Baghdad on the Potomac: Welcome to the Blue Zone

Via The Saker

Baghdad on the Potomac: Welcome to the Blue Zone

January 19, 2021

The star of the Joe and Kammy Regime Change Show

The season opening of the Joe and Kammy Regime Change Show could not be a more appropriate roomful of mirrors reflecting the self-described US “political elite”.

During the 2000s, I came face to face with Baghdad’s Green Zone multiple times. I always stayed, and worked, in the hyper-volatile Red Zone – as you may check in my 2007 book Red Zone Blues.

We knew then that blowback would be inevitable.

But still, we could never have imagined such a graphic simulacrum: the Green Zone fully replicated in the heart of imperial D.C. – complete with walls, barbed wire, multiple checkpoints, heavily armed guards.

That is even more significant because it ends a full “new world order” geopolitical cycle: the empire started bombing – and cluster bombing – Iraq 30 years ago. Desert Storm was launched in January 17, 1991.

The Blue Zone is now “protected” by a massive 26,000 plus troop surge – way more than Afghanistan and Iraq combined. The Forever Wars – which you may now relieve through my archives – have come back full circle.

Just like an ordinary Iraqi was not allowed inside the Green Zone, no ordinary American is allowed inside the Blue Zone.

Just like the Green Zone, those inside the Blue Zone represent none other than themselves.

The D.C. Blue Zone map

And just like the Green Zone, those inside the Blue Zone are viewed by half of the population in the Red Zone as an occupying force.

Only satire is capable of doing poetic justice to what is, de facto, the Potemkin inauguration of a hologram. So welcome to the most popular president in history inaugurated in secret, and fearful of his own, fake, Praetorian Guard. The Global South has seen this grisly show before – in endless reruns. But never as a homegrown Hollywood flick.

When in doubt, blame China

Meanwhile, trapped inside the Blue Zone, the White House has been busy compiling an interminable list of accomplishments.

Multitudes will go berserk relieving the appalling foreign policy disasters, courtesy of American Psycho Mike Pompeo; debunking the official narrative partially or as a whole; and even agreeing with the odd “accomplishment”.

Yet close attention should be paid to a key item: “Colossal Rebuilding of the Military”.

This is what is going to play a key role beyond January 20 – as Gen Flynn has been extremely busy showing evidence to the military, at all levels, of how “compromised” is the new Hologram-in-Chief.

And then there’s the rolling, never-ending November 3 drama. Blame should be duly apportioned. Impeachment, digital witch hunts, rounding up “domestic terrorists”, that is not enough. “Foreign interference” is a must.

Enter Director of National Intelligence (DNI) John Ratcliffe, adamantly stating that “the People’s Republic of China sought to influence the 2020 U.S. federal elections.”

Ratcliffe was referring to a report sent to Congress on January 7 by the DNI’s Chief of the Solutions Division, or analytic ombudsman Barry Zulauf, side by side with an assessment about “foreign interference”.

A legitimate question is why it took them so long to finish this report. And it gets wackier: the full intel on the report about foreign interference was scotched by none other than CIA higher-ups.

The ombudsman states that the groups of analysts working on Russian and Chinese interference used different standards. Russia, of course, was guilty from the start: a categorical imperative. China had the benefit of the doubt.

Ratcliffe actually states that some analysts refused to blame Beijing for election interference because they were – what else – Never Trumpers.

So Langley, we’ve got a problem. Pompeus “We Lie, We Cheat, We Steal” Minimus is CIA. He qualifies the Chinese Communist Party as the greatest evil in the history of mankind. How would he not influence his minions to produce, by any means necessary, any instance of Chinese election interference?

At the same time, for the Dem Deep State faction, Russia is perpetually guilty of…whatever.

This rift inside the Deep State roomful of mirrors delightfully reverberates the Blue Zone/Red Zone schism.

Needless to add, in both the ombudsman’s report and Ratcliffe’s letter, there is absolutely no hard evidence of Chinese interference.

As for Russia, apart from election interference – once again, no evidence – the Dem Deep State Dementia apparatus is still busy trying to blame Moscow also for 1/6. The latest gambit centers on a MAGA chick who may have stolen Pelosi’s laptop from her office at the Capitol to sell it to the SVR, Russian foreign intel.

The whole Global South – Baghdad’s Green Zone included – just can’t get enough of the greatest show on earth. Do they sell bananas in the Blue Zone?

Terrorism Industry : America is preparing Adel Abdel Bari to succeed Al-Zawahiri صناعة الإرهاب: أميركا تحضّر عادل عبد الباري خلفاً للظواهري!؟

*Please scroll down for the English Machine translation**

صناعة الإرهاب: أميركا تحضّر عادل عبد الباري خلفاً للظواهري!؟

باريس – نضال حمادة

عادل عبد الباري أحد أقرب مساعدي زعيم تنظيم القاعدة أسامة بن لادن والمتهم بتفجير سفارتي الولايات المتحدة في نيروبي ودار السلام والذي كان مسجوناً في الولايات المتحدة، حرّ طليق منذ يومين، بعد أن أطلقت السلطات الأميركية سراحه وغادر الى بريطانيا التي يحمل جنسيتها حيث التحق بعائلته هناك من دون أية مشاكل. وقد فرزت السلطات البريطانية دورية من الشرطة للسهر على أمنه وحراسته.

حجة أميركا التي برّرت بها إطلاق سراح المتحدث باسم تنظيم القاعدة أنه زاد في السمنة وقد يُصاب بوباء كورونا، وبالتالي حفاظاً على صحته وحياته تمّ إطلاق سراحه.

أميركا التي دمّرت نصف العالم العربي والإسلامي وقتلت ملايين البشر حول العالم، خصوصاً من العرب والمسلمين بحجة الإرهاب، واحتلت أفغانستان والعراق ودمّرت ليبيا وتشنّ حرباً ضروساً على سورية بحجة ملاحقة التنظيمات والعناصر الإرهابية، خصوصاً عناصر تنظيم القاعدة ، تفرج عن المتحدث باسم تنظيم القاعدة في وقت تظهر فيه إشارات وعلامات تشبه ما حصل بعد مقتل أسامة بن لادن قبل 11 عاماً، حيث حصل ظهور تنظيم الدولة داعش وبرزت عشرات التنظيمات والأمراء الجهاديون على جثة بن لادن، وهؤلاء كانوا أكثر من خدم السياسة الأميركيّة في المنطقة منذ الجهاد الأفغاني في ثمانينيّات القرن الماضي.

أميركا هذه تعيد الكرة الآن بعد اختفاء الظواهري، واختفاء تنظيم داعش بنسخته الأولى، وبدء ظهور النسخة الجديدة في مناطق البادية السورية الممتدّة نحو قاعدة التنف المحتلة من قبل أميركا في تلك البادية فضلاً عن عودة خلايا داعش الى الحدود العراقية السورية بعدما أمّنت لها الطائرات الأميركية الأرض بعمليات القصف المتواصل والدوري على مواقع ودوريات ومراكز الحشد الشعبي غرب العراق.

من هنا يمكن ملاحظة خروج عادل عبد الباري بعدما تأكد الأميركيون من موت الظواهري على ما يبدو، وكان موقع تابع لتنظيم حراس الدين في الشمال السوري قد أعلن قبل أيام عدة عن انقطاع الاتصال بين حراس الدين والظواهري قبل أن يحذف التغريدة، فهل تمّ إطلاق سراح القيادي المصري في تنظيم القاعدة ليحلّ مكان القيادي المصري الذي توفي…؟

علّمتنا التجارب أنّ الأميركي خبر هذا الجماعات التكفيرية المحاربة التي ما زالت في خدمته منذ حرب السوفيات في أفغانستان حتى الحرب في الشرق السوري حالياً…

Terrorism Industry : America is preparing Adel Abdel Bari to succeed Al-Zawahiri


Paris – Nidal Hamada

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Untitled-520.png

Adel Abdul-Bari, one of the closest aides to al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who is accused of bombing the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, who was imprisoned in the United States, was free two days ago, where left for Britain and joined his family without any problems. British authorities have sorted out a police patrol to ensure his security and security.

America’s argument that justified the release of the Al-Qaeda spokesman is that he has become more obese and may be infected with the Corona epidemic, and thus, in order to preserve his health and life, he was released.

America, which destroyed half of the Arab and Muslim world and killed millions of people around the world, especially Arabs and Muslims under the pretext of terrorism, occupied Afghanistan and Iraq, destroyed Libya and waged a fierce war on Syria under the pretext of pursuing terrorist organizations and elements, especially Al-Qaeda elements. The release of the spokesman of Al Qaeda spokesman is similar to what happened after the killing of Osama bin Laden 11 years ago, after serving U.S. policy in the region since the Afghan Jihad in the 1980s, when ISIS emerged, and dozens of jihadist organizations and princes emerged on bin Laden’s body,

The United States is now returning the ball after the disappearance of al-Zawahiri, and ISIS in its first version, and the emergence of the new version in the Syrian desert extending towards al-Tanf occupied by America , as well as the return of ISIS cells to the Iraqi-Syrian border after U.S. aircraft supported by periodic American bombarding the positions of popular Mobilisation Popular force in western Iraq.

The release of Adel Abdel Bari, after the American’s confirmation the death of al-Zawahiri’s, can be seen as replacement al-Zawahiri, a site affiliated with the Guardians of Religion Organization in northern Syria announcing several days ago that communication between Hurras al-Din and Al-Zawahiri had been cut off, before the tweet was deleted.

Experience has taught us that takfirist fighting groups have been at US service since the Soviet war in Afghanistan until the war in eastern Syria today…

NATO Supremacists New Round of Frenzied War Crimes in Syria

MIRI WOOD 

Hasakah people protesting cutting off alouk water

NATO supremacists illegally in Syria have gone into a frenzy of increased war crimes against the Levantine republic, on 17 January: The lame duck Trump forces continue to empty silos in the al Jazeera region of grain; Madman Erdogan forces have again turned off water to one million Syrians living in al Hasakah; Trump cannon fodder SDF terrorists have kidnapped more young Syrian men from al Susa and Hajin, Deir Ezzor countryside.

Featured image above, shows thousands of Syrians demanding their water rights, again turned off by Madman Erdogan’s illegal troops occupying the Allouk water station. Video below is a glimpse of the demonstration.

While the transatlantic stenographers do their belly-bumping phony piety in lamentations over the 6 January invasion of the US Capitol by Trump supporters and various undercovers, and fake rend their clothing over 25,000 National Guard soldiers (to protect 1,435 senators and congress members) they remain arrogantly mute over the ongoing kidnappings, murders, bombings, water deprivation and destruction of essential infrastructure in the Arabic, Muslim-majority country of Syria.

The twenty convoy trucks that smuggled more stolen Syrian grain into Iraq were protected by illegal, armored, US vehicles. NATO supremacy means stealing other people’s foods. This massive theft was a follow up to the massive Syrian barley theft of 10 January, which also had the NATO stenographer supremacists on mute.

Trump forces smuggle stolen Syrian grains to Iraq
Trump forces loot and smuggle Syrian grains to Iraq

Depriving a civilian population of their water is also a war crime. In October 2019, NATO Madman Erdogan bombed the electrical grid at the Alouk station. The Syrian electricity army repairs it, after which Erdogan bombed it again, after which it was again repaired, after which Erdogan’s forces invaded and occupied the water plant. NATO supremacy also means trying to crush other people’s countries by stealing their water.

The demonic SDF separatists were originally created under the NATO supremacist Obama regime, which collected international wetworkers to teach the subsequent cannon fodder how to terrorize the Syrian population. During the Obama years, atrocities against Syria were perpetrated ‘by accident,’ as when he meant to war criminally bomb ISIS but accidentally slaughtered 83 Syrian soldiers defending their homeland.

 

The Trump regime expanded on Obama’s war crimes, intentionally bombed Syrian soldiers for al Qaeda, and set up criminal military bases in Syria (whereas Obama only sent in ‘spec operatives.’ See “Cue the Illegal Orangettes,” here.).

Today, a “weapons shop” run under Madman Erdogan’s al Qaeda forces in Idlib, blew up. It was located in a crowded market, near to a school. Western propagandists have remained silent on this atrocity, also. Imagine such a scene in Paris, London, Berlin, Philly, or Los Angeles being normalized:

Idlib explosion in weapons shop kills one person

Since the “deadly siege” on the US Capitol, 6 January, western supremacists have been aghast, horrified by a small fraction of what those western supremacists do to non-western countries, with impunity, on daily basis. Our unindicted war criminals that drop NATO weapons into the hands of savage beasts in Syria, call the psychopaths “freedom fighters” and cheer the horrors they perpetrate on the Syrian people, in the name of the imperial paraphilia, “democracy.”

Here are some examples of our glorious freedom and democracy, in DC, today, as inauguration day approaches; it does give the appearance of a military occupation, the type of which our terrified politicians in the Capitol on the first Wednesday of the first month of the new year, have imposed on mostly brown-skinned and/or Muslim majority countries for decades.

 

Some of the detritus, hysteria, and shame/lessness of DC may eventually be put into a box labeled “Trump,” and we shall probably return to our collective criminal work as imperial NATO supremacists, entitled to tying up those tedious loose ends of uppity countries refusing to be crushed by western humanitarian democracy.

When that time comes, may we watch Syria’s President Bashar al Assad, walking freely and safely among his fellow countrymen and women, and may we honestly denounce the supremacists among us.

— Miri Wood

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General Soleimani’s legacy: Unifying the Arab resistance against imperialism and hegemony

By Amal Wahdan

January 13, 2021 – 12:51

Today, the masses of the resistance movements in the region are commemorating the first anniversary of the martyrdom of General Qassem Soleimani and his companion Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. 

