Enmity ongoing, normalization fragile: Israeli media on Qatar WC

27 Nov 2022

Source: Israeli Media

By Al Mayadeen English 

Israeli media comments on the everyday videos being published about Arab fans being hostile toward Israelis in solidarity with occupied Palestine.

A Moroccan fan carrying the Moroccan flag and a Palestinian banner at the Qatar World Cup on November 27, 2022

Israeli media commented Sunday in a very disgruntled manner on the way the Arabic crowds are reacting to Israeli correspondents showing up in Qatar under the guise of reporting on the World Cup and trying to get positive statements that serve the process of normalization from the Arab fans there.

An Israeli Hayom article entitled “The World Cup in Qatar, A Mirror for the Israelis: They Do Not Like Us nor Want Us” argued that the World Cup put the Israeli occupation before a harsh and bitter reality for the Israelis.

The Israelis clarified that they saw for the first time they saw a large-scale experience of rejection, neglect, hatred, and the non-acceptance of Israelis in an Arab-Muslim country.

“Everyone claiming that the people of the Gulf do not have enmity toward Israel saw that they have been tricked, and they are experiencing a different reality,” the article added.

“News reporters in Israeli channels enthusiastically went to Qatar and set up their cameras, waiting for the Arabs living in the Gulf and the various other Arab countries to praise Israel,” it said. “However, they soon found themselves subject to contempt, avoidance, and mockery from those same Arabs.”

An Israeli news channel showed earlier in the day Moroccan fans refusing to talk to an Israeli reporter, chanting in support of Palestine and against the occupation, despite the Israeli correspondent stressing that “your government normalized ties with us… we must be at peace now!”

Israeli media commented on how a group of Arabs refused to be interviewed by an Israeli reporter and confronted him by saying “there is no such thing as Israel. It is Palestine.” The author said this was expected, noting that he “was not surprised that the overwhelming majority of Arab football fans refused to be interviewed by Israeli television channels.”

Embarrassing situation

“It is only those that do not understand how the people feel in the Arab World that will rush and set up a camera, begging an Arab to be interviewed by an Israeli channel,” the author added.

He described what the Israeli reporters were subjected to, from humiliation to embarrassing situations and even having to conceal their identity by saying: “It is shameful to see an Israeli journalist begging and hugging whoever allows him to interview them to urge them to speak positively about Israeli, only for it to appear that they don’t consider that there is an Israel, only Palestine.”

Normalization takes a hit

“This is a series blow to anyone who thought normalization was right at the corner and that normalization with Arab countries was just a matter of time,” the author wrote.

“The behavior of the average Arab citizen toward Israel shows an enmity that is more than 70 years old, and it indicates that the root of the problem is still very much alive, kicking us down, and dealing blow after blow to us.”

This is the truth and this is reality, the article stressed. “Whoever does not want to see that must close their eyes. But the harsh, bitter, and, in my opinion, painful reality is that unless the Palestinian cause is solved somehow that is acceptable by all parties, we are not and will not be welcome in Arab countries. Even in countries that have signed normalization agreements.”

“It is enough to look at the normalization agreements with Egypt to understand how we did not make any progress with the Egyptian people, which is still among the most hostile Arab peoples toward Israel,” he stressed.

Normalization agreements fragile

Former Shin Bet official Doron Matza wrote in an article on the Makor Rishon website titled, “The hatred of Israel in Qatar indicates that the Abraham Accords have a glass ceiling,” that “the rude way Arab football fans are dealing with Israeli media correspondents surprised reporters, which opened their eyes to the status quo in the Middle East and Israel’s ties in the region.”

“They do not like us in Qatar and, as apparently, in the whole Middle East, and this is the conclusion that the journalists drew in light of the unpleasant interactions with Saudi, Qatari, and Iranian fans, among others,” Matza added.

“It turns out that nothing has changed… Even if it is good to be optimistic, we must not ignore reality,” he stressed.

He also said the normalization agreements signed with Arab regimes were lackluster in terms of influencing the people, saying they “were formed against the less ideological parties in the region, such as the United Arab Emirates.”

The author then concluded that the normalization agreements signed did not influence anything in terms of how the people of the region felt toward the Israeli occupation.

“The events that took place in light of the Qatar World Cup prove that Israel’s regional standings and the contents of the Abraham Accords have a glass ceiling,” the author underscored.

An Israeli KAN public broadcaster correspondent in Qatar complained Thursday about “unpleasant” incidents he was subjected to in Qatar during the channel’s coverage of the FIFA World Cup championship being held in the country due to him being Israeli, a heavily opposed “nationality” in the region.

Hoffman also said that when he and his team arrived at a restaurant at a local beach with his team, he took some photos. The restaurant’s owner inquired about their nationality, asking them where they were coming from. “When he found out that we are from Israel, he brought the restaurant’s security guards, and they kicked us out. They also took my phone and deleted all the photos I had taken.”

Another Israeli correspondent said a few days ago that he was bothered by the stances of the Arab fans attending the 2022 World Cup, saying that they would refuse to be interviewed by him due to his allegiance.

According to the correspondent, young Lebanese men were enraged when they found out that he was Israeli, saying: “I would also like to say that even off the air, whichever Arab fans we meet there with and introduce ourselves to, they reject talking to us altogether.”

Since the World Cup kicked off, there have been various videos that went viral of Arab fans refusing to be interviewed by Israeli media.

“All attempts to talk to football fans in Doha did not go according to plan,” Israeli media has said. “Videos are being circulated online are of Saudi fans, a Qatari shopper, and several Lebanese fans purposely avoiding Israeli reporters.”

Israeli Channel 12 correspondent, Ohad Hamo, expressed his frustration from the “maltreatment” of the Arab masses he came across in the Qatar 2022 World Cup. Arab people of all nations refused to be interviewed by him, an Israeli, during a live TV broadcast. 

“Everyone knows us, perhaps from the widespread Tik Tok videos. They come to us and criticize us being here,” Hamo said in objection. “I don’t know why,” he cried out. 

Related Stories

The Middle East and US global power: Fossil Fuel- Lifeblood of the American Empire

November 22, 2022

Source

by Phillyguy

Summary

Among all of the events shaping post-civil war US economic development, one of the most prominent was the establishment of Standard Oil by John D. Rockefeller in 1870. Working with other US industrialists, along with domestic and international financial and banking interests, including the Rothschild’s London banking cartel, Standard oil decedents have dominated the fossil fuel industry and shaped US economic and social development and foreign policy to the present day.

Introduction

The current world security architecture arose following WWII, which established the US as the dominant global power. Since that time, US global supremacy has rested on unrivaled military and economic power, control of world’s energy reserves (primarily in the Middle East), and maintaining the dollar as the world’s reserve currency [1]. There has been much current discussion about promoting ‘green’ policies, including sustainable development and increasing the use of renewable energy sources, clearly articulated during the UN Conference on Environment and Development (aka ‘Rio Conference’; ‘Earth Summit’), held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Jun 3-14, 1992) [2], and Greta Thunberg’s speech to the UN on Sept 23, 2019 [3], where she accused world leaders of failing younger generations by not taking more aggressive actions to stop climate change. Despite this push for Green policies, fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) are still the dominant source of energy, currently supply over 80% of the world’s energy [4]. In addition, the dollar (aka ‘petrodollar’) is the primary reserve currency held by foreign central banks [5] and main currency used for commercial energy transactions [6] [7].

In 1863 John D. Rockefeller joined Maurice B. Clark and Samuel Andrews in an oil-refining business in Cleveland, Ohio, which was subsequently expanded and incorporated as Standard Oil of Ohio in 1870. Rockefeller was a shrewd and aggressive industrialist, acquiring additional refining capacity by “buying up and squeezing out of rivals by every device at hand—legal or illegal’ and as a result, Standard Oil would soon control over 90% of American oil refining capacity. Facing increasing resistance from the business community and the Ohio legislature, Rockefeller incorporated the Standard Oil Trust in New Jersey in 1982. This Trust consisted of seven subsidiaries- Standard Oil of Kentucky, Standard Oil of California, Standard Oil of New York, Standard Oil of New Jersey, Standard Oil of Indiana, The Standard Oil Co (Ohio) and The Ohio Oil Company. In Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey v. United States (1911), the US Supreme Court found the Standard Oil Trust guilty of engaging in anti-competitive practices, a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, breaking the company up into 34 separate entities, some of which the Rockefellers held major stakes [8] [9]. Ironically, decades after the Standard Oil Trust was ‘broken up’, these separate firms would subsequently merge into Chevron [10], ExxonMobil [11], British Petroleum (BP) [12] and Marathon [13], which are currently among the top 10 global energy companies [14]. The Rockefellers reach was vast- David Rockefeller, grandson of John D. Rockefeller, was Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations (1970-1985) and Chairman and CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank (1969–1981) [15] [16].

The geographic location of the US, circa 8000 km (5000 miles) from major war theaters in Europe and 9700 km (6000 miles) in Japan shielded the US from the massive devastation that took place in Europe and Asia during WWII. As a result, many large US corporations were able to profit handsomely by supplying the War Department with fuel, aircraft, ships, motor vehicles, armaments and ammunition to equip American soldiers and allied forces. Some of these firms were working both sides of the conflict, supplying Nazi Germany with financial backing and war material; some of these firms include Alcoa, Brown Brothers Harriman, Coca-Cola, Dupont, Kodak, Chase Bank, Dow Chemical, Ford, IBM, General Electric, General Motors, Woolworth, Random House and Standard Oil [17]. Prescott Bush, father of George HW Bush (41st President) and grandfather of George W. Bush’s (43st President), was a partner of A. Harriman & Co Investment bank and later served as Senator from Connecticut (1952-1963). Prescott Bush was directly involved with companies that profited from their commercial involvement with Nazi Germany [18] [19]. It should be pointed out the WWII is the most expensive war in American history, costing taxpayers more than $4 trillion, adjusted for inflation [20].

To the victor go the spoils

The US emerged from WWII as the world’s foremost military and economic power, the dollar was anointed the status of world reserve currency at the Bretton Woods Conference (1944) and established as the primary currency used for energy transactions following the meeting between US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Saudi King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, aboard the USS Quincy, in the Suez Canal on Valentine’s Day, 1945 [21].

Post-WWII US economic development saw the continued rise of the American economy which translated into robust corporate profits and better living standards for many working people. In 1956, President Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act (aka National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956) described as the ‘Greatest Public Works Project in History’, allocating $25 billion (circa $274 billion in inflation- adjusted dollars) from taxpayers to develop a 41,000-mile system of interstate highways that Eisenhower promised would eliminate unsafe roads, inefficient routes and all of the other things that got in the way of “speedy, safe transcontinental travel.” [22] [23]. The Highway act would enrich the ‘pro-highway coalition of energy companies, automobile manufactures, truckers, bus operators, tiremakers, insurance companies, auto clubs, etc. It directly led to increased use of private automobiles for transportation and the systematic dismantling of energy- efficient public transportation, creation of suburbs, shopping centers, ‘strip malls’, and proliferation of McDonald’s and other ‘fast-food’ outlets, which have led to the current health crisis in the US- increased obesity, type II diabetes and related health problems [24] [25]. In addition, some of these highways were literally built through urban neighborhoods and frequently minority communities [26] [27], such as the Cypress Freeway in Oakland, CA, I95 in Chester, PA and the Cross Bronx Expressway in NYC [28] [29].

As a result, the functioning of the American economy and society has become very dependent on fossil fuel consumption (for more detail see [30]).

1. Energy consumption & generation– the US has 4.25% of world’s population (339 million people) but consumes ~17% of the world’s energy and has the highest per capita energy consumption and is the largest total energy consumer. In 2021, approximately 60% of US electricity was generated from fossil fuels- coal, natural gas and oil [31].

2. Suburban development– as described above, passage of the Highway act of 1956 [22], accelerated the development of low-density housing suburbs, which were only accessible by automobiles using fossil fuel.

3. Transportation– The average American relies on energy-inefficient automobiles and jet airplanes for transportation. Most US cities lack a comprehensive, energy-efficient public transportation system. Indeed, the US does not have 1 mile of high-speed rail lines. By contrast, China has 40,000 km (24,855 mi), Spain has 3,100 km (1,926 mi) and Japan has 2,830 km (1758 mi) of high-speed rail.

4. American agriculture is very energy-intensive, requiring 15 calories of energy to produce 1 calorie of food. The average food commodity transits 1500 miles from production to consumption point- e.g., California-grown produce, shipped to the US east coast, usually via diesel fueled trucks.

5. Information technology– US society is heavily reliant on information flow. 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.

6. Military– The Pentagon is the largest single consumer of fossil fuel and polluter in the world. To give this some perspective, on average, the US military consumes 12,600,000 gallons (48,000,000 L) of fuel per day. One F-16 fighter jet consumes over 20K gallons of Kerosene per hour (333 gal/min) [32].

American capitalism is dependent on fossil fuel consumption to function and serves as the lubricant for American power projection around the world. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have approximately 57% and 41% of proven oil and natural gas reserves, respectively (see Table 1 and [33]). Thus, it is not surprising that the US ruling elite have a major interest in this region and the energy reserves therein [34]. US attempts to control oil in the MENA region has been carried out in several ways. This has involved setting up client regimes in countries with vast energy deposits, such as the Gulf monarchies in the Persian Gulf (Figure 1), attacking and/or invading countries who attempt to follow an independent energy policy, such as Iraq and Libya or issuing frequent verbal threats, seizing assets and imposing economic sanctions on countries that the US has been unable to achieve regime change or are capable of defending themselves, such as the Islamic Republic of Iran [35] and Venezuela.

As part of this effort, the US has set up military bases in multiple ME countries including Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Turkey (Türkiye), UAE and Syria (See Figure 1 and Table 2) [36]. Due to its geographic location, Israel is crucial to US foreign policy goals. The ‘state’ of Israel/Zionist project was the creation of British imperialism (Balfour Declaration, 1918) [37], was driven, at least in part, by the desire of the British ruling elite to establish a reliable (read non-Muslim) proxy force that would assist the UK in controlling the region and its abundant hydrocarbon reserves [38]. The US emerged from WWII as the world’s leading military and economic power and assumed the role of Israel’s benefactor, providing $152 billion since 1949; $3.8 billion in 2020 [39] [40]. While Israel does not host a formal US base, she is a de facto appendage of the Pentagon, is fully integrated into NATO and serves as a reliable and well-armed US proxy in the region [41] [42], ranking 18th in global military power [43]. Israel conducts regular attacks on Syria [44] and estimated to have a stockpile of circa 90 nuclear weapons (likely a low estimate).

This effort has become all the more urgent as: the Russia-China-Iran axis has attained economic and military parity with the West, Iran is now a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) [45], has applied for membership to the BRICS [46] and recently announced that it has developed a hypersonic missile, that is ‘capable of penetrating all defense systems’ [47]. One would infer that Iran received technical help developing this weapon system. As Iran’s ties with Russia and China continue solidifying, they are becoming increasingly ambivalent about rejoining the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA; aka Iran nuclear deal) [46], which was negotiated during the Obama Administration [48]. Trump unilaterally exited the JCPOA in 2018, stating ‘We cannot prevent an Iranian bomb under the decaying and rotten structure of the current agreement’ [49].

We hear a lot about ‘Green’ energy, the ‘Green new deal’, reducing our ‘carbon footprint’ and ‘sustainable development’, policies which are being promoted by a wide range of extremely committed environmental and conservation groups such as the Sierra Club, National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Clean Air Council in the US and many international organizations and prominent politicians. ‘Green’ polices have been promoted by US Vice President Kamala Harris, encouraging Americans to purchase [expensive] electric cars and endorsed by the paper of record (NYT) and other corporate media outlets. Any policy that reduces the production of ‘greenhouse’ gasses, such as CO2, is certainly a noble and worthwhile objective, that should be supported. Unfortunately, most of these groups, at least in the US, where I live, are missing the proverbial ‘elephant in the room’. This includes:

1. The entire structure of American society has been built around fossil fuel consumption. This includes the use of automobiles and jet airplanes for transportation. The profits of very powerful corporate interests, including energy corporations, automobile manufactures and their suppliers, banks and insurance companies and law firms to name a few, are highly dependent on fossil fuel consumption and ‘greenhouse’ gas production. They are not about to give this up without a big fight, including going to war.

2. The military is a key pillar of a [declining] American empire, with the Pentagon serving as the ‘enforcer’ of US global power, but is also the largest of consumer of fossil fuels and largest polluter in the world [32]. The Pentagon is supported by all factions of the ruling elite, readily apparent from the near-unanimous bipartisan support for every military appropriation in Congress (appropriation for 2023 is $773 billion). Not surprisingly, most environmental groups, which are dependent on funding from corporate-backed foundations, such as the Ford Foundation, Home Depot Foundation, etc. [50] are not going to ‘bite the hand’ that feeds them. Likewise, US corporate media is controlled by 6 large corporations whose class interests reflect those of the petrochemical companies and other large corporations [51] [52] [53]. Any reporter who steps out of line- i.e., criticizes the functioning of the US empire, including fossil fuel consumption, is immediately reprimanded and/or fired. 1) Reporter Emily Wilder was fired from AP because she had posted pro-Palestinian material on social media [54]. 2) In 1996, investigative reporter Gary Webb published a series of articles entitled ‘Dark Alliance’ in the San Jose Mercury News, linking the crack cocaine trade in Los Angeles with the Nicaraguan Contra rebels and the CIA. Not surprisingly, Webb’s story was met with outrage by MSM outlets such as the LA Times and Washington Post. Webb committed suicide in 2004 [55].

