More Pressure On Russia Will Have No Effect

20 years of Vladimir Putin in power: a timeline.

Source

October 17, 2020

Over the last years the U.S. and its EU puppies have ratcheted up their pressure on Russia. They seem to believe that they can compel Russia to follow their diktat. They can’t. But the illusion that Russia will finally snap, if only a few more sanctions ar applied or a few more houses in Russia’s neighborhood are set on fire, never goes away.

As Gilbert Doctorow describes the situation:

The fires burning at Russia’s borders in the Caucasus are an add-on to the disorder and conflict on its Western border in neighboring Belarus, where fuel is poured on daily by pyromaniacs at the head of the European Union acting surely in concert with Washington.

Yesterday we learned of the decision of the European Council to impose sanctions on President Lukashenko, a nearly unprecedented action when directed against the head of state of a sovereign nation.

It is easy enough to see that the real intent of the sanctions is to put pressure on the Kremlin, which is Lukashenko’s guarantor in power, to compound the several other measures being implemented simultaneously in the hope that Putin and his entourage will finally crack and submit to American global hegemony as Europe did long ago.

The anti-Russia full tilt ahead policy outlined above is going on against a background of the U.S. presidential electoral campaigns. The Democrats continue to try to depict Donald Trump as “Putin’s puppy,” as if the President has been kindly to his fellow autocrat while in office. Of course, under the dictates of the Democrat-controlled House and with the complicity of the anti-Russian staff in the State Department, in the Pentagon, American policy towards Russia over the entire period of Trump’s presidency has been one of never ending ratcheting up of military, informational, economic and other pressures in the hope that Vladimir Putin or his entourage would crack. Were it not for the nerves of steel of Mr. Putin and his close advisers, the irresponsible pressure policies outlined above could result in aggressive behavior and risk taking by Russia that would make the Cuban missile crisis look like child’s play.

The U.S. arms industry lobby, in form of the Atlantic Council, confirms the ‘western’ strategy Doctorow describes. It calls for ‘ramping up on Russia’ with even more sanctions:

Key to raising the costs to Russia is a more proactive transatlantic strategy for sanctions against the Russian economy and Putin’s power base, together with other steps to reduce Russian energy leverage and export revenue. A new NATO Russia policy should be pursued in tandem with the European Union (EU), which sets European sanctions policy and faces the same threats from Russian cyberattacks and disinformation. At a minimum, EU sanctions resulting from hostilities in Ukraine should be extended, like the Crimea sanctions, for one year rather than every six months. Better yet, allies and EU members should tighten sanctions further and extend them on an indefinite basis until Russia ends its aggression and takes concrete steps toward de-escalation.

It also wants Europe to pay for weapons in the Ukraine and Georgia:

A more dynamic NATO strategy for Russia should go hand in hand with a more proactive policy toward Ukraine and Georgia in the framework of an enhanced Black Sea strategy. The goal should be to boost both partners’ deterrence capacity and reduce Moscow’s ability to undermine their sovereignty even as NATO membership remains on the back burner for the time being.

As part of this expanded effort, European allies should do more to bolster Ukraine and Georgia’s ground, air, and naval capabilities, complementing the United States’ and Canada’s efforts that began in 2014.

The purpose of the whole campaign against Russia, explains the Atlantic Council author, is to subordinate it to U.S. demands:

Relations between the West and Moscow had begun to deteriorate even before Russia’s watershed invasion of Ukraine, driven principally by Moscow’s fear of the encroachment of Western values and their potential to undermine the Putin regime. With the possibility of a further sixteen years of Putin’s rule, most experts believe relations are likely to remain confrontational for years to come. They argue that the best the United States and its allies can do is manage this competition and discourage aggressive actions from Moscow. However, by pushing back against Russia more forcefully in the near and medium term, allies are more likely to eventually convince Moscow to return to compliance with the rules of the liberal international order and to mutually beneficial cooperation as envisaged under the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act.

The ‘rules of the liberal international order’ are of course whatever the U.S. claims they are. They may change at any moment and without notice to whatever new rules are the most convenient for U.S. foreign policy.

But as Doctorow said above, Putin and his advisors stay calm and ignore such trash despite all the hostility expressed against them.

One of Putin’s close advisors is of course Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. In a wide ranging interview with Russian radio stations he recently touched on many of the issues Doctorow also mentions. With regards to U.S. strategy towards Russia Lavrov diagnoses:

Sergey Lavrov: […] You mentioned in one of your previous questions that no matter what we do, the West will try to hobble and restrain us, and undermine our efforts in the economy, politics, and technology. These are all elements of one approach.

Question: Their national security strategy states that they will do so.

Sergey Lavrov: Of course it does, but it is articulated in a way that decent people can still let go unnoticed, but it is being implemented in a manner that is nothing short of outrageous.

Question: You, too, can articulate things in a way that is different from what you would really like to say, correct?

Sergey Lavrov: It’s the other way round. I can use the language I’m not usually using to get the point across. However, they clearly want to throw us off balance, and not only by direct attacks on Russia in all possible and conceivable spheres by way of unscrupulous competition, illegitimate sanctions and the like, but also by unbalancing the situation near our borders, thus preventing us from focusing on creative activities. Nevertheless, regardless of the human instincts and the temptations to respond in the same vein, I’m convinced that we must abide by international law.

Russia does not accept the fidgety ‘rules of the liberal international order’.  Russia sticks to the law which is, in my view, a much stronger position. Yes, international law often gets broken. But as Lavrov said elsewhere, one does not abandon traffic rules only because of road accidents.

Russia stays calm, no matter what outrageous nonsense the U.S. and EU come up with. It can do that because it knows that it not only has moral superiority by sticking to the law but it also has the capability to win a fight. At one point the interviewer even jokes about that:

Question: As we say, if you don’t listen to Lavrov, you will listen to [Defense Minister] Shoigu.

Sergey Lavrov: I did see a T-shirt with that on it. Yes, it’s about that.

Yes, it’s about that. Russia is militarily secure and the ‘west’ knows that. It is one reason for the anti-Russian frenzy. Russia does not need to bother with the unprecedented hostility coming from Brussels and Washington. It can ignore it while taking care of its interests.

As this is so obvious one must ask what the real reason for the anti-Russian pressure campaign is. What do those who argue for it foresee as its endpoint?

Posted by b on October 17, 2020 at 16:31 UTC | Permalink

Damascus and Moscow Facing the Siege… Economy First! دمشق وموسكو بمواجهة الحصار.. الاقتصاد أولاً!

October 16, 2020 Arabi Souri

Russian Military Presence in Syria - Hmeimim Airbase - Moscow - Damascus

Moscow and Damascus realize after five years of the Russian presence in Syria that if Russia leaves its political and military position in Syria, the consequences will be very dangerous for the region.

Dima Nassif, director of Al-Mayadeen office in Damascus, wrote (source in Arabic) the following piece for the Lebanese news channel about the latest developments in the Russian – Syrian relations in light of the latest visit of the Russian top delegation to Damascus followed by a Syrian delegation visit to Moscow:

The visit of the Syrian Minister of Presidential Affairs to Moscow at the head of an economic delegation, a few days ago, may have slipped from media circulation, despite its close connection with the completion of the Russian-Syrian talks or agreements that were reached during the recent visit of the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Borisov and the Russian delegation. It is possible to build on it to launch a Russian-Syrian partnership paper to confront sanctions, including the US ‘Caesar Act‘.

The crowding of readings and interpretations of the visit of the Russian delegation and the presence of Sergey Lavrov after eight years to Damascus can be interpreted as just a temporary Russian economic bargaining – to cross the psychological barrier left by the American pressure on Moscow, to prevent the return of the political process to Geneva, and to exert Russian internal pressure by a current opposing the policy of Putin in Syria – that final understandings must be reached on the Constitutional Committee before the Syrian presidential elections in June 2021.

This visit, as the results confirm, is no further than full support for the Syrian state politically and economically, as it does not come under the heading of Russian initiatives to barter or compromise Damascus’s positions on the political process, the liberation of Idlib, or even eastern Syria. Lavrov’s presence in Damascus was against the backdrop of the “Caesar Act”, not Astana or any other address.

Among the deficiencies of some in Moscow against Damascus are its rigid positions in the face of Russian proposals, which calls for flexibility in negotiations on the part of the Syrian side, and the easing of some formalities that may be interpreted in the way that the Syrian leadership does not wish to cooperate or make any progress in the political process before the elections, repeating the phrase that there is no agreement without agreeing on everything.

On the other hand, Damascus believes that the political process should be based on a long-term strategy, to avoid the traps that Turkey might place through its groups within the opposition delegation, as President Al-Assad spoke in his recent meetings to Russian media.

Columns of cars crowded in front of petrol stations in Syrian cities two months ago did not allow to feel Russian support to alleviate the consequences of the “Caesar Act” and its impact. Then came the huge losses in forest fires and agricultural lands in the countrysides of Lattakia, Homs, Tartous, and Hama, this was quickly seized by the American embassy in Damascus, calling on the Syrian government to protect its citizens, in a naive attempt and unprofessional rhetoric, to test its ability to incite the incubating environment (of the Syrian state), as Caesar (Act) promised in the folds of its goals, without an American understanding of the peculiarity of this environment, which has stood its positions throughout the war, despite all the living and security pressures on its lives.

Moscow, and with it Damascus, after five years of the Russian presence in Syria, are aware that the consequences of Russia leaving its political and military position in Syria will be very dangerous for the region, as the Russian presence aims to ensure security and make the world order more just and balanced, as President Al-Assad said. Ankara’s transfer of the militants from the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda groups to the Azerbaijan front, and before it to Libya, is only the first sign of the expansion of the Turkish project in the region after its failure in Syria, and it is the basis of Moscow’s involvement in the Syrian war, and will not allow its transfer to its own walls.

Intercontinental Wars – Part 2: The Counterattack

Intercontinental Wars – Part 3 The Open Confrontation

https://www.syrianews.cc/intercontinental-wars-part-3-the-open-confrontation/embed/#?secret=F3H13Q3E96

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ديمة ناصيف 

المصدر: الميادين نت

13 تشرين اول 14:02

تدرك موسكو ومعها دمشق بعد 5 سنوات على الوجود الروسي في سوريا، بأنه إذا ما غادرت روسيا موقعها السياسي والعسكري في سوريا فإن التبعات ستكون خطرة جداً على المنطقة.

تدرك موسكو ومعها دمشق بأنه إذا ما غادرت روسيا موقعها السياسي والعسكري فإن التبعات ستكون خطرة جداً على المنطقة
تدرك موسكو ومعها دمشق بأنه إذا ما غادرت روسيا موقعها السياسي والعسكري فإن التبعات ستكون خطرة جداً على المنطقة

قد تكون زيارة وزير شؤون الرئاسة السورية إلى موسكو على رأس وفد اقتصادي، قبل أيام، قد مرَّت بعيداً من التداول الإعلامي، رغم ارتباطها الوثيق باستكمال المحادثات أو الاتفاقيات الروسية السورية، التي تمّ التوصل إليها خلال زيارة نائب رئيس الحكومة الروسية بوريسوف الأخيرة والوفد الروسي، وبات من الممكن البناء عليها لإطلاق ورقة شراكة روسية سورية لمواجهة العقوبات، بما فيها قانون “قيصر” الأميركي.

ازدحام القراءات والتأويلات لزيارة الوفد الروسي وحضور سيرغي لافروف بعد 8 سنوات إلى دمشق، يمكن تفسيره بأنه مجرد مساومة اقتصادية روسية مؤقتة – لعبور الحاجز النفسي الذي خلّفه الضغط الأميركي على موسكو، ومنع إعادة العملية السياسية إلى جنيف، وممارسة ضغط داخلي روسي من قبل تيار يعارض سياسة بوتين في سوريا – بوجوب التوصل إلى تفاهمات نهائية حول اللجنة الدستورية قبل الانتخابات الرئاسية السورية في حزيران/يونيو 2021.

هذه الزيارة، كما تؤكد النتائج، ليست أبعد من دعم كامل للدولة السورية سياسياً واقتصادياً، فهي لا تندرج تحت عنوان مبادرات روسية تقايض أو تساوم مواقف دمشق حول العملية السياسية أو تحرير إدلب أو حتى الشرق السوري. كان حضور لافروف في دمشق على خلفية قانون “قيصر”، وليس أستانة أو أي عنوان آخر.

ومن مآخذ البعض في موسكو على دمشق، مواقفها المتصلّبة في وجه الطروحات الروسية، ما يستدعي إبداء مرونة في التفاوض من جانب الطرف السوري، والتخفف من بعض الشكليات التي قد تُفسَّر على نحو أن القيادة السورية لا ترغب في التعاون أو إنجاز أي تقدم على صعيد العملية السياسية قبل الانتخابات، وترديد عبارة أن لا اتفاق من دون الاتفاق على كل شيء.

في المقابل، ترى دمشق أن العملية السياسية يجب أن تكون مبنية على استراتيجية مرحلية طويلة الأمد، لتجنب أفخاخ قد تضعها تركيا من خلال مجموعاتها داخل وفد المعارضة، كما تحدث الرئيس الأسد في لقاءاته الأخيرة إلى وسائل إعلام روسية.

ولم تسمح أرتال السيارات المزدحمة أمام محطات الوقود في المدن السورية منذ شهرين بتلمّس الدعم الروسي للتخفيف من تبعات “قيصر” ووطأته، ثم جاءت الخسائر الهائلة في حرائق الأحراج والأراضي الزراعية في أرياف اللاذقية وحمص وطرطوس وحماة، الأمر الذي تلقفته السفارة الأميركية في دمشق سريعاً، لتدعو الحكومة السورية إلى حماية مواطنيها، في محاولة ساذجة وخطاب غير محترف، لاختبار قدرتها على تأليب البيئة الحاضنة، كما وعد “قيصر” في طيات أهدافه، من دون فهم أميركيّ لخصوصية هذه البيئة التي ثبتت على مواقفها طيلة الحرب، رغم كل الضغوطات المعيشية والأمنية على حياتها. 

تدرك موسكو، ومعها دمشق، بعد 5 سنوات على الوجود الروسي في سوريا، أن تبعات مغادرة روسيا موقعها السياسي والعسكري في سوريا ستكون خطيرة جداً على المنطقة، فالتواجد الروسي يهدف إلى ضمان الأمن، وجعل النظام العالمي أكثر عدلاً وتوازناً، كما قال الرئيس الأسد. إنّ نقل أنقرة للمسلحين من المجموعات الإخوانية والقاعدية إلى جبهة أذربيجان، وقبلها ليبيا، ليس إلا أولى ملامح توسع المشروع التركي في الإقليم بعد فشله في سوريا، وهو أساس انخراط موسكو في الحرب السورية، ولن تسمح بانتقاله إلى أسوارها.

Before the Bidens ‘Did’ Ukraine, There Was Iraq – and Serbia

Before The Bidens “Did” Ukraine, There Was Iraq… And Serbia – Finanz.dk
Analyst, former U.S. diplomat and foreign policy adviser to the Senate GOP leadership

James George Jatras

October 16, 2020

The United States approaches the November 2020 election with growing apprehension, even dread.

Among the possibilities:

For those who have followed events outside the United States during the past few decades, much of this sounds familiar. We’ve seen it before – inflicted on other countries.

Now It’s Coming Home to the U.S.

As explained by Revolver News, what happens in America next to a great extent may be a form of blowback from a specific event: the U.S.-supported 2014 regime change operation in Ukraine:

‘A “Color Revolution” in this context refers to a specific type of coordinated attack that the United States government has been known to deploy against foreign regimes, particularly in Eastern Europe deemed to be “authoritarian” and hostile to American interests. Rather than using a direct military intervention to effect regime change as in Iraq, Color Revolutions attack a foreign regime by contesting its electoral legitimacy, organizing mass protests and acts of civil disobedience, and leveraging media contacts to ensure favorable coverage to their agenda in the Western press.

‘It would be disturbing enough to note a coordinated effort to use these exact same strategies and tactics domestically to undermine or overthrow President Trump. The ominous nature of what we see unfolding before us only truly hits home when one realizes that the people who specialize in these Color Revolution regime change operations overseas are, literally, the very same people attempting to overthrow Trump by using the very same playbook. Given that the most famous Color Revolution was the [2004] “Orange Revolution” in the Ukraine, and that Black Lives Matter is being used as a key component of the domestic Color Revolution against Trump, we can encapsulate our thesis at Revolver with the simple remark that “Black is the New Orange.”

This hardly should come as a surprise. The same government agencies and their corporate, NGO, and think tank cronies that are now weaponizing Black Lives Matter, Antifa, other Wokesters, and military putsch plotters here at home to remove Trump have turned regime change abroad into an art form. Ukraine was one of their signal successes, featuring a cast of characters later key to the failed “Ukrainegate” impeachment.

