سهيل عبود وطارق البيطار يشعلان الشارع وسط غليان طائفي: انفجار يهدّد الحكومة وخراب يهدد البلاد

الخميس 14 تشرين الأول 2021

ابراهيم الأمين

لا يبدو أن هناك عاقلاً يمكنه التحكم بأفعال المحقّق العدلي طارق البيطار. الرجل فقد عقله، ويتصرف وكأن وحياً نزل عليه للقيام بما يخلّص البلاد، ويتصرف بلامبالاة مطلقة، ليس إزاء الآراء المنتقدة لسلوكه القضائي فحسب، بل وأيضاً تجاه القضاء نفسه، ويبدي ثقة عمياء بأن أحداً من القضاة لن يجرؤ على المسّ بموقعه.

أكثر من ذلك، يراهن البيطار ندماءه، من إعلاميين وناشطي جمعيات، على أن ما من أحد في لبنان قادر على تنحيته أو إجباره على التنحي، وأنه سيستمر في استدعاء كل من يعتقد أنه يجب أن يخضع له، بما في ذلك أرفع السياسيين… فكيف إذا ما حظي بمباركة ممثل الإله البطريرك الماروني بشارة الراعي، وضمانة المرشح الفرنسي لرئاسة الجمهورية رئيس مجلس القضاء الأعلى سهيل عبود، وحصانة في لبنان وخارجه توفّرها له دول عدة من أميركا إلى فرنسا وبريطانيا.

(هيثم الموسوي)

المشكلة أن البيطار ليس وحده في هذا المسار غير العقلاني في إدارة ملف قد يقود البلاد ليس إلى تعطيل الحكومة، وإنما إلى حرب أهلية حقيقية. بل معه فريق يضم قضاة كباراً – بينهم من يجلس في مجلس القضاء الأعلى – ممن يلهجون بـ«حصانة القضاء»، وهم الذين يدينون للسلطة السياسية في وصولهم إلى مناصبهم. كما أن إلى جانبه كل الفريق السياسي المعارض للمقاومة، من أحزاب وشخصيات و«صيصان سفارات» منتشرين على شكل فطريات تسمي نفسها «المجتمع المدني». ومعه، أيضاً، فريق إعلامي تديره السفارات الأميركية والفرنسية والإماراتية والسعودية. وهاجس هؤلاء جميعاً هو السير في تحقيق قضائي غامض وإجراءات ملتبسة تهدف إلى واحد من أمرين:

إما القبول بوجهة البيطار التي تستهدف، عملياً، فريقاً سياسياً بعينه.
أو تجهيل الحقيقة وترك اللبنانيين رهينة حرب الإشاعات التي يريد الأميركيون وفريقهم في لبنان استثمارها في الانتخابات النيابية المقبلة.

يحصل ذلك، وسط سجال يراد أن يكون له بعده الطائفي. إذ تسود البلد مناخات تريد اعتبار المشكلة القائمة اليوم بين مسيحيين ومسلمين. ولا يقتصر الأمر على الشعارات والمواقف، بل يشمل ترهيب الجسم القضائي والسياسي والأمني، بما في ذلك إثارة مناخات طائفية بقصد إحراج قوى حليفة للمقاومة، ولا سيما التيار الوطني الحر وتيار المردة.

من جانب الثنائي الشيعي، كان قرار الطلب من الحكومة بت الأمر قبل بحث أي عنوان آخر، مدخلاً لنقاش يستهدف وقف التسييس، لا التدخل في تعيين قضاة أو تنحيتهم. حتى أن الرئيس نبيه بري أبلغ وزير العدل هنري خوري، أمس، أن المخرج المطلوب هو توفير ضمانة بأن يحترم المحقق العدلي الدستور والقوانين لا أن يتجاوزها، سائلاً إياه: «كيف يعقل إدارة ملف بهذه الحساسية، من دون أن تكون هناك هيئة قادرة على مساءلة هذا القاضي، في وقت يتجاوز أبسط القواعد الدستورية ويفرض نفسه فوق سلطة المجلس النيابي؟».

وقد زار وزير العدل أمس بري ورئيس الحكومة نجيب ميقاتي، ساعياً باسم الرئيس ميشال عون إلى إيجاد مخرج يضمن وضع ضوابط توقف مخالفات البيطار، وتحول دون تعطيل الحكومة، خصوصاً بعدما قرّر وزراء تحالف حزب الله – أمل – المردة تعليق مشاركتهم في جلسات الحكومة في حال رفضت البت بالأمر. فيما جرت على الهامش اتصالات لمعالجة مسألة شكلية تتصل بامتعاض رئيس الجمهورية من طريقة تحدث وزير الثقافة محمد مرتضى في جلسة أول من أمس، وهو أمر تمت معالجته مع استمرار تفويض الثنائي الشيعي لمرتضى التحدث باسمه في أي جلسة للحكومة تعقد لمعالجة الملف.

الفريق المتضرر من أداء البيطار مستعد للذهاب إلى أبعد الحدود ولن يقف عند خاطر أحد


المؤشرات السياسية توحي بمناخات سلبية، لكن أحداً لا يتحدث عن أبواب موصدة، لأن عدم معالجة المشكلة سيتسبّب ليس فقط بتعليق عمل الحكومة بل في تعطيلها، ما ينعكس سلباً على البلد كله، لأن عدم قدرة الحكومة على معالجة ملف متفجّر وحساس، يعني أنها لن تكون قادرة على حسم أي ملف. ويدرك رئيس الحكومة أن الاعتراض سيطيح أي توافق على قضايا شديدة الحساسية هي موضع نقاش الآن، من مشروع استجرار الغاز المصري والسؤال عما يثبت أنه ليس إسرائيلياً، إلى ملف المشكلة المالية ومصير رياض سلامة وضرورة تصفية المصارف المتسببة بسرقة ودائع الناس ومحاكمة المسؤولين عنهم، إلى ملف ترسيم الحدود البحرية الذي تريد الولايات المتحدة علاجاً سريعاً له، وصولاً إلى الملف الأكثر حساسية المتعلق بالاتفاق على التفاوض مع صندوق النقد الدولي الذي لن يمر من دون اتفاق، ولو اقتضى الأمر هزة شعبية كبيرة جداً في البلاد، مع رفض مسبق لكل أفكار ميقاتي حول رفع الضرائب وتقليص القطاع العام وإعادة فتح ملف الخصخصة وحتى التفكير في استخدام الذهب أو تسييله لسداد الدين الخارجي قبل الداخلي…
الفريق المتضرر من أداء البيطار مستعد للذهاب إلى أبعد الحدود، ولن يقف عند خاطر أحد هذه المرة. هذه هي الأجواء التي تسود ليس قياداته فقط، بل قواعده التي تعيش تعبئة غير مسبوقة. وكل المناقشات أمس انتهت إلى الاتفاق على عدم القيام بتحرك يتسبب بذعر كبير، والاقتصار على تحرك «رمزي» و«أولي» أمام قصر العدل، بمشاركة بضعة آلاف من الطلاب والنقابيين، يتقدمهم حقوقيون سيدلون بتصريحات ذات طابع قانوني يفنّد مخالفات المحقق العدلي.
في الجهة المقابلة، ووسط مخاوف من حصول مواجهات على الأرض، وبعدما تدارست قوى الفريق الآخر الأمر، وبسبب خشية المجموعات المدنية من عدم قدرتها على توفير حشد مناسب، وحصول انقسام بين أهالي الضحايا، ورفض كثيرين الدعوات إلى حراك شعبي تتزعمه القوات اللبنانية التي عملت وحداتها الحزبية على إطلاق النفير في الأشرفية وفرن الشباك وعين الرمانة… أتت «التعليمات» بالتراجع والعمل على بديل بالدعوة إلى إضراب عام، باعتبار أن تحركاً من هذا النوع قد يجد تجاوباً ولا يقود إلى مواجهة قد تأخذ البلاد إلى تطورات «ليست في حسابات السفارات»، على حد تعبير مسؤول أمني بارز أبدى خشيته من عدم قدرة القوى الأمنية والعسكرية على ضبط الأمر في حال التصعيد على خلفيات طائفية، وذلك بعدما بدأت مجموعات تابعة للقوات اللبنانية عمليات تعبئة في عدد من المناطق وحركة رفع للصلبان في مناطق عدة في بيروت وتوزيع رسائل صوتية تدعو إلى الاستعداد للمواجهة. علماً أن نائب القوات عماد واكيم نفى لاحقاً أي تحرك لعناصر القوات اللبنانية في الأشرفية.
في سياق الاتصالات، يبدو أن الأمر يحتاج إلى نقاش جدي مع الرئيسين عون وميقاتي، خصوصاً أن الأخير أظهر تفهماً لإيجاد مخرج في جلسة أول من أمس. ونُقل عنه تلقيه اتصالات «خارجية» تحذره من مغبة «الوقوع تحت ضغط حزب الله واستفزاز مشاعر الناس»، فيما سادت الأوساط الحزبية القريبة من الرئيس عون مناخات تدعو إلى التنبه من أن الأخذ بمطالب الفريق المتضرر قد تنعكس سلباً على قواعد التيار في خضم التحضير للانتخابات النيابية المقبلة.

تعليمات لداعمي البيطار بعدم الذهاب إلى مواجهة قد تأخذ البلاد إلى تطورات «ليست في حسابات السفارات»


الرئيس عون استقبل موفدين شرحوا له حقيقة موقف الثنائي الشيعي، وقيل له صراحة إن حزب الله وحركة أمل ليسا في صدد إحراجه أو الضغط عليه أو على رئيس الحكومة. لكن الأمر لا يتعلق بحسابات موضعية، بل بموقف حاسم من قضية قد تقود البلاد إلى انفجار يطيح الحكومة ويعطّل ما تبقّى من ولاية العهد بصورة نهائية، ويترك الشارع لحالات شعبوية ستصيبه قبل غيره.

وسمع الرئيس عون والنائب جبران باسيل أنه لا يمكن الامتناع عن القيام بخطوة تعالج الأزمة بحجة عدم المساس بالقضاء، كما أنه لا يمكن التعامل مع هذا الملف بازدواجية، فيكون عون هو رئيس جلسة مجلس الدفاع الأعلى الذي يمنع ملاحقة اللواء طوني صليبا، بينما يدعو باسيل إلى رفع الحصانات عن الآخرين من وزراء ونواب.

رئيس الجمهورية الذي لا يريد أن تذهب البلاد إلى مواجهة مدمرة، ويعرف جيداً حقيقة الموقف الحاسم لحزب الله على الأقل، بادر إلى ورشة اتصالات، بدأت بالاتفاق مع الرئيس ميقاتي على تأجيل جلسة أمس، والطلب إلى وزير العدل زيارة مرجعيات لمناقشتها في المخارج الممكنة، والبحث في طريقة التعامل مع مجلس القضاء الأعلى، وخصوصاً رئيسه الذي صار الجميع يتعامل معه أخيراً على أنه بوجهين: يقول للوزير شيئاً، ويقول للقاضي البيطار شيئاً آخر. ووصل الأمر بجهة سياسية مسيحية بارزة إلى مصارحة عبود بأنه قد يكون مسؤولاً عن التجييش الطائفي وحتى عن عملية ترهيب للقضاة، وسأله زواره: «ما هي الأسباب التي تجعلك تختار قضاة من طائفة معينة لتولي دراسة طلبت الرد أو كف يد المحقق العدلي، وأنت تعلم أنهم عرضة لضغط على خلفية طائفية؟». علماً أن عبود نفسه كان لجأ مرات عدة إلى البطريرك الماروني لبحث الأمر نفسه، ناهيك عن أنه ينسق خطواته مع جهات غير لبنانية يعرف مسبقاً أن لديها برنامجاً يقتصر على بند واحد: ضرب المقاومة!

عملياً، تدخل البلاد اليوم مرحلة جديدة من المواجهة السياسية على خلفية ملف تفجير مرفأ بيروت. ويبدو أن بين القوى السياسية والشخصيات المعنية بالملف من لم يفهم جيداً واقع الأمور في البلاد اليوم، ومن ضمنها القوى التي تحرص على الظهور بمظهر «الحياد»، كالحزب التقدمي الاشتراكي الذي يمضي رئيسه وليد جنبلاط إجازة في الخارج. إذ إنه أعطى الضوء الأخضر لنواب في كتلته باستخدام الملف للهجوم على الرئيس عون وحزب الله في سياق التعبئة الانتخابية. واللافت، هنا، أن جنبلاط يتجاوز للمرة الأولى حليفه الرئيس بري الذي سيكون أبرز المتضررين من كل هذا الملف.


المفتي والبطريرك والتحقيقات


وعد البطريرك الماروني بشارة الراعي وفداً من دار الفتوى، ضمّ الشيخ خلدون عريمط والباحث محمد السماك وآخرين بأن يعرض وجهة نظر المجلس الشرعي الإسلامي من ملف التحقيقات في مرفأ بيروت على مجلس المطارنة في أقرب فرصة من أجل العمل لمنع تفاقم الخلافات السياسية التي تأخذ طابعاً طائفياً.

