Trump And PM Khan Might Have Just Ruined Iranian-Indian Relations

By Andrew Korybko
Source

The American and Pakistani leaders independently took two very important and uncoordinated moves at almost the exact same time that might coincidentally have the same effect of ruining Iranian-Indian relations.

Iranian-Indian relations might be about to enter their worst-ever period in modern history as a result of two very important and uncoordinated moves undertaken at almost the exact same time by the American and Pakistani leaders. PM Khan just paid his first visit to Iran where he and his hosts announced that they’ll enter into a new era of anti-terrorist cooperation that geopolitical analyst Adam Garrie comprehensively analyzed in his recent piece on this breaking news event. The ball was indeed in Iran’s court to stop India’s anti-Pakistani Baloch terrorism like I wrote the other day, and to Tehran’s credit, its leadership finally understood this and decided to expand its military partnership with the global pivot state of Pakistan. This will greatly complicate India’s Hybrid War capabilities in clandestinely using Iranian territory to carry out terrorist attacks against Pakistan by proxy as it obsessively seeks to sabotage CPEC, meaning that PM Khan’s visit will have far-reaching and long-term geostrategic security consequences in the New Cold War.

In parallel with this, Trump decided that the US won’t renew its Iranian oil sanctions waivers and that Washington’s GCC partners of Saudi Arabia and the UAE will help the Islamic Republic’s energy customers replace their imports with Gulf resources instead. India was very vocal last year about its intent to defy the US’ unilateral sanctions against Iran, but as I wrote in my piece at the time about the “Indian Illusion“, all of this was just rhetoric to hide the fact that New Delhi was quietly implementing its new American patron’s will. Trump just put Modi on the spot, however, and it might augur negatively for the Indian leader during the ongoing month-long electoral process if he publicly capitulates to the US’ demands and replaces Iranian resources with Gulf ones like I suspected he’s been planning to do since late last year after his summit in Argentina with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. As such, this American move might also be yet another “bad cop” tactic against Modi to get more strategic concessions out of India.

It therefore wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Trump and PM Khan might have just ruined Iranian-Indian relations for good when considering the combined effect of their latest moves to that relationship. The Pakistani leader exposed India’s Hybrid War terrorist plot during his talks with the Iranian leadership which probably explains why the two neighboring nations decided to take their military cooperation with one another to the next level, while the American leader is forcing India to stop importing Iranian oil under the threat of potentially crippling “secondary sanctions” and to replace its resources with those from the Islamic Republic’s hated GCC foes. Although Iran and India still have shared strategic interests in the Chabahar Corridor and North-South Transport Corridor, the trust that formerly defined their relations is broken and their ties will never be the same. The end result is beneficial to the US and Pakistan for different reasons and might even interestingly be a tangential outcome of their recent diplomatic cooperationin Afghanistan.

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Sri Lankan Authorities May Have Fallen Into a Trap Set by a Foreign Power

By Adam Garrie
Source

The entire world remains confronted with the horrors that unfolded yesterday throughout Sri Lanka. Whilst the country remains under curfew, the authorities have pinned the blame for the attack on an obscure group called National Thowheeth Jama’ath (NTJ). NTJ is reportedly an Islamist terror group that as noted by Sri Lankan authorities, has multiple links to foreign countries. The links to foreign countries appears to hold the key to determining who is really behind the attacks. Notably, it has been reported by journalists that the group trains in Chennai in Tamil Nadu – the same location where LTTE had previously trained. Others yet claim that NTJ is such a small and obscure group that even if it wanted to pull off such an attack, it did not have the capacity to do so.

As the Muslim population of Sri Lanka is less than 8% of the country’s entire population, it is difficult to conceive that any genuine local Islamist group would seek to stage such massive attacks when the possibility of any material gain would be limited by the fact that not only is Sri Lanka’s Muslim population at harmony with the Buddhist majority, but the population of Muslims is incredibly small. This contrasts sharply with the situation in Syria where a Sunni Muslim majority was weaponized against a leadership comprised of the minority Alawite faction.

Therefore, due to NTJ’s foreign links, it is highly likely that a foreign entity, most likely a foreign state or state intelligence agency was behind the attacks and that the men on the ground who have been captured are merely pawns in a much larger and even more dangerous game. When it comes to seeking to pin-pointing the country with a clear motive for orchestrating the attacks, India is the one that springs immediately to mind, not least because NTJ reportedly trains where the LTTE once did.

India has a long history of seeking to manipulate the power balance in Sri Lanka in order to turn the country into something of an Indian protectorate. These attempts have notably been resisted by most contemporary Sri Lankan leaders who seek an independent foreign policy that aims at securing win-win friendship not only with India but crucially, also with China and Pakistan.

In spite of this, India was one of the first open backers of the LTTE’s reign of terrorism that gripped Sri Lanka beginning in 1983. India ultimately paid a price for its dithering in the early stages of the Sri Lankan civil war. By the end of the 1987, India had given up on LTTE and instead sought to influence the situation by committing a deeply controversial peace keeping force to Sri Lanka whose overall effect only served to provoke further violence. As a result of India’s 1987 decision to publicly “switch sides”, LTTE assassinated Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. In spite of this, it has been widely known in Sri Lanka and elsewhere that in spite of the official rhetoric in New Delhi, India’s RAW intelligence agency resumed covert support of LTTE later in the 1990s.

