In UAE, Palestine’s Capital Is ‘Ramallah’!

February 17, 2018

UAE Palestine capital

It seems that the United Arab Emirates has gone farther than Saudi Arabia in normalization with the Zionist entity, and even in adopting the occupation regime’s rhetoric.

Weeks after US President Donald Trump recognized Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the Zionist entity’s capital, and as Riyadh has been emerging as the spearhead of normalization moves, activists on social media shared a photo showing that Abu Dhabi recognizes Ramallah as the ‘capital of Palestine’.

Ali Mourad tweet1
Ali Mourad’s tweet

The photo, shared by Lebanese journalist Ali Mourad, shows a paper- reportedly a part of an Emirati book- that identifies the capitals and currencies of Arab countries. According to the photo, the capital of Palestine is ‘Ramallah’, while the currency there is the ‘Jordanian Dinar’.

“UAE teaches school children that Palestine’s capital is Ramallah! (A country) which falsifies its own history and geography in order to create glory and culture for itself, won’t slacken to falsify other countries’ history and geography in a bid to please Zionists,” Mourad, who is specialized with Gulf affairs tweeted on Saturday.

Al-Manar contacted Mourad, who confirmed that the photo is taken of a part of an Emirati book, clarifying that he obtained the image from “a Palestinian who lives in UAE.”

Meanwhile, the Lebanese researcher noted that the photo was also shared on social media by several Palestinian activists.

Taking a look on some Palestinian accounts on social media, especially on Facebook, it was clear that the same photo was shared by several Palestinians who were warning, in their posts, against dangers of such move on the Palestinian cause.

Source: Al-Manar Website

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The Coming War on Lebanon: Israel, Saudi Arabia, U.S. Prepare “Long-Planned Middle East War”

Global Research, February 13, 2018

This previously published article (December 2017) on Global Research reveals the well-calculated plan of the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia on inciting a “civil war” in Lebanon to defeat Hezbollah. 

Israel – seemingly leading the squad with the green signal from Washington – has just fabricated yet another grounds for war. 

***

Washington’s plan to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has ultimately failed. Now Lebanon seems to be in the cross-hairs with tensions between Israel and Hezbollah on the same level that led to the 2006 Lebanon war. There is also the possibility that a new offensive against Syria that might take place as Washington maintains its troop levels in the devastated country caused by ISIS and other terrorists groups they supported. Various reports suggests that the Pentagon may reveal that there are close to 2,000 U.S. troops stationed in Syria even though ISIS has been defeated. So why is Washington staying in Syria? Will there be another attempt to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the near future? Most likely, yes. Adding the Trump administration’s continued hostilities towards Iran, the drumbeats of a new war in the Middle East is loud and clear.

Israel, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. have one main objective at the moment and that is to destabilize Lebanon and attempt to defeat Hezbollah before they prepare for another offensive in Syria to remove Assad from power. Before they declare an all-out war on Iran, they must neutralize their allies, Hezbollah and Syria which is by far an extremely difficult task to accomplish.

The Israeli government knows that it cannot defeat Hezbollah without sacrificing both its military and civilian populations. Israel needs the U.S. military for added support if their objective is to somewhat succeed. Israel and the U.S. can continue its support of ISIS and other terrorist groups to create a new civil war in Lebanon through false-flag terror operations which in a strategic sense, can lead to an internal civil war. Can Hezbollah and the Lebanese military prevent terrorist groups from entering its territory? So far they have been successful in defeating ISIS on the Lebanon-Syria border, and will most likely be successful in preventing a new U.S.-supported terrorist haven in Lebanon. Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri who originally resigned from his post while visiting the Saudi Kingdom, then suspending his resignation is a sign that a political crisis has been set in motion. So what happens next?

The Curse: Lebanon’s Natural Resources and the Greater Israel Project

In the case of a devastating war on Lebanon, with a civil war intact, Israel would surely attempt to take control over Lebanon’s natural resources. Since Trump got in the White House, Israel has expanded its Jewish settlements through land seizures throughout Palestine at unprecedented levels and with the occupation of the Golan Heights (a Syrian territory), they already control a portion of oil, gas and vital water supplies. Lebanon would be a huge bonus. In 2013, Lebanese Energy Minister Gebran Bassilestimated that Lebanon has around 96 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves and 865 million barrels of oil offshore. With Lebanon’s political chaos and Israel preparing for a long-term war with Hezbollah, all leads to Israel Shahak’s ‘The Zionist Plan for the Middle East’ which states the intended goal for the fragmentation of Lebanon and other adversaries in the Middle East:

3) This is not a new idea, nor does it surface for the first time in Zionist strategic thinking. Indeed, fragmenting all Arab states into smaller units has been a recurrent theme. This theme has been documented on a very modest scale in the AAUG publication, Israel’s Sacred Terrorism (1980), by Livia Rokach. Based on the memoirs of Moshe Sharett, former Prime Minister of Israel, Rokach’s study documents, in convincing detail, the Zionist plan as it applies to Lebanon and as it was prepared in the mid-fifties.

4) The first massive Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1978 bore this plan out to the minutest detail. The second and more barbaric and encompassing Israeli invasion of Lebanon on June 6, 1982, aims to effect certain parts of this plan which hopes to see not only Lebanon, but Syria and Jordan as well, in fragments. This ought to make mockery of Israeli public claims regarding their desire for a strong and independent Lebanese central government. More accurately, they want a Lebanese central government that sanctions their regional imperialist designs by signing a peace treaty with them. They also seek acquiescence in their designs by the Syrian, Iraqi, Jordanian and other Arab governments as well as by the Palestinian people. What they want and what they are planning for is not an Arab world, but a world of Arab fragments that is ready to succumb to Israeli hegemony. Hence, Oded Yinon in his essay, “A Strategy for Israel in the 1980’s,” talks about “far-reaching opportunities for the first time since 1967” that are created by the “very stormy situation [that] surrounds Israel” 

Israel is gearing up for a long and devastating war against Hezbollah, an Iranian-ally who is . based in Lebanon’s southern region to deter Israel’s expansionist ideas. As Saudi Arabia (Israel’s closest ally in the region) continues its immoral and devastating war on Yemen, it is raising tensions with Iran. According to Thomas L. Freidman’s article ‘Saudi Arabia’s Arab Spring, At Last’ praising who he calls “M.B.S.” or Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman for his reformist policies. According to Friedman 

“Iran’s “supreme leader is the new Hitler of the Middle East,” said M.B.S. “But we learned from Europe that appeasement doesn’t work. We don’t want the new Hitler in Iran to repeat what happened in Europe in the Middle East.”

The Trump administration’s continued support of the Saudi Monarchy which negotiated an arms deal worth billions to take place has only emboldened the Saudi government to take an aggressive stand towards its adversaries in the Middle East namely, Iran.

Lebanon Prepares for Another War

On November 21st, Reuters’ published an article titled ‘Lebanon army chief warns of Israel threat amid political crisis’based on Lebanon’s Army Chief warning his troops to be on high alert concerning Israel’s aggressive behavior along the Southern border. It was reported that 

“Lebanon’s army chief told his soldiers on Tuesday to be extra vigilant to prevent unrest during political turmoil after the prime minister quit, and accused Israel of “aggressive” intentions across the southern frontier” despite Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s return to Lebanon and decided to put his resignation on hold.

Commander-General-Joseph-Aoun (Source: The National)

The army’s Twitter account quoted the Lebanese Army’s Commander General Joseph Aoun who said that

“Troops should be ready to “thwart any attempt to exploit the current circumstances for stirring strife” and that “the exceptional political situation that Lebanon is going through requires you to exercise the highest levels of awareness.”

