Former ISIS Patrons Conjured by the United States to Rebuild Iraq

Former ISIS Patrons Conjured by the United States to Rebuild Iraq

With the mainstream media obsessing over Russia collusion conspiracies, this story slipped quietly under the radar, but considering the fact that the United States spent over 2 trillion dollars in Iraq, the news that former ISIS patrons/benefactors/sponsors or whatever you want to call it are about to rebuild Iraq should scare the hell out of the American taxpayer. And no, this is not a joke. The US has already enlisted Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait, our GCC partners that is, to, let me quote, “rebuild” in Iraq, in the aftermath of the US led coalition’s claimed victory against the Islamic State. Mind you, all these countries are well known for their contribution in creating and then sponsoring ISIS, but we’ll get at that in a moment, right after the break.

After Iraq declared victory over ISIS back in December of 2016, with a little help from Russia and Iran I might add, President Trump’s Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said that coalition members must help with rebuilding Iraq’s atomized infrastructure. Here’s an excerpt from a Reuters article:

 

“The U.S. leads the coalition and hopes that after a three-year fight to defeat the militants it can count in large part on Gulf allies to shoulder the burden of rebuilding Iraq and on a Saudi-Iraqi rapprochement to weaken Iran’s influence in the country, which is run by a Shi‘ite led government. Donors and investors have gathered in Kuwait this week to discuss efforts to rebuild Iraq’s economy and infrastructure as it emerges from a devastating conflict with the hardline militants who seized almost a third of the country.”

 

Rex Tillerson also added:

 

“If communities in Iraq and Syria cannot return to normal life, we risk the return of conditions that allowed ISIS to take and control vast territory.”

 

However, it is pretty obvious for any educated person that an army with tens of thousands of fighters, (the Islamic State at its apogee), which has its own PR agency and recruits regionally and globally, having complex logistical networks cannot summon itself out of nothingness. The operational capacity demonstrated by the Islamic State’s army for years can be only possible with massive sponsorship. Enter the aforementioned ISIS patrons, which are all enlisted by the United States to rebuild Iraq. Speaking of ISIS sponsors, referring to Kuwait as a venue for investors and donors looking to rebuild war-torn Iraq is particularly hilarious, at least for those of you who remember an article published in the Telegraph back in 2014:  “How our allies in Kuwait and Qatar funded Islamic State.”

 

Here’s a quote from the article:

 

“Islamic State (Isil), with its newly conquered territory, oilfields and bank vaults, no longer needs much foreign money. But its extraordinarily swift rise to this point, a place where it threatens the entire region and the West, was substantially paid for by the allies of the West.

Isil’s cash was raised in, or channelled through, Kuwait and Qatar, with the tacit approval and sometimes active support of their governments.”

The Telegraph piece paints Qatar and Kuwait as rogue states sponsoring international terrorism, which any “normie” would consider to be a betrayal of European Union (including UK) and US’s claimed war against ISIS in the middle east. However, the fact that Gulf Cooperation Council countries were funding and helping raising regular armies of terrorists and mercenaries was a well known fact to intelligence agencies. Here’s from a leaked document pertaining to US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) back in 2012. The memo reads that the Gulf Cooperation Council and the United States tried to create a Salafist principality (quote) in eastern Syria, with the main purpose of isolating Bashar al Assad’s legitimate government. Here’s from the memo:

 

“If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).”

 

And here are the supporting powers, as per the same memo:

 

“The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime.”

The Salafist principality mentioned in the leaked document is well known to our readers by its “birth” name, i.e. the Islamic (Salafist) State, an international terrorist organization used by US and its allies in the Middle East as a proxy army to both (try to) topple and/or pressure Bashar al Assad’s regime in Damascus, and to create the perfect pretext for the permanent occupation of Syria by the US military (just like in Iraq). With ISIS now defeated, there are still various groups of mercenaries/militants fighting in Syria, and we must emphasize those fighting in Idlib (northern Syria), which are hard to distinguish from regular ISIS terrorists, both in terms of sponsorship (the states from which they receive weapons and money) and their hardcore Islamic ideology.

 

The same strategy was used by  US in Iraq: Kurds were helped by the US in northern Iraq to diminish/isolate the (Shia’) government in Baghdad, then used as a pretext for Gulf Cooperation Council/US forces’ rapprochement: to alienate Sunni majority regions in Iraq from Baghdad’s influence. While the United States and GCC countries like to credit themselves with defeating the Islamic State, rather than with its inception, it’s a well known fact that Iran also played a major role in ISIS’ defeat. Even mainstream media recognized Iran’s key role in this extravaganza, and here are two examples: PBS’ “Iraq’s Shia Militias: The Double-Edged Sword Against ISIS” and  the Atlantic’s “The Shia Militias of Iraq”. The plan was, as general Wesley Clark put it a while ago: first Syria, then Iran:

 

 

i.e. the proxy wars launched by GCC and the US against Iraq and Syria were actually aimed at Iran. The rise of ISIS in Syria was due to West’s failure to topple Assad’s regime in Damascus, which was supposed to be followed by Iran, but the momentum has been broken in Syria. Unlike Iran, which has a mutual defense treaty with Syria and also religious/socio-economic ties (including shared history) which all go back hundreds of years, US’s assumed role (as a mediator of sorts) in the Middle East stems only out of necons’ lust for power and world hegemony, both geopolitical and economic.

What now? Well, following ISIS’ defeat, Iraq seems willing to roll the Kurds back to their pre-ISIS-war boundaries, after ISIS vacated the territories currently occupied by Kurds and the same goes for Iraq’s highways, currently controlled by US contractors. Basically, Iraq is now trying to regain control over its territory. And the irony is that the same countries which helped ISIS to destroy Iraq’s infrastructure will now provide the money to rebuild it, most likely via GCC-US backed contractors, representing certain interests.

