Eternal Maidan – Three Sources, Three Components


Eternal Maidan – Three Sources, Three Components

November 14, 2018

By Rostislav Ishchenko

Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard
cross posted with

In Ukraine there is talk about the first Maidan, the second Maidan, a future Maidan, and an aborted Maidan (“Ukraine without Kuchma” event). Politicians, political scientists, journalists, and already even scientific historians (if it is possible to call as such the people representing Ukrainian historical science) discuss the quantity of Maidans in the history of the “European nation”, as well as their correct periodisation and world-wide/ historical value.

This is good and correct. An exact definition of the quantity and quality of Maidans – both realised and not realised ones, both peaceful and not peaceful coup attempts – indeed allows us to come to global generalisations, and to define – being accurate within one year – the exact moment when the US transitioned to a regime of a confrontation with Russia (without reporting about it officially yet). Consequently, when the “multi-vector policy” stopped to suit them (we will note, a quite pro-American multi-vector policy), which is characteristic not only for Ukraine, but also for all the post-Soviet space.

This is a very important moment of a strategic geopolitical U-turn. It is precisely the decision of the US not to drag things out, biding their time for when Russia suffocates from their “friendly” embraces, but to finish it off within the framework of a direct and open confrontation, having created a belt of hatred along its borders out of the former Soviet republics, that gave Moscow the chance to do a U-turn in a lost geopolitical game in its own favour, which Russia was able to take advantage of, despite all the scantiness of this chance.

The creation of a belt of hatred demanded to remove the compromising (from the point of view of the domestic policy of the relevant states) “multi-vector” regimes and to replace them with radical nationalist, “Euro-Atlantic”, forces, whose representatives didn’t enjoy special popularity in their own countries. It wasn’t a question of the elites of post-Soviet states being against integration into NATO and the EU, but of radical contradictions between semi-marginal groups of “ideologists”, who fed themselves from American grants and in principle weren’t interested in the economy, and the emerging national oligarchy, which fed itself from the national economy, desired to control the domestic market, and had some interests and ambitions in foreign markets – in particular, the Russian market.

Creeping “suffocation from embraces” assumed taking into account the interests of the national oligarchy. Such “taking into account” excluded a transition to a forced offensive on Russia. National economies should have been sacrificed for the nationalist ideological mobilisation of the peoples against Russia.

It was possible to achieve success in such a situation only by a coup. But the open putsch of marginals would be suppressed by the authorities and wouldn’t be supported by the world community. That’s why it was necessary to mask it under a color “people’s revolutions”. Nevertheless, the coming to power of radical nationalist-russophobes was so destructive for the interests of local elites that in most cases the coup didn’t take place, and pathetic attempts were easily suppressed by the authorities, despite the sluggish protests of the “civilised world”.

The coups succeeded in separate cases, but even here in most cases the old elites were able to preserve control over the situation and also the “multi-vector” strategy. Only in Georgia and Ukraine did Russophobic regimes (Saakashvili and Yushchenko) remain in power for a long time. But in the end Saakashvili’s regime in Georgia fell, and his successors are quite “multi-vector” russophobes. Whereas in Ukraine Yushchenko’s regime, having degraded in five years towards full marginality and having lost power, was again revived in 2014 in the form of a direct radical nationalist dictatorship, which was carelessly veiled with the pseudo-democratic regime of Poroshenko.

Now the new “opposition” tries to unite against Petro Poroshenko on the basis of this same “multi-vectorism”. And it seems that they are having some success. But here it is a question of changing the person who is the president and about firing several dozens (or maybe only several) of his closest employees, who have compromised themselves too much by their proximity to the criminal regime. It isn’t at all a question about changing the principles of governance. They speak about the need for reconciliation with Russia, but not about recognising the Russian status of Crimea. They speak about terminating the war, but not about recognising the People’s Republics of Donbass as equal partners in negotiations on solving the crisis. But there is no talk about condemning the coup or about holding accountable those who violated the constitution and the laws of the country, committed massacres and illegal arrests, humiliated people, used the army against their own people, and bombed and shelled their own cities. They also don’t oppose the plans to create a local church. The “opposition” is “anti” only Poroshenko and corruption – because it is connected to Poroshenko, and “pro” everything being like it was before the coup, but without a revision of the political results of the coup.

