Biden is prepared to cut Assad some slack where there are obvious benefits to U.S. interests in the region

October 19, 2021

By Martin Jay

Source

Ten years after protesters in an obscure Syrian town demonstrated for change, a direct challenge to the rule of President Bashar al-Assad, half a million Syrians dead and a 100,000 missing, finally the West is accepting the legitimacy of the regime and its leader.

It started with the Gulf Arabs, who have decided that Assad is worth more as an ally – both as a useful expert on defying the odds and suppressing an entire uprising but also for his Midas touch with the Russians who GCC leaders might have to turn to one day, if a new Arab Spring sweeps across the Peninsular.

But then inevitably Joe Biden, whose approach to the Middle East is to have as little to do with it as possible in preference for a foreign policy agenda focussing on China, is following through with this initiative to bring Assad in from the cold once and for all. Intense lobbying in recent month by, in particular the UAE and Saudi Arabia in Washington have paid off and we are witnessing the first tentative steps towards a normalisation of relations with the Syrian leader.

You might have missed the signs as they were not seized upon by western media. The lifting of sanctions against a businessman associated with Assad, followed just recently by allowing Syria to facilitate a gas and electricity to Lebanon – from Egypt, via Jordan and Syria – in what has been called “energy diplomacy” – are clear indications that Biden is prepared to cut Assad some slack where there are obvious benefits to U.S. interests in the region.

It would be hard to imagine that two key decisions in the regime’s favour – Interpol allowing Syria arrest warrant rights and for the WHO to give Syria a seat on its executive board – were not given the tacit approval of the Biden administration. Given that Interpol now is obliged to arrest anyone of the thousands of Syrian dissidents living around the world, or that Assad’s Syria today is a country of people starving while billions of dollars of drugs are being manufactured there, the shift is significant.

Pragmatism seems to be kicking in. The West has lost its own proxy war against the Syrian dictator and there is a general feeling now of working more with Assad and cutting our losses. The war is over, except for Idlib province where Russia fights Turkey-backed extremists and perhaps ten years later the general public who vote in western leaders have educated themselves and learnt a few of the nuances of the ten year battle to overthrow Assad, dressed up as a war against terror; these days, there are pockets of online pundits in both America and the UK who understand that Assad’s forces were allies in fact with the West, in their war against Al Qaeda and its affiliates – a nuanced detail regularly over looked or not even understood by MSM in America.

But what could Biden gain by signalling this shift and stopping short of going the full nine yards himself and lifting all sanctions? Or rather, is it more what he won’t lose?

Lebanon’s meltdown, which saw just this week a total blackout of electricity, is part of it. As Iran wasted no time sending fuel to this tiny country which in recent months has undergone massive shortages and long lines at the pumps, Biden does not want to be the U.S. president whose tenure in office is tarnished by letting Lebanon fall into the abyss and become a full-on Iranian colony, to join Syria, Iraq and Yemen as a fully signed up member of the axis of resistance to U.S. hegemony.

Yet it was a perceived threat to America’s hegemony which assisted the Muslim Brotherhood attempted overthrow of Assad in the first place, which is where this all started. Assad himself must be delighted with how history has done a full circle on him. Despite a country with a destroyed economy and people on the brink of starvation, politically perhaps at his lowest point, he has to only look to the future to see where all this is heading. In recent days, King Abdullah of Jordan made some headlines for having a secret overseas stash of a mere hundred million dollars (small change compared to his Gulf neighbours). He also telephoned President Assad, a man who he had defamed quite spectacularly before and wooed him, talking of the “brotherly” countries and signalling to the Syrian leader that he was ready to welcome him back as a friend and a neighbour. And so, with Syria almost certainly destined to be reinstated at the mother of all talk-lunch-sleep shops, otherwise known as the Arab League, it is probably only a matter of time before Biden moves up a notch the sanctions relief, hoping that this new Syria strategy will give him leverage with the Iranians at the negotiating table in Vienna over the so-called Iran Deal. This is the real story, in reality. Biden badly needs to stop sinking in the Iranian quagmire and showing some peripheral support for Syria is expected to earn him some points. It’s as though we’ve gone back to 2007 with Nancy Pelosi and her “let’s use Assad to control people we don’t normally talk to” approach which almost got the Syrian president “buddy” status in Washington. Almost.

Nations Built on Lies – How the US Became Rich

October 16, 2021

Nations Built on Lies – How the US Became Rich

Foreword, Prologue, Introduction:  This is Part 1 of 6 and will form a complete ebook that will be available for download with part six.

Foreword

From: James Bacque

Date: Saturday, Jan 5, 2019 9:13 PM

Dear Larry

Thanks for the information–as you guessed I have encountered much of it myself already. I wish you good luck . . . Be as moderate as you can in expressing your very important findings. Remember that hardly anyone knows as much as you do and some of your findings are very upsetting.

All the best

Jim

Prologue To Volume One

A Brief History of America That You Won’t Learn in a University

One of the more popular historical myths embedded in the American consciousness by the propaganda machine relates to the migration of settlers to the New World, the narrative detailing how hundreds of thousands of the virtuous oppressed flocked to the dockyards in a headlong rush for freedom and opportunity. There may indeed have been five or six such persons, but a much larger group was there to escape the hangman and jailer and an even larger selection were slave traders, hookers, and budding capitalist scam artists looking for greener pastures. When we add in the vast numbers hoping to escape justified persecution for their perverted witches-brew versions of Christianity, the first Americans were hardly role models for a new nation. The evidence is more clearly on the side of criminals, losers and misfits, religious whackos and opportunists than on the mythical oppressed. And, for the record, there is no evidence whatever of settlers emigrating to America in search of either “freedom” or “opportunity”, at least not within the current meaning of these words.

Good mental health was not a prerequisite for European settlers emigrating to the New World. We are fond of reminding ourselves that Australia was (and mostly still is) populated primarily with murderers, thieves and sexual perverts, but the immigrants to America were not noticeably better. Indeed, the inscription on the Statue of Liberty got the words more or less correct in referring to “the wretched refuse of your teeming shore”. While the Australians had their serial killers and muggers, the Europeans went one better with their Christian extremists who spent their weekdays burning witches and killing Indians, and their Sundays in church thanking God for the opportunity. The Australians have marginally improved their habits over the centuries while the Americans have not.

America is widely accepted, and indeed even prides itself, on being a deeply Christian country, with 65% or more of the population declaring religion important in their lives. This would be supported by history, since the major migrations to the New World consisted of a long list of flaky religious sects whose primary goal in emigration was the opportunity to build a society entirely based on those isolationist and extremist heresies. It is probably safe to say that Salem witchcraft was the seedbed in which the peculiarly American version of Christian theology sprouted and flourished, and which also served as a practical introduction to mass hysteria which would later be so usefully applied to the concepts of patriotism and democracy. The enduring echoes of this religious ancestry have been highly influential in all of subsequent American history.

The Preamble to the American Declaration of Independence (“The most famous words in the English language”, if you’re American; just another Hello Kitty greeting card, if you’re not), states: “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all White Men were created superior and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, the most important of which is slavery”. In the recent history of the modern world, only two nations of people have so thoroughly embraced slavery as to have practiced it on an immense scale for hundreds of years: the Christians in America and the Dalai Lamas in Tibet. And only these two groups so cherished slavery in their hearts they fought a civil war over the right to maintain it. It is hardly a moral selling point that both sets of racist bigots lost the war and, while Mao cleaned up Tibet, the racism and bigotry persisted in America, often violently, for another 200 years and is still widely in evidence today. Christian virtue does not die easily.

Internationally, the American government and its leaders function with an absolute amorality, driven primarily by their commercial Darwinism, their law-of-the-jungle, might-makes-right philosophy. Yet individually most Americans accept all this as somehow being righteous and pleasing in the eyes of their god. The vast network of torture prisons, the numerous governments overthrown, the countless brutal dictatorships installed and supported, the commercial and military enslavement of so many populations, the 10 to 20 million civilians massacred, the constant meddling in the internal affairs of other nations, the so-frequent destabilisation of governments, the plundering of the resources of so many nations. All of these are excused, justified, forgiven, often praised, then quickly forgotten by these moral Christians. Americans may be comfortable with all this cognitive dissonance, but as Jiddu Krishnamurti aptly wrote, “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society”.

Hypocrisy has always been a prominent, if not quite endearing, feature of Americans, and especially of their government. It is Americans who preach democracy and freedom at home while installing brutal puppet dictators all over the world, who preach free trade at home while practicing savage mercantilistic protectionism abroad. It is Americans who espouse human rights at home while building the largest network of torture prisons in the history of the world. And of course, preaching that human life is precious at home while murdering millions in other nations in trumped-up wars of liberation. It is only Americans who moan about “the appalling loss of 5,000 American lives” in Iraq while killing one million Iraqis, half of whom were children. It is only the Americans who use the CIA, NED, USAID and the VOA to pay and prod individuals in other countries to create internal political dissent, then condemn a government for cracking down on “innocent dissidents”. Maybe one day Americans will lose their stomach for all this creation of worldwide instability and have another American revolution. And not before time.

Most Americans are only dimly aware of their own sordid past, a situation abetted by all the blank pages in the history books. The portions of US history contained in these pages have mostly been excised from the historical memory of Americans because they don’t fit the mythical narrative. Most Americans fervently believe their country was founded on God and Christian virtue, liberty, democracy, human rights and free trade, but when we dig beneath the propaganda and jingoism we discover the United States of America was founded on religious extremism, racism, slavery, genocide, a brutal imperialism and a virulently predatory strain of capitalism.

These volumes contain a capsule history of the United States of America with selections that will not be found in any history book, but that nevertheless consists of facts which are not in dispute. From here, we will look at some specifics, beginning with how America became rich. From this point forward, ideology and reality will be in constant conflict, presenting stark challenges to our uninformed beliefs.

Quiz on American History

a. Which US Secretary of State holds the World Record for being the most prolific baby-killer in recorded history?

b. Which US General holds the World Record as the greatest pathological mass killer in modern history?

c. Fidel Castro listed in the Guinness Book of Records as surviving 638 murder attempts by the US government. For what was he being punished?

d. The father of which recent US President conspired with a group of Jewish bankers and industrialists in 1933, engaging a famous General to amass an army of 500,000 troops to overthrow the US government and install a fascist dictatorship in America?

e. How many times has the US invaded Canada?

f. The US has been a nation for about 245 years. For how many of those years has the US been at war?

g. How many democracies has the US installed in other nations during its lifetime? How many brutal dictatorships has the US installed in other nations during its lifetime?

h. Japan conducted abominable human experimentation in China during WWII – Shiro Ishii’s infamous Unit 731. Why was Japan spared war crimes trials?

i. How many Presidents, Prime Ministers and senior government officials of other countries has the US assassinated for disobedience or obstruction to hegemony?

j. Which country operates the only Torture University in the world?

k. For several hundred years, slave-trading was the highest-paying job in America. What was the second-highest-paying?

l. Which government for about 100 years paid a lifetime salary to any citizen who could steal patents and processes from other countries?

m. Which revered US Supreme Court justice recommended killing off all Americans of low IQ?

n. The government of which country for decades silenced political dissidents by performing frontal lobotomies and turning them into vegetables?

o. Which famous American institution recommended “mercy killings” of the economically unfit, these to be performed in local gas chambers?

p. Which American Defense Secretary gathered 500,000 young men with an average IQ of about 65 and sent them to Vietnam? How many returned? What was his punishment?

q. Which American Military physician appeared before Congress in what year, asking for $10 million to fund the creation of the HIV virus? Did he receive the money?

r. When and where was Coca-Cola was invented?

s. Which famous person invented the incandescent light bulb? Which the telephone? The most famous American inventor was Thomas Edison. How many things did Edison invent?

t. We are told Germany killed some 6,000,000 Jews during WWII. How many Germans were killed in Germany AFTER the end of WWII?

u. Which famous physicist wrote to Roosevelt, offering to fund the entire unknown cost of creating the atomic bomb, stating the funds were already confirmed available?

v. Which famous US President was the illegitimate son of a Jewish slave trader?

w. Abraham Lincoln’s wife was an inveterate opium addict. Who was her opium supplier?

x. In what year was slavery abolished in the US?

y. Which US President exposed tens of millions of US citizens to radiation from open-air atomic tests, then instructed medics to inform women experiencing leukemia, hair loss, miscarriages, that they were suffering from “housewife syndrome”?

z. Which famous shoe did Nike design that set Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman on the road to fame and glory?

Answers

a. Madeleine Albright; Iraq, 500,000

b. Cutis LeMay; about 20 million, give or take

c. Expelling the Jews from Cuba

d. George Bush

e. Five so far

f. 235

g. Zero. More than 50, and counting

h. Ishii and his entire unit were transported to the US to teach Americans the pleasures of live vivisections and other atrocities. Ishii was a Professor at the University of Maryland until his death decades later.

i. More than 150, and counting (including Dag Hammarskjöld, Secretary-General of the UN)

j. The US of A; the “University of the Americas” in Fort Benning, Georgia

k. Killing Indians

l. The US of A. Amounts of $20,000 to $50,000, in the 1800s

m. Oliver Wendell Holmes

n. The US of A. (FBI)

o. Carnegie

p. Robert McNamara. Not many, but the Defense Dept. refuses to release statistics. Made President of the World Bank.

q. Dr. Donald MacArthur, Deputy Director, Research and Engineering, Department of Defense. 1969. Yes.

r. The Spanish town of Aielo de Malferit, 40 years before Coke stole the patent.

s. Joseph Swan, USA, five years before Edison stole the patent. Antonio Meucci, Italy, five years before Bell stole the patent. None. All Edison’s patents were either stolen, bullied, extorted or purchased.

t. Between 12 million and 14 million; some by execution, the bulk by starvation.

u. Albert Einstein, funds offered by Rothschild and other European Jewish bankers.

v. Abraham Lincoln; the son of A. A. Springs(tein) and Nancy Hanks. Adopted by the Lincoln family.

w. A Jewish drug dealer named John Wilkes Booth.

x. Slavery was never abolished in the US. It just changed form.

y. Eisenhower

z. The Japanese Onitsuka Tiger. Nike stole the design and began manufacturing in the US. American courts ruled Onitsuka and Nike could “share” the patent.

Introduction to the Series

David Edwards was quoted in the Third World Traveler as having written:

“Even open-minded people will often find themselves unable to take seriously the likes of Noam Chomsky, Edward Herman, Howard Zinn and Susan George on first encountering their work; it just does not seem possible that we could be so mistaken in what we believe. The individual may assume that these writers must be somehow joking, wildly over-stating the case, paranoid, or have some sort of axe to grind. We may actually become angry with them for telling us these terrible things about our society and insist that this simply ‘can’t be true’. It takes real effort to keep reading, to resist the reassuring messages of the mass media and be prepared to consider the evidence again.”

This is the condition we face in dealing with America and Americans today: a blind faith and conviction based on a century of clever marketing and nationalistic propaganda that is almost inevitably contradicted by the facts. In truth, there is little about the US today that is not based on fabricated historical mythologies, buried history, biased presentations, facts twisted so badly as to be often unrecognisable. Probably 95% of what Americans ‘know’ about their nation, its history and its conduct in international affairs, is wrong, and often violently wrong. I am not so much concerned with what Americans believe about their own country, but it is a concern that this enormous compendium of historical fiction has been marketed to the rest of the world as truth, with peoples in many other nations believing the same fairytales as do the Americans and holding that nation in a level of regard that is to say the least undeserved, and often dangerous for the absence of truths.

These truths are the content of these books, the history of the US as it really was then and still is today, harsh provable truths and documented realities without the vast comforter of propaganda, jingoism, patriotism and misinformation that blankets the nation we know as the United States of America. Coincident with what is truly an almost incomprehensible volume of rose-tinted misinformation about the US is an equal volume of black-tinted information about the world outside the US. To the same extent that Americans have been subjected to a century or more of positive and unforgivably false propaganda about their own nation, they have also been subjected to enormously false negative propaganda and misinformation about the world outside their borders.

This series of books was to a large extent an accident of circumstance which began with my extended stay in China and the almost immediate realisation that the voluminous negative flood about China persistently emanating from the Western Zionist media was entirely false; demonisation and propaganda at their worst, giving Americans wholly unrealistic and often vicious misinterpretations and misunderstandings about the realities of China. After viewing a decade or more of this onslaught, and after writing many series of articles in attempts to correct some of the more egregious falsehoods, it seemed a book might be a more appropriate format. But then during ten years or more of historical research, it became apparent that Americans had been subjected to an even greater campaign of misinformation about their own nation than about China and other foreign countries.

I then seemed faced with a two-fold task: to correct – in the eyes of Americans, and perhaps Westerners generally – some of the more glaring misinformation about China, but then to correct – in the eyes of Americans – the even more glaring misinformation about their own country. To further complicate the issues, it gradually became clear that the world outside the US had been so contaminated by American historical mythology, jingoism and propaganda that foreigners were largely living in the same fairyland, insofar as the realities of America were concerned, as were the Americans themselves. To add to the confusion, it eventually emerged that the US-based power of the media, of advertising, of propaganda and misinformation, had contaminated not only the American view of other nations but the views of the peoples within those nations – to the point where Russians or Chinese or Vietnamese had been excessively exposed (thanks in no small part to malignancies like the VOA and Radio Free Europe) to both the glorified but false images of the US and the comparatively derogatory but false images of their own nations that had been so heavily propagated by the American government and the Zionist media to their own people. One book thus became five.

These books are intended to provide only a summary of the related topics. Full volumes can, and have been, written on many of the topics in these chapters. We have seen many books on the CIA involvement in narcotics or in Tibet, volumes on the discrepancies in the official 9-11 narrative or the Bush regime torture prisons, others on the various failings of US democracy or the American educational system. But these individual offerings, useful as they are, treat the segments as essentially disparate and unrelated issues where in reality most of them are integral parts of a deeply-connected whole. My purpose in these volumes is to present a unified picture to enable readers to see the entire landscape as a single canvas and appreciate the inter-relationships of the parts. It is this unified image that will provide a comprehensive understanding of world events and the forces driving them.

Preface To Volume One

Almost every individual or family has what we call ‘skeletons in the closet’, a collection of perhaps embarrassing or even shameful events, regrettable actions, unsavory family members, sins we committed that we would rather not confess in public, things we do not dwell on and would prefer to forget, recognition not only of our imperfections but reflecting the reality that we not so much make mistakes as sometimes act with less than honorable motives.

Included in this category are lies that we tell. Many of these are what we call ‘white lies’, usually small avoidances of truth often done for convenience or even a good cause. No doubt all of us lie on occasion, but there are precious few of us for whom lies constitute the foundation of our lives, where we are in a real sense “living a lie”. We occasionally encounter people who lie about their educational credentials or work history, sometimes greatly exaggerating their accomplishments, and in these instances the lies may serve as an important part of the foundation of a person’s life, perhaps obtaining a highly-paid position based on entirely false credentials, a life that would in part disintegrate if all the truths were known. We find this sometimes with con artists, whose very existence seems built on a vast and intricate weaving of lies, with lives that would indeed disintegrate if the truths were made public. These latter people are, in some real sense, “living a lie”.

Moving from individuals to nations, there are a few countries in the world that fit this latter category, one being the United States of America – a nation and a people that are in every sense living a lie, with virtually the entire foundation of beliefs, of actions, of history, of national pride, of citizenship, based on things that are not only not true but constitute an all-encompassing network of fabricated historical myths. This is not an idle claim, and is not an accusation that can be made against many other countries. I know of no place regarding the US where we can look and not find the landscape littered with falsehoods and supported by an enormous scaffolding of myths, half-truths, buried facts, boldly revised history, nationalistic propaganda and magnificent outright lies. It is true that most nations sugar-coat some parts of their history, but the US is almost unique in the world in being a nation that is genuinely built – and almost entirely built – on a foundation of lies.

With most other nations, if all their historical and political lies were fully exposed with all truths openly documented, they would still survive. But for Americans, the existential threat would be unbearable and I do not believe the US could survive as a nation if all its historical truths were unveiled and confirmed, in a manner by which Americans were compelled to confront them as fact, where denial was not an option.

As two minor examples, we have the now well-documented fact that the US government abandoned several thousand prisoners of war in Vietnam, men held back by the Vietnamese pending the American payment of the agreed war reparations of several billions of dollars. The US government had no intention of paying the money and so walked away from the table, leaving the men behind. Many veterans attempted to bring this to public attention, even testifying before Congress; many had unshakable proof of their claims, but the government – and the media – ignored them until recently when all the factual details emerged in second-tier internet news sites and could no longer be avoided. A much greater existential threat lies in the truth of Pearl Harbor, where it is no longer a secret, except to Americans, that Roosevelt knew not only of the impending Japanese attack (which he had carefully and deliberately provoked), but that he knew precisely the location and course of the Japanese fleet and the date and time of the attack. Roosevelt and his aides held back this information from their own high-level military at Pearl Harbor, sacrificing those lives for the greater objective of a “justified” entry into both theaters of the Second World War.

I believe there are almost no Americans with the emotional capacity to face this brutal truth, either philosophically or emotionally, and yet similar evidence virtually floods the available information sources. I would repeat here David Edwards’ words that “we will become angry with them for telling us these terrible things about our society and insist that this simply ‘can’t be true’.” Yet these things have always been true about the American government. It wasn’t so long ago that declassified documents revealed Operation Northwoods, where the CIA proposed to shoot down a planeload of American college students and a US space shuttle launch, using those as justification to invade Cuba and remove Castro. The US government has both proposed and executed dozens of these atrocities over the years, all hidden from the American mind and heart with the compliance of the media. Pearl Harbor was by no means the worst of these, but few Americans will be able to deal with these truths of their nation.

