Mrs Merkel Goes to Warshington. Nothing Happens. But That Means Something.

by Sergio Weigel for the Saker Blog

May 11, 2018

When Angela Merkel had visited Trump in Warshington on April 27 nothing really happened. Both put a good face on things and declared a yawn inducing “unity despite differences”. Despite all the pressure Warshington had built up so thoroughly, the vassal did not rebel against his master, but left him empty handed. I am not a Merkel fanboy, quite the contrary, but right now her Teflon qualities come quite in handy. Let me explain.

Blow the trumpet with empty pressure

Trump had threatened German car makers with a 35% import tariff. This is a “smart” move in so far as that the car industry indeed is Germany’s biggest industry, but if he really ever did that, it wouldn’t hurt German economy too much. The market share of the US for German car manufacturers in 2016 was 10%, which is a lot. They sold 1.33 million cars in the US (not “millions” like Trump claimed). However, 800.000 of those were already produced in the US. The rest has been manufactured in Mexico, which is a NAFTA country. Even if Trump were to negotiate, pardon, extort a harsher NAFTA deal, it would be hurting American companies as well and certainly not leading to 35% tariffs. BMW, Mercedes, VW, they all have plants in the US, however and ironically, most cars built in the US by German car manufacturers are exported overseas. There is no reason to think the industry couldn’t stomach tariffs that affect only a few cars manufactured in Mexico at best. So, Trump might have thought he was practising his martial art of the deal by using extortion, but I’m sure Merkel was briefed accordingly.

What’s more interesting are the goods the EU is contemplating to retaliate with just in case: bourbon, Levi’s, Harley Davidson. Is there a better indicator about the state the US economy is in? If the US wants to go to trade war, fine, but it is usually commendable to pack suitable weapons before entering the battlefield. There is absolutely nothing the US could fight a trade war with. Besides, and this is something I hope German and Chinese strategists take into consideration: essentially they’re giving away their goods for free. What do they get in return? A currency that is most likely soon to be worthless junk. And even worse, the bulk of consumer spending in the US, 70% of its GDP after all, is based on debt. Housing debt is skyrocketing again. Essentially we are exactly where we were short before the crash of 2008. Germany alone had lost about €1 trillion in worthless US junk in 2008, which the banks had bought repackaged and camouflaged as “investments”. I doubt the bankers have been smarter this time, because investment bankers are major idiots who see the world through Excel sheets. And then there is the big question: how many crashes can the US economy still land before it will stay down, knocked out dead? Or before all of its citizens but a few gated communities live in tents? The biggest debtors of the US are Japan, China and Germany. They should really find ways to get rid of this toxic waste and convert it to gold instead. Alchemy! The best way for the EU to retaliate would be to sanction US bonds and thus force European investors to invest in Europe instead, or find other incentives for them to avoid the toxic waste coming out of the US.

Anyway, Trump exempted the EU from his bogus, extortionary trade tariffs – for now at least, he says. All other differences between Germany and Warshington remained intact. All these issues go so completely against the heart of German economic and geopolitical interests but also against Germany’s self-concept of its role on the international stage and German diplomacy, that I just can’t see them falter. It would be like firing a gun at the inside of your knee. German elites might slap themselves in the face to please their American masters, for example by sanctioning Russia, but not the knee, never the knee. Vassal or not, standing firmly on the ground is at the core of German mentality. Also, Germany is not the meek, guilt-ridden nation it once was anymore.

Defense spending to the rescue of US economy

There is, however, one self-slap Germany could do without hurting its legs. It wouldn’t even do much more than tickle the face a little and that would be to increase the defense budget to the demanded 2% of the GDP. There surely are political forces in Germany who would love to see that. Atlanticists and Russophobes, who have infected all of German political, academic and public life like in no other western (!) European country. Ursula von der Leyen, our mother-of-seven career girl and defensive ministress, for example. However, the center of the Atlanticist epidemic sits among our mainstream media hacks. This is the biggest leverage Warshington has on Germany, because the media essentially controls the politicians.

Therefore, consequently, since the Ukraine crisis we’ve been bombarded with doomsday news about the deplorable state of the Bundeswehr’s military hardware. Whether it’s true or not, I don’t know, but it’s curious that such news comes simultaneously with demands on increasing the German defense budget by American think tanks like the German Marshall Fund and now by Donald Trump. If it is true, helicopters and aircraft must have been inoperable long before. It wouldn’t surprise me, because from what I’ve heard from friends who’ve been in service, the management of the Bundeswehr is, well, unfortunate to say the least.

However, Merkel’s lip service to increase the defense budget in 2019 has already been invalidated in practice when finance minister Olaf Scholz published his budget plan for the next four years just five days after Merkel’s flying visit. The defense budget will indeed be increased, from €37 billion to €38.5 billion this year, and it is planned to be increased to €42 billion by 2021 which amounts to €1.25 billion increase per year. Measured against Germany’s 2017 GDP of €3,686.6 billion this would be a “massive” increase from 1.0% to 1.04% for this year, a ridiculous two fifth of a tenth of a percentage point. However, if you consider GDP growth of recent four years you will find the numbers 1.9%, 1.7%, 1.9% and 2.2% respectively. All economic indicators look great for Germany, so growth rates around 2% for the future are realistic. Let’s do a silly thought experiment and project linearly for ten years and see how an increase of 2% in GDP and an annual increase of €1.25 billion in defense budget will work out regarding his master’s wishes for the lackey’s defense budget. Mind you, this is truly a silly thought experiment, because lineary projection in Excel sheets is what bankers do and they are, as mentioned above, idiots. Also, we simply don’t know what will happen. I expect to hear the Death Knell of the Anglo-American empire far earlier, for example, by failure of its most vital organ, the Dollar, and that would change everything in ways we cannot even anticipate. But here are the numbers. All monetary values are in billion euro, the last column is the interesting one:

