US has to come to terms with its place in the world, just as Britain did when its empire collapsed

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Trump’s threats of war, sanctions and promises to make America great again could be dismissed as the ranting of an eccentric politician. But this isn’t all about Trump. What he advocates is representative of much of the US elite.

The president and his generation of Americans grew up in a world where the USA was the greatest superpower in human history. It was not just their vast arsenal of nuclear weapons and their war machine but, in 1945, around 50 percent of the entire world’s economy was in the United States of America, with Britain and the USSR hobbling along with around 10 percent each. America dwarfed the power that the British empire had in the 19th century.

In the years that followed, America would intervene all over the world, not to spread democracy, but to overthrow governments that were not working in America’s commercial interests. Whether it was the coup that removed the government of Iran in 1953 and brought back the dictatorship of the Shah; or the military coup in Brazil in 1964 that overthrew a socialist, democratically elected government; or the dozens of other coups around the world, America crushed any opposition to its economic interests.

Some 45 years after the end of the Second World War came the collapse of the Soviet Union, by which time America’s share of the global economy was down to 25 percent. The collapse of the Soviet Union unleashed a wave of assumptions about the future. The most significant of these was Francis Fukuyama’s 1992 book ‘The End of History and The Last Man.’ This was met with acclaim around the world as he argued that the ideological evolution of humanity was over with the triumph of Western liberal democracy. Fukuyama had previously worked in the US State Department under Ronald Reagan and later worked for the first George Bush. Now he is a senior fellow at Stanford University and has just published a book called ‘Identity’ looking at the current political situation. But it was his 1992 book that dominated the political debate as he predicted that the collapse of communism meant there was only one system left for our planet: pragmatic liberal democracy, and the world would never change again.

In an interview in The Guardian, Fukuyama talks about the “ruthless cunning of Vladimir Putin” and points out that Trump and Brexit are a backlash against multiculturalism and international cooperation. He warns that “globalization has clearly left a lot of people behind. There is greater automation, greater inequality.” He says he believed the financial crash would see a surge of left-wing populism and was therefore surprised by the rise of Trump.

Across much of the capitalist West, tens of millions have seen their lives get worse and this has fueled the growth of far-right groups and racial hatred. But different things are happening elsewhere in the world, of which the most significant is the rise of China. Around 40 years ago, China was a basket economy with 90 percent of its people living in poverty, but the economic strategy of China has lifted over 500 million Chinese out of poverty and their economy has grown to a point where it is about to overtake the USA. Not surprisingly, this has caused a backlash in the American establishment.

Paul Wolfowitz, a key player in America’s invasion of Iraq, had warned back in 1992 in a secret memo to Defense Secretary Dick Cheney that “our strategy must now refocus on precluding the emergence of any potential future global competitor.” But with the growth of China’s economy and America’s economic decline, Wolfowitz’s strategy has now become the consensus in the American government, including Democrats like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. During Obama’s administration, they were pushing aggressive policies by expanding NATO to encircle Russia and devising a strategy for the economic containment of China. Obama’s Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) tried to create an economic bloc around the Pacific that would exclude China. Fortunately, this was rejected by most Asian governments and never happened.

America’s paranoia about China ignores why Beijing’s economy has soared. Unlike the West, which allows the financial sector to dominate and set the economic agenda, China focused on scientific and technological development, investment in infrastructure (like high-speed rail) and kept its financial center under firm regulation, thus avoiding its banks collapsing as they did in the West in 2008.

Sergei Glazyev, a key adviser to President Putin, has warned against the continuing US and EU sanctions against Russia, and the capricious policy of the Trump administration that has seen the start of a trade war. He warns that “if the US keeps contradicting international law… the first measure we would have to take together with China and other countries who are suffering from US aggression would be to get rid of the dollar as the key international currency.” China, he said“has created the most progressive system in the world for directing economic development, combining planning with market self-regulation, and subordinating private initiative to the needs of raising the general welfare through an increased volume and efficiency of production.”

Another consequence of China’s growth is BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). These countries are increasingly cooperating and as their economies continue to rise, we will never again see a world in which one country’s economy can dominate the whole planet, as was the case with America after 1945.

This global economic shift has caused a backlash with former British prime minister Tony Blair claiming“America needs Europe united and standing with it, not isolated as individual nations, able to be picked off one by one by the emergent new powers.”

China’s President Xi, speaking at the G20 conference two years ago, warned that “we can no longer rely on fiscal and monetary policy alone,” and called for spreading visionary and inclusive economic growth driven by innovation in science and technology… “to spearhead the fourth industrial revolution.” He went on to promise direct support to help the countries of Africa see their economies grow.

Xi also said“the Silk Road Economic Belt is progressing rapidly and the Maritime Silk Road is well underway. But this is not China creating a sphere of influence but rather a means of supporting the development of all countries. We are not building China’s backyard garden but we’re building a garden to be shared by all countries.”

Also, in September 2016, Russia’s President Putin advocated“big, ambitious, complex and long-term tasks” to transform Russia’s Far East into a hub of Eurasian development. At the same time, President Obama was still pushing for the TPP and demanding that “America should write the rules, not China.” A significant response to Obama came from Germany’s Minister of Economic Affairs Sigmar Gabriel, who said“In my opinion, the negotiations with the United States have de facto failed because we Europeans did not want to subject ourselves to America’s demands.”

These views were not shared by Britain’s Prime Minister May, as she launched what seemed to be the beginning of a new Cold War against Russia. Her views were echoed by the Sunday Telegraph’s editor, Allister Heath, who called for Britain to take the lead in creating a new global military and economic alliance to enforce democracy but also capitalism across the globe. Heath’s column was titled ‘Forget NATO. We need a new world alliance to take on totalitarian capitalists in Russia and China.’ Heath continued: “NATO is no longer enough: it is too European, too many of its members are outright pacifists and Turkey’s membership is problematic.” Heath claimed that the new alliance he was advocating “would be the biggest shift in geopolitics since the creation of the UN. It would dramatically shift the global balance of power, and allow the liberal democracies finally to fight back. It would endow the world with the sorts of robust institutions that are required to contain Russia and China…”

No one power is ever going to dominate the world again. The choice we face is to cooperate with the emerging new economies like China and those that will follow around the rest of the Third World or get caught up in an economic Cold War led by the American establishment and its UK ally. America has got to come to terms with the world as it is now, just as Britain had to the same when its empire collapsed. We should work with China and Russia and the other emerging economies and, in doing so, ordinary people around the world will benefit – including in the USA, if only America stops looking back to the past.