Many other events are perhaps less brutal but no less breathtaking in their dishonesty. All the tales of how the US became rich, the jingoistic mantras of ingenuity and innovation, of wealth resulting from freedom and democracy, hard work and fair play, are entirely false, and repugnantly so. America became rich through a program of organised violence encompassing hundreds of years, through centuries of unpaid slave labor, military invasions, and the bullying and plundering of weaker nations. The propaganda of the benefits of American-style capitalism follows this same pattern, but Americans are fed this pulp from birth and no longer have the intelligence to see the truth. The US government statistics on items like inflation, unemployment, GDP and more, are the most misleading and dishonest of all nations today. The propaganda machine tells us otherwise, but one need only look at the facts. The US has for the last century been the largest perpetrator of espionage in the world, this activity provably including commercial espionage on a grand scale for more than a century, but the propaganda machine lays this accusation on other nations while claiming a desire to collect only information on terrorists. An enormous lie of a magnitude almost too large to comprehend or refute.

Thomas Edison, revered in American history books as one of the most prolific inventors of all time, never invented anything. The stories about him are fabricated historical myths, as are the cherished legends of the Wright Brothers making the first powered flight or Alexander Graham Bell inventing the telephone. Coca-Cola was a world-famous Spanish product stolen and patented by US pharmacist John Pemberton, with the US government refusing to recognise the prior patents. Tales of American inventiveness and IP are almost 180 degrees from the truth, with solidly documented proof that the US stole more IP from more countries than did any other nation, by orders of magnitude, paying $20,000 to $50,000 to anyone who could accomplish such a theft, at a time when even $20,000 was a lifetime salary for an average person. This pattern is consistent in every area and every field of endeavor in American society. The entire history of the US, as described in the history books and repeated incessantly by everyone from Hollywood to various Presidents, is almost all false, and the parts not false are almost always misrepresented. The nation of America and all of its people, are truly living a lie.

The entire thread of “Democracy” and “democratic values” is one of the greatest serial lies ever told. American history books, and American minds, are filled with tales of the US “making the world safe for democracy” by battling tyranny everywhere and installing democratic governments, but this has never happened even one time. While the propaganda machine was flooding the imaginary world with tales of democracies, the US was flooding the real world with brutal military dictators that would permit US multinationals and banks to pillage their countries. All the theory of the US’ fabled democracy, the government by the people, the checks and balances, is false, with the truth in the open but Americans so indoctrinated nobody seems able to see. Furthermore, the US government has made it illegal to teach many of these truths in America’s public schools.

All the propaganda of moral superiority, of concern for human rights, are, as we will see, lies in their entirety. The US is not only not morally superior, but has the worst human rights record of all nations excepting one, in recent centuries. Americans have many tales – almost all false – of other nations committing wartime atrocities while their own government and military were committing far worse and heavily censoring the media to prevent that knowledge from escaping custody. Almost no Americans know of the vast massacres committed by their military in the Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, Germany and Iraq. Human rights atrocities began from the first days of the white settlers landing in North America, and have never ceased. Ever since the US outsourced to other countries its human rights atrocities, it has boasted to the world of its moral righteousness in human rights leadership, but all was based on lies, deception and marketing. The world’s only “torture university” – the infamous School of the Americas, the decades of cruel and even savage atrocities inflicted on so many of the world’s nations, have been lost in the American propaganda of goodness.

The US heavily promotes its fictitious position as the world’s policeman, but it has never once acted in such a capacity. No nation has ever been protected or defended from anything by the US, but many dozens have instead been ravaged and destroyed by this same imaginary angel of mercy. Everything about the US protecting any part of the world, is an outright lie. American heads are filled with tales of American goodness rescuing these populations from tyranny, but the hundreds of US military interventions have been undertaken to beat down indigenous populations who were rebelling against American imperialism, poverty and death. The US Congressional Record lists these interventions as “protecting American interests” without providing details on precisely what interests were being protected, by what means this “protection” was being inflicted and, most importantly, why America had any “interests” in those nations in the first place.

The US government has not only lied about every war and foreign military intervention, but has most often created false-flag events to accompany the lies and create fictitious justifications for belligerent action. The American entry to World War One was promoted by perhaps the greatest woven tapestry of lies ever created, thanks to Lippman and Bernays, a project that involved literally millions of lies told over a period of years, sufficient to brainwash an entire population into hating an innocent country. The promotion of World War Two was not better in any respect. The Americans have done this since the destruction of the warship Maine in Cuba’s harbor more than a century ago, and have never ceased these enormous self-inflicted injuries. Lies used to justify more lies.

It is now well-known and not in dispute that US officials told more than 900 separate lies to justify the invasion and destruction of Iraq. The same is true with Libya, and with Syria today. The same is true of the destruction of Yugoslavia, another devastating military adventure based 100% on lies. All of the so-called “color revolutions” and other similar were not initiated to protect local populations from dictators but to punish unwilling nations for resisting the brutal American-style capitalism that was ravaging their shores. Ukraine, Russia, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Brazil, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and so many more nations have been under attack by the US government simply for resisting colonisation, but stillborn American minds believe they are God’s representatives pressuring “the bad guys”. Every part of American foreign policy and foreign involvement is covered with a carpet of lies, the media assisting in subversion and burying of the truths.

It would be useful to collect a catalogue of lies told by American presidents, Secretaries of State and other high officials, and publish these alongside the true facts. Consider this statement by George Bush made in 2003, just as his vast international kidnapping and torture regime was running at top speed: “The United States is committed to the world-wide elimination of torture and we are leading this fight by example. I call on all governments to join with the United States and the community of law-abiding nations in prohibiting, investigating, and prosecuting all acts of torture and in undertaking to prevent other cruel and unusual punishment. I call on all nations to speak out against torture in all its forms and to make ending torture an essential part of their diplomacy.” Name one president of any country that has told a greater lie than this one by George Bush.

The US government and its agencies boast to the world about their freedom of speech while condemning censorship in other nations, yet the US is probably the most heavily censored of all countries. The fact that the media are willing conspirators does not change the fact that all news and public content is heavily controlled and that 95% of what Americans “know” about their own nation and the world, is false. The US news media invariably present only one side of events that proselytise the current political agenda, leaving the American people hopelessly in the dark about the true facts. This is so true that one US columnist noted that only 4% of Americans have any awareness of the immense brutality perpetrated on the people of Palestine by the state of Israel for the past 70 years. American history books and other educational materials consist largely of historical myths, propaganda about the goodness of America, about the badness of other nations, lies about the foundation and entire history of America itself. Hollywood is one of the worst criminals in this regard, with virtually every movie containing historical content being little more than a twisted propaganda film, satisfying one ideology or another while totally misleading Americans on the truths of their own nation. Stephen Spielberg’s recent ‘Lincoln’ movie is one such example, but there are hundreds of others.

The US, the one nation in the world stridently claiming an absolute freedom from propaganda, brainwashing and censorship, is in fact and reality the nation most overwhelmed with precisely these attributes. We will see irrefutable evidence that American schoolchildren are exposed to extensive indoctrination virtually from birth in terms of politics, capitalism, consumerism, patriotism, moral superiority, American exceptionalism and so much more. We will see that this indoctrination and brainwashing are so extensive that the American view of itself and its place in the world bear almost no comparison to reality, to the extent that this vast gulf between beliefs and reality constitutes a national mental illness. Given the enormous cognitive dissonance in America today, one can conclude only that Americans are the most deluded people on earth.

And in the end, this is the reason the US Department of Homeland Security has built its 800 detention centers and purchased its three billion bullets, the same reason that many (Western) columnists are openly suggesting that the rampant abuse of power, the entrenched corruption and feeding from the public trough, the persistent plundering and terrorising of nations with civilian casualties in the millions, “has become so widespread, so deeply entrenched and so increasingly bold, that the only possible remedy is a revolution”. American and European columnists are becoming increasingly vocal in actually recommending another American revolution, convinced that only a popular uprising of the population acting in concert would have the power to reverse this tide. Until then, America, unlike almost every other nation in the world, will continue to be a nation built on lies.


Part Two of Six will contain:  Colonisation, Labor and Slavery

Image credit:  https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202109/17/WS6143dbbda310e0e3a6822281.html

هل يوجد قضاء بجرؤ على اتهام جعجع؟

أكتوبر/ 16 تشرين الأول 2021

ناصر قنديل

قبل ربع قرن تجرأ قضاة المجلس العدلي الذين لا يمكن توصيفهم كأدوات تعمل لدى ما سُمّي بنظام أمني سوري لبناني، وهم خيرة الجسم القضائي في لبنان وأعلى مراتب قضاته، وأكثرهم نزاهة، وأصدروا أحكاماً بحق قائد القوات اللبنانية سمير جعجع، ولأنّ أحكامهم يصعب إبطالها لم يجرؤ الذين أرادوا إعادة جعجع إلى الحياة السياسية على طلب إعادة محاكمته بموجب قانون خاص، بل أصدروا عفواً ينهي عقوبته ولا يعيد تقديمه للمحاكمة التي يفترض أن تعلن براءته إذا كانت الأحكام مسيّسة كما يزعم، حصل ذلك في لحظة استثمار الانقلاب الأمني والسياسي الذي تحقق تحت كذبة التحقيق الدولي (المهني والمحترف والنزيه)، حيث تم سجن القادة الأمنيين بتهمة التورط في اغتيال الرئيس رفيق الحريري وفقاً لشهادات زور، وأخليت الساحة هذه المرة لتركيب نظام أمني أميركي لبناني مشترك لا يزال قائماً في الميدانين الأمني والقضائي، لا بل تمت عملية رعاية تجذيره وتطويره، بينما كانت المقاومة وحلفاؤها يحصرون معاركهم في رسم التوازنات السياسية للسلطة، برلماناً وحكومة ورئاسات.

خلال مرحلة ما بعد خروج جعجع من السجن حرصت ماكينته الحزبية، وحرص شخصياً على بناء فريق حقوقي من عشرات المحامين يتواجد بصورة لصيقة بالجسم القضائي، وتعمد إقامة مئات الدعاوى على كل من تجرأ ووصفه بالقاتل أو المجرم، وفقاً لتوصيف الحكم الصادر بحقه عن أعلى مرجع قضائي، وهو حكم لا يطاله قانون العفو الذي يلغي العقوبة وليس الحكم، ولا تمت عملية مراجعة الحكم بحكم جديد يصدر بعد إعادة محاكمة، لكن الذي جرى أن أغلبية كاسحة من الأحكام القضائية تم أخذها في جلسات شكلية تحيز فيها أغلب القضاة بعصبية عدائية لصالح جعجع لاحظها المدعى عليهم من تفاصيل حضورهم أمام القضاة، وطبيعة الأحكام، التي لم تكن أهميتها بمضمونها بقدر دورها في تطويع الجسم القضائي لتجنب تكرار وقوف قاض يتجرأ على إصدار حكم لا يرضي جعجع، وكأن القضاء يريد محو ذاكرته تجاه الحكم الصادر عن أعلى مراجعه، وهو ما لا يطاله قانون العفو، بل أراد القضاء التكفير عن تجرؤه على جعجع وكسب الرضا، طالما أن القضاء بموجب قانون العفو صار ممسحة لألاعيب السياسة والسياسيين، وفقدت أحكامه قيمتها القانونية وصار سهلاً اتهام كبار القضاة بزبائنية ومحسوبية وجبن وتبعية لمجرد أنهم تجرأوا من مواقعهم كأعضاء في المجلس العدلي الذي أصدر الحكم على جعجع، ويكفي تذكر الأسماء لنعرف حجم الجريمة التي لا زال القضاء يقع تحت أعبائها، قضاة من وزن فيليب خيرالله وحكمت هرموش وحسين الزين وأحمد المعلم ورالف رياشي وجورج قاصوف.

تزامن ذلك خلال خمسة عشر سنة مع اهتمام أميركي استثنائي بالجسمين القضائي والأمني، على كل مستويات المسؤولية، بعلاقات مباشرة وتكوين ملفات، ودعوات وزيارات، ومنح دورات تدريبية، واشتغل الأميركيون على بناء منظومة صلبة في الجسم المتداخل بين الأمن والقضاء والهيئات الحقوقية، بينما كانت الأحزاب السياسية بما فيها المعنيون بالمقاومة تشتغل السياسة بطرقها التقليدية، وتتهاون بكل استهداف يطالها، فتحجم عن رفع الدعاوى بحق من يتناولها بالإساءة بداعي الترفع مرة وداعي الشعور بعدم الأهمية أو الشعور بالقوة مرات، فترك الجسم القضائي يخضع للضغط من جهة واحدة، وفي كل مرة تأتي التعيينات القضائية والأمنية، كان القضاة والضباط يتم ترشيحهم من مرجعيات طوائفهم، لكن الكثيرين كان ولاؤهم الداخلي لمرجعيتهم الطائفية، لكن تحت عباءتها يقيمون حساباً ومكانة لعلاقتهم بالأميركي الذي يملك قدرة الترغيب والترهيب، وكثيراً ما تتحول العلاقة معه إلى مصدر نفوذ لدى المرجعية الطائفية يتلقون عليها التهنئة، وفجأة عندما وقع انفجار المرفأ خرج كل شيء إلى العلن، بعد مؤشرات لم تنل حقها من العناية كقرار المحكمة العسكرية بحق العميل عامر فاخوري وآليات الاشتغال عليه بهدوء وتداخل الأمني والقضائي فيه، وبدا أن هناك منظومة قضائية أمنية تملك السفارة الأميركية القدرة على تحريكها، بينما يملك الآخرون شبكة علاقات عامة بلا نواة صلبة متماسكة تشبه ما يوازيها، رشح المحقق العدلي فادي صوان، وعندما تمت تنحيته رشح المحقق طارق بيطار، فمن رشحهما واحد، ونالا الأغلبية اللازمة ورضا المرجعية السياسية والطائفية والوزارية، وتفاجأ الجميع بالأداء، وظهرت حولهما منظومة إعلامية وحقوقية، تحيط بها تشكيلات من عشرات النشطاء في الشارع يملكون حصرية التحدث باسم أهالي ضحايا المرفأ، وليس معهم من أهل الضحايا أكثر من أهالي عشرة منهم ينتمون إلى خلفيات سياسية قواتية أو قريبة من القوات، بينما لم يقم أحد بتنظيم أهالي أكثر من مئتي شهيد وستة آلاف جريح وآلاف الذين خسروا بيوتهم ومؤسساتهم الموزعين على كل الطوائف والميول السياسية.

جاءت مجزرة الطيونة، وبدأنا نشهد الفيلم الأميركي الطويل منذ زيارة فكتوريا نولاند وتغيير البيانات التي توصف الحدث من رشقات نارية استهدفت محتجين إلى إشكال تحول إلى اشتباك، وحفلت مؤسسات الإعلام الممسوك والقادر والفاعل شهادات لشهود العيان لتقول إن ما جرى كان إشكالاً تحول إلى اشتباك، فتذكرنا فجأة حكاية شهود العيان والحرب على سورية وقناتي الجزيرة والعربية، وكيف كشف لاحقاً عن موظفين لدى القناتين برتبة شهود عيان، وعن شهادات أدلي بها من غرفة قرب استديو الأخبار مع مؤثرات صوتية توحي أنها من الميدان، ولو سلمنا بالروايات التي رأينها وسنرى الكثير منها خلال الأيام القادمة، بأن جراد المحتجين كما قال شاهد عيان دخل شارعاً فرعياً وراح يعتدي على الأملاك، هكذا من دون سبب، وخرج من بين المحتجين مطلقو نار من مسدسات كما قال شاهد آخر، هل هناك من يخبرنا كيف مات الذين قتلوا، ولماذا كل القتلى والجرحى من فئة واحدة، هل ماتوا بصعقة كهربائية، أم أنهم أطلقوا النار فأخطأوا الهدف وربما أصابوا أنفسهم بالخطأ أو جاءهم من رد عليهم بالنار فأصاب الهدف، فهل يريدون إفهامنا كما قال سمير جعجع أن حزب الله أراد تنفيذ 7 أيار ففشل وكان الردع الأهلي العفوي له بالمرصاد، أم نصدق ما كتبه بعض مناصري القوات عن أنه وقت الثأر للقواتيين الذين سقطوا بتفجير المرفأ، فيصبح أفضل ما قد يكشفه التحقيق هو أن مجموعة من هؤلاء قامت، بدافع الغضب من تصريحات ومواقف حزب الله، بالتجمع والتحضير لمواجهة تظاهرة دعا لها الحزب ضد المحقق العدلي الذي يثقون أنه سينصف دماء ضحاياهم، وأن اشتباكاً حصل بين هؤلاء وبعض المشاركين في التظاهرة وانتهى إلى ما حصل قبل أن ينتقل الاشتباك إلى الأحياء المتقابلة، وأن قيادة القوات فوجئت كما الآخرين بما جرى.

هل نتوقع أن يوجد قاض يجرؤ على توجيه الاتهام لسمير جعجع بعد ما جرى في المرة الأولى وما تلاها، وفي ظل رعاية أميركية مباشرة للملف القضائي والأمني، بأوراق قوة تؤثر في قضاة وضباط لهم حسابات مصرفية يهدد الأميركي بتجميدها، وعلى بعضهم ملفات يملك الأميركي قدرة الابتزاز بها، ويرغبون بسفرهم وتعلم أولادهم حيث يملك الأميركي حق الاستضافة بدورات تدريبية ومنح جامعية، وهناك دوائر منظمة حقوقياً وإعلامياً وجمعيات من النشطاء الجاهزين لدعمهم أو ابتزازهم بالتهديد، وهؤلاء النشطاء جاهزون للشهادة بأن اللبن أسود إذا اقتضى رضا الأميركي الذي يعدهم بمقاعد نيابية، أن يقولوا ذلك، والشيعة بينهم هم الأشد حماسة من أقرانهم لفعل ذلك، ولا يجوز إبداء الدهشة والاستغراب من أن ثمة قضاة مستعدون لتوجيه الاتهام لحزب الله فقوته لا تخيف أحداً، وعلى رغم كل الاتهامات بالاغتيالات يعرف الجميع أن حزب الله لا يقتل بل يعرف كيف يقاتل، بينما يخشون سواه كثيراً، سواء كان سواه داخلياً أم خارجياً، فهذا ما تقوله الوقائع عما قد يفعله هؤلاء.

يجب أن ينتبه المعنيون في المقاومة وحلفائها وخصوصاً التيار الوطني الحر أن تنصيب سمير جعجع زعيماً للمسيحيين من بوابة دماء الطيونة، يهدد المقاومة سواء حزب الله وحركة أمل بما هو آت، لكنه ينهي فرص التيار بالحضور السياسي اليوم، فتزعم القوات يمر على جثة التيار وسواه، وليس لدى التيار ترف التلذذ بالشماتة بأمل، وتهديد حزب الله وأمل يمر حكماً بتحجيم التيار ومحاصرته، وأن لا بديل من مواجهة هذا التحدي الذي فرضه الأميركي على الجميع بمن فيهم تيار المستقبل والحزب التقدمي الاشتراكي والقوى المسيحية الوطنية وفي طليعتها تيار المردة والقوى غير الطائفية وفي طليعتها الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي، حيث لا أحد لديه ترف التلذذ بالشماتة بإضعاف التيار الوطني الحر بسبب تاريخ المعاناة من التفرد، فالإضعاف سيتم لحساب تغول جعجع، وأن ذلك يستحق مراجعة جذرية من الجميع، موقع تذكر ويلات الحرب الأهلية وما يعنيه خطر إعادة ماكينة الحرب الأهلية إلى الحياة مجدداً، فالجميع سيقول لاحقاً أكلنا جميعاً يوم أكل الثور الأبيض، ولا أحد يعلم اليوم من هو الثور الأبيض فكلهم مرشح لهذا الدور.

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«القوات» تستعجل حصاد المجزرة: ترهيب الخصوم المسيحيين!

السبت 16 تشرين الأول 2021

ابراهيم الأمين

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في كل مرة، يُعاب على الضحية أنها لم تكن على القدر نفسه من الإجرام أو الوقاحة في ردها على القاتل. يُعاب على من قُتلوا غيلةً وغدراً في الطيونة أول من أمس، أنهم فشلوا في الدفاع عن أنفسهم. لكن، هل سبق أن تحدّث أي من المقتولين في صبرا وشاتيلا، في النبعة وضبية، في زغرتا والصفرا، في بعبدا والحازمية وثكنة سعيد في عين الرمانة، في كرم الزيتون وكورنيش النهر، في شكا والبترون والكورة، في وادي شحرور والكحالة وجرد المتن الشمالي…؟ هل سمع أحد رواية هؤلاء؟ ما سمعناه، طوال الوقت، أنهم لم يكونوا على قدر «المسؤولية»، أي أنهم لم يكونوا مجرمين بقدر القاتل الآتي إليهم جاهزاً ومصمماً ومخططاً، ومعه صك غفران أعطاه إياه كاهن حاقد تربّى على زرع الخوف في قلوب رعيته، وأقنعهم بأن مفاتيح الجنة في جيبه، ينالها من يرضيه بالقرابين من دماء الأقربين قبل الأبعدين.

