GA: This interview with minister John Shuck and the words of Waddah Sofan brought tears to my eyes.

May 15th marks the 70th anniversary of Israel’s statehood. Palestinians refer to this as the Nakba, the Catastrophe, when more than 700,000 Palestinians left their homes from fear or were forcibly removed by Israelis who took their homes. On this 70th anniversary of the occupation, the people of Gaza have been staging a non-violent demonstration, The Great March of Return that culminates Tuesday the 15th.

According to the Middle Eastern Monitor“The demonstrations of the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege started on 30 March 2018. Since then Israeli forces have killed 53 demonstrators and wounded more than 8,500 others.”

On this special edition of the Beloved Community, John Shuck’s guests will speak about the ongoing Nakba for the people of Palestine and Gaza from their unique perspectives.

Waddah Sofan was shot and paralyzed by Israeli soldiers during the First Intifada in 1989. Waddah lives in Portland and considers himself “part of Palestinian/American, Muslim, Middle Eastern, people of color and disabled communities.”

Gilad Atzmon, is a British Jazz artist and author.  Gilad writes on political matters, social issues,  Jewish identity and culture. He will be in Portland for a jazz concert May 14th and a talk on Truthfulness May 15th.

Retired Episcopal priest, Richard Toll, also of Portland, is president of the Board of Trustees of Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA). Rev. Toll received an honorary doctorate from the Church Divinity School of the School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California for his  commitment to justice and peace in the Holy Land.

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Filed under: Apartheid, Colonialism, Ethnic Cleansing, Gilad Atzmon, Israeli Aggression, Jewish culture, Jewish Lobby, Jewish Power, Jewish terrorism, Jewishness, Jews, Palestine, ROR, Zionist entity | Comments Off on The Nakba: Seventy Years of Oppression, 1948-2018

Neither East Nor West: A One Palestinian Palestine

Posted on by martyrashrakat
22-12-2017 | 15:30
When facts get blurry, returning to history can be useful. The colonialization of Palestine and its occupation by “Israeli” forces is not a saga based on which Palestinian grandparents make up stories to tell the new generations. In fact, these grandparents were exiled from their homeland, Palestine, where the “Israeli” apartheid entity was established and its immigrants came to become the settlers of these occupied lands.

Al-Quds

After more than 69 years to the plight of the Palestinians, and the day when the “Israelis” attacked Palestinians and committed the infamous Deir Yassin Massacre, US president Donald Trump announces his decision of moving the US embassy to Occupied Al-Quds [Jerusalem] and simply declares that Al-Quds to be the capital of the occupying apartheid regime. At least since the 1967 war, the United States has been “Israel’s” strongest advocate.


A Quick Historical Review

Al-Quds, the capital of Palestine, is an Arab and Muslim small country in the Asian continent that has a very sensitive strategic location owing to its history, geography, and the fact that it is the cradle of different civilizations and religions.

For Muslims, Al-Quds was the first qibla, before the Kaaba in Mecca. This spot was the place from which Islam’s Prophet Muhammad proceeded on his journey, described as the ascension to heaven in Islamic literature. It is also the place in which Jesus called for Christianity, shared the Last Supper with his disciples. Historically speaking, Al-Quds has generally been the site for Muslim pilgrimage, prayer, study or residence. Al-Aqsa Mosque was a particular seat of learning.

This city, where people from the different faiths lived together, became witness to the worst crimes committed by the “Israeli” apartheid entity which was established in 1948 by virtue of the Balfour agreement, which was set up by Britain in the course of World War I. The roots of the idea of establishing an “Israeli” apartheid entity goes back to decades earlier. In 1896, Theodor Herzl, a Jewish journalist living in Austria-Hungary, published the foundational text of political Zionism, Der Judenstaat [“The Jews’ State” or “The State of the Jews”], in which he asserted that the only solution to the “Jewish Question” in Europe was the establishment of a state for the Jews.

It is worth mentioning that in 1916, when Palestine was still under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, the Jews back then were not Zionists, and they constituted 3 per cent of the population who lived side by side with people of other faiths. It is worth noting here that the people of Palestine differentiate between Judaism and Zionism. The latter is not a faith, but rather a political phenomenon with expansionist, racist and colonialist aims that under the cover of the Jewish religion takes on a religious appearance and tries to pursue its goals as the savior of the Jewish people.

Muslims represented the majority of the population back then, followed by the Christians.

If we are to overview the entire history of the region, the story becomes endless. But the guidelines provided above present a few of the links that make up a full chain; the bigger picture.

Palestine and the Iranian Revolution

In 1979, a dramatic change took place in the Asian continent. A popular movement led by Imam Ruhollah Khomeini was initiated in Iran and an Islamic Republic was established. Iran no longer was a client to the United States of America. The Asian country also no longer supported what it declared to be an occupation, and an apartheid regime.

For three decades before the Islamic revolution, between “Israel’s” illegal establishment in 1948 and Iran’s revolution in 1979, the two countries had close relations based on common strategic interests. Iran became an important source of oil for “Israel”, and “Israel” became an important source of weapons for Iran. It has been reported that thousands of “Israeli” businessmen and technical experts aided Iranian development projects.

Even before the revolution, Ayatollah Imam Khomeini paid a great deal of attention to al-Quds, the holy Aqsa mosque, and the Palestinian cause.

As early as 1968, Ayatollah Imam Khomeini addressed the Palestinian cause in his struggle. The ideas behind the revolution inspired the slogan “Neither East, nor West – Islamic Republic!”

“My proposal for establishing an Islamic government does not mean a return to the past. I am strongly for civilization and progress”, said Ayatollah Imam Khomeini in January 1979. By that, he meant that Iran does not have to be under the impact and rule of the communist thought at that time represented by the Soviet Union, nor by the capitalist ideology that was raised as the only method of success by the US. Yes, rejecting both the influence of capitalism and communism, Iran decided to become independent and different. For Imam Khomeini, “Neither East Nor West” was a proposal that proves the freedom from subjugation and guarantees success in creating an independent strong identity and defending rights.

For Ayatollah Imam Khomeini, who descended from the Islamic Shia school of thought, the oppressed and the oppressors was a notion that was the focus of his attention. It was a must to support the oppressed, and not only in defend Islamic sanctities. It was the spirit of the revolution that rose from the people with Ayatollah Imam Khomeini’s leadership to support the oppressed across the world in order to realize a just cause.

But of course, Palestine was of vital importance owing to its Islamic identity. Deciding to establish an “Iran” with an independent Islamic identity, Iran’s Ayatollah Imam Khomeini stressed throughout his discourses that Palestine is a central cause to the Muslims.