Another consequence of regime change: corruption. As the old saying goes, any idiot can turn an aquarium into fish soup, but no one has yet figured out how to reverse the process. Once a country gets broken it tends to stay broken, whether the “breaking” is accomplished by military means (Serbia 1999, Iraq 2003, Libya 2011) or by a color revolution from the streets (Serbia 2000, Georgia 2003, Ukraine 2004-2005 and again in 2014, Kyrgyzstan 2005, Lebanon 2005, Armenia 2018, plus many others of varying degrees of success, and failures in Iran, Russia, Venezuela, China (Hong Kong), and Belarus). With the target nation’s institutions in shambles, the dregs take over – in Libya, for example, even to the point of reintroducing trade in sub-Saharan African slaves, whose black lives evidently don’t matter to anyone at all.

Iraq: Crush, Corrupt, Cash In

Finally, once regime change occurs and corruption is rampant, another shoe drops: foreign vultures descend on the carcass, profiteers who in many cases are the very same people that helped to create the chaos on which they are cashing in. Invariably, these carpetbaggers are well-connected individuals in the aggressor states and organizations positioned on the inside track both for the carve-up of the target country’s resources and (the word “hypocrisy” doesn’t begin to describe it) for funds to implement “reform” and “reconstruction” of the devastated target.

The showcase of this scam, pursuant to Colin Powell’s reported “Pottery Barn Rule” (You break it, you own it) was the money ostensibly spent on rebuilding Iraq, despite assurances from the war’s advocates that it would pay for itself. With the formal costs conservatively set at over $60 billion to $138 billion out of a tab for the war of over two trillion dollars, the lion’s share of it went to U.S. and other vendors, including the notorious $1.4 billion no-bid contract to Halliburton subsidiary KBR, of which then-Vice President Dick Cheney, a major proponent of the war, had been a top executive. (“Rand Paul Says Dick Cheney Pushed for the Iraq War So Halliburton Would Profit.”)

In Ukraine, Biden’s Son Also Rises

The predatory cronyism vignette most pertinent to the Black/Orange regime change op now unfolding before us with the intent of installing Joe Biden in the Oval Office is that of his son, Hunter, and a Ukrainian energy company with a sketchy reputation, Burisma Holdings. (Right at the outset, even some of Hunter’s associates though the gig with Burisma was too “toxic” and broke off ties with him.) Though ignored or dismissed as fake news and a conspiracy theory by Democrats and legacy media (or do I repeat myself?), the facts are well enough known and fit the Iraq pattern to a T: then-Vice President Joe Biden pushed for regime change in Ukraine, which succeeded in February 2014 with the ouster of the constitutionally elected president, Viktor Yanukovych. In April 2014, Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, was brought onto Burisma’s board (along with a fellow named Devon Archer, later convicted of unrelated fraud) at an exorbitant level of compensation that made little sense in light of Hunter’s nonexistent expertise in the energy business – but which made plenty of sense given that his dad was not only Veep but the Obama administration’s point man on policy toward Ukraine, including foreign assistance money. [NOTE: It now has come out that in 2015 Hunter put his dad, the U.S. Vice President, in direct contact with Burisma, news the giant tech firms sought to suppress on social media.]

When a troublesome Ukrainian prosecutor named Viktor Shokin seemed to be taking too much interest in Burisma, Papa Joe came to the rescue, openly threatening the western-dependent politicians installed after Ukraine’s 2014 color revolution with withholding of a billion dollars in U.S. aid until Shokin, whom Joe unironically alleged to be “corrupt,” got the heave-ho. As Tucker Carlson nails it, Shokin’s ouster followed a direct request from Burisma’s Clinton-connected PR firm, Blue Star Strategies, to Hunter to lobby his dad to get Shokin off their back. Joe did just what was asked. He later bragged: “I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here [i.e., Kiev] in, I think it was about six hours.’ I looked at them and said, ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a bitch. He got fired.”

But First There Was Serbia

Today many people remember Iraq, some have a clue about Ukraine. But Serbia, which preceded them, is off the radar screen of most Americans. To recap:

As a Senator in the 1990s, Joe Biden was one of the most militant advocates of U.S. military action against Serbs during the breakup of the Yugoslav federation, first in Croatia (1991-95), then in Bosnia (1992-95), and then in Serbia’s province of Kosovo (1998- 1999). (As has been said about others like Hillary Clinton and the late John McCain, Biden evidently has never met a war he didn’t like. Along with Hillary, in 2003 Biden helped to whip Senate Democrat votes for the Bush-Cheney Iraq war.) Channeling his inner John McCain, Biden continually called for the U.S. to bomb, bomb, bomb bomb the Serbs while (in a foreshadowing of the Obama-Biden administration’s support for jihad terrorists in Libya and Syria, which ultimately resulted in the appearance of ISIS) pushed successfully for sending weapons to the Islamist regime in Bosnia and then for the U.S. to arm the Islamo-narco-terrorist group known as the “Kosovo Liberation Army” (KLA).

Joe Biden was the primary sponsor of the March 1999 Kosovo war authorization for military action against Serbia and Montenegro, S. Con. Res. 21. (As a little remembered historical note, Biden’s resolution might be seen as the last nail in the coffin of Congress’s constitutional war power. While S. Con. Res 21 passed the Senate, it failed in the House on a 213-213 tie vote, with Republicans overwhelmingly voting Nay. It didn’t matter. Bill Clinton, reeling from the Lewinsky scandal, went ahead with the bombing campaign anyway.) The ensuing 78-day NATO air operation had little impact on Serbia’s military but devastated the country’s infrastructure and took hundreds of civilian lives. (Even now, more than 20 years later, Serbia suffers from elevated cancer levels attributed to depleted uranium munitions.) But for Jihad Joe even that wasn’t punishment enough for people he collectively demonized as “illiterate degenerates, baby killers, butchers, and rapists.” In May 1999, at the height of the NATO air assault, he called for the introduction of U.S. ground troops (“we should announce there’s going to be American casualties”) followed by “a Japanese-German style occupation.”

Eventually the bombing stopped in June 1999 when then-Serbian strongman Slobodan Milošević acceded to temporary international occupation of Kosovo on the condition that the province would remain part of Serbia, as codified in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244. It was a promise the U.S. and NATO, not to mention their European Union (EU) concubine, had no intention of keeping. Under the nose of the NATO occupation, ostensibly demobilized KLA thugs were given virtually free rein to terrorize the Serbian population, two-thirds of whom were driven out along with Jews and Roma, the rest sheltering in enclaves where they remain to this day. Orthodox Christian churches and monasteries, many of them centuries old, were particular targets for destruction and desecration. KLA commanders – who were also kingpins in the Kosovo Albanian mafia dealing in sex slaves, drugs, weapons, and even human organs – were handed local administration.

In 2007 Senator Biden praised the new order as a “victory for Muslim democracy” and “a much-needed example of a successful U.S.-Muslim partnership.” A year later, the Bush administration sought to complete the job by ramming through Kosovo’s independence in barefaced violation of UNSCR 1244 and despite strong Russian objections. But instead of resolving anything the result was a frozen conflict that persists today, with about half of the United Nations’ member states recognizing Kosovo and half not. Touting itself as the most pro-American “country” [sic] in the world, the Kosovo pseudo-state became a prime recruiting ground for ISIS.

But hey, business was good! Just as in Iraq, the politically well-connected, including former officials instrumental in the attack on Serbia and occupying Kosovo, flocked to the province fueled by lavish aid subsidies from the U.S. and the EU, which for a while made Kosovo one of the biggest per capita foreign assistance recipient “countries” in the world. One such vulture – sorry, entrepreneur – was former Secretary of State Madeleine we-think-a-half-million-dead-Iraqi-children-is-worth-it Albright, a prominent driver of the Clinton administration’s hostile policy on top of her personal Serb-hatred. Albright sought to cash in to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars on sale of the mobile telephone company PTK, originally a Yugoslav state-owned firm that was “privatized” (i.e., stolen) in 2005 as a joint stock company, but who later dropped her bid when it attracted unwanted publicity. Also in the hunt for Kosovo riches was former NATO Supreme Commander and operational chief of the Kosovo war General Wesley Clark, who reportedly cornered a major share of the occupied province’s coal resources under a sweetheart deal that seems to have vanished from public scrutiny since first reported in 2016.

At the moment there seems to be no smoking gun of a direct Biden family payout, à la Ukraine, but there is a possible trail via Hunter’s Burisma-buddy Devon Archer and Archer’s fellow-defendant John “Yanni” Galanis, who in turn is connected to top Kosovo Albanian politicians. In any case, the Biden clan seems to have paid a lot of attention to Kosovo for not having skin in the game. Joe’s late son and Delaware Attorney General, Beau, worked in Kosovo following the war to train local prosecutors as part of an OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) “rule of law” mission (admittedly a big task in a mafia-run pseudo-state), for which a road was named after him near the massive U.S. base Camp Bondsteel. With Hunter on hand for the naming ceremony, Joe Biden took the opportunity to express his “condolences” to Serbian families who lost loved ones in the NATO air assault – of which he was a primary advocate.

A ‘Shokin’ Demand  

Perhaps the best parallel between Biden’s handiwork in Ukraine and his interest in Kosovo also relates to getting rid of an inconvenient individual. But in this case, the person in question wasn’t a state official like Burisma prosecutor Viktor Shokin but a hierarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

In May 2009 Vice President Biden insisted on visiting one of Kosovo’s most venerable Serbian Orthodox Christian sites, the Visoki Dečani monastery. Ruling Bishop Artemije of the Eparchy of Raška and Prizren, which includes Kosovo and Metohija, refused to give his blessing for the visit, in effect telling Biden he was not welcome. Bishop Artemije long had been a bane of Biden and others advocating detachment of Kosovo from Serbia, starting with his first mission to Washington in 1997 as war clouds gathered. In 2004 Bishop Artemije sued the NATO powers in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg following their inaction to protect his flock during an anti-Serbian rampage by Muslim Albanian militants in March of that year. Then, in March 2006, as preparations were underway for a “final solution” to the Kosovo issue, Bishop Artemije launched an intensive multinational lobbying and public relations effort (in which Yours Truly was the lead professional) to try to derail the U.S. policy to which Biden had devoted so much attention. While the Bishop’s campaign was unsuccessful in reversing U.S. policy it was instrumental in delaying it for over a year – to howls of outrage from Biden’s associates in Washington. Thus, for Biden, the monastery visit snub by Bishop Artemije was adding insult to injury.

The end for Bishop Artemije came a few months later, at the beginning of 2010 at the time of two visits to Kosovo by U.S. Admiral Mark P. Fitzgerald, then Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa, and Commander, Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Naples, (who retired later that year, becoming, unsurprisingly, a consultant “with numerous defense and commercial maritime and aviation contractors”). At that time, an unconfirmed report indicated that a high NATO officer (whether Admiral Fitzgerald or someone else is not specified) stated in the course of one of his local meetings (this is verbatim or a close paraphrase): “What we need here is a more cooperative bishop.” (More details are available here. Since that posting last year the NATO command in Naples seems to have scrubbed the items about Fitzgerald’s 2010 visits from their site.)

Shortly afterwards, Biden’s troublesome priest was forcibly removed by police and exiled from his see, without ecclesiastical trial, by Church authorities in Belgrade under pressure from compliant Serbian politicians installed after the October 2000 color revolution, in turn pressured by NATO. The pretext? Transparently baseless charges of financial wrongdoing. In other words, bogus accusations of “corruption” – like against Ukraine’s Shokin.

One could almost hear Joe Biden chortle: “Well, son of a bitch. He got fired.”

But Look at the Bright Side…

Back to the incipient coup facing the United States, there should be no illusion that what’s at stake in the unfolding scenario for the removal of Donald Trump is not just his presidency but the survival of the historic American ethnos of which he is seen as an avatar by both his supporters and detractors. Remember, we’re dealing with predators and scavengers who are happy to burn the old, evil America down as long as they can achieve total power and continue to feather their cushy nests. Short of a blowout Trump victory by a margin too big to hijack, we’re headed for a dystopian state of affairs.

If they do manage to remove Trump, “by any means necessary,” and Joe Biden takes the helm, we can anticipate a bevy of globalist warmonger appointees that make Trump’s team look like disciples of Mahatma Gandhi. Among the names floated like Nicholas BurnsAntony BlinkenMichele FlournoyEvelyn Farkas, and Anne-Marie Slaughter, all were on board with Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, Syria … [NOTE: The Atlantic Council, known as NATO’s semi-official think tank in Washington and which will be instrumental in staffing a future Joe Biden administration, also has been the beneficiary of generous donations from Hunter Biden’s paymaster, Burisma.]

It’s a recipe for wars, regime changes, and color revolutions galore.

But to finish on a positive note, the potential future business opportunities will be endless!

أميركا تستجدي وقف العمليات ضدها في العراق.. هل تبحث عن كسب الوقت؟

المصدر: الميادين 12

تشرين اول 00:10

تبحث الإدارة الأميركية عن تهدئة في المناطق التي تحتلها قواتها، ولا سيما في العراق تجنباً لما ينغص على ترامب رهاناته الانتخابية، وقد وصل الأمر حد استجداء وقف العمليات، فهل ستشهد مرحلة ما بعد الانتخابات تصعيداً ضد الأميركيين في المنطقة؟

“فلترحل القوات الأجنبية طوعاً أو كرهاً” بذلك حسم العراقيون موقفهم سياسياً.. ومن بعد بالسلاح

تقر القوانين الدولية والأعراف، وتجمع الدساتير المحلية، على حق أي شعب بمقاومة الاحتلال. وفي التاريخ شواهد على أن الاحتلال مهما تجبر، فإنه لا يدوم. وتثبت التجارب أن القوة وحدها السبيل إلى ضمان الحرية وصون الكرامة.

“فلترحل القوات الأجنبية طوعاً أو كرهاً”، بذلك حسم العراقيون موقفهم سياسياً، ومن بعد بالسلاح.

لا فرق عند المقاومة العراقية أن يحدث انسحاب أميركي كامل بين رئاستين أو في حال استمرار الرئاسة الأميركية الحالية، فلا بديل أمام الأميركيين إلا جدولة انسحابهم بشكل واضح ودونه تصعيد في القتال.

لكننا قلما نسمع عن احتلال يستجدي المقاومة عدم استهداف جنوده حتى ينسحبوا، كحال الاحتلال الأميركي للعراق، وفقاً لما كشفه الناطق باسم كتائب حزب الله العراق للميادين.

من اللافت أن ترسل أميركا برسائل استجداء للمقاومة العراقية تناشدها وقف عملياتها ضد القوات الأميركية، خطوة أبلغتها الميادين على لسان المتحدث باسم كتائب حزب الله العراق محمد محيي، فبعد أن تمادى الاحتلال في جرائمه، وبعد طلب رسمي نيابي وحكومي بخروج القوات الأجنية من العراق، كان الحل الرد على المماطلة، عسكرياً.

مشاريع الأميركي وخططه فشلت في أفغانستان والعراق وسوريا، وبات أمام خيارين الانسحاب طواعية أو الانسحاب بالقوة.

قد يكون تكتيكاً من الرئيس الأميركي الذي يريد استخدام التهدئة كورقة انتخابية، وقد ينسحب الأمر على سوريا إذ تخاطب واشنطن الحكومة السورية خطاباً دبلوماسياً، فتدعوها إلى اتخاذ إجراءات لمكافحة الحرائق حماية للأرواح.

وفي غزل متبادل، تشيد طالبان بالرئيس الأميركي وتبرق بأمنياتها أن يكون الفوز من نصيبه، ما يثير تساؤلات حول ذاك الخطاب إن كان بناء على طلب من إدارته.

تبدو أميركا في انقطاع كامل عما يحدث في العالم، فصمتها ميزة رافقت حرب القوقاز رغم تداخل المصالح وتضاربها إقليمياً ودولياً، وأهمية المنطقة استراتيجياً، فهل تحاول إدارة ترامب إيهام الناخبين بنجاحات دبلوماسية في بؤر عديدة للتوتر؟ 

يؤكد الباحث السياسي والاستراتيجي، ريتشارد ويتز، أن “واشنطن ترغب بوقف الهجمات ضدها في العراق”، لافتاً إلى أن “واشنطن تعزل نفسها عن الازمات الخارجية حتى لا تلحق أي ضرر بالانتخابات”.

وقال ويتز للميادين، إن “الانسحاب الأميركي لن يتم خلال شهر أو اثنين لكن هو أمر تريده واشنطن”، مشيراً إلى أن “التطورات الميدانية والسياسية في العراق أدت الى تراجع النفوذ الأميركي هناك”.

من جهته، الباحث في مركز الهدف للدراسات، كاظم الحاج، يقول إن “المشروع الأميركي في العراق على وشك الانهيار، وقرار الشعب العراقي سيسرع ذلك”.

وأضاف الحاج للميادين، أن “الشعب العراقي لا يهتم من هو رئيس أميركا، وقرار إخراج القوات الأميركية لا رجعة فيه”، مؤكداً أن “مؤشر محور المقاومة ماض في اتجاه صحيح بافشال المشروع الأميركي في المنطقة”.

الحاج أوضح أن “في العلاقة بين طالبان وواشنطن تبادل منفعة ومصالح”، لافتاً إلى أن “أحلام الأميركيين في المنطقة تم دفنها عام 2006 بعد هزيمة إسرائيل في لبنان”.

 وقال إن “دول محور المقاومة واعية لما يخطط له الأميركي في المنطقة”، معتبراً “الإرادة والشجاعة لدى محور المقاومة ستنهي الأحلام الأميركية في المنطقة”.

وشدد الحاج على أن “الوكيل الأميركي في المنطقة أوهن من بيت العنكبوت”، منوهاً إلى أن “لا الوكيل الإسرائيلي ولا الأصيل الأميركي يستطيع فرض أي شيء على شعوب المنطقة”.

بدوره، الكاتب والمحلل السياسي، مهند الضاهر، قال إن “ما يفكر به ترامب حالياً ليس الانسحاب بل الفوز بالانتخابات”.

وأضاف الضاهر للميادين، أن “المشروع الأميركي وصل إلى مرحلة الانحسار في المنطقة”، مشيراً إلى أن “لغة السفارة الأميركية في دمشق تجاه سوريا ليست لغة دبلوماسية”.

الضاهر اعتبر أن “الأميركي يبحث عن المزيد من الفوضى في سياسته في المنطقة”، مؤكداً أن “الأميركي يدرك أن القادم من الأيام صعب جداً عليه”.

John Lennon at 80: One Man Against the Deep State ‘Monster’

By John Whitehead

Source

“You gotta remember, establishment, it’s just a name for evil. The monster doesn’t care whether it kills all the students or whether there’s a revolution. It’s not thinking logically, it’s out of control.”—John Lennon (1969)

John Lennon, born 80 years ago on October 9, 1940, was a musical genius and pop cultural icon.

He was also a vocal peace protester and anti-war activist, and a high-profile example of the lengths to which the Deep State will go to persecute those who dare to challenge its authority.

Long before Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning were being castigated for blowing the whistle on the government’s war crimes and the National Security Agency’s abuse of its surveillance powers, it was Lennon who was being singled out for daring to speak truth to power about the government’s warmongering, his phone calls monitored and data files illegally collected on his activities and associations.

For a while, at least, Lennon became enemy number one in the eyes of the U.S. government.

Years after Lennon’s assassination it would be revealed that the FBI had collected 281 pages of files on him, including song lyrics. J. Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI at the time, directed the agency to spy on the musician. There were also various written orders calling on government agents to frame Lennon for a drug bust. “The FBI’s files on Lennon … read like the writings of a paranoid goody-two-shoes,” observed reporter Jonathan Curiel.

Document with portions of text blacked out, dated 1972.

Confidential (here declassified and censored) letter by J. Edgar Hoover about FBI surveillance of John Lennon (Public Domain)

As the New York Times notes, “Critics of today’s domestic surveillance object largely on privacy grounds. They have focused far less on how easily government surveillance can become an instrument for the people in power to try to hold on to power. ‘The U.S. vs. John Lennon’ … is the story not only of one man being harassed, but of a democracy being undermined.”

Indeed, all of the many complaints we have about government today—surveillance, militarism, corruption, harassment, SWAT team raids, political persecution, spying, overcriminalization, etc.—were present in Lennon’s day and formed the basis of his call for social justice, peace and a populist revolution.

For all of these reasons, the U.S. government was obsessed with Lennon, who had learned early on that rock music could serve a political end by proclaiming a radical message. More importantly, Lennon saw that his music could mobilize the public and help to bring about change. Lennon believed in the power of the people. Unfortunately, as Lennon recognized: “The trouble with government as it is, is that it doesn’t represent the people. It controls them.”

However, as Martin Lewis writing for Time notes: “John Lennon was not God. But he earned the love and admiration of his generation by creating a huge body of work that inspired and led. The appreciation for him deepened because he then instinctively decided to use his celebrity as a bully pulpit for causes greater than his own enrichment or self-aggrandizement.”

For instance, in December 1971 at a concert in Ann Arbor, Mich., Lennon took to the stage and in his usual confrontational style belted out “John Sinclair,” a song he had written about a man sentenced to 10 years in prison for possessing two marijuana cigarettes. Within days of Lennon’s call for action, the Michigan Supreme Court ordered Sinclair released.

What Lennon did not know at the time was that government officials had been keeping strict tabs on the ex-Beatle they referred to as “Mr. Lennon.” Incredibly, FBI agents were in the audience at the Ann Arbor concert, “taking notes on everything from the attendance (15,000) to the artistic merits of his new song.”

The U.S. government, steeped in paranoia, was spying on Lennon.

By March 1971, when his “Power to the People” single was released, it was clear where Lennon stood. Having moved to New York City that same year, Lennon was ready to participate in political activism against the U. S. government, the “monster” that was financing the war in Vietnam.

The release of Lennon’s Sometime in New York City album, which contained a radical anti-government message in virtually every song and depicted President Richard Nixon and Chinese Chairman Mao Tse-tung dancing together nude on the cover, only fanned the flames of the conflict to come.

The official U.S. war against Lennon began in earnest in 1972 after rumors surfaced that Lennon planned to embark on a U.S. concert tour that would combine rock music with antiwar organizing and voter registration. Nixon, fearing Lennon’s influence on about 11 million new voters (1972 was the first year that 18-year-olds could vote), had the ex-Beatle served with deportation orders “in an effort to silence him as a voice of the peace movement.”

Then again, the FBI has had a long history of persecuting, prosecuting and generally harassing activists, politicians, and cultural figures. Most notably among the latter are such celebrated names as folk singer Pete Seeger, painter Pablo Picasso, comic actor and filmmaker Charlie Chaplin, comedian Lenny Bruce and poet Allen Ginsberg.

Among those most closely watched by the FBI was Martin Luther King Jr., a man labeled by the FBI as “the most dangerous and effective Negro leader in the country.” With wiretaps and electronic bugs planted in his home and office, King was kept under constant surveillance by the FBI with the aim of “neutralizing” him. He even received letters written by FBI agents suggesting that he either commit suicide or the details of his private life would be revealed to the public. The FBI kept up its pursuit of King until he was felled by a hollow-point bullet to the head in 1968.

Lennon and Ono sit in front of flowers and placards bearing the word "peace." Lennon is only partly visible, and he holds an acoustic guitar. Ono wears a white dress, and there is a hanging microphone in front of her. In the foreground of the image are three men, one of them a guitarist facing away, and a woman.

Recording “Give Peace a Chance” during the Bed-In for Peace at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Montreal (CC BY 2.5/Roy Kerwood)

While Lennon was not—as far as we know—being blackmailed into suicide, he was the subject of a four-year campaign of surveillance and harassment by the U.S. government (spearheaded by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover), an attempt by President Richard Nixon to have him “neutralized” and deported. As Adam Cohen of the New York Times points out, “The F.B.I.’s surveillance of Lennon is a reminder of how easily domestic spying can become unmoored from any legitimate law enforcement purpose. What is more surprising, and ultimately more unsettling, is the degree to which the surveillance turns out to have been intertwined with electoral politics.”

As Lennon’s FBI file shows, memos and reports about the FBI’s surveillance of the anti-war activist had been flying back and forth between Hoover, the Nixon White House, various senators, the FBI and the U.S. Immigration Office.

Nixon’s pursuit of Lennon was relentless and in large part based on the misperception that Lennon and his comrades were planning to disrupt the 1972 Republican National Convention. The government’s paranoia, however, was misplaced.

Left-wing activists who were on government watch lists and who shared an interest in bringing down the Nixon Administration had been congregating at Lennon’s New York apartment. But when they revealed that they were planning to cause a riot, Lennon balked. As he recounted in a 1980 interview, “We said, We ain’t buying this. We’re not going to draw children into a situation to create violence so you can overthrow what? And replace it with what? . . . It was all based on this illusion, that you can create violence and overthrow what is, and get communism or get some right-wing lunatic or a left-wing lunatic. They’re all lunatics.”

Despite the fact that Lennon was not part of the “lunatic” plot, the government persisted in its efforts to have him deported. Equally determined to resist, Lennon dug in and fought back. Every time he was ordered out of the country, his lawyers delayed the process by filing an appeal. Finally, in 1976, Lennon won the battle to stay in the country when he was granted a green card. As he said afterwards, “I have a love for this country…. This is where the action is. I think we’ll just go home, open a tea bag, and look at each other.”

Lennon’s time of repose didn’t last long, however. By 1980, he had re-emerged with a new album and plans to become politically active again.

The old radical was back and ready to cause trouble. In his final interview on Dec. 8, 1980, Lennon mused, “The whole map’s changed and we’re going into an unknown future, but we’re still all here, and while there’s life there’s hope.”

The Deep State has a way of dealing with troublemakers, unfortunately. On Dec. 8, 1980, Mark David Chapman was waiting in the shadows when Lennon returned to his New York apartment building. As Lennon stepped outside the car to greet the fans congregating outside, Chapman, in an eerie echo of the FBI’s moniker for Lennon, called out, “Mr. Lennon!”

Lennon turned and was met with a barrage of gunfire as Chapman—dropping into a two-handed combat stance—emptied his .38-caliber pistol and pumped four hollow-point bullets into his back and left arm. Lennon stumbled, staggered forward and, with blood pouring from his mouth and chest, collapsed to the ground.

John Lennon was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. He had finally been “neutralized.”

Yet where those who neutralized the likes of John Lennon, Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Robert Kennedy and others go wrong is in believing that you can murder a movement with a bullet and a madman.

Lennon and Ono performing at the John Sinclair Freedom Rally in December 1971 (Public Domain)

Thankfully, Lennon’s legacy lives on in his words, his music and his efforts to speak truth to power. As Yoko Ono shared in a 2014 letter to the parole board tasked with determining whether Chapman should be released: “A man of humble origin, [John Lennon] brought light and hope to the whole world with his words and music. He tried to be a good power for the world, and he was. He gave encouragement, inspiration and dreams to people regardless of their race, creed and gender.”

Sadly, not much has changed for the better in the world since Lennon walked among us.

Peace remains out of reach. Activism and whistleblowers continue to be prosecuted for challenging the government’s authority. Militarism is on the rise, with local police dressed like the military, all the while the governmental war machine continues to wreak havoc on innocent lives across the globe.

For those of us who joined with John Lennon to imagine a world of peace, it’s getting harder to reconcile that dream with the reality of the American police state.

Meanwhile, as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, those who dare to speak up are labeled dissidents, troublemakers, terrorists, lunatics, or mentally ill and tagged for surveillance, censorship, involuntary detention or, worse, even shot and killed in their own homes by militarized police.

As Lennon shared in a 1968 interview:

“I think all our society is run by insane people for insane objectives… I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal means. If anybody can put on paper what our government and the American government and the Russian… Chinese… what they are actually trying to do, and what they think they’re doing, I’d be very pleased to know what they think they’re doing. I think they’re all insane. But I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it.”

So what’s the answer?

Lennon had a multitude of suggestions.

“If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.”

“War is over if you want it.”

“Produce your own dream…. It’s quite possible to do anything, but not to put it on the leaders…. You have to do it yourself. That’s what the great masters and mistresses have been saying ever since time began. They can point the way, leave signposts and little instructions in various books that are now called holy and worshipped for the cover of the book and not for what it says, but the instructions are all there for all to see, have always been and always will be. There’s nothing new under the sun. All the roads lead to Rome. And people cannot provide it for you. I can’t wake you up. You can wake you up. I can’t cure you. You can cure you.”

“Peace is not something you wish for; It’s something you make, Something you do, Something you are, And something you give away.”

“If you want peace, you won’t get it with violence.”

And my favorite advice of all:

“Say you want a revolution / We better get on right away / Well you get on your feet / And out on the street / Singing power to the people.”

US Is the Top Human Rights Violator in the World, and It’s Not Even Close

By Danny Haiphong

Source

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Few things are more politicized and distorted in the United States than the subject of human rights. Over the last two generations, the U.S. political class and its conduits in the corporate media have weaponized human rights to serve an imperialist agenda. NGOs such as Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International tend to focus much of their time crafting human rights narratives on matters of critical importance to the U.S. Department of State. Syria, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and a host of countries have been condemned by these organizations for alleged human rights violations. Since 2018, China has been targeted for the same treatment.

China is accused of detaining millions of Xinjiang-based Uyghurs in “concentration camps.” Thanks to Ajit Singh and The Grayzone, we know that the sources for these allegations are far from reliable. We know that the principle source for all things Xinjiang in the U.S. is Adrian Zenz, a far-right Christian fundamentalist who believes he is led by God to overthrow the Communist Party of China. We know that the Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders responsible for the study that conducted a total of eight total interviews to derive conclusions of mass Uyghur internment is heavily funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a CIA-linked organization. We also know that the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) currently leading the charge to demonize China on human rights issues is sponsored by military contractors such as Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.

The primary concern of institutions such as ASPI is not the issue of human rights, but rather the creation of an atmosphere of war that will service its donors in the U.S. weapons industry. This is exactly what the propagation of the “Uyghur oppression” narrative has achieved. While relying completely on speculation, faulty satellite imagery, and testimonies from Uyghur-exile groups funded by the NED, the successful penetration of the baseless claim that China is detaining millions of Muslims in camps has played an important role in building up public support in the U.S. for a New Cold War against China. U.S. public opinion of China has dropped significantly over the past year. The U.S. has used the Uyghur human rights narrative to successfully sanction businesses and Communist Party of China officials in Xinjiang.

When U.S. officials accuse other countries of human rights violations, what comes afterward is always far worse than the allegations. After 9/11, U.S. intelligence agencies accused Saddam Hussein of stockpiling non-existent Weapons of Mass destruction. The U.S. went on to invade Iraq in 2003—a war that caused the death of over one million Iraqi civilians and poisoned thousands more with toxic depleted uranium. In 2011, Muammar Gaddafi was accused of “murdering his own people” only to have Libya transformed into a failed state following a more than six month bombing campaign by NATO to protect a jihadist insurgency. Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has been repeatedly accused of using chemical weapons “on his own people.” Syria has been mired in an endless war with both the U.S. and its regional allies which has left hundreds of thousands of dead, millions displaced, and nearly one-third of its oil-rich and water-rich territory occupied by the U.S. military.

These examples are just a few of many that demonstrate why the U.S. is the chief human rights violator in the world. However, it is important to note that how the United States conducts itself abroad is a reflection of the myriad of ways that it violates the human rights of people living in the United States. Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Sandra Bland, and Michael Brown are just a few of hundreds of examples of Black Americans that have been killed by police officers without redress. An average of 1,000 people in the United States are killed by police officers each year. Unlike the U.S.-led Xinjiang narrative, it is well-documented that over 2 million people reside in U.S. prisons and that nearly three-quarters of that prison population is Black, Latino, or Native American.

The U.S. is home to a quarter of all prisoners in the world. Around 80,000 of these prisoners are held in solitary confinement, a practice of prolonged isolation that the U.N. has firmly declared to be an act of torture. Research suggests that solitary confinement is directly linked to a host of psychological maladies from psychosis to suicide. Solitary confinement also causes lasting structural damage to the brain, especially in the hippocampus region responsible for memory and spatial awareness. Widespread use of solitary confinement in the U.S. is not a benign practice but one that specifically targets racial groups. Over forty percent of all male prisoners in solitary confinement are Black American. The world has long known that the U.S. engages in torture abroad at CIA black sites and Guantanamo Bay Prison but fewer are aware of how torture is commonplace in the U.S.’ numerous prisons.

For decades, the U.S. has accused countries such as China of the very policies that make up the foundations of its domestic and foreign policy. U.S. elites have accused China of suppressing free speech but say little about the NSA’s massive surveillance program or the attempted extradition of a non-citizen in Julian Assange for publishing documents relating to U.S. war crimes. China has been accused of sterilizing ethnic minorities yet U.S. officials have failed to scrutinize documented cases of sterilization within U.S. immigration detention centers or its mistreatment of Muslim citizens since the War on Terror was declared in 2001. The Economist has accused China of using its anti-poverty campaign to build loyalty to the Communist Party of China but has yet to call out Joe Biden or Donald Trump for ignoring the needs of the forty percent of people in the U.S. who have virtually no disposable income. China is routinely accused of possessing an “aggressive” foreign policy by the same policy makers and thought leaders who have kept the U.S. at war for more than two-hundred years of its existence.

The ideology of American exceptionalism has created the illusion that the U.S. deserves to hold a monopoly on the issue of human rights. American exceptionalism presumes that the United States is the model example for countries and peoples all over the world. However, the days when the world was forced to bow to the U.S. are over. Most of the world sees the U.S. as the biggest threat to human rights and a peaceful existence. The U.S.’s human rights track record suggests that the world is correct, and it is the entire planet that suffers when issues such as war, climate change, poverty, and racism are blamed on China rather than addressed with solidarity and cooperation at a global level. 

العقوبات الأميركيّة المتوحّشة

المصدر

على أبواب الانتخابات الرئاسية الأميركية تطبّق إدارة الرئيس دونالد ترامب حزمة عقوبات على المصارف الإيرانية بالجملة لمنع التعامل معها من كل مصارف العالم، ما يعني وفقاً لوصف وزير الخارجية الإيرانية محمد جواد ظريف إغلاق المنفذ الذي يعرف الأميركيون أنه لا يستخدم إلا لعمليات شراء الغذاء والدواء.

إذا كان الأميركيون يعلمون أن قراراتهم التصعيديّة لن تصيب ما يعتبرونه مصدر انزعاجهم من السياسات الإيرانيّة النوويّة والعسكريّة والإقليميّة، وإذا كان الأميركيون يعلمون أن إجراءاتهم لن تغير في الموقف السياسي لإيران بل ستزيدها تشدداً، وإذا كان الأميركيون يعلمون وفقاً لتجاربهم أن تدفيع الشعب الإيراني عبر صحته وغذائه ثمن قراراتهم لن يؤدي لفك هذا الشعب عن قيادته ودفعه إلى الشوارع، فلماذا يقدمون عليها خلافاً لادعائهم بالفصل والتمييز بين مشاكلهم مع القيادة الإيرانية وادعائهم الحرص على الشعب الإيراني؟

لا جواب سياسي عقلاني يفسر الخطوات الأميركية، والتفسير الوحيد هو أن حياة الشعوب لم تعُد تملك أي حصانة في الألاعيب السياسية الصغيرة فرئيس ضعيف انتخابياً يتوهم أن إظهار صورة الرئيس القوي بالبطش بحياة ملايين البشر قد يحسّن ظروف فوزه لن يتورّع عن أي خطوات متوحشة من أجل كتابة تغريدة تقول إنه رئيس قوي سواء عبر مثل هذه العقوبات أو خوض حرب مدمّرة لا تردعه عنها القيم بل الخشية من التداعيات.

الحال في سورية لا تختلف مع العقوبات الأميركية، حيث يعاني السوريون في سعر عملتهم الوطنية وفي موارد حياتهم، وخصوصاً الصحيّة بسبب العقوبات وتعيش سورية بسببها أزمات محروقات مستدامة تعبيرات مختلفة عن حال التوحّش التي أدخلتها الإدارات الأميركية إلى السياسة الدولية.

إقفال المصارف في مناطق حزب الله والثغرة اللبنانية السوداء…!

 السيد سامي خضرا

يتفنَّن الأميركيون دوماً في التآمر وأذيَّة الشعوب مُرفقين ذلك بكثيرٍ من العنجهية والغرور.

وهذا واضحٌ من خلال سلوك مسؤوليهم ودبلوماسيّيهم الرسميين.

وتُعاني الكثير من الشعوب من الاعتداءات الأميركية العسكرية والأمنية والاقتصادية وغيرها.

ونحن في لبنان كنا نتعرّض دوماً لمثل هذه الاعتداءات المُستمرة على مستوياتٍ مُختلفة، لكنها ازدادت في السنة الأخيرة لتصبح أكثر صلافةً ووقاحةً، خاصةً أنها تجري بتواطؤ داخلي صريح من زعماء وموظفين وجهات كانوا في كلّ تاريخهم وديعةً أميركيةً تُستعمل عند الحاجة!

فالذي يُعانيه اللبنانيون في الأشهر الأخيرة ما هو إلا نتيجة القرارات المؤامرات التي يُنفِّذها الفريق الأميركي الذي يتسلّم الملف اللبناني والذي كان من جملة جرائمه المخالِفة لكلّ القوانين أن هدَّدُوا وفرضوا على المصارف اللبنانية اتباع خطوات معينة وإلا سوف يتعرّضون لعقوبات!

وأقدموا على نماذج لذلك!

وما يؤسَفُ له أنّ المصارف في لبنان ليست بحاجة لتهديد فهي مُنصاعةٌ متواطئةٌ أصلاً.

بل إنّ الكثير من أصحاب ومؤثِّري وأصحاب القرارات في المصارف هم فضلاً عن مصالحهم الأميركية يسيرون مع سياستها بالتلميح ودون حاجة إلى التصريح.

ولعلّ أهمّ اعتداء حصل هذا العام هو مُصادرة كلّ أموال اللبنانيين قاطبة هكذا بطريقةٍ مافيَوِيَّة نظنّ أن لا مثيل لها في العالم أو هي نادرة، وبالرغم من ذلك لم يتحرك أحدٌ تحركاً جدياً للمطالبة بحقوق اللبنانيين!

بل من الإهانة أنّ المسؤولين الأميركيين يُهدّدون ويطرحون خططهم علناً دون استحياء… ولا من مُعلِّق ولا من مُجيب!

وبالأمس تقدّم عددٌ من المسؤولين الأميركيين باقتراح إقفال المصارف في المناطق التي ينشط فيها حزب الله أو له فيها قوة ونفوذ!

هكذا بكلّ وقاحة وبإجراء لم يُعهَد في كلّ أنحاء العالم يريد هؤلاء مع عملائهم داخل لبنان أن يقوموا بخطوةٍ لمُحاصرة جماهير وأنصار مجتمع المقاومة!

وليس مُستغرَباً أن تكون هذه الخطوة من جملة التصرف الأرعن للإدارة الأميركية وأن ينعكس عليها سلباً وليس بالضرورة أن يكون إيجابياً أو لصالحها أو أن يخدم مُخطَّطاتها العدوانية.

فكيف يمكن تحديد فروع المصارف تَبَعاً للمناطق؟

وكيف يمكن تمييز هذا الحيّ عن هذا أو هذه المنطقة عن هذه أو هذا الشارع عن الشارع الآخر؟

وكيف يمكن تحديد المناطق صاحبة النفوذ إنْ كان فيها خليطٌ من الناس؟

ومن يَمنع صاحب المُعاملة أن ينتقل من منطقة إلى أخرى أو من حيّ إلى آخر لإنجاز معاملته؟

إلى العديد من التساؤلات التي نعتقد أنها سوف تزيد من الإرباك والتخبُّط لكلّ الفرَقاء والمواطنين اللبنانيين ومن جملتهم الشخصيات والجهات وأصحاب المصارف الذين أثبتوا طوال هذه الأزمة أنهم ليسوا بمستوى المسؤولية حتى لا نقول أكثر وهم يستحقون ذلك الأكثر…

بل هم فعلاً وحقيقةً يُخربون بيوتهم بأيديهم من شدة غبائهم وانقيادهم!

نحن اليوم وبانتظار هذا القرار وغيره وحتى نكون صادقين وواقعيين لن ننتظر موقفاً إيجابياً لا من الحكومة اللبنانية ولا من الاتحاد الأوروبي ولا من جهة نافذة أخرى، وسوف نعتبر أنّ هذه الإجراءات المُتخمة بالأذيَّة ليست هي التجربة الأولى في حياة الشعوب الصامدة والمكافحة والمناضلة في وجه الاستعمار بما فيهم الأميركي.

ولا زلنا نعيش تجارب الصمود والقوّة ومهما كانت قاسية مع فنزويلا وكوبا وكوريا والهند وإيران وإنْ بِنسب مختلفة… فالحياة سوف تستمرّ.

لعلنا نحن في لبنان نختلف عن التجارب أعلاه بالتالي: في الدول صاحبة تجارب الصمود والقوة هناك سلطة مسؤولة تُخطط وتُنَفذ وتَصمد وتُواجه وتدعم وتضخّ المعنويات…

لكننا نحن في لبنان للأسف متروكون لِقَدَرِنا وتطوُّر الأحداث حتى يُحدِث الله أمراً كان مفعولاً.

فنقطة ضعفنا في لبنان هي:

عدم وجود مخطط حكومي للمواجهة والصمود والتوجيه والدعم بل هناك جهاتٌ وإعلامٌ لا ينام حتى ينتظر المايسترو الأميركي ليَتْلو على إيقاعاته أوجاع مواطنيه ويَتلذَّذ عليه سادياً!

John Pilger: Eyewitness to the Agony of Julian Assange

John Pilger Assange Feature photo

By John Pilger

Source

John Pilger has watched Julian Assange’s extradition trial from the public gallery at London’s Old Bailey. He spoke with Timothy Erik Ström of Arena magazine, Australia:

Q: Having watched Julian Assange’s trial firsthand, can you describe the prevailing atmosphere in the court?

The prevailing atmosphere has been shocking. I say that without hesitation; I have sat in many courts and seldom known such a corruption of due process; this is due revenge. Putting aside the ritual associated with ‘British justice’, at times it has been evocative of a Stalinist show trial. One difference is that in the show trials, the defendant stood in the court proper. In the Assange trial, the defendant was caged behind thick glass, and had to crawl on his knees to a slit in the glass, overseen by his guard, to make contact with his lawyers. His message, whispered barely audibly through face masks, WAS then passed by post-it the length of the court to where his barristers were arguing the case against his extradition to an American hellhole.

Consider this daily routine of Julian Assange, an Australian on trial for truth-telling journalism. He was woken at five o’clock in his cell at Belmarsh prison in the bleak southern sprawl of London. The first time I saw Julian in Belmarsh, having passed through half an hour of ‘security’ checks, including a dog’s snout in my rear, I found a painfully thin figure sitting alone wearing a yellow armband. He had lost more than 10 kilos in a matter of months; his arms had no muscle. His first words were: ‘I think I am losing my mind’.

I tried to assure him he wasn’t. His resilience and courage are formidable, but there is a limit. That was more than a year ago. In the past three weeks, in the pre-dawn, he was strip-searched, shackled, and prepared for transport to the Central Criminal Court, the Old Bailey, in a truck that his partner, Stella Moris, described as an upended coffin. It  had one small window; he had to stand precariously to look out. The truck and its guards were operated by Serco, one of many politically connected companies that run much of Boris Johnson’s Britain.

The journey to the Old Bailey took at least an hour and a half. That’s a minimum of three hours being jolted through snail-like traffic every day. He was led into his narrow cage at the back of the court, then look up, blinking, trying to make out faces in the public gallery through the reflection of the glass. He saw the courtly figure of his dad, John Shipton, and me, and our fists went up. Through the glass, he reached out to touch fingers with Stella, who is a lawyer and seated in the body of the court.

We were here for the ultimate of what the philosopher Guy Debord called The Society of the Spectacle: a man fighting for his life. Yet his crime is to have performed an epic public service: revealing that which we have a right to know: the lies of our governments and the crimes they commit in our name. His creation of WikiLeaks and its failsafe protection of sources revolutionised journalism, restoring it to the vision of its idealists. Edmund Burke’s notion of free journalism as a fourth estate is now a fifth estate that shines a light on those who diminish the very meaning of democracy with their criminal secrecy. That’s why his punishment is so extreme.

The sheer bias in the courts I have sat in this year and last year, with Julian in the dock, blight any notion of British justice. When thuggish police dragged him from his asylum in the Ecuadorean embassy—look closely at the photo and you’ll see he is clutching a Gore Vidal book; Assange has a political humour similar to Vidal’s—a judge gave him an outrageous 50-week sentence in a maximum-security prison for mere bail infringement.

For months, he was denied exercise and held in solitary confinement disguised as ‘heath care’. He once told me he strode the length of his cell, back and forth, back and forth, for his own half-marathon. In the next cell, the occupant screamed through the night. At first he was denied his reading glasses, left behind in the embassy brutality. He was denied the legal documents with which to prepare his case, and access to the prison library and the use of a basic laptop. Books sent to him by a friend, the journalist Charles Glass, himself a survivor of hostage-taking in Beirut, were returned. He could not call his American lawyers. He has been constantly medicated by the prison authorities. When I asked him what they were giving him, he couldn’t say. The governor of Belmarsh has been awarded the Order of the British Empire.

At the Old Bailey, one of the expert medical witnesses, Dr Kate Humphrey, a clinical neuropsychologist at Imperial College, London, described the damage: Julian’s intellect had gone from ‘in the superior, or more likely very superior range’ to ‘significantly below’ this optimal level, to the point where he was struggling to absorb information and ‘perform in the low average range’.

This is what the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Professor Nils Melzer, calls ‘psychological torture’, the result of a gang-like ‘mobbing’ by governments and their media shills. Some of the expert medical evidence is so shocking I have no intention of repeating it here. Suffice to say that Assange is diagnosed with autism and Asperger’s syndrome and, according to Professor Michael Kopelman, one of the world’s leading neuropsychiatrists, he suffers from ‘suicidal preoccupations’ and is likely to find a way to take his life if he is extradited to America.

James Lewis QC, America’s British prosecutor, spent the best part of his cross-examination of Professor Kopelman dismissing mental illness and its dangers as ‘malingering’. I have never heard in a modern setting such a primitive view of human frailty and vulnerability.

My own view is that if Assange is freed, he is likely to recover a substantial part of his life. He has a loving partner, devoted friends and allies and the innate strength of a principled political prisoner. He also has a wicked sense of humour.

But that is a long way off. The moments of collusion between the judge— a Gothic-looking magistrate called Vanessa Baraitser, about whom little is known—and the prosecution acting for the Trump regime have been brazen. Until the last few days, defence arguments have been routinely dismissed. The lead prosecutor, James Lewis QC, ex SAS and currently Chief Justice of the Falklands, by and large gets what he wants, notably up to four hours to denigrate expert witnesses, while the defence’s examination is guillotined at half an hour. I have no doubt, had there been a jury, his freedom would be assured.

The dissident artist Ai Weiwei came to join us one morning in the public gallery. He noted that in China the judge’s decision would already have been made. This caused some dark ironic amusement. My companion in the gallery, the astute diarist and former British ambassador Craig Murray wrote:

I fear that all over London a very hard rain is now falling on those who for a lifetime have worked within institutions of liberal democracy that at least broadly and usually used to operate within the governance of their own professed principles. It has been clear to me from Day 1 that I am watching a charade unfold. It is not in the least a shock to me that Baraitser does not think anything beyond the written opening arguments has any effect. I have again and again reported to you that, where rulings have to be made, she has brought them into court pre-written, before hearing the arguments before her.

I strongly expect the final decision was made in this case even before opening arguments were received.

The plan of the US Government throughout has been to limit the information available to the public and limit the effective access to a wider public of what information is available. Thus we have seen the extreme restrictions on both physical and video access. A complicit mainstream media has ensured those of us who know what is happening are very few in the wider population.

There are few records of the proceedings. They are Craig Murray’s personal blog, Joe Lauria’s live reporting on Consortium News, and the World Socialist Website. American journalist Kevin Gosztola’s blog, Shadowproof, funded mostly by himself, has reported more of the trial than the major US press and TV, including CNN, combined.

In Australia, Assange’s homeland, the ‘coverage’ follows a familiar formula set overseas. The London correspondent of the Sydney Morning Herald, Latika Bourke, wrote this recently:

The court heard Assange became depressed during the seven years he spent in the Ecuadorian embassy where he sought political asylum to escape extradition to Sweden to answer rape and sexual assault charges.

There were no ‘rape and sexual assault charges’ in Sweden. Bourke’s lazy falsehood is not uncommon. If the Assange trial is the political trial of the century, as I believe it is, its outcome will not only seal the fate of a journalist for doing his job but intimidate the very principles of free journalism and free speech. The absence of serious mainstream reporting of the proceedings is, at the very least, self-destructive. Journalists should ask: who is next?

How shaming it all is. A decade ago, the Guardian exploited Assange’s work, claimed its profit and prizes as well as a lucrative Hollywood deal, then turned on him with venom. Throughout the Old Bailey trial, two names have been cited by the prosecution, the Guardian’s David Leigh, now retired as ‘investigations editor’ and Luke Harding, the Russiaphobe and author of a fictional Guardian ‘scoop’ that claimed Trump adviser Paul Manafort and a group of Russians visited Assange in the Ecuadorean embassy. This never happened, and the Guardian has yet to apologise. The Harding and Leigh book on Assange—written behind their subject’s back—disclosed a secret password to a WikiLeaks file that Assange had entrusted to Leigh during the Guardian’s ‘partnership’. Why the defence has not called this pair is difficult to understand.

Assange is quoted in their book declaring during a dinner at a London restaurant that he didn’t care if informants named in the leaks were harmed. Neither Harding nor Leigh was at the dinner. John Goetz, an investigations reporter with Der Spiegel, was at the dinner and testified that Assange said nothing of the kind. Incredibly, Judge Baraitser stopped Goetz actually saying this in court.

However, the defence has succeeded in demonstrating the extent to which Assange sought to protect and redact names in the files released by WikiLeaks and that no credible evidence existed of individuals harmed by the leaks. The great whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg said that Assange had personally redacted 15,000 files. The renowned New Zealand investigative journalist Nicky Hager, who worked with Assange on the Afghanistan and Iraq war leaks, described how Assange took ‘extraordinary precautions in redacting names of informants’.

Q: What are the implications of this trial’s verdict for journalism more broadly—is it an omen of things to come?

The ‘Assange effect’ is already being felt across the world. If they displease the regime in Washington, investigative journalists are liable to prosecution under the 1917 US Espionage Act; the precedent is stark. It doesn’t matter where you are. For Washington, other people’s nationality and sovereignty rarely mattered; now it does not exist. Britain has effectively surrendered its jurisdiction to Trump’s corrupt Department of Justice. In Australia, a National Security Information Act promises Kafkaesque trials for transgressors. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has been raided by police and journalists’ computers taken away. The government has given unprecedented powers to intelligence officials, making journalistic whistle-blowing almost impossible. Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Assange ‘must face the music’. The perfidious cruelty of his statement is reinforced by its banality.

‘Evil’, wrote Hannah Arendt, ‘comes from a failure to think. It defies thought for as soon as thought tries to engage itself with evil and examine the premises and principles from which it originates, it is frustrated because it finds nothing there. That is the banality of evil’.

Q: Having followed the story of WikiLeaks closely for a decade, how has this eyewitness experience shifted your understanding of what’s at stake with Assange’s trial?

I have long been a critic of journalism as an echo of unaccountable power and a champion of those who are beacons. So, for me, the arrival of WikiLeaks was exciting; I admired the way Assange regarded the public with respect, that he was prepared to share his work with the ‘mainstream’ but not join their collusive club. This, and naked jealousy, made him enemies among the overpaid and undertalented, insecure in their pretensions of independence and impartiality.

I admired the moral dimension to WikiLeaks. Assange was rarely asked about this, yet much of his remarkable energy comes from a powerful moral sense that governments and other vested interests should not operate behind walls of secrecy. He is a democrat. He explained this in one of our first interviews at my home in 2010.

 
What is at stake for the rest of us has long been at stake: freedom to call authority to account, freedom to challenge, to call out hypocrisy, to dissent. The difference today is that the world’s imperial power, the United States, has never been as unsure of its metastatic authority as it is today. Like a flailing rogue, it is spinning us towards a world war if we allow it. Little of this menace is reflected in the media.

WikiLeaks, on the other hand, has allowed us to glimpse a rampant imperial march through whole societies—think of the carnage in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, to name a few, the dispossession of 37 million people and the deaths of 12 million men, women and children in the ‘war on terror’—most of it behind a façade of deception. 

Julian Assange is a threat to these recurring horrors—that’s why he is being persecuted, why a court of law has become an instrument of oppression, why he ought to be our collective conscience: why we all should be the threat.

The judge’s decision will be known on the 4th of January. 

Navalny Incident – A Made-in-the-USA False Flag to Harm and Contain Russia?

Stephen Lendman | Author | Common Dreams

By Stephen Lendman

Source

The US has much to gain from Navalny’s illness.

Most obvious is its aim to block Nord Stream 2’s completion.

If Russia’s gas pipeline to Germany becomes operational next year, it will double what Gazprom can supply Germany and other Western countries.

If the project is suspended or halted altogether, it will advantage US LNG producers — despite the much higher cost of this energy supply.

Republicans and Dems have greater aims.

They want Russia harmed economically, geopolitically and strategically. 

They want the country marginalized, weakened, and isolated.

The above objectives have been US policy throughout the Cold 

War and after its aftermath to the present day — no matter which right wing of its one-party state runs things.

Post-WW II, containing Russia became official US policy. 

US diplomat/envoy to Soviet Russia/presidential advisor George Kennan (1904 – 2005) was “the father of containment.”

He was a core member of so-called foreign policy “wise men” in Washington. 

His 1946 “Long Telegram” from Moscow and 1947 “Sources of Soviet Conduct” claimed its government was inherently expansionist. 

In February 1948, his “Memo PPS23” said the following:

“(W)e have 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population. (It makes us) the object of envy and resentment. 

“Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships (to let us) maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national society.” 

“We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world benefaction…”

“We should dispense with the aspiration to ‘be liked’ or to be regarded as the repository of a high-minded international altruism.”

“We should (stop talking about) unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization.” 

“The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts.” 

“The less we are hampered by idealistic slogans (ideas and practices), the better.”

In July 1947, his so-called “X” article on the “Sources of Soviet Conduct urged countering it “effectively.”

The US “can never be on Moscow’s side,” he stressed.

In March 1948, NSC 7 detailed “The Position of the United States with Respect to Soviet-Directed World Communism,” saying:

“(A) defensive policy cannot be considered an effective means of checking the momentum of Soviet expansion.”  

“Defeat(ing)” communism was considered “vital to the security of the United States.”

NSC 68 (April 1950 — issued weeks before Harry Truman’s preemptive war on nonbelligerent North Korea) officially inaugurated anti-Soviet Russia containment.

It called the country an enemy “unlike previous aspirants to hegemony…animated by a new fanatic faith, antithetical to our own (wishing to) impose its absolute authority over the rest of the world.” 

Ignored was the scourge of Nazi Germany and imperial Japan — or that WW II devastated Soviet Russia, requiring years of rebuilding.

Its government posed no threat to the US — not then, notably not now.

After Soviet Russia’s dissolution in December 1991, capitalism replaced its communist system.

It remains Russian Federation policy today. 

Because Moscow is independent of US control, made-in-the-USA adversarial relations continue.

No Russian threat to US/Western interests exists so it was invented, notably since Vladimir Putin became president.

Bipartisan hostility toward Russia in Washington is all about wanting the country transformed into a US vassal state.

It’s about gaining control over its vast resources and population, along with eliminating a strategic rival — whose overtures for normalized relations are consistently spurned.

The Trump regime is using the Navalny incident to further its strategic interests.

It’s pressuring Germany and the EU to punish Russia for an incident no evidence suggests it had anything to do with.

Last week, German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass said that if the chemical watchdog OPCW — an imperial lapdog serving Western interests — says Navalny was poisoned by novichok exposure, “I am convinced that (EU) sanctions will be unavoidable” on Russia, adding:

“(S)uch a grave violation of the International Chemical Weapons Convention cannot go unanswered.”

Earlier, a German military lab and facilities in France and Sweden claimed that the deadly nerve agent caused his illness.

Unmentioned by these countries was that exposure to novichok — the deadliest known toxin — causes death in minutes.

Navalny is very much alive over a month after falling ill. 

Discharged from hospitalization in Berlin, German doctors expect him to recovery fully or near-fully.

If poisoned by novichok, he’d have died before boarding a flight from Tomsk, Russia to Moscow.

What’s obvious is suppressed in the West by hostile-to-Moscow political officials and media.

Heroic efforts by Russian doctors in Omsk that saved Navalny’s life was erased from the EU’s historical record.

So was their biological analysis — finding no toxins in his blood, urine, liver, or elsewhere in his system.

According to former German diplomat Frank Elbe, Europe is “making a giant step backwards – back to the Cold War” by allying with US hostility toward Russia instead of normalizing relations, adding:

US policymakers are furious about an alliance by Germany and other EU countries with Russia to construct Nord Stream 2, “pursu(ing) their own independent policy.”

Elbe urged Europe to break from the US when their interests diverge — to uphold their sovereign independence.

Most often, European countries bend to Washington’s will — even  when harming their interests.

So far, opposing the Trump regime’s pressure to abandon the landmark JCPOA nuclear deal is an exception to the rule — if it sticks.

Will Nord Stream 2 be another? 

Will Germany support its completion or shoot itself in the foot by allying with US interests against its own?

US debate debacle shows Democrats will adopt Trumpian self-interest globally

Thursday, 01 October 2020 7:02 PM  [ Last Update: Friday, 02 October 2020 3:47 AM ]

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US President Donald Trump (L) and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participate in their first 2020 presidential campaign debate held on the campus of the Cleveland Clinic at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, September 29, 2020. (Via Reuters)
US debate debacle shows Democrats will adopt Trumpian self-interest globally

By Ramin Mazaheri

Politics is life or death (for the barest illustration of this reality just look at medicine sanctions on Iran, Cuba, etc.), so it’s hard for many of us to get too worked up over Joe Biden telling Donald Trump that he was a “clown” who should “shut up” at their first presidential debate, which is now known as the worst debate ever.

However, in the United States such things truly cause more domestic shock than any footage of the latest US bombing of a wedding party in Afghanistan.

Yes, the most violent and imperialistic society paradoxically has these informal codes which actually demand a rigorous politeness: one does not talk politics or religion in polite society here, but when they are cornered into honestly discussing their moral outlooks a Queen Elizabeth-level formality is de rigueur.

Trump, with the buffoon-sized ego required of anyone who applies to go on a reality show, upended this expectation four years ago and many middle-class Americans still nearly faint at his unthinkable lack of a “presidential demeanor.” This lack, one regularly hears from the countless talk-show idiots in the US, was enough for an impeachment by itself. The underlying cry is, “Won’t anyone think of the children!” Not dead Afghan children, of course.

That’s what makes the first debate so vital: Trump was not the only clown on the stage, and that is not how it used to be in US politics.

Pelosi attacks Trump over questioning election's integrity, says elections results must be respected
Pelosi attacks Trump over questioning election’s integrity, says elections results must be respected

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has criticized the US President Donald Trump over his comments during the presidential debate over the integrity of the Nov. 3 election, saying the results must be respected.

Trump has obviously altered the expectations for how American politicians can behave – it is now a circus of buffoons who rudely steamroll anyone to get their way, whereas they used to be characterized by an unflappable and deadly focus: ice queen Hillary Clinton, smooth-faced and infamously unemotional Obama, ex-CIA ringleader George Bush I, etc. Even rural/southern/Texan presidents – Bill Clinton and Dubya Bush – quickly knocked off the folksy shenanigans, straightened up and actually started reading something for a change.

Buffoonery is not a competition, we should remember: we might laugh at one clown more than others, but when we go to a circus we laugh at all the clowns, just as the world laughed at the first presidential debate. There could not have been a more urgent illustration of what it will mean to follow the lead of Washington from 2020 to 2024: amid a corona pandemic, a once-in-a-century domestic economic catastrophe, a never-ending pandemic of police bullets finding Black backs, widespread rebellions and less-widespread looting – this is the apex choice of American leadership?

If anything, it’s a case for even more indirect democracy safeguards – politics is life or death, and we need serious, responsible people with established moral, society-first codes making these excruciating decisions.

Independent journalist: US 2020 election 'rigged in favor of Trump'
Independent journalist: US 2020 election ‘rigged in favor of Trump

‘The US 2020 presidential election is rigged as US president Donald Trump acknowledges but it will end up “in his favor,” says a political commentator.

But there’s a better alternative – any democracy except “democracy with US characteristics”. This requires honestly discussing the structural underpinnings of the American system: imperialism, the most rightwing form of capitalism, cultural arrogance, a tolerance for public depravity that is only exceeded by a tolerance for shocking inequality amid enormous wealth, and – above all – total freedom and irresponsibility for those who can afford to pay for such things.

I don’t think we should give up on them so easily, but perhaps we should consider this reality: is that the system the average American wants, and Trump was the first to grasp this? Maybe the average American does truly want what Trump offers – buffoonery and spectacle instead of serious and responsible politics – and this explain why Biden willingly degraded himself down to Trump’s level at the debate: Biden felt that he had to emulate Trump in order to win votes.

What other conclusion could we logically draw? That Biden just took leave of his senses repeatedly?

Everybody knew the debate would be full of Trumpian off-the-cuff observations/outbursts, but Biden willingly played Trump’s game and for that he has totally lost global respect, by all foreign media accounts. Here in the US Democrat supporters – who never saw an Afghan wedding party bombing they were outraged about (mainly because, via the same smothering informal censorship and faux-sensitivity which produces fainting at “shut up”, bloody photos of American war crimes are never published by US media) – are willing to excuse anything Biden does because it’s allegedly “not as bad as Trump”, but this myopic hypocrisy only plays domestically.

Biden looked terrible to the world’s eyes – he could not master himself, nor master the situation. He is not much of a leader – that is the best-case scenario. Contrarily, as I assert, Biden decided to copy Trump’s behavior because he saw that Trumpian buffoonery gets one elected.

What if Trump loses but refuses to leave office?
What if Trump loses but refuses to leave office?

America will face mass public unrest if either Donald Trump or Joe Biden refuses to accept the result.

This reality that Biden is going to happily carry the torch of Trumpism was illustrated in a recent editorial from the extremely popular and openly anti-Trump website Politico: The Trump foreign policies Biden might keep.

It’s a pretty staggering douse of cold water to anyone who expects major changes from Washington and the Pentagon if the Democrats win in November: Expect the same policies regarding Jerusalem al-Quds, Venezuela, China, Russia, and – yes – Iran.

But the author goes even further, explicitly asserting that Trump’s brazenness has given Biden new latitude to boss around NATO, the World Health Organization, the World Trade Organization, the United Nations Human Rights Council and the UN Security Council.

“Trump’s overt hostility toward multilateral institutions could present Biden with an opportunity to push through reforms to some international bodies.”

“While Biden is not likely to be so crude, don’t be surprised if he at times takes a more forceful position toward both allies and adversaries than he did when he served as Barack Obama’s vice president.” Translation: Biden won’t openly tell other people to “shut up”, but he will do so privately.

Trump has revealed to US leaders that brashly and unilaterally throwing their weight around in order to get what they want works, so not even the anti-Trump Politico expects Biden to inaugurate a new policy of mutually-beneficial cooperation. Above all, naked Trumpian self-interest works to win a US government post in domestic elections – that is the essence and importance of Trump’s victory, which pulled the sheet off an American fascism (which is not only about racism, but more about aligning corporate power with individual power, as opposed to grassroots democratic power structures) which Biden will continue to apply in foreign policy, even if he takes down a few domestic statues of Confederate generals and Columbus.

Poll: Both Democrats and Republicans believe election will be rigged
Poll: Both Democrats and Republicans believe election will be rigged

A new poll has revealed that both Democrat and Republican voters in the United States believe there is a possibility that the 2020 presidential election will be rigged.

Biden was not pulled down to Trump’s level at the first debate – he willingly jumped down.

Maybe he doesn’t have age-related dementia after all, because Trump’s success indicates it’s a savvy domestic election move which could win him some voters who view him as weak.

That view must be the case over here: Immediately after the election US televisions were full of Trump-sponsored ads (disgustingly) trumpeting the assassination of Iranian anti-terror hero Qassem Soleimani: the point of the ad was to openly accuse Biden of being “weak.” Biden clearly sought to pre-empt these accusations and perceptions by “standing up” to Trump in a “show of strength” in the debate, no?

“Strongman” politics – this is what Americans want, or so their leaders just told the world via their actions at the debate, no?

The recent first debate showed that Democrats agree: Trumpism works. After four years of faux-fainting at Trump’s crude behavior what did Democrats do when they were finally confronted with him face to face? They joined him, even perhaps seeking to outdo Trump.

Non-Americans should take note. Even with a Biden victory we should not expect a rollback of Trump’s foreign policy – we should expect even further encroachments on national and international dignities and human rights.

However, historians have already taken copious notes and are not surprised by Politico’s admission that Biden will do what Trump did – try to dominate the whole world via (an allegedly new) Trumpian self-interest, as this is just a repeat of Dubya Bush’s “US versus the world” approach following 9/11.

That was a repeat of Ronald Reagan’s “leader of the free world (and we’ll attack/blockade if you aren’t free enough to our tastes), which was a repeat of the continent-dominating concept of “Manifest Destiny,” which was a repeat of the South America-dominating “Monroe Doctrine,” and – noticing a pattern, yet?

To answer a previous question: I don’t think the average American wants what Trump offers – I think they elected Trump as a protest against the structural corruption of the establishment “Swamp.” It was both a desperate move as well as a furiously empowered demand for major change. What Politico is telling us is that Joe Biden took all the wrong lessons from the election of Trump, which we also saw on display at the first debate, and apply them globally.

The underlying ideology of buffoons and clowns is that nothing matters or deserves seriousness. All that truly matters is that they get what they want – clowns and buffoons usually just want attention and laughs, but US leaders want power and control. Biden just proved to the world how low he is willing to go get it – down to the level of Trump, after four years of decrying such behaviors.

Ramin Mazaheri is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV 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 views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

www.presstv.ir

www.presstv.co.uk

www.presstv.tv

‘Coward, Savage’ US Assassinated ISIL’s No.1 Enemy: Zarif

September 28, 2020

zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Iranian were not brought to their knees in spite of tough economic pressures exerted by the United States against the country.

Speaking on Monday in a ceremony of honoring martyrs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the eight years of Sacred Defense, Zarif addressed US authorities and added, “You (US) are criminals against humanity and today, you are claiming the human rights? You are coward and savage but could not bring Iranians to their knees.”

While respecting and honoring the families of martyrs of the Foreign Ministry and commemorating the name and memory of all martyrs of the Islamic Revolution, Sacred Defense and nuclear scientists as well as martyrs of defenders of holy shrines especially former IRGC Quds Force Commander Lt. Gen. Suleimani and his comrades who were assassinated by the US terrorist forces in Iraq, he reiterated, “In spite of tough and cruel US sanctions imposed against the country, Iranians were not brought to their knees in the current economic war.”

The minister said that Washington assassinated ISIL terrorists’ number 1 enemy.

Addressing the families of martyrs, Zarif said, “Today, in this critical regional and international situation and in spite of irregularities, martyrs with their sacrifice bestowed dignity and grandeur to the Islamic Iran and did not allow others to insult noble people of the country during these years.”

He pointed out that martyrs brought dignity and pride for Iran and were it not for their braveries and courage, the country would have given in the battlefield during the eight years of the Sacred Defense.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Zarif pointed to the eight years of Sacred Defense and said, “During Iran-Iraq war, former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was heavily supported by other countries both financially and militarily and today, these countries are claimant of human rights which is ridiculous.”

SourceIranian Agencies

Why the Middle East “peace agreements” will fail to achieve their purpose

Why the Middle East “peace agreements” will fail to achieve their purpose

September 25, 2020

By Aram Mirzaei for the Saker blog

This week, a third Arab country has reportedly agreed to submit to Washington’s pressure to normalize relations with the Zionist state. This was very much expected and I’m sure it didn’t catch most observers by surprise. In the end, I expect most of the shameful Arab League to submit since it is known that most of them have had secret dealings with the Zionist state since many years, if not decades ago. So why come out of the closet now? What is the purpose of these “peace agreements?”

Personal I find it rather humorous that they are calling these deals “peace agreements” since peace agreements are signed by countries who have been at war, not long-standing allies who have never fired a single bullet towards each other. But the purpose of these deals are unfortunately not to make us laugh, but to intimidate.

Washington has realized that it cannot remain in the Middle East for ever. This is not because the Islamic Republic of Iran has vowed to expel them, but because reality has finally caught up to them. They are hated in this region, every act of terror that they commit against the people of this region, be it through sanctions or bombs- will attract more support for the Resistance Axis, the only force that truly fights them in the Middle East.

Moreover, their own people have grown tired of these constant wars and acts of terror overseas, and with a 22 trillion dollar debt, their economy is no longer what it used to be. On top of that, they’ve been humiliated by their own allies on the world stage, who refuse to re-impose sanctions and embargoes on the Islamic Republic – despite the constant threats issued by the likes of Mike Pompeo.

Taking a step back from its traditional role of lead terrorizer of the world is also an outspoken foreign policy issue for US President Donald Trump. Trump has on many occasions made it clear that he considers many of Washington’s allies to be “free-riding” on Washington’s “generosity”. He has repeatedly told his NATO allies that they “must pay” for Washington’s supposed protection. The same has been said about Washington’s Persian Gulf vassals. I know some people would say these statements by Trump are just excuses to redeploy US troops closer to Russia and China, but if we play with the idea that Trump perhaps isn’t the 5-dimensional chess player that some believe him to be, I would say this:

Trump has been an outspoken critic of Washington’s role in the Middle East. He even admitted himself that Washington has killed “hundreds of thousands of people in the Middle East” and that “the single greatest mistake we ever made was to go to the Middle East”.

So this takes us back to the so called “peace agreements”. Both the timing and the way they were presented by the media gives us many clues as to what Washington’s intentions are. Western diplomats, think tanks and journalists have been quick to call the “peace agreements” a “nightmare for Iran” and a “a major geo-strategic shift in the region”. Brian Hook, the former US State Department’s lead official on Iran, said the “agreement amounted to a ‘nightmare’ for Iran in its efforts against Israel in the region.” But why? What is their reasoning?

At first glance, if one were to follow the Western narrative, it would seem that Washington’s allies have all united against the Islamic Republic and now stand to offer a collective deterrence against Iran. But anyone who has even the slightest knowledge of Middle Eastern politics would reach the same conclusions that were stated above – peace agreements are signed by countries who have been at war, not long-standing allies who have never fired a single bullet towards each other.

Of course the timing for President Trump is also perfect. A few months before the US elections, he presents his own version of the Camp David Accords, which resulted in the normalization of relations between Israel and Egypt in 1978. He will certainly portray this as a great political victory for him at home.

But what Washington is really doing is merely posturing. This is what they’ve been doing for over 4 decades against the Islamic Republic. For Washington this will be a great way to exit the region without being thrown out and without compromising Israel’s security. But they’re not kidding themselves, they know that nothing has changed and that this is just more of a PR stunt than it is a “diplomatic coup”. Let’s be honest, no country will ever fear Bahrain or the UAE, and Washington knows this. Collectively the Arab League’s military forces would offer little resistance in a regional war against the Resistance Axis. These are the same Arab League armies that cannot even defeat the Houthis in Yemen despite massive Western assistance. Not only are they extremely incompetent, as proven on multiple occasions in Yemen where the Saudi Air Force has bombed their own forces on the ground, but they are also cowards, again proven in Yemen where Saudi forces have been filmed abandoning their superior US-made vehicles and running away from the field of battle.

It would seem that Washington’s eventual withdrawal from the Middle East is to the detriment of Israel’s interests rather than to the benefit. Unless of course we forget that Israel possesses nuclear weapons and that it probably won’t be long before the US and Israel will arm Saudi Arabia with Nuclear Weapons to target Iran. But still, the secret dealings between Israel and “some Arab states” as Zionist Chieftain Benjamin Netanyahu said years ago, the not-so-secret Israeli Nuclear Weapons arsenal and the fact that Washington’s potential “taking a step back” policy does not really mean that it wouldn’t come to the aid of Israel in a matter of minutes, don’t really strike anyone in the region as “shocking news”.

So what have these “Peace Agreements” really shown us? Nothing really. We all knew this day would come eventually. They were cautious when they sent the UAE and Bahrain out of the closet first, dipping their toes into the water to see the reaction of the people in the region. Seeing how the Arab league and most other countries didn’t really react with outrage, they are now sending more countries to step out and admit their shameful alliance with Israel. Really, the only thing that the Gulf monarchies have achieved is to write their own names into the history books as the shameful allies of a terrorist state. We have yet to see [at the time of writing 2020-09-25] which country will be the “third Arab state” to sign the agreement with the Zionist state, but it matters not, camps were chosen long ago despite not having been declared officially by some countries.

My bets are on Morocco by the way.

Hegemon USA v. Humanity

By Stephen Lendman

Source

US rage for dominating other countries by hot and/or cold wars poses an unparalleled threat to humanity.

US drive for hegemony is in stark contrast to the multi-world polarity agendas of China, Russia and Iran — prioritizing peace, stability, and mutual cooperation among all nations.

On Thursday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif said the following:

“To meet the special challenges of our time, we need to solidify our cooperation within the framework of CICA (Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia).” 

“We need to secure a pivotal role for the organization, to advance multilateralism, and to ensure inclusive collaboration.” 

“It is imperative for us to pool our resources to jointly tackle the enormous challenge(s)” of our time.

Days earlier, Iran’s envoy to Britain Hamid Baeidinejad slammed the US for “behaving like a bully,” its actions “isolat(ing) itself from the international community.”

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed that the “interdependence and interconnectedness of all states without exception in all spheres of public life is the most important” way to deal with vital issues of our time,” adding with reference to Washington’s hegemonic agenda:

“(O)ur common misfortune has failed to smooth out the differences between some states.” 

“On the contrary, it has exacerbated many of them.” 

“The very moments of crisis that we observed in international relations earlier have resurfaced.” 

“A number of countries are increasingly…look(ing) abroad to find those who are responsible for their problems at home.” 

“There are obvious attempts by individual states to use the current situation to promote self-serving and fleeting interests and to settle scores with unwanted governments or geopolitical rivals.”

“(T)he practice of imposing unilateral, illegitimate sanctions persists, (notably by the US) which undermines the authority and prerogatives of the UN Security Council.”

Again with reference to the US, Lavrov called attacks on the UN system “absolutely unjustified.”

Stressing the importance of supporting and maintaining world peace, stability and security, Lavrov’s call for permanent Security Council members to prioritize this agenda fell on deaf ears in Washington, London and Paris, nations run by belligerent regimes.

“(O)vercom(ing) the most pressing problems of humankind” is only possible by mutual cooperation among all nations, especially major ones, said Lavrov.

It’s been unattainable throughout the post-WW II period because of US-dominated NATO’s rage for endless wars by hot or other means.

On Thursday, China’s UN envoy Zhang Jun sharply criticized slanderous Trump regime attacks on his country, saying the following:

What the world needs now is global cooperation against a made-in-the-USA “political virus,” its blaming other nations for its own wrongdoing, its “unilateralism and bullying,” adding:

“(T)he US keeps withdrawing from international treaties and organizations, severely undermining the UN-centered international system and the international order based on international law.”

“The US flexes its (political and military muscles (globally, unlawfully) interfering…in the internal affairs of other countries…”

It “instigat(es) ‘color revolutions,’ jeopardizing (world) peace and stability.”

Its “cold war mentality” and drive for hegemony “push(es) the world into a dangerous situation.” 

It’s “erecting protectionist barriers and destabilizing the world supply and industrial chains.”

It’s “wielding the big stick of unilateral sanctions, frantically containing and suppressing foreign (countries and) companies, and attempting to artificially cut off the international flow of capital, technology, product, industry and personnel.” 

“(T)hese (actions) pose a serious threat to world peace and development.”

Jun’s call for the US to change its unacceptable ways fell on deaf ears of its one-party state with two right wings.

In February 2019, Trump appointed Kelly Knight Kraft as Washington’s UN envoy.

A dubious figure, wife of billionaire coal-mining tycoon/large GOP donor Joseph Craft, she’s notably unqualified for the high-profile diplomatic post, shown by her remarks — sounding like right-wing extremist/geopolitical know-nothing Nikki Haley.

On Thursday, she used the world stage to bash China and Iran unjustifiably.

Falsely accusing Iran of “funding and arming terrorists around the world” — a US specialty, not how Tehran operates anywhere — she shifted her venom at China, reciting a litany of bald-faced Big Lies, sounding like Chinaphobe Pompeo.

Time and again, GOP and Dem hardliners falsely blame countries they want transformed into pro-Western vassal states for high crimes committed against them.

A “safer and more secure world” is unattainable because of Washington’s geopolitical agenda, its hegemonic aims, its war on humanity, its abhorrence of peace, stability, cooperation among all nations, and the rule of law.

The Netherlands Doubling Down on Harming the Syrian People, for Trump

September 22, 2020 Arabi Souri

The Netherlands wants to prolong and increase the Syrian people suffering
Syrian Refugees in Jordan – The Netherlands wants to prolong and increase the Syrian people’s suffering

The Netherlands, like other NATO member states, is involved in the role-play model passing different tasks among themselves that all result in punishing the Syrian people for resisting to fall prey for the US hegemony through terrorist groups, Syria.

One of the roles assigned to the Netherlands is being activated now, however, it’s either the short memory of NATO officials or simple-brained techniques they expose their moves for its sheer criminality without needing to sugarcoat it anymore, they might be very much depending on the Sheeple nature they turned their people into.

The Netherlands, being the house country for the International Criminal Court was assigned by its higher command in the USA to call for an investigation in crimes against humanity carried out in Syria, and no, not to punish terrorist groups that were assembled from all sides of the planet by the world’s superpowers and super-rich countries and dumped as the human garbage they are onto Syria, nor calling for the investigation and prosecuting of those involved in facilitating the terror acts by these human garbage; the Netherlands wants the ICC to prosecute the Syrian people for defending their homes from the NATO-sponsored terrorists. Goebbels would be so proud of the Netherlands and its officials.

image- Displaced Syrians Refugees in Lebanon - Horrible Conditions
Syrian Refugees in Lebanon – Horrible Conditions

The Netherlands mission at the United Nations informed, as it seems, their colleagues in the Syrian mission at the international body, about their intentions to file a case against Syrian officials involved in the crime of defending their country, they claim that the rights of terrorists killing and maiming Syrian women and children were violated by Syrian officials. Europe cut its ties with the Syrian state and recognized cannibal terrorists as representatives of the Syrian people, hence they have to go through different measures to contact the Syrian state.

The minister of foreign affairs in the Netherlands Stef Blok wrote in a letter to his country’s parliament his government’s intention to hold Syrians accountable for what he alleged are ‘crimes against humanity committed by Syrian officials’, he included ‘torture’ as one of them.

The Netherlands is obviously taking advantage of being the host country of the International Criminal Court, the ICC, Syrian official source slammed the latest step by the European monarchy.

In an almost instant response, a Syrian state official condemned the notion by the Netherlands and reminded the Netherlands officials of Syria’s right to prosecute in all legal methods every individual and party, state and non-state actors who facilitated terror in Syria on the Syrian people. The Syrian state official reminded the Netherlands of its destructive and criminal role by directly funding an assorted number of armed groups with up to 28 million Euros of the Netherland taxpayers money paid to groups designated as terrorist groups by the Netherlands own public prosecution.

Syria is not a signatory to the ICC’s ‘Rome Statute’, hence the Netherlands needs the approval of the United Nations Security Council to refer Syrian officials to the ICC, we can say it’s an impossible task, a futile effort with the certain objection of at least Russia and China at the UNSC, each of which has the Veto power, but this stunt could be used as an additional media campaign against the Syrian people, in addition to everything else they’re facing.

The irony is that the United States of America itself has not only rejected to sign the Rome Statue, it went to the extent of imposing sanctions against the ICC’s prosecutor and still wants to use the ICC through its minions to gain politically in Syria what it couldn’t achieve by creating and sponsoring literally hundreds of terrorist groups in the country throughout the past 9.5 years.

Maybe, the Netherlands, like its other EU accomplices, didn’t have enough Syrian refugees migrating to their country and forcing those who couldn’t make it to Europe into becoming refugees, it’s the western European mentality never changed since the Crusades.

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The censored reason why the US would torpedo the UN over Iran: Iranian strength

Tuesday, 22 September 2020 7:19 PM  [ Last Update: Tuesday, 22 September 2020 7:23 PM ]

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)
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference to announce the Trump administration’s restoration of sanctions on Iran, on September 21, 2020, at the US State Department in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)
Why would the US blow up the UN over little old Iran?

By Ramin Mazaheri and cross-posted with Press-TV

Washington has illegally snapped back illegal sanctions on Iran. No one in the world cares, but all this illegality has not gone unnoticed: The US is gutting both its international reputation and that of the United Nations all over Iran.

Risking the international order, which Washington partially controls, over China – Ok, they could be viewed as a serious enough threat by the realpolitik fanatics in the Pentagon. Over the former USSR? Ok, that unsubmissive bloc also threatened total US control.

But over Iran?

We must remind ourselves that the question seems strange only because in all the Western coverage of Iran-US relations what is never broached is the merest notion of Iranian strength.

But if Iran is so powerless then why is the US going to such unprecedented lengths? Why did the warmongering New York Times take a pause from their yellow journalism to concede that, yes, the absurd sanctions move means, “the United States has largely isolated itself from the world order”.

But they didn’t genuinely explain, much less even ask: “Why risk so much over Iran?”

Here is the never-stated reality: the US has made this desperate, sure-to-fail gambit because US policy has been defeated by superior Iranian strength.

This is not jingoistic propaganda on my part: The New York Times conceded that, “The act was born of frustration”. Iran is not some behemoth ready to steamroll the entire world, nor is it a media darling welcomed by foreign masses with strewn flowers – so how can it frustrate the superpower so very much, even as so many other countries fear to engage in the smallest acts of independence or defiance?

It can’t merely be the morally-bankrupt answer so popular in the US, “It’s the economy, stupid,” – i.e, that Iran has a lot of oil. 

No, Iranian strength rests upon the fundamental success of Iran’s unique combination of post-1917 socioeconomic political structures adapted under a genuine and modern interpretation of Islam.

This strength has even another strength on top of it – what a tremendous appeal this combination has for the huge portion of the globe known as the Muslim world.

Iran calls US attempt to ‘snapback’ sanctions ‘null and void’, urges UN to block it
Iran calls US attempt to ‘snapback’ sanctions ‘null and void’, urges UN to block it

Iran says the US’ claim about the return of the UN Security Council’s sanctions against Tehran as per the so-called “snapback” mechanism is “null and void”, calling on the UN and its Security Council to block any attempt to reinstate the bans.

The idea that the Iranian Islamic Revolution could be universally exported is an absurdity – forced conversion to Islam is proscribed in the Qur’an, for starters, and Islamic culture does not seem readily compatible with that of Amsterdam, Rio de Janeiro or Tokyo any more than the culture of Tokyo, Rio and Amsterdam are readily compatible with that of Iran’s. But the idea that a post-1917, Islamically-based government can not just exist but thrive – even in total and open opposition to Western imperialism – is most definitely exportable to the Muslim World.

But even allowing this option to be democratically presented within Muslim countries is something which imperialists – from any region or culture – cannot risk.

Iran’s frightening strength, and its massive threat, is thus this: it keeps democratically presenting this option. That is the true reason why the US is so very deranged over Iran that they would topple the world order just to keep Iran from succeeding.

In a sense they are right: Iran’s success really does challenge the world order, after all, given the modern importance of oil – a Muslim world not chained by arrogant imperialists would force the West to finally cooperate and not dominate, and also free up trillions of petrodollars for local use.

Washington demands that 80 million Iranians must be viciously sanctioned because they keep selecting this option; keep getting out to vote; keep democratically participating; and – in 2020 – keep on respecting the national democratic will no matter how many sanctions get levied in an effort to, as former US Secretary of State John Kerry once said by accident in Paris, “implode” Iran.

(In 2020 in the US, however, it seems like neither side will honor the national democratic will if their own candidate doesn’t win – more proof that the US is not a very democratic culture, perhaps.)

UN chief says will take no action on US 'snapback' push against Iran
UN chief says will take no action on US ‘snapback’ push against Iran

The UN chief says “uncertainty” prevents him from considering Washington

Savvy commentators know that Trump’s sanctions may have increased economic difficulties but they also know that they have only increased domestic patriotism: a country which fought for eight years to preserve 5 centimetres of Iranian land from Iraqi & Western aggressors cannot be easily cowed, nor have they come this far to stop now.

Increasing this sense of patriotism is the reality that Iranians truly feel that they deserve international respect precisely because the Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979 has created a novel system so very strong and egalitarian that it can face endless sanctions and still win.

These post-1917 and Islamic-inspired creations, solutions and levers are what are so treasured domestically; are what explain the success for Iran’s resistance; cannot even be objectively described, much less openly admired, in the West, which is why the West doesn’t even want to inquire about possible Iranian strengths.

It also these systems – their very success, support and how they increase sovereign Iranian strength – which explain why it is China which courted Iran for the Belt and Road Initiative and not the other way around. For over five years Iran rather rejected Beijing’s overtures, in order to give the JCPOA a chance.

The most lenient analysis in 2020 would be that the JCPOA is at least a partial failure, and it seems very historically logical to predict that even a victory by Joe Biden would not lead to the US actually honoring the treaty.

But as the JCPOA’s promises continued to go unfulfilled Iranian diplomats were also laying the groundwork for the $400 billion, 25-year strategic partnership with China that now seems certain to be finalized.

None of it adds up over Iran, to the US elite:

Why would the US blow up the UN over little old Iran? Why is China making Iran (and not, say, Russia) their make-or-break node in their Belt and Road Initiative? Why is the world standing with Iran against almighty Washington?

But it’s not possible to intelligently answer such questions if the idea of Iranian strength cannot even be openly discussed.

Fortunately for the average Iranian: strength means having the ability to disregard the ignorance, collusion and duplicity of those weaker than yourself.

Ramin Mazaheri is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV 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 views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

www.presstv.ir

www.presstv.co.uk

www.presstv.tv

المواجهة بين الأوهام الأميركيّة والحقائق الميدانيّة…

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

ابتغت أميركا مما أسمته «الربيع العربي» عموماً، ومن الحرب الكونية على سورية ومحور المقاومة خصوصاً، إعادة صياغة الشرق الأوسط وفقاً لخرائط استراتيجية جديدة تحصّن الأحادية القطبية التي عملت من أجلها وتزيل أيّ عقبة من أمامها في هذا السياق، شجعها على ذلك أنّ العالم بشكل عام والدول التي تخشى من عرقلتها للمهمة بشكل خاص موزعة بين تابع تملكه (دول الخليج) وحليف تملك قراره (أوروبا بشكل عام) أو مترنّح أزيح من الخطوط الأمامية دولياً (روسيا) أو حذر يخشى على اقتصاده من أيّ مواجهة ذات طبيعة أو بعد عسكري (الصين) أو محاصر يئنّ تحت وطأة العقوبات الاقتصادية والحصار السياسي والتهديد العسكري (إيران وسورية).

أما الخريطة التي توخّت أميركا الوصول إليها فهي صورة لمنطقة تكون «إسرائيل» مديرتها الإقليمية بعد أن تكتمل عمليات «التطبيع» مع جميع البلدان العربية، وبعد أن تضع أيّ دولة بين خيارين أما التطبيع والاستسلام الكلي للمشيئة الأميركية او الحصار والعزل وصولاً الى الانهيار والتدمير الداخلي. فأميركا لا تتقبّل فكرة قيام رأي معارض لمشيئتها أياً كان صاحب هذا الرأي ـ لأنّ أميركا تتصرّف وللأسف وفقاً لنظرية «الحق الإلهي» التي تعتمدها والتي عبّر عنها بوش الابن في لحظة زهو في أوائل القرن الحالي، حيث قال «أرسلني الله لأنقذ البشرية» وإن «العناية الإلهية جعلت من أميركا قائدة للعالم».

وبعد نيّف وعقد من الزمن وبعد المآسي والدمار والقتل والتشريد الذي أحدثته الحرب الإرهابية الأميركية في المنطقة من تونس وليبيا غرباً الى سورية والعراق شرقاً مروراً باليمن طبعاً، اعتبرت أميركا انها حققت ما تريد وأنها أنهكت او دمّرت عدوّها وباتت قادرة على الاستثمار والانطلاق الى جني النتائج التي خططت للوصول اليها وهنا تكمن الخطيئة وسوء التقدير الأميركي الذي إنْ لم يعالج قبل فوات الأوان فإنه سيقود الى مرحلة دموية خطيرة في العالم تتقدّم في مستواها وشراستها عما سبق في العقد الأخير الماضي وتنقلب على أميركا سوءاً بدرجة لا تتصوّرها.

ولانّ أميركا تعتقد او تتصوّر بانّ حربها على العرب حققت نتائجها، فإنها أطلقت «صفقة القرن» في مطلع العام الحالي وراحت تسارع الخطى الى التطبيع بين العرب و«إسرائيل»، وتتوعّد إيران بعقوبات متجدّدة عليها وكأنّ الاتفاق النووي لم يحصل او أنها تمكّنت من الإمساك بقرار العالم كما كانت تمني النفس يوم أطلقت فكرة النظام العالمي القائم على الأحادية لقطبيّة بقيادتها.

تريد أميركا وبكلّ صلف وغرور أن تحمّل كلّ الدول العربية على التطبيع، وبعد أن كان لها تطبيع من دولتين خليجيتين، يروّج ترامب انّ 6 دول أخرى قيد الانتظار وانّ الباقي لن يطول تردّده في الالتحاق بالركب. اما الممانعون وبشكل خاص إيران وسورية ولبنان فقد أعدّت لكلّ منهم نوعاً من الضغوط تقود بالظنّ الأميركي الى الخضوع. وهنا يكمن سوء التقدير الأميركي لا بل الخطيئة الاستراتيجية الكبرى ايضاً.

تظنّ أميركا انّ ضغوطاً على إيران وحزب الله، قد تحملهما على مواجهة عسكرية تبرّر لأميركا استعراض قوتها العسكرية ضدّهما تحت عنوان دفاعي، ما يجعل ترامب يحصد مع كلّ صاروخ يطلقه الجيش الأميركي على «أعدائه» يحصد أصواتاً إضافية في الانتخابات وقد يكون بومبيو ومعه صقور الجمهوريين قد أقنعوا ترامب انّ السبيل الأقصر لربح الانتخابات التي يتأرجح المصير فيها الآن هو حرب محدودة مع إيران وحزب الله يقوم خلالها بضربة سريعة خاطفة ثم يتفرّغ للانتخابات التي ستكون نتائجها حتماً في صالحه.

بيد أنّ التقدير الأميركي يبسط الأمور الى حدّ الخفة والسطحية تقريباً ويتناسى المتغيّرات الدولية التي جعلت من عالم 2020 مختلفاً كلياً عن عالم 2010، وإذا كان المفهوم الاستراتيجي للحلف الأطلسي الذي وضع للعقد الماضي قد حقق شيئاً من أغراضه فإنّ النتائج الاستراتيجية التي كان يرمي إليها بقيت بعيدة المنال. وها هو الحلف الأطلسي يُخفق في اعتماد مفهوم استراتيجي جديد يلتفّ حوله الجميع من الأعضاء كما انّ كيان الحلف بذاته واستمراره بات في الأشهر الأخيرة تحت علامات استفهام ما يعني أنّ الحلف لن يكون شريكاً لأميركا في خططها.

اما أوروبا فإنها وجدت بعد العقد الماضي وعملها العسكري خارج نطاقها الإقليمي، كم هو التباين بينها وبين أميركا في المصالح بخاصة في الشرق الأوسط، ما جعل الدول الأساسية فيها تفكر بسياسة أوروبية مستقلة لا تغضب أميركا في بداياتها، ولكنها ستتمايز عنها في جوهرها ما يجعل أيّ حرب تشنّها أميركا على أحد حرباً أميركية فقط ليس لأوروبا ضلع فيها. وما الموقف الأوروبي في مجلس الأمن في معرض الطلب الأميركي لاستئناف العقوبات على إيران ربطاً بالملف النووي إلا أول الغيث.

وعلى الاتجاه الروسي، فنعتقد انّ أميركا تعاني من المرارة الكبرى فقبل «الربيع العربي» والحرب الكونية كانت روسيا دولة داخلية بعيدة عن مسارح التأثير العالمي، أما اليوم فقد باتت ركناً أساسياً في النظام الدولي قيد التشكل وفاعلاً رئيسياً في الشرق الأوسط لا يقتصر وجودها وتأثيرها على سورية فقط بل يتعدّاها الى أفريقيا (ليبيا) وتستعدّ ليكون لها كلمة في اليمن أيضاً. وبهذا يكون العدوان الأميركي على المنطقة شكّل بطاقة دعوة او استدعاء ذهبياً لروسيا لتخرج من عزلتها وتحتلّ مقعداً أمامياً ينافسها على الصعيد الدولي العام.

اما الصين التي تؤرق أميركا بشكل عميق فقد جعلت من اقتصادها متقدماً على الاقتصاد الأميركي ولم تنفع كل تدابير الإرهاب والحصار الاقتصادي في كبحه، فاجأتها الصين أيضاً حيث قدمت جديداً في مجال الصراع هو ايحاؤها الاستعداد لاستعمال القوة لحماية نفسها واقتصادها وتحضيرها مع حلفائها للاستغناء عن الدولار أيضاً.

وفي إيران التي تعوّل أميركا اليوم عليها لتكون الحقل التي تزرعه قذائف تحصدها أصواتاً انتخابية تثبت ترامب في البيت الأبيض لأربع سنوات أخرى، نرى أنها تتبع سياسة مركبة تهدف الى حرمان ترامب من الأوراق التي يريدها من المواجهة، وحرمان ترامب من إحكام الحصار عليها، وصيانة علاقتها مع الأوروبيين من دون تراخٍ أمامهم وتمتين علاقاتها مع روسيا والصين وتجنب الصدام مع تركيا، هذا من جهة؛ اما من جهة أُخرى فإنها تستمرّ في تحشيد القوة العسكرية الدفاعية التي تفشل أيّ عدوان عليها وتستمر في خوض الحرب النفسية المرتكزة الى عوامل ميدانية مؤكدة التأثير وما مناوراتها العسكرية الأخيرة إلا وجهاً من وجوه عرض القوة الدفاعية المستندة الى فكرة الهجوم بوجه أميركا.

وبالعودة الى سورية، نجد وبشكل يقيني انّ كلّ ما حلمت به أميركا هناك بات في غياهب التاريخ، وأننا ننتظر في الأشهر المقبلة معالجة متدرجة لملفي إدلب والجزيرة (شرقي الفرات) بشكل لا يبقي للمحتلّ الأميركي أو التركي إثراً في الميدان يعيق تثبيت سيادة سورية على كلّ أرضها، معالجة نراها منطلقة من عمل عسكري لا بدّ منه أولاً وتستكمل بتفاهمات وتسويات يضطر اليها الفريق المعتدي وتحرم الأميركي مما يتوخاه.

ونختم بلبنان ونجد أنّ المؤامرة الأميركية لعزل المقاومة وحصار لبنان ودفعه لتفاوض مباشر مع «إسرائيل» بضغط أميركي يقود للتنازل عن المناطق المحتلة في البر وعددها 13 بالإضافة الى الغجر ومزارع شبعا، والتسليم لـ «إسرائيل» بما تريد في المنطقة الاقتصادية في البحر واقتطاع ما يناهز الـ 400 كلم2 من أصل 862 كلم2 متنازع عليها، كلّ ذلك لن يحصل لأن المقاومة لن تتخلى عن حقها في التمثيل الحكومي ولأن قرار لبنان لن يكون كما تشتهي أميركا حتى ولو اشتدّ الحصار وتعاظم الانهيار الذي تصنعه أميركا للبنان.

وعليه نقول إنّ العالم في حقيقته ليس كما تراه أميركا بعينها، وإنّ تطبيع دولتين خليجيتين واهنتين لا يعني نجاح صفقة القرن، وإن وجود 800 جندي أميركي الآن في سورية و3000 في العراق لا يعني انّ الدولتين في القبضة الأميركية، وإن النطق بغير حق باسم مجلس الأمن ضدّ إيران والقول باستئناف العقوبات الأممية عليها لا يعني انّ العالم انصاع للقرار الأميركي. فأميركا توهِم نفسها أنها تربح أو انّ بإمكانها اختزال إرادة العالم، ولكن الحلم الأميركي يصطدم بصخور الحقيقة فيتكسّر وتبقى الحقيقة صارخة لمن يريدها، فأميركا اليوم ليست أميركا 1990 وزمن الطموح لحكم العالم ولّى الى غير رجعة مع اشتداد بأس خصومها وأعدائها وتراخي وضعف أتباعها وابتعاد وتفكك حلفائها عنها.

هكذا تحاصر أميركا لبنان وسورية اقتصادياً ومالياً 1/2

باريس – نضال حمادة

مسؤول سابق في صندوق النقد الدولي يقول: احتياط مصرف لبنان 2.5 مليار دولار والباقي دولارات رقمية…

نعود بك أيها القارئ الكريم إلى مقالة «البناء» في شهر تشرين الثاني الماضي بعنوان (مسؤول سابق في صندوق النقد الدولي عشرات ملايين الدولارات تخرج يومياً من لبنان إلى أربيل). عُدنا والتقينا هذا المسؤول السابق في باريس وهو من أصل عربي ليحدّثنا عن تشاؤمه بمستقبل الوضع في لبنان، اقتصادياً وسياسياً وربما أمنياً حسب قوله، يشير إلى أن الأميركي ترك الفرنسي يتحرك قليلاً ثم وضع أمامه كل العراقيل التي يتصوّرها والتي لا يتصوّرها، وبالتالي النتيجة هي أن فرنسا وحدها لا يمكن لها ان تنقذ الوضع في لبنان من دون رضا أميركا.

يقول المسؤول المالي إن احتياطي مصرف لبنان يبلغ مليارين ونصف مليار دولار نقداً، بينما بقيت المليارات هي عبارة عن أرقام على الكمبيوتر لا أكثر، ومصرف لبنان أمام أكثر من معضلة فهو لا يمكن له أن يحوّل هذه الأرقام الى ليرة لبنانية لأنه رقمياً يكون قد خسر كل احتياطه الوهميّ من الدولارات. وهذا ما سوف يسرّع الانهيار المالي، مضيفاً أن مبلغ «الكاش» الموجود يكفي لاستيراد الحاجات الأساسية من النفط والدواء والقمح حتى آخر السنة الحالية.

الاقتصاد السوري تأثر بالانهيار اللبناني، حيث يقول المسؤول المالي الدولي السابق، هناك 40 مليار دولار تعود لرجال أعمال وتجار سوريين. وهذا كل ما يملكونه كانوا وضعوه في المصارف اللبنانية، والآن بعد اكتشاف النهب الذي تعرّضت له ودائعهم أصبحوا من دون إمكانيات للاستيراد وبالتالي انكشف الوضع السوري اقتصادياً كالوضع اللبناني على أزمات تمويل عمليات الاستيراد. وبالتالي شهدنا أزمات متزامنة من نقص في المحروقات في لبنان وسورية، وهذا كان عملاً مقصوداً ومدروساً بعناية، فالنظام المصرفي اللبناني استُخدم معبراً لسحب كميات العملة الصعبة الموجودة في لبنان وسورية تمهيداً لإسقاط البلدين في زمن الصراع على السيطرة على الشرق الأوسط.

ما يريده صندوق النقد من لبنان هو تسليم كامل لكل المرافق المربحة للدولة اللبنانية وبأبخس الأثمان. يقول المسؤول المالي الدولي معقباً أن مبلغ الاحد عشر ملياراً الموعود به لبنان من سيدر لن تسد رمق اللبنانيين إلا لفترة محدودة طالما أن فاتورة الاستيراد السنوي للبنان تعادل ستة عشرَ مليار دولار. وأضاف ان الولايات المتحدة عملت من خلال إغلاق المطالبة بإغلاق الحدود البرية بين لبنان وسورية على تفاقم الأزمة الاقتصادية وجعلها تصل الى مشارف الانهيار.

غداً الجزء الثاني: لعبة المعابر كيف حاصرت أميركا سورية ولبنان؟

حرب المعابر هكذا تحاصر أميركا سورية ولبنان

باريس – نضال حمادة

نكمل كلامنا مع المسؤول السابق في صندوق النقد الدولي، الذي قال إن أميركا أطبقت الطوق على سورية ولبنان عبر السيطرة على المعابر الحدودية في البلدين، بداية في سورية حيث عملت أميركا على منع الدولة السورية من الاستفادة من الوضع العسكري الذي أصبح لمصلحتها، وذلك عبر السيطرة او التحكم بكل المعابر بين سورية ودول الجوار بدءاً من معبر نصيب في الجنوب حيث يرفض الأردن فتحه بحجج واهية ويمدّد فترة إغلاقه دورياً من دون سبب، ويُعتبر معبر نصيب مع الأردن طريقاً مهماً لنقل البضائع السورية الى الخليج العربي واستيراد البضائع من الخارج عبر البر، في المرتبة الثانية يأتي معبر المالكية مع العراق وهو يقع في شرق سورية. هنا يقول الخبير الاقتصادي الدولي إن المعبر من الجهة العراقية يتمركز فيه ويسيطر عليه بالكامل الجيش الأميركي الذي يمنع نقل أية بضائع من سورية وإليه. ويقول إن الحكومة العراقية تخلّت عن المعبر لصالح القوات الأميركية بعد تولي مصطفى الكاظمي منصب رئيس وزراء العراق.