We can ascertain that irrespective of whether or not the “opposition” appeals to the East (BoykoRabinovich) or to the West (Tymoshenko), whether or not it has a pro-American (Yatsenyuk), pro-European (Klitschko), or pro-Russian (Medvedchuk) reputation, we are dealing with the opposition of Maidan, and not the opposition to Maidan. They fight not against the results of the coup, but for the power in the country created by this coup. They – being in the center of events, unlike many Russian experts, who consider that Ukraine becomes stronger – directly say that the state crumbles and not very optimistically estimate the timeframe of the final disintegration. They understand that the resource for the stabilisation of the situation and the preservation of statehood is situated in Russia, and they want to receive this resource, but at the same time not refuse any of Maidan’s “gains”.

They are ready to sacrifice Poroshenko. But not because Poroshenko somehow doesn’t govern the country as he should. Ultimately, today’s oppositionists to the “corrupt regime” have had serious parliamentary representation. For more than two years Poroshenko hasn’t been able to implement his initiatives via the Rada without the support of the opposition, i.e., the opposition has a formal parliamentary majority, albeit non-united and non-structured. The head of the government also pursues a rather independent policy, and the decisions of the Cabinet of Ministers are influenced more by Avakov’s position than Poroshenko’s. The sources of the influence of the president are the Ministry of Defence, the SBU, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Prosecutor-General’s Office. This is enough in order to remain in power, but it isn’t enough to pursue an independent policy.

They are ready to gift Poroshenko’s head to Moscow simply because they themselves need his removal, but removing his head is better. I.e., they want to pay for this support with what they will do anyway – because if it’s not they who will remove him, then it will be he who will remove them. And moreover, it’s not a question of support in the course of elections. They perfectly understand that if they won’t be able to resolve the issue of power in Ukraine by their own efforts, then nobody will help them – neither Russia, nor the US, nor the EU. It is about massive financial-economic support (by granting credits, financing joint production projects, and opening Russian markets for Ukrainian production) for the new government.

In fact, the Ukrainian “opposition” hopes that Russia will financially support a neomaidan government in exchange for its main face being replaced. At the same time, since the issue of power after a coup is resolved not by voting, but by armed support, the “opposition” needs to obtain support or at least the neutrality of nationalist (legal and illegal) armed formations. First of all, this concerns Biletsky, who already declared that since Tyagnibok refused to head the united right-wing radicals, it will be him (Biletsky) who will do it.

Biletsky controls the most numerous and branched structure, which includes, besides the “Azov” regiment, up to 10,000 reservists who have combat experience and who, thanks to accumulated stocks of illegal weapons, can be deployed in two-three brigades, with their own quasi-police formations present in every settlement from the district center and further and with a branched party structure leaning on public and youth organisations. At the moment he, apparently, tries to enter into an alliance with Tyagnibok, due to the influence of “Svoboda” in 3 Galician regions, and the only thing that is left for other right-wing radicals – including the once legendary Yarosh – to do is to join Biletsky as younger partners. In addition, he has Avakov’s support, and thus the Ministry of Internal Affairs too. Moreover, it is especially Avakov who is more interested in preserving interaction with Biletsky, i.e., the latter is rather free in his political gestures.

He already made his first demand. He wants the political system to legalise the carrying by his activists of the illegal military weapons collected by them. It is possible that this isn’t the only price of the neutrality of the extreme-right that he will demand to pay. Of course, it is possible to refuse him, and he will be refused on some points, but there will be an obligation to accept some of his conditions. And it means that the extreme-right will become stronger and more centralised at the back-end of the Ukrainian presidential campaign. Any government – be it old or new – will be forced to reckon with this.

Thus, Maidan – if to consider that it isn’t just the periodic festival of marginals on the central square of Kiev veiling a banal coup, but the steady movement of Ukraine along the way of more and more Russophobic and more and more terroristic regimes emerging – will be continued after these elections, irrespective of their results. Maidan in Ukraine is in general eternal. It started before the declaration of independence (“revolution on granite”) and it will exist for some time after the disappearance of the Ukrainian state, irrespective of whether it will be divided, absorbed, or will simply collapse into many small “gulyai-pole” [power changing hands frequently – ed] and Malinovka.

