Medical neglect kills prisoner Saadia Matar in Israeli ‘Damon’ prison

July 03, 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

Local sources announce the martyrdom of female Palestinian prisoner Saadia Matar in the Israeli “Damon” prison due to medical neglect.

Palestinian prisoner Saadia Matar

Local sources on Saturday announced that the female Palestinian prisoner Saadia Matar died in the Israeli “Damon” prison.

Sources reported that the administration of the occupation prisons informed prisoners that Matar died on Saturday morning.

Matar was 68 years old and from Al-Khalil.

On its part, Muhjat Al-Quds Foundation reported that, with Matar’s death, the number of Palestinians who were martyred while in Israeli captivity rises to 230.

Read more: The Policy of Neglect; Behind the Walls of the Occupation Prisons

The Foundation’s PR Director confirmed in an interview for Al-Mayadeen that the captive Saadia Matar was martyred as a result of illness and medical negligence.

It is noteworthy that Matar was arrested by the occupation forces in 2021 after a settler beat her as she was crossing the street near Al-Ibrahimi Mosque, claiming that she tried to stab him.

In this context, the Prisoners Information Office said the martyred captive, Saadia Matar, was brutally assaulted and severely beaten during her arrest, which deteriorated her health condition, further exacerbated by medical neglect.

Following her death, Muhjat Al-Quds Foundation reported tension growing in different sections of prisons with prisoners shouting and knocking on doors in protest. 

The Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies warned, in a detailed statement, that the lives of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons are in real danger, especially under the Israeli policy of deliberate medical negligence.

The center warned that dozens of Palestinian prisoners may die inside the Israeli prisons if they are not provided with the necessary medical care. 

Director of the Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies, researcher Riyad Al-Ashqar, stated that 160 Palestinian prisoners, who suffer from chronic diseases, face “slow death” due to medical negligence by Israeli prison authorities.

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لغة التسوية ولغة المواجهة والتخوين

السبت 2 تموز 2022

التعليق السياسي

عندما تستمع لفريق لبنانيّ قرّر منذ سنتين رفض لغة التسوية في الداخل اللبناني ولا يزال يعتبر أن اللغة الوحيدة التي يقبل بها هي لغة المواجهة، تتوقع أن يكون هذا الفريق أشدّ عناداً وثباتاً وتمسكاً بلغة المواجهة نفسها عندما يتصل الأمر بخلاف مع الخارج، خصوصاً عندما يصرّح هذا الخارج بأنه يحاصر لبنان ويتحمّل مسؤولية منع تزويد لبنان بالكهرباء من الأردن والغاز من مصر، كما هو حال الأميركي، فكيف عندما يكون الخلاف مع خارج آخر هو مَن يرفض هذا الفريق التشكيك باعتباره له عدواً، ويصف كل تشكيك بالتخوين، ورغم إصراره على أنه عدو يختار طريق التسوية لحل الخلاف معه، ورفض لغة المواجهة، واعتبارها تخريباً على المصلحة اللبنانية، كما هو الحال في قضية حقوق لبنان في النفط والغاز.

هذا السلوك يدل فكرياً على انفصام يعيشه أصحابه في منهج التفكير، ويدلّ على ضياع معيار الهوية الوطنيّة لديه، لكن الأخطر هو أن هذا التباين بين اختيار اللغتين، لغة المواجهة ولغة التسوية، نحو الداخل ونحو الخارج المعتدي على الحقوق، ينسجم مع ما يريده هذا الخارج نفسه في منع أي إجماع وطني لبناني حول حقوق لبنان، ومنع تشكل وحدة لبنانيّة تضغط على هذا الخارج الأميركي والإسرائيلي وتلوّح بلغة المواجهة، من موقع اعتماد لغة التسوية داخلياً لحل الخلافات أو إدارتها. فيصير هذا الفريق مجرد امتداد لموقف الخارج الذي يريد انقساماً لبنانياً بدل الوحدة، وتصعيداً وتوتراً بين اللبنانيين بدل السلام الداخلي، وتكريس الانقسام والتوتر لفرض التنازلات عن الحقوق بالاستناد إليهما. وهذا معنى تسويق لغة التسوية مع الخارج المعتدي على الحقوق كجزء من التبعية للخطاب الأجنبيّ.

التدقيق قليلاً في مواضيع الخلاف الداخلي التي ترفض حولها لغة التسوية، ويجري الإصرار على اعتماد لغة المواجهة بصددها، يكشف ما هو أخطر، فالقضايا الخلافيّة تنحصر بالموقف من المقاومة وسلاحها، وهي بالتحديد القضيّة التي يكرّس الخارج المعتدي على الحقوق كل جهده لمواجهتها. والأنكى أن أصحاب هذه المواقف ينزعجون عندما يقال لهم إنهم مجرد أبواق لهذا الخارج، ويرفعون أصواتهم برفض التخوين.

اللبنانيون يفاوضون الإسرائيلي على ترسيم الحدود بوساطة أميركية، بينما الأميركي هو نفسه الذي يحتجز كهرباء لبنان رهينة لمقايضتها بشروطه للترسيم، ورغم ذلك بين اللبنانيين من يملك وقاحة القول إنه يرفض تفاوض اللبنانيين فيما بينهم، سواء على تشكيل حكومة، أو على إدارة أزماتهم، أو حتى حول قضايا الخلاف بينهم.

الأنكى أن هناك مَن يملأون الشاشات ويطلق عليهم أسماء خبراء ومحللين ومثقفين يروّجون لهذه اللغة العمياء الصماء الـ بلا روح وبلا أخلاق، في بلد ينهار!

Palestinian, Lebanese resistance factions commemorate PRC founder

1 Jul 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Al Mayadeen English 

The Palestinian and Lebanese resistance factions commemorate the martyrdom of the founder of the Popular Resistance Committees and its military wing, Al-Nasser Saladin Brigades, Jamal Abu Samhadana.

From the commemoration of Palestinian martyr Jamal Abu Samhadana on July 1, 2022

The Lebanese and Palestinian resistance factions commemorated Friday the martyrdom of Secretary-General Jamal Abu Samhadana, the founder of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), and its military wing, Al-Nasser Saladin Brigades. The commemoration was attended by representatives of various Lebanese and Palestinian resistance factions such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

Work must continue until ‘Israel’ despairs: Hezbollah

Settlements and agreements have not brought back one inch of land, while the resistance liberated land in Gaza and Lebanon, Hezbollah Deputy Secretary-General Naim Qassem said during the commemoration.

“We must continue working until Israel despairs trying to draw up its borders, and those who have resistance have the present and the future. The resistance must develop its capabilities beyond any limits,” he underlined.

“The war against Israel will not end until it ceases to exist, and the resistance everywhere is unified in confronting [the Israeli occupation],” the Hezbollah official added.

Samhadana broke partisanship: Hamas

Martyr Samhadana was one of the heroic leaders of resistance on Palestinian soil, said Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh. “[He was one of the] turning points in the path of the Intifada, jihad, giving, and sacrificing in the sake of God, then the sake of Palestine and the sake of liberating Al-Aqsa and Al-Quds from the occupying invaders.”

“We are before a Palestinian icon who sacrificed himself, his possession, and his family for the [Palestinian flag] to fly high and to protect the dignity of Palestine and the Palestinian people,” Haniyeh added.

“The martyr broke the barriers of partisanship and the factions. Through his home, he was able to provide protection and shelter for Hamas and Ezzedine Qassam leaders, such as martyr Yahya Ayyash, brotherly leader Mohammad Deif, and jihadist leader Mohammad Al-Sinwar in the nineties, when they were in the iron sights of those close to them and their enemies,” he stressed, praising Samhadana’s role in the Palestinian struggle.

Martyrs, resistance fighters are able to stop collapse: PIJ

“The martyrs and those bearing arms are capable of putting an end to the collapse and bringing back balance to the Ummah,” PIJ leader Ziad Al-Nakhalah said. “They want the future of our region to be an alliance like NATO that extends from North Africa to the Gulf.”

“The martyrs are reshaping life with greater strength and determination than ever. We would not have a dignified life without the martyrs. The Zionist arrogance and corruption fill up our sky, air, and life, and the martyrs go from our ranks to bring an end to the humiliation and create a new world that is void of treacherous people,” Al-Nakhalah explained.

“The martyred founder of the Popular Resistance Committees, great leader Jamal Abu Samhadana, came out to tell all of those who were in the enemy’s corner that this was not their way, and the Palestinian people would not give up their rights and the history of Palestine in exchange for false promises, empty illusions, and agreements that gave the enemy our dreams and our children’s futures,” he said.

The resistance leader praised and thanked the Jenin Battalion and all of the factions that carry out resistance operations against the occupation in the Jenin refugee camp, Nablus, the West Bank, and the occupied territories. He also hailed the martyrs whom the Israeli occupation murdered.

“These are the days of Palestinian resistance that span Gaza and its heroic resistance fighters and the West Bank and Al-Quds. From leader Abu Samhadana in Gaza to leader Jamil Al-Amouri in Jenin. It is the tree of Jihad. It has firm roots, and its branches are in the sky.

PA must end security coordination: PRC

The Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) still adhere to its principles, PRC Secretary-General Ayman Al-Shishniyeh said, explaining that the principles entailed “confronting the occupation and rejecting any regional alliance that includes the Zionist enemy.”

Al-Shishniyeh then warned the Israeli occupation against its aggressive acts toward Palestinian prisoners and called on the Palestinian authority to “stop [its] security coordination [with ‘Israel’] and stop betting on the failing US administration.”

At the same time as the commemoration in Lebanon, there was a memorial service in the Gaza Strip that saw several resistance factions and mass crowds participating to commemorate the martyrdom of Samhadana.

Israeli mercenary fighting for Ukraine taken captive by LPR

1 Jul, 2022

Source: Israeli ,media

By Al Mayadeen English 

“Israel’s” Foreign Ministry confirms that an Israeli mercenary fighting alongside Ukrainian forces was captured by LPR forces.

Israeli mercenary Vladimir Kozlovsky displaying his Israeli ID card, June 30, 2022 (Telegram)

An Israeli mercenary fighting for the Ukrainian armed forces was captured during fighting by LPR forces.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry confirmed on Thursday that it was aware of the case after videos surfaced on social media showing the captured Israeli, Vladimir Kozlovsky, showing his Israeli ID card.

Identification card of the Israeli mercenary captured by the Lugansk forces

In the video, the Israeli identified himself as a signal operator in Ukraine’s intelligence forces. He also said that he was recruited into the Ukrainian military by border officials who he claimed would not let him leave.

Earlier in April, a footage also surfaced showing several Israelis fighting alongside Ukrainian forces and thanking “Israel” for its assistance. The videos, which went viral, showed the men dressed in Ukrainian military uniforms in an unspecified forested area.

“We want to give thanks to the people of ‘Israel’ and the government of ‘Israel’ for the help they give us. We are here fighting against the Russians in this very difficult war,” said one fighter.

“I want to say thank you to the whole Jewish people who are helping us — we are here for you, for the whole nation,” said another man. “We are here for all those whose lives are in danger. We are fighting for you, doing good work.”

المقاومة وحقول الغاز آذان صماء

 السبت 2 تموز 2022

 ناصر قنديل

يخطئ الكثيرون الذين يعتقدون أن المقاومة منشغلة بمتابعة ما يُسرّب وما يدقق وما يتحقق على مستوى المسار التفاوضيّ، وأنها تتابعه عن كثب وتنتظر نتائجه، وستبني على درجة اقتراب النتائج مما تتوخاه، خطواتها، ولذلك فإن تقدير خطوات المقاومة وسلوكها يمكن أن يبدأ من استشراف اتجاهات المسار التفاوضي؛ فإذا صح الكلام المسرب عن رد إسرائيلي سلبي استنفرت المقاومة، وإذا صحت المعلومات عن ايجابية ترافق المسار التفاوضي أرخت المقاومة سلاحها، والذين يعرفون المقاومة عن كثب يعرفون أن الأمور لا تسير أبداً بهذه الطريقة. فقيادة المقاومة تتابع طبعاً كل ما يثار حول المسار التفاوضي، وتدقق بكل ما يصل من معلومات رسمية أو شبه رسمية أو مسرّبة، كحالها مع متابعة كل ما يتصل بشؤون لبنان من جهة، ومن شؤون الكيان من جهة مقابلة، فكيف عندما يتصل الأمر بالجهتين؟

ما تجب معرفته هو أن هذه المتابعة التقليدية الطبيعية عالية المستوى، فهي أشد دقة وجدية من متابعة أية جهة رسمية أو أمنية أو حزبية، لاعتبارين، الأول أن لدى المقاومة ما يتيح إدماجها بمصادر المقاومة من داخل الكيان ومتابعته لما يجري ويُسرّب ويناقش حتى داخل أروقة وكواليس صنع القرار فيه، والثاني أن المقاومة نجحت بالتحوّل إلى مؤسسة أكثر مما نجحت مؤسسات الدولة بذلك، ولأن الأمر يتصل بالصراع مع كيان الاحتلال ويدخل في صلب مسؤوليات المقاومة، فهو يخضع لمتابعة النواة الأشد صلابة وتماسكاً ومأسسة في هياكل عمل المقاومة، حيث عقول متفرّغة للبحث والتحليل وإصدار التقديرات والتحليلات، وهناك أرشيف منظم وآليات عمل وخرائط ومرجعيّات بحث شديدة التطور، ما يجعل المتابعة التي تجريها المقاومة ومنظومة التتبع والملاحقة التي تعتمدها مصدراً تبنى عليه التقديرات عند الحاجة بالنسبة لصنّاع القرار في الدولة، لكن هذا شيء، واعتبار أداء وعمل المقاومة على صلة بهذا التتبع شيئاً آخر.

قد يظنّ البعض أن التسريبات رسمية او شبه رسمية كالذي نقل عن السفيرة الأميركية في لقاءاتها الرئاسيّة عن لسان الوسيط الأميركي من إيجابيات، او كانت تسريبات إعلامية، كالذي نشر عن رفض إسرائيلي كامل للمطالب اللبنانية وإرفاق ذلك بالتهديدات، يمكن أن تؤثر على تعامل المقاومة مع ملف ما تسمّيه بالشريط الحدودي البحري، بالاستنفار على وقع الخبر السلبي، والاسترخاء على وقع الخبر الإيجابي، فهو بالتأكيد لا يعرف المقاومة. يهم المقاومة أن تعرف كل شيء، وأن تعرف أكثر عن كل شيء، خصوصاً عندما يتصل الأمر بصلب مسؤوليتها واهتماماتها، لكن المقاومة تتعامل بطريقة مختلفة، فهي منذ أن أعلن الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله حاصل الدرس والتدقيق لملف الشريط البحري المحتل، ورسم الموقف بمعادلتي، وقف الاستخراج والتحرير، مكلفاً المقاومة بوضع هذا الهدف على جدول أعمالها، انطلقت المقاومة لبناء معادلات ميدانية وترتيب هياكل تنفيذيّة لهذين القرارين، بانتظار تبلور فرضيّة استهداف متاح محقق يطلب الإذن بالتنفيذ، أو صدور القرار ببدء الاستهداف، أو تبلغ قيادة المقاومة العملياتيّة قراراً استراتيجياً آخر يلغي قرار منع الاستخراج والتحرير، وحتى تبلّغ أي من هذه القرارات، فللمقاومة أذن صماء تجاه كل ما يدور في السياسة والإعلام، خارج إطار السعي لمراكمة المعرفة، وتوفير شروط التتبع.

