Terrorist War on Syria Uncovered How Fragile the International Law Is


Monday, 19 September 2016 01:26

MARGARITA, VENEZUELA, (ST)-Syria’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations Bashar al-Jaafari has stressed that the terrorist war imposed on Syria has distorted the noble meaning of diplomacy and uncovered how fragile the international law is.

Al-Jaafari made the remarks on Sunday during the 17th summit of the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) currently held in Venezuela.

He said the cowardly American aggression against Syrian army positions in al-Tharda Mount area near Deir Ezzor airbase was a clear-cut evidence about the support of the United States and its allies for “ISIS” terrorist organization.

He expressed Syria’s call on NAM member states to condemn this aggression and hold the United States accountable for the attack and to ask the American administration to apologize to the Syrian government for this horrible act and to promise not to repeat such attacks.

He pointed out that achieving the common goal of eliminating terrorism and stopping the expansion of terrorist organizations like “ISIS , Jabhat al-Nusra and al-Qaeda”  and their affiliated groups necessitates unifying and coordinating all efforts.

Syrian government ready to cooperate with all efforts seeking political settlement

Al-Jaafari went on to say that the Syrian government has been open to all sincere initiatives and efforts aiming to help Syria get out of the crisis, stressing that today the government is also ready to cooperate with all efforts seeking political solution in which only the Syrians can decide their future through intra-Syrian dialogue led by the Syrians themselves and away from Arab, regional or international interference.

He affirmed that political solution should lead to eradicating terrorism and rebuilding what the terrorists and their supporters have destroyed. It should also preserve the Syrian state’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and restore security and stability to the Syrian people, he said.

Al-Jaafari pointed out that since its establishment, NAM was based on a number of principles that call among other things for peace, solidarity, justice and respect of the states’ sovereignty and territorial integrity. He regretted that some NAM member states, especially the regimes of Saudi Arabia and Qatar have persisted over the past five years in violating these principles by disseminating terrorist takfiri thinking all over the world, by interfering in the internal affairs of other countries and by not respecting these countries sovereignty and territorial integrity, thereby violating the UN resolutions and the Security Council principles.

He affirmed that the unprecedented terrorist war imposed on Syria and in which tens of countries took part has distorted the noble meaning of diplomacy and uncovered how fragile the international law is and how weak the United Nations mechanisms are.

Stronger adherence to NAM principles urged

Al-Jaafari urged stronger adherence to the principles on the basis of which NAM was established and called for adopting  more effective role to stop the interventionist policies that serve the agenda’s of the enemies.

The Syrian diplomat condemned the flagrant Turkish aggression on Syrian territories and called for an the immediate stopping of this aggression. He asserted that fighting ISIS can’t be done through expelling ISIS and replacing it with other terrorist groups backed by the United States, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

He reiterated that the only viable way to combat terrorism is the implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions and the establishment of an honest international alliance within the framework of international legitimacy and with the participation of concerned countries, foremost of which are Syria and Iraq which are fighting terrorism on behalf of the entire world.

Al-Jaafari said that five and a half years ago, Syria was one of safest and most stable countries, but this image was suddenly and dramatically changed after some Arab, regional and western countries adopted anti-Syria policies and media campaigns and conspired on the country by supporting terrorists and mercenaries from all over the world to kill and destroy in Syria.

Hamda Mustafa

US Providing Cover for Terrorists by Calling Them “Moderate Opposition”- Al-Jaafari

Sunday, 18 September 2016 11:50

MARGARITA, VENEZUELA, (ST)-The governments of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, the United States, France and Britain are directly involved in supporting terrorism in Syria and they give no heed to the Security Council resolutions relating to fighting terrorism, Syria’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations Bashar Al-Jaafari has stressed, pointing out that Israel is also providing flagrant support to the terrorists of Jabhat al-Nusra.

Interviewed by the “al-Mayadeen TV” on the sideline of the 17th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit in Margarita in Venezuela, al-Jaafari said “Israel hosts “Jabhat al-Nusra”, “Liwa Shuhada al-Yarmouk” and “Jund al-Aqsa” terrorist groups and all other terrorists who have been trained in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Israel itself.” He clarified that Israel provides medical treatment to injured terrorists in its hospitals with the help of Qatari funding.

The Syrian diplomat went to on to say that the Syrian state has sent the UN Chief and the Security Council president hundreds of complaints about the Israeli occupation’s practices in the occupied Syrian Golan and about its full involvement in the country’s southern front’s battles.

He added documents were also sent daily to the peacekeeping operation command, but “what should we do if the peacekeeping operation command Chief is a French person called Hervi Ladso who is involved to the bone in anti-Syria campaigns?”

Al-Jaafari ruled out a solution to the issue of separating the so-called “moderate opposition” and terrorist groups “as long as there is a US willingness to provide cover for terrorists by callng them moderate opposition”.

“Senior US administration officials said shamelessly that they can’t support the request of dissociating [Jabhat al-Nusra from armed opposition groups because this will lead to empowering the Syrian government,” said al-Jaafari, stressing that “they are using terrorism as a political weapon to blackmail the Syrian government.”

He noted that the policies of France and Britain are based on hatred. Many terrorists were prepared and vetted within the societies of these countries and sent to the region, but now these countries are trying to get rid of this European terrorism in Syria and Iraq, he said.

Al-Jaafari added that some NAM member states, mainly Gulf States and Jordan, are supporting terrorism in Syria, stressing that political hypocrisy is unacceptable within this organization as it hinders the development of NAM performance.

Hamda Mustafa

Related Articles

Nasser Kandil: Middle East The Touchstone

60 دقيقة مع ناصر قنديل 

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Cyprus, Russia and a geopolitics chess amateur

Via The Saker

by Kakaouskia 
It was with interest that I saw the Saker mentioning today that the government cabinet in Cyprus is actually considering granting Russia’s “wish” for an air force base on the island.

Being a Cypriot, I would like to take this opportunity to provide a – very brief – history lesson for the community as well as some thoughts on the matter.

Brief history 

Cyprus became “independent” from being a UK colony (since 1878) in 1960 following a 5 year guerrilla-type resistance movement which had the peculiarity of seeing more Cypriots being killed by the rebels as “traitors to the cause” – read Communists and leftist in general – than British troops.

Cyprus Republic was then imposed with a British-made constitution, which under the guise of equality made things completely unworkable and allowed Greece and Turkey to each legally have about thousand soldiers on the island. In an attempt to find stability, Cyprus joined the Non-Aligned Movement in 1961. Things collapsed within three years, resulting in one of the longest missions of the UN to date as both sides formed militias (guided by the respective “Motherlands”) and attacked each other. In 1974, following a coup-d’état against the Cypriot president carried out by Greek Junta-guided elements of the Cyprus Army, an all-out war broke out between Turkey and Cyprus which resulted in Cyprus losing about 38% of the island to Turkey. This is the only war so far where forces from two NATO countries (Greece and Turkey) openly fought each other; although formal war was not declared.

Military interests and a fine middle-east deadlock 

Parting Cyprus, apart from being a guarantor to Cyprus’s independence (along with Greece and Turkey), the UK kept a few pieces of prime real estate around the island namely:

– R.A.F Akrotiri, an all important Sovereign Base Area. In the words of UK’s MOD, “RAF Akrotiri is an extremely busy Permanent Joint Operating Base that supports ongoing operations in Afghanistan as well as support for the Sovereign Base area on the Island of Cyprus. It is used as a forward mounting base for overseas operations in the Middle East and for fast jet training.” Akrotiri is only 50Km away – in a straight flight line – from Paphos base.

True to that, Eurofighter Typhoons are stationed there as well as Tornado jets conducting sorties all over the Middle East plus the occasional U2s flights – see video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIP4W9_hwkI)

– R.A.F Troodos, formally a signals station, effectively a big radar and intelligence gathering facility.

– Dhekelia army base

Note that Akrotiri and Dhekelia are called Sovereign Base Areas and have their own police force, even courts.

Apart from the British, almost everybody else in the area is or was involved with Cyprus militarily one way or the other. Cyprus was caught in the Arab-Israeli wars with terrorist attacks rocking the island in the early 80s. In 1978, Egyptian commandos attacked Larnaca Airport in an attempt to rescue hostages taken by Palestinians; this resulted in a heavy firefight between Cyprus National Guard and the Egyptian commandos. Syria was also involved in this by sending their military attaché to help negotiate then surrender of the Egyptians.

Israel has been warming up to Cyprus in recent years after the discovery of adjoining gas reserves. Military exercises between the two countries have taken place involving substantial forces (in Greek). These exercises were prompted in part by Cyprus being equipped with similar Russian armaments like Syria. Two years ago the then defence minister was pushing for the purchase of two Israeli-made gun boats.

United States is of course claiming a stake in the island, mostly utilising British military bases and largely staying in the shadow, pulling strings from their embassy. It was noted in the local press that some key right-wing politicians were getting marching orders from the US ambassador.

Cyprus has tried over the years to decently equip its armed forces but every time it turned to the East, something has happened. The first attempt was in the mid-60s, early 70s, when then president Archbishop Makarios turned to the Soviet Union. While some old armaments were delivered like T-34 tanks and a few torpedo boats, the big item which was the SA-2 SAM system was not, despite Cypriots being trained in Russia. This had the effect of the Cyprus National Guard fighting the 1974 war against Turkey using the T-34s and Marmon Herrington armoured vehicles dating back to the battle of El-Alamein in 1943.

After that, France was quite helpful in providing decent armaments until the collapse of the Soviet Union. Then president Glafkos Klerides (founder of the current governing party) saw an opportunity and ordered among other things: T80-U battle tanks, BMP-3 IFVs, BM-21s, a dozen or so Mil-Mi-35Ps and S300-PMU1 batteries. While the armour was delivered quite fast (I personally saw spare parts for the BMP3s that were inscribed with ‘CCCP’) and National Guard personnel regularly visits Russia for training, history repeated itself and the S300 system was never allowed by NATO to arrive; instead batteries were transferred to Crete island in Greece where they remain partially operational due to lack of funds and maintenance. They were “exchanged” with TOR-M1 batteries.

Political map and power bases 

Before proceeding to comment on the military base deal, it would be prudent to give a brief picture about the political landscape. Cyprus is a presidential republic with the president having great power and the parliament controlling budget. Currently the parliament composition looks like below:

Democratic Rally (DHSY) – 20 seats: Governing party, Pro-West, right-wing with some members hating everything non-west while others being typical capitalists will not mind any deal as long as there is profit. Also have 2 members in European Parliament under the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) – same party like Merkel. Controls one of the two biggest worker union (SEK).

Progressive Party of Working People – Left – New Forces (AKEL) – 19 seats: The evolution of the Communist Party of Cyprus, pro-Russian, most of the old guard studied in Soviet Union and speaks Russian to some degree. In identity crisis, members behaving increasingly like pure capitalists. Also have 2 members in European Parliament under the Confederal Group of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left. Controls the other big worker union (PEO).

Democratic Party (DHKO) – 9 seats: Centre-right, pro-West but mostly pro-money. Usually allies with the governing party, whoever that might be.

Movement for Social Democracy (EDEK) – 5 seats: Centre party with a modest left wing. Also have 2 members in European Parliament under the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament. Although not exactly pro-Russia, it will be difficult to turn the other way.

European Party – 2 seats: Apostates from Democratic Rally, pro-West and heavily right-wing.

Green Party (Ecologists) – 1 seat: No real politics, go wherever the wind is blowing.

Other players include the Church of Cyprus, one of the biggest businesses, heavily pro-Russia and hard-core Capitalist and ELAM, our equivalent to Right Sector.

Current situation and the road to being obedient in EU 

As to the base deal, I wish our government realises that the EU is not the alliance we dreamed it to be but a wolf pack which keeps a few spare lambs around for dinner. BBC is already posting news that according to our foreign minister, Cyprus has denied the deal. This is the same foreign minister who was quoted saying “Cyprus belongs and has always belonged to the West”. Furthermore, the majority of the Cyprus “elite” was cultivated and nurtured with the mantra “West good – Russia bad” to paraphrase Orwell, despite the cultural and religious links Cypriots and Russians share. A few examples:

– Current president, Nikos Anastasiades was actively supported by Merkel in his bid for presidency two years ago and his party, Democratic Rally, is headed by a neon-liberal hardliner which would make the 1%s proud. During his election campaign, Anastasiades pledged to apply for membership into the Partnership for Peace, the gateway to NATO. Parliament members from his party at some point stated that the Mil-Mi-35s are junk and should be replaced, prompting a serious rebuff by the Russian embassy; the first time I recall an embassy officially protesting for such an event.

– In addition, a former president, Tassos Papadopoulos, was rumoured to have attempted to sell a TOR-M1 battery to the US and that his law office helped Milosevic do some serious money laundering of Serbia’s money during the NATO attacks in 1999. According to CIA documents, he was funded in the 1960s in order to create a union of right-wing workers as the one created by the Communist Party of Cyprus was getting too strong. His son is now the head of the centre-right Democratic Party.

Also, when our government does help someone in the East, disasters tend to happen; for example the explosion of “confiscated” Russian ammunition bound for Syria that obliterated our only naval base and the adjoining main power plant. Cyprus does not have warships; the base was built using NATO standards and was intended for use by the Greek navy in the event of an emergency. The explosion was estimated to be almost 1 kiloton in power – a before and after image comparison here. You can see the crater of the explosion (centre-left of the image) and note that the damage to the power station was from the shockwave. Of course sabotage was ruled out immediately although how a fire in a munition depot could rage for some time while only a few meters from the sea was never answered.

To compare, Paphos airbase is located at the edge of Paphos international airport, is the only airbase in Cyprus and was also build using NATO standards. It houses our military helicopters and can support fighter planes; Greek F-16s are regular visitors.

In conclusion, I seriously do hope that this deal will go through but I will not hold my breath.

Kakaouskia is a man in mid-30s, software engineer in meat-space, avid reader of military history and fond of reading strategy analysis.


River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Oh how much they hate and fear Russia and Putin

 A (well anonymized) anonymous reader sent me a very interesting link today.  It is an opinion piece by Strobe Talbott for Reuters entitled “In 2015, Vladimir Putin may witness his empire’s death knell” in which Talbott predicts that:

The year ahead could see the outbreak of the third Chechen war, which, in turn, could be the death knell of the Russian Federation in its current borders. (…)  For the past five years, the situation has been more or less quiescent, though neighboring republics have been rocked by violence. The lull in Chechnya, however, ended in early December with a series of bloody incidents in the Chechen capital of Grozny.   The group behind the resurgence of unrest is advocating a “Caucasus Caliphate,” with ties to al Qaeda and, more recently, Islamic State. There is at least an indirect tie between outside support for Islamic radicalism in the Caucasus and Putin’s sponsorship of Russian secessionism in eastern Ukraine.   By proclaiming ethnicity and religion as the basis for Russian statehood and aggression against its neighbors, Putin is inadvertently stoking the forces of secessionism in those parts of Russia that are historically and culturally Islamic.

Needless to say, Talbott, himself a former Deputy Secretary of State under Bill Clinton, member of both the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral, married to Brooke Shearer, also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a senior aide to Hillary Clinton with links to banks Commission, is the archetypal US “deep-stater”.  He is also considered a “Russia specialist” which, in Foggy Bottom parlance means a rabid russophobe.  A person like Talbott is very much “plugging in” the US deep state and if he says that next year there will be an insurgency in Chechnia, we can be darn sure that the US will try to create one.

Of course, this does not at all mean that they will succeed.