يقول الخبير الاقتصادي الدولي هناك أيضاً في الشرق السوري معبر التنف الذي تسيطر عليه القوات الأميركية، كما تمنع أميركا إيران والعراق وسورية من فتح معبر البوكمال، حيث تنفذ الطائرات الحربية الأميركية غارات متكررة على القوافل التجارية في المنطقة وعلى المواقع العسكرية المحيطة بالمعبر.

في لبنان يبدو الأمر أسهل بسبب وجود حدود بريه مغلقة مع فلسطين المحتلة، وبالتالي تبقى الحدود السورية اللبنانية التي تضغط اميركا لإغلاق ما تبقى سالكاً منها خصوصاً في البقاع الشمالي الذي تأتي المطالبة بإغلاق الحدود بينه وبين سورية ضمن سلم أولويات أجندة صندوق النقد الدولي، يختم المسؤول السابق في صندوق النقد الدولي كلامه.

A DARPA-Funded Implantable Biochip to Detect COVID-19 Could Hit Markets by 2021

By Raul Diego

Source

An experimental new vaccine developed jointly with the US government claims to be able to change human DNA and could be deployed as early as next year through a DARPA-funded, injectable biochip.

he most significant scientific discovery since gravity has been hiding in plain sight for nearly a decade and its destructive potential to humanity is so enormous that the biggest war machine on the planet immediately deployed its vast resources to possess and control it, financing its research and development through agencies like the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and HHS’ BARDA.

The revolutionary breakthrough came to a Canadian scientist named Derek Rossi in 2010 purely by accident. The now-retired Harvard professor claimed in an interview with the National Post that he found a way to “reprogram” the molecules that carry the genetic instructions for cell development in the human body, not to mention all biological lifeforms.

These molecules are called ‘messenger ribonucleic acid’ or mRNA and the newfound ability to rewrite those instructions to produce any kind of cell within a biological organism has radically changed the course of Western medicine and science, even if no one has really noticed yet. As Rossi, himself, puts it: “The real important discovery here was you could now use mRNA, and if you got it into the cells, then you could get the mRNA to express any protein in the cells, and this was the big thing.”

It was so big that by 2014, Rossi was able to retire after the company he co-founded with Flagship Pioneering private equity firm to exploit his innovation, – Moderna Inc., attracted almost a half billion dollars in federal award monies to begin developing vaccines using the technology. No longer affiliated with Moderna beyond his stock holdings, Rossi is just “watching for what happens next” and if he’s anything like the doting “hockey dad” he is portrayed to be, he must be horrified.

Remote control biology

As early as 2006, DARPA was already researching how to identify viral, upper respiratory pathogens through its Predicting Health and Disease (PHD) program, which led to the creation of the agency’s Biological Technologies Office (BTO), as reported by Whitney Webb in a May article for The Last American Vagabond. In 2014, DARPA’s BTO launched its “In Vivo Nanoplatforms” (IVN) program, which researches implantable nanotechnologies, leading to the development of ‘hydrogel’.

Hydrogel is a nanotechnology whose inventor early on boasted that “If [it] pans out, with approval from FDA, then consumers could get the sensors implanted in their core to measure their levels of glucose, oxygen, and lactate.” This contact lens-like material requires a special injector to be introduced under the skin where it can transmit light-based digital signals through a wireless network like 5G.

Once firmly implanted inside the body, human cells are at the mercy of any mRNA program delivered via this substrate, unleashing a nightmare of possibilities. It is, perhaps, the first true step towards full-on transhumanism; a “philosophy” that is in vogue with many powerful and influential people, such as Google’s Ray Kurzweil and Eric Schmidt and whose proponents see the fusion of technology and biology as an inevitable consequence of human progress.

The private company created to market this technology, that allows for biological processes to be controlled remotely and opens the door to the potential manipulation of our biological responses and, ultimately, our entire existence, is called Profusa Inc and its operations are funded with millions from NIH and DARPA. In March, the company was quietly inserted into the crowded COVID-19 bazaar in March 2020, when it announced an injectable biochip for the detection of viral respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.

 A wholly-owned subsidiary

In July, a preliminary report funded by Fauci’s NIAID and the NIH on an mRNA Vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 was published in The New England Journal of Medicine, concluding that mRNA-1273 vaccine. provided by Moderna for the study, “induced anti–SARS-CoV-2 immune responses in all participants, and no trial-limiting safety concerns were identified,” and supported “further development of this vaccine.”

A month earlier, the NIH had claimed a joint stake in Moderna’s mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, citing a contract signed in December, 2019, stipulating that the “mRNA coronavirus vaccine candidates [are] developed and jointly owned” by both parties. Moderna disputes the federal government’s position, stating that the company “has a broad owned and licensed IP estate” and is “not aware of any IP that would prevent us from commercializing our product candidates, including mRNA-1273.”

A poster is displayed in the entrance way looking for volunteers as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

The only obstacle is a delivery system, which though Moderna claims to be developing separately, is unlikely to get FDA approval before the federal government’s own DARPA-developed hydrogel technology, in tandem with Profusa’s DARPA-funded light sensor technology, which is expected to receive fast track authorization from the Food and Drug Administration by early 2021 and, more than likely, used to deploy a coronavirus vaccine with the capacity to literally change our DNA.

In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is currently investigating Moderna’s patent filings, claiming it failed to disclose “federal government support” in its COVID vaccine candidate patent applications, as required by law. The technicality could result in the federal government owning a 100 percent stake in mRNA-1273.

To Capture and Subdue: America’s Theft of Syrian Oil Has Very Little To Do With Money

By Steven Chovanec

Source

WAR FOR EMPIRE

Years of US support to Al-Qaeda and ISIS and efforts to effect regime change in the country have culminated in the theft of Syria’s oil, but is that really America’s coup de gras in Syria?

Near the end of July, one of the most important recent developments in U.S. foreign policy was quietly disclosed during a U.S. Senate hearing. Not surprisingly, hardly anybody talked about it and most are still completely unaware that it happened.

Answering questions from Senator Lindsey Graham, Secretary of State Pompeo confirmed that the State Department had awarded an American company, Delta Crescent Energy, with a contract to begin extracting oil in northeast Syria. The area is nominally controlled by the Kurds, yet their military force, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), was formed under U.S. auspices and relies on an American military presence to secure its territory. That military presence will now be charged with protecting an American firm from the government of the country that it is operating within.

Pompeo confirmed that the plans for implanting the firm into the U.S.-held territory are “now in implementation” and that they could potentially be “very powerful.” This is quite a momentous event given its nature as a blatant example of neocolonial extraction, or, as Stephen Kinzer puts it writing for the Boston Globe, “This is a vivid throwback to earlier imperial eras, when conquerors felt free to loot the resources of any territory they could capture and subdue.”

Indeed, the history of how the U.S. came to be in a position to “capture and subdue” these resources is a sordid, yet informative tale that by itself arguably even rivals other such colonial adventures.

To capture and subdue

When a legitimate protest movement developed organically in Syria in early 2011, the U.S. saw an opportunity to destabilize, and potentially overthrow, the government of a country that had long pushed back against its efforts for greater control in the region.

Syria had maintained itself outside of the orbit of U.S. influence and had frustratingly prevented American corporations from penetrating its economy to access its markets and resources.

As the foremost academic expert on Middle East affairs, Christopher Davidson, wrote in his seminal work, “Shadow Wars, The Secret Struggle for the Middle East,” discussing both Syria and Libya’s strategic importance, “the fact remained that these two regimes, sitting astride vast natural resources and in command of key ports, rivers, and borders, were still significant obstacles that had long frustrated the ambitions of Western governments and their constituent corporations to gain greater access.”

With Syria,” Davidson wrote, “having long proven antagonistic to Western interests… a golden opportunity had presented itself in 2011 to oust [this] administration once and for all under the pretext of humanitarian and even democratic causes.”

US Senators John McCain and Joseph Lieberman meet with Syrians at the Yayladagi camp on the Turkish-Syrian border. April 10, 2012. Umit Bektas | Reuters.

The U.S., therefore, began organizing and overseeing a militarization of the uprising early on, and soon co-opted the movement along with allied states Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar. Writing at the end of 2011, Columbia University’s Joseph Massad explained how there was no longer any doubt that “the Syrian popular struggle for democracy [has] already been hijacked,” given that “the Arab League and imperial powers have taken over and assumed the leadership of their struggle.”

Soon, through the sponsoring of extremist elements, the insurgency was dominated by Salafists of the al-Qaeda variety.

According to the DIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, by 2013 “there was no viable ‘moderate’ opposition to Assad” and “the U.S. was arming extremists.” Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh revealed that “although many in the American intelligence community were aware that the Syrian opposition was dominated by extremists,” still “the CIA-sponsored weapons kept coming.”

When ISIS split off from al-Qaeda and formed its own Caliphate, the U.S. continued pumping money and weapons into the insurgency, even though it was known that this aid was going into the hands of ISIS and other jihadists. U.S. allies directly supported ISIS.

U.S. officials admitted that they saw the rise of ISIS as a beneficial development that could help pressure Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to give in to America’s demands.

Leaked audio of then-Secretary of State John Kerry revealed that “we were watching… and we know that this [ISIS] was growing… We saw that Daesh was growing in strength, and we thought Assad was threatened. We thought, however, we could probably manage — that Assad would then negotiate.” As ISIS was bearing down on the capital city of Damascus, the U.S. was pressing Assad to step down to a U.S.-approved government.

Then, however, Russia intervened with its air force to prevent an ISIS takeover of the country and shifted the balance of forces against the jihadist group. ISIS’ viability as a tool to pressure the government was spent.

The arsonist and the firefighter

So, a new strategy was implemented: instead of allowing Russia and Syria to take back the territories that ISIS captured throughout the war, the U.S. would use the ISIS threat as an excuse to take those territories before they were able to. Like an arsonist who comes to put out the fire, the U.S. would now charge itself with the task of stamping out the Islamist scourge and thereby legitimize its own seizure of Syrian land. The U.S. partnered with the Kurdish militias who acted as their “boots on the ground” in this endeavor and supported them with airstrikes.

The strategy of how these areas were taken was very specific. It was designed primarily to allow ISIS to escape and redirect itself back into the fight against Syria and Russia. This was done through leaving “an escape route for militants” or through deals that were made where ISIS voluntarily agreed to cede its territory. The militants were then able to escape and go wreak havoc against America’s enemies in Syria.

Interestingly, in terms of the oil fields now being handed off to an American corporation, the U.S. barely even fought ISIS to gain control over them; ISIS simply handed them over.

FILE – In this April 6, 2018 file photo, shows a former farmer working at a primitive refinery making crude oil into diesel and other products, in a village controlled by a U.S-backed Kurdish group, in Rmeilan, Hassakeh province, Syria. Syrians living in government-controlled areas have survived eight years of war now face a new scourge in the form of widespread fuel shortages. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)

Syria and Russia were quickly closing in on the then-ISIS controlled oilfields, so the U.S. oversaw a deal between the Kurds and ISIS to give up control of the city. According to veteran Middle East war correspondent Elijah Magnier, “U.S.-backed forces advanced in north-eastern areas under ISIS control, with little or no military engagement: ISIS pulled out from more than 28 villages and oil and gas fields east of the Euphrates River, surrendering these to the Kurdish-U.S. forces following an understanding these reached with the terrorist group.”

A man works a primitive refinery making crude oil into diesel in a U.S-backed Kurdish village in Rmeilan, Syria, April 6, 2018. Hussein Malla | AP

Sources quoted by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed that ISIS preferred seeing the fields in the hands of the U.S. and the Kurds rather than the Syrian government.

The rationale behind this occupation was best described by Syria expert Joshua Landis, who wrote that the areas of northern Syria under control of the Kurds are the U.S.’ “main instrument in gaining leverage” over the government. By “denying Damascus access to North Syria” and “controlling half of Syria’s energy resources” “the U.S. will be able to keep Syria poor and under-resources.” So, by “promoting Kurdish nationalism in Syria” the U.S. “hopes to deny Iran and Russia the fruits of their victory,” while “keeping Damascus weak and divided,” this serving “no purpose other than to stop trade” and to “beggar Assad and keep Syria divided, weak and poor.”

Or, in the words of Jim Jeffrey, the Trump administrations special representative for Syria who is charged with overseeing U.S. policy, the intent is to “make life as miserable as possible for that flopping cadaver of a regime and let the Russians and Iranians, who made this mess, get out of it.”

Anchoring American troops in Syria

This is the history by which an American firm was able to secure a contract to extract oil in Syria. And while the actual resources gained will not be of much value (Syria has only 0.1% of the world’s oil reserves), the presence of an American company will likely serve as a justification to maintain a U.S. military presence in the region. “It is a fiendishly clever maneuver aimed at anchoring American troops in Syria for a long time,” Stephen Kinzer explains, one that will aid the policymakers who hold “the view that the United States must remain militarily dominant in the Middle East.”

This analysis corroborates the extensive scholarship of people like Mason Gaffney, professor of economics emeritus at the University of California, who, writing in the American Journal of Economics and Sociology, sums up his thesis that throughout its history “U.S. military spending has been largely devoted to protecting the overseas assets of multinational corporations that are based in the United States… The U.S. military provides its services by supporting compliant political leaders in developing countries and by punishing or deposing regimes that threaten the interests of U.S.-based corporations.”

In essence, by protecting this “global ‘sprawl’ of extractive companies” the U.S. Department of Defense “provides a giant subsidy to companies operating overseas,” one that is paid for by the taxpayer, not the corporate beneficiaries. It is hard to estimate the exact amount of money the U.S. has invested into the Syria effort, though it likely is near the trillion dollar figure. The U.S. taxpayer doesn’t get anything out of that, but companies that are awarded oil contracts do.

What is perhaps most important about this lesson however is that this is just a singular example of a common occurrence that happens all over the world. A primary function of U.S. foreign policy is to “make the world safe for American businesses,” and the upwards of a thousand military bases the U.S. has stationed across the globe are set up to help protect those corporate investments. While this history is unique to Syria, similar kinds of histories are responsible for U.S. corporation’s extractive activities in other global arenas.

So, next time you see headlines about Exxon being in some kind of legal dispute with, say, Venezuela, ask yourself how was it that those companies became involved with the resources of that part of the world? More often than not, the answer will be similar to how this U.S. company got involved in Syria.

Given all of this, it perhaps might seem to be too mild of a critique to simply say that this Syria enterprise harkens back to older imperial eras where conquerors simply took what they wished: the sophistication of colonialism has indeed improved by leaps and bounds since then.

IRANIAN RESISTANCE AXIS STRIKES BACK. CONVOYS WITH US EQUIPMENT BLOWING UP IN IRAQ

Iranian Resistance Axis Strikes Back. Convoys With US Equipment Blowing Up  In Iraq
Video

Source

On September 3, an explosion of an improvised explosive device (IED) targeted a convoy with equipment of the US-led coalition in the southern Iraqi province of Dhi Qar. Iraqi troops that were escorting the convoy suffered no casualties. According to local sources, no significant damage was caused to the equipment. Following the incident, security forces detained 2 suspects near the explosion site. The investigation is ongoing.

However, it is no secret that the attack was likely conducted by one of multiple pro-Iranian Shiite groups that surfaced in the country following the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and several prominent Iraqi commanders by a US strike in Baghdad in January.

Earlier, the Guardians of Blood (also known as Islamic Resistance in Iraq) released a video showing an IED attack on another convoy with US equipment. The attack took place near Camp Taji, north of Baghdad on August 23. During the last few months, such attacks became a regular occurrence across Iraq.

Pro-Iranian forces not only created a wide network of active cells that carry out these operations, but also successfully track movements of US forces and their equipment. According to local sources, a large number of Iraqi security personnel involved in the guarding of US forces and facilities in fact support the Iranian-backed campaign against the United States as well as the public demand of the full US troop withdrawal from Iraq.

Despite loud statements and the handing over of several US bases to the Iraqi military, Washington is not reducing its military presence in the country. Rather it’s regrouping its forces and strengthening the security of the remaining facilities. Tensions are on the rise not only in Iraq.

On September 3, Israel’s ImageSat International released satellite images showcasing the impact of the recent Israeli strikes on Iranian-linked targets near the Syrian capital of Damascus, and in the province of Homs. The report claimed that the strike on the Damascus International Airport destroyed a headquarters and a warehouse used by Iranian forces. The same area was the target of an Israeli attack in February. The strike on the T4 airport in Homs damaged the main runway and an apron. As a result, the air base was temporary placed out of service.

A few days earlier, the Israeli Defense Forces claimed that they had hit approximately 100 Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip in August. This supposedly included 35 hits on Hamas weapons manufacturing sites, along with 30 underground sites, 20 observation posts and 10 sites linked to the group’s aerial capabilities such as drones. According to the Israeli side, these strikes were a response to rocket and other attacks from the Gaza Strip. Palestinian groups claim that they just retaliate to permanent pressure and acts of aggression from the Israeli side.

Taking into account the war in Yemen, a large part of the Middle East has been turned into a battleground of the conflict between the Israeli-US bloc and the Iranian-led Axis of Resistance.

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