قرّر قائد الجيش اللبناني، خلافاً لتقدير مديرية الاستخبارات لديه، ولقادة العمليات على الأرض، أن ما حصل في الطيونة كان اشتباكاً مسلحاً بين مجموعات مختلفة. قال بيان الجيش (الثاني في اليوم نفسه مخالفاً البيان الأول) إن ما حصل لا يعدو كونه مشكلة بين زعران كما يحصل في كثير من المناطق. لكنهم ليسوا من النوع الذي يتطلب عملية دهم واعتقال أو قتل إذا لزم الأمر. وهو تدرب على فعل هذا في أمكنة أخرى، حيث لا صور للضحايا ولا من يحزنون.

أما ديكة مزابل المجتمع المدني وصيصانهم، اليمينية منها واليسارية المقيتة أيضاً، فقد انتظروا بضع ساعات، قبل أن تأتي التعليمة بأن ما جرى في الطيونة لم يكن سوى عملية انتحار تسبّب بها من قرّر التعبير عن رأيه. وأكّد لنا هؤلاء أن الاحتجاج على تحقيقات طارق البيطار جريمة وليس مجرّد رأي يخالف صاحب السلطان، وأن هؤلاء المحتجين لا يشبهون أولئك الذين قرروا التظاهر لـ«قبع» السلطة والدولة والنظام، لأن الصنف الثاني من شعب الله المختار، ولديهم حق الحصول على مبتغاهم وليس التعبير عن مطلبهم فقط. أما من يرشقهم بحجر، أو يضربهم بعصا، فمجرم يُفترض أن يدفع الثمن مع كل أهله حتى لا يعيد الكرّة.

صيصان السفارات، كما إعلام طحنون بن زايد وتركي آل الشيخ ودوروثي شيا، قرروا أن التظاهر أمام العدلية مخالف لقواعد العمل السياسي. فبحسب دساتيرهم، لـ«الصفوة»، فقط، حق الدعوة إلى نسف النظام، أما «الرعاع» فلا حق لهم حتى بالاحتجاج على سلوك قاض يقود البلاد نحو الفتنة الكبرى. وجد هؤلاء أن ما حصل في الطيونة لا يعدو كونه إشكالاً تسبب به من دعا إلى التظاهرة، ولا حاجة إلى السؤال عن القاتل. وعند الحَشْرة. تبدأ لعبة السرديات:

أين هم مسلحو القوات اللبنانية حتى تتهموا هذا الحزب الأخضر وملاكه القائد بسفك الدماء؟ أين صورهم وأسلحتهم وصراخهم وصوتهم المرتفع؟ فيما يُبرزون صور مسلحين من حركة أمل انتشروا في المنطقة بعد تعرّض تظاهرتهم لإطلاق النار. ورغم أن عراضات أمل لم تكن يوماً موفقة وفعّالة، لا في الشكل ولا في المضمون، إلا أن القاتل وحماته وإعلامه قرّروا أن هؤلاء هم من ارتكب المجزرة، ويُسلّطون الكاميرات على زجاج واجهة محطمة ليُثبتوا لنا أن ما حصل لم يكن سوى رد فعل على غزوة قام بها زعران ضد منطقة آمنة!


كيف قرر قائد الجيش أن ما حصل تبادل لإطلاق النار، وكيف قتل «الزعران» أهلهم ولم يصيبوا خصماً بخدش، وكيف تحوّل محترفون إلى هواة في لحظة؟


مع ذلك، فإن أياً من هؤلاء لا يشرح لنا ما الذي حدث. من سفارات القتل والقهر والسرقة التي تمثل أميركا وبريطانيا وفرنسا وألمانيا والسعودية والإمارات، إلى الجيش والقوى العسكرية والأجهزة الأمنية على اختلافها، إلى الأحزاب والقوى الثورية التي تريد استعادة رونق الزمن الجميل في بلاد الأرز، إلى الصيصان الذين يقترحون أنفسهم بدلاء لإدارة ما تبقى من دولة، إلى قضاة اختارهم النظام الفاسد ويريدون إقناعنا بأنهم ينتفضون للكرامة الوطنية حتى ولو شاركوا في التحريض على ما يقود إلى جريمة بحجم حرب أهلية، وبعضهم الآخر تجمّع في ناد لا يميّز بين القاتل والضحية، ولا يرى في كل ما يحصل سوى حصانة مطلقة لقاض لا يُرد حكمه ولو كان على شكل فتنة… مروراً بجمعيات الصيصان وأحزابها بكل تلاوينها وأشكالها، وصولاً إلى البيان – المأساة، الذي أصدره الحزب الشيوعي السابق محملاً المتظاهرين مسؤولية مقتلهم…

حسناً، قرر زعران من الشياح غزو عين الرمانة لا التوجه إلى قصر العدل. لكنهم، بدل التوجه مباشرة إلى الأحياء المقابلة لزواريبهم كما يُتهمون دائماً، سلكوا طريقاً بعيداً يتطلب منهم جهداً كبيراً للوصول إلى قلب «قلعة» فأر معراب. لكن تبيّن أن هؤلاء الزعران، الذين يقول «الحكيم» إنهم من مقاتلي حزب الله، لا يعرفون عن القتال شيئاً. فلا هم قاتلوا إسرائيل وهزموها ولا قاتلوا الأميركيين والبريطانيين والفرنسيين وهزموهم في لبنان وسوريا والعراق وفلسطين، ولا هم الذين تقول السعودية إنهم يقودون الحرب ضدها في اليمن، بل تبيّن، بحسب خبرات الفوج المجوقل في القوات اللبنانية، أنهم ليسوا سوى هواة متى ظهر أمامهم المحترف الذي يتقدم حيث لا يجرؤ الآخرون. هكذا، في لحظة واحدة، تحوّل حزب الله الذي يقول هؤلاء إنه متخصص في القتل والتفجير والاغتيال والحروب المعقّدة، إلى هاو سقط أمام جبروت وحدة الحماية في معراب…

هذا ما يردّده القواتيون في معرض زهوهم، ومفاخرتهم أمام مشغليهم العرب والغربيين، حتى يقول حاقد تافه مثل بيار أبي عاصي إنه لن يوجه تحية للضحايا، ويلوّح مجانين «القوات» بأنهم مستعدون لـ«تربية» من تسوّل له نفسه «رفع راسه» في زعيترية المتن والنبعة وبرج حمود وبلاد جبيل، ويُسمع بعضهم مسلمين يقطنون في أحياء بيروت والمتن وكسروان بأن يختاروا الصمت أو الرحيل… فيما يصرّ الفريق الذي يحمي القتلة على أن إطلاق النار لم يصدر سوى من جانب «زعران الشياح» الذين قتل وجرح نحو مئة منهم، فيما لم يصب أي من خصومهم!
لكن، لنراقب من أين تريد القوات أن تبدأ حصاد الجريمة. بدأ موفدون يؤكدون أنهم لا يريدون حرباً مع الشيعة، وفي بال بعضهم أن «زعران الشياح» أنفسهم هم من أنقذوهم من ميشال عون نهاية الثمانينيات وأن التواصل يومي مع أبناء الشياح للتنسيق في محاصصة زبائن مولدات الكهرباء وكابلات التلفزيون والسوق السوداء في المازوت والبنزين والغاز. تريد القوات أن تجني «الثمار» في المكان الصحيح حيث يمكن إفهام سامي الجميل وابن عمه نديم بأنهما لا يساويان شيئاً، وإبلاغ من يهمهم الأمر من جماعات المجتمع المدني، من ميشال معوض وبيار عيسى إلى مجموعة «نحو الوطن»، بأن كل هؤلاء مجرد واجهات انتهى دورها، ولا مكان لها خارج عباءة القوات، بالتالي إفهام الأميركيين والسعوديين، ومعهم بقية الغربيين، بأنهم الجهة الوحيدة القادرة على مواجهة المقاومة في لبنان. وعلى «البيعة»، لا ضير بأن يحفظ وليد جنبلاط وسعد الحريري صورة الطيونة جيداً حتى لا يحاولان تجاهل جعجع في أي استحقاق مقبل.

هكذا يبدأ الجنون، وهذا ديدن القوات اللبنانية بفكرها الطائفي المقيت، وعقلها السياسي المنغلق، وعقد قائدها النفسية، وهذا ما يجب على التيار الوطني الحر أن يفهمه جيداً قبل أي أحد آخر، لأن قاموس القوات لا يتيح للتيار مكاناً لا تحت عباءتها ولا حتى في ظل شرفة بعيدة، بل وعيد بالسحل والإبادة انتقاماً لثلاثة عقود…
مع ذلك، ينبغي تكرار لفت انتباه من يهمهم الأمر، ولإشعار من يجب أن يتحمل المسؤولية، أن الدماء التي سفكت ليست من دون أولياء، وأن أمام الناس الغيورين على هذه البلاد مسؤولية على شكل فرصة لمحاسبة القتلة الحقيقيين. ومن يتهرب من المسؤولية ليس سوى شريك كامل الأوصاف في جريمة سيُحاسَب المسؤول عنها… حتماً

!من ملف : أميركا تهدّد ميقاتي: ممنوع المسّ بالبيطار

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Assad is Back: Western MSM Admit the Regime Change Failure in Syria

ARABI SOURI 

Assad Must Leave, His Days Are Nunbered
Assad is back, Newsweek Admitting Syria and President Assad victory over the USA and its Camp

Assad is back, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad returns to the world stage in defeat for US, win for its foes, is the title of Newsweek’s latest front-page post on Syria and the US’s 10.5 years of war of terror and war of attrition against the Syrian people.

Let’s not discuss the mainstream media article, to be honest, I didn’t even bother to read it, if it’s positive it means they came to their senses, highly unlikely, if it’s not it means they’re still in their same propaganda, highly likely, so let’s talk about why Assad is back and why the US and its cronies lost in Syria, aside from them telling their followers for more than a decade it was the Syrian people vs. Assad and not the US vs. Assad.

Yes, President Assad is back and you all failed, the more than 100 countries that combined their evil efforts to topple him and hand Syria over to Al Qaeda and other anti-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood radicals the likes of the Turkish madman Erdogan who serves Israel.

He’s back because the Syrians weren’t fooled with your plot and lies, they fought back for more than 10.5 years to defend their country at a very hefty price but they didn’t surrender and they’ll fight back for another decade if needed, except this time not anymore on their land only.

Assad is back because he stood up, stood tall, and earned his people’s respect and the respect of the free people in the world, not the Sheeple of the west who think they’re free just because they can talk bad about their politicians who continue to suck their lives dry.

He’s back because the Syrian people never believed the mainstream media lies; only fools and Sheeple would believe again those who lied before several times to justify the Pentagon wars, only fools would believe that over 350,000 Al Qaeda terrorists armed by the USA and its cronies, financed by all of NATO taxpayers’ money, and the Gulfies, are in Syria to protect the Syrian families from their own brothers, sons, fathers, and sisters of the Syrian Arab Army, only fools would believe that the Syrian Arab Army would drop chemical weapons and bombs on their own family members to protect the president while Al Qaeda with all its derivatives are sent to Syria to protect those families, I’m not sure what drugs those Sheeple of the west are on, what I’m certain of it’s whoever their dealers are they didn’t cheat them and provided them with some real mind-absenting stuff.

President Assad was offered tens of billions of dollars just to retire in a place of his choice, he was offered to rule the region unchallenged just to accept the US policies, which is against the interests of his own people, then they went to threaten him and his family, they managed to kill his brother-in-law and his top aides and some of Syria’s top officials including the Syrian defense minister, he didn’t flee, he kept showing up in his office, on the frontlines, and among his people, driving alone, yes, something none of those NATO leaders dares to do in their ‘democratic’ societies, and above all, while they were plotting Syria’s destruction he was planning for victory, and victory he achieved.

Yes, Assad is back and you have to deal with it.

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Learning from Your Enemy: Methodological Failures in Western War Analysis

October 12, 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

Failing to read and understand one’s enemy is dangerous, as Lao Tzu said many centuries ago, creating an ignorant ‘yes man’ culture of self-deception.

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“There is no greater danger than underestimating your opponent” – Lao Tzu

Washington’s role in at least eight Middle East wars of the 21st century (against the peoples of Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Iran, and Yemen) has been hotly debated between two broad camps: those (including this writer) who regard them all as illegal wars of aggression; and those who either imagine they are not connected or defend them as the necessary policing measures of a global hegemon.

However this debate is plagued by poor method, and in particular by a strategic bias that adopts obligatory ‘loyalty’ elements and fails to study what are seen as enemy perspectives. That cripples even the most articulate and apparently critical discussions.

Yet failing to read and understand one’s enemy is dangerous, as Lao Tzu said many centuries ago, creating an ignorant ‘yes man’ culture of self-deception. The refusal to read and learn from a substantial enemy is simply childish or ignorant cynicism.

Let me illustrate this problem with a few articles from the ‘New Middle East’ wars, a piece on Yemen by Bruce Riedel (Brookings, 2017), an article on Iran by Hassan Hassan (Politico, 2020), and a discussion on terrorism by Paul Pillar (Responsible Statecraft, 2021). These are far from the worst of western war analysis, but all share similar methodological problems.

1. The obligatory but misleading element: strategic loyalty

Many years into these various wars, to ‘qualify’ as published war discussion western journals carry a strong expectation of some initial expression of loyalty to the overall project, if not to all the tactics. In the most obvious version of this, the analyst directly identifies with a state party at war, speaking in the first person plural (“we”).

So Riedel speaks of “our de facto enemies”, asking “why are we at war” with “the Houthis” (i.e. the Ansarallah-led Yemeni government), while Pillar refers to “our allies” and Hassan to “our adversaries”. This is an immediate sign of biased orientation, but also of a desire to please and so qualify with likely patrons.

Loyalty is also expressed by an early denunciation of the enemy. Most of the permissible western media criticisms of “Israel”, for example, begin with a denunciation of the Palestinian resistance, or of Iranian support for the resistance. At the least loyalty to the big power must be demonstrated by suggesting some kind of moral equivalence. 

The targets of terrorism should also be relatively privileged groups. In the case of Pillar’s criticism of Israeli terrorism, itself a departure from the normal western defense of the Zionist entity, he chooses the earlier British victims of Israeli terrorism – rather than the many thousands of contemporary Palestinian victims – and makes a moral equivalence with Palestinian resistance. The latter is typically reduced to “Hamas” and their alleged “poorly guided rockets”.  All this is to qualify the discussion for western publication and consumption.

Terminology also plays an important part in demonstrating loyalty, with the enemy described as a “regime” (implicitly illegitimate) and the intervening western power cloaked in an assumed stabilizing or conflict resolution role. 

With this in mind, Hassan speaks of Iranian influence as “a problem for the United States”, the Syrian government as a “regime”. Middle Eastern nations are said to be riven by sectarian conflicts (e.g. Sunni v. Shi’ite) and other “complexities”. On the other hand, Washington faces problems as a “stabilizing ally”. Pillar speaks of the Saudi-backed idea for repartition (and weakening) of Yemen as a “federal solution”.

2. Allowable criticism, within permissible space

Taking the problem-solving and stabilizing role of Washington as a given, criticism is allowed mainly as regards tactics. Accepting the benevolence of hegemonic prerogatives is a general principle of qualification. It is unimportant that this has little to do with post-colonial international law.

So Riedel writes of the US supposedly looking for a “political solution” in Yemen, while Hassan speaks of the US seeking to “stabilize” the region in face of the allegedly opportunistic agendas of Iran and the Saudis. 

Riedel also spoke of Yemen as a “complex problem” for US President Obama, while Pillar comfortingly agreed that it is necessary for Washington to “conduct business” with both “Israel” and Saudi Arabia, despite their terrorism. No real question is raised about what business the USA has initiating war after war in the Middle East region.

Indeed any serious questioning of the overall aims or strategy of western interventions would most likely invalidate or disqualify the article. It would not be published. Yet criticism of the tactical (and chronic) failure of interventionist wars to achieve their goals is allowed.

3. What can be learned from the enemy?

State integrated media (which includes most corporate media, as they are typically key associates of western states) typically steers mass audiences away from enemy media at times of war. Many analysts also either accommodate or fall prey to that prohibition. 

In recent decades we have seen many exhortations to stay away from the ‘regime media’ of China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Syria, and so on. Enemy ‘regime’ media is often labeled as such in western social media. Not so the BBCVoice of America etc. In fact the US government has been busy taking down dozens of Iranian websites and banning or blocking Russian, Venezuelan, Chinese, Cuban, and other social media accounts linked to these various ‘enemy’ nations.

The problem for western war analysts in adopting this dictate is that important lessons are missed. In general, it is wrong to ignore ‘enemy’ sources because they might be seen as “biased” or “unreliable”. Any source with detailed information (as opposed to just spin and slogans) can be informative, properly read, in at least the following ways. 

A. Concessions and admissions: biased or enemy sources, when they contain detailed information, can make concessions on particular matters. This can help avoid pointless and endless debates. For example, senior US officials admitted in 2014 that US allies were funding and arming virtually all the Middle Eastern terrorist groups including ISIS, in support of US efforts to remove the Syrian Government. Syrian and Iranian sources had said this for some years, but the US admissions helped expose the charade.

B. Alerts to information and argument: hostile or ‘unreliable’ sources may alert us to particular information or argument, including independent factual information as well as vulnerabilities in enemy arguments. Any serious researcher or observer must remain open to the possibility that hostile sources might be correct, at least on some particular matters. The Israeli media, for example, understands this well. It has made the statements of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah virtually mandatory reading, while the man is effectively banned in much other western media, including social media.

The lesson, therefore, should be how to intelligently read enemy sources, rather than avoid them. This must be done according to principle, that is, with regard to general principle and using traditional forensic tools while recognizing self-interest. This requires developing an ability to distinguish between self-serving statements and admissions against interest, a common distinction in law.

Learning in this regard has more to do with observing the detail of argument and particular evidence, and less about the adoption and recitation of conclusions.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Lebanon’s Friends vs. Enemies: Tangible Practices Say It All

9 October, 2021

Lebanon’s Friends vs. Enemies: Tangible Practices Say It All

By Mohammad Youssef

Some of the Lebanese intentionally skip the root causes and the nature of the crises in their country, and that it is not only a mere confrontation with, or a struggle against, the ‘Israeli’ occupation, aggression and threat, but it extends beyond that to become a complicated and multifaceted issue, and here comes the sinister role of the West, namely the USA.

It is worth mentioning, that when we say that, we do not mean the American people, but their administration, and the warmongering military industrial complex!

Many of the Lebanese, even consider Washington a friend of the country without providing any evidence that supports their argument, forgetting its fixed alignment and continuous support to their enemy!

Now if we make a very simple research we can easily spot the truth, the US administration has always been the number one military supplier and political sponsor of the ‘Israeli’ enemy.

Without the Western support, firstly and mainly Britain and France in the forties till the sixties, and the American support that followed after that and continued till now, ‘Israel’ would not have continued to exist, not only that, but the Arabs and the Arab world would have been saved from many of the miseries, massacres, destruction and havoc that the Western-backed ‘Israeli’ occupation has caused in many of its parts, starting with Palestine, extending to Syria, Egypt, Jordan and reaching to Lebanon. This comes on the direct level; but if we intend to enlist what conspiracies and aggressions the ‘Israelis’ planned and how much they indirectly caused destruction in the Arab world we need volumes to do that.

Coming back to Lebanon, the ‘Israeli’ occupation would not have been able to inflict all the damage it did without the US support.

Almost all of the invasions, major incursions, the ‘Israelis’ carried out in Lebanon, not only were given the green light from Washington but worse, they were supported with American military supplies and a veto power cover in the security council to spare ‘Israel’ any condemnation by the so-called international community.

Now Lebanon is in a major crisis, a structural one that poses an existential threat to the county and the people. What did Washington do and what is doing to help? Nothing is not the answer.

We would have loved that Washington does nothing and leave us as Lebanese alone to manage our affairs. Contrary, The US keeps meddling and negatively interfering. It is exercising its power and influence to block any possibility of help and rescue offers coming from other countries. Lebanon is not allowed by Americans to accept the generous offer by the Iranians that Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian has submitted this week to build and hand to Lebanon two power plants with a 2000 Megawatt capacity in Beirut and the South. The Iranians also offered to rebuild the destroyed Beirut Port. The real value of this very generous offer is the flexibility of the Iranians to accept any sort of payment whether through different loans or even by the Lebanese pound. This offer deeply reflects the genuine and sincere relation Iran has for Lebanon and its people.

Now the question that presents itself, would the Lebanese officials take a bold step and accept this offer or would they as the habit bow down to the American veto, and if they fell short to respect and maintain their country’s sovereignty would they demand from Washington to give the equal alternative.

This is a very simple exercise and experiment to both Lebanon and USA. The result would be very telling about who is blocking Lebanon from salvation and a way to know genuinely who are Lebanon and the Lebanese people’s real friends and who are their enemies.

Iraq’s Nujaba: Next PM Must Cancel US-ordered Agreements, Expel Occupying Forces

October 6, 2021

Iraq’s Nujaba: Next PM Must Cancel US-ordered Agreements, Expel Occupying Forces

By Staff, Agencies

Secretary General of Iraq’s Hezbollah al-Nujaba resistance movement, Sheikh Akram al-Kaabi, said the country’s next prime minister must terminate all agreements reached under the dictates of the United States and also expel all occupying forces from Iraqi soil.

In a statement on Tuesday, al-Kaabi said the US-ordered agreements give Iraq’s resources away to the hegemonic country’s colonial projects and must therefore be canceled.

