كلمات عتب لروسيا الحليفة والصديقة

أبريل 6, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– لن تتأثر العلاقة التحالفية العميقة التي تجمع روسيا بسورية ودول وقوى محور المقاومة، بقيام موسكو بتسليم بقايا جثة جندي السلطان يعقوب، لحكومة كيان الاحتلال، خارج منظومة التنسيق، وموجبات التحالف، ومقتضيات احترام السيادة السورية. ومستلزمات الخصوصية التي يختزنها حدث بهذا الحجم ارتبط غالباً بمفاوضات تبادل ترتبط بها حرية الآلاف من الأسرى السوريين والفلسطينيين، لكن مقتضيات التحالف والحرص تقتضي المصارحة وتسجيل اللوم والعتب، وقوله علناً، طالما صار الأمر علناً، والرد من قلب العتب واللوم وربما الغضب، على كل الذين يحلو لهم تشويه صورة روسيا ورسم شبهات حول خلفياتها، أو ينخرطون منذ بدء الحرب على سورية بمحاولات النيل من صورتها كدولة سيّدة تتمسك بسيادتها.

– يعني الكثير أن تقول سورية إنها لم تكن على علم بقضية تسليم البقايا، بعد قول الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين أن استعادة الرفات تمّت بالتعاون بين العسكريين الروس والسوريين. وهذه رسالة سيادية كبيرة في قلب علاقة التحالف والصداقة، عنوانها أن ما جرى أكبر من أن يسهُل تمريره تحت الطاولة والاكتفاء بالحديث عنه في الغرف المغلقة التي تتمّ فيها مناقشة الخلافات بين الحلفاء. فالصورة التي نقلت عبر الفضاء ووصلت للأسرى في سجون الاحتلال وأشعرتهم بالغصّة والمرارة، تقتضي من الدولة السورية التبرؤ منها، وتستدعي القول لروسيا كحليف وصديق إن خطأ جسيماً تم ارتكابه بتوهم أن العلاقة التحالفية تحتمل تمرير أمر كهذا لتحقيق مكاسب إعلامية لصورة روسيا كدولة حريصة «إنسانياً» على استعادة رفات الجنود الذين يقتلون في الحروب وتسليمهم إلى ذويهم، وتقديم هذه الهدية لرئيس حكومة الاحتلال بنيامين نتنياهو عشية الانتخابات، ضمن تنافس أميركي روسي على الاستثمار في فوز نتنياهو الانتخابي.

– بات معلوماً أن «إسرائيل» أدارت قضية البحث عن الرفات بالتعاون مع الجماعات الإرهابية التي سيطرت على مخيم اليرموك، وأن مخابرات كيان الاحتلال فتحت باب التفاوض مع موسكو لتأمين نقل هذا الرفات إلى موسكو من ضمن التفاوض على انسحاب الجماعات المسلحة من مخيم اليرموك. وهنا لا صحة للكلام عن قيام روسيا من وراء ظهر الدولة السورية بعمليات البحث عن الرفات والقيام بنقله. كما لا صحة للكلام عن حسابات روسية أبعد من المكاسب الآنية، وكل ما ينسجه بعض الخيال المريض عن مشاريع تسويات روسية أميركية تتم تحت الطاولة على حساب سورية، وتتصل بأمن «إسرائيل»، منافٍ لحقيقة أن ما يقوله الروس هو أنهم وضعوا أمام نتنياهو شرط التوقف عن الغارات على سورية كثمن لهذا التعاون، وما تقوله وقائع الشهور الماضية أن روسيا قامت بترميم شبكات الدفاع الجوي السورية وأنها زودت سورية بالحديث والجديد منها، وما يقوله المنطق إن روسيا في وضع السيد القوي وليس ثمة ما يستدعي أن تتصرف بضعف أمام «إسرائيل»، وإن الأمور الجارية في المنطقة تؤكد صحة منطق الرئيس بوتين مع رئيس حكومة الاحتلال حول اتفاق فك الاشتباك الموقع عام 1974، والكلام منشور علناً، يربط هذا الاتفاق بقرارات الأمم المتحدة بعودة الجولان إلى سورية، ووقف أي عمل عسكري ضد سورية، وثمّة الكثير الذي يعرفه الروس وسيحدث على هذا الصعيد بعد الإعلان الأميركي الاعتراف بضم «إسرائيل» للجولان. – كان المطلوب ببساطة أن تصارح موسكو حليفتها دمشق بما يجري منذ بداية القضية، وأن تطلب تفويضها بإدارة مفاوضات لتسليم الرفات، بما يضمن مطالب روسية معينة، هي حق روسيا، لكنه يضمن الإفراج عن آلاف الأسرى السوريين والفلسطينيين، وإبلاغ تل أبيب عندما طلبت وساطة موسكو لتسلم الرفات ونقله، بأن القبول مشروط بقبول تل أبيب بهذا التفاوض المتعدد الأطراف، وما كانت حكومة نتنياهو قادرة على الرفض.

– هي غلطة… وغلطة الشاطر بألف، لكنها ليست خيانة ولا مؤامرة. وبين الحلفاء تحدث تباينات ويقع البعض بالتسرّع، ويتورط البعض بحسابات فئوية تُغري بالتجاوز، لكن التصحيح يجب أن يتم من ضمن منظومة التحالف، وروسيا ستبقى صديقاً وحليفاً وشريك الانتصارات الكبرى التي تغيّر العالم، و»إسرائيل» ستبقى العدو الذي تنتظره مقاومة في الجولان والذي سيدفع الثمن في مفاوضات تبادل لاحقة لبقايا جنوده الآخرين، حرية لآلاف الأسرى والمعتقلين.

