Selling the Iraq War: a How-to Guide

MARCH 23, 2023

George Tenet, Colin Powell and John Negroponte at UN Security Council session on Iraq, 2003.


The war on Iraq won’t be remembered for how it was waged so much as for how it was sold. It was a propaganda war, a war of perception management, where loaded phrases, such as “weapons of mass destruction” and “rogue state” were hurled like precision weapons at the target audience: us.

To understand the Iraq war you don’t need to consult generals, but the spin doctors and PR flacks who stage-managed the countdown to war from the murky corridors of Washington where politics, corporate spin and psy-ops spooks cohabit.

Consider the picaresque journey of Tony Blair’s plagiarized dossier on Iraq, from a grad student’s website to a cut-and-paste job in the prime minister’s bombastic speech to the House of Commons. Blair, stubborn and verbose, paid a price for his grandiose puffery. Bush, who looted whole passages from Blair’s speech for his own clumsy presentations, has skated freely through the tempest. Why?

Unlike Blair, the Bush team never wanted to present a legal case for war. They had no interest in making any of their allegations about Iraq hold up to a standard of proof. The real effort was aimed at amping up the mood for war by using the psychology of fear.

Facts were never important to the Bush team. They were disposable nuggets that could be discarded at will and replaced by whatever new rationale that played favorably with their polls and focus groups. The war was about weapons of mass destruction one week, al-Qaeda the next. When neither allegation could be substantiated on the ground, the fall back position became the mass graves (many from the Iran/Iraq war where the U.S.A. backed Iraq) proving that Saddam was an evil thug who deserved to be toppled. The motto of the Bush PR machine was: Move on. Don’t explain. Say anything to conceal the perfidy behind the real motives for war. Never look back. Accuse the questioners of harboring unpatriotic sensibilities. Eventually, even the cagey Wolfowitz admitted that the official case for war was made mainly to make the invasion palatable, not to justify it.

The Bush claque of neocon hawks viewed the Iraq war as a product and, just like a new pair of Nikes, it required a roll-out campaign to soften up the consumers. The same techniques (and often the same PR gurus) that have been used to hawk cigarettes, SUVs and nuclear waste dumps were deployed to retail the Iraq war. To peddle the invasion, Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell and company recruited public relations gurus into top-level jobs at the Pentagon and the State Department. These spinmeisters soon had more say over how the rationale for war on Iraq should be presented than intelligence agencies and career diplomats. If the intelligence didn’t fit the script, it was shaded, retooled or junked.

Take Charlotte Beers whom Powell picked as undersecretary of state in the post-9/11 world. Beers wasn’t a diplomat. She wasn’t even a politician. She was a grand diva of spin, known on the business and gossip pages as “the queen of Madison Avenue.” On the strength of two advertising campaigns, one for Uncle Ben’s Rice and another for Head and Shoulder’s dandruff shampoo, Beers rocketed to the top of the heap in the PR world, heading two giant PR houses: Ogilvy and Mathers as well as J. Walter Thompson.

At the State Department Beers, who had met Powell in 1995 when they both served on the board of Gulf Airstream, worked at, in Powell’s words, “the branding of U.S. foreign policy.” She extracted more than $500 million from Congress for her Brand America campaign, which largely focused on beaming U.S. propaganda into the Muslim world, much of it directed at teens.

“Public diplomacy is a vital new arm in what will combat terrorism over time,” said Beers. “All of a sudden we are in this position of redefining who America is, not only for ourselves, but for the outside world.” Note the rapt attention Beers pays to the manipulation of perception, as opposed, say, to alterations of U.S. policy.

Old-fashioned diplomacy involves direct communication between representatives of nations, a conversational give and take, often fraught with deception (see April Glaspie), but an exchange nonetheless. Public diplomacy, as defined by Beers, is something else entirely. It’s a one-way street, a unilateral broadcast of American propaganda directly to the public, domestic and international, a kind of informational carpet-bombing.

The themes of her campaigns were as simplistic and flimsy as a Bush press conference. The American incursions into Afghanistan and Iraq were all about bringing the balm of “freedom” to oppressed peoples. Hence, the title of the U.S. war: Operation Iraqi Freedom, where cruise missiles were depicted as instruments of liberation. Bush himself distilled the Beers equation to its bizarre essence: “This war is about peace.”

Beers quietly resigned her post a few weeks before the first volley of tomahawk missiles battered Baghdad. From her point of view, the war itself was already won, the fireworks of shock and awe were all after play.

Over at the Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld drafted Victoria “Torie” Clarke as his director of public affairs. Clarke knew the ropes inside the Beltway. Before becoming Rumsfeld’s mouthpiece, she had commanded one of the world’s great parlors for powerbrokers: Hill and Knowlton’s D.C. office.

Almost immediately upon taking up her new gig, Clarke convened regular meetings with a select group of Washington’s top private PR specialists and lobbyists to develop a marketing plan for the Pentagon’s forthcoming terror wars. The group was filled with heavy-hitters and was strikingly bipartisan in composition. She called it the Rumsfeld Group and it included PR executive Sheila Tate, columnist Rich Lowry, and Republican political consultant Rich Galen.

The brain trust also boasted top Democratic fixer Tommy Boggs, brother of NPR’s Cokie Roberts and son of the late Congressman Hale Boggs of Louisiana. At the very time Boggs was conferring with top Pentagon brass on how to frame the war on terror, he was also working feverishly for the royal family of Saudi Arabia. In 2002 alone, the Saudis paid his Qorvis PR firm $20.2 million to protect its interests in Washington. In the wake of hostile press coverage following the exposure of Saudi links to the 9/11 hijackers, the royal family needed all the well-placed help it could buy. They seem to have gotten their money’s worth. Boggs’ felicitous influence-peddling may help to explain why the references to Saudi funding of al-Qaeda were dropped from the recent congressional report on the investigation into intelligence failures and 9/11.

According to the trade publication PR Week, the Rumsfeld Group sent “messaging advice” to the Pentagon. The group told Clarke and Rumsfeld that in order to get the American public to buy into the war on terrorism, they needed to suggest a link to nation states, not just nebulous groups such as al-Qaeda. In other words, there needed to be a fixed target for the military campaigns, some distant place to drop cruise missiles and cluster bombs. They suggested the notion (already embedded in Rumsfeld’s mind) of playing up the notion of so-called rogue states as the real masters of terrorism. Thus was born the Axis of Evil, which, of course, wasn’t an “axis” at all, since two of the states, Iran and Iraq, hated each other, and neither had anything at all to do with the third, North Korea.

Tens of millions in federal money were poured into private public relations and media firms working to craft and broadcast the Bush dictat that Saddam had to be taken out before the Iraqi dictator blew up the world by dropping chemical and nuclear bombs from long-range drones. Many of these PR executives and image consultants were old friends of the high priests in the Bush inner sanctum. Indeed, they were veterans, like Cheney and Powell, of the previous war against Iraq, another engagement that was more spin than combat .

At the top of the list was John Rendon, head of the D.C. firm, the Rendon Group. Rendon is one of Washington’s heaviest hitters, a Beltway fixer who never let political affiliation stand in the way of an assignment. Rendon served as a media consultant for Michael Dukakis and Jimmy Carter, as well as Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Whenever the Pentagon wanted to go to war, he offered his services at a price. During Desert Storm, Rendon pulled in $100,000 a month from the Kuwaiti royal family. He followed this up with a $23 million contract from the CIA to produce anti-Saddam propaganda in the region.

As part of this CIA project, Rendon created and named the Iraqi National Congress and tapped his friend Ahmed Chalabi, the shady financier, to head the organization.

Shortly after 9/11, the Pentagon handed the Rendon Group another big assignment: public relations for the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan. Rendon was also deeply involved in the planning and public relations for the pre-emptive war on Iraq, though both Rendon and the Pentagon refuse to disclose the details of the group’s work there.

But it’s not hard to detect the manipulative hand of Rendon behind many of the Iraq war’s signature events, including the toppling of the Saddam statue (by U.S. troops and Chalabi associates) and videotape of jubilant Iraqis waving American flags as the Third Infantry rolled by them. Rendon had pulled off the same stunt in the first Gulf War, handing out American flags to Kuwaitis and herding the media to the orchestrated demonstration. “Where do you think they got those American flags?” clucked Rendon in 1991. “That was my assignment.”

The Rendon Group may also have had played a role in pushing the phony intelligence that has now come back to haunt the Bush administration. In December of 2002, Robert Dreyfuss reported that the inner circle of the Bush White House preferred the intelligence coming from Chalabi and his associates to that being proffered by analysts at the CIA.

So Rendon and his circle represented a new kind of off-the-shelf PSYOPs , the privatization of official propaganda. “I am not a national security strategist or a military tactician,” said Rendon. “I am a politician, and a person who uses communication to meet public policy or corporate policy objectives. In fact, I am an information warrior and a perception manager.”

What exactly, is perception management? The Pentagon defines it this way: “actions to convey and/or deny selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives and objective reasoning.” In other words, lying about the intentions of the U.S. government. In a rare display of public frankness, the Pentagon actually let slip its plan (developed by Rendon) to establish a high-level den inside the Department Defense for perception management. They called it the Office of Strategic Influence and among its many missions was to plant false stories in the press.

Nothing stirs the corporate media into outbursts of pious outrage like an official government memo bragging about how the media are manipulated for political objectives. So the New York Times and Washington Post threw indignant fits about the Office of Strategic Influence; the Pentagon shut down the operation, and the press gloated with satisfaction on its victory. Yet, Rumsfeld told the Pentagon press corps that while he was killing the office, the same devious work would continue. “You can have the corpse,” said Rumsfeld. “You can have the name. But I’m going to keep doing every single thing that needs to be done. And I have.”

At a diplomatic level, despite the hired guns and the planted stories, this image war was lost. It failed to convince even America’s most fervent allies and dependent client states that Iraq posed much of a threat. It failed to win the blessing of the U.N. and even NATO, a wholly owned subsidiary of Washington. At the end of the day, the vaunted coalition of the willing consisted of Britain, Spain, Italy, Australia, and a cohort of former Soviet bloc nations. Even so, the citizens of the nations that cast their lot with the U.S.A. overwhelmingly opposed the war.

Domestically, it was a different story. A population traumatized by terror threats and shattered economy became easy prey for the saturation bombing of the Bush message that Iraq was a terrorist state linked to al-Qaeda that was only minutes away from launching attacks on America with weapons of mass destruction.
Americans were the victims of an elaborate con job, pelted with a daily barrage of threat inflation, distortions, deceptions and lies, not about tactics or strategy or war plans, but about justifications for war. The lies were aimed not at confusing Saddam’s regime, but the American people. By the start of the war, 66 per cent of Americans thought Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11 and 79 per cent thought he was close to having a nuclear weapon.

Of course, the closest Saddam came to possessing a nuke was a rusting gas centrifuge buried for 13 years in the garden of Mahdi Obeidi, a retired Iraqi scientist. Iraq didn’t have any functional chemical or biological weapons. In fact, it didn’t even possess any SCUD missiles, despite erroneous reports fed by Pentagon PR flacks alleging that it had fired SCUDs into Kuwait.

This charade wouldn’t have worked without a gullible or a complicit press corps. Victoria Clarke, who developed the Pentagon plan for embedded reports, put it succinctly a few weeks before the war began: “Media coverage of any future operation will to a large extent shape public perception.”

During the Vietnam War, TV images of maimed GIs and napalmed villages suburbanized opposition to the war and helped hasten the U.S. withdrawal. The Bush gang meant to turn the Vietnam phenomenon on its head by using TV as a force to propel the U.S.A. into a war that no one really wanted.

What the Pentagon sought was a new kind of living room war, where instead of photos of mangled soldiers and dead Iraqi kids, they could control the images Americans viewed and to a large extent the content of the stories. By embedding reporters inside selected divisions, Clarke believed the Pentagon could count on the reporters to build relationships with the troops and to feel dependent on them for their own safety. It worked, naturally. One reporter for a national network trembled on camera that the U.S. Army functioned as “our protectors.” The late David Bloom of NBC confessed on the air that he was willing to do “anything and everything they can ask of us.”

When the Pentagon needed a heroic story, the press obliged. Jessica Lynch became the war’s first instant celebrity. Here was a neo-gothic tale of a steely young woman wounded in a fierce battle, captured and tortured by ruthless enemies, and dramatically saved from certain death by a team of selfless rescuers, knights in camo and night-vision goggles. Of course, nearly every detail of her heroic adventure proved to be as fictive and maudlin as any made-for-TV-movie. But the ordeal of Private Lynch, which dominated the news for more than a week, served its purpose: to distract attention from a stalled campaign that was beginning to look at lot riskier than the American public had been hoodwinked into believing.

The Lynch story was fed to the eager press by a Pentagon operation called Combat Camera, the Army network of photographers, videographers and editors that sends 800 photos and 25 video clips a day to the media. The editors at Combat Camera carefully culled the footage to present the Pentagon’s montage of the war, eliding such unsettling images as collateral damage, cluster bombs, dead children and U.S. soldiers, napalm strikes and disgruntled troops.

“A lot of our imagery will have a big impact on world opinion,” predicted Lt. Jane Larogue, director of Combat Camera in Iraq. She was right. But as the hot war turned into an even hotter occupation, the Pentagon, despite airy rhetoric from occupation supremo Paul Bremer about installing democratic institutions such as a free press, moved to tighten its monopoly on the flow images out of Iraq. First, it tried to shut down Al Jazeera, the Arab news channel. Then the Pentagon intimated that it would like to see all foreign TV news crews banished from Baghdad.

Few newspapers fanned the hysteria about the threat posed by Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction as sedulously as did the Washington Post. In the months leading up to the war, the Post’s pro-war op-eds outnumbered the anti-war columns by a 3-to-1 margin.

