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Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions at a joint news conference with Foreign Minister of Belarus Vladimir Makei

November 27, 2020

Source

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions at a joint news conference with Foreign Minister of Belarus Vladimir Makei

While this press conference contains a shorter Belarus update, it has a wider context and is posted to illustrate Foreign Minister Lavrov’s clear expression of irritation with the west, which he now covers in each of his routine press conferences.  In this one, he handles among other topics, protests across the world, Heiko Maas, Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CMCE), International agencies, including the Office of the UN Human Rights Commissioner being silent and not doing their jobs, as well as strategic stability.

Joint session of the collegiums of the Russian and Belarusian Foreign Ministries, November 26, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen,

We have held a joint session of the collegiums of the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Belarusian Foreign Ministry. By tradition, it took place in a confidential and truly friendly atmosphere.

Using this opportunity, I would like to thank again our Belarusian friends for their traditional hospitality and excellent organisation of work. We highly value these annual meetings in the format of members of the collegiums and other representatives of the two ministries’ top management. They allow us to discuss in detail the most urgent international issues that involve the interests of our countries and need to be addressed.

Despite the complicated epidemiological situation, we managed to meet offline and talk face to face. We had four items on our agenda: relations of our countries with the European Union, participation in UN peacekeeping missions (in part, in the context of the prospects of the CSTO’s involvement in the UN peacekeeping activities), cooperation in the EAEU on forming the Greater Eurasian Partnership and ways of ensuring international information security.

We achieved specific agreements on all of these issues. They are reflected in a resolution that we signed in addition to the plan of consultations between our foreign ministries in 2021. We also spoke about broader cooperation in international organisations, including the CIS, CSTO, EAEU, UN and OSCE.

We and our Belarusian colleagues had to state that unfortunately our US-led Western partners continue persistently promoting their narrow selfish interests in a bid to preserve their hegemony in the world arena. They are using the concept of the “rules-based” world order, setting it directly against universal, commonly recognised standards of international law, including the UN Charter.

We are concerned about the attempts by the Western countries to establish control over international organisations, up to and including privatisation of their secretariats. When this fails, they try to replace collective work in universal formats with private get-togethers where all those who agree with the Western policy make decisions that are later presented as multilateral and binding. It is hardly possible to make us follow these rules. The overwhelming majority of countries are firmly committed to the old, tried-and-tested principle – respect for international law, primarily the UN Charter.

We noted numerous facts of crude interference by the US and those who follow in its wake (I am referring to some European capitals) in the internal affairs of sovereign states. The dirty methods of colour revolutions continue to be used. These include manipulation of public opinion, instigation and support of overtly anti-government forces and contribution to their radicalisation. We are seeing how these methods are being applied to the Republic of Belarus. We spoke about this in detail today both with Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei and President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, who received us before this meeting.

We were informed in great detail about the current developments in Belarus. We are not indifferent to them. The Republic of Belarus is our ally and strategic partner and also a fraternal nation. We are interested in a calm and stable situation in that country. This will be facilitated by the Constitutional reform that was launched by the Belarusian leadership as a major transformation of the political, economic and legal systems.

We believe the Belarusian people are wise and always act in a balanced manner. They are capable of resolving their problems without any outside prompting or obtrusive proposals on unwanted mediation. It is obvious that attempts to jeopardise normalisation are being made. There are many examples of this: a desire to radicalise the protesters, encouraging people to engage in subversion and high treason, which are made, in part, from abroad.

Today we again reviewed in detail the entire range of our ties and ways of protecting the interests of each of our countries, as well as the interests of the Union State of the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation.

I would like to emphasise again that we are content with our joint discussion. We will carry out everything we have agreed on today.

Question (addressed to both ministers): On November 18, 2020, your German counterpart Heiko Maas accused the authorities of Belarus of violently suppressing peaceful protests. Having said this, he urged the Council of Europe to use its instruments for monitoring the situation even in those European countries that do not want to join the organisation. Could you comment on this, please?

Sergey Lavrov (speaking after Vladimir Makei):  We took note of how Germany took over the Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CMCE). German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas first made a speech at a closed CMCE meeting and then held a news conference. His speech was unconventional for the presidency of this pan-European body because the main goal of the Council of Europe, which is recorded in its statute, is to promote greater unity of all European countries. By definition, the President, all the more so in the Council of Europe, must focus on enhancing unity in his future work rather than stir up confrontation.

It is no secret that at the CMCE meeting prior to that news conference, Heiko Maas presented his programme for the next sixth months in a politicised vein and unacceptable tone, in a crude, undiplomatic manner. He made a number of Russophobic statements. He had grievances not only as regards the Republic of Belarus but also made groundless Russophobic accusations in respect of Crimea, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Transnistria and southeastern Ukraine. His opinion on the Nagorno-Karabakh agreement also sounded rather strange.

At the news conference Mr Maas urged everyone “to respect the rules-based order.” Our Western colleagues are not going to respect international law as a matter of principle. He did say that the principles of the Council of Europe must be imposed by using relevant instruments, including on those countries that are not members of the Council of Europe. I consider this absolutely unacceptable.

It is indeed strange that of all countries it is Germany that has recently decided to act as a driver of aggressive approaches to the countries that are not NATO or EU members.

Those who are objective and pay attention to double standards will note that neither Mr Maas, nor other Western representatives or UN human rights agencies have said a word about rather serious incidents in France and Germany. There were protests by yellow vests in France, demonstrations against COVID restrictions in Germany and some other countries, and protests against a ban on abortions in Poland. They were dispersed in a very tough manner.

International agencies, including the Office of the UN Human Rights Commissioner, stayed silent. Human rights champions in France covered the yellow vests protests in a completely different manner than they cover events in Russia and Belarus. Only in the beginning did they cautiously urge the sides to overcome their differences. But later the yellow vests began to encounter a tough police response. In the estimate of French human rights activists, almost 15,000 rubber bullets were shot at the protesters; 2,500 people were wounded and 12,000 detained, including 2,000 who were sentenced, in part, to real prison terms. But nobody speaks about this. This is considered normal because these are their compatriots. It is necessary to get rid of this attitude, especially for those who head the Council of Europe.

About a month ago, Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejcinovic Buric asked us in Moscow about our assessments of the events in the Republic of Belarus. She received our answers and inquired whether the Council of Europe can contribute to normalisation there in some way. We promised do convey her wish to those concerned. She emphasised that this will be possible only if the Republic of Belarus makes this request itself. But as you can see, the German Presidency has different plans in this respect. This is regrettable.

We will try to compel the Council of Europe, all the more so under the German Presidency, not to forget about the issues that the West is trying to hush up in many different ways. This applies to discrimination against Russian speakers in the Baltic states, the disgraceful lack of citizenship, and the so-called reforms in the field of education and language in Ukraine that are aimed only against the Russian language, as distinct from the languages of other national minorities because they are EU languages. We will not accept the efforts of the Council of Europe (or some of its members) to hush up the facts of the purposeful harassment of the Russian media, not to mention the glorification of Nazism. The German Presidency must remember all this and must not divert the Council of Europe to the discussion of issues that are more comfortable for the West and justify its positions, while ignoring the problems that have become chronic for our Western colleagues.

Question: What are the prospects for concluding new strategic stability treaties with the United States once the new administration is in office? Last year, President Trump mentioned a new trilateral document involving Russia, the United States and China. What will happen now?

Sergey Lavrov: This is a long-standing matter. True, the Trump administration was consumed (I can’t come up with any other word) by a desire to involve the People’s Republic of China in disarmament talks. Initially, they talked about the need to include the PRC in the START Treaty which is still in force, although this is impossible by definition. Then, they proposed creating a new treaty and not renewing the current one, because it’s outdated and bilateral, whereas they would like to take a step towards multilateral disarmament and arms control. Their position was erratic. As a result, they came up with a proposal to extend the treaty for another year, but on the condition that we recount each other’s warheads and put in overseers at the defence plants’ checkpoints. Counting warheads and ignoring carriers and innovative technologies that directly affect strategic stability is a frivolous and unprofessional approach.

Earlier this year, we made proposals to our US colleagues about structuring our future dialogue on arms control and non-proliferation. They stood their ground and insisted on warheads alone. They have long been interested in Russian tactical nuclear weapons, hence their interest in warheads at the expense of everything else. We say we will be ready to discuss non-strategic nuclear weapons, including warheads, when the Americans withdraw their tactical weapons from other countries. In Europe, these weapons are deployed in five NATO countries. Also, NATO structures conduct training in handling nuclear weapons for military personnel from non-nuclear countries in flagrant violation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

With regard to the People’s Republic of China, President Putin has repeatedly stated that we have nothing against it, but the decision is up to the PRC. China has officially and publicly stated on several occasions that it is not going to join the talks with Russia and the United States, since its nuclear arsenal is an order of magnitude smaller than the corresponding arsenals of Moscow and Washington. We respect this position. If and when the Americans persuade China to join multilateral talks, we will have no objection to that. We will be willing to participate in them if the PRC agrees to this of its own accord. But we are not going to persuade Beijing to do so just at the whim of the Americans. But if and when a multilateral format in disarmament and arms control talks is created, we will push for France and the United Kingdom to join it as well.

When we told the Americans about this, they told us that these counties are their allies and they vouch for them. Precisely because they are allies of the United States, we would like to see them at the negotiating table, if the talks become multilateral. Washington’s absolutely hostile doctrine towards Russia cannot but raise questions about the motives of the US allies, whether in Europe or Asia. When they enter into a military alliance with a country that declares us a hostile state, we must draw our own conclusions regarding these allies.

I don’t see how we can seriously discuss anything related to the continuation of the arms control process with the Trump administration. We do not know yet what kind of administration will move into the White House or what kind of policy it will conduct. The voting results have not yet been announced officially, but there’s already an understanding that the change-of-command process is underway. Let’s wait and see what kind of assessments will eventually form in the minds of those who will shape the US strategic stability policy after January 21, 2021.

Question (addressed to both ministers): Popular protests have been growing around the world for various reasons, including political ones. The law enforcement reaction is the same everywhere, going as far as the use of force and special equipment. At the same time, such events in Belarus are receiving heightened attention from foreign politicians. What do you think is the reason?

Sergey Lavrov: I have already cited examples of protests being suppressed in France. Those drastic figures are rarely revealed to the general public. Human rights agencies in the UN system, as well as numerous human rights rapporteurs are trying their best to avoid any topics that are uncomfortable for Western representatives.

Speaking of the protests in Paris, there is a huge wave of protest against the global security bill, which includes a ban on photographing, filming or otherwise identifying law enforcement officers. I can imagine the kind of racket a bill like that would have sparked if it were proposed in Russia or Belarus. The French public and human rights groups are concerned, yet we can see no reaction from international bodies. The police used water cannons and noise grenades during rallies against the bill. The protesters, too, provoked the police, using stones and sticks. One police officer was injured. And yet, I repeat, this does not prevent the West from lecturing anyone who is not their ally.

Voting processes in Russia and Belarus have been scrutinised through a magnifying glass. When a similar story happens in the United States, it is declared “normal, it’s democracy, and everything is just fine.” Though, even respected and influential think tanks in the United States openly write about “the problems with the US electoral system.” To put it mildly, that system does not fully comply with the principles of democracy or the rule of law. They write these things themselves, but our international partners prefer to ignore them and concentrate on the countries whose “regimes” they find undesirable.

When UN rapporteurs, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, describe violent clashes in Western capitals, they urge everyone to find a solution through dialogue. When they criticise us or Belarus, they demand a change of the system. This difference is visible to the naked eye. We have long lost any illusions about what kind of standards the West is promoting and how they use double standards. We will fight, and will defend our position at the UN bodies, where these issues should be considered. We will not allow the vices that the Western community is demonstrating to be forgotten.

Question (addressed to both ministers): How can you comment on Pavel Latushko’s last interview, where he spoke about the possibility of unofficial contacts with Moscow?

Sergey Lavrov: Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has just shown me part of that interview. Not only did he mention the possibility of unofficial contacts with Moscow – he said such contacts were underway and were coordinated. He shamelessly declared he could not cite any names, but mentioned “contacts at a sufficiently high level.” He speculated whether I will be allowed to tell my Belarusian friends about it. I will answer briefly: this is a blatant lie, and it once again says something about those trying to make some kind of career with foreign handouts.

ثلاثيّ «صفقة القرن» يقرع طبول الحرب… فما الممكن؟ وما المتوقع؟

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

رغم المكابرة يبدو أنّ دونالد ترامب سيجد نفسه ملزماً في 20 كانون الثاني/ يناير 2021 بالخروج من البيت الأبيض بعد أن خذلته صناديق الاقتراع. وبذلك يكون ظنّه قد خاب وخسر التجديد، أما الخيبة الأكبر والشعور بالخسارة الأعظم فقد كان من نصيب الضلعين الآخرين معه في مثلث «صفقة القرن» أيّ نتنياهو ومحمد بن سلمان اللذين عملا معه في تلك الجريمة التي بات واضحاّ أنّ أهدافها تتعدّى تثبيت «إسرائيل» بشكل نهائيّ على كامل أرض فلسطين التاريخيّة مع بعض جزر تعطى للفلسطينيّين ظرفيّاً لتذويبها لاحقاً بالكيان العنصري اليهودي، تتعدّى ذلك الى تهويد المنطقة بكاملها وإخراج كلّ من يرفض الاستسلام لـ «إسرائيل» منها، وما القرار الذي اتخذته الإمارات العربية بعد استسلامها لـ «إسرائيل» في إطار ما سُمّي «تطبيع» وفتح أبوابها لليهود من دون تأشيرة دخول، مترافقاً مع منع دخول مواطني 13 دولة عربية وإسلامية إليها إلا أول الغيث وصورة نموذجيّة لما سيكون عليه وجه المنطقة إذا نجح الثالوث غير المقدّس في فرض «صفقة القرن» نموذج يقول فيه الصهاينة وعملاؤهم «لا يدخل علينا شريف يرفض الاستسلام لإسرائيل».