Since the end of the war against LTTE in 2009, India has sought to monopolise foreign influence in a post-war Sri Lanka that has developed ever more economic ties with China and plays a key role in the Belt and Road initiative. This has clearly been a source of consternation for an Indian state that has a track record of meddling in the affairs of both Sri Lanka and the much smaller Maldives. In both Sri Lanka and the Maldives, political factions are often divided by foreign observers into a pro-India side and a pro-China side. Although such divisions are not black and white, there is a level of truth to such descriptions. As such, India recently engaged in what geopolitical expert Andrew Kroybko described as a “electoral regime change in the Maldives”. This came after the prominent BJP supporter Subramanian Swamy called for a traditional war against the Maldives.

India was clearly looking to the south both in terms of Maldives and Sri Lanka for much of late 2018 and early 2019. Beginning in late 2018, Sri Lanka experienced a serious political crisis after President Maithripala Sirisena abruptly sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and replaced him with former political rival (and former President) Mahinda Rajapaksa. According to Sirisena and his supporters, the proximate causes of Wickremesinghe’s dismissal were personal, cultural and class differences that Sirisena called irreconcilable. Furthermore, it was claimed by some in the Sri Lankan press that the sacking of Wickremesinghe was due to an Indian backed assassination plot against the President which resulted in the abrupt about face in respect of the Sri Lankan President’s loyalty. Later however, Sirisena assured Indian Premier Modi that he had never made such an accusation.

But while Sirisena took the time to assure India that stories regarding an Indian assassination plot are ‘fake news’, an inevitable geopolitical justification for Wickremesinghe’s sacking was offered from many quarters of Indian media.

According to the Indian narrative throughout the end of the 2018,  the traditionally/”formerly” pro-India Sirisena dismissed the pro-India Wickremesinghe in favour of the pro-China Rajapaksa due to pressure from Beijing. Of course, no one has been able to present any evidence of any Chinese involvement in the matter while China itself has taken a diplomatic line on the matter that has respected Sirisena’s decision in a rather subdued manner.

Ultimately, the courts overruled Sirisena and Wickremesinghe has continued to serve as the country’s Prime Minister.

Whilst the saga which pitted Wickremesinghe against Rajapaksa on the orders of Sirisena does ultimately seem to have been a completely internal matter, India clearly has not forgotten that Sirisena had moved to install a Prime Minister who ostensibly was more favourable to China and less so to India. As Sri Lanka is a much larger country than Maldives, meddling in the political situation was clearly going to be more difficult than the “electoral regime change” that New Delhi pulled off in Malé. Beyond this, whilst Indian media did their best to meddle in the situation in Sri Lanka during late 2018 and early 2019, this may well not have been enough to satisfy elements of the Indian deep state seeking revenge against Sirisena.

Beyond this, the timing of the attacks is incredibly suspicious. After India’s  recent provocation against Pakistan resulted in humiliation after Pakistan downed two Indian jets and safely captured and later released an Indian pilot, it can be logically deduced that India sought to create a different regional disturbance against a target that is generally seen as “softer” from the Indian perspective vis-a-vis Pakistan.

As Sri Lanka defeated LTTE ten years ago, the atmosphere of peace that had prevailed may well have created a false sense of security that was ripe for exploitation. Even before Colombo named an obscure Islamist group as the culprits of the attacks, Indian politicians up to and including Narendra Modi began banging the drums of jingoistic Islamophobia as is par for the course when it comes to the radical Hindutva BJP.

Therefore, when one connects the dots, one sees that India stands to uniquely benefit from Sri Lanka’s turmoil not only in terms of internal electoral politics but in terms of weakening a Sri Lankan government that in spite of its allegedly pro-India Prime Minister maintains healthy and growing ties to China and Belt and Road. Thus, the attack could well serve as a “punishment” for Sri Lanka’s “crime” of moving closer towards Belt and Road. Making matters all the more beneficial for India is that a relative of the Bangladesh Prime Minister’s family was also killed in the attack which took place on a five star hotel in which he was staying. It cannot be ruled out that RAW had knowledge of this and specially targeted the hotel in order to inevitably inflame Bangladeshi sentiment against Sri Lanka for its self-evident security failure.

Taken as a whole, India has clear motives for seeking to destabilise Sri Lanka at this time. What’s left for Sri Lankan investigators to do is make the foreign links of NTJ know to the wider world whilst Sri Lanka must also record and make public the voices of the surviving suspects so that experts can determine if the suspects speak in the language, dialect and vernacular that one would expect. Also, the bodies of the terrorists must be examined to determine whether they are circumcised or not. This is crucial as previous Indian false flag attacks have involved non-circumcised men (therefore not Muslims) participating in allegedly Islamist attacks whilst also, previous false flag attacks in India allegedly involving Pakistanis were later exposed due to the fact that the “Pakistani” suspects could not speak Urdu or any other official Pakistani language but instead spoke in languages and vernaculars common only to India.

Therefore, while it cannot be concluded with certainty that yesterday’s atrocity was a false flag attack, it can certainly not be ruled out. As such, anyone with a clear motive for conducting a false flag attack should be thoroughly investigated by the Sri Lankan authorities.