Concluding remarks

The survival of the American Empire is highly dependent on fossil fuel consumption and control of global energy reserves. This dependency has created irresolvable problems and led to a chaotic and at times, contradictory foreign policy. While there has been a lot of ‘whining’ about energy prices in the US and EU, the oil industry is reaping record profits. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter levied a “windfall” profits tax on the American oil industry in response to increasing gas prices and corporate profits [56]. While these taxes have had mixed results, no doubt a result of aggressive industry lobbying, there has been little discussion of taxing high corporate profits at the present time. Indeed, petrochemical industry profits were barely addressed in the recent US ‘midterm’ elections, as many candidates receive campaign contributions from energy companies. Fossil fuels still dominate US foreign policy. This can be seen from the enduring presence of military bases throughout the ME and maintaining generous financial support for Israel and the ruling families of Gulf Monarchies [57]. At the same time, these ruling families have watched the US/UK/NATO ferment coups in Iran (1953) [58] [59] and steal resources, invade and/or destroy Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen; impose crippling economic sanctions and/or confiscate the assets of countries deemed a threat to US global power such as Iran, Venezuela and Russia and sabotage energy infrastructure (see below). Not surprisingly, KSA and other Gulf Monarchies have been reaching out to Russia and China; multiple reports indicate that KSA is ‘eager’ to join the BRICS Bloc [60]. No doubt, this was a motivation for President Biden’s trip to KSA in July of this year, meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) at Al-Salam Palace in the Red Sea port of Jeddah. On Nov 18, the State Department recommended that MBS be granted ‘legal immunity’ for the brutal assassination of Washington Post columnist, Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on Oct 2, 2018 [62] [63]. It should be noted that while campaigning for President, then candidate Joe Biden stated: he would “cancel the blank check” the Trump administration had given Saudi Arabia during its war in Yemen and during a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) that “America’s priorities in the Middle East should be set in Washington, not Riyadh” and advocated making Saudi Arabia an international “pariah” for butchering Jamal Khashoggi [61]. Rhetoric notwithstanding, Biden’s polices towards the MENA region are largely a continuation of those of Trump and the ruling elite they represent. Biden has not rejoined the JCPOA and has continued Trump’s bellicose position towards the Islamic Republic of Iran. The US continues supporting Israel, the US Embassy in Israel remains in Jerusalem (Al-Quds in Arabic), which is not Israeli land and thus, a blatant violation of International law [64], US troops remain in Iraq and Syria while the Pentagon continues assisting KSA in their genocidal war on Yemen [65]. Trump continues his financial dealings with KSA, recently signing a $1.6 billion deal with a Saudi real estate developer [66]. It will be interesting to see how the US reacts when KSA joins BRICS [67].

On Sept 26, 2022, Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines, carrying natural gas from Russia to Germany, under the Baltic Sea were blown up [68] [69]. Shortly after the explosions, erstwhile British Prime Minister Liz Truss allegedly sent a message to US Sec of State Anthony Blinken stating ‘it’s done’ [70]. While the actual perpetrators of this attack have not been identified, it is likely that the US at a very minimum was aware of this action, as pointed out by Professor Jeffrey Sachs (Columbia University) during a Bloomberg interview [71]. The end result is that Germany and other countries in the EU will no longer have access to cheap and plentiful Russian energy, but will now be forced to purchase much more expensive liquified natural gas from the US or other countries. It should also be noted that nearly 8 decades following the conclusion of WWII, the Pentagon maintains circa 900 foreign military bases worldwide [72] [73]. Europe is still occupied by circa 100K troops [74], 35K in Germany alone [75]. Thus, Germany is not really a US ‘ally’ but rather a subordinate. This begs the question; will Germany and other countries in the EU continue serving as de facto US vassals or begin following a more independent foreign policy? One could argue their very survival as functional states depends on this.

Notes

1. US economic decline and global instability. The Saker Blog Jan 19, 2021; https://thesaker.is/us-economic-decline-and-global-instability/

2. UN Conference on Environment and Development (aka ‘Rio Conference’, ‘Earth Summit’), held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Jun 3-14, 1992); https://www.un.org/en/conferences/environment/rio1992

3. Read climate activist Greta Thunberg’s speech to the UN By Gretchen Frazee PBS News Hour Sep 23, 2019; https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/read-climate-activist-greta-thunbergs-speech-to-the-un

4. World Energy Balances: Overview (2020); https://www.iea.org/reports/world-energy-balances-overview/world

5. The International Role of the U.S. Dollar by Carol Bertaut, Bastian von Beschwitz and Stephanie Curcuru US Fed Reserve Oct 6, 2021; https://www.federalreserve.gov/econres/notes/feds-notes/the-international-role-of-the-u-s-dollar-20211006.html

6. What Is the Petrodollar? Petrodollar Explained in Less Than 5 Minutes By Kimberly Amadeo. the balance June 4, 2022; https://www.thebalancemoney.com/what-is-a-petrodollar-3306358

7. US economic decline and global instability Part 3: Money printing, debt and increasing international isolation. The Saker Blog Oct 31, 2022; https://thesaker.is/us-economic-decline-and-global-instability-part-3-money-printing-debt-and-increasing-international-isolation/

8. How Rockefeller Built His Trillion Dollar Oil Empire. By Jeremy Dyck Oct 8, 2019;

9. John D. Rockefeller and the Oil Industry- John D. Rockefeller changed the oil industry forever with his company Standard Oil. but that was by no means the only interesting thing about him. By Burton W. Folsom Foundation for Economic Education Sat Oct 1, 1988; https://fee.org/articles/john-d-rockefeller-and-the-oil-industry/

10. Chevron; https://www.chevron.com

11. ExxonMobil; https://corporate.exxonmobil.com

12. British Petroleum (BP); https://www.bp.com

13. Marathon Oil; https://www.marathonoil.com

14. Top 20 Oil and Gas Companies in the World in 2021; https://www.visualcapitalist.com/ranked-the-largest-oil-and-gas-companies-in-the-world

15. David Rockefeller Sr., steward of family fortune and Chase Manhattan Bank, dies at 101 By Timothy R. Smith Washington Post Mar 20, 2017; https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/david-rockefeller-sr-steward-of-family-fortune-and-chase-manhattan-bank-dies-at-101/2017/03/20/f2385f8a-0d7c-11e7-ab07-07d9f521f6b5_story.html

16. JPMorgan Chase & Co: Who We Are/History Of Our Firm; https://www.jpmorganchase.com/about/our-history

17. Top 10 American Companies that Aided the Nazis. By Dustin Koski Feb 18, 2016; https://www.toptenz.net/top-10-american-companies-that-aided-the-nazis.php

18. How Bush’s grandfather helped Hitler’s rise to power- Rumors of a link between the US first family and the Nazi war machine have circulated for decades. Now the Guardian can reveal how repercussions of events that culminated in action under the Trading with the Enemy Act are still being felt by today’s president By Ben Aris and Duncan Campbell The Guardian Sat Sep 25, 2004; https://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/sep/25/usa.secondworldwar

19. The Holocaust and the Bush family fortune Bill Van Auken Dec 5, 2018; https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/12/05/intr-d05.html

20. The Cost of U.S. Wars then and now. By Norwich University Online Oct 20th, 2020; https://online.norwich.edu/academic-programs/resources/cost-us-wars-then-and-now

21. ORDER FROM CHAOS- 75 years after a historic meeting on the USS Quincy, US-Saudi relations are in need of a true re-think By Bruce Riedel Brookings Mon Feb 10, 2020; https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2020/02/10/75-years-after-a-historic-meeting-on-the-uss-quincy-us-saudi-relations-are-in-need-of-a-true-re-think/

22. History of the Interstate Highway System; https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/interstate/history.cfm

23. The Interstate Highway System History.Com Jum 7, 2019; https://www.history.com/topics/us-states/interstate-highway-system

24. Tabish SA. Is Diabetes Becoming the Biggest Epidemic of the Twenty-first Century? Int J Health Sci (Qassim). 2007 Jul;1(2): V-VIII;

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3068646/

25. Obesity? Diabetes? We’ve been set up By Alvin Powell Harvard Gazette Mar 7, 2012; https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2012/03/the-big-setup/

26. A Brief History of How Racism Shaped Interstate Highways By Noel King NPR Apr 7, 2021; https://www.npr.org/2021/04/07/984784455/a-brief-history-of-how-racism-shaped-interstate-highways

27. How Interstate Highways Gutted Communities—and Reinforced Segregation

America’s interstate highway system cut through the heart of dozens of urban neighborhoods. By Farrell Evans History.com Oct 20, 2021; https://www.history.com/news/interstate-highway-system-infrastructure-construction-segregation

28. Robert Moses’s Negative Impacts By SAFAA Feb 7, 2018 BY SAFAA; https://eportfolios.macaulay.cuny.edu/alonso2018/2018/02/07/robert-mosess-negative-impacts/

29. The Cross Bronx Expressway and the Ruination of the Bronx By lbennett Nov 10, 2019; https://pages.vassar.edu/realarchaeology/2019/11/10/the-cross-bronx-expressway-and-the-ruination-of-the-bronx/

30. War Essay- The consequences of nuclear war on US society The Saker Blog Jan 13, 2019; https://thesaker.is/war-essay-the-consequences-of-nuclear-war-on-us-society/

31. Electricity in the United States US Energy Information Administration;

https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/electricity/electricity-in-the-us.php

32. Pentagon Fuel Use, Climate Change and the Costs of War By Neta Crawford Watson Institute June 12, 2019; https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/files/cow/imce/papers/2019/Pentagon%20Fuel%20Use,%20Climate%20Change%20and%20the%20Costs%20of%20War%20Final.pdf

33. How Much Oil in the Middle East? By Rasoul Sorkhabi, Ph.D. GoExPro Vol. 11, No. 1 – 2014; https://www.geoexpro.com/articles/2014/02/how-much-oil-in-the-middle-east; iea; https://www.iea.org/regions/middle-east

34. Michael Hudson: A New Bipolar World. US finance capitalism vs. China’s mixed public/ private economy Nov 7, 2022; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_zY44YClCY

35. Missiles of Iran- Iran possesses the largest and most diverse missile arsenal in the Middle East, with thousands of ballistic and cruise missiles, some capable of striking as far as Israel and southeast Europe. CSIS Aug 10, 2021; https://missilethreat.csis.org/country/iran/

36. US military bases and facilities in the Middle East. American Security Project https://www.americansecurityproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Ref-0213-US-Military-Bases-and-Facilities-Middle-East.pdf

37. Balfour Declaration History.Com Aug 21, 2018; https://www.history.com/topics/middle-east/balfour-declaration

38. More than a century on: The Balfour Declaration explained. More than 100 years since Britain’s controversial pledge, here is everything you need to know about it. By Zena Al Tahhan Aljazeera Nov 2, 2018; https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2018/11/2/more-than-a-century-on-the-balfour-declaration-explained

39. Israel-Gaza: How much money does Israel get from the US? BBC May 24, 2021; https://www.bbc.com/news/57170576

40. U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel: Total Aid (1949 – Present) Jewish Virtual Library;

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/total-u-s-foreign-aid-to-israel-1949-present

41. Towards a World War III Scenario? The Role of Israel in Triggering an Attack on Iran? Part II The Military Road Map By Prof Michel Chossudovsky Global Research, July 30, 2018; http://www.globalresearch.ca/towards-a-world-war-iii-scenario-the-role-of-israel-in-triggering-an-attack-on-iran-2/20584

42. Understanding NATO- Ending War By Robert J. Burrowes Economy and Politics June 8, 2019; https://www.meer.com/en/54967-understanding-nato

43. 2022 Military Strength Ranking; https://www.globalfirepower.com/countries-listing.php

44. Israeli Attacks Continue to Kill Syrians, Iranians. Southfront Nov 16, 2022; https://southfront.org/israeli-attacks-continue-to-kill-syrians/

45. Iran signs memorandum to join Shanghai Cooperation Organization. As leaders meet in Uzbekistan, the eight-member regional body is poised to add Iran to its ranks. Aljazeera Sept 15, 2022; https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/9/15/iran-signs-memorandum-join-shanghai-cooperation-organisation

46. India, China, Iran: the Quad that really matters By Pepe Escobar Nov 15, 2022; https://thesaker.is/russia-india-china-iran-the-quad-that-really-matters/

47. Iran claims it has developed a hypersonic missile CBS News Nov 10, 2022;

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/iran-claims-it-has-developed-a-hypersonic-missile/

48. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) at a Glance. Kelsey Davenport, Director of Nonproliferation Policy, Arms Control Association Mar, 2022;

https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/JCPOA-at-a-glance

49. Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, explained. The Iran nuclear deal isn’t dead — yet. By Zack Beauchamp Vox May 8, 2018;

https://www.vox.com/world/2018/5/8/17328520/iran-nuclear-deal-trump-withdraw

50. Society for Nonprofits; https://www.snpo.org/publications/fundingalert_bycategory.php?cs=ENVI

51. The 6 Companies That Own (Almost) All Media [INFOGRAPHIC]; https://www.webfx.com/blog/internet/the-6-companies-that-own-almost-all-media-infographic/

52. These 6 corporations control 90% of the media outlets in America- The illusion of choice and objectivity. By Nickie Louise Tech Startups Sept 18, 2020;

https://techstartups.com/2020/09/18/6-corporations-control-90-media-america-illusion-choice-objectivity-2020/embed/#?secret=bL4ldPvDPR

53. Index of US Mainstream Media Ownership- The Future of Media Project, Harvard University; https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/futureofmedia/index-us-mainstream-media-ownership

54. The Real Problem with the AP’s Firing of Emily Wilder- When one young journalist was fired, the incident revealed a problem deeper than bad social media policies. By Janine Zacharia May 26, 2021; https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/05/26/emily-wilder-fired-ap-490892

55. How the CIA Watched Over the Destruction of Gary Webb- Freshly-released CIA documents show how the largest U.S. newspapers helped the agency contain a groundbreaking exposé. By Ryan Devereaux The Intercept Sept 25, 2014; https://theintercept.com/2014/09/25/managing-nightmare-cia-media-destruction-gary-webb/

56. Windfall profit taxes have benefits. But the devil is in the details. In times of crisis, the U.S. government has taxed excess profits — with mixed results Perspective by Ajay K. Mehrotra Washington Post Oct 24, 2022; https://www.washingtonpost.com/made-by-history/2022/10/24/windfall-profit-taxes/

57. List of current monarchs of the Arabian Peninsula; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_current_monarchs_of_the_Arabian_Peninsula

58. The Collapse Narrative: The United States, Mohammed Mossadegh, and the Coup Decision of 1953. By Gregory Brew Texas National Security Review. Vol 2, Issue 4 Nov 2019 | 38–59; https://tnsr.org/2019/11/the-collapse-narrative-the-united-states-mohammed-mossadegh-and-the-coup-decision-of-1953

Stable URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.26153/tsw/6666

59. The CIA in Iran- Key Events in the 1953 Coup; https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/library/world/mideast/041600iran-coup-timeline.html?scp=1&sq=mossadegh%252520coup&st=cse

60. BRICS to expand soon, Saudi Arabia keen to join. BRICS represents more than 40 percent of the global population and nearly a quarter of the world’s GDP and if it is expanded it will help in bolstering the BRICS bloc’s global influence. By Huma Siddiqui Oct 27, 2022; https://www.financialexpress.com/defence/brics-to-expand-soon-saudi-arabia-keen-to-join/2737102/

61. Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia is the right thing to do, even if it feels wrong

The U.S. president has rightly come to the conclusion that a strategy of isolating the crown prince isn’t feasible. By Daniel R. DePetris NBC News July 15, 2022;

https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/joe-biden-visits-saudi-arabia-bow-reality-rcna38419

62. U.S. declares Saudi crown prince immune from Khashoggi killing lawsuit

Biden administration cites executive powers, international law in shielding Mohammed bin Salman from legal responsibility. By Karen DeYoung and Missy Ryan Washington Post Nov 18, 2022; https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/11/18/saudi-crown-prince-immunity-khashoggi-murder/

63. WaPo slams Biden’s move to shield MBS in Khashoggi killing suit. By Rebecca Falconer and Shawna Chen Nov 18, 2022; https://www.axios.com/2022/11/18/biden-admin-saudi-prince-immunity-khashoggi-killing-lawsuit

64. The Status of Jerusalem United Nations 1997; https://www.un.org/unispal/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/The-Status-of-Jerusalem-Engish-199708.pdf

65. Strategic Importance of the Indian Ocean, Yemen and Bab-el-Mandeb Strait Saker Blog Aug 5, 2020; https://thesaker.is/strategic-importance-of-the-indian-ocean-yemen-and-bab-el-mandeb-strait/

66. Trump family signs $1.6bn branding deal with Saudi real estate developer. Wed, Nov 16, 2022; https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/11/16/692846/US-Donald-Trump-Saudi-Arabia-Dar-Al-Arkan-deal-Oman-MbS-Biden-

67. The Roundtable #34 The Kherson Withdrawal with Gonzalo Lira, Brian Berletic and Andrei Martyanov Thurs, Nov 10, 2022; https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2022/11/roundtable.html

68. Who Attacked Nord Stream 2? Maybe it was Russia, though that doesn’t make much sense. There are better candidates. By Doug Bandow Cato Institute Oct 14,

2022; https://www.cato.org/commentary/who-attacked-nord-stream-2

69. A journey to the site of the Nord Stream explosions- Prosecutors in Sweden say explosions on a gas pipeline between Russia and Europe were the result of sabotage. The explosions in the Baltic Sea targeted pipelines carrying natural gas from Russia to Europe. Russia denies any involvement. Before the announcement, Katya Adler travelled to the site, and was separately told by Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg that the west could go to war if Russia attacked infrastructure providing critical energy supplies. By Katya Adler BBC News Nov 18, 2022; https://www.bbc.com/news/world-63636181

70. ‘It’s done’: Putin fumes after Liz Truss ‘message’ to Blinken over Nord Stream attack ‘revealed’ Hindustan Times Nov 4, 2022; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxzBqghRs5k

71. Jeffrey Sachs: Rest of the World Thinks the U.S. Probably Sabotaged the Nord Stream Pipeline, But it Doesn’t Show up in our Media By Tim Hains Real Clear Politics Oct 3, 2022; https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2022/10/03/jeffrey_sachs_most_of_the_world_doesnt_view_the_ukraine_war_the_way_the_us_media_does.html

72. A List of All 900 U.S. Foreign Military Bases. By Eric Zuesse Nov 18, 2022; https://theduran.com/a-list-of-all-900-u-s-foreign-military-bases/

73. USA’s Military Empire: A Visual Database. World Beyond War;

https://worldbeyondwar.org/no-bases/

74. US likely to keep 100,000 troops in Europe for foreseeable future in face of Russian threat, US officials say By Ellie Kaufman and Barbara Starr, CNN Fri May 20, 2022; https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/20/politics/us-troops-in-europe/index.html

75. Where 100,000 U.S. troops are stationed in Europe. By Zachary Basu Axios Mar 22, 2022; https://www.axios.com/2022/03/23/where-100000-us-troops-are-stationed-europe

Figure 1. Map of the Middle East

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Maps_of_the_Middle_East#/media/File:%22Political_Middle_East%22_CIA_World_Factbook.jpg

Table 1. Middle East Energy Reserves by Country

(TJ, tera joules; 1 TJ= 163 barrels of oil)

Source: iea; https://www.iea.org/regions/middle-east

CountryOil (TJ)Natural Gas (TJ)
Iran3,497,3477,738,423
KSA5,624,3503,357,725
Iraq1,626,278626,792
UAE190,4002,302,508
Qatar131,2591,599,572
Kuwait705,461846,450
Oman23,864957,632
Bahrain81,132563,867
Total12,477,03318,260,133

Table 2. US Military Bases and Facilities in Middle East [36]

*Numbers in parenthesis, estimated total number of US troops (thousands) deployed in each country; ** Estimated number of US troops (thousands)

Country*BaseTroops**
Bahrain (9K)US Naval Forces Central Command/ US 5th Fleet4.7
Shaikh Isa Air Base
Muharraq Air Base (Navy)
Iraq (2.5K)Al Asad Air Base
IsraelDimona Radar Facility
Mashabim Air Base / Bisl’a Aerial Defense School
JordanMuwaffaq Salti Air Base (Azraq)
Kuwait (13.5)Ali Al Salem Air Base1.5
Camp Arifjan9
Camp Spearhead Army Base
Camp Buehring
Camp Patriot3
Oman (<1K)RAFO Masirah
Muscat International Airport
RAFO Thumrait
Al-Musannah Air Base
Port of Duqm
Port of Salalah
Qatar (10K)Al Udeid Air Base- Special Operations Command Central10
Camp As Sayliyah
KSA (3K)Eskan Village
Turkey (5K)Incirlik Air Base5
Izmir Air Station
UAE (2K)Al Dhafra Air Base2
Port of Jebel Ali
Fujairah Naval Base
Syria (<0.2K)Al-Tanf garrison (ATG)

KSA fears Yemen due to strategic location, resources: Sanaa

November 19, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen & Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

The head of the Sanaa negotiating delegation, Mohammed Abdul Salam, stresses that Saudi Arabia’s fears of Yemen’s strength and independence are unreasonable.

