THE SAKER: “CAN THE EU BECOME A PARTNER FOR RUSSIA?”

THE SAKER: “CAN THE EU BECOME A PARTNER FOR RUSSIA?”

Written by The Saker; Originally appeared at The Unz Review

The re-nomination (albeit somewhat reshuffled) of the “economic block” of the Medvedev government has elicited many explanations, some better than others.  Today I want to look at one specific hypothesis which can be summed up like this: Putin decided against purging the (unpopular) “economic block” from the Russian government because he wanted to present the EU with “known faces” and partners EU politicians would trust.  Right now, with Trump’s insane behavior openly alienating most European leaders, this is the perfect time to add a Russian “pull” to the US “push” and help bring the EU closer to Russia.  By re-appointing Russian “liberals” (that is a euphemism for WTO/WB/IMF/etc types) Putin made Russia look as attractive to the EU as possible.  In fact, the huge success of the Saint Petersburg summit and the Parliamentary Forum is proof that this strategy is working.

This hypothesis is predicated on one crucial assumption: that the EU, under the right conditions, could become a partner for Russia.

But is that assumption warranted?  I personally don’t believe that it is, and I will try to lay out the reasons for my skepticism:

First, there is no “EU”, at least not in political terms.  More crucially, there is no “EU foreign policy”.  Yes, there are EU member states, who have political leaders, there is a big business community in the EU and there are many EU organizations, but as such, the “EU” does not exist, especially not in terms of foreign policy.  The best proof of that is how clueless the so-called “EU” has been in the Ukraine, then with the anti-Russian sanctions, in dealing with an invasion of illegal immigrants, and now with Trump.  At best, the EU can be considered a US protectorate/colony, with some subjects “more equal than others” (say, the UK versus Greece).  Most (all?) EU member states are abjectly obedient to the USA, and this is no surprise considering that even the so-called “EU leader” or “EU heavyweight” – Germany – only has very limited sovereignty.  The EU leaders are nothing but a comprador elite which doesn’t give a damn about the opinions and interests of the people of Europe.  The undeniable fact is that the so-called “EU foreign policy” has gone against the vital interests of the people of Europe for decades and that phenomenon is only getting worse.

The Saker: "Can the EU become a partner for Russia?"

Welcome to Europe!

Second, the single most powerful and unified organization in Europe is not even an EU organization, but NATO.  And NATO, in real terms, is no less than 80% USA.  Forget about those fierce looking European armies, they are all a joke.  Not only do they represent no credible force (being too small, too poorly trained, under-equipped and poorly commanded), but they are completely dependent on the USA for a long list of critical capabilities and “force multipliers“: command, control, communications, intelligence, networking, surveillance, reconnaissance, target acquisition, logistics, etc.  Furthermore, in terms of training, force planning, weapon systems procurement, deployment and maintenance, EU states are also totally dependent on the USA.  The reason?  The US military budget totally dwarfs anything individual EU states can spend, so they all depend on Uncle Sam.  Of sure, the NATO figurehead – the Secretary General – is usually a non-entity which makes loud statements and is European (I think of that clown Stoltenberg as the prefect example), but NATO is not run by the NATO Secretary General. In reality, it is run by the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), who is the head of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) and these guys are as red, white an blue as it gets.  Forget about the “Eurocorps” or any other so-called “European armies” – it’s all hot air, like Trudeau’s recent outburst at Trump.  In reality in the EU, as in Canada, they all know who is boss.  And here is the single most important fact: NATO desperately needs Russia as justification for its own existence: if relations with Russia improve, then NATO would have no more reason to exist.  Do you really think that anybody will let that happen?  I sure don’t!  And right now, the Europeans are busy asking for more US troops on their soil, not less and they are all pretending to be terrified by a Russian invasion, hence the need for more and bigger military exercises close to the Russian border.  And just to cover all its bases, NATO is now gradually expanding into Latin America.

Third, there is a long list of EU governments which vitally need further bad relationships with Russia.  They include:

  1. Unpopular governments which need to explain their own failures by the nefarious actions of an external bogyman.  A good example is how the Spanish authorities blamed Russia for the crisis in Catalonia.  Or the British with their “Brexit”.  The Swedes are doing even better, they are already preparing their public opinion for a “Russian interference” in case the election results don’t turn out to be what they need.
  2. Governments whose rhetoric has been so hysterically anti-Russian that they cannot possibly back down from it.  Best examples: the UK and Merkel.  But since most (but not all) EU states did act on the Skripal false-flag on the basis of the British “highly likely” and in the name of “solidarity”, they are now all stuck as accomplices of this policy.  There is *no way* they are simply going to admit that they were conned by the Brits.
  3. EU prostitutes: states whose only policy is to serve the USA against Russia.  These states compete against each other in the most abject way to see who can out-brown-nose each other for the position of “most faithful and willing loyal servant of the USA”.  The best examples are, of course, the three Baltic statelets, but the #1 position has to go to the “fiercely patriotic Poles” who are now willing to actually pay Uncle Sam to be militarily occupied (even though the very same Uncle Sam is trying to racketeer them for billions of dollars).  True, now that EU subsidies are running out, the situation of these states is becoming even more dire, and they know that the only place where they can still get money is the USA.  So don’t expect them to change their tune anytime soon (even if Bulgaria has already realized that nobody in the West gives a damn about it).
  4. Governments who want to crack down on internal dissent by accusing any patriotic or independent political party/movement to be “paid by the Kremlin” and representing Russian interests.  The best example is France and how it treated the National Front.  I would argue that most EU states are, in one way or another, working on creating a “national security state” because they do realize (correctly) that the European people are deeply frustrated and oppose EU policies (hence all the anti-EU referendums lost by the ruling elites).

Contrary to a very often repeated myth, European business interests do not represent a powerful anti-russophobic force.  Why?  Just look at Germany: for all the involvement of Germany (and Merkel personally) in the Ukraine, for all the stupid rhetoric about “Russia being an aggressor” which “does not comply with the Mink Agreements”, North Stream is going ahead!  Yes, money talks, and the truth is that while anti-Russian sanctions have cost Europe billions, the big financial interests (say the French company Total) have found ways to ignore/bypass these sanctions.  Oh sure, there is a pro-trade lobby with Russian interest in Europe. It is real, but it simply does not have anywhere near the power the anti-Russian forces in the EU have.  This is why for *years* now various EU politicians and public figures have made noises about lifting the sanctions, but when it came to the vote – they all voted as told by the real bosses.

Not all EU Russophobia is US-generated, by the way.  We have clearly seen that these days when Trump suggested that the G7 (or, more accurately, the G6+1) needed to re-invite Russia, it was the Europeans who said “nope!”.  To the extend that there is a “EU position” (even a very demure and weak one), it is mostly anti-Russian, especially in the northern part of Europe.  So when Uncle Sam tells the Europeans to obey and engage in the usual Russia-bashing, they all quickly fall in line, but in the rare case when the US does not push a rabidly anti-Russian agenda, EU politicians suddenly find enough willpower to say “no”.  By the way, for all the Trump’s statements about re-inviting Russia into the G6+1 the US is still busy slapping more sanctions on Russia.

The current mini-wars between the US and the EU (on trade, on Iran, on Jerusalem) do not at all mean that Russia automatically can benefit from this.  Again, the best example of this is the disastrous G6+1 summit in which Trump basically alienated everybody only to have the G6 reiterate its anti-Russian position even though the G6+1 needs Russia far more than Russia needs the G7 (she really doesn’t!).  Just like the US and Israeli leaders can disagree and, on occasion, fight each other, that does not at all mean that somehow they are not fundamentally joined at the hip.  Just think of mob “families” who can even have “wars” against each other, but that does not at all mean that this will benefit the rest of the population whom all mobsters prey upon.