Back in 1988, the Post felt much differently about Saddam and his weapons of mass destruction. When reports trickled out about the gassing of Iranian troops, the Washington Post’s editorial page shrugged off the massacres, calling the mass poisonings “a quirk of war.”

The Bush team displayed a similar amnesia. When Iraq used chemical weapons in grisly attacks on Iran, the U.S. government not only didn’t object, it encouraged Saddam. Anything to punish Iran was the message coming from the White House. Donald Rumsfeld himself was sent as President Ronald Reagan’s personal envoy to Baghdad. Rumsfeld conveyed the bold message than an Iraq defeat would be viewed as a “strategic setback for the United States.” This sleazy alliance was sealed with a handshake caught on videotape. When CNN reporter Jamie McIntyre replayed the footage for Rumsfeld in the spring of 2003, the secretary of defense snapped, “Where’d you get that? Iraqi television?”

The current crop of Iraq hawks also saw Saddam much differently then. Take the writer Laura Mylroie, sometime colleague of the New York Times’ Judy Miller, who persists in peddling the ludicrous conspiracy that Iraq was behind the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

How times have changed! In 1987, Mylroie felt downright cuddly toward Saddam. She wrote an article for the New Republic titled “Back Iraq: Time for a U.S. Tilt in the Mideast,” arguing that the U.S. should publicly embrace Saddam’s secular regime as a bulwark against the Islamic fundamentalists in Iran. The co-author of this mesmerizing weave of wonkery was none other than Daniel Pipes, perhaps the nation’s most bellicose Islamophobe. “The American weapons that Iraq could make good use of include remotely scatterable and anti-personnel mines and counterartillery radar,” wrote Mylroie and Pipes. “The United States might also consider upgrading intelligence it is supplying Baghdad.”

In the rollout for the war, Mylroie seemed to be everywhere hawking the invasion of Iraq. She would often appear on two or three different networks in the same day. How did the reporter manage this feat? She had help in the form of Eleana Benador, the media placement guru who runs Benador Associates. Born in Peru, Benador parlayed her skills as a linguist into a lucrative career as media relations whiz for the Washington foreign policy elite. She also oversees the Middle East Forum, a fanatically pro-Zionist white paper mill. Her clients include some of the nation’s most fervid hawks, including Michael Ledeen, Charles Krauthammer, Al Haig, Max Boot, Daniel Pipes, Richard Perle, and Judy Miller. During the Iraq war, Benador’s assignment was to embed this squadron of pro-war zealots into the national media, on talk shows, and op-ed pages.

Benador not only got them the gigs, she also crafted the theme and made sure they all stayed on message. “There are some things, you just have to state them in a different way, in a slightly different way,” said Benador. “If not, people get scared.” Scared of intentions of their own government.

It could have been different. All of the holes in the Bush administration’s gossamer case for war were right there for the mainstream press to expose. Instead, the U.S. press, just like the oil companies, sought to commercialize the Iraq war and profit from the invasions. They didn’t want to deal with uncomfortable facts or present voices of dissent.

Nothing sums up this unctuous approach more brazenly than MSNBC’s firing of liberal talk show host Phil Donahue on the eve of the war. The network replaced the Donahue Show with a running segment called Countdown: Iraq, featuring the usual nightly coterie of retired generals, security flacks, and other cheerleaders for invasion. The network’s executives blamed the cancellation on sagging ratings. In fact, during its run Donahue’s show attracted more viewers than any other program on the network. The real reason for the pre-emptive strike on Donahue was spelled out in an internal memo from anxious executives at NBC. Donahue, the memo said, offered “a difficult face for NBC in a time of war. He seems to delight in presenting guests who are anti-war, anti-Bush and skeptical of the administration’s motives.”

The memo warned that Donahue’s show risked tarring MSNBC as an unpatriotic network, “a home for liberal anti-war agenda at the same time that our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity.” So, with scarcely a second thought, the honchos at MSNBC gave Donahue the boot and hoisted the battle flag.

It’s war that sells.

There’s a helluva caveat, of course. Once you buy it, the merchants of war accept no returns.

This essay is adapted from Grand Theft Pentagon.

Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is An Orgy of Thieves: Neoliberalism and Its Discontents (with Alexander Cockburn). He can be reached at: or on Twitter @JeffreyStClair3

Saudi King Salman Invites Iranian President to Visit Riyadh

 March 20, 2023

By Staff, Agencies

King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia invited Iranian President Sayyed Ebrahim Raisi to visit the kingdom, following the recent China-brokered rapprochement deal between the two countries.

Mohammad Jamshidi, the Iranian president’s deputy chief of staff for political affairs, made the announcement in a post on his Twitter account on Sunday, saying the Saudi king has extended the invitation in a letter.

“In a letter to President Raisi, the king of Saudi Arabia welcomed the deal between the two brotherly countries, [and] invited him to Riyadh,” Jamshidi said, adding that the Saudi king has called for establishing economic and regional cooperation between the two countries.

The senior Iranian official said Raisi has welcomed the invitation.

The latest invitation is seen as a significant step towards improving ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

After several days of intensive negotiations hosted by China, Iran and Saudi Arabia finally clinched a deal on March 10 to restore diplomatic relations and re-open embassies and missions within two months.

According to a joint statement, Iran and Saudi Arabia underscored the need to respect the national sovereignty and refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of one another.

They agreed to implement a security cooperation agreement signed in April 2001 and another accord reached in May 1998 to boost economic, commercial, investment, technical, scientific, cultural, sports, and youth affairs cooperation.

Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran in January 2016 after Iranian protesters, enraged by the execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr by the Saudi government, stormed its embassy in Tehran.

The two sides had held five rounds of negotiations in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad since April 2021.

We are doubling our strategic missile stockpile: Saree

March 19, 2023

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

Saree points out that the Yemeni armed forces contended a criminal coalition that was effectively and operatively spearheaded by the United States of America.

The Spokesperson for the Yemeni Armed Forces Brigadier General Yahya Saree on September 14, 2019 (AFP)

The spokesperson for the Yemeni Armed Forces, Brigadier General Yahya Saree, said, “Our armed forces managed to thwart the declared and undeclared goals of aggression against Yemen.”

Saree added commemoratively, in today’s press conference, “Today, as we approach the ninth year anniversary of the aggression against Yemen, we proclaim to the world that the Yemeni people have not and will not surrender.”

He also pointed out that “the [yemeni] armed forces contended a criminal coalition that was effectively and operatively spearheaded by the United States of America, who directed the coalition of aggression’s operation rooms,” pointing out that “the Americans were in charge of running espionage activity, monitoring, surveillance, and logistical support for the aggression.”

Brigadier General Saree also confirmed that the Americans directed each and every raid “by setting the target, training the pilots, supplying the planes with fuel, and guiding them into the Yemeni cities.”

Saree also revealed that the Americans “oversaw and managed the imposition of the blockade on Yemen,” stressing that “the battle of the Yemenis with the alliance of evil has not ended yet.”

The stock of strategic missiles was doubled

The top Yemeni official confirmed that the Yemeni missile force now possesses expertise and capabilities, which makes it “more ready to ram more enemy bases and facilities,” explaining that it possesses missile systems in abundance and in a wide-range variety, including “ballistic and winged.”

He added that his forces are continuing to “double the strategic stockpile of missiles,” as a deterrent force that has proven effective, explaining that “the unmanned air force granted the Yemenis a significant edge in their war against the aggressor’s coalition, and the competent employment of the missiles piqued the interest of foreign experts.”

Brigadier General Saree further confirmed that “the Saudi enemy is downplaying the losses in its ranks,” taking decisive action against whoever attempts to reveal them. 

In the meantime, he warned that “the client regimes” who launched this aggression against Yemen “must come to terms with reality, today Yemen has become significantly more powerful.”

He addressed the countries of aggression, saying, “Today, our missiles and drones can reach your capitals to target your military and vital installations,” vowing to redouble efforts in preparation for any potential developments, “including readiness to confront the forces of invasion and aggression.”

He pointed out that the aerial raids launched by the aggression against Yemen amounted to more than 274,302 raids, with only 59 raids last year.

Furthermore, Saree affirmed the armed forces’ readiness to “implement any directives to adequately deal with any foreign military presence on Yemeni territory,” stressing that “the fires that have ignited the war may flare up again.”

The losses of the Saudi enemy army amounted to more than ten thousand dead

The top Yemeni official went on to unpack in detail the operations carried out by the armed forces, noting that they conducted more than 13,229 military operations.

He pointed out that “the missile force carried out 1,828 military operations, of which 1,237 targeted enemy gatherings inside Yemeni territory,” and “589 missile operations targeted the enemy beyond Yemeni territory, including operations in the depths of KSA and UAE.”

On the other hand, the losses of the Saudi army during the 8 years of aggression against Yemen amounted to “more than 10,840 dead and injured,” while “the losses of the Emirati enemy amounted to more than 1,251 dead and injured, including high ranking military officers.” Furthermore, “36 Saudi officers and soldiers were killed and 45 others were injured during the eighth year of aggression.”

As for the mercenary forces, Saree said that “more than 40 Sudanese officers and soldiers were killed during the eighth year of the aggression, and 65 others were injured.”

“The losses in the ranks of the Yemeni mercenaries amounted to more than 261,243 dead and injured throughout the 8 years of the war”.

“In the eighth year, the death toll of Yemeni mercenaries exceeded 2,500, with more than 5,050 injured,” he said, adding, “Our forces succeeded in destroying more than 18,397 vehicles, armored vehicles, personnel carriers, tanks, bulldozers, and weapons.” 

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الصين.. كل السهام أصابت أهدافها

الاربعاء 15 آذار 2023

تعيش الصين في بيئة دولية غير مستقرة، فالنظام الدولي يشهد مرحلة انتقالية هي الأخطر ربما، بانتظار ولادة نظام عالمي جديد.

الصين.. كل السهام أصابت أهدافها

انطلاقاً من المثل الصيني القائل: “لو أردت أن تلعب، فعليك أن تعرف قواعد اللعبة وزمنها”. لم يكن الإعلان عن الاتفاق لاستعادة العلاقات الدبلوماسية بين إيران والمملكة العربية السعودية حدثاً مفاجئاً، وخاصة على صعيد مراكز الدراسات والأبحاث الصينية.

لقد جرى الحديث عن ذلك عند زيارة الرئيس الصيني شي جين بينغ إلى المملكة العربية السعودية في كانون الأول/ديسمبر الماضي، وكانت التوقعات بأن ينضم الرئيس الإيراني إبراهيم رئيسي إلى تلك القمة.

جاء الإعلان عن التوصل إلى هذا الاتفاق برعاية صينية، ليكون إعلاناً لانخراط بكين وبشكل أكبر في قضايا الشرق الأوسط، بل سعيها للعب دور الوساطة في حل العديد من المشكلات الدولية وأهمها الحرب في أوكرانيا.

لم تكن بكين لتنخرط في ذلك لو لم تكن لديها فرص كبيرة للنجاح، خاصة أنها بغنى عن أي فشل قد يحسب عليها، ولا سيما على صعيد سياستها الخارجية، الهادئة والثابتة والمتوازنة، والقادرة على الفعل والابتعاد عن ردود الأفعال والصخب الإعلامي ما أمكن.

جاء ذلك الإعلان بعد انتهاء الصين من ترتيب ملفاتها الداخلية، ابتداء من إغلاق ملف كوفيد-19، وبدء عجلة الإنتاج في البلاد، مروراً بإعادة فتح حدودها مع العالم، وانتهاء بالتوصل إلى انتخاب الرئيس شي جين بينغ لولاية رئاسية ثالثة تكرسه قائداً استثنائياً في الصين.

تكريسه قائداً استثنائياً يتطلب منه تحقيق إنجازات استثنائية تنتظرها البلاد، ويتشوّق الشعب الصيني لتحقيقها. ولعل ثقتهم بالرئيس شي نابعة من نهجه الثابت في وضع برنامج زمني دقيق لتحقيق كل خطوة تعهد أمام الشعب بتحقيقها. وهو ما تجلى في تحقيقه القضاء على الفقر وفقاً للبرنامج الزمني المحدد، والذي لم يستطع انتشار الوباء في البلاد إيقافه أو تأجيله. 

لقد وضع الرئيس شي عنواناً لولايته الثالثة وهو “استكمال بناء الدولة” لتكون دولة عصرية بكل ما تعنيه الكلمة من معنى. فرغم التطور والنجاح اللذين حققتهما الصين، لكنه لا يزال يرى أن الصين دولة من دول العالم الثالث، تعاني ما تعانيه من مشكلات كثيرة على الصعيد الداخلي. كما تواجه تحديات كبيرة على الصعيد الخارجي.

فالصين دولة ليست محظوظة على صعيد الجغرافيا السياسية، فهي تعيش في بيئة إقليمية مضطربة، ولها حدود طويلة مع 14 بلداً، وما يزيد من تلك المخاطر أن هذه البلدان تعيش أوضاعاً أمنية غير مستقرة، وتنذر بمشكلات قابلة للانتقال عبر الحدود في حال حدوثها. 

كما تعيش الصين في بيئة دولية غير مستقرة، فالنظام الدولي يشهد مرحلة انتقالية هي الأخطر ربما، بانتظار ولادة نظام عالمي جديد. ولم تجر العادة أن يولد نظام عالمي جديد من دون مخاض عسير، وحرب طاحنة تكرس المنتصرين قادة لذلك النظام.

لقد استطاعت بكين ولعقود مضت النجاح في ما يسمى “التفكير بإيجابية” في تعاطيها مع المعطيات الدولية، بمعنى أنها لم تسع لمزاحمة الحضور الأميركي في المناطق الاستراتيجية من العالم، بل فكرت في كيفية الربح من اللعب في الهوامش على الساحة الدولية. 

فذهبت للاستثمار في أفريقيا حين كان الغرب والولايات المتحدة غير مهتمين بتلك القارة، وحققت نجاحات كبيرة فيها، جعلت من القارة هدفاً للتنافس الأميركي والغربي عليها في ما بعد.

