Baghdad on the Potomac: Welcome to the Blue Zone

Via The Saker

Baghdad on the Potomac: Welcome to the Blue Zone

January 19, 2021

The star of the Joe and Kammy Regime Change Show

The season opening of the Joe and Kammy Regime Change Show could not be a more appropriate roomful of mirrors reflecting the self-described US “political elite”.

During the 2000s, I came face to face with Baghdad’s Green Zone multiple times. I always stayed, and worked, in the hyper-volatile Red Zone – as you may check in my 2007 book Red Zone Blues.

We knew then that blowback would be inevitable.

But still, we could never have imagined such a graphic simulacrum: the Green Zone fully replicated in the heart of imperial D.C. – complete with walls, barbed wire, multiple checkpoints, heavily armed guards.

That is even more significant because it ends a full “new world order” geopolitical cycle: the empire started bombing – and cluster bombing – Iraq 30 years ago. Desert Storm was launched in January 17, 1991.

The Blue Zone is now “protected” by a massive 26,000 plus troop surge – way more than Afghanistan and Iraq combined. The Forever Wars – which you may now relieve through my archives – have come back full circle.

Just like an ordinary Iraqi was not allowed inside the Green Zone, no ordinary American is allowed inside the Blue Zone.

Just like the Green Zone, those inside the Blue Zone represent none other than themselves.

The D.C. Blue Zone map

And just like the Green Zone, those inside the Blue Zone are viewed by half of the population in the Red Zone as an occupying force.

Only satire is capable of doing poetic justice to what is, de facto, the Potemkin inauguration of a hologram. So welcome to the most popular president in history inaugurated in secret, and fearful of his own, fake, Praetorian Guard. The Global South has seen this grisly show before – in endless reruns. But never as a homegrown Hollywood flick.

When in doubt, blame China

Meanwhile, trapped inside the Blue Zone, the White House has been busy compiling an interminable list of accomplishments.

Multitudes will go berserk relieving the appalling foreign policy disasters, courtesy of American Psycho Mike Pompeo; debunking the official narrative partially or as a whole; and even agreeing with the odd “accomplishment”.

Yet close attention should be paid to a key item: “Colossal Rebuilding of the Military”.

This is what is going to play a key role beyond January 20 – as Gen Flynn has been extremely busy showing evidence to the military, at all levels, of how “compromised” is the new Hologram-in-Chief.

And then there’s the rolling, never-ending November 3 drama. Blame should be duly apportioned. Impeachment, digital witch hunts, rounding up “domestic terrorists”, that is not enough. “Foreign interference” is a must.

Enter Director of National Intelligence (DNI) John Ratcliffe, adamantly stating that “the People’s Republic of China sought to influence the 2020 U.S. federal elections.”

Ratcliffe was referring to a report sent to Congress on January 7 by the DNI’s Chief of the Solutions Division, or analytic ombudsman Barry Zulauf, side by side with an assessment about “foreign interference”.

A legitimate question is why it took them so long to finish this report. And it gets wackier: the full intel on the report about foreign interference was scotched by none other than CIA higher-ups.

The ombudsman states that the groups of analysts working on Russian and Chinese interference used different standards. Russia, of course, was guilty from the start: a categorical imperative. China had the benefit of the doubt.

Ratcliffe actually states that some analysts refused to blame Beijing for election interference because they were – what else – Never Trumpers.

So Langley, we’ve got a problem. Pompeus “We Lie, We Cheat, We Steal” Minimus is CIA. He qualifies the Chinese Communist Party as the greatest evil in the history of mankind. How would he not influence his minions to produce, by any means necessary, any instance of Chinese election interference?

At the same time, for the Dem Deep State faction, Russia is perpetually guilty of…whatever.

This rift inside the Deep State roomful of mirrors delightfully reverberates the Blue Zone/Red Zone schism.

Needless to add, in both the ombudsman’s report and Ratcliffe’s letter, there is absolutely no hard evidence of Chinese interference.

As for Russia, apart from election interference – once again, no evidence – the Dem Deep State Dementia apparatus is still busy trying to blame Moscow also for 1/6. The latest gambit centers on a MAGA chick who may have stolen Pelosi’s laptop from her office at the Capitol to sell it to the SVR, Russian foreign intel.

The whole Global South – Baghdad’s Green Zone included – just can’t get enough of the greatest show on earth. Do they sell bananas in the Blue Zone?

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.”

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.

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Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on 1st Martyrdom Anniversary of Gen. Soleimani & Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on 1st Martyrdom Anniversary of Gen. Soleimani & Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis

Trnaslated by Staff, Hezbollah Media Relations

Speech of Hezbollah’s Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on the first martyrdom anniversary of the two great leaders, Hajj Qassem Soleimani and Hajj Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis.

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon our Master and Prophet, the Seal of Prophets, Abi al-Qassem Muhammad Bin Abdullah and his good and pure household and his good and chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers.

Peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you all.

Before I delve into the occasion of the first annual anniversary of the martyrdom of the two dear leaders, Hajj Qassem Soleimani and Hajj Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis [Hajj Jamal Jaafar], and their martyred comrades, I would like to take a few minutes to discuss a few other events.

Firstly, the past few days marked the annual anniversary of the martyrdom of the great and truthful, Lady of the Women of the World, a piece of the Messenger of Allah [may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him and his family], the wife of God’s guardian, and the Mother of Imams [peace be upon them] Sayyeda Fatima al-Zahraa, the daughter of the Messenger of God. Muslims are unanimous in their veneration, reverence, appreciation, and love for her as well as for her dignity and greatness. This is an occasion to offer condolences to her grandson, Sahib Al-‘asr Wa Al-zaman and all Muslims in the world.

Secondly, in the past few days, we lost a great scholar, a jurist, and a thinker in the fullest sense of the word. This comes at a time when the number of thinkers is declining. He was a great Islamic thinker, a  prominent connoisseur, one of Allah’s righteous friends, an educator and a teacher, a loyal wise man, and a steadfast mujahid on the path of truth and in supporting the causes of the nation in this era. I’m talking about His Eminence, the Grand Ayatollah Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Misbah Al-Yazdi [may God Almighty be pleased with him].

Also on this occasion, we extend our condolences to His Eminence, Imam Khamenei, our honorable religious authorities and Hawzas, and our Islamic nation, especially for members of his honorable and generous family, as well as all his students and loved ones. I ask God Almighty to have mercy on him and grant him a high rank.

In Lebanon, due to the coronavirus scourge, we lost a dear brother from the early generation. He was among the first groups and first founding leaders of Hezbollah’s march, brother Sayyed Abu Ayman Al-Mousawi [Sayyed Muhammad Abbas Al-Mousawi], may God have mercy on him. He was the companion of our martyr and leader, Sayyed Abbas Al-Mousawi [may God Almighty be pleased with him]. He among the forerunners of the Mujahideen believers working and sacrificing in the Beqaa region. He was among the founders of the Imam al-Mahdi [PBUH] Scouts Association in Lebanon. He was its first president or its first general commissioner. I also offer condolences to all his brothers and sisters and companions on this path, especially his honorable and noble family members. I ask God to have mercy on him and grant him a high rank.

We come to our occasion. One year ago, in the early hours of the morning much like this one, around the same time in January, this great and tragic incident took place. It was recorded in history and will remain immortal – its magnitude, greatness, the grievances, the blood that was shed, its repercussions, its effects, and its consequences for the entire region.

Today, I would like to talk about several points related to this occasion and the events that occurred between then and the first anniversary.

The first point is loyalty to the martyred leaders and those who were martyred with them. Of course, when we talk about the martyrs, we must once again at the beginning extend our condolences and congratulate the families of martyr commander Qassem Soleimani and the Iranian martyrs who were martyred with him:

  • Martyr Hussein Jaafari Nia, who for 20 years was one of our brothers, a friend, a beloved person, and a shadow to Hajj Qassem.
  • Martyr brother Shahroud Mozaffari Nia
  • Martyr brother Hadi Tarmi
  • Martyr brother Wahid Zamanian

I also offer condolences and congratulate the family of martyr commander Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Hajj Jamal Jaafar, and the Iraqi martyrs who were with him:

  • Martyr Muhammad Reda Al-Jabri
  • Martyr Muhammad al-Shaibani
  • Martyr Hassan Abdel-Hadi
  • Martyr Ali Haidar

May God Almighty be pleased with them all.

Loyalty to the martyred leaders.

Loyalty, as we all know, is a human and innate value because man is born with it. It is a moral value that does not need to be inferred. It is a religious value. This is God’s religion.

When a loyal person practices loyalty, it benefits him in this world and the hereafter. Those who you are loyal to may not need your loyalty. The martyrs, who have departed to their great world beside God Almighty, do not need our loyalty. But being loyal to our great people and martyrs, to those who made sacrifices in our nation, to our defenders, to those who were sincere in bearing our responsibility and our causes will benefit us and will benefit our people, our children, and grandchildren in this world and in the hereafter.

Today, loyalty is a duty to these two great leaders, particularly to commander Hajj Qassem Soleimani, for being in many arenas and for what they represent. How do we translate this loyalty?

First, we must not to negate their services and give them credit.

Second, we must acknowledge their services and give them credit. This means we should not be silent because it is possible that a person might not refute their services but does not acknowledge them and remains silent! Loyalty is to acknowledge their services and give them credit.

Third, we must remind them to the people, to the world, to our peoples, to our future generations, and to history. We must point out their sacrifices and their achievements. Being loyal means honoring these martyrs and respecting them, in various forms of honor and respect.

Another form of loyalty is to thank them publicly for what they offered and sacrificed. We must tell them thank you. We must thank Hajj Qassem Soleimani, the martyr commander. We must thank Hajj Abu Mahdi a-Muhandis. We must thank the martyrs. We must thank everyone who represents. We must thank these martyr leaders for the sacrifices they made for our peoples, countries, region, and causes. This gratitude is a duty. Look, God Almighty, who is in no need of us, our worship, and our thanksgiving, asks us to thank Him. He tells us that {If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor].} But if you deny, it’s a different matter.

Being thankful, being thankful for the blessings and for the services has very great effects even in this world. It is true that whoever stands by you is doing his duty. But when you thank him and when he finds you to be loyal to him, sincere with him, and acknowledging his services, his enthusiasm, courage, seriousness, and drive to help you, to support you, to defend you, and to stand beside you will be greater. This is human nature.

Thus, we must have this type of loyalty. Of course, there are other requirements for loyalty that I will not talk about now because there are people who cannot bear them.

From the first hour of this grave historical event, the martyrdom of these great figures, until today, the first annual anniversary, we have witnessed great and important manifestations of loyalty. For example, since the very first hours, there was great and massive public interaction in the Islamic Republic of Iran with the incident. People rushed to the squares in many governorates and cities, especially in the provincial centers. Also, the same took place when the bodies of the martyrs were brought and during the funeral procession. It was a historic funeral procession. A person can say it was the greatest funeral procession in human history. And if he wanted to be on the safe side, he’d say perhaps the greatest. You can examine this if you want.

This is an expression of loyalty. Since day one, Hajj Qassem was being mentioned by the Iranians – young and old, in all areas and provinces, the state, the regime, the officials, of course His Eminence the Leader, the Iranian people, the scholars, the religious authorities.

There were very diverse and various forms of honoring him and showing respect and appreciation, from that time until today. The Islamic Republic and in the words of His Eminence Imam Khamenei declared Hajj Qassem Soleimani a national hero in Iran. This was an official announcement. In Iran, a country with an ancient and prolonged civilization, the title of a national hero means a lot. Some Arab countries might consider it a slogan but not in Iran no. It has a different meaning.

In any case, what we have seen so far is an elevated expression of loyalty, love, affection, gratitude, remembrance, and recognition of merit. During all the interviews in which Iranians were asked, they would say that we do this to recognize what Hajj Qassem Soleimani offered to the Islamic Republic of Iran. That’s it.

Of course, this is a lesson for all of us on how to deal with our martyrs and our martyred leaders, how to honor them, how to respect them, how to praise them, how to glorify them, how to give them credit, and how not to be divided over them.

We have also witnessed this matter in Iraq, where this pure blood was shed and this heinous crime was committed,  in Yemen, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Bahrain, Pakistan, India, Turkey, in many Islamic countries, in many non-Muslim countries, in Venezuela, and in other capital cities in the world.

The main topic of my talk in this section is Lebanon. We have to remember, recognize, thank, and appreciate those who stood with us since the first day of the “Israeli” invasion of Lebanon in 1982. Here, I will respond to some of the atmospheres and climates in Lebanon, and it is useful to mention them. We all remember that stage. “Israel” and the “Israeli” occupation army invaded Lebanese territory. There was a threat to occupy all Lebanese lands and target Damascus. Iran was preoccupied with a war imposed on it by Saddam Hussein’s regime and all the tyrants of the world and the region baking him.

Nevertheless, Imam Khomeini did not leave Lebanon or Syria. If we are to talk about interests, Iran’s interest was for its leaders, soldiers, and weapons to remain on the front to defend it. It was isolated and besieged by the whole world, yet it did not leave Lebanon or Syria.

Imam Khomeini sent a very high-ranking delegation of military commanders from the Guards Corps and the army to Damascus. They met with Syrian officials. After that, he also sent forces. However, it later became clear that “Israeli” advances stopped at the established borders, i.e. the western Beqaa, Mount Lebanon, and the areas it controlled in 1982. The rest of Lebanon was not threatened.

The conventional warfare stopped. Syria was not the subject of an invasion. So, the next stage was a stage of resistance. Some Iranian forces, specifically belonging to the Guards Corps, stayed behind to help the Lebanese, train and provide them with support to resist the occupation. Since 1982, Iran and Syria were the most important supporter of the resistance in Lebanon.

So when I’m asking the Lebanese people and when we’re talking about loyalty, being grateful, and giving credit to others, I am asking them who has been helping Lebanon liberate its lands since 1982. You tell me certain Arab state provided financial aid and helped rebuild. In recent years, they also provided huge sums of money to some Lebanese, not for Lebanon but for these Lebanese to fight the resistance, conspire against it, and besiege it. This is another research. Who stood by the Lebanese people, protected them, and defended them via diplomacy, politics, in the media, in international forums? Who gave them weapons and capabilities, set up training camps for them, trained them, and financed them until the liberation of the 2000 was achieved? It is very natural for those who were saddened, bothered, and hurt by the 2000 liberation not too feel gratitude. After 2000 and until today, the resistance, within the golden equation, is the one protecting Lebanon against the “Israeli” enemy. The resistance is the one that protects Lebanon. It is the one helping Lebanon to preserve its rights and sovereignty. We must admit this.

Allow me here to say a couple of words since it comes in this context. Yesterday, one of the dear brothers in Iran, Brother Brigadier General Hajj Zadeh, read a statement. The Lebanese media took the statement and distorted it. This is because there are people in Lebanon whose political presence is based on forgery and distortion.

The headline reads: Iranian Revolutionary Guards: Lebanon and Gaza’s missiles are support from us and are our first line in confronting “Israel”.

As for the actual news which was written in Arabic – we have not reached the text in Farsi yet – it reads: All the missile capabilities that Gaza and Lebanon possess are supported provided by Iran, and they are the first line in confronting “Israel”.

Nowhere does it say our first line in confronting “Israel”. There was no mention of Iran’s first line of defense in confronting “Israel”. Iran gave missiles to Gaza and Lebanon to make it possible for the people of Gaza and Lebanon to defend themselves.

But you are a group of weak people who distort news without making sure first and adding to the words of any Iranian official just for the sake of a media scoop.

And one of the graces of God is {perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you.} There are people who have been absent for a long time. We haven’t heard from or made any statements. In the two days, they came out to respond to the aforementioned statement.

In the same statement, [Hajj Zadeh] says that we support and stand by all the people who ae confronting the occupation. This is an order from the Supreme Leader. What is wrong about this talk?

Yes, we also say that the Islamic Republic is the one that supports us with weapons and missiles. We also say that we are a front, and Gaza is a front. Gaza has been a front since 1948. Lebanon has been a front since 1948. But since 1948, Lebanon has been a front that was being killed and insulted. Its sovereignty was being violated. Gendarmes were arrested from their outposts in border villages. Massacres were committed in border villages. Lebanon’s airspace as well as territory and waters were violated. But today, it is a different front.

And I tell these people, if Lebanon is strong today and if there is anyone in the world asking about Lebanon or sees Lebanon on the map, or if anyone in America and Europe are asking about Lebanon, it is thanks to this resistance and these missiles. Full stop.

We all know – God willing, I will talk about this issue at a later time –what the value of Lebanon and the people of Lebanon is to the global and regional countries. I also want to tell them that if there was hope for Lebanon to have some money, it would be from the oil and gas. And if someone gave Lebanon the opportunity to extract gas and oil, especially from the rich blocs in the south, it is thanks to the resistance, its missiles, and its weapons – missiles that Iran and Syria gave to the resistance.

Therefore, I would also like to add and say that all Iranian support for the resistance in Lebanon is unconditional. All the battles that the resistance fought in Lebanon from 1982 until today were for the sake of liberating Lebanon and the Lebanese prisoners and defending Lebanon’s land, waters, and sovereignty. It will remain like so. I can also add that perhaps one of the most important and most independent resistance in the history of mankind in terms of its decisions is this resistance that exists today in Lebanon. So, do not tire yourselves a lot. This will suffice for you.

In any case, when we come to loyalty, it is our duty in Lebanon. That is why it is very natural that we mark this occasion and celebrate it, name some of our streets, squares, natural reserves, and some institutions after Hajj Qassem Soleimani or Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Some people believe that we are overdoing it. In the past when we wanted to name a street after Hajj Imad Mughniyeh, Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine, or Sayyed Abbas al-Mousawi, some people got sensitive about the topic. Why?

