Korybko’s response to Pantucci: Pakistan’s multi-alignment policy is promising

By Andrew Korybko

Source

According to Raffaello Pantucci, Pakistan is losing its regional security significance as it cannot maintain a balance between the great powers. However, Andrew Korybko negates Mr. Pantucci’s claims and states that Pakistan is actively balancing between China, Russia, and the US and has a strong multi-alignment policy.

Pakistan multi alignment policy

Raffaello Pantucci, a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore and a senior associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London, published a piece at Nikkei Asia on 23 July titled “China is a habit that Pakistan cannot break”.

He contrasts Pakistan’s excellent political ties with China with the currently troubled ones that it has with the US. Mr. Pantucci predicts that “In the years ahead, Washington is likely to look at Islamabad through the lens of its growing tensions with Beijing, with Pakistan was seen to be sitting firmly on China’s side.” That perception, he believes, will hinder Pakistan’s attempts to successfully balance between the world’s two most influential Great Powers.

This preexisting structural challenge is compounded by recent developments. Pakistan is losing its regional security significance to the US following America’s impending military withdrawal from Afghanistan. This is occurring in parallel with mounting Chinese concerns over its domestic security situation that might consequently reduce Pakistan’s regional economic significance to the People’s Republic, or so he implies.

Read more: Pakistan playing balancing act between China and US: report

Mr. Pantucci regards Pakistan’s outreaches to the US (which he thinks China views suspiciously) as unsuccessful, which compels “fealty” to China that in turn heightens US suspicions. He concludes that “Islamabad has backed itself into a complicated position that it will struggle to extricate itself from anytime soon.”

The improving Pak-Russian relations

With respect to Mr. Pantucci’s expertise on this subject, both the title of his piece and its conclusion are debatable since they don’t account for three important developments that are missing from his analysis.

These are the fast-moving Russian-Pakistani rapprochement that bolsters Islamabad’s balancing act between Great Powers, February’s agreement to create a Pakistan-Afghanistan-Uzbekistan (PAKAFUZ) railway, and the recently established quadrilateral framework between the US and the PAKAFUZ countries focusing on regional connectivity.

All of these are extremely relevant to the subject that Mr. Pantucci wrote about. Their inclusion into the discussion could arguably lead to a different conclusion than the one that he reached.

The comprehensive improvement of Russian-Pakistani relations, especially following Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s trip to Islamabad in early April which was his first such visit in 9 years, confirms that the South Asian state is actively balancing between Great Powers in order to reduce perceived disproportionate dependence on any single one such as China or the US.

Read more: Lavrov’s trip: a major event for India and Pakistan

The two countries cooperate closely on the political and security situation in Afghanistan. They also recently agreed to construct the Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline. Furthermore, the Russian Foreign Minister pledged to strengthen Pakistan’s anti-terrorist military capabilities. Moscow’s growing role in Pakistan gives Islamabad more leverage for negotiating with Beijing and Washington.

PAKAFUZ: A game-changer for Pakistan

Pertaining to PAKAFUZ, this project can rightly be described as a regional game-changer. Foreign Minister Lavrov’s enthusiastic endorsement of Central Asia-South Asia connectivity during a topical conference in Tashkent earlier this month can be interpreted as tacit support for this initiative.

Russia envisions utilizing PAKAFUZ in order to finally fulfill its centuries-long goal of reaching the Indian Ocean Region. This is supported by China too since PAKAFUZ essentially serves as CPEC’s northern branch (N-CPEC+). June’s virtual Foreign Minister’s meeting between the top Afghan, Chinese, and Pakistani diplomats also saw Kabul agree to rely more on CPEC’s terminal port of Gwadar, which implies a coordinated trilateral focus on PAKAFUZ to bring this about.

The reason why PAKAFUZ is such a game-changer is that even the US is interested in it despite this project de facto being part of its Chinese rival’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI). The “New Quad’s” regional connectivity focus very strongly implies that the US wants to utilize PAKAFUZ for the purpose of expanding its economic influence into post-withdrawal Afghanistan and the Central Asian Republics, the latter of which could improve their balancing capabilities vis-a-vis China and Russia with time.

Read more: Biden wants no conflict with China and Russia, seeks diplomacy instead

This is similar to how Pakistan uses its newfound relations with Russia to bolster its own balancing act between China and the US. Importantly, the US’ emerging geo-economic policy doesn’t require excellent political ties with all parties like Pakistan to succeed.

Pakistan in a strong position?

With these developments in mind, none of which were addressed in Mr. Pantucci’s piece, it can be argued that the title of his article and its conclusion aren’t consistent with the facts.

Pakistan is actively balancing between China, Russia, and the US to differing extents, which challenges his claim that “China is a habit that Pakistan cannot break”.

The observation that rivals Russia and the US are equally interested in PAKAFUZ and improving their relations with Pakistan partially for the purpose of capitalizing off of this project contradicts his conclusion that. “Islamabad has backed itself into a complicated position that it will struggle to extricate itself from anytime soon.”

On the contrary, Pakistan is in a very promising position due to its new multi-alignment policy.

Resist or Perish

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Where are the crowds? They’re out in force across Europe.

Where most needed en masse in the US, they’re small-scale in too few places. More on this below. 

Never before in the course of human events has state-sponsored — media supported — Big Lies and mass deception done more harm to more people in short order than since flu was deceptively renamed covid last year with diabolical aims in mind.

Health-destroying flu/covid jabs are all about pursuing tyrannical social control and depopulation on an unparalleled scale.

In response to what’s going on, public rage in France, Britain, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and elsewhere in Europe boiled over.

Tens of thousands took to the streets against health and freedom-destroying flu/covid mandates, including passports without which access to employment, education, and other public places is denied.

In London’s Trafalgar Square on Saturday, “Freedom Rally” protesters denounced forced flu/covid tests, jabs and other draconian “crimes against humanity.”

Former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn joined them.

Activist nurse Kate Shemirani called on UK healthcare professionals “to get off (the draconian flu/covid mandates) bus and stand with…the people.”

In response to a petition that called for “outlaw(ing) discrimination against those who do not get a” flu/covid jab — with over 320,000 signatories — dozens of Labor, Lib Dem, Green and Tory MPs expressed opposition to Boris Johnson regime’s mandates.

Tens of thousands turned out across France on Saturday against Macron regime health passes, mandated flu/covid jabs for healthcare workers and others, as well as related draconian policies.

In Paris, police attacked crowds with tear gas and water cannons.

One activist tweeted: “Unreal numbers on the streets of Paris.”

Images showed large-scale numbers massed shoulder-to-shoulder, including on the Champs-Elysees, blocking traffic.

Days earlier in Greece, tens of thousands turned out in Athens and elsewhere nationwide against mandated proof of jabs for access to public places — along with plans to jab children without parental consent.

Thousands massed outside Greece’s parliament. Large banners said “no to (flu/covid jab) poison.”

Crowds chanted: “Hands off our kids.”

A draconian mandate said the following:

“Everyone must have (a) certificate to prove their status to gain access to venues.” 

“The plan also allows for ‘mixed’ venues which also grant access to the (unjabbed) — but only if they have a negative PCR test” — that when positive is nearly always false because of how administered. 

“The measures can apply to either indoor areas or open spaces that are likely to be crowded.”

According to the Greek Reporter, authorities are using the (invented) pandemic to ban public dissent by “crush(ing) peaceful demonstrations.”

In the US, scattered protests took place against jabbing healthcare workers, children and students for access to higher education campuses and classes.

In America, laws prohibit serving alcohol to and prescribing medications for children without parental consent.

Laws and guidelines in place to protect the health and well-being of children were virtually rescinded for all things flu/covid.

The same goes for foregoing proper clinical trials for flu/covid mRNA drugs and vaccines before allowing their use.

Information about them, and alternative protocols known to be safe and effective, was suppressed.

Last week, hundreds massed in front of the Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital against mandated flu/covid jabs for staff, contractors and others.

Protesters held signs saying:

“No jab = no job”

“My body, my choice.” 

“Let me call my own shots”

“From heroes to zeros”

One protester said “(w)e were essential last year. Now we’re villains” if not jabbed.

Another said “(w)e are all out here because we do not believe (flu/covid jabs) should be mandated.”

Michigan’s Henry Ford Health System mandates toxic flu/covid jabs for its 33,000 staff, students, volunteers, contractors, and remote workers by September 10.

Similar policies are in place elsewhere in US cities.

If not challenged and stopped — by whatever it takes, by millions of Americans getting involved — they’re coming to neighborhoods near you and your own in the coming weeks and months.

What remains of mostly eroded freedoms are on the chopping block for elimination altogether.

Disruptive activism changed the course of things in the US before.

They’ve done it through strikes, boycotts and other mass public actions.

Historian Howard Zinn explained that in 17th and 18th century America, there were 18 uprisings against UK colonial rule, six rebellions by Black slaves and dozens of riots.

Power yields nothing without large-scale grassroots demands with teeth.

Never before in US history have they they needed more than more than now.

The alternative is mass extermination, draconian social control, and serfdom for survivors.

If that’s not worth putting our bodies on the line against, what is?

If not now, it may be too late to matter later on.

Russian Foreign Ministry on Nord Stream 2, Britain, and US Support for ISIS

By Stephen Lendman

Source

From beneath the Baltic Sea, Russia’s 745-mile pipeline will supply 55 billion cubic meters of gas annually to Germany and Europe.

Nearly completed, it’ll soon be operational despite US efforts to undermine the project.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova (MZ below) stressed that the project “is in full accord with norms of international law, EU regulatory requirements and laws of littoral states” Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany.

It’ll greatly enhance European energy security, not undermine it as US dark forces claim.

According to Gazprom Export head Elena Burmistrova, European consumers will save at least 7.9 billion euros in annual energy costs over 30% more expensive US LNG.

MZ stressed that Russia never uses “energy supplies or the transit issue as a weapon and has no intention to do this in the future.” 

Moscow is “committed to politics-free energy cooperation and its development with all countries based on the principles of respect for partners’ interests and mutual benefit.”

Despite Russia’s good faith in dealings with Germany on the project important to its energy security, an unacceptable joint US/German agreement didn’t reciprocate, Moscow’s US envoy Anatoly Antonov explained, saying:

Its “hostile tonality directed at our country fundamentally contradicts the spirit of” what bilateral and multilateral relations should be all about, adding:

“The attempts to present us as an aggressor and a country involved in ‘malign’ activities have long become the calling card of Russophobes.” 

“The threats against us are groundless and futile.”