General Soleimani played a major transnational role across borders and sectarian lines to unite the resistance movements in the region to enable them to confront the vicious plans of the USA, Zionist and Saudi regimes to divide and control the countries of the region.
We have to emphasize and remind the whole world of the nature of this cowardly act by the USA, the Zionist terrorist colonial regime, and the Saudi criminal state. 

The assassination in its nature is an intentional and deliberate crime, a violation of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention. It is also a violation of the sovereignty of the state of Iraq, which is a member of the United Nations. The Iranian government has every right to take this matter to the ICC against the three countries who were involved in this crime and to the UN Security Council in addition to retaliation.  

Why did the USA assassinate General Soleimani? First of all, General Soleimani was a leader in the Revolutionary Guard, then the General Commander of its Al Quds Force, which by its name considered by the USA as a threat to the Zionist colonial regime in occupied Palestine, their military base in the area.

Second, for his extraordinary role in assisting the Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah, who was at war with the Israeli occupation of South Lebanon and was able to liberate the South in the May of 2000 with the great help of Iran and Soleimani. He continued to assist through the 2006 Israeli aggression against Lebanon until his assassination. Today, the Lebanese resistance movement has advanced its military and logistic capabilities by almost 100 times since 2000 and 2006.

The third is General Soleimani’s role in promoting the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip without any factional or sectarian discrimination. His strategy was to work with all Islamic and secular resistance organizations who share the ability and fit to fight a long term struggle against the Israeli occupation, “the absolute evil”, as described by him, until liberation and independence. It was General Soleimani who took the decision with Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah to negotiate with President Bashar Al Assad to provide the Palestinian resistance with Cornet missiles and he took responsibility to deliver them to Gaza in 2005 which was the cornerstone in deterring military aggression. He transformed the Palestinian resistance to an advanced level.

Fourth, General Soleimani played a great military role in the joint operation room against FSA, ISIS, and Jabhat al-Nusra through the 10 years of the terrorist war against Syria. He fought hand in hand with the Syrian Arab Army and Hezbollah fighters, provided them with training, ammunition, and supplies.

Fifth, General Soleimani also played a great role in assisting the Iraqi resistance movement regardless of their religious or political backgrounds. He helped unite the different groups under one umbrella: the popular brigades (Hashd al-Shaabi). He provided them with training, ammunition, supplies, and logistics. He was a good companion with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy leader of Hashd al-Shaabi, and worked with him hand in hand in the different fronts in Iraq until they defeated ISIS.     

Sixth, General Soleimani also supported the Yemeni Army, popular committees, and Ansarullah in their fight against the Saudi, the U.S., and Zionist aggression of 2200 days in a row, which has left hundreds of thousands of casualties mainly among children, women, and the elderly.

General Soleimani’s legacy of uniting the resistance movements in the region from Iraq to Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and most importantly uniting the resistance forces in Gaza, the front line against the Zionist colonial apartheid regime. A deterrence power that forced the Zionist military and political apparatus from any aggression attempts or land incursions. 

The general was a man of ethics, principles, and passion; an exceptional military general with strategic thinking and diplomatic skills. He was assassinated while he was on a diplomatic mission. His assassination is a great loss for the axis of resistance and humanity but marks the defeat of the U.S. hegemony and aggression era.
 

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Israel & United States Unite Efforts In Large-Scale Strikes On Iranian Infrastructure In Syria

South Front

The first two weeks of 2021 have, so far, been marked by an incredible increase in Israeli activity in the skies over Syria.

The most intense strike took place on January 13 morning hitting multiple Syrian and Iranian-affiliated targets in the province of Deir Ezzor, including the underground base of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Corps near al-Bukamal.

The pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Israeli strikes have killed 57 and wounded another 37. Pro-government sources confirmed only 5 casualties.

The airstrikes were so numerous that even Abu Yatem al-Katrani – the commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) 4th Brigade was killed in an airstrike.

The Israeli operations were carried out with the assistance of the United States – it provided intelligence and Israeli struck on them. Former CIA Director, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was reportedly discussing the airstrikes with Yossi Cohen, chief of Israel’s spy agency Mossad.

The US support of Tel Aviv’s aerial raids is a clear message to Iran, and is a very open support to Israel’s undeclared war against Iran, which it has been waging in Syria since hostilities began.

All of the airstrikes in the first two weeks of 2021 are the most significant by Israel, and over all, since the beginning of the war in Syria. They were so significant, that Damascus even accused Tel Aviv of carrying out the strikes in very open support of ISIS militants which the Syrian Arab Army is hunting.

Meanwhile, there appears to be a sense of urgency, or a sense of danger in the air, as the United States reinforced its troop positions in the Omar oil fields with artillery pieces and other equipment.

The US troops, together with their local proxies also hold frequent drills in the area, to keep ready, for some future unknown escalation.

Prior to New Year’s Eve, Iran’s top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated, in what Tehran claimed to be an elaborate Israeli operation.

Additionally, since around the same time, a farewell strike on Iran has been expected from US President Donald Trump, and the general chaos in the US ahead of Joe Biden stepping into office has been used by Israel as a chance to inflict as much damage as possible on Tehran and its allies.

Russia, at the same time, appears to also be preparing for an escalation of some sort, by building up its forces and is lying in wait.

Israel appears dead set on continuing its crusade against Iran and its allies in Syria. An urgency is felt, since Biden is unlikely to support Tel Aviv as much as Trump did, and every possible chance should be used. This is all in spite of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu removed the photo of Donald Trump from his Twitter, but all is fair in love and war.

Finally, both the American and Russian forces appear to be biding their time, waiting for an escalation that, with tensions at the breaking point appears closer than ever.

The year began with terrorist attacks in Syria, increased Israeli strikes, Iran threatening against any aggression against it, and the two most significant players in the face of Moscow and Washington are expecting an escalation, and no amount of preparation would be enough for the incoming storm.

US nuclear submarine comes in close contact with Iranian anti-submarine chopper: video

Iran ends massive war games in Strait of Hormuz, issues stern warning to enemies: photos

BY NEWS DESK 2021-01-14

BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:00 P.M.) – A U.S. nuclear submarine was spotted making close contact with an Iranian military chopper this week, in a new escalation in the Persian Gulf region.

In a video released by the Iranian media and shared on social media, the U.S. nuclear submarine can be seen making close contact with the Iranian anti-submarine helicopter, the SH-3D, in the Persian Gulf waters.

The video, which is shared below, was allegedly take on Thursday, January 14th, in the Persian Gulf; however, the U.S. and Iranian forces have yet to comment on this close approach.

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More War by Other Means: Sanctioning the Wife of Syria’s President Makes No Sense to Anyone

By Philip Giraldi, Ph.D.
Source: Strategic Culture

January 7, 2021

More sanctions, by all means. More grief and suffering and more people around the world wondering what exactly the United States is doing.

I am a recipient of regular, usual weekly, emails from the Department of the Treasury providing an “Update to OFAC’s list of Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) and Blocked Persons.” OFAC is the Office of Foreign Assets Control, which is tasked with both identifying and managing the financial punishments meted out to those individuals and groups that have been sanctioned by the United States government. A recent update, on November 10th, included “Non-Proliferation Designations; Iran-related Designations.” There were ten items on the list, names of Chinese and Iranian individuals and companies. Those who are “Specially Designated” on the list are subject to having their assets blocked if located in the United States and are also not allowed to engage in any financial transactions that go through U.S. banking channels. As many international banks respect U.S. Treasury “designations” lest they themselves be subjected to secondary sanctions that often means in effect that the individual or group cannot move money in a large part of the global financial marketplace.

The complete SDN list is hundreds of pages long. The Treasury Department defines and justifies OFAC’s mission “As part of its enforcement efforts, OFAC publishes a list of individuals and companies owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, targeted countries. It also lists individuals, groups, and entities, such as terrorists and narcotics traffickers designated under programs that are not country-specific. Collectively, such individuals and companies are called ‘Specially Designated Nationals’ or ‘SDNs.’ Their assets are blocked and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from dealing with them.”

In reality, of course, OFAC’s sanctions are highly political. They are clearly a form of economic warfare, particularly when entire sectors of a nation’s economy are blocked or a part of a government itself is listed as has been the case with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Force. Wave after wave of “maximum pressure” sanctions on Iran have made it difficult for the country to sell its only major marketable resource, oil, and it has been locked out of most normal financial networks, making it difficult or even impossible to buy food and medicines.

In many cases sanctions have no practical effect but are rather intended to send a message. There have been new sanctions directed against Moscow and Russian government officials have been sanctioned due to their alleged involvement in activities that the United States does not approve of. The sanctions are imposed even though those “specially designated” have no assets in the U.S. and do not engage in any international financial transactions that could be blocked or disrupted. In those cases, the federal government is sending a message to whomever has been sanctioned to warn them that they are being watched and their behavior has become a matter of record. It is basically a form of intimidation.

Whether sanctions actually work is debatable. The example of Cuba, which was sanctioned by the U.S. for nearly sixty years, would suggest not. Some would argue that on the contrary countries with totalitarian regimes would actually improve their behavior if their citizens could travel freely and welcome visitors, providing evidence that foreigners do not pose a threat justifying a police state.

Within the United States government, it is largely accepted that the most powerful advocate of the sanctions regime is Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, who has been the driving force behind recent sanctions directed against both China and Iran. If that is so he might well be challenged on one of the most bizarre and basically pointless applications of sanctions in recent years, targeting Asma the wife of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as well as her family that lives in London and are British citizens. Per Pompeo’s statement on the new sanctions “The Department of State today is imposing sanctions on Asma al-Assad, the wife of Bashar al-Assad, for impeding efforts to promote a political resolution of the Syrian conflict pursuant to Section 2(a)(i)(D) of Executive Order 13894… Asma al-Assad has spearheaded efforts on behalf of the regime to consolidate economic and political power, including by using her so-called charities and civil society organizations.”

But the real kicker is Pompeo’s condemnation of Asma, of Syrian origin but English born and raised, is how he involves her family. Her father-in-law Fawaz is a renowned cardiologist at Cromwell Hospital in South Kensington who was educated in England and has lived there for decades. “In addition, we are sanctioning several members of Asma al-Assad’s immediate family, including Fawaz Akhras, Sahar Otri Akhras, Firas al Akhras, and Eyad Akhras as per Section 2(a)(ii) of EO 13894. The Assad and Akhras families have accumulated their ill-gotten riches at the expense of the Syrian people through their control over an extensive, illicit network with links in Europe, the Gulf, and elsewhere.”

Inevitably, no evidence is provided to support any of the allegations about Asma al-Assad and her English family. Asma’s charities are for real in her war-torn country and she is highly respected and admired by those who know her and are not influenced by U.S. and Israeli propaganda.

In reality, the United States has been trying hard to overthrow the Syrian government since 2004 when the Syria Accountability Act was passed. Much of the heat in Congress behind the passage of the act was generated by the Israel Lobby, which wanted to weaken the regime and reduce its ability to represent a viable military force possibly capable of regaining the occupied Golan Heights. Be that as it may, the United States has been hostile to the country’s government and has frequently called for regime change. To bring that about, the U.S. supported al-Qaeda linked terrorist groups operating against Damascus and American soldiers continue to occupy Syrian oil fields in the southeast portion of the country. The Syrians have also been subjected to waves of sanctions that have done grave damage to their economy. American and Israeli concerns have sometimes been linked to the presence of Damascus’ allies Hezbollah and Iran, both of whom have military units based inside Syria, but the simple fact is that neither Iranians nor Lebanese in any way threaten the vastly superior American and Israeli forces present in the region.

One has to ask why, given the realpolitik playing out in the Middle East, Washington and Pompeo feel compelled to go after Asma al-Assad and her family, apparently to include absurdly blaming relatives living for many years outside of Syria for fueling the war. More sanctions, by all means. More grief and suffering and more people around the world wondering what exactly the United States is doing.

Compilation – Amerika: who we are!

Are You sure about that Joe?

Sayyed Nasrallah Warns: Nuclear Button with Crazy Fool Trump, Port Blast Investigation must Be Revealed

Sayyed Nasrallah Warns: Nuclear Button with Crazy Fool Trump, Port Blast Investigation must Be Revealed 
Click for Video

Zeinab Essa

Beiru – Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered on Friday a speech in which he tackled various internal Lebanese files.

However, Sayyed Nasrallah commented at the beginning of his speech on the recent events that the US has witnessed, particulary storming the congress by US President Donald Trump’s supporters.

Nuclear Button with Crazy Fool Trump

“What the US witnessed is a scene that the Americans used to apply in other countries, but Trump implemented it on his people,” he said, pointing out that “What happened in America is a very huge matter with very great repercussions. This event can’t be underestimated.The events that happened in the US recently will have repercussions in the US, the region, and the world.”

Meanwhile, His Eminence underscored that “The incident in America must be studied and delved into, because it reveals the facts in the US.”

“Lessons should be learnt from what happened in the Congress, it reveals the truth behind claiming democracy in the US. The Americans closely witnessed Trump’s policy and willingness to kill even Americans for remaining in power,” Sayyed Nasrallah stated.

According to the Resistance Leader, “What the Americans witnessed in one night resembles a little of what Trump did in terms of crimes over the past 4 years in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, particularly the assassination of leaders Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis.”

“We’ve long warned of Trump’s policy, and what happened is a little sample of what he has committed in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Palestine, and blockading Iran and Venezuela,” he added, noting that “Trump is a bold model of the American political and military arrogance that has long been imposed on peoples and undermines their sovereignties. The US democracy is sterile and Trump’s being in power is an example of this democracy.”

Confirming that “Trump’s criminal nature has been exposed to his own people,” Sayyed Nasrallah underscored that “Trump incited the demonstrators against the senators and representatives.”