Three sources, three components feed the Eternal Ukrainian Maidan, which is the prerequisite for, as well as the symbol and sense of, the existence of independent Ukraine:

  1. Non-professionalism of the provincial bureaucracy, which turned out to be incapable of governing an independent state, fatally afraid of its own people and therefore feeling the need to transfer its sovereignty to an external manager, having become its vassal. Such a position initially excluded a union with Russia. Moscow possessed the situation in Ukraine too well and Kiev was afraid that it will demand too big a slice for protection.
  2. The inability of the oligarchy to transition from a burglarious economy to a productive one. Work in accordance with the scheme “stole-sold-stole” doomed not only the country, but also the oligarchy to the quick exhaustion of cash resources and the fight over dividing up what remains, and thus – a split in the elites and their inability to effectively defend state interests. Finally, this resulted in the purely Ukrainian theory that state interests as such are a myth.
  3. Concentration of the people on consumer expectations. The independence of Ukraine, the plans of “European integration”, all Maidans, and a confrontation with Russia were considered by the people as a certain mystical action, after which capitalist communism – when nobody works, but “to each according to his needs” – will immediately come.

Of course, in Ukraine there were sensible managers, gifted politicians, talented businessmen, and simply a mass of adequate people. But the idea of independence is the idea of Maidan, and the idea of Maidan consists of doing nothing but having everything. Independence dooms Ukraine to an Eternal Maidan. Any opposition in Kiev that comes out with whatever very beautiful slogans, but is “for” the preservation of independence, supports also the preservation of the Eternal Maidan.

But in Kiev there is no opposition that wouldn’t support independence. In 27 years such opposition was completely ousted from politics, and now it is being ousted also from life. Kiev fears even federalism like the plague, since it guarantees the fast end of independence. Regions will quickly figure out that nearby there are federal centers that serve the interests of their province much more qualitatively and cheaper.

That’s why during the approaching elections it will become a question not of the fight of Maidan vs. anti-Maidan (this fight was definitively lost by anti-Maidan in the spring of 2014), but only of the form of Maidan. But since neither the vector nor the principles of Ukraine’s development change, we can ascertain that having travelled – within the framework of the Eternal Maidan – the path from a soft nationalist democracy, through an oligarchical republic, to an oligarchical dictatorship leaning on the extreme-right, Ukraine moves towards a barefaced dictatorship of the extreme-right. The only question is will the state live long enough to see an extreme-right dictatorship or will it collapse earlier than it will be destroyed by this dictatorship that yearns for power in order to strengthen it [the state – ed].

The only thing that Ukrainian politicians can do to influence matters is to accelerate or slow down the processes leading towards the inevitable end that they can already see. They try to slow it down, but I think that for Ukraine it would be better to accelerate it, because it is that case when a horrible end is better than horror without an end.


Hamas Won Again

November 15, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman announced yesterday that he was resigning as defense minister and called for the government to be dismantled and new elections held.

Liberman said his decision followed Tuesday’s ceasefire agreement  between Israel and Hamas. Liberman’s action was essentially an open admission that Hamas had won the latest round of violence. “What happened yesterday, the ceasefire, together with the deal with Hamas, is a capitulation to terror. There is no other way of explaining it,” Liberman  told reporters on Wednesday.

Liberman has harsh words for the IDF as well.

“What we are doing right now is buying quiet for a heavy price with no long-term plan to reduce violence toward us…To put it lightly, our response was drastically lacking to the 500 rockets fired at us.”

But, in truth, the Israeli military doesn’t have a military solution to Israel’s  security problems. The IDF cannot win a war with either Hamas or  Hezbollah. This may explain PM Netanyahu’s frequent confrontations with Syria and Iran:  winning battles against sovereign entities may simply be more achievable for Israel and its Lobby than quelling unruly freedom fighters.

When it comes to Hamas and Gaza, Israel’s elected government comes short of setting military objectives. In this light, the IDF and the Israeli government are left with one option only: capitulation.

No Sanctions Can Stop Cooperation between Russia, ASEAN Countries, 13 States Mull Buying Russia’s S-400 Despite US Sanctions

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Putin: No Sanctions Can Stop Cooperation between Russia, ASEAN Countries

November 15, 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Thursday that no sanctions can stop cooperation between Russia and the ASEAN countries.

At a press conference in Singapore after his participation in the 13th East Asia Summit (EAS) and the Russia-ASEAN summit, Putin said that any politically-motivated restrictions in the economy are a hindrance and hurt everyone, including those who introduce them.