“We’ve never inflicted our deliveries on anyone, never used our energy resources as a weapon of political pressure, nor tried to resolve by these means any opportunistic goals ascribed to us.” 

“We reject any accusations on that score.” 

“We view these attempts as nothing else but unscrupulous competition.”

“Russia is ready to deliver as much” energy to recipient countries as they wish to recieve.

According to what the Biden and Angela Merkel regimes agreed on, US sanctions on Nord Stream 2 will be rescinded in return for US/German investments in Ukraine’s energy security.

Berlin also pledged to demand that Russia extend the gas pipeline to Ukraine so its US-controlled ruling regime will get $3 billion in annual transit fees.

Germany will support renewed sanctions on Russia if accused of “aggression” the Kremlin abhors by any nations against others.

According to an unnamed State Department Russophobe:

“Should Russia attempt to use energy as a weapon or commit further aggressive acts against Ukraine (sic), Germany will take action at the national level and press for effective measures at the European level, including sanctions to limit Russian export capabilities to Europe in the energy sector.”

Nord Stream 2 is a commercial project. Yet Biden/Merkel regime dark forces continue to unacceptably politicize it.

MZ stressed that the pipeline “will function reliably (by) providing affordable energy to European consumers. 

It will “strengthen energy security of (recipient) European countries.”

Totalitarian Britain partners with Washington’s diabolical war on Russia by other means.

MZ slammed Big Lies by MI5 head Ken McCallum.

He falsely accused Russia of threatening UK security by cyber attacks — a US, UK, EU, Israeli specialty, not how Russia operates against any nations.

No evidence suggests otherwise, none by McCallum.

Like other Johnson regime hardliners, he’s hostile to all things Russia, inventing things to accuse the Kremlin of. No legitimate ones exist.

MZ: If Britain has concrete facts, not “empty talk,” reveal it. 

Otherwise its remarks are baseless like many times before.

“Moscow is guided by the principle of non-interference in the domestic affairs of other countries” — polar opposite how the US-dominated West operates. 

The Kremlin “repeatedly warned London that the anti-Russia hysteria that has been launched in the UK will eventually have a backlash against its masterminds.”

Russian Special Presidential Representative for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov has indisputable evidence of the US/ISIS connection.

MZ explained that Russia repeatedly raised this issue with other world community member states.

It “provided evidence multiple times…based on (credible) data,” adding:

“We have many questions about unmarked helicopter flights, recorded since 2017, over the areas of activity of ISIS militants” where they’re deployed as proxy US foot soldiers.

Afghan sources explained that US helicopters are “used to deliver reinforcements, weapons and munitions, and remove killed and wounded terrorists from battlefields.” 

“We made this information public and said that (it) should attract serious attention from specialized bodies and all involved parties.” 

“We spoke about this before, and, I should stress once again, this kind of activity was not possible without the knowledge of the US and NATO that control Afghan air space.”

The same thing has gone on in Syria throughout at least most of the past decade.

The US and its imperial partners use ISIS and likeminded jihadists as proxies in Washington’s war theaters.

Russia supplied this information to the UN — ignored by pro-Western secretary general Guterres and his predecessor. 

Russian Return to the Middle East

Visual search query image

21 Jul 21 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

Alexander Dugin

Today it is common wisdom to claim that Russia is returning to the Middle East. Some regard it with hate, the others with suspicion, the third with hope.

But before any evaluation according to interests and positions of different players and observers, we need first to clarify how Russia returns? What represents contemporary Russia on the new map of balance of world powers – especially regarding the Middle East?

Visual search query image

In the last 50 years, Russia has thrice changed radically its geopolitical and ideological status. During the Soviet period in the context of a bipolar world, Russia was undoubtfully a geopolitical superpower, the stronghold of Land Power, and the center of universal communist ideology, seeking to gain the mortal fight with the capitalist system, for the global control on the human societies on a planetary scale. The opposite camp – NATO States – represented geopolitically Sea Power and liberal ideology. Geopolitics and ideology, interests and values were densely intertwined forming two totalities – two blocks, two projects for humanity claiming to evict sooner or later the opponent. 

During this period the Soviet Union effectively was present in the Middle East – both as the power geopolitically opposing the capitalist West in most of regional conflicts, but at the same time supporting movements and parties that had in their programs and doctrines something that resonated roughly with the Left – secularism, progressivism, anti-capitalism, and anti-colonialism. The concrete politic of USSR in the region with a mostly religious population varied from the direct support of communist and socialists parties (not too influential and powerful) to pragmatic alliances with nationalist and anticolonial movement when they were not too religious.

So the function of the USSR in the Middle East was based on this two side scheme: geopolitical interests of USSR as great continental power (realist approach) combined with orientation to reach the goal of promoting communist World Revolution (idealist approach). We should consider this paradigm carefully because it shows two distinct cornerstones in the Soviet strategy. They were merged and intertwined in the whole complex but they were nevertheless different by nature and structure.

For example, this paradigm explains why USSR avoided dealing with anti-Western and anti-capitalist movements in the Middle East that were deeply affected by Islam and has religious values at their core. Salafism, Ikhwans, or Shiits were regarded by Soviets by mistrust. For the same reason, USSR itself provoked the disbelief inside these currents.

The Western pole had during the bipolar period a symmetric structure. The pure geopolitical interests (Sea Power) with its inherent scenarios repeating more or less literally force lines of old British imperialism were coupled with liberal ideology, always choosing in regional issues, the opposite side to socialist, leftists or anticolonial forces presumably naturally supported by Soviets.

The crucial moment comes with the collapse of the Soviet Union. That was the fall of the geopolitics of Land Power. The zone of influence of the core Heartland of Eurasia has shrunk radically on three circles. 

·       The large domain of influence including Latin America, Africa, and South Asia

·       The Warsaw Treaty Organization

·       The Soviet Union itself split into 15 parts.

In the realm of ideology, the change was yet more profound because Moscow has totally abandoned Marxism and embraced liberal capitalist ideology.

It was the end of bipolarism – in geopolitics and ideology. Russia has refused to continue to represent the second pole as an alternative, and accepted with Eltsine the role of periphery of the Same.

We need to remember that collapse of USSR as an ideological system was not accompanied by the symmetric abandoning by the USA and Europe of their liberal-capitalist ideology. The end of the cold war happened by the voluntary self-annihilation of only one of the players – the Soviet East has rejected its ideology but the capitalist West did not. That’s how liberal globalism has shaped its form. The globalization in the unipolar world was necessary to the expansion of liberal ideology, accepted by all as some universal norm – hence human rights, parliamentarian democracy, civil society, free market, and other purely ideological dogmas have become necessary global standards, ideological standards secured and promoted by the globalization itself.

There was a unipolar moment (as Ch. Krauthammer called it) that started in 1991. 

In this period Russia has completely withdrawn from the Middle East. It was entirely engaged in inner problems balancing in the 90th on the edge of further collapse of Russia itself. But by pure inertia, some connections established during bipolarity were somehow conserved, as well as the image of Russia as a geopolitical alternative to the West; this image was still living in the societies of the Middle East. The unipolarity left the Arabic population one to one with the Atlanticist liberal West, which was finally free to affirm itself as a unique global player and the highest instance of the decision making. That is unipolarity and it affected the Middle East during the last 30 years culminating in a chain of color revolutions sponsored by the West in order to drown democracy, human rights, and liberalism in “retarded societies”.

The final purge of secular nationalist and somehow socialist regimes (as Baath parties in all its versions – in Iraq, Libya and Syria) has become inevitable – in the unipolar paradigm, there was no global symmetric power that would be capable to contend such processes and support anti-Western political systems and leaders.  

Talking about the second pole – USSR from now on was the hole.

During the last 20 years of Putin’s rule in Russia, the country has restored partly its power. In the clear contrast to Eltsine’s contemporary first term in office, Russia didn’t follow unconditionally any order of the West and led its own sovereign politics. But this time, Russia restores its force only as great geopolitical power – as Land Power, hence the concept of Eurasia, the Eurasianism in general.

But in the field of ideology in Russia, there is a kind of vacuum. The gap left by rejected communism is filled with pragmatic and syncretic conservatism with no hard line. That makes Putin’s Russia much more flexible. Russia represents today’s only geopolitical entity – more and more clearly opposed to the West (Sea Power) but without any clearly defined ideology. 

At the same time, modern Russia cannot any more pretend to be the second pole in the bipolar structure. To play this role Russia is too weak compared with the aggregated potential of the USA and NATO countries. But there is new China whose economic growth has made it comparable with the American economy and threats to overcome it. 

Hence Russia reaffirms itself not as the second pole in the new bipolar system, but as one of the few poles (more than 2!) in the context of multipolarity. Today Russia (militarily and on the level of geography and natural resources) and China (economically) already are two poles of something like a tripolar system. But India, the Islamic world, Latin America, and Africa can one day form other self-sufficient poles. So, the Russian geopolitics of the Great State evolves now in the totally new context of multipolarity. As usual, Russia is still the Land Power opposing Sea Power, but China is also the Land Power having exactly the same global opponent – the liberal West.

So, Russia returns to the Middle East in totally new conditions and with different functions. It is not a second pole opposing the West, but one of the few poles struggling against unipolarity in favor of multipolarity.

By the way, I explained these changes in my book “The Theory of Multipolar World” which was recently published in the USA by Arktos Publishers. 

Final remark: The Western pole today, as before, is keeping its ideological content intact. More than that – during unipolar moment – when it yet looked like as something sustainable – liberal ideology seemed so powerful and indisputable, that globalists themselves – having no more formal ideological enemies – started to purge the liberal ideology itself, trying to make it yet more liberal. Hence, the disproportional volume of the gender problem raised in the last two decades. (I dedicated my book “Fourth Political Theory” to the discussion of this argument)

So now, I suggest the Middle East readers to compare the function of two global players in the contemporary regional balance of powers. The return of Russia in the Middle East is the coming of Land Power trying to resist the pressure of unipolar West, but this time without any ideological replacement of one secular materialist ideology by the other, of one form of capitalist totalitarianism with the other – communist. Modern Russia has nothing to impose on Middle East peoples on the ideological level. It is enough to regard Russia as an ally and to resist the pressure of the unipolar globalist West. No matter what is the reason for the rejection of the West by the Muslim population – religious, economic, national, or others. Russia is essentially in the Middle East to secure multipolarity not insisting on what should come in exchange for liberalism. This realism and this flexibility open totally new historical opportunities to Russian-Arab friendship.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Related Videos

Related Articles

Cleric politician calls on Raisi to follow long-term strategic ties with neighbors

24 July 2021 

Cleric politician calls on Raisi to follow long-term strategic ties with neighbors


Cleric politician calls on Raisi to follow long-term strategic ties with neighbors. A member of the Expediency Council has called on the incoming administration of Ebrahim Raisi to establish long-term strategic ties with neighbors and countries which are not influenced by the United States’ anti-Iran position.