The Iraqi resistance leader added that the next Iraqi prime minister must end the games of the US military base which acts under the name of Washington’s embassy in the Green Zone and prevent it from dominating Iraq’s oil sales.

The Middle Eastern country is set to hold an early parliamentary election on October 10, amid a crippled economy that led to a mass protest movement in 2019.

This will be Iraq’s fifth parliamentary vote since the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled former dictator Saddam Hussein.

The vote was originally scheduled to take place next year, but was brought forward in line with demands of the protesters, namely reforms and fight against corruption.

In his statement, Sheikh al-Kaabi also said another criterion for the next premier is that they must officially criminalize the normalization of relations with the Zionist regime and punish those who act to materialize it as the greatest betrayal against the Muslim world.

He further stressed that the Iraqi premier must resist Emirati and Saudi schemes to destroy Iraq’s economy and security.

Highlighting the need for a healthy political system that serves the Iraqi people and maintains the country’s sovereignty, Sheikh al-Kaabi said one of the criteria for the future prime minister should be a commitment to expelling all occupying forces from Iraq.

Calls for the expulsion of American forces have soared since the US assassination of Iran’s top anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and Deputy Commander of the Popular Mobilization Units [PMU] Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in early 2020.

Fed up with the US targeting of top anti-terror forces, Iraq’s resistance groups have also vowed not to lay down their arms or cease their struggle until the expulsion of all American troops from their country.

The future prime minister must also take a stand against foreign colonial companies that plunder Iraqi resources, al-Kaabi said, adding the Hezbollah al-Nuajab Movement does not have any candidate in the upcoming elections, but called on Iraqi people to turn out en masse in the polls.

Under the new Iraqi electoral law, Iraqis are now able to vote for individual candidates rather than parties for the first time. This was one of the demands of the 2019 protests.

Iraq is emerging from almost two decades of war and militancy since the 2003 US-led invasion and the 2011 withdrawal, which saw the rise of Daesh [the Arabic acronym for ‘ISIS/ISIL’] terrorist group and the return of American forces with the professed aim of defeating Daesh.

The 2019 protests were also against youth joblessness, crumbling public services and foreign meddling in the country’s affairs.

نصيحة الى سانشو لبنان نجيب ميقاتي .. وكل المشاغبين اللبنانيين .. كلهم يعني كلهم

 2021/10/04 

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همسة خاصة: لاتبالغ في عنترياتك .. سيؤتى بكم كلكم .. كلكم يعني كلكم

بواسطة

 naram.serjoonn

أعتقد جازما أن رواية الدون كيشوت هي من أروع الروايات لأنها رواية تنتج نفسها في كل جيل وفي كل أزمة وفي كل حرب وفي كل انقلاب في الزمن .. وهي بشكل او بأخر كأنها تحكي لنا حكاية أهل الكهف .. أي أولئك الاشخاص الذين يسيرون في زمن لاينتمون اليه .. كل جيل يتحول بالتدريج الى أهل كهف والى جيش من الدونكيشوتيين الذين يظنون انهم يصوبون الحياة ويوقفون دوران الارض ويربطون الثواني والساعات والسنوات بالاوتاد كيلا تتحرك .. وهم لايدرون ان لاشيء سيوقف زحف الزمن وان عقارب الزمان في المجرة لاقيود لها ولاأوتاد .. وانهم يضيعون وقتهم .. وهم لايشبهون الا من لايزال يكتب خطاباته على الالة الكاتبة القديمة في زمن الكومبيوتر والرقميات الذكية .. بل هم لايشبهون الا راكبا في مركب يسير مع النهر وهو يظن ان ماء النهر واقف وان المركب لايزال على الضفة ذاتها .. فيما وصل قاربه الى البحر وهو يتحدث عن الاشجار التي تحيط به والظباء التي تشرب من النهر ..


منذ ايام ظهر نجيب ميقاتي وهو يفتي كما يفتي الوهابيون في خروج المرأة من بيتها من غير محرم .. وأفتى بعدم جواز زيارة سورية من غير محرم … والمحرم يجب طبعا ان يكون أميريكيا .. والحقيقة ان نجيب ميقاتي بظهوره المفاجئ منذ ايام كان مثل القادم من بين اهل الكهف .. ولاأبالغ ان قلت انه لم يكن مثل غيره من الدونكيشوتيين الساسة بل للأسف تبين ان دوره في اللعبة السياسية هو دور سانشو مرافق الدونكيشوت الذي يركب حماره ويصدق الدوكيشوت فيما يقول عن طواحين الهواء .. فميقاتي كان يتحدث بطلاقة وثقة وحماس أن قدميه لن تطآ سورية الا بعد ان يسمح العالم بزيارة سورية لأنه يرى ان العالم في عرفه لم يقرر بعد شيئين وهما انهاء مرحلة فيروس كورونا وإنهاء الحرب مع الحكم السوري .. ومن يستمع لكلام ميقاتي (او سانشو) يحزن لأنه يرى ان ميقاتي في مركبه النهري يتحدث عن حياة الانهار وزمن صيد التماسيح والظباء والظلال الوارفة .. رغم ان مركبه صار في عرض البحر ولاشيء حوله الا الماء المالح الاجاج ..

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International Order, World Order, Order of the World, and Things to Come

International Order, World Order, Order of the World, and Things to Come

September 29, 2021

By Amir NOUR for the Saker Blog [1]

This is a chapter from Amir’s forthcoming book, titled : “L’Islam et l’ordre du monde: le testament de Malek BENNABI” (Islam and the Order of the World: Malek BENNABI’s Testament).  First available in French with translations to Arabic and English planned.

“Islam began as something strange and will revert to being strange as it began, so give glad tidings to the strangers”

(Hadith of Prophet Mohammed)

In the beginning was Westphalia

In order to properly set the scene for the subject which concerns us here, that is the “Order of the World” in contrast to “World Order”, as it was perceived by the late Malek Bennabi[2], it is convenient to proceed to a necessary clarification of the key concepts in this matter.

In fact, in the abundant literature on international relations, particularly in the French language, the qualifier “international”, “global” or “planetary” is rarely explained satisfactorily. As Gilles Bertrand[3] points out, the undifferentiated use of one or the other of these adjectives suggests that they are interchangeable, therefore without real meaning for political science. This is not the case, since for many authors like him, this usage reflects belonging to a particular school of thought in international relations, a particular perception of the world, and a different analysis of the concept of “order” in world politics.

The French Academy dictionary defines order as “an arrangement, a regular layout of things in relation to one another; a necessary relationship which regulates the organization of a whole into its parts”. In reality, the notions of order and disorder are part of practical, ethical, political, even mythical and religious discourse. From a philosophical point of view, according to Professor Bertrand Piettre[4], these two notions seem to be more normative than descriptive and have more value than reality. Thus, the term “order” is understood at least in two contradictory senses: either the order is thought of as finalized, as carrying out a purpose, pursuing a direction and thus making sense; disorder is then defined by the absence of an intelligent design. Or the order is thought of as a stable or recurring structure and, thereby, recognizable and locatable, as a constant and necessary arrangement; but as such, it can appear totally devoid of finality and purpose. Disorder, then, is not thought of as what is devoid of a finality, but as what appears to be devoid of necessity.

These two meanings, Piettre explains, refer to two philosophically different visions of the world: finalist or mechanist. Also, recent developments in contemporary science reveal a third possible meaning of the word order, a so-called “contingent” order which is constituted, not against or in spite of disorder, but by and with it; not by triumphing over disorder, but by using it. The author concludes that the notions of order and disorder are therefore intimately entwined and complementary to each other. Their combination, in a play of contingency and necessity, produces the diversity of the material and living world that we know.

In the context of international relations, order is commonly understood to mean the set of rules and institutions that govern relations between the key players in the international environment. Such an order is distinguished from chaos, or random relationships, by a certain degree of stability in terms of structure and organization.

Perhaps, one of the best studies ever done on this topic is the one sponsored by the Office of the United States Secretary of Defense’s Office of Net Assessment and conducted within the International Security and Defense Policy Center of the RAND National Defense Research Institute in 2016 under the title “Understanding the Current International Order[5]. The main aim of this study, was to understand the workings of the existing international order, assess current challenges and threats to the order, and accordingly, recommend future policies deemed sound to U.S. decisionmakers.

The report says that in the modern era, the foundation of the international order was built on the bedrock principles of the Westphalian system, which reflected fairly conservative conceptions of order while relying on pure balance-of-power politics in order to uphold the sovereign equality and territorial inviolability of States.

This Westphalian system led to the development of the territorial integrity norm, considered to this day as a cardinal norm against outright aggression towards neighbors with the aim of seizing their lands, resources or citizens, which was once a common practice in world politics. Thus defined in its main elements, this system has continued to prevail, especially since the Concert of Europe, also known as the Vienna Congress system, which from 1815 to 1914 established a whole series of principles, rules and practices having greatly contributed, after the Napoleonic wars, to maintaining a balance between European powers and shielding the Old Continent from a new all-out conflict. It stood fast until the outbreak of World War I, resumed with the creation of the League of Nations, and then, again, after World War II.

In sum, even if it took different forms in practice, the Westphalian order continued to be a permanent feature of the relations between the great world powers during all the aforementioned periods, thus allowing, to the greatest possible extent, the prevalence of structured relations designed to forswear territorial conquest and curtail any global disorder susceptible of generating wars or large-scale violence in their midst.

The RAND Corporation report indicates that since 1945, the United States, which was the greatest beneficiary of the restored peace, has pursued its global interests through the creation and maintenance of international economic institutions, bilateral and regional security organizations, and liberal political norms and standards. These ordering mechanisms are often collectively referred to as the “international order”.

However, in recent years, rising powers have begun to challenge the sustainability and legitimacy of some aspects of this order, which is clearly seen by the U.S. as a major challenge to its global leadership and vital strategic interests. Three broad categories of potential risks and threats likely to jeopardize this order have thus been identified by the writers of the report:

– some leading states consider that many components of the existing order are designed to restrict their power and perpetuate American hegemony;

– volatility due to failed states or economic crises;

– shifting domestic politics at a time of slow growth and growing inequality.

Kissinger and Realpolitik

Two years before the publication of this study, Henry Kissinger, the veteran of American diplomacy credited with having officially introduced “Realpolitik” (realistic foreign policy based on the calculation of forces and the national interest) in the White House while serving as Secretary of State under Richard Nixon’s administration, had further explored the theme of world order in a landmark book.[6]

From the outset, Mr. Kissinger asserts that no truly global “world order” has ever existed. The order as defined by our times was devised in Western Europe four centuries ago, on the occasion of a peace conference held in Westphalia, a region of Germany, “without the involvement or even the awareness of most other continents or civilizations”. This conference, it should be remembered, followed a century of sectarian conflict and political upheavals across Central Europe which ended up provoking the “Thirty Years’ War” (1618-1648), an appalling and unnecessary “total war” where a quarter of the population of Central Europe died from combat, disease or starvation.

However, the negotiators of this peace of Westphalia did not think of laying the foundations of a system applicable to the whole world. How could they have thought so when then, as always before, every other civilization or geographic region, seeing itself as the center of the world and viewing its principles and values ​​as universally relevant, defined its own conception of order? In the absence of possibilities for prolonged interaction and of any framework for measuring the respective power of the different regions, Henry Kissinger believes, each of these regions viewed its own order as unique and defined the others as “barbarians” wich were “governed in a manner incomprehensible to the established system, and irrelevant to its designs except as a threat”.

Subsequently, thanks to Western colonial expansion, the Westphalian system spread around the world and imposed the structure of a state-based international order, while failing, of course, to apply the concepts of sovereignty to colonies and colonized peoples. It is these same principles and other Westphalian ideas that were put forward when the colonized peoples began to demand their independence. Sovereign state, national independence, national interest, noninterference in domestic affairs and respect for international law and human rights have thus asserted themselves as effective arguments against the colonizers themselves during armed or political struggles, both to regain independence and, afterwards, to protect the newly formed states in the 1950s and 1960s in particular.

At the end of his reflection combining historical analysis and geopolitical prospective, Mr. Kissinger draws important conclusions about the current international order and asks essential questions about its future. The universal relevance of the Westphalian system, he said, derived from its procedural nature, that is value-neutral, which made its rules accessible to any country. Its weakness had been the flip side of its strength: designed by states exhausted from the bloodletting they inflicted on each other, it offered no sense of direction; it proposed methods of allocating and preserving power, without indicating how to generate legitimacy.

More fundamentally, Mr. Kissinger argues that in building a world order, a key question inevitably concerns the substance of its unifying principles, which represents a cardinal distinction between Western and non-Western approaches to order. Quite aptly, he observes that since the Renaissance, the West has widely adopted the idea that the real world is external to the observer, that knowledge consists in recording and classifying data with the greatest possible precision, and that the success of a foreign policy depends on the assessment of existing realities and trends. Therefore, the Peace of Westphalia embodied a judgment of reality and more particularly of realities of power and territory – in the form of a concept of secular order supplanting the demands of religion.

In contrast, the other great contemporary civilizations conceived of reality as internal to the observer and defined by psychological, philosophical or religious convictions. As a result, Kinssinger is of the opinion that sooner or later, any international order must face the consequences of two trends that compromise its cohesion: either a redefinition of legitimacy or a significant shift in the balance of power. In such surcumstances, upheavals could emerge, the essence of wich being that while they are usually underpinned by force, their overriding thrust is psychological. Those under assault are challenged to defend not only their territory, but the basic assumptions of their way of life, their moral right to exist and to act in a manner that until the challenge, had been treated as beyond question”.

Like many other thinkers, political scientists and strategists, especially Westerners, Mr. Kissinger considers that the multifaceted developments underway in the world are fraught with threats and risks that could lead to a sharp rise in tensions. And chaos threatens “side by side with unprecedented interdependence: in the spread of weapons of mass destruction, the disintegration of states, the impact of environmental depredations, the persistence of genocidal practices, and the spread of new technologies threatening to drive conflict beyond human control or comprehension”.

This is the reason why Mr. Kissinger thinks that our age is insistently engaged in an obstinate search, sometimes almost desperatly, of a concept of world order, not without expressing his concern which takes on the appearance of a warning: in our time, a reconstruction of the international system “is the ultimate challenge to government. And in the event of failure, the penalty will be not so much a major war between States (though in some regions this is not foreclosed) as an evolution into spheres of influence identified with particular domestic structures and forms of governance, for example the Westphalian model as against the radical Islamist version” with the risk, according to him, that at its edges each sphere would be tempted to test its strength against other entities of order deemed illegitimate.

The major conclusion of this scholarly book which concerns us particularly in the context of our theme of the “Order of the World”, as opposed to “international” or “World” order, is this: “The mystery to be overcome is one all peoples share: how divergent historical experiences and values can be shaped into a common order”.

Mr. Kissinger’s allusion to the “radical Islamist version” as a possible alternative to the Westphalian model of world order is far from trivial; and the fact of having singled it out from other eventualities speaks volumes about its own strategic reading of the evolutions underway and the possible contours of the world to come.

Afghanistan, yet again a slayer and graveyard of empires

With a few years of delay, the “establishment” of his country seems to have been convinced of the same views. Indeed, in the space of just four days, two clarifications in this sense have been made, shaking violently the foundations of policies and “truths” hitherto considered incontrovertible.

Firstly, through an editorial[7] published in the columns of the highly influential New York business and financial daily “The Wall Street Journal”. Under the evocative headline “The Unconquable Islamic World”, the newspaper owned by Australian–American billionaire and media mogul Rupert Murdoch claims that historians, troopers and politicians will debate for many years the particulars of what went unsuitable throughout America’s intervention in Afghanistan. This adventure had its epilogue, on August 31, 2021, in the form of a hasty and messy evacuation of American troops through Kabul airport, under the triumphant gaze of the Taliban, the new masters of Afghanistan, a country which once again proved to be a slayer and graveyard of invading empires, old and new. Such a rout, broadcast live by international media, left everyone bewildered and certainly eclipsed similar scenes of panic that marked the fall of Saigon, Vietnam, on April 30, 1973, which sealed the first military defeat in the recent history of the United States.

Considering that the US-led coalition has been guilty of blindness by failing to understand that politics lies downstream of tradition, and tradition downstream of faith, the newspaper recognizes that Islamic societies belong to a particular civilization, which resists the imposition of foreign values by way of energy. This blindness is caused by the fact that, becoming apostles of common civilization, Westerners think that “human beings all over the place would make the identical primary choices we made in constructing political group”, and also by a “noble want” to see people as equal, interchangeable beings for whom religion and tradition are “accidents of delivery”. Whereas in fact, these accidents are “non-negotiable truths for tons of hundreds of thousands of people that would moderately die than concede them”.

Failure to understand this, the daily concludes, can be a symptom of “religious vacancy”. In other words, “alienated from America’s Christian origins, hundreds of thousands can’t fathom how religion may play a significant position in binding people collectively”.

Secondly, through an equally scathing assessment by President Joe Biden himself during a speech to the nation[8] delivered in the wake of the American withdrawal from Afghanistan and only eleven days before the 20th anniversary of the September 11, terrorists attacks, which had precisely precipitated this military intervention. On this occasion, President Biden gave a full-throated defense of his decision to end the United States’ longest war abroad by declaring that the era of large American military deployments to remake other nations is over. He further emphasized: “After more than $2 trillion spent in Afghanistan a cost that researchers at Brown University estimated would be over $300 million a day for two decades in Afghanistan yes the American people should hear this: $300 million a day for 20 years in Afghanistan”. Will this important declaration help turn a new page in Washington’s foreign policy, especially towards the Muslim world, a policy characterized by so many setbacks that have claimed the lives of millions of innocent people and caused heavy material damage and unspeakable sufferings? Only time will tell.

Islam and the New World Order

In the meantime, as Ali A. Allawi asserts in his mesmerizing book[9], there is little doubt that for at least two centuries the civilization of Islam has been going through a profound crisis. Islam, as a religion and a method of worship, embraced by almost two billion people in the world[10], has kept its vitality intact, and is gaining more and more followers outside its original geographical sphere, notably since the events of September 11, paradoxical though it may seem to some. Indeed, we are seeing more and more telling signs in this regard such as: the increase in the number of conversions to Islam, in particular among educated women; the significant surge in the number of mosques, Islamic centers and other places of worship in the West and elsewhere (including through the conversion of abandoned Christian places of worship); the election of Muslims to high positions of political and representative responsibility (including mayors and parliamentarians of major capitals and Western cities); the interest in studying Islam in general and the Qur’an in particular, including in schools and universities in many countries around the world; the remarkable growth of banks and other Islamic financial institutions, as well as that of the Halal industry in the world.

It remains true, however, that the situation is quite different for the world and the civilization that Islam has built over the centuries. These have been seriously undermined. What does this mean exactly? To try to answer this question, it is important to recall the following key considerations:

All civilizations try to balance themselves between the individual and the collective (or the group), between the temporal and the spiritual, and between this-worldliness and otherworldliness. Shifts between the relative importance given to the former at the expense of the latter is what gives the different civilizations their distinctive identity and coloring; and critical disjunctions in human history occur when the individual paradigm is overturned or tilted towards the collective, or vice versa.

In modern Western societies, especially English–speaking ones, it is an indisputable fact that since the Renaissance which was at the origin of the Enlightenment movement and thought, there has been a gradual and probably decisive and irreversible shift away from the collective and the sacred towards the individual and the secular.

This being the case, in the self–image of Western or Westernized societies, the individual is ennobled and endowed with the power and tools to determine, alone, the course of his personal development and fulfillment as well as those of society, through the idiom – which is then erected into absolute dogma – of rights and the practice of a democracy based on laws and rules. The primacy of the individual over collective rights thus gradually paved the way for the dismantling of the post-war welfare state, making the dividing line between the public and private domains increasingly blurred, and providing wide–open avenues to an unbridled individualism.

The Muslim World was not spared either by the onslaught of these stormy developments, and all the countries composing it ended up joining, with varying degrees of enthusiasm and intensity, the irresistible ultraliberal globalization movement churned out and forcefully promoted by the Reagan-Thatcher couple in the 1980s. Nevertheless, to this day, Islam, this invisible glue that binds Muslims to a different set of values, loyalties and identities beyond the nation, seem to be resisting and still has not recognized the inevitability of a world civilization stamped with the sole seal of the West and its typical and willfully domineering political, cultural, and socio-economic model.

Being a religion which does not separate the spiritual from the temporal and puts the rights, interests and well-being of the community ahead of those of individuals, Islam today constitutes a major brake on and obstacle to the standardization of humanity according to the globalist mold aiming to impose the rules of a single economic model and mindset. The supporters of this vision of the world work tirelessly to break open this bolt which still holds, unlike Catholicism, the other monotheistic religion with a universal vocation, in particular since the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council which has totally abdicated by giving in to the “demands” of an increasingly desecrated modern world.[11] This Council, let us remember, had, under the impetus of the brand new Pope John XXIII, assigned three main goals, the repercussions of which are still being felt today: to renew the Church itself (to make its aggiornamento), to re-establish the unity of all Christians, and to engage in the dialogue of the Church with the contemporary world.