“What happened in the US might lead to Trump’s impeachment,” he predicted, pointing out that “Al-Mighty God has protected the world for 4 years as the nuclear button is in the hands of an arrogant and crazy person like Trump. Trump, his partners and allies are examples of the dictator rulers who are thirsty for power even at the expense of their peoples. We should pray for Allah during his remaining days in power as the nuclear button portfolio is in the hands of a mad man.”

His Eminence went on to say: “Trump’s stances after the Congress events reminded me of the verse: ‘They’re like Satan when he lures someone to disbelieve.Then after they have done so, he will say on Judgment Day,“I have absolutely nothing to do with you. I truly fear Allah – the Lord of all worlds.”

“Israel” Main Interest of US, West

Moving to the internal Lebanese files, Sayyed Nasrallah reminded that “Since 2005, the Americans and the West have only cared about Lebanon due to the presence of the resistance and its weapons.”

“If Lebanon means anything to the Americans or the Europeans, they wouldn’t have imposed sanctions, banned aid, or besieged it. What concerns the Americans in Lebanon is how to support the ‘Israeli’ existence.The thing that concerns the West is how to protect ‘Israel’ from the Lebanese resistance. The American and international interest in Lebanon since 2005 has focused on the weapons of the resistance in the interest of ‘Israel’,” His Eminence stressed.

Lebanese must Know Who is behind Beirut Post Blast

On the port blast, Hezbollah Secretary General highlighted that “The issue of the blast at the port should remain a national cause and should not be turned into a regional, sectarian or political cause. This is unethical and its harm targeted everyone.”

“We- in Hezbollah- will pursue the investigation and the judicial process regarding the port blast until the end,” Sayyed Nasrallah announced, pledging to the Lebanese that “This file must reach its fair and honest end.”

As His Eminence underscored that “The port’s destruction affected the entire Lebanese economy,” he reminded that “Since the very 1st moment, the port blast file was used against Hezbollah and President Michel Aoun.This drives us to pursuing this issue more, revealing the truth, and holding those officials responsible.”

“The investigation by the Lebanese Army [LA], as well as the Internal Security Foces [ISF] has ended. A copy was handed to the judicial investigator. Here, we ask don’t the Lebanese have the right to view this investigation?” His Eminence wondered.

In response, Sayyed Nasrallah urged the army and the ISF to announce the probe’s results and to uncover who brought the ammonium nitrate. “The judicial authorities must be honest with the Lebanese people about this truth. The judicial investigator should inform the Lebanese about what happened in the port blast.”

“The judicial investigator tends in his investigation to assume administrative responsibilities without clarifying the truth about the issue of the port blast,” he added, calling the judicial investigator  to tell the Lebanese what happened at the port and the way things are being addressed calls for suspicion.

He also mentioned that “It’s required to correct the the course of the judicial investigation.”

Al-Qard Hassan Will Remain Strong 

Commenting on the US campaign against Al-Qards Al-Hassan Association, Sayyed Nasrallah underlined that “Some time ago, a negative spotlight was placed on Al-Qard Al-Hassan Association.”

However, he viewed that “The campaign against Al-Qard Al-Hassan gives the opportunity to make it known so that the Lebanese benefit from it. Al-Qard Al-Hassan was founded from the people’s contributions, and in 1987 the corporation got a legal license.”

“Al-Qard al-Hassan Association was established via an initiative by some brothers and clerics, and its work is a social, humanitarian, ethical, honorable, rewarded, and one of the most honorable forms of worship,” His Eminence recalled, noting that “Al-Qard Al-Hassan Foundation does not fund Hezbollah because it does not have private funds and does not do business.”

In parallel, Sayyed Nasrallah stated: “Al-Qard Al-Hassan Foundation is not a bank. It neither pays nor takes interest. It has no profit to pay taxes. The experience has proven security in the Qard Al-Hassan, even during the July 2006 war, nobody lost their money. And recently, the numbers of contributions and loans have increased by individuals and sides thanks to the increasing confidence.”

Meanwhile, His Eminence lamented the fact that “After the dollar and banks crisis, the talk and hatred from these people began, as there are some Lebanese who are more hostile to Hezbollah than the Americans themselves.”

“The US sanctions targeting Hezbollah, its institutions, and people close to it, and the Lebanese banks that were tougher than the Americans contributed to people’s flocking towards Qard al-Hassan services,” he said.

On the same level, Sayyed Nasrallah confirmed that “Al-Qard Al-Hassan Association aims to serve the people. And whoever wants to complete, let him do, and whoever is afraid let him withdraw. Al-Qard Al-Hassan Association is strong and solid. It will not collapse.”

“Since its inception until today, the total number of beneficiaries of Al-Qard Al-Hassan is one million and 800000 beneficiaries.The total number of contributions and loans is more than $3 billion,” he said, noting that “The uproar over Al-Qard Al-Hassan Foundation is aimed at intimidating shareholders.”

In response, Sayyed Nasrallah urged people who keep money in their houses to put it in Al-Qard Al-Hassan in face of the American campaign and some Lebanese hatred. “The US sanctions targeting Hezbollah, its institutions, and people close to it, and the Lebanese banks that were tougher than the Americans contributed to people’s flocking towards Qard al-Hassan services.”

“Al-Qard al-Hassan Association was from the beginning open to people of all sects and political affiliations, and all those who want to take a loan or contribute to it. Al-Qard Al-Hassan Association is not a bank, it doesn’t pay or take interests, and doesn’t make revenues to pay taxes,” he said.

“Al-Qard al-Hassan Association is strong, firm, and will not collapse, and “live with it!”

We’ll Face Media Fabrications 

Moving to the media fabrications targeting Hezbollah under the allegations of Captagon shipment, Sayyed Nasrallah underscored that “There is not any official Italian source that accused Hezbollah of the so-called Captagon shipment.”

“The issue of drugs is forbidden [by religion] and Hezbollah holds accountable any member who is proven to have dealt with this issue. Hezbollah immediately fires him/her,” he clarified.

In addition, His Eminence warned that “The issue of media should be dealt with. And if it was required to be dealt with by people, via a protest or a sit-in, then the day would come for this to happen.”

More on Gov’t, Corruption 

On the government’s file, Sayyed Nasrallah underlined that “It is clear that things are complicated regarding the government’s file.
“Regarding fighting corruption, we support the investigation through the judiciary for all state institutions.We support the criminal investigation,” he moved on to say, ” In the battle for corruption, we should not feel desperate, and we should continue working for better outcome.” 

According to His Eminence, “Accusing Hezbollah of hindering the formation of the Cabinet is baseless and meaningless. It is clear that the formation is complicated but this is not related to American-Iranian negotiations.”

“If some believe that the government in Lebanon is hinging on US-Iranian negotiations, I tell them that this is out of the question,” he said 

To some Lebanese, Sayyed Nasrallah sent a clear message: “Do not wait for the US-Iranian negotiations. There are no US-Iranian negotiations on any of the region’s files. If some want to await Biden’s administration, the formation of the government will take several months as the Americans are preoccupied with themselves.”

“It is not fair to blame a single party for the government’s delay and several parties have demands and concerns,” His Eminence reiterated.

Stick to Covid-19 Measures

Sayyed Nasrallah further commented on the Covid-19 measures. “The numbers of Covid-19-related deaths is a very huge number for a country like Lebanon.”

He urged people to adhere to health measures as they should shoulder the major part of responsibility. 

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The Assange saga: Practicing real journalism is criminally insane

The Assange saga: Practicing real journalism is criminally insane

January 07, 2021

By Pepe Escobar with permission and first posted at Asia Times

Synchronicity is definitely fond of mirror wonderwalls. The Julian Assange saga seemed to have entered a new chapter as he was, in thesis, on his way to – conditional – freedom this past Monday, only one day after the first anniversary of the start of the Raging Twenties: the assassination of Maj Gen Qassem Soleimani.

The fate of the journalist the Empire seeks to terminate was just juxtaposed to the fate of the warrior/diplomat the empire already terminated.

Two days later, Julian Assange was de facto re-incarcerated exactly as the Empire was hit by an “insurrection” which, whenever instigated in that distant “Third World”, is celebrated in Exceptionalistan as “people power”.

The invaluable Craig Murray, from inside Westminster Magistrates Court No. 1 in London, meticulously presented the full contours  of the insanity this Wednesday.

Read it in conjunction with the positively terrifying judgment delivered on Monday in the United States government case against Julian Assange.

The defining issue, for all those who practice real journalism all across the world, is that the judgment affirms, conclusively, that any journalist can be prosecuted under the US Espionage Act. Since a 1961 amendment, the Espionage Act carries universal jurisdiction.

The great John Pilger memorably describes “judge” Vanessa Baraitser as “that Gothic woman”. She is in fact an obscure public servant, not a jurist. Her judgment walks and talks like it was written by a mediocre rookie hack. Or, better yet, entirely lifted from the US Department of Justice indictment.

Julian Assange was – at the last minute – discharged on theoretically humanitarian grounds. So the case had, in effect, ended. Not really. Two days later, he was sent back to Belmarsh, a squalid maximum security prison rife with Covid-19. So the case is ongoing.

WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnnson correctly noted, “It is unjust and unfair and illogical when you consider her ruling of two days ago about Julian’s health in large part because he is in Belmarsh prison (…) To send him back there doesn’t make any sense.”

It does when one considers the real role of Baraitser – at a loss to juggle between the imperatives of the imperial agenda and the necessity of saving the face of British justice.

Baraitser is a mere, lowly foot soldier punching way above her weight. The real power in the Assange case is Lady Emma Arbuthnot, forced out of a visible role because of very compromising, direct ties she and her husband Lord Arbuthnot maintain with British intelligence and military, first revealed by – who else – WikiLeaks.

It was Arbuthnot who picked up obscure Baraitser – who dutifully follows her road map. In court, as Murray has detailed in a series of searing reports, Baraitser essentially covers her incompetence with glaring vindictiveness.

Baraitser discharged Julian Assange, according to her own reasoning, because she was not convinced the appalling American gulag would prevent him from committing suicide.

But the key issue is that before reaching this conclusion, she agreed and reinforced virtually every point of the US indictment.

So at this point, on Monday, the “Gothic woman” was performing a contortion to save the US from the profound global embarrassment of prosecuting a de facto journalist and publisher for revealing imperial war crimes, not United States government secrets.

Two days later, the full picture became crystal clear. There was nothing “humanitarian” about that judgment. Political dissent was equaled with mental illness. Julian Assange was branded as criminally insane. Once again, practicing journalism was criminalized.

There are reasons to believe though, that a United States government appeal may fail. A British High Court would be reluctant to overturn a judgment where Baraitser actually established findings of fact: a direct correlation between the state of the American gulag, and the extreme danger to Assange’s health if he’s thrown inside this system.

As it stands, it didn’t even matter that Assange’s defense offered a full package to obtain bail, from home arrest to the use of an ankle bracelet. Baraitser’s notion that the British security state would not be able to prevent his “escape” wearing an ankle bracelet in the middle of a total, police state-style lockdown does not even qualify as a joke.

So Julian Assange is back to suffering a perverse, interminable rewrite of Poe’s The Pit and the Pendulum.

The US government’s legal strategy before the High Court convenes in April is basically to try to prove its American gulag is competent enough to prevent a suicide – even though the ultimate aim of this post-truth Inquisition seems to be the termination of Julian Assange inside the penal system. That goal doesn’t even require a supermax prison in Colorado. Belmarsh will do.

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on 1st Martyrdom Anniversary of Gen. Soleimani & Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on 1st Martyrdom Anniversary of Gen. Soleimani & Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis

Trnaslated by Staff, Hezbollah Media Relations

Speech of Hezbollah’s Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on the first martyrdom anniversary of the two great leaders, Hajj Qassem Soleimani and Hajj Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis.

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 and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you all.

Before I delve into the occasion of the first annual anniversary of the martyrdom of the two dear leaders, Hajj Qassem Soleimani and Hajj Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis [Hajj Jamal Jaafar], and their martyred comrades, I would like to take a few minutes to discuss a few other events.

Firstly, the past few days marked the annual anniversary of the martyrdom of the great and truthful, Lady of the Women of the World, a piece of the Messenger of Allah [may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him and his family], the wife of God’s guardian, and the Mother of Imams [peace be upon them] Sayyeda Fatima al-Zahraa, the daughter of the Messenger of God. Muslims are unanimous in their veneration, reverence, appreciation, and love for her as well as for her dignity and greatness. This is an occasion to offer condolences to her grandson, Sahib Al-‘asr Wa Al-zaman and all Muslims in the world.

Secondly, in the past few days, we lost a great scholar, a jurist, and a thinker in the fullest sense of the word. This comes at a time when the number of thinkers is declining. He was a great Islamic thinker, a  prominent connoisseur, one of Allah’s righteous friends, an educator and a teacher, a loyal wise man, and a steadfast mujahid on the path of truth and in supporting the causes of the nation in this era. I’m talking about His Eminence, the Grand Ayatollah Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Misbah Al-Yazdi [may God Almighty be pleased with him].

Also on this occasion, we extend our condolences to His Eminence, Imam Khamenei, our honorable religious authorities and Hawzas, and our Islamic nation, especially for members of his honorable and generous family, as well as all his students and loved ones. I ask God Almighty to have mercy on him and grant him a high rank.

In Lebanon, due to the coronavirus scourge, we lost a dear brother from the early generation. He was among the first groups and first founding leaders of Hezbollah’s march, brother Sayyed Abu Ayman Al-Mousawi [Sayyed Muhammad Abbas Al-Mousawi], may God have mercy on him. He was the companion of our martyr and leader, Sayyed Abbas Al-Mousawi [may God Almighty be pleased with him]. He among the forerunners of the Mujahideen believers working and sacrificing in the Beqaa region. He was among the founders of the Imam al-Mahdi [PBUH] Scouts Association in Lebanon. He was its first president or its first general commissioner. I also offer condolences to all his brothers and sisters and companions on this path, especially his honorable and noble family members. I ask God to have mercy on him and grant him a high rank.

