President Bashar Al-Assad Victory Speech at Arab League Summit

 

 ARABI SOURI

President Bashar Al-Assad delivered yesterday a concise but brutally important speech at the Arab League summit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, most political analysts described it as the Syrian and Assad’s victory speech after 12 years of futile concerted US-led, NATO combined participation, Arab-contributed efforts to overthrow the Syrian government, divide Syria, control West Asia, and isolate Russia, China, and Iran from the rest of the world.

The following is the full speech of President Assad at the Arab League summit with English subtitles followed by the full transcript of the English translation of the speech:

The video is also available on Rumble and BitChute,

Transcript

Your Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Your Majesties, Sovereigns and Highnesses, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Where does one begin his speech when the dangers are no longer imminent, but realized? It begins with the hope that motivates achievement and action, and when ailments accumulate, the doctor can treat them individually, provided that he treats the underlying disease that causes them; therefore, we have to search for the major titles that threaten our future and produce our crises so we do not drown, and drown future generations in dealing with the results, not the causes.

Threats contain dangers and opportunities, and today we are facing the opportunity of the international situation change, which appears in a multipolar world as a result of the domination of the West devoid of principles, morals, friends and partners.

It is a historic opportunity to rearrange our affairs with the least amount of foreign interference, which requires repositioning us in this world that is being formed today in order for us to be an active part in it, investing in the positive atmosphere arising from the reconciliations that preceded the summit, leading to it today.

It is an opportunity to consolidate our culture in the face of the upcoming meltdown with modern liberalism that targets the innate affiliations of man and strips him of his morals and identity and to define our Arab identity with its civilizational dimension while it is falsely accused of ethnicity and chauvinism with the aim of making it in a state of conflict with the natural, national, ethnic and religious components, so it dies and our societies die with it in its struggle with itself and not with others.

The titles are too many for words, and summits are not enough (to handle), they do not begin with the crimes of the Zionist entity, rejected by the Arabs, against the resisting Palestinian people, and do not end with the danger of expansionist Ottoman thought grafted with a deviant fraternal (Muslim Brotherhood) flavor. They are not separated from the challenge of development as a top priority for our developing societies.

Here comes the role of the League of Arab States, being the natural platform for discussing and addressing various issues, provided that it develops its work system by reviewing the Charter and the rules of procedure and developing its mechanisms to keep pace with the times.

Joint Arab action needs common visions, strategies, and goals that we later turn into executive plans that need a unified policy, firm principles, and clear mechanisms and controls, then we will move from reaction to anticipation of events, and the (Arab) League will be a breathing outlet in the event of a siege, not an accomplice in it, a refuge from aggression not a platform for it.

As for the issues that concern us daily, from Libya to Syria, passing through Yemen and Sudan, and many other issues in different regions, we cannot treat diseases by treating symptoms, as all of these issues are the results of larger titles that have not been addressed previously.

As for talking about some of them, it needs to address the rifts that have arisen in the Arab arena over the past decade and to restore the League’s role as a healer of wounds, not as a deepener for them. The most important thing is to leave the internal issues to their people, as they are able to manage their affairs, and we only have to prevent external interference in their countries and help them exclusively upon request.

As for Syria, its past, present and future is Arabism, but it is an Arabism of belonging, not an Arabism of hugging, hugging is fleeting, but belonging is permanent. A person may move from one hugging to another for some reason, but it does not change his affiliation. As for the one who changes it, he is without affiliation in the first place, and whoever falls into the heart does not languish in the hugging, and Syria is the heart of Arabism and in its heart.

Ladies and Gentlemen, As we convene this summit in a turbulent world, hope rises in light of the Arab-Arab, regional and international rapprochement that culminated in this summit, which I hope will mark the beginning of a new phase of Arab action for solidarity among us, for peace in our region, for development and prosperity instead of war and destruction.

In keeping with the five minutes allotted for speaking, I would like to extend my deep thanks to the heads of delegations who have expressed their deep-rooted affection towards Syria and reciprocate them, I also thank the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques (Saudi King) for the great role he played and the intense efforts he made to promote reconciliation in our region and for the success of this summit, I wish him and His Highness the Crown Prince and the brotherly Saudi people continued progress and prosperity, and peace, mercy and blessings of God be upon you.

End of the transcript.

The Arab League had two important summits in the past 12 years, the first one was when the Qatari-led powerless US-dominated Arabs illegally expelled Syria from the League it was an establishing member 26 years before Qatar state came into existence, illegally because they failed to adhere to the League’s Charter to obtain a unanimous decision on expelling Syria; and the second was yesterday, May 19th, 2023, in which Syria restored the Arab League from the USA and its regional poodles.

During the past 12 years, the evil camp, the US-led camp of criminal regimes including the European Union countries, the Gulfies, and some Arab states, NATO other countries, especially Turkey, NATO proxy entities spearheaded by Israel have combined their efforts to overthrow the Syrian government, during this period, the evil camp prioritized killing Syrians and destroying the cradle of civilization over their own people’s wellbeing, health, infrastructure, and even basic needs.

Estimates of hundreds of billions of dollars / Euros, Riyals, and all other currencies were spent to destroy Syria, the least estimates arrive at half a trillion dollars, that’s 500 billion US dollars, a large portion of which was paid by the Gulfies with Saudi Arabia and Qatar alone spending 138 billion dollars between early 2011 and May 2017, former Qatari PM Hamad bin Jassim admitted that much on his own state official TV. The US taxpayers contributed the next large portion, and the European Union taxpayers contributed the rest.

Hundreds of thousands of terrorists were recruited from across the planet and were dumped into Syria from all its borders, the Syrian Arab Army alone managed to eliminate 125,000 of those between early March 2011 and September 2015 when the Russian air force joined the war against the world’s largest terrorist army and was effectively destroying their logistical supply routes and depots.


There’s still much to do to complete the victory, the expelling of the armies of NATO ‘defensive’ alliance, the Turkish and US armies, and their proxy terrorists, ISIS, al Qaeda, and the Kurdish SDF separatists being the top priority to restore Syria’s sovereignty. Then the battle to rebuild what the USA and its proxies destroyed.

The victory of Syria after all those years, all that wasted money and lives, all that mayhem and carnage, all that suffering, helped bring back the world’s balance from the hands of the few ruling the West. President Assad’s concise speech turned a page on 12 years of the main part of the final chapter of one of history’s most criminal empires, the USA and its Western cronies.

Arabic transcript of President Bashar Al Assad’s speech is on page 2

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Arab Leaders Convene in Jeddah, Welcome Syrian President Bashar Assad

May 19, 2023

Arab Summit in Jeddah

The 32nd Arab Summit convened on Friday in the Saudi city of Jeddah in presence of the Lebanese prime minister Najib Mikati, the Syrian President Bashar Assad and 13 other leaders.

Arab Summit

The Arab League had suspended since 2011 Syria  participation as a number of Arab regimes were involved in backing the terrorist war on the Syrian people, army and government.

On May 7, 2023, Arab League foreign ministers adopted a decision to readmit Syria, consolidating a regional push to normalize ties with the country that confronted a devastating terrorist war during the latest decade.

The Arab Summit in Jeddah has concentrated on Syria participation, the centrality of the Palestinian cause and the crisis in Sudan.

The opening speeches welcomed President Assad, hoping that Syria return to the Arab League contributes to the restoration of its stability.

Mikati: We look forward to KSA’s support and gesture towards Lebanon to rise again

Caretaker Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, on Friday said in his speech at the 32nd Arab Summit in Jeddah: “Allow me to call this summit the ‘healing wounds” Summit, as it was preceded by an agreement to restore normal relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and also the return of sisterly Syria to play its full role in the League of Arab States.”

He continued: “We all know the Arab problems and issues, from the tragedy of Palestine, to Yemen and recently to the unfortunate situation in Sudan, but I want to talk about my country, Lebanon, which continues to suffer from multiple crises that have weighed heavily on the Lebanese people…”

He said, “This situation has become more complicated with the presidential vacancy and the impossibility of electing a new president. In addition, Lebanon has never hesitated to open its doors to our displaced Syrian brothers, out of faith in the brotherhood of the two peoples and the advancement of humanitarian considerations over everything else. However, the long duration of the crisis, the failure to address it, and the very large increase in the number of displaced persons, render the displacement crisis greater than Lebanon’s ability to bear, in terms of its infrastructure, social influences and political repercussions at home, and in terms of the natural right of those displaced to return to their cities and villages.”

He added, “This return cannot be achieved without combined Arab efforts, with the support of the international community, and through communication and dialogue with sisterly Syria within the framework of an inclusive and stimulating Arab position through construction and recovery projects for the demolished areas to set a road map for the return of the Syrian brethren to their homes.”

He added, “This return cannot be achieved without combined Arab efforts, with the support of the international community, and through communication and dialogue with the sisterly Syria within the framework of an inclusive and stimulating Arab position through construction and recovery projects for the demolished areas to set a road map for the return of the Syrian brethren to their homes.”

He continued, “In this meeting, it is necessary to affirm Lebanon’s respect for all successive international resolutions issued by the UN Security Council and the decisions of the Arab League and its charter, and its commitment to implementing its provisions. I also affirm, in the name of all of Lebanon, respecting the interests of brotherly countries, their sovereignty, and their social and political security, and combating the export of contraband to them and everything that harms stability in them. It is a firm commitment that stems from a sense of responsibility towards our brethren and our concern for their security and safety and the purity and sincerity of fraternal relations with them.”

He concluded: “Whoever was able to transfer the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its youth to the leadership and pioneering positions they have reached and transform the Kingdom into a productive country in every sense of the word, in a short period, will not find it difficult to support brotherly Lebanon. From here, we look forward to the Kingdom’s support and its fraternal gesture towards my country, Lebanon, so that it can rise again.”

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman welcomed Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad back to the Arab League.

“We are pleased today by the attendance of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in this summit,” Bin Salman said in a speech, adding he hoped the return would lead to “stability” in Syria.

President al-Assad: We are in front of a historic opportunity to rearrange our affairs with the least amount of foreign intervention

President Bashar Al-Assad addressed the summit, saying, “We have to search about the big titles that pose threat to our future and produce our crises in order to not drown in addressing the results, not the reasons.”

President Al-Assad said the headlines are too many for words, and summits are not enough… They do not begin with the crimes of the Zionist entity, which is rejected by the Arabs, and do not end with the danger of the Ottoman expansionist mentality and are inseparable from the challenge of development as a top priority for our developing societies, here comes the role of the League of Arab States as the natural platform for discussing various issues and addressing them.

“We are in front of a historic opportunity to rearrange our affairs with the least amount of foreign intervention,” the President said.

The Syrian President added that the joint Arab action is in need to common visions, strategies and targets.

President al-Assad hoped the Summit would be a starting point for the Arab action, solidarity among Arab states to achieve peace, prosperity and development in the region instead of war and destruction.

The President added that the cracks that have emerged over the last decade must be addressed, and the most important thing is to let the people manage their internal affairs and avoid external interference in their affair.

President al-Assad thanked the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and his highness crown prince Mohammad bin Salman for the great role of Saudi Arabia and its efforts to boost reconciliation in the Arab region and make this summit a success.

The Algerian FM Ahmad Attaf welcomed President Assad, underlining the importance of restoring the Arab unity.

Attaf denounced the recent Zionist aggression on Gaza, calling on the UNSC  to halt the Israeli attacks on the Palestinians.

Arab Summit’s closing statement urges Lebanon to elect president, backs refugee return

The closing statement of the Summit underlined the importance of a fair settlement for the Palestinian cause, rejecting any foreign intervention that would fuel the crisis in Sudan.

The statement welcomed the agreement concluded by Iran and Saudi to reinforce the security and economic cooperation between the two countries.

The Arab summit called on the Lebanese to speedily elect a new president and form an effective government, underscoring the importance of the Syrian refugees return to their homeland.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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China’s Peace in West Asia

May 18, 2023

Source: Al Mayadeen English

By Janna Kadri 

The Chinese-brokered agreement emerged in retaliation to the US as the latter continues to wage a series of provocations aimed at destabilizing China’s domestic stability with regard to Taiwan.

Under the auspices of China, Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to restore diplomatic relations on March 10. At the time of the deal’s announcement, US President Joe Biden said better relations between “Israel” and their Arab neighbors are better for everybody rather than relations with Iran. Better for “everybody” depends on what is meant for everybody. If it means the US financial classes and their Arab and Zionist comprador in the region, then Biden is spot on. However, for the masses of the Arab World that experience declining living standards, whether by peace or war, the US-Israeli aggression against them will not stop. What must be understood is that the aggression is necessary for Western wealth-making because it extracts regional resources, which should otherwise better Arab social conditions, and ships them to US-European markets in order to feed exponential growth and profits.

Moreover, the aggression, whether military or ideological, is itself an industry in its own right, which fuels wealth accumulation. At a first-principle level, the policies that dominate the air-waves, all aim to foment wars. To extoll the virtues of the market, erect a cultural identity that aborts the potential of labor as a historical agent, and push down the throat of indebted states policies of privatization and private property, leaves little resources for the peoples of the region and delivers them into inter-communal strife. The case of Sudan is one such blatant example. The wars visited upon the Arabs drive away their resources and are therefore a must for the global financial class.

However, capital or the principal social relation governing the remaking of the global order is a two-pronged process. At first, capital is of the same class fabric, and it initially aims at oppressing workers everywhere. This capital against labor is a first contradiction. A second but not secondary contradiction is the inter-capitalist competition for power, which determines the shares of the various circles of capital. For instance, the US sits atop the capital pyramid and receives a fallout in rent depending on its power standing. It would not want lower suzerains to catch more of the rents. It sometimes sacrifices its bourgeois allies to grab their shares. Saudi Arabia was one such candidate readied to be sacrificed along with some sections of its ruling class.

With the rise of China, the global balance of forces shifted, and bourgeois classes disgruntled with the US’s avarice for rents saw a window of opportunity to save themselves. After years of war with Yemen at the behest of empire to secure the Mandeb straits, it was left weakened and alone. Sensing the danger of bourgeois fratricide, the Saudis intelligently decided to maneuver into a position backed by Chinese guarantees of security. China builds capacity and détente abroad, which are measures anathema to US imperialism whose goal is to destabilize in order to snatch resources.

For the US, War Masquerades as Peace

In efforts to normalize relations between “Israel” and the Arab world, the US brokered a series of agreements called The Abraham Accords. They propose a strategy of forging alliances with “Israel” to counterbalance the Axis of Resistance. They base the rationale for joining Arab and Israeli forces on an alleged Iranian threat. Already, these Arab ruling classes were extensions of and under the purview of the US-Israeli ruling classes. Their coming out is nothing less than a sign of weakness to reposition forces around a strengthening Axis of resistance.

These Abrahamic shenanigans provide new venues for class allies to enhance their own aggressive capabilities through the purchase of arms from “Israel”. “Israel”, by the way, is the largest exporter of arms per capita in the world. So far, “Israel” normalizes with Oman, Bahrain, the UAE, Morocco and Sudan, in addition to the earlier trophies of peace, Jordan and Egypt. It shares an informal relation with Saudi Arabia and Doha. It for instance conducts diamond trade in Doha while Saudi Arabia has recently opened its airspace for Israeli commercial airplanes.

The so-called Abraham Accords are an unthinkable ‘promise’ for peace without Palestine and the right of return. They supposedly foster incremental developments with the GCC by precluding even the lowly option of a two-state solution which was endorsed by the Arab Peace Initiative (API). Saudi Arabia maintained that its position remains solely expressed through its commitment to the API, wherein normalization with “Israel” would only be conceivable once the conditions listed in the Arab-brokered initiative are fulfilled. But the fact that UAE, Sudan, Morocco, and Bahrain normalized their relations with “Israel” is indicative of consent by Saudi Arabia. As observed by Israeli writer Henrique Zimmerman, the signatories of the Accords “would not have signed the agreement without the approval of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is the most influential country in the Arab world.” So what would have really prevented an alliance between “Israel” and Saudi Arabia?

In a previous article, I showed how the US failed to fulfill its security commitments toward Saudi Arabia. Whereas Saudi Arabia has boosted the US status as a world hegemon by denominating its oil in dollars, the US has failed to stick to its side of the bargain by ensuring that the Saudi Kingdom has all its security needs, foremost its regime, or ruling class security answered. Fearing the tightening grip of the Axis of resistance around it, normalization with “Israel” went out of the window, while China provided the face-saving arrangement with Iran.  

An agreement “Made in China”

Unlike the US, China needs peace to expand. The Chinese-brokered agreement emerged in retaliation to the US as the latter continues to wage a series of provocations aimed at destabilizing China’s domestic stability with regard to Taiwan. It is retaliatory because it presents a strategic threat to US interests and its hegemonic influence across the Arab region. It is also retaliatory because it threatens to undermine the petrodollar system upon which the dollar supremacy is based on. Since the Saudi-Iran agreement went into effect, it is only fair to characterize the scale of the changes that ensued following its implementation as unprecedented. Very much like a drop of water falling into a puddle, the agreement rippled across the region, bearing fruits in Yemen and Syria.

First are the developments that ensued between Yemen and Saudi Arabia. For eight years Yemen endured a US-sponsored war that has claimed the lives of nearly half a million people. On April 9, Saudi officials met with high-ranking officials from the Sanaa government for peace negotiations, and on April 14, the International Committee of the Red Cross announced that a massive prisoner exchange operation had kicked off. On April 29, senior member of the Ansar Allah political bureau Ali Al-Qahoum admitted that China played a pivotal role in the negotiations for restoring regional peace and warding off Western hegemony. Some challenges however remain with regards to US and UK interference in pushing for another escalation. Yet a positive outlook persist as officials from both sides mobilize efforts for dialogue. 

Secondly, there has been the push to re-integrate Syria into the Arab League through the collective efforts of several Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, which has in spearheaded the move. The US and the UK had on the other hand reaffirmed their commitment to remain opposed to the restoring of ties with Damascus but they would continue to work with Arab states that rekindle diplomatic relations.  

Thirdly, there has been news of Saudi Arabia expressing an interest in holding talks with Hezbollah. Saudi Arabia was largely a precursor for designating Hezbollah as a terror organization both at the GCC level as well as in the Arab League. With a shift in policy that appears to be more driven from the Saudi side than from Iran, prospects for political stability in Lebanon are also looming. But the fact remains that Lebanon is sickened with a sectarianism fueled by geopolitical rents that easily plays into the hand of “Israel” and the US.

Fourthly, prospects for normalization with Hamas are likewise on the horizon as talks were recently held between Hamas and Saudi officials. On April 16, the two parties had met in Riyadh to hold discussions on the release of Hamas-affiliated individuals detained in Saudi jails. There are also hopes for relations to improve between Saudi Arabia and Iraq’s movement for resistance, the Kataib Hezbollah.

Finally, whether the deal restores relations between Turkey and Syria is still up to discussion. However, chances are they might broach the issue considering that the project of restoring peace in Syria is part of the wider Iran-Saudi deal agenda. Yet the presence of US troops in Syria remains problematic for two reasons: the first, US troops are stationed in Syria for the sole purpose of toppling the government of Bashar al-Assad. To loot Syria’s oil resources in the north is simply means towards that end; and secondly, because Saudi Arabia’s institutions are closely tied to the US, while the latter holds much leverage inside the Kingdom. As a key regional player, Saudi Arabia could exert pressure to restore Ankara-Damascus relations, but it is unclear how able it is to do so. 

What now?                      

The US has been setback by the China-sponsored peace. Its “rules-based” world order hangs by a thread, while its dollar supremacy wanes. Doubtless, the blow was hard for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who just a month prior to the Iran-Saudi deal said that “Israel” and Saudi Arabia were planning to join forces on the basis of a common goal of stopping Iran. By more sober analysis, normalizing with “Israel” for any regime in the region is an act of suicide, unless the march of history eliminates the working classes as subject of history.

After all the Israeli-Arab war is a war of capital against labor. The principal lesson learnt so far is that regional peace is global-relations-derived peace. The saddest part of this is that Arab progressive forces still prioritize internal demands for higher working-class wages over struggles against imperialism. Without Arab national security, there is no working-class living security.  While the region’s future and much of the Third World will depend on how China unseats the US hegemon, the Arab vanguard is fast asleep.

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Sudan: A borderless conflict

May 8, 2023

Source: Al Mayadeen English

From seven sides, neighboring nations closely monitor the spillover risk, mainly due to Sudan’s unique geostrategic significance.

By Rasha Reslan 

Sudan’s neighbors are watching closely, and they don’t like what they see.

Sudan’s neighbors’ worst nightmare is playing out, as over three weeks of fighting are burning the country of 49 million people. They are watching closely, and they don’t like what they see. Scenarios open up a wide range of possibilities amid fears that the escalating clashes will likely transcend Sudan’s borders and inflame conflicts within its neighbors’ territories. 

Geostrategic importance

The African country shares borders with seven nations — Egypt, South Sudan, Chad, the Central African Republic (CAR), Libya, Ethiopia, and Eritrea– which have already had their share of warfare, sedition, or political crises in the past few years.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres recently warned that a “catastrophic conflagration” of the conflict “could engulf the whole region and beyond” as expectations for a quick resolution dwindle with each breached cease-fire.

Meanwhile, European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarcic, said as quoted by the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag that there is a risk that the crisis in Sudan can spill over to other countries in the region.

He warned that there are very fragile countries among Sudan’s neighbors and that the repercussions of the clashes spreading would be catastrophic.