ما يعرفه الاحتلال وداعمو الاحتلال، وما يجب أن يعرفه أهل المقاومة وكل مَن يؤيدها، أنه لو بدأ الاحتلال بتركيب أنابيب الاستخراج لكانت المقاومة أول مَن يعلم، ولفعلت اللازم فوراً، وأنه لو توضعت وتحرّكت سفينة الاستخراج شمالا أو دخلت سواها لأغراض الاستخراج، فإن المقاومة أول من سيعلم، وأول من سيتصرف، فعلاً مباشراً أو تحذيراً معلناً، وفي هذه المرحلة والمقاومة بأعلى جهوزيتها، وبقدرات استثنائيّة يعرف العدو بعضها، بما يوازي ما تمتلكه أحدث جيوش العالم، مضافاً اليه روح الاستشهاد وخبرة أبناء العماد، وهي قادرة بما لديها وبما تعرف، على تنفيذ المهمة، واليد على الزناد.

الاحتلال مردوع ويكثر الكلام، والمقاومة تفرض معادلاتها ولا تحتاج إلى الكلام، وواثقة بأن ما طرحه الرؤساء هو آخر الكلام

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With Fear and Concerns, ‘Israel’ Anticipating the Action of the Axis of Resistance

July 2, 2022

By Staff

‘Israeli’ journalist Amir Bohbot said in a report published by Walla! news that high-level intelligence figures in the Zionist establishment have been warning in the past week that the enemies of ‘Israel’ will take advantage of what is going on in different arenas to start provoking the situation along the border, including the military operations “they refrained from carrying out until the moment.”

The estimation was based on the ongoing political tension within the Zionist entity and the normal sensitivity of the issue of the ‘Israeli’ regime’s transitional government.

The ‘Israeli’ intelligence estimations also mentioned that Hezbollah might flare up the situation along the border amid the confrontation regarding the maritime borders and the attacks attributed to the ‘Israeli’ Air Force against weapons shipments in Syria, according to Bohbot.

The ‘Israeli’ military correspondent further stated that “in certain scenarios, Hamas might unleash the Islamic Jihad’s desire to perform military operations against the Zionist regime. More than any other side, Bohbot says, the Iranians are also looking for a reprisal for the assassinations of the high-level Iranian figures that were attributed to the ‘Israeli’ Mossad.

The Tel Aviv regime’s intelligence establishment estimated that the enemies of ‘Israel’ believe that the transitional government might dare to start a direct confrontation or fighting days in response to a tension along the border of a ‘terrorist’ attach inside the occupied territories. Hence, ‘Israeli’ security sources suggested in close conversations that the ‘Israeli’ occupation military is preparing for every possible scenario.

Bohbot also said that the ‘Israeli’ military chief of staff’s warnings about developing the ‘Israeli’ army’s capabilities in the past years, especially on the northern front, are based on field information. Nevertheless, according to Zionist security estimations, it is highly likely that ahead of US President Joe Biden’s visit to the ‘Israeli’-occupied territories, Lebanon and the ‘Israeli’ entity might reach a US-mediated agreement on the maritime border line within two weeks.

Michael Hudson interviewed by Ben Norton (Multipolarista) Update with transcript

June 30, 2022

Economist Michael Hudson on inflation and Fed plan to cut wages: A depression is coming

Transcript:

BENJAMIN NORTON:

Hey, everyone, this is Ben Norton, and you are watching or listening to the Multipolarista podcast. I am always privileged to be joined by one of my favorite guests, Michael Hudson, one of the greatest economists living today.

We’re going to be talking about the inflation crisis. This is a crisis around the world, but especially in the United States, where inflation has been at over 8%. And it has caused a lot of political problems. It’s very likely going to cause the defeat, among other factors, of the Democrats in the mid-term elections in November.

And we’ve seen that the response of the US government and top economists in the United States is basically to blame inflation on wages, on low levels of unemployment and on working people.

We’ve seen that the chair of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, has said that inflation is being caused by wages supposedly being too high. We’ve also seen that the top economist and former Clinton administration official Larry Summers has claimed that the solution to inflation is increasing unemployment, potentially up to 10%.

So today I’m joined by economist Michael Hudson, who has been calling out this kind of neoliberal snake oil economics for many years. And Professor Hudson has an article he just published that we’re going to talk about today. You can find this at his website, which is michael-hudson.com. It’s titled “The Fed’s Austerity Program to Reduce Wages.” and I’m going to let Professor Hudson summarize the main points of his article.

Professor Hudson, as always, it’s a pleasure having you. Can you respond to the decision by the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates by 0.75%? It doesn’t sound like a lot – it’s less than 1% – but this was the largest rate hike since 1994.

And now we’ve already seen reports that there’s going to be a depression. The Fed chair is blaming this on wages. Can you respond to the position of the Fed and the inflation crisis in the US right now.

MICHAEL HUDSON:

For the Fed, the only two things that it can do is, number one, raise the discount rate, the interest rate; and number two, spend $9 trillion buying stocks, and bonds, and real estate mortgages to increase real estate prices, and to increase the amount of wealth that the wealthiest 10% of the population has.

To the wealthiest 10%, especially the 1%, it’s not only inflation that’s a problem of wages; every problem that America has is the problem of the working class earning too much money. And if you’re an employer, that’s the problem: you want to increase your profits. And if you look at the short term, your profits go up the more that you can squeeze labor down. And the way to squeeze labor down is to increase what Marx called the reserve army of the unemployed.

You need unemployment in order to prevent labor from getting most of the value of what it produces, so that the employers can get the value, and pay that to the banks and the financial managers that have taken over corporate industry in the United States.

You mentioned that while the Fed blames the inflation it on labor, that’s not President Biden’s view; Biden keeps calling it the Putin inflation. And of course, what he really means is that the sanctions that America has placed on Russia have created a shortage of oil, gas, energy, and food exports.

So really we’re in the Biden inflation. And the Biden inflation that America is experiencing is the result basically of America’s military policy, its foreign policy, and above all, the Democratic Party’s support of the oil industry, which is the most powerful sector in the United States and which is guiding most of the sanctions against Russia; and the national security state that bases America’s power on its ability to export oil, or control the oil trade of all the countries, and to export agricultural products.

So what we’re in the middle of right now isn’t simply a domestic issue of wage earners wanting higher salaries – which they’re not particularly getting; certainly the minimum wage has not been increased – but you have to put this in the context of the whole cold war that’s going on.

The whole US and NATO confrontation of Russia has been a godsend, as you and I have spoken before, for the oil industry and the farm exporters.

And the result is that the US dollar is rising against the euro, against sterling, and against Global South currencies. Well, in principle a rising dollar should make the price of imports low. So something else is at work.

And what’s at work, of course, is the fact that the oil industry is a monopoly, that most of the prices that have been going up are basically the result of a monopolization, in the case of food, by the marketing firms, like Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland, that buy most of the crops from the farmers.

The irony is that while food prices, next to oil prices, are the major factor that is soaring, farmers are getting less and less for their crops. And yet farmers’ costs are going up – up for fertilizer, up for energy, up for other inputs – so that you’re having enormous profits for Archer Daniels Midland and the food monopolies, of the distributors, and enormous, enormous gains for the oil industry, and also of course for the military-industrial complex.

So if you look at what’s happening in the overall world economic system, you can see that this inflation is being engineered. And the beneficiaries of this inflation certainly have not been the wage earners, by any stretch of the imagination.

But the crisis that the Biden policy has created is being blamed on the wage earners instead of on the Biden administration’s foreign policy and the basically the US-NATO war to isolate Russia, China, India, Iran, and Eurasia generally.

BENJAMIN NORTON:

Professor Hudson, I want to talk about the increase in interest rates by the Fed. There has been a lot of attention to this, although, again, it’s 0.75%, which is not that big. But it’s of course going to have an outsize impact on the economy.

In your article, again, this is your column at michael-hudson.com, “The Fed’s Austerity Program to Reduce Wages,” you talk about the Fed’s “junk economics,” and you say that the idea behind raising interest rates by 0.75% is that:

raising interest rates will cure inflation by deterring borrowing to spend on the basic needs that make up the Consumer Price Index and its related GDP deflator. But banks do not finance much consumption, except for credit card debt, which is now less than student loans and automobile loans. Banks lend almost entirely to buy real estate, stocks and bonds, not goods and services.

So you argue that one of the effects of this is that it’s actually going to roll back homeownership in the United States. You note that the rate of homeownership has been falling since 2008.

So can you expand on those arguments? What will be the impact of the increase of the interest rates by the Fed?

MICHAEL HUDSON:

Well, in order to get an economics degree which is needed to work at the Fed or at the Council of Economic Advisors, you have to take economics courses in the universities, and all of the textbooks say just what you quoted me as saying they say.

The pretense is that banks actually play a productive role in society, by providing the money for factories to buy machinery, and build plants, and do research and development, and to hire labor; and that somehow the money that banks create is all lent out for industrial economy, and that that will enable companies to make more money that they’ll spend on labor; and of course, as they spend more money on labor, that supports to bid prices up as the reserve army of the unemployed is depleted.

But that’s all a fiction. The textbooks don’t want to say that banks don’t play a productive role like that at all. And the corporations don’t do what the textbooks say.

If you look at the Federal Reserve balance sheet and statistics that it publishes every month, you’ll see that 80% of bank loans in the United States are mortgage loans to commercial real estate and mostly for home real estate. And of course the home mortgage loans have been nothing, like under 1% for the last 14 years, since 2008.

Only the banks and the large borrowers, the financial sector, have been able to borrow at these low rates. Homeowners all along have had to pay very high rates, just under 4%, and now it’s going above 4%, heading to 5%.

Well, here is the situation that the Federal Reserve has created. Suppose that you’re a family right now going out to buy a home, and you find out that in order to borrow the money to buy the home – because if the average home in America costs $600,000 or $700,000, people haven’t saved that much; the only way you can buy a home is to take out a mortgage.

Well, you have a choice: you can either rent a home, or you can borrow the money to buy a home. And traditionally, for a century, the carrying charge for financing a home with the mortgage has been about the equivalent of paying a rent. The advantage is, of course, that you get to own the home when it’s over.

Well, now let’s look at what’s happening right now. All of a sudden, the carrying charge of mortgages have gone way, way up. The banks are making an enormous gap. They can borrow at just around 1%, and they lend out at 4.5%. They get a windfall gain of the markup they have in mortgages, lending to prospective homeowners.

And of course, the homeowners don’t have enough money to be able to pay the higher interest charged on the mortgages that they take out. So they are not able to buy as expensive a home as they wanted before.

But they’ve been a declining part of the population. At the time Obama took office, over 68% of Americans owned their own home. Obama started the great wave of evictions, of 10 million Americans who lived in homes, essentially to throw them out of their homes, especially the victims of the junk mortgages, especially the lower income and racial minorities who were redlined and had to become the main victims of the mortgages.

America’s homeownership rate is now under 61%. What has happened? You’ve had huge private capital firms come into the market thinking, wait a minute, we can now buy these properties and rent them out. And we can buy them for all cash, unlike homeowners, we’re multibillionaires, we Blackstone, BlackRock.

You have these multibillion-dollar funds, and they say, well, we can’t make much money buying bonds or buying stocks that yield what they do today, now that the Federal Reserve has ground down interest rates. What we can do is make money as landlords.

And so they’ve shifted, they’ve reversed the whole shift away from the 19th-century landlordism to an economy based on financialization, and the wealthy classes making money on finance, to go back to making money as landlords.

And so they are buying up these homes that American homeowners can’t afford to buy. Because when you raise the mortgage rate, that doesn’t affect a billionaire at all. Because the billionaire firm doesn’t have to borrow money to buy the home. They have the billion dollars of their own money, of pension fund money, of speculative money, of the money of the 1% and the 10% to spend.

So what you’re having by increasing the interest rates is squeezing homeowners out of the market and turning the American economy into a landlord-ridden rental economy, instead of a homeowners economy. That’s the effect.

And it’s a windfall for the private capital firms that are now seeing that are making money as landlords, the old fashioned way, it worked for 800 years under feudalism. It’s coming back in style.

BENJAMIN NORTON:

Professor Hudson, you point out in this article at your website that more than 50% of the value of U.S. real estate already is held by mortgage bankers. And of course, that percentage is increasing and increasing.

Now, you, Professor Hudson, have argued a point that I haven’t seen many other people make, although it’s an obvious, correct point, which is that there has actually been a lot of inflation in the United States in the past several years, but that inflation was in the FIRE sector: finance, insurance, and real estate.

We see that with the constant increase in real estate prices; they go up every single year; rent goes up every single year. The difference now is that there’s also a significant increase in the Consumer Price Index.

And there is an interesting study published by the Economic Policy Institute, which is, you know, a center-left think tank, affiliated with the labor movement; they’re not radicals, they’re progressives. And they did a very good study.

And they found – this was published this April – they found that corporate profits are responsible for around 54% of the increase of prices in the non-financial corporate sector, as opposed to unit labor costs only being responsible for around an 8% increase.

So they showed, scientifically, that over half of the increase of prices in the non-financial corporate sector, that is in the Consumer Price Index, over half of that inflation is because of corporate profits.

Of course, that’s not the way it’s discussed in mainstream media. That’s not the way the Fed is discussing it all. We see Larry Summers saying that we need to increase unemployment. Larry Summers, of course, was the treasury secretary for Bill Clinton.

He’s saying that the U.S. has to increase unemployment; the solution to inflation is increasing unemployment. Even though these studies show that over half of inflation in the Consumer Price Index is because of corporate profits.

I’m wondering if you can comment on why so many economists, including people as revered as Larry Summers, refuse to acknowledge that reality.

MICHAEL HUDSON:

Most economists need to get employment, and in order to be employed, you have to give a picture of the economy that reflects how well your employer helped society at large. You’re not allowed to say that your employer is acting in ways that are purely predatory. You’re not allowed to say that the employer does not earn an income.

You talked about corporate profits and the classical economists. If you were a free-market economist like Adam Smith, or David Ricardo, or John Stuart Mill – these are monopoly rents. So what you call corporate profits are way above normal corporate rates of return, normal profits. They’re economic rents from monopoly.

And that’s because about 10 or 15 years ago, the United States stopped imposing its anti-monopoly laws. It has essentially let monopolies concentrate markets, concentrate power, and charge whatever they want.

And so once you’ve dismantled the whole legal framework that was put in place from the 1890s, from the Sherman Antitrust Act, down through the early 20th century, the New Deal, once you dismantle all of this state control, saying – essentially what Larry Summers says is, we’re for a free market.

A “free market” is one in which companies can charge whatever they want to charge for things; a free market is one without government regulation; a free market is one without government; a free market is a weak enough government so that it cannot protect the wage earners; it cannot protect voters. A “democracy” is a country where the bulk of the population, the wage earners, have no ability to affect economic policy in their own interests.

A “free market” is one where, instead of the government being the planner, Wall Street is the planner, on behalf of the large industries that are basically being financialized.

So you’ve had a transformation of the concept of what a free market is, a dismantling of government regulation, a dismantling of anti-monopoly regulation, and essentially the class war is back in business.

That’s what the Biden administration is all about. And quite frankly, it’s what the Democratic Party is all about, even more than the Republican Party. The Republican Party can advocate pro-business policies and pro-financial policies, but the Democratic Party is in charge of dismantling the legacy of protection of the economy that had been put in place for a century.

BENJAMIN NORTON:

Yeah, and this is an article in Fortune that was originally based on an article in Bloomberg: “5 years at 6% unemployment or 1 year at 10%: That’s what Larry Summers says we’ll need to defeat inflation.” That’s how simple it is, you know, just increase unemployment, and then inflation will magically go away!

