Before the Bidens ‘Did’ Ukraine, There Was Iraq – and Serbia

Before The Bidens “Did” Ukraine, There Was Iraq… And Serbia – Finanz.dk
Analyst, former U.S. diplomat and foreign policy adviser to the Senate GOP leadership

James George Jatras

October 16, 2020

The United States approaches the November 2020 election with growing apprehension, even dread.

Among the possibilities:

For those who have followed events outside the United States during the past few decades, much of this sounds familiar. We’ve seen it before – inflicted on other countries.

Now It’s Coming Home to the U.S.

As explained by Revolver News, what happens in America next to a great extent may be a form of blowback from a specific event: the U.S.-supported 2014 regime change operation in Ukraine:

‘A “Color Revolution” in this context refers to a specific type of coordinated attack that the United States government has been known to deploy against foreign regimes, particularly in Eastern Europe deemed to be “authoritarian” and hostile to American interests. Rather than using a direct military intervention to effect regime change as in Iraq, Color Revolutions attack a foreign regime by contesting its electoral legitimacy, organizing mass protests and acts of civil disobedience, and leveraging media contacts to ensure favorable coverage to their agenda in the Western press.

‘It would be disturbing enough to note a coordinated effort to use these exact same strategies and tactics domestically to undermine or overthrow President Trump. The ominous nature of what we see unfolding before us only truly hits home when one realizes that the people who specialize in these Color Revolution regime change operations overseas are, literally, the very same people attempting to overthrow Trump by using the very same playbook. Given that the most famous Color Revolution was the [2004] “Orange Revolution” in the Ukraine, and that Black Lives Matter is being used as a key component of the domestic Color Revolution against Trump, we can encapsulate our thesis at Revolver with the simple remark that “Black is the New Orange.”

This hardly should come as a surprise. The same government agencies and their corporate, NGO, and think tank cronies that are now weaponizing Black Lives Matter, Antifa, other Wokesters, and military putsch plotters here at home to remove Trump have turned regime change abroad into an art form. Ukraine was one of their signal successes, featuring a cast of characters later key to the failed “Ukrainegate” impeachment.

Another consequence of regime change: corruption. As the old saying goes, any idiot can turn an aquarium into fish soup, but no one has yet figured out how to reverse the process. Once a country gets broken it tends to stay broken, whether the “breaking” is accomplished by military means (Serbia 1999, Iraq 2003, Libya 2011) or by a color revolution from the streets (Serbia 2000, Georgia 2003, Ukraine 2004-2005 and again in 2014, Kyrgyzstan 2005, Lebanon 2005, Armenia 2018, plus many others of varying degrees of success, and failures in Iran, Russia, Venezuela, China (Hong Kong), and Belarus). With the target nation’s institutions in shambles, the dregs take over – in Libya, for example, even to the point of reintroducing trade in sub-Saharan African slaves, whose black lives evidently don’t matter to anyone at all.

Iraq: Crush, Corrupt, Cash In

Finally, once regime change occurs and corruption is rampant, another shoe drops: foreign vultures descend on the carcass, profiteers who in many cases are the very same people that helped to create the chaos on which they are cashing in. Invariably, these carpetbaggers are well-connected individuals in the aggressor states and organizations positioned on the inside track both for the carve-up of the target country’s resources and (the word “hypocrisy” doesn’t begin to describe it) for funds to implement “reform” and “reconstruction” of the devastated target.

The showcase of this scam, pursuant to Colin Powell’s reported “Pottery Barn Rule” (You break it, you own it) was the money ostensibly spent on rebuilding Iraq, despite assurances from the war’s advocates that it would pay for itself. With the formal costs conservatively set at over $60 billion to $138 billion out of a tab for the war of over two trillion dollars, the lion’s share of it went to U.S. and other vendors, including the notorious $1.4 billion no-bid contract to Halliburton subsidiary KBR, of which then-Vice President Dick Cheney, a major proponent of the war, had been a top executive. (“Rand Paul Says Dick Cheney Pushed for the Iraq War So Halliburton Would Profit.”)

In Ukraine, Biden’s Son Also Rises

The predatory cronyism vignette most pertinent to the Black/Orange regime change op now unfolding before us with the intent of installing Joe Biden in the Oval Office is that of his son, Hunter, and a Ukrainian energy company with a sketchy reputation, Burisma Holdings. (Right at the outset, even some of Hunter’s associates though the gig with Burisma was too “toxic” and broke off ties with him.) Though ignored or dismissed as fake news and a conspiracy theory by Democrats and legacy media (or do I repeat myself?), the facts are well enough known and fit the Iraq pattern to a T: then-Vice President Joe Biden pushed for regime change in Ukraine, which succeeded in February 2014 with the ouster of the constitutionally elected president, Viktor Yanukovych. In April 2014, Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, was brought onto Burisma’s board (along with a fellow named Devon Archer, later convicted of unrelated fraud) at an exorbitant level of compensation that made little sense in light of Hunter’s nonexistent expertise in the energy business – but which made plenty of sense given that his dad was not only Veep but the Obama administration’s point man on policy toward Ukraine, including foreign assistance money. [NOTE: It now has come out that in 2015 Hunter put his dad, the U.S. Vice President, in direct contact with Burisma, news the giant tech firms sought to suppress on social media.]

When a troublesome Ukrainian prosecutor named Viktor Shokin seemed to be taking too much interest in Burisma, Papa Joe came to the rescue, openly threatening the western-dependent politicians installed after Ukraine’s 2014 color revolution with withholding of a billion dollars in U.S. aid until Shokin, whom Joe unironically alleged to be “corrupt,” got the heave-ho. As Tucker Carlson nails it, Shokin’s ouster followed a direct request from Burisma’s Clinton-connected PR firm, Blue Star Strategies, to Hunter to lobby his dad to get Shokin off their back. Joe did just what was asked. He later bragged: “I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here [i.e., Kiev] in, I think it was about six hours.’ I looked at them and said, ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a bitch. He got fired.”

But First There Was Serbia

Today many people remember Iraq, some have a clue about Ukraine. But Serbia, which preceded them, is off the radar screen of most Americans. To recap:

As a Senator in the 1990s, Joe Biden was one of the most militant advocates of U.S. military action against Serbs during the breakup of the Yugoslav federation, first in Croatia (1991-95), then in Bosnia (1992-95), and then in Serbia’s province of Kosovo (1998- 1999). (As has been said about others like Hillary Clinton and the late John McCain, Biden evidently has never met a war he didn’t like. Along with Hillary, in 2003 Biden helped to whip Senate Democrat votes for the Bush-Cheney Iraq war.) Channeling his inner John McCain, Biden continually called for the U.S. to bomb, bomb, bomb bomb the Serbs while (in a foreshadowing of the Obama-Biden administration’s support for jihad terrorists in Libya and Syria, which ultimately resulted in the appearance of ISIS) pushed successfully for sending weapons to the Islamist regime in Bosnia and then for the U.S. to arm the Islamo-narco-terrorist group known as the “Kosovo Liberation Army” (KLA).

Joe Biden was the primary sponsor of the March 1999 Kosovo war authorization for military action against Serbia and Montenegro, S. Con. Res. 21. (As a little remembered historical note, Biden’s resolution might be seen as the last nail in the coffin of Congress’s constitutional war power. While S. Con. Res 21 passed the Senate, it failed in the House on a 213-213 tie vote, with Republicans overwhelmingly voting Nay. It didn’t matter. Bill Clinton, reeling from the Lewinsky scandal, went ahead with the bombing campaign anyway.) The ensuing 78-day NATO air operation had little impact on Serbia’s military but devastated the country’s infrastructure and took hundreds of civilian lives. (Even now, more than 20 years later, Serbia suffers from elevated cancer levels attributed to depleted uranium munitions.) But for Jihad Joe even that wasn’t punishment enough for people he collectively demonized as “illiterate degenerates, baby killers, butchers, and rapists.” In May 1999, at the height of the NATO air assault, he called for the introduction of U.S. ground troops (“we should announce there’s going to be American casualties”) followed by “a Japanese-German style occupation.”

Eventually the bombing stopped in June 1999 when then-Serbian strongman Slobodan Milošević acceded to temporary international occupation of Kosovo on the condition that the province would remain part of Serbia, as codified in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244. It was a promise the U.S. and NATO, not to mention their European Union (EU) concubine, had no intention of keeping. Under the nose of the NATO occupation, ostensibly demobilized KLA thugs were given virtually free rein to terrorize the Serbian population, two-thirds of whom were driven out along with Jews and Roma, the rest sheltering in enclaves where they remain to this day. Orthodox Christian churches and monasteries, many of them centuries old, were particular targets for destruction and desecration. KLA commanders – who were also kingpins in the Kosovo Albanian mafia dealing in sex slaves, drugs, weapons, and even human organs – were handed local administration.

In 2007 Senator Biden praised the new order as a “victory for Muslim democracy” and “a much-needed example of a successful U.S.-Muslim partnership.” A year later, the Bush administration sought to complete the job by ramming through Kosovo’s independence in barefaced violation of UNSCR 1244 and despite strong Russian objections. But instead of resolving anything the result was a frozen conflict that persists today, with about half of the United Nations’ member states recognizing Kosovo and half not. Touting itself as the most pro-American “country” [sic] in the world, the Kosovo pseudo-state became a prime recruiting ground for ISIS.

But hey, business was good! Just as in Iraq, the politically well-connected, including former officials instrumental in the attack on Serbia and occupying Kosovo, flocked to the province fueled by lavish aid subsidies from the U.S. and the EU, which for a while made Kosovo one of the biggest per capita foreign assistance recipient “countries” in the world. One such vulture – sorry, entrepreneur – was former Secretary of State Madeleine we-think-a-half-million-dead-Iraqi-children-is-worth-it Albright, a prominent driver of the Clinton administration’s hostile policy on top of her personal Serb-hatred. Albright sought to cash in to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars on sale of the mobile telephone company PTK, originally a Yugoslav state-owned firm that was “privatized” (i.e., stolen) in 2005 as a joint stock company, but who later dropped her bid when it attracted unwanted publicity. Also in the hunt for Kosovo riches was former NATO Supreme Commander and operational chief of the Kosovo war General Wesley Clark, who reportedly cornered a major share of the occupied province’s coal resources under a sweetheart deal that seems to have vanished from public scrutiny since first reported in 2016.

At the moment there seems to be no smoking gun of a direct Biden family payout, à la Ukraine, but there is a possible trail via Hunter’s Burisma-buddy Devon Archer and Archer’s fellow-defendant John “Yanni” Galanis, who in turn is connected to top Kosovo Albanian politicians. In any case, the Biden clan seems to have paid a lot of attention to Kosovo for not having skin in the game. Joe’s late son and Delaware Attorney General, Beau, worked in Kosovo following the war to train local prosecutors as part of an OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) “rule of law” mission (admittedly a big task in a mafia-run pseudo-state), for which a road was named after him near the massive U.S. base Camp Bondsteel. With Hunter on hand for the naming ceremony, Joe Biden took the opportunity to express his “condolences” to Serbian families who lost loved ones in the NATO air assault – of which he was a primary advocate.

A ‘Shokin’ Demand  

Perhaps the best parallel between Biden’s handiwork in Ukraine and his interest in Kosovo also relates to getting rid of an inconvenient individual. But in this case, the person in question wasn’t a state official like Burisma prosecutor Viktor Shokin but a hierarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

In May 2009 Vice President Biden insisted on visiting one of Kosovo’s most venerable Serbian Orthodox Christian sites, the Visoki Dečani monastery. Ruling Bishop Artemije of the Eparchy of Raška and Prizren, which includes Kosovo and Metohija, refused to give his blessing for the visit, in effect telling Biden he was not welcome. Bishop Artemije long had been a bane of Biden and others advocating detachment of Kosovo from Serbia, starting with his first mission to Washington in 1997 as war clouds gathered. In 2004 Bishop Artemije sued the NATO powers in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg following their inaction to protect his flock during an anti-Serbian rampage by Muslim Albanian militants in March of that year. Then, in March 2006, as preparations were underway for a “final solution” to the Kosovo issue, Bishop Artemije launched an intensive multinational lobbying and public relations effort (in which Yours Truly was the lead professional) to try to derail the U.S. policy to which Biden had devoted so much attention. While the Bishop’s campaign was unsuccessful in reversing U.S. policy it was instrumental in delaying it for over a year – to howls of outrage from Biden’s associates in Washington. Thus, for Biden, the monastery visit snub by Bishop Artemije was adding insult to injury.

The end for Bishop Artemije came a few months later, at the beginning of 2010 at the time of two visits to Kosovo by U.S. Admiral Mark P. Fitzgerald, then Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa, and Commander, Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Naples, (who retired later that year, becoming, unsurprisingly, a consultant “with numerous defense and commercial maritime and aviation contractors”). At that time, an unconfirmed report indicated that a high NATO officer (whether Admiral Fitzgerald or someone else is not specified) stated in the course of one of his local meetings (this is verbatim or a close paraphrase): “What we need here is a more cooperative bishop.” (More details are available here. Since that posting last year the NATO command in Naples seems to have scrubbed the items about Fitzgerald’s 2010 visits from their site.)

Shortly afterwards, Biden’s troublesome priest was forcibly removed by police and exiled from his see, without ecclesiastical trial, by Church authorities in Belgrade under pressure from compliant Serbian politicians installed after the October 2000 color revolution, in turn pressured by NATO. The pretext? Transparently baseless charges of financial wrongdoing. In other words, bogus accusations of “corruption” – like against Ukraine’s Shokin.

One could almost hear Joe Biden chortle: “Well, son of a bitch. He got fired.”

But Look at the Bright Side…

Back to the incipient coup facing the United States, there should be no illusion that what’s at stake in the unfolding scenario for the removal of Donald Trump is not just his presidency but the survival of the historic American ethnos of which he is seen as an avatar by both his supporters and detractors. Remember, we’re dealing with predators and scavengers who are happy to burn the old, evil America down as long as they can achieve total power and continue to feather their cushy nests. Short of a blowout Trump victory by a margin too big to hijack, we’re headed for a dystopian state of affairs.

If they do manage to remove Trump, “by any means necessary,” and Joe Biden takes the helm, we can anticipate a bevy of globalist warmonger appointees that make Trump’s team look like disciples of Mahatma Gandhi. Among the names floated like Nicholas BurnsAntony BlinkenMichele FlournoyEvelyn Farkas, and Anne-Marie Slaughter, all were on board with Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, Syria … [NOTE: The Atlantic Council, known as NATO’s semi-official think tank in Washington and which will be instrumental in staffing a future Joe Biden administration, also has been the beneficiary of generous donations from Hunter Biden’s paymaster, Burisma.]

It’s a recipe for wars, regime changes, and color revolutions galore.

But to finish on a positive note, the potential future business opportunities will be endless!