KSA fears Yemen due to strategic location, resources: Sanaa

Riyadh’s payment of the salaries of Yemenis and the lifting of the siege on Yemen are basic demands and conditions for any agreement, the head of the Yemeni negotiating delegation, Mohammad Abdul Salam said on Friday.

This came in an interview published by the Majal forum, under the title “Does the new Yemen represent a threat to Saudi Arabia?”

“It is normal that Riyadh and Sanaa exchange visits on the humanitarian and political levels,” Abdul Salam said, stressing that “paying the salaries and lifting the siege are prerequisites for any agreement, and matters depend on how the Saudi regime will handle the new stage’s requirements.”

“Saudi Arabia’s fears that a strong and independent Yemen rises are unreasonable,” he said, explaining that “mercenaries are working to exaggerate these fears in order to invest them at the expense of the country’s security and interest.” 

Abdul Salam emphasized that the humanitarian issue is what should be the first point for any future agreements.

Unreasonable fears

“We believe that the Saudi side’s concerns are due to the strategic location of Yemen and its population and abundant resources,” Abdul Salam noted.

“The Saudi regime is afraid that countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council and other countries in the region be independent and strong, let alone Yemen, the country with the largest area after the Kingdom in the peninsula, in terms of area, population, capabilities, and strategic location,” he pointed out.

“Saudi Arabia’s best interest is for Yemen to have an independent, stable, and prosperous state,” Abdul Salam continued, stressing that “if the state is not self-managed, in accordance to its strategic interests and obligations to its people, it will be managed by external powers. This was the problem of the recent mortgage regimes, which were unable to achieve any strategic interests for Yemen.”

However, Abdul Salam stressed that “if there are other concerns related to borders, region, and security, it is only natural that discussion of such issues takes place between the countries, as happens between any two countries.”

The head of the Yemeni negotiating delegation then talked about the role played by some mercenaries, who stand by Saudi Arabia, “in exaggerating many fears and drawing many regional conflicts into the Yemeni arena.”

This role “keeps Saudi Arabia from looking at the chances of peace,” Abdul Salam explained.

Humanitarian file is a priority, and the ball is in Riyadh’s court

Abdul Salam affirmed that “the end of the truce came as a result of previous agreements ending, which were concluded under the auspices of the United Nations, given that it had completed or exhausted its options, and the payment of salaries became a basic requirement.”

He pointed out that the ball is in the Saudi regime’s court, because “relations between Sanaa and Riyadh are primarily linked to the latter’s position and the way it deals with it.”

“Sanaa is on the defensive, and this is clear. As for Riyadh, it is the one leading a major international coalition and working in the international corridors on continuing the blockade on Yemen and keeping the diplomatic pressure, with the United States of America and the United Kingdom behind the scenes,” he said.

Regarding the recent mutual understandings and visits of delegations, Abdul Salam explained that “meetings and visits between the parties for humanitarian or political goals are normal.”

Speaking on behalf of the Sanaa government, he added that the Yemenis “support these directions, and the most important thing is that there be a tendency to discuss all humanitarian aspects, not just the prisoners’ issue, which is considered one of the basics, in addition to opening airports and ports, removing restrictions on goods, and lifting the unjust siege on Yemen.”

International developments are an opportunity to realize the need to end the aggression

With regard to the changes in the international and regional arenas and their connection to the Yemeni issue, the head of the Yemeni negotiating delegation stressed that despite the effects, “We believe that it will not have a significant impact, because the US and British standpoints, as well as, unfortunately, the Saudi and Emirati, are similar.”

He pointed out that the only possible effect “goes to the Saudi side realizing that the war and aggression against Yemen are no longer in the interest of the Saudi regime, nor the future relations between the two countries or the future of the two peoples.”

“These developments may be an opportunity to re-evaluate the situation in Yemen, in terms of peace and stability,” Abdul Salam concluded, stressing that the interest of the two countries is understanding, coexistence, dialogue, and eliminating problems.

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Why the US & Israel are Preventing Aid from Reaching Lebanon

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° 

Robert Inlakesh
Supporters of Lebanon’s Hezbollah march in Beirut, Lebanon August 9, 2022. © ANWAR AMRO / AFP

Efforts to stop Iran from spreading its influence are preventing the alleviation of Lebanon’s economic crisis

Despite the recent signing of a historic maritime border agreement, tensions continue to remain high, with both Israel and the United States attempting to force Lebanon into compliance with their regional agenda.

Although Israeli and Lebanese leaders signed letters of intent earlier this month ending their long-standing maritime border dispute and averting a major escalation in their ongoing conflict, the two sides still remain technically at war. Beirut refuses to recognise the Israeli state, maintaining the stance that first the Palestine issue must be resolved, as Israel maintains control over the Shebaa Farms area which Lebanon claims to be its territory.

Last week, drone strikes were reported to have killed up to 25 people after targeting a fuel aid convoy that had just passed the Al-Qaim crossing into Syria from Iraq. There are conflicting reports on who actually carried out the attack, with both Israel and the United States accused of having been behind it. The US military instantly distanced themselves from the incident, by denying they had carried out any strikes, whilst the Israeli government refused to comment and is now widely assumed to be culpable. According to Iraqi authorities, the fuel trucks, numbering 22 according to Iranian state-media, were approved for heading out of the country and seemed to be part of Iran’s new agreement with Lebanon to provide free fuel.

Despite opposition from top US officials, in August Lebanese Prime Minister Nijab Mikati accepted an offer from Tehran to supply Lebanon with fuel free of charge. Although the US ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy Shea, had warned Beirut not to take the offer from Iran, it was decided that going ahead with receiving the Iranian gift was in the Lebanese national interest. It is likely that the temporary US silence following this was in large part to do with the then-ongoing maritime border dispute between Israel and Lebanon. The US has repeatedly attempted to counter Iranian influence in Lebanon, even going as far as claiming Beirut is not in need of the Iranian fuel, whereas the country is clearly in a state of economic collapse and suffers a shortage.

After Hezbollah, one of Lebanon’s most popular political parties, organized Iranian fuel shipments in 2021, Washington quickly took to countering any future attempts for Tehran to come to the aid of the Lebanese economy. A deal was then organized in September of 2021, under US supervision, for Egypt to supply natural gas through Jordan and Syria into Lebanon, in order to ease the energy crisis. However, the US government had pledged to amend its Caesar Act sanctions that it currently implements against Damascus to allow for the deal to go ahead, but has so far failed to do so. Although the Lebanese State is now quickly taking to exploring and, it hopes, extracting natural gas from the offshore Qana prospect, which it secured its rights to under its maritime border agreement with Israel, this process could take years to bear fruit.

In the short term, Lebanon needs a solution to its energy crisis and Iran is offering free fuel to supplement part of its needs. The US and its close ally Israel see this as a plot between Hezbollah and Iran to take control over the Lebanese State. Although Lebanon is technically an independent state, the reality is that France, the US and the Gulf States, particularly Saudi Arabia, hold huge shares of influence in the political and economic affairs of the country, and none of them feel comfortable with the idea of Tehran having a significant influence.

The regional strategy of the United States government, which Israel is also in lockstep with, is to combat the influence of the Iranian government. Part of this strategy is to pressure more Arab States to normalize ties with Israel and to give up on the consensus amongst Arab League States to adhere to the Arab Peace Initiative. The initiative maintained that recognition of Israel by Arab states, along with the establishment of military, economic and political ties, could not come without the realisation of a Two-State solution under which the creation of a viable Palestinian State would be established. So far the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, Egypt, Sudan and Jordan have all normalized ties with Israel, abandoning the Palestinian cause for statehood. The US Biden administration is clearly seeking to add Saudi Arabia to the list, but eventually wants to go further than that.

At the recent COP27 climate meeting, held in Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh, Lebanese, Iraqi and Israeli representatives were all photographed standing near each other and had agreed to a distant cooperation on combating climate change. In Israeli and US media, this has been framed as somewhat of a breakthrough, despite being officially undermined by both Baghdad and Beirut. What is certain, however, is that the US and Israel are continuing to send a message to Lebanon, that they will not let it simply go about its business and thrive without adhering to their own agenda. Hence the US has not allowed for the Egypt-Jordan-Syria deal for transfer of fuel into Lebanon.

The most insidious part of the stance maintained by the US government is that Lebanon cannot simply leave the Iranian sphere of influence altogether and Washington is well aware of this. As long as Lebanese Hezbollah remains a popular force in the country, there will always be a link between Tehran and Beirut. This means that the US policy is designed to punish the Lebanese people for not getting rid of Hezbollah, something that neither the US nor Israel will dare try to do themselves. If Israel and the US are both in lockstep about preventing Iranian fuel from reaching Lebanon, then this means that they are simply depriving Lebanon of its ability to get back on its feet, all in the name of combating Iran and Hezbollah. In their eyes, if the Lebanese people perceive the Iranian fuel imports to be their saving grace, this runs counter to US hegemony and, together with the latest perceived victory for Hezbollah in forcing the Israelis to negotiate a maritime border settlement, Tehran would come off with greater support in Lebanon.

The US and Israel are proving incapable of allowing the Lebanese people to achieve a greater standard of life, due to the fact that Hezbollah and Iran are still there. Meanwhile, getting rid of Hezbollah would not only be militarily impossible, but there is also no evidence that such a move would actually bring stability – as evidenced with the case of Sudan, which normalized ties with Israel and earned itself a place in the good books of the US government, but the West is yet to aid the country, which endures a continuous state of crisis.


Robert Inlakesh is a political analyst, journalist and documentary filmmaker currently based in London, UK. He has reported from and lived in the Palestinian territories and currently works with Quds News. Director of ‘Steal of the Century: Trump’s Palestine-Israel Catastrophe’.

Turkey in Yemen: An evolving foreign policy

Throughout the eight years of war in Yemen, Ankara has seen its policies towards the country shift several times due to Turkey’s own changing political and economic situation.

November 07 2022

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Mohammad Salami

Turkey’s foreign policy under the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is based on the ideology of “Neo-Ottomanism.” Ankara employs soft power and military intervention to promote three priority axes: the Muslim Brotherhood, Pan-Turkism, and moderate Islamism to serve as a model for Sunni activists in the region and beyond from West Asia and North Africa to Central Asia.

Despite Turkey’s active foreign policy in the region, Yemen has been an exception for Ankara owing to several reasons. These include: geographical distance, lack of active foreign policy in Sanaa before the Saudi-led military intervention, and the country having been Riyadh’s backyard for decades.

Western-oriented approaches of previous Turkish governments -with recent priority given to Syria and the Eastern Mediterranean  – have also played a part in Ankara’s limited activity in Yemen.

Despite this relative inactive foreign policy, Ankara has swiftly passed through three stages in Yemen: it has veered from supporting the Saudi-led coalition, to silence, followed by de-escalation. At present, Turkey’s preference of diplomacy with neighboring countries has opened the door to similar attitudes towards Yemen.

What does Turkey want in Yemen?

As mentioned, Turkey’s current foreign policy has three axes -among them, the promotion of moderate Islam, which in turn is a projection of soft power. Despite a bitter history of the Ottoman Empire in this corner of Arabia, and unlike the main foreign stakeholders in the conflict, the modern Republic of Turkey is a relative newcomer to the complex political arena of contemporary Yemen.

This has encouraged Ankara to try influencing the hearts and minds of Yemenis through this soft power in order to advance its own interests.

As the effective inheritor of the Ottoman Empire, Turkey presents itself as a Muslim power that is far more responsible and ethical than influential Arab states. In early 2019, Turkey’s Deputy Interior Minister Ismail Çatakli visited Yemen’s southern port city of Aden to discuss the humanitarian situation and infrastructural investments.

Around that time, Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoglu stated that “finding a solution to the Yemeni issue will be one of Turkey’s priorities in 2019,” placing particular blame on coalition partners Saudi Arabia and the UAE for the current humanitarian crisis. More recently, in May, Ankara’s chief diplomat accused Abu Dhabi of fuelling the chaos in Yemen.

Through promoting its soft power, Turkey hopes to forge a role as a provider of humanitarian aid so that after the end of the crisis, it can further develop relations with a future government of Yemen and build a bridge for its future policies.

Given the circumstances, where Turkey has less political and economic influence in Yemen than other competitors – namely, Saudi Arabia, Iran, the UAE, and even the US – this may be the best option for Ankara. A prominent supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, Turkey is also trying to deepen its ideological ties with the Islah Party, widely seen as the Yemeni chapter of the Brotherhood.

Ankara’s strategic interests

From a Realist approach, Ankara’s real interests arguably lie in developing a strong presence in the Red Sea and the Horn of Africa. In December 2016, Turkey signed an agreement with the northeastern African country Djibouti, to establish a free trade zone of 12 million square meters with a potential economic capacity of $1 trillion.

In September 2017, Turkey established its biggest military base overseas in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia and a key city in the Horn of Africa. The lifting of US sanctions on Sudan in the following month, also caught the attention of the Turkish government. As the first Turkish president to visit Sudan, Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed $650 million in deals, including $300 million of direct investments.

Turkey considers Yemen as the gateway to Africa and the Red Sea; the Strait of Bab al-Mandab, the Gulf of Aden, and the ports of Yemen in the Red Sea are all strategic areas where Turkey can exert influence in the southern entrance of the Red Sea.

The Bab al-Mandab strait is where the oil of the Persian Gulf Arab sheikhdoms is transported to the Red Sea and from there to the Suez Canal to be sent around the world. Therefore, the presence of Turkey can potentially apply political pressure on these oil producing nations.

In this regard, in early 2020, the Yemeni Minister of Transport, Saleh al-Jabwani, traveled to Ankara to negotiate with his Turkish counterpart to form a joint committee for the development of transportation infrastructure in Yemen, including the modernization of ports and airports.

However, while it illustrates Turkey’s intention to invest in and use Yemeni ports to strategic ends, this decision was rejected by the former exiled-Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

Three stages of diplomacy in Yemen

At the beginning of Riyadh’s military intervention in March 2015, President Erdogan announced that Turkey supported the coalition’s objective of toppling the Ansarallah-led government in Sanaa. He also went onto to criticizing Iran’s regional ambitions in both Yemen and Iraq. “The aim of Iran is to increase its influence in Iraq,” he added, “Iran is trying to chase Daesh from the region only to take its place.”

There were several reasons for Turkey backing the coalition. Firstly, Ankara is engaged in a rivalry with Iran through sponsoring opposing sides in Syria and Iraq, and now in Yemen, with most of power lying with the Iran-allied Sanaa government. The Saudi-backed Islah Party are also among Ansarallah’s main opponents on the ground, who as mentioned earlier have drawn closer to pro-Brotherhood Turkey.

Second, Saudi Arabia’s paradoxical shift toward the Brotherhood changed after King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud came to power in January 2015. His predecessor, the late-King Abdullah, was in favor of eliminating threats from Muslim Brotherhood movements in Arab countries such as Egypt, but under King Salman, Riyadh focused on improving relations with Doha and Ankara to counter Iran, and was less concerned about the Brotherhood.

This provided Ankara with an additional incentive to support the war against Yemen, because it meant weakening Iran while coordinating with the Saudis on their mutual animosity toward the Islamic Republic’s regional role.

A non-interventionist approach was the second stage of Turkey’s diplomacy toward Yemen. Since 2017, along with the Saudi-led blockade of Qatar, Ankara felt that it’s alignment with the coalition would eventually prove costly and therefore decided to pursue a non-interventionist policy in Yemen.

Turkey’s economic downturn in 2018 and its decision to normalize relations with the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Iran have also influenced this foreign policy shift.

The “active” approach is the latest stage of Turkish diplomacy toward Yemen. After pursuing its destabilizing policies based on a competitive foreign policy with its neighbors over spheres of influence, Ankara gradually realized that pursuing these policies was eroding its own power.

This was especially so following the growing domestic unrest, driven by economic mismanagement and mistrust of the Turkish government. It was around this time that Erdogan pursued a policy of de-escalation with the UAE, Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia to adapt to the changing political landscape.

A back-door entry into the Yemen conflict

The warming of ties between Ankara and Riyadh has given rise to the speculation that Turkey intends to join the Arab front against Iran and to covertly become involved in the Yemen war. This limited involvement may come in the form of increased support for the Islah or arms sales, especially advanced Turkish drones, to Saudi Arabia in exchange for Riyadh’s investment in Turkey.

In April 2021, Al-Monitor reported that although there was no accurate information about Turkey’s entry into the Yemeni fray, the so-called Syrian National Army, an armed group backed by Turkey, has been working to send dozens of mercenaries to Yemen with a monthly salary of $2,500. Similarly, the Violations Documentation Center in Northern Syria said Turkey’s intelligence agency assigned an opposition commander to recruit fighters to be sent to Yemen.

Additionally, a Turkish armed drone was reportedly downed by Ansarallah-backed forces in the al-Jawf region, further fanning claims about possible Turkish involvement in the conflict. Sanaa’s military spokesman Yahya Saree said the downed drone was a Turkish-built Vestel Karayel aircraft. Saudi Arabia acquired these drones as part of a contract last year with Vestel Defense worth $200 million.

Yemen provides an opportunity for Turkey to further its regional ambitions with potential low-risk and low-cost benefits. The geopolitical and ideological upside of Turkey’s possible presence in Yemen – and Ankara’s recent de-escalation with Saudi Arabia and the UAE – have convinced Turkish officials to take a closer look at this strategic part of the Arabian Peninsula.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

Arab League Summit – Hopes and Aspirations

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° 

Viktor Mikhin
The next summit of the League of Arab States (LAS), whose participation has been confirmed by the heads of state of numerous Arab countries, will be held in Algiers in early November. On the agenda, of course, are primarily issues related to the reconciliation of a number of Arab countries and their consolidation in the face of various external threats. However, the Arab media and even politicians are already saying that no breakthroughs can be expected from the summit, as the Arab League has lost its once-authoritative status in recent years.