By Ken Livingstone
Source

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Putin and the Syrian priority بوتين والأولوية السورية

Putin and the Syrian priority

أغسطس 24, 2018

Written by Nasser Kandil,

At the end of the third year of the Russian position in the war on Syria, Russia tries to protect and to fortify the meaning and the outcomes of this position resulted from its decision of taking the first strategic initiative in the history even during the days of the Soviet Union to intervene militarily through its armed forces in a war outside its borders and in a traditional American working area, that is bordered by Atlantic Turkey, Israel, and the American presence. Moscow had already put its weight to prevent any American intervention in it two years ago, although the American fleets reached off the Syrian coast, during organized successive, high ceilinged American words about the future of Syria and the future of the Syrian President in particular, whom the Russian forces came to support. Therefore this grants the Russian military initiative a qualitative position in the strategic considerations, at least the readiness to impose a fait accompli by force on the opposite major country represented by America.

Many observers and analysts do not know the magnitude and the kind of considerations and alliances made by the Russian leadership before taking such a decision, and with the progress of this track. It is wrong to think that we are in front of an ordinary Russian file. It is the first strategic file on the table of the Russian President. The achievement of its desired results depends on drawing the position and the role wanted by the Russian President in the international game, in other words; the western and the Arab recognition of the legitimacy of the rule of the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and lifting the sanctions on the Syrian country.

The political solution in Syria, the fighting of terrorism, the return of the refugees, and the reconstruction are important vocabularies in the context of the Russian movement for Syria, but they are preceded by other vocabularies that their advanced position in the Russian discourse on Syria needs accurate considerations like how to improve the international and the regional variables resulted from the repercussions of the position in Syria in order to serve the desired end. These variables are related to the Russian concept of settlement and the political solution; entitled; the legitimacy of the Syrian country, its sovereignty, and unity under the leadership of the President Bashar Al-Assad.

Those who think that there are Russian interests in the talks held by the Russian leaders about the international position without Syria or those who think that any search for Syria is governed by an understanding of the Russian interest without a legitimate rule of the President Bashar Al-Assad during these three years are doing wrong. Those who follow-up the international and the regional position about Syria will discover easily a standard to judge the Russian success and failure, entitled the degree of the change of positions towards the rule of the President Bashar Al-Assad and the recognition of being an undeniable stable fact. The pressing problems have been exaggerated in the world due to this denial and obstinacy, where the spread of terrorism and the problem of refugees are just some of its outcomes.

Some people consider the Russian decision of the military position in Syria simple; they do not consider it a strategic shift of high risk, knowing that its risk is the direct and the indirect confrontation with Washington. Those also ignore the worrying tracks of the Russian-Turkish relationship due to this step and later the Russian-Saudi relationship and the Russian-Israeli one. The most notable ignoring is the size of the strategic agreement between Russia and each one of Iran, Syria, and the resistance led by Hezbollah, especially the understanding that in this process no one is left alone until achieving the common victory and in a way that preserves every party that is exposed to pressures and temptations or intimidation that are enough to tempt it to leave the alliance.

In front of these dazzling Russian successes in reaching advanced stages of the planned track, which some of them will be shown through the Russian-Turkish-German- French summit, many people think that the Russian-Iranian relationship is exposed to bargaining, and that Russia is disturbed and confused due to the American sanctions which targeted it when Turkey was against it in Syria. Now it targets Europe and Turkey the two former allies of America in Syria. Everyone who is concerned with the international equations in Moscow confirms that the strategic decision of Washington of getting out of Syria has been resolved, and the alliance which was formed for the war on Syria has been dismantled, while the winning Russian card is the alliance which it led to support Syria. Therefore the smooth investment of the achieved victories does not mean to abandon this card rather to protect it to gain more allies through the power of credibility shown by Russia in the Syrian war and in its alliance with Iran where it showed that it does not leave its allies. The summit which ended a few days ago about the Caspian Sea under Russian-Iranian leadership is still fresh, and the emergence of Turkish and Pakistani changes which were historic dream of Russia are achieved. Thus the Pakistani-Iranian-Turkish line that links Russia with China in the warm waters and which was dreamt by the Caesar Nicholas II two centuries ago became true, after the alliance which was made by Washington between Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, and Baghdad half a century ago was the alliance that confronted the Russian movement during the days of the Soviet Union.

If it is true that the world changes from Syria as the Russian President Vladimir Putin said few years ago, then it is true too that Russia with Putin decided to play the leading role in changing the world from the Syrian gate, and now it is reaping the fruits of its sucess.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

 

بوتين والأولوية السورية

أغسطس 18, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– خلال ثلاث سنوات تقارب من نهايتها على التموضع الروسي في الحرب على سورية، تعيش روسيا مكانة خاصة لحماية وتحصين معاني ونتائج هذا التموضع الناتج عن اتخاذ روسيا قرار المبادرة الاستراتيجية الأولى من نوعها في تاريخها، بما في ذلك أيام الاتحاد السوفياتي، بالتدخل عسكرياً بقواتها المسلحة في حرب خارج حدودها، وفي منطقة عمل أميركية تقليدية، تحدّها تركيا الأطلسية من جهة و«إسرائيل» من جهة ثانية، والوجود الأميركي من جهة ثالثة، وقد سبق لموسكو أن رمت بثقلها لمنع تدخل عسكري أميركي فيها قبل عامين، رغم أن الأساطيل الأميركية وصلت إلى قبالة السواحل السورية. وفي ظل كلام أميركي منتظم ومتتابع وعالي السقوف حول مستقبل الوضع في سورية وخصوصاً مستقبل الرئيس السوري، الذي جاءت روسيا بقواتها لدعمه، ما يمنح المبادرة الروسية العسكرية مكانة نوعية في الحسابات الاستراتيجية ليس أقلها الجهوزية لفرض أمر واقع بالقوة على الدولة العظمى المقابلة التي تمثلها أميركا.