No sanctions can stop cooperation between Russia and the ASEAN countries and the development of their economies, the Russian strongman said.

Putin meanwhile, stressed that Russia is ready to work with Japan to resolve controversial issues.

He also asserted that Russia’s participation in WEF in Davos “will not affect Russia’s authority in world’s economy. A country’s authority in the world’s economy depends on its economic power, the economy’s structure, results in terms of technological effectiveness, the GDP growth, macroeconomic indicators, small external debt, the absence of budget deficit or its minimum rate or, what is better, budget surplus, which Russia enjoys now.”

Those imposing restrictions on Russian businessmen’s participation in WEF impose them against themselves, Putin added.

On the other hand, the Russian President has spoken briefly with US Vice President Mike Pence and White House National Security Adviser John Bolton before the beginning of the plenary session of the East Asia Summit in Singapore.

Meeting with Pence, Bolton

Putin and Pence had discussed strategic stability as well as the implementation of a new start treaty, Sputnik said.

He said that he believes that strategic stability is the key issue on the agenda of Russia-US talks.

Commenting on Syrian influx of migrants, Putin said that Europe should get rid of its “phobias” and help the Syrian people if it does not want to face a new inflow of migrants.

Russia is ready for full-fledged work in Syria’s economy, which would be advantageous for Moscow, and hopes that joint humanitarian aid deliveries in Syria, conducted by Russia as well as France and Germany, will continue, Putin added.

Source: Sputnik

13 States Mull Buying Russia’s S-400 Despite US Sanctions: Report

November 15, 2018

S-400 air defense systems

At least 13 countries have expressed their interest in purchasing the Russian S-400 Triumph surface-to-air missile systems instead of US equipment despite the likelihood of provoking Washington’s sanctions, media reported citing people with first-hand knowledge of a US intelligence assessment.

Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam were among the countries that had already engaged in talks on buying the Russian missile systems, the CNBC broadcaster reported on Wednesday.

Washington expected that several countries would yield to the US pressure and abandon their plans to purchase the Russian equipment, the outlet added.

“Many of these countries do not want to wait for US regulatory hurdles … The S-400 has less export restrictions and the Kremlin is willing to expedite sales by skipping over any regulatory hurdles. It’s like buying it off the shelf,” one of the sources told the broadcaster.

Another source noted that S-400 had been more powerful, in terms of capability, than the US most capable Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.

“No other US system can match the S-400’s ability to protect large swathes of airspace at such long ranges,” the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said.

Sanctions over the purchase of the Russian military equipment could be triggered under the US Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which came into force in 2017 and is set to punish Moscow for it alleged meddling in the US 2016 presidential election.

Source: Sputnik

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U.S. in “Military Crisis”, Could Lose War to Russia and China: Report Warns

US in “Military Crisis”, Could Lose War to Russia and China: Report Warns

November 15, 2018

The United States is facing a national security and military crisis and could lose in a war against Russia or China, a bipartisan congressional panel warned in a report on Wednesday (Nov 14).

The National Defense Strategy Commission evaluated the Trump administration’s 2018 National Defense Strategy, which ordered a vast reshaping of the US military to compete with Beijing and Moscow in an era of “great-power competition”.

Meanwhile, according to the commission, China and Russia are seeking regional hegemony in an attempt to project military power globally and pursuing defense buildups aimed squarely at the United States.

“America’s military superiority – the hard-power backbone of its global influence and national security – has eroded to a dangerous degree,” the commission said.

In the report, the commission found America’s focus on counter-insurgency operations this century resulted in it slipping in other warfighting areas such as missile defense, cyber and space operations, and anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare.

“The United States has significantly weakened its own defense due to political dysfunction and decisions made by both Republicans as well as Democrats;” thus, creating “a crisis of national security for the United States,” the report added.

The commission also said that American influence across Asia and Europe is being steadily eroded and military balances have shifted in “decidedly adverse” ways that have raised the risk of conflict.

“The US military could suffer unacceptably high casualties and loss of major capital assets in its next conflict,” the commission added.

The report concludes that the Defense Department isn’t financially or strategically set up to wage two wars at once and could even lose a war against China or Russia individually.

Though the Pentagon this year has a budget of more than US$700 billion, far more than Russia and China combined, the commission said the sum is still “clearly insufficient” to meet the goals laid out in the NDS.