أميركا تستجدي وقف العمليات ضدها في العراق.. هل تبحث عن كسب الوقت؟

المصدر: الميادين 12

تشرين اول 00:10

تبحث الإدارة الأميركية عن تهدئة في المناطق التي تحتلها قواتها، ولا سيما في العراق تجنباً لما ينغص على ترامب رهاناته الانتخابية، وقد وصل الأمر حد استجداء وقف العمليات، فهل ستشهد مرحلة ما بعد الانتخابات تصعيداً ضد الأميركيين في المنطقة؟

“فلترحل القوات الأجنبية طوعاً أو كرهاً” بذلك حسم العراقيون موقفهم سياسياً.. ومن بعد بالسلاح

تقر القوانين الدولية والأعراف، وتجمع الدساتير المحلية، على حق أي شعب بمقاومة الاحتلال. وفي التاريخ شواهد على أن الاحتلال مهما تجبر، فإنه لا يدوم. وتثبت التجارب أن القوة وحدها السبيل إلى ضمان الحرية وصون الكرامة.

“فلترحل القوات الأجنبية طوعاً أو كرهاً”، بذلك حسم العراقيون موقفهم سياسياً، ومن بعد بالسلاح.

لا فرق عند المقاومة العراقية أن يحدث انسحاب أميركي كامل بين رئاستين أو في حال استمرار الرئاسة الأميركية الحالية، فلا بديل أمام الأميركيين إلا جدولة انسحابهم بشكل واضح ودونه تصعيد في القتال.

لكننا قلما نسمع عن احتلال يستجدي المقاومة عدم استهداف جنوده حتى ينسحبوا، كحال الاحتلال الأميركي للعراق، وفقاً لما كشفه الناطق باسم كتائب حزب الله العراق للميادين.

من اللافت أن ترسل أميركا برسائل استجداء للمقاومة العراقية تناشدها وقف عملياتها ضد القوات الأميركية، خطوة أبلغتها الميادين على لسان المتحدث باسم كتائب حزب الله العراق محمد محيي، فبعد أن تمادى الاحتلال في جرائمه، وبعد طلب رسمي نيابي وحكومي بخروج القوات الأجنية من العراق، كان الحل الرد على المماطلة، عسكرياً.

مشاريع الأميركي وخططه فشلت في أفغانستان والعراق وسوريا، وبات أمام خيارين الانسحاب طواعية أو الانسحاب بالقوة.

قد يكون تكتيكاً من الرئيس الأميركي الذي يريد استخدام التهدئة كورقة انتخابية، وقد ينسحب الأمر على سوريا إذ تخاطب واشنطن الحكومة السورية خطاباً دبلوماسياً، فتدعوها إلى اتخاذ إجراءات لمكافحة الحرائق حماية للأرواح.

وفي غزل متبادل، تشيد طالبان بالرئيس الأميركي وتبرق بأمنياتها أن يكون الفوز من نصيبه، ما يثير تساؤلات حول ذاك الخطاب إن كان بناء على طلب من إدارته.

تبدو أميركا في انقطاع كامل عما يحدث في العالم، فصمتها ميزة رافقت حرب القوقاز رغم تداخل المصالح وتضاربها إقليمياً ودولياً، وأهمية المنطقة استراتيجياً، فهل تحاول إدارة ترامب إيهام الناخبين بنجاحات دبلوماسية في بؤر عديدة للتوتر؟ 

يؤكد الباحث السياسي والاستراتيجي، ريتشارد ويتز، أن “واشنطن ترغب بوقف الهجمات ضدها في العراق”، لافتاً إلى أن “واشنطن تعزل نفسها عن الازمات الخارجية حتى لا تلحق أي ضرر بالانتخابات”.

وقال ويتز للميادين، إن “الانسحاب الأميركي لن يتم خلال شهر أو اثنين لكن هو أمر تريده واشنطن”، مشيراً إلى أن “التطورات الميدانية والسياسية في العراق أدت الى تراجع النفوذ الأميركي هناك”.

من جهته، الباحث في مركز الهدف للدراسات، كاظم الحاج، يقول إن “المشروع الأميركي في العراق على وشك الانهيار، وقرار الشعب العراقي سيسرع ذلك”.

وأضاف الحاج للميادين، أن “الشعب العراقي لا يهتم من هو رئيس أميركا، وقرار إخراج القوات الأميركية لا رجعة فيه”، مؤكداً أن “مؤشر محور المقاومة ماض في اتجاه صحيح بافشال المشروع الأميركي في المنطقة”.

الحاج أوضح أن “في العلاقة بين طالبان وواشنطن تبادل منفعة ومصالح”، لافتاً إلى أن “أحلام الأميركيين في المنطقة تم دفنها عام 2006 بعد هزيمة إسرائيل في لبنان”.

 وقال إن “دول محور المقاومة واعية لما يخطط له الأميركي في المنطقة”، معتبراً “الإرادة والشجاعة لدى محور المقاومة ستنهي الأحلام الأميركية في المنطقة”.

وشدد الحاج على أن “الوكيل الأميركي في المنطقة أوهن من بيت العنكبوت”، منوهاً إلى أن “لا الوكيل الإسرائيلي ولا الأصيل الأميركي يستطيع فرض أي شيء على شعوب المنطقة”.

بدوره، الكاتب والمحلل السياسي، مهند الضاهر، قال إن “ما يفكر به ترامب حالياً ليس الانسحاب بل الفوز بالانتخابات”.

وأضاف الضاهر للميادين، أن “المشروع الأميركي وصل إلى مرحلة الانحسار في المنطقة”، مشيراً إلى أن “لغة السفارة الأميركية في دمشق تجاه سوريا ليست لغة دبلوماسية”.

الضاهر اعتبر أن “الأميركي يبحث عن المزيد من الفوضى في سياسته في المنطقة”، مؤكداً أن “الأميركي يدرك أن القادم من الأيام صعب جداً عليه”.

مقاتلو الفصائل المسلحة السورية: انكشاريو «السلطنة» التركية الجديدة!

د. عدنان منصور

في الأول من هذا الشهر، وفي كلمة له مع بداية العام التشريعي الجديد للبرلمان التركي، أعلن الرئيس رجب طيب أردوغان، تمسّك بلاده بمحافظة إدلب، وعدم التخلي عنها لأسباب عديدة، منها حماية البلاد من تسلل الإرهابيين، وتوفير الأمن للنازحين المدنيين في المنطقة!

وقال إنّ هدف تركيا، هو وقف الهجمات، وجعل المنطقة والحدود التركية آمنة.

كلام أردوغان في البرلمان التركي، جاء بعد توقف المفاوضات على مستوى الخبراء العسكريين بين روسيا وتركيا، والتي اقتصرت حتى الآن، على جولة واحدة جرت يومي 15 و16 أيلول من الشهر الفائت، حيث رفض الأتراك بشكل مطلق وحاسم، الاقتراح الروسي القاضي بسحب القوات التركية من أربع نقاط رئيسة من جنوب طريق اللاذقية ـ حلب، والذي يُعرف بـ M4.

تركيا قرّرت الحفاظ على قواتها بحكم الأمر الواقع، والاستمرار في احتلال أجزاء في العراق وسورية وليبيا، والتواجد في لبنان (من خلال القوات الدولية اليونيفيل)، وفي مالي وجمهورية أفريقيا الوسطى ضمن بعثة الأمم المتحدة العاملة فيهما، والإصرار على بقائها العسكري في شمال سورية، لا سيما في محافظة إدلب، بذريعة وجود تنظيمات إرهابية كداعش، وفصائل كردية عديدة أبرزها:

حزب العمال الكردستاني PKK، و«قسد” (قوات سورية الديمقراطية)، وغيرها، ما يهدّد بزعم أنقرة أمن واستقرار تركيا.

لكن أن تقوم تركيا، بنقل مقاتلين سوريين وغير سوريين، من الفصائل المسلحة الإرهابية إلى ليبيا، وقبلها الإتيان بعناصر إرهابية من أنحاء العالم للقتال ضدّ النظام السوري، وبعد ذلك إرسال جماعات أخرى منهم الى ميادين القتال في أذربيجان، ونشرهم على جبهة الحرب الأرمينية ـ الأذربيجانية، فهذا يسقط بالكامل الحجج التركية الواهية من أساسها في محاربة الإرهاب، ويكشف مدى النفاق، وزيف ادّعاءات القيادة التركية، من أنّ قواتها المحتلة لأراض سورية، تهدف الى محاربة الإرهاب، وتأمين سلامة تركيا وحدودها.

لقد تحوّل المقاتلون الإرهابيون، الى فصائل في يد تركيا، تديرهم، وتحرّكهم، وتأمرهم، وتوجههم، وتستخدمهم أينما كان، وكيفما تشاء، تحوّلهم الى “انكشاريين” من طراز جديد، يقاتلون خارج بلدانهم من أجل مصالحها وأهدافها التوسعية، ومصالحها الاستراتيجية، وهم ينفذون سياساتها، ويزيدون من شهيّتها التوسعية خارج حدودها.

يأتي هذا في الوقت الذي تعزز فيه تركيا من احتلالها العسكري لإدلب وحواضرها، بأكثر من عشرة آلاف آلية عسكرية متنوعة، بالإضافة الى الحشود العسكرية التي انتشرت في الآونة الأخيرة.

هل يعلم مقاتلو الفصائل الإرهابية المسلحة، الذين ارتموا في أحضان تركيا وغيرها، أنهم ليسوا إلا أداة في خدمة العثماني الجديد، يؤدّون فريضتهم له، جاعلين أنفسهم له مطية يركبها في أيّ وقت، مقابل حفنة من المال، يدفعها لهم كمرتزقة؟! مال يخضع للعرض والطلب حسب المهمات الموكولة إليهم، والأماكن التي سيتواجدون فيها وفق أوامر سيدهم.

أين هي “وطنية” و”عروبة” الفصائل المسلحة السورية التي ارتمت في أحضان التركي، والتي حاربت النظام السوري منذ سنوات، وما هي حجتها اليوم عندما ترى المقاتلين والإرهابيين، ينغمسون في حروب لا شأن لهم بها. إلا لكون سيدهم التركي يريد منهم ذلك! هذه الفصائل تثبت مرة أخرى وبشكل قاطع، أنها ومنذ اليوم الأول لاندلاع القتال في سورية، ما كانت إلا مجموعات عميلة، مأجورة، تحرّكها قيادات مرتزقة مدفوعة الثمن من الخارج. وها هي اليوم. تحارب نيابة عن تركيا، بدماء عربية، تزجّ نفسها، وتنغمس في أتون حرب لا ناقة لها ولا جمل.

فليفهم المواطن العراقي والسوري واللبناني والليبي، وكلّ مواطن عربي، تورّط في الصراع الإقليمي، وغرزت أقدامه في المستنقع السوري والتركي. انّ تركيا التي تحمل في الشكل، شعارات براقة، ليست في الحقيقة إلا وسيلة لتطلّ منها على العالمين العربي والإسلامي، لنسترجع الماضي، “وأمجاد” السلطنة العثمانية، التي عانت منها الشعوب التي رزحت تحت نيرها، وحصدت منها الويلات، والكوارث والفقر، والظلم والاستبداد.

السلطان العثماني الجديد يطلّ برأسه مجدّداً، يحارب بمرتزقته من “الانكشاريين” الجدد، الذين جلبهم من هنا وهناك، ليوسّع دائرة نفوذه على امتداد العالم الإسلامي، عله يظفر بقيادته، ويتوّج نفسه “خليفة”، حامياً له، و”راعياً صالحاً للحرمين الشريفين في مكة والمدينة!

وزير سابق

The story of ammonium nitrite and linking it to Hezbollah for years Why?

قصة نتريت الأمونيوم وربطها بحزب الله لسنوات لماذا؟

Iran seeks complete withdrawal of US forces from Iraq to avenge Qassem Soleimani

By News Desk -2020-09-28

TEHRAN, IRAN – SEPTEMBER 18 : Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani attends Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s (not seen) meeting with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in Tehran, Iran on September 18, 2016. (Photo by Pool / Press Office of Iranian Supreme Leader)

BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:45 A.M.) – The Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, Ali Shamkhani, said on Sunday, that the minimum penalty for those behind the assassination of the late Quds Force commander, Major General Qassem Soleimani, is the complete withdrawal of the U.S. forces from the region, especially Iraq.

During his meeting with Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein, he called on the Iraqi government to follow up on the assassinations of Major General Qassem Soleimani and the Deputy Commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units, Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis.

Shamkhani continued, “The Zionist project is currently underway to normalize relations with some countries in the region under pressure from America, which aims only to fully dominate the region.”

He pointed out that “this operation, which is a major betrayal and a flagrant violation of the rights of the Palestinian people, will lead to escalation of instability and stir up differences among the countries of the region, as it will expose the existence of bargaining countries to serious dangers.”

It should be noted that Soleimani and Muhandis were both assassination on the night of January 3rd, 2020, near the Baghdad International Airport.

Following the assassination, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) of Iran fired several missiles towards the U.S. troops in Iraq, as they targeted two installations that housed the American forces.

Related

TWO U.S.-LED COALITION CONVOYS ATTACKED BY SHIITE FIGHTERS IN SOUTHERN, CENTRAL IRAQ

South Front

On September 27 afternoon, two convoys transporting equipment and weapons for the U.S.-led coalition were attacked in Iraq.

The first convoy was targeted with an improved explosive device in the district of Batha in the southern province of Dhi Qar. The second convoy was attacked in a similar fashion as it was passing on the Hilla highway in the central province of Bablyon.

A truck carrying an armored vehicle of the U.S.-led coalition was damaged as a result of the attack in Batha. Sabereen News shared a photo of the truck.

Two U.S.-led coalition Convoys Attacked By Shiite Fighters In Southern, Central Iraq

The new attacks came following a Washington Post report that revealed a recent threat from the U.S. to the Iraqi Government. According to the report, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo informed Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi that the U.S. will close its embassy in Baghdad if the attacks continues.

Iraqi Shiite group Saryat Qasim al-Jabbarin, which claimed responsibility for Batha attack, responded to Pompeo’s threat by vowing once again to expel U.S. troops from Iraq.

“We say to Pompeo, we swore to expel your rats dead, their vehicles burned and their hideouts destroyed, from our country,” the group said in a statement.

These recent attacks on U.S. troops are a response to the assassination of Iranian Quds Force Commander, Qassim Soleimani, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Deputy-Commander of the Popular Mobilization Units, earlier this year.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC:

US Threats Prove Victory of Resistance: Iraq’s Al-Nujaba

US Threats Prove Victory of Resistance: Iraq’s Al-Nujaba

By Staff, Agencies

Sheikh Akram al-Kaabi, Secretary-General of the Iraqi al-Nujaba movement, said that threats and outcries of the United States are because of victories of the Resistance Front.

In a tweet on Saturday, al-Kaabi likened US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s threats against the Iraqi movement to struggles of a suffocating person.

These useless threats show the fruitfulness of the Resistance’s efforts to liberate and restore Iraqi sovereignty from American control, he added.