The Ukrainian crisis will only benefit anti-Russian forces in Europe.  There is a very high probability that in the near future the Ukronazi regime will try to reconquer Novorussia (DNR/LRN).  I submit that the outcome of such an attack is not in doubt – the Ukronazis will lose.  The only question is this: to whom will they lose:

  • Option one: they lose to the combined forces of the DNR and LNR.  This is probably the most likely outcome.  Should this happen, there is a very high probability of a Novorussian counter attack to liberate most of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, especially the cities of Slaviansk and Mariupol.  Since past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, we can be pretty darn sure of what the reaction in Kiev and in the West will be: Russia will be blamed for it all.  The AngloZionists will *never* admit that the Ukronazi regime lost a civil war to its own people because the Novorussians will never accept a Nazi regime ruling over them.  Thus, a Novorussian victory will result in more hysterical Russophobia.
  • Option two: the Ukronazis succeed in their attack and threaten to overrun Donetsk, Lugansk and the rest of Novorussia.  Putin simply cannot allow this to happen.  He has made that promise many times and he has recently repeated it during his “open line” with the Russian people.  If the Russians are forced to intervene, this will not be a massive ground invasion – there is no need for that.  Russia has the firepower needed in the form of missile and artillery strikes to destroy the attacking Urkonazi forces and to impose a no-fly zone over all of Novorussia.  If Kiev pushes on and launches a full-scale attack on Russia proper, the Ukrainian armed forces will be totally disorganized and cease combat in about 48 hours.  This scenario is what I call the “Neocon dream” since such a Russian intervention will not be imaginary, but quite real and the Kremlin will even confirm it all very publicly and probably recognize the two Novorussian Republics just like what happened in 08.08.08 when Saakashvili decided to invade South Ossetia.  So, AngloZionists will (finally!) have the “proof” that Russia is the aggressor, the Poles and Balts will prepare for an “imminent” Russian invasion and I think that there is a pretty good chance that NATO forces will move into the Western Ukraine to “stop the Russians”, even if the said Russians will have absolutely no desire (or even possible motive) to want to invade the rest of the Ukraine or, even less so, Poland, Sweden or the Baltic statelets.

I will admit that there is still a small possibility that a Ukronazi attack might not happen.  Maybe Poroshenko & Co. will get cold feet (they know the real condition of the Ukie military and “dobrobat” death squads) and maybe Putin’s recent not-so-veiled threat about “grave consequences for the Ukrainian statehood” will have the needed effect.  But what will happen even if this attack does not take place?  The EU leaders and the Ukronazi regime in Kiev will still blame Russia for the Ukraine now clearly being a failed state.  Whatever scenario you find more likely for the Ukraine, things there will only get worse and everybody will blame Russia.

The crisis in Syria will only benefit anti-Russian forces in Europe.  It is becoming pretty clear that the USA is now attempting a reconquista of Syria or, at least, a break-up of Syria into several zones, including US-controlled ones.  Right now, the USA and the “good terrorists” have lost the war, but that does not stop them from re-igniting a new one, mostly by reorganizing, retraining, redeploying and, most importantly, re-branding the surviving “bad terrorists” into “good ones”.  This plan is backed by Saudi money and Israeli firepower.  Furthermore, Russia is now reporting that US Special Forces are already working with the (new) “good terrorists” to – you guessed it – prepare yet another fake chemical attack and blame it on the Syrians.  And why not?  It worked perfectly already several times, why not do that again?  At the very least, it would give the USA another try at getting their Tomahawks to show their effectiveness (even if they fail again, facts don’t matter here). And make no mistake, a US “victory” in Syria (or in Venezuela) would be a disaster not only for the region, but for every country wanting to become sovereign (see Andre Vltchek’s excellent article on this topic here).  And, again, Russia will be blamed for it all and, with certifiable nutcasts like Bolton, Russian forces might even be attacked.  As I wrote already many times, this is far from over.  Just as in the Ukrainian case, some deal might be made (at least US and Russian military officials are still talking to each other) but my personal opinion is that making any kind of deal with Trump is as futile as making deals with Netanyahu: neither of them can be trusted and they both will break any and all promises in a blink of an eye.  And if all hell breaks loose in Syria and/or Iran, NATO will make sure that the Europeans all quickly and obediently fall in line (“solidarity”, remember?).

The bottom line is this: currently, the EU is most unlikely to become a viable partner for Russia and the future does look rather bleak.

One objection to my pessimism is the undeniable success of the recent Saint Petersburg summit and the Parliamentary Forum.  However, I believe that neither of these events was really centered around Europe at all,  but about the world at large (see excellent report by Gilbert Doctorow on this topic here).  Yes, Russia is doing great and while the AngloZionist media loves to speak about the “isolation” of Russia, the truth is that it is the Empire which is isolated, while Russia and China are having a tremendous success building the multi-polar world they want to replace the Empire with.  So while it is true that the western leaders might prefer to see a liberal “economic block” in the new Russian government, the rest of the world has no such desire at all (especially considering how many countries out there have suffered terrible hardships at the hands of the WTO/WB/IMF/etc types).

Conclusion:

The AngloZionist Empire is not based in the USA, or in the EU, or Israel, or anywhere else on the planet.  It is a trans-national entity with regional variations and which includes different interest groups under its umbrella.  You can think of it as a gigantic criminal gang racketeering the entire planet for “protection”.  To think that by presenting a “liberal” face to these thugs will gain you their support is extremely naive as these guys don’t care about your face: what they want is your submission.  Vladimir Putin put it best when he said “They do not want to humiliate us, they want to subdue us, solve their problems at our expense”.

However, if the EU is, for all practical purposes, non-existent, Russia can, and will, engage with individual EU member states.  There is a huge difference between, say, Poland and Italy, or the UK and Austria.  Furthermore, the EU is not only dysfunctional, it is also non-viable.  Russia would immensely benefit from the current EU either falling apart or being deeply reformed because the current EU is a pure creation of the US-backed Bilderberger types and not the kind of Europe the European people need.  In fact, I would even argue that the EU is the single biggest danger for the people of the European continent.  Thus Russia should use her resources to foster bi-lateral cooperation with individual EU member states and never take any action which would strengthen (or even legitimize) EU-derived organizations such as the EU Parliament, the European Court of Human Rights, etc.  These are all entities which seek to undermine the sovereignty of all its members, including Russia.  Again, Putin put it best when he recently declared that “either Russia is a sovereign country, or there is no Russia“.

Whatever the ideology and slogans, all empires are inherently evil and inherently dangerous to any country wanting to be truly sovereign.  If Russia (and China) want to create a multi-polar world, they need to gradually disengage from those trans-national bodies which are totally controlled by the Empire, it is really that simple.  Instead, Russia needs to engage those countries, political parties and forces who advocate for what de Gaulle called “the Europe of fatherlands“.  Both the AngloZionist Empire and the EU are undergoing the most profound crisis in their history and the writing is on the wall.  Sooner rather than later, one by one, European countries will recover their sovereignty, as will Russia.  Only if the people of Europe succeed in recovering their sovereignty could Russia look for real partnerships in the West, if only because the gradually developing and integrating Eurasian landmass offer tremendous economic opportunities which could be most beneficial to the nations of Europe.  A prosperous Europe “from the Atlantic to the Urals” is still a possibility, but that will happen only when the current European Union and NATO are replaced by truly European institutions and the current European  elites replaced by sovereignists.

The people of Russia, EU and, I would argue, the United States all have the same goal and the same enemy:  they want to recover their sovereignty, get rid of their corrupt and, frankly, treacherous elites and liberates themselves from the hegemony of the AngloZionist Empire.  This is why pushing the issue of “true sovereignty” (and national traditional values) is, I believe, the most unifying and powerful political idea to defeat the Empire.  This will be a long struggle but the outcome is not in doubt.

The Saker

PS: just as I was sending this article away I came across this article by Paul Craig Roberts “Is Europe Too Brainwashed To Normalize Relations With Russia?” – make sure to also check it out!

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زمن الكبار: حافظ الأسد

يونيو 11, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– يتزامن إحياء رحيل الرئيس حافظ الأسد ورحيل الإمام الخميني خلال هذا الشهر، وقد قادا حقبة ممتدّة في ثمانينيات القرن الماضي، وسمت هذا الشرق ببصماتها، وامتدّت مع الرئيس حافظ الأسد والإمام الخامنئي كخليفة للإمام الخميني في التسعينيات، لتمتدّ منذ مطلع القرن الحالي بشراكة الرئيس بشار الأسد والإمام الخامنئي، حتى أيامنا هذه. وقد ولدت في كنف هذه العلاقة المقاومة في لبنان، وصارت رمزية ومكانة قائدها السيد حسن نصرالله تشارك الدور وصناعة المشهد الاستراتيجي للرئيس بشار الأسد والإمام الخامنئي، كما صارت روسيا الجديدة بقيادة الرئيس فلاديمير بوتين العائدة لمكانتها التاريخية بقوة، علامة من علامات المسرح الدولي الجديد لا يمكن رسم معادلاته بدونها، ومعها الصين الصاعدة كقوة اقتصادية أولى في العالم لا تنازعه عليها أميركا، رغم إمساكها بمفاصل النظام المالي العالمي.

