Hundreds March In New York Against ‘Israel’s’ West Bank Annexation Scheme

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Hundreds March In New York Against ‘Israel’s’ West Bank Annexation Scheme

By Staff, Agencies

Hundreds of protesters marched through New York City to voice opposition to the Zionist entity’s annexation plans in the West Bank and the continued occupation of Palestinian territory as the Tel Aviv regime gears up for a major land grab.

A sizable crowd of demonstrators gathered in Brooklyn for Wednesday’s ‘Day of Rage’ rally, where marchers were seen carrying an array of flags and banners while shouting slogans for a “free Palestine.”

The gathering grew throughout the afternoon, according to local reporters at the scene, who estimated that some 2,000 people turned out for the rally. Though there were no reports of clashes with law enforcement, riot police were present, trying and failing at one point to corral protesters to one side of the street.

Dozens of speakers from local organizations addressed the crowd during the march, while members of Neturei Karta, an anti-Zionist Orthodox Jewish organization, were also spotted at the event carrying elaborate signs and placards.

Similar rallies were also staged in New Mexico and California. Early on Wednesday morning, protesters gathered outside the San Francisco home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) to protest against the annexation plan, calling on the lawmaker to join progressive Democrats in opposing the scheme, local media reported.

The protests come as the Zionist regime moves ahead on plans to annex all Jewish settlements in the West Bank – including in the strategically important Jordan Valley – many of which were built on Palestinian land in defiance of international law.

While the move was initially slated for July 1, on Tuesday Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested the plan would be delayed as talks continue with Washington, which has yet to give its formal blessing for the land grab.

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It Is the Century of Falling Racism Statues…And White Supremacy

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It Is the Century of Falling Racism Statues…And White Supremacy

By Elham Hashemi

George Floyd’s brutal killing was like a stone thrown into the pond, causing a non-stop ripple effect. For the first time in modern history, people across the United States and Europe sound their disgust and unease towards the racist policies carried out by the US administration and the systems across the Western part of the world.

It started with protests and riots, and so far has not come to an end. One interesting scene is how the streets began to fill up with people despite police violence and statues started to fall down; these are not any statues but are in fact statues of racism and white supremacy.

In the United States, more than a dozen statues have been toppled, including several Confederate figures. To begin with, a few statues of Christopher Columbus who is depicted as “THE hero” began to fall down. Rarely do educational texts or reports refer to Columbus’s true image.

Bartolemé de las Casas, who was said to have known Columbus in person, decried the brutality in his “A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies in 1552”. He described how Columbus and the conquistadors disfigured Native slaves and fed them alive to dogs.

 A statue of Christopher Columbus was beheaded in Boston. A Columbus statue was also destroyed and dragged into a lake earlier in the week in Richmond, Virginia. After the figure was removed from its pedestal by protesters using several ropes in Richmond, a sign that reads, “Columbus represents genocide” was placed on the spray-painted foundation that once held the statue. In Camden, a New Jersey city near Philadelphia, protestors took down a statue of Christopher Columbus, joining others across the country.

A 10-foot bronze sculpture of Columbus was also toppled in Minnesota after a group of protests tied ropes around the neck of the statue and yanked it from its pedestal.

Theodor Roosevelt’s statue at NY museum of natural history was reported to be removed soon for its symbolism of the Native American man and the African man who stands beside him.

In Belgium’s Antwerp, thousands of protesters marching for Black Lives Matter filled the streets and demanded the removal of statues of King Léopold II, a brutal colonial ruler. The Belgian king statue who brutalized Congo was burned and ultimately removed.

It was the statue of King Léopold; infamous for genocide with his orchestration of mass violence against the people in the Congo, a large portion of which he considered his personal territory for cultivating and exporting rubber and ivory.

In Britain, a statue of the 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston was toppled by protesters and dumped into the very same waters of the Bristol Harbor that launched slave ships centuries ago.

Protesters have also made threats against statues of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the architect of colonial policies that lead to the mass starvation of some four million Indians, the torture of Kenyans, and was in favor of using poisoned gas against “uncivilized” tribes.

Shamelessly, the British government sealed Churchill’s statue inside a protective steel barrier ahead of the massive London race protest which Prime Minister Boris Johnson claimed has been “hijacked” by extremists. In this context, it is not surprising to hear the racist language of Johnson and his claims that the protests are hijacked.

At the University of Oxford, protesters have stepped up their longtime push to remove a statue of Rhodes, the Victorian imperialist who served as prime minister of the Cape Colony in southern Africa. He made a fortune from gold and diamonds on the backs of miners who labored in brutal conditions.

Also in London, the statue of 18th Century slave trader Robert Milligan has been pulled down from outside the Museum of London Docklands after campaigners vowed to protest every day until it was removed.

New Zealand’s fourth-largest city removed a bronze statue of the British naval officer Capt. John Hamilton after a Maori tribe asked for the statue to be taken down and one Maori elder threatened to tear it down himself. The city of Hamilton said it was clear the statue of the man accused of killing indigenous Maori people in the 1860s would be vandalized.

The statues and monuments that have long honored racist figures are being boxed up, beheaded and sprayed in paint. It is not only because black lives matter, it is because the racist and white supremacist discrimination cannot be tolerated any longer. The New York Times reported that in dozens more cities across the US, statues that still stand have been marked with graffiti, challenged anew with petitions and protests, or scheduled for removal.

Among these statues, a “living statue” named Donald Trump must also be removed in order to preserve human dignity and freedom and end racism. White supremacists and other hateful actors attack immigrants, communities of color, and religious minorities with impunity — all under the Trump administration’s watch.

Tragedies during the Trump time have taken place across the US, targeting African Americans, immigrants and minorities, and these were encouraged by the same force of white supremacy. White supremacists including president Trump and his loyalists deploy disruptive rhetoric and enact racist policies like the Muslim Ban, family separation, attempts silence voters of color. At the end of the day, policies of violence and hate produce acts of violence and hate. The people of America, Europe and the world are rising in face of imperialism and white supremacy, it is no longer a time when the US administration can manipulate the free people of the world.

واشنطن تخسر الجولة الحاسمة حول الاتفاق النوويّ

ناصر قنديل

خلال لقاء جمعني خلال زيارتي لطهران، بوزير الخارجية الإيرانية الدكتور محمد جواد ظريف في مطلع شهر شباط الماضي، وفي لحظة تأزم حول الملف النووي، والتهديدات الأوروبية بنقل الأمر إلى مجلس الأمن الدولي، وفقاً لبنود الاتفاق بمنح الأطراف الموقعة على الاتفاق هذا الحق إذا وقعت مخالفات متمادية في تطبيقه من جانب أحد الموقعين. وكان مفوّض السياسة الخارجية الجديد الأوروبية جوزيب بوريل يغادر طهران بعد جولة محادثات، قال ظريف، إيران لن تخرج من الاتفاق مهما كانت الضغوط والاستفزازات، فسوف نجد ردوداً من ضمن الاتفاق لأن أحد أكبر المكاسب القانونية والسياسية لإيران من الاتفاق يستحق في شهر تشرين الأول، وهو رفع الحظر عن استيراد وتصدير السلاح منها وإليها، وهو أمر تلقائيّ وفقاً لنصوص الاتفاق ولا يحتاج إلى قرار من مجلس الأمن الدولي الذي صادق على الاتفاق، بل إن تجديد الحظر هو الذي يحتاج إلى قرار، تثق إيران ويعلم الأميركيون والأوروبيون أنه مستحيل في ظل فيتو روسي صيني، بالتمسك بمندرجات الاتفاق كنموذج لحل الخلافات الدولية بالطرق الدبلوماسية، وهو ما يعرفه الأوروبيون، ويعترفون به، لكنهم يجسّون نبض إيران، ويبحثون عن مخارج لا تضعهم في مواجهة مع أميركا من دون التفريط بالاتفاق النووي كمدخل لفرص اقتصادية واعدة، ولاستقرار سياسي وأمني موعود، ولذلك يسعى الأميركيون عبر الاستفزازات لإيصالنا إلى لحظة ضيق نخرج فيها من الاتفاق فنخسر هذا المكسب الكبير، لكننا لن نفعل مهما قلنا في سياق التصعيد إن خيار الخروج من الاتفاق وارد، والكلام يومها لم يكن للنشر طبعاً، لكنه اليوم بات من المفيد وضعه في التداول، فكل شيء قد بلغ النهايات.

بالأمس كان الموعد في مناقشات مجلس الأمن الدولي حول الطلب الأميركي بتجديد حظر السلاح على إيران، وكانت المواقف واضحة بتحميل واشنطن مسؤولية زعزعة مسار تطبيق الاتفاق عبر الانسحاب الأحادي. ولم يكن الأمر محصوراً بما قاله مندوبا روسيا والصين، بل أظهرت مواقف غالبية الأعضاء تقديراً للالتزام الإيراني بالاتفاق وموجباته، رغم الانسحاب الأميركي وتشديد العقوبات على إيران، وبدت المواقف الأوروبية الرافضة لتجديد الحظر بصفته إعلان سقوط للاتفاق، أقرب لموقف كل من روسيا والصين ولو بلهجة أخرى. والحصيلة خسارة أميركية مدوّية، وانتصار دبلوماسي نوعي لصالح إيران، التي سيكون بمستطاعها عقد صفقات شراء وبيع الأسلحة من دون تعقيدات قانونية أممية، والكلام الأميركي كان واضحاً لجهة وجود تفاهمات إيرانية مع كل من روسيا والصين على صفقات سلاح كبيرة، في ظل امتلاك إيران لبرامج تطوير صاروخي يحظى بدعم دبلوماسي صيني وروسي، وسيحظى وفق الاتهامات الأميركية بالمزيد من الدعم التقني واللوجستي بعد رفع حظر السلاح، وتحوّل الحركة الأميركية إلى طلقة طائشة في الهواء، رغم الحشد الإعلامي الذي قامت به حكومات الخليج وحكومة كيان الاحتلال لصالح تظهير خطورة رفع الحظر عن إيران.

بعد تشرين الأول إيران ستمضي سريعاً في تنمية مقدراتها العسكرية، وستصبح أشد منعة، وأكثر قدرة على توجيه التهديدات، وستفرض حضوراً عسكرياً كقوة أولى في المنطقة، لا يمكن تحدّيها، وما هي إلا شهور قليلة وتمضي، فكيف ستتصرّف إدارة الرئيس دونالد ترامب مع دروس هذه الجولة، في ظل انسداد الخيارات العسكرية، وانعدام فرص تحقيق أي تراجع لإيران وقوى المقاومة مهما بلغ الحصار وتمادت سياسات التجويع عبر تشديد العقوبات، وفي ظل تراجع فرص الرئيس دونالد ترامب في الفوز بولاية رئاسية ثانية بعد تقدّم منافسه جو بايدن عليه بـ 14% من أصوات الناخبين وفقاً لاستطلاعات الرأي؟

المنطقة وفي قلبها لبنان على موعد مع الكثير من المفاجآت، خلال المئة يوم المقبلة، وكل حدث قابل للتحوّل إلى باب للتصعيد أو إلى باب للتفاوض، وإمكانيات الانزلاق للمواجهة شديدة السيولة بلا ضوابط، وإمكانيات فتح الأبواب لتفاهمات قائمة، وصمود محور المقاومة وقواه ومجتمعات الدول التي يتحرّك على ساحاتها ستزداد مؤشراته في الاقتصاد كما استعداداته في الميدان، رغم الضجيج والتهويل والحديث عن الانهيار، وربما يحمل شهر أيلول الإشارات الأهم في الدلالة على وجهة الأحداث في اللعب على حافة الهاوية.

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Why Is This Even a Story: Russians Allegedly Paid Afghans to Kill US Soldiers?

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June 29, 2020 Arabi Souri

Taliban Mujaheddin fighters in Afghanistan - Russia USSR USA

The New York Times is pushing this story, denied by Trump and his war ministry the Pentagon and his ‘intelligence’ services publicly, that Russia is running a plot paying bounties to Afghan recruits of Taliban and others to kill US troops in Afghanistan.

What were the Afghan Taliban and most of the Afghan fighters doing all the past 19 years exactly? Maybe distributing flowers to the US occupation troops who were giving them chocolate in return!

The New York Times Russia bounty to Afghan fighters to kill US troops
The New York Times Breaking News on an alleged Russian bounty to Afghan fighters to kill US troops.
This comes after Trump made some vague announcement on troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

And, of course, the mainstream media jump to spread the explosive news that were uncovered by the ‘exceptional’ work of the New York Times:

Mainstream Media Hype on New York Times Russia bounty to Afghan fighters to kill US soldiers
Mainstream Media hype on New York Times Russia bounty to Afghan fighters to kill US soldiers story

That’s one side, what if Russia actually paid Afghan fighters to kill US soldiers? What’s wrong with that? Didn’t the US overtly arm the same Afghan fighters to kill Soviet troops in Afghanistan including with surface to air missiles paid for by the Saudis and the US taxpayers to shoot down Soviet planes and copters killing Russians?!

US President Ronald Reagan with Afghanistan Mujahideen plotting to kill Soviet Troops
US President Ronald Reagan with Afghanistan Mujahideen (later to be al-Qaeda) plotting to kill Soviet (mainly Russian) troops
Afghan Mujahideen al Qaeda US Surface to Air Missiles to Kill Russians and USSR Soldiers
Afghan Mujahideen al Qaeda US Surface to Air Missiles to Kill Russians and USSR Soldiers

Just a reminder to the USAians: Afghanistan was directly on the Soviet Union southern borders; the USA is across the planet, like literally on the other side of the planet, if you look at the globe and find the USA just look at the other side of the globe and you’ll find Afghanistan. Flat-Earthers: The USA is a 1 full day, that’s 24 hours trip from New York (the closest city on the eastern US coast) to Afghanistan!

The USA considers Venezuela and all of Central America and South America as their backyard and they share borders only with Mexico, Russia is 4 hours flight from Afghanistan and that’s from Kabul to Moscow, not the distance between two border cities and not the closest two points…

New York to Kabul flight - google search
New York to Kabul flight – Google search

Also a reminder to USAians, during her confirmation hearings Clinton bragged that the US created al Qaeda and armed al Qaeda and that this was a good idea.https://www.youtube.com/embed/Dqn0bm4E9yw

It’s only because the US presidential elections race has started and they want to confirm that Trump is a Russian asset, the thing they failed to prove in their lengthy costly ridiculous Muller investigations that revealed so many other things except this one. And this is not to defend Trump, he’s a lunatic war criminal, rather fearing he will impose more sanctions on Russia and push the already tense relations into further escalation to prove he’s not a Russian asset, just like how they played him all the past almost 4 years on every single subject they wanted him to act as tough on, remember his orders to withdraw from Syria?

image-A 70 Years Old President of the USA Donald J. Trump
A 70 Years Old President of the USA Donald J. Trump

Can we talk about the direct and indirect overt and covert aid the USA and all its stooges and lackeys (Turkey, Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Australians, Gulfies, Canada, Denmark, Israel…) gave to terrorists of Al-Qaeda and all its derivatives (FSA, Nusra Front, HTS, ISISFaylaq RahmanMaghawir Thawra, Khalid Army, Jaysh Al-Islam, Turkestan Islamist Party……..) to kill and maim Syrian soldiers and Syrian civilians in Syria? Iraqis in Iraq? Lebanese in Lebanon? Libyans in Libya? Iranians in Iran? …. in ….?

The Pentagon Threatening to Revive ISIS

Bridging China’s past with humanity’s future – Part 2

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June 29, 2020

Bridging China’s past with humanity’s future – Part 2

by Straight-Bat for the Saker Blog

This will be presented in 3 parts and in 3 different blog posts

PART – 1 can be found here


PART – 2

5. POST-DENG CHINA

Post-Deng China witnessed three variants of socio-economic trajectories associated with three different Leaders. Even though the economic programme of reform initiated by Deng went on unhindered, there were significantly different style of implementation of the same. A brief recapitulation is noted below:

A.  Jiang Zemin (till 2003)

In 1997, after Deng’s departure Jiang Zemin became the paramount leader of China. Both – the economic reforms and the deep-rooted problems of economy – accentuated during Jiang’s stewardship. There was marked increase in political corruption, inter-regional imbalance and inter-class imbalance in growth, rural migration into urban areas, unemployment, inequality and wealth gap, and crime rates across China. During 1998 and 1999, many SOE were privatized with massive lay-offs and asset transfer to private businessmen, many others were restructured to make them profitable. The employee welfare and social welfare system which were embedded in SOE (since the Mao era) were completely dissolved – this also created a low-income urban working class. The government followed a policy of retaining the crucial sectors within state-owned enterprises while small and medium SOW were either privatised or closed down. Crucial sectors or ‘commanding heights’ were:

  • Nation-wide service networks like railways, aviation, telecommunication, electricity etc.
  • Mining and exploration coal, oil, and natural gas
  • Basic metal processing like steel, and aluminium
  • Basic hydrocarbon processing like refinery and petrochemicals
  • Heavy industrial machinery such as machine tools, power generation equipment, rolling stock
  • Infrastructure engineering and construction – roads, railways, ports, dams
  • Significant consumer durables like automobiles
  • Military machinery

Apart from reducing the number of SOE (from 262,000 units employing 113 million in 1995-1997 period to 110,000 units employing 64 million in 2007-2008) and restructuring bigger SOEs, the government reduced tariffs, trade barriers, regulations; reformed banking system. The average return on assets in SOEs soared from 0.2% in 1998 to 5% in 2007. In the same period, the SOEs’ profits rose from 0.3% to 6.6% of GDP. Funds continued to be poured into SEZ and export-oriented manufacturing industry. As per Chinese National Bureau of Statistics, Hong Kong-Taiwan-Japan-South Korea-Singapore contributed about 71% of the FDI that flowed into China between 1990 and 2004. To sum it up cogently, it can be said that government of China pursued neoliberal economic agenda along with consulting advice from USA bankers and capitalists. China joined World Trade Organization in December’2001. During the period 1990–2004, China’s economy grew at an average rate of 10% per year.

A very interesting observation can be made related to the foreign relations during Jiang era – all foreign trips by the leadership and communication with foreign media were consciously made to revolve around China’s (the then) economic growth model and the imperatives. Incidents like USA bombing of China embassy in Belgrade, and collision with USA aircraft near Hainan Island were played down after some exchange of documents. Apparently, the top leadership aimed only at maintaining the stability of the government and the economy.

Very significant transformation took place in the CPC itself – from being a party of predominantly peasants and workers, CPC converted itself to a party with large number of middle-class petty bourgeois. This class evolved during the industrial restructuring of 1990s, who came out as the main beneficiary due to their entrepreneurship and connection with the then local and central leadership of CPC, and more importantly this class acted as a robust base of CPC in the urban regions of China.

B. Hu Jintao (2003 to 2012)

Hu Jintao had to continuously swim against the tide of domino effect from the (capitalist) economic reform and opening which was primarily initiated by Deng in 1979. During October’2003 Third Plenum, amendments to the constitution were discussed – an overarching government economic policy would be introduced to reduce unemployment rate, to re-balance income distribution, and to protect the environment. Also private property rights would be protected. Due to widespread poverty, inequality, and discontent the Chinese Government was forced to seek a balanced society above all. Using the concept of “socialist harmonious society”, balanced wealth distribution, improved education, and improved healthcare were assigned high priority.

During 1995, exports from East Asian countries to China were not very significant percentage of their total exports (Japan exported 4.95%, South Korea exported 7.0%, Taiwan exported 0.3%, Singapore exported 2.3%). In 1995, Chinese total exports were worth about 149 billion USD. However, by 2013 there was an explosive growth in exports from East Asian countries to China as a percentage of their total exports – (Japan exported 18.1%, South Korea exported 26.1%, Taiwan exported 26.8%, Singapore exported 11.8%). And, in 2013, Chinese exports to the world were worth about 2210 billion USD (a little over 30% of the value were exported by wholly foreign-owned enterprises, and 12% of the value were exported by joint ventures between foreign-owned and China-owned enterprises). Apparently, during this period China evolved as ‘core’ and East Asia as ‘periphery’ in a new sub-system within the overall world-system (with USA and west Europe as ‘core’ and rest of the world as ‘periphery’).

China’s GDP grew 10.1%, in 2004, and 10.4% in 2005 in spite of attempts by the government to cool the economy. And, in 2006 trade crossed USD 1760 billion, making China third-largest trading nation in the world. Again, in 2007 China registered 13% growth in GDP (USD 3552 billion) becoming world’s third largest economy by GDP. According to UN estimates in 2007, around 130 million people in rural areas of the backward inland provinces still lived in poverty, on consumption of less than $1 a day, while about 35% of the Chinese population lived under $2 a day. Chinese government’s official Gini index peaked at 0.49 in 2008– 2009 and thereafter declined only marginally, to 0.47 in 2014. The Global Financial Crisis in 2008 revealed the innate weakness of Chinese economy – export-oriented economy depends upon economic conditions in foreign countries much more than internal consumption. Government of China took highly effective policy decisions about economic stimulus and implemented those effectively (however, it also increased the already high debt burden). The stimulus (about US$600 billion at the then-current exchange rate) involved state investments into physical infrastructure like railway network, roads, bridges and ports, urban housing complex, easing credit restrictions and lowering tax on real estate. As per National Bureau of Statistics of China, in 2010, GDP of China was Yuan 40850 billion, which can be broken down into following expenditure categories:

  1. Household Consumption Expenditure – Yuan 14146.55 billion (34.63% of GDP)
  2. Government Consumption Expenditure – Yuan 6011.59 billion (14.71% of GDP)
  3. Gross (Fixed) capital formation – Yuan 19186.69 billion (46.96% of GDP)
  4. Net Exports of Goods and Services – Yuan 1505.71 billion (3.68% of GDP)

Household consumption has not increased substantially with economic growth – may be one of the reasons were wages and salaries of working class didn’t move upwards with same pace. Even though the reforms helped to improve the socio-economic indicators, taking into consideration the difference between coastal region and inland regions as well as between urban and rural regions, China could hardly overcome the poverty and inequality predominantly in the inland and rural regions.

By 2011, there were less than 10 out of 40 major industrial sectors in which SOE accounted for more than 20 percent of output. Another significant statistics of 2012 on industrial enterprises (as per National Bureau of Statistics, China) shows:

State-owned EnterprisesPrivate-owned EnterprisesPrivate-owned FDI Enterprises
Total Asset (billion Yuan)31,20915,25517,232
Profit (billion Yuan)1,5182,0191,397

The above statistics might suggest at the first glance that, state-owned enterprises are laggard in profitability. However, such conclusion will be clearly wrong if it is noted that there exist wide difference of asset ownership across various sectors – in mining and extraction of coal, petroleum, natural gas etc. SOE commands 93% of sector-specific assets, while in textiles sector Private enterprises commands 90% of sector-specific assets. Different sectors of industry have different profit-capital asset employed ratio.

C. Xi Jinping (2013 onwards)

Since around 2010, Chinese government and CPC has been busy implementing economic policies that will pursue ‘economic growth based on domestic consumption’ while maintaining the decades old export-oriented economy. With Xi Jinping at the top chair, a long pending but top priority task was undertaken – war against corruption and nepotism. CPC took strong measures so that corrupt among ruling party cadres and government officials were identified and punished, Marxist principles were enforced as guideline for CPC so that the society and economy can be steered towards equality and justice. CPC has also became proactive in taking actions to enhance its geopolitical and geo-economic base throughout the world. Simultaneously, Chinese government has taken concrete measures to modernize all wings of military through research and development of 5th generation stealth military aircrafts, naval ships, nuclear submarines, hypersonic missiles, anti-satellite missiles, as well as procuring most lethal S400 air defence system and electronic warfare systems from Russia.

However, China has performed extremely well in reduction of poverty. In 2015, World Bank Group estimated that only 0.7% of Chinese citizens live below extreme poverty line of $1.9 (2011 PPP) per day, while 7.0% of Chinese population live below lower-middle poverty line of $3.2 (2011 PPP) per day. Such rapid poverty-reduction is an unparalleled achievement in the history of mankind.

As per National Bureau of Statistics of China, in 2019, GDP of China was Yuan 99492.74 billion (by expenditure approach), which can be broken down into following categories:

  1. Household Consumption Expenditure – Yuan 38589.56 billion (38.78% of GDP)
  2. Government Consumption Expenditure – Yuan 16559.90 billion (16.64% of GDP)
  3. Gross (Fixed) capital formation – Yuan 42862.78 billion (43.08% of GDP)
  4. Net Exports of Goods and Services – Yuan 1480.50 billion (1.49% of GDP)

Compared to 2010 statistics, in 2019 the household consumption has moved upwards at almost 39% of GDP. However, the 2019 figures of household consumption below 50% of GDP can’t be considered as healthy neither gross capital formation more than 30% of GDP can be termed as balanced growth. This is not to say that, the period of 1970-1975 was better because household consumption component was around 60 – 65% of GDP (GDP itself was very low).

The inequality between urban and rural remained too glaring even in 2019 – as we can note in the following data as per National Bureau of Statistics of China (2019 data),

  1. Per Capita Disposable Income Nationwide – Yuan 30,733
  2. Per Capita Disposable Income of Urban Households – Yuan 42,359
  3. Per Capita Disposable Income of Rural Households – Yuan 16,021
  4. Per Capita Expenditure Nationwide – Yuan 21,559
  5. Per Capita Expenditure of Urban Households – Yuan 28,063
  6. Per Capita Expenditure of Rural Households – Yuan 13,328

The growth model chosen by Deng and reinforced by Jiang has already run out of steam. It had its own utility to provide mass employment and to build the fixed capital for the national economy. Chinese government need to pivot economic growth on domestic consumption as soon as possible without damaging the export sector much. To boost consumption, ‘demand’ for goods and services will have to be enhanced – in China, ‘purchasing power’ is the key for boosting demand and hence, domestic consumption. Income of ordinary citizens should be increased through forced regulations whereby the surplus from industrial operation (that is pocketed by the capitalists for accumulation of capital) will be distributed to the working class. Similarly for the agricultural sector, government should provide much higher procurement prices for agricultural produces. Another key area that needs government intervention is social security and welfare system, whereby housing-education-healthcare for all rural and urban people living with daily expenditure below USD 10 will be arranged by the government (against a token amount of annual insurance premium). Most of such people will be confident enough to spend instead of saving money for rainy day. The well-entrenched capitalist elites will resist because such steps would restrict their continuous capital accumulation process – however, China being a socialist peoples’ democracy, it has to give priority to the common people.

BRI – Challenge to Current World-system?

Belt and Road Initiative (formerly One Belt One Road – OBOR programme) of China actually is a framework wherein investments amounting to anything between one to two trillion USD in different countries of Asia, Europe, Africa, South America will be done in primarily government-to-government projects. When successfully implemented, may be around 2035, BRI will completely transform the economy and comfort of peoples in more than 100 countries. Investments are mainly channelled into physical infrastructure, mining and exploration, power generation, industrial production hub, agricultural production hub, and communication network. BRI, instead of moving away from existing liberal capitalist economy, predicates on existing capitalist system with more inclusive agenda compared to Zionist Capitalist dominated financial system – thus BRI projects attempt to alleviate poverty and unemployment in participating states without bothering about the government ideology.

BRI benefits China in primarily four ways:

  1. Corridors like CPEC (through Pakistan) and CMEC (through Myanmar), when fully established, will provide alternate trade routes for China-based companies to import energy and raw materials as well as export finished goods through Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal respectively; the corridors will circumvent the ‘choke point’ of Malacca Strait
  2. China-Mongolia-Russia and China-Central Asia-West Asia corridors will be channel for further Chinese investments across Asia; in the long run exports and imports among these Eurasian states will experience quantum jump
  3. ‘State capitalism’ will get a boost with most of the BRI projects being G-to-G kind; most of the participant governments will control the new projects thereby reproducing the production relations of capitalist society with the ‘state’ playing the role of capitalist who will make ‘profit’ and accumulate ‘capital’
  4. Enhance Chinese ‘image’ through socio-cultural exchange
  5. Enhance Chinese ‘influence’ through government-to-government contacts

There are more BRI corridors as well as ‘Maritime Silk Road’ planned as part of BRI. I would not get into the details of such a mammoth programme (consisting of hundreds of gigantic projects) which itself is a separate subject. However, it will be very interesting to analyse if and how BRI will pose a challenge to the existing world-system coordinated by the Deep State.

