بايدن المحاط بالتناقضات لن «يشيل الزير من البير»

ناصر قنديل

أسئلة كثيرة تحيط بما سيحمله تولي الرئيس الأميركي الجديد جو بايدن لمقاليد الرئاسة، في ظل الصفحة السوداء التي مثلها حكم الرئيس المنتهية ولايته دونالد ترامب، ويتسرّع الكثيرون في رؤية مرحلة وردية يمثلها بايدن بسبب حجم الأشواك التي تركها ترامب، لكن الصورة ليست كذلك. فحكم بايدن سيمرّ بين النقاط كما يُقال، ولن يكون بايدن قادراً أن «يشيل الزير من البير» كما يقول المثل الشائع، في توصيف الدعوة لتخفيض سقف التوقعات، فالخيارات التي تنتظر بايدن صعبة ومعقدة، والتناقضات التي ستحيط بالملفات الملحّة المطروحة أمامه تتكفّل بجعل كل من الخيارات الافتراضيّة سبباً لأزمات لا تقلّ خطورة عن التي سيعالجها، ويمكن القول بحساب هذه الفرضيات أن أقصى ما يستطيعه بايدن هو إدارة الأزمات بما يستبعد فرص الانفجارات الكبرى، لكن دون القدرة على صناعة الانفراجات.

وضع أميركا اليوم يشبه في الاستعصاء الذي يقع فيه وضع كيان الاحتلال بالعجز عن خوض الحروب والعجز عن صناعة التسويات، ولأسباب بنيوية في الوضعين. فكما أن كيان الاحتلال الذي بلغ باعتراف أركانه وقادته مرحلة العجز عن خوض الحروب يبدو غير صالح لغير ذلك، فهو عندما خرج منتصراً في حروبه توهّم أنه يُغنى عن صناعة التسويات ورسم لها سقوفاً وهميّة عالية، ما جعلها مستحيلة، وعندما هزم في حروبه أو فشل في تحقيق أهدافها، بات يعتبر كل تسوية واقعية تكريساً لهزيمة متمادية ستتكفل بانحلاله ككيان قائم على القوة، بحيث إن «اسرائيل» القوية لا تصنع التسوية لأنها لا تشعر بالحاجة إليها بل الرغبة بفرض شروط الاستسلام على خصومها، و»إسرائيل» الضعيفة تضعف أولاً أمام المتطرفين فيها، فيفقد أي سياسي حاكم التفويض اللازم للخوض في غمار التسويات، بمثل ما يفقد القدرة اللازمة على خوض المزيد من الحروب.

في الحالة الأميركيّة أمام بادين تحدّيات من عيار الوصول لتفاهم مع موسكو وبكين على قواعد شراكة لا مجرد ربط نزاع، ووفقاً لكل الخبراء يشكل الانخراط الأميركي في هذه الشراكة المفترضة تسليماً بتراجع المكانة الأميركية يعرف بايدن أن عليه تجنبه طالما أن معركته الداخلية مع اليمين المتطرّف الذي زاد قوة، وصار عنواناً لانقسام أهليّ خطير، تتم تحت عنوان إثبات التمسك بالتميّز الأميركي والتفوق الأميركي. وبالتوازي ما يحتاجه الرئيس الأميركي في الشرق الأوسط الجمع بين الظهور كمدافع عن «إسرائيل»، وقادر على تخفيض التوتر؛ والسير بواحد من الاتجاهين يصيب الآخر بالضرر، وعليه أن يثبت أهليّة التفاهم النووي مع إيران بالمقارنة مع سياسات ترامب، من دون أن يسمح بظهور إيران مستفيدة، وكذلك عليه أن يُعيد توحيد صفوف حلفائه، بدءاً من أوروبا وتركيا ومصر والخليج، فماذا يفعل بالإخوان المسلمين؟ وماذا يفعل بليبيا؟ وإذا قرر تغليب التحالف مع مصر وفرنسا والخليج على تركيا كيف يستطيع منع خسارتها وتموضعها بصورة أوضح ضمن الحلف الروسي الإيراني؟ وبالتالي التسليم بتعاون روسي إيراني تركي ينتهي بخسارة أميركية كاملة في سورية والعراق؟

ماذا سيفعل بايدن في الشق الداخلي، وهل يمكن السير بخطوات تخفض منسوب الغضب والقلق عند الأقليات السمراء واللاتينيّة والمسلمة من دون رفع منسوب غضب القوة البيضاء العنصرية المتطرفة والمنظمة، وهل يمكن احتواء الشارع المتطرّف من خلال التعاون مع الحزب الجمهوري من دون تقديم تنازلات على حساب البرنامج الاقتصادي الاجتماعي الذي يفرض المزيد من الأعباء على الطبقات الغنية لصالح المزيد من الضمانات للفقراء والضعفاء، الذي ارتفعت نسبتهم بأضعاف مع نتائج وباء كورونا؟ وهل يمكن تفادي تصدعات في صفوف الديمقراطيين مع كل تنازلات يتمّ تقديمها للجمهوريين؟

الاستحقاق الأول الذي ينتظر بايدن سيكون خارجياً، البتّ بكيفية التعامل مع الملف النووي الإيراني، وسينظر كل الداخل الأميركي لكيفية تعامله مع هذا الملف، كما سيقيم كل من حلفاء واشنطن وخصومها هذا التعامل ويبني عليه تقييماته، وفي هذا الملف حدود ضيقة للمناورة، فإيران ليست بوارد أي بحث بطلبات تتصل بملفها الصاروخي وأزمات المنطقة، ولا حتى بقواعد العودة للتفاهم النووي ودعوتها للتراجع عن خطواتها النووية التصعيدية، وأمام بايدن خياران صعبان، العودة عن العقوبات التي فرضت على إيران منذ 2017 كشرط إيراني واضح عنوانه عودة عملية متبادلة الى قواعد الاتفاق نفسه من دون تفاوض. وفي هذه الحالة سيجد بايدن نفسه أمام تصاعد الانقسام الداخلي واتساع الفجوة مع الخصوم، كما سيجد مناخاً «إسرائيلياً وخليجياً تصعيدياً، أو خيار المضي بالعقوبات تحت شعار انتظار التفاوض المفترض الذي لن يتمّ. وفي هذه الحالة سيفتتح ولايته بالتحول الى ترامب آخر، فتنغلق الأبواب أمامه في بكين وموسكو ويترنح الاتفاق النوويّ نحو السقوط، ويرتفع منسوب التصعيد في المنطقة.

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America’s Demise Is Near At Hand

America’s Demise Is Near At Hand

January 18, 2021

by Paul Craig Roberts reposted on the Saker by permission

source:  https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2021/01/18/america-r-i-p-2/

For years I have been cataloging America’s decline into collapse, not merely economic collapse from economic concentration and the offshoring of jobs and investment, but also the collapse of the belief system that created some unity among a diverse population.  Today not only is the economy done for but so is the belief system that sustained social and political stability.

America no longer exists.  A geographical entity exists of diverse peoples and interests, but not a country, much less a nation.  The United States itself has degenerated into an empire.  It is no longer simply a country with an empire.  The 50 states are themselves the Establishment’s empire, and it can only be held together by force.

Earlier in my life, free speech was used by liberals to legalize pornography, homosexual marriage, and abortion, all of which were opposed by the majority of the population.  This did not stop liberals from imposing their agendas on the people.

Today free speech is impermissible, because it can be used to protest what half of the population sincerely believes was a stolen presidential election.  Even attorneys and legal firms that brought legitimate cases of electoral fraud for clients are being punished for doing the ordinary work of attorneys.  The same is happening to university professors and to average Americans who exercised their Constitutionally protected right of free speech and association and attended the Trump rally. See for example:  https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2021/01/18/americans-no-longer-live-in-a-free-society/

In America today, free speech can only be exercised in narrow and controlled channels.  It can be used to demonize President Trump and his supporters as “enemies of democracy.”  It can be used to demonize white people as “systemic racists” and “white supremacists,” and to demonize heterosexual white males as “misogynists.”  Its one other use is to demonize countries—Russia, China, and Iran—that stand in the way of Washington’s hegemony.  There are no other permissible uses of free speech today in the United States, an inappropriate name of the country as the country has been throughly disunited by Identity Politics and a presidential election widely perceived by voters to have been stolen.

I have provided for my readers a massive, but only partial, list of evidence of a stolen election.  See: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2021/01/15/dont-fall-for-the-establishments-tall-tales-there-was-no-violent-assault-on-the-capitol-and-there-is-abundant-evidence-of-electoral-fraud/

But a simple question suffices:  If the election was not stolen, why is it impermissible to  raise the question?  Explanations that are off limits to investigation and public discussion are unlikely to be true.  The reason they are off limits is because they cannot withstand examination. You don’t have to go back far in time to get a long list:  Assassinations of JFK, RFK, and MLK, Waco, Oklahoma City Bombing, 9/11, Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, Iranian nukes, Assayd’s use of chemical weapons, Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russiagate, 2020 electoral fraud, January 6 Trump Insurrection.  And, yes, I left out some, but the point stands without them.  A country in which explanations are controlled is a country in which people live in lies.

In America and Western civilization generally, the concept of objective truth has essentially been destroyed, especially in educational and communication institutions. Throughout the Western World the basis of truth has been shifted from evidence to emotion.  Emotion has become the important evidence.  Objective truth is dismissed as a construct that serves white males.  https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2020/12/23/on-truth/

In America today everything is aligned against the white heterosexual population.  The Democrat left, universities, and media are aligned with race and gender victims of alleged white racism and transphobia.  Kristen Clarke has been appointed to the Justice (sic) Department to ensure that employment and promotion policies are aligned with race and gender victims. https://www.rt.com/usa/512341-civil-rights-pick-racism/

Immigration policy is aligned against white Americans. Powerless as a majority, white Americans have no future as a minority.  

https://www.zerohedge.com/political/biden-immediately-send-congress-bill-would-offer-citizenship-11-million-illegals?utm_campaign=&utm_content=Zerohedge%3A+The+Durden+Dispatch&utm_medium=email&utm_source=zh_newsletter   

Also: https://www.rt.com/usa/512765-migrant-caravan-biden-policy/

Even if white Americans could escape their insouciance and realize that their country is being taken away from them, they are powerless to do anything about it. With the new domestic terrorism bill on the way, even a protest against dispossession is criminalized as sedition.

There are many interesting aspects of the situation that we could explore.  But let’s take only one.  The Biden regime seems to be filling up with neoconservative zionists who are agents of Washington and Israel’s hegemony.  The pursuit of this hegemony involves conflict with Russia, China, and Iran.

Washington will be entering these conflicts with a collapsed economy and a sharpely divided population.  Will the real backbone of the American armed forces—Trump deplorables—fight for an Establishment that hates its guts?  Will an economy drowning in debt and destroyed by corporate offshoring of investment and American middle class jobs and now by lockdowns that are destroying the remaining pieces of the middle class—small businesses—be able to sustain a conflict with nations more unified and free of external debt and unmanageable internal debt?  If so, it will be the first time in history.

How long will Trump deplorables remain docile when they realize that they are being exterminated by being cut off from equal rights, constitutional protection, employment and avenues of success?

As for the Establishment itself, when will its arrogance and confidence be shaken by the realization that it cannot control the anti-white, anti-American ideologues it has created and is itself facing the situation faced by Kerensky, the Brownshirts, and the Chinese Communist Party when Mao unleashed the cultural revolution?  Having empowered hatred and having let it out of the bottle, the Establishment itself will be destroyed by it.

Who will the Establishment appeal to when the revolution turns on them?  What answer will the Establishment have when they are asked the question Bolsheviks put to Kerensky:  “Who chose you?”

IRAN EXPANDS INTELLIGENCE NETWORK NEAR JORDAN AND ISRAEL

South Front

 19.01.2021

The situation in Syria’s Idlib appears to be, once again, on the brink of escalation, with the US preoccupied with what’s happening at home, and Turkey attempting to push towards Ain Issa, while being targeted by its own proxies.

The terrorist threat is far from removed, and attacks are common, moments of calm in the country’s east and northwest appear to be few and far between. The situation that’s transpiring is, to a large degree, due to Turkey’s actions and its policies.

Ankara, too, is suffering from it, since the many of the groups that it backs, officially or otherwise, seem to be eager to bite the hand that feeds. On January 16th, Turkish troops in observation posts in Idlib were targeted by sniper fire from a group that calls itself “Saryat Ansar Abu Baker As-Siddiq”. According to the group itself, three Turkish soldiers were shot. One appears to be in critical condition.

This is the group’s third attack against Turkey, with the first taking place in November of 2020, and then in December of 2020. The December attack resulted in one Turkish soldier’s death. Other reports of Turkish proxies attacking Ankara’s armed forces occasionally take place.

The Turkish military maintains more than 60 posts, camps and bases throughout Greater Idlib. Most of them are located in terrorist-controlled areas, and attacks on them are rather infrequent due to Ankara’s close ties with terrorists operating in the area. Nonetheless, as the recent attacks show, this policy has some weak sides for the Turkish personnel deployed.

Ankara is attempting to encroach near the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)-controlled area, attempting to establish an observation post near Ain Issa. A push on SDF positions is expected, but there will be a defense.

Meanwhile, Iran has been expanding its presence in Syria despite the endless Israeli-US attempts to oppose this. Tehran’s forces deployed a signal intelligence system along Syria’s border with Jordan. This may be used to either spy on the US forces deployed in Jordan, or even on Israel.