Any people who respect themselves, have a civilization, have a culture, and have values deal with their martyrs this way. This is how they deal with people who served them, who were on their side, and supported them. This is also a form of loyalty – from a moral standpoint, I enter into the political topic. Being loyal is also not equating a friend to an enemy, or at the very least, those who left us behind and abandoned us – that is if we do not want to refer to them as enemies. In other words, there are three types of people. There is the enemy, a conspirator and a partner in shedding our blood, occupying our lands, and violating our sanctities. The second type is not the enemy, but they might leave you behind, abandon you, and not offer a helping hand or even a word. Then, there is the third type. These people help you, support you, stand by your side, defend you, put themselves in harm’s way, and offer martyrs. We must not treat these three types of people equally. Neither reason nor morals nor religion accept that, right? Neither human instinct nor logic accept this as well.

We in Lebanon cannot equate between those who supported us with their position, money, and weapons; were martyred with us; lived the hardship with us; helped us liberate our land and free our captives; and made us into a deterrent force in the face of the enemy and those who conspired against Lebanon in 1982 – all these were revealed in documents – supported the “Israeli” enemy during all the years of the occupation, did not provide any assistance to Lebanon, and urged the “Israelis” to continue the July war until the resistance is crushed, even though “Israel” was exhausted by the war and wanted to stop it.

We cannot consider those who were happy for our victory in the July war equal to those who were saddened by our victory. Today, too, we cannot consider those who stand by Lebanon and the strength of Lebanon to regain its oil and gas, protect its land and sky, and face any future dangers or threats equal to those who conspire against Lebanon, besiege it, and prevent it from getting aid.

Likewise in Palestine. The Palestinian resistance factions and the Palestinian people cannot consider those who are providing them with money, weapons, expertise, technology, and training and those who are standing with them in the media, politically, publicly, and diplomatically at every level and bearing the consequences of this position equal to those who are conspiring with the Americans and the “Israelis” against Palestine, its people, and its sanctities as well as the Palestinian refugees in the world, preventing aid from reaching the Palestinian people, besieging and arresting people who are collect aid or donating money to the Palestinian people, let alone those giving them weapons. It is natural that we find loyalty from the Palestinian resistance factions and the Palestinian people towards Hajj Qassem and the Islamic Republic in Iran.

Syria cannot equate between those who were partners, supporters, and financiers of the global war against it, aimed at crushing, destroying, and dividing it and allowing the takfiris to govern it and those who stood by Syria, supported it with money and weapons, men and martyrs, and spent their youth in its squares and fields, such as Hajj Qassem Soleimani and his brothers.

The Iraqis cannot consider those who occupied their lands, destroyed Iraq, committed grave massacres, caused all these disasters, supported all the takfiri groups, sent thousands of suicide bombers and thousands of car bombs to Iraq, provided money and weapons to Takfiri terrorist organizations for many years equal to those who sacrificed their selves, soul, brothers, money, and weapons to stand by the Iraqis, defend them, help them liberate their land from the occupation, help them get rid of Daesh and the Takfiri groups that were destroying and burning Iraq, looting, killing, and committing massacres and sedition. They cannot equate between them.

This is also the case when we talk about Afghanistan, Yemen, and other countries. Hence, being loyal also requires that we not equate between these types of people, to know our friends from our enemies from our opponents, and to distinguish between who is just and who is negligent. Loyalty is also one of the conditions of victory. God Almighty threatened to take away blessings from those who disbelieve in them. And for those who are grateful, their blessings will be increased. God will increase their blessings. Loyalty is one of the conditions for victory. It is one of the conditions for perseverance, survival, and steadfastness.

Thus, this is the first topic. Still in this topic, I can say today: Yes, our axis, our nation, our peoples, the resistance movements, their parties, the states, and everyone concerned in this battle regionally expressed their sincerity, loyalty, position, gratitude, recognition, glorification, honor and appreciation to these two great martyr leaders in a proportionate and different manner. And we must continue this. This should not end with the end of the first anniversary. Today, Hajj Qassem, Hajj Abu Mahdi, and all the martyrs are torches. They are suns and moons that illuminate the path for us, and this lighting and guidance must continue.

Second point:

The second point that I want to talk about in this commemoration is the impact of this incident from the beginning until today. This incident was strongly present all year long – in the sentiments, emotions, as well as in the political, security, and military equations. As we speak, there is great concern in the region, in the Gulf region and in Iraq and in our region. Yesterday, the “Israelis” announced that they had raised the level of alert and reserve in their army to the highest levels. All this because of the anniversary of the assassination of martyr Hajj Qassem Soleimani and martyr Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. This incident imposed itself. And today, the region is in a state of grave tension. Let us not hide behind our finger. We do not know where any incident might drag the region to. The Americans, at the very least, are in a state of fear and worry and are waiting. This is what they are saying.

The brothers in Iran also assume that Trump may prepare something before his departure on January 20. The entire region is in a state of caution and attention. This is as a result of the impact of this incident. This incident cannot be overlooked. And I tell you, this incident will always have a strong impact. Here, I would also like to refer to a very important point because some people here in Lebanon and abroad think in a wrong way. For example, when it comes to the response to the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem Soleimani, some assume that Iran will depend on its proxies as they call them, on its friends, or on its loved ones.    

Iran does not ask its proxies, its friends, or its loved ones for anything, and it has never asked them for anything. When Iran decides to respond militarily as it did in Ain al-Assad, it will respond militarily. When it responds on the security level, it will be in accordance with the nature of the incident.

The assassination of the great nuclear scientist, martyr Dr. Fakhrizadeh was a security operation. If Iran wanted to respond militarily, it would have done so from the beginning or in the first few days, as it responded at Ain Al-Assad base after the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis. If Iran’s friends, who are loyal to the Islamic Republic of Iran and to the martyrs, took the initiative to respond, it is their business and decision. But what I want the enemies, the friends, and the analysts to know so they do not misanalyse is that Iran is not weak. Iran is strong when it wants to respond militarily and at the security level at the appropriate time, place, and manner.

Some people in Lebanon and the region measure Iran in terms of some of its regional friends. Iran is not like that. Here, I am talking to some of the Lebanese as well. When your master, Trump, talks about some of your regional friends, he says they have nothing but money and that “King, we’re protecting you. You might not be there for two weeks without us.” “If we were not defending you, you’d be speaking Farsi in three weeks.”

These are your friends. This is why they need America and others, like the Takfiri groups, and need to finance gangs and mercenaries so that they can defend them, their borders, and even their regimes.

As for Iran, it is strong and does not even need its friends and allies. Let this matter remain clearly present in the minds of everyone who wants to analyze, comment, or approach events of this kind.

Third point:

Also during this commemoration, I want to emphasize that the axis of resistance was able to absorb this big blow. We admit that the blow was very grave and the loss was very great, but the axis was able to absorb it. The Americans, those who helped them, and those who instigated them assumed that when we kill Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the situation in Iraq will turn in their favor and the axis of resistance will collapse. Hajj Qassem represented the wise, courageous, serious, and persevering link, a link that binds the countries, forces, and movements of the axis of resistance. Hence, if we kill this man, the link will be broken.

All this has been addressed and absorbed. Based on our culture, belonging, and history, we know how to turn threats into opportunities. We also know how to transform blood that was unjustly shed into a strong drive to persevere, be steadfast, remain on the path, and be more responsible. They thought that shedding that blood will lead to frustration, despair, carelessness, weakness, withdrawal, or retreat. That is why in the context of this battle, I want the Americans, the “Israelis”, everyone belonging to their axis, and those who kill our leaders and conspire to assassinate our leaders, scholars, elites, or kill our mujahideen, our people, our men and women to know two things very well.

Imam Khomeini used to say, “Kill us; our nation will become more awaken.” Sayyed Abbas used to repeat this phrase: “When you kill us, our people will become more aware.” Look at how Hezbollah in Lebanon was before Sayyed Abbas was martyred. What did it become after his martyrdom? What moral, intellectual, spiritual, and voluntary status and strength did the blood and martyrdom of Sayyed Abbas give to this march? It is the same thing when we talk about the martyrs.

The other thing I wanted to add is when you kill our leaders, we become more adamant, hardened, and more committed to the truth, and our sense of responsibility increases. We’ve lost these great people on this path. How can we abandon it?

Therefore, whoever is betting that murders, assassinations, wars, car bombs, sieges, and sanctions will weaken our will, determination, and resolve is weak. I will later conclude with the sanctions.

Fourth point:

If Iran declared Hajj Qassem Soleimani a national hero in Iran, we are presenting him as a global hero, a global symbol, a world title, and a symbol of sacrifice, redemption, and loyalty that defends the weak and the oppressed, whether they were Muslims or not.

In every battle and in his entire life, Hajj Qassem Soleimani not only defended the Shiites, but he also defended the Sunnis, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Christians, Muslims, the followers of other religions and denominations, Venezuela, and any country or people that could be besieged, weakened, or conspired against. He was present in the squares. These various and great traits that exist in the personality of this leader qualify him to be a global symbol and hero, to be emulated by all the resistance and mujahideen of this world.

There are also great symbols alongside him. In Iraq, there is Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Hajj Imad Mughniyeh and Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine in Lebanon and Syria. There are also martyr leaders in Palestine, Yemen, and other arenas. These are symbols and patriotic and national heroes in their country and their nation. But Hajj Qassem Soleimani leads because he was present in all these squares, present strongly and effectively in all of these squares. That is why he must be rightfully introduced. We are not exaggerating or make a legend out of him or anything. Until this moment, I tell you, what has been revealed about Hajj Qassem Soleimani, about the nature of this figure, about his jihad, his watchfulness and his sacrifices, about his achievements as well as the achievement of all the brothers who worked with him in all arenas, have so far been little. There are things that cannot be revealed since the time to talk about them is not appropriate. But they will be revealed later.

In any case, on the first anniversary, I also call for taking this position, dealing with this name, this scene, this image, and this symbolism at this international and global level.

Fifth point:

The last point that I would like to point to is regarding the future, continuing the path. This incident has repercussions. It has very important implications and effects:

1- Expelling America out of the region: This slogan would not have become a slogan and a declared and serious goal that all the peoples of the region should work if it were not for this historical incident and its magnitude. The Americans created Daesh. Trump talked about Hillary Clinton and Obama, but he did not continue. This means the CIA and the Pentagon, i.e. all the Americans. In other words, the Obama administration created Daesh.

By the way, I remember a funny thing when Daesh appeared. Some Gulf newspapers and this black room in the Gulf worked on a group of magazines and articles published by some media outlets, reporting that a meeting took place on the Iranian-Afghan border with three people attending it – myself, the poor servant, Hajj Qassem Soleimani, and Osama Bin Laden – and made the decision to form Daesh. Take a look at the level of emptiness, stupidity, and shallowness of the media in the other axis.

In any case, when Trump said the Americans created Daesh, they created it for objectives related to Syria, Iraq, and the whole region. A senior American general admitted that they created Daesh. This can be found on social media, and the boys always acquire them. Even Clinton herself admit it. But now, I remember this specifically. He is a retired American major general or lieutenant general – God knows. He was a military commander of NATO. He said we can only fight Hezbollah with Daesh. We created Daesh to fight Hezbollah. Daesh was created so that the American army would return to Iraq and occupation would return to Iraq, but in a different way.

This incident, this assassination pushed the Iraqi people to take to the street. One of the largest demonstrations in the history of the Iraqi people came out following the assassination. It demanded the withdrawal of the American forces. Then, there was the very important decision taken by the Iraqi parliament that is following up on its implementation with the Iraqi government. the talk now is that the Americans will withdraw within a year or two. The Americans promised to withdraw in three years. This is a detail that concerns the Iraqis themselves. But the incident put the US forces on the path out of Iraq, and this is being pursued by the Iraqis themselves with all the means they see fit. So, this is a goal, which is related to the next phase.

2- Just retribution: Imam Khamenei clearly and specifically defined the circle of the killers of martyred commanders Hajj Soleimani and Haji Abu Mahdi – those who ordered and those who carried out the assassination. It is true that, first and foremost, it’s the responsibility of the Iranians to avenge Hajj Qassem and a primary responsibility of the Iraqis to avenge Hajj Abu Mahdi. But I want to repeat what I said a few days ago via Al-Mayadeen. This is also the responsibility of every free, honorable, resistance fighter, and loyal person on the planet to be a partner in enforcing this punishment.

3- To continue to defend the states, peoples, and movements of the resistance against all the threats that may arise. We are witnessing a revival of some of these takfiri groups, in Iraq and Syria. Recently, there were dangerous operations carried out by Daesh.

4- Palestine, Al-Quds, and the holy sites. It is our natural right to continue to stand by this dear and generous people.

This is the path, and this axis will continue on this path and this battle. Of course, every person should follow it in accordance with what is appropriate for his country, taking into account the group of national interests. We did that and we still do. This axis is managed by its leaders in different countries with reason, wisdom, and understanding of the circumstances of each other in an accurate and responsible manner, not as some imagine. Had it not been for this situation in the leadership of the axis, all these victories and achievements would not have been accomplished. The defeats that befell the other anxious and dilapidated projects  would not have been possible. We have a horizon, but the others don’t. It is through logic, evidence, proof, and argument and not through pretense and slogan, and giving empty morale. Absolutely not.

This is all I’m going to talk about regarding the first martyrdom anniversary of the two great martyr commanders. With regard to the Lebanese file, I felt that if I were to speak at length, it will take more time. Since I wanted to conclude before seven o’clock, I will, God willing, speak in a few days. We’ll see maybe Thursday or Friday, so there’s a break between the two speeches. It will be a speech solely on Lebanese issues. There are several topics that I’d like to talk about, including the government, the developments and the investigation regarding the port, the Americans interfering in the issue of the port, judicial developments regarding this matter, the living and social situation. I have something to say about the Al-Qard Al-Hasan Association. According to our data, the Americans paid some television stations hundreds of thousands of dollars to only report on the Al-Qard Al-Hassan Association. Since Al-Qard Al-Hassan Association has become the subject of official, political, and media attention, I’d like to talk about this topic. I will also talk about the banks, the depositors, the sanctions, and the political choices. Now we are hearing about political and economic choices. So, God willing, my next talk will be purely about the Lebanese file. Now the demarcation of the border and the situation with the “Israeli” enemy, the resistance, oil and gas, in any case, we have talked today and we have spoken several days ago. But God willing, I will focus on these topics.

I would like to conclude by advising those who are thinking about imposing a siege and sanctions. I asked the brothers here to give me a list. They provided me with a long list that dates back to last year and the year before. In the past few months, in particular, the Trump administration has been working on luring countries to normalize [ties with “Israel”] and others to place Hezbollah on the terror and sanctions lists. The Americans worked on this. There were even countries that we never heard of or countries that are of no value to us, like Slovenia. I don’t want to underestimate any country. But if you asked the Lebanese people, what is Slovenia? Some might say it’s the name of a ship, an island, a hotel. With all due respect to this state, this is the reality. For example, there are small countries in far away corners of the world that no one has heard of and no one knows anything about declaring that they have placed Hezbollah on the terror list. Of course, how do we know about this? From the Americans.

Pompeo would call them and thank them. Good job. God bless you.  So, what’s the story? They placed Hezbollah on the terror list. Of course, they know this does nothing. Its goal is psychological – to make the Lebanese people or Hezbollah feel besieged, that the world is besieging it and rejecting it, the world is placing it on the terror list. This is part of the subjugation battle.

I want to end on a moral note. In our culture, we believe in God Almighty and that the realm of the heavens and earth and everything is in the hand of God Almighty. And we consider that we are doing our taklif [religious obligation]. As His servants, we worship Him. We worship Him during prayers and in jihad. When we obey Him and worship Him, we become His soldiers. When we become His soldiers, we become among His soldiers in this existence and in this universe.

{And none knows the soldiers of your Lord except Him.}

Even if you besieged us in a small plot of land, we are the ones to feel it. Just for you to know who you are fighting and besieging. We do not feel that we are trapped. We have the land, the mountains, the valleys, the dirt, the rivers, the seas, the oceans, the clouds, the wind, the sun, the moon, the stars, the seven heavens, the angels, and what He has created from what we know and what we do not know all on our side. We feel that you are the ones that are trapped. America and its greatness are trapped. Our enemies are all trapped. We are not besieged. He who believes in God cannot feel surrounded even if all the landscape closed down on him.

You are fighting a failed battle that will not lead to any results. Killing us will only increase our awareness, persistence, and determination.  Besieging us will only increase our confidence, dependence, and connection to the true source of strength that creates victory. {And victory is not but from Allah.}

Peace, and God’s mercy and blessings be upon you.

The Soleimani legacy: Dr Tim Anderson

Iran Asks the Interpol to Arrest Trump and his Partners for Killing Soleimani

ARABI SOURI 

Trump war crime killing Iran IRGC Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Mohandis in Iraq

Iran submitted documents to the Interpol needed to arrest the outgoing US President Donald Trump for his extrajudicial crime in killing the Iranian General Qassim Soleimani last year.

A spokesman for the Iranian Judicial Authority revealed that the authority sent to the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) based in Lyon, France to issue a ‘Red Notice’ locate and provisionally arrest the US president along with all the individuals who helped him commit the assassination of Lieutenant General Qassim Solemani on the 3rd of January 2020 near Baghdad International Airport.

The move might be symbolic as even the former presidents of the USA continue to enjoy the protection of their country’s security apparatuses, especially the so-called ‘Secret Service’, which was enacted by no other than the Nobel Peace Laureate Barack Obama in 2012 who wanted to protect his friend and former war criminal George W. Bush and himself in the future for life on the account of the US taxpayers and the US personnel.

Interpol may act to fill Iran’s request for a ‘Red Notice,’ which in turn would require individual countries’ to issue warrants for his arrest. Upon issuance, Trump’s movement around the world would be limited in countries that still respect international law.

If, on the other hand, the Interpol chooses to ignore the Iranian request despite the overwhelming evidence, this would limit cooperation by Iran with the international police.

Iranian Minister for Security Mahmoud Alawi stated today that the documents in the crime of assassinating the ‘Martyr General Qassim Soleimani are one thousand pages.’