TEHRAN (Iran News) – Cleric politician calls on Raisi to follow long-term strategic ties with neighbors. A member of the Expediency Council has called on the incoming administration of Ebrahim Raisi to establish long-term strategic ties with neighbors and countries which are not influenced by the United States’ anti-Iran position.

Gholamreza Mesbahi Moqaddam also said “the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is set by the Supreme National Security Council” and the president is chairman of the council and a change in government will not lead to a shift in foreign policy.

“Of Course,” the cleric politician remarked, “approaches are different. Certain approaches are resistant in the face of global arrogance and some are flexible.”

On his prediction of the foreign policy of the Raisi government, he told IRNA,  “My prediction of the approach of the government of Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi is resistance against global arrogance.”

Noting that a “balanced approach” and not a cut of ties with countries is favorable, Mesbahi Moqaddam said such an approach has presented Iran to the world as an independent country which acts based on its interests.

The Expediency Council member also said his prediction is that the United States will not lift all sanctions against Iran even if the 2015 nuclear deal is revived.

The Americans will not lift all sanctions because they consider sanctions as a “pressure tool” to follow their policies against Iran, noted the cleric politician.

Iran and the remaining parties to the nuclear deal, officially called the JCPOA, have been holding sixth round of talks. The last round ended on June 20.

The U.S. is participating in the talks indirectly. Iran has said it will not talk directly to the U.S. until Washington rejoins the agreement and recommit itself to the legally binding agreement.

Iran’s chief negotiator Abbas Araqchi has said the next Iranian government will continue the talks.

“It is clear that the Vienna talks must wait for a new administration in Iran. This is a requirement of any democracy,” Araqchi tweeted on July 17.

He added, “We are in a period of transition and a democratic transfer of power is taking place in Tehran.”

Raisi will be sworn in as president on August 5.

There is still no official word about Raisi’s choice for the post of foreign minister and his foreign policy team.

Related

Does Resisting “Israel” and the US Benefit People of the Region?

22 Jul 21

Source: Al Mayadeen

Nassim Mansour

To address this issue, we need to breakdown a few key concepts to understand the interests of both the people and the governments in the region.

Does Resisting
Does Resisting “Israel” and the US Benefit People of the Region?

The answer to this question is the core focus in the ongoing media war between the Resistance Axis and the American-led Axis in the region.  All the countries that are within the Resistance Axis are facing dire economic difficulties, social divisions, and security issues (Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Yemen). At a first glance, without digging too deep, one might ask that indeed, why not just make peace with “Israel” and the US and end all the chaos? Wouldn’t making peace end all the sanctions and economic pressure and make everyone’s lives easier? These are valid questions that young people in particular ask. To address this issue, we need to breakdown a few key concepts to understand the interests of both the people and the governments in the region.

Relationship between the West and the region

Let’s go back 100 years ago. The Ottoman empire that ruled the region for around 500 years was crumbling. This took place during the second industrial revolution in Europe. Cars, airplanes, ships, electricity, gas, oil, and communication systems were being created. The end of the Ottoman Empire led to the split of the region between France and Britain with the Sykes-Picot agreement. These events prevented various countries in the Middle East from engaging in the industrial revolution as their own independent nations. The owners of the technologies and the infrastructure builders were mainly France and Britain. They viewed the region as an investment for their own projects and a market for their industries. They built most of the region and became the main providers of various technological products. After World War 2, the Israeli entity was created by Western powers to be used as a foothold to project their power and protect their interests. Fast forward to the cold war, the leadership of the region was transferred from Britain and France to the United States of America. This was ratified in the 50’s with the creation of ARAMCO (Arabian-American Oil Company) and the Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement with Saudi Arabia, the Consortium Agreement of 1954 with Iran, which gives American, British, and French oil companies 40% ownership of the nationalized oil industry after overthrowing Mohammed Mosaddegh that nationalized the Britain-owned Anglo-Persian Oil Company, and other similar type of deals across the region. The US became the main weapons provider for the armies in the region, including “Israel”. This was in exchange for natural resources and compliance with American national security interests. Because of “Israel’s” usurper nature and its history of instigating friction, the USA had to make sure that “Israel” always had the upper hand over the rest of its regional allies. As a result, “Israel” became the policeman of the region. As Joe Biden has said before; “If there were not an Israel, we would have to invent one to make sure our interests were preserved”. By that time, the first world was engaging in the third industrial revolution (electronics, telecommunications, and computers).

Our region never took part in these industrial revolutions, as it relied on importing products and technologies from abroad rather than producing them. The capital required to import products and technologies coming from the sale of natural resources. With all this in mind, we can conclude that the relationship between the Middle East and the West is a relationship of “the buyer and supplier”. The West supplies technology, products, and armament while the region provides natural resources in return. This relationship exposes the region to extortion as it is unable to survive without foreign technology and products because it doesn’t have the industries or the knowledge. The Middle East region completely depends on the Americans and their allies to function. 

The Iranian revolution and independence

A major change came into the region with the Iranian Islamic revolution coming into play. Iran became the first country to break free from the “buyer and supplier” relationship by engaging in a local industrial revolution across many sectors, with the military sector being the most important one. Having an indigenous military industry is the key to true independence. It allows countries to truly rely on themselves for their security instead of relying on foreign powers that always impose conditions which limits sovereignty. 

Iran today creates its own vehicles, weapons, medicine, robots, satellites, food, energy, along with various other resources. Iran reverse-engineered what it could, sent students abroad to study technology and return to Iran with full knowledge and capability. The entire nation is engaged in being self-built. Iran is in the process of creating its own civilization, just like the US, China, and Russia are also doing. Any nation that breaks free from its client-status and elevates itself to self-sufficiency is seen as a threat to the United States’ dominance over markets across the globe. It is the reason why the US views China and Russia as enemies. 

The regional resistance

Regional resistance groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah and the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces were created by locals in response to the foreign Israeli and American invaders. Naturally, the only country that could supply them with weapons is Iran since its weapons are locally produced and not under the jurisdiction of the US like the rest of region. They also have the same interests as Iran, which is to break free from the American-Israeli hegemony. The initial stage in these resistance groups is always “The Armed-Struggle” which is necessary to their survival. 

The next stage of the resistance is working towards a revolutionary approach to gain independence from the foreign imposed buyer and supplier system. This quest for independence directly clashes with American security and economic interests in the region and the world. Given the buyer and supplier relationship between the US and the countries in the region, it automatically puts those countries in a collision course with Iran and any group or country that is seeking independence. Syria was one of the very few Arab countries that had local civilian industries – and they got intentionally dismantled by the NATO-backed mercenaries during the war; especially in Aleppo where thousands of factories were lost. 

The interest of the people

With the previous concepts in mind, we understand that the ultimate interest of any nation should be working towards as much self-sufficiency as its capability (utilizing the available resources it has, and working with other nations that are seeking the same goals). This is how nations contribute to humanity, share their cultures, and limit foreign powers from deciding their fate. 

Seeking these goals however comes at a great cost: the people must be ready to face sanctions and possible military actions. To limit the effect of sanctions, all the nations of the region that decide to take this path would have to fully co-operate with each other; to share resources and support each other. The region has enough natural and human resources to become independent from foreigners. A lot of sacrifices have to be made, but this is the key to long-term development, security, and prosperity. 

Role of the media

The media plays a large part in influencing and educating people about their own interests, which people are often unaware of. To achieve this revolution for independence, the people need to understand why they’re resisting “Israel” and the United States. Apart from the humanitarian and religious reasons, the ultimate goal of this resistance is to start the process of civilization and nation-building. The goal of the American hegemony is to prevent the rise of nations that will become future competitors in the international arena. There is still a big lack of awareness on such important subjects because the region is engulfed in religious, tribal, and ethnic wars. 

A lot of work needs to be done to raise awareness and to unite people towards these goals, which are way beyond religious, humanitarian, and justice considerations. These are goals that can unite the multi ethnic and multi religious region. It is definitely in the best interest of the people of the region to resist “Israel” and the United States. Although the revolution will take a long time, and although it comes at a great cost; if the revolution is achieved, the final outcome will be the rise of the Middle East and North Africa as global competitors.   The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

“Taliban” Spokesman to Al Mayadeen: Kabul, Washington Accepted Agreement on New Islamic Regime

25 Jul 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Al Mayadeen

After the US raids on Afghanistan and Biden’s call with the Afghan president, the Taliban spokesman confirms to Al-Mayadeen that, “The occupation stands with the Kabul administration, which it brought, and the raids support it.”

Visual search query image
“Taliban” Spokesman Mohammed Naeem

“Washington and Kabul have accepted an agreement that provides for a new Islamic order,” Taliban Spokesman Mohammad Naeem said on Saturday evening.

In an interview with Al-Mayadeen, Naeem stressed that “The Afghan regime must be Islamic, but how will be left to dialogue.”

Naeem addressed the US raids, and considered them “an explicit violation of the agreements concluded with us,” stressing that they “do not change anything and represent support for the Kabul administration.”

He considered that “The occupation stands with the Kabul administration, which it brought, and the raids support it,” noting that “from the beginning, we have seen that the best solution comes through dialogue.”

The Taliban spokesman asked, “We agreed on a plan in Doha, so how can we proceed if there is no commitment to it?

He noted that “there is no escalation in operations and areas that voluntarily joined the Taliban.” “We have relations and contacts with countries in the world and the region, especially neighboring countries,” he stressed.

Earlier in the day, the Taliban said that the government of Ashraf Ghani bears responsibility for any military transformation in Afghanistan.

The movement considered that the US raids on “the sites of Helmand and Kandahar are a violation of the agreement with Washington,” saying that “It will not pass without consequences.”

بكين وصلت إلى دمشق.. ماذا بعد؟

22 تموز2021

المصدر: الميادين

أحمد الدرزي

حملت زيارة الصين إلى دمشق 3 أبعاد، فقد تم فيها دعوة دمشق إلى الدخول في مشروعها الكبير وبدأ العمل فيها على البنى التحتية الضرورية.