Arab leaders have held two consecutive high-level meetings in 2019. In the spring, they met in Tunisia at the annual Arab Summit. In May, they met again in Mecca at the invitation of Riyadh for an extraordinary Arab summit. At issue was Saudi Arabia’s and other Persian Gulf Arab countries’ concern about Iran’s regional policies and opposition to Tehran’s plans to increase its activities in a number of countries in the Arab world. The 31st ordinary Arab summit is now scheduled to be held in Algiers on November 1, with a concluding session on November 2. The Algerian government wanted the summit to take place on the anniversary of the outbreak of the 1954 Algerian Revolution, which led to Algeria’s independence from France in July 1962.

Some fears are related to domestic political developments in Algeria, while others stem from Algeria’s relations with other Arab countries, which are not without nuances of disagreement over the choice of a common Arab and regional policy. This concerns the events in Libya, the position on the problems in North and East Africa, including the situation in Western Sahara, and the position on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Syria is another major stumbling block given Algeria’s determination to rejoin the Arab League system after being expelled from it in 2011. At the time, this was done under the far-fetched pretext of the alleged use of force by President Bashar al-Assad to quell discontent among some segments of the population. Afterward, incidentally, it was found that the Persian Gulf countries and the West, led by the United States, had a hand in stirring up passions there. Then the situation turned into an endless civil war in which foreign fighters actively participated on the side of the Syrian opposition, generously paid by the same Persian Gulf Arabs.

It is worth remembering that the world and Arab countries look distinctive today than they did in 2019 when the last Arab summit was held. The world has changed since then, and not only the Covid-19 pandemic, but also a host of other Arab, Middle Eastern, and international events have changed the overall context in which the Algiers Summit will take place. Three major international developments are expected to influence discussions at the Arab Summit.

The first, in chronological order, is the change of government in the United States. After four years of foreign policy by former US President Donald Trump, who tried to move away from old problems that had plagued previous administrations, current US President Joe Biden has returned to an interventionist US foreign policy based on forming new military alliances while strengthening existing ones, such as NATO. The second major event was the war in Ukraine, which was prepared and unleashed by the West under the leadership of the United States to bleed and damage Russia. The third is the growing US-China tension over Taiwan, also initiated by the United States. These three events have had and continue to have a direct impact on the Arab world, and they are clearly not favorable to the Arabs. This concerns both the issue of food security and the high energy prices affecting Arab states that are not oil producers, such as Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia, Morocco, and some others.

From a regional perspective, there have also been fundamental changes in the Arab country’s relations with Israel, Turkey, and Iran, which will undoubtedly impact the work and conclusions of the Arab Summit. For example, building on Trump’s diplomacy, Israel signed the so-called “Abraham Accords” with four Arab countries in the second half of 2020. The previous Trump administration spoke of the Arab-Israeli normalization process as being deliberately separated from the Palestinian issue, to the detriment of the Palestinians and the prospects for peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. While the Biden administration advocated for a two-state solution in Israel and Palestine from day one, it refrained from using its influence with the Israelis to resume peace talks with the Palestinians that ended in April 2014.

While Trump in May 2018 roughly withdrew the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a nuclear agreement between Iran and a group of 5+1 countries, and pursued a strategy of “maximum pressure” on Iran, the Biden administration has worked assiduously to join the JCPOA under a formula known as “control over control.” This means that the United States will join the agreement if Iran is the first to meet all of its obligations. But if the “control over control” formula is implemented, followed by the lifting of some sanctions, the Gulf states, particularly Saudi Arabia, will be very concerned about what the Iranian government will spend the billions of dollars that will flow to Iran as a result of the resumption of oil sales. Will Tehran spend the money on developing the Iranian economy, or will it fund pro-Iranian regimes in the Arab world? If the latter, how will the US respond, and will Washington be able to side with the Saudis?

Turkey will also have to face a fierce controversy, as many Arabs see positive developments in Turkish-Arab relations despite the reassessment of Turkey’s strategy in the Middle East, Libya, or the Eastern Mediterranean. Ankara has now significantly tightened its policy in the Arab world, reminding left and right of its “right” as heir to the Ottoman Empire. This presupposes, Erdoğan says, Turkey’s leadership role in the created joint Arab Union. But here there will be clear opposition from Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf countries, given Erdoğan’s recent flirtations with Iran, which is the main enemy of Persian Gulf Arabs.

The Algiers summit also comes after the end of the boycott of Qatar by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain and the resumption of diplomatic relations between these countries. One of the most positive results of this intra-Arab reconciliation was the official visits of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to Qatar and the official visit of the ruler of Qatar to Egypt last July. Clearly, this much-needed reconciliation will have a positive impact on the Arab Summit discussions and decisions, both politically and economically. At the same time, the Arabs are taking into account the huge gas reserves in Qatar and its ability to export gas to the Arab states.

In addition, special attention is being paid to the situation in Lebanon, Iraq, Libya, Sudan and Tunisia. The Arab world is interested in helping these countries manage them successfully. The financial issue will be one of the main topics of the summit, and here the Persian Gulf states, led by Saudi Arabia, are likely to have a weighty say. In any case, this summit will provide Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud with an excellent opportunity to strengthen and expand his authority in the Arab League and throughout the Arab world.

As for the situation in Libya, Arab leaders are expected to call on Libyan political factions to resolve the ongoing crisis in their country by holding free and fair elections. Experts warn that this must happen as soon as possible to prevent Libya from reverting to the violence that nearly tore the country apart three years ago.

The next summit of Arab states in Algiers should prove that the Arab world is united and seeks only Arab solutions to Arab problems. And this requires the unity of all countries in the region. Will the ambitious Arab leaders be able to speak with one voice, or will everyone pull the covers over themselves? — the upcoming Arab League summit will clearly show this.

Everything is building up to a major showdown

October 24, 2022

Source

By Aram Mirzaei

We live in one of the most important moments in history. Perhaps this moment is even more important than the end of the Cold War. Similar to those events more than 30 years ago, major geopolitical shifts are currently taking place today. If the end of the cold war saw the rise of the Western Bloc to dominance, then the start of this new Cold War has seen the return of a new Eastern Bloc, ready to assert its rightful place in the world.

The era of Western interventions, regime change operations and hit and run tactics is almost at an end. Today, countries such as China, Russia and Iran are challenging the US militarily, economically and politically. Many of the former international equations that were true only a few years ago are changing with great speed, especially after the start of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine.

If we consider the nationalization of Iran’s oil industry as the first part of changing the structures of the world, then the key part that would change the entire structure is the moment when Russia decided to say enough to Washington and put their foot down, once and for all.

This has inspired defiance among the oppressed nations of the world. The conflict in Ukraine has proven that most of the countries in the world, which even the United States counted on as allies, are against the policies of the United States and in practice are not willing to go along with the policies of the United States. OPEC’s recent decision to reduce its oil production, while the United States had tried its best to force OPEC to bear the costs of its adventure in Europe, shows that a new world order is being formed. Indeed Washington did its best to pressure Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and other Persian Gulf countries to put aside their own interests in favour of Washington’s interests. We saw that not only did it not work, but it has also created a diplomatic crisis between the once so great “allies” in this region.

Several US senators and even the White House openly threatened Riyadh with consequences to their crime of not committing suicide for the sake of Washington. This could manifest itself in sudden Western public “awareness” of, and campaigns against the Saudi “human rights record” in the near future, or even worse- western backed riots such as those we’ve seen recently in Iran. So far we’ve only seen talks about “stopping arms sales” and/or “withdrawing troops from the region.”

Such a move would likely lead the Saudis to turn towards Tehran and, in extension the emerging Eastern alliance. This would lead to a major geopolitical shift in the region that would endanger Israel, and thus also raise the risk of a large conflict in the region.

Another US ally that is flirting with the East is Erdogan’s Turkey. Erdogan is many things, and one of those things is being a survivalist. His refusal to follow NATO and US policies vis-à-vis Russia shows that he is also prioritizing his own interests before Washington’s. The Eastern alliance, manifested by institutions such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and BRICS are expanding and gaining strength, and today many countries in the world are looking for membership in these international cooperation organizations, especially after Iran’s entry into the SCO group of countries. Both Turkey and Saudi Arabia, two countries wielding considerable influence on smaller countries in the region are looking to join these organizations. These countries used to be allies of the West, and of course some are still their allies, but it shows that even Washington’s once so staunch allies are not satisfied with, and most importantly don’t trust the US hegemony anymore, and are looking for alternatives.

When Russia’s red line was crossed in Ukraine, Moscow made an important decision to intervene. This decision was not just about Moscow’s security, or the security of Donbass. Russian President Putin has on several occasions spoken about the ongoing paradigm shift, where the world is moving toward a multi-polar world order. Words echoed by officials in Tehran as well as the Islamic Republic is also at the forefront, together with Russia and China in the bid to end the unipolar world order. Russia’s SMO in Ukraine is of utmost importance for the oppressed countries of the world. Such an open challenge to US hegemony will strengthen the resolve of other countries, especially China and Iran, two countries facing the same enemy as Russia is currently battling.

Washington is in decline, while the Eastern Bloc is on the rise. Even the staunchest of Empire supporters cannot deny this fact. Since Washington and the collective West are in decline, they are also growing more aggressive. This has been witnessed by us all in Ukraine where the collective West have brought mankind to the brink of nuclear war. This can be seen in the aggressive policies regarding Taiwan, violating previous agreements and commitments to respecting China’s sovereignty. This was as clear as day during the recent foreign-backed riots in Iran. In sum, the US basically tried to extort Tehran into accepting a “temporary” JCPOA deal on Washington’s terms and conditions. Seeing as how Tehran would not yield on its demands for guarantees that Washington wouldn’t renege on the deal once more, they created these riots to force and pressure Tehran to accept Washington’s terms.

A desperate attempt to create a color revolution, with the help of hundreds of thousands of Twitter bots, especially since the riots quickly lost momentum thanks to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) vigilance and experience in dealing with foreign-backed plots to overthrow the Islamic Republic. The timing of the riots made it clear for Tehran that it was a desperate move to secure natural gas for the winter, especially since they destroyed Europe’s gas deliveries through NS1 and NS2. If it wasn’t clear enough at first, at least Washington did a good job in clarifying any misunderstandings when both US special envoy for Iran Robert Malley and US State Department spokesperson Ned Price claimed that the revival of the JCPOA is “not our focus right now” and that it “wasn’t even on the agenda”, as Washington was shifting focus to “supporting Iranian protesters.”

Washington’s list of allies will keep growing thinner for every new crisis that Washington creates. There is already widespread dissatisfaction among those countries that constitute the “jungle”, as Joseph Borrell, chief gardener of the EU, so creatively described it, and as we speak, that dissatisfaction is also spreading to the “garden” now. Massive protests are taking place in several EU countries, and these are just the beginning, because it’s not even winter yet! The true pain for European households will come in a month or two.

Washington is fighting on multiple fronts to preserve its hegemony, Secretary of State Blinken was pretty clear about that when he said that Americans “have to be the ones who are at the table who are helping to shape the rules, the norms, the standards by which technology is used,”

“If we’re not, if the United States isn’t there, then someone else will be, and these rules are going to get shaped in ways that don’t reflect our values and don’t reflect our interests.”

The fact that Washington is feeling this pressure makes the Empire more dangerous than ever. It can be said that any chance of saving the world today depends on whether a strong Eastern Bloc can be formed soon enough. If not, the US hegemony will pick off the independent countries one by one, just like they did in Libya.

Sure, if Washington strikes either of Russia, China or Iran militarily, they will have to be prepared for these countries to massively retaliate, unlike the situation in Libya, where Libyans were pretty defenceless on their own. Still, like I said in the beginning of this piece, the era of hit and run tactics is almost at an end. This means that Washington is still bold enough to strike Russia, China and Iran politically and financially through slander, regime change psyops and sanctions. Hence, the need for China, Russia and Iran to hasten the Eastern integration and alliance building projects in order to better be prepared to counter Washington’s long reach.

Of course, even if such an alliance can be formed, there are no guarantees that Washington’s madness wouldn’t still cause a world war that would destroy us all, but at least in such a scenario, they’d go down with the rest of us too. In the end, the leaderships and peoples of the three countries leading the new multi-polar world order would rather die than become slaves of the US hegemony.

Many important countries will soon be forced to pick sides as everything seems to be building up to a major showdown between the East and the hateful West. When and how that will happen is anyone’s guess. The only thing certain at this point is that the end of the Western era of dominance under their “rules based world order” is inevitable.

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US Senator Sanders Calls for Troop Withdrawal from Saudi Arabia, End of Selling Weapons

October 8, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Independent US Senator and former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has called for the withdrawal of American troops from Saudi Arabia and an end to military aid to the conservative kingdom for lowering oil production.

“If Saudi Arabia, one of the worst violators of human rights in the world, wants to partner with Russia to jack up US gas prices, it can get Putin to defend its monarchy,” the Vermont senator tweeted Friday after the OPEC+ bloc announced a cut in daily oil production.

“We must pull all US troops out of Saudi Arabia, stop selling them weapons & end its price-fixing oil cartel,” he added.

In August, the United States approved massive arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates worth more than $5 billion, amid criticism of their ongoing military aggression in Yemen which has inflicted heavy civilian casualties.

The State Department said Saudi Arabia would buy 300 Patriot MIM-104E missile systems and related equipment for an estimated $3.05 billion. The missile systems can be used to shoot down long-range incoming ballistic and cruise missiles, as well as fighter jets.

Separately, the United States will sell Terminal High Altitude Area Defense [THAAD] System Missiles and related equipment to the UAE for $2.25 billion.

Saudi Arabia and other members of OPEC-PLUS, which groups up the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers including Russia, announced this week it would cut oil production to prop up falling prices.

“Saudi Arabia’s crown prince ordered the murder of a Washington Post columnist with a bone saw. Its disastrous war in Yemen has led to the deaths of 377,000 people and a humanitarian crisis. It’s now siding with Russia to damage our economy. Our support for Saudi Arabia must end,” Sanders tweeted on Friday.

Sanders also expressed similar feelings on Wednesday when he said the US “must end OPEC’s illegal price-fixing cartel, eliminate military assistance to Saudi Arabia, and move aggressively to renewable energy.”

The No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act of 2021, or the NOPEC bill prohibits a foreign state from engaging in collective action impacting the market.

The NOPEC bill allows the US Attorney General to sue companies such as Saudi Aramco in federal court. 

In a related move, a group of lawmakers has introduced a new bill that aims to end the US’ military support to Saudi Arabia.

House Representatives Tom Malinowski, Sean Casten and Susan Wild launched the motion on Wednesday.

“We see no reason why American troops and contractors should continue to provide this service to countries that are actively working against us,” they said.

Several congressional Democrats have had similar remarks on the announcement, which is poised to counter sanctions on Russian oil and potentially drive up gas prices ahead of the midterm US elections.

US Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer rebuked Saudi Arabia. The senior Democratic senator from New York threatened Saudi Arabia, saying Riyadh will pay the price for what he called its “deeply cynical action” of supporting a 2 million-barrel cut in oil supplies, which will put more pressure on the American economy.

 “What Saudi Arabia did to help Putin continue to wage his despicable, vicious war against Ukraine will long be remembered by Americans. We are looking at all the legislative tools to best deal with this appalling and deeply cynical action, including the NOPEC bill,” Schumer tweeted on Friday.

Legislation introduced in the House by Representatives Sean Casten [D-Ill.], Tom Malinowski [D-N.J.] and Susan Wild [D-Pa.] would remove American troops and military hardware from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The number two Democrat in the Senate, Senator Dick Durbin, also demanded the passage of the legislation this week, and voiced support for a broader reevaluation of the Washington-Riyadh relationship, specifically seeking “unanswered questions” about the role of the Saudi state in the 9/11 attacks.

“The Saudi royal family has never been a trustworthy ally of our nation,” Durbin said Thursday. “It’s time for our foreign policy to imagine a world without this alliance with these royal backstabbers.”

Families of victims of the attacks have for years pushed the US government to declassify and make public more information about 9/11, which was a series of strikes that killed nearly 3,000 people and caused about $10 billion worth of property and infrastructure damage in the United States.

US officials assert that the attacks were carried out by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists but many experts and independent researchers have raised questions about the official account.

They believe that rogue elements within the US government, such as former Vice President Dick Cheney, orchestrated or at least encouraged the 9/11 attacks in order to accelerate the US war machine and advance the Zionist agenda.

Certain documents related to the FBI’s investigation of 9/11 reportedly contain evidence of Saudi involvement in the strikes.

Successive US administrations have refused to release the classified documents because they reportedly could expose a potential link between Saudi Arabia and the 9/11 attacks. Fifteen out of 19 alleged 9/11 attackers were Saudi nationals.

Several US senators and House lawmakers have been calling for the disclosure of 28 pages that purportedly contain evidence of Saudi involvement in financing and backing the alleged 9/11 hijackers. The pages were extracted from a 2002 Congressional inquiry into the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Can Syria ever forgive Qatar?

While, one by one, regional states are restoring relations with Syria, Qatar will likely be the last welcomed back in Damascus

October 03 2022

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Firas Al-Shoufi

After more than a decade of a foreign-backed regime-change war, exploitative Turkish and US occupation, and repeated Israeli attacks on its territorial integrity, Syria has come a long way from the regional and international isolation intended to topple the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Of the Arab states that suspended diplomatic relations with Damascus 11 years ago at the start of the war, most have since re-established their envoys in the Syrian capital, such as Bahrain, Kuwait, the UAE, and Oman, or have re-established security and political dialogues, as in the case of Saudi Arabia.

Going against the grain

However, a notable exception to this current of normalization with Syria has been Qatar. The tiny, resource-rich Persian Gulf state was the first Arab country to shutter its embassy in Damascus and has consistently opposed the idea of Syria’s re-admission to the Arab League following its suspension in the early days of the war.

This unwavering stance has been recently reiterated by Qatar’s ruler Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in light of efforts by Algeria to include Syria in the upcoming Arab League summit in November.

Nevertheless, the invitation extended by Algiers was politely turned down by the Syrian government so as to “to unite the Arab ranks facing the challenges posed by the current situation,” according to Algeria’s foreign ministry.

The feeling is mutual

It is difficult, if not impossible, to find a single Syrian official eager to talk about relations with Doha. This, in spite of Syria’s policy of maintaining open communication with Arab states, including with Saudi Arabia which funded opposition militants in the Syrian war.