Iran has ample opportunity, Tel Aviv is likely to be on the back foot, since the US’ Biden administration is likely to support Israel less than that of Trump. This provides Tehran with a chance to dig in and reinforce its position and prepare an asymmetric response to its geopolitical opponents.

There is likely to be an advent of a new round of confrontation in the conflict zone, with the Syrian Arab Army still struggling to get rid of ISIS cells in the Homs-Deir Ezzor desert, Turkey focused on the SDF and being targeted by militants in Idlib, and Iran attempting to focus on its opponents.

Both Ankara and Tehran are likely taking a chance to improve their positions in Syria due to the lull in American activity in the face of the unprecedented chaos in the United States. At the same time, the new US administration would not likely support the Trump-announced troop withdrawal effort. So, Washington still has a word to say.

80 Million Kremlin Agents In United States

South Front

January 18, 2021

It took less than two weeks for the FBI, and other American intelligence agencies, to come to the usual (and expected) conclusion that Russia was somehow involved in the storming of the Capitol building in Washington on January 6th.

Compared to previous developments, it took relatively long for the MSM and various “anonymous” and named officials to point the finger at Russia. Usually, the timeline is much shorter.

The initial discovery that supposedly points to Russia is that an individual in France carried out the biggest ever bitcoin payment in history, transferring $500,000 of the virtual currency to several “protest leaders” in the United States.

One of those that received payments is Nick Fuentes, and there is no evidence at all that he was present inside Capitol building, and he vehemently denies that he was. He was present in the demonstration in front, before the chaos. Other entities and individuals that received payments are the anti-immigration organization VDARE, alt-right streamer Ethan Ralph, and other several addresses who are unknown, but will likely be tied to “known far-right individuals or organizations”.

One should also be wise to remember how color revolutions take place in other countries, and that in many of them the touch of Washington is often found. Still, the FBI concluded that Russia (and China and Iran) allegedly used the chance to further their agendas, by pushing for political interests amidst the Presidential transition chaos in the United States.

As such, the Russian threat is as real as it usually gets in the United States, and that means not very. The situation is such, that the Russian threat is used as a justification that was produced following weeks of preparation for the war-like scenario that Washington will resemble on January 20th.

The justification, this time, was provided post-factum. They are accompanied by detentions that do strongly resemble a witch hunt, but that’s something only the Republicans can do. It is understandable, as if the Russia narrative holds any water, that means “Evil Overlord Vladimir Putin” has about 80 million Kremlin agents in the United States, since they voted for the outgoing US President Donald Trump. There is much to worry about.

On the side of the Democrats, they wish to avoid any sort of escalation when they’re stepping into power, and as such have deployed approximately 25,000 National Guard troops to Washington. In comparison, Trump’s inauguration saw 8,000 Guardsmen deployed, even though his victory was “guaranteed by the Russians.”

The Republicans, however, much more to worry about, since the witch hunt is just gaining traction, but it is accompanied by an end of the adhering to democratic principles.

The neo-liberal agenda appears to be in full bloom and the democratic victory in a legitimate presidential election strongly resembles a demonstration of the triumph of the elite. And it is an elite class that seems to have distanced itself quite far from society. The good news for the neo-liberal supporters is that the RussiaGate 2.0 scandal is just beginning, and it would provide ample opportunity for censorship.

No doubts, soon, Moscow will once again take its “rightful position” as enemy Number 1 of the Western World, and the necessary sanctions and destabilization attempts are all but guaranteed. On the internal playing field of the United States, any conservative voice, or even what the neo-liberals consider “far left” will now be silenced, and dubbed a Putin agent, as the new administration must reign supreme.

Related

IRG Chief Warns Enemies Against Any Miscalculation

IRG Chief Warns Enemies Against Any Miscalculation

By Staff, Agencies

The Chief Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guard [IRG] described military exercises as a reminder that Iran is fully ready to safeguard its interests, warning the adversaries to avoid any miscalculation as Iran’s finger is on the trigger.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Major General Hossein Salami said military drills in Iran demonstrate the country’s deterrent power.

The war games also make it clear to the enemies that they must avoid any miscalculation about Iran’s defense power, Salami added.

The top general also noted that the military drills give the enemies the message that Iran would protect its independence, dignity and identity without any consideration.

“Our fingers are on the trigger on behalf of the great Iranian nation,” he said, underlining that the IRG forces are prepared to deal with the threats along the border, in the heart of homeland, or deep in the faraway territories.

The Iranian Army and the IRG have held several exercises across Iran over the past two weeks.

In a war game on Saturday, the IRG Aerospace Force blasted targets in the northern parts of the Indian Ocean with long-range ballistic missiles from a distance of 1,800 kilometers.

«حماة القَسَم» وأخواتها بين «غزوة الكاپيتول» والحرب العالميّة الثالثة!

 محمد صادق الحسيني

لا شكّ في أنّ الازمة العميقة، التي تعاني منها الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، في السنوات الأخيرة، أو بالأحرى في السنتين الأخيرتين، ليست ناجمة فقط عن السياسات الهوجاء، التي مارسها ترامب، في الداخل وفِي الخارج، بل إنها أزمة بنيويّة تهدّد السلم الاجتماعي، في الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، وكذلك السلم الدوليّ، على الصعيد العالمي كله.

أما السبب في ذلك فيعود إلى أنّ الأزمة الاقتصادية، بشكل خاص، هي التربة الخصبة، التي تنمو فيها العناصر والتيارات الفاشيّة والنازية، وما نمو وتطوّر الفاشية في إيطاليا قبل حوالي مئة عام والنازية في ألمانيا، في الفترة نفسها تقريباً إلا مثال ليس ببعيد زمنياً. حيث شكلت نتائج الحرب العالمية الأولى، على الصعيد الاقتصادي والسياسي والاجتماعي في ألمانيا بشكل خاص، الأرضية الملائمة لنمو التيارات اليمينيّة المتطرفة، ومنها الحزب النازي، بزعامة أدولف هتلر.

ومن أهمّ الظروف الاقتصادية، التي ساعدت على تطور هذا الحزب، واستيلائه على السلطة في ما بعد، موجة الفقر، التي اجتاحت البلاد آنذاك، وما نجم عن ذلك من قدرة عالية لاستقطاب ملايين الشباب، من قبل الحزب النازي. حيث تمكن أدولف هتلر من إنشاء ميليشيات مسلحة، من جنود الجيش الألماني المهزوم في الحرب العالمية الاولى، بلغ عديدها سنة ١٩٢٣ أربعة ملايين فرد، كانوا منضوين تحت راية: السرب الهجوميّ / أو ما يسمّى باللغة الالمانية (شتورم شتافِل ) وتختصر بحرفي أس أس ـ والتي بقيت قائمة حتى نهاية الحرب العالميه الثانية.

ـ وحدة الاقتحام، التي تسمّى باللغة الألمانية: ، ويُطلق عليها اختصاراً. اسم: أس ايه وهي عبارة عن ميليشيا مسلحة انطلق تشكيلها منذ عام 1920 بالضبط، وبقيت قوة فاعلة في الجيوش النازية حتى نهاية الحرب العالميه الثانية.

اذن فإنّ السبب الرئيسي، لظهور هذه الميليشيات الألمانية المسلحة، تمثل في الخسائر المادية والبشرية الكبرى، التي تعرّضت لها ألمانيا خلال الحرب، وما تبعها من موجة فقر اجتاحت البلاد. وهذه الظروف، مع مراعاة خصوصيات كلّ دولة من الدول التي يجري الحديث عنها، هي بالضبط الظروف التي تمرّ بها الولايات المتحده الأميركية، منذ بداية عهد الرئيس ترامب حتى الآن.

إذ أشعلت الولايات المتحدة سلسلة حروب، في أفغانستان والعراق وسورية واليمن وغيرها من أنحاء العالم، منذ بداية تسعينيات القرن الماضي وحتى يومنا هذا، أسفرت عما يلي:

أ ـ خسائر مالية هائلة كلفت الخزانة الأميركية تريليونات الدولارات.

ب ـ اضطرار الحكومه الأميركية للجوء الى وسيلة ضخ المزيد من الأوراق النقدية الأميركية، من دون وجود ما يقابلها في القيمة من الإنتاج المحلي، وما ترتب عن ذلك من اضطرابات في أسواق المال والأسواق الاستهلاكيّة الأميركيّة، وتأثير ذلك على المواطن العادي، خاصة في مجال انخفاض القدرة الشرائية.

ج ـ هدر الحكومة الأميركية، لكلّ تلك الموارد المالية، لتمويل حروبها ومراكمة أرباح شركات الصناعات الحربية، أدّى إلى نقص كبير في تمويل البنى التحتية والبنى المعرفية وبالتالي التطوير التكنولوجي والصناعي في الولايات المتحدة الأميركية.

د ـ أسفر ذلك عن تطوّر معرفي وعلمي وتكنولوجي هائل، ولأسباب عديدة أخرى طبعاً، في العديد من الدول، على رأسها الصين الشعبية، التي أصبحت المنافس الأول للولايات المتحدة، على كلّ الأصعدة، وبالتالي فقد بدأت واشنطن تتعامل معها على اعتبار أنها هي العدو الأول لواشنطن. وهو الأمر الذي عبّرت عنه وزارة الخارجية الأميركية، قبل ثلاثة أيام، في تصريح لها حدّد أنّ الصين الشعبية وروسيا وإيران وكوريا الشمالية وكوبا هي دول عدوة للولايات المتحدة الأميركية.

هـ ـ أما القشة التي قصمت ظهر البعير فكانت جائحة كورونا، التي كلفت ولا تزال تكلف الاقتصاد الأميركي أرقاماً فلكيةً من مليارات الدولارات، إضافة الى الخسائر البشرية التي تجاوزت الأربعة آلاف وفاة يومياً. وهي خسائر بشرية لم تتعرّض لها الولايات المتحدة ولا في أيّ من الحروب التي خاضتها عبر تاريخها، لا بل إنها تفوق تلك الخسائر مجتمعة.

إذن فإنّ ظروف الانفجار، الذي نشهده في واشنطن، كانت جاهزةً تماماً، وانّ خطاب دونالد ترامب العنصري التحريضي، والبعيد عن قواعد السياسة والاقتصاد (فرض الضرائب والعقوبات على الخصوم)، قد أدّى الى ما تشهده الولايات المتحدة من خطر فقدان أجهزة الدولة للسيطرة على الأمن وانتشار الفوضى، وربما أكثر من ذلك، في كلّ الولايات المتحدة، خاصة أنّ حالة انتشار السلاح في الولايات المتحدة هي حالة عامة، يضمنها الدستور الأميركي.

لكن الانقسام العمودي في المجتمع، الذي أسفرت عنه الانتخابات الأميركيّة الأخيرة، والتحريض المستمرّ من قبل ترامب، لأنصاره البالغ عددهم حوالي خمسةً وسبعين مليون أميركي، مع وجود تشكيلات مسلحة ومنظمة، أيّ ميليشيات، تعتبر ترامب هو المخلص وتتصرّف بناء على توجيهاته التحريضية، تجعل من تلك المنظمات المسلحة لا تختلف كثيراً عن تلك المنظمات الألمانية، التي أسهمت بشكل أساسي في إيصال ادولف هتلر إلى سدة الحكم.

ومن المعلوم أنّ أهمّ تلك التنظيمات الأميركية المسلحة، التي تأتمر بأوامر دونالد ترامب هي التالية:

1

ـ منظمة حماة القَسَم. والتي تسمى بالانجليزية: ، والتي يبلغ عدد أفرادها حوالي 35 ألف فرد، وقد تأسّست سنة 2009 من قبل الضابط المظلي السابق، إِلمَرتْ ستيوارت روديس ، الذي عمل مساعداً لعضو مجلس الشيوخ الأميركي، رون پول سابقاً، ومعظم، إنْ لم يكن جميع اعضائها، هم جنود وضباط أميركيون سابقون، من مختلف صنوف القوات المسلحة الأميركية، الى جانب جنود وضباط سابقين من قوات المظلات والقوات الخاصة الأميركية، وعناصر من الشرطة الأميركية. الأمر الذي يجعل هذه المنظمة أشبه بجيش منظم، له قيادة عامة وهيئة أركان وجميع المقوّمات الأخرى في الجيش النظامي، كاللباس العسكري الموحّد، وأقسام الإمداد والتزويد الى أقسام الاستخبارات والرصد والحرب الإلكترونية وغير ذلك.

وهذا ما تؤكده أحداث «غزوة الكونغرس» التي حصلت بتاريخ 6/1/2012، والتي أوضحت انّ الجموع، التي اجتاحت الكونغرس، كانت جموعاً منظمة وتُحرَّك بناءً على خطة موحدة، وتدار من قبل غرفة عمليات موحّدة، تبيّن انّ ترامب نفسه هو الذي كان يديرها من داخل البيت الأبيض.

علماً أنّ مراسل صحيفة ذي اتلانتيك ، السيد مايك كيليو، كان قد نشر حديثاً مع عناصر من هذه المنظمة، في شهر 10/2020، أعربوا خلاله عن دعمهم للرئيس ترامب.

2

ـ منظمة كيو أَنون وهي منظمة تتبنى نظرية المؤامره وتمّ تأسيسها سنة 2017، وهي تعتبر انّ هناك قيادة خفية، أو قوى خفية، تتحكم بالولايات المتحدة، وعلى رأس هذه القوى هيلاري كلينتون وباراك أوباما والملياردير الأميركي جورج سورس، وإنه يجب التخلص من هذه القيادة الخفية.