In an interview when in exile in Iraq’s Najaf city during the early 60s, he said

“When you realize that the blood of your innocent brothers and sisters are shed in the holy land of Palestine and when you notice that our territories have been occupied, and our homes are demolished at the hands of the Zionist criminals, under such circumstances there is no other course left but continuing of jihad. It is incumbent upon every Muslim to extend his material and spiritual aids in this lofty struggle.”

In remarks at a meeting with a group of Palestinians and Bishop Cappucci on 2 April 1979, Ayatollah Imam Khomeini said

“For many years now, perhaps twenty years, I have repeatedly aired my views on Palestine and “Israel”, and I will say again: We condemn “Israel”. “Israel” is an usurper. The land it has taken, it has taken unlawfully. Al-Quds must be freed and “Israel” driven out. The Arab governments must unite and drive “Israel” out of their lands and sever the hands of the colonizers.”

In 1979 and shortly after the revolution, Ayatollah Imam Khomeini designated the last Friday of the holy Islamic month of Ramadan as a new national holiday – al-Quds Day– to “proclaim the international solidarity of Muslims in support of the legitimate rights of the Muslim people of Palestine.”

Ayatollah Imam Khomeini always considered that returning to Islam and uniting is a prerequisite to save Palestine and block Zionism’s expansionist plans. Islamic differences were never an issue for Ayatollah Imam Khomeini, in fact he always called on Muslims to put their differences aside and seek unity.

Imam Khomieni, addressing the Muslims altogether stressed that the apartheid regime will not stop at a certain end, noting

“I have continuously spoken about “Israel” and its crimes in my sermons and writings, and have brought to the notice of the Muslims that “Israel” is a cancerous tumor in a corner of the Islamic countries which will not be satisfied with Al-Quds and the other places. No, they (the Zionists) intend to move on. They are the followers of America’s policy and America does not simply aspire after one place . . . the Muslims must awaken.”

Extracting of the Ashura philosophy in Islam, Ayatollah Imam Khomeini noted in another sermon

“Truth will defeat the satanic and tyrannical forces. Your troubles and suffering are not new to Islam and the Muslims, the forces of tyranny have always opposed Islam and fought with the Muslims.”

While addressing the people, he pointed out to the different dimensions of the war on Palestine and the Muslims, and explaining at the time the notion of the “colonialization of the mind” and how it is used to manipulate the people of the region as means to weaken them.

“Those who seek to rule over these countries (the imperialists) have, through the distorted propaganda they have circulated over the past few hundred years and the influence they have achieved in the universities and the centers which educate the sons of Muslims, made the Muslims lose hope in themselves, they have made them lose themselves. The Muslims must strive to find their greatness.”

In the Last Message, The Political and Divine Will of His Holiness the Ayatollah Imam Khomeini, reiterated that the international Zionism does not stop short of any crime to achieve its base and greedy desires, crimes that the tongue and pen are ashamed to utter or write.”

Iran Maintains Position; Palestine Central Cause 

After the passing away of Ayatollah Imam Khomeini, the pro-Palestinian discourse did not stop. It is true that the two countries do not share the same borders, and they come from different Islamic schools of thought, and they speak two different languages, but Ayatollah Imam Khomeini had demonstrated that nothing can impede Iran from standing by Palestine and the Palestinians. It is Islamic values and ethics that form the driving force behind the Iranian support, and true values do not die in general.

In fact, the speeches of His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei, leader of the Islamic Revolution, are a continuation to that same identity that supports the Palestinian cause. From the Islamic Republic’s point of view, it is and has always been a confrontation against oppression and distortion.

In all his discourses, Ayatollah Khamenei describes unity as the only way to resist the aggression of the enemies of Islam. He explains that “unity is not the same as adopting identical views. On the contrary, it means that people with various tendencies must move shoulder to shoulder and consider national interests as preferable to everything else, especially their own interests. They must not allow selfishness enter political and social arenas.”

Pointing out to the importance of confronting the “Israeli” apartheid regime and realizing the liberation of Palestine, Ayatollah Khamenei noted in one of his speeches that “pinning hopes on the compromise process and begging the Zionist enemy for peace. This option will only help “Israel” to humiliate the Palestinians and dictate its demands to them. This is what we have already witnessed.”

Also, stressing the idea of colonialization and usurping of property and land, Ayatollah Khamenei highlighted in a ceremony that “Palestinians are by no means going to live outside their own country forever. Or if they are living inside the country, they are never going to be an oppressed minority forever, making room for the invading outsiders to stay in their country.”

Just like Ayatollah Imam Khomeini, Ayatollah Khamenei time and again reassures that Iran’s position on the issue of Palestine is crystal clear.

“Our position on the issue of Palestine is also clear. We believe that all Palestinian lands belong to the Palestinians. Those who tried to wipe Palestine off the map of the world made a mistake. Such a thing will not happen. Palestine will survive. The usurpers have occupied Palestine for a few decades, but there is no doubt that Palestinian lands will be restored to the people of Palestine and to the world of Islam.”

The “Israeli” soldiers have carried out all sorts of crimes against the Palestinians; from killing the people, destroying their homes and farms and arresting and torturing men and women and even their children, to humiliating and insulting that nation and trying to destroy it, to building illegal settlements and attacking the Palestinian refugees in the camps inside Palestine.

Al-Quds: Neither East nor West

Very recently, Ayatollah Khamenei said in comments on the US move to declare Al-Quds as capital of the “Israeli” apartheid regime

“Today, the issue of Palestine is at the top of the political issues of the world of Islam and the Islamic Ummah. Everyone is responsible towards defending Palestine, and the freedom of Palestine and the Palestinian nation. Everyone is responsible towards fighting and working to that end.”

He pointed out to the “Israeli” regime and the US’s desperation

“The enemy is desperate in this regard. You should know this. When they claim that they want to declare al-Quds as the capital of the Zionist regime, this is a sign of their desperation and incapability. Their hands are tied on the issue of Palestine. Without a doubt, by doing so, they will receive a harsher blow and the world of Islam will stand up against them.”

Today, Iran stands strong in face of the US decision, and voices support to the Palestinians as well as urges the international community to act. Iran does not stand alone but is supported by regional players both state and non-state actors. For instance, as Lebanon’s Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah clearly stated that the resistance stands with utmost readiness to defend al-Aqsa mosque and support the Palestinian brethren, Turkey’s Erdogan pointed out that al-Quds is a “red line” for Muslims who will not accept any aggression on its Islamic sanctuaries, and said that what “Israel” is doing against Palestinians wolf does not do against the sheep.

Today, Iran reiterates “neither East, nor West” but an independent Palestinian Palestine that has the right to preserve its people, land and sanctities. No East Al-Quds and no West, but a one Palestinian al-Quds acknowledged as the capital of Palestine and its native people.

Source: Al-Ahed News

Crimes Against Humanity: The British Empire

Posted on by michaellee2009

Source

By Paul Gregoire,

First published by Sydney Criminal Lawyers and Global Research in July 2017.

It was the largest empire ever to have existed. And as the saying used to go, the sun never sets on the British Empire. At its height in 1922, the colonial power was lording it over a fifth of the world’s population and for many of them, the sun never rose again.

Under the policies of British colonialism, people around the globe were subjected to mass famines, atrocious conditions in concentration camps, and brutal massacres at the hands of imperialist troops. The Brits also played an integral role in the transatlantic slave trade.

Although the atrocities of the British Empire are well documented, the myth of the noble colonising power continued into recent decades.

The Migrated Archives

During proceedings in the British High Court in 2010, University of Warwick historian David M Anderson submitted a statement referring to 1,500 files that went missing from Kenya as British rule in the region was coming to an end.

This led the British government to concede that they had hidden or disposed of those files, and many others at a high-security facility north of London. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office was hiding around 600,000 historical documents in breach of the 1958 UK Public Records Act.

The stash included around 20,000 undisclosed files from 37 former British colonies. Indeed, it’s common knowledge that as the British colonial edifice was disintegrating, administrators of the colonies were told to either burn their documents or try and smuggle them out.

The legal proceedings where Mr Anderson made his revelations related to a case brought against the British government by three elderly Kenyans who claimed they’d been tortured and abused by the colonial authorities during the British occupation of their country.

The British gulag in Kenya

The British first moved into East Africa in the late 19th century, and Kenya was declared a Crown colony in 1920. In the 1940s, after half a century of British occupation, a small group of Kikuyu people – the country’s largest ethnic group – formed the Mau Mau movement and vowed to oppose colonial rule.

As word spread, Mau Mau resistance grew and they began knocking off colonial officers and local loyalists. In October 1952, Governor Evelyn Baring declared a state of emergency, which held until 1960.

In 1964, the colonial army began erecting a network of concentration camps. Historians estimate that 150,000 to 1.5 million Kikuyu people were detained. Conditions within the camps were atrocious, and people were systematically beaten and sexually assaulted during questioning.

The grandfather of Barack Obama, Hussein Onyango Obama suffered severe mistreatment in the camp where he was held, which included having pins forced under his fingernails.

The British government, after being continually defeated in the High Court, agreed to settle the Mau Mau case in 2013.

On June 6 that year, then UK foreign secretary William Hague announced 5,000 survivors would each receive £3,800 payment, and he also expressed the nation’s sincere regrets to Kenyans who were subjected to “torture and other forms of ill-treatment at the hands of the colonial administration.”

The desecration in India

It’s said that India was the jewel in the crown of the British Empire. The British East India Company began making avenues into the subcontinent in the 17th century, and India was established as a Crown colony in 1858.

The British Raj systematically transferred the wealth of the region into their own coffers. In the north eastern region of Bengal, “the first great deindustrialisation of the modern world” occurred.

The prosperous two centuries-old weaving industry was shut down after the British flooded the local market with cheap fabric from northern England. India still grew the cotton, but the Bengali population no longer spun it, and the weavers became beggars.

India suffered around a dozen major famines under British rule, with an estimated 12 to 29 million Indians starving to death.

The Orissa famine occurred in north eastern India in 1866. Over one million – or one in three local people – perished. As the region’s textile industry was destroyed, more people were pushed into agriculture, and were dependent on the monsoon.

That year, the monsoon was weak. Crops didn’t grow and many starved to death. The colonial administration didn’t intervene as the popular economic theory of the time reasoned that the market would restore proper balance, and the famine was nature’s way of responding to overpopulation.

When the British finally got out of India, they simply drew a line down the map and partitioned the subcontinent into India and Pakistan. The move led to the mass migration of around 10 million people, and when it escalated into sectarian violence an estimated one million lost their lives.

A southern invasion

The British began invading Australia in 1788, under the pretext that it was terra nullis: a land with no owners. The High Court of Australia abolished the legal fiction of terra nullius in its 1992 Mabo versus Queensland (No 2) ruling.

It was a landmark decision, but not everyone was surprised that the court found that there were actually sovereign people living on the land prior to the arrival of the British. At that time, there were an estimated 750,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living across the continent.

The First Fleet arrived in the vicinity of what is now the city of Sydney in 1788. Around 15 months later, at least 50 percent of the local Aboriginal population was dying due to a smallpox epidemic.

Some historians put the outbreak down to contact with the Macassans from Sulawesi in the far north of the continent. However, others argue that bottles of smallpox were brought across on First Fleet ships, and the disease was then released, either accidentally or with clear intent.

Dozens of massacres of Indigenous people were carried out by the British right up until the 1920s. On June 10 1838, the Myall Creek massacre occurred near Inverell in NSW. This tragedy is well-known as it was the first time Europeans were brought to justice for such an atrocity in Australia.

At the time about 50 Aboriginal men were working for stockmen in the area. One evening the stockmen rode into the local people’s camp, tied up 29 men, women and children, and beheaded them. Seven of the perpetrators were eventually brought to trial and hanged.

Today, in Australia, the colonial legacy continues. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the most incarcerated population on earth.

As of March this year, there were 11,288 Indigenous adults detained in the Australian prison system. First Nations peoples account for only 2.5 percent of the overall Australian adult population, yet they represent 28 percent of the adult prisoner population.

A bloody trail

But these are only some of the crimes perpetrated by the British as they carried the greatest land grab the world has ever seen.

There were the concentration camps in South Africa, where tens of thousands of the Boer population were detained in the first years of the 20th century. The Irish potato famine occurred in the 1840s, leading to the deaths of well over a million people.

There were the torture centres in Aden in the 1960s, where nationalists were kept naked in refrigerated cells. When the Empire was facing communist insurgents during the Malaya Emergency of the 1950s, they simply decided to imprison the entire peasant population in detention camps.

And the list goes on…

Featured image from Sydney Criminal Lawyers

طريق التحرير… من قلب طهران حتى البحر المتوسط

Posted on by martyrashrakat

طريق التحرير… من قلب طهران حتى البحر المتوسط

توزع السيطرة الحالية للفصائل المسلحة داخل سوريا والعراق (تصميم: سنان عيسى) | للصورة المكبرة انقر هنا

ابراهيم الأمين

(1)

الغارقون في بؤسهم اليوم هم المهزومون في الميدان، السياسي منه أو العسكري، وتالياً الشعبي. هؤلاء يتحوّل الخطأ عندهم إلى خطيئة قبل أن يصير ارتكابات شنيعة. هؤلاء لا يعترفون بالتاريخ، ولا يجيدون صناعة حاضرهم، ولا ترك شيء مفيد للمستقبل. وهؤلاء، في زمننا الحالي، هم الذين يسعون إلى تأبيد السيطرة على بلاد وعباد، وفق ما تركها الاستعمار قبل سبعين سنة لا أكثر.

