How Wall Street Finances the Battle against Neoliberalism?

Global Research, January 20, 2019

Today I read an interesting article referring to Mexico on how neoliberal economists through the application of “strong IMF economic medicine” contributed to “wreaking  havoc” on the global poor while “protecting the financial elites”.

And then I arrived at the foot of the article published by Alternet:

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

The Independent Media Institute, a tax exempt charity foundation supported by George Soros, a multibillion dollar Wall Street tycoon and hedge fund manager largely involved in speculative trade in the commodity and foreign exchange markets.

The Independent Media Center is described as an

“Internet-based, news and events bulletin board [which] represents an invariably leftist, anti-capitalist perspective and serves as a mouthpiece for anti-globalization/anti-America themes.”

Globetrotter is a projet of the IMC which (according to the IMC):

“explores the struggles for independence, dignity and democracy in the developing world, from economic models to war and imperialism.”

Needless to say, I was puzzled. Wall Street finances the battle against neoliberalism?

A critique of the IMF macro-economic agenda for Latin America is funded by a foundation owned by one of Wall Street’s most prominent financiers.

I read through the article once more: The article does not actually bash the Wall Street financial elites involved in destabilizing the Mexican economy. It largely focuses on the failures of the IMF bureaucracy without acknowledging that the IMF bureaucracy always acts on behalf of Wall Street.

While the author accuses the IMF mission to Mexico of window dressing, “[n]othing in the IMF staff statement indicated a policy that would tackle Mexico’s grave problems of poverty and inequality”.

One is however left with the impression that it’s all a big management failure which can be rectified by changing the IMF recipe and training IMF officials to learn the realities of developing countries:

Someone should encourage the IMF to stop sending staff teams into countries like Mexico. Each report is identical to the previous one. Nothing seems to be learned by these teams. Years ago, a senior IMF economist told me that when he arrived in a Central Asian country he knew nothing of that country, he got to see nothing of it when he was there and he knew virtually nothing when he drafted the Article IV review. All he did in the country was sit in one air-conditioned room after another, listen to canned reports from nervous finance ministry officials and then develop the report based on the IMF’s same old recipe—make cuts, target welfare, privatize and make sure that the banks are happy. (Alternet, emphasis added)

“Make sure the banks are happy”. Yes, that is the main goal. And the standard recipe serves their interests.

The IMF is controlled by Wall Street and the US Treasury. It has informal ties to the Pentagon. It routinely interfaces with the Washington think tanks. It is part of what is called the “Washington Consensus” which defines the gamut of deadly  economic measures imposed on indebted developing countries.

https://www.alternet.org/2018/11/international-monetary-fund-flexes-its-muscles-latin-america/embed/#?secret=OKwwFZy5dV

“Funding Dissent”

Numerous organizations and protest movements (against neoliberalism) including the World Social Forum (WSF) are funded by Wall Street. How is the process of “manufactured dissent” achieved?

Essentially by “funding dissent”, namely by channeling financial resources from those who are the object of the protest movement to those who are involved in organizing the protest movement.

Co-optation is not limited to buying the favors of politicians. The economic elites –which control major foundations– also oversee the funding of numerous NGOs and civil society organizations, which historically have been involved in the protest movement against the established economic and social order. The programs of many NGOs and people’s movements rely heavily on funding from both public as well as private foundations including the Ford, Rockefeller, McCarthy foundations, among others.

The anti-globalization movement is opposed to Wall Street and the Texas oil giants controlled by Rockefeller, et al. Yet the foundations and charities of Rockefeller et al will generously fund progressive anti-capitalist networks as well as environmentalists (opposed to Big Oil) with a view to ultimately overseeing and shaping their various activities. (Michel Chossudovsky, Manufacturing Dissent, Global Research, 2015

Global capitalism finances anti-capitalism: an absurd and contradictory relationship.

There can be no meaningful mass movement when dissent is generously funded by those same corporate interests which are the target of the protest movement. In the words of McGeorge Bundy, president of the Ford Foundation (1966-1979),Everything the [Ford] Foundation did could be regarded as ‘making the World safe for capitalism’”. (Ibid)

France’s Green Vests

Will elite institutions attempt through various means to infiltrate the Green Vests? France’s intelligence and police apparatus has no doubt already contemplated this option.

Sofar the movement is fully aware of the dangers of cooptation. There is no evidence that the Gilets Jaunes have been coopted or financed by outside funding. While Soros has supported the so-called “color revolutions”, the Yellow Vests have expressed there position in relation to the fake “revolutions” funded by the financial establishment.

click to enlarge

In the case of France, the Gilets Jaunes movement has a grassroots structure.

The Gilets Jaunes call for the withdrawal of France from NATO. It addresses the impacts of neoliberalism while taking a firm anti-war stance. The movement is not manipulated by NGOs or political parties. In the words of Diana Johnstone:

“President Emmanuel Macron’s New Year’s Eve address to the nation made it perfectly clear that after one unconvincing stab at throwing a few crumbs to the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) protest movement, he has determined to get tough.”

Macron is a former senior staff member of  Rothschild & Cie Banque:

Macron is the very embodiment of this system.  He was chosen by that famous elite to carry through the measures dictated by “the Markets”, enforced by the European Union. He cannot give in.  But now that people are awake to what is going on, they won’t stop either.  For all the lamented decline in the school system, the French people today are as well-educated and reasonable as any population can be expected to be.  If they are incapable of democracy, then democracy is impossible.(Ibid)

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EU Snubs Pompeo’s Warsaw Anti-Iran Summit

Local Editor

EU foreign policy Chief Federica Mogherini will not take part in an anti-Iran conference to be held by the US in the Polish capital of Warsaw in mid-February, according to media reports.

An EU official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told Iran’s official news agency IRNA that Mogherini will not attend the conference due to her tight schedule.

Mogherini will be “traveling in those days, hence her attendance is not foreseen,” the official told IRNA’s correspondent in London.

A senior EU official also confirmed IRNA’s report on Thursday, saying Mogherini will not attend the gathering because of a prior engagement, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The meeting is to be held in Poland on February 13-14 as part of US efforts to increase global pressure on the Islamic Republic.

However, ministers from several European Union countries will likely skip the summit, a report by the Wall Street Journal quoted officials as saying.

There is “a lot of uncertainty about participation of many other EU member states at ministerial level,” one official told the paper.

In further details, European diplomats said in recent days that France is unlikely to send its foreign minister. The UK and Germany haven’t decided who will represent them. Luxembourg’s foreign minister said he would miss the event because of a prior arrangement.

One European diplomat said the bloc will not be “joining an anti-Iran coalition.”

Meanwhile, a group of activists in the United States and other countries recently signed a petition, calling on European countries to boycott an anti-Iran summit.

The activists started the petition on the website of the anti-war group Code Pink to ask European countries not to attend the summit.

More than 3,400 people have so far signed the online petition, which urges EU countries to skip US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s “belligerent conference” and “instead host an alternative one with all nations of the region, including Iran.”

The EU is a strong supporter of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and is seeking to help retain economic ties with Tehran despite renewed US sanctions on Iran following US President Donald Trump’s decision in May to withdraw from the accord.

The summit, which will be co-hosted by Poland and the US and take place in Warsaw, was announced during Pompeo’s tour of the Middle East last week.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

War Essay- The consequences of nuclear war on US society

January 13, 2019

War Essay- The consequences of nuclear war on US society

by Phillyguy for The Saker Blog

Summary

The US emerged from WWII as the world’s leading economic and military power. Since that time US hegemony has been predicated on: 1) unrivaled military strength, 2) control of world’s energy reserves and 3) primacy of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency. All of the pillars supporting US global dominance are now being threatened by continuing US economic decline coupled with ongoing economic development of China and other Asian countries, who are increasingly using currencies other than the US dollar, for international trade. US economic decline is fueling global instability and increasing the possibility of conflicts erupting between global powers. Thus the threat of nuclear war hangs over the world.

How did we get here?

