“RIC”: BRICS after Bolsonaro

November 08, 2018

by Ghassan Kadi for The Saker Blog

BRICS is the acronym of the “alliance” that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

In reality, and with all due respect to Brazil and South Africa, BRICS is about RIC.

With Russia, India and China, in any order, there lies the future of Eurasia; the virtually unchartered quarter that houses over one third of the entire world population; a huge chunk of landmass, rich in resources, not only human resources, and just waiting for the right moment to make its mark in history.

The so-called “Silk Road”, or in reality silk roads, was historically the network of caravan paths that ancient traders took on their journeys from east to west, linking worlds largely unknown to each other, long before Vasco da Gama’s highly documented trips.

And whilst the ancient cultures of India and China flourished in their own right, apart from Alexander’s conquest, the Muslim and subsequent Mongol conquests, there was little historic geopolitical interaction between that far Far East and the Middle East; let alone Europe. The long icy and hard terrain made it very difficult, even for the brave at heart, to take the journey from Beijing to Vienna. The temptations to make that trip did not match the hardship of the journey for the averagely motivated traveler.

But this is all about to change. The new “Silk Road”, the network of super highways that the “RIC” nations are intent to build is going to change this status quo and shorten land distances.

The Trans-Siberian railway is a Russian route and constructing it linked Vladivostok with Moscow, but it was not intended to link China with Europe. If anything, it helped bolster the isolation of the USSR. But the new “Silk Road” project will change the transportation map of the world upside down once and for ever.

The determination to build this massive road network does not need either Brazil or South Africa; again with all due respect to both nations.

By taking many considerations into account, we must be realistic and say that the electoral win of Brazilian candidate Bolsonaro will not affect the prospect of the “Silk Road” one way or the other. The repercussions of his election will affect Brazil more than any other country. Purportedly, his policies will affect global climate, but this is another issue. His fiscal and international policy making decisions may put Brazil under the American sphere of influence, and this unfortunately can and will affect Brazil very adversely, but the damage is likely to be restricted to Brazil only.

With or without Brazil, BRICS can survive, but for it to survive and make a difference, it will need to become more serious about conducting its business.

The first step towards becoming more proactive is best done by establishing proper trust and conciliation between the three major players; Russia, China and India.

The love-hate relationship that marred the Soviet-Maoist era took a while to heal. The Russians and the Chinese seem to have gone many steps ahead towards establishing trust and confidence in each other. But China and India continue to have serious problems, and for as long as they have border and sovereignty disputes, this hinders them from becoming effective partners in every way.

Furthermore, BRICS needs a preamble and a Statement of Purpose. At the moment, it doesn’t have one. With all of its hypocrisies, the Western alliance camouflages itself behind the veil of Christian values, democracy and the “free world” slogans. Thus far, the only undeclared statement of purpose for BRICS seems to be that of defiance to the Western alliance.

The BRICS alliance will face a struggle founding an attractive preamble. Orthodox Christian Russia, predominantly Hindu India and Communist/Taoist/Buddhist China have little in common religiously speaking. Perhaps the BRICS leaders should be using common political grounds instead. They certainly cannot use democracy; not only because such an adoption would make them look as copycats, but also because they have different ideas about democracy, and Russia and China definitely do not endorse Western-style democracy.

In reality however, BRICS can use abstract lofty principles as their preamble; principles such as morality, honesty, and if they want to be less “theological” as it were, they could use principles such as “International law”, “International equality” and the like.

Apart from accumulating gold, building bridges and super road networks, planning fiscal measures to cushion the effects of a possible collapse of the Western economy on their own economies, developing state-of-the-art hypersonic weaponry and giving a clear message announcing that the world is no longer unipolar, the BRICS alliance ought to make clear statements about what kind of alternative world it envisions.

This is very important, because a significant percentage of the world population does not know what to expect if the BRICS alliance becomes the new dominant financial and military power. They have special concerns about China because they don’t know much about China, and they worry not only about whether or not China will be a new colonial super power, but they also worry about one day waking up and seeing traffic signals in Mandarin; so to speak.

To many people across the globe, the Chinese culture, language and modus operandi look like something from another planet.