كما استثمرت في الوجود العسكري الأميركي في العالم، من خلال افتراضها أن هذا الوجود يحقق نوعاً من الاستقرار في تلك المناطق، وبالتالي يضمن لها استمرار مصالحها الاقتصادية فيها.

ولم تكن بكين في عجلة من أمرها للانخراط في التصدي للمشكلات الدولية، ولعب دور الوساطة فيها، طالما أن هناك من يقوم بهذا الدور، ويوفر عليها تبعات القيام بذلك.

وكان السؤال الأهم بالنسبة إلى دول العالم جميعاً، ودول العالم الثالث على وجه التحديد هو: متى ستكون بكين قادرة وراغبة في تحمل نفقات قيادة العالم؟ وكانت الإجابة الصينية من وجهة نظري، أن الصين ليست في عجلة من أمرها طالما أن هناك قيادة للعالم تضمن لبكين مصالحها وتحقق لها غاياتها، خاصة وأن الصين قد أصبحت دولة كبرى في ظل هذا النظام الدولي القائم، بمعنى أنها نجحت في التعامل بإيجابية معه، ولا مصلحة لها في تغييره إذا ما استمر ذلك.

لكن الصعود الكبير للصين، وصل حد تهديد القائد الدولي لهذا النظام، فلم يعد من الممكن بالنسبة إليه التغاضي عن هذا الصعود الصيني، والعمل على إيقافه، أو على الأقل عرقلته.

لكن ذلك لم يكن يسيراً، فبكين استطاعت نسج علاقاتها الاقتصادية وتشبيكها بشكل كبير مع الأعداء قبل الأصدقاء، فلم يعد بمقدور الولايات المتحدة أو الغرب عموماً، الاستغناء عن تلك العلاقة مع الصين، أو حتى إيجاد سبل لتفكيكها.

وفي العقدين الأخيرين، أصبح التخلص من الصين بالنسبة إلى الولايات المتحدة “كمن يطلق النار على قدميه”. أما اليوم، فقد أصبح “كمن يطلق النار على صدره” ربما.

كما أصبح لزاماً على بكين أن تتقدم حفاظاً على مصالحها المتنامية، فمن ترد أن تصبح الدولة الأكبر في العالم لا يمكنها الاستمرار في البقاء خارج دائرة الصراع، وجني المكاسب الاقتصادية فقط.

من هنا، بدأت الصين بالتصدي لهذا الدور، والانطلاق نحو التدخل في المشكلات الدولية، والبحث عن حلول لها، من زاوية أنها دولة تحظى باحترام جميع الأطراف، ولا تقدم نفسها كدولة تقف مع طرف ضد آخر، ولا تفكر في استخدام القوة أو التلويح بها. بمعنى أنها تقدم نموذجاً جديداً للدولة العظمى التي تمتلك رؤية استراتيجية قوامها “الربح المشترك” لجميع الأطراف.

بمعنى أن بكين ستعمل على التخلص من “النظرية الواقعية” في العلاقات الدولية، التي كرستها الولايات المتحدة ولعقود مضت، تلك النظرية التي تؤمن بمبدأ القوة، القوة وحدها ولا شيء سواها، لتكرس “النظرية الاعتمادية” في العلاقات الدولية كبديل منها. هذه النظرية ترى أن جميع الدول تحتاج إلى بعضها بعضاً، ودور كل منها هو مكمل لباقي الأدوار وليس بديلاً منه، أو منافساً له. وبالتالي، فإن التعاون هو الطريق لتحقيق الكسب المشترك.

من هنا، فقد أطلقت بكين مجموعة من المبادرات، أولها مبادرتها للأمن العالمي والتي تضم 6 بنود، وهي مبادرة هامة ومفيدة بالنسبة إلى منطقتنا على وجه التحديد، كونها لم تغفل القضية الفلسطينية. وهي القضية التي كان لبكين موقف تاريخي مشرف منها، لجهة وقوفها مع الحق العربي، ورفضها إقامة علاقات دبلوماسية مع “دولة” الاحتلال حتى العام 1992، وبعد أن ذهب العرب إلى مؤتمر مدريد للسلام بدعوة أميركية، ومن دون أن يشترطوا حضور الصين كراع لهذه العملية، وهو ما جعل الصين تعيد حساباتها وتتجه للبحث عن مصالحها أولاً، مع الاحتفاظ بموقفها المبدئي من فلسطين. 

كما عملت بكين على تجهيز حزمة من المبادرات لحل العديد من المشكلات والقضايا الدولية، وكانت أولى هذه المبادرات التي توّجت بالنجاح مبدئياً، هي الوساطة الصينية بين كل من إيران والسعودية. 

تدرك بكين حجم التعقيدات التي تعترض هذا الملف، لكنها في الوقت نفسه، تجد فيه فرصة كبيرة لتحسين سمعتها لدى العالم الإسلامي عبر نجاحها في تحقيق الوفاق بين أكبر دولتين إسلاميتين في المنطقة. 

ففي السنوات الأخيرة، تعرضت بكين لحملة دعائية غربية روّجت لما يسمّى بـ “اضطهاد الحكومة الصينية للإيغور” المسلمين في الصين، بهدف اللعب على عواطف الشعوب الإسلامية وتحريضها ضد الصين. 

ولتكذيب تلك الادعاءات، تكفي الإشارة إلى وجود 10 قوميات مسلمة في الصين، فلماذا لم يسمع أحد عن اضطهاد الحكومة الصينية سوى للإيغور؟! إن نجاح بكين في تلك الوساطة يشكل خطوة أولى في الاتجاه الصحيح لإيجاد حل للمشكلات العالقة بين البلدين.

لقد جاءت هذه المبادرة انطلاقاً من تفهم بكين لحجم هاتين الدولتين ومكانتهما، وتأثيرهما الكبير في الساحتين الإقليمية والدولية، وانطلاقاً من أن التقارب بينهما هو الطريق لحل معظم المشكلات القائمة في المنطقة.  وما يعزز من فرص النجاح لهذه المبادرة، هو الرغبة المشتركة لطرفيها في تحقيق ذلك، انطلاقاً من رؤية عقلانية تحكم كلا الموقفين. وما يعزز من تلك الفرص، غياب العامل الأميركي المعطل لها، في ظل الفتور في العلاقات بين المملكة والولايات المتحدة. وفي ظل انسداد الأفق أمام طهران في استعادة تنفيذ برنامجها النووي. 

إن تبادل العلاقات الدبلوماسية بين بلدين لا يشكل حلاً للخلافات القائمة بينهما، لكنه يشكل خطوة في الاتجاه الصحيح نحو مد جسور للحوار والبحث عن قواسم مشتركة يمكن البناء عليها. فالصين والولايات المتحدة، ورغم وجود تبادل دبلوماسي بينهما، فإن البلدين يعيشان حالة من العداء المتصاعد، لكن العقلانية تفرض عليهما بقاء القنوات مفتوحة للتواصل ونزع فتيل التوترات. فالتبادل الدبلوماسي وسيلة بكل تأكيد، وليس غاية.

إن الآراء المذكورة في هذه المقالة لا تعبّر بالضرورة عن رأي الميادين وإنما تعبّر عن رأي صاحبها حصراً

مقالات متعلقة

Failed Saudi Attempts To Affect Yemen’s Position After Restoring Relations With Iran

Mar 13, 2023

The Ambassador of the Republic of Yemen in Tehran, Ibrahim Al-Dailami, confirmed that the Saudi regime failed in its attempt to influence Sanaa political and military position, and that the only way for Riyadh to find peace with Yemenis is to stop the aggression and siege imposed on them, and begin serious negotiations with Sanaa, warning that the continuation of the blockade will lead to entering a new phase of confrontation.

Al-Dailami revealed in an interview with Al-Manar TV that the Saudi regime tried to exploit its negotiations with Tehran during the last period to influence the political and military decision and position of Sanaa.

“The Iranians made it clear to the Saudis during the meetings that the relationship with Yemen is one of sincere brotherhood, and that the aggression and blockade must end,” he added.

The Iranians assured Saudi Arabia that “the decision is in Sanaa, not in Tehran.”

Al-Dailami commented on the recently announced Iranian-Saudi rapprochement agreement by saying, “If the understandings bring peace in the region, it will be in the interest of everyone, but the Saudis are the ones who want to change in the region.”

For his part, Yemen’s ambassador to Syria, Abdullah Sabri, said: The Iranian-Saudi agreement is encouraging, and we are waiting to see to what extent its implementation will be, as it is an inauguration of a new phase of consensus, noting that China’s sponsorship of the Iranian-Saudi agreement show that China, as an international power, has become more flexible and free from traditional procedures.

Ambassador Sabri confirmed: “We reached a truce in Yemen about a year ago as a result of the Yemeni force. Consequently, Saudi Arabia understood that it was incapable of a military solution.”

Many reports revealed during the past periods that Saudi Arabia is trying to seek help from the parties of the axis of resistance to influence the decision of Sanaa, and push it to back down from its negotiating position and its demands. However, the responses received by Riyadh all confirmed that the decision can only be found in Sanaa, and that it must negotiate directly with the Yemenis and respond to their demands represented in ending the aggression, siege, and occupation.

In another context, Ambassador Al-Dailami considered that “the first phase of the aggression ended during the past eight years, but the siege continued.”

He added that the continuation of the blockade will lead to a new phase of the war.

The leader of the revolution, Sayyid Abd al-Malik Badr al-Din al-Houthi, recently confirmed that the current state of “de-escalation” will not continue indefinitely, warning the forces of the aggression coalition and its sponsors that “patience will run out”, in a clear message pointing to the need to stop procrastination and prevarication.

Earlier, the armed forces called on the countries of aggression not to miss the opportunity for peace on offer, and to take the warnings of the leader of the revolution seriously.

A member of the Ansar Allah Political Bureau, Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, warned a few days ago that “negotiations may not succeed, and the Yemeni people may be forced to wage a decisive battle to end the aggression and lift the siege.”

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1985 Bir Al-Abed Terrorist Blast: “Made in USA”

March 10, 2023

A banner painted with “Made in USA” was raised at the scene of the 1985 Bir Al-Abed blast.

In March 8, 1985 a powerful explosion rocked Beirut, near the house of Ayatollah Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlalah, an influential cleric who had been described as the spiritual leader of Hezbollah.

Sayyed Fadlallah was the target of the explosion, but fortunately he escaped the assassination attempt.

The massive blast killed or injured more than 100 people in Bir Al-Abed in Beirut’s southern suburb, Dahiyeh.

The Central Intelligence Agency, CIA, was blamed for the terrorist blast, according to confirmed reports by Western media.

Following the attack, a banner painted with “Made in USA” was raised at the scene of the explosion in Bir Al-Abed, in a clear indication that the people of this region consider the US as the “number 1 state sponsor of terrorism.”

Al-Manar’s Areej Fatima Al-Husseini prepared the following video that talks more about the blast.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Situation in Syria Not Tenable, We Are Open to Dialogue with Iran

 March 8, 2023

Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud (photo from archive).

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah denied on Tuesday divergence between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, saying reports that have made such claims are “overdramatized” and “far from the truth.”

Speaking to the press in London, he said: “All decisions in OPEC and OPEC+ are made through very extensive dialogue between all the partners … Every statement I see that is made on the record from all of the partners in OPEC+ reflects that consensus.”

“We always say that we are committed to a stable market … (the minister of energy) feels the market doesn’t need any production changes until the end of the year,” Bin Farhan said.

He made his remarks on the sidelines of his participation at round-table talks organized by Chatham House – International Affairs Think Tank.

On the Saudi-Iranian ties, the Saudi FM said, “We are open to dialogue with Iran.”

Moreover, the FM revealed that dialogue is ongoing about Syria’s return to the Arab League, “but it is too soon to talk about that.”

“An engagement in order to address these concerns is necessary. And that may well lead eventually to Syria returning to the Arab League et cetera. But for now, I think it’s too early to discuss,” he told reporters.

“I can say that … that there is a consensus building in the Arab world, that the status quo is not tenable. And that means we have to find a way to move beyond that status quo,” said Bin Farhan.

Source: Websites

Press conference for the Russian and Saudi foreign ministers
Iran is the guardian of the strait… Most of the Gulf countries’ oil passes through the Strait of Hormuz

Sports Washing Brutality: British MPs Blast F1 Organization over Bahrain, Saudi Arabia

3 Mar 2023

By Staff, Agencies

A group of British MPs has written to the organizers of Formula One [F1] to express their “grave concerns” over motorsport’s role in “sports washing the appalling human rights records of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia”.

Ahead of the new F1 season, which begins this Sunday, in Bahrain, 20 parliamentarians including Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, and Layla Moran, called for an independent inquiry into F1 and the governing body Federation Internationale de l’Automobile’s [FIA] activities in countries with questionable human rights records.

McDonnell, Labor’s former shadow chancellor said: “The presence of F1 gives the impression that Bahrain is somehow a normal state. Its abuse of human rights means it certainly isn’t. No sport should be providing this regime with any credibility.”

The British politicians condemned F1’s “refusal to engage with key stakeholders including human rights groups” before it awarded Bahrain the “longest contract in F1 history, breaching F1’s own policy”.

“Multimillion-dollar profits must not come at the expense of human rights,” the letter to F1 and the FIA, reads.

“You have a duty to ensure your presence has a positive impact, which will not be possible whilst political prisoners remain behind bars in Bahrain. If Lewis Hamilton can speak out, why can’t you?”

“I along with other MPs and peers from the UK parliament have written an open letter to FIA and F1,” Lord Scriven, a Liberal Democrat confirmed.

“We are asking them to do things to improve the way the sport operates around human rights, they are not extreme or radical things, they are issues that we would expect any sporting organization with any moral leadership at the heart of how motorsports, is governed and operates.”

Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, the director of the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy [Bird], heralded the MPs letter, adding that F1’s leadership “cannot simply claim that their presence in these countries has a positive impact when evidence demonstrates otherwise”.

“F1 continues to profiteer from brutal Gulf autocrats, making multi-millions whilst victims pay the price,” Alwadaei said. “When Lewis Hamilton is able to speak out in the face of injustice, he sets a moral standard that F1 management must follow.”

Speaking ahead of the Grand Prix on Sunday, Hamilton, the motorsport’s most high-profile driver, said: “I couldn’t say whether or not I know that it’s got worse. I’m not sure it has got better while we’ve been coming all these years.”

He continued: “I know for me, I’ve only in the latter years started to understand more and more of the challenges of the people here in Bahrain, and also then in Saudi, it was my first time there last year but of course I read about some of the troubles there… But more needs to be done, without doubt. Whether or not that will happen, time will tell.”

Construction of the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir began in 2002 and cost $150m. The first race took place on 4 April 2004 and was won by Michael Schumacher, driving a Ferrari.

لا خريطة طريق أميركيّة إلى رئاسة الجمهوريّة

الأربعاء 1 آذار 2023

(هيثم الموسوي)

هيام القصيفي  

يعوّل مرشحون على الدور الأميركي في دعم مرشح للرئاسة أو التفاهم على اختيار رئيس الجمهورية. لكن، بقدر ما يكبر الرهان على تدخّل قريب، لا يظهر أن لدى واشنطن أيّ خريطة طريق للرئاسة

يرمي مرشحون ثقلهم الرئاسي على دعم واشنطن لوصولهم الى سدة الرئاسة وعملها لتسويقهم. ويعلّق آخرون الأمل على دعم فرنسي، وسعودي، للدفع نحو مبادرة سريعة لحسم الموقف من الانتخابات. ويتكئ مرشحون غيرهم على موافقة إيران وحزب الله أولاً وآخراً على دعمهم. بين هؤلاء جميعاً، لا يزال الكلام عن الدعم الأميركي متقدماً كمعبر أساسي للوصول الى قصر بعبدا، من خلال التفاهم مع فرنسا والسعودية لإعلان اسم الرئيس المتفق عليه. ويأخذ هذا الكلام طابعاً أكثر جدية حين يصبح تلقّي الدعم مشروطاً بتوافق أميركي – إيراني على شخصية الرئيس المقبل، بما يعكس تفاهماً كاملاً بين واشنطن وطهران على ملفات متقاطعة، تبدأ بالاتفاق النووي وتصل الى لبنان.

هذا الرهان الكبير على الدور الأميركي، وإن كان مسلّماً به، لا يبدو واقعياً من وجهة النظر الأميركية، لأسباب لا تتعلق بالدور الأميركي بالمطلق، بل بطريقة إدارة واشنطن ملف لبنان في مرحلة تتقاطع فيها التحديات الدولية.

لا يتعاطى الأميركيون، بحسب مطّلعين على مواقف الإدارة الأميركية، مع ملف لبنان، وليس الرئاسة فحسب، على أنه من الأولويات التي تستدعي مبادرة أو تحركاً بغير ما أنجز حتى الآن في مواضيع محددة تختلف أهميتها، من ترسيم بحري وما تلاه من إطلاق موقوف في ملفّ المرفأ يحمل الجنسية الأميركية. هذه بنود يتراوح تصنيفها تكتيكيّاً واستراتيجيّاً بدرجة متفاوتة لا تصل الى مرتبة استحضار ملف كامل عن لبنان والسير به نقطة تلو أخرى. فما جرى حتى الآن تفاهمات وترتيبات متفرقة، لا تندرج ضمن سيناريو متكامل لمعالجة الوضع اللبناني، ولو أن اللبنانيين يحمّلونها أحياناً أكثر مما تحتمل.

لا تملك الولايات المتحدة خريطة طريق واضحة بالنسبة الى لبنان عموماً أو الانتخابات الرئاسية خصوصاً. والمقاربة مختلفة تماماً عن مرحلة استنفرت فيها واشنطن أجهزتها وعملت على التنسيق مع الأمم المتحدة وفرنسا واستحضرت القرار 1559 وبرمجت أولوياتها وقلبت الرأي العام من أجل الوضع اللبناني. «فعلياً»، لا تجهيز لبنية تحتية وإعداد إحاطة شاملة بالوضع الداخلي، بل ما يتم التعامل به مجرد رعاية للاستقرار، وهذا أمر ليس تكراراً لشعارٍ تتمسّك به واشنطن، ولا يفترض التقليل من شأنه أو اعتباره شأناً عادياً. لكن يبقى إطاره محدوداً بالأمن وبعض الإحاطات السياسية المحلية كي لا تذهب الأوضاع الى انفجار يتفلّت في لحظة غير ممسوكة. وعلى هذه المقاربة العامة، يمكن فهم طريقة التعامل مع انتخابات رئاسة الجمهورية.

هناك مجموعة عناوين يجري الحديث عنها. لا يزال الملف الرئاسي لبنانياً، ولم يصبح بعد ملفاً إقليمياً أو دولياً، وهو غائب عن الطاولة الأميركية كملف أول أو حتى ثانٍ. الأولوية الحالية لواشنطن هي الانشغال بملفات أوكرانيا وروسيا والصين. وهي حتى الساعة لا تزال تتعامل مع لبنان على مستوى إداري عادي، وليس على مستوى مسؤولين من الدرجة الأولى، لناحية رسم استراتيجية كبرى يمكن الدخول فيها مع أطراف إقليميين أو دوليين لوضعها موضع التنفيذ. وهذا يعني أن القيادات اللبنانية لا تزال قادرة على إجراء حوارات في ما بينها للتوصل الى انتخاب رئيس جديد من دون الاتّكال على تدخّل خارجي في اختياره، ما يشكل فرصة داخلية حقيقية يمكن هذه القيادات أن تغتنمها في إدارة ملف الرئاسة، فتكون عامل دفع محلي لمقاربة خارجية، سواء من جانب واشنطن أو غيرها.

لا تتعاطى واشنطن مع ملفّ لبنان على أنه من الأولويّات التي تستدعي مبادرة ما

تتصرّف واشنطن مع انتخابات رئاسة الجمهورية، ومع المرشحين المتداولة أسماؤهم علانية أو في الكواليس، كما تصرّفت مع اختيار رئيس الجمهورية العماد ميشال عون التي لم تكن مرحّبة بانتخابه. أي بحكم الأمر الواقع لا أكثر ولا أقل. هذا الموقف لا يعكس أداءً سلبياً بقدر ما يعكس حياداً مطلقاً حيال كل ما يطرح في شأن الرئاسة في الوقت الراهن، سواء بالنسبة الى توقيت الانتخاب أو هوية المرشح الذي سيصبح رئيساً. هذا لا يعني أنها لا تعرف المرشحين وظروف دعمهم الداخلي والخارجي ولا تفضّل في المطلق أحدهم على الآخر، لكنها تتعاطى بواقعية مع أيّ من المطروحين الذين تعرف تاريخهم وقدرة كل منهم على التعامل مع الأزمات المتراكمة من كل جوانبها. لكن ما تعرفه كذلك، وتريده، هو تمكّنه من السير بمشروع إنقاذ اقتصادي وهذا ما تعوّل عليه. إذ إن هناك إشارة قوية بضرورة تسريع الانتخابات للإتيان برئيس يباشر فوراً العمل على خطة إنقاذية ويبدأ المفاوضات مع صندوق النقد ومقاربة الملفات الاقتصادية، وليس رئيساً ينتظر مشاورات داخلية وخارجية من أجل إدارة الأزمة، لأن لبنان بالنسبة إلى الأميركيين لم يعد يحتمل مزيداً من الانتظار لحلّ مشاكله الاقتصادية والاجتماعية، ما يضع أمام القوى السياسية مهمة مقاربة الانتخابات برؤية جديدة لا مجرّد التوافق على أي رئيس من أجل إدارة أزمة ستولّد حكماً أزمات جديدة.

مقالات ذات صلة

US Attempts To Impede The Muscat Negotiations; Sana’a Threatens To Resume Military Operations

 Feb 25, 2023

After five months of negotiations, the Zionist-American-Saudi-Emirati aggression coalition is still looking for different kind of ways to impede steps that could possibly extend the armistice.
This time, the Saudi aggression wants to open roads(in frontline zones) in exchange for paying the salaries of employees, opening the port of Hodeidah, and expanding the routes from Sanaa airport. However, Sanaa completely rejected this offer, as it links humanitarian files with military ones, stressing the need to separate the humanitarian file, for it is an entitlement to any progress towards any armistice.

An airstrike in Sanaʽa on 11 May 2015

The leader of the revolution, Sayyid Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, threatened during a speech last Friday to resume military operations, accusing the aggression coalition of prolonging the negotiations and evading the implementation of humanitarian entitlements, emphasizing the complications that stand in the way of negotiations.

Washington changed Riyadh’s position

The recent round of discussions would have yielded a comprehensive solution to the war on Yemen, according to a private source in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sanaa, had it not been for the interventions of the United States of America through its ambassador to obstruct any signature by the party of the aggressive Saudi coalition, indicating that among the agreements that the parties would have concluded, were it not for the interventions Washington and its directions to the Saudi side, were total military withdrawal from Yemen and the direct payment of salaries to employees.

It was agreed to hand over the salaries of all employees, and Saudi Arabia gave verbal approval to Sanaa in this regard. However, the visit of the American envoy to the region changed Riyadh’s position later, as the latter has not yet responded to the proposal of Sanaa, which was submitted through the Omani mediator, that requires expediting the payment of salaries starting next March.

Three key points

Regarding the latest developments in the course of the negotiations taking place in Muscat, the leader of the revolution, Sayyid Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi, revealed what is going on behind the scenes of the negotiations in Muscat, accusing the United States of America of deliberately impeding peace and seeking to hinder the efforts made by the Sultanate of Oman in order to reach an agreement that ends the suffering of the Yemeni people.

The leader of the revolution said, in his speech on the occasion of the anniversary of the martyr President Saleh al-Sammad, that the American side is working to obstruct the Omani efforts in three main points, the first of which is its attempt to distance the coalition from any obligations arising from any agreement, and to acquit Saudi Arabia of its direct role as the leader of the aggression against the people of Yemen. In addition, it refused to link the payment of state employees’ salaries to the proceeds of oil and gas sales. Also, they are trying to “transform the matter into a purely internal conflict” and “attempt to delay the expulsion of the occupying foreign forces.”

In the second point, Sayyid Al-Houthi explained that “the American is trying to turn the issue into a purely internal issue,” stressing that “this can never be accepted, and the issue cannot turn into a problem with small mercenaries who are nothing but recruits with the aggression coalition.” Stressing that: “The role of the one who presented himself since the beginning of the aggression as a leader of the war and an executor of offensive operations against our country cannot turn into a mere mediator.”

With regard to the third point, the Leader stated that “the Americans are playing their game on the issue of the withdrawal of foreign forces from the country and are trying to postpone this step indefinitely,” stressing that “we cannot accept the continuation of the occupation and the presence of foreign forces in our country, and this is a fundamental issue. for us.”

“We will continue with all options, with all efforts in all fields, to achieve complete freedom and complete independence, and to retain all parts of our country from every foreign occupation,” Sayyid Al-Houthi assured.

America obstructs the path of peace

Western media confirmed in its reports that America is obstructing the peace process in Yemen, as the American magazine “National Interest” revealed in a recently published report that the decision of the war powers in Yemen was withdrawn from voting in the Senate during the past month, noting that if the decision was passed, this would have ended the direct US military intervention in the Saudi war in Yemen.

According to the magazine, the withdrawal of the resolution came after President Joe promised Eden and his administration to veto the resolution if it was passed, which confirms Washington’s unwillingness to end the war, which expresses their desire for a return to military escalation.

Dangerously opportunistic approach

The Russian delegate, Dmitry Polyansky, to the Security Council, during a special session in mid-January held to discuss the situation in Yemen, said: “The international community must do everything in its power to restore peace to Yemen,” continuing to say: “Moscow maintains its relationship with the Sanaa authorities.”

The representative of Russia added that Western countries seek to plunder and export Yemeni oil and gas, and do not want to reach a comprehensive solution in Yemen, indicating that the goal of Westerners is not to reach a comprehensive solution in Yemen, but rather to export its “oil” to global markets. He said: Western countries practice opportunism by focusing on obtaining Yemeni oil and gas, and we consider this opportunistic Western approach very dangerous and harmful to sustainable peace in Yemen.

Dangerous plots and moves

Political analysts and observers confirmed that there is a clear duplicity of the Americans in Yemen, as their talk about peace contradicts their movements in reality. There is a continuous aggressive behavior and an influx of American forces in Bab al-Mandab and off the Yemeni coast, and the construction of military bases in the governorates of Hadramout and al-Mahra, in addition to the islands of Mayon and Socotra, adding: that there are conspiracies and dangerous movements by American-British plotters, in a new transformation of the conflict and with new methods in a clear dedication to the continuation of the aggression and siege on Yemen, all of Yemen, with American-Western intransigence and insistence in imposing a state of no peace and no war and tireless work in building occupation projects, and this is what is happening in reality , and without a clear horizon for a solution, blocking any moves or efforts that contribute to achieving peace.

Repeated attempts to escalate

They pointed out that Washington views peace in Yemen as a real danger threatening its colonial presence in the country, especially with the adherence of Sanaa, which succeeded in imposing its conditions and demands on the negotiating table, in controlling over all the details of the open confrontation with the forces of the Zionist-American-Saudi-Emirati coalition of aggression, in various fields.

Sanaa is able to overcome the plots

The American, British and all the countries of aggression in Yemen, realize their inability to confront Sanaa after their failure for the eighth year in a row to achieve any significant victory in the military field. Their fears lie not only in getting off Yemen, but also in what Sanaa represents today, of a great power capable of overturning the military equations in the region and influencing regional balances, which means that the Western colonial presence that dominates and invests the wealth of the neighborhood will not be safe.