وكان المفتي عبد اللطيف دريان قد أوفد الى الراعي من يشرح له خطورة ما يجري في ملف التحقيقات، ويسلّمه نسخة عن موقف المجلس الشرعي. ويجري الحديث عن موقف متوقع لدار الإفتاء متابعة لقرار المجلس الشرعي، وخصوصاً بعدما برزت مواقف خجولة للقيادات السياسية التي تدور في فلك الدار، وبعدما ران الصمت على موقف الرئيس سعد الحريري ونادي رؤساء الحكومات الذين يبدو أنهم يراعون متطلبات التعبئة الخاصة بالانتخابات، علماً بأن هناك احتقاناً في بعض أوساط دار الفتوى من أداء بكركي، وخصوصاً بعدما تبيّن أن إدارة الدار كانت قد طلبت من المشرفين على احتفال 4 آب الماضي التنسيق لحضور ديني مشترك، وأن لا يقتصر الأمر على قدّاس حتى لا يبدو وكأن الجريمة تستهدف طائفة دون أخرى. إلا أن الدار لم تتلقّ أي جواب من دوائر بكركي.


مجلس النواب: تحرك لاستعادة الصلاحية

وجّهت الأمانة العامة لمجلس النواب كتاباً الى وزارة الداخلية والبلديات، أشارت فيه إلى أنه «لما كان المجلس النيابي قد أبلغ النيابة العامة التمييزية بواسطة وزارة العدل ولأكثر من مرة موقفه من ملاحقة الرؤساء والوزراء يعود الى المجلس النيابي والمجلس الأعلى لمحاكمة الرؤساء والوزراء وفقاً للمواد ٧٠ – ٧١ و٨٠ من الدستور، ولما كان المجلس قد باشر السير بالإجراءات اللازمة في ما يتعلق بجريمة انفجار مرفأ بيروت، ولما كان هذا الأمر لا يعود اختصاصه للقضاء العدلي، وبالتالي فإن أي إجراء من قبله يتعلق بأحد الرؤساء والوزراء والنواب يعتبر تجاوزاً لصلاحيته».

وبحسب المعلومات، فإن «مجلس النواب بصدد التحضير لجلسة مستقلة يكون ملف المرفأ البند الوحيد على جدول أعمالها، على أن يعاد طرح كتاب المحقق العدلي السابق فادي صوان، باعتباره كتاباً قائماً».

وكان صوان قد طالب المجلس باتخاذ ما يراه مناسباً بشأن مسؤولية وزراء عن إهمال «ما» ساهم في وقوع انفجار المرفأ. ورأى صوان يومها في رسالته، أنه بعد أشهر من حصول التفجير، لم يقُم البرلمان بأي دور. وقال إنه بناءً على التحقيقات التي أُجريت، «ربما تكون هناك شبهة إهمال» من قبل مسؤولين ووزراء تعاقبوا على وزارات المالية والأشغال والعدل، وأن على مجلس النواب «القيام بما يراه مناسباً وفق مادتين من الدستور». الأولى هي المادة 70 التي تنص على أن «لمجلس النواب أن يتهم رئيس مجلس الوزراء والوزراء بارتكابهم الخيانة العظمى أو بإخلالهم بالواجبات المترتبة عليهم، ولا يجوز أن يصدر قرار الاتهام إلا بغالبية الثلثين من مجموع أعضاء المجلس»، والثانية المادة 71 التي تنص على أن «اﻟوزﯾر اﻟﻣﺗﮭم يُحاكم أﻣﺎم اﻟﻣﺟﻟس اﻷﻋﻟﯽ لمحاكمة الرؤساء والوزراء».

لكن مصادر متابعة لاحظت أن خطوة المجلس النيابي قد تحافظ على فكرة الاستنسابية في حال قررت حصر الدعوى بالأسماء الذين ادّعى القاضي البيطار عليهم، وبالتالي صار واجباً على رئيس المجلس إيجاد المخرج الذي يجعل الادّعاء أو المحاكمة تشمل كل مسؤول تعاقب على المواقع الرئيسية المعنيّة بالملف، من رؤساء للجمهورية والحكومة وجميع وزراء الوصاية المختصين من دون استثناء.


دياب عاد الى بيروت

عاد الرئيس حسان دياب إلى بيروت مساء أمس بعد زيارة عائلية للولايات المتحدة استمرت نحو شهر. ومعلوم أن هناك مذكرتي إحضار أصدرهما في حقه المحقق العدلي القاضي طارق البيطار، وقد دان الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله في كلمته الأخيرة استقواء البيطار على رئيس الحكومة السابق.


مخارج للنقاش والبيطار على موقفه

بحسب المعنيّين، فإنّ المخارج التي جرى التداول بها حتى مساء أمس لم تتجاوز فكرة التوافق على آليّة لا تحقق هدف وقف الاستنسابية، ما استدعى مزيداً من البحث وتأجيل جلسة الحكومة أمس. وكان الجميع يترقّب قرار رئيس محكمة التمييز القاضي ناجي عيد بشأن الدعوى الجديدة لرد القاضي البيطار. إلا أنه لم ينجح في عقد جلسته أمس لعدم توفر النصاب بسبب غياب العضو رنا عويدات التي يعتقد أنها ستعلن اليوم تنحّيها عن القضية. وسط أجواء توحي بأن عيد، بضغط من رئيس مجلس القضاء الأعلى سهيل عبود (المرشح الفرنسي لرئاسة الجمهورية)، يستعد لإصدار قرار برد طلب المدعى عليهم.

ومعلوم أن هناك ثلاث دعاوى مقدمة ضد البيطار أمام محكمة التمييز، ارتياب مشروع ودفوع شكلية وطلبات رد. ولذا يجب أن يكون هناك قضاة قادرون على اتخاذ موقف جريء، بدل التهرب من المسؤولية بحجة عدم الصلاحية. وفي هذا الإطار، علمت «الأخبار» أن الوزير علي حسن خليل الذي صدرت في حقه مذكرة توقيف غيابية قد يتقدم في اليومين المقبلين بطلب أمام الهيئة العامة لمحكمة التمييز لتحديد الجهة القضائية التي لها صلاحية البتّ بالدعاوى المقدّمة ضد البيطار.

الى ذلك، طُرح على وزير العدل هنري خوري الطلب الى مجلس القضاء إعادة النظر في تكليف القاضي البيطار وتسمية خليفة له، أو تقديم ضمانات لاحترام الآليات القانونية والدستورية لمنع التورط في أي استثمار سياسي للملف. ومع ضعف الثقة برغبة عبود القيام بذلك، طرح مخرج آخر قد يكون صعب التحقيق، وهو مبادرة مجلس الوزراء الى استرداد الملف من أصله من المجلس العدلي وإحالته الى محاكم أخرى تحترم أصول المحاكمات والاختصاصات.

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Hezbollah MP Blasts US Politicizing of Beirut Port Blast Investigations, Says Aim is To Hide the Truth

October 13, 2021

Hezbollah MP Blasts US Politicizing of Beirut Port Blast Investigations, Says Aim is To Hide the Truth

By Staff

Lebanese Member of Parliament from the Loyalty to Resistance bloc, Hassan Fadlallah, lambasted the US intervention in the issue of Beirut Port Blast, labelling it as intimidation.

The Hezbollah MP added that the US State Department’s rejection of claims about politicizing the judiciary aims to avert the return of investigations to their track, and to ban the Lebanese officials from getting those investigations out of the circle of politicization.

“This American stance reflects part of the direct American intervention in the investigation to change its right track and keep it inside the circle of American politicization to settle account with the Resistance,” Fadlallah warned.

The Hezbollah MP further cautioned that Lebanon is in front of a new US violation of its sovereignty and the exposure of the level of intervention to control and dominate the investigations.

He also made clear that the goal is to impose dictations to undermine justice and hide the truth in favor of this American politicization, which targets Lebanese people classes to which the US administration is hostile.

“The US administration is trying to belittle such classes through every possible mean, including the blockade, sanctions, and defamation,” Fadlallah concluded.

Iraq’s Agriculture Reaps the Despoiled Seeds of US Meddling

October 5, 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Farah Hage-Hassan

The poisonous effects of American interference and failed policies are still affecting Iraq’s agricultural sector today. Here’s how.

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  • Decades of US interference have plagued Iraq’s agricultural sector
  • “You lied!”

    Those were the screams of former US Army veteran Mike Prysner echoing in the lecture hall during a speech by George W. Bush, and the lasting trauma still resonates in the ears of millions of Iraqis and Americans today, almost two decades later.

    From a full-scale invasion under the pretext of overthrowing Saddam Hussein to the insurgence of ISIS, Iraq has been plagued with endless wars and destruction. This invasion and endless interventions aggravated the marginalization of sectors in Iraqi society and allowed the internal state of Iraq to crumble under sectarianism and violence.

    The lasting effects of the US policies are especially present within the aftermath of the agricultural sector among others. Farmers across the country continue to be displaced and doubt remains overcast on Iraq’s environmental capabilities and the future of agricultural development.

    American invasion 

    One of the many false pretenses for the heavily documented war was the alleged harboring of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell infamously claimed that the US was aware of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and their role in terrorism. Powell’s bold statements and deceptive assertions regarding the evidence that was available have ultimately haunted the US for what has become known as the very public “campaign of lies” the US tricked global citizens into believing.  

    For over 7 years, Iraq was invaded and bombed by the US and the coalition of the willing, not to mention their use of white phosphorous munitions. Although they claimed that white phosphorus was used whilst fully considering the incidental effects on civilians, the secondary effects on Iraq’s agriculture were most definitely not taken into account.

    Deliberate destruction

    The invasion and destruction that accompanied the war did not only permanently damage arable lands with mines and cluster ammunition, but the suspension of government agricultural institutions and irrigation projects also caused disastrous results to the population.

    From 2002 to 2008, agriculture’s contribution to the country’s GDP has decreased from almost 9% to 3.6% due to challenges created by war, social instability, and institutional and economic concerns. 

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  • Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, value-added, % of GDP (Source: World Bank)
  • In a final blow after causing significant damage to the agricultural sector, the US secured its monopoly over the Iraqi farming industry and the future of agriculture by issuing Order 81. The Order was described as an attempt to “rebuild” Iraq’s agriculture industry by the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, Paul Bremer.

    What was Order 81?

    After Coalition Provisional Authority Order 81 was implemented, farmers were forbidden from conserving, distributing, or propagating harvested seeds, resulting in a dependency on big businesses such as Monsanto, Cargill Inc., and Dow Chemical. As a consequence, Iraq has only been able to meet 4% of its seed demands since 2005. These distributors are known to patent their seeds and collect fees without considering if crops were proven to contain their proprietary genetic information.

    Monsanto, an agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation founded in 1901, is notorious for its contribution to the neutron initiators inside the atomic bombs dropped on Japan, as well as for producing Agent Orange. The US military used Agent Orange in Vietnam during the infamous operation Ranch Hand, destroying crops and ultimately causing half a million Vietnamese children to be born with birth defects and millions of others left with cancer and other serious health conditions. 

    Dying of thirst

    Reconstruction efforts in Iraq also targeted the distribution of safe drinking water. 

    Millions of dollars were lost in the attempt and efforts failed, with only one-third of the objectives reached in the context of providing safe drinking water. 

    Iraq’s infrastructure was heavily bombed in the 1990s after the US-led coalition conducted massive airstrikes on the region during the gulf war. Water and sewerage treatment facilities were heavily damaged. As people suffered from a lack of access to clean water, diseases multiplied.

    The US war has critically aggravated the water crisis. Water is scarcely passing through the Tigris and Euphrates as is, causing contaminated water to reach crops, and in turn poisoning much of the population. The UN Security Council described the effects of the war as returning Iraq to the “pre-industrial age”, and warned of the imminent catastrophe that would hit the Iraqi population. 

    The Tigris River is bordered by Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Syria. Along with the Euphrates, they create a river system that encircles Mesopotamia known as the Fertile Crescent. The Tigris is an important source of transportation and irrigation, with a history dating back to the earliest known civilizations.

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    Tigris River (Global Atlas)

    Scorched earth

    The catastrophic insurgence of ISIS ripped Iraq’s already suffering sectors into developmental and economic shreds. 

    The US policies created a weak state that resulted in the marginalization of considerable sectors of Iraqi society. ISIS militants, armed partially with CIA-funded weapons, developed into one of the goriest terrorist organizations of our time. 

    The world watched in horror as ISIS became globally renowned for unspeakable atrocities like beheadings, kidnapping of women and children, and numerous suicide bombings and terrorist attacks that not only affected the Middle East but many western countries, especially Europe. 

    ISIS used the burning tactic to terrorize inhabitants, laid landmines, and destroyed agricultural equipment. IEDs were frequently utilized to fortify their defense. They attempted to meticulously carry out a form of ecocide, as their “scorched earth” tactics took hold. Oil wells were set on fire and thousands of civilians came close to suffocation and others suffered respiratory complications.

    In a final effort to devastate their targets, they booby-trapped escape routes, barns, and pump stations. 

    The presence of the terrorist group forced agricultural workers and farmers to evacuate their farmlands during the bloody conflicts. Numerous families retell their experiences of being forced to abandon their farming communities when ISIS militants surrounded the area in mid-2014. The same families who evacuated their homes reported returning to their homes post-ISIS and finding them heavily booby-trapped. Numerous families have lost children and relatives after bombs inexplicably detonated on their properties. 

    A glimpse of hope

    Away from the nightmares that haunt Iraq, as one of many initiatives, Iraq’s holy shrines have begun to establish massive farms for relying on agricultural production and providing national agricultural products that are distinguished by quality, as well as meat at subsidized prices.

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  • Farms administrated by the Imam Hussein Holy Shrine (Website)
  • Agricultural cities are being established to provide the cultivation of wheat, barley, yellow corn, fodder, jet, and cattle, as well as raising sheep and cows.

    Despite the seemingly irreversible effects of America’s assaults and intrusion on Iraq’s wellbeing have undoubtedly damaged the country, things can still be turned around. With Iraq’s Parliamentary elections looming, the crucial vote of the youth may have the power to carry Iraq out of decade-long darkness and into the light. 