Year GDP GDP Incr. (2%) Defense Budget DB Incr. Def. Bud. % of GDP
2017 3,686.60 73.73 37 1.25 1.00
2018 3,760.33 75.21 38.25 1.25 1.02
2019 3,835.54 76.71 39.5 1.25 1.03
2020 3,912.25 78.24 40.75 1.25 1.04
2021 3,990.49 79.81 42 1.25 1.05
2022 4,070.30 81.41 43.25 1.25 1.06
2023 4,151.71 83.03 44.5 1.25 1.07
2024 4,234.74 84.69 45.75 1.25 1.08
2025 4,319.44 86.39 47 1.25 1.09
2026 4,405.83 88.12 48.25 1.25 1.10

Can you see how ridiculous this is? Even if Trump gets a second term, which personally I doubt very much at the moment, he won’t see his wet dream for Germany fulfilled. Besides, even if it was going to be the case, Germany wouldn’t be making large arms purchases in the US. It’s not as if Germany and her neighbors didn’t have their own efficient arms industries. By far the most weapons of the Bundeswehr, from aircraft, submarines, ships, tanks and guns, are European made and often technologically superior (mainly German submarines and tanks) to what the US can offer. Would France and Germany stop their plans to develop their own 5th generation fighter jet and buy F-35s instead? Nah, remember the knee. Why buy terribly expensive foreign hardware and be left behind technologically when you can develop your own and both use and sell it? Trump desperately wants to create jobs – or so he says, he is actually destroying them should trade tariffs be implemented – so he seeks to sell weapons because what he and his employers really want is to strengthen the notoriously weak US military industrial complex. Either way, the bottom line of the meeting is: Germany shrugs, defies his master’s demands and rather concentrates on completing Nord Stream 2, which will provide for tremendous income and political leverage.

Personally, I think Germany should work on its own version of an S-400 anti-aircraft defense, Kalibr cruise missile, and similar electronic warfare systems like Russia appears to have. I’m convinced German engineers could do that. Such technological advance would be beneficial in any case, but I absolutely see it as a possibility that in a not too distant future, Germany might have to fight off the occupation forces of the United States. But that’s just me and my male intuition, I hope I’m wrong. Other than the US, or rather the US regime, Germany has no enemies and thus doesn’t need to raise anything. A proper, working (!) defensive military like that of Switzerland would be all that’s needed – just in case. For that purpose such formidable weapon systems in domestic production would be perfect. It could also satisfy the powerful German arms industry as it would mean big domestic contracts as a substitute to unmet Atlanticist demands.

German-Russian cooperation – that which must not, can not be

One word about Nord Stream 2. I dunno if it is reported in any international media, it hardly is in German media, but the EU circus around it is a ham-handed joke. I can’t prove it but it smells heavily of US meddling. Now that Germany has started to build the pipeline, the usual suspects, that is the UK, Denmark and what I like to refer to as the Idiot Belt (Baltics, Poland, Ukraine, often extended by the Scandinavian countries – Finland has permitted construction though) are going bezerk, trying to sue for stopping the project etc. The Baltic idiots have even been to Warshington in March because of it. For what? Suggesting more tariffs? Seeking reassurance that the Americans are willing to frack their country to Swiss cheese for their LPG energy security? Their Russophobia is, as always, baseless. Russia has never used its gas or oil to pressure the EU into anything. Europe has been buying Russian/Soviet gas since the 1960s and it has always been delivered reliably. The only exceptions happened when the ever so smart Ukrainians had sudden outbursts of PMS. This thing is gonna be built, regardless of what the former empire now US aircraft carrier or the Idiot Belt think. Europe is dependent on Russian gas, that is simply a reality. Russia is an absolutely reliable partner relying on revenue from that gas, so where is the problem? Maybe it really takes 70+ years under US occupation to understand who’s reliable and who isn’t, so the Baltics and Poland might come to their senses by 2060 – given Warshington can hang on for so long.

The real reason Warshington and London oppose Nord Stream 2 is the same why two world wars and a Cold War with all its devastating side effects all over the world have been fought until today. The whole geopolitical arc of suspense since the late 19th century is about the Anglo-American establishment, sea powers, trying to prevent Germany and Russia – now extended by Iran and China, land powers, from cooperating and thus establishing Eurasian integration with the Americans left out (Britain will be on board, they’re already member of China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank). As the first Secretary General of NATO Lord Ismay described the purpose of NATO in 1952: to keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down. This has been Anglo-American policy since about 150 years. Now they’re wetting their pants because Nord Stream 2 is a major step forward in German-Russian rapprochement and cooperation. Since they cannot crap all over China’s One Belt, One Road project, they are trying it with Nord Stream 2. The Idiot Belt is always willing to dance to their tune and thus rabble-rouses against it. In the end they won’t be able to prevent Eurasian integration anyway, and the Idiot Belt will bashfully ask to be integrated as well. The world is approaching a multipolar world with a German-Russian-Chinese juggernaut as its cornerstone.

The cranky bully and the happy lackey

Is it any wonder the US is cranky? Year by year, Germany and China switch places as the world richest exporter. Even more so, Germany’s current account balance (CAB), that is the trade balance, is by far the largest in the world in absolute amount. In contrast, that of the US is by far the lowest despite them ranking 2nd in total exports. That, of course, must hurt their pride given that Anglo-Saxons are always so keen on rankings and hierarchy. Although, it should be added that this doesn’t go without problems for Germany domestically, let alone for the Euro zone. But that’s an issue for a different article.