Earlier, Sudan’s ousted Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok stated that the conflict in Sudan could turn into one of the world’s worst civil wars if it is not put to a stop early on.

Hamdok explained that the ongoing conflict is a “senseless war” between two armies, given that “there is nobody who is going to come out of this victorious. That is why it has to stop.”

Sudan has sunk into chaos since the clashes erupted on April 15 between the forces of rival generals General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan (Sudanese Armed Forces) and Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo (Rapid Support Forces – RSF), following weeks of heightened tensions over a power-sharing agreement.

More than 530 people have died in the violence, and tens of thousands of people have been scrambling to flee their homeland, as per the Sudanese Health Ministry. Some have managed to secure coveted seats on lifeboats and emergency airlifts across the Red Sea. But the majority are forced to find safety on their own.

Here’s why the fighting in Sudan sends shockwaves across the region

From seven sides, neighboring nations closely monitor the spillover risk, mainly due to Sudan’s unique geostrategic significance, its size, and its location at the confluence of the Indian Ocean, the Horn of Africa, North Africa, the Red Sea, and the Arab world. 

“What happens in Sudan will unquestionably impact neighboring countries.”

-Ayman Al Qassem Ahmad Abed Al-Aziz

 Expert in Arab Intellect Affairs

An Expert in Arab Intellect Affairs Ayman Al Qassem Ahmad Abed Al-Aziz told Al Mayadeen English that there are no natural borders separating Sudan from its neighbors, and there exists a remarkable ethnic, cultural, and linguistic overlap between the populations of western Sudan, Darfur, eastern Sudan, Eritrea, and Ethiopia.

Concurrently, Chad and South Sudan immediately emerge as being at risk of a potential spillover, and as the fighting escalates, it is more likely that the conflict will spill over to other neighboring countries and beyond, he further argued.

In the north, Egypt looks to Sudan as a safety net against political unrest and as a partner in local water disputes.

Egypt and Sudan rely on the Nile River, which originates in Ethiopia. the two water-stressed countries have always considered the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam a threat to their access to water, and any disagreements between Cairo and Khartoum could imperil efforts to strike a water-sharing arrangement with Addis Ababa.

Sudanese writer Mohamamd Al Mahjoub told Al Mayadeen English that Sudan’s frontiers with Egypt have a long history of stability. However, in recent years, with the “gold rush” looming, some troubles have come to pass, starting with illegal mining, contrabands, and human trafficking, among other issues.

The main activity between the two neighboring countries is commerce, underdeveloped but continuous, he added.

“With raw materials and vegetables as the main goods crossing from the Sudanese part to the Egyptian side, on the other hand, we have: consumer goods, household, medical supplies …etc entering Sudan from the Egyptian part,” he further stressed.

On Sudan’s opposite side, thousands of predominantly South Sudanese refugees have recently started pouring across the 1,200-mile border to go back to their home country amid the infighting.

South Sudan gained its independence in 2011 but slid two years later into a civil war that left nearly 400,000 dead.

Despite the signing of a peace agreement in 2018, sporadic bursts of violence continued between the government and opposition forces, in addition to conflicts between ethnic groups in the country, which caused heavy casualties among civilians.

South Sudan, one of the world’s poorest nations, is ill-prepared to take in foreigners or returning refugees from Sudan. According to Marie-Helene Verney, the country’s representative for the UN refugee agency, there are over 12 million people living in South Sudan, 2 million of whom are internally displaced, and 75% of them depend on humanitarian help. In other countries in the region, there are about 2.3 million South Sudanese refugees.

The recent surge in the number of Sudanese and South Sudanese returning from exile runs the potential to reignite violence and struggle over the few resources in the fledgling country. In 2011, primarily African and Christian or animist South Sudan declared its independence from the Arab and Muslim-majority Sudan, putting an end to decades of civil violence. But in 2013, a new civil war in South Sudan broke out, this time spurred by unresolved ethnic conflicts and quarreling political leaders.

A crisis that will cross borders

On Sudan’s western side, the UN predicted that over 100,000 people would flee Sudan to Chad, which already hosts more than half a million refugees, with aid agencies warning that larger flows of refugees are estimated to arrive. In the past few days, an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 people have fled Sudan’s Darfur region to seek refuge in neighboring Chad, as per the UN.

About 400,000 Sudanese refugees from earlier conflicts were already living in border camps in Chad.

Political instability in Chad may be further enflamed by the fighting in Sudan and the resulting power void. The Janjaweed, a conglomeration of Arab tribal militant groups active in Darfur and parts of Chad, and the RSF, have a bloody history in Chad.

Under Al-Bashir’s command, the Janjaweed intimidated Sudan’s Darfur area and carried out cross-border assaults on Sudanese refugees in Chad in the 2000s. N’Djamena accused Khartoum of aiding militants in Chad.

Chad also worries about being entangled in proxy and regional battles. The Central African Republic, a former French colony southwest of Sudan, has suffered for years from sectarian conflict, mismanagement, and uprisings. According to the United Nations, armed groups and militias effectively rule the nation, where 50% of the population lacks access to enough food and clean water. Price increases have already been a result of the turmoil.

Ethiopia, which borders Sudan to the southeast, is perturbed about how the violence would impact two of its top priorities: securing water rights for the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and resolving Ethiopian claims to a contentious border region where fighting has previously broken out.

Abed Al-Aziz warned that the flames in the wider Horn of Africa might add fuel to the ongoing fighting in Sudan, thus leading to a wider conflict.

Tens of thousands of Ethiopians from the Tigray region have also sought sanctuary in Sudan. Their two-year battle with the national government ended in a fragile peace agreement late last year, and it now threatens to erupt once more.

Shifts in the region’s balance of power could also disturb neighboring Eritrea’s weak alliances.

Many Eritreans escaping their government’s compulsory conscription fled to Sudan, which welcomed thousands of refugees and asylum seekers from its eastern neighbor. In Ethiopia’s recent conflict with Tigray militants, Eritrea backed Ethiopia. The two nations had just recently put an end to a protracted cold war.

For just a minute, let us put aside all the round negotiation tables, the collared delegations, their eloquent press conferences, the condemnation statements, and politicized UN resolutions.

Sudan, just like many other African countries, is already suffering from the grip of systemic poverty, and limited tangible opportunities, under the death grip of the IMF and other global hegemonic bodies.

The crisis today is not a noncontextual event, but rather the direct result of decades of direct Western intervention, colonialism, resource theft, and internal meddling.

One thing is crystal clear: Sudan’s future is intricately linked to its need to give less weight to its broader geopolitical landscape and instead focus on internal Sudanese dialogue. This will suit Sudan just fine. Other options will suit the West.

Sudan Turmoil

Clashes broke out after weeks of tension between the army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). Though the two groups were once allies, tensions have been brewing since the proposed integration of the RSF into the military. As factions battle for control, where is Khartoum headed?

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Sudan: The new geopolitical battlefield between east and west?

May 02 2023

Source

Photo Credit: The Cradle
The potential outbreak of a civil war sparked by a factional fight within Sudan’s military government poses a destabilization threat beyond the nation’s borders – into Africa, West Asia, and the emerging multipolar order. This suits the west just fine.

By Matthew Ehret

he story of Sudan is one of contrasts and contradictions. It is a country with tremendous potential and resources, yet it is plagued by poverty, conflict, and exploitation. The forces currently pulling Sudan apart are complex and multifaceted, but one thing is certain: the future of this nation is inextricably linked to the broader geopolitical landscape.

In order to fully comprehend the dynamics of this growing conflict, it is essential to look beyond Sudan’s borders. Attention must be paid to the broader geopolitical chemistry at play in the Horn of Africa, the Persian Gulf, the wider West Asian region, and even Ukraine.

Once the largest African nation with a population of 46 million and the third largest landmass, Sudan underwent a seismic shift in 2011 with a western-championed Balkanization, which divided the country into a “Muslim north” and a “Christian/Animist south.”

Extremes of wealth and poverty  

The country is blessed with one of the most water-rich zones of the earth. The White and Blue Niles combine to form the Nile River, which flows northward into Egypt. Sudan’s water abundance is complemented by fertile soil and immense deposits of gold and oil.

The majority of these resources are located in the south, creating a convenient geological divide that western strategists have exploited for over a century to promote secession.

Despite its abundance of resources, Sudan is also one of the poorest nations in the world. Thirty-five percent of its population lives in extreme poverty, and a staggering 20 million people – or 50 percent of the population – suffer from food insecurity.

Although Sudan achieved political independence in 1956, like many other former colonies, it was never truly economically independent. The British utilized a strategy they had previously employed before leaving India in 1946 – divide and conquer – carving out “northern” and “southern” tribes, which led to civil wars that began months before Sudan’s independence in 1956.

General against General

After achieving independence in 2011, South Sudan was plunged into a brutal civil war that lasted for seven years. In the meantime, the north was hit by two coups; the first in 2019, which ousted President Omar al-Bashir, and the second in 2021, resulting in the current power-sharing military-led transitional government led by the president of the Sovereign Council, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and his deputy, General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.

It is these two former allies-turned-rivals who now find themselves at the center of the conflict pulling Sudan in two opposing directions against the backdrop of the rapidly developing multipolar order.

Following the 2021 coup in Sudan, the two rival generals, Dagalo and Burhan, continued the momentum toward building large-scale projects. China funded a program to rehabilitate 4725 km of defunct colonial-era railways connecting the port of Sudan to Darfur and Chad.

recent report by The Cradle suggests that if peace is maintained in the Horn of Africa and the new Iran-Saudi Arabia entente results in a durable peace process in Yemen, then the revival of the Bridge of the Horn of Africa project, which was last proposed in 2010, could become a reality.

Photo Credit: The Cradle

Global South benefits from China-Russia co-op

In the past decade, the strategic partnership between China and Russia has been rapidly gaining favor among countries in the Global South. With the five BRICS member states accounting for over 3.2 billion people and 31.5 percent of global GDP, China and Russia have been providing financial support for major infrastructure, water, and energy projects while also backing the military needs of nations facing destabilization.

This has set the stage for a new era of geo-economics based on mutually beneficial cooperation. The Horn of Africa, which includes North and South Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, and Kenya, has been drawn into this positive dynamic of peace and development.

Ethiopia was able to end its 20-year conflict with neighboring Eritrea in 2018 and put down a potential civil war in November 2022. Furthermore, China’s diplomatic efforts facilitated a peace deal between Saudi Arabia and Yemen, while even Syria has seen a new hope emerge with the Arab League’s consensus that the US-led regime change doctrine against President Bashar al-Assad is over.

Sudan’s multipolar prospects

While the cause of the recent violence in Sudan remains uncertain, there are some things that are known. Prior to the recent outbreak of violence that claimed nearly 500 lives, Sudan was making significant strides toward consolidating its participation in the emerging multipolar alliance.

This included Sudan’s submission of a request to join the BRICS+ alliance along with 19 other nations, including resource-rich African states such as Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe. Sudan’s decision to grant Russia full use of the Port of Sudan and engage in large-scale economic development with China, Russia, Egypt, and Kuwait was viewed as a positive development by many but drew threats of “consequences” from the US Ambassador John Godfrey.

In April 2021, agreements were signed to build a 900 km Egypt-Sudan railway connecting Aswan to Sudan’s Wadi Halfa and Khartoum. In June 2022, a Joint Ethiopia-Sudan government commissioned feasibility study was finished outlining a 1522 km standard gauge railway connecting Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa to Khartoum and the Port of Sudan.

In January 2022, China pledged financial and technical support to extend Kenya’s 578 km Mombasa-Nairobi railway to Uganda, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as Ethiopia, where the Chinese-built Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway was completed in 2017. In this comprehensive project, extensions into Eritrea were included.

Railway lines in the African continent

The revival of the Jonglei Canal

Water and oil are both abundant resources in South Sudan, making the region’s security a top priority for Beijing’s African interests. Despite this abundance, the country’s infrastructure is poor, leaving it with no means to move these resources to market or use them for industrial purposes.

Water is just as geopolitically important as oil, if not more so. Thus, nearly forty years ago, the Jonglei Canal project was launched, which aimed to connect the White and Blue Nile in South Sudan, creating a 360 km canal that would divert water runoff from the Upper White Nile.

The canal would result in 25 million cubic meters of water per day being directed north into Egypt, while 17,000 square kilometers of swamp land would be transformed into agricultural land. The project would make the desert land bloom in Egypt and northern Sudan, turning the Sahel into the breadbasket of Africa. However, the project was stopped after 250 km had been dug by a German-made Bucketwheel 2300-ton, laser-guided digging machine.

The secessionist southern Sudanese Peoples’ Liberation Army (SPLA), led by western-educated John Garang De Mabior, launched a civil war in 1983 and kidnapped the machine’s operators, effectively halting the project. Notably, De Mabior’s 1981 doctoral dissertation in the US focused on the environmental damage that the Jonglei Canal would cause if not managed correctly.

Muddying the waters

Despite former President Omar al-Bashir’s attempts to restart this project since 1989 – until the 2011 partition of Sudan – constant destabilizations never permitted this project’s revival.

Things began turning around when, on February 28, 2022, South Sudan’s Vice President for Infrastructure, General Taban Deng Gai, called for the resumption of the Jonglei Canal, saying:

“We, the people in Bentiu and Fangak, have no place to stay. We may migrate to Eastern Nuer [eastern bank of the White Nile] because we have lost our land to flooding … People are asking who opened this huge volume of water because we never experienced this for decades. Of course, Uganda and Kenya opened the water, because Kampala was almost submerged because of the rising level of water from Lake Victoria. The digging of the Jonglei Canal that was stopped needs to be revised … For our land not to be submerged by flood, let’s allow this water to flow to those who need it in Egypt.”

General Taban referenced a UN Report detailing the 380,000 civilians displaced due to recent Sudd Wetland flooding and stated: “The solution lies in opening the waterways and resuming the drilling of the Jonglei Canal, based on the conditions and interest of South Sudan in the first place.”

General Taban had worked closely with South Sudan’s Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Manawa Gatkouth, who had been the first to revive this project since the 2011 partition, submitting a proposal to the South Sudan Transitional Council in December 2021.

This proposal grew directly out of agreements to build cooperative water projects that Gatkouth reached with the Egyptian government in September 2020.

At the time, the Egyptian minister of water resources stated that “Egypt would increase the number of development projects for collecting and storing rainwater, with the aim of serving the South Sudanese people.”

Boots on the ground: The west returns

Expectedly, the Sudanese crisis has drawn attention due to the involvement of Anglo-American military forces. On 23 April, US President Joe Biden announced a War Powers Resolution to deploy troops in Sudan, Djibouti, and Ethiopia.

Where all other nations quickly moved to remove their citizens and diplomatic staff out of harm’s way, 16,000 US civilians have been left without support, providing a convenient excuse to insert US military forces into the picture to “restore order.”

US Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland’s surprise appearance in the region on 9 March is also worth noting. One of the key architects of Ukraine’s transformation into a confrontational state against Russia, Nuland bragged during her visit that she discussed a “democratic transition in Sudan,” along with her humanitarian concerns for Somalia and Ethiopia.

Sudan, incidentally, is dependent on wheat imports, 85 percent of which originate from Ukraine and Russia.

To date, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) funds over 300 separate civil society organizations in Africa, and at least 13 in Sudan – all of which use the tried and tested tactic of weaponizing pro-west local liberals to destroy their own nations under the cover of “democracy building,” human rights, and “anti-corruption” actions.

Conversely, the Global South increasingly views the rising multipolar powers China, Russia, and their growing coterie of allies, as advancing a non-hypocritical approach to supporting vital infrastructure projects and genuine national interests.

These new actors on the international stage prioritize the completion of large-scale water, food, energy, and transportation networks, which not only benefit all the involved parties, but also positively impact regions beyond national borders.

These transformative projects, such as Beijing’s ambitious, multi-trillion dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), promote unity and progress by overcoming the tribalism, bigotry, poverty, and scarcity that the west has historically relied on to sow conflict. By increasing education levels and providing quality jobs across tribal and national boundaries, economic development ignites dignity and innovation that poses a threat to oligarchs with imperialistic tendencies.

While the causes of the Sudan crisis are not fully understood, it is clear that there are powerful forces at work seeking to shape the outcome for their own benefit. However, the answer to Sudan’s problems lies in a different approach – one that prioritizes infrastructure development and nation-building rather than narrow geopolitical interests and regime change.

UN warns of collapse as Sudan fighting enters third week

29 Apr 2023

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

The United Nations belies that the situation in Sudan will see the country collapsing as violence enters its third week between the country’s warring factions.

Smoke rises in Khartoum, Sudan, Saturday, April 29, 2023 (AP)

Warplanes on bombing flights received intense anti-aircraft fire above Khartoum on Saturday, as the conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) reached its third week, breaching a recently restored truce.

Since April 15, battles have erupted between army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan’s forces and his number two, RSF commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo (Hemedti).

While the number of dead civilians keeps rising and chaos and lawlessness engulf Khartoum, a city of five million people where many have been confined to their homes without food, water, or electricity, they have repeatedly agreed to ceasefires that have failed to yield many results. 

To escape the fighting, tens of thousands of people have been displaced from their homes in Sudan or have made difficult journeys to neighboring Chad, Egypt, South Sudan, and Ethiopia.

“There is no right to go on fighting for power when the country is falling apart,” UN chief Antonio Guterres the Al Arabiya television.

Al-Burhan and Dagalo have agreed to multiple fragile truces since the start of the fighting, with each side blaming the other for violating them.

The United States, Saudi Arabia, the African Union, and the United Nations mediated the agreement to the most recent three-day truce, which will end at midnight on Sunday.

Guterres voiced his support for the African-led mediation efforts. “My appeal is for everything to be done to support an African-led initiative for peace in Sudan,” he told Al Arabiya.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon said it had “deployed US intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets to support air and land evacuation routes which Americans are using.”

Britain said it was ending its evacuation flights, after airlifting more than 1,500 people this week.

The World Food Programme has warned that the clashes could plunge millions more into hunger in a country where 15 million people –one-third of the population – already need aid to stave off famine.

The unstable security situation in Sudan is slowly taking its toll on the economy: especially in regard to food products, according to a report by The Guardian

Locals have forsaken their day-to-day jobs out of fear of getting caught in the cross-fire. The Guardian correspondent reports that Omdurman’s open-air market, which used to be an economic hub for the exchange of goods, has had half of its stalls closed. 

Ever since the violence broke out, causing fuel stations to close down, fuel prices have spiked impacting by extension the prices of all other commodities. 

Sudan’s armed forces agreed to extend the ceasefire, which was proposed for an additional 72 hours, to take effect from the expiry date of the current truce.

On the last day of the fourth ceasefire, clashes erupted at several points in Khartoum and plumes of smoke rose in the vicinity of the presidential palace in Khartoum, coinciding with the overflight of warplanes. 

As battles intensified on the ground, the two rival generals took aim at each other in the media, with Al-Burhan identifying the RSF as a militia that aims “to destroy Sudan” in an interview for US-based TV channel Al-hurra.

He also added “mercenaries” were pouring over the border from Chad, Central African Republic, and Niger to fuel the chaos.

In response, Dagalo slammed the army chief in an interview for the BBC, saying he was “not trustworthy” and a “traitor”.

According to the UN, around 75,000 people have been internally displaced as a result of the fighting in Khartoum, the states of Blue Nile and North Kordofan, as well as the western area of Darfur.

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‘Israel’ eager to mediate ceasefire in Sudan: What are the reasons?

Apr 28 2023

Source: Al Mayadeen English

By Ahmad Karakira 

The Israeli occupation has several reasons to rush to mediate a ceasefire between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support forces, the most important of which is establishing its presence in yet another African country bordering the strategic Red Sea.

‘Israel’ eager to mediate ceasefire in Sudan: What are the reasons?

A few days ago, three Israeli occupation Foreign Ministry officials told Axios that “Israel” has offered to host both parties involved in the conflict in Sudan in an effort to reach a cease-fire agreement.

The proposal was handed to Army Chief General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) head General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, as Israeli occupation Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and director general of the Israeli occupation’s Foreign Ministry Ronen Levy remained in direct contact with both Sudanese generals.

According to Cohen and Levy, both Sudanese generals gave the impression that they were considering the proposal in a positive light, adding that US President Joe Biden’s administration was consulted and informed. 

“Since the fighting started in Sudan, Israel has been working in different channels in order to reach a ceasefire. The progress we have made with the two parties is very encouraging. If there will be a way that Israel could help in stopping the war and the violence in Sudan we will be very happy to do it,” Cohen told Axios in a statement.

Read more: No end to war until Al-Burhan surrenders: RSF advisor to Al Mayadeen

Normalization with ‘Israel’ jeopardized by Sudan fighting: Axios

Another report by Axios revealed that the Israeli occupation fears that the ongoing clashes will hinder the formation of a prospected Israeli-allied civilian government, which would jeopardize the normalization agreement between Sudan and the Israeli occupation. 

According to the report, “Israel” has built strong relationships with both Al-Burhan and Dagalo. Before clashes ensued, Israeli officials said they were actively following up on the process of appointing a civilian-led government in Sudan.

During his visit to Khartoum in February, Cohen urged Al-Burhan to proceed with restoring civilian rule, emphasizing that it will be challenging to secure a peace agreement without it, Axios mentioned.

The news website cited Israeli sources as saying that the Israeli occupation Foreign Ministry has been in contact with Al-Burhan over the normalization process, while Dagalo and Mossad have met and discussed “security” and “counterterrorism issues”.