Yet Damascus has been adamant that it has no intention or desire to restore relations with Qatar, considered to be a hostile country by the Syrian authorities for its continued support for Al-Qaeda affiliate Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) and other terrorist organizations in northern Syria.

Qatar was one of the first foreign entrants into the Syrian conflict, bank-rolling armed factions in coordination with the CIA, including the precursor to Al-Qaeda affiliate Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, Jabhat al-Nusra.

Doha’s role was even acknowledged by the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which stated In 2016 that the Nusra Front “probably received logistical, financial and material assistance from the elements of the Turkish and Qatari governments.”

These allegations can be traced to the ruling House of Thani. In 2020, Issam al-Hana, a Moroccan leader of al-Nusra arrested in Iraq revealed that Qatari Sheikh Khaled Suleiman was financing the group with more than a million dollars a month.

Qatar also found itself implicated in a high-profile British court case in 2021, in which the state’s ruling elite and institutions had allegedly “funnelled millions” of dollars to al-Nusra.

In May 2022 fresh charges were made in the US against prominent Qatari institutions accused of wiring $800,000 to an ISIS “judge” who ordered the beheading of American journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley.

Cooperation or containment?

From President Assad’s ascension to power 22 years ago, up until the March 2011 onset of the Syrian crisis, Syrian-Qatari relations had made great political and economic strides. This, in stark contrast to the strained ties between Damascus and Riyadh, particularly after the assassination of the Saudi-backed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005.

During the height of relations between Syria and Qatar, senior officials made frequent visits, the two sides exchanged diplomatic and political support, joint companies were established, and the Qataris opened more than one bank in Damascus.

Qatar was not alone in working hard to develop its relations with Syria. Turkey, another key supporter of the Syrian militancy whose troops currently occupy the Syrian north, also enjoyed positive commercial and political relations with the Assad government prior to 2011.

Bassam Abu Abdallah, former cultural attache at Syria’s embassy in Ankara, and current Al-Watan columnist, told The Cradle that:

“It turned out that all the steps of Qatari and Turkish rapprochement before the war were part of an American plan to contain Syria and pass the Qatari gas pipeline through its territory to Turkey and then Europe, which is what President al-Assad was aware of. After the US discovered the difficulty of containing Syria, the decision was taken to overthrow the regime and divide the country, and this is one of the reasons for the war. Unfortunately, Qatar, with its money, media, and support for terrorist groups, spearheaded this conspiracy, and still is.”

The Muslim Brotherhood

An informed Syrian official told The Cradle about a meeting in November 2011 between then-Foreign Minister Walid Al-Moallem and three senior Syrian Foreign Ministry officials (Deputy Minister Faisal Al-Miqdad, Chancellor Buthaina Shaaban, and Ambassador Yousef Ahmed) and the then-Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.

“Throughout the meeting, the emir sat like an emperor, legs spread, preaching about reforms and democracy, and what Syria should do, and in the end he spoke of a partnership with the Muslim Brotherhood in power. It was a very bad meeting,” the official explained.

The official added that after the meeting, the scene in Damascus became clear:

“The Americans placed the Syrian file in Qatar’s custody in the first phase of the war. Al-Jazeera engaged in a media war, Qatari money flowed to the armed opposition, and Doha opened its hotels to host the Syrian opposition. The Qataris believed that with the money they could bring the Muslim Brotherhood to power in the entire Arab world, and they bear a great responsibility for the destruction of many Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.”

However, an Arab diplomat who asked for his identity not to be revealed, shares a different view, telling The Cradle that:

“The bad relationship between Qatar and Syria began when the Syrians did not know how to benefit from the Qatari role, did not listen to advice, and refused to involve the Muslim Brotherhood in power. The Qataris have repeatedly tried to open a dialogue between the regime and the opposition, but President al-Assad did not want to make any reforms and concessions.”

The diplomat points out that “Qatar supported the Syrian opposition within an international and Arab coalition.”

Continued hostility

To date, the Qataris have not shown any hint of goodwill toward Damascus. For Syrian officials, the hostile Qatari role continues, albeit at a slower pace after it became clear that its regime-change project had failed.

Former Qatari Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim, in more than one television interview about Doha’s role in the war on Syria, described it as “prey over which a group of hunters are fighting.”

Columnist Abu Abdallah says “it is sufficient to listen to Hamad bin Jassim’s confessions that Qatar paid $140 billion to finance the war, to realize the great Qatari role in destroying Syria and killing its people.”

He points out that the Qatari media war against Syria continues unabated, and Doha still hosts opposition television stations and digital media platforms that incite violence against the Syrian state.

Who is really isolated?

It should be noted that Syria’s intensity of hostility toward Qatar applies neither to the rest of the Persian Gulf states, nor to security or political contacts with Ankara. “Turkey is a big country and a major player in the region, while Qatar is a puppet of the Americans,” says Abu Abdallah, also a founder of the Syria-Turkey Friendship Movement.

“Relations with the United Arab Emirates and the Sultanate of Oman were not cut off in the first place, and they have returned to normal with Bahrain, and there are security and political contacts and talks with Saudi Arabia,” he said, explaining:

“Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in a meeting with a senior Syrian official that he was not responsible for the [Saudi] policies of the past, and that he was ready to restore relations. The desire of the two sides to communicate, in addition to the Russian role, helped break the ice, and one of the results of that was the end of the Saudi-armed and funded Jaysh al-Islam militant group in Syria. But it is certain that the hard-line US position towards Syria and the Qatari role is what hinders progress in relations with Saudi Arabia.”

On the other hand, according to the Arab diplomatic source, Qatar is benefiting from the US and its western allies’ position – and “even from the Saudi position” – to put some brakes on the Arab push toward normalization with Syria.

He claims that “the Saudis, and not only Qatar, do not want to develop the relationship with Damascus. It is difficult to accept Syria as it was without significant changes and without the implementation of international resolutions.”

In the past years, some third parties have tried to mediate between the Syrians and the Qataris – at whose behest is unclear: “The Iranians and the Russians tried. But President Assad is very strict on this matter, and they understand the rightness of our position,” another Syrian official reveals.

Can we witness a transformation in Syrian-Qatari relations soon? “Nothing is impossible in politics – and in light of rapid international and regional changes,” he muses. “But nothing is currently in sight. This is a very complicated issue and depends on the steps taken by the Qataris, starting with stopping support for terrorism, followed by other necessary steps towards Syria.”

At present, Doha’s normalization with Damascus remains unlikely. The recent momentum toward rapprochement with Syria by Hamas and even Turkey – if successful – would leave their mutual ally Qatar as the only regional state without a pathway back to Damascus.

Only Doha can judge whether its continued hostility is worth the cost of shunning a historic Arab giant. The longer the rift, the higher the price of return.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

Irate US officials ‘weigh response’ against Saudi Arabia for OPEC+ cut

October 07 2022

Lawmakers have called on the White House to slash military sales to Saudi Arabia, professing a sudden concern for the US-sponsored war in Yemen

(Photo credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

ByNews Desk

US State Secretary Antony Blinken said on 6 October that Washington is reviewing various options regarding its relationship with Saudi Arabia after the decision by OPEC+ nations to cut oil production levels by two million barrels per day (bpd).

“As for the relationship [with Riyadh] going forward, we’re reviewing a number of response options. We’re consulting closely with Congress,” Blinken said during a visit to Peru on Thursday.

But while he failed to detail any of the steps being considered in response to what many called a humiliating blow for US President Joe Biden, the state secretary did say Washington “would not do anything that infringes upon its interests.”

The decision to significantly cut production levels by OPEC+ – a group of OPEC and non-OPEC nations that includes Russia – was allegedly made to prevent a crash in the energy market by driving up oil prices.

In the hours ahead of Blinken’s comments, Democrat lawmakers in the US congress called to slash military sales to Saudi Arabia, professing a sudden concern for the brutal war in Yemen – which Washington has been fueling since 2015.

“I think it’s time for a wholesale re-evaluation of the US alliance with Saudi Arabia,” Senator Chris Murphy, chairman of the Senate foreign relations subcommittee on West Asia, told CNBC.

Representative Ruben Gallego, meanwhile, suggested Washington once again take back Patriot missile defense systems deployed in Saudi Arabia. “If they like the Russians so much they can use their very ‘reliable’ military technology,” Gallego said on Twitter.

Saudi Arabia is the largest customer of US-made military equipment, with billions of dollars in orders approved by the State and Defense departments every single year.

During the 2020 presidential campaign, Biden promised to end military support for Saudi Arabia’s brutal war in Yemen.

However, he has failed to keep his promises, whitewashing the atrocious human rights records of both Saudi Arabia and Israel, and even considering lifting a ban on selling “offensive weapons” to the kingdom.

Washington has recently increased its military presence in Yemen, in what officials say is an attempt to control the country’s oil fields as it does in Syria.

But despite Biden’s bid to keep the US as the largest exporter of weapons in the world, a recent poll by the Eurasia Group Foundation (EGF) shows that the majority of young US citizens – aged 18 to 29 – are opposed to the continued supply of US weapons to Saudi Arabia and Israel.

مأزق «إخوان اليمن»: مصالحة صنعاء «شرّ» لا بدّ منه؟

 السبت 24 أيلول 2022

 إسحاق المساوى

يحاول فرع «الإخوان» في اليمن إعادة إصلاح ما فَسد مع السعودية خصوصاً (أ ف ب)

صنعاء |

على رغم أن الحملة الأخيرة التي قادتْها الجماعات الموالية للإمارات في جنوب اليمن أخيراً، ضدّ الأذرع العسكرية لـ«الإصلاح»، جرى ضبطها سعودياً وأميركياً بحيث لا تَقطع «شعرة معاوية» مع الأخير، وتُبقي له منفذاً إلى المناطق الغنيّة بالنفط، إلّا أن الحزب لا يزال يستشعر «مؤامرة» ضدّه تستهدف إنهاء وجوده بالكامل. إزاء ذلك، يحاول فرع «الإخوان» في اليمن إعادة إصلاح ما فَسد مع السعودية خصوصاً، واضعاً تظلّماته أيضاً على طاولة الرُّعاة الدوليين لـ«التحالف»، مُحاوِلاً بهذا تجنُّب تجرُّع الكأس المرّة المتمثّلة في العودة إلى صنعاء، إلّا أن هذه الكأس قد لا يكون ثمّة مناصٌ منها في نهاية المطاف، بكامل الرغبة، أو بنصفها، أو حتى تحت وطأة الظروف القاهرة

في آذار 2015، أيّد حزب «التجمّع اليمني للإصلاح» (إخوان مسلمون)، في بيان رسمي، الحملة التي أطلقها «التحالف العربي» بقيادة السعودية، على اليمن. وبعد سبع سنوات من ذلك، وتحديداً في آب 2022، قاد «التحالف» نفسُه حملة لقصقصة أجنحة «الإصلاح» في محافظة شبوة الغنيّة بالنفط، وتهشيم وجوده في محافظتَي عدن وأبين. إثر هذا، تَجدّدت التساؤلات حول إمكانية حصول تبدُّل في التموضع الاستراتيجي للحزب، خصوصاً أن الأخير ترك، في بيانه الصادر في الحادي عشر من آب، الباب مفتوحاً أمام احتمال لجوئه إلى خيارات مغايِرة لِما انتهجه في السنوات الماضية، وأبْقاه تحت ظلّ «التحالف» الذي فرض الحرب والحصار على بلاده، إذ اعتبر «الإصلاح»، في البيان المذكور، أن تداعيات القضاء عليه «تحُول دون إنهاء الانقلاب واستعادة الدولة في اليمن، وتستهدف في الوقت نفسه مجلس التعاون لدول الخليج العربي، وفي مقدمته السعودية»، في ما قُرئ على أنه قَرْن شَرْطي واضح بين «أمن السعودية ومشروعها» و«أمن الإصلاح ومشروعه»، من شأن تزعزعه أن يجعل الأخير في حِلّ من أمْره.

إزاء ذلك، يرى القيادي الجنوبي المقرّب من «الإصلاح»، عادل الحسني، في حديث إلى «الأخبار»، أن «استهداف الحزب سيحلحل ملفّات شائكة بين قواعده وقواعد أنصار الله»، لكنه يَعتبر أن «الحديث عن تحالف قيادات الطرفَين مبكر»، مستدرِكاً بأن «الإصلاح لن يجد مخرجاً إلّا بتأجيل معاركه الداخلية، والاتّجاه مع الجميع لإخراج المحتل»، بالنظر إلى أن الحزب بات «يدرك يوماً بعد آخر أنه مستهدَف من قِبَل التحالف أكثر ممّا هو مستهدَف من قِبَل أنصار الله»، كما يقول الحسني. وانطلاقاً من المخاوف نفسها، وحتميّات تفاديها، يُعرب العضو السابق في شورى «الإصلاح»، عبدالله مصلح، في حديث إلى «الأخبار»، عن اعتقاده بأن «الحزب بات يستشعر ضرورة الوقوف في وجه التحالف، ليس فقط من أجل اليمن، وإنّما أيضاً من أجل الحزب نفسه»، الذي أصبح «مهدَّداً في وجوده ومُجبَراً على خوض معركة مصيرية صعبة».
لكن إقدام «الإصلاح» على خطوة «شجاعة»، مِن مِثل الخروج من عباءة السعودية والإمارات نحو مظلّة وطنية أوسع، ربّما لا يسعفه التوقيت، ولا المكان، ولا الشخوص أيضاً. فالحزب الذي تخلّى عن تنظيمه الدولي قد يجد نفسه وحيداً في المبارزة العسكرية أو السياسية، فضلاً عن أن معظم قياداته يقيمون في العاصمة السعودية الرياض، وهو الأمر الذي يجعل أيّ خطوة من هذا النوع، في نظر البعض، «مغامرة». لكن ذلك الواقع نفسه قد تكون نتيجته الحتمية، بحسب البعض الآخر، تقارب «الإصلاح» مع «أنصار الله» على قاعدة «مرغَم أخاك لا بطل». ومع أن مصلح لا يتوقّع حدوث هكذا تقارب، بالنظر إلى أن الطرفَين «تيّاران مؤدلجان عقائدياً، وكلّ منهما يمارس نهجاً عدائياً تجاه الآخر»، إلّا أنه يقول إن «السياسة لا تعرف الثبات في المواقف، فقد يحدث بعض التقارب التكتيكي المحدود والمؤقّت وغير المعلن»، أمّا التحالف أو التقارب الكامل فـ«يتطلّب من كلَيهما المبادرة إلى إثبات حسن النوايا، وهذا ما لم يحدث حتى الآن، وخاصة من قِبَل أنصار الله».

جهود استمالة «الأعداء»
إلى الآن، ينتهج «الإصلاح» سياسة استمالة حلفائه المفترَضين الذين باتوا أعداءً له، حتى لا يضطرّ للركون إلى خيارات أخرى تكون صنعاء أو تنظيمه الدولي وُجهتها، وهو ما يؤشّر إليه حرصه إلى اليوم، في بياناته ومواقفه الرسمية، على عدم قطْع حبل الودّ مع السعودية. لكنّ مصلح يؤكد أن «السعودية والإمارات متّفقتان على تنفيذ هذا المخطّط التمزيقي للبلاد والمكوّنات السياسية الفاعلة، وفي مقدّمتها الإصلاح، إلّا أن قيادة الحزب لا تزال تَنظر إلى السعودية كدولة حليفة»، منبّهاً إلى أن «الدور السعودي أخطر على الإصلاح من الدور الإماراتي الواضح في عداوته، فما لم تستطع الإمارات تحقيقه بالقوّة، تُحقّقه السعودية بأسلوب ناعم ظاهره الوساطة والرحمة وباطنه العذاب والدمار».

تُوثّق الذاكرة السياسية والعسكرية مراحل صدام عديدة بين «الإخوان المسلمين» والسعودية

وكان «الإصلاح» بالغ، على مرّ السنوات الماضية، في مساعيه لاسترضاء السعودية والإمارات، ومن ذلك مثلاً اختياره شهر أيلول 2016، الذي يصادف ذكرى تأسيسه، ليتبرّأ من جماعة «الإخوان المسلمين»، كما وزيارة رئيس هيئته العليا للإمارات في منتصف تشرين الثاني 2018. لكنّ هذه المساعي لم تؤتِ في أيّ مرّة أُكُلها، وهي على الأرجح ستظلّ تفشل مستقبلاً، حتى تتحقّق توصيات ضابط استخبارات سعودي في ختام مؤتمر نظّمته بلاده، وأهمّها «الحدّ من نفوذ الحزب في الجيش الوطني وفي الحكومة»، في مقابل احتواء الخصم الاستراتيجي له، وهو حزب «المؤتمر الشعبي العام». وكانت السعودية توعّدت، في أيلول 2017، على لسان وليّ عهدها محمد بن سلمان، بـ«تدمير الإخوان المسلمين الآن وفوراً»، الأمر الذي قوبل بموقف مماثل من قِبَل المكتب العام للجماعة في نيسان 2018، حيث وصف ما تقوم به القيادة السعودية بأنه «نكوث عن الواجب الديني والقومي»، محذّراً من أن «الدُّول تدقّ مسمار نعشها حين ترمي الناس بالباطل».
وتُوثّق الذاكرة السياسية والعسكرية مراحل صدام عديدة بين أذرع «الإخوان المسلمين» في اليمن، وبين السعودية، من ثورة عام 1962، إلى حرب الانفصال عام 1994، وصولاً إلى اليوم حيث يَرجح خيار تحالف الحزب مع صنعاء أكثر من أيّ وقت مضى، بكامل الرغبة، أو بنصفها، أو حتى تحت وطأة ظروف استهدافه القاهرة. ومع ذلك، لا يزال الحزب يحاول إصلاح الأمور، من خلال التظلُّم لدى الدول الراعية لـ«التحالف»، كما جرى في 12 أيلول الجاري، عندما التقى القائم بأعمال الأمين العام لـ«الإصلاح»، عبد الرزاق الهجري، بسفير المملكة المتحدة لدى اليمن، ريتشارد أوبنهايم. لكنّ اللقاء بدا أقرب إلى وقفة تضامنية بريطانية مع ما بقي من جسد الحزب في البلاد، أو إلى روتينِ «حكومةٍ تستخدم كلمات متشابهة وتعني بها أشياء مختلفة جدّاً».