– الأسبق في القراءة وصناعة السياسة ورسم الاستراتيجيات بين هذه الرموز، والذي مهّد الطريق لنهضتها ووثق بقدرتها، واستثمر على قوّتها، هو الرئيس الراحل حافظ الأسد، الذي قرأ بصورة عبقرية أربع معادلات تحكم المنطقة والعالم اليوم: أوّلها مكانة سورية واستحالة إسقاطها أو تفكيكها، وقدرتها على تغيير المعادلات الدولية والإقليمية، رغم تواضع إمكاناتها التقليدية قياساً بالدول الكبرى ما قد يغري البعض بالمغامرة، لكنه سرعان ما يكتشف تحطّم مغامراته على جدران التاريخ والجغرافيا التي تحميها. والمعادلة الثانية هي قانون الصراع مع كيان الاحتلال ومكانة المقاومة فيه كعامل صناعة لتوازن استراتيجي سعى إليه واستثمر عليه. والمعادلة الثالثة هي مكانة ودور إيران، وقد وقف مع ثورتها الفتية في أيامها الصعبة ووقف بقوّة ضدّ الحرب الظالمة التي فُرضت عليها تحت عنوان عروبة مزيّفة، واثقاً من كونها السند والعمق لكلّ حركة مقاومة ومواجهة صادقة مع الاحتلال وكيانه الغاصب، ومن أنّها شريك تاريخي واستراتيجي لسورية في مواجهة الصعاب والمحن المقبلة، والمعادلة الرابعة هي نظرته لروسيا التي نجح مبكراً في قراءتها بعيداً عن عقد الأيديولوجيا، وتعقيداتها، فروسيا دولة عظمى وشريك في أمن هذا الإقليم ومستقبله، كما يقول تاريخها أيام القيصرية، وسيقول مستقبلها.

– جاءت الحروب التي شهدتها المنطقة بعد رحيل الرئيس حافظ الأسد، لتؤكد صوابية النهج والتوقعات والقراءة والمعادلات، فها هي سورية برئيسها وجيشها تثبت أنها عاتية على العاتي، وأنّها أقوى من الأقوياء، وأنها الأثبت في معادلات يرسمها زائلون. وها هو الجيش السوري والرئيس بشار الأسد يدخلان التاريخ تحت عنوان، أقوى الجيوش وأقوى الرؤساء، ويتعلّم الذين توقعوا الوقيعة بسورية بعد رحيل حافظ الأسد أنهم سيلاقون ما يفوق توقعاتهم حتى الندم. وها هي المقاومة وقد اشتدّ عودها وصارت قوّة ضاربة، وفية لمن وقف معها ورعاها، تنتصر لسورية ولنفسها في الحرب التي شنّها أكثر من نصف العالم لإسقاط سورية وإطفاء جذوة المقاومة فيها. وها هي إيران كما قرأها الرئيس حافظ الأسد قوّة دولية وإقليمية صاعدة ومُهابة، صديقة وفية لسورية ولفلسطين، صادقة العهود والوعود. وها هي روسيا تستردّ عافيتها ومكانتها، وكما توقعها، ها هي قوية جبارة وواثقة بقوّتها وإمكاناتها، تعود.

– في لبنان مَن قرأوا في كتاب العروبة للرئيس الراحل حافظ الأسد، وما هزّتهم الرياح، وبقوا على الثبات في الموقع والموقف رغم المخاطر، والإرهاب والتخوين والتخويف، وهم اليوم مع الرئيس بشار الأسد، ويرون في المعادلات الجديدة لدور روسيا وإيران ومحور المقاومة بشائر خير مقبلة على المنطقة والعالم، وفي الطليعة لفلسطين البوصلة. وهم على ثقة بأنّهم الأشدّ تمسكاً بلبنانية وطنية صافية، تعرف مصلحة لبنان ولا تساوم عليها، ولا تبيع ولا تشتري، مهما كرهَ الكارهونَ ومهما قال المقاولون. وفي المقابل في لبنان مَن تاجر بالعلاقة مع سورية صداقة وعداوة، فباع الصداقة واشترى بالعداوة صداقة أعدائها، أو نظر للصداقة كتجارة رابحة لنيل المكاسب والمناصب على ظهر العلاقة بسورية. وهؤلاء يتشدّقون بلبنانيتهم، وهي عندهم مجرد عنوان لبضاعة معروضة للبيع أو للإيجار في سوق السياسات الدولية والإقليمية، ومن موقع لبنانية وطنية صافية، تعرف حجم تضحيات سورية وصدق الرئيس الراحل حافظ الأسد والرئيس بشار الأسد مع لبنان قويّ ومقاوم، نقول خسر لبنان برحيل الرئيس حافظ الأسد أخاً كبيراً صادقاً، ونقول لا يستوي الجمع في العلاقة بين لبنان وسورية، بين أهل تلازم المسارَيْن وأهل تلازم الفسادَيْن، فكلاها يؤمن بالتلازم، لكن لكم تلازمُكم ولنا تلازمُنا.

– نستعيد للرئيس حافظ الأسد كلمتين، ما بين لبنان وسورية صنعه الله، وما صنعه الله لا يفرّقه بنو البشر، ولبنان وسورية شعب واحد في دولتين، وستثبت الأيام صحة القول، مهما كثر المنافقون.’

القمّة الروسية الصينية وملفات إيران وكوريا

يونيو 9, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– تنعقد القمة الروسية الصينية في بكين في ظروف يطغى عليها الحديث عن خلاف صيني كوري من جهة يرجّح تفاهماً بين كوريا الشمالية وأميركا من وراء ظهر الصين، وبالعكس خلاف روسي إيراني يرجّح تفاهماً أميركياً روسياً من وراء ظهر إيران بل على حسابها. والكثير من العناوين تنتظر على جدول أعمال القمة التي تضمّ البلدين الرئيسيين اللذين تسبّبا باستنزاف صورة أميركا كدولة عظمى عسكرياً واقتصادياً وسياسياً وأخلاقياً، ونجحا بإظهارها خلال العقد الأخير كدولة ترتهن للديون، وتعجز عن خوض الحرب، وتبيع الحلفاء في العلن والخفاء، وتتنكّر للعهود وتحنث بالوعود، وكانت البداية المتواضعة لتعاون بكين وموسكو في عام 2007 بالفيتو المزدوج الذي مارساه في إسقاط مشروع قرار أميركي في مجلس الأمن الدولي حول ماينمار، الذي صار عنواناً لمواجهة مفتوحة بتكرار الفيتو المزدوج في الملف السوري في تشرين الثاني 2011 وفي شباط عام 2012 قطعاً لسياق التفرّد الأميركي باستخدام مجلس الأمن الدولي غطاء أحادياً للسياسات الأميركية منذ سقوط جدار برلين وانهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي.

– النقاش الذي نجح الأميركيون بتصديره إلى ساحة منافسيهم وخصومهم يؤكد أنّ السيطرة على الساحة الإعلامية لا تزال للأميركيين وحلفائهم، وإلا كيف يمكن التصديق والدخول في مناقشة فرضيات من نوع إمكانية تفاهم كوري شمالي أميركي بلا روسيا والصين، وأن ترمي كوريا مستقبلها ومصادر قوّتها بعد نصف قرن من الصمود في الهواء بمجرد وعود أميركية تكشف طبيعتها مواقف واشنطن في الملف النووي الإيراني، إلا إذا صدّقنا رواية استسلام كوريا الشمالية. وقد رأينا الزعيم الكوري الشمالي يلوّح بإلغاء القمة مع الرئيس الأميركي ورأينا الأخير يتشبّث بعقدها. وفي المقابل كيف نصدّق تنازعاً روسياً إيرانياً على من يسبق الآخر بالتفاهم مع أميركا، والمعركة في ذروتها ولم تنته بعد لا في سورية ولا على الساحة الدولية، والعقوبات الأميركية تلاحق روسيا كما تلاحق إيران، والضرائب والرسوم على الحديد والألمنيوم تستهدف الاقتصاد الصيني كما تستهدف الأمن القومي للصين. المناورات التي تجريها واشنطن في الجوار، وما يتصل بنشر أسلحة استراتيجية مثل منظومة ثاد الصاروخية في كوريا الجنوبية، والقطع البحرية في بحر الصين؟

– خلال العقد الفاصل من الفيتو الأول الذي تشاركت فيه روسيا والصين لإعلان نهاية زمن الأحادية الأميركية، نجح الثنائي بإطلاق منظومة «بريكس» وتطويرها، كما نجح كلّ منهما في تشكيل أطر لتحالفات موازية بالاتجاه ذاته، ونجحا في جعل الحرب في سورية نقطة تحوّل في مسار التدخلات الأميركية العسكرية في العالم، فهي المرة الأولى بعد حرب يوغوسلافيا، والحرب على العراق وأفغانستان وليبيا، تتردّد واشنطن وتقيم الحسابات ثم تصرف النظر عن التدخل العسكري الواسع، وهي تعلم أنّ ثمن ذلك خسارتها للحرب، التي راهنت عليها لتغيير قواعد السياسة الدولية واستيلاد شرق أوسط جديد، وقد نجح الثنائي الروسي الصيني ببناء فضاءين إقليميّين، واحد جنوب روسيا وصولاً لحدود السعودية مع العراق، يضمّ تركيا وإيران والعراق وسورية، وثانٍ شرق الصين وغربها يضمّ كوريا الشمالية وباكستان والهند وأفغانستان، لا تملك واشنطن في التعامل معهما الكلمة الفصل دون الأخذ بالحساب مكانة وموقف ومصالح روسيا والصين. وقد صار هذان الفضاءان محور الاستراتيجيات والمصالح الأميركية الكبرى في العالم، لما يختزنان من موقع استراتيجي وتحدٍّ جيوسياسي، ومصادر للطاقة للمعابر والممرات المائية، وشبكات أنابيب الطاقة.