Commissioners made a series of recommendations including a 3-5 per cent annual increase in the defense budget.



Decoding the hypersonic Putin on a day of remembrance

Image result for end of World War I, Putin and Trump
November 14, 2018Decoding the hypersonic Putin on a day of remembrance

Sitting alongside French President Macron during the 100th anniversary to commemorate the end of World War I, Putin and Trump stole the show in Paris

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with The Asia Times by special agreement with the author)

The Elysee Palace protocol was implacable. Nobody in Paris would be allowed to steal the spotlight away from the host, President Emmanuel Macron, during the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day marking the end of World War I.

After all, Macron was investing all his political capital as he visited multiple World War I battlefields while warning against the rise of nationalism and a surge in right-wing populism across the West. He was careful to always place the emphasis on praising “patriotism.”

A battle of ideas now rages across Europe, epitomized by the clash between the globalist Macron and populism icon Matteo Salvini, the Italian interior minister. Salvini abhors the Brussels system. Macron is stepping up his defense of a “sovereign Europe.”

And much to the horror of the US establishment, Macron proposes a real “European army” capable of autonomous self-defense side by side with a “real security dialogue with Russia.”

Yet all these “strategic autonomy” ideals collapse when you must share the stage, live, with the undisputed stars of the global show: President Donald  Trump and President Vladimir Putin.

So the optics in Paris were not exactly of a Yalta 2.0 conference. There were no holds barred to keep Trump and Putin apart. Seating arrangements featured, from left to right, Trump, Chancellor Angela Merkel, Macron, his wife Brigitte and Putin. Neither Trump nor Putin, for different reasons, took part in a “walking in the rain” stunt evoking peace.

And yet they connected. Sir Peter Cosgrove, the governor general of Australia, confirmed that Trump and Putin, at a working lunch, had a “lively and friendly” conversation for at least half an hour.

No one better than Putin himself to reveal, even indirectly, what they really talked about. Three themes are absolutely key.

On the Macron-proposed, non-NATO European army: “Europe is … a powerful economic union and it is only natural that they want to be independent and … sovereign in the field of defense and security.”

On the consequences of such an army: It would be “a positive process” that would “strengthen the multipolar world.” On top of it, Russia’s position “is aligned with that of France.”

On relations with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Washington: “It is not us who are going to withdraw from the INF Treaty. It is the Americans who plan to do that.” Putin added that Moscow has not scheduled military drills near NATO borders as an attempt to appease an already tense situation. Yet Russia has “no issue with” NATO drills and expects at least a measure of dialogue in the near future.

Enter the Avangard

Vast sectors of the US Deep State are in denial, but Putin may have been able to impress on Trump the necessity of serious dialogue due to an absolutely key vector: the Avangard.

The Avangard is a Russian hypersonic glide vehicle capable of flying over Mach 20 –  24,700km/h, or 4 miles per second – and one of the game-changing Russian weapons Putin announced at his ground-breaking March 1 speech.

The Avangard has been in the production assembly line since the summer of 2018, and is due to become operational in the southern Urals by the end of next year or early 2019.

In the near future, the Avangard may be launched by the formidable  Sarmat RS-28 intercontinental ballistic missile and reach Washington in a mere 15 minutes, flying in a cloud of plasma “like a meteorite” – even if the launch is from Russian territory. Serial production of Sarmat ICBMs starts in 2021.

The Avangard simply cannot be intercepted by any existing system on the planet – and the US knows it. Here is General John Hyten, head of US Strategic Command:  “We don’t have any defense that could deny the employment of such a weapon against us.”

Iran as the new Serbia?

I wish I had been in Paris – my home in Europe – to follow these concentric World War I–related plots live. But it was no less fascinating to follow them from Islamabad, where I am now, back from the northern part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The British Empire used 1.5 million to 2 million Indian colonial subjects to fight, and die, for empire in that war. Quite a few were Punjabis, from what is now Pakistan.

As for the future, Trump is certainly aware of Russia’s hypersonic breakthroughs. Trump and Putin also talked about Syria, and might have touched on Iran, although no one at the working lunch leaked anything about it.

Assuming the dialogue continues at the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires at the end of November, Putin might be able to impress on Trump that just as Serbia catalyzed a chain of events that led great powers to sleepwalk into World War I, the same could happen with Iran leading to the terrifying prospect of World War III.