Pierre Hillard understood this very well when he said that Islam is now the “last bulwark against the New World Order”. To the question that Laurent Fendt put to him on Radio “Ici et Maintenant”, on January 11, 2010, of “what would be in the case of a world government the enemy who would be put forward to continue to rule the world?”, Pierre Hillard replied: “Within the framework of the New World Order, the enemy currently is Islam (…) because Islam is still the only religion which brings hope for the hereafter (…) It is for the globalist spirit a competition that it cannot accept, because the Muslim will not – in any case much less – focus on material pleasures, on the consumer society; so it is necessary at all costs to destroy this Islam which does not extol the American way of life”. And while referring to an article by Ralph Peters in an American military journal[12] pleading in favor of a “Vatican of Islam”, he recalls the encyclical Pacem in Terris of John XXIII before concluding: “they succeeded with Catholicism and there is nothing left but Islam which tries to resist”.

On closer inspection, we may argue that throughout the Western colonial period, the Cold War and until after the “Thirty Glorious” the West was somewhat indifferent if not condescending to Islam as a religion. The fear of Islam has followed the demise of social democracy in the West, especially since the events of “May 68”, and the decay of progressive and socially centered movements in the Third World. The Iranian revolution of 1979, itself begotten by this historical development, and the terrorist attacks of September 11, radically changed the geostrategic situation in the eyes of Western countries. Islam is increasingly at the center of their concerns today and a rampant Islamophobia has naturally, and dangerously, ensued. As Mr. Allawi so rightly put it, Islam’s religion, cultures, civilization, nations and peoples have become the subject of meticulous scrutiny by a wide array of analysts, “from the most thoughtful to the most incendiary, from the most illustrious to the most obscure, from the most sympathetic to the most bigoted”.

Make no mistake about it. Much like Egyptian thinker Mustafa Mahmoud, we are aware that when some influential figures, both Western and indigenous, declare that they are not hostile to Islam as a religion, they are honest in some way. To be sure, they have no objection to Muslims praying, fasting, making the pilgrimage to Mecca, spending days and nights worshiping God, glorifiying Him and seeking His grace in individual meditation and invocation or in collective prayers in mosques. They are in no way hostile to ritual Islam, an Islam of gestures, genuflection and asceticism. Nor do they object to Muslims being bestowed with the rewards of the hereafter. It’s a question they don’t necessarily care or think about. On the contrary, these personalities and their mentors have very often encouraged, supported and defended the leaders and other sounding boards of this type of Islam: peaceful, pacifist, docile and exploitable at will. Their hostility and enmity are rather directed against the other Islam, the one that challenges their claim to the exclusive authority to rule the world, and build it on other ideals, values ​​and interests than theirs; progressive Islam which enjoins what is right and forbids what is wrong in the world; Islam which wants to open an alternative cultural path and eestablish other models and values ​​in the fields of economy, trade, art and thought; Islam that wants to advance science, technology and inventions, but for purposes other than the conquest of the territories of others and the control of their resources; Islam that goes beyond individual reform to social reform, that helps cure the ailments of the current pervasive and materialestic civilization to effect a much-needed salutary global change. In all such arenas, there is no room for negotiation, bargaining, or compromise. There is bitter warfare, either overt or covert, sometimes even with the help of supposedly co-religionists local clients.

In reaction, an awareness characterized mainly by rearguard actions and resistance to the claims of secular modernity is emerging across the Muslim world. This dynamic encompasses all of the attributes of a struggle for the survival of Islam, henceforth the sole standard bearer of Abrahamic monotheism.

The future of Islam: between reformation, deformation and rebirth

Uneasiness and uncertainty as to the direction in which Islamic civilization is moving, or is being intentionally pushed, have been providing the foundation for a flow of projects and plans aimed at “reforming” or “revitalizing” Islam since the beginning of the 19th century and up to the present day. These continued attempts are all based on schemes of “reinvention” of Islam through secularization, liberalization, historicization, or radicalization of Muslims’ understanding of their religion.

As we pointed out earlier, there is no crisis of religious belief in Islam comparable to that which has affected Christianity in the West generally. But this is a far cry from the assertion that the seeds of a rebirth of Islamic civilization are there simply because most Muslims continue to show extraordinary commitment to their religion. Mr. Allawi is right in thinking that the main threat to Islamic civilization will not come from the massive abandonment of religious faith. Rather, the future of this civilization is more linked to the success or disappearance of political Islam as it has manifested itself during the last forty years.

Indeed, the extreme politicization, both internal and external, of Islam and its transformation into an ideology for legitimizing access to and/or retention of power is undoubtedly a crucial change that has influenced the life course of Muslim states and peoples, and also their relation to the whole world. According to Allawi, the success of political Islam may, paradoxically, turn out to be the “coup de grace”, the final blow to the Islamic civilization. For it will eliminate, once and for all, the possibility that the political path could ever be the basis for rejuvenating or reshaping the elements of a new form of Islamic civilization. In many ways, the use of violence and terrorism in the name of Islam confirms the disappearance of this civilization from the consciousness of terrorists and their local and foreign supporters. Despite its predominance in the calculations of policy and decision-makers and in the public imagination, political Islam is only one aspect of the overall problem of Islam in the modern World. Similarly, its ups and downs are only one symptom among others of the disease affecting this civilization. And the fact that Islamism has received the lion’s share of attention does not automatically make its leaders and ideologues the arbiter of Islam itself.

Therefore, what needs to be addressed as a matter of high priority and urgency is to identify the root causes of the crisis and to remedy them. In particular, it is crucial to find out whether Islam’s apparent mismatch with the modern world is intrinsic to the religion itself or is due to other factors, including the gradual breakdown of its vital forces. Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Bin Muhammad, who has contributed significantly to the development of his country, has suggested what could well be a particularly interesting “road map” in this regard. Addressing the participants of the 3rd International Conference on Islamic Thought, held in Kuala Lumpur in May 1984, he said: “If Muslims really want an Islamic social order, then they must examine every aspect of modern life from the perspective of Islam and make the necessary corrections (…) Then they should integrate the new knowledge into the corpus of the Islamic legacy by eliminating, amending, reinterpreting and adapting its components according to the world view of Islam”.

The debate on this topic is endless, and the opinions expressed by Muslims themselves are often diametrically opposed. This is the case with two recent contributions. If for the Tunisian researcher Hela Ouardi[13] “Islam is a totally anachronistic religion, stuck in a temporal trap and unable to cut the thread of the mythology that would allow it to enter modernity”, it is quite otherwise for the Swiss researcher of Moroccan origin Réda Benkirane[14] who considers that “paradoxically, what we perceive as a return of religion is in reality an exit from Islam. This “outing” essentializes the accessory (appearance, clothing, standards) and accessorizes the essential (the articulation of reason and faith). Everything that has been going on for half a century now has contributed to a turbulent secularization of Islam (…) The instrumentalization of religion for political ends has been the work of secular Western states and Arab petromonarchies”.

In truth, what reformers and critics of Islam alike have not sufficiently understood or admitted is that “the spiritual dimension of Islam has permeated the entirety of its civilization”. Accordingly, regaining knowlege of the sacred is an essential requierement. This is the most important characteristic of this particular religion, one that Muslims hold to be perfect and definitive, especially in terms of the transcendent reality which lies at the heart of its message. In interpreting the world view of Islam, the aim of all knowledge must be to “seek, find and affirm the divine basis of all righteous thinking and actions”, as referred to in the Qur’an.[15] Furthermore, the clear dichotomy between the sacred and the secular contained in the biblical affirmation “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” finds no place in Islam if it “despiritualizes the foundations of individual and collective action”.

The aforementioned considerations are the most essential features which made the specificity of Islam, its Alpha and its Omega, which allowed the birth and then the greatness of its civilization, and which will be crucial for the success of any “rebirth” enterprise aimed at the individual and societal regeneration of Islam in the modern world. Otherwise, what Mr. Allawi calls “the last crisis” of the civilization of Islam may induce a secularization of Islam, which would therefore reduce its domain to the private sphere, as an individual faith or, at best, a community faith. Such an evolution would obviously add Islam to the other non-established religions in the modern world and, with time, its singularity will disappear, and with it any possibility that its outward expression will have a serious impact on the world in general. On that account, it would permanently lose any claim it might have to be “the incubator of a unique form of a future civilization”. As for the Muslims taken individually, they would then be part of a world which would bear no imprint of their religion “while the model of Promethean man, heroically defying the gods and tolerating no limit to his desires and their fulfillment”, would take a further step towards its own inescapable perdition. All in all, the Islamic “awakening” so much announced lately would not be a prelude to the rebirth of an Islamic civilization but “a new episode of its decline”, and the final act of the end of a once resplendent civilization that would have thus, God forbid, also made its swan song.

This fundamental conclusion reached by Ali Allawi, and which we endorse entirely, is the same as that formulated fifty years before him by Malek Bennabi in the original Arabic version of his fascinating scholarly book published in 1971 in Cairo under the title “The Problem of Ideas in the Muslim world”. The Muslim world, he wrote, has emerged from the post-Almohadian era in the last century without, however, yet finding its base; like a rider who has lost the stirrup and has not yet managed to get it back, it is looking for its new equilibrium. Its secular decadence, which had condemned it to inertia, apathy, impotence, colonizability, nevertheless retained its more or less fossilized values. It emerges in this state in a twentieth century at the height of its material power, but where all moral forces began to fail soon after World War I.

After examining the ins and outs of this long process of decadence, Bennabi warns that the Muslim world, and more particularly a large part of its “elites”, is carried away by contradictory ideas, those very which bring it face to face with the problems of technological civilization without putting it in contact with its roots, and those which link it to its own cultural universe without putting it completely in contact with its archetypes, despite the meritorious efforts of its Reformers. It therefore risks, “by infatuation or by slipping on slides set in its footsteps, to be drawn into modern ‘ideologies’ just as they consummate their bankruptcy in the West where they were born”. We do not make history, he affirms assertively, by following in the footsteps of others in all the beaten paths, but by opening up new paths; this is only possible with “genuine ideas that answer all the growth problems of a society which must be rebuilt”.

Surely, for centuries, the civilization of Islam has often been shaken by powerful opposing currents. The crusades, the Mongol invasion, Western colonization and imperialism and, today, the intense movement of globalization were the most striking ones. It has just as often bent under their blows, but has never broken. Far from it, its contribution to universal civilization and to the construction of the Old and New worlds is undeniable. The chronicle of this role, especially during the period of the Ottoman Empire, has recently been the subject of a remarkable book written by Professor of history and Chair of the Department of History at American Yale University, Alan Mikhail[16], under the title “The Shadow of God: The Ottoman Sultan Who Shaped the Modern World”. In the introduction to this narrative presenting a new and holistic picture of the last five centuries and demonstrating Islam’s constituent role in the forming of some of the most fundamental aspects of the history of Europe, the Americas, and the United States, he states that: “If we do not place Islam at the center of our grasp of world history, we will never understand why the Moor-slayers (Matamoros)17 are memorialized on the Texas-Mexico border or, more generally, why we have blindly, and repeatedly, narrated histories that miss major features of our shared past. As we chronicle Selim and his age, a bold new world history emerges, one that overturns shibboleths that have held sway for a millennium”, before concluding: “Whether politicians, pundits, and traditional historians like it or not, the world we inhabit is very much an Ottoman one”.

*

  1. Algerian researcher in international relations, author of the book “L’Orient et l’Occident à l’heure d’un nouveau Sykes-Picot” (The Orient and the Occident in Time of a New Sykes-Picot) Editions Alem El Afkar, Algiers, 2014. 
  2. Malek Bennabi (1905-1973) was an Algerian thinker and writer who devoted most of his life to observe and analyze History to understand the general laws behind the rise and fall of civilizations. He is also known for having coined the concept of “colonizability” (the inner aptitude to be colonized) and even the notion of “globalism” (mondialisme, in French). 
  3. Gilles Bertrand, Ordre international, ordre mondial, ordre global”, in Revue internationale et stratégique 2004/2 (N°54). 
  4. Bertrand Piettre, “Ordre et désordre : Le point de vue philosophique”, 1995. 
  5. RAND Corportation, “Understanding the Current International Order”, 2016. 
  6. Henry Kissinger, “World Order”, Penguin Press, New York, 2014. 
  7. The Wall Street Journal, The Unconquerable Islamic World”, August 19, 2021. 
  8. See: “Remarks by President Joe Biden on the End of war in afghanistan, The white House, WH.GOV, August 31, 2021. 
  9. Ali A. Allawi, “The Crisis of Islamic Civilisation”, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2010. 
  10. According to a study conducted by The Pew Research Center entitled “The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050”: “Islam will grow faster than any other major religion. As of 2010, Christianity was by far the world’s largest religion, with an estimated 2.2 billion adherents, nearly a third (31%) of all 6.9 billion people on Earth. Islam was second, with 1.6 billion adherents, or 23% of the global population. By 2050 there will be near parity between Muslims (2.8 billion, or 30% of the population) and Christians (2.9 billion, or 31%), possibly for the first time in history. If the main projection model is extended beyond 2050, the Muslim share of the world’s population would equal the Christian share, at roughly 32% each, around 2070. After that, the number of Muslims would exceed the number of Christians. By the year 2100, about 1% more of the world’s population would be Muslim (35%) than Christian (34%)”. 
  11. See : Jean Pierre Proulx “Il y a 50 ans : Vatican II. Le Concile qui a bouleversé l’Eglise”, Le Devoir, December 22, 2012, and the interview with historian Guillaume Cuchet, in “Aleteia”, “Le catholicisme aura l’avenir qu’on voudra bien lui donner”, September 18, 2021. 
  12. Ralph Peters, “Blood Borders: How a Better Middle East Would look”, in Armed Forces Journal, juin 2006. 
  13. See : Hela Ouardi, L’Islam n’arrive pas à trancher le fil de la mythologie qui lui permettrait d’entrer dans la modernité”, Le Monde des religions, September 19, 2021. 
  14. See : Réda Benkirane, “Tout ce qui se joue depuis un demi-siècle concourt à une sécularisation turbulente de l’islam”, le Monde des religions, September 5, 2021. 
  15. “We will show them Our signs in the horizon and within themselves until it becomes manifest to them that this (the Qur’an) is the truth. Is it not enough that thy Lord doth witness all things?” (Chapter Fussilat, Verse 53). 
  16. Alan Mikhail, “God’s Shadow: The Ottoman Sultan who shaped the modern world”, W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 2020.
  17. Matamoros” is the name of a city located in the northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas across the border from Brownsville, Texas in the United States. It was coined by Catholic Spaniards for whom it was the duty of every Christian soldier to be a Moor-slayer. 

Chris Hedges: America’s Fate: Oligarchy or Autocracy

September 27th, 2021

Chris Hedges

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The competing systems of power are divided between alternatives which widen the social and political divide — and increase potential for violent conflict.

PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY (Scheerpost) — The competing systems of power in the United States are divided between oligarchy and autocracy. There are no other alternatives. Neither are pleasant. Each have peculiar and distasteful characteristics. Each pays lip service to the fictions of democracy and constitutional rights. And each exacerbates the widening social and political divide and the potential for violent conflict.

The oligarchs from the establishment Republican party, figures such as Liz Cheney, Mitt Romney, George and Jeb Bush and Bill Kristol, have joined forces with the oligarchs in the Democratic Party to defy the autocrats in the new Republican party who have coalesced in cult-like fashion around Donald Trump or, if he does not run again for president, his inevitable Frankensteinian doppelgänger.

The alliance of Republican and Democratic oligarchs exposes the burlesque that characterized the old two-party system, where the ruling parties fought over what Sigmund Freud called the “narcissism of minor differences” but were united on all the major structural issues including massive defense spending, free trade deals, tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, the endless wars, government surveillance, the money-saturated election process, neoliberalism, austerity, deindustrialization, militarized police and the world’s largest prison system.

The liberal class, fearing autocracy, has thrown in its lot with the oligarchs, discrediting and rendering impotent the causes and issues it claims to champion. The bankruptcy of the liberal class is important, for it effectively turns liberal democratic values into the empty platitudes those who embrace autocracy condemn and despise. So, for example, censorship is wrong, unless the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop are censored, or Donald Trump is banished from social media. Conspiracy theories are wrong, unless those theories, such as the Steele dossier and Russiagate, can be used to damage the autocrat. The misuse of the legal system and law enforcement agencies to carry out personal vendettas are wrong, unless those vendettas are directed at the autocrat and those who support him. Giant tech monopolies and their monolithic social media platforms are wrong, unless those monopolies use their algorithms, control of information and campaign contributions to ensure the election of the oligarch’s anointed presidential candidate, Joe Biden.

The perfidy of the oligarchs, masked by the calls for civility, tolerance, and respect for human rights, often out does that of the autocracy. The Trump administration, for example, expelled 444,000 asylum seekers under Title 42, a law that permits the immediate expulsion of those who potentially pose a public health risk and denies the expelled migrants the right to make a case to stay in the U.S. before an immigration judge. The Biden administration not only embraced the Trump order in the name of fighting the pandemic, but has thrown out more than 690,000 asylum seekers since taking office in January. The Biden administration, on the heels of another monster hurricane triggered at least in part by climate change, has opened up 80 million acres for oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and boasted that the sale will produce 1.12 billion barrels of oil over the next 50 years. It has bombed Syria and Iraq, and on the way out the door in Afghanistan murdered ten civilians, including seven children, in a drone strike. It has ended three pandemic relief programs, cutting off benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance that were given to 5.1 million people who worked as freelancers, in the gig economy or as caregivers. An additional 3.8 million people who received assistance from the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation for the long term unemployed have also lost access to their benefits. They join the 2.6 million people who no longer receive the $300 weekly supplement and are struggling to cope with a $1,200 drop in their monthly earnings. Biden’s campaign talk of raising the minimum wage, forgiving student debt, immigration reform, and making housing a human right has been forgotten. At the same time, the Democratic leadership, proponents of a new cold war with China and Russia, has authorized provocative military maneuvers along Russia’s borders and in the South China Sea and speeded up production of its long-range B-21 Raider stealth bomber.

Oligarchs come from the traditional nexus of elite schools, inherited money, the military and corporations, those C. Wright Mills calls the “power elite.” “Material success,” Mills notes, “is their sole basis of authority.” The word oligarchy is derived from the Greek word “oligos” meaning “a few” and it is the oligos that sees power and wealth as its birthright, which they pass on to their family and children, as exemplified by George W. Bush or Mitt Romney. The word “autocracy” is derived from the Greek word “auto” meaning “self,” as in one who rules by himself. In decayed democracies the battle for power is always, as Aristotle points out, between these two despotic forces, although if there is a serious threat of socialism or left-wing radicalism, as was true in the Weimar Republic, the oligarchs forge an uncomfortable alliance with the autocrat and his henchmen to crush it. This is why the donor class and hierarchy of the Democratic Party sabotaged the candidacy of Bernie Sanders, although on the political spectrum Sanders is not a radical, and publicly stated, as the former CEO of Goldman Sachs Lloyd Blankfein did, that should Sanders get the nominee they would support Trump. The alliance between the oligarchs and the autocrats gives birth to fascism, in our case a Christianized fascism.

The oligarchs embrace a faux morality of woke culture and identity politics, which is anti-politics, to give themselves the veneer of liberalism, or at least the veneer of an enlightened oligarchy. The oligarchs have no genuine ideology. Their single-minded goal is the amassing of wealth, hence the obscene amounts of money accrued by oligarchs such as Bill Gates, Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos and the staggering sums of profit made by corporations that have, essentially, orchestrated a legal tax boycott, forcing the state to raise most of its revenues from massive government deficits, now totaling $3 trillion, and disproportionally taxing the working and middle classes.

Oligarchies, which spew saccharine pieties and platitudes, engage in lies that are often far more destructive to the public than the lies of a narcissist autocrat. Yet, the absence of an ideology among the oligarchs gives to oligarchic rule a flexibility lacking in autocratic forms of power. Because there is no blind loyalty to an ideology or a leader there is room in an oligarchy for limited reform, moderation and those who seek to slow or put a brake on the most egregious forms of injustice and inequality.

An autocracy, however, is not pliable. It burns out these last remnants of humanism. It is based solely on adulation of the autocrat, no matter how absurd, and the fear of offending him. This is why politicians such as Lindsey Graham and Mike Pence, at least until he refused to invalidate the election results, humiliated themselves abjectly and repeatedly at the feet of Trump. Pence’s unforgiveable sin of certifying the election results instantly turned him into a traitor. One sin against an autocrat is one sin too many. Trump supporters stormed the capital on January 6 shouting “hang Mike Pence.” As Cosimo de’ Medici remarked, “we are nowhere commanded to forgive our friends.”

The political and economic disempowerment that is the consequence of oligarchy infantilizes a population, which in desperation gravitates to a demagogue who promises prosperity and a restoration of a lost golden age, moral renewal based on “traditional” values and vengeance against those scapegoated for the nation’s decline.

The Biden’s administration’s refusal to address the deep structural inequities that plague the country is already ominous. In the latest Harvard/Harris poll Trump has overtaken Biden in approval ratings, with Biden falling to 46 percent and Trump rising to 48 percent. Add to this the report by the University of Chicago Project on Security & Threats that found that nine percent of Americans believe the “use of force is justified to restore Donald J. Trump to the presidency.”  More than a fourth of adults agree, in varying degrees, the study found, that, “the 2020 election was stolen, and Joe Biden is an illegitimate president.” The polling indicates that 8.1 percent  — 21 million Americans  — share both these beliefs. Anywhere from 15 million to 28 million adults would apparently support the violent overthrow of the Biden administration to restore Trump to the presidency.

“The insurrectionist movement is more mainstream, cross-party, and more complex than many people might like to think, which does not bode well for the 2022 mid-term elections, or for that matter, the 2024 Presidential election,” the authors of the Chicago report write.