– واهم ومشتبه من يظن أنّ زمن الافتراق الروسي الصيني يقترب، أو مَن يتوهّم بأنّ العلاقات الكورية أو الإيرانية بروسيا والصين تهتزّ. فالزمن هو ربط الفضاءين الإقليميّين اللذين يتصلان عبر إيران بروسيا والصين ليصيرا فضاء واحداً. والزمن هو زمن التصدّي لتحدّي العلاقات المصرفية الدولية التي تُمسك بها أميركا، وزمن الاهتمام باستقطاب أوروبا إلى منطقة وسط بين المحور الصيني الروسي والمحور الأميركي. والزمن هو زمن رسم قواعد جديدة للعلاقات السياسية والاقتصادية الجديدة في العالم، في ضوء المواجهات التي شهدها العالم منذ سقوط جدار برلين والتفرّد الأميركي على الساحة الدولية، بعد النجاح في إسقاط سياسة الحرب الأميركية، وبلوغ منتصف الطريق في إسقاط جدران الحماية التي تمثلها سياسة العقوبات الأميركية بقوة نموذجَي إيران وكوريا الشمالية، وقدرتهما على الصمود وفرض المعادلات الجديدة، كمصلحة روسية صينية، كما هي مصلحة إيرانية وكورية، فهو زمن المزيد من التماسك والمزيد من التنسيق، ولو اقتضت المناورات مبادرات من نوع الموقف الروسي الصيني الرافض لسلاح نووي في كوريا، أو عنوان مقايضة الوجود الأميركي في سورية ببعض وجوه الحضور الإيراني، فهذه أوراق قوّة تمّ تصنيعها لتستعمل في التفاوض وليس في الحرب، تماماً كما السلاح الكيميائي السوري الذي تمّ إجهاض الحملة الأميركية على سورية، باستعماله في مكانه الحقيقي، كأداة لمنع الحرب، عبر تقديمه سبيلاً لحفظ ماء الوجه للأميركي الذي خاب رهانه على الفوز بالحرب.

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Hating Russia Is a Full-Time Job.“Who is Driving the Hostility towards Russia?”

Neocons resurrect tribal memories to fan the flames

Global Research, June 05, 2018

Having just returned from a trip to Russia, I am pleased to report that the Russian people and the officialdom that I encountered displayed none of the vitriol towards Americans that I half expected as a response to the vilifying of Moscow and all its works that pervades the U.S. media and Establishment.

To be sure, many Russians I spoke with were quick to criticize the Trump Administration for its hot and cold performance vis-à-vis the bilateral ties to Moscow while also expressing mystification over why the relationship had gone south so quickly, but this anger over foreign policy did not necessarily translate into contempt for the American people and way of life that characterized the Soviet period. At least not yet.

Somewhat to my surprise, ordinary Russians were also quick to openly criticize President Vladimir Putin for his autocratic tendencies and his willingness to continue to tolerate corruption, but everyone I spoke to also conceded that he had generally acted constructively and had greatly improved life for ordinary people. Putin remains wildly popular.

One question that came up frequently was “Who is driving the hostility towards Russia?” I responded that the answer is not so simple and there are a number of constituencies that, for one reason or another, need a powerful enemy to justify policies that would otherwise be unsustainable. Defense contractors need a foe to justify their existence while congressmen need the contractors to fund their campaigns. The media needs a good fearmongering story to help sell itself and the public also is accustomed to having a world in which terrible threats lurk just below the horizon, thereby increasing support for government control of everyday life to keep everyone “safe.”

And then there are the neocons. As always, they are a distinct force for creative destruction, as they put it, certainly first in line with their hands out to get the funding of their no-expenses-spared foundations and think tanks, but also driven ideologically, which has made them the intellectual vanguard of the war party. They provide the palatable intellectual framework for America to take on the world, metaphorically speaking, and constitute the strike force that is always ready to appear on television talk shows or to be quoted in the media with an appropriate intelligent sounding one liner that can be used to justify the unthinkable. In return they are richly rewarded both with money and status.

The neocons believe in only two things. First, that the United States is the sole world superpower, given license by something like a Divine Entity to exercise global leadership by force if necessary. That has been translated to the public as “American exceptionalism.” Indeed, U.S. interventionism in practice has been by force majeure preferably as it leaves little room for debate or discussion. And the second neocon guiding principle is that everything possible must be done to protect and promote Israel. Absent these two beliefs, you do not have a neocon.

The founding fathers of neoconism were New York Jewish “intellectuals” who evolved (or devolved) from being bomb throwing Trotskyites to “conservatives,” a process they self-define as “idealism getting mugged by reality.” The only reality is that they have always been faux conservatives, embracing a number of aggressive foreign policy and national security positions while also privately endorsing the standard Jewish liberal line on social issues. Neocon fanaticism on the issues that they do promote also suggests that more that a little of the Trotskyism remains in their character, hence their tenacity and ability to slither between the Democratic and Republican parties while also appearing comfortably on disparate media outlets considered to be either liberal or conservative, i.e. on both Fox news and MSNBC programs featuring the likes of Rachel Maddow.

I have long believed that the core hatred of Russia comes from the neocons and is to a large extent tribal or, if you prefer, ethno-religious based. Why? Because if the neoconservatives were actually foreign policy realists there is no good reason to express any visceral dislike of Russia or its government. The allegations that Moscow interfered in the 2016 presidential election in the U.S. are clearly a sham, just as are the tales of the alleged Russian poisoning of the Skripals in Winchester England and, most recently, the claimed assassination of journalist Arkady Babchenko in Kiev which turned out to be a false flag. Even the most cursory examination of the past decade’s developments in Georgia and Ukraine reveal that Russia was reacting to legitimate major security threats engineered by the United States with a little help from Israel and others. Russia has not since the Cold War ended threatened the United States and its ability to re-acquire its former Eastern European satellites is a fantasy. So why the hatred?

In fact, the neocons got along quite well with Russia when they and their overwhelmingly Jewish oligarchs and international commodity thieves cum financier friends were looting the resources of the old Soviet Union under the hapless Boris Yeltsin during the 1990s. Alarms about the alleged Russian threat only re-emerged in the neocon dominated media and think tanks when old fashioned nationalist Vladimir Putin took office and made it a principal goal of his government to turn off the money tap.

With the looting stopped by Putin, the neocons and friends no longer had any reason to play nice, so they used their considerable resources in the media and within the halls of power in places like Washington, London and Paris to turn on Moscow. And they also might have perceived that there was a worse threat looming. The Putin government appeared to be resurrecting what the neocons might perceive as pogrom plagued Holy Russia! Old churches razed by the Bolsheviks were being rebuilt and people were again going to mass and claiming belief in Jesus Christ. The former Red Square now hosts a Christmas market while the nearby tomb of Lenin is only open one morning in the week and attracts few visitors.

I would like to suggest that it is quite possible that the historically well-informed neocons are merely longing for the good old Bolshevik days in Russia. The fact is that much of Bolshevik state atheism was driven by the large overrepresentation of Jews in the party in its formative days. British journalist Robert Wilton’s meticulously researched 1920 study “The Last Days of the Romanovs” describes how David R. Francis, United States ambassador in Russia, warned in a January 1918 message to Washington that

“The Bolshevik leaders here, most of whom are Jews and 90 percent of whom are returned exiles, care little for Russia or any other country but are internationalists and they are trying to start a worldwide social revolution.”

Dutch Ambassador William Oudendyke echoed that sentiment, writing that

“Unless Bolshevism is nipped in the bud immediately, it is bound to spread in one form or another over Europe and the whole world as it is organized and worked by Jews who have no nationality, and whose one object is to destroy for their own ends the existing order of things.”

Russia’s greatest twentieth century writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn, feted in the west for his staunch resistance to Soviet authoritarianism, suddenly found himself friendless by the media and publishing world when he wrote “Two Centuries Together: A Russo-Jewish History to 1972”, recounting some of the dark side of the Russian-Jewish experience. In particular, Solzhenitsyn cited the significant overrepresentation of Russian Jews both as Bolsheviks and, prior to that time, as serf-owners.