Israeli officials were certain of an agreement to appoint a civilian government in the upcoming days, Axios indicated. However, what transpired was fierce fighting that spread over multiple cities in the country.

The White House has also pushed Israelis to mediate a ceasefire deal between the fighting generals, the report revealed.

But why is “Israel” in a rush to complete the normalization process with Sudan?

Flashback

It all started in 2016 when the Israeli occupation urged the US to allow it to infiltrate into Sudan after the North African country severed diplomatic ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Following Saudi Arabia’s lead, Sudan cut diplomatic ties with Iran after the storming of the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Tehran and the consulate building in the city of Mashhad.

In August 2017, then-Sudanese Minister for Investment, Mubarak Fadel Al-Mahdi, spoke for the first time about normalization with the Israeli occupation during an interview with the Sudania24 TV station.

And when General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan came to power after the resignation of Omar Al-Bashir, he met in February 2020 with Israeli occupation Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Uganda.

Consequently, Khartoum was removed from the US blacklist in December 2020 after 27 years of imposed sanctions.

In January 2021, Sudan formally agreed to normalize relations with “Israel” in a quid pro quo for the United States to remove it from its list of so-called “state sponsors of terrorism”, but ties were never formalized. In April of that year, the North African nation approved a bill abolishing a 1958 boycott of the Israeli occupation.

Finally, Sudan and “Israel” said in February that they agreed to move towards normalizing relations during the first official visit of Israeli occupation Foreign Minister Eli Cohen to Khartoum.

Sudan; a route to transfer arms to Palestinian Resistance

One of the several reasons that the Israeli occupation is racing against time to complete the normalization process with Sudan is to make sure that the North African country does not again become a route to transfer arms to the Palestinian Resistance in the Gaza Strip.

Before severing ties with Iran, Al-Bashir’s administration reportedly supported the Hamas movement politically and allowed it to open an office in Sudan. The Israeli occupation had previously accused Sudan of allowing the passage of arms from several countries to Gaza via its territory.

However, with the regime change in Egypt and the rise of General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi as President, the latter ordered the destruction of tunnels between his country and Gaza, through which the Palestinian Resistance reportedly used to receive arms.

In March 2009, the Israeli occupation even targeted a 17-truck convoy in eastern Sudan that reportedly carried weapons to Gaza, and also targeted an arms factory in Khartoum in October 2012.

In March 2014, the Israeli occupation’s navy said it seized a ship loaded with weapons in the Red Sea between Sudan and Eritrea that was allegedly en route from Iran to Gaza.

To further dive into the reason for “Israel’s” eagerness to mediate a ceasefire in Sudan and consequently complete a peace agreement with the North African nation, one should tackle the history of relations between the two sides.

History of Sudanese-Israeli relations

In his book “Israel” And Relations With The Islamic World, Jihad Odeh said that “Israel’s” ties with Sudan began before the latter gained its independence from British occupation in 1956, when an Israeli trade mission comprising 50 people settled in Khartoum in 1951 to buy Sudanese products and goods and send them to “Israel” via Cape Town, South Africa, to avoid anti-smuggling measures taken by the Egyptian authorities in the Suez Port and Port Said.

The book mentioned that Israeli planes often landed at Khartoum airport to refuel and continue their flights, which prompted the Secretary-General of the Arab League at the time to send a memorandum to the British government in February 1951 to inquire about the matter.

Britain, which was ruling Sudan in partnership with Egypt, replied that Israeli planes had the right to use Khartoum Airport under the pretext that Britain and Sudan are not at war with “Israel.”

It was during the era of Abdullah Khalil’s government that the first Israeli intelligence envoy arrived in Sudan, with the consent of the Sudanese government, Odeh revealed in his book.

And as a result of contacts that began in 1954 between Sudanese politicians and “Israel”, a Sudanese figure accompanied by a Sudanese journalist met in a London hotel with a young diplomat working in the Israeli occupation’s embassy in Britain named Mordechai Gazit.

The author said that Sadiq Al-Mahdi, the head of the Umma Party, was in contact with Mossad in 1954, and met along with Mohammad Ahmad Omar, editor-in-Chief of the Nile Newspaper and spokesperson for the Umma Party, with Gazit. 

According to Odeh, the goal of Sudan at that time was to seek the help of “Israel” to win Jewish public opinion in the West to obtain independence, while Gazit wanted to establish commercial relations Between Sudan and “Israel” to reduce the intensity of Arab isolation.

Contacts and meetings between Israeli and Sudanese politicians continued after the latter’s independence in 1956, when then-Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir met with then-head of the Sudanese government Abdullah Khalil in the summer of 1957.

In those discussions between Meir and Khalil, it was agreed to send Israeli agricultural experts and civilian and military advisors to Sudan. It was also agreed that Sudan would allow EL AL planes to land and refuel on their way to South Africa, and that the Mossad would be allowed to build a station in the North African country.

Al Haya newspaper noted that the Mossad was able to establish its station again in Khartoum in 1983 during the era of then-Sudanese President Jaafar Nimeiry after the latter met with Menachem Begin’s Security Minister, Ariel Sharon.

Nimeiry revealed that he began his contacts with “Israel” in 1965 when he was an officer participating in a course on cooperation between Sudan and the US, where he established contacts with Israeli personalities who later visited Sudan in unannounced secret visits, Odeh mentioned in his book. However, when he took power in May 1969, Nimeiry followed Egypt’s footsteps against the Israeli occupation.

Nevertheless, Israeli ties with Nimeiry’s regime re-resurfaced after the Camp David Accords, which he supported, leading Mossad to rebuild its mission in Sudan.

Why Africa and Sudan?

In his book, The Israeli Foreign Policy Toward Africa: The Sudan Case, Amer Khalil Ahmed Amer pointed out that “Israel” has adopted an approach that relies on closer relations with countries surrounding Arab states, and this is evident in the strong relations with these countries at all levels, especially in the field of military and security cooperation, hidden under the cover of trade and economic relations.

In parallel with the expertise that the Israeli occupation provides to these countries, Amer continued, it has gained a foothold in military bases that oversee Arab countries, which represents a clear threat to Arab national security in general.

The occupation can threaten Arab water security and navigation in the Red Sea, due to the advanced position that it gained from establishing strong relations with Eritrea, the author pointed out.

Amer noted that the attempt to control the Red Sea is one of the most important strategic goals of “Israel” in the African continent, adding that the occupation began to establish a presence on the Red Sea in order to use it to achieve its military, economic, and political interests.

To achieve this goal, “Israel” strengthened its relations with Ethiopia in the late sixties and Eritrea after its independence from Ethiopia in 1991; it also built bases in Ethiopia after Moshe Dayan’s visit in 1965.

In addition to its military bases on the Eritrean islands, especially near Bab Al-Mandab, “Israel” built two military bases in Ethiopia near the border between Eritrea and Sudan.

According to Amer, this expansion in the Red Sea region gave “Israel” a strategic depth in Bab Al-Mandab to monitor any Arab military activity in the region.

It is noteworthy that “Israel” has military and intelligence bases for espionage and monitoring on a number of Eritrean islands, including Dahlak, Haleb, and Marsa Fatma, which are located at the southern entrance to the Red Sea, in addition to Zubair Island, which is only 22 km from Yemen, and houses a communications network and radar equipment.

The Israeli presence on these islands also includes special forces, paratrooper units, and airborne forces equipped with modern helicopters and Dolphin-class submarines. Through these bases, “Israel” threatens Yemen’s national security, where it can monitor it and spy on it smoothly, Amer argued.

During his visit to “Israel” in 1996, then-Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki signed an agreement to enhance security and military cooperation that included, in one of its clauses, an Israeli pledge to support Eritrea to confront any attempts by any force to control its strategic islands located at the southern entrance to the Red Sea, and to allow a limited military presence in these islands.

Sudan; a power to the Arab world

According to Amer, Israeli estimates since the beginning of Sudan’s independence indicated that this country should not be allowed to become a force added to the power of the Arab world, because if invested in stable conditions, its resources will make it a threatening force.

During the 1967 War, Sudan became a base for training and sheltering the Egyptian Air Force and ground forces. It also sent its forces to the Canal region during the War of Attrition between 1968 and 1970, as well as during the 1973 October War.

It is noteworthy that following the 1967 Six Day War, Khartoum hosted the Arab League summit held from 29 August to 1 September 1967. There, Arab leaders declared the three no’s: “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with Israel.”

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US HAS KILLED MORE THAN 20 MILLION IN 37 NATIONS SINCE WWII

November 27, 2015

By James A. Lucas, www.countercurrents.org

Educate!

Above Photo: Allen Burney of Des Moines waves a Veterans for Peace flag during a protest at the Iowa Air National Guard base Monday in Des Moines. The .protesters were rallying against the use of drones to carry out military strikes. Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

After the catastrophic attacks of September 11 2001 monumental sorrow and a feeling of desperate and understandable anger began to permeate the American psyche. A few people at that time attempted to promote a balanced perspective by pointing out that the United States had also been responsible for causing those same feelings in people in other nations, but they produced hardly a ripple. Although Americans understand in the abstract the wisdom of people around the world empathizing with the suffering of one another, such a reminder of wrongs committed by our nation got little hearing and was soon overshadowed by an accelerated “war on terrorism.”

But we must continue our efforts to develop understanding and compassion in the world. Hopefully, this article will assist in doing that by addressing the question “How many September 11ths has the United States caused in other nations since WWII?” This theme is developed in this report which contains an estimated numbers of such deaths in 37 nations as well as brief explanations of why the U.S. is considered culpable.

The causes of wars are complex. In some instances nations other than the U.S. may have been responsible for more deaths, but if the involvement of our nation appeared to have been a necessary cause of a war or conflict it was considered responsible for the deaths in it. In other words they probably would not have taken place if the U.S. had not used the heavy hand of its power. The military and economic power of the United States was crucial.

This study reveals that U.S. military forces were directly responsible for about 10 to 15 million deaths during the Korean and Vietnam Wars and the two Iraq Wars. The Korean War also includes Chinese deaths while the Vietnam War also includes fatalities in Cambodia and Laos.

The American public probably is not aware of these numbers and knows even less about the proxy wars for which the United States is also responsible. In the latter wars there were between nine and 14 million deaths in Afghanistan, Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, East Timor, Guatemala, Indonesia, Pakistan and Sudan.

But the victims are not just from big nations or one part of the world. The remaining deaths were in smaller ones which constitute over half the total number of nations. Virtually all parts of the world have been the target of U.S. intervention.

The overall conclusion reached is that the United States most likely has been responsible since WWII for the deaths of between 20 and 30 million people in wars and conflicts scattered over the world.

To the families and friends of these victims it makes little difference whether the causes were U.S. military action, proxy military forces, the provision of U.S. military supplies or advisors, or other ways, such as economic pressures applied by our nation. They had to make decisions about other things such as finding lost loved ones, whether to become refugees, and how to survive.

And the pain and anger is spread even further. Some authorities estimate that there are as many as 10 wounded for each person who dies in wars. Their visible, continued suffering is a continuing reminder to their fellow countrymen.

It is essential that Americans learn more about this topic so that they can begin to understand the pain that others feel. Someone once observed that the Germans during WWII “chose not to know.” We cannot allow history to say this about our country. The question posed above was “How many September 11ths has the United States caused in other nations since WWII?” The answer is: possibly 10,000.

Comments on Gathering These Numbers


Generally speaking, the much smaller number of Americans who have died is not included in this study, not because they are not important, but because this report focuses on the impact of U.S. actions on its adversaries.

An accurate count of the number of deaths is not easy to achieve, and this collection of data was undertaken with full realization of this fact. These estimates will probably be revised later either upward or downward by the reader and the author. But undoubtedly the total will remain in the millions.

The difficulty of gathering reliable information is shown by two estimates in this context. For several years I heard statements on radio that three million Cambodians had been killed under the rule of the Khmer Rouge. However, in recent years the figure I heard was one million. Another example is that the number of persons estimated to have died in Iraq due to sanctions after the first U.S. Iraq War was over 1 million, but in more recent years, based on a more recent study, a lower estimate of around a half a million has emerged.

Often information about wars is revealed only much later when someone decides to speak out, when more secret information is revealed due to persistent efforts of a few, or after special congressional committees make reports

Both victorious and defeated nations may have their own reasons for underreporting the number of deaths. Further, in recent wars involving the United States it was not uncommon to hear statements like “we do not do body counts” and references to “collateral damage” as a euphemism for dead and wounded. Life is cheap for some, especially those who manipulate people on the battlefield as if it were a chessboard.

To say that it is difficult to get exact figures is not to say that we should not try. Effort was needed to arrive at the figures of 6six million Jews killed during WWI, but knowledge of that number now is widespread and it has fueled the determination to prevent future holocausts. That struggle continues.

The author can be contacted at jlucas511@woh.rr.com

37 VICTIM NATIONS

Afghanistan

The U.S. is responsible for between 1 and 1.8 million deaths during the war between the Soviet Union and Afghanistan, by luring the Soviet Union into invading that nation. (1,2,3,4)

The Soviet Union had friendly relations its neighbor, Afghanistan, which had a secular government. The Soviets feared that if that government became fundamentalist this change could spill over into the Soviet Union.

In 1998, in an interview with the Parisian publication Le Novel Observateur, Zbigniew Brzezinski, adviser to President Carter, admitted that he had been responsible for instigating aid to the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan which caused the Soviets to invade. In his own words:

“According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan on 24 December 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise. Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the President in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.” (5,1,6)

Brzezinski justified laying this trap, since he said it gave the Soviet Union its Vietnam and caused the breakup of the Soviet Union. “Regret what?” he said. “That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it?” (7)

The CIA spent 5 to 6 billion dollars on its operation in Afghanistan in order to bleed the Soviet Union. (1,2,3) When that 10-year war ended over a million people were dead and Afghan heroin had captured 60% of the U.S. market. (4)

The U.S. has been responsible directly for about 12,000 deaths in Afghanistan many of which resulted from bombing in retaliation for the attacks on U.S. property on September 11, 2001. Subsequently U.S. troops invaded that country. (4)

Angola

An indigenous armed struggle against Portuguese rule in Angola began in 1961. In 1977 an Angolan government was recognized by the U.N., although the U.S. was one of the few nations that opposed this action. In 1986 Uncle Sam approved material assistance to UNITA, a group that was trying to overthrow the government. Even today this struggle, which has involved many nations at times, continues.

U.S. intervention was justified to the U.S. public as a reaction to the intervention of 50,000 Cuban troops in Angola. However, according to Piero Gleijeses, a history professor at Johns Hopkins University the reverse was true. The Cuban intervention came as a result of a CIA – financed covert invasion via neighboring Zaire and a drive on the Angolan capital by the U.S. ally, South Africa1,2,3). (Three estimates of deaths range from 300,000 to 750,000 (4,5,6)

Argentina: See South America: Operation Condor

Bangladesh: See Pakistan

Bolivia

Hugo Banzer was the leader of a repressive regime in Bolivia in the 1970s. The U.S. had been disturbed when a previous leader nationalized the tin mines and distributed land to Indian peasants. Later that action to benefit the poor was reversed.

Banzer, who was trained at the U.S.-operated School of the Americas in Panama and later at Fort Hood, Texas, came back from exile frequently to confer with U.S. Air Force Major Robert Lundin. In 1971 he staged a successful coup with the help of the U.S. Air Force radio system. In the first years of his dictatorship he received twice as military assistance from the U.S. as in the previous dozen years together.

A few years later the Catholic Church denounced an army massacre of striking tin workers in 1975, Banzer, assisted by information provided by the CIA, was able to target and locate leftist priests and nuns. His anti-clergy strategy, known as the Banzer Plan, was adopted by nine other Latin American dictatorships in 1977. (2) He has been accused of being responsible for 400 deaths during his tenure. (1)

Also see: See South America: Operation Condor


Brazil: See South America: Operation Condor

Cambodia

U.S. bombing of Cambodia had already been underway for several years in secret under the Johnson and Nixon administrations, but when President Nixon openly began bombing in preparation for a land assault on Cambodia it caused major protests in the U.S. against the Vietnam War.

There is little awareness today of the scope of these bombings and the human suffering involved.

Immense damage was done to the villages and cities of Cambodia, causing refugees and internal displacement of the population. This unstable situation enabled the Khmer Rouge, a small political party led by Pol Pot, to assume power. Over the years we have repeatedly heard about the Khmer Rouge’s role in the deaths of millions in Cambodia without any acknowledgement being made this mass killing was made possible by the the U.S. bombing of that nation which destabilized it by death , injuries, hunger and dislocation of its people.

So the U.S. bears responsibility not only for the deaths from the bombings but also for those resulting from the activities of the Khmer Rouge – a total of about 2.5 million people. Even when Vietnam latrer invaded Cambodia in 1979 the CIA was still supporting the Khmer Rouge. (1,2,3)

Also see Vietnam

Chad

An estimated 40,000 people in Chad were killed and as many as 200,000 tortured by a government, headed by Hissen Habre who was brought to power in June, 1982 with the help of CIA money and arms. He remained in power for eight years. (1,2)

Human Rights Watch claimed that Habre was responsible for thousands of killings. In 2001, while living in Senegal, he was almost tried for crimes committed by him in Chad. However, a court there blocked these proceedings. Then human rights people decided to pursue the case in Belgium, because some of Habre’s torture victims lived there. The U.S., in June 2003, told Belgium that it risked losing its status as host to NATO’s headquarters if it allowed such a legal proceeding to happen. So the result was that the law that allowed victims to file complaints in Belgium for atrocities committed abroad was repealed. However, two months later a new law was passed which made special provision for the continuation of the case against Habre.

Chile

The CIA intervened in Chile’s 1958 and 1964 elections. In 1970 a socialist candidate, Salvador Allende, was elected president. The CIA wanted to incite a military coup to prevent his inauguration, but the Chilean army’s chief of staff, General Rene Schneider, opposed this action. The CIA then planned, along with some people in the Chilean military, to assassinate Schneider. This plot failed and Allende took office. President Nixon was not to be dissuaded and he ordered the CIA to create a coup climate: “Make the economy scream,” he said.
What followed were guerilla warfare, arson, bombing, sabotage and terror. ITT and other U.S. corporations with Chilean holdings sponsored demonstrations and strikes. Finally, on September 11, 1973 Allende died either by suicide or by assassination. At that time Henry Kissinger, U.S. Secretary of State, said the following regarding Chile: “I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist because of the irresponsibility of its own people.” (1)

During 17 years of terror under Allende’s successor, General Augusto Pinochet, an estimated 3,000 Chileans were killed and many others were tortured or “disappeared.” (2,3,4,5)

Also see South America: Operation Condor

China An estimated 900,000 Chinese died during the Korean War. For more information, See: Korea.


Colombia

One estimate is that 67,000 deaths have occurred from the 1960s to recent years due to support by the U.S. of Colombian state terrorism. (1)

According to a 1994 Amnesty International report, more than 20,000 people were killed for political reasons in Colombia since 1986, mainly by the military and its paramilitary allies. Amnesty alleged that “U.S.- supplied military equipment, ostensibly delivered for use against narcotics traffickers, was being used by the Colombian military to commit abuses in the name of “counter-insurgency.” (2) In 2002 another estimate was made that 3,500 people die each year in a U.S. funded civilian war in Colombia. (3)

In 1996 Human Rights Watch issued a report “Assassination Squads in Colombia” which revealed that CIA agents went to Colombia in 1991 to help the military to train undercover agents in anti-subversive activity. (4,5)

In recent years the U.S. government has provided assistance under Plan Colombia. The Colombian government has been charged with using most of the funds for destruction of crops and support of the paramilitary group.

Cuba

In the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba on April 18, 1961 which ended after 3 days, 114 of the invading force were killed, 1,189 were taken prisoners and a few escaped to waiting U.S. ships. (1) The captured exiles were quickly tried, a few executed and the rest sentenced to thirty years in prison for treason. These exiles were released after 20 months in exchange for $53 million in food and medicine.

Some people estimate that the number of Cuban forces killed range from 2,000, to 4,000. Another estimate is that 1,800 Cuban forces were killed on an open highway by napalm. This appears to have been a precursor of the Highway of Death in Iraq in 1991 when U.S. forces mercilessly annihilated large numbers of Iraqis on a highway. (2)

Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire)

The beginning of massive violence was instigated in this country in 1879 by its colonizer King Leopold of Belgium. The Congo’s population was reduced by 10 million people over a period of 20 years which some have referred to as “Leopold’s Genocide.” (1) The U.S. has been responsible for about a third of that many deaths in that nation in the more recent past. (2)

In 1960 the Congo became an independent state with Patrice Lumumba being its first prime minister. He was assassinated with the CIA being implicated, although some say that his murder was actually the responsibility of Belgium. (3) But nevertheless, the CIA was planning to kill him. (4) Before his assassination the CIA sent one of its scientists, Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, to the Congo carrying “lethal biological material” intended for use in Lumumba’s assassination. This virus would have been able to produce a fatal disease indigenous to the Congo area of Africa and was transported in a diplomatic pouch.