The Cyrillic Russian and the Devanagari Indian scripts are no less daunting than the Mandarin script, but many Indians and Russians speak English and the West has had much more cultural interaction with both Russia and India than it ever did with China.

Furthermore, for the BRICS alliance to become more viable, it will need to develop a military alliance akin to that of NATO. When and if such an alliance is forged, then members will be protected as any attack on one will be considered as an attack on the whole coalition. Such an alliance will not increase the chances of war. Quite the contrary in fact, as it can lead to much needed stability. If for argument sake North Korea were a member, it would not be in a situation where it can claim that it needs nuclear weapons for self-defense, and secondly, the West would not be threatening to attack for fear of a major global escalation. The Cold-War, costly and potentially disastrous as it was, presents a successful model of nuclear deterrence. And in retrospect, had Vietnam been a member of the Warsaw Pact (or a similar one that included the USSR), it is possible that America’s war on Vietnam would have been averted. A more realistically plausible scenario is the case of former Yugoslavia. Had the Warsaw Pact been still standing, NATO would have never attacked Serbia back in 1999.

To be able to afford a more effective military deterrent, be a viable stand-alone economic power and to be attractive to the rest of the world, the BRICS coalition will ultimately need more member nations. Ideally, it would be of huge significance if Japan could be convinced to join it. The inclusion of Japan will not only add a huge financial power to the group, but it will also generate an in-house regional security to the China Sea region. Baby steps have been recently made between China and Japan towards conciliation, and much more needs to be done. It will take a lot of work and good intentions on both sides to undo a long history of hostilities and distrust.

Other nations that can and arguably should enter the coalition are; Venezuela, Mexico, Argentina, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and post Erdogan Turkey. Why post Erdogan? Because Erdogan’s Turkey can turn BRICS into a bag of TRICS.

Resource-rich Australia has much to gain in joining such an alliance as this will not only bolster its own security, but it will also secure economic stability and on-going trade.

Thus far, all the official visits that the RIC leaders have exchanged, all the business deals they made, all the projects they are embarking on, huge as they are, are only baby steps towards turning their alliance into one that can lead the world and establish the necessary moral, financial and security foundations that are capable of underpinning it.

Over and above establishing a new world reserve currency, setting up an alternative to the US-based Internet and WWW, SWIFT, etc, the brave new world will need hope, trust, morality and concrete assurances for a long-awaited change for the better. These are the real challenges facing the BRICS alliance now; not the Bolsonaro win.


How the tentacles of the US military are strangling the planet


By Vijay Prashad

The overreach of the U.S. military provides incentive for it to treat every conflict as a potential war.

Earlier this year, in Itoman (Okinawa, Japan), a young girl—Rinko Sagara (age 14)— read out of a poem based on her great-grandmother’s experience of World War II. Sagara’s great-grandmother reminded her of the cruelty of war. She had seen her friends shot in front of her. It was ugly. Okinawa, a small island on the edge of southern Japan, saw its share of war from April to June 1945. “The blue skies were obscured by the iron rain,” wrote Rinko Sagara, channeling the memories of her great-grandmother. The roar of the bombs overpowered the haunting melody from the sanshin, Okinawa’s snakeskin-covered three-string guitar. “Cherish each day,” the poem goes, “For our future is just an extension of this moment. Now is our future.”

This week, the people of Okinawa elected Denny Tamaki of the Liberal Party as the governor of Okinawa. Tamaki’s mother is an Okinawan, while his father—whom he does not know—was a U.S. soldier. Tamaki, like Okinawa’s former governor Takeshi Onaga, opposes the U.S. military bases on Okinawa. Onaga wanted the presence of the U.S. military removed from the island, a position that Tamaki seems to endorse. The United States has over 50,000 troops in Japan as well as a very large contingent of ships and aircraft. Seventy percent of the U.S. bases are on Okinawa island. Almost everyone in Okinawa wants the U.S. military to go. Rape by U.S. soldiers—including of young children—has long angered the Okinawans. Terrible environmental pollution—including the harsh noise from U.S. military aircraft—rankles people. It was not difficult for Tamaki to run on an anti-U.S. base platform. It is the most basic demand of his constituents.