We come to our occasion. One year ago, in the early hours of the morning much like this one, around the same time in January, this great and tragic incident took place. It was recorded in history and will remain immortal – its magnitude, greatness, the grievances, the blood that was shed, its repercussions, its effects, and its consequences for the entire region.

Today, I would like to talk about several points related to this occasion and the events that occurred between then and the first anniversary.

The first point is loyalty to the martyred leaders and those who were martyred with them. Of course, when we talk about the martyrs, we must once again at the beginning extend our condolences and congratulate the families of martyr commander Qassem Soleimani and the Iranian martyrs who were martyred with him:

  • Martyr Hussein Jaafari Nia, who for 20 years was one of our brothers, a friend, a beloved person, and a shadow to Hajj Qassem.
  • Martyr brother Shahroud Mozaffari Nia
  • Martyr brother Hadi Tarmi
  • Martyr brother Wahid Zamanian

I also offer condolences and congratulate the family of martyr commander Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Hajj Jamal Jaafar, and the Iraqi martyrs who were with him:

  • Martyr Muhammad Reda Al-Jabri
  • Martyr Muhammad al-Shaibani
  • Martyr Hassan Abdel-Hadi
  • Martyr Ali Haidar

May God Almighty be pleased with them all.

Loyalty to the martyred leaders.

Loyalty, as we all know, is a human and innate value because man is born with it. It is a moral value that does not need to be inferred. It is a religious value. This is God’s religion.

When a loyal person practices loyalty, it benefits him in this world and the hereafter. Those who you are loyal to may not need your loyalty. The martyrs, who have departed to their great world beside God Almighty, do not need our loyalty. But being loyal to our great people and martyrs, to those who made sacrifices in our nation, to our defenders, to those who were sincere in bearing our responsibility and our causes will benefit us and will benefit our people, our children, and grandchildren in this world and in the hereafter.

Today, loyalty is a duty to these two great leaders, particularly to commander Hajj Qassem Soleimani, for being in many arenas and for what they represent. How do we translate this loyalty?

First, we must not to negate their services and give them credit.

Second, we must acknowledge their services and give them credit. This means we should not be silent because it is possible that a person might not refute their services but does not acknowledge them and remains silent! Loyalty is to acknowledge their services and give them credit.

Third, we must remind them to the people, to the world, to our peoples, to our future generations, and to history. We must point out their sacrifices and their achievements. Being loyal means honoring these martyrs and respecting them, in various forms of honor and respect.

Another form of loyalty is to thank them publicly for what they offered and sacrificed. We must tell them thank you. We must thank Hajj Qassem Soleimani, the martyr commander. We must thank Hajj Abu Mahdi a-Muhandis. We must thank the martyrs. We must thank everyone who represents. We must thank these martyr leaders for the sacrifices they made for our peoples, countries, region, and causes. This gratitude is a duty. Look, God Almighty, who is in no need of us, our worship, and our thanksgiving, asks us to thank Him. He tells us that {If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor].} But if you deny, it’s a different matter.

Being thankful, being thankful for the blessings and for the services has very great effects even in this world. It is true that whoever stands by you is doing his duty. But when you thank him and when he finds you to be loyal to him, sincere with him, and acknowledging his services, his enthusiasm, courage, seriousness, and drive to help you, to support you, to defend you, and to stand beside you will be greater. This is human nature.

Thus, we must have this type of loyalty. Of course, there are other requirements for loyalty that I will not talk about now because there are people who cannot bear them.

From the first hour of this grave historical event, the martyrdom of these great figures, until today, the first annual anniversary, we have witnessed great and important manifestations of loyalty. For example, since the very first hours, there was great and massive public interaction in the Islamic Republic of Iran with the incident. People rushed to the squares in many governorates and cities, especially in the provincial centers. Also, the same took place when the bodies of the martyrs were brought and during the funeral procession. It was a historic funeral procession. A person can say it was the greatest funeral procession in human history. And if he wanted to be on the safe side, he’d say perhaps the greatest. You can examine this if you want.

This is an expression of loyalty. Since day one, Hajj Qassem was being mentioned by the Iranians – young and old, in all areas and provinces, the state, the regime, the officials, of course His Eminence the Leader, the Iranian people, the scholars, the religious authorities.

There were very diverse and various forms of honoring him and showing respect and appreciation, from that time until today. The Islamic Republic and in the words of His Eminence Imam Khamenei declared Hajj Qassem Soleimani a national hero in Iran. This was an official announcement. In Iran, a country with an ancient and prolonged civilization, the title of a national hero means a lot. Some Arab countries might consider it a slogan but not in Iran no. It has a different meaning.

In any case, what we have seen so far is an elevated expression of loyalty, love, affection, gratitude, remembrance, and recognition of merit. During all the interviews in which Iranians were asked, they would say that we do this to recognize what Hajj Qassem Soleimani offered to the Islamic Republic of Iran. That’s it.

Of course, this is a lesson for all of us on how to deal with our martyrs and our martyred leaders, how to honor them, how to respect them, how to praise them, how to glorify them, how to give them credit, and how not to be divided over them.

We have also witnessed this matter in Iraq, where this pure blood was shed and this heinous crime was committed,  in Yemen, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Bahrain, Pakistan, India, Turkey, in many Islamic countries, in many non-Muslim countries, in Venezuela, and in other capital cities in the world.

The main topic of my talk in this section is Lebanon. We have to remember, recognize, thank, and appreciate those who stood with us since the first day of the “Israeli” invasion of Lebanon in 1982. Here, I will respond to some of the atmospheres and climates in Lebanon, and it is useful to mention them. We all remember that stage. “Israel” and the “Israeli” occupation army invaded Lebanese territory. There was a threat to occupy all Lebanese lands and target Damascus. Iran was preoccupied with a war imposed on it by Saddam Hussein’s regime and all the tyrants of the world and the region baking him.

Nevertheless, Imam Khomeini did not leave Lebanon or Syria. If we are to talk about interests, Iran’s interest was for its leaders, soldiers, and weapons to remain on the front to defend it. It was isolated and besieged by the whole world, yet it did not leave Lebanon or Syria.

Imam Khomeini sent a very high-ranking delegation of military commanders from the Guards Corps and the army to Damascus. They met with Syrian officials. After that, he also sent forces. However, it later became clear that “Israeli” advances stopped at the established borders, i.e. the western Beqaa, Mount Lebanon, and the areas it controlled in 1982. The rest of Lebanon was not threatened.

The conventional warfare stopped. Syria was not the subject of an invasion. So, the next stage was a stage of resistance. Some Iranian forces, specifically belonging to the Guards Corps, stayed behind to help the Lebanese, train and provide them with support to resist the occupation. Since 1982, Iran and Syria were the most important supporter of the resistance in Lebanon.

So when I’m asking the Lebanese people and when we’re talking about loyalty, being grateful, and giving credit to others, I am asking them who has been helping Lebanon liberate its lands since 1982. You tell me certain Arab state provided financial aid and helped rebuild. In recent years, they also provided huge sums of money to some Lebanese, not for Lebanon but for these Lebanese to fight the resistance, conspire against it, and besiege it. This is another research. Who stood by the Lebanese people, protected them, and defended them via diplomacy, politics, in the media, in international forums? Who gave them weapons and capabilities, set up training camps for them, trained them, and financed them until the liberation of the 2000 was achieved? It is very natural for those who were saddened, bothered, and hurt by the 2000 liberation not too feel gratitude. After 2000 and until today, the resistance, within the golden equation, is the one protecting Lebanon against the “Israeli” enemy. The resistance is the one that protects Lebanon. It is the one helping Lebanon to preserve its rights and sovereignty. We must admit this.

Allow me here to say a couple of words since it comes in this context. Yesterday, one of the dear brothers in Iran, Brother Brigadier General Hajj Zadeh, read a statement. The Lebanese media took the statement and distorted it. This is because there are people in Lebanon whose political presence is based on forgery and distortion.

The headline reads: Iranian Revolutionary Guards: Lebanon and Gaza’s missiles are support from us and are our first line in confronting “Israel”.

As for the actual news which was written in Arabic – we have not reached the text in Farsi yet – it reads: All the missile capabilities that Gaza and Lebanon possess are supported provided by Iran, and they are the first line in confronting “Israel”.

Nowhere does it say our first line in confronting “Israel”. There was no mention of Iran’s first line of defense in confronting “Israel”. Iran gave missiles to Gaza and Lebanon to make it possible for the people of Gaza and Lebanon to defend themselves.

But you are a group of weak people who distort news without making sure first and adding to the words of any Iranian official just for the sake of a media scoop.

And one of the graces of God is {perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you.} There are people who have been absent for a long time. We haven’t heard from or made any statements. In the two days, they came out to respond to the aforementioned statement.

In the same statement, [Hajj Zadeh] says that we support and stand by all the people who ae confronting the occupation. This is an order from the Supreme Leader. What is wrong about this talk?

Yes, we also say that the Islamic Republic is the one that supports us with weapons and missiles. We also say that we are a front, and Gaza is a front. Gaza has been a front since 1948. Lebanon has been a front since 1948. But since 1948, Lebanon has been a front that was being killed and insulted. Its sovereignty was being violated. Gendarmes were arrested from their outposts in border villages. Massacres were committed in border villages. Lebanon’s airspace as well as territory and waters were violated. But today, it is a different front.

And I tell these people, if Lebanon is strong today and if there is anyone in the world asking about Lebanon or sees Lebanon on the map, or if anyone in America and Europe are asking about Lebanon, it is thanks to this resistance and these missiles. Full stop.

We all know – God willing, I will talk about this issue at a later time –what the value of Lebanon and the people of Lebanon is to the global and regional countries. I also want to tell them that if there was hope for Lebanon to have some money, it would be from the oil and gas. And if someone gave Lebanon the opportunity to extract gas and oil, especially from the rich blocs in the south, it is thanks to the resistance, its missiles, and its weapons – missiles that Iran and Syria gave to the resistance.

Therefore, I would also like to add and say that all Iranian support for the resistance in Lebanon is unconditional. All the battles that the resistance fought in Lebanon from 1982 until today were for the sake of liberating Lebanon and the Lebanese prisoners and defending Lebanon’s land, waters, and sovereignty. It will remain like so. I can also add that perhaps one of the most important and most independent resistance in the history of mankind in terms of its decisions is this resistance that exists today in Lebanon. So, do not tire yourselves a lot. This will suffice for you.

In any case, when we come to loyalty, it is our duty in Lebanon. That is why it is very natural that we mark this occasion and celebrate it, name some of our streets, squares, natural reserves, and some institutions after Hajj Qassem Soleimani or Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Some people believe that we are overdoing it. In the past when we wanted to name a street after Hajj Imad Mughniyeh, Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine, or Sayyed Abbas al-Mousawi, some people got sensitive about the topic. Why?

Any people who respect themselves, have a civilization, have a culture, and have values deal with their martyrs this way. This is how they deal with people who served them, who were on their side, and supported them. This is also a form of loyalty – from a moral standpoint, I enter into the political topic. Being loyal is also not equating a friend to an enemy, or at the very least, those who left us behind and abandoned us – that is if we do not want to refer to them as enemies. In other words, there are three types of people. There is the enemy, a conspirator and a partner in shedding our blood, occupying our lands, and violating our sanctities. The second type is not the enemy, but they might leave you behind, abandon you, and not offer a helping hand or even a word. Then, there is the third type. These people help you, support you, stand by your side, defend you, put themselves in harm’s way, and offer martyrs. We must not treat these three types of people equally. Neither reason nor morals nor religion accept that, right? Neither human instinct nor logic accept this as well.

We in Lebanon cannot equate between those who supported us with their position, money, and weapons; were martyred with us; lived the hardship with us; helped us liberate our land and free our captives; and made us into a deterrent force in the face of the enemy and those who conspired against Lebanon in 1982 – all these were revealed in documents – supported the “Israeli” enemy during all the years of the occupation, did not provide any assistance to Lebanon, and urged the “Israelis” to continue the July war until the resistance is crushed, even though “Israel” was exhausted by the war and wanted to stop it.

We cannot consider those who were happy for our victory in the July war equal to those who were saddened by our victory. Today, too, we cannot consider those who stand by Lebanon and the strength of Lebanon to regain its oil and gas, protect its land and sky, and face any future dangers or threats equal to those who conspire against Lebanon, besiege it, and prevent it from getting aid.

Likewise in Palestine. The Palestinian resistance factions and the Palestinian people cannot consider those who are providing them with money, weapons, expertise, technology, and training and those who are standing with them in the media, politically, publicly, and diplomatically at every level and bearing the consequences of this position equal to those who are conspiring with the Americans and the “Israelis” against Palestine, its people, and its sanctities as well as the Palestinian refugees in the world, preventing aid from reaching the Palestinian people, besieging and arresting people who are collect aid or donating money to the Palestinian people, let alone those giving them weapons. It is natural that we find loyalty from the Palestinian resistance factions and the Palestinian people towards Hajj Qassem and the Islamic Republic in Iran.

Syria cannot equate between those who were partners, supporters, and financiers of the global war against it, aimed at crushing, destroying, and dividing it and allowing the takfiris to govern it and those who stood by Syria, supported it with money and weapons, men and martyrs, and spent their youth in its squares and fields, such as Hajj Qassem Soleimani and his brothers.

The Iraqis cannot consider those who occupied their lands, destroyed Iraq, committed grave massacres, caused all these disasters, supported all the takfiri groups, sent thousands of suicide bombers and thousands of car bombs to Iraq, provided money and weapons to Takfiri terrorist organizations for many years equal to those who sacrificed their selves, soul, brothers, money, and weapons to stand by the Iraqis, defend them, help them liberate their land from the occupation, help them get rid of Daesh and the Takfiri groups that were destroying and burning Iraq, looting, killing, and committing massacres and sedition. They cannot equate between them.