Team Trump’s obsession on strangling Iran into economic submission is a no-go, even for the Macron-Merkel-led European Union. On top of it, the Russia-China strategic partnership simply won’t allow any funny – reckless – games to be played against a crucial node of Eurasia integration.

Putin won’t even need to go hypersonic to make his case to Trump.


The People’s Defense Forces (HPG), a military wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), claimed that it had attacked 6 military bases in the southern Turkish provinces of Hakkari and Sirnak on November 9 and November 10. The HPG stated that 17 Turkish soldiers were killed and 32 others were wounded as a result of the attack. 8 soldiers are also missing, according to the HPG.

It should be noted that early on November 10 that the PKK also carried out an attack on several targets inside and south of the capital of Sirnak province with seven armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). According to Turkish sources, the UAVs failed to reach their targets due to technical failures and possible jamming by the Turkish military.

The province of Sirnak borders both northern Syria and Iraq. An interesting thing is that the recent PKK attacks confirm multiple Turkish statements that Kurdish armed groups operating in these areas, mostly the People’s Protection Units (YPG), pose a direct threat to the Turkish national security.

On November 13, 4 members of YPG-affiliated security forces were killed in the northern Syrian town of Manbij. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack via its news agency Amaq.

Manbij as well as the YPG-held areas east of the Euphrates River have been repeatedly described by Turkish leadership as a target of the upcoming anti-YPG operation. In late October, the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) delivered several strikes on YPG positions near the town of Kobani and deployed additional troops and equipment in southern Turksih provinces bordering the YPG-held area.

In November, Saif Abu Bakr, Military Chief of the Turkish-backed militant group Hamza Division, declared that members of his group are ready to participate in a large-scale operation against the YPG east of the Euphrates.

The YPG is the core of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The US support to the SDF is the reason of constant tensions between Ankara and Washington. For example, on November 12, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu slammed the US “double-faced policy” towards Turkey addressing the continued US support to Kurdish armed groups in northern Syria. He also said that the US receives 20% of the YPG revenue from the oil fields seized in the war-torn country.

If the US continues its political and military support to the YPG and the group will consolidate its power over the Arab areas captured in northeastern Syria setting a foothold for further PKK attacks on targets in southern Turkey, the Ankara-Washington relations will likely deteriorate further.

البعد الإقليمي في تعقيد ولادة الحكومة

ناصر قنديل

– يستصعب اللبنانيون على اختلاف مشاربهم تصديق أن تكون اسباب تعقيد الحكومة محلية، ليس فقط لأنهم لا يثقون بلبنانية الخلفيات المحرّكة للقوى السياسية، ولا لأنهم أحياناً يرغبون بالتفكير بأسباب تخفيفية لقادتهم في ما يخطئون فيه باعتبار الأزمات فوق طاقتهم، أو لأنهم اعتادوا في كثير من الأزمات السابقة أن الحلول لا تتم بابتكار مخارج غير مألوفة بل بقبول ما لم يكن مقبولاً، وما كان ممكنا قبوله من قبل وتجنيبهم عذاب الانتظار وعقاب التعقيد، وتأتي كلمة السر من مكان ما في الخارج فتحل العقد بسحر ساحر، بل أيضاً لأنهم لا يتخيّلون أن أحداً من السياسيين لا يدرك حجم المخاطر المحيطة بالبلد اقتصادياً وسياسياً، والكلام صار علنياً عن درجة الخطر، أو أنهم يدركون ذلك ويمعنون في اللعب على حافة الهاوية والهاوية لم تعد بعيدة، لكنها إذا ما انزلقت القدم إليها ستكون سحيقة جداً.

– في حوار بين صديقين لدودين ينتمي كل منهما لفريق سياسي، حول الأسباب الإقليمية للتعقيد الحكومي، قال أحدهما للآخر، صحيح أنه ليست لدينا الوقائع التي تتيح تفسير التعقيد بأسباب إقليمية، لكن توقيت تصعيد حزب الله ووقوفه خلف عقدة لا تستحق منع قيام حكومة، بلغة عالية السقف، لا يمكن فهمه إلا كرسالة للخارج حول ربط مصير كل القرارات الخاصة بلبنان بموافقته وإلا فلا قرارات لها قيمة مهما كان حجم القوى السياسية والمواقع الدستورية المتفقة عليها، ما لم يوافق عليها حزب الله، ومن ورائه ضمناً إيران، وهذه رسالة ربما تحتاجها إيران في سياق التجاذب الدائر بينها وبين أميركا، والتي تشكل العقوبات الأميركية أحد وجوهها، لكن المنطقة كلها تشكل مسرحاً لها في المواجهة والتفاوض والرسائل التفاوضية.

– أجاب الصديق اللدود صديقه بالقول تعال لنتساءل من خلال ما نعرفه عن تاريخ المواجهة والتفاوض بين كل من سورية وإيران مع أميركا، والخبرة المتراكمة لدى كلتيهما من وحي هذا التاريخ، وهل يمكن تخيل أن تتوقع إيران وسورية أن تعطيل الحكومة في لبنان يعادل عند الأميركي معركته الاستراتيجية مع إيران حول دورها في المنطقة، ومعركته مع سورية حول مستقبل الحل السياسي ومدى الأمن الإسرائيلي. والسؤال ماذا ستخسر أميركا من تعطيل الحكومة في لبنان، بل السؤال ماذا ستكسب وهي تسميها حكومة حزب الله، وتعتبر رئيس الجمهورية وفريقه حلفاء لحزب الله، وتعرف أن الحكومة في أسوأ ظروف تشكيلها ستقدم الغطاء السياسي لسلاح حزب الله، وتفرض تحول المعركة على السلاح من معركة مع حزب ينقسم من حوله اللبنانيون بلا حكومة تجمعهم، إلى معركة واجهتها الدولة اللبنانية وحكومتها؟

– تابع الصديق اللدود لصديقه يقول ماذا لو أخذنا الفرضية المقابلة، أن واشنطن خلال الشهور الماضية قامت بالإيحاء لحلفائها بأن لا حاجة للسرعة في تشكيل الحكومة، فبالغوا بطرح الشروط وطلب الحصص المضخمة، لأن واشنطن كانت في ذروة الاندفاعة نحو صفقة القرن ووهم إيجاد الشريك الفلسطيني فيها لإعلان الحلف الخليجي الإسرائيلي بوجه إيران. وبالتوازي كان الرهان على العصا الإسرائيلية لضرب التمركز العسكري لإيران وحزب الله في سورية تمهيداً للتفاوض مع روسيا حول شروط الحل السوري بدونهما. ولا يمكن في هذا المناخ أن تهدي إيران حكومتين، واحدة في لبنان والثانية في العراق تستكملان الربط بين مفاصل الجغرافيا الممتدة من إيران إلى ساحل المتوسط، وبعدما تراجعت حظوظ الرهانين، تحلحلت العقد التي كانت، لكن ظهر مستجد يطال البحث الدولي بمستقبل السعودية وفي المضمون إضافة لقضية مقتل جمال الخاشقجي، الفشل السعودي في كل الجبهات، وها هو اشتعال حرب اليمن يتزامن مع تعطيل من نوع مختلف لحكومتي لبنان والعراق، كأن السعودية تريد الإطمئنان لوضعها عند الدول الغربية، عبر رسالة تقول إن الأميركي سيعاني في العراق والأوروبي سيعاني من موجات نزوح السوريين من لبنان ما لم يتم الحفاظ على مكانة السعودية ودورها وحجمها وأولاً وأخيراً نظام الحكم فيها.

– لم يجب المتحدث الأول برد على صديقه، بل طرح سؤالاً، فقال له، ومتى تعتقد أن الأمور ستفرج، فقال له الصديق اللدود لدينا موعدان، الأول نهاية الشهر كموعد معلن أميركياً لوقف الحرب في اليمن سيكشف مسار العلاقة الأميركية السعودية، والثاني في نهاية السنة يتصل بنهاية المهلة المقررة لانعقاد اللجنة الدستورية للحل السياسي في سورية. فعاد الصديق لسؤال صديقه، هل تعتقد أن رفض الرئيس سعد الحريري لتمثيل سنة الثامن من آذار سيتبدل؟ فأجابه، هل تعتقد أن الرئيس الحريري جادّ في كلامه أنه يرى في الأمر تحدياً مصيرياً؟ تخيّل لو أنه قام بتمثيلهم منذ البداية ودلني على نوع الخسارة التي ستلحق به؟

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