لعقود كثيرة، كان العيب في مشاريع الثورات والمقاومات أنها لا تجيد التوفيق بين السيادة والاستقلال الوطنيين، وبين كرامة وتطور دولها، وبين سعادة شعوبها. وهي أزمة حقيقية ولا تزال قائمة إلى يومنا هذا. مع فارق لافت، هو أنّ ما نشهده منذ سنوات قليلة، يفتح الباب أمام فرصة جدية لإعادة صياغة المشهد برمته، وأمام محاولة إلزامية لمواءمة إلزامية بين معركتي التحرير والتغيير الداخلي.

التوزع التقريبي لسيطرة الفصائل المسلحة في ذروة انتشارها ضمن لبنان وسوريا والعراق (خلال فترات زمنية متفاوتة) (تصميم: سنان عيسى) | للصورة المكبرة انقر هنا

إذا كان الاستعمار ومؤامراته وفساد حكومات وسلطات وقيادات وخيانتها، ونزق أنظمة وجيوش وعنفها، قد جعلت الوحدة العربية كابوساً لا يرغب فيه مواطن حر، فإنّ الاستعمار نفسه سعى طوال الوقت لخلق كيانات تحتاج إليه للبقاء على قيد الحياة. هذا طُبّق بقوة في كثير من بلداننا خلال العقود السبعة الماضية. وهو حقيقة تتعرض اليوم لمحاولة تفكيك جدية، تفتح الباب أمام فرصة لتنظيم عملية توحد قابلة للحياة، ومستندة إلى فكرة وخطاب وهدف. وربما تتيح المعركة المفتوحة ضد الارهاب والاحتلال، من فلسطين إلى لبنان فسوريا والعراق، الفرصة لبرمجة الأولويات والنقاش بطريقة مختلفة.

صحيح أن في لبنان من يستمر هاجساً بشعار لبنان أولاً، علماً بأن شعار فلسطين أولاً لم يوقف تهجير الشعب الفلسطيني وتهويد أرضه.
ومحاولة بعض العراقيين تجاهل محيطهم العربي بحجة أن المحيط ناصَر الطاغية، جعل بلاد الرافدين تتفكّك بقسوة، وتجعل نكبة هذا البلد أشدّ إيلاماً من نكبة فلسطين. ومن باب الإنصاف، تبقى سوريا الدولة الوحيدة التي لم تغرق في انعزالية قاتلة. ولهذا السبب، تدفع اليوم ثمن تمسّكها بموقعها المتفاعل مع كل محيطها العربي.
ليس قدراً فقط أن تخرج من لبنان مقاومة، نمت وتعثرت وعادت فقامت، وناضلت وانتصرت على المحتل. لكنه تعبير عن قدرة حقيقية على تقديم نموذج قابل للحياة والتعميم في مقاومة الاحتلال، وفي ضرب الهيمنة على البلاد. وعندما لجأ الاستعمار إلى استخدام الحروب الأهلية سلاحاً في مواجهة المقاومين، كان لا بد من خوض معركة بأدوات وأفكار مختلفة، تجعل الحرب الأهلية تخمد وإن احتجنا إلى سنوات طويلة لإزالة أثارها، لكن هذه المقاومة أعطت الدليل على إمكانية توحد قوى منتشرة في كل هذا المشرق، متفقة على أولوية التحرير من الاستعمار والاحتلال، ومؤمنة بالحاجة إلى تغيير شامل. وهو تغيير لا يكون من دون تفاهم مع المحيط الأرحب. وهنا يقع دور إيران.

صحيح أن من حق الناس الخشية من عجز هذه القوى عن قيادة تغيير داخلي حقيقي. وصحيح أن معركة بناء الدول تتطلب مشاركة الجميع من أبنائها، لكن الصحيح أيضاً أن ما يحصل اليوم يمنحنا فرصة لأن نحفظ انتصاراتنا على الاحتلال وأعوانه من عملاء مدنيين أو عسكريين، علمانيين أو متطرفين. وحفظ هذه الانتصارات يكون بالتعامل بجدية واهتمام مع مرحلة مقبلة أكثر أهمية، لجهة توفير الترابط العضوي، عسكرياً وسياسياً واقتصادياً وثقافياً أيضاً، بين مساحات وشعوب وهويات باتت ملزمة بالبحث عن سبل العيش معاً بأفضل الممكن. وهنا التحدي الكبير.
ما يحصل منذ انطلاقة المعارك الكبرى في العراق وسوريا ولبنان لطرد المجموعات الارهابية على اختلاف مسمياتها، لن يكون مجرد جولة فقط، بل هو مدخل لتحويل التفاهمات والتوافقات مناسبة لتحقيق هدف بات أكثر واقعية من قبل، يخصّ استعادة فلسطين بكاملها من أيدي الاحتلال والاستعمار. وهو إنجاز سيكون نتيجة سلوك طريق التحرير.
إنه الطريق الذي لم يجد إيرانيون وعراقيون وسوريون ولبنانيون وفلسطينيون بداً من عبوره مجتمعين، لمحاربة الاحتلال وأدواته في كل هذه الدول، وهو طريق تم وصله بدماء هؤلاء وتضحياتهم، وهو الطريق الذي يحتاج، منّا، إلى حفظه بالدماء والتضحيات أيضاً.

وقائع ليست للنسيان

(2)

هنا، موجز مع خرائط، لشرح واقع المواجهة، تُبيّن كيف تبقى سوريا مركز القلب في هذه البقعة من الأرض، وكيف يتشكّل المحور الذي يتقدم يوماً بعد يوم.

الحدود الغربيّة مع لبنان

فعليّاً، بدأت المجموعات المسلحة في الاستفادة من طرق التهريب، بدءاً بريف حمص منذ حزيران 2011 وبشكل تصاعدي شمل سريعاً ريف دمشق (قارة) منذ تموز 2011. وتوسعت في أيلول وتشرين الأول، وصولاً إلى السيطرة على القصير وتل كلخ قبل نهاية العام. بين شباط ونيسان 2012، كانت أجزاء واسعة من ريف حمص المتاخم للحدود اللبنانية قد تحوّلت إلى قبضة المجموعات المسلحة، تشابهها في ذلك مساحات كبيرة من القلمون. وقبل نهاية العام، كانت النسبة الأكبر من الحدود السورية اللبنانية في قبضة المجموعات.
بدءاً من أيار 2013، بدأت الأمور تتغير مع استرجاع القصير، ثم تل كلخ ومعظم المناطق الحدودية في ريف حمص. ثم حررت في عام 2014 مناطق مهمة في القلمون، على رأسها قارة والنبك ويبرود ورأس العين، ثم فليطة ورأس المعرة وعسال الورد ورنكوس. أواخر 2014، وضع «داعش» قدماً في القلمون الغربي مع حصوله على عدد من «البيعات»، ونجح في توسيع عديد مسلحيه هناك، قبل التحول الكبير الذي تمثل في معارك متزامنة على الجبهتين السورية واللبنانية.