Visual search query image
كان واضحاً الحرص الصيني على الوصول إلى دمشق في تاريخ القسم الرئاسي نفسه، للدلالة على الدعم الكبير لها.

تعاطى السوريون مع قدوم وزير الخارجية الصيني في يوم القسم الرئاسي إلى سوريا، والذي حمل دلالات رمزية عميقة، بمشاعر متباينة بين التفاؤل والتشاؤم، وخصوصاً أن الوضع الاقتصادي ضاغط بشدة على القاعدة الأكبر منهم، التي تجاوزت 90% من مجموع السكان، فأي مسارات ستسلكها العلاقات بين البلدين؟ وما انعكاسها على الوضع السوري الداخلي والخارجي؟

لا يعدّ اهتمام قادة بكين بسوريا وليد اللحظة، إذ إنه يمتد إلى نهايات الألفية الثانية، مع صعود الصين التي بدأت نهضتها الحقيقية في العام 1978، بمجيء دينغ هسياو بينغ. وكان من المفترض أن تحصل قفزة كبيرة في العلاقة بين البلدين بعد زيارة الرئيس الأسد لبكين في العام 2004، ولكن المشاريع الاقتصادية التي كان من المفترض أن تقوم بها الأخيرة في مدينة عدرا العمالية تم إيقافها لأسباب غير معروفة.

مع مجيء تشي جينبينغ في العام 2013 إلى موقع الرئاسة في الصين، تم الإعلان عن مبادرة “الحزام والطريق” التي قُدّرت كلفتها بحدود 4 تريليون دولار. وكان اللافت للنظر هو استبعاد سوريا والعراق من المشروع، واعتبار شمال غرب إيران وجنوب شرق تركيا الممرَّ البري نحو أوروبا، واعتبار مرفأ حيفا في فلسطين المحتلة المرفأ المعتمد في شرق البحر الأبيض المتوسط. 

أخذت السياسات الصينية تُظهر نفسها على المستوى السياسي بعد إدراك قادة بكين أن القدرات الاقتصادية الهائلة التي أتاحت لهم بناء قدرة عسكرية دفاعية، تتيح لهم ترجمة ذلك، لتحويل الصين إلى قطب دولي موازٍ للقطب الأميركي الأوحد، ما دفع الرئيس جينبينغ إلى الإعلان عن اعتباره أن العالم أصبح متعدد الأقطاب، ولا عودة عن ذلك، وذلك من منبر الأمم المتحدة في العام 2015.

ارتفعت نبرة التحدي الصيني بعد مجيء الإدارة الأميركية الجديدة بقيادة بايدن، واعتبارها كلاً من الصين وروسيا تهديدين استراتيجيين للولايات المتحدة، ما دفع الرئيس الصيني إلى الإعلان عن أنَّ “زمن التنمّر على الصين ولَّى بلا رجعة”.

كما أحدث الانسحاب الأميركي غير المشروط من أفغانستان، وتركه الفوضى والاضطرابات من خلال سيطرة حركة “طالبان”، قلقاً لدى دول الجوار، ما دفع 40 دولة إلى عقد مؤتمر آسيا الوسطى والجنوبية في مدينة طشقند في أوزباكستان بتاريخ 15 تموز/يوليو الماضي، بعنوان لافت للنظر هو “الترابط الإقليمي، تحديات وفرص”.

وكان من الواضح من خلال طبيعة تحركات وزير الخارجية الصيني أنَّ القرار اتخذ بضرورة تأمين منطقة غرب آسيا، التي تشمل المنطقة الممتدة من أفغانستان إلى شرق البحر الأبيض المتوسط، وهو ما يقتضي بطبيعة الحال إخراج سوريا من منطقة الصراعات الدولية والإقليمية، فالتقى القوى الدولية والإقليمية المؤثرة في الملف السوري، ممثّلة بكل من وزيري خارجية روسيا سيرغي لافروف والمملكة العربية السعودية سعود الفرحان في اليوم الأول. وفِي اليوم الثاني، التقى وزير خارجية تركيا مولود جاويش أوغلو قبل التوجّه إلى دمشق.

كان واضحاً الحرص الصيني على الوصول إلى دمشق في تاريخ القسم الرئاسي، للدلالة على الدعم الكبير لها، وعلى أنّ بقاء الرئيس الأسد في سدة الحكم لم يكن سوى مظهر لنتائج الصراع الدولي والإقليمي وتحولاته الكبرى، وتأكيداً على دور الصين في المرحلة القادمة في تأمين الجغرافيا السورية كمنطقة آمنة، بالتعاون والتنسيق بشكل أساسي مع موسكو وطهران، وإشراك المملكة العربية السعودية التي تعتبر قاطرة دول الخليج، إضافة إلى مصر التي زارها في اليوم التالي، والتقى فيها الرئيس المصري عبد الفتاح السيسي، ومعالجة الدور التركي السلبي الذي لم يفِ بتعهداته لبكين بتسليم القيادات الإرهابية التركستانية، رغم الدعم الاقتصادي الصيني لها.

وكان لاتصال وزير الخارجية وانغ يي بوزير الخارجية الإيراني محمد جواد ظريف في اليوم الذي زار فيه دمشق دلالة كبيرة، وخصوصاً أن بيان وزارة الخارجية الصيني أعلن استعداد الصين للعمل مع إيران على مواجهة السياسات الأحادية والهيمنة، وهو ما يعني بالضرورة التوافق مع استراتيجيتها بإخراج الأميركيين من غرب آسيا بأكملها، وخصوصاً سوريا والعراق، ما يمهّد الطريق لدخول مبادرة “الحزام والطريق” إلى كل من العراق وسوريا ولبنان.

حملت الزيارة الصينية إلى دمشق 3 أبعاد، فقد تم فيها دعوة دمشق إلى الدخول في مشروعها الكبير، أسوةً ببقية الدول التي وافقت عليه، وبدأ العمل فيها على البنى التحتية الضرورية. 

وللتأكيد على ذلك، وقعت على اتفاقيات الاستثمار في كل مدينة عدرا الصناعية واللاذقية، وعلى إنشاء خط بري من الشمال إلى الجنوب، يربط دول الخليج العربي وشمال أفريقيا بتركيا وأوروبا، وبناء خط لسكك الحديد يربط مرفأ طرطوس بالعراق وإيران وباكستان والصين، إضافةً إلى الاستثمار في قطاع النفط والغاز، والجانب الآخر يتعلق بالمساعدات التي يمكن أن تقدمها إلى سوريا.

وقد توج ذلك بمبادرة للحل السياسي وفق قرارات الأمم المتحدة، مع الدعم الكبير لتصورات دمشق في أكثر القضايا، وخصوصاً ما يتعلق بالإدارة الذاتية والاحتلال التركي، عندما لمّحت المبادرة إلى “رفض جميع المخططات المحفزة على الانقسامات العرقية تحت ذريعة مكافحة الإرهاب”، إضافةً إلى شرط أساسي: “ينبغي دعم حل سياسي شامل وتصالحي للقضية السورية” بقيادة السوريين.

من الواضح أنَّ المساهمة الصينية في مساعدة سوريا اقتصادياً وسياسياً مرتبطة بتحقيق متطلبات أساسية، تتعلق بتغيير بيئة العمل الاقتصادي وتغيير التشريعات الاقتصادية، وهو ما تعهّد به الرئيس الأسد في خطاب القسم، عندما أكّد أن العمل في المرحلة القادمة سيكون على مكافحة الفساد وإصدار تشريعات اقتصادية جديدة.

أما الحلّ السياسي، فقد يذهب نحو مسار تشكيل منصّة للمعارضة السورية الداخلية بعنوان منصة دمشق، تكون مهمّتها الأساس إيجاد أرضية للحوار والتفاوض بين الطرفين في دمشق، وليس جنيف، وإنهاء دور المنصات التي تشكل امتدادات دولية وإقليمية.

بعد أن اختارت دمشق قرار التوجّه شرقاً، تطلَّب منها ذلك الشروع في تحقيق المتطلبات الثلاثة الآنفة الذكر، وهو ما ينتظره أغلب السوريين الذين طحنتهم الحرب، والذين يبحثون عن مخرج لاسترداد حياتهم السابقة واستعادة المناطق المحتلة في الشمال السوري وجنوبه، والبدء بإعادة إعمار ما تهدم على الصعيد الاجتماعي والاقتصادي، والّذي تعجز عنه الدولة السورية وحدها.  

PMU Faction Says US Responsible for Massacre of Iraqis in Daesh Bombing

July 21, 2021 

PMU Faction Says US Responsible for Massacre of Iraqis in Daesh Bombing

By Staff, Agencies

The leader of Iraq’s Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq resistance movement, which operates under the command of Popular Mobilization Units [PMU], has held the United States responsible for the loss of dozens of lives in a deadly Baghdad bombing claimed by the Daesh terror group, which he described as a creation of the US, “Israel” and their Gulf allies.

Qais al-Khazali said in a statement on Tuesday that political motives lie behind the bloody carnage in the bustling Woheilat market of Baghdad’s eastern neighborhood of Sadr City a day earlier.

He said the terror attack tooisraek place on the eve of Eid al-Adha [Feast of Sacrifice] and as Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi prepares to visit Washington within the next few days.

“The United States is seeking justification for its overstay in Iraq through the presence of Daesh [Arabic acronym for ‘ISIS’ / ‘ISIL’] terrorists. Everyone knows that Daesh was created by the US, the “Israeli” regime and certain Gulf Arab states, and their intelligence services are in control of the group,” Khazali said.

The Iraqi PMU leader said the United States is behind the upsurge in Wahhabi Daesh terror attacks, adding that Washington is responsible for the massacre of Iraqi people and its crimes will be responded appropriately.

He added that some individuals are complicit in aiding and abetting terrorist elements to carry out the market bombing.

A bomber killed at least 35 people and wounded dozens in a crowded market in the Sadr City neighborhood of Baghdad on Monday night. More than 60 people were wounded.

The Daesh terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Hospital sources said the death toll could rise as some of the wounded are in critical condition.

The Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq resistance movement, in a separate statement, strongly criticized the performance of Kadhimi’s government and Iraqi security forces in response to the market blast in Baghdad.

“We call on the government to take immediate actions to stop criminal acts,” the group said.

The movement stressed that Kadhimi, who is also the commander-in-chief of Iraqi Armed Forces, in addition to security forces are primarily responsible for the occurrence of such bombings.

Asking for an inquiry into the failure to prevent the tragedy, Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq said intelligence measures and pre-emptive operations should be taken to destroy terrorist lairs.