In conclusion:

The American steps and attempts to obstruct the path of peace in Yemen are nothing but confirmation of what is certain, which is that the aggression against Yemen is an American aggression par excellence, and it served the agenda of America and Britain. Also, it should that Saudi Arabia and the UAE are only tools in this aggression that was announced from Washington.

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أثارت استراتيجية القوس المصري – السوري أحقاد ومخاوف الاستعمار البريطاني

موفق محادين 

سنبقى نراوح مكاننا إذا لم تقم تجربة جديدة لبناء القوس المصري – السوري، كرافعة تاريخية مناهضة بالضرورة للتحالف الإمبريالي – الصهيوني- الرجعي – العثماني.

    شكّلت مصر وسوريا، أهم قوس استراتيجي في تاريخ الأمة التي اعتمد نهوضها في كل مرة على هذا القوس وتكامله ضمن خطاب سياسي – اجتماعي متصادم بالضرورة مع موجات الغزو المتتالية، من أوروبا الإقطاعية، مرحلة ما يعرف بالحملات الصليبية، إلى أوروبا الرأسمالية ثم المنظومة الإمبريالية العالمية ومن يتصدّرها في كل حقبة. 

    إضافة إلى الأدبيات الناصرية وخاصة فلسفة الثورة والميثاق لجمال عبد الناصر، وكتابات نديم البيطار وأنور عبد الملك وعصمت سيف الدولة وسمير أمين وياسين الحافظ، فإن كتابات المفكّر المصري، جمال حمدان، شكّلت ولا تزال الخلفية الاستراتيجية لبناء تصوّرات جيوبولوتيكية تدعم وتؤطر فكرة القوس المصري السوري وأهميته الحيوية لاشتباك تاريخي مع الغزاة وللتأسيس للرافعة الكبرى لنهوض الأمة ووحدتها. 

    وليس بلا معنى أن محاولات الاقتراب من هذا القوس، اتسمت بملامح وقواسم مشتركة على الصعيدين الإقليمي والدولي، بصرف النظر، أولاً، عن السمات الاجتماعية والطبقية للقوى السياسية النافذة التي تتطلّع إلى دور إقليمي انطلاقاً من هذا القوس، وثانياَ بصرف النظر عن المرحلة التاريخية. 

    التجربة الأولى.. محمد علي

    في العقود الأولى من القرن التاسع عشر، اصطدم حاكم مصر القوي، محمد علي باشا، بقوى محلية وإقليمية ودولية لم ترق لها نهضة مصر وترجمة هذه النهضة بدور محوري، يتكامل مع بلاد الشام من موقع الشوكة والاستقلال في مواجهة الغزاة. 

    بداية، وبالتقاطع مع مخاوف الباب العالي العثماني من التحالف الوهابي – السعودي (آل السعود وآل الشيخ) اندفعت القوات المصرية إلى الحجاز ثم إلى نجد وخاصة الدرعية وتمكّنت من تصفية الحركة الوهابية، التي كانت قد ارتبطت مع قلم الاستخبارات في شركة الهند الشرقية البريطانية، وفق اعترافات بيركهارت، الذي تحوّل من عالم آثار سويسري إلى مبعوث للمخابرات البريطانية باسم الشيخ عبد الله اللوزاني، وكان من أهم قنوات الاتصال مع الوهابيين وتزويدهم بالمال والبنادق الحديثة. 

    في مرحلة لاحقة، وبعد أن استشعر محمد علي ضعف الاحتلال العثماني وسلاطينه في إسطنبول، دفع قواته إلى سوريا الطبيعية (سوريا الحالية أو الشام بلغة القوميين السوريين، فلسطين، الأردن ولبنان)، وتمكّنت القوات المصرية بقيادة إبراهيم باشا من سحق الجيوش العثمانية وقتل وأسر عشرات الآلاف منها، ثم الزحف إلى إسطنبول وضرب حصار عليها مقدّمة لإنهاء السلطنة فيها ونقل المركز إلى القاهرة. 

    خلال هذه السنوات، أطلق المصريون مشروعاً جديداً في المناطق التي حرّروها من الاحتلال العثماني ومن ربقة التحالف السعودي الوهابي، ومن ذلك تحديث الإدارة والجيش وسك العملة، وفرض نمط من الضرائب الحديثة بدل الجباية العثمانية الإقطاعية، وكذلك توسيع البيمارستانات وإقامة العديد من مدارس التجهيز الإعدادية، كما أطلقوا موجة واسعة من التسامح بين المذاهب والطوائف وحوّلوا الأزهر إلى مرجعية فقهية ضمن التوجّه الجديد. 

    بالطبع وبالتأكيد وبسبب الطبيعة الطبقية للحكم الجديد ونزعاته الرأسمالية المبكرة بالتعاون مع الفرنسيين، ترافقت هذه الإدارة مع أساليب وسياسات استخدمت من قبل خصوم محمد علي للتحريض عليه. 

    في المقابل، أثارت استراتيجية القوس المصري – السوري أحقاد ومخاوف الاستعمار البريطاني إضافة إلى الباب العالي العثماني، وكذلك قوى عديدة عشائرية وطائفية منها الحركة الوهابية، فتجمّعت كل هذه القوى حول البعثات البريطانية ومعظمها من الجواسيس وشكّلت (جبهة) واسعة ضد المصريين، ومن ذلك: 

    – تحريض تجار الشام وبيروت والقبائل في فلسطين وشرق الأردن ضد محمد علي وشن حملة واسعة في الصحافة البريطانية نفسها، ويشار هنا إلى حصار إبراهيم باشا، قائد الجيوش المصرية لقلعة الكرك في شرق الأردن، بعد أن هرب إليها عدد من قادة التمرد في جبال نابلس المدعومين من المخابرات البريطانية، ومن المؤسف أن هناك من اعتبر التحالف بين قادة التمرد في نابلس والكرك ضد توحيد مصر وسوريا جزءاً من التاريخ الوطني. 

    – بيد أن الأخطر من كل ذلك هو مؤتمر لندن الذي عقد بدعم ورعاية عائلة روتشيلد اليهودية وبالتنسيق مع رئيس وزراء الإمبريالية البريطانية آنذاك، وهو دزرائيلي (من أصول يهودية). وقد شارك في المؤتمر إضافة إلى ممثلي الحكومة البريطانية وروتشيلد نفسه، ممثلون عن إمبراطورية النمسا – المجر، وروسيا القيصرية، وقرّروا حشد قوة بحرية وبرية لإجبار محمد علي على فك الحصار عن إسطنبول والانسحاب من سوريا. وعندما أدرك محمد علي صعوبة هذا الموقف بعد تخلّي فرنسا عنه، انصاع لمطالب مؤتمر لندن. 

    التجربة الثانية.. عبد الناصر

    بعد أقل من قرن على تجربة الوحدة المصرية السورية الأولى، تشكّلت ظروف شبيهة إلى حد ما من حيث، ظهور زعيم قوي بكاريزما تاريخية هو جمال عبد الناصر، ومن حيث الدور البريطاني ومعه القوة الإمبريالية الجديدة ممثلة بالولايات المتحدة، ومن حيث الدور التركي، وكذلك دور الوهابية وجماعات التجار وأوساط من القبائل وتجار الدين. 

    بعد سنوات قليلة من ثورة تموز/يوليو 1952 في مصر، وجدت الثورة نفسها بقيادة جمال عبد الناصر في مواجهة تحديات داخلية وخارجية متشابكة: الكيان الصهيوني، رواسب الإقطاع، وشركة قناة السويس البريطانية وأصابعها من البرجوازية الطفيلية وبقايا حكم الملكية الفاسدة وجماعات حسن البنا مؤسس الإخوان المسلمين والإسلام السياسي المموّل من هذه الشركة.

    فكان تأميم قناة السويس في الداخل والتصدي لحلف بغداد في الخارج (الحلف هو الذراع العسكري الجنوبي لحلف الأطلسي ومركزه الإقليمي، التركي – العراقي)، كما أدركت الثورة الناصرية مبكراً أن المعركة في بر مصر شديدة الصلة بالمعركة في بر سوريا والأمة عموماً، بل أن المتروبولات الإمبريالية وخاصة لندن وواشنطن سرعان ما راحت تطوّق الثورة المصرية من خلال محاولات الاستحواذ على الشرق العربي وخاصة سوريا.

    وعندما فشلت في جر دمشق إلى حلف أنقرة – بغداد، دفعت القوات التركية إلى احتلال شمال سوريا 1957 وشق الجيش السوري (الفتي) بمجموعات منشقة تحت عنوان (الجيش الحر) مرتبطة بحكومة انتقالية تديرها بريطانيا والولايات المتحدة من تركيا (النسخة الأصلية لما شهدته سوريا في العشرية السوداء)، وقد شارك في حكومة الائتلاف العميلة آنذاك بقايا الرواسب الإقطاعية والبرجوازيات الطفيلية وأوساط ليبرالية وجماعة الإخوان المسلمين والإرهاصات الأولى للوهابية خارج حدود السعودية وقطر.

    في هذه اللحظة التاريخية، أصرت القوى الوطنية السورية بكل تياراتها على إقامة وحدة كاملة مع مصر برئاسة جمال عبد الناصر، ومع أن مصر لم تكن مستعدة تماماً لهذه التجربة، فقد تجاوبت معها بسرعة.

    وكما في مشهد القرن التاسع عشر، وجدت الوحدة المصرية السورية الجديدة (1958 – 1961) نفسها أمام قوى وأساليب وأدوات وتحالفات وسياسات تشبه سابقتها: بريطانيا من جديد ومعها الولايات المتحدة، تركيا المحمولة من الغرب الرأسمالي الاستعماري، والوهابية بثوبها الجديد، إضافة إلى رشوة وتحريض واسعين في أوساط قبلية وطائفية تحت العنوان نفسه (التخلص من الاستعمار المصري). 

    أيضاً، إذا كانت اليهودية العالمية قد تحرّكت ضد محمد علي من خلال روتشيلد وبيوتاته المالية في القرن التاسع عشر، فقد عادت في التجربة الجديدة من خلال الروتشيلدية الجديدة وأداتها الكولونيالية الاستياطنية باسم الكيان الإسرائيلي، بل إن هذا الكيان وبتوصية روتشيلد من خلال ما عرف بصندوق اكتشاف فلسطين لتمويل الاستيطان اليهودي، هو الذي نصح بريطانيا والغرب بإقامة “بافر ستيت” يهودي في فلسطين بعد احتلالها، يفصل مصر عن سوريا الطبيعية ولا يسمح بتكرار تجربة محمد علي.

    ومن المؤسف أن مصير الوحدة الجديدة لم يكن أفضل من سابقتها بعد الانفصال الذي شاركت فيه قوى متعددة، ولم تشكّل أخطاء الوحدة مبرّراً حقيقياً للانفصال الذي يعود في حقيقته إلى التآمر الخارجي ودور المخابرات البريطانية والأميركية وأعوانهما السياسيين وقوى البرجوازية التي تضرّرت من قوانين التأميم والإصلاح الزراعي. ومن المؤسف كذلك أن مواقف قوى محسوبة على الحركة الوطنية قدّمت غطاء لهذا الانفصال، إضافة إلى رفض جمال عبد الناصر الدفاع عن الوحدة بالقوة، متجاهلاً أنه ما من وحدة قومية في التاريخ قامت بطريقة سلمية ومن دون شلال من الدم.

    وما زلنا وسنبقى نراوح مكاننا إذا لم تقم تجربة ثالثة لبناء القوس المصري – السوري كرافعة تاريخية مناهضة بالضرورة للتحالف الإمبريالي – الصهيوني- الرجعي– العثماني، فإما هذا القوس التاريخي وإما كيانات برسم التشظي إلى هويات قاتلة وكانتونات طائفية وجهوية ومجالات حيوية يتقاسمها العدو الصهيوني والعثمانيون الجدد تحت سقف الإمبريالية العالمية.

    إن الآراء المذكورة في هذه المقالة لا تعبّر بالضرورة عن رأي الميادين وإنما تعبّر عن رأي صاحبها حصراً

    Sayyed Al-Houthi: Our Investigation Confirmed The American Role In Targeting Al-Sammad

    Feb 24, 2023

    Sayyed Al Houthi Addresses Americans, British, Saudis And Emiratis: “Leave All Our Provinces, Our Territorial Waters”

    The leader of the revolution, Sayyed Abdulmalik Badr al-Din Al-Houthi, confirmed that the personality of the martyr President Saleh al-Sammad in loyalty and patriotism and his ability to unite the home front prompted the aggression to assassinate him.

    This came in a speech he delivered on the occasion of the anniversary of the martyr President Saleh Al-Sammad.

    Sayyed Abdulmalik affirmed that the aggression sought to target the martyr al-Sammad due to his active role in confronting the aggression and supporting the just cause of our people, adding that the aggression noticed in the martyr al-Samad his superior ability to unify the internal ranks as a priority of confronting the aggression.

    Sayyed Abdulmalik Al-Houthi said: “On the anniversary of the martyr President Saleh al-Sammad, we remember him, as he was a model of honesty, loyalty, patience and relentless pursuit of God’s pleasure.”

    Regarding the assassination of the martyr President Saleh Al-Sammad, Sayyed Abdulmalik indicated that “In the stages of escalation by the aggression to control Hodeidah, the martyr Al-Sammad was present there to mobilize the people and activate all official and popular capabilities.”

    In his speech, Sayyed Abdulmalik accused the US of being behind the assassination of the martyr President Saleh Al-Sammad.

    He said: “the US was the one who determined for the Saudi to target the martyr Al-Sammad as a primary target.”

    The leader affirmed that all the campaigns carried out by the coalition forces in their aggression against Yemen, including the campaign that targeted Hodeidah, were carried out under US supervision.