The Iranian security minister added: ‘The Islamic Republic of Iran will not give up the blood of the martyr Qassem Soleimani. Of course, a small slap was dealt with the enemies at Ain al-Asad, but the main slap and harsh revenge remained.’

Mr. Alawi’s was referring to the Iranian bombing of the US military base in Ain al-Asad in western Iraq on 8 January 2020 in retaliation for the US killing of General Soleimani, the bombing caused considerable casualties among the US troops positioned in the base despite the denials from the regime of Donald Trump, later they started revealing that dozens of their soldiers suffered from brain injuries and severe headaches from the incoming precision Iranian missiles!

The Iranian minister said that his country ‘will avenge the killing of its top general especially that the enemy has declared their responsibility for this terrorist act’.

United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killing and Arbitrary Execution Mrs. Agnes Callamard rightfully stated the US assassinations of the Iranian General Soleimani and the Iraqi top commander Al Muhandis are war crimes.

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Soleimani geopolitics, one year on

Soleimani geopolitics, one year on

by Pepe Escobar, posted with permission and first posted at Asia Times

One year ago, the Raging Twenties started with a murder.

The assassination of Maj Gen Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), alongside Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraq’s Hashd al-Sha’abi militia, by laser-guided Hellfire missiles launched from two MQ-9 Reaper drones, was an act of war.

Not only the drone strike at Baghdad airport, directly ordered by President Trump, was unilateral, unprovoked and illegal: it was engineered as a stark provocation, to detonate an Iranian reaction that would then be countered by American “self-defense”, packaged as “deterrence”. Call it a perverse form of double down, reversed false flag.

The imperial Mighty Wurlitzer spun it as a “targeted killing”, a pre-emptive op squashing Soleimani’s alleged planning of “imminent attacks” against US diplomats and troops.

False. No evidence whatsoever. And then, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, in front of his Parliament, offered the ultimate context: Soleimani was on a diplomatic mission, on a regular flight between Damascus and Baghdad, involved in complex negotiations between Tehran and Riyadh, with the Iraqi Prime Minister as mediator, at the request of President Trump.

So the imperial machine – in complete mockery of international law – assassinated a de facto diplomatic envoy.

The three top factions who pushed for Soleimani’s assassination were US neo-cons – supremely ignorant of Southwest Asia’s history, culture and politics – and the Israeli and Saudi lobbies, who ardently believe their interests are advanced every time Iran is attacked. Trump could not possibly see The Big Picture and its dire ramifications: only what his major Israeli-firster donor Sheldon Adelson dictates, and what Jared of Arabia Kushner whispered in his ear, remote-controlled by his close pal Muhammad bin Salman (MbS).

The armor of American “prestige”

The measured Iranian response to Soleimani’s assassination was carefully calibrated to not detonate vengeful imperial “deterrence”:

precision missile strikes on the American-controlled Ain al-Assad air base in Iraq. The Pentagon received advance warning.

Predictably, the run-up towards the first anniversary of Soleimani’s assassination had to degenerate into intimations of US-Iran once again on the brink of war.

So it’s enlightening to examine what the Commander of the IRGC Aerospace Division, Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1399/10/13/2423366/ told Lebanon’s Al Manar network: “The US and the Zionist regime [Israel] have not brought security to any place and if something happens here (in the region) and a war breaks out, we will make no distinction between the US bases and the countries hosting them.”

Hajizadeh, expanding on the precision missile strikes a year ago, added, “We were prepared for the Americans’ response and all our missile power was fully on alert. If they had given a response, we would have hit all of their bases from Jordan to Iraq and the Persian Gulf and even their warships in the Indian Ocean.”

The precision missile strikes on Ain al-Assad, a year ago, represented a middle-rank power, enfeebled by sanctions, and facing a huge economic/financial crisis, responding to an attack by targeting imperial assets that are part of the Empire of Bases. That was a global first – unheard of since the end of WWII. It was clearly interpreted across vast swathes of the Global South as fatally piercing the decades-old hegemonic armor of American” prestige”.

So Tehran was not exactly impressed by two nuclear-capable B-52s recently flying over the Persian Gulf; or the US Navy announcing the arrival of the nuclear-powered, missile loaded USS Georgia in the Persian Gulf last week.

These deployments were spun as a response to an evidence-free claim that Tehran was behind a 21-rocket attack against the sprawling American embassy in Baghdad’s Green Zone.

The (unexploded) 107mm caliber rockets – by the way marked in English, not Farsi – can be easily bought in some underground Baghdad souk by virtually anybody, as I have seen for myself in Iraq since the mid-2000s.

That certainly does not qualify as a casus belli – or “self-defense” merging with “deterrence”. The Centcom justification actually sounds like a Monty Python sketch: an attack “…almost certainly conducted by an Iranian-backed rogue militia group.” Note that “almost certainly” is code for “we have no idea who did it”.

How to fight the – real – war on terror

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif did take the trouble (see attached tweet) to warn Trump he was being set up for a fake casus belli – and blowback would be inevitable. That’s a case of Iranian diplomacy being perfectly aligned with the IRGC: after all, the whole post-Soleimani strategy comes straight from Ayatollah Khamenei.

And that leads to the IRGC’s Hajizadeh once again establishing the Iranian red line in terms of the Islamic Republic’s defense: “We will not negotiate about the missile power with anyone” – pre-empting any move to incorporate missile reduction into a possible Washington return to the JCPOA. Hajizadeh has also emphasized that Tehran has restricted the range of its missiles to 2,000 km.

My friend Elijah Magnier, arguably the top war correspondent across Southwest Asia in the past four decades, has neatly detailed the importance of Soleimani.

Everyone not only along the Axis of Resistance – Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus, Hezbollah – but across vast swathes of the Global South is firmly aware of how Soleimani led the fight against ISIS/Daesh in Iraq from 2014 to 2015, and how he was instrumental in retaking Tikrit in 2015.

Zeinab Soleimani, the impressive General’s daughter, has profiled the man, and the sentiments he inspired. And Hezbollah’s secretary-general Sayed Nasrallah, in an extraordinary interview, stressed Soleimani’s “great humility”, even “with the common people, the simple people.”

Nasrallah tells a story that is essential to place Soleimani’s modus operandi in the real – not fictional – war on terror, and deserves to be quoted in full:

“At that time, Hajj Qassem traveled from Baghdad airport to Damascus airport, from where he came (directly) to Beirut, in the southern suburbs. He arrived to me at midnight. I remember very well what he said to me: “At dawn you must have provided me with 120 (Hezbollah) operation commanders.” I replied “But Hajj, it’s midnight, how can I provide you with 120 commanders?” He told me that there was no other solution if we wanted to fight (effectively) against ISIS, to defend the Iraqi people, our holy places [5 of the 12 Imams of Twelver Shi’ism have their mausoleums in Iraq], our Hawzas [Islamic seminars], and everything that existed in Iraq. There was no choice. “I don’t need fighters. I need operational commanders [to supervise the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units, PMU].” This is why in my speech [about Soleimani’s assassination], I said that during the 22 years or so of our relationship with Hajj Qassem Soleimani, he never asked us for anything. He never asked us for anything, not even for Iran. Yes, he only asked us once, and that was for Iraq, when he asked us for these (120) operations commanders. So he stayed with me, and we started contacting our (Hezbollah) brothers one by one. We were able to bring in nearly 60 operational commanders, including some brothers who were on the front lines in Syria, and whom we sent to Damascus airport [to wait for Soleimani], and others who were in Lebanon, and that we woke up from their sleep and brought in [immediately] from their house as the Hajj said he wanted to take them with him on the plane that would bring him back to Damascus after the dawn prayer. And indeed, after praying the dawn prayer together, they flew to Damascus with him, and Hajj Qassem traveled from Damascus to Baghdad with 50 to 60 Lebanese Hezbollah commanders, with whom he went to the front lines in Iraq. He said he didn’t need fighters, because thank God there were plenty of volunteers in Iraq. But he needed [battle-hardened] commanders to lead these fighters, train them, pass on experience and expertise to them, etc. And he didn’t leave until he took my pledge that within two or three days I would have sent him the remaining 60 commanders.”

Orientalism, all over again

A former commander under Soleimani that I met in Iran in 2018 had promised me and my colleague Sebastiano Caputo that he would try to arrange an interview with the Maj Gen – who never spoke to foreign media. We had no reason to doubt our interlocutor – so until the last Baghdad minute we were in this selective waiting list.

As for Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, killed side by side with Soleimani in the Baghdad drone strike, I was part of a small group who spent an afternoon with him in a safe house inside – not outside – Baghdad’s Green Zone in November 2017. My full report is here.

Prof. Mohammad Marandi of the University of Tehran, reflecting on the assassination, told me, “the most important thing is that the Western view on the situation is very Orientalist. They assume that Iran has no real structures and that everything is dependent on individuals. In the West an assassination doesn’t destroy an administration, company, or organization. Ayatollah Khomeini passed away and they said the revolution was finished. But the constitutional process produced a new leader within hours. The rest is history.”

This may go a long way to explain Soleimani geopolitics. He may have been a revolutionary superstar – many across the Global South see him as the Che Guevara of Southwest Asia – but he was most of all a quite articulated cog of a very articulated machine.

The adjunct President of the Iranian Parliament, Hossein Amirabdollahian, told Iranian network Shabake Khabar that Soleimani, two years before the assassination, had already envisaged an inevitable “normalization” between Israel and Persian Gulf monarchies.

At the same time he was also very much aware of the Arab League 2002 position – shared, among others, by Iraq, Syria and Lebanon: a “normalization” cannot even begin to be discussed without an independent – and viable – Palestinian state under 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as capital.

Now everyone knows this dream is dead, if not completely buried. What remains is the usual, dreary slog: the American assassination of Soleimani, the Israeli assassination of top Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the relentless, relatively low-intensity Israeli warfare against Iran fully supported by the Beltway, Washington’s illegal occupation of parts of northeast Syria to grab some oil, the perpetual drive for regime change in Damascus, the non-stop demonization of Hezbollah.

Beyond the Hellfire

Tehran has made it very clear that a return to at least a measure of mutual respect between US-Iran involves Washington rejoining the JCPOA with no preconditions, and the end of illegal, unilateral Trump administration sanctions. These parameters are non-negotiable.

Nasrallah, for his part, in a speech in Beirut on Sunday, stressed,

“one of the main outcomes of the assassination of General Soleimani and al-Muhandis is the calls made for the expulsion of US forces from the region. Such calls had not been made prior to the assassination. The martyrdom of the resistance leaders set US troops on the track of leaving Iraq.”

This may be wishful thinking, because the military-industrial-security complex will never willingly abandon a key hub of the Empire of Bases.

More important is the fact that the post-Soleimani environment transcends Soleimani.

The Axis of Resistance – Tehran-Baghdad-Damascus-Hezbollah – instead of collapsing, will keep getting reinforced.

Internally, and still under “maximum pressure” sanctions, Iran and Russia will be cooperating to produce Covid-19 vaccines, and the Pasteur Institute of Iran will co-produce a vaccine with a Cuban company.

Iran is increasingly solidified as the key node of the New Silk Roads in Southwest Asia: the Iran-China strategic partnership is constantly revitalized by FMs Zarif and Wang Yi, and that includes Beijing turbo-charging its geoeconomic investment in South Pars – the largest gas field on the planet.

Iran, Russia and China will be involved in the reconstruction of Syria – which will also include, eventually, a New Silk Road branch: the Iran-Iraq-Syria-Eastern Mediterranean railway.

All that is an interlinked, ongoing process no Hellfires are able to burn.

Gen. Soleimani led Russia-Syria-Iran-Iraq-Hezbollah coalition against terrorism: Venezuelan ambassad

Source

January 4, 2021 – 17:50

TEHRAN – The Venezuelan ambassador to Tehran describes the coalition created by Russia, Syria, Iran and Iraq, which also includes the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement, as one of the most capable alliances in the war against terrorists groups in Syria and Iraq. 

Carlos Antonio Alcala Cordones says this coalition was led by Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, who was assassinated in a U.S. drone strike near Baghdad’s international airport on January 3, 2020. 

“One of the most important coalitions, led by Martyr Qassem Soleimani, was the Russia-Syria-Iran-Iraq (RSII) coalition, which was later renamed as 4+1 due to the joining of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance group. The military coalition was formed to deal with the conflicts in Syria and Iraq,” Ambassador Antonio Alcala Cordones tells the Tehran Times as Iran is marking the martyrdom anniversary of General Soleimani. 

The ambassador also says the United States and its allies have launched a “hybrid war” against Iran which includes both economic sanctions and acts of terrorism.

 “We should mention the hybrid war waged by the United States and its allies through economic sanctions and terrorist attacks against Iran,” the top Venezuelan diplomat to Iran notes.

In the newest act of state terrorism against the Islamic Republic, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a top Iranian nuclear expert, was assassinated in a road outside Tehran on November 27. Iran has said Israel is directly responsible for the terrorist act. 

Analysts believe the assassination was a joint project by Israel and the United States. Professor Hossein Askari, who teaches international business at George Washington University, says he is “almost sure” that the assassination of Fakhrizadeh was a joint project carried out by the Israeli prime minister the U.S. president. 

Following is the text of interview with the Venezuelan ambassador: 

Q: Given the specific geopolitical situation in West Asia and the crises that have intensified in the region in recent years, how do you assess Iran’s role in the fight against terrorism in the region?

A: The regional situation regarding the fight against terrorism and the participation of the Islamic Republic of Iran in it is undoubtedly a very complex issue, and in the analysis that we can do, it is important to consider the geopolitical, religious and ideological issues.

In my view, there are various elements that the Islamic Republic of Iran has strongly defended in its foreign policy, which influence its strategies with allied countries and countries with which it is in conflict. First, its effort to achieve the economic development and growth of its nation. Second, defending its territorial integrity as enshrined in the country’s constitution and Islamic principles. Third, defending its religious and ideological beliefs reflected in the confrontation with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United States, whose scenario is one of the constant dangers. And finally, the implementation of a strong internal structure that has allowed it to introduce itself as the main hero and guarantor of regional order. All of these elements, in addition to its constant anti-imperialist approach toward the international system, have led Iran to engage with actors associated with its ideology, such as its relationship with Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Shiite groups, and strengthen its influence in the region, through traditional actors such as Syria and Russia.

Support for other strategic actors for which religious tendencies prevail over ideological beliefs, such as Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, are other elements that should be considered in the analysis. It is important to note that Iran has increased its political weight in the region since the Iraq war and is now seen as a direct threat by its enemies, turning this classic hostility through supporting actors in various conflicts in the region into an indirect confrontation.

To this analysis is added the historic struggle for supremacy in a conflict-ridden region whose heroes are precisely Iran and Saudi Arabia. As noted, the Arab Spring changed the regional context by reconfiguring the geopolitical map. The two countries have a clear internal cohesion because their religious populations, mainly Shiites and Sunnis, are also found in other regional countries and have significant military, ideological, cultural and economic capabilities, in a way that both countries have acted in countries with domestic divisions such as Syria, Iraq, Bahrain, Lebanon and Yemen through actors; and in the case of Iran, this has led to a ground gain in the region.

“It (Iran) supports the struggle of the oppressed against the oppressors everywhere in the world. This acts as a basis for the Islamic Republic of Iran’s fight against terrorism.”On the other hand, Saudi Arabia also plays an important role, as its foreign policy towards the region is more focused on its neighbors in the Persian Gulf and with a horizontal axis, especially in the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC), with the aim of isolating Iran and prevent its growing influence in the region.

Another important element that has reshaped the geopolitical chessboard and should be considered is the revitalization of Iran through the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was signed on July 14, 2015 in Vienna, under which it was agreed that Iran’s nuclear program be limited for a decade in exchange for the lifting of international economic sanctions. This allowed Iran to maintain its position in the Middle East (West Asia) and seek to secure the role of discourse while expanding its territory in strategic areas. But that fact is changing, as on May 8, 2018, President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the JCPOA and reinstate U.S. nuclear sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran and once again put Iran in a very difficult position.

These points represent two opposing models domestically and internationally: a revolutionary, anti-imperialist model represented by Iran versus a conservative, pro-Western model represented by Saudi Arabia.

On the other hand, the competition between Iran and Saudi Arabia in the geo-strategic field of energy is expanding. Therefore, it is a valuable point to control the exploitation of resources, maritime traffic and international oil trade via the Strait of Hormuz, through which 17 million barrels cross each day. The Saudi crude oil reserves are located in an eastern province, which has the largest Shiite population. Saudi Arabia has the money to build oil and gas pipelines from the east coast to the west, which will facilitate its outflow from the Red Sea, which is seen as a way to expand its trade to the Mediterranean. Similarly, from the Red Sea, Saudi Arabia supplies oil to Asian countries, its main customers in the region (China and Japan). This is a longer way to go, but it prevents a confrontation with Iran in the Strait of Hormuz, which is a strategic passage in international maritime navigation, because Iran has the longest coastline in the Persian Gulf, and enjoys the opportunity to penetrate these waters in the above-mentioned strait.

It is noteworthy that since the Islamic Republic of Iran’s declaration of existence in 1979, the Iranian government has been accused by the United States of financing terrorists, and providing them with equipment, weapons, training, and shelter, and Iran has been described as a “sponsor of terrorism”. They have described the country as the most important threat to the security of the Middle East (West Asia) and one of the most hostile countries in the international system and they have sought to isolate it.

Recall that the U.S. State Department currently identifies 60 groups as international terrorist organizations, including al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, Hamas, Al-Fatah, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hezbollah. And last April, Trump labeled the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) as a “foreign terrorist organization” and this is the first time the United States has taken action against another country’s military. According to an old saying, “One person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter.”

It should be noted that in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers, the United States implemented the Patriot Act which was a response by Congress against terrorism and international organized crime. This is an extraterritorial law that includes international powers and is based on international treaties and bilateral agreements, but we all know that the United States systematically fights and acts with the aim of stigmatizing and harassing, under the name of “fighting terrorists” against Islam and to the detriment of various Muslim organizations, which are characterized by anti-terrorism and have connections with the popular, patriotic and social struggles.