Now, I also wanted to get your response, Professor Hudson, to these comments that you highlighted in a panel that was organized by the International Manifesto Group – a great organization, people can find it here, their channel here at YouTube. And they held a conference on inflation. And you were one of several speakers.

And you highlighted these comments that were made by the Fed chair, Jerome Powell. And this is according to the official transcript from The Wall Street Journal. So this is not from some lefty, socialist website. Here’s the official transcript of a May 4 press conference given by the Fed chief, Jerome Powell.

In this press conference, he said, discussing inflation, he said, in order to get inflation down, he’s talking about things that can be done “to get wages down, and then get inflation down without having to slow the economy and have a recession and have unemployment rise materially.”

So this is another proposal. Larry Summers says 6% unemployment for five years, or 10% unemployment for one year. The Fed chair, Jerome Powell, says the solution is “to get wages down.” I’m wondering if you can respond to that as well.

MICHAEL HUDSON:

Well, the important thing to realize is that President Biden re-appointed Jerome Powell. President Biden is a Republican. The Democratic Party is basically the right wing of the Republican Party, the pro-financial, the pro-Wall Street wing of the Republican Party.

Why on earth, if the Democrats were different from the Republicans, why would would Biden re-appoint an anti-labor Republican, as head of the Federal Reserve, instead of someone that would actually try to spur employment?

Imagine, here’s a party that is trying to be elected on a program of, “Elect us, and we will create a depression and we will lower wages.” That is the Democrat Party slogan.

And it’s a winning slogan, because elections are won by campaign contributions. The slogan is, “We will lower wages by bringing you depression,” is a tsunami of contributions to the Democratic Party, by Wall Street, by the monopolists, by all the beneficiaries of this policy.

So that’s why the Supreme Court ruling against abortions the other day is a gift to the Democrats, because it distracts attention from their identity politics of breaking America into all sorts of identities, every identity you can think of, except being a wage earner.

The wage earners are called deplorables, basically. And that’s how the donor class thinks of them, as sort of unfortunate overhead. You need to employ them, but it really it’s unfortunate that they like to live as well as they do, because the better they live, the less money that you will end up with.

So I think that this issue of the inflation, and what really causes it, really should be what elections are all about. This should be the economic core of this November’s election campaign and the 2024 election campaign. And the Democrats are leading the fight to lower wages.

And you remember that when President Obama was elected, he promised to increase the minimum wage? As soon as he got in, he said the one thing we cannot do is raise the minimum wage. And he had also promised to back card check. He said, the one thing we must not do is increase labor unionization with card check, because if you unionize labor, they’re going to ask for better wages and better working conditions.

So you have the Democratic Party taking about as hard a right-wing position as sort of Chicago School monetarism, saying the solution to any any problem at all is just lower wages and somehow you’ll be more competitive, whereas the American economy is already rendered uncompetitive, not because wages are so high, but because, as you mentioned before, the FIRE sector, the finance, insurance, and real estate sector is so high.

Rents and home ownership, having a home is too expensive to be competitive with foreign labor. Having to pay 18% of GDP on medical care, privatized medical care, prices American labor out of the market. All of the debt service that America has paid is pricing America out of the market.

So the problem is not that wages are too high. The problem is that the overhead that labor has to pay in order to survive, for rent, for medical care, for student loans, for car loans, to have a car to drive to work, for gas to drive to work, to buy the monopoly prices that you need in order to survive – all of these are too high.

None of this even appears in economic textbooks that you need to get a good mark on, in order to get an economics degree, in order to be suitably pliable to be hired by the Federal Reserve, or the Council of Economic Advisers, or by corporations that use economists basically as public relations spokesmen. So that’s the mess we’re in.

BENJAMIN NORTON:

Professor Hudson, in your article at your website, michael-hudson.com, you have an important section about the quantitative easing policies. We were talking about how there has been inflation in the past decade, but then inflation was largely in the FIRE sector, pushing up, artificially inflating the prices of real estate and stocks.

You note that:

While home ownership rates plunged for the population at large, the Fed’s “Quantitative Easing” increased its subsidy of Wall Street’s financial securities from $1 trillion to $8.2 trillion – of which the largest gain has been in packaged home mortgages. This has kept housing prices from falling and becoming more affordable for home buyers.

And you, of course, note that “the Fed’s support of asset prices saved many insolvent banks – the very largest ones – from going under.”

I had you on to discuss, in late 2019, before the Covid pandemic hit, we know that the Fed had this emergency bailout where it gave trillions of dollars in emergency repo loans to the biggest banks to prevent them from from crashing, trying to save the economy.

I do want to talk about this as well, because sometimes this is used by right-wingers who portray Biden hilariously as a socialist. You were just talking about how the Democrats have a deeply neoliberal, right-wing economic program.

But of course, there is this rhetoric that we see from Republicans and conservatives claiming that Biden is a socialist. They claim that the reason there is inflation is because Biden is just printing money and giving money to people.

Of course, that’s not at all what’s happening. What has happened is that the Fed has printed trillions of dollars and given that to stockholders, to big corporations, and to banks.

And this is a point that I saw highlighted in that panel I mentioned, the conference on inflation that was organized by the International Manifesto Group. A colleague of yours, a brilliant political economist, Radhika Desai, she invited everyone to go to the Fed website and look at the Fed balance sheet.

And this is the Fed balance sheet from federalreserve.gov. This is the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System website. And it is pretty shocking to see this graph, which shows the total assets of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

US Federal Reserve assets balance sheet 2022

Back in 2008, the Federal Reserve had around $900 billion in assets. Now it’s at nearly $9 trillion in assets.

And we can see, after the financial crash, or during the financial crash, it increased to around $2 trillion. And then around 2014, it increased to around $4.5 trillion. And then especially in late 2019 and 2020, it skyrocketed from around $4 trillion up to $7 trillion. And since then, it has continued skyrocketing to $9 trillion in assets.

Where did all of that money go? And what was the impact on the economy, of course?

MICHAEL HUDSON:

Well, the impact on the economy has been to vastly increase the wealth of the wealthiest 1% of Americans who own most of the stocks and bonds.

Sheila Bair, the former head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, pointed out that a lot of this $8 trillion is spent to buy junk bonds.

Here’s the problem. The problem really began with President Obama. He inherited a system where you had the largest wave of commercial bank fraud in American history.

As my colleague Bill Black at the University of Missouri at Kansas City has pointed out, everybody knew that there was a bank fraud on. The newspapers referred to junk mortgages and “NINJA” borrowers: “no income, no jobs, no assets.”

So banks had written mortgages way above the actual value of homes, especially to racial and ethnic minorities, without any ability of the borrowers to actually pay.

And then these banks had packaged these mortgages, and sold them to hapless pension funds, and other institutional investors and to the European banks that are always very naive about how honest American banks are.

You had this whole accumulation of what the 19th century called fictitious capital. Mortgages for property that wasn’t worth anywhere near as much as the mortgage is for.

So if the mortgage was defaulted, if homeowners had jingle mail – in other words, you just mail the keys back to the bank and say, ok, take the house, I find I can buy a house now at half the price that Citibank or one of these other banks lent out.

Well, normally you’d have a crash of prices back to realistic levels, so that the value of mortgages actually reflected the value of property, or the value of junk bonds issued by a corporation reflected the actual earning power of the corporation to pay interest on the junk bonds.

So by the time Obama took over, the whole economy was largely fictitious capital. Well, Obama came in and he said, my campaign donors are on Wall Street. He called in the Wall Street bankers and he said, I’m the guy standing between you and the crowd with the pitchforks, the people who voted for me. But don’t worry, I’m on your side.

He said, I’m going to have the Federal Reserve create the largest amount of credit in human history. And it’s all going to go to you. It’s going to go to the 1% of the population. It’s not going to go into the economy. It’s not going to build infrastructure. It’s not going into wages. It’s not going to reduce the price of homes and make them more affordable to Americans.

It’s going to keep the price of these junk bonds so high that they don’t crash back to non-fictitious values. It’s going to keep the stock market so high that it’s not going to go down. It’s going to create the largest bond market boom in history.

The boom went from high interest rates to low interest rates, meaning a gigantic rise in the price of bonds that actually pay interest that are more than 0.1%.

So there was a huge bond market boom, a huge stock market, a tripling of stock market prices. And if you are a member of the group that owns 72% of American stocks, I think that’s 10% of the population, you have gotten much, much richer.

But if you’re a member of the 90% of the population, you have had to go further and further into debt just in order to survive, just in order to pay for medical care, student loans, and your daily living expenses out of your salary.

So if American wages were at a decent level, American families would not be pushed more and more into debt. The reason the personal debt has gone up in the United States is because families can’t get by on what they earn.

So obviously, if they can’t get by on what they earn, and they have to borrow to get by, they are not responsible for causing the inflation. They’re being squeezed.

And the job of economists, and of Democratic Party and Republican politicians, is to distract attention from the fact that they’re being squeezed and blame the victim, and saying, you’re doing it to yourself by just wanting more money, you’re actually creating the inflation that is squeezing you.

When actually it’s the banks, and the government’s non-enforcement of the monopoly policy, and the government support of Wall Street that is responsible for what is happening.

BENJAMIN NORTON:

Very, very well said.

Professor Hudson, I should have highlighted another part of this graph here. This is, again, this is at the Federal Reserve Board website. It’s even more revealing when you look at the selected assets of the Fed, and you see that all of these assets basically are securities, securities held outright by the Fed.

We see that around 2008, the Fed had less than $500 billion in securities. And you have this policy of quantitative easing. And since then, basically all of the increase has been in securities. Of the roughly $9 trillion in assets the Fed holds, about about $8.5 trillion is in securities.

US Federal Reserve assets securities balance sheet 2022

I’m wondering if you can compare this to central banks in other countries. We’ve seen, for instance, that the Western sanctions on Russia were aimed at trying to destroy the Russian economy.

President Biden claimed they were trying to make the ruble into rubble. In fact, the ruble is significantly stronger now than it was before the sanctions. To such a degree that the Russian government and Russian national bank are actually trying to decrease the value of the ruble, because they think it’s a little overvalued; it makes it a little harder to be competitive.

So how does this policy of the US Fed having $8.5 trillion worth of securities compare to the policies of other central banks?

You have experience working with the Chinese government as an advisor. Do other governments’ central banks have this policy?

And and that $8.5 trillion in securities, what are those securities? Even from the perspective of these neoliberal economics textbooks that you were talking about, that people are taught in universities, this seems to me to be totally insane. I don’t see how there is even an academic, neoliberal textbook explanation for this policy.

MICHAEL HUDSON:

Very few people realize the difference between a central bank and the national treasury. The national treasury is what used to perform all of the policies that central banks now do. The national treasury would be in charge of issuing money and spending it.

Central banks were broken off in America in 1913 from the Treasury in order to shift control of the money supply and credit away from Washington to New York. That was very explicit.

The original Federal Reserve didn’t even permit a Treasury official to be on the board of directors. So the job of a central bank is to represent the interest of the commercial banks.

And as we just pointed out, the interest of the commercial banks is to produce their product: debt. And they create their product against existing assets, mainly real estate, but also stocks and bonds.

So the job of the central bank here is to support the financial sector of the economy, and that sector that holds wealth in the form of stocks, bonds, and loans, and especially bank bonds that make their money off real estate credit.

Same thing in Europe, with Europe’s central bank. Europe is going into a real squeeze now, and has been going into a squeeze ever since you had the Greek crisis.

In Europe, because right-wing monetarist designed the euro, part of the eurozone rule is you cannot run a budget deficit, a national budget deficit of more than 3% of gross domestic product.

Well, that’s not very much. That means that you can’t have a real Keynesian policy in Europe to pull the economy out of depression. That means that if you’re a country like Italy right now, and you have a real financial squeeze there, a corporate squeeze, a labor squeeze, the government cannot essentially rescue either Italian industry or Italian labor.

However, the European central bank can, by the way that it creates credit, by central bank deposits, the European central bank can vastly increase the price of European stocks, bonds, and packaged mortgages. So the European central bank is very much like the commercial bank.

China is completely different, because, unlike the West, China treats money and credit as a public utility, not as a private monopoly.

And as a public utility, China’s central bank will say, what are we going to want to create money for? Well, we’re going to want to create money to build factories; we’re going to want to create money so that real estate developers can build cities, or sometimes overbuild cities. We can create money to actually spend in the economy for something tangible, for goods and services.

The Chinese central bank does not create money to increase stock market prices or bond prices. It doesn’t create money to support a financial class, because the Communist Party of China doesn’t want a financial class to exist; it wants an industrial class to exist; it wants an industrial labor force to exist, but not a rentier class.

So a central bank in a Western rentier economy basically seeks to create credit to inflate the cost of living for homebuyers and for anyone who uses credit or needs credit, and to enable corporations to be financialized, and to shift their management away from making profits by investing in plant and equipment and employing labor to produce more, to making money by financial engineering.

In the last 15 years, over 90% of corporate earnings in the United States have been spent on stock buybacks and on dividend payouts. Only 8% of corporate earnings have been spent on new investment, and plants, and equipment, and hiring.

And so of course you have had the economy deindustrialized. It’s this idea that you can make money financially without an industrial base, without a manufacturing base; you can make money without actually producing more or doing anything productive, simply by having a central bank increase the price of the stocks, and bonds, and the loans made by the wealthiest 10%.

And of course, ultimately, that doesn’t work, because at a certain point the whole thing collapses from within, and there’s no industrial base.

And of course, when that happens, America will find out, wait a minute, if we close down the economy, we’re still reliant on China and Asia to produce our manufacturers, and to provide us with raw materials, and to do everything that we need. We’re really not doing anything but acting as a world – well, people used to say parasite – as a world rentier, as getting something for nothing, as a kind of financial colonialism.

So America you could look at as a colonial power that is a colonial power not by military occupation, but simply by financial maneuvering, by the dollar standard.

And that’s what’s being unwound today as a result of Biden’s new cold war.

BENJAMIN NORTON:

Professor Hudson, you criticized the strategy of simply trying to increase the interest rates to bring down inflation, noting that it’s going to lead to a further decline in homeownership in the United States. It’s going to hurt working people. I think that’s a very valid criticism.

I’m curious, though, what your take is on the response of the Russian central bank to the Western sanctions. We saw that the chair of the Russian central bank, Elvira Nabiullina, she – actually this is someone who is not even necessarily really condemned a lot by Western economists; she is pretty well respected by even, you know, Western neoliberal economists.

And she did manage to deal with the sanctions very well. She imposed capital controls immediately. She closed the Russian stock market. And also, in a controversial move, she raised the interest rates from around 9% up to 20%, for a few months. And then after that, dropped the rates.

MICHAEL HUDSON:

A few days, not a few months. That was very short. And now she has moved the interest rates way down.

BENJAMIN NORTON:

Back to 9%.

MICHAEL HUDSON:

She was criticized for not moving them further down.

BENJAMIN NORTON:

Yeah, well go ahead. I’m just curious. So she immediately raised it to 20%, and then has dropped the interest rates since then. I’m curious what you think about that policy. Yeah, go ahead.

MICHAEL HUDSON:

There is very little that a central banker can do when the West has declared a war, basically, a war on a country that is completely isolated.

The response has come from President Putin and from Foreign Secretary Lavrov. And they pointed out, well, how is Russia going to going to trade and get what it needs. And this is what the recent meetings of the BRICS are all about.

Russia realizes that the world is now broken into two halves. America and NATO have separated the West. Basically you have a white people’s confederation against all the rest of the world.

And the West has said, we’re isolating ourselves from you totally. And we think you can’t get along without us.

Well, look at the humor of this. Russia, China, Iran, India, Indonesia, and other countries are saying, hah, you say we we can’t get along without you? Who is providing your manufacturers? Who is providing your raw materials? Who is providing your oil and gas? Who is providing your agriculture, and the helium, the titanium, the nickel?

So they realize that the world is breaking in two, and Eurasia, where most of the world’s population is concentrated, is going to go its own way.

The problem is, how do you really go your own way? You need a means of payment. You need to create a whole international system that is an alternative to the Western international system. You need your own International Monetary Fund to provide credit, so that the these Eurasian countries and their allies in the Global South can deal with each other.

You need a World Bank that, instead of lending money to promote U.S. policies and U.S. investments, will promote mutual gains and self-sufficiency among the countries.

So already, every day in the last few weeks, you have had meetings with the Russians about this, who said, ok, we’re going to create a mutual trading area, starting among the BRICS: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

And how are we going to pay? We can’t pay in dollars, because if we have money in a dollar bank, or a euro bank in Europe, they can just grab the money, like they grab Venezuela’s money. They can just say, we’re taking all your money because, essentially, we don’t want you to exist as an alternative to the finance capital world that we are creating.

So essentially, Russia, China, and these other countries are saying, ok, we’re going to create our own international bank. And how are we going to fund it? Well, every member of the bank will contribute, say, a billion dollars, or some amount of their own currency, and this will be our backing. We can also use gold as a means of settlement, as was long used among countries.

And this bank can create its own special drawing rights, its own bank order, is what Keynes called it. It can create its own credit.

Well, the problem is that, if you have Brazil, for instance, or Argentina, joining this group, or Ecuador, that sells almost all of its bananas to Russia, how is it going to get by?

Well, if there is a BRICS group or a Shanghai Cooperation Organization bank, obviously the Western governments are not going to accept this.

So Russia realizes that as a result of Biden’s Cold War Two, there is going to be a continued rise in energy prices. You think gasoline prices are not high now? They’re going up. You think food prices are not high now? They’re going up more.

And Europe is especially the case, because Europe now cannot buy Russian gas to make the fertilizer to make its own crops grow.

So you’re going to have a number of countries in the Global South, from Latin America to Africa, being squeezed and wanting to trade with the Eurasian group.

And the problem is Russia says, all right, we know that you can’t afford to pay. We’re glad to give you credit, but we don’t want to give you credit that you’re going to simply use the money you have to pay your dollar debts that are coming due.

Because one of the effects that I didn’t mention of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates is there is a huge flow of capital from Europe and England into the United States, so that if you’re a billionaire, where are you going to put your savings? You want the highest interest rates you want. And if the United States raises interest rates, the billionaires are going to move their money out of England, out of the euro, and the euro is going back down against the dollar. It’s almost down to a dollar a euro.

The British pound is heading downwards, towards one pound per dollar.

This increase in the dollar’s exchange rate is also rising against the currencies of Brazil, Argentina, the African countries, all the other countries.

So how are they going to pay this summer, and this fall, for their food, for their oil and gas, and for the higher cost of servicing their dollar debts?

Well, for Eurasia, they’re going to say, we want to help you buy our exports – Russia is now a major grain exporter, and obviously also an oil exporter – saying we want to supply you and give you the credit for this, but you’re really going to have to make a decision. Are you going to join the U.S.-NATO bloc, or are you going to join the Eurasian bloc?

Are you going to join the White People’s Club or the Eurasian Club? And it really comes down to that. And that’s what is fracturing the world in these two halves.

Europe is caught in the middle, and its economies are going to be torn apart. Employment is going to go down there. And I don’t see wages going up very much in Europe.

You’re going to have a political crisis in Europe. But also you’ll have an international diplomatic crisis over how are you going to restructure world trade, and investment, and debt.

There will be two different financial philosophies. And that’s what the new cold war is all about.

The philosophy of US-sponsored finance capitalism, of making money financially, without industrialization, and with trying to lower wages and reduce the labor force to a very highly indebted workforce living on the margin.

Or you’ll have the Eurasian philosophy of using the economic surplus to increase productivity, to build infrastructure, to create the kind of society that America seemed to be growing in the late 19th century but has now rejected.

So all of this is ultimately not simply a problem of interest rates and central bank policy; it really goes beyond central banks to what kind of a social and economic system are you going to have.

And the key to any social and economic system is how you treat money and credit. Is money and credit going to be a public utility, or will it be a private monopoly run for the financial interests and the 1%, instead of a public utility run for the 99%?

That’s what the new cold war is going to be all about. And that’s what international diplomacy week after week is trying to settle.

BENJAMIN NORTON:

Very, very well said. And I really agree about this increasing kind of bipolar order, where the US-led imperialist system is telling the world they have to pick a side. You know, as George W. Bush said, you’re either with us or you’re against us; you’re with us or you’re with the terrorists.

That’s what Biden is saying to the world. And we see the West has drawn this iron curtain around Russia. And now they’re threatening to do the same around China.

Now, of course, the difference is that China has the largest economy in the world, according to a PPP measurement. It’s even larger than the US economy. I don’t know how they can try to sanction the Chinese economy, considering China is the central factory of the world.

But this is related to a question I had for you, Professor Hudson, and this is from a super chat question from Manoj Payardha, and it’s about how Chinese banks say they’re not ready yet to develop an alternative to the SWIFT. He asked, how will the Third World pay Russia for resources?

And we’ve seen, maybe you can talk about the measures being implemented. India has this rupee-ruble system that they’ve created.

But I want to highlight an article that was published in Global Times. This is a major Chinese newspaper, and this is from April. And it quotes the former head of China’s central bank, who was speaking at a global finance forum in Beijing this April.

And basically he said, we need to prepare to replace Swift. He said the West’s adoption of a financial nuclear option of using SWIFT to sanction Russia is a wake up call for China’s financial development. And he said, “We must get prepared.”

So it seems that they’re not yet prepared. But this is something that you’ve been talking about for years. Or maybe you disagree and maybe you think they already are prepared with the SWIFT alternative?

MICHAEL HUDSON:

Well they’re already using an alternative system. If they weren’t using an alternative system – Russia is adopting part of the Chinese system for this – they wouldn’t be able to have banks communicate with each other.

So, yes, they already have a rudimentary system. They’re making it a better system that can also be immune from U.S. computer espionage and interference. So yes, of course there’s already a system.

But I want to pick up on what you said about Biden, how Biden characterizes things.

Biden characterizes the war of the West against Eurasia as between democracy and autocracy. By “democracy,” he means a free market run by Wall Street; he means an oligarchy.

But what does he mean by autocracy? What he means by autocracy, when he calls China an autocracy, an “autocracy” is a government strong enough to prevent an oligarchy from taking power, and taking control of the government for its own interests, and reducing the rest of the economy to debt peonage.

An “autocracy” is a country with public regulation against monopolies, instead of an oligarchic free market. An “autocracy” uses money and credit, essentially, to help economies grow. And when debts cannot be paid in China, if a factory or a real estate company cannot pay debts, China does not simply say, ok, you’re bankrupt, you’re going to have to be sold; anybody can buy you; the Americans can buy you.

Instead, the Chinese say, well, you can’t pay the debts; we don’t want to tear down your factory; we don’t want your factory to be turned and gentrified into luxury housing. We’re going to write down the debt.

And that’s what China has done again and again. And it’s done that with foreign countries that couldn’t pay the debt. When a debt that China has come due for China’s development of a port, or roads, or infrastructure, it says, well, we understand that you can pay; we will delay payment; we will have a moratorium on your payment. We’re not here to bankrupt you.

For the Americans, to the international funds, they’re saying, well, we are here to bankrupt you. And now if we lend you, we the IMF, lends you money to avoid a currency devaluation, the term is you’re going to have to privatize your infrastructure; you’re going to have to sell off your public utilities, your electric system, your roads, your land to private buyers, mainly from the United States.

So you have a “democracy” supporting bankruptcy, foreclosure, financialization, and privatization, and low wages by a permanent depression, a permanent depression to keep down wages.

Or you have “autocracy,” seeking to protect the interests of labor by supporting a living wage, to increase living standards as a precondition for increasing productivity, for building up infrastructure.

You have these two diametrically economic systems. And, again, that’s why there’s a cold war on right now.

BENJAMIN NORTON:

And there’s another super chat question here, Professor Hudson. You mentioned the International Monetary Fund, the IMF. We have talked about that many times. This is from Sam Owen. He asked, why do countries continue to accept bad IMF loans when they have such a poor track record? Is it just the US government meddling in the national politics? Are there cases of good IMF loans?

MICHAEL HUDSON:

Well, what is a country? When you say a country to most people, people think, ok, let’s talk about Brazil; let’s talk about all the people in Brazil; you have a picture in the mind of the Amazon; you have a big city with a lot of people in it.

But the country, in terms of the IMF, is a group of maybe the 15 wealthiest families in Brazil, that own most of the money, and they are quite happy to borrow from the IMF, because they say, right now there’s a chance that Lula may become president instead of the neo-fascist Bolsonaro. And if Lula comes in, then he is going to support labor policies, and he may stop us from tearing down the Amazon. So let’s move our money out of the country.

Well, normally this would push the exchange rate of the cruzeiro (real) down. So the IMF is going to make a loan to Brazil to support the cruzeiro (real), so that the wealthy 1% of Brazil can move their money into dollars, into euros, into foreign currency and offshore bank incentives, and load Brazil down with debt, so that then when there is an election, and if Lula is elected, the IMF is going to say, well, we don’t really like your policies, and if you pursue a pro-labor, socialist policy, then there’s going to be a capital flight. And we’re insisting that you pay all the money that you borrowed from the West right back now.

Well, that’s going to lead Lula either to sit there, follow the IMF direction, and let the IMF run the economy, instead of his own government, or just say, we’re not going to pay the foreign debt.

Well, until now, no country has been in a strong enough position not to pay the foreign debt. But for the first time, now that you have the Eurasian group – we’ll call it BRICS, but it’s really Eurasia, along with the Southern groups that are joining, the Global South – for the first time, they can say, we can’t afford to stay in the West anymore.

We cannot afford to submit the economy to the IMF demands for privatization. We cannot submit to the IMF rules that we have to fight against labor, that we have to pass laws banning labor unions, that we have to fight against laborers’ wage, like Western democracies insist on. We have to go with the Chinese “autocracy,” which we call socialism.

And of course, when America accuses China being an “autocracy,” autocracy is the American word for socialism. They don’t want to use that word. So we’re back in Orwellian double-think.

So the question is what, will the Global South countries do when they cannot afford to buy energy and food this summer, without an IMF loan? Are they going to say, ok, we can only survive by joining the break from the West and joining the Eurasian group?

That is what the big world fracture is all about.

And I described this global fracture already in 1978. I wrote a book, “Global Fracture,” explaining just exactly how all of this was going to happen.

And at that time, you had Indonesia, you had Sukarno taking the lead, the non-aligned nations, India, Indonesia, were trying to create an alternative to the financialized, American-centered world order. But none of these countries had a critical mass sufficient to go their own way.

Well, now that America has isolated Russia, China, India, Iran, Turkey, all these countries, now it has created a critical mass that is able to go its own way. And the question is, now you have like a gravitational pull, and will this Eurasian mass attract Latin America and Africa to its own group, away from the United States? And where is that going to leave the United States and Europe?

BENJAMIN NORTON:

And we saw one of the clearest examples yet of this bipolar division of the world between, you know, the West and the rest, as they say, with this ridiculous meeting that was just held of the G7.

Of course, the G7 are the white, Western countries. And then they’ll throw in U.S.-occupied Japan in there, to pretend they’re a little more diverse.

But we saw that the G7 just held a summit, and basically the entire summit was about how can we contain China? How can we expand the new cold war on Russia into a new cold war on China?

And here’s a report in BBC: “G7 summit: Leaders detail $600bn plan to rival China’s Belt and Road initiative.” Now, I got a chuckle out of this. The idea that the US government is going to build infrastructure in the Global South, I mean, it’s pretty laughable.

It’s also absurd considering that China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which involves over half of the countries on Earth, is estimated at many trillions of dollars in infrastructure projects. So the US and its allies think that they can challenge that with $600 billion in public-private partnerships.

I should stress, of course, what they announced is going to be a mixture of so-called public initiative and then contracts for private corporations.

So it’s yet another giveaway to the private sector, in the name of building infrastructure.

But I’m wondering if if you can comment on the G7 summit that just was held.

MICHAEL HUDSON:

Well, nothing really came out of it. They all said that they could not agree on any more sanctions against Russia, because they’re already hurting enough. India, in particular, stood up and said, look, there’s no way that we’re going to join the sanctions against Russia, because it’s one of our major trading partners. And by the way, we’re getting a huge benefit from importing Russian oil, and you’re getting a huge benefit by getting this oil from us at a markup.

So the G7 could not get any agreement on what to do. It is already at a stalemate. And this is only June. Imagine the stalemate it’s going to be in September.

Well, next week, President Biden is going to Saudi Arabia and saying, you know, we’re willing to kill maybe 10 million more of your enemies; we’re willing to help Wahhabi Sunni groups kill more of the Iranian Shiites, and sabotage Iraq and Syria. We’ll help you back al-Qaeda again, if you will lower your oil prices so that we can squeeze Russia more.

So that’s really the question that Saudi Arabia will have. America will send give it more cluster bombs to use against Yemen.  And the question is, is Saudi Arabia going to say, ok, we’re going to earn maybe $10 billion less a month, or however much they’re making, just to make you happy, and so that that you will kill more Shiites who support Iran?

Or are they going to realize that if they throw in their lot with the United States, all of a sudden they’ll be under attack from Iran, Russia, Syria, and they’ll be sitting ducks? So what are they going to do?

And I don’t see any way that Biden can actually succeed in getting Saudi Arabia to voluntarily earn less on its oil prices. Maybe Biden can say it’s only for a year, only for one or two years. But as other countries know, when America says only for a year or two, it really means forever. And if you don’t continue, then somehow they have a regime replacement, or a regime change and a color revolution.

So Biden keeps trying to get foreign countries to join the West against Eurasia, but there is Saudi Arabia sitting right in the middle of it.

And all that Europe can do is watch and wonder how it’s going to get by without without energy and without much food.

BENJAMIN NORTON:

Yeah, in fact, Venezuela’s President Maduro just confirmed that the Biden administration has sent another delegation basically begging Venezuela to try to work out some deal because, of course, the U.S. and the EU have boycotts of Russian energy.

So it’s really funny to me that, after years of demonizing Venezuela, portraying it as a dictatorship and all of this, the U.S. had to decide, well, the war in Venezuela is not as important as the war on Russia right now; so we’re going to temporarily pause our war on Venezuela to stick the knife deeper into Russia.

But on the on the subject of the the G7 meeting, this was the hilarious comment made by the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, in an article in Reuters titled “Europe Must Give Developing Nations Alternative to Chinese Funds.”

So echoing the same perspective that we hear from Biden, U.S. government officials constantly say that the US needs to challenge China in the Global South. So Europe pledged €300 billion – however, once again, important asterisk – “in private and public funds over five years to fund infrastructure in developing countries.”

So once again, we see another neoliberal private-public partnership. It’s going to be another public giveaway to private corporations.

And “she said that this is part of the G7’s drive to counter China’s multitrillion-dollar Belt and Road project.”