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رفات الجندي الإسرائيلي بدل حرب؟

أبريل 6, 2019

روزانا رمّال

تبدو القوات المسلحة الروسية العاملة في سورية على أهبة الاستعداد من اجل تنفيذ أجندة واضحة يرى الكرملين فيها مصلحة عليا بمعزل عن أي محاولة للإيحاء بشراكات تفرضها عليه طبيعة وجوده على الأرض السورية، أكان لجهة مشاركة الإيرانيين في بعض وجهات النظر او المعارك او لجهة المشاركة جنباً واحداً مع السوريين ذلك لان الساحة السورية فرضت روسيا فيها لاعباً أساسياً وفتحت حساباً منعزلاً عن باقي الملفات، خصوصاً بعد تضرّر قواتها الجوية والبرية من مواجهات عدة مع الأتراك والإسرائيليين. وعلى هذا الأساس صار يمكن الحديث على اعتبارات روسية صرفة، لكن ومع كل هذا الحساب لا يمكن اعتبار ما يتعلق بـ»إسرائيل» جزءاً لا ينسجم مع طبيعة المصلحة السورية او المحور بشكل عام، الا ان هذا لا يعني ان تعتبر سورية جزءاً ضمن عملية البيع والشراء. والحديث هنا عن نقل رفات جندي إسرائيلي يدعى زخاريا باومل قتل مع عدد من الجنود الإسرائيليين في معركة السلطان يعقوب بعد أسبوع من الاجتياح الإسرائيلي للبنان عام 1982.

نقل الرفات اليوم يشبه نقل الدبابة الإسرائيلية وبالطريقة نفسها بالأمس. والحديث عن هدية قدمها بوتين لنتنياهو بالحالتين. وبالمقارنة لم يؤدّ تسليم الدبابة تلك الى تنازل روسيا عن معركتها في دعم الدولة السورية الممثلة بالرئيس بشار الأسد ولا سجلت أي تراجع محوري في عملية التقدم السياسي او العسكري على مختلف الجبهات. وبالتالي صارت المسألة لا تتعدى المعنويات الإسرائيلية التي يحتاجها أي مرشح إسرائيلي غالباً ليتخلص من كابوس الخسارة، فكيف بالحال عندما يتعلق الأمر ببنيامين نتنياهو «آخر» صقور «إسرائيل».

آخر الصقور هذا لا يبدو حسب المشاريع الموعودة قادراً على تحقيقها بما يتعلق بصفقة القرن التي تجمّدت بقرار فلسطيني أولاً. الأمر الذي يجعل أي شريك عربي فيها مكشوف حكماً لتتوالى سلسلة الردود العربية الرافضة شكلاً، ولو كانت مؤيدة ضمناً.

من الطبيعي أن يشكل نقل رفات الجندي خضة في الشارع السوري والعربي بين من يتهم فيها سورية بالتغاضي عن القرار الروسي من جهة، ومن يعتبر روسيا أنها تصرّفت من تلقاء نفسها بدون استشارة سورية. وفي هذا ما يكفي من الفوقية والاستهتار بسورية وحساباتها. وفي الحالتين الامر مرفوض حكماً. لتبقى العودة الى موقف الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين نقطة العبور الأبرز نحو المرحلة التي ترغب فيها روسيا تقديمها للمنطقة و»إسرائيل» تحديداً.

نقل الرفات بجهود روسية، كما قال بوتين، هو دعم روسي واضح لنتنياهو قبيل ساعات من الانتخابات الإسرائيلية الحساسة، لكنها تؤكد أيضاً أن روسيا صارت لاعباً بنتائج الانتخابات الإسرائيلية بعد ان صارت لاعباً بنتائج الانتخابات الأميركية وهي التهمة التي لم يتخلّص من ذيولها ترامب حتى الساعة. وبهذا الموقف يقدم بوتين مساعدة مباشرة محسوبة النتائج، لكنها لا تنسف شيئاً من حساب الربح والخسارة في معركة استراتيجية كبرى، لكنها بكل تأكيد تفرض روسيا «وسيطاً» موثوقاً لدى «إسرائيل» في المرحلة المقبلة لجهة التنقيب عن النفط في المنطقة ولجهة التوسط في حل سياسي شامل فيها. وكل هذا يحتاج الى وسيط تأتمن له «إسرائيل» ويمكنه في الوقت نفسه أن يكون جهة موثوقة عند السوريين والإيرانيين.

لم تدّعِ روسيا يوماً عداوة لـ»إسرائيل»، بل أن زيارات نتنياهو لها في الفترة الاخيرة هي الأكثر على الإطلاق من مرحلة ما قبل عام 2011 لمسؤول إسرائيلي. الامر الذي يؤكد اعتماد «إسرائيل» بشكل كبير على موسكو كمرجعية حل وربط في الأزمة السورية تحديداً لا يمكن تخطيها. ويمكن الجزم أنه لولا الأزمة السورية لما كبر موقع روسيا الدولي ولا تنامى.

لكن الدفاع عن نظام يسهل ويمرّر شريان حياة لمنظمات مسلحة تقاتل «إسرائيل» مثل حزب الله من قبل روسيا ليس أمراً مبرراً عند «إسرائيل». وبأي حال من الاحوال اعتراف روسيا بهذه القوى وإطلاق تسمية «المقاومة» عليها بحسب دبلوماسي روسي رفيع لـ»البناء» يتكفّل بنسف الثقة بين «إسرائيل» وروسيا، والمحطات كثيرة التي احبطت فيها روسيا مخططات إسرائيلية وأكبرها منع إسقاط الرئيس السوري بشار الاسد سياسياً في معركة كبرى خاضتها الدبلوماسية الروسية في مجلس الأمن، وعسكرياً بعد استقدام الجيش الروسي اي ان التموضع الروسي الى جانب السماح لاستمرار معادلة المقاومة، لا بل اعتبار عناصر حزب الله شركاء الدم بالقتال على الأرض السورية وهذا يبقى أكبر من أي شيء في هذه المعادلة ولا يمكن لتسليم رفات جندي توضع في خانة رفع معنويات نتنياهو المضطربة جراء انتخابات مقلقة أن تنسف الموقف الروسي. ولا يمكن ايضاً الذهاب بعيداً باعتباره موفقاً لا يتماشى إلا مع المصلحة السورية الصرفة. فلروسيا حساباتها في كل المشهد قبل كل شيء.