He congratulated the achievements of the Resistance and encouraged forces to continue their actions, noting that the threats of enemy do not create fear in the hearts of Nujaba forces.

“We have been striving for one of the two virtues since we set foot on this path; victory or martyrdom.”

Al-Kaabi emphasized that Iraqi groups should urge the United States to withdraw its occupying forces completely from the country because of Iraqi Parliament’s order and the will of the people.

هكذا تحاصر أميركا لبنان وسورية اقتصادياً ومالياً 1/2

باريس – نضال حمادة

مسؤول سابق في صندوق النقد الدولي يقول: احتياط مصرف لبنان 2.5 مليار دولار والباقي دولارات رقمية…

نعود بك أيها القارئ الكريم إلى مقالة «البناء» في شهر تشرين الثاني الماضي بعنوان (مسؤول سابق في صندوق النقد الدولي عشرات ملايين الدولارات تخرج يومياً من لبنان إلى أربيل). عُدنا والتقينا هذا المسؤول السابق في باريس وهو من أصل عربي ليحدّثنا عن تشاؤمه بمستقبل الوضع في لبنان، اقتصادياً وسياسياً وربما أمنياً حسب قوله، يشير إلى أن الأميركي ترك الفرنسي يتحرك قليلاً ثم وضع أمامه كل العراقيل التي يتصوّرها والتي لا يتصوّرها، وبالتالي النتيجة هي أن فرنسا وحدها لا يمكن لها ان تنقذ الوضع في لبنان من دون رضا أميركا.

يقول المسؤول المالي إن احتياطي مصرف لبنان يبلغ مليارين ونصف مليار دولار نقداً، بينما بقيت المليارات هي عبارة عن أرقام على الكمبيوتر لا أكثر، ومصرف لبنان أمام أكثر من معضلة فهو لا يمكن له أن يحوّل هذه الأرقام الى ليرة لبنانية لأنه رقمياً يكون قد خسر كل احتياطه الوهميّ من الدولارات. وهذا ما سوف يسرّع الانهيار المالي، مضيفاً أن مبلغ «الكاش» الموجود يكفي لاستيراد الحاجات الأساسية من النفط والدواء والقمح حتى آخر السنة الحالية.

الاقتصاد السوري تأثر بالانهيار اللبناني، حيث يقول المسؤول المالي الدولي السابق، هناك 40 مليار دولار تعود لرجال أعمال وتجار سوريين. وهذا كل ما يملكونه كانوا وضعوه في المصارف اللبنانية، والآن بعد اكتشاف النهب الذي تعرّضت له ودائعهم أصبحوا من دون إمكانيات للاستيراد وبالتالي انكشف الوضع السوري اقتصادياً كالوضع اللبناني على أزمات تمويل عمليات الاستيراد. وبالتالي شهدنا أزمات متزامنة من نقص في المحروقات في لبنان وسورية، وهذا كان عملاً مقصوداً ومدروساً بعناية، فالنظام المصرفي اللبناني استُخدم معبراً لسحب كميات العملة الصعبة الموجودة في لبنان وسورية تمهيداً لإسقاط البلدين في زمن الصراع على السيطرة على الشرق الأوسط.

ما يريده صندوق النقد من لبنان هو تسليم كامل لكل المرافق المربحة للدولة اللبنانية وبأبخس الأثمان. يقول المسؤول المالي الدولي معقباً أن مبلغ الاحد عشر ملياراً الموعود به لبنان من سيدر لن تسد رمق اللبنانيين إلا لفترة محدودة طالما أن فاتورة الاستيراد السنوي للبنان تعادل ستة عشرَ مليار دولار. وأضاف ان الولايات المتحدة عملت من خلال إغلاق المطالبة بإغلاق الحدود البرية بين لبنان وسورية على تفاقم الأزمة الاقتصادية وجعلها تصل الى مشارف الانهيار.

غداً الجزء الثاني: لعبة المعابر كيف حاصرت أميركا سورية ولبنان؟

حرب المعابر هكذا تحاصر أميركا سورية ولبنان

باريس – نضال حمادة

نكمل كلامنا مع المسؤول السابق في صندوق النقد الدولي، الذي قال إن أميركا أطبقت الطوق على سورية ولبنان عبر السيطرة على المعابر الحدودية في البلدين، بداية في سورية حيث عملت أميركا على منع الدولة السورية من الاستفادة من الوضع العسكري الذي أصبح لمصلحتها، وذلك عبر السيطرة او التحكم بكل المعابر بين سورية ودول الجوار بدءاً من معبر نصيب في الجنوب حيث يرفض الأردن فتحه بحجج واهية ويمدّد فترة إغلاقه دورياً من دون سبب، ويُعتبر معبر نصيب مع الأردن طريقاً مهماً لنقل البضائع السورية الى الخليج العربي واستيراد البضائع من الخارج عبر البر، في المرتبة الثانية يأتي معبر المالكية مع العراق وهو يقع في شرق سورية. هنا يقول الخبير الاقتصادي الدولي إن المعبر من الجهة العراقية يتمركز فيه ويسيطر عليه بالكامل الجيش الأميركي الذي يمنع نقل أية بضائع من سورية وإليه. ويقول إن الحكومة العراقية تخلّت عن المعبر لصالح القوات الأميركية بعد تولي مصطفى الكاظمي منصب رئيس وزراء العراق.

يقول الخبير الاقتصادي الدولي هناك أيضاً في الشرق السوري معبر التنف الذي تسيطر عليه القوات الأميركية، كما تمنع أميركا إيران والعراق وسورية من فتح معبر البوكمال، حيث تنفذ الطائرات الحربية الأميركية غارات متكررة على القوافل التجارية في المنطقة وعلى المواقع العسكرية المحيطة بالمعبر.

في لبنان يبدو الأمر أسهل بسبب وجود حدود بريه مغلقة مع فلسطين المحتلة، وبالتالي تبقى الحدود السورية اللبنانية التي تضغط اميركا لإغلاق ما تبقى سالكاً منها خصوصاً في البقاع الشمالي الذي تأتي المطالبة بإغلاق الحدود بينه وبين سورية ضمن سلم أولويات أجندة صندوق النقد الدولي، يختم المسؤول السابق في صندوق النقد الدولي كلامه.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with RTVI television, Moscow, September 17, 2020

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with RTVI television, Moscow, September 17, 2020

September 18, 2020

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

Question: I’ll start with the hottest topic, Belarus. President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko visited Bocharov Ruchei. Both sides have officially recognised that change within the Union State is underway. This begs the question: What is this about? A common currency, common army and common market? What will it be like?

Sergey Lavrov: It will be the way our countries decide. Work is underway. It relies on the 1999 Union Treaty. We understand that over 20 years have passed since then. That is why, a couple of years ago, upon the decision of the two presidents, the governments of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus began to work on identifying the agreed-upon steps that would make our integration fit current circumstances. Recently, at a meeting with Russian journalists, President Lukashenko said that the situation had, of course, changed and we must agree on ways to deepen integration from today’s perspective.

The presidential election has taken place in Belarus. The situation there is tense, because the opposition, backed by some of our Western colleagues, is trying to challenge the election outcome, but I’m convinced that the situation will soon get back to normal, and the work to promote integration processes will resume.

Everything that is written in the Union Treaty is now being analysed. Both sides have to come to a common opinion about whether a particular provision of the Union Treaty is still relevant, or needs to be revised. There are 31 roadmaps, and each one focuses on a specific section of the Union Treaty. So, there’s clearly a commitment to continue the reform, a fact that was confirmed by the presidents during a recent telephone conversation. This is further corroborated by the presidents’ meeting in Sochi.

I would not want that country’s neighbours, and our neighbours for that matter, including Lithuania, for example, to try to impose their will on the Belarusian people and, in fact, to manage the processes in which the opposition is unwittingly doing what’s expected of it. I have talked several times about Svetlana Tikhanovskaya’s situation. Clearly, someone is putting words in her mouth. She is now in the capital of Lithuania, which, like our Polish colleagues, is strongly demanding a change of power in Belarus. You are aware that Lithuania declared Ms Tikhanovskaya the leader of the Republic of Belarus, and Alexander Lukashenko was declared an illegitimate president.

Ms Tikhanovskaya has made statements that give rise to many questions. She said she was concerned that Russia and Belarus have close relations. The other day, she called on the security and law-enforcement forces to side with the law. In her mind, this is a direct invitation to breach the oath of office and, by and large, to commit high treason. This is probably a criminal offense. So, those who provide her with a framework for her activities and tell her what to say and what issues to raise should, of course, realise that they may be held accountable for that.

Question: Commenting on the upcoming meeting of the presidents of Russia and Belarus in Sochi, Tikhanovskaya said: “Whatever they agree on, these agreements will be illegitimate, because the new state and the new leader will revise them.” How can one work under such circumstances?

Sergey Lavrov: She was also saying something like that when Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin went to Belarus to meet with President Lukashenko and Prime Minister Golovchenko. She was saying it then. Back then, the opposition was concerned about any more or less close ties between our countries. This is despite the fact that early on during the crisis they claimed that they in no way engaged in anti-Russia activities and wanted to be friends with the Russian people. However, everyone could have seen the policy paper posted on Tikhanovskaya’s website during the few hours it was there. The opposition leaders removed it after realising they had made a mistake sharing their goals and objectives with the public. These goals and objectives included withdrawal from the CSTO, the EAEU and other integration associations that include Russia, and drifting towards the EU and NATO, as well as the consistent banning of the Russian language and the Belarusianisation of all aspects of life.

We are not against the Belarusian language, but when they take a cue from Ukraine, and when the state language is used to ban a language spoken by the overwhelming majority of the population, this already constitutes a hostile act and, in the case of Ukraine, an act that violates its constitution. If a similar proposal is introduced into the Belarusian legal field, it will violate the Constitution of Belarus, not to mention numerous conventions on the rights of ethnic and language minorities, and much more.

I would like those who are rabidly turning the Belarusian opposition against Russia to realise their share of responsibility, and the opposition themselves, including Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and others – to find the courage to resist such rude and blatant manipulation.

Question: If we are talking about manipulation, we certainly understand that it has many faces and reflects on the international attitude towards Russia. Internationally, what are the risks for us of supporting Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko? Don’t you think 26 years is enough? Maybe he has really served for too long?

Sergey Lavrov: The President of the Republic of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, did say it might have been “too long.” I believe he has proposed a very productive idea – constitutional reform. He talked about this even before the election, and has reiterated the proposal more than once since then. President of Russia Vladimir Putin supports this attitude. As the Belarusian leader said, after constitutional reform, he will be ready to announce early parliamentary and presidential elections. This proposal provides a framework where a national dialogue will be entirely possible. But it is important that representatives of all groups of Belarusian society to be involved in a constitutional reform process. This would ensure that any reform is completely legitimate and understandable for all citizens. Now a few specific proposals are needed concerning when, where and in what form this process can begin. I hope that this will be done, because President Alexander Lukashenko has repeatedly reaffirmed carrying out this initiative.

Question: Since we started talking about the international attitude towards Russia, let’s go over to our other partner – the United States. The elections in the US will take place very soon. We are actively discussing this in Russia. When asked whether Russia was getting ready for the elections in the US at the Paris forum last year, you replied: “Don’t worry, we’ll resolve this problem.” Now that the US elections are around the corner, I would like to ask you whether you’ve resolved it.

Sergey Lavrov: Speaking seriously, of course we, like any other normal country that is concerned about its interests and international security, are closely following the progress of the election campaign in the US. There are many surprising things in it. Naturally, we see how important the Russian issue is in this electoral process. The Democrats are doing all they can to prove that Russia will exploit its hacker potential and play up to Donald Trump. We are already being accused of promoting the idea that the Democrats will abuse the mail-in voting option thereby prejudicing the unbiased nature of voting. I would like to note at this point that mail-in voting has become a target of consistent attacks on behalf of President Trump himself. Russia has nothing to do with this at all.

A week-long mail-in voting is an interesting subject in comparing election systems in different countries. We have introduced three-day voting for governors and legislative assembly deputies in some regions. You can see the strong criticism it is subjected to, inside Russia as well. When the early voting in the US lasts for weeks, if not months, it is considered a model of democracy. I don’t see any criticism in this respect. In principle, we have long proposed analysing election systems in the OSCE with a view to comparing best practices and reviewing obviously obsolete arrangements. There have been instances in the US when, due to its cumbersome and discriminatory election system, a nominee who received the majority of votes could lose because in a national presidential election the voting is done through the Electoral College process rather than directly by the people. There have been quite a few cases like that. I once told former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in reply to her grievances about our electoral system: “But look at your problem. Maybe you should try to correct this discriminatory voting system?” She replied that it is discriminatory but they are used to it and this is their problem, so I shouldn’t bother.

When the United States accuses us of interference in some area of its public, political or government life, we suggest discussing it to establish who is actually doing what. Since they don’t present any facts, we simply recite their Congressional acts. In 2014, they adopted an act on supporting Ukraine, which directly instructed the Department of State to spend $20 million a year on support for Russian NGOs. We asked whether this didn’t amount to interference. We were told by the US National Security Council that in reality they support democracy because we are wreaking chaos and pursuing authoritative and dictatorial trends abroad when we interfere in domestic affairs whereas they bring democracy and prosperity. This idea is deeply rooted in American mentality. The American elite has always considered its country and nation exceptional and has not been shy to admit it.

I won’t comment on the US election. This is US law and the US election system. Any comments I make will be again interpreted as an attempt to interfere in their domestic affairs. I will only say one thing that President Vladimir Putin has expressed many times, notably, that we will respect any outcome of these elections and the will of the American people.

We realise that there will be no major changes in our relations either with the Democrats or with the Republicans, as representatives of both parties loudly declare. However, there is hope that common sense will prevail and no matter who becomes President, the new US Government and administration will realise the need to cooperate with us in resolving very serious global problems on which the international situation depends.

Question: You mentioned an example where voters can choose one president and the Electoral College process, another. I even have that cover of Time magazine with Hillary Clinton and congratulations, released during the election. It is a fairly well-known story, when they ran this edition and then had to cancel it.

Sergey Lavrov: Even the President of France sent a telegramme, but then they immediately recalled it.

And these people are now claiming that Alexander Lukashenko is an illegitimate president.

Question: You mentioned NGOs. These people believe that NGOs in the Russian Federation support democratic institutions, although it is no secret to anyone who has at least a basic understanding of foreign and domestic policy that those NGOs act exclusively as institutions that destabilise the situation in the country.

Sergey Lavrov: Not all of them.

Question: Can you tell us more about this?

Sergey Lavrov: We have adopted a series of laws – on public associations, on non-profit organisations, on measures to protect people from human rights violations. There is a set of laws that regulate the activities of non-government organisations on our territory, both Russian and foreign ones.