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15 years after the illegal, destructive, genocidal invasion of Iraq, justified by fake news

The Iraq War: Fifteen Years Later

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by James J. Zogby

Over the next few weeks, I want to take a look back to February and March of 2003, to those fateful days leading up to the Bush administration’s disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq. I remember all too well the lies that were told, the hysteria that was created, the bullying tactics that were used to silence debate, and the mass mobilization that was organized in opposition to the war.

In the end, then President George W. Bush ignored American public opinion and the sage advice of senior Republican statement like former Secretary of State James Baker and former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft and invaded Iraq leading to the most consequential disaster in recent US history.

The Iraq war has had a staggering impact that continues to grow over time. The magnitude of this disaster can be measured in lost lives, treasure, capacity, and prestige. 

From 2003 to the formal withdrawal of US fighting forces in 2011, the war took the lives of 4,500 Americans and well over 150,000 Iraqi civilians. And more than 600,000 US thousand veterans of these wars are now registered as disabled. To fully understand the war’s impact, however, we must also factor in the number of young men and women, who after multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan (400,000 served three or more tours of duty in these two wars) have returned home suffering from post-traumatic shock disorder (PTSD)—about 10% of veterans suffer from PTSD. A great number of them have tragically joined the ranks of the homeless or the addicted or they have committed suicide. Studies show that on an average night almost 40,000 veterans are homeless. And in recent years, the average number of suicides among this group of PTSD veterans is a staggering 22 per day—meaning that more young veterans of these two wars die each year at their own hands out of despair than died in battle in both wars combined.

The direct costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been estimated to be almost two trillion dollars, with trillions more needing to be factored in to cover the long-term health care and disability payments to the wars’ veterans.

The two long unwinnable wars resulted in grounding down and exhausting the US military. It also demonstrated their inability to decisively beat insurgencies and resistance movements. This proved demoralizing to US troops and also established the limits of the world’s most powerful and expensive military machine.

At the same time, the Bush administration’s reckless and arrogant unilateralism (“you’re either with us or against us”) caused friction with allies and contempt for public opinion world-wide. By the end of the Bush administration, US favorable ratings were at their lowest point, worldwide. US abhorrent behaviors exhibited during the war (Abu Ghraib, torture, Guantanamo, etc) also fueled extremist currents giving new life to al Qaeda which, though routed in Afghanistan, metastasized, spreading their anti-American hate across many continents. And the weakened and depleted US military spawned the unforeseen consequence of enabling the emergence of multiple and competing regional powers who were emboldened to expand their influence.

Of course, it wasn’t supposed to be that way. As envisioned by the wars’ main protagonists, the neoconservative “Project for a New American Century,” a decisive US victory in a war like the one they encouraged in Iraq was needed to secure American hegemony in the New World Order. They worried that at the end of the Cold War the US had to project decisive strength to dissuade any would-be competitors. After a display of overwhelming force, they were convinced that the danger of a multi-polar world could be averted and the 21st Century would be an American Century.

As they rushed to war, the Bush administration and its neoconservative acolytes engaged in a massive propaganda campaign of lies to win support for an invasion. When I say that they lied, I don’t mean their fabricated case about Saddam’s “nuclear program” or their false efforts to portray the Iraqi regime as the region’s principle sponsor of terror—this was the brief presented by then Secretary of State Colin Powell at the United Nations in his failed effort to win international backing for the invasion. No, the more serious lies they told were done so in their effort to sell the war to the American as an easy, cheap, and lofty venture.

In congressional testimony and press briefings, high-ranking administration officials argued the war would only require between 60,000 to 90,000 troops (in fact, the administration fired the Pentagon general who at a congressional hearing had admitted that the invasion and occupation of the country, if they were to succeed, would require over 350,000 troops). The fighting, administration spokespeople said, would be over in a few weeks. US troops would be greeted as liberators. And the total cost to the US treasury would be between $1 to $2 billion before Iraqi oil production would kick in and cover the rest. If all this were not fanciful enough, the promoters of the war repeatedly told the American people that when the dust settled Iraq would become a “model democracy” that would serve as a “beacon for the New Middle East.”

In his speeches leading up to the invasion, Bush went further saying that the war “will free people” and that his motivation was to bring “God’s gift of freedom” to the Iraqi people. “We will go into Iraq…to make sure the hungry are fed, those who need health care will have health care, and those youngsters who need education will get education.”

In the end, Bush succeeded only in mobilizing his base of right-wing evangelicals and neoconservatives both of whom were sold on the infantile fantasy, they shared, that a decisive blow delivered by a superior moral force would vanquish evil and lead to a “new order.”

It did not. And 15 years later we and most especially the people of Iraq and the region are living with the consequences of the disaster they brought down on us all: a shattered Iraq, an emboldened Iran, a weaken, war weary, and wary America, and a Middle East in which multiple regional and international powers are engaged in a number of deadly conflicts.

James J. Zogby is the president of the Arab American Institute. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