With its enormous economic power and magnificent diplomatic relations in every direction Germany can very well be counted as a global power of its own right, even if completely different from the other three, namely America, Russia, and China. What the apostles of raising Germany’s defense budget, be it domestic Atlanticists, the arms lobbies or King Parting himself, don’t understand is the special kind of power Germany has, which would be undermined by military adventurism. Our military alpha mom Ursula von der Leyen and her buddies from all the Atlanticist think tanks always talk about that if Germany wants to take more international responsibility, it will need more military power for reassurance, usually followed by the snippy remark to stop leaving the dirty work to others. This is complete bollocks, and here’s why:

First, every single war the “West” has fought since the bombing of Serbia has been fought in the interest of the chief-boss of colonial war nations: the US, usually followed by a fawning UK. If it goes against one of its former colonies, the French usually feel committed to throw a few bombs into the mix as well. Therefore, it is safe to say that since about 20 years the “West” is fighting FUKUS wars. This is not to say, Germany wasn’t part of it, it played a vicious role in breaking up Yugoslavia and bombing Serbia, it was and still is part of pummeling Afghanistan for something they haven’t done, they provided AWACs in the bombing of Syria, and of course they’ve been a massive force behind the Maidan putsch. But except for breaking up Yugoslavia, none of it was in the interest of German power politics, not even slicing Kosovo out of Serbia. Had Germany been in the lead, the Middle East would still be intact. So what dirty work are they talking about? I’d rather say that Germany managed to stay mostly out of other people’s dirt. What the apostles of more defense spending actually mean when they say “taking more international responsibility” is doing more dirty work for an increasingly broke Warshington.

Second, German power lies in its massive economy and silent but brilliant diplomacy, which could be much, much better if we didn’t have this cranky bully sitting on our shoulders, shouting commands in our ears. After the war Germany was not only in ruins, its reputation was understandably FUBAR. While the Soviet occupational zone, the DDR, didn’t have much freedom, they still managed to reconcile with East European countries and soon played the second most important role within the context of Soviet imperialism. The same is true for the Anglo-American occupational zone, the BRD, and the context of Anglo-American imperialism. Ironically, during the Cold War the Anglo-American occupiers gave West Germany much more freedom than they did afterwards or try to withhold now. This very often led to terrible results as well. West Germany was one of Pinochet’s closest allies and trade partners, it sold the chemicals and knowhow to Saddam Hussein necessary to gas Iranians and Kurds, and still today it is one of Saudi Barbaria’s main weapons suppliers, not to mention the submarines that gave the Zionist colony second strike capability. Nonetheless, Germany’s success is based on trust, on building and maintaining trust, and it was and still is hugely successful. Why should it put that in jeopardy by becoming a military bully like the FUKUS countries?

Third, why should Germany ignore its history? I don’t mean any past guilt for Nazi crimes, I mean a simple look at it. Weimar republic aside, Germany has always prospered in peace time yet terribly suffered in war time, from the Thirty Years War to both world wars, and blatantly failed when it tried to militarily bully others. The only thing Germany needs right now is freedom from the Anglo-American empire to remember and develop its true, mostly benevolent nature.

Applause, Mr President, applause

If it wasn’t for the serious looming danger of war, we should all thank Trump and his administration for their efforts. O’Bomber brought Russia and China together, Trump has brought the two Koreas to what seems to be serious reconciliation and, with pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, he not only managed to ruin even the last residue of US credibility but also to put Germany into the “West’s” driver’s seat and thus to bring it closer to Russia, China, and of course Iran. Ha! The irony… it’s like when somebody tries to be gravely serious and ends up being involuntarily funny.

What Trump needs to learn is that his business tactics a) don’t work very well in politics and b) they only work in America. It’s a cultural thing. I’ve been working for two different American owned companies for almost three years in total, so I learned a thing or two about how the American mindset works in business, mostly by observation. First, they demand a lot, so the best tactic is to offer them as little as possible and never to make any concessions or promises. If you can’t avoid it, make sure to stay below of what you can deliver. Second, never expect them to keep their promises. I am not saying they’ll never keep them, but it’s just better not to expect anything. They like to pretend something else was agreed upon if they want to see a deal altered, or that it was a misunderstanding, or whatever. Just don’t expect that a deal is a deal, it’s not, it is just something temporary along the line. Third, they want everything done quickly. Just be patient, remain calm, and stoically stand your ground. It’ll drive them crazy as they don’t understand the concept of quality, but again, remain calm and be friendly. Fourth, they tend to be disproportionately confident and beyond any criticism, so it’s best to pretend to criticize someone or something else or learn the artful skill of making your criticism sound like praise. Just don’t shy away if criticism is needed. The worst thing to do in the face of a narcissist is to succumb to their ways as it just enables them. You need to trick them.

These are just my own personal observations of American businessmen, not of Americans in general, and surely not meant to offend anyone (except American businessmen perhaps). However, I believe Merkel has been coached by someone, because Trump truly is a caricature of what I’d just described. She has handled him very well. I’m not saying he is a joke, not at all, but his narcissism is written all over his hairdo and behavior. It needs a Teflon lady who might be many things, but narcissistic or easily impressed are not any of them.

His obnoxiousness just doesn’t work and apparently neither he nor anyone around him seems to get it. With Germans, or Europeans in general, you have to deal differently if you want to achieve something. Business is based on trust and trust is based on friendliness and reliability, not on demands and extortion. If you still can’t leave it and want to twist arms, you will have to make sure that your arm is strong enough. Right now America’s arms (pun intended) are weaker than they have ever been in history. This is a new experience they cannot handle, which makes it dangerous, because their other arms are still dangerously strong, and narcissistic rage is almost impossible to contain once in motion. Right now, Warshington makes the impression of a narcissistic bully ready to go off at any moment, while his friends are turning away one by one in shrugging nonchalance.