يخوض نتنياهو الانتخابات وفي يده إنجازان يحملهما للداخل الإسرائيلي من أجل اعتباره جواز مرور امام الخصوم على أساس انه قادر على ادارة المرحلة المقبلة ومتابعة الأحلام الكبرى وأهمها صفقة القرن أكثر من غيره لأنه يحظى برضى قوتين دوليتين بحجم الولايات المتحدة وروسيا الإنجاز الأول الإعلان الأميركي للجولان إسرائيلية والثاني تسلم رفات الجندي الإسرائيلي.

الأهم من كل ذلك هو الاحتمالات المفتوحة جميعها والتي بدأت في غزة عبر معركة عسكرية أو حرب كادت تتوسع يحتاجها نتنياهو للانتخابات أيضاً. الامر الذي يجعل من الرفات نقطة لجم وكبح لجماحه يقدمها له الروس تغطية لحرب عاجز عن شنها أكان بوجه الفلسطينيين أو السوريين او مع حزب الله قطعاً.

Netanyahu: Trump Best Friend “Israel” Ever Had, Not to Evacuate One Settler Netanyahu Not to Evacuate ‘Single’ Settler from West Bank

By Staff-Agencies

“Israeli” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he had made clear to US President Donald Trump that he is not prepared to evacuate “a single person” from any West Bank settlements.

When asked if he knew the details of Trump’s “Deal of the Century,” Netanyahu told Channel 13 in an interview broadcast Friday that he knew what he had told Trump to include in the agreement.

“I know what I said: I said there can’t be the removal of even one settlement, and [that “Israel” insists on] our continued control of all the territory to the west of the Jordan,” Netanyahu said.

Asked in the interview, which was recorded on Wednesday, whether he had specified this to Trump personally, Netanyahu said he had set out the same positions to Trump and former US President Barack Obama. He elaborated that he had specified to Trump that he would not evacuate “a single person” from the settlements.

“You said that to Trump?” he was asked.

“Like that,” he said, adding that it had been recorded.

Were the US plan to contradict those positions, he indicated, it would not be viable. “As far as I am concerned, [the evacuation of settlements] won’t be there [in the plan], and if it is [in the plan], it won’t [happen].”

Trump, he said, “is the best friend “Israel” has had” in the White House, and respects his position, “as I respect his,” when he insists on something.

“All the settlements, without exception, those that are in blocs and those that aren’t, need to remain under “Israeli” sovereignty,” Netanyahu told interviewers Rani Rahav and Sharon Gal, adding that this would “eventually” happen.

Netanyahu highlighted his longtime personal connections to other world leaders in the interview, saying he speaks “eye-to-eye” with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Our neighbors, and the Iranians, hope to destroy us. The peace that you can get, it’s only from a position of power,” he said.

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Another Meeting Between Netanyahu And Putin Is Expected On Thursday

Another Meeting Between Netanyahu And Putin Is Expected On Thursday

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow on July 11, 2018. (Yuri Kadobnov / AFP / Getty Images)

South Front

03.04.2019

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will visit Moscow on Thursday and hold a meeting with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, the Israeli PM’s office announced on Tuesday.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed the visit. However, he didn’t provide details regarding the agenda that will be discussed by the two leaders.

“An agreement has been reached that on April 4, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu will fly to Moscow for a brief working visit. On April 4, such brief working talks will be held and the sides will synchronize their watches,” the Russian news agency, TASS, quoted Peskov as saying.

Netanyahu spoke with Putin over the phone last Monday. The two leaders discussed the situation in Syria and the continued coordination between the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and the Russian military.

“You know how important this relationship is for Israel,” Netanyahu said after the phone call, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Last February, Netanyahu visited Russia for the first time since the downing of the Russian Il-20 intelligence plane over Syria in September of 2018. Moscow had held Tel Aviv responsible for the incident that led to the death of 15 Russian service members.

Netanyahu’s new visit to Moscow is taking place five days ahead of the Israeli elections. The prime minister has been working hard in the framework of his election campaign to present himself as a key power broker in the Middle East.

It’s expected that following the upcoming talks Netanyahu will claim that the sides have reached “understanding” and Moscow is de-facto supporting the U.S. decision to recognize the Golan Heights as Israel as well as Israeli airstrikes in Syria.

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‘Pulp Fiction’, the Mueller Report & empty Generation X politics

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog

‘Pulp Fiction’, the Mueller Report & empty Generation X politics

Turns out the Mueller Report isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

It is certainly a sad day for America. Get wasted on tabloid, sore-loser, unproven accusations and the hangover will be costly. But the damage to the credibility of the Democratic Party and the Mainstream Media? Incalculable.

Generation X-ers are role models now, but the past two years sure wasn’t “leadership”. Millennials trusted them on this one – you were so very certain, somehow – and… now what do you do?

Achhh….

This is not my problem, thankfully. I wrote against Russia(non)gate as early as February 2017, treating it for what it was worth – fodder for jokes. What’s amazing is how people took it so very seriously, and for so very long.

Wild claims of treason cannot replace a political platform… but I think it all clicks when we remember that taking total sociopolitical nonsense extremely seriously is a hallmark of the West’s Generation X.