علماً أنّ ترامب تبنى الكثير من طروحاتهم، التي نشرت على وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي، كما تبنى 60 مرشحاً جمهورياً، لانتخابات مجلس الشيوخ الأميركي تلك الطروحات، وفقاً لما افاد به موقع ميديا ماترز  الأميركي. بينما قامت الشرطة الاتحادية الأميركية بتصنيف هذه المنظمة منظمة «خطر إرهاب داخلي»، خاصة بعد ان قام أحد أعضاء هذه العصابة، وهو ماتِيو فيليب رايت، بتاريخ 15/6/2018 الذي أوقف عربته المدرّعة والمسلحة بالرشاشات الثقيلة على جسر رئيسي، لمدة 90 دقيقة ما أدى إلى تعطيل حركة السير على طريق اوتوستراد رئيسي في الولاية، وذلك بالقرب من سد هوڤِر ، الواقع قرب أحد أنهر ولاية كولورادو.

ومن الجدير بالذكر أيضاً ان لهذه الحركة أتباعاً او أشخاصاً يحملون نظرية المؤامرة نفسها في الدول الأوروبية، وهم الذين يديرون حركة الاحتجاجات الشعبية على إجراءات الحكومات الأوروبية الوقائية ضد كورونا. ومن ابرز قيادات هذه الحركة في أوروبا:

المغني الالماني كساڤيير نايدو .

مؤلف كتب الطبخ الالماني أيضاً أتيلا هيلدمان

ولعل من المفيد أيضاً الإشارة الى التصريح، الذي ادلى به السيناتور الجمهوري، عن ولاية نيبراسكا، بن ساسّي ، وقال فيه إن حرمة كيو أنون تعمل على تدمير الحزب الجمهوري. وفِي هذا إشارة، حسب تقديرنا، الى ان هذه التنظيمات التي يدعمها ترامب والمعادية للمؤسسة الأميركية ولكل المؤسسات / الدول / تعمل على تدمير ما هو قائم من نظم سياسية في الغرب، لإفساح المجال لقيام أنظمة نازية أو فاشية جديدة. وذلك كما حصل في المانيا، بعد هزيمتها في الحرب العالمية الاولى واعلان قيام جمهورية ڤايمَربتاريخ 9/11/1918 والتي استمرت حتى تسلم الحزب النازي الألماني، بزعامة أدولف هتلر، الحكم في البلاد، عن طريق انتخابات برلمانية، بتاريخ 30/1/1933.

فهل سيتمكن الرئيس الأميركي الجديد من إنقاذ الولايات المتحدة من هذا الخطر الداهم، أي خطر ان تكون فترته الرئاسية فترة حضانة للمجموعات الإرهابية، الكثيرة العدد والاتجاهات، في الولايات المتحدة، ما يفتح الطريق على احتمالين هما:

تفكك البلاد وانتشار الفوضى في جميع ولاياتها.

قيام نظام حكم «نازي جديد» يجر البلاد الى حرب عالمية، كما فعل النظام النازي الألماني في نهاية ثلاثينيات القرن الماضي.

نطرح هذه التساؤلات ليس فقط في ظلّ ما اطلق عليه اسم «غزوة الكونغرس»، وانما في ظلّ وجود عدد كبير من التنظيمات اليمينية المتطرفة والعنصرية، فعلاوة على تنظيم «حماة القسم   المسلحة، ومنظمة ، لا بدّ من الإشارة الى عدد من تلك التنظيمات ومستوى خطورتها، والمصنفة، من قبل أجهزة مكافحة الإرهاب الأميركية، على النحو التالي:

منظمات إرهابية محلية (أميركية)

منظمة ألفا

جبهة تحرير الحيوانات .

جيش الله (الولايات المتحدة) ).

آريان نيشينز (الامم الآرية)

جبهة تحرير الأرض .

رابطة الدفاع اليهودية

كو كلوكس كلان Ku Klux Klan.

منظمة إم إيه جي إيه M. A. G. A.

منظمة فينيياس بريستهود . منظمة أَتوم ڤافِن ديڤيسيون ، وهي تسمية ألمانية وتعني: فرقة الأسلحة النووية. كما تسمّى أيضاً: منظمة النظام الاشتراكي الوطني National Socialist Order.

مع العلم انّ هذه التنظيمات وغيرها، قد نفذت العديد من الاعتداءات المختلفة، حسب التصنيفات الأميركية، منذ تاريخ 21/5/1856 وحتى تاريخ 6/1/2921، أي تاريخ اجتياح الكونغرس، وهي العملية التي تسمّى في المصطلحات السياسية الأميركية: الهجوم على الكابيتول

وفِي الختام، لا بدّ من الإشارة الى انّ الولايات المتحدة الأميركية لا تنقصها الأجهزة الأمنية، المتخصصة بمكافحة الإرهاب. إذ انّ لديها 36 جهازاً فيدرالياً مختلفاً لهذا الغرض، تتبع لوزارة الخارجيه والدفاع والعدل والخزانة والأمن الوطني وغيرها من الهيئات الفدرالية. وهذا يعني أن ما يحتاجه جو بايدن هو فقط اتخاذ القرار السياسي المناسب،

لإنقاذ البلاد والعباد، من أخطار الانزلاق اما الى

فوضى داخلية شاملة او حرب عالمية مدمرة.

هنا ينتهي التحليل السياسي، اما اذا نظرنا الى الأعمق من البنية السياسية وذهبنا الى التشكيل البنيوي الفكري لأميركا، فإن بذور تصدعها وانهيارها ربما تكون أقوى من السياسة باعتبار ان هذه الدولة اساساً قامت على الفكرة «الاسرائيلية» الهدامة للكيان الأميركي نفسه والمؤلفة من العناصر التالية:

ـ المعنى «الإسرائيلي» لاميركا.

ـ عقيدة الاختيار الإلهي والتفوق العرقي والثقافي.

ـ الدور الخلاصي للعالم.

ـ قدرية التوسع اللانهائي.

ـ حق التضحية بالآخر.

عندها لن يكون هناك فرق بين ترامب وبايدن، ويصبحان وجهين لعملة واحدة، يسيران سوية باتجاه نهاية أميركا وخلاص العالم من الشيطان الأكبر.

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

مقالات ذات صلة

حزب الله اللبنانيّ وحزب الله الإقليميّ

ناصر قنديل

تجري محاولة بين عدد من المتعاطين في الشأن العام، وبعض الناشطين والسياسيين والإعلاميين، لتقديم مقاربة ثالثة تتميز بين المقاربتين السائدتين، المقاربة التي تعلن العداء لحزب الله وتتماهى مع الحرب المعلنة عليه من حلف تقوده واشنطن وتتجنّد له “إسرائيل” وتحرّض عليه وتموّله عدد من حكومات الخليج، والمقاربة التي تتماهى مع موقع وموقف حزب الله، في اعتبار قضية سلاحه وحضوره في لبنان والإقليم مصدر قوة للبنان، واعتبار كل محاولة لتحجيم هذا الحضور وجهاً من وجوه حرب الإلغاء التي سيدفع لبنان ثمنها إذا حققت أهدافها، كما عبر عنها الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله. وتقوم المقاربة الثالثة على محاولة إقامة فصل افتراضي بين مفهومين تسمّي أحدهما حزب الله اللبناني والآخر حزب الله الإقليمي، وتدعو حزب الله للتراجع التدريجي عن تمدّده الإقليمي لحساب هويته اللبنانية، وتدعو خصوم حزب الله لاعتبار هذا التموضع الجديد لحزب الله كافياً لوقف حالة العداء ضده، وتراهن على إنشاء مساحة لبنانية جامعة تحت هذا العنوان. وليس خافياً أن التيار الوطني الحر يتصدّر قائمة أصحاب هذه المقاربة، من خلال الدعوة التي أطلقها رئيسه النائب جبران باسيل لتشجيع حزب الله على الانسحاب من سورية، والتخفف من حجم حضوره الإقليميّ.

مع الاحتفالات التي أقامها حزب الله تكريماً للقائد قاسم سليماني، توسّعت دائرة المتحدثين عن هذه المقاربة وشملت أسماء تنطلق من حسن نية وأخرى من سوء نية، لتصير مطلوبة مناقشة هذه الفرضية، خصوصاً أن جمهور هذا المنطق وهذه المقاربة في جمهور التيار الوطني الحر، كحليف رئيسي لحزب الله، يتّسع ويتقدم بيقين أنه صاحب حق وأن مطلبه واقعي، وصار حاجة وضرورة وطنيّة في ظل الحصار الذي يتعرض له لبنان والضغوط الاقتصادية التي تتهدّده بالانهيار. والنقاش هنا ليس بخلفية مسبقة للإثبات أو النفي بل للاستكشاف والاستقراء، من خلال التحري والتدقيق بحساب الوقائع والحقائق، لرصد الخلاصة الموضوعيّة البعيدة عن الرغبات.

في الوقائع يجري الحديث عن تمدّد حزب الله إقليمياً وصولاً لنشوء ما يُسمّى بحزب الله الإقليميّ، من خلال الإشارة المكثفة والمركزة الى دور لحزب الله في اليمن والعراق، بالرغم من كونه كدور يقع حكماً في مرتبة أدنى بكثير من دور حزب الله تجاه فلسطين، سواء بالدعم المعنوي للمقاومة الفلسطينية، وتمسكه بأولوية القضية الفلسطينية، والتزامه بتقديم كل الدعم المادي والتجهيز التسليحيّ، بقياس بعض قليل من هذه المواقف والأدوار تجاه أحداث العراق واليمن، والأدوار المفترضة في اليمن والعراق تقع حكماً في مرتبة أدنى بكثير وكثير جداً، من مرتبة الدور الذي قام به حزب الله ويقوم به في سورية. وتتفرّع عن هذين الدورين البارزين والفاعلين لحزب الله تحت العنوانين الفلسطيني والسوري، وتبدو العلاقة بين حزب الله وإيران أيضاً فرعاً من أصل، وليس العكس رغم مكانتها العقائدية في تجربة حزب الله وتكوينه. والأصل هو التزام حزب الله وإيران بدرجة واحدة لمكانة القضية الفلسطينية والصراع مع كيان الاحتلال في مرتبة الأولوية ضمن جدول أعمال كل منهما، بينما ينظر حزب الله لمعادلات قوى المقاومة في العراق واليمن، إضافة لموقفه التضامني المعنوي، من الزاوية المقابلة للنظرة الإسرائيلية، وجوهر النظرتين، التموضع على ضفاف الحرب المقبلة التي تتشكل من حزب الله و”إسرائيل” قطبي الاشتباك فيها، ويتحلق من حولهما الآخرون.

حزب الله الإقليميّ، هو حزب الله الذي أنشأ شبكة تحالفات عابرة للإقليم تنتظم وراءه في أي مواجهة مقبلة مع “إسرائيل”، وبالتوازي مع أهمية الانتصار على الشبكات الإرهابية في سورية الذي شارك ولا يزال بصناعته، شكّل وجوده في سورية مدخلاً لحقيقتين جديدتين، الأولى هي معادلة جديدة تتجذّر كل يوم على جبهة الجولان تجعل التفكير الإسرائيلي بالحرب أشد تعقيداً، والثانية هي معادلة الصواريخ الدقيقة التي شكلت تحولاً نوعياً قلب موازين المواجهة المفترضة مع الكيان وجعل خيار الحرب أبعد، بينما كانت العلاقة بإيران جوهر هذا التحوّل. وبالتوازي لم تكن لأدوار حزب الله الفلسطينية نتائج على جبهة تعزيز قدرة قوى المقاومة في فلسطين فقط، بل كان من نتائجها أيضاً تعقيد خيار الحرب على حزب الله بالنسبة لقيادة الكيان.