Jews notably played a particularly disproportionate role in the Soviet secret police, which began as the Cheka and eventually became the KGB. Jewish historian Leonard Schapiro noted how “Anyone who had the misfortune to fall into the hands of the Cheka “stood a very good chance of finding himself confronted with, and possibly shot by, a Jewish investigator.” In Ukraine, “Jews made up nearly eighty percent of the rank-and-file Cheka agents.”

In light of all this it should surprise no one that the new Russian government pf 1918 issued a decree a few months after taking power making anti-Semitism a crime in Russia. The Communist regime became the world’s first to criminally punish any anti-Jewish sentiment.

Wilton used official Russian government documents to identify the make-up of the Bolshevik regime in 1917-9. The 62 members of the Central Committee included 41 Jews while the Extraordinary Cheka Commission Cheka of Moscow’s 36 members included 23 Jews. The 22 strong Council of the People’s Commissars numbered had 17 Jews. According to data furnished by the Soviet authorities, out of the 556 most important functionaries of the Bolshevik state in 1918-1919 there were: 17 Russians, two Ukrainians, eleven Armenians, 35 Latvians, 15 Germans, one Hungarian, ten Georgians, three Poles, three Finns, one Czech and 458 Jews.

In 1918-9, effective Russian governmental power rested in the Central Committee of the Bolshevik party. In 1918 this body had twelve members, of whom nine were of Jewish origin, and three were Russians. The nine Jews were: Trotsky, Zinoviev, Larine, Uritsky, Volodarski, Kamenev, Smidovich, Yankel, and Steklov. The three Russians were: Lenin, Krylenko, and Lunacharsky.

The Communist diaspora in Europe and America was also largely Jewish, including the cabal of founders of neoconservativism in New York City. The United States Communist Party was from the start predominantly Jewish. It was in the 1930s headed by Jew Earl Browder, grandfather of the current snake oil salesman Bill Browder, who has been sanctimoniously proclaiming his desire to punish Vladimir Putin for various alleged high crimes. Browder is a complete hypocrite who has fabricated and sold to Congress a largely phony and self-serving narrative relating to Russian corruption. He is also not surprisingly a neocon media darling in the U.S. It has been more than plausibly claimed that Browder was a principal looter of Russia’s resources in the 1990s and Russian courts have convicted him of tax evasion among other crimes.

The undeniable historical affinity of Jews for the Bolshevik brand of communism coupled with the Jewishness of the so-called oligarchs rather suggests that the hatred of a Russia that has turned its back on those particular aspects of Jewish heritage might be at least part of what drives some neocons. Just as in the case of Syria which the neocons, bowing to Israel’s interests, prefer to see in chaos, some might long for a return to the good old days of looting by mostly Jewish foreign interests, as under Yeltsin, or even better for the heady days of 1918-9 Bolshevism when Jews ruled all of Russia.

*

This article was also published on The Unz Review.

Philip M. Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer who served nineteen years overseas in Turkey, Italy, Germany, and Spain. He was the CIA Chief of Base for the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and was one of the first Americans to enter Afghanistan in December 2001. Phil is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a Washington-based advocacy group that seeks to encourage and promote a U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East that is consistent with American values and interests. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image is from the author.

US Challenges Russia to Nuclear War

US Challenges Russia to Nuclear War

Trump is now pushing to the limit, presumably in the confident expectation that as the US President, he can safely grab any territory and steal any oil or other natural resource that he wishes.

US Challenges Russia to Nuclear War
Now that the United States (with the cooperation of its NATO partners) has turned the former Soviet Union’s states other than Russia into NATO allies, and has likewise turned the Soviet Union’s Warsaw Pact allies into America’s own military allies in NATO, the United States is finally turning the screws directly against Russia itself, by, in effect, challenging Russia to defend its ally Syria. 
The US is warning Syria’s Government that Syrian land, which is occupied by the US and by the anti-Government forces that the US protects in Syria, is no longer really Syria’s land. The US is saying that there will be direct war between Syria’s armed forces and America’s armed forces if Syria tries to restore its control over that land. Tacitly, America’s message in this to Moscow is: now is the time for you to quit defending Syria’s Government, because, if you don’t — if you come to Syria’s defense as Syria tries to kill those occupying forces (including the US troops and advisors who are occupying Syria) — then you (Russia) will be at war against the United States, even though the US is clearly the invader, and Russia (as Syria’s ally) is clearly the defender.Peter Korzun, my colleague at the Strategic Culture Foundation, headlined on May 29th“US State Department Tells Syria What It Can and Can’t Do on Its Own Soil” and he opened:

“The US State Department has warned Syria against launching an offensive against terrorist positions in southern Syria. The statement claims that the American military will respond if Syrian forces launch an operation aimed at restoring the legitimate government’s control over the rebel-held areas, including the territory in southwestern Syria between Daraa and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Washington is issuing orders to a nation whose leadership never invited America in the first place! The very idea that another country would tell the internationally recognized Syrian government that it cannot take steps to establish control over parts of its own national territory is odd and preposterous by any measure.”

The pro-Government side calls those “terrorist positions,” but the US-and-allied side, the invaders, call them “freedom fighters” (even though the US side has long been led by Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate and has increasingly been relying upon anti-Arabic Kurds). But whatever they are, the United States has no legal authority to tell Syria’s Government what to do or not do on Syrian land.

Russia’s basic position, at least ever since Vladimir Putin came into power in 2000, is that every nation’s sovereignty over its own land is the essential foundation-stone upon which democracy has even a possibility to exist — without that, a land cannot even possibly be a democracy. The US Government is now directly challenging that basic principle, and moreover is doing so over parts of the sovereign territory of Syria, an ally of Russia, which largely depends upon Russia to help it defeat the tens of thousands of invading and occupying forces.

If Russia allows the US to take over — either directly or via the US Government’s Al Qaeda-linked or its anti-Arab Kurdish proxy forces — portions of Syrian territory, then Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin, will be seen as being today’s version of Britain’s leader Neville Chamberlain, famous, as Wikipedia puts it, for “his signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938, conceding the German-speaking Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia to Germany.”

So: Putin will now be faced with either knuckling under now, or else standing on basic international democratic principles, especially the principle that each nation’s sovereignty is sacrosanct and is the sole foundation upon which democracy is even possible to exist or to evolve into being.

However, this matter is far from being the only way in which the US Government now is challenging Russia to World War III. On May 30th, the Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak bannered “US trains armed groups at Tanf base for new terror corridor” and reported that:

New terror organizations are being established by the US at the Tanf military base in southern Syria that is run by Washington, where a number of armed groups are being trained in order to be used as a pretext to justify US presence in the war-torn country. …

Military training is being conducted for “moderate” opposition groups in al-Tanf, where both the US and UK have bases.

These groups are made up of structures that have been established through US financing and have not been accepted under the umbrella of opposition groups approved by Turkey and the FSA.

From Deir Ezzor to Haifa

Claiming to be “training the opposition” in Tanf, the US is training operation militants under perception of being “at an equal distance to all groups.”

Apart from the so-called opposition that is linked to al-Qaeda, Daesh [ISIS] terrorists brought from Raqqa, western Deir Ezzor and the Golan Heights are being trained in the Tanf camp. …

The plan is to transport Iraqi oil to the Haifa [Israel] Port on the Mediterranean through Deir Ezzor and Tanf.

Actually, Deir Ezzor is also the capital of Syria’s own oil-producing region, and so this action by the United States is more than about merely a transit-route for Iraq’s oil to reach Israel; it is also (and very much) about America attempting theft of oil from Syrian land.

Furthermore, on May 23rd, Joe Gould at Defense News headlined “House rejects limit on new nuclear warhead” and he reported that the US House, in fulfillment of the Trump Administration’s Nuclear Posture Review, which seeks to lower the threshold for nuclear war so as to expand the types of circumstances in which the US will “go nuclear,” rejected, by a vote of 226 to 188, a Democratic Party supported measure opposing lowering of the nuclear threshold. President Trump wants to be allowed to lower the threshold for using nuclear weapons in a conflict. The new, smaller, nuclear warheads, a “W76-2 variant,” have 43% the yield of the bomb that the US dropped on Hiroshima, but it’s called a ‘tactical nuclear weapon’ meaning that it is supposedly intended for use in ‘conventional’ wars, so that it is actually designed to eliminate altogether the previous meta-strategic principle, of “Mutually Assured Destruction” pertaining to nuclear war (that nuclear weapons are justifiable only in order to prevent another World War, never in order to win such a war) that successfully prevented nuclear war till now — that once a side has introduced nuclear weapons into a military conflict, it has started a nuclear war and is challenging any opponent to either go nuclear itself or else surrender — America’s new meta-strategic doctrine (since 2006) is “Nuclear Primacy”: winning a nuclear war. (See this and this.)