    In his speech, Commander Abd al-Malik Badr al-Din al-Houthi explained that the Yemeni people surprised the coalition, which had thought that the assassination of al-Sammad would break its will and weaken it, saying: “the result was completely the opposite.”

    He added, “After the assassination of the martyr al-Sammad, Yemeni people showed an increase in their determination, patriotism and sacrifice”.

    Sayyed Al Houthi Addresses Americans, British, Saudis And Emiratis: “Leave All Our Provinces, Our Territorial Waters”

    Feb 24, 2023

    Leader of the Yemeni revolution, Sayyed Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, revealed on Thursday the developments of the Muscat consultations between Sanaa and Riyadh, and the American role in obstructing them with the aim of benefiting from the sale of weapons and its continuation in occupying Yemen and its sea outlets.

    This came in a speech that he delivered on the occasion of the anniversary of the martyred President Saleh Al-Sammad.

    Al-Houthi explained that the American regime seeking to obstruct efforts by distancing the Saudi-led coalition from assuming any obligations arising from any agreement or understanding, trying to transform the issue and “as if it were a purely internal battle.

    The leader of the revolution affirmed that who launched the aggression and war on Yemen is the Saudis, along with the Emiratis and their mercenaries who joined under American, British and Zionist supervision.

    Therefore, the coalition cannot shirk through its well-known official statements announcing any commitments to any agreements or understandings, because it is the belligerent and aggressor party that leads the position and the war on our country as it is present at the political level in the United Nations and the Security Council, in addition to its planes and missiles that bomb, kill and destroy the infrastructure and destroy facilities in the country.

    “Let the Americans and the British know, and let the Saudis and Emiratis know that they have to hold their obligations and entitlements that are legitimate for our people.”

    Sayyed al-Houthi explained that the American sought to obstruct the understandings led by Oman by obstructing the file of salaries and entitlements that our people receive from our national wealth, noting that the national wealth and its sources are occupied by the coalition in Marib and Shabwa and Hadramout, as well as ports.

    The aggression coalition practically controls our national wealth and is responsible for plundering that wealth and depriving the people of for eight years, in addition to compensation, he said.

    The leader al-Houthi indicated to “the American played a game on the issue of the withdrawal of foreign forces from Yemen in trying to make this point postponed indefinitely and to keep the military presence in our country.

    “We cannot accept the continuation of the imbalance in the country, or there be a solution to the internal problems in light of the existence of a state of war, siege and foreign presence in the country.”

    He added, “We cannot accept understandings and search for solutions to political problems in light of the existence of war, siege and occupation, because understanding under such a situation is blackmail and direct interference in the affairs of our country. Let the Americans know that and let the picture be clear to our people.”

    Al-Sayyed reaffirmed that one of the priorities and basic issues that we adhere to in any dialogues is the humanitarian and livelihood file for our people, and this is a priority and a humanitarian and legal entitlement, even as stipulated in the international law to which they belong.

    Renewed request to Kushner: Hand over $2 billion Saudi investment docs

    Feb 16, 2023

    Source: Agencies

    By Al Mayadeen English 

    Democrats look for records connected to a $2 billion investment by a Saudi fund in Jared Kushner’s private equity firm, which he founded as Donald Trump’s son-in-law and former advisor.

    Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (R) was a close ally of Kushner’s when he worked at the White House (AFP)

    Six months after leaving the White House, Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner got a $2 billion investment from a fund managed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a key supporter throughout Trump’s presidency.

    Previously undisclosed documents unmasked that a panel that reviews assets for the primary Saudi sovereign wealth fund had concerns about the proposed agreement with Kushner’s newly created private equity business, Affinity Partners.

    In a related development, a senior Democrat renewed a request for documents outlining how Jared Kushner received $2 billion from a Saudi investment fund on Tuesday, acknowledging that Kushner had failed to respond to an earlier inquiry and raising new questions about whether he had “improperly traded” on his government work to benefit his financial interests.

    Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-MD), the House Oversight and Accountability Committee’s senior Democrat, referenced a Washington Post story published Saturday and other publications he said raised troubling questions about Kushner’s relationship with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

    Unsurprisingly, MBS chaired a sovereign wealth fund that invested in Kushner’s private equity business, known as Affinity Partners, just after Kushner left a White House job that dealt often with Saudi matters.

    “I am deeply troubled by your continued refusal to produce documents regarding the Saudi government’s $2 billion investment in your fund in light of recent prominent reporting that Saudi Arabia made that investment in Affinity just months after you left a senior White House position where you were responsible for shaping Middle East policy,” Raskin wrote to Kushner.

    Raskin also asked Kushner to name all foreign investors in his company.

    It is worth noting that Kushner did not reply quickly to a request for comment.

    Raskin’s letter followed a request for the documents from the committee, which was controlled by Democrats at the time.

    While Kushner’s firm provided roughly 2,000 pages in response, Raskin revealed in his letter on Tuesday that they primarily consisted of publicly available records that “do not substantively pertain to the Saudi government’s involvement in the firm.” When the committee followed up in October, the company’s legal officer did not answer, as per Raskin.

    But, in a statement to The Washington Post on Tuesday, Comer said he would not sign Raskin’s letter, which might make it more difficult for House Democrats to seek information from Kushner.

    “Ranking Member Raskin and Committee Democrats have a long way to go to prove they are interested in true oversight after having spent the past two years giving the Biden Administration a free pass,” Comer said.

    “If Democrats want to join Committee Republicans in our ongoing efforts, including investigating Joe Biden’s involvement in his family’s suspicious business schemes with foreign adversaries, then we can discuss joining together on future requests. Until then, Committee Republicans will continue seeking answers for the American people about the current Administration’s activities,” he added.

    In further detail, Raskin’s appeal is expected to be taken up by the Senate Finance Committee and its chairman, Senator Ron Wyden (R-Ore.).

    “The financial links between the Saudi royal family and the Trump family raise very serious issues, and when you factor in Jared Kushner’s financial interests, you are looking right at the cat’s cradle of financial entanglements,” The Post quoted Wyden as saying last week.

    In an interview on Tuesday, Raskin said that, while he still hoped Comer would cooperate, “we will definitely work with our partners in the Senate to get all of the information we need in order to conduct a thorough and detailed investigation of all of the conflicts of interest that we need to learn about.”

    Raskin added he was “not going to allow this to be some kind of lopsided partisan witch hunt. Let’s have a serious investigation into public policy and the profound ethical concerns that have been raised.”

    Read next: Jared Kushner Eyes Middle East for Backers on New Fund

    A symbiotic relationship: Kushner and MBS

    As President Donald Trump’s senior advisor, Kushner worked closely with MBS, who rose to the position of the crown prince in part due to his ties to the Trump administration, which offered arms sales and other perks.

    Trump also supplied key assistance by refusing to confirm the CIA’s conclusion that Mohammed ordered the execution or capture of Jamal Khashoggi, a contributing columnist to The Washington Post who had been critical of the crown prince’s policies. Trump has claimed to have “saved” MBS, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated in his recent memoir that Trump instructed him to meet the crown prince and “tell him he owes us.”

    LIV Golf, which holds tournaments on Trump’s golf clubs, has also received funding from the Saudi Public Investment Fund. It’s unknown how much Trump made from the deal. A request for a response from a Trump official was not immediately returned, as per media reports.

    Addressing Kushner in his letter, Raskin wrote, “Your efforts to protect the Crown Prince may have allowed him to maintain his position at the top of the Saudi government and, thus, his ability to deliver significant financial benefits to you and your father-in-law after the end of the Trump Administration.”

    When the committee approached Kushner’s company in June, it answered that it had “nothing to hide” and was “committed to collaborating with the Committee to provide appropriate data, documents, and information to further inform your investigation.”

    Raskin stated that while Affinity ultimately submitted some records, it “failed to disclose a single correspondence connected to the basis for your firm’s acceptance of $2 billion from the Saudi sovereign wealth fund.”

    The congressman requested that the papers be delivered by March 1.

    Read next: Kushner “pleased” Riyadh allowed him to invest in “Israel”

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    Sanaa slams Saudi charges vs. detained Yemeni woman as fabricated lies

    February 4, 2023

    Source: Al Mayadeen net 

    By Al Mayadeen English 

    The ministry of human rights in Sanaa called on the UN and international organizations to step in and stop the criminal acts committed by the Saudi regime against Yemenis residing in the Kingdom.

    The Ministry of Human Rights in Sanaa denounced the arbitrary arrest of the Yemeni citizen, Marwa Abd Rabbuh Hussein Al-Sabri (29), by the Saudi authorities in Holy Mecca while she was performing the Umrah act of worship, and the “fabrication of false malicious charges against her.”

    In a statement, the Ministry confirmed that the sentence issued against this Yemeni woman by the Saudi regime, which entails imprisoning her for a year, represents a flagrant violation of human rights and all humanitarian laws, in addition to being contrary to religious and social values.

    After receiving insults targeting Yemenis from a Saudi policewoman inside the holy place, Al-Sabri responded to the degrading statements by calling out the Kingdom’s criminal acts against her country.

    “Saudi Arabia destroyed our country,” she told the officer.

    The statement indicated that this act, “in addition to it being a new provocation to the feelings of millions of Yemenis and their traditions, values, and noble customs ​​that oppose insulting the dignity of women and demand upholding their status, the Saudi regime carried out two crimes, first arresting her while she was performing the sacred rituals against a crime she did not commit and the other being that the [Saudi] regime did not respect the sanctity and holiness of the place.”

    The Ministry stressed that “those provocative actions against the feelings of all Muslims require proposing a new approach toward separating the sacred rituals from the power and tyranny of the Saudi regime.”

    “It is indignant that the Saudi regime commits such an act against a Yemeni woman who came to perform rituals while subjecting her to security harassment and verbal assault, which prompted her to utter a word summarizing what was committed over eight years of killing and siege against her people, while the regime continues its cold-blooded crimes and siege against the Yemeni people.”

    This violation is added to a series of previous crimes committed by the Saudi regime against Yemeni women, including killing, siege, and humiliation, the Ministry further stressed.

    In its statement, the Ministry of Human Rights demanded the immediate release of the Yemeni citizen and called on all the Yemeni people and human rights activists in the Arab and Islamic world to condemn this act and show solidarity with what Yemeni women have been subjected to. 

    The Ministry also called on the United Nations and other humanitarian and international organizations to condemn and denounce the incident and to put pressure on the Saudi regime to release her, in addition to pushing the Saudi authorities to stop their crimes, violations, and arbitrary arrests against Yemeni citizens residing in the Kingdom, demanding the UN to provide them with legal protection.

    Read more: 

    Rate of Executions in Saudi Arabia Almost Doubles Under MBS

    February 02 2023

    By Staff, Agencies

    The rate of executions carried out by Saudi Arabia has almost doubled under the rule of the de facto leader, Mohammed bin Salman [MBS], with the past six years being among the bloodiest in the Kingdom’s modern history, a report has found.

    Rates of capital punishment are at historically high levels, despite a push to modernize with widespread reforms and a semblance of individual liberties. Activist groups say the price of change has been high, with a total crackdown on the crown prince’s political opponents and zero tolerance for dissent.

    Pledges by MBS – who has consolidated extraordinary powers across the Kingdom’s business spheres, industrialists and elite families – to curb executions have not been kept, the new data shows, with each of the six years that he has led the country resulting in more state-sanctioned deaths than any other year in recent history.

    Between 2015 and 2022, an average of 129 executions were carried out each year. The figure represents an 82% increase on the period 2010-14. Last year, 147 people were executed – 90 of them for crimes that were considered to be nonviolent.

    On 12 March last year, up to 81 men were put to death – an all-time high number of executions, in what activists believe was a pointed message from the Saudi leadership to dissenters, among them tribal groups in the country’s eastern provinces.

    The report – prepared by two organizations, the European Saudi Organization for Human Rights and Reprieve – says: “Saudi Arabia’s application of the death penalty is riddled with discrimination and injustice and the Saudi regime has been lying to the international community about its use.

    “The death penalty is routinely used for non-lethal offences and to silence dissidents and protesters, despite promises by the crown prince that executions would only be used for murder,” it added. “Fair trial violations and torture are endemic in death penalty cases, including torture of child defendants.”

    The kingdom is considered one of the leading exponents of capital punishment in the region, with only Iran thought to execute more people a year. In the last six years there have also been slight increases in numbers of executions of children, women and foreign nationals, as well as mass executions and executions for non-lethal offences. A moratorium on capital punishment for drug crimes was recently lifted.

    Prince Mohammed has introduced extensive reforms across Saudi workplaces and society, giving women more access to gainful employment and changing social norms that had, for the four decades that followed the Islamic revolution in Iran, kept genders strictly segregated and enforced an ultra-hardline interpretation of Islam.

    But while there was already little room for dissent under the Kingdom’s absolute monarchy, Prince Mohammed has taken intolerance to new levels, with political and business rivals subject to mass detention and financial shakedowns, and family members of officials that have fled the country being detained for use as leverage to get them back to the kingdom.

    The death penalty is seen as one of the new regime’s more visceral tools.

    “It’s literally a sword that hangs over all of us, anyone who dares to defy him,” said one Saudi royal in exile in Europe. “It’s either that, or being disappeared. Think Gaddafi. Think Saddam. That’s where we are now.”

    Saudi insulting campaign to Palestine because of the Asian Cup

    Mossad and CIA are Training Christian Extremist Militia in Lebanon

    Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360°

    Covert training camps in the Jordanian desert are currently the site of British and American trainers developing young Lebanese men, loyal to the Christian warlord, Samir Geagea, according to chief editor of Al Mariah magazine, Fadi Abu Deya.  In an interview given to Al Jadeed TV, Abu Deya claimed Geagea is sending fighters to Jordan for military training which is supported by the US and UK.  Gegea’s media office has denied this allegation and has threatened to file a lawsuit against Abu Deya. The militia is allegedly tasked with attacks on Hezbollah, the Lebanese resistance group.

    However, from a reliable source inside Lebanon, Israel’s Mossad are training fighters loyal to Geagea in his headquarters at Meraab, Baalbek, and Dahr Al Ahmar.

    In May 2008, Geagea told the Lebanese media Al Akbar that he had 7,000 to 10,000 fighters ready to face off with Hezbollah, and was asking for US support. Lebanon continues to be one step away from a new civil war along sectarian lines.

    Geagea is supported by Saudi Arabia who demand Hezbollah to be demilitarized.  The US shares this view with Saudi Arabia and Israel, who view the group as a terrorist organization. Saudi Arabia is willing to help Lebanon with their financial recovery, but their condition is that Hezbollah must be weakened.

    Geagea is one of the most powerful politicians in Lebanon, despite being sentenced to life in prison for murder in 1995. He killed his political opponents, and blew up a church full of worshippers, even though he is Christian to whip up sectarian hatred.

    Recently, he came under scrutiny for a new militia called “God’s Soldiers” who are located in Ashrafiah, a neighborhood of Beirut. These are young Christian men who most often work as security guards and look like they are professional body builders or wrestlers. Defenders of the group claim they are simply a neighborhood watch group protecting property from robbery. However, Geagea has a past history of heading a group known as “Young Men” who were fighters during the civil war.

    Hezbollah is not only a defense force, which has prevented a second Israeli invasion of south Lebanon, and a resistance force demanding the withdrawal of Israelis from the occupied Shebaa Farms, they are also a political party with a sizable elected membership in parliament in the free democratic elections held in May. Most Lebanese, regardless of their support of Hezbollah, agree that Hezbollah has been the only defense force capable of defending the southern border.

    Lebanon is now referred to as a failed state. Once called the ‘Switzerland of the Middle East” for its private and secure banking services, and its winter ski resorts in the mountains, it began a financial collapse in 2019 which has seen the country hit rock-bottom currently. Wealthy Arabs from the Persian Gulf used to flock to Lebanon for their famous nightclubs and Casino. The tourists are gone from Lebanon amid the financial collapse which has seen Lebanese migrants leaving in small boats to find a better life in Europe.

    Protesters began street violence in 2019 demanding the ruling political elite step down. These politicians included remnants of the war-lords of the 1975-1990 civil war, like Geagea.

    The Governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon, Riad Salameh, has been discovered to have run the bank for decades in a Ponzi scheme, which wiped out hard currency, and caused the banks to freeze accounts. Some Lebanese became so desperate to access their own money, they resorted to armed hold-ups to get their own funds released.  In several cases, the funds were needed for emergency medical care as there are no public hospitals in Lebanon.

    European countries began issuing arrest warrants for Salameh on charges of money laundering, corruption, and personal enrichment of public funds.  He has remained free, and still holds his position in charge of all the public funds for Lebanon, while enjoying the protection of the US Ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy C. Shea who has said removal of Salameh is a ‘red line’.  European charges relate to billions of dollars that Salameh and his brother have deposited abroad. Recent rumors floated that the US was promoting Salameh to become the next president.

    In 2016, Salameh hosted a conference at the US Embassy in Lebanon. The Financial Action Task Force was set up to stop money laundering to safeguard the integrity of the banking sector. Salameh was the fox in the henhouse.

    The US-NATO attack on Syria began in 2011 for regime change. The US and their western allies, including Israel, wanted to break the political alliance between Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah. In 2012, the CIA began a covert training operation in the Jordanian desert, and in 2013 President Obama signed approval of the operation which trained young men to fight in Syria.

    In 2013, former deputy CIA director Michael J. Morell said in a CBS interview that the most effective fighters on the battlefield in Syria are the Radical Islamic terrorists. “And because they’re so good at fighting the Syrians, some of the moderate members of the opposition joined forces with them,” he said.

    The Syrian refugee camp Zatari in Jordan was the home base of the fighters, who would train with the CIA and slip over the border into Syria and later return to their families safe in the camp.

    In 2017, President Trump shut down the $1 Billion CIA program in Jordan.  From the beginning, many advisors had cautioned that the weapons the US was supplying to the ‘rebels’ would later fall into the hands of terrorists following Radical Islam, such as Al Qaeda, Jibhat al-Nusra and ISIS. Their warning became reality, after the ‘rebels’ became partners with the Radical Islamic terrorists who did not fight for freedom, or democracy, but for the goal of establishing a government in Damascus following the political ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB).  Obama had promoted the MB in the US, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and Syria. The political platform of the MB is identical to Al Qaeda. The big difference is that ISIS carries black flags and the MB wear suits and ties. Eventually, the Obama-backed MB was defeated in Egypt, Tunisia and Syria. In Libya, the MB control the Tripoli administration backed by the UN. The armed conflict in Syria finished by 2017 with the US supported Al Qaeda affiliate, Jibhta al-Nusra, only in control of an olive growing province, Idlib.

    Jordan’s King Hussein was one of the first Arab leaders to call for the Syrian President to step down. Jordan is one the largest recipients of US foreign aid, which was a reward for their peace treaty with Israel.  King Hussein supported the US-NATO attack on Syria and hosted the terrorist training camps in the desert as well as a huge Syrian refuges camp which was used to house and feed the wives and children of the terrorists being trained. But, the US-NATO attack on Syria failed. In September 2021, the border crossing between Syria and Jordan re-opened. On October 4, 2021 the King spoke with Assad by phone in the first phase of a reconciliation between Amman and Damascus, similar to the repair in relations between Syria and Bahrain and UAE. Turkey is now in the same process, and reports suggest Saudi Arabia may follow.  Arab leaders realize that they must not blindly follow orders by Washington to start or support wars in the Middle East which end up in failure.

    Steven Sahiounie is a two-time award-winning journalist


    Saudi Crown Prince Defies the US Policy against Syria

    Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° 

    In November 2022, Saudi Arabia formally changed its stance on Syria. Saudi Arabia is the political powerhouse of the Middle East, and often shares positions on foreign policy and international issues with the UAE, which has previously re-opened their embassy in Damascus.

    “The kingdom is keen to maintain Syria’s security and stability and supports all efforts aimed at finding a political solution to the Syrian crisis,” Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan told the November Arab League summit in Algeria.

    Syria was suspended from the Arab League in 2011 following the outbreak of conflict instigated by the US, and portrayed in western media as a popular uprising of pro-democracy protesters.

    Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said, “The developments in Syria still require a pioneering Arab effort. It is necessary to show flexibility from all parties so that the economic collapse and political blockage can be dispelled. Syria must engage in its natural Arab environment.”

    The next Arab League summit will be held in Saudi Arabia, and there is a possibility of Syria once again taking its seat at the round table.

    On January 16, the Syrian Foreign Ministry agreed to resume imports from Saudi Arabia after over a decade of strained relations, and Syria planned to import 10,000 tons of white sugar. This development signals a new beginning between the two countries.

    Saudi and the Syrian tribes

    The Arab tribes in the north east of Syria have traditionally had strong ties with Saudi Arabia, and have received support from the kingdom. The tribes have opposed the ethnic cleansing and forced displacement of Arab villages which the US-led YPG militia has conducted for years. Even though Saudi Arabia has been viewed as a US ally in the past, this has changed since the US military has supported the Marxist YPG who have oppressed Syrians who are not Kurdish.

    The US occupied oil wells in north east Syria may come under attack by Arab tribes who are demanding their homes, farms and businesses back from the US-supported YPG.  Some analysts foresee the US troops pulling out of Syria after the Kurds find a political solution with Damascus.

    Turkey and Syria repair relationship

    Turkey and Syria have begun steps to repair their relationship, which ended after Turkey supported the US-NATO attack on Syria for regime change, and hosted the CIA operations room funneling weapons and terrorists into Syria, under the Obama administration.

    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad demanded recently the withdrawal of Turkish troops from Syria to begin to repair the relationship.

    Russia is brokering the reconciliation between Erdogan and Assad, which began with the Moscow hosted meeting of the three defense ministers, and a meeting between the three foreign ministers is upcoming.

    The developments between Turkey and Syria are being watched by Iran. Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said his country was “happy with the dialogue taking place between Syria and Turkey.” Amirabdollahian will travel to Damascus on Saturday for talks with Syrian Foreign Minister Mekdad.

    Iran is looking to establish a new role in the recovery process in Syria. President Ebrahim Raisi will visit both Turkey and Syria soon, his first visit to Turkey since taking office two years ago.  While analysts see Saudi Arabia and Iran as antagonists, some feel the kingdom will ultimately realize they have to work with Iran in Syria and Lebanon.  Iran is part of the region and can’t be excluded from the geo-political sphere.

    Saudi Arabian reforms 

    Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) said on April 27, 2021 that the country was undergoing a sweeping reform which would restructure the role of religion in Saudi politics and society.  The process began a few years before he became crown prince, but under his leadership it has accelerated. Islamic institutions in the Kingdom have seen changes in procedure, personnel, and jurisdiction.  All of these reforms are in line with the future vision of the country.

    Some analysts feel the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1960s eventually gave rise to support for domestic religious institutions, and eventually led to funding of religious activities abroad, while religious leaders at home wielded power over public policy.

    Vision 2030

    Saudi King Salman, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and his son, MBS have a plan for the country which is known as Vision 2030.  MBS is also Prime Minister and Chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs.

    The days of unlimited oil and markets are in the decline. Education, training, and employment opportunities are the stepping stones to building a thriving country and MBS is determined to plan for a long future of growth and innovation.


    The Crown Prince is young and has new ideas.  He is instituting sweeping reforms to the society which have included more rights and freedoms for women. He has championed projects to place Saudi Arabia as a tourist destination, year round golf and soccer venue, and encouraged cultural arts such as musical productions. MBS is breaking the mold: no longer will Saudi Arabia be a breeding ground for Radical Islam.

    Extremist preachers

    Saudi Arabia had hosted many extremist preachers.  Some were featured on satellite TV channels located in Saudi Arabia, and others were local preachers, authors, or scholars.  Some had traveled abroad preaching in pulpits and exporting their hatred and sectarian bigotry.

    One of the most famous preachers was Muhammed Al-Arifi, who has had an electronic surveillance device attached to him by Saudi intelligence agents, after they seized all of his social media accounts. His last tweet is said to be on May 6, 2019, when he had 20 million followers, and 24 million likes on Facebook, which ranked him as tenth in the Arab world and in the Middle East. The kingdom is shutting down clerics who are extreme.

    In 2014, Great Britain banned Arifi from entering the UK following reports that was involved in radicalizing three young British citizens who went to Syria as terrorists.

    A YouTube video in 2013 showed Arifi preaching in Egypt and prophesying the coming of the Islamic State.  Egyptian TV reported Arifi meeting with the former Muslim Brotherhood prime minister Hisham Qandil in his office.

    Arifi is best remembered for his statement on the media Al Jazeera in which he called for jihad in Syria and supported Al Qaeda.

    Adnan al-Arour is another extremist preacher who had appeared regularly on two Saudi-owned Salafist satellite channels. Arour was originally from Syria before settling in Saudi Arabia, and in the early days of the Syrian conflict he would stand up on camera, shake his finger, and called for his followers to ‘grind the flesh’ of an Islamic minority sect in Syria and ‘feed it to the dogs’.

    These extremist preachers made it clear that the battles being waged in Syria had nothing to do with freedom or democracy, which the western media was pushing as the goal.  The truth was the conflict in Syria was a US-NATO attack for regime change and utilized terrorists following Radical Islam, who fought a sectarian war with the goal of establishing an Islamic State in Syria.

    The previous Crown Prince

    Muhammad bin Nayef Al Saud (MBN) served as the crown prince and first deputy prime minister of Saudi Arabia from 2015 to 2017.  On June 21, 2017 King Salman appointed his own son, MBS, as crown prince and relieved MBN of all positions.

    MBN met with British Prime Minister David Cameron in January 2013. He then met with President Obama in Washington, on 14 January 2013. The discussion focused on the US-NATO attack on Syria and its support from Saudi Arabia.

    In February 2014, MBN replaced Prince Bandar bin Sultan, then intelligence chief of Saudi Arabia, and was placed in charge of Saudi intelligence in Syria. Bandar had been in charge of supporting the US attack on Syria. Bandar had been trying to convince the US in 2012 that the Syrian government was using chemical weapons.  However, research has shown that the terrorists used chemical weapons to push Obama into a military invasion, based on his speech of ‘The Red Line’.

    In March 2016, MBN was awarded Légion d’honneur by French President François Hollande, another partner in the US-NATO attack on Syria.

    On February 10, 2017, the CIA granted its highest Medal to MBN and was handed to him by CIA director Mike Pompeo during a reception ceremony in Riyadh. MBN and Pompeo discussed Syria with Turkish officials, and said Saudi Arabia’s relationship with the US was “historic and strategic”.  Just months later in June MBS would depose MBN and strip him of powers, in a move considered to be “upending decades of royal custom and profoundly reordering the kingdom’s inner power structure”.

    US diplomats argued that MBN was “the most pro-American minister in the Saudi Cabinet”. That is what brought MBN down. The days of blindly following the US directives are over in Saudi Arabia.  MBS has refused to bow down to Biden when he demanded an increase in oil production.  The Vision 2030 that MBS developed does not include financing failed wars in the Middle East for the benefit of the Oval Office. MBS has a strained relationship with Biden, and he wears it as a badge of honor.

    Saudi role in the Syrian war

    Saudi Arabia played a huge role in the large-scale supply of weapons and ammunition to various terrorist groups in Syria during the Syrian conflict.  Weapons purchased in Croatia were funneled through Jordan to the border town of Deraa, the epi-center of the Syrian conflict.

    At the height of Saudi involvement in Syria, the kingdom had their own militia in Syria under the command of Zahran Alloush. The Jaysh al-Islam are remembered for parading women in cages through the Damascus countryside prior to massacring them.