Concepts have been introduced like “foreign agent,” a practice we borrowed from “the world’s most successful democracy” – the United States. They argue that we borrowed a practice from 1938 when the United States introduced the foreign agent concept to prevent Nazi ideology from infiltrating from Germany. But whatever the reason they had to create the concept – “foreign agent” – the Americans are still effectively using it, including in relation to our organisations and citizens, to Chinese citizens, to the media.

In our law, foreign agent status, whatever they say about it, does not prevent an organisation from operating on the territory of the Russian Federation. It just needs to disclose its funding sources and be transparent about the resources it receives. And even that, only if it is engaged in political activities. Initially, we introduced a requirement for these organisations that receive funding from abroad and are involved in political projects to initiate the disclosure process. But most of them didn’t want to comply with the law, so it was modified. Now this is done by the Russian Ministry of Justice.

Question: Do you think that NGOs are still soft power?

Sergey Lavrov: Of course. In Russia we have about 220,000 NGOs, out of which 180 have the status of a foreign agent. It’s a drop in the ocean. These are probably the organisations, funded from abroad, that are more active than others in promoting in our public space ideas that far from always correspond to Russian legislation.

There is also the notion of undesirable organisations. They are banned from working in the Russian Federation. But there are only about 30 of them, no more.

Question: Speaking about our soft power, what is our concept? What do we offer the world? What do you think the world should love us for? What is Russia’s soft power policy all about?

Sergey Lavrov: We want everything that has been created by nations and civilisations to be respected. We believe nobody should impose any orders on anyone, so that nothing like what has now happened in Hollywood takes place on a global scale. We think nobody should encroach on the right of each nation to have its historical traditions and moral roots. And we see attempts to encroach upon them.

If soft power is supposed to promote one’s own culture, language and traditions, in exchange for knowledge about the life of other nations and civilisations, then this is the approach that the Russian Federation supports in every way.

The Americans define the term “soft power” as an attempt to influence the hearts and minds of others politically. Their goal is not to promote their culture and language, but to change the mood of the political class with a view to subsequent regime change. They are doing this on a daily basis and don’t even conceal it. They say everywhere that their mission is to bring peace and democracy to all other countries.

Question: Almost any TV series out there shows the US president sitting in the Oval Office saying he’s the leader of the free world.

Sergey Lavrov: Not just TV series. Barack Obama has repeatedly stated that America is an exceptional nation and should be seen as an example by the rest of the world. My colleague Mike Pompeo recently said in the Czech Republic that they shouldn’t let the Russians into the nuclear power industry and should take the Russians off the list of companies that bid for these projects. It was about the same in Hungary. He then went to Africa and was quite vocal when he told the African countries not to do business with the Russians or the Chinese, because they are trading with the African countries for selfish reasons, whereas the US is establishing economic cooperation with them so they can prosper. This is a quote. It is articulated in a very straightforward manner, much the same way they run their propaganda on television in an unsophisticated broken language that the man in the street can relate to. So, brainwashing is what America’s soft power is known for.

Question: Not a single former Soviet republic has so far benefited from American soft power.

Sergey Lavrov: Not only former Soviet republics. Take a look at any other region where the Americans have effected a regime change.

QuestionLibya, Syria. We stood for Syria.

Sergey Lavrov: Iraq, Libya. They tried in Syria, but failed. I hope things will be different there. There’s not a single country where the Americans changed the regime and declared victory for democracy, like George W. Bush did on the deck of an aircraft carrier in Iraq in May 2003, which is prosperous now. He said democracy had won in Iraq. It would be interesting to know what the former US President thinks about the situation in Iraq today. But no one will, probably, go back to this, because the days when presidents honestly admitted their mistakes are gone.

QuestionHere I am listening to you and wondering how many people care about this? Why is it that no one understands this? Is this politics that is too far away from ordinary people who are nevertheless behind it? Take Georgia or Ukraine. People are worse off now than before, and despite this, this policy continues.

Will the Minsk agreements ever be implemented? Will the situation in southeastern Ukraine ever be settled?

Returning to what we talked about. How independent is Ukraine in its foreign policy?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t think that under the current Ukrainian government, just like under the previous president, we will see any progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreements, if only because President Zelensky himself is saying so publicly, as does Deputy Prime Minister Reznikov who is in charge of the Ukrainian settlement in the Contact Group. Foreign Minister of Ukraine Kuleba is also saying this. They say there’s a need for the Minsk agreements and they cannot be broken, because these agreements (and accusing Russia of non-compliance) are the foundation of the EU and the US policy in seeking to maintain the sanctions on Russia. Nevertheless, such a distorted interpretation of the essence of the Minsk agreements, or rather an attempt to blame everything on Russia, although Russia is never mentioned there, has stuck in the minds of our European colleagues, including France and Germany, who, being co-sponsors of the Minsk agreements along with us, the Ukrainians and Donbass, cannot but realise that the Ukrainians are simply distorting their responsibilities, trying to distance themselves from them and impose a different interpretation of the Minsk agreements. But even in this scenario, the above individuals and former Ukrainian President Kravchuk, who now heads the Ukrainian delegation to the Contact Group as part of the Minsk process, claim that the Minsk agreements in their present form are impracticable and must be revised, turned upside down. Also, Donbass must submit to the Ukrainian government and army before even thinking about conducting reforms in this part of Ukraine.

This fully contradicts the sequence of events outlined in the Minsk agreements whereby restoring Ukrainian armed forces’ control on the border with Russia is possible only after an amnesty, agreeing on the special status of these territories, making this status part of the Ukrainian Constitution and holding elections there. Now they propose giving back the part of Donbass that “rebelled” against the anti-constitutional coup to those who declared these people terrorists and launched an “anti-terrorist operation” against them, which they later renamed a Joint Forces Operation (but this does not change the idea behind it), and whom they still consider terrorists. Although everyone remembers perfectly well that in 2014 no one from Donbass or other parts of Ukraine that rejected the anti-constitutional coup attacked the putschists and the areas that immediately fell under the control of the politicians behind the coup. On the contrary, Alexander Turchinov, Arseniy Yatsenyuk and others like them attacked these areas. The guilt of the people living there was solely in them saying, “You committed a crime against the state, we do not want to follow your rules, let us figure out our own future and see what you will do next.” There’s not a single example that would corroborate the fact that they engaged in terrorism. It was the Ukrainian state that engaged in terrorism on their territory, in particular, when they killed [Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic] Alexander Zakharchenko and a number of field commanders in Donbass. So, I am not optimistic about this.

Question: So, we are looking at a dead end?

Sergey Lavrov: You know, we still have an undeniable argument which is the text of the Minsk Agreements approved by the UN Security Council.

QuestionBut they tried to revise it?

Sergey Lavrov: No, they are just making statements to that effect. When they gather for a Contact Group meeting in Minsk, they do their best to look constructive. The most recent meeting ran into the Ukrainian delegation’s attempts to pretend that nothing had happened. They recently passed a law on local elections which will be held in a couple of months. It says that elections in what are now called the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics will be held only after the Ukrainian army takes control of the entire border and those who “committed criminal offenses” are arrested and brought to justice even though the Minsk agreements provide for amnesty without exemptions.

Question: When I’m asked about Crimea I recall the referendum. I was there at a closed meeting in Davos that was attended by fairly well respected analysts from the US. They claimed with absolute confidence that Crimea was being occupied. I reminded them about the referendum. I was under the impression that these people either didn’t want to see or didn’t know how people lived there, that they have made their choice. Returning to the previous question, I think that nobody is interested in the opinion of the people.

Sergey Lavrov: No, honest politicians still exist. Many politicians, including European ones, were in Crimea during the referendum. They were there not under the umbrella of some international organisation but on their own because the OSCE and other international agencies were controlled by our Western colleagues. Even if we had addressed them, the procedure for coordinating the monitoring would have never ended.

Question: Just as in Belarus. As I see it, they were also invited but nobody came.

Sergey Lavrov: The OSCE refused to send representatives there. Now that the OSCE is offering its services as a mediator, I completely understand Mr Lukashenko who says the OSCE lost its chance. It could have sent observers and gained a first-hand impression of what was happening there, and how the election was held. They arrogantly disregarded the invitation. We know that the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) is practically wholly controlled by NATO. We have repeatedly proposed that our nominees work there but they have not been approved. This contradicts the principles of the OSCE. We will continue to seek a fairer approach to the admission of members to the organisation, but I don’t have much hope for this. Former OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger made an effort with this for the past three years but not everything depended on him – there is a large bloc of EU and NATO countries that enjoy a mathematical majority and try to dictate their own rules. But this is a separate issue.

Returning to Crimea, I have read a lot about this; let me give you two examples. One concerns my relations with former US Secretary of State John Kerry. In April 2014, we met in Geneva: me, John Kerry, EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and then Acting Foreign Minister of Ukraine Andrey Deshchitsa. We compiled a one page document that was approved unanimously. It read that we, the representatives of Russia, the US and the EU welcomed the commitments of the Ukrainian authorities to carry out decentralisation of the country with the participation of all the regions of Ukraine. This took place after the Crimean referendum. Later, the Americans, the EU and of course Ukraine “forgot” about this document. John Kerry told me at this meeting that everyone understood that Crimea was Russian, that the people wanted to return, but that we held the referendum so quickly that it didn’t fit into the accepted standards of such events. He asked me to talk to President Vladimir Putin, organise one more referendum, announce it in advance and invite international observers. He said he would support their visit there, that the result would be the same but that we would be keeping up appearances. I asked him why put on such shows if they understand that this was the expression of the will of the people.

The second example concerns the recent statements by the EU and the European Parliament to the effect that “the occupation” of Crimea is a crude violation of the world arrangement established after the victory in World War II. But if this criterion is used to determine where Crimea belongs, when the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic joined the UN after WWII in 1945, Crimea did not belong to it. Crimea was part of the USSR. Later, Nikita Khrushchev took an illegal action, which contradicted Soviet law, and this led to them having it. But we all understood that this was a domestic political game as regards a Soviet republic that was the home to Khrushchev and many of his associates.

Question: You have been Foreign Minister for 16 years now. This century’s major foreign policy challenges fell on your term in office. We faced sanctions, and we adapted to them and coped with them. Germany said it obtained Alexey Navalny’s test results. France and Sweden have confirmed the presence of Novichok in them. Reportedly, we are now in for more sanctions. Do you think the Navalny case can trigger new sanctions against Russia?

Sergey Lavrov: I agree with our political analysts who are convinced that if it were not for Navalny, they would have come up with something else in order to impose more sanctions.

With regard to this situation, I think our Western partners have simply gone beyond decency and reason. In essence, they are now demanding that we “confess.” They are asking us: Don’t you believe what the German specialists from the Bundeswehr are saying? How is that possible? Their findings have been confirmed by the French and the Swedes. You don’t believe them, either?

It’s a puzzling situation given that our Prosecutor General’s Office filed an inquiry about legal assistance on August 27 and hasn’t received an answer yet. Nobody knows where the inquiry has been for more than a week now. We were told it was at the German Foreign Ministry. The German Foreign Ministry did not forward the request to the Ministry of Justice, which was our Prosecutor General Office’s  ultimate addressee. Then, they said that it had been transferred to the Berlin Prosecutor’s Office, but they would not tell us anything without the consent of the family. They are urging us to launch a criminal investigation.

We have our own laws, and we cannot take someone’s word for it to open a criminal case. Certain procedures must be followed. A pre-investigation probe initiated immediately after this incident to consider the circumstances of the case is part of this procedure.

Some of our Western colleagues wrote that, as the German doctors discovered, it was “a sheer miracle” that Mr Navalny survived. Allegedly, it was the notorious Novichok, but he survived thanks to “lucky circumstances.” What kind of lucky circumstances are we talking about? First, the pilot immediately landed the plane; second, an ambulance was already waiting on the airfield; and third, the doctors immediately started to provide help. This absolutely impeccable behaviour of the pilots, doctors and ambulance crew is presented as “lucky circumstances.” That is, they even deny the possibility that we are acting as we should. This sits deep in the minds of those who make up such stories.

Returning to the pre-investigation probe, everyone is fixated on a criminal case. If we had opened a criminal case right away (we do not have legal grounds to do so yet, and that is why the Prosecutor General’s Office requested legal assistance from Germany on August 27), what would have been done when it happened? They would have interviewed the pilot, the passengers and the doctors. They would have found out what the doctors discovered when Navalny was taken to the Omsk hospital, and what medications were used. They would have interviewed the people who communicated with him. All of that was done. They interviewed the five individuals who accompanied him and participated in the events preceding Navalny boarding the plane; they interviewed the passengers who were waiting for a flight to Moscow in Tomsk and sat at the same bar; they found out what they ordered and what he drank. The sixth person, a woman who accompanied him, has fled, as you know. They say she was the one who gave the bottle to the German lab. All this has been done. Even if all of that was referred to as a “criminal case,” we couldn’t have done more.

Our Western partners are looking down on us as if we have no right to question what they are saying or their professionalism. If this is the case, it means that they dare to question the professionalism of our doctors and investigators. Unfortunately, this position is reminiscent of other times. Arrogance and a sense of infallibility have already been observed in Europe, and that led to very regrettable consequences.

Question: How would you describe this policy of confrontation? When did it start (I mean during your term of office)? It’s simply so stable at the moment that there seems no chance that something might change in the future.

Sergey Lavrov: President of Russia Vladimir Putin has repeatedly spoken on this topic. I think that the onset of this policy, this era of constant pressure on Russia began with the end of a period that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union, a time when the West believed it had Russia there in its pocket – it ended, full stop. Unfortunately, the West does not seem to be able to wrap its head around this, to accept that there is no alternative to Russia’s independent actions, both domestically and on the international arena. This is why, unfortunately, this agony continues by inertia.

Having bad ties with any country have never given us any pleasure. We do not like making such statements in which we sharply criticise the position of the West. We always try to find compromises, but there are situations where it is hard not to come face to face with one another directly or to avoid frank assessments of what our Western friends are up to.

I have read what our respected political scientists write who are well known in the West. And I can say this idea is starting to surface ever stronger and more often – it is time we stop measuring our actions with the yardsticks that the West offers us and to stop trying to please the West at all costs. These are very serious people and they are making a serious point. The fact that the West is prodding us to this way of thinking, willingly or unwillingly, is obvious to me. Most likely, this is being done involuntarily. But it is a big mistake to think that Russia will play by Western rules in any case – as big a mistake as like approaching China with the same yardstick.

Question: Then I really have to ask you. We are going through digitalisation. I think when you started your diplomatic career, you could not even have imagined that some post on Twitter could affect the political situation in a country. Yet – I can see your smile – we are living in a completely different world. Film stars can become presidents; Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook can become drivers of political campaigns – that happened more than once – and those campaigns can be successful. We are going through digitalisation, and because of this, many unexpected people appear in international politics – unexpected for you, at least. How do you think Russia’s foreign policy will change in this context? Are we ready for social media to be impacting our internal affairs? Is the Chinese scenario possible in Russia, with most Western social media blocked to avoid their influence on the internal affairs in that country?