The US emerged from WWII, with its manufacturing base intact and was the world’s dominant economic power. This began to change in the mid-1970s, as US corporate profits began to stagnate/decline, a consequence of increasing competition from rebuilt economies in Europe- primarily Germany (Marshall Plan), Japan and Korea (US wars in Korea and Vietnam) and later China (1). To deal with these structural economic problems confronting US capitalism, the directors of economic policy in the government and large corporations faced a decision that would play a major role in shaping global geopolitics for the next 5 decades. They could make large investments in the domestic economy, developing state of the art manufacturing facilities and equipment that would enable US corporations to effectively compete with those in newly emerging economies, or abandon manufacturing and change the structure of the US economy. As we now know, policy makers chose the latter route. This policy was based on economic attacks on poor people and labor, financial deregulation, increased spending on the military and war and rampant financial speculation.

In November 1980, Ronald Reagan was elected president and during his administration, began a frontal assault on organized labor by firing members of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) who went on strike over grievances concerning working conditions in 1981. Reagan also instituted tax cuts for the wealthy, which have continued under succeeding administrations (2). In 1993, Bill Clinton entered office and proceeded to attack poor people by cutting public assistance to poor families- signing the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 and pledging to “end welfare as we know it” (3), facilitated job outsourcing (passage of NAFTA) and deregulated finance by signing the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLBA) aka Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, which also repealed the Glass–Steagall act, a component of the depression era 1933 Banking Act (4). In 2001, George (“W”) Bush became president and immediately signed legislation cutting taxes for the wealthy, including major cuts to inheritance taxes. Following the 911 attacks on the World Trade Center in NYC, President GW Bush sent US troops to Afghanistan, to ostensibly find Osama bin, head of al-Qaida and alleged leader and organizer of the 911 attacks. In his 2002 State of the Union address, the President gave his now famous “axis of evil” speech, which included North Korea (DPRK), Iran and Iraq (5). This list was later expanded to include Cuba, Libya, Syria and Venezuela (6). In 2003, President Bush invaded Iraq and deposed their leader, Iraqi President, Saddam Hussein.

2008 Financial Crash

The policies instituted above combined to create the 2008 financial collapse, the largest financial disaster since the Great Depression. In an attempt to contain the economic damage resulting from this financial implosion, the US FED bailed out Wall St banks and to prevent further falls in the Stock market, has provided Wall St with a nearly unlimited supply of ultra-cheap funds (circa $4 trillion) for share buybacks and MA deals in what has been referred to as an “orgy” of corporate debt. Despite multiple tax cuts for the wealthy and financial largess of the US FED, and other Central banks including Bank of Japan (BOJ) and European Central Bank (ECB), global capitalism is confronted with slack demand, high levels of excess capacity and skyrocketing debt. In addition, economies in the US and EU are challenged with high employment and anemic job growth.

The economic policies shaped over the last four decades have been continued under Obama and Trump and have played a decisive role in directing US foreign policies since the mid-1970s. The relatively rapid economic decline since 2000 directly threatens US global hegemony and in response the Pentagon has engaged in an increasingly reckless, bellicose and astronomically expensive foreign policy (7, 8). Indeed, the US is currently involved in wars stretching from the Levant, to Caspian Basin, South-west Asia, Persian Gulf, China Sea, Indian Ocean, Horn of Africa, the Maghreb, to Eastern Europe and Russian border. The staggering economic costs of these wars can be seen with conflicts in Afghanistan (longest running war in US history) and Iraq being estimated to have cost US taxpayers $ 6 trillion (9).

Focus on China

The emergence of China as a potential competitor to US hegemony was recognized by the Obama administration and in response, reoriented US foreign policy with his “Asia Pivot” in 2012 (10). Harvard Professor Graham Allison has warned that the US and China are in “Thucydides Trap” using Athenian historian Thucydides analysis of the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC), where “it was the rise of Athens, and the fear that this inspired in Sparta, that made war inevitable”

(11). Tensions with China have been heightened by the Trump administration’s protectionist trade policies, tariffs on Chinese exports to the US and out right thuggish behavior, an example being the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver, Canada (12, 13). The anti-China campaign is being ratcheting up further with vague accusations of “China’s attempts to obtain trade secrets and intellectual property through a state-coordinated cyberespionage campaign….. a brazen effort by the Chinese to obtain Western technology and other proprietary information”, featured in a prominent piece in the “paper or record” (NYT) by David Sanger (14). Sanger is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (www.cfr.org) which plays a major role in influencing US foreign policy.

Not surprisingly, most of the “analysis” of US-China relations presented by establishment academics such as Graham Allison or corporate media pundits like David Sanger present an accurate picture of economic relationships between the US and China. Unfortunately, consistently lacking is a critical and comprehensive examination of how and why this happened- i.e., decades of deliberate US government and corporate policies which facilitated China’s economic rise and accelerated US economic decline (see above). This is not surprising as intuitions like the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Council on Foreign Relations, Rand Corporation and related “think tanks” along with corporate media are all committed to supporting policies which promote corporate interests and maximize corporate profits.

Thus, campaigns against China and Russia share broad support among the directors of US foreign policy. Collectively, these polices have exacerbated international relations, greatly increasing the threat of a direct military confrontation between the Global powers and potential use of nuclear weapons, as President Trump laid out in his recent National Security Strategy (NSS) speech (15). In his traditional Christmas message Pope Francis stated “The winds of war are blowing in our world and an outdated model of development continues to produce human, societal and environmental decline”. Indeed, The Pope specifically mentioned the decision by US President Trump to recognize Jerusalem (Al-Quds) as Israel’s capital and his bellicose rhetoric towards North Korea, setting up potential new global flashpoints (16). By closely aligning themselves with US policies which increasingly threatens China and Russia with military attack, US “allies”- members of NATO, South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, will likely be targeted by Russian and Chinese nuclear weapons in the event of hostilities.

While there has been extensive analysis of US foreign policy and ongoing US wars, there has been surprisingly little inquiry of the consequences of a nuclear attack on the US. Such a discussion is made all the more urgent by the expansion of US/NATO into Eastern Europe and close to the Russian border, the US/NATO supported coup in Ukraine in 2014 (17), conflicts in the Middle East and Trump’s bellicose rhetoric towards the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Iran, China and Russia, US withdrawal from the Paris Climate accord, JCPOA (Iran nuclear deal) and most recently, exiting the INF treaty with Russia.

Vulnerability to War

The job of military strategists, like that of prosecuting and defense attorneys in a legal case is to assess the strength and weakness of their opponent(s) and design strategies taking into account these features (18). In the case of the US, the strengths are pretty obvious. The US possesses formidable military power, albeit being gradually confronted by Russia and China, and the dollar is still the dominant currency in the international monetary system, although its strength is being eroded by growing US debt and competition from the Euro and Chinese renminbi, which was recently added to IMF’s basket of reserve currencies. The primacy of the dollar is also seeing competition from bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (19).

The structural features of US society make it extremely susceptible to nuclear war. Some of these attributes include: population density, energy dependence, reliance on information technology and social instability.

1. Population Density A dozen regions comprise the major economic centers which drive the US economy (20). Approximately 2/3 of the US population lives on littoral areas of the country- 38% on the East Coast (Atlantic Ocean), 16% on West Coast (Pacific Ocean) and 12% on the Gulf Coast (21).

2) Energy US society is highly energy dependent. The US has 5% of the world’s population but consumes 18% of the world’s energy. Approximately 65% of electricity is generated from fossil fuel (oil, natural gas and coal) while 20% is obtained from nuclear power (22, 23). Nuclear power plants rely on electrically powered pumps to circulate water around the reactor cores to keep them from overheating. When these pumps cease functioning, the reactor cores overheat and literally undergo a “meltdown” releasing highly radioactive uranium fuel assemblies into the environment, which occurred during the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear plant accident in Ukraine (24) and the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan (25).

3) Transportation and Agriculture. Our transportation “system” relies on energy inefficient automobiles and planes as the primary means of local and distant travel. US agriculture is extremely energy-dependent, requiring 10 calories of energy to produce 1 calorie of food (26). Further, the average food commodity transits 1500 miles from production point to consumption site- e.g., California strawberries in PA (usually transported on diesel fueled trucks; 27).