من حيث لا ينتبه دعاة الفصل بين حزب الله اللبناني وحزب الله الإقليمي، فهم يشاركون في فرضيّة وهميّة لا يمكن إثباتها، تقول إن الصراع مع كيان الإحتلال لم يعد العنصر المحوريّ في صناعة السياسة في الإقليم، والمستند الوحيد لهذه الفرضية هو أن عدداً من الحكومات العربية وخصوصاً في الخليج اتخذت من هذه الفرضية ذريعة للانتقال الى مرحلة التحالف مع كيان الاحتلال، بينما الأمر لا يتّصل بالحديث عن قراءة خطاب الاصطفافات، بل عن تحديد جوهر محركات هذه الاصطفافات، فمشاريع التطبيع ليست إلا تأكيداً إضافياً على محورية الصراع مع الكيان في صناعة السياسة، حيث يذهب الكيان المأزوم على جبهته الشمالية بسبب تنامي قوة حزب الله لإنشاء شبكات رديفة للقوة السياسيّة والاقتصاديّة والأمنيّة جنوباً نحو الخليج، ومن يريد للبنان الاستقرار عليه أن يضع في أولوية اهتماماته الإجابة عن سؤال بات ضجيج الصالونات يحجب حضوره، رغم محوريّته الحاكمة، وهو كيف نجعل خيار الحرب الإسرائيليّة على لبنان أشدّ بعداً، في ظل سعي إسرائيليّ محموم لتوسيع التحالفات، تحت عنوان مواجهة حزب الله، وامتلاك المزيد من المقدرات، والانتقال بالتوازي إلى تشبيك اقتصاديّ يستهدف لبنان، وليس حزب الله فقط، ليصير السؤال الأول، هل يفكر المعنيّون وصناع القرار بين أعداء حزب الله بالطريقة التي يفترضها أصحاب المقاربة المفترضة؟ أي هل يعتبر هؤلاء وعلى رأسهم الأميركي، ومن خلفه الإسرائيلي، أن قضيتهم هي موقف حزب الله من اليمن والعراق في الحروب الدائرة هناك، أم موقف اليمن والعراق من حزب الله إذا وقعت الحرب هنا؟ وهل يتغاضى هؤلاء عن صواريخ حزب الله الدقيقة إذا سار حزب الله بروزنامة اللبننة، وإن لم يكن الأمر كذلك فهل سيكون قبول حزب الله كافياً لتبدل مواقف الأطراف اللبنانية المتموضعة على ضفاف العداء لحزب الله، على الأقل، أم سيعتبرون كما أعداء حزب الله في الخارج، ان حملاتهم العدائية بدأت تثمر، وأن ما لم تنجزه هذه الدرجة من العداء سينتجه المزيد من العداء، بينما يكون حزب الله قد جرّد نفسه من مصادر حاسمة في صناعة القوة التي جعلت وتجعل الحرب أشدّ بعداً، فتصير الحرب أقرب وأشدّ قرباً؟

حزب الله اللبناني هو حزب الله الممسك بمقدرات تتصدّرها صواريخه الدقيقة، والمحاط بشبكة تحالفات عابرة للإقليم تشكل حزام الصواريخ الذي يطوق كيان الاحتلال، وهذه التحالفات قالت علناً إنها مستعدّة لمشاركة حزب الله الحرب التي قد تُشنّ عليه، من فلسطين والجولان والعراق واليمن وصولاً الى إيران، ما يجعل فرضية الحرب على لبنان أشدّ ضعفاً، ويجعل الاستقرار اللبناني الخارجي أكثر رسوخاً، بانتظار نجاح اللبنانيين بالبناء على ذلك لصناعة الاستقرار الداخلي، فهل يفعلون؟ وهل يدركون أن عليهم الجواب على سؤال، إذا كان هذا هو حزب الله اللبناني فهل يختلف عنه بشيء آخر حزب الله الإقليمي؟

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General Soleimani’s legacy: Unifying the Arab resistance against imperialism and hegemony

By Amal Wahdan

January 13, 2021 – 12:51

Today, the masses of the resistance movements in the region are commemorating the first anniversary of the martyrdom of General Qassem Soleimani and his companion Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. 

General Soleimani played a major transnational role across borders and sectarian lines to unite the resistance movements in the region to enable them to confront the vicious plans of the USA, Zionist and Saudi regimes to divide and control the countries of the region.
We have to emphasize and remind the whole world of the nature of this cowardly act by the USA, the Zionist terrorist colonial regime, and the Saudi criminal state. 

The assassination in its nature is an intentional and deliberate crime, a violation of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention. It is also a violation of the sovereignty of the state of Iraq, which is a member of the United Nations. The Iranian government has every right to take this matter to the ICC against the three countries who were involved in this crime and to the UN Security Council in addition to retaliation.  

Why did the USA assassinate General Soleimani? First of all, General Soleimani was a leader in the Revolutionary Guard, then the General Commander of its Al Quds Force, which by its name considered by the USA as a threat to the Zionist colonial regime in occupied Palestine, their military base in the area.

Second, for his extraordinary role in assisting the Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah, who was at war with the Israeli occupation of South Lebanon and was able to liberate the South in the May of 2000 with the great help of Iran and Soleimani. He continued to assist through the 2006 Israeli aggression against Lebanon until his assassination. Today, the Lebanese resistance movement has advanced its military and logistic capabilities by almost 100 times since 2000 and 2006.

The third is General Soleimani’s role in promoting the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip without any factional or sectarian discrimination. His strategy was to work with all Islamic and secular resistance organizations who share the ability and fit to fight a long term struggle against the Israeli occupation, “the absolute evil”, as described by him, until liberation and independence. It was General Soleimani who took the decision with Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah to negotiate with President Bashar Al Assad to provide the Palestinian resistance with Cornet missiles and he took responsibility to deliver them to Gaza in 2005 which was the cornerstone in deterring military aggression. He transformed the Palestinian resistance to an advanced level.

Fourth, General Soleimani played a great military role in the joint operation room against FSA, ISIS, and Jabhat al-Nusra through the 10 years of the terrorist war against Syria. He fought hand in hand with the Syrian Arab Army and Hezbollah fighters, provided them with training, ammunition, and supplies.

Fifth, General Soleimani also played a great role in assisting the Iraqi resistance movement regardless of their religious or political backgrounds. He helped unite the different groups under one umbrella: the popular brigades (Hashd al-Shaabi). He provided them with training, ammunition, supplies, and logistics. He was a good companion with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy leader of Hashd al-Shaabi, and worked with him hand in hand in the different fronts in Iraq until they defeated ISIS.     

Sixth, General Soleimani also supported the Yemeni Army, popular committees, and Ansarullah in their fight against the Saudi, the U.S., and Zionist aggression of 2200 days in a row, which has left hundreds of thousands of casualties mainly among children, women, and the elderly.

General Soleimani’s legacy of uniting the resistance movements in the region from Iraq to Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and most importantly uniting the resistance forces in Gaza, the front line against the Zionist colonial apartheid regime. A deterrence power that forced the Zionist military and political apparatus from any aggression attempts or land incursions. 

The general was a man of ethics, principles, and passion; an exceptional military general with strategic thinking and diplomatic skills. He was assassinated while he was on a diplomatic mission. His assassination is a great loss for the axis of resistance and humanity but marks the defeat of the U.S. hegemony and aggression era.
 

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Canada Knew About Plan to Assassinate Iranian Gen. Soleimani Before It Happened

Canada Knew About Plan to Assassinate Iranian Gen. Soleimani Before It Happened

By Staff, The Canada Files

Canada’s former top military commander says that the US gave Canada a heads-up on its plan to kill top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, according to his interview with the Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail this past week.

General Jonathan Vance recently retired from his position as Canada’s Chief of Defense Staff, but left with some key information about Gen. Soleimani’s assassination.

In his interview, the Globe and Mail reports him saying that the Pentagon alerted Ottawa on its plans to kill Gen. Soleimani so that it could put in “force protection measures” in case of Iranian counterstrikes.

However, right after the assassination, Canada’s National Defense Minister, Harjit Sajjan, said that the US did not provide Canada with the details of its targeted US drone strike that killed Gen. Soleimani in Iraq.

In an interview with CTV’s Power Play host, Even Solomon, in January 2020, Sajjan said they “didn’t have the exact information for the event that took place” but just that the US indicated it would “take action.”

Yves Engler, a Montreal-based political activist who has authored books on Canadian foreign policy, says he thinks that what Canada had said initially was just a “propaganda line” because “they didn’t want to take any responsibility for complicity in what the US did.”

He says that Gen. Vance spoke about it now because he was stepping down and thus being a little bit more honest. Engler, however, isn’t surprised that Canada did in fact know about the assassination as he says that Canada’s military is “totally tied in with the US military presence there.”

“In Iraq, Iraqis view Canadian military and the US military as pretty interchangeable,” he said.

Canadian and American foreign policy have generally also been quite aligned.

According to a report by the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, Canada’s foreign policy “has been shaped by deep integration with, and dependence on, the United States.” The US department of State also states in a bilateral relations fact sheet that both countries are part of a number of the same international organizations, including the UN, NATO, WTO, G7, G20, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, among others.

In fact, the US and Canada coordinate through the High-Level Policy Review Group, which was launched in 2009 so that both countries could “coordinate actions in response to pressing global issues” and to support each other in “rallying international support for shared goals.”

Engler says he doesn’t think that Canada would want to be directly associated with Gen. Soleimani’s assassination, but believes that Canada has been quite openly aligned with the US government’s campaign to weaken Iran.

He also says that Canada should have done better since they had advanced knowledge of the assassination.

“If they cared about international law, they would have publicly released information and warned Iranians and said that we don’t want to participate in crazy games of assassinating top officials of other countries,” he said.

Instead, foreign affairs minister, Francois-Phillippe Champagne, released a statement emphasizing the safety of Canadian troops in the region, calling for de-escalation and stating that Canada had been concerned about Gen. Soleimani’s Quds Force, whose “aggressive actions have had a destabilizing effect in the region and beyond.”

In a 2018 Parliamentary meeting, Gen. Vance, however, admitted that the “the PMF [Popular Mobilization Forces] and Shia militia forces did help with the destruction of Daesh [Arabic Acronym for ‘ISIS’ / ‘ISIL’].”

Iran’s Parliament speaker, Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf, delivered a speech on May 31, 2020 saying that Gen. Soleimani’s assassination is what poses a major threat to international peace and security now.

“When Iran does something that is questionable there is usually a pretty aggressive denunciation from the Canadian government, but in this case [of the assassination], it was either total silence or close to silence,” said Engler, commenting about Canada’s “modest” statement post-assassination.

Gen. Soleimani was the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps’ [IRGC] Quds Force. He and his companions, including top Iraqi official Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, were assassinated in a US drone strike, under the order of US President Donald Trump, when Gen. Soleimani was on an official visit to the Iraqi capital.

Iran shot a barrage of missiles on US military bases in Iraq on Jan. 8, 2020 as a form of revenge for assassinating their top Iranian general.

According to Airforce Technology, the Ain al-Asad air force base was the largest coalition base in western Iraq. The Pentagon announced that over 100 American soldiers suffered traumatic brain injuries as a result of the missile strike at the base.

Canada suspended its military mission in Iraq and moved its troops to Kuwait as a protection measure at the time. Canada’s NATO mission in Iraq provides training for Iraqi forces “to help build more effective and sustainable Iraqi defense and security institutions.”

But Engler believes otherwise.

“Since the US occupation, there have been huge amounts of resources put into trying to build up an Iraqi military force that will advance US interests in Iraq and in the region more generally.” he said. “That’s the objective of training militaries everywhere. Canada and the US don’t train other countries’ militaries just out of the goodness of their heart, [they do it] because it’s useful to have armed men…that are aligned with you in different ways.”

“أجبرها على التراجع”.. بالفيديو: الجيش الإيراني يرصد غواصة مجهولة

المصدر: الميادين

14 كانون الثاني 18:47

الجيش الإيراني: الغواصة المجهولة قد تم رصدها قبل أن تقترب من منطقة العمليات
وحدات الجيش الإيراني ترصد غواصة مجهولة الهوية حاولت الاقتراب من منطقة العمليات حيث كانت تجري مناورات في مياه بحر عمان وسواحل “كنارك”.

أفاد بيان لدائرة العلاقات العامة في الجيش الإيراني، بأن وحدات الجيش رصدت غواصة مجهولة الهوية حاولت الاقتراب من منطقة العمليات حيث كانت تجري مناورات في مياه بحر عمان وسواحل كنارك جنوب غرب إيران.

وذكر البيان أن طائرات الاستطلاع تحركت على الفور ووجهت نداءات تحذرية لحمل الغواصة على مغادرة المنطقة حيث أجبرت بالفعل على المغارة سريعاً ترافقها طائرات ومروحيات الجيش.

الجيش الإيراني:  طائرات الاستطلاع تحركت على الفور ووجهت نداءات تحذرية

وكانت مواقع تابعة لحرس الثورة  ذكرت أن الغواصة المجهولة قد تم رصدها وقبل أن تقترب من منطقة العمليات. 

وتواصل القوة البحرية للجيش الإيراني مناورات “اقتدار – 99” في يومها الثاني والأخير على مساحة واسعة تمتد من سواحل مكران الإيرانية إلى بحر عمان وشمال المحيط الهندي.

وذكرت العلاقات العامة للجيش أن أنواعاً مختلفة من صواريخ كروز البحرية أطلقت، اليوم الخميس، من السواحل والسفن الحربية المشاركة في المناورات وأصابت أهدافها بدقة شمال المحيط الهندي.

من جهته قال المتحدث باسم مناورات “اقتدار – 99” حمزة علي كاوياني، إن “القوة البحرية للجيش تتمتع اليوم بقدرات عالية في مجال صواريخ كروز البحرية، وتمتلك طرازات متنوعة منها”، موضحاً أن “لهذه الصواريخ دور كبير في حسم المعارك”.

وأشار كاوياني إلى استخدام أسلحة ومنظومات في هذه المناورات “لايمكن الكشف عن تفاصيلها”، مؤكداً أن أي “اعتداء على الحدود الإيرانية البحرية سيواجه بهذه الأسلحة والصواريخ”.

وانطلقت مناورات “اقتدار 99” البحرية، صباح أمس الأربعاء، بمشاركة مختلف الوحدات البحرية. وكشفت البحرية الإيرانية عن واحدة من أضخم وأهم سفنها وهي “مكران”، خلال المناورة.

وقالت مصادر الميادين إن “السفينة مكران” الإيرانية تزن 121 ألف طن وهي جزء من مشروع إنشاء قاعدة بحرية في شمال المحيط الهندي.

السفن الإيرانية تحاصر الغواصة الأميركية لحظة اقترابها من منطقة المناورات

البحرية الإيرانية تكشف أن الغواصة التي اقتربت من منطقة عمليات المناورات الإيرانية يوم الخميس الماضي كانت أميركية، مشيرة إلى أن القطع البحرية وجهت تحذيرات شديدة اللهجة للغواصة ما أجبرها على الابتعاد عن مكان العمليات.

البحرية الإيرانية أجرت مناورات في مياه بحر عمان وسواحل
البحرية الإيرانية أجرت مناورات في مياه بحر عمان وسواحل “كنارك” جنوب غرب إيران

كشف العميد البحري في الجيش الإيراني حمزة علي كاوياني أن الغواصة التي حاولت الاقتراب من منطقة عمليات المناورات يوم الخميس كانت أميركية.