Much of the time in recent years there has been a civil war within the Democratic Republic of Congo, fomented often by the U.S. and other nations, including neighboring nations. (5)

In April 1977, Newsday reported that the CIA was secretly supporting efforts to recruit several hundred mercenaries in the U.S. and Great Britain to serve alongside Zaire’s army. In that same year the U.S. provided $15 million of military supplies to the Zairian President Mobutu to fend off an invasion by a rival group operating in Angola. (6)

In May 1979, the U.S. sent several million dollars of aid to Mobutu who had been condemned 3 months earlier by the U.S. State Department for human rights violations. (7) During the Cold War the U.S. funneled over 300 million dollars in weapons into Zaire (8,9) $100 million in military training was provided to him. (2) In 2001 it was reported to a U.S. congressional committee that American companies, including one linked to former President George Bush Sr., were stoking the Congo for monetary gains. There is an international battle over resources in that country with over 125 companies and individuals being implicated. One of these substances is coltan, which is used in the manufacture of cell phones. (2)

Dominican Republic

In 1962, Juan Bosch became president of the Dominican Republic. He advocated such programs as land reform and public works programs. This did not bode well for his future relationship with the U.S., and after only 7 months in office, he was deposed by a CIA coup. In 1965 when a group was trying to reinstall him to his office President Johnson said, “This Bosch is no good.” Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Mann replied “He’s no good at all. If we don’t get a decent government in there, Mr. President, we get another Bosch. It’s just going to be another sinkhole.” Two days later a U.S. invasion started and 22,000 soldiers and marines entered the Dominican Republic and about 3,000 Dominicans died during the fighting. The cover excuse for doing this was that this was done to protect foreigners there. (1,2,3,4)


East Timor

In December 1975, Indonesia invaded East Timor. This incursion was launched the day after U.S. President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had left Indonesia where they had given President Suharto permission to use American arms, which under U.S. law, could not be used for aggression. Daniel Moynihan, U.S. ambassador to the UN. said that the U.S. wanted “things to turn out as they did.” (1,2) The result was an estimated 200,000 dead out of a population of 700,000. (1,2)

Sixteen years later, on November 12, 1991, two hundred and seventeen East Timorese protesters in Dili, many of them children, marching from a memorial service, were gunned down by Indonesian Kopassus shock troops who were headed by U.S.- trained commanders Prabowo Subianto (son in law of General Suharto) and Kiki Syahnakri. Trucks were seen dumping bodies into the sea. (5)

El Salvador

The civil war from 1981 to1992 in El Salvador was financed by $6 billion in U.S. aid given to support the government in its efforts to crush a movement to bring social justice to the people in that nation of about 8 million people. (1)
During that time U.S. military advisers demonstrated methods of torture on teenage prisoners, according to an interview with a deserter from the Salvadoran army published in the New York Times. This former member of the Salvadoran National Guard testified that he was a member of a squad of twelve who found people who they were told were guerillas and tortured them. Part of the training he received was in torture at a U.S. location somewhere in Panama. (2)

About 900 villagers were massacred in the village of El Mozote in 1981. Ten of the twelve El Salvadoran government soldiers cited as participating in this act were graduates of the School of the Americas operated by the U.S. (2) They were only a small part of about 75,000 people killed during that civil war. (1)

According to a 1993 United Nations’ Truth Commission report, over 96 % of the human rights violations carried out during the war were committed by the Salvadoran army or the paramilitary deaths squads associated with the Salvadoran army. (3)

That commission linked graduates of the School of the Americas to many notorious killings. The New York Times and the Washington Post followed with scathing articles. In 1996, the White House Oversight Board issued a report that supported many of the charges against that school made by Rev. Roy Bourgeois, head of the School of the Americas Watch. That same year the Pentagon released formerly classified reports indicating that graduates were trained in killing, extortion, and physical abuse for interrogations, false imprisonment and other methods of control. (4)

Grenada

The CIA began to destabilize Grenada in 1979 after Maurice Bishop became president, partially because he refused to join the quarantine of Cuba. The campaign against him resulted in his overthrow and the invasion by the U.S. of Grenada on October 25, 1983, with about 277 people dying. (1,2) It was fallaciously charged that an airport was being built in Grenada that could be used to attack the U.S. and it was also erroneously claimed that the lives of American medical students on that island were in danger.

Guatemala

In 1951 Jacobo Arbenz was elected president of Guatemala. He appropriated some unused land operated by the United Fruit Company and compensated the company. (1,2) That company then started a campaign to paint Arbenz as a tool of an international conspiracy and hired about 300 mercenaries who sabotaged oil supplies and trains. (3) In 1954 a CIA-orchestrated coup put him out of office and he left the country. During the next 40 years various regimes killed thousands of people.

In 1999 the Washington Post reported that an Historical Clarification Commission concluded that over 200,000 people had been killed during the civil war and that there had been 42,000 individual human rights violations, 29,000 of them fatal, 92% of which were committed by the army. The commission further reported that the U.S. government and the CIA had pressured the Guatemalan government into suppressing the guerilla movement by ruthless means. (4,5)

According to the Commission between 1981 and 1983 the military government of Guatemala – financed and supported by the U.S. government – destroyed some four hundred Mayan villages in a campaign of genocide. (4)
One of the documents made available to the commission was a 1966 memo from a U.S. State Department official, which described how a “safe house” was set up in the palace for use by Guatemalan security agents and their U.S. contacts. This was the headquarters for the Guatemalan “dirty war” against leftist insurgents and suspected allies. (2)

Haiti

From 1957 to 1986 Haiti was ruled by Papa Doc Duvalier and later by his son. During that time their private terrorist force killed between 30,000 and 100,000 people. (1) Millions of dollars in CIA subsidies flowed into Haiti during that time, mainly to suppress popular movements, (2) although most American military aid to the country, according to William Blum, was covertly channeled through Israel.

Reportedly, governments after the second Duvalier reign were responsible for an even larger number of fatalities, and the influence on Haiti by the U.S., particularly through the CIA, has continued. The U.S. later forced out of the presidential office a black Catholic priest, Jean Bertrand Aristide, even though he was elected with 67% of the vote in the early 1990s. The wealthy white class in Haiti opposed him in this predominantly black nation, because of his social programs designed to help the poor and end corruption. (3) Later he returned to office, but that did not last long. He was forced by the U.S. to leave office and now lives in South Africa.

Honduras

In the 1980s the CIA supported Battalion 316 in Honduras, which kidnapped, tortured and killed hundreds of its citizens. Torture equipment and manuals were provided by CIA Argentinean personnel who worked with U.S. agents in the training of the Hondurans. Approximately 400 people lost their lives. (1,2) This is another instance of torture in the world sponsored by the U.S. (3)

Battalion 316 used shock and suffocation devices in interrogations in the 1980s. Prisoners often were kept naked and, when no longer useful, killed and buried in unmarked graves. Declassified documents and other sources show that the CIA and the U.S. Embassy knew of numerous crimes, including murder and torture, yet continued to support Battalion 316 and collaborate with its leaders.” (4)

Honduras was a staging ground in the early 1980s for the Contras who were trying to overthrow the socialist Sandinista government in Nicaragua. John D. Negroponte, currently Deputy Secretary of State, was our embassador when our military aid to Honduras rose from $4 million to $77.4 million per year. Negroponte denies having had any knowledge of these atrocities during his tenure. However, his predecessor in that position, Jack R. Binns, had reported in 1981 that he was deeply concerned at increasing evidence of officially sponsored/sanctioned assassinations. (5)

Hungary

In 1956 Hungary, a Soviet satellite nation, revolted against the Soviet Union. During the uprising broadcasts by the U.S. Radio Free Europe into Hungary sometimes took on an aggressive tone, encouraging the rebels to believe that Western support was imminent, and even giving tactical advice on how to fight the Soviets. Their hopes were raised then dashed by these broadcasts which cast an even darker shadow over the Hungarian tragedy.“ (1) The Hungarian and Soviet death toll was about 3,000 and the revolution was crushed. (2)

Indonesia

In 1965, in Indonesia, a coup replaced General Sukarno with General Suharto as leader. The U.S. played a role in that change of government. Robert Martens,a former officer in the U.S. embassy in Indonesia, described how U.S. diplomats and CIA officers provided up to 5,000 names to Indonesian Army death squads in 1965 and checked them off as they were killed or captured. Martens admitted that “I probably have a lot of blood on my hands, but that’s not all bad. There’s a time when you have to strike hard at a decisive moment.” (1,2,3) Estimates of the number of deaths range from 500,000 to 3 million. (4,5,6)
From 1993 to 1997 the U.S. provided Jakarta with almost $400 million in economic aid and sold tens of million of dollars of weaponry to that nation. U.S. Green Berets provided training for the Indonesia’s elite force which was responsible for many of atrocities in East Timor. (3)

Iran

Iran lost about 262,000 people in the war against Iraq from 1980 to 1988. (1) See Iraq for more information about that war.

On July 3, 1988 the U.S. Navy ship, the Vincennes, was operating withing Iranian waters providing military support for Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war. During a battle against Iranian gunboats it fired two missiles at an Iranian Airbus, which was on a routine civilian flight. All 290 civilian on board were killed. (2,3)

Iraq

A. The Iraq-Iran War lasted from 1980 to 1988 and during that time there were about 105,000 Iraqi deaths according to the Washington Post. (1,2)

According to Howard Teicher, a former National Security Council official, the U.S. provided the Iraqis with billions of dollars in credits and helped Iraq in other ways such as making sure that Iraq had military equipment including biological agents This surge of help for Iraq came as Iran seemed to be winning the war and was close to Basra. (1) The U.S. was not adverse to both countries weakening themselves as a result of the war, but it did not appear to want either side to win.

B: The U.S.-Iraq War and the Sanctions Against Iraq extended from 1990 to 2003.

Iraq invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990 and the U.S. responded by demanding that Iraq withdraw, and four days later the U.N. levied international sanctions.

Iraq had reason to believe that the U.S. would not object to its invasion of Kuwait, since U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, had told Saddam Hussein that the U.S. had no position on the dispute that his country had with Kuwait. So the green light was given, but it seemed to be more of a trap.

As a part of the public relations strategy to energize the American public into supporting an attack against Iraq the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the U.S. falsely testified before Congress that Iraqi troops were pulling the plugs on incubators in Iraqi hospitals. (1) This contributed to a war frenzy in the U.S.

The U.S. air assault started on January 17, 1991 and it lasted for 42 days. On February 23 President H.W. Bush ordered the U.S. ground assault to begin. The invasion took place with much needless killing of Iraqi military personnel. Only about 150 American military personnel died compared to about 200,000 Iraqis. Some of the Iraqis were mercilessly killed on the Highway of Death and about 400 tons of depleted uranium were left in that nation by the U.S. (2,3)

Other deaths later were from delayed deaths due to wounds, civilians killed, those killed by effects of damage of the Iraqi water treatment facilities and other aspects of its damaged infrastructure and by the sanctions.

In 1995 the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. reported that U.N sanctions against on Iraq had been responsible for the deaths of more than 560,000 children since 1990. (5)

Leslie Stahl on the TV Program 60 Minutes in 1996 mentioned to Madeleine Albright, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. “We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And – and you know, is the price worth it?” Albright replied “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price – we think is worth it.” (4)

In 1999 UNICEF reported that 5,000 children died each month as a result of the sanction and the War with the U.S. (6)

Richard Garfield later estimated that the more likely number of excess deaths among children under five years of age from 1990 through March 1998 to be 227,000 – double those of the previous decade. Garfield estimated that the numbers to be 350,000 through 2000 (based in part on result of another study). (7)

However, there are limitations to his study. His figures were not updated for the remaining three years of the sanctions. Also, two other somewhat vulnerable age groups were not studied: young children above the age of five and the elderly.

All of these reports were considerable indicators of massive numbers of deaths which the U.S. was aware of and which was a part of its strategy to cause enough pain and terror among Iraqis to cause them to revolt against their government.

C: Iraq-U.S. War started in 2003 and has not been concluded


Just as the end of the Cold War emboldened the U.S. to attack Iraq in 1991 so the attacks of September 11, 2001 laid the groundwork for the U.S. to launch the current war against Iraq. While in some other wars we learned much later about the lies that were used to deceive us, some of the deceptions that were used to get us into this war became known almost as soon as they were uttered. There were no weapons of mass destruction, we were not trying to promote democracy, we were not trying to save the Iraqi people from a dictator.

The total number of Iraqi deaths that are a result of our current Iraq against Iraq War is 654,000, of which 600,000 are attributed to acts of violence, according to Johns Hopkins researchers. (1,2)

Since these deaths are a result of the U.S. invasion, our leaders must accept responsibility for them.

Israeli-Palestinian War

About 100,000 to 200,000 Israelis and Palestinians, but mostly the latter, have been killed in the struggle between those two groups. The U.S. has been a strong supporter of Israel, providing billions of dollars in aid and supporting its possession of nuclear weapons. (1,2)

Korea, North and South

The Korean War started in 1950 when, according to the Truman administration, North Korea invaded South Korea on June 25th. However, since then another explanation has emerged which maintains that the attack by North Korea came during a time of many border incursions by both sides. South Korea initiated most of the border clashes with North Korea beginning in 1948. The North Korea government claimed that by 1949 the South Korean army committed 2,617 armed incursions. It was a myth that the Soviet Union ordered North Korea to attack South Korea. (1,2)

The U.S. started its attack before a U.N. resolution was passed supporting our nation’s intervention, and our military forces added to the mayhem in the war by introducing the use of napalm. (1)

During the war the bulk of the deaths were South Koreans, North Koreans and Chinese. Four sources give deaths counts ranging from 1.8 to 4.5 million. (3,4,5,6) Another source gives a total of 4 million but does not identify to which nation they belonged. (7)

John H. Kim, a U.S. Army veteran and the Chair of the Korea Committee of Veterans for Peace, stated in an article that during the Korean War “the U.S. Army, Air Force and Navy were directly involved in the killing of about three million civilians – both South and North Koreans – at many locations throughout Korea…It is reported that the U.S. dropped some 650,000 tons of bombs, including 43,000 tons of napalm bombs, during the Korean War.” It is presumed that this total does not include Chinese casualties.

Another source states a total of about 500,000 who were Koreans and presumably only military. (8,9)

Laos

From 1965 to 1973 during the Vietnam War the U.S. dropped over two million tons of bombs on Laos – more than was dropped in WWII by both sides. Over a quarter of the population became refugees. This was later called a “secret war,” since it occurred at the same time as the Vietnam War, but got little press. Hundreds of thousands were killed. Branfman make the only estimate that I am aware of , stating that hundreds of thousands died. This can be interpeted to mean that at least 200,000 died. (1,2,3)

U.S. military intervention in Laos actually began much earlier. A civil war started in the 1950s when the U.S. recruited a force of 40,000 Laotians to oppose the Pathet Lao, a leftist political party that ultimately took power in 1975.


Also See Vietnam


Nepal

Between 8,000 and 12,000 Nepalese have died since a civil war broke out in 1996. The death rate, according to Foreign Policy in Focus, sharply increased with the arrival of almost 8,400 American M-16 submachine guns (950 rpm) and U.S. advisers. Nepal is 85 percent rural and badly in need of land reform. Not surprisingly 42 % of its people live below the poverty level. (1,2)

In 2002, after another civil war erupted, President George W. Bush pushed a bill through Congress authorizing $20 million in military aid to the Nepalese government. (3)

Nicaragua

In 1981 the Sandinistas overthrew the Somoza government in Nicaragua, (1) and until 1990 about 25,000 Nicaraguans were killed in an armed struggle between the Sandinista government and Contra rebels who were formed from the remnants of Somoza’s national government. The use of assassination manuals by the Contras surfaced in 1984. (2,3)

The U.S. supported the victorious government regime by providing covert military aid to the Contras (anti-communist guerillas) starting in November, 1981. But when Congress discovered that the CIA had supervised acts of sabotage in Nicaragua without notifying Congress, it passed the Boland Amendment in 1983 which prohibited the CIA, Defense Department and any other government agency from providing any further covert military assistance. (4)

But ways were found to get around this prohibition. The National Security Council, which was not explicitly covered by the law, raised private and foreign funds for the Contras. In addition, arms were sold to Iran and the proceeds were diverted from those sales to the Contras engaged in the insurgency against the Sandinista government. (5) Finally, the Sandinistas were voted out of office in 1990 by voters who thought that a change in leadership would placate the U.S., which was causing misery to Nicaragua’s citizenry by it support of the Contras.

Pakistan

In 1971 West Pakistan, an authoritarian state supported by the U.S., brutally invaded East Pakistan. The war ended after India, whose economy was staggering after admitting about 10 million refugees, invaded East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and defeated the West Pakistani forces. (1)

Millions of people died during that brutal struggle, referred to by some as genocide committed by West Pakistan. That country had long been an ally of the U.S., starting with $411 million provided to establish its armed forces which spent 80% of its budget on its military. $15 million in arms flowed into W. Pakistan during the war. (2,3,4)

Three sources estimate that 3 million people died and (5,2,6) one source estimates 1.5 million. (3)

Panama

In December, 1989 U.S. troops invaded Panama, ostensibly to arrest Manuel Noriega, that nation’s president. This was an example of the U.S. view that it is the master of the world and can arrest anyone it wants to. For a number of years before that he had worked for the CIA, but fell out of favor partially because he was not an opponent of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. (1) It has been estimated that between 500 and 4,000 people died. (2,3,4)

Paraguay: See South America: Operation Condor

Philippines

The Philippines were under the control of the U.S. for over a hundred years. In about the last 50 to 60 years the U.S. has funded and otherwise helped various Philippine governments which sought to suppress the activities of groups working for the welfare of its people. In 1969 the Symington Committee in the U.S. Congress revealed how war material was sent there for a counter-insurgency campaign. U.S. Special Forces and Marines were active in some combat operations. The estimated number of persons that were executed and disappeared under President Fernando Marcos was over 100,000. (1,2)

South America: Operation Condor

This was a joint operation of 6 despotic South American governments (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay) to share information about their political opponents. An estimated 13,000 people were killed under this plan. (1)

It was established on November 25, 1975 in Chile by an act of the Interamerican Reunion on Military Intelligence. According to U.S. embassy political officer, John Tipton, the CIA and the Chilean Secret Police were working together, although the CIA did not set up the operation to make this collaboration work. Reportedly, it ended in 1983. (2)

On March 6, 2001 the New York Times reported the existence of a recently declassified State Department document revealing that the United States facilitated communications for Operation Condor. (3)

Sudan

Since 1955, when it gained its independence, Sudan has been involved most of the time in a civil war. Until about 2003 approximately 2 million people had been killed. It not known if the death toll in Darfur is part of that total.

Human rights groups have complained that U.S. policies have helped to prolong the Sudanese civil war by supporting efforts to overthrow the central government in Khartoum. In 1999 U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright met with the leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) who said that she offered him food supplies if he would reject a peace plan sponsored by Egypt and Libya.

In 1978 the vastness of Sudan’s oil reservers was discovered and within two years it became the sixth largest recipient of U.S, military aid. It’s reasonable to assume that if the U.S. aid a government to come to power it will feel obligated to give the U.S. part of the oil pie.

A British group, Christian Aid, has accused foreign oil companies of complicity in the depopulation of villages. These companies – not American – receive government protection and in turn allow the government use of its airstrips and roads.

In August 1998 the U.S. bombed Khartoum, Sudan with 75 cruise míssiles. Our government said that the target was a chemical weapons factory owned by Osama bin Laden. Actually, bin Laden was no longer the owner, and the plant had been the sole supplier of pharmaceutical supplies for that poor nation. As a result of the bombing tens of thousands may have died because of the lack of medicines to treat malaria, tuberculosis and other diseases. The U.S. settled a lawsuit filed by the factory’s owner. (1,2)

Uruguay: See South America: Operation Condor


Vietnam

In Vietnam, under an agreement several decades ago, there was supposed to be an election for a unified North and South Vietnam. The U.S. opposed this and supported the Diem government in South Vietnam. In August, 1964 the CIA and others helped fabricate a phony Vietnamese attack on a U.S. ship in the Gulf of Tonkin and this was used as a pretext for greater U.S. involvement in Vietnam. (1)

During that war an American assassination operation,called Operation Phoenix, terrorized the South Vietnamese people, and during the war American troops were responsible in 1968 for the mass slaughter of the people in the village of My Lai.

According to a Vietnamese government statement in 1995 the number of deaths of civilians and military personnel during the Vietnam War was 5.1 million. (2)

Since deaths in Cambodia and Laos were about 2.7 million (See Cambodia and Laos) the estimated total for the Vietnam War is 7.8 million.

The Virtual Truth Commission provides a total for the war of 5 million, (3) and Robert McNamara, former Secretary Defense, according to the New York Times Magazine says that the number of Vietnamese dead is 3.4 million. (4,5)

Yugoslavia

Yugoslavia was a socialist federation of several republics. Since it refused to be closely tied to the Soviet Union during the Cold War, it gained some suport from the U.S. But when the Soviet Union dissolved, Yugoslavia’s usefulness to the U.S. ended, and the U.S and Germany worked to convert its socialist economy to a capitalist one by a process primarily of dividing and conquering. There were ethnic and religious differences between various parts of Yugoslavia which were manipulated by the U.S. to cause several wars which resulted in the dissolution of that country.

From the early 1990s until now Yugoslavia split into several independent nations whose lowered income, along with CIA connivance, has made it a pawn in the hands of capitalist countries. (1) The dissolution of Yugoslavia was caused primarily by the U.S. (2)

Here are estimates of some, if not all, of the internal wars in Yugoslavia. All wars: 107,000; (3,4)

Bosnia and Krajina: 250,000; (5) Bosnia: 20,000 to 30,000; (5) Croatia: 15,000; (6) and

Kosovo: 500 to 5,000. (7)


NOTES


Afghanistan

1.Mark Zepezauer, Boomerang (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2003), p.135.