But if we ask ourselves why there is violence in the region, we can quote some of the remarks made by Foreign Minister Dr. Zarif, in which he notes that “the increase in violence in the Middle East is rooted in the constant presence of foreign forces, and also in their interference in the internal affairs of regional countries to reshape the structure of the region.” And this is what the interventionist policy of the North American empire constantly states. Likewise, we should mention the hybrid war waged by the United States and its allies through economic sanctions and terrorist attacks against Iran.

The phenomenon of terrorism and its consequences must be discussed and identified on the basis of the reasons that led to its development, or through the intensification and exploitation of religious dogmatism, as in the case of the Islamic State and its intention to incite sectarian tensions with the goal of unifying all the majority Muslim countries under one state and by one caliphate and through jihad, which is still a concern of the international community.

Finally, terrorism has directly or indirectly affected a large portion of humans, because the emergence of terrorism, in addition to increasing drug use and drug trafficking and organized crime networks, intensifies human rights violations, fatal migrations, and also famine.

Q: Iran has been the victim of large and small terrorist acts since the victory of the Islamic Revolution. As a country that has suffered greatly from this ominous phenomenon and has gained valuable experience in the fight against terrorism at the national and regional levels, how do you assess Iran’s efforts to build a consensus among regional countries to fight terrorism?

A: The Islamic Republic of Iran has suffered severe blows since the beginning of the Islamic Revolution, including the assassination of four Iranian nuclear scientists between 2010 and 2012, and the recent terrorist attack on nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. In addition to an in-depth look at security systems, this incident has created a scenario of confrontation and tension, given that technological advances have changed the ways in which conflicts have escalated and changed the nature of threats.

“It is also important not to politicize campaign against terrorism, and all countries should unite in this battle, regardless of political or diplomatic relations among them.”Today, the use of artificial intelligence intensifies cyber, physical, and biological attacks, making them more selective and at the same time more anonymous, facilitating these attacks by reducing or even eliminating the need for the physical involvement of humans. This scenario is no longer a concern for human beings. Let us recall the terrorist attack in Iraq against the great martyr, Qassem Soleimani, the hero of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, whose absence is irreparable for the Islamic Republic of Iran.

It is difficult to reach a consensus on this issue with several countries in the region, but Iran’s efforts to advance strategies that help combat terrorism are significant, such as the success in reducing the global terrorism index in the governments that it works in, especially because Iran is a country that has the power to challenge the interests of the great powers and has an excellent political, scientific, technological and military platform that supports its foreign policy.

It is also important not to politicize campaign against terrorism, and all countries should unite in this battle, regardless of political or diplomatic relations among them.

Q: In recent years, under the pretext of fighting terrorism, coalitions have been formed with the participation of countries outside the region (and even outside Asia). Alliances whose main goal, according to many political and military experts, is the political and economic exploitation of the current crises in West Asia. Some experts even believe that these countries themselves are the cause of such tensions. Do you think such coalitions can help resolve crises or defeat terrorism?

A: Undoubtedly, the formation of coalitions creates a very complex scenario because different elements are interconnected according to the potential of their constituent countries. As I mentioned earlier, we are currently talking about cooperation in the fields of science, technology, and military, in addition to the political and diplomatic relations between each of the countries.

One of the most important coalitions, led by Martyr Qassem Soleimani, was the Russia-Syria-Iran-Iraq (RSII) coalition, which was later renamed as 4+1 due to the joining of the Lebanese Hezbollah military group. The military coalition was formed to deal with the conflicts in Syria and Iraq in the Middle East and currently supports Lebanon’s Hassan Nasrallah.

The coalition consists of the Russian Armed Forces and the Axis of Resistance (the IRGC, Syrian Armed Forces, Iraqi Armed Forces, and Hezbollah forces). The importance of this coalition is that it was created as a counterweight to the U.S.-led international coalition against ISIL, although the RSII’s military objectives are not limited to destroying the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also dismantling other jihadist groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra and al-Qaeda, as well as closing the Iraqi-Syrian borders, which are used as strategic corridors for the entry and exit of militants.

Coalitions should serve to resolve crises, not to promote terrorism, but the situation is not always favorable and has a history of unexpected turns that upset the balance of the intended goal.

Q: Given the need to form a coalition of countries in West Asia to fight terrorism in the region, what role can Iran play in creating such a coalition?

A: In the international context, the unity that countries can create is very important and one of the precise principles of Iran’s foreign policy is the promotion of these alliances, of course through respect and non-interference in the internal affairs of other nations and as stated in Chapter 10, Article 154 of the Constitution, it supports the struggle of the oppressed against the oppressors everywhere in the world. These elements act as a basis for the Islamic Republic of Iran’s fight against terrorism.

Undoubtedly, Iran has played an important unifying role, and this has earned the respect of the countries of the region for it. Therefore, it is expected that a great unity will be created in the future, whose common interests are the fight against the plague of terrorism in all its forms.

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Nasrallah about Qassem Soleimani and his victory against ISIS in Iraq


Date: 3 January 2021

Author: lecridespeuples

Interview with Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah devoted to Hajj Qassem Soleimani, Commander of the al-Quds Force (whose ultimate goal is the Liberation of Jerusalem) of the Revolutionary Guards, on the occasion of the 40th day after his death, February 13, 2020.

January 3, 2021 commemorates the 1st anniversary of the assassinations of Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. On this occasion, we are translating a few excerpts from this 2-hours long interview.

Source: https://video.moqawama.org/details.php?cid=1&linkid=2099

Translation: resistancenews.org

Transcript:

Journalist: […] You mentioned on several occasions the concept “School of Hajj Qassem Soleimani”. His Eminence the Guide (Khamenei) also referred to it. What meaning do you give to this concept? Can you explain it to us? What does the concept “School of Hajj Qassem” mean?

Hassan Nasrallah: Of course, this concept originated from the Way of Imam Khomeini, may God be pleased with him, from the School of Imam Khomeini. But we can say that in practice and in the field, in all the responsibilities that Hajj Qassem has assumed and everything he has endured, we can speak of a Way, in the sense —and it may be something deliberate— of a certain thought, of a set of thoughts, of a particular culture, of a specific way of doing things… I will give you some examples. Of course, we are talking about an issue that deserves (in-depth) thought and study, but I will give a few quick illustrations.

For example, Hajj Qassem is the leader of a force of the (Revolutionary) Guards [he says it in Persian]. He could stay in Iran, in Tehran, and tell others (Resistance Axis forces) to come to him regularly for a meeting, so that he can listen to them, and follow their affairs (from a distance) in a simple and routinely fashion. Or, if he visited them, whether in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq or elsewhere, he could for example (only do it) once every 6 months or once a year, he could just visit them once in a while to find out and inquire. In general, this is the way some (high-ranking) leaders act.

The Path of Hajj Qassem is to go to the field of action, to the battlefield, to (constantly) go himself to others. Since 1998 (year in which Soleimani became the leader of the Al-Quds Forces), since our knowledge and our relationship with Hajj Qassem began, that is to say for twenty years, 21 or 22 years, the number of times we have been to him (in Iran) is very limited. But for his part, he always came to us, very often. Of course, the very fact of coming to the field, to the battlefield, to meet the (Hezbollah) brothers here, to meet them all, to go directly to the field, to hear (directly) from the fighters and Mujahedeen, this has enormous benefits and advantages in terms of leadership and administration.

Date: 3 January 2021Author: lecridespeuples0 Comments

Interview with Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah devoted to Hajj Qassem Soleimani, Commander of the al-Quds Force (whose ultimate goal is the Liberation of Jerusalem) of the Revolutionary Guards, on the occasion of the 40th day after his death, February 13, 2020.

January 3, 2021 commemorates the 1st anniversary of the assassinations of Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. On this occasion, we are translating a few excerpts from this 2-hours long interview.

Source: https://video.moqawama.org/details.php?cid=1&linkid=2099

Translation: resistancenews.org

Transcript:

Journalist: […] You mentioned on several occasions the concept “School of Hajj Qassem Soleimani”. His Eminence the Guide (Khamenei) also referred to it. What meaning do you give to this concept? Can you explain it to us? What does the concept “School of Hajj Qassem” mean?

Hassan Nasrallah: Of course, this concept originated from the Way of Imam Khomeini, may God be pleased with him, from the School of Imam Khomeini. But we can say that in practice and in the field, in all the responsibilities that Hajj Qassem has assumed and everything he has endured, we can speak of a Way, in the sense —and it may be something deliberate— of a certain thought, of a set of thoughts, of a particular culture, of a specific way of doing things… I will give you some examples. Of course, we are talking about an issue that deserves (in-depth) thought and study, but I will give a few quick illustrations.

For example, Hajj Qassem is the leader of a force of the (Revolutionary) Guards [he says it in Persian]. He could stay in Iran, in Tehran, and tell others (Resistance Axis forces) to come to him regularly for a meeting, so that he can listen to them, and follow their affairs (from a distance) in a simple and routinely fashion. Or, if he visited them, whether in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq or elsewhere, he could for example (only do it) once every 6 months or once a year, he could just visit them once in a while to find out and inquire. In general, this is the way some (high-ranking) leaders act.

The Path of Hajj Qassem is to go to the field of action, to the battlefield, to (constantly) go himself to others. Since 1998 (year in which Soleimani became the leader of the Al-Quds Forces), since our knowledge and our relationship with Hajj Qassem began, that is to say for twenty years, 21 or 22 years, the number of times we have been to him (in Iran) is very limited. But for his part, he always came to us, very often. Of course, the very fact of coming to the field, to the battlefield, to meet the (Hezbollah) brothers here, to meet them all, to go directly to the field, to hear (directly) from the fighters and Mujahedeen, this has enormous benefits and advantages in terms of leadership and administration.

First, it strengthens these fighters (by giving them morale), and expresses the respect and affection he has for them. “It is I who always come to you, I am at your service. Do not bother to come to me in Iran, it is I who come to you.” For those in charge (of Hezbollah or other Resistance movements) on the ground (and for the fighters), (this attitude) has (huge) ethical and moral consequences. Second, it allows him to hear all opinions, all points of view (directly), not just the opinion of the people who would come to him (in Iran) to express their (own) point of view. This helps him to have a clearer, more global and fairer idea (of the reality on the ground). Third, it helps him to access all (hierarchical) levels, right down to the front line fighters, and to hear them talk about their problems, their shortcomings, their needs, their remarks, etc. Fourth, it gives him a deeper, more comprehensive, and broader idea of ​​(all) the battlefileds for which he is responsible. He does not rely (only) on reading the reports written by the (various high-level) officials, no! He goes into the field in person to see with his own eyes, to listen (to first hand information), and to discuss and debate with all levels. This is one of the meanings of the Way of Hajj Qassem. This is an unusual way of doing things, especially with a military general (among the highest ranking in Iran). Certainly, perhaps at the frontlines of the Iran-Iraq war, the great (Iranian) commanders came down to the ground, to the fighters, but it is something specific to Iran that is not done outside of Iran. But this is one aspect (of the Way of Hajj Qassem).

Another aspect is the absence of fatigue and lassitude. (In Iran), you say [Nasrallah cites a phrase in Persian]. He never gets tired. We are all prone to fatigue. Sometimes we feel that things are weighing very heavily on us, we are under great pressure (bordering on the unbearable), but the Hajj would work (tirelessly) for long hours, even when he must have been exhausted. I remember that during one of his visits (to Lebanon) he suffered from a very bad toothache, and (it is well known) that such pain is unbearable. We suggested to bring in a dentist, but he replied, “Not now, after our meeting.” That is, after 6 hours of going through the pain, while leading and attending the meeting, making (crucial) decisions, and only at the very end he would go to the dentist. The capacity for endurance and patience of Hajj Qassem in the face of fatigue and the most severe difficulties is quite exceptional. I have never known anyone, and I am by no means exaggerating, who can endure so much fatigue, straining, lack of sleep, etc., as much as Hajj Qassem.

Another important aspect of his personality is his thoroughness. He was extremely thorough and diligent. He was constantly following (the different files) [Nasrallah illustrates this point with an expression in Persian]. For example, someone can agree (on something) with someone else, then after a week, two or three, inquire about the issue or not, check it or not, but not the Hajj Qassem. From the second or third day, he would inquire about its progress, he would follow (all matters) precisely and insistently. And of course, he didn’t do it in a rushed (and sloppy) way, but in a precise, detailed and responsive way. This is one aspect of the Way of Hajj Qassem.

Journalist: Looks like he always kept the energy of a young man.

Hassan Nasrallah: Maybe another person would think that he will have plenty of time to follow up or inquire about this or that during the coming months, but not Hajj Qassem, (who followed the issues almost day to day). It was very important for him not to waste time. For example, what could be done in five years (for others) had to be completed in one or two years (with him), thanks to his insistence and his diligent follow-up of all matters.

Another aspect of his personality is his great humility. He was extremely humble. And his humility had a great influence. You know that in general soldiers, when in combat, feel strong and powerful, and can show arrogance, haughtiness, pride, etc. Hajj Qassem was a very humble person, even with the common people, the simple people. This is one aspect of his Way. Of course, we must all be humble, but the fact that this commander, with his position and this (enormous responsibility that weighs on him), is so humble with everyone, is something very important.

The Way of Hajj Qassem is that of facing dangers. He always went into the lion’s den, to the front lines, braving death. I didn’t agree with him on this point. I always insisted that he stay in the background, making arrangements for that. But we were all unable to stop him from going to the front lines. He is the man who is always present in the (most) difficult times, the (most) dark days, always putting himself in harm’s way. For example, during the July 2006 war, the 33-day war, he traveled from Tehran to Damascus, then contacted us to tell us that he wanted to come to us, in the southern suburbs of Beirut (Hezbollah stronghold). We replied (incredulously): “How? It’s impossible!” Bridges had been destroyed, roads cut, Israeli warplanes were hitting all targets (real or suspected) and so on. It was a situation of all-out war! It (seemed) impossible to bring him to us, in the southern suburbs of Beirut. But he insisted a lot, telling us that if we didn’t send him a car, he would come on his own. He insisted, and he came to us. And he stayed with us for the whole duration of the war.

See Qassem Soleimani’s Revelations on the 2006 war

Likewise for the events in Syria and Iraq, in the fight against ISIS, our Iraqi brothers also told us that he was always on the front line, walking on the front line. It’s something exceptional. Normally, generals stand back and lead armies or brigades (from the rear), at least in regular armies, with the exception of the Iran-Iraq war which is a special experience.

Anyway, in truth, all that can be said about the Way of Hajj Qassem comes from Imam Khomeini and his school, and from the indications of His Eminence the Guide (Khamenei), may God preserve him, and the experience of the Iran-Iraq war. It was a grandiose experience in terms of its ideological, cultural, spiritual and military consequences. We found this awe-inspiring experience embodied in the personality of Hajj Qassem.

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I could say a lot more about the Way of Hajj Qassem Soleimani, but I will content myself with these elements and answer your (other) questions. […]

Journalist: Can you tell us about common memories with him concerning the crisis in Iraq and Syria? What help has he asked from you?

Hassan Nasrallah: So we’re not talking about the latest developments in Iraq, (but) about the emergence of ISIS. When ISIS first appeared in Iraq, and this organization began to take over a number of Iraqi provinces, it turned out that the situation was critical. The Iraqi military was unable to cope with the situation, due (to its dismantling by the American occupier and) to the collapses that occurred. I have heard from several Iraqi officials that many weapons warehouses were empty of ammunition and shells. The moral and psychological situation (was catastrophic).

Hajj Qassem therefore visited Baghdad in person, accompanied by a group of Revolutionary Guard commanders. He made contact with the Iraqi brothers and with the factions of the Resistance with whom he had been in constant contact for a long time. He was the one who went on the field to (launch) the first counterattacks, he went ahead. And the well-known event on the Baghdad-Samarra road took place, in which Hajj Qassem Soleimani and other brothers present with them were nearly killed. A few days after this incident, or at the same time, Grand Ayatollah Sayed Sistani, may God preserve him, issued his famous and historic fatwa (enjoining Iraqis to wage jihad against ISIS), declaring a state of alert and urging the Iraqi people & warring factions to go massively to the front lines. But all this needed organization.

سردار سرلشکر قاسم سلیمانی به‌همراه ابومهدی المهندس در عراق به شهادت رسید/  حمله آمریکا به کاروان الحشد الشعبی در بغداد- اخبار نظامی | دف - اخبار سیاسی  تسنیم - Tasnim

At that time, Hajj Qassem traveled from Baghdad airport to Damascus airport, from where he came (directly) to Beirut, in the southern suburbs. He arrived to me at midnight. I remember very well what he said to me: “At dawn you must have provided me with 120 (Hezbollah) operation commanders.” I replied “But Hajj, it’s midnight, how can I provide you with 120 commanders?” He told me that there was no other solution if we wanted to fight (effectively) against ISIS, to defend the Iraqi people, our holy places (5 of the 12 Imams of Twelver Shiism have their mausoleums in Iraq), our Hawzas (Islamic seminars), and everything that existed in Iraq. There was no choice. “I don’t need fighters. I need operational commanders (to supervise the Iraqi popular forces).” This is why in my speech (commemorating Soleimani’s assassination), I said that during the 22 years or so of our relationship with Hajj Qassem Soleimani, he never asked us for anything. He never asked us for anything, not even for Iran. Yes, he only asked us once, and that was for Iraq, when he asked us for these (120) operations commanders. So he stayed with me, and we started contacting our (Hezbollah) brothers one by one. We were able to bring in nearly 60 operational commanders, including some brothers who were on the front lines in Syria, and whom we sent to Damascus airport (to wait for Soleimani), and others who were in Lebanon, and that we woke up from their sleep and brought in (immediately) from their house as the Hajj said he wanted to take them with him on the plane that would bring him back to Damascus after the dawn prayer. And indeed, after praying the dawn prayer together, they flew to Damascus with him, and Hajj Qassem traveled from Damascus to Baghdad with 50 to 60 Lebanese Hezbollah commanders, with whom he went to the front lines in Iraq. He said he didn’t need fighters, because thank God there were plenty of volunteers in Iraq. But he needed (battle-hardened) commanders to lead these fighters, train them, pass on experience and expertise to them, etc. And he didn’t leave until he took my pledge that within two or three days I would have sent him the remaining 60 commanders.