4. Information Technology – The functioning of our society- industries and businesses which provide jobs and keep our economy running, healthcare, educational system and the government all rely on information flow to function (28). This system encompasses local computers, the internet and fiber optic cables serving as data pipelines, computer server farms and “cloud” storage facilities, all of which consume lots of electricity (29).

5. Social Instability Our society is extremely polarized- exemplified by the election of Donald Trump in November, 2016. Following Trump’s election, there has been a rise in racist, neo-Nazi groups as we saw in Charlottesville, VA (30).

Likely Targets

In the case of a major conflict, key targets in the US will include military installations, major cities and energy infrastructure, the last two being “soft” targets, easily hit and difficult to defend. Attacks on energy related facilities will include electrical generating stations, oil and natural gas production sites and refineries, storage facilities, pipelines and loading docks. Also targeted will be fiber optic cables and computer server farms and storage facilities. When this happens, the US economy and society will completely cease normal functioning. Electrical generation will stop and the pumps required for distribution of potable water and operation of sewage treatment plants stop working, resulting in the rapid development of Cholera epidemics, as observed in Yemen (31, 32). Rapidly dwindling supplies of gasoline and diesel fuel mean that transportation is greatly restricted, businesses, hospitals and education facilities, heavily reliant on electricity and information technology completely stop functioning. Energy intensive agricultural production rapidly declines resulting in food shortages and starvation. Lack of electricity causes the electric pumps circulating water around reactor cores of the 98 nuclear power plants currently operating in the country (23) to stop, resulting in core meltdowns, producing Fukushima and Chernobyl- like nuclear disasters across the US. These economic and social disruptions will likely lead to vast social panic and unrest across the country, resulting in violent confrontations such as occurred in Charlottesville, VA, 2017.

There is no way an energy intensive, technologically advanced society like the US can adapt to conditions following a major war. This will likely lead to complete destruction of the US as a country and may well lead to extinction of the human species. With the exception of a handful of journalists such as Professor Michel Chossudovsky, director of the Centre for Research on Globalization, Steve Lendman, Geopolitical analyst, Helen Caldicott, Australian physician and anti-nuclear activist, and discussion of a “nuclear winter” following a nuclear war (33), there has been little discussion about the direct impact of a major war on US society by mainstream media outlets.

Concluding Remarks

The US is very vulnerable to any nuclear attack, and from my perspective, it is doubtful that US society will survive such an event. Unfortunately, it appears that the only approach the US is following to address its structural economic decline is an increasingly bellicose and belligerent foreign policy. Indeed, in September, 2017, President Trump gave a speech in front of the UN, referring to DPRK leader Kim Jong-un, as “Rocket Man” and stating he would “totally destroy North Korea”.

Not to be outdone, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said at a recent UNSC meeting “if war comes, make no mistake, the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed”. Russia and China share a border with North Korea and thus will be directly affected by any war on the Korean Peninsula, potentially leading to a nuclear war, as recently pointed out by William Polk (34, 35). Rather than toning down their bellicose rhetoric, the Trump administration, along with members of Congress have continued issuing threats against China and Russia. Speaking to the UN General Assembly in September, 2018, President Trump and his top advisors delivered “fiery” speeches against Iran (36).

Final Points

1. The US is the only county in the world to have used nuclear weapons, which were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan at the end of World War II (37). Following the “success” of these attacks, the Pentagon had detailed plans to use over 200 atomic bombs to strike 66 “strategic” targets in the Soviet Union (38) and since that time, plans to attack Russia have been continuously upgraded (39, 40).

2. The ruling elite in the US are well aware of continuing (accelerating?) US economic decline and looming strategic debacles confronting the Pentagon in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria (7-9). At the same time Russia, China and Iran are incorporating increasingly sophisticated military hardware into their armed forces (for an excellent analysis see 41, 42). The US response has been an increasingly reckless, bellicose and astronomically expensive foreign policy.

3. Once nuclear weapons are used, the chances of a rapid escalation are very high.

4. The use of mini-nukes has been pushed by US military planners as representing “less risk” to the civilian population. Indeed, the US is currently undertaking a $1.3 Trillion upgrade of existing nuclear weapons, which began under the Obama Administration (43). Trump has announced the US will leave the INF treaty unless Russia discontinues certain missile programs (44).

5. In the event of a nuclear war, the devastation will be rapid and very widespread and there is no preparation for such an event. US infrastructure will be completely destroyed, which will likely tear our society apart.

I was a “baby boomer” and grew up when the US and Soviet Union were testing atomic bombs. I recall my Mom, a member of “Women for Peace”, putting a bumper sticker on our family car that read “Our Only Shelter is Peace”. This is still true today.

Notes

1. The “Decline” of U.S. Economy: A Historical Comparison. By Chen Dezhao, China Institute for International Studies; Link: http://www.ciis.org.cn/english/2011-11/18/content_4635120.htm

2. Reagan insider: ‘GOP destroyed U.S. economy’. By Paul B. Farrell Market Watch Aug 10, 2010; Link: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/reagan-insider-gop-destroyed-us-economy-2010-08-10

3. The End of Welfare as We Know It- America’s once-robust safety net is no more. By Alana Semuels The Atlantic, Apr 1, 2016; Link: www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/04/the-end-of-welfare-as-we-know-it/476322/

4. Banking Act of 1933 (Glass-Steagall) June 16, 1933. Federal Reserve History; Link: http://www.federalreservehistory.org/essays/glass_steagall_act

5. Text of President Bush’s 2002 State of the Union Address. Washington Post, Jan. 29, 2002; Link: www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/onpolitics/transcripts/sou012902.htm

6. Global Warfare: “We’re Going to Take out 7 Countries in 5 Years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan & Iran..” Video Interview with General Wesley Clark By General Wesley Clark and Amy Goodman Global Research, May 14, 2018; Link: www.globalresearch.ca/we-re-going-to-take-out-7-countries-in-5-years-iraq-syria-lebanon-libya-somalia-sudan-iran/5166

7. Losing by “Winning”: America’s Wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria By Anthony H. Cordesman Aug 13, 2018; Link: www.csis.org/analysis/losing-winning-americas-wars-afghanistan-iraq-and-syria

8. The Costs of War: counted in TRILLIONS. Dec 13, 2017 by Phillyguy for the Saker blog; Link: thesaker.is/the-costs-of-war/

9. United States Budgetary Costs of the Post-9/11 Wars Through FY2019: $5.9 Trillion Spent and Obligated by Neta C. Crawford Nov 14, 2018; Link:

watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/files/cow/imce/papers/2018/Crawford_Costs%20of%20War%20Estimates%20Through%20FY2019%20.pdf

10. The president’s Asia legacy is not worst in recent history. But it’s not the best either. By Michael J. Green Sept 3, 2016; Link: foreignpolicy.com/2016/09/03/the-legacy-of-obamas-pivot-to-asia/

11. The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War? By Graham Allison, The Atlantic, Sept. 24, 2015; Link: http://www.belfercenter.org/publication/thucydides-trap-are-us-and-china-headed-war

12. Trump could make Obama’s pivot to Asia a reality By Josh Rogin Washington Post January 8, 2017; Link:

www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/trump-could-make-obamas-pivot-to-asia-a-reality/2017/01/08/a2f8313a-d441-11e6-945a-76f69a399dd5_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.4a446c392185

13. Washington using legal cover to conceal economic banditry by Finian Cunningham RT Dec 12, 2018; Link: http://www.rt.com/op-ed/446285-china-us-economy-huawei/

14. U.S. Accuses Chinese Nationals of Infiltrating Corporate and Government Technology By David E. Sanger and Katie Benner Dec. 20, 2018; Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/20/us/politics/us-and-other-nations-to-announce-china-crackdown.html

15. Trump’s National Security Strategy: The return of “great power” military conflict By Bill Van Auken 20 Dec 2017; Link: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/12/20/pers-d20.html.