بيد أنّ خسارة ترامب جعلت الثالوث يقلق على «صفقة القرن» هذه، قلق يفاقمه الظنّ بأنّ جو بايدن سيراجع معظم سياسات ترامب في المنطقة ويصحّح ما أفسده، وفي طليعة ذلك الملف النووي الإيراني، ما سيُعقد من أوضاع ضلعَي الصفقة ويثير خشيتهما من المستقبل. لذلك وكما يبدو اتجهت أفكار المثلث الشيطانيّة الى إنتاج واقع في المنطقة ينشر ظلاله على جو بايدن الرئيس الجديد ويلقي بثقله عليه ويمنعه من نقض ما حبكه ترامب، ولأجل ذلك يخطط الثالوث لحرب على إيران بخاصة وعلى محور المقاومة عامة تكون على وجه من اثنين أولهما أن تهاجم أميركا المنشآت النووية الإيرانية بشكل تدميري وتردّ إيران عليها وتندلع الحرب، والثاني أن تبدأ بهجوم «إسرائيلي» على إيران فتستدرج رداً من المقاومة على «إسرائيل» فتتدخل أميركا لحمايتها وفي الحالين سيرسم مشهد ميداني يصبح الحديث معه عن مفاوضات حول إحياء التوقيع الأميركي على الاتفاق النووي الإيراني مع الدول 5+1 حديث من غير مضمون ولا فائدة فيفرض ترامب بذلك قراره على بايدن بعد أن يكون قد خرج من البيت الأبيض.

إنه التخطيط للعمل العسكري ضدّ محور المقاومة إذن، تخطيط وإعداد نفذ في سياقه حتى الآن أكثر من عمل وأتمّ أكثر من سلوك بدءاً بإعادة الانتشار الأميركي في أفغانستان والعراق (حول إيران) مروراً بتحرك بعض قطع الأسطول البحري الأميركي في الخليج وإبعادها عن متناول الصواريخ الإيرانية، ثم نشر طائرات B-52 القاذفات الاستراتيجية الأميركية في قواعد جوية في الشرق الأوسط، وما أعقبها من اجتماع ثلاثي في «نيوم» السعودية بمشاركة بومبيو ونتنياهو ومحمد بن سلمان، وصولاً الى التعميم العسكري «الإسرائيلي» الصادر عن وزير حرب العدو والموجّه الى جيشه يأمره فيه بالاستعداد لمواجهة ظرف تقوم فيه أميركا بقصف إيران قريباً.

إنّ تحليلاً لكلّ ما تقدّم من معطيات يحمل المقدّر العسكري والاستراتيجي الى وضع احتمال شنّ حرب من قبل المثلث العدواني ذاك كأمر لا بدّ من وضعه في الحساب، ولكن لا يمكن اعتباره الاحتمال الممكن الوحيد لأكثر من اعتبار. ويجب الوقوف على الوجه الآخر من الصورة ربطاً بقدرات الطرف الذي سيُعتدى عليه وعلى إمكاناته وعلى اتقاء الضربة وإفشالها أولاً وعلى قدرته على الردّ وقلب مسار الأحداث عكس رغبات المعتدين.

وفي هذا السياق نتوقف عند مواقف وأحداث لا يمكن تجاوزها في معرض تقدير الموقف هذا، أوّلها كلام السيد علي الخامنئي منذ أيام لجهة قوله بأنّ إيران «جرّبت المفاوضات من أجل رفع العقوبات ووقف التدابير الكيديّة، لكنها لم تحصل على نتيجة وبات عليها ان تجرّب غيرها»، وأضاف «رغم أنّ الحلّ الآخر سيكون مؤلماً في البدء إلا أنه سيأتي بنتائج سعيدة»، كلام ترافق مع القصف اليمنيّ لمحطات «أرامكو» لتوزيع المحروقات قرب جدة، وهو قصف له دلالات استراتيجيّة وسياسية وعسكرية كبرى في مكانه وزمانه غداة الاجتماع الثلاثيّ التحضيريّ للحرب وعلى بعد بضع عشرات الكيلومترات من جدة، ثم إعادة الانتشار التركيّ وتنظيم مسرح العمليات في الشمال والشمال الغربي السوري حول إدلب، بما قد يُنبئ بقرب عمل عسكري قريب في المنطقة، وأخيراً ما يتمّ تسريبه من رفع درجة جهوزيّة المقاومة في لبنان وبكلّ أسلحتها استعداداً لأيّ طارئ ومن أيّ نوع.

على ضوء ما تقدّم نقول انّ مثلث العدوان قد يذهب الى الحرب، لكن محور المقاومة ليس في الوضع الذي يخشى من هذه الحرب، صحيح أنه لا يسعى إليها لكنه لا يخشاها، لا يخشاها بذاتها كما لا يخشى تداعياتها، فإذا تسبّبت الحرب بإقفال باب التفاوض ومنعت العودة إلى إحياء التوقيع الأميركي على الملف النووي الإيراني، فلن تكون المسألة بالنسبة لإيران نهاية الكون، وإذا تسبّبت الحرب بتدمير منشآت إيرانية فإنها ستؤدي حتماً الى تدمير الكثير في «إسرائيل» والسعودية وستؤدي حتماً الى إفساد فرحة «إسرائيل» مما تحقق حتى الآن من «صفقة القرن» وعمليات التطبيع.

نعم الحرب ستكون مؤلمة، كما يشير السيد الخامنئي، أو كما يوحي كلامه ضمناً وستكون طويلة أيضاً، لكن نتائجها ستكون سعيدة وستغيّر الكثير مما نخشاه ويقلقنا في المنطقة.

نقول بهذا من دون أن نتصوّر لحظة انّ «إسرائيل» لا تدرك كلّ ذلك، أو أنّ الدولة العميقة في أميركا لا تحيط به علماً، فإذا كانت رعونة المثلث العدواني قد تدفعه الى الحرب فإنّ مصالح الكيان الصهيوني والدولة الأميركية ستضغط لمنعها، والسؤال لمن ستكون الغلبة للمتهوّر أم للمتوازن؟

احتمال تقدّم المتهوّر في تهوّره لا يمكن نفيه رغم نسبته الضئيلة التي لا تتعدّى الـ 15%، أما احتمال تقدّم المتوازن فهي الأرجح، وهنا قد يتقدّم التصرف العسكري المحدود المتمثل ببنك أهداف أمنية أو عسكرية يستهدفها ترامب قبل رحيله بعد أن يكون قد قبض الثمن الباهظ مقابلها من السعودية، وهنا سيكون بنك الأهداف عبارة عن قيادات هامة تستهدف بالاغتيال على غرار عملية اغتيال الشهيد قاسم سليماني، كما تشمل مراكز عسكرية عملانية لفصائل المقاومة والحشد الشعبي في العراق وسورية، عمليات تتناغم وتنفذ بالموازاة مع ما يجري الآن من إحياء وتنشيط لخلايا داعش في موجة إرهاب جديدة تضرب العراق وسورية برعاية أميركية…

*أستاذ جامعي – باحث استراتيجي.

Trump on Borrowed Time and Potential Dangers

Trump on Borrowed Time and Potential Dangers

By Ali Abadi, Al-Ahed News

Why are we witnessing the intensification of normalization efforts between Arab regimes and the Zionist entity following the US presidential elections? What options does Donald Trump have during the remainder of his time in office?

Prior to the US elections, it was clear that the goal of the normalization agreements was to boost Trump’s reelection campaign. But the extension of the normalization current beyond the election that Trump lost has other potential objectives:

–    Attracting additional support for Trump in his battle to cling to power by sharpening the capabilities of the Zionist constituencies to support his electoral appeals that don’t have a great chance of success. But Trump has not given up yet in his efforts to reverse the results.

–    Sending important signals to those concerned at home and abroad that Trump still has vigor, as he plans to complete the goals he set and stay on the political scene. If he were to lose the presidency now, he may return in 2024, as those close to him have hinted. In the meantime, he seeks to gain support from the Jewish and Christian Zionist circles as a “man of word and action” in supporting “Israel” absolutely and without hesitation.

With Trump preoccupied with the battle to cling to power at home, his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, is abroad – touring as “Israel’s” minister of foreign affairs accompanied by Arab ministers to sign more normalization agreements. He is legalizing “Israeli” settlements and the occupation of the West Bank and the Golan Heights and declaring a move to criminalize the campaign of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS). 

It’s worth noting that months before the US elections, Pompeo reportedly had his sights set on the 2024 presidential race. As such, Pompeo, who identifies with Trump’s approach and acts as his obedient supporter, plans to be the natural heir to the Trumpian current in the event that its leader is absent due natural causes like death or unnatural causes such as imprisonment due to his legal issues. 

He is also preparing the groundwork for the birth of an “Israeli”-Arab alliance (Saudi, Bahraini, and Emirati) standing in the face of the Islamic Republic of Iran and adding further complications to any possible return of the Biden administration to the nuclear deal.

Saudi and “Israeli” officials are now speaking in one voice about a “no return” to the nuclear agreement, as they set the conditions and limits that they feel the next American administration should abide by. This is also a reflection of widespread concerns over the failure of Trump’s so-called maximum pressure campaign against Iran. 

This was the background for news reports about Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meeting “Israeli” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saudi territory – a get-together arranged by Pompeo.

The choice for war is in the balance

All of the above are possibilities. But does that give way to expectations for a military adventure against Iran, for example, during the transitional period before Joe Biden takes office on January 20?

No sane person can absolutely deny such a possibility. In this context, news about the US strategic B-52 bomber’s flight to the region, the possibility of supplying US bombs that penetrate fortifications to the Zionist entity, the dismissal of US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, and the withdrawal of US units from Iraq and Afghanistan trickled in. 

The last move may be aimed at withdrawing targets near Iran in the event Washington takes military action against Tehran. However, attacking Iran militarily is not an American desire as much as it is an “Israeli” and Saudi one. The Pentagon has previously opposed military action against Iran, at a time when the US military has not recovered from its wounds in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

This view does not appear to have changed, and US military commanders are unlikely to agree to put the military during the transition period on the course of a new war in the Middle East for personal or populist purposes. 

There are other considerations too. The costs of the war and its consequences are difficult to determine. Trump also knows that the mood of the American public can’t bear sacrifices abroad, financially or on a humanitarian level.

What about other possibilities?

Based on Trump’s behavior over the past four years, it appears the US president prefers to score goals and make quick deals. He is not inclined to get involved in prolonged duels. As such, it’s possible to predict that Trump will resort to localized strikes in Syria, Iraq, or Yemen (there is talk about the possibility of placing Ansarullah on the list of terrorist organizations) or cover a possible “Israeli” strike in Lebanon under one pretext or another. 

He could also resort to assassinating figures affiliated with the axis of resistance, and this possibility is more likely, especially in Iraq and Syria. Trump revealed in recent months that he thought about assassinating the Syrian president, and there are also American threats directed at leaders of the resistance factions in Iraq.

In conclusion, any aggressive military action against Iran appears to be a rooted “Israeli” option that Netanyahu tried to market to the Americans since the Obama era but failed. He is trying to strike Iran via the Americans, but Washington has other calculations and options. 

The Saudis have also urged successive US administrations to strike Iran, according to what appeared in WikiLeaks documents quoting the late King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz. The window of opportunity for major military action before Trump’s departure appears narrow. He may consider the rapid operations approach followed by similar actions against Iran’s allies to deal a moral blow to Tehran, cut back its regional leadership role, and besiege its growing influence in the power equation with the Zionist entity that is challenging the US hegemony over the region.

However, we should add that the axis of resistance has its own plans for the confrontation. It withstood the maximum pressure and is able to turn any adventure into an opportunity, relying on its vigilance and accumulated capabilities.

Biden and the Middle East: Misplaced optimism

Khalil al-Anani

25 November 2020

The Arab region in general will not rank high on the list of foreign priorities for the incoming US president

US president-elect Joe Biden speaks in Wilmington, Delaware, on 19 November (AFP)

There has been a state of optimism in the Arab world since the announcement of Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s win in the US presidential election.

Even if the optimism is justified, especially in light of the disasters and political tragedies that the Arab region has witnessed and lived through over the past four years under President Donald Trump, this optimism is somewhat exaggerated. Some believe that the region under Biden will witness radical changes, breaking with Trump’s negative legacy – but I don’t think that will happen.

We need to dismantle the various issues that Biden is expected to engage with over the next four years in order to understand whether the situation will remain as it is, or undergo radical change. 

During the Biden era, the Arab region in general is not expected to rank high on the list of US foreign priorities. There are many reasons for this, including Biden’s vision, which does not stray far from the view of former US President Barack Obama on global issues and international conflicts, with Asia and the Pacific given priority over all other matters. 

The US relationship with China is an important file for any US administration, whether Republican or Democratic. As the rise of China represents an economic and security threat to the US, the Obama administration moved its foreign-policy compass towards China and the Pacific region. For Biden, China will continue to represent a top priority. 

The issue has become even more urgent in the wake of Trump’s more hostile policies towards China over the past four years. Observers will be watching as to whether Biden can put an end to what the average US citizen sees as Chinese encroachment and hegemony in global markets, at US expense. Some saw Trump’s China policies as a historic victory, due to the imposition of tariffs on US imports from China. 

The importance of accountability for China might be one of the few issues that has consensus among Americans of all orientations, but there are differences in how the issue is approached and handled. While Republicans, especially under Trump, use the confrontational method through the well-known strategy of “maximum pressure”, the Democrats prefer dialogue and cooperation with Beijing.

Iran, Israel and Arab authoritarians

In the Arab region, the three issues expected to dominate Biden’s agenda are the US relationships with Iran, Israel and the authoritarian regimes in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

We may witness an important shift in US policy towards Iran, especially on the nuclear file and Trump-era sanctions, which resulted in unprecedented levels of pressure on Tehran since the unilateral US withdrawal from the nuclear deal in 2018.

It is expected that Biden will bring the US back to the nuclear deal, but with new conditions – unless the Trump administration, in alliance with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, launches military strikes, as Trump has reportedly contemplated.

Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet in Jerusalem in 2010 (Reuters)
Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet in Jerusalem in 2010 (Reuters)

As for the US-Israel relationship, and in particular the issue of a two-state solution and normalisation with Arab countries, we can expect the status quo to continue. Despite Biden’s embrace of the two-state solution and rejection of Israeli attempts to impose a fait accompli on Palestinians, Biden is not expected to prevent Israel from annexing parts of the occupied West Bank.

US pressure on more Arab countries to normalise with Israel, as Trump pushed with the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan, may diminish. But this does not mean the Biden administration would impede any such normalisation. On the contrary, Biden welcomed the Gulf normalisation deals with Israel.

The issue of Israel’s security and qualitative superiority is a subject of agreement among Republicans and Democrats alike; none can imagine this changing under the Biden administration.