موقف صنعاء
في مقابل احتماليّة عودة «الإصلاح» إلى التحالف مع صنعاء، فتحت الأخيرة باب العودة لِمَن يرغب، محارباً كان أم مسالماً، بقرار عفو عام صدر في أيلول 2016. وفي أيلول 2019، باشر «فريق المصالحة الوطنية والحلّ الشامل» أعماله، ومهمّته إعادة المنخرطين في صفوف «التحالف»، أفراداً وكيانات، إلى «الوطن». وعلى رغم أن هذه الخطوات نجحت في إعادة نحو 16 ألفاً – كما تشير التقديرات -، بِمَن فيهم أعضاء في «الإصلاح»، إلّا أن كثيرين يستبعدون اتّجاه الحزب، بشكل معلَن وفي الوقت الراهن تحديداً، إلى ذلك المخرج لأسباب إيديولوجية مرتبطة بنشأته، والتزاماته مع الأطراف الخارجية المُعادية لصنعاء. وفي هذا الصدد، يقول عضو وفد «أنصار الله» التفاوضي، عبد الملك العجري، إن «ضغائن الإصلاح الإيديولوجية على أنصار الله أصابتْه بعمًى سياسي، لا يبدو أنه قادر على التعافي منه». ويضيف، في تغريدة، أنه «لو مارس الإصلاح 10% من التعقّل الذي يمارسه مع دول العدوان لمَا وصلْنا إلى ما وصلْنا إليه منذ عام 2014، علماً أن ما حدث له في صنعاء لا يساوي 1% من الصفعات التي تلقّاها من دول العدوان».
ويشي الواقع بأنه كلّما بالغ «الإصلاح» في الصبر، بالغ «التحالف» في استهدافه، والسبب في ذلك، من وجهة نظر عضو المجلس السياسي لحركة «أنصار الله»، عضو فريق المصالحة محمد البخيتي، أن «دول العدوان متأكّدة من أن قيادة حزب الإصلاح لن تجرؤ على فضّ الشراكة معها، والانضمام إلى صفّ الوطن، ولذلك فإنها مستمرّة في تصفية الحزب في المحافظات الجنوبية والشرقية من دون أيّ قلق». وبشأن إمكانية تحالف «الإصلاح» مع «أنصار الله»، يقول البخيتي، في تغريدة، إن «مصالح دول العدوان تتعارض مع مصالح اليمن، وحتى مع مصالح الأطراف التي تَورّطت في استدعاء العدوان، وحزب الإصلاح نموذجاً»، مضيفاً «(أنّنا) لسنا بحاجة إلى تقديم تنازلات لبعضنا، وكلّ ما نحتاج إليه هو أن نتوحّد لتحرير اليمن من الاحتلال، وهذا مكسب كبير للجميع وليس فيه أيّ خسارة لأيّ طرف».

مقالات ذات صلة

Emirati newspaper dissolved over article on fuel cost crisis

September 14 2022

Emirati authorities were reportedly outraged after a renowned newspaper published a report detailing the effects the global fuel crisis has had on low-income residents

(Photo credit: Al Roeya)

ByNews Desk- 

Former employees at the Emirati Al Roeya newspaper say dozens of journalists were sacked and their publication dissolved as a result of a news article detailing the economic impact of the Russia-Ukraine war on low-income residents of the UAE.

The economic report, published in early June, was considered “ordinary” by the editors at Al Roeya, according to eight people with direct knowledge of the situation who spoke with AP.

But its publication caused Emirati authorities to accuse the staff of “harming the reputation and entity of the state” by highlighting the repercussions of a global crisis.

Just hours later, almost 60 journalists and editors were informed by managers that they were fired. Other reports say the number may be as high as 90 journalists.

According to AP, only three employees remain working on the Al Roeya website.

“In the meeting, it was mentioned that the institution will be permanently closed due to a report that should not have been published. More than 60 employees will pay the price and lose their jobs and sit at their home looking for a new opportunity elsewhere,” one of the sacked journalists told Lebanese news outlet Raseef22.

What particularly irked officials were the interviews carried out for the report, in which Emirati citizens said they often drove to Oman to fuel their vehicles as the cost was cheaper.

Al-Roeya – Arabic for ‘The Vision’ – is owned by the Abu Dhabi-based International Media Investments (IMI) company, and was considered one of the Emirates’ most established publications.

IMI officials claim the closure is part of the newspaper’s “long-planned transformation” into an Arabic-language business outlet with CNN.

Other publications run by IMI include Sky News Arabia and the English-language newspaper The National. The umbrella company is owned by the deputy prime minister of the UAE, billionaire Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Unlike its Gulf neighbors, the UAE started lifting fuel subsidies in 2015, leading citizens to be shocked at the pump this year in the wake of the global fuel crisis caused by western sanctions on Russia’s energy sector.

Iran and the Persian Gulf monarchies: Diplomacy remains their only option

Reconciliation between Iran and the GCC will reap vast mutual benefits, while conflict only serves those outside the Persian Gulf

September 07 2022

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Mohammad Salami

In mid-August, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states the UAE and Kuwait announced the return of their respective ambassadors to Iran after a six year hiatus.

The move represents the latest sign of warming ties between Iran and the Persian Gulf sheikhdoms since the controversial execution of prominent, outspoken, Saudi Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Al-Nimr in 2016 interrupted relations.

Nimr’s killing prompted angry protestors to storm the Saudi diplomatic mission in Tehran, leading to a concerted action by several GCC states to sever or downgrade relations with the Islamic Republic.

The reconciliation of two GCC countries with Iran last month was a result of negotiations stretching back several years. These advances also come amid on-going – sometimes stalled – talks between Tehran and Riyadh, hosted by neutral mediators in Baghdad. So far, five rounds of discussions have been held, with the last one held in April and a sixth one looming on the horizon.

Deescalation and diplomacy

Over the past two years, tensions in the Persian Gulf region deescalated as regional states began to seek alternative options to wind down their various proxy fights in West Asia.

The UAE has been at the forefront of these efforts, normalizing relations with Syria – another battleground against Iran – and agreeing to reset relations with Turkey last year after a decade of divergent ideological stances over the wider region.

Following Abu Dhabi’s lead, Riyadh also markedly improved its own relations with Ankara after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s two-day trip to Saudi Arabia, which was reciprocated by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s (MbS) visit to the Turkish capital in June.

Most important for the region, however, is the thorny issue of the longstanding, mutually-perceived threat between Iran and the ‘Saudi camp’ within the GCC. For various reasons, including defeats and setbacks in Syria and nearby Yemen, Iran’s Arab neighbors have come to realize that the continuation of hostilities with Tehran is no longer in their national security interest.

“[Iran and Saudi Arabia] are neighbors. Neighbors forever. We cannot get rid of them, and they can’t get rid of us. So, it’s better for both of us to work it out and to look for ways in which we can coexist,” MbS said in an abrupt about-turn earlier this year.

Such conciliatory views are shared by Tehran, as conveyed by Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani who told reporters on 22 August: “We are optimistic that a positive regional atmosphere is fostering a path of communication and dialogue, and ultimately better relations.”

Rapprochement between Iran and the UAE was preceded by a similar trajectory; after four years of negotiations and five phone calls between Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the two countries concluded that their interests can be better resolved through dialogue.

“Short of confronting Iran, it is wiser to reach out to Mr. [Ebrahim] Raisi. One way to deal with Iran is to continue the conversation and find common ground for good neighborly relations,” AbdulKhaleq Abdulla, the former advisor to the UAE government wrote in an opinion article, in reference to the Iranian president.

The diplomatic moves make sense considering that the UAE and Iran are economically interdependent; trade between Iran and the UAE is extensive, and Abu Dhabi is the largest exporter of goods to Iran. It is worth noting that despite tensions between the two countries, trade never completely ceased during the toughest times.

Motivating factors

Several factors have motivated this wholesale revision of policies towards Iran. Chief among these is the concern that GCC states can no longer depend on unconditional protection from unreliable allies outside the region.

Certainly, US President Joe Biden’s focus on reentering the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement with Iran – unilaterally abandoned by his predecessor – is a strong indicator that Washington seeks to defuse its own decades-long standoff with Tehran to address more pressing national security priorities elsewhere.

As the US military and foreign policy establishments recalibrate their focus onto major peer adversaries like China and Russia, Washington has reduced its defense and security commitment to its long-time allies in the Persian Gulf.

This eroding ‘security guarantee,’ which began under former President Barack Obama and his “Pivot to Asia,” became strikingly evident in the 2019 Yemeni attack on Saudi’s Aramco oil facilities in Abqaiq and subsequent attacks on ships anchored in the UAE port of Fujairah, including two Saudi oil tankers.

After the unprecedented strikes by Yemen’s resistance movement Ansarallah, Washington’s utter failure to provide material support to its closest Persian Gulf allies – who have spent billions to procure US military protection – strongly influenced the GCC’s decision to engage with Iran.

“When the US didn’t follow through on defending its Arab partners following the Aramco attacks “it became imperative [for the UAE] to secure itself without relying on others – the US in particular – and engaging with Iran is a part of that,” Dina Esfandiary, a Middle East adviser at the International Crisis Group think tank explained.

The US’ faltering pledge to safeguard the Arab states of the Persian Gulf was heavily criticized by the Senate Republican Policy Committee. In a statement in early August, it accused Biden of undermining his commitment to Persian Gulf allies and missing an opportunity to take advantage of developments in West Asia and the US-brokered Abraham Accords for a united front against Iran.

Additional factors that accelerated dialogue with Iran include the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic – which encouraged further economic diversification away from reliance on oil revenues – the crisis in Ukraine, global energy shortages, and the issue of regional food security.

Conflict with Iran is ‘off the table’

The 2020 Abraham Accords presented an opportunity for Israel and its new Arab partners to form an anti-Iranian front aimed at reducing Iran’s geopolitical reach. But two years of inactive bluster about an “Arab NATO” has instead demonstrated that none of the Persian Gulf’s monarchies – despite plenty of encouragement from Tel Aviv and Washington – have the political will to take that confrontational regional step.

Instead, in the aftermath of normalization, Arab states such as the UAE sought to gain economic and commercial benefits from Israeli IT technologies and clean energy companies, rather than crow for open confrontation with Iran. For this reason “Middle East NATO was a ‘theoretical’ concept and … for Abu Dhabi confrontation [with Iran] was not an option,” says Anwar Gargash, senior diplomatic advisor to the UAE president.

Other GCC member states like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar have thus far opposed full normalization with Israel. They know that any overt anti-Iranian front – encouraged by the US and centered on Israel – serves primarily to rehabilitate Tel Aviv’s image within Arab countries, where populations remain hostile to Israel.

They are also now painfully aware that the US will not waste its limited and valuable resources in West Asia when the strategic geography of the China Sea and East Asia are of infinitely more intrinsic value to Washington.

Following the Jeddah Summit, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud said decisively: “There’s no such thing as Arabic NATO.”

Pragmatism in the Persian Gulf

Furthermore, for many Arabs, Iran acts as a valuable counterbalance to Israel in the region. The Persian Gulf – Levant and North Africa too – have a shared interest in obstructing Israel’s many troublesome and disruptive regional ambitions. Iran is a useful tool in this respect, as it absolves Arab states from doing the heavy lifting themselves, which would earn Washington’s ire.

In turn, reconciliation with its Arab neighbors will help Iran mitigate the effects of US-imposed sanctions and isolation efforts. Tehran also wants to keep these diplomatic channels open should the nuclear negotiations in Vienna not come to fruition.

Since his election in 2021, Iran’s President Raisi has repeatedly stressed that regional relations are the primary foreign policy focus of his administration. At the same time, Iran has introduced proposals on a mutually-beneficial regional security architecture that would exclude the need for external military forces in the Persian Gulf and its environs.

Tehran believes a region-first approach can strengthen relations with neighbors across all fields and, importantly, build years of depleted trust. The question is whether its Arab neighbors, many of whom rose to power on the back on western colonial projects, can extract themselves from this dependency and forge independent security strategies.

The timing is not bad. GCC states have concluded that the US will not guarantee security in the way they once perceived, and that Washington is – possibly permanently – distracted elsewhere. These events coincide with a global hike in oil and gas prices because of western sanctions on Russia. As a key member of OPEC+, Russia has thus far managed to keep influential Persian Gulf producers onside on production and pricing policies. China is investing billions in the Persian Gulf states on connectivity and infrastructure. Heavily dependent on Gulf energy resources, China – as well as Iran and Russia – is pushing for a new Persian Gulf security architecture run by regional states.

While the moment may be ripe to advance these new ideas, Iran’s reconciliation with its Arab neighbors is contingent on all parties understanding their mutual interests and threats, which is essential to reduce conflict.

The benefits will be game-changing for all. Ensuing stability in the Persian Gulf will bring about a more prosperous regional economy through interdependence, in addition to enhanced political, security, and geopolitical cooperation in the longer term.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

Report: “Israeli”–Arab Middle East Military Network is Evolving Overtly & Covertly

August 16, 2022 

By Staff, “Israel” Alma Org.

Efforts by the apartheid “Israeli” entity and some Arab countries surpass mere normalization to the creation of Middle Eastern NATO-like military alliance, as a report by the “Israeli” Alma Center noted.

The July visit by US President Joe Biden to Saudi Arabia and to the “Israeli”-occupied Palestinian territories was a means to pave the way for such an alliance.

However, it was likely unrealistic at this stage to expect Riyadh to make public all of the potential ways it might, or already has begun to, cooperate with the “Israeli” entity in the military realm, against the common adversary: Iran and its regional axis.

According to the report, Saudi Arabia, whose cities, airports, and oil sites have come under regular missile and UAV operations by Iran’s ally the Ansarullah revolutionaries in Yemen, is clearly interested in seeing Iran contained, while also avoiding an all-out war with the Islamic Republic.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s conservative social structure also means that the country is unable to change its public orientation to the “Israeli” entity overnight, in the same manner that the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain did after signing the August 2020 “Abraham Accords”.

Although the Saudi leadership has indicated that it requires progress on the “Israeli”–Palestinian front before it can go further in normalization, the ability of “Israeli” and Saudi Arabia to cooperate in quieter ways against Iran likely goes significantly deeper than meets the eye, explained the report.

The September 2021 shift of the “Israeli” entity from the area of responsibility of the US Military’s European Command [EUCOM] to Central Command [CENTCOM], the latter being responsible for the Middle East, marked a major milestone in the development of a Middle Eastern architecture, the report pointed.

The report further added that this shift also allowed for much more substantial US-led coordination of operational military activities among the “Israeli” entity, Gulf states, and American forces in the Middle East against Iran’s regional axis.

That makes a collective approach in the region towards common threats smoother between the apartheid entity, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain, but also, likely with Saudi Arabia.

Now that the “Israeli” Occupation Forces [IOF] is a formal CENTCOM partner, new opportunities have opened up, the Alma report explains.

This includes joint maritime and aerial training exercises, strategic planning, and work on drawing up regional cooperation doctrines. The sharing of intelligence and the transfer of technological capabilities are all likely on the table.

The entity’s move to CENTCOM formalizes joint military drills involving American, Arab, and “Israeli” forces, creating a platform that can be used to develop common missile defense cooperation, as well as cooperation on maritime security, cyber defense, counter-terrorism, and special operations, the report added.

While every nation in this bloc is responsible, first and foremost, for creating solutions to its challenges individually, the creation of regional arrangements is already underway between the “Israeli” entity and the Gulf states, despite the fact that each has its own threat profile perception when it comes to the Iranian axis.

The IOF can provide an array of capabilities to this bloc, the report said.

Just as Saudi Arabia is now providing overflight rights to civilian airliners flying in its air space, it could, theoretically, do the same for IAF flights, as could other Gulf states that are close to Iran.

Increasingly intimate joint training, such the November 2021 US, “Israeli”, Emirati, and Bahraini joint navy drill in the Red Sea, forms a key pillar of this emerging bloc.

The acquisition of “Israeli” air defense systems, such as Iron Dome, by Gulf states remains on the agenda, as well as the transfer of other “Israeli” defense technology.

The “Israeli” entity is well position to supply UAV interception capabilities to its new Gulf friends, while every country that is under CENTCOM’s area of responsibility can share tracking information of UAV and missile activity by Iran and its allies, creating a regional air defense network, the report stated.

Many of these activities can be expected to occur away from public view, and therefore, official statements by heads of states, including that of Saudi Arabia during Biden’s recent visit, likely only reflect a part of the full picture.

Overall, the so-called Abraham Accords are increasingly becoming a daily tool to facilitated “Israeli”–Arab joint operations. Military to military cooperation between the entity, the UAE, and Bahrain are growing closer in plain sights, and daily IOF operations are increasingly being integrated with regional, CENTCOM-led frameworks.

Hezbollah defies US and Israel over Karish gas field

Officials from the resistance movement are keeping up their warnings of retaliation if Israel moves to take Lebanon’s resources

August 15 2022

(Photo credit: Getty Images)

ByNews Desk 

Late on 14 August, the head of Hezbollah’s Executive Council, Hashem Safieddine, cautioned that the resistance will confront US and Israeli attempts to steal Lebanon’s natural resources.

“We will continue working to thwart the American and Israeli malign projects that target our country and our region, and we know exactly how to confront and thwart these projects through our experience, our resistance, and our trust in the Lord,” Safieddine said during a ceremony in South Lebanon.

“If we remain steadfast, neither the Americans, nor the Israelis, nor all the money from the Arabs and the Gulf will be able to do anything,” he added, stressing that “Israel is not capable of extracting Lebanon’s gas, if you intend to challenge us and face off with the resistance.”

“How can we recover our occupied land without resistance? How will we obtain our wealth of oil and gas without resistance? And how will we be a respected country in the region without resistance?” the Hezbollah official asked.

In early July, developments related to demarcating the maritime border between the two were restarted, following the arrival of an Israeli-contracted production and storage vessel near Karish gas field, which Beirut considers to be located in a disputed area.

On 9 August, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah threatened to “cut off the hand” of anyone who tries to take Lebanon’s oil and gas, stressing the Lebanese people’s anticipation of the Israeli response to Lebanon’s most recent offer.

“To the resistance supporters, to Hezbollah’s Mujahideen, be ready for any scenario [regarding Israel]. We are at the end of the line. Do not threaten us or even think you can intimidate us. The hand that will touch our resources will be cut,” the resistance chief said.

Hassan Nasrallah had repeatedly warned Israel of the possibility of war if Lebanon was prevented from extracting oil and gas from its territorial waters.

On 31 July, Hezbollah published a video showing the platform being built over Karish, coinciding with the visit of the US mediator Amos Hochstein to Beirut.

The Karish gas field is located under line 29, which Lebanon claims as its maritime border. While the UN claims line 23 is the maritime border, Israel says line 1 is the actual border.

US Approves Massive Weapons Sales to Saudi Arabia, UAE

August 3, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

The United States has approved massive arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates worth more than $5 billion, amid criticism of their ongoing military aggression in Yemen which has inflicted heavy civilian casualties.

The notice of approval came on Tuesday, two weeks after US President Joe Biden made a controversial trip to Saudi Arabia and met with Saudi leaders in an effort to reset strained relations with Riyadh.