US President Trump is now pushing to the limit, presumably in the confident expectation that as the US President, he can safely grab any territory he wishes, and steal any oil or other natural resource that he wishes, anywhere he wants — regardless of what the Russian Government, or anyone else, thinks or wants.

Though his words often contradict that, this is now clearly what he is, in fact, doing (or trying to do), and the current US House of Representatives, at least, is saying yes to this, as constituting American values and policies, now.

Trump — not in words but in facts — is “betting the house” on this.

Moreover, as I headlined on May 26th at Strategic Culture, “Credible Report Alleges US Relocates ISIS from Syria and Iraq into Russia via Afghanistan.” Trump is apparently trying to use these terrorists as — again like the US used them in Afghanistan in order to weaken the Soviet Union — so as to weaken Russia, but this time is even trying to infiltrate them into Russia itself.

Even Adolf Hitler, prior to WWII, didn’t lunge for Britain’s jugular. It’s difficult to think of a nation’s leader who has been this bold. I confess that I can’t

THE SAKER: “IS PUTIN REALLY READY TO ‘DITCH’ IRAN?”

07.06.2018

The Saker: "Is Putin really ready to 'ditch' Iran?"

Written by The Saker; Originally appeared at The Unz Review

The topic of Russian actions in Syria still continues to fascinate and create a great deal of polemics.  This makes senses – the issue is exceedingly important on many levels, including pragmatic and moral ones, and today I want to stick strictly to the pragmatic level and set aside, just for a while, moral/ethical/spiritual considerations.  Furthermore, I will also pretend, for argument’s sake, that the Kremlin is acting in unison, that there are no Atlantic Integrationists in the Russian government, no 5th column in the Kremlin and that there is no Zionist lobby exerting a great deal of influence in Russia.  I will deal with these issues in the future as there is no doubt in my mind that time and events will prove how unfounded and politically-motivated these denials are in reality. But for the purpose of this analysis, we can pretend that all is well in the Kremlin and assume that Russia is fully sovereign and freely protecting her national interests.

So what do we know about what is going on in Syria?

I submit that it is obvious that Russia and Israel have made some kind of deal.  That there is an understanding of some kind is admitted by both sides, but there is also clearly more happening here which is not spelled out in full.  The Israelis, as always, are bragging about their total victory and posting articles like this one: “In Syria, Putin and Netanyahu Were on the Same Side All Along” with the subheading reading “Putin is ready to ditch Iran to keep Israel happy and save Assad’s victory“.  Really?

The chaotic world of contradictory declarations and statements

Let’s look at that thesis from a purely logical point of view.  First, what were the Israeli goals initially?  As I have explained it elsewhere, initially the Israelis had the following goals:

  1. Bring down a strong secular Arab state along with its political structure, armed forces, and security services.
  2. Create total chaos and horror in Syria justifying the creation of a “security zone” by Israel not only in the Golan but further north.
  3. Trigger a civil war in Lebanon by unleashing the Takfiri crazies against Hezbollah.
  4. Let the Takfiris and Hezbollah bleed each other to death, then create a “security zone”, but this time in Lebanon.
  5. Prevent the creation of a Shia axis Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon.
  6. Break up Syria along ethnic and religious lines.
  7. Create a Kurdistan which could then be used against Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran.
  8. Make it possible for Israel to become the uncontested power broker in the Middle-East and force the KSA, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and all others to have to go to Israel for any gas or oil pipeline project.
  9. Gradually isolate, threaten, subvert and eventually attack Iran with a wide regional coalition of forces.
  10. Eliminate all centers of Shia power in the Middle-East.

Now let’s stop right here and ask a very simple question: if Putin and Netanyahu were on the same side all along, what should Putin have done to aid the Israelis?  I submit that the obvious and indisputable answer is: absolutely nothing.  By the time the Russian initiated their (very limited but also very effective) intervention in Syria those plans were well under way towards full realization!

The undeniable truth is that Putin foiled the initial Israel plan for Syria.

In fact, Hezbollah and Iran had already intervened in Syria and were desperately “plugging holes” in a collapsing Syrian front.  So, if anything, Putin has to be the one to be credited for forcing the Israelis to give up on their “plan A” and go to plan “B” which I described here and which can be summarized as follows:

Step one, use your propaganda machine and infiltrated agents to re-start the myth about an Iranian military nuclear program. (…)  If Trump says that the JCPOA is a terrible deal, then this is so. Hey, we are living in the “post-Skripal” and “post-Douma” era – if some Anglo (or Jewish) leaders say “highly likely” then it behooves everybody to show instant “solidarity” lest they are accused of “anti-Semitism” or “fringe conspiracy theories” (you know the drill). So step one is the re-ignition ex nihilo of the Iranian military nuclear program canard.  Step two is to declare that Israel is “existentially threatened” and (…) and let the dumb Americans fight the Iranians.

As I have explained it in great detail here, Russia does not have any moral obligation to protect anybody anywhere, not in the Middle-East and most definitely not Syria and/or Iran.  I have also explained in great detail here why Putin also has a lot of pragmatic internal reasons for not getting Russia involved in a major war in the Middle-East.

Finally, as I have explained here, the Israelis are clearly baiting Iran by striking Iranian (or, more accurately, Iranian-linked or Iranian-supported) targets in Syria. They hope that Iran’s patience will come to an end and that the Iranians will retaliate with enough firepower to justify not only an attack on (relatively low value) Iranian-linked targets in Syria but on Iran proper, thus leading to a guaranteed Iranian retaliation on Israel and The Big Prize: a massive US attack on Iran.

Now let’s look at Russian actions once again.  If Putin was “on the same side with Netanyahu all along”, he would be helping the Israelis do what they are doing, that is baiting the Iranians, right?  But what did Putin really do?

It all began with a statement by Foreign Minister Lavrov who declared that all foreign forces must leave Syria. It is my understanding that no direct quote exists from Lavrov’s initial statement, only interpreted paraphrases.  Lavrov also made some clarifying comments later, like this one. But let’s not get bogged down in trying to decide which was an off-the-cuff comment and which one was “official”, but let us begin by noticing this: even before Lavrov’s comment on “all foreign forces” the same Lavrov also said that “all US forces must leave Syria after the defeat of the terrorist forces“.  May I also remind everybody here that Israel has been illegally occupying the Syrian Golan for years and that the IDF exactly fits into the definition of “foreign force in Syria”? It gets better, according to the Syrians and, frankly according to common sense and international law, the Syrians say that all foreign forces must leave Syria except those legally requested to stay by the Syrian government.  So when the Russians say that all foreign forces including Iranians (assuming Lavrov really said that) must leave Syria they have absolutely no legal or other authority to impose that, short of a UNSC Resolution endorsing that demand.  Considering that the Israelis and the USA don’t give a damn about international law or the UNSC, we might even see a day when such a resolution is passed, enforced on the Iranians only, and ignored by the Israelis.  The trick here is that in reality there are rather few Iranian “forces” in Syria. There are many more “advisors” (which would not be considered a “force”) and many more pro-Iranian forces which are not really “Iranian” at all.  There is also Hezbollah, but Hezbollah is not going anywhere, and they are Lebanese, not Iranian anyway.  No doubt the Israelis would claim that Hezbollah is an “Iranian force” but that is basically nonsense.  And just to add to the confusion, the Russians are now being cute and saying: “of course, the withdrawal of all non-Syrian forces must be carried out on a mutual basis, this should be a two-way street“. I suggest that we can stop listing all the possible paraphrases and interpretations and agree that the Russians have created a holy (or unholy) mess with their statements. In fact, I would even submit that, what appears to be a holy (or unholy) mess, is a very deliberate and crafty ambiguity.

According to numerous Russian sources, all this rhetoric is about the southern part of Syria and the line of contact (it ain’t a border legally speaking) between Syria and Israel. The deals seem to be this: the pro-Iranian forces and Hezbollah get out of the south, and in exchange, the Israelis let the Syrians, backed by Russian airpower and “advisors” regain control of southern Syria but without any attempts to push the Israelis out of the Golan which they illegally occupy. Needless to say, the Syrians are also insisting that as part of the deal, the US forces in southern Syria must pack and leave.  But, frankly, unless the US plans to have tiny (and useless) US enclaves inside Syrian controlled territory I don’t see the point of them staying.  Not only that, but the Jordanians seem to be part of this deal too.  And here is the best part: there is some pretty good evidence that Hezbollah and Iran also are part of the deal.  And, guess what?  So are the Turks.