Sergey Lavrov: Social media are already exerting great influence on our affairs. This is the reality in the entire post-Soviet space and developing countries. The West, primarily the United States, is vigorously using social media to promote their preferred agenda in just about any state. This necessitates a new approach to ensuring the national security. We have been doing this for a long time already.

As for regulating social media, everyone does it. You know that the digital giants in the United States have been repeatedly caught introducing censorship, primarily against us, China or other countries they dislike, shutting off information that comes from these places.

The internet is regulated by companies based in the United States, everyone knows that. In fact, this situation has long made the overwhelming majority of countries want to do something about it, considering the global nature of the internet and social media, to make sure that the management processes are approved at a global level, become transparent and understandable. The International Telecommunication Union, a specialised UN agency, has been out there for years. Russia and a group of other co-sponsoring countries are promoting the need to regulate the internet in such a way that everyone understands how it works and what principles govern it, in this International Union. Now we can see how Mark Zuckerberg and other heads of large IT companies are invited to the Congress and lectured there and asked to explain what they are going to do. We can see this. But a situation where it will be understandable for everyone else and, most importantly, where everyone is happy with it, still seems far away.

For many years, we have been promoting at the UN General Assembly an initiative to agree on the rules of responsible behaviour of states in the sphere of international information security. This initiative has already led to set up several working groups, which have completed their mandate with reports. The last such report was reviewed last year and another resolution was adopted. This time, it was not a narrow group of government experts, but a group that includes all UN member states. It was planning to meet, but things slowed down due to the coronavirus. The rules for responsible conduct in cyberspace are pending review by this group. These rules were approved by the SCO, meaning they already reflect a fairly large part of the world’s population.

Our other initiative is not about the use of cyberspace for undermining someone’s security; it is about fighting crimes (pedophilia, pornography, theft) in cyberspace. This topic is being considered by another UNGA committee. We are preparing a draft convention that will oblige all states to suppress criminal activities in cyberspace.

QuestionDo you think that the Foreign Ministry is active on this front? Would you like to be more proactive in the digital dialogue? After all, we are still bound by ethics, and have yet to understand whether we can cross the line or not. Elon Musk feels free to make any statements no matter how ironic and makes headlines around the world, even though anything he says has a direct bearing on his market cap. This is a shift in the ethics of behaviour. Do you think that this is normal? Is this how it should be? Or maybe people still need to behave professionally?

Sergey Lavrov: A diplomat can always use irony and a healthy dose of cynicism. In this sense, there is no contradiction here. However, this does not mean that while making ironic remarks on the surrounding developments or comments every once in a while (witty or not so witty), you do not have to work on resolving legal matters related to internet governance. This is what we are doing.

The Foreign Ministry has been at the source of these processes. We have been closely coordinating our efforts on this front with the Security Council Office, and the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media and other organisations. Russian delegations taking part in talks include representatives from various agencies. Apart from multilateral platforms such as the International Telecommunication Union, the UN General Assembly and the OSCE, we are working on this subject in bilateral relations with our key partners.

We are most interested in working with our Western partners, since we have an understanding on these issues with countries that share similar views. The Americans and Europeans evade these talks under various pretexts. There seemed to be an opening in 2012 and 2013, but after the government coup in Ukraine, they used it as a pretext to freeze this process. Today, there are some signs that the United States and France are beginning to revive these contacts, but our partners have been insufficiently active. What we want is professional dialogue so that they can raise all their concerns and accusations and back them with specific facts. We stand ready to answer all the concerns our partners may have, and will not fail to voice the concerns we have. We have many of them.

During the recent visit by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas to Russia, I handed him a list containing dozens of incidents we have identified: attacks against our resources, with 70 percent of them targeting state resources of the Russian Federation, and originating on German territory. He promised to provide an answer, but more than a month after our meeting we have not seen it so far.

Question: Let me ask you about another important initiative by the Foreign Ministry. You decided to amend regulations enabling people to be repatriated from abroad for   free, and you proposed subjecting the repatriation guarantee to the reimbursement of its cost to the budget. Could you tell us, please, is this so expensive for the state to foot this bill?

Sergey Lavrov: Of course, these a substantial expenses. The resolution that provided for offering free assistance was adopted back in 2010, and was intended for citizens who find themselves in situations when their life is at risk. Imagine a Russian ambassador. Most of the people ask for help because they have lost money, their passport and so on. There are very few cases when an ambassador can actually say that a person is in a life-threatening situation and his or her life is in danger. How can an ambassador take a decision of this kind? As long as I remember, these cases can be counted on the fingers of my two hands since 2010, when an ambassador had to take responsibility and there were grounds for offering this assistance. We wanted to ensure that people can get help not only when facing an imminent danger (a dozen cases in ten years do not cost all that much). There were many more cases when our nationals found themselves in a difficult situation after losing money or passports. We decided to follow the practices used abroad. Specifically, this means that we provide fee-based assistance. In most cases, people travelling abroad can afford to reimburse the cost of a return ticket.

This practice is designed to prevent fraud, which remains an issue. We had cases when people bought one-way tickets knowing that they will have to be repatriated.

Question: And with no return ticket, they go to the embassy?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, after that they come to the embassy. For this reason, I believe that the system we developed is much more convenient and comprehensive for dealing with the situations Russians get into when travelling abroad, and when we have to step in to help them through our foreign missions.

Question: Mr Lavrov, thank you for your time. As a Georgian, I really have to ask this. Isn’t it time to simplify the visa regime with Georgia? A second generation of Georgians has now grown up that has never seen Russia. What do you think?

Sergey Lavrov: Georgians can travel to Russia – they just need to apply for a visa. The list of grounds for obtaining a visa has been expanded. There are practically no restrictions on visiting Russia, after obtaining a visa in the Interests Section for the Russian Federation in Tbilisi or another Russian overseas agency.

As for visa-free travel, as you know, we were ready for this a year ago. We were actually a few steps away from being ready to announce it when that incident happened with the Russian Federal Assembly delegation to the International Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy, where they were invited in the first place, seated in their chairs, and then violence was almost used against them.

I am confident that our relations with Georgia will recover and improve. We can see new Georgian politicians who are interested in this. For now, there are just small parties in the ruling elites. But I believe our traditional historical closeness, and the mutual affinity between our peoples will ultimately triumph. Provocateurs who are trying to prevent Georgia from resuming normal relations with Russia will be put to shame.

They are trying to use Georgia the same way as Ukraine. In Ukraine, the IMF plays a huge role. And the IMF recently decided that each tranche allocated to Ukraine would be short-term.

Question: Microcredits.

Sergey Lavrov: Microcredits and a short leash that can always be pulled a little.

They are trying to use Georgia the same way. We have no interest in seeing this situation continue. We did not start it and have never acted against the Georgian people. Everyone remembers the 2008 events, how American instructors arrived there and trained the Georgian army. The Americans were well aware of Mikheil Saakashvili’s lack of restraint. He trampled on all agreements and issued a criminal order.

We are talking about taking their word for it. There were many cases when we took their word for it, but then it all boiled down to zilch. In 2003, Colin Powell, a test tube – that was an academic version. An attack on Iraq followed. Many years later, Tony Blair admitted that there had been no nuclear weapons in Iraq. There were many such stories. In 1999, the aggression against Yugoslavia was triggered by the OSCE representative in the Balkans, US diplomat William Walker, who visited the village of Racak, where they found thirty corpses, and declared it genocide of the Albanian population. A special investigation by the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia found they were military dressed in civilian clothes. But Mr Walker loudly declared it was genocide. Washington immediately seized on the idea, and so did London and other capitals. NATO launched an aggression against Yugoslavia.

After the end of the five-day military operation to enforce peace, the European Union ordered a special report from a group of invited experts, including Swiss diplomat Heidi Tagliavini. She was later involved in the Minsk process, and then she was asked to lead a group of experts who investigated the outbreak of the military conflict in August 2008. The conclusion was unambiguous. All this happened on the orders of Mikheil Saakashvili, and as for his excuses that someone had provoked him, or someone had been waiting for him on the other side of the tunnel, this was just raving.

Georgians are a wise nation. They love life, perhaps the same way and the same facets that the peoples in the Russian Federation do. We will overcome the current abnormal situation and restore normal relations between our states and people.


In addition, if you follow the Minister, follow up on this interview with Sputnik

Exclusive: Sergei Lavrov Talks About West’s Historical Revisionism, US Election and Navalny Case

U.S. exploited 9/11 attacks to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan: Iraqi expert

By Saeed Kh. Mavedat

September 10, 2020 – 17:54

TEHRAN – The U.S. plans to invade Iraq and Afghanistan gained stream immediately after the September 11, 2001 attacks on civilian and military targets in the United States. An Iraqi expert tells the Tehran Times that the Americans “exploited” the attacks to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan.

The attacks, carried out by al-Qaeda, killed almost 3,000 American and foreign citizens and sent shock waves across the world. In the wake of the attacks, the U.S. administration sought to pave the way for a military response to al-Qaeda and those allegedly supporting it.

Addressing the American people on the same day at 9 pm, then-President George W. Bush said, “We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.”

Only a week after the 9/11 attacks, Congress passed a special law allowing President Bush to punish the people who had aided or abetted the 9/11 attackers. The law, which was passed on September 18, 2001, stipulates “that  the  President  is  authorized  to  use  all necessary  and  appropriate  force  against  those  nations,  organizations,  or  persons  he  determines  planned,  authorized,  committed, or  aided  the  terrorist  attacks  that  occurred  on  September  11,  2001, or  harbored  such  organizations  or  persons,  in  order  to  prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”

A few weeks later, the U.S. led a coalition to overthrow the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, and two years later, the U.S. invaded Iraq under the pretext of countering terrorism.

Nearly two decades after the 9 /11 attacks, the U.S. is still bogged down in “endless wars” in the region, which yielded no results in terms of combating terrorism, according to Reza Alghurabi, an Iraqi expert who closely monitors the situation in Iraq and Iran.

In order to assess one of the U.S. post-9/11 wars in the region, the Tehran Times interviewed Alghurabi. He weighed in on the situation in Iraq in the aftermath of the U.S. invasion of the country. He also touched on the U.S.-Iran relations in Iraq since 2003.
The following is the full text of the interview:

Q: In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the issue of “counterterrorism” became prominent in U.S. foreign policy and eventually, it became one of the reasons for the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. Do you think the United States really wanted to fight terrorism in Iraq? And if so, how successful was it? How do you assess the U.S. presence in Iraq in terms of the fight against terrorism since 2003?

A: In addition to leading to the emergence of the U.S. counterterrorism agenda and the introduction of new concepts in the field of terrorism and international law, the 9/11 attacks led to one of the largest U.S. military campaigns and military interventions in recent decades in the ever sensitive region of West Asia.
Regardless of any assessment of the truth of 9/11, Washington’s subsequent exploitation of it shows that the Americans behaved in a completely political and abusive manner that led to the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq.

It was clear at the time that the terrorists were mostly Saudi nationals, and that if the United States was to be honest in its counterterrorism plan, it would have had to deal with the source of religious extremism in the region, which is the Saudi regime and some other countries whose religious muftis kept playing role in the death of thousands of people and the spread of extremism and violence by issuing hundreds of fatwas [religious decrees] and sending financial aid through charities after the occupation of Iraq.

Despite spending billions of dollars on the counterterrorism project since 2001, Washington has failed to fight terrorism, and the growing spread of extremism, violence, and terrorism in recent years in areas where the Americans themselves have been present was not only a sign of Washington’s failure to fight terrorism, but it also raised serious doubts about its direct role in the spread of terrorism and violence.

Iraq is clearly still grappling with terrorism 17 years after [the American occupation], and from 2003 to 2011, when U.S. troops were officially present in Iraq, violence was widespread in the country and the United States failed to contain it.

Q: How many human rights violations did the United States commit in the years following the occupation of Iraq? In terms of human rights violations, can Abu Ghraib prison be compared to Guantanamo?

A: While the U.S. was present in Iraq as an occupying force, numerous reports were published by Western and American think tanks on individual and organized ill-treatment of prisoners. Some of the initial information was released by U.S. troops themselves. Various forms of torture of prisoners, such as waterboarding in the United States itself, sparked controversy in the U.S. Congress.

U.S. human rights abuses were not limited to detainees. There were also numerous reports of civilians being harassed during house searches or checkpoints and street raids by soldiers and mercenaries of private security companies such as Blackwater. In this respect, there was no difference between Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Perhaps Abu Ghraib can be considered a worse case than Guantanamo because in this prison even young Iraqi girls were sexually tortured by the American military.

Q: How do you assess Iran-U.S. relations in Iraq after 2003? It is said that Iran had reached understandings with the United States during the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, but why did the United States turn these understandings into hostility and include Iran in the “axis of evil”?

A: Iran-U.S. relations have always been tense for the last four decades. After 9/11, the Americans took a more hostile stance against the Iranians. The use of the term “axis of evil” in reference to Iran by George W. Bush in 2002 indicated the adoption of an escalatory strategy against Iran. With the occupation of Iraq by the U.S., this country became the scene of confrontation between Tehran and Washington. Iran was concerned and dissatisfied with the full U.S. military presence in Iraq and the repeated threats by White House officials about the need for regime change in Iran. The Americans in Iraq were also reluctant to vacate the battlefield for Tehran. Therefore, Iraq has since become the scene of confrontation between the two axes.

The U.S. is a longtime enemy of Iran and the prospect of its troops being deployed along Iran’s borders as well as [U.S.] provocative actions were a source of potential and tense hostility that threatened any possible understanding.

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ولكن حذار الاعتقاد باختلاف الوكيل عن الأصيل في الاستراتيجيا، نعم في التكتيك لغاية في نفس يعقوب…

ونحن سادة الحرب كما سادة استراحة المحارب…

وأما هيل وشينكر فإنهما في أشدّ حالات ضعفهما مع سيدهم في البيت الأبيض ولن ينفعهما مع كوشنر النزال خلف خطوط التاريخ والجغرافيا…

فما محفل أبو ظبي إلا قنابل دخانية لحرف الأنظار عن عجزهم الاستراتيجي…

نحن في شدة وضيق مادي ومعيشي نعم…

نحن في شِعب أبي طالب، نعم…

لكننا واثقون من النصر، بل على يقين منه…

لقد خسر الأميركي كل معاركه الميدانية معنا…

وما تراءى لخدمه من مشاريع امبراطورية، تبخرت على بوابات الشام وأسوار بغداد وفي تخوم صنعاء…

ولما انتقلنا من الدفاع إلى الهجوم… وصارت قاعدته الأهمّ المزروعة فوق فلسطين محاطة من كلّ الجهات بصواريخنا الدقيقة وأسلحة المفاجآت… لجأوا الى أخسّ وأنذل الأساليب:

محاولة تجويعنا وحبسنا في شِعب أبي طالب…

بالمباشر ودون لفّ او دوران نقول لجمهورنا:

إيران الإسلام بقيادة إمام المقاومة قرارها واضح وضوح الشمس ولا رجعة عنه:

لن نعطيكم ورقة التفاوض أو الحوار حول ثوابتنا، من مزار شريف إلى ما بعد مكة، ومن هرمز إلى ما بعد باب المندب،

ومن البصرة الى ما بعد بنت جبيل، مهما طال الحصار علينا او اشتدّت أيام المعارك بين الحروب…

وسنقاوم بكلّ ما أوتينا من قوة حتى نستغني عن دولاركم… وسندعم ونساند فلسطين ولبنان وسورية والعراق واليمن بكلّ أشكال الدعم، بالغذاء والدواء والمشتقات النفطية والسلاح وبالعملات المحلية اوالمجان…

ولأنّ سامريّكم العجل الذهبي عاجز عن الحرب ومنهار من الداخل… وقاعدته المتقدمة المزروعة على أرض فلسطين في شلل تامّ… فإنّ معادلة لا حر ب ولا مفاوضات ستظلّ قائمة الى حين إعادة تشكيل الإدارة الأميركية الجديدة في الشهرين الأوّلين من السنة الجديدة أياً تكن سياقات سقوط أو صعود رموزها…

ونعد جمهورنا من أمة أشرف الناس، بأنّ عدونا وعدوكم سيكون في حينها كحدّ أقصى بات منهكاً وقاب قوسين أو أدنى من الانسحاب من النزال على امتداد وطننا العربي الكبير من غرب آسيا الى شمال أفريقيا…

وقتها نحن من سيكتب جدول انسحاباته من المنطقة شبراً شبراً… ويومها سيفرح المؤمنون بنصر الله وبعودة عصر بدر وخيبر ويكون لنا الفتح المبين. هذا وعد إلهي، وهذا هو فعل السنن الكونية.

انها معركة عضّ الأصابع في الربع ساعة الأخيرة..

سلاحنا الأمضى فيها الصبر ثم الصبر ثم الصبر، الصبر دين وليس تكتيكاً، الصبر سيفتت الصخر ويهزم رعاة البقر.

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

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Trump Condemned for Calling US War Dead “Suckers”

Trump Condemned for Calling US War Dead “Suckers”

By Staff, Agencies

Current and former members of the military, elected officials and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden reacted with outrage and sadness on Friday, as ex-Trump administration officials confirmed key details of a bombshell report in which the US president referred to fallen soldiers as “suckers” and “losers”.

The Atlantic magazine published a story on Thursday in which four sources close to US President Donald Trump said he cancelled a visit to pay respects at an American military cemetery outside Paris in 2018 because he thought the dead soldiers were “losers” and “suckers” and did not want the rain to mess up his hair.

Elizabeth Neumann, a former assistant secretary of counter-terrorism in the Department of Homeland Security, and Miles Taylor, a former chief of staff in that department, said the account was true, asserting that Trump’s low opinion of soldiers killed and wounded in combat was well known inside the administration.

The White House moved to deny the report unusually quickly and forcefully. Trump himself dismissed it as a politically motivated “hoax” and claimed 11 current and former officials supported his account.

“There is nobody feels more strongly about our soldiers, our wounded warriors, our soldiers that died in war than I do,” he told reporters at the White House on Friday. “It’s a hoax. Just like the fake dossier was a hoax, just like the Russia, Russia, Russia was a hoax. It was a total hoax: no collusion. Just like so many other things, it’s a hoax. And you’ll hear more of these things, totally unrelated, as we get closer and closer to election.”

Asked why John Kelly, a retired marine corps general and Trump’s former chief of staff, was not among those defending him, the president added: “He was with me, didn’t do a good job, had no temperament and ultimately he was petered out, he was exhausted. This man was totally exhausted. He wasn’t even able to function in the last number of months. He was not able to function.”

The Atlantic’s source, he speculated, “could have been a guy like a John Kelly”.

Trump tweeted that he would not defund the Stars and Stripes newspaper, which serves US servicemen and women worldwide, after a Pentagon memo ordering its closure was reported by USA Today, causing huge controversy.

The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, also defended Trump, but the denials were met with widespread skepticism because of his past remarks about military veterans.

And in an unusual intervention, the first lady, Melania Trump, also weighed in, tweeting that the Atlantic story “was not true”.

“It has become a very dangerous time when anonymous sources are believed above all else, & no one knows their motivation,” she wrote.

A visibly angry Biden called the alleged comments “disgusting” and said Trump was “not fit to be commander-in-chief”.

“When my son volunteered and joined the United States military – and went to Iraq for a year, won the Bronze Star and other commendations, he was not a sucker,” Biden said, his voice rising, in remarks in Wilmington, Delaware.

His son Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015, deployed to Iraq in 2008.

“If these statements are true, the president should humbly apologize to every Gold Star mother and father and every Blue Star family,” Biden said. “Who the heck does he think he is?

“I’m always cautioned not to lose my temper,” Biden said. “This may be as close as I come in this campaign. It’s just a marker of how deeply the president and I disagree on the role of the president of the United States of America.”

Veteran Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the pilot who saved the lives of 155 people in 2009 when he guided his stricken plane onto the Hudson river, said: “For the first time in American history, a president has repeatedly shown utter and vulgar contempt and disrespect for those who have served and died serving our country.”

“While I am not surprised, I am disgusted by the current occupant of the Oval Office. He has repeatedly and consistently shown himself to be completely unfit for and to have no respect for the office he holds.”

On a press call hosted by Biden’s campaign, the Democratic Illinois senator Tammy Duckworth, who lost both her legs in combat in Iraq, accused Trump of attempting to “politicize and pervert our military to stroke his own ego”.

“This is a man who spends every day redefining the concept of narcissism; a man who’s led a life of privilege, with everything handed to him on a silver platter,” she said.

“Of course, he thinks about war selfishly. He thinks of it as a transactional cost, instead of in human lives and American blood spilled, because that’s how he’s viewed his whole life. He doesn’t understand other people’s bravery and courage, because he’s never had any of his own.

“I take my wheelchair, and my titanium legs over Donald Trump’s supposed bone spurs any day,” she added, referring to one reason Trump received draft deferments during the Vietnam war.

The call also included the congressman Conor Lamb, a marine veteran, and Khizr Khan, a Gold Star father whose son was killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq in 2004 and who was himself famously attacked by Trump during the 2016 campaign.

Khan said Trump was “incapable – let me repeat it again – he is incapable of understanding service, valor and courage”.

“His soul cannot conceive of integrity and honor. His soul is that of a coward.”

In an interview with the conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, Mike Pompeo defended the president’s support of the military.

“I’ve never heard that,” the secretary of state said of Trump allegedly calling the war dead “suckers”.

“Indeed, just the opposite. I’ve been around him in lots of settings where there were both active-duty military, guardsmen, reservists, veterans. This is a man who had the deepest respect for their service, and he always, he always interacted with them in that way. He enjoys those times. He values those people.”

The Biden campaign released a video quoting the president, based on the Atlantic story and later corroborating reports by the Washington Post and the Associated Press. Other media outlets, Fox News among them, also corroborated the Atlantic story.

With the tagline “If you don’t respect our troops, you cannot lead them,” the Biden campaign video displayed the alleged Trump quotes over images of military cemeteries.

At Friday’s briefing, Trump was asked about his past mockery of the late senator John McCain, who served in the military and was a prisoner of war in Vietnam. “I say what I say,” he told reporters. “I disagreed with John McCain on a lot of things. That doesn’t mean I don’t respect him. I respected him but I really disagreed with him on a lot of things and I think I was right. I think time has proven me right to a large extent.”

IRANIAN RESISTANCE AXIS STRIKES BACK. CONVOYS WITH US EQUIPMENT BLOWING UP IN IRAQ

Iranian Resistance Axis Strikes Back. Convoys With US Equipment Blowing Up  In Iraq
Video

Source

On September 3, an explosion of an improvised explosive device (IED) targeted a convoy with equipment of the US-led coalition in the southern Iraqi province of Dhi Qar. Iraqi troops that were escorting the convoy suffered no casualties. According to local sources, no significant damage was caused to the equipment. Following the incident, security forces detained 2 suspects near the explosion site. The investigation is ongoing.

However, it is no secret that the attack was likely conducted by one of multiple pro-Iranian Shiite groups that surfaced in the country following the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and several prominent Iraqi commanders by a US strike in Baghdad in January.

Earlier, the Guardians of Blood (also known as Islamic Resistance in Iraq) released a video showing an IED attack on another convoy with US equipment. The attack took place near Camp Taji, north of Baghdad on August 23. During the last few months, such attacks became a regular occurrence across Iraq.

Pro-Iranian forces not only created a wide network of active cells that carry out these operations, but also successfully track movements of US forces and their equipment. According to local sources, a large number of Iraqi security personnel involved in the guarding of US forces and facilities in fact support the Iranian-backed campaign against the United States as well as the public demand of the full US troop withdrawal from Iraq.

Despite loud statements and the handing over of several US bases to the Iraqi military, Washington is not reducing its military presence in the country. Rather it’s regrouping its forces and strengthening the security of the remaining facilities. Tensions are on the rise not only in Iraq.

On September 3, Israel’s ImageSat International released satellite images showcasing the impact of the recent Israeli strikes on Iranian-linked targets near the Syrian capital of Damascus, and in the province of Homs. The report claimed that the strike on the Damascus International Airport destroyed a headquarters and a warehouse used by Iranian forces. The same area was the target of an Israeli attack in February. The strike on the T4 airport in Homs damaged the main runway and an apron. As a result, the air base was temporary placed out of service.

A few days earlier, the Israeli Defense Forces claimed that they had hit approximately 100 Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip in August. This supposedly included 35 hits on Hamas weapons manufacturing sites, along with 30 underground sites, 20 observation posts and 10 sites linked to the group’s aerial capabilities such as drones. According to the Israeli side, these strikes were a response to rocket and other attacks from the Gaza Strip. Palestinian groups claim that they just retaliate to permanent pressure and acts of aggression from the Israeli side.

Taking into account the war in Yemen, a large part of the Middle East has been turned into a battleground of the conflict between the Israeli-US bloc and the Iranian-led Axis of Resistance.

ماكرون الإقليميّ تغيير سايكس بيكو وليس حدودها

ناصر قنديل

ثوابت يجب عدم نسيانها وأوهام ممنوع السماح بمرورها وتغلغلها في نفوس الناس وعقولهم في النظر للحركة الفرنسيّة التي يقودها الرئيس امانويل ماكرون، حيث يتمّ تمرير كل شيء تحت ضغط الكارثة التي يعيشها اللبنانيون، أولها التوهّم أن فرنسا أم حنون جاءت لتساعد وتسهم في رفع المعاناة عن كاهل اللبنانيين، وثانيها أن إدراك أن السياسة باعتبارها لغة مصالح لا يعني الرفض المطلق لسياسات الآخرين ومصالحهم إذا لم تتعارض مع سياساتنا ومصالحنا، وثالثها أن ما لا يتعارض مع سياساتنا ومصالحنا ويؤسس لنقاط تقاطع لا تجوز إدارته بتساهل واسترخاء لأن المصالح تتراكم وتتغيّر والأطماع لا يردعها إلا حضور الحذر واستحضار القدرة وتحصين القوة. والمشهد اللبناني المقزّز في درجة التهافت أمام الرئيس الفرنسي، وتغيّر المواقف وتبدل الثوابت وتقديم أوراق الاعتماد، أظهر خصال انحطاط ليست حكراً على ما يحلو للبعض وصفه بطبقة سياسية فاسدة، فقد نخر سوس التهافت والانحطاط، صفوف الذين سمّوا أنفسهم ثواراً، والذين قدّموا أنفسهم بدائل، والنخب والكتاب والفنانين، ومن له مصلحة ومن ليس له مصلحة، إلا قلة رفيعة الشأن كبيرة النفس شامخة الأنف، لا عارضت علناً وقدمت الولاء سراً، ولا قاطعت، ولا سوّقت، ولا تهافتت، حالها كحال فيروز التي بقيت تشبه أرز لبنان يحتاجها ماكرون ولا تحتاجه، وتقاطع المصالح يعني لها النديّة، وليس الذل والاسترهان، ولا الزحف والبكاء، والبكاء السياسي والإعلامي، ليس بكاء وجع الناس المفهوم، وبقيت هذه القلة تحفظ سرّ المقام والدور والمسؤوليّة، فشارك بعضها بجدية ومسؤولية واحترام وندية، ولكنه لم يمنع نفسه من متعة التفرج على “الزحفطة” السياسية والإعلامية والاقتصادية و”الثورية” و”المدنية” وغير المدنية”، ولم يكن بعضها موجوداً فتابع عن بُعد وهو يجمع السخرية والألم من درجة هبوط وانحطاط مشهد، هو بالنهاية مشهد وطن لا يفرح محبّوه برؤيته على هذه الحال.

توضح زيارة امانويل ماكرون للعراق وتصريحات وزير الخارجية الأميركية مايك بومبيو، أن الحركة الفرنسيّة محميّة أميركياً، ولا تحظى فقط بالتغطية، بل هي جزء من سياسة أميركية بالوكالة، حيث تحتفظ واشنطن بالخطاب الدعائي ضد إيران والمقاومة، وتتولى فرنسا تبريد جبهات المشرق الملتهبة، بينما تتفرّغ واشنطن لتزخيم حفلات التطبيع العربي “الإسرائيلي” في الخليج، فماكرون المتحمّس لمرفأ بيروت بدا متحمساً لمشروع مترو بغداد، بينما كان الأردن والعراق ومصر يبشرون بمشروع “الشام الجديد” الذي يلاقي نتائج التطبيع الإماراتيّ الإسرائيليّ، بربط العراق عبر الأردن الذي يقيم معاهدة سلام مع كيان الاحتلال، بمرفأ حيفا، أسوة بالإمارات، في زمن خروج مرفأ بيروت من الخدمة، ولا يُخفى أن المشروع الذي قام أصلاً وفقاً لدراسة للبنك الدولي على ضم سورية ولبنان وفلسطين على المشروع قد اعتبر تركيا جزءاً منه، وقد أسقطت سورية ولبنان وفلسطين، واستبعدت تركيا حكماً، وفي زمن التغوّل التركي ورعاية أنقرة للإرهاب وتطبيعها مع الكيان لا اسف على الاستبعاد، وبمثل ما رحبت بالشام الجديد واشنطن وتل أبيب، هرول الرئيس الفرنسي مرحباً باستبعاد تركيا، على قاعدة تناغم مصري فرنسي سيظهر أكثر وأكثر، من ليبيا إلى لبنان، وصولاً للعراق، بحيث تقوم فرنسا بالإمساك بلبنان عن السقوط و”خربطة الحسابات” بانتظار، تبلور المشروع الذي يريد ضم سورية ولبنان معاً في فترة لاحقة، بعد إضعاف قدرتهما التفاوضيّة وعزلهما عن العراق، والمقصود بالقدرة التفاوضيّة حكماً قوى المقاومة وتهديدها لأمن الكيان، وهذا هو معنى التذكير الأميركي بأن المشكلة هي في حزب الله وصواريخه الدقيقة، كما يؤكد بومبيو.

لا مشكلة لدى قوى المقاومة بالمرحلة الانتقالية التي يتمّ خلالها انتشال لبنان من قعر السقوط، ليس حباً ولا منّة ولا مكرمة من أحد، بل خشية انفجار كبير يحول التهديد الإفتراضي للكيان إلى تهديد واقعي، ويأتي بالصين على سكة حديد بغداد دمشق بيروت، هي السكة التي يريدها ماكرون لفرنسا، لكن بعد التفاوض، بحيث تحفظ حدود سايكس بيكو، لكن يتغيّر مضمون التفويض بنقل الوكالة في حوض المتوسط إلى فرنسا، التي منعت من العراق والأردن قبل قرن، لحساب بريطانيا، المتفرّجة اليوم إلى حين. وهذا يكفي للقول إنه بعد فشل الرهان “الإسرائيلي” على نظرية معركة بين حربين كادت تفجّر حرباً، جاءت فرنسا بمشروع تسوية بين حربين، عساها تجعل الحرب الثانية اقتصادية، هدفها إبعاد الصين عن المتوسط، وإبعاد صواريخ المقاومة الدقيقة عن رقبة الإسرائيليين، والمقاومة المدركة للتحديات والاستحقاقات، تعرف ما بين أيديها كما تتقن ذكاء التوقيت.

لا شام جديد بدون الشام الأصلي والقديم، حقيقة يجب أن ينتبه لها ماكرون قبل أن يرتكب الأخطاء القاتلة، فلا ينسى أن التذاكي لا يحل المشكلات الأصلية، وأن روسيا لا تكتفي بالكلمات طويلاً، وأن بريطانيا لا تطيل النوم بعد الظهر.

الطريق المعبّدة من قبل

سعاده مصطفى أرشيد

تشكلت الدولة الكيانية – القطرية في عموم العالم العربي بحدودها وهوياتها الوطنية الضيقة وفق خرائط الأجنبي وإرادته، الذي رسم وتقاسم مناطق النفوذ مع أجنبي آخر، حتى انّ بعض هاتيك الحدود كانت تُرسم بأقلام الرصاص، فهي قابلة للتعديل والإزاحة، وفق المستجدات والتقاسمات وموازين القوى عند الأجنبي المستعمر. بهذه الطريقة رسمت حدود الدويلات في خرائط الاتفاق الانجلو – فرنسي المعروف باتفاق سايكس بيكو الذي رسم حدود الدول السورية، ثم في الحجاز في شمال الجزيرة العربية حيث سُمح لسلطان نجد عبد العزيز بطرد الهاشميين من الحجاز وضمّ الحجاز لما أصبح يُعرف لاحقاً بالمملكة العربية السعودية، وكذلك نصّب الحكام وفق ما تقتضي ضرورات السياسة، فلا يكفي أن يكون الحاكم مدعوماً ومنسجماً مع الأجنبي المستعمر، وإنما يجب أن يبقى على شيء من الضعف وشيء من عدم المشروعية، ليبقى رهينة لمن جاء به.

الهاشميون في الحجاز هم أبناؤها ويملكون شرعية الشرف (بالمعنى الديني) من خلال سدانتهم للحرمين المكي والمدني، فتمّ نقلهم إلى دمشق ثم إلى العراق والأردن، فيما مُنحت الحجاز لعبد العزيز، الذي لا يملك الشرعية الروحية ولا الانتماء للحجاز وأهلها الذين كانوا ينظرون إليه على أنه بدويّ نجديّ جلف، منتمٍ إلى المذهب الوهابي غير الإجماعي. ولطالما تكرّرت هذه التجربة في المغرب العربي، وفي سبعينات القرن الماضي، عندما رسم الانجليز الحدود بين ما كان يسمّى في حينه الإمارات المتصالحة، والتي أصبحت في ما بعد دولة الإمارات العربية المتحدة وقطر والبحرين.

الشاهد الأول في هذا المقال، أنّ هذه الهوية الكيانية – القطرية الضيقة تمّت صناعتها والعمل عليها بمهارة ومكر، لجعلها أوطاناً أزلية، يتعصّب لها مواطنوها، وتمّ تطوير الشعور الانفصالي لديهم، بادّعاءات التفرّد والتمايز عن باقي فئات الوطن، وتوظف لتحقيق ذلك خبراء ولحق بهم أنصاف مثقفين من المرتزقة، لينسجوا لهم عقائد تفتيتية، ولاختراع تاريخ خاص وحضارة وهمية متمايزة مغرقة في القدم، تتفوّق على حضارات باقي الفئات، تصنع لهم هويات تتصادم مع الهوية القومية الجامعة، هذا ما كان مقدّمة لإضعاف التضامن العربي، وجعل كلّ دولة من هذه الدول تعمل لما تظنّه مصلحتها الخاصة، بعيداً عن المصالح المشتركة التي كان عليها الوضع قبل عام 1977، عندما أعلن الرئيس المصري في حينه، عن مبادرته للسلام والتطبيع، ثم ما لبثت هذه الحالة أن تفاقمت في مطلع تسعينيات القرن الماضي عندما أقدم العراق على احتلال الكويت وما لحقه من تداعٍ للنظام العربي، فقبل ذلك كانت فلسطين، مسألة قومية وعربية بامتياز.

أدّى انهيار النظام العربي إلى تداعيات، قادت إلى مؤتمر مدريد للسلام عام 1991، ثم إلى اتفاق اوسلو 1993 بين قيادة منظمة التحرير بصفتها الممثل الشرعي والوحيد للشعب الفلسطيني والحكومة (الإسرائيلية)، وعلى الطريق ذاتها سار الأردن الذي أخذه وغيره من دول العالم العربي هول مفاجأة اتفاق «أوسلو»، التي أعدّت بصمت وسرية وتفرّد وبمعزل عن مسارات التفاوض الأخرى، فكانت اتفاقية «وادي عربة»، وهنا لا يغيب عن الذهن ما فعلته المقاومة اللبنانية، بكلّ أطيافها (لا طوائفها) حين أسقطت اتفاق 17 أيار بين بعض لبنان و»إسرائيل»، فيما لم تستطع ولربما لم ترغب القوى السياسية التي ناوأت السادات في كامب دافيد، أو المعارضة الفلسطينية التي احتجت واعترضت على توقيع قيادة منظمة التحرير على اتفاق «أوسلو»، في السير على طريق المقاومة اللبنانية، وإنما أخذت مواقف ملتبسة فهي ضدّ الاتفاق، ولكنها تقتات منه، لذلك لم تأخذ موقفاً جدياً، ولم تقم بفعل حقيقي، فقد كان شعار القرار الوطني الفلسطيني المستقلّ، ملتزماً به عند معظم فصائل المنظمة، وكان القسم الأكبر والأقوى هو مَن اتخذ القرار ووقع على الاتفاق بصفته المذكورة.

الشاهد الثاني في هذا المقال، أنّ دولة الإمارات العربية، لم تفعل أكثر من السير على الطريق ذاتها التي طرقها من قبل الرئيس المصري أنور السادات وخلفاؤه ورئيس منظمة التحرير ثم السلطة الفلسطينية وخليفته، والعاهل الأردني الراحل والحالي، بناء على ما تقدّم فإنّ خبر إعلان التطبيع الإماراتي (الإسرائيلي) لا يجب أن يمثل مفاجأة غير متوقعة لمن يتابع أو يقرأ الأحداث، وإنما هو نتيجة رياضية لما حصل في السابق، ولن تكون مفاجأة عندما تلحق البحرين وعُمان ويمن عبد ربه منصور هادي والسودان وليبيا الحفترية بالركب.

لا يرى محمد بن زايد أنه قام بعمل من خارج الصندوق، وإنما سار على طريق معبّدة، سبقه في السير عليها من كان أوّلى بأن لا يسير في ذلك الطريق، واستعان محمد بن زايد بما يدعم ذلك بالقول والفعل والإشارة الرمزية، فهو يدّعي انه قام بذلك في سبيل درء الخطر الذي تتخوّف منه قيادة السلطة الفلسطينية وهو مشروع الضمّ الذي أعلنت عنه الحكومة الإسرائيلية، أما شقيقه وزير الخارجية عبد الله بن زايد، فاستعار من القاموس السياسي الفلسطيني مفرداته، كما ورد في حديثه عبر الاتصال الهاتفي المرئي لحفل الإعلان عن قيام نادي الصداقة الإماراتي – الفلسطيني، الذي تزامن الإعلان عن تأسيسه مع وصول الطائرة الإسرائيلية إلى أبو ظبي، تحدث الوزير الإماراتي طويلاً وبشكل مجامل ولطيف، في ما يتعلق بدور ونشاط الجالية الفلسطينية في الإمارات، ثم انتقل ليؤكد موقف الإمارات الداعم لحلّ الدولتين وإقامة دولة فلسطينية على حدود الرابع من حزيران 1967 وعاصمتها القدس الشرقية، وذكّر المستمعين بالدعم التاريخي لدولة الإمارات للقضية الفلسطينية وهو في ذلك لم يخرج عن الموقف الرسمي الفلسطيني، ولكنه ذكّر أيضاً وشدّد على أنّ الإمارات صاحبة قرار إماراتي مستقل وسيادي، أما في مجال الإشارات الرمزية، فإنّ التوقيع الرسمي على الاتفاق سيكون في 13 أيلول المقبل وفي حديقة البيت الأبيض، وفي المكان والتاريخ ذاتهما الذي وقع به الاتفاق الفلسطيني الإسرائيلي، مع فارق 27 عاماً.

مع كلّ ما تقدّم فإني وكثيرون غيري لا يوافقون ولن يوافقوا على أية عملية تطبيع مع الاحتلال، ويدركون خطورة ذلك لا على الشأن الفلسطيني فحسب، وإنما على الإمارات أيضاً، ولنا في تجارب من وقع الدروس الكافية الوافية، فقد تمّ تسويق اتفاق كامب دافيد على أنّ مصر ستقفز لتصبح مثل الدول الأوروبية المتطورة والعصرية، وذلك عندما تحوّل الأرصدة المخصصة للمجهود الحربي، باتجاه مشاريع التنمية، والنتيجة أنّ مصر أصبحت أكثر فقراً، وأكثر ضعفاً، لدرجة أنها لم تعد قادرة على التصدي للتهديدات الاستراتيجية والوجودية، في هضبة الحبشة وسيناء وليبيا، ولم تتحوّل الضفة الغربية إلى سويسرا وغزة إلى سنغافورة، اثر توقيع اتفاق أوسلو، وإنما أصبحت الأراضي الفلسطينية تفتقر إلى أبسط مقوّمات البقاء، ولا يبقيها أو يقيها من الموت إلا المساعدات الخارجية المشروطة، وأموال المقاصة التي تتقاضاها بالنيابة عن السلطة «إسرائيل»، ثم تعيدها للسلطة قدر ما تشاء، وكيف ما تشاء، ووقت ما تشاء.

العلاقات الإماراتية العربية وكذلك الفلسطينية ستعود قريباً إلى سابق عهدها، والتجاذبات الإقليمية هي ما يدفعها نحو التوتر، وثمة فلسطينيون يعيشون في الإمارات ومصر والأردن، لا يجدون مكاناً آخر يذهبون إليه، وانتقاد الخطوة التطبيعية الإماراتية واجب، لكن الإسفاف والتطاول واستعمال ما في الجعبة من شتائم، لن يغيّر من الأمر، وفي النهاية لن يقبض محمد بن زايد من الإسرائيلي إلا الهباء والسراب، والسعيد من اتعظ بغيره، أما الشقي فهو لا يتعظّ إلا بنفسه وعلى حسابه.

سياسي فلسطيني مقيم في جنين – فلسطين المحتلة

Pro-Iranian Forces Attack US Convoys Withdrawing From Largest Base In Iraq

Video

The US military has been facing increasing pressure from local resistance forces and pro-Iranian groups in Iraq.

On August 21, an improvised explosive device (IED) reportedly struck a vehicle of company working with the U.S.-led coalition in Aweerij, south of the capital, Baghdad. The vehicle was destroyed and its driver was killed. Pro-Iranian sources even claimed that the entire supply convoy of the US-led coalition was destroyed, and three Fijian private military contractors working for the U.S. military were killed. These claims have not been confirmed by any visual evidence so far.

On August 22, another IED attack hit a logistical convoy of the US-led coalition near Baghdad. This time the incident happened in Ghazaliya, on a highway leading to the al-Shuala district. The video from the site showed that at least one vehicle was damaged.

On August 23, an IED explosion targeted a convoy of US forces withdrawing from Camp Taji just a few hours after the US military officially handed the military base to Iraqi government forces. The base used to host 2,000 US troops. Most of them are set to be withdrawn in the coming days.

According to local sources, local Shiite resistance groups and Iranian-linked forces were behind these attacks. Iran and its Iraqi allies vowed to expel US forces from Iraq after the assassination of Iranian Quds Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani and Deputy-Commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a US drone strike on January 3, 2020.

On August 20, Iran even unveiled two missiles with named after Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. The missiles were revealed on the occasion of the National Defense Industry Day. The first missile “Martyr Hajj Qassem Soleimani” is ballistic with a range of up to 1,400 km. The second weapon, named “Martyr Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis,” is a cruise missile with a range of up to 1,000 km. Iran claimed that both missiles are capable of penetrating advanced anti-missile systems.

Tehran considers its missile program to be among the cornerstones of the country’s defense capabilities. On January 8, 2020, Iran even publicly conducted a missile strike on US military bases in Iraq retaliating for the assassination of Soleimani and al-Muhandis in Baghdad. The naming of new Iranian missiles after these prominent commanders are likely a demonstration of the Iranian determination to continue its anti-US campaign in the region. Therefore, the pressure on US forces in Iraq will likely further increase in the near future.

USA TO IRAQ: WE WILL WITHDRAW BUT WITHOUT BEING HUMILIATED

Posted on  by Elijah J Magnier

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi is preparing to meet US President Donald Trump at the White House, about issues that are burdening Iraq. The country is struggling with a stifling economic crisis, the Coronavirus pandemic, the US military presence that is no longer desirable, the “unmanageable balance” between Iran and the US, and the omnipresent Turkish military activity and Turkey’s presence on Iraqi soil.

The Al-Kazemi team includes economic experts and diplomats who want to resume the second round of strategic talks that began between the two countries last June. This exchange has been imposed on both sides following the binding decision of the Iraqi parliament to order US forces to withdraw from Iraq, following the assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani, leader of the “Axis of the Resistance” and commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard- alongside the Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis- together with their companions, in January 2020. 