The Legal Narrative Funnel That’s Being Used To Extradite Assange

By Caitlin Johnstone
Source

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Isn’t it interesting how an Ecuadorian “asylum conditions” technicality, a UK bail technicality, and a US whistleblowing technicality all just so happened to converge in a way that just so happens to look exactly the same as imprisoning a journalist for telling the truth?

Following the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, top UK officials all began simultaneously piping the following exact phrase into public consciousness: “No one is above the law.”

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“This goes to show that in the United Kingdom, no one is above the law,” Prime Minister Theresa May told parliament after Assange’s arrest.

“Julian Assange is no hero and no one is above the law,” tweeted Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

“Nearly 7 years after entering the Ecuadorean Embassy, I can confirm Julian Assange is now in police custody and rightly facing justice in the UK. I would like to thank Ecuador for its cooperation and @metpoliceuk for its professionalism. No one is above the law,” tweeted Home Secretary Sajid Javid.

Over and over again that phrase showed up to be unquestioningly re-bleated by the human livestock known as the British press in all their reporting on the Assange case: No one is above the law. No one is above the law. No one is above the law. Something tells me they really want people to know that, with regard to Julian Assange, no one is above the law.

But what is “the law” in this particular case? What they are constantly referring to as “the law” with regard to Assange is in fact nothing more than a combination of ridiculous bureaucratic technicalities which can be (and have been) interpreted very differently, but are now instead being interpreted in a way which just so happens to lead to a truth-telling journalist being locked in a cage, awaiting extradition to the same government which tortured Chelsea Manning.

Now, the US is a Free Democracy™. When you are a Free Democracy™, you can’t just go around imprisoning journalists willy nilly simply for telling the truth about your government. That’s something other countries do, bad countries, the kind of country the US routinely invades in order to help spread Freedom and Democracy™. The US would never do that. But it would diddle a bunch of narratives in such a way that just so happens to achieve exactly the same result.

As we discussed yesterday, the Trump administration’s extradition request is accompanied by criminal charges which are based on the same information which the Obama administration declined to charge Assange for, a point which has been discussed in more detail in a new article by The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald and Micah Lee. The Obama administration looked at the evidence and concluded that there was no way to charge Assange with anything without endangering press freedoms, then the Trump administration looked at literally the exact same evidence and said screw press freedoms, we’re going after him. They wanted to punish Assange and show the world what happens to a journalist who exposes US war crimes, so they changed the narrative to make it happen.

But they couldn’t extradite Assange from the UK if the British government didn’t legally have Assange in custody.

To get around this problem, the UK, which is functionally just a province within the US-centralized empire, used a bail technicality to justify his arrest. After the Swedish government decided to drop its sexual assault investigation without issuing any charges, Assange’s legal team attempted last year to get a British arrest warrant dropped for a bail violation which went into effect when the WikiLeaks founder took political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy. The judge in that case, Emma Arbuthnot, just happens to be married to former Tory junior Defence Minister and government whip James Arbuthnot, who served as director of Security Intelligence Consultancy SC Strategy Ltd with a former head of MI6. Lady Arbuthnot denied Assange’s request with extreme vitriol, despite his argument that British law does have provisions which allow for the time he’d already served under functional house arrest to count toward far more time than would be served for violating bail. The British government kept police stationed outside the embassy at taxpayers’ expense with orders to arrest Assange on sight.

But they couldn’t arrest Assange as long as he had legal political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy.

To get around that problem, Ecuador’s new president Lenin Moreno found himself being courted by the US government, meeting with Vice President Mike Pence and reportedly discussing Assange after US Democratic senators petitioned Pence to push for Moreno to revoke political asylum. The New York Times reported last year that in 2017 Paul Manafort met with Moreno and offered to broker a deal where Ecuador could receive debt relief aid in exchange for handing Assange over, and just last month Ecuador ended up receiving a 4.2 billion dollar loan from the Washington-based IMF. And then, lo and behold, we just so happen to see Ecuador justifying the revocation of political asylum under the absurd claim that Assange had violated conditions that were only recently invented, using narratives that were based on wild distortions and outright lies.

In this way a kind of narrative funnel was created, funneling Assange from the embassy to British police on the imaginary narrative that Assange had violated asylum conditions and that he needs to serve time for a bail violation, which in turn allows for Assange to be funneled from the UK into the US on the imaginary narrative that he broke some kind of law by trying to help Chelsea Manning cover her tracks and avoid detection, which is all made possible by the fact that the government of Australia another province in the US-centralized empire) has refused to provide any protection for its citizen. And the end result just so happens to look the same as what you see when a journalist tries to expose malfeasance in an overtly totalitarian government.

This is called Nice Guy Fascism. With a little narrative manipulation you get to act just like a brutal totalitarian regime and then say it’s not because you’re a brutal totalitarian regime, it’s because you’re deeply deeply concerned about the adherence to a specific interpretation of the bureaucratic technicalities of bail protocol. No one is above the law. No one is above the law. No one is above the law.

They keep saying “No one is above the law,” but what they really mean is “No one is safe from the law.” Our rulers are using Assange to show that they can get anyone who tells the truth about them, even if there are laws and policies in place which ostensibly prohibit that.

Manipulators love the rule of law, because they are able to twist it toward their infernal ends. It’s always possible to squint at laws in such a way that it allows them to be interpreted to the benefit of the powerful, which is why lawyers are often horrible human beings. All the most horrific things that have been done throughout the history of civilization have been carried out not by criminals but by law-abiding citizens, because they were perfectly legal under the ruling governments of that time. Genocide, slavery, torture, the use of the atomic bomb: all perfectly legal and state-sanctioned in their time.