– يغيب عن بال الكثير من المتابعين والمحللين التخيل لحجم ونوع الحسابات والتحالفات التي أقامتها القيادة الروسية قبل اتخاذ هذا القرار، ومثلها التي تتخذها بالتتابع مع مساره وتقدم هذا المسار. فيخطئ من يظن أننا أمام مجرد ملف من ملفات الحركة الروسية، بقدر ما نحن أمام الملف الاستراتيجي الأول على طاولة الرئيس الروسي، بحيث يتوقّف على ضمان بلوغه نهاياته المنشودة، رسم المكانة والدور اللذين أرداهما الرئيس الروسي لبلاده في اللعبة الدولية، وحسابات القوة فيها، والنهاية المنشودة هي استرداد الاعتراف الغربي والعربي بشرعية حكم الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد، وإزالة العقوبات التي فرضت على الدولة السورية.

– مفردات من نوع الحل السياسي في سورية ومكافحة الإرهاب وعودة النازحين وإعادة الإعمار، تحتلّ مكانتها في سياق الحركة الروسية لأعمية كل منها بذاتها في ترجمة المسار الذي ترغبه روسيا لسورية، لكنها قبل ذلك مفردات يخضع استحضارها ومنح كل منها مكانة متقدمة في الخطاب الروسي حول سورية تعبيراً عن حسابات دقيقة لكيفية تثمير المتغيرات الدولية والإقليمية الناجمة في أغلبها عن تداعيات الوضع السورية وتوظيفها في خدمة النهاية المنشودة، المتصلة بالمفهوم الروسي للتسوية والحل السياسي، وعنوانهما شرعية الدولة السورية وسيادتها ووحدتها برئاسة الرئيس بشار الأسد.

– خلال سنوات ثلاث يخطئ من يظن أن ثمة مصالح روسية تحضر على طاولة المباحثات التي يجريها القادة الروس حول الوضع الدولي لا تشكل سورية مفتاحها. ويخطئ من يظن أن أي بحث عن سورية يحكمه فهم للمصلحة الروسية ليس عنوانه شرعية حكم الرئيس بشار الأسد، ومَن يتابع المسارات التي تسلكها المواقف الدولية والإقليمية حول سورية، سيكتشف بسهولة مقياساً للحكم على النجاح والفشل الروسيين، عنوانه درجة تغيّر المواقف من هذه المفردة، حكم الرئيس بشار الأسد، والتسليم بكونه حقيقة لا تفيد المكابرة في إنكارها، ولا مصلحة بالممانعة بوجهها، وقد تفاقمت المشكلات التي تضغط على العالم كله بسبب ما مضى من هذه المكابرة وهذا الإنكار، ليس تفشي الإرهاب ومشكلة النازحين إلا بعضاً من مفرداتها.

– يتعاطى البعض بخفة مع هيكلية القرار الروسي بالتموضع العسكري الروسي في سورية، ولا ينظر إليها كنقلة استراتيجية على درجة عالية من الخطورة، والمخاطرة بمواجهة مباشرة أو غير مباشرة مع واشنطن، ويتجاهل هؤلاء المسارات المتعرّجة المقلقة للعلاقة الروسية التركية بحاصل هذه الخطوة، ولاحقاً العلاقة الروسية السعودية، والعلاقة الروسية الإسرائيلية، ودائماً العلاقات الروسية بكل من واشنطن والعواصم الأوروبية. والتجاهل الأهم هو حجم التوافق الاستراتيجي الذي أبرمته روسيا مع إيران وسورية والمقاومة التي يقودها حزب الله لمواجهة كل هذه الفرضيات، وعلى رأسها التفاهم على أن أحداً لن يترك أحداً في هذه المسيرة حتى يتحقق النصر المشترك الجامع ويحفظ الجميع الجميع في المنعطفات التي سيتعرّض كل فريق لضغوط وإغراءات كافية لإغرائه بالخروج من الحلف أو ترهيبه من مخاطر الاستمرار فيه.

– أمام النجاحات الروسية الباهرة في بلوغ مراحل متقدّمة من المسار المرسوم، والتي يطل قريباً بعض جديد من ملامحها، مع القمة الروسية التركية الألمانية الفرنسية، يتوهّم كثيرون أن العلاقة الروسية الإيرانية معروضة على الطاولة للمساومة، ويتوهّم كثيرون أن روسيا مضطربة وقلقة وتريد النجاة برأسها أمام العقوبات الأميركية التي استهدفت روسيا يوم كانت تركيا رأس الحربة بوجهها في سورية، وهي اليوم تستهدف أوروبا وتركيا حليفتي أميركا السابقتين في سورية. وكل مَن هو معنيّ في موسكو بالمعادلات الدولية يؤكد أن قرار واشنطن الإستراتيجي بالخروج من سورية قد حُسِم، وأن الحلف الذي تشكل للحرب على سورية قد تفكك، وأن الورقة الروسية الرابحة هي أن الحلف الذي قادته لنصرة سورية غير قابل للتفكك، وأن المضي قدماً بسلاسة للاستثمار على نتائج الانتصارات المحققة، لا يعني التفريط بهذه الورقة الرابحة، بل صيانتها لكسب المزيد من الحلفاء بقوة الصدقية التي أظهرتها روسيا في الحرب السورية وتالياً في حلفها مع إيران أنها لا تترك حلفاءها ولا تبيع ولا تشتري على ظهورهم. والقمة التي انتهت قبل أيام حول بحر قزوين بقيادة روسية إيرانية لا تزال طازجة، وظهور التغييرات التركية والباكستانية، التي كانت حلماً تاريخياً لروسيا تكتمل، ليصير القوس الباكستاني الإيراني التركي لربط روسيا بالصين في المياه الدافئة، والذي حلم به القيصر نيقولاي الثاني قبل قرنين تقريباً، حقيقة، بعدما كان الحلف الذي أقامته واشنطن بين إيران وباكستان وتركيا وبغداد قبل نصف قرن أهم جدار لمواجهة الحركة الروسية أيام الاتحاد السوفياتي.