وأشار كاوياني إلى أن الغواصات والسفن الإيرانية حاصرت بالكامل الغواصة الأميركية لحظة اقترابها من منطقة المناورات، وأجبرتها على التراجع.

وأوضح أن القطع البحرية كانت قد وجهت تحذيرات شديدة اللهجة إلى طاقم الغواصة، ما أجبرهم على الابتعاد عن مكان العمليات.

هذا ورصدت يوم الخميس الماضي وحدات الجيش الإيراني غواصة مجهولة الهوية حاولت الاقتراب من منطقة العمليات، حيث كانت تجري مناورات في مياه بحر عمان وسواحل “كنارك” جنوب غرب إيران، وأجبرتها على التراجع.

ونفذت القوة البحرية للجيش الإيراني مناورات “اقتدار – 99” في يومها الثاني والأخير على مساحة واسعة امتدت من سواحل مكران الإيرانية إلى بحر عمان وشمال المحيط الهندي، والتي انطلقت صباح الأربعاء، بمشاركة مختلف الوحدات البحرية.

وكشفت البحرية الإيرانية عن واحدة من أضخم وأهم سفنها وهي “مكران”، خلال المناورة، وتزن 121 ألف طن وهي جزء من مشروع إنشاء قاعدة بحرية في شمال المحيط الهندي.

وذكرت العلاقات العامة للجيش الإيراني أن أنواعاً مختلفة من صواريخ كروز البحرية أطلقت، من السواحل والسفن الحربية المشاركة في المناورات وأصابت أهدافها بدقة شمال المحيط الهندي.

وفي سياق متصل، أكد قائد القوة الجوفضائية في حرس الثورة الإيراني أمير علي حاجي زادة أن القوات الإيرانية قادرة على ضرب جميع القواعد الأميركية في المنطقة وتدميرها خلال لحظة واحدة. وقال إنه “رغم امتلاك الأميركيين للقوة إلا أن حرس الثورة تعلموا كيف يحاربونهم وبإمكانهم ضربهم وتدمير دفاعاتهم، وتوجيه ضربة شديدة لهم، عبر إطلاق 500 صاروخ في آن واحد بنحو لا يمكن تعويض خسارتهم”.

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Iranian Nuclear Weapons. Is Israel Too Scared To Strike?

The key standoff in the Middle East, that between Israel and Iran, has been steadily ramping up.

Over the last two months Israel and its allies, primarily the US and Saudi Arabia, have done quite a bit to antagonize Iran and attempt and impair it from achieving its ambitions.

Iran’s response is coming, and the aim is an asymmetric counter attack that would heavily hamper Israel’s interests.

Tehran’s response will likely be two-pronged:

On the one hand through its proxies and allies – namely the Houthis in Yemen who are pushing back Saudi Arabia and inflicting heavy losses on it. Iran recently sent advanced suicide drones to Yemen, so Riyadh appears to be in for a surprise.

Separately, it’s operating through its allies in Iraq and Syria, as reports of US convoys suffering explosions are becoming a rather regular occurrence.

On the other, Iran’s nuclear program appears to be developing steadily, and the Wall Street Journal even stoke the oven by claiming that Tehran was nearing production of a “key material for nuclear warheads”.

There’s been no confirmation to that, but it also works to Iran’s benefit and will be used as a mechanism to check if Israel is willing to attack its nuclear program, once again, after allegedly killing Iran’s top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

Tehran is working to produce its enriched uranium, which it maintains is for peaceful purposes, and uses this as a lever to pressure the United States and force Israel’s hand. Most recently, Iran said that Washington’s return to the Nuclear Deal, as incoming President Joe Biden has signaled, was simply “extortion” if its not accompanied by a lifting of sanctions.

As such, Iran says that not only must Washington want to return, but it also needs to do something to make up for their past failures – namely, lift the sanctions the Trump Administration imposed.

Israel, feeling the urgency of its situation, warned that if the US were to return to the Nuclear Deal, it would feel forced and strike the facilities being used in Iran’s nuclear program, in order to hamper any progress, it may be having towards an alleged weapon. If this really happens, this will easily lead to a large-scale regional war.

Currently, Israel and the US have largely played their hands – attacks on various proxy positions, as well as various threats and military deployments.

For Iran, the field is wide open and its Tehran’s turn to make its move and it is likely to be an asymmetric action, not focused in a single point of tension, but rather on several.

Related News

Israel & United States Unite Efforts In Large-Scale Strikes On Iranian Infrastructure In Syria

South Front

The first two weeks of 2021 have, so far, been marked by an incredible increase in Israeli activity in the skies over Syria.

The most intense strike took place on January 13 morning hitting multiple Syrian and Iranian-affiliated targets in the province of Deir Ezzor, including the underground base of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Corps near al-Bukamal.

The pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Israeli strikes have killed 57 and wounded another 37. Pro-government sources confirmed only 5 casualties.

The airstrikes were so numerous that even Abu Yatem al-Katrani – the commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) 4th Brigade was killed in an airstrike.

The Israeli operations were carried out with the assistance of the United States – it provided intelligence and Israeli struck on them. Former CIA Director, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was reportedly discussing the airstrikes with Yossi Cohen, chief of Israel’s spy agency Mossad.

The US support of Tel Aviv’s aerial raids is a clear message to Iran, and is a very open support to Israel’s undeclared war against Iran, which it has been waging in Syria since hostilities began.

All of the airstrikes in the first two weeks of 2021 are the most significant by Israel, and over all, since the beginning of the war in Syria. They were so significant, that Damascus even accused Tel Aviv of carrying out the strikes in very open support of ISIS militants which the Syrian Arab Army is hunting.

Meanwhile, there appears to be a sense of urgency, or a sense of danger in the air, as the United States reinforced its troop positions in the Omar oil fields with artillery pieces and other equipment.

The US troops, together with their local proxies also hold frequent drills in the area, to keep ready, for some future unknown escalation.

Prior to New Year’s Eve, Iran’s top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated, in what Tehran claimed to be an elaborate Israeli operation.

Additionally, since around the same time, a farewell strike on Iran has been expected from US President Donald Trump, and the general chaos in the US ahead of Joe Biden stepping into office has been used by Israel as a chance to inflict as much damage as possible on Tehran and its allies.

Russia, at the same time, appears to also be preparing for an escalation of some sort, by building up its forces and is lying in wait.

Israel appears dead set on continuing its crusade against Iran and its allies in Syria. An urgency is felt, since Biden is unlikely to support Tel Aviv as much as Trump did, and every possible chance should be used. This is all in spite of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu removed the photo of Donald Trump from his Twitter, but all is fair in love and war.

Finally, both the American and Russian forces appear to be biding their time, waiting for an escalation that, with tensions at the breaking point appears closer than ever.

The year began with terrorist attacks in Syria, increased Israeli strikes, Iran threatening against any aggression against it, and the two most significant players in the face of Moscow and Washington are expecting an escalation, and no amount of preparation would be enough for the incoming storm.

US nuclear submarine comes in close contact with Iranian anti-submarine chopper: video

Iran ends massive war games in Strait of Hormuz, issues stern warning to enemies: photos

BY NEWS DESK 2021-01-14

BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:00 P.M.) – A U.S. nuclear submarine was spotted making close contact with an Iranian military chopper this week, in a new escalation in the Persian Gulf region.

In a video released by the Iranian media and shared on social media, the U.S. nuclear submarine can be seen making close contact with the Iranian anti-submarine helicopter, the SH-3D, in the Persian Gulf waters.

The video, which is shared below, was allegedly take on Thursday, January 14th, in the Persian Gulf; however, the U.S. and Iranian forces have yet to comment on this close approach.

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Iran Won’t Allow Enemies to Flex Muscles: Commander

January 13, 2021

Iranian Army Chief Maj. Gen. Mohammad Baqeri

Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri said on Wednesday that the armed and navy forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran will not allow enemies to flex muscles against Iran.

Speaking during the ceremony of the annexation of the “Zereh” (meaning ‘Armor’ in Farsi) missile launcher and helicopter carrier dubbed “Makran”, Major General Baqeri said that today’s sea arena is unique and incredibly valuable for the whole world and for the Iranians.

God Almighty has granted this great nation the blessing of having beaches and proper access to the open seas, and we have to properly utilize this God-given gift to expand the divine power of Islam as necessary and to defend the interests of our country beyond the borders and to defend Iran’s maritime borders, which include valuable fossil energy resources and our maritime trade routes, to be properly defended, supported and secured, he noted.

He added that this God-given gift can lead to tremendous development and progress of the country at the regional and global levels.

The geo-strategic advantage of these valuable beaches and open seas can bring maritime and defense authority to our beloved country, he noted.

He underscored that the armed forces, especially the Army’s Strategic Navy, along with their valuable defense missions, have stepped in and moved alongside their valuable defense missions by deploying on the coasts of Makran as a pioneer in the development of these deprived areas and have begun to take valuable measures, and we hope that the government and other important parts of the country will continue to develop and see advanced beaches and areas in this region.

Pointing out that the Strategic Navy of the Islamic Republic of Iran has accomplished its defense missions with full strength and authority through all its time in charge, Major General Baqeri stated that from the beginning of the Iraqi-imposed war against Iran, the Strategic Navy of the Islamic Republic of Iran began its powerful move by destroying the Baathist regime’s navy that day and played a pivotal role in preserving and liberating Khorramshahr, and then took an essential role in escorting the country’s commercial convoys, and after the holy defense, it performed missions to protect the borders of the Islamic homeland.

Over the last decade, the Navy has carried out significant missions with authority in remote seas against piracy and terrorist moves of enemies, he said.

Following deploying on the shores of the Sea of Oman, it could permanently deploy its fleet in the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, and distant seas, he further noted.

Referring to the escort of a large number tankers and commercial vessels of the Islamic Republic of Iran by the Army-Navy, he stated that if the world’s naval forces are proud of their steel and fire, Iran’s Navy, in addition to those features, has faith in the divine power that is the backing of manpower to overcome all threats.

Touching on the recently unveiled helicopter carrier “Makran” and a missile-launching warship “Zereh” in Iran, Makran will be a worthwhile naval vessel base for further development of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s support and operational activities in the remote seas.

The construction of such valuable warships proves that the country’s defense industry has successfully passed the enemy’s sanctions and has built the most efficient weapons and equipment by Iranian manpower and domestic facilities, he underscored.

He called the unique unity of the armed forces another valuable point.

Stating that the armed forces are united today, he said that the army and the IRGC are two powerful arms of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the defense industry, as their powerful backing, performs their defense missions with full power and complete synergy, so that the enemies have no power to flex muscles in the waters and regions under the rule of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

He highlighted that, If today “we see that the tanker and commercial vessels of the Islamic Republic of Iran, despite all the threats to the shores of the Caribbean Sea in Venezuela, are moving safely and peacefully under the proud flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the reason is Iranian brave military forces authority” and power of deterring.

“If we witnessed the unveiling of the IRGC Navy’s underground missile town in the past week, this week we will also see the annexation of two valuable vessels of the Strategic Navy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and every week and every month we see the increase in the defense power of Iranians and we are proud of it.”

Referring to the recent movements of US forces in the region, Major General Baqeri stated that Iran’s enemies have taken actions against Iranians by flying their long-range aircraft in the region and displaying seemingly powerful shows of force to threaten and display power, but they should know that the powerful armed forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the naval forces will not allow them any show of force.

He further noted that the enemy knows well that their power is fragile, and what is seen in their country these days is the beginning of the decline of American power as a criminal regime that has displayed state terrorism in various dimensions.

Stressing that the Islamic Republic of Iran will support all its interests more powerfully as before, he emphasized that Iran will put the Red Sea, which has faced some limited aggression on the Islamic Republic’s merchant vessels in recent times, back in its naval patrol area and will maintain the full security of its vessels and fleet of tankers and commercials in the Red Sea as well.

SourceIRNA

The Empire is losing the energy war

January 12, 2021

The Empire is losing the energy war

by The Ister for The Saker Blog

We can see the ongoing war against Russia’s energy industry as an act of revenge from the Empire – but a war which it is losing.

After Putin prevented the looting of the country’s energy reserves in the early 2000s, this economic war was launched, designed to cripple the nascent Russian Federation’s oil and gas industry and by extension the Russian economy as a whole.

This plan began with the planning of the Trans-Caspian, Nabucco, and Baku Tbisili Ceyhan (BTC) pipelines. The BTC pipeline was erected in 2005, pumping oil from Azerbaijan’s Caspian Sea fields through Georgia to Turkey. Next, the planned Nabucco pipeline would have brought Azeri gas from the BTC to the Baumgarten gas hub in Austria, where it would circumvent Europe’s need for Russian energy. As a final blow by NATO, the Trans-Caspian pipeline was intended to cross the Caspian Sea, bringing Turkmen gas and oil to Azerbaijan and eventually to Europe through the BTC and Nabucco routes, isolating Russia.

The Russo-Georgian war can also be understood through this lens. Two days before the outbreak of the conflict, the BTC pipeline suffered from a mysterious explosion. Putin’s victory in the war and subsequent occupation of South Ossetia and Abkhazia held the Nabucco and Trans-Caspian projects at risk, as Western energy corporations would no longer invest in such an expensive undertaking only miles from a conflict zone. The plans were scuttled. Russia’s oil giant Gazprom now signs deals to purchase Turkmen gas directly in order to disincentivize Turkmenistan from taking part in such a future project.

And while we see the reintegration of Crimea as the return of historically Russian territory, it was also a major victory in the energy war. In the Crimean conflict, Putin’s nightmare was that the overthrow of Yanukovych would be followed by the eventually weakening or removal of Russian military positions on the energy-rich Black Sea. A strengthened position in Crimea was leveraged in the creation of the TurkStream pipeline, which then allowed Russia to bypass Ukraine by shipping gas under the Black Sea to Europe.

Russia’s standing in the pipeline battle has been further cemented by recent events regarding the NordStream 2 pipeline, which will bring Russian gas through the Baltic Sea to Germany. Naturally, America is not a fan of this project and has sought to delay the construction by any means possible.

But even Germany, no friend of Putin or Russia, has pushed ahead with the project. Gazprom will now complete the pipeline alongside partners from British, Dutch, Austrian, and German energy companies. And while America may disapprove from afar, all America exports is its fiat dollar which can offer no substitute for the Russian gas and oil required to power Germany’s industrial clusters.

In December of 2020, Gazprom resumed construction on the pipeline despite America’s protestations. In fact, the German-Prussian state of Mecklenburg Vorpommern has recently voted to create a sanction-proof legal structure that would preempt future attempts by America to interrupt the project.

What a turn of fate: to see America’s omnipotence fade as the Empire’s geopolitical meddling is simply circumvented by peaceful trade

So while Russia’s victory in the pipeline battle has been unequivocal, the war has been fought in other domains. For the last 6 years the Empire has won the pricing battle, with its two primary weapons being the oil of Saudi Arabia and the natural gas produced by the shale revolution.

The oil price battle began when John Kerry and the Saudi King met in September of 2014. An arrangement was worked out where the Saudis would suppress crude prices to weaken the Russian economy in exchange for America’s military support in overthrowing Bashar al-Assad. Because Saudi Arabia has the lowest extraction costs of any major producer (3$ per barrel as of 2020), it can profit at prices much lower than its higher-cost oil-producing opponents such as Russia, Iran, and Syria. Under this new arrangement, crude prices fell to new lows as ISIS was spawned in Eastern Syria, and the Free Syrian Army was given American heavy weapons.

The Russian economy shrank almost 40% over the next two years. By comparison, America’s “Great Recession” almost crushed the entire financial system after a mere 2.5% drawdown in GDP. Russia was able to withstand the enormous contraction because under Putin the country’s monetary policy is focused on maintaining net-zero debt: a far cry from the 1990s when Saudi price-suppression (intended to punish Russia for fighting Islamists in Chechnya) hammered down crude prices and resulted in the 1998 Russian financial crisis. Now that Russia operates without external debt, these price tactics are harmful to the populace but no longer imperil the functioning of the state.

While 2020 has seen a renewal of price suppression by the Saudis, the Kingdom’s long-term prospects are plummeting. Below Saudi Arabia sits the state of Yemen. As the high birth rate outstrips the supply of natural resources, Yemen produces an excess of poor and radicalized young men. In response to Saudi and American airstrikes, the Houthi movement has united Shia and Sunni Muslims in Yemen under a common banner against their northern neighbor. Now Yemeni rebels are targeting Saudi oil facilities with increasingly frequent drone strikes, one of which spiked oil prices by almost 20% in Sep 2019.

Another problem for Saudi Arabia is resource depletion. The Saudis are systematically lying about the amount of oil that’s remaining. Leaked communications showed the former VP of Aramco warning the US that their oil reserves could actually be 40% lower than claimed. Consensus used to be that the Ghawar field had 5 million barrels per day capacity. The IPO filing for Aramco revealed a maximum capacity of 3.8 million barrels per day: and that’s their biggest field, producing a third of the nation’s oil output.

If their oil reserves are fine, why has the Kingdom been panickedly talking about economic diversification for the past 5 years? Why did Aramco even have to IPO? America’s vassal state in the crude oil battle seems to be drying up.

Another weapon in the energy price war has been the shale gas revolution. New advancements in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have allowed America to access previously hard to reach “tight” oil and gas reserves. As many small and mid-sized fracking operations rapidly set up shop in the mid 2010s this flooded the world with cheap natural gas and lowered Russia’s energy earnings. However, many of these firms were unprofitable and existed only due to the ultra-low interest rates available at the time, which enabled companies to operate at a loss for several years: meaning that the profitless shale revolution which hurt Russia was de facto financed by the Federal Reserve.

The fall of US shale seems to be on the horizon, as the industry showed signs of huge weakness in 2020. Oil and gas bankruptcies have quadrupled from 2019 to 2020, and production levels from America’s largest fields have dwindled. The Eagle Ford field is down 30% from 2019, Niobrara is down 35%, and Anadarko is down 40%! The best case for America is that these were voluntary production drawdowns due to cheap prices. The worst case is that these are symptoms of the end stage of depletion – the same fate befalling Saudi Arabia.

Even if the large American fields return to their previous production levels, this wave of bankruptcies will remove many small producers from the market who were essentially drilling at an operating loss for years.

There are other developments that suggest that the Empire is losing the energy war

1. Nikol Pashinian, who targeted Gazprom in Armenia with spurious lawsuits, has been given a black eye by Putin. By brokering the Armenian-Azeri peace deal the Russian military now permanently occupies the Caucasus. Anyone who seriously believes it is limited to 5 years should look to the “temporary peacekeeping operations” that have kept Russian troops stationed in the tiny nation of Transnistria for almost 3 decades. Russia’s position in the region – a crucial energy hub, is now stronger than at any other point since the Soviet Union.

2. In defiance of US sanctions, Iran has restarted its domestic shipbuilding industry by constructing new oil tankers with natively sourced parts. New Aframax size tankers have the capacity to hold 750,000 barrels of crude oil and will be used to surreptitiously deliver oil to Iran’s trading partners

3. Despite feeble efforts by Washington to install Juan Guaido in Venezuela – the only country with comparable energy reserves to Saudi Arabia, Maduro is still in power, and Russia and China are now collaborating to circumvent US sanctions. Throughout 2020, crude from Venezuela arrived at Chinese ports, having been snuck past American detection with the aid of Russian state oil company Rosneft, which made the oil appear as if its port of origin was Malaysia.

So what are the takeaways from these events?

First, we can see that Europe is waking up to the necessity of Russian energy. Despite all America’s bluster, it cannot provide a viable alternative even for the countries with which it aligns ideologically. Sure, there will be haphazard attempts like squirreling tight gas from cracks in the Mediterranean Sea, but those are at best partial solutions. Second, sanctions have backfired: the Russian economy is now fully resilient and profitable. There is no further way to wage economic warfare on a nation that has already been isolated from the global financial system. As far as oil trading is concerned, the willingness of America to impose restrictive sanctions has been matched by the creativity of those hoping to bypass them. Finally, the toughest period of the price war seems to be over and the pipeline battle has been won.

The Empire’s diminishing position in this conflict

Nikol Pashinian who targeted Gazprom is out – and Russia now occupies the Caucasus

Special Report: How China got shipments of Venezuelan oil despite U.S. sanctions | Reuters


The Ister is a researcher of financial markets and geopolitics. Author of The Ister: Escape America

More War by Other Means: Sanctioning the Wife of Syria’s President Makes No Sense to Anyone

By Philip Giraldi, Ph.D.
Source: Strategic Culture

January 7, 2021

More sanctions, by all means. More grief and suffering and more people around the world wondering what exactly the United States is doing.

I am a recipient of regular, usual weekly, emails from the Department of the Treasury providing an “Update to OFAC’s list of Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) and Blocked Persons.” OFAC is the Office of Foreign Assets Control, which is tasked with both identifying and managing the financial punishments meted out to those individuals and groups that have been sanctioned by the United States government. A recent update, on November 10th, included “Non-Proliferation Designations; Iran-related Designations.” There were ten items on the list, names of Chinese and Iranian individuals and companies. Those who are “Specially Designated” on the list are subject to having their assets blocked if located in the United States and are also not allowed to engage in any financial transactions that go through U.S. banking channels. As many international banks respect U.S. Treasury “designations” lest they themselves be subjected to secondary sanctions that often means in effect that the individual or group cannot move money in a large part of the global financial marketplace.

The complete SDN list is hundreds of pages long. The Treasury Department defines and justifies OFAC’s mission “As part of its enforcement efforts, OFAC publishes a list of individuals and companies owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, targeted countries. It also lists individuals, groups, and entities, such as terrorists and narcotics traffickers designated under programs that are not country-specific. Collectively, such individuals and companies are called ‘Specially Designated Nationals’ or ‘SDNs.’ Their assets are blocked and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from dealing with them.”

In reality, of course, OFAC’s sanctions are highly political. They are clearly a form of economic warfare, particularly when entire sectors of a nation’s economy are blocked or a part of a government itself is listed as has been the case with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Force. Wave after wave of “maximum pressure” sanctions on Iran have made it difficult for the country to sell its only major marketable resource, oil, and it has been locked out of most normal financial networks, making it difficult or even impossible to buy food and medicines.

In many cases sanctions have no practical effect but are rather intended to send a message. There have been new sanctions directed against Moscow and Russian government officials have been sanctioned due to their alleged involvement in activities that the United States does not approve of. The sanctions are imposed even though those “specially designated” have no assets in the U.S. and do not engage in any international financial transactions that could be blocked or disrupted. In those cases, the federal government is sending a message to whomever has been sanctioned to warn them that they are being watched and their behavior has become a matter of record. It is basically a form of intimidation.

Whether sanctions actually work is debatable. The example of Cuba, which was sanctioned by the U.S. for nearly sixty years, would suggest not. Some would argue that on the contrary countries with totalitarian regimes would actually improve their behavior if their citizens could travel freely and welcome visitors, providing evidence that foreigners do not pose a threat justifying a police state.

Within the United States government, it is largely accepted that the most powerful advocate of the sanctions regime is Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, who has been the driving force behind recent sanctions directed against both China and Iran. If that is so he might well be challenged on one of the most bizarre and basically pointless applications of sanctions in recent years, targeting Asma the wife of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as well as her family that lives in London and are British citizens. Per Pompeo’s statement on the new sanctions “The Department of State today is imposing sanctions on Asma al-Assad, the wife of Bashar al-Assad, for impeding efforts to promote a political resolution of the Syrian conflict pursuant to Section 2(a)(i)(D) of Executive Order 13894… Asma al-Assad has spearheaded efforts on behalf of the regime to consolidate economic and political power, including by using her so-called charities and civil society organizations.”

But the real kicker is Pompeo’s condemnation of Asma, of Syrian origin but English born and raised, is how he involves her family. Her father-in-law Fawaz is a renowned cardiologist at Cromwell Hospital in South Kensington who was educated in England and has lived there for decades. “In addition, we are sanctioning several members of Asma al-Assad’s immediate family, including Fawaz Akhras, Sahar Otri Akhras, Firas al Akhras, and Eyad Akhras as per Section 2(a)(ii) of EO 13894. The Assad and Akhras families have accumulated their ill-gotten riches at the expense of the Syrian people through their control over an extensive, illicit network with links in Europe, the Gulf, and elsewhere.”

Inevitably, no evidence is provided to support any of the allegations about Asma al-Assad and her English family. Asma’s charities are for real in her war-torn country and she is highly respected and admired by those who know her and are not influenced by U.S. and Israeli propaganda.

In reality, the United States has been trying hard to overthrow the Syrian government since 2004 when the Syria Accountability Act was passed. Much of the heat in Congress behind the passage of the act was generated by the Israel Lobby, which wanted to weaken the regime and reduce its ability to represent a viable military force possibly capable of regaining the occupied Golan Heights. Be that as it may, the United States has been hostile to the country’s government and has frequently called for regime change. To bring that about, the U.S. supported al-Qaeda linked terrorist groups operating against Damascus and American soldiers continue to occupy Syrian oil fields in the southeast portion of the country. The Syrians have also been subjected to waves of sanctions that have done grave damage to their economy. American and Israeli concerns have sometimes been linked to the presence of Damascus’ allies Hezbollah and Iran, both of whom have military units based inside Syria, but the simple fact is that neither Iranians nor Lebanese in any way threaten the vastly superior American and Israeli forces present in the region.

One has to ask why, given the realpolitik playing out in the Middle East, Washington and Pompeo feel compelled to go after Asma al-Assad and her family, apparently to include absurdly blaming relatives living for many years outside of Syria for fueling the war. More sanctions, by all means. More grief and suffering and more people around the world wondering what exactly the United States is doing.

Is America’s Future a Civil War?

Will it become a world war?

Paul Craig Roberts - Official Homepage

Paul Craig Roberts

As a person who grew up in the glorious aftermath of World War II, it never occurred to me that in my later years I would be pondering whether the United States would end in civil war or a police state.  In the aftermath of the stolen presidential election, it seems a 50-50 toss up.

There is abundant evidence of a police state.  One feature of a police state is controlled explanations and the suppression of dissent.  We certainly have that in abundance. 

Experts are not permitted forums in which to challenge the official position on Covid.  

Teachers are suspended for giving offense by using gender pronouns.

Recording stars are dropped by their recording studios for attending the Trump rally.  Parents ratted on by their own children are fired from their jobs for attending the Trump rally. https://www.rt.com/usa/512048-capitol-riot-employees-fired/  Antifa is free to riot, loot, intimidate and hassle, but Trump supporters are insurrectionists. 

White people are racists who use hateful words and concepts, but those who demonize whites are righting wrongs.

Suppression of dissent and controlling behavior are police state characteristics.  It might be less clear to some why dictating permissible use of language is police state control. Think about it this way.  If your use of pronouns can be controlled, so can your use of all other words.  As concepts involve words, they also can be controlled.  In this way inconvenient thoughts and expressions along with accurate descriptions find their way into the Memory Hole.

With the First Amendment gone, or restricted to the demonization of targeted persons, such as “the Trump Deplorables,” “white supremacists,” “Southern racists,” the Second Amendment can’t have much life left.  As guns are associated with red states, that is, with Trump supporters, outlawing guns is a way to criminalize the red half of the American population that the Establishment considers “deplorable.”  Those who stand on their Constitutional right will be imprisoned and become cheap prison labor for America’s global corporations.

Could all this lead to a civil war or are Americans too beat down to effectively resist?  That we won’t know until it is put to the test.

Are there clear frontlines?  Identity Politics has divided the people across the entire country.  The red states are only majority red.  It is tempting to see the frontiers as the red center against the blue Northeast and West coasts, but that is misleading. Georgia is a red state with a red governor and legislature, but there were enough Democrats in power locally to steal the presidential and US senate elections.  

Another problem for reds is that large cities—the distribution centers—such as Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles—are in blue hands as are ports and international airports.  Effectively, this cuts reds off from outside resources.

What would the US military do?  Clearly, the Joint Chiefs and the military/security complex are establishment and not anti-establishment Trumpers.  With the soldiers themselves now a racial and gender mix, the soldiers would be as divided as the country.  Those not with the Establishment would lack upper level support.

Where are the youth and younger adults?  They are in both camps depending on their education. Many of the whites who went to university have been brainwashed against themselves, and regard white Americans as “systemic racists” or “white supremacists” and feel guilt. Those who did not go to university for the most part have experienced to their disadvantage the favoritism given to people of color and have resentment.

What about weapons?  How can the reds lose when guns are a household item and blues would never dirty themselves by owning one?  The answer is that unlike the War of Northern Aggression in the 1860s, today the weapons in the hands of the military are devastating compared to those in the hands of the public. Unlike in the past, it is impossible for a citizens’ militia to stand against the weapons and body armor that the military has.  So, unless the military splits, the reds are outgunned.  Never believe that the Establishment would not release chemical and biological agents against red forces.  Or for that matter nuclear weapons.

What about communications?  We know for an absolute fact that the tech monopolies are aligned with the Establishment against the people.  So much so that President Trump, in the process of being set-up for prosecution, has been cut off from communicating with his supporters both in social media and email.  

The American Establishment is doing to President Trump exactly what it did to Ukrainian President Yanukovych in Washington’s orchestrated “Maidan Revolution,” called “the Revolution of Dignity” by the liars at Wikipedia, and precisely what it did to Chavez, Maduro, and would like to do to Putin.

Suppose an American civil war occurs.  How is it likely to play out? Before investigating this, first consider how the Establishment could prevent it by bringing the red states to its defense.  The Trump supporters are the only patriots in the American population. They tend to wear the flag on their sleeve. In contrast, blue state denizens define partiotism as acknowledging America’s evils and taking retribution on those white racists/imperialists who committed the evils. In blue states, riots against the “racist system” result in defunding the police.  If the Antifa and Black Lives Matter militias were sicced on the Biden regine, red state patriots might see “their country” under attack. It is possible that the “Proud Boys” would come to Biden’s defense, not because they believe in Biden but because America is under attack and he is “our president.” Alternatively, an Antifa attack on the Biden regime could be portrayed as an unpatriotic attack on America and be used to discourage red state opposition to the police state, just as “Insurrection” has resulted in many Trump supporters declaring their opposition to violence.  In other words, it is entirely possible that the patriotism of the “Trump Deplorables” would split the red state opposition and lead to defeat.

Assuming that the Establishment is too arrogant and sure of itself or too stupid to think of this ploy, how would a civil war play out?  The Establishment would do everything possible to discredit the case of the “rebels.”  The true rebels, of couse, would be the Establishment which has overthrown the Constitutional order, but no media would make that point.  Controlling the media, the Establishment, knowing of the patriotism of its opponents, would portray the “rebels” as foreign agents seeking to overthrow American Democracy. 

The “foreign threat” always captures the patriot’s attention.  We see it right now with Trump supporters falling for the disinformation that Switzerland and Italy are behind the stolen election. Previously, it was Dominion servers in Germany and Serbia that did the deed.

On whose head will the Establishment place the blame for “the War Against America”? There are three candidates: Iran, China, and Russia.  Which will the Establishment choose?  

To give Iran credit conveys too much power to a relatively small country over America.  To blame Iran for our civil war would be belittling. 

To blame China won’t work, because Trump blamed China for economically undermining America and Trump supporters are generally anti-China. So accusing the red opposition with being China agents would not work. 

The blame will be placed on Russia.  

This is the easy one.  Russia has been the black hat ever since Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech in 1946.  Americans are accustomed to this enemy.  The Cold War reigned from the end of World War II until the Soviet Collapse in 1991.  Many, including retired American generals, maintain that the Soviet collapse was faked to put us off guard for conquest.

When the Establishment decided to frame President Trump, the Establishment chose Russia as Trump’s co-conspirator against American Democracy.  Russiagate, orchestrated by the CIA and FBI, ensured for three years that Trump was accused in the Western media of being in cahoots with Russia. Despite the lack of any evidence, a large percentage of the American and world population was convinced that Trump was put into office by Putin somehow manipulating the vote.

The brainwashing was so successful that three years of Trump sanctions against Russia could not shake the Western peoples back into factual reality.

With Russia as the historic and orchestrated enemy, whatever happens in the United States that can be blamed elsewhere will be blamed on Russia.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, and former Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes have already associated “Trump’s insurrection” with Russia. https://www.rt.com/russia/512071-capitol-violence-consequences-fear/ 

Suppose that an American civil war becomes intense.  Suppose that the Establishment’s propaganda against Russia becomes the reigning belief as propaganda almost always becomes, how can the Establishment not finish the insurrection threat by attacking the country responsible?  The Establishment would be trapped in its own propaganda. Emotions would run away.  Russia would hear threats that would have to be taken seriously.

You can bet that Biden’s neocon government will be egging this on.  American exceptionalism. American hegemony.  Russia’s fifth column, the Atlanticist Integrationists, who wish absorption into the degenerate and failing Western World, will echo the charges against Russia. This would make the situation a serious international incident with Russia as the threatened villian.  

What would the Kremlin do?  Would Russia’s leaders accept yet another humiliation and false accusation? Or will the anger of the Russian people forever accused and never stood up for by their own government force the Kremlin into awareness that Russia could be attacked at any moment.

Even if the Kremlin is reluctant to acknowledge the threat of war, what if another of the numerous false warnings of incoming ICBMs is received.  Unlike the past, is it believed this time?

The stolen election in America, the emerging American Police State, more vicious and better armed than any in the past, could result in American chaos that could be a dire threat to the Russian Federation.

What Trump and his supporters, and perhaps the Kremlin, do not understand is that real evidence no longer counts. The Establishment makes up the evidence that it needs for its agendas.  Consider how easy it was for the Capitol Police to remove barriers and allow some Antifa mixed in with Trump supporters into the Capitol.  This was all that was required to create a “Trump led insurrection” that terminated the presentation of evidence of electoral fraud and turned the massive rally of support for Trump into a liability. Trump now leaves the presidency as an “insurrectionist” and is set up for continued harassment and prosecution.  

As I prevousy wrote, the stolen election and its acceptance abroad signifies the failure of Western democracy. The collapse of the Western world and its values will affect the entire world. 

أميركا تتمشرق وتتمزّق… ماذا بعد؟

د. عصام نعمان

ينطوي المشهد الأميركي اليوم على كابوس وعرس. هو كابوس ملايين المواطنين الذين يعانون حدثاً سياسياً دموياً غير مسبوق في حياتهم: أن يقتحم متظاهرون مسلحون بدعوةٍ من رئيس البلاد مبنى الكونغرس بما هو مقرّ السلطة التشريعية ويمعنون فيه تخريباً وبالمشرّعين المذهولين تنكيلاً وتقريعاً، ويشتبكون مع رجال الشرطة فيقع بين الطرفين عشرات القتلى والجرحى.

قيل في وصف الحدث الجلل إنه يعادل في خطورته الهجوم الياباني الغادر على قاعدة بيرل هاربر الأميركية أثناء الحرب العالمية الثانية. حتى الرئيس السابق، بطل الحرب الوحشية على العراق، جورج بوش الابن، وصفه بأنه «حالة تمرّد تليق بجمهوريات الموز».

دونالد ترامب الذي كان حضّ أنصاره على التوجّه الى مبنى الكونغرس لمطالبة نائبه مايك بنس المترئس جلسته التشريعية بالتدخل لعكس مسار الهزيمة، استثار تنديداً شديداً في الداخل من الرؤساء والقادة الديمقراطيين والجمهوريين، وفي الخارج من رؤساء الدول والحكومات الصديقة والمعادية، ومن الصحف الكبرى وشتى وسائل الإعلام في الشرق والغرب.

لعلّ ذروة محنة ترامب الشخصيّة تجلّت في موقف القطب الاقتصادي العالمي وحليفه الواسع النفوذ، مالك شبكة «فوكس نيوز» التلفزيونية وصحيفة «وول ستريت جورنال»، روبرت مردوخ، الذي دعاه في مقال افتتاحيّ الى تحمّل مسؤولياته والاستقالة.

غير أنّ المشهد الأميركي عرسٌ لخصوم ترامب الذين رأوه اخيراً يرحل مهزوماً، ولو مؤقتاً. ذلك أنه أعلن عدم مشاركته في حفل تسلّم جو بايدن مقاليد الرئاسة لوجوده في منتجعه بولاية فلوريدا، لكنه وعد أنصاره بالعودة اليهم رئيساً في انتخابات 2024!

قادة الحزب الديمقراطي لم يكتفوا بهزيمته. كبيرتهم رئيسة مجلس النواب نانسي بيلوسي دعت إلى عزله وكشفت أنها «تحدثت الى رئيس اركان الجيوش الأميركية الجنرال مارك ميلي لمناقشة التدابير الوقائية المتوافرة لتجنّب قيام رئيس مختل، مضطرب، وخطر بهجمات عسكرية عدائية أو باستخدام رموز الإطلاق ليأمر بضربة نووية». كما تعهّدت بأن يتحرك الكونغرس في حال لم يتنحّ ترامب «طوعاً وفي وقت وشيك».

يصعب على الكونغرس خلال أيام معدودة تفصله عن حفل تنصيب الرئيس المنتخب إنهاء عملية عزل ترامب. مع ذلك، ثمة جماعة وازنة بين أعضائه تدعو الى محاكمته وإدانته حتى لو تمّ الأمر بعد تسلّم بايدن مقاليد السلطة وذلك للحؤول دون ترشحه للرئاسة سنة 2024. دلالةُ هذا الموقف أنّ إخراج ترامب من البيت الأبيض لا يعني بالضرورة إخراجه من الحياة السياسية. صحيح أنه سقط بضربة قاسية، لكن الترامبية لم تسقط. لقد باتت تياراً شعبياً قوياً تستند الى رافعة لافته: 75 مليون صوت نالها الرئيس العجيب الغريب في الانتخابات الأخيرة.

ما جرى ويجري ينطق بحقيقتين ساطعتين:

الاولى، أنّ أميركا تمشرقت وتمزّقت. تمزقت بمعنى انها انقسمت على نفسها وتمزقت فئات وجماعات متنافرة، متناحرة، تتوزّعها عصبيات عرقية وطبقية ومناطقية، تلجأ الى السلاح والعنف على نحوٍ يحاكي ما جرى ويجري في بعض بلاد العرب وغرب آسيا. الى ذلك، ثمة مشاكل أخرى مربكة: يشكّل السكان ممن هم من أصول أميركية إسبانية، بحسب مركز «بيو ريسرتش سنتر»، 17 في المئة من الشعب الأميركي، وتعدّ الاسبانية اللغة الأم لأكثر من 41 مليون شخص ولغة ثانية في 43 ولاية من ولايات أميركا الخمسين. فوق ذلك، يدفع التفاوت في الموارد والعمران والتقدّم بين الولايات الى نموّ تيارات انفصالية فاعلة. ولاية ألاسكا الغنية بالنفط والتي سكانها من أصول روسية طالبت بالانفصال وكادت تناله لولا قراران للمحكمة العليا في واشنطن في 2009 و 2015. كذلك ولاية كاليفورنيا التي تشكّل الأقليات 51 في المئة من مجموع سكانها دفعت ممارسات أقليتُها البيضاء أكثرية السكان الى التلويح بالانفصال شأن ولايات نيويورك وفلوريدا والمكسيك وتكساس وأريزونا.

الثانية، ثمة تململ واسع وعميق في ولايات الوسط الأميركي، لا سيما في أوساط الأجيال الشابة والطبقات ذات الدخل المحدود، من سيطرة الولايات الكبرى والنخب السياسية التقليدية المتحكمة بمؤسسات السلطة والاقتصاد. هذه الأجيال والجماعات الشابة ليست مناهضة لمنظومة ترامب فقط بل للنخب والقيادات التقليديّة للحزبين الديمقراطي والجمهوري أيضاً. وعليه، فإن إدارة الرئيس بايدن لن تكون مضطرة الى مواجهة تيار الترامبية اليميني الأبيض فحسب، بل الجماعات الشابة المناهضة للقيادات التقليدية في كِلا الحزبيين النافذين أيضاً.