Of course, that night I felt that in Hajj Qassem’s eyes the whole world was Iraq and the battle that was going on there. In truth, he was completely immersed in this battle, and he regarded it as decisive for the fate of the region. It was not allowed to be neglected. He was ready to be killed there. I told him, “Hajj, the brothers informed me that on the road from Baghdad to Samarra, you were in the convoy (which was attacked), and it is very dangerous.” He replied that he had no other choice, and that he had to move forward for others to move forward as well. “Time is running out, and we only have a tiny window to step in,” he told me. Now was not the time for caution and balance, but we had to give everything we had (in this battle). He was very moved by what was going on in Iraq and ready to be killed there 1000 times in order to save the Iraqi people, the holy mausoleums, the Hawzas, and to remove this danger from Iraq, the Islamic Republic and all the region. We all know that if ISIS had succeeded in seizing Iraq, it would have threatened Iran and the whole region. But those who would have paid the greatest price for the ISIS project are the Iraqis, the Iraqi people in the first place.

Journalist: When did you meet Hajj Abu Mahdi (al-Muhandis, assassinated with Soleimani)? When did you first meet him? Can you recall any memories of this meeting?

Hassan Nasrallah: I got to know Hajj Abu Mahdi in the early 1990s, around 1991-1992. I did not know him before that date, as he was then in Kuwait. Then I got to know him, and the first time I met him was in Tehran. He was one of the main commanders of the Badr Brigades [Iraqi troops who fought against Saddam in the war against Iran], which later became the Badr Organization. Quickly, a relationship of affection, friendship and respect developed between us. He also had good relations with our brothers in Lebanon, with Brother (Sayed Badreddine) Zulfiqar in particular (Hezbollah commander killed in Syria in 2016), with Hajj Imad Moghniyeh and the other brothers. And subsequently, this relationship developed after Hajj Qassem became the commander of the al-Quds Forces. From his position (of responsibility) in Iraq, Abu Mahdi’s relationship with Hajj Qassem (developed), as well as ours in Lebanon, which increased the ties we had with Abu Mahdi.

But our relationship with Abu Mahdi has truly strengthened in recent years, due to the events in Iraq and the fight against ISIS which has seen many Hezbollah members travel to Iraq to help the Hachd al-Cha’bi (Popular Mobilization Units) and Resistance factions. Our brothers were in constant contact with Hajj Abu Mahdi, who came to Lebanon several times to meet me. Only 3 months before his martyrdom, he was here in Lebanon. Once he even came with his family. During our last meeting several months ago, we talked for hours, discussing the situation in Iraq, assessing the security and military issues, how to strengthen Hachd al-Cha’bi as a genuine defender of the Iraqi people, etc. And because of the strength of our brotherhood, he said to me: “Militarily, ISIS is defeated, and there remains only a few isolated cells that will be (quickly) eliminated with the grace of God. But I fear to be still alive when the battle against ISIS is (truly) over.” And he put his hand on his beard, saying, “My beard is gray, and so is my hair, and after all these long years (of struggle), I really fear dying in my bed. I therefore urge you to pray to God the Most High and Exalted to grant me martyrdom.”

Naturally, in accordance with the edicts of His Eminence the Guide (Khamenei), may God preserve him, when someone asks the Guide to pray for him to obtain martyrdom, he is not asking God to hasten his martyrdom, but asks Him to grant him to ultimately die as a martyr. And he sometimes jokes, “I hope you’re over 80 (when God grants you martyrdom)!” The important thing is that we die a martyr, (but as late as possible). This is what I replied to Abu Mahdi, namely that I would not invoke God to hasten his martyrdom, but for his death to be that of a martyr, and I asked him to pray to God so that He grants us the same fate (martyrdom) as well. This happened during our last meeting.

I also want to say that our (intimate) knowledge of Abu Mahdi allows us to say that he was a very sincere, very loyal, very pious man. He had a high sense of responsibility, and he was a Mujaheed in the truest sense of the word. And glory to God, he has many points in common with Hajj Qassem Soleimani. And that is one of the reasons for the exceptional relationship between them.

واکنش حشد شعبی به عکس با عنوان «جاسوسی» که مسیر حاج قاسم را لو داد+ عکس |  خبرگزاری بین المللی شفقنا

Journalist: The war in Iraq forced Hajj Qassem to be more present on the battlefield. In truth, he was going to all the sensitive places on the front lines. And we’ve seen him a number of times during (dangerous) reconnaissance and other operations. Weren’t these conditions a great risk for his life? He would appear by surprise in the midst of the fighting. Why?

Hassan Nasrallah: He was always in danger, in great danger. On the front lines and on the battlefields he visited in Iraq and also in Syria, he was in constant danger. And he refused to be present only in the rear. He was going to the front line, and wanted to see things with his own eyes to assess the situation directly and first hand, and interact with the fighters on the front line. He wanted to meet them and be among them. That was his way. Of course, we blamed him constantly for that.

(It must be understood) that he was not doing this only because he longed for martyrdom. Some said that Hajj Qassem (only) sought martyrdom and sought the opportunity to be killed, and that this explained his presence on the front lines. This is not true, or at least it is not precise. For he also knew that he had a religious obligation, and that he had no right to expose himself to death unnecessarily. No! Hajj Qassem had a vision, which was true to a great extent: he said that this battle in Iraq and Syria required great endurance, great courage, perseverance on the battlefield. This could not be achieved by management from the rear, far from the front lines. The presence of a commander of a level like Hajj Qassem Soleimani’s on the front lines was of utmost importance to ensure this steadfastness of morale, souls and hearts. His very presence on such a front was enough to give enormous strength & morale to the combatants, helping them to stay, to persevere, to endure, despite all the dangers and all the difficulties they faced. Not to mention all the other benefits a commander can get from being as close as possible to field data.

But I consider, and this is what I heard him say when I debated this issue with him, that the moral, psychological and emotional aspect was of the utmost importance to him. And it’s the truth! You can see from the (countless) videos how he behaved with the young (fighters) on the front lines, in the trenches, (and how they reacted) when Hajj Qassem came to them. They embrace him, kiss his hand, cry, hug him, reproach him for coming to them (thus exposing himself to death), etc. This emotional influence is very important. This is why a (real) relationship of love, affection, passion was born and shaped between the fighters and Hajj Qassem Soleimani. This would never have happened if he was managing operations from behind. The cause of this great love for him is his direct & constant presence on the front lines.

Also, when all these videos and photos started showing up in the media and on social media, I told him about it, saying, “O Hajj, this is something very dangerous!” But he wasn’t doing it on purpose. When he went to the front line, he didn’t have cameras with him, but it was the (fighters) present there who filmed him, because as you know, they all have smartphones with which they photographed or filmed the Hajj and posted the images on social media. (When I reproached him for this), he replied “But these young (combatants) are on the front line, ready to sacrifice themselves, risking their lives at every moment. I dare not tell them to put these phones away or forbid them to film me because it puts me in danger.” That’s why he just let them do it. And in truth, the first images and videos of Hajj Qassem to be released were not broadcast by him or by the Al-Quds (Jerusalem) forces, but by the frontline fighters who filmed and photographed his visits and his presence among them and then put the images online. And that’s how these images spread on social media. There was no other choice. Because he would have felt ashamed to forbid these young fighters from filming him on the pretext that it would put him in danger, when they themselves were the most exposed to death. This is the real reason for Hajj Qassem’s presence in the media in recent years, which was by no means a deliberate act.

soleimani muhandis

Journalist: After the defeat of the Daeshi and Takfiri project in Iraq and Syria, did you meet Hajj Qassem and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis together?

Hassan Nasrallah: Yes, the three of us met. This photo [cf. above] was taken in Lebanon in the southern suburbs of Beirut. The brothers made a montage (including all the martyrs killed alongside Soleimani and al-Muhandis), but in the original photo they are sitting on a couch in my office.

nasrallah montage

We were together. And there are also pictures of the three of us together, me, Hajj Qassem and Hajj Abu Mahdi.

نصرالله: هذا ما طلبه مني سليماني بعد سقوط الموصل وهكذا تأكدت من اغتياله مع  المهندس

We had a long meeting whose objective was to assess the latest events in Iraq, what we (Hezbollah) could do to help it in the next step, and on the other hand, in case a Israeli war against Lebanon or against the region would be triggered, we discussed what our Iraqi brothers could do to help us fight this war.

Hassan Nasrallah: I consider that one of the greatest blessings that God has bestowed upon me in my life, and His blessings for me were many and great, has been my relation and closeness with Hajj Qassem Soleimani, and this (very strong) friendship and brotherhood between us. What was between us was as strong as if we were really two brothers (from the same mother), whether it was the affection, love, feelings and friendship that bound us.

Likewise, we had the same way of thinking. We thought and saw things the same way, 98% of the time, if not 100%. But even for the 2% of topics where we might have different points of view, one of us could easily convince the other, due to the tremendous trust and love that there was between us.

Of course, on a personal level, the presence of Hajj Qassem was a huge support for me, as I am here on one of the battlefields and confrontations. I always longed for his company, and so did he. And I can tell you and the viewers that for the last 20 years, and especially the last 10 years and more, he’s been one of my closest brothers. If I want to mention a friend who is dear and precious to me, whom I love very much, who occupies a very important place in my heart and whose company I earnestly wish, in whom I have the greatest confidence, and whose presence gives me the most pleasure, I will immediately think of Hajj Qassem Soleimani.

In every person’s life, there are usually two or three people who are considered the closest friends. And as far as I’m concerned, one of them was Hajj Qassem Soleimani. May God have mercy on him.

nasrallah soleimani d

And personally, he knows (what he means to me). One day, I told him. I was always ready to sacrifice my life for him. One day, while we were praying together, after prayer, during invocations (following prayers), the following idea occurred to me: I imagined (this is only a hypothesis) that The Angel of Death came to me, and told me that he was going to Iran to take the soul of Qassem Soleimani. But God had made an exception this time. The Angel of Death told me that God had asked him to come see me first, and offer me an alternative (to the death of Qassem Soleimani). Instead, the Angel could take my soul. (I could die instead and save Soleimani). I wondered what I would have answered to this hypothetical proposition from the Angel of Death. Without any hesitation, I would tell him to take my life, and leave Hajj Qassem Soleimani (alive).

See the Testament of Martyr Major-General Qasem Soleimani

Later, I mentioned this to some (Hezbollah) brothers when we were debating. Because sometimes, due to the overload of work and responsibilities, some arguments can arise between us, and I told them that so that they understand what Hajj Qassem meant in my eyes.

Le baiser de la mort: photos inédites de Soleimani et Nasrallah | Coolamnews

One of the brothers was indignant, asking me how I could think of such a thing (sacrificing myself for Qassem Soleimani). I told him that this was due to two things: first, the immense love and affection I had for him, and the brotherhood that bound us; and second, the fact that I consider his existence to be much more useful to us, to Islam, Muslims, the (Arab-Muslim) Nation and Resistance (Axis) than mine. It is not just affection, but my highest consideration for the importance of this man and his blessed presence.

That’s what he meant to me personally.

Journalist: We thank you very much (for your time). We wish you all the best. With the Grace of God, we will witness the Liberation of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) soon, thanks to your leadership and that of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution (Khamenei). We wish you and all Resistance fighters health and salvation.

Hassan Nasrallah: May God grant you His blessings. May God preserve you and grant you His blessings. Anyway, I publicly declared and told his family that what happened to Hajj Qassem is the best thing that could have happened to him, and his greatest hope, has happened to him, namely this grandiose martyrdom.

May God have mercy on him.

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الميادين تعرض “الساعة الأخيرة”.. حقائق جديدة تكشف حول اغتيال سليماني والمهندس

الميادين نت

في 3 كانون الثاني/يناير عام 2020 استهدفت صواريخُ ذكية موجّهة قرب مطار بغداد الدولي قائد “قوة القدس” الشهيد قاسم سليماني، ونائب رئيس هيئة الحشد الشعبي أبو مهدي المهندس، ومعهما جمعٌ من المرافقين.. فما الذي حصل ذلك اليوم؟

كيف تسرّبت معلوماتٌ عن تحرّك الجنرال سليماني والقائد المهندس رغم إحاطتها بسرية تامّة؟

بعد اغتيال الشهيدين قاسم سليماني وأبو مهدي المهندس، استمرت أجواء الصدمة والحزن طويلاً، طغى هولها على السؤال عمّا جرى في تلك الليلة، وما هي المواثيق التي أباحت للرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب، تنفيذ عمليةٍ كهذه تستهدف السيادة بشكلٍ سافر، وكيف تسرّبت معلوماتٌ عن تحرّك الجنرال والقائد رغم إحاطتها بسرية تامّة؟ وغيرها من التساؤلات والحلقات المفقودة التي دعتنا للبحث فيها.

رئيس الوزراء العراقي السابق عادل عبد المهدي، أكد أنه لم يكن على علم بنية الولايات المتحدة اغتيال الشهيدين قاسم سليماني وأبو مهدي المهندس مطلع عالعام الماضي.

وخلال شهادة له ضمن وثائقي “الساعة الأخيرة” على شاشة الميادين، روى عبد المهدي تفاصيل مكالمة بينه وبين الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب، قبل 3 أيام من تنفيذ عملية الاغتيال، وقال عبد المهدي إن “ترامب اتصل به عشية ليلة رأس السنة في حدود الساعة التاسعة، وقال ترامب خلال المكالمة إن الأميركيين لا يعرفون الإيرانيين جيداً، بل العراقيين هم مَن يعرفونهم جيداً”.

فأجابه عبد المهدي بأن “الإيرانيين يقولون إنهم لا يريدون حرباً، وكذلك أميركا، واقترح على ترامب إما التفاوض المباشر مع الإيرانيين، وإما اتفاقات ضمنية كمان يحصل منذ 2003”.

فرد ترامب بحسب عبد المهدي “أنتم مفاوضون جيدون، ما تستطيعون فعله في هذا الشأن، نحن مستعدون له”.

وانتهت المكالمة بين الرئيس الأميركي ورئيس الوزراء العراقي آنذاك، وكانت هناك موافقة ودعوة رسمية لأن يأتي الشهيد سليماني للعراق للتباحث، وذلك بحسب ما أفاد عبد المهدي للميادين.

وأكد عبد المهدي أن “عملية الاغتيال لم تكن قد صُمّمَت خلال يوم أو يومين وإنّما لا بدّ أنها قُرّرَت قبل ذلك بفترة ليست قصيرة”.

وكشف عبد المهدي، أن الحكومة العراقية أصدرت حينها قراراً بتعليق أخذ موافقات مباشرة في كل عمليات الطيران، من أي طرف كان، خصوصاً بعد أن علمت أنّ “إسرائيل” دخلت على الخط، وهذا قيّد حركة الجميع، مضيفاً أنه كان هناك اعتراض أميركي كبير على هذا الإجراء.

من جهته، وضمن الوثائقي ذاته، كشف علي محمّد تقي، مدير مطار بغداد، أن “هنالك مجال جوّي فُتح وخُصّص لطائرات الاستطلاع الأميركية لاستطلاع المواقع العسكرية الموجودة في العراق”.

هذا المجال الجوي وفق تقي، مسموح له أن “يستقبل طائرات استطلاع عدد إثنين”، موضحاً أنه “قبل يوم الحادث، دخلت ثلاث طائرات إلى المجال الجوي المسموح به للاستطلاع، المفروض أن تكون طائرتين، إذا دخلت طائرة ثالثة خلال مدّة قليلة إحدى الطائرات تنسحب، لكن لم يستجيبوا للنداء الذي كان من برج الرقابة الجوية ووقع خرق غير مُسَيطر عليه”.

وسط هذا الكتمان وتلك السرّية في التحرك كيف بلغت أسماع الأميركيين ساعة وخطة لقاء سليماني بالمهندس؟ ومَن الذي أكّد وجودهما ضمن سيارتيّ تشريفات الحشد؟

عمليةٌ دقيقة كان مجال الخطأ فيها معدوماً، نفّذتها طائراتٌ لا تُستخدَم إلا بعد التحقّق من الهدف. وهي استراتيجية شرحها أحمد الشريف، وقال للميادين إن “مسألة الاستطلاع الإلكتروني في الرصد والاستمكان مُتاحة ليس على مستوى حدود العراق فحسب، بل سوريا وعموم المنطقة”.

وتابع الشريف: “فإذاً مسألة الاستمكان أنا في تقديري أنها كانت في سوريا، حيث رُصد التوقيت”، مشيراً إلى أن “فترة تحليق الطائرة تُتيح لهم، لأنه ممكن أن تبقى في الجو 40 ساعة”.

الدكتور علي الخفّاف معاون رئيس هيئة الحشد الشعبي والطبيب المقرّب من المهندس، أكد للميادين أن الأخير في آخر الأيام “كان يحرص جداً أن يتحرك وحده، لأنه كان يتوقع الضربة في أي لحظة”.

وعرضت قناة الميادين مساء اليوم وثائقي “الساعة الأخيرة” الذي استضاف مقربين من الشهيدين قاسم سليماني وأبو مهدي المهندس، تحدثوا للميادين عن ملابسات ذلك اليوم.

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ماذا قال الشهيد المهندس عن السيد نصر الله في جلسة خاصة مع بن جدو؟

الشهيد أبو مهدي المهندس يشاهد خطاباً للأمين العام لحزب الله مباشرةً بعد تحرير الموصل.

 الميادين نت

30 كانون الأول 2020 17:11

عادةً ما تكشف الاغتيالات الكبرى النقاب عن الكثير من الأسرار التي لا تقال في حضرة الحضور، ربما هذا ما يثير دهشتنا بعد كل اغتيال عظيم، لأننا ببساطة، نعرف أكثر.

مطلع كانون الثاني من عام 2020 الذي حمل في أيامه بلاءات يكاد لا يُعرف أيها موجعٌ أكثر. قصفت القوات الأميركية محيط مطار بغداد الدولي، وبدأت الإشارات التي تنذر بالسوء بالظهور، استشهد قائدان  قيل إنهما “أعمدة الجهاد في هذه الأمة”، الحاج قاسم سليماني، والحاج أبو مهدي المهندس، بعدها بدأت الصورة تتضج، شيء ما حدث، العالم بعد استشهادهما ليس كما قبله.

ولأن العدسات التي توضع في مكانها المناسب تكشف حقائقاً لا لبس فيها عن ماهية العلاقات والأحداث، وتبثها بحرفية لإيصال الصورة كما هي، كانت كاميرا الميادين عام 2017، عام تحرير الموصل من داعش، في مكانها الصحيح، بدايةً، كانت في قلب معارك الموصل، وأعلنت النصر من داخلها، من الصفوف الأمامية، “بحضور استشهادي” كما وصفه نائب رئيس هيئة الحشد الشعبي في العراق، أبو مهدي المهندس، قبل استشهاده بـ 4 سنوات. 

وبعد التحرير، كانت عدسات الميادين تقف إلى جانب أبو مهدي المهندس، في جلسة خاصة كُشف فيها الكثير من الحب، استطاع رئيس مجلس إدارة شبكة الميادين، غسان بن جدو، الإضاءة على علاقة تجمع المهندس بالأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصر الله، سؤال بن جدو، كما يكشف الفيديو الخاص بالميادين نت، كان منطقياً في خضم جلسة خاصة، لماذا يشاهد أبو مهدي المهندس خطاباً للأمين العام؟ جواب المهندس كان واضحاً “السيد عزيزنا”. وفي اللغة العربية “العزيز” تعني “النبيل” و”المُكرّمٌ لدينا”.

استرسل الشهيد المهندس في الحديث عن علاقته بأمين عام حزب الله السيد حسن نصر الله، قال إنه “قائد المقاومة، وقائدنا، السيد العزيز والمقاوم يتحدث عن تحرير الموصل، الأولى أني اسمع له، دائماً عنده شي جديد، يعطينا عزم وإرادة ودافعة قوية”.

قبل أيام، في مقابلة الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصر الله على الميادين، قال الأخير إن “الشهيد أبو مهدي المهندس قائد عظيم وشخصية شبيهة بالشهيد سليماني..”. وقال إن المهندس “كان أحد قادة محور المقاومة بما يتجاوز العراق إلى كل قضايا المنطقة”. وأكّد السيد نصر الله أن الشهيد “كان شريكاً أساسياً في صنع الانتصارين على الاحتلال الأميركي وداعش”.

ومنذ أعوام قال الشهيد المهندس إن السيد نصر الله “قائد المقاومة”.. عجيب كيف ترى القادة العظماء تلتحم قلوبهم في ساحات الوغى حين يحتدم القتال كأنها دمٌ واحد، كأنها قرابةٌ سرمدية تصبح معها البلدان مجرد مسافاتٍ يمتلىئ فيها الفضاء بالبذل والعطاء. 

أي سر يجمع أبو مهدي المهندس بالسيد نصر الله؟ لا أحد سيعلم كيف لتلك القمم الشامخة أن تنحني عطفاً وحباً وعشقاً بعضها لبعض، ربما هي أصوات المعارك وأزيز الرصاص، ومشاهد عزائم الرجال تخوض الموت، وتراقص المنايا المنتشرة على التخوم، تلوّح للحياة بقلبٍ مطمئن. أو هذا الحس الأبوي بأطفال العراق ولبنان وسوريا واليمن، وكل بقعةٍ تتوعدها أنياب الطغاة بسفك الدماء، وقطع الرؤوس، وهتك الأعراض، وسلب الممتلكات.

ربما هي الوجهة الواحدة لأولياء الله إلى السماء في ساعات التخلّي الطاهرة من كل ضعفٍ ووهنٍ وإستسلامٍ وتطبيع، كي تبقى المساجد بيضاء نقية من كل دم، وترتفع المآذن باسم السلام، وتقرع الكنائس أجراس الحب، ويغسل نهر دجلة مياهه من دماء الأبرياء وضفافه من بصمات التكفير، ويعبق تراب الجنوب اللبناني بأغنية العز، ويصدح شعراء اليمن وأدباء سوريا وموسيقى إيران على أيدي الرجال الرجال، صانعي عصر الإنتصارات.

استشهد المهندس غدراً لأن الخائبون عجزة عن المواجهة في الميدان. لكن “عزيزه” وآخرين ما زالوا على الخط، يحاربون طالما تذرف هذه البلاد العزيزة أبناءها.


Spokesperson for Iraq’s Nujaba Movement to Al-Ahed: Our Confrontation with The Americans Is Open-ended

Spokesperson for Iraq’s Nujaba Movement to Al-Ahed: Our Confrontation with The Americans Is Open-ended

Al-Ahed Exclusive

The first martyrdom anniversary of the two leaders, Hajj Qassem Soleimani and Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, is a reminder to the American occupiers that their presence in the region will not last long. On this occasion, al-Ahed News sat down with the official spokesperson for the Nujaba Movement, Engineer Nasr al-Shammari, who asserted that “Iraq’s resistance is fighting an open confrontation with American occupation forces and the American hegemony. The confrontation will remain open-ended and its goal is the removal of the entirety of the US presence in the region.”

Below is the transcript of the interview:

On the first anniversary of the assassination of the commander of the IRG’s Quds Force Major General Qassem Soleimani and the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Units, Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, where is the response to this crime? And what do you promise the American occupier?

We, in the Iraqi resistance, have been engaged in an open confrontation with the American occupation forces and the American hegemony since 2003, and this confrontation has never stopped. In 2011, all US occupation forces that begged for a safe and timely withdrawal were expelled under fire from the resistance. The last blow was dealt to them near the border crossing with Kuwait. These forces then returned through the window in 2014 after being expelled from the door under the pretext of fighting the Daesh gang, which is essentially their creation, according to the admission from US President Donald Trump.

As for the horrific crime that led to the martyrdom of the leaders of victory, the response of the people was immediate through the millions that took part in the martyrs’ funeral processions. Then came the Iraqi parliament’s decision to expel the foreign forces. After that, millions of people took part in demonstrations calling for the withdrawal of American occupation forces. Then, a new page of open-ended confrontation between the resistance on the one hand and the occupation forces on the other ensued.

The occupation forces’ convoys, headquarters, and camps continued to be targeted on a daily basis until they were forced to retreat to limited bases deep in the desert, which are within range of the mujahideen’s weapons. These will be closed soon, as many of the bases were closed before. Despite all this, the confrontation will remain open, and its goal is the removal of the entirety of the US presence in the region because there is no American target that has the same value of the martyred leaders.

In your opinion, what is the significance of the martyrdom of the two leaders Soleimani and al-Muhandis, both of whom spent their lives together in the fields of jihad?

They were both a confirmation to the noble hadith about those whom Allah will shade in His shade on the Day of Resurrection [Two men who love one another for the sake of Allah and meet and part on that basis.]

After a blessed jihad career of more than 40 years, being in their presence, you could see that they both originate from one source. Both of them have the same ideological, human, and moral attributes, and both are characterized by honesty, clarity, humility, courage, closeness to people, and love in the hearts of the believers.

Their martyrdom together had the greatest message – the mixing of blood, approach, and fate of all the children of this blessed axis from Palestine to Afghanistan, and the enemy sees that we are one. So, it is not permissible – and this is the case – for us not to see ourselves with the same eye in which our common enemy sees us, and this is why the responsibility for this pure blood falls on us all as His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said. We clearly see that its blessing will bring victory closer.

What is the impact of the martyrdom of the two leaders, Soleimani and al-Muhandis, on the Iraqis in general and on the Iraqi resistance factions in particular?

On the humane level, I have never in my life witnessed sympathy for any major incident like the departure of these two great martyrs. You could see sadness and tears in the old and young, the educated and the simple person, man and woman. There was sorrow and grief in every gathering or position in Iraq. The observer should not be fooled by the small group that was paid to try and distort the image of this situation.

But the effects of this blessed ascension are the unification of all fronts of the resistance into one as well as the solid position and the severity of the confrontation until America pays a high price for this crime.

And the greater price will be achieving what the two martyrs have long fought for, the liberation of al-Quds, God willing.

MILITARY AND POLITICAL TRENDS OF 2020 THAT WILL SHAPE 2021

South Front

2020 was a year full of surprises. It marked the advent of a new reality which may, with an equal probability, lead humanity to a new dark age or to a global digital dystopia. In this context, there is little room for a positive scenario of sustainable development that would benefit people in general, as opposed to just a group of select individuals and special interest groups. The heft of shifts in 2020 is comparable to what European citizens felt on the eve of another change of the socio-economic formation in the early 17th  and 20th centuries.

The past year began with the assassination of the Iranian military genius General Qasem Soleimani by the United States, and it ended with the murder of the prominent scholar Mohsen Fakhrizadeh by the Israelis.

Iran's top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh assassinated near Tehran -  YouTube

In early January, Iran, expecting another aggressive action from the West, accidently shot down a Ukrainian civil aircraft that had inexplicably altered its course over Tehran without request nor authorization. Around the same time, Turkey confirmed the deployment of its military in Libya, beginning a new phase of confrontation in the region, and Egypt responding with airstrikes and additional shows of force. The situation in Yemen developed rapidly: taking advantage of the Sunni coalition’s moral weakness, Ansar Allah achieved significant progress in forcing the Saudis out of the country in many regions. The state of warfare in northwestern Syria has significantly changed, transforming into the formal delineation of zones of influence of Turkey and the Russian-Iranian-Syrian coalition. This happened amid, and largely due to the weakening of U.S. influence in the region. Ankara is steadily increasing its military presence in the areas under its responsibility and along the contact line. It has taken measures to deter groups linked to Al-Qaeda and other radicals. As a result, the situation in the region is stabilizing, which has allowed Turkey to increasingly exert control over most of Greater Idlib.

ISIS cells remain active in the eastern and southern Syrian regions. Particular processes are taking place in Quneitra and Daraa provinces, where Russian peace initiatives were inconclusive by virtue of the direct destructive influence of Israel in these areas of Syria. In turn, the assassination of Qasem Soleimaniin resulted in a sharp increase in the targeting of American personnel, military and civil infrastructure in Iraq. The U.S. Army was forced to regroup its forces, effectively abandoning a number of its military installations and concentrating available forces at key bases. At the same time, Washington flatly rejected demands from Baghdad for a complete withdrawal of U.S. troops and promised to respond with full-fledged sanctions if Iraq continued to raise this issue. Afghanistan remains stable in its instability. Disturbing news comes from Latin America. Confrontation between China and India flared this year, resulting in sporadic border clashes. This situation seems far from over, as both countries have reinforced their military posture along the disputed border. The aggressive actions of the Trump administration against China deepen global crises, which has become obvious not only to specialists but also to the general public. The relationship between the collective West and the Russian Federation was re-enshrined in “the Cold War state”, which seems to have been resurrected once again.

The turbulence of the first quarter of 2020 was overshadowed by a new socio-political process – the corona-crisis, the framework of which integrates various phenomena from the Sars-Cov2 epidemic itself and the subsequent exacerbation of the global economic crisis.  The disclosure of substantial social differences that have accumulated in modern capitalist society, lead to a series of incessant protests across the globe. The year 2020 was accompanied by fierce clashes between protesters professing various causes and law enforcement forces in numerous countries. Although on the surface these societal clashes with the state appear disassociated, many share related root causes. A growing, immense wealth inequality, corruption of government at all levels, a lack of any meaningful input into political decision making, and the unmasking of massive censorship via big tech corporations and the main stream media all played a part in igniting societal unrest.

In late 2019 and early 2020 there was little reason for optimistic projections for the near future. However, hardly anyone could anticipate the number of crisis events and developments that had taken place during this year. These phenomena affected every region of the world to some extent.

Nevertheless, Middle East has remained the main source of instability, due to being an arena where global and regional power interests intertwine and clash. The most important line of confrontation is between US and Israel-led forces on the one hand, and Iran and its so called Axis of Resistance. The opposing sides have been locked in an endless spiral of mutual accusations, sanctions, military incidents, and proxy wars, and recently even crossed the threshold into a limited exchange of strikes due to the worsening state of regional confrontation. Russia and Turkey, the latter of which has been distancing itself from Washington due to growing disagreements with “NATO partners” and changes in global trends, also play an important role in the region without directly entering into the confrontation between pro-Israel forces and Iran.

As in the recent years, Syria and Iraq remain the greatest hot-spots. The destruction of ISIS as a terrorist state and the apparent killing of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi did not end its existence as a terror group. Many ISIS cells and supporting elements actively use regional instability as a chance to preserve the Khalifate’s legacy. They remain active mainly along the Syria-Iraq border, and along the eastern bank of the Euphrates in Syria. Camps for the temporary displaced and for the families and relatives of ISIS militants on the territory controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in north-eastern Syria are also breeding grounds for terrorist ideology. Remarkably, these regions are also where there is direct presence of US forces, or, as in the case of SDF camps, presence of forces supported by the US.

The fertile soil for radicalism also consists of the inability to reach a comprehensive diplomatic solution that would end the Syrian conflict in a way acceptable to all parties. Washington is not interesting in stabilizing Syria because even should Assad leave, it would strengthen the Damascus government that would naturally be allied to Russia and Iran. Opposing Iran and supporting Israel became the cornerstone of US policy during the Trump administration. Consequently, Washington is supporting separatist sentiments of the Kurdish SDF leadership and even allowed it to participate in the plunder of Syrian oil wells in US coalition zone of control in which US firms linked to the Pentagon and US intelligence services are participating. US intelligence also aids Israel in its information and psychological warfare operations, as well as military strikes aimed at undermining Syria and Iranian forces located in the country. In spite of propaganda victories, in practice Israeli efforts had limited success in 2020 as Iran continued to strengthen its positions and military capabilities on its ally’s territory. Iran’s success in establishing and supporting a land corridor linking Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Iraq, plays an important role. Constant expansion of Iran’s military presence and infrastructure near the town of al-Bukamal, on the border of Iraq and Syria, demonstrates the importance of the project to Tehran. Tel-Aviv claims that Iran is using that corridor to equip pro-Iranian forces in southern Syria and Lebanon with modern weapons.

The Palestinian question is also an important one for Israel’s leadership and its lobby in Washington. The highly touted “deal of the century” turned out to be no more than an offer for the Palestinians to abandon their struggle for statehood. As expected, this initiative did not lead to a breakthrough in Israeli-Palestinian relations. Rather the opposite, it gave an additional stimulus to Palestinian resistance to the demands that were being imposed. At the same time, Trump administration scored a diplomatic success by forcing the UAE and Bahrain to normalize their relations with Israel, and Saudi Arabia to make its collaboration with Israel public. That was a historic victory for US-Israel policy in the Middle East. Public rapprochement of Arab monarchies and Israel strengthened the positions of Iran as the only country which not only declares itself as Palestine’s and Islamic world’s defender, but actually puts words into practice. Saudi Arabia’s leadership will particularly suffer in terms of loss of popularity among its own population, already damaged by the failed war in Yemen and intensifying confrontation with UAE, both of which are already using their neighbor’s weakness to lay a claim to leadership on the Arabian Peninsula.

The list of actors strengthening their positions in the Red Sea includes Russia. In late 2020 it became known that Russia reached an agreement with Sudan on establishing a naval support facility which has every possibility to become a full-blown naval base. This foothold will enable the Russian Navy to increase its presence on key maritime energy supply routes on the Red Sea itself  and in the area between Aden and Oman straits. For Russia, which has not had naval infrastructure in that region since USSR’s break-up, it is a significant diplomatic breakthrough. For its part. Sudan’s leadership apparently views Russia’s military presence as a security factor allowing it to balance potential harmful measures by the West.

During all of 2020, Moscow and Beijing continued collaboration on projects in Africa, gradually pushing out traditional post-colonial powers in several key areas. The presence of Russian military specialists in the Central African Republic where they assist the central government in strengthening its forces, escalation of local conflicts, and ensuring the security of Russian economic sectors, is now a universally known fact. Russian diplomacy and specialists are also active in Libya, where UAE and Egypt which support Field Marshal Khaftar, and Turkey which supports the Tripoli government, are clashing. Under the cover of declarations calling for peace and stability, foreign actors are busily carving up Libya’s energy resources. For Egypt there’s also the crucial matter of fighting terrorism and the presence of groups affiliated with Muslim Brotherhood which Cairo sees as a direct threat to national security.

The Sahel and the vicinity of Lake Chad remain areas where terror groups with links to al-Qaeda and ISIS remain highly active. France’s limited military mission in the Sahara-Sahel region has been failure and could not ensure sufficient support for regional forces in order to stabilize the situation. ISIS and Boko-Haram continue to spread chaos in the border areas between Niger, Nigeria, Cameroun, and Chad. In spite of all the efforts by the region’s governments, terrorists continue to control sizable territories and represent a significant threat to regional security. The renewed conflict in Ethiopia is a separate problem, in which the federal government was drawn into a civil war against the National Front for the Liberation of Tigray controlling that province. The ethno-feudal conflict between federal and regional elites threatens to destabilize the entire country if it continues.

The explosive situation in Africa shows that post-colonial European powers and the “Global Policeman” which dominated that continent for decades were not interested in addressing the continent’s actual problem. Foreign actors were mainly focused on extracting resources and ensuring the interests of a narrow group of politicians and entities affiliated with foreign capitals. Now they are forced to compete with the informal China-Russia bloc which will use a different approach that may be a described as follows: Strengthening of regional stability to protect investments in economic projects. Thus it is no surprise that influential actors are gradually losing to new but more constructive forces.

Tensions within European countries have been on the rise during the past several years, due to both the crisis of the contemporary economic paradigm and to specific regional problems such as the migration crises and the failure of multiculturalism policies, with subsequent radicalization of society.

Unpleasant surprises included several countries’ health care and social protection networks’ inability to cope with the large number of COVID-19 patients. Entire systems of governance in a number of European countries proved incapable of coping with rapidly developing crises. This is true particularly for countries of southern Europe, such as Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Greece. Among eastern European countries, Hungary’s and Romania’s economies were particularly badly affected. At the same time, Poland’s state institutions and economy showed considerable resilience in the face of crisis. While the Federal Republic of Germany suffered considerable economic damage in the second quarter of 2020, Merkel’s government used the situation to inject huge sums of liquidity into the economy, enhanced Germany’s position within Europe, and moreover Germany’s health care and social protection institutions proved capable and sufficiently resilient.

Coronavirus and subsequent social developments led to the emergence of the so-called “Macron Doctrine” which amounts to an argument that EU must obtain strategic sovereignty. This is consistent with the aims of a significant portion of German national elites. Nevertheless, Berlin officially criticized Macron’s statements and has shown willingness to enter into a strategic partnership with Biden Administration’s United States as a junior partner. However, even FRG’s current leadership understands the dangers of lack of strategic sovereignty in an era of America’s decline as the world policeman. Against the backdrop of a global economic crisis, US-EU relations are ineluctably drifting from a state of partnership to one of competition or even rivalry. In general, the first half of 2020 demonstrated the vital necessity of further development of European institutions.

The second half of 2020 was marked by fierce mass protests in Germany, France, Great Britain, and other European countries. The level of violence employed by both the protesters and law enforcement was unprecedented and is not comparable to the level of violence seen during protests in Russia, Belarus, and even Kirgizstan. Mainstream media did their best to depreciate and conceal the scale of what was happening. If the situation continues to develop in the same vein, there is every chance that in the future, a reality that can be described as a digital concentration camp may form in Europe.

World media, for its part, paid particular attention to the situation in Belarus, where protests have entered their fourth month following the August 9, 2020 presidential elections. Belarusian protests have been characterized by their direction from outside the country and choreographed nature. The command center of protest activities is officially located in Poland. This fact is in and of itself unprecedented in Europe’s contemporary history. Even during Ukraine’s Euromaidan, external forces formally refused to act as puppetmasters.

Belarus’ genuinely existing socio-economic problems have led to a rift within society that is now divided into two irreconcilable camps: proponents of reforms vs. adherents of the current government. Law enforcement forces which are recruited from among President Lukashenko’s supporters, have acted forcefully and occasionally harshly. Still, the number of casualties is far lower than, for example, in protests in France or United States.

Ukraine itself, where Western-backed “democratic forces” have already won, remains the main point of instability in Eastern Europe. The Zelenskiy administration came to power under slogans about the need to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine and rebuild the country. In practice, the new government continued to pursue the policy aimed at maintaining military tension in the region in the interests of its external sponsors and personal enrichment.

For the United States, 2020 turned out to be a watershed year for both domestic and foreign policy. Events of this year were a reflection of Trump Administration’s protectionist foreign policy and a national-oriented approach in domestic and economic policy, which ensured an intense clash with the majority of Washington Establishment acting in the interests of global capital.

In addition to the unresolved traditional problems, America’s problems were made worse by two crises, COVID-19 spread and BLM movement protests. They ensured America’s problems reached a state of critical mass.

One can and should have a critical attitude toward President Trump’s actions, but one should not doubt the sincerity of his efforts to turn the slogan Make America Great Again into reality. One should likewise not doubt that his successor will adhere to other values. Whether it’s Black Lives Matter or Make Global Moneymen Even Stronger, or Russia Must Be Destroyed, or something even more exotic, it will not change the fact America we’ve known in the last half century died in 2020. A telling sign of its death throes is the use of “orange revolution” technologies developed against inconvenient political regimes. This demonstrated that currently the United States is ruled not by national elites but by global investors to whom the interests of ordinary Americans are alien.

This puts the terrifying consequences of COVID-19 in a new light. The disease has struck the most vulnerable layers of US society. According to official statistics, United States has had about 20 million cases and over 330,000 deaths. The vast majority are low-income inhabitants of mega-cities. At the same time, the wealthiest Americans have greatly increased their wealth by exploiting the unfolding crisis for their own personal benefit. The level of polarization of US society has assumed frightening proportions. Conservatives against liberals, blacks against whites, LGBT against traditionalists, everything that used to be within the realm of public debate and peaceful protest has devolved into direct, often violent, clashes. One can observe unprecedented levels of aggression and violence from all sides.

In foreign policy, United States continued to undermine the international security system based on international treaties. There are now signs that one of the last legal bastions of international security, the New START treaty, is under attack. US international behavior has prompted criticism from NATO allies. There are growing differences of opinion on political matters with France and economic ones with Germany. The dialogue with Eastern Mediterranean’s most powerful military actor Turkey periodically showed a sharp clash of interests.

Against that backdrop, United States spent 2020 continuously increasing its military presence in Eastern Europe and the Black Sea basin. Additional US forces and assets were deployed in direct proximity to Russia’s borders. The number of offensive military exercises under US leadership or with US participation has considerably increased.

In the Arctic, the United States is acting as a spoiler, unhappy with the current state of affairs. It aims to extend its control over natural resources in the region, establish permanent presence in other countries’ exclusive economic zones (EEZ) through the use of the so-called “freedom of navigation operations” (FONOPs), and continue to encircle Russia with ballistic missile defense (BMD) sites and platforms.

In view of the urgent and evident US preparations to be able to fight and prevail in a war against a nuclear adversary, by defeating the adversary’s nuclear arsenal through the combination of precision non-nuclear strikes, Arctic becomes a key region in this military planning. The 2020 sortie by a force of US Navy BMD-capable AEGIS destroyers into the Barents Sea, the first such mission since the end of the Cold War over two decades ago, shows the interest United States has in projecting BMD capabilities into regions north of Russia’s coastline, where they might be able to effect boost-phase interceptions of Russian ballistic missiles that would be launched in retaliatory strikes against the United States. US operational planning for the Arctic in all likelihood resembles that for South China Sea, with only a few corrections for climate.

In Latin America, the year of 2020 was marked by the intensification of Washington efforts aimed at undermining the political regimes that it considered to be in the opposition to the existing world order.

Venezuela remained one of the main points of the US foreign policy agenda. During the entire year, the government of Nicolas Maduro was experiencing an increasing sanction, political and clandestine pressure. In May, Venezuelan security forces even neutralized a group of US mercenaries that sneaked into the country to stage the coup in the interests of the Washington-controlled opposition and its public leader Juan Guaido. However, despite the recognition of Guaido as the president of Venezuela by the US and its allies, regime-change attempts, and the deep economic crisis, the Maduro government survived.

This case demonstrated that the decisive leadership together having the support of a notable part of the population and working links with alternative global centers of power could allow any country to resist to globalists’ attacks. The US leadership itself claims that instead of surrendering, Venezuela turned itself into a foothold of its geopolitical opponents: China, Russia, Iran and even Hezbollah. While this evaluation of the current situation in Venezuela is at least partly a propaganda exaggeration to demonize the ‘anti-democratic regime’ of Maduro, it highlights parts of the really existing situation.

The turbulence in Bolivia ended in a similar manner, when the right wing government that gained power as a result of the coup in 2019 demonstrated its inability to rule the country and lost power in 2020. The expelled president, Evo Morales, returned to the country and the Movement for Socialism secured their dominant position in Bolivia thanks to the wide-scale support from the indigenous population. Nonetheless, it is unlikely that these developments in Venezuela and Bolivia would allow to reverse the general trend towards the destabilization in South America.

The regional economic and social turbulence is strengthened by the high level of organized crime and the developing global crisis that sharpened the existing contradictions among key global and regional players. This creates conditions for the intensification of existing conflicts. For example, the peace process between the FARC and the federal government is on the brink of the collapse in Colombia. Local sources and media accuse the government and affiliated militias of detentions and killings of leaders of local communities and former FARC members in violation of the existing peace agreement. This violence undermine the fragile peace process and sets conditions for the resumption of the armed struggle by FARC and its supporters. Mexico remains the hub for illegal migration, drug and weapon trafficking just on the border with the United States. Large parts of the country are in the state of chaos and are in fact controlled by violent drug cartels and their mercenaries. Brazil is in the permanent state of political and economic crisis amid the rise of street crime.

These negative tendencies affect almost all states of the region. The deepening global economic crisis and the coronavirus panic add oil to the flame of instability.

Countries of South America are not the only one suffering from the crisis. It also shapes relations between global powers. Outcomes of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and the global economic crisis contributed to the hardening of the standoff between the United States and China.

Washington and Beijing have insoluble contradictions. The main of them is that China has been slowly but steadily winning the race for the economic and technological dominance simultaneously boosting own military capabilities to defend the victory in the case of a military escalation. The sanction, tariff and diplomatic pressure campaign launched by the White House on China since the very start of the Trump Presidency is a result of the understanding of these contradictions by the Trump administration and its efforts to guarantee the leading US position in the face of the global economic recession. The US posture towards the South China Sea issues, the political situation in Hong Kong, human rights issues in Xinjiang, the unprecedented weapon sales to Taiwan, the support of the militarization of Japan and many other questions is a part of the ongoing standoff. Summing up, Washington has been seeking to isolate China through a network of local military alliances and contain its economic expansion through sanction, propaganda and clandestine operations.

The contradictions between Beijing and Washington regarding North Korea and its nuclear and ballistic missile programs are a part of the same chain of events. Despite the public rhetoric, the United States is not interested in the full settlement of the Korea conflict. Such a scenario that may include the reunion of the North and South will remove the formal justification of the US military buildup. This is why the White House opted to not fulfill its part of the deal with the North once again assuring the North Korean leadership that its decision to develop its nuclear and missile programs and further.

Statements of Chinese diplomats and top official demonstrate that Beijing fully understands the position of Washington. At the same time, China has proven that it is not going to abandon its policies aimed at gaining the position of the main leading power in the post-unipolar world. Therefore, the conflict between the sides will continue escalating in the coming years regardless the administration in the White House and the composition of the Senate and Congress. Joe Biden and forces behind his rigged victory in the presidential election will likely turn back from Trump’s national-oriented economic policy and ‘normalize’ relations with China once again reconsidering Russia as Enemy #1. This will not help to remove the insoluble contradictions with China and reverse the trend towards the confrontation. However, the Biden administration with help from mainstream media will likely succeed in hiding this fact from the public by fueling the time-honored anti-Russian hysteria.

As to Russia itself, it ended the year of 2020 in its ordinary manner for the recent years: successful and relatively successful foreign policy actions amid the complicated economic, social and political situation inside the country. The sanction pressure, coronavirus-related restrictions and the global economic crisis slowed down the Russian economy and contributed to the dissatisfaction of the population with internal economic and social policies of the government. The crisis was also used by external actors that carried out a series of provocations and propaganda campaigns aimed at undermining the stability in the country ahead of the legislative election scheduled for September 2021. The trend on the increase of sanction pressure, including tapering large infrastructure projects like the Nord Stream 2, and expansion of public and clandestine destabilization efforts inside Russia was visible during the entire year and will likely increase in 2021. In the event of success, these efforts will not only reverse Russian foreign policy achievements of the previous years, but could also put in danger the existence of the Russian statehood in the current format.

Among the important foreign policy developments of 2020 underreported by mainstream media is the agreement on the creation of a Russian naval facility on the coast of the Red Sea in Sudan. If this project is fully implemented, this will contribute to the rapid growth of Russian influence in Africa. Russian naval forces will also be able to increase their presence in the Red Sea and in the area between the Gulf of Aden and the Gulf of Oman. Both of these areas are the core of the current maritime energy supply routes. The new base will also serve as a foothold of Russia in the case of a standoff with naval forces of NATO member states that actively use their military infrastructure in Djibouti to project power in the region. It is expected that the United States (regardless of the administration in the White House) will try to prevent the Russian expansion in the region at any cost. For an active foreign policy of Russia, the creation of the naval facility in Sudan surpasses all public and clandestine actions in Libya in recent years. From the point of view of protecting Russian national interests in the Global Oceans, this step is even more important than the creation of the permanent air and naval bases in Syria.

As well as its counterparts in Washington and Beijing, Moscow contributes notable efforts to the modernization of its military capabilities, with special attention to the strategic nuclear forces and hypersonic weapons. The Russians see their ability to inflict unacceptable damage on a potential enemy among the key factors preventing a full-scale military aggression against them from NATO. The United Sates, China and Russia are in fact now involved in the hypersonic weapon race that also includes the development of means and measures to counter a potential strike with hypersonic weapons.

The new war in Nagorno-Karabakh became an important factor shaping the balance of power in the South Caucasus. The Turkish-Azerbaijani bloc achieved a sweeping victory over Armenian forces and only the involvement of the Russian diplomacy the further deployment of the peacekeepers allowed to put an end to the violence and rescue the vestiges of the self-proclaimed Armenian Republic of Artsakh. Russia successfully played a role of mediator and officially established a military presence on the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan for the next 5 years. The new Karabakh war also gave an additional impulse in the Turkish-Azerbaijani economic and military cooperation, while the pro-Western regime in Armenia that expectedly led the Armenian nation to the tragedy is balancing on the brink of collapse.

The Central Asia traditionally remained one of the areas of instability around the world with the permanent threat of militancy and humanitarian crisis. Nonetheless, despite forecasts of some analysis, the year of 2020 did not become the year of the creation of ISIS’ Caliphate 2.0 in the region. An important role in preventing this was played by the Taliban that additionally to securing its military victories over the US-led coalition and the US-backed Kabul government, was fiercely fighting ISIS cells appearing in Afghanistan. The Taliban, which controls a large part of Afghanistan, was also legalized on the international scene by direct talks with the United States. The role of the Taliban will grow and further with the reduction of the US military presence.

While some media already branded the year of 2020 as one of the worst in the modern history, there are no indications that the year of 2021 will be any brighter or the global crises and regional instability will magically disappear by themselves. Instead, most likely 2020 was just a prelude for the upcoming global shocks and the acute standoff for markets and resources in the environment of censorship, legalized total surveillance, violations of human rights under ‘democratic’ and ‘social’ slogans’ and proxy wars.

The instability in Europe will likely be fueled by the increasing cultural-civilizational conflict and the new wave of newcomers that have acute ideological and cultural differences with the European civilization. The influx of newcomers is expected due to demographic factors and the complicated security, social situation in the Middle East and Africa. Europe will likely try to deal with the influx of newcomers by introducing new movement and border restrictions under the brand of fighting coronavirus. Nonetheless, the expected growth of the migration pressure will likely contribute to the negative tendencies that could blow up Europe from inside.

The collapse of the international security system, including key treaties limiting the development and deployment of strategic weapons, indicates that the new detente on the global scene will remain an improbable scenario. Instead, the world will likely move further towards the escalation scenario as at least a part of the current global leadership considers a large war a useful tool to overcome the economic crisis and capture new markets. Russia, with its large territories, rich resources, a relatively low population, seems to be a worthwhile target. At the same time, China will likely exploit the escalating conflict between Moscow and the US-led bloc to even further increase its global positions. In these conditions, many will depend on the new global order and main alliances within it that are appearing from the collapsing unipolar system. The United States has already lost its unconditional dominant role on the international scene, but the so-called multipolar world order has not appeared yet. The format of this new multipolar world will likely have a critical impact on the further developments around the globe and positions of key players involved in the never-ending Big Game.

Al-Ahed Learns about Martyr Soleimani’s Servitude & Loyalty to His Parents

Al-Ahed Learns about Martyr Soleimani’s Servitude & Loyalty to His Parents

By Mokhtar Haddad

Tehran – On the first martyrdom anniversary of the late Lieutenant General Hajj Qassem Soleimani, Al-Ahed News sat down with a man who accompanied him on the path of jihad for more than three decades. Hujjat al-Islam wal Muslimin Sheikh Ali Shirazi is the representative of Imam Khamenei to the Thar Allah HQ and his former representative to the Quds Force.

He told us about his relationship and memories with martyr Soleimani. Below is the transcript of the interview:

– You have a relationship that binds you to the martyred leader. How was the first meeting with him? What were the most prominent features of his personality?

My relationship with the martyr goes back to 1982, before Operation Beit-ol-Moqaddas, and it lasted until the moment of his martyrdom. The most important feature in Major General Soleimani’s personality was that he never thought of himself at any time or place, whether in private or public meetings. I never heard him say that he was the reason for the victory in Iraq, Syria, or Lebanon against terrorism. He never spoke in such a manner. He was a sincere man in every sense of the word.

– We saw a video clip in which you were talking about Hajj Qassem and a book on ethics written by His Eminence Ayatollah Sheikh Mesbah Yazdi. It was remarkable how Your Eminence spoke about the martyr’s service to his parents and its impact. Can you elaborate further?

Providing and caring for one’s father and mother are mentioned in the Holy Qur’an along with the worship of God Almighty, and this indicates the great importance of the father and the mother.

Lieutenant General Soleimani was always striving to implement the teachings of religion in his life, and this involved taking care of his mother and father. Although the martyr was busy, I used to see him return from his mission on Thursday and head on the same night from Tehran to Kerman and from Kerman to his village, Qanat Malak, which is two and a half hours away from Kerman. He’d reach there on Friday morning, serve his parents, and head back to Kerman then to Tehran Friday evening. He’d take advantage of opportunities to serve his parents, and he never said, “I am tired”, especially since he worked day and night and traveled a lot. So, whenever he returned to Iran, he never forgot to tend to his parents and family. He was in their service, kissing their hands and feet. He never said, “I am a commander, a brigadier, and the commander of the Quds Force.” On the contrary, he was a servant to his parents.