BRI follows the traditional capitalist economic model of ‘profit’, but unlike the Zionist Capitalist propelled system, BRI system aim for nominal profit margins that will create a tremendous ‘pull factor’ among the developing countries to seek BRI projects. Another key difference is: BRI system is radically different from existing capitalist system by shunning hegemony and force BRI promotes harmonious global integration. In all probability, BRI will create a ‘benign core’ and ‘exultant periphery’ in a global scale which uncannily resembles the Confucian concepts of family and state governance. The existing hegemonic world order and the Deep State will find it very hard to digest such decline of their stature and the formation of a new core-periphery. However, by no means will this new development threaten to upend the existing Zionist Capitalist world order – the new core-periphery will form a significant non-imperial sub-system within the existing world-system. USA, 5-Eyes, and Israel will have to share the hegemony with China being the BRI core and Russia as the semi-periphery (with low population count and hence limited domestic market, Russia can’t play much bigger role).

In practice, post-WW II world order has seen the working of core-periphery system with USA (and NATO) enforcing their will on the weak countries on the ‘periphery’ whenever a threat to the primacy of ‘accumulation capital’ was perceived by the Deep State cabal. The Deep State capital, through control of the media and academia, ensure that such threat to capital gets portrayed as a threat to ‘democracy and human rights’ which in turn provides a moral high ground to the Hegemonic superpower to invade any country at will. In the BRI system such supremacy of capital is not expected simply because Chinese outlook on ‘world-system’ was built typically on Confucian praxis.

Significant observations on post-Deng China:

1. CPC central committee in a conference in 2015 formulated eight principles of ‘socialist political economy with Chinese characteristics’:

  1. Sustainability Led by Science and Technology
  2. Orienting Production to Improve the Livelihood of the People
  3. Public Ownership Precedence in National Property Rights
  4. The Primacy of Labour in the Distribution of Wealth
  5. The Market Principle Steered by the State
  6. Speedy Development with High Performance
  7. Balanced Development with Structural Coordination
  8. Economic Sovereignty and Openness

Undoubtedly the above eight principles (like Buddha’s ‘asta-marga’ teaching) are very sound principles – but these are not focussed to Marxist ideology in a sense that, any other liberal democratic capitalist political party can also follow such principles for an effective management of economy and society. CPC leadership should take into account the core ideology of Marx-Engels-Lenin-Mao to explore that, the owners of capital can never reconcile with the proletariat and petty-bourgeois (as petty-bourgeois, I’m meaning only the middle-income group of rural land-holding peasants and urban professionals and self-employed people who own very little capital to earn their livelihood) – the theory of historical materialism clearly and correctly predict that, in the long-run, the capitalists will continue to accumulate capital with endless exploitation of 90% of the population, eventually they will overrun the CPC setup (as insider like CPSU in Soviet Union, or as outsider like Solidarity Movement in Poland) and create a state which will be ‘liberal capitalist’ in letter and spirit. Mao and Deng differed only on strategy to achieve Marxist economy and classless society, they never differed in the end objective – successive CPC leaders shouldn’t forget to take note of that.

Questions will be raised, ‘why then Mao didn’t create a classless society since 1950 or why Mao also tried for accumulation of capital to begin with’ or for that matter, even before Mao, ‘why in 1921 Lenin was staking on new economic policy (NEP) to introduce free market and capitalism under state control’?

To seek the answer, let’s visit the greatest leader of transformation – Lenin. Lenin considered the NEP as a strategic retreat from principles of socialism – Bolshevik party leaders had to create the “material basis” of economic development in Soviet Union before they could initiate the first stage of socialism to be followed by the second stage. This was exactly the situation for Mao and Deng in China who wanted to first create the basic building block for Chinese economy for which the forces of production were either outdated or non-existent. Interestingly, both CPSU and CPC tried to create ‘communes’ as an ideal communist construct for the rural regions and agricultural sector – primarily due to mismanagement among the party members and lack of indoctrination among the rural population, both the experiments failed. More valid question however remains, ‘why both CPSU and CPC got lost in the quagmire of ‘initial capitalistic development’ and never returned to their end objectives’ even after there was basic level of ‘fixed capital formation’ in Soviet Union by 1960 and in China by 2010! May be because geopolitical events were unsurmountable. To best of my knowledge, this question remains unanswered till date.

2. Another issue related to very high exports and some trade surplus obscures two significant points:

(a) China (with a GDP of Yuan 99,492.74 billion i.e. USD 14,140 billion) in 2019 not only exported goods and services worth USD 2,486.69 billion, but the import was also huge at USD 2,135.74 billion (as per National Bureau of Statistics of China). Even if the overall export surplus is not substantial, when the values are grouped continent-wise, large imbalance due to export surplus can be noted for Oceanic and Pacific Islands (about USD 64 billion), Europe (about USD 95 billion), North America (about USD 330 billion), while marginal imbalance of USD 5 – 10 billion export/import surplus exists in case of Asia, Africa, Latin America. Moving deeper at a country-level, one would find more imbalances. The main reason is that, the sourcing requirements of China (energy, raw materials, manufacturing components, foodstuff, etc.) and sourcing countries are, most of the time different from the nature of exported item (manufactured finished goods), quantity and destination where export opportunity exist.

(b) More often than not, the economists forget to mention that the imports of China has multiple categories including import by foreign-owned export-oriented enterprises for value addition before exporting goods, import by Chinese-owned enterprises for value addition before dispatching for export as well as for domestic selling, import of plant and machinery etc. for capital formation, and import for direct household consumption. Contrary to that, export has almost single dimension – manufactured finished goods, primarily consumer goods with some industrial goods as well. There is overwhelming dependence on exports which jeopardise Chinese economy to the extent that, without continuous growth in demand from foreign countries, Chinese economy will encounter slow growth. In future, there can be scenarios where trade partner countries (other than USA) may reduce good imports from China in order to produce within their country (to reduce unemployment).

3. Trade surplus resulting from the exports and high internal savings empowered the east Asian countries like Japan and China to accumulate largest forex reserves (together they account for more than USD 6 trillion) which were used to purchase USA Treasury bonds. USA Treasury bonds are issued by USA government to cover fiscal deficit – thus China and Japan are largest creditors of USA. With this arrangement of deficit financing successive USA government has been reckless to cut taxes (of oligarchy) and increase direct government expenditure to keep voters happy. The prices of east Asian exports into USA were kept low to keep it attractive in the USA market. Finally, more demand of east Asian goods increased trade surplus and more trade surplus meant more purchase of Treasury bonds. A two-way mutual relation between USA and China-Japan thus helped USA engage in end-less wars as well as keep inflation within USA low, hence, even if USA leaders take anti-import posture that will be only to please the constituency of nationalist voters. However, China will not only be at the receiving end if and when exports get restricted suddenly, China should be prepared for the worst scenario when, in future, USA will simply refuse to pay for their debt.

China will have to take a serious initiative on how US Dollar can be removed from world’s reserve currency status. Along with Russia, China should look into the possibility of introducing a new international currency which will be backed by gold – this action will not lead to a socialist economy, but this action will certainly work towards curbing the USA government’s undue advantage of printing as much fiat Dollar as possible using the global reserve currency without gold-backing status.

4. Indisputably China achieved incredible feats in economic growth and socio-economic indicators during past few decades. But such achievements to a large extent depended also on credit policy (apart from FDI and export). As a result, China’s total debt burden including households, government (central, regional, local), non-financial industry sector (including real estate), and financial sector has been rising over the decades albeit slowly. Apparently, in 2019 beginning, Household debt rose to more than 50% of GDP, Government debt crossed 50% of GDP, Financial sector debt rose to more than 40%, non-financial Industry sector breached 150% of GDP. As a whole, Chinese government is in a precarious position to control such huge debt (total crossing 40 trillion USD) – with strict control economic growth will be at stake. Even though the government of China have been periodically trying to deleverage the economy with control measures, economic growth trounced all such attempts till date.

The problem of bad debt first hit the Jiang government in late 1990s. The non-performing loans (NPL) caught the leadership’s eyes back then. And to address the burning issue, in 1999 asset management company was created, which absorbed Yuan 2 trillion bad loans from state-owned banks leaving the banks normal and healthy. For Chinese government NPL issue will continue to be a thorn in the flesh.

5. Maritime border disputes in South China Sea and East China Sea have historical roots when Japan displaced European powers from these two sea regions. It is also true that, after WW II most of the littoral countries (except Vietnam and North Korea) were/are backed by the Deep State and were/are armed to the teeth. However, it will be a monumental milestone for Chinese diplomacy and indeed, image, if China can resolve the maritime border issues without conflict, and if required, sharing the under-sea resources with the littoral states.

On the land border disputes, China resolved all but the dispute with India. The land border was drawn by the British colonial power who ruled most of south Asia till 1947, but Chinese government never accepted the border. Chinese government should keep no stone unturned to bring India-Pakistan-China on the same discussion table with UNO as observer. It will be beneficial for all three countries if they settle the dispute once for all through mutual concessions using give-and-take policy. A border war for a land with little economic value (but high geopolitical strategic value) makes no sense.

6. During 1700 to 1840 China was world’s biggest economy and second largest land empire. However that position didn’t deter the European powers from rampaging at their will inside Chinese territory. Chinese empire lost the edge because of inability to keep track with global technological changes. For the European powers, advancements in few industrial and military technology proved decisive. Keeping such watershed moments in view, government of China should make extraordinary arrangements (like special task force etc.) to bridge manufacturing technology gaps which have been pointed out by McKinsey Global Institute in “China and the world” report published in July 2019, some of which are:

  1. Electronic Components
    1. Display
    2. Integrated circuits
  2. Pharmaceuticals
    1. Small-molecule drugs
    2. Biomolecule drugs
  3. Genomics
    1. Gene sequencing
    2. Gene editing

The above mentioned elements are not necessarily of military in nature – the backwardness in military technology are well-known which are being addressed by Chinese government since past two decades, jet engines with thrust-vectoring control technology among the most significant ones.

6. GEOPOLITICS 1930 ONWARDS

With the setting up of Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Switzerland in 1930, the disputes and tussle among the most prominent Jewish and Anglo banker families (like Rothschild, Rockefeller, Morgan, Warburg, Lazard, et al.) over type of business, geographical region of influence, and share of banking sector operations got resolved. The Zionist Capitalist elites were fully united in words and deeds notwithstanding the occasional rivalry and difference of opinion between followers of two camps: Rothschild and Rockefeller. The long-term objective of the Zionist Capitalist Deep State clique (representing primarily the Jewish, Anglo, Dutch, French, German oligarch and aristocrat families who had accumulated wealth and have been engaged in business in banking-land-industry-trading) after WW I has been to establish a hegemonic world order which would:

  1. own ‘political process and power’ in every society/country on the earth
  2. own ‘economic process and wealth’ in every landmass/country/ocean on the earth
  3. control ‘socio-cultural process and population’ in every region/country on the earth

I find it difficult to consider that, ‘winning’ political power anywhere in the world, has ever been an objective of the Deep State – they want to ‘own’ the process through which any political party may be made to ‘win’ or ‘loose’ power depending on short-term and long-term interest of the Deep State.

The Zionist Capitalist Deep State crystallized in its existing form when WW II started in 1936 (with signing of anti-communist pact between Germany, Italy, and Japan). Expectations of the Zionist Capitalist Deep State were destruction of powerful societies (non- Anglo/Jewish/Dutch/French) who had potential to develop advanced economy, and expansion of Zionist Capitalist empire:

  1. combatants Fascist Germany and Communist Soviet Union decimating each other’s (i) military forces, (ii) physical infrastructure, and (iii) population across entire Eurasia;
  2. combatants Fascist Japan and Nationalist China decimating each other’s (i) military forces, (ii) physical infrastructure, and (iii) population across entire East Asia;
  3. stages (a) and (b) would be followed by occupation of whole Europe and Asia by the ‘benevolent’ Anglo-American military who would claim that they have ‘liberated’ these ancient civilizations from the ‘authoritarian dictatorships’ of fascism and communism;
  4. stage (c) would be followed by establishment of ‘liberal democratic capitalism’ version of empire (as against ‘colonial extractive capitalism’ version) in whole Europe and Asia to continue plunder of wealth in maximum possible way;

Unfortunately half of the objectives remained unfulfilled in the WW II that was over by 1945 – because of two political parties: Communist Party of Soviet Union (CPSU) and Communist Party of China (CPC) whose top leadership mobilised their countrymen in collective patriotic spirit, Soviet Union and China didn’t capitulate but their direct adversaries (Germany and Japan) were trounced. Phase II became a necessity for the Deep State.

WW II – Phase II:

Phase II of WW II was initiated as soon as phase I was over. ‘Operation Unthinkable’ was planned by most ardent imperialist Churchill in order to launch a surprise attack on Soviet Union to achieve the original objectives that Hitler failed to achieve, but dropped. Realising that a military block consisting of all societies that join together as Zionist Capitalist Deep State would be more effective to demolish: (a) morally and militarily supreme power like Soviet Union which recuperated economically,

(b) new power like Communist China (where by January’1949, Peoples Liberation Army already won three major campaigns in last strongholds of Kuo Mintang party in east and south regions of China), NATO was formed in April’1949.

To achieve the long-term objective of hegemonic world order as well as the four WW II objectives, the Deep State displayed creativity in designing and deploying diplomatic, political, economic, cultural tools and methods that proved to be highly durable and extremely effective:

  1. UNO and its key sister organizations were established to control the international political incidents in all regions across the globe
  2. Through WBG, IMF, ADB global banking and financial companies spread its tentacles to every region of the world to control natural resources and economy
  3. US Dollar as the foreign currency exchange basis across the globe – not only the gold backing was withdrawn from Dollar in 1971 by USA government, but the hegemon also manipulated the Arab rulers to use Dollar as currency for most crucial commodity trading (of petroleum)
  4. Trade pacts like GATT, WTO, and similar other pacts driven by USA-West Europe-Japan were implemented so that the hegemonic power maintains their hold over global trade
  5. Promotion of ‘periodic election’ plus ‘market economy’ plus ‘private ownership’ masquerading as ‘Democracy’ across the globe
  6. Promotion of literature-cinema-fine arts that revolves around sex-drug-commercial duplicity in all major languages across the globe
  7. Promotion of mainstream media for broadcasting and publishing round-the-clock propaganda on the above mentioned tools (i) to (vi) in all major languages across the globe
  8. Promotion of academic institutions and intellectual for propagating curriculum on the above mentioned tools (i) to (vi) in all major languages across the globe
  9. Promotion of religious fundamentalist groups (male chauvinists with belief in illusory past glory from society which profess religious faiths like Sunni Islam, in Catholic Christianity, in Puritan Christianity, Brahminical Hinduism etc.) as well as ethnic fundamentalist groups (believing superiority of his/her ethnicity) in all regions across the globe
  10. Development of highly complex computerised system and other industrial technology to replace human labour in every sphere of productive work as much as possible

During the ensuing four and a half decades- from 1945 to 1990- major tasks accomplished by Deep State were:

  1. The Zionist Capitalist elites located primarily on either side of the Atlantic (who were driving force for aristocratic groups like Bilderberg Club, Club of Rome, Trilateral Commission as well as think-tanks like Council for Foreign Relations) were immensely successful in mobilising most of the academic institutions and media entities across world to spread propaganda among the people world-wide about ‘failure’ of socialism/ communism/ Marxist principles in Soviet Union and east European countries as well as China. While it was true that these countries which were devastated during WW II couldn’t provide the standard of living as west European imperialist/colonialist countries could offer to their citizens, these socialist countries provided all basic amenities of life to all its citizens.
  2. In most unfortunate turn of history, in the second half of 1950s CPSU led by Khrushchev (a closet Zionist) denounced Stalin’s leadership in Soviet Union that not only defeated the most cruel war machinery ever built on earth but became the second superpower of the world by 1945 (in 22 years after Stalin got the top leader’s position). This created an unbridgeable ideological gap between CPSU and CPC that divided the entire socialist/communist movement across the globe. After removal of Khrushchev from the position of top leader in Soviet Union political situation was salvaged internally, however, China became completely blind about the changing landscape of Soviet Union. The lack of trust of Chinese leadership in Soviet leadership was utilised by the Deep State elites in the 1980s to bleed Soviet Union in Afghanistan and Angola.
  3. By 1960 most of the Asian, and African countries got freedom from the west European imperialist/ colonialist powers like UK, France, and Belgium etc. Most of these countries were ruled by nationalist party who heavily mixed socialist ideological tenets with their nationalist creed. Most of these countries, backed by Soviet Union, had highly corrupt ruling party. Such leaders easily became prey for the global capitalist-imperialist elites, and simultaneously those semi-literate societies came under the spell of ‘Hollywood’-promoted illusion and ‘drug-sex-violence’ kind of culture. The significant block led by Soviet Union and relatively small islands of Chinese sphere came to a crossroads – they were falling behind in harnessing technological progress in economic growth, which resulted in relatively low standard of living of majority population while government officials and ruling party leaders led much better life.
  4. Deep State tried hard to manipulate the policy of government and bureaucracy as well as to co-opt the key political parties across all countries so that they can create pro-USA, pro-5 Eyes, pro-Israel policies as well as anti-Soviet Union anti-China policies. Simultaneously, oligarch-aristocrat families and elite individuals with servility towards Zionist Capitalist ideology (i.e. capitalist enterprises, private ownership, European ‘liberal imperialism’) were promoted in political leadership-bureaucracy-judiciary in those countries so that they can convert the policies into actions to advance interests of global oligarchy.
  5. In many large countries across the world, the Zionist Capitalist Deep State manipulated domestic politics to overthrow patriotic and incorruptible leaders who couldn’t be co-opted by them – Congo, Iran, Indonesia, Chile, Guatemala, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, etc. The Deep State mainly mobilised the country’s military forces to grab state power by killing the top leader(s) and by creating a repressive environment. Sometimes that would include mass murder of leaders and members of socialist party/communist party – in Indonesia, in the 2nd half of 1960s, between one to two million members of communist party were killed by military junta. In all the above mentioned cases, soon after coming to power the military junta would create economic policies that would favour the MNC from USA, 5 Eyes, west European countries, and simultaneously reduce contacts with Soviet Union and China.
  6. Developing conventional, nuclear, biological, chemical, and other special weapons and building a military force based on land, marine, air, and space that will be able to dominate every other country in every region, and if necessary, the military force can take punitive actions against any country including carrying out ‘first strike’ against other nuclear powers like Soviet Union and China without any possibility of retaliatory strike. USA built over 700 military bases all over the world.

The Deep State operatives were very successful in their original plan of wrecking Soviet Union from within. In the beginning of 1980s two leaders got into powerful political positions in the Soviet block – Yuri Andropov became top leader of CPSU and Lech Walesa became top trade union leader in Poland, Such high-ranking anti-socialist leaders quickly made inroads into state structure and policies in Soviet Union and Poland. After Andropov handpicked Gorbachev to lead CPSU, it was only a matter of time for the Deep State to wrap-up the socialist experiment what was known as USSR. Gorbachev and his so-called reformist clique systematically incapacitated Soviet economy, and also actively promoted downfall of governments in every east European country which were led by socialist party aligned with CPSU. This clique was helped by professionals from USA and west Europe. They also pinned hope that CPC leader Zhao Ziyang will become the ‘Gorbachev of China’ to bring down the government ruled by CPC – however this was a complete failure as Zhao himself confided with Gorbachev that ‘Deng was the top leader’ in a meeting when Tiananmen Square protest was raging in Beijing in 1989. Without a single gun-shot being fired by the military wings of Zionist Capitalist cabal, the Soviet Union dissolved itself between 1990 to 1991 CE – the phase II of WW II came to an end. Instead of serious introspection and course correction among ruling party officials and government departments to design policies keeping pace with socio-economic changes and technological changes, all these ‘reformist’ leaders decided that the best way to (personal?) growth was to join hands with Zionist-Capitalist world order after bringing down the governments ruled by their own party communist/socialist party.

By 2020 whole Europe and half of Asia had been occupied by the ‘benevolent’ Anglo-American NATO military who claimed that they guarantee ‘independence’ of those ‘liberated countries’ from the clutch of ‘authoritarian’ communism, and they also ensure that ‘liberal democratic capitalism’ version of empire will suck the land and citizens dry. No wonder, Soviet WW II war memorials and monuments have been systematically destroyed in east Europe – how long the Deep State would tolerate anti-zionist anti-capitalist flag hoisted by Soviet Red Army in Europe with immense sacrifices and sufferings by Soviet leaders, soldiers and people?

Concomitant with the complete control of all political parties (across the wide spectrum of their professed ideology) on both sides of the Atlantic: North America, South America, Europe, the discerning Zionist Capitalist cabal maintains a complex cobweb connecting all key members and rotating them from one role to another. Thus a retired Director of intelligence department of USA will occupy the chair of Chairman of a big financial investment firm as well as the role of a university Professor! The cabal maintains a carefully constructed façade where professionals from different spheres of society jointly appear as a highly educated, experienced and intelligent wing – industrialists, bankers, politicians, bureaucrats, military officials, business managers, legal and media professionals, academicians, NGO managers, cinema directors and artists all walks of life are present.

[ Link: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-06-10/does-bilderberg-really-run-world-one-chart-help-you-decide ]

Interlude?

After Soviet Union was pulled down, the corrupt and treacherous Soviet leaders and their lackeys backed by the Zionist Capitalist oligarchy and elites ripped apart the socio-economic fabric of Russian society. The state exchequer was looted blatantly, the natural resources were divided among the Soviet elites-turned-businessmen, the industrial capital largely destroyed or privatised without any meaningful payment to state, workers were retrenched or pauperised without regular wages, and peasants were left without proper means of cultivation. Not only peoples tried to earn livelihood offering sex-drug-smuggling etc., but steep drop in birth rates across all splinter provinces of USSR made it to appear like entire Eurasian landmass will get depopulated within two generations. The Deep State also tried to split Russia (which, after the USSR dissolution, became largest state in Eurasia) into 4 – 5 regions through creating and aiding regional separatist movements with help of the 5th column elites and oligarchy within Russia. Without funding, military capabilities of Russia went into oblivion. Technological research and development as well as manufacturing of defence machinery came to a dead end. Demoralised troops and open corruption became symbolic of Russian military.

So, were the different factions of Zionist Capitalist cabal content with the successful closure of the WW II by 1991? What were they thinking about the glaring failure of destroying the CPC rule in China? Apparently, the Deep State was not only happy with their performance in destroying the CPSU and Soviet Union, they were also very confident about China becoming a ‘normal country’ with full-scale liberal democratic capitalist system of economy and periodic elections to elect governments that will be run by the Zionist Capitalist world order staying behind the curtain (as it happened for all countries in the world in 1992 except China-Vietnam-North Korea-Iran-Zimbabwe-Angola-Cuba). We need to ask ourselves, how the Deep State was so confident that China will be on board with them.

1978 onwards the drive towards industrial capitalism in China using the global finance owned by the Zionist Capitalist bankers and industrialists was initiated by Deng and followed up by Jiang Zemin in such earnestness that, the Deep State representatives like Kissinger and Financial Institutions like JP Morgan had to conclude that Chinese acumen for business and trade will transform the society into a capitalist society. Japan was anyway part of the world order triad i.e. USA-West Europe-Japan, and with China’s entry, the triad would have become USA-West Europe-East Asia. Chinese government went all-out to create a ‘happy hunting ground’ for global Zionist Capitalist interests which wanted more and more profits towards endless accumulation of capital, and hence were busy shifting their manufacturing base to China to harness low-cost labour and slack regulations. By 2008, i.e. after 30 years of reform, China became third largest economy in terms of GDP nominal (as per IMF estimates USD 4604 billion) and largest export base in the world (In 2007-2008, its Export-to-GDP ratio reached 32%, and its Exim-to-GDP ratio was 59%), but it also became a society where inequality was one of the highest in the world – China’s Gini coefficient (a measure of inequality – ‘0’ represents perfect equality, ‘1’ represents perfect inequality) rose from about 0.3 in early 1980s to 0.49 in 2008. The media, academia, multilateral institutions funded by the Deep State went all-out to woo the CPC leaders towards ushering a new era of ‘political reforms’ after such a brilliant success of ‘economic reforms’ – by ‘political reforms’ they meant introduction of multi-party election system and privatisation of the state-owned enterprises. After one and a half decades of persuasion, by middle of 2000s the Deep State cabal understood that, CPC never ever had any such plan of changing their ideology of political economy.

And about the same time in 2007 Munich Security Conference, Putin as the leader of Russia, delivered his famous Munich speech. In no uncertain terms, Putin criticized USA’s hegemonic dominance and its “almost uncontained hyper use of force in international relations“. That speech came as a shocker to the Zionist Capitalist clique – it was like waking up from a slumber. All these years they thought WW II was over with Soviet Union completely decimated – after 16 years they had the ignominy of attending a conference on European soil, where a Russian leader was chastising them about use of force in settling disputes!

Actually 2000 onwards, there had been relentless sole-searching among top leadership of Russia. It was about the overall decay of Russia within a span of just 10 years – between 1985 and 1995. As a result, the Russian government and a section of ruling party led by Putin has been pushing economic policies that created new consumer goods industry and improved agricultural production, enhanced the oil-gas extraction operation. Within few years’ time Russia got on its feet and created an economy based on ‘domestic consumption’ and pushed export of oil-gas to earn foreign exchange. However, the Zionist Capitalist oligarchy led by powerful faction of the ruling party was deeply entrenched in the bureaucracy, academia and media who supported (and benefited from) their illegal amassing of wealth. Corruption, nepotism, extortion among ruling party cadres and government officials, mostly went unpunished. Outward flow of capital and tax breaks for rich businessmen were also happening albeit at a slow pace. But noticing the overall upswing in Russian society the Deep State got alarmed – ‘filthy’ Russian bear is again cooking up some curry that may prove difficult to digest in long run!

Part 1

Part 3 – pending


By profession I’m an Engineer and Consultant, but my first love was and is History and Political Science. In retired life, I’m pursuing higher study in Economics.

I’m one of the few decade-old members of The Saker blog-site. Hope that this website will continue to focus on truth and justice in public life and will support the struggle of common people across the world.

An Indian by nationality, I believe in humanity.

In tortured logic, Trump begs for a do-over on the Iran nuclear deal

Source

Written by Tyler Cullis and Trita Parsi

Even the Trump administration seems to grudgingly have concluded that breaching the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) was a mistake. More than two years after the U.S. exit, the deal still stands while the Trump administration is running out of options to force a re-negotiation. It is now so desperate it is seeking to convince the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) that it never quit the deal in the first place. The lesson to the U.S. is clear: Diplomatic vandalism carries costs — even for a superpower. The lesson to a prospective President Joe Biden is more specific: Rejoin the nuclear deal, don’t try to renegotiate it.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claims that UNSC Resolution 2231 defines the term “JCPOA participant” to be inclusive of the United States, and nothing the United States could do or has done can change this supposed legal fact.  According to Pompeo, even though the Trump administration repeatedly referred to its “withdrawal” from the JCPOA as a “cessation of its participation” in the agreement, UNSCR 2231 continues to define the United States as a “JCPOA participant” that can invoke the resolution’s sanctions snapback mechanism. 