I find it so interesting that Western media now talks almost solely of Baby Boomers and Millennials – it is as if Generation X has been written out of history! I guess Boomers, who are now the richest generation (as they inherit the wealth of the dying Greatest Generation), only want to focus on their grandkids and not their own loser children?

There are plenty of gleeful post-mortems being given in the left following the Mueller Report, but not many are asking: how did this come about? Two-plus years of mass delusion, mass paranoia, mass Russophobia, mass lynch-mob mentality – what are the moral issues which drove allegedly progressive people to these totally-unfounded political stances?

These moral issues simply must come from Generation X, because they are the still-vibrant, mature-adulthood foot soldiers of the ruling Baby Boomers, who – if not already retired – are taking Fridays off to visit their worshiped grandkids who they are spoiling with praise.

In newsrooms across the US the generation really in charge of day-to-day operations now is Generation X – they are the editors and top journalists. The Greatest Generation has passed on ownership of the media to Baby Boomers, while Boomer journalist-proletarians are on their last legs: journalism is a stressful job – there are no 65-year old daily reporters in newsrooms, and no one would hire even the most robust one (too expensive, too opinionated, etc.). Millennials aren’t in charge, to their shock and awe, because any craft relies on experience and Millennials don’t have any yet.

So the biggest blow to US media credibility since the failure to question “Weapons of Mass Destruction” in Iraq is truly a Gen X affair. It’s Pulp Fiction in political form.

“Ooh, this doesn’t sound like the usual mindless, boring, ‘getting to know you’ chit-chat. This sounds like you actually have something to say.”- Mia Wallace

However, as many may remember from the movie, John Travolta doesn’t really have anything to say: he is about to salaciously ask if a man was crippled over giving Uma Thurman a foot massage.

Elitist publications like Esquire routinely declare Dazed and Confused to be the “definitive film of Generation X”, but that’s false: that movie is childish, because it is about children – high schoolers. Those who say Dazed and Confusedis the definitive Generation X movie are likely Baby Boomers, who subconsciously want to see their adult children as actual children, and thus remain forever young themselves, in that very typically American fashion (and which is because elders are not honoured there). Pulp Fiction is what the Dazed and Confused characters turned out to be in their adult prime, and it is not impressive: they are drug addicts, cheating boxers, wannabe actresses, raging bullies, the visually bizarre, the sexually bizarre and losers without children.

Pulp Fiction was such an enormously positive artistic shock when it came out in 1994 – it seemed that Generation X had found its cinematic auteur. Unlike most actor-driven pap, which is super-quick closeups instead of dialogue and plot, this was clearly the work of a great director. Want proof? Tarantino famously exhumed John Travolta to play a leading part – even your next-door neighbor would have been a huge hit in that role.

Our downfall was that we all foolishly assumed that Tarantino had something to say simply because he told Pulp Fiction so spectacularly well. It’s been written that Pulp Fiction is one cliffhanger after another, and it is… because there is actually no content. Content is slow-building and wonky.

Pulp Fiction is a supercool movie which is about nothing: it is 3 tabloid vignettes woven together in a most riveting fashion, and with no heartfelt moral in any of them. This is in stark contrast to Tarantino’s only other truly great movie, Reservoir Dogs, which is ultimately about the power of male camaraderie.

Ignore whatever fawning cinema critics say: Tarantino has not come close to approaching greatness with any movie since Pulp Fiction – he essentially has made living cartoons (Kill Bill 1 and 2), bad action TV from the 1970s (Jackie Brown, The Hateful 8) and childish revenge fantasies for minority groups (Inglorious Basterds, Django Unchained, Death Proof – Jews, Blacks and women, respectively). The reason for this artistic collapse is simple: he truly has nothing to say on any topic of any importance, whether social, political, economic or religious. This disinterest in things of social substance is the essence of Generation X.

With the same “all hype, no substance” of a Gen X rapper, the Mueller Report has proven to be nothing but empty calories. America is now disgusted with itself for gorging on something so unhealthy, again.

“The days of me forgetting are over, and the days of me remembering have just begun.” – Pulp Fiction, opening scene

That, of course, is what an immature slacker loser says after their latest failure, which was so very similar to their last failure.

It was all a big empty diversion, of course, both Pulp Fiction and the Mueller Report. The latter was to deflect attention from the total failure of the hollow, out-of-touch, self-glorifying, 99%-hating, fake-leftist Democratic Party in the 2016 presidential election. The idea that Trump would somehow require Putin’s assistance to defeat decades of emperor-egoed Democrats, and even amidst the Great Recession and its failed QE solutions, is as believable as were the emperors new clothes. I can go on and on about this, but I just said the crux of the biscuit.

The Mueller Report, despite repeated assurances that it would contain everything short of the meaning of life, turned out to be superficial nonsense. Obstructing justice is what Liberal Democratic politicians do; the fraud convictions for Paul Manafort is what Liberal Democratic politicians do – an investigation of any top US politician would produce the same crimes. What was in the briefcase in Pulp Fiction? Just two lights and a battery, per Samuel Jackson.

While Political Correctness is an often unfairly-maligned lens, Generation X is known for taking this to the absurd extreme: a belief that moral relativity can be a guiding ethical philosophy.

Moral relativity also means never having to say you were wrong – there are no “truths”. This helps explain why so many Gen X journalists, like Rachel Maddow, are now trying to move the goalposts on their Trump-Russia accusations.

For those of us who do not make moral relativity our crowning ethos, such people will always look like lying, amoral, untrustworthy, egotistical people until they admit wrongdoing and apologize for the consequences. It is not “all relative”….