The anti-terror movement also stressed that the Popular Mobilization Units, better known by the Arabic word Hashd al-Shaabi, should be given a greater role to guarantee security and that their experiences should be used.

Backed by the PMU, Iraq put an end to Daesh’s territorial rule on its soil in late 2017, more than three years after the terror group emerged in the Arab country and captured swaths of land in its western and northern parts.

However, Daesh sleeper cells have continued to launch terror attacks against security forces and civilians from time to time.

The latest bombing, one of the largest since the victory against Daesh, signaled a rise in the strength of the remaining terrorists in Iraq, which are widely believed to have the support of the United States.

Pegasus Project: Why I was targeted by Israeli spyware

The building housing the Israeli NSO Group is pictured in 2016 in Herzliya (AFP)
Visual search query image
Madawi al-RasheedMadawi al-Rasheed is visiting professor at the Middle East Institute of the London School of Economics. You can follow her on Twitter: @MadawiDr

20 July 2021 09:34 UTC

Madawi al-Rasheed

My work to expose the crimes of the Saudi regime led to a hacking attempt on my phone. Today, I am overwhelmed by feelings of vulnerability and intrusion

The Orwellian prediction finally came true. I knew it was only a matter of time before the Saudi regime tried to hack my phone, using Pegasus software manufactured by the private Israeli security company NSO Group.

This development highlights the consolidation of a new axis of evil: IsraelSaudi Arabia and the UAE have become a chorus of malicious powers aiming to stifle activism and the quest for democracy in the region. Israel provides knowledge; the others provide funds.

I have spent more than half my life writing, researching and teaching. You wouldn’t expect me to be hacked. But such professional activities are a crime in Saudi Arabia

The privatisation of the Israeli security apparatus, and the mushrooming of private companies founded by ex-defence and ex-Mossad agents, is a threat not only to Palestinians in Israel, Gaza and the occupied West Bank, but also to all Gulf citizens, with Israeli spyware sold to dictatorships across the Arab world.

In return, Israel gains access to the inner intelligence circles and deep states of the Gulf – enabling it to hold them hostage for a long time to come. Israel supports Gulf autocracies, thinking that this guarantees its own security forever. But Israel is wrong.

Normalisation with Israel is not only immoral because of the Palestinian plight; it is also an existential threat to all Gulf nationals seeking political reform in their own countries. The so-called “only democracy in the Middle East” has so entrenched its apartheid system that no propaganda can salvage it, and strong public objections to Arab regimes’ normalisation with Israel will only intensify in the months and years ahead.

Saga of surveillance

The UAE plays a key role in the saga of surveillance by Israeli private companies. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has fallen under the spell of Mohammed bin Zayed, his UAE counterpart. Forget the “tallest buildingbusiest airport and ministries of tolerance and happiness” – which are at the core of UAE propaganda – and remember that bin Zayed is bin Salman’s mentor.

The two are united by their hatred of democracy, political diversity, freedom of speech and human rights. Both are now key to an axis of evil overseen by malicious Israeli technology, whose alleged raison d’etre is to help governments catch criminals and terrorists. Yet, it is being used against peaceful activists.

Pegasus: How it hacks phones and spies for NSO clients

graphic

Forbidden Stories, a Paris-based NGO specialising in defending journalists and human rights activists, obtained more than 50,000 telephone numbers targeted globally by Israeli malware on behalf of NSO clients, mainly governments. They alerted various media outlets, and with the support of Amnesty International, launched the Pegasus Project.Pegasus: Khashoggi contacts among ‘thousands targeted by Israeli spyware

The findings showed that in April 2019, there was an attempt to hack my phone, but it was unsuccessful. While this is a relief, I am overwhelmed by feelings of vulnerability and intrusion.

To obtain evidence from the Pegasus Project, I had to submit the contents of my phone – in which my private and professional life was stored – to their technology team.

I sat in front of a computer screen for three hours, watching my virtual life travel to the Amnesty International lab, where a search for malware was conducted. I received evidence of the failed April hacking attempt the same day.

Controlling the narrative

As a British citizen of Saudi origin, I have spent more than half my life writing, researching and teaching. You wouldn’t expect me to be hacked. But such professional activities are a crime in Saudi Arabia, where the regime is determined to control the narrative about the past, present and future.

My crime is that I punctured this narrative, using academic research skills and access to Saudis whose voices remain muted. All my research has focused on giving a voice to the voiceless, which inevitably involves interviewing Saudis inside and outside the country. My debunking of official Saudi lies bothers the regime, which has spared no opportunity to tarnish my reputation, accusing me of being an agent of western governments, Turkey, Iran, Qatar, and previously Libya and Iraq.

Saudi government agents murdered Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in October 2018 (AFP)
Saudi government agents murdered Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in October 2018 (AFP)

In the 1990s, the regime targeted me with direct threats of violence – but with the advent of the internet, such threats have become virtual, propagated by regime agents. Hacking my phone is only the latest episode.

In 2014, my Twitter account was hacked in search of sensational scandals, and possibly clandestine plots with other Saudi exiles. The hackers must have been disappointed not to find any of this, but they did expose my private conversation with Sheikh Awad al-Qarni, a key Islamist figure who sent me greetings and asked me not to augment my criticism of the Islamist movement’s silence when prominent Saudi human rights leaders were detained.

Regime spies launched a campaign to discredit Qarni for sending a direct message to an unveiled woman, such as myself. Qarni has been in prison for several years.

Lives in danger

I never had anything to hide, as everything I knew was documented and published in books and articles. I had no secrets, but this was not the point. I cherished my privacy and loathed the Saudi intrusion into my life. I also worried about those who communicate with me from within the country, as their lives could be in danger.

Among the charges against Mohammed al-Otaibi, a human right activist, was storing my books and articles on his computer. He is still in prison. It is my responsibility to protect those who confide in me and want their voices to be heard.

While the April 2019 assault on my device was unsuccessful, I am sure there will be other attempts in the future

The murder of Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018 coincided with greater Saudi surveillance of exiles in Britain, Canada and elsewhere. The shock over the gruesome details of chopping up a peaceful journalist was compounded by fears of hacking. This was the first time exiles had heard of NSO helping the Saudis to hack the phone of a young exile based in Canada, Omar al-Zahrani, who had communicated with Khashoggi about establishing a media platform to debunk Saudi propaganda.

The financial cost of securing my phone was colossal, but it was worth it. While the April 2019 assault on my device was unsuccessful, I am sure there will be other attempts in the future.

Back in 2019, I was involved in discussions with other exiles in three countries about forming a political party, which could explain the attempt to infiltrate my phone at that time. The regime wanted more details about who would sponsor such a project – and who the culprits were. The project materialised on 23 September 2020,  the day the kingdom celebrates its national day, as a small group of activists, including myself, announced the establishment of the Saudi National Assembly (NAAS). Yahya Asiri, the general secretary, was hacked, and his name appears in the Pegasus files. 

Standing against oppression

I moved from academia to political activism because the Saudi regime committed heinous crimes, and the lives of exiles, including my own, were in danger. The Saudi regime targeted me when I was an academic, and again after I became an activist. Such attacks will surely continue in the months and years ahead.

In April 2019, I was also writing a book on state-society  relations. The villain was none other than bin Salman, who has detained hundreds of Saudis and precipitated the flight of scores more.

I was baffled by western media depictions of the prince as a modern reformer, while Saudi prisons were bulging with innocent prisoners of conscience, women were campaigning against discrimination, and a young diaspora was coming together around the globe. My book, The Son King, was definitely a faux pas.

How Israeli spy tech reaches deep into our lives

In 2019, a new virtual Saudi opposition-in-exile was beginning to be formed, standing against oppression and dictatorship. NAAS relies on social media to connect and exchange ideas, making it extremely vulnerable, as the murder of Khashoggi and the hacking of activists’ phones has demonstrated. In the wake of the Pegasus Project revelations, NAAS will surely revert to old methods of mobilisation, meetings and activism.

Thanks to Israeli malware, UAE complicity and Saudi intrusions, exiles will have to search for secure methods to share information and to mobilise. As many have taken refuge in the US, Canada, Britain and across Europe, these states have a responsibility to protect them from Saudi surveillance. Otherwise, there is a real risk the Khashoggi saga could be repeated.

Diplomacy must be activated to stop the axis of evil from spreading more fear, apprehension and possibly murder – and if that doesn’t work, sanctions should be pursued, at the very least in Britain, where two of the founders of NAAS reside.

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

Read more

UK Warns China Against Obstructing Navigation In South China Sea لندن تحذّر بكين من أيّ عرقلة لحرية الملاحة في بحر الصين الجنوبي

20 Jul 21

Source: Al Mayadeen & Agencies

The United Kingdom warns the Chinese Navy against obstructing its fleet in the South China Sea ahead of HMS Queen Elizabeth docking in Japan.

Visual search query image
Aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth

The United Kingdom army announced Tuesday that a powerful navy task force would visit five ports in Japan in September, warning China against any threats concerning freedom of navigation in the region’s tense seas.

UK officials said during a visit by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace to Tokyo that after exercises with allied navies, the group, led by HMS Queen Elizabeth, will pay visits to five Japanese ports in September.

Moreover, the offshore patrol vessels HMS Spey and HMS Tamar will start a permanent deployment to the region next month. It was announced that they would be supported by Australian, Japanese, and Singaporean ships.

UK Secretary of State for Defense Ben Wallace stated in an interview with The Times that the United Kingdom has a duty to stress freedom of navigation when a group of its ships – the most powerful navy task force in a generation – passes through the South China Sea toward Japan.

In parallel, Beijing asserts its sovereignty over the majority of the South China Sea islands, which has angered many countries that have declared their right to have access to the waters adjacent to its territory and prompted the objection of other countries, including the United States.

Japanese Minister of Defense Nobuo Kishi endorsed his British counterpart after their meeting, “We reconfirmed our shared position that we firmly oppose attempts to change the status quo by coercion and the importance of a free and open Indo-Pacific based on rule of law,” Kishi said.

لندن تحذّر بكين من أيّ عرقلة لحرية الملاحة في بحر الصين الجنوبي

المصدر: وكالات+الميادين 20 تموز 2021

بريطانيا “تحذّر” البحرية الصينية من التعرّض لأسطولها في بحر الصين الجنوبي، وذلك قبيل وصول قوة كبيرة، على رأسها حاملة الطائرات “الملكة إليزابيث” إلى موانئ اليابان.