استراتيجية محور المقاومة لصناعة الحرب والتسويات

فبراير 19, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– تبدو استراتيجية واشنطن وتل أبيب المبنية على قرار ربط نزاع يمنع التسويات ويثبّت تجميد موازين القوى ويقطع الطريق على محور المقاومة لمواصلة خطّته على محورين رئيسيين، إكمال سيطرة الدولة السورية على كامل جغرافيتها، وتأمين اتصال راسخ ومستقر بين طهران وبيروت مروراً بدمشق وبغداد، مستندة إلى قراءة ما تسمّيانه العجز المتبادل عن تحمل كلفة المواجهة المباشرة والشاملة، بين جبهتي المواجهة. فاليقين لدى واشنطن وتل أبيب معلن، أن محور المقاومة وعلى رأسه إيران ومن خلفه روسيا لا يريد التورّط بالحرب بمثل ما لا تريد واشنطن وتل أبيب، لذلك تتواصل الاستفزازات ويتصاعد تخطّي الخطوط المحرجة في التصادم، ورفع النبرة، لوضع محور المقاومة بين خياري قبول ما تسمّيه واشنطن وتل أبيب قبول قواعد الاشتباك الجديدة، أو الذهاب للحرب. وقواعد الاشتباك الجديدة تعني ارتضاء إطلاق اليد «الإسرائيلية» في سورية، والتعايش مع كانتون كردي بحماية أميركية شرق الفرات، وكانتون سعودي قرب دمشق، وآخر أردني «إسرائيلي» جنوباً ورابع تركي شمالاً. وفي لبنان دخول التفاوض مع «إسرائيل» حول الخطوط الحدودية البرية والبحرية، والتفاوض مع واشنطن حول مكانة وسلاح حزب الله، والتساكن مع صيغة هشة للحدود السورية العراقية يتناوب المحوران عليها في السيطرة وفي القنص، وصولاً لأغلبيات مائعة في البرلمانيين العراقي واللبناني، لا يملك فيها أي من المحورين أغلبية ثابتة تتيح التحكم بالخيارات الإقليمية لكل من الدولتين. وفي الحصيلة تحوّل قرار اعتبار القدس عاصمة لـ«إسرائيل» أمراً واقعاً لا بدّ من التعايش معه.

بعد دراسات ومشاورات عميقة ومكثفة وممتدة لأسابيع قرّرت قيادة محور المقاومة رفض التعايش مع الاستراتيجية الأميركية «الإسرائيلية» الجديدة، ولو كانت الكلفة الذهاب للحرب، وصارحت القيادة الروسية بما توصلت إليه، بانتظار سماع الموقف الروسي النهائي، الذي لم يختلف جوهرياً عن الخلاصة النهائية لمحور المقاومة، بتشخيص طبيعة الاستراتيجية الأميركية وأهدافها، واعتبارها إضعاف روسيا في طليعة الاستهدافات. وكان القرار الروسي واضحاً بعدم الدخول على خط المواجهة الميدانية مباشرة منعاً لانزلاق سريع نحو مواجهة أوسع وحفاظاً على خطوط التراجع أمام الأميركيين، لكن مع تقديم الدعم اللازم لمحور المقاومة والتوافق على ضمّ «إسرائيل» لعنوان المواجهة كأداة للاستراتيجية الأميركية الجديدة.

– ترى قيادة محور المقاومة أن الخاصرتين الرخوتين في المحور الأميركي «الإسرائيلي» تتمثل في تصاعد الاشتباك التركي الكردي، شمال سورية، وأن هذا التحدّي الذي يواجه محور واشنطن تل أبيب أعقد من بقائه تحت السيطرة، ويقدّم فرصة جذب وشدّ لمحور المقاومة، لوضع الأكراد بين مطرقة التهديد التركي والتخلّي الأميركي، في عنوان مصير عفرين، مدينة نصف المليون كردي، والتي لا كيان كردي ولا معنويات كردية، إذا دخلها الأتراك، للوصل لتفاهم يضمن نقل عفرين لسلطة الدولة السورية، وفتح الطريق لمضمون جديد في العلاقة مع الأكراد يضعهم مناصفة بين العباءة الأميركية وعباءة محور المقاومة، وعلى ضفة موازية اعتماد لغة العصا والجزرة مع الأتراك لدفعهم لنقلة جديدة تشبه ما حصل بعد تحرير حلب وولادة مسار أستانة.

– تنطلق قيادة محور المقاومة من القناعة بتفوق قواها الميدانية على قدرة «إسرائيل» في الحرب الشاملة، ولكن أيضاً في المواجهات التكتيكية، ولذلك فإن التغيير الذي تريد واشنطن وتل أبيب فرضه في رسم قواعد اشتباك جديدة، يتيح لمحور المقاومة أن يحوّلها فرصاً لفرض قواعد جديدة معاكسة. وعناوين القوة هنا هي الدولة السورية والدولة اللبنانية، واحدة عسكرياً والثانية سياسياً، ولذلك كانت الإدارة الشجاعة والذكية للرئيس بشار الأسد لمعركة الأجواء السورية في مرحلة أولى وإسقاط طائرة الـ«إف 16» وهي تقصف من الأجواء اللبنانية في المرحلة الأخيرة، وكانت إدارة الرئيسين ميشال عون ونبيه بري وجذب الرئيس سعد الحريري إلى معسكرهما، لإدارة ذكية وشجاعة للمفاوضات مع وزير الخارجية الأميركية حول الثروة النفطية، ولذلك كان الموقف الحازم والمحسوب للسيد حسن نصرالله بتهديد «إسرائيل» بثروتها النفطية، ولكن تحت عباءة الدولة اللبنانية.

– تقوم قيادة محور المقاومة بحسابات دقيقة للمشهد العراقي وكيفية إدارة توازناته، سواء على أبواب الانتخابات، والخيارات الحكومية، ومصير الوجود الأميركي في العراق، ومستقبل الحدود السورية العراقية، قبل أن ترسم صورة السياسات التفصيلية مع الشركاء العراقيين، لكنها تدرك هذه المرة أهمية الخيارات الاقتصادية الاستراتيجية وحاجة شعوب بلدان المواجهة لتلمّس عائدات الانتصارات. وتطرح على هذا الصعيد سلة خطوات تتصل بمساهمة الشركاء في المحور برفع منسوب الاهتمام بالشؤون المعيشية للناس على جدول أعمالهم، لكنها تتضمن مشاريع استراتيجية كبرى اقتصادياً، يتقدّمها البحث الجدي بفتح الأسواق الإيرانية والعراقية والسورية واللبنانية على بعضها بعضاً، والبحث بخطط ربط نوعية لموارد الطاقة في النفط والغاز والكهرباء، وشبكات للنقل الجديدة تربط العواصم وتسهّل تنقل الأفراد والبضائع.