This is also the case when we talk about Afghanistan, Yemen, and other countries. Hence, being loyal also requires that we not equate between these types of people, to know our friends from our enemies from our opponents, and to distinguish between who is just and who is negligent. Loyalty is also one of the conditions of victory. God Almighty threatened to take away blessings from those who disbelieve in them. And for those who are grateful, their blessings will be increased. God will increase their blessings. Loyalty is one of the conditions for victory. It is one of the conditions for perseverance, survival, and steadfastness.

Thus, this is the first topic. Still in this topic, I can say today: Yes, our axis, our nation, our peoples, the resistance movements, their parties, the states, and everyone concerned in this battle regionally expressed their sincerity, loyalty, position, gratitude, recognition, glorification, honor and appreciation to these two great martyr leaders in a proportionate and different manner. And we must continue this. This should not end with the end of the first anniversary. Today, Hajj Qassem, Hajj Abu Mahdi, and all the martyrs are torches. They are suns and moons that illuminate the path for us, and this lighting and guidance must continue.

Second point:

The second point that I want to talk about in this commemoration is the impact of this incident from the beginning until today. This incident was strongly present all year long – in the sentiments, emotions, as well as in the political, security, and military equations. As we speak, there is great concern in the region, in the Gulf region and in Iraq and in our region. Yesterday, the “Israelis” announced that they had raised the level of alert and reserve in their army to the highest levels. All this because of the anniversary of the assassination of martyr Hajj Qassem Soleimani and martyr Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. This incident imposed itself. And today, the region is in a state of grave tension. Let us not hide behind our finger. We do not know where any incident might drag the region to. The Americans, at the very least, are in a state of fear and worry and are waiting. This is what they are saying.

The brothers in Iran also assume that Trump may prepare something before his departure on January 20. The entire region is in a state of caution and attention. This is as a result of the impact of this incident. This incident cannot be overlooked. And I tell you, this incident will always have a strong impact. Here, I would also like to refer to a very important point because some people here in Lebanon and abroad think in a wrong way. For example, when it comes to the response to the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem Soleimani, some assume that Iran will depend on its proxies as they call them, on its friends, or on its loved ones.    

Iran does not ask its proxies, its friends, or its loved ones for anything, and it has never asked them for anything. When Iran decides to respond militarily as it did in Ain al-Assad, it will respond militarily. When it responds on the security level, it will be in accordance with the nature of the incident.

The assassination of the great nuclear scientist, martyr Dr. Fakhrizadeh was a security operation. If Iran wanted to respond militarily, it would have done so from the beginning or in the first few days, as it responded at Ain Al-Assad base after the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis. If Iran’s friends, who are loyal to the Islamic Republic of Iran and to the martyrs, took the initiative to respond, it is their business and decision. But what I want the enemies, the friends, and the analysts to know so they do not misanalyse is that Iran is not weak. Iran is strong when it wants to respond militarily and at the security level at the appropriate time, place, and manner.

Some people in Lebanon and the region measure Iran in terms of some of its regional friends. Iran is not like that. Here, I am talking to some of the Lebanese as well. When your master, Trump, talks about some of your regional friends, he says they have nothing but money and that “King, we’re protecting you. You might not be there for two weeks without us.” “If we were not defending you, you’d be speaking Farsi in three weeks.”

These are your friends. This is why they need America and others, like the Takfiri groups, and need to finance gangs and mercenaries so that they can defend them, their borders, and even their regimes.

As for Iran, it is strong and does not even need its friends and allies. Let this matter remain clearly present in the minds of everyone who wants to analyze, comment, or approach events of this kind.

Third point:

Also during this commemoration, I want to emphasize that the axis of resistance was able to absorb this big blow. We admit that the blow was very grave and the loss was very great, but the axis was able to absorb it. The Americans, those who helped them, and those who instigated them assumed that when we kill Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the situation in Iraq will turn in their favor and the axis of resistance will collapse. Hajj Qassem represented the wise, courageous, serious, and persevering link, a link that binds the countries, forces, and movements of the axis of resistance. Hence, if we kill this man, the link will be broken.

All this has been addressed and absorbed. Based on our culture, belonging, and history, we know how to turn threats into opportunities. We also know how to transform blood that was unjustly shed into a strong drive to persevere, be steadfast, remain on the path, and be more responsible. They thought that shedding that blood will lead to frustration, despair, carelessness, weakness, withdrawal, or retreat. That is why in the context of this battle, I want the Americans, the “Israelis”, everyone belonging to their axis, and those who kill our leaders and conspire to assassinate our leaders, scholars, elites, or kill our mujahideen, our people, our men and women to know two things very well.

Imam Khomeini used to say, “Kill us; our nation will become more awaken.” Sayyed Abbas used to repeat this phrase: “When you kill us, our people will become more aware.” Look at how Hezbollah in Lebanon was before Sayyed Abbas was martyred. What did it become after his martyrdom? What moral, intellectual, spiritual, and voluntary status and strength did the blood and martyrdom of Sayyed Abbas give to this march? It is the same thing when we talk about the martyrs.

The other thing I wanted to add is when you kill our leaders, we become more adamant, hardened, and more committed to the truth, and our sense of responsibility increases. We’ve lost these great people on this path. How can we abandon it?

Therefore, whoever is betting that murders, assassinations, wars, car bombs, sieges, and sanctions will weaken our will, determination, and resolve is weak. I will later conclude with the sanctions.

Fourth point:

If Iran declared Hajj Qassem Soleimani a national hero in Iran, we are presenting him as a global hero, a global symbol, a world title, and a symbol of sacrifice, redemption, and loyalty that defends the weak and the oppressed, whether they were Muslims or not.

In every battle and in his entire life, Hajj Qassem Soleimani not only defended the Shiites, but he also defended the Sunnis, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Christians, Muslims, the followers of other religions and denominations, Venezuela, and any country or people that could be besieged, weakened, or conspired against. He was present in the squares. These various and great traits that exist in the personality of this leader qualify him to be a global symbol and hero, to be emulated by all the resistance and mujahideen of this world.

There are also great symbols alongside him. In Iraq, there is Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Hajj Imad Mughniyeh and Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine in Lebanon and Syria. There are also martyr leaders in Palestine, Yemen, and other arenas. These are symbols and patriotic and national heroes in their country and their nation. But Hajj Qassem Soleimani leads because he was present in all these squares, present strongly and effectively in all of these squares. That is why he must be rightfully introduced. We are not exaggerating or make a legend out of him or anything. Until this moment, I tell you, what has been revealed about Hajj Qassem Soleimani, about the nature of this figure, about his jihad, his watchfulness and his sacrifices, about his achievements as well as the achievement of all the brothers who worked with him in all arenas, have so far been little. There are things that cannot be revealed since the time to talk about them is not appropriate. But they will be revealed later.

In any case, on the first anniversary, I also call for taking this position, dealing with this name, this scene, this image, and this symbolism at this international and global level.

Fifth point:

The last point that I would like to point to is regarding the future, continuing the path. This incident has repercussions. It has very important implications and effects:

1- Expelling America out of the region: This slogan would not have become a slogan and a declared and serious goal that all the peoples of the region should work if it were not for this historical incident and its magnitude. The Americans created Daesh. Trump talked about Hillary Clinton and Obama, but he did not continue. This means the CIA and the Pentagon, i.e. all the Americans. In other words, the Obama administration created Daesh.

By the way, I remember a funny thing when Daesh appeared. Some Gulf newspapers and this black room in the Gulf worked on a group of magazines and articles published by some media outlets, reporting that a meeting took place on the Iranian-Afghan border with three people attending it – myself, the poor servant, Hajj Qassem Soleimani, and Osama Bin Laden – and made the decision to form Daesh. Take a look at the level of emptiness, stupidity, and shallowness of the media in the other axis.

In any case, when Trump said the Americans created Daesh, they created it for objectives related to Syria, Iraq, and the whole region. A senior American general admitted that they created Daesh. This can be found on social media, and the boys always acquire them. Even Clinton herself admit it. But now, I remember this specifically. He is a retired American major general or lieutenant general – God knows. He was a military commander of NATO. He said we can only fight Hezbollah with Daesh. We created Daesh to fight Hezbollah. Daesh was created so that the American army would return to Iraq and occupation would return to Iraq, but in a different way.

This incident, this assassination pushed the Iraqi people to take to the street. One of the largest demonstrations in the history of the Iraqi people came out following the assassination. It demanded the withdrawal of the American forces. Then, there was the very important decision taken by the Iraqi parliament that is following up on its implementation with the Iraqi government. the talk now is that the Americans will withdraw within a year or two. The Americans promised to withdraw in three years. This is a detail that concerns the Iraqis themselves. But the incident put the US forces on the path out of Iraq, and this is being pursued by the Iraqis themselves with all the means they see fit. So, this is a goal, which is related to the next phase.

2- Just retribution: Imam Khamenei clearly and specifically defined the circle of the killers of martyred commanders Hajj Soleimani and Haji Abu Mahdi – those who ordered and those who carried out the assassination. It is true that, first and foremost, it’s the responsibility of the Iranians to avenge Hajj Qassem and a primary responsibility of the Iraqis to avenge Hajj Abu Mahdi. But I want to repeat what I said a few days ago via Al-Mayadeen. This is also the responsibility of every free, honorable, resistance fighter, and loyal person on the planet to be a partner in enforcing this punishment.

3- To continue to defend the states, peoples, and movements of the resistance against all the threats that may arise. We are witnessing a revival of some of these takfiri groups, in Iraq and Syria. Recently, there were dangerous operations carried out by Daesh.

4- Palestine, Al-Quds, and the holy sites. It is our natural right to continue to stand by this dear and generous people.

This is the path, and this axis will continue on this path and this battle. Of course, every person should follow it in accordance with what is appropriate for his country, taking into account the group of national interests. We did that and we still do. This axis is managed by its leaders in different countries with reason, wisdom, and understanding of the circumstances of each other in an accurate and responsible manner, not as some imagine. Had it not been for this situation in the leadership of the axis, all these victories and achievements would not have been accomplished. The defeats that befell the other anxious and dilapidated projects  would not have been possible. We have a horizon, but the others don’t. It is through logic, evidence, proof, and argument and not through pretense and slogan, and giving empty morale. Absolutely not.

This is all I’m going to talk about regarding the first martyrdom anniversary of the two great martyr commanders. With regard to the Lebanese file, I felt that if I were to speak at length, it will take more time. Since I wanted to conclude before seven o’clock, I will, God willing, speak in a few days. We’ll see maybe Thursday or Friday, so there’s a break between the two speeches. It will be a speech solely on Lebanese issues. There are several topics that I’d like to talk about, including the government, the developments and the investigation regarding the port, the Americans interfering in the issue of the port, judicial developments regarding this matter, the living and social situation. I have something to say about the Al-Qard Al-Hasan Association. According to our data, the Americans paid some television stations hundreds of thousands of dollars to only report on the Al-Qard Al-Hassan Association. Since Al-Qard Al-Hassan Association has become the subject of official, political, and media attention, I’d like to talk about this topic. I will also talk about the banks, the depositors, the sanctions, and the political choices. Now we are hearing about political and economic choices. So, God willing, my next talk will be purely about the Lebanese file. Now the demarcation of the border and the situation with the “Israeli” enemy, the resistance, oil and gas, in any case, we have talked today and we have spoken several days ago. But God willing, I will focus on these topics.

I would like to conclude by advising those who are thinking about imposing a siege and sanctions. I asked the brothers here to give me a list. They provided me with a long list that dates back to last year and the year before. In the past few months, in particular, the Trump administration has been working on luring countries to normalize [ties with “Israel”] and others to place Hezbollah on the terror and sanctions lists. The Americans worked on this. There were even countries that we never heard of or countries that are of no value to us, like Slovenia. I don’t want to underestimate any country. But if you asked the Lebanese people, what is Slovenia? Some might say it’s the name of a ship, an island, a hotel. With all due respect to this state, this is the reality. For example, there are small countries in far away corners of the world that no one has heard of and no one knows anything about declaring that they have placed Hezbollah on the terror list. Of course, how do we know about this? From the Americans.

Pompeo would call them and thank them. Good job. God bless you.  So, what’s the story? They placed Hezbollah on the terror list. Of course, they know this does nothing. Its goal is psychological – to make the Lebanese people or Hezbollah feel besieged, that the world is besieging it and rejecting it, the world is placing it on the terror list. This is part of the subjugation battle.

I want to end on a moral note. In our culture, we believe in God Almighty and that the realm of the heavens and earth and everything is in the hand of God Almighty. And we consider that we are doing our taklif [religious obligation]. As His servants, we worship Him. We worship Him during prayers and in jihad. When we obey Him and worship Him, we become His soldiers. When we become His soldiers, we become among His soldiers in this existence and in this universe.

{And none knows the soldiers of your Lord except Him.}

Even if you besieged us in a small plot of land, we are the ones to feel it. Just for you to know who you are fighting and besieging. We do not feel that we are trapped. We have the land, the mountains, the valleys, the dirt, the rivers, the seas, the oceans, the clouds, the wind, the sun, the moon, the stars, the seven heavens, the angels, and what He has created from what we know and what we do not know all on our side. We feel that you are the ones that are trapped. America and its greatness are trapped. Our enemies are all trapped. We are not besieged. He who believes in God cannot feel surrounded even if all the landscape closed down on him.

You are fighting a failed battle that will not lead to any results. Killing us will only increase our awareness, persistence, and determination.  Besieging us will only increase our confidence, dependence, and connection to the true source of strength that creates victory. {And victory is not but from Allah.}

Peace, and God’s mercy and blessings be upon you.

Iran Asks the Interpol to Arrest Trump and his Partners for Killing Soleimani

ARABI SOURI 

Trump war crime killing Iran IRGC Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Mohandis in Iraq

Iran submitted documents to the Interpol needed to arrest the outgoing US President Donald Trump for his extrajudicial crime in killing the Iranian General Qassim Soleimani last year.