Visual search query image
حاملة الطائرات البريطانية “إتش أم أس إليزابيث”

أعلن الجيش البريطاني، اليوم الثلاثاء، إرسال مجموعة كبيرة من السفن في أيلول/سبتمبر إلى 5 موانئ يابانية، محذّراً الصين من “أي عرقلة لحرية الملاحة في مياه المنطقة التي تشهد توترات”.

وذكرت السلطات البريطانية أنّه “بعد إجراء سلسلة تدريبات مع الجيوش الحليفة، ستقوم مجموعة من سفن البحرية الملكية، تقودها حاملة الطائرات الجديدة “إتش أم أس الملكة إليزابيث” بزيارة 5 موانئ يابانية في أيلول/سبتمبر”، بمناسبة زيارة يقوم بها وزير الدفاع البريطاني، بن والاس، لطوكيو.

وسيتمّ نشر سفينتين طوافتين بصورة دائمة في المنطقة، اعتباراً من الشهر المقبل، تدعمهما سفن أسترالية ويابانية وسنغافورية.

وأكد والاس، في مقابلة مع صحيفة “تايمز”، أنّ المملكة المتحدة “من واجبها” تأكيد حرية الملاحة عندما تعبر مجموعة سفنها – أكبر انتشار بحري بريطاني في زمن السلم منذ جيل – بحر الصين نحو اليابان.

وقال للصحيفة “ليس سراً أنّ الصين تتعقّب السفن التي تمرّ عبر المياه الدولية سالكة طرقاً شرعية، وتُسبّب مشكلات لها”، مضيفاً “أننا سنحترم الصين ونأمل في أن تحترمنا”، موضحاً “سنبحر حيثما يسمح القانون الدولي بذلك”.

وتؤكد بكين سيادتها على أغلبية جزر بحر الصين الجنوبي، الأمر الذي أثار غضب عدد من الدول التي أعلنت أحقيّتها في المياه المجاورة لأراضيها، واعتراض دول أخرى، بينها الولايات المتحدة.

وأيّد وزير الدفاع الياباني نوبوو كيشي نظيره البريطاني بعد اجتماعهما، مشدداً على “موقفهما المشترك”، قائلاً “نعارض بشدة محاولات تغيير الوضع الراهن بالإكراه، ونعيد تأكيد أهمية إبقاء منطقتَي المحيطين الهندي والهادئ حرتَين ومفتوحتَين، كما ينصّ على ذلك القانون”

MBS Used ‘Israeli’ Spyware Pegasus to Spy on Lebanese, Hezbollah Officials – Report

20-07-2021

MBS Used ‘Israeli’ Spyware Pegasus to Spy on Lebanese, Hezbollah Officials - Report

By Staff, Agencies

An ‘Israeli’ software company is revealed to have helped Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman [MBS] take over the smart phones of high-ranking Lebanese authorities, senior figures of Hezbollah resistance movement as well as journalists, and spy on their communications.

According to the report published by the French daily newspaper Le Monde, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler used the NSO Group’s cell phone-hacking software, Pegasus, to conduct cyber-espionage on Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun, former prime minister Saad Hariri, former foreign minister and leader of the Free Patriotic Movement Gebran Bassil, and Chief of the Directorate of General Security Major General Abbas Ibrahim.

The report added the ‘Israeli’ spyware was abused on behalf of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates between 2018 and 2019 to spy on some Lebanese political officials and journalists.

Le Monde said the Saudi crown prince also called for espionage on Lebanese lawmakers representing Hezbollah Hassan Fadlallah and Ali Fayyad, governor of Lebanon’s central bank Riad Salameh and former finance minister Ali Hassan Khalil.

The report added that the Riyadh and Abu Dhabi regimes had demanded that two renowned Lebanese journalists, director of Beirut-based al-Mayadeen television news network Ghassan bin Jiddo, and correspondent and political analyst for al-Akhbar Arabic language newspaper Ibrahim al-Amin, be kept under close watch.

Similarly, the United Arab Emirates has apparently deployed digital spyware enabling surveillance of top leaders of Yemen’s popular Ansarullah resistance movement and officials from the administration of former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

The Arabic-language al-Khabar al-Yemeni news website reported that Ansarullah’s leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi and Chairman of the Yemeni Supreme Revolutionary Committee Mohammed Ali al-Houthi were among senior Yemeni officials targeted by the UAE.

According to the report, Hadi was also on the list of targets.

One of the most prominent targets was Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr, the former Yemeni prime minister in Hadi’s government. He was under surveillance since April 2016 until the end of 2018.

Being a highly invasive tool, Pegasus is said to be able to turn on the victim’s cell phone camera and microphone and access data on it, meaning that it can effectively turn the phone into a pocket spy.

The ‘Israeli’ firm NSO has been in the headlines since 2016 when experts said it was helping spy on an activist in the UAE.

The University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, through a study, has found a link between the NSO technology and political surveillance in Mexico, the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Victims of the hacking spree included diplomats, political dissidents, journalists and top government officials.

Western Media Parrots “Israeli” Lies: July 2006 War An Example

18/07/2021

Western Media Parrots “Israeli” Lies: July 2006 War An Example

Western Media Bias towards ‘Israel’: 

By Dr. Ibrahim al-Moussawi*

Western media generally has always played a pivotal role in misinforming rather misleading the public instead of supplying them with correct information and news; in short not telling them the truth.

All preaching and rhetoric of honesty, fairness, accuracy and transparency become obsolete, especially when it comes to our region and specifically to what used to be called the Arab Israeli conflict. To be more specific, the Western-backed ‘Israeli’ occupation to Palestine has the lions share in the field of propaganda. A propaganda which aims at polishing the ‘Israeli’ Image and distorting the Palestinian one.

This issue was not only limited to occupied Palestine and the resistance there but it has extended and stretched to include all those who resist or fight the US ‘Israeli’ occupation in any place in the region. Lebanon is not an exception.

The examples about the Western media bias towards ‘Israel’ are numerous. If we recall the ‘Israeli’ occupation of Lebanon we can find so many.

First and most importantly, the terminology.

The Western media presents ‘Israel’ as “a peaceful democratic ‘state’ which is always “defending itself against fanatic terrorists and dictator regimes and countries.” These definitions are not only misleading and incorrect but they are very dangerous because they justify the ‘Israeli’ continuous crimes against its enemies in most of the cases they are innocent civilians and children.

The big lie that ‘Israel’ and its Western allies tried to sell was that Palestine was empty without people and the ‘Israelis’ made a miracle as they came and turned the desert into a heaven on earth. This is the translation of the ‘Israeli’ slogan: a land without people to people without land.

In July 2006 war, the writer of this article has had the opportunity to meet scores of Western journalists from different European and American nationalities. I did so many interviews and answered hundreds of questions. It was a real and complete shock how most of the media personnel are grossly misinformed about the basics or the alphabet of the issue.

I had to inform many of them about the nature of the struggle and how it started and how does it unfold and manifest itself every now and then.

The ‘Israeli’ narrative is the one prevalent: “‘Israel’ is a civilized tolerant entity, it is a victim, and it is seeking to live in harmony, coexistence and peace with its surroundings, while its ‘enemies’ are pursuing every effort to destroy it.”

The ‘Israeli’ aggressions, incursions, occupations are crucial and necessary and they are actions of “self-defense.” ‘Israel’ resorted to them as a last choice and only after it has exhausted all other means.

The mainstream media in the West and in many so-called Arab outlets especially in the Gulf region has the ‘Israeli’ narrative as their official line of news. This is very telling about the size and severity of the distortion taking place.

If the journalists and media people who are supposed to inform people with accuracy about the real ongoing events and the facts are that ignorant, manipulated and biased, what one can expect from the average person in the street. This is a systematic distortion of facts with catastrophic consequences on many levels.

If the Western official line of media is biased to ‘Israel’ and telling lies to people to support ‘Israel’, then the responsibility of the informed activists and human rights advocates is very big. With the presence of social media and public applications and platforms the alternative media should be activated.

An urgent action is needed to be organized and coordinated by all those individuals and organizations who are fully aware of the situation to inform the world public about the real facts.

The task and mission performed by our media outlets as an axis of resistance is very distinguished and significant but it is not sufficient to strike the necessary balance with pro-‘Israeli’ media.

More voices are needed here, they are there we only need to make them join the circle to build our system and narrative. This is very urgent, crucial and vital now more than any time in the past.

*Dr. Ibrahim al-Moussawi is a Member of Hezbollah’s Bloc at the Lebanese Parliament. He is also a Professor of Media Studies and Social Studies at the Lebanese University. He obtained his PhD from the University of Birmingham, UK.

الأسد في القَسَم: الهويّة تحدّد القضيّة والأسوأ صار وراءنا

18/07/2021

 ناصر قنديل

القيمة المفصلية لخطاب القسم للرئيس السوري بشار الأسد، تأتي من صفتين تلازمان الخطاب، الأولى هي صلة القسم كصفة بالمطلق واليقين والملزم، والثانية مناسبة القسم في بداية ولاية رئاسية يرسم لها خريطة طريق، وقد قدّم الرئيس الأسد في كلتيهما ما منح صفته المفصلية أسباباً كافية، فقد كرّس الأسد أغلب الخطاب لشرح مسهب للثوابت التي تصنع السياسة، والخطوط الحمراء التي يكف الخلاف عليها عن كونه مجرد تباين في الآراء، ومنح القسم الأخير من الخطاب لرسم مهام الغد القريب والمتوسط التي تشكل عناصر ومحاور ولايته الرئاسية المقبلة، وبذلك أدى الخطاب بالنسبة للسوريين خصوصاً، وللعرب عموماً، وللعالم بصورة عامة ما يحتاج كل منهم أن يعرفه عن سورية اليوم وغداً.

بالنسبة للبعض ربما يكون البحث المفصل الذي قدمه الأسد عن الهوية والانتماء والبديهيات والمسلمات، نوعاً من الشرح الفلسفي والعقائدي، لكنه في السياسة إعلان لحدود ما يمكن حله والتفاوض عليه في السياسة، وما لا يقبل البحث والتفاوض، فالهوية العربية هي القاعدة التي يقوم عليها الوطن السوريّ، وتنهض بها الدولة السورية، والعروبة هنا بعد حضاري يتسع لغير العرب، لا قبول فيه لهويات موازية، وهذا حسم خالص ومطلق لكيفية المقاربة الممكنة لما يُعرَف بالمسألة الكردية، ووفقاً للهوية تتحدد القضية، وقضية العروبة فلسطين، وقضية سورية المتفرّعة عن الصراع مع كيان الإحتلال هي استعادة الجولان، وما يرقى الى مستوى القضية لا يقبل المساومة، والاحتلال إلى زوال ولو بعد حين، والتركي محتل والأميركي محتل و«الإسرائيلي» محتل.