In fact, I am quite sure that there is zero chance of overthrowing Kadyrov, nevermind of Chechnia breaking away from Russia.  If only because there is overwhelming evidence that the Chechen people want nothing to do with Wahabi terrorists and that they in fact form a very strong power base for Putin.  Not only that, but Russia truly has formidable military capabilities in and around Chechnia.  They keep a low profile and do not get involved in law enforcement or counter-insurgency operations, but only because the Chechens handle these tasks superbly.  But make no mistake, Russia can flush at least 100’000 highly trained, motivated and superbly equipped men into Chechnia drawn from the 58th Army of course, but also from various special forces, Internal Ministry and State Security troops. 

The weak link in the Russian Caucasus in Dagestan and the border with nearby Georgia from which attacks could come.  Could the US at the very least rekindle the Wahabi insurgency (possibly supported by Nazi units from the Ukraine)?  Yes, of course.  But their chances to succeed in anything more than one or several truly ugly terrorist attacks are very, very slim.

I think that Talbott probably understands that, but he just cannot help by daydream out loud being, as he no doubt is, aware that if Russia prevails in her defense against the AngloZionist Empire this will mean the end for the latter.

The US deep state is simply saturated with russophobia, phobia in both the sense of “hate” and “fear”, and so it should.  Just like all the other western invaders of Russia in the past, the AngloZionist Empire has completely cornered the Russian Bear which now has to fight for its very survival.  Neither side will back down and only one will prevail.  And my money is not on the US, neither is Talbott’s, at least now deep down.  He must realize that the writing is on the wall.  Hence the hate and the fear.

The Saker

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

America’s Lead Iran Negotiator Misrepresents U.S. Policy (and International Law) to Congress


I don’t think the USA has yet grasped the concept of diplomacy

America’s Lead Iran Negotiator Misrepresents U.S. Policy (and International Law) to Congress

Posted on November 3rd, 2013 .

Last month, while testifying to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Wendy Sherman—Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs and the senior U.S. representative in the P5+1 nuclear talks with Iran—said, with reference to Iranians, “We know that deception is part of the DNA.”  This statement goes beyond orientalist stereotyping; it is, in the most literal sense, racist.  And it evidently was not a mere “slip of the tongue”:  a former Obama administration senior official told us that Sherman has used such language before about Iranians.    

If a senior U.S. government official made public statements about “deception” or some other negative character trait being “part of the DNA” of Jews, people of African origin, or most other ethnic groups, that official would—rightly—be fired or forced to resign, and would probably not be allowed back into “polite society” until after multiple groveling apologies and a long period of penance. 

–But a senior U.S. official can make such a statement about Iranians—or almost certainly about any other ethnic group a majority of whose members are Muslim—and that’s just fine

Of course, it’s not fine.  But that’s the America we live in. 

Putting aside Sherman’s glaring display of anti-Iranian racism, there was another egregious manifestation of prejudice-cum-lie in her testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that we want to explore more fully.  It came in a response to a question from Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) about whether states have a right to enrich under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).  Here is the relevant passage in Sherman’s reply: 

It has always been the U.S. position that Article IV of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty does not speak about the right of enrichment at all [and] doesn’t speak to enrichment, period.  It simply says that you have the right to research and development.” 

Sherman goes on to acknowledge that “many countries such as Japan and Germany have taken that [uranium enrichment] to be a right.”  But, she says, “the United States does not take that position.  We take the position that we look at each one of these [cases].”  Or, as she put it at the beginning of her response to Sen. Rubio, “It has always been the U.S. position that Article IV of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty does not speak about the right of enrichment at all” (emphasis added). 

Two points should be made here.  First, the claim that the NPT’s Article IV does not affirm the right of non-nuclear-weapons states to pursue indigenous development of fuel-cycle capabilities, including uranium enrichment, under international safeguards is flat-out false

Article IV makes a blanket statement that “nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination.”  And it’s not just “countries such as Japan and Germany”—both close U.S. allies—which affirm that this includes the right of non-weapons states to enrich uranium under safeguards.  The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) countries and the Non-Aligned Movement (whose 120 countries represent a large majority of UN members) have all clearly affirmed the right of non-nuclear-weapons states, including the Islamic Republic of Iran, to pursue indigenous safeguarded enrichment

In fact, just four countries in the world hold that there is no right to safeguarded enrichment under the NPT:  the United States, Britain, France, and Israel (which isn’t even a NPT signatory).  That’s it. 

Moreover, the right to indigenous technological development—including nuclear fuel-cycle capabilities, should a state choose to pursue them—is a sovereign right.  It is not conferred by the NPT; the NPT’s Article IV recognizes states’ “inalienable right” in this regard, while other provisions bind non-weapons states that join the Treaty to exercise this right under international safeguards.       

There have been many first-rate analyses demonstrating that the right to safeguarded enrichment under the NPT is crystal clear—from the Treaty itself, from its negotiating history, and from subsequent practice, with at least a dozen non-weapons states building fuel-cycle infrastructures potentially capable of supporting weapons programs.  Bill Beeman published a nice Op Ed in the Huffington Post on this question in response to Sherman’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee testimony, see here and, for a text including references, here.  For truly definitive legal analyses, see the work of Daniel Joyner, for example here and here.  The issue will also be dealt with in articles by Flynt Leverett and Dan Joyner in a forthcoming special issue of the Penn State Journal of Law and International Affairs, which should appear within the next few days.        

From any objectively informed legal perspective, denying non-weapons states’ right of safeguarded enrichment amounts to nothing more than a shameless effort to rewrite the NPT unilaterally.  And this brings us to our second point about Sherman’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee testimony. 

Sherman claims that “It has always been the U.S. position that Article IV of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty does not speak about the right of enrichment at all [and] doesn’t speak to enrichment, period.”  But, in fact, the United States originally held that the right to peaceful use recognized in the NPT’s Article IV includes the indigenous development of safeguarded fuel-cycle capabilities

In 1968, as America and the Soviet Union, the NPT’s sponsors, prepared to open it for signature, the founding Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, William Foster, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee—the same committee to which Sherman untruthfully testified last month—that the Treaty permitted non-weapons states to pursue the fuel cycle.  We quote Foster on this point:   “Neither uranium enrichment nor the stockpiling of fissionable material in connection with a peaceful program would violate Article II so long as these activities were safeguarded under Article III.”  [Note:  In Article II of the NPT, non-weapons states commit not to build or acquire nuclear weapons; in Article III, they agree to accept safeguards on the nuclear activities, “as set forth in an agreement to be negotiated and concluded with the International Atomic Energy Agency.”]    

Thus, it is a bald-faced lie to say that the United States has “always” held that the NPT does not recognize a right to safeguarded enrichment.  As a matter of policy, the United States held that that the NPT recognized such a right even before it was opened for signature; this continued to be the U.S. position for more than a quarter century thereafter

It was only after the Cold War ended that the United States—along with Britain, France, and Israel—decided that the NPT should be, in effect, unilaterally rewritten (by them) to constrain the diffusion of fuel-cycle capabilities to non-Western states.  And their main motive for trying to do so has been to maximize America’s freedom of unilateral military initiative and, in the Middle East, that of Israel

This is the agenda for which Wendy Sherman tells falsehoods to a Congress that is all too happy to accept them.

Mursi’s Stances from Syria Unsound, Alliance with Iran in favor of Egypt (P2)

Israa Al-Fass
Al-Ashaal in the interview with Al-Manar WebsiteAl-Manar Website posts part two of the interview with Dr. Abdullah Al-Ashaal on the margin of the “Islamists: The System of Ruling, Palestine after the Revolutions” Conference, held in Beirut on 12 and 13 September, 2012.

The interview that was recognized by the conference organizers and some fellow journalists discussed a bunch of files some of which Al-Ashaal directly dealt with, while he was somehow diplomatic in dealing with others.

Syrian Crisis Viewed Mursi a Brotherhoodish Leader

Concerning the Syrian crisis, Al-Ashaal announces that he has his special approach that is a way different from what the Egyptian Presidency shows to public.

In his exclusive talk to Al-Manar Website, the former Egyptian diplomat explains that the Egyptian public opinion is being misguided about what is taking place in Syria. They view it as a repetition for the Egyptian experience, and they compare the Syrian President Bashar Assad with the toppled Egyptian President Husni Mubarak. They also don’t pay attention to the partition in Syria between the pro-regime and anti-regime groups, in contrary to Egypt whose people united in order to topple the regime. For this reason, the Egyptians find no problem in what their President had announced against the Syrian regime.

In a political evaluation to Mursi’s stances in the Non Aligned Movement summit held in Tehran, Al-Ashaal considers Mursi’s attitudes toward the Syrian regime unsound, and they showed him as a Brotherhoodish leader more than being a president of a major country as Egypt. He viewed Mursi’s announced stances as impeding any chance for Egypt to contribute to a serious initiative to solve the Syrian crisis.

In Mursi’s stances, Al-Ashaal read the former’s attempt to balance with his visit to the Islamic Republic, in which he was exposed to tough pressures and criticisms.

Egypt-Iran Relations and the American Concern

Egypt, US flags
“Most of which the United States fears of in the region is Iran. Not for developing its nuclear program, but for being independent, and courageous for saying “No” to America,” says the Professor of International Law in the University of Cairo.

Furthermore, he added that the Iranians do not follow any international side; they have their own independent outstand and interests that would intersect with some sides. Despite all the imposed sanctions on Iran, the Iranians saved this independence so that their country became an important player that cannot be outreached in the region.

Al-Ashaal sees that Egypt will restore its trust on the strategic level by joining the regional pivot in which Iran is a main pillar. He explains that this pivot will not quell Egypt, but will deal with it fluently. Iran is keen on showing its goodwill in openness to Egypt while the US is using all the pressure cards to prevent this openness and strengthening relationships.

He confesses that the Egyptian-Iranian relationships exist and are good, but they need a chance or an international event to be stronger. Al-Ashaal didn’t exclude the Egyptian initiative to solve the Syrian crisis from forming this event.

The Bahraini Crisis and the Regional Unrest

His diplomacy is clearly witnessed in his approach to the Bahraini issue. Dr. Al-Ashaal says that he had previously visited Bahrain and met official and opposing officers. He describes Bahraini people as peaceful. And about the turmoil between the two sides in Bahrain, he says that it is simple and is originally related to the tense regional atmosphere.

When asked whether discussing the Bahraini issue embarrasses regimes and personas who are keen on their relations when the Gulf States, Al-Ashaal smiles to repeat what he had previously mentioned.
He thinks that Mursi’s total ignorance to the political crisis in Bahrain doesn’t incite the Egyptian people that aren’t aware of the events and their backgrounds, and are influenced by what was marketed on the satellite channels that were trying to view the movement on the island as a sectarian movement.

The American Movie and September 11 Myth

Al-Ashaal considers breaking in the American Embassy in Cairo and raising the Al-Qaeda flags to condemn the offensive movie to Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) is a film made in the USA, noting that the protestors’ entry to the embassy was facilitated, and the security guards in charge of protecting the embassy didn’t resist them.

He explains that the American goal from this is to deceit the American public opinion with the idea that they are targeted by the “Global Terrorism” represented by the Al-Qaeda, consequently pushing the American people to support Obama and reelect him for being more capable of confronting this challenge, especially that Osama bin Laden, the movement’s former leader, was killed during Obama’s reign in a security operation directly supervised by him.

“Pushing the United States to offer more assurances to the American people” is considered among the goals which America is looking forward to achieve. According to his analysis, showing that the American interests in Egypt are targeted means that the Egyptian security forces are not able to protect those interests, which means that the Americans can demand bringing in American forces to fulfill the Egyptian deficiency, and push the Brotherhood for more concessions.

In this context, he remembers what he describes as the “September 11 Myth”, noting that he is convinced that the events were American-Israeli cofounded, and showing what the foreign and Arab newspapers had published about the Israeli Prime Minister at the time Ariel Sharon’s condemning the two planes attack half an hour before the second plane attacked the commercial tower, according to Al-Ashaal.

The former Foreign Minister Assistant explains that nothing is innocence in politics; September 11 events have had backgrounds and dimensions. This is also applied on the latest events that took place in Egypt as Abdullah Al-Ashaal emphasized.
Report translated by: Zeinab Abdallah

To read Part I of this interview click here

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

The NAM Summit, Iran, and Syria: A Coup against the West?

by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

Mahdi Darius NazemroayaThe following article was written by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya before the non-aligned summit. It helps to understand the issues that were at stake and, in retrospect, to appraise Iran’s success. The Movement has been reactivated and a permanent secretariat established, to be chaired for the next three years by Iran, Egypt and Venezuela. Defying the U.S. verboten, the Egyptian President traveled to Tehran. While he vented his disagreement over Syria, in a significant move he also restored diplomatic relations with Iran. Ultimately, Tehran put Cairo in the limelight to nudge it toward an independent stance where it could act as a counterweight to Riyadh.

JPEG - 42.9 kbThe upcoming summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) will be held in Tehran from August 26 to 31, 2012. The NAM and its summit are mostly ignored in the Atlanticist world of the United States and NATO, but this year’s gathering has gotten the attention of the Atlanticists and their press. The reason is that the NAM summit’s venue has upset the political establishment in Washington, DC.

The US government has got its feathers ruffled and even gone out of its way to berate NAM leaders for gathering in Iran. US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland – the spouse of neo-con Project for the New American Century (PNAC) co-founder and arch-imperialist Robert Kagan – has asked Egypt’s new president, Mohamed Morsi, and even UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Washington’s own steward at the UN, not to travel to Tehran. Nuland and the US State Department have bitterly declared that Iran is not deserving of such “high-level presences.” The US, however, is forced to grin and bear the gathering of world leaders in Tehran.

What will take place is an international extravaganza, minus NATO and its key de facto members – Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea – in the Asia-Pacific and Israel. African, Asian, Caribbean, and Latin America officials will be there in full strength. The Chinese, which have the status of observers in the NAM, will be there. The Russians, which are not part of the NAM, have been invited as Iran’s special guests and will be represented by Konstantin Shuvalov, Russian ambassador-at-large and Vladimir Putin’s envoy. Even non-NAM member Turkey has been given an invitation from Tehran. To help the Palestinians, Hamas will also be given a special seat at the table under an invitation sent from Iran to Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh to participate at the summit alongside the US-Israeli puppet Mahmoud Abbas. [1] Alongside the Russian Federation, most the members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) will be attending as either full members or observers. Aside from the Chinese and Russians, the other three members of the BRICS grouping – Brazil, India, and South Africa – that is becoming the new engine shaping the world will also be in attendance.

The NAM Summit, Iran, and Syria: A Coup against the West?

The gathering of NAM leaders will doubtlessly be an important event for Iran’s international prestige and status. For almost a week Tehran will be a key center of the world alongside the offices of the UN in New York City and Geneva. Not only will Iran be the venue for one of the largest international get-togethers of world leaders, but it will also be handed over the organization’s chairmanship from Arab powerhouse Egypt. Iran will retain this position as the leader of the NAM for the next few years and will be able to speak on behalf of the international organization. Up to a certain degree this position will allow Tehran to have more influence in world affairs. At least this is the view in Tehran where none of the significance of the NAM summit has been lost on Iranian politicians and officials who one after another are pointing out the importance of the NAM summit for their country.
The NAM is the second largest international organization and body in the world after the United Nations. With 120 full members and 17 observer members it includes most the countries and governments of the world. About two-thirds of the UN’s member states are full NAM members. The African Union (AU), Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organization, Commonwealth of Nations, Hostosian National Independence Movement, Kanak Socialist National Liberation Front, Arab League, Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), South Center, United Nations, and World Peace Council are all observers too.

The US and NATO which very generously and misleadingly throw around the term “international community” when they are referring to themselves are really a global minority that pale in comparison to the international grouping formed by the NAM. Any agreements or consensuses drilled out by the NAM represent not only the bulk of the international community, but also the non-imperialist international majority or those countries that have traditionally been viewed as the “have-nots.” Unlike at the UN, the “silent majority” will have its voice heard with little adulteration and perversion from the confederates of NATOistan.