    أكذوبة التفرّغ للصين لتغطية الانكفاء الأميركي

     أكتوبر/ 5 تشرين الأول 2021

    يتشارك منظرو التسويق لسياسات الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن، مع خصومهم داخل أميركا وخارجها، بالترويج لنظرية أولوية المواجهة مع الصين بالنسبة للإدارة الأميركية، واشتقاقاً منها نظرية أخرى تقول بأنّ الانسحابات والتراجعات الأميركية ليست إلا تموضعاً جديداً عنوانه التفرّغ لمواجهة الصين، ولأن في هذا السياق قدراً من الاعتراف بالضعف يمثله العجز عن الجمع بين مواجهة الصين وخوض المعارك المفتوحة في جبهات أخرى، والاعتراف بالصعود الصيني وتصويرها كخصم تحدٍ كافٍ يستحق التفرّغ له، يحقق أصحاب النظرية شروط الإغواء لخصومهم لمشاركتهم في تسويقها، لكن أي تدقيق بعناصر هذا الزعم سيوصلنا إلى اعتباره كذبة كبيرة.

    التفرغ لمواجهة الصين، كعنوان يعني توفير شروط مواجهة أفضل والانصراف عن كل إلهاء عن هذه المواجهة، والتمسك بكل تموضع سياسي أو اقتصادي أو عسكري يحسن شروط هذه المواجهة، ولأن المواجهة مركبة على المستويات السياسية والاقتصادية والعسكرية، فكل تقدم أميركي في هذه الميادين هو تسجيل نقاط تعزز فرص الفوز في المواجهة، وكل تراجع يعزز فرص الخسارة، خصوصاً عندما تكون الصين هي المرشح الأول للتموضع مكان الفراغ الأميركي، وإذا توقفنا أمام الخطوات الأميركية الأخيرة في ظل رئاسة بايدن، والتي تم تلطيف الطابع الانهزامي فيها والتخفيف من وطأته المعنوية بعبارة تجميلية اسمها التفرغ لمواجهة الصين، سنجد أمامنا ثلاثة نماذج، الأول هو الانسحاب من أفغانستان، والثاني هو السعي للعودة إلى الاتفاق النووي مع إيران، والثالث هو الحلف الأميركي البحري البريطاني- الأسترالي في المحيطين الهندي والهادئ المسمى «أوكوس»، وقد تم ربط كل منها بجملة التفرغ للمواجهة مع الصين، سواء على قاعدة وقف الاستنزاف في حالة أفغانستان، أو منع ظهور قوة نووية تربك المشهد الدولي وتوازناته كمبرر للعودة إلى الاتفاق النووي مع إيران، أو التقرب من خط المواجهة مع الصين كما يفترض بمهمة حلف أوكوس.

    في حالة أفغانستان، يطرح السؤال عن صدقية الكلام حول كون الانسحاب العسكري، وتبعاته السياسية والاقتصادية يشكل عنصر تعزيز للوضعية الأميركية في المواجهة مع الصين، وأفغانستان كانت هدفاً أميركياً بالأساس لوقوفها جغرافياً على مثلث التقاطع بين روسيا والصين وإيران، وكانت الحرب التي مولتها ودعمتها الاستخبارات الأميركية منذ ثمانينيات القرن الماضي ضد الاتحاد السوفياتي في أفغانستان تتم تحت عنوان قطع الطريق على تنامي قوة روسيا والصين وإيران، كمصادر لتحديات للأمن القومي الأميركي، وعندما غزت القوات الأميركية أفغانستان عام 2001 كانت كل المواقف الأميركية في عهود جمهورية وديمقراطية تربط البقاء في أفغانستان باستراتيجيات المواجهة مع الثلاثي الآسيوي الصاعد، وما بعد الانسحاب الأميركي من أفغانستان، تبدو أفغانستان جائزة اقتصادية للصين، وجائزة عسكرية لروسيا، وجائزة سياسية لإيران، فكيف يكون الانسحاب منها مكسباً لمشروع التفرغ لمواجهة الصين، وعبرها تكون المواجهة من المسافة صفر، على الأقل لجهة فرص التنصت والحرب الاستخبارية والإلكترونية، إذا كانت الحرب العسكرية مستبعدة؟

    في حالة إيران، يكفي التذكير بأن معاهدة التعاون الاستراتيجي بين الصين وإيران كانت سابقة لوصول بايدن إلى البيت الأبيض، والتذكير بأن إيران تمثل قلب آسيا الذي يشكل انضمامه إلى خطة الحزام والطريق التي تشكل عنوان المشروع الصيني الأول على الساحة الدولية، تمثل تحولاً نوعياً في ميزان القوى بين أميركا والصين، فعندما تصبح الصين في إيران فهي تلقائياً صارت على بوابة الخليج وبوابة قزوين وبوابة المتوسط وعلى تماس مباشر مع تقاطعات حدودية لعشرات الدول، وأي تفكير بإعادة الصين إلى ما وراء الحدود يبنى على منع الصين من التموضع في إيران، أو على الأقل بعدم تمكين إيران من تشكيل شريك فاعل للصين في توسيع نطاق نفوذها الدولي والإقليمي، وهذا ما كان أنصار الرئيس الأميركي السابق دونالد ترامب يبررون به ما يسمونه بالضغوط القصوى، وما جاء بايدن ليعلن فشله، مسلماً بأن إعاقة إيران عن التقدم أصيبت بالفشل، وأن مواصلة المواجهة تعني تكبد المزيد من الخسائر من دون جدوى، ولأن هذا صحيح، فالصحيح أيضاً أن التسليم بفوز إيران في جولة التحدي هو تسليم ضمني بأن الصين ستكون على ضفة الرابحين في كل إنجاز تحققه إيران.

    في حلف أوكوس الذي قدمه أنصار بايدن كخطوة متقدمة للتقرب من البيئة الجغرافية المحيطة بالصين، بعض الخداع البصري، لأن السؤال هو هل هدف الحلف التقرب من الصين أم تأمين خط دفاعي عن الجغرافيا الأميركية من الميمنة البريطانية والميسرة الأسترالية كترجمة للانكفاء، أم خطة حشد نحو الصين، والجواب يكمن في ربط ولادة حلف أوكوس من رحم حلف الناتو، في وقت تلقى الناتو ضربة أولى بالانسحاب من أفغانستان وأصيب بتصدع لا تزال تردداته تتواصل، وجاء إعلان أوكوس بمثابة الضربة القاضية للناتو، بما أصاب فرنسا من خسارة وأذى بسببه، وبعدما أصابت شظايا صفقة الغواصات العلاقات الأميركية- الفرنسية، فهل يمكن الحديث عن التفرغ للمواجهة مع الصين من دون أولوية بناء حلف سياسي وعسكري متين تقوده واشنطن ويشاركها المواجهة، وهل أن تدمير الناتو يخدم المواجهة مع الصين، وقد كان الناتو مرشحاً أول لتشكيل خط المواجهة الدولية مثله مثل قمة السبعة، كركائز تتداعى من حول واشنطن، التي تعرف ما تفعل، لكنها تكذب بما تقول، فما تفعله واشنطن هو التخفف من أعباء سياسة الدولة الأولى في العالم للتفرغ لوضع داخلي على شفا كارثة، لا يملك ترف الدفاع عن موقع الزعامة في العالم وهو ينهار، ويشكل شعار التفرغ لمواجهة الصين ترجمة نموذجية للكذبة المطلوبة في تغطية هذا الانكفاء.

    خصوم واشنطن الذين يكررون معادلة التفرغ الأميركي للمواجهة مع الصين مدعوون للمزيد من التدقيق بالعبارة قبل تردادها.

    Who Really Runs the Middle East?

    September 25, 2021

    Who Really Runs the Middle East?

    By Cynthia Chung for the Saker Blog

    Afghanistan is on many people’s minds lately, though the sentiment is rather mixed. Some think of it as a cause for celebration, others for deep concern, and then there are those who think it an utter disaster that justifies foreign re-entry.

    Most of the western concern arises out of 9/11 and the Taliban’s supposed connection to this through Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, however, as Scott Ritter (who was the lead analyst for the 7th Marine Amphibious Brigade on the Soviet war in Afghanistan) wrote:

    The entire Afghan conflict must be examined considering this reality – everything is a lie. Every battle, every campaign, every contract written and implemented – everything was founded in a lie…

    Admiral McRaven, when speaking of the operation to kill Bin Laden, noted that there wasn’t anything fundamentally special about that mission in terms of the tactics. ‘I think that night we ran 11 or 12 [other] missions in Afghanistan,’ McRaven noted. Clearly there was a military focus beyond simply killing Bin Laden. It was secretive work, reportedly involving the assassination of Taliban members, that often resulted in innocent civilians beings killed.

    It should be noted that, as of 2019, McRaven believed that this kind of special operations activity should be continued in Afghanistan for years to come. So much for the US mission in Afghanistan being defined by the death of Bin Laden. The mission had become death, and the careers that were defined by those deaths.

    The fact is the war in Afghanistan did not need to be fought. We could have ended the threat posed by Bin Laden simply by negotiating with the Taliban in the aftermath of 9/11, providing the evidence we claimed to have linking Bin Laden to the terrorist attacks on the United States. Any student of Afghanistan worth their salt knows the fundamental importance of honor that is enshrined in the concepts of Pashtunwali, the unwritten ethical code that defines the traditional lifestyle of the Pashtun people. If, as we claimed, Bin Laden carried out an attack on women and children while he was living under the protection of Pashtunwali, then his dishonor is that of the Pashtun tribes. To clear their honor, they would seek justice – in this case, evicting Bin Laden and his followers from Afghanistan.

    In fact, the Taliban made precisely this offer.

    For America, however, this would have been an unsatisfying result. We needed blood, not justice, and we sent our troops to Afghanistan to stack bodies, which they did, in prodigious numbers. Most of these bodies were Taliban. We excused this by claiming the Taliban were providing safe haven to Bin Laden, and as such were complicit in the 9/11 attacks.

    Which was a lie.

    Scott Ritter (who was a former UN weapons inspector in Iraq from ’91-98) had also played a leading role in bringing to the public’s attention the lies told to justify the illegal war in Iraq, which was based off of cooked British intelligence.

    It was not just based on the illusion of “justice,” there was a deeper and much more disturbing agenda under the patriotic trumpet blaring.

    In this light, Afghanistan is indeed an incredible American “failure,” not only in failing to install their puppet government; it has also failed the American people, however, not in the way most are talking about.

    The 20 year, some say occupancy others say terrorizing, of Afghanistan, is estimated at $1-2 trillion. This is only for the case of Afghanistan, it does not account for the total cost thus far of the War on Terror. Such extravagant spending with really nothing to show for it but destruction, the slaughter of innocents, instability and chaos; you would think the United States must be a very rich country to afford such a budget with no clear goal or objective. Instead, what we find is that the American economy is tanking and the living standard is plummeting, while drug use and overdose rates are sky-rocketing and suicide is among the top causes of death in the United States, especially among their youth.

    What is going on here? Have the Americans gone mad? Or is there something much much more sinister afoot?

    This situation cannot just be explained away as incompetence or the money-making business of war, or even the crazed end-of-world ideologies of neo-conservatives or Zionists, although these are all major factors.

    The reason for this is because there has been something operating within the Middle East for much longer, it is even the reason why we call the Middle East and the Far East by such a name, it is the reason for why many countries in this region have the boundaries they do, and was the originator of the Palestine/Israel conflict.

    It is also found at the center of the origin and funding of Islamic terrorism as we see in its modern form today.

    Whose “Arab Awakening”?

    The renunciation will not be easy. Jewish hopes have been raised to such a pitch that the non-fulfilment of the Zionist dream of a Jewish state in Palestine will cause intense disillusionment and bitterness. The manifold proofs of public spirit and of capacity to endure hardships and face danger in the building up of the national home are there to testify to the devotion with which a large section of the Jewish people cherish the Zionist ideal. And it would be an act of further cruelty to the Jews to disappoint those hopes if there existed some way of satisfying them, that did not involve cruelty to another people. But the logic of facts is inexorable. It shows that no room can be made in Palestine for a second nation except by dislodging or exterminating the nation in possession.” [emphasis added]

    – the concluding paragraph of George Antonius’ “The Arab Awakening” (1938), graduate from Cambridge University, civil servant in the British Mandate of Palestine

    Much of what is responsible for the war and havoc in the Middle East today has the British orchestrated so-called “Arab Awakening” to thank, led by characters such as E.G. Browne, St. John Philby, T.E. Lawrence of Arabia, and Gertrude Bell. Although its origins go as far back as the 19th century, it was only until the early 20th century, that the British were able to reap significant results from its long harvest.

    The Arab Revolt of 1916-1918, had been, to the detriment of the Arab people, a British led rebellion. The British claimed that their sole interest in the affair was the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire and had given their word that these Arab territories would be freed and allowed independence if they agreed to rebel, in large part led and directed by the British.

    It is a rather predictable feature of the British to lie and double cross and thus it should be of no surprise to anyone that their intentions were quite the opposite of what they had promised and thanks to the Sykes-Picot Russian leak, were revealed in their entire shameful glory.

    Once the Arab Revolt was “won” against the Ottoman Empire, instead of the promised Arab independence, the Middle East was carved up into zones of influence under British and French colonial rule. Puppet monarchies were created in regions that were considered not under direct colonial subjugation in order to continue the illusion that Arabs remained in charge of sacred regions such as Mecca and Medina.

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/sc15062101.jpg

    In central Arabia, Hussein ibn Ali, Sharif of Mecca, the puppet leader of the Arab Revolt laid claim to the title Caliph in 1924, which his rival Wahhabite Abdul-Aziz ibn Saud rejected and declared war, defeating the Hashemites. Hussein (British Cairo Office favourite) abdicated and Ibn Saud (British India Office favourite), was proclaimed King of Hejaz and Najd in 1926, which led to the founding of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

    The Al Saud (House of Saud) warriors of Wahhabism were a formidable strike force that the British believed would help London gain control of the western shores of the Persian Gulf.

    Hussein ibn Ali’s son Faisal (under the heavy tutelage of T.E. Lawrence, Cairo Office) was bestowed as King of Iraq and Hussein’s other son, Abdullah I was established as the Emir of Transjordan until a negotiated legal separation of Transjordan from Britain’s Palestine mandate occurred in 1946, whereupon he was crowned King of Jordan.

    While the British were promising Arab independence they simultaneously were promising a homeland in Palestine to the Jews. The Balfour Declaration of November 2nd, 1917 states:

    “His majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object…”

    Palestine had been seized by the British during the so-called “Arab Revolt” on December 11th, 1917 when General Allenby marched into Jerusalem through the Jaffa Gate and declared martial law over the city. Palestine has remained occupied ever since.

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/sc15062102.jpg

    Britain would receive the mandate over Palestine from the League of Nations in July 1922.

    Throughout the 1920s and 1930s violent confrontations between Jews and Arabs took place in Palestine costing thousands of lives. In 1936 a major Arab revolt occurred over 7 months, until diplomatic efforts involving other Arab countries led to a ceasefire. In 1937, a British Royal Commission of Inquiry headed by William Peel concluded that Palestine had two distinct societies with irreconcilable political demands, thus making it necessary to partition the land.

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/sc15062103.jpg

    The Arab Higher Committee refused Peel’s “prescription” and the revolt broke out again. This time, Britain responded with a devastatingly heavy hand. Roughly 5,000 Arabs were killed by the British armed forces and police.

    Following the riots, the British mandate government dissolved the Arab Higher Committee and declared it an illegal body.

    In response to the revolt, the British government issued the White Paper of 1939, which stated that Palestine should be a bi-national state, inhabited by both Arabs and Jews. Due to the international unpopularity of the mandate including within Britain itself, it was organised such that the United Nations would take responsibility for the British initiative and adopted the resolution to partition Palestine on November 29th, 1947. Britain would announce its termination of its Mandate for Palestine on May 15th, 1948 after the State of Israel declared its independence on May 14th, 1948.

    The Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood

    “We do not cut the head of religion except by sword of religion.”

    – Jamal al-Din al-Afghani

    In 1869, a man named Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, the intellectual founder of the Salafiyya movement, went to India where British led colonial authorities welcomed him with honors and graciously escorted him aboard a government owned vessel on an all-expenses paid voyage to the Suez. [1]

    In Cairo he was adopted by the Egyptian prime minister Riad Pasha, a notorious enemy of the emerging nationalist movement in Egypt. Pasha persuaded Afghani to stay in Egypt and allowed him to take up residence in Cairo’s 900 year old Al Azhar mosque considered the center of Islamic learning worldwide, where he received lodging and a monthly government stipend (paid for by the British).[2]

    While Egypt was fighting its nationalist fight from 1879-1882, Afghani and his chief disciple Muhammad Abduh travelled together first to Paris and then to Britain, it was in Britain that they would make a proposal for a pan-Islamic alliance among Egypt, Turkey, Persia and Afghanistan against Czarist Russia.[3]

    What Afghani was proposing to the British was that they provide aid and resources to support his formation of a militant Islam sect that would favour Britain’s interest in the Middle East, in other words, Afghani was offering to fight Islam with Islam to service British interests, having stated in one of his works “We do not cut the head of religion except by sword of religion.[4]

    Although it is said that the British refused this offer, this is not likely considering the support Afghani would receive in creating the intellectual foundation for a pan-Islamic movement with British patronage and the support of England’s leading orientalist E.G. Browne, the godfather of twentieth century Orientalism and teacher of St John Philby and T.E. Lawrence.

    E.G. Browne would make sure the work of Afghani would continue long beyond his death by lionising him in his 1910 “The Persian Revolution,” considered an authoritative history of the time.

    In 1888, Abduh, the chief disciple of Afghani, would return to Egypt in triumph with the full support of the representatives of her Majesty’s imperial force and took the first of several positions in Cairo, openly casting his lot with Lord Cromer, who was the symbol of British imperialism in Egypt.

    Abduh would found, with the hold of London’s Egyptian proconsul Evelyn Baring (aka Lord Cromer) who was the scion of the enormously powerful banking clan (Barings Bank) under the city of London, the Salafiyya movement.[5]

    Abduh had attached himself to the British rulers of Egypt and created the cornerstone of the Muslim Brotherhood which dominated the militant Islamic right throughout the twentieth century.

    In 1899, Abduh reached the pinnacle of his power and influence, and was named mufti of Egypt.

    ***

    In 1902, Riyadh fell to Ibn Saud and it was during this period that Ibn Saud established the fearsome Ikhwan (translated as “brotherhood”). From the 1920s onward, the new Saudi state merged its Wahhabi orthodoxy with the Salafiyya movement (which would be organised into the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928).

    William Shakespear, a famed British agent, forged the first formal treaty between England and Saudi Arabia which was signed in 1915, which bound London and Arabia for years before Saudi Arabia became a country. “It formally recognized Ibn Saud as the independent ruler of the Nejd and its Dependencies under British protection. In return, Ibn Saud undertook to follow British advice.[6]

    Harry St. John Bridger Philby, a British operative schooled by E.G. Browne and father to the legendary triple agent Kim Philby, would succeed Shakespear as Great Britain’s liaison to Ibn Saud under the British India Office, the friendly rival of the Cairo Arab Bureau office which was sponsoring T.E. Lawrence of Arabia.

    In Egypt 1928, Hassan al-Banna (a follower of Afghani and Abduh) founded the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan al-Muslimeen), the organization that would change the course of history in the twentieth century Middle East.

    Banna’s Muslim Brotherhood was established with a grant from England’s Suez Canal Company[7] and from that point on, British diplomats and intelligence service, along with the British puppet King Farouq would use the Muslim Brotherhood as a truncheon against Egypt’s nationalists and later against Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser. (For more on this refer to my paper.)

    To get the Muslim Brotherhood off the ground, the Suez Canal Company helped Banna build the mosque in Ismailia that would serve as its headquarters and base of operation.[8] The fact that Banna created the organization in Ismailia is itself worthy of note. For England, the Suez Canal was the indispensable route to its prize possession, India, and in 1928 the town Ismailia happened to house not only the company’s offices but a major British military base built during WWI. It was also, in the 1920s a center of pro-British sentiment in Egypt.

    In the post-WWI world, England reigned supreme, the flag of the British Empire was everywhere from the Mediterranean to India. A new generation of kings and potentates ruled over British dominated colonies, mandates, vassal states, and semi-independent fiefdoms in Egypt, Arabia, Iraq, Transjordan and Persia. To varying degrees those monarchies were beholden to London.

    In the half century between 1875 and 1925 the building blocks of the militant Islamic right were cemented in place by the British Empire.

    Islamic Banking Made in Geneva/London

    Islamic banking [that is the banking system dominated presently by Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States] was born in Egypt and financed by Saudi Arabia and then spread to the far corners of the Muslim world. Eventually the Islamic banking movement became a vehicle not only for exporting political Islam but for sponsoring violence. However, Islamic banking did not get off the ground on its own, as Ibrahim Warde (a renowned scholar of international finance) explains in his book “Islamic Finance in the Global Economy,” Islamic banking:

    operates more out of London, Geneva, or the Bahamas than it does out of Jeddah, Karachi or Cairo…Ideologically, both liberalism and economic Islam were driven by their common opposition to socialism and economic dirigisme…Even Islamic Republics have on occasion openly embraced neo-liberalism…In Sudan, between 1992 and the end of 1993, Economics Minister Abdul Rahim Hamdi – a disciple of Milton Friedman and incidentally a former Islamic banker in London – did not hesitate to implement the harshest free-market remedies dictated by the International Monetary Fund. He said he was committed to transforming the heretofore statist economy ‘according to free-market rules, because this is how an Islamic economy should function.’ ” [emphasis added]

    Perhaps the best case study to this phenomenon is the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).

    BCCI was an international bank founded in 1972 by Agha Hasan Abedi, a Pakistani financier. The bank was registered in Luxembourg with head offices in Karachi and London. A decade after opening, BCCI had over 400 branches in 78 countries in excess of $20 billion USD, making it the seventh largest private bank in the world.

    In the 1980s investigations into BCCI led to the discovery of its involvement in massive money laundering and other financial crimes, and that the BCCI had illegally and secretly gained the control of a major American bank, First American, according to Robert Morgenthau (Manhattan DA) who had been investigating the bank for over two years.

    BCCI was also to be found guilty for illegally buying another American bank, the Independence Bank of Los Angeles, using a Saudi businessman Ghaith Paraon as the puppet owner. The American depositors lost most of their money when BCCI was forced to foreclose since it was essentially operating a Ponzi scheme to fund illegal activity of all sorts.

    According to Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald’s book “The Valediction”:

    Afghanistan offered the opportunity for BCCI to migrate the lucrative heroin business from Southeast Asia [Laos/Cambodia/Vietnam] to the Pakistani/Afghan border under the cover of destabilization. President Carter supported Brzezinski’s provocations into Soviet territory from the minute they got into the White House. He then sanctioned Brzezinski’s plan to use Afghanistan to lure the Soviet Union into its own Vietnam and lied to the public about it when they fell into the trap on December 27, 1979.

    …The destabilization kills three birds with one stone. It weakens the Soviets…It acts as a cover for moving the heroin business out of Vietnam/Laos and Cambodia to a safe haven on the Pakistan frontier with Afghanistan – a trade that propped up the British Empire financially for over a hundred years.

    …Afghan drug dealer and CIA asset Gulbuddin Hekmatyar…[then organizes] a deal with the renegade gangster, Afghan prime minister, and possible CIA asset Hafizullah Amin…to make Kabul the center of the world heroin trade…pays for the off-the-books operation with drug money brought in by Hekmatyar and laundered through a Pakistani bank…known as BCCI. Everything goes smoothly until the new US Ambassador Adolph Dubs launches a campaign against the destabilization…

    US Ambassador Adolph Dubs was assassinated, just seven months after taking his post, under an extremely suspect situation, on February 14, 1979, to which Gould and Fitzgerald do a superb investigation of, as well as what really happened in Afghanistan in 1979, in their book “The Valediction.

    Investigators in the United States and the UK determined that BCCI had been “set up deliberately to avoid centralized regulatory review, and operated extensively in bank secrecy jurisdictions. Its affairs were extraordinarily complex. Its officers were sophisticated international bankers whose apparent objective was to keep their affairs secret, to commit fraud on a massive scale, and to avoid detection.[9]

    This is an incredibly sophisticated operation, and interestingly, uses the very same methods that the City of London has been using for centuries and presently operates to a diabolical perfection today. There is no way that a solo Pakistani financier, even if he was financed by the Sheik of Abu Dhabi, could rise in less than a decade, operating on the turf of ancient banking channels that go back several centuries, to rise to become the seventh largest bank in the netherworld of finance without a little help from the big boys.

    On July 29th, 1991, a Manhattan grand jury indicted BCCI on twelve accounts of fraud, money laundering and larceny. Robert Morgenthau (Manhattan DA), who was in charge of the investigation, has described BCCI as “the largest bank fraud in world financial history.”

    Through the Rabbit Hole and Out Again

    Today, the actions of the United States can best be understood in the context of the Anglo-American Empire, with Wall Street operating as an extension of the ancient banking channels of the City of London and Geneva.

    The disastrous foreign policy of namely Britain and the United States in the War on Terror Crusade has been exposed multiple times. That is, that the very governments who have been shouting the loudest against Islamic extremism and for stability in the Middle East, are the very ones who have been weaponising, training and funding such terrorist groupings. The Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, ISIS (and all its viral variants) would not exist today if it were not for namely Britain’s age old strategy.

    So what is the goal?

    Well, what does any empire seek? Global domination.

    In this light, the War on Terror is exposed for what it truly is. It is meant to impoverish and destroy the national sovereignty of the people, not only of the Middle East (or more accurately Southwest Asia), but as we are seeing clearly today, it has also acted as a slow blood-letting of the western people, whose economies are much weaker today than they were 20 years ago.

    While western countries are increasingly unable to provide a proper standard of living, with mass unemployment, lack of healthcare, increased crime and suicide rates, and increased overdoses and homelessness, and pretty much everything you would expect to rise during a Dark Age straight out of a Goya painting, these “first-world” governments are applying further austerity measures on the people, even after prolonged lockdowns, while openly pumping trillions of dollars into wars that not only fund the destruction of entire nations, but funds the global drug, arms and sex-trafficking trade. All of this dirty money then circles back into the London-Geneva fondi, benefitting a select class that has existed and thrived for centuries on this sort of backdrop.

    Nobody has benefitted from this War on Terror except the global elite.

    So stop getting sucked into the same old same old lies; stop being a slave to the system and let us finally unite and stand up against the true common enemy of the people of the world.

    The author can be reached at https://cynthiachung.substack.com/

    1. Elie Kedourie, “Afghani and Abduh: An Essay on Religious Unbelief and Political Activism in Modern Islam” 
    2. Ibid. 
    3. The proposal to London from Jamal al-Din al-Afghani was reported by a British Orientalist and author W.S. Blunt, a friend of Afghani’s. It is cited in C.C. Adams, “Islam and Modernism in Egypt.” 
    4. Elie Kedourie, “Afghani and Abduh: An Essay on Religious Unbelief and Political Activism in Modern Islam.” 
    5. Ibid. 
    6. David Holden and Richard Johns, “The House of Saud.” 
    7. Richard P. Mitchell, “The Society of the Muslim Brothers.” 
    8. Ibid. 
    9. John Kerry “The BCCI Affair: A Report to the Committee on Foreign Relations.” 

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

    September 23, 2021

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

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

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

    Thank you!

    Andrei (The Saker)

    The Booster Scam

    The Stephen Lendman Blog

    The Booster Scam

    by Stephen Lendman

    Booster jabs boost illness. They accelerate health destruction.

    The same goes for all flu/covid jabs — designed to harm, not protect.

    It’s true as well about all things flu/covid.

    Everything mandated and urged by US/Western regimes has nothing to do with protecting health and well-being.

    Diabolical aims are all about abolishing free and open societies, along with mass-elimination of what Henry Kissinger once called “useless eaters.”

    On Friday, an FDA advisory panel delivered a split decision.

    It overwhelmingly rejected the Biden regime’s scheme to booster-jab Americans aged-16 and older.

    The decision will likely be temporary.

    It won’t likely halt planned forever-jabbing — once or twice annually — on the phony pretext of waning immunity.

    At the same time, the FDA panel voted unanimously in favor of booster-jabbing Americans aged-65 and older, as well as others with weakened immune systems.

    It also said that healthcare…

    View original post 600 more words

    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 9/11 Mother of All Scams Until Flu/Covid Arrived

    September 11, 2021

    By Stephen Lendman

    Source

    All governments lie, notably Western ones.

    Nothing they say can be taken at face value. The same goes for their media press agents.

    9/11 was the mother of all Big Lies, the mother of all state-sponsored false flags, until flu/covid surpassed its infamy.

    Twenty years ago today, I remember where I was and what I was doing when learned that the twin towers came down.

    Though not an architect or engineer, something smelled rotten.

    While still unaware of what I later learned and wrote voluminously about, I recall telling my brother that they’re drinking champagne in the White House tonight.

    I couldn’t understand how steel columns could collapse in free fall like a house of cards in a stiff breeze.

    I remember WTC 7’s later in the day collapse at 5:21PM, though unstruck.

    I later saw a video clip by the UK owned and controlled BBC, its reporter Jane Standley in New York at the time.

    At 4:54PM — 27 minutes before WTC 7’s collapse — she reported what hadn’t yet happened, showing the beeb had advance knowledge of the made-in-the-USA false flag.

    Partly funded by Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth (AE911Truth), a study titled “A Structural Reevaluation of the Collapse of World Trade Center” revealed the following:

    Scientific evidence showed that “fires could not have caused weakening or displacement of structural members capable of initiating any of the hypothetical local failures alleged to have triggered the total collapse of the (twin towers or WTC 7), nor could any local failures, even if they had occurred, have triggered a sequence of failures that would have resulted in the observed total collapse.”

    Jet fuel doesn’t heat high enough to melt or cause rigid steel columns to crumble.

    It’s “scientifically impossible.” 

    State-sponsored controlled demolitions destroyed both towers and WTC 7.

    Their debris was removed and destroyed to prevent a proper forensic analysis, AE911Truth explained.

    David Ray Griffin’s exhaustive research, writings and lectures exposed and documented the mother of all Big Lies to that time — including official coverup by the 9/11 whitewash commission.

    Virtually everything officially reported and regurgitated by MSM was fake news.

    Alleged hijackers weren’t aboard the four fateful flights.

    Bin Laden had nothing to do with what happened.

    Hospitalized in Pakistan, he died of natural causes in December 2001 — reported by the NYT, the BBC, and other MSM.

    Obama did not kill Osama, one of many Big Lies about 9/11, its aftermath, and a figure designated Enemy Number One by hegemon USA.

    In September 2001, CBS News anchor Dan Rather said he was admitted to a Rawalpindi, Pakistan hospital on September 10, 2001. 

    France’s Le Figaro reported the following:

    “Dubai…was the backdrop of a secret meeting between Osama bin Laden and the local CIA agent in July (2001).”

    “A partner of the administration of the American Hospital…claims that (bin Laden) stayed (there) between the 4th and 14th of July (and) received visits from many members of his family as well as prominent Saudis and Emiratis.”

    “(During the same period), the local CIA agent, known to many in Dubai, was seen taking (the hospital’s) main elevator (to) bin Laden’s room.”

    Pakistani intelligence confirmed his December 2001 death. Yet the myth of his responsibility for 9/11 persists. 

    The FBI later admitted it had no evidence linking him to the attack.

    What happened 20 years ago today was all about inventing a pretext for unparalleled state terrorism that followed, for waging war on humanity at home and abroad — for transforming the US into a totalitarian police state.

    The unpatriotic Patriot Act was written months in advance, the same likely true for the Homeland Security Act and what else unfolded in the aftermath of 9/11.

    I discussed it in a December 2007 article, titled Police State America.

    US planned in advance war OF terrorism, not on it, remains ongoing with no end of it in prospect.

    Along with the Patriot Act (Oct. 2001), Bush/Cheney’s November 2001 Military Order Number 1 — a coup d’etat against peace and fundamental freedoms — was prelude for extrajudicial horrors that followed at home and abroad.

    So-called Continuity of Government (COG) procedures under an alleged Catastrophic Emergency was and remains all about empowering the ruling US regime to declare martial law without congressional authorization and govern despotically.

    It’s how Biden regime hardliners have been operating after seasonal flu was renamed covid.

    The worst of what they have in mind is likely ahead — notably after the fake Biden’s Thursday remarks, transforming totalitarian USA into tyrannical rule.

    Events, legislation, White House diktats and actions made the US unsafe and unfit to live in.

    A Final Comment

    James Fetzer founded Scholars for 9/11 Truth, a non-partisan association of faculty, students, and scholars, dedicated to exposing official lies, removing the shroud of deceit, and revealing truths behind 9/11.

    On Friday, Fetzer stressed that the alleged 9/11 hijackers and bin ladin “had nothing to do with the atrocities of 9/11,” adding:

    “(T)hey were (convenient) patsies, like Lee Harvey Oswald and Sirhan Sirhan in relation to JFK and Bobby” — both figures uninvolved with their state-sponsored assassination.

    Fetzer quoted Marc Thiessen, stressing that Biden (the real or fake one) “has no business visit(ing) Ground Zero, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa., on” Saturday — the 20th anniversary of the mother of all state-sponsored false flags to that time.

    The nation I grew up in long ago has been responsible for more harm to more people over a longer duration than any others in world history.

    The worst of their diabolical war on humanity likely lies ahead — why the only solution is popular revolution.

    Even Broken Clocks Are Right Twice Daily

    September 11, 2021

    By Stephen Lendman

    Source

    Featuring fake news over what’s fit to print and read on issues mattering most, the disreputable NYT lying machine once in a while slips up by publishing kernels of truth.

    On Friday, the Times debunked the Pentagon’s phony pretext for a late August drone strike in Afghanistan.

    Responsible for killing at least nine family members, including six children, the Pentagon falsely claimed it was targeting ISIS.

    Its leadership and fighters are supported by the US war department and CIA, using them as proxy troops where deployed.

    Slaughter of more Afghan civilians after Pentagon combat troops were withdrawn continued forever US war on the country and its people — with no end of it in prospect by hot and other means.

    According to the Times, “video evidence (and) interviews with” Afghan witnesses to what happened “raise(d) doubts about the US version of events, including whether explosives were present in the vehicle (targeted), whether the driver had a connection to ISIS, and whether there was a second explosion after the missile struck the car.”

    Eyewitnesses said Pentagon terror-bombing targeted two civilian cars unconnected to ISIS or other jihadists, one individual saying:

    “We are not ISIS…This was a family home where my brothers lived with their families.”

    Pentagon spokesman captain Bill Urban falsely said “(w)e are confident we successfully hit the target (sic).”

    Evidence proved otherwise.

    The Times identified the driver of a terror-bombed car as Zemari Ahmadi, calling him “a longtime worker for a US aid group,” adding:

    “(E)vidence suggests that his travels that day actually involved transporting colleagues to and from work.”

    “(A)n analysis of video feeds showed that what the (Pentagon) may have seen was Mr. Ahmadi and a colleague loading canisters of water into his trunk to bring home to his family.”

    “Times reporting show(ed) that (the Pentagon) killed 10 (civilians), including seven children, in a dense residential block” — not ISIS fighters as falsely claimed.

    Ahmadi worked for US-based Nutrition and Education International (NEI), the Times explained. 

    It’s Afghanistan director said “(w)e have nothing to do with terrorism or ISIS.” Nor did Ahmadi.

    Yet on the day he was killed, “an MQ-9 Reaper drone…track(ed his) vehicle as it drove around Kabul…” 

    US officials falsely claimed that “they intercepted communications between (his vehicle) and (an) alleged ISIS safe house” — a bald-faced Big Lie.

    According to people who worked with Ahmadi, his movements on the day he was killed were “simply a normal day at work,” the Times reported.

    Items the Pentagon falsely claimed might be explosives were “plastic water-filled containers.”

    US officials lied claiming that the car Ahmadi drove “posed an imminent threat to troops at the airport,” according to the Times, adding:

    Yet when he “pulled into the courtyard of his home…the tactical (Pentagon) commander” ordered his vehicle to be struck with a hellfire missile — an act of cold-blooded murder.

    Falsely claiming the drone operator only saw “a single adult male greeting” Ahmadi on arrival, his relatives explained otherwise, the Times saying:

    “(S)everal of his children and his brothers’ children came out, excited to see him, and sat in the car as he backed it inside.” 

    His “brother Romal was sitting on the ground floor with his wife when he heard the sound of the gate opening, and (his) car entering.” 

    “His adult cousin Naser had gone to fetch water for his ablutions, and greeted him.”

    “The car’s engine was still running when” terror-bombed.

    Joint chiefs chairman Milley lied, falsely claiming that secondary explosions showed that Ahmadi’s car contained explosives (sic).

    According to the Times, no evidence showed that “a second, more powerful explosion” occurred.

    An analysis by experts said much the same thing.

    The Pentagon was caught red-handed. It concocted a Big Lie to unjustifiably justify cold-blooded murder of Afghan civilians threatening no one.

    Left unexplained by the Times is that ISIS is a US creation, its fighters used as proxy imperial foot soldiers — in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

    Ahmadi’s brother was quoted, saying he, his children and relatives were not terrorists. He “worked for the Americans.”

    Since US forces preemptively attacked nonthreatening Afghanistan weeks after the made-in-the-USA’s false flag, millions of Afghans perished from war, related violence, targeted assassinations, torture, medical neglect and starvation.

    Millions of others perished in similar fashion — in Iraq, Libya, Syria and elsewhere.

    That’s how the scourge of US imperialism operates, what the Times and other MSM never explain.

    9/11 and the Politics of Fear and Self-Preservation

    We will either be remembered as a country that took freedom and liberty for all seriously or we will be remembered as a nation of cowards who, driven by fear, were willing to deprive this group, then that group, of their freedom — before losing that freedom entirely.

    September 10th, 2021

    By Whitney Webb

    Source

    The 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001 is a particularly somber one, not just because of the horrific nature of events of that day reaching its second-decade milestone, but because of how little we seem to have learned in that amount of time.

    The fear and trauma generated by the events of 9/11 were used by the U.S. national security state and its civilian allies to great effect to divide the American population, to attack independent reporting as well as independent thought, to gut the anti-war movement, and to normalize the U.S. government’s overt and persistent degradation of the country’s Constitution. This, of course, is in addition to the illegal U.S. occupations and drone wars in the Middle East and elsewhere that were also born out of this event.

    The true beneficiaries of 9/11

    As a nation, the U.S. populace has failed to grapple with these realities, and many others, in the two decades since the Twin Towers and WTC Building 7 fell. Far from bringing any benefit to the alleged masterminds of the event, the results of 9/11 instead overwhelmingly favored the ambitions of a powerful faction within the U.S. national security state that had long sought to bring the dissident-elimination efforts it spent decades implementing abroad – from the Phoenix Program in Vietnam to Operation Condor in South America – home to roost.

    As a result, the response of the U.S. government to the attack supposedly launched by those “who hate us for our freedom” was to work to reduce our freedoms and civil liberties. Now, 20 years on, the sophisticated “War on Terror” apparatus has been fully turned into a “War on Domestic Terror,” with many of those who once opposed the war on terrorism abroad now cheering on the ratcheting up of its domestic equivalent.

    Yet, the domestic terror apparatus being swiftly created and implemented very clearly targets individuals and ideologies on both sides of the political divide. It is also extremely vague, essentially leaving it up to those holding the reins of political power – whether Democrat, Republican or something else – to decide who is “terrorist” and who is not. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was Joe Biden back in the mid-1990s who introduced legislation that would have given the president sole and unappealable authority to define what constitutes “terrorism,” a fact that was omitted from media coverage of last year’s presidential campaign and the past several months of his presidency.

    A crisis of courage

    It seems clear at this point that one of the key reasons the U.S. continues to hemorrhage its remaining civil liberties, either as a result of the new “War on Domestic Terrorism” or as a response to COVID-19, is that it is undergoing a crisis of conscience and courage in grappling with not just the true nature of the events of 9/11 itself, but with the orthodoxy over the “official story” of those events.

    Even two decades after the fact, it is still deemed too controversial or unthinkable to question whether the official story is an accurate portrayal of the events that transpired on and led to that day. This is despite the fact that the official story itself, presumably the same story told by the 9/11 Commission report, has been labeled incomplete, and unable to answer major questions about that day, by its very authors. In addition, the official story relies heavily on testimony obtained through extreme torture, meaning it is of questionable accuracy.

    Many of those who have been quick and vocal to point out the lies of the U.S. government when it comes to the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and other consequences of the War on Terror have been unable to even consider that the official story of 9/11 may not be legitimate and may indeed have been dealt from the same pack. This may be for a variety of reasons, including a strong desire to not be de-legitimized by their peers as bearers of the “conspiracy theorist” smear and an unwillingness to face a political reality where U.S. government officials may have been complicit in a deadly attack on American soil. In those two examples, however, the failure of such individuals, particularly in media, to even consider that there may be more to the story boils down to a desire for self-preservation in the case of the former and preservation of a particular worldview in the case of the latter. Yet, in both cases, the casualty is the truth and the cause is cowardice.

    By failing as a society to thoroughly examine the events of 9/11 and why those events occurred, the American public has shown the powers that be that their desire to preserve a “safe” worldview — and to preserve their own careers, in the case of certain professional classes — is enough to keep people from questioning world-altering events when they emerge. Those powers are well aware of this refusal and have been using it to their advantage ever since.

    The poison remains in our system

    Today, with the COVID-19 crisis still dragging on, we are similarly immersed in a situation where nuance and facts are being cast aside, militantly in some cases, in favor of the establishment narrative. Is everyone who chooses not to take this particular vaccine a “conspiracy theorist” and “anti-vaxxer”? Does it really make sense to so dramatically divide the public into groups of vaccinated and unvaccinated through a new ID system when the vaccine claims to reduce the severity of illness but not to stop disease transmission? Should those that question the motivation of politicians, powerful pharmaceutical corporations and mainstream media “experts” be censored from expressing those views online?

    You do not need to agree with those who hold such views, but what is wrong with hearing what they have to say and debating their evidence with your own? We are losing the ability to have rational public discourse about these issues — and losing it swiftly, at a speed comparable to what took place in the aftermath of 9/11, when questioning the motives of the Bush administration, U.S. intelligence agencies and other groups, as well as their proposed responses and “solutions,” was deemed “unpatriotic” and even “treasonous” by some. Calls were made to strip an entire class of Americans of their freedom for merely sharing the same ethno-religious identities as those we were told attacked us, and many went along with it. Freedom became treated as a privilege only for certain groups, not as a right, and this insidious fallacy has reared its head yet again in recent months in relation to the COVID-19 vaccine debate and also the war on domestic terror.

    Our pandemic of fear

    Though the failure to consider explanations for 9/11 that deviate from the official story can be called cowardice, the most enduring lesson 20 years on from 9/11 is perhaps that fear was and remains the most powerful tool that has been consistently used to whittle down our freedom and civil liberties. While the divide-and-conquer strategies have raged on from 9/11 to the present, the largest wealth transfers in history have occurred, creating an unaccountable and ultra-wealthy super-elite that dominates an ever-growing underclass.

    The march towards this de facto neo-feudalism certainly didn’t begin on or after 9/11, but our collective failure to grapple with the narrative orthodoxies of that day have prevented us from fully understanding the big picture of that event as well as many subsequent and similarly consequential events. For too long, the desire to preserve our self-image, our reputation, and the worldview we are taught in school has all too often made hard, difficult truths a casualty.

    In order to truly understand the War on Terror, the domestic surveillance state and our current reality, we must accept that we were lied to about 9/11. We must ask the hard questions and accept hard truths. We must put an end to the 20-plus-year-long pandemic of fear over “invisible enemies,” fear that has pushed us to surrender the very freedoms that we are told we are protecting.

    The United States, and much of the world, is quickly becoming an unrecognizable and authoritarian dystopia. We cannot wait another two decades to grapple with the difficult questions and realities that arose after 9/11 and persist into the present. We will either be remembered as a country that took freedom and liberty for all seriously or we will be remembered as a nation of cowards who, driven by fear, were willing to deprive this group, then that group, of their freedom — before losing that freedom entirely.

    Israeli Media: US Withdrawal from Afghanistan a Sign of Weakness

    AUGUST 15, 2021

    Source: Israeli Media

    By Al Mayadeen

    Yossi Kuperwasser, an Israeli intelligence and security expert, points out that the fast fall of the Afghan government is proof of US obstacles in comprehending the Islamic world.

    Taliban fighters ride in an Afghan National Directorate of Security car in Kandahar.
    Taliban fighters ride in an Afghan National Directorate of Security car in Kandahar.

    A researcher at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and a Brigadier-General in the Israeli reserve army, Yossi Kuperwasser, said that the rapid collapse of the Afghan government and the US-funded army against Taliban (amounting to 300,000 soldiers with advanced equipment!), is a reason to make us concerned.

    He complained that US strategy in executing liberalist policies without taking into consideration the cultural and political frameworks showed was a miscalculation from the start. It’s worth noting that this is just another example of the difficulties the West, particularly US intelligence, faces in dealing with the Islamic world.

    On a global scale, Kuperwasser believes that the US withdrawal from Afghanistan will be seen as a display of weakness. The departure will be seen as a sign of US weakness which stems from a refusal to sacrifice human lives or pay up in the ongoing fight against radical Islam.

    Finally, the Israeli researcher stated that this action will boost radical Islamist morale like Iran, al-Qaeda, and ISIS; it will push them to fight the US and its allies, including “Israel.”

    The US withdrawal from the Middle East will affect Iraq and Syria

    Nir Dvori, a military analyst for Israeli television channel 12, stated that the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan will affect “Israel” and that it is an event that the whole Middle East is watching.

    All US allies, according to Dovri, are watching this event and wondering when the US will turn its back on them. 

    He went on to add that the US withdrawing from the Middle East is part of the ongoing strategy that has been in place for some time, and that this strategy has now reached its peak. According to him, it may affect Iraq, the US in Syria, and, of course, Iran.

    Furthermore, he stated that what is happening today is ceaseless terrorism, that the situation is worsening, that Iraq and Syria are unstable, and that all of this would harm “Israel.”

    “We must be very aware that this won’t happen in our region”

    Amos Gilad, a researcher and head of the Institute for Policy and Strategy remarked, regarding the US withdrawal and Taliban control over Afghanistan, that strengthening connections with Arab regimes that stand up to these “dark forces” is essential.

    He also stressed the importance of relations with Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf states, adding that these relationships are significant achievements – at least in terms of intelligence cooperation. He suggested that “Israel” must continue to expand its relationships, despite widespread criticism, as the alternative would be “disastrous.”

    Gilad went on to add that “US intelligence made a lot of errors along the decision-making process.” It should be noted that any beginner analyst may forecast that Afghanistan would fall into the hands of the Taliban, but that such a rapid fall was not taken into consideration by the US government.

    “We must be very aware that this won’t happen in our region,” Gilad warned.

    In the same context, on Sunday, an Afghan presidency source said President Ashraf Ghani agreed to resign in light of the deteriorating situation in the country; he had left Kabul for Tajikistan.

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

    AUGUST 15, 2021

    Source

    By Cailtin Johnstone

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Western Media Parrots “Israeli” Lies: July 2006 War An Example

    18/07/2021

    Western Media Parrots “Israeli” Lies: July 2006 War An Example

    Western Media Bias towards ‘Israel’: 

    By Dr. Ibrahim al-Moussawi*

    Western media generally has always played a pivotal role in misinforming rather misleading the public instead of supplying them with correct information and news; in short not telling them the truth.

    All preaching and rhetoric of honesty, fairness, accuracy and transparency become obsolete, especially when it comes to our region and specifically to what used to be called the Arab Israeli conflict. To be more specific, the Western-backed ‘Israeli’ occupation to Palestine has the lions share in the field of propaganda. A propaganda which aims at polishing the ‘Israeli’ Image and distorting the Palestinian one.

    This issue was not only limited to occupied Palestine and the resistance there but it has extended and stretched to include all those who resist or fight the US ‘Israeli’ occupation in any place in the region. Lebanon is not an exception.

    The examples about the Western media bias towards ‘Israel’ are numerous. If we recall the ‘Israeli’ occupation of Lebanon we can find so many.

    First and most importantly, the terminology.

    The Western media presents ‘Israel’ as “a peaceful democratic ‘state’ which is always “defending itself against fanatic terrorists and dictator regimes and countries.” These definitions are not only misleading and incorrect but they are very dangerous because they justify the ‘Israeli’ continuous crimes against its enemies in most of the cases they are innocent civilians and children.

    The big lie that ‘Israel’ and its Western allies tried to sell was that Palestine was empty without people and the ‘Israelis’ made a miracle as they came and turned the desert into a heaven on earth. This is the translation of the ‘Israeli’ slogan: a land without people to people without land.

    In July 2006 war, the writer of this article has had the opportunity to meet scores of Western journalists from different European and American nationalities. I did so many interviews and answered hundreds of questions. It was a real and complete shock how most of the media personnel are grossly misinformed about the basics or the alphabet of the issue.

    I had to inform many of them about the nature of the struggle and how it started and how does it unfold and manifest itself every now and then.

    The ‘Israeli’ narrative is the one prevalent: “‘Israel’ is a civilized tolerant entity, it is a victim, and it is seeking to live in harmony, coexistence and peace with its surroundings, while its ‘enemies’ are pursuing every effort to destroy it.”

    The ‘Israeli’ aggressions, incursions, occupations are crucial and necessary and they are actions of “self-defense.” ‘Israel’ resorted to them as a last choice and only after it has exhausted all other means.

    The mainstream media in the West and in many so-called Arab outlets especially in the Gulf region has the ‘Israeli’ narrative as their official line of news. This is very telling about the size and severity of the distortion taking place.

    If the journalists and media people who are supposed to inform people with accuracy about the real ongoing events and the facts are that ignorant, manipulated and biased, what one can expect from the average person in the street. This is a systematic distortion of facts with catastrophic consequences on many levels.

    If the Western official line of media is biased to ‘Israel’ and telling lies to people to support ‘Israel’, then the responsibility of the informed activists and human rights advocates is very big. With the presence of social media and public applications and platforms the alternative media should be activated.

    An urgent action is needed to be organized and coordinated by all those individuals and organizations who are fully aware of the situation to inform the world public about the real facts.

    The task and mission performed by our media outlets as an axis of resistance is very distinguished and significant but it is not sufficient to strike the necessary balance with pro-‘Israeli’ media.

    More voices are needed here, they are there we only need to make them join the circle to build our system and narrative. This is very urgent, crucial and vital now more than any time in the past.

    *Dr. Ibrahim al-Moussawi is a Member of Hezbollah’s Bloc at the Lebanese Parliament. He is also a Professor of Media Studies and Social Studies at the Lebanese University. He obtained his PhD from the University of Birmingham, UK.

    Fake News London Guardian Kremlin Papers Report

     July 18, 2021

    By Stephen Lendman

    Source

    US/Western dark forces never quit proving that they’re hostile to what just societies hold dear.

    Time and again, their press agent media show they long ago abandoned what journalism is supposed to be — banning it on issues mattering most.

    On domestic issues, they support privileged interests at the expense of most others — notably by pushing health destroying flu/covid jabs, instead of warning about their hazards.

    On all things geopolitical mattering most, they stick to state-approved talking points — notably US/Western rage for control of planet earth, its resources and populations.

    Days earlier, a fake news London Guardian report turned truth on its head as follows, saying:

    “Vladimir Putin personally authorized (sic) a secret spy agency operation to support a ‘mentally unstable’ Donald Trump in the 2016 US presidential election during a closed session of Russia’s national security council (sic), according to…leaked Kremlin documents (sic)” — that don’t exist.

    No responsible editors would permit publication of the above claim no evidence suggests, made up rubbish alone with no credibility — part of longstanding US/UK Russia bashing.

    Yet in true fake news Guardian tradition, it defied reality by claiming a Trump White House “would help secure Moscow’s strategic objectives, among them ‘social turmoil’ in the US (sic) and a weakening of the American president’s negotiating position (sic).”

    Not a shred of evidence was presented by the Guardian to support what it falsely called “genuine…documents.”

    More bald-faced Big Lies followed, including by saying:

    A so-called Kremlin “expert department recommended…’all possible force’ to ensure a Trump victory (sic).”

    Time and again, phony claims like the above about Russia and other foreign nations are debunked as Big Lies that won’t die.

    Throughout US history from inception to the present day, no credible evidence ever suggested foreign inference in its electoral process — what dark forces in Washington do repeatedly against other nations worldwide. 

    Political scientist Dov Levin earlier documented over 80 times that US dark forces interfered in the electoral process of other nations from end of WW II to year-2000.

    Since then, the US illegally tried to influence the outcome of elections or overall political process in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Mexico, Russia, Belarus, and elsewhere. 

    What could a foreign nation hope to achieve by meddling in so-called US elections?

    Farcical when held, both right wings of the one-party state take turns running things — serving privileged interests exclusively at the expense of ordinary people at home and abroad.

    US diabolical actions also include attempted color revolutions, old-fashioned coups, political assassinations — most recently against Haiti’s president — and wars by hot and/or other means against nations free from imperial control.

    In response to the Guardian’s fake news, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called it “pulp fiction,” adding:

    The report “is complete nonsense.”

    It’s “the hallmark of an absolutely low-quality publication.” 

    “Either (it’s) trying to increase its popularity or is sticking to a rabidly Russophobic line.”

    Ill-conceived trash best describes what no evidence supports because none exists — just baseless accusations with nothing supporting them.

    Time and again, Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea and other nations free from US imperial control are falsely accused of all sorts of things they had nothing to do with.

    Indisputable evidence reveals US high crimes of war, against humanity, and other dirty tricks against one nation after another, targeting ones named above and many others.

    In his books and Anti-Empire reports, the late William Blum documented US high crimes.

    Calling them “worse than you imagine,” he once explained the following:

    “If you flip over the rock of American foreign policy (throughout) the past century, this is what crawls out: invasions, bombings, (subversion), overthrowing governments, suppressing (popular) movements for social change, assassinating political leaders, perverting elections, manipulating labor unions, manufacturing ‘news,’ death squads, torture, (chemical), biological (and nuclear) warfare, (radiological contamination), drug trafficking, mercenaries,” police state repression, and endless wars on humanity.”

    That’s what the scourge of US hegemonic rage is all about.

    Stressing it’s not a pretty picture, Blum said it’s “enough to give imperialism a bad name.” 

    Millions of corpses attest to US ruthlessness, a rogue state exceeding history’s worst over a longer duration, operating globally, willing to risk destroying planet earth to own it, the human cost of its wars and other barbarism of no consequence.

    Blum called democracy “America’s deadliest export,” the way it should be is abhorrent to the US and its imperial partners.

    Directly and through its press agent media like the Guardian, Russia and other sovereign independent countries are bashed for not bending to higher powers in Washington, London and other Western capitals.

    As for dubious Guardian claims about covert Russian support for Trump over Hillary in 2016, they’re not worth the (toilet) paper they’re written on.

    A Final Comment

    The Russiagate hoax throughout Trump’s tenure was all about delegitimizing his triumph over media darling Hillary — a Big Lie still refusing to die despite no evidence supporting it.

    It remains one of the most shameful political chapters in US history, exceeding the worst of McCarthyism.

    Ignored was House testimony by former US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (2010 – 2017), saying:

    “I never saw any direct empirical evidence that the Trump campaign or someone in it was plotting (or) conspiring with the Russians to meddle with the election,” adding:

    “I do not recall any instance when I had direct evidence of” alleged Trump team-Russia collusion.

    Congressional and Mueller probes were exercises in mass deception.

    They found no evidence suggesting Russian meddling in the US political process because there was none.

    The Mueller probe notably laid an egg, ending with a whimper, not a bang.

    His 19-lawyer team, 40 FBI special agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants, and other professional staff spent around $25 million.

    They issued 2,800 subpoenas, 500 search warrants, almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, over 230 orders for communication records, interviewed about 500 individuals, and made 34 politicized indictments on dubious charges unconnected to his mandate.

    Despite all of the above from May 2017 – March 2019, it struck out, finding no evidence of Russian US election interference — because there was nothing to find.

    Yet phony claims otherwise remain like a bad aftertaste — the fake news Guardian report the latest example of yellow journalism instead of the real thing.

    Biden Regime Escalates War on Russia and China by Other Means

    July 11, 2021

    By Stephen Lendman

    Source

    Hostile to peace, stability, cooperative relations with other countries, and rule of law principles, Biden regime hardliners escalated illegal sanctions war on Russia and China.

    On Friday, a US Commerce Department press release said the following:

    Its Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) “added 34 entities to the (illegal US) Entity List,” falsely claiming:

    It’s “for their involvement in, or risk of becoming involved in, activities contrary to the foreign policy and national security interests of the US (sic),” adding: 

    “Of these 34 entities, 14 are based in…China.”

    The Biden regime falsely accused them of “enabl(ing) Beijing’s campaign of repression (sic), mass detention (sic), and high-technology surveillance against Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and members of other Muslim minority groups in” Jinjiang (sic).  

    Claiming the “PRC continues to commit genocide (sic) and crimes against humanity (sic)” is unsupported by evidence because there is none. 

    “Commerce added another five” Chinese firms to its Entity List — on the phony pretext of “supporting the PRC’s military modernization programs related to lasers and C4ISR programs.” 

    In response to the above hostile actions, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the following:

    “The so-called (US) ‘entity list’ is in essence a tool for suppressing specific companies and industries in China under the pretext of human rights, and means the US uses to destabilize Xinjiang and contain China.” 

    “China firmly opposes this.”

    “China will take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies and foil US attempts to interfere in China’s internal affairs.”

    Three Russian firms and six nationals were also illegally targeted.

    According to the Biden regime, they’re blacklisted for “attempt(ing) to procure items, including US-origin items, for activities contrary to the national security and foreign policy interests of the US (sic).”

    In response to the hostile action, Russia’s US envoy Anatoly Antonov said the following:

    “This is another confrontational step as part of Washington’s deliberate efforts to restrict the access of domestic enterprises to high-precision technologies from abroad,” adding: 

    “This fundamentally contrasts with the statements of US authorities, including during…Geneva (talks last month), about the need to normalize the entire range of bilateral relations.”

    The Biden regime blacklisted “Moscow-based companies engaged in microelectronics.” 

    “At the same time, the US side again did not provide any specifics (on alleged) violations.

    “They used the notorious ‘likely,’ saying that our companies allegedly bought electronic components from the USA for some Russian military programs.”

    “This approach does not stand up to scrutiny.”

    According to Eurasia Group analyst Ali Wyne:

    “A tightening nexus of military frictions, technological competition and normative clashes will reinforce the momentum behind selective disentanglement between the United States and China,” adding:

    “While the economic and security risks of an unconstrained embrace have come into sharper view in recent years, the risks of a wholesale rupture merit closer consideration.”

    The same goes for Russia, Iran and other US targeted countries for refusing to yield to a higher authority in Washington.

    Separately, White House press secretary Psaki said the Biden regime is assessing whether so-called ransomware attacks on US businesses occurred with Kremlin knowledge or “approval.”

    On Thursday, Sergey Lavrov explained the following:

    “We are constantly accused of hacking, undermining interests of almost all Western countries, but so far our multiple proposals to seriously start a joint work – in order to substantially…solve the emerging issues and deal with real difficulties – have been left without a specific response” by Washington.

    Despite both countries agreeing to work cooperatively on this issue, the US side did nothing to fulfill its pledge. 

    It’s further proof that it can never be trusted, and that diplomatic outreach to its regimes is a colossal waste of time virtually always.

    On Friday, Putin spoke with Biden’s double by phone, an exercise of futility like Geneva talks that accomplished nothing positive.

    Reportedly, Biden’s impersonator told Putin “we will respond” against so-called ransomware attacks regime hardliners falsely accuse Russia of ignoring or endorsing.

    Putin reportedly said that despite Russia’s outreach to work with the Biden regime cooperatively on his issue and others, the US side stonewalled Moscow’s outreach.

    Since undemocratic Dems usurped power by the most brazen election fraud in US history, Biden regime relations with Russia sank to a post-WW II low.

    Nothing in prospect suggests improvement ahead. Just the opposite is most likely.

    A Final Comment

    On Thursday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry accused the Biden regime of serious human rights abuses domestically and abroad — in breach of core international law and its own Constitution.

    One of the most egregious examples abroad is Washington’s trade embargo and other hostile actions against Cuba for the past six decades with no relief in prospect.

    For the 29th straight year last month, the US voted against lifting its de facto blockade of the island state.

    So did apartheid Israel — in defiance of support for Cuba by 184 other nations.

    US hostility toward the island state is all about its independence from hegemonic control, the same thing true for Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, North Korea and other nations for the same diabolical reason.

    Russia’s Foreign Ministry also accused the Biden regime of racial and other discriminatory policies against Americans, notably of African, Latin, and Asian ethnicity, adding:

    US “citizens’ rights of access to information are being violated by large (domestic) private corporations” in breach of their legal obligations.

    Systemic violations of fundamental human rights and freedoms” persist throughout the West.

    Yet their ruling regime refuse “to bring the (unacceptable) situation under control.”

    Al Mayadeen English: To Defy Monopolies

    July 1 2021

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    Ghassan Ben Jeddou 

    Source: Al Mayadeen

    We, the family of Al Mayadeen, are all treading the path of freedom in the face of hegemony and supremacy.

    Al Mayadeen Family Welcomes Its Newest Member

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of Al Mayadeen Media Network, we were late in issuing Al Mayadeen net in English, yet here it is; our first English platform is now officially released, after two previous Arabic and Spanish editions.

    Indeed, it was an amiss delay, we admit that, but to be honest, it was intentional… This step was not among our political, professional, and financial priorities. Moreover, we aimed first to consolidate our base media system that marked our start, to avoid any risk of being overburdened; otherwise, our plans would have gone awry, and our potentials would have been scattered.

    Our main concern was to address the Arab public opinion. Who can forget the circumstances under which Al Mayadeen was established prior to the actual fulfillment of our dream? Who can forget that we were in the midst of blood-shedding and destructive Arab, regional, and international conflicts? Can we ever forget the “Decade of Fire” fueled by media outlets blinded and driven by all forms of ignorance and distortion campaigns, to the extent that they actually became essential collaborators in crimes and destruction? We were and still are at the heart of the public opinion battle.

    Launching Al Mayadeen website in Spanish was based on a well-considered strategic media decision. We, the Al Mayadeen family, are part of the Global South, in the frame of a true engagement and belonging and not only as a biased partner. The Global South is rich and embraces tens of languages and diverse cultures. Yet, we dare say, it enjoys the same humanitarian options and strategic prospects, all treading the path of freedom in the face of hegemony and supremacy. To that end, Al Mayadeen Español, our second online making, was born.

    And today, in chronological and not in preference order, we introduce our third online making, Al Mayadeen English. The time has finally come for this new project to step into the light and shine. This constitutes a new stage in formulating discourse and presenting rich content to our English-speaking followers. There is more to say, but everything will be left at the appropriate time.

    We address every speaker and reader of the English language, wherever they may be. We are not going to confine ourselves by aiming for a particular type of audience. We will not corner ourselves in one direction. We’re not going to constrain ourselves to ignorant propaganda and incitement showmanship. At the same time, we will not lose our editorial, cultural, and political identity in the name of fraudulent openness. We will not drain ourselves in conceptual battles. We will not waste our efforts in hypocritical and opportunistic appeasement.

    We have been very clear and vocal about our public policies, which we announced since establishing Al Mayadeen. With our pens and voices, we will defend our right to free and boost pluralistic media. We will stand against worldwide media unilateralism. Due to our friends support in international media, we will contribute to establishing a professionally sound and fearless media environment. Open to new cultures, yet politically and strategically steadfast; Al Mayadeen English is for everyone.

    It is Al Mayadeen English; its focus will be on the new generations and renewed minds, using modern and scientific language. The news platform is welcoming and accessible. This feature will allow our social media platforms to expand to every home and business; with nothing other than positive engagement, it will be a voice for the free people. It will be a platform that respects reason – unreservedly.

    Al Mayadeen is a constructive force in our Arab media environment. It is also a force of influence in public opinion.

    Al Mayadeen English joining Al Mayadeen Online is a modest yet well-established step. It is rooted, unwavering, and resilient. It constitutes of a young crew led by an intelligent and creative administration. Thus, this site may usher in a new era for Al Mayadeen.

    Today, a website and social media platforms are launched, but tomorrow, it could be greater!

    We wish Al Mayadeen English all the luck and success.The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

    Imam Khamenei: Westerners’ Impudence Strange, Odd

    28/06/2021

    Imam Khamenei: Westerners’ Impudence Strange, Odd

    By Staff, Agencies

    Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei criticized French government and other Western states for being just so-called advocates of the human rights and said Westerners’ effrontery is something strange and odd.

    Imam Khamenei made the remarks in a meeting held in Tehran on Monday with Judiciary Chief, and Iran’s president-elect, Sayyed Ebrahim Raisi and staff of the office.

    The meeting was held in commemoration of the June 28 martyrdom of Ayatollah Mohammad Hosseini Beheshti – the first Judiciary chief of Iran – and 72 others in 1981.

    The Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization [MKO] terrorist outfit was behind the attack.

    As His Eminence noted, MKO at that time did commit a big crime against the Iranian nation.

    “Members of the MKO terrorist group are walking free in France and other European countries,” Imam Khamenei said.

    “The French government and others shamelessly preach human rights despite hosting these killers, supporting them, and even giving them the podium in their national parliaments,” His Eminence said. “That is to say, the brazenness of these Westerners is really an extraordinary and strange thing.”

    Their confession to those crimes and murders are available, Imam Khamenei underlined, noting that “however, they are freely living in and traveling to France and other European countries which are so-called supporters of the human rights.”

    Imam Khamenei also thanked Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi for bringing about a great change to the Judiciary since he assumed office more than two years ago.

    “In these two years and a few months that he was in charge of the Judiciary, he really worked hard, he strove, and good things were achieved in the Judiciary,” Imam Khamenei said.

    Elsewhere in his remarks, His Eminence hailed the June 18 presidential election as “truly an epic”, saying no one can take the magnificence of the election away from the country. 

    “Where in the world is it common to see that all members of the opposition propaganda apparatus get actively involved to scare people away from voting in the election,” Imam Khamenei said.

    “Attempts are still made – they [the opposition] write letters and speak via the cyberspace – to deny the greatness of this election, but to no avail,” His Eminence said.

    “This effort is in vain. Analysts who had their eyes fixed on this election understand what has happened.”

    ‘Many US commentators have never BEEN to countries they comment on, see entire world from Washington perspective’ – Stephen Kinzer

    moi

    June 27, 2021, RT.com

    -by Eva K Bartlett

    Much of Western media is a mixture of sensationalist accusations and fear mongering about ‘enemy’ states. It is difficult to find perspectives divorced from US foreign policy, American journalist Stephen Kinzer has told RT.