I consider that his loyalty and service to his parents was the reason for Hajj Qassem Soleimani’s advancement. When Hajj Qassem’s mother died, he was not in Iran. When he arrived at the airport, Brigadier General Ghaani and I met him. He was not yet informed with the news. When I broke the news of her departure, he told me that he was proud that on his last visit he was able to kiss her feet … He was proud of that. This is how this great leader in the Islamic world behaved towards his parents.

– In many of the clips, Hajj Qassem was always talking about the certainty of goodness. How did you see that in his behavior?

Martyr Soleimani never lost hope. During the stage of the holy defense in the southeast of the country, in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, even on the issue of Palestine, and in all stages, he never said that “the matter is beyond our ability” or “we cannot” or “the enemy is strong” or “we cannot win.” Rather, he always had hope and gave it to others, and that’s an important leadership component. Three months before the defeat of Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group] in Syria, Hajj Qassem clearly announced that the terrorist organization would leave and that within three months the mythical Daesh ‘state’ would withdraw. And this happened. This is due to his divine vision and his dependence on God Almighty.

Those who took Soleimani as a role model should also take his hope, his fight against the enemy, his courage, and his jihadist spirit as a model.

– The young men [fighters] were the pulse of Hajj Qassem, and he used to pay special attention to them. What was his most important advice to them?

Martyr Soleimani loved the youth and had absolute confidence in them. During the period of the sacred defense, he would hand over the leadership to them. In Syria, who received leadership duties? The two martyrs, Sadr Zadeh and Qumi, were among those young men. They were among the leaders of the war against terrorism in Syria and Iraq.

Martyr Soleimani supported them and considered himself one of them. They adored him as well, and he used to follow up on matters related to them and solve their problems.

When Hajj Qassem was martyred, some of these dear young men, especially the sons of the martyrs, contacted me and told me that we did not cry for the loss of our fathers the way we cried and were affected by martyr Soleimani’s martyrdom.

I saw in Tehran and Kerman that young people come from all over the country to participate in the funeral procession of the martyr, and they showed this love in the ceremony. We also saw millions taking part in the funeral ceremonies, which proves his good faith and hope in the youth.

– How did Hajj Qassem impact you personally?

I was not a good student of Hajj Qassem Soleimani. In all stages of his life, the martyr was our mentor, and we sought to make him our role model. We are now trying to follow in his footsteps. The martyr used to constantly visit the families of the martyrs, and if we could do something for the families of the martyrs, especially the martyrs of the sacred defense, then we would be like students in martyr Soleimani’s school.

A Loving Father to All: Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis

A Loving Father to All: Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis

By Elham Hashemi

On the first anniversary of the martyrdom of Haj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, al-Ahed news had an exclusive interview with Zahraa; who was taken care of by martyr al-Muhandis after her father had passed away. She is only one of the very many young women and men who he had helped and supported throughout their lives.

He soon became my father…

I got acquainted to Haj Abu Mahdi when I was around 19 years old. It was in 2008 when we first met at a gathering with common friends and family members. I had lost my father two years before that and life was very tough on me. I was suffering from some issues at university, I had to quit and was exhausted. He noticed I was not okay, and he would always try to make me laugh and give me moral boosts whenever he would see me. Slowly became like a father to me. He would bring hope into my life and help me think positive and supported me in confronting my problems too.

He would always tell me, “You know I have four daughters, and now I have five, you are my fifth daughter.”

I really felt like I was one of his daughters. He supported me like he was my own father in different issues. Even when he was super busy, he would still find time to check up on me and my family members. His wife and daughters are also kind and well-educated women. They would participate in our family gatherings and as time passed we were like one family.

I would sometimes pass by his office with my husband, just to say hello, I knew he had hectic days and was overwhelmed with work.

We would discuss things related to my life, I would seek advice from him. I still remember how he encouraged me to seek my higher education again and focus on psychology as a major, he assured a few times “I really think that we need this major, you can help society a lot.”

A bright future awaits

He was very unique; the way he would speak to people, his generosity, and the positive vibes he spreads wherever he goes. He was a source of tranquility and happiness to me and my husband and I am later on got to know he was that source of delight and serenity for others too. He would always give me and other young men and ladies advice on how important it is to stay up-to-date, to seek good education, to do our best in everything. It was very important for him that young people play an effective role in society. He would tell me and others “You have to do your best always, you must know that the future is waiting and that it can be a bright future if you are successful in your own way and own field.”

He was a loving father to everyone around him, and he would try to personally help people out in their different issues. Of course, young men and women as I said were a main concern to him, and he always cared for them and encouraged them to build a great future.

Caring…

He was so caring, he would also take care of the sons and daughters of many of the martyrs; Iranians and Iraqis alike.

He always said “I feel uneasy to see depressed young people, yes life is tough but we can be tougher and we can win in face of all the challenges in life. Be active in all fields of life, leave your good finger prints wherever you go.”

When my husband and I would pass by to say hello or meet at a dinner or family gathering, he would always joke with my husband and tell him “If you give my lovely daughter a hard time I know how to deal with you,” and we would all laugh. The last time I saw him was around three months before his martyrdom. He asked me a lot if I need anything, he repeated his question several times and told me “my daughter, if you and your husband need anything just let me know, and if I cannot do it myself I will have someone help you out.” 

Abu Mahdi at the war fronts

My husband’s friend was present at the war fronts, when fighting the terrorist group Daesh in Iraq. He was under the supervision of Haj Abu Mahdi. He said that all what mattered to Haj Abu Mahdi was that things go right. It did not matter to him whether he ate or not, it was not important for him to sleep or rest, all what mattered was to achieve victory and protect innocent people and lands from the terrorist and extremist groups who raped, killed, and destroyed wherever they went.

And whenever he felt extremely tired he would eat anything simple, take a short nap even on the asphalt to regain some energy and continue his work.

Bidding him farewell

On that night, one of my best friends sent me a message consoling me on the martyrdom of Haj Abu Mahdi, I was shocked but I told myself this is not true. It was only seconds when my husband came and told me that Abu Mahdi and Haj Qassem Suleimani were assassinated and now are martyrs.

I told myself, it’s probably rumors. I did not want to believe. I was in denial at first, and I was unable to believe he was assassinated. It took me a while to calm down and realize that it’s true. In the morning the first thing I did was go to their house to see his wife and daughters. It was like I lost my father for the second time. His pictures were everywhere. Later on, I went to see him and say good bye but it was only remains of his body that were in the coffin.

 He promised me that he would be my father forever. He promised that he will always there for me. It is true that he was assassinated and no longer could I see him, but his soul is always with me.

Qassem Soleimani as Viewed by Foreign Media

Qassem Soleimani as Viewed by Foreign Media

By Al-Ahed News

قاسم سليماني أيقونة الثورة الإسلامية

ناصر قنديل

Photo of المضاربون وحدهم استفادوا
من الأرجوحة الحكوميّة

البحث في شخصية القائد الشهيد قاسم سليماني والمكانة التي احتلها في المقاومة التي خاضتها شعوب ودول المنطقة في مواجهة مشروع الهيمنة الأميركية من فلسطين الى لبنان وسورية والعراق واليمن وباكستان وأفغانتسان، لا بد أن يوصلنا إلى اكتشاف حقيقة أولى تتصل بكونه قد نجح دون تكليف رسمي أو قرار سياسي في الانتقال داخل وجدان حركات المقاومة من قائد إيراني يتولى تنسيق العلاقة بين قوى المقاومة والجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران، ويرعى حاجات هذه المقاومات المختلفة ويتابع معاركها كحليف صادق وصديق، إلى أن يصبح بالنسبة لكل من هذه الحركات والحكومات المعنية بمواجهة الهيمنة الأميركية، كأخ كبير ينتمي لكل من هذه الحركات والحكومات على حدة، بداية بصفة المستشار الخبير والحريص ولاحقا بصفته شريكا في القيادة التي تحمّل فيها خلال المعارك الميدانية مسؤوليات جسامًا وتعرض فيها لمخاطر كبيرة، سواء حيث تجسدت هذه الهيمنة بنسختها العدوانية التي يمثلها كيان الاحتلال، أو بنسختها التي يمثلها الاستبداد الخليجي، أو بنسختها التي تمثلها قوى الإرهاب التكفيري، أو بما جسده الاحتلال الأميركي المباشر.

قاسم سليماني أيقونة الثورة الإسلامية | ناصر قنديل

مع هذا التسلسل الزمني والخط البياني الذي رسمته مسيرة القائد سليماني، صار التنسيق بين حركات وقوى المقاومة متجسدا عمليا بوجود رئيس أركان لجيوش وقوى المقاومة مجمع عليه دون تكليف أو تعيين أو قرار، فقد صار سليماني العارف بظروف ومقدرات كل جبهة وخصوصياتها هو المؤهل ضمنا وبصورة فريدة وسلسة لتولي مهمة لم تنل صفة أو توصيفا، لكنها كانت عمليا رئاسة أركان جيوش وحركات تمسك بالكثير من نقاط القوة في المنطقة، وشكلت هذه الوضعية التمهيد الطبيعي لوجود محور مقاومة يتكامل ويتساند في الميدان قبل تظهيره كمحور، كان معلوما ان القائد سليماني هو رئيس أركان قواته .

لم يكن القائد سليماني بحاجة لصياغة نظرية عن أن القتال ضد الاحتلال في فلسطين وجنوب لبنان والتصدي للعدوان الرجعي الخليجي على اليمن ومواجهة المشروع التكفيري الإرهابي في العراق وسورية ولبنان والنضال لإزالة الاحتلال الأميركي عن أرض العراق وسورية، هي مجموعة معارك في حرب واحدة، وأن الرابط الأعمق بين الذين يقاتلون على كل هذه الجبهات يجب أن يكون إيمانهم بمكانة فلسطين والقدس في قلب مشروعهم الإستراتيجي، كي يستقيم قتالهم نحو الهدف المباشر الذي يتولون السعي إليه، لأن كل شيء يجري في المنطقة يرتبط عضويا بمصير هذا الكيان الغاصب لفلسطين، والقتال لإنهاء هذا الكيان هو ما يجد فيه القائد سليماني ترجمة مهنية عسكرية لتسمية القوة التي يقودها بفيلق القدس في الحرس الثوري الإسلامي.

قاسم سليماني أيقونة الثورة الإسلامية | ناصر قنديل

تاريخيا تبلغ الثورات مراحل نضجها التاريخي، وتثبت أهليتها للاستمرار كقوة دفع تاريخية، بعد أن يتثبت مركزها الجغرافي في قلب صناعة الأحداث، وتمتلك مشروعا تاريخيا وقيادة تاريخية، بأن تصنع رموزها الذين ترسم سيرتهم للشعوب والحركات النضالية مثالا وقدوة، ويتحولون الى ايقونات تجمع النظرية والممارسة، وتترجم بأعلى حالات التضحية مفهوم الثورة، فالإسلام كمحرك ثوري كرس رمزيته الثورية المستمرة بنموذج الإمام الحسين عليه السلام، وقبله وجدت المسيحية نموذجها النضالي المضحي في السيد المسيح عليه السلام. ومن يقرأ تاريخ الحركات التي استوحت من المسيحية والإسلام منهاجها الثوري سيجد لتجربة كل من السيد المسيح والإمام الحسين عليهما السلام مكانة خاصة، وسيجد لظروف عذاباتهما وتضحياتهما وبطولاتهما مكانة أشد خصوصية.

في تجربة اليسار العالمي يتميز اسم تشي غيفارا ويسطع كرمز للثورية والتضحية والنضال، خصوصا للبعد العابر للقوميات والوطنيات الذي جسده غيفارا ولظروف استشهاده على يد العدو الذي يختزن مشروع الاستعمار العالمي الذي تمثله أميركا، ومضمون ما مثله بأدائه الشخصي كجواب على قضية الدولة والثورة.

قاسم سليماني أيقونة الثورة الإسلامية | ناصر قنديل
القدس سره

في المسار الذي رسمه الإمام الخميني (قدس سره) للثورة الإسلامية في إيران، وجسده من بعده الإمام السيد علي الخامنئي، ثمة مفهوم ودور لبناء الدولة في الحفاظ على مفهوم الثورة، وكانت فلسطين تقع في قلب المشروع التاريخي للثورة الإسلامية، وكان بناء جيش من المؤمنين المتعبدين الطالبين للشهادة الهادف لتحرير فلسطين وحماية القدس، يشكل جوهر هذه الإستراتيجية، وكان هذا يستدعي نهضة إسلامية في الدول وبين الشعوب تحت عنوان فلسطين والقدس. ومنذ البدايات كان واضحا أن الثورة الإسلامية قد تعلمت الكثير من قراءة تجارب الثورات العالمية وتاريخ الحركات العابرة للوطنيات والقوميات، ولذلك سعت لتفادي تكرار تجربة الأحزاب الشيوعية، ووضعت الأمانة لفكرة المقاومة وفلسطين معيارا وليس الولاء للجمهورية الإسلامية والتبعية لها. وهكذا تشكّلَ خليط من التحالفات يضم حركات المقاومة في فلسطين على تنوعها وعدم تطابق مفاهميها الفكرية وتباين عدد من الاتجاهات الإسلامية بينها مع نظرة الجمهورية الإسلامية للإسلام، ويضم المقاومة الإسلامية في لبنان، والدولة السورية التي يقودها حزب قومي عربي علماني ، وحركات عراقية إسلامية ومثلها في باكستان وأفغانستان واليمن، لا تتطابق فيما بينها في الكثير من وجوه النظرة العقائدية والسياسية، لكنها تجمع بلا تردد او شبهة على مكانة قضية فلسطين ومشروع المقاومة. واذا كانت المقاومة الإسلامية في لبنان هي النموذج الأشد قربا بينها من الجمهورية الإسلامية فهما ودورا وموقفا، فإن هذه المقاومة بقيادة سماحة السيد حسن نصر الله، نجحت في تجسيد مفهوم محور المقاومة حتى شكلت مع القائد سليماني القاسم المشترك بين جميع هذه الجبهات.

في التجسيد الفكري ورمزية الدور كان القائد سليماني قد قطع نصف المسافة نحو ترجمة مفهوم الثورة الإسلامية، المتخذ من قضية المواجهة مع مشروع الهمينة الأميركية عنوانا له، وحيث لفلسطين مكانة الروح من الجسد، لكن القيادة في هذا المشروع تحتاج رجلا تكاملت فيه خصال الأولياء والشهداء والقديسين، بدرجة الإيمان والتشبع بأخلاق الأنبياء والأئمة، ليرمز للثورة كثورة إسلامية، بأبهى عناوين الحضور وتفاصيلها النابعة من عاطفة صادقة متدفقة نحو النبي والأئمة وأهل بيت الرسول (ص)، وبشجاعة وعلم حرب يقدمان نموذجا لا يضاهى بين قادة الجيوش مستوحيا من تجربة الإمام علي عليه السلام الكثير، واستعداد مفتوح لبذل الدم وصولا لطلب مستديم للشهادة على طريق الإمام الحسين عليه السلام، وصولا لسيرة عملية جمعت الانتصارات التي بلغ بعضها حد الإعجاز العسكري، كمواجهات الأيام الأولى مع تنظيم داعش الإرهابي حول بغداد، الى نماذج شديدة التعقيد في التخطيط والقيادة كانت في قلبها المعركة التاريخية لتحرير حلب التي أشرف على تفاصيلها وقادها في الميدان، وانتهاء بالاستشهاد غيلة على يد الأميركيين، لينتج للثورة الإسلامية أيقونتها التي تعمدت بها تجربة هذه الثورة كمسار تاريخي يقود الطريق نحو فلسطين.

اذا كانت سيرة القائد سليماني ورمزية قيادته لفيلق القدس منحت المصداقية لمشروع الثورة الإسلامية، فإن شهادته أكملت عدتها التاريخية نحو فلسطين.غرد النص عبر تويتر
(*) رئيس تحرير جريدة البناء | نائب سابق في البرلمان اللبناني

مقالات ذات صلة

Israel Is Searching For Pretext To Invade Southern Syria

South Front

The Russian military and Russian-backed Syrian forces have been increasing their presence on the border with Iraq.

Less than a week ago, the Russian Military Police established a local HQ in al-Bukamal. Recently, the 5th Corps of the Syrian Army, known for its links with the Russian military, created a network of border posts in the area. The move was apparently coordinated with Iranian-backed forces and the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces that actively operate in the border area.

Al-Bukamal is locating less than 30km from the town of al-Qaim, the stronghold of the Popular Mobilization Forces on the Iraqi side of the border.

Pro-Israeli sources claim that the increasing Russian presence in southern Deir Ezzor and along the border with Iraq may be a sign of a nearing Iranian withdrawal from the region. At the same time, there are no indications that Iranian-backed forces are going to withdraw from al-Bukamal anytime soon.

The presence of the Russians on the Iraqi-Syrian border is not something new. Russian forces played an important role in the anti-ISIS operations in the province, including the liberation of Deir Ezzor, al-Mayadin and al-Bukamal itself. In fact, the increasing Russian involvement is likely linked with the ongoing anti-ISIS operations in the central Syrian desert.

Just recently, the ISIS propaganda wing, Amaq, claimed that ISIS militants repelled a large attack of the Syrian Army on its hideouts in the eastern part of Hama province. 3 soldiers were allegedly killed, 10 others were inured and a vehicle was destroyed. Pro-militant sources also confirmed the increase of Russian airstrikes on terrorist targets in the region.

The remaining ISIS threat in the central part of the country also has a negative impact on the situation in the south. Negative processes have been taking place in Quneitra and Daraa provinces, which remain under the permanent destructive influence of Israel and its special services.

Recently, Israeli media and think tanks have started promoting the idea of the Israeli intervention into the ‘unstable’ Syrian south under the pretext of restoring ‘peace and prosperity’ in this region. Therefore, it is possible to expect the resumption of active Israeli military and clandestine operations to undermine the Syrian statehood in this particular region.

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