– إذا كان صحيحاً أن العالم يتغير من سورية، كما قال الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين قبل سنوات، فإن الصحيح أيضاً أن روسيا بوتين قررت لعب الدور القيادي في تغيير العالم من البوابة السورية… وهي تنجح.

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Jews, Immigration, Syria and Israel

June 29, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

 “Now I’m White Will You Deport Me?” – Africans in Israel Paint Their Faces White To Avoid Deportation

“Now I’m White Will You Deport Me?” – Africans in Israel Paint Their Faces White To Avoid Deportation

By Gilad Atzmon

The Israeli press reports this morning that “Israel transferred aid to Syrians seeking refuge near border in overnight mission.”

On first glimpse it seems that Israel has made a crucial and timely humanitarian effort. The IDF says it provided tons of food, medicine and clothing to Syrians living in makeshift encampments on the Golan border. But the IDF also made it clear that it

“won’t allow Syrians fleeing the country into Israel and will continue to defend Israel’s national security interests.” We are entitled to presume that the Israel humanitarian aid was given to discourage Syrian refugees from approaching the Israeli border. The Israelis were in effect telling the Syrian evacuees, ‘we will give you water and food, just make sure you don’t seek refuge in our Jews only State.’

This attitude is in stark contradiction to the message we hear from Diaspora Jews. Just a week ago American Jewish organisations, “alarmed by the U.S. government’s zero tolerance policy to immigration,” submitted a letter to the American administration.  “As Jews, we understand the plight of being an immigrant fleeing violence and oppression,” the letter said, “We believe that the United States is a nation of immigrants and how we treat the stranger reflects on the moral values and ideals of this nation.”

It seems that this understanding of alleged ‘Jewish values’ does not apply to the Jewish State. We have yet to hear a single American Jewish organisation calling on Israel to open its gates to Syrian refugees. While American Jewish organisations claim to understand the “plight of being an immigrant fleeing violence and oppression” we have not heard that any of those Jewish organisations called on Israel to allow the Palestinian refugees to return to their land.

In the eyes of the American Jewish organisations “the USA is a nation of immigrants,” but Israel is a Jews only State. The Indigenous people of Palestine are either expelled, living in open air prisons or endure the reality of being seventh class citizens. When it comes to immigration, no country in the world can compete with Israel’s anti immigration attitude. As we learn today, loving your (Syrian) neighbours and inviting them in is not even an option.

This raises the question of whether the Jewish Diaspora institutional approach to immigration is hypocritical. There is a clear expectation that the Goyim ought to support immigration. This is understandable. Diaspora Jews would love to see themselves as one ethnic minority amongst many. However, when it comes to the Jewish State, this attitude changes radically. Israel sees itself as the Jews only State. This vision is approved by Jewish organisations around the world. From a Jewish political perspective, multiculturalism is the goyim’s affair, the Jewish State prefers to see itself as a mono-ethnic planet.

Maybe the Jewish organisations that allegedly care so much about the way Trump’s immigration policy reflects on American values might bear in mind that the way Israel ‘treats the stranger reflects on the moral values and ideals’ of their own nation.

Windrush Generation and The Zionification of the British Sphere

April 18, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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By Gilad Atzmon

It shouldn’t take us by surprise when a country that drops bombs on Syria on behalf of Israel engages in Israeli style racist anti immigration anti black policies.

A lot has been written about the deep cultural and spiritual bonds between Britain and Zionism. Some have cited the roots of English Christian Zionism. Others point to the Balfour Declaration and its historical background. In 1956 Britain and France joined forces with Israel in an attempt to seize the Suez Canal. By the early 2000s it was hard to determine where Israel ended and Britain began. Occasionally it seemed the BBC had been reduced to an Israeli propaganda unit. The once respected British newspaper morphed into a Guardian of Judea. Murdoch’s Sky News didn’t leave much room for speculation either. Last week Sky News crudely cut off Jonathan Shaw, the former commander of the British Armed Forces, the second that Shaw went ‘off script’ and suggested that the Syrian regime might not have been behind the Douma ‘gas attack.’ The next day we learned that the British government had again engaged in a  Zion-led immoral interventionist assault on an Arab country based on what seems to be just another false WMD claim.

Not much is left of the British media’s heritage of freedom, tolerance and impartiality. I guess that since the spiritual and cultural continuum  between Israel and Britain is well established, we shouldn’t be puzzled that the British media is consumed by the ridiculous fight against ‘antisemitsm.’ Jeremy Corbyn, an iconic anti-racist parliamentarian has been subject to a relentless and biased attack by the Israeli lobby and its stooges within British media and politics. But this is shocking. While Corbyn has been subjected to ceaseless criticism for the alleged ‘antisemitic’ sentiments held by a few individuals within his party, the British government and the Home Office have been engaged in institutional racist discrimination against the Windrush Generation.

The Windrush Generation arrived in the UK between 1948 and 1971 from Caribbean countries. The name is a reference to the ship MV Empire Windrush, which arrived at Tilbury Docks, Essex, on 22 June 1948, bringing workers from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and other islands in response to post-war labour shortages in the UK.

It is unclear how many people belong to the Windrush Generation, since many of those who arrived as children travelled on parents’ passports and never applied for travel documents – but they are thought to be in the thousands.

Those who lack documents are now being told they need to provide evidence in order to continue working, get treatment from the NHS – or even to remain in the UK.