A spokesman for the Iranian Judicial Authority revealed that the authority sent to the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) based in Lyon, France to issue a ‘Red Notice’ locate and provisionally arrest the US president along with all the individuals who helped him commit the assassination of Lieutenant General Qassim Solemani on the 3rd of January 2020 near Baghdad International Airport.

The move might be symbolic as even the former presidents of the USA continue to enjoy the protection of their country’s security apparatuses, especially the so-called ‘Secret Service’, which was enacted by no other than the Nobel Peace Laureate Barack Obama in 2012 who wanted to protect his friend and former war criminal George W. Bush and himself in the future for life on the account of the US taxpayers and the US personnel.

Interpol may act to fill Iran’s request for a ‘Red Notice,’ which in turn would require individual countries’ to issue warrants for his arrest. Upon issuance, Trump’s movement around the world would be limited in countries that still respect international law.

If, on the other hand, the Interpol chooses to ignore the Iranian request despite the overwhelming evidence, this would limit cooperation by Iran with the international police.

Iranian Minister for Security Mahmoud Alawi stated today that the documents in the crime of assassinating the ‘Martyr General Qassim Soleimani are one thousand pages.’

The Iranian security minister added: ‘The Islamic Republic of Iran will not give up the blood of the martyr Qassem Soleimani. Of course, a small slap was dealt with the enemies at Ain al-Asad, but the main slap and harsh revenge remained.’

Mr. Alawi’s was referring to the Iranian bombing of the US military base in Ain al-Asad in western Iraq on 8 January 2020 in retaliation for the US killing of General Soleimani, the bombing caused considerable casualties among the US troops positioned in the base despite the denials from the regime of Donald Trump, later they started revealing that dozens of their soldiers suffered from brain injuries and severe headaches from the incoming precision Iranian missiles!

The Iranian minister said that his country ‘will avenge the killing of its top general especially that the enemy has declared their responsibility for this terrorist act’.

United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killing and Arbitrary Execution Mrs. Agnes Callamard rightfully stated the US assassinations of the Iranian General Soleimani and the Iraqi top commander Al Muhandis are war crimes.

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Soleimani geopolitics, one year on

Soleimani geopolitics, one year on

by Pepe Escobar, posted with permission and first posted at Asia Times

One year ago, the Raging Twenties started with a murder.

The assassination of Maj Gen Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), alongside Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraq’s Hashd al-Sha’abi militia, by laser-guided Hellfire missiles launched from two MQ-9 Reaper drones, was an act of war.

Not only the drone strike at Baghdad airport, directly ordered by President Trump, was unilateral, unprovoked and illegal: it was engineered as a stark provocation, to detonate an Iranian reaction that would then be countered by American “self-defense”, packaged as “deterrence”. Call it a perverse form of double down, reversed false flag.

The imperial Mighty Wurlitzer spun it as a “targeted killing”, a pre-emptive op squashing Soleimani’s alleged planning of “imminent attacks” against US diplomats and troops.

False. No evidence whatsoever. And then, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, in front of his Parliament, offered the ultimate context: Soleimani was on a diplomatic mission, on a regular flight between Damascus and Baghdad, involved in complex negotiations between Tehran and Riyadh, with the Iraqi Prime Minister as mediator, at the request of President Trump.

So the imperial machine – in complete mockery of international law – assassinated a de facto diplomatic envoy.

The three top factions who pushed for Soleimani’s assassination were US neo-cons – supremely ignorant of Southwest Asia’s history, culture and politics – and the Israeli and Saudi lobbies, who ardently believe their interests are advanced every time Iran is attacked. Trump could not possibly see The Big Picture and its dire ramifications: only what his major Israeli-firster donor Sheldon Adelson dictates, and what Jared of Arabia Kushner whispered in his ear, remote-controlled by his close pal Muhammad bin Salman (MbS).

The armor of American “prestige”

The measured Iranian response to Soleimani’s assassination was carefully calibrated to not detonate vengeful imperial “deterrence”:

precision missile strikes on the American-controlled Ain al-Assad air base in Iraq. The Pentagon received advance warning.

Predictably, the run-up towards the first anniversary of Soleimani’s assassination had to degenerate into intimations of US-Iran once again on the brink of war.

So it’s enlightening to examine what the Commander of the IRGC Aerospace Division, Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1399/10/13/2423366/ told Lebanon’s Al Manar network: “The US and the Zionist regime [Israel] have not brought security to any place and if something happens here (in the region) and a war breaks out, we will make no distinction between the US bases and the countries hosting them.”

Hajizadeh, expanding on the precision missile strikes a year ago, added, “We were prepared for the Americans’ response and all our missile power was fully on alert. If they had given a response, we would have hit all of their bases from Jordan to Iraq and the Persian Gulf and even their warships in the Indian Ocean.”

The precision missile strikes on Ain al-Assad, a year ago, represented a middle-rank power, enfeebled by sanctions, and facing a huge economic/financial crisis, responding to an attack by targeting imperial assets that are part of the Empire of Bases. That was a global first – unheard of since the end of WWII. It was clearly interpreted across vast swathes of the Global South as fatally piercing the decades-old hegemonic armor of American” prestige”.

So Tehran was not exactly impressed by two nuclear-capable B-52s recently flying over the Persian Gulf; or the US Navy announcing the arrival of the nuclear-powered, missile loaded USS Georgia in the Persian Gulf last week.

These deployments were spun as a response to an evidence-free claim that Tehran was behind a 21-rocket attack against the sprawling American embassy in Baghdad’s Green Zone.

The (unexploded) 107mm caliber rockets – by the way marked in English, not Farsi – can be easily bought in some underground Baghdad souk by virtually anybody, as I have seen for myself in Iraq since the mid-2000s.

That certainly does not qualify as a casus belli – or “self-defense” merging with “deterrence”. The Centcom justification actually sounds like a Monty Python sketch: an attack “…almost certainly conducted by an Iranian-backed rogue militia group.” Note that “almost certainly” is code for “we have no idea who did it”.

How to fight the – real – war on terror

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif did take the trouble (see attached tweet) to warn Trump he was being set up for a fake casus belli – and blowback would be inevitable. That’s a case of Iranian diplomacy being perfectly aligned with the IRGC: after all, the whole post-Soleimani strategy comes straight from Ayatollah Khamenei.

And that leads to the IRGC’s Hajizadeh once again establishing the Iranian red line in terms of the Islamic Republic’s defense: “We will not negotiate about the missile power with anyone” – pre-empting any move to incorporate missile reduction into a possible Washington return to the JCPOA. Hajizadeh has also emphasized that Tehran has restricted the range of its missiles to 2,000 km.

My friend Elijah Magnier, arguably the top war correspondent across Southwest Asia in the past four decades, has neatly detailed the importance of Soleimani.

Everyone not only along the Axis of Resistance – Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus, Hezbollah – but across vast swathes of the Global South is firmly aware of how Soleimani led the fight against ISIS/Daesh in Iraq from 2014 to 2015, and how he was instrumental in retaking Tikrit in 2015.

Zeinab Soleimani, the impressive General’s daughter, has profiled the man, and the sentiments he inspired. And Hezbollah’s secretary-general Sayed Nasrallah, in an extraordinary interview, stressed Soleimani’s “great humility”, even “with the common people, the simple people.”

Nasrallah tells a story that is essential to place Soleimani’s modus operandi in the real – not fictional – war on terror, and deserves to be quoted in full:

“At that time, Hajj Qassem traveled from Baghdad airport to Damascus airport, from where he came (directly) to Beirut, in the southern suburbs. He arrived to me at midnight. I remember very well what he said to me: “At dawn you must have provided me with 120 (Hezbollah) operation commanders.” I replied “But Hajj, it’s midnight, how can I provide you with 120 commanders?” He told me that there was no other solution if we wanted to fight (effectively) against ISIS, to defend the Iraqi people, our holy places [5 of the 12 Imams of Twelver Shi’ism have their mausoleums in Iraq], our Hawzas [Islamic seminars], and everything that existed in Iraq. There was no choice. “I don’t need fighters. I need operational commanders [to supervise the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units, PMU].” This is why in my speech [about Soleimani’s assassination], I said that during the 22 years or so of our relationship with Hajj Qassem Soleimani, he never asked us for anything. He never asked us for anything, not even for Iran. Yes, he only asked us once, and that was for Iraq, when he asked us for these (120) operations commanders. So he stayed with me, and we started contacting our (Hezbollah) brothers one by one. We were able to bring in nearly 60 operational commanders, including some brothers who were on the front lines in Syria, and whom we sent to Damascus airport [to wait for Soleimani], and others who were in Lebanon, and that we woke up from their sleep and brought in [immediately] from their house as the Hajj said he wanted to take them with him on the plane that would bring him back to Damascus after the dawn prayer. And indeed, after praying the dawn prayer together, they flew to Damascus with him, and Hajj Qassem traveled from Damascus to Baghdad with 50 to 60 Lebanese Hezbollah commanders, with whom he went to the front lines in Iraq. He said he didn’t need fighters, because thank God there were plenty of volunteers in Iraq. But he needed [battle-hardened] commanders to lead these fighters, train them, pass on experience and expertise to them, etc. And he didn’t leave until he took my pledge that within two or three days I would have sent him the remaining 60 commanders.”

Orientalism, all over again

A former commander under Soleimani that I met in Iran in 2018 had promised me and my colleague Sebastiano Caputo that he would try to arrange an interview with the Maj Gen – who never spoke to foreign media. We had no reason to doubt our interlocutor – so until the last Baghdad minute we were in this selective waiting list.

As for Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, killed side by side with Soleimani in the Baghdad drone strike, I was part of a small group who spent an afternoon with him in a safe house inside – not outside – Baghdad’s Green Zone in November 2017. My full report is here.

Prof. Mohammad Marandi of the University of Tehran, reflecting on the assassination, told me, “the most important thing is that the Western view on the situation is very Orientalist. They assume that Iran has no real structures and that everything is dependent on individuals. In the West an assassination doesn’t destroy an administration, company, or organization. Ayatollah Khomeini passed away and they said the revolution was finished. But the constitutional process produced a new leader within hours. The rest is history.”

This may go a long way to explain Soleimani geopolitics. He may have been a revolutionary superstar – many across the Global South see him as the Che Guevara of Southwest Asia – but he was most of all a quite articulated cog of a very articulated machine.

The adjunct President of the Iranian Parliament, Hossein Amirabdollahian, told Iranian network Shabake Khabar that Soleimani, two years before the assassination, had already envisaged an inevitable “normalization” between Israel and Persian Gulf monarchies.

At the same time he was also very much aware of the Arab League 2002 position – shared, among others, by Iraq, Syria and Lebanon: a “normalization” cannot even begin to be discussed without an independent – and viable – Palestinian state under 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as capital.

Now everyone knows this dream is dead, if not completely buried. What remains is the usual, dreary slog: the American assassination of Soleimani, the Israeli assassination of top Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the relentless, relatively low-intensity Israeli warfare against Iran fully supported by the Beltway, Washington’s illegal occupation of parts of northeast Syria to grab some oil, the perpetual drive for regime change in Damascus, the non-stop demonization of Hezbollah.

Beyond the Hellfire

Tehran has made it very clear that a return to at least a measure of mutual respect between US-Iran involves Washington rejoining the JCPOA with no preconditions, and the end of illegal, unilateral Trump administration sanctions. These parameters are non-negotiable.

Nasrallah, for his part, in a speech in Beirut on Sunday, stressed,

“one of the main outcomes of the assassination of General Soleimani and al-Muhandis is the calls made for the expulsion of US forces from the region. Such calls had not been made prior to the assassination. The martyrdom of the resistance leaders set US troops on the track of leaving Iraq.”

This may be wishful thinking, because the military-industrial-security complex will never willingly abandon a key hub of the Empire of Bases.

More important is the fact that the post-Soleimani environment transcends Soleimani.

The Axis of Resistance – Tehran-Baghdad-Damascus-Hezbollah – instead of collapsing, will keep getting reinforced.

Internally, and still under “maximum pressure” sanctions, Iran and Russia will be cooperating to produce Covid-19 vaccines, and the Pasteur Institute of Iran will co-produce a vaccine with a Cuban company.

Iran is increasingly solidified as the key node of the New Silk Roads in Southwest Asia: the Iran-China strategic partnership is constantly revitalized by FMs Zarif and Wang Yi, and that includes Beijing turbo-charging its geoeconomic investment in South Pars – the largest gas field on the planet.

Iran, Russia and China will be involved in the reconstruction of Syria – which will also include, eventually, a New Silk Road branch: the Iran-Iraq-Syria-Eastern Mediterranean railway.

All that is an interlinked, ongoing process no Hellfires are able to burn.

Alleged Nashville bomber not Muslim: Western media disappointed

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this photo from the Twitter page of the Nashville Fire Department, damage is seen on a street after an explosion in Nashville, Tennessee on December 25, 2020.

by Ramin Mazaheri  and crossposted with The Saker

(Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV’s.)

Alleged Nashville bomber not Muslim: Western media disappointed
Ramin Mazaheri (@RaminMazaheri2) is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

The entire world breathed a sigh of relief when it turned out that the alleged Nashville, Tennessee, bomber was not a Muslim – now nobody can get dragooned into supporting yet another war on a Muslim-majority country.

Isn’t it spectacular how after 9/11 the US impressed almost the entire West into never-ending military service? Western piracy in Afghanistan continues today; Iraq was reduced to shambles; France used the ruse to invade Mali, the Central African Republic and to create a roving “anti-terrorist” force across the entire Sahel; Libya is no longer really a nation; Syria stands despite all the money, guns, terrorists and concrete fortifications the West could muster. I am probably missing some others.