Fear is the glue that holds an autocratic regime in place. Convictions can change. Fear does not. The more despotic an autocratic regime becomes, the more it resorts to censorship, coercion, force, and terror to cope with its endemic and often irrational paranoia. Autocracies, for this reason, inevitably embrace fanaticism. Those who serve the autocracy engage in ever more extreme acts against those the autocrat demonizes, seeking the autocrat’s approval and the advancement of their careers.

Revenge against real or perceived enemies is the autocrat’s single-minded goal. The autocrat takes sadistic pleasure in the torment and humiliation of his enemies, as Trump did when he watched the mob storm the capital on January 6, or, in a more extreme form, as Joseph Stalin did when he doubled over in laughter as his underlings acted out the desperate pleading for his life by the condemned Grigori Zinoviev, once one of the most influential figures in the Soviet leadership and the chairman of the Communist International, on the way to his execution in 1926.

Autocratic leaders, as Joachim Fest writes, are often “demonic nonentities.”

“Rather than the qualities which raised him from the masses, it was those qualities he shared with them and of which he was a representative example that laid the foundation for his success,” Fest wrote of Adolf Hitler, words that could apply to Trump. “He was the incarnation of the average, ‘the man who lent the masses his voice and through whom the masses spoke.’ In him the masses encountered themselves.”

The autocrat, who celebrates a grotesque hyper-masculinity, projects an aura of omnipotence. He demands obsequious fawning and total obedience. Loyalty is more important than competence. Lies and truth are irrelevant. The statements of the autocrat, which can in short spaces of time be contradictory, cater exclusively to the transient emotional needs of his followers. There is no attempt to be logical or consistent. There is no attempt to reach out to opponents. Rather, there is a constant stoking of antagonisms that steadily widens the social, political, and cultural divides. Reality is sacrificed for fantasy. Those who question the fantasy are branded as irredeemable enemies.

“Anyone who wants to rule men first tries to humiliate them, to trick them out of their rights and their capacity for resistance, until they are as powerless before him as animals,” wrote Elias Canetti in Crowds and Power of the autocrat. “He uses them like animals and, even if he does not tell them so, in himself he always knows quite clearly that they mean just as little to him; when he speaks to his intimates, he will call them sheep or cattle. His ultimate aim is to incorporate them into himself and to suck the substance out of them. What remains of them afterwards does not matter to him. The worse he has treated them, the more he despises them. When they are no more use at all, he disposes of them as he does excrement, simply seeing to it that they do not poison the air of his house.”

It is, ironically, the oligarchs who build the institutions of oppression, the militarized police, the dysfunctional courts, the raft of anti-terrorism laws used against dissidents, ruling through executive orders rather than the legislative process, wholesale surveillance and the promulgation of laws that overturn the most basic Constitutional rights by judicial fiat. Thus, the Supreme Court rules that corporations have the right to pump unlimited amounts of money into political campaigns because it is a form of free speech, and because corporations have the constitutional right to petition the government. The oligarchs do not use these mechanisms of oppression with the same ferocity as the autocrats. They employ them fitfully and therefore often ineffectually. But they create the physical and legal systems of oppression so that an autocrat, with the flick of a switch, can establish a de facto dictatorship.

The autocrat oversees a naked kleptocracy in place of the hidden kleptocracy of the oligarchs. But it is debatable whether the more refined kleptocracy of the oligarchs is any worse than the crude and open kleptocracy of the autocrat. The autocrat’s attraction is that as he fleeces the public, he entertains the crowd. He orchestrates engaging spectacles. He gives vent, often through vulgarity, to the widespread hatred of the ruling elites. He provides a host of phantom enemies, usually the weak and the vulnerable, who are rendered nonpersons. His followers are given license to attack these enemies, including the feckless liberals and intellectuals who are a pathetic appendage to the oligarchic class. Autocracies, unlike oligarchies, make for engaging political theater.

We must defy the oligarchs as well as the autocrats. If we replicate the cowardice of the liberal class, if we sell out to the oligarchs as a way to blunt the rise of autocracy, we will discredit the core values of a civil society and fuel the very autocracy we seek to defeat. Despotism, in all its forms, is dangerous. If we achieve nothing else in the fight against the oligarchs and the autocrats, we will at least salvage our dignity and integrity.

A Tale Of Two Speeches: Presidents Xi & Biden At UNGA 2021

24 SEPTEMBER 2021

By Andrew Korybko

Source

A Tale Of Two Speeches: Presidents Xi & Biden At UNGA 2021

UNGA 2021 allowed the whole world to see the differences between China and the US.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden both spoke at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Tuesday. The first-mentioned addressed his audience via video while the second spoke in person. These two world leaders’ speeches couldn’t have been more different, though. President Xi presented a pragmatic and inclusive way for the world to move forward from the pandemic while Biden focused mostly on a hegemonic view of the future. It’s important to elaborate more on their differences.

President Xi’s speech was much shorter than his American counterpart’s. He got straight to the point by drawing attention to four topics: beating COVID-19; revitalizing the global economy; promoting win-win policies in international relations; and improving global governance so that it truly embraces the trend of multilateralism. The Chinese leader’s speech rehashed some of the points that he made last year, but they took on a renewed importance since the pandemic continues to rage and international relations remain uncertain.

Nevertheless, President Xi expressed confidence that the peaceful development of humanity is irreversible. He’s optimistic that a new form of international relations is emerging whereby countries treat one another with mutual respect and prioritize the central role of the United Nations (UN). Furthermore, he’s sure that developing nations will continue to grow and pledged his country’s support for them to this end, including through the sharing of green technologies. President Xi also has no doubt that COVID-19 will be defeated.

By contrast, Biden’s speech was much longer than his Chinese counterparts after clocking in at roughly forty minutes. Like President Xi, he too talked about beating COVID-19 and countering climate change, but only for a minimal portion of his speech. Most of it was about how America intends to shape what he described as this decisive decade by continuing to promote democracy and its conception of human rights, supporting anti-corruption protesters across the world, and ensuring compliance with its envisioned world order.

The aforesaid foresees NATO and the Quad playing larger roles, and Biden promised that the US will call out alleged human rights violations in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Republic, Russia’s Chechen Republic, and other parts of the world. These information warfare attacks as well as his implied criticisms of China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) as corrupt and low-quality infrastructure projects expose his claim of not wanting a new cold war to have been nothing more than a bald-faced lie.

Upon comparing the Chinese and American Presidents’ speeches, it’s clear which one sincerely cares about the world and which cares only for his own country’s interests at everyone else’s expense. President Xi is truly committed to restoring predictability and stability to international relations through China’s promotion of legitimate multilateralism unlike the American model of relying on small cliques of countries obsessed with zero-sum games. Biden, by contrast, is only interested in worsening new cold war tensions on various pretexts.

This tale of two speeches shows just how divergent their respective visions are. Quite naturally, the vast majority of the world will stand in solidarity with President Xi’s views. There’s a genuine desire to move beyond the outdated and counterproductive models of the past in jointly charting a community of shared future for mankind where people rightly become the center of all policymaking. Only those countries that are either terribly misled or under American control will support Biden’s dangerous and selfish games.

UNGA 2021 allowed the whole world to see the differences between China and the US. Only the UN can provide leadership during these uncertain times in accordance with international law, not any individual country or clique thereof. The world must come closer together in pursuit of shared interests connected to their people’s development, not move further apart as a result of self-interested geopolitical games. President Xi’s vision is thus expected to resonate with the global masses while Biden’s will mostly be ignored or ridiculed.

Raisi: US Efforts to Impose Hegemony Have ‘Failed Miserably’

September 22, 2021

Raisi: US Efforts to Impose Hegemony Have ‘Failed Miserably’

By Staff, Agencies

Iranian President Sayyed Ebrahim Raisi said the US efforts to impose hegemony on other countries have “failed miserably,” and that Washington’s hegemonic system lacks credibility.

Raisi made the remarks during the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly via video conference on Tuesday night, in his first address to the main policy-making organ of the world body since taking office last month.

“This year, two scenes made history: one was on January 6 when the US congress was attacked by the people and, two, when the people of Afghanistan were dropped down from the US planes in August. From the Capitol to Kabul, one clear message was sent to the world: the US’ hegemonic system has no credibility, whether inside or outside the country,” Raisi told the UN General Assembly.

“What is seen in our region today proves that not only the hegemonist and the idea of hegemony, but also the project of imposing Westernized identity have failed miserably. The result of seeking hegemony has been blood-spilling and instability and, ultimately, defeat and escape. Today, the US does not get to exit Iraq and Afghanistan but is expelled,” he added.

The Iranian president further noted that Washington is using sanctions as a “new way of war” against other nations, stressing that the US sanctions against the Islamic Republic during the coronavirus pandemic are “crimes against humanity.”

“Sanctions are the US’ new way of war with the world countries. Sanctions against the Iranian nation started not with my country’s nuclear program; they even predate the Islamic Revolution and go back to the year 1951 when oil nationalization went underway in Iran,” Raisi said at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.

“Despite the fact that the Islamic Republic was keen from the outset to purchase and import COVID-19 vaccines from reliable international sources, it faced inhumane medical sanctions. Sanctions, especially on medicine at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, are crimes against humanity,” he noted.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian president stressed that Tehran has been adhering to its nuclear commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA] while Washington violated the 2015 landmark accord‎, stressing that the US so-called maximum pressure campaign against Iran has failed.

“Today, the whole world, including the Americans themselves, have admitted that the project of countering the Iranian people, which manifested itself in the form of violating the JCPOA and was followed by the “maximum pressure” and arbitrary withdrawal from an internationally recognized agreement, has totally failed,” Raisi said.

“We want nothing more than what is rightfully ours. We demand the implementation of international rules. All parties must stay true to the nuclear deal and the UN Resolution in practice,” he added.

Raisi also said that Iran has “no trust in US promises,” and wants all anti-Tehran sanctions to be removed at once, noting that the Islamic Republic considers the nuclear talks useful only when their ultimate outcome is the lifting of all unilateral sanctions.

US Combat Units to Withdraw from Ain Al-Assad & Harir Bases in Anbar and Erbil: Iraqi Military Command

September 21, 2021

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Spokesman of the Joint Operations Command in Iraq, Tahsin Al-Khafaji, confirmed on Tuesday that three US combat units will have withdrawn from Ain Al-Assad and Harir bases in Anbar and Erbil by the end of this month, adding that Iraq is no longer in need of the foreign military presence.

Al-Khafaji said that the “strategic dialogue between the two sides” led to an agreement on the gradual withdrawal, adding the remaining troops will carry out training missions.

The rest of the US military units will have withdrawn from Iraq by the end of this year, according to Al-Khafaji.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

حزن ميقاتي وأربعة أسئلة في القانون الدولي مفاهيم تحدّد مسألة السيادة في قوافل المازوت

 ناصر قنديل

طرح كلام رئيس الحكومة نجيب ميقاتي عن توصيف عبور قوافل المازوت الإيراني الذي استورده حزب الله وجلبه عبر الحدود السورية من دون الخضوع للإجراءات الحكومية، بالانتهاك للسيادة اللبنانية، سؤالاً عن مفهوم السيادة في قضية القوافل وعبورها، من الزاوية القانونية، وفقاً لمعايير القانون الدولي، لأنه ثمة ما هو معلوم من الزاوية السياسية بأن المقاومة لم تمتنع عن الالتزام بالخضوع للإجراءات الحكومية عبر الحدود، بل إن الحكومة هي التي فضلت عدم الانخراط في أي صلة بالقوافل تلافياً لإثارة أي التباس يوحي بشراكتها تفادياً لتعرضها للعقوبات الأميركية، كما هو معلوم أن كلام الرئيس ميقاتي عن انتهاك السيادة هو مقصد سياسي للقول إن الحكومة لم تكن على صلة، طلباً لذات الهدف، أي تفادي العقوبات الأميركية، ما يستدعي فحص ومعاينة المصطلح والتحقق من مدى ملاءمته للحالة التي نتحدث عنها توصيفاً واستنتاجاً.

السؤال الأول الذي يطرحه الموضوع هو طالما أننا لا نتحدث عن عقوبات دولية تحظر المتاجرة مع إيران أو عبر سورية، فما هو التوصيف القانوني للعقوبات الأميركية في حالة لبنان، والجواب نجده في معاهدة لاهاي التي تتحدث عن مفهوم الاحتلال، بصفته تعبيراً يتجاوز مجرد الوجود العسكري الأجنبي الذي لا يصبح احتلالاً إلا بمقدار ما يفرض مشيئته على الأرض التي توصف محتلة بذات نسبة سيطرة المشيئة الأجنبية على إجراءاتها وتدخلها في تغيير وجهة ممارسة السيادة عليها، فيصير السؤال هو، لو لم تكن هناك عقوبات أميركية، هل كان لدى الحكومة اللبنانية مشكلة في أن تتعامل بصورة سيادية مع القوافل، وهل أن الذي استولى على الصلاحيات السيادية للدولة وحل مكانها هو الأميركي الذي استولى على سلطة السماح والمنع أم المقاومة التي كانت جاهزة للخضوع للإجراءات الحكومية، وهل أن الحكومة لديها قرار سيادي يحظر الاستيراد من إيران وعبر سورية خرقته المقاومة، أم أن المقاومة خرقت قواعد الاستيلاء الأميركي على هذا البعد من القرار السيادي للحكومة؟

عندما  نوصف السيطرة الأميركية على القرار السيادي للدولة، بالاحتلال لأنه يتولى ممارسة سلطة على أرض ليست أرضه ويفرض عليها تشريعات ليست نابعة من السلطات السيادية الشرعية، يصير السؤال القانوني هل أن الحكومة بمؤسساتها السيادية قامت بما يلزم لردع هذا الاحتلال وتحرير بلادها منه، أم أنها خضعت أو تغاضت أو استسلمت أو أعلنت عجزها، وفي كل هذه الحالات التي لحظها القانون الدولي هل يصبح الاحتلال شرعياً، ويصبح التسليم بمشيئة الاحتلال قانونياً، والجواب قاطع بالنفي في كل المداولات والمناقشات الخاصة بحالة الاحتلال التي ينتهي البحث فيها باعتبار المقاومة التي تنظمها الشعوب بوجه الاحتلال لإسقاط مشيئته هي الرد القانوني المشروع والسيادي.

المقاومة المسلحة هي الجواب عندما يكون الاحتلال الذي يفرض المشيئة عسكرياً، وكسر المشيئة بذاتها بالتمرد على مندرجاتها كدعوة الشعب لرفض دفع الضرائب لسلطات الاحتلال هو نوع من المقاومة المشروعة، وفي حالة الاستيلاء الأميركي على السلطة السيادية للدولة في تحديد شروط المتاجرة والعبور، يكون كسر هذه المشيئة مقاومة مشروعة لا تقبل الاجتهاد، يزيده مشروعية تلكؤ الحكومة أو استسلامها أو تغاضيها أو عجزها أو خضوعها، بما يجعل التخلي الحكومي عن ممارسة الحق السيادي وارتضاء استيلاء الأجنبي عليه إطلاقاً لحق المقاومة المشروع باسترداد هذا الحق وفرض ممارسته من الشعب الذي تمثله المقاومة، كما في حال المقاومة العسكرية للاحتلال بالقوة العسكرية.

وفقاً للمفهوم القانوني للسيادة، الذي ينتهك هو صاحب العقوبات الذي نصب نفسه صاحب المشيئة في فرض القوانين بدلاً من السلطات الوطنية المحلية، ليصير قوة احتلال وفقاً للتعريف القانوني، وليست المقاومة التي تمردت على الإجراءات التي فرضها الاستيلاء على القرار السيادي للدولة وتلكؤ الدولة في مواجهة هذا الاستيلاء وخضوعها للمشيئة الأجنبية، بل إن المقاومة تصبح قانونياً الممثل الشرعي للشعب في ممارسة السيادة في إسقاط الاحتلال بصفته مشيئة أجنبية تفرض تشريعاتها على الأرض الوطنية للدولة من خارج الممارسات السيادية لمؤسسات الدولة وتشريعاتها.

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Russian World as a global project

SEPTEMBER 19, 2021

Russian World as a global project

Most of us at The Saker Blog are involved in either understanding or have fully joined the Russian World as a global project.  In one simplistic sense, we still talk about the splitting of the world into Zone A (hegemonic) and Zone B (resistance and this is on various levels of maturity).  This is a fine new era model to start with but we are beginning to deal with the actual consequences of what today is seen as a bifurcation.  It is of course not that simple and our model needs to be further developed.  Rostislav Ishchenko‘s article begins to plumb the depths of this major change.  I machine translate it here, for the start of a discussion on this massive global change.


I don’t like terminological discussions in politics. They usually do not explain anything and do not unite anyone, causing pointless disputes and dangerous splits from scratch. Something similar happened with the discussion about the “Russian World”. For fifteen or twenty years, only the lazy did not try to give a complete definition of this phenomenon.

However, all these attempts were futile, since they consisted in giving world-historical significance to one’s own subjective views, beliefs, and even feelings. In fact, each of those who tried to give a complete definition of the term “Russian World” only translated into society their incomplete and completely unformed views on the immediate prospects for the development of Russia and the entire post-Soviet space as a whole.

When in 2014 I once wrote that the ” Russian World “is still an un-established concept, the final content of which depends on us, because if it becomes attractive, France (as well as any other country) can become part of the” Russian World “after some time, a considerable number of critics from” professional Russians “immediately arose, who themselves appointed themselves the only correct Russians, and appropriated the right to decide what is true and what is not true, from the point of view of”true Russianness”. All their claims were reduced to repeating a thesis that explains nothing and proves nothing: “We are Russians! Based on this thesis, they concluded that I was trying to blur the uniquely noble Russianness with a foreign language, spreading the potential ” Russian World “to Westerners and other”barbarians”.

The fact that this thesis was stated by Generalissimo Suvorov, during whose service the officer corps of the Russian army consisted of non-Russian percentages by 40, reaching 60% or more in senior positions, did not stop those who operated with this thesis. They agreed to consider the Georgian Bagration, the Scotsman Barclay de Tolly, the German Bennigsen, Catherine the Great herself, the mass of Ostsee nobles, the Tatars, Yakuts, Buryats, and Dzungars as Russians — basically everyone who was part of Russia before the collapse of the USSR. All the others, even if they were three times Russian, from their point of view did not fall into the Russians, and they considered it blasphemy to assume that France would ever be part of the “Russian World”.These same people start to fight in rodimchik, hearing the term Russian. They believe that in this way some hidden enemies (probably reptilians) are derussififying the Russian people.

Meanwhile, in Russia, Russians are the state-forming people, but not only Russians live in it. Accordingly, Ramzan Kadyrov, for example, is a Chechen by nationality, a Muslim by religion, and a Russian by citizenship. Vladimir Putin is Russian by nationality, Orthodox by religion, but the same Russian by citizenship. At the same time, a non-Russian Russian is an absolute part of the “Russian World”. But the same part is also a foreign Russian (if he considers himself a part of the” Russian World”), even if he is a citizen of another state. On the other hand, you can be Russian by nationality, live in Russia, but not be part of the “Russian World” and dream of leaving “this country” forever at the first opportunity.

To be a part of the Russian world, you just need to share the principles on which Russian civilization is based. Russia is the center of Russian civilization, but it does not exhaust it completely.From this point of view, not every Frenchman or Chinese is part of the “Russian World”, but everyone can become one if they want. As for the state, we can count it among the “Russian World” if its society is dominated by the idea of universal attractiveness of the foundations of Russian civilization.In 2014, the end of American hegemony was not yet obvious to many. Therefore, they believed that Pax Romana and Pax Americana were one thing, and the “Russian World” was something else. This view was caused by the psychological trauma received as a result of the collapse of the USSR and the acquisition by the United States of the position of global hegemon. It was easy for people who lived through the 90s to understand why Germans or French were part of the “American World”, but it was absolutely unclear how they could be part of the “Russian World”in the future.Well, it’s been almost eight years and we’re in a new era. The post-Soviet era, characterized by American dominance, has finally come to an end. The post-American era has begun, and the early stage of it (which we are experiencing now) is characterized by multipolarity, which determines the competition of civilizational models.

Some Western elites continue to promote the left-liberal model of globalist tolerance as the” bright future of all mankind”. It may seem to us that this model is doomed due to its discrediting in the light of the landslide foreign policy defeat of the United States. But in reality, everything is not so simple. It still has quite a few ideologized adherents in the West, who still retain control over American and, to a large extent, over European politics. They are trying to win the current round against their domestic political opponents (representing the conservative model) by temporarily curtailing international activity, concentrating on domestic political issues and gaining a preponderance in domestic politics by attracting large numbers of migrants from Africa, Asia and Latin America, and giving them citizenship and the right to vote in elections. Thus, the left-liberal part of the West expects to gain a decisive advantage in the fight against its right-conservative domestic political opponents. Having solved their domestic political problems, they expect to once again turn to an active foreign policy. At the same time, they hope that their tolerant migration policy will attract the sympathies of the countries of origin of migrants to them, and thus they will also gain a preponderance in foreign policy.

I think that in this last case they are wrong. Left-liberal policies lead to accelerated destruction of the national economy. In the context of the rejection (even if from their point of view temporary) of global hegemony, the Western elites cannot compensate for their own economic decline by redistributing the global resource in their favor, as it was before. Thus, they should lose in the foreign policy arena faster than they will win in the domestic political arena.