This sure looks like some kind of major regional deal has been hammered out by the Russians. And if that is really the case, then that would also explain the tense denials in Israel and Iran, followed by more confirmations (also here)  And, just to make things even more confused, we now have Stoltenberg (of all people!) saying that NATO would not assist Israel in case of an Iranian attack which, considering that the NATO Secretary General has no power, that NATO is about 80%+ made up of the USA and that the US now has permanent a “tripwire” force inside Israel and could claim to be under attack, is utter nonsense, but still amusing to note as “adding to the chaos”.

And then there is the apparent Syrian plan to kick out the US from northern Syria which, predictably, Uncle Sam don’t like too much.  So the two sides are talking again.

If all this looks to you like evidence for the thesis that “Putin and Netanyahu were on the same side all along”, then I wonder what it would take to convince you otherwise because to me this looks like one of three things:

  1. some kind of major regional deal has been made or
  2. some kind of major regional deal is in the process of being hammered out or
  3. some kind of major regional deal has been made but nobody trusts anybody else and everybody wants to make that deal better for itself

and, of course, everybody wants to save face by either denying it all or declaring victory, especially the AngloZionists.

So let’s ask the key question: is there any evidence at all that Putin and/or Assad is/are “ditching Iran”?

Away from the realm of declarations and statements and back to the world

Let’s begin with a simple question:  What does Iran want above all else?

I submit that the overwhelming number one priority of Iran is to avoid a massive US attack on Iran. 

Conversely, triggering such an attack on Iran is the number one objective of the Israelis.  They are rather open about that too.  They latest idea is to create a “military coalition against Iran” while trying to please NATO by joining anti-Russian exercises in Europe.

Not because of a non-existing Iranian nuclear program threatening Israel, but because Iran offers a most successful, and therefore dangerously competing, alternative civilizational model to both the AngloZionist Empire and the Saudi-Wahabi version of Islam.  Furthermore, unlike (alas!) Russia, Iran dares to openly commit the “crime of crimes”, that is, to publicly denounce Israel as a genocidal, racist state whose policies are an affront to all of civilized mankind.  Finally, Iran (again unlike Russia, alas!) is a truly sovereign state which has successfully dealt with its 5th columnists and which is not in the iron claws of IMF/WB/WTO/etc types (I wrote about that last week so I won’t repeat it here).

I also submit that Iran also has as a top priority to support all the oppressed people of the Middle-East.  Resisting oppression and injustice is a Quranic imperative and I believe that in its Iranian interpretation this also extends to non-Shia Sunnis and even Christians and Jews, but since I know that this will trigger all sorts of angry accusations of being naive (or even a Shia propagandist) I will concede that helping the oppressed Shia in the region is probably more important to the Iranian leaders than helping all the other oppressed. In secular terms, this means that Iran will try to protect and assist the Shia in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon and I see absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. In fact, considering the amazing mercy shown by Hezbollah to the SLA in southern Lebanon in 2000, and the fact that currently, the Syrian security forces are acting with utmost restraint in the parts of Syria which have accepted the Russian deal (this even has some Russian analysts outright worried) I think that Iranian-backed forces liberating Syria from Daesh are the best thing which anybody could hope for.

Furthermore, the truth is that for all its other faults, the Ba’athist regime in Syria was tolerant of minorities and that Hezbollah has always been protective of absolutely all the Lebanese people regardless of confession or ethnicity (others might disagree with me, but having studied Hezbollah and Iran for several decades now I come to the conclusion that they, unlike most other political actors, are actually truthful when they state their intentions).

So who is the biggest threat to the Shia and, I would argue, to all the people of the Middle-East?  The Takfiris of Daesh of course.

And what do all the variants of the possible “big regional deal” have in common?  The elimination of Daesh & Co. from Syria.

So how is that against the Iranian interests?!

It isn’t, of course.

The truth is that I see absolutely no evidence at all for “Putin and Netanyahu working together all along”.  What I do see is that some kind of deal is being worked out between numerous parties in which everybody is probably trying hard to cheat everybody else, Realpolitik at its worst and most cynical – yes.  But hardly a betrayal of Iran by Russia.

What everybody seems to be doing is what blacksmith Vakula did in Gogol’s Christmas Story “The Night Before Christmas“: to trick the devil. In Russia, the devil is known as “лукавый” which does not just mean “evil” but also sly/wily/deceitful/wickedly clever. To try to trick the devil is a very, very dangerous and difficult task and I also find it morally very questionable. But in keeping up with our modern value-neutral “realistic” Zeitgeist, we can also debunk the “Putin betrays Iran” on purely cynical and “pragmatic” reasons with no need to appeal to any higher values at all.

For those who have not seen it yet, I highly recommend this (English subtitled) video of Ruslan Ostashko discussing what Israel can, or cannot, offer Russia and Putin:

Ostashko is absolutely right.  The truth is that Israel, unlike Iran, has very little to offer Putin or Russia.  This does not mean that Israel does not have influence over the Kremlin, it most definitely does, but that influence is all “stick”, no “carrot” (which is one of the conceptual flaws in the position of those who deny the existence of a Zionist 5th column in Russia – they are denying the existence of the “stick” while producing no “carrot” thus making Russian policies appear both contradictory and unexplainable: hence a need for all sorts of mental contortions to try to explain them).

But Israel’s “stick”, while undeniably big, is dwarfed by Iran’s “carrot”: not only immense resources and billions of Dollars/Rubles/Rials/Euros to be made in energy and weapons and also many sectors of the economy. There is also the fact that Iran is truly the number one regional power in the entire Middle-East: maybe not big enough to impose its will on all others, but definitely big enough to bring down any major plan or policy it does not approve of. Furthermore, now that the international sanctions against Iran have been officially lifted (the USA’s reneging on its signature notwithstanding), Iran can join and become an influential member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (along with, possibly, other Middle-Eastern countries). All this makes the Iranian “carrot” very attractive to Russia. There is also a conceptual Iranian “stick”: if Israel gets its way and Iran is massively and viciously attacked by the AngloZionist Empire, and either chaos or a severe crisis result, what would be the impact on Russia and her allies? And, while I don’t think for a second that this is possible, let’s say the Empire puts a pro-AngloZionist regime in power in Tehran and overthrows the Islamic Republic – what would that do to the Russian national security? It would be an absolute nightmare, wouldn’t it?

Look at the relationship between Russia and Turkey before the coup attempt against Erdogan. Surely that relationship was much worse than the relationship currently enjoyed between the Islamic Republic and Russia, right? And yet, when the US attempted to topple Erdogan, what did Russia do? Russia gave Erdogan her fullest support and even, according to some rumors, physical protection during a few key hours.  If Russia sided with Erdogan against the Empire, why would Russia not side with the Islamic Republic, even if we consider only arguments of Russian self-interest?

For an excellent Iranian analysis of the Russia-Iran alliance, check out this article by Aram Mirzaei.

Conclusion

The simple truth is that regardless of declarations and political statements, China, Russia, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah are all dependent on each other and cannot afford to truly betray anybody lest the Empire take them out one by one. To use Franklin’s expression – they all must hang (i.e. stand) together or most assuredly they will all “hang separately”? That does not mean that they all love each other, or always share the same goals? They might also play against each other to some degree, and even try to get some sweet deal “on the side” with the AngloZionists (remember, Assad used to torture for the CIA!), but the facts on the ground and the correlation of forces in the Middle-East will limit the scope of such “mini-betrayals”, at least for the foreseeable future.

True, there is the Saudi factor to take into account.  Unlike the Israelis, the Saudis are offering a lot of “carrot”.  But the Saudis are way too arrogant, they are already messing with Russian interests not only in Syria, but also in Qatar, and their brand of Islam is truly a mortal danger for Russia. Right now the Atlantic Integrationists and Eurasian Sovereignists have achieved somewhat of an equilibrium in the Kramlin. The former is trying to split the EU from the USA and make lots of money, while the latter are left in charge of national security issues, especially towards the South, but this equilibrium is inherently unstable and would be immediately threatened by any meaningful AngloZionist attack. So yes, there is a Zionist Lobby in Russia and yes, it does act as a 5th column, but not, most emphatically no, it is not strong enough to completely disregard the financial interests of the Russian business elites or, even less so, fundamental Russian national security interests.  That is the one of biggest difference between the USA and Russia: Russia, while only partially sovereign, is far from being an Israeli protectorate or colony.  And as long as Russia retains her even partial sovereignty she will not “ditch” Iran, regardless of Israeli whining and threats.

My personal evaluation is that Putin is playing a very complex and potentially dangerous game. He is trying to trick not one, but many “devils”, all at the same time.  Furthermore, if the US Americans have been недоговороспособны (“not agreement capable”) already since Obama, Trump and his Neocon masters have made that even worse.  As for the Israelis, they would make Satan himself look honest and are ideologically incapable of honesty (or even decency).  Frankly, I don’t trust Erdogan one bit and I don’t think that the Russians will ever trust him either.  Call me naive, but I think that Assad has been changed by this war and even if he did, indeed, collaborate with the CIA in the past, I think that he will be a pretty good ally for Russia in the future.  As for Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Hassan Nasrallah, I see them both as men of honor who will uphold any alliance they formally enter into (informal understandings and temporary mutual interests are a different deal).  I also see them as brilliant and wise geostrategists: they fully realize that Iran and Hezbollah *need* Russia to survive.  So Putin’s policy, while dangerous, is not doomed to failure at all: he is trying to save Syria from the AngloZionsts while avoiding a regional war.  Time is on his side as Trump’s erratic (and that is putting it mildly) policies (or, really, lack thereof) are inflicting tremendous damage on the Empire on a daily basis (see Dmitri Orlov’s excellent analysis here).

I honestly don’t know if Putin’s dangerous strategy will work or not.  I don’t think anybody else does either (except ignorant cheerleaders, of course).  But I do know that even if the sight of Bibi Netanyahu in Moscow with a Saint George ribbon was nauseating to my conscience, this absolutely does not indicate that Netanyahu and Putin are working together or that Russia is “ditching Iran”.  As always, the Israelis feel almighty and brazenly display their arrogance.  Let them.  Just remember the inevitable outcome from that kind of Zionist hubris in the past and wait for the inevitable “oy vey!“.

Finally, there is the single most important fact: the AngloZionist Empire and Russia remain at war, and have been so for at least four years or more.  That war is still about 80% informational, 15% economic and 5% kinetic, but it this is a very real war nonetheless, and it is escalating.  As long as Russia will retain even partial sovereignty and as long as she will offer an alternative civilizational model, even an imperfect one, she will remain an existential threat to the Empire and the Empire will remain an existential threat for the entire Russian civilizational realm.  While hugely important to Israel, the entire Iranian issue is just a sideshow to the transnational leaders of the Empire who see Russia and China as the real main competitors, especially when joined in a symbiotic relationship as they are today.  Hence the crises in the Ukraine and on the Korean Peninsula, hence the constants warnings of a possible full-scale nuclear war (see Eric Zuesse latest article here or Paul Craig Roberts numerous article on his website; also check out Dan Glazebrook’s excellent analysis of Trump’s attempt to repeat the “Rambouillet ruse” in Korea here).  Even if Putin succeeds in moving the EU closer to Russia and away from a (clearly insane) USA, and even if he succeeds in preventing the AngloZionists from directly attacking Iran, this will only further convince the AngloZionist leaders of the Empire that he, Putin, and Russia, are the ultimate evil which must be eliminated.  Those who hope for some kind of modus vivendi between the Empire and Russia are kidding themselves, because the very nature of the Empiremakes this impossible.  Besides, as Orlov correctly pointed it out – the Empire’s hegemony is collapsing, fast.  The Empire’s propaganda machine denies and obfuscates this, and those who believe it don’t see it – but the leaders of the Empire all understand this, hence the escalation on all fronts we have seen since the Neocons re-took power in the White House.  If the Neocons continue on their current course, and I don’t see any indication whatsoever that they are reconsidering it, then the question is only when/where this will lead to a full-scale war first.  Your guess is as good as mine.

 

كمينٌ نصبه قاسم سليماني

يونيو 5, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– تدعو مصادر على صلة وثيقة بمجريات الحرب في سورية إلى تذكّر كيفية مقايضة الحملة العسكرية التي نظمها الرئيس الأميركي السابق باراك اوباما على سورية بالحل السياسي للسلاح الكيميائي لسورية، وتقول كان هذا الكمين الاستراتيجي الثاني الذي نُصب للأميركيين، وتعود فكرته للرئيس السوري بشار الأسد الذي استبق الحملة بإبلاغ الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين أنه يضع بين يديه التوظيف التفاوضي لحل سياسي يُنهي السلاح الكيميائي لسورية، لاستخدامه في لحظة احتدام خطر تدخّل أميركي واسع النطاق عسكرياً. بعدما كان الكمين الأول بما عُرف ببيان جنيف واحد من صناعة وزير الخارجية الروسية سيرغي لافروف وينصّ على كلام غامض عن حل سياسي وهيئة حكم انتقالية لإلهاء الأميركيين عن فكرة التدخّل العسكري، بعدما تكفل الفيتو الروسي الصيني بحرمانهم من التغطية الأممية، لحين تصير روسيا جاهزة لمثل هذا التدخل.

– مع التموضع الروسي في سورية، كان السؤال الاستراتيجي هو كيف يمكن الحؤول دون تحول تموضع عسكري روسي وأميركي متقابلين سبباً لتقسيم سورية وتكرار النموذج الكوري فيها، خصوصاً بوجود أطماع تركية وإسرائيلية باقتطاع بعض من الجغرافيا السورية تحت شعار الحزام الأمني، يُضاف إليهما وجود تطلع كردي لكيان منفصل. تقول المصادر إن السؤال كان على طاولة الاجتماع الذي سبق التموضع الروسي وضمّ الرئيس بوتين والجنرال قاسم سليماني، وكان الجواب الذي صاغه سليماني يرتكز على فكرة الكمين الاستراتيجي النوعي الذي سيتوقف عليه تغيير وجهة الحرب ورسم نتائجها.

– تأسست الحركة الروسية الإيرانية على القناعة المشتركة بأن استعادة الدولة السورية لعافيتها وجغرافيتها الموحّدة تحت سيادة جيشها ورئيسها يشكل النصر الاستراتيجي المنشود، من جهة، وأن التسليم التركي والكردي بقبول هذه الحقيقة يتوقفان على التسليم الأميركي الذي يتوقف بدوره على التسليم الإسرائيلي، من جهة مقابلة. وأنه خلافاً لما قد يبدو من حجم الانتشار الأميركي وتوزّعه بين المناطق السورية بأولوية الشمال على الجنوب، فإن جنوب سورية حيث أمن «إسرائيل» هو ما سيقرّر، وأن الدفع بما يتكفّل بإثارة القلق على الأمن الإسرائيلي وحده سيتكفل بجعل روسيا مقصداً لطلب الضمانات التي ستكون تحت عنوان الدعوة للتسليم بالدولة السورية السيّدة والموحّدة في ظلّ رئيسها وجيشها، وأن إثارة القلق الإسرائيلي إلى حدّ الذعر مهمة إيران وحزب الله، وإثبات لا جدوى التعامل الإسرائيلي عسكرياً مع هذا الذعر، مهمة إيران وحزب الله والجيش السوري بعد تحسين دفاعاته الجوية برعاية روسية، حتى يصير المطلب الإسرائيلي التسريع بتسلّم الجيش السوري للحدود الجنوبية، حتى لو تمّت المقايضة بين عدم وجود انتشار لإيران وحزب الله في المنطقة بطلب تفكيك القاعدة الأميركية في التنف، التي تولّى الروس بلسان وزير خارجيتهم جعلها مصدر الشرّ الدائم في سورية. وهم يعلمون أنها أعرق وأخطر القواعد الأميركية لإمساكها بطريق دمشق بغداد التي تشكّل جوهر الحركة الاستراتيجية لإيران في المنطقة.

– أميركا و»إسرائيل» بين خيارين اليوم، خوض حرب أو قبول تسوية. حرب ميؤوس من الفوز بها وسرعان ما ستنزلق نحو تهديد العمق الإسرائيلي والمواجهات على التخوم. والتجربة الأخيرة لليلة الصواريخ تحكي الكثير. أو ارتضاء تسوية تضمن التسليم بوحدة وسيادة الدولة السورية بجيشها ورئيسها، انطلاقاً من الجنوب، بنموذج سيتكرّر شمالاً، تحت عنوان مقايضة القواعد الأميركية بعدم انتشار قوى المقاومة في المناطق التي سيخليها الأميركيون والجماعات المسلحة التي تتلقى الدعم منهم. والخيار هنا يشبه خيار المسلحين المحدود تفاوضياً بانتقاء لون الباصات التي سيرحلون عليها، أو التسمية التي سينضوي من يبقى منهم عبرها تحت عباءة الجيش السوري، بلجان محلية أو دفاع شعبي.

– ستكون للسعوديين والإسرائيليين ومعهم بعض رموز المعارضة فرصة الاحتفال بالتسوية، كما احتفلوا بالحلّ السياسي للسلاح الكيميائي السوري، وهم يعلمون أن آخر فرصهم قد ضاعت في سورية.

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