Israel understands that a defeat against Hezbollah and the Lebanese military will be absolutely difficult to accomplish, therefore preparations to engage the Hezbollah this time will be an effort to create as much damage as possible and reduce their military capabilities, maybe in time for U.S. troops to enter the war through Syria and coordinate targets with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). As I mentioned earlier, and may I add, with an interesting choice of words, a report published by Reuters on November 24th suggests that the Pentagon might announce how many troops they have in Syria:

Two U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the Pentagon could, as early as Monday, publicly announce that there are slightly more than 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria. They said there was always a possibility that last minute changes in schedules could delay an announcement. That is not an increase in troop numbers, just a more accurate count, as the numbers often fluctuate

A War That No One Will Win 

The Council of Foreign Relations (CFR), an establishment think-tank based in New York City published an article on July 30th of this year by Neocon warmonger Eliot Abrams who was a deputy assistant and deputy national security adviser for President George W. Bush titled ‘The Next Israel-Hezbollah Conflict’ admits that “the next war is a war that will not be “won” by Israel or Hezbollah.” Abrams said that “Israel’s realistic war aims will not match the damage it will suffer—and the damage it will necessarily inflict” in reference to a strategic assessment ‘by Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies titled ‘Political and Military Contours of the Next Conflict with Hezbollah’ by Gideon Sa’ar, an Israeli politician and a former Likud member of the Knesset and Ron Tira, a strategist, Israeli Air Force officer and a pilot highlights what Israel’s realistic goals should be:

Israel’s objectives in a future conflict will be derived first and foremost from what it wants to achieve in the distinct context (such as, for example, preventing Hezbollah’s buildup of certain qualitative edge capabilities or preventing deployment of high quality Iranian weapon systems in Syria), but a review of the fundamental data reveals a few “generic” objectives that could be applicable in many contexts: postponing the following conflict, shaping the rules for the routine times that will follow the conflict, increasing deterrence with respect to Hezbollah and third parties, undermining the attractiveness of Hezbollah’s war paradigm (use of rockets and missiles hidden among the civilian population), preserving Israel’s relations with its allies, and creating the conditions to reduce Iranian involvement in the post-war reconstruction of Lebanon, as well as imposing new and enforceable restrictions on the freedom of access of the Iran-Alawite-Hezbollah axis

The strategic assessment mentioned what realistic goals Israel can achieve when the conflict takes place according to the assessment:

There is only a limited range of “positive” and achievable objectives that Israel can hope to attain from Hezbollah and from Lebanon. While the purpose of an armed conflict is always political, in many contexts it is hard to find a political objective that is both meaningful and achievable at a reasonable cost, and that is the reason for the basic lack of value that can be found in an Israel- Hezbollah military conflict 

The reason according to Mr. Abrams’s conclusion that an Israeli defeat over Hezbollah is impossible is because of Russia’s presence in the region:

That’s because Russia cannot be expelled, Lebanon will remain roughly half-Shia, and Hezbollah will survive—as will its relationship with Iran. After the war, the best assumption would be that Hezbollah will rebuild, as it did after 2006. But Hezbollah would achieve nothing positive in such a conflict, suffering immense damage and bringing immense destruction upon Lebanon. Its only possible “gain” is the damage it would inflict on Israel. In a way this is the only “good news”

Israel’s Economy During Wartime

David Rosenberg’s opinion piece ‘Israel’s Next War: We Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet’ on the 2014 Israel-Gaza Conflict in the Israel-based news source Haaretz explains the consequences of war and how it effects Israel’s economy. Rosenberg said that

 “In 2014, the missile war wasn’t a threat so much as a spectacle, as Israelis watched Iron Dome missiles bring down Qassam rockets, to applause. Score one for the home team.”

However, Rosenberg claims that the next war with Hezbollah will be different, in fact it will effect Israel’s economy in several ways:

The next war isn’t going to look like that. The round figure everyone uses for Hezbollah’s missile arsenal is 100,000. That is a suspiciously round figure and is probably wrong, but no one disputes that the Shiite militia is well-armed, and more importantly, many of its missiles carry much more powerful warheads and are much more accurate than they were in 2006. Hezbollah’s arsenal includes attack drones and coast-to-sea missiles, too. For its part, Israel is also better prepared. Iron Dome, which is designed to bring down short-range rockets, has been complemented by the introduction of the David’s Sling and Arrow systems, designed to intercept long-range rockets and ballistic missiles, respectively. 

But against an onslaught of thousands of missiles, no Domes, Slings or Arrows will be able to provide the kind of defense Israelis have grown used to. Israel’s infrastructure and economic activity are vulnerable to even a limited missile attack from Hezbollah. Geographically, Israel is a small country with no hinterland, which means facilities for electric power and water are concentrated in small areas. More than a quarter of electric power is generated at just two sites. Natural gas is produced at a single offshore field and delivered via a single pipeline. A large portion of our exports derive from a single industrial plant. A prolonged missile war will almost certainly bring business to a halt

Israel’s economy will shrink within a short-time period according to Rosenberg:

In the worst-case scenario, a post-war Israel would no longer be seen by global investors and businesses as a safe place to put their money and do deals. Imagine Startup Nation without the constant flow of cross-border capital and mergers and acquisitions. The fantasyland of the last 11 years would disappear in a matter of days or weeks

Rosenberg is correct. For example, during the 2014 Israel-Gaza Conflict, Israel was faced with economic uncertainties. The Times of Israel published an article during the conflict with an appropriate title ‘War depresses people, economy; strong shekel harmful’ clarified what experts said on how the economy would be effected during a “drawn-out” conflict:

Experts temper the pessimism by noting that in the past, the Israeli economy has been resilient. If the current conflict is resolved quickly, there may be little cause for concern. On the other hand, a drawn out conflict in Gaza may cause investors to worry about the country’s stability and could cause long term damage to Israel’s reputation and position as a key player in the global economy. 

“Our key concerns are the openness of the Israeli economy and our ability to be a key player in the global markets,” Zvi Eckstein, former deputy governor of the Bank of Israel and dean of the School of Economics at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, noted in an interview with The Times of Israel. “It’s really still a key uncertainty how the conflict will end up,” said Eckstein. “Most people predict we will get back to the same relatively stable geopolitical situation as we were in early July, and if so, I would say the economy would rebound back later next year. But if not, the threat to Israel’s economy would be quite devastating”

That conflict was against a weaker adversary, Hamas. For starters, a war with Hezbollah, Lebanon and Syria however would have a negative impact on Israel’s tourism industry where it receives more than 3 million tourists (mainly from the U.S. and Europe) per year. Israel’s level of production will also take a hit. The Street published an interesting article ‘How Is Israel’s Economy Affected by the Current War?’ explains what happened to Israel’s economy during the 2014 Israel-Gaza Conflict:

The Israeli economy suffers directly from reductions in productivity every time missile alert sirens send the country’s residents into bomb shelters. The economic costs of the war are estimated upwards of $2.9 billion, and already the war has soaked up 1.2% of the GDP. In the event that quiet prevails after a ceasefire is reached, the Israeli economy is resilient enough to withstand the costs of this operation.

History reflects that the Israeli economy surged at a rate of 6% prior to the 2006 Lebanon war and then slowed down to 2.9% prior to this current conflict. The tourism sector is going to be particularly hard hit, and if a third intifada ensues the economic costs for Israel could be crippling. Since a big chunk of Israel’s workforce is enlisted in the IDF, productivity declines are widespread and costs are mounting. The IMA (Israel Manufacturers Association) has already listed a figure of $240 million in losses as a result of the war effort

Another War, Another Tragedy

Related image

Israel, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. want to permanently eliminate the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah alliance and to achieve that goal, Lebanon will have to become another Libya causing more chaos in an already volatile situation. The only beneficiaries in this coming war is Israel and the U.S. if of course, they are victorious. The U.S. and their allies would re-establish themselves as the hegemonic power in the Middle East with absolute control over the natural resources including oil, gas and water. Israel would also expand and conquer more territory for Greater Israel. Saudi Arabia would remain a vassal state with more political leverage over its neighbors.

And if Saudi Arabia foolishly decided to go to war with Iran, the House of Saud will inevitably collapse since Iran is much more stronger, militarily speaking. Washington plans to keep its military presence in Syria is a signal that removing Assad from power is still on the agenda. Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Trump administration (decertifying the Iran Nuclear Deal with the intention to eventually kill the deal) is a recipe for a planned long-term conflict. Israel’s economy would suffer a major setback if they were to launch an attack against Hezbollah. Besides the fact that a war against Hezbollah would mean that missiles would constantly strike within Israel, creating a massive amount of stress on Israeli citizens and a downturn of the economy would only add another dimension to the wide-reaching full-scale war. Israel hopes that Hezbollah will be temporally neutralized until the U.S. congress and the Trump Administration jointly approve another military and economic aid package worth billions in time to continue its wars. Then there is the possibility of a joint U.S., Saudi Arabia and Israeli orchestrated attack on Syria to remove Assad from power to ultimately isolate Iran, but with Russia and China backing Iran, it would be a no-win situation.  The biggest loser in all of its foreign policy blunders is the U.S. Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Israel’s plan to launch more aggressive wars against its neighbors to further an expansionist objective would come at a great cost to Israeli citizens as their economy sinks into the rabbit hole and with the threat of incoming missiles from southern Lebanon makes it that much more worst. Lebanon and to an extent Israel will be once again devastated by a new war. For both sides of the border, it is a formula for disastrous consequences.