Condemnation without action

As for the US relationship with Arab authoritarian regimes, particularly with respect to support for human rights and democracy, while Biden may not support human rights violations – especially in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE – he is not expected to exert great pressure on these countries if the violations continue.

A Biden administration, for example, would not likely cut off military aid to Egypt, or halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia or the UAE as an objection to the Yemen war or their miserable record on issues of democracy and human rights – despite Biden’s pledge to the contrary during his election campaign. 

Statements and condemnations may be issued from time to time, but it is unlikely that they will translate into real policies and actions. While Biden will not consider someone like Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi his “favourite dictator”, as Trump did, he will not likely sever the relationship or punish Sisi seriously for his flagrant violations of human rights in Egypt.

Perhaps optimists in the Arab world should be wary of getting too hopeful about the incoming Biden administration and the potential for regional change. If it is true that the number of bad guys around the world will decrease due to Trump’s departure from power, this does not necessarily mean that the good guys will make a comeback with Biden coming to power.

Khalil al-AnaniKhalil al-Anani is a Senior Fellow at the Arab Centre for Research and Policy Studies in Washington DC. He is also an associate professor of political science at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies. You can follow him on Twitter: @Khalilalanani.

Dr. Bashar Al-Jaafari’s Statement During the Security Council Session on the Political and Humanitarian Situation in Syria Bashar al-Jaafari at the Security Council 11/25/2020

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on 

Al-Jaafari: countries hostile to Syria, particularly the US and Turkey, support terrorist organizations and separatist militias

25 November، 2020
New York, SANA

Syria’s permanent representative to the UN, Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari, said that countries hostile to Syria, on top of them the US and Turkey, continue their violations of the international law, UN conventions and Security council resolutions relevant to the crisis in Syria through supporting the terrorist organizations, separatist militias and perpetrating crimes against the Syrian people and looting their resources.

“The US occupation and its tools of separatist militias continue their practices aiming at looting the Syrian State resources, furthermore, the US occupation forces have lately excavated the antiquities in Hasaka and stolen large quantities of treasures and gold in the presence of French and Israeli experts at archaeological site in al-Malkiyah city and unearthed 12 historic tombs dating back to the Roman era,” al-Jaafari added in a statement to the UN Security council through video on the situation in Syria.

He added that the stolen priceless antiquities which date back to thousands of years are being smuggled through northern Iraq and Turkey in a preparation for transporting them to other destinations, stressing that these crimes are part of continued ones being perpetrated by the terrorist organization of Daesh with the aim of securing the financial resources for its terrorist acts.

Al-Jaafari reiterated that the political process, facilitated by the UN, is possessed and led by the Syrians and that making the work of the Committee for Discussing the Constitution a success entails respecting its principles being agreed upon, in addition to refusing any external interferences and any attempts by some states to impose timetables, adding that only the Syrian people have the right to determine their destiny.

He also renewed Syria’s condemnation, in the strongest terms, the visit of the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, to the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Syrian Golan and the West Bank on Nov 19th, referring that this visit emphasizes the absolute bias of the current US administration until the very end of its mandate to the Israeli occupation Entity.

Regarding the International Conference on the return of Syrian Refugees recently held in Damascus on 11th and 12th of November, al-Jaafari affirmed that it has constituted a significant step to the efforts of Syrian State and its allies to ensure the voluntary, safe and good return of the displaced to their areas and their original residences.

Baraa Ali/ Mazen Eyon

Trump’s Last Hurrah?

THE SAKER • NOVEMBER 25, 2020 

There seems to be a quasi consensus that Trump will not prevail and that Biden and Harris will get into the White House no matter what. To my surprise, even the Russian media seems to be considering that the Trump presidency is over.

Yet, I am not so sure at all.

Why?

Because at this point in time, I think that it would fair to conclude that anybody actually willing to look at what has been revealed by this election will have to agree that this election was stolen, rigged, falsified – chose your expression – and that going to the courts to challenge this obscene miscarriage of the democratic process is a fundamental civil right and something which any democrat (small “d”) should support.

And yet, because we live in a media-created pseudo-reality in which absolutely crucial things like the rule of law seem to have become secondary to ideological imperatives, no matter how extreme, there are those who simply refuse to see the obvious. Yes, the 9/11 false flag trained the western societies well and many now simply lack the lucidity and courage to face reality.

Courts, however, are bound by the rule of law, at least in theory, and don’t have the luxury to simply pretend like crucial evidence presented to them simply does not exist.

True, the lower, state, courts are unlikely to resist the pressure put upon them to come up with the “right” conclusions, but never say never – all it takes is one single principled judge and Trump or, more accurately, the Giuliani team, might get the break they need. Still, it is pretty obvious that Giuliani’s real hopes are with the Supreme Court. This makes sense, local judges are much easy to influence and sway than Supreme Court Justices who are unassailable and who realize that they will make history, the only question being is: how till they go down in history books, as a “profile in courage” or as impotent cowards who betrayed their oath?

I will say that I am, to put it mildly, not impressed by Trump’s demeanor during these crucial days: he completely ceded the narrative to his opponents (a couple of incoherent and poorly phrased “tweets” do not qualify). True, Trump never displayed the qualities of a real leader, so this is hardly surprising.

Giuliani, however, is a tough SOB and he seems to be determined to take this fight right up to the Supreme Court. This is why I believe that it is very dangerous to make any assumptions about what the Justices might or might not do. Is it possible that even the Supreme Court justices would betray their oath and cave in to the Dem’s pressure? Yes, I suppose so. Concepts such as truth, honor, integrity, courage and heroism are very much out of fashion in the modern world, especially in the US. This is why the traditionally hallowed term “hero” is applied left and right to every bureaucrat or civil servant simply doing his/her job: real heroes are long gone.

Then consider this: if the SC sides with Trump and overturns the hundred of thousands of illegal votes, the US will be immediately plunged into an orgy of chaos and violence, all of it encouraged and coordinated by the legacy corporate ziomedia à la CNN. The thugs of Antifa/BLM will immediately engage in Kristallnacht-like rampages in “protest” against the “racist system”. Their main target? White, Christian, males, of course!

Some justices might even feel torn between standing up for what is both legal and moral and the practical considerations of the consequences of an adjudication in Trump’s favor. Their oath ought to be their guiding principles, but considering how often the SC voted along party/ideological lines in the past, I am not very confident that the Justices will strictly do the only legally and morally right thing: uphold the law and vote their conscience.

Finally, whatever we may think of the election itself, it is obvious that the US elites have created the appearance of a fait accompli, hence the kind of nonsense like, say, Biden and his “Office of the President Elect”. It is therefore reasonable to assume that even if the Supreme Court fully sides with the Trump campaign, the US elites will never accept this. They will try to find a way to impeach, legally or otherwise, those Justices who voted “wrong”.

I think that there is also another consideration which we have to remain aware of: Trump’s entire presidency is been one long and never ending prostitution of the United States to the desires and whims of Netanyahu and his gang of thugs. True, as Israel Shamir pointed out, the Israelis failed to deliver anything in return to Trump. And yet, as Philip Giraldi recently explained, Trump is still very much Israel’s prostitute, which is why there are an increasing number of Israeli experts (see here and here) who believe that Trump might strike at Iran as a “farewell” present to the Israelis.

Is that really possible? Could Trump really do something so crazy?

You betcha he could!

One one hand, I have always maintained that Trump is the Zionists’ “disposable president”, meaning a one term president who will do everything the Likudniks want of him and who will then be jettisoned and replaced by a truly “kosher president” like Biden/Harris. On the other hand, however, there is the precedent of the US meekly taking the Iranian missile attacks in retaliation for the murder of General Soleimani which seems to indicate that the Pentagon just does not have the stomach for a full-scale war against Iran.

So which will it be?

Nobody knows. The only thing we can be sure of is that we are certainly entering very dangerous times.

Those who hope that a Biden/Harris presidency might be better are deeply deluded.

Why?

Because, as many have already pointed this out, even if Trump is ejected from the White House, “Trumpism”, as an ideology, is here to stay. Even if you believe that Biden/Harris beat Trump in a fair election, surely must you still realize that there are tens of millions of Americans who feel that the election was stolen and that Biden/Harris are usurpers.

Personally, I take a very dim view of “Trumpism”, but whatever its (many) flaws, this ideology, however vague, has “redpilled” millions of Americans who now realize that they are living in a fake democracy or, to use a Russian expression, “democracy” in the US only means “power of the Democrats”. Simply put: we can call them “1%ers” or the “US Nomenklatura” or the “deep state” or whatever other term which comes to mind, but the bottom line is obvious: the US is not a democracy or a republic, it is a dictatorship of the few over the many, the “best democracy money can buy” and a system based not on one man one vote, but one dollar one vote. Whether they realize it or not, most Americans are serfs of an occupying parasitic regime which sees them solely as a (cheap) commodity.

These ideas used to be corralled into what the Ziomedia liked to call the “extremist fringe” but now millions of Americans are becoming aware of this reality, CNN & Co notwithstanding. Put the Biden/Harris ticket into the White House and millions of people will go into some kind of “resistance mode” – whether that be political activism, civil resistance, local/state insubordination to the Federal power or even armed resistance.

One of the top priorities of the Dems in power will be to crack down, hard, on the First and Second Amendments to the US Constitution. Right there we can expect a lot of local/regional/state resistance because, unlike their ruling “elites” (i.e. masters), most Americans passionately care for what are really the cornerstones of the US political system. Yes, there is a reason why the Founding Fathers placed the First Amendment in first position and the Second one right after!

The Dems will castrate the First Amendment through their control of all the major Internet platforms (YouTube, Google, FaceBook, Twitter, Amazon, etc.) and, since this will not be government censorship, at least technically, but decisions of the private sector, even the ACLU will have nothing to say about this.

The Second Amendment will be trickier to deal with, because there is no private or non-governmental institution which can do to the Second Amendment what big tech companies have done to the First one. However, all it takes is a few well-orchestrated “shootings” or any armed refusal to be disarmed, and the label “domestic terrorist” will be swiftly applied to those who dared to resist Uncle Shmuel.

Again – we are about to enter an extremely dangerous period, both inside the US and on the international front.

Trump’s handlers must realize that the AngloZionist Empire is already finished and that all that’s left is an agonizing United States. The same probably goes for the Biden/Harris handlers. Hence both parties have a huge interest in, first, creating some crisis which can distract from what is really going on and, second, in using whatever power they still have to “fire their last shells” before the ammo box goes empty.

Conclusion: too many variables to call it

The truth is that absolutely anything can happen next. There are simply way too many variables to try to make a prediction. Will Trump attack Iran? I want to believe that this ship has sailed, but I will never say never to something as evil and stupid as an attack on Iran. However, under pretty much any scenario, we can be pretty sure that come January there will be a power vacuum in the Executive and roughly half of all Americans will consider that the election has been stolen. That kind of power vacuum, or even a duopoly, is very dangerous and typically results in even more chaos and violence. Eventually, some kind of “tough” regime comes to power. But this is a threat that we can discuss further down the road.

Biden will not end the ‘deal of the century’ – Palestinian leaders are acting in haste

Joseph Massad

24 November 2020 

The goal of the US ‘peace process’ has long been – and will continue to be under Biden – the obliteration of Palestinian resistance to Israeli colonisation

People denounce the ‘deal of the century’ in the occupied West Bank on 28 February 2020 (AFP)

Since the election of Joe Biden as the next US president, reports of the death of the “deal of the century” have been greatly exaggerated. The Palestinian Authority (PA) has felt a sense of relief that its love affair with Israel and Israel’s allies could finally resume. 

The PA had cut off official security coordination with Israel in May, and cooled relations with Bahrain and the UAE after they opened diplomatic relations with Israel this summer. The PA used the pretext that President Donald Trump’s “deal” was detrimental to Palestinian interests.  

In the wake of Biden’s election, the PA declared the deal and annexation plans to be “no longer on the table”. It officially resumed security coordination with Israel, citing assurances from Israel that it would comply with prior agreements it had signed with the PA.

This came just days after Israel opened bidding on the construction of a new Jewish colonial settlement intended to cut off occupied East Jerusalem from the West Bank. The PA has also restored its ambassadors to Bahrain and the UAE. 

Palestinian prisoners

These PA moves seek to appeal to Biden, who is expected to be more sympathetic to their cause than Trump. And so, instead of announcing that the PA was looking forward to being welcomed back into the US capital, the adamantly anti-Palestinian New York Times, the US “newspaper of record”, announced that “in a bold move to refurbish their sullied image in Washington, the Palestinians are laying the groundwork for an overhaul to one of their most cherished but controversial practices, officials say: compensating those who serve time in Israeli prisons, including for violent attacks.” 

Israel has been demanding for decades that the PA not support the families of Palestinians killed by Israel, let alone the families of Palestinian prisoners of war. The US Congress “repeatedly passed legislation to reduce aid to the Palestinians by the amount of those payments”, which were also cited by Trump when he cut funding to the PA in 2018.

Biden will be little different from Trump who, in fact, was little different from Obama or previous presidents

The New York Times added that “Palestinian officials eager to make a fresh start … are heeding the advice of sympathetic Democrats who have repeatedly warned that without an end to the payments, it would be impossible for the new administration to do any heavy lifting on their behalf”. 

This is an important example of how Biden will be little different from Trump who, in fact, was little different from Obama or previous presidents. Biden has vowed not to move the US embassy back to Tel Aviv, nor to rescind US recognition of Israel’s illegal annexation of that city. Perhaps the only difference is that Biden may restore aid to the PA, while curtailing support to families of Palestinian prisoners – details of which are “being hammered out in Ramallah”, according to the Times.  

Security coordination

But as the “deal of the century” is predicated on the premise that the US and Palestinians must give Israel everything it wants, it remains unclear why the PA thinks the deal is no longer on the table. After all, the PA has acted in accordance with that very premise by resuming security coordination with Israel, returning its ambassadors to the Gulf states, and negotiating cuts to support for prisoners’ families – all without getting anything in return. 

The issue of financial support to Palestinian prisoners’ families is, in fact, a central feature of how the US “peace process” has always been premised on coercing Palestinians and other Arabs to join the US in legitimising Israeli colonial conquests and delegitimising any resistance to them. 