    In summer 2017, US President Donald Trump shut down the CIA operation ‘Timber Sycamore’ which had been arming the terrorists fighting in Syria. About the same time, Saudi Arabia cut off support to the Syrian opposition, which was the political arm of the terrorists.

    Richard Dearlove, former head of MI6, expressed his view at the time that “Saudi Arabia is involved in the ISIS-led Sunni rebellion” in Syria.

    Syria has been destroyed by the US and their allies who supported the attack beginning in 2011.  Now, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are looking to find a solution which will help the Syrian people to rebuild their lives.  Both Turkey and Saudi Arabia have turned away from past policies which found them supporting the conflict in Syria at the behest of the US.  There is a new Middle East emerging which makes its own policies and is not subservient US interests.

    Steven Sahiounie is a two-time award-winning journalist

    Riyadh Sees Progress Towards Ending Its War on Yemen; Talks Restricted to Armistice, Humanitarian Issues

    January 19, 2023 

    By Staff, Agencies

    Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said on Wednesday that progress was being made towards ending the Yemen war, in which Riyadh leads a military coalition, but more work was needed, including reinstating a truce and transitioning to a permanent ceasefire.

    Speaking on a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said the eight-year conflict would only be resolved through a political settlement.

    Al Saud said the kingdom was also trying to find a path to dialogue with Iran as the best way to resolve differences over several conflicts, including the one in Yemen.

    Later in the day, Beirut-based al-Mayadeen Network cited informed Yemeni sources as saying that many proposals were put on the table, but they require further discussions.

    The sources revealed that there is no final agreement in terms of extending and expanding the armistice, stressing, however, that negotiations are still ongoing.

    The informed sources said, “There is progress in the talks and messages exchanged through the Omani mediator, and if an agreement is reached, its results will be officially announced.”

    The sources also pointed out that “many proposals were put on the table, but they are yet to be discussed and attended to. We should wait to ensure their completion and agreement over them.”

    The further added that “the proposals put forward for discussion are all related to humanitarian considerations and the renewal of the armistice,” noting that “channels of communication and negotiations with Saudi Arabia still stand and have been ongoing for some time now.”

    The Yemeni sources indicated that “the understandings with Saudi Arabia are limited to renewing the armistice and expanding the humanitarian issues to be considered.”

    In the same context, the UN envoy’s office expressed via Twitter an appreciation for “Saudi Arabia’s role in supporting the current efforts aimed at de-escalation and working toward a comprehensive Yemeni-Yemeni political settlement under the auspices of the United Nations.”

    It is noteworthy that Sanaa announced last October that negotiations to extend the UN armistice in Yemen had reached a dead end after Saudi Arabia refused to pay the salaries of public servants from the revenues of oil and gas produced from the Yemeni governorates, in addition to ending the war acts and lifting the blockade on the country.

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    رسائل «حازمة» من الحوثي… وجهوزية عـسكرية معلَنة | ابن سلمان لـ«أنصار الله»: خذوا اليمن وأعطونا ضمانات أمنية

    الجمعة 6 كانون الثاني 2023

    الكُرة الآن في الملعب السعودي؛ إذ تعتقد صنعاء أن بن سلمان، يمتلك الإجابة عن الكثير من التساؤلات (أ ف

    حمزة الخنسا  

    لا تزال الأوضاع في اليمن تُراوح في خانة اللاسلم واللاحرب، وهي الحالة التي أعلنت صنعاء أخيراً، وبشكل واضح ومكرَّر، عدم قبولها بأن تصبح أمراً واقعاً، متعهّدةً بوضع حدّ سريع لها، من شأنه أن يَحسم وجهة الأمور: إمّا إلى السلام الذي يلبّي شروطها، أو الحرب التي تُمكّنها من فرْض هذه الشروط. وفي ظلّ تلك المراوحة، تصاعدت نبرة «أنصار الله» المهدِّدة بإعادة إشعال الجبهات، وجاء تصريح رئيس «المجلس السياسي الأعلى»، مهدي المشاط، الذي قال من جبهة البرح في تعز: «نحن ننتظر عودة الحرب في أيّ وقت، وجاهزون لها»، كذروة الرسائل المندرجة في هذا السياق. وبالتوازي، لم تتوقّف سلطنة عُمان عن بذل الجهود في سبيل إيجاد حلّ يرضي جميع الأطراف.

    وفيما لا يزال «الستاتيكو» يَحكم المشهد، حيث يسير خيارا التصعيد العسكري والتسوية السلمية بوتيرة متشابهة من السرعة وتشكُّل الظروف المناسبة لكلَيهما، تحرص قيادة «أنصار الله» على التأكيد أنها لن تَقبل بالمزيد من المرواغة وكسْب الوقت «على حساب حقوق الشعب اليمني ومعاناته». ولكي لا يتحوّل التهديد باستئناف القتال إلى «لازمة» متكرّرة من دون تطبيق عملي، بما يساعد واشنطن والرياض على ترتيب استنتاجات من قَبيل أن صنعاء غير قادرة على تنفيذ ما تتوعّد به، أتت رسائل قائد الحركة، السيّد عبد الملك الحوثي، خلال لقائه الوفد العُماني الذي زار صنعاء أخيراً، حاسمة وواضحة حيث قال لضيوفه: «لن يجوع الشعب اليمني بعد الآن»، مؤكداً«أننا سنستخدم كلّ ما لدينا من إمكانات لرفع الحصار عن الشعب اليمني، والاستفادة من موارده وثرواته».

    وفي هذا الإطار، تقول مصادر معنيّة في صنعاء، في حديث إلى «الأخبار»، إنه بالتوازي مع رسائل الحوثي الواضحة المَرامي، أُعطيت القوى العسكرية المعنيّة الإشارة للجهوزية الكاملة، كاشفةً أن «بعض التحرّكات في سياق هذه الجهوزية، تمّ إظهارها عمداً حتى تُرصد من قِبَل العدو، ويَعرف الأخير أننا جدّيون، وأننا لا نطلق تهديدات جوفاء». وتؤكّد المصادر ذاتها أنه في هذه المرّة، إنْ لم تكن هناك استجابة مُرضية لـ«المطالب الإنسانية»، واتّجهت الأمور بنتيجة ذلك صوْب التصعيد، فإن المعركة ستكون نوعية وستشمل كلّ الساحات، بما فيها البحر الأحمر، وباب المندب، و«أرامكو» في العمق السعودي، فضلاً عن العمق الإماراتي. وبما أن الوقت بدأ ينفد، في ظلّ تأكيد «أنصار الله» أنها لن تنتظر الحلّ إلى ما لا نهاية، فقد سُجّلت أربع خطوات يمكن وضعها في إطار «الاستعدادات الأخيرة» قبل الضغط على الزناد، وهي:

    – إتمام الجهوزية العسكرية اللازمة.
    – الموقف السياسي الحاسم الذي أعلنته القيادة السياسية لـ«أنصار الله».
    – زيارات القائد الأعلى للقوات المسلحة، رئيس «المجلس السياسي الأعلى» مهدي المشاط، إلى الجبهات العسكرية.
    – الخروج الجماهيري الكبير في العاصمة صنعاء والمحافظات، المنتظَر اليوم الجمعة، في مسيرات أُطلق عليها شعار «الحصار حرب»، ما يعني إضفاء الشرعية الشعبية على أيّ تصعيد في المستقبل.

    الكُرة الآن في الملعب السعودي؛ إذ تعتقد صنعاء أن ولي العهد، محمد بن سلمان، يمتلك الإجابة عن الكثير من التساؤلات. فالمملكة اليوم، وبعد نجاح جارتها الصغرى قطر في تنظيم «المونديال»، والذي ينضمّ إلى النموذج «الناجح» والمُنافس الذي تقدّمه جارتها الأخرى، وشريكتها في العدوان، الإمارات، على مستوى الاقتصاد والتجارة العالمية، تَعزّزت قناعتها بأن «حربها» هي «حرب موارد واقتصاد». وهو ما كان جلّاه مثلاً حديث وزير الطاقة، عبد العزيز بن سلمان، في تشرين الأوّل الماضي، على هامش إحدى فعاليات «الاستراتيجية الوطنية للصناعة» التي أطلقها ابن سلمان، عن «حسرة كبرى»، قائلاً: «لقد أضعنا 40 سنة كان باستطاعتنا أن نكون خلالها مثل الهند والصين في مجال الصناعة، ولكنّنا قرّرنا ألّا نُضيّع وقتاً آخر». على أن «يمن ما بعد العدوان» يقف عقبة كبيرة أمام تطوّر مشروع ابن سلمان لتحويل السعودية إلى مركز تجارة عالمي، فضلاً عن أن القيادات السعودية بأجمعها توصّلت إلى قناعة مفادها بأنه لم يَعُد بإمكانها تطويع اليمن، مُسلّمةً بأن هذا البلد أصبح خارج فلكها، خصوصاً في ظلّ خريطة القوى التي أنتجتها ثماني سنوات من الحرب.

    وظهرت معالم تلك القناعة بوضوح أخيراً في المفاوضات الجارية بشأن تمديد الهدنة؛ إذ بحسب المصادر ذاتها، رفعت صنعاء أربعة عناوين أساسية في وجه الرياض، التي أعلنت الموافقة المبدئية عليها، على أن تخضع للتفاوض التفصيلي، وهي: رفع الحصار، وعدم التدخّل في الشؤون الداخلية اليمنية، ودفع التعويضات، والخروج من اليمن. وفي المقابل، طالبت السعودية بـ«ضمانات» بأن لا يشكّل اليمن تهديداً للسعودية وأمنها. وتَكشف المصادر أن المملكة طرحت مسألة الضمانات أمام إيران وسلطنة عُمان أيضاً، مشيرةً إلى أن «أنصار الله» أبدت الاستعداد لـ«تبديد مخاوف الرياض الأمنية إذا كان ذلك يساعدها في التوصّل إلى قرار حاسم بالالتزام بما يُتوصَّل إليه في المفاوضات حيال الحلّ الشامل والنهائي للملفّ اليمني».

    يسير خيارا التصعيد العسكري والتسوية السلمية بوتيرة متشابهة من السرعة

    على أنه هنا، يصبح العامل الأميركي أكثر تأثيراً على السعودية، حيث تسعى إدارة الرئيس جو بايدن بكلّ قوتها إلى إبقاء حالة اللاحرب واللاسلم هي السائدة، كونها مستفيدة من هذا الوضع أولاً، وراغبةً ثانياً في أن يبقى اليمن ورقة ابتزاز في التوتّر بينها وبين ابن سلمان. وعليه، سيكون على وليّ العهد إيجاد الحلول المناسبة لمشكلته مع إدارة بايدن، ومن ثمّ تأمين الظرف الأمثل لنجاح مخطّطاته الخاصة بمستقبل المملكة. وفي انتظار ذلك، تشي المعلومات الأخيرة الواردة من صنعاء بأن الأمور الآن قد وصلت إلى المراحل الأخيرة من التفاوض، حيث لا تفتأ الرياض تبعث بإشارات إيجابية حيال التزامها بتنفيذ الاتفاقات، خصوصاً ما يتعلّق منها بملفّ التعويضات، ولهذه الغاية منعت حكومة عدن من القيام بإجراءات اقتصادية في إطار اعتبار «أنصار الله» حركة إرهابية. وفي المقابل، تتواصل على الأرض، جنوباً وشرقاً، تحرّكات القوى والفصائل الموالية للسعودية، وتلك المدعومة من الإمارات، والتي انضمّت إليها أخيراً الجماعات المموَّلة من قطر، لتثبيت مواقعها وتقوية أوراقها وخلْق واقع جديد قد يُستفاد منه في حال وقْف الحرب أو استئنافها.

    من ملف : ابن سلمان لـ«أنصار الله»: خذوا اليمن وأعطونا ضمانات أمنية

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    Sanaa condemns execution of two Yemenis residing in Saudi Arabia

    January 2, 2023 

    Source: Agencies

    By Al Mayadeen English 

    Yemen’s Ministry of Human Rights calls on international organizations to take a stance rejecting the Saudi regime’s execution of two Yemenis residing in Saudi Arabia.

    Yemen condemns the Saudi regime’s execution of two Yemeni citizens (AP)

    The Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights in Sanaa condemned on Sunday the Saudi regime’s execution of two Yemenis residing in Saudi Arabia.

    In a statement, the Yemeni Ministry pointed out that the crime of executing citizens Mohammad Muqbil Al-Wasel, 27, from Dhamar Governorate, and Shajaa Salah Mahdi Jamil, 29, from Ibb Governorate, came after unfair and non-public trials, where the victims were deprived of the right to defend themselves.

    According to the statement, the Saudi regime refrained from giving information to the relatives of the victims about the circumstances of the execution, which under international human rights law is considered torture, ill-treatment, and a crime.

    The Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights stressed that this crime is added to a black record and long lists of collective and individual execution crimes committed by the Saudi regime against its people and Yemenis, as many Yemeni expatriates were previously executed in similar circumstances.

    The statement underlined that these crimes are a disgrace to the advocates of democracy and freedom of opinion and expression, which the United Nations, especially the US, claims to uphold.

    The Yemeni Ministry called on all organizations, peoples of the world, and free countries to take a stance in the face of the crimes of the Saudi regime and condemn this crime, holding the international community and the Security and Human Rights Councils responsible for the continued crimes of the Saudi regime.

    Last November, the Dhu Ali tribes called on human rights bodies and organizations to assume their moral and humanitarian responsibility by forming an independent investigation committee into the crime of arresting, torturing, and killing the Yemeni expatriate in Saudi Arabia, Ali Al-Ali, as well as other crimes.

    It is noteworthy that Saudi Arabia executed twice as many people in 2022 as it did in 2021, according to statistics released today by AFP.

    Read more: Eight Yemenis killed as Saudi Arabia continues to bomb Yemen

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