It was true that in the years after 9/11 Muslims silently held their breath when they heard about a terrorist attack, but after 20 years and so many bombs, drones and assassinations it’s abundantly clear that Muslims are not the aggressor nor the transgressor: The pointed finger alleging cultural failure was clearly a false accusation.

The question Muslims now often feel confident enough to ask non-Muslims in public is, “What did Islam ever have to do with terrorism, anyway?” The answer is the same as it was on 9/12/01: “Nothing”.

The Nashville bombing occurred on Christmas day – maybe this was an act of “Christian terrorism”?

The sad irony is that many Christians will flinch at such a term because they view “Christianity” and “terrorism” as being total opposites. Do such persons realise that Muslims view joining “Islam” to “terrorism” also creates an oxymoron? Muslims and Christians should permanently unite around this concept: the sadness of feeling totally misunderstood when the word “terrorism” is affixed to either religion. The only barrier to this is the Islamophobic nonsense which pours out of the West’s chattering classes.

Terrorism is always defined as violence which has a political motive. Was the Nashville bombing, allegedly caused by Anthony Warner, terrorism? We don’t know at this point, so it’s wrong to call it terrorism.

Some report that Warner was paranoid about the effects of the new 5G technology – that seems rather more social than political.

There are unproven accusations that Warner was bombing storage facilities used by the voting machine company Dominion, which is being sued for allegations of vote tampering – if proven to be true then it’s possible this was a political act. It’s looking like Joe Biden will prevail in the still-disputed US presidential election, but is Warner the advance scout of a battalion of right-wing, pro-Trump terrorists which the US media warned about so hysterically in 2020? Considering how insistently they promoted anti-Trumpism and the fear of right-wing violence, it’s surprising that US media hasn’t immediately called Warner a “post-Trumpian terrorist”?

Maybe they will get there, but what this unfortunate episode can teach us is that the West rushes to demonise Muslim citizens and the teachings of Islam whenever they think they have an opportunity to do so. If Warner had been a Muslim there would have been an unjournalistic rush to judgment by Western media that Nashville was undoubtedly an act of – ugh – “Islamic terrorism”.

It’s unfortunate that Islam is so easily slandered in the West, but the problem to discuss here is not religious misunderstanding but reactionary political thought: Islam is slandered so easily precisely in order to create false justifications for the West’s endless imperialist wars in the oil-rich, Israel-surrounding Muslim World.

In the Western world talking of “imperialism” is (incredibly, to me) denigrated as anachronistic, eccentric and unrealistic. It’s not even taken seriously – if I was writing about transgender bathrooms I would be taken infinitely more seriously, and that is no exaggeration. And yet, doesn’t using the lens of imperialism explain the very different US media treatment for Anthony Warner as opposed to “Omar” Warner?

After all, who can the US media suggest we invade as a result of Warner’s alleged act? Which culture can be insulted and ordered to change at the point of a spear? How can Americans feel a misguided sense of superiority – which helps deflect from their ever-increasing inequality, poverty and socioeconomic instability – when Warner’s culture is their own?

And thus Warner is getting treated far more sympathetically than any Muslim menace to society, even though Warner is no more human.

I do not begrudge sympathy for Warner: The unpredictable actions of severely mentally ill people often have devastating consequences on people, and this is an unfortunate part of life and must be discussed.

What I do point out is that, for example, in the majority of France’s terror attacks following Charlie Hebdo’s publication of pornographic pictures of Prophet Mohammad the attacker was also just another mentally-ill person, and not some political mastermind and zealot. I covered these attacks year after year and the perpetrators always fell into one of two categories: the largest was mental illness, while the smaller grouping were political (not religious) terrorists who – without fail – expressly said their attacks were retribution for France’s many imperialist attacks on Muslim countries.

The problem in the world today is not religious – as the West and Israel asserts – but political, as the developing world asserts.

But – as the four-year “daily cultural insanity” of the Trump era proves – the US is incapable of discussing political nuance intelligently and without resorting to hyperbolic slander or wild-eyed absurdities. This explains why if Anthony Warner had been a Muslim the violence would have undoubtedly been declared “terrorism”, immediately – I am referring to endemic American political hysteria of the “other”.  

I am not here to complain – as a professional wordsmith often pedantically does – about the misuse of words and the confusion caused by refusing to abide by established definitions. Instead, I am suggesting that non-Muslims in the West should wake up to just how easily they are intellectually manipulated when it comes to any violence which employs something more brutal than a handgun: Had Warner been a Muslim Americans and Westerners would have shouted at to maintain their awful, destructive and immoral two-decade long war posture towards Muslims and Islam.

When there are acts of political terrorism, the West needs to examine the politics behind it and make sure their politics are just. When there are acts of violence, just because a Muslim was the perpetrator doesn’t make it political. However, in the identity politics-obsessed West, it seems one is always defined solely by his or her tribe and is never just another son or daughter of Adam.

“Anthony” or “Omar” shouldn’t make a difference to you but it certainly does, depending on where you live: manipulative Islamophobia may have sent your children off to die in hopeless wars, gutted your individual political rights and caused you to see anyone with a different political view as your lifelong enemy.


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Washington uses DAESH and Iraqi traitors to fragment the country

Soleimani, The Man Who Defended an Entire Nation – Dr. Tim Anderson

Soleimani, The Man Who Defended an Entire Nation - Dr. Tim Anderson

By Al-Ahed News

Director of the Centre for Counter Hegemonic Studies Dr. Tim Anderson commented on the US assassination of Iran’s top anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, and hailed the martyr whom he described as the man who embodied the highest human values of love, dedication and self-sacrifice.  

Iranian President’s Chief of Staff to Al-Ahed: Soleimani’s Martyrdom Broke His Killers’ Backbone

Iranian President’s Chief of Staff to Al-Ahed: Soleimani’s Martyrdom Broke His Killers’ Backbone

By Mokhtar Haddad

Tehran – On the occasion of the first martyrdom anniversary of General Hajj Qassem Soleimani, Al-Ahed News spoke with Dr. Mahmoud Vaezi, the Chief of Staff of Iran’s President.

Dr. Vaezi asserted that this martyrdom “broke the backbone and domination of his fake and weak killers.”

“The Trump administration viewed commander Soleimani as a major obstacle to its subversive and escalatory policies in the region, and that is why it assassinated him in this shameful and criminal way.”

In his interview with Al-Ahed, Vaezi pointed out that “the main response to this crime is the full withdrawal of the US from the region. Our basic strategy in the region, which we always made known to neighboring states, is for those countries to ensure security for this region and confront foreign interference. The Hormuz peace plan announced by President Rouhani at the United Nations remains on the table, and we believe that it will be achieved with the help of regional states. We believe that through regional cooperation we can establish peace and stability, and there is no need for foreigners to be present in the region.”

Below is the full transcript of the interview:

On the first martyrdom anniversary of Hajj Qassem Soleimani and his companions, the US claims that it has broken Iran’s backbone. What is your response?

In our Islamic teachings, we believe that the blood of the martyr is a stain on the oppressors. During his lifetime, martyr General Soleimani was the source of great deeds for the country, the Axis of Resistance, and the region. His martyrdom led to rapprochement and solidarity between the peoples of the region against America.

In fact, we believe that his martyrdom broke the backbone and dominance of his fake and weak killers. When a country that claims to be a superpower in the world assassinates our military commander in such a treacherous and cowardice manner during an official diplomatic tour, it means that first, you were not a worthy opponent, and second, you are against his legacy.

The legacy of martyr Soleimani is clearly evident today, not only in the region, but in the whole world, especially since he was the first enemy of the terrorists who turned the world into an insecure place. There were many terrorist incidents carried out by Daesh in the West, including Brussels, London, Manchester, and other European cities. The defeat of Daesh is the best evidence that martyr Hajj Qassem Soleimani made the region and the world safer. 

Martyr General Qassem Soleimani poured all his energy into confronting American conspiracies. How did he achieve this success and manage to counter America’s arrogant mood?

The greatest proof of the success of this great martyr in confronting arrogant American plots and thwarting its plans in the region, is his assassination by the Trump administration. It is clear that the Trump administration considered him a major obstacle to its subversive and escalatory policies in the region, which is why they assassinated him in this shameful and criminal way.

Martyr Soleimani sought to eliminate terrorism in the region. This great martyr was able to form a strong regional alliance against criminal terrorists in Iraq and Syria, and he helped the peoples of the region during difficult days in confronting Daesh and other terrorist groups.

Hajj Qassem was not only a man from the battlefield, but he was also a seasoned diplomat who combined courage and wisdom. His courage was rooted in his faith and belief. His wisdom was rooted in the knowledge and experience he had acquired during decades of pursuing the path of God.

His unique role was personified through his fight against terrorism, taking into consideration and with full respect for the national sovereignty of the countries concerned. So, based on an official request from the governments of Iraq and Syria, he helped them confront terrorism. This is why he was very popular in the countries of the region. Lieutenant General Soleimani is the pride of Iran, but we do not consider that he belongs to us alone. His departure was a tragedy for all Muslims. Even outside the Islamic world, he served humanity, regardless of nationality, religion, or ethnicity, by playing a major role in defeating Daesh and creating security and stability.

After Hajj Qassem’s martyrdom, Imam Khamenei declared that the main goal was to get US forces out of West Asia. A year after his martyrdom, what is America’s influence in the region?

This is not only a statement by the great leader of the revolution, but we believe it is a divine promise. As I said, we believe that the blood of the martyr is a stain on the oppressors and a starting point for their demise, as America’s power has declined today in the world and not only in West Asia. There are numerous clues that are being unveiled if we had time to delve into this topic. In our region, the influence and status of America has declined more than ever, and the martyrdom of Soleimani must have played an important role in this process.

How will the response to this crime be completed, especially since there is an emphasis on the need for an American withdrawal from the region?

In terms of the military response, you definitely know that the Islamic Republic of Iran poured missiles down on the American base involved in the assassination of martyr Soleimani. This targeted attack sent a clear message to the Americans that attacking the Islamic Republic of Iran and crossing its red lines will certainly not pass without a response.

However, as mentioned earlier, we view the main response to this crime as paving the way for a complete US withdrawal from the region. Our basic strategy in the region, which we always made known to neighboring states, is for those countries to ensure security for this region and confront foreign interference. The Hormuz peace plan announced by President Rouhani at the United Nations remains on the table, and we believe that it will be achieved with the help of regional states. We believe that through regional cooperation, we can establish peace and stability, and there is no need for foreigners to be present in the region. The presence of foreigners in the region has so far caused nothing but destruction and wars. We have always adopted this strategy, and after the martyrdom of Soleimani, we became more determined to achieve it.

What was martyr Soleimani’s role in confronting terrorism and in supporting and consolidating the axis of resistance?

His role in combating terrorism and supporting the peoples of the region in confronting terrorist groups was very clear. When the terrorists occupied two-thirds of Syrian territory, the siege they imposed was so severe that we witnessed bombings and terrorist operations near Damascus and near Syrian government institutions. The situation in Iraq was very similar to that of Syria, where Daesh occupied most of the country, and the level of insecurity peaked.

The images of the crimes committed by terrorists in these two countries, and of course in other parts of the world, have not yet been erased from the memory of the countries of the region. Whoever wants to realize the role of the Islamic Republic of Iran and martyr Qassem Soleimani in the region, must compare the images during those days when terrorism dominated the region with the situation today. The defeat of Daesh was the peak of the resistance in the region, and this would not have been possible without martyr General Soleimani and his field command.

On the martyrdom anniversary of Hajj Qassem, I would like to mention his comrade, the great martyr and Mujahid Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, one of the most prominent symbols of the resistance and one of the main leaders in the war against terrorism in Iraq. His name will remain immortal throughout history.

By assassinating Hajj Qassem, did America manage to stop his march or has the axis of resistance become stronger?

Martyr Soleimani’s path was that of resistance, facing arrogance, and jihad for the sake of God. Our religion taught us that this path does not stop at martyrdom. In Islam, we do not believe that martyrdom is a conclusion or an end, for martyrdom makes the path to the truth stronger, more dynamic, and higher. Although Hajj Qassem Soleimani was a hero in fighting terrorism and opposing arrogance, his martyrdom does not mean weakening the axis of resistance. Ironically, thanks to his pure blood, the peoples of the region woke up today, and the axis of resistance has become stronger than ever.

What was Hajj Qassem’s relationship and cooperation with the government of Iran like?

Foreign Minister Dr. Zarif provided a complete overview of this, which was recently published in various media outlets. It should be noted that in matters related to national security, national interests, and strategic issues such as foreign policy and regional policies, there was complete complementarity between all pillars of the Islamic Republic.

Martyr Soleimani’s operational range was one of those cases around which there was and still is a complete rapprochement in our country. In the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, we have always considered diplomacy and defensive force as the two main wings of the country, and we have never separated these two wings or allowed either of them to weaken.

Accordingly, commander Soleimani had a very close relationship with the government of the Islamic Republic and the president himself.

Regarding foreign policy issues, regular weekly meetings were held with the Minister of Foreign Affairs. This rapprochement and coordination were not based on individuals alone, but it is a ruling strategy in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

الميادين تعرض “الساعة الأخيرة”.. حقائق جديدة تكشف حول اغتيال سليماني والمهندس

الميادين نت

في 3 كانون الثاني/يناير عام 2020 استهدفت صواريخُ ذكية موجّهة قرب مطار بغداد الدولي قائد “قوة القدس” الشهيد قاسم سليماني، ونائب رئيس هيئة الحشد الشعبي أبو مهدي المهندس، ومعهما جمعٌ من المرافقين.. فما الذي حصل ذلك اليوم؟

كيف تسرّبت معلوماتٌ عن تحرّك الجنرال سليماني والقائد المهندس رغم إحاطتها بسرية تامّة؟

بعد اغتيال الشهيدين قاسم سليماني وأبو مهدي المهندس، استمرت أجواء الصدمة والحزن طويلاً، طغى هولها على السؤال عمّا جرى في تلك الليلة، وما هي المواثيق التي أباحت للرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب، تنفيذ عمليةٍ كهذه تستهدف السيادة بشكلٍ سافر، وكيف تسرّبت معلوماتٌ عن تحرّك الجنرال والقائد رغم إحاطتها بسرية تامّة؟ وغيرها من التساؤلات والحلقات المفقودة التي دعتنا للبحث فيها.