This article was originally published by Silent Crow News.

Featured image is from the author.

What US News Reports on Syria’s War Hide

What US News Reports on Syria’s War Hide

EDITOR’S CHOICE | 11.02.2018

Eric ZUESSE

What’s being hidden from the public by the U.S. news-media’s reports on Syria’s war is that, ever since 2012, the U.S. Government has been trying to overthrow Syria’s Government by supporting, training and arming, in Syria, the many jihadist groups who were being led by Al Qaeda in Syria — jihadist groups which unanimously accept Al Qaeda’s leadership there. Without Al Qaeda in Syria, the U.S. effort to overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad (who was elected in 2014 to a new Presidential term in an internationally monitored democratic election, winning 89% of the vote) wouldn’t have come anywhere close to succeeding; but, with Al Qaeda’s help, it almost did succeed. America, even as late as late 2016, was demanding Russia to stop its bombing of Al Qaeda and of their allied jihadist groups in Syria, but Russia refused; this was a major hang-up in the years-long Kerry-Lavrov (U.S.-Russia) negotiations for a ceasefire in Syria. Kerry couldn’t get President Obama to go along with Russia’s (Putin’s) insistence upon continued bombing both of ISIS and of Al Qaeda; Obama insisted: No bombing of Al Qaeda.

More recently, after the effort to overthrow Syria’s Government failed during 2016, the U.S. goal (since nearly the very end of Obama’s Administration) has become assisting Kurds in Syria’s northeast who want to establish there a Kurdistan, which would be beholden to Washington and would cooperate with U.S. oil companies and their contractors such as Halliburton to extract Syria’s oil and to construct pipelines for both oil and gas from mainly three U.S. allies — Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Qatar — into the world’s largest energy-market, the EU, to enable the U.S. and those fundamentalist-Sunni allies to displace Russia from that market, where Russia currently is the largest energy-supplier.

This hiding, which is done in order to block the public’s understanding of what’s going on, is well-exemplified in the slick February 9th front-page New York Times headline news-report, titled “It’s Hard to Believe, but Syria’s War Is Getting Even Worse,” which is headlined online as instead “Far From Winding Down, Syria’s War Escalates on Multiple Fronts”. This half-fictional potboiler opens like any war-potbiler generally does, not by explaining anything, but instead with the typical slick-journalism device, of an anecdote (the bloodier and more-obviously outrageous, the better, in order to whip-up the interest and attention of the gullible mass of readers), “Half a dozen newborns, blinking and arching their backs, were carried from a burning hospital hit by airstrikes. A bombed apartment house collapsed, burying families.” Anyone will, of course, have sympathy for babies, and their families, in a hospital that gets hit by a bomb in a war. Everything that follows this slick opening is designed to anger readers against Syria’s Government — that being the propagandistic objective of virtually all U.S. ‘news’-coverage of this war.

The article leaves the reader totally confused as to why what is happening is happening. But it’s accompanied by yet another article, “Why Is the Syrian War Still Raging?” That piece says, “Each of the major conflicts has its own underlying logic that sustains the fighting” and then it goes on to consider, in turn, what it identifies as “the major conflicts,” which it alleges to be the following three (as being answers to consider, for the article’s title-question, “Why Is the Syrian War Still Raging?” — which means why the war is still raging, even after ISIS in Syria has been defeated and when the task that everyone had been expecting to remain now would be to kill the few ISIS and the other jihadists who still are there, and then to restore the country fully to peace without any jihadists):

“1. Assad versus rebels”

“2. The battle against ISIS”

“3. Turkey versus the Kurds”

They ignore altogether the actual reason “Why Is the Syrian War Still Raging?”:

“4. U.S. versus Syria”

That’s what the Times leaves out — hides.

The U.S. went into Syria lying to say that its main goal was to eliminate ISIS there, but didn’t do anything to ISIS in Syria, until after Russia was invited into the war on 30 September 2015 and promptly started to bomb the oil-tanker-trucks that were carrying Syrian oil from ISIS-controlled areas into Turkey for export and income to ISIS (and Turkey). America had been committed ever since 2012 to overthrow Syria’s Government, but now (under Trump) it’s trying to break up Syria and to steal its oil and at least enough of its territory, so as to destroy Syria even further, and to cripple Russia in its main foreign market.

However, this isn’t a criticism of the New York Times especially, but of all ‘news’reporting in the U.S. and its allied countries. For example, the BBC did a one-year retrospective on the first anniversary of Russia’s 30 September 2015 start of its bombing of what the U.S. regime calls ‘the rebels’ in Syria, and, under the headline “Syria war: How Moscow’s bombing campaign has paid off for Putin” quoted a supposed reliable authority as saying, “Moscow had sought to steadily destroy the moderate Syrian opposition on the battlefield, leaving only jihadist forces in play, and lock the US into a political framework of negotiations that would serve beyond the shelf-life of this administration.” This is basically upside-down: The myth that there had been any substantial non-jihadist or “moderate” Syrian opposition, and that Washington’s operation in Syria relies upon such “moderates,” is an essential lie, in which all of the mainstream, and well over 90% of the “alternative news” media, must participate, if they’re to be allowed to continue. Billionaires have lots of clout. There’s talk about “manufactured consent,” and this is the way it is “manufactured.” It is manufactured by incessant lying, not only by the Government, but by the press.

A good rule is to distrust everything you read, and to click onto at least a sampling  of its sources and examine them yourself to see whether they support the allegations that they allegedly support; and to evaluate whether those sources are themselves trustworthy — and to ignore any ‘news’medium that doesn’t link to its sources (doesn’t conveniently let you check out its truth or falsehood), which includes especially TV, radio, and print media. Only online news can even qualify to be considered by an intelligent reader; but if it’s online print, like for example the New York Times, then it can be taken only on trust, which certainly isn’t earned by any record of carefulness to report the truth and only the truth. This is why I always link to my sources, either directly, or via articles that do link directly to them but that additionally place them into their essential context so that they can be accurately understood.

No news-report can be any more reliable than its sources are. Most ‘news’ is sourced to propagandists. The key thing for any educational system is to teach people how to be intelligently skeptical of everything; but no regime wants such an educational system. Honest news-coverage is therefore rare. Any assumption that it’s not rare is blatantly false.

As George Monbiot, the Guardian columnist, said in an extraordinary burst of honesty:

“I work in a profoundly corrupt industry, and I hate it. … There are some really great journalists out there, but they live in a country under occupation — that’s how it feels. The industry is a really hostile place for good journalism, for journalism which seeks to hold power to account, which in my view is what journalism is all about — that’s the point of it. .. [But the reality of journalism is] it’s about actually reinforcing the messages of power … persuading people that what the billionaires want is what the rest of us should want”

What has changed after the fall of the Israeli warplane? ما الذي تغيّر مع إسقاط الطائرة «الإسرائيلية»؟

What has changed after the fall of the Israeli warplane? 

Written by Nasser Kandil,

The possibility of war will not be put aside after the dropping of the Israeli warplane by the Syrian air defense, on the contrary, it becomes a need for Israel after the prestige of its air defense has been affected and after its deterrence ability which it tried to restore has been eroded, and it becomes in need of more deliberation in the face of the complexities of every setback that affects the image of the Israeli strength, So how if the setback has affected the pillar of the Israeli force on which the decision of war is built ,and what is represented by the air defense and in particular  F16 on that basis?

Neither Syria nor the axis of the resistance is in need to exaggerate in reading the results to the extent of controversy, but just to read the results and the variables accompanied such of that event accepted by the Israelis and the Americans. What has happened is important, and it will leave its impacts on the balances of the regional forces, the Israeli deterrence ability, the image of the Israeli army, and the air defense which it boasts of, since it is the destination of the Gulf governments as a protector and a reliable partner in confronting Iran and its allies, so due to this strength Israel became the most important ally of America in the region.