However, it’s not just anti-Trumpers who are typically-Generation X, but pro-Trumpers too. I get it as a protest vote, but the only way a person could possibly justify a sincere vote for The Donald would be through moral relativistic machinations worthy of anyone on MSNBC defending Barry “Bailout” Dronebama. Many Gen Xers made such votes. Generation X is full of people who think anyone on TV is automatically worthy of respect, and who are also unable to parse political meaning intelligently following a lifetime of disinterest and disdain.

I think that pro-Trumpers won’t need any such moral twists and turns in 2020 – who could vote for a Democratic Party which went all in on Trump the Treasoner and was wrong?

It’s really too bad, because a 2nd term of Trump will be very tough on three countries which are very dear to me: Iran, Cuba and Palestine.

But Pulp Fiction is the greatest Generation X movie because of its politics, NOT just its style.

Yes, Pulp Fiction actually had serious political messages, but they are rarely examined – a legacy of Generation X is the preference to focus on style, remember?

Sociopolitcally, Pulp Fiction is best remembered for initiating the current age of comfort in, trivalization of, and expectation of massive explicit violence. However, it is wrong to pin this on Gen Xers and Tarantino – here, they are the victims of larger American imperialist culture and history.

Gen Xers grew up or lived during the violent 1970s and then the crack epidemic – this is when bloody gun violence, road rage, gang warfare and tabloid TV journalism became a part of everyday life. Had Gen Xers not numbed and habituated themselves to this violence… how could they function in US society? However, from the first hatchet to an Indian’s skull American culture has been imbued with violence – duh.

These immediate and unfair criticisms blinded many to what is so impressive about the sociopolitical commentary in Pulp Fiction, which 25 years later has proved to be stunningly politically prescient; it gave seemingly scant attention to politics and economics, yet it completely it captured the essence of Western Gen X thinking on such subjects.

“It’s the little differences. I mean they got the same s*** over there they got here, but just there it’s a little different.” “Example?” – Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield

It’s a repeatedly cosmopolitan movie, mirroring the coming advent of the Euro and the confirmation of pan-Europeanism. Samuel Jackson is so entranced by Travolta’s rendering of Amsterdam that, “Aw man, I’m going, that’s all there is to it, I’m f***ing going!” to move to Europe. European Gen Xers were similarly “jump in the deep end and damn the consequences” pan-Europeanists – look at how that has turned out. (And whatever happened in real-life to that Columbian, taxi-driving fox (excuse me, wolf), Esmerelda Villa Lobos? I always preferred her to Bruce Willis’ self-absorbed French girlfriend… yet I moved to France?)

Pulp Fiction presaged Brexit, denying England’s connection to the Continent. Referring to Harvey Keitel’s tuxedoed, American, smooth, “Mr. Wolf” character, Travolta says, “I don’t know why I just thought he’d be European or something?” Jackson responds, “Yeah man, he was about as European as f***ing English Bob.” The English will no longer be European (Union) as of April 12, one hopes.

Pulp Fiction also anticipated the rise of violent Christian evangelism, where Christianity is deployed to justify atrocious violence. This is not something which can be done on a public level, due to official Western secularity, but the “Christian Warrior” concept is certainly alive and well among the army’s rank and file as well as the Pentagon. The raging bullying of Samuel Jackson, self-righteously screaming Scripture at an apartment full of terrified and baby-faced novices he is slowly murdering in cold blood, certainly reminds one of a confident, well-trained US mercenary in Afghanistan, Iraq or any of the other foreign wars which were massively supported by Gen Xers. I always thought this scene could have never have been played by a White actor – hits too close to home.

Did you just order a $5 shake? That’s a shake – that’s milk and ice cream – that’s $5?” What’s amazing today is the idea that anyone would balk at paying $5 for a milkshake in a fancy place like the fictitious Jack Rabbit Slim’s! Balking wouldn’t start until more like $11. Reduced purchasing power is indeed the primary economic consideration since the mid-1970s, and you have to give Tarantino credit for recognising that and memorably hitting the nail on the head.

The movie was the first rationalization of lifestyles which used to be thought of as deviant in the West; it also illustrates the idea in the West (which is governed by “identity politics” instead of socialist solidarity) that deviants are not minority outcasts but, somehow, the true elite. The most amusing example is Rosanna Arquette, with her 13 piercings all over her body: rejecting any sort of “normal” philosophy, she pontificates about how not using a needle for piercing “goes against the whole idea of piercing” as if piercing was a complex moral philosophy! Obviously, that makes her one of the apostles, and apostles don’t have to admit they were wrong on Trump’s Russia collusion. Such boring, self-absorbed conversations – whether on piercing, tattoos, craft brewing or vinyl records – replaced sociopolitical discussion for Gen X.

Hard drug use used to be thought of as deviant, but much like violence I think that Pulp Fiction is simply reflecting American reality – Gen X was the victim, not the originator of this trend.

The famous anal rape scene was perpetrated by – of course – rural Americans: it’s the Gen X version of Deliverance. Elitists who demean “White Trash” is something I have written about often, but we can’t deny that Tarantino was politically attuned to American fake-leftism when he decided to portray rural people as truly horrific “deplorables”. If the movie was written today all that would be needed is to add a “MAGA” hat to “the Gimp”, the disturbing, bondage leather-clad human kept in a dungeon by the film’s hillbillies.

The famous Christopher Walken scene – a family heirloom watch is hidden inside rectums for 7 years in a POW camp – is essentially a way to mock the sacrifices of armed forces, which is very Generation X. They could not have cared less about fighting Vietnamese socialism (which was real), yet they fell as hard as stones for WMD nonsense when Islam was declared the enemy (which is false) after 9/11.

