spanish for “welcome”) daubed on their exterior. Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent insisted that Biden’s camps were fundamentally different. “What Biden is doing has nothing in common with ‘kids in cages,’” he wrote, describing them merely as “warehouse-like facilities.”

The new president’s Middle Eastern policies have left many pro-peace figures disappointed. While pledging to end the war in Yemen as part of his election campaigning, Biden has merely promised to halt support for “offensive” Saudi actions and pause “relevant” arms sales. Yet his administration simultaneously reaffirmed Saudi Arabia’s right to defend itself and immediately began condemning supposed Houthi attacks on its neighbor to the north, suggesting that the change is one of semantics rather than policy. Earlier this week, State Department official Timothy Lenderking also, according to an official communication, bizarrely “expressed gratitude for Saudi Arabia’s generous support over the decades for the people of Yemen.” Biden has also approved the controversial Trump-era decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

While few expected him to be an anti-war president, the expectation on Iran was that Biden would return to the nuclear deal signed by President Barack Obama, a deal that kept a lid on U.S. aggression against the country. However, the 78-year-old Delawarean is dragging his feet on that, too. This latest strike is hardly likely to improve matters.

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