However, history and politics are not deterministic. The loss of the West is inevitable only if non-Western states that offer alternative models build their international game correctly. In this case, they will indeed succeed in preventing a new unification of the West and the third world, leaving the West alone with its exhausted resource base and forcing it to capitulate.

The first danger that threatens Russia and China, as centers of alternative civilizational proposals, is the overestimation of the adequacy of Western right—wing conservative elites. They are really close to us with their commitment to traditional family values, their desire to abandon the left-liberal policy of global tolerance and return to the model of classical civilization. Hence, in our society, there is a fairly high percentage of sympathizers with Trumpism or the European new right.

These sympathies would be justified, if not for one “but”. Despite their proximity to our civilizational model, the right-wing conservatives of the West are still trying to restore the world of Western hegemony, only the model is not 2013, but 1993. They are also trying to reduce their foreign policy activity and solve the domestic political problem by defeating their own left-liberal globalists. But after this victory, they, just like their domestic political opponents after their own, intend to restore the world of global domination of the West, because they simply cannot live in another.

Thus, from the point of view of our interests, at this stage, only tactical alliances with the struggling elites of the West are possible, designed to prolong this struggle as long as possible. Russia does not need (and even is dangerous) the current Western elites as strategic allies. Russia needs them to destroy each other (in the political sense), and new elites will sprout from the land they have destroyed, whose conservatism will not be complicated by imperialism and for whom the values of the “Russian World” will be close and understandable.

In other words, Western elites must fight each other and China until they naturally (by destroying other opportunities and discrediting other paths) come to realize their own commitment to the civilizational values of the “Russian World” and express a desire to become a part of it.

For Russia, such an expansion of the “Russian World” to include a reformatted Western civilization is also important because China also offers the world an alternative civilizational model. This model was recently sketched out by Xi Jinping. Prior to this speech, it was possible to expect that the Russian and Chinese models would coincide in general terms, which would ensure a strategic partnership for several decades or even a century, ahead. But the recent speech of Comrade Xi showed that the Chinese model will be based on similar, but not only not identical, but also in many ways contradicting the Russian civilizational foundations.

In fact, Xi Jinping predestined the development of Chinese statehood along the path of the paternalistic dictatorship of the party aristocracy. Total control, universal austerity (“voluntary” restriction of consumption according to the standards defined by the leadership), and living according to the principle: what is good for the state is good for every citizen of it are the foundations of a”bright future” in Chinese. If Deng Xiaoping urged not to pay attention to the color of the cat, if it catches mice well, then Xi Jinping decided that the cat was already sufficiently skilled in catching so that it could be painted in the color approved by the party without consequences.

China, of course, can still stop and return to the path of Deng Xiaoping, but today the situation is developing in the direction of changing the model based on the professionalism of cats, to a model based on the correct cat coloring.

The first model is pragmatic and within its framework, we could move towards a merger in a single Russian-Chinese world (civilizational, not state merger). The second model is ideological, which means that no matter what the Chinese comrades think about it today, it will suffer from messianism and expansionism. Moreover, as practice and experience shows, such ideologized Messianic models very quickly come to a resource shortage. All of them (from the collapsed USSR to the current Belarus) require a regular influx of resources from outside. This means that in the foreseeable future, Chinese expansionism will become not only ideological but also mercantile. Just like Washington at the end of Pax Americana, the “Chinese World” will need global hegemony simply to maintain its current level of development and material prosperity.

Thus, if China does not return to Deng Xiaoping’s pillar road, after a while it will become a civilizational competitor for Russia, and the convergence of the” Russian World “and the” Chinese World ” will become impossible.

In this case, it is precisely the spread of the civilization of the “Russian World” to the West, which is highly likely to lose its own civilizational identity by that time and will be in search of a new one, and with the help of the West, to a significant part of the third world, that will allow Russia to balance China and achieve peaceful coexistence and healthy competition between the two worlds. In this case, Russia will need healthy competition within the rules. In it, all other things being equal, a free society will always win the paternalistic regime in the economic competition.

Thus, today the Russian World, as a new global civilizational project, is based on the principle of unobtrusiveness.

For domestic politics, this means the principle of ” what is good for the state is what is good for the majority of its citizens.” This does not mean that the state begins to automatically distribute cakes and ice cream to everyone, declaring labor optional for obtaining material benefits, since most of any society is prone to laziness and parasitism. The ideal state protects precisely the deep, long-term interests of society, providing it with maximum employment, decent wages for work, provision of the widest range of goods at the most affordable prices, high-quality medicine, high-quality and generally accessible, but not compulsory (outside of primary school) education. Freedom of spiritual, cultural development, and political activity. Reasonable protection of the rights of the minority against the dictatorship of the majority. Not by creating privileged minorities, but by prohibiting State and/or public interference in the affairs of voluntarily created communities that do not violate the law.

If you want, you can buy a plot of land (for how much money is enough), put a fence around it, and build communism there for your family and friends, or if you want, you can also create a community of anti—vaccinators, or fans of the “new chronology”, or fighters against the dominance of reptilians. The state should only ensure that those who have recovered can freely leave the walls of your monastery of sorrow and that children have a free choice: follow the path of their parents or live in a normal society.

The state’s priority in domestic policy should be to ensure internal stability and continuity of policy. It is the politicians who have already learned to ensure the continuity of the team. Now it is necessary that the successor should not be eager to prove that he can do more than his predecessor, but rather strive to maintain the progressive development set by his predecessor.

The Russian economy needs stable and calm, moderate and steady growth, without sudden spurts and deep crises. The source of this growth should be an internal resource, and its task, resource accumulation (further increase).

Foreign policy should ensure that the country continues to gain peaceful weight. Any military campaign is undesirable and is sanctioned only if there are no ways to avoid a collision without losses exceeding the losses from the war (not only human but also general resource). The country needs at least another 50 years of “golden peace”, and preferably as long as possible without a crisis life. It is necessary to avoid the characteristic mistake of the winner in a fundamental conflict, which, by the way, the United States made after becoming the hegemon of the post-Soviet world. Intervention in the affairs of other countries can only be carried out at the request of these countries themselves and with the aim of overcoming the crisis as soon as possible. In all other cases, it is possible to offer intermediary services, help with advice, but do not insist. Forcing peace to prevent genocide and other unpleasant things should be carried out only with the UN Security Council’s approval on an international basis.

On the basis of a balanced and economical foreign and domestic policy, as well as the completion of the creation of a self-sufficient economic cluster within the Russian borders and an environment interested in expanding economic interaction and trade with Russia, it is necessary to solve the problem of leveling the demographic pit and ensuring moderate (without jerks and recessions) population growth by about 1.5-2 million.  In general, Russia needs to continue (as so far) to protect and strengthen its resource base inside and reputation outside.

We must come to a situation where the “Russian World” becomes much more attractive to the world’s population than the American world recently was when being part of the Russian civilization is dreamed of as a great honor, and the consent of Russia, at the request of the local population, to include some territory (for example, Switzerland or Finland) is considered both by those who join, and

Let me emphasize that Russkiy Mir does not aim at Russian territorial expansion. This is just a civilizational proposal. But if a certain nation wants to become part of Russia, then it must meet the criteria of the “Russian world”, and the Russian state. The most important of these criteria is the feeling of not joining, but reuniting, merging two parts of a divided whole, as well as the mutually beneficial combination (together, two combining parts should live and develop much better; and both of them than each of them separately).

Over the past twenty years, Russia has created a clear outline of the civilizational foundations of the “Russian World”. Now the most difficult thing remains: to win the competition of civilizational projects without hurrying, without considering your work as a great universal mission, without breaking down, without aggression and coercion, to ensure the globality of the” Russian World ” and extend it into eternity.

Читать далее: https://ukraina.ru/opinion/20210916/1032260829.html

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Anti-China US/UK/Australia Axis of Evil

The Stephen Lendman Blog

Both wings of the US war party target all nations free from their control for regime change — forever wars by hot and/or other means their favored tactics.

China is hegemon USA’s target No. One — for its growing political, economic and technological prominence on the world stage, not for any national security threat its leadership poses.

While preemptive US war on the country is extremely unlikely, it’s possible by accident or design — given how often its ruling class chooses this option.

Its risk increased by a newly formed anti-China axis of evil.

On Wednesday, the Biden regime and imperial UK/Australian partners announced what they called a “historic” security alliance (sic).

Unrelated to the security of their nations — facing no threats from others, just invented ones — newly formed “Aukus” is all about challenging China in a part of the world where hegemon USA and Britain don’t belong.

View original post 671 more words

The Dogs Bark But the Flotilla Embarks For Lebanon: US Fails To Harm Hezbollah’s Reputation

SEPTEMBER 5, 2021

The Dogs Bark But the Flotilla Embarks For Lebanon: US Fails To Harm Hezbollah’s Reputation

By Mohammad Youssef

Hezbollah’s initiative to bring ships of Iranian fuel to Lebanon has prompted Washington and its allies to kick start actions to sabotage the step or to lessen its positive effects on Lebanon and the Lebanese.

The US administration is heavily involved in the Lebanese affairs and following up attentively daily politics in the country, yet all this to no avail.

The US Congress delegation to Lebanon last week expressed dismay over the Iranian fuel supplies saying that Lebanon is not in need for Iranian petroleum and provoking Saudi Arabia to play a role in blocking Tehran’s help and replacing it by a Saudi one.

In another position, the delegation described Hezbollah as a cancer that should be eradicated. This reflects Washington’s rage and frustration from the influential role the party is playing in Lebanon as well as in the region.

First, the US ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea has mocked the step and did not take it seriously when Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah announced it. The head of American diplomacy made consultations and wrongly concluded this is not serious enough, but when Sayyed Nasrallah announced the shipment was on its way she was heavily shocked about her hasty calculations.

Second, the American delegation in an arrogant blackmail threatened there will be sanctions against those who deal with Iran to import oil, and some Lebanese parties mistakenly, or with bad intentions, started to talk about international sanctions though they know for a fact it is only Washington, due to its animosity to the Resistance, and complete bias to ‘Israel’, may impose such sanctions.

Third, the American embassy in Lebanon has become a kind of oil agency that dictates on the distributors the directives on when, where and what quantities of gasoline they would distribute to the stations. According to reports, lists of distributors and distribution places would first arrive to and be approved by the embassy before the process of distribution takes place.

Fourth, the American embassy has recently and repeatedly scorned many of the pro US NGO’S for their failure to confront Hezbollah or to gain influence in the party’s areas. Dorothy Shea expressed her resentment and frustration that not much has been done so far, and it is not enough at all to influence the party followers or supporters.

Fifth, the black propaganda that is being orchestrated and designed in the embassy to distort the party’s reputation, to tarnish its image, and to demonize it in the eyes of the Lebanese and to hold it responsible for all what Lebanon and the Lebanese are going through has come into a complete failure. New plans and more campaigns are in the making now to make up for previous failures.

Sixth, in the same vein, Washington is urging its gulf allies especially Saudi Arabia and UAE to take the initiative from Hezbollah and send supplies to the tormented country so they would earn good reputation that could be later translated into political influence and thus ballots to be casted during the next parliamentary elections.

Seventh, the pro-US gulf countries that are heavily involved in Lebanon and the Lebanese politics are not encouraged enough to send money and supplies because they are not pretty sure this would reach to their proper receivers. In Lebanon, the pro-West, pro-Gulf camp is very notorious for its corruption, malfunction, and its trust unworthiness.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah continues, as planned, its efforts on many levels to alleviate the suffering of the people. Aside from the fuel shipments coming from Iran, the party has launched a series of many vital and very important projects that make people life easier; this includes electricity, water, health and medical facilities, along with streets repair and educational services.

To sum up, Washington with all its tools in the region and the country are waging a relentless war against all those who oppose its hegemony and its imperialist colonialist policies. Thankfully and hopefully, it is losing, and they are winning.

This is going to show us, sooner or later the writing of a new chapter where the US hegemony loses and our people achieve more independence, prosperity and freedom away from Washington sinister plans and conspiracies.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions from MGIMO students and faculty

September 02, 2021

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions from MGIMO students and faculty

Ed: This is a wide ranging discussion of international affairs

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions from MGIMO students and faculty on the occasion of the beginning of a new academic year, Moscow, September 1, 2021

Friends,

As always, I am delighted to be here on September 1, and not only on this day, of course, since we hold events here at other times of the year as well. But September 1 has special importance, since this is Knowledge Day. First-year students get to feel the university spirit, and meetings like this help us streamline this experience and are sure to benefit students in their studies.

I am certain that you will not regret choosing this university. MGIMO graduates find work in a wide variety of spheres, from public service and research to business and journalism. We are proud that our alma mater has such a great reputation. MGIMO Rector, Anatoly Torkunov, has just shared some enrolment statistics. They are impressive. He said that the minister keeps a close eye on everything going on in this school. But you cannot keep track of everything, and I mean this in a good way. MGIMO University constantly improves its programmes and activity and expands its partnership networks. Today, MGIMO University will sign yet another cooperation agreement, this time with Ivannikov Institute for System Programming. This shows that we always need to be in step with the times. This is the right way to go. The quality of the education that graduates receive at this university is recognised both in Russia and around the world.

I am glad MGIMO University continues to attract international students. This is an important channel for maintaining humanitarian, educational and people-to-people ties. In today’s world these ties have special importance, since at the intergovernmental level our Western colleagues have little appetite for talking to us on equal terms. As you probably know, and I am certain that you have a keen interest in foreign policy, they persist with their demands that we change the way we behave and act the way they view as being correct. This is a dead end. We are open to a frank, constructive, mutually beneficial dialogue, taking into account each other’s interests. It is along these lines that we maintain dialogue and promote cooperation and partnerships with the overwhelming majority of countries around the world. This includes our closest allies and strategic partners – members of the CSTO, CIS, EAEU, SCO and BRICS. We have many reliable friends, almost in all continents interested in promoting mutually beneficial projects that benefit all the participants.

To counter this trend toward a multipolar world, which reflects the cultural and civilisational diversity on this planet, our Western partners seek to maintain their dominant standing in international affairs. They are acting in quite a brash manner making no secret out of the fact that their main objective is to contain their competitors, primarily Russia and China. The documents adopted at the NATO, EU, and US-EU summits over the past months are designed to consolidate the “collective West” in their efforts to counter the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China.

The Indo-Pacific strategies that are openly pursuing the goal (as it has been proclaimed) of containing China have gained currency in the Asia-Pacific region. They are trying to implicate another of our strategic partners, India, in these games. Everyone can see it and everyone understands what it is all about. But those who gave up their sovereignty and joined the ranks of the countries led by the United States and other Western countries are not in a position to utter a word of disagreement.

Truth be told, following the tragic events in Afghanistan and after the United States and its NATO allies had hurriedly left that country, a chorus of voices began to be heard in Europe advocating self-reliance in foreign affairs, especially in matters involving the deployment of armed forces, rather than reliance on directives issued by Washington that it can change in an instant. These are glimpses of something new in the position of the West, in this case, the Europeans.

The second notable aspect highlighted by US President Joe Biden and President of France Emmanuel Macron is as follows: both announced within one or two days of one another that it was time to give up on interfering in other countries’ internal affairs in order to impose Western-style democracy on them.

We welcome such statements. We have long been urging our Western colleagues to learn from the reckless ventures that they have got themselves into in recent decades in Iraq and Libya, and they tried to do the same in Syria. I hope (if the above statements are a true reflection of their hard-won understanding of the matter) that our planet will be a safer place in the future. But all the same, we have to “clear out the rubble” of the past policies. Hundreds of thousands of people, civilians, were impacted or killed during the invasion of Iraq and the attack on Libya. There are lots of problems stemming from the revived international terrorism in the Middle East and North Africa and huge numbers of illegal migrants. The illegal arms trade, drug smuggling and much more are on the rise. All this needs to be “cleared up” by the international community, because it affects almost everyone.

Now that the NATO troops have pulled out from Afghanistan, the most important thing for us is to ensure the security of our allies in Central Asia. First, they are our comrades, including comrades-in-arms, and second, the security of Russia’s southern borders directly depends on this.

I hope that if we act together, we will be able to agree on these external steps that will help create an environment within Afghanistan for forming a truly national leadership. We are working energetically to this end.

We are witnessing two trends in the international arena. On the one hand, it is about the formation of a multipolar and polycentric world. This trend reflects the position of most states around the world. On the other hand, efforts are being made to hold back this objective historical process and to artificially preserve control over everything that is happening in the international arena, including with the use of unscrupulous methods such as unilateral illegal sanctions, competition that is occasionally reminiscent of ultimatums, or changing the rules in the midst of an ongoing project.

The West tends to mention less often (if at all) the term “international law” and calls on everyone to maintain a “rules-based world order.” We have nothing against the rules. After all, the UN Charter is also a set of rules, but they were agreed with all states without exception. They are supported by every country that is a member of this one-of-a-kind organisation with incredible and unmatched legitimacy. The West has different rules in mind. They are creating formats of their own. For example, the US has announced that it will convene a Democracy Summit to create an Alliance of Democracies. Clearly, Washington will be the one to determine who will be invited and who is considered a democracy. By the same token, France and Germany announced an initiative to create an Alliance for Multilateralism, i.e. “multilateralists.” When asked why these issues cannot be discussed at the UN, where multilateralism is at its finest in the modern world, the answer is that the UN is home to “retrogrades” and they want to create an Alliance for Multilateralism based on “advanced” ideas. And the “leaders,” above all the EU, will set the rules for multilateralism, and the rest will have to look up to them. This is a crude description, but it conveys the essence of what they are trying to tell us in so many words.

There are initiatives to create partnerships, including in the areas that were supposed to be discussed at universal platforms long ago. Numerous initiatives appearing in the developing world are also being used for the same purpose. There are attempts to channel them to meet Western interests.

The policy of undermining international law and universal principles sealed in the UN Charter is reflected, to a certain extent, in the efforts to call into doubt the results of World War II. They are aimed at trying to equate the winners in this bloodiest war in human history with those who unleashed it and proclaimed the destruction of whole nations as their goal. These attempts are aimed at undermining our positions in the world. Similar attacks are being made on China’s positions. We cannot give up and remain indifferent on this issue.

Every year, we put forward major initiatives at the UN on the inadmissibility of glorifying Nazism, waging a war against monuments and fuelling any forms of racial discrimination and xenophobia.

The overwhelming majority of states not only support these initiatives but also become their co-authors. In most cases, our Western colleagues bashfully abstain from this. They explain that the appeal to prevent certain trends runs counter to democracy and freedom of speech. In other words, for them the neo-Nazi trends that are obvious in Europe, in part, in the Baltic states and Ukraine, do not amount to a gross violation of the Nuremberg trials verdict but merely reflect a commitment to tolerance and freedom of speech.

I do not think it is necessary to explain in detail the harmful and pernicious nature of such attempts to rewrite history and give the green light to those who want to reproduce misanthropic attitudes in the world arena. I do not believe it is necessary to speak in detail about the need to counter these attitudes with resolve and consistency.

We have a foreign policy course endorsed by President of Russia Vladimir Putin. Its main goal is to ensure the most favourable conditions for national development, security, economic growth and the improvement of the living standards of our citizens. We will consistently translate this course into reality.

We have never striven for confrontation, not to mention isolation. We are open to cooperation with the Western countries if they change their approach and stop acting like teachers who “know everything” and are “above reproach,” treating Russia like a pupil that must do its homework.  It is inappropriate to talk to anyone in this manner, let alone Russia.

Our plans enjoy firm support of our people for the course towards strengthening the sovereignty of the Russian Federation and promoting good, friendly relations with our neighbours and all those who are willing to do this honestly, on an equitable basis.

Question: The question has to do with the changes in modern diplomacy under the influence of new technology. Digital diplomacy is a widespread term today. Technological development adds a fundamentally new dimension to a diplomats’ work, and also leads to a qualitative transformation of the system of international relations. How do you think new technologies will affect energy policy in particular and diplomacy in general?

Sergey Lavrov: I am asked this question every time I speak at Knowledge Day here. Apparently, this reflects the thinking of each new generation of students, about how technology will generally affect the processes concerning state-level problem solving and international relations.

Indeed, digital technologies are rapidly penetrating our lives, even faster in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. Many events, including international events, have transitioned to the online format. There is an upside to this. To a certain extent, it helps to save time, which is becoming a more sparse resource every day, given the aggravating international challenges and problems that our foreign policy tries to resolve.

When it comes to holding official meetings such as the UN Security Council or the UN General Assembly with a pre-agreed agenda where each country wants to express its point of view, such statements are prepared in advance through the efforts of a large number of specialists. The result is a policy document on a specific matter on the international agenda, which then goes through debates in one format or another. I see no problem with participating in this kind of discussion online using digital technology.

There are other international meetings, when something needs to be agreed upon as soon as possible; these meetings can also be held remotely. At least this way is better than a phone call because you can see the other person’s face, and this is very important.

But the most serious issues cannot be resolved online. All my colleagues agree with this. Maybe in the future, humanity will invent a way to convey the feeling of personal contact. But I doubt this will be possible. No machine is capable of replacing a person.

I am confident that conventional diplomacy will retain its importance as the main tool in international affairs. As soon as a serious problem arises, it is imperative to meet and try to negotiate.

Question: Will the autumn 2021 elections to the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation impact Russia’s foreign policy in the international arena?

Sergey Lavrov: A good question. Elections in our country actually begin in a little more than a fortnight. Even now Western colleagues make it clear that they are set to cast discredit on them. Various political scientists are publishing articles and making speeches aimed at preparing public opinion in the direction of the narrative that the elections results will be rigged.