Most interestingly, in film’s moral and philosophical climax, Pulp Fiction illustrates why Generation X has certainly proven to be the strongest adherents of ice-cold neoliberalism. We must recall Gen X was the first US generation in several generations to not have any socialists at all; they are a resolutely capitalist-imperialist generation which grew up hating socialism, hating Russia and not caring that this hate was misguided and morally wrong. Gen X is hardcore capitalist-imperialist, but they merely do it in a passive-aggressive way, not unlike their Canadian neighbors. Gen X also doesn’t talk about politics or economics – their unity on heartless neoliberal capitalism-imperialism is as assumed as the sun coming up in the morning. This explains why Tarantino doesn’t talk about economics much, but when he does it is 100% neoliberal capitalism.

When Samuel Jackson explains to John Travolta that he has had a religious epiphany and is going to quit gangsterism in order to “walk the earth” and “get in adventures”, he is immediately smacked down by Travolta. We can interpret this as a typical Gen X lack of “pioneer spirit”, yet Travolta’s rationale is totally neoliberal: “No Jules, you decided to be a bum. Just like all those pieces of s*** who beg for change, who sleep in garbage bins, who eat what I throw away. They got a name for that Jules – it’s called a bum. And without a job, a residence or legal tender, that’s what you’re gonna be man, a f***ing bum”. This speech is the essence of the hyper-capitalist and fundamentally neoliberal economic view which Generation X obviously totally embraced: without money, a job and the trappings of middle-class respectability Jackson is just walking human excrement. Shortly thereafter, when Jackson is going to give $1,500 to diplomatically and peacefully resolve restaurant gunfight standoff, Travolta warns, even at the risk of murder and his own death, “Jules, you give that f***ing nimrod $1,500 and I’ll shoot him on general principle.” Travolta’s “principle” is quite in line with neoliberal American capitalism – no economic “giving” or redistribution under any circumstances, no to Jules’ revolution, no to socialism.

Add up all these different and often bizarre sociopolitical proclivities and beliefs, and we can understand why – incredibly – so many Gen Xers genuinely believed that treasonous Russian collusion was a certainty because there existed a scandalous videotape of Trump getting urinated on by Russian prostitutes despite his well-known phobia of germs. It sounds like an axed fourth storyline in Pulp Fiction….

Forget about the Gen X things most people focus on with Pulp Fiction – the nostalgia, the retro style, the super-cool music (RIP this week to Lebanese-American Dick Dale, who introduced Arabic scales to US pop music; the movie also introduced a new generation to Link Wray’s Rumble, which marked the birth of the power chord AND reverb, and what’s cooler than those?) – Pulp Fiction gave an accurate presentations of Generation X’s socioeconomic value system.

“Pride only hurts, it never helps.” – Marsellus Wallace

Yet another motto of Generation X.

Well, it all depends on context: “Non serviam” (I will not serve) was the sin that cast Satan from heaven, sure, but not serving the gangster Wallace is a good form of pride.

A total lack of pride is what led to Russiagate debacle.

Gen Xers are the media and political staffers who were all-too willing to serve gangsters, banksters, political shysters and journalism magnate hucksters. They composed the editors, the talking heads, the chiefs of staff, the rank and file, and the movers and shakers who only shook America into the nothingness that is the Mueller Report.

They had no pride, because pride is not found in the success of your individual self but in shared concepts, shared responsibilities and shared achievements. Gen Xers in these jobs of social responsibility – tens or hundreds of thousands of them – repeatedly failed to stand up to what was obviously a totally pathetic ruse because they cared only about their own success.

Much like Bruce Willis, who served Wallace in order to retire early to a Tahitian beach, Gen Xers pushing Russia(non)gate were only it for themselves. (Willis’ character had obviously served Wallace before, which is why he was insulted with “palooka” by Travolta’s character.) That’s the Gen X way, and America needs to realize this. They say that Millennial Americans are more collective-minded, and I certainly hope so – but maybe it only appears that way because they are standing next to Gen Xers?

What has Russiagate ultimately given us? It has given us “fake news” – the idea that propaganda actually can exist in the United States, and not only outside it. It has also given Americans the idea that they may actually have their own “Deep State”, a concept which every other nation has already identified in their own country. These are indeed momentous and necessary realizations which America needed to examine deeply, but they are so pitifully far behind in political thought that I could only satirise them before moving on to examine actually-important issues.

So what happens when Gen Xers fight other Gen Xers? You get a nothing Mueller Report.

Did the pro-Trump Gen Xers “win”, really?

No. Donald Trump was an unwanted prize to begin with. His victory, and now his exoneration, and soon his re-election, are a typically-Gen X affirmation of their political and moral abyss.

But that’s how Gen X likes it. They don’t like to join and they don’t like to lead. They like to laugh all alone, mockingly, and not with the group. Certainly unelectable, yet America must elect them. As Pulp Fiction relates, they are a strange, unrelatable lot. Interesting to watch, as long as you are far away.

I’d like to end with: regardless, let’s not write Generation X out of Western society – these problems aren’t going away. Similarly, don’t encourage Tarantino by paying to see his next movie – make him get back to making art and not pulp, although apparently his next movie is going to be his last one.

A couple weeks ago Nancy Pelosi, knowing the Mueller Report was about to be a dud, dropped Democrats’ hysterical and undemocratic demands for Trump’s impeachment with a decidedly parental (and fundamentally smug), “Andhe’s just not worth it”. Mommy and Daddy know exactly how to defuse their kids, after all.

It’s a very Generation X-type of idea: The fight is not worth fighting.

Russiagate wasn’t, that’s for sure.

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of Ill Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red ChinaHis work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television. He can be reached on Facebook.