ماذا بعد؟

صحيح أنّ الرئيس بايدن وإدارته سيكونان منشغلين، بالدرجة الأولى، بقضايا الداخل وتحدياته الماثلة، إلاّ انهما مضطران أيضاً الى مواجهة عالم مضطرب، سياسياً واقتصادياً وأمنياً، هو أحد جوانب تركة ترامب الثقيلة. أول التحديات الصين بما هي القطب الدولي القوي اقتصادياً والقادر على ان ينتزع من أميركا قيادتها الوحدانية للعالم. ثاني التحديات روسيا بما هي منافسة أميركا الأولى على التعاون مع أوروبا وربما التحالف معها، كما الخطر السيبراني الاول الذي يهدد الامن القومي الأميركي.

ما يهمّنا في عالم العرب سياسة بايدن ومواقفه من ثلاث قوى إقليمية كبرى: «إسرائيل» وإيران وتركيا.

ليس بايدن معادياً لإيران كما ترامب. بالعكس، هو أبدى استعداداً لإعادة بلاده الى الاتفاق النووي معها الذي كان ترامب سحبها منه سنة 2018. غير انّ له تحفظات حيال تعاظم نجاح إيران في صناعة الصواريخ الباليستية بعيدة المدى، والأرجح أنه سيحاول ربط عودة بلاده الى الاتفاق النووي بمفاوضة إيران حول هذه الصواريخ لكونها تشكّل خطراً داهماً على «إسرائيل»، فيما إيران تصرّ على رفع العقوبات الاقتصادية عنها أولاً.

الى ذلك، ثمة سؤال حول موقف «إسرائيل» من إيران وتهديدها بأنها لن تسمح لها بإنتاج سلاح نووي. صحيح أنّ إيران تلتزم ذاتياً عدم تصنيع أسلحة نووية، غير أنّ دعمها السخي لتنظيمات المقاومة في فلسطين ولبنان وسورية والعراق تتذرّع به «إسرائيل» لتبرير محاولة احتواء محور المقاومة بضرب أذرعته في هذه البلدان الأربعة ما يضعها في صراع حتمي مع إيران. فماذا تراه يكون موقف بايدن وإدارته في هذه الحال؟

تركيا ليست معادية لـِ «إسرائيل» وإنْ بدت أحياناً متحفظة حيال تصرفاتها المؤذية للفلسطينيين. غير أنّ اعتماد تركيا سياسة توسعية ناشطة في البحث عن مكامن النفط والغاز في الحوض الشرقي للبحر الأبيض المتوسط يضعها في حال تنافس وربما صدام مع تحالف مصر و«إسرائيل» وقبرص واليونان التي تتداخل مناطقها الاقتصادية البحرية الخالصة مع تركيا. ثم أنّ استمرار تركيا في احتلال مناطق حيوية جداً في شمال غرب سورية وشرقها يضعها في حال توتر وربما اشتباك مع إيران وسورية نظراً للتحالف القائم بينهما.

كثيرةٌ هي التحديات التي تواجه بايدن في الداخل والخارج ما يحول دون اتضاح سياسته ومواقفه حيالها قبل اكتمال تشكيلة إدارته ومباشرتها العمل الجاد في الربيع المقبل.

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*نائب ووزير سابق.

The dark motives behind Saudi Arabia’s push for Gulf unity

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 000_8Y82NG.jpg
David Hearst is the editor in chief of Middle East Eye. He left The Guardian as its chief foreign leader writer. In a career spanning 29 years, he covered the Brighton bomb, the miner’s strike, the loyalist backlash in the wake of the Anglo-Irish Agreement in Northern Ireland, the first conflicts in the breakup of the former Yugoslavia in Slovenia and Croatia, the end of the Soviet Union, Chechnya, and the bushfire wars that accompanied it. He charted Boris Yeltsin’s moral and physical decline and the conditions which created the rise of Putin. After Ireland, he was appointed Europe correspondent for Guardian Europe, then joined the Moscow bureau in 1992, before becoming bureau chief in 1994. He left Russia in 1997 to join the foreign desk, became European editor and then associate foreign editor. He joined The Guardian from The Scotsman, where he worked as education correspondent.

David Hearst

6 January 2021 17:22 UTC 

Mohammed bin Salman could use the detente with Qatar to achieve two objectives: to announce his own recognition of Israel, and to persuade his father to abdicate the throne

It took Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman three years and six months to come to the same conclusion that some of us reached days into the blockade of Qatar: that it was doomed to failure.

The project to silence the voice of an independent neighbour was doomed the moment that then-US defence secretary James Mattis and then-secretary of state Rex Tillerson, a former oilman with extensive links to Qatar, learned of plans to invade the peninsula and stopped them.

As the weeks passed, Qatar’s hand was only strengthened. Turkish troops arrived in Doha to form a physical buffer. Iran gave Qatar the use of its airspace. The blockade could never work with an air bridge established around Saudi Arabia.

If anything, this unpleasant shock has strengthened Qatar. The same goes for Turkish and Iranian foreign policy

It took only months for Qatar to assemble a major lobbying operation in Washington, undoing or rolling back the influence of the principal lobbyist for the Saudis, the Emirati ambassador Youssef al-Otaiba, and establishing solid support of its own. US President Donald Trump did not even acknowledge that Qatar hosted the Pentagon’s most important airbase in the region, Al Udeid, when he tweeted his approval of the blockade in 2017. 

In the end, the Saudi prince overestimated Trump’s influence and underestimated the residual power of the US military. Both Tillerson and Mattis are long gone, but the pressure to reverse this mad act of recklessness never receded; it only grew with time.

With the imminent arrival of a hostile US president in Joe Biden, bin Salman sensed the time had come to put an end to his folly. Today, none of the 13 demands originally placed on Qatar by the blockading states have been met. Neither its hosting of members of the Muslim Brotherhood nor its foreign policy have changed. Al Jazeera has not been closed down. Qatar’s alliance with Iran and Turkey has, if anything, strengthened.

Domestically, Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, is held in higher esteem for his defence of the state than he was before, as Qatari nationalism has mounted. Qatar is more self-sufficient and confident than it was before the blockade. 

‘Qatar has won’

If anything, this unpleasant shock has strengthened Qatar. The same goes for Turkish and Iranian foreign policy.

“You could say Qatar has won,” Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, a professor of politics in Dubai who was one of the foremost defenders of the blockade three years ago, told the Financial Times. “The cost of fighting was too high – there is a realisation now that this is the black sheep of the family and we just have to put up with it. These have been the worst three-and-a-half years in the history of the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council].”This GCC show of unity can’t hide its weakness

But these conclusions are, for the moment, bin Salman’s alone. It is interesting to note who was absent from the display of brotherly love at the GCC summit on Tuesday. The no-show by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed came alongside the absence of Bahrain’s King Hamad and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Bahrain is in the midst of an increasingly bitter border dispute with Qatar, and Egypt remains sceptical about the whole enterprise. Mada Masr quoted Egyptian government sources as saying that Cairo does not see a sufficiently strong foundation to open a new page in relations with Doha. Qatar, they claimed, was still mounting a “methodological campaign aimed at the Egyptian regime”. 

The sources noted that none of the basic demands made of Qatar – closing down Al Jazeera, shuttering a Turkish military base, severing ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and reducing ties with Iran – had been met. It is too early to say whether this signals a fracturing of the counter-revolutionary forces that have held together since they paid for and installed Sisi as president of Egypt after a military coup in 2013.

Tensions over Yemen and Israel

Certainly, there are grounds for a bust-up between mentor bin Zayed and his protege, bin Salman. One is Yemen: who is really in charge of the Saudi-led intervention that bin Salman launched in March 2015 – the Saudis or the Emiratis? Militias funded by and loyal to the UAE have taken control of the south, leaving the Saudis with an unresolved war with the Houthis in the north.

A second source of tension is Israel. In spearheading normalisation with Israel, the Emiratis clearly pitched themselves as Tel Aviv’s principal Gulf partner. Otaiba’s boast that the UAE and Israel had the two most capable military forces in the region raised eyebrows in Riyadh and Cairo. 

The Israeli prime minster and the foreign ministers of the UAE and Bahrain participate in a signing ceremony for the Abraham Accords in Washington on 15 September (AFP)
The Israeli prime minster and the foreign ministers of the UAE and Bahrain participate in a signing ceremony for the Abraham Accords in Washington on 15 September 2020 (AFP)

Writing the first-ever op-ed by a Gulf diplomat for an Israeli newspaper, Otaiba boasted before normalisation took place last year: “With the region’s two most capable militaries, common concerns about terrorism and aggression, and a deep and long relationship with the United States, the UAE and Israel could form closer and more effective security cooperation. As the two most advanced and diversified economies in the region, expanded business and financial ties could accelerate growth and stability across the Middle East.”

The Emirati claim to be the principal partner of Israel could cause problems for the future king of Saudi Arabia. Another notable absentee from the GCC summit was the country’s current king, Salman.

Kingdom split

Al Jazeera’s coverage of the tumultuous events shaking the Arab world has waxed and waned. Even before the blockade, it did not, for instance, devote the same attention to the murderous bombardment of Yemen by Saudi warplanes as it did to the Egyptian revolution in 2011. 

While producers and reporters are freer to report than most of their contemporaries in the Saudi-, Emirati- and Egyptian-controlled media, the state of Qatar still has its hands on volume control. There are many examples, including the decision to downplay coverage of the trial of Loujain al-Hathloul, the prominent Saudi activist recently sentenced to five years and eight months in prison.

To deliver Saudi Arabia into the hands of Israel would represent a real prize to the alliance being built over and around the heads of Palestinians

Bin Salman could use this detente with Qatar to achieve two objectives: to announce his own recognition of Israel, and to persuade his father to abdicate and pass the crown to him.

There is no doubt that bin Salman thinks it is time to do both. From the very start of his campaign to become king, establishing close clandestine relations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been key to bin Salman’s relationship with US presidential adviser Jared Kushner and his father-in-law, Trump. 

The kingdom is split from top to bottom on the issue of normalisation with Israel. Foreign-policy heavyweights in the family still publicly voice opposition, notably the former Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Turki al-Faisal. The king himself, to whom Prince Turki remains close, is also opposed, and the issue will have a strong impact on the Saudi people.

Future turmoil

One first step towards resolving this is to neutralise or turn down the volume of the Arab media that could run against bin Salman. This mainly comes from Qatar, which might explain why Kushner himself was present at the GCC summit.

For all the pain involved, the prize is great – and Biden, a committed Zionist, would welcome it. To deliver Saudi Arabia into the hands of Israel would represent a real prize to the alliance being built over and around the heads of Palestinians. Saudi Arabia remains, by dint of its size and wealth, a “real” Arab nation.

While the resolution of the crisis with Qatar is to be welcomed, the motives for doing so could lead to yet more turmoil in Arab world.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

This GCC show of unity can’t hide its weakness

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

Trump’s disgraceful end

January 9, 2021 – 12:10

By M.A. Saki

It was too late for Americans, especially most of his fellow Republicans, to realize how dangerous Donald Trump was. 

I cannot forget remarks by Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, an expert in global thought and comparative philosophies, who said that “Trump is the most dangerous man in the world.”

On Wednesday, Trump provoked assault on the Capitol in a last-ditch effort to overturn the results of the November 3 election in which he lost with a rather large margin.  

According to CNN, in his first presidential debate on October 1, Trump refused to condemn White supremacists and blamed what he called “antifa and the left” for violence and told the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.”

At last, his Proud Boys, a mob of fanatics, caused mayhem by storming and capturing the Capitol, violently disrupting the ceremonial electoral count. The move by the fanatics came as a severe blow to the heart of democracy that the U.S. has been boasting of.

Trump has been repeatedly claiming that the U.S. presidential election looked like an election in a third world country. But, in fact, it was Trump himself who behaved like a dictator in a third world country as he refused to admit losing the election. 

It is very difficult for the liar-in-chief to admit defeat and resist his egoism. He proved that he is ready to push the United States toward a crisis in order to please his egoism.

Just prior to the elections, he kept claiming that he will win the presidency for a second term otherwise the votes are rigged.

Trump’s entire presidency was filled with numerous lies. He has no principles. In addition, the self-centered president shows no respect to democracy, freedom of expression, human rights, etc. By inciting his supporters, who attacked the Capitol building, he crucified democracy and the rule of law in the U.S. and showed complete disregard for those who had not voted for him.

If the American Constitution had not restrained Trump, he would have acted more irresponsibly and recklessly at home and abroad.

His unprecedented sanctions against Iran under the name of the “maximum pressure” campaign are in violation of international law. The sanctions have pushed millions of Iranian citizens to the verge of poverty and instead made a small percentage of Iranians millionaires because of skyrocketing inflation. This will remain in the memory of Iranians forever. His reckless order of assassinating Iran’s Major General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq in January 2020 reminded the people of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria which ignited the First World War. 

Also, his move in recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the stolen Golan Heights and moving the U.S. capital to Jerusalem in violation of UN Security Council resolutions are some other examples of the illegal moves that the Trump administration should be ashamed of.

Trump picked Mike Pompeo as his secretary of state, who according to Professor Adib-Moghaddam, “continued to pursue an essentially ideological foreign policy, driven by a distinctively irrational approach to world politics in general and Iran in particular.” 

Actually, from the very beginning, Trump was unfit for the post of president. However, a great majority of Republicans in Congress, especially in the Senate, kept supporting him just for partisan interests. 

Regardless of certain extremist senators such as Ted Cruz and a considerable number of lawmakers in the House of Representatives who still repeat Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud, finally it was realized that the person that the Republicans supported for four years based on party lines dealt the greatest blow to the Republicans themselves. And fortunately, he is being forced, of course legally, to leave the White House in disgrace.  

PA/PA

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