The NAM gathering in Tehran signifies an important event. It demonstrates that Iran is genuinely not internationally isolated like the images that the United States and major European Union powers, such as the UK and France, like to continuously project. Atlanticist media are scrambling to explain this situation and the Israelis are clearly upset.

JPEG - 28.3 kbUndoubtedly, Iran will use the international gathering to its advantage and make use of the NAM to garnish support for its international positions and to help try to end the crisis in Syria. The US-supported siege of Syria will be denounced at the NAM conference and diplomatic blows will be dealt against the US and its clients and satellites. Already the hurried ministerial conference about the fighting in Syria organized by the Iranian Foreign Ministry in Tehran before the emergency summit held by the OIC in Mecca was a prelude to the diplomatic support that Iran will give the Syrian Arab Republic at the 2012 NAM summit.

Despite Algerian and Iranian opposition, Syria was expelled from the OIC at the behest of Saudi Arabia and the petro-monarchies. While the OIC emergency summit in Mecca may have been a political and diplomatic blow to Damascus, the situation is expected to be much different at the NAM summit in Tehran. The Syrians will also be present in Tehran and able to face their Arab antagonists from the petro-monarchies of the Persian Gulf.

The Genesis of the Non-Aligned Movement and Third World

The Non-Aligned Movement and concept of a “Third World” have their roots in the period of de-colonization after the Second World War when the empires of Western Europe began to crumble and formally end. This superficially represented an end to the domination of the weak by the strong. In reality, colonialism was merely substituted with foreign aid and loans by the declining empires. In this context, the British would offer aid to their former colonies while the French and Dutch would do the same with their former colonies to maintain control over them. Thus, the exploitation never truly ended and the world was maintained in a state of disequilibrium. The United Nations was also hostage to the big powers and ignored many important issues concerning places like Africa and Latin America.

What brought the formation of the NAM about was firstly the rejection of domination and interference by the countries of the “Global North” – a term that will be defined shortly – and the concept of co-existence that India and China carved out in 1954 when New Delhi recognized Tibet as a part of China.

The NAM started as an Asian initiative, which sought to address the tense relations between China and the US on one hand and China’s relations with other Asian powers on the other hand. The newly independent Asian states wanted to avoid any ratcheting up of the Cold War in their continent, especially after the disastrous US-led military intervention in Korea, or the manipulation of India and Indonesia as buffer states against the People’s Republic of China. This Asian initiative quickly broadened and gained the support of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Egypt, and the various leaders of the nationalist independence movements in Africa that were fighting for their liberation against NATO countries like Britain, France, and Portugal.

JPEG - 26.2 kb
From left to right: Jawaharlal Nehru, Kwame Nkrumah, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Ahmed Sukarno and Josip Broz Tito.

Yugoslavian President Josip Broz Tito, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, and Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser were the three main forces behind the organization’s creation. Kwame Nkrumah, the Marxist pan-African leader of Ghana, and Ahmed Sukarno, the leader of Indonesia, would also put their weight behind the NAM and join Tito, Nehru, and Nasser.

These leaders and their countries did not view the Cold War as an ideological struggle. This was a smokescreen. The Cold War was a power struggle from their perspectives and ideology was merely used as a justification.

The Different Worlds of the Cold War

The word “non-alignment” was first used on the world stage by Vengalil Krishnan Krishna Menon, India’s ambassador to the United Nations, while the term “Third World” was first used by the French scholar Alfred Sauvy. Third World is a debated political term and some find it both deregulatory and ethnocentric. To the point of confusion the phrase Third World is inextricably intertwined with the concept of non-alignment and the NAM.

Both the NAM and, especially, Third World are wrongly and carelessly used as synonyms for the Developing and Under-developing Worlds or as economic indicators. Most Third World countries were underprivileged former colonies or less affluent states in places like Africa and Latin America that were the victims of imperialism and exploitation. This has led to the general identification or misidentification of the NAM countries and the Third World with concepts of poverty. This is wrong and not what either of the terms means.

Third World was a concept that developed during the Cold War period to distinguish those countries that were not formally a part of the First World that was formed by the Western Bloc and either the Eastern/Soviet Bloc and Communist World that formed the Second World. In theory most these Third Worlders were neutral and joining the NAM was a formal expression of this position of non-alignment.

Aside from being considered Second Worlders, communist states like the People’s Republic of China and Cuba have widely been classified as parts of the Third World and have considered themselves as parts of the third global force. Chairman Mao’s views defined through his concept of Three Worlds also supported the classification of communist states like Angola, China, Cuba, and Mozambique as Third Worlders, because they did not belong to the Soviet Bloc like Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland.

In the most orthodox of interpretations of the political meaning of Third World, the communist state of Yugoslavia was a part of the Third World. In the same context, Iran due to its ties to NATO and its membership in the US-controlled Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) was politically a part of the First World until the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Thus, reference to Yugoslavia as a Second World country and Iran as a Third World country prior to 1979 are incorrect.

The term Third World has also given rise to the phrase “Global South.” This name is based on the geographically southward situation of the Third World on the map as opposed to the geographically northward situation of the First and Second Worlds, which both began to collectively be called the “Global North.” The names Global North and Global South came to slowly replace the terms First, Second, and Third World, especially since the Cold War ended and the Soviet Union collapsed.

Bandung, Belgrade, and Non-Aligned Institution Building

PNG - 51.9 kbPNG - 26.1 kbThe NAM formed when the Third Worlders who were caught between the Atlanticists and the Soviets during the Cold War tried to formalize their third way or force. The NAM would be born after the Bandung Conference in 1955, which infuriated the US and Western Bloc who saw it as a sin against their global interests.

Contrarily to Western Bloc views, the Soviet Union was much more predisposed to accepting the NAM. Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev even proposed in 1960 that the UN be managed by a “troika” composed of the First, Second, and Third Worlds instead of its Western-influenced secretariat in New York City that was colluding with the US to remove Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba from power in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as other independent world leaders.

Fidel Castro and Cuba, which hosted the NAM’s summit in 1979 when Iran joined as its eighty-eighth member, would actually argue that the Second World and communist movements were the “natural allies” of the Third World and the NAM. The favorable attitudes of Nasser and Nehru towards the Soviet Union and the Soviet Bloc’s support for various national liberation movements also lends credence towards the Cuban argument about the Second and Third World alliance against the capitalist exploitation and imperialist policies of the First World.

The first NAM summit would be held in the Yugoslavian capital of Belgrade in 1961 under the chairmanship of Marshall Tito. The summit in Belgrade would call for an end to all empires and colonization. Tito, Nehru, Nasser, Nkrumah, Sukarno and other NAM leaders would demand that Western Europeans end their colonial roles in Africa and let African peoples decide their own fates.
A preparatory conference was also held a few months earlier in Cairo by Gamal Abdel Nasser. At the preparatory meetings non-alignment was defined by five points:

(1) Non-aligned countries must follow an independent policy of co-existence of nations with varied political and social systems;
(2) Non-aligned countries must be consistent in their support for national independence;
(3) Non-aligned countries must not belong to a multilateral alliance concluded in the context of superpower or big power politics;
(4) If non-aligned countries have bilateral agreements with big powers or belonged to a regional defense pact, these agreements should not have been concluded in context of the Cold War;
(5) If non-aligned states cede military bases to a big power, these bases should not be granted in the context of the Cold War.

First conference of the Non-Aligned Movement
held 50 years ago today

All the NAM conferences to follow would cover vital issues in the years to come that ranged from the inclusion of the People’s Republic of China in the UN, the fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo, African wars of independence against Western European countries, opposition to apartheid and racism, and nuclear disarmament. Furthermore, the NAM has traditionally been hostile to Zionism and condemned the occupation of Palestinian, Lebanese, Syrian, and Egyptian territories by Israel, which has earned it the seamlessly never-ending aversion of Tel Aviv.

Making NAM Relevant Again

Many people ask what relevance the Non-Aligned Movement has today. Since the end of the Cold War the NAM’s strength has been eroded as the US, neoliberal economic reforms, the IMF, and the World Bank have gained more and more control over NAM members. In many cases NAM members have reverted back to de facto colonies in all but name. Many members of NAM, such as Belarus, Colombia, Ethiopia, and Saudi Arabia, are actually fully aligned states.

There is no question about it that Iran wants to make NAM relevant again to use it to fight off the expansionist Atlanticist World. So do the Russians and the Chinese. The NAM after all has provided Iran important diplomatic support in its politicized nuclear dispute with the Atlanticists. The NAM is also the closest alternative to the Atlanticist-infiltrated and perverted United Nations.
The NAM summit will be capitalized on by Iran and its allies to try and develop some sort of strategy to fight and circumvent the unilateral US and European Union sanctions against the Iranian economy and to show the Atlanticists in the US and the EU that their powers in the world are limited and declining. One small step in this direction is that Iran will begin negotiations with 60 NAM countries to drop bilateral visa requirements with Iran. A universal statement may also be released asking for the anti-Iranian sanctions to be dropped or modified. Other steps would include proposals for a new and alternative financial global structure, which would evade the Atlanticist chokehold on international financial transactions.

An important event at the NAM summit will be the arrival of Morsi in Tehran as a sign of warming relations. Ties between Cairo and Tehran will not be restored overnight either, because there are restrictions on Morsi. Whatever happens between Egypt and Iran at the NAM summit in Tehran will be just steps in an unrushed process. The Egyptians are taking pains not to antagonize their Western and Arab paymasters and the Iranians have opted to be patient. Morsi’s presence in Iran, however, is still symbolically very important. Tehran indeed has reason to be very optimistic as all its stars are aligning at its NAM gala.

Diplomatic circles are looking at Egypt on the eve of the NAM summit. Before it was announced that Morsi would go to Iran, it was expected that Egyptian Vice-President Mahmoud Mekki would represent Egypt at the NAM summit as a demonstration of Egypt’s estrangement from Iran.
Cairo’s relationship with Tehran and what develops from Morsi’s trip to Iran is what all Arabdom, Israel, and the US will be watching carefully.

Some analysts are asserting that Egypt’s stance could “make or break” the project to isolate Iran, especially in sectarian terms involving a Shiite-Sunni divide. This is actually wrong, because there is nothing specifically significant that Egypt can do to break or isolate Iran. After all, Cairo and Tehran have essentially had no ties since 1980 and Mubarak was a staunch ally of the US who put Egypt to work with Saudi Arabia and Israel to curb Iranian influence.

In the worst case scenario the relationship between the two countries will stay as it was during the Mubarak era. This is not a losing situation for Iran, albeit the situation in Syria has catalyzed the Iranian desire for faster rapprochement. Egyptian-Iranian relations have nowhere to go except upward.

The Tahrir (Liberation) Square protests that dethroned Mubarak and helped bring about the elections that brought the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood into power are part of what Iranian officials call an “Islamic Awakening” in contrast to an “Arab Spring.” Iran did not hide its belief either that Egypt and it could eventually form a new regional axis after dictator-for-life Mubarak was booted out from power. If there is any man that can make the leap from the conception of an Arab Spring to an Islamic Awakening, at least publicly, it is President Morsi through an alliance with Iran.
On August 8, Iran sent Hamid Baqaei to deliver Morsi’s invitation to attend the NAM summit in Tehran. Along the way the international press and pundits gave higher attribution to Baqaei’s governmental rank, because they failed to realize or mention that he was the most senior of eleven junior or assistant vice-presidents and essentially the cabinet minister responsible for the Iranian presidency’s executive affairs.

First Vice-President Mohammed-Reza Rahimi, the former governor of the Iranian province of Kurdistan and himself a former junior vice-president, is Iran’s senior vice-president. Regardless, Baqaei’s visit to Cairo as both a presidential envoy and a close presidential aide was important. Iran could have delivered the invitation letter through its interest section in the Swiss Embassy to Egypt or other diplomatic channels, but made a significant gesture by sending Baqaei directly to Egypt. The move made all the countries conspiring against Iran and Syria very anxious. For these anxious countries the NAM get-together in Tehran will be all about Egypt, Iran, and Syria.

Are Saudi, Qatari, and IMF moves in Egypt tied to the NAM Summit in Tehran?

Both Saudi Arabia and Qatar have offered Egypt their financial aid before Morsi’s visits to Beijing, where he is expected to ask for Chinese help. Aside from the use of Saudi and Qatari aid to shape the way that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood interacts with Iran, the offers of aid from the petro-despots of Doha and Riyadh are part of the Arab competition over influence in Cairo.

Morsi is widely seen as Qatar’s man and relations between Riyadh and Cairo have been uneasy for some time. The Saudi Embassy in Cairo was even temporarily closed after Egyptian protests against Saudi Arabia flared up. More importantly, the House of Saud opposed Morsi in support of longstanding Mubarak henchman Ahmed Shafik during the Egyptian presidential elections. In addition, the House of Saud has propped up its own political clients inside Egypt against the Muslim Brotherhood. The House of Saud’s Egyptian clients, the Nour Party and the their parliamentary coalition called the Alliance for Egypt (Islamic Bloc), trailed in second place behind the Muslim Brotherhood’s parliamentary coalition, the Democratic Alliance.

Despite the fact that Doha and Riyadh are both serving US interests, the two sheikhdoms have a rivalry with one another. This Qatari-Saudi rivalry picked up again after a brief pause that saw both sides invade the island-kingdom of Bahrain to support the Khalifa regime and to work together against the governments of Libya and Syria.

The Saud and Al-Thani rivalry has seen both sides supporting different armed groups in Libya and competing anti-government forces during the so-called Arab Spring (or Islamic Awakening in Tehran). The elections in Egypt, where Doha and Riyadh supported different sides, just added fuel to the Qatari-Saudi fire.

Qatar’s Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani has made it a point to support the Muslim Brotherhood almost wherever they are as a means of expanding Qatari influence. Just days after the ousting of Mubarak, Qatar’s Al Jazeera showed great foresight when it launched Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr, a news channel dedicated exclusively to Egypt. While Qatar and its media have put their weight behind the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Saudi Arabia and its media have not.

This has also been the reason that the Saudi-controlled media, like Al Arabiya, has continued to level criticisms against President Morsi even after the elections in Egypt. To alleviate the House of Saud’s tensions with Egypt, Morsi made his first foreign trip as president to Saudi Arabia.

Sultan - three terror sheikhs2Aside from favorable news coverage, it is also widely believed that Qatar helped finance the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt during elections. In addition, Qatari investments in Egypt grew by 74% according to figures released by the Egyptian Central Bank in July 2012. On August 11, Emir Al-Thani and a Qatari delegation also travelled to Egypt for a one-day visit with Morsi. The next day, on August 12, Morsi politely dismissed or “retired” Field Marshal Tantawi, the head of the Egyptian Armed Forces, and Sami Anan, the Egyptian Armed Forces chief of staff and Tantawi’s number two. After Al-Thani’s visit, rumors also began to circulate in Egypt that the Muslim Brotherhood was planning to lease the Suez Canal to Emir Al-Thani, which was denied by Morsi and his presidential staff.

An outcome of Emir Al-Thani’s Egyptian visit was that it was announced that Qatar gave Cairo two billion dollars (US). In reality, the Qataris only gave Egypt 500 million dollars (US) and said that the remainder will be given in installments, which will start after the NAM summit in Tehran. Does the payment schedule say anything?

The timing of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) visit to Cairo to negotiate a loan on the eve of the NAM summit in Tehran is also suspicious. After a year of uncertainty and begging, Qatar and the IMF have opened their pockets to the Egyptians (although Qatar sent some money earlier). The Libyan Transitional Council government has even offered to pitch in financially, even when its own coffers are in disarray as a result of the NATO war on Libya and the looting of Libya’s treasury and assets by the Atlanticists with the help of US neoliberal economist turned Libyan “minister of oil and finance” Ali Tarhouni. As for the House of Saud everyone understands that their terms for financial aid to Egypt include the continuation of anti-Iranian policies in Cairo.