“The Russians are Still Coming” “Without RussiaGate”: The “Fake News” Witch-hunt against the Independent Media

US Foreign Policy under Trump in the Wake of the Russia Probe

Global Research, March 28, 2019

From one day to the next,  following the release of the Mueller report, the shaky RussiaGate consensus created by the corporate media has collapsed.  

What the Mueller investigation contends is that there is no proof that the Kremlin interfered in the 2016 presidential elections. 

The demise of the RussiaGate narrative, however, does not mean that the Trump administration will renew its relations with the Kremlin. “The Russians are still coming”… without RussiaGate. Russia is still portrayed as a threat to America’s National Security. 

In this regard, the objective of the Neocons has been achieved. The Trump administration, with its hawk team of  advisers including Pompeo and Bolton, not to mention Gina Haspel at the CIA, is towing the line. 

Corporate and Political Rivalries

The RussiaGate narrative was required to sustain the multibillion dollar contracts in favor of the military industrial complex including the 1.2 trillion dollar nuclear weapons program.

What was at stake in 2016 were fundamental rivalries within the US establishment marked by the clash between competing corporate (and political) factions, each of which was intent upon exerting control over the incoming US presidency.

In this regard,  Trump was not entirely in the pocket of the lobby groups. He was not a groomed politician. As a member of the business establishment, he had his own corporate sponsors and fund raisers. His stated foreign policy agenda including his “commitment” to revise Washington’s relationship with Moscow did not fully conform with the interests of the defence contractors.

Prior to the elections, a smear campaign was launched by the media on behalf of the  “Clinton faction”. At the height of the election campaign Trump was portrayed by the US media as  “an agent” of the Kremlin, a modern Manchurian candidate.  Barely a month before the November 8 2016 elections, former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Leo Panetta  intimated that Trump represented a threat to National Security. The Atlantic (October 8, 2016),  described Trump is a “Modern Manchurian Candidate”.

Belleville National Democrats, Jan 13, 2017

Vanity Fair November 1 2016

The Atlantic October 8 2016

This anti-Trump campaign continued unabated in the wake of the elections. Ironically, Rod Rosenstein who had been nominated for the position of Deputy Attorney General by president Trump in February 2017, acted against Trump almost immediately following his confirmation on April 27, 2017.

Rosenstein’s mandate was to organize the so-called Russia Probe pertaining to alleged Kremlin interference in the November 2016 elections. Rosenstein’s first step consisted in the firing of FBI Director James Comey and appointing former FBI Director Robert Mueller as Special Council to lead the Russia Probe.

Rod Rosenstein had prepared a three page memorandum, which  criticized James Comey for his handling of the Clinton email investigation and the release of Comey’s October 28, 2016 “Second Letter to Congress” 11 days before Election Day.

This action by Comey referred to as “October Surprise” (2016)  was largely detrimental to Clinton’s candidacy. It certainly did not go against the interests of Donald Trump.

The Fake News Witch-hunt. Clamping Down on Independent Media

RussiaGate was not only a conspiracy against Trump, largely in response to his 2016 election campaign commitment to restore “normal” diplomatic relations with Russia, it also took the form of a Witch-hunt directed against the independent online media,  which were casually tagged as “Russian trolls”, “Russian bots”,  “political commentators acting on behalf of the Russian government.” etc.

In chorus, the Western media was involved in accusing Moscow of election meddling without a shred of evidence.

In contrast, the lies and fabrications as well as the criminality underlying the Democrats’ 2016 election campaign were the object of  independent online media reports which were immediately branded as “fake news” on behalf of the Kremlin.

According to Reuters:

 “Russian President Vladimir Putin supervised his intelligence agencies’ hacking of the U.S. presidential election and turned it from a general attempt to discredit American democracy to an effort to help Donald Trump, three U.S. officials said on Thursday.” (emphasis added)

The New York Times (December 15) focussed on Kremlin meddling. Donald Trump is tagged as “a Useful Idiot”:

Kremlin meddling in the 2016 election warrants further investigation, with an eye toward preventive or retaliatory measures. President Obama has asked the nation’s intelligence community to deliver a fuller report on its findings before he leaves office on Jan. 20, …

Mr. Trump’s reaction to the C.I.A.’s findings leaves him isolated, … There could be no more “useful idiot,” to use Lenin’s term of art, than an American president who doesn’t know he’s being played by a wily foreign power. (emphasis added)

According to the Washington Post in a report published one month before the 2016 November elections:

The Obama administration on Friday [October 2016] officially accused Russia of attempting to interfere in the 2016 elections, including by hacking the computers of the Democratic National Committee and other political organizations.

The denunciation, made by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security, came as pressure was growing from within the administration and some lawmakers to publicly name Moscow and hold it accountable for actions apparently aimed at sowing discord around the election.

“The U.S. Intelligence Community is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from U.S. persons and institutions,including from U.S. political organizations,” said a joint statement from the two agencies. “. . . These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the U.S. election process.” (WP, October 7, 2016)

While the Washington Post (supported by the Deep State?) was spreading rumors on Russia’s alleged election meddling, it was also involved in engineering the Blacklisting of the independent media which was questioning the RussiaGate consensus.

In an “authoritative” Washington Post article, (published 6 days after the November 2016 election) reporter Craig Timberg  reviewed an anonymous website called “PropOrNot,” which had blacklisted several hundred independent online news sources intimating that these websites and social media accounts were part of a Kremlin propaganda network.  Timberg had no evidence in support of his allegations. The objective was to trigger the crackdown against the online independent media:

“Two teams of independent researchers found that the Russians exploited American-made technology platforms to attack U.S. democracy at a particularly vulnerable moment, as an insurgent candidate harnessed a wide range of grievances to claim the White House. The sophistication of the Russian tactics may complicate efforts by Facebook and Google to crack down on “fake news,” as they have vowed to do after widespread complaints about the problem. (Washington Post, November 14, 2016, emphasis added)

Screenshot of WP article, November 24, 2016

***

The Washington Post is “Fake News” at its Best. The report served as an endorsement of the Blacklisting campaign. Sustained by the RussiaGate narrative, a smear campaign was launched.  Several hundred online media sites including Global Research were tagged as “fake news” by Facebook and Google.