The snapback permits a “JCPOA participant” to provide notification to the Security Council of a case of significant non-performance by a party to the agreement, triggering the automatic re-institution of former Security Council sanctions resolutions targeting Iran. No Russian or Chinese veto can prevent the reimposition of the sanctions contained in those resolutions. Only a resolution agreed to within 30 days that would undo the snapback — but the U.S. has the ability to veto such a resolution.

This is why the Obama administration cherished the snapback — if Iran were to renege on its nuclear commitments, the reimposition of sanctions would be swift and automatic. 

But this leverage was lost when Trump abandoned the deal in 2018 (the Presidential memoranda announcing the decision was even titled “Ceasing U.S. Participation in the JCPOA”). A senior Iranian diplomat told us at the time that Tehran was shocked that Trump would forgo this advantage. 

Now Trump is begging for a do-over. Despite the legal debate over Pompeo’s interpretation of UNSCR 2231, Trump’s gambit will prove less a legal question than a political one. The issue is not so much whether the United States remains a “JCPOA participant,” but whether the other members of the Security Council — and most prominently, its permanent members — will recognize the United States as such and allow Trump to issue a reverse veto to ensure the full re-imposition of U.N. sanctions on Iran. 

That is less likely to happen — and for an obvious reason: the Trump administration has spent the last three years squandering any international goodwill towards the United States, abandoning international agreements, strong-arming allies, and cozying up to dictators. It has threatened and cajoled its European allies to abandon legitimate trade with Iran or risk the wrath of punishing U.S. sanctions — all for the purpose of killing a fully functioning nuclear agreement that Europe views as essential to its security. Trump will need the sympathy of Europe’s permanent members to the Security Council. But no sympathy is likely to be forthcoming.

But even if Europe were to succumb to Trump’s pressure, it is unclear what objectives stand to be achieved. If, as Trump and his allies fear, a Biden administration would rejoin the nuclear accord, the snapback of U.N. sanctions is unlikely to pose a significant impediment to doing so, other than raising the cost to the United States for a return to the JCPOA. Nothing would prevent a President Biden to support the immediate reinstitution of UNSCR 2231. 

The danger, instead, is that Iran, having witnessed the malicious use of the snapback, will demand that any future resolution drop the snapback procedure. Considering that Iran will be weighing the merits of leaving the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and terminating its safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as a result of the U.N. snapback, the Biden administration would likely be forced to choose between eating that cost or escalating militarily against Iran in its first months in office. 

This underscores the real reason for Trump’s move: the U.S. is out of leverage when it comes to Iran. While U.S. sanctions have decimated Iran’s economy, they have not forced Iran to accede to Trump’s demands. Iran has neither begged for talks nor abandoned the JCPOA. Its posture remains essentially the same, immune to Trump’s best efforts to cause it to lash out to international approbation. 

Though immense pain, Iran has sapped the U.S. of its leverage while keeping its own intact. Tehran can (and has) scale back its commitments to the JCPOA in response to Trump’s actions, it can abandon the JCPOA or even withdraw from the NPT and terminate its safeguards agreement with the IAEA. These, and other options, remain in Iran’s arsenal, unused for the time being but ready to be deployed should the U.S. continue on its path of diplomatic vandalism. 

This is why Biden must dispel with any illusion that he can seek a renegotiation of the JCPOA on the back of Trump’s sanctions. If a Biden administration were to signal to Tehran that it will not seek a clean return to the JCPOA, then Iran will begin using the leverage it has kept in store.

If Trump succeeds in snapping back U.N. sanctions, Biden would not even be able to leverage the risk to Iran in international isolation, as Iran would be already isolated internationally by virtue of the U.N. sanctions. Biden’s sole recourse would be to threaten war with Iran — a terrible prospect for an incoming administration that will be fighting off a deadly pandemic, resuscitating a depressed economy, and operating under the promise of being different from Trump.

Trump overplayed his hand by thinking he could renegotiate the nuclear deal and is now begging for a do-over. Candidate Biden should take note and signal clearly already now that he does not intend to repeat this mistake.

China’s $12.5 billion plan to transform Lebanon’s infrastructure (Arab TV report)

Source

June 26, 2020

China’s $12.5 billion plan to transform Lebanon’s infrastructure (Arab TV report)

A recent Al Mayadeen TV presentation illustrating the major infrastructural projects that China is proposing to build in Lebanon.

Whether these projects actually reach fruition or not hinges upon a greater consensus within the Lebanese political establishment.

However, the deteriorating socio-economic situation in the country is reducing the credibility of pro-American parties who have long argued Lebanon’s prosperity is dependent upon the benevolence of Washington, Europe, and the Arab Gulf states.

Source: Al Mayadeen News

Date: June 18, 2020

A Meditation on President Putin’s Warning from History

Source

A Meditation on President Putin’s Warning from History

June 21, 2020

By Ken Leslie for The Saker Blog

1. The last warning…

In the middle of the current global turmoil, largely ignored by the Western media, President Vladimir Putin of Russia recently wrote an article for the National Interest magazine (the article is featured on this site). In it, he magisterially dissected and integrated one of the most disputed topics in contemporary history—the cause(s) and antecedent(s) of World War II. The article is long and very detailed, drawing on a rich historical and historiographic documentation and it leaves no stone unturned. The point I wish to elaborate on here is that far from being a historical dissertation, the article is a last warning to the enemies delivered in the form of a parable. Rather than expound on the precarious state of the world and the seemingly inexorable drift to war, Putin used the tragic landscape of the late 1930s Europe to shed light not only on the true causes of WWII but also on the causes of a rapidly approaching WWIII.

Although discussing all the principal players responsible for perhaps the greatest holocide in history, I had a feeling that the article was aimed particularly at the Anglo-Saxon part of the Western empire (which also includes the EU, Israel and some Arab and Asian countries). Although I can’t be certain, there is a sense that this is president Putin’s last appeal to the former allies in the struggle against Nazism, the last melancholy hand of friendship extended to the powers that almost ignited WWII and are busy repeating the same horrible ritual of a total war against Russia. There is something deeply Russian and Orthodox Christian about Putin’s appeal. Precisely because he is aware of the deep enmity that the Anglo-Saxon establishment harbours for Russia in all its manifestations, he is that much more grateful to the British and American soldiers and statesmen for that all-too-brief, almost miraculous interlude of friendship and co-operation, that even today 80 years later appears to many like an unfortunate tear in the yarn of history.

And yet, this interlude offered a glimpse of a new dawn. The people in the West saw with their own eyes how uniquely heroic the Soviet people were in the defence of their motherland. The workers and peasants of the Soviet Union realised that there were many good people in the West who did not bear the eternal grudge but were glad to have the USSR on their side. It is often assumed that this short détente lasted five years—from the start of the German invasion until say, 1946, but this would not be accurate. The mistrust between the almost-allies was such that it took a concerted effort by Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt as well as a number of well-disposed politicians (e.g. Harry Hopkins, Anthony Eden) to cement the bond which started to crack well before the end of hostilities.

The “weakest link” in the allied leadership chain was Winston Churchill. Not fond of Russians to say the least, he was an imperialist and anti-communist par excellence. The current anti-racism protests show that this side of Churchill is well known to the younger generation. Whose fault is it that those same younger people don’t remember that Churchill once suppressed his natural instincts and fought a good fight against the greatest menace the world has ever known? Here again, we see the results of a massive blowback caused by the unceasing attempts to diminish the international and anti-fascist nature of the war-time alliance and WWII. Instead of cherishing the values that were defended by the three great nations, modern historians and politicians (with few exceptions) have competed in ways of demonising the Soviet Union (and Russia), burying the existential threat of nazi-fascism and treating WWII as a bloody misunderstanding among otherwise friendly nations. Yes, Nazi Germany was dangerous, but the USSR and its successor have been much more pernicious.

Granted, Churchill’s leadership in WWII was not enough to secure him a prime ministership in 1945, but the overall positive role he played in allying himself with the Americans and Soviets and his reputation as an anti-fascist gradually withered and ultimately died by the end of the last century. In a way, his fate is more tragic than that of Stalin who was the first to experience the “awakening of the people”. Although Stalin has not been fully rehabilitated, his role in saving the Soviet Union and freeing the world from the fascist beast is slowly being recognised and re-evaluated.

It was Churchill who started undermining the war-time alliance long before the guns fell silent. He sabotaged the relationship between Roosevelt and Stalin, refused to consider giving independence to British colonies, undermined the prospects of a progressive US government via his intelligence apparatus in the USA (he sent Roald Dahl to spy on Henry Wallace) and in the ultimate betrayal of the good faith that was supposed to underpin the alliance, began planning an all-out attack on the Soviet Union as early as 1944. Named Operation Unthinkable, this plan envisaged a massive offensive against the USSR which would involve Polish troops and even re-armed German prisoners of war.

Many historical records note Stalin’s deep disappointment and a sense of hurt at the betrayal of the blood brotherhood by Churchill and Truman. Long after peace returned to the villages and cities of Europe, Stalin kept warning and beseeching his former allies not to throw away the legacy of friendship and co-operation. Despite the decades of cruel and inhumane attacks on the USSR that ensued, contributing substantially to its downfall, Soviet leaders and people never forgot the supreme sacrifice made by British and American soldiers and sailors who gave their lives in the struggle against the common enemy. This tradition of honouring the Western allies has been preserved and nurtured by President Putin. The campaign in the West to denigrate the great sacrifice of the Soviet people brought about an absurd situation in which the brave British sailors who took part in the war-time convoys that delivered badly needed supplies to the USSR were barred from receiving Soviet decorations by David Cameron.[1]

Perhaps the most hurtful and one could say evil blow that the former reluctant allies could deliver has been the attempt to re-write the history of WWII and treat Russia as a co-aggressor on the par with Germany. This is a red line for any Russian patriot and any right-thinking human being. The constant pressure to delegitimise the role of the USSR in freeing the world from the menace of fascism has led to the revival of fascist tendencies in some European countries including Croatia, the Baltic states, the Ukraine and others. These virulent forms of extreme nationalism (Chauvin-ism) were salvaged from the embers of the dying Nazi Reich, cultivated for decades in the satanic laboratories of the Western intelligence services (including Israel’s) and weaponised against Russia and its allies.[2]

A special role in the total war against Russia has been assigned to Poland—a Slav nation whose complex history has largely rested on a constant opposition to Russia and somewhat less, Germany. Briefly, Poland’s raison d’etre and geopolitical role has been to act as a spoiler in any attempts to bring about a peaceful co-existence in Europe. In the 1920s and 1930s, Polish extreme right-wing (it could be argued fascist) regime saw the country as a major power which by virtue of its religion and military prowess should rule over Central Europe.[3] The Vatican’s Intermarium (“between the seas”) project designed in the 19th Century aimed at countering the rise of the protestant Prussia in the West and Orthodox Russia in the East. It involved forming a federation from the (now former) Austro-Hungarian Slav provinces under the auspices of the Catholic Church. After the Bolshevik revolution, Poland put the plan into practice and awarded itself the leadership of the prospective “cordon sanitaire”. With the help of its Western patrons (especially Britain and France), it occupied the largely Russian-speaking regions of the Ukraine and Byelorussia. Under the doctrine of Prometheism, Poland started lighting “fires of freedom” all along the Soviet border. The rest of Poland’s nefarious role has been (belatedly) exposed by Russian historians. Far from being an innocent victim of Nazi expansionism, Poland wholeheartedly collaborated with Germany in plotting against the Soviet Union, planning the mass removal of the Jews, sabotaging any possibility of an anti-Nazi alliance and enslaving and converting their “heathen” Slav brethren.

It is this giant geopolitical déjà vu combined with an exponentially increasing risk of a global war that must have compelled president Putin to address the Western audiences—perhaps for the last time. As recently as 50 years ago, it would have been unthinkable for Western politicians and media to equate the USSR and Germany with regard to the culpability for the war. Yet, a concerted campaign in the Western media and chancelleries that accompanied the fall the of the USSR and the ramping up of a Russophobic campaign in the intervening years have led to the current dangerous impasse which leaves no room for diplomacy and negotiation. Largely unnoticed by the commenters, in his inimitable subtle and statesmanlike style, president Putin delivered to the western public what I believe to be the last appeal for peaceful co-existence. As I stated above, the appeal was directed primarily at the Anglo-Saxon powers which are currently at the forefront of the undeclared war against Russia.

He reminded his former allies of the dangers of using “running dogs” such as Poland or the Ukraine in order to destabilise Russia. He also informed them in no uncertain terms of Russia’s determination not to allow any further besmirching of its historic sacrifice. No more mollycoddling of petty fascist fiefdoms in the name of class or ethnic/racial solidarity. It was also a warning to the Poles that their state policy of siding with any country as long as it is inimical to Russia can only lead to ruin and renewed partition. I’ll paraphrase the notorious Russophobe Josef Beck, one of the chief architects of Poland’s pre-WWII foreign policy, who admitted after the war that Poland was destroyed because it had been acting in the interests of the Vatican and not the Polish people.

In other words, president Putin drew a line—if you wish to avoid a potential nuclear war, stop demonising and destabilising Russia and join us in creating a more equitable world. Russia will never abandon its unique civilisational path and any attempts at thwarting its legitimate claim to life and development will be punished harshly. Russian insistence on peaceful conflict resolution should not be confused for weakness. Having experienced one of the greatest genocides in history, Russia will never advocate war. But if war becomes inevitable, it will fight to the death. This stern warning was couched in the language of reconciliation. President Putin harks back to the war-time alliance with the USA and Great Britain to remind the modern audiences that confrontation is not the only way but that if attacked, Russia would defend itself to the last Russian and inflict terrible and (this time) unsustainable damage.

As noted by some commenters, his message might have been too subtle for the ignorant and ideologically blinded hacks posing as geopolitical experts in the West. So, let me enlighten them a bit by explaining the deeper meaning of president Putin’s message. Those who think that this has to do mainly with righting the wrongs of modern Western history are only partly correct. The main point is simple yet profound: Whichever form the Russian state takes, it will never be accepted as an equal by the racists, fascists and religious bigots in the West. The President is deeply aware of this but is hoping against hope that some form of détente is still possible. To elucidate the situation, he uses historical precedent to highlight the similarity between the geopolitical situations in 1941 and today and delivers a parable disguised as a historical treatise.

2. History doesn’t repeat…

A long time ago, there was a large and powerful country—let’s call it country X. Having gone through a decade of terrible convulsions and a series of civil wars which resulted in millions of deaths and a wholesale destruction of the country’s social and political systems, it began to grow and develop and this growth was perceived as a direct challenge to the Western imperialist system. The country was far from perfect. Years of suffering and neglect had taken their toll and large parts of the country needed rebuilding—especially the transport infrastructure. The people were traumatised and yearning for peace. Then, somewhat unexpectedly, a strong leader emerged who shunned the idea of imperial expansion and focussed on building up the country and preparing it for a possible war. In a famous speech, the leader warned that the country needed to catch up with the West and warned of the dangers of the attempts by the imperialist enemy to encircle and destroy it.

The leader knew that the accusations levelled at his country were mainly propaganda lies. While some Westerners were fascinated by the rapid development of the vast land, most were convinced that the ideas of suppression of rampant capitalism, development within one’s own borders, ending of imperialism and moving towards a multipolar world were seriously endangering the survival of the imperialist system. In order to curtail and extinguish the perennial enemy, the Western powers started inflaming extreme nationalism in their client states (combined with financial globalism) to encircle and destroy the only country that was a threat to their dominance. Although one country was preeminent in terms of military might, the strategy called for continental unity and this was achieved by co-opting smaller countries one after another and pushing the borders of the aggressive empire ever closer to those of country X. Hiding behind the enlightened principle of defending the Western civilisation against the peril from the East, the Empire’s aim was to surround and eventually destroy country X in order to plunder its natural wealth and human resources and forever extinguish its spirit.

The leader of X was desperate to avoid conflict. Through an international forum set up to prevent future wars, he reached out to Western governments time after time trying to convince them of his peaceful intentions and readiness to co-operate in building a peaceful multipolar world. All his attempts were in vain. The military machine of the West was moving inexorably towards his country. Not only that but a new threat emerged from a belligerent rapidly militarising island off the country’s Eastern coast whose militarist revival was supported by X’s principal enemy. The loudest and most vicious enemy of country X was a smaller neighbouring state whose rabid hatred of X and religious zeal ensured its preeminent position as the mailed fist of the Western aggression. With the help of Western intelligence services, this country encouraged and funded innumerable plots against country X and sabotaged its attempts to revamp the international security architecture.

The leader of X was demonised in the imperialist press as a ruthless butcher of various nations and ethnic groups within or outside his country, an autocrat whose ruthless grip on power was maintained by fear and whose removal of foreign agents from the political and economic apparatus was evidence of his genocidal bloodthirst. By means of a vicious propaganda campaign, a regime of harsh sanctions and an intelligence offensive, X was gradually turned into a pariah, isolated and despised. At the same time, X gave hope to many people around the world that a more just and fair society was possible. Poor countries still burdened by colonialism and imperialism looked especially favourably on X as a potential patron and protector.

Instead of folding under the ostracism and pressure of sanctions, X continued to develop rapidly and soon outpaced most of its Western competitors. The leader of X attempted to parry the concerted campaign of the imperialist enemy by reaching out to various Western countries trying to create a united defensive front. However, this was made impossible by a fascist feeding frenzy that led to a dismemberment and occupation of a previously neutral/friendly country.

In a belated attempt at creating a buffer zone against the merciless existential foe, X recaptured some of the territories it had lost previously. For this it was lambasted and chastised even more. The critical moment came when the enemy, emboldened by years of appeasement and dithering, breeched the old borders of X and quickly found itself about 450 km away from the capital of X. An erroneous perception of the enemy places all the blame for the aggression on a single country. Yet, with a couple of honourable exceptions, the entire continent contributed troops and logistical, financial, economic and propaganda support to the aggressor.

3. Guess who

The legerdemain I employed here to illustrate the peril facing the world might just work. If you toggle USSR/Russia, Germany/US-NATO, Czechoslovakia/Yugoslavia/Ukraine, you will realise that the similarities between that faithful summer of 1941 and the COVID-infected summer of 2020 are more than accidental. I leave it to you to fill in the names of other players. I am not claiming that the two situations are identical, but simply that the template of demonisation perseveres through centuries and political systems. If I’d tried harder, I could have fitted the Russian empire into this template but it is not worth the effort—not because the Russian empire does not matter but because the comparison between the USSR and modern Russia suffices for my purposes.[4] In the same way that Stalin used religion and tradition to strengthen the fighting spirit of the people, Putin is turning to the epic struggle of the Soviets to prepare the Russian people for what is likely to come. In a supreme irony (another one of these) in its attempt to suffocate the historical memory of Russia’s role in WWII the West has denigrated its own effort to the point where younger generations of Westerners have no knowledge of their ancestors’ just war. In a sense, this is the blowback of all blowbacks.

The rest of the story which now refers to WWII goes something like this: At this very last moment, when all hope was lost, the leaders of the three major powers overcame their suspicions and joined hands in an epic struggle against fascism and militarism. For president Putin (and many of us) this moment was magical—akin to the brief state of weightlessness induced by a freefalling aeroplane. Freed from the gravity of earthly power, the world could ascend to new hights of peaceful development. His plea/warning is unlikely to be heeded by the intended audience. Nevertheless, it is very necessary. The world cannot afford another summer of war because this one would be unbearably hot. Briefly, Putin is saying “Remember your brave ancestors who gave their lives in the joint struggle and honour them by embracing Russia as an equal and respected partner.” Putin’s essay is a wholesale repudiation of the canard that “countries don’t have friends, only interests”. Although he is appealing to the sound political interests of his Western “partners”, he is articulating something greater—a world based not on predation and profit but on humane and universally valid civilisational principles.

There is little hope that his hand will be grasped by the current lot of political clowns who are currently in power in the West. While pretending to be friendly to Russia, the Jesuitical fraud Trump has done more to damage the Russian-American ties than most of his predecessors taken together. The mendacious tapir Boris is doubling down on using the Ukraine to irritate and annoy Russia.[5] In that, he bears some similarity to his idol Churchill who spared no effort to criticise the Russian Empire and sabotage the Soviet Union. However, the comparison ends there. Unlike Churchill, who despite his despicable ideology and actions was a statesman of a great calibre, Boris is a Churchill wannabe who unlike his idol seems incapable of grasping the uniqueness of the present moment and the importance of not repeating historical mistakes.

  1. To my knowledge, president Putin has never publicly addressed the occupation of parts of Russia by the allied intervention forces in 1918. 
  2. Note similar attempts by the Anglo-Zionist empire to equate China with imperial Japan through the curriculum of Hong Kong schools 
  3. My criticism of Poland does not imply my fondness for Bolshevism. Needless to say, Poland has never changed its position vis-à-vis Russia irrespective of the latter’s system of government. 
  4. In the same way that Stalin and Putin have been accused of being the butchers of the Ukrainians, Chechens and Tatars, Nicholas II was being lambasted by the “progressive” Jews for the pogroms (which occurred mainly in the Western non-Orthodox areas of the Russian Empire). Despite saving the Jews from the holocaust and being the first to support and recognise Israel (also see The Jewish Autonomous Oblast), Stalin soon became the bete noire of the Zionists/Trotskyites and a synonym for antisemitism. Despite having excellent relations with the Russian Jews and Israel, Putin has been the target of Zionist wrath almost from the beginning. The reader should draw their own conclusions. 
  5. British involvement with the Ukrainian nationalism stretches back to the end of WWII when Sir Collin Gubbins took over from Abwehr as the runner of the Prometheus terrorist network. Of course, the links between the MI6 and Polish inspired anti-Soviet networks almost certainly existed before 1939. 

ترامب يخوض حرب شوارع في أوروبا والهدف ميركل وبوتين…!‏

محمد صادق الحسيني

منذ أن اتخذ بروكسيل مقراً له وهو يغامر بشنّ حروب خفيّة لا يمكن الإمساك بكافة خيوطها بسهولة، فمَن هو هذا الرجل وماذا يمثّل..!؟

من جهة أخرى فقد شهدت مدينة شتوتغارت الألمانية الجنوبية ليلة أمس الاول حرب شوارع عنيفة حتى الصباح، فيما يشبه الحروب الأهلية في بلاد العرب والمسلمين، فمن يقف وراء هذه الاحداث حقاً..!؟

على الرغم من أن المستشارة الألمانية، انجيلا ميركل، ليست القائدة الشيوعية روزا لوكسمبورغ، التي اغتالها النازيون سنة 1919 من القرن الماضي، ولا هي حتى اشتراكية ديموقراطية، كي نقول إن ترامب يتهمها بأنها يسارية، الا انه يواصل شن حربه عليها وعلى بلادها، منذ أن تسلم الحكم في واشنطن. حيث عاملها بفظاظة وقلة احترام، في كل اللقاءات التي أجراها، او اضطر لإجرائها معها.

فلماذا يا ترى؟ وما هي الأسباب الحقيقية وراء هذا الموقف؟ وما هي الأدوات التي يستخدمها ترامب في حربه هذه؟ وهل تمكن من لَيِ ذراع المستشارة ميركل وذراع بلادها، العملاق الاقتصادي الأوروبي، الذي يطمع ويطمح الرئيس الأميركي في إخضاعه بشكل شامل وكامل لمتطلبات واحتياجات السوق الأميركية، وبالتالي إخضاعه (العملاق الاقتصادي) لمصالح رؤوس الأموال التي تحكم الولايات المتحدة، من خلال القوى العميقة والخفية، التي ترسم سياسة ترامب.

إذن، فالقضية ليست عدم وفاء ألمانيا بالتزاماتها تجاه حلف شمال الاطلسي، وهي بالطبع تهمة غير صحيحة، وإنما هناك قطبة مخفيةً في هذه القضية.

فما هي هذه القطبة يا ترى؟

إنها قطبةٌ مزدوجة تتكوّن من شقين:

الأول: اقتصادي محض، سببه إصرار المستشارة الالمانية وحكومتها على تنفيذ مشروع خط أنابيب الغاز الروسي، المسمّى: السيل الشمالي / رقم 2 / وهو قيد الإنشاء وينطلق من الأراضي الروسية الشمالية الغربية، بالقرب من لينينغراد، ويسير تحت بحر البلطيق، بطول 1222 كم مباشرةً الى الأراضي الالمانية، ومن هناك الى فرنسا وغيرها من الدول الأوروبية الغربية.

وهو المشروع الذي يعارضه ترامب والقوى العميقة، التي تقف وراءه ويمثل مصالحها، بشدة وذلك لأنهم يريدون او يخططون لما يلي:

أ) لإرغام الدول الاوروبية على شراء الغاز الأميركي المسال، والذي قام محمد بن سلمان بتمويل إنشاء إحدى عشرة محطة شحن له، في الولايات المتحدة قبل سنتين. ولكن هذه الدول لا ترغب في ذلك لأسباب عديدة منها المالي ومنها البيئي ومنها السياسي ايضاً.

ب) لإلحاق الضرر بالاقتصاد الروسي بدايةً، عبر تقليص واردات الدول الاوروبية من واردات الغاز الطبيعي الروسي، غير المسال ، وذلك تمهيداً لإخراج روسيا من سوق الطاقة الاوروبي وما يعنيه ذلك من ضربة للصادرات الروسية من ناحية وإحكام السيطرة والهيمنة الأميركية على الاقتصادات الأوروبية، من خلال سيطرتها على قطاع الطاقة والتحكم بالتالي بمستويات النمو والتطور في اقتصادات جميع الدول الأوروبية.

الثاني: هو سبب سياسي محض، يتعلق بموقف ألمانيا من الاتفاق النووي الإيراني، حيث ترفض ألمانيا سياسات ترامب المتعلقة بالموضوع، وهي بذلك تشكل رافعة لبقية الدول الأوروبية، التي وقعت الاتفاق، أن تبقى على موقفها الهادف الى منع انهيار هذا الاتفاق (وان كانت تصب في النهاية لجانب الموقف الأميركي بسبب كونها دولة محتلة من أميركا لم تستطع ومعها الدول الأوروبية الأخرى من الخروج على القرار الأميركي).

كما أن الموقف الفعلي، الذي اتخذته المانيا، تجاه موضوع العقوبات الدولية، المفروضة على بيع السلاح لإيران، والتي سينتهي العمل بها في بداية شهر 10/2020، يثير غضب القوى العميقة (الدوائر الإنجيلية المتطرفة في الولايات المتحدة) التي تدعم ترامب وتستخدمه رأس حربة لها، في مواجهة الجمهورية الاسلامية الايرانية. اذ ان هذا الموقف بالذات هو الذي جعل الرئيس الأميركي يتخذ قراره بتخفيض عديد الجنود الأميركيين الموجودين في القواعد العسكرية الأميركية في المانيا.

ولكن حسابات ترامب وداعميه كانت خاطئةً كالعادة، حيث أفاد مصدر دبلوماسي أوروبي، انه وعلى العكس من كل ما يتردد في الإعلام، حول تداعيات هذه الخطوة الترامبية على أمن المانيا، فإن الحكومة الألمانية والمستشارة انجيلا ميركل لا تكترثان لهذا التخفيض، خاصة أن المانيا لا تتعرّض لأي تهديد، أمني او عسكري، من اي جهةٍ كانت، سوى التهديدات المستمرة، التي تشكلها محاولات زيادة السيطرة الأميركية على كل شيء في أوروبا، وتلك النشاطات التي تنفذها ادوات اليمين الأميركي الإنجيلي المتطرف في اوروبا.