رئيس الوزراء العراقي السابق عادل عبد المهدي، أكد أنه لم يكن على علم بنية الولايات المتحدة اغتيال الشهيدين قاسم سليماني وأبو مهدي المهندس مطلع عالعام الماضي.

وخلال شهادة له ضمن وثائقي “الساعة الأخيرة” على شاشة الميادين، روى عبد المهدي تفاصيل مكالمة بينه وبين الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب، قبل 3 أيام من تنفيذ عملية الاغتيال، وقال عبد المهدي إن “ترامب اتصل به عشية ليلة رأس السنة في حدود الساعة التاسعة، وقال ترامب خلال المكالمة إن الأميركيين لا يعرفون الإيرانيين جيداً، بل العراقيين هم مَن يعرفونهم جيداً”.

فأجابه عبد المهدي بأن “الإيرانيين يقولون إنهم لا يريدون حرباً، وكذلك أميركا، واقترح على ترامب إما التفاوض المباشر مع الإيرانيين، وإما اتفاقات ضمنية كمان يحصل منذ 2003”.

فرد ترامب بحسب عبد المهدي “أنتم مفاوضون جيدون، ما تستطيعون فعله في هذا الشأن، نحن مستعدون له”.

وانتهت المكالمة بين الرئيس الأميركي ورئيس الوزراء العراقي آنذاك، وكانت هناك موافقة ودعوة رسمية لأن يأتي الشهيد سليماني للعراق للتباحث، وذلك بحسب ما أفاد عبد المهدي للميادين.

وأكد عبد المهدي أن “عملية الاغتيال لم تكن قد صُمّمَت خلال يوم أو يومين وإنّما لا بدّ أنها قُرّرَت قبل ذلك بفترة ليست قصيرة”.

وكشف عبد المهدي، أن الحكومة العراقية أصدرت حينها قراراً بتعليق أخذ موافقات مباشرة في كل عمليات الطيران، من أي طرف كان، خصوصاً بعد أن علمت أنّ “إسرائيل” دخلت على الخط، وهذا قيّد حركة الجميع، مضيفاً أنه كان هناك اعتراض أميركي كبير على هذا الإجراء.

من جهته، وضمن الوثائقي ذاته، كشف علي محمّد تقي، مدير مطار بغداد، أن “هنالك مجال جوّي فُتح وخُصّص لطائرات الاستطلاع الأميركية لاستطلاع المواقع العسكرية الموجودة في العراق”.

هذا المجال الجوي وفق تقي، مسموح له أن “يستقبل طائرات استطلاع عدد إثنين”، موضحاً أنه “قبل يوم الحادث، دخلت ثلاث طائرات إلى المجال الجوي المسموح به للاستطلاع، المفروض أن تكون طائرتين، إذا دخلت طائرة ثالثة خلال مدّة قليلة إحدى الطائرات تنسحب، لكن لم يستجيبوا للنداء الذي كان من برج الرقابة الجوية ووقع خرق غير مُسَيطر عليه”.

وسط هذا الكتمان وتلك السرّية في التحرك كيف بلغت أسماع الأميركيين ساعة وخطة لقاء سليماني بالمهندس؟ ومَن الذي أكّد وجودهما ضمن سيارتيّ تشريفات الحشد؟

عمليةٌ دقيقة كان مجال الخطأ فيها معدوماً، نفّذتها طائراتٌ لا تُستخدَم إلا بعد التحقّق من الهدف. وهي استراتيجية شرحها أحمد الشريف، وقال للميادين إن “مسألة الاستطلاع الإلكتروني في الرصد والاستمكان مُتاحة ليس على مستوى حدود العراق فحسب، بل سوريا وعموم المنطقة”.

وتابع الشريف: “فإذاً مسألة الاستمكان أنا في تقديري أنها كانت في سوريا، حيث رُصد التوقيت”، مشيراً إلى أن “فترة تحليق الطائرة تُتيح لهم، لأنه ممكن أن تبقى في الجو 40 ساعة”.

الدكتور علي الخفّاف معاون رئيس هيئة الحشد الشعبي والطبيب المقرّب من المهندس، أكد للميادين أن الأخير في آخر الأيام “كان يحرص جداً أن يتحرك وحده، لأنه كان يتوقع الضربة في أي لحظة”.

وعرضت قناة الميادين مساء اليوم وثائقي “الساعة الأخيرة” الذي استضاف مقربين من الشهيدين قاسم سليماني وأبو مهدي المهندس، تحدثوا للميادين عن ملابسات ذلك اليوم.

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People inside U.S. may respond to assassination of Gen. Soleimani: Quds Force chief

January 1, 2021 – 16:44

TEHRAN – The Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force Commander Brigadier General Esmaeil Qaani said on Friday that some people inside the United States are likely to seek revenge for the assassination of his predecessor Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.

Speaking at a ceremony held on Friday at the University of Tehran to commemorate the first anniversary of the assassination of the Lt. Gen., Ghaani said the U.S. assassinated the top Iranian commander at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Israel.

“By committing this crime, you [the U.S.] created a job for all freedom-seeking people across the globe. Be sure that it is possible that some people will be found inside your home to respond to your crime,” General Ghaani warned.

The general pointed out that enemies had been trying to target General Soleimani and his comrade Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), for at least 30 years.

“[But] during this period, the dirtiest man [Trump], with temptations from the Zionist regime and Saudi Arabia, went insane. All the world will condemn you. Those who committed this crime should know that throughout the world there would be a man who will punish the cowards behind this crime,” the commander of Quds Force cautioned.

He also said that the path of resistance and General Soleimani will continue and the U.S.’s acts of mischief will not stop the global support for the oppressed in Yemen, Syria, and Palestine, according to Tasnim.

Earlier on Wednesday, General Ghaani made similar remarks during a closed session of the Iranian Parliament, underlining that U.S. officials involved in the assassination of General Soleimani should learn how to lead a clandestine lifestyle in the future because Iran will take revenge against them.

“I warn the U.S. president, CIA director, secretary of defense, secretary of state and other American officials involved in the assassination of martyr Soleimani that they must learn the clandestine lifestyle of Salman Rushdie because the Islamic Republic will avenge the blood of martyr Soleimani which was shed unrightfully,” the Ghaani Twitter account quoted him as saying in the Wednesday session.

General Soleimani was assassinated in an American drone strike on January 3, 2020, along with al-Muhandis near Baghdad’s international airport. The strike was ordered by U.S. President Donald Trump, a reckless move that brought Iran and the United States close to an all-out war as General Soleimani was an influential figure in Iran and beyond. In response, Iran showered a U.S. airbase in western Iran with missiles, causing brain injury among dozens of American servicemen.

However, Iran has said time and again that the ultimate revenge for the assassination of General Soleimani would be far more important than a missile strike on a U.S. base. It would be the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the region.

Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, has recently said that the missile strike on the American airbase of Ain al-Asad was slap on the face of America. But the tougher slap, the Leader said, would be the soft victory over the superficial hegemony of arrogance and the expulsion of the Americas from the region.

The Leader also underlined the need to take revenge for the assassination of the top general.

“Millions attending Martyrs Soleimani and Abu Mahdi’s funerals in Iraq and Iran was the first severe slap to the U.S. But the worse one is overcoming the hegemony of arrogance and expelling the U.S. from the region. Of course, revenge will be taken on those who ordered it and the murderers,” the Leader stated.

As Iran prepares to mark the first assassination anniversary, Iranian officials reiterated their determination to seek revenge for the assassination of the general.

On Friday, IRGC Chief Major General Hossein Salami announced that Iran is ready to avenge the assassination of General Soleimani and al-Muhandis.

“We are ready to avenge the blood of these martyrs and to forever liberate Muslims from the political, economic and cultural domination and hegemony of the Western world led by the mischievous Americans,” General Salami asserted.

He said Iran is not worried by the recent activities of the U.S. in the region, adding that “We are ready to defend our independence, vital interests and the achievements of our great revolution.”

The IRGC chief noted that Iran has sought to boost its capabilities over the past decades and it is now prepared for any showdown with any power.

“Over the past 41 years, we have created this readiness, and today, we have no problem and concern whatsoever to confront any power. We will tell our final words to the enemies on the battlefield,” General Salami continued.

He made the remarks on the sidelines of the Friday ceremony at the University of Tehran.

MS/PA

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Spokesperson for Iraq’s Nujaba Movement to Al-Ahed: Our Confrontation with The Americans Is Open-ended

Spokesperson for Iraq’s Nujaba Movement to Al-Ahed: Our Confrontation with The Americans Is Open-ended

Al-Ahed Exclusive

The first martyrdom anniversary of the two leaders, Hajj Qassem Soleimani and Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, is a reminder to the American occupiers that their presence in the region will not last long. On this occasion, al-Ahed News sat down with the official spokesperson for the Nujaba Movement, Engineer Nasr al-Shammari, who asserted that “Iraq’s resistance is fighting an open confrontation with American occupation forces and the American hegemony. The confrontation will remain open-ended and its goal is the removal of the entirety of the US presence in the region.”

Below is the transcript of the interview:

On the first anniversary of the assassination of the commander of the IRG’s Quds Force Major General Qassem Soleimani and the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Units, Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, where is the response to this crime? And what do you promise the American occupier?

We, in the Iraqi resistance, have been engaged in an open confrontation with the American occupation forces and the American hegemony since 2003, and this confrontation has never stopped. In 2011, all US occupation forces that begged for a safe and timely withdrawal were expelled under fire from the resistance. The last blow was dealt to them near the border crossing with Kuwait. These forces then returned through the window in 2014 after being expelled from the door under the pretext of fighting the Daesh gang, which is essentially their creation, according to the admission from US President Donald Trump.

As for the horrific crime that led to the martyrdom of the leaders of victory, the response of the people was immediate through the millions that took part in the martyrs’ funeral processions. Then came the Iraqi parliament’s decision to expel the foreign forces. After that, millions of people took part in demonstrations calling for the withdrawal of American occupation forces. Then, a new page of open-ended confrontation between the resistance on the one hand and the occupation forces on the other ensued.

The occupation forces’ convoys, headquarters, and camps continued to be targeted on a daily basis until they were forced to retreat to limited bases deep in the desert, which are within range of the mujahideen’s weapons. These will be closed soon, as many of the bases were closed before. Despite all this, the confrontation will remain open, and its goal is the removal of the entirety of the US presence in the region because there is no American target that has the same value of the martyred leaders.

In your opinion, what is the significance of the martyrdom of the two leaders Soleimani and al-Muhandis, both of whom spent their lives together in the fields of jihad?

They were both a confirmation to the noble hadith about those whom Allah will shade in His shade on the Day of Resurrection [Two men who love one another for the sake of Allah and meet and part on that basis.]

After a blessed jihad career of more than 40 years, being in their presence, you could see that they both originate from one source. Both of them have the same ideological, human, and moral attributes, and both are characterized by honesty, clarity, humility, courage, closeness to people, and love in the hearts of the believers.

Their martyrdom together had the greatest message – the mixing of blood, approach, and fate of all the children of this blessed axis from Palestine to Afghanistan, and the enemy sees that we are one. So, it is not permissible – and this is the case – for us not to see ourselves with the same eye in which our common enemy sees us, and this is why the responsibility for this pure blood falls on us all as His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said. We clearly see that its blessing will bring victory closer.

What is the impact of the martyrdom of the two leaders, Soleimani and al-Muhandis, on the Iraqis in general and on the Iraqi resistance factions in particular?

On the humane level, I have never in my life witnessed sympathy for any major incident like the departure of these two great martyrs. You could see sadness and tears in the old and young, the educated and the simple person, man and woman. There was sorrow and grief in every gathering or position in Iraq. The observer should not be fooled by the small group that was paid to try and distort the image of this situation.

But the effects of this blessed ascension are the unification of all fronts of the resistance into one as well as the solid position and the severity of the confrontation until America pays a high price for this crime.

And the greater price will be achieving what the two martyrs have long fought for, the liberation of al-Quds, God willing.

No Expiry Date for Retaliation of Heinous Crime Against General Soleimani – Iran

No Expiry Date for Retaliation of Heinous Crime Against General Soleimani - Iran

By Staff, Agencies

Chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri said on Thursday that there is no expiry date for taking revenge on assassination of Iranian Commander Lt. General Qassem Soleimani.

Baqeri made the remarks in a message on the eve of the first martyrdom anniversary of General Soleimani [January 3].

Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guard [IRG] Quds Force Lt. General Soleimani was assassinated in the US terrorist attack on his motorcade at Baghdad airport on January 3, 2020.

A day after the assassination of General Soleimani, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Iran reserves the right to take revenge by proportionate military action, and will do it.

At his message, Baqeri said the US should leave the West Asia region; this is inevitable, and all revolutionary youth across the region and the world will make double effort to achieve the end.

Baqeri stressed the need to follow General Soleimani’s guidelines.

He further highlighted determination of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Muslim nations and freedom-seekers across the world advocating proportionate retaliation of the crime.

Iran’s Armed Forces will continue following up the resistance ideology with strong motivation, he stressed.

Baqeri said that martyr Soleimani could get the hearts of the Islamic Ummah closer and create coherence among them.

General Soleimani strengthened the Resistance front against the Zionist regime of ‘Israel’ and destroyed the US hegemony clout, he added.

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