They want you looking at “the rule of law”. They want you fixated on it. But really “the rule of law” is nothing other than a series of mental narratives which are treated as reality by existing power structures. Assange is a prisoner by narrative, because he punched holes in the authorized narratives of the powerful. Whoever controls the narrative controls the world.

Land theft, ethnic cleansing, and Jewish supremacy: Israel’s settler colonialism in Syria’s Golan, the forgotten occupied territory — what’s left

By Stephen Gowans March 31, 2019 Israel’s occupation, annexation, and plunder of Syria’s Golan recapitulates all that is repugnant about the Zionist state: its wars of aggression, land theft, ethnic cleansing, racism, quest for lebensraum, and contempt for international legal norms. It also shows that Israeli citizens, including the country’s Left, are not only complicit […]

via Land theft, ethnic cleansing, and Jewish supremacy: Israel’s settler colonialism in Syria’s Golan, the forgotten occupied territory — what’s left

“The Russians are Still Coming” “Without RussiaGate”: The “Fake News” Witch-hunt against the Independent Media

US Foreign Policy under Trump in the Wake of the Russia Probe

Global Research, March 28, 2019

From one day to the next,  following the release of the Mueller report, the shaky RussiaGate consensus created by the corporate media has collapsed.  

What the Mueller investigation contends is that there is no proof that the Kremlin interfered in the 2016 presidential elections. 

The demise of the RussiaGate narrative, however, does not mean that the Trump administration will renew its relations with the Kremlin. “The Russians are still coming”… without RussiaGate. Russia is still portrayed as a threat to America’s National Security. 

In this regard, the objective of the Neocons has been achieved. The Trump administration, with its hawk team of  advisers including Pompeo and Bolton, not to mention Gina Haspel at the CIA, is towing the line. 

Corporate and Political Rivalries

The RussiaGate narrative was required to sustain the multibillion dollar contracts in favor of the military industrial complex including the 1.2 trillion dollar nuclear weapons program.

What was at stake in 2016 were fundamental rivalries within the US establishment marked by the clash between competing corporate (and political) factions, each of which was intent upon exerting control over the incoming US presidency.

In this regard,  Trump was not entirely in the pocket of the lobby groups. He was not a groomed politician. As a member of the business establishment, he had his own corporate sponsors and fund raisers. His stated foreign policy agenda including his “commitment” to revise Washington’s relationship with Moscow did not fully conform with the interests of the defence contractors.

Prior to the elections, a smear campaign was launched by the media on behalf of the  “Clinton faction”. At the height of the election campaign Trump was portrayed by the US media as  “an agent” of the Kremlin, a modern Manchurian candidate.  Barely a month before the November 8 2016 elections, former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Leo Panetta  intimated that Trump represented a threat to National Security. The Atlantic (October 8, 2016),  described Trump is a “Modern Manchurian Candidate”.

Belleville National Democrats, Jan 13, 2017

Vanity Fair November 1 2016

The Atlantic October 8 2016

This anti-Trump campaign continued unabated in the wake of the elections. Ironically, Rod Rosenstein who had been nominated for the position of Deputy Attorney General by president Trump in February 2017, acted against Trump almost immediately following his confirmation on April 27, 2017.

Rosenstein’s mandate was to organize the so-called Russia Probe pertaining to alleged Kremlin interference in the November 2016 elections. Rosenstein’s first step consisted in the firing of FBI Director James Comey and appointing former FBI Director Robert Mueller as Special Council to lead the Russia Probe.

Rod Rosenstein had prepared a three page memorandum, which  criticized James Comey for his handling of the Clinton email investigation and the release of Comey’s October 28, 2016 “Second Letter to Congress” 11 days before Election Day.

This action by Comey referred to as “October Surprise” (2016)  was largely detrimental to Clinton’s candidacy. It certainly did not go against the interests of Donald Trump.

The Fake News Witch-hunt. Clamping Down on Independent Media

RussiaGate was not only a conspiracy against Trump, largely in response to his 2016 election campaign commitment to restore “normal” diplomatic relations with Russia, it also took the form of a Witch-hunt directed against the independent online media,  which were casually tagged as “Russian trolls”, “Russian bots”,  “political commentators acting on behalf of the Russian government.” etc.

In chorus, the Western media was involved in accusing Moscow of election meddling without a shred of evidence.

In contrast, the lies and fabrications as well as the criminality underlying the Democrats’ 2016 election campaign were the object of  independent online media reports which were immediately branded as “fake news” on behalf of the Kremlin.

According to Reuters:

 “Russian President Vladimir Putin supervised his intelligence agencies’ hacking of the U.S. presidential election and turned it from a general attempt to discredit American democracy to an effort to help Donald Trump, three U.S. officials said on Thursday.” (emphasis added)

The New York Times (December 15) focussed on Kremlin meddling. Donald Trump is tagged as “a Useful Idiot”:

Kremlin meddling in the 2016 election warrants further investigation, with an eye toward preventive or retaliatory measures. President Obama has asked the nation’s intelligence community to deliver a fuller report on its findings before he leaves office on Jan. 20, …

Mr. Trump’s reaction to the C.I.A.’s findings leaves him isolated, … There could be no more “useful idiot,” to use Lenin’s term of art, than an American president who doesn’t know he’s being played by a wily foreign power. (emphasis added)

According to the Washington Post in a report published one month before the 2016 November elections:

The Obama administration on Friday [October 2016] officially accused Russia of attempting to interfere in the 2016 elections, including by hacking the computers of the Democratic National Committee and other political organizations.