Now, this is really just tying everything together that we have been talking about today, Professor Hudson – in your article “The Fed’s Austerity Program to Reduce Wages,” you conclude the article noting that the depression that people in the United States are on the verge of facing because of these neoliberal policies – telling workers in the U.S. that they need to decrease their wages and be unemployed in order to stop inflation – you point out that:

Biden’s military and State Department officers warn that the fight against Russia is just the first step in their war against China’s non-neoliberal economy, and may last twenty years. That is a long depression. But as Madeline Albright would say, they think that the price is “worth it.”

And you talk about the new cold war against the socialist economy in China and the state-led economy in Russia.

So you predict not only a depression is coming. We have seen that in mainstream media outlets. Larry Summers said, you know, a depression could be coming for a few years. But you say, no, not only is a depression coming; it’s going to be a long depression. We could be seeing 20 years.

And basically the U.S. government and other Western leaders, as we see Ursula von der Leyen from the EU, they’re basically telling their populations, tighten your belts; we have decades of depression coming, because we have collectively decided, as Western leadership, that we are going to force the world through a long depression economically, or at least forced the West through a long economic depression, in order to try to halt the rise of China and Russia.

They’re basically telling their populations, suck it up, tighten your belts for decades, because in the end, the price is worth it in order to prevent the collapse of our empires.

MICHAEL HUDSON:

That’s right. When they’re talking about private-public initiatives, they’re talking about Pentagon capitalism. That means the government will give trillions of dollars to private firms and ask them to build infrastructure.

And if they build a port or a road in a Global South country, they will operate this at a profit, and it will be an enormously expensive infrastructure, because to make financial money off this infrastructure, you have to price it at the cost of production, which is Pentagon capitalism, hyper inflated prices; you have to pay management fees; you have to pay profits; you have to pay interest rates.

As opposed to the Chinese way of funding as equity. The Western mode of funding is all debt leverage. China takes as collateral for the infrastructure that it pays, an equity ownership in the port or whatever infrastructure in the Belt and Road that it’s building.

So you have the difference between equity ownership, debt-free ownership, where if it can afford to pay, fine; if it doesn’t make an income, there are no dividends to pay.

Or you have the debt leverage that is intended that the government cannot pay it, so that the government that will be the co-signer for the debt for all of this infrastructure will somehow be obliged to tax its whole population to pay the enormous super-profits, the enormous monopoly rents, the enormous debt charges of von der Leyen’s Margaret Thatcher plan.

Von der Leyen thinks that she can do to Europe and to America what Margaret Thatcher did to England. And if she does, then then America and Europe deserve it.

BENJAMIN NORTON:

And Professor Hudson, as we start wrapping up here, I know you have to go pretty soon, just a few short questions here at the end.

I’m wondering if what we’re also seeing is not only this fundamental crisis in the Western neoliberal, financialized economies, but it’s also this bubble that has burst, or at least this phase that is over.

At least this is my reading, I’m curious if you agree. In the 1990s, the peak of, you know, the so-called golden age of neoliberalism; we had Bill Clinton riding this wave, and it was the “end of history,” in Francis Fukuyama’s nonsense prediction and all that.

How much of that was not only based on this exorbitant privilege, as the French call it, of the dictatorship of the US dollar – we talked about that based on your book “Super Imperialism,” how the US was given this massive global free lunch economically because of dollar hegemony – but how much of it was not just that, but also the fact that in the 1990s and the first decade of the 2000s, the US and Western Europe had access to very cheap consumer goods from Asia and very cheap energy from Russia?

To me, it seems like those two factors are some of the most important reasons why this golden age of neoliberalism in the ’90s and early 2000s was even possible.

It was on the back of low-paid Asian workers, and based on this idea that Russia would permanently be, what Obama called it: a gas station.

Well, we’ve seen that, one, East Asian economies have lifted themselves up of poverty, especially China has ended extreme poverty and raised median wages significantly.

And now, of course, the West has sanctioned itself against buying Russian energy, massively increasing the cost of energy around the world.

So do you think that that bubble, or that brief moment of the end of history, the golden age of neoliberalism, that can never come back?

Because unless the West can succeed in overthrowing the Russian government and imposing a new puppet like Yeltsin, and overthrowing the Chinese government, it seems like that that the golden in the 1990s is never going to come back.

MICHAEL HUDSON:

Well, you’ve left out the key element of the golden age: that is military force, and the willingness to assassinate any foreign leader that does not want to go along with US policy.

BENJAMIN NORTON:

Of course.

MICHAEL HUDSON:

You’re neglecting what America did to [Salvador Allende]; you’re neglecting how America took over Brazil; America’s meddling and control, and in Europe, the wholesale bribery and manipulation of Europe’s political system, to put in charge of the [German] Green Party a pro-war leadership, an anti-environmental leadership, to put in charge of every socialist party of Europe right-wingers, neoliberals.

Every European socialist and labor party turned neoliberal largely by American maneuvering and meddling in their foreign policy.

So it’s that meddling that was intended to prevent any alternative economic philosophy from existing to rival neoliberalism.

So that when you talk about the end of history, what is the end of history? It means the end of change. It means stop; there will be no reform; there will be no change in the neoliberal system that we have locked in.

And of course, the only way that you can really end history is by what Biden is threatening: atomic war to blow up the world.

That is the neoliberal end of history. And it’s the only way that the neoliberals can really stop history. Apart from that, all they can try to do is to prevent any change that is adverse to locking in the neoliberal order.

So the “end of history” is a declaration of war against any country that wants to go its own way. Any country that wants to build up its own economy as a way that will keep the benefits of its economic growth in its own country, instead of letting it go to the global financial class centered in the United States and Britain.

So we’re talking about, neoliberalism was always a belligerent, implicitly military policy, and that’s exactly what you’re seeing in the proxy war of US and NATO in Ukraine today.

BENJAMIN NORTON:

Yeah, very well said. That’s the other key ingredient: overthrowing any government that is a challenge, that shows there is an alternative, to try to prove the maxim that “there is no alternative.”

MICHAEL HUDSON:

Yes.

BENJAMIN NORTON:

Here’s an interesting comment from Christopher Dobbie. He points out that in Australia, the average age for their first homeowner was 27 in 2001; now it’s 35, and increasing more and more by the year.

Now, in the last few minutes here, Professor Hudson, here’s another brief question that I got from someone over at patreon.com/multipolarista – people can go and support this show. One of my patrons asked this question: who who is hurt most by the Fed or other central banks raising interest rates? People, average consumers, or companies?

And obviously, you talked earlier about how the US Federal Reserve is different from other central banks, but it’s kind of an open question. Who is hurt more by raising interest rates?

MICHAEL HUDSON:

Well, companies are certainly hurt because it means that any possibility of getting productive credit is raised. But they’re also benefited, because if interest rates raised go up high enough, then it will not pay corporate raiders to borrow money to take over and raid companies and empty them out, like they did in the 1980s.

So everything cuts both ways. Raising the interest rates have given commercial banks an excuse to raise the interest charges on credit card loans and mortgage debts.

So raising interest rates, to the banks, have enabled them to actually increase their margin of monopoly profits on the credit that they extend.

And that certainly hurts people who are reliant on bank credit, either for mortgages or for consumer debt, or for any kind of loans that they want to take out.

Basically, raising interest rates hurts debtors and benefits creditors.

And benefiting creditors very rarely helps the economy at large, because the creditors are always really the 1%; the debtors are the 99%.

And if you think of economies, when you say, how does an economy benefit, you realize that, well, if the economy is 1% creditors and 99% debtors, you are dealing with a bifurcation there.

And you have to realize that the creditors usually occupy the government, and they claim we are the country. And the 99% are not very visible.

Democracy can only be afforded if they population’s voting has no effect at all on the government, that it’s only symbolic. You can vote exactly which oligarch you want to rule your country. Ever since Rome that was the case, and it’s the case today.

Is there really any difference between the Republicans and Democrats in terms of their policy? When you the same central bank bureaucracy, the same State Department blob, the same military-industrial complex, the same Wall Street control, what does democracy mean in a situation like that?

The only way that you can have what democracy aims at is to have a government strong enough to check the financial interests, to check the 1%, acting on behalf of the 99%. And that’s what socialism is.

BENJAMIN NORTON:

Very well said.

Here is another brief question from patreon.com/multipolarista – people can become a patron and help support the show over there.

This question, Professor Hudson, is about the proposal of an excess profits tax as an alternative to try to contain inflation. What do you think about the proposal of an excess profits tax?

MICHAEL HUDSON:

Well, only the little people make profits. If you’re a billionaire, you don’t want to make a profit; you want to essentially take all of your return in the form of capital gains. That’s where your money is.

And the way you avoid making a profit is you establish an offshore bank or creditor, and you pay out all of your profits in the form of interest, which an expense. You expense all of what used to be, what really is, income. And you show no profits at all.

I don’t think Amazon has ever made a profit. You have huge, the biggest corporations, with all the capital gains, have no profits. Tesla is a gigantic stock market presence, and it doesn’t make a profit.

So the key is capital gains, is financial gains, stock market gains, gains in real estate prices, unearned income. That’s what the free lunch is.

You want to prevent profits being paid out in the form of interest. So I would vastly increase profits, by saying you cannot deduct interest as a business expense. It’s not a business expense. It’s a predatory parasitic expense. So you’re going to have to declare all of this as profit, and pay interest on it.

Pricing your output from a foreign offshore banking center, so that you don’t seem to make any profit, like Apple does, pretending to make all its money in Ireland, you can’t do that anymore. You’re going to have to pay a real return.

So the accounting profession has made profits essentially tax free. So the pretense of making money by taxing profits avoids talking about capital gains and all of fictitiously low profits that are simply pretended not to be profit, like interest, depreciation, amortization, offshore earnings, management fees.

All of these should be counted as profits, and taxed as such as they were, I’d say back at the Eisenhower administration levels.

BENJAMIN NORTON:

And finally, the last question here, Professor Hudson, someone asked about the U.S. government pressuring countries in Africa not to buy Russian wheat. And the U.S. is, of course, claiming that this wheat is supposedly stolen from Ukraine.

This article, this headline at Newsweek, it summarizes pretty well: “U.S. Warns Starving African Nations to Not Buy Grain Stolen by Russia.” Again, that “stolen” is alleged by the U.S.

But you actually have a really good column about this over at your website, which again is michael-hudson.com: “Is US/NATO (with WEF help) pushing for a Global South famine?

I know this could be a long point of discussion; it could be the entire interview. And I know you have to go soon. But just concluding here, I’m wondering if you could comment.

The United Nations itself has warned that there could be a famine, especially in Global South nations.

What do you think the role of these neoliberal policies and Western sanctions are in fueling that potential crisis?

MICHAEL HUDSON:

Well, the wealthiest families in the world used to go every year, now they go every few years, to Davos, to Klaus Schwab’s Davos World Economic Forum. And they say, the world is overpopulated; we need about 2 billion human beings to starve, preferably in the next year or two.

So it’s as if the wealthy families have got together and say, how can we thin out the population that really we, the 1%, don’t need?

And in all of their policies, it is as if they’ve decided to follow the World Economic Forum and deliberately shrink the world population, especially in Africa and Latin America.

Remember, these are white people at the World Economic Forum, and that is their idea of how to retain equilibrium.

They’re always talking about “equilibrium,” and equilibrium is going to be for countries that cannot afford to grow their own food, because they have put their money into plantation crops and cotton to sell to the West, instead of feeding themselves – they’re just going to have to starve to contribute to world “equilibrium.”

BENJAMIN NORTON:

And while we’re on the subject of the World Economic Forum, I guess I should just briefly add – we’ve talked about this a little bit, but I just feel remiss not mentioning it – it’s interesting to see how right-wingers have seized on the World Economic Forum and begun criticizing it a lot.

Obviously, it’s worth criticizing. It’s a horrible neoliberal institution that represents the Western capitalist class. But we’ve even seen, you know, Glenn Beck, the right-winger, former Fox News host, he published a book about the Great Reset and the World Economic Forum.

I’m just wondering really quickly if you could respond to the idea that the World Economic Forum is like some “socialist” organization. Obviously, it’s the exact opposite.

But what do you say to these conservatives who have a right-wing critique of the World Economic Forum, and think it’s like secretly socialist, and Biden is a socialist.

MICHAEL HUDSON:

They look at any government or managerial power as socialist, not drawing the distinction between socialism and oligarchy.

The question is government power can be either right-wing or left-wing, and to say that any government power is socialist is just degrading the word.

However, as I mentioned before, almost all of the European “socialist” parties are neoliberal. Tony Blair was the head of something that called itself the British Labour Party. Gordon Brown was the head of the British Labour Party.

You can’t be more neoliberal and oligarchic than that. And that’s why Margaret Thatcher said her greatest success was creating Tony Blair.

You have the same thing in France; the French “socialists” are on the right-wing of the spectrum. The Greek “socialist” party, on the right-wing of the spectrum.

You have “socialist” parties around the world being neoliberalized.

So what does the word socialism mean? You want to go beyond labels into the essence.

And the question is, in whose interest is the government going to be run for? Will it be run for the 1% or the 99%?

And the right wing wants to say, well, the 1% can be socialist, because they’re taking over the government and that’s the big government, and we’re against it.

Well, the right-wing is taking over the government, but it’s not really what the world meant by socialism a century ago.

BENJAMIN NORTON:

Yeah, very well said. I just always laugh when I see these right-wing critiques of the World Economic Forum. I mean, the World Economic Forum is the embodiment of capitalism. It is the group of the elite capitalists who get together to talk about how they can exploit the working class and help monopolize the global economy on behalf of Western capital.

So with that said, there still are many questions, but I know you have to go, and we’re already at an hour and a half.

I do want to thank everyone who joined. We’re at 1200 viewers right now, so it has been a really good response.

Professor Hudson, you’re very popular. You should do your own YouTube channel. Maybe we can talk about that, because every time I have you on, it’s always an amazing response that I get. And hopefully we can do this again more in future.

Aside from people going to your website, michael-hudson.com, is there anything else that you want to plug before we conclude?

MICHAEL HUDSON:

Well, the book that I just wrote, “The Destiny of Civilization,” is all about what we’ve been talking about. It’s about the world’s split between neoliberalism and socialism. So that was just published and is available on Amazon. And I have two more books that are coming out very shortly.

BENJAMIN NORTON:

Yeah, for people who are interested, I did an interview with Professor Hudson here at Multipolarista a few weeks ago about his new book, The Destiny of Civilization: Finance Capitalism, Industrial Capitalism or Socialism.”

And of course, anyone who wants to support this show, you can go to patreon.com/multipolarista. And as always, this will be available as a podcast, if you want to listen to the interview again. I’m certainly going to listen to this discussion again. You can find that anywhere there are podcasts.

Professor Hudson, it’s always a real pleasure. Thanks so much for joining me.

MICHAEL HUDSON:

I enjoyed the discussion.

BENJAMIN NORTON:

And like I said earlier at the beginning, for me, I truly think it’s always a privilege, because I do think you’re one of the greatest living economists. So I always feel very privileged to have the opportunity to pick your brain about all of these questions.

And I want to thank everyone who commented, who watched, and who listened. I will see you all next time.

The Hamas-Syria Reconciliation: A ’Source of Concern’ For ‘Israel’

July 1, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

A recent report that Hamas and Syria reestablished relations after a decade of rupture between them is a source of concern for ‘Israel,’ according to comments made by senior researcher at the ‘Institute for Counter-Terrorism’ in Herzliya, Michael Barak, to the Jewish News Syndicate.

According to Barak, the reports of a new breakthrough in ties between Damascus and Hamas appear credible.

“Hezbollah in Lebanon was involved in this reconciliation,” he said. “The efforts led to a green light from Hamas and the Syrian regime. Why did it happen now? It took time for Hezbollah to mediate and for relations to thaw.”

“This is a source of concern for ‘Israel’ because we know that Hamas is building up its presence in the north of Lebanon. If Hamas opens a headquarters in Syria, it can start building capabilities in Syria, too,” cautioned Barak.

Looking ahead, Barak posited a scenario in which Hamas could act as the arrowhead of Palestinian resistance groups in Syria with the blessing of Hezbollah and Iran.

On June 23, Hamas’ Political Bureau Head Ismail Haniya met with Hezbollah Secretary-General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut in their first meeting in a year.

The two resistance leaders discussed the anti-‘Israel’ Axis of Resistance.

Also in Beirut recently, Hezbollah has held a series of meetings with other Palestinian resistance factions.

“The goal is to find a way to unite ranks and to discuss how to strengthen the Palestinian ‘bloc’ in the resistance axis,” Barak said.

“Hamas is trying to create a command and control mechanism with other Palestinian factions in Lebanon so that it can operate in a more efficient manner from Lebanon, and now, Syria’s door is open, too. This is a force multiplier,” he stated.

Saudi Arabia to Grant the Zionist Enemy Ultimate Freedom of Navigation

July 1, 2022

By Staff

The United States, “Israel”, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt are reportedly close to clinching a deal over two strategic islands in the Red Sea, Tiran and Sanafir. That’s according to Barak Ravid, a political affairs commentator for “Israel’s” Walla! website.

Ravid quotes three senior “Israeli” officials who claim that the parties are inching towards finalizing a set of agreements, understandings, and guarantees ahead of an upcoming visit to the region by US President Joe Biden.

Ravid argues that the deal “will constitute an important achievement for the Biden administration in the Middle East.” He also thinks that it may pave the way for a gradual process of normalization between Saudi Arabia and “Israel.”

Ravid points out the obvious: “Israel” and the Saudis don’t have official diplomatic relations, and therefore, cannot directly sign a formal agreement regarding the two islands.

As such, the participating sides are trying to come up with creative legal and diplomatic solutions to close the agreement through indirect contacts. Ravid adds that in recent months, the Biden administration mediated quiet negotiations between Saudi Arabia, “Israel” and Egypt over a deal that would complete the transfer of the two islands from Egypt to Saudi Arabia.

According to Ravid, the question was raised at the heart of the negotiations about how to respond to Saudi Arabia’s request to remove international observers from the two islands while at the same time maintaining the security arrangements and political guarantees requested by “Israel.”

For their part, the “Israelis” wants to ensure that Egyptian guarantees in the context of the so-called “peace” agreement bind the Saudis as well, especially with regard to an agreement allowing “Israeli” ships to freely sail through the Strait of Tiran to and from the port of Eilat.

Two senior “Israeli” officials told Walla! that Saudi Arabia agreed to take upon itself all Egyptian guarantees, including the obligation to preserve freedom of navigation.

“Israeli” officials said that the outgoing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, the new Prime Minister Yair Lapid, and War Minister Benny Gantz were briefed in recent days about the details of the plan to complete the agreement and agreed on its principles.

According to the plan, Saudi Arabia will sign an agreement with Egypt regarding the two islands, and in return, it will send a memorandum to the United States detailing its commitment to freedom of navigation and security arrangements.

The Biden administration will then transfer to “Israel” a memorandum detailing the Saudi commitment to freedom of navigation and will provide American guarantees to monitor the level of compliance.

An “Israeli” official said that Gantz and relevant parties within the security establishment believe that the plan preserves “Israel’s” security interests in the Red Sea and support the move.

“Parallel to finalizing the agreement on the two islands, it is expected that Saudi Arabia will announce that it will allow planes belonging to “Israeli” shipping companies to use Saudi airspace on their way to the east, especially to India and China,” the source adds.

But Ravid clarifies that while the negotiating parties are close to inking a deal, the plan has not been finalized and the agreement and guarantees are still being worked out.

Biden Says His Visit Is Meant to Integrate The ‘Israeli’ Entity In the Region

July 1 2022

By Staff, Agencies

The goal behind US President Joe Biden’s upcoming visit to the Middle East is to further integrate the Zionist occupation regime into the region.

“I am, as I said, going to ‘Israel’ to meet with ‘Israeli’ leaders to affirm the unbreakable bond ‘Israel’ and the United States have,” Biden said when asked about the trip during a news conference in Madrid.

“And part of the purpose is — the trip to the Middle East — is to deepen ‘Israel’s’ integration in the region, which I think we’re going to be able to do and which is good — good for ‘Israeli’ security,” he added.

That goal of integration is “why ‘Israel’ leaders have come out so strongly for my going to Saudi,” Biden stated.

The Zionist occupation leaders encouraged Biden to visit Saudi Arabia, despite the president’s past call for it to be a “pariah” because of the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Biden is set to visit the ‘Israeli’-occupied Palestinian territories on July 13-14, and continue from there to Jeddah for a meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council the following day.

‘Israel’ and the Gulf States “have real concerns about what’s going on in Iran and other places in terms of their security,” he went on to claim.

Biden pushed back against an assertion that the trip was about asking Saudi Arabia to increase oil production, in light of the rising price of gas in the US.

He said that he does not have a planned meeting specifically with the Saudi king or crown prince, but that they will be part of the larger GCC meeting. Biden said he plans to ask all Gulf States to increase oil production, not just the Saudis.

The Little Prince and the Saudi Blower

Palestinians confront IOF in Nablus, brigade commander wounded

June 30 2022

Source: Agencies + Al Mayadeen English

By Al Mayadeen English 

The Palestinians confront the occupation forces and settlers who stormed the shrine of Youssef, east of Nablus.

Palestinians confront the IOF in Nablus as the settlers storm Youssef’s shrine

Confrontationserupted at dawn after dozens of settlers stormed Youssef’s Tomb, east of Nablus, and 17 Palestinians were wounded after the IOF targeted them with both live and rubber bullets.

Ahmed Jibril, director of the emergency and first aid center of the Red Crescent in Nablus, said that one civilian was wounded by live bullets and taken to the hospital, while 16 others were wounded by rubber bullets.

Jibril added that 40 other civilians suffocated as a result of the tear gas, four of whom were taken to Rafidia Hospital for treatment, while two families were evacuated from their homes due to the thick gas. The director also reported five cases of burns, and two falls that were dealt with on-site.

Hundreds of settlers stormed Youssef’s shrine Thursday amid tight protection by the occupation forces. Israeli media said that at least three settlers were shot by resistance fighters who responded to the storming of the shrine.

Israeli Walla! news website quoted the IOF spokesman as saying that the commander of the “Shomron” brigade (in the northern West Bank), Col. Roi Zweig, was wounded during the latest confrontations.

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In Jenin, the funeral of the martyr Muhammad Marei

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‘Israel’ murders young Palestinian in Jenin Camp

June 30, 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

Muhammad Maher Marei succumbed to the serious wounds that he sustained by Israeli occupation forces during their storming of the neighborhood of Jenin at dawn today.

Young Palestinian martyr Muhammad Maher Marei

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) directly opened live fire at young Palestinian Muhammad Maher Marei, 25, during a raid on Jenin Camp at dawn today.

The director of Khalil Suleiman Governmental Hospital confirmed to local Palestinian media that the young man from Jenin camp died as a result of being shot by occupation forces at dawn during confrontations in the city.

Using excessive force, the IOF arrested two young men, Yahya Yousef Al-Jaafar and Ahmed Asaad Nabhan, after raiding the homes of their relatives in Al-Marah neighborhood in Jenin.

Simultaneously, Palestinians participated in a mass rally in protest of the Israeli violations through Jenin’s neighborhoods.

Protesters held the body of the martyr on their shoulders and chanted slogans condemning the occupation’s crimes and its ongoing aggression against Jenin.

They also called for national Palestinian unity and the continuation of the struggle against the Israeli enemy.

The Israeli occupation forces have been actively storming Jenin Camp, aiming clearly at killing Palestinians and arresting others who, in turn, are confronting the occupation forces.

This is happening as Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet has recently given a green light for killing Palestinians.

“There are not and will not be limited for this war. We are granting full freedom of action to the army, the Shin Bet [domestic intelligence agency], and all security forces,” Bennet said last April.

Since the beginning of 2022, the IOF killed more than 70 Palestinians, 27 of them from Jenin and its camp including Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was covering an Israeli raid in Jenin.

The assassination of Shireen Abu Akleh

When talking about Jenin, the name of Shireen Abu Akleh, famed Al Jazeera journalist and veteran reporter, comes to mind. Shireen was murdered on May 11 when Israeli occupation forces storming the Jenin refugee camp, north of the West Bank, shot her with a live bullet to the head as she was covering the events of the storming.

Read more: Forensic analysis proves IOF deliberately killed Shireen Abu Akleh

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Rights Groups Warn Against ‘Israeli’ Move to Register Land Adjacent to Al-Aqsa Mosque

June 29, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Rights groups warned of “far-reaching implications” of the Zionist occupation regime’s controversial move to start the process of registering the ownership of land adjacent to the al-holy Aqsa Mosque in the occupied city of al-Quds.

The process of the “settlement of land title procedure” was initiated last week in the Abu Thor area as well as the Umayyad Palaces site adjacent to the southern wall of al-Aqsa Mosque, reports said.

According to Middle East Eye, rights groups Ir Amim and Bimkom said in a joint statement on Monday that the fund allocated to the procedure has been largely utilized to register land for illegal settlements and will ultimately lead to further Palestinian dispossession.

“[The procedure] carries possible disastrous ramifications for hundreds of Palestinian homes in Abu Thor, while the other has an acute potential for escalating tensions due to its highly sensitive location in close proximity to al-Aqsa,” according to the statement.

“There is grave concern that the state is advancing the settlement of title process in the Umayyad Palaces/Ophel site to enable ‘Israeli’ takeover of this territory through its formal registration as ‘state’ land while aiding ‘state’-backed settler groups in their aggressive efforts to gain control of these highly sensitive locations.”

Sheikh Najeh Bakirat, deputy director of the al-Quds Islamic Waqf, in his remarks on Monday stressed that changing the ownership of Umayyad Palaces was invalid and in breach of the Geneva Convention.

In 2018, the ‘Israeli’ occupation regime for the first time began promoting the “settlement of land title procedure.”

In 2020, Ir Amim said the process was being used as a tool to “seize more land in East al-Quds, leading to the expansion of ‘Israeli’ settlements and further Palestinian dispossession.”

More than 600,000 Zionist settlers occupy more than 230 settlements built since the 1967 ‘Israeli’ occupation of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

All ‘Israeli’ settlements are deemed illegal under international law as they are built on the occupied land. The United Nations Security Council condemned the Zionist regime’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in a series of resolutions.

Additionally, the area south of al-Aqsa Mosque is also the scene of ‘Israeli’ excavations that threaten the foundation of the holy site.

On Monday, the Council of Endowments, Islamic Affairs, and Holy Places said excavations made by the Zionist occupation regime in the vicinity of Al-Aqsa Mosque were threatening its foundations, saying new cracks have appeared in the floor of the sacred site.

Exclusive: Hamas ready to implement urgent prisoner exchange deal

28 Jun 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

Exclusive sources tell Al Mayadeen that Hamas would agree to release a captured IOF soldier, in exchange for releasing ill prisoners from Israeli prisons.

Exclusive sources tell Al Mayadeen that Hamas would agree to release a captured IOF soldier, in exchange for releasing ill prisoners from Israeli prisons.

Al-Qassam Brigades has four IOF soldiers in custody (Archive)

Exclusive sources told Al Mayadeen on Tuesday that Hamas movement informed mediators that it is ready to implement an urgent humanitarian prisoner exchange deal.

The sources indicated that under the deal, the Resistance would agree to release the captured IOF soldier Hisham Al-Sayed, in exchange for releasing ill prisoners from Israeli occupation prisons.

The sources pointed out that the Resistance also welcomes any international mediation to release ill prisoners from Israeli occupation prisons in exchange for the IOF soldier.

Earlier, Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas movement, published footage showing Hisham Al-Sayed, a captured soldier in the Israeli occupation forces.

The video showed Al-Sayyed lying on a bed and breathing through a ventilator. A photo of his ID next to him was shown toward the end of the video.

It is noteworthy that Al-Qassam Brigades has four IOF soldiers in custody.

Al-Qassam Brigades has four IOF soldiers in custody (Archive)

Exclusive sources told Al Mayadeen on Tuesday that Hamas movement informed mediators that it is ready to implement an urgent humanitarian prisoner exchange deal.

The sources indicated that under the deal, the Resistance would agree to release the captured IOF soldier Hisham Al-Sayed, in exchange for releasing ill prisoners from Israeli occupation prisons.

The sources pointed out that the Resistance also welcomes any international mediation to release ill prisoners from Israeli occupation prisons in exchange for the IOF soldier.

Earlier, Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas movement, published footage showing Hisham Al-Sayed, a captured soldier in the Israeli occupation forces.

The video showed Al-Sayyed lying on a bed and breathing through a ventilator. A photo of his ID next to him was shown toward the end of the video.

It is noteworthy that Al-Qassam Brigades has four IOF soldiers in custody.

الحكومة والمحور الأميركيّ وجماعة أميركا

 الثلاثاء 28 حزيران 2022

ناصر قنديل

إذا استثنينا التيار الوطني الحر الذي سيكون مشاركاً في الحكومة الجديدة من خلال رئيس الجمهورية، على الأقل، إذا قرّر عدم المشاركة، وإذا ولدت الحكومة، تلفت الانتباه مواقف الكتل النيابية التي قرّرت رفض المشاركة في الحكومة ومقاطعتها.

إذا نظرنا للغة التي يتحدث بها هؤلاء سنسمع كلاماً كثيراً عن نظرية وجود لبنان في محور إقليمي يرفضونه، والمقصود طبعاً هو محور المقاومة، واتهامات هؤلاء مكررة بالحديث عن سيطرة حزب الله على الدولة، ومؤسساتها، وهم دعاة أن يكون لبنان ضمن محور آخر، تحت شعار الحياد، طلباً لموقع لبناني أقرب الى واشنطن والرياض باعتبارهما مرجعية القرار بدعم لبنان مالياً، كما يقولون.

نتحدث هنا عن حكومة الرئيس نجيب ميقاتي المقبلة قياساً بحكومته الحالية التي تصرف الأعمال، والمتهمة بأنها حكومة حزب الله والواقعة تحت سيطرته، والتي نجح حزب الله عبرها بضم لبنان الى ما يسمّونه بالمحور الإيراني، وبعضهم يقول بالوقوع تحت الاحتلال الإيراني.

اذا استعملنا الوقائع كأداة للقياس سنكتشف أن الحكومة دفعت بوزير إعلامها للاستقالة بلا سبب وجيه سوى طلب الرضا السعودي، فهل يحدث هذا في بلد آخر أو في حكومة أخرى؟

بالوقائع أيضاً وقف رئيس الحكومة بقوة ضد أي طلب الإعفاء ولو مؤقت لحاكم المصرف المركزي، حتى تنتهي الملفات القضائية المرفوعة عليه، والحاكم هو نفسه الذي أعلنته السفيرة الأميركية خطاً أحمر خلال فترة حكومة الرئيس حسان دياب، ويصفه الرئيس ميقاتي بالضابط الذي لا يمكن الاستغناء عنه خلال الحرب.

  بالوقائع أيضاً جمّد رئيس الحكومة نجيب ميقاتي أعمال حكومته لشهور، حتى تراجع ثنائي المحور، حزب الله وحركة أمل، عن اشتراط المشاركة في الاجتماعات الحكوميّة حتى تتم تنحية القاضي طارق بيطار، الذي أصدرت لجان في الكونغرس الأميركي بيانات واضحة لمساندته، ولم يعترض عليه إلا وزراء ونواب «المحور»، وتمسك الرئيس ميقاتي بالقاضي حتى تراجع وزراء «المحور»، وموقف الحكومة ورئيسها ليس مجرد دعم لفكرة استقلال القضاء، بينما تشترك الحكومة بتغطية ملاحقة القاضية غادة عون لأنها تجرأت ولاحقت حاكم المصرف.

بالوقائع أيضاً تدير الحكومة التي يقاطع مثيلتها اصدقاء أميركا والرياض ملف الحدود البحرية للبنان بالتنسيق والتشاور مع وسيط عيّنته الإدارة الأميركية اسمه عاموس خوكشتاين يحمل الجنسية الإسرائيلية وخدم في جيش الاحتلال.

بالوقائع أيضاً في حروب المنطقة والعالم، حربان، حرب في اليمن، وحرب في أوكرانيا، وفي الحربين تقف الحكومة دون الكثير من حلفاء أميركا، حيث تقف السعودية وأميركا.

بالوقائع أيضاً وأيضاً لا تبحث الحكومة ومثلها التي ستليها أي عروض تقدّمها أية شركات لا تحظى بقبول أميركي، وهذا هو مصير كل العروض الروسية والصينية والإيرانية، الإهمال وإدارة الظهر بذرائع مختلفة.

يرفضون المشاركة بالحكومة ويتهمونها بالمحور، لأن مهمتهم المقررة هي استثمار المنصات السياسية والنيابية والإعلامية للتحريض على المقاومة، ولو بالأكاذيب، لأن المطلوب نيل المزيد من الالتحاق المهين والمذل بالإملاءات الأميركية، ولبنان بالمناسبة في أسفل قائمة الذل في العلاقة بالأميركيين، فتطبق القرارات الأميركية المالية في لبنان قبل أميركا، بينما يجرؤ حلفاء أميركا في المنطقة بقول لا، كما تفعل تركيا ودولة الإمارات بخصوص العقوبات على إيران وروسيا، وكما تفعل السعودية بخصوص العقوبات على روسيا، وكما تفعل الإمارات بالعلاقات مع سورية، ولبنان الذي يحتاج التواصل مع الحكومة السورية لحل سريع لقضية النازحين السوريّين ينتظر الإذن الأميركي بزيارة وفود حكوميّة رفيعة الى سورية، كما انتظر ليتجرأ وفد حكوميّ على زيارة سورية لبحث التعاون في ملف الكهرباء.

المذلّة لا تكفي، وجب أن يزيّنها النفاق، فنصدق أن لبنان الرسمي في محور المقاومة، ونجهد لنثبت البراءة بمزيد من الذل، مبارك للسيادة والاستقلال.

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40 Years On: The History of Hezbollah’s Emergence [Part 3] 

June 28, 2022

By Mohammad Youssef

Hezbollah resistance proved to be a very wise and strategic planner and player when the liberation of the year 2000 happened after a lot of sacrifices. Hezbollah could have continued the resistance operations as they used to be before the event of liberation; however, the party has chosen to slow down, and cool its military rhythm for strategic reasons.

The party wanted the people of South Lebanon to take the full taste of liberation and victory, and to experience a long period of calmness. This will give the people the trust to build their houses again and to plough and plant their fields, and to start businesses and develop the economy cycle there, while the resistance could profoundly evaluate the situation, and build up its military capabilities in a completely different way. That would represent a striking surprise to the enemy and its supporters.

This is exactly what happened. Lebanon enjoyed a period of an unprecedented calmness on its border with the occupied Palestine.

For the first time in decades, the ‘Israeli’ enemy felt restrained and curbed from being free to carry out aggressions and incursions, as it already knows the reprisal would be a very heavy one.

When the ‘Israeli’ occupation army started its thirty-three-day way on Lebanon in July 2006, the ‘Israeli’ occupation forces were devastated and their leadership experienced a total shock. Hezbollah was successfully able to defeat their invading troops as the resistance has already made all plans, preparations, and proper armament including surprises that the enemy never expected that they would be present in the hands of the resistance fighters.

One of the big failures at the time was the incapability of its intelligence apparatuses and spy networks to discover the quality of arms the resistance owns. This turned its Merkava tanks into movable tombs to its soldiers; however, the big surprise was when Hezbollah targeted one of its warships, and successfully hit it with a naval rocket which caused a heavy damage and resulted in eliminating the threat of the ‘Israeli’ navy.

As such, the divine victory the resistance scored in July 2006 war was a natural result of the seriousness and dedication of Hezbollah leadership and different military cadres, to build the mighty resistance, equip it with suitable arms, and install the soul of loyalty and devotion within its ranks.

The ‘Israeli’ enemy forces were defeated and bitterly humiliated, their military pride whether in land or sea has become a joke.

After the massacre of the Merkava tanks in al-Hujair Valley, many countries cancelled their military deals to buy this kind of tanks from the ‘Israeli’ entity. This added a financial loss to the military defeat.

July war has become a stain on the forehead of the ‘Israeli’ military; an unprecedented humiliating defeat to all of ‘Israel’ with its political and military leadership. It has also become reminiscent of the ‘Israeli’ defeat and withdrawal in the year 2000.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah emerged again and again triumphant, and victorious as ever, and as it will always be by God’s willing!

To be continued…

40 Years On: The History of Hezbollah’s Emergence [Part 2]

June 24, 2022

By Mohammad Youssef

Hezbollah officially announced its emergence in 1985 with an “open letter” that explained the nature and goals of the organization. But long before that, it has engaged in battling the ‘Israeli’ occupation and carrying out self-sacrifice operations against its forces inside the occupied territories in Lebanon.

One of the landmark self-sacrifice operations took place in the famous southern coastal city of Tyre, in 1982, and targeted the headquarter of the ‘Israeli’ occupation governor, turning it into debris and rubbles and killing more than 85 ‘Israeli’ occupation soldiers and officers.

The operation was, and continues to be, the strongest and most important single martyrdom operation against the ‘Israeli’ enemy.

Ahmad Kassir is the name of Hezbollah’s martyr who carried out the heroic and historical operation. He was immortalized as the opener of the self-sacrifice operations era within Hezbollah ranks, and among the followers and supporters of the resistance.

The operation represented a devastating blow to the ‘Israeli’ enemy, and it portended the beginning of the end of this occupation.

The occupied territories in South Lebanon and West Bekaa witnessed continuous and intensified military operations against the ‘Israeli’ occupation forces.

The enemy was in continuous need to change its tactics because a serious, devoted, a well-trained, and organized resistance was there to target the occupation forces.

Before the liberation of most of the occupied Lebanese territories in 2000, two very important wars took place; the first one was in July 1993, the ‘Israeli’ enemy called it “Operation Accountability,” and the second one took place in April 1996, the enemy called it “Grapes of Wrath” war.

Both wars were very destructive. The second one was tragic and witnessed many ‘Israeli’ massacres, the most notorious among them is the Qana Massacre where around 110 Lebanese, mostly children, women and elderly were martyred when ‘Israeli’ occupation forces targeted them after they took shelter for safety in one of the United Nations Forces centers in South Lebanon.

Aside from the savage ‘Israeli’ brutalities, both wars added up to the strength of the resistance, especially the April War.

The resistance yielded a huge military victory along with a great political success when Lebanon reached an agreement called “April Understanding,” which gave the resistance the due right to target any ‘Israeli’ force, through which the party gained a kind of international legitimacy.

The extended resistance-led military confrontations scored recorded a historical achievement that was translated in the great liberation of May 2000.

The ‘Israeli’ occupation forces withdrew from most of the Lebanese territories with the exception of Shebaa Farms and Kafarshuba Hills…

To be continued…

Al-Qassam Brigades reveal deterioration of health of IOF soldier

June 28, 2022

Source: Agencies + Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

Al-Qassam Brigades will soon publish information that confirms the deterioration of the health condition of one Israeli prisoner held by the Palestinian Resistance.

Al-Qassam Brigades’ military Spokesperson, Abu Obeida

Al-Qassam Brigades’ military Spokesperson, Abu Obeida, announced Monday that the health condition of one Israeli prisoner held by the Palestinian Resistance has deteriorated.

In a post on Telegram, Abu Obeida pointed out that Al-Qassam Brigades will publish information that confirms this announcement in the coming hours.

في تصريح صحفي.. الناطق باسم كـتـــائــب القــسّــــام، أبــو عـــبــيدة: “تدهور طرأ على صحة أحد أسرى العدو لدينا، وسننشر خلال الساعاتِ القادمة ما يؤكد ذلك”.#فلسطين pic.twitter.com/VK7tuV5thc— شبكة قدس الإخبارية (@qudsn) June 27, 2022

It is noteworthy that Al-Qassam Brigades captured four IOF soldiers.

Israeli media reported that the assessment inside the Israeli occupation is that Hamas’ statement about the deteriorating health condition of an Israeli prisoner is a provocation.

“Israel” Martyrs New Palestinian Teen

June 25, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

A Palestinian teenager has been martyred after being arrested and assaulted by “Israeli” military forces on the outskirts of Ramallah in the central part of the occupied West Bank, according to his family and Palestinian media outlets.

The teenager identified as 16-year-old Abdullah Muhammad Hammad was shot and wounded early on Saturday as “Israeli” occupation troops tried to arrest him in the town of Silwad, located 12 kilometers [7.4 miles] northeast of Ramallah.

Hammad was taken to an unknown destination in critical condition, before his family was informed of his martyrdom.

The development came hours after more than a hundred Palestinians were injured in clashes with the “Israeli” army in the northern occupied West Bank.

“Israeli” forces fired live ammunition, rubber bullets, and tear gas at Palestinians staging rallies across the West Bank on Friday, including in the northern town of Kafr Qaddum, Qalqilya, and the town of Beita, south of Nablus, as part of their daily protests against illegal “Israeli” settlements, which began in recent weeks.

In a statement, the Palestine Red Crescent Society [PRCS] said at least 131 Palestinians were injured, including nine by live bullets, while 117 suffered suffocation due to tear gas.

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THE PARADOXICAL SEEDS OF THE HOLOCAUST: OPPRESSION AND DEATH LIVE ON IN THE APARTHEID STATE

JUNE 22ND, 2022

MIKO PELED

Source

LYD, OCCUPIED PALESTINE – It is becoming increasingly difficult for Israel and the agencies that promote Zionism around the world to portray Zionism in rosy colors. This is primarily because there is a history of close to 100 years of Zionism; and the actions of the Zionist State, Israel, have a history of seven and a half decades of violence and racism. To add to that, in February, Amnesty International came out with a damning report demonstrating in no uncertain terms that Israel is engaged in the crime of apartheid and has been since the day it was established.

The Amnesty report is fewer than 300 pages long and can, and indeed must, be read by everyone. It is detailed, well-written and can provide the tools and information needed when confronting Israel and its allies in the various spheres in which they operate: in the academic world when confronting representatives of Israeli academic institutions; in the world of international sports, when demanding that FIFA and the International Olympic committee expel Israel; and in the corporate world and in the political-diplomatic spheres. In short, the Amnesty report is an invaluable tool.

CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY

Article 1 of The International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid states:

The States Parties to the present Convention declare that apartheid is a crime against humanity and that inhuman acts resulting from the policies and practices of apartheid and similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination, as defined in article II of the Convention, are crimes violating the principles of international law.

According to Article II.a of the Convention, the crime of apartheid includes the following elements:

Denial to a member or members of a racial group or groups of the right to life and liberty of person:

(i) By murder of members of a racial group or groups;

(ii) By the infliction upon the members of a racial group or groups of serious bodily or mental harm, by the infringement of their freedom or dignity, or by subjecting them to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;

(iii) By arbitrary arrest and illegal imprisonment of the members of a racial group or groups;

(b) Deliberate imposition on a racial group or groups of living conditions calculated to cause its or their physical destruction in whole or in part…

The significance of this clause cannot be overstated, particularly when speaking about the State of Israel, a state that was established only three years after the end of World War II and the Holocaust. According to the Amnesty report, the crime of apartheid began in 1948 when the state of Israel was established.

OPERATION DANNY

piece titled “We Need to Discuss Lyd,” published on the Israeli alternative media platform, Haokets, relays the events of July 1948 when the Palestinian city of El-Lyd was taken by the Israeli military in what was known as “Operation Danny.”

El-Lyd was subjected to an aerial attack on the night between the 10th and 11th of July 1948. Then a battalion led by Moshe Dayan, the famous eyepatch-wearing Israeli general, drove through the city, spraying it with gunfire. Witnesses who were part of this attack said that Dayan ordered them to “wash the city with gunfire,” a command they took to mean shooting indiscriminately in every direction. The city was taken in 47 minutes during which, according to this piece, the Israeli military utilized nine armored personnel carriers, 20 jeeps, and 10 armored vehicles equipped with machine guns. The Palestinians had no forces apart from a few men with rifles.

Various witnesses mentioned hundreds of bullet-strewn bodies on the streets. The dead were eventually buried in unmarked mass graves. On July 12, clashes between some of the local fighters and the Israeli invading forces were reported. In these clashes an additional 250 Palestinians were killed, some of whom were prisoners held by the Israelis. Later that day, a soldier by the name of Yerahmiel Kahanovich shot a missile into the Dahmash Mosque where over 100 Palestinians had taken refuge. One anti-tank Fiat missile killed an estimated 120 civilians who posed no danger to anyone.

The exact number of those killed is unknown. This is because the impact of the blast was so severe that no bodies were left intact. “The bodies were all over the walls and ceiling,” one Israeli soldier said. So the Mosque was kept shut for two weeks. After two weeks, Palestinian prisoners were sent to clean up the mosque and bury the remains of those inside. Then, according to the testimony of Israelis themselves, many of those who carried out the burial were shot, killed and then buried as well.

Not only was no one ever prosecuted, not only did Moshe Dayan go on to command the Israeli army and then become minister of defense and of foreign affairs, but, in a move that is perhaps more cynical than any, the plaza outside the mosque was named “Palmach Plaza,” Palmach being the brigade that had committed the massacre in the city and particularly at the mosque.

Once the city was occupied, soldiers sent the Palestinian residents on their way to march eastward toward the newly established Kingdom of Jordan in the heat of summer without food or water. “Yalla to Abdullah,” the Israeli soldiers shouted as men, women, children and the elderly were forced into a death march that would result in the demise of countless Palestinians.

WHAT CONSTITUTES COURAGEOUS LEADERSHIP?

In a piece in the Israeli army publication Maarachot, Moshe Dayan’s command of the battalion that took El-Lyd is described as “courageous,” and possessing “an ability to withstand the pressures of battle.” Dayan is described as endowed with a “determination to complete the mission,” “professionalism,” and “leadership.”

In this piece, the massacre of El-Lyd is described as “a difficult battle,” in which the leadership skills of the battalion commander, Dayan saved the day and led to victory. The article was written by Brigadier General Shay Kelper while he was still a Lt. Colonel and a battalion commander himself. His article received an award from the IDF Chief of Staff.