2.Chronology of American State Terrorism
http://www.intellnet.org/resources/american_
terrorism/ChronologyofTerror.html

3.Soviet War in Afghanistan
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_war_in_Afghanistan

4.Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’S Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p.76

5.U.S Involvement in Afghanistan, Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_war_in Afghanistan)

6.The CIA’s Intervention in Afghanistan, Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski, Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris, 15-21 January 1998, Posted at globalresearch.ca 15 October 2001, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/BRZ110A.html

7.William Blum, Rogue State (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000), p.5

8.Unknown News, http://www.unknownnews.net/casualtiesw.html

Angola

1.Howard W. French “From Old Files, a New Story of the U.S. Role in the Angolan War” New York Times 3/31/02

2.Angolan Update, American Friends Service Committee FS, 11/1/99 flyer.

3.Norman Solomon, War Made Easy, (John Wiley & Sons, 2005) p. 82-83.

4.Lance Selfa, U.S. Imperialism, A Century of Slaughter, International Socialist Review Issue 7, Spring 1999 (as appears in Third world Traveler www. thirdworldtraveler.com/American_Empire/Century_Imperialism.html)

5. Jeffress Ramsay, Africa , (Dushkin/McGraw Hill Guilford Connecticut), 1997, p. 144-145.

6.Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’S Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p.54.

Argentina : See South America: Operation Condor

Bolivia

1. Phil Gunson, Guardian, 5/6/02,
http://www.guardian.co.uk/archive /article/0,4273,41-07884,00.html

2.Jerry Meldon, Return of Bolilvia’s Drug – Stained Dictator, Consortium,www.consortiumnews.com/archives/story40.html.


Brazil See South America: Operation Condor

Cambodia

1.Virtual Truth Commissiion http://www.geocities.com/~virtualtruth/ .

2.David Model, President Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, and the Bombing of Cambodia excerpted from the book Lying for Empire How to Commit War Crimes With A Straight Face, Common Courage Press, 2005, paperhttp://thirdworldtraveler.com/American_Empire/Nixon_Cambodia_LFE.html.

3.Noam Chomsky, Chomsky on Cambodia under Pol Pot, etc.,http//zmag.org/forums/chomcambodforum.htm.


Chad

1.William Blum, Rogue State (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000), p. 151-152 .

2.Richard Keeble, Crimes Against Humanity in Chad, Znet/Activism 12/4/06http://www.zmag.org/content/print_article.cfm?itemID=11560&sectionID=1).


Chile

1.Parenti, Michael, The Sword and the Dollar (New York, St. Martin’s Press, 1989) p. 56.

2.William Blum, Rogue State (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000), p. 142-143.

3.Moreorless: Heroes and Killers of the 20th Century, Augusto Pinochet Ugarte,

http://www.moreorless.au.com/killers/pinochet.html

4.Associated Press,Pincohet on 91st Birthday, Takes Responsibility for Regimes’s Abuses, Dayton Daily News 11/26/06

5.Chalmers Johnson, Blowback, The Costs and Consequences of American Empire (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2000), p. 18.


China: See Korea


Colombia

1.Chronology of American State Terrorism, p.2

http://www.intellnet.org/resources/american_terrorism/ChronologyofTerror.html).

2.William Blum, Rogue State (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000), p. 163.

3.Millions Killed by Imperialism Washington Post May 6, 2002)http://www.etext.org./Politics/MIM/rail/impkills.html

4.Gabriella Gamini, CIA Set Up Death Squads in Colombia Times Newspapers Limited, Dec. 5, 1996,www.edu/CommunicationsStudies/ben/news/cia/961205.death.html).

5.Virtual Truth Commission, 1991

Human Rights Watch Report: Colombia’s Killer Networks–The Military-Paramilitary Partnership).


Cuba

1.St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture – on Bay of Pigs Invasionhttp://bookrags.com/Bay_of_Pigs_Invasion.

2.Wikipedia http://bookrags.com/Bay_of_Pigs_Invasion#Casualties.


Democratic Republic of Congo (Formerly Zaire)

1.F. Jeffress Ramsey, Africa (Guilford Connecticut, 1997), p. 85

2. Anup Shaw The Democratic Republic of Congo, 10/31/2003)http://www.globalissues.org/Geopolitics/Africa/DRC.asp)

3.Kevin Whitelaw, A Killing in Congo, U. S. News and World Reporthttp://www.usnews.com/usnews/doubleissue/mysteries/patrice.htm

4.William Blum, Killing Hope (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995), p 158-159.

5.Ibid.,p. 260

6.Ibid.,p. 259

7.Ibid.,p.262

8.David Pickering, “World War in Africa, 6/26/02,
www.9-11peace.org/bulletin.php3

9.William D. Hartung and Bridget Moix, Deadly Legacy; U.S. Arms to Africa and the Congo War, Arms Trade Resource Center, January , 2000www.worldpolicy.org/projects/arms/reports/congo.htm

Dominican Republic

1.Norman Solomon, (untitled) Baltimore Sun April 26, 2005
http://www.globalpolicy.org/empire/history/2005/0426spincycle.htm
Intervention Spin Cycle

2.Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Power_Pack

3.William Blum, Killing Hope (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995), p. 175.

4.Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’S Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p.26-27.

East Timor

1.Virtual Truth Commission, http://www.geocities.com/~virtualtruth/date4.htm

2.Matthew Jardine, Unraveling Indonesia, Nonviolent Activist, 1997)

3.Chronology of American State Terrorismhttp://www.intellnet.org/resources/american_terrorism/ChronologyofTerror.html

4.William Blum, Killing Hope (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995), p. 197.

5.US trained butchers of Timor, The Guardian, London. Cited by The Drudge Report, September 19, 1999. http://www.geocities.com/~virtualtruth/indon.htm

El Salvador

1.Robert T. Buckman, Latin America 2003, (Stryker-Post Publications Baltimore 2003) p. 152-153.

2.William Blum, Rogue State (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000), p. 54-55.

3.El Salvador, Wikipediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Salvador#The_20th_century_and_beyond)

4.Virtual Truth Commissiion http://www.geocities.com/~virtualtruth/.

Grenada

1.Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’S Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p. 66-67.

2.Stephen Zunes, The U.S. Invasion of Grenada,http://wwwfpif.org/papers/grenada2003.html .

Guatemala

1.Virtual Truth Commissiion http://www.geocities.com/~virtualtruth/

2.Ibid.

3.Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’S Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p.2-13.

4.Robert T. Buckman, Latin America 2003 (Stryker-Post Publications Baltimore 2003) p. 162.

5.Douglas Farah, Papers Show U.S. Role in Guatemalan Abuses, Washington Post Foreign Service, March 11, 1999, A 26

Haiti

1.Francois Duvalier,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fran%C3%A7ois_Duvalier#Reign_of_terror).

2.Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’S Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p 87.

3.William Blum, Haiti 1986-1994: Who Will Rid Me of This Turbulent Priest,http://www.doublestandards.org/blum8.html

Honduras

1.William Blum, Rogue State (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000), p. 55.

2.Reports by Country: Honduras, Virtual Truth Commissionhttp://www.geocities.com/~virtualtruth/honduras.htm

3.James A. Lucas, Torture Gets The Silence Treatment, Countercurrents, July 26, 2004.

4.Gary Cohn and Ginger Thompson, Unearthed: Fatal Secrets, Baltimore Sun, reprint of a series that appeared June 11-18, 1995 in Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, School of Assassins, p. 46 Orbis Books 2001.

5.Michael Dobbs, Negroponte’s Time in Honduras at Issue, Washington Post, March 21, 2005

Hungary

1.Edited by Malcolm Byrne, The 1956 Hungarian Revoluiton: A history in Documents November 4, 2002http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB76/index2.htm

2.Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia,
http://www.answers.com/topic/hungarian-revolution-of-1956

Indonesia

1.Virtual Truth Commission http://www.geocities.com/~virtualtruth/.

2.Editorial, Indonesia’s Killers, The Nation, March 30, 1998.

3.Matthew Jardine, Indonesia Unraveling, Non Violent Activist Sept–Oct, 1997 (Amnesty) 2/7/07.

4.Sison, Jose Maria, Reflections on the 1965 Massacre in Indonesia, p. 5.http://qc.indymedia.org/mail.php?id=5602;

5.Annie Pohlman, Women and the Indonesian Killings of 1965-1966: Gender Variables and Possible Direction for Research, p.4,http://coombs.anu.edu.au/SpecialProj/ASAA/biennial-conference/2004/Pohlman-A-ASAA.pdf

6.Peter Dale Scott, The United States and the Overthrow of Sukarno, 1965-1967, Pacific Affairs, 58, Summer 1985, pages 239-264.http://www.namebase.org/scott.

7.Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’S Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p.30.

Iran

1.Geoff Simons, Iraq from Sumer to Saddam, 1996, St. Martins Press, NY p. 317.

2.Chronology of American State Terrorismhttp://www.intellnet.org/resources/american_terrorism/ChronologyofTerror.html.

3.BBC 1988: US Warship Shoots Down Iranian Airlinerhttp://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/default.stm )

Iraq

Iran-Iraq War

1.Michael Dobbs, U.S. Had Key role in Iraq Buildup, Washington Post December 30, 2002, p A01 http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A52241-2002Dec29?language=printer

2.Global Security.Org , Iran Iraq War (1980-1980)globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/iran-iraq.htm.

U.S. Iraq War and Sanctions

1.Ramsey Clark, The Fire This Time (New York, Thunder’s Mouth), 1994, p.31-32

2.Ibid., p. 52-54

3.Ibid., p. 43

4.Anthony Arnove, Iraq Under Siege, (South End Press Cambridge MA 2000). p. 175.

5.Food and Agricultural Organizaiton, The Children are Dying, 1995 World View Forum, Internationa Action Center, International Relief Association, p. 78

6.Anthony Arnove, Iraq Under Siege, South End Press Cambridge MA 2000. p. 61.

7.David Cortright, A Hard Look at Iraq Sanctions December 3, 2001, The Nation.

U.S-Iraq War 2003-?

1.Jonathan Bor 654,000 Deaths Tied to Iraq War Baltimore Sun , October 11,2006

2.News http://www.unknownnews.net/casualties.html

Israeli-Palestinian War

1.Post-1967 Palestinian & Israeli Deaths from Occupation & Violence May 16, 2006 http://globalavoidablemortality.blogspot.com/2006/05/post-1967-palestinian-israeli-deaths.html)

2.Chronology of American State Terrorism

http://www.intellnet.org/resources/american_terrorism/ChronologyofTerror.html

Korea

1.James I. Matray Revisiting Korea: Exposing Myths of the Forgotten War, Korean War Teachers Conference: The Korean War, February 9, 2001http://www.truman/library.org/Korea/matray1.htm

2.William Blum, Killing Hope (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995), p. 46

3.Kanako Tokuno, Chinese Winter Offensive in Korean War – the Debacle of American Strategy, ICE Case Studies Number 186, May, 2006http://www.american.edu/ted/ice/chosin.htm.

4.John G. Stroessinger, Why Nations go to War, (New York; St. Martin’s Press), p. 99)

5.Britannica Concise Encyclopedia, as reported in Answers.comhttp://www.answers.com/topic/Korean-war

6.Exploring the Environment: Korean Enigmawww.cet.edu/ete/modules/korea/kwar.html)

7.S. Brian Wilson, Who are the Real Terrorists? Virtual Truth Commissonhttp://www.geocities.com/~virtualtruth/

8.Korean War Casualty Statistics www.century china.com/history/krwarcost.html)

9.S. Brian Wilson, Documenting U.S. War Crimes in North Korea (Veterans for Peace Newsletter) Spring, 2002) http://www.veteransforpeace.org/

Laos

1.William Blum Rogue State (Maine, Common Cause Press) p. 136

2.Chronology of American State Terrorismhttp://www.intellnet.org/resources/american_terrorism/ChronologyofTerror.html

3.Fred Branfman, War Crimes in Indochina and our Troubled National Soul

www.wagingpeace.org/articles/2004/08/00_branfman_us-warcrimes-indochina.htm).

Nepal

1.Conn Hallinan, Nepal & the Bush Administration: Into Thin Air, February 3, 2004

fpif.org/commentary/2004/0402nepal.html.

2.Human Rights Watch, Nepal’s Civil War: the Conflict Resumes, March 2006 )

http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/03/28/nepal13078.htm.

3.Wayne Madsen, Possible CIA Hand in the Murder of the Nepal Royal Family, India Independent Media Center, September 25, 2001http://india.indymedia.org/en/2002/09/2190.shtml.

Nicaragua

1.Virtual Truth Commission
http://www.geocities.com/~virtualtruth/.

2.Timeline Nicaragua
www.stanford.edu/group/arts/nicaragua/discovery_eng/timeline/).

3.Chronology of American State Terrorism,
http://www.intellnet.org/resources/american_terrorism/ChronologyofTerror.html.

4.William Blum, Nicaragua 1981-1990 Destabilization in Slow Motion

www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Blum/Nicaragua_KH.html.

5.Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran-Contra_Affair.

Pakistan

1.John G. Stoessinger, Why Nations Go to War, (New York: St. Martin’s Press), 1974 pp 157-172.

2.Asad Ismi, A U.S. – Financed Military Dictatorship, The CCPA Monitor, June 2002, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives http://www.policyaltematives.ca)www.ckln.fm/~asadismi/pakistan.html

3.Mark Zepezauer, Boomerang (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2003), p.123, 124.

4.Arjum Niaz ,When America Look the Other Way by,

www.zmag.org/content/print_article.cfm?itemID=2821&sectionID=1

5.Leo Kuper, Genocide (Yale University Press, 1981), p. 79.

6.Bangladesh Liberation War , Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangladesh_Liberation_War#USA_and_USSR)

Panama

1.Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’s Greatest Hits, (Odonian Press 1998) p. 83.

2.William Blum, Rogue State (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000), p.154.

3.U.S. Military Charged with Mass Murder, The Winds 9/96,www.apfn.org/thewinds/archive/war/a102896b.html

4.Mark Zepezauer, CIA’S Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p.83.

Paraguay See South America: Operation Condor

Philippines

1.Romeo T. Capulong, A Century of Crimes Against the Filipino People, Presentation, Public Interest Law Center, World Tribunal for Iraq Trial in New York City on August 25,2004.
http://www.peoplejudgebush.org/files/RomeoCapulong.pdf).

2.Roland B. Simbulan The CIA in Manila – Covert Operations and the CIA’s Hidden Hisotry in the Philippines Equipo Nizkor Information – Derechos, derechos.org/nizkor/filipinas/doc/cia.

South America: Operation Condor

1.John Dinges, Pulling Back the Veil on Condor, The Nation, July 24, 2000.

2.Virtual Truth Commission, Telling the Truth for a Better Americawww.geocities.com/~virtualtruth/condor.htm)

3.Operation Condorhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Condor#US_involvement).

Sudan

1.Mark Zepezauer, Boomerang, (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2003), p. 30, 32,34,36.

2.The Black Commentator, Africa Action The Tale of Two Genocides: The Failed US Response to Rwanda and Darfur, 11 August 2006http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/091706X.shtml.

Uruguay See South America: Operation Condor

Vietnam

1.Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’S Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine:Common Courage Press,1994), p 24

2.Casualties – US vs NVA/VC,
http://www.rjsmith.com/kia_tbl.html.

3.Brian Wilson, Virtual Truth Commission
http://www.geocities.com/~virtualtruth/

4.Fred Branfman, U.S. War Crimes in Indochiona and our Duty to Truth August 26, 2004

www.zmag.org/content/print_article.cfm?itemID=6105&sectionID=1

5.David K Shipler, Robert McNamara and the Ghosts of Vietnamnytimes.com/library/world/asia/081097vietnam-mcnamara.html

Yugoslavia

1.Sara Flounders, Bosnia Tragedy:The Unknown Role of the Pentagon in NATO in the Balkans (New York: International Action Center) p. 47-75

2.James A. Lucas, Media Disinformation on the War in Yugoslavia: The Dayton Peace Accords Revisited, Global Research, September 7, 2005 http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=
viewArticle&code=LUC20050907&articleId=899

3.Yugoslav Wars in 1990s
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yugoslav_wars.

4.George Kenney, The Bosnia Calculation: How Many Have Died? Not nearly as many as some would have you think., NY Times Magazine, April 23, 1995

http://www.balkan-archive.org.yu/politics/
war_crimes/srebrenica/bosnia_numbers.html
)

5.Chronology of American State Terrorism

http://www.intellnet.org/resources/american_terrorism/
ChronologyofTerror.html.

6.Croatian War of Independence, Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Croatian_War_of_Independence

7.Human Rights Watch, New Figures on Civilian Deaths in Kosovo War, (February 7, 2000) http://www.hrw.org/press/2000/02/nato207.htm.

Sudan crisis is extension of that in Yemen: Al-Bukhaiti to Al Mayadeen

25 Apr 2023

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

Al-Bukhaiti says had the Sudanese army commanders not been involved in the war on Yemen, this wouldn’t have happened in Sudan.

Member of the political bureau of the Ansar Allah movement Mohammad Al-Bukhaiti

Member of the political bureau of the Ansar Allah movement, Mohammad Al-Bukhaiti, considered on Monday that the Sudan crisis is an extension of the Yemeni crisis.

In an interview for Al Mayadeen, Al-Bukhaiti pointed out that “had the army commanders not been involved in the war on Yemen, this wouldn’t have happened in Sudan, especially since those fighting in Sudan now were involved in fighting in Yemen before.”

Al-Bukhaiti regretted the inability of the Sanaa government to provide aid to the Yemenis in Sudan due to the aggression, the blockade, and the situation forced onto the Sanaa government.

He also highlighted the Sudanese government’s relationship with the forces of aggression and not with the Sanaa government.

Read more: Era of guardianship over Yemen is over: Sanaa MoD

The Yemeni official indicated that recent visits of the Saudi delegation to Sanaa “broke many barriers that constituted an obstacle to any negotiations,” explaining that many achievements have been made, yet without reaching an agreement on a complete and comprehensive peace.

According to Al-Bukhaiti, many matters were agreed upon with the Saudi delegation, especially with regard to the humanitarian situation.

He said that Sanaa is waiting for the implementation of what was agreed upon, warning against procrastination, because the situation of the Yemeni people no longer allows any delay in the implementation of the agreed points.

He also noted that the negotiations with the Saudis were halted due to the Eid Al-Fitr holiday, affirming that these negotiations “will be resumed soon.”

Al-Bukhaiti mentioned that Sanaa and Riyadh are now in a stage of de-escalation, but he affirmed that Saudi Arabia and the UAE realize that any escalation will be met with escalation, and this will not be in their interest.

The Ansar Allah official specified that “negotiations with the Saudis at this stage are based on re-opening the airports and ports, set to be finalized in later stages to achieve a permanent and comprehensive peace.”

Al-Bukhaiti considered that the Yemeni internal dialogue should include all Yemeni political components and figures that have popular bases, noting that the individuals and militias directly linked to Saudi Arabia and the UAE will attempt to obstruct reaching any solution, which, if reached, will cause them to lose their jobs with whoever hired them.

Al-Bukhaiti revealed to Al Mayadeen that during the negotiations, emphasis was placed on the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Yemen and on Yemen’s restoration of its sovereignty over all of its lands.

“Peace means the exit of the American forces from the occupied Yemeni provinces… We do not accept any foreign presence in Yemen, and we will be in direct confrontation with any foreign military forces present on Yemeni soil,” he underlined.

Al-Bukhaiti warned that the United States does not want peace in Yemen, adding that Washington had a negative impact on the negotiations between Sanaa and Riyadh.

It is noteworthy that this month, Yemen witnessed three batches of prisoner exchange deals. Earlier, the Sanaa government revealed arrangements to hold a new round of negotiations to discuss the release of 1,400 Yemeni prisoners with the Saudi-backed government in May.

The government said a future deal that included 700 prisoners will be concluded.

Read more: Aggression countries will ‘inevitably’ lose if they escalate: Sanaa

Stand with Yemen

For the past seven years, Yemen has been enduring an aggression by the Saudi-led coalition that butchers civilians on a daily basis, destroys civilian infrastructure and residential areas, and starves innocent Yemenis – all amid international silence and complicity. It is time for this war to end… Yemen can’t wait any longer…

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Dozens killed, hundreds injured in ongoing armed confrontations: Sudan

April 16, 2023

Source: Al Mayadeen Net + Agencies

The Sudan Armed Forces say clashes are ongoing, but the situation is heading toward stability.

Heavy smoke bellows above buildings in the vicinity of the Khartoum airport on April 15, 2023, amid clashes in the Sudanese capital. (AFP)

By Al Mayadeen English 

The Central Committee of Sudan Doctors announced that the death toll from the armed clashes in the country has risen so far to 56 and the injuries to 595, while heavy bombing and intense gunfights are ongoing across the country, BBC reported on Sunday.

25 people, including 17 civilians, were killed in the country’s capital Khartoum, the organization said, further noting that the latest records do not include victims that are still unaccounted for due to the ongoing military confrontations, which disrupt rescue efforts.

The General Command of the Sudanese Army said warplanes will be sweeping areas in search of RFS members, calling on all citizens to remain indoors.

“The Sudanese Air Force will conduct a complete sweep of the rebel Rapid Support militia’s presence. The Air Force calling on all citizens to stay inside their houses and not to go out,” the statement said.

This comes a mere two weeks after Sudan’s political process parties decided to postpone the signing of a final agreement providing for the establishment of a transitional civil authority in the country. The final agreement was set to be signed on April 1, after which a transitional constitution was to be adopted on April 6.

A spokesperson for the Sudanese Armed Forces stated that the army had taken control of all the headquarters of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Omdurman and had seized all equipment and vehicles on site left behind by the retreating units.

The military is conducting ongoing air and land operations to force the RSF to surrender, the spokesperson added.

According to the report, three employees of the World Food Programme (WFP) were killed during an exchange of fire at a military base in Kabkabiya western Sudan.

Read more: Sudanese army chief orders disbanding of RSF: Khartoum

The Sudanese military is led by lieutenant general Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, who overthrew the government in a military coup in October 2021, declared a state of emergency, and established a transitional sovereign council under his guidance.

The Rapid Support Forces, on the other hand, are led by Al-Burhan’s deputy, paramilitary commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo.

The RSF on Thursday reportedly carried out a sudden redeployment of its forces near the airport in Merowe, northern Sudan, with the Sudanese army responding by issuing a statement saying the redeployment was illegal and was not coordinated with Khartoum.

Clashes broke out earlier on Friday, culminating with the RSF claiming control of the Republican Palace in Khartoum and the airports in Khartoum and Merowe. The national army denied the presidential palace’s takeover and said it was bombing RSF bases near Khartoum.

International organizations and various countries, including Russia, have called on the Sudanese adversaries to cease fire and kickstart talks. Two large airlines, EgyptAir and Saudia, have temporarily suspended flights to Sudan, citing insecurity.

Read more: Sudan close to officially joining normalization accords: Israeli media

De-escalation calls

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says hostilities in Sudan must end without pre-conditions, and the safety of civilians in the country must be ensured, a stance shared by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said following talks with the Saudi and UAE ambassadors that fighting parties in Sudan must immediately halt military actions “without pre-condition”.

“I welcomed the opportunity April 15 to consult with Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud, Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates, about the dangerous fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Security Forces [RSF], which threatens the security and safety of Sudanese civilians and undermines efforts to restore Sudan’s democratic transition. We agreed it was essential for the parties to immediately end hostilities without pre-condition,” he said in a Saturday statement.

The top US diplomat also urged the commanders of both forces to work toward reducing tensions and “ensure the safety of all civilians,” stressing that negotiations are the only solution to end this crisis.

“We continue to remain in close touch with our Embassy in Khartoum and have full accountability of our personnel. We also have been communicating with American citizens who may be in the region about safety measures and other precautions.”

Sputnik reported on Saturday, citing a UN source, that the United Nations Security Council will convene behind doors on Monday to discuss the developments in Sudan.

The League of Arab States (LAS) Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit voiced his condemnation of arms use and urged for an immediate ceasefire.

In its statement, the LAS said that “Aboul Gheit condemns the use of arms in Sudan and calls for an immediate ceasefire,” adding that Aboul Gheit requested the stop of escalations and stressed that the organization is prepared to intervene and look into the situation. 

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that the Council of the League of Arab States (LAS) was called to an urgent meeting on the level of permanent representatives on Sunday by Egypt and Saudi Arabia to discuss the situation in Sudan.

The African Union also urged in a statement “the political and military parties to find a fair political solution to the crisis.”

UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said on Twitter late on Saturday that UN chief Antonio Guterres held talks with Al-Burhan and Dagalo and demanded an “immediate stop to the violence and a return to dialogue.”

Guterres also discussed ways to “de-escalate the situation” with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and the head of the African Union Commission (AUC) Moussa Faki and urged regional states to push efforts to stabilize the situation.

On his part, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell condemned on his Twitter account on Sunday the armed clashes between both forces and said that he is in contact with African leaders on the matter.

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The Syrian Earthquake Has United the Arab World

Steven Sahiounie

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360°

Close to 9 million people in Syria have been affected by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake, 65 seconds in duration on February 6, that Turkish President Erdogan has compared with the power released by atomic bombs. The hardest hit areas are Latakia, Aleppo, and Idlib.

The UN estimates that more than 4.2 million people have been affected in Aleppo province with 400,000 homeless, and 5,000 buildings declared unlivable. Aleppo has more than 1,600 dead and 10,000 injured.

The province of Idlib is a total population estimated at 3 million, but because there is no government or authority there, we can only guess how many have been affected.

UAE Aid plane landing in Aleppo International Airport

The UN says 5.5 million Syrians are without a home after the earthquake, with more than 7,400 buildings having been destroyed completely, or partially in Syria.

In Latakia, there are 820 dead, 142,000 homeless, and over 2,000 injured, with 102 buildings completely collapsed, and others condemned.

A total of 58 trucks have crossed from Turkey to north-west Syria through the Bab al Hawa crossing point over the past five days, carrying aid such as food, tents, and medicines. Those trucks are solely supplying Idlib, under the occupation of the armed group, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. Eleven trucks have gone through the newly opened border crossing of Bab al Salam today, carrying non-food items such as blankets, and mattresses.

Iraqi AAid plan landing in Damascus international Airport

Location matters in this quake

The map will show that Aleppo, Syria is just south of Gaziantep, Turkey which was the epicenter. Aleppo was heavily damaged in the earthquake, adding more misery to a city that was under the occupation of Al Qaeda terrorists in the eastern section until being liberated in December 2016.

Looking at a map, you see that Latakia is a 2 ½ hour drive west of Aleppo on the M4 highway. It seems like a long distance, but the power of the 7.8 magnitude brought the epicenter and Latakia together because they share the same fault line, which Aleppo does not.

Tunisian Aid plane landing in Aleppo International Airport

UN: no roadblocks to aid, no politics

Rula Amin, UN Refugee Agency Senior Communications Advisor, urged cooperation among nations to help Turkey and Syria. She said there should be no roadblocks to assistance for people in need. Referring to the UN and western aid coming almost exclusively to Idlib, and by-passing those in need in Latakia and Aleppo, she urged all to put politics aside, and focus on getting aid to those in need regardless of whether they are in the US-EU supported area in Idlib, or whether they live in Aleppo and Latakia under the Syrian administration from Damascus. Amin is no stranger to Syria. In March 2011, Amin was one of the very first international journalists in Deraa, covering what she had claimed was a ‘popular uprising’, and even interviewed the cleric who was the key player of the Obama-designed US-NATO attack on Syria for ‘regime change

.’ She did not go as far as to demand the lifting of all US-EU sanctions on Syria to send aid, but her meaning was clear. The sanctions prevent aid from arriving in Damascus. On February 9 the US Department of the Treasury issued General License 23, which allows for a humanitarian waiver of supplies to government-controlled areas in Syria, but must be received by an NGO and not the Syrian government. The 180-day waiver is far too short, as the need is enormous, and will people will need years to grapple with the damages.  Rebuilding homes and businesses may take a decade or more. Also, most governments abroad would be sending official aid to Syria through a government-to-government mechanism, and using an NGO is a tedious stipulation designed to discourage aid from being sent.


Who gave to Damascus?

On Tuesday, a plane landed from Saudi Arabia at the Aleppo International Airport, carrying 35 tons of humanitarian aid.  Aid to Damascus also arrived from: ChinaRussia, AlgeriaIraqIranUAE, BangladeshLibyaBelarusJordanCuba, Venezuela, Tunisia, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Cyprus, Hungary, India, and Sudan.

Jordanian Aid plane landing in Damascus international Airport

Italy sent two planeloads of aid to Beirut, Lebanon to be transported to Syria by land. This demonstrates the extreme fear that western allies of the US have of the sanctions. By sending the aid to Lebanon, which is not sanctioned, Italy feels more comfortable that the US Treasury will not issue massive penalties against them.

Who refused aid to Damascus?

The US, the EU, and all US allies such as Canada have sent nothing to Syria for the earthquake-ravaged zones of Latakia and Aleppo.  According to America, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the allies of the US, there is no place called Syria.  There is only a small, rural agricultural province called Idlib.  Syria is 10,000 years old, and Damascus and Aleppo both tie as the undisputed oldest inhabited cities on earth.  But the great minds in Washington, DC. only acknowledge the tiny area called Idlib.  The terrorist-controlled Idlib is suffering, and has innocent unarmed civilians in need of help; however, Latakia, and Aleppo are far bigger and have sustained more deaths, injuries, and structural damages than Idlib. The US and the west have used politics to judge who gets helped, and who is forgotten. The Syrian people will never forget this. The US and EU sanctions have made life unbearable in Syria before the earthquake of the century, and now when politics should be set aside for humanitarian needs, the US doggedly holds on to their dogmatic ideology to make sure the Syrian people know the full disdain of the American government. The Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates visited Damascus and met with President Assad after the quake, in an act of defiance of US-dictated policy.

Algerian aid plane in Aleppo International Airport

Where is Government controlled Syria?

The US-NATO attack on Syria beginning in March 2011 has resulted in three separate administrations in Syria.  The biggest territory, about 75%, is the central government in Damascus. Aleppo and Latakia are the two hardest hit by the earthquake which is under the Damascus administration.

The second administration is the province of Idlib, which is an olive-growing region between Latakia and Aleppo. There is no government there.  The 3 million persons there live under the occupation of an armed terrorist group, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, formerly called Jibhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of Al Qaeda. The terrorists embedded themselves there in 2012, and until now are safe from attack because the US, EU, and UN all lobby for their protection, and aid. The US supports the Al Qaeda terrorists because they represent the US interests in Syria to be decided upon in a final political settlement in Syria under the auspices of the UN.

The third administration is the Kurdish self-proclaimed region of the northeast, where the US military is occupying the Syrian oil wells, and allowing the Kurds to sell the stolen oil in Iraq to cover their expenses. This area was not affected by the earthquake. This administration exists separate from Damascus only because of the US military illegal occupation

Where is Idlib?

Many of the residents of Idlib most affected by the earthquake have had to sleep outside among the olive groves, in freezing temperatures. The UN acknowledged the international response to Idlib has been a failure.

Raed al-Saleh, head of the White Helmets, an award-winning video troupe headquartered in Washington, DC. has denounced the UN as incompetent in their response to the needs in Idlib. The White Helmets work solely in Idlib and have international donors. Al-Saleh was angry after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Syrian President Assad had agreed to allow UN aid deliveries to the area through two border crossings from Turkey for three months. The White Helmets and the terrorists do not recognize the Syrian government.  Damascus had tried to send aid to Idlib, but the terrorists turned it back saying, “We don’t want help from the enemy.”  Previously the UN trucks of aid to Idlib were also stalled after the terrorists demanded a $1,000 fee for each of the 10 trucks.

Why are the borders controlled?

The Syrian government has controlled the border crossings of Syria for security reasons. Serena Shim, an American journalist from Detroit, witnessed and reported seeing a UN food truck carrying Al Qaeda terrorists, and their weapons, from Turkey into Syria near Idlib. She was murdered in Turkey just days after publishing her report.

The terrorists in Idlib are contained in a small area and have weapons including missiles which have frequently been directed at Latakia, and Kessab, a small Christian Armenia village just north of Latakia. The Syrian government wants to keep the weapons from flowing into Idlib while allowing UN, and other humanitarian aid to flow into the 3 million civilians who are held there as human shields.


Steven Sahiounie is a two-time award-winning journalist

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US and Israel ‘biggest threats to security’ across Arab world: Arab Opinion Index

An overwhelming majority of Arab citizens say they oppose normalization with Israel, believing instead that the Palestinian cause concerns the entire region

January 20 2023

(Photo credit: AP)

ByNews Desk- 

The US and Israel have been named the “biggest threats” to the security of the Arab world by citizens from across West Asia and North Africa, according to the 2022 Arab Opinion Index released on 19 January by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies.

When presented with a list of countries and asked which poses the biggest threat to the Arab world, 84 percent of respondents said Israel, while 78 percent said the US.

Tied for third place are Iran and Russia, as 57 percent of respondents considered the two sanctioned nations the biggest threat to regional security. Meanwhile, 53 percent of citizens named France as a significant threat.

Turkiye and China were the only countries with positive results for their policies in the Arab world.

“There is a general sense of American hypocrisy on [West Asia] policy,” said Dana El Kurd, a professor at the University of Richmond, at a press briefing following the release of the findings.

Respondents, in particular, had a somber outlook on US policy on Palestine, as only 11 percent said they approved of Washington’s positions. On the other hand, 31 percent of respondents said they approved of Iran’s policies towards Palestine.

The poll also shows that 76 percent of respondents agreed that the Palestinian cause concerns all Arabs, not just Palestinians. An overwhelming majority (84 percent) said they would not support the normalization of ties with Israel.

This is true even in nations that have already normalized ties with Tel Aviv, like Jordan, Sudan, and Morocco, highlighting a clear divide between the interest of citizens and their leaders.

Even in Saudi Arabia, which Israel has considered the most crucial target for normalization, only five percent of respondents said they would favor such a deal.

When asked why they oppose normalization, respondents cited the over 70-year-long Israeli occupation of Palestine and the establishment of an apartheid state to persecute Palestinians as the main reason.

The Arab Opinion Index poll comprises in-person interviews with 33,000 respondents across 14 Arab countries. According to the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, interviews with Saudi citizens took place over the phone.

Countries polled included Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Tunisia.

Dear followers, your ‘influencers’ seem ignorant about Israeli crimes

December 17, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen English

By Aya Youssef 

The world of ‘influencing’ and ‘content creation’ seems to be tone-deaf to “Israel” killing, bombing, and assaulting the people of Palestine.

Dear followers, your ‘influencers’ seem ignorant about Israeli crimes

So a mere handshake or even a simple eye contact will eventually initiate some sort of disruption unless you are ‘okay’ with the crimes that are being committed and these crimes sit well with you.

Now let’s delve deeper; consider this enemy, “Israel”, the occupation that was ‘established’ on the backs of Palestinians and formed due to “Israel’s” horrific massacres in Palestine.

This is called normalization 

Moving on to another set of rules: When a country that used to consider “Israel” an enemy in the past, intentionally decides to build diplomatic relations with “Israel”, this is known as “normalization agreements”. When a single diplomat steps foot in “Israel”, that is called normalization. When direct talks happen, that is called normalization. When an athlete faces another Israeli athlete in sports tournaments, that is called normalization. And when a group of Arab influencers pose for photos at an event where they are taking lessons on content creation from an Israeli, this is called normalization. 

‘Influencers’ & ‘content creators’ for “Israel”

Behind the scenes of endless selfies, likes, and comments, over 3000 ‘influencers’ and ‘content creators’ attended and spoke at the ‘1 Billion Followers Summit’ in Dubai, where the Israeli ‘activist’ Nuseir Yassin was a co-host.

The event included dinners and celebrations, and the contributors ‘lit a fire in the desert’. Sounds fun doesn’t it? 

Nuseir Yassin is known for his pro-“Israel” stance regarding the Palestinian struggle for freedom. He intentionally disregarded, through his self-described ‘humane videos’, the Palestinian Nakba, the Palestinian suffering, and most importantly, Israeli war crimes.

Nuseir is vocal about the ‘two-state solution’ in Palestine and believes that Palestinians and Israelis should ‘co-exist’. 

In his last video about the Palestinian struggle, Yassin disregarded the Palestinians’ right to self-defense and called them ‘attacks’ on “Israel”. Nusseir Yasin usually introduces himself as “Arab-Israeli”.

Read More: Nas Daily: When ‘entrepreneurs’ NAS-TILY become Israeli propaganda
  
Applying the before-mentioned set of rules, these Arab influencers’ existence in the same room and event as Nuseir, interacting, laughing, taking notes, and speaking with him, is called normalization. 

Keynotes into normalization 

Looking into the “agenda” of the Summit on the website, various topics were discussed during the two days event. 

Starting from day one, after the opening ceremony, the first speaker was Nuseir Yassin. 

Yassin’s topic, as it appeared on the website, was “Why Creators Will Conquer The World”. What was said during each speech or lecture cannot be found on any platform, given that the event was ‘exclusive’. On the Summit’s YouTube channel, few videos are posted and most of them are teasers or wrap-ups of the event. 

Users can rarely find any content that is related to what Nuseir or other speakers said. Is censoring part of the summit? Or is it because some attendees were not supposed to be there?

In one of these short videos that were published by a particular news outlet, Nuseir was seen talking with the audience and giving a lecture about content creation with a picture displayed for them that says “And if you look like me… GOOD LUCK..” 

In the video, Nuseir was filmed talking and lecturing the crowd about ‘history’ and how ‘throughout history, people could only impact 150 people…” 

Why does normalization always have to be ‘fun’?

For additional background information on this topic, Nas Daily is a popular page that publishes videos on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok. Each platform has a vast number of followers. 

On its Instagram account, Nas Daily writes the following slogan: ‘We Bring People Together’ at the top of its page.

Interestingly, on its Youtube platform, the ‘1 Billion Followers Summit’ posted a teaser titled “1 Billion Followers Summit – The Expo of Content Creation”. The video says ‘connecting 1 billion people under the same roof.’ 

In another ‘shorts’ video on YouTube, the Summit posted a video that says ‘The world of social media gathers under one roof!’ 

Sounds familiar? 

The vlog-styled videos are identical to those of Nas Daily. The scripts, the tone, even the shooting style, and the enthusiasm, all give the same vibes.

The Summit is powered by New Media Academy, the same academy that funded and embraced Nas Daily for its videos where they whitewash Israeli crimes. 

On the Summit’s LinkedIn, one can see how employees in Nas Daily actually worked for this big event. Parikshit Sachdeva appeared to be Nas Daily’s social media manager as he was a community manager in the ‘1 Billion Followers Summit’. 

Another example is: Nizar Salman worked for Nas Daily as a project manager for 1 year and 9 months. Salman was an event lead for 8 months at the Summit. 

The contributors to the event added the ‘mystery celebrity speaker’ into the event to make it more ‘exciting’. The speaker turned out to be the former TV presenter and comedian Trevor Noah. 

Yassin was the one who hosted Noah during a debate that many attended and listened to. 

In addition to Noah, many international YouTubers attended the event such as Jordan Matter and Matpat. The speakers came from the US, Canada, Poland, Lebanon, India, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and many more.

When it comes to Arabs, activist Saleh Zaghari, appeared in a video justifying his participation in the event by saying that he was seeking to provoke those in charge of the conference by raising the Palestinian flag in the event. 

However, after Zaghri was heavily criticized by social media activists, he later apologized and admitted that he made a mistake by attending this event. 

The other normalizing event 

While the ‘1 Billion Followers Summit’ happened over the course of two days, 3 and 4 December, on 5 and 6 December, a different event took place in Abu Dhabi. The two events may look different on the surface, regarding the objectives and topics, but both meet at the same end; normalization with “Israel”. 

Around 300 decision-makers and representatives of 47 international space institutions attended the first edition of the Abu Dhabi Space Debate this month. The event focused mainly on topics related to ‘space sustainability, accessibility, and security’.

All looks normal, doesn’t it?

After his unwelcomed visit to Bahrain, and after he met with UAE’s President Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan at his private home in Abu Dhabi, the Israeli President Isaac Herzog took part in the Space Debate where he made a speech. 

Herzog, during his speech, urged to “move onwards and upwards, not with the competition of a cold war,” but rather with “our warm peace.” The Israeli occupation’s President called for countries to “collaborate in here on the blue planet we call home.”

The UAE was the first Gulf state to normalize ties with “Israel”, kicking off a wave of normalization that saw Bahrain, Sudan, and Morrocco swept by the tide.

The Israeli occupation and the United Arab Emirates have long been exchanging visits, drawing more and more criticism for the Arab nation that abandoned the Palestinian cause. 

Spot the ‘influencer’ in the audience 

After the Space Debate took place, many Lebanese activists strongly condemned the presence of a Lebanese filmmaker and content creator. 

Lebanon is among the countries that still have a strong stance regarding the normalization agreement with “Israel” and considers “Israel” as an occupation. 

Lebanon criminalizes normalization with the Israeli occupation in its law. The Lebanese criminal code, the 1955 Boycott Law, and the Code of Military Justice all say that any type of contact between Lebanese and Israeli citizens is prohibited; punishment can range from a few months in prison to death.

Many Twitter activists argued that the Lebanese filmmaker, Kazim Fayad, should not be present at an event that the Israeli President spoke at. After the backlash, Fayad had to issue a statement regarding the matter. 

The filmmaker claimed that he was not able to leave the hall where the event was taking place and that the only reason he was attending was that he had booked interviews with several news outlets. 

It is worth mentioning that the speakers of the event were published ahead of the ceremony, in addition to the many news outlets that reported that Herzog arrived in the UAE to attend the Space Debate. It does not stop here. Looking closer into the event itself, which was posted in its entirety on YouTube, there was a 40-minute break between the end of the last debate that took place and Herzog’s arrival at the event. Thus, giving Fayad, and other so-called “influencers” plenty of time to dodge a possible encounter with the enemy’s President.

Read More: Serious Concerns as Lessons in Normalization Hit Lebanese Schools

Ignorance or turning a blind eye? 

Now one cannot help but wonder: do the influencers realize what they are really ‘influencing’? 

The real question here is whether the millions of followers, that these ‘influencers’ have, know what subliminal messages they are intaking on daily basis, through swiping, liking, and commenting on those influencers’ social media stories, videos, and pictures. 

In both events, Israelis were present. In both events, Arabs were present. And in both events, prominent figures, TV presenters, and social media influencers were present. Should any questions be raised? The answer is yes.

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World Cup Arab fans shun Israeli media, reject normalization: Reports

22 Nov 2022 

Source: Israeli Media

By Al Mayadeen English 

Arab football fans refuse to be interviewed by Israeli journalists in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Arab football fans refuse to be interviewed by Israeli journalists in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Israeli media agencies reported on Tuesday that Arab fans in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 are distancing themselves from the Israeli media and are rejecting normalization with the occupation.

i24news said that several Israeli media agencies told Reuters that those asked for interviews turned their backs, refused to answer, or shouted Palestine, adding that fans are specifically shunning Israeli reporters, in a move that could illustrate challenges in warming relations between the Gulf and “Tel Aviv”.

Israeli officials expressed their hope that the US-brokered normalization agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, in 2020, and later with Sudan and Morocco, would lead to further normalization, including with Saudi Arabia, i24news said.

“While Israel did not qualify for the World Cup, it had hoped the presence of an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 Israelis at the event would warm ties,” the website said, noting that this “included Israeli reporters, who flew to Qatar ahead of the event on connecting flights, while one of them was on the first direct flight from Tel Aviv to Doha on Sunday, under a FIFA-brokered agreement,” the website added.

“Attempts to talk to soccer fans in Doha didn’t go according to plan,” the website added, noting that footage circulated online shows Saudi fans, a Qatari shopper and a number of Lebanese fans deliberately distancing themselves from Israeli reporters, i24news confirmed.

Two days ago, Israeli media said that Lebanese fans in the World Cup Qatar 2022 refused to speak to Channel 12 reporter after learning he was Israeli.

According to the Israeli channel’s correspondent in Qatar, the Lebanese young men became angry when they learned that the person speaking to them was from an Israeli media agency. The correspondent said, “The Lebanese young men refused to recognize the existence of Israel,” stressing that “Israel” does not exist, it is Palestine.

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Netanyahu highly values MBS role in signing ‘Abraham Accords’

11 Jul 2022

Source: Israeli media

By Al Mayadeen English 

Former Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu expresses openly for the first time MBS’ clear contribution to the signing of several normalization agreements with “Israel”.

Former Israeli occupation PM Benjamin Netanyahu (Archive)

Israeli media relayed the appreciation of the leader of the Israeli opposition, Benjamin Netanyahu, to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, for his contribution to the completion of the four so-called “Abraham Accords”.

Netanyahu said that in case he assumes leadership once again, then he intends to achieve full “peace agreements” with Saudi Arabia, as well as with other Arab states.

The former Israeli Prime Minister’s statement comes ahead of an upcoming visit by US President Joe Biden to the Middle East, during which he will meet with Palestinian and Israeli occupation officials.

According to Israeli media, Biden plans to meet with Netanyahu during his upcoming visit to “Israel”.

This is the first time in which an Israeli official openly highlights bin Salman’s clear contribution to the signing of the normalization agreements with the Israeli occupation.

The UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan were part of the so-called “Abraham Accords” brokered by former US President Donald Trump’s administration in 2020 to normalize relations with “Israel”.

Mossad plane lands in Riyadh ahead of Biden’s visit

On Monday, the political affairs commentator for the Israeli Makan channel, Shimon Aran, revealed that a private Israeli plane “that the Israeli Mossad used in the past landed this afternoon in Riyadh.”  

The Israeli commentator confirmed, through his account on Twitter, that the plane landed this afternoon in Riyadh, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, apparently in preparation for US President Joe Biden’s upcoming visit.

Netanyahu visited Saudi Arabia

It is noteworthy that “Israel” Hayom newspaper had previously revealed that Israeli envoys visited Riyadh several times throughout a period of time that extends for over a decade now. However, these visits have always been kept secret.

There has been one exception to the secret visits and that is Netanyahu’s visit in November of 2020 to the Red Sea city of Neom, which was widely yet carefully publicized, where he met with bin Salman.

Previously, Israeli Security Minister Benny Gantz had visited Saudi Arabia as chief of staff, while Aluf Meir Dagan, Tamir Pardo, and Yossi Cohen arrived as heads of Mossad and Ben Shabbat as head of the “National Security Council.” The purpose of the visit was to develop security coordination, especially against Iran.

Netanyahu, as did most Israeli officials, had flown to Saudi Arabia in a private plane especially leased for this occasion. At the time, it was business contacts that have matured into political, military, and security deals.

 A “road map for normalization”

In the same context, four informed US sources told Axios that the White House has been working on a “road map for normalization” between Saudi Arabia and the Israeli occupation ahead of US President Joe Biden’s visit to West Asia in July.

Earlier this year, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman said, “We do not view Israel as an enemy, but rather as a potential ally in the many interests that we can pursue together, but some issues must be resolved before we can reach that.”

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Anti-normalization Countries Resist The Arab-‘Israeli’ Alliance

July 9, 2022 

By Staff, Agencies

Amid a push by the US and the ‘Israeli’ occupation regime to build an anti-Iranian coalition in the region, a report suggested that a number of Arab countries are against such an alliance.

Washington and Tel Aviv are pushing Arab countries for the realization of a military pact to counter alleged threats from Iran.

Citing unnamed sources, Reuters said the plan is on the agenda of US President Joe Biden’s upcoming visit to the occupied territories and Saudi Arabia in mid-July.

According to the sources, the plan seeks to “build a network of radars, detectors and interceptors between Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Jordan and Egypt, with the help of ‘Israeli’ technology and US military bases.”

However, it highlighted the resistance of some Arab countries, including Iraq, Qatar, and Kuwait, against such a plan due to their relations with Iran and also because of rejecting any ties with the ‘Israeli’ occupiers.

Starting from the tenure of former President Donald Trump, Washington has tried to convince a number of Arab countries to publicly announce the normalization of ties with the ‘Israeli’ regime.

The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco were among the first countries to toe the line, facing strong condemnations from Palestinians who denounced the move as a “stab in their back.”

Using baseless accusations against Iran, Washington is now trying to force some other regional states to side with the Zionist entity.

Iraq, however, is one of the countries that has clearly voiced its opposition to ‘Israel’ as it recently adopted a law criminalizing any sort of ties with the regime.

In late May, Iraq’s parliament approved a law making it illegal for the country to ever normalize its relations with the Zionist occupation regime.

Back in 2020, the UAE and Bahrain entered United States-brokered so-called “peace deals” with the ‘Israeli’ regime. Some other regional states, namely Sudan and Morocco, followed suit.

Reports suggest that Saudi Arabia is the next country that may embark on normalization. Analysts suggest the direct flight of Air Force One from Tel Aviv to Jeddah during Biden’s upcoming trip as a symbolic act can be interpreted within this framework.

Israeli military officials sent to Qatar as US works to bolster security cooperation

Arrival of officials in Qatar underscores how normalisation impacts Arab states that have not formally established ties to Israel

A general view shows US Air Force C-17 Globemaster aircraft at al-Udeid Air Base, Qatar (AFP/File photo)

8 July 2022 

By Sean Mathews

Israeli military officials have secretly been dispatched to Qatar as part of a security reshuffle that places Israel in US Central Command’s area of responsibility, current and former US and Gulf officials have told Middle East Eye.

At least one location where Israeli officials have travelled is al-Udeid, a US air base and the forward operating headquarters of all US forces in the Middle East, also known as Centcom, the sources said.

Israel was absorbed into Centcom last year, in a move that built on the 2020 normalisation agreements which saw Bahrain and the UAE establish full diplomatic relations with Israel. Morocco and Sudan normalised relations with Israel soon after.

A Gulf official with knowledge of the matter who spoke with MEE on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive topic did not say how many Israeli personnel were currently in the country.  

The Abraham Accords and Israel’s inclusion in Centcom ‘are forcing all Arab capitals to reassess what their relationship with Israel looks like’

– R Clarke Cooper, former US official

Despite lacking formal relations, Israel and Qatar – two key US allies – maintain ties, and are known to engage on issues including the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

“There is dialogue, and it is a good dialogue,” said the Gulf official.

Qatar publicly acknowledges what it calls a “working relationship” with Israel. Those ties came to the fore during Israel’s offensive on Gaza last year when Defence Minister Benny Gantz reportedly met with Qatari officials in an unnamed country to negotiate aid for the besieged Gaza Strip.

However, the disclosure, not previously reported elsewhere, of Israeli military officials travelling to Qatar underscores how ties are extending beyond traditional areas such as Palestine, particularly as the US works to bolster security cooperation between its Arab partners and Israel.

“The Abraham Accords, as well as the inclusion of Israel into the US Central Command, are forcing all Arab capitals to reassess what their relationship with Israel looks like,” R Clarke Cooper, former assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs under the Trump administration and currently at the Atlantic Council, told MEE.

“Current considerations of military integration to address shared threats like Iran is a real-time example of such reassessment,” he added.

‘Exploring greater security coordination’

In March, Qatari military officials – along with those from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Jordan – reportedly held a meeting with US and Israeli counterparts in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm al-Sheikh to discuss a plan for joint missile defence.

The meeting took place against a backdrop of rising tensions with Iran, as talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal stall. 

In contrast to other Gulf states, Qatar is seen as more supportive of a return to the deal. Qatar shares the world’s largest natural gas field with Iran. Its leader, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, travelled to the Islamic Republic in May in a push to jumpstart stalled talks. Last month, the US and Tehran held indirect negotiations in Doha aimed at reviving the accord.  

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But Qatar’s geographic position also means that it would be vulnerable to any escalation in the region, analysts say.

“The Qataris, like other smaller countries between Saudi Arabia and Iran, are open to exploring greater security coordination with other actors, whether that be Turkey, whether that be Israel as well,” Anna Jacobs, a senior analyst on Gulf states at the International Crisis Group, told MEE.

Asked about the stationing of Israeli military officials at US bases in Qatar, Centcom referred MEE to the Israeli military. The Israeli military refused to comment on the topic.

Lt Col Dave Eastburn, US Central Command spokesman, told MEE in a written response that the “easing of tensions between Israel and its Arab neighbors subsequent to the Abraham Accords has provided a strategic opportunity for the United States to align key partners against shared threats in the Middle East, including our partners in Israel”.

‘Working relationship’

Qatar, a gas-rich country of 2.8 million people, of which only 300,000 are Qatari nationals, has had a complex relationship with Israel.

Qatar was the first country in the Gulf to establish trade relations with Israel. During the Second Intifada, it was reportedly pressured by Saudi Arabia and other states to close its trade office there. A reopened office was subsequently shuttered when Israel launched its 2009 invasion of Gaza.

Qatar has long positioned itself as an advocate of the Palestinian cause. The Al Jazeera Media Network and its affiliates, which are funded by the Government of Qatar, are viewed by many as critical of Israel.

Doha is also close to Hamas, the group that governs the besieged Gaza Strip, and provides hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza in coordination with the UN, and with the backing of Israel.

Doha’s leverage with Hamas helped it negotiate a ceasefire to last May’s fighting which saw more than 260 Palestinians killed in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, and 13 in Israel. Following the truce, Qatar pledged $500m in support of Gaza’s reconstruction.

A few months after the ceasefire, Qatar announced new measures to provide aid to impoverished families in Gaza. Defence Minister Benny Gantz praised Doha, stating: “I would like to thank Qatar for taking a positive role as a stabilising actor in the Middle East.”

“The Qataris have a win-win situation,” Yoel Guzansky, a Gulf expert at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) in Tel Aviv, told MEE.

“They are appreciated on the Palestinian street for not normalising. They have good relations with the US and good relations with Israel.”

Navigating the grey zone

Biden is scheduled to embark on a four-day trip to the Middle East next week, where he will first visit Israel and the occupied West Bank. The visit will then culminate with a major gathering of regional leaders in the Saudi Arabian port city of Jeddah.

Ahead of Biden’s trip, US officials have hinted that new states could take steps to normalise relations with Israel. The US is believed to be negotiating a deal to transfer two Red Sea islands from Egypt to Saudi Arabia, in a move that could eventually pave the way for Riyadh to normalise in the future.

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Few expect Qatar to take similar measures.

The State Department denied MEE’s request to discuss Qatar and US normalisation efforts. Qatar also didn’t respond to requests for comment by the time of publication. 

In an interview earlier this year, Qatar’s foreign minister ruled out normalising ties with Israel “in the absence of a real commitment to a two-state solution” between the Israelis and Palestinians.

“If I was the Qataris, I would not normalise. And if I was the Israelis, I don’t know if I would want them to,” Guzansky said, explaining that both sides were so far apart on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that it was likely in each’s favour to keep bilateral ties in a “grey zone”.

Navigating that grey zone amid signs that normalisation in the region is proceeding will likely continue to test Qatar’s ability to balance the relationship. 

Hamas’ return ticket to Damascus won’t come cheap

The Palestinian resistance movement’s complicated relationship with Syria is headed for a reset, but it won’t be on their terms.

July 06 2022

Photo Credit: The Cradle

Despite excited media reports of a Hamas-Syria rapprochement, nothing is finalized: the Palestinian resistance movement has much more to prove still.

By The Cradle’s Palestine Correspondent

On 21 June, two unnamed Hamas sources told Reuters that the Palestinian resistance movement had decided to restore ties with Damascus following a decade-long rift after Hamas expressed support for the Syrian opposition.

The news caused a row, and it seems that this may have been the purpose behind its leak.

Shortly after the report, dozens of websites, satellite channels and media commentators in Turkey, Qatar, and the UK who are sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood – the political Islamist group to which Hamas belongs ideologically – distanced themselves from Hamas, which has neither confirmed nor denied the reports.

However, comments made by the head of the Political Bureau of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, has added credence to these claims.

In a speech before the National Islamic Conference in Beirut, on 25 June, Haniyeh said, “The time has come after ten years to make historic reconciliations in the Islamic nation.”

“What is happening in the region today is very dangerous as Israel is paving the way through military and security alliances to fight Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas,” he added.

So how accurate are the reports about “high-profile” secret meetings between Hamas and the Syrians? Is there a relationship between Haniyeh’s visit to Beirut and the timing of these revelations?

The heavy legacy of Khaled Meshaal

When Hamas left Syria over a decade ago, the office of Khaled Meshaal, who was the head of the movement’s Political Bureau at the time, justified the decision as stemming from “moral premises.”

They contended that the Hamas movement stands with the people in deciding who will rule them, saying “even if the ruler supports our right, we will not support his falsehood.” This reverberated within the movement, and the majority of its popular base supported “Syrian revolution” in the face of “the regime that is slaughtering its people.”

That was back in 2011, when the so-called Arab Spring helped sweep the Muslim Brotherhood (MB or Ikhwan) and its affiliates into power in Egypt and Tunisia, and paved the way for the MB-aligned Syrian armed opposition to take control of the outskirts of Damascus. .

But only four years later (2015), the picture was completely reversed: Egypt’s Mohammed Morsi was ousted in a Gulf-backed military coup; Tunisian President Kais Saied turned against the Brotherhood’s Ennahda party and removed it completely from the political scene. And Damascus gradually regained control over the vital parts of Syria.

In the wider region, the regime of Omar Al-Bashir fell in Sudan, and the Muslim Brotherhood’s influence in Libya, Yemen, Jordan and Kuwait was severely diminished.

New leadership, a new direction

It was inevitable that these significant region-wide changes would also transform Hamas’ leadership to reflect the new political scene. In 2017, Ismail Haniyeh was appointed head of the Political Bureau, while that same year, Yahya Al-Sinwar, who was released from Israeli prisons in 2011, became the leader of the movement in Gaza.

Seen as a hawk, Sinwar relies on the absolute support of the movement’s military arm, the Al-Qassam Brigades, and as such, introduced a new political approach to Hamas’ regional relations.

Although Sinwar’s first move was to reorganize relations with Cairo after a four-year estrangement, by far his most important change was to revive Hamas’ relations with the Axis of Resistance, making it the movement’s top foreign policy priority.

Within a few years, the Hamas leader in Gaza had re-established full relations with Iran and Hezbollah, but its return to Damascus still remains the biggest obstacle.

In order to thaw the ice with Syria, Iran mediated first, followed by Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and more recently, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). This deadlock was not broken until after the Hamas operation “Sword of Jerusalem” in May 2021.

Testing the waters

In that same month, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad responded to a greeting from Al Qassam Brigades, conveyed by the Secretary General of PIJ Ziad Al-Nakhaleh, with a corresponding greeting. After that, contacts began to increase between Syrian officials and Hamas leaders.

Syrian sources informed The Cradle that a year ago it was decided to “reduce security measures against a number of Hamas members in Syria, release a number of detainees, and reveal the fate of other missing persons.”

But that didn’t achieve normalcy between Syria and Hamas either. There are those within the latter, it appears, who continue to sabotage progress made with Damascus.

To understand the dynamics of this particular relationship – present and its future – it is necessary to review its stages throughout the years.

From Amman to Damascus

Hamas began paving the way for its relationship with Syria in the early 1990s through visits made by its official Musa Abu Marzouk. In 1992, Mustafa Al-Ledawi was appointed as the head of an unofficial office for the Hamas in Damascus.

The great leap occurred with the visit of the founder of Hamas, the late Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, to Damascus in 1998. This official visit, and the warm reception accorded Yassin, constituted a huge breakthrough in relations, after which the late President Hafez Al-Assad authorized Hamas’ official presence in Syria, providing it with political and security facilities and logistical and material support.

Despite previous bad blood between Damascus and the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, notably in regard to the Hama massacre in 1982, there were several prudent reasons for the Syrian government and Hamas to collaborate.

One reason can be traced to the rivalry between Hafez Assad and the late Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairman Yasser Arafat, who sided with the late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War (1990–91) after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait on 2 August, 1990.

On 21 November, 1999, a plane carrying Hamas’ then-political bureau chief Khaled Meshaal landed at Damascus airport, after being expelled from Jordan and refused a reception by many Arab capitals.

Since then, a number of political bureau members relocated to Damascus, and Hamas’ activities in Syria intensified. Between 2000 and 2010, the relationship further strengthened over several events, including the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, the 2005 withdrawal of the Syrian army from Lebanon, the 2006 July war between Israel and Hezbollah, and most importantly, the Israeli aggression against Gaza in 2008.

Syrian support

Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahar, who was interviewed by The Cradle in Gaza, talks about an important detail that the media did not mention at the time. When Hamas formed its first government in Gaza in 2007, in which Zahar was foreign minister, “Syria was the only Arab country that recognized the diplomatic red passport issued from Gaza.”

Zahar says: “The Syrian leadership gave us everything. On my first visit to Damascus, we were able to solve the problem of hundreds of Palestinian refugees stuck on the Syrian-Iraqi borders, and Syria adopted the Palestinian calling code (+970), and expressed its willingness to provide support to the elected Palestinian government. For that, it faced an Arab, international, and American war.”

Today, Zahar is the designated official tasked by Sinwar to revive the relationship with Damascus. This was confirmed by sources in Hamas, who said that he traveled to Mecca for the Hajj pilgrimage, and may head from there to Damascus.

These details are meaningful: it means Egypt is spared the censure of allowing Zahar to travel to Syria, and would avoid an awkward situation for Cairo in front of the US, Israelis and Gulf Arabs.

From Damascus to Doha and Ankara

The Syrian crisis that erupted in March 2011 put Hamas in a unique bind of its own making. Fellow Palestinian Islamists in PIJ, for example, did not take a radical position on the “revolution” from 2011 to 2017, and were content with maintaining their offices in Damascus, although its political and military leadership relocated to Beirut due to deteriorating security conditions.

On the other hand, Hamas issued its first statement regarding the Syrian crisis on 2 April, 2011, in which it affirmed its support for the Syrian people and leadership, and considered that “Syria’s internal affairs concern the brothers in Syria… We hope to overcome the current circumstances in order to achieve the aspirations of the Syrian people, and preserve Syria’s stability and its internal cohesion, and strengthening its role in the line of confrontation and opposition.”

This wishy-washy statement did not hide the hostile stance of the movement’s members and elites, who all adopted the anti-Syrian narrative. On 5 November, 2011, the Syrian security forces stormed the offices of Hamas, confiscated its assets, and shuttered them.

In early 2012, Meshaal traveled to Doha, Qatar, before holding a scheduled meeting with Bashar Al-Assad. Hamas declared that the meeting “will not be useful.”

Hamas and the opposition

On 8 December, 2012, the movement burned bridges with Damascus when Meshaal and Haniyeh raised the flag of the “Syrian revolution” during a celebration marking the movement’s launch in the Gaza Strip in front of tens of thousands of their supporters.

In a parade held during the celebration, a number of members of the Al-Qassam Brigades wore the opposition flag on their backs.

The Syrian government’s reaction was no less restrained. Assad accused Hamas of actively participating in the war against the Syrian state by supporting Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate Jabhat Al-Nusra, and by providing instructions to opposition factions on ways to dig tunnels and fortify them to withstand aerial bombardment.

Other opposition militant groups such as Bait Al-Maqdis, Faylaq Al-Rahman and Army of Huda announced that they were affiliated with Hamas.

Once an Ikhwani, always an Ikhwani

In 2016, Assad said in an interview with Syrian newspaper Al-Watan: “We supported Hamas not because they are Muslim Brotherhood, but rather we supported them on the grounds that they are resistance. In the end, it was proven that the Ikhwani (member of Muslim Brotherhood) is Ikhwani wherever he puts himself, and from the inside remains a terrorist and hypocrite.”

All this may seem a thing of the past, but it still affects the formation of a new relationship between the two parties, especially after the return of turncoat Meshaal and his team a year ago to important leadership positions in Hamas.