    I asked the author and journalist Stephen Kinzer how the corporate media came to be so devoid of honest content and discussed the rise of censorship by Big Tech.

    Kinzer is a Boston Globe columnist and formerly a correspondent for the New York Times. With over two decades of experience reporting from around the world, including areas being targeted by American imperialism, Kinzer can offer a much needed critique on the state of journalism today.

    He started as an independent journalist in Central America in the mid-70s, when few journalists were going there, later reporting from Central Asia, Turkey, the Caucasus, and Europe.

    I’m sometimes asked why I developed a different perspective on the world than many other people who comment in the American press,” he told RT. “I always seem to be the skunk at the foreign policy garden party. Why is that?

    Upon reflection, I think it has to do with the way that I learned about the world. Many people who write about the world in the United States learned about the world the same way: they went to international relations schools, they went to work on congressional staffs, then they worked at think tanks. And they’re very steeped in this Washington-centric view of the world.”

    Unlike such journalists and commentators, Kinzer learned journalism by going places and writing firsthand what he saw and heard.

    I learned about the world from the perspective of the people who were the victims of American foreign policy. I was in the places where people were getting bombed. I saw American foreign policy from the perspective of the rest of the world.”

    Having myself learned journalism the same way, I appreciated his words. And I had a followup question about the concept of journalistic qualifications, something my detractors have claimed I lack.

    According to Kinzer, there are many qualifications for being a journalist that are much more important than what school you went to or what you studied.

    The most important one is independent thinking. The great curse of our press in the West is willingness to accept the official narrative,” he said. 

    In his view, many American journalists are merely stenographers. 

    They’re sitting down at a press conference, they write down what some government spokesman says, then they go and print that in a newspaper. You hardly even need to have a sentient human there, you can get an algorithm to probably put most of those stories together.

    And when you want to have a story that’s very well-sourced, they call the State Department, and the Defense Department, and several think tanks, and some congressmen. And they think, ‘Well I sure covered the landscape on this one!’”

    But that, Kinzer argues, is not what covering the landscape is about. 

    The great qualification you need for a journalist is the confidence to go out and see for yourself, and believe that your eyes are actually telling you more than press releases from some other country.

    Indeed, much of the lies and war propaganda about Syria, for example, have come from journalists situated in Istanbul, Beirut, or North America, most who have never been to Syria, or if they have – not in the past decade.

    It’s amazing to see how many people have built reputations as commentators on foreign countries and world affairs who have never been there, have no idea, beyond vague tropes, of what those countries are,” Kinzer said. “It’s because they are seeing the entire world from Washington’s perspective, and don’t think there is any other perspective worth having,” he added.

    It’s truly amazing, I’ve seen the decline of this profession into such willing subservience. We don’t have any core of regular columnists or people trying to challenge established narratives. We do have voices that pop up periodically, but they’re so drowned out by the regular columnists who just voice the same tropes over and over again,” Kinzer said. 

    The intellectual laziness of the American press in covering the world has never been as extreme as it is now. It’s just as dangerous in most of what’s called NATO countries to be contradicting the narrative as it is in the United States.”

    Tremendous desire of CIA to control news 

    In 2014, German journalist and editor, Udo Ulfkotte, told RT he had been forced to publish works not written by him under his own name (or risk being fired), including things “written by agents of the CIA and other intelligence services, especially the German secret service.” 

    According to Kinzer, the CIA “has had a massive, long-term effort to influence” the Western media dating back to the Cold War era. 

    The CIA has placed its own people, people who are on its payroll, in the offices of major news outlets over many decades. There was a large project the CIA called ‘Operation Mockingbird’ aimed specifically at trying to influence the US press, and particularly what the US press writes about the world,” he said. 

    He recalled that in 1954, “when the CIA was planning to overthrow the government of Guatemala… because its president was ‘communist’, a New York Times reporter there started writing stories saying that actually the president is not communist and that land reform is only answering a desperate need of starving Guatemalans.” 

    At CIA Director Allen Dulles’ request, the publisher agreed to keep the correspondent, Sydney Gruson, out of Guatemala. 

    Now that’s an extreme example. But, the motivation behind it is still there. There is a tremendous desire on the part of the CIA to control news.” 

    While not surprised that the CIA would interfere in journalism, Kinzer was emphatic about his disgust that journalists toe the line.

    What I don’t like is that journalists go along with this! Power has so many levers, why should journalists become yet another one of them. We are the ones that are supposed to be questioning. It’s the job of reporters not to submit themselves to that.

    ‘Press a button, and the narrative changes’

    Kinzer also noted how media narratives can suddenly change, like a switch has been flipped. 

    It’s so interesting that when power decides to change the narrative, it happens right away.

    I can remember just six months ago turning on my PBS News Hour, in the US, and seeing a very longreport with General Dunford and Kelly Ayotte and a bunch of these right wingers who had come up with a big report about Afghanistan. And it was about why we can’t leave Afghanistan, we have to stay. It was a 10-minute report, and no other voices, nobody came on to say, ‘Wait a minute, that’s nonsense.’ Everybody was saying, ‘We have to stay in Afghanistan forever.’

    Suddenly, the president of the United States decides, OK, we’re gonna withdraw. And now, suddenly, it’s acceptable to say, ‘That whole Afghanistan thing was a disaster.’ Somebody just has to press a button, then the narrative changes, then everybody is allowed to say what the president said. But if you had said it one day before, you would have been in a lot of trouble.

    You have to wait for the general narrative to change, then you can change your narrative, but don’t do it until power tells you it is acceptable to change.”

    Later in our conversation, he gave the example of writing about Israel, which he said was hard to do, until recently.

    Suddenly, in recent weeks even, it’s become a little more OK to be critical of Israeli policies, because some people in Washington are now a little more critical.

    Big Tech censorship on the rise

    In the past several years, there has been an increase in social media giants deciding what content is acceptable and what “violates” so-called “community standards.” And as I wrote recently, it has gotten to the point where Twitter issues scary warnings about “unsafe” or “spammy” content from websites the social media platform deems dangerous, potentially scaring readers away. 

    Commenting on the matter, Kinzer said that “the power of private companies to decide what people see and don’t see is greater now than ever.

    As for censorship by the outlets he has written for, Kinzer said he was lucky to be writing from places that editors really didn’t have the knowledge to tell him how to report. “Nobody called me and said ‘I know everything about Uzbekistan and this is wrong.’”

    That said, he does maintain that in writing his columns, some subjects are either taboo or you would have to frame them in the usual anti-Russia manner common in Western media.

    It’s very hard to get a story in the American press about Russia that’s anything other than fitting into the cliches. I’ve had trouble writing about Russia, because the narrative that Putin is something other than a killer is not welcome in the United States. And I’ve had trouble writing about Syria. And of course, it’s very difficult to write about Israel.

    Lather, rinse, repeat

    On the 10-year anniversary of the war on Syria, I wrote about how, mind-bogglingly, Western media and pundits continue to repeat the cliched and debunked rhetoric and lies that have been recycled year after year.

    Kinzer addressed this technique, the repetition of narratives.

    I had an editor at the New York Times years ago who told me: A lot of journalism is about repetition. And boy does the American press do that. We have been told certain things about certain countries so many times over. And it just seems like the truth.

    “‘The evils that have taken hold of Russia. The daily genocide that’s happening under the killers in Syria…’ You don’t need to go, you don’t need to check, it’s just like the air, it’s like an obvious fact.

    I even see it in what’s happened to the Pulitzer Prize for International Journalism,” he said, adding that in 2020 it “predictably” went to a series of reports on “how evil Russia is” and this year – to a series of reports on “how evil China is.” 

    The Pulitzer, he argued, is supposed to encourage original reporting, “not people that just scribble down what officials say, and then put it in nicer prose, and use phrases that are calculated to make people believe that government opinion is actual fact.

    The job of journalists is to rebel against the narrative. We are out there as the eyes and ears of the world. If you don’t want to do it, fine, but don’t pretend that you’re doing it, and sit in your little cubicle and think of the stereotypes you’ve been fed and just regurgitate them. That is not journalism, it’s just public relations.”

    In conclusion, Kinzer recalled a quote by Mark Twain: “The majority is always wrong. When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.”

    Indeed, time and again when the majority has written about “weapons of mass destruction,” “chemical attacks,” Iraqi troops “killing babies in incubators,” and other Washington-contrived narratives, those courageous few who have stood up against those lies-based-narratives have proven to be honest journalists. 

    If only more journalists would follow.  

    Terrified Washington resorts to piracy as it loses grip over West Asia

    Terrified Washington resorts to piracy as it loses grip over West Asia

    June 25, 2021

    by Aram Mirzaei for the Saker blog

    In what can only be called an act of piracy, the US government “seized” several pro-resistance media outlets in a coordinated attack this week. One of the outlets that were siezed was Presstv.com. Other web domains, including Palestine al-Youm, a Palestinian-directed broadcaster, Karbala TV – the official television of the Imam Hussein (PBUH) shrine in the holy Iraqi city of Karbala, Iraqi Afaq TV, Asia TV and al-Naeem TV satellite television channels, as well as Nabaa TV which reports the latest stories about Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf countries, were also seized.

    Citing bogus reasons such as “threat to national security”, the US regime once more proved what a great leader of democracy and freedom it indeed is. Apparently, Washington believes that it cannot win a free and fair debate with outlets such as PressTV, so the only way to “win” is to prevent others from presenting their viewpoint. Imagine if other countries did the same thing and seized CNN or Fox News’ website. The US would probably start a war if countries like Iran or North Korea made such moves. The self-worshipping West loves to criticize other countries for “suppressing free media” while they portray themselves as a safe haven for “opinions of all kinds”.

    The fact that the United States ranks last in media trust — at 29% — among 92,000 news consumers surveyed in 46 countries, doesn’t seem to matter. That’s worse than Poland, worse than the Philippines, worse than Peru, yet Washington still seems to have the “moral” right to condemn these countries as well, because any lack of trust in US media is explained as being the result of “foreign disinformation campaigns” and totally not related to the fact that the US media only exists to manufacture consent for Washington’s continued imperialist aggression.

    Ironically, the suppression of information is happening while Washington funds and supports perhaps hundreds of propaganda networks such as BBC Persian, VOA Iran and ManotoTV, all known for disseminating vulgar and unprofessional propaganda. Some of these networks are being run by the family members of the Shah of Iran and via using the Iranians’ plundered wealth, to openly call for violent regime change and the return of the degenerate monarchy. Other networks, connected to John Bolton’s close friends in the MEK terrorist cult, openly call for terrorist attacks inside Iran. These are the people that want “democracy” for Iran, and these are the people that Washington supports.

    If it hadn’t been proven a thousand times before, then this pathetic move proved once more that America’s claim about advocating freedom and democracy as well as freedom of expression is nothing more than a lie and hypocrisy. Washington is and has always been morally bankrupt, however, this recent act of thuggery shows that Washington, known for lecturing other governments overseas about free speech, democracy, and freedom of expression, is also scared and panicking.

    Of course they are afraid. Is it a coincidence that these seizures happened right now? No! The Iranian nation elected what the westerners call a “hardliner” president. They know that the game of “diplomacy and talks”, which they use to stall the lifting of sanctions, is over. President-elect Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi won’t be as kind to them as the previous administration has been. He has already declared that there will be no talks with Washington over the US return to the JCPOA. On top of that, Yemen’s Ansarullah movement has rejected the Saudis shameful “peace proposal” and are in their way to capture the crucial city of Ma’rib, further humiliating Washington. So Washington resorted to silencing the world’s poorest country, which is under siege by land, sea and air in what can only be called a genocide.

    There is absolutely no way for Washington to save face here. It is clear that they are terrified as the pro-resistance outlets are getting their messages across. More and more people are seeing Washington for what it is: a terrorist entity that takes pride in killing and starving people who refuse to bow down to them. This coincides with Washington’s waning influence in the region of West Asia, or as they call it, the “Middle East”. (the term “Middle East” is a colonial term from the British Empire era in which Europeans believed that they were the centre of the world, while West Asia was “the near east”).

    Apparently, hundreds of US troops, aircraft and air defence batteries are being withdrawn from the puppet Persian Gulf kingdoms, as the Biden administration allegedly wants to focus on Russia and China instead. In reality, this is Washington’s way of quietly leaving the region as they know and understand what the inevitable alternative would be – getting kicked out of the region with force. Throughout the region, from Syria and Iraq, to Palestine and Yemen, the forces of colonialism and imperialism are losing ground and influence. Their repeated and continued atrocities and crimes are fuelling the fire in our hearts as more and more people, not just in the region, but worldwide are realizing the criminal nature of the imperialists.

    This is not the first time nor the last time that the imperialists and their tools have silenced the voices of dissent. Throughout the years, tens or perhaps hundreds of thousand blogs, and social media pages have been shut down for supporting Syria, Palestine or Yemen. I have personally had 4 social media accounts shut down over the years, for supporting Syria’s legitimate government, for posting pictures in loving memory of Martyr Soleimani and for speaking out against the genocide going on in Yemen. But I will not back down, nor will I give up, and neither should anyone who has spoken out against the savage actions of the imperialists. It should never be forgotten that they silence and shut us down because they fear us, not because they are morally superior to us.

    Resistance must continue on all fronts. Every act of aggression should be seen as an opportunity to show the world what liars and hypocrites the Western warmongers are who think that they can win the hearts of the people of this region through their lies and crude propaganda while bombing the people’s homes and loved ones.

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