This explains how Israel inserted the Iranian involvement in what has happened and made it a title of the confrontation in order to escape from the recognition of the strength of Syria and its capabilities, and in order to avoid the inconvenience of Russia and its withdrawal from any truce, knowing that it was more reasonable to behold Russia this involvement, if the required was to create a bigger enemy than Syria to maintain the image of Israel which has been affected.

What is more important is that it is the announcement that Syria has completed the reconstruction of its air defense system. This was already announced by its foreign minister with the start of the Turkish military operation in the northern of Syria in written official statement. But due to the arrogance of Israel, it ignored to read its content. So Syria which bore a lot from the Israeli persistence through the belittlement of its capacity, army and the violation of its sovereignty repeatedly would not dare to do so if it did not complete the structure and its air defense system, especially because it ended the first stage of this task a year ago, and made its airspace prohibited in front of the Israeli aviation, now it enters the stage of banning targeting its territories from the Lebanese airspace.

Because the war is the cleverness of choosing time, so it is important to understand the meaning of the confrontation between the Syrian and the Israeli timing at a moment where both of them needs to record a crucial point. During this month Syria was exposed to escalating pressures in order to create a situation that imposes a negotiating project proposed by America under the title of the document of five; by freezing the military project of the Syrian army by regaining the Syrian geography relatively, and encouraging the share of influence among the international and regional partners on the Syrian territories, and by abolishing the project of the Syrian country and turns it into a group of autonomous areas and cantons under a long UN mandate authority. It is a project that meets the American and the Kurdish interests, as well Israel and its border line under the control of Al Nusra, Turkey and its northern canton, and Saudi Arabia and its canton in Ghouta, in addition to the common interests of everyone to disrupt the formation of a Syrian country as a partner of the resistance axis, since it forms a different international and regional challenge at the level of the balances of forces.

The Turkish strikes in the northern of Syria and the entry of the Turkish army onto more than the Syrian territories have been coincided with the escalation of the American positions about forming Syrian forces affiliated to Washington, and with painful strikes that targeted the popular military structures of Syria, as well as with accelerated Israeli military escalation that becomes wider gradually. The Russian bases were exposed to attacks that exceed the ability of the armed groups followed by the dropping of the Russian aircraft with traditionally unavailable weapons. While media and diplomatic focus targets the Syrian country and accuses it of using the chemical weapons, Russia has been exposed to more pressures under this title, in order to get Syria out as a main capable partner in the political process. This is accompanied with media and diplomatic focus on the Iranian presence and the weapons of Hezbollah as a direct objective that must be neutralized, according to the positions of the senior American and Israeli officials.

This interconnected series of the escalated events which showed the accuracy of the Israeli timing and its need to record a decisive point of superiority was a chance for Syria after the completion of its air defense system to strike the most powerful force represented by the Israeli air force defense and the status of F16. It became clear that each of Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah is targeted, because what is going on is a prelude to grasp the gains achieved by this alliance in Syria in the years after the understanding on the Iranian nuclear program. The progress of the Syrian state in its air defenses by representing the alliance which fought and won in many of the battles of the region is the best response which infects the last opportunities of the opposite alliance for changing the rules of engagement and grabbing the lead.

The dropping of the Israeli warplane by the Syrian air defenses imposed narrow margins in front of the opponents of Syria and its allies, so either to accept the calming and what it imposes of new rules or to proceed in escalation and what it poses of unguaranteed consequences in the most difficult circumstances. It is clear that the alliance of Washington and Tel Aviv and Turkey and Saudi Arabia implicitly has been confused. What will happen if the Americans repeat the raids of the northern of Deir Al Zour, and will their planes expose to missiles? Can the Turks ignore what will happen if their planes entered the Syrian airspace and ignored the Syrian warning? What will Israel do? And what will Saudi Arabia and Turkey do in front of the progress of the Syrian army through its military operations in Idlib and Gouta?

What is the most important is that the mechanism of war industry in Israel as a central strength among its allies has been affected seriously. The public opinion as a decisive partner in this mechanism depends on two basic elements, that despite everything that has affected the deterrence ability of the occupation army, it still has the air defense which no one can confront and challenge it. Second, its government is based on international relationships that make its considerations very accurate with guarantees start with Washington and end with Moscow, so that makes the hypothesis of testing the Israeli capability out of debate, but these two elements have been affected  deeply .

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

ما الذي تغيّر مع إسقاط الطائرة «الإسرائيلية»؟

فبراير 12, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– لن يصير احتمال الحرب خارج التداول بعد إسقاط الدفاعات الجوية السورية للطائرة «الإسرائيلية»، فهو بالقدر ذاته يصير حاجة أكبر لـ«إسرائيل» كلما أصيبت مهابة قوتها العسكرية وتآكلت قدرة الردع التي تستند إليها وتسعى لترميمها، خصوصاً مع المكانة الحاسمة لسلاح الجو فيها، كما يصير بحاجة لحسابات أكثر وتروٍّ أكثر، وتتزايد بوجهه التعقيدات أكثر مع كل نكسة تصيب صورة القوة «الإسرائيلية»، فكيف عندما تكون النكسة قد أصابت عماد القوة «الإسرائيلية» التي يُبنى عليها قرار الحرب، وما يمثله سلاح الجو والـ»إف 16» على هذا الصعيد؟

– لا تحتاج سورية ولا محور المقاومة للمبالغة بقراءة النتائج ورفع مستواها ليصير التقييم موضع جدل، بل يمكنهما الاكتفاء في قراءة النتائج والمتغيرات التي أدخلها حدث بهذا الحجم، بحدود القراءة التي يرتضيها «الإسرائيليون» والأميركيون، والانطلاق منها، فما جرى كبير جداً وسيترك آثاره على موازين القوى الإقليمية، وقدرة الردع «الإسرائيلية»، وصورة الجيش «الإسرائيلي» وسلاح الجو الذي يتباهى بكونه سيد أجواء المنطقة، وتحت هذا العنوان تحتل «إسرائيل» صفة تتيح لها أن تكون وجهة آمال حكومات الخليج كحامٍ لها وكشريك يُعتمد عليه في مواجهة إيران وحلفائها. وبهذه الصفة المستندة لقوة مهابة سلاح الجو تحتل «إسرائيل» أيضاً صفة الحليف الأهم لأميركا في المنطقة.

– هذا ما يفسّر رفع «إسرائيل» لدرجة الشراكة الإيرانية في ما حدث وجعلها عنوان المواجهة، تهرّباً من الاعتراف لسورية بقوتها ومقدراتها، وتفادياً لإزعاج روسيا ودفعها للانسحاب من أي دور في التهدئة، علماً أن الأقرب هو تحميل روسيا نسبة أكبر إذا كان المطلوب تصنيع عدو أكبر من الدولة السورية للحفاظ على صورة «إسرائيل» التي أصابها الاهتزاز.

– المهم في ما جرى هو أنه إعلان عن أن سورية أتمّت إعادة بناء منظومتها للدفاع الجوي، وهو ما سبق وأعلنه نائب وزير خارجيتها مع بدء العملية العسكرية التركية في شمال سورية ببيان رسمي مكتوب، تجاهلت «إسرائيل» بسبب غطرستها قراءة مضمونه جيداً، ولولا ذلك لما غامرت سورية التي تحمّلت الكثير من التمادي «الإسرائيلي» بالاستخفاف بقدرتها وجيشها، وبانتهاك سيادتها مراراً، فكما تحمّلت سورية سنوات كانت لتتحمل شهوراً، لو لم تكن قد أتمت هيكلة وترتيب دفاعها الجوي بما يتيح بعد هذا التحوّل الميداني التصدي لما هو لاحق، خصوصاً أنها قبل عام كانت قد أنهت المرحلة الأولى من هذه المهمة وجعلت أجواءها محرّمة على الطيران «الإسرائيلي»، وتدخل الآن مرحلة تحريم استهداف أراضيها من الأجواء اللبنانية.