Several groups of unknown affiliation have attacked US bases with Katyusha rockets and mortar shells, deliberately not inflicting fatal injuries. Moreover, Iraqi convoys transporting equipment belonging to the US forces have been intercepted and the contents set on fire- a warning to Iraqi drivers to refrain from providing any services to the US forces, otherwise they too will bear the consequences.

These “so-far unknown” groups shared a common goal: warn US forces that their presence in Iraq will no longer be tolerated unless they withdraw as requested by Parliament. It is to be expected that these groups will escalate, intensifying their attacks so as to put more pressure on both Al-Kazemi’s government and on Washington. Violent confrontation is no longer distant.

Iran has repeatedly indicated its support for Iraq as well as its support for the Iraqis who want to get the US out of Iraq. When Al-Kazemi visited Tehran last month and met with Iranian officials, Sayyed Ali Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, told him: “The US has killed your guest.” Sayyed Khamenei wanted to arouse Arab tribal feelings that sanctify and protect the guest, to remind Iraqi officials that they have done nothing yet to avenge a guest’s murder, and to underscore that if the Iraqis revolt against the killers, this is indeed their right.

Thus, the Iraqi Prime Minister – who is trying to find common ground between the US and Iran – is not mediating with the goal of a meeting between the two countries’ officials, because Iran refuses to engage with the killers of Major General Soleimani, the current US administration. Al-Kazemi would rather try to avoid a military clash in Mesopotamia. However, the chances of him succeeding in his endeavour between Tehran and Washington are weak so long as the Trump administration is in power. The big challenge that Al-Kazemi faces is the illegal Turkish presence in Iraq. For many years, 

The rise of International Axis challenging US power: TV Report

Source

August 20, 2020

Description:

A short segment on Al Mayadeen TV illustrating the most important strategic agreements between states increasingly being targeted by American sanctions.

Source: Al Mayadeen News (YouTube)

Date: 21 July, 2020

(Important Note: Please help us keep producing independent translations for you by contributing as little as $1/month here)

Transcript:

Every time Washington tries to tighten the screws on states by imposing sanctions on them, these states in turn come together and integrate deeper by forming alliances or concluding strategic agreements that open new windows for their economies which are reeling under sanctions.

Among the most important agreements of this nature are those signed between Iran and Iraq, most notable of which are the joint oilfield agreements between the two countries; the establishment of the Tehran-Damascus highway via Iraq; and various trade exchange agreements.

Some of these agreements could transform the balance of power, such as the strategic cooperation agreement between Beijing and Tehran which entails China investing hundreds of billions of dollars (in Iran), making the two countries partners in confronting American pressure.

As for Russia and Iran, they have taken serious steps in the way of strengthening cooperation in various political, economic and military fields, as well as cooperation in foreign affair files. 

On the other hand, Russia and China concluded a bilateral cooperation agreement in 2001, which consolidates the existing strategic partnership between the two countries since the end of the 1990s, in addition to agreements aimed at reinforcing economic relations between the two countries.

Moscow, which stood by Syria since the start of the war on it, concluded an agreement (with Damascus) that was signed by the respective defense ministries in 1994, in addition to several trade agreements, and the signing of an agreement to reconstruct Syrian infrastructure destroyed by war.

جهر بخيانة مكشوفة

«إسرائيل» متمسّكة بخطّة الضم: في انتظار بقيّة العرب

فلسطين 

وليد شرارة 

السبت 15 آب 2020

أَبلغُ رد على اتفاق الخيانة الإماراتي مع إسرائيل برعاية أميركية جاء من المصلين في المسجد الأقصى، الذين رفعوا صورة محمد بن زايد وعليها كلمة خائن. قد تستخف نخب الارتزاق بهذا الموقف، الذي يعبّر عن اقتناعات الاتجاه الرئيسي بين جماهير الأمّة من المحيط إلى الخليج، بل ومن طنجة إلى جاكرتا، إلا أن المهم في مواجهة مثل هذا التطور هو ليس مناقشة حججها الفارغة ومنطقها المتداعي. المهم بالنسبة إلى المعنيين بمستقبل قضية فلسطين والصراع مع الكيان الصهيوني والهيمنة الأميركية وأذنابها المحليين، من مشيخات وممالك اخترعها الاستعمار في قلب جزيرة العرب، هو القراءة الصحيحة لخلفيات هذا الاتفاق والاعتبارات الفعلية لأطرافه، ولتداعياته على المعركة الدائرة بين قوى المقاومة في الأمة وأعدائها. آلة الحرب الإعلامية-الدعائية للجبهة المعادية تروّج للاتفاق باعتباره حدثاً «تاريخياً»، «زلزال جيوسياسي ضرب الشرق الأوسط»، بحسب عنوان المقال الأخير للمبشّر الأميركي الصهيوني توماس فريدمان.

في الواقع، نحن أمام عملية استعراضية، تكثر مثيلاتها في سياق عالمي تحاول فيه الدول الغربية التعويض عن ضمور هيمنتها وتراجع قدرات وكلائها المحليين بتنظيم مهرجانات مشهدية، يتكفل «التطبيل» الإعلامي الذي يرافقها بتقديمها على أنها دليل حسي على استمرار تحكمها في مجرى الأحداث. اتفاق التطبيع الكامل بين دويلة الإمارات واسرائيل نموذج جديد على هذا الفن الاستعراضي، يجهر بطريقة دراماتيكية بخيانة مكشوفة منذ زمن طويل للقاصي والداني من أبناء الأمّة، لكنه يشي في الآن نفسه بمصاعب وتحديات يواجهها جميع الأطراف المشاركين فيه وحاجتهم إلى انتصارات وهمية، تغطي عجزهم عن تغيير موازين القوى، المتحولة لغير مصلحتهم في الميدان.
سعي الجيل الجديد من النخب الحاكمة في الإمارات والسعودية والبحرين وعمان في الانتقال، بعلاقات أنظمتها بإسرائيل، من التقاطع إلى التحالف، السرّي ومن ثم العلني، تعزّزَ بقوة بعد موجة الانتفاضات الشعبية التي شهدتها المنطقة العربية سنة 2011، وما نجم عنها من شعور بالتهديد الوجودي لدى هذه الأنظمة. قبل هذا التاريخ، منذ بداية ستينيات القرن الماضي، تعاونت هذه الأخيرة مع الولايات المتحدة وإسرائيل للتصدي لصعود أي قوة إقليمية مستقلة، مرشحة لأن تتحول قطباً جاذباً لقسم من دوله وشعوبه، ولأن تعدّل موازين القوى فيه باتجاه متناقض مع الهيمنة الأميركية ووكلائها المحليين. الأسباب نفسها دفعت المشيخات والإمارات والممالك الخليجية إلى محاربة مصر الناصرية في الستينيات، والعراق في أواخر الثمانينيات وبداية التسعينيات، وإيران منذ انتصار ثورتها، ولكن بشراسة أكبر منذ بداية الألفية الثانية. قيام هذه الانظمة وبقاؤها ارتبطا بالهيمنة الغربية والأميركية، وهي لم تتورع عن الاندراج في مخططاتها، جنباً إلى جنب مع إسرائيل، لمواجهة أي مشروع استقلالي ذي أفق إقليمي، عربياً كان أو إسلامياً. هذا سرّ عدائها اليوم لإيران وحتى لتركيا إردوغان. لكن مشهد هروب الرئيس التونسي بن علي وسقوط نظيره مبارك وانتشار موجة الانتفاضات الشعبية في طول المنطقة وعرضها في ظل تخبط أميركي وغربي، وعجز عن دعم «الحلفاء» هو الذي أصابها بالذعر. في هذه اللحظة المفصلية بالذات تفتقت عبقرية الجيل الجديد من حكامها عن خيار «ورقة الأمان الإسرائيلية».

الفرضية الرئيسية التي تأسّس عليها هذا الخيار هي أن إسرائيل تمتلك في الولايات المتحدة منظومة مؤيدة


الفرضية الرئيسية التي تأسس عليها هذا الخيار هي أن إسرائيل تمتلك في الولايات المتحدة منظومة مؤيدة لها، وليس مجرد لوبي، وأن قدرتها على التأثير على سياستها الشرق أوسطية هائلة بكل ما للكلمة من معنى. إضافة إلى ذلك، فإن هذا الجيل الجديد مقتنع بأن إيران وحلفاءها في الدرجة الأولى، تليها في الدرجة الثانية تركيا وحلفاؤها، هم أعداء وجوديون مشتركون لهم ولإسرائيل. أخيراً، فإن هذا الجيل المعولم الذي ينظر إلى روابط العروبة والدين على أنها من مخلفات ماض بائد يرى في الشراكة مع إسرائيل، القوة العسكرية والاقتصادية والتكنولوجية، فرصة لتعظيم قدرات نظمه. عمل هؤلاء على توثيق أواصر الصلة مع الكيان الصهيوني ونخبه لتأكيد أنهم «كنز استراتيجي» لإسرائيل، كما وصف الوزير الصهيوني الأسبق بنيامين بن اليعازر الرئيس المصري المخلوع حسني مبارك بعد أيام من سقوطه. ومن الواضح أنهم نجحوا في هذا الأمر. وحتى دونالد ترامب اعترف لهم بهذا «الجميل» عندما رد على منتقديه على دعمه لمحمد بن سلمانـ بعد فضيحة قتل الصحافي جمال خاشقجي، مذكّراً بدور الأوّل في الوقوف إلى جانب إسرائيل ضد الذين يريدون إزالتها.

التحالف الأميركي-الإسرائيلي-الإماراتي-السعودي لم يعد سراً بالنسبة إلى أحد، لكن الحرص على تظهيره، مع الإمارات بداية، يرتبط بحسابات سياسية داخلية لدى أطرافه الثلاثة، وبرغبتهم في تسجيل نجاح وهمي ضد محور المقاومة عبر الاحتفال بتحقيق مثل هذا «الاختراق»، بينما هم فشلوا في المعركة المركزية معه، المتمحورة حول مراكمته وتطويره لقدرات عسكرية وصاروخية تسهم في تغيير تدريجي ولكن متواصل لموازين القوى في المنطقة لغير مصلحتهم.

ترامب، الذي يرى فرص إعادة انتخابه تذوي، والعاجز عن القيام بأي إنجاز داخلي يحول دون ذلك، يبحث بدلاً منها عن إنجازات خارجية لعلها تساعد في وقف انحدار شعبيته المتسارع. نتنياهو، المتهم بالفساد، والذي يواجه احتجاجات لم يسبق أن واجه رئيس وزراء صهيوني مثيلاً لها منذ إنشاء الكيان، إلى درجة دفعت البعض إلى الحديث عن احتمالات حرب أهلية، يأمل أن يخفف من حدتها عبر إبراز نجاح ما في الخارج. الإمارات امتثلت لطلبات الراعي الأميركي والحليف الإسرائيلي، لكنها بدورها متورطة في نزاع مفتوح مع تركيا وحلفائها، وليبيا أبرز ساحاته حالياً، وهي طرف في المحور المعادي لإيران على رغم محاولاتها لتطبيع خجول معها صدّته الولايات المتحدة. هي تنصاع للطلبات الأميركية والإسرائيلية في مقابل حمايتها من خصومها الأقوياء. أطراف مأزومون، لم يتمكنوا من الانتصار في معركة الصواريخ المركزية ضد محور المقاومة، يحتفون بالجهر بما كان معلوماً. أما محمد بن زايد، فعليه التوقف والتفكير ملياً في ما قد يترتب على تصنيفه خائناً في باحات الأقصى، في القدس، عاصمة الأمّة.

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RAIN OF ROCKETS HITS US FORCES IN IRAQ. ISRAELI-UAE PEACE DEAL CRUMBLES DAYS AFTER ITS ANNOUNCEMENT

South Front

As it was expected, the ‘historic’ UAE-Israeli peace deal did not contribute to the stability in the Middle East. Instead, the situation has been slowly, but steadily moving towards a larger confrontation in the region.

Immediately after the announcement of the US-sponsored peace deal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that his country is not going to fulfill one of its key provisions – the suspension of the annexation of West Bank territories. The prime minister emphasized that the annexation plan was just delayed, but not suspended.

“There is no change to my plan to extend sovereignty, our sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, in full coordination with the United States,” Netanyahu said adding that “Israel will have comprehensive peace agreements with other Arab countries without returning to the 1967 borders.”

This unfortunate, but expected statement goes fully in the framework of the Israeli regional policy and contradicts position of the US-sponsored deal reached with the UAE. In particular, Crown Prince Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed emphasized that “it was agreed to stop Israel’s annexation of the Palestinian lands.”

The Israeli actions strengthened the already existing controversy over the deal and on August 15-16, the situation escalated in the Gaza Strip. According to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), Palestinian protesters with explosives tried to approach the security fence and then Palestinian forces launched at least 2 rockets at southern Israel. In its own turn, IDF aircraft conducted a series of airstrikes on what Tel Aviv described as Hamas targets.

If the Israeli leadership keeps its course on the annexation of the West Bank areas, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will expectedly escalate, and even possibly expand further. For example, in this scenario, an escalation could be expected in the area of the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights and on the Lebanese-Israeli contact line.

On August 14, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah already declared that the movement “will not remain silent on the crime of the bombing the Port of Beirut if it is proven that Israel is behind it.” According to Nasrallah, Hezbollah would wait for results of an investigation into the Beirut port explosion and if it turns out to be an act of sabotage by Israel then it would “pay an equal price”.

The August 4 blast in the port of Beirut is still surrounded by mystery and uncertainties, and many sources, including the top US leadership, still consider the possibility that the tragedy was caused by some kind of ‘attack’. In this event, the main suspect is Israel, which has always been interested in the destabilization of neighboring Arab states to secure own dominance in the region.

Tensions are also growing between the United States and Iran. On August 14, the Department of Justice announced that US forces have seized some 1.116m barrels of Iranian fuel aboard 4 ships headed for Venezuela. The seizure came amid increasing attacks on US forces and facilities from pro-Iranian and anti-US armed groups in Iraq.

On the evening of August 16, a rocket targeted the Green Zone of Iraq’s capital Baghdad, which houses government buildings and foreign missions. The strike led to no casualties. Just a few hours earlier, the pro-Iranian armed group Ashab al-Kahf released a video showing an improvised explosive device attack on a US equipment convoy in the Anbar area. The group claimed that the convoy was fully destroyed. On August 15, two rockets targeted the biggest US military base in Iraq – Camp Taji. The base is located north of Baghdad. On the same day, a convoy carrying logistical supplies for the U.S.-led coalition was targeted on the highway between Dhi Qar and Basrah in southern Iraq. The attack was conducted by another pro-Iranian group, Usbat al-Tha’ireen. Pro-US sources denied any casualties as a result of the attack. These were just the most recent in about two dozen various attacks on US-affiliated targets in Iraq during the past few weeks.

If the US and Iran continue the current confrontational course, it is expected that the number and intensity of attacks in Iraq will increase boosting the chances of an open confrontation between the US and Iranian-led forces.

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