The Washington based Atlantic Council and NATO’s Centre of Excellency (COE), a  “Research Centre”  based in Latvia have published several “authoritative reports” which identify the independent online media “with links” to the Kremlin. Much of this “analysis” is fabricated.

The objective was to use the RussiaGate narrative (which had become a broadly accepted public consensus), as a means to suppress critical analysis of neoliberal economic policies, US foreign policy, US-NATO war plans, etc.

What happens now?

While the Mueller report confirms that the corporate media were spreading “fake news” in support of RussiaGate, it is highly unlikely that the mainstream media will indulge in a mea culpa. Moreover, it is also unlikely that social media and search engine censorship against the independent online media will be removed.

What is of course significant is that the broader public is now fully aware that they have been lied to. The public has been deliberately misled by the mainstream media from the very outset of the RussiaGate saga. The corporate media has endorsed war propaganda, it has granted  legitimacy to acts of war and military aggression, through lies and fabrications. Under Nuremberg, war propaganda constitutes the ultimate crime: “the Crime against Peace”.

The Skripal Affair

The Skripal affair –which hit Britain’s tabloids– was an integral part of the RussiaGate Op. It was based on fake intelligence and media disinformation directed against Moscow. Launched by the UK government of Theresa May, a political consensus had unfolded. Moscow was casually accused of conducting a mysterious covert nerve gas attack against a former Russian intelligence operative and his daughter.

While the story was refuted, the objective of the Skripal affair  ultimately succeeded. It consisted in pressuring EU member states to jeopardize their diplomatic relations with Russia.

Meanwhile, the RussiaGate saga also provided legitimacy to NATO threats against Russia, resulting in massive military deployments at Russia’s doorstep.

US Foreign Policy

The Mueller report does not restore sanity in US foreign policy.  Quite the opposite.

What it confirms is that there is no evidence of Russian support of  Trump’s candidacy in the 2016 presidential elections.

Since Trump’s inauguration, however, the objective of normalizing diplomatic relations with Russia has largely been scrapped.

With Bolton and Pompeo, the NeoCons control Trump’s foreign policy.

War scenarios with Russia and China are contemplated.

Nuclear war is on the drawing board of the Pentagon.

The RussiaGate narrative against Trump is no longer required.

West Bank next on US recognition list, Nasrallah warns

March 26, 2019

Frame grab shows Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivering a speech on March 26, 2019.

Press TV reports:

Hezbollah warns that the United States could next choose to recognize Israel’s “sovereignty” over the Tel Aviv-occupied West Bank unless the Arab world springs to action.

The Lebanese resistance movement’s Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah issued the caution during a speech on Tuesday.

“When the entire world allows [US President Donald] Trump to declare [Jerusalem] al-Quds as Israel’s eternal capital, and especially the Arab world remains silent, this opens the way for all US violations,” he said.

“When institutions and International laws fail to serve the American agenda and their interest, they just simply disregard it in all disrespect, and what is called ‘the international community’ is not able to protect any right of the people whatsoever, including land ownership and sovereignty, taking back conquered land like what happened in Golan or what happened before that in (Jerusalem) al-Quds,” Nasrallah said.

Trump recognized the holy city, which the Israeli regime occupied as part of the Palestinian territory of the West Bank during a war in 1967, as Israel’s “capital” in late 2017. On Monday, the US president took his second most controversial pro-Israeli action during his tenure by recognizing the regime’s “sovereignty” over Syria’s Golan Heights. Tel Aviv occupied the latter territory during the same war.

“We must expect Trump to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank,” Nasrallah added.

He said such a potential move “is part of the deal of the century,” referring to an under-wraps Washington proposal for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which reportedly includes outrageous violations against Palestinians’ historical demands.

“They can say the Palestinian people can go and live in Gaza,” the Hezbollah chief said, envisioning expulsion of Palestinians from the West Bank as part of the US plan.

He urged the Arab world to resort to what “conscience” it had left by preventing these prospects.

The Arab League, Nasrallah proposed, should use its upcoming summit in Tunisia to withdraw the so-called Arab peace initiative, proposed by Saudi Arabia in 2002, and instead press for more negotiation.

The initiative offers normalization of ties between Israel and 22 Arab countries in return for Tel Aviv’s withdrawal from the West Bank.

US after ‘civil war’ in Lebanon

Separately, Nasrallah pointed to remarks made by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a recent visit to Lebanon. Attending the Lebanese Foreign Ministry, the top diplomat urged that the Lebanese “face” Hezbollah and branded the group as an obstacle to realization of the Lebanese people’s dreams.

Nasrallah said his movement was in the service of Lebanon’s protection as has been the case during Israel’s several invasions of the country. Hezbollah rather upheld the Lebanese people’s dreams of retrieving the part of their land, which has been occupied by Tel Aviv, and eradication of corruption.

“Is Hezbollah standing in the face of these dreams? Or is Hezbollah part of the apparatus, which people pin their hopes on,” he asked.

The Hezbollah chief also referenced the US’s history of sowing instability, destruction, and bloodshed across the world through military invasion. By singling out the resistance group as the source of the country’s problems, the US is rather trying to pit the Lebanese people against each other and trigger a “civil war,” Nasrallah noted.

“He (Pompeo) is trying to incite us and wants the Lebanese people to shed each other’s blood. Pompeo is frustrated with the stability and peaceful coexistence in Lebanon,” he said.

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