The fight to end the apartheid regime in Palestine takes place in every arena, in every field and on every continent. Israel and its allies are determined to hold their ground because they know that for them this is a fight for their lives. People who care for justice and for the lives of Palestinians need to remember that every day that goes by while Israel is permitted to continue its crimes against humanity is another day of death to Palestinians.

Feature photo | The minaret of the Al-Omari mosque and St. George Greek Orthodox church are reflected in the broken windshield of a vehicle in Lyd.

WHAT CONSTITUTES COURAGEOUS LEADERSHIP?

In a piece in the Israeli army publication Maarachot, Moshe Dayan’s command of the battalion that took El-Lyd is described as “courageous,” and possessing “an ability to withstand the pressures of battle.” Dayan is described as endowed with a “determination to complete the mission,” “professionalism,” and “leadership.”

In this piece, the massacre of El-Lyd is described as “a difficult battle,” in which the leadership skills of the battalion commander, Dayan saved the day and led to victory. The article was written by Brigadier General Shay Kelper while he was still a Lt. Colonel and a battalion commander himself. His article received an award from the IDF Chief of Staff.

The fight to end the apartheid regime in Palestine takes place in every arena, in every field and on every continent. Israel and its allies are determined to hold their ground because they know that for them this is a fight for their lives. People who care for justice and for the lives of Palestinians need to remember that every day that goes by while Israel is permitted to continue its crimes against humanity is another day of death to Palestinians.

Sergey Lavrov’s Presser at a joint news conference with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran Hossein Amir-Abdollahian

June 24, 2022

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions at a joint news conference following talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Tehran, June 23, 2022

Ladies and gentlemen.

I would like to thank my colleague, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, for the hospitality extended to me and my delegation from the first minutes of my stay on Iranian soil.

Yesterday’s detailed conversation with President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Sayyid Ebrahim Raisi and today’s long talks have confirmed both countries’ focus on deepening cooperation in all areas in accordance with the agreements reached by our leaders. I am referring to Ebrahim Raisi’s visit to Russia in January 2022 and his subsequent telephone conversations with President Vladimir Putin. The last call took place on June 8.

The presidents are unanimous that relations between Russia and Iran have reached the highest point in their history. At the same time, there is significant untapped potential for further advancement in our partnership. To this end, work is now underway on a new and comprehensive “big interstate treaty,” initiated by the President of Iran. Some time ago, Russia submitted its proposals and additions to the Iranian initiative to Tehran. Today we agreed that experts should coordinate this important document as soon as possible because it will determine the prospects for our strategic cooperation for the next two decades.

Particular attention during the talks was paid to trade and economic issues, investment, and the need to expand bilateral relations in a situation where the United States and its “satellites” are using illegal sanctions to hinder our countries’ progressive development and the interaction between Russia and Iran, as well as with other countries that reject diktat and refuse to follow Washington’s orders. Despite this discriminatory policy, trade between Russia and Iran showed a record growth of over 80 percent in 2021, exceeding $4 billion for the first time. This trend continued into 2022. We will do everything we can to support it.

A Russian delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak visited Tehran at the end of May to promote economic cooperation. The delegation included representatives from the relevant ministries and agencies, the heads of Russian regions that cooperate with Iran, and business representatives. They met with their Iranian counterparts to discuss purely practical issues of expanding cooperation, outlining action plans for such areas as energy, transport, agriculture, finance, banking, and customs. At this point, these ambitious goals are being considered at the level of relevant experts.

We highlighted success in implementing our flagship projects, including  the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant (the second and third units being under construction), the Sirik Thermal Power Plant that is being built with the state loans issued by the Russian Federation and a project to upgrade a railway section.

Just last week, a panel discussion dedicated to the Russian-Iranian business dialogue took place as part of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. A meeting of the intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation will be held soon. As we agreed today, the foreign ministries of Russia and Iran will continue to provide political and diplomatic support to all joint economic undertakings every step of the way.

In this context, Russia has been facilitating the Iran-EAEU negotiating process that started out in 2021 to develop a free trade agreement. The working group in question will meet in Isfahan in early July.

We talked about fortifying the contractual and legal framework. Hossain Amir-Abdollahian mentioned an agreement on international cybersecurity and an agreement on creating cultural centres in our countries.

We also mentioned the importance of moving forward with drafting an agreement on cooperation in geological exploration and oil and gas production, as well as with ratifying the existing agreement on scientific and technical cooperation between our countries.

We discussed international issues in depth. We stand together in rejecting the concept of the rules-based order that is pushed forward by the United States and its satellites. This concept is designed for use as a substitute for international law and the UN Charter’s basic principles, primarily the principle of sovereign equality of states. Everything that the United States and its allies are doing in the international arena flat-out undermines this fundamental UN principle. Iran and Russia condemn the untenable practice of unilateral illegal sanctions that are imposed contrary to the UN Charter and need to be opposed by all independent members of the international community.

To this end, the Group of Friends in Defence of the Charter of the United Nations was established which, among others, includes Iran and Russia and has more than 20 members. I’m sure the group will expand.

On behalf of the Russian Federation, we welcome the official process for Iran joining the SCO as a full member which was launched in 2021. A memorandum will be signed at a SCO summit to be held in Samarkand in September that will clearly lay out the legal scope and timeframe for this process. It should not take long.

We are convinced that Tehran will make a significant contribution to strengthening the SCO as one of the key centres of the emerging multipolar order.

We discussed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action designed to settle matters related to the Iranian nuclear programme. In conjunction with other nations that signed this plan, we have been striving for a long time now to correct the mistake made by the United States. Washington withdrew from this deal and from the corresponding UN Security Council resolution, once again trampling upon its commitments under international law. We will push for the JCPOA to be restored in its original configuration, the way it was approved in 2015 by a UN Security Council resolution, without exceptions or additions, to make sure that the illegal sanctions on Iran that are inconsistent with the JCPOA are lifted. We hope Washington will make a rational choice, although we cannot fully rely on that.

We spoke about our cooperation on a Syrian settlement, primarily in the Astana format that includes Russia, Iran and Turkey. We highly rated the regular session in this format which took place in the capital of Kazakhstan in early June of this year. We agreed to continue coordinating our efforts to achieve the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2254, resolve humanitarian problems in Syria and encourage the international community to start practical work on restoring the infrastructure, preparing for the return of refugees and in general, ensuring the country’s return to normal life.

Iran and the Russian Federation are doing much in this area, helping to implement relevant projects on the ground in the Syrian Arab Republic. Unfortunately, the majority of the Western members of the international community are doing everything to delay fulfilment of the requirements of this resolution and impede the efforts of international organisations to this end, primarily the relevant UN agencies. This politicised course of action prevents the settlement of problems in Syria and, zooming out, in the Middle East and North Africa.

Russia and Iran have a common position on the need to resume direct talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis with a view to implementing all decisions of the international community, including the creation of the State of Palestine and the OIC-approved Arab Peace Initiative. We will uphold this position in the UN and closely cooperate with the OIC and the Arab League.

We talked about the developments in the South Caucasus, Afghanistan and Yemen. Russia and Iran have many opportunities to use their influence and contacts with a view to achieving a durable settlement and normalisation.

We reaffirmed our commitment to facilitate stabilisation in the Persian Gulf. As you know, Russia has introduced and continues promoting a concept for collective security in this important part of the world. We are willing to help promote dialogue between the Arab countries and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

We are members of the Caspian Five. Next week, the Caspian states will meet for a summit in Ashgabat. We coordinated our preparations for this important event.

Talking yesterday with President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi and today with Foreign Minister of Iran Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, we described in detail the current developments in and around Ukraine. We thanked our Iranian friends for their entirely correct understanding of the events. Above all, they realise that during the past decade our US-led Western colleagues have been trying to turn Ukraine into a bridgehead for threatening and “deterring” Russia, in part, by developing Ukraine’s territory militarily. We repeatedly sought to engage with the West on this matter. All our concerns have been ignored. President Vladimir Putin and other high-ranking officials explained many times that Russia simply did not have another choice but to ensure the interests of Donbass and its Russian residents in the face of a threat from the increasingly aggressive neo-Nazi regime that took power in Kiev after the anti-Constitutional coup d’etat. The Kiev authorities and those who put them in power and continue supporting officially refuted all our attempts to achieve the implementation of the Minsk agreements that were approved by the UN Security Council.

We are convinced that an overwhelming majority of the world’s countries understand the current situation. The Americans are trying to impose a “rules-based order” on all others. This concept is designed to subordinate the security of all countries to the interests of the Western world and ensure the total, “eternal” domination of Washington and its allies. Understandably, this concept goes against the entire historical process and the objective trend towards forming a multipolar world order under which countries, with their independence and self-worth intact, will uphold their interests in conformity with the principles of the UN Charter. The Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation are among these countries.

Question: Given the constructive role played by the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation in the negotiations, they have managed to reach a sustainable agreement on the JCPOA. We see the current sabotage by the United States through the imposition of new sanctions and anti-Iranian resolutions. They are slowing down the process. What is your assessment of Washington’s destructive policy of slowing down the JCPOA negotiating process?

Sergey Lavrov: Not only on the JCPOA, but on virtually every issue on the international agenda, the United States is totally inconsistent, driven by short-term considerations, glancing back at the problems in the United States itself and how they can try to distract voters from them.

What the United States is doing in the negotiations to resume the JCPOA is an example of such actions, where the focus is on creating a “picture” designed to reaffirm the unquestioned leadership role of the United States on every issue on the international agenda. Such attempts to put a falsely understood reputation ahead of the merits of the issue are highly risky.

About a year ago, the United States tried to blame us for the fact that an agreement to fully resume the JCPOA was delayed. That was, to put it mildly, untrue. Everybody understands this very well. A year ago, the Russian Federation, like all the other parties to the agreement, reiterated its readiness to resume it in full. Since then, the United States has been single-handedly stalling the agreement. We have once again confirmed to our Iranian friends that we will support in every way possible their position on the need to resume the JCPOA in full, without any exceptions or unacceptable “add-ons”. This includes lifting all illegitimate sanctions.

Question (retranslated from Pashto): How close is Russia’s position on the Syrian crisis to that of Iran? Does the warning to Israel about an attack on Damascus International Airport mean that the positions of Iran and Russia are close on this issue?

Sergey Lavrov: We have repeatedly emphasised the need for all countries to strictly fulfil UN Security Council Resolution 2254 that relies on the basic principle of recognising the territorial integrity of the SAR and the need to respect Syria’s sovereignty.

During regular contacts with our Israeli colleagues, we constantly draw their attention to the need to stop violating this resolution and the air space of Syria, not to mention striking at its territory.

To our great regret, the latest incident is serious. It was a strike on a civilian airport, which put it out of service for several weeks and made it impossible to deliver humanitarian cargoes by air.

We sent a relevant note to Israel, emphasising the need for all countries to abide by Resolution 2254. We will continue upholding this position in our contacts with Israel and other countries that are involved in the Syrian settlement process in different ways.

You asked my colleague several questions, including one about the food crisis. I would like to emphasise again that there is no connection whatsoever between the special military operation in Ukraine and the food crisis. This is admitted even by US Government members and representatives of the international organisations dealing with food security. The crisis and the conditions for it were created several years ago. It didn’t start today or yesterday, but a couple of years ago when the Western countries embarked on imprudent, ill-considered, populist fiscal policies. President Vladimir Putin spoke about it in detail. I will not describe them at this point. I would merely stress that the efforts undertaken now by Turkey and the UN Secretary-General would have succeeded long ago if Ukraine and its Western patrons demined Black Sea ports. This issue is clear to any specialist. The attempts to establish an international coalition for these procedures are obviously aimed at interfering in the affairs of the Black Sea region under UN aegis. This is perfectly clear to us. There is no need for any complicated procedures. It is simply necessary to allow the ships locked by the Ukrainians in the mined ports of the Black Sea to leave. The main thing is to clear these ports of mines or provide clear passageways for them.

As for international waters, the Russian Federation guarantees the safe travel of these ships to the Strait of Bosporus. We have an understanding with the Republic of Turkey in this respect.

I will say again that the attempts to make a “worldwide tragedy” out of the amount of grain that remains in Ukraine are not above board. Everyone knows that this grain amounts to less than one percent of the global production of wheat and other grains.

Now it is important to compel the Ukrainians to let out the foreign ships that are being held hostage there. There is no need to turn this problem into a diversion to conceal the mistakes and failures of the West in its international policy on the food and fertiliser markets.

Question (retranslated from Farsi): A fortnight ago you mentioned a new political package from the US side. A week ago, Mr Zadeh said that “the train has not yet gone off the rails” and you said that in the future there was a possibility that negotiations could be resumed. Has anything changed recently?

Sergey Lavrov: If I understood the translation correctly, cooperation between Russia and Iran in the energy sector has a rich history and good prospects.

As far as bilateral cooperation is concerned, we have always found solutions to the problems that have arisen in this area because of the illegal actions of the United States and its satellites, who are trying to hinder the development of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s energy sector. At the present stage, they are trying to do the same with regard to oil and gas production and transportation in the Russian Federation. Our bilateral plans under consideration today are starting to take concrete form; they are beginning to be implemented. They are aimed at making sure that they do not depend in any way on the unlawful unilateral intervention of anybody else.

I can assure you: there is a reliable plan to work in this way. Together with Iran, we have traditionally worked together in the context of international efforts to stabilise the oil and gas market. There is a complete agreement within the OPEC+ group on the need to safeguard Iran’s interests in its future activities. We will be guided by this.

Question: Israel and the United States have announced a new regional air defence alliance in the Middle East to protect Israel and neighbours from Iranian rockets. How will this affect the Iran nuclear deal? Will Moscow and Tehran intensify military cooperation in this regard?

Sergey Lavrov: We are following statements made by our American colleagues, who are openly declaring their intention to try and forge a bloc between several Arab countries and Israel and target this new group against the Islamic Republic of Iran. I believe too much has already been said about the inconsistency of American foreign policy. I don’t want to repeat myself. But this idea is obviously at odds with their intention to normalise the situation in the region and resume full implementation of the JCPOA, through the efforts of the United States, if they are sincerely interested in this.

We prefer less contradictory arrangements, as compared to those the Americans are now promoting in various regions. Take their idea of ​​the Indo-Pacific. It runs counter to every universal format that has developed over the years around ASEAN in the Asia-Pacific region. Those formats included the US, Russia, China, Australia, India, Japan and Korea. It was a process whereby all interests, primarily those of the regional players and their partners, were brought to a common denominator. Instead, having disrupted all the bodies created under the auspices of ASEAN, the Americans are promoting conflict-generating, divisive formats, without hiding that their policy is aimed at restraining China and isolating Russia.

The same logic is evident in the initiative to create an air and missile defence system in the Middle East. This is the logic of division and confrontation. We prefer unifying logic. The underlying principle of our initiative to build a collective security system in the Persian Gulf region is unification. The system we propose should provide a framework for the Arab countries to establish a dialogue with the Islamic Republic of Iran, work out joint measures of confidence and transparency, and take other steps to ensure stabilisation. Our idea is to involve the permanent members of the UN Security Council, the EU, the Arab League, the UN and the OIC to facilitate these processes. This is an example of how we consistently propose resolving any problems through combining efforts and finding a balance of interests.

The example we are now discussing, which involves the US initiative in the Middle East, is not a case of finding a balance of interests; it is a case of planting confrontation, and an attempt to create dividing lines that will be there forever. Needless to say, this is a dead-end position. In any case, in the end, everyone will come to understand the need to return to the underlying principles of the United Nations, such as resolving problems through cooperation, and not through the creation of hostile and aggressive blocs.

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