في مضمون رسائل الهوية والقضية أن التسرّب الفكري من حولها، أسس للأزمة، وإذا كان التسرب الأول هو في أوهام هويات بديلة أو رديفة، والتطرف والتعصب في مقاربتها، ما أسس لظهور الإرهاب، وملاقاة الأجنبي، الذي استقدم بدوره الإرهاب، فإن التسرّب الفكري الثاني هو في تهوين مكانة الهوية والقضية، واعتبارها مجرد وجهة نظر فتساوى الوطني والخائن، وتعادل المتمسك بالدولة مع الإرهابي، وصارت الثوابت الوطنية مجرد سردية يمكن النقاش فيها حول الأزمة، ولا مشكلة بتعديلها بحثاً عن حلول ومخارج من الأزمة، وفي مواجهة هذين التسرّبين يقيم الأسد سداً منيعاً، بردّ الاعتبار لإنشاء خط فاصل بين سورية التي قامت بإرادة شعبها وتوحّده خلف هوية وقضية، وبين المشاريع التي تريد تقاسم فكرة الدولة بعدما فشلت في اقتسام بعض الجغرافيا، والحل السياسي المنشود، لا يجوز أن يقوم على المساس بهذه الثوابت.

الأسوأ عسكرياً وأمنياً أصبح من الماضي، فلا عودة لخطر الاجتياحات ولا خوف من شنّ حروب، ولا من سيطرة الإرهاب، ورزنامة السوريين اليوم هي لمواصلة تحرير ما تبقى تحت الاحتلالين الأميركي والتركي، وإن اقتضى الأمر منح المزيد من الوقت للمساعي السياسية، لكن في نهاية المطاف لا مكان للاحتلال ولا للتقسيم ولا للتقاسم ولا لكل شكل من أشكال المساس بالوحدة والسيادة، والأسوأ سياسياً مضى أيضاً، فليس على الطاولة اليوم مشاريع تقوم على فرضيات تمس وحدة وسيادة سورية، أو تعيد تشكيل دولتها على أسس طائفية أو عرقية دفع السوريون ثمن إسقاطها دماء غالية، أما الأسوأ اقتصادياً فهو نتاج الدمار الذي جلبته الحرب، ولا خطر للمزيد منه، ونتاج تقطيع أوصال البلد وضرب مقدراته الإنتاجية، وقد بدأت استعادة المبادرة على هذا الصعيد باتجاه معاكس، ونتاج الحصار والعقوبات وقد بلغت مداها وقد تم فرز المدى الاقتصادي المتأثر بها عن الممكن بناؤه من خارجها، ونتاج ضياع الودائع المصرفية في لبنان، وقد ترتب عليها سقف ما يمكن أن يترتب، وتعلم السوريون منها درساً بحجم أولوية استثمار أموالهم في بلدهم.

يرسم الرئيس الأسد مهام واقعية أمام ولايته الرئاسية، فهي سياسياً وعسكرياً ولاية استعادة ما تبقى من الجغرافيا إلى الدولة السورية السيدة والموحدة، وهي اقتصادياً ولاية بناء مقدرات الاكتفاء الذاتي صناعياً وزراعياً، وإعادة تأهيل الإدارة وفق قواعد عصرية تسهل علاقة الدولة بالاقتصاد وتحاصر الفساد، وببساطة الخيارات ووضوحها، نبل الأهداف وعظمة التضحيات، ترسم سورية في محيطها نموذجاً جديداً للدولة التي قاومت وانتصرت، وتتقدم في طريق البناء لتقديم مثال الدولة التي تبني وتنهض من الركام، لتشكيل قاعدة إنتاجية تحدثت عنها الأرقام التي قالها الأسد عن ثلاثة آلاف مصنع جديد يدخل حيز العمل، وعن مئة ألف منشأة صغيرة ومتوسطة تملأ فراغ الحاجات الاقتصادية والاجتماعية الناتجة عن الحصار قريباً، لتكتمل في سورية مواصفات الدولة المتقدمة والدولة المقاومة.

الرئيس بشار الأسد بعد عشرين عاماً من المسؤولية وقد خبر كل المعارك والتحديات، وحقق الانتصارات والإنجازات، هو القائد الذي تحتاجه الساحة العربية واحة خضراء في صحراء الفراغ.

فيديوات متعلقة

مقالات متعلقة

Asaib Ahl Al-Haq: Iraqi Resistance Decided To Expel US Forces

18/07/2021

Asaib Ahl Al-Haq: Iraqi Resistance Decided To Expel US Forces

By Staff, Agencies

Iraq’s Asaib Ahl al-Haq resistance movement said the Iraqi government is not entitled to keep any foreign forces in the country without the authorization of the country’s parliament, stressing that the American forces’ presence in Iraq runs counter to the Arab country’s constitution.

“The presence of American troops in Iraq is a clear violation of the Iraqi constitution,” Mahmoud al-Rubaie, spokesman of the resistance movement’s political bureau, told Iran’s Tasnim news agency.

“Furthermore, there is no agreement or approval for the presence of these forces in Iraq from the parliament of Iraq, as a country with a parliamentary system, and the government has no right to keep any foreign troops on the Iraqi soil without the consent of the parliament,” al-Rubaei said.

He pointed out that the incumbent Iraqi government has admitted, unlike previous governments, that the US forces are neither training nor advisory forces, but rather, they belong to the US Army’s Ground Force, who have committed a series of crimes in Iraq.

“Among the crimes committed by the American forces in Iraq, we can mention the biggest, which is the martyrdom of the commanders of victory,” al-Rubaei said.

He was making a reference to the US assassination of Iran’s top anti-terror commander, General Qassem Soleimani, along with deputy commander of the Popular Mobilization Units [PMU], Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, at Baghdad International Airport in January 2020, after which Iraq’s Parliament passed a law demanding the expulsion of all US-led forces.

The spokesman said that Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi, in his upcoming visit to Washington, would pursue the US military’s withdrawal from Iraq.

He also termed the strategic talks between Baghdad and Washington as “useless”, saying such recurring talks are aimed at prolonging the US occupation forces’ stay on the Iraqi soil, which contradicts the parliament’s law and the will of the Iraqi nation.

“We believe that the Americans will leave Iraq in the near future,” al-Rubaei continued, “because the Islamic Resistance has made its decision to confront them, and this decision was made after the failure of all efforts and the end of all chances given to the Americans and the current Iraqi government for diplomatic and political moves to rid Iraq of these forces.”

He expressed hopes that public pressure and efforts made by resistance groups and some political movements would drive the Iraqi government to publicly demand the withdrawal of US forces.

“We have no request but this from the government, despite the fact it has been long overdue,” the spokesman added.

The US, under both administrations of Donald Trump and Joe Biden, has repeatedly targeted the positions of Iraqi resistance forces, who played a significant role in defeating Daesh [the Arabic acronym for ‘ISIS/ISIL’] terrorist group.

Biden’s first military strike abroad was against the PMU forces at the Iraqi-Syrian border back in February, only a month into his presidency. Biden also ordered airstrikes against the headquarters of the 14th Brigade of the PMU, also known as Hashd al-Shaabi, along Iraq and Syria’s common border last month.

Some 3,500 foreign troops, including 2,500 Americans, are still in Iraq, with the alleged aim of preventing the re-emergence of Daesh in the Arab country.

Observers, however, say Washington’s targeting of resistance forces is aimed at reviving Daesh and, in turn, prolonging its illegal occupation of Iraq under the pretext of fighting the terrorist group.

Such a US military presence also exists in Syria, where the Pentagon’s mission is not coordinated with the Damascus government, and while there is no clear timetable for withdrawal.

Related Videos

Related News

Sayyed Safieddine: US Cause of All Lebanon’s Sufferings

18/07/2021

Sayyed Safieddine: US Cause of All Lebanon’s Sufferings 

By Staff, Agencies

The head of Hezbollah’s Executive Council His Eminence Sayyed Hashem Safieddine warned that “All the sufferings in Lebanon today have been directly or indirectly caused by the United States.”

“Today, the one who has destroyed Lebanon is the United States, which continues to interfere in all of the affairs of this country,” Sayyed Safieddine said.

He further pointed to the US sanctions on Lebanon, saying the US has targeted the needs of all the people of the region with sanctions.

The remarks came after Lebanon’s Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri said he had abandoned his efforts to form a new government, citing disagreements with the country’s president, Michel Aoun, on the formation of a new cabinet.

In his remarks, Sayyed Safieddine stressed that “The US tyranny targets Lebanon, Palestine and any place in the region where there is dignity and resistance.”

“The Americans came to Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria to conduct [acts of] sabotage, and they sent weapons and missiles to Yemen to destroy it,” he said.

He also pointed to the launch Al-Quds Sword Operation by Palestinian resistance groups in the Gaza Strip against “Israel” two months ago, in retaliation for the “Israeli” aggression against Palestinians in occupied Al-Quds, saying the operation was the battle of “truth against falsehood” and the defense of values and humanity and all the honorable people of the world.

“Al-Quds Sword defeated the US and ‘Israel’,” the Hezbollah top official said, adding that the operation was a sign that resistance has become stronger and deep-rooted in the region.

Sayyed Safieddine also referred to the July 2006 war, saying resistance has been boosting its power since then.

“In the days of the July 2006 war, the enemy front was confused while the resistance had a clear vision and relied on a strong and resilient people,” he noted.

“If it weren’t for that war, the axis of resistance would not exist,” he added.

President Bashar Assad Takes the Oath for a New Presidential Term

 ARABI SOURI 

Syrian President Bashar Assad taking the oath

President Bashar Assad took the constitutional oath for a new presidential term yesterday, 17 July 2021, at the Syrian People’s Palace – the Presidential Palace in a highly ceremonial style and delivered one of his most direct speeches yet leaving no room for ambiguity in regards to the complete liberation of the country from NATO powers, Israel, and their proxies of Al Qaeda and the Kurdish SDF terrorists.

Syrian President Bashar Assad took the oath in attendance of dignitaries of the Syrian people, top state officials, army officers, members of the parliament, tribal notables, prominent artists of all arts, and intellectuals.