The State Department said Saudi Arabia would buy 300 Patriot MIM-104E missile systems and related equipment for an estimated $3.05 billion. The missile systems can be used to shoot long-range incoming ballistic and cruise missiles, as well as fighter jets.

“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a partner country that is a force for political stability and economic progress in the Gulf region,” the State Department said in a statement.

“The proposed sale will improve the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s capability to meet current and future threats by replenishing its dwindling stock of PATRIOT GEM-T missiles,” it added.

Separately, the United States will sell Terminal High Altitude Area Defense [THAAD] System Missiles and related equipment to the UAE for $2.25 billion.

“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of an important regional partner. The UAE is a vital US partner for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East,” the State Department said.

Although Tuesday’s approvals are for defensive weapons, they may still draw opposition in Congress, where lawmakers backed the Biden administration’s decision last year to ban US sales of offensive weapons to Saudi Arabia and the UAE because of their actions in Yemen.

The Biden administration is also considering lifting its ban on US sales of offensive weapons to Saudi Arabia.

Since the beginning of the war in 2015, the use of US weapons by the Saudi-led coalition in airstrikes on civilian targets in Yemen has been well documented.

As a candidate, Biden had vowed to make the Saudi kingdom a “pariah” on the global stage over the war in Yemen as well as the 2018 murder of Washington Post journalist and political dissident Jamal Khashoggi.

Soon after taking office, Biden appeared to be delivering on the promise, when he declared in February 2021 a halt to US support for the Saudi military operations in Yemen, including “relevant arms sales.”

His administration also released US intelligence findings that concluded Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman [MBS] personally approved the operation targeting Khashoggi.

Biden, however, has softened his approach in recent months, moving to improve US relations with Saudi Arabia in the hope of getting the world’s top oil exporter to increase oil production in order to offset loss of Russian supplies to the global market and drive down gasoline prices at home.

Major news day for Russia: In conclusion of his working visit to Iran, Vladimir Putin answered questions from the media.

July 20, 2022

In conclusion of his working visit to Iran, Vladimir Putin answered questions from the media.

Question: Mr President, some would think the world has forgotten about Syria amid the numerous issues on the international agenda. But we have seen today that this is not so.

We would like to hear your views on the situation on the ground in Syria. A great deal has been said today about points of contact, but there are many differences as well. Have you discussed or coordinated any fundamentally new solutions today? I am referring primarily to these differences.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: What I would like to begin with is not the differences but the fundamental issues that allow us to work and continue our efforts in the trilateral format. All of us believe that it I necessary to guarantee the territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and to eliminate all sorts of terrorists, which I will not enumerate here. This is the fundamental and the most important thing, as we have pointed out again in our joint statement. I believe that this is very important.

Yes, there are certain differences, which is obvious, but all of us support the constitutional process. Thanks to our efforts, we have brought together various conflicting parties at one negotiating platform, including the opposition and the official authorities of the Syrian Arab Republic, experts and representatives of public organisations, as well as the UN. I believe this is extremely important. This is the first point.

The second. Humanitarian aid is being provided to Syria, for which there is particularly great demand today, because the sanctions imposed on Syria and the Syrian people have produced a deplorable result: nearly 90 percent of people in Syria are living below the poverty line. The situation in Syria is extremely serious.

Of course, it would be unfair to give priority attention to certain groups, to politicise humanitarian aid.

Third. There are different approaches to organising humanitarian aid. We have always believed that it should be organised in full compliance with international humanitarian law. This means that all humanitarian aid must be provided through the official Syrian authorities, through Damascus. However, we have agreed to extend the existing procedure for six months, including for deliveries to the Idlib zone, so as to have more time for coordinating our positions.

There is some disagreement about what is happening in Northern Syria. Incidentally, we also have some common ground here: all of us believe that US troops should leave this area. This is the first point. And they should stop looting the Syrian state, the Syrian people, taking their oil illegally. But there is disagreement about how to organise and stabilise the situation in that region. As you know, Russian-Turkish observation convoys are working there together.

However, in our view, in order to ensure a long-term, stable situation there it is necessary to transfer the entire territory under the control of the official authorities in Damascus, under the control of the Armed Forces of the Syrian Arab Republic, and then it will be possible to hold a dialogue with those who are responsible – in this case the official Syrian authorities. I believe it would greatly stabilise the situation there.

But in general, it is work in progress. As I have said many times and would like to stress once again, the work of this tripartite group – Russia, Turkiye and Iran – this joint effort to search for compromises and find these compromises has led to the fact that over 90% of Syria is now under official government control and, as we say in such cases, we have broken the back of international terrorism there. This is a great result of this joint work.

Question: Mr President, you had three one-on-one meetings today, first with Mr Raisi, then with Mr Khamenei, and then with Mr Erdogan, and there were no news conferences after these meetings. All we know is the topic you were discussing, the official part.

In particular, you said that you discussed the grain issue with your Turkish counterpart, the issue of supplying Russian and Ukrainian grain to international markets. Could you tell us some more about that, please?

Vladimir Putin: There are no secrets here; in fact, almost everything is known. There are some subtleties; maybe I do not always have time to follow what is happening in the information field. I will tell you how I see it.

First, what was the highlight of the three meetings? At each meeting, there were issues that could be considered central to a particular bilateral meeting.

For example, as I said at the news conference, in my press statement, the main theme at the meeting with the Spiritual Leader of Iran was strategic issues, including developments in the region. This is natural, as it is the sphere of his activity. It was very important for me to hear his opinion, his assessment. I have to say that we have very similar views with Iran on many aspects. So, it was very important and very useful.

As for my meeting with President Raisi, we discussed primarily economic matters. I would like to note that Russian-Iranian trade has grown by 40 percent over the past six months. This is a very good indicator.

There are promising spheres for our cooperation, and there is a great variety of them, like infrastructure development. You may know that a deputy prime minister of the Russian Government chairs a group that is responsible for developing relations in the South Caucasus, including infrastructure projects in the South Caucasus, that is, in Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia. A great deal can be achieved in this sphere in cooperation with Iran.

As you know, the first pilot train is travelling along the North-South Railway line. It is a short route to ports in the south of Iran, which further leads to the Persian Gulf and India.

There is a practical project: the Rasht-Astara railway is a short 146-kilometre line across Iran. Azerbaijan is interested in its construction. I recently met with President Aliyev during the Caspian Summit, and we discussed this matter. Iran is interested in this as well, as our Iranian partners have told us just now. Russia is interested in this, because it will connect Russia’s northern region, St Petersburg, directly to the Persian Gulf. It is a very interesting and promising project. The task now is to build this line, which is only 146 kilometres. Russia is ready to do this.

We need to coordinate the conditions of this construction project. We have discussed its general outlines with our Iranian partners and friends, and we have coordinated it with Azerbaijan. I hope we will get down to business now. And then, it will be an interesting job for us. It actually amounts to exporting the services of Russian Railways (RZD). This is one of the relevant examples.

There are other spheres. There are security issues relevant to Iran’s nuclear programme. It was very important for us to understand the sentiments of the Iranian party regarding this work. It also involves Russia, which is contributing to the joint efforts aimed at relaunching interaction between Iran and the IAEA. I will not speak about this now, but Russia is playing a considerable role in this.

The grain issue. It is what we discussed with the President of Turkiye. I have already said that the Republic of Turkiye and personally President Erdogan have done a great deal to facilitate the agreement on Ukrainian grain exports. But initially we suggested that it should be adopted as a package, that is, we would facilitate the Ukrainian grain exports provided all the restrictions on the potential exports of Russian grain are lifted. This is what we initially agreed upon with international organisations. They pledged to formulate this as a package solution. Nobody has so far raised any objections, including our American partners. We will see what comes of it in the near future.

As you know, the Americans have actually lifted restrictions, for example, on the delivery of Russian fertilisers to the global market. I hope this will also happen with regard to the export of Russian grain if they really want to improve the situation on the global food markets. As I have said, we are ready to do this right now. We can export 30 million tonnes of grain, and our export potential based on this year’s harvest will be 50 million tonnes.

Question: Mr President, a serious energy crisis is developing in Europe, which is discussing the possibility of Gazprom cutting off gas deliveries. The company has allegedly issued an official notification to one of its German clients, citing force majeure circumstances.

Are there grounds for accusing Russia of causing this energy crisis? Will Gazprom continue to honour its obligations

Vladimir Putin: First of all, Gazprom has always honoured, and will continue to honour its commitments.

There are no grounds at all for the attempts by our partners to shift or try to shift the blame for their own mistakes on Russia and Gazprom.

What is the situation with energy deliveries? In 2020, in the first half of 2020, gas cost 100 euros per 1,000 cubic metres in Europe. The price rose to 250 euros in the first half of 2021. Today it is 1,700 euros per 1,000 cubic metres of gas.

What is happening? I have spoken about this on numerous occasions, and I do not know if we should go into detail regarding the energy policies of European countries, which underrate the importance of traditional sources of energy and have put money on non-traditional energy sources. They are big experts on non-traditional relations, and they have also decided to make a bid for non-traditional energy sources like the sun and wind.

Last winter was long, there wasno wind, and that did it. Investment in the fixed assets of traditional energy producers has decreased because of previous political decisions: banks do not finance them, insurance companies do not insure them, local governments do not allocate land plots for new projects, and pipeline and other forms of transportation are not developing. This is a result of many years, probably a decade of this policy. This is the root cause of price hikes rather than any actions by Russia or Gazprom.

What is going on today? Until recently, we supplied gas to Europe without Turkiye: we supplied around 30 billion cubic metres a year to Turkiye, and 170 billion to Europe, 55 billion via Nord Stream 1, and, if memory serves me, 33 billion were supplied via Yamal-Europe, via the two strings that run through Ukraine. About 12 billion were delivered to Europe through Turkiye via TurkStream.

Ukraine suddenly announced that it was going to close one of the two routes on its territory. Allegedly because the gas pumping station is not under its control but on the territory of the Lugansk People’s Republic. But it found itself under the control of the Lugansk People’s Republic several months before, and they closed it just recently without any grounds. Everything was functioning normally there, no one interfered. In my opinion, they closed it simply for political reasons.

What happened next? Poland imposed sanctions on Yamal-Europe, which supplied 33 billion cubic metres of gas. They used to take 34, I think, 33–34 million cubic metres a day from us. They shut it down completely. But then we saw that they turned on the Yamal-Europe pipeline in reverse mode, and they started taking about 32 million a day from Germany. Where is the gas from Germany coming from? It is our Russian gas. Why from Germany? Because it turned out to be cheaper for the Poles. They used to get it from us at a very high price, closer to the market price, whereas Germany gets it from us 3–4 times cheaper than the market price under long-term contracts.

It is profitable for German companies to sell it to the Poles at a small premium. It is profitable for the Poles to buy it because it is cheaper than to buy it directly from us. But the volume of gas in the European market has decreased, and the total market price has gone up. Who has won? All Europeans only lost. This is the second point: Yamal-Europe.

So, first one of the routes in Ukraine was shut down, then Yamal-Europe was shut down, now Nord Stream 1, which is one of the main routes – we pump 55 billion cubic metres a year through it. There are five Siemens gas compressor stations working there, and one is on standby. One compressor had to be sent out for repairs. A repaired compressor was supposed to come from Canada, from the Siemens plant in Canada, to replace it. But it ended up under sanctions in Canada. So, one pumping station, just one piece of equipment was out of order because of scheduled maintenance work and it has not been returned from Canada.

Now we are being told that the unit will be delivered from Canada soon, but Gazprom does not have any official documents yet. We must certainly obtain them, because this is our property, it is the property of Gazprom. Gazprom should receive not only the hardware, not only the gas pumping unit, but also the accompanying documents, both legal and technical documentation. We must be able to see what Gazprom is taking – the turbine’s current condition as well as its legal status, whether it is under sanctions or not, what we can do with it, or maybe they are taking it back tomorrow. But that is not all.

The problem is that at the end of July, on July 26, I think – we can ask Gazprom – another turbine should be sent for routine maintenance, for repairs. And where will we get a replacement from? We do not know.

One more turbine is actually out of order because of some crumbling of its internal liner. Siemens has confirmed this. That leaves two operational units, which are pumping 60 million per day. So, if one more is delivered, fine, we will have two in operation. But if it is not, only one will be left, and it will pump only 30 million cubic meters per day. You can count how much time it will take to pump the rest. How is this Gazprom’s responsibility? What does Gazprom even have to do with this? They have cut off one route, then another, and sanctioned this gas pumping equipment. Gazprom is ready to pump as much gas as necessary. But they have shut everything down.

And they have fallen into the same trap with the import of oil and petroleum products. We hear all sorts of crazy ideas about capping the volume of Russian oil imports or the price of Russian oil. This is going to lead to the same situation as with gas. The result (I am surprised to hear people with university degrees saying this) will be the same – rising prices. Oil prices will spiral.

As for gas, there is another route we are ready to open, which is Nord Stream 2. It is ready to be launched, but they are not launching it. There are problems here as well, I discussed them with the Chancellor about six or maybe eight weeks ago. I raised this issue; I said that Gazprom had reserved the capacity, and that this capacity needed to be used, and it cannot be suspended in mid-air indefinitely.

The answer was that there were other issues on the agenda, more important things, so it is difficult for them to deal with this right now. But I had to warn them that then we would have to redirect half of the volume intended for Nord Stream for domestic consumption and processing. I raised this issue at the request of Gazprom, and Gazprom has actually already done it. Therefore, even if we launch Nord Stream 2 tomorrow, it will not pump 55 billion cubic meters, but exactly half that amount. And given that we are already halfway through this year, it would be just a quarter. Such is the supply situation.

But – I said this at the beginning of my answer to your question and I want to end with this – Gazprom has always fulfilled and will always fulfil all of its obligations, as long as, of course, anyone needs it. First, they themselves close everything, and then they look for someone to blame – it would be comical if it were not so sad.

Question: You spoke with Mr Erdogan today. He has repeatedly stated his readiness to arrange talks between you and Vladimir Zelensky. Has this issue surfaced today? Are you ready to meet with the President of Ukraine?

Vladimir Putin: President Erdogan is making a lot of efforts to create the necessary conditions for normalising the situation. It was during our talks in Istanbul that we actually reached an agreement, and it only remained to initial it. But, as you know, after that, when our troops, in order to create the right conditions, withdrew from central Ukraine, from Kiev, the Kiev authorities backed off on those agreements. These were agreements that had actually been achieved. So, you see that the final result depends, of course, not on intermediaries, but on the parties’ commitment to fulfil the agreements reached. And we can see today that the Kiev authorities have no interest in that.

As for Turkiye’s efforts, as well as other countries’ proposals – Saudi Arabia has offered its mediation services, and the United Arab Emirates, and they do have such capabilities – we are grateful to all our friends who are interested in resolving this crisis for providing their opportunities. Even their willingness to make some contribution to this noble cause is worth a lot. We are deeply grateful for that.

The power troika trumps Biden in West Asia

The presidents of Russia, Iran, and Turkey convened to discuss critical issues pertaining to West Asia, with the illegal US occupation of Syria a key talking point

July 20 2022

Photo Credit: The Cradle

Oil and gas, wheat and grains, missiles and drones – the hottest topics in global geopolitics today – were all on the agenda in Tehran this week.

By Pepe Escobar

The Tehran summit uniting Iran-Russia-Turkey was a fascinating affair in more ways than one. Ostensibly about the Astana peace process in Syria, launched in 2017, the summit joint statement duly noted that Iran, Russia and (recently rebranded) Turkiye will continue, “cooperating to eliminate terrorists” in Syria and “won’t accept new facts in Syria in the name of defeating terrorism.”

That’s a wholesale rejection of the “war on terror” exceptionalist unipolarity that once ruled West Asia.

Standing up to the global sheriff

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his own speech, was even more explicit. He stressed “specific steps to promote the intra-Syrian inclusive political dialogue” and most of called a spade a spade: “The western states led by the US are strongly encouraging separatist sentiment in some areas of the country and plundering its natural resources with a view to ultimately pulling the Syrian state apart.”

So there will be “extra steps in our trilateral format” aimed at “stabilizing the situation in those areas” and crucially, “returning control to the legitimate government of Syria.” For better or for worse, the days of imperial plunder will be over.

The bilateral meetings on the summit’s sidelines – Putin/Raisi and Putin/Erdogan – were even more intriguing. Context is key here: the Tehran gathering took place after Putin’s visit to Turkmenistan in late June for the 6th Caspian summit, where all the littoral nations, Iran included, were present, and after Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s travels in Algeria, Bahrain, Oman, and Saudi Arabia, where he met all his Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) counterparts.

Moscow’s moment

So we see Russian diplomacy carefully weaving its geopolitical tapestry from West Asia to Central Asia – with everybody and his neighbor eager to talk and to listen to Moscow. As it stands, the Russia-Turkey entente cordiale tends to lean towards conflict management, and is strong on trade relations. Iran-Russia is a completely different ball game: much more of a strategic partnership.

So it’s hardly a coincidence that the National Oil Company of Iran (NIOC), timed to the Tehran summit, announced the signing of a $40 billion strategic cooperation agreement with Russia’s Gazprom. That’s the largest foreign investment in the history of Iran’s energy industry – badly needed since the early 2000s. Seven deals worth $4 billion apply to the development of oil fields; others focus on the construction of new export gas pipelines and LNG projects.

Kremlin advisor Yury Ushakov deliciously leaked that Putin and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in their private meeting, “discussed conceptual issues.” Translation: he means grand strategy, as in the evolving, complex process of Eurasia integration, in which the three key nodes are Russia, Iran and China, now intensifying their interconnection. The Russia-Iran strategic partnership largely mirrors the key points of the China-Iran strategic partnership.

Iran says ‘no’ to NATO

Khamenei, on NATO, did tell it like it is: “If the road is open for NATO, then the organization sees no borders. If it had not been stopped in Ukraine, then after a while the alliance would have started a war under the pretext of Crimea.”

There were no leaks on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) impasse between the US and Iran – but it’s clear, based on the recent negotiations in Vienna, that Moscow will not interfere with Tehran’s nuclear decisions. Not only are Tehran-Moscow-Beijing fully aware of who’s preventing the JCPOA from getting back on track, they also see how this counter-productive stalling process prevents the collective west from badly needed access to Iranian oil.

Then there’s the weapons front. Iran is one of the world’s leaders in drone production: Pelican, Arash, Homa, Chamrosh, Jubin, Ababil, Bavar, recon drones, attack drones, even kamikaze drones, cheap and effective, mostly deployed from naval platforms in West Asia.

Tehran’s official position is not to supply weapons to nations at war – which would in principle invalidate dodgy US “intel” on their supply to Russia in Ukraine. Yet that could always happen under the radar, considering that Tehran is very much interested in buying Russian aerial defense systems and state of the art fighter jets. After the end of the UN Security Council-enforced embargo, Russia can sell whatever conventional weapons to Iran it sees fit.