The denunciation, made by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security, came as pressure was growing from within the administration and some lawmakers to publicly name Moscow and hold it accountable for actions apparently aimed at sowing discord around the election.

“The U.S. Intelligence Community is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from U.S. persons and institutions,including from U.S. political organizations,” said a joint statement from the two agencies. “. . . These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the U.S. election process.” (WP, October 7, 2016)

While the Washington Post (supported by the Deep State?) was spreading rumors on Russia’s alleged election meddling, it was also involved in engineering the Blacklisting of the independent media which was questioning the RussiaGate consensus.

In an “authoritative” Washington Post article, (published 6 days after the November 2016 election) reporter Craig Timberg  reviewed an anonymous website called “PropOrNot,” which had blacklisted several hundred independent online news sources intimating that these websites and social media accounts were part of a Kremlin propaganda network.  Timberg had no evidence in support of his allegations. The objective was to trigger the crackdown against the online independent media:

“Two teams of independent researchers found that the Russians exploited American-made technology platforms to attack U.S. democracy at a particularly vulnerable moment, as an insurgent candidate harnessed a wide range of grievances to claim the White House. The sophistication of the Russian tactics may complicate efforts by Facebook and Google to crack down on “fake news,” as they have vowed to do after widespread complaints about the problem. (Washington Post, November 14, 2016, emphasis added)

Screenshot of WP article, November 24, 2016

***

The Washington Post is “Fake News” at its Best. The report served as an endorsement of the Blacklisting campaign. Sustained by the RussiaGate narrative, a smear campaign was launched.  Several hundred online media sites including Global Research were tagged as “fake news” by Facebook and Google.

The Washington based Atlantic Council and NATO’s Centre of Excellency (COE), a  “Research Centre”  based in Latvia have published several “authoritative reports” which identify the independent online media “with links” to the Kremlin. Much of this “analysis” is fabricated.

The objective was to use the RussiaGate narrative (which had become a broadly accepted public consensus), as a means to suppress critical analysis of neoliberal economic policies, US foreign policy, US-NATO war plans, etc.

What happens now?

While the Mueller report confirms that the corporate media were spreading “fake news” in support of RussiaGate, it is highly unlikely that the mainstream media will indulge in a mea culpa. Moreover, it is also unlikely that social media and search engine censorship against the independent online media will be removed.

What is of course significant is that the broader public is now fully aware that they have been lied to. The public has been deliberately misled by the mainstream media from the very outset of the RussiaGate saga. The corporate media has endorsed war propaganda, it has granted  legitimacy to acts of war and military aggression, through lies and fabrications. Under Nuremberg, war propaganda constitutes the ultimate crime: “the Crime against Peace”.

The Skripal Affair

The Skripal affair –which hit Britain’s tabloids– was an integral part of the RussiaGate Op. It was based on fake intelligence and media disinformation directed against Moscow. Launched by the UK government of Theresa May, a political consensus had unfolded. Moscow was casually accused of conducting a mysterious covert nerve gas attack against a former Russian intelligence operative and his daughter.

While the story was refuted, the objective of the Skripal affair  ultimately succeeded. It consisted in pressuring EU member states to jeopardize their diplomatic relations with Russia.

Meanwhile, the RussiaGate saga also provided legitimacy to NATO threats against Russia, resulting in massive military deployments at Russia’s doorstep.

US Foreign Policy

The Mueller report does not restore sanity in US foreign policy.  Quite the opposite.

What it confirms is that there is no evidence of Russian support of  Trump’s candidacy in the 2016 presidential elections.

Since Trump’s inauguration, however, the objective of normalizing diplomatic relations with Russia has largely been scrapped.

With Bolton and Pompeo, the NeoCons control Trump’s foreign policy.

War scenarios with Russia and China are contemplated.

Nuclear war is on the drawing board of the Pentagon.

The RussiaGate narrative against Trump is no longer required.

India’s Ambassador To Russia Lied About Rejecting International Mediation

By Andrew Korybko
Source

The Chinese Foreign Ministry, the Emirati Ambassador To India, and several unnamed US diplomatic sources all released statements around the same time disproving the Indian Ambassador to Russia’s previous on-the-record statement that “no country has offered to mediate between India and Pakistan” and that his government “will not accept” any such offer even if it was made, making one wonder whether New Delhi’s highest-ranking diplomat in Moscow lied as shamelessly as he did in a desperate attempt to “save face” for shockingly shooting down Russia’s mediation interest despite secretly accepting other countries’ diplomatic assistance in this respect instead.

America Cracks The Whip

The Indian Ambassador to Russia was just caught red-handed shamelessly lying to his host country after he went on record a few days after Foreign Minister Lavrov expressed his interest in having Russia mediate between India and Pakistan to shockingly shoot down the peacemaking proposal by what his government misleadingly portrays as its closest international partner, saying in no uncertain terms that “no country has offered to mediate between India and Pakistan” and that his government “will not accept” any such offer even if it was made. It’s now been revealed that Ambassador D. Bala Venkatesh Varma wasn’t telling the truth after Reuters released a report this weekend citing several unnamed US diplomatic sources who alleged that Washington intervened to crack the whip and get its new military-strategic ally to back down from its threat to launch missiles against Pakistan and escalate the unprovoked crisis with its neighbor to the dangerous level of risking a nuclear war.

India’s Secret Diplomacy Deliberately Snubbed Russia

Evidently, it seems that while the US probably greenlit India’s dramatic but ultimately fake “surgical strike” stunt against Pakistan in a bid to improve Modi’s reelection prospects and send negative fake news signals about the viability of CPEC, it didn’t approve of New Delhi responding to the epic humiliation of the Pakistan Air Force shooting down one of its counterpart’s “vintage” (but possibly upgraded) Russian jets by irresponsibly taking tensions to the next level, suggesting that Modi might have “gone rogue” from even his American handlers and seriously considered starting World War III for a brief moment. Before National Security Advisor Bolton’s reported intervention, it’s now known from the Emirati Ambassador to India that Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed “had a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Modi and the Pakistani PM Imran Khan” “on the day of the huge escalation”, and the Chinese Foreign Ministry officially said that it “pro-actively promoted peace talks” between the two nuclear-armed rivals.

All of this proves beyond any credible doubt that the Indian Ambassador to Russia was lying when he said in early March a day after Wing Commander Abhinandan’s release and the consequent de-escalation of the crisis that “no country has offered to mediate between India and Pakistan” and that his government “will not accept” any such offer even if it was made despite it now being known that New Delhi had secretly accepted other countries’ diplomatic assistance in this respect instead, even including its chief geopolitical rival China’s though stunningly not its “bhai” (“brother”) Russia’s. This suggests an attempt on the part of India’s permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) to deliberately snub Russia after Lavrov unintentionally “offended” them by challenging the ruling BJP’s self-assumed supremacist stance against Pakistan by treating the two countries as international equals by expressing an interest to mediate between them. Curiously, New Delhi seemingly didn’t care that others did this too and only singled out Russia.

Bhadrakumar’s Insight Into The Indian “Deep State”

The reason why it was “unforgivably offensive” for Russia to hold this implied position as opposed to any other country doing the same is because India assumed that it could “buy off” Russia’s support through multibillion-dollar arms deals and therefore get it to sacrifice its geostrategic interests in the global pivot state of Pakistan as a result. This isn’t just the author’s own interpretation but it also reflects the one that career diplomat, Indian “deep state” insider (especially regarding the attitude of his government’s multipolar-leaning faction towards Russia), and well-known columnist on international affairs Mr. M.K. Bhadrakumarrecently wrote in his article for The Tribune about “The big let-down”. This highly respected expert has an extensive track record of Russian-friendly analyses but suddenly switched his tune in the aftermath of “The Latest Kashmir Crisis Proving That India, Not Pakistan, Is The Real Rogue State” by lashing out against the Russian people for what he disrespectfully described as their “notorious avarice”:

“What comes as a total surprise is in regard of the Russian attitude. Moscow’s mediation offer is not the point here, but its demonstrative attempt to be ‘neutral’. The mega multi-billion dollar arms deals that the Modi government presented to Russian vendors, defying the threat of US sanctions, have apparently not placated the Kremlin. Curiously, the Kremlin-funded news channel RT featured a half-hour interview only last week with former Pakistani foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar fulminating against Modi, Indian media and politics, and Hindutva meta-nationalism. Why are Russians so mighty upset? It must have something to do with money. Is it about Essar Steel not going to the Russian bidder? Or, about Saudi Aramco likely trumping Gazprom in the race for the highly lucrative Indian retail energy market? Or, about some pending arms deal? No matter the notorious Russian avarice, Moscow’s choice to ‘balance’ between India and Pakistan when Delhi needed its support most is the unkindest cut of all.”

Mr. Bhadrakumar’s ad hominem attack against the same people with whom he spent a large portion of his entire career building bridges was apparently triggered by his “total surprise in regard” to “[Russia’s] demonstrative attempt to be ‘neutral’” in spite of “the mega multi-billion dollar arms deals that the Modi government presented to Russian vendors”, which actually shouldn’t have been unexpected at all for a man who served in Russia for slightly less than half as many years as I am old had he been following the many articles that I’ve written about this topic and which I compiled in my recent piece about how “Russia Officially Returns To South Asia By Offering To Host Indo-Pak Peace Talks” that was released a full half-month before his “big let-down” article. It’s not that Mr. Bhadrakumar isn’t aware of my work either since he wrongly speculated about the intention of one of my older pieces, which I clarified last year.

“The Unkindest Cut Of All”

Mr. Oleg Barabanov – a programme director at the Valdai Club (Russia’s most prestigious think tank), a professor at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO, which is run by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), and a professor at the Russian Academy of Sciences – raised a very relevant point earlier this month in his recent analysis about “Russia and the Search for Balance Between India and Pakistan” when he wrote that “Sometimes the Indian expert community expresses mistrust of Russia because of what they consider the excessively close Russia-China partnership, as a result of which Russia is losing its independent political image in India. Obviously, viewing Russia exclusively through the prism of Indo-Chinese divergences does not promote trust. Thus, US policy in the region (and probably the potential Indo-US link) serves as an additional external impetus for Russia-Pakistan dialogue.” As Mr. Bhadrakumar’s words prove, Mr. Barabanov was entirely right, but even more so than he could have imagined.

Bearing in mind the Valdai Club expert’s piercing insight into one of the many recent US-encouraged problems plaguing Russian-Indian relations and recalling how “Russia Regards The ‘Indo-Pacific Region’ As An ‘Artificially Imposed’ Pro-US Concept” to “contain” China, “the unkindest cut of all” (to channel Mr.Bhadrakumar) is that the Indian Ambassador to Russia shamelessly lied to his host country about the apparent absence of any previous mediation proposals when shooting own Moscow’s own informal one despite having already secretly relied upon the diplomatic services of the US, the UAE, and even India’s chief geopolitical rival China. There couldn’t be any stronger signal from India to Russia that their Soviet-era “brotherhood” is over and that their strategic partnership is now purely transactional after losing the “romantic allure” that it once held for decades in the minds of both of their “deep states” (contrary to whatever “feel-good” rhetoric they might each espouse during this “sensitive” time).

Concluding Thoughts

There’s no doubt that India will continue to be one of Russia’s priority partners for the indefinite future by virtue of its enormous market size and the billions of dollars’ worth of military deals that they agreed to in the past six months alone, but the mutual trust that they enjoyed during the Old Cold War days of “Rusi-Hindi Bhai Bhai” (“Russians and Indians are brothers”) is forever lost after New Delhi succumbed to the pressure of its new American patron by deliberating snubbing Russia from the international mediation process with Pakistan. Even worse, the Indian Ambassador to Russia flat-out lied about the secret diplomatic assistance that his country received from others in this respect, with it later being revealed that even India’s chief geopolitical rival China played a role in the same process that New Delhi denied its “bhai” Moscow a chance to participate in. In response, Russia is expected to “recalibrate” its regional “balancing” strategy in the direction of its newfound Pakistani strategic partner.

سورية تواجه الترك وعينها على الأميركيين في الشرق

مارس 15, 2019

د. وفيق إبراهيم

تعرف الدولة السورية أنها قضت نهائياً على المشروع الإرهابي الذي حاول انشاء خلافة متطرفة على أراضيها في السنين الست الفائتة.

وتعرف أكثر أنها تنتقل الآن من مرحلة قتال الإرهاب الإسلاموي إلى محاربة القوى الخارجية التي تغطيه، وتواصل احتلال أراضِ سورية.

من أهم هذه القوى، الأتراك الذين يطرحون أسباباً ملفقة لمواصلة نشر قواتهم في مناطق سورية من الحدود مروراً بعفرين وإدلب إلى جانب هيمنة التنظيمات الإرهابية الموالية لها على امتدادات واسعة.

هناك أيضاً الأميركيون المدركون أن المشروع الكبير بإسقاط الدولة السورية ولىّ إلى غير رجعة.. حتى وجدوا أن تغطيتهم لهذا الإرهاب أصبحت عائقاً يحول دون استمرار دورهم، فالإرهاب خسر وخسروا معه.

وما شجّعهم على إسناد مهمة القضاء على بقايا الإرهاب في الفرات إلى قوات«قسد» الكردية المعززة بقوات أميركية ـ أوروبية، وغارات جوية متواصلة.. حتى بدا أن الهدف الأميركي أكبر من مجرد إنهاء الإرهاب بات محاصراً ومن غير اسناد أو تغطية..

ماذا يريد الترك وتمسكهم بالشمال السوري والشمال الغربي؟ وما هي الأهداف الأميركية في شرق الفرات؟ وكيف تتعامل سورية وحلفاؤها مع هذا الجزء الأخير من الأزمة السورية؟

للأتراك صلتان استراتيجيتان يحاولون استغلالها لتمتين دورهم في سورية. الأولى هي علاقتهم التاريخية بالأميركيين وحلفهم الأطلسي المنتسبين إليه.. والثانية عضويتهم إلى جانب إيران وروسيا في مؤتمر آستانا وسوتشي.. الذي يقدم نفسه آلية لتنظيم تدريجي للحل السياسي في سورية.

هناك سبب ثالث لا يقل استراتيجية، فتركيا تمتلك حدوداً واسعة مع سورية بطول لا يقل عن الألف كيلومتر ولديها مواطنون سوريون من أصول تركمانية، إلى جانب سيطرتها على«الاخوان المسلمين» السوريين الذين يشكلون مع حزب العدالة والتنمية التركي جزءاً من فدرالية الاخوان المسلمين في العالم… الأمر الذي يمنح تركيا تأثيراً شبه دائم في الأزمة السورية.. إلا أنّ المشروع الكردي في الشرق يؤرقها بشكل فعلي لاتصاله الجغرافي بنحو 15 مليون كردي تركي لديها.

بالإضافة إلى أن روسيا لا تقبل باحتلالهم أراضي سورية حتى ولو كان هدفها هو الاستفادة الحصرية من تصاعد الخلاف الأميركي ـ التركي حول المشروع الكردي المغطى أميركياً لتقريب انقرة من موسكو بمعدل أكبر.

ويحاول أردوغان إرجاء تحرير الدولة السورية لإدلب بأبداء تخوف بلاده على مصير مليوني مدني مقيمين في إدلب وفي ضواحيها ولتعقيد أكبر لهذه المشكلة يطلق اردوغان تساؤلات أن بلاده لا تعرف إلى أين يتشرّد أهل إدلب إذا هاجمهم الجيش السوري؟ مبدياً قلقه من انتقالهم إلى اوروبا!!

أما الأهداف التركية فأصبحت جلية ولا تبتعد عن السيطرة على منطقة على طول الحدود السورية قد تصل مساحتها إلى 11 ألف كيلومتر مربع من الأراضي السورية، وتريد على المستوى السياسي اشتراك المعارضات الموالية لها من الاخوان والتركمان في المؤسسات السياسية السورية.

كيف ردت الدولة السورية؟

بدأ الجيش السوري بقصف عنيف على مواقع الإرهاب في إدلب بمواكبة غارات جوية استهدفت بدورها مواقع الأعداء والتخزين للإرهاب المتحالف مع تركيا في تلك المنطقة.

فبدأ هذا القصف على شكل رسالة سورية إلى الأتراك بأن أهدافهم في سورية لا قيمة لها عند دولتها.

والنتيجة الآن عند الحلفاء الروس، فإما أن يتواصلوا مع الأتراك حول ضرورة اخلاء إدلب من القوات التركية والتنظيمات الإرهابية المتعاونة، أو أن الجيش السوري بمعونة من حلفائه الإيرانيين والروس وحزب الله مستعدون لشن هجمات عسكرية دقيقة تؤدي إلى تحرير المدنيين في إدلب من هيمنة الإرهاب والترك معاً. وهذا موعده لم يعد بعيداً إذا لم يكن قد بدأ فعلياً.

أما بالنسبة للأميركيين فيعلمون أن المراهنة على الإرهاب سقطت. وهوى معها مشروع السيطرة على الدولة.. ما دفعهم إلى الاندفاع نحو تفتيتها بواسطة الطموح الكردي من جهة والاحلام العثمانية من جهة ثانية، لذلك دعموا هجوماً كردياً بقواتهم الجوية والبرية والأوروبية في مناطق للإرهاب منعزلة عن بعضها بعضاً في شرق الفرات.

استفاد الكردي من نقاط عدة: التباعد بين بؤر الإرهاب في شرق الفرات.. وقف عمليات دعمهم الذي كان الأميركيون يوفرونه لهم بوسائل جوية أو من خلال الحدود التركية والعراقية، انسداد طرقهم نحو غرب الفرات حيث الدولة السورية وحلفاؤها.

لكن سيطرة الأكراد على مناطق واسعة للسوريين العرب، جعلت الأميركيين يتنبّهون لصعوبة بناء كانتون كردي يُصرّون على وصوله إلى الحدود العراقية ـ السورية جنوباً، وإلا فإن لا قيمة له بالنسبة للأهداف الأميركية. باعتبار أن حصرهُ في مناطق محاذية لكردستان لا تفيد الأميركيين لأن الجهات المسيطرة على كردستان العراقية موالية لهم.. وهم يريدون كانتوناً يسيطر على الحدود مع العراق ويعرقل التنسيق العراقي ـ السوري المرتقب لذلك وجد الأميركيون حلاً لهذه المعضلة، فدمجوا بضع مئات من أبناء العشائر العربية في جنوب سورية مع قوات«قسد» الكردية، وأخذوا يروّجون في الإعلام أن قوات قسد هي سورية تدمج فريقين متحالفين: سوريون عرب وسوريون أكراد، فهذا يعطي برأيهم مشروعية سياسية لكانتون يمتد من مناطق القامشلي والشمال السوري حتى أبو كمال والحدود العراقية.

هذا ما يحض الأميركيون على التمهيد لثلاث مناطق مستقلة تبدأ بكانتون حدودي تسيطر عليه تركيا مع قوات شرطة روسية إذا قبلت بذلك موسكو. تليها منطقة أميركية ــ أوروبية تفصل الترك عن الكانتون الكردي الكبير.. هذا عن الطموح التركي وخطط الأميركيين التي تجهر بأن مشروعها الجديد لتفجير الشرق السوري، قابلة للتنفيذ سلماً أم حرباً… معتقدين حسب تحليلاتهم أن إيران ذاهبة نحو تصدع داخلي يؤدي إلى تفجيرها وإنهاء دورها، أو بواسطة حرب يقول الوزير السعودي الجبير إن السيناريو الخاص بها ينتظر التنفيذ فقط.

فهل هذا ممكن؟ اختراق الرئيس الإيراني الشيخ روحاني الحصار الأميركي على بلاده بزيارته الأخيرة للعراق هي الإجابة الساطعة على المزاعم الأميركية. وبدورها الدولة السورية لن تتوانى عن التحرير التدريجي لمناطقها المحتلة في الشمال والشرق… أليس هذا ما تفعله منذ سبع سنوات.. كما أن لروسيا مصلحة كبرى بدعم الخيارات السياسية والعسكرية للدولة السورية فالعدو الأميركي واحد، وصمود الدور الروسي العالمي يبدأ من دولة سورية محرّرة، يؤمن ميدانها العسكري ومصالح سورية أولاً وأهداف حلفائها الإقليميين فيه، مقاومة الإمبراطورية الأميركية العدوانية ثابتاً.

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