فإلى جانب الضغوط المباشرة، التي يمارسها الرئيس الأميركي وإدارته، على العديد من الدول الأوروبية وفي مقدمتها المانيا، هناك ضغوط هائلة غير مباشرةٍ، لكنها مرئيةً وملموسةً، تمارس على المستشارة الالمانية وحزبها، الحزب الديموقراطي المسيحي الالماني، والذي يمثل رأس الحربة فيها كبير مستشاري ترامب الاستراتيجيين في البيت الابيض سنة 2017، ستيف بانون ، الذي يدير مدرسة تدريب القيادات اليمينية في أوروبا (من مقرّه في بروكسل) وحقنها بما يطلق عليه تسمية القيم اليهودية المسيحية الغربية. هذه المدرسة التي يدير نشاطاتها اليومية ويقرّر توجّهاتها الفكرية، النائب البريطاني الجنسية والسيرلانكي الأصل، نيرج ديڤا، بالاعتماد على معهد أبحاث متطرف ومرتبط بحزب المحافظين البريطاني، اسمه:

اذ كان للنشاط، المتعدد الأشكال والأنواع، الذي قام به ستيف بانون قبيل الانتخابات التشريعية الالمانية، في ايلول 2017، الأثر البالغ في حصول الحزب الألماني النازي الجديد، حزب البديل لألمانيا على 94 مقعداً في البرلمان الألماني، من اصل 709، حيث احتل المرتبة الثالثة بين الأحزاب، بعد حزب المستشارة الديموقراطي المسيحي والحزب الاشتراكي الديموقراطي، الأمر الذي يشكل خطراً على النظام السياسي ليس فقط في ألمانيا، كما يعلمنا التاريخ.

اما آخر المحاولات، التي قام بها «تلامذة» ستيف بانون لمعاقبة المستشارة الالمانية وهز الاستقرار في بلادها فكانت أحداث الشغب الواسعة النطاق، التي قامت بها أعداد كبيرة من المشاغبين، مقسمة على مجموعات صغيرة، في مدينة شتوتغارت الصناعية الهامة (مركز شركة مرسيدس) ليلة السبت الأحد 20/21-6-2020 والتي استمرت من منتصف ليلة الاحد حتى الصباح، وفشلت خلالها قوات الشرطة في السيطرة على الوضع، رغم استدعاء تعزيزات شرطية من كل أنحاء المقاطعة. وهو ما خلف دماراً وتخريباً كبيراً في الأملاك الخاصة والعامة، تخللتها عمليات نهب واسعة النطاق، في المدينة.

ومن أهم القضايا اللافتة للنظر في أحداث الليلة الماضية، في مدينة شتوتغارت الألمانية، ما يلي:

*التنظيم العالي المستوى، الذي تمتعت به هذه المجموعات المشاغبة، خلال الاشتباكات مع الشرطة.

*مرونة وسرعة حركة هذه المجموعات والتنسيق العالي بينها، ما يدل على وجود مركز قيادة وسيطرة موحّد، يدير هذا التحرك.

*العنف الشديد الذي مارسته هذه المجموعات، سواءً في تخريب الأملاك العامة والخاصة ونهبها، او تجاه وحدات وآليات الشرطة، حتى تلك الآليات المتوقفة في أنحاء المدينة ولا تشارك في المواجهات. وذلك على الرغم من ان الشرطة لم تطلق اي غازات مسيلة للدموع او القنابل الدخانية او غير ذلك من وسائل مكافحة الشغب طوال فترة المواجهات والتزمت بضبط نفس شديد.

اذن، كان هذا النشاط عنفياً بامتياز قامت به مجموعات ذات ارتباطات سياسة واضحة، مع جهات تريد إرسال رسالة جليةً للمستشارة الالمانية، مؤداها أننا قادرون على ضرب الاقتصاد الالماني، بوسائل أخرى / القوة الناعمة / اذا ما واصلت المانيا عنادها في موضوع السيل الشمالي وموضوع الاتفاق النووي الإيراني ورفع حظر بيع الأسلحة لإيران. وهذا بالطبع نوع من انواع الحرب الاقتصادية، ولو أنها لا تتخذ شكل العقوبات المباشرة، تماماً كالحرب الاقتصادية التي يمارسها ترامب ضد 39 دولة في العالم، على رأسها إيران وروسيا وسورية والصين وكوريا الشمالية، اضافة الى حزب الله اللبناني.

عبثاً يحاول ترامب أن يخرج سالماً من هذه الحروب العبثية..!

لأن سهامه كلها سترتدّ الى نحره إن عاجلاً او آجلاً.

هكذا هي السنن الكونية.

بعدنا طيبين، قولوا الله.

The Rise and Fall of Empires

Francis Lee for the Saker Blog

June 08, 2020

The Rise and Fall of Empires

I think that it would be true to say that sudden spurts of economic growth are often caused by preparation for war, war itself, and post-war reconstruction. This process in particular was occasioned by the end of WW1 which was succeeded by a restless and runaway period of economic growth based on the US Stock Market boom in 1929. Given the laws of capitalism and its immanent rhythm of boom-bust this break-down was entirely predictable.

The ensuing downturn migrated over the pond to a still weak Europe which had not really recovered from the carnage of 1914-18. The resulting depression in Europe was particularly acute in Germany since it was still attempting to pay its wartime reparations to the allies which had been foisted upon it as a result of the Versailles Treaty. This resulted in the great German inflation during the early to late 1920s.

As if this wasn’t enough, another blow to global economic and financial stability was to be delivered: this in the form of the Anstalt-Credit Bank failure of 1931. Credit-Anstalt was an exceptionally large bank based in Vienna. Given the interconnectedness of banking and finance, and the fragility of the European banking system at the time, one bank failure can give rise to multiple failures. In October 1929, the Austrian  Schober government compelled the allegedly well-financed Credit-Anstalt to assume liabilities, which together with the simultaneous Wall Street Crash led to the financial imbalance of the then-largest Austrian credit provider. Credit-Anstalt had to declare bankruptcy on 11 May 1931.

The collapse of the Credit-Anstalt in Vienna started the spread of the crisis in Europe and forced most countries off the Gold Standard within a few months. A feeling of financial distrust and insecurity spread from Vienna and led to runs on other banks in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Poland, and Germany. The collapse set off a chain reaction that led from the run on German banks to withdrawals in London and the devaluation of the pound to large-scale withdrawals from New York and another series of bank failures in the United States. So in brief the news of the crisis of the Credit-Anstalt, the most important bank in Central Europe, shook the whole economic structure of Europe and sent shock waves through the rest of the world.

POLITICAL AND STRATEGIC IMPLICATIONS

All of which added even greater political and economic instability in both Europe and North America during the Interregnum. Crises of this type unsurprisingly gave rise to bitter class struggles between capital and labour, and various other social and political disequilibria. Revolution in Russia, the rise of the Nazis in Germany and earlier in Italy the new political movement of the black-shirted Fascisti led by one Benito Mussolini – this new political template being the counter-revolution from below. Coincidental with this there was, moreover, the fall of no less than four royal dynasties, the Habsburgs, Hohenzollerns, Romanovs, and Ottomans. The old order had gone, in Europe at least, but their empires still remained: Britain, France, and new kid to the imperialist club – the United States since it had got into the imperialist game in the late 19th century, and there it still remains.

The resulting collisions of interest between the rival nations and blocs with unfinished geopolitical business left over from WW1 seemed to take on an inexorable process – a process headed toward open military conflict between the Great Powers. And so it turned out. Germany was a powerful well-armed state with imperial ambitions but eventually was to be confronted by the combination of the USA, the USSR, and the British Empire, which meant it was bound to lose.

World War 2 was, with the exception of Latin America, a global war and had global ramifications. The major reconstruction of physical, economic, political, and geopolitical organizations and institutions had a number of distinct phases in both war-ravaged Europe and the Far East. The US was fortunate in this regard since apart from Pearl Harbour no major damage occurred on its own territory with the exception of Hawaii.

BRETTON WOODS 1944

The year 1942 was the turning point when the allied victory was more or less guaranteed. It was decided therefore to convene a meeting of the allied powers – excluding the USSR for geopolitical reasons – which was in the main conducted and overseen by the US and UK, with the US being the senior partner, of course. In 1944 the conference was to be held at the Washington Hotel in the small town of Bretton Woods in New Hampshire, USA; grandiosely titled, the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference. At the time Hitler would last another 10 months, and war continued to rage in the Far East and Japan would not surrender for another 13 months. The UN Charter was still a year away. The specific goals of the attendees was to create institutions that would promote a vision beyond the end of the war united in hopes for a world united through prosperity.

US FOREIGN POLICY & TWILIGHT OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE

All very noble and idealistic. However also in play were the usual motivations of nation states and their internal interest groups – groups who harboured their own concerns which were somewhat less idealistic. It was argued by some realist foreign relations theorists that the plan for these Bretton Woods institutions go back further to the 1930s and to the US Council of Foreign Relations. (1)

‘’Members of this group assessed early on that, at a minimum, the US national interest required free access to the raw materials of the Western hemisphere, the Far East, and the British Empire. On July 24, 1941, a council memorandum outlined the concept of a grand area: that part of the world which the United States dominated economically and militarily to ensure materials to its industries.’’ (2)

Of course it was tacitly understood by the Americans that the British Empire stood in the way of US imperial aggrandisement and ultimately it had to go. The British delegation were in fact being played by the Americans throughout these tortuous negotiations. But the British were semi-aware of what the Americans were up to. According to the principal British negotiator J.M.Keynes who wrote in a private letter to a colleague:

‘’The greatest cause of friction between the US and Great Britain over a very long period was the problem of what we used to call the old commitments, arising out of the fact that lend-lease* did not come into anything like full operation for some nine months after it had legally come into force … You do not emphasise the point that the US Administration was very careful not to take every precaution to see that the British were as near as possible bankrupt before any assistance was given … or appropriately abated whenever there seems the slightest prospect that leaving things as they are might possibly lead to a result in leaving the British at the end of the war otherwise than hopelessly insolvent.’’(3)

Thus the whole issue of lend-lease boiled down to this: The UK was broke, a supplicant, and did not have the wherewithal to pay back the loans made to the US. On the other hand the hard-nosed US ruling circles were not a registered charity and insisted on business reciprocity involving loan repayment. Moreover, the fact that this meant the virtual winding up of the British empire and the Sterling Area was judged in certain American quarters as being a good deal for the US. It should be noted that the parsimony of the US vis-à-vis the British loan contrasted sharply with the extension of Marshall Aid and the wiping out of post-war German debts.

‘’The first loan on the post-war agenda was the British Loan which, as President Truman announced in forwarding it to Congress, would set the course of American and British economic relations for many years to come. He was right, for the Anglo-American Loan Agreement spelled the end of Britain as a Great Power.’’ (4)

POST-WAR AUSTERITY – POLITICS IN EUROPE

The post-war period was one of bitter austerity from the late 40s with rationing and austerity taking place among the ruins of war, and this continued until the early 1950s, to be exact 1954 in the UK, 1950 in Germany.

In the UK The Labour party was elected to power in 1945, which it is said, won the 1945 election by servicemen returning from the war and voting Labour in droves. The new government was given a political mandate to nationalise the core industries: Rail, Public Utilities (gas, electricity, water), Transport, Coal, Iron and Steel, and, most importantly, the setting up of the National Health Service, the jewel in the crown of a new social and political order as overseen by a determined social-democratic party

Over in Europe change was also on the agenda. There were open mass communist parties, the PCF in France, and PCI in Italy often supplemented with armed partisans in France, Italy, Yugoslavia, and the Balkans including Greece. Tito’s partisans gained power in 1946. But the civil war in Greece 1944-49 had a different outcome.(5) Also coming to power in the Balkans at this time were Albanian partisans led by the charismatic albeit demented figure of Enver Hoxha.

Things got better in the next phase of post-war recovery during the 1950s which marked the continuation of post-war reconstruction policies. This involved an end of rationing and a spurt of growth which had been pretty much flat for centuries until WW1 when the epoch of industrialisation of society evolved pari passu with mechanized industrial production; this was a feature of both civilian and military research which often involved a cross-fertilisation of both. Growth took off almost vertically in the 1950s and 60s. This was certainly true in the mid-20th century. But this was a political as well as a strategic/economic phenomenon. This was a period of acute internal political conflict and struggle.

POST-WAR BOOM AND COLD WAR

However from the middle 1950s the momentum of social and political developments moved to a more sustained and semi-tranquil path. The Trente Glorieuses as the French called it – a golden age of social and political peace: there were high levels of growth, low levels of unemployment, high wage levels, high levels of investment, not quite a social-democratic utopia, but at least the years of poverty, war and austerity had been left behind, it seemed for good. I think this unparalleled post-war economic boom had a great deal to do with post-war reconstruction. A point I made in the opening paragraph.

However, it should also be borne in mind that in international and strategic terms this was the Cold War era. A period of nuclear standoff, NATO, the Warsaw Pact, and the unstable division of Europe and colonial wars in Korea (UN under US control) Indo-China (French and American) Malaya, Kenya, Palestine (British). A situation which is still ongoing with the U.S. attempting (unsuccessfully) to carve out an empire.

BRETTON WOODS 2

These tendencies were highly visible and generally in the public realm. But perhaps the less contentious issues and decisions had been and were taking place in more recondite settings. Back in 1944, at the opening session of Bretton Woods, Henry Morgenthau, then Secretary of the US Treasury was to set forth one of the underlying assumptions that guided the work of the architects of the Bretton Woods system. Some were valid others less so. In particular the assumption that 1. Everyone would be the beneficiary of increased world trade, and 2. That economic growth would not be constrained by the limits of the planet.

The trouble with this mode of thinking is that the policy consensus and values among the powers that be (PTB) are also shared by everyone else. This is a very obvious and common shortcoming ‘groupthink’ among the ‘power elite’ of policy makers, and opinion formers, as was pointed out by the astute American intellectual, C Wright Mills way back in the 1950s.

All of this notwithstanding, by the end of the historic meeting, the World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) and IMF (International Monetary Fund) and GATT (the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) which was superseded by the WTO (World Trade Organization). If I may paraphrase the poet Robert Browning: Roosevelt was in the White House, God was in his Heaven and all was right with the world!

CONSOLIDATION AND NEW WORLD ORDER

Since that time these global organizations have been dutifully occupied over the years adhering faithfully to their mandate to promote economic growth through globalization – globalization being a catch-all term involving market liberalisation, deregulation and privatisation. Through Structural Adjustment Programmes/Policies (SAPs) the World Bank and the IMF have pressured countries of the Global South to open their borders and convert their economies from self-sufficiency to export production. Trade agreements negotiated through GATT/WTO have reinforced these policies and prized open economies in both the Global South and North opening the path to the increasingly free importation of goods and capital flows (usually ‘hot money’). These archaic trade theories are justified by reference to David Ricardo and his archaic concept of ‘comparative advantage’ which is still taught in economics departments of universities.

The American New World Order established in 1945 had a strategic-military component as well as an economic one. US occupation in 1945 became permanent through the imposition of NATO which has expanded incrementally all the way to the Russian border. This occupation has lasted for 7 decades and is barely noticed as such. Europe has essentially become a collection of vassal states unthinkingly loyal to its American masters. The situation has become so entrenched that – apart from a brief Gaullist opposition – Europeans are completely unaware of this silent annexation. An annexation which in large part was carried out by the CIA and its euro Quislings. These included Operations, Gladio, Mockingbird and Paperclip.

This Atlantic Military-Strategic bloc – NATO – is an aggressive intercontinental vehicle serving as the instrument for US strategy for global dominance. Hard power.

‘’The occupied and colonized can come to accept and adopt the system and ways of their occupiers and colonizers … In Western (and now a fortiori Eastern) Europe many have come to accept without challenge the primary role of the US over the affairs of their states and give little thought to NATO except as a foundation of their security architecture. They have been raised and socialised, with this as part of their world. In many instances it is not only a normal part of the status-quo for them, it is also invisible to them. This is why the post-Cold-War continuation of the Atlantic Alliance went mostly unchallenged at the societal level in NATO member states, leaving the US to slowly consolidate its influence in each and every state.’’(6)

Financial dominance has also been another weapon operationalised and used by the US in their quest for global hegemony. This is particularly relevant with the role of the US$. As the global reserve currency the dollar gives a number of trade advantages over its trade ‘partners’. These are easy enough to enumerate but taking one example:

‘’It costs only a few cents for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to produce a $100 bill, but other countries have to pony up $100 of goods and services in order to obtain one. (The difference between what it costs the government to print a note and a foreigner to procure it is known as seignorage after the right of the medieval Lord or seigneur to coin money and keep for himself some of the precious metal from which it was made.) About $500 billion of US currency circulates outside of the United States for which foreigners have had to provide the United States with $500 billion goods and services.’’(7)

But it is not a privilege which should be abused. Human Nature being what it is, however, it was abused. When the US left the Gold Standard in 1971 it could print dollars with abandon to pay its import bills. This meant it could accrue many advantages including the one mentioned by Eichengreen above. However, all was not as clear-cut as it seemed.

THE TRIFFIN DILEMMA AND THE DOLLAR RACKET

There was always a fundamental incompatibility between the attainment of global economic stability and possession of a single national currency to perform the role of the world’s reserve currency. As a global reserve currency the dollar has to be the anchor of the world’s trading system. However, as a domestic currency the dollar needs to have sufficient flexibility for internal policy. Thus at the heart of the dollar’s value and use there is this contradiction for the dual roles of this currency.

During the Bretton Woods ‘golden age’ which lasted from 1944 until 1971, the US$ was fixed against gold at $35 per oz. However the cost of US wars of choice in Korea and Indo-China, as well as ambitious social programmes like LBJ’s ‘Great Society’, saw a global build-up of surplus dollars accumulating in central banks around the world. These surplus dollar countries then began trading in their surplus dollars at the gold window at the Fed. This was a situation which the US could not tolerate as gold was flying out of the US to various overseas central bank venues.

Thus it was that on August 15, 1971, President Nixon suspended dollar/gold convertibility for a temporary period, which in fact morphed into a permanent arrangement – an arrangement which persists to this day. The gold standard was replaced with the US$ fiat standard. The dollar was to be regarded as being as good as gold, which was rather more like an act of faith than rational economic policy.

The maverick Belgian economist Robert Triffin first drew attention to this anomaly during the 1960s in his seminal work Gold and the Dollar Crisis: The Future of Convertibility. He observed that having the US dollar perform the role of the world’s reserve currency created fundamental conflicts of interest between domestic and international economic objectives.

On the one hand, the international economy needed dollars for liquidity purposes and to satisfy demand for reserve assets. But this forced, or at least made it easy, for the US to run consistently large current account deficits.

He argued that such a policy of running persistent deficits would eventually put pressure on the dollars convertibility and ultimately lead to the demise of the Bretton Woods system of international exchange which is exactly what happened in 1971.

This arrangement led to what in effect were tangible advantages for the US, at least to the current situation.

Nice work if you can get it. International trade as denominated in US$’s meant that the US$ qua world reserve currency could use its dollars to buy foreign assets and pay for them in dollars. These dollars were then held by foreigners who could no longer convert surplus dollars into gold but could only purchase US Treasuries and other US dollar-denominated assets which were never going to be repaid. Surplus dollar countries would sell their hard-earned dollars to purchase US Treasuries which pushed up the value of the dollar and kept US interest rates low; and the US in turn would buy goods and services from these same surplus countries. It worked rather like this: a foreign computer company – say ‘Japcom’ – sells you a computer by lending you the money to buy it! The ultimate free lunch.

But of course there’s always a catch! The effect of a strong dollar which raised domestic US industries costs, led to the hollowing out of the US domestic economy which ultimately could not compete with more efficient overseas competition. The last thing that the US rust belt needed was/is a strong dollar which had the effect of making its export industries less competitive. This left the US in an economic quandary. Namely, that the United States must on the one hand simultaneously run a strong/dollar, policy and on the other a weak/dollar policy, or put another way must allow for an outflow of dollars to satisfy the global demand for the currency, but must also engineer an inflow of dollars to make its domestic industries more competitive. As explained thus: when the Fed cuts interest rates, investors sell dollar-denominated assets and buy foreign assets, which tends to weaken the dollar’s exchange rate.

Having it both ways! Which of course is hardly possible.

Moreover, it is a moot point as to whether the rest of the world will continue to support this ‘exorbitant privilege’ in perpetuity. So far, the Vichy-Quisling-Petainst regimes in Europe and East Asia have to touch their forelocks and prostrate themselves before their Lord and Masters, but it would be wrong to imagine that this can continue as a permanent arrangement. Ironically, however, the US hegemon treats its friends and allies considerably worse than its putative enemies. Such is the nature of geopolitics.

WHAT NEXT?

The rise and fall of empires has always been a leitmotif for historians from Thucydidies and Herodotus, to Gibbon, Glubb and Hobsbawm in the modern period. It seems fairly obvious that the United States is in irreversible decline, and I think that the same is probably true of Europe given that Europe has been effectively Americanised. The American intellectual Morris Berman has perceptively got his finger on the pulse of the decay of modern-day America.

‘’As the 21st century dawns, American culture is, quite simply, in a mess … The dissolution of American corporate hegemony, when it does occur – and our own ‘Soviet Watershed’ is at least 40 or 50 years down the road as of this writing – will happen because of the ultimate inability of the system to maintain itself indefinitely. This type of breakdown which is a recurrent historical phenomenon is a long-range one and internal to the system.’’ (8)

The long decline as described by Berman is in general a cultural critique. A dumbing down so massive, relentless and comprehensive that is seems irresistible and sadly unstoppable. As Berman further writes:

‘’For a zoned-out, stupefied populace, ‘democracy’ will be nothing more than the right to shop, or to choose between Wendy’s or Burger King, or to stare at CNN and think that this managed infotainment is actually the news. As I have said, corporate hegemony, the triumph of global democracy/consumerism based upon the American model is the collapse of American civilization. So a large-scale transformation is going on, but it is one that makes triumph indistinguishable from disintegration.’’(9)

Add to this the hollowing out of the US productive economy (10) and the rise of a bloated financial sector which is kept going by infusions of money freshly printed by the Fed and which is more and more taking on the visage of an gigantic Ponzi scheme where existing debt levels are serviced by more debt, apparently without end. This is not going to be easy to reverse. The ongoing deindustrialisation of the US and its satellites seems to be irreversible.

The US political elites and the MSM seem little more than a monkey house of corrupt buffoons with not a political idea in their heads or what they are about and where they are going: but everything is fine as long as they get paid-off. It seems all very reminiscent of the last days of the French monarchy with America’s own Marie Antoinette, the air-head Nancy Pelosi, passing the time on TV by recommending the variety of ice-cream she keeps in her fridge during the current shut-down. The people have got no bread Nancy! Well let them eat ice-cream! Brilliant PR from Nancy Antionette.

Then of course there are the complete and certifiable lunatics (the neo-cons) who, along with Israel and its 5th column within the US, are intent on dragging the US into unwinnable wars which are slowly degrading the morale the civilian population and fighting capacity of the ‘invincible’ US military machine.

An historical analogy from history seems germane at this point.

It has been recorded that the most important battle that the Roman Army fought was The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. Three crack Roman legions crossed the Rhine to engage the Germanic tribes; a cake walk, or so they thought. Unfortunately, they were overconfident and badly led. Strung out on the march and unable to get into their customary Roman battle formations – the dreaded testudo (tortoise) – and were attacked on all sides by hordes of Germanic tribesmen and unceremoniously put to the sword: three crack legions, 20,000 men, one tenth of the Roman Army. This was in 9 CE. The Roman Empire lasted approx. another 400 years, but its reputation had suffered a blow from which it never recovered. The beginning of the end came when the Visigoths crossed the Danube 376 AD into the Roman Empire properly. When Rome was sacked it was the definitive end of empire. The US seems set on the same course, or one similar perhaps, although it is difficult if not impossible to put a date on its final demise.

Who can tell the future? We shall wait and we shall see.

NOTES

(1) The Council of Foreign Relations founded in 1921, is a United States non-profit think tank specializing in U.S. foreign policy and international affairs. It is headquartered in New York City, with an additional office in Washington, D.C. This somewhat bland description does not explain the reality. In fact the CFR is made up of a number of notables drawn from the American political and financial nomenklatura, an incubator of leaders and ideas unified in their vision of a global economy dominated by US corporate interests.

(2) The Failures of Bretton Woods – David C Korten – The Case Against the Global Economy – 1996 – p.21

* Under the Lend-Lease program, from 1941 to 1945 the United States provided approximately $50 billion in military equipment, raw materials, and other goods to thirty-eight countries. About $30 billion of the total went to Britain, with most of the remainder delivered to the Soviet Union, China, and France

(3) Robert Skidelsky – John Maynard Keynes – Fighting for Britain – 1937-46- collected works and letters – xxiv 28/29 letter to E.R.Stettinuis, 18 April 1944

(4) Michael Hudson – Super Imperialism – pp.268/269

(5) The British Labour government of 1945-40 actually took sides in the Greek Civil War fought between the Greek government army (supported by the United Kingdom and the United States)and the Democratic Army of Greece (DSE) — the military branch of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) supported by YugoslaviaAlbania and Bulgaria. This lasted from 1946 to 1949. The Soviet Union avoided sending aid. The fighting resulted in the defeat of the DSE by the Hellenic Army. The Labour party, social-democratic as it may have portrayed itself, was nonetheless pro-imperialist to the core and a founder member of 1940.

(6) Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya – The Globalization of NATO p.334.

(7) Barry Eichengreen – Exorbitant Privilege – pp.3/4

(8) Morris Berman – The Twilight of American Culture – p.21. Published in 2000.

(9) Berman – ibid. – p.132

(10) The Auto-vehicle industry which was pioneered by Henry Ford was dominant up until recently when it produced 50% of motor vehicles. But this is no longer the case. Currently global auto-vehicle producers can be ranked as follows:

1. Toyota (Japan) Annual Output: 10,455,051 2. Volkswagen (Germany) Annual Output: 10,382,384 3. Hyundai/Kia (South Korea) Annual Output: 7,218,391. 4. General Motors (United States) Annual Output: 6,856,880. 5. Ford (United States) Annual Output: 6,386,818. 6. Nissan (Japan) Annual Output: 5,769,277. 7. Honda (Japan) Annual Output: 5,235,842. 8. FCA (Italy, USA) Annual Output: 4,681,457. 9. Renault (France) Annual Output: 3,373,278. Group PSA (France) Annual Output: 3,152,787

دكاكين المخابرات المتنوّعة تسيطر على لبنان!

د. وفيق إبراهيم

يأس أميركي من السيطرة على الدولة اليمنيّة! – جريدة البناء | Al ...

تهيمن عشرات أجهزة المخابرات الدولية والاقليمية على لبنان من خلال التنافس الطوائفي بين ابنائه، وضعف دولته الوطنية.

بذلك يصبح الميدان اللبناني جغرافيات متصارعة تديرها مجموعات تحت الطلب ترتبط بشبكات استخبارية تعمل حسب تطور الأحداث ومتطلبات بلدانها في لبنان والإقليم.

للإشارة فإن أجهزة المخابرات تعمل في كل انحاء العالم فتراقب الأحداث وتستجلب معلومات، لكنها هي التي تسيطر على الأحداث وتروج لمعلومات في لبنان فيصبح دورها فيه تأجيجاً للصراعات الداخلية حسب حاجات بلدانها الأصلية وادوارها وصولاً الى حدود فبركتها ودفعها نحو مناحٍ ترتبط بصراعات الإقليم.

هنا تختلف وظائفها عن الدور الاستخباري التقليدي بشكل يبدو فيه لبنان تحت رحمة ممارسات تنبثق فجأة وتتوقف فجأة لتعاود بعد مدة سيرتها الاولى، وهكذا دواليك.

ما هي هذه الأجهزة العاملة بقوة في لبنان؟

تنتشر هذه الوكالات على مدى الساحة اللبنانية. قسم منها يعمل بشكل احترافي على مستوى كامل الجغرافيا اللبنانية حسب قدرته على اختراقها، وعلى رأسها المخابرات الأميركية والإسرائيلية التي تهتم بجميع المعلومات عن حزب الله في الجنوب والبقاع وبيروت وفي مختلف المناطق الأخرى التي يمتلك الحزب فيها تحالفات واصدقاء.

كما تجمع معلومات عن الحركة السياسية والإرهابية على مستوى البلاد بأسرها.

هناك نمط تقليدي آخر لأجهزة مخابرات تنشط بشكل روتيني لتجميع معلومات هامة لسياسات بلدانها كفرنسا وروسيا ودول اوروبية اخرى، لكن هذه الفئة لا تلعب على مستوى التأجيج الميداني للأحداث كحال المخابرات الأميركية القادرة بشكل استراتيجي على الطلب من الأحزاب الداخلية الموالية لها التحرك في يوم معين بشعارات محددة للتأثير على هدف مطلوب.

هذه المخابرات الأميركية هي المهيمن الفعلي على مسار الاضطرابات التي تنتاب لبنان بين الفينة والأخرى، فيكفي ان السفارة الاميركية هي المركز الفعلي للقاءات الأمنيين الأميركيين بالاحزاب المحلية الموالية، وهي كثيرة تبدأ بأحزاب القوات والكتائب والاشتراكي وكثير من جمعيات تدّعي انها من «الانتفاضة».

الى جانب هذه الادوار الواضحة، هناك ثلاثة أجهزة استخبارية تتبع للسعودية والإمارات وتركيا تؤدي الادوار الميدانية الأكثر خطورة على الاستقرار اللبناني السياسي والوطني.

فالسعودية والإمارات تنسجان علاقة مذهبية الأبعاد مع شلل طائفية في أنحاء من بيروت والشمال والبقاع الغربي.

فتستعملها للتوتير والتأجيج في مفاصل مهمة.

يكفي أن تنظم في هذه المناطق بضع مئات من المراهقين والشبان الذين توفر لهم التمويل المغري ووسائل الانتقال والأهداف المطلوبة لجهة التخريب وإضفاء التوتير المذهبي على اي تحرك، كما تتعاون الأجهزة السعودية والإماراتية مع رجال دين واحزاب وجمعيات مذهبية لشد العصب الطائفي في وجه عصبيات أخرى.

إن لهذين البلدين العربيين صلات كبيرة مع احزاب الكتائب والقوات والتقدمي لإقناع جمهورها المذهبي وتأمين تغطية سياسية له.

هناك اضافات على هذا المشهد المخابراتي التاريخي يتعلق باقتحام المخابرات التركية للمشهد اللبناني واستيطانها فيه بشكل فاعل.

فتركيا التي تسعى لتعميق دورها الإقليمي من خلال احتلال قواتها المباشر أنحاء في سورية والعراق وليبيا وعبر الدور الارهابي للاخوان المسلمين في اليمن والسودان والجزائر.

تركيا هذه جاءت الى لبنان من خلال حركة الاخوان، ووضعت في مناطقه الشمالية أجهزة استخبارات استطاعت جذب قيادات طرابلسية على شاكلة الريفي ونظمت عشرات الشبان وقبضايات الاحياء لاستعمالهم في تأجيج الصراعات المذهبية، فتبدو تركيا وكأنها تنافس السعودية على قيادة العالم الإسلامي وتناهض سورية وتحارب ايران، وتفرض نفسها على الأميركيين ليعترفوا بها صاحبة الدور الاساسي في التأثير على الاحداث والدليل ان كل عمليات الفوضى والتحطيم والتكسير التي حدثت في وسط بيروت يوم السبت الماضي، انما كانت من صناعة مجموعات مرتبطة بمخابرات تركية وأخرى إماراتية – سعودية.

ما تجب إضافته على هذا المشهد يرتبط بصراعات داخل الاجهزة الامنية اللبنانية نتيجة للتنافس بين تغطياتها السياسية داخل الدولة وخارجها ما يجعلها ضعيفة لا تأثير لديها على التعامل مع الاحداث الطارئة.

وهذا لا ينطبق على الجيش اللبناني الذي يأتمر في مراحل نشوب أحداث بقيادته المتنبّهة.

بالمقابل يعتقد البعض ان هناك مخابرات سورية وإيرانية، ويقتضي المنطق الاعتراف بوجودها إنما كجزء تقليدي تحتويه كل السفارات في العالم، وهذا سببه قوة حزب الله الذي يشكل نقطة الاستهداف الرئيسية لكل أنواع الفوضى وإثارة القلاقل والفتن.

لذلك يعمل الحزب استخبارياً وبشكل وازن وعميق لإجهاض عشرات أجهزة المخابرات العاملة ضده في ميادين لبنان، ولا يبدو بحاجة لدعم من تحالفاته الإقليمية الحاضرة بكل تأكيد لهذه الادوار.

لبنان اذاً ساحة لأجهزة مخابرات تريد استعماله للتأثير على حزب الله وسورية وإضعاف ادوارهما في مجابهة «اسرائيل» والسياسات الاميركية في المنطقة.

فهل تنتفض الدولة اللبنانية لوقف هذه الاستباحة المخابراتية غير التقليدية لأراضيها؟ يبدو ان التسعير الطائفي والمذهبي يمنع الدولة من أداء دور وطني فاعلن والمطلوب من حزب الله الاستمرار في العمل الجهادي والأمني حرصاً على لبنان واهله ومقومات استمراره.

عنصريّة… هزائم… فشل… تنتج «الربيع الأميركيّ» ثم…؟

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

منذ أن انتصرت أميركا في الحرب العالمية الثانية، سارعت إلى فرض شبه وصاية واحتلال واقعي على أوروبا وسعت إلى الهيمنة على كلّ المعمورة ونصّبت نفسها قائدة للعالم، معتقدة أنّ «الله اختارها لتقوم بهذه الوظيفة» من أجل «نشر الحرية والديمقراطية» بين الدول والشعوب، ورفعت شعار «حقوق الإنسان» إلى الحدّ الذي أجازت لنفسها ان تتدخل وتعاقب كلّ من تتهمه بأنه خرق هذه المبادئ وأهدر سلامة أو كرامة مواطنيه. متناسية أنها دولة قامت في الأصل على القتل والاغتصاب والإبادة والتهجير…

ومن المفيد التذكير هنا بأنّ ما يُطلق عليه اليوم اسم الولايات المتحدة الأميركية هي نتاج عمليات متلاحقة بدأت بعد اكتشاف الأرض بهجرة الأوروبيين البيض إليها، وانتهت بإقامة الدولة الحالية بعد الإبادة التي تعرّض لها سكان البلاد الأصليون (أسموهم الهنود الحمر ظناً منهم بأنّ الأرض المكتشفة هي الهند ذات السكان ذوي البشرة التي تميل إلى الحمرة) إبادة رافقها نقل أو استقدام أفارقة من ذوي البشرة السمراء أو السوداء ليكونوا عمالاً وخدماً لهم في مزارعهم وحقولهم. وهكذا نشأت الشخصية الأميركية وتجذّرت فيها النزعة العنصرية التي تجعل من الأبيض سيداً والأسود عبداً والأحمر شخصاً لا يستحق الحياة. وانّ أهمّ وأخطر ما في الشخصية الأميركية نزعتان داخلية قائمة على العنصرية والتمييز بين المواطنين، وفوقية تسلطية قائمة على النزعة الاستعمارية والهيمنة على الشعوب والدول الأجنبية. نزعتان تحكمتا بسلوك أميركا منذ نشأتها ولا زالتا تتحكمان بسياستها وسلوكها داخلياً وخارجياً.

بيد أنّ سياسة التمييز العنصري في الداخل كانت تواجه بين الحقبة والحقبة باحتجاجات وأعمال رفض تصل إلى حدود الثورة وتتوصّل في بعض الأحيان إلى انتزاع قدر من الحقوق لغير البيض، لكنها لم تصل حتى اليوم إلى انتزاع الحق بالمساواة بين المواطنين وبقي التمييز العنصري قائماً رغم تشدّق حكومة الولايات المتحدة الأميركية بحقوق الإنسان وعلى سبيل المثال نجد انّ السود الذين يصل عددهم اليوم في أميركا إلى 1/8 من السكان ليس لهم في الوظائف العامة أكثر من 1/20 وليس لهم إلا عضوين اثنين من 100 عضو في مجلس الشيوخ و10% من النواب. أما الأخطر فليس ما يظهر في الوظائف إنما ما يكمن في نفوس البيض ضدّ السود من نظرة فوقية وازدراء واتهام بالكسل والبلاهة ما يجعل العلاقة بين الطرفين غير ودية وغير سليمة في اكثر الأحيان، وأكثر ما تجلى مؤخراً نموذج عن هذا الأمر ما جاء على لسان ترامب عندما كال الاتهامات والتشنيع ضدّ أوباما وسلوكه وهو سلفه في رئاسة الدولة وهي اتهامات تنضح منها العنصرية بأبشع صورها. أما المثل الأخير الأبشع الراهن للعنصرية الأميركية فقد ظهر في الوحشية التي أقدم فيها شرطي أبيض على خنق مواطن أسود حتى الموت في مشهد شديد الإيلام مثير للأسى والحزن المصحوب بالغضب والاستنكار رفضاً لهذه الوحشية.

وفي مفعول تراكمي أدّت جريمة الشرطي الأبيض إلى إطلاق موجة من الاحتجاجات الشعبية ضدّ التمييز العنصري وضدّ أداء السلطات المحلية والمركزية التي كان فيروس كورونا قد فضح عجزها وتقصيرها وأظهر وهن النظام الصحي المعتمد في أميركا فضلاً عن الخفة والسطحية التي عالج بها المسؤولون بدءاً من ترامب، الوباء على صعيد أميركا كلها ما أدّى إلى إصابة ما يكاد يلامس المليوني شخص من أصل 6 ملايين مصاب في كلّ العالم ووفاة أكثر من 100 ألف من أصل 370 في كلّ العالم. وبات السؤال المطروح الآن هل يتحوّل جورج فلويد (المواطن من أصل أفريقي الذي خنقه الشرطي الأبيض) إلى بوعزيزي أميركا وتتحوّل مدينة مينيابوليس الأميركية إلى مهد للربيع الأميركي كما كانت مدينة سيدي بوزيد التونسية مهداً لما أسمي ربيعاً عربياً وظهر أنه الحريق العربي؟ سؤال جدير بالطرح والاهتمام خاصة إذا عرجنا على أكثر من ملف وموضوع تتخبّط فيه أميركا وتحصد منه نتائج سلبية.

بالعودة إلى واقع الحال الأميركي دولياً فإننا نجد أنّ أميركا تعاني اليوم من فشل وإخفاق وهزائم في الخارج لا تحجبها المكابرة ولا يمكن لإعلام او لحرب نفسيّة إخفاءها، وتعاني من صعوبات في الداخل لا يمكن لأحد ان يتجاوزها ولا يمكن لمليارات الدولارات التي سلبتها من الخليج ان تحجبها، فإذا جمع حصاد الخارج السيّئ إلى أوضاع الداخل السلبية كان من المنطقي ان يطرح السؤال الملحّ «أميركا إلى أين؟» وكيف سيكون وضعها كدولة متحدة وكيف سيكون موقعها في العالم؟ لأنه من الطبيعي ان يفكر المراقب بأنّ الهزائم والاضطرابات لا بدّ أن تلقي بظلها الثقيل على الكيان ودوره لهذا يبرّر طرح السؤال حول مصير أميركا الذي بات تحت علامة استفهام؟

قبل الإجابة نعود للتوقف عند الهزائم الأميركية في الخارج والتي تسبّبت في تآكل الهيبة الأميركية وتراجع قوة الردع الأميركي نتيجة فشل أميركا في أكثر من ملف في طليعتها عدوانها على دول وشعوب الشرق الأوسط خاصة العراق وسورية واليمن، وعجزها رغم الحروب المتعددة الأنواع التي شنّتها وتشنّها من عسكرية إلى إرهابية إلى نفسية إلى اقتصادية وسياسية، رغم كلّ ذلك لم تستطع إسقاط محور المقاومة الذي وجه لها مؤخراً صفعة قاسية في قاعدة «عين الأسد»، صفعة أنزلتها صواريخ إيران الباليستية، وركلة مؤلمة في فنزويلا حملتها ناقلات النفط الإيرانية. صفعة وركلة كانت قد سبقتهما سلسلة من الهزائم الميدانية بدءاً من حرب 2006 في لبنان وصولاً إلى سورية واليمن ومروراً بالعراق بحيث باتت أميركا تضع في رأس أولوياتها اليوم البحث عن انسحاب آمن من المنطقة يحفظ ماء الوجه.

أما على الجبهة مع الصين فإنّ أميركا تحصد مزيداً من الإخفاق مع كلّ موقف تطلقه مهدّدة الصين بشيء ما، وبات من المسلّم به انّ الصين تفعل وتتقدّم وانّ أميركا تصرخ وتتراجع، ولن يكون المستقبل إلا حاملاً أخباراً أشدّ سوءاً لأميركا مما مضى على الصعيد الاقتصادي، وسيكون أمرّ وأدهى إذا فكرت أميركا بالمواجهة العسكرية حيث يؤكد الخبراء الأميركيون انّ هزيمة استراتيجية عظيمة تنتظر أميركا إذا حاربت الصين عسكرياً.

وعلى صعيد العلاقات مع روسيا فقد بات من المتوافق عليه انّ كلّ الحصار والتهميش الذي فرضته أميركا على روسيا ذهب أدراج الرياح مع تقدّم الأخيرة من الباب السوري لتحتلّ موقعاً متقدّماً على الساحة الدولية مكّنها من دون خوف أن تمارس حق الفيتو في مجلس الأمن من دون خشية من أميركا، كما مكّنها من تقديم المساعدة العسكرية للحكومة السورية لإفشال العدوان الإرهابي عليها المدعوم أميركياً.

يبقى أن نذكر بحال العزلة الدولية التي أوقعت أميركا – ترامب نفسها فيها بخروجها من أكثر اتفاق أو معاهدة دولية وتنكرها لقرارات مجلس الأمن وتصرفها خلافاً لقواعد القانون الدولي العام.

أما في الداخل فإنّ أهمّ واخطر ما تواجهه أميركا الآن هو تلك الاضطرابات التي نرى انّ إطلاق اسم «الربيع الأميركي» عليها أسوة بالتسمية الأميركية لما حصل في الشرق الأوسط وأسمي بـ «الربيع العربي» هي تسمية معقولة. هذه الاضطرابات والاحتجاجات التي تكاد تلامس الثورة والتي يرافقها النهب والإحراق والسرقة والقتل والتي تمدّدت الآن خارج مينيابولس (موقع الجريمة ومهد الاضطرابات) لتصل إلى 19 ولاية ولا زالت قيد التوسّع إلى درجة التخوّف من شمولها كلّ الولايات الأميركية الـ 50، ما شكل خطراً جدياً باتت الحكومة الأميركية تخشاه فعلياً جعلها تلجأ إلى فرض إعلان التعبئة في بعض الولايات والاستعانة بالحرس الوطني والجيش في ولايات أخرى، وباتت كلها تشكّل نذر شؤم على أميركا لا يُعرف إلى أين ستودي بالنظام الأميركي الذي يعاني كثيراً أمام تراجع الاقتصاد وتفشي البطالة وإفلاس الشركات واشتداد الغضب الشعبي دون أن ننسى وجود نزعات انفصالية لدى بعض الولايات.

إنّ تراكم هزائم الخارج خاصة في وجه محور المقاومة والصين وروسيا كما تقدّم، مع التخبّط والفشل في الداخل والمعبّر عنه بالفشل في معالجة أزمة كورونا وتفشي البطالة إلى حدّ بات فيه 40 مليون أميركي عاطل عن العمل وإفلاس شركات وإقفال أخرى بما ينذر بوضع اقتصادي صعب يفاقم العثرات الاجتماعية، ثم انفجار الغضب الشعبي إلى حدّ الوصول إلى البيت الأبيض واجتياز الحاجز الأمني الأول أمامه ما أقلق ترامب ودفعه إلى الاختباء في طوابق تحت الأرض وغموض الرؤية في معالجة الأحداث… كلها مسائل تبرّر السؤال هل كيان الولايات المتحدة الأميركية في خطر؟ وهل وحدتها مهدّدة؟ وهل سيتأثر موقعها دولياً بكلّ هذه الأحداث؟

أسئلة جدية لا بدّ من طرحها في ظلّ ما نسمع ونقرأ ونراقب؟ ويُضاف السؤال الآخر هل ستشرب أميركا من كأس ربيعي أميركي خاص بها كما سقت شعوب الشرق الأوسط مما أسمته ربيعاً وكان حريقاً التهم الأخضر واليابس؟ نعتقد ذلك… وعلى أيّ حال انّ أميركا بعد الهزائم الخارجية والانفجارات والعثرات الداخلية لن تكون هي أميركا التي تسيطر على العالم، هذا إذا بقيت موحّدة، وهو أمر نشكّ به.

*أستاذ جامعي – خبير استراتيجي.

النظام الأميركيّ وريث العنصريّة الطبقيّة البيضاء

د. وفيق إبراهيم

مقتل مدني أعزل من الأقليّة السوداء على يد شرطيّ أبيض خنقه من دون سبب ملازم، ليس عملاً استثنائياً في التاريخ الأميركي.

فالأميركيّون البيض الذين غزوا القارة الأميركيّة بقسميها الشمالي والجنوبي، سفكوا دماء أكثر من سبعين مليوناً من الهنود الأحمر منذ منتصف القرن الثامن عشر وحتى مطلع القرن العشرين ولم يحرروهم من وضعية «العبد المملوك قانونياً لصاحبه الأبيض»، إلا في القرن العشرين، لكن الممارسات العنصرية تجاه الأقليات السوداء ظلت قائمة من خلال النظام الاميركي السياسي والاقتصادي الذي يعتمد على أكثرية كبيرة من البيض ونظام اجتماعي مغلق وأمن متشدّد واقتصاد لا يقلّ ضراوة عن الامن والسياسة.

أما ميزة هذا النظام فهو تسامحه «لغوياً» مع السود في مراحل ازدهاره الاقتصادي واتجاهه الى العنف والتشدد مع الأفريقيين الأميركيين في مراحل التراجع الاقتصادي.

لمزيد من الإنارة فإن النظام الاميركي هو الوريث الفعلي لنظام اوروبي غربي اجتاح آسيا وأفريقيا واوستراليا واميركا في القرنين الأخيرين واستعبد اهاليها من كل الاجناس والالوان ناهباً ثرواتها ومؤسساً لتعاملات ثقافية على اساس تفوق الرجل الابيض على ثلاثة أعراق أخرى هم السمر ومعظمهم من العرب والمسلمين وأبناء اميركا الجنوبية والأفارقة في قارتهم السوداء وأماكن إقاماتهم الجديدة وابناء العرق الأصفر في الصين واليابان وجنوب شرق آسيا.

هذه العنصرية بررت للغرب الأميركي والأوروبي الانتقال من التباينات الثقافية التاريخية الى اختلاف اقتصادي عميق له هرمية يقف على رأسها بشراسة أميركية أبيض ينتقل حذاء كاوبوي قاسٍ يرفس بمكوناته الحديدية الأقليات من الألوان الأخرى القابعة في أسفل الهرم ألا يمثل هذا الامر ذلك الشرطي الذي اوقع الاميركي الأسود المدني أرضاً وخنقه بركبته وحذائه وهو في وضعيّة الاستسلام الكامل.

كان يمكن لهذا الاغتيال أن يمر من دون اضطرابات كبيرة، لكنه اصطدم بمستويين كبيرين من التهديدات وأولها الشخصية العنصرية للرئيس الاميركي ترامب التي تواصل التحريض العنصري ضد الأعراق الثلاثة منذ بداية ولايتها الرئاسية وتحاول كسب الطبقات الفقيرة والوسطى من البيض بتحشيدها في وجه السود والمكسيكيين واللاتينيين والمسلمين، بأسلوب وقح يضخ مزيداً من العنصرية في نظام هو عنصري أصلاً. وترافق هذا الشحن مع التراجع الاقتصادي الذي تسببت به كورونا، وأصاب السود بشكل بنيوي يهددهم في حاضرهم ومستقبلهم والأغنياء البيض في هيمنتهم التاريخية الدائمة.

لذلك كان الصراع العنصري التاريخي الكامن في أوج استنفاره حيث خنق الشرطي المدني ذلك الاميركي الاسود من دون اي اسباب موجبة الا اللجوء الى قمع غير آمن يرتكز على الف عام غربي من قتل ابناء الالوان الثلاثة من السود والسمر والصفر بدم بارد وعنجهية التفوق الحضاري.

فتحرّكت الأقلية السوداء لتدافع عن نفسها تجاه نظام أمني قاتل واقتصادي يُصرّ على تثبيتها في اسفل السلم الاجتماعي، في محاولة للحدّ من مزيد من تدهورها في مرحلة ما بعد كورونا. اما من جهة ترامب، فتمكن من ضخ عيارات جديدة من العنصرية من خلال الاستعانة بالإنجيليين المسيحيين الذين يؤمنون بإعادة بناء هيكل سليمان مكان المسجد الأقصى في القدس المحتلة.

ما جلب الى دائرة مؤيديه اليهود الأميركيين وهم لمزيد من التفسير، شبكات الاعلام الاميركي القوي والمصارف التي تشكل رأس النظام الأميركي بقوته المالية وعنصريته.

وهذا استنفر ايضاً الأقليات السوداء واللاتينية والصفراء والمسلمين، فأصبح هناك مشهد اميركي مذعور من الكورونا يفصل بين اميركيين بيض من اعلى السلم الاجتماعي الى فئاته الفقيرة البيضاء مقابل فئة من البيض غير المتأثرة بالجموح العنصري الأبيض ومعها اللاتينيون من أصول أميركية جنوبية والسود والمسلمون والأقليات الصفراء وصولاً الى ابناء اوروبا الشرقية المحظور عليهم الارتقاء الى مواقع قيادية في كامل القطاعين العام والخاص الأميركي.

هل يدفع هذا الانقسام السياسي والاقتصادي والاجتماعي الى تصعيد الانتفاضة السوداء لتشمل الاقليات الاخرى في ثورة عارمة لمكافحة التمييز العنصري؟

لقد تنبّهت إدارة ترامب لهذا الاحتمال، فبدأت بدفع تعويضات شهرية تعادل قسماً من الأجر والراتب للاميركيين وطلبت 3000 مليار دولار من الكونغرس للاستمرار في توزيعها لثلاثة أشهر على الاقل.

بذلك تمتص انفجار الطبقات الفقيرة من السود، وايضاً من الفئات الفقيرة البيضاء الموالية لها، فهذه قد تتجه الى معارضة ترامب إذا انقطعت مواردها.

بما يعني ان ترامب مصمم على التجديد له في الانتخابات الرئاسية المقبلة، بتحشيد عنصري أبيض من جهة وتوزيع اموال مساعدات على الجميع من جهة ثانية، وتحريض البيض على السود من جهة ثالثة وافتعال صراعات مع الصين وإيران وروسيا وسورية وفنزويلا واي منطقة أخرى للزوم تحشيد الأميركيين البيض من حوله، مركزاً بالتصويب على اول رئيس اميركي اسود اللون في تاريخ اميركا لمزيد من تحشيد البيض ومهاجمة منافسه الحزب الديموقراطي فيصفه بالحزب الراديكالي اليساري الاشتراكي والشيوعيين، ولولا الحياء لا يهمه الانتماء الى الحزب الشيوعي الصيني الأصفر.

يبدو ايضاً ان ترامب يعمل على تأجيج الصراع الأهلي الداخلي محتمياً بحقه الفدرالي باستخدام الجيش لقمع المتظاهرين عند الضرورة.

فيتوصل بذلك الى اختلاق اسباب عظمى تسمح بإرجاء الانتخابات كما حدث حين جرى إرجاء الانتخابات الاميركية في عهد روزفلت في الحرب العالمية الثانية.

هذا يعني ان مشكلة اميركا ليست في رئيس غير مثقف يؤمن بالمال فقط، بل في نظامها العنصري الذي يحتاج الى قوانين لإزالته من العرف الاجتماعي والسياسي والاقتصادي، باعتبار أن العنصرية ليست مكرّسة في القانون والدستور، إلا أن اتساع الانتفاضة الحالية لتجتاح معظم الولايات الاميركية تشير الى مرحلة أميركية دموية لن تسمح لترامب وامثاله بالعودة الى البيت الأبيض من جديد.

أشبعناهم شجباً واستنكار وفازوا بالأرض

سعاده مصطفى أرشيد

أقام الرئيس الفلسطيني محمود عباس رهانه في معركته الراهنة مع الحكومة الإسرائيلية على مجموعة من التقديرات، وبنى عليها خطابه الذي ألقاه عشية التاسع عشر من أيار الماضي وأعلن فيه أنّ منظمة التحرير والسلطة الفلسطينية قد أصبحتا في حلّ من جميع الاتفاقيات والتفاهمات المعقودة مع كلّ من الإدارات الأميركية والحكومات الإسرائيلية، وبغضّ النظر عن القناعة بمدى جدية هذا الإعلان والقرارات المنبثقة عنه أو انعدام القناعة بها، فإنّ هذه الخيارات تحتاج إلى فحص واختبار، وكنت قد أشرت في مقال سابق إلى أنّ تصوّرات القيادة الفلسطينية التي أسّست لخطاب الرئيس ترى أنّ نتائج الانتخابات الرئاسية الأميركية وتذهب باتجاه تغليب فرص جو بايدن للفوز بالرئاسة، وللدور الذي سيلعبه بني غانتس وغابي اشكنازي في معارضة عملية الضمّ، وهي رهانات ضعيفة ليس لها ما يدعمها على أرض الواقع، فلا أحد يستطيع التنبّؤ بخيارات الناخب الأميركي العادي (باستثناء جماعات الافانجليكان الذين سيدعمون دونالد ترامب)، واستطلاعات الرأي دائمة التغيّر والتبدّل عند كل حدث ولها مفاجأتها في الأيام الأخيرة السابقة للانتخابات، وحزب «أزرق أبيض» هو حزب العسكر والجنرالات الذي يؤمن بانّ السيطرة على الأغوار وأراضي المستوطنات تمثل مسألة أمن قوميّ من الدرجة الأولى.

بالطبع كان لدى الرئيس والقيادة تقديرات أخرى داعمة وذاهبة في الاتجاه ذاته، ففي زيارة وزير الخارجية الفلسطيني الأخيرة لموسكو، طلب من نظيره الروسي أن تكون روسيا حاملة للملف الفلسطيني التفاوضي مع «إسرائيل»، لكن الردّ الروسي جاء سريعاً، واضحاً ومختصراً: لا يمكن أن يحدث أي تقدّم في هذا الملف بمعزل عن واشنطن، اذهبوا إلى هناك أولاً، تلك كانت نصيحة لافروف وهي تصدر عن دولة لطالما كانت مهتمّة باستعادة مكانتها السابقة عالمياً، وبتمدّدها في شرق المتوسط وسائر المنطقة العربية. هذا التمدّد الذي سيكون حكماً على حساب الدور الأميركي، الردّ السلبي والمتحفظ من موسكو له أسبابه، منها طبيعة العلاقات الأميركيّة ـ «الإسرائيلية» وتطابق وجهات نظرهم تجاه عملية الضمّ، ومنها عدم رغبة موسكو بأن تزجّ بنفسها في هذا الملف الشائك في ظلّ تواجدها الكثيف في سورية، الذي قد يرتب عليها دفع أثمانٍ للإسرائيليّين هي في غنى عنها ومن شأنها الإضرار بعلاقتها بطهران ودمشق، ومنها ما تختزنه الدبلوماسية الروسية من خبرات وتجارب مع العالم العربي منذ أيام الاتحاد السوفياتي، التي ترى أنّ العلاقة ليست استراتيجية فهؤلاء يريدون مخاطبة واشنطن من خلال استعمالهم موسكو كمحطة ومنصة ليس إلا، فيما واشنطن هي مربط خيولهم ومحطتهم النهائيّة. يُضاف إلى كلّ ما تقدّم أنّ الانخراط الروسي في الأزمة السورية جعل من روسيا راغبة أو مضطرة لعقد بروتوكولات واتفاقات مع تل أبيب تضمن عدم الاشتباك بينهما، فهما وإنْ تصارعتا في السياسة أو اختلفتا في الرؤى، إلا أنّ صراعهما ليس صراعاً وجودياً، وهوامش التفاهم واللقاء بينهما متسعة، من هنا تتضح حدود الموقف الروسي الذي قاد سوء التقدير للبناء عليه: روسيا تحذّر من عملية الضمّ لأنها قد تدخل المنطقة في دوامة عنف وتدعو جميع الأطراف (بمن فيهم شركاؤنا الإسرائيليون) إلى تجنّب الخطوات التي قد تؤجّج العنف وتحول دون تهيئة الأجواء لمفاوضات مباشرة، وتؤكد استعدادها للعمل والمساعدة في استئناف المفاوضات باعتبارها عضواً في الرباعية الدولية .

راهن الرئيس الفلسطيني على أوروبا التي هي أصل البلاء، وقد ذكرها في خطابه بالنص، حيث قال إنه يتوقع منها موقفاً حاسماً يحول دون إقدام الحكومة الإسرائيلية على تنفيذ الضمّ، كما يتوقع بمن لم يعترف بدولة فلسطين أن يسارع بالاعتراف. أوروبا العجوز لم تعد تملك القدرة والحيوية وقد تكشفت قدراتها إثر تفشي وباء كورونا، فبدت هشة، مرتبكة، منقسمة كلّ دولة تبحث عن خلاصها في معزل عن الاتحاد الأوروبي، انجلترا صاحبة المدرسة العريقة في السياسة والاقتصاد والتي لم تكن تغيب الشمس عن مستعمراتها وأساطيلها وعساكرها، أصبح رئيس وزرائها الأسبق، يتلقى الرشا من موظفين وضباط أمن في مستعمراتها السابقة، فيما فرنسا بلد القوانين والدساتير والأنوار، يقبل رئيسها العمل في خدمة رجل أعمال ورئيس وزراء إحدى مستعمراتها السابقة فيما يقبض خلفه في الرئاسة الأموال من العقيد الراحل القذافي. ألمانيا التي تخلت عن شركائها في الاتحاد خلال أزمة كورونا لن يتجاوز موقفها الإدانة والشجب .

منذ أيام اختتم اجتماع دول الاتحاد الأوروبي وقد ورد في بيانه أنّ ضمّ الأغوار وأراضٍ في الضفة الغربية مخالف للقانون الدولي، وأنّ حلّ الدولتين هو الحل الأمثل للصراع، وأن الاتحاد يسعى للتعاون مع الحكومة الإسرائيلية الجديدة وإلى الحوار مع الولايات المتحدة والدول العربية حول الأوضاع في الأراضي الفلسطينية، فيما اجتمع بعض سفراء دول الاتحاد عبر الفيديو كونفرنس مع نائبة رئيس قسم أوروبا في وزارة الخارجية الإسرائيلية آنا ازاراي، وأبلغوها قلق حكوماتهم من الخطوة الإسرائيلية، لكن السيدة ازاراي لم تقلق لقلقهم لا هي ولا وزاراتها. هذه هي حدود الموقف الأوروبي.

الموقف العربي لم يخرج عن هذا الإطار، فلكلّ من العرب همومه، وكما كشفت أزمة الكورونا هشاشة الموقف الأوروبي، نراها فعلت ما يفوق ذلك في كشف الموقف العربي، بالطبع مع الانهيار في أسعار البترول ولجوء دول البترودولار لتخفيض نفقاتها وما قد يتبع ذلك من انهيارات وتداعيات، الموقف الأكثر لفتاً للانتباه هو موقف العاهل الأردني الملك عبد الله، والذي جاء في تصريحاته لمجلة دير شبيغل الألمانيّة، محذراً الإسرائيليين من خطوة الضمّ وملوّحاً بقرارات ومواقف حادّة، وقد جاء ذلك بعد مكالمة هاتفيّة بينه وبين الرئيس الأميركي. افترض الأردن إثر توقيع اتفاقية وادي عربة أنه قد ضمن وجود الأردن كوطن نهائي للأردنيين وأنه قد ثبت حدوده الغربية، ولكن نتنياهو واليمين الإسرائيلي لا يبدو أنه مقرّ للأردن بذلك، فقد قرّر نتنياهو التخفف من أعباء وادي عربة والإبقاء على مغانمها فقط، وبالقدر الذي يفيده في الدخول في مرحلة صفقة القرن التي سترث أوسلو، فتلك الاتفاقيات (أوسلو ووادي عربة) قد استنفدت وظيفتها، ثم أنها من تركة حزب العمل المنقرض، وقادته الذين يريد أن يخرجهم اليمين من التاريخ كما أخرج أولهم من عالم الحياة (إسحاق رابين) وطرد ثانيهم (شمعون بيريس) من عالم السياسة .

إذا كانت تلك تقديرات القيادة الفلسطينية التي بُني على مقتضاها الردّ الفلسطيني الوارد في خطاب الرئيس، فإنّ ذلك أمراً لا يدعو للتفاؤل، ويؤشر باتجاه مجموعة من المسائل أولاها هي في قصور الرؤى والتقديرات، وغلبة التفكير بالأماني ومحاولة إسقاطها على واقع غير مطابق لتلك التمنيات، وثانيها أنّ قيادة السلطة لم تستحوط لهذا الأمر ولم تعدّ له عدّته، فلم يكن لديها الخطة «ب» البديلة، والثالثة أنّ الحال الفلسطيني والعربي والدولي لن يستطيع أن يقدّم دعماً للفلسطيني لا سياسي ولا مالي لتستطيع أن تقوم بأود الشعب الفلسطيني، فوقفة عز ورجال الأعمال القائمين عليها قدّموا مبالغ زهيدة لا تقارَن بثرواتهم وما يجنونه من أرباح وبما هو أقلّ من عشرين مليون دولار أميركي، جزء منها تمّ خصمه من رواتب موظفيهم دون استشارتهم وهي ستخصم من ضرائبهم، وقد تردّد كثير من الحديث عن الطريقة غير الموفقة التي تمّ بها صرف بعض تلك الأموال، والعالم العربي النفطي يخفض نفقاته ومصروفاته بشكل كبير ويعاني من تراجع مداخيله النفطية والاستثمارية الأخرى، والعالم لديه من مشاكل الكساد والوباء واللاجئين والبطالة ما يكفيه، وبالتالي لن تجد السلطة من مورد يبقيها على أجهزة الإنعاش، إلا ما يأتي به عمال المياومة العاملين في الداخل، أو في المستوطنات الإسرائيلية، أو ما تجود به الحكومة الإسرائيلية من قروض، فتلك الحكومة ترى ضرورة إضعاف السلطة والمسّ من هيبتها ولكن مع بقائها مترنحة، هذا الحال يجعل من أيّ فعل إسرائيلي يمرّ بسهولة بما في ذلك عملية ضمّ الأغوار والمستوطنات وما هو أكثر من ذلك، ويجعل من السلطة الفلسطينية تتراجع عن تهديداتها، ربما سراً في البداية ولكن علناً في مرحلة لاحقة مبرّرة ذلك بضرورات الاستمرار والبقاء، إذ ما يهمّ الإسرائيلي هو الأفعال لا الأقوال.

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سياسيّ فلسطيني مقيم في جنين – فلسطين المحتلة.

Sayyed Nasrallah: Hezbollah Brings Dollars into Lebanon, Doesn’t Send Them Abroad

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Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah denounced the German raids on some mosques and houses of some Lebanese under the pretext of supporting the Resistance party, adding that those brutal acts come in context of satisfying the United States and ‘Israel’.

Sayyed Nasrallah said that Germany decision to ban Hezbollah was expected as it has come in submission to the US pressures, adding that failed to submit any proof of terrorist acts allegedly attributed to Hezbollah.

In a televised speech, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that Hezbollah does not have any organized existence in any European country, pointing out that the party has selected this track in order to avoid exposing the Lebanese supporters to any danger.

The Lebanese in Germany just endorse and support Hezbollah and may have certain religious activities, but they do not have a direct relation with the party, according to Sayyed Nasrallah who urged the Lebanese government to protect them because they have not violated the laws there.

Economic Situation in Lebanon

Hezbollah Secretary General considered that the government’s economic plan is a first step on the way of reaching a major achievement amid the coronavirus outbreak, calling on all the Lebanese to deal with it in a positive manner.

Sayyed Nasrallah confirmed Hezbollah participation in Baabda meeting held to tackle the government’s economic plan, calling on all parties to respond positively to President Michel Aoun’s invitation away from the political ambushes.

His eminence reiterated Hezbollah does not categorically reject that Lebanon requests IMF financial assistance, warning against surrendering to its will and calling on the government to determine its conditions.

“We are not against Lebanon requesting assistance from any side in the world, except for Lebanon’s enemies, who are well-known.”

Sayyed Nasrallah denied all the rumors about Hezbollah intention to destroy, control, topple or take revenge on the banking sector, describing them as attempts to distort the party’s stance on banks.

Defending the numerous depositors aggrieved by the banks is not an attack on the banking sector, according to Sayyed Nasrallah who added that they were humiliated by the banks upon seizing their funds.

The banking sector exaggerated in responding to the US pressures on Hezbollah to the extent of launching an aggression on the party, according to Sayyed Nasrallah who added that the banks did not help the government in facing the economic and financial crisis.

Sayyed Nasrallah reiterated call on the Lebanese banks to release the depositors’ funds and avoid blindly yielding to US pressures, denting that Hezbollah is planning to control the central bank’s governorship.

Sayyed Nasrallah cited a number of proposals on how to deal with the banking sector if it rejects to cooperate with the government, noting the banks most benefited from the financial and monetary policies during the past period.

Sayyed Nasrallah refuted the claims about Hezbollah currency exchange business, stressing that the party has never tasked any individual or firm to run this activity, calling on the money changers to avoid contributing to the increase of US dollar exchange rate against the Lebanese lira.

“Hezbollah does not smuggle dollars into Iran and Syria, but gets dollars into Lebanon.”

Hezbollah leader called on the economy ministry to control the prices hike and cope with the monopolization of commodities, noting that some merchants are greedily hiding certain products and prevent the clients from purchasing them.

If the ministry suffers from lack of inspectors, Hezbollah is ready to provide as many volunteers as needed, according to Sayyed Nasrallah who added that the problem of prices hike, unperceived by the rich, is no longer bearable.

Sayyed Nasrallah stressed the head of Hezbollah anti-corruption file MP Hasan Fadlallah will soon hold a press conference to update the Lebanese on the its findings throughout two years, adding that they have the right to get acquainted with all the related details.

Sayyed Nasrallah called on all the Lebanese to give a longer chance for the government to cope with the ongoing crisis, adding that 100 days is not enough in this concern.

Sayyed Nasrallah highlighted the firmness of the relation between Hezbollah and Amal Movement, calling on the two sides’ followers to help sustain this positive environment via the social media and avoid circulating rumors in this regard.

Sayyed Nasrallah added that the supporters must accept the fact that the two sides may have different attitudes towards certain issues and that differences can be peacefully settled,warning them against the sedition schemes.

Sayyed Nasrallah adopted literally the statement of Speaker Nabih Berri who confirmed Hezbollah-Amal relation serves the partisan and national interests.

Had Hezbollah lawmakers approved the draft law which allows planting the cannabis for medical purposes, local and foreign media outlets would have accused the party of legalizing planting Hashish in Lebanon, Sayyed Nasrallah said.

Sayyed Nasrallah finally voiced readiness to help easing tensions among the Lebanese political parties, underscoring the effect of the positive atmosphere on reaching major achievements in the country.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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The deeper roots of Chinese demonization

The deeper roots of Chinese demonization

May 03, 2020

By Pepe Escobar – posted with permission

Hegel saw history moving east to west – ‘Europe thus absolutely being the end of history, Asia the beginning’

Fasten your seat belts: the US hybrid war against China is bound to go on frenetic overdrive, as economic reports are already identifying Covid-19 as the tipping point when the Asian – actually Eurasian – century truly began.

Immanuel Kant was the first thinker to actually
come up with a theory of the yellow race. Photo: Google Images

The US strategy remains, essentially, full spectrum dominance, with the National Security Strategy obsessed by the three top “threats” of China, Russia and Iran. China, in contrast, proposes a “community of shared destiny” for mankind, mostly addressing the Global South.

The predominant US narrative in the ongoing information war is now set in stone: Covid-19 was the result of a leak from a Chinese biowarfare lab. China is responsible. China lied. And China has to pay.

The new normal tactic of non-stop China demonization is deployed not only by crude functionaries of the industrial-military-surveillance-media complex. We need to dig much deeper to discover how these attitudes are deeply embedded in Western thinking – and later migrated to the “end of history” United States. (Here are sections of an excellent study, Unfabling the East: The Enlightenment’s Encounter with Asia , by Jurgen Osterhammel).Only Whites civilized

Way beyond the Renaissance, in the 17th and 18th centuries, whenever Europe referred to Asia it was essentially about religion conditioning trade. Christianity reigned supreme, so it was impossible to think by excluding God.

At the same time the doctors of the Church were deeply disturbed that in the Sinified world a very well organized society could function in the absence of a transcendent religion. That bothered them even more than those “savages” discovered in the Americas.

As it started to explore what was regarded as the “Far East,” Europe was mired in religious wars. But at the same time it was forced to confront another explanation of the world, and that fed some subversive anti-religious tendencies across the Enlightenment sphere.

It was at this stage that learned Europeans started questioning Chinese philosophy, which inevitably they had to degrade to the status of a mere worldly “wisdom” because it escaped the canons of Greek and Augustinian thought. This attitude, by the way, still reigns today.

So we had what in France was described as chinoiseries — a sort of ambiguous admiration, in which China was regarded as the supreme example of a pagan society.

But then the Church started to lose patience with the Jesuits’ fascination with China. The Sorbonne was punished. A papal bull, in 1725, outlawed Christians who were practicing Chinese rites. It’s quite interesting to note that Sinophile philosophers and Jesuits condemned by the Pope insisted that the “real faith” (Christianity) was “prefigured” in ancient Chinese, specifically Confucianist, texts.

The European vision of Asia and the “Far East” was mostly conceptualized by a mighty German triad: Kant, Herder and Schlegel. Kant, incidentally, was also a geographer, and Herder a historian and geographer. We can say that the triad was the precursor of modern Western Orientalism. It’s easy to imagine a Borges short story featuring these three.

As much as they may have been aware of China, India and Japan, for Kant and Herder God was above all. He had planned the development of the world in all its details. And that brings us to the tricky issue of race.

Breaking away from the monopoly of religion, references to race represented a real epistemological turnaround in relation to previous thinkers. Leibniz and Voltaire, for instance, were Sinophiles. Montesquieu and Diderot were Sinophobes. None explained cultural differences by race. Montesquieu developed a theory based on climate. But that did not have a racial connotation – it was more like an ethnic approach.

The big break came via French philosopher and traveler Francois Bernier (1620-1688), who spent 13 years traveling in Asia and in 1671 published a book called La Description des Etats du Grand Mogol, de l”Indoustan, du Royaume de Cachemire, etc. Voltaire, hilariously, called him Bernier-Mogol — as he became a star telling his tales to the royal court. In a subsequent book, Nouvelle Division de la Terre par les Differentes Especes ou Races d’Homme qui l’Habitent, published in 1684, the “Mogol” distinguished up to five human races.

This was all based on the color of the skin, not on families or the climate. The Europeans were mechanically placed on top, while other races were considered “ugly.” Afterward, the division of humanity in up to five races was picked up by David Hume — always based on the color of the skin. Hume proclaimed to the Anglo-Saxon world that only whites were civilized; others were inferiors. This attitude is still pervasive. See, for instance, this pathetic diatribe recently published in Britain.

Two Asias

The first thinker to actually come up with a theory of the yellow race was Kant, in his writings between 1775 and 1785, David Mungello argues in The Great Encounter of China and the West, 1500-1800.

Kant rates the “white race” as “superior,” the “black race” as “inferior” (by the way, Kant did not condemn slavery), the “copper race” as “feeble” and the “yellow race” as intermediary. The differences between them are due to a historical process that started with the “white race,” considered the most pure and original, the others being nothing but bastards.

Kant subdivided Asia by countries. For him, East Asia meant Tibet, China and Japan. He considered China in relatively positive terms, as a mix of white and yellow races.

Herder was definitely mellower. For him, Mesopotamia was the cradle of Western civilization, and the Garden of Eden was in Kashmir, “the world’s paradise.” His theory of historical evolution became a smash hit in the West: the East was a baby, Egypt was an infant, Greece was youth. Herder’s East Asia consisted of Tibet, China, Cochinchina, Tonkin, Laos, Korea, Eastern Tartary and Japan — countries and regions touched by Chinese civilization.

Schlegel was like the precursor of a Californian 60s hippie. He was a Sanskrit enthusiast and a serious student of Eastern cultures. He said that “in the East we should seek the most elevated romanticism.” India was the source of everything, “the whole history of the human spirit.” No wonder this insight became the mantra for a whole generation of Orientalists. That was also the start of a dualist vision of Asia across the West that’s still predominant today.

So by the 18th century we had fully established a vision of Asia as a land of servitude and cradle of despotism and paternalism in sharp contrast with a vision of Asia as a cradle of civilizations. Ambiguity became the new normal. Asia was respected as mother of civilizations — value systems included — and even mother of the West. In parallel, Asia was demeaned, despised or ignored because it had never reached the high level of the West, despite its head start.

Those Oriental despots

And that brings us to The Big Guy: Hegel. Hyper well informed – he read reports by ex-Jesuits sent from Beijing — Hegel does not write about the “Far East” but only the East, which includes East Asia, essentially the Chinese world. Hegel does not care much about religion as his predecessors did. He talks about the East from the point of view of the state and politics. In contrast to the myth-friendly Schlegel, Hegel sees the East as a state of nature in the process of reaching toward a beginning of history – unlike black Africa, which he saw wallowing in the mire of a bestial state.

To explain the historical bifurcation between a stagnant world and another one in motion, leading to the Western ideal, Hegel divided Asia in two.

One part was composed by China and Mongolia: a puerile world of patriarchal innocence, where contradictions do not develop, where the survival of great empires attests to that world’s “insubstantial,” immobile and ahistorical character.

The other part was Vorderasien (“Anterior Asia”), uniting the current Middle East and Central Asia, from Egypt to Persia. This is an already historical world.

These two huge regions are also subdivided. So in the end Hegel’s Asiatische Welt (Asian world) is divided into four: first, the plains of the Yellow and Blue rivers, the high plateaus, China and Mongolia; second, the valleys of the Ganges and the Indus; third, the plains of the Oxus (today the Amur-Darya) and the Jaxartes (today the Syr-Darya), the plateaus of Persia, the valleys of the Tigris and the Euphrates; and fourth, the Nile valley.

It’s fascinating to see how in the Philosophy of History (1822-1830) Hegel ends up separating India as a sort of intermediary in historical evolution. So we have in the end, as Jean-Marc Moura showed in L’Extreme Orient selon G. W. F. Hegel, Philosophie de l’Histoire et Imaginaire Exotique, a “fragmented East, of which India is the example, and an immobile East, blocked in chimera, of which the Far East is the illustration.”

To describe the relation between East and West, Hegel uses a couple of metaphors. One of them, quite famous, features the sun: “The history of the world voyages from east to west, Europe thus absolutely being the end of history, and Asia the beginning.” We all know where tawdry “end of history” spin-offs led us.

The other metaphor is Herder’s: the East is “history’s youth” — but with China taking a special place because of the importance of Confucianist principles systematically privileging the role of the family.

Nothing outlined above is of course neutral in terms of understanding Asia. The double metaphor — using the sun and maturity — could not but comfort the West in its narcissism, later inherited from Europe by the “exceptional” US. Implied in this vision is the inevitable superiority complex, in the case of the US even more acute because legitimized by the course of history.

Hegel thought that history must be evaluated under the framework of the development of freedom. Well, China and India being ahistorical, freedom does not exist, unless brought by an initiative coming from outside.

And that’s how the famous “Oriental despotism” evoked by Montesquieu and the possible, sometimes inevitable, and always valuable Western intervention are, in tandem, totally legitimized. We should not expect this Western frame of mind to change anytime soon, if ever. Especially as China is about to be back as Number One.

Coronavirus: How Are European Countries Treating Refugees Amid the Pandemic?

By Romana Rubeo & Ramzy Baroud

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Neglecting the refugees while fighting coronavirus is as foolish as it is inhumane. The last few months have taught us that self-centered strategies do not apply in the cases of global healthcare crises.

As soon as the COVID-19 pandemic began spreading its tentacles throughout China and eventually to the rest of the world, the World Health Organization (WHO), along with other international groups, sounded the alarm that refugees and migrants are particularly vulnerable to the deadly disease.

“We strongly emphasize the need for inclusive national public health measures to ensure migrants and refugees have the same access to services as the resident population, in a culturally sensitive way,” Dr. Santino Severoni, Special Adviser on Health and Migration at WHO/Europe implored governments throughout the continent.

More than 120,000 ‘irregular’ migrants and refugees have landed on European shores in 2019 alone, a large percentage from war-torn Syria.

Having hundreds of thousands of people navigate dangerous terrains or held under inhumane conditions in various camps and detention centers without proper medical care is already bad enough. It is far worse, however, that these vulnerable groups are now enduring the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic without much government attention, a centralized strategy or even safe shelters.

Euronews reported last month on the story of 56 people arriving on the Greek island of Lesbos, coming mostly from Afghanistan and various African countries.

Just as the coronavirus was peaking in Europe, these unfortunate escapees of war and poverty arrived to find that they have no protection, no assistance, and no prospect of any help arriving any time soon.

One Afghan refugee said that the group was left fending for itself, for fourteen days without any support, not even gloves or masks.

But not all European countries neglected the refugees, partially or entirely. Although one of the poorest European countries, Portugal has decided to legalize all of its undocumented refugees and migrants, therefore, providing them with the same medical attention and support as its own citizens.

Below, is a quick look at how European countries treated refugees and migrants since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Spain

Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and other Council of Europe member states suspended the deportation of refugees to their own countries.

For its part, Spain has finally emptied its Centros de Enternamiento de Extranjeros (CIE), the notorious detention and deportation centers that have been criticized by various human rights groups in the past.

59% of all refugees and migrants to Spain were reportedly held in the CIE. By early April, however, that percentage had gone down to zero, according to the Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera.

It remains unclear, however, if and when CIE will resume their activities or if Spain will review the status of refugees and migrants who have been slated for deportation prior to the outbreak of the virus.

Portugal

Spain’s precautionary measures are different from those of its neighbor, Portugal. The latter will treat all refugees and migrants, who have pending applications as permanent residents, starting July 1.

The government decision was meant to secure refugees’ and migrants’ access to public services during the coronavirus outbreak.

“Applicants including asylum seekers need only provide evidence of an ongoing request to qualify – granting them access to the national health service, welfare benefits, bank accounts, and work and rental contracts,” Reuters reported.

A spokesman for Portugal’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, Claudia Veloso, summed up the logic behind her government’s decision in a language that is, sadly, quite alien to the pervading European political discourse on refugees:

People should not be deprived of their rights to health and public service just because their application has not yet been processed. In these exceptional times, the rights of migrants must be guaranteed.”

Italy

One of the countries that has suffered most as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Italy has a significant population of refugees and asylum seekers, numbering 300,000 by the end of 2018.

On March 12, due to the closure of courts across the country, the Italian government suspended all hearings and appeals relevant to asylum seekers. It remains unclear when the pending status of refugees will be reviewed, considering the high death toll and the degree of economic devastation that has afflicted Italy in recent months.

Although, by law, all foreigners in Italy have access to the country’s healthcare system, “many asylum seekers fear going to hospitals if undocumented, or face discrimination or language barriers,” Refugees International said last March.

“All this will make it harder to detect the virus in a highly vulnerable population,” the refugee advocacy organization added.

France

The fate of France’s refugees and undocumented migrants has worsened, not only because of the spread of the coronavirus but also because of the government’s haphazard and uncaring response.

A sizable number of France’s refugee and migrant communities are minors who arrived to the country without being accompanied by adults. The French government has been criticized repeatedly in the past for failing to address the issue of child refugees and migrants. Shockingly, the government’s behavior was hardly altered by the spread of the coronavirus, leaving children in a legal limbo during the world’s worst healthcare crisis since the Spanish flu in 1918.

“The treatment of these children by the authorities was already unacceptable before the epidemic, and today it is not only intolerable but also dangerous,” Benedicte Jeannerod, France director at Human Rights Watch warned in March.

“The authorities should urgently address this and provide these children with shelter and access to essential services to stop the spread of coronavirus in this already vulnerable group,” he added.

Germany

In the Ellwangen camp in Southwest Germany, the EU Observer reported that “nearly half of the roughly 600 people at (the) refugee camp … have tested positive for Covid-19, but are being forced to share facilities with everyone else.”

“We stayed in the same building and flat as people who had been tested positive for two days. We used the same kitchens and had meals with them. Because of this neglect, we will also get corona,” a refugee at the camp told The Guardian.

The refugees’ biggest concern in Germany is not pertaining to their legal status and potential deportation, but to medical neglect as well, as detention camps are overcrowded and refugees are getting infected with the virus in droves.

While some European governments speak of human solidarity, and, as in the case of Portugal, back their words with actions, others remain as unbenevolent and as unkind as ever.

That said, neglecting the refugees while fighting to halt the spread of the coronavirus is as foolish as it is inhumane. The last few months have taught us that provisional and self-centered strategies do not apply in the cases of global healthcare crises.

The mistreatment of refugees by some European countries, however, should not come as a complete surprise, for vulnerable refugees have suffered immense hardship while seeking a safe haven on the continent for many years.

In fact, Europe seems to have run out of solidarity for its own so-called ‘European community’, leaving poor EU members, such as Italy and Spain battling the deadly virus alone, without extending a helping hand or, at times, even mere words of sympathy.

 

بعد الميادين جاء دور النفط والغاز وتسقط مملكة آل سعود

محمد صادق الحسيني

عندما قرّرت الدول الأوروبية سنة 2003، وبضغط أميركي، إطلاق مبادرة لإنشاء خط أنابيب غاز، منافس لخطوط الغاز الروسية، التي تزوّد أوروبا بالغاز، وقامت، سنة 2004 بتأسيس شركة أوروبية، لتنفيذ هذا المشروع، أسمتها: Nabucco Gas Pipeline international، وسجلتها في النمسا كشركة مساهمة نمساوية، بمشاركة كل من النمسا وألمانيا والمجر وبلغاريا ورومانيا وتركيا، لم يكن النظام السعودي يدرك أن هذه الخطوة هي الحجر الأساس في انهيار مملكة آل سعود وباقي مشيخات النفط الخليجى.

فعلى الرغم من ان هدف المشروع الاستراتيجي تمثل في محاولة أميركية لتوجيه ضربة لسوق الغاز الروسي، ضمن محاولات واشنطن إضعاف النفوذ الروسي في القارة الأوروبية، فإنّ جهات التمويل الخفية لهذا المشروع العملاق، أوروبية وأميركية، قد هدفت الى تحقيق الهيمنة التامة، ليس فقط على جزء من أسواق الطاقة / الغاز / الاوروبية، وانما على مصادر الغاز الطبيعي ايضاً. وذلك عن طريق دمج كل من تركمنستان وكازاخستان وأذربيجان وإيران والعراق وسورية وكذلك مصر و»إسرائيل» في هذا المشروع. وهي دول تملك احتياطات كبرى من الغاز.

شكلت سورية وإيران مشكلة أساسية وعقبة كأداء في وجه تنفيذ هذا المشروع وذلك لرفضهما المشاركة في تنفيذ ما اعتبروه مشروع هيمنة واستعمار، وكذلك لكونه مؤامرة تستهدف إلحاق الأذى بالدولة الصديقة لهما، وهي روسيا، فكان لا بد من البدء بالعمل على ترويض الدولتين تمهيداً لعملية الدمج.

وهو ما تطلب اولاً احداث ما عرف بفتنة العام 2009، الشهيرة التي اعقبت انتخابات الرئاسة الإيرانية والتي أفرزت جدلاً واسعاً حول نتائجها، فعملت القوى الاستعمارية على تصعيد الوضع الداخلي الإيراني لعلّ ذلك يؤدي الى اسقاط النظام كما كانوا يتمنون وتزول العقبة الأهم في طريق تنفيذ المشروع، بحجمه الكامل.

لكن حكمة القيادة الإيرانية والالتفاف الشعبي حولها قد أسقطا تلك المحاولة، الأمر الذي عجل بدفع القوى الاستعمارية (القوى الخفية التي موّلت بدايات المشروع)، بتكليف مشيخة قطر بتولي موضوع فك الارتباط بين الدولة السورية والجمهورية الاسلامية في إيران. حيث قام أمير قطر آنذاك، حمد بن خليفة، بزيارة لدمشق والتقى الرئيس بشار الأسد في صيف عام 2010، وعرض عليه تقديم مساعدات مالية، تصل الى 150 مليار دولار، مقابل فك ارتباط سورية مع إيران والموافقة على الدخول في مشروع انابيب نابوكو، المذكور اعلاه.

ولكن رفض القيادة السورية المطلق لتلك المؤامرة أدى بمديريها الى الانتقال للمرحلة الثانية منها، الا وهي معاقبة الدولة الوطنية السورية على رفضها هذا، وإشعال فتنة داخلية تمهيداً لشن الحرب العالمية المعروفة ضدها. وقد قامت مشيخة قطر، وفِي اطار الدور الذي كلفت به كما أشرنا اعلاه، ومنذ شهر ايلول 2010 بإطلاق عملية تسليح واسع لعناصر خارجة عن القانون في سورية. كما أرفقت عمليات التسليح بعملية تمويل وشراء ذمم واسعة النطاق في الداخل السوري. وبحلول نهاية عام 2010 كانت قطر، وبمساعدة مخابرات دول عربية اخرى، قد ادخلت الى سورية ما يكفي لتسليح فرقة عسكرية كاملة (1800 جندي) الى جانب 500 مليون دولار، دفعت لشراء ذمم مجموعات كبيرة من ضعفاء النفوس، الذين شاركوا في تحريك الفتنة.

وقد اعترف شيخ قطر، خلال زيارته لإيران ولقائه الرئيس محمود أحمدي نجاد، وخلال تصريح صحافي يوم 26/8/2011، بأنه « قدّم النصح للاخوة في سورية بالتوجه نحو التغيير». وتابع قائلاً: «إن الشعب السوري لن يتراجع عن انتفاضته…».

وكما هي غلطة ذاك الأمير القطري، سنة 2011، فها هو اليوم محمد بن سلمان وعلى سيرة من سبقوه من ملوك آل سعود، يخطئون في تقييم الدول التاريخية، مثل روسيا وسورية وإيران، ويسقطون سقطات مميتة. فبعد فشل مشروع إسقاط الدولة السورية وتفتيت محور المقاومة، ها هو بن سلمان يدخل حرباً جديدة، بعد جريمة حرب اليمن، وهي حرب أسعار النفط، مع الدولة العظمى روسيا الاتحادية، التي لا قدرة لديه على حتى مناكفتها. علماً أن سياسته هذه قد أسست، فعلياً وموضوعياً، لسقوط مملكة آل سعود وانهيارها من الداخل.

ولأسباب محددة وواضحة، نورد أهمها، للإضاءة على عوامل داخلية وإقليمية ودولية في هذا السياق:

ان دخول اي معركة حول النفط سيؤدي الى خسارة محتمة وذلك لانعدام القيمة السوقية للنفط في العالم. وهو الأمر الذي يميِّز روسيا عن مملكة آل سعود، حيث تعتمد الموازنة الروسية بنسبة 16% فقط على عائدات النفط بينما يعتمد بن سلمان بنسبة 95% على عائدات النفط.
ان مستقبل قطاع الطاقة في العالم سيكون قائماً على الغاز، الطبيعي والمسال، وذلك لأسباب بيئية واقتصادية. وهذا هو السبب الذي دعا روسيا، وقبيل بدء العشرية الثانية من هذا القرن، بالعمل على إفشال مشروع انابيب نابوكو للغاز، الذي كان يفترض ان يضارب على الغاز الروسي في الاسواق الأوروبية، اذ قامت روسيا بخطوات استراتيجية عدة أهمها:
شراء كامل مخزون الغاز الذي تملكه جمهورية تركمنستان، التي تملك ثاني أكبر احتياط غاز في العالم بعد روسيا، والبدء بإنشاء خط أنابيب غاز باتجاه الشرق، من غالكينيش ( Galkynysh )، في بحر قزوين، الى هرات ثم قندهار في افغانستان، ومن هناك الى كويتا ( Quetta ) ومولتان ( Multan ) في باكستان، وصولًا الى فازيلكا ( Fazilka ) في الهند. وهو ما يعتبر خطوة هامة على طريق تحقيق المشروع الصيني العملاق حزام واحد / طريق واحد.
قيام روسيا بتنفيذ مشروعين استراتيجيين، في قطاع الغاز، هما مشروع السيل التركي مع تركيا والسيل الشمالي مع المانيا. وهما مشروعان يعزّزان الحضور الروسي في قطاع الغاز، وبالتالي قطاع الطاقة بشكل عام، في أوروبا والعالم.
مواصلة روسيا تقديم الدعم السياسي الضروري لجمهورية إيران الإسلامية، للمحافظة على قاعدة التعاون الصلبة بين البلدين، وكذلك الدعم السياسي والاقتصادي والعسكري للجمهورية العربية السورية، منعاً لسيطرة الولايات المتحدة وأذنابها عليها، وتمهيداً لإنشاء سيل غاز روسي إيراني عراقي سوري ( لدى سورية احتياط غاز هائل في القطاع البحري المقابل لسواحل اللاذقية طرطوس ) جديد، لضخ الغاز من السواحل السورية، عبر اليونان، الى أوروبا مستقبلاً.
أما عن أسباب الدور المتصاعد للغاز في أسواق الطاقة الدولية فيعود الى ثبوت عدم إمكانية الاستمرار في الاعتماد على النفط، سواءً في تشغيل وسائل النقل الجوية والبرية والبحرية او في تشغيل محطات توليد الطاقة الكهربائية. يضاف الى ذلك فشل مشروع التحول الى السيارات التي تعمل بالطاقة الكهربائية، وذلك بسبب استحالة التخلص من بطاريات الليثيوم بطريقة غير ضارة بالبيئة. وهذا يعني أن من يمتلك الغاز هو من يمتلك المستقبل، في عملية التطور الصناعي والتجاري، وبالتالي المشاركة في قيادة العالم، وليس من يغرق الأسواق بالنفط كما يظن إبن سلمان ذلك النفط الذي لم يعد يهتم به احد ولم تعد له أي قيمة مباشرة، علاوة على فقدانه قيمته كسلعة استراتيجية.
وبناءً على ما تقدم فانه يجب طرح السؤال، حول مستقبل السعودية بلا نفط. ففي ظل استمرار هبوط أسعار النفط واستمرار تآكل ارصدة الصندوق السيادي السعودي، الذي كان رصيده 732 مليار دولار، عندما تسلم الملك سلمان وابنه محمد الحكم بتاريخ 23/1/2015 ، وتراجع هذا الرصيد بمقدار 233 مليار دولار خلال السنوات الماضية، حسب بيانات مؤسسة النقد السعودية الرسمية، نتيجة لعبث بن سلمان بأموال وأرزاق الأجيال السعودية القادمة، وفي ظل عدم وجود بديل للنفط لتمويل الموازنة السعودية السنوية، الأمر الذي دفع البنك الدولي الاعلان عن ان دول الخليج، وليس السعودية فقط، ستتحول الى دول مفلسة بحلول سنة 2034. البنك الدولي الذي عاد واستدرك تقريره مؤكداً قبل ايام بان هذا الموعد سيحل قبل العام ٢٠٣٤ بكثير، وذلك لأن المحافظة على مستوى الحياة الحالي في السعودية لا يمكن تأمينه بأسعار نفط تقل عن 65 دولاراً للبرميل. وهذا عدا عن أن أرصدة الصندوق السيادي السعودي (بقي منها 499 مليار فقط، بينما يبلغ رصيد صندوق الإمارات السيادي تريليوناً ومئتين وثلاثين مليار دولار)، المشار اليها اعلاه، لن تكون كافية، بالمطلق، لتأمين استثمارات تدر على الدولة السعودية من المال ما يكفي لتمويل الموازنة السنوية.
وعندما يقول الكاتب البريطاني الشهير ديفيد هيرست، في مقال له نشره على موقع ميدل ايست آي بتاريخ 22/4/2020، يقول إنه وبالرغم من المرسوم الملكي السعودي حول ان الحكومة السعودية ستدفع 60% من معاشات الموظفين، طوال فترة الإغلاق التي تطبقها البلاد في ظل كورونا، الا ان موظفي مؤسسة الاتصالات السعودية لا يتقاضون سوى 19% فقط من مستحقاتهم، كما أبلغوني، يقول الكاتب.
والى جانب ذلك فإنّ وزارة الصحة السعودية، التي حوّلت عدداً من الفنادق الى مراكز صحية لمعالجة المصابين بوباء الكورونا، لم تكتف بعدم دفع أية مستحقات لأصحاب تلك الفنادق فحسب، بل طلبت منهم تحمل تكاليف عمليات التعقيم والتطهير لفنادقهم قبل تسليمها لوزارة الصحة.

اما ما يعزز أقوال الصحافي البريطاني، ديفيد هيرست، الشهير بالموضوعية والمهنية الصحافية، فهو ما نشرته وكالة بلومبيرغ، حول تقرير للبنك الدولي نهاية العام الماضي 2019، جاء فيه ان جميع احتياطات السعودية النقدية، سواء ارصدة الصندوق السيادي او البنك المركزي السعودي او مبلغ المئة وثلاثة وثمانين مليار دولار، الذي تحتفظ به السعودية في وزارة الخزانة الأميركية، لن تكون كافية، سنة 2024، سوى لتغطية المستوردات السعودية لمدة خمسة أشهر فقط، هذا اذا ما تراوح سعر برميل النفط بين 50 – 55 دولاراً، كما يقول الكاتب ديفيد فيكلينغ ( David Fickling )، في مقال له على موقع وكالة بلومبيرغ الالكتروني بعنوان: إن تراجع وسقوط امبراطورية النفط في الخليج بات يقترب / أو يلوح في الأفق.
وهذا يعني، وبكل موضوعية، ودون تحيُّز أن حرب اسعار النفط، الدائرة حالياً، والتي أشعلها محمد بن سلمان، لن تنقذه من مصيره المحتوم، وكذلك بقية دول الخليج النفطية، ولو بشكل متفاوت، لأن احتياطاتها النقدية سوف تواصل التآكل، مع اضطرار الحكومات المعنية لمواصلة السحب منها، لتغطية عجز الموازنات السنوية الناجم عن تدهور اسعار النفط وتراجع المداخيل المالية. هذا الى جانب ان تلك الصناديق او الاموال الاحتياطية لم تستثمر في مجالات تدر أرباحاً عالية لتكون قادرة على تغطية نفقات الدولة صاحبة الاموال، في حال انهيار اسعار النفط او نضوبه. اي ان تلك الدول ولأسباب سوء الادارة الاستثمارية قد فشلت في الاستفادة من تلك الأموال وتحويلها الى شبكة أمان لمستقبل أجيالها القادمة.
وهو الامر الذي سيؤدي حتمًا الى انهيار ثروات دول الخليج، واضطرار حكوماتها الى فرض ضرائب عالية على مواطنيها، وبالتالي حرمانهم من مستوى الحياة التي عاشوها حتى الآن، مما سيسفر عن زلازل اجتماعية، لا قدرة لحكومات تلك الدول على احتوائها، وبالتالي فإن نتيجتها الحتمية ستكون انهيار تلك الحكومات والدول وزوالها من الوجود. وهو الأمر الذي لن يأسف عليه حتى صانعي تلك المحميات، من الدول الاستعمارية الغربية، وذلك لانتهاء الحاجة لوجود الدول الوظيفية في المنطقة، ومن بينها الكيان الصهيوني، ذلك لأن مبررات وجود تلك الدول، مثل النفط والقواعد العسكرية، قد انتهت لأسباب عديدة، ليس هنا مقام التوسع فيها، بينما يكفي القول إن نهاية انتشار وباء الكورونا سيشكل ايضاً نقطة النهاية لسياسة الهيمنة الأحادية القطبية على العالم، مما سيضطر جميع الدول الغربية، دون استثناء، الى سحب قواعدها من دول المنطقة وترك شعوب المنطقة تقرر مصيرها بنفسها وتقيم نظاماً أمنياً اقليمياً، يضمن استقرارها واستكمال تحررها، في إطار النظام الدولي الجديد المرتقب، والذي لن يكون فيه مكان لقوى الاستعمار التي نعرفها.

عالم ينهار، عالم ينهض…

بعدنا طيبين، قولوا الله…

Is the United States About to Engage in Official State Piracy Against China? Strong Precedent Points to Worrying Trend

April 18, 2020

by A. B. Abrams for The Saker Blog

Is the United States About to Engage in Official State Piracy Against China? Strong Precedent Points to Worrying Trend

The Coronavirus crisis appears set to herald a new era of much poorer relations between China and the Western world, with Western countries having borne the brunt of the fallout from the pandemic and, particularly in the United States, increasingly blaming China at an official level for the effects.[1] Looking at the U.S. case in particular, at first responses to the virus were if anything optimistic – the fallout in China was seen as a ‘correction’ which would shift the balance of global economic power back into Western hands. Indeed, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross stated on January 30th that the fallout from the virus in China “will help to accelerate the return of jobs to North America” with millions at the time placed under lockdown in Wuhan and elsewhere.[2] Western publications from the New York Times to the Guardian widely hailed the virus as potentially bringing an end to China’s decades of rapid economic growth – with a ‘rebalancing’ of the global economy towards Western power strongly implied.[3],[4] Against North Korea, the New York Times described the virus as potentially functioning as America’s “most effective ally” in achieving the outcome Washington had long sought – “choking the North’s economy.” [5]

The result, however, has if anything been strong resilience to the virus across much of East Asia, with Vietnam and South Korea being prime examples of successful handling alongside Macao, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Chinese mainland – in contrast to a very sluggish and often ineffective response in the West.[6] From rot filled and broken emergency supplies in the U.S. national reserve[7] to nurses wearing bin bags due a lack of protective equipment,[8] the commandeering of supplies heading to other countries, [9] and the enlistment of prison labour to build mass graves in New York City[10] – signs have unanimously pointed to chaos. It should be pointed out that the U.S. reported its first case on the same day as South Korea – which had the virus fully under control several weeks earlier due to more effective handling and a lack of complacency.[11] The U.S. and wider Western world had a major advantage in its warning time over China in particular, but effectively squandered it.[12]

The results of the fallout from the Coronavirus in the Western world, and in the U.S. in particular, could be extremely serious given the context of escalating American pressure on China in the leadup to the outbreak. Blaming China for the virus across American press and in the White House itself – despite it having reached America primarily from Europe rather than Asia[13] – has heralded mass hate crimes against the Asian American community of unprecedented seriousness and scale since the targeting of Japanese-Americans in the 1940s.[14] Perhaps even more seriously, however, the official American response as public opinion is directed against China appears set to place the world’s two largest economies on a potentially catastrophic collision course. On April 14th U.S. Senator Josh Hawley unveiled highly provocative legislation which would strip China of its sovereign immunity in American courts and allow Americans to sue China’s ruling Communist Party directly for the damages caused by the coronavirus crisis.[15] Such legislation relies heavily on growing anti-Chinese sentiments and depictions of China as directly responsible – and contradicts evidence from the World Health Organisation among others that China’s response effectively stalled the global spread of the virus at its own expense with its lockdown.[16]

An unbiased analysts shows that the disproportionate fallout in the Western world relative to East Asia is overwhelmingly due to poor preparation – and had effective South Korean style measures been implemented from the outset America would have seen only a small fraction of the cases it currently suffers from.[17] Nevertheless, calls from the U.S. and to a lesser extent from within other Western states[18] to make China foot the bill are manifold. Scholars from the American Enterprise Institute and Stanford University’s Hoover Institution among others have made direct calls for Western states to unilaterally “seize the assets of Chinese state-owned companies,” cancel debts to China and expropriate Chinese overseas assets “in compensation for coronavirus losses.”[19] The Florida based firm the Berman Law Group has already filed two major lawsuits suing China calling for compensation for the outbreak – and the situation looks set to worsen considerably with many more suits to follow. Regarding how the crisis could play out, and how the U.S. could act on its massive claims against China over the virus which are expected to be in the hundreds of billions at least, there is an important precedent for American courts providing similar compensation to alleged victims of an East Asian government and the American state taking action accordingly – that of the Otto Warmbier case in 2018. Assessment of the Warmbier case sets a very important precedent with very considerable implications for the outcome of a Sino-American dispute.

Otto Warmbier was an American student arrested in North Korea in 2016 for stealing a poster and violating a restricted high security area in Pyongyang. The student was returned to the U.S. the following year in a comatose state, with his parents alleging that his teeth had been artificially rearranged and his body showed signs of torture. This was strongly contradicted by medical analyses, with the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office carrying out an external examination of Warmbier’s body and dismissing the claim by his father that his teeth had been pulled out and rearranged by the North Koreans. “The teeth are natural and in good repair,” the office concluded, after Warmbier’s father had sensationally claimed that “his bottom teeth look like they [the Koreans] had taken a pair of pliers and rearranged them.” Coroner Dr. Lakshmi Kode Sammarco stated addressing the claim of forced rearranging of Otto’s teeth: ”I felt very comfortable that there wasn’t any evidence of trauma. We were surprised at the [parents’] statement.” She said her team, which included a forensic dentist, thoroughly evaluated the body and assessed various scans of his body.[20] Medical assessments showed no signs of mistreatment or any trauma to the student’s head or skull, with a blood clot, pneumonia, sepsis, kidney failure, and sleeping pills were also cited as potential causes of death.[21] Nevertheless, Warmbier’s parents would continue to claim against all available evidence that their son had been tortured to death – filing a lawsuit against the North Korean government. Where a full autopsy could have provided data to more completely undermine their claims, and was strongly recommended by doctors, they were adamant in their refusal and no autopsy was carried out. Forensic scientists were highly critical of this unusual and unexpected decision in this critical case.[22]

In response to the Warmbers’ claim against the North Korean state, which amounted to a staggering $1.05 billion in punitive damages and around $46 million for the family’s suffering in a motion filed in U.S. District Court in Washington in October 2018, Pyongyang was asked to pay the couple $500 million.[23] This was despite no evidence for the couple’s claims of Korean culpability, but at a time when public opinion was strongly against North Korea and would have supported the motion. To seize the Warmbiers’ compensation, the United States Navy would later that year commandeer a North Korean cargo ship, the Wise Honest, and escort it to American territory where it was subsequently sold at auction. The couple was provided with a part of the ship’s value, and future seizures of Korean merchant shipping to meet the remainder of the American family’s claim remain possible under U.S. law.[24] The seizure of the ship, one of North Korea’s largest, represented a considerable loss to its fleet and complemented the effects of ongoing Western sanctions to undermine the country’s economy.

The significance of the Warmbier case is that it provides a strong precedent for the U.S. Military, should China inevitably refuse to pay the hundreds billions expected to be demanded in compensation, to engage in effective state level piracy against Chinese merchant shipping to provide funds for its increasingly struggling economy.[25] With trade war having failed to significantly slow Chinese economic growth and foreign trade, which had been its primary goal,[26] more drastic means may be adopted for the same end using the Coronavirus crisis as a pretext. Other similar recent cases of do exist, including unilateral seizure and sale of Iranian government owned properties by the Canadian government in 2019 to compensate alleged victims of terror of conflicts with Hezbollah and Hamas. This was despite neither of these being UN recognised terrorist organisations and Iran’s support for these non-state actors being entirely legal under international law.[27] The fact that these properties were on Canadian soil and governed under Canadian law however, rather than in international waters, makes this a considerably less provocative case than the Warmbier case one or than what is being proposed against China.

Further evidence that the U.S. would consider unilateral commandeering of shipping against China was provided by the U.S. Naval Institute, which in April published an important paper titled ‘Unleash the Privateers’ highlighting that it remained legal under American law for U.S. security firms to be tasked with commandeering and either sinking or capturing and selling Chinese merchant ships in the event of conflict. It highlighted that China was the largest trading nation in the world with a merchant fleet several times the size of its American counterpart – and that this provided a vulnerability the U.S. should be willing to exploit.[28] Taken together, the circumstances surrounding claims against China and moves to strip it of its sovereign immunity, the Warmbier precedent, the well timed and extremely radical naval institute paper and above all America’s need to reverse its losses and undermine China’s growing trade and economic prosperity to perpetuate its own hegemony, between them point to a high possibility of the U.S. adopting state level piracy against Chinese shipping as a future policy. While evidence strongly contradicts claims that China is responsible for the Coronavirus and the massive fallout the U.S. is now experiencing – much as evidence from American coroners and forensic scientists contradicted the claims of the Warmbier family – these inconvenient facts are highly unlikely to prevent the U.S. from taking action to secure its perceived rightful place as the leader of the global economy by seizing what it sees as its rightful property through attacks on Chinese trading vessels.

It is by no means a certainty that the United States will engage in such an escalatory course of action, and the nature of the overall Western response beyond the current harsh rhetoric and unfounded accusations is yet to be seen. It is important at this stage, however, to highlight the not insignificant possibility such a course will be taken by the U.S. and other Western parties to reverse the trend towards a decline in their economic positions relative to China. Repercussions from such seizures will almost certainly be far more severe than the relatively muted global response to the seizure and sale of a commandeered North Korean ship two years prior. While China’s Navy is concentrated in the Western Pacific and is poorly placed to defend its trade routes from the global reach of Western warships, Beijing and its allies have a wide range of means to retaliate which could deter the Western powers from taking such a course of action.

  1. ‘Coronavirus Map: Tracking the Global Outbreak,’ New York Times (accessed April 16, 2020). 
  2. Staracqualursi, Veronica and Davis, Richard, ‘Commerce secretary says coronavirus will help bring jobs to North America,’ CNN, January 30, 2020. 
  3. Bradsher, Keith, ‘Coronavirus Could End China’s Decades-Long Economic Growth Streak,’ New York Times, March 16, 2020. 
  4. Davidson, Helen, ‘Coronavirus deals China’s economy a “bigger blow than global financial crisis,”’ The Guardian, March 16, 2020. 
  5. Koettl, Christoph, ‘Coronavirus Is Idling North Korea’s Ships Achieving What Sanctions Did Not,’ New York Times, March 26, 2020. 
  6. Graham-Harrison, Emma, ‘Coronavirus: how Asian countries acted while the west dithered,’ The Guardian, March 21, 2020.Inkster, Ian, ‘In the battle against the coronavirus, East Asian societies and cultures have the edge,’ South China Morning Post, April 10, 2020. 
  7. Chandler, Kim, ‘Some states receive masks with dry rot, broken ventilators,’ Associated Press, April 4, 2020. 
  8. Glasser, Susan B., ‘How Did the U.S. End Up with Nurses Wearing Garbage Bags?,’ The New Yorker, April 9, 2020. 
  9. ‘US Seizes Ventilators Destined for Barbados,’ Telesur, April 5, 2020.Willsher, Kim and Holmes, Oliver and. McKernan, Bethan and Tondo, Lorenzo, ‘US hijacking mask shipments in rush for coronavirus protection,’ The Guardian, April 3, 2020.Lister, Tim and Shukla, Sebastian and Bobille, Fanny, ‘Coronavirus sparks a ‘war for masks’ as accusations fly,’ CNN, April 3, 2020. 
  10. Crane, Emily, ‘Workers in full Hazmat suits bury rows of coffins in Hart Island mass grave as NYC officials confirm coronavirus victims WILL be buried there if their bodies aren’t claimed within two weeks after death toll rises to 4,778,’ Daily Mail, April 9, 2020. 
  11. ‘Special Report: How Korea trounced U.S. in race to test people for coronavirus,’ Reuters, March 18, 2020.‘Once the biggest outbreak outside of China, South Korean city reports zero new coronavirus cases,’ Reuters, April 10, 2020. 
  12. Johnson, Ian, ‘China Bought the West Time. The West Squandered It,’ New York Times, March 13, 2020. 
  13. ‘New York coronavirus outbreak originated in Europe, studies show,’ The Hill, April 9, 2020. 
  14. De Souza, Alison, ‘Asian Americans tell harrowing stories of abuse amid coronavirus outbreak in the US,’ Straits Times, April 1, 2020.Chapman, Ben, ‘New York City Sees Rise in Coronavirus Hate Crimes Against Asians,’ Wall Street Journal, April 2, 2020. 
  15. Schultz, Maarisa, ‘Sen Hawley: Let coronavirus victims sue Chinese Communist Party,’ Fox News, April 14, 2020. 
  16. Wang, Yanan, ‘New virus cases fall; WHO says China bought the world time,’ Associated Press, February 15, 2020.Johnson, Ian, ‘China Bought the West Time. The West Squandered It,’ New York Times, March 13, 2020. 
  17. ‘Special Report: How Korea trounced U.S. in race to test people for coronavirus,’ Reuters, March 18, 2020.‘Once the biggest outbreak outside of China, South Korean city reports zero new coronavirus cases,’ Reuters, April 10, 2020. 
  18. Cole, Harry, ‘China owes us £351 billion: Britain should pursue Beijing through international courts for coronavirus compensation, major study claims as 15 top top Tories urge “reset” in UK relations with country,’ Daily Mail, April 5, 2020. 
  19. Stradner, Ivana and Yoo, John, ‘How to Make China Pay,’ American Enterprise Institute, April 6, 2020. 
  20. Nedelman, Michael, ‘Coroner found no obvious signs of torture on Otto Warmbier,’ CNN, September 29, 2017. 
  21. Lockett, Jon, ‘Tragic student Otto Warmbier ‘may have attempted suicide’ in North Korean prison after being sentenced to 15 years for stealing poster,’ The Sun, July 28, 2018.Basu, Zachary, ‘What we’re reading: What happened to Otto Warmbier in North Korea,’ Axios, July 25, 2018.Tingle, Rory, ‘Otto Warmbier’s brain damage that led to his death was caused by a SUICIDE ATTEMPT rather than torture by North Korean prison guards, report claims,’ Daily Mail, July 25, 2018.Fox, Maggie, ’What killed Otto Warmbier?’ NBC News, June 20, 2017.Tinker, Ben, ‘What an autopsy may (or may not) have revealed about Otto Warmbier’s death,’ CNN, June 22, 2017.Nedelman, Michael, ‘Coroner found no obvious signs of torture on Otto Warmbier,’ CNN, September 29, 2017. 
  22. Tinker, Ben, ‘What an autopsy may (or may not) have revealed about Otto Warmbier’s death,’ CNN, June 22, 2017.Nedelman, Michael, ‘Coroner found no obvious signs of torture on Otto Warmbier,’ CNN, September 29, 2017. 
  23. Brookbank, Sarah, ‘Family of Otto Warmbier awarded $500 million in lawsuit against North Korea,’ USA Today, December 24, 2018. 
  24. Lee, Christy, ‘U.S. Marshals to Sell Seized North Korean Cargo Ship,’ VOA, July 27, 2019.‘Seized North Korean cargo ship sold to compensate parents of Otto Warmbier, others,’ Navy Times, October 9, 2019. 
  25. Blyth, Mark, ‘The U.S. Economy Is Uniquely Vulnerable to the Coronavirus,’ Foreign Affairs, March 30, 2020.Schulze, Elizabeth, ‘The coronavirus recession is unlike any economic downturn in US history,’ CNBC, April 8, 2020.Schwartz, Nelson D., ‘Coronavirus Recession Looms, Its Course “Unrecognizable,”’ New York Times, April 1, 2020.Davies, Rob, ‘Coronavirus means a bad recession – at least – says JP Morgan boss,’ The Guardian, April 6, 2020.Lowrey, Annie, ‘Millennials Don’t Stand a Chance,’ The Atlantic, April 13, 2020. 
  26. Wei, Liu, ‘Trump’s Trade War on China Is About More Than Trade,’ The Diplomat, July 20, 2018. 
  27. Bell, Stewart, ‘Iran’s properties in Canada sold, proceeds handed to terror victims,’ Global News, September 12, 2019. 
  28. Cancian, Mark and Schwartz, Brandon, ‘Unleash the Privateers!,’ U.S. Naval Institute, vol. 146, no. 2, issue 1406, April 2020. 