But, the Japanese government does not accept the democratic views of the Okinawan people. Discrimination against the Okinawans plays a role here, but more fundamentally there is a lack of regard for the wishes of ordinary people when it comes to a U.S. base. In 2009, Yukio Hatoyama led the Democratic Party to victory in the national elections on a wide-ranging platform that included shifting Japanese foreign policy from its U.S. orientation to a more balanced approach with the rest of Asia. Prime Minister Hatoyama called for the United States and Japan to have a “close and equal” relationship, which meant that Japan would no longer be ordered about by Washington. The test case for Hatoyama was the relocation of the U.S. Futenma Marine Corps Air Base to a less populated section of Okinawa. His party wanted all the U.S. bases to be removed from the island. Pressure on the Japanese state from Washington was intense. Hatoyama could not deliver on his promise. He resigned his post. It was impossible to go against U.S. military policy and to rebalance Japan’s relationship with the rest of Asia. Japan, but more properly Okinawa, is effectively a U.S. aircraft carrier.

Japan’s Prostituted Daughter

Hatoyama could not move an agenda at the national level—likewise, local politicians and activists have struggled to move an agenda in Okinawa. Tamaki’s predecessor Takeshi Onaga— who died this August—could not get rid of the U.S. bases in Okinawa. Yamashiro Hiroji, head of the Okinawa Peace Action Center, and his comrades regularly protest the bases and in particular the transfer of the Futenma base. In October 2016, Hiroji was arrested when he cut a barbed wire fence at the base. He was held in prison for five months and not allowed to see his family. In June 2017, Hiroji went before the UN Human Rights Council to say, “The government of Japan dispatched a large police force in Okinawa to oppress and violently remove civilians.” Protest is illegal. The Japanese forces are acting here on behalf of the U.S. government.

Suzuyo Takazato, head of the Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence, has called Okinawa “Japan’s prostituted daughter.” This is a stark characterization. Takazato’s group was formed in 1995 as part of the protest against the rape of a 12-year-old girl by three U.S. servicemen based in Okinawa. For decades now, Okinawans have complained about the creation of enclaves of their island that operate as places for the recreation of U.S. soldiers. The photographer Mao Ishikawa has portrayed these places, the segregated bars where only U.S. soldiers are allowed to go and meet Okinawan women (her book, Red Flower: The Women of Okinawa, collects many of these pictures from the 1970s). There have been at least 120 reported rapes since 1972, the “tip of the iceberg,” says Takazato. Every year there is at least one incident that captures the imagination of the people—a terrible act of violence, a rape or a murder. What the people want is for the bases to close, since they see the bases as the reason for these acts of violence. It is not enough to call for justice after the incidents; it is necessary, they say, to remove the cause of the incidents.

The Futenma base is to be relocated to Henoko in Nago City, Okinawa. A referendum in 1997 allowed the residents of Nago City to vote against a base. A massive demonstration in 2004 reiterated their view, and it was this demonstration that halted construction of the new base in 2005. Susumu Inamine, former mayor of Nago City, is opposed to the construction of any base in his city; he lost a re-election bid this year to Taketoyo Toguchi, who did not raise the base issue, by a slim margin. Everyone knows that if there were a new referendum in Nago City over a base, it would be roundly defeated. But, democracy is meaningless when it comes to the U.S. military base.

Fort Trump

The United States military has a staggering 883 military bases in 183 countries. In contrast, Russia has 10 such bases—8 of them in the former USSR. China has one overseas military base. There is no country with a military footprint that replicates that of the United States. The U.S. bases in Japan are only a small part of the massive infrastructure that allows the U.S. military to be hours away from armed action against any part of the planet.

There is no proposal to downsize the U.S. military footprint. In fact, there are only plans to increase it. The United States has long sought to build a base in Poland, whose government now courts the White House with the proposal that it be named Fort Trump. Currently, there are U.S.-NATO military bases in Germany, Hungary and Bulgaria with U.S.-NATO troops deployments in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The United States has increased its military presence in the Black Sea and in the Baltic Sea. Attempts to deny Russia access to its only two warm water ports in Sevastopol, Crimea, and Latakia, Syria, pushed Moscow to defend them with military interventions. A U.S. base in Poland, at the doorstep of Belarus, will rattle the Russians as much as they were rattled by Ukraine’s pledge to join NATO and by the war in Syria.

These U.S.-NATO bases provide instability and insecurity rather than peace. Tensions abound around them. Threats emanate from their presence.

A World Without Bases

In mid-November, in Dublin, Ireland, a coalition of organizations from around the world will hold the First International Conference Against US/NATO Military Bases. This conference is part of the newly formed Global Campaign Against US/NATO Military Bases.

The view of the organizers is that “none of us can stop this madness alone.” By madness, they refer to the belligerence of the bases and the wars that come as a result of them. A decade ago, a CIA operative offered me the old chestnut, “if you have a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.” What this means is that the expansion of the U.S. military—and its covert infrastructure—provides the incentive for the U.S. political leadership to treat every conflict as a potential war. Diplomacy goes out of the window. Regional structures to manage conflict—such as the African Union and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation—are disregarded. The U.S. hammer comes down hard on nails from one end of Asia to the other end of the Americas.

The poem by Rinko Sagara ends with an evocative line—now is our future. But it is, sadly, not so. The future will need to be produced—a future that disentangles the massive global infrastructure of war erected by the United States and NATO. The future, hopefully, will be made in Dublin and not in Warsaw; in Okinawa and not in Washington.

Vijay Prashad is a writing fellow at the Independent Media Institute. He is the chief editor of LeftWord Books and the director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research. He is also the author of Red Star Over the Third World (LeftWord, 2017) and The Death of the Nation and the Future of the Arab Revolution (University of California Press, 2016), among other books. 

This article was produced by Globetrotter, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

Greater Eurasia coming together in the Russian Far East

September 12, 2018

Greater Eurasia coming together in the Russian Far East

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

The Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok has become a crucial part of strategic integration between China, Russia and other countries in northeast Asia, a graduation assimilation set to transform the current world system

Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin were involved in a joint cooking venture. Pancakes with caviar (blin, in Russian), chased down with a shot of vodka. It just happened at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. Talk about a graphic (and edible) metaphor sealing the ever-evolving ‘Russia-China comprehensive strategic partnership’.

For a few years now the Vladivostok forum has been offering an unequaled roadmap tracking progress on Eurasia integration.

Last year, on the sidelines of the forum, Moscow and Seoul delivered a bombshell: a trilateral trade platform, crucially integrating Pyongyang, revolving around a connectivity corridor between the whole Korean peninsula and the Russian Far East.

Roundtable topics this year included integration of the Russian Far East into Eurasian logistic chains; once again the Russian link-up with the Koreas – aiming to build a Trans-Korean railway connected to the Trans-Siberian and a “Pipelineistan” branch-out into South Korea via China. Other topics were the Russia-Japan partnership in terms of Eurasian transit, centering on the link-up of the Trans-Siberian and Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM) upgrades to a projected railway to the island of Sakhalin, and then all the way to the island of Hokkaido.

The future: Tokyo to London, seamlessly, by train.

Then there was integration between Russia and ASEAN – beyond current infrastructure, agricultural, and shipbuilding projects to energy, agro-industry sector and forestry, as outlined by Ivan Polyakov, chairman of the Russia-ASEAN Business Council.

Essentially this is all about the simultaneous build-up of a growing East-West and also North-South axis. Russia, China, Japan, the Koreas and Vietnam, slowly but surely, are on their way to solid geoeconomic integration.

Arguably the most fascinating discussion in Vladivostok was Crossroads on the Silk Road, featuring, among others, Sergey Gorkov, Russian deputy minister of economic development; Wang Yilin, chairman of China’s oil giant CNPC, and Zhou Xiaochun, vice-chairman of the board of directors of the essential Boao Forum.

Moscow’s drive is to link the New Silk Roads or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). Yet the ultimate geoeconomic target is even more ambitious; a “Greater Eurasian partnership”, where BRI converges with the EAEU, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and ASEAN. At its core lies the Russia-China strategic partnership.

The roadmap ahead, of course, involves striking the right chords in a complex balance of political interests and management practices amid multiple East-West projects. Cultural symbiosis has to be part of the picture. The Russia-China partnership is increasingly inclined to reason in go (weiqi, the game) terms, a shared vision based on universal strategic principles.

Another key discussion in Vladivostok featured Fyodor Lukyanov, research director at the always essential Valdai Discussion Club, and Lanxin Xiang, director of the Centre of One Belt and One Road Studies at the China National Institute for SCO International Exchange. That centered on the geopolitics of Asian interaction, involving key BRICS members Russia, China and India, and how Russia might be able to capitalize on it while navigating the harrowing sanctions and trade war swamp.

All power from Siberia

It all comes back to the basics and the evolving Russia-China strategic partnership. Xi and Putin are implicated to the core. Xi defines the partnership as the best mechanism to “jointly neutralize the external risks and challenges”. For Putin, “our relations are crucial, not only for our countries, but for the world as well.” It’s the first time ever that a Chinese leader has joined the Vladivostok discussions.

China is progressively interconnecting with the Russian Far East. International transport corridors – Primorye 1 and Primorye 2 – will boost cargo transit between Vladivostok and northeast China. Gazprom is about to complete the Russian stretch of the massive Power of Siberia gas pipeline to China, in agreement with CNPC. Over 2,000 kilometers of pipes have been welded and laid from Yakutia to the Russian-Chinese border. Power of Siberia starts operating in December 2019.

According to the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), the partnership is evaluating 73 investment projects worth more than $100 billion. The overseer is the Russian-Chinese Business Advisory Committee, including more than 150 executives from leading Russian and Chinese companies. The CEO of RDIF, Kirill Dmitriev, is convinced “particularly promising transactions will be found in bilateral deals that capitalize on the Russia-China relationship.”

In Vladivostok, Putin and Xi once again agreed to keep increasing bilateral trade on yuan and rubles, bypassing the US dollar – building upon a mutual decision in June to increase the number of yuan-ruble contracts. In parallel, Economic Development Minister Maksim Oreshkin advised Russians to sell US dollars and buy rubles.

Moscow expects the ruble to appreciate to around 64 per US dollar next year. It’s currently trading at around 70 rubles against the dollar, dragged down by US sanctions and the dollar weaponization wreaking havoc in BRICS members Brazil, India and South Africa, as well as potential BRICS Plus states such as Turkey and Indonesia.

Putin and Xi once again reaffirmed they will continue to work in tandem on their inter-Korean roadmap based on “dual freeze” – North Korea suspends nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches while the US suspends military drills with Seoul.

But what really seems to be capturing the imagination of the Koreas is the Trans-Korean railway. Kim Chang-sik, head of railway development in Pyongyang said: “We will further develop this project on the basis of negotiations between Russia, North Korea and South Korea, so that the owners of this project will be the countries of the Korean peninsula.”

That connects to what South Korean President Moon Jae-in said only three months ago: “Once the Trans-Korean main line is built, it may be connected to the Trans-Siberian Railway. In this case, it would be possible to deliver goods from South Korea to Europe, which would be economically beneficial not only to South and North Korea, but to Russia as well.”

Understanding the matryoshka

Contrary to misinformed or manipulated Western hysteria, the current Vostok war games in the Russian Far East’s Trans-Baikal, including 3,000 Chinese troops, are just a section of the much deeper, complex Russia-China strategic partnership. This is all about a matryoshka: the war game is a doll inside the geoeconomic game.

In ‘China and Russia: The New Rapprochement’, Alexander Lukin, from the National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow, lays down the roadmap in detail; the evolving, Eurasia-wide economic partnership is part of a much larger, comprehensive concept of “Greater Eurasia”. This is the core of the Russia-China entente, leading to what political scientist Sergey Karaganov has dubbed, “a common space for economic, logistic and information cooperation, peace and security from Shanghai to Lisbon and from New Delhi to Murmansk.”

Without understanding the Big Picture enveloping debates such as the annual gathering in Vladivostok, it’s impossible to understand how the progressive integration of BRI, EAEU, SCO, ASEAN, BRICS and BRICS Plus is bound to irreversibly change the current world-system.

Aftermath of the (unnecessary) US Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Aftermath of the US Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – Voice Over – Russian Ambassador 1945

US to Hold Massive Military Exercise on Korean Peninsula…Again

Posted on 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

US Trying to Deliberately ‘Provoke’ North Korea, says Lavrov

It was back in August that the US staged a massive 10-day war war games exercise on the Korean peninsula. Involving some 75,000 US and South Korean troops, the exercise, dubbed “Ulchi-Freedom Guardian,” saw forces deployed on land, sea, and in the air–a massive display of military power denounced by the North Koreans as a “reckless behavior driving the situation into the uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war”…and it was also around this time that the DPRK threatened to attack Guam.

Now here we are three months later, and the US is about to do it all again. An exercise called “Vigilance Ace” is scheduled to run December 4-8, and according to Sputnik it will involve 230 war planes, including F-22 Raptors and F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.

The “realistic” combat exercise is tailored to “enhance interoperability between US and Republic of Korea forces and crease the combat effectiveness of both nations,” the Seventh US Air Force, which operates out of South Korea, said in a Friday statement.

All this comes just 10 days after reports emerged of three US aircraft carrier groups taking positions in waters around the Korean peninsula in what North Korea’s UN ambassador described as a “strike posture.”

As in the previous two incidents–the Ulchi-Freedom exercise in August and the carrier deployments earlier this month–the North Koreans are again speaking out in protest, calling the upcoming Vigilance Ace games a “serious provocation.”

But perhaps the most arresting, eye-brow-raising remarks of all have come from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who suggested that the US is intentionally trying to provoke the North Koreans.

“We are alarmed that in the last two months when North Korea conducted no tests or rocket launches, it seemed that Washington was not happy about that, and tried to do things that would irritate and provoke Pyongyang,” Lavrov said.

He has a good point. It has been approximately 70 days since North Korea’s last missile test. Why the need for a massive military exercise now?

Lavrov also suggested that the confrontation with North Korea is a pretext, and that the real objective is the placement of US missiles on Russia’s doorstep. He is almost certainly correct in this, but of course it is extremely rare for a high-ranking Russian official to speak this candidly.

“We are expressing deep concern, with facts to back it up, that Japan, along with South Korea, is becoming a territory for the deployment of elements of the US global missile defence system which is being rolled out in that region under the pretext of the North Korea threat,” Lavrov said.

“We have no problems directly with Japan, we do not see risks there. We see risks because of the proliferation of a global US missile defence system on the territory of countries that neighbour Russia, including Japan,” he added.

Lavrov made the remarks during a visit to Moscow by Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono.

Russia and China have proposed an agreement calling for an end to US war games on the Korean peninsula in exchange for a halt in missile testing by the North. The proposal has been rejected by the US and South Korea.

The US dilemma in the Iranian nuclear file المأزق الأميركي في الملف النووي الإيراني

The US dilemma in the Iranian nuclear file

أكتوبر 20, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

The US President Donald Trump has chosen his weakest points and the strongest points of the Iranian force in order to fight with Iran; he made the Iranian nuclear file an issue that is full of the files of disagreements with Iran regarding its missile program, the security of Israel, and the regional role of Iran, towards the future of Hezbollah and its resistance, he was about to show the US weakness in the international arena. The agreement on the Iranian nuclear file is an international convention that does not accommodate the US approach of the disputing bilateral files with Iran. the officials of Trump’s administration declared about their sticking to the agreement and the seeking to modify it as they said, they are aware that the modification according to their terms is impossible, because their demands collide with a dispute on the description with at least two main partners namely Russia and China, and Iran for sure whether concerning the missile program of Iran, the regional role of Iran, or the role of Hezbollah. If this modification is impossible then the fate of the US movement will be the failure.

The second problem of America is European regarding the bad choice. Europe which participated Washington in its reservations on the missile program of Iran and its concern for Israel’s security, and its anticipation for disciplining Hezbollah, but it does not want to affect the nuclear agreement, because this agreement is its way for the positive partnership with Iran economically and politically in achieving the stability in Syria and Iraq in particular, in order to prevent the growth of terrorism and its rootedness on one hand. It became stable that there will be no security in Europe without extinguishing the wars in Syria and Iraq, furthermore no extinguishing of these wars without Iran and even without Hezbollah. On the other hand, it resorts to Iran to maintain stability and to return the lifecycle as the prevention of the flow of the immigrants and the displaced people to Europe. The Demographic stability of Europe has become the way to preserve the unity of its entities, after the destabilization resulted from the displacement has led to the exit of Britain from the European Union. The displacement leads to dual opposing growth of the racism of the Nazi –right and the incubating environment of extremism among the displaced and immigrants, without stopping the displacement, the communities of Europe will be threatened of disintegration and the unity of its entities will be threatened, just for that it puts aside its reservations and tries to protect the agreement with Iran, it sees it as a way for getting out of recession, after Washington has monopolized the Gulf’s money to resolve its crises, so what are left are Iran , Syria, and Iraq.

The third problem of America regarding the nuclear agreement with Iran is Asian in terms of the future of the engagement with North Korea from two opposite perspectives, if the content of the message headed to Iran was that there is no usefulness in the positioning under the ceiling of the international law which the major countries that claim to guard it, refuse to apply it on themselves and thus do not commit to, and that the path of North Korea is beneficial through rebellion and threat. Although Iran which possesses in geography, capabilities, and population what is not possessed by North Korea and thus it can rebel and threaten, it accepted to stick to the peaceful nuclear file and to present the necessary guarantees for that. But the superpowers of the world showed it that the conventions are valueless, and sticking to the law does not benefit, while the military nuclear deterrence of North Korea protects it. In contrast, America tells North Korea that the example of the Iranian commitment calls to avoid falling into the trap of accepting understandings that lead to non- possession of nuclear weapons, because the commitment does not ensure the dealing according to law and conventions, since the force is the only way understood by Washington, therefore the result of the US movement is encouraging those who advocate possessing the nuclear weapons among the Iranians and weakening those who advocate going to understandings, as well as complicating the dialogue and negotiation with North Korea, This makes Japan and North Korea avoid including their votes to the advocates of the US position, and makes Seoul and Tokyo aware that the nuclear agreement with Iran is the only example to persuade Pyongyang to abandon the nuclear weapons, provided to be an attractive and  encouraging example.

Trump has not succeeded in attracting advocates but Israel and Saudi Arabia, if the US-Saudi- Israeli alliance was enough to form a balance of power against Iran, despite the big differences between the nuclear agreement and others, it would be enough to resolve the situation of Syria, and it would be another agreement than the one we know.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,


المأزق الأميركي في الملف النووي الإيراني

أكتوبر 16, 2017

ناصر قنديل

-اختار الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب أضعف حلقات قوته وأقوى حلقات القوة الإيرانية ساحة للنزال بينه وبين إيران، فجعل الملف النووي الإيراني وعاء يتسع لملفات الخلاف مع إيران حول برنامجها الصاروخي وأمن «إسرائيل» ودور إيران الإقليمي، وصولاً لمستقبل حزب الله ومقاومته. كان الدعسة الناقصة التي ستتكفّل بتظهير الضعف الأميركي على الساحة الدولية. فالاتفاق على الملف النووي الإيراني معاهدة دولية لا تتسع لاستيعاب المقاربة الأميركية للملفات الخلافية الثنائية مع إيران، وبعدما صرّح مسؤولو إدارة ترامب بالتمسك بالاتفاق والسعي لتعديله كما قالوا، يدركون أن التعديل بشروطهم مستحيل، لأن مطالبهم تصطدم بخلاف على التوصيف مع شريكين أساسيين على الأقل، هما روسيا والصين وإيران حكماً، سواء حول البرنامج الصاروخي لإيران أو حول دور إيران الإقليمي أو حول دور حزب الله، وإذا كان هذا التعديل مستحيلاً، ولا تعديل سواه، فيصير مصير الحركة الأميركية هو الفشل.