16. Pope laments ‘winds of war’ blowing around the world in Christmas message. Chicago Tribune. Dec 25, 2017; Link: www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-pope-francis-christmas-message-20171225-story.html

17. It’s not Russia that’s pushed Ukraine to the brink of war By Seumas Milne. The Guardian Apr 30, 2014; Link: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/30/russia-ukraine-war-kiev-conflict

18. Striking a Strategic Balance – Putin’s Preventive Response By Rostislav Ishchenko [Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard] Oct 22, 2018; Link: http://www.stalkerzone.org/rostislav-ishchenko-striking-a-strategic-balance-putins-preventive-response/

19. 21st century reserve currencies – (how long) will the dollar-euro dominance prevail? Kevin Koerner and Franziska Winkler Deutsche Bank Nov 15, 2017; Link: http://www.dbresearch.com/servlet/reweb2.ReWEB?rwnode=RPS_EN-PROD$HIDDEN_GLOBAL_SEARCH&rwsite=RPS_EN-PROD&rwobj=ReDisplay.Start.class&document=PROD0000000000455549.

20. The Dozen Regional Powerhouses Driving the U.S. Economy by Richard Florida

Mar 12, 2014; Link: http://www.citylab.com/life/2014/03/dozen-regional-powerhouses-driving-us-economy/8575/

21. People- Geographic Distribution of US Population; Link: http://www.theusaonline.com/people/geographic-distribution.htm

22. What is U.S. electricity generation by energy source? Link: www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3

23. Nuclear Power in the USA (Updated Oct, 2018); Link: http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/countries-t-z/usa-nuclear-power.aspx

24. Backgrounder on Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Accident; Link: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/fact-sheets/chernobyl-bg.html

25. Fukushima Daiichi Accident; Link: http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/safety-and-security/safety-of-plants/fukushima-accident.aspx

26. How to Feed the World By Michael Pollan. Newsweek, May 19, 2008; Link: michaelpollan.com/articles-archive/how-to-feed-the-world/

27. How Far Does Your Food Travel to Get to Your Plate? Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA); Link: cuesa.org/learn/how-far-does-your-food-travel-get-your-plate

28. More Dependence on Internet Leads to More Cyberattacks Worldwide by Elizabeth Lee. VOA, Aug 26, 2017; Link: http://www.voanews.com/a/dependence-on-internet-leads-to-more-cyberattacks/4001728.html

29. The Surprisingly Large Energy Footprint of the Digital Economy. Our computers and smartphones might seem clean, but the digital economy uses a tenth of the world’s electricity — and that share will only increase, with serious consequences for the economy and the environment. By Bryan Walsh. Time, Aug. 14, 2013; Link: science.time.com/2013/08/14/power-drain-the-digital-cloud-is-using-more-energy-than-you-think/

30. Charlottesville rally violence: How we got here. By Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Aug. 14, 2017; Link: www.cnn.com/2017/08/14/us/charlottesville-rally-timeline-tick-tock/index.html

31. Yemen is currently facing the largest documented cholera epidemic in modern times. A new report warns it could get worse. By Alanna Shaikh, MPH UN dispatch May 08, 2018; Link: http://www.undispatch.com/yemen-is-currently-facing-the-largest-documented-cholera-epidemic-in-modern-times-a-new-report-warns-it-could-get-worse/

32. Cholera epidemic in Yemen, 2016–18: an analysis of surveillance data. By Anton Camacho, et al. The Lancet Global Health Lancet Glob Health 2018; 6: e680–690; Link: www.thelancet.com/action/showPdf?pii=S2214-109X%2818%2930230-4

33. The Risk of Nuclear Winter by Seth Baum May 29, 2015; Link: fas.org/pir-pubs/risk-nuclear-winter/

34. America on the Brink of Nuclear War: Background to the North Korean Crisis By William R. Polk Sep 6, 2017;

Link: www.counterpunch.org/2017/09/06/mayday-korea-america-on-the-brink-of-nuclear-war

35. America on the Brink of Nuclear War: What Should We Do? By William R. Polk Sep 7, 2017; Link: www.counterpunch.org/2017/09/07/america-on-the-brink-of-nuclear-war-what-should-we-do).

36. President Trump’s Efforts to Isolate Iran at the U.N. Backfired By W.J. Hennigan Sep 26, 2018 Time; Link: http://time.com/5407295/donald-trump-iran-united-nations/

37. Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Gratuitous Mass Murder, Nuclear War, “A Lunatic Act” By Stephen Lendman Global Research, Aug 09, 2018; Link: www.globalresearch.ca/hiroshima-and-nagasaki-gratuitous-mass-murder-nuclear-war-a-lunatic-act-2/5467504

38. “Wipe the Soviet Union Off the Map”, 204 Atomic Bombs against 66 Major Cities, US Nuclear Attack against USSR Planned During World War II When America and the Soviet Union Were Allies. By Prof Michel Chossudovsky Global Research, Oct 27, 2018; Link: www.globalresearch.ca/wipe-the-ussr-off-the-map-204-atomic-bombs-against-major-cities-us-nuclear-attack-against-soviet-union-planned-prior-to-end-of-world-war-ii/5616601

39. The U.S. Government’s Plan Is to Conquer Russia by a Surprise Invasion by Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog Dec 11, 2018; Link: thesaker.is/the-u-s-governments-plan-is-to-conquer-russia-by-a-surprise-invasion/

40. The US is Planning a Major War with Russia and China. By James ONeill, Global Research, Dec 24, 2018; Link: www.globalresearch.ca/the-us-is-planning-a-major-war-with-russia-and-china-reports/5663819

41. Losing Military Supremacy: The Myopia of American Strategic Planning Byby Andrei Martyanov, 2018 (Book); Link: www.amazon.com/Losing-Military-Supremacy-American-Strategic/dp/0998694754

42. Solari Report- quarterly interview with The Saker Nov 21, 2018; Links: thesaker.is/solari-report-quarterly-interview-with-the-saker-2; www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDsL2Fm2Ddc

43. U.S. Nuclear Modernization Programs. Arms Control Association Aug 13, 2018; Link: http://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/USNuclearModernization

44. US demands Russia ‘end or modify’ missile it doesn’t like to save INF treaty RT. Dec 7, 2018; Link: http://www.rt.com/usa/445791-usa-demands-russia-scraps-missile-inf/

العراق ساحة المواجهة المقبلة ونصر الشام يرسم معادلات العالم الجديد

يناير 14, 2019

محمد صادق الحسيني

تتقدّم موسكو بخطوات ثابتة ودقيقة متعكزة على محور المقاومة بهدف الارتكاز على سواحل المتوسط والاستحمام في مياهه الدافئة في تحوّل استراتيجي مهمّ كانت ترنو إليه منذ قرون.

لا شك في أنّ قرار روسيا بالتدخل العسكري المباشر، في الدفاع عن الدولة الوطنية السورية والمحافظة على وحدة البلاد وسيادتها، لم يكن يهدف لا إلى حماية الرئيس الأسد لأجل ذاته، ولا طمعاً في خيرات سورية وثرواتها الطبيعية مهما كانت مغرية.

إذ إنّ روسيا العظمى، التي تبلغ مساحتها سبعة عشر مليون كيلو متر مربع، ليست بحاجة الى خيرات أحد، وهي التي تملك احتياطيات هائلة من كلّ المواد الخام اللازمة لها ولغيرها، ولا هي تقيم علاقاتها مع الدول على أساس مواقفها من هذا الرئيس أو ذاك.

فلقد اتخذ قرار التدخل انطلاقاً من هدفين استراتيجيين هما:

أولاً: التصدي لسياسة سيطرة القطب الواحد على العالم، التي تمارسها الولايات المتحدة، والتي أدّت الى نشر الفوضى والقتل والدمار في أنحاء العالم كله وليس في بلد واحد منه، الى جانب تجاهل الولايات المتحدة لنصوص القانون الدولي، التي تمنع أي دولة في العالم من التدخل في شؤون الدول الاخرى الا اذا طلبت منها الدولة المعنية ذلك التدخل، وهو ما حصل في الحالة السورية بين الدولة الوطنية السورية وكلّ من روسيا وإيران.

ثانياً: الدفاع عن أسوار موسكو والأمن القومي الروسي انطلاقاً من حماية المصالح الاستراتيجية للاتحاد الروسي على صعيد العالم كله، ومن ثم للدول التي تتعاون أو تتحالف معها، كالصين وإيران وسورية وغيرها من الدول العربية وغير العربية في العالم، وذلك من خلال تعزيز التمركز العسكري، وبالتالي الدبلوماسي والسياسي، الروسي في منطقتنا العربية والاسلامية بشكل عام وعلى سواحل شرق المتوسط بشكل خاص. أيّ تعزيز تمركزها العسكري في سورية كقاعدة ارتكاز استراتيجية، لعمل الاسطول الروسي في الخاصرة الجنوبية لحلف شمال الأطلسي، أي في البحر المتوسط، والذي يشكل مسرح عمليات للسفن الحربية التابعة لدول حلف الأطلسي، ومن بينها سفن الاسطول السادس الأميركي الذي تتمّ قيادته، الى جانب الوحدات البحرية لدول الحلف الأخرى، من القاعدة البحرية الأميركية في مدينة نابولي الإيطالية.

وبالنظر الى السياسات العدوانية للولايات المتحدة الأميركية، تجاه روسيا وحلفائها في الصين وإيران بشكل خاص، إضافة الى سورية طبعاً، فإن واشنطن تواصل العمل على ما يلي:

أولاً: استكمال الحشد العسكري، ذي الطبيعة الاستراتيجية، على حدود الصين الغربية وفِي بحار الصين والمحيط الهادئ، الى جانب مواصلة واشنطن حشد العديد والعتاد على حدود روسيا الغربية، بهدف تطويقها وتهديدها استراتيجياً. علماً أنّ هذه الحدود الغربية لروسيا تمتدّ من استونيا، شمال شرق بحر البلطيق وبالقرب من مدينة لينينغراد الروسية، عبر دول لاتفيا ولتوانيا وبولندا وسلوفاكيا ورومانيا وبلغاريا، وجميعها أعضاء في حلف شمال الأطلسي، الى تركيا التي تشارك بلغاريا ورومانيا وأوكرانيا وجورجيا في شواطئ البحر الأسود. وهي دول معادية لروسيا، حتى لو كان بعضها ليس عضواً في الأطلسي كجورجيا وأوكرانيا.

ثانياً: تنفيذ مشاريع سكك حديدية، تمتدّ من حيفا في فلسطين المحتلة وحتى عُمان، وذلك في إطار الاستعدادات الأميركية لاحتمال قيام إيران بإغلاق مضيق هرمز وقيام الجيش اليمني واللجان الشعبية بإغلاق مضيق باب المندب، ما يعني وقف الملاحة عبر قناة السويس، الأمر الذي يجعل البحث عن بديل لهذه الممرات البحرية أمراً ذا أهمية استراتيجية عالية. وهو ما دفع الولايات المتحدة للتفكير بمشروع السكك الحديدية، وطرحه للتداول عبر الشريك الإسرائيلي هنا تظهر أهمية المخلب الصهيوني الذي رمي أخيراً على سلطنة عُمان !

وفِي ضوء كلّ هذه التطورات المتسارعة، على الصعيدين «الإقليمي» والدولي، وعلى الرغم من تحسّن العلاقات الروسية التركية، والنمو المتسارع لعلاقاتهما الاقتصادية والتجارية، وحتى الأمنية والعسكرية، في حدود تنحصر في معالجة مشاكل إقليمية، تتعلق بالوضع السوري على وجه الخصوص، وفِي ضوء ان تركيا هي الدولة ذات السيادة على مضائق البوسفور والدردنيل، التي تربط البحر الأسود بالبحر الابيض المتوسط، وذلك بموجب اتفاقية مونتري Montreux بلده في سويسرا الموقعة بتاريخ 20/7/1936 بين الدول المعنية وهي تركيا واليونان ويوغوسلافيا والاتحاد السوفياتي ورومانيا وبلغاريا وإيطاليا وفرنسا وبريطانيا واليابان، نقول إنه وفِي ضوء إعطاء السيادة الكاملة على هذه المضائق لتركيا، ورغم وجود نظام محدد يحكم حركة الملاحة، بما فيها السفن العسكرية، في هذه المضائق، فلا بد لروسيا أن تفكر دائماً في بديل لإمداد أسطولها العامل في البحر المتوسط والذي يتم حالياً من قواعدها في البحر الأسود عبر المضائق المشار إليها اعلاه. كما أن عليها أن تتخذ الإجراءات اللازمة لضمان تدفق الإمدادات لقواتها الجوفضائية العاملة في سورية أيضاً، بخاصة أن تفاصيل تنظيم حركة السفن التجارية والحربية، للدول المشاطئة وغير المشاطئة للبحر الأسود، وعلى ارضية سيادة تركيا الكاملة على تلك المضائق، فإنّ تركيا تتمتع بهامش كبير جداً في التحكم بحركة وحرية العبور في فترات الحرب.

وعلى الرغم من استبعاد حصول أية حروب بين تركيا وروسيا في المدى المنظور، وعلى الرغم من العلاقات الأخرى المتنامية، إلا أنّ تأمين طريق إمداد بديل، للقوات الروسية في المتوسط وسورية، يبقى أمراً استراتيجياً هاماً جداً وذلك في ضوء أن يقوم طرف ثالث، في حالة وقوع نزاع دولي مسلح، بإغلاق تلك المضائق او تقييد حرية الملاحة فيهما وخاصة السفن الروسية.

من هنا، وفي ضوء التحركات العسكرية الأميركية المريبة، في العراق بشكل عام وفِي محافظة الأنبار بشكل خاص، ومواصلة البنتاغون محاولات إقامة قواعد ونقاط قيادة وسيطرة أميركية في المنطقة الممتدة من التنف السورية وحتى مدينة القائم العراقية، بهدف قطع التواصل الجغرافي البري بين موسكو ودمشق، أي قطع طريق الإمداد الروسي البديل هذا والمبيَّن اعلاه، فإن روسيا ومعها إيران وسورية وقوى المقاومه في العراق ولبنان لا يمكن لها أن تتخلى عن هذا التواصل البري وجاهزيتها لأن تمنع الجيش الأميركي من السيطرة على تلك المناطق حتى لو بالقوة العسكرية، وهي التي لن تتوانى عن الانتقال الى استخدام ذلك لهزيمة المحتل الأميركي وإجباره على الانسحاب منها. أي من شرق سورية وغرب العراق وذلك لإفشال مخططاته في ربط محافظات العراق الشمالية والتي يطلق عليها البعض «إقليم كردستان العراق»، مع «إسرائيل»، عبر الاْردن الذي يعجّ بالقواعد العسكرية الأميركية والأوروبية والمنفتح، تنسيقاً وتعاوناً مباشراً، على الكيان الصهيوني.

وخير دليل على ذلك ما يتمّ تسريبه عبر الدوائر الاستخبارية ووسائل الإعلام الاسرائيلية عن زيارة عدة وفود عراقية لفلسطين المحتلة في الآونة الأخيرة. بالاضافة الى القرار الذي أصدره وزير المالية الإسرائيلي، كحلون، يوم أمس ألغى فيه كون العراق دولة معادية وسمح بالتالي بسفر الإسرائيليين الى العراق وإقامة علاقات تجارية في هذا البلد!

وهو الأمر الذي سبق أن عمل على تحقيقه المدعو خالد سلام / أو محمد رشيد / الكردي الأصل، والذي كان عميلاً «إسرائيلياً» اعتقلته الجبهة الديمقراطية لتحرير فلسطين في بيروت سنة 1977، بهذه التهمة وسجنته في بئر في بلدة الدامور جنوب بيروت لمدة ثلاثة أشهر، ثم أفرج عنه في ظروف غامضة. الى أن أصبح يطلق على هذا الشخص لقب المستشار الاقتصادي للرئيس الفلسطيني ياسر عرفات حتى نهاية سنة 2003 عندما انقلب عليه، بناء على أوامر مشغّليه، وانتقل الى العمل في أربيل وقام بإنشاء العديد من الشركات بالتعاون مع مسعود برازاني وابنه وبتوجيه مباشر من الموساد «الإسرائيلي»!

وبالعودة إلى الأهمية الاستراتيجية لحماية التواصل البري الاستراتيجي بين موسكو ودمشق، فإننا نذكّر بقيام دول الحلفاء باحتلال إيران، خلال الحرب العالمية الثانية، لتأمين الإمدادات الحيوية لجيوش الاتحاد السوفياتي، عبر بحر قزوين ونهر الفولجا الروسي. تلك الجيوش التي كانت تقاتل ما مجموعه 67 من الجيوش الألمانية كاملة وعلى جبهة تمتدّ من ستالينغراد في الجنوب حتى لينينغراد في الشمال على بحر البلطيق .

وعلى أهمية هذا التواصل البري، من الناحية الاستراتيجية عسكرياً، إلا أن أهميته الاقتصادية والسياسية لا تقل في حجمها عن تلك العسكرية إطلاقاً.

اذ انّ هذا التواصل، وبالنظر الى تحسن العلاقات الاقتصاديه التركية الروسية ونظراً الى الإمكانيات الهائلة، من موارد طبيعية وثروة مالية وتكنولوجيا متقدمة وعدد سكان كبير، يصل الى حوالي 400 مليون مواطن، لكلّ من روسيا وتركيا وإيران، الى جانب إمكانيات العراق الكبيرة والسوق السوري الواعد، والذي سيسجّل أعلى نسبة نمو في العالم لسنة 2019، حسب تقديرات الجهات الدولية المختصة، نقول إنه بالنظر الى هذه الوقائع فإن توجهات روسيا وقوى حلف المقاومة، مضافةً اليها الصين ومشروعها المعروف بمشروع الحزام والطريق، ستشكل منعطفاً استراتيجياً غاية في الأهمية لتعزيز الثقل الاقتصادي وبالتالي السياسي لهذه المجموعة في العالم، ما سيؤدي الى تغير جذري في موازين القوى الدولية وفِي تراجع دور سياسة الهيمنة الأميركية والسيطرة الاحادية الجانب، المستندة الى قانون الغاب وليس الى القانون الدولي…!

أخيراً على أميركا وأذنابها واتباعها الذين خاضوا في دماء شعوبنا لسنوات طوال أن يعرفوا بأن الاندماج الاقتصادي، وليس الحروب والدماء، هو الطريق الذي تبحث عنه قوى حلف المقاومة والصديقة روسيا وهو الطريق الوحيد القادر على ضمان الاستقرار والنمو الاقتصادي في منطقتنا والعالم، وهو الكفيل بأن يقودنا الى مزيد من التطور والتقدّم.

فيما التمترس وراء أوهام، أو حتى أهداف لا تتحقق إلا بالوسائل العسكرية وبالعدوان، كما هو موقف تركيا بالمقابل لا سيما نوع تعاطيها مع القضية السورية بوجه عام ومع مسألة الأكراد بوجه خاص، لن يقود إلا الى مزيد من التوتر والتصعيد والدمار…!

نقولها ونحن في خواتيم القضاء على أحلامهم الإمبراطورية والجهنمية بأن الحل لكل القضايا المتعلقة بالخلافات على الحدود او حقوق الأمم والشعوب وتقرير المصير لا يكمن إلا في احترام سيادة الدول وإقامة تعاون مشترك على هذه القاعدة.

وأخيراً وليس لا آخرا لا خلاص ولا أمن ولا استقرار ولا نجاح لكل ما تقدم من مشاريع الا بتفكيك القاعدة العسكرية الأميركية المزروعة على ارض فلسطين والمسماة «إسرائيل» وترحيل كل عديدها ومعداتها مع سائر قواعد الطغيان والعدوان الأميركي الأخرى لأنها اصل البلاء وبذرة الشر المطلق.

قيامتنا تقترب بزوال هذه الغدد السرطانية.

وشرط نجاح كل مشاريع السلم والتعاون لدينا رهن بذلك.

بعدنا طيبين، قولوا الله.

Disparity of security necessities among allies America, Turkey, Europe, and Israel تفاوت مقتضيات الأمن بين الحلفاء: أميركا وتركيا وأوروبا و«إسرائيل»

Disparity of security necessities among allies America, Turkey, Europe, and Israel

يناير 15, 2019

Written by Nasser Kandil,

It is surprising that some analysts in the world and the region accept to consider the decision of the US President’s withdrawal from Syria as an expression of the mood of Donald Trump. The issue is not in discussing the presidential powers constitutionally; rather it is the ability of the President to deal practically alone with such decision. The US debate about the benefit of the military presence in Syria is neither new, nor governed by considerations related to Syria alone. The principle of the withdrawal from the whole Asian mainland was in circulation in the US decision-making centers for ten years after Baker Hamiliton report 2006 and after the decision of the President Obama in 2010 to withdraw from Iraq in 2011 and the deadline to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2013, which was extended twice to 2016 and to the end of 2018 according to the requirements of the war on Syria and the new bets to win it.

The absolute American consensus on refusing the engagement in a military confrontation with Russia and Iran led to the thinking of how to manage the failure in wars between narrow equations, their first aspect is the turning into a boxing bag that receives blows respectively without a decision to go to war, while their second aspect is the withdrawal, imposing sanctions, and linking the engagement into settlements with conditions that meet the US interests. This aspect is more effective than the military presence according to many in Washington. Since the Battle of Aleppo and the fall of the bet on the Turkish disruption of the geographical expansion of the Syrian army supported by Russia, Iran, and the resistance forces the US decision of withdrawal has become ready, but it was delayed by another bet entitled Saudi-Israeli bilateral that is militarily capable of blowing in Syria and Yemen, and able to launch a political qualitative path entitled ending the Palestinian cause through the deal of the century that besieges Iran and the resistance forces in order to make a settlement with Russia that ends with the exit of Iran and the resistance forces from Syria as a condition for its stability and the Western involvement.

With the emergence of the limited Israeli ability to protect the aggressive interventions on Syria after the Russia decisions to deploy the S-300 missiles network, the development of the Syrian ability to combat the Israeli raids, the abject failure of Saudi Arabia in the war on Yemen and its turning into a burden militarily and politically, the fall of the bet on the credibility of the success of the deal of century in finding a Palestinian partner, the emergence of a collective Palestinian will to refuse it, and the expansion of the popular and military Palestinian resistance movement and its imposing new equations, America had to decide to stay militarily face –to-face against Russia, Iran, and Syria in protecting the project of the Kurdish secession, although this project provokes a crisis with Turkey, the Atlantic ally of Washington, but it wants to protect the Israeli desire to barter the US withdrawal with the Iranian withdrawal.

The years of war led by Washington on Syria and its failure led to disparity in the requirements of security between it and its allies. Europe’s understanding of the concept of security starts with the issue of the displaced and the threat of its targeting through the infiltration of terrorists groups from the burning Middle East, while it ends with the concern about any open confrontation with Iran, whether through its military repercussions or its risks to the energy market. Europe did not hesitate to talk publicly about the US policies as a source of concern, whether through the withdrawal from the nuclear understanding with Iran or in managing the Palestinian cause. Turkey tried to search for new positioning that expresses its privacies; it found in Astana path its target through the cooperation with Russia and Iran and what was called by the Turks as the “Third option”. Therefore, the Turkish role in Syria was linked with a ceiling entitled “the concept of the national security” that considers the American –Kurdish relationship the first danger.

Washington lost its European and Turkish allies, while it stoke to its Saudi and Israeli allies. It found that it has to pay costly bills with imminent benefits, the most prominent of which is the American security which starts from Afghanistan. The American intervention was not as tactical as the American presence in Syria. Moreover, the condition of the Iranian cooperation with the requirements of the American security in Afghanistan in ensuring a secure withdrawal is governed by a political equation that was set at the Russian-Chinese- Pakistani- Iranian- Afghani meeting three weeks ago and which was related to the abandonment of the insistence on the Iranian withdrawal from Syria. This led to a set of American decisions under the title of a new concept of the national security that is not governed by the Saudi and Israeli ceilings, rather it sees that the security of Israel and Saudi Arabia is something and the concept of security according to Saudi Arabia and Israel is something else. The Yemeni settlement was the most prominent outcome of these decisions, because it means the acceptance of Iranian gains in the Gulf. This step has been followed by the withdrawal from Syria under the title of handing over the security in the Asian mainland to Russia to ensure the security of Israel and Saudi Arabia which differs from the concept of security to Israel and Saudi Arabia, this will be illustrated later maybe through the withdrawal from Iraq, and then American strict administration of the  negotiation on settlements and lifting of sanctions  and the moving to fight from inside the political and economic structures resulting from settlements.

It is a new stage in the crystallization of the new concepts of security, where the West is no longer a west and the Atlantic is no longer the Atlantic, rather they are separated issues according to interests, where Europe as Turkey has privacies and where Iran as a European and Turkish necessity it turned into American necessity in Afghanistan despite the Saudi and Israeli reservations. It is important to understand the speech of the Turkish President about the turning of the challenge of the American sanctions on Iran into an opportunity for negotiations between them and where Turkey is betting on playing a role of mediator in.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

تفاوت مقتضيات الأمن بين الحلفاء: أميركا وتركيا وأوروبا و«إسرائيل»

ديسمبر 21, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– من المستغرب أن يرتضي بعض المحللين في العالم والمنطقة، إلا لاعتبارات التوظيف السياسي، النظر لقرار الرئيس الأميركي بسحب قواته من سورية، كتعبير عن مزاجية وانفعالية دونالد ترامب، فالمسألة ليست في مناقشة حدود الصلاحيات الرئاسية دستورياً، بل في قدرة الرئيس عملياً وواقعياً على التصرف منفرداً بقرارات بهذا الحجم، والنقاش الأميركي حول جدوى البقاء العسكري في سورية ليس وليد اليوم، ولا تحكمه حسابات مرتبطة بسورية وحدها، بل إن مبدأ الانسحاب من البر الآسيوي برمته ملف مطروح في التداول في دوائر صنع القرار الأميركي منذ أكثر من عشرة أعوام، بعد تقرير بايكر هاملتون عام 2006، وقرار الرئيس أوباما في عام 2010 الانسحاب من العراق عام 2011 وتحديد موعد الانسحاب من أفغانستان في 2013 الذي جرى تمديده مرتين لعام 2016 ثم لنهاية العام 2018، وفقاً لمقتضيات الحرب على سورية والرهانات الجديدة للفوز بها.

– الإجماع المطلق أميركياً على رفض الدخول في مواجهة عسكرية مع روسيا ومع إيران، يحصر البحث الأميركي في كيفية إدارة الفشل في الحروب، بين معادلات ضيقة، قطبها الأول التحول كيس ملاكمة يتلقى الضربات تباعاً دون قرار حرب، وقطبها الثاني الاحتماء وراء الجدار، وهذا يعني الانسحاب، وبناء جدار العقوبات وربط الانخراط بالتسويات التي تزيلها بشروط تلبي المصالح الأميركية، وهو جدار أشد متانة وفعالية من جدار الوجود العسكري، بنظر الكثيرين في واشنطن، ومنذ معركة حلب وسقوط الرهان على التعطيل التركي لمسار التوسع الجغرافي للجيش السوري مدعوماً من روسيا وإيران وقوى المقاومة، صار قرار الانسحاب الأميركي على الطاولة، والذي أخّره رهان آخر عنوانه ثنائية سعودية إسرائيلية مقتدرة عسكرياً في الضرب بقسوة في سورية واليمن، وقادرة على إطلاق مسار سياسي نوعي عنوانه إنهاء القضية الفلسطينية عبر ما سُمّي بصفقة القرن يحاصر إيران وقوى المقاومة. والهدف لهذه المعادلة المفترضة الذهاب لتسوية مع روسيا تنتهي بخروج إيران وقوى المقاومة من سورية كشرط لاستقرارها، وارتضاء الدخول الغربي على خط التسوية فيها.

– مع ظهور محدودية القدرة الإسرائيلية على حماية التدخلات العدوانية على سورية بعد القرارات الروسية بتوضيع شبكة صواريخ الـ»أس 300»، وتبلور القدرة السورية على التصدي للغارات الإسرائيلية، وظهور الفشل الذريع للسعودية في حرب اليمن وتحولها عبئاً عسكرياً وسياسياً، وسقوط الرهان على صدقية نجاح صفقة القرن في إيجاد الشريك الفلسطيني، وتبلور إرادة فلسطينية جامعة في رفضها، واتساع حركة المقاومة الفلسطينية الشعبية والعسكرية وفرضها معادلات جديدة، صار على أميركا أن تقرّر البقاء عسكرياً للوقوف وجهاً لوجه امام روسيا وإيران وسورية في حماية مشروع الانفصال الكردي. وهو مشروع يثير أزمة موازية مع تركيا الحليف الأطلسي لواشنطن، وذلك فقط لحماية الرغبة الإسرائيلية بفرض مقايضة الانسحاب الأميركي بالانسحاب الإيراني.

– بعد سنوات الحرب التي قادتها واشنطن على سورية، ترتب على الفشل ظهور تفاوت في مقتضيات الأمن بينها وبين حلفائها، سواء أوروبا التي باتت نظرتها لمفهوم الأمن تبدأ بقضية النازحين وتمر بخطر استهدافها عن قرب من تسلل الجماعات الإرهابية من الشرق الأوسط المشتعل، وتنتهي بالقلق من أي مواجهة مفتوحة مع إيران، سواء بمترتباتها العسكرية إذا حصلت، أو بمخاطرها على سوق الطاقة، ولم تتردد أوروبا بالتحدث علناً عن النظر للسياسات الأميركية كمصدر قلق، سواء بالانسحاب من التفاهم النووي مع إيران أو بطريقة إدارة الملف الفلسطيني، بينما ذهبت تركيا تبحث عن تموضع يعبر عن خصوصيتها، ووجدت في مسار أستانة ضالتها المنشودة، بالتعاون مع روسيا وإيران وما يسميه الأتراك بالخيار الثالث، وربط الدور التركي في سورية بسقف عنوانه مفهوم للأمن القومي يرى العلاقة الكردية الأميركية خطراً أول.

– خسرت واشنطن حليفيها الأوروبي والتركي وبقيت متمسكة بالحليفين السعودي والإسرائيلي، ووجدت أن عليها دفع فواتير باتت مكلفة مع استحقاقات داهمة، أبرزها الأمن الأميركي الذي يبدأ من أفغانستان، حيث التدخل الأميركي لم يكن تكتيكياً كما هو حال البقاء الأميركي في سورية، وحيث شرط التعاون الإيراني مع مقتضيات الأمن الأميركي في أفغانستان بتأمين انسحاب آمن تظلله معادلة سياسية ظهرت في الاجتماع الخماسي الروسي الصيني الباكستاني الإيراني الأفغاني قبل ثلاثة اسابيع، يرتبط عضوياً بالتخلي عن وهم الإصرار على انسحاب إيراني من سورية، فرأينا حزمة قرارات أميركية عنوانها التموضع على خطوط مفهوم جديد للأمن القومي لا يتبع السقوف السعودية والإسرائيلية، ويرى أن أمن «إسرائيل» والسعودية شيء ومفهوم السعودية و»إسرائيل» للأمن شيء آخر، وكانت التسوية اليمنية العلامة البارزة في هذه الحزمة، وما تحمله من تقبل لفكرة تحقيق مكاسب إيرانية في الخليج، وتبعتها خطوة الانسحاب من سورية بصورة موازية ومشابهة، والعنوان هو تسليم الأمن في البر الآسيوي لروسيا بما فيه ضمان أمن «إسرائيل» والسعودية بغير مفهوم «إسرائيل» والسعودية للأمن، وهو ما ستوضحه المراحل اللاحقة، ربما بالاستعداد للانسحاب من العراق، وبعدها إدارة أميركية أشد صعوبة للتفاوض على شروط التسويات ورفع العقوبات، والانتقال للقتال من داخل البنى السياسية والاقتصادية الناشئة عن التسويات.

– هي مرحلة جديدة في تبلور مفاهيم جديدة للأمن، لم يعد فيها الغرب غرباً، ولا الأطلسي أطلسياً، بل محاور منفصلة وفقاً لحسابات المصالح في كليهما، حيث لأوروبا كما لتركيا خصوصيات، وحيث إيران كضرورة أوروبية وتركية تتحول في أفغانستان ضرورة أميركية، رغم التحفظات السعودية والإسرائيلية، ولعله من المهم قراءة كلام الرئيس التركي عن تحويل تحدي العقوبات الأميركية على إيران إلى فرصة للتلاقي بينهما بمفاوضات تراهن تركيا على لعب دور الوسيط فيها..

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Washington Cheats its Way into the EU Energy Market, Yet it Lives Off Russian Gas

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RLNG564522

Over the past two years, Washington has been adamant in its attempts to pursue a dominant position on the international energy markets in accordance with the strategy presented by Donald Trump, which included an aggressive takeover of the European market by ensuring its LNG supplies to the EU, while using every dirty trick in the book to somehow push Russia out of it, in spite of the fact the latter remains the strongest competitive on it for decades

Just recently, the US house of representatives has approved a largely symbolic resolution expressing opposition to Gazprom’s 11 billion dollars worth natural gas pipeline known as Nord Stream 2, on grounds that «the project will boost the Kremlin’s control over Europe’s energy supplies» (sic!).

To be more specific, the bill finds that the pipeline is a “drastic step backwards for European energy security and United States interests,” and calls for European governments to reject the project. The measure also urges the Trump to administration to “use all available means to support European energy security.”

At this point it’s clear that Washington would basically use every political and military lever it has in a desperate bid to low-kick Russian. It goes without saying that the ongoing US attempts to prevent the construction of Nord Stream-2 that will prevent European consumers to enjoy a steady supply of cheap gas from Russia, as the US is forcing European governments into building expensive LNG terminals so that they can import expensive gas from the United States. It’s ironical that while Moscow has made the decision to foot the bill for the construction of its pipeline, Washington is too cheap to invest a single cent in the construction of LNG terminals across the EU, forcing the costs on European consumers.

It goes without saying that hardly anyone today has any doubts about the fact that if American gas was a competitively viable alternative, the United States would not have such a hard time twisting the hands of European governments for them to support its LNG fantasies.

And while most Western media sources are busy telling us that America is on track to become the dominant exporter of LNG, the Economist would reveal that:

But the big problem with its LNG, is that it is more expensive than pipelined gas from Russia. American LNG exporters need to sell in Europe for at least 6-7 dollars per million British thermal units to cover the costs of freezing, shipping and re-gasification. By contrast Russia’s long-run marginal cost of supply to Europe is only about 5 dollars per British thermal units. American LNG is also more expensive than LNG from Qatar and some African countries because gas in America is more costly to extract, and the distances it has to travel to the customer are longer.

Is it any wonder then that last year Europe imported eight times more gas by pipeline than in the form of LNG shipments, with the trend continuing well into 2019. Even though American liquefied gas has never been a viable alternative for European consumers, the recent gas price spike on the domestic US market makes the rhetorics about American LNG supplies to Europe even more laughable.

Last October, the German foreign ministry released a paper stating that LNG supplies from the US cannot be regarded as a viable alternative to the gas transported via well-established routes. Nevertheless, the idea of forcing Europe into abandoning Russian gas supplies remains a top priority of American policymakers. This fact has been confirmed by the recent statement of America’s ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, who revealed that Washington has a number of yet unused tricks to advance its agenda.

Among those once can name a recent anti-Russian resolution by the European Parliament a month after Sondland’s statement, with PMs casting their votes under an immense pressure applied on them and the states they represent by Washington. This resolution calls on all EU members states to oppose the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

In order to persuade the EU to shoot itself in the foot, Washington has recently started placing a particular emphasis on supporting the Polish Three Seas Initiative, a project aimed at bring closer the twelve anti-Russian states between the Adriatic, Baltic and the Black Sea closer together. Those states are Poland, Croatia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. According to the assurances of Polish politicians, the deepening of the military, economic and ideological partnership of the Three Seas Initiative will create a sanitary cordon at the eastern borders of the Eurasian Union, thus achieving NATO’s policy of containing Russia, while cutting off its gas supplies to the EU.

As for Poland, it has recently become the most active supporter of Washington’s ideas about the bright future of American LNG supplies to Europe. Last October, Poland’s oil and gas company PGNiG signed a 20-year contract with the American company Venture Global on the supply of 2 million tons of LNG (which amounts to 2.7 billion cubic meters after deliquification). At the same time, Warsaw launched a propaganda campaign aimed at persuading its own citizens and the rest of the world that the US will be able to somehow start selling gas across Europe some 30% below the market price.

However, there are facts that look particularly remarkable against this background. First of all, the head of PGNiG refused to reveal the price at which it’s been buying American LNG gas. Then, Poland, in spite of being one of the world’s most dire opponents of Russia and everything that is related to it, oddly enough, over the past six months Poland has increased the import of Russian gas by 0.4 billion cubic meters – which constitutes a 6% increase over the last year! Thus, within 9.5 months of 2018, Poland bought the same amount of Russian gas as it did in 2015!

To make the matters even more grotesque, at the very end of 2018 a n LNG tanker left sailed off the the Russian shores and set its course for the United States of America. Back then it was reported that this shipment was bound to satisfy the needs of the residents of the east coast of the US. And all this is happening the backdrop of a massive hysteria in the media, with Western officials claiming that the US is more than capable to replace Russia on the European energy market! It’s simply ridiculous.

Jean Périer is an independent researcher and analyst and a renowned expert on the Near and Middle East, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook“. 
https://journal-neo.org/2019/01/10/washington-is-cheating-its-way-into-the-eu-energy-market-while-it-lives-off-russian-gas/

That’s all we need: British think-tanks call for “US leadership” in Europe

British think-tanks call for “US leadership” in Europe

“Rebuilding US leading role is the key for European security” say British experts, but the new political realities inspire doubts

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Drawing by Konstantin Maler. (source).

January 4, Anonymous hackers released the new batch of documents from the Integrity Initiative – a government-funded program run by the London based Institute for Statecraft. The Institute for Statecraft describes itself as “an independent body dedicated to refreshing the practice of statecraft, to improving governance and to enhancing national security”. The Integrity Initiative: Defending Democracy against Disinformation is one of the Institute’s projects aimed at countering Russian propaganda as well as all kinds of “attempts to influence the policies and undermine the societies of the West”.

The released batch inter alia contains the files on the Integrity Initiative efforts in the USA. These documents worth being examined more carefully because they show a questionable approach to European security shared by some British think tankers. The experts believe a reassertion of the US political and military domination in Europe is the only way for the West to counter Russia, China and Daesh/IS.

“The West is badly in need of a reassertion of US leadership. The EU has been unable to generate any strategic thinking or to exercise convincing leadership. Russia (& China) are successfully driving wedges between EU Member States and between Allies within NATO. Brexit has added to the confusion.

The US also needs to rebuild its understanding of Russia and how to deal with it, so as to (a) improve its own governance at a time of transition, and (b) rebuild its leading role in Europe via NATO and via encouragement to the EU, to enable them to deal more effectively with the new challenge to our democratic structures and processes posed by Russia (and China, and Daesh/IS) today,” the documents recently leaked by the Anonymous state.

In other words British security experts welcome American military bases on European soil and supremacy of American national interests over the interests of European nations. They believe that American military power will save the Europeans from “Russian hybrid warfare”, Chinese expansion and jihadists. This approach looks more than flimsy.

The problem of IS sleeping agents in Europe has no military solution at all. China shows no intention to annex Europe; it sees the Old Continent as an attractive market but not as the battlefield.

The problem of “the Russian threat” is more complex. Today it more looks like a mirage widely used by mass media to fuel anti-Russian hysteria necessary to justify increase in defense spending. By February, it could turn into a Cold War-style standoff between Russia and the West as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced, that the US had given Russia 60 days to comply with the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty or it would no longer abide by the agreement and could produce, test and deploy new missiles in NATO member states. There is now doubt Moscow will respond in kind by deploying missiles in its Western regions.

The new political realities show imprudence of the approach to European security developed by the think-tankers from the Institute for Statecraft. American military facilities are the last things necessary for the Europeans to feel safe. What the Europeans really need to do is to stay away from the up-coming missile duel between Trump and Putin

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