العيش (والموت) في زمن «كورونا» – أسعد أبو خليل

المصدر

العيش (والموت) في زمن «كورونا»  – أسعد أبو خليل

كنتُ دائماً أتصوّر كيف تعاملَ الناس في القديم مع الطاعون (والعربُ تُميّز بين الطاعون والوباء) وكيف كانت تتراكم الجثث في الشوارع، من دون أن يجرؤ أحد على لمسها. خسرت أوروبا نحو نصف سكّانها، في القرن الرابع عشر، في طاعون «الموت الأسود». وكانت نسبة الإصابة الأعلى بين القساوسة، لأنّهم كانوا يتجاهلون المصاعب ويزورون المرضى المحتضرين على فراش الموت ليسمعوا اعترافاتهم. التقدير أنّ نسبة الموت بين القساوسة كانت أعلى من ٤٠٪ (كان هؤلاء مثل الأطباء والممرضين والممرضات في عصر «كورونا»، مع فارق أنّ الطب يقدّم العلاج والرعاية، فيما يقدّم الدين شيئاً آخر تماماً)، وهذا اضطرّ الكنيسة لأن تفتي بأنه يمكن لأيّ كان («حتى النساء») سماع اعترافات المحتضرين. وكانت الطواعين تولّد حفلات من الجنون الجماعي: طاعون «الموت الأسود» أنتج فرقة سوطيّة كان أفرادها ينتقلون من بلدة إلى أخرى، حيث يعمدون إلى ضرب أجسادهم بالأسواط والمعادن، إلى أن يتقرّح جلدهم وتتفجّر دماؤهم وكل ذلك طلباً للتوبة. كان المؤمنون لا يتوقّفون عن طلب تفسير للنكبات من الكنيسة، وكانت الأخيرة عاجزة عن تقديم أجوبة مقنعة. عانت الكنيسة بعد ذلك، خصوصاً أنّ القساوسة الجدد بعد الطاعون، كانوا أقلّ تمرّساً ودراسة من أسلافهم.

وفي عصور فقر العلوم الطبيّة (كان كتاب «القانون في الطب» لابن سينا هو الكتاب المُعتمَد في كليّات الطب في أوروبا، حتى القرن الثامن عشر، وكان أوّل استعمال له في جامعة أوروبيّة، هي جامعة بولونيا، أقدم جامعة في القارة)، كان النزوع نحو تفسيرات الغيب والسحر. تحدّثت كتب التراث العربي عن عدد الطواعين، التي ضربت المنطقة منذ نشوء الإسلام. العرب منذ، طاعون عمواس، أدركوا خطر التفشّي عبر النزوح عن موقع البلدة المصابة. الغربيّون لم يمارسوا الحجر الصحّي قبل القرن الرابع عشر، لكنّ عباس محمود العقّاد يصرّ على أنّ العرب عرفوا الحجر منذ أيام الرسول (والكتابات الإسلاميّة الاعتذاريّة عن الطواعين تبالغ في نَسب إجراءات طبيّة حديثة إلى العصر الإسلامي المبكر، فيما يريد المستشرقون الغربيّون التقليل من إسهامات العرب في الطبّ، ونسبها كلّها إلى الإغريق، تماماً كما يفعلون بالنسبة إلى الفلسفة الإسلاميّة). تعامُل العرب مع طاعون عمواس، يدلّ على وعي بخطر التفشّي وعلى تطبيق ما يصفه الصديق أحمد دلّال (مؤرّخ العلوم عند العرب) بـ«الحجر الصحّي المعاكس»، أي أنهم كانوا يتركون البلدة المصابة ويتّجهون نحو البادية. وزمن الطواعين يخيف، بما يصحبه وما يتبعه من شعوذات أساطير دينيّة وغير دينيّة. يزدهر تجّار العقاقير السحريّة وواعدو المؤمنين بجنة الخلد ــ لكن مقابل أثمان، ماديّة أو غير ماديّة.

في لبنان، يصعب الحديث عن ضرورة الالتزام بالمعايير العلميّة والطبيّة. هذا بلد تكثُر فيه أحاديث العجائبيّات والمعجزات الدينيّة. زين الأتات راكم ثروة من الشعوذة، وأنا نشأتُ في لبنان أقرأ دوريّاً في جريدة «النهار» عن «اكتشاف» للبنانيّين أفذاذ أدوية للسرطان. ومارسيل غانم (أدرك الشباب اللبناني، ولو متأخراً، مدى فساد برنامجه وخطورته على العقول) كان يستضيف هو الآخر عباقرة لبنانيّين من مكتشفي أدوية للسرطان، يثني عليهم بالحماس نفسه الذي يثني فيه على الفاسدين من أصدقائه السياسيّين. والدولة تبارك المعجزات الدينيّة، لا بل إن جبران باسيل أدخل إليكم مصطلح «السياحة الدينيّة» لتشجيع المقيمين و«المنتشرين» للتبرّك من القدّيسين. والمباركة الرسميّة الفظيعة للترويج التجاري لمعجزات القديس شربل، يجب أن تُمنع قانوناً لأنها مضرّة بالصحّة وتؤدّي إلى ترك العناية الطبيّة والاتجاه نحو العناية الإلهيّة. ومثل ما حلَّ بأوروبا بعد «الموت الأسود»، ستتعاظم في بلادنا دعوات التوبة والعودة إلى الدين القويم، كما أنّ الوصفات السحريّة ستزدهر: قد يعود زين الأتات إلى الشاشة، وقد تجد مريم نور وصفات سحريّة. مقتدى الصدر دعا الدول التي سنّت حقوق زواج المثليّين، إلى التراجع عن تلك القوانين التي لامها على الغضب الربّاني (المفترض) على البشر (لكن ما تفسير الصدر لانتشار الفيروس في دول لم تسنّ قوانين زواج المثليّين؟). والطب في العصر الإسلامي شابته أيضاً علائم غير عمليّة، مثل الربط بحركة الكواكب أو نسب الطاعون إلى غضب إلهي.

وقد مرّ علينا الطاعون أوّل ما مرّ، ونحن صغار في قصيدة لأحمد شوقي يقول فيها «حلَّ بنا الطاعونُ، المرض الملعونُ» إلى أن يأتي إلى البيت الذي يقول: «إن الوباءَ يقربُ من كل قوم أذنبوا، لكنهم إن أعرضوا عنه يزولُ المرضُ». مَن يدرّس هذه القيم المخيفة للأطفال والأولاد؟ ما غرض تخويف الناشئة؟ لكن في بلادنا لا يزالون يخصّصون في حصص دراسة الدين فصولاً عن تصوير أهوال جهنّم وعذابات النار. والنفور من الفكر الغيبي لتفسير المرض لا يجب أن يذهب بنا إلى تقديس العلم والتنوير. كانت «مدرسة فرانكفورت» سبّاقة في التحذير من عصر التنوير الذي تجلّى في تطويع العلم و«العقلانيّة» لصالح المشروع النازي المروّع. وباسم العلم والطب الحديث، بدأت حكومات الغرب في الأسابيع الماضية، بتطبيق إجراءات زجر وقمع وحظر ومراقبة. بريطانيا سارعت، من دون نقاش، إلى تمرير قانون قمعي يتيح للحكومة اعتقال وعزل مواطنين لمدة غير محدّدة وفضّ احتجاجات وإغلاق مطارات ومرافئ. بنيامين نتنياهو عطّل بسرعة المحاكم في إسرائيل (تلك المحاكم التي لم تكن إلا ذراعاً للاحتلال والعنصريّة والعدوان، في ما يتعلّق بحقوق غير اليهود) وخوّل سلطات الأمن مراقبة الجميع، من خلال الهواتف، مستعيراً من قوانين الدولة لمكافحة الإرهاب (وهذه القوانين الفاشيّة لإسرائيل أصبحت منذ السبعينيّات المثال المُحتذى لدول الغرب). وزارة العدل الأميركيّة طلبت صلاحيّات استثنائيّة من الكونغرس، وتريد تعطيل القوانين ضد مهاجرين. والقيادة العسكريّة الأميركيّة قرّرت منع نشر أرقام الإصابات في صفوفها بحجّة «الأمن القومي». وولايتان استغلّتا الذعر لتقييد حقوق الإجهاض. وفي الأردن، أعلن وزير الدولة للشؤون القانونية ـــ أليس مضحكاً أنّ هناك وزارة بهذا الاسم في دولة لم تعرف حكم القانون منذ إنشائها؟ ـــ أنّ الحكومة ستلاحق الأخبار الكاذبة باسم نشر الخبر الصحيح عن «كورونا» (هذا في دولة اشتهر حاكمها الحسين بن طلال بنفي أخبار لقاءاته مع قادة العدوّ على مرّ العقود، قبل أن يعترف فيها في سيرة للإسرائيلي آفي شلايم). الذي يعيش معاناة «كورونا» مُغترباً في أميركا يعيشها مرتيْن: مرةً في الوطن الأم، والمرّة الأخرى في الوطن الثاني. وأميركا أطنبت في مديح نفسها على مرّ العقود، خصوصاً في سنوات الحرب الباردة، وزادت بعد انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي، لأنّ دعايتها لم تعد تتعرّض للدحض إلّا من قِبل جهاز الإعلام الضعيف التابع للممانعة العربيّة ــ الإيرانيّة. أميركا مثّلت التفوّق في كلّ شيء: هي مُنقذة العالم في الأفلام، وهي التي تتولّى بالنيابة عن نفسها حماية الكوكب وتشرف على استكشاف الكواكب الأخرى ــ أو كانت حتى وقت لم يعد قريباً. أميركا هذه بدت في أزمة «كورونا» دولة عالم ثالثية. تبرّم دعاة إمبراطوريّة الحرب، من تنامي الإعجاب الأميركي والعالمي بطريقة تعاطي الصين مع الكارثة. أميركا وكل دول الغرب، بدت عاجزة وضعيفة، ليس لأنها عجزت عن مكافحة فيروس، بل لأنها استثمرت على مدى عقود في الترويج للنموذج الرأسمالي الغربي على أنه الأصلح، لها وللإنسانيّة جمعاء. ليس العجز الأميركي مردّه شخص ترامب: المشكلة تكمن في طبيعة النظام الرأسمالي نفسه. حتى توماس بيكيتي بين كتابه «رأس المال» وكتابه الأخير «رأسمال وأيديولوجيا» يتطوّر من العقيدة الليبراليّة المؤمنة بإمكانيّة إصلاح الرأسماليّة إلى العقيدة الاشتراكيّة.

العلاقة بين رأس المال ومكافحة «كورونا» تظهر في لبنان جليّة. مستشفى الجامعة الأميركيّة في بيروت، والذي هو أشهر مستشفى في المنطقة العربيّة برمّتها، والذي يجذب ملايين الدولارات من التبرّعات سنويّاً، أظهر عجزه واختفى عن الصورة، فيما مستشفى بيروت الحكومي يتولّى شأن المكافحة البطوليّة للمرض والاعتناء الحريص بالمرضى. هذا المستشفى الذي يعاني من نقص حاد في التمويل، هو عنوان مكافحة «كورونا»، لا مستشفى الجامعة الأميركيّة، مقرّ سياحة الأثرياء الاستشفائيّة. لقد تبرّع أثرياء ساسة لبنان (من وليد جنبلاط إلى نجيب ميقاتي إلى رفيق الحريري وعائلته إلى محمد الصفدي) لصالح الجامعة الأميركيّة في بيروت ومستشفاها، لكن أيّاً من هؤلاء لم ينفق قرشاً من كنوز الفساد لدعم مستشفى بيروت الحكومي. المستشفى الأميركي الخاص، مخصّص للسياحة الطبيّة للأثرياء في لبنان والدول العربيّة، فيما مستشفى بيروت الحكومة مخصّص للبشر. يقول باحث طبّي معروف هنا، إن ما حلّ بلبنان وغياب دور مستشفى الجامعة الأميركيّة في بيروت، يجب أن يؤدّي إلى تعزيز كليّة الطب في الجامعة اللبنانيّة، وجعل تمويل مستشفى بيروت الحكومي (من مال الدولة ومن مال التبرّعات) أولويّة. كليّة الطب في الجامعة اللبنانيّة، هي التي ستكون رأس الحربة في مكافحات طواعين المستقبل. في لبنان، تزامن ظهور «كورونا» مع نشر صحيفة إسرائيليّة واحدة، خبراً بعنوان عرضي عن إمكانية توصل مختبر في إسرائيل إلى اكتشاف لقاح ضد الفيروس. لكنّ الخبر نفسه تضمّن نفياً من وزارة الدفاع الإسرائيليّة لحقيقة ذلك، تلاه تكذيب من حكومة العدوّ. إلا أنّ عُبّاد إسرائيل في لبنان سارعوا إلى نشر الخبر الكاذب، مع طرح موضوع صوابيّة مقاطعة إسرائيل كأنه لا يمنعنا عن الموت إلا اللقاح الإسرائيلي. وكان طرح عُبّاد إسرائيل (قبل أكثر من شهر) يعدنا بلقاح بعد أسبوعيْن. ومرَّ الأسبوعان ولا يزال هؤلاء ينتظرون بشوق اللقاح الإسرائيلي. (حتى الصحافة الصهيونيّة أهملت هذا الخبر هنا). واستغل الصناعي نعمة أفرام هلع الناس ليبشّر بـ«إطلاقه» (أو اختراعه حسب وسائل الإعلام اللبنانيّة) لجهاز تنفّس جديد (والجهاز ليس إلا جهاز تنفّس يصلح لشخصيْن عبر تركيب أنبوبيْن، وهذا تدبير تقوم به كل الدول التي تعرّضت لإصابات، والتي زاد الضغط فيها على أجهزة التنفّس الاصطناعي). الاستغلال السياسي والمالي لذعر الناس يدخل في طبيعة النظام الرأسمالي أيضاً. كذلك، تحاول أجهزة الإعلام اللبنانيّة أن توازي بين تصنّعها احترام العلوم الطبيّة عبر استضافة أطبّاء متخصصين، وبين نزعتها إلى تشجيع النزعات الغيبيّة عند الجمهور، عبر استضافة منجّمين ومشعوذين ومريم نور (كيف نصنّف الأخيرة؟). وتنافست محطتا «إم.تي.في» و«الجديد»، في عقد «تليثونات» إثارة واستغلال، لجمع التبرّعات (لكن بالليرة اللبنانيّة كي يبدو المبلغ أكبر). ترضي هذه الحلول الخيريّة ضمائر، أو بالأحرى مصالح، أثرياء المحطات، لأنها توهم الناس أنّ عمل الخير من قِبل الميسورين، من شأنه إيجاد الحلول للمشاكل الاقتصاديّة. «تليثونات» لبنان سيّئة، لأنها تزهو بأرقام لا يتم التحقّق من صحّتها: هي مثل مؤتمرات جمع التبرّعات من قبل دول «أصدقاء سوريا»، أو دول «أصدقاء أفغانستان»، حيث تكون المبالغ الموعودة أقلّ بكثير من المبالغ التي تصل إلى الموعودين بها. يمكن الاستغناء عن «تليثونات» أثرياء المحطات، والاستعاضة عنها بسياسات اقتصاديّة جديدة تفرض ضرائب كبيرة على ثروات هؤلاء، وهذه الضرائب تحصد أكثر بكثير من وعود المشاهير على الشاشات (أطرف تبرّع كان لوليد جنبلاط، الذي قال عنه صديقه، مارسيل غانم، إنه كان تبرّعاً سريّاً ـــ ومن على شاشة تلفزيونيّة، وعلى الهواء مباشرة). العمل الخيري على شاشات محطات الأثرياء، هو محاولة من قبلهم لتخفيف العبء الضريبي عليهم، ولمعالجة نقمة الناس على الجوْر الطبقي.

لن تتغيّر سياسات لبنان جذريّاً. ما أن تسلّمت حكومة حسان دياب المسؤوليّة، حتى تنادت كتلة الحريري والقوات والحزب الذي لا يتورّع عن وصف نفسه بالاشتراكي، للتباكي على الاقتصاد الحرّ، والحثّ على ضرورة الخضوع لمؤسّسات الغرب، من صندوق النقد، إلى البنك الدولي، مع استقبال كل نصائح وإرشادات سفارات الغرب والخليج. لكنّ الناس، على الأقل، لاحظوا اختلال الدولة الوظيفي للقطاع العام مقارنة بالقطاع الخاص. أليس من المهين لذاكرة الناس ولتاريخ لبنان المعاصر، أن يحمل مستشفى بيروت الحكومي اسم الرجل الذي كرّس حياته السياسيّة لمحاربة القطاع العام، ولتخصيص قطاعات الدولة وأملاكها وبيعها كي تصبح ملكاً خاصاً للأثرياء الفاسدين من أمثاله؟ ما علاقة رفيق الحريري بمستشفى بيروت الحكومي، وهو الذي حارب إعلام ومدارس وجامعة الدولة، مقابل مساهمته (من جيبه ومن جيب الدولة) في القطاع الخاص في لبنان وفي الدول الأجنبية. لو أنّ الحريري تبرّع بما تبرّع به لجامعة جورجتاون (كي تقبل ابنه غير النجيب سعد في كلية إدارة الأعمال)، لمستشفى بيروت الحكومي، لكان زاد عدد الأسرّة بنحو مئة سرير. لو أنّه بدلاً من التبرّع للجامعة الأميركيّة، تبرّع للجامعة اللبنانيّة، لكانت كليّة الطب فيها تضاهي كليّات الطبّ في الجامعات الخاصّة. إن نزع اسم رفيق الحريري عن مستشفى بيروت الحكومي، يجب أن يكون أولويّة وطنيّة بعد كارثة «كورونا» (يبدو اسم مستشفى سليم الحص الحكومي أفضل بكثير).

إنّ الأزمة هذه، في أميركا أو في لبنان، هي تذكير بأنّ القطاع العام هو الذي يُنقذ، وأن القطاع الخاص يهرب عند أوّل ظهور لأزمة أو كارثة أو طارئ. الشعب الأميركي يكره بالمطلق الحكومة الفيدرالية والإنفاق الحكومي، إلا عندما تحدث كارثة في الولاية: إعصار أو زلزال. علّمهم الآباء المؤسّسون كراهيّة دور الدولة في السوق باسم الحريّة (وهي لا تعني إلا حريّة رأس المال فقط). الآن، يرصد الشعب الأميركي ما يصدر عن مؤسّساته الحكوميّة، مثل «المؤسّسة العامّة للصحّة» أو «مركز مراقبة الأمراض» (والمركزان عانيا من تناقص في التمويل في هذه الإدارة. القطاع الخاص هنا عاجز عن توفير أسرّة مستشفيات، أو آلات تنفّس اصطناعي، لأنّ كل ما يتعلّق بالتصنيع والإنتاج يخضع لحسابات الربح المادّي فقط. هذه دولة متخلّفة عن كل الدول الصناعيّة المتقدّمة في الرعاية الاجتماعيّة، ونسب وفاة الولادة للأطفال في العاصمة الأميركيّة (وغالبيّة سكّانها من السود) أعلى من تلك النسبة في كوبا. أميركا تصدّر الحروب حول العالم، فيما كانت الحكومة الكوبيّة الشيوعيّة تصدّر الأطبّاء، بالإضافة إلى دعمها نضالات الشعوب الأفريقيّة للتحرّر.

سيصبح الكلام عن أنّ العالم قبل وبعد «كورونا» كليشيه ثابتة، لكنّها صحيحة. لكنّ الكلام عن أن أميركا، مثلاً، ستتجه نحو الإنسانية، وتتخلّى عن سياستها الخارجيّة عن «الواقعيّة الهجوميّة» هو أضغاث أحلام. لن تتعامل أميركا مع العالم على أنه واحد، أو أن شعوبه متساوية. في الوقت نفسه الذي كان يتراكم فيه عدد موتى الـ«كورونا»، كانت الحكومة الأميركيّة (وبرضى الحزبيْن) تتشدّد في فرض العقوبات على إيران، وتمنع الدعوات العالميّة لفتح المجال أمام مدّ العون الطبي والإنساني للشعب الإيراني. هناك من وجد فرصة لزيادة عدد الموتى في إيران. أميركا اختارت، أيضاً، أن تضع ثمناً على رأس مادورو في فنزويلا، كما كانوا يضعوا أثماناً على رؤوس المطلوبين في الغرب الأميركي. عسكرة السياسة في أميركا لم تختفِ: وسائل الإعلام احتفلت بوصول سفن مستشفيات عسكريّة من الجيش الأميركي إلى كاليفورنيا ونيويورك، وبأنّ قطاع الهندسة في الجيش الأميركي أنشأ مستشفى ميدانياً في مدينة نيويورك. لكن لو أنّ القطاع الصحّي هنا لا يسعى إلى الربح، لكان عدد الأسرّة كافياً ولما كانت هناك حاجة لسفن الحرب الأميركيّة. لكن ما حاجة الأسرّة إذا كانت تفيض عن حاجة المرضى لها، حسب المعيار الرأسمالي؟ ليس الاقتصاد الرأسمالي معنياً بالأزمات وحالات الطوارئ، أو التخطيط المركزي للصالح العام. هذا يتناقض مع مفهوم حريّة السوق في العرض والطلب. ولهذا، فإن تعاطي حكومة الصين المركزي لاقى استحساناً هنا. تزداد الحلول الاشتراكيّة التأميميّة شعبيّة، عندما يتعلّق الأمر بإنقاذ الوظائف أو إنقاذ صناعات من الإفلاس. عندها فقط، لا يعترض الشعب الأميركي على الاشتراكية، وعلى دور الدولة في السوق أو على حجم النفقات، لأنّ المواطن يشعر أنها ستفيده هو، لا جاره أو فقيراً أسود في وسط مدينة ما.

يُخطئ من يظن أن كارثة «كورونا» ستضفي لمسة إنسانية على دول الغرب، خصوصاً إمبراطورية الحرب الأميركية. على العكس، فإنّ عذر مكافحة الفيروس سيُضاف إلى عذر مكافحة الإرهاب، من أجل تعزيز تسلّط الدولة على المجتمع. والفروقات الطبقيّة ستزداد وضوحاً ورسوخاً، بعدما كان أمر سترها أسهل في الماضي السحيق قبل عقود: أصبحت الحدود الجغرافيّة بين أماكن سكن الأثرياء وباقي الناس أصلب وأقسى: هناك ما يُسمّى هنا «سكن ما وراء الأسوار»، وهم يعنون بذلك أسواراً حديديّة مكهربة، لمنع تنقّل الناس أو وفود الفقراء وعائلات الطبقة المتوسّطة إلى أماكن سكن الأثرياء. يستعيضون عن ذلك في لبنان، بأسوار القصور وبحراس شخصيّين لمنع المتطفّلين. حرّاس وليد جنبلاط وحرّاس نبيه برّي وحرّاس سعد الحريري، اعتدوا على المتظاهرين بمجرّد أن اقتربوا من أسوار قصورهم.

الرأسماليّة في حرج، وحرجها ازداد بعد «كورونا». تقرأ بعض السذّج على مواقع التواصل يقولون بلسان الأثرياء ـــ وهم ليسوا منهم ـــ إنّ الخطر جمع بين الجميع، ووحّد بين الفقير والغني. قررتُ أن أجري مقارنة ديموغرافيّة لأماكن إصابة «كورونا» في القضاء الذي أعيش فيه هنا في كاليفورنيا. وجدتُ أنّ معظم الإصابات (نحو تسعين في المئة) تقع في المنطقة الأفقر، وكذلك الأمر في أقضية أخرى في الولاية. وكما للأثرياء مستشفيات وأسرّة خاصّة بهم، كذلك الأمر في أميركا. الأثرياء سيلقون من العناية أكثر من الفقراء، وقرارات الاستنسابيّة في تقديم العناية الطبيّة للمرضى ستفيد الأثرياء أكثر بكثير من الفقراء. الأثرياء أكثر قدرة على تلقّي الفحص من الفقراء. الفروقات الطبقيّة في الرأسماليّة ظاهرة في كل جوانب الحياة ولن يوفّرها المرض. قد تكون هناك مساواة في طواعين القرون الوسطى، لكن اليوم الأمر يختلف. ووجود العوارض الأخرى الصحيّة عند الفرد، والتي تزيد من إمكانيّة وفاة المصابين بـ«كورونا»، هي أيضاً تصيب الفقراء أكثر من الأثرياء الذين يتمتّعون بنظام عيش أكثر صحيّة من الفقراء.

نحن في حجر صحّي هنا، لكن لا يمرّ يوم لا أغادر فيه المنزل. إلّا أنّ الانطوائيّين مثلي ــ كما كتب عامر محسن قبل أيّام ــ لا يلاحظون، كما غيرهم، تأثير الحجر. تخرج وحيداً وتعود وحيداً وتتسوّق بعيداً عن البشر. الناس هنا في حالة استرخاء: كان عليّ، وأنا العربيّ المشبوه، أن أصيح بالواقفين في الطابور أمام مخزن التسوّق: يا قوم. يا قوم. أين مسافة ستة أقدام بيننا؟ لعلّ الخطر الداهم يصيب الناس بنوع من الاستسلام. وقد لاحظ استطلاع «بيو» أنّ الذين يصلّون، يقومون بذلك أكثر هذه الأيّام، ولاحظ أنّ ١٥ ٪ من الذين لا يصلّون عادة، يصلّون هذه الأيام، وأنّ ٢٤٪ من الذين لا ينتمون إلى دين يصلّون هم أيضاً. هل يزداد عدد المؤمنين بعد دفن ضحايا «كورونا» أم أن الناس سيكفرون أكثر تشكيكاً بالعدالة والحكمة الإلهيّة؟ لكن ليس هذا وقت المراجعة. لم ينتهِ إحصاء الضحايا، ولم تنتهِ مراسم دفن الأموات، وبعض البلدان تخلّت عن مراسم الدفن بسبب العدد الهائل من الموتى. لكن لو نجينا من هذا الفيروس، نحتاج إلى أن نتباحث يوماً ما في مغزاه، ولو كان بعضنا غائباً فليتباحث من بقيَ منا حياً، أو من بقيَ منا حيّاً لكن من دون أن يكون قد فقد قواه العقليّة.

* كاتب عربي (حسابه على «تويتر» asadabukhalil@)

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