Russian military analysts are fascinated by the conclusions Iranians reached when it was established they would stand no chance against a NATO armada; essentially they bet on pro-level guerrilla war (a lesson learned from Afghanistan). In Syria, Iraq and Yemen they deployed trainers to guide villagers in their fight against Salafi-jihadis; produced tens of thousands of large-caliber sniper rifles, ATGMs, and thermals; and of course perfected their drone assembly lines (with excellent cameras to surveil US positions).

Not to mention that simultaneously the Iranians were building quite capable long-range missiles. No wonder Russian military analysts estimate there’s much to learn tactically from the Iranians – and not only on the drone front.

The Putin-Sultan ballet

Now to the Putin-Erdogan get together – always an attention-grabbing geopolitical ballet, especially considering the Sultan has not yet decided to hop on the Eurasia integration high-speed train.

Putin diplomatically “expressed gratitude” for the discussions on food and grain issues, while reiterating that “not all issues on the export of Ukrainian grain from the Black Sea ports are resolved, but progress is made.”

Putin was referring to Turkiye’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, who earlier this week assured that setting up an operations center in Istanbul, establishing joint controls at the port exit and arrival points, and carefully monitoring the navigational safety on the transfer routes are issues that may be solved in the next few days.

Apparently Putin-Erdogan also discussed Nagorno-Karabakh (no details).

What a few leaks certainly did not reveal is that on Syria, for all practical purposes, the situation is blocked. That favors Russia – whose main priority as it stands is Donbass. Wily Erdogan knows it – and that’s why he may have tried to extract some “concessions” on “the Kurdish question” and Nagorno-Karabakh. Whatever Putin, Russia’s Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev and Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev may really think about Erdogan, they certainly evaluate how priceless is to cultivate such an erratic partner capable of driving the collective west totally bonkers.

Istanbul this summer has been turned into a sort of Third Rome, at least for expelled-from-Europe Russian tourists: they are everywhere. Yet the most crucial geoeconomic development these past few months is that the western-provoked collapse of trade/supply lines along the borders between Russia and the EU – from the Baltic to the Black Sea – finally highlighted the wisdom and economic sense of the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INTSC): a major Russia-Iran-India geopolitical and geoeconomic integration success.

When Moscow talks to Kiev, it talks via Istanbul. NATO, as the Global South well knows, does not do diplomacy. So any possibility of dialogue between Russians and a few educated westerners takes place in Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan and the UAE. West Asia as well as the Caucasus, incidentally, did not subscribe to the western sanctions hysteria against Russia.

Say farewell to the ‘teleprompter guy’

Now compare all of the above with the recent visit to the region by the so-called “leader of the free world,” who merrily alternates between shaking hands with invisible people to reading – literally – whatever is scrolling on a teleprompter. We’re talking of US President Joe Biden, of course.

Fact: Biden threatened Iran with military strikes and as a mere supplicant, begged the Saudis to pump more oil to offset the “turbulence” in the global energy markets caused by the collective west’s sanction hysteria. Context: the glaring absence of any vision or anything even resembling a draft of foreign policy plan for West Asia.

So oil prices duly jumped upward after Biden’s trip: Brent crude rose more than four percent to $105 a barrel, bringing prices back to above $100 after a lull of several months.

The heart of the matter is that if OPEC or OPEC+ (which includes Russia) ever decide to increase their oil supplies, they will do it based on their internal deliberations, and not under exceptionalist pressure.

As for the imperial threat of military strikes on Iran, it qualifies as pure dementia. The whole Persian Gulf – not to mention the whole of West Asia – knows that were US/Israel to attack Iran, fierce retaliation would simply evaporate with the region’s energy production, with apocalyptic consequences including the collapse of trillions of dollars in derivatives.

Biden then had the gall to say, “We have made progress in strengthening our relations with the Gulf states. We will not leave a vacuum for Russia and China to fill in the Middle East”.

Well, in real life it is the “indispensable nation” that has self-morphed into a vacuum. Only bought-and-paid for Arab vassals – most of them monarchs – believe in the building of an “Arab NATO” (copyright Jordan’s King Abdullah) to take on Iran. Russia and China are already all over the place in West Asia and beyond.

De-Dollarization, not just Eurasian integration

It’s not only the new logistical corridor from Moscow and St. Petersburg to Astrakhan and then, via the Caspian, to Enzeli in Iran and on to Mumbai that is shaking things up. It’s about increasing bilateral trade that bypasses the US dollar. It’s about BRICS+, which Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Egypt are dying to be part of. It’s about the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which formally accepts Iran as a full member this coming September (and soon Belarus as well). It’s about BRICS+, the SCO, China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) interconnected in their path towards a Greater Eurasia Partnership.

West Asia may still harbor a small collection of imperial vassals with zero sovereignty who depend on the west’s financial and military ‘assistance,’ but that’s the past. The future is now – with Top Three BRICS (Russia, India, China) slowly but surely coordinating their overlapping strategies across West Asia, with Iran involved in all of them.

And then there’s the Big Global Picture: whatever the circumvolutions and silly schemes of the US-concocted “oil price cap” variety, the fact is that Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela – the top powerful energy-producing nations – are absolutely in sync: on Russia, on the collective west, and on the needs of a real multipolar world.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

Nasrallah: ‘US/Israel must submit to our demands, or risk full-blown war’

July 20, 2022

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Description:

According to ‘reliable leaks’ shared across social media, Hezbollah’s leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has told thousands of Lebanese that the current situation may soon lead to full-blown war if the US and Israel do not submit to Hezbollah’s demands that crisis-stricken Lebanon be allowed to extract and sell its offshore energy reserves.

Nasrallah also said that his movement will not allow the ‘Israeli enemy’ to extract and sell any oil and gas so long as Lebanon is prevented by the Americans from exploiting and selling its own reserves.

The Hezbollah leader made these comments in an internal speech delivered to thousands of the party’s members in preparation for the upcoming ‘Ashura’ mourning ceremonies.

Seen as a symbol of resistance and anti-imperialism to many in the Arab and Islamic world, Hezbollah is listed as a terrorist organisation by a number of Western states, including the U.S., the UK, Canada and Australia.

Please note: the below transcript consists of large portions of the leaks that are summaries of Nasrallah’s speech on 19-07-2022 i.e. MEO is not directly translating Nasrallah’s words in this post.

Source: Leaked summary shared across social media sites

Date: 19 July, 2022

( Please help us keep producing independent translations for you by contributing a small monthly amount here )

Transcript:

The political situation:

– After (my) latest speech, some stood with (it) and some against (it).

– The remarks of some people is natural and we do not expect anything less from them. We must not be affected by them, (for) ‘even if we feed them pure honey, they won’t feel favourably towards us’ (i.e., no matter what we do to please them, they won’t like it)

– Our responsibility is to clarify and demonstrate our strong logic, (even if) they do not respond to us with logic.

– The Americans (did all they can to) prevent electricity from becoming available to (the Lebanese people)

– Our words (in my latest speech) led to the confirmation of the negotiations (translator’s note: indirect negotiations between Lebanon and Israel mediated by the U.S.), not their disruption, because Europe needs oil and gas, and every country is concerned with its own interests in Europe

-There are positive signs, and we are still awaiting

– A serious crisis will befall Europe in September and October if they do not secure (alternative) oil and gas supplies

– Biden visited the (Middle East) region only for the sake of oil and gas and to exert pressure on the Gulf states to increase (oil and gas) production.

– We are in a historical moment, and there is no other opportunity (after this one).

– There are billions of dollars worth of oil and gas reserves, just sitting there (in our waters), and the Americans are obstructing (the extraction process).

– Some foreign companies expressed their willingness to begin the drilling process but only after the (border) demarcation process is finalised (and this is an American request)

– (We are talking about Lebanon) that is in debt 100 billion dollars, and the only possibility (to pay for it) is oil/gas. This is a golden opportunity, the only remaining hope for our country. The other (camp) has no choice, they did not offer any other option.

– We are before an opportunity. Indeed, we benefit from the (circumstances surrounding the) Russian-Ukrainian war by (pushing for the) extraction of (Lebanese) oil/gas. People must understand that the United States will not allow the extraction of oil/gas even after 100 years, therefore the (established) equation was necessary.

– We do not want a (mere) moral achievement by preventing (Israeli) extraction from the Karish (oil/gas offshore filed). Rather, we want to extract our own oil/gas.

– There will be no extraction of oil/gas from any area across the (entire Israeli) entity if Lebanon does not gain its rights (in terms of extracting and selling its oil/gas reserves).

– We want to explain (the situation) to the people so that the background of our position regarding the oil/gas issue will become clear (i.e. we may gain our rights with or without war)

– We must take risks and adopt a difficult stance.

-The Israelis may submit (to our demands) even without any (military) steps by the resistance, or, they may respond (to our future military/security actions) and drag things into a (full-fledged) war.


(In other remarks):

– After an introduction on the history of Shias in Lebanon and the wars, killings, displacement and abuse that befell them, he spoke about the current situation of Shia in Lebanon, saying that it is upon us to thank God for the blessings we are in and to preserve these blessings (i.e. (our various) institutions /religious seminaries/power/security/safety etc).

–  We have to protect our people and talk to them, as they are people of loyalty, insight, readiness and sacrifice.

– All sects in Lebanon had a regional protector, except for the Shias, and they were even accused of being followers of the Safavids, and they paid the price for it.

– Loyalty of the people in our support base and constant readiness: for 40 years, our people have been sacrificing, prepared, and giving, they gave their children, believed in the resistance and the path, and embraced it.

– After the year 2000, people’s presence transformed and became greater in all fields, celebrations, and various developments/challenges…and the resistance proved its effectiveness and correctness until people came to it and began to bet/rely upon it.

– Since the beginning of the resistance, the enemy discovered that (this movement) constitutes a threat to its project in Lebanon and the region, and since then it’s been carrying out wars / killings / massacres / assassinations (against it).

– After the July War 2006, the enemy discovered that the option of war is a threat to the (very existence of the Israeli) entity and entails many equations/calculations.

– If war develops (between the Israeli enemy) and Hezbollah, it may expand (and bring in) the entire Axis of Resistance, so calculations/equations regarding the option of war has become limited/narrow for the (Israeli) entity.

– Security assassinations (carried out by Israel over the years) have increased us in strength and presence, and God compensates (us for our fallen comrades).

– Since 2019, we have information about retreats and conferences held in which they discussed how to get rid of Hezbollah. These meetings included religious scholars/security figures/journalists/specialists in soft war etc, and many of these studies have reached us. The studies are directed from a (central) operations room.

– A writer/journalist would be paid $700 for each weekly article that he writes accusing Hezbollah of being responsible for the Beirut Port explosion.

– The Americans and Saudis spent $30 billion in recent years to distort the image of the party and keep people away from it.

– On a daily basis in the world there is distortion of Hezbollah (associating it with drugs/mafias etc)

– What has emerged as a new factor (in this war against Hezbollah) from 2019 is the social and economic pressure on all of Lebanese society, including the closure of bank accounts within (various Lebanese) banks.

– People’s bank deposits were completely lost, while our wealth is still with us. They wished to harm us, yet our enemy is foolish, it (constantly) shoots itself in the foot.

– China, Iran and Russia are ready for carrying out projects in Lebanon, but some (Lebanese) are afraid of US sanctions while they agree with us in secret.

– (The enemy) funded (various) television (networks) and NGOs, and their goal was to create a huge social revolution aimed against Hezbollah, and to hold it responsible for the economic and social situation in Lebanon.

– The goal was to lead people to surrender and submit, surrender their weapons, recognise Israel, settle (millions of) Syrian and Palestinian (refugees in Lebanon), and loot (Lebanese) wealth. The real obstacle was the resistance.

– They lost (in their efforts to) put pressure on our people and bet on their (surrender). (The enemy) was left frustrated and helpless.

– The people were facing a big test with all the pressures they were targeted with. The elections came and the Americans’ hopes were dashed. Their only goal (in that election) was to cause a breach in our electoral districts.

– The message of the (Salam Farmandeh/Salam Ya Mahdi) song (being played across the Middle East today) is that this generation will not give up anything and will continue this path with greater enthusiasm and passion.


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قمة القيصر والإمام وخرائط النصر على الأطلسي

 2022-07-18

محمد صادق الحسيني

كلّ الأنظار تتجه الى طهران وتحديداً في نهاية شارع فلسطين حيث مقرّ القائد العام للقوات المسلحة الإيرانية وقائد ثورة المستضعفين الإيرانيين الذين صاروا يشكلون دولة اقليمية عظمى تتشارك معها جيوش محور مقاومة هي الرأس فيه.

الى هناك تحديداً سيذهب قيصر الشرق الجديد حاملاً معه خرائط المنتصرين على الإرهاب والأطلسي واليانكي الأميركي المنكسر والغارق ومعه رهط من المنهكين والمتساقطين الأوروبيين من البرتغال حتى البلطيق فضلاً عن الامبراطورية التي غابت عنها الشمس تماماً.

قمة خامنئي ـ بوتين حسب العارفين والمتابعين سترسم خرائط الطاقة والجغرافيا الجديدة وتبلغها لمبعوث المهزومين، حارس مرمى الناتو الجنوبي ـ أردوغان ـ كما يلي:

أولا:ـ التعاطي مع الزائر التركي ايّ أردوغان على أنه موفد المنكسرين على تخوم الشرق وهو الذي ما وافق أصلاً للقدوم الى طهران (بعد تردّد طويل) إلا بعد امر العمليات الأميركي الذي تمّ إبلاغه إياه من سيده في واشنطن.

ثانيا: ـ التوافق على آلية مشتركة لإخراج المحتلّ الأميركي من شرق الفرات والتنف واستيعاب أدواته (قسد) في جسم الدولة السورية بعد أن تخلت عنها واشنطن وطالبتها بالبحث عن مصيرها بنفسها.

ثالثا: ـ التنسيق التام على آلية خروج المحتل التركي من كلّ شبر سوري دون شروط (خاصة بعد تخلي واشنطن عنه وعن خياره العسكري تماماً) ومطالبته التعاطي مع الدولة السورية لاحقاً بموجب اتفاقية أضنة الشهيرة فقط لا غير، وإبلاغه بنفاد الوقت والصبر الاستراتيجي معه.

رابعا: ـ ضمّه (أيّ تركيا) إنْ تجاوبت الى خرائط الطاقة الجديدة التي سيؤمّنها الروس والإيرانيون بأسعار معقولة للنفط والغاز، لأوروبا وغرب آسيا من تركمانستان حتى البرتغال على قواعد السوق الدولية.

خامسا:ـ التوافق بشكل واضح وقاطع وصارم على انّ أمن آسيا الوسطى والقوقاز وبحر الخزر والمتوسط إنما هي مهمة التحالف الروسي الإيراني وهما أصحاب التاريخ المشترك في فضاء أوراسيا والشريك الاستراتيجي لانتصار الدولة السورية وحلفائها على الإرهاب في بحر الشام وبرّه والمطلوب من كلّ القوى الدخيلة بما فيها تركيا التخلي عن طموحاتها هناك تماماً.

سادسا: ـ التوافق على آلية أمن إقليمي مشترك للخليج الفارسي، تكون فيه روسيا والصين شريكاً استراتيجياً للإيرانيين والعرب بانتظار ان يحسم أنصار الله الأمن في البحر الأحمر وخليج عدن وباب المندب لصالحهم وصالح محور المقاومة ليكونوا القطب الوليد الأهمّ لأمن البحار والمحيط الهندي هناك.

سابعا: ـ دعوة أوروبا للخروج من عبادة أميركا، والتحرّر مما هم فيه من انقياد لواشنطن في أمن الطاقة ما يجعلهم منفعلين وخاسرين في كلّ المعادلات، والبدء بالتدرّج في العودة الى قوانين السوق التقليدية مع أقطاب الشرق الجديد لأخذ دورهم التقليدي المستقلّ.

ثامنا:ـ وضع بوتين حليفه الإيراني بنتائج النصر الكبير على الأطلسيين في أوكرانيا وشروط روسيا الصارمة والحازمة حول شكل الحلّ السياسي المرتقب والذي جوهره نزع سلاح كامل لأوكرانيا وحياد كامل، وتقديم أوروبا وأميركا ضمانات لروسيا بعدم ممارسة ايّ نشاط أطلسي جديد من البلطيق حتى أوروبا الشرقية، والتدرّج بالخروج من فناء منظمة وارسو والعودة بالناتو الى توافقات ١٩٩٧ بين الغرب والاتحاد السوفياتي.

ايّ تمنّع لأردوغان عن قبول هذه المعادلات الجديدة او محاولة التمنّع عن تسلّم شروطها الشديدة الصرامة (وهو الذي تبلغها سلفاً من الروسي والإيراني قبل وصوله إلى طهران) من خلال مغامرة عسكرية ولو محدودة ضدّ سورية سيقابل بالميدان كما قوبل هو وميليشياته الإرهابية في أول العدوان وبحزم أشدّ وأقسى هذه المرة.

هذا ما سيحمله أردوغان كحصيلة اجتماعاته الثنائية والثلاثية في طهران، باعتباره مبعوثاً للأطلسي، وطبقاً للمعلومات التي بين يدينا فإنّ المبعوثين الغربيين الذين لم ينقطعوا عن التواصل مع موسكو، وخاصة الأميركي منهم فإنهم يبحثون عن عودة تدريجية لمعاهدة الاستقرار الاستراتيجي في زمن ترامب، هذا مع الروس، وعن تهدئة شاملة مع الإيرانيبن حتى ولو لم يتمّ الاتفاق على النووي.

والسبب حالات الانهيار العامة التي يعيشها الغرب من عودة كورونا القوية الى تساقط مقولات، ورموز الديمقراطيبن الأميركيين في عيون مواطنيهم وفي عيون حلفائهم ما وراء الأطلسي.

بايدن خسر كلّ شيء الآن ولم يبق أمامه سوى تظهير خسارته بألوان سينما هوليوود.

حتى اليهود الأميركيين الذين عمل كلّ جهده لإرضائهم بعناء السفر الى فلسطيننا وجزيرتنا العربية، لن يغفروا له تخليه عنهم خوفاً ورهبة مما ينتظره من صعود ثلاثي الشرق العظيم، وبالتالي لن يضمنوا فوزه لا في نوفمبر/ تشرين الثاني المقبل ولا في استحقاق ٢٤ الرئاسي!

هذه خرائط عملية نهائية رسمها المنتصر وسيباشر في تحويلها الى وقائع عالم ما بعد أميركا والدولار.

انها السنن الكونية الربانية او الحتمية التاريخية يا بايدن سمّها ما شئت او اختر ايّ منهما ستصل الى نفس النهاية، او الى قعر جهنم كما يردّد الصينيون في ردهات حزبهم الحاكم في بكين.

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

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