Although the majority of the movement’s leadership has changed, the old legacy of Meshaal still weighs heavily on everyone, especially in Damascus. There are many in Syria who still warn the “wound is open;” that Hamas has not yet closed it, but rather wants a “free return.”

Understanding Hamas’ structure

Before explaining Hamas’ recent decision to restore ties with Syria, it is necessary to know how the movement is run to ensure representation and accountability. Hamas has a Shura Council of 15 members, chosen in elections in which cadres of certain organizational ranks participate.

These cadres choose their representatives in the local advisory councils from different regions (West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem, territories occupied in 1948, and prisons). As for members of Hamas’ base, they elect their representatives in the General Consultative Council, which in turn elects the Political Bureau.

Despite this ‘healthy democracy,’ the position on Syria produced two contradictory currents:

The first current is led by Meshaal, who was head of the Political Bureau until 2017. It includes Ahmed Youssef, a former adviser to Haniyeh, and Nayef Rajoub, one of the most prominent leaders of Hamas in the West Bank.

The second current has no specific leader, but Zahar was the public face before Sinwar joined him.

Between these two viewpoints, Ismail Haniyeh and Musa Abu Marzouk maintain a state of ‘pragmatism’ by taking a middle position between the Qatar-Turkey axis and the Axis of Resistance.

Although the decision to leave Syria was taken with the full approval of the members of the Shura Council and members of the Political Bureau, the entire burden of the decision was placed on Meshaal. The man, who was a personal friend of Assad and Secretary General of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah, became blacklisted by the Axis of Resistance.

Meshaal’s influence

All prior efforts to restore relations between Hamas and Syria were a “waste of time” as long as Meshaal was at the helm of the movement. This was not only the opinion of the Syrians, but of many Iranians as well.

In 2015, for example, when there were media reports about efforts to restore Hamas-Syrian relations, the Iranian Tabnak website (supervised by General Mohsen Rezaei, a leader in the Revolutionary Guards and currently one of the advisors to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei) launched a scathing attack against Meshaal.

At that time, Meshaal had refused to visit Tehran if he was not received at the highest levels – that is – to meet specifically with Khamenei. The Tabnak website wrote: “Meshaal and the Hamas leaders lined up two years ago on the side of the international terrorists in Syria… They are now setting conditions for the restoration of relations between Hamas and Iran as if Iran did not have any conditions.”

Since that time, Meshaal and his team have remained staunchly reluctant to even talk about restoring relations with Damascus. In addition to their loyalty (to some extent) to Turkey and Qatar, they were aware that reviving relations would weaken their organizational position within Hamas, and contribute to increasing the influence of their rivals.

On the other hand, these rivals remained weak until 2017, as Meshaal managed to marginalize Mahmoud Al-Zahar who did not receive any influential positions.

Re-joining the Resistance Axis

The formation of the new Political Bureau meant there were now a large number of officials who were not involved in any public positions on the Syrian crisis – such as Sinwar, Saleh Al-Arouri, and Osama Hamdan, who maintained a balanced relationship with all parties.

Zahar told The Cradle that Sinwar was “convinced” of his theses about the shape of the “last battle with Israel.” He added: “I spoke with Abu Ibrahim (Sinwar) for a long time about restoring the bond with the components of the nation that have hostility to Israel, specifically Hezbollah, Syria and Iran, and this is the pillar of Hamas’ foreign policy in the future.”

Nevertheless, Zahar believes that Damascus “will refuse to deal with the movement’s leadership, which took the lead during the war.” But it is likely that the Syrians will accept to deal with him personally, which he will seek during his forthcoming visit.

What’s Next?

Well-informed sources in Hamas revealed to The Cradle that the movement’s Political Bureau met this month and made the decision to return to Syria, despite Meshaal’s objection.

The resolution has two aims: first, to build a resistance front in the “ring countries” surrounding Palestine; and second, to establish a maritime line of communication between Gaza and the port of Latakia, in Syria.

The sources also revealed that Jamil Mezher, who was recently elected deputy secretary general of the PFLP, conveyed a message from Sinwar to the Syrian leadership calling for the restoration of relations between the two parties.

After his visit to Damascus, Mezher met with Haniyeh in Beirut to discuss the results. Haniyeh also met Nasrallah, as well as Ziad Al-Nakhaleh in an expanded meeting of the leaderships of Hamas and the PIJ in the Lebanese capital. All these events took place in one week.

According to Hamas sources, Haniyeh informed Nasrallah that the movement has unanimously taken an official decision to restore relations with Damascus. The two sides also discussed the demarcation of the maritime border between Lebanon and Israel.

The sources confirm that “Hamas is ready to simultaneously target gas-stealing platforms from the Gaza sea, in the event that Hezbollah targets an exploration and extraction vessel in the Karish field.”

Hamas sources, as well as an informed Syrian source, however, deny holding any recent new meetings between the two parties. The Syrian source reveals that meetings sponsored by Islamic Jihad were held last year.

What does Syria stand to gain?

On the other hand, Damascus has its reasons for postponing the return of this relationship. Of course, internal reasons can be overlooked if Bashar Al-Assad himself makes the decision.

But it is the current regional situation and the re-formation of alliances that worries the Syrian leadership the most.

It is true that Assad the son, like his father, has learned the ropes in dealing with the MB, but now he has no need for a new headache caused by the return of Hamas. There is no great benefit from this return except in one case: the normalization of Syrian relations with Turkey, Qatar, or both.

On Syria’s terms

Only in this scenario, can bridges be re-built with Hamas. But the conditions for this are currently immature, as this normalization will be at the expense of Syria’s relationship with its ally Russia, whether in the issue of gas supplies to Europe or stopping the military operation that Ankara is threatening against Kurdish terrorists in northern Syria.

Syria, which has already improved its relations with the UAE, and is currently working to improve its relations with Saudi Arabia and Jordan, will not include a “losing card” in its stack of cards now.

It will also not compete with Egypt over a file – the relationship with Hamas – which Cairo considers its monopoly in the region.

Also, Damascus is not in the midst of a clash of any kind with the Palestinian Authority and the Fatah movement, which took advantage of the exit of Hamas to consolidate their position in the Syrian capital and improve their relationship with Assad.

However, when news broke about the possible resumption of Hamas-Syrian relations, this time Damascus did not launch an attack on the movement and did not comment negatively on the news of the rapprochement and the restoration of the relations – as it did previously.

There is no doubt that the battle of the “Sword of Jerusalem” and the presence of a new leadership in Hamas’ Political Bureau has thawed the ice significantly. But the answer to when full rapprochement will be achieved is a decision likely to be made between Assad and Nasrallah.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

Algeria: 60 years of endless support for the Palestinian cause

July 5, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net + Agencies

By Ahmad Karakira 

Algeria has always demonstrated unconditional support for the country of Palestine and the Palestinian cause, which dates back to fighting “Israel” and helping Egypt claim back Sinai in the 1973 October War.

Algeria’s unconditional support for the Palestinian cause

On July 5, 1962, after 132 years of French colonialism, Algeria declared its independence. The Evian agreements of March 18, 1962, ended the war between France and the Algerian National Liberation Army (ALN), and a referendum of self-determination took place on the first of July, 1962.

The results of the referendum came in favor of transferring power from the French to the Algerian authorities on July 3, ending decades of occupation, settler colonialism, and massacres.

The date – July 5 – was deliberately chosen by the Algerian government in reference to July 5, 1830, when the city of Algiers was occupied by France.

The seven-year war between the French occupier and the Algerian resistance left around one million Algerian martyrs on the path of Algeria’s freedom and liberation.

Endless stories about heroic epic battles by the Algerian resistance against Western colonialism can be recounted on the 60th anniversary of Algeria’s independence.

However, this piece aims to shed light on Algeria’s endless support for Palestine, the Palestinian cause, and fellow Arab states against all forms of oppression and occupation since the north African country gained its liberation through resistance.

“We are with Palestinians, be they the oppressed or the oppressors”

To begin with, Palestinians supported the Algerian Revolution from 1954-1962 and showed solidarity through organizing fundraisers for Algeria.

Despite some Arab states shamefully signing normalization agreements with the Israeli occupation in exchange for some benefits, Algeria has strongly opposed such deals, considering normalization with the occupation as a betrayal to the Arabs and the Palestinian cause.

In the early 1970s, former Algerian President Houari Boumediene said his famous phrase, “We are with Palestinians, be they the oppressed or the oppressors.”

It is noteworthy that similar to the official Algerian stance on Palestine, Algerians, according to the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, oppose normalizing ties with the Israeli occupation with a 99% rate.

One would wonder about the secret behind Algeria’s unconditional support for the Palestinian cause.

Historically, Algeria has always been advocating the Palestinian cause and supporting fellow Arab states against the Israeli occupation.

In fact, after only five years of gaining its liberation from the French occupation, Algeria supported the Arab allies against “Israel” by sending troops and aircrafts to fight alongside the Arab states in the 1967 Six-Day War.

The Algerian army also played an important role during the 1973 October war.

Significantly, when Egypt signed the Camp David Agreement and established ties with the Israeli occupation, Algeria severed its ties with Egypt.

In addition, Algeria established close relations with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), providing it with weapons, training its fighters during the 70s, and helping the PLO obtain observer status in the UN in 1974.

After the former US President Donald Trump’s administration, the UAE, and “Israel” revealed the so-called “Abraham Accords” in August, current Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune stressed his country’s deep commitment to the Palestinian cause, affirming that Algeria deems Palestine as a sacred cause.

Algiers also harshly criticized the normalizing states (the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan). It also paid the price for its anti-normalization stance, as the US acknowledged the Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara after years of unresolved disputes and unachievable status.

In trying to understand the reason behind Algeria’s official and popular support for the Palestinian cause, Sami Hamdi, the Editor-in-Chief of the International Interest magazine, explained that “Algerians feel a deep resonance with the Palestinians who have been colonized for some 82 years and believe that whatever the difficulties, resistance will eventually succeed.”

In the same context, TRT had quoted Jalel Harchaoui, a Senior Fellow at the Geneva-based Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, as saying that Algeria’s “somewhat exceptional history makes resistance against colonial powers writ large a narrative crucially central to the Algerian state as we know it.”

Algeria’s participation in the 1973 October War

Aiming to restore the lands that “Israel” occupied during the 1967 Six-Day War – Sinai in Egypt and the Golan Heights in Syria – on October 6, 1973, Cairo and Damascus launched an attack on the Zionist entity. The war coincided with the holy month of Ramadan.

During that time, Algeria played a significant role in providing Egypt and Syria with Soviet weapons and bringing in troops to the Egyptian front to fight the Israeli occupation, despite its then-instable economic situation as a result of the pre-independence era of French colonialism.

In fact, then-Algerian President Houari Boumedienne reportedly flew to Moscow to secure military aid for the Egyptians and the Syrians.

In a reiteration of its role in supporting anti-colonialist movements, Algeria sent more than 2,100 troops, 815 non-commissioned officers, and 192 officers to Sinai. It also sent 96 tanks and over 50 fighters and bomber aircraft to Egypt, according to the Egyptian authorities.

Algiers also participated in the oil embargo imposed by the Arab members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on the US over its support of the Israeli occupation during the war, which led to significant price hikes around the world.

On October 17, Arab oil producers decided to increase the price of oil by 17% and cut oil production by 5%, vowing to “maintain the same rate of reduction each month thereafter until the Israeli forces are fully withdrawn from all Arab territories occupied during the June 1967 War, and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people are restored.”

Sharon underestimated the power of Algerian forces

In the context of the 1973 October War, the former Chief of Staff of the Israeli occupation forces, David Eliezer, acknowledged in his released diaries that “Israel” lost this war as a result of the arrogance of then-Major General Ariel Sharon, who underestimated the power of the Algerian forces and thought that they wouldn’t stand a chance against the IOF forces, thinking that they would flee as soon as they set their eyes on Israeli tanks.

Eliezer said that 900 IOF soldiers were killed and 172 tanks were destroyed in just one day during the war.

On his part, the former Israeli Security Minister Moshe Dayan revealed that all the intelligence information showed that Algerians did not have weapons capable of intercepting the Israeli forces.

Dayan also said the Israelis received intelligence about a state of division between the Egyptians and the Algerians. The Israelis were surprised by the Algerian forces downing a giant US Lockheed C-5 Galaxy aircraft by a missile, which frightened the US Staff and frustrated the Nixon administration.

The former Israeli minister said the Egyptian forces deceived the Israeli forces, making them believe that the strategic Al-Adabiya port was not fortified enough. However, the Algerian forces were in charge of protecting the port.

One cannot but hail the role of Algeria in supporting the Palestinian cause and anti-colonial liberation movements, whether on the official or popular level. Despite the geographical distances separating Palestine from Algeria, Algerians believe that the two countries share the same pain, torture, grief, sorrow, and hopefully the same liberation to be achieved in the near future.

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The west’s Plan B: Secure the realm

Having failed in preserving the unipolar order, the west will resort to Plan B – reviving a bipolar world based on the ‘civilized’ west and the ‘barbarian’ rest.

June 27 2022

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Fadi Lama

Plan A: Global Hegemony

By the late 1990s, it was clear that a China-led Asia would be the dominant economic, technological and military power of the 21st century.

The late Polish-American diplomat and political scientist Zbigniew Brzezinski spelled out in 1997 that the way to control Asian growth, and China’s in particular, was to control global energy reserves.

The attacks on 11 September 2001 provided the “catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor” to set military intervention plans in motion. As noted by US General Wesley Clark, “in addition to Afghanistan, we’re going to take out 7 countries in 5 years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran.”

Energy reserves of these countries – in addition to those already controlled by the west – would result in western control over 60 percent of global gas reserves and 70 percent of global oil reserves.

However, the west’s direct military intervention wars failed, and subsequent proxy wars using assorted Al Qaeda-affiliated Islamists failed as well.

Rise of the ‘RIC’

In the two decades since Brzezinski laid out his strategy and the west immersed itself in failed wars, the Eurasian sovereignist core of Russia, Iran, and China (RIC) were heavily focused on national development in all arenas, including the economic, technological and military fields, and physical and social infrastructure development.

By 2018, it was clear that plans for western control of global energy reserves had failed and that the RIC had overtaken the west in many, if not most, of the aforementioned sectors.

As a result, the RIC were able to project power, protecting sovereign nations from western interventionism in West AsiaCentral AsiaSouth America and Africa. In Iran’s case this also involved a direct military response against US forces, following the assassination of the late General Qassem Soleimani. Making matters worse, the gap between the west and the RIC is widening, with little chance for the former to catch up.

The impossibility of sustaining western global hegemony had become evident amid continuous erosion of western power and global influence, which coincide with a commensurate expansion of RIC global influence, both of which necessitated an alternative strategy: a Plan B, as it were.

Plan B: Securing the realm

In view of the irreversible widening of this gap, and the growing global influence of the RIC, the only feasible strategy for the west would be to ‘terminate the competition’ by splitting the world into two regions, one in which the west has ironclad control, where western “rules” reign, and is divorced from the RIC-influenced region.

The current geostrategy of the west is the imposition of an Iron Curtain with the inclusion of as many resource rich nations as possible. Only by realizing the west’s actual geostrategic objective is it possible to understand the reason behind its apparently self-defeating actions, specifically:

  • Imposition of draconian sanctions on Russia that hurt the west far more than Russia.
  • Increasing tensions with China and Iran whilst engaged in a proxy war with Russia.

While the world is fixated on the conflict in Ukraine, the geostrategic objective of the west is being steadily advanced.

Sanctions: the catalyst of crises and coercion

The widely accepted explanation is that the west imposed draconian sanctions with the expectation that it would turn the ruble into “rubble,” create a run on banks, crash the Russian economy, weaken President Vladimir Putin’s grip on power, and pave the way for a more amenable president to replace him.

None of these expectations materialized. On the contrary, the ruble strengthened against the dollar and the euro, and the Russian economy is faring better than most western economies, which are witnessing record inflation and recessionary indicators. To add insult to injury, Putin’s popularity has soared while those of his western counterparts are hitting record lows.

The west’s after-the-fact explanation that sanctions, and their repercussions, were not well thought out, do not hold water.

Often overlooked though, has been the devastating impact of these sanctions on the Global South. US economist Michael Hudson argues that the Ukraine war is merely a catalyst to impose sanctions that would result in global food and energy crises – allowing the US to coerce the Global South to be “with us or against us.”

Indeed the impact of these crises are compounded by the earlier detrimental impact of Covid lockdowns. Food, energy and economic crises are further exasperated by the US Federal Reserve raising interest rates which directly impact the debt servicing ability of Global South countries, placing them on the edge of bankruptcy and at the mercy of the western-controlled World Bank and International Monetary Fund — the instruments for effectively locking these nations within the western realm.

Thus, despite the very negative impact of sanctions on western countries, these nevertheless fit perfectly with the strategic objective of locking in as many Global South countries within the western sphere of influence.

Tensions with China and Iran:

Driving a wedge between Eurasian powers has been an axiom of western geostrategy, as expressed eloquently by Brzezinski: “The three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are:

  • to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals,
  • to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and
  • to keep the barbarians from coming together.”

In this regard, raising tensions with Beijing and Tehran, while the west is involved in a proxy war with Russia, appears contradictory.

However it starts to make more rational sense when contextualizing the strategy as one aiming to establish an “Iron Curtain” that separates the world into two: one is the western Realm, and the other is Brzezinski’s ‘Barbaria,’ at the core of which are the RIC.

Two worlds

The western realm will continue on its path of neoliberalism. Yet due to significantly smaller populations and resources under its control, it will be significantly impoverished compared to present, necessitating imposition of police states for which Covid-19 lockdowns provide a glimpse into the socio-political future of these states.

Global South countries under the western realm will continue down a path of increased poverty, requiring management by dictatorial governments. Political turbulence is expected as a result of deteriorating socioeconomic conditions.

‘Barbaria,’ as reflected in the very diverse political and economic models of the RIC, will have a variety of development models, reflecting the civilizational diversity within this realm and the mutually beneficial cooperation which currently exists between the RICs, and between the RIC and others.

What about the Global South?

Facing the perfect storm of food, energy, inflation and debt servicing crises, many Global South countries will be in a very weak position and may be readily coerced into joining the western realm. This will be facilitated by the fact that their economic, and consequently, political elites, have their interests aligned with the western financial construct – and will thus wholeheartedly embrace joining the west.

The inability of west to provide effective solutions to these crises, coupled with their colonial past, will make joining Barbaria more attractive. This can be further influenced by the RIC providing support during this crisis period.

Russia has already offered to assist in the provision of food to Afghanistan and African countries, while Iran notably provided gasoline to Venezuela during its fuel crisis. Meanwhile, China has a successful track record of infrastructure development in Global South countries and is spearheading the world’s most ambitious connectivity project, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

As Russian economist and Minister of Integration for the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) Sergey Glazyev already hinted when describing the emerging alternative global financial network: “Countries of the Global South can be full participants of the new system regardless of their accumulated debts in dollars, euro, pound, and yen. Even if they were to default on their obligations in those currencies, this would have no bearing on their credit rating in the new financial system.”

How many Global South nations can the western realm realistically expect to hold onto when Barbaria offers a clean slate, with zero debt?

Where does this leave West Asia?

The Axis of Resistance will be further aligned with Barbaria; however, political elites in Iraq and Lebanon favor the western realm. Thus, a politically turbulent period is expected in such countries. Due to the inability of west to offer economic solutions, coupled with the clout of local Resistance parties in these countries, the end game for Iraq and Lebanon is ultimately to join Barbaria, along with the de-facto government of Yemen.

Oil sheikhdoms of the Gulf are creations of the west and therefore belong in the western realm. However due to events of the past two decades, this may not necessarily be where they all line up.  The west’s debacles in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen have convinced the sheikhdoms that the west has lost its military edge, and is no longer able to offer long term protection.

Furthermore, unlike the west, Barbaria has a track record of not directly meddling in the internal affairs of nations, a factor of significance for the sheikhdoms. Recent diplomatic tensions with the west have been evidenced by Saudi and UAE leaders rejecting the oil production demands of the US administration – an unprecedented development. If offered convincing protection by Barbaria, oil sheikhdoms may decide to join it.

End of an Era

Retrenchment of the west marks the end of a long era of western expansionism and oppression. Some date this era back six centuries to the start of European colonization in the fifteenth century. Others date it even further back to the Great Schism and the subsequent Crusades.

The latter are supported by a statement attributed to British Field Marshal Edmund Allenby on entering Jerusalem in 1917:  “only now have the crusades ended,” and the fact that church bells chimed worldwide in celebration of the occupation of Jerusalem.

During this era, hundreds of millions all over the globe were massacred, civilizations were wiped out, billions suffered and still suffer. To state that we are living in epochal times is a gross understatement.

Naturally the end of such an era cannot happen peacefully; the wars of the past 30 years are witness to this.

The regression of western initiated wars from direct military intervention (Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq) to wars by proxy (Syria, Iraq, Ukraine) augurs well, as it reflects the realization by the west that it is no match militarily to the RIC. Had there been any lingering doubts, the war in Ukraine has put them to rest. Thus it can be concluded that the worst is over.

Internal instability in some Global South countries will exist in the near future; a consequence of the struggle between diverging interests of populations and neoliberal ruling elites. Decline and impoverishment of the west vs. the rise of RIC will favour the resolving these struggles in favour of the peoples and alignment with RIC.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

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