The staffers of the White House should do a little soul-searching, maybe early morning meditation circles with incense and yoga in the garden, and earnestly ask themselves if there really is anything left they can threaten countries like Germany, China, Russia, and Iran with that can yield results other than mutual destruction, and whether it is even worth it. The Dollar has an expiry date stamped all over its face and they should rather make use of it as long as there still is something left by diverting military spending into domestic investments in infrastructure (a converse Berlin Wall to Mexico doesn’t count) and education (direly needed) among other things. But they are doing the exact opposite. Right now it seems that Trump is slashing all governmental structures and putting everything on the military. This is a very dangerous sign. What if Warshington is willing to go all alone, I mean only with their symbiotic Zionist and Saudi partners in crazy, against Iran as the empire’s last defiant struggle?

In mainstream media coverage it appeared as if the meeting between Merkel and Trump was futile because nothing had happened, but in truth, Trump achieved nothing, yet Merkel and her Teflon style achieved everything. No tariffs, no sanctions on Nord Stream 2, that’s all Germany needed. That Trump would perform a pactum interruptum and pull out of the Iran nuclear deal was to be expected. I doubt Merkel was delusional enough to think otherwise. Germany is now as independent and sovereign as it hasn’t been in 73 years – I hope they’ll seize the opportunity and not once again duck away in fear of a leadership role. The US is as isolated as it has never before been in its history, standing there with egg in their face, brooding and fuming over why no one loves them anymore.

Sergio’s Bio:  A child of the Cold War, Sergio’s political imprint started early when his parents became activists of the 1980s peace movement. With a Portuguese-German background he grew up to become a patriot but not right, left but not liberal, a fan of Marx but not a socialist, and many more of such but-nots. An ardent reader of books, he despises groupthink, hypocrisy, euphemisms and ideology. He prefers clarity, sincerity, history, geopolitics, philosophy, and economic/monetary theory. He makes a living as a programmer and IT consultant, but his passion lies in intellectual sparring, culinary delight, music, traveling and cycling.

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Victory Day parade in Red Square: Russian military might on display RT VIDEO

The Saker

May 09, 2018

Victory Day parade photos and videos

Victory Day Parade in Syria

Russian and Syrian troops based in Latakia’s Khmeimim Air Base in held their own Victory Day parade on Wednesday, celebrating the 73rd anniversary of the Soviet Victory over Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War.

Syrian troops took part in the Victory Day parade.

Brigadier General Suheil al-Hassanthe commander of The Tiger forces was present at the Khmeimim Air Base Victory Day parade. In August 2017,  Minister of Defence Sergei Shigu awarded Suheil al-Hassan with the Order of Suvorov,  one of the highest Russia’s military distinctions rewarded to senior army personnel for exceptional leadership in combat operations.

Images of General Suheil al-Hassan after the parade.

https://vk.com/anti_daesh?w=wall-76669927_152760

Cadets of the Syrian Naval Academy had also marched at the parade celebrating the 73nd anniversary of the Soviet Union Victory over Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War, and honoring Russian heroes, servicemen and servicewomen, who died for liberation of Syria.

The Victory Day celebration and the Immortal Regiment demonstration on the Saadallah Al-Jabiri Square in Aleppo. Video

https://vk.com/video-76669927_456245817

Official video of the May 9th celebration by Syrian Ministry of Defense.

Trump’s return to the nuclear agreement عودة ترامب إلى الاتفاق النووي

Trump’s return to the nuclear agreement

أبريل 30, 2018

Written by Nasser Kandil,

After his electoral campaign and his assuming power the US President Donald Trump returns to recognize the nuclear agreement with Iran after he set with the French President Emnanuel Macron a ceiling for it to prevent the breaking of the European-American unity. The European position sticks to the agreement in a way that became closer to be a response to the American demand to justify the returning to it. During a year of attempts Washington could not change the international and regional balances of powers. It knows that without it, it is impossible to abolish the agreement without alternatives, as it knows that the inability which was obliged the former US President Barack Obama to accept the agreement is the same inability which Trump denied and insisted on testing the opportunities of changing it.

Certainly, there is no American -European dispute that led Europe to rebel against the American decision, as there is not any challenge to America in Europe’s sticking to the nuclear agreement, because everything shows that Europe is saying what America demands in order to reduce the escalation under the slogan of the unity of the West’s position and granting more opportunities to improve the conditions of the agreement. It became clear that the first step has been expressed by Macron and became the new positioning plan for Trump. Its content is to separate between continuing the agreement in its current form and prevent its exposing to threat on one hand, and the endeavor to embrace the issues which are not included in the agreement after having a consensual negotiation with Iran preceded with Russia and China on the other hand.

Trump knows that the escalation with Iran is inappropriate now, since the criterion of the credibility of the commitment to agreements and treaties which will be on the negotiating table with Korea is shown in the Iranian experience, as he knows that his campaign to blow up the agreement was a negotiating attempt to change the balances of forces which will reflect into modifications that Trump wants in the agreement in case there was a negotiation, however the failure in changing brought him back to search for a moral exit that justifies the return to the agreement, so this must be offered by the European friend as an achievement in the European policy.

Until the date of deciding the fate of the agreement on the twelfth of next May, the American words will remain about the protest against the Iranian influence and the Iranian missile program, and the need for understandings that embrace them, while the Iranian words will remain foreshadowing of what is not expected through any attempt to tamper with the signed agreement and refusing any negotiation on it. The Europeans will emerge talking about their sticking to the agreement as it is without any modification and about the need to revive the formula of five plus one, which may become five plus two by adding Saudi Arabia under the slogan of searching in the regional files. The Americans and the Europeans will move toward Russia and China asking for help. Then Trump will emerge on time announcing his commitment to the agreement and the acceptance of the European exit by searching for a complementary agreement to the main agreement. It is certain that Iran which refuses that renegotiation on its nuclear program will refuse the negotiation on its missile program; therefore the available negotiation will be on the regional problems as an international framework that sponsors a Saudi- Iranian negotiation.

In Obama’s era the equation was: there is no alternative to the agreement but the agreement. Today the same equation is applied.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

عودة ترامب إلى الاتفاق النووي

أبريل 26, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– بعد لفٍّ ودوران منذ انطلاق حملته الانتخابية وتسلّمه الحكم، يعود الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب للتسليم ببقاء الاتفاق النووي مع إيران، بعد أن وضع في مناقشاته مع الرئيس الفرنسي امانويل ماكرون سقفاً هو عدم تشقق الوحدة الأوروبية الأميركية. وبالمقابل ثبات الموقف الأوروبي على التمسك بالاتفاق، بصورة صارت أقرب للاستجابة لطلب أميركي لتبرير العودة للاتفاق منها، لتحدّي موقف أميركي يريد الخروج من الاتفاق. فواشنطن لم تستطع خلال عام من المحاولات لتغيير موازين القوى الدولية والإقليمية، تعرف أنه بدونها لا يمكن السير بإلغاء الاتفاق بلا بدائل، والقفز في المجهول، وتعرف أن هذا العجز نفسه هو الذي فرض على الرئيس السابق باراك أوباما القبول بالاتفاق. وهو عجز أنكره ترامب وأصرّ على اختبار فرص تغييره بنفسه.

– بالتأكيد لا يمكن توهم خلاف أميركي أوروبي، يصل حد تمرّد أوروبا على القرار الأميركي، ولا توهّم أن التمسك الأوروبي بالاتفاق النووي هو تحدٍّ لأميركا واستقلال عنها. فكل شيئ يقول إن أوروبا تقول ما تحتاج أميركا منها قوله لاتخاذه سلّماً للنزول عن شجرة التصعيد، تحت شعار وحدة موقف الغرب، ومنح المزيد من الفرص لتحسين شروط الاتفاق. وقد صار واضحاً أن الخطوة الأولى في هذا الطريق هي ما نطق به ماكرون ويبدو أنه صار خطة التموضع الجديدة لترامب، ومضمونه الفصل بين السير بالاتفاق بصيغته الراهنة وعدم تعريضه للخطر من جهة، وبين السعي لاتفاق مكمّل له يطال القضايا التي لم يتضمّنها الاتفاق، ويكون حصيلة تفاوض رضائي مع إيران، وقبلها مع روسيا والصين.

– يعرف ترامب الذاهب للتفاوض مع كوريا الشمالية أن التصعيد مع إيران وصفة مؤذية، وأن معيار صدقية الالتزام بالاتفاقات والمعاهدات التي ستكون على طاولة التفاوض مع كوريا تقدّمه التجربة مع إيران. كما يعرف أن حملته لنسف الاتفاق كانت مواكبة تفاوضية لمحاولته تغيير موازين القوى، التي ستنعكس في حال حصول هذا التغيير تفاوضاً وليس حرباً للحصول على تعديلات يريدها في الاتفاق. وأن الفشل في هذا التغيير يعيده للبحث عن مخرج معنوي مناسب يبرر العودة للاتفاق. وهذا ما على الصديق الأوروبي تقديمه والتباهي به كإنجاز للسياسة الأوروبية.

– حتى موعد البت بمصير الاتفاق في الثاني عشر من أيار المقبل، سيبقى الكلام الأميركي تحت عنوان الاحتجاج على النفوذ الإيراني والبرنامج الصاروخي الإيراني، والحاجة لتفاهمات تطالهما وتطمئن تجاههما، وسيبقى الكلام الإيراني مبشراً بما لا تحمد عقباه من أي عبث بالاتفاق الموقع ورفض أي تفاوض حوله، وسيخرج الأوروبيون يتحدّثون عن التمسك بالاتفاق دون تعديل، وعن الحاجة لإحياء صيغة الخمسة زائداً واحداً، وربما تصير زائداً إثنين بإضافة السعودية تحت شعار البحث بالملفات الإقليمية، وسيتحرّك الأوربيون والأميركيون نحو روسيا والصين طلباً للمعونة، ليخرج ترامب في الموعد المقرّر ويعلن البقاء ضمن الاتفاق وقبول المخرج الأوروبي بالسعي لاتفاق مكمّل لا يكون بديلاً بل متمماً للاتفاق القائم. والأكيد أن إيران التي ترفض إعادة التفاوض على برنامجها النووي سترفض التفاوض على برنامجها الصاروخي، ليصير التفاوض المتاح على المشاكل الإقليمية كإطار دولي يرعى تفاوضاً سعودياً إيرانياً مخرجاً مناسباً.

– في عهد أوباما كانت المعادلة أن لا بديل للاتفاق إلا الاتفاق. واليوم تعود المعادلة ذاتها.

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انفراج مع كوريا أم انفجار مع إيران؟

أبريل 30, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– تبدو جولة وزير الخارجية الأميركية مايك بومبيو في المنطقة بالنسبة لحكام الخليج علامة التزام أميركي بالتصعيد مع إيران، لكنها تبدو في عيون الإسرائيليين التزاماً بتأدية المسؤولية الأميركية بحماية «إسرائيل» وتأكيد نقل السفارة الأميركية إلى القدس، وعدم تحول إيران لامتلاك سلاح نووي، والتدقيق في كلمات بومبيو يبدو مدخلاً لفهم أكثر وضوحاً، بالالتزام بما هو دون المواجهة مع إيران عسكرياً، ودون السير بإلغاء الاتفاق النووي معها، والاكتفاء بالتزامين واضحين للحلفاء: واحد تعلن إيران سلفاً التزاماً طوعياً به، وهو عدم امتلاكها سلاحاً نووياً، والثاني لا يُعرض على الحلفاء بقوة إلا عندما يكون ثمة مشاريع لتفاهمات تشكل مصدر ريبة لهؤلاء الحلفاء، ومضمونه لن نتخلى عنكم ونتعهّد بتوفير أمنكم وحمايتكم.

– ما يمنح كلام بومبيو فرصة المزيد من الوضوح هو كونه المسؤول الأميركي الذي جيء به إلى الخارجية من مسؤولية المخابرات. وهذا يعني أنه يعرف الكثير مما لا يُقال في العلن عن الملفات السرية والحساسة، كما يعني كونه جيء به من المخابرات إلى الخارجية على خلفية الحاجة لقيامه بمتابعة ملف كوريا الشمالية وسلاحها النووي وتداخله استخبارياً مع كل من روسيا والصين. وهو العائد من كوريا الشمالية قبل أن تبدأ إشارات الانفراج تتالى في الملف النووي الكوري. فبومبيو يعلم الكثير عن التفاهمات التي تمت بين واشنطن وموسكو وبكين وأنتجت هذا الانفراج الكبير في ملف السلاح النووي لكوريا الشمالية.

– أن تحصل واشنطن على مخرج مشرّف لمأزقها مع السلاح النووي لكوريا الشمالية يستدعي أن تكون موسكو وبكين قد حصلتا على ما يوازي ذلك، إضافة للضمانات التي طلبتها كوريا الشمالية وحصلت عليها. وأولها كان ما أعلن من القمة التي جمعت قادة شطري كوريا، لجهة إخلائها من الأسلحة النووية، والمقصود طبعاً، السلاح الكوري الشمالي ومقابله السلاح الأميركي في كوريا الجنوبية. والسؤال الطبيعي هو هل يحتمل الوضع الدولي والعلاقات الأميركية بكل من روسيا والصين، تعايشاً بين انفراج في الملف الكوري وانفجار في الملف الإيراني؟

– الأكيد أن العجز الأميركي عن حل عسكري للملف الكوري الشمالي النووي خشية الدخول في مواجهة نووية مدمّرة، كان وراء تحريك هذا الملف بوجه واشنطن بدعم روسي وصيني، والأكيد أن المخرج التفاوضي المرتقب ليس ما ترغبه واشنطن، طالما يحقق لروسيا والصين المزيد من الأمان والنفوذ في منطقة شرق آسيا، ويرتب على أميركا المزيد من التنازلات العسكرية والاقتصادية، ويدخل كوريا الشمالية حليف روسيا والصين إلى المجتمع الدولي، محققاً مقولة أن من يصمد بوجه الضغوط الأميركية يمكنه بلوغ أهدافه من بوابة الصبر والصمود، لكن الأكيد أن مطلب روسيا والصين كان قبل ظهور مفاجئ للملف الكوري قبولاً أميركياً بتثبيت التفاهم النووي مع إيران.

– رغم الخطاب التصعيدي لواشنطن، وما يرافقه من مواقف وخطوات في الميدان في سورية، فإن الوجهة الرئيسية للحراك الدولي يحكمها ما يبدو أنه تفاهمات كبيرة قيد التبلور تأسيساً على الحاجة الأميركية للتفاهم حول الملف الكوري، والنجاح الروسي الصيني بإثبات عقم سياسة العقوبات، من بوابة هذا الملف. وهذا سياق يحتاج لزمن أطول حتى يتبلور في سائر الملفات، لكن صيغة العدوان الذي قادته واشنطن على سورية وما قاله فيه وزير الخارجية الروسية سيرغي لافروف من انضباط بالخطوط الحمراء الروسية يقول أشياء كثيرة.

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SYRIAN KURDISTAN: FROM “OLIVE BRANCH” TO “FALLEN STATE”

South Front

26.04.2018

Syrian Kurdistan: From "Olive Branch" to "Fallen State"

Kurdish fighters raise flag of PKK leader in centre of Raqqa

Written by Maksim Alexandrov; Originally appeared on warsonline.info; Translated by AlexD exclusively for SouthFront

Not long ago in Washington at the Institute of National Strategic Studies of the National Defence University the round table on “The Multimodal Threats in the Kurdish Region” took place, a continuation of the “NATO and Regional Military and Political Alliance in 2018” Council.

The organisers of the meeting, taking place on April 9 to 11, were the Institute of National Strategic Studies, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), the intelligence community and the commanders of the Special Forces of the US. The main agenda of the event was focused on clarifying the conceptual and analytical foundations of American policy in the framework of topical issues of the “Kurdish question”, the problem of improving the coordination of regional allies, as well as military and political modeling of crisis systems that fall under the topology of “fallen state”.

“Today, the USA, as never before, is faced with the destructive position of the Syrian regime and its allies, the Russian Federation and Iran. We met qualitatively new challenges and hybrid threats to freedom and democracy in Syria (SAR)”, with these words the special representative of the Department of Military and Political Modeling began his presentation, specialist in the field of pre-emptive analysis and the Greater Middle East of the Agency for the reduction of military threats Ray Ross.

During the discussion, experts highlighted the most complex structure of the problems that cause the revision of operational resources, and as a consequence, reducing operational sustainability and “window of response” to the crisis situations. First, such challenges include the issue of harmonisation of positions and approaches.

As an empirical base, analysts cite examples of the destructive positions of the Turkish Republic regarding the “united Kurdish space”, the inconsistent/punctual nature of the work of the UK, France and Germany in providing and preparing the Kurdish militia after the October operations in Iraq’s Kirkuk. During the meeting, the coalition failed to ensure prompt withdrawal of 140 Bundeswehr instructors and 30 specialist of the Special Aviation Service of the British Armed Forces.