Everyone will be Watching Morsi in Tehran

JPEG - 30.9 kbLooking East Policy Shift in Cairo? Where Morsi’s foreign policy is going after the NAM conference in Tehran is the other important question. Where he stands will begin to crystallize from the NAM meeting onwards. The fear of rapprochement between Iran and Egypt certainly keeps a lot of people up at night in Riyadh, Tel Aviv, London, and Washington, DC. Everyone is waiting to see what Cairo and Tehran will do and for many the expectations of rapprochement are running high, but the leverage and restrictions that exist over Morsi should not be forgotten either.

Although there is far less fanfare and attention being paid to Morsi’s trip to China, what he does there will also be very important. Some say he plans on slowly shifting Cairo’s foreign policy away from the Atlanticist camp, with Washington as its capital, towards the Eurasianist camp that includes China and Iran. Certainly Chinese foreign aid will reduce Egyptian dependency on the Atlanticists and their Arab petro-monarch partners. What we are dealing with here is an intricate web of multiple relations between different groups who are interacting with one another in different ways and through changing relationships.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Canada’s diplomatic disaster

By Eric Walberg

On 7 September, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced that Canada is suspending all diplomatic relations with Iran, expelling all Iranian diplomats, closing its embassy in Tehran, and authorizing Turkey to act on Canada’s behalf for consular services there. Baird cited Iran’s enmity with Israel, its support of Syria and terrorism. “Canada views the government of Iran as the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today,” Baird said at the Asia Pacific Economic Conference in Vladivostok, Russia.

Canada has not had a full ambassador in Iran since 2007. Relations between the two countries cooled after Iranian-Canadian free-lance photographer Zahra Kazemi died in Iran in 2003 under disputed circumstances, and went from bad to worse under the Conservative government in power in Ottawa since then.

While indeed Iran has been the nation most outspokenly critic of Israel, and is actively working to thwart the Western-backed insurgency in Syria, there is no evidence of its support for “terrorism”. It is in fact the victim of terrorism on the part of Israel and the US, which boast about assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists and destroying Iranian computers with viruses made-to-order, among other officially-sponsored acts of subversion.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast suggested that the real reason for Harper’s latest targeting of Iran was because of Iran’s successful hosting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Tehran in August. Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says Tehran’s hosting of the 16th NAM Summit was a “humiliating defeat” for the West.

Humiliation is indeed the operative word for Canada in particular. The past five years of Conservative rule in Canada under the fiercely pro-Israeli Prime Minister Stephen Harper have brought nothing but disgrace to Canada internationally, and this present move adds further humiliation.

As if scripted, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately commended Canada’s decision. With good cause, as it looks suspiciously like a response to a direct Israeli request. Canadian foreign policy is now made in consultation with Israeli advisers under a public security cooperation “partnership” signed in 2008 by Canada and Israel to “protect their respective countries’ population, assets and interests from common threats”. Israel security agents now officially assist Canada’s security services, the RCMP and CSIS, in profiling Canadians citizens who are Muslims and monitoring individuals and/or organisations in Canada involved in supporting the rights of Palestinians and other such nefarious activities.

The barring of British MP George Galloway from entering Canada in 2009 on a North American tour was done as a result of this cooperation. Baird’s claim that Iran supports terrorism is one that Israeli agents have been making in Ottawa under this partnership. Harper has publicly stated he is convinced that Iran is trying “beyond any doubt” to develop nuclear weapons, with ‘evidence’ supplied by these advisers, though it is unlikely that such claims convince anyone, but rather merely confirm public perception of his devotion to Israel.

“It’s hard to find a country friendlier to Israel than Canada these days,” chirped Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on his official visit in 2010. He is right. Stephen Harper’s Conservatives
-called Israel’s 2006 invasion of Lebanon a “measured response” (Two Canadian UN peacekeepers were targeted and killed by Israeli in the invasion. Harper refused to protest, asking rhetorically in parliament what they were doing there in the first place.)

-refused to condemn the invasion of Gaza in December 2008 or the siege of Gaza (the only “Nay” at the UN Human Rights Council)

-refused to condemn the Israeli murder of nine members of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in May 2009
-opposed an attempted IAEA probe of Israel’s nuclear facilities as part of an effort to create a nuclear-weapons-free Middle East

-cut off UN humanitarian aid to Gaza because it was going through the Hamas government there
-allow goods manufactured in occupied territories by illegal settlers to be labelled “Made in Israel” under the 1997 Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement 1997.

And as is the case in the Obama/Romney ‘race’ next door, there is no peep of protest from Canada’s opposition liberals or socialists. Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae (whose wife Arlene Perly is past vice president of the Canadian Jewish Congress) met with Netanyahu on his official visit to Canada in February this year, and afterwards said the visit “gives all Canadians the chance to reflect on the deep friendship and strong ties between Israel and Canada”.

In a bizarre non sequitur, the ‘Liberal’ leader added, “Iran’s regime is a threat to the security of the region and the world. A nuclear armed Iran would mean the threat of even greater proliferation and instability in the region, is a direct flouting of international law, and obviously raises the deepest concerns in Israel for its security.” Apparently a very much ‘nuclear armed Israel’ which daily threatens to bomb Iran does not raise his ‘deepest concerns ‘ for Iran’s security.

After meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres during his official visit to Canada this May, New Democrat leader Tom Mulcair, told the press, “My in-laws are Holocaust survivors. Their history is part of my daily life. That’s why I am an ardent supporter of Israel in all circumstances.” Mulcair’s wife, Catherine Pinhas, was born in France to a Sephardic Jewish family from Turkey. Canadians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East and Independent Jewish Voices criticized Mulcair for accepting financial support from pro-Israel lobbyists.

So there will be little if any protest in parliament over Harper’s unprovoked violation of diplomatic norms. In fact, rumor has it that this Canadian move is in preparation for an Israeli-US attack on Iran, though Baird demurred when asked about this as the motive for advising all Canadians to leave Iran immediately. However, the Harper government actually supports Israel’s threats of a pre-emptive air strike against Iran as being within its rights. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the Americas Peter Kent told the G8 in Toronto in 2010, “It’s a matter of timing and it’s a matter of how long we can wait without taking more serious pre-emptive action.”

It appears Ottawa is ready and willing to join Israel in any attack. Harper has said, “An attack on Israel is an attack on Canada.” There have already been US-conducted military ‘exercises’ involving Canadian ships off Iran’s coast. 160 Canadian troops have died senselessly in Afghanistan over the past decade. Now Harper wants them to die for Israel in an invasion of Iran, orchestrated to look like it is in defense of Israel.

The NAM summit clearly ruffled some feathers. Iran is supported by the great majority of the world’s people and governments, both as a courageous opponent to US and Israeli imperial intrigues, and as a model for countries that want to develop independent, peaceful nuclear power as an alternative to oil. The summit strongly supported Iran on both counts.

Iranian leadership of NAM during the next three years promises to be innovative and energetic. Even as Baird embarrassed Canadians with his undocumented accusations and violations of diplomatic norms, Mehmanparast called on the UN to fulfill its obligations towards Palestinians and respond forcefully to Israel’s killing of six Palestinians in besieged Gaza last week. “As the rotating president of NAM, the Islamic Republic of Iran expects all international institutions affiliated to the United Nations to adhere to their responsibilities towards the Palestinian nation.” The hysteria in Tel Aviv, Washington, and now Ottawa is not without cause.
A version of this appeared at http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/09/09/260603/canadas-diplomatic-disaster/
Eric Walberg is author of Postmodern Imperialism: Geopolitics and the Great Games http://claritypress.com/Walberg.html. You can reach him at http://ericwalberg.com/ 

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Canada ‘isolates’ Iran; Really!

Last month Tehran hosted the largest international event. The leaders from 120 Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and 27 other nations including China and Russia assembled in Tehran and gave unanimous support to country’s nuclear program. The support proved by any standard that the Islamic Republic is more popular among the 193 United Nations members than any other country. The Veterans News Now has called the summit Iran’s great diplomatic victory over the US and Israel which tried their level best to sabotage the summit.

To the great horor of the Zionist Occupied Nations (ZONs) – Iran will not only steer the NAM affairs for the next three year – but NAM will stay closer to Iran’s interests after Iran’s term expires in 2015. After Iran, the rotating NAM chairmanship will goes to Venezuela and Bolivia, both Iran’a allies.
Since the US and Israel don’t have diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic – they chose their poodle Harper regime in Ottawa to Isolate Iran. To realize how funny Israel-Firster Harper government’s decision to expel Iranian consulate staff from Canada and recall its diplomatic staff from Tehran – the two countries were never represented at ambassadorial level since the 1980s with the exception of a three-year stunt in 1990s. Furthermore, the trade between the two nations was less than $10 million.

Ottawa has claimed that it took the decision to “isolate” Iran from the international community due to Iran’s refusal to stop its nuclear program and being an ‘existential threat’ to Israel. Interestingly, Canadian foreign minister, Israel-Firster John Baird chose to make the announcement in Moscow and not in Ottawa. Maybe he intended it a message for Putin for later’s support for Tehran.

Since 1979 Islamic Revolution, Canada’s relation with Iran has been ‘shady’ on international level. In 1980, Tehran expelled Canadian ambassador in Tehran, Kenneth Taylor, for being the top CIA agent in Iran. On April 24, 1980, American Air Force, based on Ken’s intelligence briefing, planned and carried its incursion Operation Eagle Claw to rescue 52 American embassy staff members captured as ‘spies‘. The Operation involved eight RH-53D Sea Stallion helicopters. Before the ‘American braves’ reached their destination in Tehran – three of the eight helicopters were lost in the desert sand storm (a Divine intervention, perhaps). The surviving crew and the soldiers in panic returned to the base at Masirah without taking along 8 of the bodies of dead US soldiers.

Canadian delegate always staged walk-out during Ahmadinejad’s speeches at the UN General Assembly for criticizing the Zionist regime.

Canadian delegate walked out of Durban I (South Africa) and Durban II (Geneva) conferences on combating racism for majority of member states’ criticism of the Zionist regime for its apatheid policies.

In September 2011, Harper government boycotted Durban III conference in New York, because its keynote speaker was no other than Iran’s President Dr. Ahmadinejad.

In October 2010, Stephen Harper government’s blind support for the Zionist entity and its participation in US-NATO war in Afghanistan had cost Canada its bid to secure a non-permanent member seat at the UN Security Council for the first time in the last six decades.

In May 2011, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird issued a statement, saying, “Canada deplores the election of Iran to a seat on the United Nations Commission on Population and Development. Canada remains extremely troubled by the outrageous human rights abuses committed by Iran against its own citizens, and by Iran’s threats and actions to undermine the safety, security and stability of its neighbors (read Israel)”.

In May, Canadian embassy in Tehran stopped issuing visas to the relatives and friends of 400,000 Iranian diasporas living in Canada. Now in order to visit Canada they must go to Ankara in neighbouring Turkey to get a visa.

In February 2012 – Canadian pro-Israel groups slammed US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey for saying that Iranian regime is “a rational actor”.

Tehran has maintained a token diplomatic relation with Ottawa since 1980s.

I was very surprised by the Canadian announcement,” James Devine, an Iran expert at Mount Allison University in Sackville, N.B., told CBC News, noting that it isn’t tied to a specific event or a reaction to “an acute crisis in the relationship.” Devine also emphasized that Canada’s move is likely to have little impact in Iran as Canada is not an international player.

In May 2012, Iran’s deputy foreign minister and Tehran’s representative at the EU, Ali Asghar Khaji, in an Interview with Paul Koring of Toronto daily The Globe and Mail, called Canada Israel’s lapdog.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Iran: Safeguarding its Identity

A handout picture released by the official website of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei shows Khamenei delivering his speech at the opening of Non-Alligned Movement (NAM) summit in Tehran on 30 August 2012. (Photo: AFP – HO – Iranian Supreme Leader’s Website)
Published Monday, September 3, 2012
While Iran’s presidency of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and its hosting of the summit earlier this week may not lead to a radical breakthrough in the nuclear standoff or to an imminent resolution of the Syrian crisis, it will raise Iran’s international and regional profile. More importantly, the fact that over 100 states participated in the summit, in addition to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, against the ardent protestations of the US and Israel, represents a slap in the face for Washington. Not only does the heavily attended summit lend “legitimacy” to Iran’s foreign policy behavior, as former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton, noted bitterly, but it also serves as a stark reminder of the abysmal failure of the Obama administration’s policy of “engaging” Iran while revealing its complete miscomprehension of the Islamic Republic’s political rationality.
Obama’s oft repeated call for Iran to meet its “international obligations” (read, submit to US diktat) as a precondition for “rejoining” the “community of nations,” rung hollow as two thirds of the world’s nations – i.e. the actual international community as opposed to the elite club consisting of the US and its UNSC and NATO allies – attended the Tehran summit and in so doing, undermined Washington’s campaign to isolate Iran internationally. The irony was clearly not lost on the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, who condemned the way the US and Europe “impose their domineering and illegal demands in the name of the international community,” and use the “obsolete” “dictatorship” otherwise known as the UNSC, to “disguise their bullying” which they pass off as “international law.”

Khamenei further used his inaugural speech to underline another self-evident message conveyed by the summit – that Washington’s coercive diplomacy masked as “engagement” was futile, and only strengthened the resolve of the Islamic Republic whose “successful experience in resistance against the bullying and comprehensive pressures by America and its accomplices has firmly convinced it that the resistance of a unified and firmly determined nation can overcome all enmities and hostilities.”
The rationale behind the Obama administration’s “tough but direct” diplomacy with Iran was to make it clear that its alleged development of nuclear weapons and funding of “terrorist” organizations “like Hamas and Hezbollah,” and threats against Israel were “unacceptable.”

Thus, the engagement pursued by Washington did not aim to defuse tensions or to achieve a mutually acceptable compromise, but rather to persuade and coerce Tehran to relinquish its right to the peaceful use of nuclear technology and to withhold support from resistance movements in the region.

Diplomacy with Iran was essentially war by other means; the offer of dialogue accompanied by threats of a military strike and/or further “crippling” sanctions if the outcome of the “dialogue” was not to Washington’s liking. As spelled out in 2010 by Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, “the priority for President Obama and his administration has been to initiate a dialogue and engagement while at the same time keeping all options on the table. When I say all options on the table, it certainly includes potential military operations.”

Needless to say, Washington’s contemptuous tone and belligerent intent masquerading as diplomacy was not well received by its counterpart in Tehran: “On the one hand, the Americans talk of negotiations. On the other hand, they continue to threaten and say the negotiations must have our desired results or we will take [punitive] measures. We do not want any negotiations the result of which is predetermined by the US,” Khamenei bemoaned.

Besides cajoling and pressuring Iran into concessions, engagement also makes it easier for the Obama administration to rally western support for other punitive measures with which to isolate and sanction Tehran into submission. Obama’s National Security Strategy of 2010 makes no effort to conceal this intent: “And we will pursue engagement with hostile nations to test their intentions, give their governments the opportunity to change course, reach out to their people and mobilize international coalitions.” As Flynt and Hilary Leverett observe, “Obama’s professed interest in engagement is being used to build support for more coercive measures against Iran, not to recast fundamentally the US-Iranian relationship.” Former US State Department official and Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Ray Takyeh, concurs with this view when he acknowledges that “the purpose of such a policy is not to transform adversaries into allies, but to seek adjustments in their behavior and ambitions.”

Despite Obama’s 2009 Nowruz message to the people and leadership of Iran where he called for an “engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect,” US diplomacy was not based on a recognition of Iran as an equal, but on a grudging tolerance of a “rogue” state Washington deemed inferior. In that same speech, Obama condescendingly asserted that while Iran should take its “rightful place in the community of nations…that place cannot be reached through terror or arms,” prompting Khamenei to respond: “Our nation cannot be talked to like this. In the same congratulatory message they (the Obama administration) accuse the Iranian nation of supporting terrorism, pursuing nuclear arms, and such things. What has changed?”

The terms of the “dialogue” were therefore set by Washington and the talks used to dictate its wishes rather than to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. As former US diplomat Chester Crocker writes in his op-ed for the New York Times “Terms of Engagement”: “Engagement is not normalization, and its goal is not improved relations. It is not akin to détente…The goal of engagement is to change the other country’s perception of its own interests and realistic options and, hence, to modify its policies and its behavior.”

The imperialistic hubris inherent in this attitude cannot be overstated for not only does such an approach presume to know what Iran’s interests are, but it also infantilizes the Islamic Republic by suggesting that it neither has a firm grasp of its own reality nor does it know where its true interests lie. This approach is a legacy of the American school of Realism which presupposes a universally valid definition of the national interest that is itself informed by the concept of power. According to this view, states can only have one type of self-interested identity and one understanding of interest defined as physical security, and economic and military power. The fact that states, like other social actors, have variable identities and rationalities which shape their perception of reality and their definition of interests doesn’t figure into the calculations of Realists or US foreign policy makers. Moreover, Realists also overlook the fact that over and above physical security, states also pursue ontological security, that is the security of their identities as particular kinds of actors.

This is particularly relevant in the case of Iran, which derives its identity and hence, its popular and constitutional legitimacy from its jealously guarded independence. The US’ hegemonic role in Iran’s political, economic, military and security affairs, during Reza Shah’s rule, remains firmly embedded in the nation’s political consciousness. Not discounting the multiple social, economic, political and cultural factors which lay behind the Islamic Revolution, it was also in part, a reaction to US hegemony over Iranian affairs. The US’ heavy handed political intervention, security and intelligence penetration, and control of Iran’s economy, particularly its oil industry, rendered it tantamount to an occupying or colonial power in the eyes of many Iranians. The revolution was therefore at the same time a revolt against the monarchy and a war of liberation against US “imperialism,” as embodied by its key catchphrase: “Independence, freedom, Islamic Republic.”

The very existence of the Islamic Republic was somewhat reactive and its identity defensive. Iran became a state preoccupied with protecting its new-found independence and dignity. So deeply ingrained in the political culture was the fear of foreign domination that constitutional safeguards were set up to protect the country from foreign control and to preserve its “metadiscourse” of independence, or “hyper-independence” as one scholar terms it.

In effect, ideological principles such as sovereignty, justice, independence, self-sufficiency and dignity are not abstract values but founding principles and strategic necessities which emerged from Iran’s historical experience of foreign domination. This experience taught Iranians that the politics of dependency practiced by pre-revolutionary Iran was a sure recipe for strategic weakness and domestic collapse, as the Shah’s regime illustrated. Moreover, Iran did not see in the US’ Arab allies a success story worthy of emulation. From Tehran’s perspective, the US uses the political and military assistance it offers these regimes as a tool with which to extract political concessions, making them beholden to it. Moreover, in depending on the US to shore up their regimes domestically, Arab states are viewed as having lost their nations’ sovereignty, independence, and regional power in the process, not to mention their popular legitimacy, as the recent Arab uprisings illustrate. By remaining independent of the west, Iran believes it cannot be blackmailed into anything, as the US’ regional allies have been.

Any fundamental changes in Iran’s foreign policy objectives would essentially mean that the Iranian state would have overturned its founding principles and destabilized its sense of ontological security. As Iranian Ambassador to Syria, Mohammad Reza Shaybani once explained to me: “If we were to become one of America’s moderate allies in the region there would be no meaning for the Islamic Revolution in Iran. If we gave up our principles, the US would support us again, but then there would be no difference between Iran now and what it was before the revolution.” This would be the case not only if Iran were to revert to the foreign policy of the Shah’s era or to transform itself into a “moderate” regime allied with the US, along the lines of Mubarak’s Egypt, Jordan or Saudi Arabia, but even if it were to adopt a politically neutral regional profile, as some observers believe Washington is actually demanding. Viewed from the Islamic Republic’s lens, detachment from current regional conflicts would not only be an abandonment of its ideological principles and strategic interests, but would also undermine its own identity.

This explains why Iran has remained steadfast on the nuclear issue in the face of severe economic and political sanctions as well as threats of a military strike. For Iranian political scientist Homeira Moshirzadeh, Iran’s prioritization of its nuclear program, despite the economic and political costs this has entailed, lies in the fact that “Iran’s nuclear policy has become a matter of identity” and as such, is impervious to Realist and Rationalist deconstruction. Specifically, Iran’s nuclear policy is located in the discourses of independence and justice: “The discourse of hyper-independence gives meaning to the Iranian overemphasis on self-sufficiency and Iran’s rejection of proposals that imply dependence on foreign sources in the nuclear field. The discourse of justice allows us to understand Iran’s continuous reference to double standards in the international system and its demand for an international recognition of its right to nuclear technology.”

The power of these discourses is evident in Ali Asghar Soltanieh’s (Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency), affirmation that “Iran will never give up enrichment at any price, even the threat of military attack will not stop us.” It is also evident in Khamenei’s recent declaration at the NAM summit that Iran “will never give up the right of its people to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.” Such intransigence is not confined to Iran’s political class but extends to the general public as well, including supporters of the opposition Green Movement. According to the findings of a poll conducted by the University of Tehran, 78 percent of Mousavi supporters wanted “Iran not to give up its nuclear activities regardless of the circumstances” despite their recognition of the sanctions’ cost (a World Public Opinion poll revealed that 86 percent of this category believed sanctions would increase).

As a matter of both strategy and ontological security, the attempt to goad Iran with incentives or bully it into a dependence on the West for its political, economic, security, or technological needs is fundamentally futile and counter-productive. The perceived loss of national dignity and sovereignty would call into question Iran’s political identity and would also jeopardize its hard-won status as a regional power, owing to its confrontational stands vis-à-vis the US and Israel. Even partial concessions on the nuclear issue and on Iran’s regional policies are seen detrimental to its strategic interests in so far as they are perceived as a sign of weakness and hence a prelude to further concessions.

In the final analysis, the ongoing regional conflict between the US-NATO-Israeli-GCC axis and the resistance front does not leave much room for neutrality. Both Iran’s abandonment of its leading role in this regional front and its relinquishment of its right to a full nuclear fuel cycle would be equivalent to ontological insecurity, ideological betrayal and strategic suicide. So long as Washington requires that Iran stop being Iran, the latter will only continue to defy it and further entrench itself as a formidable power in the region.

Amal Saad-Ghorayeb is a Lebanese academic and political analyst. She is author of the book, “Hizbullah: Politics and Religion,” and blogger at ASG’s Counter-Hegemony Unit.

The views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect Al-Akhbar’s editorial policy.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

“NAM Chief’s Friends” Most Important Outcome of Summit

Local Editor
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hussein Amir Abdullahian considered Saturday that one of the major outcomes of the Non-Aligned Movement Summit was the establishment of a connection of “NAM chief’s friends” by Egypt, Iran, and Venezuela in order to solve the Syrian crisis.

AbdullahianAs he reassured his country’s support to a political and diplomatic solution for the Syrian crisis, Abdullahian said that “the Non-Aligned Movement has abandoned its goals and fundamental principles in the past 50 years.”

Mehr news agency further quoted the Iranian official as saying that “Iran’s presidency of the movement, which will last for three years, should harmonize with the international and regional developments, and new strategies should be put to achieve the movement’s fundamental principles and goals.”

Abdullahian pointed out “the effort made by the enemies to change the NAM Summit’s venue and prevent some sides from participating in it, like the Egyptian president and the UN secretary general,” adding that “it is the first time in the NAM’s history that half of the members attend, and this indicated that the Islamic Republic is not isolated from the world.”

On the other hand, the Iranian deputy foreign minister denied that the NAM summit’s assembly in Tehran gave Iran a political status, considering that “Iran already has a high political and intellectual status, in addition to its resisting stance against the Zionist enemy and international domination.”

In this context, Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Alaeddin Boroujerdi indicated that 80% of the Egyptian president’s speech in the summit met with Iran’s views.

Speaking to Mehr news agency, Boroujerdi quoted an American analyst as saying that four out of five of the points that Mohammad Mursi tackled at the summit met with Iran, and the only opposing point was the Syrian file.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Why the Western media are angry at Tehran NAM summit

by Kourosh Ziabari
Saturday, September 1st, 2012

The 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran was unquestionably a diplomatic triumph for Iran, and the Western politicians know this very well. Perhaps it’s in this context that the frustration and annoyance of the Western state-run mainstream media at the Tehran summit can be explained.

During the one-week meetings of the experts, foreign ministers and heads of state and government of the NAM member states, several high-ranking delegations from 120 countries in the five continents traveled to Tehran to take part in what is seen to be the most important diplomatic gathering of the world after the UN General Assembly.

This gigantic international gathering which was unprecedented in Iran’s political history took place while the United States, Israel and their European allies have been going through fire and water for a long time to push Iran toward isolation and portray a horrific, distorted image of Iran as a threat to global peace and security. However, it seems that the non-aligned nations cared little about the Western-Israeli media hype about Iran as hundreds of delegations from around the world came to Iran to attend the 16th NAM summit and also hold talks with Iranian officials and use the opportunity to urge for the expansion of bilateral ties with the Islamic Republic.

However, the mainstream media’s coverage of the important diplomatic event in Iran reflected the depth of the Western powers’ fury and disappointment at the successful summit in Tehran and Iran’s being featured as a defining role-player in the international developments. A quick glance at the articles, commentaries and interviews published on the Western news agencies and newspapers will give us an insight of how much the United States and its allies are exasperated at the NAM summit and most importantly, the fact that it was hosted by their popular villain, Iran.

In an article published on August 30, the Guardian correspondent questioned Iran’s giving importance to the NAM summit, insolently ridiculing Iranians’ hospitality and their reception of the high-ranking guests: “[t]o watch Iranian state television, you’d think the country was hosting the Olympics. Rolling television coverage included reporters at the airport covering the landing of diplomats as if they were top athletes and ongoing interviews with delegates being asked to comment on the hospitality of Iranians and their impressions of Tehran.”

Censoring all parts of the Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s opening speech to the NAM leaders, the British paper Guardian selectively published those parts in which he had blamed the Syrian government for the eruption of violence in the country, calling his remarks “disturbing” for the Iranian leaders.

In an editorial published on Guardian one day earlier, the British paper called Iran a “bankrupt” country whose objective for hosting the summit is “to prove a point: sanctions-racked it may be, but isolated it is not.”

Such stringent verbal attacks on Iran have been pervasively seen in the Western mainstream media during the past months, especially since the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad started to send letters of invitation to the leaders of the Non-Aligned Movement. The agitprop campaign intensified during the days of the summit and now is at its peak as some 30 world leaders have gathered in Tehran to discuss the most important global developments.

The New York Times which has long been at daggers drawn with Iran has declared a total war on the Non-Aligned Movement and Iran.

In an article published on August 28, the hawkish American author Thomas L. Friedman who is ostensibly infuriated with the fact such a high-ranking politician as the Egyptian President has attended the summit, firstly asks that to whom the members of this movement are non-aligned.
He then continues, “[i]s Morsi nonaligned in that choice? Is he nonaligned when it comes to choosing between democracies and dictatorships — especially the Iranian one that is so complicit in crushing the Syrian rebellion as well? And by the way, why is Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Secretary General, lending his hand to this Iranian whitewashing festival? What a betrayal of Iranian democrat.”

In a fanatically-written article published on the Emirati newspaper The Nation, the author, Afshin Molavi, who is an Iranian citizen working with neo-conservative organizations in the U.S. calls the whole Non-Aligned Movement “useless”, saying that “the visit of a few diplomats from Asia, Africa and Latin America will do nothing for the Iranian father who must hold two jobs just to make ends meet – caught between a choking sanctions regime, [and] an economy raven by corruption and mismanagement.”

Other American media also embraced the summit hypocritically, extraordinarily aggrandizing some of Ban Ki-moon’s remarks that Iran should improve its human rights record: “U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had signaled he would not shy away from criticism of Iran during his visit to the Nonaligned Movement gathering in Tehran, but the sharp comments appeared to catch Iranian officials off guard just hours after his arrival,” wrote Huffington Post in an August 29 article.

NPR’s correspondent called Iran an “often isolated” nation that has been selected to host the huge summit. “Countries that are part of the Nonaligned Movement have mostly cut back economic ties with Iran in order to remain on better terms with Washington,” it quoted a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace fellow who has tried to downplay the significance of the NAM summit and convince the readers that Iran cannot gain reputation as an international leader through hosting the summit.

There are hundreds of other such examples which attest to the duplicitous, deceitful approach of the Western media toward the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran. In a concerted and communal effort aimed at undermining the importance of this remarkable international event, many of them attacked and even insulted Iran, resorted to making prejudiced and lopsided statements about Iran’s position in the international community and turned a blind eye to the successful hosting of the summit by Iran and the important remarks made by the NAM leaders who have called Iran an important and crucial role-player in regional and international affairs.

The animosity of the Western media with Iran is nothing new. Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979 which deposed the U.S.-installed monarch Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, they started their campaign of misinformation and black propaganda against Iran. The NAM summit gave them an opportunity to renew their attacks on Iran; however, this time it was quite evident that they had become increasingly angry and incensed that politicians from 120 countries of the world decided to come to Tehran and affirm or strengthen their ties with Iran while the media wing of the superpowers has been sparing no effort to show Iran an isolated, friendless country.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

‘Jeffrey Feltman in Khamenei’s Court!’

My,..my! A Truly ‘non-aligned’ summit: ‘Jeffrey Feltman in Khamenei’s Court!’

‘UN Undersecretary for Political Affairs,

Feltman met, Khamenei, Ahmadinejad, Jalili & Larijani.
“… former American diplomat Jim Dobbins told Al-Monitor that Feltman likely would have given the US government at least a courtesy ‘heads up’ about his trip, even if he would not take guidance from them. The meeting “is interesting,” Dobbins, now at the Rand Corporation, said.
And another former senior US official who asked not to be named acknowledged she was “shocked” to learn of the meeting, mostly because the Obama administration had publicly pressed Ban to forgo the trip. Feltman, who served as ambassador to Lebanon during the 2006 war, is thought to be fairly hardline on Iran…”

‘The Norwegian Zionist, Terje Roed Larsen was there too’


Israeli agent pays visit to Ayatullah Khameini

The former US ambassador in Lebanon and most senior diplomat at the US State Department, Zionist Jew Jeffrey Feltman, accompanied United Nation secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, to meet Iran’s Supreme Leader. Currently, Jeffrey Feltman is Ki-moon’s Under Secretary for Political Affairs. See Feltman sitting between Ki-Moon and Salehi facing Ayatullah Khameini, and several other photos of NAM participants, here.
Feltman is known for his anti-Hizbullah-Syria-Iran obsession. The current US ambassador to Lebanon, Maura Connelly, a former State Department staffer under Jeffrey Feltman was confided by Feltman once, saying:

I have got these SOBs just where we want them Maura! Watch the 1000 slow cuts as we shred Hizbullah – who do they think they’re? And we will do it by using HR-1757 and this time we are going all the way. I told Israel to stay out of Lebanon because the IDF cannot defeat Hizbullah plus the whole region will burn“.