The ceremony started with the arrival of the president’s humble motorcade to the Presidential Palace to be received by the Guards of Honor walking him to the gates of the palace where he was received by the Syrian orchestra and then into the large hall with attendees jumping on their feet cheering their leader of victory over the most vicious and longest war of terror and war of attrition spearheaded by the world’s superpowers and super-rich countries resorting to all sorts of unthinkable massacres, genocide, displacement, and terrorism carried out directly by tens of thousands of terrorists on the ground and both directly and indirectly by the sponsors of the terror, the NATO member states.

For the full speech in Arabic visit SANA page.

Syrian President Bashar Assad taking the oath

President Assad was received at the podium by the Speaker of the Parliament who invited him to take the oath and declared the beginning of the new presidential term, the Syrian presidential term is for 7 years, after which, President Assad delivered his inaugural speech.

In his one hour speech, which was interrupted several times by the enthusiastic audiences delivering short poems, praises, and blessings to their leader, President Bashar Assad outlined his new term’s strategy in all fields starting with continuing to liberate all of Syria and maintain its unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, the liberation of all of the recognized Syrian territories including Idlib province, the last stronghold of Al Qaeda in Syria, Hasakah, Deir Ezzor, and Raqqa provinces where US troops and their Kurdish SDF separatist terrorists occupy parts of those provinces, and of course, the Golan.

President Assad emphasized on the unity of the Syrian people of their rich ethnicities, religions, sects, and cultures, he stated that Arabism does not eliminate other cultures rather unites them under the leading culture on the one united land of Syria, in the oath itself, the President swore to work for the unity of all the Arab nation, that means all the Arab world who share the same language, lifestyle, culture, tradition, history, and have shared aspirations and future.

The Syrian President stressed on economic challenges due to the regions that remain under occupation especially in the northeast of the country where Syria’s main food and oil comes from, the western blockade against the country, and the inaccessibility of the foreign currencies held by the Lebanese banks with an estimate of 40 to 60 billion dollars owned by Syrian businessmen who moved most of it into the neighboring country during the early days of the war on Syria for protection and to facilitate trade with the world.

President Assad highlighted the achievements of the Syrian industrialists who remained in the country during the difficult years of the war and continued to work, those who resumed working after their cities were liberated from the terrorists, and those who founded new businesses with thousands of new factories and tens of thousands of workshops all over the country. The need to solve the electrical power shortages was also mentioned by the Syrian president where he called on more investments in alternative energy sources even when the main Syrian oil and gas fields are liberated and restored, he mentioned a recent solar power project that was started in the past week in the Industrial City of Adra as a PPP (public-private partnership) with the initiative from the state and with the contribution of several private investors, the project will be generating 100 Megawatts enough to cover the industrial city’s needs which will allow the now used electrical power to be available back to the grid in order to lessen the hours of the power rationing.

The Syrian president called on those who chose to fight against their own state to drop their weapons and join the reconciliation and return to their normal lives and help rebuild their country offering amnesty and reminding that the most generous were the families of the martyrs who forgave the killers of their loved ones in order to turn a page on this ruthless war, there’s no future for those fighting the state except more bloodshed and inevitable victory of the people over terrorism and the international sponsors of terrorism. He called on the displaced abroad to return to their country which needs them and they need it.

President Bashar Assad thanked Russia, China, Iran, and other countries and parties who stood beside Syria politically, militarily, and economically which helped the Syrian people in their fight and victory.

To help us continue please visit the Donate page to donate or learn how you can help us with no cost to you.
Follow us on Telegram: http://t.me/syupdates link will open the Telegram app.

HEZBOLLAH DEPLOYED ROCKET LAUNCHER, ANTI-AIRCRAFT GUNS NEAR SYRIA’S AL-MAYADIN: MONITORING GROUP

16.07.2021 

Hezbollah Deployed Rocket Launcher, Anti-Aircraft Guns Near Syria’s Al-Mayadin: Monitoring Group
A Hezbollah fighter stands in front of anti-tank artillery at Juroud Arsal, the Syria-Lebanon border. Photo: REUTERS

Lebanon’s Hezbollah had deployed fighters in the outskirts of the town of al-Mayadin in Syria’s Deir Ezzor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on July 16.

Hezbollah fighters took over a base in al-Shabli ruins that was manned by Iraqi fighters of Iranian-backed Liwa Abu al-Fadhal al-Abbas. The Iraqis evacuated the base a few hours before the arrival of Hezbollah forces.

According to the SOHR, Hezbollah deployed a rocket launcher and a number of 23 mm anti-aircraft guns near its new base.

“The reasons behind handing over the military base to Hezbollah remain unknown,” the London-based monitoring group said in its report.

Hezbollah maintains very small presence in southern countryside of Deir Ezzor, where Iranian-backed Syrian and Iraqi forces are present to counter ISIS and guard the Syrian-Iraqi border.

Al-Mayadin is located a few kilometers away from US-led coalition bases on the eastern bank of the Euphrates river. Six attacks targeted the bases in the last three weeks. Iranian-backed forces were allegedly behind the attacks.

By deploying forces near al-Mayadin, Hezbollah apparently wants to increase its presence right on the main frontline with US forces in Syria.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC:

Biden Forces Smuggle Out 70 Vehicles Some Carrying Stolen Syrian Oil

 ARABI SOURI 

US Biden Forces Smuggle Out 70 Vehicles Some Loaded with Stolen Syrian Oil

Biden forces smuggled 70 vehicles out of Syria and into Iraq in the past 24 hours, some of the vehicles are tankers loaded with stolen Syrian oil, the convoy of 2 columns passed through the illegal Al Walid crossing.

44 vehicles of oil tankers, refrigerated trucks, and troops carriers along with some moved from the Sweidiyah village near Yarubiya in the countryside of the Syrian northeastern Hasakah province, local sources told the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), they added that the convoy left the Kharab Jir illegal military in the Malkiyah region near the Syrian borders with Iraq toward Iraq through the illegal Al Walid border crossing.

Later in the night, yesterday, the mercenary US military forces working for the ‘most inclusive and diversified’ junta of the White House moved out an additional 26 vehicles from the same area toward the Iraqi territories. These vehicles comprise loaded trucks covered to conceal their containers in addition to tankers loaded with stolen Syrian oil.

Earlier on the 11th of this month, the Biden forces smuggled 24 trucks loaded with stolen Syrian wheat from the Tal Alo silos in addition to several other trucks whose containers were covered. The convoy also used the illegal Al Walid border crossing and headed to northern Iraq.

This latest theft, breach of international law, violation of the United Nations Charter, aggression against the sovereignty of the independent Syrian state, a founding member of the United Nation aimed to deprive the Syrian people of their food and fuel is just the continuation of the same policies followed by the consecutive US regimes not starting with George W. Bush who invaded Iraq on false claims that Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction, the invasion that continues through today, and ongoing with the demented Joe Biden and his diversified regime of war criminals in suites.

To help us continue please visit the Donate page to donate or learn how you can help us with no cost to you.
Follow us on Telegram: http://t.me/syupdates link will open the Telegram app.

Related Videos

Related Articles

Turkish conflict with United States

Turkish conflict with United States

July 14, 2021

by Batko Milacic – Independent analyst – for The Saker Blog

The events in the Middle East have made a large number of interstate relations of the former “allies” very complicated due to the large-scale operation “Arab Spring”. After the failure of the original idea of creating the Great Middle East, a project in which the main role was played by Washington, in alliance primarily with the Gulf monarchies but also with Turkey, there was a great redefinition of relations within the axis.

Realizing that its interests in the region will not be satisfied in the alliance with the United States, Turkey turned another page in foreign policy, trying to satisfy its own interests, thus at the same time defying the synergistic policy of the NATO pact in the Middle East.

This act was a revolt within the NATO bloc itself. The most concrete results were seen with the realization of the “Turkish Stream” project with Russia and the purchase of modern S-400 anti-aircraft systems from Russia, despite numerous warnings from official Washington.

However, the question arises as to what other choice the Turkish leadership had. The “Arab Spring” project failed, and European leaders were clear that Turkey would not become a member of the European Union. On the other hand, out of its own interests in the war against Syria, Washington continued to support the Kurds and their parastate in northeastern Syria, thus calling into question Turkey’s national interests.

Faced with these problems, Turkey has decided to formulate its own policy, of course paying the price. The coup organized against Erdogan was the best example of how Washington does not forgive betrayal but also neither the change in foreign policy of “allies“. Especially when foreign policy is not in line with the interests of official Washington.

The surviving coup was a good lesson for the Turkish leadership that the United States is a superpower, and that enmity with Washington is costly. This was best felt by Turkish citizens, as Turkey’s economy has weakened significantly, because of the escalation of economic sanctions by Washington towards Turkey.

However, strong pressure from Washington further united the Turks. The lived experience, regardless of the political differences, united a significant part of the Turkish, primarily nationalist opposition, with Erdogan in relation to the United States. Erdogan has begun to pursue an increasingly Turkish-oriented foreign policy. Turkish society, especially its nationalist and secular elements reached the historical peak of contempt for US foreign policy.

Turkey, no matter how economically weaker than the United States, has shown that it is not a small nation that a “big boss” can discipline simply as it has in some other periods of history. The example of Turkish resistance to subordinate its policy to Washington interests is becoming dangerous, because the Turkish example of sovereignty of foreign policy and rebellion within the NATO pact can be followed by others.

Turkish nationalism got a new impetus by merging what previously seemed incompatible, and that is the greatest merit of US politics. With the failed Gulenist coup against Erdogan, Washington showed that it tried to treat this great nation as Haiti, which awakened Turkish national pride and opened the biggest gap in relations with the United States so far.

On the other hand, Russia, which was originally and still is in a geopolitical conflict with Turkey, accepted Turkish sovereignist policy and showed that, unlike America, it wants cooperation with Turkey and wants to treat Turkey without humiliation. In addition to the aforementioned “Turkish Stream” and the S-400 system, cooperation has also been established in the field of nuclear energy.

It is also very indicative that the last war in the Caucasus passed with the coordination of Moscow and Ankara, for mutual benefit. And guess who was the biggest loss of that war? Again of course the United States!

Russia and Turkey have demonstrated in a simple way who is the boss in the region, and that Washington is incapable of protecting its “allies”. This is especially related to Armenia, whose government is headed by a pro-US prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan. Turkey was a demonstrator of force through Azerbaijan, while Russia appeared as a protector, which was another slap in the face for Washington. Turkish society is increasingly mobilizing against the United States, especially in the media. The extent to which Turkish society is antagonized in relation to the United States is best shown by the new Turkish documentary “Dying Empire”:

%d bloggers like this: