Washington Continues Transforming Afghanistan into Massive Graveyard

Washington Continues Transforming Afghanistan into Massive Graveyard

 

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On August 31, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis signed an order to deploy additional US troops in Afghanistan. He noted that this decision was made in accordance with the overall strategy in South Asia that was approved by US President Donald Trump. This means that the number of American soldiers dispatched in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan will reach a total of 14,500.

It should be noted that even though Washington unleashed armed aggression against Afghanistan back in 2001 under the pretext of combating terrorism, today Americans appear indifferent to Islamic State (ISIS) militants operating there, and have focused almost solely on fighting the Taliban. However, unlike the Taliban, the sole goal of which is to regain control over their country by pushing US troops out, ISIS militants have repeatedly stated their intention is to expand their area of operations across the whole of Central Asia, which presents a major to challenge to regional players as well as Russia and China. It is no coincidence that Moscow and Beijing have recently stepped up their diplomatic efforts in Afghanistan in a bid to prevent these radicals from infiltrating their borders.

Britain, in spite of bitter resistance from the Labor Party, is going to increase its military efforts in Afghanistan as well, although London has a disastrous track record of operations in this Central Asian state. British Minister of Defense Michael Fallon was delighted to hear the recent announcement by the Pentagon on Afghanistan. In a bid not to lag behind, the UK government was quick to announces its intentions to deploy special forces from the 22nd SAS regiment in Afghanistan to strengthen the 500 men strong task force operating in this country. Those elite forces are believed to be engaged in covert missions on the ground. However, Afghanistan is not the only state where those forces will be operating, since Iraq, Libya, and Tunisia are also on the list.

As representatives of the British military intelligence told the Sunday Times in late August, the Taliban has allegedly recreated underground cells in every major Afghan city. Somehow, London believes, that if this information is true, the elite troops dispatched to the region will be somehow able to prevent a massive offensive by the Taliban.

However, as it’s been noted by the former president of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai in a interview for a major Russian media platform: “Washington’s new strategy will not lead to peace and stability in Afghanistan, it will only intensify the fighting and bloodshed.” Ex-president Hamid Karzai also told Izvestia that the White House tries to deny peace and prosperity to the people of Afghanistan by intensifying military operations across the country with the help of the notorious military contractors like Academi, which violates the sovereignty of Afghanistan.

This gloomy assessment has been proven true by the recent announcement of the United Nations Mission to Afghanistan, which stated that on August 30 yet another series of air strikes carried out by the US coalition resulted in at least 28 women and children, while leaving more than 16 more injured.

However, peaceful citizens of Afghanistan are not the only victims of this senseless war. As it’s been recently reported by the New York Times, at least 18 CIA operatives lost their lives in Afghanistan in recent years. This figure can easily be compared to a similar death rate in Vietnam and Laos conflicts.

The US armed aggression against Afghanistan has resulted in more than 2,500 US servicemen losing their lives, according to the independent website iCasualties.org, while some 20,000 more were wounded over the course of the conflict. Such casualties were inflicted upon US forces in spite of the massive deployment supported by US intelligence agencies who secretly transported Hamid Karzai into the country at the beginning of the conflict, thus guaranteeing Kabul’s compliance with Washington’s policies.

One has to state that, regrettably, neither Washington nor London has learned anything over the course of this 16-years long war, since by sending more servicemen to Afghanistan they will continue transforming this country into a massive cemetery for Afghan citizens and US coalition soldiers alike.

Vladimir Platov, expert specialized on the Middle East region, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.“ 

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Trump`s UN speech `belongs in medieval times,` says Iran’s Zarif

Trump`s UN speech `belongs in medieval times,` says Iran’s Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif looks on as he attends the Executive Committee Meeting of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on August 1, 2017 in Istanbul. (Photo by AFP)
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif looks on as he attends the Executive Committee Meeting of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on August 1, 2017 in Istanbul. (Photo by AFP)

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that US President Donald Trump’s UN address is not worth of a reply.

“Trump’s ignorant hate speech belongs in medieval times – not the 21st century UN – unworthy of a reply,” Zarif tweeted on Tuesday.

“Fake empathy for Iranians fools no one,” he stressed.

Since Trump took office, the US has launched an attack against the nuclear deal negotiated between Iran and the world powers, including Washington, threatening to abandon the deal on multiple occasions.

Trump told the United Nations General Assembly earlier Tuesday that the nuclear agreement, dubbed as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is an “embarrassment” to the United States.

The US president repeated baseless allegations against Tehran, accusing it of engaging in “destabilizing activities” in the region.

Trump claimed that Iran’s “support for terror is in stark contrast to the recent commitments of many of its neighbors to fight terrorism and halt its financing,”

The US and some of its regional allies, including Saudi Arabia, have been staunch supporters of Takfiri terrorists in the Muslim states of Syria and Iraq.

Tehran has, meanwhile, been praised for its support for anti-terrorism efforts by the governments in Damascus and Baghdad.

The Takfiri terrorists of Daesh were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (R) exits the Russian Permanent Mission to the UN following a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on September 17, 2017 in New York. (Photo by AFP)

Trump’s top diplomat appeared on the US media later to highlight his boss’s stance on the JCPOA.

“If we’re going to stick with the Iran deal there has to be changes made to it. The sunset provisions simply is not a sensible way forward,” said US State Secretary Rex Tillerson. “It’s just simply … kicking the can down the road again for someone in the future to have to deal with.”

Tillerson made the comments as the October 15 deadline was approaching for the president to certify that Iran is complying with the pact.

 

If Trump refuses to do that, then the Republican-controlled Congress will have 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions waived under the deal.

Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China – plus Germany signed the nuclear agreement on July 14, 2015 and started implementing it on January 16, 2016. Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limitations on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.

Trump, what an idiot, what an embarrassment he should be to the U.S. and then there’s Netanyahu, his Boss

Trump Vomits Hatred All Over The United Nations General Assembly Video & Transcript

US may ‘have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea’

Does anyone believe that Trump wrote this speech or any other speech for that matter? Trump is a ventriloquist dummy, delivering words scripted by the military industrial complex. It is difficult to imagine how far we have fallen when the president of our nation threatens to savage and destroy 24 million people and the UN applauds this ignorant savage. We should all be appalled and ashamed as our country slips further into fascism.  Tom Feeley

Netanyahu Speech At UN Video

Netanyahu warned of a “vast Islamist Iranian empire” if the Iranian nuclear deal is not fixed or nixed.

من التحوّلات الميدانية إلى التحوّلات السياسية

 I 

سبتمبر 18, 2017

زياد حافظ

فجأة وبعد حالة إنكار غريبة يركّز الإعلام الغربي والعربي على التطوّرات العسكرية التي تحصل في الميدانين السوري والعراقي. المقالات والتعليقات والمداخلات التلفزيونية وغيرها من وسائل التواصل العام والخاص تغصّ بمعلومات وآراء متعدّدة. معظم هذه الآراء تجمع على أنّ التطوّرات الميدانية ستحمل تطوّرات سياسية. فما هي هذه التحوّلات السياسية المرتقبة؟

في رأينا لقد بدأت منذ فترة التحوّلات السياسية على الصعيد الدولي والإقليمي والعربي، لأنّ التحوّل الاستراتيجي حصل مع إيقاف المشروع الأميركي في العراق، وصمود المقاومة في لبنان وغزّة، ومع صمود سورية في وجه العدوان الكوني. أما التداعيات السياسية فهي متعدّدة. فلا يمكن إجراء مقاربة للتحوّلات الدولية من دون مقاربة انعكاساتها إقليمياً وعربياً، وكما لا يمكن قراءة المشهد الإقليمي بعيداً عن التطوّرات الدولية والعربية، وأخيراً لا يمكن فهم التطوّرات في المشهد العربي من دون الالتفات إلى التحوّلات الدولية والإقليمية. فأيّ قراءة لأيّ مشهد تصبح قراءة متعددة الأبعاد.

فعلى الصعيد الدولي نشهد بروز كتلة سياسية وجغرافية وبشرية واقتصادية وعسكرية في العالم أكبر وأفعل من مجموعة «المجتمع الدولي» المكوّن أساساً من الولايات المتحدة والاتحاد الأوروبي، وذلك منذ تبيّن أنّ الهيمنة الأميركية تتعثر في مطلع الألفية الجديدة. المجموعة الجديدة هي مجموعة بريكس. لن نسترسل في سرد التطوّرات التي رافقت نشأة بريكس، بل نكتفي بما حصل في اللقاء الأخير لقمة تلك الدول التي عُقدت في مدينة زيامين الصينية. فالقمة الأخيرة لها دلالات عديدة إضافة إلى أنها المدينة التي كان عمدتها في السابق الرئيس الصيني الحالي زي جين بينغ.

الدلالة الأولى تكمن في طريقة الاستقبال الحارّ والفائض في الاحترام لمسؤولي الدول المشاركة خلافاً عن الاستقبال الرسمي والمتعالي والبارد أحياناً الذي يحصل في الغرب تجاه الدول التي تعتبرها دول الغرب أقلّ شأناً لا ننسى دفع الرئيس الأميركي لرئيس الجبل الأسود في اجتماع قمة الأطلسي الأخير أمام الشاشات .

الدلالة الثانية هي مضمون المحادثات سواء على الصعيد السياسي أو الاقتصادي. ففلسفة هذه المجموعة هي الاستقرار ضمن حدود القوانين الدولية واحترام الدول، وبهذا تختلف مع دول «المجتمع الدولي» التي تضرب عرض الحائط المواثيق الدولية والقانون الدولي. فقرار رفض أيّ مغامرة عسكرية في الأزمة الكورية كان بمثابة «نقض» لبعض التوجّهات الأميركية التصعيدية تجاه كوريا الشمالية. ويأتي هذا التوافق بعد اهتزازات في العلاقات بين الصين والهند ومحاولات الأخيرة في بلورة مبادرة منافسة لمبادرة الحزام والطريق الواحد، وذلك مع اليابان وبعض الدول الأفريقية تحت عنوان الممرّ الأفريقي الآسيوي للنمو.

أما على الصعيد الاقتصادي فكانت القرارات تثبّت المضيّ في إنشاء منظومة مالية دولية مستقلّة عن الدولار ما يحصّن الاستقلالية السياسية التي تتّسم بها هذه الدول. وعلى ما يبدو فإنّ هذا التوجّه يقلق الإدارة الأميركية التي وجّهت على لسان وزير المال ستيفين منوخين تحذيراً للصين بمنعها من «الدخول إلى النظام المالي الأميركي والدولي للدولار»، كما ذكر موقع «فورين بوليسي» و «روسيا اليوم». جاء هذا التحذير بعد اعتراض الصين على عقوبات قاسية بحق كوريا الشمالية غير أنّ التهديد الأميركي أبعد من ملابسات الأزمة الكورية. غير أنّ الصين وحلفاءها ماضون في إنشاء المنظومة المالية الموازية للدولار لردع الهيمنة الأميركية على العالم من الناحية الاقتصادية. فما يحصل في الميدان السوري والعراقي يُترجم على الصعيد الدولي بالمزيد من الاستقلالية عن الهيمنة الأميركية.

الدلالة الثالثة، وهي ربما الأهمّ في اللقاء الأخير، هو الانفتاح على العالم. فدعوة مصر وغينيا وتايلاند والمكسيك وطاجكستان ترمز إلى إقناع العالم أنّ الغرب ليس المرجع الوحيد للقرار السياسي والاقتصادي العالمي. دعوة مصر لها دلالات عديدة. فعبر مصر تدخل بريكس الوطن العربي كما تركّز وجودها في القارة الأفريقية مع وجودها في الجنوب عبر جمهورية جنوب أفريقيا إحدى الدول المؤسسة لمجموعة بريكس، ووجود غينيا الغنية بالموارد الطبيعية من معادن بوكسيت، ذهب، الماس والتي رفضت منذ استقلالها الهيمنة الفرنسية على مقدّراتها. فهي منذ حكم الرئيس المؤسس للجمهورية الغينية أحمد سيكو توري خارج منطقة الفرنك الأفريقي «سي أف آه» والنفوذ الفرنسي المباشر. فثلاث دول أفريقية وازنة مشاركة أو مدعوّة كمراقب في مجموعة بريكس لها معانٍ كثيرة أهمّها أنّ الدول المستعمرة القديمة تراجعت سيطرتها وهيمنتها بشكل ملحوظ على القارة الأفريقية. أما دعوة المكسيك فهي مع البرازيل الدولة في أميركا اللاتينية صاحبة الشأن الاقتصادي الأبرز وعلى أبواب الولايات المتحدة. فيما بعد نعتقد أنّ فنزويلا وكوبا ستصبحان ضمن مجموعة بريكس اللاتينية.

أما على الصعيد الأميركي فحالة الإرباك هي المسيطرة على مفاصل الإدارة والحكم كافة. فالتحوّلات الميدانية في سورية والعراق لا تساعد على حسم الإرباك. فمن جهة هناك نزعة الرئيس إلى عدم التورّط في حروب جديدة، ومن جهة أخرى هناك نزعة القيادات العسكرية التي لا تعرف كيف تنهي الحروب لتقلّل من خسائرها. فبعد الحرب العالمية الثانية لم تربح الولايات المتحدة حرباً في العالم رغم انخراطها في حروب مستمرة. والآن هي منخرطة بشكل أو بآخر في حروب في سبع دول من دون نتيجة إيجابية لها تذكر. فالميل الطبيعي عند القيادات العسكرية هي المزيد من التدخل لأنها لا تستطيع أن تقرّ بهزيمة ميدانية. هذا هو الحال في أفغانستان والعراق وسورية واليمن والصومال وباكستان وكاميرون.

هنا لا بدّ من ملاحظة تطوّر جديد في موقف المؤسسة العسكرية وهو عدم الرضوخ لمشيئة الكيان الصهيوني. هناك دلائل عديدة عن ذلك التحوّل الذي بدأ منذ بضع سنوات في جلسات استماع للقيادات العسكرية في الكونغرس الأميركي مفادها أنّ سياسات حكومة الكيان تهدّد الأمن العسكري للقوّات الأميركية في المشرق العربي.

أما الحضور العسكري الأميركي في الساحتين العراقية والسورية فهو محدود، ولا يستطيع تغيير المعادلات الاستراتيجية التي ترسم في الميدان. كلّ ما يمكن أن تفعله هو محاولة في إمساك ورقة للتفاوض. فروسيا التي تقود الحملة السياسية للحلّ السياسي للصراع في سورية تحرص على حفظ ماء الوجه الأميركي من دون أن يسبّب ذلك أيّ ضرر لمصالحها في سورية والعراق وعامة المشرق، ولكن كلّ ذلك يُبقي اليد العليا لروسيا وحلفائها الإقليميين والدولة السورية.

وأخيراً على الصعيد الأوروبي، فبات واضحاً أنّ الدول الوازنة في الاتحاد تجنح إلى الإقرار بالهزيمة الميدانية والسياسية في سورية وتحاول التخفيف من الخسائر وحفظ دور ما في المعادلة السياسية الجديدة، وربما المساهمة في إعادة إعمار سورية. فالاتحاد الأوروبي يتعرّض لهزّات عديدة وقوية نتيجة سياسات خاطئة أدّت إلى تدفّق اللاجئين من سورية والعراق ما مسّ بالأمن القومي الداخلي لدول الاتحاد.

سبتمبر 19, 2017

The Guardian View on Saudi Arabia: The Seventh Son Rises

19-09-2017 | 13:50

A crackdown on dissent by the youngest heir apparent in Saudi history will not help the desert kingdom find a way out of an economic mess at home and misguided entanglements abroad

MBS

The ascension in June of Muhammed bin Salman as crown prince of Saudi Arabia was an instant Rorschach test for observers of the desert kingdom. Is he a reformer prepared to drag his kingdom, a repressive regime that writes very large welfare cheques, into the 21st century or a callow princeling whose rise to power could destabilize the region? The 31-year-old prince has undoubtedly amassed great power and dominates Saudi economic, diplomatic and domestic policy.

The crown prince, known as MBS, is also the architect of the bloody quagmire of the Yemen war and a hardliner in the current Gulf row with neighboring Qatar. His father, King Salman, 81, is not in good health, walks with a stick and suffers from brain fades in meetings. By anointing his seventh son as the youngest heir apparent in Saudi history, the ailing monarch has signaled a decisive break with the past.

If the first few months are a reliable guide, then the omens for the future are not good. The palace coup that saw MBS take power was bloodless. In the summer’s Game of Thrones, his powerful uncles and rivals were either sidelined or placed under house arrest. The sense of how riven the Saudi royal house is could be gleaned from reports, sourced from within the court, claiming the other leading contender for the throne had a drug problem. Last week it emerged that Saudi authorities had launched a crackdown on dissent, targeting Islamic thinkers, public critics and political rivals.

Two prominent clerics were taken away for failing to publicly declare their support for the crown prince’s stance toward Qatar.

Both are popular with the Saudi public, with millions of Twitter followers. Another journalist has been banned from writing opinion columns, while human rights activists have been given outlandish eight-year prison sentences for peaceful campaigning. Whatever MBS’s public face, this intolerance of dissent is almost paranoid.

If there was time for Saudi society to debate how to proceed, it’s probably now. Saudi Arabia was the cradle of [extremism] so its stability is a global concern. In domestic terms, Saudi Arabia is a mess.

The kingdom is the world’s largest oil exporter, with reserves of 260bn barrels – but it is a one-trick economy. Oil prices have plummeted from the highs of 2014, forcing Riyadh to spend some $200bn from its foreign exchange reserves to cover its deficit.

In response the crown prince instigated a Thatcherite program of privatization and subsidy cuts to balance the books. But these moves threatened the social contract between the royal family and its subjects, the majority of whom are under 35.
On the world stage, Saudi Arabia has been forced on the back foot by events and its own incompetence.

The war in Yemen, costly in civilian lives, and a blockade of Qatar are a result of draining infatuations.

Instead of succeeding, those obsessions have been embarrassments for the crown prince. Riyadh is now courting Iraq’s leadership – especially those close to Iran. It has withdrawn from Syria, leaving that country’s future in the hands of Moscow, Ankara and Tehran.

Source: The Guardian, Edited by website team

Shamkhani Warns: Iran to End Military Accords with Kurdistan in Case of Split

September 18, 2017

Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani

Head of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani said all military agreements with semi-autonomous Kurdistan region will be terminated if the region goes ahead with the decision to split from Baghdad.

Shamkhani made the remarks on Sunday as Iraqi Kurdish legislators of the country’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region approved holding a referendum on independence on September 25 despite growing opposition from Baghdad and neighboring countries.

“The split has no legal basis and will definitely bring about security issues for the Middle East, Iraq, and especially the Kurdistan region,” he stressed.

Shamkhani went on to highlight the decisive role of Kurds in Iraqi government and the need for continuing the use of their capacities for the improvement of security, economic and political structures of Kurdistan region, adding “the opposition from neighboring countries over the holding of the referendum will complicate the situation for Kurdistan after the split.”

Stressing that Iran only recognizes the united and federal government of Iraq, Shamkhani said “any disruption to this strategic principle will lead to a serious reconsideration and change of the ongoing cooperation between Iran and the Kurdistan region.”

Border agreements are in place solely with the central government of Iraq and the separation of the Kurdish region from the central government will indicate the blocking of all joint border checkpoints, he added.

Shamkhani further stressed that Iran would adopt a completely different approach toward border security in case Kurdistan region separated from Iraq.

SourceMehr News Agency

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Resistance Axis Won in Syria, Farewell to Arms

September 19, 2017

Syrian Army

Syria is heading towards a comprehensive settlement.
Farewell to arms.

Syria is on a new path, and it is witnessing a major shift from battlefield to political negotiations, and intensified diplomacy.
The liberation of Deir Ezzor from the Takfiri ISIL group has ushered in a new era where political settlement would be brought to the forefront. This does not necessarily mean that military battles have been dashed away. We might be still heading to the mother of all battles in the remaining part of Deir Ezzor area, as many of ISIL foreign fighters would be sieged with no hope to go anywhere or to be part of any settlement. This would leave them with only one choice, fighting till death, especially that some senior cadres and higher leaderships of the Takfiris are among them there.

At any rate, the battle there would necessarily end with ISIL defeat.

Now the whole political spectrum has been shuffled, and all are anticipating a two year political settlement which will start with a transitional period. The main headlines would include the following:

– Dr. Bashar Al-Assad continues to be the head of the Syrian state.
– The integrity and unity of the Syrian soil would be definitely preserved.
– The reconciliation process will continue to take place, yet with a faster pace and wider space.
– Al-Nusra and ISIL would be necessarily eliminated from the Syrian geography as two main terrorist groups.
– Astana negotiations have reached tangible results starting from the above points.

Of course, the negotiations will continue and the liquidation of remaining terrorists pockets and enclaves too.

To sum up the argument, Syria has started a new process of reconciliation and reconstruction where the upper hand should be for the winning party. Doubtlessly, this is the resistance axis that stretches from Tehran to Palestine.

Source: Al-Manar Website

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