مشكلة أميركا الثانية في الاختيار السيئ، أوروبية. فأوروبا التي قد تشارك واشنطن بتحفظاتها على البرنامج الصاروخي لإيران وقلقها على أمن «إسرائيل»، وتطلعها لتقليم أظافر حزب الله، لا تريد المساس بالاتفاق النووي ولا تعريضه للاهتزاز، لأنه طريقها للتشارك الإيجابي مع إيران اقتصادياً وسياسياً في تحقيق الاستقرار في سورية والعراق خصوصاً، منعاً لنمو الإرهاب وتجذره من جهة. وقد صار ثابتاً أنه لا أمن لأوروبا من دون إطفاء الحروب في سورية والعراق، ولا إطفاء لهذه الحروب من دون إيران، بل ومن دون حزب الله. ومن جهة ثانية الاستعانة بإيران لحفظ الاستقرار وإعادة دورة الحياة كطريق لمنع تدفق المهاجرين والنازحين نحو أوروبا. وقد صار استقرار أوروبا الديمغرافي طريق الحفاظ على وحدة كياناتها، بعدما تكفل الاهتزاز الناجم عن النزوح بخروج بريطانيا من الاتحاد الأوروبي، ويتكفّل مسلسل النزوح بنمو متقابل مزدوج، لعنصرية اليمين النازي، والبيئة الحاضنة للتطرف بين النازحين والمهاجرين، ومن دون وقف النزوح تجد أوروبا التهديد لتفتت مجتمعاتها، وتهديد وحدة كياناتها. ولهذا تضع جانباً تحفظاتها، وتتجه لحماية الاتفاق مع إيران، لا بل تراه طريقاً للخروج من الكساد، وقد احتكرت واشنطن مال الخليج لحل أزماتها، وما بقي لأوروبا إلا إيران وسورية والعراق.

-مشكلة أميركا الثالثة في فتح ملف الاتفاق النووي مع إيران، آسيوية، لجهة مستقبل التجاذب مع كوريا الشمالية، من زاويتين متقابلتين. فإذا كانت الرسالة الموجهة لإيران مضمونها أن لا جدوى من التموضع تحت سقف القانون الدولي، الذي لا تلتزمه الدول العظمى أصلاً التي تدّعي حراسته وترفض تطبيقه على أنفسها. والرسالة لإيران هنا هي أن طريق كوريا الشمالية هو المجدي بالتمرّد والتهديد، وإيران إن تمردت وهددت تملك في الجغرافيا والمقدرات والسكان ما لا تملكه كوريا الشمالية، ورغم ذلك ارتضت طريق التمسك بملف نووي سلمي وقدّم ما يلزم من ضمانات لذلك، وتأتي الدولة العظمى الأولى في العالم وتقول لها المعاهدات لا قيمة لها، والالتزام بالقانون لا يقدّم ولا يؤخّر، بينما الردع النووي العسكري لكوريا الشمالية يحميها، وبالمقابل تقول اللغة الأميركية لكوريا الشمالية أن مثال الالتزام الإيراني يدعو لتجنب الوقوع في فخ القبول بالتفاهمات المؤدية لعدم امتلاك السلاح النووي، لأن الالتزام لا يضمن تعاملاً بمقاييس القانون، والمعاهدات. فالقوة وحدها هي التي تفهمها واشنطن، وبالتالي، نتيجة الحركة الأميركية تشجيع دعاة امتلاك السلاح النووي بين الإيرانيين، وإضعاف دعاة الذهاب للتفاهمات، وكذلك تعقيد الحوار والتفاوض مع كوريا الشمالية. وهذا ما جعل اليابان وكوريا الجنوبية تتجنّبان ضم صوتيهما لمؤيدي الموقف الأميركي، وسيول وطوكيو تدركان أن الاتفاق النووي مع إيران هو النموذج الوحيد الذي يمكن عبره إقناع بيونغ يانغ بالتخلّي عن السلاح النووي، شرط أن يكون مثالاً مغرياً ومشجّعاً.

-لم ينجح ترامب بجذب مؤيدين إلا «إسرائيل» والسعودية. ولو كان التحالف الأميركي السعودي «الإسرائيلي» كافياً لتشكيل ميزان قوة بوجه إيران، لكان، رغم الفوارق الكبيرة بين حال الاتفاق النووي وسواه، كافياً لحسم سورية، وعندها لكان اتفاق غير الاتفاق الذي نعرفه.

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