– تبقى القضية الفلسطينية والصراع في فلسطين أولوية قيادة محور المقاومة، وإذا كانت الوجهة العامة هي رفع درجة التصعيد بوجه كل تصعيد ضمن لعبة حافة الهاوية، اختباراً لقدرة واشنطن وتل أبيب في الذهاب للحرب، فإن محور المقاومة صار جاهزاً لمثل هذه الفرضية، ويتصرف على قاعدة أنها واقعة بعد كل جولة مواجهة، فإن الخشية من ذهاب «إسرائيل» للحرب على غزة يواكبها قرار أن الحرب قد تبدأ في جبهة، لكنها ستشمل الجبهات كلها، بحيث يكون على واشنطن وتل أبيب الاختيار بين الحرب الشاملة أو التعايش مع حقائق معاكسة للرغبات عنوانها، التسليم بالخروج من سورية وأبواب التسويات مفتوحة للراغبين، والتعايش مع ميزان الردع مع لبنان وليكن العنوان الدولة اللبنانية، ومع سيطرة محور المقاومة على الحدود السورية العراقية تحت عنوان تعاون سوري عراقي لمواجهة بقايا داعش، وصولاً للتعايش مع مشروع الانتفاضة والمقاومة في فلسطين.

– محور المقاومة رسم استراتيجيته وستظهر التكتيكات تباعاً بصيغة كمائن سياسية وعسكرية يكتشفها الأميركي و«الإسرائيلي» والسعودي تباعاً، في كل عملية تسخين يظنونها محسوبة وتأتي نتائجها عكسية، وأبواب متاحة للتسويات تحت سقوف واضحة ولو بعناوين سهلة الابتلاع.

– تتجه عيون محور المقاومة صوب اليمن لمعرفة حدود القدرة الأميركية «الإسرائيلية» بتحمل أكلاف الحرب العبثية السعودية، وقياس القدرة السعودية على مواصلة حرب الاستنزاف.

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Sayyed Nasrallah: US Biased, Ready to Stop ’Israeli’ Oil Extraction within Hours

Sayyed Nasrallah: US Biased, Ready to Stop ’Israeli’ Oil Extraction within Hours

Zeinab Essa

16-02-2018 | 22:24

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered on Friday a speech in which he tackled various regional and local topics.

Addressing a huge crowd commemorating the anniversary of “Resistance Martyr Leaders”,

Sayyed Nasrallah stated: “‘We Preserved the will’ is title of our commemoration as we are emerging from an international war on the Resistance axis.”

His Eminence further added: “We preserved the Resistance after we emerged victorious from the July 2006 aggression.”

To the Martyr Leaders, he said: “We tell the leader martyrs, Sayyed Abbas Moussawi, Sheikh Raghe Harb and Hajj Imad Mughnieh that your will has always been to preserve the Resistance through dignity and ability to score achievements, and we did this by sacrifices and blood.”

He also addressed them by saying: “Your party still carries the martyrs’ thoughts and aims [of the martyrs]. Today, we are much in need because the challenges are getting bigger.”

In this context, the Resistance Leader announced that it seems that the region has entered “the battle of oil and gas. No one should look at this as a separate dispute.”

According to His Eminence, “Who increases the conflict over oil and gas is the greedy US president [Donald Trump],” noting that “the crisis in the region today is on oil and its led by the US administration, whether in Iraq, the Gulf or elsewhere.”

“The crisis between Turkey and Cyprus is about oil and it is said that the Gulf crisis was also on the same matter,” he clarified.

“”Israel” wants under the Trump administration to obtain an international decision to annex the Golan,” he warned, pointing out that “there exists a huge amount of gas in the Syrian Occupied Golan Heights.”

Meanwhile, Sayyed Nasrallah clarified that “there are several reasons for the war on Syria in regards to oil resources.”

In this context, he underlined that “The US previously said that once Daesh [Arabic Acronym for the terrorist “ISIS”/ “ISIL” group] ends, they would eastern Syria. However, they didn’t. They are protecting the remains of Daesh, who are being trained there.”

His Eminence also warned that”$750 million from the Pentagon’s budget goes for the Kurds or others , who are being used by the Americans as part of their battle in Syria.”

“The Trump administration also looks at Iraq only as an oil country,” he said, advising the Iraqis to be very careful from Trump’s administration.”

Back to Lebanon, Sayyed Nasrallah viewed that Lebanon must speak today from a strong position and away from any weakness. “We are strong and we must negotiate from this strong position. We are able to threaten “Israel” as it threatens us. If the American warns that “Israel” will attack us, tell him to accept our demands or Hezbollah will respond,” he said.

“The Lebanese must not allow the devils to sow discord among them, and by devils I mean the Americans,” Sayyed Nasrallah warned.

His Eminence went on to say: “Today the oil resources that are present in the south and across Lebanon are for all Lebanese. The Lebanese people that are suffering from a debt that might reach $100 billion and their only hope might be in the oil and gas that is present in the coast and land.”

“Does Block 9 belong only to the South? No, it is that for all Lebanon,” he added.
In a sounding message to the apartheid “Israeli” entity, the Resistance Leader said: “Lebanon is strong and “let us try”. If the Lebanese Defense Council took a decides that the “Israeli” oil extraction positions must stop working, we [Hezbollah] are ready to stop it within couple of hours.”

“The Americans know that Lebanon’s only strength in this oil and gas battle is the Resistance,” he mentioned, urging the Lebanese to approach this battle in a different manner. “Since 2000, as a Resistance, we announced that we aren’t involved in land demarcation and this is the state’s responsibility.”

Clearly accusing the US of not being an honest broker in oil and border dispute with “Israel”, Sayyed Nasrallah reminded that in 2000, some Lebanese believed that the battle with “Israel” wasn’t theirs.”

“The Americans want to give us our rights in the disputed land which is a simple thing, but to take our rights in the maritime area which is more difficult. The Americans did not come to Lebanon to resolve the issue. They were here to defend “Israel’s” rights and issue threats to Lebanese politicians. The US gives the most strategic military jets to “Israel” and prevents any defense system from Lebanon,” he cautioned.

In another context, Sayyed Nasrallah wondered: “There is a continuous Zionist air invasion to the Lebanese skies. Are we giving up our air to the “Israel”?”

As His Eminence hailed the Syrian achievement of toppling an “Israeli” F16 aircraft, he unveiled that “the decision to confront the “Israeli” aircraft is a Syrian decision that had been taken by President Bashar al-Assad only. Syria is defending itself and after what happened last week, of course, the future won’t be like the past. And that will leave an impact on the aerial arms.”

“Who toppled the “Israeli” aircraft are the officers and soldiers of the brave Syrian Arab army,” he mentioned, assuring that the “Israelis” have their complex calculations to any war because they are uncertain of victory.”

Moving to the regional front, Sayyed Nasrallah underscored that “the US siege continues on Palestinian people and that the Americans are greatly pressuring this people.”

“There are ideal examples among Palestinians. There are Ahmed Jarrar, Ahad Tamimi and Omar al-Abd, who was sentenced to 3 life times in prison, and he irritated Lieberman with his smile,” His Eminence said.

On the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, Sayyed Nasrallah expressed Hezbollah’s pride with the Islamic regime in Iran, which supports Arab causes and rights. “Iran is a country that no other country can meddle in its positions and strategies. The Islamic Republic has stood by all Arab nations, and defended their rights.”

Regarding the situation in Bahrain, His Eminence confirmed that “the Bahrainis have continued their protests despite seven years of heavy-handed crackdown.”

In parallel, His Eminence slammed the fact that “Bahrain is the only country in the world whose government strips citizens of their nationality.”

Sayyed Nasrallah further confirmed that “there is a great international silence regarding the aggression on Yemen, which must end immediately.”


Back to the internal Lebanese arena, Sayyed Nasrallah tackled the upcoming parliamentary elections. “The electoral law isn’t that of Hezbollah. Hezbollah was a partner in forming it. It is a point of political pride and it is one of the most important political achievements [in recent years]. It has opened the way for those without public representation to be represented in the parliament.”

“The elections this year won’t be bone breaking, this law should take us to calm elections and won’t create strife,” he said, pointing out that “Hezbollah and Amal are together in all districts. We had never thought of allying with the Future Movement and our electoral battle is not targeted against anyone.”

Source: Al-Ahed news 

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عماد مغنية كما عرفتُه وودّعتُه

ناصر قنديل

فبراير 16, 2018

– لأنني عرفتُه عن قرب لثلاثين عاماً من عام 1978 إلى عام 2008 وقبيل استشهاده بثلاثة شهور كان آخر لقاءاتنا، سأجعل كلامي عن علاقة القائد الشهيد الأخ الغالي والصديق الحبيب الحاج عماد مغنية شهادة أضعها بين أيديكم عن بعض من المشاهد التي تستحضرها الذاكرة من مخزون السنوات الثلاثين.

– كان لقاؤنا الأول عام 78 في بنت جبيل عندما كنت أقودُ تجمّعاً لمقاتلين من عشرة تنظيمات يسارية وقومية ووطنية لا تؤمن بالحلّ السلمي والتفاوضي مع «إسرائيل» قرّرت أن تتفادى مرحلة الخلاف مع سورية بعد دخول قواتها إلى لبنان بالتوجه نحو الجنوب، حيث الوجهة الحقيقية لكلّ بندقية شريفة. كان التجمّع يحمل اسم القوات الثورية المشتركة، وكنا نتخذ من مدرسة الشهيد أمين موسى سعد «الأخضر العربي» مقراً لنا وكانت يومياتنا موزّعة بين العمل مع الفلاحين وتنظيم دوريات الاستطلاع على الحدود وشنّ الهجمات على الميليشيات العميلة لـ«إسرائيل» التي كانت تحتلّ شريطاً حدودياً يضمّ عدداً من البلدات والقرى، وكنا نحيي سهرات ثقافية حول فلسطين يحضرها شباب المنطقة، وفي إحداها كان لقائي الأول أنا إبن العشرين بعماد إبن الستة عشر ربيعاً ومحور السهرة كان ذكرى استشهاد القائد الثوري العالمي أرنستو تشي غيفارا. وبعدما تحدّثت مطوّلاً عن المناسبة ومعانيها وأعلنت افتخاري بأن أكون غيفارياً وفتحتُ باب النقاش كان بين المداخلين شاب يافع عرفت لاحقاً أنه عماد مغنية، وكانت مداخلته شراكة بتقدير عظمة غيفارا، لكن السؤال فيها كان، وهل تفتقد بلادنا وشعوبنا لرموز بمستوى هذا البطل كي نستعيره لنتخذَهُ رمزاً فلمَ لا نقول نحن حسينيون، فالإمام الحسين لا يقلّ عظمة في مسيرة البطولة والشهادة عنه إن لم يَزِد. وبعدما أكدت موافقتي على حسن وصواب ودقة ما قال هذا الشاب وشرحت الخوف من التفسيرات الطائفية والمذهبية تواعدنا وتلاقينا مراراً لنناقش معاً مساهمة شباب المنطقة في العمل المقاوم والتدريبات العسكرية التي واظبت عليها مع أصدقاء عماد حتى كان الاجتياح «الإسرائيلي» عام 1978 وقاتلناه وبقينا خلف خطوط انتشاره حتى بدأ بالانسحاب.

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– لقاءات كثيرة تمّت بعد انقطاع عامين تقريباً، عندما تصادف لقائي الثاني بالشهيد عماد كمسؤول عن أمن سماحة السيد محمد حسين فضل الله رحمه الله.

نداء الإمام الخميني في يوم القدس العالمي

وكان يسمّيه سماحته عندما نتحدّث عنه، صاحبك عماد يقول، أو يفكّر أو يرتّب، وكانت تلك فترة التضامن مع الثورة الإسلامية في إيران وسطوع نجم الإمام الخميني المقدّس، وفترة المواجهة مع مخابرات نظام صدام الذي كانت صحيفة «صوت الشغيلة» وإذاعة «صوت الثورة العربية»، اللتان كنتُ في موقع قيادي فيهما، الرئة الإعلامية الوحيدة للوقوف مع الثورة ومواجهة مخابرات صدام. وكدنا نكون فريقاً واحداً في هذه المرحلة حتى وقوع الاجتياح «الإسرائيلي» لبيروت عام 1982.

– على جبهات منطقة الشياح وفي محور كنيسة مار مخايل تلاقينا من دون موعد منذ بدايات الحصار الذي تعرّضت له بيروت ولشهور بقينا كلّ ليلة معاً، ومعنا الشهيد علي ديب أبو حسن سلامة، ومع خروج المقاتلين الفلسطينيين من بيروت بكينا معاً، وتعاهدنا على أنّ المقاومة خيارنا، وكلمة سرّنا، فلسطين والإمام. وخلال عامين بين 82 و84 موعد انتفاضة بيروت التي أخرجت المارينز وأسقطت اتفاق السابع عشر من أيار وفتحت طريق الإمداد للمقاومة من دمشق إلى بيروت فالجنوب، كان الحاج عماد قائداً ينظّم أعمال المقاومة التي لا أعرف الكثير من تفاصيلها، سوى ما يتطلّب منه أن يستعين بعلاقاتي بسورية وبالتنظيمات الفلسطينية فيها، خصوصاً فتح الانتفاضة والجبهة الشعبية القيادة العامة، لتأمين احتياجات لوجستية لبعض هذه العمليات، وما كانوا يبخلون جميعاً من دون أن يعرفوا سوى أنّ شباباً إسلامياً خمينياً هو وجهة هذه الإمكانات، ليولد القائد عماد مغنية في هذه المرحلة ومن حوله العشرات والمئات من الشباب الواثقين بصدق قيادته وصدق خياره، ويكون من ضمن الشبكة التي تشكل منها حزب الله لاحقاً كحزب لهذه المقاومة.

Image result for ‫فتحي الشقاقي‬‎

– سنوات ما بعد 84 كان الحاج عماد المسكون بفلسطين والإمام يسعى للتواصل مع كلّ مَن يمكن يشكل رافداً للمواجهة مع «إسرائيل» والمشروع الأميركي، ويطالبني بتعريفه إلى كلّ مناضلي الخط اليساري والقومي في الأردن وفلسطين والجزيرة العربية والبحرين والتواصل معهم وكانوا أصدقاءه ورفاق دربه في كثير من أنشطة لا أعلم عنها سوى، قوله وقولهم، الأمور تمام. وعندما أسمع عن عمل ما في سياق هذه المواجهة التي صار الحاج عماد رمزاً لها، يسأل عنه كلّ مَن يملك إرادة جدية للمساهمة فيها، أقول في سرّي بفرح، لقد فعلها عماد، وخلال هذه الفترة كانت بدايات انفتاحه على العمق الفلسطيني الإسلامي، بالإضافة لعلاقاته بشباب فتح الذين كان يعرفهم من تاريخ انضوائه في تشكيلات فتح لسنوات في بيروت. وكانت الباكورة مع الإعداد للانتفاضة الأولى التي لم يخف الشهيد عماد تفرّغه لدعمها، كرسول لخط الإمام، وما تسنّى لي بعدها من مواكبة علاقته العميقة مع الشهيد القيادي الدكتور فتحي الشقاقي مؤسس حركة الجهاد الإسلامي والصديق المشترك بيننا.

– في التسعينيات وحتى التحرير عام 2000 صارت لقاءاتنا أصعب بحكم مسؤوليات الحاج عماد في المقاومة، فصارت على جدول أعماله وفقاً لبرامجه، يُفاجئني في كلّ زيارة لطهران ضمن مواعيد مشابهة للقائنا هذا، بأن ينتظرني أحد من قبله في المطار ويتولّى تنسيق لقاء مطوّل بيننا، ولقاءات بالقيادة الإيرانية، وحوارات مع قادة الحرس الثوري وكبار ضباط أركانه، وتنظيم محاضرات أتحدّث خلالها عن الأوضاع الدولية والإقليمية ومشروع المقاومة، وكذلك أحياناً كثيرة وأنا في الطريق بين بيروت ودمشق أفاجأ بسيارة عابرة تشعل أضواءها بطريقة لافتة فأعلم أنه هو، ونترافق معاً بقية الطريق لنتحدّث عن الوضعَيْن السياسي والعسكري والتحليلات للمشهد الدولي والإقليمي، ونستشرف الآفاق والتقديرات، ويضعني في صورة الوضع العسكري والميداني للمقاومة، وما تطوّره من سلاح نوعي سيغيّر من وجهة الحرب مع الاحتلال. وأذكر أنّ أهمّ ما سمعته منه كان عن العبوات الذكية، التي تنفجر على مرحلتين الأولى لدفعها لأعلى فتصير بمستوى نقطة ضعف دبابة الميركافا، في المفصل بين جسم الدبابة وبرجها، لينفجر نصف العبوة المدمّر عندها ويطيح بالميركافا أسطورة القوة «الإسرائيلية» التي دمّرتها عبوات الحاج عماد الذكيّة وحوّلتها أشلاء في حرب تموز، وكان بشغف يشرح ويقول عندما نتحقق بالتجارب من فعالية العبوات الذكية ستكون أهمّ هدية لفلسطين أن نضع هذه التقنية بين أيدي المقاومين هناك.

– بعد التحرير وقبل حرب تموز 2006 صار عنوان الحديث، كيف تنتقل تجربة المقاومة لفلسطين، حتى تمّ تحرير غزة في 2005 فكان عيداً بمعنى الكلمة للحاج عماد يعادل عيد التحرير عام 2000، وكانت فلسفة الحاج عماد العسكرية توطين تقنيات الصواريخ وصناعتها في غزة، متسائلاً لماذا ننقل الصواريخ ولا نفكّر بتصنيعها؟ وكان صاحب القرار باعتماد هذه الوجهة بما بات له من تأثير في قرار حزب الله وإيران وقوى المقاومة الفلسطينية.

– اللقاء الأخير مع الشهيد القائد كان في دمشق قبيل استشهاده بثلاثة شهور، حيث فاجأني كالعادة. وهذه المرّة في بهو أحد الفنادق واضعاً يديه على عينَيْ من خلفي سائلاً «هل عرفت مَن؟»، فأجبت بلا تردّد «وهل يخفى القمر»، وتعانقنا وسالت دموعنا فرحاً وشوقاً، وجلسنا ساعات وهو يشرح ما قامت به قيادة المقاومة من قراءة نقدية لتجربة الحرب واستكشاف نقاط الضعف بعيداً عن الزهو بنشوة النصر، وكيف قامت بترميم أغلبها، وماهية الاستعدادات للحرب المقبلة. وأقتبس من كلامه، ستكون حرب تموز نزهة بالقياس للحرب المقبلة، نعدّ لهم جيش الربع مليون، هذه المرّة نحن مَن سيخوض الحرب البرية وسندخل الجليل، الدعم الإيراني مفتوح وفوق قدرتنا على الاستيعاب. أطال الله بعمر السيد القائد رسم الاستراتيجية إلى القدس وترك لنا التفاصيل، وسماحة السيد يرسم ويخطط وعلى صديقك التنفيذ. ويبتسم ثم يختم، والأخوة في الحرس ليل نهار يعملون لتأمين كلّ ما يلزم.

– في نهاية اللقاء لفتُّه إلى خطورة تنقّله وضرورة أن يكون أشدّ تحفظاً، فاجأني بعد التفسير العملاني لطريقة تنقله مبتسماً، ثم ضحك وقال، – ومشهد وجهه يحضر أمامي الآن، – وهو يقول، «أبو عيسى تعبت، صار لي تلاتين سنة بركض ليل نهار لأرضيه، رب عمل بتشتغلو ليرضى يقلّك يعطيك العافية، رب عملي هو الله، ناطر يتطلّع فيي وياخدني شهيد».

– رحمك الله أيّها القائد ورحم والدك وأخوتك وابنك، أحياء عند ربّكم تُرزقون، ورحم الله شهداء المقاومة، وحمى الله سيد المقاومة سماحة السيد حسن نصرالله والسيد القائد الإمام الخامنئي، وقدّس روح الإمام المؤسّس روح الله الخميني، ونصر مقاومتنا حتى يتحقق وعد النصر في القدس ونحتفل معاً بذكرى الشهداء ونشعل البخور لروح عماد فلسطين.

مداخلة في مؤتمر تكريم الشهيد الحاج عماد مغنية في طهران 15-2-2018

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Soleimani: Avenging Martyr Mughniyeh, Other Martyrs Is Thru Eradicating «Israel»

Local Editor

15-02-2018 | 10:26

Commander of the Quds force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Core Major General Qasem Soleimani addressed a conference in the Iranian capital, Tehran, marking the martyrdom anniversary of Hezbollah commander martyr leader Haj Imad Mughniyeh.

Commander of the Quds force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Core Major General Soleimani

At the beginning of his address, Maj. Gen. Soleimani paid tribute to the martyrs of the Lebanese Resistance.

He went on to say: “The martyrdom of Haj Imad Mughniyeh had a prominent role in the development of the Islamic awakening,” adding that his martyrdom “initiated an uprising in the Islamic communities”.”It’s the first time that I’ll talk about my dear friend, Haj Imad Mughniyeh,” Gen. Soleimani said, adding that Haj Mughniyeh “is a legend to the entire world”.

The IRGC commander talked in depth about Haj Mughniyeh saying “he wasn’t specialized in guerrilla wars only. He had more strength than the enemy… [He] didn’t see things with the same perspective that we see.”

Gen. Soleimani gave credit to the Hezbollah leader martyr’s role in “breaking the fear in Lebanon” of the apartheid “Israeli” entity “rising in the face” of the Zionists.
He went on to say that “The enemy was obliged to admit and talk about Martyr Mughnyieh’s heroism.”

Elsewhere in his address, Gen. Soleimani tackled the issue of resistance saying: “The Mujahideen remain steadfast despite the injustice of some Arab regimes.”

He added, “Haj Imad Mughniyeh was the Man of surprises. He exposed the ‘Israeli’ drones, took pictures of them and knew the plans of the Zionists.”Relatedly, the IRGC commander praised Hezbollah martyr leader’s “strategic” role in confronting the “Israeli” aggression on Lebanon in July 2006, recalling one of his achievements: “striking the ‘Israeli’ Saar warship.

Also, Gen. Soleimani said the 1997 Ansarieh operation in southern Lebanon had been planned by Haj Mughniyeh.Regarding the Palestinian cause, the Iranian general said Haj Imad “brought Yasser Arafat to Iran and played a big role in raising Hamas’ capabilities”.

Gen. Soleimani concluded his address by referring to Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah as “one of the Divine miracles who confronted and faced the enemy,” whose orders Haj Imad was fully committed to following.

He added, “Sayyed Nasrallah gave Lebanon value. He saved not only the Shiites but also the Sunnis and Christians”.

Accordingly, “The enemy must know that avenging the blood of Martyr Mughniyeh and the other martyrs is via eliminating apartheid ‘Israel’,” the IRGC commander stated, shedding light on “Israeli” fear generated by “martyr Mughniyeh and other martyrs’ blood in Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq”.

The “Resistance front is expanding more and more every day,” Gen. Soleimani concluded, describing Martyr Leader Imad Mughniyeh as an “extraordinary personality nobody can underestimate and who was even feared by his enemy.

Source: Live Coverage, Translated by website team

 

Suleimani: Imad Mughniyeh a Legend

Suleimani Mughniyeh ceremony

Commander of Iran’s IRGC’s Quds Force, Maj. Gen Qassem Suleimani on Thursday hailed Hezbollah’s late commander Hajj Imad Mughniyeh as a legend that had forced the Israeli enemy to acknowledge his superiority.

At a commemoration ceremony in Tehran in honor of Mughniyeh on his 10th martyrdom anniversary, Suleimani paid his tribute to him, noting that Mughniyeh’s martyrdom shocked the world, but “resulted in Islamic uprising” against the Israeli enemy.

Suleimani expanded on Mughniyeh’s role in the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance.

“Hajj Imad Mughniyeh forced the Israelis to withdraw from south Lebanon and to acknowledge his superiority,” Suleimani said during the ceremony.

“Hajj Imad Mughniyeh had major role in turning Gaza into fortified stronghold of resistance against Israeli enemy.”

The Iranian general meanwhile, stressed that the real revenge for Mughniyeh is to eradicate the Zionist entity.

Hezbollah’s number one commander was assassinated on Feb. 12, 2008 in a car bomb in Syrian capital Damascus, in a joint operation by Israeli intelligence agency Mossad and CIA.

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US Forces Leave Iraq: Military Presence Failed to Produce Desired Results

US Forces Leave Iraq: Military Presence Failed to Produce Desired Results

US Forces Leave Iraq: Military Presence Failed to Produce Desired Results

The US-led coalition is drawing down or “adjusting” its military presence in Iraq. With ISIS on the ropes, the remaining forces will refocus on “policing, border control, and military capacity building.” A senior official close to Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has been reported to say that 60 percent of the US troops will be withdrawn. About 4,000 US personnel will remain as part of a training mission. There were 8,892 US troops in Iraq as of late September. The American soldiers are being shipped to Afghanistan, where  roughly 14,000 troops are already stationed.

It’s conspicuous that the move is taking place against the backdrop of the upcoming May elections in Iraq. The American withdrawal will boost the chances of the US-friendly prime minister, Haider al-Abadi. But rebuilding the country is a large order for that cash-strapped government. Much of the nation is in ruins. The US-led coalition has not done much to propel the process of reconstruction.

So, the contingent in Afghanistan will receive reinforcements. However, the situation hasn’t budged an inch since 2001. The Taliban movement has gained ground recently and is now active in 70 percent of the countryAccording to Randall Schriver, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, the war in Afghanistan costs $45 billion annually. Republican Sen. Rand Paul has said that tens of billions are “just being thrown down a hatch in that country. All attempts to reboot the operation have ended in failure. Despite that, there seems to be no prospect of pulling the plug on the failed policy.

But fighting terrorists seems to be no longer the prime mission with  the focus now shifting to Russia and China.

What will be the outcome of this reduction in US forces? Iraq is preparing an operation to clear the mountainous area near the Iranian border where some anti-government armed groups are still active. The Iraqi government needs it to be secure before it starts transporting its oil from Kirkuk. According to Reuters, Iraq and Iran have agreed to swap up to 60,000 barrels per day of crude produced in Kirkuk for Iranian oil, which will be sent to southern Iraq. The oil is going to be transported by truck and the deal will boost Iran’s regional influence.

Last December, the Iraqi government announced plans to build a new 350-kilometer (220-mile) Kirkuk-Ceyhan (Turkey) oil pipeline to carry up to one million barrels a day. If that pans out, Turkey will see its regional influence grow. About the same time, Iraq reached a deal with China’s state-run Zhenhua Oil to develop the southern section of the East Baghdad oil field, which is believed to hold eight billion barrels. As one can see, Iraq’s leaders are wise enough not to put all their eggs into one basket.

Iraq has recently been turning to Russia for oil deals, military assistance, and nation building. Military cooperation between the two countries has been on the rise. The bilateral contacts indicate the Iraqi government’s desire to expand that relationship.

And the United States? It should be noted that the US troops are hardly safer in Iraq than in Afghanistan. The US had no serious political plan when Iraq was invaded in 2003 and there is no such thing as an Iraq policy now. It is one of those wars that never end. It’s easy to get in, but next to impossible to get out. Look around, it’s not difficult to find conflicts like that in many places today, such as Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria, you name it.

The US military presence around the world is mushrooming. Around 200,000 US troops are stationed in over 170 countries with no great victories to boast of. America is gradually pulling out of Iraq with no glory. The US is not popular in that country. Many Iraqis left the country after the US invasion, because of the massive security problems. Nor is America indispensable there. The Iraqi war was a costly military adventure that has produced many almost unsolvable problems.

In the same way, Washington may get involved in real fighting in Syria. For instance, with no proof to back up the allegation, the US insists that Syria’s government is using chemical weapons. The White House says Damascus would “pay a heavy price” if it were to carry out such an attack. Strikes against Syrian military infrastructure could lead to casualties among Iranian, Turkish, or Russian military personnel. That could also trigger a response.

In Iraq, a clash between US military and pro-Iranian militias can never be ruled out. Huge sums of money are being spent to force America to balance on the brink of conflict in faraway countries and risk its soldiers’ lives without any results to brag about. It makes one question the wisdom of a policy that calls for a military presence in so many places simultaneously. America has a lot to lose and nothing to gain.

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