We regularly invite international observers to our national elections. This year, around 200 observers will come to us as well, including those from international organisations. The only one of them who arrogantly declined the invitation was the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). We told them they could send a group of 60 observers. This is the largest group we invite from abroad. They said they wanted 500. When you are being invited to visit someone, you do not demand gifts for yourself instead of showing respect towards the hosts. OSCE does not have a rule under which ODIHR must dictate election monitoring provisions. All the countries have only one obligation there – to invite international observers to elections. It is not even written down that they should be from OSCE. They may be from anywhere you like. We do it regularly and meet our obligations in full. This is an example of how international law (and this principle is prescribed at OSCE, I mean that all issues must be solved by consensus) is being replaced by “rules.” This Office itself made up a rule, along the same lines the West operates, by demanding that its own “rules” must be obeyed.

However important international observers might be, we will also have our own observers. Their number is immense. The voting will be streamed live in full. Our Central Electoral Board provides detailed coverage of this and other innovations being introduced. We are taking steps to ensure maximum transparency of voting at our embassies and general consulates. As always, we are making arrangements so that it is possible for our citizens abroad to cast their vote and fulfil their election right.

With all the importance of international observers, it is ultimately our citizens who will take a decision on how we will live on and with which members our parliament will draft new laws. Those who are going to objectively figure out developments in the Russia Federation are always welcome. As to those who have already passed a judgement, let them bear the shame.

Question: I know that poetry and art are among your hobbies. How can we make Russian literature and cinema more effective as a soft power tool abroad?

Sergey Lavrov: There is only one way, and that is to promote these works in other countries’ markets. This policy was vigorously pursued in the Soviet Union. That was a useful experience for the international film and literary community as well. I believe we are renewing these traditions now. I do not know about literary exhibitions, I just do not think I have seen a lot of information on this, but many film festivals recognise the work of our directors, actors and producers. A number of Russian films are highly valued in Cannes and in Karlovy Vary. We must continue to do this.

Question: Does Russia have effective and proportionate methods of fighting manifestations of Russophobia, oppression of Russians, persecution against the Russian language and the Russian world in certain countries?

Sergey Lavrov: This is a difficult question, given the recent manifestations of inappropriate attitudes towards ethnic Russians in a number of countries, including some of our neighbours. This topic has several dimensions to it. The most important point is that the government of a country where our citizens are subjected to some kind of discriminatory influence must firmly oppose such manifestations and take steps to prevent them. This is important, not only because they attack Russians or our other compatriots, but also because it’s required by international conventions, the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and many other documents that are universal and approved by everyone.

In Russia, too, we have seen situations recently where some migrant labourers were at odds with other labour migrants. This is also a problem because Russia needs migrant labourers. We are trying to make immigration as clear, transparent and legitimate as possible. We negotiate with the countries they come from for long-term employment (mostly the Central Asian countries) and agree on special courses for potential migrants that make sure they speak minimal Russian and are familiar with Russian customs, our laws, and that they are planning to behave in a way that is appropriate for being hired in the Russian Federation. This is important for our economy. Without migrant labourers, many Russian industries are now experiencing a significant shortage of personnel.

It is also important to keep in mind that these countries are our allies. We, as allies, must support each other; one way to do so is to ensure an appropriate environment for citizens who represent a different ethnic group.

We have a huge number of ethnic groups living in Russia. Russia is a record holder in multi-ethnicity. All this cultural and religious diversity has always made our country strong, providing the solid foundation on which we stand. We have never tried to destroy the traditions, cultures or languages ​​of any peoples that have lived here since the Russian Empire, then the Soviet Union and now the Russian Federation. We have always supported their languages, cultures, and customs.

Another factor that must be taken into account is the basic quality of life for each and every citizen. We pursue a most open policy. We will make every effort to ensure that our neighbours or other countries where our compatriots live or work fully comply with their international obligations. The fight against discrimination must use political methods based on respect for international commitments.

Question: Do conditions exist for economic and investment cooperation with Japan on the Kuril Islands?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, they do, of course. It is even more than that. We made a relevant proposal to our Japanese colleagues a long time ago. When, several years ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with the Japanese Prime Minister at the time, Shinzo Abe, we came up with an initiative to engage in joint economic activity on these islands. Our Japanese neighbours agreed to this proposal after a while, but decided to confine our cooperation to relatively unsophisticated areas, like aquaculture and waste treatment. These things are important but they are of no strategic significance. We offered them cooperation in any industry of their choice on the southern Kuril Islands and this has been stated repeatedly in the correspondence with our Japanese colleagues. However, the Japanese are seeking to secure a deal with us that would allow them to engage in economic activity and invest money [in the area], not in compliance with Russian law, but rather on the basis of an agreement that provides for another jurisdiction – not that of the Russian Federation. Under this jurisdiction, Russian and Japanese representatives in a certain administrative body would enjoy equal rights, meaning that some hybrid laws would be introduced. This cannot be done under our Constitution.

Regretfully, our Japanese friends are missing out on the opportunity to invest money with us for our mutual benefit. Nonetheless, we have good plans. Soon, new privileges will be announced for our foreign partners who agree to work with us in this part of the Russian Federation. I believe there will be practical interest in this.

Question: In one of your interviews you said (and I fully agree) that modern Western-style liberal democracies have run their course. How will nation states evolve going forward? What forms of state organisation hold the most promise? What should we be striving for?

The UN is plagued by many problems, ranging from Greta Thunberg to agreements that are not being acted upon, such as, for instance, the Paris Agreement. What can be done to turn this deplorable trend around? What laws need to be adopted? What kind of organisations must be created? What does Russia think about this?

Sergey Lavrov: I briefly touched on this matter in my opening remarks. I believe each state should be structured around its customs and traditions and be comfortable for its residents who will have children, grandchildren, etc. It appears that they have promised to stop trying to impose democracy on other countries. At least, President Biden and President Macron said this almost simultaneously. We’ll see how they deliver on their promises.

Each country should take care of its own affairs independently. Everyone now agrees that imposing a Western system on Afghanistan was a grave mistake. Afghanistan has always been a fairly decentralised country where clan-based and other bonds, as well as relations between different ethnic groups, have always played a major role. And Kabul usually balanced out these relations. Saying that tomorrow you will have elections and everyone should go and cast their vote to elect a president who will have certain powers – it was not the Afghans who came up with this idea. It was imposed on them and the ones who did it hurt themselves badly. I hope the promises not to impose democracy on anyone else will be kept.

With regard to environmental protection, the Paris Agreement can hardly be described as a treaty that is not being acted upon. It was based on the fundamental principle that included the need to reduce carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions, but each country was supposed to assume commitments of its own. Preparations for another conference of the parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which will take place in Glasgow this autumn, are underway.

As part of this process, the most important thing is to agree on variables that will meet the interests of each participant. The proposal of several Western countries to stop using coal-fired power generation starting literally today cannot be complied with by many countries, including several Western countries, simply because this would undermine their energy security. The same applies to large developing countries, including China and India. They are reluctant to stop their growth. They are making it clear to the West that the Western countries have attained their current level of development due to intensive use of natural resources, which gave rise to the greenhouse effect, and now the West wants large developing countries to skip their current phase of development and go straight to a post-carbon economy. It doesn’t work that way, they say. First, they need to complete the economic development of their respective states, which is a complex process that involves the interests of each state. An attempt to balance these interests is being undertaken in the course of preparations for the next conference of the parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

We made a commitment that by 2030 we would have 70 percent of the 1990 level when the countdown began under the UN Climate Convention. It is unlikely that anyone would have complaints with regard to us. President Vladimir Putin has made clear more than once that we must be extremely careful with regard to everything that is happening. The fact that Russia’s Arctic zone, which is mainly permafrost, is warming up much faster than the rest of the planet is worrisome. This matter is being carefully addressed by several of our ministries, and it is a concern for all of our Government.

Question: Can environmental issues motivate the world powers tо unite against a background of general discord? What is the potential for green diplomacy?

Sergey Lavrov: Environmental protection and concern for the planet’s climate must become a motive for pooling our efforts. It is hard to say now to what extent the world powers will manage to achieve this.

Let me repeat that the developing nations are strongly inclined to use their opportunities for the current stage of their development before assuming the commitments promoted by their Western colleagues. Many interests come together here. Our global interest lies in the health of the planet and the survival of humanity. However, every country has its own national assessment of the current situation and the commitments to their people. It is a complicated matter, but there is no doubt that this is a challenge that must prompt all of us to come together. We stand for pooling our efforts.

Question: Can the Russian Federation “enforce Ukraine to peace” under the Minsk Agreements?

Sergey Lavrov: The Minsk Agreements do not envisage any enforcement. They have been voluntarily approved, signed and unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council, thereby becoming international law. When Ukraine as a state, both under Petr Poroshenko and Vladimir Zelensky, is doing all it can to avoid fulfilling these agreements, we must point this out to those who compiled them with us. I am primarily referring to Germany, France and other Western countries that are going all-out to justify the Kiev regime. When I say that it is trying to avoid fulfilling these agreements, I am referring to many laws that actually prohibit the Russian language, the transfer of special authority to the territories that have proclaimed themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics and the efforts to harmonise the parameters of local elections in them. These are the basics of the Minsk Agreements.

Recently, German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Moscow. This issue was raised at her talks with President of Russia Vladimir Putin. We showed our German colleagues the legal bans that Mr Zelensky adopted himself to justify his complete inability to fulfil what is required by all states in the world. All countries without exception believe that there is no alternative to the Minsk Agreements for settling the crisis in Donbass. Our Ukrainian colleagues are true prestidigitators. At one time, they believed that Rus was the true name of Ukraine (our ministry has already replied to this, so I will not repeat it). Later they said that the conversion of Rus was a Ukrainian holiday. This is sad. Mr Zelensky claims that Russian gas is the dirtiest in the world. He is doing this not because he is particularly bright but because he wants to maintain and fuel his Russophobic rhetoric and actions to prompt the West to continue supporting Kiev.

Ukraine continues to exploit the obvious efforts of the West to unbalance and destabilise Russia, sidetrack it from resolving its vital problems and make our foreign policy less effective. The Ukrainian regime is exploiting all this. This is clear to everyone. Having placed its bets on Kiev, the West feels uncomfortable about giving up on them. But this approach has obviously failed. The realisation of this fact is coming up but has not yet been embodied in practical steps aimed at convincing or, to use your expression, “enforcing” anything. It is the West that must enforce compliance from its client.

Question: How do you see yourself as a State Duma deputy, something you may soon be? Do you have proposals or ideas to offer? Perhaps, you have specific initiatives to promote our relations with Armenia or Georgia?

Sergey Lavrov: I will not speculate on the outcome of the elections to the State Duma.

We deal with our relations with Armenia and Georgia as Foreign Ministry officials. Armenia is our ally. New Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan was just in Moscow, on August 31. We had a good discussion. Our bilateral agenda is quite fulfilling and includes mutual visits, major projects and expanded economic cooperation. All of that is unfolding in a very intensive and confident manner.

There is the Nagorno-Karabakh problem, and Russia has played a decisive role in bringing a solution to it. The President of Russia, the President of Azerbaijan and the Prime Minister of Armenia signed agreements on November 9, 2020 (on ceasing hostilities and developing cooperation in this region) and on January 11. These agreements include specific actions that follow up on our leaders’ proposals to unblock all transport lines and economic ties. This is not a one-day project. It is underway, and the leaders of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan are closely following it. Our military personnel in the Russian peacekeeping contingent in Nagorno-Karabakh work daily on the ground to reduce tensions and build trust. The border guards are helping their Armenian allies sort out issues with their Azerbaijani neighbours.

Relations with Georgia are almost non-existent. There is a Section of Russia’s Interests in Georgia and a Section of Georgia’s Interests in Russia. There is trade, which is quite significant. Russia is one of Georgia’s leading trade partners. Our people love to go to Georgia (I myself love the country). There are no official interstate or diplomatic relations; they were severed at Tbilisi’s initiative. We have offered to resume them more than once. We planned to reciprocate to our Georgian neighbour when they introduced visa-free travel for our citizens. At first, we followed closely the developments as they were unfolding. We are not banning anyone from going to Georgia. In 2019, we were also willing to announce visa-free travel for Georgian citizens, but an unpleasant incident occurred with gross provocations against the Russian parliamentary delegation, which arrived in Tbilisi for a meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of Orthodoxy. Our deputy was the assembly chairman. In a conference room in Georgia, the Georgian hosts offered him the chair of the chairman of the parliament themselves. Then, immediately, a group of thugs came in the room demanding that Russia stop interfering in Georgia’s internal affairs and stop “occupying” their parliament. It even came to fisticuffs. With no apologies coming our way, we held back introducing visa-free travel for Georgian citizens and put our decision to resume regular flights on hold. We were ready to go ahead with it. If Georgia really doesn’t want to “play the Russian card” in an effort to retain Western protection, but instead prefers to have good relations with us as a neighbour, we will respond at any time.

Question: What qualities do you think a diplomat’s wife might need? What rules of etiquette she should observe?

Sergey Lavrov: There are no special rules here. A wife and a husband should both understand each other. Rather than obstructing the other, they should help each other carry out the ideas they have decided to devote their lives to and also achieve self-fulfillment in their professions. There is no universal advice.

When I was a rank-and-file diplomat, I worked with some top officials, whose wives had different “styles” – this occurs sometimes. In both cases, this proved to be effective and useful in our work. If a wife has a profession, her husband should also have respect for it. When a woman, regardless of whether she is the wife of an ambassador or a diplomat in a lower position, goes to a country which her husband has been posted to but where she cannot realise her professional potential, this can be a serious problem, which has to be addressed. In this situation, each family decides on its own whether the spouses go together or each of them keeps his or her job and tries to travel as often as possible to see the other. This is life; it doesn’t necessarily fit into a particular pattern.

Question: I believe the man himself comes first – Sergey Lavrov – and only then there is the Russian Foreign Minister. I like to look at politics through the prism of humaneness. What is your favourite song, the one you listen to and feel happy?

Sergey Lavrov: There are many. I will not give examples. The list is long. I do not want to leave anyone out. These are mostly songs by singer-poets. I enjoy listening to them whenever I have the chance, say, in my car or when I meet with my friends.

Question: I have a question about Russia’s relations with the Eastern European countries, given the complexity of regulating relations in this region since World War II, not to mention after the USSR’s collapse. How will they develop in the near future?

Sergey Lavrov: If a particular country has a government concerned about national interests, projects that meet the needs of its population, economic growth, and a search for partners that will help it resolve these problems in the best way, Russia has no problems in relations with any Central or East European country or any other country in the world.

We have close ties with Hungary and it is being criticised for this. In the European Union, Hungary and Poland are reprimanded for not obeying the EU’s general standards and principles. Thus, they hold referendums calling into doubt LGBT rights. Recently, Hungary held a referendum on the same law as Russia did. This law does not prohibit anything but imposes administrative liability for promoting LGBT ideology among minors. Nothing else. I think this is the right thing to do. In addition to major economic projects (nuclear power plants, and railway carriage production for Egypt), we have many other undertakings and good humanitarian cooperation.

Together with Armenia and the Vatican in the OSCE and the UN Human Rights Council, Russia and Hungary are acting as the driver in protecting the rights of Christians, including in the Middle East where Christians are seriously harassed. Hungary is not embarrassed about its Christian roots (incidentally, nor is Poland ashamed of its past and present). When they start talking about the need to raise their voice in defence of Christians, other European countries say that this is not quite politically correct.

In the OSCE, we suggested adopting a declaration against Christianophobia and Islamophobia, because it has already passed a declaration on anti-Semitism. However, these proposals are getting nowhere. Seven years ago, the West promised to adopt them but so far the OSCE countries have failed to adopt a common position on banning both Christianophobia and Islamophobia.

Regarding other East European countries, we have good relations with Slovenia. In particular, we are both working to preserve our common memory, including the bloody events of WWI and WWII. People in Slovenia care a lot about war memorials. Recently, they established a new monument devoted to all Russian soldiers who perished in both world wars. Our economic cooperation is in good shape.

We are implementing economic projects with other Eastern European countries, for instance, with Slovakia. We have considered many ideas about projects with the Czech Republic, but in the past few months it has decided to take a more Russophobic attitude and adopt overtly discriminatory decisions, like banning Rosatom from a tender on building a new nuclear power plant unit. It justified its policy with allegations that have never been proved by anyone. It blamed us for detonating some arms depots in 2014. Even many people in the Czech Republic consider this far-fetched.

However, the allegations remain. We are used to being accused of all kinds of “sins” without any evidence. This happened during the so-called poisoning of the Skripals and Alexey Navalny, and the investigation of the Malaysia Airlines crash in Donbass in July 2014. As in many other cases, these accusations are not buttressed by anything. Our requests to present facts are ignored or qualified as “classified.” Or we are told someone has “prohibited” to transmit information or some other excuse. This position is not serious. It reflects the Western approach to fueling Russophobic tensions without grounds.

Question: Do you think that we can describe the meeting between President of Russia Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden in Switzerland as the beginning of a relative normalisation of relations between the two countries?

Sergey Lavrov: Holding a meeting is better than having no contact at all. No breakthroughs occurred, but there was a mutually respectful conversation, on an equal footing, without any grievances expressed to either side.  The dialogue was permeated with the awareness of responsibility that the two biggest nuclear powers had for the state of affairs in the world. The presidents paid attention to the need to intensify bilateral contacts, particularly in the interests of stakeholders in the business community. But the main focus was on the international agenda.

The United States withdrew from the Treaty on Open Skies (TOS) just a few months before the meeting and from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in 2019.   This has created a background for the fading of the international arms reduction and control agenda. When Joe Biden took office, he promptly responded to the proposal (which was made way back to the Trump administration but remained unanswered for a couple of years) on the need to extend the New START Treaty without any preconditions. We have managed to preserve at least this element of the arms control architecture for the next five years.

This was the context for the presidents’ meeting in Geneva. The main positive result of the meeting is that the two leaders reaffirmed the position that there can be no winners in a nuclear war and therefore it must never be unleashed. A statement to this effect was made a long time ago by the USSR and the USA. We suggested that the United States confirm this axiom. The previous administration evaded this, but Joe Biden accepted the proposal.

Within the same statement that spoke about the inadmissibility of unleashing a nuclear war, the two presidents outlined an instruction to start a dialogue on matters of strategic stability.  The first tentative meeting took place in July of this year. The second one is scheduled for September. At this stage, the parties’ positions are far apart, but the fact that the dialogue is under way gives hope for the coordination of a basis for further specific talks on arms limitation.   These are our short-term objectives.

They also talked in general terms about the need to establish a dialogue on cyber security. This is yet another topic on which we were unable to reach out to Washington for several years. Vladimir Putin’s official statement was dedicated to the initiatives on ensuring a transparent dialogue based on trust and facts on cyber security in Russian-American relations. Contacts of this kind are being prepared as well. There are reasons to believe that we will reduce international tension just a little in some areas. But this does not abolish the fact that the United States continues to see the containment of Russia and China as one of its main tasks, as well as the encouragement of measures that may be instrumental in having an irritating effect on us.

US Global Wars Cost 900k Lives, $8 Trillion Over Two Decades

 September 2, 2021

US Global Wars Cost 900k Lives, $8 Trillion Over Two Decades

By Staff, Agencies

The US so-called war on terror has taken almost one million lives across the globe and cost the country $8 trillion, over the past two decades, says a new report.

A report issued by Costs of War Project at Brown University, at end of the disastrous US withdrawal from Afghanistan, estimated 897,000 to 929,000 people have lost their lives as a direct result of war, whether by bombs, bullets or fire, in some 80 countries.

“The war has been long and complex and horrific and unsuccessful… and the war continues in over 80 countries,” said co-director of Costs of War, Catherine Lutz on Wednesday.

The death toll, includes US military members, allied fighters, opposition fighters, civilians, journalists and humanitarian aid workers, the report said.

The figure, however, does not include the many indirect deaths the war has caused by way of disease, displacement and loss of access to food or clean drinking water.

“The deaths we tallied are likely a vast undercount of the true toll these wars have taken on human life,” said Neta Crawford, another co-founder of the project.

The project also revealed that the wars have cost the US an estimated $8 trillion in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Syria.

Of the $8 trillion, $2.3 trillion is attributed to the Afghanistan/Pakistan war zone.

“The Pentagon and the US military have now absorbed the great majority of the federal discretionary budget, and most people don’t know that,” said Lutz.

“Our task, now and in future years, is to educate the public on the ways in which we fund those wars and the scale of that funding,” she added.

Another researcher of the project, Stephanie Savell said, “Twenty years from now, we’ll still be reckoning with the high societal costs of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars – long after US forces are gone.”

US Global Wars Cost 900k Lives, $8 Trillion Over Two Decades
Source: Costs of War Project – Brown University

The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 as part of the so-called war on terror. While the invasion ended the Taliban’s rule in the country back then, it is now ended with the return of the group to power.

On August 31, the picture of US Army general Chris Donahue appeared on the news as the last US soldier to leave Afghanistan. US media outlets had headlines indicating that the US war in Afghanistan was finally over.

US President Joe Biden also addressed the nation, and defended his decision to withdraw, saying, “I was not going to extend this forever war, and I was not extending a forever exit” and “It’s time to end the war in Afghanistan.”

For the first time in 20 years now, there is no US military presence in Afghanistan, but observers say no troops on the ground does not mean that the US war in the country is over.

They said the withdrawal simply means that one method of waging war in Afghanistan is no longer occurring.

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