An Israeli border guard fires tear gas towards Palestinians in Bethlehem in 2017 (AFP)
An Israeli border guard fires tear gas towards Palestinians in Bethlehem in 2017 (AFP)

Since the 1993 Oslo I Accord, the PA has committed to stamping out all Palestinian resistance to Israeli colonisation of Palestinian lands, collaborating with Israel either by informing on or handing over resistors to Israeli security forces, or by having its own security agencies imprison or kill them. Why, then, Israel and the US complain, would the PA support their families?

This is to be contrasted with the fact that Israel and the US have always rewarded Israeli Jews who massacre Palestinians. A minuscule number of Israeli soldiers who kill Palestinians have ever been prosecuted, and even fewer found guilty, as has been documented by Israeli human rights groups and others. 

Israeli impunity

Last year, an Israeli soldier who fatally shot an unarmed 14-year-old Palestinian boy was sentenced to a month in military prison. The boy’s father told the New York Times: “This is unjust.” He said he feared that the soldier’s sentence would “encourage his colleagues to kill in cold blood”. 

Also last year, the Israeli army exonerated its soldiers in the killing of a Palestinian double-amputee protesting at the Gaza fence who was shot in the chest. The army said it could not ascertain that its soldiers were the ones who killed him. Another Israeli border police officer who killed yet another Palestinian teenager in 2014 was sentenced two years ago to nine months in prison, having been praised by the judge as “excellent” and “conscientious”. Biden victory means the end of an era for Netanyahu

Read More »

As for the Israeli military medic who shot dead an already injured Palestinian lying on the ground in 2016, he was sentenced to 18 months in prison, a year of probation and a demotion. His sentence was later decreased to 14 months, of which he served only nine before being released. 

These are neither aberrant nor new examples; they harken back to the establishment of Israel. Late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who expelled the Palestinian population of the city of Lydda in 1948 and devised the “break-their-bones” policy against Palestinians during the First Intifada, is celebrated in Israel and the US as a “hero” for peace. He never went to jail for his crimes.  

Nor did former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who, dressed in drag, headed a commando unit that assassinated several Palestinian leaders in their homes in Beirut in 1973. He, like Rabin, is hailed as a hero. 

In October 1956, the Israeli army committed a horrific massacre against its own Israeli-Palestinian citizens in the village of Kafr Qasim, when its soldiers shot dead 49 men, women and children coming home from their fields after a day of work, and injured dozens more.  

Despite an initial government cover-up, a trial took place and prison sentences were handed down in October 1958 to eight officers ranging from eight to 17 years. Appeals were filed, and all the sentences were reduced with all the convicted killers released by 1960, having spent their sentence in a sanatorium in Jerusalem, and not in a prison cell.

Officer Gabriel Dahan, convicted of killing 43 Palestinians, was appointed as officer responsible for Arab affairs in the city of Ramle in September 1960. The brigadier most responsible for giving the orders for the massacre, Yshishkar Shadmi, had a separate trial, and was found guilty of a “technical error” and fined one cent. 

Better deal next time?

What Biden and his friends are demanding of the PA today is precisely what Israel and Trump also demanded: namely, that it consider Israeli conquest, colonisation and occupation of Palestinian land – including the killing of Palestinians who resist (or do not resist) Israel – as heroic acts.

Since the PA did right by Israel and the US when it agreed in Oslo to quash any resistance to these Israeli heroic acts, it must continue to do so by not supporting the families of Palestinian prisoners or martyrs. 

It has always been the same deal, which is what Trump tried valiantly to impress upon the world

The goal of the PA, as envisaged by the Oslo Accords, is not only to obliterate any remaining resistance to Israel, but also to quash the Palestinian people’s will to resist their insidious coloniser once and for all. That was the essence of the US “peace process” in the 1970s and 1980s, of the Oslo deal, of former US President Bill Clinton’s Camp David offer in 2000, and of Trump’s “deal of the century“.  

It has always been the same deal, which is what Trump tried valiantly to impress upon the world. The much-awaited Biden, however, will be sure to indulge the PA. He will pretend, alongside the PA, that Palestinians will get a new and better deal next time.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

Joseph Massad is Professor of Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History at Columbia University in New York. He is the author of many books and academic and journalistic articles. His books include Colonial Effects: The Making of National Identity in Jordan, Desiring Arabs, The Persistence of the Palestinian Question: Essays on Zionism and the Palestinians, and most recently Islam in Liberalism. His books and articles have been translated to a dozen languages.

بايدن يغازل طهران عبر الكاظمي وقاءاني في بغداد: لا نعدك بشيء

محمد صادق الحسيني

قالت مصادر وثيقة الصلة بمطبخ صناعة القرار الإيراني بأنّ رئيس الوزراء العراقي مصطفى الكاظمي تلقى رسالة خاصة من فريق بايدن يطلب منه نقلها الى أصدقائه في طهران، أن يتحمّلوا قليلاً ما سمّوه بالنفق الترامبي ويصبروا على استفزازاته الى حين استقرار الإدارة الجديدة والتي سيكون لها شأن آخر يختلف عن ترامب تجاه طهران…!

وقد قام الكاظمي بإرسال موفد عنه الى طهران لإبلاغ الإيرانيين هذه الرسالة الإيجابية من فريق بايدن، والتي تمّ تلقيها بكلّ مسؤولية واقتدار من دون أن يعدوا الأميركيين بأيّ شيء عدا عدم الانجرار الى ما قد يُقدم عليه ترامب من ارتكابات تصعيدية او استفزازية…!

في هذه الأثناء كان قائد لواء القدس في الحرس الثوري الإيراني اللواء اسماعيل قاءاني العائد لتوّه من زيارة رسمية مهمة لسورية التقى خلالها الرئيس بشار الأسد تمّت خلالها مناقشة كلّ القضايا الإقليمية والدولية لا سيما تنسيق المواقف تجاه تطوّرات المرحلة الانتقاليّة بين فريقي ترامب وبايدن، كان يحضر لزيارة بغداد في إطار زيارة رسمية من رئيس الوزراء العراقي مصطفى الكاظمي…

وبالفعل فقد قام قاءاني بزيارة بغداد الأربعاء الماضي والتقى المسؤول العراقي الأول وعدداً من الفصائل وقادة الأحزاب العراقيين، تحت «ظلال رسالة فريق بايدن»، لكن برنامج الزيارة كان معداً سلفاً لأمرين: العلاقات الثنائية والانتخابات العراقية البرلمانية المبكرة وكيفية مساهمة طهران في إنجاحها وتخفيف حدة التوتر بين الفصائل العراقية المناهضة للاحتلال الأميركي والكاظمي الذي يراهن كثيراً على توازن صداقاته مع كلّ من واشنطن وطهران…!

قاءاني كان واضحاً جداً مع الكاظمي بأنّ طهران لا تريد إلا الخير والاستقرار والاستقلال الناجز للعراق بناء على رؤية عراقية مستقلة، كما أنها لا تريد مطلقاً التدخل في الشأن العراقي الداخلي وكيفية إدارة كلّ الملفات المتعلقة بهذا الخصوص من انتخابات او أجندات تتعلق بمستقبل ونوع نظام الحكم العراقي، ومنها قضية الانتخابات التي هي شأن عراقي داخلي محض…

وفي ما يخصّ سؤال الكاظمي إنْ كان الموفد الإيراني يحمل رداً عليه قال قاءاني: لسنا مهتمّين بغير استقرار المنطقة، ولا نعدك بأيّ شيء آخر…!

متابعون وخبراء مطلعون على أجواء وفضاءات المنطقة وإقليم غرب آسيا يؤكدون في هذه الاثناء بأنّ أطراف حلف المقاومة في كلّ من طهران ودمشق وبغداد وبيروت متفقة على ضروة تهدئة المواقف العامة وتمرير ما اتفق على تسميته بـ «النفق الترامبي» الذي يبحث عن بقية ماء وجه لمن خسر كلّ معاركه الخارجية والداخلية وآخرها الانتخابات الرئاسية (أيّ دونالد ترامب)، وانتظار استقرار الإدارة الأميركية الجديدة، وحينها سيكون لكلّ حادث حديث..!

في هذه الأثناء نفت المصادر الآنفة الذكر أنّ يكون قاءاني قد زار بيروت، كما نفت أنه كان في سورية أثناء القصف الاسرائيلي لبعض مواقع الجيش العربي السوري الأسبوع الماضي، والذي ادّعت تل أبيب كذباً بأنها استهدفت مواقع لقوة القدس، ذلك انّ زيارة قاءاني كانت قبل ذلك بأيام ولم يتخللها أيّ تحرّك عسكري من جانب العدو الصهيوني، تماماً كما انّ العدوان الذي تلى تلك الزيارة لم يستهدف أيّ موقع استشاري للحرس الثوري الإيراني على الإطلاق.

بانتظار تحوّلات كبرى تزيد من خسارة الأميركي وهزائمه المتكرّرة والجسيمة في المنطقة مع استقرار إدارة بايدن في البيت الأبيض، وهي الإدارة التي ستأتي ضعيفة ومنعدمة الرؤية الواضحة تجاه محور المقاومة، ستقوم عملياً محلّ مقام إدارة منهكة ممزقة متقطعة الأوصال خائرة القوى تخرج بخفي حنين من كلّ معاركها الخارجية والداخلية كما أشرنا آنفاً.

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

Canada, U.S. have ‘selective’ approach toward human rights: lawyer

By Mohammad Mazhari

November 23, 2020 – 10:56

Sari Bashi, a consultant for Democracy in the Arab World Now (DAWN)

TEHRAN – A human rights lawyer says the U.S. and Canada follow double standards toward human rights, noting that they “support human rights selectively”.

In an interview with the Tehran Times, Sari Bashi, a consultant for Democracy in the Arab World Now (DAWN), says that U.S. policy in terms of human rights is not consistent. 

“Unfortunately, the United States and Canada support human rights selectively, and the United States, in particular, has not done nearly enough to call out its allies for human rights abuses,” Bashi points out.

Canada and the U.S. accuse other countries of human rights violations while they themselves sell weapons to tyrannical regimes in West Asia, which are used against defenseless people, especially in Yemen. 

Canada claims a global reputation as a human rights defender, while the Ottawa government has a bad record when it comes to the rights of the indigenous peoples. According to reports revealed by the Human Rights Watch, the Natives are deprived of the right to safe drinking water, and police mistreat and abuse indigenous women and girls.

Bashi also says the U.S. is misusing its influence to allow its allies, such as Israel, to commit crimes.

 The following is the text of the interview:

Q: Certain Western states have a bad record in view of human rights, so are these countries entitled to condemn other countries?

  A: I think the fact that all authorities abuse human rights do not disqualify any particular government from raising human rights issues with others. Certainly, the best way to encourage respect for human rights is to lead by example, and every government in the world that has invested more energy in improving in own human rights record could be more credible to criticize other government who may not be; but at the same time I think it is always legitimate to raise the issue of human rights abuses and we should make sure that we are holding our governments accountable to universal standards of human rights as articulated by international instruments.

“We should make sure that we are holding our governments accountable to universal standards of human rights as articulated by international instruments,” the consultant for Democracy in the Arab World Now (DAWN) says. Q: When it comes to Israeli crimes against Palestinians, why do countries like Canada and the U.S. give full support to Tel-Aviv? How is it possible that Israel wins such support?

A: I think lack of accountability for Israeli violations of human rights and international law against Palestinians reflects a weakness in accountability of the international system.

Unfortunately, the UN Security Council cannot act in the Israel-Palestine case because of the veto power of powerful members, especially the United States, while other mechanisms of accountability such as the International Criminal Court are struggling to have jurisdiction over war crimes committed in Palestine. So we have a lot of work to do in obtaining a stronger mechanism of accountability, and the fact that Israel enjoys such a strong military and financial support from the United States reflects a distorted political system in which the U.S. as a superpower is using its significant influence to allow its allies to commit abuses.

Q: Why is Canada not really concerned about human rights violations when it clinches arms deals with a value of 15 billion dollars with Saudi Arabia? Is it justifiable to say that Canada is not aware that these weapons are used against children and women in Yemen?

A: Canada, like all countries, has a responsibility to ensure that it does not violate human rights or international humanitarian law including in its military deals; so selling weapons to actors who are committing war crimes in Yemen will be a violation of Canada’s obligations and certainly, the Canadian government and the Canadian people have a responsibility to ensure that their foreign policy respects human rights and does not contribute to war crimes. 

Q: Washington has imposed harsh sanctions on Iran that are hampering Iran’s access to medicine. At such a hard time, countries like Canada have been cooperating with Washington in pushing ahead with its unilateral sanctions by refusing to sell humanitarian goods to Iran.  What is your comment?

 A: Unfortunately, the United States and Canada support human rights selectively, and the United States, in particular, has not done nearly enough to call out its allies for human rights abuses. At DAWN, we believe that U.S. policy should be consistent. So the same standard in terms of respecting human rights that are applied towards Iran should also be applied towards Israel and every other country because these are universal standards of how government should treat the people under their control.

Q: Why have Western countries, especially Canada and the U.S., preferred to turn a blind eye to Khashoggi’s murder while they knew that Mohammed bin Salman was directly responsible for that crime? How could Saudis distract attention away from their crimes and influence human rights bodies in the UN?

A: I think the lack of accountability for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi reflects a weakness in the system of international politics and especially the United States, which is selling Saudi Arabia billions of dollars in the arms trade and providing diplomatic cover that allows the Saudi government to act with impunity. The lack of accountability for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder regarding the role of Mohammad Bin Salman indicates that real change is needed. What is encouraging is that in the United States, there is pressure not just from the American people but also in the American Congress seeking accountability, and I remind that the U.S. Congress has required the federal government to provide information about those responsible for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder in the form of a DNI (Director of National Intelligence) report that was to be published last year. Unfortunately, the Trump administration has ignored that mandate and refused to release the report.  The refusal is the subject of litigation in U.S. courts, and we hope that the incoming administration will follow the law and do what Congress has required, which is to reveal what American intelligence services know about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. 

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Washington Seeks to Divide Syria through the Use of Terrorists

November 24, 2020

By Vladimir Platov
Source: New Eastern Outlook

Recent events clearly show the real goals of Washington’s policy in Syria, aimed not at finding a peaceful solution to the Syrian conflict and returning Syrian refugees to their homeland, but at continuing to plunder. The United States refused to participate in the International Conference in Damascus held by Moscow on November 11-12 to facilitate Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons and attempted to interfere with the event.

Simultaneously, the American military, in every possible way, protects and encourages the Kurdish militants. The US pumps oil in the northeast stealing Syria’s natural resources and national property and considers the Syrian Arab Republic a cheap resource. So, according to the Syrian Arab news agency SANA, the US armed forces, with the help of Kurdish militants of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), on October 28, took another batch of Syrian oil from Syria to Iraq in 37 oil tankers from the settlement of As Suwayda to the north of Iraq through the Al Waleed border crossing. They were accompanied by a convoy of cars and armored personnel carriers from Kurdish SDF fighters. US troops, together with SDF fighters, control most of the oil fields in eastern Syria, where a large number of trucks with weapons have been transferred in recent months.

Earlier, the United States tried to unilaterally “legalize” SAR’s oil flow by creating a fictitious company called Delta Crescent Energy LLC. The fact that the American military’s actions in Syria are an “international state racketeering” and cannot be justified by their fight against the terrorist group DAESH (banned in the Russian Federation – ed.) has already been repeatedly stated from the official tribunes by the governments of Syria, Turkey, Iran, and Russia, including before the UN.

Not only outright robbery characterizes US policy in Syria. According to a report published by the Qatar-based Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR), attacks by the US-led “anti-terrorist coalition” have killed more than 3,000 Syrian civilians since 2014. The fate of 8,000 is unknown. Over six years of intervention, so-called “fighters against terrorism” have reportedly committed mass murder at least 172 times, bombed schools and markets, and put their allies, whose local core are Kurdish militants, in charge of the “liberated” regions.

It is necessary to pay special attention to the fact that, over the past year, the American administration, to implement its plan to fragment Syria, has been especially actively working to reconcile the Syrian Kurds’ political factions. In particular, Washington acted as an intermediary between the Kurdish national unity parties, the largest of which is the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is the political arm of the People’s Self-Defense Forces (YPG), which are the backbone of the SDF and the Kurdish National Council in Syria (KNC). Washington’s primary goal is to create Kurdish “autonomy” while creating preconditions for a US military presence in the country. Especially in the oil-producing region of Syria, which, no doubt, the United States will attach particular importance to in any post-war agreements.

To further destabilize Syria’s situation and implement plans to divide this country, Kurdish militants of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), on instructions from Washington, released from prisons more than 500 terrorists in eastern Syria in early November. As a result, the activity of terrorist cells has noticeably increased throughout Syria. For example, the London-based non-governmental organization Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), citing Syrian sources, reported severe losses of government troops due to a large-scale attack by the terrorist group Daesh’s militants in the east of Hama province. Twenty-one Syrian soldiers were killed in the attack near the Abu Fayyad dam east of the city of Salamiyah in the countryside of Hama, and the terrorists themselves lost more than 40 people. After the failed attack, the militants fled south towards the desert area of ​​Badiya al-Sham.

On November 12, a convoy of Turkish Armed Forces heading from Kafr Shil was blown up in the north Syrian province of Aleppo, in outskirts of Afrin.

Almost simultaneously, an incident occurred in the south of the country – in the region of Daraa. A convoy of Russian Armed Forces accompanied by Syrian security forces was heading from Izraa to Sahwat al-Qamh when an improvised explosive device was detonated near the settlement of Musseifra.

On November 13, militants of the DAESH terrorist group (banned in the Russian Federation – ed.) attacked a Syrian Arab Army unit near the city of Al Sukhnah  in the province of Homs, killing eleven soldiers and capturing and subsequently executing one soldier. According to observers’ estimates, all three events may have common roots associated with the consolidation of the Kurdish militants and DAESH’s efforts after releasing 500 militants from the American occupation administration prisons. According to published Al-Monitor reports, many DAESH “sleeping cells” have been deployed in villages on the Euphrates River banks, such as Al-Shuhayl, Hajin, Al-Susa, and Al-Baguz, and the recent release of 500 terrorists by SDF has helped with recruitment.

The situation becomes more complicated because Kurdish militants do not want to fight the terrorist underground in Syria’s occupied territory. The SDF wants the region to remain volatile to continue to receive support from the United States, Al-Monitor emphasizes. Besides, judging by previous reports from sources, Kurdish groups continue to get a share in the theft and smuggling of Syrian oil – and need to at all costs maintain their presence in the oil-rich region by simulating the fight against DAESH, which, by the way, fully satisfies Washington’s plans.

Vladimir Platov, expert on the Middle East, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

The Triumph of Mankind Over the Great Reset: Guns, Books, and the Social Contract

Joaquin Flores

November 20, 2020

In The Dystopic Great Reset and the Fight Back: Population Reduction and Hope for the Children of Men , our Part I, we developed on our previous essays on planned obsolescence and the problems of the old paradigm as we enter the 4th Industrial Revolution. We looked at how several science fiction works like ‘The Virus’ and ‘Children of Men’ in culture actually predicted and lent to us an understanding the new reified nightmare being built around us. Finally, we looked at Althusser’s ‘ISA’, Ideological State Apparatus and how this was developed towards a politically correct elite culture which opened the door to the so-called ‘new normal’, where slavery and self-harm are virtue signals.

At the end of ‘The Dystopic Great Reset and the Fight Back […]’ that it would be necessary to trace aspects of the history of the social contract in order to lay the foundation of understanding

In our previous essay ‘Capitalism After Corona Lockdown: Having the Power to Walk Away, we also then posed the question of the social contract itself.

Because the vast majority of us today are born into civilization, we don’t always think about its origins in terms of the agency of individuals who joined or formed the first civilizations. We tend to be taught through our institutions that it was something in between voluntary and natural, and the great 19th century nationalist romanticism promoted a view of self-determination of peoples, a view that would later be taken up by nationalist and leftist movements around the world in the 20th century – later enshrined in the UN.

But much of the story of the first state-building civilizations, understanding that people are a resource when organized and put to work, is that some balance between slavery and half-freedom rests at its foundation.

The mass production of books and guns, which came about within the same historical period, entirely upended the old foundation of class society. The mass production of guns and books may have, at a certain point, been seen as powerful reinforcements for the status quo. Larger armies could be effectively armed at lower cost. The Ideological State Apparatus, as we can infer from Althusser, could be disseminated and internalized more effectively. But as with technology, came its dual-use features. The very technologies developed with an eye at perfecting the control mechanisms within the status quo of oligarchic orders, in keeping up with the technologies that other competing power networks (countries, kingdoms, nations, etc.), can be turned on its head if these technologies were democratized and fell into the hands of the broadest possible numbers of people. Such was the process both in the American Revolution, and also for instance in the Vietnamese resistance to Japanese, French, and American colonialism in the last century.

For the first time in many centuries, knowledge and brute force were no longer an insurmountable near-monopoly held by the state or those it could compromise. The gun – the great equalizer of men, and the book – the great liberator of minds.

Since that epoch of great emancipation and promise, technology has continued with this contradictory path of dual-use. However, the balance of power and the natures of technologies hitherto developed has shifted tremendously, favoring the status quo and disempowering the broad masses. This lamentable condition, however, is upended by the applied technologies which the real 4th Industrial Revolution (not the World Economic Forum’s model) brings into being.

In the last epoch of the 20th century, we had begun a dangerous trajectory to a blind-sighted overspecialization (compartmentalization/fachidiotizmus) which are the hallmarks of technocracy, and away from the liberatory epoch of centuries past which gave rise to constitutional republics.

In the past, before the old liberatory epoch, just as a military class was reliant on exclusive access to armaments, today is characterized by a combination of pharmaceutical and social programming through media which are powers out of the reach of the people. This rise and perfection of what Heidegger would define and what Marcuse would characterize as a permanently stable techno-industrial bureaucratic mode of society, characterizes today’s world of social-media influencing, anti-depressants, mass psychological operations such as virtual or holographic pandemics (HIV, Covid-19, etc.), and the surveillance state.

This part is most important in establishing that for the foreseeable future, escaping the 4th Industrial Revolution is an impossibility. At the same time, the dual-use nature of the technologies still hold some liberatory potential, but the past methods of arriving at these has changed.

This means that the ideology of the ruling class is tremendously important. Unlike revolutionary republican and bolshevist conceptions of power and change which share an insurrectionist presumption premised in the liberatory age of guns and books (which made the ‘political soldier’ a possibility), we have increasingly entered a zenith point in social-control technologies wherein the likelihood of a controlled group winning a contest for power against the controlling group approaches zero, if we imagine this as a contest between armed groups wherein the military acts not in the interests of their extended families, but in the interests of those writing the checks.

Such limitations were already understood by those influenced by bolshevism, such as Antonio Gramsci in his discussion of hegemony in his Quaderni del Carcere. Cultural hegemony is a war of attrition over the entire ideological terrain, a component of what today we might call full-spectrum dominance. This parallels (and must have influenced) the later Althusserian conception of the Ideological State Apparatus (ISA).

The single-most revolutionary legal document to have arisen in the course of the last three-hundred years in the western tradition was the U.S. Constitution. At its foundation rests the assumption that man is born free, and enters into a social contract willingly, a view supported by a view of natural rights, natural law, and an equality of the soul endowed by the creator.

It is a social contract that man enters into every-day, and can exit any-day.

To understand the liberatory potential of a 4th Industrial Revolution is to understand the dual-use nature of technology in the history of liberatory epochs.

Before the rise of computers and robots performing much of the labor in society, societies grew in strength as they grew in people. With automation and roboticization, human beings become a surplus cost of no consequence to production provided that society itself is not anthropocentric.

The new normal being proposed, is one with no freedom of thought, let alone expression. It is one with social credit, tagging people as if they were animals on a wildlife reserve, and the total regimentation of every-day life. The contours of what techno-industrial civilization can lead to, of what scientific tyranny looks like, is not only visible to us now, but has been creeping into our lives for the past century.

The response to this in the U.S. has been an increasing support for Trump and the phenomenon that can really be described as ‘Trumpism’, which despite the media hologram of a Biden victory will most probably result in a second Trump administration. Trumpism has become synonymous with Constitutionalism, despite the revenge-fantasy language and tropes employed by a disconcerting segment of its base. In England, we have seen a parallel movement of the post-left, and a rise in ‘common law’ activism and an activist education campaign surrounding the meaning of the Magna Carta. For these parallel reasons, we had also previously characterized the Trump phenomenon as the child of a frustrated Occupy Wall Street movement after its affair with the Tea Party, but back in numbers and strength by a dispossessed working class long ago betrayed by organized labor, the DNC, and imbalanced trade deals with China.

But while these responses (with their defects and limitations) are a healthy sign, they do not yet have the depth to articulate a countering vision for society which also takes into account the state of technology as it exists today. That is why we have not seen a very thorough public discussion on the reality of technology, and the state of matters which are real and present.

Instead, we see from the conservative reaction to the 4IR – a reaction which raises all of the correct concerns and levies all of the correct criticisms against the banker’s version of it. This historically parallels the Luddites, who saw at the start of the 19th century that mass industry was replacing the work of the skilled trades and craftsmen with machines.

Their solution, to destroy the machines, failed primarily because machines produce more in volume than men. Even if they had won the political battle, it would have only been a matter of time before a competing society fully utilizing industry would over-take theirs. And perhaps this here tells the entire story of the conquest over nomadic and agriculturalist societies at the hands of the state-building, techno-industrial societies even thousands of years ago.

And so we arrive at the stark truth – there is no running or hiding from the future.

It is the task of free citizens to take ahold of the emerging new technologies into their own hands, for their own purposes: to live in society that acts towards human freedom and dignity of the soul. A world where our small children can grow up in a world without unnecessary humility or fear. A world where there is promise and hope, a promise truly justified by a real-existing society around them based upon what is true, what is beautiful, and what is good.

The Great Reset; ‘No pasarán’

The Great Reset; ‘No pasarán’

November 24, 2020

by Ghassan and Intibah Kadi for the Saker Blog

The revolving results and aspirations of having a clear outcome of the American Presidential elections are bringing many related issues to the surface. Perhaps none bigger than the heightened call by the World Economic Forum (WEF) for a ‘Great Reset’.

The mission of the WEF, stated beneath its logo reads that it is: ‘Committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas’.

This is a vague mission statement that is riddled with logical and philosophical flaws.

What does ‘improving the state of the world’ exactly mean? There are many issues in the world that can be improved, and not all of them are based on economics for an economic forum to attempt to improve. Consider freedom of speech for example, freedom of information, the abuse of information in the form of mis-information and dis-information, just to name one example. Have we not seen that this very aspect has reached unprecedented heights in the American elections?

When the WEF invited Greta Thunberg to attend the January 2020 meeting, not only did it endorse her concept of climate change, but it also advertently ignored the counter-theory which is actually supported by many climatologists and scientists in other related areas. So how can the state of the world be improved if science is hushed up and theories are accepted for fact without proof?

By way of its mission statement and putting it into practice therefore, the WEF does not seem to take much notice of the importance of correct information and, on the contrary, works against it. Is this improvement of the world or moving it backwards towards the dark ages?

And talking about Greta, according to the mission statement, she ‘qualified’ to participate and be engaged even though she is not a leader in either business, politics or academia. She must then, by definition, be considered by the WEF as a ‘leader of society’. But even if we assume that she is a leader in this capacity, realistically what kind of input can she make in reaching and implementing realistic recommendations in order to improve the world? Was she only invited to mesmerize and recruit the youth?

But Greta is not the only oddity. Guess who else was there in January 2020? George Soros. Actually, Soros has been a repeat contributor.

Soros is definitely a huge business person and I have no problem with him fitting the qualification criteria. But isn’t Mr. Soros one of the main reasons behind many of the problems and issues facing humanity and which the WEF proclaims the desire to improve?

How can one invite the butcher to the ‘Save the Sheep’ forum?

This brings in the issue of morality.

Who gave the WEF the moral mandate to decide what is good and bad for the rest of the world? This again takes us back to the flaws of the mission statement. The statement does not make any mention of morality and/or the engagement of renowned ethicists in the membership panel.

Whilst many may have some reservations about Mandela, he was nonetheless an ethicist and a moralist over and above being a political and community leader. He was once invited and he gave an address to the 1992 WEF forum in Davos. But people of the caliber of Mandela, and they are far and few between, should be more than just occasional guests. They should be on a permanent panel of elders who inform and advise policy and legislation action based on moral value. Will the world be able to find enough ‘perfect’ humans to empanel and assign such a huge task to? Certainly not. No one is perfect, but a group of wise elders is certainly more trustworthy than a pact of globalists.

The WEF can amend its mission statement and come clean and admit that it is comprised of the elites who are the actual reason behind the world problems and not the ones to offer solutions. To be able to be truthful to its mission statement however, it must not base its criteria and recommendations on economics and economics only.

We have taken recent interest in the WEF because the term ‘Great Reset’ [1] has jumped up from almost nowhere, suddenly [2] becoming almost everyone’s mantra. It took us a while to realize that the term actually refers to a new book by the name of ‘COVID-19 The Great Reset’ written by none other than Dr. Klaus Schwab, the 82 y/o founder and ongoing CEO of the WEF ever since its inception in 1971. The above WEF link includes toward the end of the document an interesting diagram which summarizes the Great Reset plan, titled “The Great Reset Transformation Map”. [3]

And what is exactly the position of Dr. Schwab? How can he take the wiser-than-thou stand and proclaim to be the saviour of the world? Under which mandate is he allowed to tell governments, people, all people of all nations, cultures, religions and political views to follow his vision of how to create a better new world?

A most eloquent, smooth speaker, but it doesn’t take much probing to see that Schwab is at best either a megalomaniac or a fool, but he definitely displays archetypal symptoms of megalomania, and in a very dangerous attire. When Mao declared his short-sighted Cultural Revolution, he was seen in the West as a new Hitler. But ironically the same West sees Schwab as a saviour.

Don’t listen to these words, hear him speak about what he calls the ‘fourth industrial revolution’. He claims that the steam engine heralded the first revolution, mass production the second, and computers the third. And now, according to him, the fourth industrial revolution is about ‘a fusion of our physical, digital and biological identities’ This is an hour-long video, [4] and if readers cannot listen to it all, they can find those exact words at the 15m:45s mark. And what is our ‘digital identity’ by the way?

Actually, he is perhaps neither a megalomaniac nor a fool, but a freak, the kind of villain that jumps straight out of Batman comics. Alongside the Penguin and the Joker, Schwab should be locked up behind bars, dressed in a straight jacket and pumped to the hilt with antipsychotic drugs, but he is not. He has appointed himself as an advisor to global political leaders, and those buffoons take him seriously.

The man has not been elected by anyone, he does not represent anyone, he seems to not have consulted with anyone elected to speak on behalf of citizens. If this is not what defines a dictator, what does? The WEF is actually his own lovechild, and its name gives it a guise of legitimacy, but it is in fact an NGO just like any other. It neither has any official structure nor the power to generate binding policies. And Soros is not the only shady dude ever invited to speak at the forum.

Schwab is the person who invites whom he chooses. Over the years, the guest list included movie stars and rock stars, but the ‘permanent’ members are CEO’s of big business with turnovers in the billions. We are only talking about some 1000 “leading” companies [5] among millions worldwide who are given a “platform”. They are the biggest pollutants and profiteering culprits on the face of the planet. They are also the biggest benefactors; they donate millions of dollars annually to support the WEF.

Other members include the Saudi royals, the Ford Foundation, Mastercard Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, Monsanto, just to name a few. One would have to have rocks in his/her head to even imagine that those people and the globalist entities they represent get together in order to discuss how to make the world a better place for the underprivileged. He/she would have to be delusional to believe that those rascals convene for any reason other than bolstering their grab-hold of global wealth and monopoly of power.

This is not to mention the irony of Monsanto and Greta being on the same forum.

If anything, the WEF is the biggest known organization that is comprised of the elite of the elite, the culprits behind the inequity and injustice in this world. It is perhaps the biggest wolf in sheep’s clothing on the prowl.

But how will the ordinary man and woman on the street respond to the concept of being part human part machine? And what is more frightening here is; how seriously are world leaders going to take Schwab’s recommendations and how will they implement them in democratic countries in which changes much smaller than what he is recommending require referendums? Furthermore, what will be the ‘fate’ of individuals and nations that do not heed and comply with his directives? Will they be sanctioned? Will non-compliant individuals be able to find jobs or keep existing ones? Will non-compliant nations face trade sanctions?

Many ideologies have come and gone, but none in recent times, since the various versions of Marxism, including Maoism, tried to portray itself in a manner that attempts to sound rational and pragmatic. We must exclude religions here, because religions are based on faith, they are spiritual beliefs, and they are not only and specifically based on and aimed for social reform. But this ‘Great Reset’ theory is very different from any of its predecessors. On the surface, it is based on living frugally in order to protect the environment and generate greater social justice [6], and this does not sound like a bad idea. But at a deeper level, it is a call for thought policing and control of individuals and robbing them of their choices; including their own identity.

Did pre-COVID humanity go wrong to the extent that it needed a great reset?

Well, we only have to look at the trajectory of humanity to realize that it was (still is in fact) unsustainable. All we need to look at is one major aspect; population growth. We simply cannot expect the trend in population growth to go unchecked especially when coupled with increases in affluence and higher standards of living in some countries. If anything, that trend has been generating a huge growing gap between the haves and the have-nots. But even with this knowledge, humanity did not flinch at the news and images of wide-spread famines and literally thousands dying on a daily basis because of their inability to find food; all the while the ‘other half’ is dying from being overweight and overfed.

Whilst some evil-minded people think that the practical way out of this dilemma can be achieved by implementing different modes of eugenics, the voices of compassion have become less audible, and at best, ignored even muted.

Did the pre-COVID world need a reset? Definitely. Many of its founding determinants have been based on injustice, shortsightedness, divisiveness, lack of good old values, the inability of being sustainable; just to name a few.

When millions cannot find food to eat and clean water to drink yet others fly half the way across the world to attend a baby shower, something must be amiss and a reset is way overdue.

But what is it that the vision of the WEF and its ‘Bible’ (COVID-19 The Great Reset) have to offer in order to provide the world and future generations with a brighter new direction?

It doesn’t take long to see that within the WEF “Great Reset” article [7] there are clear indications that what it is attempting to do is to create more compliant robotic individuals and draw the world and its population deeper into the abyss.

The WEF “Great Reset” article is carefully written and worded in a manner that by the time the reader builds a huge deal of trust in the writer, trust in his intentions, and eventually reaches the recommendations, he/she finds that there is no reason, none at all, to disagree with any of its recommendations. If you examine the diagram [8] in the article titled “The Great Reset Transformation Map”, you will find it is very telling.

Even a quick analysis of the WEF principles and modus operandi shows that the whole ethos is based on individuals and companies the practices of whom have led the world to the current state of loss and despair and entrapment that it is in. Certainly, the cause cannot be the cure; not in this instance.

The paper is a blatant endorsement of the Neo-Left, its agendas and attempts to break down cultural values that glue society together, and turn the world into an obedient slave camp.

Apart from the frightening Schwab’s definition of the fourth industrial revolution, the actual recommendations for the ‘Great Reset’ are quite alarming and unsettling to say the least. It promotes digital currency. How does this restore hope in this new world? This is not to mention encouraging the use of robots, drones, and exponentially increasing reliance on technology instead of aspiring to reinstate the good old values of morality that have worked for millennia.

The words morality, honesty, care, compassion, kindness, happiness, courage, generosity, charity etc., are not mentioned even once in the document; not even a single one of them. Why, one may ask? What is it that drones can do to save humanity from an impending disaster that none of the above innate human values can?

Actually, when it comes to human values, Schwab shamelessly argues that as in the future there will be less cooperation based on shared values with an increasingly multipolar world emerging, relationships will have to be based on shared interests; not values (see at 40:00 min)[9]. For him not to believe in the goodness within humanity, he surely must have deeply-founded psychological disorders. We should pity him, but not if he wants to dictate to us how to lead our lives.

What is more concerning about the man is that he asks, almost demands, that all that he proposes must be implemented now and without any further delay, because he argues that the COVID crisis [10] is giving humanity an opportunity that must not be missed. During a recent visit to India, it was reported that Schwab has said that the country now has the opportunity in leapfrogging [11] to a more digital and sustainable economy.

If we want to be cynics, which we are, we would conclude that those who design and run the WEF do not only sleep in the same bed as those who have destroyed the world, THEY ARE the ones who destroyed it, and yet have the audacity to say they are trying to save it. Unfortunately many follow them and take them at face value.

The great reset humanity really needs is one that takes it back to its roots, its values that include freedom of choice and expression. It needs a reboot, not just a reset, and definitely not the reset that is pre-set by maniacal dictators who wish to create implantable microchips that can read one’s mind. [12]

To the likes of Dr. Schwab, the world population must rise, even against their leaders if they must, and together chant ‘no pasarán’

  1. “Now is the time for a great reset”; Klaus Schwab, 3 June 2020, World Economic Forum; https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/now-is-the-time-for-a-great-reset/?fbclid=IwAR1jQO1l6S4ZM7PEe21QiPLa7Espjlm2uh33ovefznJdK-MRZcO1KYzQA1E
  2. ‘Great Reset’ trends on Twitter after Trudeau speech on Covid-19 hints it’s not just a ‘conspiracy theory’, 16 Novemner 2020, RT. https://www.rt.com/news/506887-trudeau-great-reset-conspiracy-reveal/
  3. The Great Reset Transformation Map
    https://intelligence.weforum.org/topics/a1G0X000006OLciUAG?tab=publications
  4. “World Economic Forum Founder Klaus Schwab on the Fourth Industrial Revolution.” Streamed live on 13 May 2019 at Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=CVIy3rjuKGY.
  5. “Our Partners” World Economic Forum https://www.weforum.org/about/our-partners
  6. Searching through WEF site and speeches many references exist regarding living more simply to save the environment and the word “redistribution” often is associated with this. Further research is required by the interested reader to determine whether this implies a redistribution of wealth and what exactly that entails.. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/10/can-redistributing-wealth-also-be-good-for-growth/
  7. Of the WEF, Ken Moelis, Founder and CEO of Moelis & Co. told the Wall Street Journal’s Matt Murray.“ “Davos would do better thinking of growth, rather than redistribution,” (toward the end of video) https://www.wsj.com/video/moelis-davos-should-focus-on-growth-not-wealth-redistribution/C3EC8119-09F4-4CBE-909E-8D59CED4D321.html
  8. “Now is the time for a great reset”; Klaus Schwab, 3 June 2020, World Economic Forum; https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/now-is-the-time-for-a-great-reset/?fbclid=IwAR1jQO1l6S4ZM7PEe21QiPLa7Espjlm2uh33ovefznJdK-MRZcO1KYzQA1E
  9. Schwab, 3 June 2020, Ibid.
  10. Schwab, 13 May 2019, Chicago Council on Global Affairs 40:00 min
  11. Schwab, 3 June 2020, Ibid.
  12. “Schwab Hails India’s Policy In COVID-19 Fight; Says ‘has Potential To Shape Global Agenda’, 25 October 2020, Brigitte Fernandes, RREPUBLICWORLD.com https://www.republicworld.com/india-news/general-news/schwab-hails-indias-policy-in-covid-19-fight-says-has-potential-to-shape-global-agenda.html
  13. “Klaus Schwab: Great Reset Will “Lead to a Fusion of Our Physical, Digital and Biological Identity”, 16 November 202, Joseph Paul Watson, https://summit.news/2020/11/16/klaus-schwab-great-reset-will-lead-to-a-fusion-of-our-physical-digital-and-biological-identity/?fbclid=IwAR2IU4eIRZsXgplVnFHifWLY7fs5i-9uwCDRnqqt_vnNZPLICmL3Gk6LYvk

Mayor Rudy Giuliani: The Michigan attorney general doesn’t care if Democrats steal an election

China’s Reaction to a US Unannounced visit to Taiwan – PressTV Interview

By Peter Koenig

Global Research, November 24, 2020

Background

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is US_Taiwan-400x267.jpg

China has reacted strongly to a senior US official’s unannounced visit to Taiwan, warning that it will take legitimate and necessary action according to circumstances.

The Chinese foreign ministry spokesman reiterated Beijing’s firm opposition to any official ties between Taiwan and the US. The reaction came after the media cited sources, including a Taiwanese official, as saying that US Navy’s Rear-Admiral Michael Studeman was on a trip to the self-ruled island. He’s the director of an agency which oversees intelligence at the US military’s Indo-Pacific Command. The administration of US President Donald Trump has recently ramped up support for Taiwan, including with the approval of new arms sales and high-level visits. Beijing has long warned against such moves. China considers Taiwan a breakaway province and maintains its sovereignty over the region under the One-China policy.

Interview of Peter Koenig with Press TV

***

PK

China has of course every right to protest against any visit and any US intervention in Taiwan, be it weapons sales, or provoking conflict over Taiwan self-declared “sovereignty” which it clearly has not, as it is but a breakaway part of Mainland China.

By and large this looks to me like one of Trump’s last Lame Duck movements to do whatever he can to ruin relations between the US and China.

In reality, it will have no impact of significance.
In fact, China’s approach to Taiwan over the past 70 years, has been one of non-aggression. With various attempts of rapprochement – which most of the times were actually disrupted by US interference – as Taiwan is used by the US, not because Washington has an interest in Taiwan’s “democracy’ – not at all – but Taiwan is a tool for Washington to seek destabilizing China – not dissimilar to what is going on in Hong Kong, or Xinjiang, the Uyghur Autonomous Region, or Tibet.

But China’s objectives are long-term and with patience – and not with force.

Just look at China’s recently signed Trade Agreement with 14 countries – the so-called Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. This agreement alone is the largest in significance and volume of its kind ever signed in recent history. It covers countries with some 2.2. billion people and controlling about one third of world GDP.

And the US is not part of it.
Worse, the US-dollar is not even a trading currency.
This must upset the US particularly – especially since the 2-year trade war Trump was waging against China resulted in absolutely zilch – nothing – for the US. To the contrary, it pushed China towards more independence and away from the US.

The same applied to Chinese partners, happy to have honest trading partners, not of the western, especially the Washington-type, that dish out sanctions when they please and when they don’t like sovereign countries’ behavior.

So – no worries for China, but geopolitically, of course, they must react to such acts against international rules of diplomacy.

——
PressTV:
What will change under President Biden?

PK

Most likely nothing. To the contrary, Biden’s likely Secretary of Defense, Michèle Flournoy, played an important behind the scene role in the Obama Administration. She has not changed the aggressive position of Obama’s “pivot to Asia” which essentially consisted in surrounding China with weapons systems and in particular stationing about 60% of the US navy fleet in the South China Sea.

Though at this point, it looks like China is but the target of an off-scale aggression by President Trump, in reality, China is part of a long-term policy of the US, not only to contain China, but to dominate China.

As we see, though, to no avail.

Interestingly, China does not respond with counter-aggression, instead she moves steadily forward with new creations, towards an objective that does not seek domination, but a multi-polar, multi-connected world, via, for example, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – not the type of globalization that especially the Biden camp – along with the corporatocracy behind the World Economic Forum (WEF) is seeking.

The US empire is on the decline and China, of course, is aware of it. Washington may be lashing around in its deteriorating times, to create as much damage as possible and to bring down as many nations as they can. Case in point is the constant aggression, sanctions and punishment against Iran and Venezuela – but here too, these two countries are moving gradually away from the west and into the peaceful orbit of China – pursuing after all a shared bright future for mankind.


Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for online journals such as Global Research; ICH; New Eastern Outlook (NEO) and more. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe.
Peter is also co-author of Cynthia McKinney’s book “When China Sneezes: From the Coronavirus Lockdown to the Global Politico-Economic Crisis” (Clarity Press – November 1, 2020)

Peter Koenig is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

It is not about Trump or Biden

BY GILAD ATZMON

biden trump.jpg

By Gilad

It is about Urban vs. Rural

It is about Globalist vs. Nationalist

It is about Cosmopolitans vs. Patriots

It is about Tribal vs. Universal

It is not about Democrats or Republicans 

It is about Identitarians vs. Americans

It is about the ‘as a’ people vs. Authenticity 

It is about a ‘Great Reset’ vs. longing for greatness

It is about Jerusalem vs. Athens

It is really about the ‘last days of the Weimar Republic’ all over again. 

Throughout its history, capitalism has been using different tactics to suppress opposition. 

At one stage it was the fantasy of an inevitable revolution. It is indeed the threat of that rebellious spirit which contributed to the evolvement of the welfare state, yet the promised revolution never materialized. 

 It doesn’t take a genius to gather that in historical perspective, those senses of freedom, productivity and hope which became Western emblems during the post-World War II era, had very little to do with our humanist desires and whims. Our ‘freedom’ was manufactured to titillate the poor human fellows behind the Iron Wall. The Cold War which threatened to wipe out civilization was just the means towards capitalist growth. Accordingly, it would be right to argue that we owe our post-war sense of ‘freedom’ to the USSR and Stalin. The more oppressive communism was, the more liberal the West pretended to be. Once the Soviet bloc evaporated, there was no need to sustain our ‘freedom.’ There was no one to ‘titillate’ with Coca Cola and McDonalds. A new Battle Zone was required to divert the masses’ attention from their true eternal oppressors.

Once again it was the so-called ‘Left’ that provided the goods. Instead of the old Left mantra that called to unite us into a proletarian angry fist regardless of our race, skin color, gender or ethnicity, the ‘New Left’ introduced a completely new hymn. Against the most basic Left universal ethos, the New Left taught us to think and speak ‘as a’: ‘as women,’ ‘as a gay,’ ‘as trans,’ ‘as a Jew,’ ‘as a Latino,’ ‘as a Black.’ We practically learned to fight each other instead of uniting into one people. Instead of eliminating differences, we built new ghetto walls emphasizing and celebrating every possible dividing line (White/Black, male/female, heterosexual/LGBTQ etc.). Instead of identifying Wall Street, MSM propaganda and the technology giants as our fierce global enemy, these actually became the catalysts and cash suppliers in a war we, the people, foolishly declared upon ourselves.

In this new ‘Left’ Identitarian amalgam, every ‘as a’ voice is welcome except the White one. Is it because anyone really believes that ‘White people’ are categorically or collectively bad? I doubt it. It is simply because the so-called ‘White’ was picked to play the ‘role’ of the Soviet bloc. The ‘White’ has become the new imaginary ‘evil.’ 

As things stand no one in America can unite the nation: neither Biden nor the DNC can introduce a harmonious solution as the above are actually extensions of the problem. Biden and the DNC are inherently tied to Wall Street, Soros, the MSM and technology giants that formulated and sustain this tragic battle. Trump and the GOP of course, cannot do much either, because in the eyes of his many opponents Trump himself is the core of this entire disaster.  He is clearly ‘too white’ on top of being a ‘man’ and if this is not enough, he is also an abrasive narcissist. 

What we see in America is practically the Weimar Republic all over again.

The public is losing its trust in the democratic process and democratic institutions. Poverty and public unrest is spiking. The national press and media are becoming more and more detached from larger segments of the population. Amidst all of this, Wall Street is booming. The two sides of this divide cannot tolerate each other. They are removed demographically, spiritually, culturally and intellectually.  Democracy is becoming a nostalgic notion in the USA and this shouldn’t take us by a big surprise as democracy and freedom are not and never have been prime capitalist goals or values. Democracy and liberty were the means, not the goal. They were there to serve mammonism.* But not anymore; back in November 2016 Wall Street gathered that democracy is in the way. The City of London came to the same conclusion after the Brexit referendum.

If America wants to save itself, it may have to grasp its conditions first. It better transcend itself beyond the fake battle between Trump and Biden or between the Democrats and the GOP. America should figure out who is pushing it into the abyss of civil war.  America should figure out who works so hard and successfully, so far, to split it and every other Western country in the middle.

If Orwell’s 1984 carries any prophetic merit, it is easy to figure out who is taking care of the Big Brother’s role. What you may want to do next is figure out who is/what is the current Immanuel Goldstein? Who controls the opposition?    

* Mammonism the obsessive pursuit of material wealth and possessions.

The Fascist neo-left and the Trump Factor

Source

The Fascist neo-left and the Trump Factor

November 21, 2020

by Ghassan Kadi for the Saker Blog

Nearly three weeks after the American elections, Americans and the world in general, are still none-the-wiser; not knowing who really won and if the votes have all been legitimate or otherwise.

And the man who is supposedly trying to make America respectable again, yes, Joe Biden, started his ‘tenure’ ironically by presenting his own disrespect by breaking the law and declaring himself as ‘president elect’ and establishing an illegal entity in the name of the ‘Office of President-Elect’.

There are serious accusations that allege that dead people have voted, that boxes of late illegal ballots (all voting for Biden) suddenly appeared from no-where, that the Dominion machines have been deliberately rigged in a manner that favoured Biden, that ballot observers from the Trump camp were not allowed to scrutineer, and much more.

Whilst all of the above points are considered allegations from the legal point of view, the Democrat camp should not be concerned at all if it has nothing to hide. If anything, if it is serious about restoring America’s respect in the eyes of the world, it should encourage transparency and investigations that prove without a single speck of doubt that they are all false. But that same camp that refused the legitimate results of a Trump win four years ago and then fabricated stories like Russiagate and others, is now urging the whole world to believe that the alleged Biden win is legitimate and that there was no interference.

Apart from allegations, what each of us knows for fact is that the media, especially social media, especially Facebook and Twitter have been instrumental in restricting and censoring posts and comments that favour Trump. At the same time, they implemented a blackout relating to the serious allegations of corruption about Biden and his family. If this is not interference in the election results, then what is?

Given the reach and power of social media, and given that most people are not interested in fact-finding, Facebook and Twitter have been engaged in a deliberate campaign of choosing what they allowed to be published and preventing others based only and only on their political views vis-à-vis the American elections.

Once the dust settles one way or the other, if there is any justice left in this world, social media personnel who have forged and implemented those policies must face trial.

What is most ironic about this whole new world that is everything but brave, is that the filthy rich and corrupt are cloaking themselves with the attire of the Left. There is really nothing left of the original Left in today’s Left.

Many, if not most of today’s ”Lefties” are inclined towards the current version of the political Left without really discerning that much has changed since the days of Castro and Guevara.

Today’s Left does not represent the working class.

Today’s Left is not concerned with achieving social justice.

Today’s Left is not concerned with ending capitalism and feudalism.

Today’s Neo-Left, is the consortium of globalists who own sweat shops in developing countries. They are the war-mongers, the arms dealers, the foot soldiers of thought police and they insist that your six-year-old children and grandchildren must learn about subjects like gender fluidity instead of learning history.

The devolution of the former political Left has been taking place for at least three decades, since the collapse of the USSR perhaps and the emergence of the so-called ‘New World Order’. But the 2016 Trump election has fast-tracked the process. George Soros who has an axe to grind with Communism became overnight the principle benefactor of most post-USSR Left movements. For better or for worse, it was as if he wanted to make sure that he contained the Left in a manner that deviates it from its original ideology. But he is not alone, and he is probably not doing this only and only because of political conviction. His ‘bigger’ partners, whether he is aware of their presence or not, have got a much bigger fish to fry; the fish of global control.

But is globalism what it appears to mean or is it a new form of hegemony? Let us not get into this herein. This will be the subject of the next article. Enough to say that what seems to surface from the actions and agendas of globalists is that they are adamant about destroying Western values; including democracy.

When my wife and I were in Russia on the 70th Anniversary of Victory over Nazi Germany, we were in total awe watching the Eternal Regiment on Nevski Prospect in St. Petersburg. Men and women proudly, silently and dignifiedly marching carrying photos of family members who perished fighting the Nazi malice. What was most amazing was seeing young boys and girls giving flowers to the elderly as a mark of respect. This is because students in Russia study history. The young generations must never take for granted the privileges they have. If they do not understand and respect the sacrifices of their forebears, they will never be able to realize what their own obligations are for today and the future. Many Americans do not know what the 4th of July stands for any more than they know how many States there are in the Union. Children growing up in the West have no idea, no idea at all, how and why they live in affluent countries with public services and government-financed welfare.

And when the million man/woman march was over many hours after it started, we could not see a single empty drink can dumped on the street, not even cigarette butts. And then we remembered that a few days earlier when we were in Moscow admiring among other things, the subway/metro stations, we did not witness any evidence of vandalism or graffiti either on the carriages or in the stations.

A far cry from what we see in the West, because to be proud of who one is has become taboo in the West; courtesy the neo-Left and their henchmen.

Personally, I used to feel concerned of what the armed Right-wing Evangelicals might do if they have it their way. But despite their heavy public display of weapons, I didn’t see any evidence to show that they have taken to the streets for the purpose destroying shops and looting. In saying this, and I am not saying that the pro-Trump militias are incapable of perpetrating organized violence, but recently thus far they haven’t. If anything, with all the BLM-associated violence and the attacks Trump supporters have recently faced, the armed conservatives have thus far displayed a huge degree of self-control and abidance by the rules of the law. They argue that their presence is to protect private and public property, and evidence seems to stack up in their favour.

On the other hand, and despite the bias of mainstream media, videos have emerged showing BLM supporters not only looting, but also terrorizing those who disagree with them and refuse to put their fist up in show of support.

Today’s Neo-Left activists are the ones using Nazi tactics; not the other way around. They are the controlled opposition and the foot soldiers of the thought-police; and these are undeniable facts. If anything, the Trump factor has enhanced their exposure.

And if you resurrect Guevara and catapult him into today’s political world without giving him a crash refresher course, he would not know which side of the political divide is which. If anything, he may think that it is the other way around.

In the event of a Biden win that Trump’s supporters may see as unfair, they may be driven to become violent, I don’t know. What I do know is that I have seen serious and concerning rowdy violent behaviour from the Left that makes me now feel that I am more fearful of organizations such as Extinction Rebellion than I am from the armed Evangelicals.

When the late and great Martin Luther King Jr. made his historic ‘I have a dream’ speech, he did not dream of a day when angry mobs would use the excuse of human rights in order to loot and pillage, gang attack supporters of their political opponents, and break the law and Constitution.

And when John Lennon sang ‘Give Peace a Chance’ and ‘Imagine’, he was hoping that one day political leaders would take heed and start putting their hearts before what they can achieve militarily.

Among other things, the thing with Trump is that he is/was not a politician. What drove him from being a profiteering tycoon to a man who wants to end American wars in the world is not something I can explain or understand. Clearly though, even if he is merely running America as a corporation, he must realize that it is not in America’s interests to be constantly engaged in expensive wars that do not have any benefit for America itself. If this is pragmatism from a profit-and-loss business perspective, then I don’t have any problems with this. I want to see American troops pulling out of conflict regions in the world. They have no business in Japan, South Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq and my beloved Syria to name a few places.

The thing about Trump is that he is not even a typical die-hard Republican. The archetypal Republicans are not a bunch of ‘nice guys’ either. How can anyone forget the legacy of the GOP? How can we forget George W Bush’s war on Iraq and his lies about the alleged Iraqi WMD’s? And what about his gang of infamous neo-cons; Perle, and Wolfowitz; not to forget Cheney, McCain, and many more from the gung-ho Republican Right that invaded both Afghanistan and Iraq, killed at least a million civilians and only ended up creating more problems than the ones they claimed they needed to resolve?

Whether Trump wins or loses the legal battle against what looks like a huge body of evidence of electoral fraud at different levels, between now and January the 20th 2021, unlike what the social media brainwashers want people to think and believe, he is not a ‘presidential candidate’, he remains to be the President of the United States of America and he remains to be the Commander in Chief.

To this effect, in as much as the POTUS is domestically building up a huge legal case against the alleged win of Biden, he equally seems to be preparing for the worst-case scenario on international matters. He is working on the contingencies of losing by seemingly making serious efforts into ending wars and the presence of American troops overseas. May he be successful doing this if he is true to his word.

But Mr. President, if you really want to clean up the slate as much as possible in case you lose the legal battle against the corrupt who serve the Deep State, you must then remember that partial withdrawals do not end wars. A drawdown is not a withdrawal. Stand by your promise and let history festoon you as the man who ended all of America’s wars overseas. For even if you leave one soldier, yes Mr. President, one single American soldier on the soil of Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, or any other place on earth where his presence is not legitimately requested by the people of that land, then you will be remembered in history as the man who faked withdrawals of American troops; and you despise fake actions Mr. President, don’t you?

Last but not least Mr. President, you must at least stop the oil theft from Syria, repeal the Caesar Act, and pardon Assange.

Assange Mr. President is the victim of your enemies. His ‘crime’ was to expose the dirty works of Hillary. How can you not drop all charges against him?

And Mr. President, should you win the legal battle and prove that your opponents have cheated the public, you MUST then clean up the swamp with an iron fist and a high pressure hose. Zuckerberg, the Clintons, the Bidens, CNN, as well as officials that helped fabricate stories about you. The whole gamut of filthy lying manipulators must face justice and the next four years will be a case of now or never.

The electoral issues are something for the American legal system to decide; provided that the system continues to have the power to reach a decision that is lawful and not dictated by the party machine of the Democrats, their cohorts and henchmen with Facebook, Twitter and Google being on the top of the list.

Martin Luther King Jr. would now be saying I’m having a nightmare, I am having a nightmare because in the name of social justice, in my name, protestors are attacked, shops are looted and elections are getting rigged.

The failings of the Neo-Left do not mean that the neo-Right, Trumpism, is always or even necessarily sometimes right by default. What is pertinent is that the choice between the former and traditional Right and Left has now morphed into a choice of discerning right from wrong, and it is the Neo-Left activists who are behaving like Fascists, courtesy the Trump factor.

Rocking the boat – Sudan

Rocking the boat – Sudan

November 20, 2020

by Nat South for the Saker Blog

Not the trendiest of breaking news, swamped by the turmoil of the U.S. Elections, but the Russian government announced (1) work under progress on a draft agreement (2) for setting up of a naval logistics hub (in Russian – see map) in Port Sudan.

This announcement is bound to make Western Russia ‘watchers’ twitch, others laugh at the location, (not exactly Havana’s bustle of the Soviet era), and some pundits may have another severe bout of futile angst. This piece of news will not make waves and certainly will not make a difference to either the U.S. or NATO member countries, particularly as the U.S. has an overwhelming number of military bases dotted around the world. Essentially, the one Russian naval base will be a drop in the ocean. Having said that, it will be highly significant incremental increase in Russian naval power, to have a warm water base to call in, a bit closer to the Indian Ocean, which will free the Russian Navy of a number of constraints:

  1. limited scope and length of dedicated maritime missions (e.g. Horn of Africa anti-piracy, Indian Ocean);
  2. limited inter-fleet missions across the board, (Northern, Black and Baltic Fleets)
  3. need or wish to call into Cyprus, Malta or Ceuta if the political situation doesn’t allow it;
  4. making unnecessary transit passages across the Mediterranean Sea to home ports.

The issue of a Russian warm water naval base has been mooted both by the Russian government and also other governments many times before for two decades, from discussions in 2002 for a presence in Djibouti, to an offer by the Somaliland government earlier in 2020.

The quest for a presence in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden region has regularly featured in news articles. After many years of rumours, tentative discussions & clickbait type of articles suggesting that Russia was going to create a naval base in various countries, (Lebanon, Libya, Mozambique, Egypt, Cuba and Venezuela) finally some preliminary confirmation that the first candidate is in fact set to be Sudan.

The need for naval bases overseas started in earnest with the arrival of coal powered ships, with the development of strategic coaling stations for navies such as the UK, Germany and France. This then transformed into oil depots, logistics and maintenance bases. All of which ensures a wider footprint of naval power.

The Soviet Union was no exception to this rule, with a whole host of overseas bases in which to call in: from Cienfuegos, (Cuba), Egypt, Libya, Tartus (Syria), and also took over Cam Ranh from the U.S., 1979 – 2002 (Vietnam), amongst others. Some historical insights are given in this RT article. In particular, the Soviet Navy had a presence, in the Red Sea region for several decades, under the remit of the 8th Squadron:

Logistics bases: Berbera:1964 -1977 (Somalia); Dahlak:1977-1991 (Ethiopia)

Port or mooring locations: Al Hudaydah & Socotra (Yemen).

Other than Tartus, the Russian Navy does not currently have dedicated overseas bases. The creation of the Sudanese bases will thus the first new Russian base situated in Africa after the fall of the Soviet Union. By re-establishing a presence regionally, Russia will nevertheless have a tiny footprint compared to that of the U.S. Navy or even the PLA(N).

So why the Red Sea, firstly it is an internationally important transit for commercial traffic, notably oil and gas shipments (to Europe & the U.S.). To put this into context, according to the U.S. EIA: “In 2018, an estimated 6.2 million barrels per day (b/d) of crude oil, condensate, and refined petroleum products flowed through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait toward Europe, the United States, and Asia”

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=41073

Although the Russian LNG exports to Asia mostly to go through the Northern Sea Route, there are certain shipments of Russian oil and LNG that also transits through the Red Sea, especially in winter. Secondly, a significant amount of international container volumes passes through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal. Similarly, the Russian Navy in 2020 has escorted several ships connected to the Nord Stream 2 project. Although the pipe-laying vessel Akademik Cherskiy went round the cape of Good Hope (due the height of the crane), a Baltic Fleet based the Neustrashimyy-class frigate, the ‘Yaroslav Mudry’ was tasked with escorting it. Later, the SCF supply vessels Ostap Sheremet and Ivan Osipenko sailed via the Red Sea from Vladivostok to Kaliningrad, with apparently a Russian Navy escort too.

Thirdly, the Red Sea is also important for the likes of the US Navy, as a vital transit route to the Indian Ocean, (every aircraft carrier transit takes the Suez Canal).

On the whole I am not going to dwell more on why the Yemen, the Bab-el-Mandeb strait is of significance geopolitically, other to note that this has been extensively written about back in August.

Much in the same way as to why China stepped up their naval base footprint in Djibouti, this ensures that there is naval visibility close to the chokepoint of Bab el Mandeb, (given the significant Chinese maritime exports that also transit the Red Sea). Intriguingly, Djibouti is also home to the US Navy and French Navy.

With this global geopolitical tussle taking place, it is worth mentioning that at the end of October, the US Navy Secretary, Kenneth Braithwaite, suggested creating another “fleet closer to the border of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The proposed 1st Fleet could likely be based out of Singapore, to alleviate the operations of the 7th Fleet.

If the modest Russian naval base becomes operational, the Russian military will have better means of monitoring the ongoing conflict in Yemen and the as well enhance anti-piracy patrols in the north western part of the Indian Ocean. A military presence will somewhat also provide a potential counterbalance to Chinese military presence in the region. A Russian navy presence will potentially stymie further moves by Turkey to establish a presence in the Red Sea region. Turkey had signed an agreement in 2017 with Sudan to boost Turkish military and economic presence in Sudan, (principally in relation to Suakin island). The creation of a military base was subsequently rejected by the Sudanese government in 2019, largely due to positions taken in the Libyan conflict.

The base and ships

The plans for a naval base are still at a very initial stage and could go the same way as the 2017 Sudanese-Turkish military agreement, if the Sudanese government should scrap it. If the plans for the base do get achieved, it will need to be built from scratch and it will be capped to just 4 ships and 300 personnel. Of particular interest is that the likely base will be also capable of having nuclear-powered (surface?) vessels. Regardless of the eventual size of the port infrastructure, the importance rests with the fact that it is a first step in securing a logistics foothold in a busy sea route. The Port Sudan will be set up and operated in the same way as Tartus has been, with anti-sabotage boats (Raptors), air defence unit and repair workshops, (initially a floating ‘PM’ repair ship, but with time, better to have land-based workshops, given the limit of 4 ships).

Frequent visitors will be likely the auxiliary ships, in particular fleet tankers and ocean-going tugs that accompany the long-distance deployments. By having a resupply and logistics base in the Red Sea, the Russian Navy will be able to operate in the region and across the Indian Ocean more often. This latest move by Russia ties into a previous article written on Russian Navy presence in the Indian Ocean.

1.Enhance scope and length of dedicated maritime missions (e.g. Horn of Africa anti-piracy, Indian Ocean):

Crew exchanges can take place, routine maintenance can be done without having a ship returning to the Black or Baltic Sea for instance. Essentially, the Russian Navy will be able to do what the US Navy and Royal Navy have done for decades, but only to a limited extent.

2.Increase in inter-fleet missions across the board, (Northern, Black and Baltic Fleets) and thus the overall maturity of the Russian Navy:

Various units and ships will be able to operate jointly, without the need of having to call into Tartus or Sevastopol, thus breaking up the tempo of long-distance missions.

According to the agreement Russia will operate the base lease-free for an initial 25 years, however there will be infrastructure costs to pay. Additionally, Russia will undertake to provide military equipment at no cost and also provide training to the Sudanese military and help develop further the Sudanese navy. The Sudanese navy recently received a training ship from Russia, as part of 2019 bilateral defence agreements.

Likely infrequent visitors could be Moskva (Project 1164); anti-submarine destroyers, such as the Vice-Admiral Kulakov or Admiral Tributs, (Project 1155) as they have been the mainstay of anti-piracy & Indian Ocean missions in the recent past. Calling into a base for resupply would make Indian Ocean deployments much easier overall and also in a small measure extend the operational life of older ships. Nuclear powered missile cruisers such as ‘Pyotr Veliky’ and the ‘Admiral Nakhimov’ may also call in. Another aspect is that the latest Karakurt (or even at a push the Buyan class) ship could forward deploy from such a base, to potentially carry out anti-piracy missions, which is what they (the Karakurt class) were originally developed for. Naval commentors in the Wes have derided the transformation and modernisation of the Russian Navy into a small-ship fleet, yet the use of small bases such as Tartus and eventually port Sudan have amply demonstrated the wider and greater use of the smaller class of ships, especially the Kalibr carrying combat ships.

Deployment of such class of ships would not be as far-fetched as it seems, because this would enable the larger combat ships to go for longer periods farther away. Additionally, auxiliary ships such as intelligence gathering ships will be able to redeploy quickly and for longer in important areas such as the Arabian Sea or the Gulf for instance.

The development and active use of a base in the Red Sea is also a reflection of the growing maturity of the Russian Navy, still a tiny shadow of the Soviet Navy. The precedence has been set by the sustained activities of the 5th Mediterranean Squadron based out of Tartus. Although its remit and composition are actually quite small and localised in influence, the continued operations demonstrate quiet assertion of focused regional naval projection.

To summarise, the creation of a naval base in the Red Sea is another visible result from the re-establishment and operation of the 5th Squadron, as well as the trickle-down effect of long-distance missions that has been taking place in the last 5 years. The Russian Navy is modestly gaining confidence in increasing by a notch, single or double combat ship deployments further afield as well as their duration.

بين إرسال “قاذفة” وإعلان سحب القوات.. ما هي رسائل إدارة ترامب للمنطقة؟

الساعدي: واشنطن لن تستطيع التغطية على رد إيران على أي عمل عسكري أميركي ضدها

المصدر: الميادين نت

22 تشرين ثاني

الخبير في الشؤون السياسية والعسكرية أمير الساعدي، يقول للميادين إن “ترامب لا يمكن أن يتجاوز الكونغرس لاتخاذ أي قرار بالحرب”، ورئيس تحرير جريدة “رأي اليوم” عبد الباري عطوان، يشير إلى أن “ترامب يريد عرقلة عودة بايدن إلى الاتفاق النووي”.

تستمر إدارة الرئيس الأميركي الحالي دونالد ترامب حتى في آخر أيامها في بعث الرسائل المتناقضة، وفيما أعلنت عن قرار خفض عديد قواتها في المنطقة، ترسل قاذفاتها الاستراتيجية.

وانطلق طاقم العمل الجوي لطائرة (B-52H) “ستراتوفورتريس” في 21 تشرين الثاني/نوفمبر، من قاعدة جوية في ولاية نورث داكوتا، إلى الشرق الأوسط.

ووصفت القيادة المركزية للجيش الأميركي في بيان اليوم السبت، مهمة الطائرة بـ “الطويلة”، مشيرةً إلى أن هدفها “ردع العدوان وطمأنة شركاء وحلفاء الولايات المتحدة”. 

كما أوضحت القيادة المركزية أن “الولايات المتحدة لا تسعى لإحداث أي صراع، لكنها لا تزال ملتزمة بالاستجابة لأي طارئ حول العالم”، مشددةً على “التزامها بالحفاظ على حرية الملاحة والتبادل التجاري في جميع أنحاء المنطقة وحمايتها”.

وحيال قرارات الإدارة الأميركية الأخيرة، قال الخبير في الشؤون السياسية والعسكرية أمير الساعدي، للميادين إن “إرسال (بي 52) إلى المنطقة استعراض من إدارة ترامب الذي يحاول إذكاء قاعدة الجمهوريين في الداخل”. 

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Pompeo to Meet Taliban Negotiators in Qatar

Pompeo to Meet Taliban Negotiators in Qatar

By Staff, Agencies

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will Saturday meet negotiators from the Taliban and Afghan government amid signs of progress in their talks as the United States speeds up its withdrawal.

The State Department said late Friday that Pompeo will meet separately with the Afghan government and Taliban negotiation teams in the Gulf state of Qatar.

Pompeo will also see Qatar’s ruler, Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, and the foreign minister on his stop in the capital Doha, the Taliban’s base for diplomacy, the State Department said on its public schedule.

The outgoing top US diplomat is on a seven-nation tour of Europe and the Middle East as President Donald Trump shores up late-term priorities.

Earlier this week, the Pentagon said it would soon pull some 2,000 troops out of Afghanistan, speeding up the timeline established in a February agreement between Washington and the Taliban that envisions a full US withdrawal in mid-2021.

Trump has repeatedly vowed to end “forever wars,” including in Afghanistan, America’s longest-ever conflict that began with an invasion to dislodge the Taliban following the September 11, 2001 attacks.

US President-elect Joe Biden, in a rare point of agreement, also advocates winding down the Afghanistan war although analysts believe he will not be as wedded to a quick timetable.

The Taliban for the first time are speaking to Afghanistan’s government.

The talks started September 12 in Doha but almost immediately faltered over disagreements about the agenda, the basic framework of discussions and religious interpretations.

Several sources told AFP on Friday that the two sides appear to have resolved some of the issues, however.

Among the sticking points so far, the Taliban and the Afghan government have struggled to agree on common language on two main issues.

The Taliban are insisting on adherence to the Hanafi school of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence, but government negotiators say this could be used to discriminate against Hazaras, who are predominantly Shiite, and other minorities.

Another contentious topic is how the US-Taliban deal will shape a future Afghan peace deal and how it will be referred to.

The Doha peace talks opened after the Taliban and Washington signed a deal in February, with the US agreeing to withdraw all foreign forces in exchange for security guarantees and a Taliban promise to start talks.

Despite the talks, violence has surged across Afghanistan, with the Taliban stepping up daily attacks against Afghan security forces.

Trump’s plan to slash troops by January 15 – less than a week before his successor Joe Biden is to be sworn in to office – has been criticized by Kabul residents who fear it will embolden the Taliban to unleash a new wave of fighting.

Afghan civilians have long borne the brunt of the bloodshed.

Officials in Kabul also worry it will harden the Taliban position at the negotiating table, where the future of hard-won gains including women’s rights are on the line.

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