Second, comes the imbalance of the asymmetric military and political education within the framework of the international coalition. The fragmentation of Kurdish troops and militia (YPG) during the events related to the referendum on the independence of Iraqi Kurdistan and the subsequent military and political crisis, the split of the Peshmerga and other Kurdish armed groups controlled by Erbil; the growth in popularity of the Movement for Change or “Goran”, are a ready counter-rally against ex-President Massod Barzani’s block, the “Democratic Party of Kurdistan” and the “Patriotic Union of Kurdistan”.

As a result, there is a curtailment of the potential of “Kurdish National Councils” in the Syrian Kurdish Supreme Council, in other words, the growing influence of the Democratic Union Party of Salih Muslim, supporter of the autonomy within the SAR, and the national Councils of Western Kurdistan, which may cause a potential strengthening of Moscow’s and Iran’s positions in the region.

The disagreements between the Kurdish and Arab (Sunni, 23 movements) ethnic and religious components are, in particular the revolt of the Arabs in Syria’s Raqqa, armed conflicts within “independent” groups in North-Eastern Syria, caused by both “humanitarian” and military-political aspects, systemic shortcomings of the previous presidential administration to unite the projects of the “Kurdish Zone”, “Syrian Democratic Forces” and the “Free Syrian Army”.

The data formed the need for duplication of “territorial formations” by independent structures, the creation of Kurdish security forces that are not included in the YPG during the last year. Along with this, it allowed partial substitution and assumption of the contingents of the Arab countries in the area of responsibility of the Alliance. Preliminary rounds of talks with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are now been held.

“The newly formed security forces, along with the implementation of substitution approaches are certainly a guarantee for stability and security in the North-East of Syria”, stated Ray Ross.

Third, the current problems required operational support for the concept “Balance of deterrence and engagement”, as described in previous submissions.

Thus, according to analysts, the greatest actual problems are:

  1. Security in the North East of Syria;
  2. Containment of Ankara;
  3. Exclusion of the growing influence of Damascus, Moscow and Tehran;
  4. Revision of the allies system, accompanied by a “balance of deterrence and engagement”.

Thus, the methods to achieve a “balance of deterrence and engagement” through the support and expansion of special measures aimed at the integration of non-system actors of the military and political process are of greatest interest. “We conduct constant monitoring of the military-political process and its dynamics. It has already been six months that we monitor the escalation of the conflict in the north of Syria, which we repeatedly inform our allies, Turkey and other countries. Today within the framework of the modeling, we understand the need to involve all parties in the settlement process. Potentially, it may include the Kurdish Workers’ Party and the Democratic Union”, said the representative of DTRA.

According to data received from the source “occupying a high position” in the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) since November 2017, personnel changes have begun, accompanied by an intra-party conflict. With the beginning of the Turkish operation “Olive Branch” the group “Will to Freedom” stood out, actively cooperating with the YPG troops, coordinated with the United States and its allies. The unit, numbering up to 5000 personnel, advocates for the change of the party’s leadership course and the formation of the “common Kurdish space”. “However, we must work to ensure that this organisation does not engage in destructive activities on Turkish territories”.

In addition, in the ranks of the PKK, according to intelligence, in December last year a “right-oriented core” was formed, which began the extradition of previously left in Afrin intra-party opponents of the “new forces” with Salih Muslim. “The United States have actively watched this process, today we have a unique opportunity to unite these PKK platforms into a new, powerful force that can affect the entire region. These processes are very complex, but positive for national security”, commented Ray Ross.

During the talks held at the end of December 2017, between the “new forces” and the Democratic Union Party, the parties could not agree on “extradition”, but agreements were reached in exchange for the deployment of seven training camps in North Africa in exchange for full support from the “right forces” in the PKK.

The personnel trained at these facilities were intended for deployment on the neighbouring Turkish territory. However the Turkish side took these processes as a strengthening, an attempt to unite the Kurdish Workers’ Party and on January 20 launched the army operation “Olive Branch”, which ended with the capture of the city of Afrin and the division of the canton into Turkish and Syrian-Russian areas of responsibility.

During the Turkish operation, with the support of the US, talks were held between the YPG and the Afrin security forces on the limited material and technical support, as well as sending a number of volunteer units subordinate to the military council of Manbij. Also, the “special contact mission” guaranteed full support in the case of coordination of the Afrin security forces, the dissolution of the HPX battalion and the “Desert Scorpion” brigade.

De facto, this process should be seen as providing an alternative resource base, aimed at the involvement of the security forces and councils of Afrin in the structure of the YPG and the expansion of cooperation with the International coalition, i.e. the removal of Iran and Russia from the northern province of Aleppo. However, cooperation between Moscow, Tehran and Ankara did not allow the formalisation of this union.

At the same time, analysts noted that the division, the failure of “involvement”, allowed to restore the balance of forces in the “Kurdish zone”, since after the military and political crisis caused by the “collapse” of Iraqi Kurdistan and the departure of Masoud Barzani as President, the “Democratic Union Party” significantly strengthened its position, “threatening the integrity of the Syrian Kurdistan”. However, after the division of Afrin, its potential, through natural processes, decreased, opening up new opportunities for the American side and the security forces that were created.

Thus, turning to the conclusions, we can say that the American side is now involved in the processes of operationalization of the concept of “containment and engagement”, considering factor projects of unification of multidirectional forces through the chaos of existing crisis systems and territorial associations. The growing military presence in the area of Al-Tanf, and the disparate information of the transfer of Arab-Kurdish troops to the area, could potentially mean the unification of the YPG, the security forces and the new Syrian Army into a single structure.

With the completion of operation “Olive Branch”, an extensive media company was launched to discredit the positions of Moscow, Tehran and Damascus in resolving the “Kurdish issue”.