– لأن الحرب هي ذكاء التوقيت، فإن من المهم قراءة معنى التوقيت، بمواجهة بين حسابين متقابلين لتوقيتين، توقيت سوري وتوقيت «إسرائيلي»، في لحظة يحتاج كل منهما فيها لتسجيل نقطة حاسمة في السابق. فخلال شهر تعرّضت سورية لضغوط تصاعدية، لخلق مناخ يتيح فرض مشروع تفاوضي يحمله الأميركي، تحت عنوان وثيقة الخمسة، لتجميد المشروع العسكري للجيش السوري باسترداد الجغرافيا السورية تباعاً، وارتضاء تقاسم نفوذ بين الشركاء الدوليين والإقليميين في الوجود فوق الأراضي السورية، وصولاً لإلغاء مشروع الدولة السورية وتحويلها مجموعة مناطق حكم ذاتي وكانتونات، يجمعها انتداب أممي طويل. وهو مشروع يلبي مصالح أميركا والدويلة الكردية، و»إسرائيل» وشريطها الحدودي الممنوح لجبهة النصرة، وتركيا والكانتون التابع لها في الشمال، والسعودية وكانتون الغوطة، عدا المصالح المشتركة للجميع بتعطيل مشروع قيام دولة سورية شريك في محور المقاومة لما يشكله من مشهد دولي وإقليمي مختلف على مستوى موازين القوى.

– الضربات التركية شمال سورية ودخول الجيش التركي للمزيد من الأراضي السورية، يتزامن مع تصاعد المواقف الأميركية عن بناء قوى سورية تابعة لواشنطن، ومع ضربات مؤلمة لسورية، تصيب بناها العسكرية الشعبية الموالية للدولة، ويتزامنان مع تصعيد عسكري «إسرائيلي» متسارع، يتوسّع مداه تدريجياً، والقواعد الروسية تتعرّض للهجمات التي تفوق تقنياً قدرة الجماعات المسلحة، ويليها إسقاط طائرة روسية بسلاح غير متوافر تقليدياً للجماعات المسلحة، فيما التركيز الإعلامي والدبلوماسي يستهدف الدولة السورية كمتهم باستخدام السلاح الكيميائي، بلا مقدمات، وتتعرّض روسيا للمزيد من الضغوط تحت هذا العنوان، بهدف إخراج الدولة السورية كشريك رئيسي مؤهل في العملية السياسية، وبالمقابل تركيز إعلامي ودبلوماسي على الحضور الإيراني وسلاح حزب الله كهدف مباشر يجب تحييده، وفقاً لمواقف كبار المسؤولين الأميركيين و»الإسرائيليين».

– بالقدر الذي عبرت فيه هذه السلسلة المترابطة من الأحداث المتصاعدة دقة التوقيت «الإسرائيلي»، وحاجته لتسجيل نقطة تفوق حاسمة، قدّم هذا التصاعد المتسلسل والمتشعّب فرصة التوقيت السوري المتزامن مع استكمال الجهوزية لشبكات الدفاع الجوي لضرب الحلقة الأقوى في السلسلة التي يمثلها سلاح الجو «الإسرائيلي» ومكانة الـ«إف 16» فيه، فقد بات واضحاً أن روسيا مستهدفة وأن إيران مستهدفة وحزب الله مستهدف، وأن ما يجري مقدمة لنزع المكاسب التي حققها هذا الحلف في سورية في سنوات ما بعد التفاهم على الملف النووي الإيراني، وأن تقدّم الدولة السورية بدفاعاتها الجوية كرأس حربة لكل الحلف الذي قاتل وانتصر في الكثير من معارك المنطقة وسورية، هو الردّ الأمثل الذي يتكفّل بكسر السلسلة التي تشكل آخر فرص الحلف المقابل لتغيير قواعد الاشتباك، وانتزاع زمام المبادرة.

– إسقاط الطائرة «الإسرائيلية» بالدفاعات الجوية السورية، فرض هوامش ضيقة جداً أمام حلف خصوم سورية وحلفائها، فإما تُقبل التهدئة وما تعنيه من فرض قواعد جديدة، أو المضي بالتصعيد وما يطرحه من مخاطر حرب غير مضمونة النتائج وفي ظروف أشدّ صعوبة، والواضح أن حلف واشنطن وتل أبيب وضمناً تركيا والسعودية، قد ارتبك. فما الذي سيجري إذا كرر الأميركيون غارات شمال دير الزور، وهل ستتعرّض طائراتهم للصواريخ؟ وهل يستطيع الأتراك تجاهل ما قد يحدث إذا دخلت طائراتهم الأجواء السورية وتجاهلت التحذير السوري؟ وإسرائيل نفسها ماذا عساها تفعل؟ وماذا ستفعل السعودية وتركيا تجاه مضي الجيش السوري في عمليات التطهير والتقدم في إدلب والغوطة؟

– الأهم، هو أن آلية صناعة الحرب في «إسرائيل» كقوة مركزية بين حلفائها تلقت إصابة بالغة يصعب ترميمها، فالرأي العام كشريك حاسم في هذه الآلية، ينطلق من ثقتين مركزيتين، واحدة بأنه رغم كل ما أصاب قدرة الردع لجيش الاحتلال فلا يزال يملك سلاح الجو الذي لا يمكن لأحد مواجهته والحد من تفرده في أجواء المنطقة، والثانية بأن حكومته مستندة بقوة لعلاقات دولية تجعل حساباتها شديدة الدقة، محاطة بضمانات تبدأ بواشنطن وتنتهي بموسكو تجعل فرضية التجرؤ على اختبار القدرة «الإسرائيلية» خارج النقاش، وقد أصيبت كلٌّ من هاتين الثقتين في الصميم.

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Americans to Lebanese: Give Up Half Your Right Before Negotiating!

Firas Al-Shoufi

10-02-2018 | 09:19

Once again, Washington wants to convince the Lebanese that it is an “honest mediator” between them and their enemy, which also happens to be the US’s closest ally. It offers them [the Lebanese] negotiations through the US. The ceiling of those negotiations requires the Lebanese to give up half of their maritime rights to waters that the enemy wants to put its hands on.

US Lebanon

US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Satterfield’s visit to Beirut and the planned visit by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to the Lebanese capital this month were only part of an integrated scene that began with the visit of Prime Minister Saad Hariri to the White House and his meeting with President Donald Trump last July.

According to ministerial sources monitoring the issue, Hariri made to understand from the Americans that the dossier of the maritime and land border dispute between Lebanon and “Israel” falls under the aegis of the US president’s adviser, son-in-law and businessman Jared Kushner.

It is no coincidence that Trump and the US administration have handed over a dossier of this importance to the president’s son-in-law – the Godfather of the “Deal of the Century” or the deal to terminate the Palestinian cause and replace Al-Quds [Jerusalem] with Abu Dis, while closing the refugee dossier. All this is in preparation for the signing of the Arab-Israeli peace agreement starting from Saudi Arabia and stretching beyond the Gulf.

According to the information, the Americans have since raised with Hariri the issue of the so-called “disputed points” between Lebanon and the occupying entity, on land and sea, and the willingness of the United States to act as a mediator to resolve outstanding issues and “help Lebanon extract oil”.

Hariri returned to Beirut and conveyed what he heard to those concerned, adding that “the relationship with Kushner is positive, and there are serious promises to help Lebanon”. The relationship between the two men has already developed due to efforts of Lebanese mediators in Washington. Without a doubt, Hariri’s detention in Saudi Arabia has brought him closer to the Americans, and he enjoys the cover that the US administration provides, as he is “an important partner for stability in Lebanon.”

However, talk of “American mediation” did not resonate well in Beirut. Based on decades of experience, the concerned Lebanese parties do not see a “fair” mediator in the Americans.

“The American mediations were only in the interest of “Israel” and at the expense of America’s Arab allies.” It is interesting to note, however, that the Americans do not pay much attention to the “disputed points” on land as much as they are concerned with the problem of determining the boundaries of Lebanon’s exclusive economic zone and maritime borders that delineate oil and gas fields.

Satterfield explained this logic during his meetings with Lebanese officials in the past two days, emphasizing “the need not to worry about land points and pay attention to the maritime dispute.” He stressed that his country had officially informed “Israel” that the “border wall” should not be built in the disputed points with Lebanon.

In addition to Satterfield’s thinly veiled threats to the Lebanese of the possibility of “Israel’s” sudden bombardment of Lebanese sites, the American visitor focused on marketing the role of the United States in mediating between Lebanon and “Israel” to resolve the maritime dispute. According to the information, the “Israeli” entity even retreated from the so-called “Hoff Line”, the line that Ambassador Frederick Hoff worked to demarcate the Lebanese-Palestinian border. The “Hoff Line” gives Lebanon back about 550 square kilometers from the 860 square kilometers, separated by the points of dispute between Lebanon and the “Israeli” entity. These points are the so-called Lebanese Point 23 and the “Israeli” Point 1. The Israeli withdrawal from the Hoff Line means that the ceiling of the negotiations will see the Americans offer Lebanon the ability to define the line itself, especially since Satterfield spoke to Lebanese officials about the Hoff line as a “fair solution”. The acceptance by the Lebanese side of the “American offer” ahead of any negotiations, will lead to the loss of about half of the maritime area claimed by the enemy. The negotiation will be on the remaining Lebanese right under the pretext of “expediting the removal of the obstacles that prevent us from benefiting from oil and gas wealth.”

Although Satterfield tried to reassure the Lebanese that the role of the United States would not be at the expense of Lebanon, the impressions he left confirms that he wants to pressure Lebanon to give up this maritime area that the Lebanese are holding on to.

While the Lebanese officials stated a clear position on holding on to every inch of Lebanon’s area – land and sea – there are still differences of opinion regarding American mediation. There were those who emphasize the need to stick to the work of the UN-sponsored tripartite committee between the Lebanese and the enemy’s armies and to confine discussions within the committee. But there are those who advocate accepting and dealing with American mediation since the US role will be a guarantor of Lebanese rights based on Kushner’s promises to Hariri. For its part, ministerial sources said that “Kushner is now sidelined from a lot of dossiers within the US administration, but what is the problem in American mediation? If they presented us with an unconvincing offer, we can simply reject it.”

On the evening of February 8, Satterfield visited the President of the Republic Michele Aoun at Baabda Palace after touring the southern border with the General Director of the Lebanese General Security Major General Abbas Ibrahim and the Commander of the International Emergency Forces in the South of Lebanon [UNIFIL Commander-in-Chief] Michael Perry. They held a meeting at UNIFIL’s headquarters in Naqoura. Satterfield and US Ambassador Elisabeth Richard visited the Armed Forces Commander General Joseph Aoun, who stressed “the Lebanese position that rejects the attempt of this enemy to establish a separation wall that passes through reserved Lebanese territory.” Satterfield and Richard also visited the tomb of Prime Minister Rafic Hariri in central Beirut.

Source: Al-Akhbar, Translated by website team 

لأميركيون للبنانيين: تخلّوا عن نصف حقّكم قبل التــفاوض!

عرّاب «صفقة القرن» يطلّ برأسه على بيروت
ساترفيلد: طلبنا من إسرائيل عدم بناء الجدار في النقاط المتنازع عليها (دالاتي ونهرا)
مرة جديدة، تريد واشنطن إقناع اللبنانيين بأنها «وسيط نزيه» بينهم وبين عدوّهم، حليفها الأوثق. تعرض عليهم التفاوض معه عبرها، وأن يكون سقف التفاوض التخلي عن نصف الحق اللبناني في الحقوق البحرية التي يريد العدو وضع يديه عليها
فراس الشوفي
لم تكن زيارة مساعد وزير الخارجية الأميركي لشؤون الشرق الأوسط ديفيد ساترفيلد إلى بيروت، والزيارة التي من المقرّر أن يقوم بها وزير الخارجية ريكس تيليرسون منتصف الشهر الجاري إلى العاصمة اللبنانية، سوى جزء من مشهد متكامل، بدأ مع زيارة الرئيس سعد الحريري إلى البيت الأبيض ولقائه الرئيس دونالد ترامب في تمّوز الماضي.
فبحسب مصادر وزارية متابعة، سمع الحريري بوضوح من الأميركيين أن ملفّ الصّراع البحري والبري الحدودي بين لبنان وإسرائيل، سيكون في عهدة مستشار الرئيس الأميركي وصهره رجل الأعمال جاريد كوشنير. وليس من قبيل الصّدفة أن يُسلِّم ترامب والإدارة الأميركية ملفّاً بهذه الأهميّة لصهر الرّئيس، وهو عرّاب «صفقة القرن»، أو صفقة إنهاء القضيّة الفلسطينية واستبدال القدس بـ«أبو ديس» وإغلاق ملفّ اللاجئين، تمهيداً لتوقيع اتفاقيات سلام عربية ــــ إسرائيلية، تبدأ من السعودية ولا تنتهي في الخليج.
وبحسب المعلومات، فإن الأميركيين طرحوا مع الحريري منذ ذلك الوقت، مسألة ما يسمّى بـ«النقاط المتنازع عليها» بين لبنان وكيان الاحتلال، في البرّ والبحر، واستعداد الولايات المتّحدة للدخول كوسيط لحلّ الأمور العالقة، و«مساعدة لبنان لاستخراج النفط».
عاد الحريري إلى بيروت ونقل ما سمعه للمعنيين، مع الإضافة أن «العلاقة مع كوشنير إيجابيّة وهناك وعود جديّة بمساعدة لبنان»، وهي علاقة تطوّرت بالفعل بين الرجلين، بجهود وسطاء لبنانيين في واشنطن. وبلا شكّ، ساهم احتجاز الحريري في السعوديّة في تقرّبه أكثر من الأميركيين، وشعوره بالغطاء الذي تؤمّنه له الإدارة الأميركية بوصفه «شريكاً مهمّاً للاستقرار في لبنان».
إلّا أن الحديث عن «وساطة أميركية» لم يلقَ صدىً في بيروت، طالما أن الأطراف اللبنانية المعنيّة لا ترى في الأميركيين وسيطاً «نزيهاً» بناءً على تجربة عمرها عقود طويلة، «حيث لم تصبّ الوساطات الأميركية إلّا في مصلحة إسرائيل، وعلى حساب الدول العربية الحليفة لأميركا». غير أن اللافت أن الأميركيين لا يعيرون اهتماماً كبيراً للنقاط «المتنازع عليها» في البرّ، بقدر ما يهتمون بمشكلة تحديد حدود المنطقة الاقتصادية الخالصة للبنان وبالحدود البحرية التي ترسم حقول النفط والغاز.
هذا المنطق تحدّث به ساترفيلد خلال لقاءاته مع المسؤولين اللبنانيين خلال اليومين الماضيين، لا سيّما لجهة تأكيده «ضرورة عدم القلق من النقاط البريّة والاهتمام بالنزاع البحري»، مشدداً على أن بلاده أبلغت إسرائيل رسمياً بضرورة عدم بناء «الجدار الحدودي» في النقاط المتنازع عليها مع لبنان.
وعدا عن «شبه التهديدات» التي حملها ساترفيلد إلى اللبنانيين من إمكانية قيام إسرائيل بعمليات قصفٍ مفاجئة لمواقع لبنانية، انصبّ اهتمام الزائر الأميركي على تسويق دور الولايات المتّحدة في وساطة بين لبنان وإسرائيل لحلّ النزاع البحري.
 