Britain likes to see itself as a ‘multicultural success story’ but over the last few days we have learned that Britain plans to deport black citizens who have spent their entire lives in the kingdom.

Prime Minister Theresa May has apologised to Caribbean leaders for the deportation threats. I guess this may suggest that the Zionification of the kingdom is not complete. However if Theresa May is committed to the fight against racism in general, she better cease with the ridiculous antisemitsm frenzy and employ a universal ethical standpoint to fight racism.

If they want to burn it, you want to read it!

cover bit small.jpg

Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto,

Amazon.co.uk , Amazon.com and  here (gilad.co.uk).

No Fly Zone over Israel

February 13, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

Syria possesses the ability to impose a no fly zone over northern Israel.

Syria possesses the ability to impose a no fly zone over northern Israel.

Interview with Gilad Atzmon on recent news by Alimuddin Usmani

http://lapravda.ch/

Alimuddin Usmani: On the 10th of February, Syrian anti-aircraft units managed to use an old Soviet anti-aircraft missile built in the sixties to shoot down an Israeli F-16.

 What is the significance of this military incident?

Gilad Atzmon:  I do not know much about the type of anti air missiles the Syrians used.  It seems that the Israelis were also perplexed by Syrian anti air capacity. But what we do know is that the Israeli F-16 wasn’t in Syria’s air space. It was well within Israel, in fact not too far from Haifa’s sky. This means that Syria possesses the ability to impose a no fly zone over northern Israel. This is undoubtedly  a positive development. It may even restrain Israeli aggression.

AA: According to Israeli minister Bennett, “Israel must act systematically against the Iranian octopus“.

GA: The reference to Iran as an octopus is new to me. I have seen the octopus imagery used to portray the idea of Jews having  domineering powers.  The image I am referring to is one of octopuses  decorated with a Star of David and holding the planet in their hands.  I do wonder what led Minister Bennett to use such a metaphor. Is it the fear of being encircled and eventually squashed by mighty Iran or maybe Bennett was simply projecting, attributing his own characteristics to the Iranians. This question can remain open. I can say with certainty that since Bennett is a religious Jew, he won’t eat calamari any time soon and he probably doesn’t even know what he misses.

bennet and clamari .png

What is fascinating  about the incident is that for years we have seen Israeli politicians vow to attack Iran. We have seen Jewish leaders worldwide push for military actions and sanctions against Iran. The facts are undeniable: Israel feels surrounded and Bennett seems to admit it by employing the octopus metaphor.

AA: Recently a French-Syrian woman was forced to quit a song show due to some comments she made a while ago on Twitter criticizing the French government’s stance on terrorist attacks.

 What is you take on the above?

GA: This farce highlights the duplicity at the core of so-called multi culturalism and ‘diversity.’ We love and care for the ‘other’ but only so as long as the other conceals his or her otherness. We love Muslims as long as they pretend to be Jews. I see this form of  progressive  ‘diversity’ as an anti humanist oppressive force.

AA: Ahed Tamimi, a young Palestinian activist was arrested on the 19th of December for slapping an Israeli soldier who was standing outside her home. She is still in prison, awaiting a trial. What is your opinion about this girl?

GA: I am afraid that my linguistic abilities fall short in describing my admiration for this Palestinian teenager. I am not impressed by the Palestinian solidarity movement. And now many see the solidarity movement as a controlled opposition apparatus, largely dominated by Jewish organisations and outlets  (JVP, IJAN, Mondoweiss etc.). This has led to a discourse of the oppressed  shaped by the sensitivities of the oppressors. Instead of talking about the Right of Return we have been subject to a barrage of notions, ideas, tactics and political tools that are set to limit the resistance and in practice, facilitate recognition of the Jewish State and its right to exist (to read more  http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/2015/5/16/the-jewish-solidarity-spin).

Ahed Tamimi represents uncompromising resistance. She wants her land to be free, and I don’t doubt  that her wishes will come through

AA: Tell us something about your next gigs.

GA: I am on my way to Barcelona. I am writing to you while seated in a plane. Tonight I will be talking about my new book Being in Time. I will probably be asked about Catalan independence in light of my  post political theory although I have nothing to say about it. I do not really understand the Catalan situation nor do I know how or where to locate it within my criticism of the current global dystopia, I hope that by the end of the night I will have learned  more about Catalonia. A lot of my ideas were born out of intense exchanges with the many people I have encountered while being on the road. It is the differences that  spark thinking and originality, concepts that are seriously lacking in the monolithic tyranny of correctness that is imposed on us.

The Sea of China…. The problematic of the new world system بحر الصين… إشكالية النظام العالمي الجديد

The Sea of China…. The problematic of the new world system

Written by Nasser Kandil,

سبتمبر 20, 2017

Any reader cannot comment on this title and why we concern about the Sea of China, knowing that what we have is enough to concern about. The major country which leads the wars against us is the United States, and it is normal to care about confronting it with at least three things, its opponents, their suitability to be taken as allies, its plans, and its priorities in order to know the effectiveness of our confrontations and victories in the field in producing stable political equations, and how to change the world system and its new balances by all the surrounding variables. In the three points we will see China in front of us, it is the first opponent of the American hegemony, an active partner in any new or old world system, and today it is the priority of America, so how to pay attention that the politics in its different aspects is an outcome of economy which China is preceding to occupy the first global world ranking, as a consumer of the energy which forms one of the most important resources of our region,  as a producer of the goods which our countries form a vital market for them, and as an inspiring to enter the old world in which our geography locates.

The Sea of China forms the confused geographical area which seems the first appropriate region for the solutions instead of our region which is full of disputes and the conflicts. On its shores a high tense confrontation is taking place in which the American wants to have control on it and wants to prevent China from making it a regional lake, which its balances will be determined by equations of the forces which surround it. The Americans locate on the shores of this sea from the South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam, they bet on hindering the Chinese project which based originally on the concept of the regional lake which is directed by the partners that share the same geography, through internationalizing the Sea of China and its crises. This requires igniting the crises between the neighborhoods and raising the tension towards justifying the military internationalization of these crises. Burma’s problem which bothers China does not stem from the fact that it is the concerned country of persecuting the Muslims there, but because China is aware that the American provocation of the issue stems from the attempt of internationalizing in order to deploy foreign troops on the borders of China, under the framework of Chinese-American conflict between the regions and the internationalization as the Korean cause, and as the Chinese industrial islands in the Sea of China. So the deployment of the US missile systems which threaten the Chinese security as the modern Thad system becomes a justification that has a cover made by the countries which the Americans try to put it under the threat of China and its allies in order to seek for the US protection, exactly as how America does in the Gulf by spreading panic from Iran.

China is the partner of the Arabs, the Muslims, and the other nations of the region in confronting the projects of the American hegemony, and the rising power in the world economically. In Asia which constitutes two-thirds of population and distance, China constitutes one third of its population, while Russia constitutes one third of its area. As the understanding with Russia has led to an equation that started changing the world, the completion of the birth of new world system is waiting for the future of the balances in the Sea of China to become clear. What should be concerned regarding the issues of the freedom and independence in our country is not to take one of the two extreme positions towards the issue of the Muslims of Burma whether through ignoring the issue, denying its existence and considering it mere US fabrication or ISIS movement as what was repeated by some people thinking that they serve China by repeating what is being spread on its media, or through participating in arousing the issue, because America can invest it in order to internationalize its security and to be positioned under this pretext on the borders of China. Iran seems the first concerned to have a dialogue with China and to reach to an understanding for a regional solution sponsored by the neighboring countries of Burma as China, India, Bangladesh, and Thailand  that ensures its security and the security of the Muslims in it , and stops the malicious game of America under its pretext.

North Korea’s missiles remain the indispensable deterrence till the Americans recognize the choice of negotiation for a political solution and till Japan and South Korea understand that the solution must be regional or there is no solution.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

بحر الصين… إشكالية النظام العالمي الجديد

ناصر قنديل

سبتمبر 16, 2017

– لا يستطيع عاقل أن يعلق على العنوان وما علاقتنا ببحر الصين، فما عندنا كافٍ ليشغل اهتمامنا وأكثر، فالدولة العظمى التي تقود الحروب علينا هي أميركا، والطبيعي أن نهتمّ لمواجهتنا معها بثلاثة أشياء على الأقلّ، خصومها ومدى صلاحيتهم كحلفاء لنا، وخططها ونسبة الأولويات فيها لإدراك مدى فعالية مواجهتنا وانتصاراتنا في الميدان في إنتاج معادلات سياسية مستقرة، وكيفية تغيّر النظام العالمي وتوازناته الجديدة بفعل كلّ المتغيّرات المحيطة به. وفي الثلاثة سنجد الصين أمامنا، فهي خصم أول للهيمنة الأميركية وشريك فاعل في أيّ نظام عالمي قديم وجديد، وهي اليوم أولوية أميركا، فكيف إنْ كان لعقلنا أن ينتبه أنّ السياسة في كثير من وجوهها مولود للاقتصاد، الذي تتقدّم الصين لاحتلال مرتبة عالمية أولى فيه، كمستهلك للطاقة التي تشكل أحد أهمّ موارد منطقتنا، وكمنتج للسلع التي تشكل بلادنا سوقاً حيوية لها، وكطامح لدخول العالم القديم الذي تتوضّع جغرافيتنا في قلبه؟

– يشكل بحر الصين المنطقة الجغرافية المضطربة التي تبدو المرشح الأول للحلول مكان منطقتنا في تصدّر الأحداث والنزاعات، فعلى شواطئه تدور مواجهة عالية التوتر، يريد الأميركي عبرها الإمساك بمفاتيحه، ومنع الصين من جعله بحيرة إقليمية، تقرّر توازناتها معادلات القوى المتشاطئة عليه، والأميركيون موجودون على ضفاف هذا البحر من كوريا الجنوبية واليابان، وأندونيسيا والفيلبين، وفيتنام، ويراهنون على عرقلة المشروع الصيني القائم أصلاً على مفهوم البحيرة الإقليمية التي يديرها الشركاء الطبيعيون جغرافياً، بتدويل بحر الصين وأزماته. وهذا يستدعي تصعيد الأزمات بين الجيران ورفع منسوب التوتر وصولاً لتبرير التدويل العسكري لهذه الأزمات. ومشكلة بورما التي تزعج الصين، ليس لأنها هي الطرف المعني باضطهاد المسلمين هناك، بل لأنها تدرك أنّ الإثارة الأميركية للقضية نابعة من مسعى للتدويل وزرع قوات أجنبية على حدود الصين، تندرج في إطار الصراع الصيني الأميركي بين الأقلمة والتدويل، ومثلها القضية الكورية، ومثلهما الجزر الصناعية الصينية في بحر الصين، ليصير نشر المنظومات الصاروخية الأميركية التي تهدّد الأمن الصيني، كمنظومة ثاد الحديثة، مبرّراً ويملك غطاء تصنعه مخاوف وهواجس دول يشتغل الأميركيون على جعلها تحت تهديد الصين وحلفائها، لتطلب الحماية الأميركية، تماماً كما هو حال التعامل الأميركي في الخليج بقوة إنتاج الذعر من إيران.

– الصين شريك العرب والمسلمين وسائر شعوب المنطقة في مواجهة مشاريع الهمينة الأميركية، وقائدة العالم الصاعدة اقتصادياً، وفي آسيا التي تشكل ثلثي العالم سكاناً ومساحة تشكل الصين ثلث سكانها، وتشكل روسيا ثلث مساحتها، ومثلما أنتج التفاهم مع روسيا معادلة بدأت تغيّر العالم، فإنّ اكتمال ولادة نظام عالمي جديد ينتظر تبلور مستقبل التوازنات في بحر الصين، وما يجب أن يهتمّ به المعنيون بقضايا الحرية والاستقلال في بلادنا، هو أن لا يتخذوا أحد الموقفين المتطرفين من قضية مسلمي بورما، فيصبّون الماء في الطاحونة الأميركية، إما بتجاهل القضية وإنكار وجودها، واعتبارها مجرد فبركة أميركية، أو حركة داعشية، كما يتحدّث البعض ظناً منهم أنهم يخدمون الصين بتكرار ما تقوله وسائل إعلامها، أو بالمشاركة في إثارة صاخبة للقضية ينجح الأميركي بتوظيفها لتدويل أمنها والتموضع بذريعتها على حدود الصين، إن إيران تبدو المعني الأول بحوار مع الصين يخرج بتفاهم على الدعوة لحلّ إقليمي ترعاه دول الجوار لبورما، وهي الصين والهند وبنغلادش وتايلاند، يضمن أمنها ومن ضمنه أمن المسلمين فيها، ويقطع الطريق على اللعبة الأميركية الخبيثة بذريعتها.

– تبقى صواريخ كوريا الشمالية رادع لا غنى عنه، حتى يستسلم الأميركيون لخيار التفاوض لحلّ سياسي، ويفهم اليابان وكوريا الجنوبية أنّ الحلّ يكون إقليمياً أو لا يكون.

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Macron wins – the 24% who voted for him rejoice, the rest sigh

May 09, 2017

by Ramin MazaheriMacron wins – the 24% who voted for him rejoice, the rest sigh

Communist ideas have won concessions from industry, but they have been unable to stop high finance from exploiting workers.

That is the big battle today. Only revolutionary and heavily socialist countries like Iran, Cuba and China – as well as dictatorships like South Korea in the past – have been able to stop domination by international finance.

France, however, has fearfully rushed into the arms of the candidate who wants your wages to pay for bad loans: former Rothschild banker Emmanuel Macron.

It’s almost insulting to take orders from a 39-year old who didn’t come to power at the end of the gun or at the front of a massive revolution, because how can such a young person not be the puppet of older, richer interests?

There’s no way Macron is as smart, experienced and mature as he believes himself to be, or as they want us to believe. It’s “not polite” by French campaign standards, but I note that his record as Economy Minister produced only economic stagnation and record-high unemployment.

I talk to people in France about how they will vote all the time, even though it’s also “not polite” by French standards. Hogwash. Emmanuel only has two appeals: first, he is young and new blood in a country run by an aged, corrupt aristocracy, and second, he is not Marine Le Pen.

Of course Emmanuel won: Le Pen lost in 2nd round head-to-head polling at all times and against everyone. I mean in every…single…poll since polling began in January.

We were hoping against hope, and because hope was a terrible, incompetent, neo-fascist candidate – hope lost.

Huge change from 2012 – there is no joy in Mudville. I can assure you that France’s spirit of resistance was alive and well in 2012. Ahhhh, austerity was so young back then – it’s so firmly-rooted now.

Francois Hollande was elected on a promise to fight high finance, fight Germany, end austerity and renegotiate EU treaties. The French people were 100% correct to be so optimistic – who can live in cynicism?

But who could have expected that Hollande would make such an undemocratic U-turn? His U-turn threatened to destroy the European Union, which has only been given a stay of execution with Macron’s victory. Even though Hollande couldn’t even run for re-election, nobody with any sense of justice thinks that is fair reparations.

I must pause here for a word on civil war: France talks about the possibility of a civil war an inordinate amount. And I perceived this years before this election involving Le Pen.

In the US that’s relegated to beyond the suburbs…half the country, sure. Of course, the English say the same thing. The Spanish may split over Catalonia. Scotland may break off. Ireland remains divided. Italy barely has a government. Belgium didn’t have one for a year (such Parliamentary gridlock is France’s future).

Only the Germans are happy with their leadership. And why not: everyone in the West “admires them”. Not me – higher poverty rate than France, for starters.

My point is: Western society, and not just France, is fractured in a terrible, horrible way. The lack of unity – even if only perceived – is staggering for a region of the world enjoying such enormous relative prosperity. There is, clearly, a problem in their culture.

Cuba doesn’t have this problem. Nor China. Iran – once you get out of rich North Tehran – will almost certainly have a higher voter participation rate in their elections this month than France, and France’s is still among the highest in the West.

The fear of civil war is a major Western phenomenon, and it was a major reason why people voted for Macron/against Le Pen

What do you expect? You’re all divided into parts of unequal sizes

That’s what identity politics is: Is a Black’s ideas worth more than a Gay? Seems like a Transgender rules the roost in 2017, especially if he/she has to go to the bathroom.

Can the White Nationalists fly their flag at the statehouse or not? We better ask the opinion of the left-handed homemakers north of the Mason-Dixon but west of the Mississippi who prefer jam to Nutella on partially-cloudy days – I’m sure their lobby group is being formed.

Or you could just have what works: Class politics.

Us versus the 1 billionth percent, the 8 people who own half the world’s wealth.

Anyone who supported Le Pen was browbeaten with insults against their character, intelligence and morality. Identity politics are not only about inclusion – I am in this group – it is about exclusion: You have to be like this or you are not in this group.

And who doesn’t want to be in the group the entire media (no exaggeration) said was the “good” one?

Because France does not accept multi-culturalism, promoting assimilationism instead, identity politics in France has a different face. The “in group” here is simply “France”. That’s why Macron saved this big PR gun for the final week of campaigning: “The National Front is the anti-France party”.

It resonated, even though the National Front is the most hyper-patriotic party.

Anyway, I ardently supported Marine Le Pen for two weeks – between the two rounds of voting – does that make me anti-France? Or does it make me a fascist and a racist? I’d swear at you but this is a family publication.

Fascism is a real dirty word over here. It’s not that way in the US because American fascists won WWII and thus were never discredited, like over here. People here had relatives die fighting German, Austrian & Italian fascists.

The past is indeed history, and history is indeed past

France also succumbed to the idea that the fascists their grandfathers fought are the real problem, as if France fought a civil war instead of the Germans in World War II.

More than identity politics, Macron won because France was convinced that the father of Marine Le Pen is more important than her ideas to rectify the very different problems of 2017. But high-speed trading didn’t exist in 1941. There was no European Union. In 1941 there was actually a Left in the West, LOL.

“You don’t see it, Ramin,” they told me “the threat of the National Front.”

What I see is you guys taking a backseat to Germany.

But, I’m exaggerating: I see France colluding with the Germans. Again, just like in World War II.

That is EXACTLY what has happened! Check the data: Which banks are leveraged in Greece? German AND French are the top two. Who funds the European Central Bank? The main percentage comes from Germany, with France in a very close 2nd place – we are talking dozens of billions of much-needed euros.

Acting as if Germany pays everything, does everything, plans everything – this is an Anglo-Saxon view not based on reality. I assume it is related to the historical Northern European view of their genetic supremacy over everyone else, including Southern and Eastern Europe.

But, that’s just more identity politics. It ignores the class view, as usual. The reality is that French capitalism is hugely a part of the neo-imperialist project of the European Union to cannibalize other Europeans – it’s not all Germany.

Le Pen would get that – Macron would think I am speaking Greek. Oh well.

Crying ‘terrorism’ is not just for kicks and giggles

But let’s not insult everybody in France as being class ignoramuses – this is not America: the French got two such bad candidates by another primary tactic of high-finance: the security state.

The first round vote was on April 23, and I already wrote a column about how terrorism was in the headlines an inordinately suspicious amount in the week prior to that vote.

And in the 14 days since April 23rd France’s security state made sure terrorism-related raids and announcements were in the headlines almost every day. Should we be surprised anymore? I made a list:

April 24-26: Fourteen arrests made in France and Belgium on terrorism.

April 25: Five more arrests in alleged Marseilles planned terrorism attack.

April 25: National homage to the cop killed on the Champs-Elysees.

April 27: Raid on an alleged terrorist’s home in Réunion. Two cops shot.

April 28: Citing the war on terrorism, police will ban traffic information apps from warning of radar traps and other police stops.

May 2: Five arrests in anti-terrorism.

May 3: Judgment in a high-profile “apology of terrorism” case.

May 3: In the lone presidential debate Macron said that terrorism will be the “focus of his 5 years”. 30 minutes of terrorism discussion, which preceded the debate on the European Union.

May 4: National day of homage to all cops killed in France.

This is an incomplete list. I can assure you that the French anti-terrorism units do not work this often in normal times – we’d all be in jail if they did.

The canard of terrorism was employed by Hollande to undemocratically ram through right-wing economic measures designed to benefit the bondholder class. It was also used to put Macron in office and, as I listed, Macron plans to keep it there.

Ultimately, there is still no plan in effect to win concessions from high finance. Le Pen would not have provided a solution, but she would have at least been a monkey wrench; she would at least have provided a temporary respite; she would at least have provided the chance to discuss solutions.

Finance is international, but Europe requires a unique solution because the creation and support for the European Union means they have a uniquely European problem.

I have no ideas, and neither do the faux-left supporters of Macron. They just keep telling me: “We’ll take to the streets to fight austerity”. Hey, jerk, check the scoreboard – we did that all the time under Hollande: we lost.

Macron will continue the neoliberal policies which didn’t work while he was minster, and they will not work now.

Ultimately, the election of Macon just kicks the can down the road. Prior to the election this was repeatedly written by mainstream journalists to describe the necessary economic “reforms” France resisted implementing. Absurd, these “deforms”.

What is postponed are the revolutionary, pro-communist changes which put finally the people ahead of the financial class, which is the new aristocracy.

Postscript – the Macron Era, Day 1 of 1,826.25

The above was written on election night. I was planning to finish it in between my 10 scheduled live interviews for Press TV, but at this point in the column the Le Pen camp refused my entry to their headquarters, denying me a place to do some of those interviews and also to finish this column.

I wasn’t the only one – Le Monde, Mediapart and reportedly many other media were the victims of the Le Pen campaign’s allegedly accidental and regrettable choice to choose a small, swanky locale for their HQ.

Maybe such treatment was a harbinger of things to come and we dodged a bullet by avoiding the National Front and their anti-press neo-fascism?

Problem is, Macron banned Russian media a couple weeks earlier.

Problem is, prior to that Hollande took Press TV and all Iranian media off France’s state-run satellite Eutelsat, in a clear case of censorship.

Anyway, the day after the election Hollande joined Macron for the WWII Victory Day memorial and then immediately flew to Berlin to meet Merkel. Isn’t that fitting? And there were thousands already protesting Macron, with plenty of police brutality. I wanted to cover it but my cameraman begged off, citing fatigue. Honestly, I felt the same way.

Glass half-full: Macron is from the younger, less-racist generation. Maybe he’ll be able to take a firm stance on France’s xenophobic nonsense?

Problem is, his team threatened to close the nation’s Islamophobia watchdog, saying they are “in danger.” Pretty Le Pen-like, if you ask me, which is what I always said.

I really cannot even stomach reading the mainstream media’s take on France’s election, but people seem to be talking like Trump was avoided in France. People only say that because the economic angle – the class angle – is systematically repressed in favor of the economic angle.

Macron is going to wage an (economic) extremist war on the French public, and who can be excited about that? Nobody is excited about Macron here except unmarried, middle-aged women, who have finally found someone who won’t ignore them. I don’t want to rain on their honeymoon, though, so “Sweet dreams, ladies.”

Just do the math: 25% abstained and 12% submitted blank ballots (LOL, a record), meaning only 67% of the total electorate issued an acceptable vote. That drops Macron’s alleged final score of 66% down to 42% of the total electorate. Now subtract the 43% of Macron’s voters who say the voted to block Le Pen. That means only 24% of the total electorate voted for Macron’s personality or his policies.

Only 24% of France truly voted for Macron. So forget what the financial/foreign press says: there is no joy in Mudville, French democracy has struck out.

But the beat goes on. And for the next five years I’m covering the exact same news beat – Hollande (Jr.) and austerity.

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television.

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