In mid-March 2018 in north-eastern Syria, a “Syrian popular Resistance” was formed, advocating the liberation from occupation by a coalition led by the United States.

On April 15, 2018, the Department of Military and Political Modeling of the US agency for reducing military threats adopted the programme of development of the north-east of Syria, labelling this territory as “fallen state”.

Jewish Guilt is the Discourse of The Goyim

April 24, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

 The Unconscious is the discourse of the Other, Jacques Lacan

The Unconscious is the discourse of the Other, Jacques Lacan

By Gilad Atzmon

For quite some time the British have accepted that British Jewish organizations have hijacked the political discourse. As has happened in other Western countries, the British political establishment has engaged is a relentless rant against antisemitsm. Sometime the focus drifts for a day or two. An alleged ‘Russian nerve gas attack’ provided a 48 hour pause. Occasionally we bomb Arabs in the name of ‘human intervention’ only to realize a day or two later that we have, once again, followed a premeditated foreign agenda. But, somehow, we always return to the antisemitsm debate, as if our media and politicians are a herd of flies gravitating to a pile of poop.

Last week the BOD/JLC, two Jewish organisations that claim to ‘represent’ British Jews published this painful to watch video.

https://youtu.be/pnEYxMHb-RU

Judging by the number of viewers, Brits are tired of this nauseating outburst. Brits know very well that when it comes to hate crimes, Jews are not high on the victim list; Jews are far less ‘victimized’ than Blacks, Muslims, Roma, trans-sexuals, gays and many others.

Since Jewish community ‘leaders’ remain obsessed with anti semitism, I will try to help these ‘leaders’ understand the universal perspective on the meaning of antisemitsm.

True Antisemitsm is when IDF snipers film themselves   shooting unarmed Semite protestors* like sitting ducks while laughing their heads off!

True Antisemitsm is when the Jewish State legislates and enforces institutional racism against actual SemitesBlacks and Goyim in general.

The Gaza siege is an example of what common people see as real Antisemitsm. It is designed  to humiliate and deprive  Semites for being Semites and it has turned Gaza into the largest open air prison known to man.

Enough is Enough is humanity expressing collective fatigue of these barbarian actions.

I would prefer to believe that the Jewish fear of antisemitsm is actually an expression of collective Jewish guilt.  For obvious reasons, Jews find it hard to compartmentalize Jewish identity within the context of the Jewish State being a rogue State.

There are a few modes of dealing with collective guilt that have been recognized.  Repression seems to be the most common one. Some argue, in that regard, that escapism and denial are Israel’s primary belief systems.

Acknowledgment of guilt is, undoubtedly, far more painful. The Germans made it into their way of living after the last big war. Maybe Jews can actually learn from the Germans — instead of attempting to emulate 3rd Reich’s racist agenda—— Israel and its supporters  should try to reproduce German’s post WWII  remorse.   As it happens, there are a very few Jews and Israelis who acknowledge their responsibility for the Palestinian plight and support the Palestinian Right of Return. These rare Jews are brave enough to admit that Israel is inherently anti-Semitic and racist to the core.

However, silencing Israel’s dissent is the usual Jewish political method to resolve Jewish guilt.  Attributing the ‘Antisemitic’ slur to others is how both Zionists and the so called ‘anti’ kick the ball to the goyim’s yard. This method was effective for a while but it doesn’t work anymore: being called an anti-Semite in 2018 is a synonym for an ethically driven humanistan anti racista truth tellerpeace and Justice role model, a rock star. The list of ‘anti semites’ is growing exponentially, probably in direct proportion with the tidal rise in Jewish guilt. The more guilty (some) Jews feel, the more the rest of us are becoming anti-Semitic in their eyes.

“Unconscious is the discourse of the Other,” was, probably Jacques Lacan’s most astute psychoanalytical observation. It is the fear that the Other, in this case, the gentile, the humanist, sees you truly. It is the fear that the goy can detect your shame. Jewish Guilt as such is the unbearable fear that the Goyim know.

If they want to burn it, you want to read it!

cover bit small.jpg

Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto,

Amazon.co.uk , Amazon.com and  here (gilad.co.uk).

CONTAINERS WITH CHLORINE FROM GERMANY, SMOKE BOMBS FROM UK FOUND IN EASTERN GHOUTA: RUSSIA

19.04.2018

Containers With Chlorine From Germany, Smoke Bombs From UK Found In Eastern Ghouta: RussiaFILE IMAGE: Sputnik / Maksim Blinov

Containers with chlorine from Germany and smoke grenades produced in the UK town of Salisbury have been found in the Damascus subrub of East Ghouta, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, told media during a press conference on April 19.

“In the liberated areas of Eastern Ghouta, Syrian government troops have found containers with chlorine – the most horrible kind of chemical weapons – from Germany, and also smoke grenades produced – please pay attention [to this] – in the city of Salisbury, the UK,” Zakharova said.

“It is difficult to even comment on this fact in any way, as it is so frightening and undermining the belief in the humanity of certain countries.”

SF recalls that prior to the April 7 incident in Douma, Russian and Syrian leadership had repeatedly warned of possible provocations with the use of chemical weapons by militants. However, all these warnings were ignored by the US-led bloc.

Meanwhile, the chemical attack story is still developing creating more and more questions about the plausibility of the US-backed version of the events.

The town of Douma is the location of the alleged chemical attack on April 7. Presenting no evidence, the US and its allies accused the Syrian government of being behind the attack and then conducted a massive missile strike on Syria using these claims as a pretext.

Zakharova added that the real aim of the April 14 missile strike had been an attempt to give a break to militants in Syria.

“We’ve found confirmations that the real aim of ‘the three’ was to give terrorists a break, restore their strength, prolong the bloodshed on the Syrian soil, thus impeding the process of the political settlement,” the spokeswoman noted.

 

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