الحدود الشرقية مع العراق

من محيط البوكمال، بدأت الحكاية في تموز 2011 مع بدء ظهور مسلحين على شكل عصابات. في النصف الثاني من العام 2012، سيطرت المجموعات المسلحة على معبر البوكمال الحدودي. وفي عام 2013 خرج معظم الشريط الحدودي بين دير الزور والعراق عن سيطرة الجيش السوري، وبشكل سريع انضمت إليه أجزاء من المناطق الحدودية في ريف الحسكة. كانت القبضة الأقوى لجبهة النصرة حتى حدوث الشقاق الكبير مع «داعش». دخل الأخير على خط الولاءات و«البيعات» بقوة، وبدأ في التمدد منذ تشرين الثاني 2013، مركزاً على الشريط الحدودي تحديداً بالاستفادة من سيطرته على المناطق المقابلة داخل الأراضي العراقية. بدءاً من آذار 2014، بدأ التنظيم في توسيع هوامش الشريط الحدودي تباعاً، إلى أن تمكن من ابتلاع المنطقة الحدودية بأكملها، وصولاً إلى إعلان «الخلافة» في حزيران عام 2014. أما «وحدات حماية الشعب» الكردية، فكانت قد بدأت بفرض حضورها في الحسكة في الأشهر الأولى من عام 2013، لتسيطر على مناطق الريف الشرقي المحاذية للحدود العراقية، قبل أن تبدأ في النصف الثاني من عام 2015 في توسيع تلك السيطرة على حساب «داعش» الذي بات حضوره الحدودي مقتصراً على دير الزور، بينما نجح الجيش السوري أخيراً في الوصول الى الحدود العراقية.

الحدود الجنوبية مع الأردن والجولان المحتل

لعبت الحدود الجنوبية مع الأردن دوراً مؤثراً لمصلحة المجموعات المسلحة، بداية عبر طرقات التهريب، ثم مع بدء المناطق الحدودية في ريف درعا الخروج عن سيطرة الدولة مع أواخر عام 2011. خلال عام 2012، حصلت معارك كر وفر كثيرة، تماثلها في ذلك محافظة القنيطرة. وفي نيسان 2015 على معبر نصيب، حضرت «جبهة النصرة» بقوة في المنطقة، رغم ظهور غرفة «الموك» في الأردن التي قيل إن الهدف منها دعم «الفصائل المعتدلة». وفي خلال عامَي 2015 و2016 سيطر المسلحون على أجزاء واسعة من الحدود بين محافظة السويداء والأردن. وخلال الشهر الحالي، برز تحول بارز مع استعادة الجيش السوري السيطرة على جميع المخافر الحدودية في محافظة السويداء.

الحدود الشمالية مع تركيا

بين أيلول وتشرين الأول 2011، بدأ مسلحو الريف الإدلبي في الظهور بشكل جماعات صغيرة استفادت من طرق التهريب على الحدود مع تركيا، وما لبثت الجماعات أن توسعت ونُظّمت وراحت تفرض سيطرة قوية على المناطق الحدودية في ريف إدلب الشمالي، بدءاً من مطلع عام 2012. وعلى نحو مماثل، تطور الأمر في ريف اللاذقية الشمالي، ثم في ريف حلب الشمالي وريف الرقة الشمالي. وفي النصف الثاني من العام، وقعت مناطق استراتيجية عدة في قبضة المسلحين مثل معبر باب الهوى (ريف إدلب)، معبر باب السلامة (ريف حلب) ومعبر تل أبيض (ريف الرقة). مع دخول عام 2013، كان الشريط الحدودي مع تركيا بأكمله مقسوماً إلى قسمين أساسيين، الأكبر تتوزع السيطرة عليه المجموعات المسلحة؛ على رأسها «النصرة» و«أحرار الشام» والمجموعات التركمانية، والثاني في قبضة الأكراد، وأبرز مناطقه: عفرين (ريف حلب الشمالي الغربي) وعين العرب (ريف حلب الشمالي الشرقي)، إضافة إلى ريف الحسكة الشمالي. في الربع الأخير من عام 2013، بدأ تنظيم «داعش» في الظهور شمالاً في أرياف اللاذقية وحلب والرقة. عام 2014، سيطر «داعش» على ريف الرقة الشمالي، وباتت الحدود مع تركيا بأكملها متقاسمة بينه وبين الأكراد وبين «النصرة» وشركائها. مع هزيمة «داعش» في معركة عين العرب، بدأت ملامح مرحلة جديدة، شهدت صعود «قوات سوريا الديموقراطية» تحت إشراف «التحالف الدولي»، وبدأت سيطرة «قسد» في التوسع تدريجاً لتصبح منافساً أساسياً على رقعة السيطرة على الحدود مع تركيا. ومع حلول آب 2016، أعلنت أنقرة «درع الفرات» وبدأت في التوسع سريعاً على حساب «داعش» لتتحول «درع الفرات» إلى قوة احتلال مقنّعة.

 

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Balfour’s Shadow – A Century of British Support for Zionism and Israel

Posted on by michaellee2009

A review of the book authored by David Cronin

By Jim Miles GlobalResearch,

July 01, 2017

The Balfour Declaration, currently accepted by many as the founding legal statement for the establishment of Israel is really nothing more than a letter. It was a letter of policy between government personnel and became a major part of foreign policy then, and its shadow effects have continued on rather effectively to now. Balfour’s Shadow is a well written outline of the history of events after the letter: the immediate short term effects on British policy after WW I; the medium range policies that continued until after WW II; up to Britain’s current policy of advocating for and dealing with Israel. It is not a pretty story.

The letter was not necessarily well intended. Balfour himself was anti-Semitic. Yet the letter offered support to the Zionists for the creation of a Jewish national home in Palestine. Several factors accounted for this, one of them being this very anti-Semitism, as many British felt that Jews would never assimilate into their society.

Several other factors came into play: Jewish support in the war effort was considered necessary; the British wanted to protect the Suez Canal as the main route through to its then colonies of south Asia, mainly India; and natural resources, oil, became a major interest after oil was discovered in abundance in the Middle East. A colonial outpost would, Britain believed, help consolidate control of the region against Arab interests in an era when British racism ran rampant throughout its colonial networks.

From that beginning, Cronin highlights the major factors in the relationship between Zionists, Jews, and the British government. He deals specifically with events pertaining to the government, and does not detail all that transpired during Britain’s occupation via the Palestinian Mandate. But the general thread of the history is exposed throughout the work, accessible to both those with a strong background in the history and those just entering into the discovery process of Middle East history. For the latter, Balfour’s Shadow provides enough detail that a reader should be motivated to research more information through other works (of which there are many).

Author David Cronin

(Source: @dvcronin / Twitter)

In general, Cronin reveals that the methods used by the British to control the indigenous population of Palestine laid the foundation for the ethnic cleansing and later suppression of the Palestinian people. Much history has been written about the Haganah, Stern, and Irgun ‘gangs’ fighting against the British, but the general trend of British behaviour was to support the increasing settlement patterns, evictions, and land grabs of the Zionist settlers.

After the nakba, Britain continued to supply Israel with military support ranging from hundreds of tanks, many planes, up to and including nuclear systems, in particular the sale of heavy water through Norway. This period was a transition from British global power to U.S. global power: after the fake war for the Suez Canal and the later pre-emptive war of 1967, the U.S. had clearly taken the lead in supporting Israel. Britain however did not let go.

Indeed, Britain became one of the strongest voices in support of Israel as military trade and financial/corporate interests continued with mostly behind the scenes activities.

Additional information is provided showing how the British worked to sideline the PLO by effectively recruiting Arafat as leader of a recognized PLO ‘government’, leading to the false promises of the Oslo accords and the continued annexation, settlement, and dispossession of the Palestinians.

For contemporary events, Cronin highlights the bizarre career of Tony Blair. At this point in time Blair was truly a “loyal lieutenant” for the U.S., adopting and promulgating U.S. policy for Israel and the Middle East in general. Bringing the work up to current events, “Partners in Crime” outlines the corporate-military ties between Britain, Israel, and the U.S.. Most of the corporate interest is military procurement going both directions – hardware to Israel, spyware and security ware to Britain. As always, these corporations (Ferranti, Affinity, Elbit, Rafael, Rokar, Lockheed-Martin) changed British views – at least of the elites – from tentative support to solidarity. These friendly relations also helped tie Israel into the EU more strongly.

Today, official British policy remains as an ardent supporter of Israel, with a lasting pride in Israel’s founding. The British colonial heritage rages on in the Middle East.

This is an excellent work most specifically for its focus on British attitudes concerning the development of Zionism/Israel, a history of war crimes and apartheid. Kudos to Cronin for his extensive use of many personal diaries and notices and of official records from War and Colonial office files as well as Foreign and Commonwealth files for more recent materials. It is concise and direct, an accessible read that can serve as a prerequisite for Middle East studies/Zionist studies and as a general guide to British policy for Israel. [1]

***

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Title: Balfour’s Shadow – A Century of British Support for Zionism and Israel

Author: David Cronin

Publisher: Pluto Press, London

Click here to order.

Notes

[1] Many books cover the development of Zionism and the creation of Israel. For a more highly detailed development of the historical situation preceding and leading up to the Balfour letter itself, the best I have read is: The Balfour Declaration – The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Jonathan Schneer. Anchor (Random House), Canada. 2012.

This review was first published in Palestine Chronicle, June 29, 2017.

Featured image from Book Depository

“WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON? THE WESTERN LEFT’S OBSESSION WITH EMPIRE”–DANNY HAIPHONG

Posted on by martyrashrakat

In Gaza

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(Meme by Eva Bartlett.

“From 50:24 in this video, Ambassador al-Ja’afari: “…too many ambassadors of the United Nations, they come to me and they say, “You know, Bashar, you are right. Your government is right. We know the truth, but we cannot say it. You can God bless you but we cannot say it.” )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3LTTbOYVfU&feature=youtu.be

Apr 18, 2017, Black Agenda Report

-by Danny Haiphong

“The anti-war left’s attachment to the anti-Assad narrative is based in a colonial mentality which presumes that Westerners have the right to determine the destinies of peoples residing in what was formerly known as the Third World.”

The Trump Administration’s decision to conduct tomahawk missile strikes on a Syrian Arab Army airfield prompted activists in the US to hit the streets in protest. Protesters marched and spoke out against the airstrikes, which killed over a dozen Syrian soldiers on April 6th. The strikes come amidst intense pressure on the Trump Administration to abandon his campaign promises to ease relations with Russia and end regime change policy in the Middle East. In the days prior to the strike, Trump removed Steve Bannon as a formal leader in the National Security Council. Then, an alleged chemical weapons attack hit Idlib province, prompting President Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley to reverse their position that the future of the Syrian government rested in the hands of the Syrian people. Once again, the anti-war movement was put to the test.

The Western left struggles with the question of war because its ideology is rooted in the social relations of imperialism. In the US in particular, the social relations produced by over two centuries of white supremacist war on Black and indigenous peoples has cemented the notion that all who fall outside of the flexible spectrum of whiteness can be made expendable at a moment’s notice. Furthermore, war has historically advanced the level of development in the US. While World War II destroyed much of Europe, the US came out of the rubble with the most prosperous capitalist economy on the planet. This only intensified the thirst for war among the ruling elites. The US military took advantage of capitalist prosperity by turning its guns toward former European and Japanese colonies in East Asia, beginning with the carpet-bombing of Korea from 1950-1953.

Now fast forward to 2017. The US is hotly involved in a war to destabilize the Syrian government. Since 2011, there has been a wall-to-wall corporate media attack on Syria that paints the Syrian government as a murderous dictatorship led by President Bashar Al-Assad. Assad has been accused of “killing his own people” with the most ruthless of methods. In 2013, the Obama Administration accused President Assad of using sarin gas on civilians in Ghouta. Journalist Seymour Hersh eventually corroborated what US intelligence likely warned Obama at the time: that the gas attack was the work of “rebels” (terrorists) who were supplied by an intricate rat line network involving Turkey and Saudi Arabia. The world was destined for another US military confrontation that year when Russia stepped in to diffuse the situation.

Anti-war activists find themselves in a very similar predicament almost four years later. Throughout the duration of the war on Syria, strong lines have been drawn on the question of the Syrian government’s future. A small segment of the anti-war left has defended Syria’s right to self-determination. Others have done extensive work, such as Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett, traveling to Syria and documenting concrete evidence that contradicts the corporate media narrative of the conflict. Indeed, much evidence suggests that the so-called “rebels” are merely jihadist mercenary groups sponsored by the Empire’s many players. Washington and its corporate masters have been foaming at the mouth to bring Syria to heel since at least 2001, when the secular government was placed on a list with six other countries targeted for destabilization.

However, rather than defend Syria’s self-determination, many in the West have bought into the imperialist narrative. This includes a large section of what passes for the left in the Western world. Jacobin, for example, calls itself a leading voice on the American Left but has historically aligned with US imperialism. After April 7th’s US airstrikes, Jacobin posted a statement about why opposing Assad matters too. The statement falsely compares Palestine’s struggle against Israeli occupation with the mythical struggle of the Syrian people against President Bashar Al-Assad.

Of course, Jacobin fails to provide any proof that the Syrian people are in fact waging a struggle to overthrow Bashar Al-Assad. No mention of the Syrian government’s decades-long solidarity with Palestinian resistance is cited.

Jacobin repeats the imperialist line that Assad is murdering “his own people” and causing hundreds of thousands of Syrians to flee the country. Yet the statement omits the fact that Assad was reelected with nearly ninety percent of the vote in 2014. Also left out are the reputable opinion polls that prove President Assad is more popular than any other force operating in Syria at the moment. Jacobin instead throws its weight behind the jihadists waging holy war in Syria on behalf of US imperialism and its junior partners.

Since the fall of Libya, tens of thousands of jihadists have flooded into Syria to overthrow the Syrian government. The jihadists have been given both air and media cover from the US-led coalition operating in Syria. In September of 2016, the US coalition bombed an airport in Deir ez-Zor, killing around 100 Syrian soldiers. The airstrikes gave ISIS cover to lay siege to the area and claim additional territory. And for over five years, sources such as Amnesty International and the US-UK-French funded White Helmets have peddled the narrative that the Syrian Arab Army has been massacring Syrians even as evidence suggests that NGOS such as the White Helmets are completely embedded in the membership of Al-Qaeda affiliated, head chopping organizations.

That Jacobin condemns Washington’s failure to transfer anti-aircraft weaponry to the jihadists yet ignores all of the evidence against Washington’s official narrative on Syria should make clear where the “leading voice” of the left stands. History completely contradicts their narrative. Washington and its allies have never come to the aid of the oppressed in their struggles for liberation. Rather, it has acted as the primary dictator of imperialism’s rabid exploitation of the sovereign nations. What Jacobin essentially demands is a brand of “internationalism” that arms and funds head-chopping, imperialist-backed mercenaries at the expense of the Syrian people.

Such a distortion of internationalism is in keeping with the infantile state of the anti-war left in the US. The anti-war left’s attachment to the anti-Assad narrative is based in a colonial mentality which presumes that Westerners have the right to determine the destinies of peoples residing in what was formerly known as the Third World. It is the same mentality that drives the criminalization of Black America, reducing mass incarceration and police murder to products of the innate criminality of Black people. The white supremacist, colonialist worldview is the most useful tool in the imperialist toolbox. When wielded properly, the vast majority of so-called progressives can be herded to disseminate pro-war propaganda without the added labor cost associated with direct infiltration by the state.

Many questions arise from the behavior of those individuals and organizations caught in the ideological web of US imperialism. Is Jacobin’s support for the overthrow of the Syrian government at all beneficial to workers and oppressed people in the US and West? Do their conclusions about Syria stem from verified study of the objective conditions in the region and its relevant historical context? Can anti-imperialists really occupy neutral space between the dialectic of imperialist war and self-determination for the oppressed? Or is such an attempt merely a cleverly disguised project meant to legitimize the very imperialist system that the left claims to oppose? The answer to these questions will depend on the recipient, but the fact they must be asked indicates that the US anti-war movement needs serious reconstruction.

There may not be time for such an overhaul barring a significant change in the objective situation in the US and West. Recent developments over the course of five years suggest that at any given moment, the world struggle against imperialism could transform into a global military confrontation between the big powers. The threat of US military escalation in Syria cannot be isolated within a national context. Russia and Iran’s presence in Syria ensures that any US move to overthrow Bashar Al-Assad by direct military means will have an impact far beyond Syria’s borders. Solidarity with Syria against US-sponsored war is thus of utmost importance for the future of humanity. However, don’t expect the Western, white dominated left to drop its chauvinistic worldview anytime soon. The task of ending imperialism will have to rest on the shoulders of a new anti-war movement, one based on the respect of self-determination for all oppressed peoples and an internationalist worldview that connects exploitation within US borders to the ceaseless war imperialism wages from without.

Danny Haiphong is an Asian activist and political analyst in the Boston area. He can be reached at wakeupriseup1990@gmail.com
Danny Haiphong’s blog

RELATED LINKS:

Statement of Palestinian groups and individuals in the occupied homeland, refugee camps and the diaspora about the global war on Syria (with over 1100 Palestinian signatories, including prominent Palestinians such as His Eminence Theodosios (Atallah) Hanna, Archbishop, Greek Orthodox Diocese of Sebastia, Jerusalem and Palestinian Popular Forum, Yarmouk, Syria)

Stealing Palestine: Who dragged Palestinians into Syria’s conflict, by Sharmine Narwani, Nov 10, 2014

Syrians Flock to Vote in Lebanon, by Eva Bartlett, May 30, 2014

The Revolutionary Distemper in Syria That Wasn’t, by Stephen Gowans, Oct 22, 2016

Syria Dispatch: Most Syrians Support Assad, Reject Phony Foreign ‘Revolution’, by Eva Bartlett, March 7, 2016

Why Syrians Support Bashar al Assad, by Prof. Tim Anderson, Sep 30, 2014

Decriminalising Bashar – towards a more effective anti-war movement, by Carlos Martinez, Sep 23, 2013

The Red Line and the Rat Line: Seymour M. Hersh on Obama, Erdoğan and the Syrian rebels, Apr 17, 2014

Why the West will never either defeat or forgive Russia

Posted on by michaellee2009

 

Historically, Russia has always fought intuitively for the survival of all mankind. Of course, the events do not always look this way. But whatever they look like, this huge country has repeatedly rebuffed the most powerful forces of evil which were becoming a threat to the very existence of our planet.

By Andre Vltchek

During the Second World War, the Soviet (mostly Russian) people sacrificed at least 25 million men, women and children for the sake of the victory over Nazism. No other country in the modern history has ever had to go through such hardship.

Right after this victory Russia, along with China and Cuba, launched the most incredible and noble project of all times: the systematic destruction of the Western colonialism. All over the world the oppressed masses rose up against the European and North American barbarity, and the Soviet Union was ready to become a beacon of hope for them, to provide them with substantial financial, ideological and military aid.

As the oppressed and disadvantaged nations, one after another, gained their independence, in all the capitals of the Western world there was growing hatred of the Soviet Union and the Russian people. After all, the looting of “non-white” continents was considered a natural right of the “civilised world”.

In the USA and Europe such words as “colonialism” and “imperialism” very quickly acquired a negative connotation, at least, outwardly. So demonising the Soviet Union (leaving alone attacking it) for supporting the struggle for liberation on all the continents would have been counterproductive. Instead, there were developed theories about the “Empire of evil”.

Russia has always been an “obstacle”. This enormous country has been preventing brutal plans of Washington, Berlin, London and Paris. Plans of controlling and plundering the entire world.

However, the more noble the deeds are, the dirtier the attacks on them become.

Russia has always been known for its incredible ability to mobilise its forces, to throw all its resources to achieve a single, deeply humanistic and moral, goal. In its struggle there has always been something sacred, something high and extremely important.

‘Arise, the great country, arise to fight to death!’. This is how begins one of the greatest patriotic songs of the World War II. When Russia is fighting, it is only the victory that is important for it. The victory at any cost.

Russia was destined to fight for the fate of the entire world. If you do not believe in fate, you’ll never understand the famous “Russian soul”. It is not about a religion, as for the most part Russia is anarchist and atheistic. But it believes in destiny and accepts it.

Besides, in most cases, Russia hardly had a choice. It was the end of mankind that was an alternative to the victory.

So, when the very existence of the world was under threat, Russia always rose – fierce and frightening but, at the same time, incredibly beautiful in its anger and determination. It fought with every handful of its land, with every heart of its people. And it almost always won. But it did so at a terrible price – having buried millions of its sons and daughters, and having plunged itself into the sea of ​​unimaginable sorrow and pain.

Moreover, there never was anyone nearby to comfort it. While the fires were still raging, while the faces of mothers and wives who had lost their close ones were still wet with tears, the country already was being spat upon, mocked and humiliated by the treacherous Western regimes and their propaganda.

Its heroism was belittled, its victims were mocked. It was alleged that its millions who had given their lives for mankind had actually died for nothing.

In exchange for its heroism Russia has never asked for anything, except for two basic things: recognition and respect. And yet, it has never received either.

Now Russia is rising again, it is beginning the epic struggle against the ISIS, a monstrous parody of the Muslim faith, created and armed by the West and its regional mean hangers.

Russia was forced to act. After all, who else could have done it? After centuries of the Crusades and barbarian colonialism of the West there is almost nothing left of the Middle East, one of the cradles of our civilisation. The Middle East, plundered and humiliated, has turned into a mosaic of miserable client states standing in service of the West. Tens of millions have been killed. All that could have been looted has been. The socialist and secular governments have been pressed to the wall and overthrown.

I have worked a lot in this region and can attest that, perhaps, with the exception for Africa, there is no greater victim of the West’s greed and barbarism in the world.

Syria and Iraq, two desperate, long suffering, mortally wounded countries, appealed to Russia for help. And it agreed to provide it.

Oh yes, I can already hear the cacophony of shrieks about the ‘Russian interests’ and ‘spheres of influence’, coming from Europe and the North America. Because there is nothing sacred in the West. There can not be anything sacred there. Because everything there is tainted with grim sarcasm and nihilism … If the West behaves like a thug, the picture of the rest of the world should also be drawn in the same colours. After all, the West has neither allies nor feelings. Only interests. It is not my idea, it was said to me over and over again when I was living and working in the destroyed parts of Africa.

But I do not care what they say in Paris and Washington. What matters is what they say in Iraq, Syria and Libya. And I will explain to you how things are there: if you go to the barber and say that you are Russian, the people will rise, hug you and weep.

Russia will never attack other countries, but if it comes under attack itself, its fury can be terrifying, especially during a war. ‘Who comes to us with a sword, shall perish by the sword!’, said the Novgorod prince Alexander Nevsky in the XIII century.

The recent incident with the Russian bomber that was shot down over Syria by the Turkish Air Force increases the risk of a wider regional war. Turkey, a NATO member country, is spreading terror all over the region: from Libya and Somalia to Iraq, Syria and its own Kurdish territories. It is torturing people, destroying a lot of them (including journalists), robbing millions of their natural resources and dissipating (mostly with Qatar’s money) the most extremist Islamist teachings.

I met Recep Tayyip Erdogan many years ago, in the early 1990s in Istanbul when he was still the mayor of the city, and I was “licking my wounds” after the publication about the West systematically destroying Yugoslavia.

‘Do you speak Turkish?, he asked me once.

‘Not very well,’ I replied. ‘Just a little’.

‘But you know perfectly well how to pronounce the name of our party!’, he exclaimed. ‘This proves how important we are’.

From the very first meeting I realised that he was an aggressive villain with delusions of grandeur and the inferiority complex. And yet, I had no idea that he would go so far. But that is exactly where he has gone. And because of it millions of people are suffering all over the region.

Now he has shot down the Russian bomber and invaded Iraq.

Turkey has repeatedly fought with Russia and almost always lost. Moreover, in the period between the two world wars it was able to survive only with the help of the Soviet Union. So, it should have twice thought over the next step.

Russia does not just “wage wars”. Its struggle for the survival of mankind is nothing but a work of art, poetry, a symphony. It’s hard to explain but it’s true. Everything is intertwined there.

To meanly shoot down the Russian Su-24 is the same thing as to spit on the graves of 25 millions who died in the Second World War. It is a disgusting and stupid move. In Russia people do not act like this. In Russia, if you want to fight, you fight face to face with your adversary.

But if you kill like a coward, if you invade devastated neighbouring countries, one day it can be not the Su-24 that you will see in the sky, but heavy bombers.

Russia can not be defeated. There are many reasons for that. One of them is very pragmatic: it is a nuclear superpower. Another is that Russia usually fights for a just cause. And it does it with all its might and with all its heart.

But for Russia, the planet Earth would no longer exist. At least, in the form we are used to seeing it in. The West and its Christian fascist states would fully control the world. And they would treat “sub-people” like animals (even worse than they are doing now); there would be no boundaries, no limits to theft and destruction.

The so-called “civilised world” (the one that builds its theatres and schools on the bones of the others) would, without the slightest resistance, go to the full control over our planet.

Fortunately, Russia exists. And it can not be defeated. No one will ever manage to do it. And that is why the West will never forgive it for standing up for the poor and oppressed.

Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His latest books are: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” and  “Fighting Against Western Imperialism.  Discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western TerrorismPoint of No Return is his critically acclaimed political novel. Oceania – a book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about Indonesia: “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear“. Andre is making films for teleSUR and Press TV. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and the Middle East. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.

Posted January 24, 2016

Pravda

 

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