In March 2012 – at a reception at the US Capitol’s Cannon Office Building, Jeffrey Feltman, appearing before a gathering of the right-wing pro-Israel-Saudi ‘Lebanese American Organization’ was undiplomatically aggressive. In fact Feltman unloaded vitriol on Hezbollah, Syria, Iran and anyone who even looked like they might support resistance to US-Israel Middle East hegemony. He instructed Lebanese voters, in no uncertain terms, what he expected of them:

The Lebanese people must join together to tell Hezbollah and its allies that the Lebanese state will no longer be hijacked for an Iranian-Syrian agenda“.

The Obama administration and the Jewish lobby officials are trying to downplay Feltman’s visit which makes him the first known anti-Iran Zionist Jew diplomat being allowed to be in the audience of of the Rehbar. The Jewish spokesperson for the State Department, Victoria Nuland, says Feltman was there as part of its new position at the United Nations. Israel-Firster Dennis Ross, former senior adviser to Obama on the Middle East affairs, who currently works for Israel lobby AIPAC affiliated think tank, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), also says Feltman is not representing the US policy toward the Islamic Republic anymore. Jim Dobbins, former US ambassador who currently heads ME policy department at the RAND Corp. claims that Feltman did not consult US government on his trip to Iran.
Benjamin Netanyahu U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Mayflower Hotel on the eve of Mideast peace talks August 31, 2010 in Washington, DC. The United States is hosting leaders from Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt and Jordan in hopes of starting a new round of direct peace talks.It’s hard to believe that while both Netanyahu and Hillary Clinton pressed Ban Ki-moon to cancel his visit to attend the 16th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Tehran – Jeffrey Feltman would have refused to obey them.

Feltman, with full blessings from both Washington and Tel Aviv, decided to visit Iran to meet anti-regime groups and use his visit in support of his future Zionist propaganda lies against Iranian government.
Iran’s Spiritual Leader Ayatullah Khamenie did not hide his contempt for the United Nations in his opening address at NAM.

The UN Security Council has an illogical, unjust and completely undemocratic structure and mechanism. This is a flagrant form of dictatorship, which is antiquated and obsolete and whose exoiry date has passed. It is through abusing this improper mechanism that America and its accomplices have managed to disguise their bullying as noble concept and impose it on the world,said the Rehbar.

Ban Ki-moon, sitting next to the news President of NAM, Dr. Ahmadinejad, at the opening ceremony of the summit – proved once again that he is a poodle of American imperialism. Instead of joining the 120-member NAM support for Iran’s peaceful nuclear program, a nuclear free Middle East and lifting of unlawful sanctions against Iran – Ki-moon asked Iran to ‘come clean on its nuclear ambitions’.
In reality, both Ki-moon and Egyptian president Dr. Morsi attended the NAM summit as ‘double agents’.

As American ambassador in Beirut, Jeffrey Feltman. shielded Israeli Mossad in the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri in 2005 by blaming it on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a friend of Hariri family. When his allegation could not stand on Zionist legs – he switched the blame on to Lebanese Islamic Resistance Hizbullah. A 2010 poll conducted among 18,132 Arab participants by pro-Zionist Al-Jazeera – 78% of participants claimed that Israel was behind the assassination of Rafik Hariri.

Feltman was also the driving force behind the establishment of UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL). It’s president Antonio Cassesse was called a ‘great friend of Israel by no other than Professor George Fletcher (Columbia Law school) at Herzliya conference in Israel.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Can NAM Solve the Syrian Crisis?

Can NAM Solve the Syrian Crisis? asked Vijay Prashad

The author claimes that “NATO’s war in Libya and the Syrian crisis has afforded the US an opportunity to re-enter the Arab world as a major political player. “

In realty the US and Nato attempts, after the fall of the Soviet union, to be the sole politacal player in the Arab world and middle east faced fiece resistance in Afhganistan Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine.

Therefore, it is more presicise to say:

A combination of the cowboy Wars defeats led by the US and NATO (since the Bush administration), and the failure of the Arab stooges and the financial crisis (since 2007) alongside the economic rise of China and India has, however, given a boost to the aspiration of the NAM.

 Moreover the Author clamied that “The Arab Spring of 2011 offered further proof of the new confidence of the people of the ‘South’. Regimes that had given themselves over to pro-Western economic policies and opened their prisons to become the “black sites” of the War on Terror fell like ninepins. If the US had lost Latin America, it was now feared that it would lose the Arab world as well.”

Again, it is more precise to say:

“The Arab Spring of 2011 Resistance Axis offered further proof of the new confidence of the people of the ‘South’ and Arab word, threatning the regimes that had given themselves over to pro-Western economic policies and opened their prisons to become the “black sites” of the War on Terror.

Syria never given itself to pro-western economical policies, and Libya was attacked for trying give-up the pro-western economical policies. Moreover the South America states, and real progressive activists were under attack for standing against the Cowboy WARS on Libya and Syria (Prashad, the author, was against the war on Libya).

The US had lost Latin America, fearing it would lose the Arab world as well, pulled all its cards, the NGO’s the International American Brotherhood highjack the popular movements, and install new puppet regimes in Tunis, Egypt, Libya and Yemen, and at the same time Launched its Global War to destroy Syria, the corner stone of the resistance axis, and turn Syria into a corner stone in the ANTI-RESISTANCE AXIS, to destroy Hezbollah before checking the Iranian King.

The Marxist Author claimed that “Europe, the US and Russia have played central roles in fueling the crisis, but they are not going to be able to be part of the solution.”, without telling US why would Russia fuel the Syrian crisis?  He ignored that the war on Syria is also a Proxy War against Russia, Iran and China,

Therefore, “Egypt’s proposal should be supported as it builds on regionalism and takes seriously the fact that absent the assent of these regional actors, no pressure can be put on the parties in Syria to stand down.  The regional actors need to take the reins. The Contact Group would be strengthened by an endorsement from the NAM, and it would further embolden Brahimi to make serious inroads into the deadlock between the Syrian government and the opposition. Absent regional pressure, backed by NAM, the blood-letting will continue in Syria – to the detriment of all the people of West Asia.”

In fact because “Turkey has reached the point where it has discovered that its own domestic problems (namely the Kurdish question)” therefore, Muris the America‘s other Brother Jumped to continue the Turkish mission of balkanization of Syria. His short stay in Tehran, and his Speech at NAM confirmed that Brotherhood’s Egypt is the real problem and can’t be a part of any solution.

With France and Britain warning “the United Nations that the envoys were unlikely to reach an agreement on buffer zones in Syria.” and with even Romney saying: ‘NO to a Syria no-fly zone’
they know that with flooding Syria with arms those arms maybe used for undesired purposes in unexpected places!’

I always said that Usrael would be glad to see Assad removed by Islamists, ans would be glad to see them killed if they fail, so, I wonder what Mursi can do for his Amecrican brothers in Syria?
Nothing, more than saving the faces of Qataris, Saudis and the Turks, most likely, opportunist Mursi the son of opportunist brotherhood realizing that the battle on Syria is almost over, is trying to reserve a chair on the Syrian reconciliation table, ignoring that where there is no place on that table for traitors as Assad made it clear in his interview by Al-Dunia channel.

Egyptian tanks are seen being carried on the back of trucks
on the Egyptian side of the border city of Rafah on August 29, 2012.
The Egyptian military said that 11 “terrorists” have been killed in its
campaign against Islamist militants in the Sinai peninsula. (Photo: AFP / STR)

The ongoing battle in Syria shall decide the future of Syria. As Assad saidwe are moving forward and the situation is practically better but resolution hasn’t been achieved and this takes time.”   

Meanwhile, Lieberman is not satisfied with Mursi’s performance in Sinai (Cleaning Sinia from Islamists threatening Israel, and destroying Gaza tunnels to cut the the supplied of Islamic Jihad and other resistance factions). Having, started withdrawing his forces from Sinia, Lieberman is waiting to see President Mursi visit Jerusalem.

I don’t think stupid Mursi, is so stupid to do what Mubarak never dared to do.

Published Thursday, August 30, 2012
The 16th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit opened on Sunday in Iran, with two-thirds of the world’s governments gathering in the Iranian capital. The NAM, since the 1980s, has been notably adrift. The debt crisis of the 1980s and the emergence of US primacy after the fall of the USSR at the end of the decade created a major crisis in the Global South. As the states of the South became to seek new alignments with the North out of economic needs or political ambitions, the agenda of the NAM fell by the wayside.

A combination of the cowboy wars led by the US and NATO (since the Bush administration) and the financial crisis (since 2007) alongside the economic rise of China and India has, however, given a boost to the aspiration of the NAM.

The assertions of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) in the 2012 Delhi Declaration and the solidarity of the South at UNCTAD XIII in Doha in April of this year underlined the emergence of this new confidence.

The South’s mood has been further enlivened over the past five years by the emergence of popular movements that oppose neoliberalism and imperialism. Their first stand was in Latin America, where the social and political movements were able to translate their popularity into the electoral domain. Most of the governments south of the Rio Grande River now oppose US primacy. In 2010, these Latin American states created the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States to undercut the formerly US-dominated Organization of American States.
The Arab Spring of 2011 offered further proof of the new confidence of the people of the ‘South’. Regimes that had given themselves over to pro-Western economic policies and opened their prisons to become the “black sites” of the War on Terror fell like ninepins. If the US had lost Latin America, it was now feared that it would lose the Arab world as well.

The Syrian Conundrum

NATO’s war in Libya and the Syrian crisis has afforded the US an opportunity to re-enter the Arab world as a major political player. This is what makes the Syrian crisis so central to the work of the NAM – apart, of course, from the more humane objective, which is to end the violence against the Syrian people. A cynical set of geopolitical calculations has made each side to this conflict take maximum positions, which rendered Kofi Annan’s mission to Damascus impossible.

It is essential to create the political context for Lakhdar Brahimi, Annan’s successor, to be able to move an agenda.

One small part of the process to create the policy space for Brahimi has been proposed by Egypt – the Contact Group. The group will include all the major regional players: Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. The NAM meeting was to be the setting to increase confidence for the Contact Group. If the NAM gives its endorsement to this Contact Group, it might be able to create a regional roadmap, allowing Brahimi and the UN to try and find a procedure to end the violence in Syria.

Saudi Arabia will be represented by Prince Abdul-Aziz bin Abdullah, the son of King Abdullah. He is a popular prince who is the acting Deputy Foreign Minister. The entire top brass of Iran will be in attendance. To have Iran and Saudi Arabia in the same process is both startling and a sign of hope. Trapped by its own regional alignments, Iran has yoked itself firmly to the Assad regime. Saudi Arabia and Qatar have thrown in their lot with the rebellion, as has Turkey but with less fanfare. Such “unity” was not available at the Arab League summit in March that was held in Baghdad. The Saudis and the Qataris refused to send their top leadership because of their serious difference of opinion with both Syria and Iraq. Qatar sent minor bureaucrats and the Saudis sent their Arab League ambassador, Ahmed Qatan. No princes graced the occasion.
The government of Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had refused to stop Iranian aircraft from going through their airspace to Syria, and Baghdad was not willing to join in the isolation of Syria. The ground has shifted since March, and now the regional powers seem willing to see if cooperation is possible in order to bring stability to Syria and the region.

Turkey has, unfortunately, refused to come to the NAM meeting. It is not a NAM member, but it has been invited to attend as an observer. There is a precedent for this, since Australia will be in Tehran as the West’s listening post and has threatened to walk out if anything it deems inappropriate is said.
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will not attend, and neither will the top leaders of his party in the government. Davutoglu, an academic, has developed a foreign policy that Hurriyet’s editor Yusuf Kanli called “no friends in the neighborhood” strategy.

Turkey has put its hand in the fire of the Syrian cauldron, and no longer knows how to extricate itself. It was one matter to be moved by the violence of the Assad regime, but another to make itself a party to the conflict. Contradictions of geopolitics abound. During the high-point of the Arab Spring, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan put Turkey forward as an example for the new Middle East. Now Turkey has reached the point where it has discovered that its own domestic problems (namely the Kurdish question) might erupt if Turkey presses ahead with the balkanization of Syria.

Egypt’s proposal should be supported as it it builds on regionalism and takes seriously the fact that absent the assent of these regional actors, no pressure can be put on the parties in Syria to stand down. Europe, the US and Russia have played central roles in fueling the crisis, but they are not going to be able to be part of the solution. The regional actors need to take the reins. The Contact Group would be strengthened by an endorsement from the NAM, and it would further embolden Brahimi to make serious inroads into the deadlock between the Syrian government and the opposition. Absent regional pressure, backed by NAM, the blood-letting will continue in Syria – to the detriment of all the people of West Asia.

Vijay Prashad is the author of Arab Spring, Libyan Winter (AK Press, 2012 and Turkish edition, Yordam Kitap, 2012).

The views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect Al-Akhbar’s editorial policy.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Independent nations must move toward New World Order: Jean Bricmont

by Kourosh Ziabari
Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Prof. Jean Bricmont is a renowned Belgian public intellectual, theoretical physicist, philosopher of science and a professor at the Université catholique de Louvain. A progressive author, he has cooperated with the leading American thinker Noam Chomsky on a variety of anti-war causes.

In 2007, he wrote an article in French discussing the possibility of a US invasion of Iran. One of his famous books is “Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science” which he has co-written with Alan Sokal. In this book, they talk about a number of issues, including the allegedly incompetent and pretentious usage of scientific concepts by a small group of influential philosophers and intellectuals.

Bricmont’s articles have appeared on Counterpunch, Monthly Review, Voltairenet, Z Magazine, Global Research and other print and online publications.

He has proposed the theory of humanitarian imperialism and is strongly opposed to the U.S. military expeditions around the world and its unilateral attitude toward the independent nations. Bricmont believes that the Non-Aligned Movement countries can move toward establishing a new world order based on the communal interests of the member states.

What follows is the full text of my interview with Prof. Jean Bricmont to whom I’ve talked about a number of issues including the Western powers’ hypocrisy on the human rights issue, America’s wars and military expeditions around the world, the concept of “humanitarian intervention” and Israel’s war threats against Iran.

Dear Jean; in your article, “The Case for a Non-Interventionist Foreign Policy,” you write of the justifications the imperial powers come up with in order to rationalize their military expeditions around the world. Isn’t a hawkish foreign policy an advantage for the politicians in the Western world, particularly the United States, to attract the vote and supporting of the public? Will the American people elect a pacifist President who openly vows to put an end to all the U.S. wars and refrain from waging new wars?

I am not sure that it attracts the votes. In Europe, certainly not. The most hawkish politicians, Blair and Sarkozy were not popular for a long time because of their foreign policy. In Germany the public is systematically in favor of a peaceful foreign policy. As the American pacifist A. J. Muste remarked, the problem in all wars lies with the victor – they think violence pays. The defeated, like Germany, and to some extent the rest of Europe, know that war is not so rosy.

However, I think that, except in times of crisis, like the Vietnam or the Algerian wars, when they turned badly for the U.S. or France, most people are not very interested in foreign policy, which is understandable, given their material problems and given the fact that it looks like being out of reach of ordinary people.

On the other hand, every U.S. presidential candidate has to make patriotic statements, “we are the best”, “a light at the top of the hill”, a “defender of democracy and human rights” and so on. That, of course, is true in all systems of power, the only thing that varies are the “values” to which one refers (being a good Christian or Muslim or defending socialism, etc.).

And, it is true that, in order to get the votes, one must get the support of the press and of big money. That introduces an enormous bias in favor of militarism and of support for Israel.

The imperial powers, as you have indicated in your writings, wage wars, kill innocent people and plunder the natural resources of weaker countries under the pretext of bringing democracy to them. So, who should take care of the principles of international law, territorial integrity and sovereignty? Attacking other countries at will and killing defenseless civilians recklessly is a flagrant parade of lawlessness. Is it possible to bring these powers to their senses and hold them accountable over what they do?

I think the evolution of the world goes in that direction; respect for the principles of international law, territorial integrity and sovereignty. As I said before, the European populations are rather peaceful, both inside Europe and with respect to the rest of the world, at least, compared to the past. Some of their leaders are not peaceful and there is a strong pressure from an apparently strange alliance in favor of war between human rights interventionists and neo-conservatives who are influential in the media and in the intelligentsia, but they are not the only voices and they are rather unpopular with the general public.

As for the U.S., they are in a deep crisis, not only economically, but also diplomatically. They have lost control of Asia long ago, are losing Latin America and, now, the Middle East. Africa is turning more and more towards China.

So, the world is becoming multipolar, whether one likes it or not. I see at least two dangers: that the decline of the U.S. will produce some crazy reaction, leading to war, or that the collapse of the American empire creates chaos, a bit like the collapse of the Roman Empire did. It is the responsibility of the Non-Aligned Movement and the BRICS countries to insure an orderly transition towards a really new world order.

What seems hypocritical in the Western powers’ attitude toward the concept of human rights is that they ceaselessly condemn the violation of human rights in the countries with which they are at odds, but intentionally remain silent about the same violations in the countries which are allied with them. For instance, you surely know that how the political prisoners are mistreated and tortured in Saudi Arabia, Washington’s number one ally among the Arab countries. So, why don’t they protest and condemn these violations?

Do you know any power that is not hypocritical? It seems to me that this is the way power functions in all places and at all times.

For example, in 1815, at the fall of Napoleon, the Tsar of Russia, the Austrian Emperor and the King of Prussia came together in what they called their Holy Alliance, claiming to base their rules of conduct “on the sublime truths contained in the eternal religion of Christ our Savior,” as well as on the principles “of their holy religion, precepts of justice, charity and peace,” and vowed to behave toward their subjects “as a father toward his children.” During the Boer war, the British Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury, declared that it was “a war for democracy” and that “we seek neither gold mines nor territory”. Bertrand Russell, citing these remarks, commented that “cynical foreigners” couldn’t help noticing that “we nevertheless obtained both the mines and the territory”.

At the height of the Vietnam War, the American historian Arthur Schlesinger described U.S. policy there as part of “our overall program of international good will”. At the end of that war, a liberal commentator wrote in the New York Times that: “For a quarter of a century, the United States have tried to do good, to encourage political freedom and promote social justice in the Third World”.

In that sense, things have not changed. People sometimes think that, because our system is more democratic, things must have changed. But that assumes that the public is well informed, which it is not true because of the many biases in the media, and that it is actively involved in the formation of foreign policy, which is also not true, except in times of crisis. The formation of foreign policy is a very elitist and undemocratic affair.

Attacking or invading other countries under the pretext of humanitarian intervention may be legalized and permissible with the unanimity of the Security Council permanent members. If they all vote in favor a military strike, then it will happen. But, don’t you think that the very fact that only 5 world countries can make decisions for 193 members of the United Nations while this considerable majority don’t have any say in the international developments is an insult to all of these nations and their right of self-determination?

Of course. You don’t need unanimity actually, except for the permanent members. But now that China and Russia seem to have taken an autonomous position with respect to the West, it is not clear that new wars will be legal. I am not happy with the current arrangements at the Security Council, but I still think that the UN is, on the whole, a good thing; its Charter provides a defense, in principle, against intervention and a framework for international order and its existence provides a forum where different countries can meet, which is better than nothing.

Of course, reforming the UN is a tricky business, since it cannot be done without the consent of the permanent members of the Security Council, who are not likely to be very enthusiastic at the prospect of relinquishing part of their power. What will matter in the end will be the evolution of the relationship of forces in the world, and that is not going in the direction of those who think that they now control it.

Let’s talk about some contemporary issues. In your articles, you have talked of the war in Congo. It was very shocking to me that the Second Congo War was the deadliest conflict in the African history with some 5 million innocent people dead, but the U.S. mainstream media put a lid on it because one of the belligerents, the Rwandan army, was a close ally of Washington. What’s your take on that?

Well, I am not an expert on that part of the world. But I notice that the Rwandan tragedy of 1994 is often used as an argument for foreign intervention, which, it is claimed, would have stopped the killings, while the tragedy in Congo should be taken as an argument against foreign intervention and for respect of international law, since it was to a large extent due to the intervention of Rwandan and Ugandan troops in Congo.

Of course, the fact that the latter argument is never made shows, once more, how the discourse about humanitarian intervention is biased in favor of the powers that be, who want to attribute to themselves the right to intervene, whenever it suits them.

Just a few days ago, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon condemned Iranian leaders for their supposedly “inflammatory and hateful” remarks on Israel. However, I never remember him condemning the Israeli officials for their frequent repeating of dangerous war threats against Iran. What’s the reason behind this hypocrisy?

As you know, the hypocrisy with respect to Israel in the West reaches staggering proportions and Ban Ki-moon, although he is UN Secretary General, is very much on “pro-Western” positions. While I myself have doubts about the wisdom of the Iranian rhetoric about Israel, I think that the threats of military actions against Iran by Israel are far worse and should be considered illegal under international law. I also think that the unilateral sanctions against Iran, taken by the U.S. and its allies, largely to please Israel, are shameful. And, although the people who claim to be anti-racist in the West never denounce these policies, I think they are deeply racist, because they are accepted only because so-called civilized countries, Israel and its allies, exert this threat and those sanctions against an “uncivilized” one, Iran.This will be remembered in the future in the same way that slavery is remembered now.

There are people like you who oppose the U.S. militarism, its imposture and hypocrisy in dealing with the human rights and its attempts to devour the oil-rich Middle East, but unfortunately I should say, you’re in the minority. It’s the Israeli-administered Congress and hawkish think tanks such as the Council on Foreign Relations and National Endowment for Democracy that run the United States, not the anti-war, pro-peace progressive thinkers and writers like you. How much influence do the progressive thinkers and leftist media have over the policies which are taken in the United States?

Well, I think one has to make a difference between support for Israel and the desire to “devour” oil. The two policies are not the same and are, in fact, contradictory. As, I think, Mearsheimer and Walt have shown, the pro-Israel policies of the U.S. are to a large extent driven by the pro-Israel lobby and do not correspond to or help their economic or geo-strategic interests. For example, as far as I know, there would be no problem for our oil companies to drill in Iran, if it weren’t for the sanctions imposed on that country; but the latter are linked to the hostility to Iran from Israel, not from any desire to control oil.

The second remark is that the anti-war people are not necessarily on the left. True, there is a big part of the Right that has become neo-conservative, but there is also a big part of the Left that is influenced by the ideology of humanitarian intervention. However, there is also a libertarian Right, Ron Paul for example, that is staunchly anti-war, and there are some remnants of a pacifist or anti-imperialist Left. Note that this has always been the case: the pro and anti-imperialist position, even back in the days of colonialism, do not coincide with the Left-Right divide, if the latter is understood in socio-economic terms or in “moral” terms (about gay marriage for example).

Next, it is true that we have very little influence, but that is partly because we are divided, between an anti-war Left and anti-war Right. I believe that a majority of the population is opposed to these endless and costly wars, mostly, in Europe, because of the lesson they drew from WWII, or from their defeat in the colonial wars, and, in the U.S., because of war fatigue after Afghanistan and Iraq.

What we do not have is a consistent anti-war movement; to build the latter one would have to focus on war itself and unite both sides of the opposition (Right and Left). But if movements can be built around other “single issues,” like abortion or gay marriage, that put aside all socio-economic problems and class issues, why not?

Although such a movement does not exist now, its prospects are not totally hopeless: if the economic crisis deepens, and if the worldwide opposition to U.S. policies increases, citizens of all political stripes might gather to try to build alternatives.

What’s your viewpoint regarding the U.S. and its allies’ war of sanctions, embargoes, nuclear assassinations and psychological operation against Iran? Iran is practically under a multilateral attack by the United States, Israel and their submissive European cronies. Is there any way for Iran to get out of the dilemma and resist the pressures? How much do you know Iran? Have you heard of its culture and civilization, which the mainstream media never talk about?

I do not know much about Iran, but I do not think I need to know very much about that country although I would certainly like to know more, in order to oppose the policies you mention. I was also opposed to Western interventions in former Yugoslavia or in Libya.

Some people think there are good and bad interventions. But the main issue for me is: who intervenes? It is never really the “citizens” or the “civil society” of the West, or even the European countries on their own, meaning without U.S. support, it is always the U.S. military, mostly its Air Force.

Now, one may of course defend the idea that international law should be disregarded and that the defense of human rights should be left to the U.S. Air Force. But many people who support “good” interventions do not say that. They usually argue that “we” must do something to “save the victims” in a particular situation. What this viewpoint forgets is that the “we” who is supposed to intervene is not the people who actually speak, but the U.S. military.

Therefore, support for any intervention only strengthens the arbitrary power of the U.S., which, of course, uses it as it seems fit, and not, in general, according to the wishes of those who support “good” interventions.

And finally, would you please give us an insight of how the corporate media serve the interests of the imperial powers? How do they work? Is it morally justifiable to use media propaganda to achieve political and colonial goals?

The connection between “corporate media” and war propaganda is complicated, as is the relationship between capitalism and war. Most people on the Left think that capitalism needs war or leads to it. But the truth, in my view, is far more nuanced. American capitalists make fortunes in China and Vietnam now that there is peace between the U.S. and East Asia; for American workers, it is a different matter, of course.

There is no reason whatsoever for oil or other Western companies not to do business with Iran, and, if there was peace in the region, capitalists would descend upon it like vultures in order to exploit a cheap and relatively qualified labor force.

This is not to say that capitalists are nice, nor that they cannot be individually pro-war, but only that war, in general, is not in their interests and they are not necessarily the main force pushing for war.

People are driven to war by conflicting ideologies, especially when they take a fanatical form – for example, when you believe that a certain piece of land was given to you by God, or that your country has a special mission, like exporting human rights and democracy, preferably by cruise missiles and drones.

It is both sad and ironical that an idea that is largely secular and liberal, the one of human rights, has now been turned into one of the main means to whip up war hysteria in the West. But that is our present situation and a most urgent and important task is to change it.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Syrian delegation left the summit in protest of the content of Mursi’s speech

Mohammad Mursi [Mubarak] ready to “Cooperate” with all Parties to Stop Syria Bloodshed, will support any Palestinian step taken in the General Assembly or the Security Council and will strive to achieve the just and comprehensive peace.

الجيش المصري يدمر عشرات الأنفاق في رفح

In 3 days Mohammad Mursi [Mubarak] achieved what  what Mohammad Husni [Mubarak] failed to do in 3 decades. He destroyed Gaza’s lifelines.

Mursi Ready to “Cooperate” with all Parties to Stop Syria Bloodshed

Local Editor

Egyptian president Mohammad Mursi [Mubarak] stressed his country’s readiness to cooperate with all parties to stop the bloodshed in Syria, calling upon the influencing states to take the initiative he announced during the exceptional Islamic summit in Egypt.

During his speech at the opening ceremony of the Non-Aligned Movement Summit (NAM) in Tehran Thursday, Mursi said his country “supports the right of using the nuclear power for peaceful purposes and freeing the Middle East region of nukes and weapons of mass destruction,” noting that all countries of the region have signed the non-proliferation treaty except the Zionist entity.

Mursi, however, criticized the current world order, saying that “its structure needs recovery and its role needs activation.”

The Egyptian President believed that the NAM countries are facing great challenges and submitted to local and international risks, calling upon the member states to play a pivotal role at this sensitive stage.

“We should support the Palestinian people’s state right of a UN membership,” he said, stressing that Egypt will support any Palestinian step taken in the General Assembly or the Security Council and will strive to achieve the just and comprehensive peace.

Moreover, the Egyptian president said that developed countries should be encouraged by making decisions and formulating guidelines, noting that it is not acceptable anymore that the current historical injustice still prevails over Africa even after being presented in the United Nations.

Mursi also made it clear that Egypt is seeking a just world order which will get the developing countries out of marginalization towards the welfare.

At the end of his speech, Mursi handed over the NAM chairmanship to Iran in its 16th session. He then presented a report on Egypt’s activities during NAM’s 15th session.

He expressed beliefs that Iran will succeed in chairing the movement.


Al-Moallem: Mursi’s Speech on Syria a Breach to NAM Convention
Local Editor

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al-Moallem considered Thursday that Egyptian Presidnet Mohammad Mursi’s NAM Summit statement about the situation in Syria was an interference in the country’s internal affairs.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al-Moallem considered Thursday that Egyptian Presidnet Mohammad Mursi’s NAM Summit statement about the situation in Syria was an interference in the country’s internal affairs.

In a media statement to Al-Alam news channel, Al-Moallem assured that Mursi’s interference in Syria’s internal affairs was a breach to the convention of the Non-Aligned Movement, which Syria is a member in.

The Syrian foreign minister added that the Egyptian president’s speech on Syria was more like a speech of a party chief and not that of a president of a NAM member country.
In parallel, Syrian news agency SANA reported that the Syrian delegation left the summit while Mursi was delivering his speech.

Quoting Al-Moallem, the Syrian official news agency clarifired that “the delegation’s withdrawal from the meeting came in protest of the content of Mursi’s speech”, adding that as it was a breach to the summit’s convention and an interference in Syria’s internal affairs, “it was an instigation for continuing the shedding of the Syrian blood”.

According to SANA, the Syrian delegation returned to follow up the summit’s activities when Mursi finished his statement.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Historic Tehran Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit

Iran has multiple objectives in mind. It seeks support for its lawful nuclear program, peace, and mutually beneficial solidarity.

by Stephen Lendman<font size=”3″ face=”Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”><img class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-214334″ title=”nam-stephen-vnn” src=”http://www.veteransnewsnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/nam-stephen-vnn.jpg” alt=”” width=”550″ height=”300″ /></font>

My Photo After the UN, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is the most important world body. Hopefully its 16th summit will infuse it with new life.

Historic Tehran NAM SummitAs host, Iran has a historic opportunity. At the same time, it can enhance its own prestige and enlist support against hostile Washington/Israeli designs.

August 26 began six days of sessions and discussions. Proceedings began with an experts meeting.
<font face=”Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”><img class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-214333″ title=”NAM SUMMIT CONVENES IN TEHRAN” src=”http://www.veteransnewsnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/NAM-SUMMIT-CONVENES-IN-TEHRAN.jpg” alt=”” width=”595″ height=”414″ /></font>
During the opening session, Egypt’s permanent UN representative, Mootaz Ahmadein Khalil, ceremonially passed NAM’s presidential baton to Iran. For the next three years, Tehran will head the organization.
Hosting NAM is significant. Assuming leadership affords added prestige. Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mihmanparast said 118 foreign delegations will attend. Russia and China are there as observer nations. So is Australia. Participants sent 27 presidents, eight prime ministers, nine vice presidents, six special envoys, up to 25 foreign ministers, other high-level ministers, and two kings.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Bolivian President Evo Morales, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, North Korea’s parliamentary chairman Kim Yong-nam, Cuba’s Raul Castro, Kuwaiti Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Tajik President Emomali Rahmonov, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, Armenian President Serzh Sarkisyan, Lebanese President Michel Sulaiman, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

Despite tensions between the two countries, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz (King Abdullah’s son) will attend. He’s currently acting deputy foreign minister.

Bahrain’s foreign minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa will also participate. In March 2011, Manama recalled its ambassador in protest over Tehran’s condemnation of Bahraini police state violence. Iran responded in kind by recalling its envoy.

On August 12, Bahrain returned it ambassador to Tehran. Days later, Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein amir-Abdollahian said Iran wouldn’t return its ambassador to Manama as long as crackdowns continued.

In advance of the summit, a document with 688 articles was prepared. They’ll be discussed during the two-day meeting of experts. Topics include international issues, regional crises, human rights, food and health security, as well as matters relating to economic development.

One statement will focus on Palestine. Another will be a comprehensive plan to end Washington’s war on Syria. A contact group will be established to help defuse the conflict. One-on-one and multilateral discussions will be held on how to do it.

Iran has multiple objectives in mind. It seeks support for its lawful nuclear program, peace, and mutually beneficial solidarity.

Economic issues will be stressed. Plans will be presented to revitalize NAM. Participating delegations will be urged to transform it into a more significant organization by making its “approvals” binding. Since founded in 1961, it’s only issued statements relating to world problems.

On August 26, Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi delivered the opening speech. Press TV said he “called on all member states of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to use their utmost potential and make collective efforts to establish peace and justice in the world.”

“At the current juncture, we have made our utmost efforts to promote general objectives of the Non-Aligned Movement including fostering solidarity among all member states, which is a prerequisite for an efficient movement.”
He said a “destructive mind” affects international relations. He urged solidarity and respect for national sovereignty in the face of a collective threat.
“We need to revive our movement in accordance with the current conditions in the world,” he urged. NAM participants “must seriously oppose unilateral economic sanctions which have been enacted by certain countries against non-aligned members.”
During its leadership period, he said Iran will try to strengthen NAM and increase its importance.
He added that world views top NAM officials share, show a clear mutual “determination to support and strengthen the movement and turn it into an effective tool to protect the interests of member states.”
He hopes mutual concerns will translate into effective peace offensive plans.

On August 26, the Tehran Times said Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei will deliver the opening speech of the summit of heads of state and government.

It said the summit “will mark a turning point in the history of the Islamic Republic of Iran at a time when certain Western countries and the Zionist regime are making efforts to isolate Iran in the international arena.”

Mehr News said NAM participants are invited to visit Iran’s nuclear facilities. At issue is showing them they’re peaceful and non-threatening. Scheduled trips are also scheduled to industrial and scientific sites.

Mehr News also said Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will attend. Reports disagree on whether Palestine’s elected Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh will participate.

Maan News said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad invited him. On August 26, it said he accepted the invitation and will attend.

Unelected Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad objected, saying:

“This is a serious escalation by Iran against Palestinian unity and against the Palestinian Authority’s role as the guardian of the Palestinian people both in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank including Jerusalem.” 

Hamas is Palestine’s elected government.

Abbas’ presidential term expired in January 2009.

He and appointed prime minister Fayyad have no legitimacy.

Confirming Haniyeh’s attendance, Gaza spokesman Taher Al-Nunu called on all parties to respect the Palestinian people’s democratic choice. He added that Haniyeh will participate in Tehran as elected prime minister.

On August 26, a second Maan News report said Iran’s foreign minister told his PA counterpart that Haniyeh wasn’t invited.

PA foreign minister Riyad Al-Maliki said Abbas won’t attend with him and other Gaza delegates. Palestine remains a divisive issue. At the time of this writing, no further information is available.
Dominant discussion themes include solidarity, national sovereignty inviolability, economic development, and peace. The summit represents a major opportunity for Iran to enlist support. It also provides a platform against Western/Israeli imperialism.

Top officials from 118 delegations shows Washington’s attempt to isolate Iran failed. World participation is impressive.

Fidel Castro’s 1979 Havana Declaration will be stressed. He said NAM’s purpose is to ensure “the national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and security of non-aligned countries (in their) struggle against imperialism, colonialism, neocolonialism, racism, and all forms of foreign aggression, occupation, domination, interference or hegemony as well as as against great power and bloc politics.”
Six days of discussions will focus on these and related themes. Hopefully at summit’s end Iran will have gained prestige at the expense of Washington, Israel, and key NATO allies. Perhaps unity on how to end Syria’s conflict will also emerge.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said NAM participants oppose foreign interference. A “new proposal will be presented at the sidelines….and evaluated by members.”
He added that NAM participants “want to hear the standpoints of the Syrian people and see a comprehensive plan to settle the crisis.”

“No foreign states but the people of Syria should decide about their political future.”
Achieving broad agreement on that principle alone would make Tehran’s summit successful. Translating agreement into policy matters most.

A Final Comment

Western media attempts to ignore, downplay, or demean the NAM summit may backfire. The event’s significance may be enhanced. A Washington Post editorial called it an anti-American “festival of resistance,” a “useless recreational club,” and a “bacchanal of nonsense.”
These type comments reflect imperial arrogance, the shameful state of America’s media, and why US policies and its supporters are condemned.

Iran’s UN mission press office head Alireza Miryousefi responded, saying:

The Post editorial “unjustifiably smeared Iran and mocked the upcoming” NAM summit shamelessly. Doing so “ignore(s) the growing importance of the movement…” Most UN member states belong. Other key ones are observers.

“In light of its focus on multilateral cooperation, disarmament, sustainable world peace, rights of nations and horizontal relations defying hegemonic structures, the Non-Aligned Movement is a major cross-regional group in the United Nations….”
Participation by dozens of world leaders “promises to make significant contributions to (NAM’s) lofty objectives.”
Iran’s agenda is peace and mutual cooperation, he stressed. Its legitimate nuclear program threatens no one. NAM principles “always supported Iran’s inalienable nuclear (and other) rights and opposed” illegal Western/Israeli threats.
Washington has other ideas. So does Israel. Hopefully this year’s summit will show solidarity against them. What’s more important than world peace.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.


His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”


Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.



River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Egypt Diplomat: "Cairo Eager to Have Highest Level of Ties with Tehran"

 Egypt’s Assistant Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs and International Cooperation Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy underlined the importance of Iran’s presidency over the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) given the sensitive situation of the region, and said Cairo is willing to establish the highest level of relations with Tehran, according to Fars news agency.
“I am very pleased that we have delivered the NAM presidency to Iran; this is while the conditions of the region and the world seem highly more sensitive and more important than the past,” said Ramzy on Monday.

He stressed his country’s enthusiasm for the further expansion of ties with Iran, and said, “Egypt in its new conditions wants establishment of the best relations with all the world countries, including Iran, and these relations are based on mutual respect and non-interference in the countries’ internal affairs.”

Spokesman of Egypt’s Presidential Office Yasser Ali on Friday confirmed Egyptian President Mohammad Mursi’s visit to Tehran this week, saying that the Egyptian president plans to discuss ties and regional issues with Iranian officials.

Ali said Mursi will visit Iran to take part in the NAM summit on August 30, adding that he also plans to discuss bilateral ties and exchange views over regional issues, especially Syria, in meetings with senior Iranian officials, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

What matters in this visit is cooperation and communication, he said in a statement published by the London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper.
The discussions between the Egyptian and Iranian presidents will target the overall situation in the region and methods of cooperation as well as prospects of cooperation in the Syrian issue since “Iran is a major player in this issue”, Ali stated.
The Egyptian president is due to first visit China and then arrive in Tehran to attend the NAM summit meeting in the Iranian capital on August 30.

Mursi’s visit will be the first by an Egyptian head of state to Tehran since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
Many Egyptian and Iranian officials believe that Mursi’s upcoming visit to Tehran indicates Cairo’s independence from the US and Israeli policies.

“Mursi’s presence in Tehran conveys this message to the US and Israel that the era of Egypt’s political obedience to Washington and Tel Aviv has ended,” said member of the Egyptian parliament Sabri Amer on Sunday.

“During Hosni Mubarak’s leadership all the decisions and policies in both areas of domestic and foreign policy were made through coordination with the US and the Zionist regime, but the conditions have now changed in Egypt and the era of the ruling of the Egyptian regimes which were allies and loyal to the West has ended,” he added. 

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

ADL: ‘NAM Summit in Tehran is anti-Semitism’

NAM summit logoAbraham Foxman, head of pro-Israel Jewish lobby group. the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has criticized UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon’s decision to address the 16th Non-Alignment Movement (NAM) summit in Tehran (August 26-31); as an act of “anti-Israel, anti-American and anti-Semitism“.

Hillary Clinton’s Zionist Jew spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters on August 20, that Iran doesn’t have the right to host NAM summit. “So we frankly don’t think that Iran is deserving of these high-level presences that are going there,” she said. She also, criticized Egyptian president Dr. Mohamed Mursi’s decision to attend the NAM meeting in Tehran.
Over 100 members countries of NAM have confirmed to attend the summit. Over 51 Presidents, Vice-presidents and Prime Ministers would be representing their countries.
The notable guests will include Dr. Mohamed Morsi (Egypt), Hugo Chavez (Venezuela), Kim Jong-Nam (N. Korea), Evo Morales (Bolivia), Asif Ali Zardari (Pakistan), Jalal Talibani (Iraq), Omar al-Bashir (Sudan), Manmohan Singh (India), Emirs of Kuwait and Qatar, Hamid Karzai (US Occupied Afghanistan), Abdullah Gul (Turkey), Michel Sleiman (Lebanon), Elham Aliyev (Azerbaijan), Mahmoud Abbas (PA) and Raul Castro (Cuba). Iran will assume the rotating presidency of the NAM for the next three years.
Both the US and Israel has resented the decisions of Morsi and Abbas to attend the meeting.
Israel’s foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman in a letter to the Mideast Quartet – the grouping of the US, Russia, the EU and the UN that guides the Middle East peace process – has called the removal of PA president Mahmoud Abbas, a double agent.
He called Abbas “an obstacle to peace.” Abbas’ term as PA president expired in January 2009, but has been kept in that position by US-Israel-EU to stop Hamas taking over that position too.
Israeli daily the Jerusalem Post reported on August 19 that

Israel is working through its embassies abroad and through direct conversations with various leaders to persuade other NAM countries – some of which have good ties with Israel – to either boycott the meeting or send only low-level representation to send a strong message to Iran of an abhorrence of its policies (toward the Zionist regime)“.

Daniel Mariaschin, executive vice president of B’nai B’rith International, a Jewish supremacist organization, said he fears that Iranian presidency of NAM during the next three years – will boost delegitimation of Israel.
In response to US-Israel blackmailing, Mohammad Kosari, member of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy – has called Dr. Mursi’ visit to Iran as Zionist entity’s great failure.  

Americans attempted to prevent Mr. Mursi’s visit to Iran, but the Egyptian president will visit Iran, which is interpreted as failure for the US“, while stressing: “The Zionist regime and the US plots can only be materialized through difference and discord among Muslim states“.

Egyptian ambassador to the United Nations, Lebanese-born Mootaz Ahmadein Khalil, in an interview with China daily Xinhua, said that Ki-moon’s decision to attend the NAM summit in Iran has nothing to do with the illegal sanctions against the Islamic Republic. He hoped Iran, who will take over NAM’s rotating presidency from Egypt, will address the priorities of the movement and have a successful presidency that will reflect interests of all NAM member countries. Khalil called US claim ‘absurd’ – that the summit will boost Iran’s image among the world community. He stressed that hosting of summit is the responsibility of the country which receives the rotating presidency of NAM and will not bring direct benefits to the country’s international relations.
Canadian Jewish journalist and blogger, Eric Walberg, posted on his blog on August 22, 2012.

Egypt’s rapprochement with Iran is long overdue, held in check by the Mubarak regime’s toadying to the US and Israel. One of the first ships to go through the Suez Canal after the revolution last year, long before the MB came to power through its Freedom and Justice Party, was an Iranian warship. Even under Mubarak, the pressure to normalize relations was mounting, with trade increasing and normalization of relations between EgyptAir and IranAir. Full diplomatic relations are only a matter of months.”

Egypt along with India, Ghana, Indonesia and former Yugoslavia – were the founding members of NAM which was established at the height of the Cold War, in 1961 – to bring together nations that consider themselves independent of the world’s major power blocs. The organisation counts a total 119 countries plus the Palestinian Authority and 21 observer countries.

NY Times: UN Chief’s NAM Participation a Blow to US, Israel
The New York Times wrote that the decision by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to attend the upcoming NAM summit in Tehran is proof that the US and Israel’s anti-Iran policy has failed to find followers in much of the global scene.The NYT
“The American-Israeli campaign” against Iran “is not resonating in much of the world,” the daily said on Wednesday.

It noted that Ban’s decision “reinforced Iran’s contention that a reordering of powers is underway in the Middle East where Western influence is waning.”

“The 120 countries that are in the Non-Aligned Movement represent the biggest single voting bloc in the 193-member General Assembly at the United Nations,” the daily said.

Earlier this month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to dissuade the UN chief from attending the NAM summit.

The 16th summit of the NAM member states will be held in the Iranian capital from August 26 to 31, during which the Islamic Republic will assume the rotating presidency of the movement for three years.

Iran to Unveil Proposal for Ending Syria Crisis at NAM Summit

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

"Realpolitik blurs US red line on Syria"


“… Obama also stressed Washington’s “fears” of Syria’s WMDs “falling into the hands of the wrong people”. Considering the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is in the business – alongside Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) stalwarts Saudi Arabia and Qatar – of weaponizing the myriad gangs that constitute the Not Exactly Free Syrian Army (FSA), including hundreds of Salafi-jihadis, this is a stark admission that in fact they are the “wrong people”. Ergo, the “right people” is the Assad regime.  

Was that an Obama coded message to Turkey – implying that if you invade northwest Syria, now practically an autonomous Kurdish area, you will have to do it alone, without the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and without the Pentagon? Was that a message to the “wrong people”, aka the “rebels”, that apart from dubiously effective covert CIA shenanigans, you are on your own? 

These two possibilities were advanced at the website Moon of Alabama. [2]
Yet it may have finally dawned on the Obama administration that a possible post-Assad Syria ruled by the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood (MB) – which is infinitely more ruthless and sectarian than the Egyptian version – is not exactly an enlightened bet.  

The White House and the State Department are livid over Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s purge of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces leadership and his upcoming diplomatic trips to – heaven forbid – Beijing and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Tehran. If the MB in Egypt can pull that off, imagine in Syria, which was not under Washington’s sphere of influence to begin with.  

So why not let the whole thing drag on in a Lebanonization – rather Somalization – scenario that pins down the Syrian army and weakens the central government in Damascus, thus erasing its “threat” in case the war-mongering Bibi-Barak duo in Israel goes ahead with an attack on Iran?

Let’s see how the situation stands. The Three (Warring) Graces – Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and Samantha Power – and their doctrine of R2P (“responsibility to protect”), applied “successfully” in Libya, miserably floundered in Syria.  

There won’t be any “no-fly zone” – in fact a declaration of war. There won’t be any “humanitarian” bombing; it has been blocked at the UN Security Council no less than three times by Russia and China.  

On top of it, the whole decade-old “war on terra” hysteria has proved itself to be an intergalactic scam; the CIA, alongside the House of Saud and Qatar, is once again side-by-side with Salafi-jihadis of the al-Qaeda variety merrily fighting a secular Arab republic.

The key Syria question is how Russia and China see Obama’s red line….
Arguably this is the money quote – a summary of US foreign policy according to Beijing; “It is not difficult to find that, under the disguise of humanitarianism, the United States has always tried to smash governments it considers as threats to its so-called national interests and relentlessly replace them with those that are Washington-friendly.”  

All the key players here – the US, Russia and China – know Damascus won’t commit the folly of using (or “moving”) chemical weapons. So no wonder Moscow and Beijing are extremely suspicious this “red line” gambit may be yet another Obama deception maneuver, as in “leading from behind” in Libya (this is nonsense; in fact the attack on Libya started with Africom and then was transferred to NATO).

As Asia Times Online has been reporting for over a year, once again the big picture is clear; this is a titanic battle between NATO-GCC and BRICS members Russia and China. At stake is nothing less than the rule of international law, which has been steadily going down the drain since at least Agent Orange being sprayed all over Vietnam, through Dubya’s invasion of Iraq in 2003, and with the Libyan “humanitarian bombing” reaching an abysmal low. Not to mention Israel daily threatening to bomb Iran – as if this was a trip to a kosher deli.”

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

%d bloggers like this: