Israeli Aggressions Against Iraq: From Subversions to Normalization Attempts

September 30, 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Ali Jezzini

The Israeli occupation has attempted to destabilize Iraq since the sixties. How is the Israeli Occupation trying to infiltrate Iraqi society?

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Iraqi Society has been a target for pro-normalization Propaganda in Past years

On the 24th of the current month, a conference was held in Erbil, the capital city of the Iraqi Kurdistan region. The conference of “Peace and Reclamation,” called for the normalization of relations with the Israeli occupation under the shady slogans of peace and establishing civil society organizations.  

The conference, organized by the New York-based Center for Peace Communications (CPC), was called “an illegal gathering” by the Iraqi government. The CPC is an organization that openly calls for the normalization of relations between the Arab states and “Israel”.

For a foreign observer, the story might look like it started here, and one might think, isolating the Iraqis from their national and cultural context, that this reaction is just a mere prejudice from the Iraqis in the face of something they ignore or never have experienced. But is it the case? 

A History of Sabotage 

Despite Iraq not sharing a direct border with Occupied Palestine, the country was a target for countless Israeli aggressions during the last century. Even before the foundation of the Israeli entity in 1948, contact has been made as early as the thirties through the Jewish agency with some Kurdish groups in northern Iraq. In the forties and fifties, simple contact was transformed into real military espionage committed by Kumran Ali Bedir-Khan a Kurdish leader with close ties to “Israel”.

These espionage attempts continued throughout the sixties as well until the rebellion started in autumn 1961 in northern Iraqi regions. Eventually, a larger scale training and supply operation to the insurgents in the north was launched following Kurdish leaders from the Kurdish democratic party (KDP) meeting with Israeli officials during that year. 

Israeli attempts to destabilize the country go back to at least the sixties when the Israelis intervened with the help of the SAVAK, the former Shah of Iran intelligence Agency, to assist the militants of the KDP led by Moustafa Barazani. The insurgents agreed on this supply training Israeli operation in 1963 following their initial hesitation. There were reports about unidentified arms cache in the region, and  Mossad agents never found any difficulty accessing the northern zones in Iraq to fuel the insurgency.

In August 1965, the Israelis provided a training course code-named Marvad (carpet) for Peshmerga (the military force of Barazani at that time). Israeli-backed militias not only destabilized the region and attacked Iraqi military personnel and installations, but also civilian infrastructures. Attacking the Kirkuk oil field which produced a large portion of Iraq’s Oil at that time was one of these attacks.

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  • Mustafa Barzani accompanied by Israeli Occupation President Zalman Shazar in the Occupied Lands,1968
  • Following the Shah of Iran signing the 1975 Algier agreement with Iraq, Israelis objected to the Shah and called it a “betrayal to the Kurds.” This abandonment led to the KDP’s demise and a subsequent de-escalation of the violence in the north, although contacts with “Israel” were maintained afterward.  

    The first official acknowledgment of the Israeli occupation’s aid to the insurgency dates to September 29 1980 when Prime Minister Menachem Begin disclosed that “Israel” had supported the Kurds (KDP) “during their uprising against the Iraqis in 1965–1975.” Begin added that “Israel” had sent instructors and arms but not military units.

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    Israeli Field Hospital Helping the insurgency in Northern Iraq between 1963-1973

    In 2004, the Israeli media reported on meetings between Masud Barzani (who would become president of the KRG in 2005 ), Jalal Talabani (who would become president of Iraq in 2005 and serve in that office until 2014), and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Relations continued to flourish as the PUK became entangled with this illegal normalization according to Iraqi Legal code 111 of 1969 in its 201st article.

    Such actions reached their peak after the Iraqi president and head of the PUK Jalal Talabani, shook hands with Ehud Barak, the Israeli Defence Minister, in 2008. In 2015, “Israel” reportedly imported as much as three-quarters of its oil from the Kurdistan region in Iraq, providing a vital source of funds as Kurdish Peshmerga to finance its militia.

    Normalization as a division method

    As a part of its “Peripherical alliance” strategy, the Israeli occupation tried to sow division in the societies surrounding it. It tried to ally itself with every ethnic or religious minority in the Arab world as well as surrounding states like Turkey or the Shah’s Persia. The objective of this article is not to bash Kurds as ethnicity in any way. For instance, many Kurdish factions resisted colonialism and Zionism such as the PKK who fought the Israeli occupation in 1982. Kurdish factions in general, have been a target of Israeli subversive actions, due to the complexity of the Kurdish national cause that the Israelis tried to exploit.

    For the first time, this time publically at least, the normalization efforts have been extended to wider sectors of the Iraqi society outside of the “Periphery doctrine.” These efforts have intensified with the recent normalization wave that included UAE, Bahrain, and other countries like Morocco. New faces have appeared on the scene in parallel with such normalization such as Wisam al-Hardan’s The head of the Awakening Groups and Sahar al-Tai, among having called to normalize with “Isreal” following the previously mentioned states’ model. “The UAE and Saudi Arabia are backing these efforts” according to Iraqi Popular Mobilisation forces

    Haaretz Israeli newspaper mentioned another level of normalization that is happening mainly on social media. Besides the older Facebook and Twitter page “Israel in Arabic” that was launched in 2011, another Facebook page was created in 2018 called “Isreal Speaks in Iraqi (dialect)” to target Iraqi society specifically. The article says that many operate under the cover of linking Iraqi jews to their heritage and introducing “Israel” to the Iraqis.

    The article mentions the page admin stating that the 2003 war opened up new channels of communication with Iraqis, this communication has been made easier with the signing of the normalization deals with UAE and other countries. Iraqis with second passports are being brought to Israel with the pretext of “tourism” since 2018, which the organizer claims to be independently done from her work for the occupation government as an administrator of the page. The page publically calls for normalization and launches polls to investigate the views of the general audience.

    The stumbling project

    The Iraqi government and various political parties expressed their firm rejection of the “illegal” meetings that were held by some tribal figures in the city of Erbil in the Kurdistan Region, which called for the normalization with “Israel.” Arrest warrants have been issued against the participants of the “Peace and Reclamation” conference in Erbil. One of the main speakers of the conference Wissam al-Hardan has been suspended from his post as the head of the “awakening movement”.

    In the light of these reactions, a general popular rage is engulfing Iraqi Streets while activists on social media called for all participants to be held accountable for the crimes committed according to Iraqi law. Iraqis haven’t forgotten not only the injustice of the Israeli occupation against their Palestinian and Arab brethren but the role Israelis played in insinuating and calling for both major wars launched by the US against their country in 2003. A war whose devastating effects are still evident today.

    US Military Base at Erbil Airport Targeted By “Explosive-Laden Drones”

    Today 07/07/2021

    US Military Base at Erbil Airport Targeted By “Explosive-Laden Drones”

    By Staff, Agencies

    A military base hosting US-led coalition forces inside Erbil International Airport in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region has come under attack by explosive-laden drones, the latest in a series of attacks on American forces in the Arab country.

    Citing security sources, Iraqi media said the military base inside Erbil airport was “subjected to an attack by explosive-laden drones” late on Tuesday, with reports falling short of providing details on the number of possible casualties or the extent of damage.

    The entire passengers were evacuated from the planes at Erbil International Airport, as reports indicated, and the lights were switched off in addition to closing the airspace over the airport.

    Iraqi media and news agencies also quoted the Kurdistan Counter-Terrorism Service as saying that the attack on the military base was carried out by “two booby-trapped drones.”

    According to Iraqi media, the attack on the US base in Erbil airport caused a huge fire that the firefighting teams were struggling to put out, but it did not leave any casualties or material damage.

    Sirens were also heard blaring from the US Consulate in Erbil after the airport had been targeted.

    The attack comes hot on the heels of drone and rocket attacks targeting the US Embassy in Baghdad and Ain al-Asad Air Base in Iraq’s western province of Anbar.

    Early on Tuesday, several drones targeted the United States’ Embassy in Baghdad, with the weapon systems set up to fortify the facility firing at least four times to try to down the aircraft.

    The incidents set off the diplomatic facility’s sirens and activated the anti-aircraft systems there so they can shoot down the aircraft.

    The Ain al-Asad Air Base, where American military forces and trainers are stationed, had come under attack by a barrage of rockets a day earlier.

    Iraqi media said three Katyusha rockets targeted the vicinity of Ain al-Asad Air Base, located about 160 kilometers west of the capital Baghdad, on Monday afternoon, adding that there were no casualties as a result of the attack on the military base.

    No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, which are the latest in a series of assaults that have targeted US occupation forces over the past few months.

    The attacks come amid growing anti-US sentiment, which has intensified since last year’s assassination of top Iranian anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad.

    General Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps [IRGC], and his Iraqi trenchmate Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Units, were targeted along with their companions on January 3, 2020 in a terror drone strike authorized by former US president Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport.

    Both Soleimani and Muhandis played a key role in defeating the Wahhabi Daesh [Arabic acronym for “ISIS” / “ISIL”] terrorist, which the US has been using as an alleged excuse to prolong its illegal presence on the Iraqi soil.

    Two days after the attack, Iraqi lawmakers approved a bill that requires the government to end the presence of all foreign military forces led by the US in the country.

    Iraq: Explosive-Laden Drones Hit Erbil Airport

    Source: Al Mayadeen

    Kurdistan’s Counter-Terrorism Service in northern Iraq has announced that Erbil airport was hit by a missile, causing flight services to be suspended.

    Erbil airport was subjected to a missile attack
    Erbil airport under attack

    The anti-terrorist unit of the Iraqi Kurdistan region said that a missile strike targetted the International Airport in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil late on Tuesday, causing the suspension of air services in the city’s skies.

    The unit said in a statement that the attack on Erbil’s International Airport was launched via explosive-laden drones.

    On his part, Wayne Maroto, Spokesman for the International Coalition in Iraq and Syria, announced that the attack, which took place at around 23:15 AST, caused no injuries or major damage.

    It is worth noting that the airport in Erbil, which houses a US military base, was also targeted in April. Moreover, in February, the US-led coalition reported the death of a contractor and the injury of five others, including an American soldier, in a bombing near Erbil Airport and Harir base in Iraq’s Kurdistan region.

    Palestine: Hamas defeats Israel

    THE SAKER • MAY 25, 2021

    Just like in 2006, when both Ehud Olmert and George Bush declared that the “invincible IDF” had, yet again, achieved a “glorious victory” and the entire Middle-East almost died laughing hearing this ridiculous claim, today both the US and Israeli propaganda machine have declared another “glorious” victory for the “Jewish state of Israel” cum “sole democracy in the Middle-East”. And, just like in 2006, everybody in the region (and in Zone B) knows that the truth is that the Zionist entity suffered a huge, humiliated, defeat. Let’s try to unpack this.

    First, a few numbers. The combat operations lasted two weeks. All other missile numbers are in dispute. Rather than trust this or that source, I will simply say that Hamas fired many thousands of missiles into Israel. Some, probably less than 50%, were truly intercepted by the Israeli air defenses, others hit in no man’s land, and some actually landed and caused plenty of destruction and at least 12 deaths. The Israelis executed hundreds of artillery and airstrikes causing massive destruction in the Gaza strip and killing about 250 Palestinians. Again, these numbers are guesstimates and they don’t really tell the full story. To understand the story, we need to forget about these numbers and look at what each side was hoping for and what each side achieved. Let’s begin with the Israelis:

    The Israeli scorecard

    To understand Israel’s goals in this war, we first need to place this latest war in its context, and that context is that Israel was comprehensively defeated in Syria. To substantiate this thesis, let’s remember the goals of the Zionists when they unleashed a major international war against Syria. These objectives, as listed in my July 2019 article “Debunking the Rumors About Russia Caving in to Israel” were:

    The initial AngloZionist plan was to overthrow Assad and replace him with the Takfiri crazies (Daesh, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, ISIS – call them whatever you want). Doing this would achieve the following goals:

    1. Bring down a strong secular Arab state along with its political structure, armed forces, and security services.
    2. Create total chaos and horror in Syria justifying the creation of a “security zone” by Israel not only in the Golan but further north.
    3. Trigger a civil war in Lebanon by unleashing the Takfiri crazies against Hezbollah.
    4. Let the Takfiris and Hezbollah bleed each other to death, then create a “security zone,” but this time in Lebanon.
    5. Prevent the creation of a Shia axis Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon.
    6. Break up Syria along ethnic and religious lines.
    7. Create a Kurdistan which could then be used against Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran.
    8. Make it possible for Israel to become the uncontested power broker in the Middle-East and force the KSA, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, and all others to have to go to Israel for any gas or oil pipeline project.
    9. Gradually isolate, threaten, subvert, and eventually attack Iran with a broad regional coalition of forces.
    10. Eliminate all centers of Shia power in the Middle-East.

    As we all know, this is what actually happened:

    1. The Syrian state has survived, and its armed and security forces are now far more capable than they were before the war started (remember how they almost lost the war initially? The Syrians bounced back while learning some very hard lessons. By all reports, they improved tremendously, while at critical moments Iran and Hezbollah were literally “plugging holes” in the Syrian frontlines and “extinguishing fires” on local flashpoints. Now the Syrians are doing a very good job of liberating large chunks of their country, including every single city in Syria).
    2. Not only is Syria stronger, but the Iranians and Hezbollah are all over the country now, which is driving the Israelis into a state of panic and rage.
    3. Lebanon is rock solid; even the latest Saudi attempt to kidnap Hariri is backfiring. (2021 update: in spite of the explosion in Beirut, Hezbollah is still in charge)
    4. Syria will remain unitary, and Kurdistan is not happening. Millions of displaced refugees are returning home.
    5. Israel and the US look like total idiots and, even worse, as losers with no credibility left.

    Seeing their defeat in Syria, the Zionists did what they always do: they used their propaganda machine to list an apparently neverending victorious strikes on supposed “Iranian targets” in Syria. While a few civilian simpletons with zero military experience did buy into this nonsense, the truth about Israeli operations in Syria is simple: the Syrian air defenses have successfully prevented the Israelis from striking at important, sensitive, targets, and they Israelis have been forced to declare as major victories the destruction of empty barns as “destruction of important IRGC headquarters” thereby “proving” to a few naive folks in Zone A and to themselves (!) that the IDF is still as “invincible” as it “always was”. As for the Neocons, they doubled-up on that and declared that 1) Russian air defenses are useless 2) that Russia and Israel work hand in hand and 3) that the Israelis are still invincible. Yet if any of that was true, why has Israel failed to achieve a single one of its goals? And why are both the Russians and the Iranians still in Syria were the Russians just finished a 2nd runway at Khmeimim and they have just deployed a group of Tu-22M3 at that air base from where they can now threaten any ship sailing in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. In their otherwise “free time” they can deliver tons of bombs and missiles to the remaining Takfiri forces in Syria.

    As I have been saying for many years now, the truth is that the IDF is a poor fighting force. Why? First, they have the exact same problem as the USA (and the KSA, for that matter): they rely on expensive technology, but don’t have good combat-capable “boots on the ground”. That is now how modern wars are won (see here for a list of popular misconceptions about modern wars).

    In its recent history, the entire gamut of Israeli “elite” forces (including the air force, the navy, the artillery and even the Golani Brigade) got its collective butt handed to them by about 1000 and only lightly armed regular Hezbollah fighters in 2006: keep in mind that the elite Hezbollah forces were deployed only north of the Litani river to protect Beirut against a possible land invasion by Israel. Instead of taking Beirut or “disarming Hezbollah” (that was an official goal!), the Israelis could not even control the small town of Bint Jbeil located right across the official Israeli border! So much for being “invincible”!

    What the IDF is very experienced at is terrorising Palestinian civilians and executing what could be called a slow-motion genocide of the Palestinian people. The problem with Gaza now is the same that the failed invasion of Lebanon in 2006 has revealed: just like the Lebanese in 2006, the Palestinians of 2021 are not afraid of the Zionists anymore. Furthermore, with a great deal of help from Iran and others, Hamas in Gaza is now much, much better armed than in the past. True, some of its missiles are decidedly low tech and not very effective (low accuracy, small warheads, simple trajectory, limited range), but Hamas also has shown some pretty decent UAVs too. Most importantly, from now on for Hamas it is only one way: up the “quality ladder” (just like the Houthis did in Yemen, starting with modest drones but eventually getting very capable ones).

    The other major goal of the Israelis in this war was to prove to the world (and, even more importantly for the always narcissistic self-worshipping Israeli cowards, to themselves!) that their “Iron Dome” air defense network was the “super-dooper most bestest” in the world (no doubt, due to the famed “Jewish genius”!). It now appears that at best, the Israelis intercepted somewhere around 30-40% of the Hamas missiles. The way the Israeli hid this is by claiming that their fancy shmancy Iron Drone did not even try to engage missiles which were not deemed dangerous. But in the age of the ubiquitous smartphone, that kind of silly nonsense can easily be debunked (including by showing the total chaos in the Israeli skies or, for that matter, the missile strikes on Israeli military objectives). While the full Iron Dome air defense system probably works marginally better than the quasi-useless US Patriot, the Israeli air defenses are clearly at least a generation behind the Russian ones, including the S-300s the Russians sold to Syria (again, in the age of of the ubiquitous smartphone, this is not hard to prove).

    It is crucial to remember that Hamas’ missiles are much inferior to those of the Houthis and the Syrians, and even more inferior when compared to Hezbollah or Iranian drones and missiles! In other words, the “invincible” IDF can’t deal with even its weakest, least sophisticated enemies (Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad) and the grotesquely expensive Iron Done cannot protect the Zionists from any determined missile attacks by the Resistance coalition (Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Hezbollah, Iran and Russia).

    In their utter despair, the Zionist entity did what the AngloZionists always do when they fail to defeat a military forces: they will turn their wrath on the civilian infrastructure and murder as many as they can. They will also strike highly symbolic targets such as the International Press Center in Gaza or a Red Crescent hospital (under the pretext that Hamas, which is the democratically elected local government) has offices there (this is clearly a F-you to those who condemn Israel for violating international law). To a normal human being, this sounds both obscene and ridiculous. But remember, the Israelis are first and foremost narcissists and they have no means of imagining how normal human beings think or feel. All these guys can feel is self-worship and hatred for all “others”.

    We could say that in this war, the Palestinians defeated both military high tech and truly medieval type of genocidal hatred.

    In other words, far from showing how “invincible” the Zionist entity is, this latest war against the Palestinians has shown beyond reasonable doubt that the IDF cannot deal with any of its enemies.

    Besides missiles and bombs, the Israelis love to use terror, as their ideology has convinced them of two things: the Arabs only understand force and we, the Israelis, are invincible. But this begs the question of why the Israelis did not dare to move into Gaza, not even symbolically. Yeah, I know, the official doxa of Zone A is that “Biden called Netanyahu and told him to stop”. As if “Biden” could give orders to the Israelis!

    The truth is that even with a casualty rate of 10:1 in the IDF’s advantage and no armor or artillery, the Palestinians are much more willing to engage in street battles than the IDF. Would the IDF eventually win a ground battle against Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad? Maybe, probably, the objective advantages in everything (except courage!) for the Israelis is so huge that no amount of skills and courage can forever negate the immense superiority in means of the Israelis.

    However, as most people in the West tend to forget, wars are but means towards a political goal. If the IDF decided to basically flatten Gaza and kill many thousands of Palestinians at the cost of casualties probably in the hundereds, then this would be politically suicidal for the Zionist regime. This is why I offer this very basic conclusion:

    During the latest Gaza war, deterrence did work. But only in the sense that the Palestinians successfully deterred the Israelis from launching a ground attack against Gaza.

    There is another crucial political development which should also be noted: while both Iran and Hezbollah did give their full political support to Hamas+Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the latter did not request any assistance. In other words, not only did the Palestinians defeat the Israelis, but they did so absolutely alone, with no help from the other Resistance members.

    Again, those Zone A civilians who believe that Israel is scoring huge victories in Syria on a quasi daily basis won’t get it, which is par for the course. But you can be darn sure that at least most of the IDF top commanders know the true score and for them it is yet another huge disaster.

    There is also a political factor to consider. While there have been coordination resistance actions by the Palestinians in Israel (proper, as defined by the UN), this is the first time when the Palestinians from Gaza, those from the Occupied Territories and those in “Israel” truly fought, if not side by side (yet!), then at least at the same time and in a common cause. This is a major political victory for Hamas+Palestinian Islamic Jihad and a major problem for Fatah and the Zionists. Now let’s look at the rest of the Palestinian scorecard:

    The Palestinian scorecard:

    Let’s start by the obvious one: the Palestinians were not defeated. This victory can be further subdivided in the following:

    • The Palestinian leadership has mostly physically survived, it still exists as a local authority. Plenty of Palestinians were murdered, but that did not affect the operational capabilities of the Palestinian forces (any more than the IDF succeeded in affecting Iranian operational capabilities in Syria).
    • The Palestinian leadership has also survived politically. It was not blamed by the “Palestinian street” for starting the war, nor was it blamed for how it executed it. As for Fatah, it is now, by all accounts, lost somewhere in a political no man’s land which, admittedly, it richly deserves for its incompetence, corruption and subservience to Israel and the USA.
    • Militarily speaking, the Palestinian missile strikes were not nearly as effective than, say, Hezbollah (nevermind Iranian!) strikes would have been, but, hey, they made huge progress and we can all rest assured that the Palestinians of Gaza will, sooner or later, catch up with the Houthis and, further down the road, maybe even Hezbollah.
    • By many accounts, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have made major political inroads into the Palestinian political scene outside Gaza. Even in spite of a truly immense hasbara effort by the Israelis, the international public opinion was blaming Israel for the orgy of violence.

    It is interesting to note here that the famous Israeli journalist Gideon Levy has written an article for Ha’aretz entitled “Israeli Propaganda Isn’t Fooling Anyone – Except Israelis” which was further subtitled “’Hasbara’ is the Israeli euphemism for propaganda, and there are some things, said the late ambassador Yohanan Meroz, that are not ‘hasbarable.’ One of them is Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.” This is how Levy’s article began:

    And propaganda shall cover for everything. We’ll say terrorism, we’ll shout anti-Semitism, we’ll scream delegitimation, we’ll cite the Holocaust; we’ll say Jewish state, gay-friendly, drip irrigation, cherry tomatoes, aid to Nepal, Nobel Prizes for Jews, look what’s happening in Syria, the only democracy, the greatest army. We’ll say the Palestinians are making unilateral moves, we’ll propose negotiations on the “settlement bloc borders,” we’ll demand recognition of a Jewish state and we’ll complain that “there’s no one to talk to.” We’ll wail that the whole world is against us and wants to destroy us, no less.

    Now comes the best part: Levy wrote this on Jun. 4, 2015 and updated it on Apr. 10, 2018 – years before the current disaster! Since then, things have only gone south for the IDF and the Israelis in general. Just the blowback from the war in Syria is, for the IDF, a true disaster.

    Of course, “Israel” is still worshipped and faithfully served by many ruling classes worldwide (that is one of the functions of the Empire, to enforce this), but that officially lauded Israel is viewed with disgust and revulsion on most of the planet. Hence the inevitable failure of the truly galactic PR effort to brainwash the regular people into believing that Israeli is a polyyanish country, a “place without people for a people without country”, etc. etc. etc. This “Ziolatry”, if you wish, was effective when the PLO was blowing up Jewish grade schools in Western Europe, but today it has lost almost all of its traction, especially amongst thinking people.

    The sad and disgusting reality about the Zionist entity is truly coming out, seeping under the propaganda walls of the Empire, and slowly but inevitably resulting in a common reaction of outrage and utter disgust for what is nothing else but the last officially racist country on the planet, the only country with an open air concentration camp it surrounds on all sides, the only country which truly, openly and sincerely does not give a damn about international law or about the lives of non-Jews (while calling their own lives sacred, of course!). This is a state which constantly repeats the mantra about the supposedly “sacred” blood of Jews while, at the same time, committing a slow motion (but very real) genocide of the Palestinian people while using non-stop terrorist attacks against any country daring to defy the order of the latest, and hopefully last, wannabe “superior race” in human history. This is also why the “crime of crimes” for politically correct and successfully brainwashed people is to declare that Israel has no right to exist. This is such a major crimethink that I want to conclude by committing it right now and asking others to join me in this “crimethink”!

    Israel has no right to exist whatsoever first and foremost because it is an artificial creation of West European imperialist powers. Second, it is a country which has always engaged in atrocities and massive violations of international laws and norms. Instead, Israel is based on a racist ideology which is, for all practical purpose, indistinguishable from Hitler’s Nazi ideology (both National Socialism and Zionism have the same roots in both time, space and culture, both being products of European secularism and nationalism). For these reasons, Israel, and the Zionist ideology which supports it, are both a clear and present danger for international peace and stability (for details on Zionism as an ideology and its toxicity, please see here). Furthermore, the only possibly way for the Palestinian people to ever recover their land and their rights under international law is for the Zionist “regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time” (to quote the often mistranslated sentence by Ayatollah Komenei). By the way, this awareness also presupposes a clear understanding that the so-called “Two State Solution” (2SS) is an impossibility. Yes, I know, the 2SS is currently the only one under international law, but that is hardly surprising since the state of Israel was created with not only many of the trappings of “being an internationally recognized state” but also with the shameful complicity of the country which won WWII. There is one thing which Israel has in common with the so-called “Republic of Kosovo”: they will be the very first to be liberated as soon as the AngloZionist Empire finally crashes visibly (of course, it has already crashed, hence the many disastrous outcomes for the USA and Israel on the international scene, but that is still denied officially in Zone A and,of course, by the AngloZionist propaganda and those who pay attention to it.

    In truth, there is only one true “solution” to this war: the so-called “One State Solution”, meaning that those who live in this land will get to choose their leaders and lifestyles according to the old “one person, one vote” principle. All other “solutions” simply perpetuate the current genocide!

    As for those Jews who still want an ethnically pure state of Israel, they can either grow up and get real, or they can choose to colonize some other planet. As long as they don’t persecute local lifeforms, that might work. But if they do this will all happen again, over and over.

    Conclusion: “Gaza” and the future of the Zionist entity

    I want to end here with what I believe is a glance at the future (or lack thereof!) of Israel. The website Islamic World News Analysis Group (which I highly recommend!) recently posted what it claims to be a video of a new Iranian combat drone named “Gaza” described as so: “The Gaza drone, capable of carrying 13 bombs and 500 kilograms of equipment, as well as 35 hours of flight up to a radius of 2,000 kilometers, is capable of carrying out a variety of combat and intelligence operations. According to the published images, it seems that the Gaza drone uses the Rotary Bomb Launcher mechanism under its fuselage, which can carry up to 5 bombs. This is the first Iranian drone to use this mechanism. 8 bombs are also installed under the wings and in total this drone is capable of carrying 13 bombs”. Here is the footage of this new drone. Take a look for yourself and imagine what the next round of this campaign to liberate Palestine might look like.

    Will the US-Turkish conflict explode from Erbil? هل ينفجر الصراع الأميركيّ – التركيّ انطلاقاً من أربيل؟

    **English Machine translation Please scroll down for the Arabic original version **

    Will the US-Turkish conflict explode from Erbil?

    Dr. Wafiq Ibrahim

    Kurdistan is a red American line that divides Iraq into sects and nationalities.

    Here, the Americans wanted to establish their movement in the Syrian-Iraqi axis, which constitutes a link between the Arabian Peninsula, the Levant, Iran and Turkey. They had what they wanted to push the Iraqis towards a separation between north, center and south while supporting the formation of highly contradictory party mechanisms linked to the Americans, Saudis, Kurds, Israelis and Emiratis, until the regions of Iraq became the scene of regional interventions of all kinds, which produced a large and strong entity allied with Iran that holds almost all political power in exchange for Cantons enjoy the support of the Americans, Saudis and Emiratis, with the exception of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region at the level of geopolitics, military and economic, which is supported by the United States, the Gulf and Israel.

    There is, then, an American-Turkish conflict over Erbil, the direct cause of which is the killing of 11 Turkish soldiers who were kidnapped by Kurdish gunmen and killed, but the main reason is that Turkey does not accept a Kurdish state at its border swaying some 15 million Turkish Kurds waiting for a small chance to seek independence from the Turks. Likewise, neighboring Iran, which in turn, fears an uprising of about 6 million Iranian Kurds on its soil.

    Turkey, then, received the Kurdish slap and did not respond to the violent Turkish way and the violent Turkish way, and was satisfied with statements accompanied by stray bullets that may have hit some passers-by. As for the reason for this Turkish prudence, it is the new US President Biden, who has not presented his Middle Eastern plan yet. What everyone, except Hezbollah, is forced to wait. This is what Turkey has done, awaiting a new opportunity to attack the Kurds in Erbil and the entirety of Kurdistan.

    Therefore, Kurdistan is in the stage of waiting for quadriplegic conflicts between Iran, Turkey and America with some Israeli and Gulf intruders. But how long can Iran and Turkey wait while the Kurds daily support their positions in Kurdistan, confiscate the region’s oil, take Israeli weapons and UAE and Saudi funds, and prepare Syrian and Turkish Kurds for nearby missions. As for Iran’s Kurds, Barzani does not approach them “now” because they are not “ready”.

    Suffice it to indicate here that the Iranians and the Kurds are cousins ​​who have almost one language and both and the Germans as one race, as Hitler used to say.

    The struggle over Kurdistan is therefore an American-Turkish-Iranian one in which Israeli and Gulf elements are intertwined, but it is currently afflicted with a stalemate in connection with the stalemate in Biden’s policies, the latter is still in the process of preparing for his global policies, including Kurdistan of course. However, this Turkish-Iranian patience cannot wait for long, and with it also the State of Iraq, which sees opportunities for a movement in the rebellious Kurdistan region with the aim of weakening it or stirring up differences between its components.

    Will the situation explode there? This explosion may take the form of Iranian-Turkish conflicts with the Kurds in the form of sporadic clashes in most areas of the region. Will the Americans allow this? Will the Israelis and the Gulf remain silent, and leave the situation on its own?

    The truth is that the stakeholders in restoring Kurdistan to mother Iraq are the Iraqis, along with the Iranians, and the third of them are the Turks. However, the Americans consider the Kurdish issue an essential part of their movement in the region and a way to drain the power of Iraq. They also see that the Kurds in Syria are a natural extension of the Iraqi Kurds and a means to weaken and fragment Syria. Therefore, there is an American contradiction with Iran, Turkey and the Iraqi state, how can this contradiction be controlled?

    There is no doubt that President Biden is exploring the best means for more investment in the Kurds, based on their proximity to Iran, Turkey and the State of Iraq from the middle side. Therefore, experts expect that the conflict over Kurdistan between the Turkish-Iranian-American triangle is going to escalate, and it seems that the State of Iraq will not remain silent on this issue and believe that it can mobilize groups loyal to the state that play a positive role in this regard.

    The Iraqis believe that the intensification of the Russian role in eastern Syria would enhance the Syrian role in Iraq and the east of the Euphrates, pushing towards the establishment of a Syrian-Iraqi alliance capable of playing a broad regional role, but the problem is that the Americans will not accept this matter because it affects dairy cow in the Arabian Peninsula from Qatar to Saudi Arabia. Therefore, there is a violent conflict project that is still latent between Iran, Turkey, America and Iraq, but its conditions and circumstances are present.

    It is believed that the retreat of Americans in the eastern Euphrates is the main factor that encourages Iraq, Iran and Turkey to end the Kurdistan region with a knockout blow, thus restoring Iraq’s fleeing territory, turkey’s retreat from the Kurdish threat, and Iran’s silence as its usual.

    There is a Turkish problem that makes Erdogan not dare in this matter, which is that Turkey has been deploying huge forces in the vicinity of Cyprus, Greece, the Mediterranean and Libya, and it has forces in Yemen operating under the name of the Brotherhood Reform Party. This makes them think a lot before taking any step in Iraqi Kurdistan. It may need a major change in US policy in order to dare to penetrate Kurdistan, even though it exists in many of these areas for security reasons or to preempt terrorism.

    Kurdistan, then, is a land of deep conflict, and its fate will determine the new trends that the Biden administration is drawing on in the framework of determining its movement in the world.

    Kurdistan, then, is the land of deep conflicts and Erbil is like it. There is a political oil conflict on them, and the fate of these areas determines the new trends that the Biden administration is drawing in determining its movement in the world.

    The question here is that America is drawing up its global project, is Russia unable to do so?

    The battle for the east of the Euphrates is crucial in this way, and it seems that the victor is the one who is taking over the battle of Kurdistan in conjunction with the Iranians and Turks.

    هل ينفجر الصراع الأميركيّ – التركيّ انطلاقاً من أربيل؟

    د. وفيق إبراهيم

    كردستان خط أميركيّ أحمر يشكل الخط الذي يقسم العراق الى طوائف وقوميات. هنا أراد الأميركيون تأسيس حركتهم في المحور السوري العراقي بما تشكله من ربط بين جزيرة العرب وبلاد الشام وإيران وتركيا. وكان لهم ما أرادوا من دفع العراقيين نحو الانفصال بين شمال ووسط وجنوب مع دعم تشكيل آليات حزبية شديدة التناقض مرتبطة بالأميركيين والسعوديين والأكراد والإسرائيليين والإماراتيين حتى باتت مناطق العراق مسرحاً للتدخلات الإقليمية من كل الأنواع ما أنتج كياناً كبيراً وقوياً متحالفاً مع إيران يمسك تقريباً بمعظم السلطة السياسية مقابل كانتونات سياسية تحظى بتأييد الأميركيين والسعوديين والإماراتيين، وذلك باستثناء اقليم كردستان شبه المستقل على مستوى الجغرافيا السياسية والعسكرية والاقتصادية والمدعوم أميركياً وخليجياً وإسرائيلياً.

    هناك اذاً صراع أميركي – تركي حول أربيل سببه المباشر مقتل 11 جندياً تركياً اختطفهم مسلحون أكراد وقضوا عليهم، اما السبب الأساسي فهو أن تركيا لا تقبل بدولة كردية عند حدودها تحرّك نحو 15 مليون كردي تركي ينتظرون فرصة صغيرة لطلب الاستقلال عن الأتراك. وكذلك إيران المجاورة التي تخشى بدورها من انتفاضة نحو 6 ملايين كردي إيراني على أراضيها.

    تركيا اذاً في قلب معمعة أربيل، تلقت الصفعة الكردية ولم تجب على الطريقة التركيّة العنيفة واكتفت بتصريحات مترافقة مع طلقات نارية طائشة ربما أصابت بعض المارة. اما سبب هذا التعقل التركي فهو الرئيس الأميركي الجديد بايدن الذي لم يعرض خطته الشرق أوسطية بعد. ما يفرض على الجميع باستثناء حزب الله انتظاره. وهذا ما فعلته تركيا التي تتحيّن فرصة جديدة للانقضاض على الأكراد في أربيل ومجمل كردستان.

    كردستان اذاً في مرحلة انتظار صراعات رباعية بين إيران وتركيا وأميركا مع بعض المتطفلين الإسرائيليين والخليجيين. انما الى متى بوسع إيران وتركيا الانتظار فيما يدعم الأكراد يومياً مواقعهم في كردستان ويصادرون نفوط المنطقة ويتجهّزون بالسلاح الإسرائيلي وأموال الإمارات والسعودية ويعملون على تحضير أكراد سورية وتركيا لمهام قريبة.أما أكراد إيران فلا يقترب منهم البرزاني «حالياً» لأنهم ليسوا «حاضرين».

    تكفي الإشارة هنا الى ان الإيرانيين والأكراد هم اولاد عمومة لديهم تقريباً لغة واحدة ويجمعهم بالألمان عرق واحد، كما كان يقول هتلر.

    الصراع على كردستان هو اذاً أميركي – تركي – إيراني تتداخل فيه عناصر إسرائيلية وخليجية، لكنه مصاب حالياً بجمود ارتباطاً بالجمود الذي يعتري سياسات بايدن، فهذا الاخير لا يزال في طور التحضير لسياساته العالمية بما يشمل كردستان بالطبع. لكن هذا الصبر التركي – الإيراني لا يستطيع ان ينتظر طويلاً ومعه ايضاً دولة العراق التي ترى ان الفرص متوفرة لحركة ما في الإقليم الكردستاني المتمرد بهدف إضعافه او إثارة خلافات بين مكوناته.

    فهل ينفجر الوضع هناك؟ هذا الانفجار قد يرتدي شكل صراعات إيرانية تركية مع الاكراد على شكل اشتباكات متقطعة في معظم نواحي الإقليم. فهل يسمح الأميركيون بهذا المدى؟ وهل يصمت الاسرائيليون والخليجيون بدورهم ويتركون الوضع على غاربه.

    الحقيقة أن أصحاب المصلحة باستعادة كردستان الى العراق الأم هم العراقيون ومعهم الإيرانيون وثالثهم الأتراك. إلا أن الأميركيين يعتبرون الموضوع الكردي جزءاً اساسياً من حركتهم في الاقليم وطريقة لاستنزاف قوة العراق. كما يرون أن الأكراد في سورية امتداد طبيعي للأكراد العراقيين ووسيلة لإضعاف سورية وتفتيتها. هناك اذاً تناقض أميركي مع إيران وتركيا والدولة العراقيّة، فكيف يمكن ضبط هذا التناقض؟

    لا شك في أن الرئيس بايدن عاكف على البحث أفضل الوسائل لمزيد من الاستثمار بالأكراد انطلاقاً من مجاورتهم لإيران وتركيا ودولة العراق من جهة الوسط، فهم تقريباً يشكلون الفئة الوحيدة القابلة للاستثمار الأميركي من دون أي ممانعة. لذلك يتوقع الخبراء أن الصراع على كردستان بين المثلث التركي الإيراني الأميركي ذاهب الى تصاعد ويبدو أن دولة العراق لن تبقى صامتة على هذا الموضوع وتعتقد أن بإمكانها تحريك مجموعات موالية للدولة تؤدي دوراً إيجابياً في هذا الصدد.

    ويرى العراقيون أن اشتداد الدور الروسي في شرق سورية من شأنه تعزيز الدور السوري في العراق وشرق الفرات دافعاً نحو تأسيس حلف سوري – عراقي قادر على أداء دور إقليمي واسع، لكن المشكلة هي أن الأميركيين لن يقبلوا بهذا الأمر لأنه يصيب بقرتهم الحلوب في جزيرة العرب من قطر الى السعودية.

    هناك اذاً مشروع صراع عنيف لا يزال كامناً بين إيران وتركيا وأميركا والعراق لكن شروطه وظروفه موجودة.

    المعتقد في هذا المضمار أن تراجع الأميركيين في شرق الفرات هو العامل الأساسي الذي يشجع العراق وإيران وتركيا على إنهاء إقليم كردستان بضربة قاضية فيستعيد العراق بذلك إقليمه الفار وتستكين تركيا من الخطر الكردي وتصمت إيران كجاري عادتها.

    هناك مشكلة تركية تجعل أردوغان لا يتجرأ على هذا الأمر وهي أن تركيا تنشر قوات ضخمة في محيط قبرص واليونان والبحر المتوسط وليبيا ولديها قوات في اليمن تعمل تحت مسمّى حزب الإصلاح الاخواني. وهذا يجعلها تفكر كثيراً قبل الإقدام على أي خطوة في كردستان العراق. قد تحتاج لتغيير كبير في السياسة الأميركية حتى تتجرأ على اختراق كردستان على الرغم من انها موجودة في الكثير من هذه المناطق بدواعٍ أمنية او لإجهاض الارهاب.

    كردستان اذاً ارض صراعات عميقة وأربيل مثلها. فهناك صراع نفطي سياسي عليهما ويحدد مصير هذه المناطق الاتجاهات الجديدة التي تقبع إدارة بايدن على رسمها في إطار تحديد حركتها في العالم.

    السؤال هنا هو أن اميركا ترسم مشروعها العالمي، فهل تعجز روسيا عن ذلك؟

    غن معركة شرق الفرات حاسمة في هذا المنوال ويبدو أن المنتصر فيها هو الذي يتولى معركة كردستان بالاشتراك مع الإيرانيين والأتراك.

    الأموال السوريّة في المصارف اللبنانيّة… القصّة الكاملة


    باريس – نضال حمادة

    الأموال السورية المفقودة في لبنان أو أموال السوريين التي فُقِدَت في مصارف بلاد الأرز لها قصّة واقعية تستحق البحث والتحرّي مثلها مثل قصّة الأموال اللبنانية أو أموال اللبنانيين التي فقِدت أيضاً في المصارف اللبنانية. في هذا التقرير نفتح موضوع أموال السوريين في لبنان مع رئيس منتدى الاقتصاديين العرب في فرنسا سمير العيطة، وهو خبير متابع لهذا الأمر منذ سنوات، سألناه عن الموضوع فأجاب مفصّلاً وشارحاً لماذا تتواجد هذه الأموال السورية ومؤكداً على وجودها.

    يقول سمير العيطة في حديثه لـ «البناء»: في ستينيات القرن الماضي حصلت حملة تأميم في سورية فهرَّب أصحاب الأموال في سورية أموالهم إلى بيروت. وفي المرحلة التالية، بقي القطاع الخاصّ السوري، أفراداً وأصحاب أعمال، يستخدمون المصارف اللبنانيّة ويخفون فيها مدّخراتهم وتمويل أشغالهم عن الحكومة السوريّة. يعود ذلك لأسباب مختلفة، منها ارتفاع الضرائب السورية، تلك على الاستيراد والأخرى على الأرباح. هكذا كان التاجر السوري يقلّل قيمة البضاعة المستوردة، فيحوّل جزءاً من ثمن مستورداته من المصرف التجاري والجزء الآخر عبر بيروت. كان هناك أيضاً تعدّد أسعار الصرف في سورية ولم يتغيّر هذا كثيراً مع افتتاح المصارف الخاصّة في سورية بدايةً عام 2004.

    يضيف سمير العيطة أنّ الحرب في سورية والعقوبات عليها أدّت إلى مزيدٍ من تحويل أموال السوريين إلى لبنان. فحتّى المصارف الخاصّة السوريّة والتي لم توضع على لائحة العقوبات لم تعد تستطيع تحويل الأموال من الخارج وإليه لتخوّف مفرِط من المصارف الأجنبيّة المراسلة. هكذا أضحى كثيرٌ من تمويل التجارة الخارجيّة السوريّة يمرّ عبر بيروت. من ناحية أخرى، الكثير من الناس عندما وجدوا الأوضاع في سورية تتجه نحو الكارثة باعوا أملاكهم وهرّبوا أموالهم إلى لبنان. وأبقوها هناك لصعوبة فتح حسابات في دول أخرى وبسبب الفوائد العالية التي كانت تدفعها المصارف اللبنانية للمودعين.

    ويشير العيطة إلى أنّ الدولة السورية لا تضع أموالها في لبنان خشية من العقوبات الغربيّة.

    يستمرّ سمير العيطة في سرد القصة قائلاً: في بداية السبعينيات عندما تمّ تأميم المصارف في سورية، انتقل أصحاب المصارف وأصحاب الخبرات السورية كلّهم إلى لبنان. وأضحت هناك مصارف لبنانيّة أصحابها سوريون وأصبحت حينها 70 بالمئة من الكوادر المصرفية في لبنان من السوريين. ومع الحرب اللبنانية، أصبحت هذه المصارف ذات الأصل السوريّ رائدة، مثل بنك لبنان والمهجر (الأزهري)، وبنك بيمو(عبجي) والسوسيتيه جنرال (الصحناوي)، إلخ…

    ويوضّح رئيس منتدى الاقتصاديين العرب في فرنسا أنّه بعد العام 2011 ومع العقوبات الأميركية على سورية زاد وجود رأس المال السوري في المصارف اللبنانية، لأنّ العقوبات استهدفت الجسم الأساس الذي ينظّم عمليات الاستيراد والتصدير، وهو المصرف التجاري السوري، فأصبح التجار السوريون يفتحون الاعتمادات عبر المصارف اللبنانية بدل المصرف التجاري السوري أو المصارف الخاصّة السوريّة. في مرحلة ثانية، بدأت الشركات الأجنبية توقف تعاملها ليس فقط مع المصارف السورية بل أيضاً مع المصانع والشركات الخاصّة السوريّة، حيث لم يعد بالإمكان حتى وضع اسم سورية على بوليصة تأمين شحن. فكان الحلّ أن يذهب السوريون إلى لبنان ويقومون بفتح اعتمادات من المصارف اللبنانية ويذكرون أنّ البضاعة التي فتح لأجلها الاعتماد مستوردة إلى لبنان، ومن ثمّ يقومون بإدخالها إلى سورية. وكانوا يدفعون من أموالهم دولارات من سورية وليست من لبنان، حيث كانوا يدخلون البضاعة إلى سورية يبيعونها ومن ثم يأتون بالدولارات إلى لبنان لفتح الاعتمادات في المصارف اللبنانيّة.

    وهناك تفصيل بسيط هنا أنّ المصارف الخليجية الخاصّة التي فتحت فروعاً لها في سورية بعد المصارف اللبنانيّة، بل في 2010 أغلبها، قد سمح لها الأميركيون بتحويل الأموال وفتح الاعتمادات بنسبة معيّنة، مثل بنك قطر الوطني في سورية.

    يقول سمير العيطة: كانت دولارات القطاع الخاص السوري تأتي إلى لبنان لهذه الأسباب وتقدّر المبالغ الموجودة بين 20 و40 مليار دولار، كلّها يملكها تجّار وصناعيون سوريون أو أموال أفراد قطاع خاص، وليست أموال «النظام» أو الدولة، لأنّهما لا يثقان بلبنان ويعتبرانه مخترقاً أمنيّاً. وهناك أيضاً أموال خاصّة سورية في تركيا، وهي أموال تجار وصناعيّين وأفراد من الشمال. كما هناك أموال تجّار وأفراد من مناطق «قسد» متواجدة في أربيل في بنوك عراقية وكذلك في ألمانيا. ولكنّ الحجم الأكبر في لبنان. الأمم المتحدة كانت تحوّل أيضاً أموال مساعداتها إلى سورية عبر لبنان.

    كثيرون كانوا يعرفون أنّ النظام النقدي والمصرفي في لبنان يتّجه نحو كارثة، وأنّ أموال الودائع بالدولار تتبخّر في المنظومة. ألم تحصل محاولات أيام تسلم الوزير جورج قرم لوزارة المالية لتدارك الأمر؟ ألم يحذّر منه الوزير السابق شربل نحاس منذ زمن؟ ألم يكن الفرنسيون يعلمون بالأمر عندما عقدوا مؤتمر باريس 1 ثمّ باريس 2 ثم باريس 3 وبعد ذلك مؤتمر سيدر؟ كانوا يعلمون أنّ الأموال تُسرَق وتذهب هدراً ولكنّهم دفعوا المزيد من الأموال في الثقب الأسود. وبات هذا واضحاً في أوائل 2019 عندما بدأت بعض البنوك اللبنانيّة بمنح فوائد غير منطقيّة على الدولار. جاء أحدهم حينها إلى أحد هذه البنوك لوضع مبلغ زهيد، فقالت له الموظّفة «إذا أتيت بـ 100 ألف دولار وجمّدتها، نعطيك 15%»، فسألها «ليش رح تفلسوا بكرا وعم تلمّوا الدولارات»!

    حول الاتهامات «أنّ سورية سرقت الأموال اللبنانية إبان التواجد العسكري السوري في لبنان» يقول سمير العيطة إنّ هذه مهاترة. لنأخذ مثالاً فترة الحصار التي شهدتها سورية بين الأعوام 1980 و1990. كانت سورية تفتقِد لموادّ كثيرة. لم يكن هناك مثلاً موز أو محارم وكانت هناك أساسيات موجودة في لبنان ومفقودة في سورية. ولو كانت سورية تسرُق لبنان لكنّا وجدنا هذه المواد في سورية حينها. ثمّ يضيف أنّه في فترة لاحقة وبعد اكتشاف النفط في سورية ومجيء شركة شل، عاشت سورية مرحلة رخاء. هنا أصبحت السرقة في الاتجاه المعاكس يعني من سورية إلى لبنان. كانت سرقة المازوت والبنزين المدعوم من سورية باتجاه لبنان. هكذا خرج عبدالله الدردري حين كان نائب رئيس الوزراء للشؤون الاقتصاديّة ليقول إنّ خسارة سورية من تهريب المازوت والبنزين المدعوم إلى لبنان مليار ونصف مليار دولار سنوياً. ورقم خسارة كهذا يعني كميّات ضخمة. ومربح التهريب كان يُقتَسَم بين سوريين ولبنانيين، أحياناً موقفهم ضدّ النظام في سورية. في تلك الحقبة، كان هناك ضبّاط سوريون في لبنان يأخذون عمولات، لكنّهم كانوا يتقاسمونها مع زعماء الحرب اللبنانيين الذين ما زالوا في السلطة في لبنان. هذه المهاترات تعني أنّ الحقّ فقط للبنانيين في سرقة لبنان وللسوريين في سرقة سورية! بينما كان الاثنان يسرقون من البلدين.

    ثمّ يقول إنّ التهريب سيبقى طالما هناك فروقات أسعار كبيرة بين البلدين. هناك بالفعل تهريب من لبنان إلى سورية اليوم، ولكن هناك أيضاً تهريب من سورية إلى لبنان. مثلاً لا أحد يتحدّث عن تهريب الإسمنت المدعوم من سورية إلى لبنان. والكلّ يعرف من الذين يحتكرون تجارة الإسمنت في لبنان. وبالمناسبة سعر الإسمنت في لبنان يفوق ثلاثة أضعاف سعره في مصر فلماذا لم يستورد لبنان من مصر وهي عندها إنتاج يفوق حاجتها. ثمّ أنّه عند تهريب أيّ بضاعة من لبنان إلى سورية، يدفع سوريّون ثمنها بالدولار يعني «فريش دولار»، إذ لا يُمكن للبنان أن يفعل شيئاً بالليرات السوريّة. وبالتالي حجم الدولارات التي ذهبت وتذهب من سورية إلى لبنان تفوق كثيراً تلك التي أتت وتأتي من لبنان إلى سورية.

    ويختم العيطة حديثه قائلاً إنّ السوريين غرقوا كما اللبنانيين في الأزمة المالية والمصرفيّة اللبنانيّة التي ربّما لم يُعرف قعرها بعد.

    Towards a “New Cold War” in the Middle East: Geopolitics of the Persian Gulf and the Battle for Oil and Gas

    By Germán Gorraiz López

    Global Research, July 21, 2020

    The foundations of the great Near East were established in the Pact of Quincey (1945) following the doctrine of the Franco-British Sykes-Picot agreements of 1916 that favored the regional division of power in areas of influence and sustained on the tripod US-Egypt- Saudi Arabia. This doctrine consisted in the endemic survival in Egypt of pro-western autocratic military governments, which ensured the survival of the State of Israel (1948) and provided the US Navy with privileged access to the Suez Canal, a crucial shortcut for access direct to the United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Afghanistan, remaining as a firm bastion of US geopolitical interests in the area, especially after the fall of the Shah of Persia in 1980.

    The other pillar of the agreement consisted of the privileged access of the United States to Saudi Arabian oil in exchange for preserving its autocratic regime and favoring the spread of Wahhabism (doctrine founded by Mohamed Abdel Wahab in the mid-eighteenth century with the aim of becoming a vision attractive to Islam and exportable to the rest of the Arab countries), with which the Saudi theocracy became a regional power that provided the US with the key to energy dominance while serving as a retaining wall for socialist and pan-Arab currents. Finally, after the Six Day War (1967), the geostrategic puzzle of the Middle East and the Near East was completed with the establishment of autocratic and pro-Western regimes in the countries surrounding Israel (Libya, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran), leaving the Palestinians confined in the ghettos of the West Bank and Gaza.

    Iraq and the Biden Plan

    The Biden-Gelb Plan, approved by the US Senate in 2007 and rejected by Condolezza Rice, Secretary of State with George W. Bush, provided for the establishment in Iraq of a federal system in order to prevent the collapse in the country after the withdrawal of US troops and proposed separating Iraq into Kurdish, Shiite and Sunni entities, under a federal government in Baghdad charged with the care of the borders and the administration of oil revenues.

    Thus, we will attend the appearance of Free Kurdistan presided over by Masoud Barzani with capital in Kirkust and that would include annexed areas taking advantage of the power vacuum left by the Iraqi Army such as Sinkar or Rabia in the province of Ninive, Kirkuk and Diyala as well as all the cities of Syrian Kurdish ethnicity (except Hasaka and Qamishli) occupied by the Kurdish insurgency of the BDP.

    The new Kurdistan will have the blessings of the United States and will have financial autonomy by owning 20% of the farms of all Iraqi crude oil with the “sine qua non condition” to supply Turkey, Israel and Eastern Europe with Kurdish oil through the Kirkust pipeline that empties into the Turkish port of Ceyhan. On the other hand, the Sunistan with capital in Mosul and that would cover the Sunni cities of Ramadi, Falluja, Mosul, Tal Afar and Baquba (Sunni triangle), with strong connections with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and that would later lead to a radical pan-Islamist movement that it will use the oil weapon to strangle the western economies in the horizon of the next five-year period.

    Finally, as the third leg of the tripod, we would have Iraqi Chi with capital in Baghdad that will counterbalance Saudi Wahhabism and that will gravitate in the orbit of influence of Iran, which will make Iran a great regional power in clear conflict with Saudi Arabia and Israel.

    Iran, guardian of the Gulf and energy power

    Iran acquired a regional power dimension thanks to the erratic policy of the United States in Iraq, (fruit of the political administration myopia obsessed with the Axis of Evil) by eliminating its ideological rivals, the Sunni Taliban radicals and Saddam Hussein with the subsequent power vacuum in the area. He also proposed a global negotiation with the contact group to deal with all the aspects that have confronted Western countries for thirty years, both the suffocating embargo that has plagued the Islamic Republic and the Iranian assets blocked in the United States, the role Iran regional cooperation and security cooperation in Iraq and Afghanistan.The Middle East: A Review of Geopolitical Structures, Vectors of Power Dynamic

    President Mahmoud Ajmadinejad stretched the rope to the limit in the security that the United States would not attack and would limit any individual action by Israel (a discarded project of bombarding the Natanz plant with commercial jets), as a blockade of the Strait of Hormuz through which it passes A third of the world’s energy traffic could exacerbate the global economic recession and profoundly weaken the entire international political system. Thus, in an interview with Brzezinski conducted by Gerald Posner in The Daily Beast (September 18, 2009), he stated that “an American-Iranian collision would have disastrous effects for the United States and China, while Russia would emerge as the great winner, as the foreseeable closure of the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf where oil transportation destined for Northeast Asia (China, Japan and South Korea), Europe and the United States passes, would raise the price of black gold to stratospheric levels and would have severe repercussions on the economy global, becoming the totally crude EU dependent on Russia.

    According to experts, Iran would possess the world’s third largest proven reserves of oil and gas, but it would not have enough technology to extract the gas from the deepest fields and would require an urgent multimillion-dollar investment to avoid irreversible deterioration of its facilities, which in practice it translates into a huge pie for Russian, Chinese and Western multinationals and an increase in the supply of Iranian crude oil to 1.5 million barrels / day within a year, with the consequent drop in prices. of the Brent and Texas reference crudes.

    Furthermore, the revitalization of the 2010 energy cooperation agreement between Iraq, Iran and Syria for the construction of the South Pars-Homms gas pipeline that would connect the Persian Gulf with the Mediterranean Sea would relativize the strategic importance of the Trans-Adriatic Gas Pipeline Project (TAP) , (a substitute for the failed Nabucco gas pipeline designed by the US to transport Azerbaijani gas to Europe through Turkey), as well as the relevant role of the United Arab Emirates as suppliers of crude oil to the West, which would explain the eagerness of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey for torpedoing him.

    America’s “Project of the New Middle East”

    Ralph Peters Map: The Project for the New Middle East. Used for teaching purposes at the military academies. (“Unofficial”)  

    Are Iraq and Iran the bait for the US to involve Russia and China in a new war?

    Former President Carter’s National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski in a speech to the Iranian-American National Council (NIAC) stated that “I believe that the US has the right to decide its own national security policy and not follow like a stupid mule what the Israelis do. ” In addition, Brzezinski, would be faced with the neocon republican and Jewish lobbies of the USA and with his habitual biting he would have discredited the geostrategic myopia of both pressure groups when affirming that “they are so obsessed with Israel, the Persian Gulf, Iraq and Iran that they have lost from the global picture: the true power in the world is Russia and China, the only countries with a true capacity to resist the United States and England and on which they would have to focus their attention ”.

    We would thus be at a crucial moment to define the mediate future of the Middle East and Middle East (PROME East), since after the arrival of Donald Trump from the White House the pressure of the pro-Israeli lobby of the USA (AIPAC) would be increasing to proceed the destabilization of Iran by expeditious methods, a moment that will be used by the United States, Great Britain and Israel to proceed to redesign the cartography of the unrelated puzzle formed by these countries and thus achieve strategically advantageous borders for Israel, following the plan orchestrated 60 years ago. jointly by the governments of Great Britain, the United States and Israel and which would have the backing of the main western allies. Thus, after the approval by the Congress and the US Senate of a declaration prepared by the Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and the Democrat Robert Menéndez, who clearly states that “if Israel is forced to defend itself and take action (against Iran), the US will be at your side to support it militarily and diplomatically”, with the Trump Administration we will assist the increase in pressure from the pro-Israeli lobby of the USA (AIPAC) to proceed with the destabilization of Iran by expeditious methods.

    In a first phase of said plan, the US Senate unanimously renewed the Sanctions Against Iran Act (ISA) until 2026 and after the launch of a new ballistic missile by Iran, Trump expanded the sanctions against several Iranian companies related to ballistic missiles without violating the Nuclear Agreement signed between the G + 5 and Iran in 2015, known as the Comprehensive Joint Action Plan (JCPOA) and which would only be fireworks to distract attention from the Machiavellian Plan outlined by the Anglo-Jewish Alliance in 1960 that would include the Balkanization of Iran and whose turning point would be the recent assassination of the charismatic General Qasem Soleimani.

    This war could lead to a new local episode that would be involve a return to a “recurrent endemism” of the US-Russia Cold War involving both superpowers having as necessary collaborations the major regional powers namely Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

    This Cold War scenario would cover the geographic space that extends from the Mediterranean arc (Libya, Syria and Lebanon) to Yemen and Somalia and having Iraq as its epicenter (recalling the Vietnam War with Lindon B. Johnson (1963-1.969).

    Thus, Syria, Iraq and Iran would be the bait to attract both Russia and China and after triggering a concatenation of local conflicts (Syria, Iraq and Lebanon), this potentially could evolve towards a major regional conflict that could mark the future of the area in the coming years.

    *

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    Featured image is from Silent Crow NewsThe original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Germán Gorraiz López, Global Research, 2020

    الخليج يواصل اللعب المحظور في زمن صعب!

    د. وفيق إبراهيم

    انهماك الأميركيين بمعالجة اضطراباتهم الداخلية العنصرية ومجابهة جائحة الكورونا والتراجع الاقتصادي وصراعهم الجيوبوليتيكي مع الصين، لم يمنع ثلاث دول خليجية من مواصلة تنفيذ أوامر أميركية وتركية تلقتها في أوقات سابقة لنسف وحدة كل من العراق وسورية واليمن وليبيا ولبنان.

    هذه الدول أصبحت معروفة وهي السعودية والإمارات وقطر، لكنها لا تشكل فريقاً واحداً بل محورين متصارعين الى حدود الاحتراب في الخليج ويلتقيان بدعم كل اصناف الإرهاب في العالمين العربي والاسلامي.

    للإشارة فإن انتماء هذه البلدان للنفوذ الأميركي ليس هو المشكلة. فهذه مسألة بدأت منذ نهاية الحرب العالمية الثانية في 1945 وتسلم الأميركيون منذ ذلك الوقت حماية الخليج مقابل هيمنتهم على النفط.

    المشكلة في أن هذه البلدان الخليجية اعتادت على تنفيذ السياسات الأميركية من دون أي استفسار او استعلام عن الأسباب، حتى انها لا تأبه إذا انسجم هذا الدعم مع مصالحها.

    لذلك فما يثير العجب هو استمرار الإفراط في الأدوار الخليجية في مرحلة لا أحد يعرف فيها إذا كان بوسع الأميركيين الاستمرار بالسيطرة الأحادية على العالم ام لا، ومن هم الأعضاء الجدد في النظام العالمي الجديد؟ وهل تناسبهم هذه السياسات الخليجيّة؟

    ليبيا مثلاً هي واحدة من الدول التي يصيبها تورطٌ خليجي كبير ينقسم الى فريق سعودي إماراتي يدعم الجنرال حفتر بالسلاح والتمويل، مقابل فريق قطري يمول التورط التركي في دعم دولة ليبيا في طرابلس التي يقودها السراج المنافس لحفتر.

    التمويل القطري هنا يشمل نقل عشرات آلاف الإرهابيين السوريين من احزاب الاخوان المسلمين والتركستاني والنصرة، الى ليبيا ودعم دولة السراج بكل انواع التمويل وذلك لخدمة تركيا التي تلعب في عصر رئيسها اردوغان دوراً استعمارياً في العالم العربي.

    مَن هو المستفيد من تقسيم ليبيا؟ الأميركيون والأتراك والروس والأوروبيون مقابل خاسر واحد كبير هم العرب والليبيون، فماذا تستفيد السعودية والإمارات وقطر من أمر كهذا؟

    كذلك الأمر بالنسبة لسورية حيث تدعم السعودية والامارات تمويل وتسليح عشائر عربية متحالفة مع الأكراد العاملين ضمن المشروع الأميركي. والعمل هنا جار لتأسيس دولة لقوات قسد الكردية تفتعل حلفاً وهمياً مع عشائر عربية لتغطي به استحداث دولة كردية مستقلة تصبح قاعدة للأميركيين.

    ومرة ثانية نسأل من المستفيد من تجزئة سورية؟ طبعاً هم الأميركيون جيوبوليتيكياً و»إسرائيل» التي تستفيد من استنفاد القوة السورية استراتيجياً.

    اما قطر فتدعم الاستعمار التركي في احتلاله للشمال الغربي السوري وتموله وتدعمه بالسلاح والتغطية، ويشمل دعمها منظمات حراس الدين واللواء التركستاني وهيئة تحرير الشام وكامل المنظمات المتفرّعة من الإخوان المسلمين.

    وإذا كانت هذه الدول الخليجية الثلاث تتناقض في هوية الذين تدعمهم، لكنها تعرف انهم ينتمون بشكل كامل بالنهاية الى المحور الأميركي.

    ماذا عن اليمن؟ لم يحدث عدوان يمني على السعودية منذ تأسيس البلدين، لكن السعودية تواصل سيطرتها عليه بأساليب مختلفة سياسية وعسكرية وتعتبرها حديثة خلفية لها.

    لقد هاجم حلف عربي مزعوم مركب من السعودية والإمارات بتأييد مصري أردني سوداني وتغطية أميركية بريطانية اسرائيلية، اليمن منذ ستّ سنوات بقوات ضخمة، لم تتمكن من تحقيق أهدافها المتعلقة بالقضاء على أنصار الله في المناطق الشمالية والغربية والوسطى.

    لكنها نجحت في تقسيم ميداني لليمن بين حوثيين في الشمال حتى أعالي صعدة عند الحدود مع السعودية وجنوبيين في الجنوب بين عمان بحر العرب والوسط.

    ونجحت أيضاً في تقسيم الجنوب الى مناطق ساحلية مؤيدة للمجلس الانتقالي الموالي لدولة الإمارات وحضرموت وتامت والجوف الموالية لقوات هادي الملتزم السياسة السعودية.

    وكل هذه الاطراف السعودية الإماراتية تندرج في اطار المشروع الأميركي، فلماذا يريد الأميركيون وآلياتهم الخليجية تقسيم اليمن؟ لتأمين حريات واسعة للهيمنة الأميركية على بحر عدن وباب المندب وبحر عدن المحيط الهندي وتستفيد السعودية بمجاورة يمن مبعثر وضعيف يبقى طويلاً حديقة خلفية لها، اما الامارات فحلمها تأسيس مشاريع سياحية واقتصادية في جزر اليمن وسواحله.

    كذلك فإن «اسرائيل» منتفعة من تجزئة اليمن لان خط مرورها من ايلات الى البحر الاحمر والخليج يصبح اكثر اماناً بالإضافة الى سلامة الخط الذي يربطها بقناة السويس من طريق صديقها السيسي وورثة أنور السادات وشركاه اللاحقين من الاخوان.

    ماذا عن العراق؟ تبذل السعودية والامارات وقطر جهوداً تمويلية جبارة لتقسيمه وفق خطة بريمر القديمة الى ثلاث دول شيعية وسنية وكردية مع نفوذ على شكل احتلال تركي في الشمال مموّل بالكامل من دولة قطر.

    لكن السعودية والإمارات تمولان جماعات الحلبوسي في الوسط ومعظم التيارات الإرهابية فيه والنجيفي وعشائر عربية لا يهمها إلا تلقي المكرمات والأموال.

    وتموّلان أيضاً إقليم كردستان الذي يمتلك إدارة خاصة لكن السعودية والإمارات حرصتا على تمويل جيش كامل مستقل لكردستان البرازاني لدفعه نحو شعور بفائض قوة يدفع هذا الإقليم نحو الانفصال، وبذلك يصبح العراق ثلاث دول وربما أكثر. والمستفيد كالعادة أميركا الجيوبوليتيكية وتركيا الجارة والسعودية التي تعمل منذ ستة عقود على إضعاف أرض السواد.

    بذلك يتضح أن ذهاب الأميركيين نحو مزيد من التراجع يصيب هذه المشاريع الخليجية بتدمير العالم العربي بالخسارة واليتم، وعندها لن تستطيع التبرؤ منها، ولن يقبل المتضرّرون إلا بإسقاط هذه العائلات الحاكمة من آل زايد وسعود وخليفة بشكل نهائي إنقاذاً للعالم العربي من مفاسدهم التاريخيّة.

    يا دعاة الفدراليّة الظاهرين والمستترين: حذار حذار

    د. عدنان منصور

    عرف العالم الحديث، دولاً وأقاليم عديدة، أرادت انّ تنضوي في ما بينها، بعقد دستوري، داخل نظام جديد عرف بالنظام الفدرالي. الغاية من هذا العقد الفدرالي، هو إتاحة الفرصة للدول أو الأقاليم، في إيجاد صيغة مشتركة لنظام جامع، تعزز فيه الأطراف المعنية، موقفها الموحّد، وموقعها السياسي، والمعنوي، والأمني، والمالي والنقدي والعسكري.

    هذه الدول والأقاليم رغم خصوصيتها التي تحرص عليها، إلا أنها آثرت الاختيار والانضمام إلى دولة فدرالية جامعة، لها نظامها الخاص، ودستورها، وقوانينها، وقضاؤها، وجيشها، ونقدها، ورئيسها، وحكومتها، وعلمها، ونشيدها الوطني، يلتزم بها أعضاء ومكوّني الدولة الفدرالية.

    خصوصية كلّ دولة أو إقليم عضو، يحترمها الدستور والقضاء والقوانين الفدرالية، حيث إنه لكلّ دولة أو إقليم تابع للدولة الفدرالية، دستورها، ورئيسها، وبرلمانها، وحكومتها، وقوانينها، وقضاؤها، ومواردها المالية المستقلة، وضرائبها الخاصة بها. وهي تعتني بالقطاع الصحي والتعليمي، والأمن الداخلي، وفرض الضرائب، شريطة أن لا تتعارض الإجراءات المتخذة، ذات الصلة، مع نصوص الدستور وقوانين الدولة الفدرالية.

    خصوصيّة كلّ إقليم أو دولة منضمّة للدولة الفدرالية، تظهر جلياً، في تكوينها الاجتماعي والثقافي، والتاريخي، والنفسي، الذي لا يسمح بالاندماج الكلي، ويرفض الانصهار في الدولة المركزيّة الواحدة الموحدة، وأيضاً الإصرار على الاحتفاظ بلغتها القومية والتحدّث بها، وتدريسها، وأحياناً تعتمد كلغة رسمية الى جانب اللغة الرسمية للدولة الفدرالية ( كندا، سويسرا، وبلجيكا).

    مما لا شكّ فيه انّ الانتقال من الدولة او الإقليم، الى الدولة الفدرالية، تشكل خطوة متقدّمة، تتحصّن داخلها الدولة او الإقليم. إذ انّ الدولة الفدرالية لديها صلاحيات رئيسة يوفرها لها الدستور الفدرالي، حيث تتبع لها القوات المسلحة الاتحادية، والشؤون الخارجية، والعملة والقضاء الفدرالي، وصلاحية إعلان الحرب، وتعيين السفراء.

    في الدولة الفدرالية، تصبح الدول والأقاليم الأعضاء، جزءاً لا يتجزأ من مكانة، وهيبة، وأهمية وقوة الدولة الفدرالية، نظراً للفوائد والمكتسبات التي تحققها الدول الأعضاء من خلال هذه المنظومة، وهيكلها الدستوري.

    لكن أن تكون هناك دولة مركزية، في بلد كلبنان مثلاً، لا تتجاوز مساحته الـ 10452 كلم٢، وفيه ثماني عشرة طائفة موزعة على مساحة الجغرافيا اللبنانية، كقطع الفسيفساء، ثم ينبري البعض للمطالبة بالفدرالية، انطلاقاً من خلفيات طائفية، وذهنية ضيقة، ومن وجهات نظر سياسية لها أبعادها ورهاناتها الخطيرة، على الرغم من انّ اللامركزية الإدارية الحالية في لبنان، تفعل فعلها، وتستخدم صلاحياتها، وتقوم بواجباتها من خلال المحافظات، والقائمقاميات، والبلديات، بما تتمتع به من صلاحيات، وتنفذها بأعمال ومشاريع في مجالات عديدة، تربوية، وصحية، وتنموية، وخدمية.

    لكن عندما تتحول الدولة، من دولة مركزية، الى دولة فدرالية، فهذا أمر خطير، إذ يشكل تراجعاً إلى الوراء، لأنه سيمهّد الطريق في ما بعد، لأصحاب النزعات الانفصالية والاستقلالية، التوجه للانفصال الكامل، والعمل على إنشاء كيانات جديدة هزيلة منفصلة عن الوطن الأمّ.

    وما لبنان إلا واحد من الدول في العالم العربي، الذي تفتك به التدخلات الأجنبية الخارجية لا سيما من “إسرائيل”، التي لم تتوقف عن العمل على تفكيك وتفتيت دوله. فالدولة المركزية في العراق، التي أعطت الحكم الذاتي للكرد، وانتقلت الى الدولة الفدرالية، لم تسفر غليل الكرد بحكمهم الذاتي، بل استغلوا الظروف في وقت من الأوقات، ليكشفوا عن نياتهم بالانفصال عن بغداد،

    وذلك من خلال إجراء استفتاء، أعلنوا بعده الاستقلال عن العراق، وإقامة الدولة الكردية المستقلة، وإنْ تمّ في ما بعد إحباط هذا الانفصال.

    وها هو جنوب السودان، الذي بدأ بالحكم الذاتي، وبعد ذلك بحقّ تقرير المصير، انتهى الى الانفصال الكامل عن الشمال، وإقامة جمهورية جنوب السودان، التي دعمت انفصالها القوى الغربية، ومعها “إسرائيل” التي اعترفت رسمياً وصراحة بذلك، بالإضافة الى دول الجوار السوداني.

    وما الاقتتال الداخلي اليوم في ليبيا، واليمن، والصومال، والإرهاب المفروض على سورية والعراق من قبل القوى الأجنبية المتربصة ببلداننا، إلا ليستهدف وحدة الدول، وضربها من الداخل وتقسيمها الى دويلات هزيلة لا حول ولا قوة لها، تتقاتل وتتصارع في ما بينها، لتقوّض أمن ومستقبل الجميع من دون استثناء.

    عندما تعلو اليوم أصوات مشبوهة في لبنان، تدعو إلى الفدرالية، فأيّ فدرالية يريدونها؟! هل هناك توافق لبناني عليها!؟

    يا دعاة الفدرالية! أنتم لا تريدون وطناً موحّداً، ولا دولة متماسكة، ولا إصلاحاً ولا نهضة. أنتم تريدون لبنان أن يبقى بقرة حلوباً لكم ولعائلاتكم وأزلامكم… فبعد أن جفّ ضرع لبنان، وفعلتم بحقه وحق شعبه ما فعلتموه، تنادون اليوم بالفدرالية، علها تكون بنظركم المخرج المناسب، والملاذ الآمن لكم، لحمايتكم مستقبلاً من المسؤولية والمحاسبة، على ما اقترفته أياديكم السوداء بحق اللبنانيين على مدى عقود.

    فحذار حذار من جرّ لبنان وشعبه الى الهلاك والفوضى وتفكيكه. فهذا أمر مرفوض مرفوض، وانْ كلف الحفاظ على وحدة لبنان، المزيد من التضحيات.

    اللبنانيون الذين حافظوا على الأرض، لا يمكن لهم التفريط بوحدة الدولة تحت أيّ مسمّيات كانت!

    ما نريده، هو لبنان الوحدة والمواطنية الحقيقية، لا لبنان التقسيم والفدرالية.

    نريد وطناً نهائياً لجميع أبنائه، لا وطناً تتقاسمه عائلات الإقطاعيات المناطقية المستنسخة…

    خيار اللبنانيبن الوحيد هو: إما لبنان الواحد، وإما الفدرالية من دون لبنان، وهذا أمر مرفوض ومستحيل، لأنّ قدر لبنان أن يبقى، وسيبقى…

    وزير سابق

    Is there a 6th column trying to subvert Russia?

    THE SAKER • APRIL 30, 2020 

    For those of us who followed the Russian Internet there is a highly visible phenomenon taking place which is quite startling: there are a lot of anti-Putin videos posted on YouTube or its Russian equivalents. Not only that, but a flurry of channels has recently appeared which seem to have made bashing Putin or Mishustin their full-time job. Of course, there have always been anti-Putin and anti-Medvedev videos in the past, but what makes this new wave so different from the old one is that they attack Putin and Mishustin not from pro-Western positions, but from putatively Russian patriotic positions. Even the supposed (not true) “personal advisor” to Putin and national-Bolshevik (true), Alexander Dugin has joined that movement (see here if you understand Russian).

    This is a new, interesting and complex phenomenon, and I will try to unpack it here.

    First, we have to remember that Putin was extremely successful at destroying the pro-Western opposition which, while shown on a daily basis on Russian TV, represents something in the 3-5% of the people at most. You might ask why they are so frequent on TV, and the reason is simple: the more they talk, the more they are hated.

    So far from silencing the opposition, the Kremlin not only gives it air time, it even pays opposition figures top dollars to participate in the most popular talk shows. See here and here for more details

    Truly, the reputation of the pro-Western “liberal” (in the Russian sense) opposition is now roadkill in Russia. Yes, there is a core of russophobic Russians who hate Russia with a passion (they refer to it as “Rashka”) and their hatred for everything Russian is so obvious that they are universally despised all over the country (the one big exception being Moscow where there is a much stronger “liberal” opposition which gets the support of all those who had a great time pillaging Russia in the 1990s and who now hate Putin for putting an end to their malfeasance).

    As for the Duma opposition, it is an opposition only in name. They make noises, they bitch here and there, they condemn this or that, but at the end of the day, they will not represent a credible opposition at all.

    Why?

    Well, look at this screenshot I took from a Russian polling site:

    The chart is in Russian, but it is also extremely simple to understand. On the Y axis, you see the percentage of people who “totally trust” and “mostly trust” the six politicians, in order: Putin, Mishustin, Zhirinovskii, Ziuganov, Mironov and Medvedev. The the X axis you see the time frame going from July 2019 to April 2020.

    The only thing which really matters is this: 

    in spite all the objective and subjective problems of Russia, in spite of a widely unpopular pension reform, in spite of all the western sanctions and in spite of the pandemic, Putin still sits alone in a rock-solid position: he has the overwhelming support of the Russian people. This single cause pretty much explains everything else I will be talking about today.

    As most of you probably remember, there were already several waves of anti-Putin PSYOPS in the past, but they all failed for very simple reasons:

    1. Most Russians remember the horrors of the 1990s when the pro-Western “liberals” were in power.
    2. Second, the Russian people could observe how the West put bona fide rabidly russophobic Nazis in power in Kiev. The liberals expressed a great deal of sympathy for the Ukronazi regime. Few Russians doubt that if the pro-western “liberals” got to power, they would turn Russia into something very similar to today’s Ukraine.
    3. Next, the Russians could follow, day after day, how the Ukraine imploded, went through a bloody civil war, underwent a almost total de-industrialization and ended up with a real buffoon as President (Zelenskii just appointed, I kid you not, Saakashvili as Vice Prime Minister of the Ukraine, that is all you need to know to get the full measure of what kind of clueless imbecile Zelenskii is!). Not only do the liberals blame Russia for what happened to this poor country, they openly support Zelenskii.
    4. Most (all?) of the pro-western “NGO” (I put that in quotation marks, because these putatively non-governmental organization were entirely financed by western governments, mostly US and UK) were legally forced to reveal their sources of financing and most of them got listed as “foreign agents”. Others were simply kicked out of Russia. Thus, it became impossible for the AngloZionists to trigger what appeared to be “mass protests” under these condition.
    5. There is a solid “anti-Maidan” movement in Russia (including in Moscow!) which is ready to “pounce” (politically) in case of any Maidan-like movement in Russia. I strongly suspect that the FSB has a warm if unofficial collaboration with them.
    6. The Russian internal security services (FSB, FSO, National Guard, etc.) saw a major revival under Putin and they are now not only more powerful than in the past, but also much better organized to deal with subversion. As for the armed forces are solidly behind Putin and Shoigu. While in the 1990s Russia was basically defenseless, Russia today is a very tough nut to crack for western subversion/PSYOP operations.
    7. Last, but not least, the Russian liberals are so obviously from the class Alexander Solzhenitsyn referred to as “obrazovanshchina“, a word hard to translate but which roughly means “pretend educated”: these folks have always considered themselves very superior to the vast majority of the Russian people and they simply cannot hide their contempt for the “common man” (very similar to Hillary’s “deporables”). The common man fully realizes that and, quite logically, profoundly distrusts and even hates “liberals”.

    There came a moment when the western curators of the Russian 5th column realized that calling Putin names in the western press, or publicly accusing him of being a “bloody despot” and a “KGB killer” might work with the gullible and brainwashed western audience, but it got absolutely no traction whatsoever in Russia.

    And then, somebody, somewhere (I don’t know who, or where) came up with an truly brilliant idea: accusing Putin of not being a patriot and declare that he is a puppet in the hands of the AngloZionist Empire. This was nothing short of brilliant, I have to admit that.

    First, they tried to sell the idea that Putin was about to “sell out” (or “trade”) Novorussia. One theory was that Russia would stand by and let the Ukronazis invade Novorussia. Another one was that the US and Russia would make a secret deal and “give” Syria to Putin, if he “gave” Novorussia to the Empire. Alternatively, there was the version that Russia would “give” Syria to Trump and he would “give” Novorussia to Putin. The actual narrative does not matter. What matters, A LOT, is that Putin was not presented as the “new Hitler” who would invade Poland and the Baltics, who would poison the Skripals, who would hack DNC servers and “put Trump into power”. These plain stupid fairy tales had not credibility in Russia. But Putin “selling out” Novorussia was much more credible, especially after it was clear that Russia did not allow the DNR/LNR forces to seize Mariupol.

    I remain convinced that this was the correct decision. Why? Because had the DNR/LNR forces entered Mariupol their critical supply lines would have been cut off by an envelopment maneuver by the Ukrainian forces. Yes, the DNR/LNR forces did have the power needed to take Mariupol, but then they would end up surrounded by Ukronazi forces in a “cauldron/siege” kind of situation which would then have forced Russia to openly intervene to either support these forces. That was a no brainer in military terms, but in political terms this would have been a disaster for Russia and a dream come true to the AngloZionists who could (finally!) “prove” that Russia was involved all along. The folks in the Russian General Staff are clearly much smarter than the couch-generals which were accusing Russia of treason for now letting Mariupol be liberated.

    Eventually, both the “sellout Syria” and the “sellout Novorussia” narratives lost their traction and the PSYOPS specialists in the West tried another good one: Putin became the obedient servant of Israel and, personally, Netanyahu. The arguments were very similar: Putin did not allow Syrians (or Russians) to shoot down Israeli aircraft over the Mediterranean or Lebanon, Putin did not use the famous S-400 to protect Syrian targets from Israeli strikes, and Putin did not land an airborne division in Syria to deal with the Takfiris. And nevermind here the fact that the officially declared Russian objectives in Syria were only to “stabilize the legitimate authority and create conditions for a political compromise” (see herefor details). The simple truth is that Putin never said that he would liberate each square meter of Syrian land from the Takfiris nor did he promise to defend Syria against Israel!

    Still, for a while the Internet was inundated with articles claiming that Putin and Netanyahu were closely coordinating their every step and that Putin was Israel’s chum.

    Eventually, this canard also lost a lot of credibility. After all, most folks are smart enough to realize that if Putin wanted to help Israel, all he had to do is… … well… … exactly *nothing*: the Takfiris would take Damascus and it would be “game over” for a civilized Syria and the Israelis would have a perfect pretext to intervene.

    As I have already mentioned in a past article, these were the original Israeli goals for Syria:

    1. Bring down a strong secular Arab state along with its political structure, armed forces and security services.
    2. Create total chaos and horror in Syria justifying the creation of a “security zone” by Israel not only in the Golan, but further north.
    3. Trigger a civil war in Lebanon by unleashing the Takfiri crazies against Hezbollah.
    4. Let the Takfiris and Hezbollah bleed each other to death, then create a “security zone”, but this time in Lebanon.
    5. Prevent the creation of a Shia axis Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon.
    6. Breakup Syria along ethnic and religious lines.
    7. Create a Kurdistan which could then be used against Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran.
    8. Make it possible for Israel to become the uncontested power broker in the Middle-East and forces the KSA, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and all others to have to go to Israel for any gas or oil pipeline project.
    9. Gradually isolate, threaten, subvert and eventually attack Iran with a wide regional coalition of forces.
    10. Eliminate all center of Shia power in the Middle-East.

    It is quite easy nowadays to prove the two following theses:

    1) Israel dismally failed to achieve ANY of the above set goals and

    2) the Russian intervention is the one single most important factor which prevented Israel from achieving these goals (the 2nd most important one was the heroic support given by Iran and Hezbollah who, quite literally, “saved the day”, especially during the early phases of the Russian intervention. Only an ignorant or dishonest person could seriously claim that Russia and Israel are working together when Russia, in reality, completely defeated Israel in Syria.

    Still, while the first PSYOP (Putin the new Hitler) failed, and while the second PSYOP (Putin the sellout) also failed, the PSYOP specialists in the West came up with a much more potentially dangerous and effective PSYOP operation.

    But first, they did something truly brilliant: they realized that their best allies in Russia would not be the (frankly, clueless) “liberals” but that they would find a much more powerful “ally” in those nostalgic of the Soviet Union. This I have to explain in some detail.

    First, there is one thing human psychology which I have observed all my life: we tend to remember the good and forget the bad. Today, most of what I remember from boot-camp (and even “survival week”) sounds like fun times. The truth is that while in boot camp I hated almost every day. In a similar way, a lot of Russian have developed a kind of nostalgia for the Soviet era. I can understand that. After all, during the 50s the USSR achieved a truly miraculous rebirth, then in the 60s and 70s there were a lot of true triumphs. Finally, even in the hated 80s the USSR did achieve absolutely spectacular things (in science, technology, etc.). This is all true. What is often forgotten is that at the same time, the Soviet society was oppressive, the corrupt and geriatric CPSU ran everything and was mostly hated, the Russian people were afraid of the KGB and could not enjoy the freedoms folks in the US or Europe had. In truth, it was a mixed bag, but it is easy to remember only the good stuff.

    Furthermore, a lot of folks who had high positions during the Soviet era did lose it all. And now that Russia is objectively undergoing various difficult trials, these folks have “smelled blood” and they clearly hope that by some miracle Putin will be overthrown. He won’t, if only for the following very basic reasons:

    1. The kind of state apparatus which protects Putin today can easily deal with this new, pseudo (I will explain below why I say “pseudo”) patriotic opposition.
    2. In the ranks of this opposition there is absolutely no credible leader (remember the chart above!)
    3. This opposition mostly complains, but offers no real solutions.

    The core of this opposition is formed of Communists and Communist sympathizers who absolutely hate Putin for his (quite outspoken) anti-Communism. Let’s call them “new Communists” or “Neo-Communists”. And here is what makes them much more dangerous than the “liberal” opposition: the Neo-Communists are often absolutely right.

    The (in my opinion) sad reality is that, for all his immense qualities, Putin is indeed a liberal, at least an economic sense. This manifests itself in two very different ways:

    1. Putin has still not removed all of the 5th columnists (aka “Atlantic Integrationists” aka “Washington consensus” types) from power. Yes, he did ditch Medvedev, but others (Nabiulina, Siluanov, etc.) are still there.
    2. Putin inherited a very bad system where almost all they key actors were 5th columnists. Not just a few (in)famous individuals, but an entire CLASS (in a Marxist sense of the term) of people who hate anything “social” and who support “liberal” ideas just so they can fill their pockets.

    Here is the paradox: the USSR died in 1991-1993, Putin is an anti-Communist, but there STILL is a (Soviet-style) Nomenklatura in Russia, except for now they are often referred to as “oligarchs” (which is incorrect because, say, the Ukrainian oligarch truly decide the fate of the nation whereas this new Russian Nomenklatura does not decide the fate of Russia as a whole, but they have a major influence in the financial sector, which is what they care mostly about).

    So we have something of a, maybe not quite “perfect”, but still very dangerous storm looming over Russia. How? Consider this:

    Under Putin the Russian foreign policy has been such a success that even the Russian liberals, very reluctantly, admit that he did a pretty good job. However, the internal, many financial, policies of Russia have been a disaster. Just one example, the fact that the major Russian banks are bloated with their immense revenues, did not prevent millions of Russians from living in poverty and many hundreds of thousands of Russian small/family businesses of going under due to the very high interest rates.

    One key problem in Russia is that both the Central Bank and the major commercial banks only care about their profits. What Russia truly needs is a state-owed DEVELOPMENT bank whose goal would not be millions and billions for the few, but making it possible for the creativity of the Russian people to truly blossom. Today, we see the exact opposite in Russia.

    So what is my beef with this social ( if not quite “Socialist”) opposition?

    They are so focused on their narrow complaints that they completely miss the big picture. Let me explain.

    First, Russia has been in a state of war against the US+EU+NATO since at least 2015. Yes, this war is 80% informational, 15% economic and only 5% kinetic. But it is a very real war nonetheless. The key characteristic of a real war is that victory is only achieved by one side, the other is fully defeated. Which means that the war between the AngloZionist Empire is an existential one: one party will win and survive, the other one will disappear and will be replaced with a qualitatively new polity/society. The Neo-Communist Russian opposition steadfastly pretends like there is no war, like all the losses (economic and human) are only the result of corruption and incompetence. They forget that during the last war between Russia and the “United West” German tanks were at the outskirts of Moscow.

    Well, of course they know that. But they pretend not to. And this is why I think of them as the 6th column (as opposed to the 5th, openly “liberal” and pro-Western one).

    Second, while this opposition is, in my opinion, absolutely correct in deploring Putin’s apparent belief that following the advice of what I would call “IMF types” is safer than following recommendations of what could be loosely called “opposition economists” (here I think of Glaziev, whose views I personally fully support), they fail to realize the risks involved in crushing the “IMF types”. The sad truth is that Russian banks are very powerful and that in many ways, the state cannot afford totally alienating them. Right now the banks support Putin only because he supports them. But if Putin decided to follow the advice of, say, Glaziev and his supporters, the Russian bankers would react with a “total war” against Putin.

    If you study Russian history, you will soon realize that Russia did superbly with military enemies, did very averagely with diplomatic efforts (which often negated military victories) and did terribly with what we could call the “internal opposition”.

    So let me repeat it here: I do not consider NATO or the US as credible military threats to Russia, unless they decide to use nuclear weapons, at which point both Russia and the West would suffer terribly. But even in this scenario, Russia would prevail (Russia has a 10-15 year advantage against the US in both civilian and military nuclear technologies and the Russian society is far more survivable one – if this topic is of interest to you, just read Dmitry Orlov’s books who explains it all better than I ever could). I have always, and still do, consider that the real danger for Putin and those who share his views is the internal, often “insider”, opposition in Russia. They were always the ones to present the biggest threat to any Russian ruler, from the Czars to Stalin.

    This new Neo-Communist 6th column is, however, a much more dangerous threat to the future of Russia than the pro-western 5th columnists. Some of their tactics are extremely devious. For example, one of the things you hear most often from these folks is this: “unless Putin does X, Y or Z, there is a risk of a bloody revolution”. Having listened to many tens of their videos, I can tell you with total security that far from fearing a bloody revolution, these folks in reality dream of such a revolution.

    ”Too often in our history we have seen that instead of an opposition to the government we are confronted with an opposition to Russia herself. And we know how this ends: with the destruction of the state as such”.

    ”Too often in our history we have seen that instead of an opposition to the government we are confronted with an opposition to Russia herself. And we know how this ends: with the destruction of the state as such”.

    Now, if you think as a true patriot of Russia, you have to realize that Russia suffered from not one, but two, truly horrible revolutions: in 1917 and 1991. In each case the consequences of these revolutions (irrespective of how justified they might have appeared at the time) were absolutely horrible: both in 1917 and in 1991 Russia almost completely vanished as a country, and millions suffered terribly. I now hold is as axiomatic that nothing would be worse for Russia than *any* revolution, no matter what ideology feeds it or how bad the “regime in power” might appear to be.

    Putin is acutely aware of that (see image).

    These Neo-Communists would very much disagree with me.

    They “warn” about a revolution, while in reality trying to create the conditions for one.

    Now let me be clear: I am absolutely convinced that NO revolution (Neo-Communist or other) is possible in Russia. More accurately, while I do believe that an attempt for a revolution could happen, I believe that any coup/revolution against Putin is bound to fail. Why? The graphic above.

    Even if by some (horrible) miracle, it was possible to defeat/neutralize the combined power of the FSB+FSO+National Guard+Armed forces (which I find impossible), this “success” would be limited to Moscow or, at most, the Moscow Oblast. Beyond that it is all “Putin territory”. In terms of firepower, the Moscow Oblast has a lot of first-rate units, but it does not even come close to what the “rest of Russia” could engage (just the 58th Army in the south would be unstoppable). But even that is not truly crucial. The truly crucial thing following any coup/revolution would be the 70%+ of Russian people who, for the first time in centuries, truly believe that Putin stands for their interest and that he is “their man”. These people will never accept any illegal attempt to remove Putin from power. That is the key reason why no successful revolution is currently possible in Russia.

    But while any revolution/coup would be bound to fail, it could very much result in a bloodbath way bigger than what happened in 1993 (where the military was mostly not engaged in the events).

    Now lets add it all up.

    There is a very vocal internal opposition to Putin in Russia which is most unlikely to ever get real popular support, but which could possibly unite enough of the nostalgics of the Soviet era to create a real crisis.

    This internal opposition clearly and objectively weakens the authority/reputation of Putin, which has been main goal of the western “alphabet soup” ever since Putin came to power.

    This internal opposition, being mostly nostalgics of the Soviet era, will get no official support from the West, but it will enjoy a maximal covert support from the western “alphabet soup”.

    Finally, this Neo-Communist opposition will never seize power, but it might create a very real internal political crisis which will very much weaken Putin and the Eurasian Sovereignists.

    So what is the solution?

    Putin needs to preempt any civil unrest. Removing Medvedev and replacing him by Mishustin was the correct move, but it was also too little too late. Frankly, I believe that it is high time for Putin to finally openly break with the “Washington consensus types” and listen to Glaziev who, at least, is no Communist.

    Russia has always been a collectivistic society, and she needs to stop apologizing (even just mentally) for this. Instead, she should openly and fully embrace her collectivistic culture and traditions and show the “Washington consensus” types to the door.

    Yes, the Moscow elites will be furious, but it is also high time to tell these folks that they don’t own Russia, and that while they could make a killing prostituting themselves to the Empire, most Russian don’t want to do that.

    The bottom line is this: Putin represents something very unique and very precious: he is a true Russian patriot, but he is not one nostalgic for the days of the Soviet Union. Right now, he is the only (or one of very few) Russian politician which can claim this quality. He needs to preempt the crisis which the Neo-Communists could trigger not by silencing them, but by realizing that on some issues the Russian people do, in fact, agree with them (even if they are not willing to call for a revolution).

    Does that sound complicated or even convoluted? If it does, it is because it is. But for all the nuances we can discern a bottom line: it is not worth prevailing (or even failing) if that weakens/threatens Russia. Right now, the Neo-Communist opposition is, objectively, a threat to the stability and prosperity of Russia. That does NOT, however, mean that these folks are always wrong. They often are spot on, 100% correct.

    Putin needs to prove them wrong by listening to them and do the right thing.

    Difficult? Yes. Doable? Yes. Therefore he has to do it.

    IRAQ FACING A GREAT US THREAT: CHINA, AL-HASHD AND IRAN OUT, OR ELSE! … (2/2)

    By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

    No country could fail to be shaken by the kind of profound struggle between all its political groups that currently prevails in Iraq. The US does not need to make any great effort to sow discord between the parties because they are currently intrinsically fragmented. The removal of Major General Qassim Suleimani from the Iraqi scene– whose personal objective had been to bring the various political parties together – was a major event, but not a game-changer. It did not profoundly modify the Iraqi political scene because he had already failed, two months before his assassination by the US, to persuade the parties to agree on a single Prime Ministerial candidate, following the resignation of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi. Iraqi politicians put their differences above all else in order to protect their political influences, unmoved by the patriotic duty for unity in the light of the serious challenges facing their country.

    Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi was not mistaken when he once told me: “We do not know how to rule. We are good at opposing the ruler.” No ruler in Iraq will be able to get the country out of its current severe financial crisis, the political acrimony, and COVID-19 health crisis, because the financial means are lacking. The pressure from the street, where protestors were demanding improved living conditions, will return stronger than ever. The low price of crude oil is undermining Iraq’s yearly income. The state’s budget deficit is skyrocketing; its external debts are persistent and its need for help from the World Bank, which is under US control, is greater than ever. America will not provide financial assistance until its demands are fulfilled and Iranian influence is removed from Iraq.

    America rejects Iraq’s balancing policy. Iraq considers its relationship with the US only as important as its relationship with neighbouring Iran. Washington wants Iraq for itself, adopting one principle: “after me, the great flood” (après moi le deluge) an expression said to be often used by Louis XV of France to indicate that he is the centre of attention, no other consideration matter but his own self-obsession and that any other considerations are irrelevant.

    The US is supporting Iraqi Kurdistan by expanding its “Harir” military base and establishing another large military base on the border with Iran. The message to Baghdad seems blunt: US forces will remain in the face of resistance from those parts of Iraq more subject to Baghdad’s authority. In Kurdistan, the central government authority is not as effective as in other parts of the country. The US supports the Kurdish Peshmerga and arms them through its allies, the United Arab Emirates, who are providing the Kurdish armed men with weaponry: four cargos full of weapons landed recently in Erbil. 

    It is not excluded, if Trump remains in power, that his administration will help the Kurdistan region detach itself from Iraq, as it may also support a Kurdish secession attempt in north-eastern Syria. In the part of Syria, the US is occupying with Kurdish help, US forces are stealing Syrian crude oil- even if its price is no longer sufficient to pay the expenses of the troops deployed around it- indicating that there is another reason for their presence, related to the US ally, Israel. 

    Iraqi protestors refer to the United States as the “Joker,” a powerful force exerting influence on events in Iraq, often covertly. This influence was evident in last year’s demonstrations, but most conspicuously in the Kurdistan independence movement. Kurdish officials already rejected the binding constitutional decision of the Iraqi parliament – in a clear rebellion against the authority of Baghdad –which demanded the US withdrawal from Iraq.

    Iraqi decision-makers in Baghdad believe that US President Donald Trump acts only in accordance with his own country’s interests. He thanked Adel Abdul-Mahdi for his protection of the US embassy because it was attacked in Baghdad. The US President sent a positive message to Iran through Abdul-Mahdi and then, a few days later, killed the Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. The US administration is also working for Israel’s interests in Iraq – and not according to the “declared” interest of the US in building a strong and friendly Iraq-US relationship. 

    Trump did not listen to his protests when Abdul-Mahdi called him personally and told him that US actions in attacking security forces were angering the Iraqis and that any unilateral action would have catastrophic consequences for everyone. Rather, Trump listened to his aides who consider the Middle East leaders as subordinates, not allies. This US condescension serves the interests of Iran, which knows how to benefit from American mistakes, said the sources.

    There is no doubt that Iraq is facing a crisis, with severe domestic bickering adding to the difficult economic and sanitary situation affecting all countries. But the greatest danger to the country comes from the Trump administration, which can only imagine subduing states by force. The US will certainly end up “reaping the whirlwind” rather than gaining a robust alliance with Iraq.

    There is no doubt that Iraq is experiencing difficult labour in the midst of severe domestic bickering, plus the difficult economic and sanitary situation affecting all countries. But even more dangerous is the fact that Iraq is in the eye of the storm, pulled off course by the winds of Trump, who can only imagine subduing states by force. The US will certainly end up “reaping the whirlwind” rather than gaining any kind of robust allies.

    Proofread by:  Maurice Brasher and C.G.B

    This article is translated free to many languages by volunteers so readers can enjoy the content. It shall not be masked by Paywall. I’d like to thank my followers and readers for their confidence and support. If you liked it, please don’t feel embarrassed to contribute and help fund it, for as little as 1 Euro. Your contribution, however small, will help ensure its continuity. Thank you.

    Copyright © https://ejmagnier.com   2020 

    WHICH TARGET AFTER SYRIA?

    Source

    19 years of “war without end”

    President George W. Bush decided to radically transform the Pentagon’s missions, as Colonel Ralph Peters explained in the Army magazine Parameters on September 13, 2001. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld appointed Admiral Arthur Cebrowski to train future officers. Cebrowski spent three years touring military universities so that today all general officers have taken his courses. His thoughts were popularized for the general public by his deputy, Thomas Barnett.

    The areas affected by the US war will be given over to “chaos”. This concept is to be understood in the sense of the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes, i.e. as the absence of political structures capable of protecting citizens from their own violence (“Man is a wolf to man”). And not in the biblical sense of making a clean slate before the creation of a new order.

    This war is an adaptation of the US Armed Forces to the era of globalization, to the transition from productive capitalism to financial capitalism. “War is a Racket,” as Smedley Butler, America’s most decorated general, used to say before World War II [1]. From now on, friends and enemies will no longer count; war will allow for the simple management of natural resources.

    This form of war involves many crimes against humanity (including ethnic cleansing) that the US Armed Forces cannot commit. Secretary Donald Rumsfeld therefore hired private armies (including Blackwater) and developed terrorist organizations while pretending to fight them.

    The Bush and Obama administrations followed this strategy: to destroy the state structures of entire regions of the world. The US war is no longer about winning, but about lasting (the “war without end”). President Donald Trump and his first National Security Advisor, General Michael Flynn, have questioned this development without being able to change it. Today, the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski thinkers pursue their goals not so much through the Defence Secretariat as through NATO.

    After President Bush launched the “never-ending war” in Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003), there was strong contestation among Washington’s political elites about the arguments that had justified the invasion of Iraq and the disorder there. This was the Baker-Hamilton Commission (2006). The war never stopped in Afghanistan or Iraq, but it took five years for President Obama to open new theatres of operation: Libya (2011), Syria (2012) and Yemen (2015).

    Two external actors interfered with this plan.
     In 2010-11, the United Kingdom launched the “Arab Spring”, an operation modeled on the “Arab Revolt” of 1915, which allowed Lawrence of Arabia to put the Wahhabi in power on the Arabian Peninsula. This time it was a question of placing the Muslim Brotherhood in power with the help not of the Pentagon, but of the US State Department and NATO.
     In 2014, Russia intervened in Syria, whose state had not collapsed and which it helped to resist. Since then, the British – who had tried to change the regime there during the “Arab Spring” (2011-early 2012) – and then the Americans – who were seeking to overthrow not the regime, but the state (mid-2012 to the present) – have had to withdraw. Russia, pursuing the dream of Tsarina Catherine, is today fighting against chaos, for stability – that is to say, for the defence of state structures and respect for borders.

    Colonel Ralph Peters, who in 2001 revealed the Pentagon’s new strategy, published Admiral Cebrowski’s map of objectives in 2006. It showed that only Israel and Jordan would not be affected. All other countries in the “Broader Middle East” (i.e., from Morocco to Pakistan) would gradually be stateless and all major countries (including Saudi Arabia and Turkey) would disappear.

    Noting that its best ally, the United States, was planning to cut its territory in two in order to create a “free Kurdistan”, Turkey unsuccessfully tried to get closer to China, and then adopted the theory of Professor Ahmet Davutoğlu: “Zero problems with its neighbours”. It distanced itself from Israel and began to negotiate peace with Cyprus, Greece, Armenia, Iraq etc. It also distanced itself from Israel. Despite the territorial dispute over Hatay, it created a common market with Syria. However, in 2011, when Libya was already isolated, France convinced Turkey that it could escape partition if it joined NATO’s ambitions. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a political Islamist of the Millî Görüş, joined the Muslim Brotherhood, of which he was not a member, hoping to recoup the fruits of the ’Arab Spring’ for his own benefit. Turkey turned against one of its main clients, Libya, and then against one of its main partners, Syria.

    In 2013, the Pentagon adapted the “endless war” to the realities on the ground. Robin Wright published two corrective maps in the New York Times. The first dealt with the division of Libya, the second with the creation of a “Kurdistan” affecting only Syria and Iraq and sparing the eastern half of Turkey and Iran. It also announced the creation of a “Sunnistan” straddling Iraq and Syria, dividing Saudi Arabia into five and Yemen into two. This last operation began in 2015.

    The Turkish General Staff was very happy with this correction and prepared for the events. It concluded agreements with Qatar (2017), Kuwait (2018) and Sudan (2017) to set up military bases and surround the Saudi kingdom. In 2019 it financed an international press campaign against the “Sultan” and a coup d’état in Sudan. At the same time, Turkey supported the new project of “Kurdistan” sparing its territory and participated in the creation of “Sunnistan” by Daesh under the name of “Caliphate”. However, the Russian intervention in Syria and the Iranian intervention in Iraq brought this project to a halt.

    In 2017, regional president Massoud Barzani organised a referendum for independence in Iraqi Kurdistan. Immediately, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran understood that the Pentagon, returning to its original plan, was preparing to create a “free Kurdistan” by cutting up their respective territories. They coalesced to defeat it. In 2019, the PKK/PYG announced that it was preparing for the independence of the Syrian ’Rojava’. Without waiting, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran once again joined forces. Turkey invaded the “Rojava”, chasing the PKK/YPG, without much reaction from the Syrian and Russian armies.

    In 2019, the Turkish General Staff became convinced that the Pentagon, having temporarily renounced destroying Syria because of the Russian presence, was now preparing to destroy the Turkish state. In order to postpone the deadline, it tried to reactivate the “endless war” in Libya, then to threaten the members of NATO with the worst calamities: the European Union with migratory subversion and the United States with a war with Russia. To do this, it opened its border with Greece to migrants and attacked the Russian and Syrian armies in Idleb where they bombed the Al Qaeda and Daesh jihadists who had taken refuge there. This is the episode we are living through today.

    Robin Wright’s "Reshaping the Broader Middle East" map, published by Robin Wright.
    Robin Wright’s “Reshaping the Broader Middle East” map, published by Robin Wright.

    The Moscow Additional Protocol

    The Turkish army caused Russian and Syrian casualties in February 2020, while President Erdoğan made numerous phone calls to his Russian counterpart, Putin, to lower the tension he was causing with one hand.

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged to curb the Pentagon’s appetites if Turkey helped the Pentagon restart the “endless war” in Libya. This country is divided into a thousand tribes that clash around two main leaders, both CIA agents, the president of the Presidential Council, Fayez el-Sarraj, and the commander of the National Army, Khalifa Haftar.

    Last week, the UN Secretary General’s special envoy to Libya, Professor Ghassan Salame, was asked to resign for “health reasons”. He complied, not without expressing his bad mood at a press conference. An axis has been set up to support al-Sarraj by the Muslim Brotherhood around Qatar and Turkey. A second coalition was born around Haftar with Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, but also Saudi Arabia and Syria.

    It is the great return of the latter on the international scene. Syria is the culmination of nine years of victorious resistance to the Brotherhood and the United States. Two Libyan and Syrian embassies were opened with great pomp and circumstance on 4 March, in Damascus and Benghazi.

    Moreover, the European Union, after having solemnly condemned the “Turkish blackmail of refugees”, sent the President of the Commission to observe the flow of refugees at the Greek-Turkish border and the President of the Council to survey President Erdoğan in Ankara. The latter confirmed that an arrangement was possible if the Union undertook to defend the ’territorial integrity’ of Turkey.

    With keen pleasure, the Kremlin has staged the surrender of Turkey: the Turkish delegation is standing, contrary to the habit where chairs are provided for guests; behind it, a statue of Empress Catherine the Great recalls that Russia was already present in Syria in the 18th century. Finally, Presidents Erdoğan and Putin are seated in front of a pendulum commemorating the Russian victory over the Ottoman Empire.
    With keen pleasure, the Kremlin has staged the surrender of Turkey: the Turkish delegation is standing, contrary to the habit where chairs are provided for guests; behind it, a statue of Empress Catherine the Great recalls that Russia was already present in Syria in the 18th century. Finally, Presidents Erdoğan and Putin are seated in front of a pendulum commemorating the Russian victory over the Ottoman Empire.

    It was thus on this basis that President Vladimir Putin received President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the Kremlin on March 5. A first, restricted, three-hour meeting was devoted to relations with the United States. Russia would have committed itself to protect Turkey from a possible partition on the condition that it signs and applies an Additional Protocol to the Memorandum on Stabilization of the Situation in the Idlib De-Escalation Area [2]. A second meeting, also of three hours duration but open to ministers and advisers, was devoted to the drafting of this text. It provides for the creation of a 12-kilometre-wide security corridor around the M4 motorway, jointly monitored by the two parties. To put it plainly: Turkey is backing away north of the reopened motorway and losing the town of Jisr-el-Chogour, a stronghold of the jihadists. Above all, it must at last apply the Sochi memorandum, which provides for support only for the Syrian armed opposition, which is supposed to be democratic and not Islamist, and for combating the jihadists. However, this “democratic armed opposition” is nothing more than a chimera imagined by British propaganda. In fact, Turkey will either have to kill the jihadists itself, or continue and complete their transfer from Idleb (Syria) to Djerba (Tunisia) and then Tripoli (Libya) as it began to do in January.

    In addition, on March 7, President Putin contacted former President Nazerbayev to explore with him the possibility of deploying Kazakh “blue chapkas” in Syria under the auspices of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). This option had already been considered in 2012. Kazakh soldiers have the advantage of being Muslims and not orthodox.

    The option of attacking Saudi Arabia rather than Turkey from now on has been activated by the Pentagon, it is believed to be known in Riyadh, although President Trump is imposing delirious arms orders on it in exchange for its protection. The dissection of Saudi Arabia had been envisaged by the Pentagon as early as 2002 [3].

    Missiles were fired this week against the royal palace in Riyadh. Prince Mohamed ben Salmane (known as “MBS”, 34 years old) had his uncle, Prince Ahmed (70 years old), and his former competitor and ex-heir prince, Prince Mohamed ben Nayef (60 years old), as well as various other princes and generals arrested. The Shia province of Qatif, where several cities have already been razed to the ground, has been isolated. Official explanations of succession disputes and coronavirus are not enough [4].

    Notes:

    [1] “I had 33 years and 4 months of active service, and during that time I spent most of my time as a big shot for business, for Wall Street, and for bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster in the service of capitalism. I helped secure Mexico, especially the city of Tampico, for the American oil companies in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a suitable place for the men of the National City Bank to make a profit. I helped rape half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the American bank Brown Brothers from 1902 to 1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the benefit of American sugar companies in 1916. I delivered Honduras to American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927, I helped the Standard Oil company do business in peace.” Smedley Butler in War Is a Racket, Feral House (1935)

    [2] “Additional Protocol to the Memorandum on Stabilization of the Situation in the Idlib De-Escalation Area”, Voltaire Network, 5 March 2020.

    [3] “Taking Saudi out of Arabia“, Powerpoint by Laurent Murawiec for a meeting of the Defence Policy Board (July 10, 2002).

    [4] “Two Saudi Royal Princes Held, Accused of Plotting a Coup”, Bradley Hope, Wall Street Journal; “Detaining Relatives, Saudi Prince Clamps Down”, David Kirkpatrick & Ben Hubbard, The New Yok Times, March 7, 2020.


    By Thierry Meyssan
    Source: Voltaire Network

    العراق ميدان الحروب المقبلة!

    د. وفيق إبراهيم

    تتلاحق القرارات الأميركية بخصوص وضع قواتهم العسكرية في العراق، بشكل لا يخشون فيه من أي اتهام لهم باحتلاله.

    فهم بالفعل محتلّون يُصدرون قرارات حاسمة معتمدين بتفتيته الى وجود مكوّنات ثلاثة متصارعة وشبه منقسمة بأبعاد عرقية وطائفية وجغرافية.

    وهذا ينسحب على الرئاسات العراقية الثلاث الجمهورية «الكردية» والحكومية «الشيعية» والنواب «السنية» التي توالي سياسات مذاهبها، وبالتالي مناطقها بما ينتج ضياعاً للقرار الوطني الموحّد والتصاقاً بالسياسات الدولية والإقليمية.

    هذه هي الوضعية التي يستفيد منها الأميركيون منذ احتلالهم للعراق في 2003، مرغمين سلطاته الدستورية في مراحل لاحقة بالاعتراف بهم في معاهدات الجديدة بأنهم قوى مساندة للدولة العراقية من أجل مكافحة الارهاب من جهة، ولتدريب القوات العراقية من جهة ثانية.

    لكن هذه المهام لم تنته وكان يتوجب على الأميركيين الرحيل في 2013، ولم يفعلوا، بذريعة ان الارهاب لا يزال منتشراً حتى أنهم زادوا من قواتهم وقواعدهم في العراق وخصوصاً تلك المنتشرة على حدوده مع سورية.

    بأي حال ليس هناك انتشار عسكري أميركي في بلاد غريبة من دون وظائف سياسية. وهذا يسري على العراق ايضاً.

    بما يفرض الربط بين الحركتين الأميركيتين العسكرية والسياسية في بلاد الرافدين والجوار السوري.

    فهل يمكن تجاهل زيارة الرئيس الأميركي ترامب لقاعدة أميركية في العراق من دون التقائه بالرؤساء العراقيين؟ صحيح أن هذا السلوك استخفافيّ بأصحاب الارض، لكن هناك ما هو أخطر ولم يكترث له السياسيون والعراقيون ولم يتجرأوا على انتقاده وهو تصريح لترامب اثناء «تسلله» الى العراق، يقول فيه إن بلاده باقية في العراق لادارة شؤون المنطقة وتبعه وزيرا الخارجية والدفاع الأميركيان بزيارات مماثلة أكملت ممارسة السياسة الاستخفافية الأميركية بالحكومات العراقية.

    أما الخطوة الثالثة فترجمها الأميركيون على شكل تحصين عالي المستوى والمناعة لمقارهم الدبلوماسية في بغداد وكردستان وتزويد قواعدهم بأسلحة نوعية مع عديد ملائم.

    وواكبوها بتعطيل متعمد وواضح لتشكيل أي حكومة عراقية جديدة إلا بمعادلة «مدبرة» تستطيع تعطيل أي مشروع لإخراج القوات الأميركية من العراق.

    هناك أيضاً ما هو اخطر… وهو الاعلان الأميركي الصريح عن المباشرة بتزويد قواعدهم العسكرية بشبكة صواريخ متنوعة شديدة التطور للدفاع الجوي والقصف البري، هذا الى جانب إحداث ربط شديد ومحكم بين قواعدهم عند الحدود العراقية مع مناطق شرق الفرات السورية عبر دير الزور الى الحسكة والقامشلي والحدود السورية العراقية لناحية الشرق.

    وتشير معلومات دولية أكيدة ان هذا الخط الأميركي له اهداف جيوبوليتيكية وسياسية واقتصادية.

    لجهة الجيوبوليتيك فإن الاستمرار باحتلال هذه البقعة السورية العراقية تجعل الأميركيين على تماس مباشر مع تركيا والدولة السورية والعراق الرسمي في بغداد والجنوب، والسعودية لناحية الإنبار العراقية، وفي مواجهة إيران في كل مكان تقريباً وحيث توجد قواعدها في كردستان العراقية الى الكويت والبحرين والإمارات وعمان والسعودية وقطر، بما يمنع انهيار النفوذ الأميركي من منطقة الشرق الأوسط بكامله مع مواصلة خنق إيران ومنع روسيا من التمدد «السوفياتي الطابع». والحد من التوغل الصيني، يكفي ان هذا المشروع يجهض سياسياً تأسيس دولة عراقية قوية ذات دور إقليمي ويمنع استكمال الدولة السورية لسيادتها على كامل أراضيها، اي مشروع للتمديد للازمتين العراقية والسورية والاستيلاء على مساحات واسعة جداً هي الأكثر استراتيجية للمشروع الأميركي الجديد.

    اقتصادياً يسيطر الأميركيون عبر هذه المساحة العراقية – السورية التي يمسكون بها على آبار النفط الاساسية في كردستان وشرق سورية وشمالها.

    أليس هذا ما استشعره الرئيس التركي اردوغان، فحاول إشراك بلده في اللعبة الاستعمارية الأميركية، عبر تحاصص ثلاثي بين القوى الأكثر فاعلية في تلك المنطقة وهي الأميركية والروسية والتركية؟

    يكفي هنا عرضه للأسباب التي دفعته الى هذا الاقتراع، وهي على حد زعمه ضرورة بناء مساكن للنازحين السوريين في الشمال والشرق بما يكشف عن استيعابه للمخطط الأميركي مع محاولة بناء منطقة حاجزة داخل الحدود السورية بعمق ثلاثين كيلومتراً يوطن فيها نازحين من جنسيات مختلفة، في مسعى لتغيير ديموغرافي بإبعاد الأكراد السوريين الى الداخل، فتصبح لأردوغان اهداف عدة: تفتيت سورية وطرد الأكراد والهيمنة على النفط مقابل طموح أميركي للسيطرة الجيوبوليتيكية بالاحتلال والسطو على النفط وتركيب أنظمة ومحاولة منع التراجع الأميركي.

    بأي حال هذا ما يريده الأميركيون والأتراك.

    فما هو الرد العراقي – السوري وبالطبع الإيراني. ومن خلفهم الردود الروسية – الصينية؟

    إن كل هذه القوى المعنية تدرك ان الأميركيين يقطعون التواصل السياسي والاقتصادي بين العراق وسورية وإيران وروسيا بشكل مقصود.

    لكنها تعي أيضاً ان معركة ادلب هي واحدة من الوسائل السورية – الروسية لمنع تحقيق المشروع الأميركي التركي في الشرق.

    بما يوضح أسباب الإصرار الأميركي على منع استكمال عملية تحرير إدلب، مفسراً دواعي هذا الصراخ التركي المستمر.

    لكن ما يتسبب بقلق فعلي، هو الوضع العراقي المطلوب منه مؤازرة السوريين إنما داخل العراق وليس خارجه، وذلك لأن الضغط على الأميركيين على طول المساحة المصرين على الإمساك بها يؤدي الى خسارتهم لمشروعهم، وتخفيف وقع عقوباتهم على إيران، بما يمنح الروس ظروفاً مناسبة للدخول في مجابهة فعلية في سورية وغيرها.

    هذا إذا وثقوا بوجود وحدة وطنية عراقية تمهّد الشرعية السياسية لدورهم في العراق.

    العراق إذاً هو النقطة الاستراتيجية التي يريد منها الأميركيون رعاية الخليج وخنق إيران وتفتيت سورية ومراقبة تركيا، والبدء بمشروع تأسيس دويلات كردية من إيران والعراق وسورية وربما تركيا.

    لذلك فإن الميدان العراقي مرشح لصراعات قوية عراقية وإيرانية وأميركية وكردية وتركية وروسية، وربما اشتركت فيها قوى أوروبية.

    فيبقى أن وحدة العراقيين هي وحدها الكفيلة بلجم هذه الحروب أو الانتصار عليها. وهذا يتطلّب الخروج من العرقية والطائفية والإيمان بأن الأميركيين لا يعملون الا في خدمة مصالحهم ويستعملون الآخرين حطباً لإضرامها.

    Syrian President calls on Kurdish groups to stop cooperating with US: video

    By News Desk -2020-03-06

    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad called on the Kurdish groups cooperating with the US troops in Syria to stand against the occupation, in an interview with ‘Russia 24 TV,’ in Damascus, Thursday.

    The Syrian president said that the government is maintaining “contact with the Kurdish political groups” in northern Syria, and considered the issue to be “small groups acting with the Americans.”

    “You cannot stand with the police and the thief at the same time, this is impossible. So, we cannot reach results in any dialogue with them, even if we were to meet thousands of times, unless they take a clear position, a patriotic position, to be against the Americans, against occupation, and against the Turks because they are occupiers too,” stressed Assad.

    Talking about Turkish military activity in Idlib area, Assad said that “[Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan [is] using all his power, of course with an order from the United States, no doubt, because the liberation of Idlib means the liberation of the northeastern area, as I have said previously, Idlib is considered [by the Turkish state], militarily speaking, a police station.”

    “Of course it is possible to repair the relations with Turkey, however, we cannot achieve this unless Erdogan stops supporting terrorists, once he stops supporting them, the relationship will be restored, because there is no animosity between the two nations, the animosity started due to political issues connected to personal interests,” concluded the Syrian leader.

    Syrian MP to Al-Ahed: Erdogan Is Not Reliable

    By Ali Hassan

    Damascus – The Syrian army has once again retaken the city of Saraqeb from the grasp of terrorists. But the scene on the battlefield remains complicated amid ongoing air and ground battles that the Syrian army is waging against the Turkish military and its terrorist factions.

    Two days remain until the meeting between Russia’s Presidents Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In the meantime, rival parties are seeking to improve their negotiating position through gains on the battlefield. But some say that the disengagement between Syria and Turkey will not come from Moscow but from Tehran.

    Muhannad Al-Haj Ali, member of the Syrian People’s Assembly, tells Al-Ahed news that developments in recent days in Idlib are “a direct Turkish interference alongside the terrorist groups.” 

    “Despite that, the Syrian army was able to recover Saraqeb because what it basically did was an evacuation and relocation operation to withdraw terrorists and place them in a designated targeting area,” Al-Haj Ali said.  

    “Following all these battlefield developments, Erdogan needs to get down from the tree he climbed or for someone to give him a ladder to descend because of his statements that were for internal consumption. He is unable to enter into a direct war with Syria and its allies, which will be at the regional level. For Russia is Syria’s strategic partner. Turkey and the latter have no commercial relationship at all. It has no relations with Damascus, especially since the Turks are part of NATO – both have lied and manipulated the agreements they signed with Russia regarding Idlib,” the Syrian official adds.

    “The US is pushing Erdogan to penetrate deeper into Syria because it wants to extend the life of the war in all respects. But that will be countered by the Syrian state’s strategic decision to liberate all the Syrian soil. All the while, the Turkish army does not have the effectiveness that the Syrian army gained from the experiences of years of war,” he explained. “There is an Iranian role that will soon serve as a lifeline for Erdogan, who is still lying, and will stop him from entering a regional war. Of course, his interests in the region will be within Syria’s range of fire if that war takes place.”

    Al-Haj Ali points out that “Erdogan’s greatest argument for interfering in Syria and occupying its lands is the Syrian Kurds, but the situation in Idlib is different. And there are no Kurds there. All of Turkey’s colonial ambitions become clear here.” 

    “Syria will not allow it to occupy a single part of the country. The solution is to return to the Adana Agreement but with its development and modernization as there are thirty thousand foreign terrorists on the Turkish borders threatening Syria’s national security. Syria does not trust Erdogan, and Russia has also reached a stage of lacking confidence in him,” Al-Haj Ali said.  

    He reveals that discussions on March 5 will focus “on the battlefield and logistical matters.” 

    “Political matters are not expected to be touched upon in any way that would help with the pacification of terrorist groups in Idlib. Syria previously agreed to 17 ceasefires in Idlib, all of which were violated by the terrorist groups supported by Erdogan. So, this man has become unreliable and no political progress is expected to be made with him.”

    Al-Haj Ali concludes his interview with Al-Ahed by predicting that the solution will come from Iran because members of the anti-terror alliance exchange political roles. “We notice that Russia is escalating, while a calm Iran is working to achieve the basic goal of resolving the thorny issue. Through its dealings with Turkey, Iran is proposing some initiatives to resolve the clashes in Idlib.”

    Nasrallah: Iran’s strike is the first step towards the expulsion of all US forces from the Middle East

    February 11, 2020

    Source

    Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on January 12, 2020, commemorating the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

    Translation: resistancenews.org

    Transcript:

    […] My third point concerns the response (to the assassination of Soleimani), or the just retribution (which must be inflicted on the United States), which I mentioned last Sunday after His Eminence the Leader (Khamenei), (political and military) Iranian and Iraqi officials, and Resistance movements throughout the region. All aspects of this issue need to be highlighted.

    It can be formulated in one sentence: the response to the American crime that caused the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, as well as the brothers who accompanied them, is not a simple operation. It is a path, a long journey that we have initiated, and that must lead to the expulsion of the American military presence from our region, from the whole Middle East, or, as His Eminence the Leader (Khamenei) names it, the region of Western Asia. This will be the response. The response is not a single operation. What happened at the American base of Ain al-Assad is just a slap, and it is not the answer to the martyrdom of Qassem Soleimani. And anyone who views the attack on Ain al-Assad as the Iranian response is completely mistaken. It is only a slap, as defined by His Eminence the Leader, inflicted on American forces and bases, a slap that is part of this long process. It’s just a thunderous start, a thunderous military start. It is a powerful first step that has shaken (American imperialism), on the long road of the retaliation to this crime, which is one of the greatest crimes committed by the United States in our region. And as I said, this must lead to the expulsion of American troops and the end of the American military presence in our region.

    I want to talk a little bit about this slap. Then, I will talk about this path (which should lead to the end of the US military occupation of the Middle East).

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    First, this slap… When the Aerospace forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps targeted, a few days ago, in the middle of the night… Of course, the main target was the Ain al-Assad base. In Erbil, they only fired one or two missiles, and the message was merely psychological. But the real military target was the Ain al-Assad base. Several missiles traveled hundreds of kilometers and struck the heart of the base, as recognized by the United States’ Defense Secretary, and hit their targets. This event was enormous and constituted a veritable earthquake. It placed the whole region… We followed the events overnight, and during all the following day, and the whole region was on the brink of war.

    I want to talk a bit about the impact of this slap, this strike. Of course, since the early hours, some US media, and also the media in the Gulf and the Arab world, who are more American than the Americans themselves, have started to prepare the ground for the American reaction. From that moment, I understood that Trump was going to swallow the insult and would do nothing, I understood that he was going to pipe down. When they started to insist emphatically on the fact that there were no dead or injured soldiers, to diminish the importance of the slap and to disparage it (they are accustomed to do that), I understood that Trump would not do anything.

    But if we want to be objective and consider somewhat the real importance of this slap, we must establish the following points.

    First, this slap, this major military strike, demonstrates unparalleled courage on the part of the Iranian leaders and the Iranian people, who supports his leaders. This courage is indescribable. Who are we talking about? They fired missiles at an American base, at American forces. As all (serious) experts and analysts have pointed out in the past few days, such a thing has not happened since the end of the Second World War. We are talking about a State, not an organization, a group, a Resistance movement. Because it has already happened that a non-State group strikes the Americans, like the attack (that killed 241 American officers and soldiers) against the headquarters of the Marines in Beirut in 1983 (attributed to Hezbollah). But it is very different when we speak (not of a clandestine organization but) of a State, which has institutions, leaders, an army, (Revolution) Guards, refineries, factories, airports, ports… A State has a lot to lose, as they say. This act and this decision express an incommensurable and unprecedented courage and audacity. Who dares to do such a thing all over the face of the Earth? In the whole world, who dares to attack the Americans directly and brazenly? Since the Second World War, no one has dared to stand up to the Americans and strike them openly, firing missiles at one of their bases. Who dares to do such a thing?

    Especially that during the previous days, the American officials threatened (of violent reprisals in the event of Iranian response). And you remember Trump’s Tweet: if you hit us or do anything, I will immediately respond, violently and firmly, by destroying 52 Iranian strategic sites, including cultural ones. But he swallowed everything he said. These threats were clearly present on the minds of Iranian leaders when they made this decision.

    Therefore, the first element established by this slap and this strike is the unequaled courage and boldness of the Iranians manifested by this act, which marks a rupture and confirms a whole new stage (in History). The message to the United States and its allies in the region is that it faces officials, a regime and a people of tremendous courage. If Washington imagined that the Iranians were afraid, weakened, had backed away, had become cowardly,and felt defeated, they received a scathing denial. This was perhaps Iran’s strongest decision since the death of Imam Khomeini, may God have mercy on him (not to say since the triumph of the Islamic Revolution in 1979). But in all truth, one can consider this grandiose act only as a summit of courage. We know very well (in Hezbollah) what it means to make a decision of this nature, which can lead to dangerous reactions, even war, to (regional or perhaps global) war.

    The second point is that this strike or slap revealed the power of Iran’s military capabilities. Because there were always people who denigrated this capacity. There are, in truth, people who are pathetic non-entities and who take pleasure in their state, and belittle themselves, having no self-esteem, but they do not accept to see strong, dignified, powerful and capable people in this (Arab-Muslim) Nation, people who actually do what they say and achieve everything they promise. They don’t accept it because they’re just the opposite of that. This strike exposed the truth of Iran’s military capability. The missiles are 100% Iranian made. They were not bought from US arms manufacturers and paid hundreds of millions of dollars stolen from the pockets of the Iranian people (unlike Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries, especially in their war against Yemen). These missiles are Iranian-made, and the experts are Iranian, with no need for any foreign experts. The targets were determined by the Iranians, as was the entire technical process. The launches were carried out by Iranian officers and soldiers, and not by mercenaries hired in the United States or other countries (United Kingdom, France, Israel…) as do other States (in the region). The decision was Iranian, as are the weapons and the execution of the operation.

    And the missiles hit their targets precisely. All the missiles hit the base successfully. Some talk about 13 missiles, the US Secretary of State for Defense talks about 11 missiles that struck inside the base, fired from hundreds of kilometers away. What does this mean for the United States? All American bases in the region are within range of Iranian missiles, and can be struck with great precision. And it should be known that the Islamic Republic of Iran has missiles even more precise than those which it used for this operation, but it did not resort to them, because it keeps them in reserve (for later).

    And despite their high alert, maximum alert, and the fact that they expected an imminent response from Iran, the Americans failed to intercept any of these missiles. And this all their bases are in the same situation. This is a message to all those who are plotting with the United States against Iran. And this is a very strong message to the Zionist entity, which still believed it could play with Iran. It is a message to Netanyhau, who has always dreamed of sending his air force to bomb the Iranian nuclear installations. But the military and security officials within the Zionist entity always opposed him. He wanted to achieve a feat, but this imbecile does not know his limits and does not know to which abyss he is leading his entity. The message of this strike is a very strong message to the Zionists. When they hear threats from His Eminence the Leader, may God preserve him, or from Iranian officials against the Israeli entity, they must take these threats very seriously. This has been understood and stated by Israeli analysts and experts over the past few days. The missile strike hit the Ain al-Assad base in Iraq, but the mourning was in the Zionist entity, because they understood that this is what awaits them if they dare to attack Iran, plot against Iran or threaten Iran. Because Iran has this capacity and this power.

    This is why, my brothers and sisters, this strike is huge and of paramount importance. Whether US soldiers got killed & wounded or not, this will be revealed in the coming days. The CNN reporter yesterday saw the scene and showed a spectacle of desolation, saying it was caused by a single missile. We could see a huge destruction in this base. Even if most of the soldiers had gone to take refuge in the shelters, weren’t there guards, soldiers at the observation and defense posts? We’ll see (if there are victims). However, the scale of the military damage is colossal. We are talking about (the destruction of) extremely sophisticated radars, equipment, planes, installations… Anyway, whether or not there are victims, this strike alone, in itself, the way in which it was carried out has all the importance that I have just emphasized.

    One of its effects is to have broken America’s prestige. The prestige of the United States was shattered by the strike against the base of al-Assad, whether in the eyes of their friends or in the eyes of their enemies. Yes, the Americans kept a low profile, they lowered their heads and piped down! During the last days, yes, the American soldiers stood on a foot and a half (ready to run away), and we are talking about the United States, o people (reference to earlier words of Nasrallah following the assassination by Israel of two Hezbollah fighters in Syria, mocking the fear of Israeli soldiers while awaiting the inevitable response)! This is what Iran has achieved in the past few days. And that’s why in Israel, one of the mourning topics that gets a lot of attention is that according to some rumours, Trump prepares to withdraw from Iraq and the region, and leave Israel alone (against their enemies). Today, within the Zionist entity, all the talk is about this nightmarily prospect. The prestige of the United States has been shattered.

    And what has been the response of the United States? They swallowed the insult. Under what pretext? ‘Be happy o Americans, no one got killed (proclaims Trump).’ But who are you? You are the United States! It’s an American base! Thousands of American soldiers hid, dispersed, ran all over the place, rushed to the shelters, moped in fear and terror for hours! Missiles hit your base, and a State claimed responsibility for these strikes! Your equipment, your radars, your planes have been destroyed! And after all that, you stay quiet? Trump swallowed the insult.

    Just see the pictures. We in Lebanon have a long experience in this area. Go and see the footage from Trump’s press conference on January 8 in the morning. The Vice President, the Secretary of State, the Defense Secretary and the commanders of the United States armed forces were standing, and Trump arrived. What did their faces express? Did they express a victorious America? A powerful America? America in a position of strength and arrogance? An America that has just defeated its enemies? Or was it, on the contrary, a scene of mourning in the White House? Just look at their faces! Review the images, and observe their faces (carefully)!

    08dc-prexy-sub1-videoSixteenByNine3000-v5

    And when Trump talked about the situation, he immediately went in another direction. ‘As long as I am President, Iran will not have nuclear weapons. They will never get nuclear weapons.’ What a joke! Iran has no desire for nuclear weapons! Who is he kidding? He talked about something else, and he swallowed the insult. He made it clear that the United States would not use a military response but economic sanctions.

    08iranbriefing-trump-videoSixteenByNine1050-v2

    Why? Why is that? Simply put, o my brothers and sisters, because Iran is powerful. Because Iran is brave. Because Iran is capable. What prevented Trump (from retaliating) ? I’m sure that when they met that night, the military said to him: if you decide to strike Iran, you must know that they have already pointed their missiles at all our bases and that all of them will be struck (immediately, which will cause thousands of victims among our troops). And the Iranians have let the Americans know, via intermediaries, and have also publicly announced that if the United States retaliates, they will immediately strike all American bases in the region as well as Israel. And the US military told Trump that they are unable to defend their bases, as the example of Ain al-Assad has shown, and that things would certainly escalate to war. And who claims that Trump is willing to head for war? (Nobody!)

    I add to that the extraordinarily massive funeral (of Soleimani) in Iran. Its importance should not be underestimated. This is part of the message of colossal power sent (by Iran to its enemies). The decision to retaliate is not only that of the Leader or of political and military decision-makers, it is a decision of the entire Iranian people! This is what the Iranian people have longed for. The Iranian people was ready for war to defend his honor, and to avenge the blood of his eminent and grand martyr, Hajj Qassem Soleimani.

    stahler

    And that’s why, in all simplicity, Trump piped down, he swallowed his pride and backed away. And he made a speech devoid of any threat. And of course, he repeated his lies: ‘I call on Iran to negotiate (with the United States). I call on Iran to cooperate…’ And who expressed himself in these terms? The one who the previous night received 11 huge missiles on his forces at the base of Ain al-Assad. ‘I call on Iran to cooperate on our common interests such as the fight against ISIS.’ You hypocrite, you pretend to want to fight ISIS when you have just murdered the two biggest commanders in the region who have fought and inflicted countless defeats on ISIS? While ISIS celebrated their death so gleefully?

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    Trump again declares to the Iranian people: ‘I only wish prosperity for you.’ But what a shameless liar! Are you pretending to want prosperity for the Iranian people when you impose on him sanctions and a state of siege, the most severe siege in the history of Iran? And he said again, not during this press conference, but in meetings and interviews later, he repeated his lies to the Americans. Because he has to put forward a good reason (for what he did). The Americans asked him where he led the country, what situation he put them in, and he had to justify his assassination of Soleimani & Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis with a pretext. Anyway, because my state of clergyman does not allow me to show you or describe the images, I invite you to watch the cartoons published by the Washington Post. These cartoons are a commentary on the Iranian missiles launched against the Al-Assad base and Trump’s stance. Look at them.

    In order to put forward an (admissible) pretext, he claims that he ordered the murder of Soleimani because he was about to blow up American embassies in the region. Liar! He lies to his people! And it is well known that he is the greatest liar in the history of the United States of America. All American Presidents were liars, but the biggest liar in their history is unquestionably Trump. In no case did Hajj Qassem Soleimani plan to attack American embassies. Never in his life, never ever. It was not part of his plans, or even of his ideas. It never crossed his mind (because embassies are civilian and therefore illegitimate targets). These are Trump’s lies that seek to cover up the real reasons for the crime he perpetrated.

    Trump Soleimani WPo

    Anyway, this silence of the United States after this (humiliating) slap from Iran is also a lesson addressed to all (the other countries) so that they be courageous, have confidence in their capacities and their power and have faith, and realize that as great and tyrannical the power of the United States can be, there are safeguards, limits, circumstances to which even American decision-makers must submit. It is therefore a mere slap in the path that we have just taken, and which should lead to the expulsion of all the American forces from our region.

    Trump-Iran-strategy-by-Dave-Granlund-PoliticalCartoons.com-1-1

    I will now very quickly address the last point of my speech, namely the next steps that should lead us to this lofty goal. And I’m going to talk about two things in particular, very briefly.

    The first point is related to Iraq. Why Iraq? Because it is the battlefield in which the crime was committed. After Iran, the first place that should be concerned with the response against the United States is Iraq. Here are the reasons in order of priority:

    1 / because the crime was perpetrated on Iraqi territory, in the shadow of Iraqi sovereignty (which has been flouted), on the road to Baghdad airport;

    2 / because the crime also targeted a very high ranking Iraqi commander, an official leader, the deputy commander of the Popular Mobilization Units (Hashd al-Cha’bi); he is a commander of the official Hashd al-Cha’bi force (integrated into the Iraqi national army);

    3 / because the crime targeted Hajj Qassem Soleimani and his Iranian brothers who defended Iraq and sacrificed themselves for the Iraqi people.

    Iraq is therefore the first country, after Iran, which has the duty to respond to this crime. The first response took place during the (mass) funeral of the martyrs, and in the position expressed by religious leaders, scholars, politicians, religious education establishments and the Iraqi people.

    The second response was the stance of the head of the Council of Ministers and the Iraqi Parliament, who demanded the departure of the American forces.

    And by the way, I hope that Mas’oud Barzani (Kurdish separatist leader) will be grateful for the benefits brought by Hajj Qassem Soleimani, which he acknowledged many years ago. Today, you need to (publicly) acknowledge these benefits. When ISIS was on the verge of reaching Erbil (in Iraqi Kurdistan), when all of Kurdistan was on the verge of falling into the hands of ISIS, and you contacted all your friends to help you, but they forsake you, you then contacted the Iranians, who from the second day, as you acknowledged, sent you Hajj Qassem Soleimani with his brothers. And I add that he was accompanied by Hezbollah brothers, who went with him to Erbil. And they all told me that Mas’oud Barzani was trembling, his two hands were literally trembling with fear and terror. But it was the rapid presence of Hajj Qassem Soleimani and the Islamic Republic of Iran at your side that repelled this danger which threatened you all, and which has never been seen in the history of Kurdistan.

    Today, you have a duty to acknowledge these benefits and to participate in the response alongside other leaders in the Iraqi government, the Iraqi Parliament and the Iraqi forces.

    Be that as it may, the authentic response, one of the most important elements of the authentic response, is to expel American forces from Iraq. The Iraqi Parliament has already taken a step in this direction, and we are grateful for that, because it is a grandiose, capital, courageous, bold and important decision. The head of the Council of Ministers, Sayed Abd al-Mahdi, who follows the implementation of this decision with courage and sincerity, and publicly asked Pompeo to send a delegation to negotiate the stages of the withdrawal of the US forces, all this is closely followed by the leaders, officials and people of Iraq. And if this is followed up seriously, the departure of American troops will be an inevitable certainty, and the best response to this infamous crime. This is what Hajj Qassem and Abu Mahdi aspired to: they wanted to see Iraq liberated from the occupation, cleansed of all the terrorist forces which are protected by the officers of the occupying US forces and their helicopters, that move the leaders and ISIS commanders from one province to another (to save them). It was their highest hope. And this responsibility falls on the Iraqi people. And if the Americans do not go out voluntarily, the Iraqi people will know how to force them out, as will the factions of the Resistance.

    Of course, we must know that the American administration will do everything possible to delay the implementation of this historic decision by the Iraqis, by playing on internal dissension, reviving sedition, threatening sanctions and confiscation of Iraq’s property and deposits that are in the United States. The United States puts the Iraqi people before two choices: ‘Either you force me out and I will punish you by confiscating your money, or I will continue to occupy you and plunder your oil and your choices.’ So choose, o Iraqis. This is what Trump wants for Iraq. He wants your oil, he wants your sovereignty, he wants to take over your country. It will be up to the Iraqis to choose.

    The second and final point of my speech is the steadfastness of the Resistance Axis on its path. After the slap of Ain al-Assad, and, with the Grace of God, and the developments under way in Iraq, I consider that the Resistance Axis must start to act. We must start to act. What we all said a few days ago (we vowed to expell the US forces from the region) is not an empty promise. It was not a vain statement meant to boast, to absorb the blow that was dealt to the Resistance Axis or to cheer up people. Never. The Axis of Resistance is serious, sincere and pragmatic in achieving the grandiose goal it has set for itself. And the days, weeks and months to come will demonstrate this unequivocally. I said it was a long way. It is a difficult road. The Americans must withdraw from their bases; their soldiers, their officers and their warships must leave our region. They must leave (voluntarily). The alternative… I’m going to speak the opposite of what I said last Sunday. I said that they came to our region in a vertical position (and would leave in a horizontal position, in coffins).

    Sayyed Nasrallah

    Now, I tell them this: either you get out voluntarily on your two legs, in a vertical position, or you will leave in a horizontal position (in coffins). This is the alternative available to you. And this is a final and irrevocable decision of the Resistance Axis. It’s just a matter of time. There will be no hindsight on this issue. Anyone who imagines that this grandiose event, this grandiose martyrdom, this pure blood which has been unjustly shed, will be forgotten after a few months or a few years, is greatly mistaken. Never. We are talking about the start of a new phase, a new stage, a new era in the region. And the days to come will let you see it with your own eyes (our first actions to kick US forces out will be visible to all). I don’t need to dwell on this any further.

    This is the responsibility of the (Arab-Muslim) Nation, of the whole Nation. I know with certainty that today, our peoples have the height of soul, spirit and aspiration required, they have a high forehead, courage and are daring without limits, they have a disposition to sacrifice and a lucid conscience. It is the case everywhere in our Arab-Muslim world. The current dangers are well understood by all, (as is the need to uproot them definitively by expelling the American occupier, who is the main cause of most if not all of our problems).

    The American administration and the American murderers will pay the price for this crime and all the other crimes they have committed and continue to commit in our region and in our countries. They will pay dearly for it, and they will find out that they were wrong in their calculations.

    After the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem Soleimani and Hajj Abu Mahdi, I listened to statements by Trump, Vice President Pence, the Secretary of State, the Defense Secretary, the National Security Advisor and of the United States Congress who all claimed that the world is a safer place after the assassination of Soleimani. You are deluding yourself! You are grossly mistaken! And you will soon realize it. You will realize it by the blood (of your soldiers & officials). You will soon find out. Which world is safer? The world of those whose territory is occupied? The world of the oppressed? The world of peoples? The Palestinian, Lebanese, Syrian, Iraqi, Afghan, Pakistani, Yemeni, Bahraini people, the peoples of the region? Are you talking about these people? Certainly not. You talk about the world of the Zionists, the world of the occupiers, the world of the despots and the tyrants. The days to come will reveal to you that after the martyrdom of Soleimani, the world will be very different (from what it was): there will be no more security for the tyrants, murderers, criminals and despots.

    I will stop here for today. […]

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    “Any amount counts, because a little money here and there, it’s like drops of water that can become rivers, seas or oceans…” Hassan Nasrallah

    محنة العراق بين الأسباب الداخلية والتدخل الخارجي

    ديسمبر 28, 2019

    د. وفيق إبراهيم

    يتدحرج العراق بسرعة من أزمة تبدو سياسية في ظاهرها، الى قضية وطنية كبرى تهدّد بالتحوّل الى صراع مكشوف بين أقاليم عرقية ومذهبية.

    هذا لا ينفي السمات الطبقية والسياسية للانتفاضة الشعبية التي تجتاح العراق منذ ثلاثة أشهر متواصلة في المناطق الجنوبية وبعض أنحاء العاصمة بغداد وجوارها.

    ما يُشجّع على استيعاب أفضل لحركة جماهيرية عفوية ضاقت ذرعاً بالفساد السياسي الذي يدكّ أرض الرافدين منذ 2003 تقريباً ويحرم أهلها من المياه العذبة والبنى التحتية وفرص العمل والحياة الكريمة ويستوعب أكثر من ضرورة الفصل بين هذه الانتفاضات المحقة وبين انخراط سياسي فيها لا ينتمي اليها، إلا بالتحريض والعمل على تأجيجها لتصبح مبرراً لصراعات قد تؤدي الى تمزيق العراق الى اكثر من كانتونات.

    وإلا كيف نفهم حركة رئيس الجمهورية برهم صالح الذي رفض تطبيق المادة 76 من الدستور العراقي التي تنصّ على تسليم الرئيس اسم المرشح لرئاسة مجلس الوزراء على أن يكون منبثقاً من الكتلة الأكبر في المجلس النيابي.

    وبما أن الدوائر الدستورية أفتت بأن كتلة «البناء» التي يترأسها هادي العامري هي الأكبر، فكان لزاماً على الرئيس برهم صالح إعلان مرشحها اسعد العيداني رئيساً للحكومة ومكلفاً بتشكيلها.

    لكنه وفي إطار مناورة لم يصدقها أحد، أعلن رفضه هذا التكليف، وهذا ليس من حقه الدستوري، مؤكداً في رسالة الى رئيس المجلس النيابي الحلبوس استعداده للاستقالة مستولداً بذلك نيراناً اضافية تزيد من حدة الاضطرابات التي أدّت حتى الآن الى نحو 500 قتيل وآلاف الجرحى، في تظاهرات مفتوحة اندس فيها مأجورون يطلقون النار على المتظاهرين والقوى الأمنية معاً، وتبين أن الفاعلين هم من بقايا حزب البعث التابع للرئيس السابق صدام حسين، ومندسّين محسوبين على الاخوان المسلمين وبعض الإماراتي، بالاضافة الى الدور الأميركي الواضح الذي يتدخل في العراق انطلاقاً من تسع قواعد عسكرية تنتشر من الحدود السورية وحتى أعالي كردستان.

    ان كل الاطراف السياسية الإقليمية والدولية ذات صلة بالأزمة العراقية، وجدت فرصتها التاريخية السانحة لتتدخل ببعد وحيد وهو القضاء على بنى سياسية عراقية متحالفة مع ايران وسورية، هذا فضلاً عن قوى عراقية ككتلتي «سائرون والحكمة» التي تعتقد أن هذه التظاهرات قد تتيح لهما احتكار رئاسة مجلس الوزراء من المنافسين في حركة «البناء».

    هناك ايضاً لاعب مهم وهو المرجعية الإسلامية العليا التي لا تمارس السياسة إلا من زاوية مصلحة عموم العراقيين وأمن البلاد.

    لكنها لا تستطيع الولوج في لعبة اختيار الأسماء المناسبة، لما تشكله من ضرر بالإجماع العراقي حولها، لذلك نجدها مأزومة لكنها نجحت في دفع مجلس النواب الى الموافقة على قانون انتخابات جديد، وتضغط لإجراء انتخابات عاجلة لإعادة انتاج طبقة سياسية جديدة تتلاءم مع مطالب الانتفاضة الشعبية، وبذلك تكون المرجعية قد اسهمت في مشروع لحل الازمة الشعبية الداخلية ووضعت حداً لتدخلات القوى الداخلية التاريخية المهزومة وارتباطاتها الإقليمية والأميركية.

    ويبدو أن القوى السياسية العراقية تفضل الدخول في معادلة تشكيل حكومة جديدة لتهرب من انتخابات تبدو نتائجها المرتقبة بأنها لمصلحة الانتفاضة الشعبية.

    ضمن هذا السياق، يجب استيعاب ان ما فعله برهم صالح هو مزيد من تأزيم الأزمة لمصلحة إحداث فراغ دستوري في مجلس وزراء ينتج القرار في العراق، وممارسة لعبة التعطيل يندرج في إطار السياسات نفسها التي يلعبها الاميركيون في العراق، فكيف يمكن لبرهم أن يذهب هذا المنحى وهو الذي يعرف مدى ارتباط الإصلاح الداخلي بالصراع بين المكونات العرقية والمذهبية والاحتلال الاميركي والادوار الخليجية والتركية، كما يعرف ايضاً ان كردستان التي ينتمي اليها محكومة من آل البرزاني الذين ينهبون موازنتها ونفطها ويبيعونه لتركيا، وهو لا يجهل أن آل البرزاني يتحضّرون لاعلان استقلالية اقليمهم نسبياً وربما الى حدود الانفصال الكامل، لذلك فإن اعتكافه في كردستان يأتي مثابة تشجيع على التقسيم وتشجيع لقوى الوسط على انتهاج الأسلوب نفسه، وهنا يأتي فوراً مدى التأثير الأميركي على برهم وأمثاله.

    هل هذا يعني ان الانتفاضة الشعبية ليست اصيلة؟ إنها اكثر من ذلك لأنها تأتي رداً على فساد سياسي تشكل القوى التي حكمت العراق منذ 2003، عمودها الرئيسي، وهي نفسها التي تشكل الغالبية النيابية وتتحالف مع إيران التي لا علاقة لها بهذا الفساد.

    ما هو المطلوب اذاً؟ ليس معقولاً أن تتقدم كتلة البناء بترشيح أسعد العبداني محافظ مدينة البصرة المحرومة من أبسط أنواع الخدمات العامة، حتى من مياه الشرب، ويوجد فيها أعلى نسبة بطالة وفساد، فجاء هذا الترشيح ليشكل تحدياً للمتظاهرين الذين يشكل أهالي الجنوب نحو 90 بالمئة منه، وعاصمتهم البصرة التي تحوّلت في الخمس عشر عاماً الاخيرة أرضاً يباساً جافة تحتاج الى كل شيء وتحتجب ويعمها فقر غير مسبوق.العراقالىأين؟نصيحةالمرجعية بالانتخابات العاجلة ضرورة، على أن يليها تشكيل للحكومة وفق ترشيح من تختاره الكتلة الأكبر، واستعادة الممكن من لاموال المنهوبة ، بذلك يجري تجديد الطبقة السياسية التي يجب أن تحكم العراق ببرنامج عمل عنوانه إنقاذ أرض الرافدين من الفقرالمدقع والاحتلال الأميركي

    What is not considered by America and the Gulf? ما لم يكن في الحساب الأميركي والخليجي

    Written by Nasser Kandil,

    The only valuable impressive political bet agreed upon by Washington and the Gulf capitals during the months that preceded and followed the parliamentary elections in Iraq was the distinct political position of Al Sayyed Muqtada Al-Sadr among the forces that met in the Popular Crowd. The Popular Crowd that represents the project of resistance through a cooperation and alliance relationship with the resistance forces in the region especially with Iran and Hezbollah and its field partnership in the battlefield where it offered blood in the battles of defending Syria. The source of the trust in that bet and its importance stems from the fact the Al Sayyed Muqtada Al-Sadr is a unique example in Iraq; he inherits a popular leadership of the poor of Baghdad since the Days of his father Mohammed Sadiq Al-Sadr. He was distinguished from the Shiites leaders who entered the political process under the occupation because he did not come from the exile as them but he was in Iraq and refused the participation, he called publically to resist the American occupation. These positions especially those during the battles of Fallujah and during Al Anbar protests in the face of the government of Nour Al-Maliki have provided him a cross-sect feature, he is highly appreciated among the people, so it is difficult for the anti-resistance leaders to accuse him of partnering in the political process or in his patriotism, as it is difficult for them to accuse him of sectarianism especially the representation of an extension of Iran.
    Al Sayyed Muqtada-Al Sadr’s disagreement with Iran and his repeated critical positions of its policies as well as his fundamental dispute with the President Nouri Al-Maliki made his hostile positions a separation between America-Gulf opponents and their allies. This dual distinction has encouraged the Americans and the Gulf people to make a cooperation project between him and their direct allies from Kurdistan to the governorates of the center. They built dreams on that cooperation to make a historic change in Iraq especially by depending on his position towards Iran’s allies and the resistance forces and towards Al Najaf authority by talking about an Arab religious authority that competes the non-Arab authority of Qom. The media run by the Americans and the Gulf has contributed in making an aura around the pure Iraqi positions issued by Al Sayyed Muqtada Al-Sadr.

    During the formation of the resigned government headed by Dr. Adel Abdul Mahdi, “Sairoun” bloc supported by Al-Sadr competed with “Al Binaa” bloc represented by the resistance forces on the nomination of a prime minister, finally, they agreed on nominating Abdul Mahdi. The opponents of Iran and the resistance promoted that Al-Sadr was under threat, but this justification seemed inconsistent with the facts which everyone who knows Al-Sadr and his stubbornness know. That justification was the only possible way in order not to lose the upcoming moment of collision between Al-Sadr and the resistance forces supported by Iran. Therefore, the only logic to enhance that hope is what is being said in their analyses about Al-Sadr’s aspiration to leadership at any cost.

    With the outbreak of the uprising in Iraq, Al Sayyed Muqtada Al-Sadr was the real support of the uprising’s youth, the source of their protection, the one who puts the political ceiling in front of the government towards its resignation, and the one who calls for crowded demonstrations, even though the Americans and the Gulf people were running the groups that organized the uprising and providing the media coverage , employing it in slogans against Iran, they were happy that Al Sayyed Muqtada was overlooking that employment. All the Western and the Gulf analyses that deal with the Iraqi popular path concerning the Iranian presence were seeing in the position of Al Sayyed Muqtda Al-Sadr a factor that can make imbalance which the resistance forces and Iran are trying to avoid until the assassination of the commander Qassem Soleimani and the leader Abu Madhi Al-Muhandis occurred.

    There was a call to oust the Americans from the region in response to the assassination, but the most important surprise in the history of the American and Gulf scrutiny is the fact that Al-Sadr has initiated this call followed by the gathering of resistance forces as their gathering behind the prime minister in the official confrontation to oust the Americans. The vote of the deputies influenced by the positions of Al-Sadr along with the approval of the parliament of the recommendation addressed to the government to start the removal was the first step. The call launched by Al-Sadr for the million demonstration under the same title was a source of the greatest concern, because the Iraqis in all their sects will emerge to meet the call of Al-Sadr, and whoever has reservation about the calls coming from the resistance forces and their relations with Iran cannot be reserved about the call of Al-Sadr since he is the symbol of the pure Iraqi patriotism, therefore, no one can remove this title from him because he calls to oust the Americans from Iraq.

    America and the Gulf lost the biggest beg, and they will lose what is coming after due to the normal position of Al Sayyed Al-Sadr which they did could not understand or read, as their allies who are opponents to Hezbollah did in Lebanon in similar bets on the position of the Speaker of the parliament Nabih Berri taking in into consideration the differences of forces, people, and countries.

    Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

    ما لم يكن في الحساب الأميركي والخليجي

    ناصر قنديل

    خلال الشهور التي سبقت وتبعت الانتخابات النيابية في العراق كان الرهان السياسي الوحيد الذي يملك قدراً من القيمة والتأثير، وتجتمع حوله واشنطن وعواصم الخليج، هو انتقال السيد مقتدى الصدر إلى موقع سياسي متمايز عن القوى التي التقت في الحشد الشعبي وتمثل مشروع المقاومة وتربطها علاقة تعاون وتحالف مع قوى المقاومة في المنطقة، وخصوصاً مع إيران وحزب الله، وترجمت موقفها بشراكة ميدانية قدمت خلالها الدماء في معارك الدفاع عن سورية. ومصدر الثقة بقيمة هذا الرهان وأهميته ينبع من كون السيد مقتدى الصدر يشكل نموذجاً فريداً في العراق، فهو يرث زعامة شعبية يلتقي تحت عباءتها فقراء بغداد منذ أيام والده السيد محمد صادق الصدر. وهو تميّز عن أقرانه من زعماء الشيعة الذين دخلوا العملية السياسية في ظل الاحتلال، أنه لم يأت مثلهم من المنفى بل كان في العراق، وأنه رفض هذه المشاركة، ودعا علناً لمقاومة الاحتلال الأميركي، وقد وفّرت له هذه المواقف، وتراكمها، خصوصاً أثناء معارك الفلوجة، وأثناء احتجاجات الأنبار بوجه حكومة نور المالكي، رصيداً عابراً للطوائف. فهو يملك لدى عامة الناس تقديراً عالياً، ويصعب على القادة المناوئين للمقاومة اتهامه بالشراكة بالعملية السياسية والطعن ولو شكلا بوطنيته، كما يصعب عليهم اتهامه بالطائفية، وخصوصاً يصعب عليهم اتهامه بتمثيل مجرد امتداد لإيران.

    تمايز السيد مقتدى الصدر عن إيران وإطلاقه لمواقف انتقادية لسياساتها مراراً، وخلافه الجذري مع الرئيس نور المالكي، الذي جعل الأميركيون والخليجيون من العداء له خطاً فاصلاً بين معسكر خصومهم ومعسكر حلفائهم. وهذا التمايز المزدوج شجع الأميركيين والخليجيين على الاستثمار في مشروع تعاون بينه وبين حلفائهم المباشرين، من كردستان إلى محافظات الوسط، وبنوا على هذا التعاون أحلاماً بتحقيق تحول تاريخي في العراق، خصوصاً أن الرهان على تموضع السيد مقتدى خارج حلفاء إيران وقوى المقاومة، فتح شهيتهم على رهان مشابه تجاه مرجعية النجف، بالحديث عن مرجعية عربية تتنافس مع مرجعية قم غير العربية. وساهمت وسائل الإعلام التي يديرها الأميركيون والخليجيون بصناعة هالة ربطت المواقف التي تستحق صفة العراقية الصافية لتلك التي تصدر عن السيد مقتدى الصدر.

    خلال تشكيل الحكومة المستقيلة والتي ترأسها الدكتور عادل عبد المهدي، تنافس تكتل سائرون الذي يدعمه الصدر مع تكتل البناء الذي يمثل قوى المقاومة على تسمية رئيس الحكومة، ولكن في نهاية الطريق تم التفاهم بينهما على تسمية عبد المهدي، وروّج خصوم إيران والمقاومة أن استجابة الصدر جاءت تحت التهديد، وبدا هذا التبرير منافياً للحقيقة التي يعرفها كل من يعرف الصدر ويعرف صلابته وعناده، لكنه كان التبرير الوحيد الممكن لعدم خسارة الاستثمار على رصيد الصدر، والمضي في بناء الآمال على لحظة تصادم مقبلة لا محالة بين الصدر وقوى المقاومة ومن خلفها إيران. والمنطق الوحيد لتعزيز هذا الأمل هو ما يقولونه في تحليلاتهم عن الصدر كمتطلع للزعامة بأي ثمن.

    مع اندلاع الحراك في العراق كان السيد مقتدى الصدر هو السند الحقيقي لشباب الحراك، ومصدر حمايتهم، ومن يضع السقف السياسي بوجه الحكومة، وصولاً لاستقالتها. وكانت التظاهرات الحاشدة للحراك هي تلك التي يدعو إليها الصدر، بالرغم من أن الأميركيين والخليجيين كانوا هم مَن يدير الجماعات المنظمة للحراك ويوفرون التغطيات الإعلامية، ويحرصون على توظيفه بهتافات مناوئة لإيران، ويفرحون بغض نظر السيد مقتدى الصدر عن هذا التوظيف. وكل التحليلات الغربية والخليجية التي تناولت المسار الشعبي العراقي، في ميزان الحضور الإيراني كانت تقرأ الحراك وموقع السيد مقتدى الصدر كبيضة قبان يشكل موقعها اختلالاً بالتوازن الذي تسعى قوى المقاومة وإيران لتحقيقه، حتى وقع اغتيال كل من القائد قاسم سليماني والقائد أبو مهدي المهندس.

    جاءت الدعوة لإخراج الأميركيين من المنطقة رداً على الاغتيال،.فكانت المفاجأة الأهم في تاريخ المتابعة الأميركية الخليجية تصدُّر الصدر للدعوة، وتلاها اجتماع قوى المقاومة خلفه، كمثل اجتماعها خلف رئيس الحكومة في المواجهة الرسمية الهادفة لإخراج الأميركيين، وجاء تصويت النواب المتأثرين بمواقف الصدر مع إقرار المجلس النيابي للتوصية الموجهة للحكومة لبدء إجراءات إخراج الأميركيين أول الغيث، وتأتي الدعوة التي أطلقها السيد الصدر للتظاهرة المليونية تحت العنوان ذاته مصدر القلق الأكبر، حيث سيخرج العراقيون بكل طوائفهم تلبية لدعوة الصدر، ومن يتحفظ على دعوات آتية من كنف قوى المقاومة وعلاقتها بإيران لا يستطيع التحفظ على دعوة الصدر بصفته رمزاً للوطنية العراقية الصافية. ومَن أطلق عليه هذا اللقب لا يملك القدرة على نزعه عنه لكونه يدعو لإخراج الأميركيين من العراق.

    خسرت أميركا وخسر الخليج الرهان الأكبر وسيخسرون ما بعده بفعل هذا الموقع الطبيعي للسيد مقتدى الصدر الذي لم يتمكّنوا من فهمه، ولا قراءته، كما فعل حلفاؤهم في لبنان في رهانات مماثلة على موقع الرئيس نبيه بري في خصومتهم مع حزب الله، مع حفظ الفوارق بين القوى والأشخاص والبلدان.

    Related

    U.S. Demands Iraq Either Join U.S. War Against Iran or Be Destroyed

    January 28, 2020

    by Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog

    U.S. officials have now made clear that if U.S. forces become removed from Iraq as Iraq’s Parliament unanimously demanded and Iraq’s Prime Minister affirmed on January 5th, then the U.S. will try to break Iraq up into separate Sunni and Shia nations, and will also definitely impose sanctions against Iraq or (if Iraq becomes successfully broken up) against the Shia-governed portion of Iraq, in order to destroy Iraq (or the Shiite regions in Iraq) totally.

    The U.S. is determined to separate both Lebanon and Syria (both of which are supported by Shia Iran) from Iran so that Iran will become internationally isolated unless and until Iran again becomes controlled by the U.S. Government as it was during the period from 1953 when U.S. imposed the Shah’s dictatorship there, till 1979, when Iranians finally took back control over their country and kicked out the U.S.-and-allied foreign oil companies.

    By far the best international journalism about the situation today regarding Iraq has come from the Middle East Eye, which headlined on January 23rd, “US seeking to carve out Sunni state as its influence in Iraq wanes”, and sub-headed, “With Shia parties pressuring American troops to leave, Washington wants to create an autonomous region around Anbar to maintain its presence.” Their reporter in Baghdad, Suadad al-Salhy, stated that,

    Backed into a corner and influence waning, the United States has in recent weeks been promoting a plan to create an autonomous Sunni region in western Iraq, officials from both countries told Middle East Eye.

    The US efforts, the officials say, come in response to Shia Iraqi parties’ attempts to expel American troops from their country.

    Iraq represents a strategic land bridge between Iran and its allies in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine.

    Establishing a US-controlled Sunni buffer zone in western Iraq would deprive Iran of using land routes into Syria and prevent it from reaching the eastern shores of the Mediterranean.

    For Washington, the idea of carving out a Sunni region dates back to a 2007 proposition by Joe Biden, who is now vying to be the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate. …

    The creation of a Sunni region has always been an option for the US. The Iranians cannot be allowed to reach the Mediterranean Sea or benefit from the land bridge connecting them to Hezbollah” in Lebanon, the former US official told MEE.

    “The project is American, not Sunni. The presence of the American forces has been the guarantor for the Sunnis and the Kurds, so if the US has to leave Iraq, then establishing a Sunni region in western Iraq is its plan to curb Iran and its arms in the Middle East,” he added.

    We are talking about establishing a country, not an administrative region.” …

    The Arab Gulf states allied to US, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, support and finance this project, Sunni and Shia leaders and officials told MEE.

    Funding is in place, international pressure is in place, and the necessary military strength is in place to create this region,” a prominent Sunni leader familiar with the talks said.

    Neither Iran nor the Shia forces will be able to stand against the project because the US and Gulf states back it,” the leader added.

    A huge amount of money and investment offered by the Sunni states is at stake, and these will turn the Anbar desert into green oases and rebuild the destroyed areas in Mosul and Salah al-Din. Who will care about oil?”

    This is a war by U.S., Saudi Arabia, the other Arab oil monarchies, and Israel, against Iran, and it will become also a U.S.-v.-Russia war unless Russia complies with America’s demand to stay out, and not to defend Iran.

    Anbar Province is one of two places where the fanatical Sunni ISIS was located in Iraq, the other being the city of Mosul directly to the north of Anbar. Both areas are so heavily Sunni so that in order for Iraq’s mainly Shiite government to become able to wage an effective war against ISIS in Iraq, it first had to convince Anbar’s residents that this would be something which would benefit all of Iraq and not only Shiites in Iraq. Fallujah and Ramadi, two cities where Iraq’s Government were especially trying to defeat ISIS   in 2014, are in Anbar Province. Until 2015, Iranian General Soleimani’s forces (all of them Shiites) were virtually the only effective forces trying to exterminate ISIS; and therefore, Iraq’s Government had to emphasize that killing ISIS was a patriotic, not a sectarian, matter. On 17 September 2016 U.S. President Obama bombed Syria’s army in the heart of Syria’s oil-producing region, the city Deir Ezzor, for Syria’s ISIS to move in and take Syria’s oil. During October through December 2016, two of Syria’s main enemies, Obama, and Turkey’s leader Erdogan, established a system to reinforce ISIS in Deir Ezzor, by supplying them ISIS fighters fleeiing from Mosul in Iraq’s north. On 11 December 2016, I headlined “Obama & Erdogan Move ISIS from Iraq to Syria, to Weaken Assad”, and reported that the U.S. and Turkey were offering a deal to fighters for ISIS in Mosul, a way to stay alive but not in Iraq. They would relocate west into Syria, so as to assist the U.S. and its allies to overthrow, or at least seize territory from, Syria’s Government. America’s war against Syria used basically three proxy-forces as boots-on-the-ground: Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Kurds — all three being Sunnis. The Sauds provided most of the funding for it, because the goal was to place Syria under the control of the Sauds. And the U.S. sticks by that goal. No matter how much the people in Syria oppose it. It’s not only Trump who is obsessed with this goal; Obama was, though he wasn’t as obsessed with destroying Iran as Trump is.

    On January 24th, Middle East Eye’s Washington reporter Ali Harb headlined “At what point do US troops in Iraq become an occupation force?” and he took the most literalist approach possible to this question, in which the obvious answer should be “as soon as we invaded and occupied the country on 20 March 2003.” He got an answer from the U.S. Government, saying that “diplomatic notes, which are not public, remain the legal basis for the presence of about 5,000 American soldiers in Iraq today” and that “the letters contain a provision that gives US forces one year to withdraw after they are formally asked by Baghdad to leave.” So: if this U.S. Government, which has become infamous for violating its contracts (such as the Iran nuclear agreement and the Paris Climate Agreement), alleges that it can stay in Iraq for another year and yet still remain within the bounds of those “diplomatic notes, which are not public” — and which a supplicant Iraqi Government had allegedly consented to in 2014 — then Iraq’s Government will need to wait until 5 January 2021 before accusing the U.S. Government of violating that secret and coerced “1-year cancellation clause.” And, if Iraq’s Government is, at that time, still insisting that U.S. terminate its occupation of Iraq, then, Joe Biden’s 2007 plan will start being implemented, to break Iraq into its Shiite Arab southeast (friendly toward Iran), Sunni Kurd northeast (backed by U.S.), and Sunni Arab southwestern desert half of Iraq’s expanse (hostile toward Iran). There would be no more land-connection between Iran to Iraq’s east and Syria to Iraq’s west. For Iran, that would be like cutting off its two arms. Furthermore, Ali Harb noted that the Obama-Trump Administrations’ Pentagon official Brett McGurk said that “If the U.S. leaves Iraq, it means NATO, 20 western partners also leave.” McGurk was suggesting that Iraq without U.S. would become then again a U.S. enemy. The U.S. regime is determined to destroy, one by one, each country that tries to block U.S.-and-allied billionaires from taking them over. Here are two maps of Iraq, which show what trisecting Iraq would mean:

    https://www.stratejikortak.

    https://i1.wp.com/

    So: Syria would be surrounded by U.S. allies.

    According to MEE’s Suadad al-Salhy in Baghdad,

    Leaders familiar with the ongoing talks on partitioning Iraq said that Sunni politicians are seriously involved in the discussions and are waiting to see the demonstrations’ outcome before deciding on their path.

    “The meetings are taking place in full swing, and all the Sunni leaders are attending. But they deny this publicly, waiting for the conditions that protect them,” a prominent Sunni leader familiar with the talks told MEE.

    If the protesters are able to force through a national government that takes care of all Iraqi communities, then the Sunnis will reject any planned autonomous area, the leader said.

    Failure to achieve this, he warned, would see Sunnis supporting the partition project en masse.

    “Sunnis do not want to be part of the Shia crescent, and refuse to submit to Iranian control. So they will offer the Americans permission to build military bases in their lands, in exchange for the necessary support to establish the desired region.”

    The Atlantic Council is NATO’s main PR organization. Ali Harb freported:

    “We’re not at a point where the US and Iraq are enemies,” said Abbas Kadhim, director of the Iraq Initiative at the Atlantic Center think-tank in Washington. …

    Kadhim, of the Atlantic Council, called for negotiating an American military withdrawal from Iraq in a way that would ease the tensions of the past few weeks and preserve the strategic partnership between Washington and Baghdad. …

    Kadhim said the “knee-jerk reactions” that Baghdad and Washington have been displaying are not helpful.

    “At the end of the day, the United States cannot impose its troops on Iraq. There’s no justification for keeping troops in Iraq against the will of the Iraqi people, and it’s not in the interest of the United States to do that,” he told MEE. …

    The US envoy for the Coalition against IS, James Jeffery, … also issued an implicit warning to Baghdad on Thursday [Jan. 23].

    At a news conference, he said that if the US and Iraq were to negotiate a troop withdrawal, everything else would be on the table, including Washington’s diplomatic support to Baghdad.

    “We’re not interested in sitting down and talking only about withdrawal,” Jeffery said.

    “Any conversations that the Iraqis want to have with us about the United States in Iraq, we believe should and must cover the entire gamut of our relationship, which goes way beyond our forces, goes way beyond security.”

    Kadhim said imposing sanctions on Iraq would be harmful to both nations and counterproductive to Washington’s stated aim of reducing Iranian influence in Baghdad.

    —————

    Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

    HOW ARE IRAN AND THE “AXIS OF THE RESISTANCE” AFFECTED BY THE US ASSASSINATION OF SOLEIMANI?

     

    The US President Donald Trump assassinated the commander of the “Axis of the Resistance”, the (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) IRGC – Quds Brigade Major General Qassem Soleimani at Baghdad airport with little consideration of the consequences of this targeted killing. It is not to be excluded that the US administration considered the assassination would reflect positively on its Middle Eastern policy. Or perhaps the US officials believed the killing of Sardar Soleimani would weaken the “Axis of the Resistance”: once deprived of their leader, Iran’s partners’ capabilities in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen would be reduced. Is this assessment accurate?

    A high-ranking source within this “Axis of the Resistance” said “Sardar Soleimani was the direct and fast track link between the partners of Iran and the Leader of the Revolution Sayyed Ali Khamenei. However, the command on the ground belonged to the national leaders in every single separate country. These leaders have their leadership and practices, but common strategic objectives to fight against the US hegemony, stand up to the oppressors and to resist illegitimate foreign intervention in their affairs. These objectives have been in place for many years and will remain, with or without Sardar Soleimani”.

    “In Lebanon, Hezbollah’s Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah leads Lebanon and is the one with a direct link to the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. He supports Gaza, Syria, Iraq and Yemen and has a heavy involvement in these fronts. However, he leads a large number of advisors and officers in charge of running all military, social and relationship affairs domestically and regionally. Many Iranian IRGC officers are also present on many of these fronts to support the needs of the “Axis of the Resistance” members in logistics, training and finance,” said the source.

    In Syria, IRGC officers coordinate with Russia, the Syrian Army, the Syrian political leadership and all Iran’s allies fighting for the liberation of the country and for the defeat of the jihadists who flocked to Syria from all continents via Turkey, Iraq and Jordan. These officers have worked side by side with Iraqi, Lebanese, Syrian and other nationals who are part of the “Axis of the Resistance”. They have offered the Syrian government the needed support to defeat the “Islamic State” (ISIS/IS/ISIL) and al-Qaeda and other jihadists or those of similar ideologies in most of the country – with the exception of north-east Syria, which is under US occupation forces. These IRGC officers have their objectives and the means to achieve a target already agreed and in place for years. The absence of Sardar Soleimani will hardly affect these forces and their plans.

    Front left: President Rouhani, Sayyed Khamenei, IRGC-Quds Chief Ismail Qaani

    In Iraq, over 100 Iranian IRGC officers have been operating in the country at the official request of the Iraqi government, to defeat ISIS. They served jointly with the Iraqi forces and were involved in supplying the country with weapons, intelligence and training after the fall of a third of Iraq into the hands of ISIS in mid-2014. It was striking and shocking to see the Iraqi Army, armed and trained by US forces for over ten years, abandoning its positions and fleeing the northern Iraqi cities. Iranian support with its robust ideology (with one of its allies, motivating them to fight ISIS) was efficient in Syria; thus, it was necessary to transmit this to the Iraqis so they could stand, fight, and defeat ISIS.

    The Lebanese Hezbollah is present in Syria and Yemen, and also in Iraq. The Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki asked Sayyed Nasrallah to provide his country with officers to stand against ISIS. Dozens of Hezbollah officers operate in Iraq and will be ready to support the Iraqis if the US forces refuse to leave the country. They will abide by and enforce the decision of the Parliament that the US must leave by end January 2021. Hezbollah’s long warfare experience has resulted in painful experiences with the US forces in Lebanon and Iraq throughout several decades and has not been forgotten.

    Sayyed Nasrallah, in his latest speech, revealed the presence in mid-2014 of Hezbollah officials in Kurdistan to support the Iraqi Kurds against ISIS. This was when the same Kurdish Leader Masoud Barzani announced that it was due to Iran that the Kurds received weapons to defend themselves when the US refused to help Iraq for many months after ISIS expanded its control in northern Iraq.

    The Hezbollah leaders did not disclose the continuous visits of Kurdish representatives to Lebanon to meet Hezbollah officials. In fact, Iraqi Sunni and Shia officials, ministers and political leaders regularly visit Lebanon to meet Hezbollah officials and its leader. Hezbollah, like Iran, plays an essential role in easing the dialogue between Iraqis when these find it difficult to overcome their differences together.

    Sayyed Ali Khamenei and IRGC General Ismail Qaani during the Iraq-Iran war

    The reason why Sayyed Nasrallah revealed the presence of his officers in Kurdistan when meeting Masoud Barzani is a clear message to the world that the “Axis of the Resistance” doesn’t depend on one single person. Indeed, Sayyed Nasrallah is showing the unity which reigns among this front, with or without Sardar Soleimani. Barzani is part of Iraq, and Kurdistan expressed its readiness to abide by the decision of the Iraqi Parliament to seek the US forces’ departure from the country because the Kurds are not detached from the central government but part of it.

    Prior to his assassination, Sardar Soleimani prepared the ground to be followed (if killed on the battlefield, for example) and asked Iranian officials to nominate General Ismail Qaani as his replacement. The Leader of the revolution Sayyed Ali Khamenei ordered Soleimani’s wish to be fulfilled and to keep the plans and objectives already in place as they were. Sayyed Khamenei, according to the source, ordered an “increase in support for the Palestinians and, in particular, to all allies where US forces are present.”

    Sardar Soleimani was looking for his death by his enemies and got what he wished for. He was aware that the “Axis of the Resistance” is highly aware of its objectives. Those among the “Axis of the Resistance” who have a robust internal front are well-established and on track. The problem was mainly in Iraq. But it seems the actions of the US have managed to bring Iraqi factions together- by assassinating the two commanders. Sardar Soleimani could have never expected a rapid achievement of this kind. Anti-US Iraqis are preparing this coming Friday to express their rejection of the US forces present in their country.

    Sayyed Ali Khamenei, in his Friday prayers last week, the first for eight years, set up a road map for the “Axis of the Resistance”: push the US forces out of the Middle East and support Palestine.

    Iran general Ismail Qaani with Hamas Leader Ismail Haniya and various Palestinian leaders in Tehran.

    All Palestinian groups, including Hamas, were present at Sardar Soleimani’s funeral in Iran and met with General Qaani who promised, “not only to continue support but to increase it according to Sayyed Khamenei’s request,” said the source. Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas Leader, said from Tehran: “Soleimani is the martyr of Jerusalem”.

    Many Iraqi commanders were present at the meeting with General Qaani. Most of these have a long record of hostility towards US forces in Iraq during the occupation period (2003-2011). Their commander, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes, was assassinated with Sardar Soleimani and they are seeking revenge. Those leaders have enough motivation to attack the US forces, who have violated the Iraq-US training, cultural and armament agreement. At no time was the US administration given a license to kill in Iraq by the government of Baghdad.

    The Iraqi Parliament has spoken: and the assassination of Sardar Soleimani has indeed fallen within the ultimate objectives of the “Axis of the Resistance”. The Iraqi caretaker Prime Minister has officially informed all members of the Coalition Forces in Iraq that “their presence, including that of NATO, is now no longer required in Iraq”. They have one year to leave. But that absolutely does not exclude the Iraqi need to avenge their commanders.

    Palestine constitutes the second objective, as quoted by Sayyed Khamenei. We cannot exclude a considerable boost of support for the Palestinians, much more than the actually existing one. Iran is determined to support the Sunni Palestinians in their objective to have a state of their own in Palestine. The man – Soleimani – is gone and is replaceable like any other man: but the level of commitment to goals has increased. It is hard to imagine the “Axis of the Resistance” remaining idle without engaging themselves somehow in the US Presidential campaign. So, the remainder of 2020 is expected to be hot.


    By Elijah J. Magnier
    Source: Elijah J. Magnier

    IRAN IS READY TO ATTACK AGAIN: WILL THE US FORCES WITHDRAW FROM IRAQ?

    Posted on  by Elijah J Magnier

    By Elijah J. Magnier:@ejmalrai

    Iraq is preparing for demonstrations by a million protestors, called for by Iraqi Shia leader Sayyed Moqtada al-Sadr, as a show of solidarity among Iraqis insisting on the immediate withdrawal of the US-led coalition and all foreign forces stationed in the country. Preparations are set for civilians, families, militants and armed companions of the commander of the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes to march in the streets to send a message to US-led foreign forces. This is a peaceful message, the first of its kind. However, it is most unlikely that subsequent messages will be peaceful. Can the US-led coalition leave in peace?

    According to a high-ranking officer within the “Axis of the Resistance”, “Iran has sworn to avenge its officers assassinated at Baghdad airport. These are Major General Qassem Soleimani and his companions Brigadier General Hossein Pour Jafari, Colonel Shahroud Mozaffari nia, Major Hadi Taremi, and Captain Vahid Zamanian. This attack was a real blow. Iran did not expect the US to declare open war when President Donald Trump was about to start his electoral campaign. Iran did not anticipate the US’s misjudgement of the consequences of such an act of war. Now Iran has taken stock of the situation, has come to terms with its losses, and is preparing to ensure that the assassination of its officers will be remembered in the US for many years.”

    For US forces in Iraq, what options are available? How will the Iraqis deal with these forces, soon to be considered an occupying force, thus legitimising armed resistance attacks against the US? Is Iran preparing for a “war through its allies”?

    The options, in fact, are simple: either US forces stay in Iraq and come under attack – or they leave, permanently. The US forces cannot stay in areas under Shia control. It might be possible to manage a short stay in the western al-Anbar desert, close to the Syrian borders, or a departure for Iraqi Kurdistan. 

    US bases in Kurdistan are not isolated, and therefore not exempt from potential Iranian reprisals. The Iranian bombing of Ayn al-Assad and the US base in Erbil was a message to Trump that no base in Iraq is secure. Iran has friends and allies in Iraqi Kurdistan and can make life for the US forces very difficult.

    Any US attempt to divide Kurdistan from Baghdad will be met with harsh Turkish and Iranian reactions. It will also force Baghdad to stop its financial support to the region, which will have an impact since oil-rich Kirkuk is under the control of Iraqi government forces and no longer part of the Iraqi region of Kurdistan.

    All military bases in Iraq are occupied by two distinct forces: one part is under the Iraqi forces’ control and the other under US forces’ control. The Iraqi Prime Minister will have no choice but to order the withdrawal of all Iraqi forces from bases where US forces are established, once the US forces are formally designated an occupation force and refuse to withdraw. This will make it possible for the Iraqi resistance to attack the bases without risking Iraqi casualties.

    Furthermore, it has now become too dangerous for the US to conduct military training programs. US forces can be attacked during training sessions by Iraqis who want these forces to leave. The friends of brigades 45 and 46, the two brigades attacked by the US on the Syrian-Iraqi borders, and those faithful to their commander Abu Mahdi will be just waiting to strike US service personnel at the first available opportunity.

    In addition, no US oil company can stay in Iraq: US personnel risk becoming “soft targets” for kidnapping or killing by local Iraqis. No force can protect the US companies and Iraq will not find it difficult to allow China – the Chinese have already expressed their readiness to compensate foreign companies willing to leave – to replace them. The consequences of the targeted killings will be dire for the US in general.

    Iran has delivered precision missiles to the Iraqis, who are eager to avenge their assassinated commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes and expel the US from Mesopotamia. Iran would be happy to supply the necessary precision missiles to fill up Iraqi warehouses and see the number of US casualties increasing just before the US forthcoming electoral campaign! There is little hope for Trump to end his years as President without US casualties in Iraq and Syria.

    In Syria US forces are present around the oil fields, but with no real benefit to the US. Trump has said he “doesn’t need the oil from the Middle East”, avowing in effect that his decision to stay is linked to another objective, not hard to find: to please Israel. 

    Israel is taking advantage of the US presence at al-Tanf and in north-east Syria to attack targets in Syria by violating Iraqi airspace. Israel hides behind the US presence to intimidate Iran and its allies, dissuading them from retaliating for the hundreds of attacks carried on in the last years. Trump will find it extremely difficult to justify US service personnel casualties on the grounds of stealing Syrian oil. The US presence represents a legitimate reason for the Syrians and their allies to hit back at the occupation forces who are forcibly taking the Syrian oil and no longer fighting ISIS. 

    Any attempt to mobilise the street with protests and the burning of offices and governmental institutions will no longer be met lightly nor idly by the Iraqi resistance, if (as is not only possible but expected) there is evidence of US involvement behind the scenes.

    Sayyed Moqtada al-Sadr has assumed the lead of the resistance against the US presence. He is now acknowledged as the leader of the resistance, gathering under his wings all groups who fought against ISIS in Iraq and in Syria. This is a suitable position for Sayyed Moqtada as long as he fulfils this role and maintains it. 

    The Sadrist followers can easily create havoc for the US forces. Moqtada al-Sadr’s long experience in fighting the US is not unfamiliar to Washington. And if he hesitates, other leaders will emerge. Iraq’s allies within the “Axis of the Resistance” are also present in Iraq, ready to help. It won’t be long before the US realises the consequences it will have provoked for its criminal targeted assassinations and violations of Iraq sovereignty and its virtual declaration of war on Iran.

    The cards are now on the table. Trump and Iran are fighting an undeclared war. The US forces are standing on a ground very familiar to Iran and its allies, who can move more freely than the US forces. The designated battlefields are Iraq first and Syria second.

    Proofread byMaurice Brasher and C.B.G

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