 وبحسب المعلومات أيضاً، فإن كيان العدوّ، تراجع حتى عمّا يسمّى «خط هوف»، وهو الخطّ الذي عمل عليه السفير فريدريك هوف لترسيم الحدود البحرية اللبنانية ــــ الفلسطينية. و«خطّ هوف» يعيد للبنان حوالي 550 كلم مربعاً من مساحة 860 كلم مربعاً فصلها الاختلاف في النّقاط بين لبنان والكيان الإسرائيلي، بين ما يسمّى بالنقطة 23 اللبنانية والنقطة 1 «الإسرائيلية». التراجع الإسرائيلي عن «خط هوف» يعني أن الأميركيين سيعرضون على لبنان تحديد الخط نفسه كسقف تفاوضي، وخاصة أن ساترفيلد تحدّث أمام مسؤولين لبنانيين عن «خط هوف» بصفته «حلاً منصفاً». وسيؤدي قبول الجانب اللبناني بـ«العرض الأميركي»، وقَبْل بدء أي مفاوضات، إلى خسارة نحو نصف المنطقة البحرية التي يزعم العدو ملكيته لها، والتفاوض على ما تبقى من حق لبناني، بذريعة «الإسراع في إزالة العقبات التي تحول دون استفادتنا من ثروة النفط والغاز».
ومع أن ساترفيلد حاول طمأنة اللبنانيين إلى أن دور الولايات المتّحدة لن يكون على حساب لبنان، إلّا أن الانطباعات التي تركها تؤكّد أنه يريد الضغط على لبنان للتخلّي عن هذه المساحة البحرية التي يتمسّك بها اللبنانيون.
وفيما سجّل المسؤولون اللبنانيون موقفاً واضحاً لناحية التمسّك بكل شبر من مساحة لبنان، البريّة والبحرية، إلّا أن هناك تمايزاً في الآراء إزاء الوساطة الأميركية، بين من يؤكّد على ضرورة التمسّك بعمل اللجنة الثلاثية التي ترعاها الأمم المتّحدة بين الجيش اللبناني وجيش العدوّ وحصر النقاشات ضمن اللجنة، وبين من يسوّق لضرورة القبول بالوساطة الأميركية والتعامل معها، على أساس أن الدور الأميركي سيكون ضمانة للحقوق اللبنانية، بناءً على وعود كوشنير للحريري. من جهتها، قالت مصادر وزارية إن «كوشنير حُيّد عن الكثير من الملفات داخل الإدارة الأميركية الآن، لكن ما المشكلة في وساطة أميركية؟ إذا قدّموا لنا عرضا غير مقنع لا نقبله، بكلّ بساطة».
وقام ساترفيلد مساء أمس بزيارة رئيس الجهمورية ميشال عون في قصر بعبدا، بعد أن جال صباحاً على الحدود الجنوبيّة مع المدير العام للأمن العام اللواء عبّاس إبراهيم وقائد قوات الطوارئ الدولية العاملة في الجنوب مايكل بيري، وعقدوا اجتماعاً في مقرّ القوات الدولية في الناقورة. وزار ساترفيلد في حضور السفيرة اليزابيت ريتشارد قائد الجيش العماد جوزف عون الذي شدّد على «الموقف اللبناني الرافض لمحاولة هذا العدو إنشاء جدار فاصل يمر في أراضٍ متحفظ عليها لبنانياً». كما زار ساترفيلد وريتشارد ضريح الرئيس رفيق الحريري في وسط بيروت.
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منعطف كبير وربما ما خفي أعظم ….اسقاط الطائرات ليس أمرا عابرا

بقلم سامي كليب

حين سألت امين عام حزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله ٣ مرات في مقابلته الأخيرة للعبة الأمم عما إذا كان محور المقاومة قد بات قادرا على إسقاط طائرات إسرائيلية. لامني البعض على تكرار سؤالي …

ربما الرد جاء واضحا اليوم من سوريا أحد اضلع المحور……هذا منعطف كبير وربما ما خفي أعظم ….اسقاط الطائرات ليس أمرا عابرا ..فالمرات القليلة التي ربحت فيها إسرائيل معركة او حربا كان فقط بفضل الطائرات..

انتصر الجيش الإسرائيلي على العرب في حرب ١٩٦٧ بعد تدمير الطائرات المصرية وهي رابضة على الأرض. عادت مصر لتطوير قواتها واتحدت مع سوريا في حرب هزمتا فيها  جيش العدو الإسرائيلي . لا ندري حتى اليوم لماذا استعجل الرئيس أنور السادات الذهاب الى الكنيست؟ ولا ندري اذا كان قد اتفق على ذلك مسبقا قبل الحرب مع أحد أم لا… نغّص فرحة الانتصار، لكنه قُتل.

اجتاحت إسرائيل لبنان وبقيت تصول وتجول فيه بفضل الطائرات. ربطت علاقات وثيقة مع أطراف لبنانية. استخدمت كل بطشها الجوي. لكن حين بدأ المقاومون يخرجون من تحت الركام ويقتلون ضباطها وجنودها، بدأت بخسارة المعركة وهرب معها العملاء . ظنت أنها بضربها عصب المنظمات الفلسطينية والوطنية اللبنانية قد قضت على المقاومة. لكن لم تمض سنوات حتى واجهت مقاومة أشرس وأكثر تدريبا. غارت وجارت بطائراتها. دمرت البيوت والجسور والبنى التحتية. لكنها ، وباعتراف تقرير فينوغراد، خرجت مهزومة من لبنان في العام ٢٠٠٠ ثم، وخصوصا في العام ٢٠٠٦. لا يزال العالم يذكر مجزرة دبابات الميركافا في وادي الحجير اللبناني وهروب الجنود كالفئران وهم يبكون.

دمرت معظم غزة، قتلت وجرحت الآلاف بطائراتها. لكنها عجزت عن تحرير جندي أسير واحد من قبضة المقاومة. صار طفل يحمل حجرا بحاجة اليوم الى ٢٢ جنديا وضابطا للقبض عليه.

يستعجل بعض القوم الانفتاح على”إسرائيل”.

يظنون أن الانفتاح سيسيل أنهار اللبن والعسل. يعتقدون أنه سيحمي الكراسي والعروش. هكذا اعتقد يوما ما الرئيس الموريتاني العقيد معاوية ولد الطايع حين فتح علاقات مع “إسرائيل” لدرء حملات الغرب المنددة بخرق حقوق الانسان او بالعبودية في عهده. لكنه سقط بانقلاب حين كان في السعودية يقدم واجب العزاء بالملك. هكذا اعتقد أيضا العرب حين ذهبوا الى مدريد في العالم ١٩٩١ .

هكذا اعتقدوا أيضا حين قدموا ورودا لإسرائيل في المبادرة العربية للسلام في بيروت في العام ٢٠٠٢. وبين التاريخين كان الفلسطينيون يمنون النفس بالسلام فعقدوا اتفاقيات أوسلو في العام ١٩٩٣. ماذا كات النتيجة؟ كل هذا خدم فقط “إسرائيل”. فاستمرت في الاجتياحات في غزة ولبنان وقتلت الرئيس ياسر عرفات، وضاعفت المستوطنات ٦٠٠ مرة، وأمعنت في تهويد الحجر وشجر التين والرمان والزيتون حين عجزت عن تزوير التاريخ.

تحولت “إسرائيل” في نحو نصف قرن الى قاعدة عسكرية مطوقة بالجدران، اخترعت شعبا مدججا بالسلاح والخوف والحقد. هي قلقة أكثر من أي وقت مضى. تتمسك بخشبة خلاص عربية من خلال أنظمة تعرف هي نفسها أنها غير قادرة على ضبط حركة التاريخ والشارع حتى في داخلها. بينما مصدر قلقها ينمو ويكبر. كانت تحارب حزب الله وبعض المقاومات الأخرى في لبنان، ماذا ستفعل “إسرائيل” لو توصل مهندسو المقاومة الى طريقة لتعطيل الطائرات أو اسقاطها او الوصول الى مفاعلها النووي؟؟؟؟؟ هل تستطيع فعلا القتال على الأرض؟؟؟؟ ربما الأمر ما عاد بعيدا .

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TALKING SYRIA & MEDIA LIES, ON SPUTNIK ORBITING THE WORLD

In Gaza

With hosts George & Gayatri Galloway. Photo via Sputnik on RT Twitter account.

While in the UK giving talks on Syria (and the DPRK/North Korea) last week, I was invited to speak on Sputnik Orbiting the World, the program hosted by George & Gayatri Galloway.

The program description:

Speaking truth to power ought to be the duty of journalism but it is not. Speaking the power’s “truth” is the way to get and keep the gig in today’s media – and if you do so, you’ll be richly rewarded with money and flattery. One of our frequent guests, Patrick Cockburn, had a great journalist father, Claud Cockburn, who said that the relationship of the journalist to power should be that of the dog to the lamp-post. Nothing is true, he’d say, until it has been officially denied. Fortunately, every now and then a journalist emerges who goes where few dare, who speaks what few will speak, without fear or favor. One such journalist is Eva Bartlett, so we invited her into the Sputnik studio to speak truth to power.

Clip:

Extended Interview:

Related Links:

How I startedAbout Me

Writings and videos from/on SyriaIn Gaza

A Personal Reply to the Fact-Challenged Smears of Terrorist-Whitewashing Channel 4, Snopes and La Presse, Jan 20, 2018, In Gaza, *republished at: The Indicter, (in Spanish)

Exploitation of Bana al-Abed: Parents use child to whitewash terrorists in Aleppo, Jul 24, 2017, RT.com

Absurdities of Syrian war propaganda, Nov 2, 2017, RT.com

The REAL Syria Civil Defence, Saving Real Syrians, Not Oscar Winning White Helmets, Saving Al Qaeda, Vanessa Beeley, Apr 2, 2017, 21st Century Wire

Aleppo: How US & Saudi-Backed Rebels Target ‘Every Syrian’, Nov 29, 2016, MintPress News[Excerpt: On the afternoon of Nov. 3, after meeting with Dr. Mohammed Batikh, director of Al-Razi Hospital, the victims of terror attacks which had begun a few hours prior began to arrive one after another, maimed and critically injured. The vehicle bombings and bombardment of Grad missiles, among other attacks, left 18 people dead and more than 200 injured, according to Dr. Zaher Hajo, the head of forensic medicine at Al-Razi Hospital. …According to the hospital’s head forensic medicine, Dr. Hajo, in the last five years, 10,750 civilians have been killed in Aleppo, 40 percent of whom were women and children. In the past year alone, 328 children have been killed by terrorist shelling in Aleppo, and 45 children were killed by terrorist snipers.]

US-Backed Terrorism in Syria: A First-Hand Account of the Use of Mortars Against Civilians, Sep 12, 2014, Global Research

Western corporate media ‘disappears’ over 1.5 million Syrians and 4,000 doctors (Aleppo), Aug 14, 2016, SOTT.net

Syria Dispatch: Most Syrians Support Assad, Reject Phony Foreign ‘Revolution’, Mar 7, 2016, SOTT.net

Syrians Flock to Vote in Lebanon… But Not in The West, May 30, 2014, Inter Press Services

Liberated Homs Residents Challenge Notion of “Revolution”, Jul 8, 2014, Inter Press Services

“Freedom”: Homs resident speaks of the early days of the “crisis”(with video), Jun 24, 2014, In Gaza

Homs: “We wanted to protect our house”, Jun 13, 2014, In Gaza

Morning conversation with a Sunni Damascene woman, Apr 19, 2014, In Gaza [Excerpt: One of my relatives lived in Hama. The “rebels” would knock on the doors of homes there and force them to participate in demonstrations against the “regime.” My relative is an old woman, she said “I don’t want to participate. My legs are weak, I’m an old woman” but the “rebels” said she had to join the demonstration. They would threaten her, “we’ll kill your son, your husband.” They fled Hama soon after, to Lebanon.

Our former housekeeper was from Zamalka, near Jobar (one area where the “rebels” are, and from where they fire mortar shells towards Damascus). Just before the “rebels” took over Zamalka, she fled, but her husband and 30 year old son stayed, to protect their home. Two months after fleeing, she saw on the news that the “rebels” had killed her husband and son by cutting their heads off.

My cousin had a car accident, two of his children died. This was on a Friday. One child died immediately, the second the following day. While they were praying in the mosque, “rebels” came and filmed the caskets and produced a video with the title, “Damascus prayer on the field of freedom of the child martyr Abdul Salam Musa”. My aunt in Germany saw the video and commented “This is a lie, these kids are my relatives and they died in a car accident.”  Here is the video she referred to. As we sit and watch it, she points out her relatives.]

Syrians from Hassaka Speak of the Peaceful Life They Knew, Nov 9, 2014, In Gaza [Excerpt: “We never thought we’d leave Syria, life was good. Everything was cheap, we had security. But we eventually had to…. not because of the government or the Syrian Army, because of the terrorists, mostly al-Nusra then. Now Daesh are there too, but they’re the same anyway.

Before we left, it had gotten to the point where we scarcely had access to water, had little electricity… The terrorists destroyed the power lines. The municipality would repair things and the terrorists would return and destroy them.

Two weeks before we left, they blew up a car belonging to an important person in the government in our area. He lived down the street, between our house and the school. My daughter was at school, I was so afraid that she had been hurt.

When we left, we thought it would would only be temporarily, but every day since it has gotten worse.

We went back six months ago, to see if it was possible to return for good. Everything different, many shops were closed down and the water and electricity were even worse. Everything was worse than ever. As soon as it got dark, the streets were empty. Those of our neighbours who had remained were different too, gaunt, faces drawn.”

He spoke of the faux-revolution. “’We want freedom,’ they said. What freedom do they want? We had education, health care, security. This is the ‘freedom’ they want, these terrorists destroying our towns, our culture?”

Even though they have left and feel that they cannot go back, they are patriots, are proud of their country and culture, and its voices like theirs we need to be hearing: the people who know what’s happening on the ground, who are not being fed soundbites by corporate media or funded by the various thinktank incarnations of Soros’ foundations but who live/lived in Syria and suffered the draconian takeover of foreign terrorists; the people who support the Syrian army and President Assad because they choose to, who enacted the democracy they choose, not that which the death squads of the west attempt to deliver.”]

Meeting Syrians in Lebanon, May 27, 2014, In Gaza [Excerpts: “At breakfast one morning, still waiting for my visa application to be processed, I sit working on my laptop.  A man keeps glancing my way, and finally comes over to say he likes the Syrian bracelet I wear. We get talking. He’s Syrian, from Aleppo. At the end of our talk, he says again how happy it made him to see me wearing this bracelet… and adds, “I can’t wear my Syrian flag here because there are so many stupid people, they might kidnap me or worse. I’m not afraid of my government, but I am afraid of these thugs.” (Listen to his testimony on witnessing video being staged in Syria, and more.)

*

I visit Jeita Grotto, Jbeil (Byblos), and the cable-car leading up to the hilltop where –in the Middle East–the largest statue of Mary resides. I’m more interested in the scenery, and lovely scenery it is. Coming down from the hill, a thin older man with a pleasant face stops my car and opens the door. We chat a bit. He is also from Haleb (Aleppo), has been working here for years, not because of the manufactured war. But because of the situation, he’s recently brought his wife and kids here. I ask my usual simple questions: “What’s the problem? What do you think of the President?”

He replies–noting that he is speaking his mind, isn’t afraid to do so–that he will vote for President Assad . “I’m with him. Before all of this we were safe and had few problems.”  I ask the taboo question again, for the sake of clarity, and he replies “I’m Sunni Muslim, but in Syria it’s not important what religion you are.”

He’s Sunni. Bashar al-Assad is Alawi. The Western media has made MUCH of the so-called Alawi devotees to President Assad. But in my experience, in Syria and out, Syrians across the board support Assad.  It just depends if they’ve been corrupted by NED/Soros or other funds or whether they’ve been seduced by the Wahabi, Takfiri notion of raping, desecrating, destroying Syria for greater pleasures in a promised hereafter.

*

In a village near the Chouf Cedar Reserve, I come across another Syrian who has left because of the armed gangs in Aleppo. He’s a talented woodworker, and one evening stops by the hotel to have a cup of warm milk. I’ve already had a coffee (he saw me in the street earlier and invited me to his employer’s house for coffee), and a instant-coffee-milk mixture (everyone calls it Nescafe, whether its Nestle or not) with the guesthouse manager while talking Syria, but “Ibrahim” keeps insisting he buy me a coffee, something.

He shows me photos of his handiwork–lovely wood furniture, cupboards, intricate ceiling decor. I ask if this is what he did for work in Syria. “I had my own shop, but its been destroyed. Our house was destroyed, too.”  I ask when he’ll go back. “I can’t go back, the ‘rebels’ are there, I can’t get back.”

Haleb helua, ahlan mekkan. Aleppo is beautiful, the most beautiful place,” he says.

We look at online photos of Aleppo.

“See how beautiful it is!” He points out the landmarks, repeating himself, Haleb helua.

The Umayyad mosque, a castle, a hotel which he says is one of the oldest in the world…

Bas kharaboo.  But they’ve destroyed it all. Here, our house is here…. but it’s destroyed. The most beautiful place n the world.”

All this is said in the same soft voice, not a trace of anger or bitterness, just sadness, longing.”]

*

 

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